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Requiem for a Life

Posted April 16, 2021, 8:17 a.m. by Lieutenant Faye Calloway (Mission Specialist) (Lindsay Bayes)

Posted by Lieutenant Faye Calloway (Mission Specialist) in Requiem for a Life

Posted by Lieutenant Faye Calloway (Mission Specialist) in Requiem for a Life

(snip)

A wide smile spread across the Orion’s face. “Oh, I don’t know. I think I have something of rather high value right here.”

“We’re no use to you,” Faye said before Cam elbowed her. She just shot him a glare. The woman leaned in and smiled as she gazed deeply into Faye’s eyes. “You have spunk, I’ll give you that much. And so healthy and strong looking. It’s good. You’ll need that where you’re going.”

They didn’t have much of a chance to ponder those remarks before there was movement behind them. A telltale hiss ensued and everything went dark.

On the periphery of her hearing, there were sounds, voices. Nothing she could pinpoint, but then she felt everything move. It took her a moment to realize that it was her who was shaking and Faye’s eyes slipped open.

Cam was gazing down at her, terror in his light brown eyes.

Pushing herself to a sitting position, her earlier guess about the Orion woman and her crew was reframed into a much clearer light.

Around them were people packed into what she could only describe as a cage. Around them, similar cages held all sorts of beings, many of whom were yelling or screaming. Some rather burly looking Orions patrolled the aisles between the cages with disruptor rifles that Faye had no doubt lacked a stun setting. While not dark, the light was dim and the smell was rather noxious. Then again so many stressed bodies in one cavernous space were bound to create a stench.

“What are we going to do?” Cam said, crouching beside her.
“Stay calm, for one,” Faye said, taking in too many details to process at the moment but ones she knew might be vital later if they wanted to survive.
“Well your father was definitely right. We have to keep our identity a secret.”
Faye shook her head. “Too late. They already know, Cam.”

The door to the cage opened and one of the Orion guards stepped in, bashing the end of his disruptor against a captive who frantically tried to escape. Another also tried but a device on their neck immediately sent them spasming to the ground. Faye’s hand immediately darted to her neck and sure enough she wore a similar device. One glance at Cam told her so did he. “So much for our date, huh?” she joked, trying to keep herself from panicking.

“Yeah, great locale. All we need is food for a picnic,” he replied, managing a tiny smirk. It wasn’t much, but it was something.

The guard suddenly loomed over them. “You two, come with me. Resist… and die.”

Inhaling a shaky breath, Faye got to her feet. For a brief moment she wondered if it would just be best to make a run for it. But her promise to her father sat foremost in her mind and she knew that dying here in this hellhole was not what he had had in mind. She had to get through this if she wanted even a glimmer of a chance to fulfill his wish for her. Cam gave her a tiny nod.

Hand in hand, the two teens followed the Orion and soon they found themselves in a large bare room with mirrors on one side. “Stay here.” The guard stepped out, leaving them alone.

Cam immediately ventured around. “Where do you think we are?”

“A processing centre,” Faye said quietly.

“What sort of processing centre?” he said, frowning.

She gazed at him and shook her head slowly. “Cam…” How did he not get this? Then again they had each just lost their remaining parents, their home and everyone they had ever cared about, so she could forgive him for his cluelessness. But Faye was too well read, and had too good a memory to not put these pieces together.

“Don’t do that, Faye. Don’t treat me like I’m being dumb. Just because your IQ is like levels beyond the rest of normal folk, doesn’t mean you have to treat us like idiots.”

Hurt etched itself deeply and she glanced away. As her eyes landed on the mirrors (most likely one-way windows) she grumbled back in his direction. “And you don’t have to have to be a jerk. The situation is bad enough as it is.”

Cam inhaled and sighed. “I’m sorry-”

Apology cut off by an opening door, two Orion males stepped in. One (rifle in hand) was only a bit better dressed than the guards with a serious and impatient look about him, and the other cut a dashing figure in his well tailored clothes, though he was a bit shorter than most of the Orion males she had seen thus far. She could tell that even the fibre was probably fine from this distance and understood that he was very well off indeed. “Well? the impatient one said. “It’s as I told you, isn’t it?”

The well-dressed Orion moved closer to Faye and Cam, who had drawn closer together again despite their terse exchange. Cam tapped the toe of his shoe on the hard floor, eyes cast downwards, but Faye watched the Orion intently, eyes fixed. She couldn’t explain it, but she wasn’t afraid. Maybe it was already understanding what was about to happen or maybe it was the innocuous appearance of the man so interested in them. “Indeed,” he said softly, a smile tugging at his mouth as he came to stand in front of them. “You’re Faye and he’s Cam, yes?”

Faye simply raised her brows. “And you’re a slave owner. Bravo to us both for being clever,” she said dryly. “Are we allowed to know your name? Seems only fair, doesn’t it?”

The seller moved towards her, suddenly angry at her boldness, but the well-dressed man held up a hand and stopped him from inflicting any of that anger upon Faye. Rather than being angry, he seemed almost delighted. “I am Kodell. How old are you, my dear?”

“Why would you care?” Cam spat, taking a step towards him, all the while putting out an arm protectively in front of Faye. She cast a worried glance his way with a warning shake of her head. He was going to get them both killed if he wasn’t careful.

“I’m almost sixteen,” Faye said quietly, returning her gaze to the man who clearly had their future in his hands.

“And you?” he asked Cameron directly.

Glaring deeply, Cam grumbled, “Seventeen.”

For several long moments Kodell just looked them over, moving around them in a slow circle. Finally he nodded at the seller. “We have a deal, including the surcharge for the private sale. Tell Adrella that I appreciate her prescience.”

“And if we don’t want to go with you?” Cam said angrily.

The man who had just purchased them gazed upon Cam with something of a sad expression. “You are Maquis, young though you are. Criminals last I checked. Your choice is to come with me willingly, or I can simply turn you over to the Federation authorities. I hear their prisons are quite comfortable. Though I can’t guarantee you will make it that far as I do believe the Dominion would equally be interested in you.”

“Cam…” Faye whispered under her breath, turning her desperate gaze on him. Don’t leave me alone! she thought at him, as if he might on some level hear and understand her. They weren’t telepaths after all, but hopefully he might get it nonetheless.

He met her gaze and she hated what she saw in his eyes, but they clearly had no choice here. He understood that too. Cam lowered his gaze and said nothing, resigning himself to the situation.

“I’m glad we have an agreement,” Kodell said with a nod. “Follow the rules of my household and work hard, and I promise things will go well for all of us.” He turned to the seller. “Have them cleaned up and ready to go immediately. We’ll be leaving within the hour.”

Faye would have forgiven herself for wondering if she were simply in the midst of some nightmare someone could wake her from, but in that moment all she could think about was that a part of her was glad to just be far away from the smoldering ashes and bloodied bodies that littered her childhood home.

Anything had to be better than staying there, right?

{To be continued…}

~Faye Calloway


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