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JDL | Lt Shran, Lt Dai'xun | "The Great Escape"

Posted on Wed Jul 11th, 2018 @ 1:02pm by Lieutenant Commander Evan Merlin

Mission: Lacuna
Location: Space station, somewhere
Timeline: SD 241807.11

With fire now an obstacle, and the raid so very prominent, Si’a watched and felt as a sea of criminals raced for the exits as fast as feet and claws and hover chairs would carry them. It was like a switch had been flipped in the station somewhere and the tide had turned sending the aggressors fleeing for their liberty and lives. It concerned and baffled the young Stenellis as she hid between two crates and peered through a small crack at the activity bustling all around her.

While her goal was to escape with her life and that of her child intact, these people had nothing left to lose. In her mind, while she was hardly a tactician, it made them all the more dangerous. The point remained that Starfleet was there and had arrived in force. Just who made up their storming party made little difference, but she was almost certain that she could feel Anaxar close by. Of course the sound of an explosion and the sudden screams and bellows of men at war made her all the more jumpy and the pressure to protect, survive, and escape combined enough to flush her from her hidey hole at a breakneck pace. Anaxar needed to be found and the battle was too close for comfort. She could only pray that Valeese had made it clear, but her objective was still the same. She had to get home and far far away from this horrible nightmare.

Two strides, in blind panic no less, later and Si’a was brought to a painful halt. A flourish of floating chiffon, hair, and the sound of little bells, she’d hit something while looking back over her shoulder. Something tall, solid. And alive. Instinctively her arms wrapped around it to protect her from a fall while the fabric of her ridiculous costume tangled all around them and she clung to whoever it was she’d collided with, afraid to look up and meet her fate lest it be a damned Orion or one of their terrible henchmen.

The overwhelming sense of defeat brandished itself over her demeanor and, shaking like a leaf in a hurricane, Si’a screwed her eyes shut tight, “Don’t hurt me, I surrender.” Anaxar… Please… Please what? Please randomly appear and lead her to salvation? Of course that was her prayer, her hope. That he’d come and they’d all get away before anything else horrible could occur.

"You surrender. Oh, good." The Orion had been running from the flames on one end and fighting on another end, had somehow gotten lost, managed to find his bearings – and suddenly one of the captives, the most pricy one, had fallen like a bottle of brandy into his arms. Now if only he could get out of this station, he'd be in a great position. And since both the fire and the fighting were behind him, that shouldn't be much of a problem. He jerked the woman's wrists. "Come." Not that she had much of a choice.

Unfortunately, it seemed that there was something going on ahead, too. The lights were off, for one thing. And suddenly someone came stumbling out of the tunnel ahead, bleeding and yammering something about devils in the dark. The Orion growled and kicked the man aside. And that's when the overhead lights went down.

Up ahead, Anaxar had heard, ever so faintly, Si'a's cry for surrender, and its harsh reply. He dispatched the one person still close to him, saw the other running away into the distance. His artificial eyes had no trouble with the dark. And even if they'd been switched off, he still wouldn't have had any trouble. The dark was his friend.

Time to add some more friendship. He moved forward and took careful aim. The corridors in front of him went dark.

Si'a flinched as the lights went out and did what she could to keep herself from tripping over the fallen body as the Orion drug her along by the wrists. Her trembling persisted as they moved along in the dark, though she could have sworn she felt the Orion hesitate. The mention of devils hiding in the din made her heart quicken pace with hope that the devil just so happened to be an Andorian.

The Orion jerked her behind him and she crab-stepped a stumble to the side. Gauzy fabric and zills made themselves known, swaying and tangling about her legs as she struggled to remain up right. Si'a could feel an energy moving through the air, singing with vengeance to reach, touch, and taste everything in its wake. The delicate nape of her neck included, making the fine baby hairs found there stand on end. It was welcomed, though, choosing to caress her skin almost tenderly before zeroing in on the mountain of a man in front of her.

Anaxar.

He was there. He was waiting. He was downright livid.

And she was eager to get home to him, but silence was the best option. Silence and remaining alert.

One quick step, one quick stab. The man was dead, but didn't know it yet. A second slash, the downward motion of the stab, severed tendrons in the man's wrist. With his free hand, Anaxar could now pull Si'a out of the man's loose grip. "You're safe," he whispered. They were still in the middle of the base, surrounded by hostiles, but between fire and fighting, and devils in the dark, the Orions and whatever minions there were were being kept busy. Time to get out of here. To get her to safety. Then time to make sure nobody would ever be kept prisoner here again.

Her breath passed through her lips as a sigh of sheer relief the moment she felt the spark of life leave the Orion's body and his grasp weaken on her wrists. She knew she should have been horrified, some part of her was. The overwhelming response was a smug sense of vindication and her hands reached to take hold of the devil in the dark, "I am." Si'a replied, her fleeting touch retreating hesitantly. They didn't have time to stop and relish their reunion. They had a bigger fight ahead of them and an escape to fulfill. It didn't stop her from taking the chance to reach and stroke the Andorian's stubble kissed jaw.

They were in too deep for a safe transport out, so they'd have to go back the way he came in. Which wouldn't be too bad if it weren't for the other occupants of the base who were trying to escape the fire behind them. Since Anaxar had shot out all the lights en route, it didn't take them long to run into a log jam of sorts: a group of thugs who had apparently run into an obstacle, couldn't continue, couldn't turn back. His artificial sight, set to infrared, saw only a solid wall of flesh in front of them.

However, he could see what the others could not, though what they could've noticed if panic hadn't taken hold of the clamoring mass: a small corridor branching off to the side, leading away from here. Holding himself between Si'a and the panicked mob, he slid past them towards the narrow passage.

Si'a was liquid, moving seamlessly beside and behind him silent as the grave. It was obvious that he was on autopilot, guiding them through thick and thin until salvation and hope could appear. Cries of fire. Explosions. Weapons discharging. She heard them all, flinched and shied a handful of times when something caught her off guard, but never once faltered in her trust of the path he took. Her fingers linked with his, tethering her to him firmly in silent promise that they wouldn't be separated again.

Beneath her bare feet she could feel the ground changing from solid and dry to damp to positively flooded as the corridor ahead was most definitely taking on water, likely as a form of fire suppression. The current braced itself against the backs of her legs as they forged on, promising that they were headed towards some sort of exit. The water would drain somewhere up ahead and that would be their chance to escape fully.

A cluster of zips and popping pings sounded. Not because she didn't trust him or his decisions, but because she needed to help. The water was never going to be more than waist deep to him, but for her she'd need to swim and pray the stupid costume they'd put her in wouldn't impede either one of them. "It'll be ok. Won't get much deeper..." It was fucking freezing, though, and Si'a did what she could not to shiver or flinch from the shock of it hitting her skin. "Not much further." Only about a damned football field... she thought, then tried to remember the measurement of the size of a standard pitch. Soccer. Football. Fun sport. Keep thinking about anything else. Keep moving. Her fingers tightened on his subconsciously.

"I know," he whispered back. Never before had Anaxar been this grateful for the artificial implants. Up until now, it had been not much more than a substitute for true sight, and a poor one at that. Sure, the he could perceive a far wider spectrum than any natural eye ever could, but any simple scanner could reveal as much, and more. But here he couldn't use a scanner, not with one hand holding on to Si'a and the other holding a weapon. And by shifting through the various spectra available, he was able to see how deep the water was, how far it reached, he could discern between corridor walls and empty passages, make out debris and so on.

He paused briefly to place another small rectangle against the corridor wall, as high up as he could. It faded and blended in with the wall, just like the others had done. He had left a trail of those behind, two of them connected by a trip wire just after they'd left the panicked mob. If some of them regained their senses and tried to explore the passage they'd escaped to, there would be a little surprise waiting for them. Later, a detonate signal would be enough to take out a sizeable portion of the base once they were safe.

More smoke came from behind, not enough yet to choke them but enough to make breathing unpleasant. The fire still hadn't gone out, might even be reaching the point where only venting air might do so. But, again, all the alarms and sounds of battle were behind them – so far behind that he actually had to strain to hear it now, the sound of the lapping water and of their own breathing was drowning it out. "We're nearly there."

"Yeah..." She whispered roughly through the cold darkness. Just a little further. She'd survived much worse, but the baby hadn't been around then. Hadn't even been much more than a whisper in the snowy darkness designed to keep her dreaming and them alive. Now? Now there was no denying the existence of that wonderful, precious reality. A hand wafted through the nearly freezing water to rest over her belly as she half-swam along. The other half of her forward momentum was Anaxar masterfully guiding her along, towing her through it all until the sound of falling water made it known they'd reached the end of the line and a light, though faint, shone down to illuminate a ladder.

The static of a nearly broken combadge signal chirped through the soft roar of water and Si'a, tired and cold, huffed a relieved laugh knowing they were at the cusp of salvation.

Anaxar fished another combadge from a hidden pocket and pressed it against Si'a's chest. Then he sent a short signal back. "Keep moving," he whispered. "As soon as they have a safe lock on is, we're out."

He lifted her with ease and placed her on the bottom rung of the ladder. This was not the way they'd entered, but if it was close enough to the edge of the base to provide a safe way out, he'd take it any day.

Just before he climbed up after Si'a, he pressed another of those grey squares against the wall. Call it a parting gift, he thought grimly.

They had barely ascended halfway when the cool twinkles of the transporter beam embraced them both.

Lieutenant Si'a Dai'xun
Stellar Cartographer
USS VINDICATOR, NX-78213-F

Lieutenant Anaxar Shran
Chief Science Officer

 

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