Gral paced by the passageway access. "Where is he?" he grumbled.
"He will be back," Thuruk said.
"He has already been gone for over an hour. It can't be taking that long to pack his belongings. He said he didn't have much he wanted to bring with him."
"I am certain he just got held up. There's nothing to worry about."
Gral slammed the communicator by the side of the door.
"Bridge here," the communicator said.
"Toom, can you tell me where Jeremy is? He should be near his quarters."
"Ahhh, yes sir." Was Toom hesitating to answer? Gral wondered. "I'm going to need a moment, to force myself in their system."
"That's fine, just tell me where he is." Gral went back to his pacing.
"Captain," Toom said no more than a minute later. "He isn't in his quarters."
"I'm accessing the station's schematics. He's in their brig." He wasn't able to hide his surprise.
The expletive that came out of Gral's mouth made Thuruk's ears fold back and grow warm. "Get five of Alpha's, suit up and arm yourselves. We're going to get him. I am not going to let them imprison my little warrior." He stormed by Thuruk to go get his own combat suit and weapon.
"Sidearm. As much as I want to bring this station down around their ears, I'm going to try and be reasonable." They went their separate way at the first intersection.
* * * * *
When Gral came out of his quarters he was dressed in a mate black fur tight suit, and had the largest sidearm attached to his hip he owned. He could make very large holes in the station with it, if they pushed him.
Six other Kelsirians were already in the access corridor when he arrived. They wore the same type of suits and had various weapons. One even had a rifle, but Gral didn't feel like getting him to change it. Unlike him they also wore helmets, with their visor on clear. He noted that each one of them was someone that Jeremy knew. They moved out of his way, and Gral found himself with only one person blocking his way.
"Ambassador Querik, what are you doing here?"
"I am here to stop you from making a mistake."
"They are holding Jeremy prisoner." He said in a menacing growl. "I will not let that go unanswered."
"I know. The anger you are radiating reached me in my quarters."
"Then get out of my way."
"No. Not until we have clarified some things."
Gral's eyes narrowed, and he growled, but the ambassador did react to it.
"I am in charge of this rescue," Querik said. "Alpha is my support and will do what I say and nothing else. Is that clear."
"If one of them does anything that looks like it might threaten my little warrior, I will kill them. Is that clear?"
Querik stared back at the captain for a moment and then nodded. "Then lets hope it doesn't get to that. I'd hate for my last day here to be marked by the start of a war."
He turned, opened the door and strode into the station.
* * * * *
The station commander met them in the fourth intersection, with ten heavily armed guards. "What is the meaning of this ambassador?" the Commander asked.
"You are holding one of the captain's crew prisoner. We are here to take him back."
The commander frowned. "We don't have any kelsirian prisoners. Your intel's wrong."
"The crew in question isn't kelsirian. I am referring to Jeremy Kromer."
"Kromer isn't part of his crew. He's a station tech. If you attempt to kidnap him we're going to be forced to take you down."
Querik eyed the commander, then the men behind him. "Do you happen to know who stands behind me, Commander O'Neil? They are six members of Alpha squad, and the captain of the hunter ship Viper's Bane. Alpha squad is an elite hunter team, anyone of them can take down your ten guards without even moving from the position he's in right now. And not hit any unintended targets."
The guards behind the commander tensed and pulled up their weapons. No sounds came from behind Querik, and it might seemed like they were relaxing, but he could sense the tension coiled inside each of them, just waiting for the order to be unleashed.
"Before this situation escalate out of your control, I believe there are some facts you need to be made aware of. Jeremy Kromer is the captain's Heart. I won't bother trying to explain the details of what this means, you wouldn't understand it, but suffice to say that it makes him his mate, his husband, in your language."
"That furball's a homo?" the commander exclaimed.
"Yes, he is." Querik knew it had been meant as a slur, but he was the only one who knew the word and he didn't bother reacting to it. "And so is Jeremy."
"Bullshit. Kromer's a strong worker. Not a homo. If he's done anything with that thing then he was forced and it's a good thing we took him away from you people."
"You may deny it as loudly as you wish, send subliminal indoctrination through the station as long as you want, but it does not change the fact that Jeremy is Gral's lover."
"There's no way he'd ever have agreed to that!"
Querik suppressed a smile. The commander had be easy to manipulate. "Why don't we ask him?"
The commander stared at him.
"You said he would never agree to this, then why don't we ask him directly. Have him brought here so he can tell us himself what his choice is."
"You're wasting your time," the commander stated.
"Then it is ours to waste, and you have nothing to lose."
The commander tried to stare Querik down, but he was the one who looked away. "Bring Kromer to my position." He said in a communicator.
Less then five minutes later Jeremy arrived, escorted by two guards. They stopped when they stood behind the commander. Querik could sense that he was nervous, but he wasn't letting any of it show. He didn't offer any resistance, he just stood straight and went where directed.
"Kromer," the commander said, "why don't you tell the furballs here that there's no way in hell you're going to go with them.
"I want to go with them," Jeremy said without hesitation.
"What?" the commander turned and reached to grab Jeremy.
An arm materialized itself by Querik's head and pointed a large sidearm in the commander's direction.
"If I were you, commander, I would be extremely careful about what you do next."
The commander turned looked over his shoulder and blanched when he saw the weapon Gral was pointing at him.
"Now," Querik said. "Jeremy as answered your question. He wishes to go with us. As per his wishes, we will be taking him. If you want to try and stop us, you are welcome to do so. I'm actually curious to find out if any of your scared guards will be able to let out one shot before they are dead." He extended a hand to Jeremy, who stepped by the commander and joined the Kelsirians.
"That's isn't over, ambassador. I'm going to be lodging a complaint."
"That is your right, but you'll have to do it when a new ambassador arrives. I am leaving. After learning how you treat your citizens, I find that I can not tolerate staying here. Further more, I will recommend that the kelsirian government removes its support of earth's entry in the federation." He turned, walked through the Squad and headed for the ship's access.
"Thuruk, you're Jeremy's shade," Gral said. "Milin, Houral, watch our back. Al'alut and Werin, I want you to cover each intersections we'll cross. We don't have far to go, but I don't trust them to let us go without a fight."
"They won't fight us," Querik said. "We have cowed them thoroughly." He proved to be right, there was no opposition on their return to the ship.
Gral hit the com as soon as the door was closed behind them "Cycle the engine, we are leaving, have the weapon's hot, we might take fire."
"How," Jeremy said. "The generator's still down."
"That'd be true," Thuruk said, "if this was a merchant ship, but this is a hunter ship. It wouldn't be very wise of us not to have a back up."
"A backup? I don't understand, if you have a backup, why did you limp in?"
"We were sent here to find out how advanced your antimatter research is." Gral said, as they continued moving. "We damaged our generator on purpose for the excuse it provided us."
"Right," Jeremy said. He'd forgotten their previous conversation about it in the excitement. "Do you need me to tell you about the anti matter generator?" he asked, cautiously.
"No, that's irrelevant now." Querik said. "The suppression of it's citizen's sexual preference will be what I will be discussing with the council. We have very strict criterias as to whom we support for entry in the federation. And what earth is doing goes against a major one."
By the time Gral, Querik and Jeremy reached the bridge, the ship had already broken from the station.