((Dominicus VI. Mines “Sickbay”.))
::The grass was soft and warm beneath his bare feet as he walked, the sun giving off enough warmth to be pleasant but not hot. He smiled to himself as he gazed up at the clear blue sky. Not a cloud to be seen today. He felt her hand take his and his gaze fell to the beautiful smiling face of Xiu. He smiled warmly at her as he squeezed her hand, and the pair of them came to a halt underneath a blossom tree, atop a gentle hill that overlooked the village. His sheathed sword rested heavily against his thigh, and he rested his free right hand upon its hilt. He took a deep breath, Xiu smiling at him again, wondering why he had brought her up here.::
Xiu: What is it my love?
::He removed his sword belt. Xiu gasped. He got onto his knees before her as he placed the sword upon the ground at her feet. It was a traditional gesture. He was offering her his blade, his honour and his life. To take as her own and mould into something new for them both. A home, a family, a-
And that is when the alarms began and the fire came from skies….
Tenaka awoke with strangled gasp. Tears flowing freely down his face and into his beard. He looked around, seeing nothing but darkness. His mind caught up with itself and he settled back into his chair slowly.::
Tenaka: oO Nothing but a dream. She is long since turned to dust…. Oo
::Moments later, alarms began to blare and Tenaka felt a pang in his heart. He wanted to close his eyes and return to that wonderful dream. Before the smoke, and the fire. Before the death and destruction. Before Xiu was ripped from life right before his eyes. The last thing he ever saw.::
Tenaka: Little bear?
::Omasi Yarja had been having the dream again. The one where she was trapped in a mine, forced to shove cartfuls of ore for hours on end. Except, it wasn’t a dream at all. That was her life. She couldn’t even escape this place in her sleep. She had joined the geological expedition, set out from Bajor, but their project coordinator was nothing more than a slave trader. He stole their credits and brought them straight into the hands of the Orion Syndicate. She lost count how long it had been, but she’d been the only survivor from her small company. But, it wasn’t the memories, it was the alarms that woke her. These were different, and they scared her. She’d gotten out of her tiny bed, wanting to check on him..::
Omasi: I’m here Master Tenaka.
::He already knew she was there, he could hear her moving about. He could manage perfectly well on his own, but she seemed to take comfort in taking care of him, helping him shuffle around the sickbay and being his guide when he ventured beyond his walls and so from time to time he would ‘accidentally’ drop something or be unable to find his chair. And Goddess love her, she would be there in a flash, to pick up whatever it was or ease him into his seat.::
Tenaka: I am master of none, little bear. Least of all you. ::He reached out and patted her hand gently::
::He could tell the young boy, Julien was not there. His breathing was panicked and short, but there was nobody here except the two of them. The Marine had gone as well. He shuffled his way across the room, putting some water to boil. He allowed her to huff and fuss and take him back to his chair and sat, staff between his feet, hands atop it and listened intently as she quietly sang to herself. He closed his eyes as he listened out of old habit.
It was a bad habit, her calling him Master. He told her stories of his past, and he taught her how to keep the guards and their grabby arms away from her. Once they learned she was his ward, they’d kept their distance. She was forever grateful to him and his kindness. He was all she had in this horrible place. And she vowed to return the favor of his protection in any way she could. She helped guide him through the new tunnels, and where she’d set out his things, after she cleaned them as best she could. He spent his time healing the wounds of the others, and it was important work. Work she couldn’t replicate herself, but she could help facilitate.::
Omasi: Forgive me, Sofu.
::Calling him by his name seemed...so disrespectful. At least to her race. She felt she hadn’t earned the right, so, he told her to call him Sofu. Said it was a nickname. One he liked. He of course never told her it translated to “Grandfather”. But she loved him as if he was, so one day, when she learned the truth, it would still feel right.::
Tenaka: Tell me. Do you miss it?
Omasi: Miss what, Sofu?
::He offered a gentle smile as she turned.::
Tenaka: Your home. On Bajor.
::He heard her put down the spoon she was holding, and come across the room. A cup was placed upon the table beside him and he caught the scent of orange tea. He smiled, she was a good girl and looked after him well. He would be sorry to see her go.::
Tenaka: Perhaps you will see it again. Should you choose to return there.
::He took her silence to be contemplative and sipped at his tea as the alarms continued to blare. Taking another sip, he looked up as the speaker on the far wall whined to life.::
Damarkus: =/\=Starfleet, I know you're here. In anticipation of this I have gathered every slave at gunpoint. For every minute you remain in my mines I will slaughter one slave. For every step you advance towards me, I will slaughter one slave. Get out now, or you will die with the blood of countless "innocents" on your hands.=/\=
Tenaka: Where is the boy?
::The boy? Oh! The young arrival, who had been beaten brutally. They had taken him. Never letting them stay for long in the care of Master Tenaka. They allowed his administration's because he kept the slave labor alive. Alive, and relatively well. Otherwise, they’d receive heat from their own superiours about the constant need for new replacements.::
Omasi: They came and took him. Bardur and Rell’tham. They took the boy and the soldier to the mines.
::Tenaka nodded slowly to himself, placing the cup onto its saucer with perfect accuracy. He had lived here long enough. He would not be sorry when the end came. He tapped his staff on the floor, rising to his feet with a groan of old age and lingering stiffness from a night slept in his chair.::
Tenaka: Come, little bear. ::We waved his staff at the door:: It is time for us to be on our way. We have much work to do. Much work indeed.
::And with that, like an old warship slowly setting sail, Tenaka made his way from the mines barely functional sickbay for what would be the last time.::
Dominicus VI Mines.
Lieutenant (JG) Arturo Maxwell.
Starbase 118 Operations.
Bajoran Geologist .
Lt. Commander Mirra Ezo, MD.
Chief Medical Officer.
Starbase 118 Ops.