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Part of USS Edinburgh: Mission 1 – What Burns in the Darkness and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

The Cell

USS Edinburgh
May 16, 2400
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USS Edinburgh – Holding Cells – 1545

“She’s not in the system.”  Kondo spoke with his commander at the door to the holding cells, “She’s young…maybe 20 years old.  She was armed with a pretty powerful disrupter – set to kill.  Wouldn’t have taken much from her range to end us both.”

Harris muttered, “The careful is what wins the day, and it certainly kept us in one piece.”  He turned to his Romulan Science Chief, “You sure about this?”

A mild growl, “Commander, as I’ve told you – I am old enough, tired enough, and furious enough to not worry about whatever it is that you think should be preventing me from stepping into that room.”  A side glance, “Your thoughtfulness is somewhat endearing, if not annoying.”

“I’ll take thoughtfully annoying on my officer survey forms any day of the week, Lieutenant.  Shall we?”  He stepped forward as the security chief led them into the room and into the light, facing the sole occupant of the cells.  Harris stepped up and sat in one of the chairs.  Thasaz remained in the darkness.  He pulled out his PADD and tapped at it as he spoke, “Good evening.  I’m Commander Ambrose Harris of the USS Edinburgh.  You are currently in our custody for a variety of charges that I believe you’ve been advised about by my security chief.”  He looked up and met her glance, “I’m here to ask you a simple question – where are the rest of my crew?”

The Romulan Officer looked like she should – they had removed her disguise by erasing the genetic modifications and returning her ears to their standard state.  She was dressed in a simple tunic, and her eyes darted from Harris to Kondo and back again.  “They are hopefully dead, Starfleet scum.”  There was a fiery rage that littered her words, Harris decided.  But there was a second thing he felt looking at her…she was alone and behind a force field.

He leaned forward, “I don’t believe that for a second.  Whoever’s playing this game isn’t going to let whatever power they imagine they have over us simply be taken off the board.”  He took notes on his PADD, “They sent you to kill my doctor – and you might have managed it.”  He looked up at her, “But Mr. Kondo here would have either killed you or heavily stunned you as quick as you had fired.  So what was the endgame?”

She worked her mouth trying to find the words to fire back.  It took her a moment to say, “They were going to transport me out.  I was going to escape…and celebrated for killing a Starfleet officer.”

Thasaz chose that moment to step forward into the light and stood beside Harris.  “They left as soon as we arrived.  We tried to follow them, but they fled into the inner sanctum of this system.”  She sat, and crossed her legs, “You must know they threw you to the Starfleet dogs.”  Turning to her CO, “No offense.”

Ambrose shrugged, “I’ve always thought of myself as a Golden Retriever, so I’m not mad about it.  Now, if you said mongrel…I’d have to disagree.”

“You…are in their uniform?  You sit next to them?  You serve with them?”  The young woman stood against the forcefield, her once fading quiet rage now inflamed and burning, “You are a disgrace to us.”  She cursed Thasaz and spat at the floor.

Harris shrugged, “Lieutenant Thasaz is on a revenge tour, one that we’re kind of joining up with at the moment.  You’re never going to see the light of day or probably see home again.”  He stood and approached the barrier, “You are our only link to our missing crew…and to the attackers who murdered everyone aboard the Pentax…and to the attack on our previous ship.  You will live in darkness while we bring light to your group and bring justice for the dead and dying.”  He nodded back to Kondo, “He’ll ask you questions every day, maybe more.  It’ll be a standard list.  He will abide by the conditions that govern prisoners of war and the like.  You won’t be mistreated while in our care, I promise you that.”  He gave her one last look, “But you’re not going to be celebrated.  You are going to answer for your part in this.”  He stood and handed the PADD to Thasaz, “You may have more luck with her.”  He left the room and headed back to The Castle.

The science chief crossed her legs, “So, you have a name?”

The woman spat at the ground again, her eyes boring into the traitor that sat before her.  “You don’t deserve to hear it, swine.  Traitor.  Faelirh ch’susse-thrai.”

Thasaz chuckled, “Oh dear child, there is no combination of the Romulan, English, or even Klingon language that I have not heard the worst of in my lifetime.  You can call me all the names in all the books you wish, but you won’t escape this prison.  They must think you dead already.”  She leaned back, “I’ve seen your story more than I care to count.  They take the young meat and toss them in the grinder to get what they want…be it power, influence, or just to scare the hell out of their enemies.”

Silence from the cell.

“I wish you could have lived the life I lived…the one where I escaped this dogma, this…faith of death.  Only those that are willing to stand on the bodies of their friends, family, and fellow officers can get to where you aspired to get.  Influence is bought with blood and guts.”  She crossed her legs the other way, “They wouldn’t have chosen you if they thought you had something bigger than a meaningless death.”

“I am not meaningless.  I have meaning.”  There was more pout than power in her words now and Thasaz resisted the urge to smile.  Sometimes it was a matter of finding the right word, or the right memory.  In the case of this young woman, it was her ego and hubris.

The science chief waved a dismissive hand, “You may think those things…but they did not.  You want to have meaning?  You want to live beyond these four walls?  You want to see what this universe has to offer?”  She rose from the chair and stood inches from the barrier, “You must make a choice to save what time you have left.”  

The woman stared at her but something had shifted in how she looked at Thasaz.  Something just below the surface.  “I…will need time to think.”

She chuckled, “You have plenty of that.  Let me know when you’re ready to talk.”  Thasaz turned and motioned to Kondo who tapped at the console.  The secure walls shifted back in place over the forcefield and secured the woman behind walls once more.

Kondo turned to her as he tapped the button making the cell soundproof and the window to her cell became opaque.  “You think she will talk?  She seems pretty set in her ways.”

The science chief stopped at the door, “I was once like her, Chief Kondo.  I had murder in my eyes and hate in my heart…someone changed my eyes and adjusted my heartbeat.  It feels like so long ago…but every species is capable of change.  She may surprise us yet.”  She left and headed back to the bridge.  

Ensign Kondo De La Fontaine looked from her departure and back to the ensconced cell muttering, “Here’s hoping you’re right.”