SIM:Jhalib Ekal, "Jump start."
::Given the disasters that it'd survived through, Eporue station was still kicking as if it wasn't currently falling to bits and pieces. The people onboard the large planetary outpost lived under Tholian purview as ore processing workers. Just walking through the re-configured station, his lungs plugging unnaturally with the smell of rock, ash, and soot, made him more ill than his ever-deteriorating condition had.
::Perhaps the most brutal thing about this whole conflict was that it wasn't, in fact, the Tholians in direct control of places like this. No, they watched from the sidelines, sending out orders for the station commanders to process and inflict upon the prisoners, slaves, or in rare cases, willing participants, to churn an "efficient" work day. The Tholians were never actually here in person. The real commanders here were those who lived closest to this station before it was taken over.
::In this case, the commanders tended to be Terrans.::
::That he'd made it onto the station was a miracle all in itself, utilizing smuggler's holds in small cargo vessels, giving food to the local families so they'd say nothing as they dropped him off. He had a limited window of time to work with, and this was the fastest way to his actual destination - though every second he was here was another second he was in danger.::
::A backpack hung across his back, hair mussed, and having not had a shower in three days, the man whom was already struggling to get a deep breath in as his chest heaved against the polluted air carefully brought up his hands as a flashlight snapped to his back. He turned slowly, revealing to the enforcer bold brown eyes, a nose ridge, and pointed ears.
::Jhalib Ekal had no business being on this station. He didn't *want* to be on this station.
::Yet here he was.::
::The truth of the matter was that Jhalib was no match for the burly armored female enforcer, being shorter and considerably more twig-like than the Terran. There was also no way that he'd have the energy to fight his way out, probably collapsing before he could get a second kick in. But, as always, he had no intention of fighting.::
Enforcer: I don't recognize you.
Ekal: I'm visiting someone.
Enforcer: Name them.
::Jhalib made a show of hesitation.::
Ekal: . . . it's complicated.
Enforcer: Stop playing games with me.
Ekal: Look, they're my sister's mother's captain's family. It's an Andorian thing.
Enforcer: You're here to see an Andorian?
Ekal: I think so. It's a Rigelian tradition.
Enforcer: Now you're just being annoying.
Ekal: Look, I need your help to locate a "Tel-ar". I have to invite this person to a nobility thing - they can't come, of course, but you know what the Betazed nobility is like. This is a diplomatic envoy thing - otherwise I wouldn't be in this hell-hole.
::Cuffs were slapped onto his wrists.::
Enforcer: "Tel-ar", huh?
Ekal: Yeah. And if you could locate a "Valoru", too, that'd be real helpful.
Enforcer: And you're sure they're on this station?
::Still in cuffs that were connected to the wall with a force gravinator, Jhalib nodded his head.::
Ekal: I got permission to come here and look for them. Diplomatic immunity.
Enforcer: Nnn . . . yeah okay. I'm gonna go clear this, because I'm not getting a "Tel-ar" on my system.
Ekal: That's okay. I'm not in a hurry.
::The woman left the room, leaving Ekal practically chained to this single part of the wall. Just to see if the gravinator was on at full power, he gave his wrists a tug - but they were pulled back closer to the wall.::
::Fine. Looks like he has to do this the hard way.::
::Re-arranging his wrists so that his right hand could access the CRI brace on his left wrist, Jhalib counted his lucky stars that the enforcer had chosen not to remove his bag or the brace.::
::This was it. After this jump, it was the final stretch to the Veritas.::
::He took two shaky and deep breaths, the stardate already set and site-to-site transporter ready to go. It'd burn out after this one use, but it was all he really needed to get to 2395. This station was brand new in that year - no enforcers or workmen, no toxic and muggy fumes. It was a Coalition science station all ready to go.::
::This was going to suck.::
::Gearing up again for what he hoped would be his second last time jump, he amped up his breathing as he prepared for the worst experience imaginable, allowing the CRI brace to prick into his skin like a hypospray, the chronometric radiation immediately making him feel whoozy.
::He hit the transport button.::
((Coalition Outpost Eporue))
::The relative peace and quiet that came with working on a scientific outpost in an undisturbed part of the Shoals was totally and utterly disrupted when a strange Rigelian man suddenly appeared out of nowhere and fell directly into a hydroponics shelf, knocking over samples collected from Havley's Hope and greatly upsetting the tiny Taredge that had stacked them all.
::It felt like he had an intense case of heatstroke, as if he'd walked four kilometres under a dry sun in humid heat, his muscles protesting any action and his head constricting in ways he hadn't felt possible. He couldn't get enough air in, if he could get *any* air in at all, and in the few seconds he'd been in 2395, he already had a layer of sweat across his skin.::
::Maybe they had a higher gravity setting in this time period, because it felt like he'd put on about 60 kilos, joints unforgiving when he tried to heave himself up, and only succeeding in falling back into the dirt.::
::A Terran (a friendly Terran, it seems) had pushed past the Taredge, trying to help Ekal up. The Rigelian grabbed onto their collar, his voice broken as he failed to get the air necessary to speak properly.::
Ekal: Where's the Veritas?!
Botanist: The *what*!?
Tbc . . .