Ziggy struggled against the bonds that held her down. The Tokkel were working on another captured human and the screaming was getting to her. One of the four armed beasts was about to mark the interior of her ankle with a glyph similar to the ones on the restrained humans around her.
As the needle started to buzz, she kicked wildly, causing the creature to snarl at her and call for another to hold her down.
With two of the Tokkel working on her she tried to scream behind her gag, but only muffled whines emerged. Closing her eyes at the pain, she focused on the hands holding her down.
The contact gave her the chance she needed. Every other alien had been wearing a glove-like membrane but the male holding her had bare hands. She used their physical connection to reach into his mind and pull out all the information she could.
He blinked and shook his head violently, trying to clear it. She held her breath, but he spoke to his companion and in seconds, she could understand what he said.
"That was weird. We must have dipped into the atmosphere for a moment."
The tattoo artist looked up. "Why?"
"Didn't you feel that? The whole ship rocked." He was holding her leg with two clawed hands.
"I didn't feel anything."
He had made a few passes with the needle when the entire ship shuddered.
Ziggy held perfectly still as a disembodied voice blared out, "Intruder alert. All hands to battle stations."
Her persecutors immediately left her and the rest of the humans for their battle stations.
Ziggy bent her arm as far as she could and caressed the switch that would release her. It took three tries and she knew that she would be bruised for weeks, but a hiss sounded and the restraints retracted to free her limbs.
She hopped to her feet and unbuckled her gag. Looking around she saw four Gaians who had been captured with her and she released them from their restraints. "Keep quiet."
They didn't need to be told twice, they kept darting frightened looks toward the door.