Posted March 15, 2021, 12:15 a.m. by Lieutenant Celina Rodriguez (Chief Tactical Officer) (Kate O'Neill)
Posted by Commander Ardashir “Jack” Creed (Executive Officer / CIO) in Deltana V - The Ritual
Posted by Commander Ardashir “Jack” Creed (Executive Officer / CIO) in Deltana V - The Ritual
Posted by Lieutenant Celina Rodriguez (Chief Tactical Officer) in Deltana V - The Ritual
Two hours later.........
Jack would wake to the feeling of being rocked gently. It was a soft comforting swaying sensation like he was in a hammock. The air felt damp and moist. It was dark indicating they were no out in the bright light of outdoors. The gentle sound of water could be heard as if he was sleeping on a boat. Jack was physically not uncomfortable but soon found his hands and legs were bound by thick hemp around what one could only describe as the cabin portion of the mast running down from the top deck.
“I’m gonna kill him… I’m gonna kill him.” Jack said as he looked down at his situation. He began scanning, trying to see if he could spot Cesar or Celina, wondering what else was going to be happening.
“God just get up and stop bouncing the bed,” Celina groaned letting her hand flop about looking for the covers. “And turn the heat up while you make coffee. It’s freezing in here.” Unlike Jack, Celina seemed to have a much more comfy spot than tied to a mast. She was sprawled out on what seemed to be a makeshift bed of rough muslin blankets. Pulling up the edge of one she stirred some trying to wake up.
Lt. Celina Rodriguez
“Celina? Oh, Celina wakes up baby girl come on.” Jack said as he kept swaying trying to get out of his binding. Celina was near and he needed her awake if they were to have any chance. The trick was when Celina was asleep she was like rising the dead to get her to function. She had a period where if she didn’t get Cuban coffee in her within five minutes she reverted to a state he called Baby Celina. “Come on love… please wake up,” he said as he loosened his shoe from his foot, as he launched it to hit her at the back of her head.
“Será mejor que empieces a correr porque voy a matarte y volar el cuerpo por una esclusa de aire,” spewed from her lips as Celina sat up rubbing the back of her head. Daggers shot out of her eyes as she blinked trying to snap out of her coma like sleep. A deep moan escaped her lips but Celina did not seem cognizant of her surroundings yet. “You need to call Max. Our quarters are free,” she stopped in mid sentence.
“Why are you on the floor,” she stated the obvious as consciousness slowly started to process through the fog of sleep. “Wait are we on a boat?” The chill and sound of water coupled with the heavy wood floors and walls reminded Celina of a boat. “Did we get drunk and pass out in the holodeck again? If so this was a bizarre program. I dreamt we fell down a hill and woke up on a beach where you were all slicked up with oil in like some linen tunic thing. Computer end program. I need a coffee,” she muttered standing up and looking around the room. Celina had no idea why Jack was sleeping on the floor of a clipper ship but it wasn’t the first time she had woken up fuzzy on the details the next day with Jack.
Celina Rodriguez CTO
“Baby… this isn’t the time… you need to untie me, untie me now honey.... UNTIE ME!” Jack shouted at the end as he was squirming in his binds. It was clear he was getting agitated as he was wrestling to escape. He was thinking of dislocating his thump to slip out but wanted to try a less painful method if Celina could just focus. “I am going to kill Cesar, I say it all the time but I even have a plot picked out… no one will know where though so I can dance on it in peace and quiet.”
“Take a number and get in line,” Celina groaned remembering that somehow her brother did have to be at fault for this predicament and not that this was some alcohol-induced nightmare. As she moved over to Creed lying on some muslin cloth, Celina knew this was going to take a lot of love and time for Jack to get over this. Maybe not as long as it took Jack to get over the time Cesar convinced Jack to road trip with him but forgot their Federation papers to get back home. Probably longer than when Jack got jailed for drug trafficking when he picked up the ten-pound gummy bear at the spaceport. Chewing her bottom lip Celina debated where this adventure would fall in the forgiveness time line however, seeing Jack flopping about like a fish out of water spurred her into action.
“Faster, I don’t know where we are and the slower you are the longer it takes for me to prepare for things.” Jack chided as he felt the boat swaying back and forth.
Jack was fighting his bound hands enough that Celina was struggled to get the knots loose. “Ugh stop moving or you are going to jam your wrist or something.” Slapping at his hands, Celina hoped it would settle him down. If not there was one thing she could get Jack to focus on which never failed no matter. Pulling at the think hemp ropes, Celina immediately knew this was going to take more time than Jack would have the patience for.
“Tell me how you are going to kill Cesar?”
“You don’t need to worry, it’ll be painless… you can’t know where I bury him.” Jack said with a silent determination.
Celina pulled at the knot as Jack continued to impede her progress by trying to speed the process up. “Jack,” she stopped running her hands through her hair. “You are going to dislocate your thumb and you know how I hate that snick-pop sound it makes when it slides back in.” The frustration was growing in her voice at the same rate the ache in her head was growing.
“That’s the idea buttercup, if you can’t get us out I have to find a way… unless you got some wonder woman in you and can kick everyone’s butts.”
The sound of heavy foot falls and gruff voices over Celina’s head made her pause slightly as she tried to make out words in the voices. Dust from the deck above filtered between the boards showing the path the men were walking above them. Yanking at the rope, the rope loosened enough so that Jack was able to wiggle his hands so that they came free. “Start on getting your feet free. I think we are about to have company,” Celina jumped up and began looking around the room for anything that could be used as a weapon.
Not finding anything but yards of muslin and a few barrels, Celina moved with a wobbly gait towards one of the banging squares of wood along the hull. Pushing it up gingerly with her hand, the vast turquoise of the ocean met with the baby blue of the sky as far s she could see. Spray danced up along the side of the hull spritzing her face as the ship rolled along the waves. “Jack…we are on a boat. Like a boat boat. How did we get from the jungle to a boat,” she looked at him perplexed. “We did get thrown off a cliff and then tumbled down into a sand dune right....or am I literally losing my mind.”
“Winner for the obvious award goes to you…” Jack said looking around with a sigh as he looked back to Celina.
Celina spouted off in a slurry of less than lady like terms including several about Jack’s masculinity and a half a dozen others about his intelligence. “I know you are just as cranky as I am but if you don’t apologize,” she started finally in English before Jack cut her off.
“I’ll apologize later right now I need to find out where we are and who we are with… just save your righteous indignation for them.” Jack said, knowing that the comment would have her flying off the handle if he didn’t start treating her better.
“Ugh,” she took off her shoe and tossed it at him. It was the only thing she had available. She was hot, tired, irritable, and ready to take out all her frustrations on whoever was in her path. Since their captors were not present Jack would have to do.
The door flung open and several men that seemed to look like the ones chasing them slowly began filling the room. Not one of the men didn’t have a tattoo or a knife somewhere on their body. It seemed odd to her that they were packing phasers but long pointy objects were just a more personal way to kill someone and did the job as effectively as a phaser in the end.
“You two done here,” a man finally spoke pulling out a long machete-styled knife. “You are wanted topside. You coming easily or are we going to need force?” After a small pause, the man looked directly at Celina indicating he had more doubts about her cooperating than the large man she was with.
“Wait why are you looking at me,” she immediately became defensive. “I am like five four and a buck twenty-five wet. He is tall, brooding, and giving you the stink eye. Why you acting like I am going to be a handful,” Celina crossed her arms definitely over her chest in an oppositional posture.
“Is she serious,” the man looked at Jack questioningly.
“Usually… I find she has a very poor sense of humor at times… she didn’t laugh once when we watched It’s Always Gloomy on Fernignar and that show is brilliant… me on the other hand… I wanna know who the hell you guys are right now. You have taken two officers from the United Federations of Planets, and unless you want my foot up to your ass as I force you to talk… I suggest you speak on your own accord.” Jack said, not feeling at all deterred by being outnumbered. He had in fact faced harder odds, but it would still be a challenge all the same as he began to plan his attack if he was forced to.
Celina debated about bringing up how the crew of It’s Always Gloomy pulled the same hijinks every episode so 320 episodes later it was the same jokes but with different props however maybe now was not the time or place. Taking in the room, Celina began to judge the distances. The small hole in the wall next to her with the flapping board would possibly fit her body but Jack’s shoulders would never fit. The thought of abandoning him to his fate was only kibashed due to the fact Celina only saw ocean when she looked out. Celina was a strong swimmer but transversing an alien ocean was not something she wanted to do.
“You are not giving the orders,” the man snarled pointing his sword at Jack’s chest as several of his men made a semi-circle cutting him off from Celina. “And think about your next move because whatever you to us we are going to do to her…twice and twice as hard.” The sneer on the man’s face was malicious but also testing. It was as if the pirate wanted Jack to react. “Take her upstairs,” he yelled over his shoulder.
“I don’t think so… let go of her now.” Jack said, with a very stern voice as he wasn’t about to let them take off with her. These men seemed soft and weak, something he could carve through with little issues.
Oh this guy is so much fun, the leader thought feeling a smile curl around his lips. If the man wanted to test the boundaries or dedication of this crew, he would make sure Jack Creed did not forget the experience ever in his lifetime.
“Ffftttt,” the man-made a whistling sound with his bottom lip and top teeth as he gestured to the other men crowded below the decks.
A hand reached out and curled its fingers into a fist in Celina’s hair. Immediately she began to fight back. Her hand connected with one of the men surrounding her but without a weapon and five on one in such a small space proved challenging for defensive maneuvers. “Jack!” Her voice calling out his name was more to locate where he was in the chaos than a true cry or help. She fought and kicked until her muscles burned with exertion as the men bodily moved her towardd the steps descending upon Jack.
“Take him but try not to injure him…too badly.” The man’s words hung thick in the air as five pirates began to encircle and enroach on Creed’s small space of real estate.
Celina fought hard as she was physically dragged towards the pine planks that would them lead them above decks.
“Hey…no biting,” one of the pirates yelled out feeding his forearm into her mouth. The man’s reaction was one taught in self-defense and employed by Celina so she had no recourse but to open her mouth as he forced her jaw wider.
“Jack!” There was no way she was not going up the step but still, Celina gripped the sides of the stairwell trying to slow her ascent. In the dark and dimly lit space, she could see Jack fighting tooth and nail with the men surrounding him.
“Celina… remember Khine X? You go low I’ll go high… 3… 2… 1!” Jack knew she would know, this meant for her to stomp hard on the man’s foot, then go for the privates as it gave Jack the time to spring into action as he grabbed the guy in front of him as he placed his hand behind his back as a snap could be heard before he pressed down hard on as his knee connected with the mans face as blood began to gush down as Jack reached for the machete as he pulled it out… only to pause as he held it in his hand.
“He broke my nose,” one of the pirates screamed out as his hands cupped the visibly swelling and red gushing appendage.
Crap....he is on drugs, the leader half growled and half muttered under his breath. No mark was worth this no matter how lucrative the pay out was. It was then the man’s eyes drifted to the blade in the man’s hand. “Easy fella. You don’t need to use ol’ Excalibur.” The leader’s eyes shifted back and forth between the men circling Jack. The use of the moniker was not to label a weapon but as a code word to handle the situation. They had trained for months on how to handle men like Jack Creed. The objective was to get him to the location in one piece which is what the men on the ship would do.
Slowly the men around Jack began to shift their weight preparing for the assault they practiced.
“What… what is this?” he said as he looked at it, no blade or tip at all, it was for all purposes more of a prop he felt. Not wanting to think too hard on it he threw it behind him.
Seeing the blade tossed away the men relaxed slightly. “That’s right buddy,” the leader said in a soothing tone. The last thing they needed was for the guy to spiral out of control. They had seemed to regain control of the situation so now it was time to get back in the game. “You are outnumbered. Your girl is across the room.” The smile crossing the man’s face was one of relief yet in the darkness of the ship’s hold, all one could clearly see was the corners turning up into a smug smile of victory. “Now be a good boy and do what you are told.”
“Jack,” Celina yelled out as her hands reached behind her head, clawing at the man’s face who was dragging her backward up the steps. One strong arm was still fisting Celina’s hair, controlling her head as the other arm reached around Celina’s body holding her high on the waist. The position had Celina off balance as her feet swung widely trying to find stability below them. The difference in height between Celina and her captor meant the way he was carrying Celina caused her point of gravity to be situated on the man’s hip bone. Without her feet being able to reach the ground, he had her effectively restrained for the moment. No matter which way she thrashed, the man could balance her weight preventing Celina from getting any leverage to free herself or stop their forward momentum up the stairs. Without any options of stopping them, Celina tried one last maneuver. Pulling her feet up towards her chest she kicked out hard parallel to her body into the air. The move was unexpected since it was not directly attacking the man. It did succeed though in causing Celina’s center of gravity to shift ever so slightly for a few precious seconds as her new posture pulled them down the stairs.
The man’s hand tightened on Celina’s shirt attempting to gain stability as he slipped down one step. She is as insane as he is, Ron Paul DuVan muttered to himself. Straightening himself he hicked her back to where he could control her and not have them pitch down the stairs as the woman seemed intent on doing. “Be....have,” he yelled as Celina bucked and writhed against him entangling his fingers in the muslin fabric of her shirt. The sound of fabric ripping filled the room as Celina’s neckline spilled lower revealing the edge of the dark undergarment she was wearing to the entire room. “Aw hells bells I said stop it,” the man shook her slightly beginning to lose patience with the fiesty half dressed Latina.
As if it were a blur the man the crew surrounded reacted with the caged fury of a trapped and wounded animal. Lunging forward Jack pushed the now bleeding and crying man to the floor as he began to do a wall kick that connected like some cage fighter.
“Bob,” the man yelled wide-eyed as he watched Jack bounce off his man like Bob was a stagehand at a stunt show. The sickening crunch of Bob’s face on the planks indicated this man was taking the fight to prison rule standards.
“Oh, crap…Doug…Doug…Douuuuuuuuug,” Andy screamed out as Jack stepped up on Bob’s back using the man’s back as a springboard to lunge at his next target. Andy dropped his curved blade bringing his hands up protectively towards his face yet the move was too little to slow. Like Achilles springing down into battle, Jack’s fist connected to the man’s jaw. Andy’s eyes rolled back into his head as his body crumpled clearing the way for Jack to move towards the stairs Celina was just pulled through.
The situation was slowly disintegrating into an unwinnable scenario. There was no way Captain Billy could produce enough money for one to endure this willingly. Pushing off Bob’s prone form on the planks, Garshon began to crawl off to the side desperate to get out of the captive’s way. If he wasn’t on the man’s radar there was a chance that he could escape without something broken or better yet…conscious. Oh my god help me. Help me. Help me, Garshon squealed out over and over in his mind.
Three jerky movements from what would be remembered as the circle of blood and chaos Garshon felt something tighten around his ankle. “Wait,” Garshon got out before the yank backward forced him off balance. His chin struck the thick oaken boards causing stars to trim the outer edges of his vision. Jack’s hand moved up the man’s body from his ankle to his belt this time forcing his chest down instead of just his head. A sharp stabbing pain erupted from his chest as thick arms placed him in a head lock. “Bewaant a shoe culpa,” Garshon’s voice echoed against the walls. Hearing his own reply Garshon’s eyes began to bug out in panic. The sharp pain was the universal translator smashing into small bits. Without that, there was no way Garshon could reason with Jack.
“Good god, what the hell are you doing? Don’t kill him. We don’t get paid enough. You want up then go…go,” the once leader gestured in a shooing motion, albeit from a distance, to the stop of the stairs.
“No killing?” Fine…” Jack said as he nodded at the once snarling leader who was pressed hard against the wall as far from Jack as bodily possible. As he applied just the right pressure to make the man pass out he heard the once leader babbling almost incoherently to let the prisoner up repeatedly over and over to his compatriots topside.
“Doug you…can’t let him go up there without warning them the man is bat shot crazy,” the first man with broken nose slowly spoke rising to his feet.
“Like hell I can’t. Andy, Bob, and Garshon are unconscious. You,” he gestured to Marlex, “look like you went ten rounds with a brick wall. Why would I want to go take that on,” Doug spread his hands wide to the side.
“Because you are a crap manager,” Marlex pinched his nose as he shook his head. “Hey…Sarnold Bachwarzenegger,” the man yelled out hoping the silly reference would stop the man taking two stairs at once trying to reach the top deck.
“What did you call me?” Ardashir said with a flash of fury as he turned to strike at the man’s shin as a secondary sickening sound of bone-shattering could be heard as the other man began to scramble away as Creed quickly grabbed him by the ankles as he pulled him back down as he smashed his head hard against the stair as the man became knocked out as Jack looked around and surveyed the room.
“Celina…” he said as it dawned on him that they took her up stairs.
Three minutes earlier
“God god stop,” Barton unceremoniously dumped Celina to her feet in the bright sun of the top deck. Holding his hands up he moved back several feet as Celina instantly went on the defensive. “I’m sorry about your shirt. It was an accident. I can get you another from wardrobe,” he moved and bobbed away from her doing his best to deflect the jabs and kicks she threw his way.
“You can what,” she dropped her hands looking at everyone staring at her on the deck. While below decks, the tension was high, on the top deck the crew appeared to be more on break capping drinks and tossing cigarettes over the edge of the ship.
“Huh,” she looked at him bewildered. As Jack threw open the doors that concealed the hold below.
“Look this is all a game. It’s a costume,” the man reached out gently touching the tattered edge of Celina’s shirt hanging just above her bosom.
Celina Rodriguez CTO
Sounds could be heard creaking from the door behind them, as the sounds of wood and splinters came as the body of the man Ardashir had just knocked out went flying past the two as it hit the nearby jukebox. As the man hit hard the jukebox came to life, as it began to play a skipping beat that filled the entire ship. All eyes became locked on Jack, as nearly two dozen men and woman stood there all brandishing weapons and stared him down in a look of shock and awe.
“War, come with me now.” could be heard from the song as the accordion tune echoed throughout the wooden hold.
The bowels of the ship were not quite what Jack had expected, seemed less torture cruise and more party boat but he didn’t have time to think much about that. He looked over at saw the man that assaulted Celina as he quickly grabbed her as he quickly struck the man’s larynx before pulling his head into the punch bowl that was set out next to him before throwing him back into the wall.
Celina felt Jack’s hand wrap around her wrist and pull her out of the way. She was not in any danger but the last time Jack had seen her, she was screaming and being bodily carried up the stairs. In moments like this rank and training went out the window. Jack was reacting not as an officer of Starfleet but as the six foot four two hundred pound boyfriend of the woman’s who life and or virtue was about to end. Luckily for Celina, Jack coming in to clean house meant she had time to regroup and look at the situation tactically. Even though it was like ten to one, these men were not Orion’s and Nausicaan’s. There was a Gorn in the corner but if the time came that Jack needed help, she would intervene.
Several of the men began changing, jumping over chairs and sofas to come to help their compatriot as Jack looked at the table closer. It was filled with cake and snacks as he arched an eyebrow. “Weird…” he said but before he had time to think much a man grabbed him on the back as Jack pressed down hard into the man’s ribs before throwing him back into the crowd.
Grabbing one of the nearby cakes he tossed it at a pirate as he blinded him before sliding to scissor kick the man to bring him down to the ground before Jack vaulted back up, striking at anyone who dared get close, even finding someone running away as he grabbed a nearby pool cue as he began to brandish it, giving him much needed reach before leaping onto the pool table as he knocked two more back before somersaulting back to get him between them and the table as he poised the stick behind him in a striking poise.
“Yo Errol Flynn calm down buddy,” on of the few remaining crew said raising his hands and waving them in a motion for Jack to get down off the table. “Come one. Come down here,” he pointed to his chest.
“Jakob…your communicator.....It’s not working. It must have short circuited somehow,” someone yelled noticing that the gestures in a foreign language might not be construed as let me help you but more come at me.
“What,” snapped at his friend. “The guy is either drunk and on drugs or a method actor because he is way too into this and I am not getting beaten up like the rest of the crew,” he gestured to the deck.
Looking around the ship, she began to slowly piece together what the man had just said to her and all the parts that seemed off. The only thing that broke her concentration was the man at her feet hacking and wheezing as his hand grabbed at the hem of her skirt.
“Dude what is wrong with you people,” he managed between hacking breaths. “This is a boo,” he started before dropping into a fit of coughs. Talking was torture but going against this guy was turning out to be the worst choice anyone could make today.
“Us,” she snapped looking at the man holding his throat. “You have drugged us, dumped us on a beach, chased us through sand dunes, and took us down with blow darts only to shanghai us for your crew,” Celina threw up her hands. “Last night I am not sure if I broke my promise to be faithful with some Fabio cult member or if I should join your crew in beating up my boyfriend for taking up for the night with a bronze Amazonian goddess. If you can’t tell, its not like we have had the best twenty four hours either buddy.” Celina struggled with what to do with the situation. The deck of the ship was far different than the hold. It was actually decorated as if this was going to be a party however for who? None of the pieces seemed to make sense and for a crew of twenty pirates, pretty much all of them fought like they did not know how to throw a punch.
Looking around, the pool balls seemed to be a logical step for Jack.
“Oh crap. Oh crap what’s he doing,” Fritz began to yell out seeing Jack pick up the pool balls and winding up like he was a pitcher in a baseball game. A variety of complaints and profanity erupted around the setting as each man saw what Jack was doing and took a position to best protect themselves by lifting shields, chairs, and anything the could find to cover thier bodies. From Jack’s perspective however it would look like they were preparing to rush his position.
“Sam…Sam,” a voice rang out. “Take one for the team and draw his attention,” Glenn screamed.
Jack began to take them launching with precision and the men, knocking more out with ease and range before he felt someone come from behind him as big arms wrapped around Jack as he became lifted in the air. Jack knew this must have been their ace as he kicked hard to break the grip as he rolled backward to ready himself to see who had snuck behind him.
Sitting up the man at Celina’s feet hooked a thumb at Jack. “Okay I gotta ask. What does this guy do for a living. Pitch for the Lunar Satellites?” Jack’s aim was ore than scary accurate. Each lobbed ball found its target in one form or another. Head, arm, back, side, leg: It didn’t matter. Each impact felt like a red hot poker causing the person to drop and moan like a child.
“You distract him,” Sam yelled back as two people fell next to him. Sam blinked twice and looked at the man next to him.
Much to Jack’s surprise, before him, stood an 8 foot tall Gorn. “How much they paying you Godzilla?” Jack asked as he found one of the balls that had struck a pirate as he picked it up and launched it back at the Gorn, only to have it strike his head to no result.
“Its Godze not Godzilla you idiot and put that thing down or I am going to take you down.” She was not getting paid enough for this. The owner told them to spare no expense. Make this as realistic as posssible but the two individuals they were entertaining on this excursion had been nothing but a pain in the arse.
“Godze just take him. Don’t talk just get in there and subdue him now,” Sam yelled.
“Well… worth a shot,” Jack said as he moved behind a couch as snarls and hisses could be heard from the Gorn as he began charging pushing the couch to the side as Jack began to slide under the Gorns legs before popping up to leap on the men back as he held hard onto his back as the Gorn began flailing as he crashed through the room knocking over more pirates along the way.
“Ugh what is wrong with you. Stop moving so we can move on with this,” she grabbed at Jack’s ankle pulling him backward. Fighting with this man was like fighting with a eel. He seemed to be boneless in the way he moved and twisted never letting one get a good grip on him. “Stop trying to get away,” she grumbled feeling a sharp jab in her chest. Looking down she saw the universal translator cracked. No wonder why the male was fighting so hard. From the guy’s perspective, she had to look like she was trying to eat him. Groaning loudly, she hoisted him in the air. This was an ill-fated move as the man swung around her body placing her in a sleeper hold. Flailing her arms back she whacked at his sides and back trying to get him to release so she could breath. Darkness began to creep around the edges of her vision. She might have the man by one hundred pounds but this little David was about to make a Goliath fall.
Finding short of breath, the Gorn backed up hard against the wall hoping to knock Jack off as he prepared for the hit which he felt cracked a rib but held his breath through the pain. Holding on through Jack kept his grip tight through snarls and hisses as the Gorn slowly fell to the ground gasping for air before being knocked out. The other pirates looked up shocked as they stared at Jack.
“She was asking you to calm down!” said one pirate as Jack cocked an eyebrow.
“She?” he asked as he looked down at the knocked out Gorn as he shrugged.
“Doesn’t matter,” he said as he came over and grabbed the pirate as he lifted him up to the Captain’s door as he pressed the man up against the panel to open up the Captain’s room before dropping the man on the ground as the impact knocked him out.
“Come,” a voice called from the interior of the room. Entering the room Jack would see a modern and plush office. Behind the desk on a communicator was a many flamboyantly dressed much like the captain from Disney’s Peter Pan complete with a hook for a hand and large black handlebar mustache.
Celina Rodriguez CTO
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