SIM:T'Lea - Broken Part 2
JP Lt. Cmdr. T’Lea & 1st Lt. Dade Adarnis – Broken, Part 2
((DEEP SPACE – THE PROPHET 1 – CARGO HOLD))
Dark and cold. A shaft of light cut through the shadows making a bright square yellow patch on the floor. It was the only light in the room. The empty boxes that once packed the cargo hold had been jettisoned six hours into flight, leaving the back of the ship void of anything other than two bodies – one male, and one female.
Voices argued just outside of the door.
Kad: I told you no more mistakes!!
Chulak: And I told you we had no choice!! We are not idiots! We do this for a living!
The angry pitch of their words coaxed T’Lea out of unconsciousness. She groaned miserably at her pain. The drugs she’d been dosed with left one nasty hangover. A throbbing headache, cotton mouth, and all her muscles were stiff – as if she hadn’t moved in years. Her eyes struggled to focus on her surroundings, one second everything was too dark, the next too bright.
Chulak: He got past the bay door locks. He saw everything. If we’d left him there he would have been a witness. If we’d killed him, the evidence would have tipped off security of foul play! What was I supposed to do!!
T’Lea was listening, it was hard not to, but making sense of what was being shouted was difficult when loud noises were not your friend. She lifted herself into a sitting position on the floor and leaned back on one hand. The other hand reached her forehead in a futile attempt to rub away the dull ache that chipped away at her skull. It was when she moved to scratch the back of her neck, where the pellet had hit her that she felt something that wasn’t supposed to be there. Her fingers traced the thick fabric and a small metal box that was attached to it, still she did not fully comprehend the meaning.
Kad: One. One missing officer. Starfleet would suspect nothing more than AWOL. But two?
The Romu-Vulc frowned. The voice started to make sense now. Was that Professor Kad? And the missing Starfleet officer – that would be her, thought T’Lea as she tenderly started to move.
Kad: And this one is a Marine! Do you realize what you’ve brought upon us?
A Marine. Suddenly everything came flooding back – Dade, Kad, the Orions and docking bay 12. Her next word was her favorite word.
T’Lea: ::softly:: Frell.
Eyes finally adjusting to the lack of light, T’Lea started to look around the big empty cargo hold.
Chulak: So we kill him and deep space his body, who cares! I’ll do it myself! Right now!
T’Lea looked back to the window and saw the silhouetted figures push off each other in conflict. One man had blocked the other from coming in. Her heart raced and her ears listened hard.
Kad: No! No. I may have use for him yet. Insurance, if you will.
Chulak: Whatever. One or two missing officers won’t matter once we’re over the border.
Taking a step back her heel hit something soft, and a small moan was heard. T’Lea spun around in the dark and dropped to one knee, feeling the chest and shoulders, recognizing the muscle structure as Dade’s.
Kad: Have they been healed? I don’t want to deliver damaged goods.
Chulak: Yes. The one with the glassjaw…
Their voices faded out as the two men stepped away from the door. T’Lea’s hands moved up to Dade’s neck where she found the same type collar on his neck as hers, and then they quickly moved to his face.
T’Lea: Dade. Can you hear me?
He began to move as slow and groggy as she had at first. She leaned in close, her lips brushing against his ear, seductively to get his attention.
T’Lea: Wake up, Marine.
After that she climbed to her feet and moved away, not wanting him to know that for a moment she’d cared.
Dade’s senses regathered themselves in his head and forced him to wake up to whatever was waking him up in the first place. He caught a glimpse of T’Lea moving away from him and it instantly brought him back to the world of the living.
While Dade gathered himself, T’Lea checked the edges of the dark room. The surface had been reinforced with seamless plating. There was nothing they could use as a weapon, nothing to hide behind, nothing scratch, dig, or claw their way out. They were caged. As she moved into the shaft of light and sat down on the floor, she checked the inside coat pocket only to hit bottom. The Iconian Artifact was gone. No doubt Kad had taken it. The bastard. That would teach her to trust anyone ever again.
T’Lea: I thought we had an understanding. You go your way, I go mine. It doesn’t get much simpler than that, or should I have drawn you a picture?
Dade: Forgive me… ::he bit the inside of his cheek:: Forgive me for actually thinking you might need help when you slumped to the floor. You needed me right at that moment, hell you wanted me. We’re here together so just get used to it…
T’Lea: ::coldly, as she watched him move in the dark:: You think just because we had sex you own me now? You have to protect me? I told you to stay away for a reason. I don’t want anything to do with you.
He threw his hands up.
Adarnis: You know, I could give up on you so easily…
T’Lea: Promises, promises… Come here.
Dade: You know, first I’m thinking yeah, maybe she wants me around and doesn’t want to say anything, then the first chance you get, you get jumped by goons and when I try to help I get this! Ever think I’ve got better things to do than be chasing you round the galaxy trying to protect your bloody arse?
T’Lea: Come. Here. Now. Or I’ll make you.
He lifted a cautious eyebrow… was she going to hit him, and if so he didn’t want to be anywhere near. She could pack a punch and his jaw already stung like a wasp having a bout of PMS.
As he approached, she stood to meet his height. Though he was taller than she, T’Lea remedied the inconvenience by roughly grabbing the back of his head and forcing him down.
The light from the window cut around her form, and she moved so that the beams illuminated Dade, that’s when she saw black and blue marks. Frowning, she began to manhandle his chin, turning his face to the side to get a better look at the deep bruising around his mandible. She pressed on the damaged tissue, feeling that the joint was in its socket.
T’Lea: Stop squirming.
Adarnis: ::mutters:: Bleedin’ hurts…
T’Lea: Good. Then maybe you’ll shut up. ::mumbling:: Frellin’ baby.
Adarnis: ::mumbles:: Give you pissin’ baby…
Her hands left his jaw and moved down to his neck where she finally got a clear look at the collars they were fitted with. Wires ran though the fabric and there were metal studs evenly spaced throughout. She was just about to look at the box, when Dade slapped her hands away and jerked her around into the light to see for himself, her collar. She resisted.
He jerked her again until he could see the intricate patterns on the wire collars. He’d seen stuff like this before on slaver ships they’d confiscated. On dead bodies, of course; slavers couldn’t give up their property even if they got caught. They had ways and means; and the ways were usually mean. He winced as pain shot through his jaw and he shook it off as best he could, releasing T’Lea’s face.
Adarnis: Slave collars; we’re in for the high jump all right.
So that was Kad’s plan, hire three thugs to kidnap her for slave trade. The Orions get paid, and in return he gets the Iconian Artifact and gets rid of a witness. Brilliant.
Dade rummaged through his pockets.
Adarnis: Do you know where we’re going… ::he brought out his pack of cigarettes:: …or where they’re going to take us too before selling us off?
T’Lea: Yeah, I do. We’re going to Risa for a three night stay at an oceanside bed and breakfast. How should I know? A few seconds ago they were ready to kill you, so I don’t think they’re too interested in using you for manual labor.
Adarnis: Oh come on, a bloke like me, rippling torso and all would be perfect as a slave; perpetual God in human form.
Unfortunately she couldn’t argue that, even though it was intended as a joke.
T’Lea: Just… ::this was agony to say:: Don’t do anything stupid. Something tells me these guys would get a bigger thrill out of ending your life than making a profit out of you. And no, I don’t care, so bugger off. ::She stuffed a finger under her collar. It itched.:: How do you know about this thing?
Dade sparked one up and threw the match away, the fire system on board detecting it and extinguishing it without a problem. For a second, it had illuminated a little more of the dark room but not much.
Adarnis: I’ve seen them before… ::he spat slightly, enough to blow an errant piece of tobacco from his lip:: Slaver collars, like tracking devices, go out of a certain radius and kaboom, that’s Marine pie and hybrid cobbler. Put us together and make us into a kebab.
T’Lea: Maybe I can deactivate it, or jam it. Let me take another look.
A noise, enough to be a scuff of shoe leather on the floor but it was enough to heighten the senses of the two in the cell. Dade grabbed T’Lea and shoved her against the wall, away from the light and the pair of eyes that peered inside. A seconds worth of contemplation that her body was once again pressed against his filtered into his mind but was quickly shook off as the presence outside wasn’t going away.
At first T’Lea thought he was coming over to offer her access to his slave collar, and then she felt the familiar rush of his mass pinning her to the wall. Her first thought was, "Really? Here? Now?", and then she saw what had truly motivated him, lurking outside the window. Chulak punched in a sequence on the door and it slid back. He and his two Orion buddies stepped into the room and ordered the lights on.
Chulak: Let’s go. Enough snuggling. Get off your girlfriend.
Adarnis: Speak to me again, maggot and I’ll bleedin’ break you.
Chulak: Right. I’d like to see you try. You and your glassjaw.
The three Orions gave a hearty laugh. T’Lea grabbed Dade’s arm, preventing him from ripping the Orion’s head off, just before they detonated his.
T’Lea: What’s our freedom going to cost us? I’m a starfleet officer, my pockets go deep.
Not really, but they didn’t have to know that.
Chulak: Your latinum is worthless here. ::he pulled out a well-worn paper document and handed it to her.:: A warrant for your arrest. Welcome home.
As the words left his mouth and the signed document hit her eyes, T’Lea’s stomach hit the ground. In that terrible instant she felt her world crumble beneath her feet and the free fall of despair plunge her into darkness. All she could do was stare at the page in disbelief that the day had come and she’d walked right into it.
Dade noticed and stiffened. She was worried, she was fraught with it, sort of not objecting like she usually would have. Her face had drained of its usual pissed off colour and instead had been replaced by a sickening look.
Adarnis: The heck is this...
Chulak: Let her explain it to you. I’m just the bounty hunter.
Adarnis: You bleedin’ tell me! Better yet, find me someone with the brains to tell me what the hell is going on all together!
Chulak: Things don’t work like that here, glassjaw. This sector is ruled by one man, one system lord, one law and no lawyers. Justice is swift in these parts, even though this one has been on the run for 12 years. We finally got her.
He looked at T’Lea. She was a ‘her’; a fugitive to be run down into the ground and captured, dead or alive.
Adarnis: What am I doing in all this?
Chulak: Aiding and abetting a criminal, and hindering an arrest, of course. System Lord Pelco will want a piece of your hide as well.
The new title, System Lord, barely registered in T’Lea’s head as she held the warrant in her hands. When last she’d left N’Dallis Prime, Pelco was Chief Magistrate of the city. Now he ruled the entire Bogon System. Things just got hopelessly worse.
Chulak: Enough talking. Move.
Coming out of the fog of shock – was it shock? Initially yes, but fear soon devoured her. T’Lea saw Dade reaching for the document, to which she quickly handed it off to the other Orion, not wanting him to see.
For a moment, Dade did want to hold her. He wanted to take away that look, to at least let her know he was there for her when or even if she needed him, needed someone to talk to, wanted someone there.
Adarnis: What’s going on, T’Lea?
She said nothing. She was resolved to accept her fate, almost welcoming it, ready to get it over with. She didn’t look at Dade. She couldn’t because he might give her some inkling of hope when she knew there was none to be had.
They’d crossed the Bogon Beltway and not even the Romulans dared enter the pirate protected space in this system. It was suicide. The Beltway had sensor-killing properties and was littered with asteroids, wrecked ships, and scavengers ready to victimize anybody who tried to pass. Entire warbirds vanished inside the beltway, whole families died inside the beltway.
Chulak: Let’s GO!
The Romu-Vulc heard movement. A quick, reflexive, attacking movement . She briefly glanced up to see Dade launching at the nearest Orion. She said nothing. She did nothing.
Not this time, he’d had enough. Punches swung through the air like birds flying free from the nest; only a lot more painful. The three men dropped to the floor in a few seconds as a swift kick to the head brought them down. He was sick of this already and they’d not even begun.
T’Lea looked down and withdrew. She heard it all: bones cracking, the flesh from a mouth ripping open against teeth, the clatter of said teeth skittering across the floor and three dull thuds hitting the ground. And then silence. A few seconds later somebody was taking a hold of her shoulders, trying to get her to respond. She just shook her head and refuse to make eye contact.
Dade clung onto her upper torso and shook her, trying to bring her out of the day dream she was already in.
Adarnis: Come on, we can...
T’Lea: It’s too late.
Dade: But you can’t just...
She looked up and past Dade as Professor Kad’s dark, shadow covered figure slipped into the room. On his head was Dade’s Stetson hat. His face obscured by the rim. He cleared his throat to get the human half-breed’s attention.
Kad: Thanks for the hat. ::he flicked the brim::
Dade stood up, in between Kad and T’Lea. The Stetson... he just wanted to rip it off the man’s face then pummel said face into the ground mercilessly.
Adarnis: Give it back or I swear I’ll make you regret it.
The thumb on his right hand clicked a button on a small device, and an electrical shock surged through Dade’s and T’Lea’s collars until they collapsed into submission. The three huge Orions began to stir, one spitting out blood.
Kad: Pick them up. We have a delivery to make.