by Scott Pearson
The security field shorted out with a blinding concussive wave, tossing Corporal M. J. Robeson backward, the flash overwhelming her still sensitive eyes. She hit the bulkhead shoulders first, then her head snapped back with enough force that she nearly lost consciousness. Head still spinning, she drew her smartgun, but it slipped from her hand, dangling from its coiled lanyard between handgrip and holster. She kept on her feet, blinking rapidly, hoping to regain enough sight to defend against the inevitable attack from the humanoid prisoner, but the whiteout was only slowly fading. Although Robesons ears were ringing from the explosion, she could hear the hostile intruders uneven footsteps lurching toward her from the brig. . . .