Posted by Lieutenant Allison Scott (Doctor) in Orion Thread: Orion Surface
Posted by Lieutenant Allison Scott (Doctor) in Orion Thread: Orion Surface
Posted by Lieutenant Allison Scott (Doctor) in Orion Thread: Orion Surface
https://www.star-fleet.com/core/stf5/saracen/notes/59654/ Original thread Whats Scott Up To
As they walked towards the building Ally took the few precious moments to prepare Rico for what was coming next. The problem was finding the words to explain what he was gonna see. “About two years ago a doctor by the name of Lauren Shan asked me to help her with some relief work. I had no idea of the scope she was talking about until we arrived at that location. Once I saw…I could not say no.” Ally stood at the door to the warehouse. Rico could see she was almost shaking as she spoke. The nervousness was not due to anything related to what was behind the door. The nervousness was entirely based on Ally being worried Rico would not understand or be able to process what was behind the door.
“If it is simple relief work, why the thugs and secrecy?” Rico asked her as they came to a stop outside the warehouse. “Why the hell would you have been exiled from Orion the last time you were here? That happened because you were stealing supplies, relief work doesn’t lead to stealing supplies or the Syndicate.”
“Shall we enter so that I can get paid and you can do the job you are required to do,” the leader of the men who met them at the vehicle sneered.
“Open the damn door then,” Rico snarled at him, “and next time don’t greet us with a firing squad, you might live longer.” He motioned towards the man and the door with his weapon and in that moment, it had become much clearer who had control of this situation. The man swore under his breath and moved forwards, entering a code in the door and letting the bolts unlock, then, he swung it open and the look he gave Ally was leering and far from gentlemanly. “Have fun inside, I know you like it rough.” It was a ruthless attempt to regain his authority in the eyes of his men.
Ally shook her head and walked in the opened door but not before saying under her breath, “heartless mongrel.” Men like the ones that got them here disgusted Ally. They were able to sleep at night even though their apathy towards the problem was just as bad as participating in it.
Lt. Ally Scott medical
Rico had far less words for him, he waited for Ally to walk inside and then took a step towards the entry himself. It meant that he had stepped close to the man and as his eyes met those of the heartless leader of these henchmen, he registered the soft smirk still on the man’s lips after what he had said. What happened next was fast. Rico’s hand lifted and the smirk had only just begun to fade as the solid butt of the weapon smashed into the leaders jaw, a sharp crack announcing the fracture and the blood spattering the door showing the gash, the man thrown bodily against the warehouse wall from the impact.
As the leader of the group dazedly sunk to his knees holding his twisted, broken and bleeding jaw, Rico coldly looked at the rest of the men. They saw the look in his eyes, but not a single one moved to help or raise their weapons at him. “Oops,” he said to the man on his knees, “I thought you liked it rough. My mistake.” With that he turned and followed Allison inside. He was off duty anyhow, nobody was going to report him.
Inside the warehouse
The first thing Rico would notice was the stench as he entered the room. Unwashed bodies mixed with the scent of all things illicit. The air had a stale quality to it mixed with the smoke of at least two different illegal drugs known by even teenagers in the Federation. Felicium and tobacco were only what the untrained nose could smell. Someone like Rico might be able to find more. The sickening smell of rot came and went carried on a breeze from somewhere. It was infrequent enough that the source of the odor could have been from a rubbish bin inside or outside the warehouse. The bitter scent of the oldest profession seemed to linger on any piece of fabric they passed as Ally and Rico moved farther inside the cavernous space.
This wasn’t what Rico had expected. The smell of drugs, absolutely. The weapons seen on men who seemed to be a militia of sorts, sure. The hobbled living spaces they passed, the men and women who looked at them with sunken eyes devoid of hope and resigned to a life with nothing to offer, was something Rico had not expected.
The lights were dimmed so you could make out shapes and images but not clearly until you were almost upon them. The room was set up almost like a refugee camp with areas cordoned off using sheets, old blankets, or pieces of furniture. The living spaces if you could call them that had an eclectic mix of tattered and worn next to chic and new. It was as if the contents of the rooms were both a storage area for a furniture store and a dump where people had pulled discarded items from a landfill. Nothing matched in any of the living spaces he and Ally passed. The only thing that was repeated in each space was the haunted faces looking at the pair as they passed. The walk between the rows and rows of cubicles seemed never-ending. The haunted eyes of the children they passed showed what they lacked without ever having to be asked.
“Allison, what is this?” Rico asked her softly. His anger had faded, the cold and furious temper at her deceit forgotten as his eyes moved from despair to tragedy, to horror and back to despair. His anger had not gone, it simmered now under a layer of disbelief that people could live in this condition in a developed world. He paused as they walked, Ally not answering him as her own eyes picked out where she needed to be, looking for something that she knew she had to find.
Rico stopped and looked at three children gathered together, all of them far more thin, dirty and frail than they should ever have been, welts and bruises speaking of discipline delivered out of anger instead of love. Sores on their lips and arms telling him of a lack of care, lack of attention that children in his world would never have been subjected to. Rico realized very quickly now that this was not his world, this was nothing that he had ever trained or prepared for. The look of emptiness in their eyes would haunt him he knew, it was a look that was far older than children should ever have had, it was despair, empty hopes and dreams. It was a sick maturity of children who had lost their innocence to people who knew how bad the world could be and had lost the ability to care about other beings over their own desires.
The sounds of the warehouse were a cacophony of raucous laughter, intimate moans, crying children, and coughs of the sick. A few giggles of children could be heard but they were few and far between. Nothing in this space indicated happiness or love. The ghettos and slums of Orion held more typical sounds of a home or apartment than this warehouse ever could. The sounds of this warehouse were of sadness, pain, and sorrow.
“Dr. Scott,” a woman called out seemingly out of nowhere. Ally spun trying to locate the direction through the fabric walls that surrounded her. “Dr. Scott,” she repeated pulling back a thin and tattered curtain. “I am glad you finally arrived.” The voice belonged to a woman in her late 50’s or 60’s. It could have been younger but that was not important. The worn visage spoke of a hard life filled with more downs than ups. “I am Brella. Thank you for coming,” she extended her hand.
“Of course. When we can help we come. You know that. Is everything set up,” Ally asked taking the woman’s hand and shaking it. The warm handshake instantly went stiff as did the demeanor of Brella.
Rico had heard Ally’s voice, and torn himself away from the sight of the children huddled together for warmth, the sound of a woman moaning in the torn sheet and cardboard hut behind them and the rough hacking coughs of people waiting around them. It had taken him only a moment to catch up to her, his bright yellow floral vacation shirt an obvious difference to what was going on in the warehouse around them. The look on his face was still rage, but it was rage mixed with sadness at what he was seeing.
“Why is he here? You know the rules,” she spat back angrily. “They will not permit this. Why did you even come? Get out. Take your Federation police with you. He is not welcome here.” The lukewarmness to the woman’s eyes had melted into an icy stare as she looked at Rico.
Lt. Ally Scott medical
“Shut up woman,” Rico said and his tone was not angry, but it was determined. “Nobody is welcome here, that’s clear.” He looked behind her at the area she had come from and then to Ally. “We are here now, and here for a reason. This isn’t right Allison, what the hell is this place? How do the people that run this get away with it? Why are you here?” He had directed his last question to both of the woman, both Ally and Brella.
As if Ally wasn’t even present Brella began to speak. “She is here for a purpose. You are here to gawk and judge. You with your shiny ships sent by those from your ivory towers,” Bella spat at the ground glaring with nothing but hate for Rico. The icy tone of her voice and the care to which she chose every word spoke volumes about her view on the Federation. “You create rules and judge those that do not want to follow them. Streaking in on your ships, dealing out an antiseptic death for anyone that dares to choose a life not bound by your golden tenants of how you imagine the galaxy should be. You are the cause of the pain seen here,” Brella waved a hand the color of well-worn leather about her. Her hand was almost skeletal looking as she pointed to everything and nothing simultaneously. The sinewy tendons that were taunt against the thin bones of her arm and wrist belied a woman capable of clawing out someone’s eyes with not an ounce of regret if crossed.
This world was not Rico’s world. He was a member of Starfleet, he had been to places where the people on the bottom of society existed. They didn’t live there, living was too generous a term. This place was something that made those places Rico had been to seem like a welcoming home. This was not Rico’s world, it was not something he expected could exist within the Federation or any developed world. Klingons treated the people on the bottom of their society with more respect than this, and to Klingons those people were worthless. These people were less. The sorrow and despair in their eyes spoke of absent dreams and hopes. These people did not expect to ever improve their lot in their existence, they didn’t exist.
“You are appalled by what you see here. You can’t imagine what has sent us to this place and yet are too blind to see there is a necrotic disease that silently eats away at the core of your world. That disease is apathy and disgust for anyone not a part of your ideals.” The words poured from Brella’s cracked lips like molten ire from a black soul. “You claim your only vision is to help the universe. Convert and brainwash is more like it. You stand here judging us in our state when it is you that did this,” she stabbed a finger at Rico’s chest. “You are the reason we are here.”
Rico’s anger simmered at the people that allowed this place to exist. To the men outside who knew what it was and locked it away. Rico had seen despair, horror and loss. he had never felt or thought it was possible for more than that to exist in his world. He had served on missions to rescue people from slavery, subjugation. He had fought violently, lost men and women in his team, friends, rescuing men, women and children from slavery four years earlier. Rico had very nearly lost his life in hand to hand combat with men such as those outside, to make sure the people he was sent to rescue could escape to live a better life. He was willing to give that life for them, it was his duty. The people Rico was seeing in this warehouse were suffering on a level Rico never knew existed, it was more than physical suffering, it was a loss of the very soul they had.
The ambient noise after her words contained coughs, cries, and harsh whispers with an eerie silence that seemed to punctuate the air between them. If the fabric and metal walls around the trio fell, a thousand eyes would be trained on Ally, Brella, and Rico. Ally resisted the urge to look around knowing in every crack and crevice a weapon would be trained on them. Her blood boiled hearing Brella’s opinion on the Federation and laying all the ills that had fallen the people in this hovel. Ally’s fist’s clenched tightly beside her. Her jaw was clenched tight as if trying to hold back the words wanting to spill from her lips. The normally happy smile that filled her face was replaced with a thin-lipped grimace.
“Well, say something,” Brella sneered at Rico. “Stand here and deny to my face and their’s that you have any culpability in the atrocities that were committed against these children.”
“Shut up Rico,” Ally snapped no longer able to hold back her anger. Rico was entirely capable of speaking for himself, yet Allison Scott had had enough. “You,” she batted away the finger Brella extended towards Rico, “don’t you dare utter another word or I will walk out of this place and trust me I will not lose an ounce of sleep over it.” Stepping up close to Brella, Allison’s nose was filled with the odor of a day not bathing mixed with the heady scent of some exotic smoke. It was then Scott noticed the slight dilation of Brella’s pupils. The woman was high yet due to years of exposure to different narcotic cocktails, Brella was a functioning drug addict. Part of Ally wanted to use this as an excuse for her behavior yet the logical part knew this was a case of intoxication bringing out true feelings instead of smothering them.
“We are not responsible for this mess you are. Life is all about choices. You make them every damn day. You chose this life. You chose to marry and birth your children into this festering sore of an existence. I read the reports. Yes the Federation raided your last complex but you attacked a colony,” Ally glared at the woman.
“You would need for nothing if you under the Federation. Food, medical care, housing and eduation are all free yet you chose to live in squalor. Instead of a police force to protect you, you choose organized crime rings where one broken law results in death or worse. Instead of teachers to educate your children on science and the humanities, you choose to let thugs and pimps educate them perpertuatng the cycle of poverate and crime. Instead of a government where your voice is heard by people you choose to run your lives, you choose to give up any semblance of freedom to the dregs of society who use murder and extorsion as a way to become your leaders. You choose to live an existence based on lying and stealing, instead of honor or integrity,” Ally’s voice was calm but icy. Each sentence that let her mouth was filled with venom and disgust.
“Only if you choose to obey by their narrow-minded views of civilized society,” Brella spoke with the reverence only true believers possessed. Nothing Ally was going to say would change her mind. This woman had been in the system too long. Her psyche damaged by a life of being used and abused at the whim of others. Not even trained counselors would make her see reason.
“You act like we have Sacrifice your Son Saturday or Universal Kitten Drowning Day,” Ally was starting to lose her temper. Turning she paced a few steps in the small enclosure and came back with her arms tightly crossed against her chest. “You want to claim this life is so free then so be it. There is a Federation clinic four miles from here. Take your people there if you choose. It was a mistake to come.”
Ally had participated in Lauren’s mercy missions twice before. This would be her last time. She was laying everything on the line coming here. Her career and Rico’s would be over if it was discovered what they were doing. Even if the Federation handed boxes or supplies to Lauren Shan it didn’t negate the fact scores of doctor’s under her direction were aiding and abetting criminals who raped, robbed, and murdered innocent Federation citizens when it suited them. Her speech to Brella was based on choice and Ally was about to make a choice herself. Rico,” Ally said over her shoulder, “we are leaving.”
“But my sister is sick,” a small voice seemed to appear out of no where. All eyes were directed upon a kid barely in her teens holding a small infant. “What do I do if you can’t help her. She stopped crying a few hours ago but they said a doctor was coming. I don’t know what to do. If you can’t help her tell me how to help her. Please.”
The reality of Ally’s threat slammed into her gut like a fist knocking the wind out of her. If she left this child would die as would probably countless others. As much as Ally despised Brella and the men that controlled the people in this room, some people didn’t have the choice Allison Scott had touted standing on her moral high ground. The space behind the young teen who was barely out of childhood herself began to fill with more vacant stares and emaciated bodies. All of them simply woman and children.
Rico could fight the wrongs of the world with his strength, his rules and his duty. Rico had no weapons for fighting this fight, he was unarmed and untrained. Helpless to fix this. His hand moved to Allison’s waist as he knew that she had a strength that he never possessed. She had fought and was fighting a war that he didn’t know how to fight, never knew existed. She knew what was here and had come anyway. In that moment Rico understood her, and realized that the woman he loved was far stronger than he had ever known it was possible to be.
“What do you want me to do?” He said to them.
Lt Vanhall, CoS
“Help me set up a triage,” Ally said in almost a deafed tone. There was no way she could leave these people in this state just as the next time Lauren contacted her, there was no way she could deny help.
Lt Ally Scott medical
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