Its glow darkened as anger consumed it, and it began to approach, hesitating only briefly to pick up the stinger I had dropped earlier. I glanced at the one still in my hand, but it was warped, blackened and broken. It was useless so I let it slip from my hand.
What could I do now? My eyes began to search the walls and conduits thinking about a power source. Could I find a way to overload it from another energy source?
It drew level with Al and suddenly she sprang into life. She leapt upwards and grabbed it around the waist to bring it down. Mercilessly, it thrust the stinger in between her shoulder blades and discharged another shock. Her back arched as energy shot through her and she howled like a true Klingon, more in anger than pain, but with her arms around the Dancer, some of the energy discharged into it too. It shook and quivered as the energy surged through it but other than that, was little affected by the blast. Al dropped to the floor twitching, and then the Dancer turned its attention to me.
I wondered why I couldn't be invisible again as I backed away from it, my eyes still searching for a weapon but coming up with nothing and then I realised I had a new problem. I was at the end of the corridor and there was nowhere to go.
Closer and closer it came until it stood before me. It thrust its face forward to study me more intently, and I looked deep into its cold, featureless face. I thought it was going to jab me with the stinger. That would have been the easiest thing for it to do, but it didn't. Instead it raised the rod and swung it at me. It caught me on the temple and sent me reeling. The next thing I knew, I was on my back, the Dancer standing over me and the stinger at my throat with the Dancer pressing down on it. It was throttling me.
I coughed and spluttered and clawed at its hands. They were cold and strangely tangible. They felt like flesh, but cold like a dead body. Somehow, I had expected something warm and less touchable, like a warm breeze perhaps, and as consciousness began to fade, I remember thinking how odd it was that I should be thinking about the physical nature of Dancers when I was about to die. And then I mused over a faint shadow that fell across the wall behind the creature. I watched as it rose over the Dancer's head. I was feeling very distant and remote to the events that were happening and very curious too.
It was a hand—the shadow—it was a hand and there was something in it: the broken stinger!
The stinger came crashing down on the Dancer's head and to my surprise, the creature buckled under the impact. It faltered and its grip slackened. Fresh, revitalising, cool air rushed into my lungs. Instinctively, I ripped the stinger from its hands and smashed it into the side of the Dancer's face. I know it fell off me but crazily, I still found myself under bodies.
Dazed, I crawled out from beneath them. My head was wet and I saw blood, my blood, dripping onto the floor. I clambered to the wall and turned around. It was like a rugby scrum of bodies piling in on top of the Dancer, and then there was Troy.
He walked past me, ripping the stinger from my hand as he did so, and stepped into the scrum. He thrust the weapon downwards into the chaos. I heard the stinger scream and closed my eyes. Somehow, I knew I was safe now. Relief flooded through me. The world began to darken and this time, I didn't fight it.