STF

Mundai Colony - A need to get away

Posted Aug. 9, 2020, 6:17 a.m. by Lieutenant Commander Maxwell Wynter (Chief Engineer / 2nd Officer) (David Shotton)

Posted by Lieutenant Commander Maxwell Wynter (Chief Engineer / 2nd Officer) in Mundai Colony - A need to get away

Posted by Lieutenant Jasmine Wynter (Chief Medical Officer) in Mundai Colony - A need to get away

Posted by Lieutenant Jasmine Wynter (Chief Medical Officer) in Mundai Colony - A need to get away
Posted by… suppressed (2) by the Post Ghost! 👻

Snip

The past hour had been an emotional roller coaster for Celina. She not only had to threaten the corpsman in the morgue to get at the body, but seeing her lifeless friend and reviewing the medical records confirmed what Celina knew. “Max come home to us,” she said softly into the comm call. “If not for her for me. I can’t lose her and worry about you.”

Max forced his eyes open again, there was no way he could argue that the body on the bed wasn’t that of his wife. His eyes froze just then, something at the back of his mind screamed at him to look harder. Something wasn’t right. Max let his eyes travel over the pictures searching for something, what it was he didn’t know but it was there, he knew it, and he had missed it. Landing on one picture his hand dropped from his mouth as it opened it shock and recognition. He knew.

“Celina, it’s not Jasmine,” he stated in a whisper. The shock of the realization hitting him like a brick.

“Max,” Celina snapped harshly. “I am not stupid nor would I say someone is dead without and ID check, tricorder scans, DNA,” she rattled off the litany of steps in declaring someone dead.

“I don’t care what the DNA says, it’s not her. I can prove it to you but you have to keep this quiet, you need to go through the motions and let them bury the body. These people need to think we believe them, it’s our only hope of not losing the trail.”

“And what, say Max is indisposed and doesn’t care about his wife’s funeral. No one is going to believe it. Neither you or her left according to the normal means. No records of you leaving by transporter because you took a shuttle and the paid for it in credits. Do you know how bad this is going to look and make me an accessory if I don’t say I know where you are? You are AWOL and your wife is dead.”

“Dammit Celina I am not crazy, look!” Max raised his hand and around the wrist, was clearly the bracelet that both he and Jasmine wore. Gifted to them by their parents as a wedding gift that all newlywed Mintarans received to help them with their marriage. “That is not Jasmine on the bed, the bracelet is gone and I would know if it had been removed.”

Now, Max smiled a real and genuine smile despite the whole circumstance. It was the first real glimmer of hope that he had received, a sign, Jasmine would call it. In that moment, he honestly believed it was a sign. “I would know because the bracelets are set to notify us if it is removed from the other person, or one of the wearers lifesigns cease. My bracelet has done neither, so I know that Jasmine has neither removed it or been killed. She’s alive and here on Mundai, and I am going to find her.”

Celina immediately pulled up the image looking at Jasmine’s wrist. Her friend never had it off. Celina always assumed it was a Minataran thing.

“It works with Quantum Entanglement,” Max revealed, letting Celina in on a little known piece of Mintaran technology. “Two particles are paired at the quantum level, so that their quantum signature is the same even when both are separated. That means that wherever they are in the universe,” Max emphasised the word, “they are always instantaneously connected with each other no matter the distance in between them. It’s a technology we don’t share because a) it is extremely expensive and b) we hold the rights to this particular design. Most other forms are very unreliable but Celina, I know she is alive, she has been taken by the Mundain and they staged her death somehow. That is a fake body that imitates Jasmine on that bed. I don’t know how they did it but remember, they can use the faithful to grow body parts. Who is to say they can’t clone a body entirely and manipulate the DNA in those organs to make it seem like someone else, we can clone people after all. It is just illegal for us.”

“Ugh,” Celina groaned leaning back in her seat scowling at Max. She wanted her friend to be alive just as much as Max did. None of it made sense but no matter how crazy the situation was it was better than Jasmine being dead. “You know this is darn close to that shirt that says something about a shovel and alibi. If I do this,” she pointed a finger at Max, “you are going to owe me.” There was no doubt that Celina was do it. She had said it for dramatic effect but the scowl on her face showed that no matter how Max and Jasmine got back, Celina might just kill them out of frustration. “I am going to go back to the morgue and threaten the corpsman again, and sound like a raving lunatic…for you....because I,”

“I need to go, but Celina. Thanks. This means so much to Jasmine and I. I’ll bring her home, I promise.” With that, Max turned off the console and stood. He ran his hand through his hair and felt the anger rising in him. They had abducted her, faked her death and he didn’t know what else. He knew that Jasmine would never agree to harm the faithful, or do anything that exploited them so whatever the Authority was making her do, was by force and threat. Now, they had Max to deal with. If Mintarans were known for anything it was being thorough and leaving no stone unturned. a 36000 page marriage form proved that. It was only going to be a matter of time before Max found the problem in their system.

“Max…Max,” she yelled before being unceremoniously disconnected. Letting out a sigh she drummed her nails on the console. If there was any way this was true, Celina was going to give Max a chance to find out.

Feeling like he needed fresh air, Max walked to the door and let himself out. The hallway was narrow and the doors small, and he chose to take the stairs instead of the lift. In moments Max was outside on the pavement in the cold of the night air. The freshness of it prickled at his skin and he leaned on the wall and closed his eyes. He was tired, exhausted in fact and the rollercoaster of emotions the day had brought had left him feeling wired on the edge. The sound of a siren at the end of the street made his eyes jump open again.

Looking towards the sound Max saw the car, running silent but with the people inside shining torches as they came down the street again. Max knew he wasn’t supposed to be here, this wasn’t part of the tourist area he could be in and clearly he wasn’t a Mundain. At the very least they would stop and question him if they saw him, at worst, he didn’t want to think about it. Turning Max made his way back inside, the lights from the car passing over and pausing slightly on the door he passed through as it finished closing.

Double timing the steps he made it back to Ella’s room and let himself inside, locking the door behind him and moving to the window. Pushing the curtain aside slightly he was greeted by the siren once more sounding from below the building they were in, and he could see the car had stopped below them. Max swore to himself and stepped back from the window, how could he have been so stupid as to step outside, even for a moment.

Lt Cmdr Wynter, CE

The apartment complex suddenly erupted into loud crashes, screaming voices, and banging. The voices barked out orders as they banged on doors. The noise was below them affording Max and Ella precious time. Emerging from the bedroom, Ella looked at Max standing by the window before her eyes drifted to the door. She was silent and slightly pale as Ella processed what was happening. Rapidly moving to the coffee table, Ella cleared Max’s coffee mug emptying the contents of the cup before setting it upside down in her cabinet as if it were clean. “We need to hide you,” she said calmly yet the tension in her body was clearly visible. “Don’t come out no matter what you hear or see. These Authority enforcers make a ton of noise but most of the time they just leave. Whatever happens don’t leave here okay Max?” Her expression and manner showed Ella was clearly worried about him. “They tend to watch the housing complex.” A loud bang from what seemed to be at the end of the hall signaled that whoever was arriving was close.

“Most of the time they leave?” Max asked, he didn’t like the sound of that and his mind didn’t rest easy with thoughts of what that might mean.

“Go into the bedroom and find someplace,” she said as the pounding echoed on her door.

Taking a deep breath, Ella pulled at the belt of her robe and moved to the door.

Lt. Jasmine Wynter CMO

Max turned to leave, but spied the table as he turned. Stopping, he half ran to the table and picked up the jacket that was over the back of the chair and the Phaser he had placed on the side table next to it. It wouldn’t do to have those found out here. “Be careful,” he said to her, and half paused before another knock sent him into her room, closing the door behind him.

In the room he stopped and looked around. They were looking for someone and Ella’s residence was small. If they really looked, they were going to find him and if they found him, that would look rather bad if he was hiding. Under the bed was too obvious, and Ella’s closet was too small. “Max what are you doing,” he said to himself as he began to take off the clothes he had left on. His jacket he dropped at the foot of the bed messily, his undershirt he peeled off and threw beside the bed. Shoe’s were kicked off randomly and socks stuffed in a corner. Finally, he took off his trousers and laid them half on and half off the end of the bed, then climbed into Ella’s bed and shoved the phaser under the pillow, throwing the beds second pillow off the side of the bed as if it had gotten in the way of something. Then he pulled up the covers and adjusted so that it looked like Ella had gotten out of the bed from being beside him. “Goddamit,” he mumbled and his eyes watched the door to the bedroom, hand under the pillow gripping the phaser.

Lt Cmdr Wynter, CE

Ella let the man knock as long as she could. She hated these community evaluations as it was termed. At first the idea was to supplement the local law officers. Then it became a partnership. Now these chats no longer dealt with helping out domestic issues or someone in trouble but to seek out people that did not walk lock step with the moral majority as the Devout liked to claim publicly.

Opening the door the man held his fist up ready to move from a knock to a pounding. “Officiant,” she let the word roll off her tongue waiting for him to supply the detail past his honorific. The title Officiant was meant not to instill fear but respect. It was so close to official but also revealed they had the power to do something more than just show up at your door. His uniform was a bizarre mix of what was reminiscent of a clergy’s black robes and an officer of some military organization. The emblem of the Authority was twisted in a was around the symbol of the devout to make a grotesque image of something conjoined that could never be separated. If you fell in step with the blather spilling from the lips of the high priest and priestess you would see this emblem as revered. If not you were someone the Authority and Devout liked to talk to

Darienqueyuel,” he responded crisply and took a step forward into the door not caring that she was in the way nor that she hadn’t invited him in. “You may get me a refreshment,” he moved into the room looking around. As he scanned the room slowly, he began to remove the leather gloves that clad his hands. “Make it something warm. There is a nip to the air,” he pulled back her curtain watching a group of people the Authority officers were leading out of the building and into the waiting vehicle.

Ella tried to remain calm. She would give the Officiant anything he wanted as long as it kept him from searching her small apartment. “I have covine and te,” she offered. “Do you have a preference?” Turning to face him with a cup in her hand Ella held her breath slightly as she watched the man open her hall closet and peer inside.

“That people would no longer participate in activities that keep me from a warm bed,” he breathed the words letting his eyes trace Ella from her face down to her bare feet. A long pause filled the air between them before he replied, “covine…please. There is no reason to hurry this.” Taking a seat in one of her chairs, he let his eyes drop to the couch. “Do you have company,” he asked Ella staring at her as she brought the coffee to him. People always had tells when they were lying. Averting their eyes when speaking, clasping their hands, covering their chest with crossed arms: Some people did all three.

Why Darienqueyuel was asking this made Ella pause. She struggled not to look at the bedroom as Ella handed the officiant a cup of covine. “Why do you ask,” she tugged at the ends of her robe’s belt-tightening it against her body. It was silly but suddenly, Ella felt a wash of coldness flood her body as the man stared at her from across the room sipping her coffee.

“Your couch pillows are not where they should be,” he gestured with the cup. As her eyes darted to the couch, the throw pillows all women seemed to collect like shoes, lay skewed on the cushions. It was a simple act, moving a pillow out from behind you when you sat down, like when Max has sat down. The pillows on the other end were on the floor, where Ella dropped them when she sat next to Max and explained life here on Mundai. Ella’s heart raced along with her thoughts. How was she to help Max if the Authority found him cowering in a closet? There was no other place in her bedroom. The apartment was sparse with few places to store things away.

Ella opened her mouth a few times trying to find the words that were escaping her. Swallowing hard, she could almost hear the pounding of her heartbeat in her own ears. If she doubted for a second that the Authority has a role in his missing wife, it had ended with the man now sitting on her couch.

Ella

The man watched Ella, her body language and the way her face twitched like she was trying to say something and couldn’t quite get the right words out. The woman was hiding something, he knew it. He had seen too many people act this way, too many people make an excuse when there was no other logical answer than yes, I have company. Pursing his lips in disappointment that he had found yet another citizen in need of re-education, he tapped his knee with his fingers and stood up.

“There is no point making excuses,” he told her and placed the cup she had given him on the table. That same hand reached into his belt and drew out a stick about a foot long. The end glowed with a sinister blue light that everybody on Mundai knew. That stick would render a person stunned but compliant with an Officiants orders. It was used to move those they took from their homes to their cars and camps without fuss or noise and was almost more feared than the Officiant themselves. “I will see this person, now.”

He took the few steps towards the door of her bedroom as if he knew every inch of her room, and in truth, he did. On Mundai the apartments were all built to the same design. This meant that the Officiants needed waste no time searching rooms and closets they had to find. Every apartment was the same design, every house made to the same pattern. The only people allowed a choice between designs were the proven Devout. All the rest lived in the same apartment or house. It made the work of an Officiant so much easier.

Pausing at the door, he looked at Ella. The pause seemed to be for dramatic effect, or maybe a silent warning that he was ready in case she wanted to cause trouble or warn the person inside the room. His thumb pushed the switch on the shaft and the blue light suddenly flared, ready to be simply pushed against the unbeliever she was hiding. His other hand touched the control and the door slid open, what he saw made him pause again but this time it was in surprise. Once again he looked at Ella, but now his eyebrow was raised in a silent question.

“Hey, you never said you were bringing a friend,” Max said from Ella’s bed. Rolling over he pushed himself up on one elbow, his hand under the pillow like he had been sleeping, or maybe waiting. The single sheet that was left on the bed only covered him up to his waist, his chest was bare and very clear that he was well toned and trim, but that his physique was gained through honest work and not in any gym. The sheet clung to his lower half, making it very clear that the man in Ella’s bed was not wearing pants, in fact those were half hanging off the end of her bed along with most of his other clothes and a pillow discarded half way across the room. Max’s grey green eyes searched the man in the doorway for a moment and then moved back to Ella. “He’s not your boyfriend is he, you didn’t say anything about a boyfriend.”

Max looked down beside him where a pair of Ella’s underwear rested, his hand moved and picked up the delicate piece of fabric, shoving it under the sheet as if he was protecting her modesty. The hint, of course, was that under Ella’s robe there was not a pair of delicate underwear that there might have been, and that their activities prior to the mans arrival had been of a different kind of supplication.

Lt Cmdr Wynter, CE

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