Previous

Adjusting To Prison Life

Posted on Oct 04, 2019 @ 5:45am by Lieutenant Jasmine Yu
Edited on on Oct 04, 2019 @ 5:45am

Mission: Last Days of Empire

“Adjusting to Prison Life”

(contd from ‘Countdown’)

******************************
Location: Gran’kothar, ALCYONUS I
SD: [2.19] 1003.2147
Scene: Prison Transfer Area


As the bluish white hue light dissipated to reveal the five members of the away team, Jasmine immediately began to cough. She soon realized that they were standing in the middle of a desert and strong winds carried away white sand off the ground. Jasmine coughed again, attempting to get rid of the dust that had inadvertently entered her system through her mouth and nose. She spotted Allison Samson approach her with a concerned look in her eyes.

“Are you okay, Jasmine?”

Jasmine nodded. “I’m fine, Allison.” During the preparations for the away mission, it was decided that all the Starfleet members of the team would not refer to each other by their ranks but only use their first names or a made-up nickname, for the duration of this operation. The Asian woman glanced around her surroundings – they were surrounded by tall black stone walls, locally found on the planet. As her eyes shifted forward, the young woman faced a very imposing grey and black building, which she noticed was constructed out of a mix of the same black stone, tritanium and all kinds of other construction materials. While the building wasn’t as tall as the walls, Jasmine could tell from the onset that there was more that met the eye – the prison complex extended far beyond just this one building. The entire prison camp was built in a desert and Yu took note of the outline of a mountain range in the north.

The group waited in silence when three Klingon guards were spotted approaching them, wearing silver armour over their black tunics and unsurprisingly weapons hanging over their shoulders and waist. One of them, a large, burly male with long, jet black hair tied in a loose ponytail, stepped forward, narrowing his dark eyes, which fell on Marsters. A smile graced his rather scarred lips- a rather scary sight to behold.

“Well, well, look what that Federation starship gifted us today.” He studied the group, his gaze not leaving the blonde civilian woman like a fox checking out a hen house. “I find it very interesting that Starfleet has decided to hand such a master criminal such as yourself, considering you are wanted for crimes against them as well. They must be quite eager to find that missing ship of theirs.”

Joanna rolled her eyes, sporting a smug smile. “Well, what can I say? I am sort of popular around here.”

“Not just you but your entire team.” The Klingon eyed each and every member of the team with great interest but his gaze lingered on Harrad-Tor a lot longer than the others. “I see you even have an Orion in your group. He must play the role of your muscle, perhaps?”

“Yeah,” Marsters drawled. “Big Hurrah is our guy if you want to beat someone up - what with his huge size and lots of muscle.”

Jasmine sighed, noting the security officer’s face turning a darker shade of green. Harrad-Tor, during the prep meeting, was quite insistent on not using his real name for the operation so Marsters to his embarrassment, came up with the nickname. With her and Samson, it was easy to just use their real names – they were both human women, caught up in Marsters’ criminal operations. Now, Hector Solorzano, he just went with Heck.

Yu sighed, taking note of her outfit for the mission – a loose wood brown full-sleeved top and pants of the same colour, containing patches of dirt all over the clothing, some black and green patches and a few tears here and there on the sleeves and pant legs. Her black hair was a disheveled, oiled up mess, left loose, its strands tangled in knots.

Joanna chuckled, pointing at the assistant Ops officer, whose cheeks turned a shade of red. “This here is my errand boy, ‘Little Heck’. He jumps at the sound of my voice every time.”

“My name’s just Heck and I’m not little,” he growled.

“You look little,” one of the other Klingon guards remarked, bursting out in laughter.

“Well, Ms. Marsters, the warden is certainly eager to speak with you.” The lead guard turned to his subordinates. “Escort the rest of these criminals to their assigned cells, while I personally take their leader to the warden.”

Jasmine watched as the guard leader grabbed Joanna, while the other two came for her and the rest of the team. She let out a sigh, hoping their stay at this wretched prison wouldn’t be long.

-------------------
Location: Orion warship
Scene: Bridge


“You found Harrad-Tor?” A large Orion man inquired, leaning forward, his beady eyes staring intently at another Orion male. Seated on a golden throne-like chair, the green skinned man looked to be middle-aged and bald like many males amongst his species. He was tall and well-built but had a little bulge around his mid-section. He adorned a golden suit that gave off a sheen under the bright light and his demeanor was that of a mix of a mob boss and royalty – clearly more the former than the latter.

“Yes, boss.”

Grabbing a gold cup, its surface covered in pink and blue gem stones, the Orion gulped down some wine. “Where is he right now?” While he sounded calm, his voice had betrayed the seething anger and hatred for his former right hand man. A man responsible for what he deemed to be a great betrayal – not only Harrad-Tor had stolen Jeeza from him but also ran away with her. In Liriss’ twisted mind, Harrad-Tor had put a spell on the Risean woman and never did the crime boss had thought to believe Jeeza fell for Harrad-Tor on her own free will. But then again a powerful crime boss like him had trouble believing in the concept of freewill for everyone below him.

“Well, boss. He is being held prisoner, along with a gang of criminals at Gran’kothar,” the underling answered. “They were brought in by the PHOENIX, a Federation warship.”

**Hmm, fortunes smile upon me. ** His lips curled into a wide smile, revealing his shiny white teeth with some gold enamel mixed in. “This is excellent news.” He stood up. “I have been waiting for many years to have my revenge on this bastard for his betrayal. By nightfall, Harrad-Tor will be dead.” Turning to his underling, his smile vanished as he sat back down. “Send a message to our spy at the prison camp and have him arrange an accident for Harrad-Tor.” He grinned, knowing he had managed to turn one of the Klingons, an engineer in charge of maintenance of the prison, to his side.

“I will.”

“Also, set course for the Alcyonus System.”

“Yes boss.”

----------------------------

Location: Gran’kothar, ALCYONUS I
Scene: Holding cell
TI: Half hour later


After the away team members were processed – if one could call it that, where all they did was register their names with a Klingon administrator, a rather grumpy woman from what she had recalled. And then they were taken to their assigned cells. Yu sighed, leaning her back against the cold stone wall as she gazed around her surroundings. The Asian knew, compared to a Starfleet brig, the conditions in a Klingon prison were much harsher. There were no flat beds for them to sleep, which meant they had to sleep on the floor. She sighed again, glancing at the Phoenix’s CMO who sat down next to her. She was worried about Heck and Harrad-Tor and hoped the two men along with Marsters were managing.

Samson tilted her head in Yu’s direction. “How are we going to find them? From what I observed on our way here, this prison complex is huge.”

Jasmine knew the ‘them’ the doctor was referring to were the SATET crew and shrugged. “I admit it’s going to be a challenge.” She twisted her upper body a little to face the younger woman. “No information was provided regarding the crew manifest, aside from the Captain.” She paused to inhale. “We do know the ship had a complement of fifty but again besides Book, we don’t have any names or species of rest of the crew. And honestly, I am not even sure the number who served on the ship is even accurate.”

Allison furrowed her brow. “Majority of the prisoners here are Orions, am I correct?”

“Yes.” The raven haired woman nodded. “This prison camp was likely built to hold Orions prisoners and apparently they include criminals belonging to other species.” She frowned. “But like you said this place is huge so it will be a challenge in finding and identifying any member of the crew.”

“We will be allowed outside for exercise and also assigned to some kind of hard labour so perhaps during those times, we could run into other prisoners.”

Jasmine nodded, remembering the Klingon administrator mentioning that they would be permitted to spend an hour in the exercise yard and within the next few hours, a guard would drop by their cell to take them to their labour assignments. The exercise yard or during their work assignment, would provide an opportunity for them to stake out other prisoners who could potentially be part of the SATET.

Then the sounds of loud stomping caught the attention of the two women. Jasmine remained still, her eyes fixed on the large tritanium door, separating the cell from the corridor outside. She watched in silence as the door parted and a rather annoyed Klingon guard stepped in, placing two bowls and cups down on the floor. “Eat. This is gagh, cooked for you delicate humans and some water to quench your thirst,” he informed in a gruff voice, sounding a little disgusted at the word ‘cooked’ and then stepped outside, the door closing behind him.

Jasmine learned forward and paled at the sight of the gagh, which looked to be mashed up reddish yellow and black goo. She cringed, thinking how disgusting and wasn’t planning on eating that stuff no matter what as she was a vegetarian after all. She let out a sigh, hoping they wouldn’t have to stay there for much longer. The sooner they found the SATET crew, the sooner they could leave this wretched place.

--------------------

Scene: Subterranean level mines


While Jasmine and Allison shared a cell, it turned out both Heck and Harrad-Tor were assigned together in another cell. About half hour after the away team’s arrival, both men were taken from their cell by the guards and brought down to the mines for their labour assignment. The assistant Ops officer and the Master-At-Arms were shoved down jagged rocky steps, where they nearly stumbled into each other. When Solorzano leaned against a wall to catch a wall, a guard smacked him in the head with the butt of his rifle. “Move!”

“Alright, alright, can’t I take a moment to breath,” Heck snapped but was then pushed forward by the same guard.

“Silence! You pathetic human scum.”

As both men were shuffled inside the mine, Harrad-Tor shook his head. If only they could get through this assignment in one piece, he’d be satisfied. They were ordered to stop in front of a large rock beside three male Orions, who barely glanced at them as they were hard at work in hitting the rock. He raised an eyebrow, wondering what kind of minerals or resource the Klingons wanted to find and dig out. Or maybe it was simply to keep the prisoners occupied and in line. The undercover officers were each handed a digging tool and ordered to start working. Without protest, Harrad-Tor and Heck began jabbing at the rock, imitating the other Orions.

A couple of minutes had passed in silence, when Heck looked up, sweating and panting for breath. The temperature in the mines were hot. “I just hope Joanna is doing alright,” he mumbled.

Harrad-Tor arched a brow as he lifted the instrument and attacked the rock as if it were an enemy. “You really do care for her.”

“What? No, I don’t, Big Hurrah,” he snapped. “I’m just, you know, concerned for a…”

“Ex-wife?” The green skinned man allowed himself a tiny smile.

“No!”

“A friend, then?”

“No.” He swung at the rock. “No!” He swung again before turning to glare at the Orion. “And no!”

“Well,” Harrad-Tor said, looking away from the other officer. “I am sure she will be alright.”

“Don’t worry.” Heck shrugged, trying to sound convincing. “She’s a survivor.”

----------------------

TI: An hour later


Harrad-Tor exhaled, wiping the sweat off his brow. After an hour’s worth of hard labour in the mine, which was more like an oven, the Orion paused for a moment and glanced around. He raised an eyebrow, speaking in a low whisper. “You know, Heck. It seems – well, at least in this section – that you are the only non-Orion around.”

Heck learned forward, panting for breath and glanced around. His clothes and hair were drenched in sweat. “Yeah, Big Hurrah, you’re right. I’m the only human here.”

“Which isn’t good.” The large man’s shoulders slumped as he wiped the beads of sweat off his bald scalp. “How will we find the crew if we are stuck in here?”

“Maybe it’s just for today and tomorrow, we will be sent to a new assignment.” Heck shrugged, returning to work on stabbing at the rock, letting out low grunts. “Who knows maybe at a new assignment we will be lucky enough to spot some of them.”

“Well…” Harrad-Tor sighed, flapping his loose red tunic, smudged with all kinds of grime and also drenched in sweat. “I just hope Jasmine and Allison have better luck than us.”

---------------------

TI: Twenty minutes later


“Finally a break,” Heck remarked as he and his Orion companion fell into line behind the other Orion miners – all standing in a single file for their meal. “How long have we been down here? I can’t tell if we’re going to have lunch or dinner.”

“I am not sure.” Harrad-Tor shrugged, the ensign now feeling worn out from all that work and was now keen on some food and drink. He heard a rumbling sound and grinned, glancing at the aOps officer. “You are really hungry.”

“Hey, I haven’t eaten since we got here.” He swore under his breath. “Damn those Klingons.” A couple of minutes passed by before their turn came. Both the Orion and Human men eagerly accepted their meal – a bowl of partially cooked mashed up gagh and a cup of stale blood wine. Heck and Harrad-Tor were both so hungry that they didn’t care about how disgusting their food was and followed a group of Orions to some rocks and sat against the wall beside them. Without hesitation, they began gobbling up the gagh and gulped down the wine in one single go.


Heck dropped his bowl and cup and exhaled a sigh of relief. “That was delicious.”

“You wouldn’t be saying that under normal circumstances.” Harrad-Tor chuckled but had to admit the human was right. After over an hour doing hard labour under such hot conditions, anything would have tasted good to them. They were so pre-occupied with their meal that they didn’t notice two Orions seated next to them got up and began approaching them.

Heck was the first to notice them and nudged his fellow officer. “Hey, friends of yours?”

Harrad-Tor blinked until his face blanched when the two Orion prisoners surrounded them, their attention fixed on him. Watching them brush aside Solorzano indicated they had no interest in him, which made the Orion man more nervous. He clenched his fists and wore an expression of resignation. **So Liriss has found me. How? Perhaps he has spies in the prison. ** He became dismayed, wondering how his old boss found out this quickly as he had only just arrived at the prison. Then he felt a strong hand grab a fistful of his clothing.

“Hey!” Heck called out, his eyes widening. “Leave him alone.”

The other Orion prisoner shoved the operations officer against the wall. “Unless you have a death wish, human, stay out of it.” Heck began groaning in pain as he had hit his head on the rocky wall.

The first Orion with his other hand, pulled out a daqtagh and held it over Harrad-Tor’s throat. “Liriss sends you a message,” he spoke in a harsh whisper. “Die.”

Harrad-Tor, now feeling sudden bouts of determination, in one swift move, grabbed his assailant’s wrist – the one holding the knife- twisted it into a joint lock and threw him to the ground, the weapon slipping out of his hand. The knife was spotted tumbling deeper into the mine and disappeared. Before his opponent could stand up, the security officer jumped on him and began punching his face – his eyes blazing with anger. The Orion was so engrossed that he didn’t hear the other Orion attacker come up behind him with a digging instrument. Luckily for him, the assistant Ops officer did.

“Watch out!” Heck shouted, lifting a medium sized rock with sharp edges in the air and then with a loud cry, brought it down over the Orion attacker’s head, making contact with his green scalp. Then the Orion fell over his right side to the ground with a loud thud. Around that time, Harrad-Tor stopped punching the first attacker and glanced behind him, realizing what his crewmate had done for him.

“Not even my first day and I already got into a fight,” Heck remarked with a grin in the direction of the Orion officer. The two barely could catch a breath, when four Klingon guards arrived and two of them immediately grabbed the Starfleet officers. As they were being hauled out of the mine, Solorzano sighed, shaking his head. “Great, so it looks like they will torture us.”

-----------------

Scene: Interrogation Room
TI: An hour later


As soon as they had left the subterranean level, the guards separated the two men, taking them in opposite directions. Now an hour had passed and Harrad Tor had been sitting all by himself in what he guessed to be an interrogation room. He let out a grunt, fidgeting his hands, which were bound together by a silver grey tritanium cuff. Why was he just left alone? Was it a new kind of punishment by the Klingons, which was rather unusual for them? He was puzzled as to why the Klingons didn’t punish him for the altercation with the two Orions. He heard the door sliding open, followed by sounds of footsteps. A Klingon woman appeared beside him. His eyes widened in shock. What was she doing here?”

Dhirrisa smiled, moving to stand opposite him. “Well, this is a surprise. I didn’t expect to see you down here.” The Orion remained silent and just gave her a blank stare. “So, when I discovered you were one of the prisoners the Phoenix sent to us, it got me suspicious.”

Harrad-Tor gulped, growing more nervous. “Liriss knows I am here too,” he said in a low voice.

“I know.” She sighed. “But first I want you to tell me what the Phoenix is really up to and why did they send you down here? Are those criminals with Marsters, undercover Starfleet officers planning to infiltrate our facility?”

Harrad-Tor inhaled in a deep breath and his lack of response irritated the Klingoness.

“Do remember Harrad-Tor that you have agreed to help us in exchange for your lover’s location and your freedom from Liriss,” she warned, her calm voice containing menacing undertones.

The Orion gulped and then sighed. “Well, yes. But I was the only one sent to infiltrate this prison.” His heart raced for having lied to the Klingon intelligence officer.

“Just you?” Dhirrisa raised an eyebrow. “So the three humans who accompanied you and Marsters are not Starfleet?”

“That is correct.” The green man nodded. “Those three humans were just part of Marsters’ gang that we had managed to capture at the Bazaar.”

“Oh I see.” Her voice turned a little high pitched and she then narrowed her eyes. “So you do not at all care about the three humans’ wellbeing, right?”

“No, I don’t care about a bunch of criminals.” Suddenly he felt a pang and now realized there was no turning back. In his view, he had now betrayed his chief and the other two officers. A pity. He was just starting to like Heck.

“Very well, then.” She paced forward. “What is the Phoenix trying to find?”

“Well, the ship had received a low band communications signal from this prison a couple of hours ago.” He paused to catch his breath, feeling disconcerted when the Klingoness’ gaze bore into him. “We do not know who the sender was but I heard the senior staff suspected the signal originated from crewmembers of that missing ship. So we came here and I was chosen to go undercover as prisoner, pretending to be a part of Marsters’ gang.”

“Starfleet believes we are holding the crew of that missing ship they have been searching for?”

“Yes.” He nodded. “Are you?”

But she didn’t answer and her expression turned cold. “A guard will come and take you back to your cell.”

“Understood.”

“Keep close to those humans,” she added, a smile forming at the corner of her lips. “I will call for you if necessary.”

“Okay.” He watched the Klingon strode out of the room and exhaled, suddenly feeling guilt enveloping him. **Sorry, chief. I didn’t want you and the others hurt but I have to return to the love of my life and be free from Liriss once and for all. **

*************************************************************************************

NRPG: So the Jasmine, Allison and the rest of the away team have settled in prison ;) As to when will Jasmine find out about Harrad-Tor’s secret dealings with the Klingons and more subplot stuff like what really happened to Jeeza, that will come in a future post.

~*~
Ranjani S.
Writing for

Lieutenant Jasmine Yu
Chief of Security and Tactical
USS PHOENIX

 

Previous

labels_subscribe