Part of USS Odyssey: Between The Feathers Of Destiny and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

Pulled Out Of The Fire

Vorash, Vorash system, Velorum Sector, Beta Quadrant
Stardate: 77365.6
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The darkness was starting to become familiar; the odd flash of light from low-powered light sources dotted on the cave walls didn’t do much in illuminating their current location. That said, it was how their Reman captors preferred it. 

With their hands tied behind their backs and tight shackles around their feet, everyone from Hunsen and Lenjir’s teams was sitting on the floor, unable to do a thing. Hunsen and Lenjir were incarcerated beside one another. As the senior-most officers of their group, they had been separated from the others. The Remans weren’t stupid. 

Their warden, as Lenjir had nicknamed him, kept on coming back and forth while his fellow brethren remained vigilantly on guard with disrupter rifles in their hands. None wore military attire; they all wore baggy, dirty clothing. Hunsen could sense their conviction and steadfastness from their feelings. They believed in this Veruk fellow, he was the person that had led their population since arriving on Vorash, and anything he said went. 

Veruk entered the room, dangling his rifle in his hands as he approached the two senior officers. The dust had covered most of their uniforms, and their faces were smudged with the dirt they had been pushed into. Storming over to Hunsen, Veruk picked up the Betazoid engineer by the scruff of his collar and pulled him across the cavern. 

“You, tell me what your captain will do,” Veruk said as he pushed Hunsen into a nearby large rock. His hand was gripped around Hunsen’s neck as he aimed his disruptor at his face.

“Veruk, you and I know Captain McCallister will want us back. I don’t understand why you are holding us captive.” Hunsen answered as he tried to grab hold of his breath.

“We know of the plans to take Vorash back into the Romulan Star Empire; we won’t return to being slaves.” Veruk snarled back. 

“The Romulan Star Empire has collapsed,” Lenjir shouted from where he sat. 

Veruk turned towards Lenjir and fired his weapon at the security chief. He purposely missed him by a few centimetres. His shot-blasted against the cavern rock, creating a pile of dust to fall on Lenjir. “QUIET!” He roared at his prisoner before turning back to Hunsen. “Now tell me, Betazoid, what your captain will do! I know he is not the same man he was when we first met. Time has changed him.”

“What do you mean?” Hunsen coughed as he fought for air. 

“We know the years since you helped us all those years that a lot has changed; we know that McCallister had suffered significant losses, and he now won’t hesitate to do whatever it took,” Veruk replied, re-aiming his weapon back at Hunsen’s forehead. “So, I’ll ask you one more time, what will he do?”

“He’ll most likely send the Hazard Teams after trying a diplomatic approach,” Hunsen said as he closed his eyes and winced at what Veruk would do next.

As he let go of Hunsen, Veruk chucked the chief engineer to the floor and kicked him in his side as he fell. “Pathetic.” He spat out as he stormed off.

Hunsen coughed in reaction to his assault as he tried to sit up.

“Tremt, you okay?” Lenjir asked from across the room. Everyone else was looking at the chief engineer with concern.

He nodded. “I’m fine, thanks, Cline,” Hunsen said as he tried to recompose himself and get his breath back. Hunsen was then overwhelmed when he could sense something. Not something, but someone. 

Imzadi

Seconds later, explosions, weapons fire and shouting could be heard from all around them. 

“Get down on the floor,” Lenjir shouted at the top of his lungs.

Following the command from the security chief, everyone pushed themselves to the floor as more exchanges of energy weapons could be heard, along with the clanging noise of people fighting with blades. 

Trying to figure out what was happening, Hunsen focused on finding Louwanna again through their telepathic link. She was nearby, and then they fully connected. He could tell she was worried about him, and she was on a team making its way towards them quickly but quietly as they were wading through water. 

Hunsen smiled at knowing that help was finally arriving. 

It didn’t take long before the Hazard Teams broke through the Reman lines and arrived in the cavern. The arrival of portable airborne drones ahead of the teams assisted their rescue. With huge flood lights attached, the bright light was enough to blind the Remans for the Starfleet team to stun the guards. However, Hunsen was surprised to see Qowat Milat members fighting the Remans in hand-to-hand combat. Several nuns were fighting Remans with their swords. Hearing one of the warrior nuns ask the Remans to choose to live made Hunsen smirk. The Remans ignored her plea, which they soon regretted as the heavily trained fighters overwhelmed them and knocked the Remans out. Noticing they were not killing their Reman brothers, Hunsen wondered that something must have happened for the Qowat Milat not to take such a different approach to their combat rituals. 

“Oh my god, Tremt, are you alright?” came the concerned tone of Horin as she appeared from another tunnel with Tomaz, Flemen and other Hazard team members. They were soaking wet and moved quickly across the cavern to help their fellow officers out of their restraints.

“I’m a lot better now that you’re here,” Hunsen smirked as she cut him loose. He was impressed to see her in full tactical body gear with a rifle strapped to her back and her hair tied up into a tight bun. “How come you guys are on the rescue op?”

“Let’s just say I offered to be a living, breathing tricorder,” Horin answered as she took off the last shackle around his feet. 

Once he was free, Hunsen pulled Horin close to him and kissed her passionately. “Thank the four deities you’re here.” He told her after they finished their embrace.

“Absolutely.” She smiled back before handing him her handheld phaser and then pulled him onto his feet.  

On the other side of the cavern, Keli had approached Lenjir and was helping her superior out. “I was wondering how long before you lot arrived.” He said. 

“Better late than never,” Keli replied as she cut his hands loose. “However, we need to move quickly.”

“You won’t get an argument from me,” Lenjir said as he pulled the remains of his handcuffs off him, “I see you brought out Gamma team too.”

“Captain’s orders, along with Commander Tomaz’s idea of bringing Sister Jew’leanar and her band of merry-ladies,” Keli said, indicating toward the nuns helping secure the area. 

“Every bit helps!” He replied as he was finally released. 

Before she could hand him a phaser, Jew’leanar’s voice echoed across the cavern as she called out to Veruk, who approached him. 

“Veruk, you fool!” She called at him. “Your actions have dishonoured us all. Why have you attacked those who have come to help us?”

“I won’t let my people return to a life of slavery we endured before.” He called back. 

Confused by his words, Jew’learnar shook her head. “There are no plans for such things to take place, my brother,” She replied. “You have been forced fed lies.”

“No, we have not,” Veruk shouted. “We found the report from the Ferengi about this new provisional’s government’s plan to sell Vorash to the highest bidder from the Star Empire. They don’t care about us. We are worthless to them; we won’t let them take us or what we have built here.”

“Those are Tal Shiar lies!” Jew’leanar remarked. “You know I have always been honest with you, so trust me now when I tell you that I have the proof to back up my claims. That proof has been delivered to us by the hands of your own brother.”

“My b-b-brother?” Veruk stuttered. “Taratek?”

“Yes.” She answered. “His vessel has arrived. Captain McCallister’s crew have verified his report, and the damage to Vorash can be restored. Please, my friend, choose to live. Choose to remain with us too. Choose to return back to what we’ve built together. These lies have hurt our people. This cannot continue.”

Veruk took a moment to listen to her words. Eventually, he lowered his rifle and dropped it to the floor. Appreciating the gesture, she thanked him with a nod as Jew’leanar nodded to the Starfleet crew to get themselves out of the cavern. 

Pulling their injured crewmates out of their holding pen and towards one of the tunnels and escape back to the beam in site, the teams from the Odyssey made their way through the dark underpasses and to their safe location. 

Tapping on her combadge, Keli called out to their ship. “Hazard Team Alpha Leader to the Odyssey packages secure. We’re ready to return home.”

“Great work, lieutenant. Standby.” The captain announced over her combadge.

Moments later, everyone was beamed out of the tunnel and back on the Odyssey. 

Knowing the Starfleet officers were finally out of harm’s way, Jew’leanar turned to Veruk and lowered her sword. “It should have never got out of hand like this, Veruk. It’s not what we agreed all those years ago. Join me in finding a way to start the healing process for our people.”

Seeing her hand extended towards him, Veruk relented and stepped forward to take it. “Show me these claims first.”

“Of course.” She agreed with a simple nod. 

The road back to some normality was before them now.  

Comments

  • Veruk is such a well-drawn antagonist here. He's impassioned and seemingly-immovable, but he remains sympathetic because of his devotion to his people. I thought it clever for Veruk to anticipate McAllister based on an extrapolation of his knowledge, while acknowledging he could still know more. His attempt to leverage Hunsen for his insights made a lot of sense -- if cruel in execution. Hunsen's relief at help arriving was really rather heart-warming, right from that first "Imzadi". And you got a fist-pumping YES out of me from the drones flying with in flood lights and a whole pack of warrior nuns with swords. You really drew this together in a satisfying, and emotional, conclusion to that conflict!

    July 9, 2022
  • Tremt Hunsen

    Executive Officer

  • Tomaz

    Chief Strategic Operations Officer
    Chief Intelligence Officer
    Second Officer

  • Craigen Flemen

    Chief Diplomatic Officer
    Staff Judge Advocate
    Third Officer

  • Louwanna Horin

    Captain of Counselling

  • Keli

    Chief Security & Tactical Officer

  • Cline Lenjir

    USS Themis
    Chief Security & Tactical Officer
    Third Officer
    Former Chief Security & Tactical Officer