Despite all the action on the Bridge, Malware's voice shocks Kelby to his core.
"A security breach? Where?
The brig. It seems there was a successful attempt to free Archer.
Kelby sits up straighter in his command chair as the implications of Malware's message trickle down past his adrenaline.
"He got out? Who did that?"
"Malware, where are they now?"
Secorro and Foster are responsible. As of now, they are in the corridor outside the brig making their way towards the lift.
"Malware! Try to jam the lift!"
Damn that Secorro anyway. I honestly thought she'd come around.
Of course, gotta admit, Dillard ain't much incentive.
Kelby gets out of the command chair, unnoticed in the chaos on the bridge and moves to an unmanned panel in the back. He calls up the security cameras, and sure enough, he sees them.
*...does as requested...*
The jam won't last long, Russel. It's taking all my power to evade the Xindi.
Russel looks at the screen, already he can see Archer fussing at the lift controls, trying to override the jamming.
Damn, Archer. I thought I was done with him already. Why couldn't he just keep his stupid ass in the brig for two seconds?
As he watches, Kelby finds a growing dread in his mind at the thought of facing Archer.
The guy's huge... he's trained, he's got backup, he's huge... he knows the ship, he's pissed, he's huge...
...he's fuckin' huge...
Kelby looks back at the MACOs at the front of the bridge, still pounding the Xindi ships. He runs a hand over the monitor, and lowers his voice to talk to Malware.
"Malware... what's the quickest way off this ship? You know, just in case."
*...calculates, knows odds are against them now...*
If the jam were to hold, I suggest taking the lift to the shuttlebay and taking one of the shuttlepods.
Kelby looks at the screen again and then back at the MACOs.
They won't even notice we're gone...
"Ok, Malware, but what about you?"
*...got him in this mess, will get him out...*
You'd escape quicker without stopping at your quarters, Russel. Don't worry about me.
"Oh no! I ain't leaving without you, Malware."
He lowers his voice further.
"You're all I got left, come on, how do we get out of this?"
*...cares for Russel more now than ever before!...*
Alright, Russel, if you insist.
It would be best to take the lift to your quarters, then use the jefferies tube to get to the shuttlebay. You'd remain mostly undetected that way.
One last look at Archer on the screen, oh god, he looks ten times as pissed as he was a few seconds ago, and Kelby sees the logic in Malware's plan.
"All right. Do what you gotta do, and get in your box. I'll be by in a few seconds to get you."
With a careful eye on the MACOs at the front of the bridge, he slides over to the turbolift and scoots in. They're having too much fun, they can handle themselves.
Kelby presses the button for his deck and sighs in relief as the lift begins to move.
*...quickly releases all controls, making sure the MACOs can handle the Xindi, at least long enough to make sure Russel gets off the ship...*
*...remains in box and waits and hopes...*
The lift stops at the correct deck and Russel checks to see if the coast is clear before getting out. It's just a few meters to his door... but he's got to turn a corner to get there.
He walks up to the corner and flattens his body against the wall. Listening for a second, he can hear someone working just in front of his door. He slowly turns the corner to look...
Oh what the hell! It's just Dillard.
Dammit, I got all worked up.
Dillard is working on some damaged circuits in the bulkhead.
He hears someone near him and looks up just as the ship rocks with a blast of Xindi phaser fire. Steadying himself with a hand on the bulkhead, he calls out.
"Kelby! What are you doing here? What's going on?"
Kelby looks at Dillard, and debates over whether or not to tell him the truth about his escape, and maybe offer him a place on the shuttlepod with him and Malware.
Wait... he's in with Secorro now, and she can't be trusted... I'll make up something and be on my way.
"Outta the way, Dillard. I got some serious captainly business to take care of and I need some stuff from my cabin."
Colin steps aside as Kelby keys in the lock to open his cabin and watches as Russel darts around in his room, gathering clothes and PADDs and putting them in a gym bag.
"Kelby... Russel, what are you doing?"
Kelby sighs and waves his hand at the acrid smoke still coming out of the bulkhead beside Dillard.
"That don't smell fixed, Dillard. You got your own business to attend to, I got mine. I'll just get my stuff and be out of your hair."
"...get... get out of our hair?"
Dillard is gobsmacked. Suddenly, it all clicks into place.
"Russel, you're ditching us!"
This stops Russel in the middle of stuffing some underpants into his dufflebag. He drops the clothes, and comes out in the hall to make some things clear to Dillard.
"It's not my fault! It's your girlfriend who's gone and screwed everything up! She's let Archer out!"
Dillard frowns at this, and decides to set the record straight. He steps very close to Kelby and gets in his face.
"Don't you talk about her like that! Besides, It's looking to me like maybe she just figured out what kind of man you were before I did."
Dillard looks disappointed and shakes his head at Kelby.
"How could you just abandon us Russel, we're kinda your crew now!"
Kelby's pissed off at hearing this from Dillard.
...from Dillard, of all people!
"If your my crew, then follow my orders: GO STOP YOUR FUCKING GIRLFRIEND AND GET ARCHER BACK IN THE BRIG!"
Colin takes an involuntary step backwards as Kelby shouts at him. He looks, stunned, at him as the shout echoes down the corridor.
There is a moment of silence.
Then, finally, Colin takes a stand.
"You know, I think I will go see Archer."
He stands straight, and looks Kelby right in the eye.
"And you're coming too. I'm turning you in."
And with that, Colin Dillard, grabs Kelby by the shoulder.
As Dillard's hand lands on Kelby's shoulder, Kelby swings out with a wild punch, catching Dillard square in the face. But, as both men are unbalanced, the ship rocks with more phaser fire and Dillard pitches backwards into the open circuitry of the nearby bulkhead.
The lights in the hall flicker madly as the electricity sizzles around Dillard's body for a few seconds, then unceremonoiusly drops him to the floor.
Kelby, who had landed on his ass nearby, watches stunned as Dillard falls.
A long moment passes, and Kelby remains on the floor. All he can do, it seems, is stare at Dillard.
His hair is smoking...
Slowly, Kelby crawls over to Dillard. He looks at his face, smoking and burned, with blood from a broken nose. He cautiously reaches out and touches Dillard's shoulder.
He tries again, a little louder, a little harder.
Getting no reaction, he leans in and quietly asks:
After a few moments, it becomes obvious to Kelby that Dillard isn't going to wake up anytime soon.
Unsure of what to do, Kelby wonders if he should try to check Dillard's pulse. He reaches out a hand towards his neck, but stops just before he makes contact with Dillard's skin.
...I just can't
Kelby looks at Dillard, and knows he's a coward for not having the courage to find out whether the young man was dead or not.
Because, if he is, you're a murderer, Russ.
Kelby stands up, wiping his hand on his coverall, and steps over Dillard's body to get into his cabin. He resumes packing. Carefully placing Malware's box in a separate case, he surveys the room, careful to avoid the door where he can see Dillard in the hallway, to see if he's remembered everything.
Satisfied, he grabs his bags, and walks to the door. Taking a final look at Dillard, lying on the floor, he steps over him on his way to the shuttlebay.