SIM:T'Lea - Broken Part 1
JP Lt. Cmdr. T’Lea & 1st Lt. Dade Adarnis – Broken, Part 1
((STARBASE 118 - T’Lea’s Quarters))
Rummaging through her tattered old duffle bag, T’Lea dug down deep to the bottom where her hand felt the familiar shape of an item, and with a good yank she pulled it out. Stood near a lamp, the Romu-Vulc turned toward the light, cupping the shrouded item in one hand while the other gently peeled back the layers of protective sackcloth. With each layer removed the item began to reveal itself in a soft glowing blue that emanated from a delicate looking stone. It was no bigger than a chicken egg, the shape similarly defined, but the weight of it was over two pounds, but that was only the beginning of the Iconian artifact’s curious attributes. Its mass contradicted its weight and its balance contradicted what appeared to be a solid oval within. On a flat surface the wobbly movement of the object indicated that something was free floating inside. And if that wasn’t strange enough, the carvings on the outside shell appeared to be some kind of combination lock. Did it open the Iconian egg itself, or was it the key to something else, maybe something bigger?
These were just some of the questions T’Lea had been asking herself. Her first task was to gather as much information on the artifact as possible, and understand its value, but her main goal was to trade the information piece-by-piece back to Black Ops for the location of her mother, and an arranged meeting.
Black Ops had hired T’Lea to retrieve the Iconian egg several months ago. In exchange they had promised information about Ravius. They’d lied. But T’Lea had lied also. After risking her life to get the egg, T’Lea replicated the artifact and handed the fake over to Starfleet Intelligence, suspecting that they might betray her in the end. She was right.
Since then T’Lea had been in contact with a Professor on Bajor named Kad, who claimed to have recognized one of the symbols on the artifact. He’d direct T’Lea, and her annoying friend, Dade, to a remote mountainside where ancient Bajoran cave paintings had been discovered. Once there she’d found the symbol and locked it in place on the artifact -- it had changed from a glowing green, to a glowing blue, and then promptly brought down half the Bajoran mountainside. That had been just a small indication of what power the little egg possessed. If there was more, T’Lea wasn’t sure she wanted to play with it, but she was positive she wanted to know about it and use it as a bargaining chip.
So this is where she was right now in her life, stockpiling ammunition for the big standoff with Black Ops. In some ways this plan of hers was clouding her judgment. In other ways she was thinking more clearly now than ever. The end was in sight.
Wrapping the artifact back in its cloth she stuffed it inside her coat pocket, checked to make sure her honor blade was on her (it was), and then headed for the door. She was meeting with Professor Kad in docking bay twelve to discuss the symbol she’d found on Bajor, but first she had to get rid of something.
From the several pubs that lined the promenade came a barrage of drunken and albeit noisy Marines, arms over one another’s shoulders and beer bottles in their free hands, still swinging and singing like there was no tomorrow. The USS Thunder had docked in at the Starbase for fuel and a bit of R&R before shipping out again but Dade was making the most of having some real Marines on board for once to settle his meager mind's need for stimulation.
Adarnis: What shall we do with a drunken sailor? What shall we do with a drunken sailor? What shall we do with a drunken sailor, earl-eye in the morning?
Rico: Put him into bed with the captain's daughter, put him into bed with the captain's daughter, put him into bed with the captain's daughter, earl-eye in the morning!
Dade, however, was after some information about his family, or at least his name and what he and T’Lea had found last time they’d gone adventuring together. The Daedalus Project was shrouded in secrecy and no one; not even some of his high up contacts knew what the hell he was talking about. To them, he was just a blithering Marine with a need to be elsewhere then where he was supposed to be. Which annoyed him.
Yuri: Hoo–ray and up she rises, hoo–ray and up she rises, hoo–ray and up she rises, earl-eye in the morning!
Instead, he’d ended up drinking in the pubs and bars and doing a pub crawl of sorts around the Promenade and the Dungeon. Dade was having a great time, not completely wasted and not smashed either but very jolly as they heaved ho down the walkways of the starbase and towards the docks where they would catch their individual transports and jet off once more to the other ends of the galaxy like the good Marines they were.
They said their goodbyes and Dade checked the chronoclock. He had round about five minutes to sober up, before T’Lea kicked him nine ways from Sunday. He got out a cigarette and sparked it up, taking a couple of good drags. Maybe she wouldn’t notice. Maybe the smell of smoke would hide the stench of booze that lingered in a five mile radius around him. He saw her coming, her raven hair distinguishable from miles away. He took another drag. That wasn’t butterflies in his stomach, and that wasn’t his heart pounding; he was having adverse affects to the alcohol and a heart attack. He was sure of it.
There he was, hiding underneath the Stetson hat and smoking his trademark non-lethal cigarette, portraying the classic tough guy Marine. Pathetic really, she thought. Although, the hat was starting to grow on her. She approached, unwilling to recognize her own pathetic vices. The long black leather coat she wore off duty, and the honor blade were both ways of intimidation – a preemptive strike to keep people from getting close.
When Dade contacted her about meeting for a ‘talk’, T’Lea’s first instinct was to tell him to go to hell, especially after their last chat in the Aegis’s Mess Hall, but for some reason she accepted the invitation. For some stupid, moronic, idiotic reason she’d agreed to have that talk. She’d convinced herself that he was wanted to apologize, and then he would tell her that he was leaving the base for good. At least, that was the way the conversation had played out in her head. But really the only reason she was meeting with him now was to get her message across, once and for all, and in a language he would understand – SOD OFF.
T’Lea: Well, well. Looks like the rest of the Marines have landed. Now the only question is, when do you leave?
Adarnis: Ready to be an annoyance once more, milady. ::he lifted an eyebrow and flicked the butt of the cigarette:: How’ve you been?
Being around him, even when he stank of alcohol, she didn’t like the way it made her feel. No worries, all she had to do was put up with him long enough to get that apology, and to hear those magic words, “I’ve put in for reassignment”.
T’Lea: What’s this about? Make it quick, I’ve got business waiting in dock 12.
Adarnis: Who’re we meeting for this jaunt?
A laugh. A ridiculing one. Who did he think he was?
T’Lea: We aren’t meeting anyone. I am. You’re piss drunk, you’ll just get in the way.
Adarnis: Aye, but after a punishment of running laps and cleaning out the heads with your toothbrush, you soon learn to hide the effects of alcohol easily.
Her apology wasn’t going to happen. He was drunk and stupid. New plan.
T’Lea: You’re listing a little to the left there, cowboy. Wait here, I’m gonna need a drink of my own to finish this conversation.
Adarnis: Suit yourself, but I have to tell you... ::he whispered into her ear:: ... the Ale on this heap of metal tastes like watered down Mugato urine... Took me half an hour to get a damn decent drink.
She started off around the corner, turning to him just before she disappeared.
T’Lea: And a coffee for you.
((DOCKING BAY 12))
With any luck the drunken Marine was still waiting on the Promenade for her to return with the drinks. She knew there would be no getting rid of Dade in his current state, and no rationalizing their non-relationship either. So instead of wasting her precious time she ditched him and hoped he’d eventually forget why he was standing there in the first place.
The big double doors to bay twelve rolled back and T’Lea stepped inside. The place was dim, silent and vacant. The landing strip lights on the floor cast just enough of a glow to reveal a medium-sized Bajoran transport ship named, The Prophet 1, resting on the pad.
T’Lea: Hello? Professor Kad?
Something didn’t feel right. She pulled up her honor blade and tucked the sharp metal under her forearm. The back cargo door to the Bajoran transport was distinctly open, as if inviting her in, and when she heard rustling inside, she knew that’s where Professor Kad would be.
T’Lea: Sorry, I’m late Professor. I got held up on the way here.
She was still moving cautiously as she followed the double row of lights in the flooring.
Kad: No trouble at all. Come. Come. I’m just reorganizing some cargo I recently acquired. Supplies mostly. It’s been a long trip.
T’Lea: I understand.
Hearing his voice for the first time did nothing to put her at ease. She still couldn’t see too much of anything, even as she stepped into the cargo hold of the transport. More dim lighting, but there was movement off in the corner behind a stack of boxes. The Professor yelped a little when he stubbed his toe. It was disarming.
T’Lea: It would be easier to work with the lights on, don’t you think?
Kad: Did you bring the artifact?
T’Lea: Of course.
The Romu-Vulc worked her way around the maze of cargo containers, accidentally running her shin into one, just as the Professor had done moments before. The pain only briefly caught her by surprise, but the unusually light weight of the container curiously surprised her even more. She touched a second box. Empty. Another. Empty. Three stacked high. All empty. A serious frown underscored her face.
Before she could even start, three Orion males blocked T’Lea in from behind, and Professor Kad’s dark figure stepped into view. She was trapped, cornered and surrounded. But she was also armed. The cold metal blade tucked close to her arm.
T’Lea: What the frell is this? Who are you?
She couldn’t see the Professor’s face through the shadows, but he was tall.
Kad: Sieze her. I’ll prepare the ship to disembark.
Kad swished around and disappeared into cockpit up front. T’Lea turned, as three huge Orion males stalked her deeper into the cargo hold of the ship.
Chulak: Make this easy on yourself. Don’t fight.
She didn’t even bother with a response and flicked the knife out of her hand. The blade went soaring across the dark cargo hold and sunk into the shoulder of Chulak. He stumbled back as the other two advanced. Burgen and Quans lunged for the woman, one found himself grabbing nothing but a tower of falling boxes, the other found the heel of the Romu-Vulc’s boot lodged under his gullet.
As Quans choked on himself, T’Lea leapt onto a box, grabbed the cargo net on the roof and swung herself out of harms way, and back into shuttle bay where escape was in sight.
The Bajoran transport now had clearance to leave the station, and the ship’s engines were revving up to speed when Kad heard the commotion in the back. He grievously growled, grabbed a weapon from the console box, and jumped out of his seat. Rushing back into the cargo hold he found three massive Orion’s stammering to their feet. The Professor was amused on the inside.
Kad: Incompetent fools!
He stepped half-way into the shuttle bay and targeted T’Lea just as she reached the main door. Kad fired. The pellet raced through the air and struck the woman in the neck. Should have just done that in the first place, he thought.
Kad: Get her.
Chulak stood and winced at the honor blade sticking out of his shoulder, Kad reached out and ripped it from his flesh, leaving a gaping hole behind.
Kad: No more mistakes, or I’ll kill you myself.
He turned, put away the blade, and went back into the cockpit for the final launch sequence.
T’Lea felt her knees start to weaken as she reached the main door. Her legs were not responding like they should. She stretched out her hand to touch the back of her neck where she’d felt something strike her, but her hand simply hung at her side. Her motor functions were failing. She tried to yell for help, but her vocal chords were paralyzed. Her knees suddenly gave out and she hit the floor with a thud. The last thing she saw were three angry Orions headed her way, and she could do nothing as Chulak kicked her hard in the ribs. Her vision and consciousness were the last to go.
((Meanwhile - Promenade))
He might’ve been drunk, but he knew the signs that he’d been stood up. She’d been gone for around half an hour. He knew the lines were long at the bar, for a cup of coffee but he didn’t think they were half an hour long. He checked the chronoclock again and flicked the tip of his Stetson. She was taking the Mickey.::
Muttering several obscenities to himself, Dade lurched himself up off the wall, almost having to peel his carcass from it. He was hot, too hot and annoyed. Until it clicked over. On top of everything, he was concerned. She’d been gone for half an hour, just to get a cup of coffee. Maybe she was in trouble. No, practical solution, she’d definitely stood him up. If she’d gone to that business meeting, he could catch up with her.
((Docking Bay 12))
Stomping his way down to the docking bay, the Marine was almost certain that he wouldn’t be finding the miscreant hybrid anywhere. The panel had read the near departure of a ship owned by a Kad, or something along those lines. He took a detour down the docking walkway and took a look at the vessel. Was T’Lea on board? He walked up to the docking door and peered inside the glass hollow in time to see T’Lea falling to her feet.
His stomach dropped and his hand flew for the release mechanism. Locked. Damnit! He punched it and the panel came loose. The manual release was underneath and hissed as soon as it opened. T’Lea almost fell into him, but he caught her just as someone’s foot connected with the side of his head and jointly into T’Lea’s ribs.
She dropped to the floor but woozy and still a bit drunk, Dade jumped to his feet. Alcohol or not, he was still a good fighter.
Three Orion males; never were as good looking as their female counterparts, were surrounding him and his wounded, albeit unconscious fellow beside his feet. Dade had a second to notice the blood oozing from Chulak’s shoulder and smacked his palm into the Orion’s weak spot. It sent the Orion tumbling to the ground in pain as another came from the side, connecting his fist in perfect timing to Dade’s ear and temple.
It threw his balance off and he stumbled for a second. It was enough for him to let his guard down and when he opened his eyes and could visualize properly it wasn’t for long. A fist came flying from nowhere with the grinning face of the wounded Orion behind it and knocked him in the jaw. It dislocated itself. Dade dropped to the floor, the pain unbearable as it tore through his face.
He could barely hear a voice saying something in the searing darkness, something about N’Dallis Prime, then everything was black.