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Underground Movement

Posted on Wed Jun 17th, 2020 @ 10:58pm by Lieutenant Commander Taeler Santu M.D. & Lieutenant Dessame Sar & Lieutenant Savin & Lieutenant P’rel M.D & Hamilton Broll

Mission: In the Family

Their footsteps echoed off the walls in the maintenance shaft of the underground railway system. They had guessed correctly that the thing had been closed down in light of the civil unrest. Now they were walking the tracks, after everyone was made abundantly clear that there was a lot of power coursing through one of the rails. They stuck to the side, single file, P'Rel leading the way in the direction of wherever her extraction strategy was located.

Santu turned a bit to face Dessame and Savin, "How are you holding up?" Her voice's dark echo coming back in a haunting fashion, bouncing off the curved soot-covered walls.

Not one to show much weakness in the face of new company, or any company in fact, Dessame looked at the Bajoran. "Just fine ma'am. It'll take more than a serious head wound to keep me from keeping you safe." she said giving herself a shake. Her head was throbbing, her eyesight a little poor but she was still going to do her job. The link to Savin was still intermittently there, they would have to watch closely that things didn't worsen.

P’rel lead the group through the dim tunnels, phaser in hand and ready to use it. At least she was taking point, moving vaguely east towards the lake. She hadn’t thought much of this Commander so far, but her crew seemed to like and respect her which counted for something, P’rel mused. “Commander” she started, “this part of the transit system runs to a major interchange...” she thought of her route back to the drone, it was of course meant for one person and not foreseen to be used in the opening salvo of a civil war. “...and then into a minor route to a lakeside township”. P’rel turned back to face the Commander, eyeing the state of the others as well, “we must cross the interchange however, which requires a further descent of three floors and several hundred metres of open concourse”. P’rel had to reluctantly admit inwardly, looking to the Commander for orders, that she was far more used - and better suited - to only planning for herself. She’d been so far unimpressed with this Command Officer, but in turn it was likely that the Bajoran had more experience in leading teams into and out of situations. For the moment at least, the logical course of action was to defer to the leadership of an actual command officer.

Savin once again remained close to Dessame, relying heavily on their link now. A sense of fear emanated from him as he walked, feeling robbed of his senses as they traversed the darkness. He could see the outline of people but if something was said it was completely lost in him unless the woman next to me relayed it to him. Holding on to her to keep her -and himself- on her feet, he reached out towards the wall to use it for additional support. "This is.. uncomfortable," he commented, " how much further?"

Dessame felt Savin holding her and she smiled softly. She had solidified their link a little more, albeit she was struggling to focus given her injury, but she was trying. 'A little more Savin, we have to wait for the Commander to make a decision but I will not leave your side.' she mentally communicated whilst moving her hand on to his and squeezing it lightly for comfort.

"There's maintenance hubs every couple of kilometres," Santu pointed up and one of the signs indicating they were closing in on one of those maintenance hubs, just a couple of hundred meters to go, "we will lay low until dusk." She looked back over her shoulder, "that way we can give Lieutenant Sar some attention and under the cloak of night we move to the shuttle." She looked back in the direction of the intelligence officer, "unless any of you have a better idea."

P’rel followed the Commander’s direction and saw the sign she had referred to, her gaze returned level and she met eyes with the Bajoran woman. “Our odds of survival would be increased by breaking up” she said as if it were indisputable fact. “The wounded officers and this...” she eyed the younger man up and down “...civilian...should remain in the hub, as you suggest”. P’rel took a step closer to the Commander, as if to particularly emphasise her point; “you and I should head for the lakeside and return for them”. It made sense to create several targets, instead of a single one moving slowly, P’rel selfishly also decided she’d feel more comfortable with one other, without having to consider three additional heads.

With Dessame fortunately relaying every word to him again, Savin lifted his head in the direction he assumed the Vulcan woman to be. "You will not leave us here in the darkness," he spoke up, anxiety very audible in his voice.

Santu's glare at the unknown woman was filled with enough poison to kill a small dog, "I will not repeat myself again," she turned to Savin and made sure that she was visible to him as she spoke, "I will not leave any member of my crew behind." She turned to face P'Rel again, "so I'm glad you agree it's a good plan to take refuge in the hub." With that she stepped past the group to take the lead, seething with frustrations. Wishing she was still in a sickbay somewhere, tending to sprained ankles and tummy aches.

"Thank you," the Romulan counselor murmured, "we should rest once we get there... get some sleep." His head was pounding, his foot throbbing and he wasn't sure how much further he could go. Under normal circumstances he could've gone on quite a while longer, but these weren't normal circumstances.

“Yes ma’am” P’rel drearily replied, stepping back and allowing the Bajoran and the others to walk ahead of her. Two of these officers were not in good condition, and then there was the civilian now operating in a combat theatre. She eyed the two wounded officers as they passed her, and would have offered to examine them were they any kind of treatment she could administer. The situation being what it was, the only thing she could do was trudge slowly through the darkness following orders. This was not a scenario P’rel was accustomed to or comfortable with, preferring independence considerably.

[Outside the Maintenance Hub]

The door was slightly ajar, and it had stopped Santu in her tracks. In times and situations like these, you didn't want to come across anything other than a locked and bolted door. She motioned with her fist in the air to stop everyone following her to stop walking. She motioned for P'Rel to take up a position on the other side of the door. Crouching and taking the rifle in her hand she was ready to burst into the door and clear the room. She double-checked to make sure the rifle was set to stun.

P’rel met the Commander’s eyes as she was beckoned to the far side of the door. She readied her phaser, her eyes scanning the surrounding area for signs of recent movement; displaced dust, blood, a footprint - but there was nothing. P’rel knew from experience, that this did not necessarily mean that nobody was on the other side of that door. Her thumb placed over the firing stud, P’rel momentarily noted how universally ergonomic the phaser was; even with three Paratan fingers and a stubby thumb type digit the phaser was comfortable and easy to use. She gave the Commander a nod to show she was ready to move, and readied herself for a fight.

Near exhaustion, feeling sick and dizzy, Savin did his best to keep Dessame on her feet. His left hand tightly held on to the sabre he'd confiscated at the conference, but he wasn't sure if he was up for any kind of fight. Right now, all he really wanted to do, was lie down and sleep for a little while, and hope that'd clear his aching head.

Utterly inexperienced in this sort of situation, Hamilton stumbled right into the back of Taeler as she waited in the frame of the door.

"Oops! Sorry!" he mumbled, probably a bit more than a whisper. Then he fell silent, realising he'd apologised without even thinking and possibly broken their element of stealth. He shrugged, the disruptor big and uncomfortable in his hands. "What are we waiting for?" he hissed.

Santu winced at the bumping into her and the subsequent talking and whispering. No more element of surprise. She wondered for a second what they should do. She sighed a bit, knowing there was no way they were going to be able to get in there without being noticed and that if there were hostile elements inside they would have the upper hand in a confrontation, "Anyone in there? My name is Taeler, we're here as representatives from the United Federation of Planets, we mean you no harm"

There was a moment of silence, then there was clearly a discussion going on inside, "You can't come in! We're armed. We'll shoot!" Was the response after some deliberation. It was a clearly masculine voice, even though it was clear he was young. There was little confidence in its tone.

"We're going to have to insist, I have wounded and we need to rest. We're trying to get out of here so that we can help in alleviating the conflict." Santu replied, hoping that they would hear their plight and allow them to enter, "I will come in unarmed if that helps."

"Out of the question." Dessame said trying to move forward, Savin still holding on tight. Truth was she had began to recover a little bit. "Commander you cannot go in there unarmed."

"I agree," Savin answered slowly. "Unarmed is unwise."

"Stand down, that's an order," Santu looked back and hissed in their direction. This was not a time for extensive debate, this was a time where they would just have to follow her lead, whatever foolish decision she made. There had been no response from the inside and she reached back to hand her weapon over to Hamilton, who had just bumped into her. She put her hands up in the air and slowly pushed the door open with her foot, "I am unarmed, I just want to talk to you, so that you can see I'm being honest, is that okay?"

For a moment there was no response, another debate inside the hub, and then came the voice of another person, female this time, "You can come in, but we will point a gun at you." it was clear that they were dealing with young people inside, probably in their mid-teens.

"That's fine, if that makes you feel more at ease, you can keep a gun pointed at me, as long as you don't shoot me." She looked over at P'Rel and motioned with her hand that the operative should lower her weapon, "I'm going to step inside now."

"Give me that." Dessame said taking the phaser off the shaking hands of Hamilton. "I can still shoot better with one eye than you can with two." She was a little grumpy and he had been grating on her for a while. Sadly he got the brunt of her attitude as she took the phaser.

Quickly she spoke to Savin and told him she was moving to stand behind Santu and placed him next to Hamilton for safe keeping. "Commander I may be injured but I can still help. That room is full of fear, anxiety and desperation. I would caution you on making an sudden movements inside." Dessame's empathic senses working in their favour.

Savin could sense the whirl of emotions from inside as well, but in the darkness it was hard to make any sense of anything. "Be careful," he advised the two women, "perhaps Hamilton and I should go in, instead. They may not take kindly to females."

Santu ignored the commotion behind her, she knew what it was like to be in the position these young people were in. Their city was burning, people fighting in the streets. She had been there, in their position, and it still haunted her to this day. She stepped inside, hands up in the air, a friendly smile on her features.

"C'mon Jay, they're not bad people. They won't hurt us, right?" a soft voice came from inside the room. Some hissed arguing went back and forth between what sounded like a small group, before there was hush again.

"Umm...we're going to put the guns down. P-please don't hurt us! We just...we're just scared of what's happening out there." The previously confident voice was subdued and anxious. After a second, the door slowly creaked open to reveal five young Paratans - the oldest not more than about 15 in human standards - huddled together. They looked tired, and scared.

"Strange..." Hamilton mumbled, as he took stock. "With everything going on out there, I figured you'd all be men...or women." Indeed, of the group, three were boys, the other two were girls. There didn't seem any particular animosity between them. Instead they were holding on to one another, seeking comfort and protection. "Makes you wonder how deep this supposed divide really goes."

"Children," Savin commented quietly, "they are children." He inched forward, holding himself as steady as possible. "My name is Savin, what is yours?" he asked them as he looked at each in turn, trying his best to keep an eye on all. "Where are your parents?"

Santu stepped forward and offered a hand in what she had read to be a regular paratan greeting. It was, of course, more difficult to do with 5 fingers, but she managed, "We won't hurt you, we just need a rest. Are any of you hurt? Me and Savin over here are Doctors." She looked up at P'Rel, "Secure the perimeter."

P'rel arched an eyebrow in a characteristically Vulcan display; it had become something of a caricature, almost comedic, feature across the Quadrant but it was nonetheless a fairly accurate representation of her species. P'rel was in some ways glad that the cultural idiosyncrasy was hidden under the dermal prosthetic of her Paratan alias. "I shall have you know, Commander..." P'rel began, irked that the so-called leader hadn't bothered to check on her newest team member's skill set "...that I too, am a Doctor" she finished as she turned to face the group of young Paratans.

P'rel looked at the civilian with the rifle, an example of 'mission gone wrong' if she ever saw one; "You, perimeter" she snapped, relaying this Commander's orders to someone more worthy of the relatively mundane task. Turning once more to the Paratans, she adopted her cover character; "I am Dr Linnan of the Her Majesty's Ministry of Health and Medicine. I know where there is a safe area, but we have a journey ahead of us...do you have access to any kind of transportation or communication equipment"? Communications were being jammed for sure, but she had an idea, it was just possible..."as rudimentary as possible. The more basic the better - these Starfleet gadgets are being blocked" P'rel proclaimed in not entirely feigned exasperation, gesturing to those in uniform.

One of the kids looked at her blankly. Not understanding, or simply too afraid to reply.

"The old station offices back there," one of the girls mumbled. "There's an emergency relay to the outside. My mom used to work down here, she told me it was safe."

"Maybe worth us trying to contact the ship from there?" Hamilton suggested hopefully.

"As long as there is more light," Savin complained, "I find this darkness unsettling."

[OFF]

Lieutenant Commander Taeler Santu
Executive Officer

Lieutenant Savin
Chief Counsellor

Lieutenant Dessame Sar
Chief of Security

&

Lieutenant P'Rel
Chief Intelligence

USS Athena

 

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