Location: In orbit of Jutus
Speed: Standard Orbit
Shields: Nominal
Hull: Nominal
Systems: All Systems Nominal

Bridging The Gap
Episode 11 - Family Matters
Stardate 73834.3
MD005 0900 hrs

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The Collision of Fear and Hope

Posted on Sun Dec 29th, 2019 @ 12:49am by Staff Sergeant Alexandra Hobard & Abigail Ballston & Corporal D'tar Xo'chi
Edited on on Sun Dec 29th, 2019 @ 2:09am

Mission: The Drumhead (Empok Nor Premier)
Location: Empok Nor - Central Core
Timeline: MD022 0900 hrs

Abigail's reality was falling apart. She quickly stood from the near fetal position she had been sitting in. The small room she was being held in generally didn't allow any sound in though she could hear the explosions from the assault of the from somewhere and bits of the ceiling fell around her. She raised her hands to protect her from the debris that fell about her only adding to the dirty look of her dark blue pants and shirt she had been wearing since the field trip that ended up with her being placed within that room.

Her dark eyes flicked to her side as the door came open and a woman grabbed her pulling her out and in front of another. Both women didn't look Azzian, not even their eyes gave away their secret. The woman Abigail now stood before looked Bajoran right down to the earring. Appearing as an older woman with wrinkles about her dark brown eyes, she wore a green tunic with darker green slacks that gave little indication as to where she was from or where she might be going.

"Abigail," The woman said in her deep alto voice, "you will do exactly as I tell you, you are lucky I don't just kill you and I will without hesitation if you disobey."

From behind the other woman, also looking rather Bajoran and wearing a similar outfit placed a hand on her shoulder while the other quickly lifted part of Abigail's shirt and placed a silvery device in the small of her back.

For a moment the youngest member of the Ballston family moves, shocked by the unexpected touch but she said nothing. She studied the older woman's face, each crease, the fact her ears lobes were attached and her eyes though they somehow looked unreal.

"We are going to leave," the woman began again, "you are coming with us and you will not make say a word to anyone, understood."

Abigail didn't so much as nod to indicate her understanding or consent, only gazing almost defiantly at the woman.

Pulling briskly at Abiail's arm the shorter, younger-looking woman headed towards a doorway that led to the corridor now clamoring with others trying to find safety in a station under attack. Soon the trio blended in slowly making their way towards a turbolift.

Staff Sergeant Alexandra Hobard and her team had been patrolling the deepest recesses of the central core. Anyone they found had been taking to safety. The journey was not without loss Poc the Bolian comms specialist was injured and in this chaos might be dead. However the unit pressed on. Their scanners showed that there was a group of people somewhere in the area and among them was a young girl. "Any of you mutts no where to find these people?" She called to her team as she removed her helmet and let her hair breathe for a moment.

Her team all checked their scanners. "It looks like The Jury is closer to them ma'am." Private Hall called out. Hobard checked her scanner again and verified that the Private was correct. "Alright I am going to check on The Jury. The rest of you hot dogs get these people out and then get yourselves out. Do you get me?" "Alex shouted over the din of noise as she shouldered her weapon. "Yes Ma'am we get you..." her team responded.

Abigail stopped abruptly trying to avoid running over some of the people pressing their own way threw the area. There was twenty meters between them and the lift and she was trying her best to resist without getting hurt.

"Move you, obstinate child," the older looking woman blurted as she reached behind her grasping the child's arm at just below the elbow and moving towards the lift once again.

Alex had her team directing traffic. "Right ladies and gentlemen if you move quickly and orderly everyone will get to the airlocks and the shuttles beyond. Women and children first. Move it... Move it..." Her trademark crooked smirk was on her face. "What do you have over there? Any issues?"

D'tar was not amused.

The Corporal had enough work to do that being piped out to handle crowd control. Still, marines go where they're told and do what's expected. The Romulan sighed inwardly as he saw yet another gaggle of civilians starting to mill and cause chaos amidst the more or less orderly evacuation process and he moved forward, spreading his hands to make himself seem even larger.

"Beings, let's keep it orderly. One Cardassian merchant began to protest and D'tar grabbed her bodily by the shoulders, turning the surprised woman back into the flow and ordered. "Miss, keep moving or you disrupt the entire process." When she started to turn back and protest, he added with a practiced scowl, "MOVE your posterior Cardassian or I'll throw you onto that shuttle myself."

The Cardassian female squawked at that but caught the Romulan's frowning visage and meekly rejoined the flow. Corporal Xo'Chi nodded and started to move back toward his posting out of the flow by a support beam when he heard a commotion and turned.

Alex made her way to the Corporal's location. "Corporal report..." Alexandra looked around as she spoke the woman was a people watcher especially in situations like this. The one thing that struck her as odd for the moment was the young blonde girl being moved through the crowd by two Bajoran women. Hobard silently made sure that the Romulan saw what she saw.

D'Tar tracked with the Sergeant's eyes, then met her's and nodded and began a flanking maneuver, closing but keeping his distance.

The Blonde Azzian girl heard the words of instruction and began trying to follow the marine's orders rather than those of her captors. She looked at D'tar as they got closer, her dark eyes pleading until a quick reminder in the form a sharp, jolting pain was administered through the device and she trimmed and looked away.

As Abigail moved falling in line with the others they eventually got directly in front of Alex. With one arm held at the wrist and the other by her hand she moved. Her face was tear-stained and her light blonde hair matted. There was a tear in the right knee of her pants and the black color they were originally was now more of a mottled dirty grey. Once again she tried to make eye contact with the human female with the partially shaved head and who seemed in charge. When the marine was to her side and close enough she made her move. With one of her captors in front of her and the other behind Abigail purposefully kicked towards Alex as she looked up at her, not too hard but hard enough it would get her attention, hopefully.

Alexandra felt what seemed at first to be a slight rub at her right calf. She quickly swiveled in a precise manner a looked down. There she found that same little blonde girl and the two Bajoran women. Alex unstrapped her helmet and let her long mohawk flutter down to her shoulders. "What do we have here? No need to kick little one we can all get out of here quickly. Hey how about I carry you." Alex was not sure what was going on here, but something definitely was. She knelt next to Abigail to see i the girl would allow herself to be lifted. "Keep a whether eye..." She called to the Corporal as she knelt.

"She certainly cannot," The older looking Bajoran blurted pulling her along, "the child does not need encouragement for her bad behavior."

D'Tar's eyebrow shot and he pulled a phaser from its thigh holster, keeping it shielded behind him. He had his eyes firmly on the Bajoran's now as he stepped into the widening space around them and said, "Child? Seems like a strange term for a care-giver to use, while escorting and attempting to calm a child during this chaos."

"But their not my caregivers," Abigal protested trying to pull free from the women.

"You see," the younger woman replied with a smile, "she suffers from a rare mental condition that makes her forget." He drew in a deep breath and added, "every day we have to remind her who she is, where she is and who we are. If something out of the ordinary like this happens we have to start all over again."

"But you're the one that termed her child rather than by a name," the Romulan pointed out. With the phaser still concealed, his index finger found a control on the marine issue phaser and a low warble sounded. Feigning surprise, he pulled a round device from his belt and glanced at it. "Well, the tricorder picked up a lie," he said conversationally. Glancing at the Sergeant, he said "What do you think, Sarg? ID and check out their story?"

The entire time, the Romulan didn't take his eyes off of the beings in front of him. The fact that he was lying, didn't matter. Their reaction did.

Alex looked at the young girl and the two that were with her. She agreed with D'tar something did not seem right. "Well, there is a quick fix to this issue. The station computer keeps a record of everyone who resides at this station. Young Miss if you would not mind coming with me. All you have to do is press your hand to this computer terminal. Corporal keep an eye on these caretakers." Hobard reached her hand out for Abigail to take and motioned for a computer that was on the wall.

The girl was hesitant at first, with all she had been through she wasn't sure exactly how to respond. Abigail, typical smile had been replaced with a look of fear and at the moment there was no exception. She looked at Alex hesitantly before taking the hand and glancing back for a split second before looking again at the woman. She said nothing, only gazed fearfully towards her.

Hobard shouldered her weapon, and removed her helmet. Her long brown mohawk of hair came tumbling down to her shoulders. She knelt down and looked Abigail in the eyes, while pointing to her comm badge. "You see this symbol, it means that I have to help everyone. I think you know that. Come on it will be okay, we are just going to see who you are. If it helps I will have my hand scanned first." She thought that perhaps the little girl was afraid of the scanner.

Abigail nodded and stepped closer to Hobard then stiffened for just a moment then fell to the floor in a heap unconscious as the device on her back silently delivered enough energy to stun an adult though for a seven-year-old Azzian it was enough to actually burn, especially at such close range. The sickening smell of chard flesh wafted up from her and a dark brown spot appeared on the back of her t-shirt.

Almost instantaneously the two Bajoran imposters activated devices that looked like bracelets in their wrists and beginning the process sight to sight transport vanished in a blue transport beam leaving the helpless child behind.

Hobard was stunned at the speed of it all, she could not stop it. As soon as the little girl collapsed she saw the transport beam begin out of the corner of her eye. "STOP THEM CORPORAL!" she ordered. Alex scooped Abigail up and checked her vitals the old fashioned way. She found that a pulse was present and strong. With a quick flip of her wrist she drew a tricorder and scanned the girl. Abigail was unconscious but otherwise ok. A few tears welled into Alexandra's eyes as she looked around. What is this madness... she thought.

D'tar's arm flashed up as the two Bajoran's began to vanish, his thumb and finger moving in unison. Hitting a selector switch and then the trigger of his phaser. A pulsing lime green beam left from the emitter and caught the left most care giver in cocoon like wrap.

He was trying to shift his shock gun up and around as the second Bajoran disappeared. Keeping the being trapped in the encapsulating ray, he dropped the shock gun and the sling retracted it against his chest as he glanced over at Hobard. "Sgt., one got away but I think I have this one trapped."

Two wall mounted consoles in the corridor sparked and burst into flames as Empok Nor rocked with another volley. The station was under heavy fire and was not going to last much longer. A number of conduits dropped down from the ceiling. Alex held the little girl close and looked around, the mass of people that surrounded them seemed to close in. People covered in soot from console explosions ran past, and the world seemed to move in slow motion. Alexandra Hobard realized then and there that she was in a war zone.

"Great work Corporal we have to move out. Let's get this girl out of here and take that one with us. I think it's time to bug out." Alex replied and although the mood had changed her smirk was still there.

D'tar grunted and then grinned. He thumbed a control and the green beam's light intensified and there was a crackling of energy. People who had been edging away already started to push back more and then there was a yelp from within the general vicinity of the encapsulated prisoner and then a flash and the beam winked out. The would be kidnapper lay on the deck, an ever so faint tendril of smoke raising from her clothing.

Catching a few looks as he walked over to the body, placed binders on both hands and feet then hoisted the woman to his shoulder in a not so gentle motion. Catching a Bolian's eye, he said dryly. "One should know better than to fuss with Federation Marines, no? Alright you lot. Nothing more to see here, now go about your business...."

He kept the phaser held in his hand as he nodded to the Sgt. who was prepping the little girl for transport. "I'll find a dark hole to evac this being Sergeant, unless you have other orders?"

Alexandra finished her quick examination. The little girl was stable but unconscious. "Yeah we need to go now..." She ordered while cradling Abigail in her arms. "Get us to the extraction point and call head tell them we will need a Corpsman. Plow the road Corporal. Move Out!" She ordered and ran close behind D'tar.

D'tar turned immediately and set out, one hand out to push or sift beings out of his way as they set out, bellowing, "Make Way. Federation Marines....What, did I stutter? MAKE A HOLE."

A Joint Post By

Staff Sergeant Alexandra Hobard
Delta Squad NCO, Marine Security Detachment 527481
Empok Nor

Corporal D'tar Xo'chi
The Jury, 258th Starfleet Marine Expeditionary Brigade
Empok Nor

Abigail Ballston
Child, Empok Nor


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