Adventures in the Holosuite
Season 2: Mission 2: Just Breath
Location: DS9: Holosuite 2
Gary paced his cabin on Deep Space 9, he couldn't avoid it or her any longer. He had made up and cleared the air with Lia and now it was time to face Liselle.
Tapping his combadge, =^- Taylor to Qwyyn, please meet me at holosuite 2, I think we need some relaxation back at the ranch if you catch my drift.=^=
Upon hearing his call, Qwyyn reached up to tap her badge. She paused. Closing her eyes, she took a long steadying breath, forcing a smile so that it would be evident in her answer. "Sounds great, Gary. I'll be right there."
He was standing outside the holodeck when she arrived. "Thanks for coming Liselle. I've given the computer the parameters for this adventure but left it unscripted. You are Sheriff Quane, I, the Mysterious Stranger. We're coming back to town from the territorial prison. The rest is in the computer's hands so to speak."
Liselle had wisely chosen to don her cowboy attire once more, easily stepping once more into the role of Sheriff Quane. Double checking the placement of her badge above her breast, she tipped her hat to Taylor. "Let's kick them all in their butts."
He smiled as Liselle showed up in her western gear. His eyes went to the star he had given her for Christmas. For himself he had on his poncho, hat, unlit cigar clamped between his teeth, black jeans and a blue shirt. "I like the way you think Sheriff." he replied easily, hoping this adventure would get them past any lingering awkwardness they felt from their 'twins' actions.
For her part, Liselle could only think of the awkwardness. Just before they had come upon the planet, she had taken Gary aside and assured him that any and all romantic notions from her were done. She had very pointendly explained to him that she was over him.
And then, of course, they had come upon their mirror counterparts who had clearly not gotten the memo.
Inwardly shaking the thoughts aside, Qwyyn patted the butt of her rifle, slung over her shoulder. "I've been practicing," she said. Cocking her head to the arch she raised a brow. "Care for a demonstration?"
Gary eyed the rifle slung over Liselle's shoulder, "I call those bold words Sheriff. Lets see what you can do. You do know which way to point it right?" He teased.
Her resolve softened for a split second, evident in the twitch of her eye. She realized then that he was messing with her, and the smile that found her lips was genuine this time. "That's why I let you tag along."
She stepped forward and the doors parted, revealing the dust blown, sand-strewn town that was under her charge to protect from offenders of the law.
"A fact I am ever so grateful for Sheriff. Just being in your presence is honor itself but to accompany you on a patrol of your town as well as to witness your legendary prowess with a rifle, why it's almost too much." He managed to get out without laughing or dropping his cigar into the street. "Please Sheriff, impress me."
Qwyyn tucked her tongue up in front of her teeth, grimacing as she had once observed the cowboys of old in the images from the computer. Reaching up over her shoulder she pulled her rifle down. "See that weather vane over there?"
Gary nodded, "I see it Sheriff. Are you just going to point it out or actually shoot at it?" He questioned.
Bracing the butt of her rifle against her shoulder she brought her sights up to the small metal arrow of the weather vane meant to indicate the direction of the wind. She loaded a round and sucked in her breath. And as she exhaled she squeezed the trigger. The shot rang out around them and the weather vane did not move. She lowered her rifle. Turning to Taylor she raised a brow. "Do you know how hard it is to miss something like that?" she asked, barely suppressing her embarrassed amusement.
He nodded, "I do. it takes extraordinary talent." He replied stoically. "Let me see what I can do." The next was a blur, his gun was out of the holster and three shots rang out so quickly they sounded like one. The weather vane for it's part in this little show had three distinct holes in it. he looked at Liselle, "Yep mighty hard to miss it." he offered her his gun, "Wanna try mine?"
"Absolutely." She gladly took his gun from him. And promptly tucked it firmly behind her belt. "You can have this back when you learn to play nice, mysterious stranger," she chided him. Calmly aiming another shot with her rifle, she fired again. And then again. She sighed.
"One last try," she said, annoyed, without looking over at him. Without waiting for a response she levelled her sights once more, this time trying to take into account the direction of the wind and the not-so-perfect calibration of her weapon. She breathed. Visualized her target. Pulled the trigger.
And the gun clicked empty. "Damn."
Gary stared at her as she tucked his gun in her belt, he remained silent as she fired at the vane and....missed again. Unknown to the pair a trio of strangers was riding up the street from behind them. The Donners, Danny, David and Dewy. Three troublemakers who had a history with Sheriff Quane. "Say boys, Lookee here it's that spitfire of a sheriff and some other guy. Looks like they were target shooting and ran out of bullets. You know we got a score to settle with her for throwing us in jail after that last cattle drive." Danny spoke low and menacing.
"What do you want to do?" Dewy asked.
An evil grin came to Danny's face, "We take the Sheriff and that guy with her hostage then we take this town for everything it's got." He said. His brothers faces lit up with anticipation and they nodded their agreement.
"Lets' do this!" He said as they rode up behind Liselle and Gary, their guns drawn. "How you doing Sheriff?" Danny asked.
Liselle dropped her rifle to the dirt and went for Gary's gun at her belt.
Danny whistled, a shrill sound. He shook his gun at her.
David had been silent as the trio rode up and confronted the sheriff and the stranger beside her. Then his eyes widen in stunned recognition. "I know who he is!" He told his brothers excitedly. "He's a bounty hunter, goes by the name 'Mister'. He's suppose to be fast, real fast. Got a cobra etched into the handle of his gun."
Danny nodded at the latest information. "A bounty hunter huh? And fast you say? I'd like to go up against him but we got other things to do right now. Get them both in the Sheriff's Office and bring rope....lots of rope." He grinned evilly at Liselle and Gary.
Liselle kept her arms raised, her hands at either side. "You know you won't get away with this."
"Begging your pardon madam." Danny tipped his hat at her. "But I believe we already have. No more talkin' now. Walk."
With a frustrated sigh she fell into line, taking the lead on the long march back to her office. She couldn't see Taylor's expression behind her but she imagined he was absolutely loving this. At least she hoped he was. It was her fault they were in this situation after all.
Her thoughts were interrupted as they stepped through the doors to the Sheriff's office, Danny shoving her forcefully inside. Taylor came in next. David soon after. "Got that rope."
Danny grinned as he took it, weighing it in his hand. He eyed his two prisoners. "I've got an idea."
Danny threw the rope to David, "You and Dewy get to tyin the Sheriff up. Make sure you tie her good and tight." He kept his gun trained on Gary, centered right on his chest. never wavering. "Don't worry Mister, your time is coming. You just stand easy." Gary needed no prompting to remain still. He wouldn't do anything to endanger Liselle, he would have to bide his time and wait for a chance. His eyes drifted to her and Danny's two brothers.
David and Dewy took the rope. They spun Liselle around and wrenched her hands behind her back where they proceeded to tie them very tightly, palm to palm. That done, they next tied a length of rope around her elbows again very tightly. So tight it made creases in her shirt. "You hold her steady David and I'll do her legs." Dewy chuckled. "Hold still Sheriff." David spoke mockingly as he held her steady, his hands gripping her bound arms. Dewy for his part worked quickly and efficiently. He wrapped rope around Liselle's ankles, cinched it off so she couldn't pull them apart again tied tightly. Then a final length of rope was wrapped above her knees to prevent any possible movement. The rope digging into her jeans. Her helplessness was complete and total. He stepped back and looked at her, "My, my don't you look a picture? What do you think Sheriff?" A leering grin on his face.
Drawing inspiration from her research into the genre's fiction, she turned her head to Dewy and spat at him, striking him on the side of the face. The thug wiped himself clean with the back of his hand, and then raised it as if to strike her. Instead he cocked his head with a knowing smile. "You'll get yours soon enough."
"I think she looks like a sausage, all tied up like that." David cackled at her plight.
"When I get out of here," Liselle said coldly, enunciating the inevitability of her freedom, "I'm going to make you regret every second of this day."
Dewy chuckled at her threat. "I call them bold words for a tied up girl sheriff."
Danny gave a quick glance at Liselle, saw the anger in her eyes and decided to add to it. "David, Dewy that's a good job but I think the Sheriff needs another length of rope around her legs below her knees. If she's gonna go anywhere its by hopping." He laughed mercilessly.
David and Dewy nodded at the suggestion and went to work adding another length of rope around Liselle's legs below the knees. Soon they were finished as Liselle's helplessness was even more complete.
Gary seethed at the treatment Liselle was receiving from the brothers but was powerless to prevent it. He only prayed he got the chance to pay the brothers back for the humiliation they were putting Liselle through.
"Oh ho!" David laughed, his eyes wide with amusement at Taylor's anger. "You want your turn?" He snapped his fingers at Dewy, and pointed up to the rafters above.
Dewy hesitated. "You...you serious?"
"Gimme that," David snapped back, snatching the rope from his brother. "Go fetch a chair, ya idjit. That one. Right there."
While Dewy went dutifully off to follow his orders, David swung the rope around in a wide arc several times, finally tossing it up to the ceiling where it crossed a high beam and fell limply on the other side. David jumped up and pulled it down. He began working the rope into a grim knot: the hangman's noose. As Dewy pulled the chair beneath the rope, David clicked his tongue at Taylor. "Stranger. Up on the chair, if you'd be so kind."
Gary looked at David, thought about resisting but realized the odds weren't in his favor not with Liselle securely tied and three outlaw brothers holding guns on them, He stepped onto the chair and waited to see what came next.
Danny smiled, this was going better than he expected! "Dewy, find something to put in the sheriff's mouth. I don't want her to get the notion of screaming when we leave or spitting on you again."
As his brother went in search of a suitable gag, David forced Taylor's hands behind his back and began tying them together. "Don't worry, Stranger," he whispered harshly into his ear as he pulled the rope taunt. "I ain't going to kill you. You get to live for as long as you can keep your balance on the edge of this here chair." He pulled the noose down over his prisoner's neck. Walking over to the other end of the rope that hung over the rafter, her grabbed it in both hands and pulled tight, forcing Gary's head up. "Step up onto the back of the chair and rock her back onto her hind legs. Careful not to tip it over, now."
Gary did as instructed and soon the chair was tilted on its hind legs, His neck was stretched but he could see Liselle standing securely tied unable to help in any way out of the corner of his eye. A few moments later, Dewy entered his field of vision, "I found something!" He hollered holding up a dirty blue and white handkerchief which he held up for Liselle to see. "Open up Sheriff and don't think about biting me." He warned.
Liselle starred the man down, her eyes hard as stone. There were very few options open to her. Even the slightest provocation might be enough for them to decide to do in Gary. Unblinking, she opened her mouth wide. Dewy smiled, taking a moment to enjoy the situation they had forced her into.
David came up behind his brother, dragging another chair behind him. He slapped him on the back of his head. "Hurry it up! We got other business needs tending!"
Scarred into action, Dewy rammed the gag into Liselle's mouth before the brothers easily lifted Liselle on to it. Though she was securely bound, Liselle twisted and jerked in valiant but vain effort to be free. In the end both brothers and Liselle were breathing hard. They then checked her ropes and found the knots still tight. Then they checked her gag and double knotted it behind her head. There was no way she was going to get it out of her mouth. The brothers unaware of Gary and Liselle's past, tied rope around them at their shoulders and then at their waist so they were standing face to face, their chests rubbing against each other.
"Now that is much better!" Danny crowed, "See ya around Sheriff, Mister, thanks for the use of your town!" As he slammed the door shut and Gary and Liselle were alone staring into each other's face.
They were alone now. For the life of her Liselle couldn't fathom why they had let the two of them live. Was it just fitting with the tropes of this holo-novel? Or did they have another reason?
Gary, too, wondered why the brothers had let them live. Their actions made no sense. But right now he had more pressing matters, namely to get free, free Liselle and get some revenge. Thankfully the brothers hadn't tied his legs, now if he could just reach the knife he had tucked inside before he lost his balance or the brothers came back.
Liselle breathed through her nose as best she could. She had heard that the programs in the holosuites tended to be much more aggressive than the ones that played on Federation Starships. But she would be damned before she would let this program beat her. She was getting rather tired of facing defeat in the situations that life dealt her. Real or not, this trio of brothers was going to suffer the first step in a new direction in her life. She breathed another frustrated sigh through her nostrils.
Gary tried to turn his head and look at Liselle, she how she was handling this. He heard her draw a breath through her nose and saw a frustrated look on her face. He flexed his arms in an effort to loosen the ropes which held him as he did he gave another glance at Liselle to she if she was having any luck with her own bonds.
The Trill struggled as much as she dared, fearing to tip the chairs over and end the program early. Her motions began slowly and considered, her arms and wrists twisting, but her movements quickly grew frantic with her anger. She stopped suddenly, steadying the chair beneath them with her feet. Her head slumped forward onto Gary's shoulder and she made a sound as though she was sobbing, but it soon became clear that she was actually laughing -- as best she could given her gag.
Gary watched the best he could as Liselle twisted her arms and wrists in anger rocking the chair in the process. She stopped and her head slumped forward and rested against his shoulder. A moment later he heard what he first thought was her crying but realized she was actually laughing--the best she could through her gag. He had to give it to her she had spunk. He looked upward at the rope that was attached to the rafter and around his neck. It was tight but not taut. He suddenly bowed his head to touch Liselle's, if he could get her gag out and they could talk it would help their escape efforts. He only hoped she didn't get mad with him pecking at her lips in an effort to remove her gag like a deranged chicken.
For her part, she craned her head upward, studying the rafters above. If only their hands weren't tied behind their backs!
When Liselle raised her head to look at the rafters, he brought his down to peck at her gag which was wedged tightly between her teeth. The first time he tried he missed, the next he caught a piece of the gag but his teeth slipped off it. He groaned in frustration ! This was going to be slow, tedious work.
Realizing what he was trying to do, she angled her chin better so that he could grab hold of the gag and pull it free. If there was going to be any hope of them escaping they would need to be able to communicate. That was step 1.
Seeing Liselle angle her chin so he could hopefully grab hold of the gag, Gary gave a slight nod of approval as he resumed his 'pecking' of Liselle's lips to pull the gag from between her teeth. It was hard work as the gag was wedged tightly between her teeth. However failure was not an option, so he persisted in his efforts.
Finally free of the gag, Liselle managed her first clean breath in minutes. “Gods, who designed this thing?”
He shook his head slowly revealing a red streak across his throat. "I don't know." He croaked "However whoever did went far and above what I expect out of a holo program." Despite his bound condition Gary managed a wry smile. Looking at Liselle, who despite being securely bound seem to be holding up well. "Looks like they did quite a number in tying you." He observed.
She looked up to the rafters above, trying once again to see some opportunity for escape. “I want to beat this scenario more than anyone, believe me,” she said, but then shook her head. “But I’m not seeing a way out of this one. Any ideas?”
"Trust me so do I and I take it by your statement, you are well and truly tied." As he looked at her trussed up form. "As to ideas. I just might." As he continued to flex his wrist muscles as the ropes slowly, agonizingly began to loosen their grip.
After a beat she pressed him on it. “You’ll have to tell me what it is, Taylor. The other Liselle is the mind reader, not me.” She bit her lip. “I guess it’s a little soon to be joking about that other reality.”
He looked at her it was hard not as they were tied face to face. "I'm working on freeing my hands. If I can then I can untie you and we can take care of Danny and his brothers." He paused and took a breath, "No." he said slowly, "We have to face it. We can't act like it didn't happen."
Liselle struggled futily against her own bonds. “Have you...have you talked to Lia about it?”
He watched her struggle in vain with her bonds. "So no super Trill, knot busting ability huh? He pressed as he switched the subject. "Yes." He said slowly. "We talked, had a falling out. Talked some more and made up. I think she was more upset that I wouldn't talk to her about it at first." He looked at Liselle and her big brown eyes. "At any rate she isn't mad at you never was."
She blew out a long held sigh. "Thank the Gods," Qwyyn said. She hesitated a moment. "And you? Is it...something you think about?"
He didn't answer right away as he worked on freeing his hands. Finally after several seconds he answered. "I'd be lying if I said no but I do and I feel terribly guilty over it." He paused seemed to gather his thoughts and spoke again. "You are my best friend and I feel that since we've come back from that damn planet something has changed between us. That I/we've lost what we had and that makes me incredibly sad." He looked at her "What about you? Do you think about it?"
“No,” she said flatly. But then she thought better of it. “Okay, yes,” she admitted. “The entire notion of there being another me out there isn’t exactly foreign to a joined Trill. But this — I never expected anything like this. I don’t know how to process it. And I think I just want to ignore it. That’s healthy, right?”
He nodded at her words, he notes Liselle made no comment about their friendship. * I guess it is over. * He reflected silently before speaking, "I understand. It is a struggle to process it. Your way may be the right way, to ignore it." His eyes are sad, "You should know I've thought about transferring. That I felt our relationship had suffered from what happened on the planet."
“I think...” Qwyyn began “...that a lot of relationships have suffered as a result of what happened on that planet. In fact, I’m thinking about breaking it off with Matias. Honestly, I’ve been avoiding him ever since we set course for this space station.” She gave up on fighting her bonds entirely now, her mind fully engaged in this conversation. “But a transfer? I could never. The Elysium is my home. And this crew is a family. I think we all just need some time to process.”
Gary listened as Liselle spoke and her words made sense, "You make a lot sense of Liselle an awful lot of sense. The Elysium is home, a home I've been looking for, for quite awhile and I guess I would be running away and that doesn't sit well. I'm sorry if you're disappointed in me for even suggesting a transfer." He stopped and watched as she quit fighting her bonds and stood still as she talked to him. "Decided you can't get free?" He asked a smirk on his face as he saw her frustration at being rendered helpless. He took it all in even as his hands worked the ropes that held them.
"Disappointed in you?" she echoed. "Gary, I -- "
At that moment the door burst open, revealing a thick moustached man dressed all in black. He wasn't anyone Liselle recognized, nor were the two men who stood to either side of them. The man's voice was low and gravely as he regarded the two of them. "Which one of you is the Sheriff?"
Liselle wasn't sure what this man's intentions were, if he was friend or foe. If he was there on behalf of the brothers, they likely would have told him already that the Sheriff was a woman. But that was the first thing he had asked. No matter what was happening, she hardly had the upper hand here. There were no cards to play. "Me."
"It's true," he said gravely. He flicked his eyes to his lackie on the left. "Off you go, then."
"It's done," he assured him. The young man turned on his heel and headed back out the door.
Gary stopped his attempt to free his hands even as he looked at Liselle standing there securely tied and back at the three strangers who had suddenly appeared. "Any idea who they are?"
The man in black pulled his duster aside, revealing the silver star pinned to his chest. "Call me Walt. I manage the law over in Filton," he said. "Got a tip that a man I've been looking for, Jon Dester, got the drop on the two of you." His eyes drifted up to the ropes slung over the rafters above.
Gary gave a groan and his hands came free of the ropes but not without a price. His wrists were slick with blood. "Well listen Walt is it? Don't know any Jon Dester. We've got business to settle with three brothers." He answered as he turned to Liselle.
Walt's eyes narrowed. "I've been after Dester for a good long while, Mister." His finger drew circles in the air around the two of them balancing on their chairs. "This is what he does. Waits until ya'll get tired, lose your balance. Do yourself in. I think he gets off on it." He folded his arms across his chest. "You saying Dester is working with a group of brothers?"
"Told you, don't know any Dester." Gary growled at the new lawman. "You can have Dester. The Sheriff and me have business with three brothers."
Walt flicked his eyes now to his remaining man. "Get them out of that mess."
The other lackie jumped into action, pulling a third chair over. He hopped up on to it, and took a knife from somewhere in his belt so that he could begin sawing away at Gary's noose.
Walt continued to talk as his man worked. "I've already sent word to have my people walk through this town and pull apart every stick of furniture to bring him back. Irons or coffin. I wouldn't get my hopes up about getting these brothers of yours back in one piece once my boys find them."
"Wait," Liselle cut in. "We want them alive. If you kill them, we can't question them."
"Hold on!" she snapped back. "This is my town! I enforce the law here."
"My dear," Walt drawled, "you are hardly in a position to be making terms, let alone enforcing them."
Gary looked at Liselle, he wasn't much for keeping the brothers alive but he wouldn't say it in front of Walt. Gary stood patiently as the lackie sawed through his noose while Liselle argued with Walt giving no heed to her bound condition.
Gary's bonds were cleared away, and Walt's man moved to Liselle next. "We don't just shoot people without a trial," she said. "We're the law, we need to act like it."
Walt adjusted his star at the mention of justice. "I've given up too much to let Dester go. I won't have it. I'm this close now, and any living soul that tries to stop me won't be living much longer." He spun on his heel and headed for the door. "ANY living soul."
Gary grabbed the gun from out of Walt's lackie's holster. He pointed it at Walt. "You heard Sheriff Quane. Now you want Dester that's fine. We're going after the brothers. Get in our way and I'll shoot you myself."
The lackie was frozen in place, his eyes stunned. Walt, on the other hand, calmly turned about to look at Taylor. "Not sure I caught your name."
Gary's gun never wavered as it remained pointed at Walt. "Didn't give it but you can call me Mister." He replied his voice low and menacing. He was vaguely aware that the lackie had stopped working on Liselle's bonds and she remained securely tied, "In fact." Gary continued, "Move into that cell...now. Drop the holster while your at it." He didn't even look at the lackie when he added, "You too now! "
"Your sherriff won't allow me to shoot down a band of wanted criminals before a trial, but she's gonna let you get away with shooting a fellow officer of the law?" He shook his head, almost sad in the action. "I don't think so." He called to his man, "Harlan, we're leaving."
Gary smiled like a cobra waiting to strike, "As you pointed out she's in no position to make terms and I can shoot you without killing you. Besides you said the same that you would kill any living soul that got in your way. Now drop the holster and get into the cell, both of you." Gary clicked the hammer back on his gun.
Walt froze midstep. With his back to the rest of them, they couldn't see what expression, if any, played on his face. "Sheriff," he called out. "Exactly what crime do you propose to hold me for?"
"Ummmm..." Qwyyn hesitated. Though her knowledge of the era had rapidly expanded in the last few months since they had first begun these excursions into the West, she knew she was woefully under prepared to bluff her way through this one. She looked to Gary. "Well...the, uh, crime of..."
Gary glanced quickly at Liselle who stood there still securely tied hand and foot with a confused look on her face. Though she was trying to bluff her way through this. Thankfully Walt couldn't see it. "The crime of exceeding your jurisdiction. You've got no say in how things are run in this town." Gary filled in for her.
"I see," Walt said with a disinterested air. He continued walking for the door. "Fire away."
Gary couldn't and wouldn't shoot him in the back. He glanced at the lackie. "Don't move." Then he winked at Liselle as his gaze drifted back to Walt. "Stop where you are . Don't do this." He said as he moved towards Walt his gun never wavering from being pointed at him.
Walt pulled the door open. “I’ll see you around, Stranger.”
Gary didn't answer, he closed the distance between them in a flash, so Walt couldn't pull his gun. Bringing his own gun up, he clipped Walt's head, knocking him out. As Walt fell like a tree to the office floor a small derringer fell from his hand. Gary snorted in disgust and kicked the gun away. Then bent down and removed his holster and gun. Then looking at the lackie he commanded, "Get him and you both into that cell.....Now!"
With his boss out of commission, Harlan snapped to attention at Gary’s order. No sooner had Taylor finished speaking the words then the young man dutifully grabbed Walt under his arms and dragged him heavily into the nearby cell.
“Wow,” Qwyyn whistled wide-eyed. She indicated her bound hands. “Untie a lady?”
Once Walt and his lackie were in the cell, Gary closed the cell door and locked it. He then turned his attention to Liselle. Gary smiled at her, "Well...." he said pretending to ponder the subject. "You are definitely a lady. No doubt about that." He replied honestly.
"If only we could give the rest of the crew your eyes, Taylor."
Chuckling he began untying Liselle. Moments later she was free. "I think we have some unfinished business with three brothers to attend to don't you?"
She walked over to a nearby desk, pulling open the drawer and retrieving a revolver. "Absolutely."
"Good. I'm glad we are agreed." He handed her the gun in his hand and picked up his own gun that the brothers had left atop her desk taunting them as they were tied atop the chairs. "Keep this one as well, you might need it."
Stuffing the extra gun into her belt she headed for the door. Walt had mentioned several of his men accompanying him on this mission of his to capture Jon Dester. She wasn't sure if she should expect any of his people waiting to jump them, or what exactly she would do if they asked after their boss. With a heavy breath she pushed the door open.
"Taylor," Qwyyn called back to him as she peered out the door. "There's gotta be a dozen men or more out there!"
"The rest of the deputies." Gary surmised, He looked around saw another empty cell and an idea sprang to mind. he grabbed a chair and slammed it to the floor breaking it and then started throwing books and other items around. finally he took out his gun and fired a couple of shots into the ceiling.
"That should bring them running to check on their boss. Get out of sight and have your gun ready." He told her and now waited for the deputies to check on their leader.
Qwyyn gave him a stern nod as she went to crouch behind her desk. "And I here I thought the law was supposed to be made up of nothing but good guys."
Gary moved around the corner, waiting for the other deputies to enter the office as he did he answered Liselle. "It is for the most part. Some just blur the line and forget why they're a law enforcement officer." The last said with a glance at the unconscious Walt.
Liselle's lips pulled into a teasing grin. "Well, then. It looks like we're going to find out which one of us the better shot after all," she said. With an open hand she gestured with to the door. "My windows are all barred. Only one way out of here."
"Is there really any question to who is the better shot? I mean after that unbelievable shooting exhibition you put on with the weather vane. I think the matter is settled." He bantered back. Looking around he asked, "You don't have a rear door?"
Liselle winced in embarrassment. Utterly breaking character, she lowered her voice to a small whisper. "I actually don't know," she said stupidly. "This is the longest I've ever been in my own office. I guess we should look?"
Gary stared at her "You don't know?" He repeated shaking his head as he focused his attention on her. "Considering the situation, I think that is an excellent idea. Let's go look before the place fills up with deputies."
The office wasn't overly large, built with just enough space to accommodate a couple of desks, a couple of prisoner cells to go with them, and a full-sized cabinet to store --
"Well I'll be damned," Qwyyn whistled as she shoved aside the supplies the cabinet held within. "There's a small trap door in the back!" Bracing herself, she pulled the locking bolt free and the trap door creaked open. "I guess every good Sheriff needs a Plan B! After you?"
"Well what do you know? That's a piece of good news and we could use some. You go down and close the trap down over you. But wait for me. I want these other deputies out of the way when we go after the brothers and whoever this Jon Dester is." His tone firm leaving no room for argument.
Qwyyn smartly saluted. "You got it, Stranger." Gripping either side of the cabinet she pulled herself into the escape tunnel that had been carved out for what she imagined was exactly this sort of situation.
Gary watched Liselle descend down into the escape tunnel until she was out of sight. Once she was he turned his attention to the front door and the expected onrush of deputies. He turned and looked at the imprisoned Harlan, "Not a peep." He warned.
With his own Sheriff out of commission, Harlan hadn't an ounce of courage left in him. With not a peep given, the young man obediently mimmed zipping his lips closed.
The door creaked open as one of Walt's men slowly pushed his way into the room. "Sheriff! Everything alright in there?"
Gary crouched down lower, waiting for the rest of the deputies to enter. Once they were all in the office, he was going to make sure they were locked up and couldn't cause Liselle or himself anymore problems.
"The hell is he?" one of the unseen men snapped to another.
"Gotta be somewhere. Ain't no place to -- Sherriff? Is that...you?" The door creaked again. "Get in here! Now!"
The sound of several boot steps filled the room, probably three more men, maybe four, making their way into the office and to the small jail cell in the back. "Harlan? Harlan, what the hell's going on?"
Gary rose from his hiding spot, his gun cocked and pointed at the deputies. "Gentleman. Thank you for coming." He said pleasantly, "Drop your guns and please join Harlan in the cell.....now!"
One of them actually made a move for his sidearm, but quickly stopped himself short, realizing how painfully slow he was in attempting to draw on this unexpected stranger. The abandoned gesture sent a clear message to his companions: He's got us dead to rights.
"Don't do nothing ya'll regret, now," the man bringing up the rear announced. "We're cooperating. See? We was just following our orders. That's all. Don't want no trouble."
"Keep being smart and you won't have to worry about me doing something your going to regret. Now gunbelts in the floor and into the cell with Harlan and your boss." Gary replied crisply. As the men moved into the cell, he hollered for Liselle, "Liselle you can come up here now." He finished as he slammed and locked the cell door.
Within moments she popped back into the room again. The sight before her was enough to stun her into a brief silence. "Wha - how did you manage...?" she shook the questions away, deciding instead to focus on the more important one. "What now?"
"Now my dear sheriff, we have score to settle with three brothers and whoever this Jon Dester is." His voice grim and serious, leaving little doubt to his intentions in these matters.
The atmosphere around them hardened suddenly, the very air coming to a standstill as the ambient sounds of whispered voices and creaking wood fell quiet. "Your time has expired," the computer advised them.
Qwyyn sighed, pulling off her hat and throwing it onto the nearby desk. "To be continued, I suppose," she said sadly.
Gary offered a sigh of his own. His tone matching hers in disappointment, "I suppose so. I hope your up for round two sometime in the near future."
"Gary," she said. "I think we should probably talk about -- "
The world around them dissolved away and the doors to the holosuite parted. Beyond a pair of Andorians narrowed their eyes, their antennae bowing in agitation in seeing the room still occupied.
"We were just leaving," Liselle assured them, and she headed for the door, her words for Commander Taylor left unspoken.
Gary nodded at the Andorians as he and Liselle moved past them. "Yeah." He replied somberly, "We probably should." In response to her half voiced statement.
Commander Gary Taylor
Commander Liselle Qwyyn
Chief Flight Control