That cock-sucking hunk of rock was going to be the death of him.
Memory surged through pain and forced his brain to action. He opened his eyes and sat up sharply. "Oracle?"
It was Doc who answered his barked exclamation. "He's fine, Commander. I've set him downloading."
"Thank balls for that," muttered Lestrade, lying back on the bunk. One thing had gone right today, at any rate.
"Do you know where you are?" Doc's question was followed by a bright light shining directly into each of Lestrade's eyes.
He flinched and shoved the offending device out of his face. "I'm in sickbay with you and your instruments of torture, you berk."
"You've retained your usual pleasant demeanour, I see. Excellent. Can you recall what happened?"
"We exited sector Q-19 and got pinned down by enemy fire behind the compound. Conundrum reps got the jump on me. Fucking fabricated filth." His head ached abominably, but at least he wasn't freezing his knob off any more.
"Higher brain functions unimpaired, too. Very good."
"I don't need a dose of your brand of humour, Doc. I need painkillers." He fought not to react as Doc set a fresh layer of bind on his head wound. "And I need a sitrep from Sable One."
Doc hesitated. It was almost imperceptible. So brief that Lestrade would have thought it a trick of his muddled and throbbing head. But it had been that kind of day -- from having faulty intel on the complex's defences to taking a blaster shot upside the head -- and he was inclined to question everything.
"What is it?"
Doc was saved from answering by a female voice coming through the comm system. "Doc, Sable One. How's Silverfox?"
"Conscious and charming as ever."
"Great. Grab onto something secure. We've got company coming."
Lestrade pushed himself upright. Fighting the resulting wave of nausea, he demanded, "What's going on?"
"Incomin' Conundrum drones," was Marquardson's terse reply. "One of them tagged us and now we've got about two minutes before their fighters reach us. I'm going to make a run for it."
"Bloody hell!" If it wasn't one thing, it was another. He glared at Doc. "Secure Oracle. We need that data! I'm heading up to the bridge."
Doc knew better than to argue with a direct order, even if Lestrade's face hadn't warned him off.
He only said, "Right. Mind your head," and dashed out.
Lestrade forced down his queasiness as he rose from the bed. He raced for the emergency lift that was the only direct route from below decks to the bridge and punched in the security code that allowed him access.
The moment the door shut behind him, a blast rocked the shuttle. "Bollocks!" He the punched comm panel with the side of his fist. "What the fiery shit is going on up there?"
"Small miscalculation on the time frame," said the Marchioness of Understatement. "We're under attack."
"I figured that much!" He grabbed at the lift's internal railing as the ship pitched too quickly for the grav units to compensate. When the gravs kicked in, his feet found the deck again and he shouted into the comm, "I'm nearly there!"
"No time. Secure yourself. I'm dashing in three, two, one!"
As good as her word, the G's immediately increased, pressing him hard into the wall. The railing dug painfully into his ribs as he tried to catch his breath. They really had to get the boffins to fix the damn gravs next time they were in dock.
"What the fuck else is going to go wrong?" he muttered.
That was when the lift shuddered to a halt and the lights went black.
"Shit! Bugger! Arsehole! Fuck!" he raged at the darkness. "It was a rhetorical question!"
"Greg! Greg, wake up!"
Greg woke disoriented. It took him a moment to recognise Sophie's bedroom and the dim light coming through the curtains. "Huh? What?"
Sophie looked at him with an expression he couldn't define in his muzzy-headed state. "I've been shakin' ye. You were swearin' up a storm. What on Earth were ye dreamin' about? Or have you suddenly developed a weird variety of Tourette's that only manifests in your sleep?"
"Oh God," he moaned, remembering it all. He turned his head on the pillow and looked up at her where she leaned on one elbow, her black hair a dark halo around her pale face. "Trust me. You do not want to know."