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Finding Answers

Posted on 19 Aug 2017 @ 3:04pm by Captain Harvey Geisler & Lieutenant Commander Jayla Kij & Lieutenant Joey Geisler & Lieutenant David Moreau Jr
Edited on on 19 Aug 2017 @ 5:02pm

Mission: The Finnean Crisis
Location: Finnea Prime - Sixth Steading
Timeline: MD 6 || 0715 Hours

Joey entered the building behind their escorts and looked around. Was this part of the shielded areas that she, nor Torg, could get past? The Lieutenant had a feeling she would find out soon enough, and thanks to the Zz'ardd's information, it was likely the woman formerly known as Commander Amaya Yuki was here. Finding her would be a challenge all on its own, but the three officers would be up to the challenge. And, if they were lucky, the probe would be here, too.

"Keep your eyes and ears open for anything that might be useful to us," she whispered to Moreau and Kij.

"Not a problem, Lieutenant," David whispered as he kept his tricorder out and sweeping the area. "If anything or anyone Federation shows up, I'll know that and a lot more."

Not trusting herself to speak, Jayla simply nodded and followed, glaring daggers at the Selubassari as they went. She could punch them all in their ugly noses. Even if the Finneans did owe them a debt, there was no reason to work them to the bone like this.

Aside from the four guards that stood at the entrance, the hallways were quite clear. The building's design was not Selubassari at all. Rather, this complex was clearly Finnean. Several consoles and other technological additions awaited them, all of Selubassari origin. A map of the complex was displayed on one of these consoles, revealing where the infirmary was, as well as a large storage area, computer core, and netgirl facility.

And the Finneans just handed all of this over? Joey didn't think so. Her eyes went to the map, quickly trying to memorize critical areas that might come in handy when they needed to locate the human woman Zz'ardd mentioned. There were a few places to check, but first, they needed to get to the infirmary. "I suppose you want to escort us to the infirmary as well?" she asked, making a mental of how many guards they had already come across.

"You will not be left unattended," replied the stern guard. "For your own protection."

Joey smiled inwardly, keeping her face a neutral mask. It wasn't their protection the guards needed to worry about. She gestured in front of them with a gloved hand. "Then, by all means, lead the way. We don't have a whole lot of time here, so let's not waste what we do have."

"For our protection against what?" David asked as he walked beside of Corwin. He looked at Jayla and motioned for her to catch up and lowered his voice. "Glares are nice and all, but I doubt they know what they mean. It's creating wrinkles by the side of your eyes, too."

"It's about time," muttered Jayla, who was, among other things, rather tired of being mistaken for a teenager. Moreau's words couldn't wipe the glare from her face, though. Vaguely, she wished she could change colors to let those bastards know exactly what she was feeling.

The Selubassari guard did not answer. Rather, he just tightened his grip on his weapon. If he were any less inclined, he'd shove the side of the rifle into the human's backside and give a shove.

Joey looked to the guard. She'd seen them enough in the past to know he was less than impressed, and that meant it was time to defuse the situation. "Lieutenant Moreau, let's not goad our escorts. They might not like is being here, but they are cooperating with us," she said, giving the large man a 'not now' look before turning back to the Selubassari. "Please, if you would be so kind as to take us to the infirmary, our doctor can look them over, then we can be on our way."

Less than a minute later, the group arrived in the infirmary. It was filled with over thirty cots, each one occupied by malnourished patients. Eleven of the patients were Starfleet.

David felt a moment of disgust that was mixed with pity at the condition of the patients, but he managed to keep his mouth shut about them. He turned away from the guards so he wouldn't bash their see through skulls in with his bare hands and looked at his tricorder to see what readings it was giving him.

While David was willing to keep himself in check, Joey was not. The sight before her caused such anger that it was quickly boiling over into rage. Somehow, though, she managed to keep it reigned back as she turned to the lead guard. "Not only did you lie to us about having our people, but you dared to let them get to this state?" she demanded, clinching her gloved hands. Her mind was reeling. How in the hell were they going to get everyone out of here safely? "And not just our people, but the others, too. You're disgusting! All of you! Take me to whoever is in charge here. Now."

Jayla whirled on the Selubassari, seeing red. But, the breathing exercises she'd been doing took over and she was able to calm herself before she ripped out any throats. Still, she was certain she had changed colors now. Her face felt hot in anger as she turned back to those in the 'infirmary.' "What sort of infirmary is this, anyway?" she hissed angrily as she began wide scans of the patients. "Nobody's even looking after them!" She found a lot of malnourishment, several broken bones, and even some very curable illnesses. "This is ridiculous!" she declared. "None of this is difficult to correct! I could have them all 100% healed in about 20 minutes! Why were they left like this?" she demanded hotly.

"Productivity on the site is a priority," replied the guard. "All resources go towards the dig. Quick patches only. Others stay here to recover or be transferred to other facilities."

She'd been ignored, and that didn't sit well. Joey looked toward Jayla and the guard. Since they were caught up, she took the opportunity to make her way out the door. If she wasn't going to get the courtesy of being showed the way to whoever was in charge, then she'd just have to escort herself.

David saw Corwin moving off and headed to stand right in front of the guard who had spoken. "What gives you the right to quick patch people in order to send them back into the pits?" he all but shouted. "These are living beings, not slaves who you work to death! You should be put into the pits to dig until you need 'patched', and then left there."

Just outside the infirmary, two armed guards approached, unwittingly stopping a female lieutenant in red from taking off on her own. Both of them simply raised their rifles, aiming at the woman and blocking her path.

Joey had been fully prepared for this to happen, and when it did, she raised her hands. "I was merely looking for the ladies room. Surely, you wouldn't shoot an unarmed woman for needing to make use of the facilities?" she asked, assessing her current situation. "Your guards inside told me it would be okay as long as I didn't stray too far."

"You have less than fifteen minutes remaining before you must leave this encampment," said one of the Selubassari.

"You can pee aboard your shuttle when you leave," said the other.

"I'm afraid I can't wait that long. The teeth in the back of my mouth are already starting to float," the Lieutenant said, preparing her gloves in case she needed them. "Have a little compassion for once in your lives."

Compassion wasn't in their nature. Numbers, however, were. Three more Selubassari arrived, their weapons raised. "We will not ask again," said the first guard. They would shoot her if they had to.

Joey kept her hands raised. Five against one didn't seem like good odds, and even she knew when to stop pushing. She drew in a deep breath and turned, moving back into the infirmary.

Inside the Infirmary, the guard replied. "There are no slaves here," he simply replied to the Doctor and to the man in yellow. "The Finneans authorities made an agreement with the Selubassari. Their greed exceeded their output. We are collecting on their stupidity."

"How about if-" Jayla started hotly, but stopped herself. She had been about to ask, 'how about if we collect your heads,' but decided against it. Instead, she simply began treating the first person she came across, not caring if the person was Starfleet or Finnean.

"Commander Kij, get the Starfleet personnel stabilized and ready for transport," David said before he turned back to the Selubassari guard. "Our ship is going to have to beam our people back. Whatever interference is being put over this area is preventing that and it needs to come down because we can't carry all of our people and they all won't fit in the shuttle. It'll interfere with our transporters. Get your boss down here now."

"We cannot do that," said the Selubassari. His skin grew dark, an ashen gray. The reverberating tone in his speech, unlike most Selubassari, was not as thick as it once was.

"Do what he says," Joey ordered, having heard everything from the moment she walked back inside. "You have pushed our people to the point where they cannot walk on their own... tortured them for your needs... placed a time limit upon us to remove them from here. You have no other option. Get whoever is in charge down here now, or this place will soon be crawling with Starfleet personnel helping us do what you will not."

She looked thoughtful. "That's not a bad idea. What do you think, Moreau? Sixty... maybe seventy more of our people to come down and help us get everyone out?"

"Sounds about right," David said. "We'll need about a dozen shuttles down on the dig site, doctors, nurses and other personnel. Ah damn. The Captain isn't going to be happy with this, but we have a time constraint." He reached for his combadge while watching the Selubasssari who was turning gray. "You might need a dermatologist for that coloration," he commented.

"And be stuck with a single shade of melatonin?" asked the lead guard rhetorically, trying to regain his composure. "I think not. Wait here. I will speak to my superiors." With that, the lead guard left, leaving the three Starfleeters with the wounded.

Joey watched as the lead guard walked from the infirmary, then turned toward David and Jayla. They weren't out of the clear yet, and they were still under the watchful eye of the other guards, which meant they would have to tread carefully. "Great job, Moreau," she said to the bald man quietly.

"It's about time that someone in charge made their appearance," David said before he leaned close to Corwin's ear and lowered his voice to a bare whisper. "If it's Yuki, we'll have to find a way to get her without setting the Selubassari off."

"That's going to be next to impossible," the Intel Chief whispered back to the big guy. She kept an eye on the door just in case. "I think the only way we could do that is if something happened outside, and I seriously doubt that's going to happen."

The moan of an injured Bajoran security officer interrupted their silent chatter. She clutched her abdomen in discomfort. Aside from her pain and delirium, she was quite unaware that there were others in the room. Unlike the Bajoran, the two humans near her were awake, eyeing the Selubassari and the visitors carefully. They were not exactly jumping for joy that their salvation had come.

No. To them, this situation had just become all the more serious. Though neither could walk, they tightened their grip on their concealed utensils. They might not be much, but in close quarters, any weapon was a weapon nonetheless.

David looked around at the moan and saw the Bajoran before he went over to the woman and knelt down. "It's okay," he said quietly. "We're getting you and the other officers out of here. Just be patient and we'll get you fixed up soon."

She simply moaned, tossed and turned in her stupor.

He looked back at Doctor Kij. "Hey, Doc. I think she might need some help."

"I'm coming," said Jayla, who had been heading in that direction anyway. She turned her tricorder on the Bajoran woman and began scanning. "Sweetie, can you tell me what's wrong? What hurts?" The woman was pretty out of it, but Jayla thought she'd try anyway. Often, talking could help a patient focus and get their mind off the pain.

The Bajoran remained unconscious, the pain itself was too much to bear. A rudimentary splint, something that appeared to be fashioned outside, held her leg straight, but the pant leg was soiled, torn, and bloodied. Inside, what bits of skin could be seen, were terribly discolored.

To be honest, Jayla had not expected a response. She kept scanning as the leg caught her eye. She cursed under her breath. "Sepsis," she spat angrily. "That is so-" she cursed again "-easy to prevent! I need to get her to Sick Bay quickly if we're going to save this leg. Oh, and never leave me alone with any of them!" she added, her voice pure venom as she glared at the Selubassari. She honestly had no idea what she would do to them if left unsupervised.

"What do you need me to do while we're here?" David asked as he pulled the emergency medkit off of his tactical belt and opened it. "There isn't much in here, but it has some things that can help."

With a grateful look, Jayla instructed him to administer pain killers to anyone who was coherent. There was no point to letting them sit around in pain any longer.

While David and the doctor did what they were doing, Joey remained where she was as a first line of defense between the guards and the injured. It was a dangerous job, but someone had to do it when there were individuals that couldn't stand on their own, much less defend themselves. Her gaze flicked to the door occasionally, looking for the lead guard to show up with the short, dark haired woman she expected to be Amaya Yuki... traitor to her fellow officers and the Federation as a whole.

She found she didn't want to wait, though. Not when there were injured that required a proper sickbay. The mention of sepsis was not a good prognosis, and time was not on their side. Joey turned her attention to the remaining guards. "It's impossible for us to move them all ourselves, and since they're here because of you, you will help us move them outside for transport. That is not a question, nor is it a request," she snapped. "I'll be watching each of you like a hawk, and should any of them so much as groan in a way that sounds painful, there will be hell to pay."

The guards looked at each other, then to the senior officer in the room. He did not acknowledge them in any way at first. After a few moments of thought, he lowered his weapon to activate a communicator. He kept the volume low, though his speech still reverberated in the poor excuse for a medical facility. Finally, he closed the channel and looked back to the woman in red. "We will assist. You will have to clear the building by thirty yards."

David looked up from checking on a Andorian who seemed to be in shock and missing part of an antenna. "Those of you who can walk, help those who can't," he called out in a loud voice. "Most critical goes out first!"

"They wouldn't be in here if they were capable of walking out on their own. They'd be back in the pits," Joey pointed out, moving over to one of the people who looked to be moving a bit. She couldn't really carry anyone, but she could be a shoulder to lean on. "I know this isn't going to feel the greatest, but it will all be over soon." She helped them get to their feet, taking on most of their weight, then looked to the guards. "Then help us get them out. With you, the five outside and two by the door, we should be able to get everyone out at the same time."

Again the Selubassari looked at each other. Finally, they relented, strapping their rifles to their backs in order to start helping carry everyone out. Naturally, they were not gentle with the injured. The amount of groans and shouts increased as they began to yank the cots around.

"What did I say!?" Lieutenant Corwin demanded. Had it not been for the injured woman leaning against her, she'd be cleaning the infirmary with some translucent skulls. "I know compassion is something that your kind can't comprehend, but you better learn it very quickly. Keep in mind that you're all the reason they're here in the first place, and it's taking everything in my power not to show you all the same courtesy. Help move them, and be gentle! I'm watching."

Angrily, Jayla gritted her teeth and took a couple of deep breaths to calm herself before speaking. "If I hear one more groan from them," she said to the Selubassari, voice deadly calm and eyes full of ice, "I will do everything in my power to see that each and every one of you are sent to Rura Penthe. That is a promise."

"I assume every last one of you who is bringing more harm to Starfleet personnel wishes to be seen by Starfleet's Judge Advocate after being brought up on charges," David said. "Keep that up and I'll personally see to it that you all rot in a brig on an airless asteroid until your dying days."

The statements from the Starfleet officers didn't persuade them at all. The Selubassari were not compassionate. If anything, they were annoyed that the Starfleet personnel had already stolen enough of their time.

"Doctor Kij, we will let you lead the way. Lieutenant Moreau, follow behind her, then the guards will follow behind the two of you. I'll stay in the back," Corwin said. "Let's get these people out of here before things get worse for them. You..." She looked to the guards. "I'm not kidding. Easy with them, then you can go about your business."

All bare Selubassari skin began to glow red with anger and frustration, not at all pleased by the behavior of the Starfleet women. The tall brute was annoying, but not nearly as much as the ones collared in red and teal. They continued to move towards the exit, and while they made a minor effort to take care, the patients were still rocked around as the wounded were transported.

Joey noticed the Selubassari were changing color and couldn't help but smirk inwardly. So, they were getting angry? Now they knew how she felt. No... she was downright pissed. What made them think they had any right to treat any of these people the way they were? Working them to the point where they could barely move. She was fairly certain they wouldn't appreciate the same courtesy, nor would they appreciate a rebellion from those in the pits. They'd likely be outnumbered, and the hate boiling inside of those who wanted to go against the Selubassari... well, it was their problem to deal with.

Without a single word, Jayla helped a young woman to her feet and ducked under her arm. "Lean on me," she said gently. "Try to stay off that leg. I don't like the look of that knee at all."

David lifted a man who seemed to only have a broken leg and then helped support another woman who had an arm in a sling and a deep cut on one leg. "Come on," he encouraged them. "We're getting out of this hell hole."

At the main entrance, where the Selubassari was leading the crew of the Black Hawk, another pair of Selubassari approached, pushing an antigrav cart with several newly uncovered specimens of varying sizes.

When Moreau saw the antigrav cart with what looked like the same ore that the other Selubassari had, he came up with a quick plan. Without saying anything, he put one foot in front of the woman who was limping beside of her and gave her a nudge towards it.

The woman cried out and fell into the cart and the big bald Security Chief quickly set down the man he had been carrying and went to lift the woman out. When he put his arm under her, he felt around until he found a small enough piece to hide in the palm of his large hand and lifted her out. "Sorry," he said. "Sorry. If you bastards had taken better care of our personnel and actually helped out more, she wouldn't be in this shape and fallen." He looked at one of the other Selubassari. "You! Help this man on the ground. Don't just let him lay there in pain!"

A pair of Selubassari just glared at the human. To trade a feeble man for a frail woman was a fool's exercise. If only the Selubassari were allowed to deal with the injured according to their tradition. Regardless of their feelings, they reached down to help the sickened human and dragged him to his feet.

Joey watched the interaction taking place in front of her. David managed to successfully grab a piece of whatever it was they were digging for. Answers would be forthcoming regarding that, but there was still the matter of the probe and Yuki, both of whom she was sure were inside the complex, where she wasn't any longer. This only managed to annoy her further as she turned to look back to the building behind them. If only she could get back inside.

Glancing back, Jayla frowned in concern. "Is she okay?" she asked. She hadn't seen exactly what had happened, but glared at the Selubassari, assuming they had done something.

"She seems to be okay," Joey replied, stopping to keep an eye on things in front of her. They needed more answers. Answers that wouldn't be forthcoming without doing something drastic, and those days for her were over. But... an idea began to form.

Still supporting the man she was helping out, Joey discreetly pulled something from her belt. She began walking once again, nonchalantly placing audio and video bugs under the anti-grav cart. Their scramblers wouldn't allow sensors to get through, but this had to work. "Let's keep moving. We're almost there."

Once they were outside and got a chain set up, however unwilling on the part of the Selubassari, in transporting the patients to the beam out spot, David hit his combadge to see if he could get a signal through to the shp. =^=Moreau to Black Hawk. We have multiple wounded to beam up at my location. If you could beam down some combadges for proper lock-on, we'll get them ready for transport.=^=

"Standby," came a voice from over the combadge. A few seconds later, twelve pattern enhancers were beamed to the surface. "Lieutenant, there's a bit of interference from the main complex there. These pattern enhancers will work better than badges."

"It won't be long now," Joey said in a tone meant to assure the injured they'd just rescued. She knew how they felt, having dealt with injuries of her own over the years, but thankfully, she'd had the sweet salvation of unconsciousness before being moved. "You will all be taken care of, and feeling your normal selves soon."

David started placing the pattern enhances with each person and then looked at Doctor Kij and Lieutenant Corwin. "Is that everyone?"

Joey looked around. "It should be. One step closer. Call for beam up. Straight to Medical if possible."

Nodding, Jayla tapped her combadge. "Kij to Black Hawk," she said. "Beam us directly to Sick Bay." And with one final if-looks-could-kill glare at the Selubassari, they disappeared in a glittery blue haze.

From the top level of the complex, a Selubassari male and a human female watched as the team disappeared in shimmering light. The moment the Black Hawk had arrived, they both knew that this was inevitable. Most of the pieces to the puzzle were out in the open, and Commander Couric knew it would only be a matter of time before Captain Geisler darkened his doorstep. He needed to be ready, and hope that the Finneans stayed in line until then.

~To Be Continued~

 

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