Star Trek PBEM Sim / Star Trek RPG


Title: Remembrances Past, Part Ten
Location: Pandora's Box, CO's Stateroom
Flashback Setting (Emma): Takharesh X

Ensign Emma Peel promised the Intel Sector Chief that she would take care of those that had helped them. He was very concerned about this that no one who had helped and risked for them be left behind in the war zone unless that was their choice. After ensuring the survivors of that group except for one family were ready to escape the planet, she went to the rendezvous coordinates. She was to meet her Chief, who was posing as Saldar the Beggar and the crown prince in a safe house there.

She arrived at the prearranged coordinates and waited... and waited. When she could wait no longer, she entered the caves trying to remember the route that her Chief had showed her before and some good hiding places near the entrance. Intel and Starfleet resources were stretched past the breaking point between the war effort and evacuation. She had to go alone, but she knew she needed back up.

Before entering, Emma checked one last time for new reports and found out that Village Tescahdehn had been taken over and a search of the area begun last night. She flinched realizing that she might be too late to save them. She delayed no longer and entered, grateful that her side of the caves did not have bats, snakes or other creepy crawlies and that Saldar used to help protect his exit and escape on the other side of this series of maze like tunnels. The darkness and cramped spaces gave her much intrepidation as she squeezed herself down the hole and landed. There was barely room to shift to begin crawling.

As Emma crawled, she recalled all the details of this part of the caves and the warnings not to use her light too early into the caves as it could be easily seen from outside if someone was watching.

A few hours later and finally with enough room to stand up and start running, she felt an explosion hit the caves in the distance. A few minutes later she heard another. This one was much nearer now. She momentarily lost her footing and rushed on. As she turned the corner, she began coughing heavily. She could see nothing but great invasive clouds of dust and the newly fallen rocks from the collapsing cave ceiling in her way. She wrapped her scarf across her face to filter out some of the dust.

Using her scanner she checked to see how deep the pile was and if there was a chance of another path working out. She knew a big detour this close to the rendezvous coordinates was to be avoided if possible. She did not want to miss them.

The scanner told her something that surprised her. The readings showed three life forms, a man and two children. She hurriedly began removing the rocks to search for the people underneath. ~Perhaps they could tell me if they saw Saldar and where he went with the prince?~ she thought.

It didn't take her long to find part of the tattered clothes of a beggar. Minutes later, she was able to find the body and the blood stained head covering. She gently worked it away, fearing the worse and found the face of her friend and Chief. She brushed his cheek lovingly with her hand and his eyes struggled to open.

"The children," he croaked out.

Emma stroked his cheek again but was too overwhelmed to talk and concentrated all her efforts into action. She removed more rocks and she found the two children alive and well. They were shielded and saved by him when the explosions came.

The children were conscious so she talked to them as she got them out of the rubble trying to be careful to not injure the Chief further.

When the children were freed, they immediately began to try and help her dig Saldar out. The Prince told Emma to be careful of Saldar's foot that was injured earlier and asked her careful questions to see what side she was on.

"Side?" she said with disdain. "There is no side here. Just facets of the same corrupt heartless stone. The only side I am on is his side," she said pointing to her friend. "Saldar's side," she started to weep unable to hold the tears back any longer.

The Prince pointed to the girl with him. "That is the side we are on. We will get him out," he said to reassure her as he began to come into his own and find his strength.

There was nothing Emma wanted more than getting her friend out, but from her earlier scans, no equipment and no other adult to help her, it didn't look possible. She tried to stay positive and remembered a quote he used when told the odds of a mission. "The impossible? That is what we do best," he used to say with a wink in one eye and firm conviction shining out the other.

"Your foot?" she asked Saldar. Getting him out wasn't working but she kept trying anyway.

"Good news. It doesn't hurt anymore," he replied weakly trying to joke. "You need to leave now. They are coming for the Prince and they don't want him alive. Take the necklace and give it to him later."

Then he switched to a language that he thought the children should not recognize. "Check me for tech. All Federation traces must be removed and take the indigenous scanner and wristband. Read it all, then destroy them. I want you to know what happened in case it becomes important one day, but I can't risk this all falling into the wrong hands. Trust no one."

Emma didn't believe he had any Federation technology, because he was always extremely cautious and careful about that, but checked what parts of him that weren't buried under rock to put his mind at ease. "You are clean," she said back in the obscure language.

"Good, the erazine," he said.

"You remember the laws here," she protested. "If you take the drug to wipe your memory then the farce that passes as a legal system here considers it incontrovertible truth that you are guilty of whatever they want you to be guilty of."

"Yup, that's why 'you' give me the shot," he said.

"But you won't even remember that," she protested, "and it's nasty stuff. You don't know what type of long term problems this will cause you, especially with that messed up experiment that..."

"Yup, I know but that's why you are going to do it," he said in a raspy tone. There was now no doubt it was an order and not to be debated any longer.

"Spacebarge, you are an idiot," she said.

"Yup, I know. But a live idiot is worth more than a dead smart man," he said rephrasing an ancient Earth proverb. "Emmie, it's only a matter of time before they find some way to get the information out of me. You know that. The training and the experiment will make it harder and slow them down of course, but it's just a matter of time. It always is. We know that. In the weakened condition I am now I don't think I can buy you even enough time for you all to get off planet. Get out with the kids now. Mahldemi's grabbing the throne. Starfleet's on the wrong side. Our unit might be even set up to take the blame," he explained.

Emma said nothing. She knew that from the traitor Frye that this was true and now had the proof.

"Don't give the Prince to his cousin as promised. Sneak him out. Don't trust anyone. Get him and Jherrine to Madame Verelberg. Have her place them somewhere good like we did the others. Tell everyone he died getting out. That will make the cousin happy and hopefully call off the search and stop blowing the mountain and the rest of the planet. Tell no one about Jherrine. She'll tell you her story later. Be sure to place her hand in Verelberg's when you do," the Chief ordered, making sure the custom was kept for her custody and care.

"I will," she said forcing tears back getting out the injection stick. She was sure now, there was no way she and the kids alone were going to be able to remove enough rock to free him even if they had several days. Reluctantly, she gave him the shot.

"If you live through this it won't go well for you," she reminded.

"No choice," he said. He didn't want to get all the operatives and allies in the region killed or compromise any security issues in addition to his concerns about the children and the Prince.

Saldar bit his lip as the erazine burned as it entered his body and coursed fire through his veins. He wished he could get something for that pain and his ribs but didn't want to waste anymore time. If all worked out well, he'd be taken for a freelancer, a mercenary, with no ties to anyone except of course the losing side as it would be assumed or contrived.

Emma grabbed his hand and he squeezed back to say, "Thanks". Then she saw him pass out, let go, gave him a hug and kissed his head. "Bye, Spacebarge. I'll come back for you. You have my word," she said tearfully and full of conviction.

Then she left with the children as another explosion shook the caves and showered down more rocks down on his position.

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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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