Orion Thread: Orion Surface

Posted June 5, 2020, 3:36 a.m. by Lieutenant Rico Vanhall (Armorer) (David Shotton)

Posted by Captain Dante Knight (Commanding Officer) in Orion Thread: Orion Surface

Posted by Captain Dante Knight (Commanding Officer) in Orion Thread: Orion Surface

Posted by Lieutenant Rico Vanhall (Armorer) in Orion Thread: Orion Surface
Posted by… suppressed (21) by the Post Ghost! 👻 Original thread Whats Scott Up To


“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.

“We needed,”

“You would need for nothing if you under the Federation. Food, medical care, housing and education 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 perpetuating the cycle of poverty 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 extortion 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 nowhere. 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

“Right, in there.” Rico motioned to the makeshift room that Brella had appeared from earlier, it already seemed to have places for beds and whether Brella agreed or not, it had just become the facilities makeshift medical ward for their stay here.

Placing one hand behind the girls shoulder, Rico stepped forward past Brella and into the room, pushing the flap of canvas aside that served to make it private. “Come in, Ally will help her as much as she can, we will help so bring her in and put her down”.

“It’s just I don’t know what to do,” the girl looked like she was on the verge of tears. “I made her some bone broth like my mom used to,” she held her sister’s hand Ally began to run the tricorder over her. The rash, high fever, and vomiting were standard symptoms of any illness but the scratches on her legs and arms along with the flat reddened rash with tiny bumps was already leading Ally towards a diagnosis few Federation doctors encountered. With fresh water, clean food and sanitary conditions the scourge that had plagued mankind for centuries was seldom seen except in cesspool pockets like this camp. Rats and rodents carried so many diseases: plague, Tularemia, Hantavirus, the list was as old as mankind. Medical cures staved it off for a while, yet life always found a way to survive.

People rarely thought of bacteria and viruses as living things. Probably because they could not see it. It was the oldest form of life in the universe and defended itself as viciously as two star ships locked in combat. The difference was disease battlegrounds were vast and never one battle. Winning a scourge in one small part of the universe just meant the illness could regroup and come back stronger, harder, and more virulent. Luckily, medical technology kept up or at least kept the pace.

“Do you know how to make her better,” the little girl asked. Her tone crushed Ally’s heart. This barely an adult child was so stalwart in her request. She was bracing for news adults could rarely handle. Fortunately, this time, Ally was able to spare her any more pain.

“Yes,” she smiled at the kid, “and she is going to be just fine I promise.” Moving over to her case of supplies, Ally began to search for her hypo.

“She is infected with a Streptobacillus bacteria which presents as Rat Bite Fever. The Streptobacillus bacteria is found in rats and mice. People get infected with they live in close quarters with the rodents. The rodents can bite or scratch them as a form of transmission, ” Ally explained to Rico. “People also become ill after eating contaminated food or drink that was in close contact with rodents or eating under cooked rat meat. “Tell me honey, where did you get the bone for the broth,” Ally asked gently. The averted glance told Ally all she needed to know. Injecting the hypo, Allison brushed the hair off her patient’s forehead. “She is going to be fine. Let her sleep for a few more days and when you make soup,” she tried not to show the revulsion in her tone, “make sure you bring it to a boil for at least twenty minutes. Add more water if you need to but boil it at least twenty minutes okay.”

They young girl smiled happily not caring about anything more than knowing her sister was going to be fine. You took it one day at a time when you lived like this. Planning ahead was foolish. Living in the past was stupidity. All the poor people trapped here just woke up, lived in the day, and then prayed for another. As the girl left, Ally stopped Rico from letting the next patient in her makeshift treatment room. It had been at least a year since she had done this and never before in such squalid conditions. If she was going to be of help to anyone, Allison Scott, had to be ready for more moments like these.

“This place doesn’t even try to have a clinic,” Ally threw the empty hypo canister on the floor. Normally we are fighting with the local doctor of the camp but this place is worse than anything I have ever seen.”

The room was dirty, cluttered and smelled of damp and despair, but it had stretchers and a table that Ally could work from and medical supplies in one corner in fresh, tidy Federation supply boxes. Rico paused and looked at the boxes for a moment, then looked back to Ally. “It looks like they had a delivery recently.” He pointedly ignored where they had come from, that was a discussion for later, right now they could be used to help people and that was first and foremost why he put on the uniform each morning. Well, at that moment he was wearing a brightly colored vacation shirt, but the point remained.

“From who,” Ally raised an eyebrow moving next to Rico. “What we are doing is off the books because these people won’t come to us. I am pretty sure we just aren’t dropping boxes,” she watched Rico as he began to open them.

Rico moved to the boxes and simply picked two up at once, then turned and moved back to the table, ignoring Brella and placed them on the ground. Looking up at Ally, he began to unload the boxed and spread the supplies out over the table so she could find what she needed. “Hello, what do we have here?” Rico said and pulled a case out of the second box. Flipping it open, he looked up at Ally again.

“We need food more than medicine. The strong survive, ” Brella responded with a harsh tone. She knew what was in the boxes and that there was no way to hide their contents.

Ally Scott

He turned the case around, inside it was a brand new medical tricorder and hypo gun. Alongside it were other medical tools that were common on a Starship but would fetch a high price in a place like this. Bone knitters, scanners for specific brain wave functions and cortical implants were among the things he could identify easily, all of them brand new. “This doesn’t look like it was intended for use, more for sale.” Rico said looking at the way it was packed, then looked up at Brella. “What a pity, it’s going to come in handy for Ally right now.” He took out the tricorder and handed it to Ally, then took another case out of the box and flicked it open. “Hypo syringes with medicine. Ally I don’t think you were supposed to get this part of the supplies, just the bandages and dermal regenerator that were packed loosely.” He glared at Brella and stood, looking past her at the crowd of people who were starting to take notice of the two newcomers in the tent after the young girl had taken her sick sister in with them.

“If some of them think about skipping the line to get the medicine to sell, I’d rather be out there to stop it.” Rico said, looking at Ally again. “Baby, I can’t do anything in here besides hold someone’s hand and look pretty. Let me do my job, which is making sure you can do yours and keep you safe.”

Rico turned to the young girl and knelt down, running a thumb over the grime on her cheek and smiled at her. “Doctor Scott is the best doctor on the planet love, she will help your sister okay. Stay here and help her, she is going to need a nurse, can you do that for me? I’m going to go outside and make sure people behave themselves and those who need help get it. Okay.” Standing up, he turned back to Ally. “Hey, I love you. Have I ever told you that?” He smiled softly as he looked at her. “I don’t say it enough, but I do. I’ll be right outside. Just tell me what you need and I’ll be there.”

A moment later and Rico stepped outside, while many of the people had moved on, many more were standing and looking at where he had been. “Doctor Scott will see people one at a time, and everybody will behave themselves.” Rico looked over the crowd and used what he had learned over the years to pay special attention in the form of a firm stare at the men and women who looked like they might have more need for money than medicine, he needed them to know he was watching and for most, the powerfully built Starfleet Officer had a presence that was bigger than any uniform he could wear.

“Can she see us all?” a small voice asked from the shelter beside Brella’s. “Even if I don’t have any money to pay her?” Rico turned his head and saw the voice came from another young girl, this one couldn’t have been more than eight or nine but it was hard to tell, she was short and far too skinny to be healthy. He was about to reply when he noticed her eyes. She had huge eyes of a bright green and if her face had been clean, and her blond hair washed and straightened she would have been a gorgeous little girl. The only thing was her eyes were dull, not bright with youth and excitement like they should have been, they were eyes that had seen and heard too much and Rico’s heart broke looking at them in her too young face.

“Especially if you don’t have enough money,” he told her gently. “We’re here to help, sunshine. You don’t have to pay anything and you can be next, okay. I promise, come and wait here with me.” Holding out his hand he smiled and waited. The girl paused for a moment and then came out of the shelter slowly, she was dressed in a coat that was a size too big for her, and Rico thought she probably hadn’t had a shower or brushed her hair in a very long time. “You aren’t from here.” She told him, and to his ears that sounded like an accusation. “No, i’m not,” he agreed and glanced at the people. All of them with the same stare that the young girl had. “I’m from a starship, a long way away from here but I got brought here with my friend to help. She’s inside and she wants to help, like me.”

“Nobody wants to help us,” the girl said, but she still walked towards Rico. She didn’t reach out and take his hand, and he let it drop back to his side. He did kneel down when she reached him so she didn’t have to look up at him. “We aren’t special and nobody cares about us.” The tone she used, the pure honest belief rocked Rico. He had seen things here that he didn’t think happened in society anymore, but to hear words like that from a child so young almost broke him.

“I care,” Rico told her. “Doctor Scott and I want to help you. We can only help a little, but we are going to help.” The girl looked at him with her big green eyes, and only blinked once. “Why do you want to help? Nobody helps us, they only take things from us, even if we already have nothing.” He had to pause again while he looked at her, it seemed like she wanted to trust him, wanted to talk and learn something, but she had lost trust a long time ago. All she knew now was that she had to look after herself because nobody else would.

“Because I think you are special,” he told her and smiled a little. “You don’t deserve this place, and I want to make it a little better for you. So does my friend inside, sunshine. Sometimes we might be in a bad place, but that doesn’t mean you are not special to someone. You’re special to me. Where are your parents? Do they need help too?” She shrugged and looked back at the shelter. “They went away.” Rico looked at her a moment and then nodded, he could guess what that meant. “I’m sorry. Are you hurt sunshine? How come you need to see Doctor Scott?” She looked back at him and put a hand on her stomach, “My tummy hurts. A boy punched me in my stomach and took the food I had, it still hurts when I breathe. He was bigger than me but I wouldn’t give him my food, I was hungry too.”

“Well I’m sure my friend can help you sunshine, she’s special to me as well, just like you are. Hey while we wait, do you like music? I could sing a song or something if you like. Sometimes I play a guitar but I don’t have one, but I can sing.” The girl looked at him a moment and bit her lip as if she was thinking of something. “My dad had something that made music,” she said, “it’s round with a long bit out front, and has strings on it that make sounds. I can get it if you want?” Rico smiled at her, “That sounds like exactly what I need. Tell you what, if you go get it, I’ll play a song for you, deal?” The girl nodded, but he noted she didn’t smile, instead she just turned around and moved back to her shelter.

When she came back, she handed him a large moldy sack with something solid inside it, and Rico almost winced. If this instrument was like everything else here he didn’t know if it would actually work, but at least it might help distract her or bring a smile to her face. He opened the sack and reached inside, straight away realising that the guitar inside felt solid and complete, with all it’s strings in place. He pulled the sack off and almost yelled in shock. The guitar that he held was old, that was easy to see and to someone who didn’t know instruments, wouldn’t suffer more than a glance if it was on a pile of guitars. Rico knew guitars however, and looking at this one he realized it was most likely worth more than these people would ever see in their lifetime. It would have bought the land that this little settlement of theirs was built on, and then some. It wasn’t an instrument that was ever built on Orion, and how it came to be in these people’s hands he could only guess at. Stolen a long time ago by someone who didn’t know it’s worth came to mind. “Do you like it?” The girl asked him and now her voice seemed to be quiet, almost like she hoped he did. “I love it,” he told her and smiled widely, turning it over in his hands and then settling it under his arm, pulling a broken seat towards him and sitting down, he balanced it and strummed the strings slightly, wincing. “Okay it hasn’t been tuned, let me make it pretty.” He thought he saw her smile then, just a little bit. “It sounds horrible,” she told him, “I don’t think you really know how to use it.”

Rico let himself laugh a little, and then started playing. He played the tune slowly, like it needed to be played on a guitar and he kept the chords simple. Some people played it and got fancy, but the song Rico wanted to sing for her and the other kids like her that he could see around them, was always better when it was simple and honest. He watched her as he played the first tune, watched her eyes and hoped that the music would spark something in them. In some of Rico’s darkest days a long time ago, music had been the thing that had helped him heal. Now, he hoped it would do the same for her. The tune could be heard all around them, and the chatter of people dimmed slightly as the sound caught their attention. Rico looked around and back inside the tent, smiling at Ally as he saw her and he watched her for a moment, then looked back to the girl in front of him to sing for her. His voice was deep, but still smooth.

“It’s a little bit funny, this feeling inside..
I’m not one of those who can, easily hide.
I don’t have much money but, boy if I did,
I’d buy a big house where, we both could live.”

He saw her smile and watch his face as he sang, the music helping to take her somewhere else for just a moment, maybe to a big house instead of her shelter and he wondered if she knew what that might be like at all.

“If I was a sculptor, but then again no,
Or a man, who makes potions in a, traveling show..
I know it’s not much but it’s, the best I can do…
My gift is my song,
And.. this one’s for you.”

He looked at her and grinned now, the next verse being the most fun, making sure she was listening while he played a little more of the tune and looked around to look at Ally again quickly.

“And you can tell everybody, this is your song,
It may be quite simple but. now that it’s done..
I hope you don’t mind,
I hope you don’t mind,
That I put down in words.
How wonderful life is now you’re in my world.”

He changed the words a little bit, just for the girl. They seemed to flow and fit better anyhow but he watched as a young boy came up to them, standing beside the girl, and then another. All of them listening to the music and being somewhere else than in this place for just a small moment of time.

“I sat on the roof, and kicked off the moss…
Well, a few of the verses well they’ve, got me quite cross.
But the sun’s been quite nice, while I wrote this song..
It’s for people like you that I
Keep it turned on.”

“So excuse me forgetting,
But these things I do..
You see I’ve forgotten,
If they’re green, or they’re blue.
Anyway the thing is, what I really mean..
Yours are the sweetest eyes I’ve ever seen.”

Rico reached out a moment, and bopped her on the nose gently with his finger which made her smile again. “They’re green,” she said, and Rico nodded as he played more of the tune between verses.

“And you can tell everybody, this is your song.
It may be quite simple but,
Now that it’s done,
I hope you don’t mind,
I hope you don’t mind,
That I put down in words..
How wonderful life is, now you’re in my world..”

He let the song trail off as he played the tune, letting it get softer. He didn’t sing the verse again, he just let the music play quieter as he played the closing chords and when he stopped, he smiled at the children that had gathered to listen. “I think your dad’s guitar is amazing,” He told the girl. “See, I told you I can play it.” The girl nodded, and Rico saw that there was something in her eyes now. It wasn’t happiness, this place was too full of sorrow and despair for that, but there was something else that the music had helped. Maybe it was hope, Rico thought. The girl reached out and took his hand, then smiled at him. “It was a pretty song, does your friend like it?”

Rico nodded, and gave her hand a squeeze. “It’s one of her favourites.” The girl thought for a moment, and then looked over at Ally as well and smiled. “It’s my favourite too.”

Lt Vanhall, Security




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