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Ch 4 S [ Day 01 | 1915 ] The Remains of a Crew

[ Aercidthal qi Sanguis Somnium | CIC Sanquis Somnium | Orbiting Alternative Station | Romulan Space ] ATTN: @Dree

His orders had been to interview the pathetic human Ziegler’s remaining crew members. Though most had been recycled, including Ziegler herself, they’d been left with just enough to make the next few hours entertaining, to say the least. As they awaited the inevitable arrival of the foolhardy Theurgy crew desperate to foil their plans, Aercidthal could keep himself occupied by interviewing each of the survivors in the manner most fitting their genetic specifications. This was why Nicander had given him this singular task, for his exemplary talent for determining at a genetic level the most effective buttons to push to get information from a victim. And, if the information they offered was useless to them, well, it was just all the more opportunity for Aercidthal to expand his growing mental library of tactics.

As much as he abhorred the lesser species they came across, Aercidthal did enjoy the scientific side of his work. Dissecting the creatures physically, emotionally, and mentally made all the more intriguing while the creatures were still alive and responding to his tactics. Every twitch, scream, and shudder was logged away as potentially useful on the next subject.

In order for him to fully appreciate his work, and have the most privacy to work with the Starfleet crew, Aercidthal had requested a transfer of himself and the survivors to the alternative station they’d constructed within the asteroid field. Here, they could work without interruption even if unwelcome visitors decided to investigate the main Hobus station. The nature of this asteroid field, with its anistrophies and quantum fluctuations due to high levels of baryon matter, made it an unlikely target for any who didn’t have Savi sensors and computation abilities that charted out the fluctuations accurately enough to allow them safe passage through to this, the largest asteroid and most protected.

The door opened, and one of his underlings came in, “We have been granted clearance to transport the prisoners to their new holding cells in the station.”

Aercidthal nodded, “Very well. Inform me when the transfer has been completed. I have a few more programs to download that may be of use in the coming hours of our interviews.”

The underling departed to oversee his orders, leaving Aercidthal to the delights of determining which procedures he’d most like to program into the surgical units on the station to aid in his coming discussions.

Re: Ch 4 S [ Day 01 | 1915 ] The Remains of a Crew

Reply #1
[ Ensign Sashenka Kreshkova | Holding Cell Sanquis Somnium | Orbiting Alternative Station | Romulan Space ]

@Ellen Fitz

Sash was small of stature to begin with.  The human with green hair huddled in the darkest corner of the cell which she occupied.  She slumped into as small a space as possible and wrapped her arms around her folded legs and lay her forehead against her knees and focused on her breathing.  In and out.  In and out.  In and out. 

It was supposed to help, to take her mind off of the bleak situation in which she found herself.  Letting out a huff, she raised her head.  Deep breathing wasn’t working.  How could it?  One by one, she saw people being led out of their cells. They started with Captain Zeigler, but by no means was she the last.  The ship’s XO, a man whose name she didn’t know, was next.  They appeared to be working down the ranks.  Almost every day, they took two more people, usually at five hour intervals.  And then Tria - her friend who she had been on vacation with her.  Her friend who was kidnapped with her.   Her friend who was rescued by the Cayuga with her.   And her friend who was once again taken into captivity - this time by the Tal-Shiar.   Yesterday, the door to the cell that she had Tria had occupied swung open.  Both young women clung to each other, but one Romulan man and one Romulan woman each grabbed a girl and pulled them apart amidst the screams of protest from both of the recent graduates.  Zeigler, Lien, Mannis, Sh’Nidt, Tria, and so many whose names she had never learned, none of them ever returned. 

But her thoughts were interrupted by a ruckus as the door to the whole cell block opened.  Sash hated that sound.  Her heart started pounding.   Drops of sweat appeared on her forehead.  Her slight lips trembled.  There were only maybe ten people left out of ….what she guessed had started out as more than seventy-five.  While she remained in her corner with her eyes trained on the cell door, she heard a different door opened, and a small puff of air escaped her lips.  But she immediately felt guilty.  Someone else had been chosen sparing her, but that other person wouldn’t return, and she was sitting her glad?

But as she wrestled with her moral dilemma, she heard another door swing open, and she inhaled sharply.  But that sound was followed by several other doors before her own door opened.  A tall, muscular Romulan entered the cell and looked around before spotting her and heading in that direction.  “Please don’t,” she whispered.  “Please,” she said as she shied away.  “No, No, please let me go.

But strong hands grabbed her by the arms and hoisted her up.  She struggled against him, but the more she struggled, the more vice-like his grip around her arms became.  As she was shuttled out into the corridor, a hypospray pressed against her neck.  She fought with everything in her, but she couldn’t keep her eyes open.
Lieutenant Reika Sh’laan, Assistant Chief of Operations (V3) [Show/Hide]
Ensign Sashenka Kreshkova, Unassigned Wolf Trainee [Show/Hide]

Re: Ch 4 S [ Day 01 | 1915 ] The Remains of a Crew

Reply #2
[ Ehfva Feynri  | Corridor | Alternative Asteroid Station | Romulan Space ] ATTN: @Dree

This was ʋu ƒe kpe, blood rock, where what was left of the Cayuga crew would be annihilated. Amber eyes flickered back and forth as their captors ushered them along an echoing corridor. There were so few of them left, and with her mate not among those she could see, Ehfva resigned herself to the despairing reality: Keokuk was dead. Her footsteps faltered at the reminder.

“Move on!”

One of their guards butted his weapon into Ehfva’s side, eliciting an almost howling wince from the Vulpinian as she struggled to keep ahold of the human bundle in her arms. With a few private moments being the exception, Ehfva had managed to maintain her male Vulcine form, leading their guards to believe she was one of the few males left among the survivors. As such, their treatment reflected their biases, which was both a boon and a curse. Though they beat all prisoners with a gleeful energy that reminded Ehfva of the blood rock demons her grandparents had taught her about as a kit, they gave Ehfva a certain level of almost responsibility that she used to her advantage. There was still no hope for escape, at least none that she could discern, yet with this “responsibility,” Ehfva did what she could to protect those smaller, weaker than herself.

Readjusting the woman’s weight, as little as it was, Ehfva glanced at her childish features and green hair before resuming her pace down the corridor. There had already been so much loss, with still more to come, and it grated against the latent warrior Ehfva kept buried inside that she could do nothing to protect this woman or anyone else among the survivors. They were indeed prisoners to a sick and evil group whose intentions were still unknown.

The door at the end of the corridor opened just as the first survivors were being ushered into their new cells. A strange-looking alien flanked by two more of its own kind strode towards them with the confidant gait of one in charge of their hellish circumstances. He stopped just shy of their ragtag group, hardened gaze traveling over the group as if searching for something before alighting on Ehfva and the green-haired form still held in her arms. His lips, such as they were, pulled back slightly as he gave a decided sniff.

“Those two will be first. The rest can be locked away for later.”

Ehfva stumbled again when pushed to follow the alien, her arms screaming for a break. Though small, Ehfva had been carrying the woman from their transport pad, and with very little nutrition and sleep on board, she was in a terribly weakened state.

“Take the woman,” the alien barked over his shoulder, “she can wake up to his screams.”

What relief Ehfva’s muscles instinctively felt at being freed of her weight was quickly overshadowed by the fact that soon she would be subjected to what she could only assume would be the worst pain of her existence.

Re: Ch 4 S [ Day 01 | 1915 ] The Remains of a Crew

Reply #3
[ Ens. Sashenka Kreshkova | Lab 1 | Alternative Asteroid Station | Romulan Space ] ATTN: @Ellen Fitz

The sun shown down full on the small lake surrounded by trees, but the breeze went a long way to mitigating the heat that could have rained down on the green-haired young woman.  Sasch sat on the pier dangling her toes into the water.  She kicked her feet forward and backward gently stirring up the pond creating several series of ripples emanating from the spot underneath her. 

Saaaaash.”  A mature female voice called, but either the younger woman didn't hear the voice or she had chosen not to reveal that she heard.  Instead, she raised her face to the sun feeling its rays kiss her cheeks.  She enjoyed it's warmth.  It was almost as if the warmth had wrapped itself around her, cradling her in its arms, sheltering the petite young woman.

Sashenka,” the voice said with more authority.  And yet the young woman still didn’t move.  Why should she?  The wind blew across her skin almost as if it was whispering to her.  Had the sun gone behind a cloud?  The breeze cooled her more than she would have guessed it would and dotted her skin with goosebumps.

Sashenka Kreshkova!”  the woman said with some bite in her voice.  This time the green-head turned toward the voice. 

Mama," the green-haired human declared, "I'm busy.

Too busy doing nozhing to acknowledge your Mama?” A short, bordering on plump, brunette walked up beside the woman sitting on the pier.

Sash looked up at her mother, having to shield her eyes from the sun.  “I’m acknowledging you now,” the younger said.  Her tone betrayed the love that the two shared despite not wanting to acquiesce to leaving her spot.

It's time to go, Lapa.”  She came to stand beside her daughter and nudged the youngster's shoulder with her knee.  "Ve cannot stay long."

"Mamaaaa,"  the child cajoled.

"Now, Sasch," her mother looked down on her.  Were those tears in her eyes? "I vish ve had more time, but ve don't.  You are needed."

Can I haf tventy more minutes, Mama?  Please?”  But as the younger woman asked, suddenly her wrists felt heavy.  She looked down at them, finding them shackled to the pier.  She raised her eyes to the older woman’s.  “Mama?

I am here for you, Lapa.  When you zhink you cannot take any more, remember, I’m here.”  Her mother reached out and gently caressed her cheek.  “Just close your eyes and picture me.  I vill be vizh you.

Mama?” the girl asked as a bright light - much brighter than the sun lit up a spot not far from her. 

But the elder woman had disappeared.

Sash’s breathing sped up as her eyes searched near and far for the woman who had just been at her side.  “Mama?  Mama!?" she called loudly.  She tried to move her arms, but they were restrained.  The Russian tried to stand up, but her feet were immobile.

At that moment the young woman was woken by a blood-curdling scream.  Deep blue eyes flew open.  Her hands were shackled above her head and her feet were shackled together with a chain that was threaded through a metal loop in the floor. 

Sash’s eyes didn't have to search far to find the source of the cry.  An, apparently human, man lay in the middle of one of the brightest circles of light that she had ever seen.  It was hard to even look at the figure because of the brightness. 

But as she squeezed her eyes closed, another combination of scream and growl emanated from the man's lips.  Squinting against the light, Sash saw a table on which the tortured man was fastened.  He, like Sash was of slight build both in stature and musculature.  His brown hair was plastered to his face by sweat.  His clothes too - like hers - were in tatters and spoke to the length of their captivity.  A figure stood over the man and adjusted a four-armed instrument attached to the ceiling of the room.  “Four-centimeter long incision, one centimeter wide, two centimeters deep on the left forearm duration of cut thirty seconds.”  The alien changed positions.  Sash could only guess it was so it could observe more closely.  “Initiate.” 

Upon the command, a mechanical arm, that was suspended overhead, extended an appendage with a laser scalpel and began to cut a swath across the man's upper arm. 

Not long after the laser sprang to life, the red beam cutting its way through the flesh as easily as a knife slices through warm butter, the growled scream started again.  Sasch waited for it to stop, but it didn't.  It just kept going.  Each second it was prolonged, the more it upset her, the more her spirit empathized with his agony, the more she needed their torture of the man to stop.  Sash turned her head and pressed her eyes tightly shut.  But what her physical eyes couldn't see, her mind's eye graciously filled in for her.
 
A whimper and a shudder wracked her petite frame.  "No, no," she whispered almost inaudibly. 

The Russian tried to shield one of her ears against her arm fastened above her head, but no matter what she did, the human couldn’t shut out the noise.  "No.  Please don't."  Her own ears could only begin to make out her words above the other noises that emanated from the room's occupants or instruments.  But the seconds ticked on as slowly as a glacier inching its way down a terminal moraine, etching its effects into the rock for all to see. 

With her blue eyes still averted from the hideous scene, she managed the words, "Don't hurt him." This time her ears could discern her own words, but the current instrument of torture didn't stop.

Finally, she opened her eyes, snapped her head toward the light, and screamed at the aliens.  “Stop it!” But the scalpel continued its trek across the man's forearm.  By this time her voice raised to a harrowing level - nearly drowning out the lupine creature’s wail. “Don’t hurt him.” 

Once the thirty seconds was over, the alien waited for the humanoid wolf to stop its noise.   Then it turned toward the girl shackled against one of the walls in the room.  The alien's salacious voice seemed to drip with honey and anticipation. “Oh, little one."  It walked over to the young woman and crouched down in front of her.  The wanton smile on the creature's face turned Sash's stomach.  But when it reached out and set a digit under the Russian's chin, raising her face to be eye to eye with the woman, Sasch could see the alien's eyes sparkle with malevolent glee.   "Do not worry.  You’ll have your own turn soon enough.
Lieutenant Reika Sh’laan, Assistant Chief of Operations (V3) [Show/Hide]
Ensign Sashenka Kreshkova, Unassigned Wolf Trainee [Show/Hide]

Re: Ch 4 S [ Day 01 | 1915 ] The Remains of a Crew

Reply #4
[ Schipen qi Sanquis Somnium | Lab 1 | Alternative Asteroid Station | Romulan Space ] ATTN: @Dree

Reading the monitors, Schipen’s eyes widened subtly. Leaning forward, his fingers danced over the console twice more before he spoke up. He’d not wanted to interrupt the lead scientist during his interview with the specimen. That was never an acceptable option.

“Sir, based on these readings, it appears that this creature is entirely separate from any of the other specimens we’ve collected from the human ship.” Turning to show Aercidthal  the readings, Schipen continued. “We’ve never had a specimen like this before, at least not according to the records I have on hand.”

Schipen watched his superior’s face, noting the subtle increase in the man’s breathing as the excitement of a new discovery set upon his shoulders. Standing back up to his full height, Aercidthal gave Schipen a nod of approval.

“Pull up procedures 12-Y-R9-3Z and A4-G-0B-M6. I would like to see what exposure to those elements and stimulation will do to this specimen.”

Glancing sideways to the filthy human, he sniffed. He’d made the right decision. This man, if it was even a man, was far more interesting and useful for his studies than she. He’d already had his fill of female humans of various ages, and none of the recent specimens had offered Aercidthal anything remotely new or useful for his studies. His assistant spoke up, interrupting Aercidthal’s thoughts.

“Procedures cued up, and processes inputted into the machines. Awaiting your initiation.”

Aercidthal stepped closer to the “man” strapped to his examination chair. He gently traced fingers along the creature’s hairline before grabbing its chin and twisting its head to catch its gaze. They’d only barely begun the examination, and already there was the familiar glaze of pain interrupting conscious thought. How…weak.

“Initiate.” Aercidthal broke contact, not wanting to overstimulate his own body and cross-contaminate the readings.

[ Cythal qi Sanquis Somnium | Alternative Asteroid Station | Romulan Space ]

The Scion stopped outside the cell, dutifully pressing the button to inject its occupants with the necessary nourishment required to keep them alive but certainly not energetic. Because of the limited space, each of these cells held two specimens. Cythal knew their lead scientist would prefer the isolation factor, but they would have to make due unless he culled their specimen group as he’d done back on the ship.

Shifting to the side, Cythal peered through the viewing port at the two occupants of this cell. One was a green-haired human female, looking quite well “interviewed” after her first session with Aercidthal. The other was a strange thing, a creature Cythal had never seen before. Though it was bipedal like a human it also appeared fairly animal-like, and even then, it looked to be between stages of shifting from one form to another, with bits of human-like flesh showing here and there, one paw hosting two fingers among the rest of the paw, and so forth. Most strange indeed.

Cythal smiled. That meant the lead scientist would be in a good mood, having already done a preliminary examination of this creature. Equally happy that they could make such headway with their scientific studies, Cythal moved on to the next cell to administer the nutritients and so forth, leaving the tortured occupants to the cell alone, for the time being.

Re: Ch 4 S [ Day 01 | 1915 ] The Remains of a Crew

Reply #5
[ Ens. Sashenka Kreshkova | Unnamed Cell | Alternative Asteroid Station | Romulan Space ] ATTN: @Ellen Fitz

Sasch lay on her side on the floor, her eyes squeezed tightly shut.  The horrors she had seen and felt when she was the ‘exam room’ as the Scion had called it gnawed at her mind and heart.  Here in their cell, she was no longer shackled, so while her face was turned toward the wall, her hands were pressed against her eyes as if to keep out the terrors that she had witnessed, but the harder that she pressed her hands against her eyes, the more it seemed to sere the sights into her memories.

Sasch heard footsteps outside of the cell.  Quickly she turned her back to the wall and pushed herself into one of the corners pulling her knees up in front of her and wrapping her arms around them and making herself as small as she could. A green head buried itself in her knees and she squeezed her eyes closed once again.   But instead of the forcefield opening, she felt the device that had been affixed to her skin near her collarbone inject her with something - what she wasn’t sure.  But once it happened, the footsteps moved on, and Sasch was left to survey their cell. 

It was a small 3m x 3m room.  Three smooth walls and a forcefield.  Nothing more.  No beds, no blankets, no food or water.  Nothing.  But a moment later, the young woman realized that wasn’t actually true.   Her eyes alighted on a man … a beast …  or maybe … something else?  She couldn’t be sure. 

The man looked like the one she had seen strapped to the chair before she had closed her eyes and before she had been tortured herself.  Sasch could have been appalled or frightened, but she felt nothing but care and empathy.

From her position, she leaned in toward the center of the room to see if she could see their captors.  Not seeing them at that moment, she moved to the side of the creature to see if it was breathing.  Leaning her cheek in beside it’s mouth, she felt a breath hit it, and she leaned back. 

She picked up its half hand, half paw, and laid it in her lap holding it in both of her hands.  She would wait until it woke.  She would stand guardian over it at least until then. 
Lieutenant Reika Sh’laan, Assistant Chief of Operations (V3) [Show/Hide]
Ensign Sashenka Kreshkova, Unassigned Wolf Trainee [Show/Hide]

Re: Ch 4 S [ Day 01 | 1915 ] The Remains of a Crew

Reply #6
[ Ehfva Feynri | Unnamed Cell | Alternative Asteroid Station | Romulan Space ] ATTN: @Dree

Her lungs expanded on a deep breath, veins carrying hot blood throughout her body as her muscles surged with power. Paws pushed the ground away, movements fluid, her svelte feral form fairly flying over the wooded landscape. Above the forest canopy, the sky was filled with the brightness of a clear day. Her path was bespeckled with dancing sunlight, casting an impish shroud over the thick undergrowth.

The black pelt of her pack brother, Hovrin, suddenly darted in front of her, his large head turning to slant a playful look in her direction, pink tongue half lolling out of his mouth. To their right, their pack sister, the red-coated Savei, gave a warning snort, reminding them both that they were on a hunt for the pack and not just a friendly competition. Taking advantage of his momentary distraction, the cords of Ehfva’s muscles contracted and then released, sending her in a high leap over Hovrin. She didn’t pause to gloat over her shoulder as he had done; Savei was right; they had a hunt to complete.

They heard the crack of rustling brush not too far ahead of them, and nearly as one, they increased the power of their strides, Hovrin and Savei flanking left and right while Ehfva surged straight ahead. It was time for the kill…


Ehfva gasped. Every muscle in her frame tightened involuntarily as conscious thought reentered her wrecked mind. There was no restraining the gurgling cry as her body bore testimony to the atrocities the aliens had put her through. There was no telling how much time had passed since they’d flung her from the “examination chair” and replaced her broken form with that of the green-haired human female. As much as her upbringing demanded she protect the younger woman, a kit to Ehfva’s people, her body refused her.

The aliens had found a way to force her transformations and had taken their time and pleasure in forcing her into each of her forms, wherein they equally reveled in testing the pain tolerance of those forms. Ehfva had only been able to maintain a heartbeat and a breath while they “examined" the human. She’d lost consciousness just as her cries reached a crescendo of agony.

Though the temporary blackout had brought little comfort. Yes, she’d been back on Okashii Atama, hunting with the other kits left to learn the old ways with the elders like her grandparents. But the memory was nearly as bitter as her present circumstances. Okashii Atama was gone, and both Hovrin and Savei were dead, one from their reckless civil war and the other from fighting against the Cardassians.

Suddenly aware of something warm and clammy in her hand, Ehfva looked down with a mixture of confusion and shock. The human was beside her, holding her hand in a manner that offered comfort and strength. Before she met the woman’s eyes, Ehfva looked at her hands, her arms, legs. She was nude now; her forced transformations had destroyed what had been left of her clothing. It was no wonder every cell in her body complained at that moment; she was neither fully flesh nor fully furred, neither fully Vulpinian nor Vulcine, and of the Vulcine form, she was neither fully male nor female.

A harsh panic surged into her throat, robbing Ehfva of her ability to speak. Their survival beyond these walls was doubtful, yet as long as there was breath in her body, Ehfva clung to the hope that they could live. Yet, the panic was, what if this was to be her state of existence until she drew her last breath? This nothing and everything that brought with it aches and pains she’d never known before…

“Hhrrgh,” Ehfva paused, licking her lips and grimacing. Her vocal cords were like the rest of, partially this and partially that. Leaning her misshapen head back against the cold wall, though mindful of the half-formed Vulpinian ear that flicked back and forth through her hair, Ehfva tried again. “Hhoww arrrrrrre youuuuu?” Though some of the words sounded like half-growling howls, they at least came out mostly understandable. At least to Ehfva’s ears. “Ehfva.” She patted her chest with her free paw-hand.

Re: Ch 4 S [ Day 01 | 1915 ] The Remains of a Crew

Reply #7
[ Ens. Sashenka Kreshkova | Unnamed Cell | Alternative Asteroid Station | Romulan Space ] ATTN: @Ellen Fitz

Sash felt Ehfa’s gasp before she heard it.  The gruesome hand or paw, whichever it was, with the attached arm, tightened - nearly pulling it out of her grasp.  She wanted to say, ‘you’re okay,’ but she knew that wasn’t true.  Neither of them was okay.  Neither of them would be okay as long as they were captives to this savage race.

These ‘examinations’ were more than her body, her spirit, or her emotions could bear.  In all honesty, she had lost hope - hope that they would be okay, hope that they would be rescued, hope for anything other than a quick death.  She knew death would come, but Sash prayed that it would come soon and it would be quick. 
In this paltry reality, she wasn’t living.  The only truth she knew was mere existence. But maybe even in this continuation of breath, she could make a very small difference for this half person - half wolf laying exposed in front of her. If she could make her companion’s last moments or days a little more endurable, maybe if there was an afterlife like she had been taught, she’d had a better chance of landing in the better of the two.  But that wasn’t the reason that the young woman wanted to comfort her companion. No one should have to suffer by themselves. 

The young woman watched as the half-wolf / half-human opened her eyes.  She saw consciousness spread across her grotesque features.  Skin here, hairy patches there.  And then with the absence of clothes, she could see masculine features but two lines of what she thought were teats, and she didn’t understand what she was seeing, but that didn’t matter.

Then moments later, she heard the person try to speak, but nothing seemed to come out for awhile.  When he or it finally found its voice, she heard, “Hhoww arrrrrre youuuuuu?”

That was a loaded question.  Could she even answer it?  She certainly wasn’t alright.  Even if they escaped or were rescued, could she ever be alright again?  She couldn’t even answer that.  “I’m….alive.”  That was really the only thing she could say in answer to that question.  She didn’t want to to describe or discuss the attrocities they had both lived through.

What she could say though was, “You’re not alone, but zhey aren’t here.  It’s just you and me,” Her words were only a whisper, but they were filled with emotion.  But as she continued to stroke the creature’s hand, she couldn’t stand to see it naked - even in its mottled form.  She unbuttoned her shirt - the shirt that had been a navy blue at one point - and now looked more like a muddy brown.  At least she still had a bra and pants on.  She lay her filthy shirt along the torso of the naked creature.  It didn’t cover much, but it did cover some.  “I’m Sash,” she whispered again, not wanting to call any undue attention to either of them.  “Vhat’s your name?
Lieutenant Reika Sh’laan, Assistant Chief of Operations (V3) [Show/Hide]
Ensign Sashenka Kreshkova, Unassigned Wolf Trainee [Show/Hide]

Re: Ch 4 S [ Day 01 | 1915 ] The Remains of a Crew

Reply #8
[ Ehfva Feynri | Unnamed Cell | Alternative Asteroid Station | Romulan Space ] ATTN: @Dree

Ehfva weakly raised a hand-paw and gestured to their cell, “Thisss is not…living.”  She sighed as the human, Sash, lay her shirt across Ehfva’s torso. Ehfva nodded her thanks, still too weak to adjust the thin fabric into a more permanent position. “We arrrre nehverr aloooone.” With a subtle head nod, she indicated Sash’s chest. “Maahtes, fffamillly, frrrriendssss, they arrrre heeere.”

Closing her eyes, Ehfva rested her wrecked, partially transformed vocal cords. She pictured Keokuk in her mind, drawing the beautiful memories of their life together as a cloak about her tortured body. She’d overslept the alarm that last morning together and had barely awakened to his soft kiss against her temple before he’d reported for duty. She’d had no reason to question the permanence of this routine, no reason at the time to relish the absolute beauty of that moment.

Now…

“Ehhhffffva.” She breathed out, eyes still closed as she touched her chest again, hoping Sash understood her despite the growling garble that were her words right now. “My maaaahte was killed by thesssse...” Ehfva opened her eyes, a frown tugging at her lip-jowls. She didn’t even know what to call the aliens who’d captured them, and certainly, the Romulans who worked alongside them were unlike any Romulan she’d ever encountered before. Ehfva angled her head to study the younger woman more closely. “We haaaave duuuuty ttttooo sssurvvvive, Sssaaaash.”

Re: Ch 4 S [ Day 01 | 1915 ] The Remains of a Crew

Reply #9
Ensign Sash Kreshkova | Unnamed Cell | Alternative Asteroid Station | Romulan Space | Attention @Ellen Fitz

Despite the abject exhaustion that permeated every part of Sash’s body, she found that listening to her companion soothed her ruffled spirit and despondent heart.  The greenhaired human knew that there was some truth to what the wolf woman was saying - Her family was always with her in spirit, but having someone to lay a hand on her shoulder, to hug her, to share warmth in this frigid cell.  Those were important to her as well, but maybe that was the human in her.  Having just graduated from the Academy she realized that not all species share the same needs and desires.

But having the wolf woman there with her did comfort her - whether she brought any comfort to her companion or not may be another story, but she would try.  Everyone needed someone, or … at least she thought they did.

As the young woman continued to listen, she learned her companion’s name - Ay-feh - or at least that’s how it sounded to her human ears, but then she heard something that didn’t surprise her, but she could feel herself blink several in quick succession as her eyes moistened.

It wasn’t enough that these creatures - whoever they were - derived joy from their prisoner’s pain and screams and pleas.  They hadn’t just killed any person.  While they had - Sash knew - killed plenty of people who had loved ones, others that counted on them, who cared for them, who shared children with them.  But they had killed the spouse of her cell-mate of Ehfva.

Sash knew no one and nothing was sacred to this race, but something about this felt personal for her in a way that she hadn’t anticipated. Then the anger inside her bubbled up.  These creatures looked at everyone else as nothing more than guinea pigs and the young and impulsive part of Sash’s heart wanted to walk over to the forcefield that partitioned them off from the rest of the ship and pound on it.  She wanted to let these thugs know that what they were doing was more than cruel. 

She looked into Ehfva’s eyes.  She pulled her lips back into her mouth before saying, “I’m so sorry Ehfva.”  Sash shook her head almost in a stutter as the young woman fought to keep her emotions in check.  But she couldn’t.  Her throat constricted, her eyes began to flood with tears, her breathing sped up and she scooted back from Ehfva as if some little space would give her more oxygen to breathe.  But the Russian started gasping for air, and when she couldn’t get a good breath, she pushed herself against the wall and then into a standing position trying to catch the breath she had lost.  Her eyes got big her right hand settled on her chest as her lips quivered.  She couldn’t even bring herself to look to Ehfva for help though she knew she was going to pass out if something didn’t change and quickly.

Lieutenant Reika Sh’laan, Assistant Chief of Operations (V3) [Show/Hide]
Ensign Sashenka Kreshkova, Unassigned Wolf Trainee [Show/Hide]

Re: Ch 4 S [ Day 01 | 1915 ] The Remains of a Crew

Reply #10
[ Ehfva Feynri | Unnamed Cell | Alternative Asteroid Station | Romulan Space ] ATTN: @Dree

Curling her neck and using the momentum to push off the wall, Ehfva studied the human as she began an internal struggle. At least, that’s what Ehfva presumed was happening. Her whole body was wracked with writhing desperation to breathe normally; one hand settled on her chest as if it could anchor her or guide her back into a stable condition again. Still lacking the strength to stand, all Ehfva could do was remain seated at the woman’s side, peering up at her from the cold floor of their cell.

A heartbeat passed before a memory of her own youth returned and, with it, an idea of how to help Sash. Ehfva closed her eyes, placing one hand-paw on her belly and the other on her chest. The chant started softly, rough at the edges, barely discernable above Sash’s pants. But as Ehfva drew internal strength from the steady rhythm of her heart, the chant deepened in her gut, rumbling more clearly across her sore vocal cords, now clearly audible above the woman’s pants. Sash would not know the words or even recognize them as words, and neither would she know of its purpose as a healing chant from her grandparents’ clan, but Ehfva hoped the sound of it would be enough to distract her from the internal struggle, pulling her out again.

With her eyes closed and mouth-jowls open as she continued the chant, it was easy for Ehfva to picture the healing circle where she’d first heard it. One of the younger kits had been grievously injured on a hunt and was not expected to survive the night despite the healer's efforts. Instead of adjourning to their own huts to mourn what seemed an inevitable loss, the elders had sat paw-to-paw around the kit and chanted this song through the night. Their voices were raw and barely recognizable as voices from the living and not emitting from beyond the grave come morning time, yet their efforts had proven true. The kit had recovered, and from that point forward, Ehfva made an effort to learn all the chants of her clan, the healing chants, the war chants, the mating chants, any and all of them; she desired to know them and use them. She’d always known there was power in the community and had seen the power of music within the community.

Though she lacked her mate or peers in this cell to lend their voices to the chant, the echoes of her efforts lent themselves to creating an almost choral echo. No doubt she would be punished for this by their captors, for daring to bring music into the midst of their misery, but to be punished for sharing beauty…that was a punishment to be transcended.

"Saahssshh," Ehfva opened her eyes, studying the young woman, "you beetttter?"

Re: Ch 4 S [ Day 01 | 1915 ] The Remains of a Crew

Reply #11
Ensign Sash Kreshkova | Unnamed Cell | Alternative Asteroid Station | Romulan Space | Attention @Ellen Fitz

Sach had never been prone to panic.  Instead, the recent Academy graduate, had thrived on the thrill of the chase, the adrenaline rush of pushing the inertial dampeners in her fighter to the max.  Those things focused her.  And that focus brought a sense of calm even if she thought she was fighting for her life.

This was exactly the same and at the same time, completely different.  She was in a life or death situation.  But she had no focus and because of her lack of focus, she had lost any of the sense of calm that always washed over her when she was in a fighter.

She continued to struggle for air.  She was no longer aware of anything going on around her.  The room had begun to spin.  Her stomach had decided to summersault in time with her head.  And then, her eyesight began to close in on her from the sides of her eyes and moved inward.

But during that time, though she wasn’t even aware of it, Sach heard something in the recesses of her mind.  A rhythmic incantation began to beat inside her head.  The darkness that was encroaching from the sides of her eyes stopped - though it did not yet recede.  But the intonation grew within her and began to radiate outward.  First through her head, then down through her shoulders, across her chest, down her torso, through her fingers which began moving in a a similar timing.

As the mantra spread throughout her body several things happened simultaneously.  Her breathing eased - partially because the graduate wasn’t focusing on that anymore.  The chant distracted her, but it did more than that.  There was something in the chat that soothed her spirit, that placated her fears, and slowed the tears that had fallen.  The blackness in her sight also receded and though her sight was blurry, it was no longer black.

Once her body began to relax from the rigidity of the position she had taken up, Sash was able to lean against the wall and once again lower herself to the floor into a semi-seated position.  She closed her eyes and her head slumped back against the hard surface of the wall. 

“Saahssshh.  You beettttter?”

It was all she could do to open her eyes and look into Ehfva’s.  The young woman nodded once.  “Thank you…”  Tears nearly welled up in Kreshkova’s eyes again, but the chant still played in her own head and she was able to focus on that - those rhythmic intonations and that made all of the difference for the youngster.

Once the girl with green hair had better control over her own faculties, she looked over at her companion.  “What was it that you were singing?  Where did you learn that?
Lieutenant Reika Sh’laan, Assistant Chief of Operations (V3) [Show/Hide]
Ensign Sashenka Kreshkova, Unassigned Wolf Trainee [Show/Hide]

 
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