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Part of Starbase Bravo: Sundered Wings and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

Open the Gates

Civilian In-Processing
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Heriah took a breath.

Desks were set up, computer terminals were up and running, PADDs were ready for processing information and other equipment was on and ready to be used in any event. Medical personnel were spread about the area. Junior officers from Command were also present as well as plenty of civilian volunteers and enlisted on top of a quartermaster and his team. Heriah was given a team of a few counselors and enlisted counseling assistants and they too were spread about the area. Colorful felt ropes were put in place to help the flow of the foot traffic that was about to come down upon them all. There were some Ops personnel but she did not spot Cynndle just yet.

‘Could be busy elsewhere.’

The bay doors from the civilian docking area slid open and already a near stampede of people exploded inward. Though there were ‘Quiet Please’ signs all over the walls, everyone speaking all at once caused the decibels to increase dramatically and the voices to merge into one constant and thunderous rumble. And, of course there was escalation. As two people who were talking, suddenly realized they could not hear each other, they raised their voices. As did the rest of the herd of multitudinous races and species comprising civilians, those arriving for the Crisis Summit, travelers, refugees, adults, children, races who appeared to be lions, some as tigers, a few as bears.

“Oh my,” said Heriah.

Immediately Bravo personnel burst into action, shouting and pointing, helping people find where they needed to go. Medical personnel were on the spot with their medical tricorders and first aid kits to help anyone who was injured. Counseling was there for mental health, to help reunite children with their parents or to get them all together in areas for their parents to find them later.

It did not take long for a small hand to grab at Heriah’s. She instinctively took it and looked down to see a Romulan child sucking his thumb and looking at her with these large puppy eyes. He had yellow-greenish subdermal splotches for bruises. His hair was a mess and he said nothing at all. Heriah quickly scooped him up, shielded him, and shouldered her way to the child collection area. It was really an area of storage rooms filled with toys and food for the children and to keep some separate from others in the event violence was to ensue among them.

Heriah saw that violence was probably not going to ensue as she saw the varied volunteers already herding children clearly not being accompanied by parents or guardians. Many of the female volunteers were Qowat Milat nuns. As they generally fought for lost causes, and as they felt them finding the parents of all the children was going to be a lost cause, they openly offered their skills, sans their weapons of course.

She handed the Romulan child off to a human worker who immediately consoled the child and took him to a play area with other Romulans. None of the Qowat Milat moved. They simply stared out and kept guard. Should any strange adult come forward without a picture or a name or no recognition from the other children, that would be when the Qowat Milat would move and not to the benefit of the strange adult either.

Heriah ventured back into the slow stampede. She called out her profession, shouted for Romulans to go toward one direction, Bolians that way, humans another way, and on and on. She answered questions quickly, pointed adults toward where the children were if they were looking for the children, toward the quartermaster if they were looking for billets, customs if they were looking to stay a while, security for asylum, engineering if they had damaged tech. Command staff were busy likewise herding people this way and that, taking notes and stock and other information for station census records.

Heriah came upon an obese Romulan who quickly spat out his name and title to the first Starfleet uniform he came across. And that uniform was Heriah.

“I am here for the crisis summit,” he shouted over the other shouting voices. “I have a grievance…” and the commotion increased drowning out his words.

It did not really matter though, as Heriah did not have the time to really care about who he was or what he was doing. She was already pointing him toward the Romulan checkpoint as he did not seem to be in need of any counseling. From deep within her memory, streaming from the Rex symbiont, Heriah recalled an old Romulan war cry, typically shouted by one who was attacking, one who expected to die in the attack as he was willing to give over his very life to accomplish his goal. And this war cry was actually audible in Heriah’s ears. Despite the chaotic sounds of everyone talking and shoving and moving this way and that, Heriah heard the war cry. There came a small opening to her side, behind the obese Romulan and that opening was quickly filled by another Romulan, fire in his eyes, gritting his teeth and balling his fists. Those fiery eyes were set upon the back of the head of the obese Romulan. Heriah quickly pushed him forward, stepped into the way of the attacker and, just as Refkin would have done, she posited her thenar webspace into his throat, ran an arm under his own arm, grabbing his shoulder blade, tripped him and flung him to the floor.

“Go. Sir.” She pointed at the obese Romulan. “Go. That way. Now.”

As he scampered off, Heriah lifted the attacking Romulan to his feet. He did not provide much help as he was coughing profusely and holding his throat, temporarily unable to speak. An enlisted security personnel arrived and Heriah handed the attacker off to him. She did not care what the situation was, though it was most likely squabbling among Romulan factions as the empire was in shambles. Again, she paid it no further mind.

What Heriah did pay mind to was the opening of a door in the distance. For this event, it was meant for Starfleet and other authorized personnel only and, as a Starfleet uniform stepped through, out of the corridor and into this madhouse, Heriah caught sight of a ponytail fluttering about and going into the corridor as the oblivious Starfleet personnel was stepping away. She lost him in the fray but shouted and shouldered her way to that door and went through.

With the rumble of the madhouse continuing but muffled to a great and agreeable degree, Heriah looked forward and saw no one else in the corridor; no little person with a ponytail.

“Little girl,” Heriah called out assuming it was a little girl. She stepped forward and came upon an intersection. “Little girl!” Looking in each direction to include from where she came, Heriah saw no one. She picked a direction and started off in a light jog. “Little girl.”

Up ahead, Heriah heard what sounded like the work of an engineer. A wall panel was removed and then quickly replaced. “Hey,” she called out, but upon rounding the next intersection in the direction of the sound, Heriah saw no one. She turned and thought she saw the final glimpse of the little girl disappear down the next intersection.

‘Just like those old Earth movies,’ and she started in a jog toward that location but again was met with an empty corridor as she arrived.

“Little girl!” she called out again but was already expecting no response.

Heriah did spot something out of the ordinary though. Recalling the removal and replacement of a wall panel she heard earlier, she saw what looked to be an awkwardly replace wall panel. One corner was sticking out as though someone replaced it in a hurry and scurried off. Grabbing the panel, Heriah removed it. Placing it to the side, she looked in at what the panel was protecting and saw some cut wires and what she recognized as a nonfunctional power relay.

She looked in all directions and still there was no little girl. Also, there was no suspect. Heriah only hoped the two were not the same person and that some sign, fingerprints or the like, were left behind for someone to find.

Sighing, she slapped at her commbadge. “Rex to Oin’sun. Better grab Lihran. I found another power junction tampered with. And avoid standard turbolifts as you approach docking. It’s a madhouse down here. Better take a maintenance lift instead.”


  • Well - I feel that Cynndle has to get involved now. Next solo and JPs are sorted - I hadn't even considered Cynndle working at the Civilian in-processing but that makes perfect sense! Yet another great addition to Heriah's arc and the inner workers of her mind and Rex's for that matter. I personally enjoyed the possible interpretations of the little girl and am very interested to see where Heriah and Rex progress from here.

    June 1, 2022
  • You've done a lovely job here of setting the scene at Starbase Bravo. Your prose ably captures the lively and unpredictable stampede of refugees flooding the station -- almost as unpredictable as what bubbles out of the depths of Rex's memories! Heriah's ability to stop the assassin so smoothly caught me off-guard, even with all we know of the Rex symbiont. And I really appreciated the juxtaposition of Heriah and the Qowat Milat's care for the lost children at the start of the post, compared to the mysterious lost child / saboteur(???) at the end of the post. At this point, I'm truly hoping for an 8 year old Tal Shiar agent!

    June 3, 2022
  • I am utterly fascinated by this apparent gang of little lost girls running around the station! There's a great sense of flurry, almost overwhelming activity taking place, which makes sense given the crisis at hand and the sudden influx of refugees. Hariah stepping in to confront the angry young romulan male is great because it's not the sort of thing one might expect from a counselor, and it works especially well because she's just reacting as old training tells her to—no bravado, just simple action. It says something about her, too: she's interested in helping the kids, and anyone who gets in the way of that had better get out of her way.

    June 4, 2022