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Hard Time Part I

Posted on Wed Sep 7th, 2022 @ 4:59am by Commodore Tyler Malbrooke & Lieutenant Ja'sol H'ros Re Seva & Ensign Rachel Sinclair
Edited on on Wed Sep 7th, 2022 @ 5:59am

2,133 words; about a 11 minute read

Mission: Episode 13 - Crooked River
Location: Igion Prison Complex
Timeline: MD004 1600 hrs

The transporter effect settled and General Tivau stood side by side with Lieutenant H'ros and Ensign Sinclair. They stood before a large gray stone wall that was topped with razor wire. Guard towers could be seen at the corners of the walls and there was a large steel door in the center of the wall. At the backs of the three was a beach with azure waters gently lapping at the shores. The shoreline extended for as long as the eye could see. The idea was anyone who escaped would have to contend with the water. "Well this is it... Welcome to Tharec Maximum Security Prison. This is where the most violent of the violent criminals are held. This island is inescapable. We will wait here until a team of guards can come to accompany us into the complex."

“How many attempts have there been? If these are the worst you have, surely they would keep trying” Rachel asked, looking around the area. This seemed almost primitive compared to Starfleet prisons, but that could all be a facade.

" General Tivau, with your approval I could have the ship lock it's phasers on the prison and have them set for stun if anything should go wrong while we're inside or have us transported out if our vital sign become altered. Either one is just a precaution for your approval. What do you think? "

"Thank you for the offer Lieutenant however, I think that would seem like an act of aggression by my government. You should understand that your ship is under extreme scrutiny while it remains in orbit. As are all of your people that are on the ground. We are after all an offshoot of the Romulans..." For the first time since meeting her Tivau actually smiled at her joke. She turned as the large doors began to open. "...Ah here are our escorts now."

Two fairly large and fit Jutrai came through the gates. One was a male with his white hair cut in a buzz style. He had a disruptor rifle slung across his back. The other was a female of muscular build. Her long white hair pulled into a pony tail. It was she who spoke. "General Tivau you have been expected and these must be the outsiders we were told about. Where would you like to be taken to first?" Her question was more to the Starfleet personnel than to Tivau.

“May I suggest we start with the control centre? If we’re going to start anywhere why not start at the top, clear the spots we know are safe” Rachel suggested

Ja'sol nooded. " I agree, we'll go to the control center and get a lay of the land and expand our search from there. After there I would suggest the medical center and labs, that way we can send the data to our medical personal and have them look it over for clues and evidence so we don't miss anything.

Tivau just wanted to get this over with, and with that in mind she decided that it would be best to let Starfleet have whatever they wanted or needed. "CO Rigal..." she began speaking to the female officer. "...take us to the Overseer Control Room." Rigal nodded her head and indicated that everyone should follow her as she made her way into the prison. "The Overseer Control Room should give you a view of life within the prison and what goes on. It also affords the benefit that no one will know that you are here." Tivau told the two Starfleet Officers.

As they progressed into the prison what was a beautiful day outside, with gorgeous surrounds quickly changed. The inside of the prison was dark, drab, and foreboding. The kind of place that would make a person depressed by just being there. On the walls in various places were stains of unknown origins, although some looked as if they could be blood. The lighting was dim, but everyone could see where they were going. Off in the distance a chanting of sorts could be heard. It was too far to make out the exact words, but there was definitely something. The guards scanned badges through various checkpoints and they came to a lift. Which was ordered to the over watch level.

“Does this station implement some kind of transport inhibitors to prevent anyone from beaming off any of the Prisoners?” Rachel asked as she stood just behind Ja’sol. She was trying to cover as many paths of investigation as she could politely get away with for now.

"There are no need for transport inhibitors. This colony is an isolationist colony as ordered by the Jutrai General Assembly. What's more is if there is a ship in orbit we know about it before it makes orbit. The planetary defense grid is state of the art and detects ships as they enter the system." Tivau deadpanned in reply.

“May I assume that also includes a Taceon Detection Grid?” Rachel asked, interested that they’d rely on a defense grid rather then something a little more high tech.

"Indeed a tachyon grid is always in effect. As the Lieutenant can no doubt attest to, you don't grow up under the boot of Romulus and not learn how to find their ships." The General laughed, it was a laugh of both mirth and malice. If there was one group she disliked more than outsiders it was Romulans.

Swallowing her nerves, Rachel put on a confident smile, even though she was anything but confident right now, “have you had any extra trouble since the empire fractured?”

Ja'sol spoke up. " I will attest to the truthfulness of General Tivau's statement on the Romulans. Yes we learned to detect their ships and even improved upon they're technology, not that we ever told them about it. the image we portrayed to the romulans was always of dandy's, fops and hedonistic partiers. I believe that gave us a little more freedom for our resistance to operate a bit more so then the Jutrai. " Ja'sol paused and looked up with both pain and hatred in his eyes. " But that doesn't mean that I didn't lose many of my friends to the tender mercies of the Tal Shiar. One of the people I lost was my lover and the woman I planned on spending the rest of my life with, that was the reason I joined the resistance. That is also why I have so much respect for the General and the Jutrai people, because I know what they went through. " He glanced up at the entrance of the prison. " We still have a job to do, shall we get to it? "

Listening to Ja’sol’s words, Rachel was feeling more and more nervous about this assignment and her spot on this mission. It was true that she was half Romulan and, although she wasn’t raised in their culture or beliefs, she was sure that her lineage would be more then enough for these people to turn on her and use her presence as an excuse to either arrest them for espionage or simply eject them from the facility and block all efforts of cooperation in this investigation. Keeping her eyes down, Rachel tried to focus on her work rather then the potential diplomatic incident that could occour here.

Ja'sol realized that some of his words may have disturbed Rachel as he remembered a few items in her profile. He playfully patted her shoulder. " Come on Rachel, We've got work to do. I'm sorry if the story of my past has depressed you. Yes I had some rough times growing up and so has everyone else. That is a part of me that I keep buried, but today it reared it's head, for that I apologize to you both. Let's get moving. " As he started to walk towards the gates.

Jumping a little in surprise as Ja’sol’s hand on her shoulder jerked her back into reality, Rachel quickly nodded, “yyy….yes sir. We have much to do and the sooner we conclude this investigation the better for all parties involved”

Tivau cocked an eyebrow in the Vulcan manner at the response of Rachel. To the General the young woman seemed a tad jumpy. "Well on these screens you can see the general goings on within the prison. Most of the inmates are not problems. They live their life day in and day out with no issue. However, if you look at the last screen you can see what we have dubbed the cult wing. Here are the inmates who taken to worshipping a something called the old one. It is this group who some believe is responsible for the incident that you have been sent here to investigate." Tivau chose her words carefully as to not let the guards that were present know the true nature of the mission at hand.

On the screen it could be seen that the prisoners in the wing had taken full control of the common area. In the common area eight inmates sat clothed in brown robes. The robes were made from bed sheets that had been on their beds. These sheets had been fashioned into robes that resembled the old cloistered monks of ancient Earth. They sat in a circle and in the center of the circles scrawled on the floor was the image of humanoid head with tentacles protruding from its mouth. Its head was large and bulbous akin to an octopus. The inmates that sat around this graven image were chanting although what they were chanting could not be understood.

The sight of the idols image made Ja'sol's skin crawl, He couldn't imagine anyone wanting to worship something as hideous as that creature. He felt the hackles on his neck stand on end and he wanted to turn his head away from the scene in disgust. " It appears that all the prisoners are well treated and the living conditions are sanitary and humane, Shall we continue our tour? Or is there something else you'd like to show us here? " He asked Tivau.

"I wanted to show you this as I thought this to be the center of whatever may be happening. There was a part of me that hoped you would be able to decipher whatever it was they were saying. However, if you cannot we should move on and get this over with." Tivau said as she too turned away from the screen in disgust.

Looking at the screen that was currently displaying the cultists, Rachel thought she recognized the symbol. After a moment of thought, she figured she should say something, “I can’t be sure, but the symbol looks like a representation of an Eldritch horror written about on earth centuries ago. Chathulu I think”

Tivau cocked an eyebrow at the new information. "Ensign please tell me about this writing you speak of. If it is what they are talking about then I must know all that I can."

Rachel turned to Tivau, “it’s a work of fiction, a horror story by a human named H.P.Lovecraft. It was written about 500 years ago. Like I said I can’t be sure. It may just be a coincidence”

"If you could show me, I would very much like to learn all about this work of fiction. It is quite possible that somehow your story has contaminated my people." Tivau replied with tinge of disdain in her voice. If the human story did contaminate her people the question would be when and how.

Rachel nodded, “that can be arranged, the story is easily accessible in the Federation’s historical archives. Though I’m not sure how it would’ve caused such an effect on your people, though perhaps we should focus on one mystery at a time?”

The feeling of unease was still with him, but he was able to brush it off and refocused once Rachel and Tivau began speaking again. "H.P. Lovecraft? I've never heard of him. Horror isn't exactly what I enjoy reading. Have the computer compare the two and see if they corelate, If they do then how and why? It may be a clue or raise another question in this tangled web we seek to answer. "
To Be Continued...

A Joint Post By

General Tivau
Commanding Officer
Igion Defense Forces

Ensign Rachel Sinclair
Assistant Chief Security/Tactical Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Junior Grade Ja'sol H'ros
Chief Security/Tactical Officer, USS Pioneer


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