Stick yer' neck out.

“Katrina: If you escape, Cassandra dies; at once removing any lingering temptations that your husband may have in her direction, while at the same time jeopardising his life by killing the one person with the greatest expertise to save him”
“Cassandra” Queeg cackled with glee “Your escape will kill Katrina, removing your rival in love, while simultaneously depriving Max of his mother, and forever damning you in the eyes of the man you so desperately want”
“I said smeg off!” Cass yelled “I’m not doing it!”
“Oh but you will...” Queeg loomed large on the monitor “You’ve ten minutes before those collars securing you in place are painfully and fatally electrified – You’d better start deciding who deserves to live pretty damn quick”
A creaking boom reverberated throughout the station as the monitor flickered off...
<end snip>
Katrina swallowed hard. Tears forming in her eyes. “Tell.…Max..and Jay…I love them” she whispered
“What?” Cassandra said “What did you say?”
“Tell them I love them…” she started pulling the shackles to her left, Cassandra noticing an immediate relief on her own neck.
“What the smeg are you doing? Stop it!” she snapped, pulling the manacles back the other way. Both women were of fairly equal strength so they struggled against each other, until Katrina relaxed and slumped back to the centre position.
“You…” Katrina “You can save him…I can’t let him die because of me…”
“And how will I explain that to him? And to Max? No, we get out of this together!”
“It’s useless!”
“Come on! Think! What would Jay do?!”
“Probably exactly what you just stopped me from doing…only he’d somehow manage to survive it and will have rescued everyone else and flown us back to the Dwarf by now…”
“Ok…bad example.” Cass replied “Look, this is a just a machine, you’re an engineer. There must be a way out this.”
Katrina calmed a little, and took a deep breath.
“Ok..” she said. “Let me figure out what we have here.”
She felt around behind her head at the manacles that restrained her. “No use, I need to get a look at this thing…this might hurt…”
“What…what are you?” Cass suddenly felt herself jolted backwards and upwards, the collar jutting upward into her jaw sharply.
Katrina had pulled her feet up under her, and was now crouched, and turning, slowly within her collar to face the turnstile. The sharp edge of the restraint cutting into her jaw and neck as she did.
A loud groaning noise filled the air, and the ground shook, the station falling further into the planets atmosphere, making her fall to the ground, jolting the bar that was between the two women and jarring the collars up into their jaws.
Katrina gritted her teeth, reminded herself she’d managed to get through childbirth and pushed on, blood pooling under her collar and trickling down her neck and onto her chest and shoulders.
Eventually she was facing inward, toward the stile. “Ok…” she gasped. “First things first…theres a…an arm, slowly lowering, toward what looks like a contact point…I’m guessing it’s carrying the charge. It’s about halfway down…I’d guess we’ve about 5 minutes to get out…”
“What about the manacles…?”
“Yeah, I can’t see clearly but it looks like the underside has a steel cable, I’d guess it both carries the charge and tightens the collars…... I need to cut it somehow…do you see anything?”
“Nothing…wait no…theres an old toolkit over there…to my right” she stretched one of her long legs out and tried to reach it. “Can’t…”
“Move with me..” she said, and started moving to her right, tightening her collar, and loosening Katrinas. “Stop!” Katrina yelled, but Cass didn’t listen, and kept moving, her face reddening as he air supply was cut and the collar continued to tighten, she strained against it, and stretched, managing to just hook the toolbox with her toe and kicking it behind her toward Katrina. Kat pushed back against the restraint, dragging Cass back toward the centre, and loosening her collar while tightening her own.
“Smeg!” Katrina snapped “The toolkit, it tipped over when you kicked it and spilled everywhere…”
Cass was still trying to get her breath back, when she felt her collar loosen a little, as Kat was moving back in the opposite direction, trying to reach a blunt hacksaw that had fallen out of the toolkit.
Cass, her neck throbbing and now with a slight reprieve from the pressure instinctively reached up to her neck to rub it with her hand, barely fitting a finger under the belt and soon realising her mistake as Katrina pushed back in toward the ‘safe’ zone with the hacksaw, in hand. Cass screamed as the collar tightened on her neck again, this time with her finger under it making it tighter than ever and cutting tightly into both her finger and neck.
Katrina seeing Cass was struggling moved back out slightly, but felt her own collar tighten.
Both women were now struggling to breathe, but Katrina more determined than ever began cutting at the cable with the hacksaw. It felt like an eternity, but eventually the cable snapped, sending it pinging toward Katrina and lashing her hard in the chest, slicing into her flesh, and soaking her in even more of her own blood.
At the same time, Cass’s collar flung open, and she toppled forward. Seeing this, Katrina pushed back against the stile toward what was now her left, loosening the collar, until having moved around the stile a full 360 degrees, her collar too sprung open, and she stumbled forward, falling free of her restraint and hitting the floor fast, head first, just as the electric arm made contact with the stiles pivot sending sparks flying.
Both women looked at each other and laughed nervously.
“Come on…” said Cass, helping Katrina up. “Lets get out of here and find the others…”
They moved toward the door, and as Cass reached for the control panel, a blast shutter slammed down over it, sealing them in.
“Smeg!” Katrina snapped “What now? PHIL I AM SO GONNA KICK YOU IN NUTS!”
“Did you think it would be so easy?” Came Queeg’s voice over the speakers.
“I told you. Only one of you can leave this room alive. The door can only be released when one of you is dead. And to help you clear your heads enough to make a decision, I thought you could do with a little…fresh air…don’t take too long though, the more air that escapes, the more thrust it will create, pushing the station closer to the planet and giving Mr Eastlick a much harder time keeping it in the sky…”
“Shit…Kat…” Cass said
“Look…” she pointed toward the far wall. Neither of them had noticed before, but there was a large cargo door, that opened into space.
And it began to open, stopping once it was open a mere inch.
Immediately, the air began rushing out of the room…
<tag Cass, or maybe Jade can come to our rescue? We only have a few minutes before the air is gone and we’re pulled painfully under the door….>

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