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Seeds of Rebellion

Posted on 06 Jun 2017 @ 10:38pm by Captain Harvey Geisler & Lieutenant Joey Geisler & Lieutenant David Moreau Jr

Mission: The Finnean Crisis
Location: Finnea Prime, Second Steading
Timeline: MD 5 || 1300 hours

Like most Finneans in the Second Steading, Kawram featured soft purple skin, pinholes for ears, and six fingers on each hand. Other than those distinctive features, Finnean kind were humanoid in appearance. Unlike humans, Finneans hadn’t yet developed warp travel. With Finnea so rich in exquisite wines and other resources, there was no need to.

At least, there hadn’t been a need to.

Until just a couple weeks ago, all was more or less normal. The Second Steading had entered into a trade agreement more than a decade ago with the Selubassari. The Finneans would provide resources and the Selubassari would offer in return means to advance Finnean technology and wealth. The Steadings had been greedy, asking for an advance, as well as better technology by which to increase their manufacturing.

The Selubassari had agreed. But then the Vasco da Gama returned from the Convergence Zone. In an instant, the Selubassari decided to collect on their debt, enforcing any and all Finneans in the Second and Sixth Steadings into labor camps, forcing them to dig.

An objective was never specified. Just dig.

For weeks now, the Finneans had been digging to no avail.

Like his brethren, Kawram was angry. He was angry with the Federation for abandoning the planet. Angry with the Selubassari for making him dig. Angry with the Selubassari again for forcing his sister into service as a Net Girl. Knowing the horrible conditions that those systems had fallen into, he had a feeling she wouldn’t make it out as anything other than a vegetable.

Near Kawram, another Finnean named Tamar toiled in the dig site and glanced over at his fellow worker and then a quicker glance at the Selubassari before he looked down at his work again. "They're killing us," he muttered under his breath. "I think it's time we started to do something about it."

"Do what, exactly?" Kawram asked. "We have no arms, and the Selubassari won't be afraid to use theirs."

"I don't know about you, but I have two arms and a reason to get out of here," Tamar said, still keeping his voice down. "My daughters need me and I won't let them down. We also have these digging tools to use."

A whip cracked mere millimeters between their heads as one of the Selubassari designated to monitor the area moved by. Like most of his species, he was completely covered as to not reveal the emotions he was portraying. "Less talking... more digging!"

Kawram had seen and heard the whip for several weeks now, and it still caused him to flinch. "My sister's a Net Girl now, you know. If she's got any chance of a life after that, I can't let her stay too long."

Tamar jerked and focused on his digging for a minute. "You'll see her again. We just need to spread the word. They can't be everywhere at once. Do you think she could get a message out?"

He had to think about that for a moment. Kawram was no expert at all on the technology, but he had experienced it once before. It was expensive, but the pleasure was worth it. "I suppose it's possible. But there's no telling who will get the message."

"That's true," Tamar admitted. "But there has to be a way. What if it were coded for the Ferengi?"

"The Ferengi?" hissed Kawram. "They'll demand our souls and the souls of our children and their children as payment!"

The sound of a whip cracking was heard once again, then a third time, but this time those two cracks connected with the backs of the two Finnean workers. "Dig!" came the very heated order. "Defy me, and you will both suffer for it."

Tamar screamed and collapsed as the whip his his back and he turned on the Selubassari. "You char'eact!" He shouted the most foul Finnean word he could think of before he took his digging implement up and pushed himself to his feet. He wanted to swing it into the aliens face and keep swinging until there was nothing left of it, but he had his children to think about. Reluctantly, he turned back to his work "Sooner the Ferengi than these things," he muttered.

"We could try the Rakhari," Kawram suggested, thinking of the legalistic and authoritarian race. "I have distant family in the Fifth Steading. The Rakhari aren't that bad."

The Selubassari moved past the two talking to deal with another issue that seemed to pop up. When the coast was clear, a young human woman (the Selubassari didn't discriminate), looked at the two of them. "Whatever you two are planning to do," she began barely above a whisper as she continued to dig. "Do it soon. I've got a sinking feeling there won't be much of a chance to in the near future."

Kawram looked over to the human woman, recalling that the Selubassari purposely relocated persons of interest from Deep Space 15 to the planet surface. Whatever their reasons, they weren't known to the Finneans. "It'll have to when they're not looking," he said, nodding towards a couple other guards who were looking their direction. Their best chance was to make it to the shielded complex a few hundred meters away, and even that was guarded.

"We can do it when they switch shifts," Tamar whispered. "Are you from the station?" he asked the woman.

"Was," the young woman said, keeping her head down as to not draw attention to them. "I haven't seen it in a long time, and I doubt I'll ever see it again. I'm fairly certain I'll die here."

"What'd you do that brought you down here?" Kawram asked, still digging and keeping an eye on the guards.

The woman barely shrugged a shoulder. "I... don't know. I was a Security officer aboard DS15 before things went south. Some of us were able to get away... live another day. A few things of us were sent her to dig... others, I'm sure, were killed. I would give anything to let my family... my friends... know I'm okay, but that is never going to happen."

"What do you think of our plan then, Security Officer?" Kawram asked. "If we can get a message to the station, can it get out from there?"

"I think it's doable, but only if it isn't intercepted by someone else," she answered. "If it does get intercepted, who knows what they'll do. I... none of us deserves this. If we could all rise against them, we'd have a chance."

"The word's already gone out," Tamar said. "Work slowdown, meetings like ours and other ways. We really need a telepath, but I'd settle for a Net Girl right now."

"They're all over, but finding one you can trust that won't turn on you will be a little tricky," Cherie stated.

"Bad experiences, I take it?" Kawram asked of the human.

"You can say that," she said, taking a risk and looking toward them. "If you want to get back to your loved ones, don't slow down. That will cause you harm. If you want out, you need the others on your side. Get your hands on weapons... or anything that can be used as one. Fight your way out. Reduce their numbers."

Tamar looked at his digging instrument and back to the human woman. "This is all we have to work with, but we'll have to do it all at the same time and that takes time."

"Then we should get to work," Kawram stated, glancing over to a couple of the other digging groups. "All it takes is one of us slipping into the complex. We're going to need some sort of cover story if we're caught."

"An injury," Cherie stated, turning back to her digging. "At least then, you can say you were looking for medical treatment."

Kawram scowled. The Selubassari cared little for the injured, but at least they didn't kill them. "All right," he said. "So we make a break for the complex. When do we move?"

Tamar took a breath and swallowed. "I'll do it," he said as he thought about his daughters and how far he'd be willing to go to protect them. He raised his digging tool and took another deep breath. "This needs to be authentic." With that, he brought it down and chopped off half of the toes on his right foot as if he missed the mark he had been aiming at. A scream ripped from his lips as the pain flooded his system and he fell, clutching the mangled member.

The Selubassari guard heard the blood curdling scream from where he stood. It only took a matter of seconds before he was standing over the scene and assessing their current situation. "You," he ordered Kawram. "Take him for medical treatment, then return to work."

Kawram nodded. With a scrap of cloth, he collected the severed digits and then wrapped an arm around Tamar. "Bright idea," he remarked, looking at the crudely constructed ladder that would take them the three feet upward to reach the ground level.

With the help of the others, Tamar managed to get up the ladder to level ground again. "So tired," he said faintly, the pain making him lightheaded.

Down in the pit, Cherie cast a glance at the two retreating forms. She hoped they'd be able to get what they needed to regain their freedom. It wasn't likely she'd be going anywhere, but if she could help others, then that was exactly what she was going to do. "Good luck," she muttered.

"This way," Kawram said, wrapping his arm around Tamar again. "Nice and easy." He did wonder, however, what would happen if they moved too slowly.

Tamar did his best to keep up while trying not to move his injured foot too much. "That was incredibly stupid of me, but it was all I could think of," he said under his breath. "When we get inside, you'll have to find a way to get a message out or at least something which can alert the others."

Kawram nodded, though it was not apparent that he did so. It took them several minutes to cross to the Selubassari complex. As expected, there were no signs of compassion. Not a single doctor was waiting for them, nor was security there to usher them to the medical wing. This dig had grown so extensive that they could rarely manage it. "Just a few more minutes," Kawram said.

"Don't worry about me," Tamar said as he limped beside of Kawram. "Just find a way to get a message out. Put me down so I can see how much attention I can get."

Kawram nodded. He carefully let go of Tamar. Once his friend was free, Kawram slipped away and waited for the distraction.

After Kawram moved away, Tamar took a breath and ripped the bandage off of his foot and began to scream in pain as loud as he could. "Help! I need help!" He begged someone. "Please don't let me die here!"

Attention was drawn to Tamar when he started calling for help and Selubassari came over in droves to see what the commotion was. Like the guard that had been cracking the whip earlier, these were also covered from head to toe. "What is the meaning of this?" one of them demanded, looking to the fallen digger as he pushed his way to the front of the group. "What have you done to yourself?"

"I slipped because of the unsafe conditions you make us work in!" Tamar yelled before he picked up the rag that had his missing toes in it. "Look! Look at this!" he demanded as he shook the bloody cloth at them before he raised his foot with the missing digits. "I only have two toes on this foot because you forced us to dig past exhaustion!"

The commotion was drawing a larger crowd. Everyone was curious to know what was going on, but it was the same one that spoke. "Get him medical treatment so he can get back to digging!"

Out in the main area, Tamar screamed and threw his severed toes at one of the Sulubassari. "Is that all you care about? What am I even digging for?!"

"That's not your concern! Now, go!" the Selubassari ordered as two of the armed guards came forward to grip him under his arms to take the Finnean to the a medical treatment room.

Tamar screamed again before he passed out, the blood loss and shock finally getting to him.

===Elsewhere===

The distraction had worked, allowing Kawram to slip unnoticed through much of the complex. It wasn't long before he found the holding area for the net girls. Policies dictated that the girls were to have a break every couple of hours just for their mental sanity. When they were plugged in, the moment one girl became unstable, it could cause a torrential feedback surge that would damage other girls and even clients. While the Selubassari deemed the girls to be expendable, their clients and reputation weren't.

Kawram slipped inside the holding area where the girls were eating and preparing for their next shift.

"How... how did you get in here?" one of the girls asked coming to her feet. It was an unusual occurrence when someone got past the guards and made it this far. In fact, she couldn't remember it ever happening.

Another net girl looked at the Finnean and looked around quickly. "You can't be here," she hissed. "You'll get us all in trouble!"

"We're already in trouble," Kawram hissed, waving his arms to try and get them to settle down. He even checked behind him and looked back at the girls. "Look, the Selubassari have us digging and digging. No idea what for, but they're not going to stop until they find whatever it is. We have to get a message out."

"And you want us to be the ones to get it out for you?" the first woman asked. "Why should we? If we're caught, we'll be joining you in the digging."

"If you don't wind up a vegetable first," Kawram fired back. "Our leaders sold this planet to the devil, and if we don't do anything, we'll lose more than our ancestors did? You'll think society collapsing into the six steadings was a light earthquake in comparison."

The second girl looked around furtively to make sure no Selubassari were nearby, then leaned in closer. "What do you need sent and to who?" she asked.

"Anyone who's not Selubassari," Kawram said. "Tell them that the Finnea plan to rebel. That they will rebel. If you can get it to someone in Starfleet or even the Rakhari..."

The first Net Girl looked toward the door, then back to Kawram. "I'll help you, but it's going to cost you."

Kawram blinked, wondering what she might have in mind. "W-What's that?" he stammered. He had nothing to his name, no money, no property. He wasn't sure what he'd be able to give as compensation.

"When you're free, you come back for me," she answered simply.

Though it wasn't property of money, Kawram thought the request would be hard, if not impossible, to pull off when this was over. Still, he was not in a position to barter. He nodded. "Just make sure the message doesn't get into Selubassari hands."

The young woman nodded her head. "You have my word they will not know. At least... not from me," she said. While she was speaking only loud enough that Kawram was the only one that could hear her, she still couldn't promise that others weren't eavesdropping. After all, it wasn't every day that someone made it this far without being detected. "I'm sure it won't come as much of a surprise to you that I am not here of my own free will. Like you, I am a slave to the Selubassari and wish to finally be free of them. If aiding you helps me regain said freedom, I will do whatever I can to see to it that your message gets to the right individuals."

The other net girl who had been standing there went to the door and peaked out, then came back quickly. "They took the other Finnean away," she said. "You need to get out of here quickly!"

Kawram couldn't argue with that. "Got it," he said, hopping up. "Good luck!"

"Good luck to you also. What's your name?" the first girl asked. "I want to know who to thank when this is over."

"Kawram," he replied. "And yours?" He was going to need the name if he was to make good on his promise that he'd hastily made.

"Camari," she answered, reaching out to give his arm a reassuring squeeze. "Go... before you get caught. I'll see to it your message gets out. Be well, Kawram, and I look forward to that thank you when this is over."

The other net girl headed back to the door to see if the coast was still clear.

"Is the coast clear?" Camari asked the other woman. "We can create a diversion if we must. After all... they need us... not the other way around."

"It is," Janara said after a quick check. "Get him out of here now before we all get punished."

"You don't have to tell me twice," said Kawram. "Thank you both. And, good luck!" With that, Kawram slipped out the door and disappeared around the corner.

 

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