Star Trek PBEM Sim / Star Trek RPG


Title: Remembrances Past, Part Six
Location: Pandora's Box, CO's Stateroom
Flashback Setting (Saldar/Kamranov): Takharesh X

Similarly in his sleep and thanks to the chemical interventions of the CMO in trying to stop and reverse the damage done by recent memory blocking drugs, some of Captain Kamranov's older memories began to return. While his old partner dreampt of one of their earliest missions together, he recalled in his sleep his part in that mission as Saldar in the evacuation and rescuing of the crown prince of Takhareshi people.

-------------------- Dahria Temple, Inner Keep --------------------

Saldar stopped waiting for back up and went in further. He knew the chances of getting any help with all the new fire they were taking were pretty non existent, but still he hoped. He could tell that something back there had gone wrong but he could not tell what. He knew that the odds of him making it in and out safely alone with the prince weren't good either. ~Two more people would have really helped, even one,~. Saldar thought ruefully.

Silently, he moved in further and further by both instinct and training. He carefully used the alien scanner on passive mode, hoping there weren't any energy sensors that would pick it up. He stopped for a moment to try and read it before entering the next chamber. He would have given a lot right now to be using even a poor quality Starfleet scanner in Federation Standard than trying to rapidly make out the alien symbols. When he was assigned this sector, he had worked very diligently to learn as many of the languages here as possible and had done quite well, but reading them was a lot harder.

The man who taken the identity of Saldar, had a gift for languages when spoken, but reading them was much more challenging for him. He had learned several languages verbally at a young age and also multiple styles of sign language, but he had not learned to read and write until he was near his teens.

Satisfied he had picked out enough nouns and verbs to proceed, he did. He slowly checked the threshold, jamb, mullion, architrave and every part of the door to the next chamber and looked around the corner. He saw no one. Saldar let out a sigh of relief and moved again slowly trying to keep in range of good places to hide in the immense room. He silently reached the third pillar and paused for a second to be sure he was crossing the room in the right direction. He saw the large door on the other side and that confirmed his route. He knew it was easy to lose your bearings inside a building that was built in a maze like fashion as the Dahria Temple.

Suddenly, Saldar heard voices and a heavy door open. He quickly ducked behind the pillar and hid the tiny scanner in one of his long sleeves and resumed the posture of a beggar of the Mardakain Caste. If he was discovered, he hoped they would buy his cover. He'd act as a holy fool who had somehow wandered and gotten lost, but it still wouldn't go well for him. The Mardakain caste was treated as dung. If they didn't kill him immediately or beat him unconscious on principle, he had planned to spin a story that would hopefully get him to see the High Priest of the Temple. He was fairly sure that that the Priest was not in on the kidnapping plot. At this point, Saldar was beginning to believe that it was a very inside job with some help from near the top.

Saldar couldn't prove anything yet, but he did think something was very wrong with the information that Starfleet had received a few months ago. He thought initially that the group that he was told that had taken the young prince had done so and hid him without the main party's knowledge. Being a veteran spook, he knew in the realm of conspiracies, lies, palace politics, murder and kidnapping that anything could happen and to never trust anyone or any information. His gut had been telling him that someone from the main party was certainly involved a month ago and ever since he spoke to that commander back in the bunker the feeling only grew stronger.

The voices got closer and closer. Saldar imagined himself empty of emotions and feelings and as cold and lifeless as the pillar he was behind as he listened for any clues that might help him find the prince and escape.

The men spoke in an obscure dialect belonging to the ancestors of the royal family. It took several sentences before Saldar was able to recognize enough to figure that out and to work on translating it. He had made an effort to learn some basics of Rahndarain before he met the ruling family of this planet a few years back. As he slowly translated parts and tried to commit the rest to memory and risked keeping the scanner on to catch it, he recognized one of the voices.

~Oh no,~ Saldar thought. ~If I am right, we've been compromised at the highest level and there is no hope to keep the child alive as planned even if I can get him out.~ Saldar continued to listen and record since he could not risk moving. If he was able to get back to the others, the voice could be analyzed and the identity confirmed.

Five Earth minutes later, the men left and Saldar believed that he had identified another of the voices. He went forward with he plan he had formulated earlier to escape from the Keep. He had ideas for changing the last part of it later when he hoped he'd have a small bit of down time to work more on the details. There was no way he would return the prince to those who were keeping him now and follow the orders that Starfleet Intelligence had given him.

Several more chambers and near mishaps later, Saldar found the room where he thought the prince was being held. He slid the scanner into one of the pockets of his garments and took out a small device, leaving it behind a pillar. He reached behind his ears to grab the cord to which his breathing plugs were attached, hoisted up the plugs and inserted them in his nostrils. He readied a canister of toulemyne gas, moved out of sight and pushed a button on his wrist band.

Click! Clack! Pop! The sound was heard several meters from the guards. One of the four broke off to investigate.

Saldar tossed the padded canister towards the remaining three from the opposite direction of the sound. It landed silently right where Saldar wanted it, obscured behind a statue. The three men started to get drowsy and lost their sense of perspective and identity as the gas did its silent work.

The fourth man returned having found the device that made the distraction. "It's a decoy. We are being set up..." he started to say before succumbing to the gas and becoming disoriented. His comrades finally fell to the floor. Then it was his turn and he fell as well.

Saldar quickly disabled three of the crakstows and took their energy packs and the fourth disruptor with him along with the pocket device that had made the sound. He aimed his scanner at the door carefully, passively at first then actively. It did not register any signs of traps. Knowing that was no guarantee it was indeed clear, he tentatively opened the door and peered in. He saw a cot in the corner and scanned some more to confirm that there were no surprises hiding in there. He turned the scanner on active again to find out the identity of who or what was under the blankets. Satisfied that there was a person there and that the DNA matched the young prince, he approached.

"Your majesty," Saldar said in Rahndii language and in the manner of someone respectful of the prince's position. "I would be exceedingly honored if you would accompany me out of this place and to somewhere safer." Saldar waited, fully expecting that once the prince saw his beggarly guise and identified him with the lowest caste, that the young captive would voice his royal objection to Saldar's mere presence in the temple and forbid him speak or touch his royal person.

Rahdemi, the crown prince whose father had been assassinated and was soon to be ruler of the dynasty until he was kidnapped, peered tearfully under one of the blankets to see who was there. He saw a man from the Mardakain Caste, worn, beaten, and disheveled. As he coughed, he searched the beggar's eyes. The beggar looked directly at him and Rahdemi no fear or loathing of him, just compassion. The young prince felt the same. He also saw an unexpectedly bright intelligence and fierce determination burning behind the beggar's eyes.

"You may," the little prince said bravely.

Saldar was relieved. ~That went better than he expected, now the harder part,~ Saldar thought. ~How am I going to get him to let me touch him, carry him and do it quickly?~ he wondered.

Rahdemi crawled out from under the blankets. Saldar was moved further with compassion for the boy and disgust at the captors. The child didn't look like he had been fed properly in a long time. Saldar tried hard to push his anger aside. Anger could cloud his mind and color his decisions. It was a good tool to provoke for the enemy on occasion to help them make a mistep but should be avoided personally as it took away from the business of getting things done right.

"Come," he said. "We must hurry."

The prince got out of the bed as fast as he could, but he was very weak and his little legs shook. They gave out and he flopped back on the bed.

Saldar moved forward, working on his next speech to persuade the prince to let him carry him.

As he did so, Rahdemi made the universal child's motion of putting his arms in the air to be picked up. Saldar was relieved. That was much easier than he thought based his research into how the royals were raised and what he experienced in an earlier meeting with the ruling family.

Saldar scooped him up quickly in his strong arms and held him. He could feel the boys emaciated but tense body beginning to relax as the boy started to feel safe. Saldar held the boy gently but tighter for a moment as if to say everything will be OK.

"I have a mask for you to help you breathe," he started to say shifting to holding the boy in one arm and reaching into a pocket for the mask.

"Will it hurt?" he asked.

"No," Saldar said, "it will just feel and look funny." He had a fair idea of how to speak with children in these situations as he had rescued many before the prince. Search and Rescue was one of his specialities before he became Sector Chief. He also knew what it was like to be on the other side, that of a child being rescued out of a war zone.

The prince didn't say anything but looked at him expectantly, so Saldar slipped it on. Saldar left the cell quickly with the child after rearranging the cot to look as if the prince still cowered beneath the threadbare blanket. Saldar peered out behind the door. Satisfied it was safe, he shut the door and rearranged the bodies of the four guards to make it look like they were still awake on duty.

Then he and the little prince disappeared from the Temple and into the night.

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Character Biographies:

CO, Captain Nikolai Kamranov
CMO, Commander Vilotanzia Bounlutay
ACEO,Lieutenant Commander Piper Chayton
COMMO, Lieutenant Llewellyn Moreau
AIO, Lieutenant Peel
VLO, Sublieutenant Yunarra
AIO, Ensign Molly Ferweiler


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