“No,” you shake your head. “I stand by my behavior.”
Surnow isn’t having that. “She refused to answer our questions adequately…”
“Your questions couldn’t be answered!” You shout in Surnow’s direction. “You kept asking me the same stupid question over and over, even when I told you I didn’t know where Sarah was. And then you tried to hit me!”
“Easy, cadet,” Terra says, putting a calming hand on your shoulder.
“Well, they did,” you say, looking at her with frustration. “And then they expected me to follow their orders.”
Terra’s eyes narrow a fraction. “So you were insubordinate.”
“I’m not going to let just anyone punish me,” you argue as your stomach does flip flops. “I didn’t do anything besides get put in the same cell as Sarah.”
Terra is looking at you steadily, and somewhat thoughtfully. She then glances over at Surnow and Grisham with an expression you don’t much like at all.
“My cadet has a fiery temper,” she says. “I don’t support her insubordination, but I can vouch that she does not know where Sarah has gone, so she was at least telling the truth.”
“We have means of handling fiery tempers here, Captain Terra,” Surnow says. “Grisham was about to give your cadet a demonstration, before you intervened.”
“Perhaps you could do with that demonstration,” Terra muses, looking down at you.
“What? No!” You reach back and cover your butt. What the hell is Terra saying?
Grisham’s smile returns just as your heart begins to pound with the knowledge you might be in real trouble here.
“You are insubordinate, cadet,” she says. “There has to be a consequence for that.”
Grisham is advancing on you. You take a step back around Terra, using her as a human shield to protect yourself from the strong woman who you already know is more than capable of handling you.
“No running, cadet,” Terra says, reaching for you. “I am sure Grisham will be measured in her approach and only give you what you truly deserve.”
“No! Don’t let her touch me!”
You keep sidling around Terra to avoid the guard.
“Incredibly insubordinate,” Surnow notes. “One of your soldiers has escaped, Captain Terra, and this one refuses to stand still when ordered to. One would be forgiven for thinking that there is a severe disciplinary issue with your unit.”
Terra’s expression turns to ice. She grabs you by the collar and pulls you back against her body.
“You just have to know how to handle them,” she says calmly.
“That one doesn’t seem to have been handled nearly enough,” Surnow observes. “I think some time with Grisham would do her good while you go and find your escaped soldier.”
“Oh dear god no,” you gasp. “She’ll murder me.”
“I won’t murder her, I promise,” Grisham says to Terra.
“No canes,” Terra says, releasing her grip on you. “And no leaving any marks. If I see so much as a bruise on her, you will regret it.”
Oh god, she’s actually doing it. She’s turning you over to the huge lady with the oversized implements.
“Understood, ma’am,” Grisham says. She reaches out, takes you by the front of your collar and draws you over to stand in front of her. She’s tall enough that you have to crane your neck to look at her – not that you want to. You squirm to look at Terra.
“Don’t leave me with her! She’s a monster!”
“Monsters need to be faced, cadet,” Terra says. “I will be back as soon as possible. In the meantime, I want you to follow orders and try not to earn yourself too many sessions over her knee.”
You blush so furiously your face feels like it’s on fire.
“Don’t leave me here!” You sound desperate and small and you hate that.
“I will see you soon, cadet,” Terra says. “Be good.”
And just like that, she’s gone. She turns and walks away, leaving you in Grisham’s meaty grasp.
“Well,” Grisham says, giving you a gentle shake. “Looks like the little academy brat just ran out of protection.”