SIM:Broken Part 3
JP Lt. Cmdr. T’Lea & 1st Lt. Dade Adarnis – Broken, Part 3
((N’DALLIS PRIME – PELCO’S MANSION – CELLAR))
There was no sense of time here. Minutes, hours, days, weeks could pass and it all felt the same. Endless. Hopeless. Black.
What was once a wine cellar had been converted into a dungeon. No windows. Just stone walls and a dirt floor. Midevil looking shackles were embedded in the rock, and blood spatter from previous endeavors stained the walls. There was a distinct stench of death here. A history of violence, cruelty and brutality marred the room, even though, once upon a time, this was a room where fine wines aged into perfection, now it was a place where people came to die.
The wooden door at the top of a long stone staircase creaked open. The light from the hallway made the dust particles sparkle like snow as the air stirred. Four pair of feet marched in, two being dragged by the other two. Down the steps they worked, over the dirt floor and shoved into a corner.
Chulak: ::to Dade:: You and me, we have a date later.
Adarnis: I’ll wear a dress...
Chulak took off the slave collars and stepped back to look at the pair of prisoners. Pathetic. Especially, the woman.
Chulak: ::to T’Lea:: I’d heard stories about you. I expected more a of a fight. ::he puffed:: You’re nothing but a coward.
Silence. The Romu-Vulc looked away. Chulak and Quans chuckled.
Quans: Keep this in mind - There’s only one way out of here, and it ain’t through that door. Enjoy your stay.
T’Lea listened as the Orions’s boots crunched across the sand floor, and then clopped up the stone stairs. The wood door squeaked shut and the steel bar outside slammed into place. Her nightmare. Her worst fear was coming true, and she was letting it.
Adarnis: T’Lea, can you hear me? Don’t ignore me!
The Romu-Vulc, in her subdued state said nothing.
Dade kicked the dirt in front of him.:: Adarnis: Listen to me! ::still nothing:: Do you know where we are?
T’Lea: N’Dallis Prime.
Her voice was distant, changed, unemotional. Dade at least deserved to know where he was going to die.
T’Lea: The Bogon System.
He stood up and scuffed his boots on the sand flooring. There was hardly any light, almost none whatsoever. The door up at the top of the steps let only slight light in from its outer edge and even that wasn’t enough to see anything in the perpetual darkness.
Adarnis: Starfleet know we’re missing, they’ll...
T’Lea: Rescue isn’t coming. This is non-federation territory. The Romulan Star Empire won’t even touch this place. We’re cut off.
Dade kicked the floor again. It was his way of saying he couldn’t believe the situation he was in. He flopped down onto the floor, back against the wall and raised his knees up, wrists resting on top of them.
T’Lea: I warned you not to get close to me.
Adarnis: I don’t listen to warnings.
The sound of the door being wrenched open again gathered their attention. Somebody was coming. Down the pale lit staircase large silver boots casually, and haughtily strolled. Three Orions accompanied this new visitor, and when the light was ordered on a single bare bulb in the center of the room revealed the well-groomed man.
Pelco: You’re right. For some reason I thought she’d be taller, scarier, considering her reputation. Though still quite beautiful.
The cane he was using was strictly decorative; making it known that he was filthy rich, an older man of power and influence. The tip of the cane drifted down the side of T’Lea’s face, and flirted further along her curves. Pelco expected, maybe even wanted a reaction, but the woman’s eyes remained vacant.
Pelco: Given up already, have you? Where’s the fun in that? ::to Chulak:: Work her over for a couple of days, but leave the face. I’ll finish this one myself.
Chulak: And the male?
Pelco, a native to the planet, his golden skin and eerie yellow eyes locked with the human male’s violet eyes. The tip of his cane lifted his chin, but only briefly before Dade resisted.
Pelco: This one has fight left in him. What species are you?
Dade smiled, quite sweetly even for him.
Adarnis: Slugs, snails and puppy dog tails.
Pelco turned to Chulak.
Chulak: Medical scans registered Human and Deltan mix.
Pelco: I have no use for that. Do as you wish.
Chulak grinned and made a kissy face at the Marine.
As Pelco headed for the staircase, T’Lea’s jaw muscle clenched and she leapt forward. It was as if a light finally flicked on in her head, however late and short-lived it would last.
T’Lea: Let him go! Trade him. Sell him. Use him as a slave. He’s got nothing to do with this. You’ve got me now, you son of a bitch, isn’t that enough!
With his back toward the prisoners, Pelco smiled a sinister one as he swiveled around in his expensive shoes. She had a soft spot. A weakness for a man. Could it be that she had loyalty after all? He had to laugh at this.
Pelco: The Butcheress of N’Dallis Prime has grown a heart? ::he strolled closer as if to see for sure, and then decided to poke the monster with his words.:: Did you know that after I learned of your plan to assassinate me, I had your entire gang hunted down and beheaded in public? Did you know they begged and pleaded for their lives like little girls? ::he took a step closer:: I left their rotting corpses tied to the street lamps, and their heads mounted on spikes outside my mansion for months. ::face to face with T’Lea now.:: And did you know that during all these years I’ve kept a pole and a spike just for you? ::he made a sarcastic pouty face:: Now I have to make room for one more. I can’t let your friend go. He’s clearly in your back pocket. :: he turned and headed back up the steps.:: At your leisure, Chulak. ::he rubbed his chin and stopped to say one more thing.:: Oh, and because of your failed efforts to kill me, it finally motivated me to assassinate the previous System Lord. So in a way I should be thanking you.
The warped wooden door scraped closed behind him.
Chulak: I’m looking forward to this.
The Orion produced a baton from behind his back and jabbed it under T’Lea’s ribcage. The innocent looking little stick blasted through each and every nerve in her body. It was a feeling that she’d experienced only once before while on the planet, and never wanted to feel again, especially at this level of intensity.
Third degree burns all over, that was the best way to describe it. Like each nerve had been individually singed by the sun and then pricked raw. So great was the pain that she couldn’t help but growl, scream and thrash as he held it there, for probably too long. The weapon, used by Sentinels as a way to disable a threat, had quickly become a popular torture device. It left no scars, and no evidence, but a lot of agony behind.
Dade fought against the arms of the two Orions that held him upright. They couldn’t... He wouldn’t let them! He tried to barrage forward but was instantly pulled back, kept back, kept away from her. They didn’t need him; they needed her. Her pain was making his knees weak; he couldn’t stand to watch it but it just made him more angry, more determined to kick nine tonnes of crap out of them when he got his hands on the bastards.
Adarnis: STAY AWAKE!! STAY WITH ME!!
After hearing Dade yell something, and feeling another hit from the fire stick collide with her chest, all she could remember thinking was that Professor Kad was probably long gone by now, and that she deserved this.
They hadn’t done that much to Dade; he’d just had to sit there and watch. That was his punishment. Eventually, the feelings of guilt and knowing he couldn’t do anything had turned him into a quivering wreck and he was subdued. He’d watched the atrocity take place; that stick flailing into her body and leaving her half dead, a ghost in her own body. He couldn’t take it.
Her screams pierced his ears; her voice that he knew too well, that gave him feelings of elation when she said his name was calling out, screaming at the top of her lungs for some release from the pain. He hated it; he wanted it to end. When the Orions had left, walking up the stairs, they’d made sure to knock him out first in case he ran up after them. He was a Marine after all; a well placed punch and he could have the largest of opponents on the floor.
T’Lea lay on the floor, barely conscious and barely alive. Dade knelt beside her stroking his fingers through her hair. He was furious with himself. He couldn’t do anything, he couldn’t have done anything to help her and as all that pain coursed through her body, he couldn’t protect her either. He looped his arm underneath the curve of her knees and picked her up, sitting down and holding her to his chest as she slept. She was breathing, he could feel her chest rising and falling with the intake of breath. He just couldn’t believe this had happened.
He felt her stirring slowly and moved her hair gently out of her face.
That was her name wasn’t it? Is that who she was? A T’Lea? She couldn’t feel anything except pain. Pain tickling across her face, pain surging across her scalp, pain holding her tight in a white hot bed full of nails, mind numbing, sensory over-loading pain. The residual effects of the fire baton continued to pump through her veins like molten lava. Even the slightest touch was excruciating to endure. Her every nerve ending had been over-stimulated, frayed and left blistering like a pig on a spit roasting over an open fire. It was a torture that lasted even after it had stopped. That was the beauty of the fire baton.
Adarnis: T’Lea, can you hear me?
Her thought process stumbled on itself as she tried in vain to access the current situation. Suddenly an instinctive reaction kicked in to protect herself -- and even though every move she made sent vibrant shockwaves through her seared nerves, T’Lea reached up and struggled to break out of the sheer agony that was wrapping its ugly arms around her body.
Adarnis: It’s all right, it’s all right... It’s me... Just... slowly...
Not understanding, she continued to resist, but what little strength she had left soon was exhausted. Her eyes crept open, briefly noticing that even her eyelids hurt to move, before she spotted that her torturer was Dade, simply holding her. Simply being there for her. She relaxed, or at least tried too, allowing her head to fall against his chest. She could have been lying on the dirt floor and it wouldn’t have made an ounce of difference. The grains of sand would have felt like acid dipped needles penetrating her skin. At least Dade was warm. Oddly enough his heat seemed to sooth her raw, tattered nerves. Not a lot, but enough to string a few coherent thoughts together.
T’Lea: Are you… ::her voice failed. it even hurt to speak.::
Adarnis: They’re coming back for me later, when they know you’re alive, or somethin... didn’t ask.
In the back of her mind she always knew this day would catch up to her, and in a sick way she was relieved that it would soon be over. No more looking over her shoulder. No more running. The only thing that should have bothered her was that Dade had witnessed it all. But she too far gone to feel the full emotional onslaught of embarrassment and shame at this point. Things like that really didn’t matter when one wished for death.
T’Lea: Find a way. ::pause:: … leave me.
The stubborn Marine shook his head in the darkness and touched her hair with his fingertips.
As much as it killed her to think about moving one single muscle she reached her hand to the side of his face, the stubble on his cheek nearly sent her reeling, but she faked it, poorly.
T’Lea: Save yourself.
Her hand slid away.
He almost smiled, and for a few seconds he thought he had.
Adarnis: I know.
Before she could muster the strength to say anything else her mind switched off again, saving what was left.
Every time that damn wooden door screeched and creaked it’s metal hinges, and then scrapped open against the floor, T’Lea flinched at the sound – that horrible sound. It was the anthem of torture played over and over, every few hours, waking them, tormenting them, announcing the arrival of hell’s spawns. How she loathed that sound and what it meant.
Who was the door creaking for this time?
Collapsed on the floor, in the last place the Orions had tossed her, T’Lea struggled to lift her head – it seemed like it weighted a ton as it bobbed on her neck trying to see only a short distance away. Chulak was back and heading over, alone. The consensus was that there was no chance of either putting up a fight anymore, and the other two Orions had families they’d been neglecting. So Chulak, in all his arrogance easily claimed that he could handle tonight’s sessions by himself.
Chulak: Miss me lover?
T’Lea flinched when she heard his boot collide with the soft tissue of her abdomen. For a second she felt the pain, but oddly enough Dade had been the victim. On a trembling arm, she lifted herself up a little and leaned against the bumpy stone wall. It was then that she noticed that at some point after her last session, Dade had tried to make it over to her, but failed, ending up a few feet away, a hulking mess in the dirt. Chulak: Tomorrow your woman dies, but you die today, glassjaw. :: he jammed the fire baton in his neck, so deep it drew blood:: Pelco wants the Butcheress to watch you take your last feeble breath.
Dade gargled on what was either air or blood, he couldn’t decide on which. He shut his eyes and shut them so tightly he thought they’d make their way to the back of his head and push out through his skull. The pain was unbearable. Every inch of his skin was alive and killed, then brought back from the dead in a sensation of electrical fire and catastrophic mutilation. He tried to scream but something held back; blind arrogance or stupidity.
T’Lea pushed herself up further just as Chulak buzzed Dade with his cattle prod. CRRAAAAAACK!!! Somewhere, something in T’Lea’s brain painfully snapped like a twig, blacking her out, and then dropping her like a rock.
A large vast space. No walls. A bright white light that seemed to come from everywhere and nowhere at the same time. This sanctuary was a terrible contrast to the filth and darkness she’d been living in the past couple of days. Terrible because she’d gotten used to the dirt in the worst way.
But here she was, without warning in a meditative state, the place where her Vulcan half had exiled herself. The very same place T’Lea refused to come for that one reason alone. Until now.
Vulcan T’Lea: What do you seek?
T’Lea looked at herself, or rather the complete opposite of herself. The Vulcanized T’Lea was dressed in clean white clothes, standing in the center of the room with hands clasped together in a contemplative, calming shape.
T’Lea: The frell is that supposed to mean? You’re the one who brought me here.
She marched over to the peaceful image of herself, and circled like a shark.
Vulcan T’Lea: Illogical. You are the one in control.
T’Lea wagged her head. Control? She wasn’t in control. She was barely alive!
T’Lea: In case you hadn’t noticed... I’M ON YOUR TURF! This is your exile, not mine.
Vulcan T’Lea: ::cocking her brow, curiously.:: If you do not belong here, then why do you remain? You possess free will, do you not? Leave if it behooves you.
Stopping, she raked her hands through her hair.
T’Lea: ::softly:: Can’t go back. I can’t watch-.
Vulcan T’Lea: Because you love him.
T’Lea slapped the woman across the face, causing her head to whip to the side.
T’Lea: I love no one!
Vulcan T’Lea: ::unfazed:: Not even yourself. ::she met T’Lea’s eyes, they were burning with rage.:: That is why you allowed this to happen. However, you could not foresee that he would change you.
T’Lea: Frell you. ::pacing, panicking, thinking, sweating, pausing:: Just tell me how to save him. This is my hell to suffer, not his.
Vulcan T’Lea: It should be obvious. ::fading out of view:: Do what you do best.
T’Lea: What the hell is that supposed to mean?!
CRRAAACK! Pain engulfed her head once more and a vortex of darkness swallowed her whole. Within seconds she was back in Pelco’s Cellar, watching Chulak hammer on the Marine without mercy. Dade’s once sturdy posture was now a broken wreck. His once strong and handsome face was bruised and swollen.
Suddenly she felt the spidery knuckles of guilt squeeze around her very soul. Overlapping images played out before her eyes, watching Dade suffer now, and the betrayal of her mate then. Twelve years ago she’d sold out a man who was loyal to her unto death, and with perverse pleasure she’d watched him die in the streets like a dog. All in the pursuit of power. And what of it this time around? This was history repeating itself, only this time Dade would die for much less.
Chulak: ::to Dade:: I’ll make your death as memorable as possible – although she won’t be alive long enough to mourn yo-.
Thwack! To the base of his skull. Chulak never knew what hit him. Losing all motor functions he fell face first into the dirt. Somewhere, somehow the Butcheress lived; just long enough to disable the Orion. T’Lea plunged her fingers into the Orion’s eye sockets and yanked back for better angle. He let out a pitiful cry, but only for a short moment before the insane Romu-Vulc crammed the active fire baton down his wailing throat, shattering teeth on impact. In utter disbelief of the attack, Chulak choked on the weapon, and then began to violently convulse like a massive earthquake for several long, agonizing minutes. Then silence.
The Marine opened his eyes and looked up. They stung, good God they stung with a million needles jabbing at him and stabbing at his retina when they quivered in shock at the darkness once more. The pain hadn’t stopped, he couldn’t make it stop but it was gone; the stick was gone. He reached out his hand for T’Lea and felt the presence of the body, lifeless next to them.
It had taken all of her to make that happen, and when she was done, she collapsed beside Dade on the floor, knowing that tomorrow the other two Orions would avenge their fallen friend. She didn’t care. Her Marine would live one more day.
His hand curled with hers, his fingers aflame with agony laced with hers as the torture pulled him into unconsciousness.
((THE THIRD DAY))
The door could be heard as the steel bar unlatched from its locked position, and then the warped wood and rusty hinges voiced their aching complaint. The day of reckoning had come. A pair of footsteps inched their way down the stone staircase and stopped half way. A small man bent over to see past the first floor overhang. His beady eyes peered into the light and his uni-brow raised with what he saw. A dead Orion lay on the floor. Worried, the man’s hands fidgeted around a glass of thick purple liquid.
Reweq: HelloooOOooo? Anybody alive down there?
The Grelod’s frail, spindly body cautiously crossed the floor, cupping the precious liquid in both hands as he maneuvered around the dead body, and then over to the two prisoners. As he approached, his first thought was that they were both dead, but the male started to move. Dade rolled onto his back and saw the person, or the thing, standing over him. Instinctively, he wanted to jump up, grab his knife and defend himself and the woman lying next to him but his body refused.
Reweq: I’m going to get you out of here. But first drink this.
Dade unsteadily got to his feet and took the vial.
Adarnis: Are you… trying to kill me?
Reweq: Drink it. It’s good for you. ::looking at T’Lea:: Is she…?
He nudged the woman’s foot with his foot, and then jumped back as if she were going to lash out and disembowel him. Reweq was clearly afraid of the Romu-vulc, and with good reason. He’d been on the receiving end of quite a few of her beatings years ago, and he was the one that ratted her name to Pelco. In return he was made head servant in Pelco’s mansion. But now, instead of relishing in the demise of his nemesis, he was the one helping her to freedom. His motives were simple. Money. Somebody had paid him to set the two prisoners free.
Adarnis: Kick her again and I’ll kick you.
He swigged down the vial and left some at the bottom. It tasted strange.
Reweq: Drink it all. Finish it. Hurry. We haven’t much time. They will come soon. ::he curiously observed as the male gulped the rest of the glass:: Good. Good. You’re strength should return and your body should heal quickly. Can you carry her?
Dade shrugged his shoulders backward as a small stretch as his body started to regain some of its natural youth. It felt flexible, nice and supple; the feeling was returning back to his muscles and they felt like he’d been rebuilt. His arms scooped T’Lea up and cuddled her close to his chest.
Reweq: Good. Good. Make haste and follow me.