Episode 1: Hell is a four letter word
Location: Prison - Mess Hall
Timeline: MD 7 - 06h00
The lights in the prison snapped on. Violently.
In one moment there was darkness, the blackness around them dripping like blood. Muffled crying came from somewhere over there. Muffled screams replied from somewhere over here. Despair. Torture. Insanity. Danger. Uncertainty.
And then there was light. And with the light came an angry, swarming buzz of super charged plasma, pumping into lamp fixtures that had been set into the walls every half-meter. Now, the prison glowed under those burning lights. Hot. Angry.
The thick cell doors clicked, slid open, and the prisoners emerged, stepping out to be counted. The prison guards walked passed them, spoke their number, yet somehow managed to not actually see them. The prisoners were cattle. They were property. They were not people to be looked upon.
When the prisoner count ended, they were herded together and sent to the mess hall for feeding. Guards adorned the walls, every half-meter, each one standing beneath a light. Each one eyeing the scurrying cattle as they grazed.
Liselle was still bound, her arms pinned behind her back and her back held ram-rod straight. Without clothing, and without freedom of movement she began to see herself as the guards did. Cattle. Property. Unable to take a tray of food for herself she reluctantly made her way to an empty table and sat. Waiting. Hoping that the other members of her crew would be able to see her and join her.
Gary followed behind Liselle. He was bound just as securely as she was and like her just as naked, just as helpless. He knew this was the Romulan way, to try and break them. He hoped and prayed Liselle could remain strong but judging by the look on her face. Her condition was beginning to get to her. He followed her to an empty table even as he looked for Lia, Phoenix and Taam. He was especially concerned about Lia, he saw how Khoal eyed her, wanted her for his own.
Lia now entered the mess hall, across her shoulders was the remnant of Khoal's dress. She had ripped it to this rag as her way of showing disrespect, her black eye and swollen lips testified to her punishment for doing so. She showed no emotion nor any outward sign of caring about her nudity, but she did spot Gary and Liselle. Picking up three tray's she placed food on them and headed for the pair. A guard stopped her, she used one tray to point at the bound pair and he nodded and allowed her to continue. Sitting between them she whispered, "It's not much, but I've got you something. Don't worry about anything I'll feed you both, I see the naked look is in this season". Her weak joke was a poor attempt at normalising their situation, but she could see both her friends had suffered at the hands of the Romulans. She now fed first one then the other, and only nibbling her own food. Her body was bruised from the continual rough handling of the Romulan guards, but she had a plan. Leaning close to Gary she explained it, "Now listen to me Gary Taylor, I'm going to get out of my cell. And I'm going to use my body to do it, as I have a certain guard who is frustrated as hell. I'm going to tell him he can have me, then get him to take me to the shuttle to do the dirty deed. That's where I'm going to clobber him, what do you think?"
Gary made no outward sign he had heard her as she fed him a vegetable of some kind. "Yes. very becoming. Its the in thing." He whispered not looking at her. For his heart was breaking, seeing her black eye, swollen lip and naked, her hands shackled. He had let her, Liselle, Phoenix and Taam down. When she mentioned her plan of using her body his reaction was the same nothing. He couldn't risk tipping the guards off to her plan. "Then what? You need to get the cavalry here Lia and then clear out. I'm going to kill them all." Leaving no doubt how serious he was.
She looked at her plate and then replied, "I'm going to switch the comm's back on, the shuttle should have power. Then I'm going to play my Japanese play list, that should give any ship looking for us a direction and distance. As for killing anyone, you leave Khoal for me. And I'll race you for the Romulan Captain, first to find her wins". She tried to smile but it hurt.
"Sounds like a dangerous plan. You have to get to safety." He urged as he whispered, He wished he could take her in his arms and comfort her but with his hands bound behind him it was impossible. "You can have him. That bastard Pig is mine." Pig would die by his hand for what he had done not only to himself but Liselle, dear sweet Liselle who wouldn't hurt a fly as well. Along with the abuse Lia had suffered as well as Phoenix and Taam. "Fair enough on the Captain." As he ate another veggie.
Leaning into Liselle, Lia blew her a kiss. "Hello beautiful, come here often? Another weak joke, but Liselle looked like she could use something to laugh about. "Here have some food, it tastes like crap but its all the kitchen is serving right now", she touched her friends hand and looked into her eye's. Lia hoped she understood, she shared her pain.
Gary listened as Lia tried to lift Liselle's spirits and fed her some food. Her plan was risky at best but until he was free it was all they had. He didn't say something stupid like be careful, Lia knew the risks and what was involved.
Turning back to Gary, Lia now whispered to him again. "If this all goes Pete Tong(slang for wrong), don't do anything stupid. Or I'll come back to haunt you, dressed as the Romulan Captain". She then blew him a kiss, it was the best she could do as things stood.
Now he did turn and looked at her. "Stupid? Never idiotic, now that's something different." As he weakly bantered with her. He gave a weak smile and closed his eyes at her blown kiss. They would need shore leave for six months after this.
There was a soft shuffle of feet behind Gary and Liselle and Phoenix slipped into the seat beside Liselle. Her hair was down and it had been hacked at in pieces, so it was all different lengths. As Phoenix had grown her hair to past her waist, she was beyond pissed about it now being chopped up and looking like someone had, as they had, taken a hacksaw to it. She wore a nondescript jump suit and her wrists were chaffed but she tugged down the cuffs. "Hey" she said softly. She had not told the others the fate of their pilot. She held it close to her soul.
Gary turned his head as best he was able and glanced at Phoenix, saw her mangled hair. he knew the pride Phoenix had in her hair and now the Romulans had effectively ruined it by hacking it to pieces. It was just another nail in coffin for the Romulans has far as he was concerned. Retribution was going to be sweet. "Captain." He replied quietly.
The ghost of Juntis Qwyyn was sitting next to Liselle. Rather, he had been sitting there until Phoenix took the seat instead. He had popped out of existence in that moment. She was relieved to see him now suddenly appear again across the table from her. Liselle smiled. "Thank the Gods," she said to the empty space across from her. "I was afraid that maybe you were gone for good."
Two guards silently materialized one behind Gary the other behind Liselle. Sharing an evil smirk, they reached a hand out simultaneously and pushed Gary and Liselle's heads into their trays. "That is how these two eat!" One barked at the rest of the prisoners. "Remember it!"
Lia now stood up and allowed her tray to fall, the contents fell and then bounced off the floor on to one of the Romulan guards uniform pants. She looked down and then commented, "Sorry, I jumped. I wasn't expecting that, I thought it was Erei Riov Khoal my owner". The guard had began to raise his hand to strike Lia, but when she said Khoal's name he froze. "You belong to the Erei Riov?" Lia bobbed and nodded in reply, the guard pushed her back down onto the seat. "Be more attentive, Human", he growled. A small smile crossed her swollen lips, it hurt like hell. But deep within her, a fire had been lit.
Gary's blood was boiling but he was beaming with pride at Lia's small act of defiance. Here she was naked, she was shackled hands and feet and she still managed to give the guards the shaft. He hated hearing Lia talk about Khoal being her owner. However he had to get out of these cuffs to do something about it. He turned and looked at Lia, saw her small smile. "Nicely played." He whispered . His face covered in the contents of the tray. "Be a love and wipe this crap off my face." His eyes drifted to Liselle whose face was likewise smeared with food to see how she was, "Then help Liselle."
Her eye's turned to Gary, "Sure, just don't get used to it". She again gave him a cheeky grin, it still hurt but damn screwing that guard over felt really good. After cleaning up Gary she turned to Liselle, "Hold still Elle, I'll just check your hair". Lia finished cleaning up her companions when she looked over towards Phoenix, "I can't do much for your hair, sorry". Bending down she picked up her tray and spoiled food, she placed the tray on the counter the food she chucked in the bin. Going back to Gary she whispered in his ear, "I'm going back to my holding area, randy guard comes on duty in about ten minuets. With luck I should be in the shuttle very soon, you know it was Khoal who told me it was here. He's keeping it, even had the engines fixed". She walked over to her guard and he pushed her out of the mess hall, Lia's escape plan was on.
"Drat. Here I thought you liked looking after me." He bantered. He nodded as Lia spoke, when they got out of this he was going to put her, Liselle and Phoenix in for commendations. Hell, Taam as well, he was sure the Wolf Queen could arrange something for him. A sour stomach filled his stomach as Lia mentioned going back to her holding area. *Her cell." He thought disgustedly. The plus side she was away from the general population of prisoners the down side it would take him longer to reach her. Watching her leave he knew it was time to put his own escape plan into effect and that involved Pig.
Phoenix sighed softly. "I will be dragged off soon for another questioning session." She muttered. "I don't know how many times i can tell them to fuck themselves on a warp core in Erisian before they get the point."
"We need to continue to resist their attempts to break us." Gary replied, "I know it seems difficult but we can't lose hope. The ship has to know we didn't reach Trill and they will begin searching for us."
"if they are allowed to." Phoenix said softly. She stood, she had not eaten a thing. "Commodore Mountbatten is likely to have taken control." And so saying, she slipped away into the crowd of prisoners.
Gary was stunned by Phoenix's reply. Did she actually think that the Commodore wouldn't come look for them? He wouldn't no he couldn't think that way and if the ship wasn't the Wolf Queen would be marshalling the pack to look for them. He looked at Liselle, "Liselle, don't give up. We'll get out of this."
"What?" she asked absent-mindedly. "Oh. Get out of this. Right. Sure, Commander." She nodded, her eyes as unfocused as her voice. "Of course we will."
Gary looked at her, not knowing what to make of her comment. "Commander? What happened to Gary?" He could tell she was out of sorts but then sitting there bound and naked like they were would do that. "Listen to me Liselle!" He hissed, "Keep it together. WE will get out of this. Try Liselle to not let this bother you. I know it's hard being without clothes and bound but you can do it."
She gave him a half-hearted nod, but said nothing more.
Taam hadn't said much, he was listening rather than talking, observing without reporting. He turned his attention to the Captain, they were running a classic maneuver on her, and there was more to come. If it was just about humiliation, she would be bald and that would've been it, they'd have had their laugh and been done, she needed to be ready for more. Gary and Liselle, this was something personal and sick. As for Lia, he couldn't figure out what she was up to, but he knew he had to keep an eye out for an exit.
Commander Lia Holmes
Prisoner and plaything of the Romulans
Captain Phoenix Lalor
Unsure of status....
Commander Gary Taylor
Planning An escape
Command Liselle Qwyyn