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The Brig 2

Posted on Thu Jan 18th, 2024 @ 3:58pm by Captain Samuel Woolheater & Commander Kyle Reece & Commander Sthilg & Lieutenant Colonel Azhul Naxea & Lieutenant Commander Alicia Kelea-Salik & Lieutenant J'airesh Mora-Heath & Consul Andrinn Orin & Captain David Tonelly [Reece] & Chief Warrant Officer Carol Dolton [Lia Taylor]

Mission: Season 6: Episode 4: Memory Lane
Location: DECK EIGHTEEN - MAIN BRIG
Timeline: Following "The Brig"
3492 words - 7 OF Standard Post Measure

[ON:]

Sam was awakened by the shift change of security. He sat up. He thought back, he had slept and not had a nightmare. He didn't know how long he had been asleep. Not long he hoped. He got to his feet to stretch his legs a bit. Shaking the tension out of them. He saw the officer leave and then the new one take over. "Hey?" he called her. "Can I get something to drink? Water or juice or something?"

There was no answer. He went to the forcefield and investigated the control area, "Ay?! Can I get something to drink?" he asked the person at the control board.

"Water is available in your cell, Marine." The deep baritone of the Security Chief, Commander Kyle Reece, filled the nearly silent brig. Stepping into view, the big man gazed down at Sam. "What do you remember?"

Undaunted he replied, "It's broken" he pressed the manual control on the beverage dispenser to demonstrate 'she broke'. He came back to the forcefield. "Commander Reece. Been a while since I spent any time in Hotel Reece" Sam said as he acknowledged the man. Sam rubbed the bridge of his nose and squinted. He was getting a headache. "I don't remember much. I haven't been sleeping well. Not just because of prep work for any boardings we may have. But I just don't know. My dreams, especially the bad ones, are very vivid. I never had dreams this vivid. I don't know that it has anything to do with what happened. He put his head in his hands and remembered stabbing Adelaide, "oh gawd!" He shook his head. "I was tired. I went to my rack just...for a ten-minute shuteye. I must have fallen asleep?" He looked up at Reece, "Next thing I know, I'm being gutted in my dream, my nightmare. They...these people in my dream, they were coming after me. I had a knife in my boot, and I used it on them. To keep them back. But it wasn't them I hurt. It was Adelaide. I...I stabbed her. Not on purpose. I don't know how I got to the Promenade. I don't know how! Deck thirty-two to deck ten is twenty-two decks via two turbo lifts. Hey, you have footage, right? Ship's sensors? How did I travel all those decks in a sleepwalk?" he asked. He stepped close and the field arced and shocked him back.

"It's possible, though not very plausible," Alicia offered a gentle smile as she walked into the brig. "You do have a valid question though..." She looked at Reece. "Do we have any security footage of Sam sleepwalking the ship?"

"I'll look into it. Though, it is a very long distance to sleepwalk." As he didn't know Woolheater or Adelaide personally, Kyle couldn't make a guess at any reason for the attack, or if the Marine officer was lying. Before he could say anything more, however, the doors slid open, and the storm rolled in.

Naxea stormed in, her boots resounding loudly on the duranium deck. Being tired from Sle'anna, training the Away Team, and overseeing the deployment of Marines at vital ship areas along with Security. Now she was dealing with one of her most trusted officers stabbing her administrative chief. "Just what in the hell happened, Lieutenant?" She snapped in a stern tone as she made a beeline towards Woolheater.

His first thought was, ~Did I just get demoted?~ and for about two seconds he was going to correct her, ~Beggin’ the Colonel’s pardon, I’m a Captain ma’am~ but, the better part of valor made him bite his tongue. Which was easy to do when he saw how mad she was. ~Oh! Shit!~ he thought as he saw the Colonel approach. "Colonel, I don't know. I really don't. I've been having vivid nightmares. I didn't think anything of it. Just...I figured the stress and maybe the injection...the..Inepti transporter inhibitor we got injected with?" He spoke with his hands to emphasize his words, "I was tired, I've been tired before but not like this. I intended to lie down just for ten minutes. The next thing I know is I'm waking up from a nightmare and..." he hesitated and choked on the words. It was written all over his face the guilt, the regret, the fear that he hurt one of their own. ‘Mortified’ would be the word. One of their own, Adelaide, though she was a civillian, was, in the Marines eyes, just as much a Marine as the rest.

He put his hands on his head, "...and...I woke up by stabbing Crewman Kirkby. It was an accident. I... don’t remember how I even got to Deck Ten. Colonel, docs checked me out. They didn't tell me shit. How is Adele? What's happening?"

Alicia offered an understanding smile as she looked at Sam. "Adele is out of surgery, and she's doing well. She's currently in intensive care, so try not to worry." She looked towards Naxea. "We have...concerns Colonel. Concerns that Sam and maybe other marines have been victims of kidnappings. Somehow taken and returned to the ship, somehow bypassing all the security measures we've put in place."

Sam turned to the bed/ledge and sat down and breathed in a sigh of relief. He couldn't help but worry; it would be hard not to worry. But Alicia was right. Worry would not help him here. Medical took care of her, saved her. Now, it was important to understand and evaluate what happened. He breathed another sigh of relief and leaned forward on the edge of the bed and put his head in his hands as he listened.

Naxea crossed her arms and turned her head to look to Alicia. "What proof do you have of this?" Her tiredness was fueling her frustration.

"Well, there was something that happened back a few months ago with that goo look-a-like. Do you guys think that it could have anything to do with that? When we were a part of that away mission gone awry?" Andrinn asked, after having walked into everyone having a conversation and where he saw Sam sitting behind a forcefield. Andrinn didn't know the exact details of why his fiance was sitting there, but Andrinn knew something had happened and it wasn't good.

~Andrinn?~ it sounded like he was here? Sam got back on his feet to see if he was there.

Alicia shook her head. "I don't think so, I think this is all to do with the nightmares." She looked at Sam then back at the others. "We think it's possible that people are being taken, somehow bypassing the security measures that have been set up. Being taken and returned, we just don't know how it would be possible."

"Sorry about that. I just wanted to make sure we helped Sam, no matter what happened," Orin replied, wanting to be useful.

Sam spotted him, he could not hide the gladness in his voice. He didn’t want to embarrass the Consul as news of them had not yet been made public. So, he backed off a bit with "An....Consul Orin. It's good to see you. Sir. Consul. Sir."

"I'm sorry," Alicia offered an apologetic smile. "I didn't mean to sound like I was dismissing what you suggested. Right now, it's important that you're here for Sam. That we're all here to help Sam."

"I'm here to find the truth of what happened," Naxea snapped, then turning to look back at Woolheater.

He met her gaze.

"I'm half tempted to bring Gunnery Sergeant Gami down here and have her do a telepathic probe."

San ran his fingers through his short blond hair, "well…uhhhh...that doesn't...could we just put that on the maybe pile? Y'know...no idea is bad here but, we should hear everybody out before we decide on a course of action. I mean, Medical ran some tests and y'know...they were prolly expensive. Lots of activity, beeping. I heard beeping, lights...and data...lots of data…probably…useful stuff…could be important."

Before anything else happens in my brig," Kyle spoke over everyone sternly. His tone made it clear that this was his domain, and he was in charge. "Everyone out. This isn't the time for a social call with my prisoner. Ambassador," he looked at Orin. "As the prisoner's fiancé, I will allow you ten minutes with Captain Woolheater. Everyone else, come with me to my office." He then turned and strode out of the brig, informing the watch officer that after the Ambassador's ten minutes, no one else is to be in to see the prisoner without his permission.

"Call me if you need me Sam" Alicia nodded to Sam and Orin, before following Kyle to his office.

Samuel nodded to Alicia and mouthed a ‘thank you’ grateful for her help. The Colonel’s stare could melt transparent aluminum from across the room. He waited until the rest of the group left. He said, "Andy?" He didn't like the silence and he wished that there was more privacy. But the brig was monitored, and the watch officer was just a few meters away. He looked at Andrinn. Concern was written on Sam’s face. He was dying to ask Andrinn, “You don’t believe that I would do this like they say right?” He looked at Andrinn and questioned if the guy still loved him. But could one blame Andrinn for how things looked? "I guess you're wondering if I've lost my mind huh? Tell you the truth; I don't know what's going on. You got my message, obviously. Thanks for coming."

"I'm just wondering if I should slap you or kiss you right about now. I'm sure that both could help you, given the circumstances. But, seeing as there's also a forcefield between us, I guess you're safe from both," Andrinn replied, wondering what in the worlds that Sam was thinking or what was happening to him. Andrinn looked Sam straight in the eyes and said, "You've got 60 seconds. Explain."

Sam stepped back from the forcefield in frustration. He kicked himself away, like a caged tiger he paced, "I don't need even six seconds. Andrinn, look at me. It's me. OK? I haven't gotten much fuckin’ sleep in, I don't know...three, four days now?" He got as close to the forcefield as he could. Static electricity forming on the very ends of his hair making it stand out with an electric fizz, "Andrinn" he spoke in a hushed tone, "Remember, three, maybe four days ago? I came to you late at night. I had a bad dream. Remember? It was about Emily. It was a nightmare about losing her?"

"Yeah, I think I remember seeing you all sweaty and everything. At first, I thought you had gone to the gym or something and had just run down to my quarters afterwards. Until you told me differently, of course," Andrinn replied, listening to what Sam had to say for himself and remembering everything.

"Nah, nah….you helped me. And the thing is, I knew that I could come to you. At any hour. Do you know what that means to me man? That’s what I have to be for other people. I have to be that guy for others. And, I ain’t complaining. I’m happy to do it. But I’m not used to being able to lean on somebody else. Nobody that’s not a Marine I mean. Andy, you mean a lot to me. Every night, every time I close my eyes I get restless and I have a bad dream. Usually, one is a big one. Andy, I don't know what’s going on. The first time I really remember it was bad was the night I came to see you after the nightmare with Emily. The second...the second one...I was...alone. I lived alone on a planet because I dreamed you all left me behind. I saw you leave me. And I never want to have that feeling again."

"You know that I would make sure that we'd never leave you behind. We're engaged and we love each other. I would make sure that you were never left behind," Andrinn said, his eyes directed at Sam. He was worried about what Sam was going through, which is why Andrinn wanted to make sure that every medical and psychological test was done before they just threw Sam into the brig for god only knows how long.

"I know that. I believe that. But I wasn’t in control of the dream. I hope you never have to feel – like that - I felt like I lived there for a lot of years. Andrinn...when you all left me, in my dream, it ripped my heart out. I knew, even in my dream, that you tried. And I accepted what happened. But, I died on that day. And my body just kept going. But the man inside was dead. It fucked me up inside. And I woke up…..remembering…..all of it. I know what it’s like to be that lonely..." he shook his head from side to side, "...and I don't want to feel that again." He put his hands lightly on the field and the energy sparkled from his fingertips. "The worst was today's. All day long I feel like there's something after me. Nipping at my heels. The only thing, - the only idea - that brings me any joy at all is knowing that you are here. And that when my duty shift is over, I can be with you. I’m walking around like in a haze…and I realize… I know that deep down, I’m the monster that everybody is afraid of getting on the ship. And I see it in my guys too. That's the only peace I get. In my dream today, I could feel...these people...all around me. They killed me, Andy. I was there. It was so real” He paused here, his eyes cast down, his hands at his sides as in his minds eye he could revisit that terrible dream just as vividly as he dreamt it. He continued, “I could smell the smoke and I could feel...they tied me to a post. Andy. I was in some kind of…I don’t know….ritual? They cut me open. Slow. I could feel my warm blood running down my legs. Somehow, maybe because my guts were slippery – I don’t know - I got away...I was walking backwards and I reached for my knife in my boot. And then...and....then....it was her. Adelaide! I stabbed her; but it wasn't me. I can't explain it, Andy."

"Well, we'll have to figure it out for you because if you did this to one person, it could happen again and if it's caused by the dreams, we need to figure this out," Andrinn replied.

Samuel stepped close to the field. So close that it started to hum and buzz. And Sam did feel a low-level, uncomfortable buzz on his body. "Andrinn, please listen to me. I need to tell you. I'm afraid that if I could hurt Adele, who is like a sister to us in the Corps. If I could hurt, her; then I could hurt you or anybody. And I don't need a knife. Do you understand? I'm afraid. Because - think about it - what if this is how they get us?” He touched the field and was shocked back. “The god damn T'H's?? I'm supposed to be drilling my platoon on boarding defense and offensive tactics. Half, maybe all my team is exhausted. Andy, if we don't get the hell out of this area of space. I'm afraid...it might be us. The whole crew...that makes it easy to be...taken. How much longer until we reach the border?"

Andrinn just took a few steps back and turned around, thinking about it for a moment. He knew that Sam had a good point and he may have just proven it to the rest of the ship's compliment of what all of us were capable of if we were reprieved of sleep long enough. Andrinn turned around and didn't know what to say.

For a long time – at least a solid minute – they said nothing.

Sam spoke first, a single tear dropped from his eye and ran down his cheek. He wiped it away. He spoke softer now. Calmer, quieter, his soft baritone voice had a warm resonance from his heart. "I spoke to David, the MXO today. I told him we're planning on getting married. Adele was there; she was so happy for us. You should have seen her. I think she wants to….” He stopped talking. He realized that she might not to ever want to talk to him again. He hung his head and wiped his eyes for what came next. It hurt a lot to say this, “Andy. Listen to me? If you want out - I understand.” That part came out softly and apologetically. After a beat he said, “This is what, I think, life will be like? For us. For you. I go where they send me. I was hoping that, you know, I get attached to a ship like Elysium and they would stop re-deploying me. But, that’s fantasy. I’m just a tool. A means to an end. That means, I go when the man tells me to go. And you’d be the military spouse. Living with emptiness? And the never knowing part? That's hard on people, Andy? On couples. On lovers. I don’t want to put you through that. I’m expendable to Starfleet. But. Andrinn? Look at me? You - are not - expendable to me.”

Despite the forcefield between them, there was no energy strong enough to block that kind of love. No sir. Effortlessly, the language of the heart communicated his love for him. Sam said, “You deserve so much more than what I can g....offer you. You can do better than me Andrinn. I don't want to hurt anybody. It's important that you believe me. The whole world be damned. I need to know that you believe me."

"Are you seriously thinking I'd back out of this just because you were possibly taken over by some alien species? We just need to figure out what's going on and make sure that you are okay, as well as the rest of the crew. I'll see if I can reach out to our new guest or something, to see what he might know about the slavers using nightmare tactics on new crews, okay? We've got this and I've got you," Andrinn said, offering up a warm smile to Sam as he tried to be reassuring. Andrinn was a bit scared though and wasn't sure what to do, as this was new to him and the rest of the crew.

Sam nodded, “Nkay…you got me.” He nodded again, feeling like he was finally being understood for what had happened.

"I'll be back later, to check in on you. I love you, you big old goofball. Just hang in there and we'll figure this out," Andrinn said before heading back out to where everyone else was.

Sam watched him go, he looked at the Security guard who was busy working. He said after a moment, “Ay? Drink thing is busted. Can I get a water or something?”

=== --- ===

J'Air had been working on the scans and data that her tests had produced, and she had come up with something she couldn't believe. She rushed into the CMO's office with a PaDD but he wasn't there. She wondered if he was in ICU and went to look for him, clutching the PaDD against her, asking everyone if they'd seen him. She felt she was wasting time, so she tapped her comm badge to reach him instead.

=^= Mora-Heath to Commander Sthilg =^= she sent out the hail, as soon as he answered, J'Air began to babble at him, trying to get too many words out and not actually making any sense in her rush.

=^= Sir..... Sir.. the results, they'regettingthrough, wehavetodosomethingtostopthem, Ihavethescansandtherearebiggapsandthebrainwavesandcerebralfluid,
thechemistryisn'tright,
andit'simpossible....
ithastobeamistakebutIranitTHREEtimes!
Idon'tknowhowit'shappening!
It'samajordisaster!=^=

she finally stopped and took a deep breath.

=^= Sorry, Sir.... =^= J'Air forced herself to speak each work slower, one at a time.

=^= It's just that I NEED to see you to show you the results, Sir..... it's DESPERATELY URGENT-itspropablyhappeningaswespeak....=^= she began to speed up again so she stopped.

Sthilg hit his comabdge as soon as he heard it buzz. Listening to J'Air message he opened up the channel. " Ssslow down my deqar. Breath in and ssstart from the beginning."



TBC…


[OFF:]

 

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