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Behind Enemy Lines

September 19, 2016

The crackle of static announces the brightening of a still black screen. The sizzling sound of an electrical short followed by a quietly muttered curse follows. Suddenly the screen turned from black to a fuzzy, dusty grey. Then came a rag wiping the lens off followed by another curse as the screen turned to a close-up of a man’s shirt, so close you could almost tell the thread count.

“James, this recording light is on. I think it’s starting to work.” A woman’s excited voice comes from somewhere to the right.

“Yeah, but no way to tell if it can transmit, or if the microphone still works.” Came the reply, sounding quietly hopeful.

“I’m doing the best I can with scavenged parts, I’m not a miracle worker. There, if this thing’s gonna work at all, it’ll be now.”

“I know Sam. You’re the best in the station at what you do.” This James replied as he stepped back from the lens.

As he moved back the scene begins to take shape around him. Debris and rubble litter the area, his own clothing is dusty, torn, and in a few places, dots of dried blood can be seen on his shirt sleeves. He looks tired, haggard even, that things haven’t gone well for him is obvious.

“This is James Devlin, until the Gorn invasion I was a reporter here on Cestus for FNS. I don’t know if anyone can see this, hear me, or if this is even transmitting at all, but I have to try and get the word off planet. It’s been weeks since the Gorn invaded, I wish I could be more exact, but the days just run together.” He looks around, drawing a deep breath and letting it out slowly. “I… I’m not sure where to begin, so much has happened.

“The initial orbital bombardment was over quickly, only a few hours, but as you can see around me, it did extensive damage in the cities. Then came the Gorn themselves. They arrived by shuttle, transport ships, and transporter. They overran the capital in little more than a day. Patrols are everywhere, curfews are in effect, if you’re lucky enough to have somewhere to go at night anyway. Prison camps have been erected outside the city, Sam do we still have that footage we shot?”

“Nope. That was on the drone the lizards shot last week when they saw us filming.”

“Well we did have footage anyway. Civilians are kept in one camp and any Starfleet personnel the Gorn find are put in another. There are shelters, but they can’t be enough for everyone and I don’t want to guess at the treatment people are getting there. There are even rumors of people just disappearing, both from the streets and the camps, usually after a patrol has been through the area.” The man visibly shuddered at the idea that ran through his mind.

“I think we’re transmitting James.” Came Sam’s voice from off screen with a sense of urgency. “Liazards just moved into the area. Even money they’re tracking the transmission signal. We gotta move.”

“I.. uhm.. this is James Devlin signing off! Hopefully we can still report tomorrow or the next day.” James moved back in to the camera to shut it down.

“Yeah if they don’t catch…”