The Mhal-Evol’Unt Chieftan flexed its serrated mandibles and activated the translation panel before speaking.
‘Allow me describe now,’ the digitised voice rasped. ‘You trapped are completely.’ It stalked across the cell, its claws scratching against the metal floor like nails on a blackboard. Captain Dash Gallant, renowned hero of the Battle of Tor’Sang, smiled grimly.
‘Is that so?’ he said.
‘Fully correct,’ the translator said. ‘Walls containing you diamond compound are. Also forcefields beyond, instant death causing. Communications impossible. Negotiation impossible. Weapons, ship, equipment destroyed. No knowledge of your presence here has Earth Fleet. Moments away, entire ship with neuropoison gas fills, to which us immune, you vulnerable. Death certainty. To Gallant, Tor’Sang butcher criminal, farewell.’
‘For a cannibal lizard-insect space mutant, you say a hell of a goodbye,’ muttered Dash. The translator made a barking sound that might have been a laugh before the Chieftan turned and left the cell.
Dash examined his surroundings. The thing was right – escape would be impossible. Even if, by some miracle, he managed to get out of the cell, there would be nowhere to go that wouldn’t soon be flooded with deadly nerve gas. Beyond the warship, which had no escape pods, there was only the emptiness of fifty parsecs of space in every direction. His luck had finally run out, he realised. This was the end.