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Come Together, Part One

Posted on Nov 14, 2014 @ 1:25pm by Lieutenant Commander Aerdan Jos
Edited on on Nov 14, 2014 @ 1:25pm

Mission: Birth Of An Empire

"Come Together Part 1" (Continued from "All Souls Day")


Location: Miranda VII Civilian Spaceport
Stardate: 2.141109.1915
Scene: Cargo Bays


Rule number one of faking you own death: stroke your pursuer’s ego.

Vintam Dalreth, owner of Spaceport Miranda VI was, like so many other petty mob bosses, a vain man. He liked to know that the plans he made and the security measures he set into place were worth the latinum he spent on them. Of course he put an electrified forcefield around the docking bay doors where Zel’s Triton Runner was impounded. Zel Rohan expected no less. It would be a rookie mistake to try to make a run for it in his own ship – it would be the first place a numbskull like Dalreth would guard.

Which is exactly why he chose it to stage his demise.

The little hybrid didn’t need to check for a forcefield, he could feel the electric crackle as he got near it. Oh, he could make sure it was there by simply tossing something at it, but that would surely set off more alarms. Yes, that could wait.

He checked the corridor for any signs of guards, double-checked and got to work. Popping off a side panel, he exposed the door controls. Shielding his eyes, he saw the pulsating glow of the plasma conduit just behind the relays for the door control. “Too easy.” Zel murmured. He dug in his pocket, pulling out a spanner and jimmied the door controls just enough to, well, tamper with them. Beside him the door whined and lights flashed inside the panel. With a gentle touch, he eased out the circuitry which controlled the power to the forefield, feeling a crackle across his fingers as he touched it. Decent security – it would be a difficult field to crack – if he was actually going to crack it. As it was, he simply drew the circuits out so they were within easy line-of-sight.

Rule number two of faking your own death: leave enough of you behind to let them think you were all there at one time.

The next step was easy. He stripped off his vest and anything else he could live without. He smeared his bloody hands over the vest, and left a few telltale handprints on the wall by the panel before he took a few strips of cloth from his short and bound the cuts so they wouldn’t start bleeding again. He spat on the wall, partially for luck and partially for just a bit more biological matter that the scanners might ping upon and checked his set up.

Then he slunk down the hallway, pulling his disruptor. Heading to the spot where he had marked Dalreth’s security cameras on his way in. He paused in the camera’s eye space just long enough so it could get a nice shot of him, before raising his weapon and firing. The little electronic eye sizzled and erupted in a satisfying burst of sparks. Yep, now they knew he was here. Time to act fast.

Rule number three of faking your own death: act quickly and run like hell.

Really the last step was the easiest of the three. And the most dangerous. Wasn’t that always how it went? Zel turned from the wreckage of the camera, walking back towards the scene of his inevitable death, and pulled one of the sheared off heads from the bolts he had unceremoniously removed in his escape route and tossed it towards the cargo bay doors. The little chunk of metal crackled with an electric discharge as it hit the security forcefield, and a siren sounded out immediately thereafter. “Gee, that looks nasty. Glad I’m not trying to break in there…” he muttered, backpedaling from the scene. He made another check to make sure his escape route was free of guards, and leveled his disruptor at the exposed circuitry. He focused and pulled the trigger with all the calmness of a zen monk, before turning and hauling ass like a irate cat hopped up on amphetamines with its tail on fire.

Well, honestly if he wasn’t running so fast his tail end would have been on fire.

The force of the explosion plastered Zel against the opposite side of the hallway junction, even with his head start. Staggered, he kept his feet moving enough to turn a corner as tongues of flames licked at the intersection. The wail of emergency alarms went off creating a deafening cacophony mingles with the security alert. The lights flickered and died, and the flash of red backup lighting cast jagged shadows across the corridors. Boots were ringing on the deck in every direction as Zel slipped into a supply closet. As the boots passed, he peered out and made a dash for the maintenance walkway that linked this section to the central core. Time to get as far away from the scene of his death as possible.

The going was easier the farther he got. The patrols lessened and security eased up. The key now, he chided himself, was to disappear. Dead people didn’t get caught sneaking around. If they bought his death he had all the time he needed to get himself off the station.

The wail of the emergency alarms ceased, letting Zel know that the fire was under control. It took several minutes more before the security alarms were silenced. He paused, hiding under the counter of an old closed-down shop, holding his breath until the security alert flashed green, and an announcement that ships would be cleared for departure within the hour.

“I have never been so happy to be dead before…” Zel murmured.

Scene: Sickbay

Sickbay was as silent as a morgue.

It was very nearly a morgue, and only one thin flicker from a biobed monitor said otherwise.

In the CMO’s office, Cade Foster slumped down over the desk. It was a nice desk – a very nice desk. Mahogany - or something that had all the properties of mahogany. It was ergonomically designed to be warm, large, and inviting. It was the sort of desk he would have fought over back on the Prophecy, bantering with colleagues about who had the most merits to retain the position of CMO.

God, what a stupid fool he had been.

How many of them were gone? Lost in the stars, passed on or soon to be passed as they were on the front lines of this war. How stupid their arguments about rank advancement and department pecking orders were.

Now here he was, actually doing more quiet contemplation about how he might connect with those around him, more than he had ever done in his entire life – stripped of all rank and a fugitive from his own government and people. Well, he was never very fond of Earth anyways, but still. There was irony here, irony that he didn’t really want to dwell on.

It didn’t help that Thytos’ curiously correct breakdown of Cade’s past still stung. Though whether it was the perceived accuracy or the fact that it was the stereotype of ‘spoiled only child’ which had been his burden to bear his entire life that stung more, he wasn’t quite sure. Only child was spot on. Spoiled was arguable. Sure, as a child young Cade Foster was want for nothing. He had all the shelter, food, toys, school opportunities and entertainment a kid could ask for.

But none of the attention they truly desired.

His parents had been busy, career minded people. The type of people who really should not have procreated, but did so for vanity more than anything else – the assurance that their name would carry on. Which was amusing since the family held his mother’s maiden name rather than his father’s. Something about his father’s family being connected with conspiracy, something Cade now found painfully and disgustingly ironic.

The more he dug into his own family’s past, the more he realized his mother was a deeply emotionally damaged woman, raised by a career oriented mother who had divorced the biological father of her child in favor of a man with greater career goals and better rank. And, in turn, Lisa Foster grew up to be her mother – making all the same mistakes.

Some people would hate their parents for such bullshittery. Cade simply accepted it. He never hated who he was, but this whole damn Federation falling apart around him was making it horribly difficult to continue on with his cavalier lifestyle. He sighed, trying to clear this rat’s nest of thoughts from his brain and coax it into sleep.

The swish of the doors opened roused him from his semi conscious state and he picked his head up off the large and inviting desk. “Suvek.”

The Vulcan didn’t smile, but a faint expression of fond humor played across his features. “Perhaps you should try resting in your quarters?”

“Do you have any idea how dark and cold and creepy those are?” Cade queried. “You can hear every groan and creak and rumble of this ship.” He trailed off before he let slip the words ‘it’s like it’s haunted.’

“I try not to dwell on emotional reactions.” Suvek returned quietly. “But yet, the atmosphere is unwelcoming.”

Cade leaned back in his chair, observing his longtime Vulcan colleague. “Suvek, why didn’t you go back to Vulcan? Hide out in the Science Academy, get the hell away from us?”

Suvek perked a slender brow. “Because I know the truth.” He took in a careful, considered breath. “There are some of my kind who would block the emotions associated with this tragedy and wall themselves off. They would choose inaction to ensure emotional inviolability. I would call them cowards.”

Doctor Foster felt both brows perk. He knew Suvek was a committed man, he even secretly suspected him to be a passionate man. But this admission surprised him. “You think your own race will abet the Neo-Essentialsts by inaction?”

“No. I believe some of my race will stand with us. I know some stand against us, and I believe some will fall to their own conflict and choose inaction. However my choice was already made the moment I attended Captain Harcourt and saw what savagery was done to her.” Suvek’s voice was curiously plain, but his dark eyes were on fire.

“I’m glad you’re on my side.” Cade gave a low whistle.

“When have I ever not been on your side?” The Vulcan surgeon almost smiled.

“When you were on Aerdan’s side.” Foster smirked back. “Same difference I suppose.”

“Perhaps you will both join me for dinner this evening?”

The human medic blinked. “Was that a come on?”

Suvek flattened his expression. “No. It was an invitation.”

“Sorry… Should have known. Just…” he waved a hand in the air. “Unexpected, you know?” Not that he had never shared a meal with Suvek. In fact he had shared quite a few meals with Suvek, most of the featuring rousing medical debates. It was just that Zabrielle was usually the one making the invitations.

Damn, he missed Zabrielle.

“You seem to insinuate that I have ulterior motives.” The Vulcan was unflappable, and yet his eyes sparkled in such a way that made Cade wonder if he was being laughed at.

“Do you have ulterior motives?” Cade’s brows furrowed.

“I do.” Suvak admitted cleanly.

“Oh, really?” Cade found himself blinking at this, not especially surprised at the honesty, but more curious about the motivation.

“You have admitted yourself that you are having troubles sleeping.

“Yeah, me and half the crew.” The Doctor groused.

“I have a solution.” It was stated as a fact.

Cade stared back, skeptical. Not that he had any cause to doubt Suvek, only that he knew darn well he was more than likely to not enjoy what the Vulcan would propose. “Go on…”

“Vulcan meditation is renowned for bringing peace and well being without the need for invasive medication.”

“I like my invasive medication, especially when it’s the alcoholic kind.” Cade snapped back.

Suvek was completely un-wavered, gazing back at him like a school teacher scolds a naughty child. “Do you deny you require help?”

Cade sucked in a breath, silently cursing how well Suvek and he knew one another. “I already told you that yes, I am having trouble sleeping.”

“And do you deny that you have struggled and overcome an addiction to alcohol?”

Cade’s cheeks burned crimson in the darkness of the office. The turn of phrase was careful and they both knew it. Suvek was far more emotionally aware than most of his Vulcan colleagues, and the simple choice to set up Cade’s past recovery as a victory put the ball in his court on whether or not to continue that victory or admit defeat.

Cade hated admitting defeat.

“Fine, dinner. When?”

“1900 hours.”

“Ok, I’ll be there.” Cade paused, adding, “No candles.”

Suvek arched a sculpted brow. “Candles are traditional in Vulcan meditation.”

“I meant on the dinner table.” Cade growled.

“Romance is lost on me.” The Vulcan offered as he sashayed out of the office.

Cade swore he was smiling.


Location: Miranda VII Civilian Spaceport
Scene: Cargo Bays

After laying low for several minutes more, Zel set his eyes on his prize. One discarded engineering suit with safety helmet laying unceremoniously in a heap nearby a matter recycler. Perhaps at another time and place he might look back and be amused at the laughably poor excuse for a prize, but for the moment someone else’s stinky laundry was a rock solid disguise. Hallway clear? Move, snatch, hide. Ugh, it ~did~ stink. But by now Zel’s nose knew not to complain when his life was on the line. Besides, his ribs were starting to complain more vehemently than his nose could dream of, even besting the jagged cuts on his fingers for attention. Somewhere in the back of his mind Zel noted that he should probably get those looked at. If and when he came across someone with any sort of medical expertise who didn’t want to see him in jail, dead or as their own personal labrat. In Zel’s lifetime such doctors were few and far between.

Smell notwithstanding the suit fit reasonably well, and as soon as Zel fixed the helmet on he found himself a convincing engineer. Well, that was so long as he kept walking. Slipping out from his hiding place, he bee-lined for a junction made a crisp turn, and entered into the stream of foot traffic that would take him to the far cargo bay on the other side of the station.

If he was young and cavalier he would have turned around and headed back for his Triton Runner, to see if he could slip past the security and the clean up crew, jerry rig his own shuttle and slip out in the dead of night when everybody was least expecting it. Except as soon as he made his escape they would know he had, in fact survived and he would be on the run with even more vehemence than he was now. No, age told him to take the safer option of smuggling himself out in a likely load of cargo. And so he took off down the corridor with his head down just enough to not catch anyone in the eye.

After that it was just a matter of selecting the right cargo, carefully picking the lock, and slipping inside. Cargo selection was the most important part of this equation – it needed to be a box that was ‘aired’ so to speak. Locking oneself in a vacuum sealed container was all sorts of stupid. The sort of rookie mistake that people who hadn’t smuggled themselves out of hostile territory in cargo crate before would make.

How sad was it that Zel could count himself among the ranks of people who did, in fact, smuggle themselves in cargo crates more than once? He tried not to dwell on that as he spotted a likely batch of Kriosian silks. Perfect. The silk needed ventilation in order to keep from rotting, and it had to be stored at a midline temperature. Certainly not the comfiest travel accommodations Zel could think of, but if he could breathe and not freeze it was two steps better than being dead.

He checked the destination on the side of the crate: LIMBO.

“Well, Limbo it is.” He intoned drily, cracking the lock and slipping inside.

NRPG: Aliiiive, alive! Anyways, this is part 1 of 2. 2 coming in the next day or so.

Jamie LeBlanc
Lt. Commander Aerdan Jos
First Officer


Zel Rohan
Civilian troublemaker on the run

"Why do we fly? Because we have dreamt of it for so long that we must"

~Julian Beck


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