I'm putting this trilogy of sims in because I love how they are written, and how @Artinus Serinus asked one day 'Hey, can I add a character to the Brotherhood' and developed this Andorian machine and fleshed him out like this in a matter of days. I love when sims turn out like this! True attention to detail and love of character. I'm happy to have this guy in my Cult! 😁
(OOC: Long, and dark. Reader discretion, as well as patience, is advised.))
Cheldon ch'Doro was a bad man. Was, being the operative word, or was it? Surely even the gods could forgive him for using his skill and talent for extreme violence in defending their sacred waters. At the tub, he methodically washed the blood from his clothing, and performed the holy cleansing ritual on his heavily scarred blue form, contemplating the routes his life had taken.
He'd not always been the one driving, but once he'd seized the wheel in desperation and rage he'd only driven more dangerously, taking even rougher paths, frantically holding down on the accelerator, intoxicated on power and adrenaline. The only redemption, before the real redemption, were the few smooth patches here and there.
((Flashback, 36 years ago))
Therinis 4 was supposed to be a paradise planet. And for a time, the small colony had been a true heaven. A temperate climate and abundant resources as well as it's location in an emerging trade node brought early prosperity to the small outpost.
That was not the Therenis 4 that he had been born on. Nearly a century before, a global crisis in the form of a super volcano had ushered in a global cooling event that darkened the skies and devastated the local economy. The traders and the rest of the better off population fled in their trading skiffs and private shuttles. The rest hunkered down, some as individuals and family units, others in larger ad hoc communities based on race, religion, or ideology.
Once the greater Galactic community became aware of their plight, Federation aid helped to get the colonists through the worst. Andorian families came looking to help, or for adventure, or any other numbers of reasons, attracted to the now Andorian hospitable climate. His great-grandparents had been in this wave of immigrants.
People struggled through the climate crisis, and some of the Andorians grew relatively rich, farming the already fertile and now ash enriched soil outside of the main settlement of Meltown, acclimated to the weather and pocecssing This brought a class component to already growing divisions in the local society.
((Meltown, Dramarkt' district, Saint Damine of Talos Orphanage.))
The nun shivered as she opened the doors, someone had rung the front door a few hours after dusk, and she had a good idea what that meant, suspicions confirmed momentarily. A loud, high pitched siren of a scream came from a plastic box, which curiously, didn't have any blankets overhanging it. The blue tint of the baby worried the worn and weary elderly woman, until she noticed it's antennae. Stapled to the box was a note.
The streets are too warm for this one. Work is hard to find, and we all all in ill health. You are this child's only hope. His name is Cheldon ch'Doro.
Cheldon wrapped his cut right triceps in the frawns of the indigenous Trusklani plant, and tied the ends together. The dried leaves, semi-porous, with natural analgesics, were well suited for bandaging. His chest, and left thigh had already been taken care of. Just more scars for the tapestry that was his skin. Cliche as it was to say, each scar told a story.
Left manibubalar bone: The time two older ophans beat him for a pair of leftover rolls he had stashed from dinner at eight years old.
Chest, halfway between the inner right shoulder blade, and the clavicle: Having run away from the orphanage, again, at age twelve fighting back (and winning) against the kid that tried to steal his day's beggings.
The one that sliced inward over his left orbital bone, to his cheek, barely missing the eye itself: Sixteen years old, blessed by puberty to have height and muscle. Illegal knife fighting, to incapatitation, pay out 1 bar of latinum. He had won.
All that, and more before he even got off of his home planet.
((19 years ago))
((Meltown, Rosedale District, Tripene Square, Melandra's))
Seven months had passed since his eye had been cut, and five and a half since his first opponent died during a fight. He had hoarded and expertly hidden every winning since then, for this chance. Melandra's was the gathering place of the upper class man looking for a "courtesan," as they euphemistically called them. The orphan, streetrat, gladiator, killer, was dressed in the finest tailored suit in the place, and while bulky, scarred men weren't the usual type, he was more than exceeding the dress code, and could afford the cover charge, so he was let in.
The interior was a delicate balance of old money classy and nuevo-rich tacky. Rich dark leather and wood furniture, and neo-neo-neo classical marble and granite architecture mingled freely with enough neon A.R. to make any establishment on Free Cloud blush. Then there were the slot machines, a city block's worth, each unique, most of them unoccupied. A tiny blond in a skimpy maid outfit, and obviously fake Vulcan ears, wandered around with a silver tray handing out complimentary cigars. As she passed by the entrance, he took one, then accepted her offer to light it off for him.
Cigar lit, he thanked her, and began to wander about, himself. He passed the main public seating areas, then the grand staircase, just taking in the sights, sounds and scents. As he neared the gambling devices, he heard a woman's voice. It was strong, but undeniably sexy.
Woman: Pardon me, sir?
He turned back to talk to the woman. An amazonian with a deep tan and flaming red curls, and enough of a forehead ridge to denote some Klingon ancestry. She was dressed in a white Sun Dress with a red rose print, and white heels.
Woman: You have been invited to visit the boss' booth.
Why? Was he in trouble? Clothing aside, a young man of herculean stature did stand out amongst the retired businessmen, and out of town traders. If anything, he was built like a bodyguard.
Cheldon: Did they say why?
Woman: Not my job to ask questions, kid.
Cheldon: I suppose I should go and see.
Woman: Very well, follow me.
She turned heel before he could reply, and led him to a broom closet behind the grand staircase. She shifted a bottle of bleach a certain way, and the back wall slid open to the right. Ten feet beyond the false wall was an elevator shaft. The woman pushed the button, and they waited about fifteen seconds in silence. Behind them, the false wall had closed back up.
The ding that signaled the arrival of the elevator was relatively soft. The doors opened to an opulent elevator, highly buffed onyx floors, and cherrywood walls. Such elegance to be stuck hidden behind a broom closet. There were only two floor buttons, 1 and 3. This was obviously a specialized transport. The part Klingon woman pushed the 3 button and the lift began it's ascent.
Another soft ding signalled their arrival. And the woman took a right turn. Five doors down, the woman led him right again to the doorless doorway with a sign that read "Private Booths."
The leftmost room had a key reader on it. The woman pulled a navy blue card from a hidden pocket on her right hip and placed it flat against the reader, the lock popping open.
Woman: Go on in. You're expected.
Of course he was. They'd literally invited him just now. But he'd figure out soon why being expected was so important.
Cheldon walked into the room. It was set up like any private booth, with one-way windows that opened on the establishment below, polished white marble floors, and the actual booth wedged in the corner so that the occupant, a portly, pale human man could see all the goings on of the first floor. As Cheldon passed the threshold, the man spoke.
Man: Welcome to Melandra's.
This man didn't look like a Melandra to him.
Cheldon: I wasn't expecting an invitation like this. . .
Man: Not every top rated knife fighter has the foresight to save their money up to visit an establishment of this quality. And I've never seen one so young figure it out.
This man had seen him fight? Or maybe one of the burly women and men milling about in suits was his talent scout.
Cheldon: I figured after all the hardships I deserved a nice night out.
The man grinned and nodded enthusiastically.
Man: Well, I'm sorry, I'm only familiar with your ring name, Victor Champ.
It was a cheesy name sure, but one he strived to live up to, and generally did.
Cheldon: My name is Cheldon.
Man: Well, Cheldon, what if I told you that you could have nice things from now on?
Cheldon: You'd have my attention.
Man: One of my bodyguards has recently had an unfortunate accident.
Cheldon wasn't so sure how unfortunate it was, or how accidental, but he wasn't going to let the man know that. Not when he sounded like he was going to offer him a job, not with a dozen other bodyguards around.
Cheldon: I see. And you are looking for a replacement?
Man: Indeed I am. You catch on quick. I like people who adapt quickly. I'd like to offer you a spot.
Cheldon: I'm interested, with such a strong lead up, and all.
Man: Ah yes, nice things. A week's pay is about one fight for someone your tier, but you get in-house lodging, use of the kitchen and the chef, the in-house tailor will fit you for a weeks worth of suits once per year, as well as help you pick an off duty wardrobe.
Cheldon: The girls?
The man snort chortled, he snortled.
Man: Should have guessed. What you and the other employees do with your own time is your business, but on the clock is a big no no. And don't let your performance suffer. The ones who aren't looking for a husband tend to prefer this bunch to the rich grandpas that usually hang around here.
Cheldon closed his eyes.
Cheldon: This sounds a little good to be true, so far.
Man: There are 10 hour work days, and 6 day work weeks, not to mention occasional off world trips.
Opening his eyes again, he replied.
Cheldon: That sounds a bit more realistic. When can I start?
Man: Tonight. Your first shift will start at 8 A.M. tomorrow. But we can have your room and other accommodations set up immediately.
Man: Go back out and tell the woman who escorted you in that have been hired. She will guide you from there.
Cheldon: Yes sir.
Cheldon left the room, met by the redhead in the hallway.
Of course, it was hardly that easy. He had unwittingly signed up to guard the local New Orion Syndicate boss. Potential gang wars were always possible, and law enforcement was always poking around. More than once they had to rush the boss, Antone LeFoi, out before the police could find him.
But he was given everything that he had been promised, plus more. Some of his co-workers were ex-military of various varieties, so he received quality training in weapons and tactics, as well as more comprehensive and systematic hand to hand training. It was the best his life had ever been, even if that bar was low.
((Theta 122, Brotherhood Camp, Baths))
As Cheldon toweled off, he continued to recall his past.
Cheldon had enjoyed his time at the upscale Brothel, and for the first time in his life, things felt like they were going well.
All good things must end. Another cliche, but just as true.
((Flashback: 17 years ago.))
((Therenis 4, Meltown, Rosedale District, Tripene Square, Melandra's, Owner's Booth))
Donnie Marlino, was the underboss in charge of the local drug trade. A boorish braggart that loved to boast that he came from a long line of organised crime. He, tanned, unhealthily thin, with his thinning, and graying black hair, and goofy soul patch, was in the booth next to the boss yammering at him.
Donnie: You know, my family has been in the biz since my great however many grandpa was made by the Gambino family in the 1970s.
He pronounced every syllable of the decade distinctly "Nine teen sev en tees."
Everyone knew that. Anthony mentioned it at least once in every conversation, stated in the exact same sentence, with the exact same odd pacing for the 1970s. A canned line if Cheldon had ever heard one.
Like his ancestry could compensate for him being just the local underboss of a throw away little planet with only one real settlement. A Duke in a Kingdom of slums, feeding the diseases of the filth covered peasantry for his lord's enrichment. But what did that make him?
Existential questions aside, Cheldon wanted to roll his eyes, but he dare not offend one of the boss' lackies.
oO Yeah, yeah. Get a new shtick, Tony. Oo
Even the bosses' face relayed his annoyance with his underling's penchant for running his mouth quicker than his brain. Finally, Anton LeFoi got tired of it.
Anton: Donnie, you never stop telling that story. Get some new material. You need to think less about the glory days of the New York Italian Mafia, and more about why sales in your department are down by 7 percent this quarter!
Donnie stammered, then replied.
Donnie: We're doing some reshuffling. Lost lots of the old guys to cops. . .
Antone: No excuses. Get the new guys up to speed. Yesterday, you son of a wh. . .
Donnie Marlino had killed every man that had ever talked bad about his mother, and the fact that man doing it now was his supervisor didn't do a thing to stop the rapidly building rage. In one quick motion he reached for one of the steak knifes on the table.
3. . .
Donnie leaned down and extended his right arm out, grasping the handle of the serrated knife next to his plate.
Several of the bodyguards present around the room, drew their sidearms. Cheldon's was a Klingon disruptor pistol of a model that had left active service about 50 years prior.
2. . .
Donnie simultaneously sat up and spun his waist inward turning his knife arm toward Antone's porcine form.
Sidearms were raised and leveled on the attacker, and triggers squeezed.
1. . .
With one fluid motion, the thin man managed to drag the serrated edges of the knife diagonally downward and leftward over the fat man's throat. Before his body dissolved away in a hail of fire that impacted so quickly that no-one could determine whose shot hit first.
The immediate threat eliminated, the pack of bodyguards went to render first aid, and as soon as the kit was delivered from it's storage place on the back wall, they set to bandaging the cuts without applying too much pressure to the neck. One of the others called the local mob doctor, and he rushed over there, walking them through the procedure on the call as he drove over.
Twas just a flesh wound. Donnie had missed the important stuff. Donnie Marlino had killed every man that had ever talked bad about his mother, except one.
No-one saw what happened next coming. But had they taken the boastful little gremlin's tales of connection seriously, they might have.
((Time skip: 5 days.))
He was surely dead. This was the hell that the nuns had warned him about. It was all here. So was he, and he deserved it all. Even if he didn't deserve the things that drove him to it.
The unbearable dancing flames, the smoke, the gut wrenching screams. Oh God, the screaming.
((Melandra's, Cheldon's room))
Cheldon sat up with a start, it was just a dream. Involuntary inhaling, his lungs were not filled with air at all, but smoke. Just like the dream. He rolled off of his bed onto the floor and began crawling towards his door as fire consumed his room. Breathing again, he got oxygen, as the smoke was gathering above him.
oO Oh God, the screaming. Oo
He made it to the door, and foolishly reached for the handle. A third degree burn on his right palm the payment for his folly. Flinching in agony and momentarily joining the cursed chorus of scresms, he withdrew the hand, and willed himself to stand, holding his breath.
He walked backwards and ran forwards, shoulder slamming the door. Once, twice, three times, before the hinges buckled and he was in the hallway.
He made his way back to his knees, and began to crawl again, toward the nearest secret staircase.
Not risking another hand burn, he shoulder rammed the door to the stairs, until it too gave way. He stooped low as he began his descent. Halfway down the second flight, Cheldon was violently tossed forward, tumbling over, by a fallen support beam.
Laying there, the last thing he remembered thinking was that now he'd be seeing that hell for real.
((End of Flashback))
Seems that crime did pay. Until it didn't. But that literal and figurative crucible hadn't been enough to straighten him out.
Cheldon pulled his pants up, and buttoned the fly as he recalled in quick succession the hospital stay, the year and a half of laying low, the revenge scheme, the ensuing gang war it led up to, and the inevitable arrest. It was more of a surprise that he hadn't been arrested before.
Prison. That was it's own thing.
((Theta 122, Brotherhood Camp, Baths))
Pants buttoned and zipped, the beefy Andorian began to pull his black undershirt on. Scenes of prison filling his mind.
((Flashback 13 years))
((Therenis 4, Cardin Island, Bilsby Correctional Facility. 50 miles from Beltown.))
Therenis 4 had never applied for Federation membership, despite the aid that had pulled the colony through it's toughest times, and the fact that most of the original and subsequent settlers were from Federation worlds. There were many reasons, remoteness, heavy amounts of unrest, the total lack of a global government.
Beltown didn't even have a city government. Each district of the sprawling slumtropolis was practically it's own entity. One thing that was the common thread throughout the city was Drako Security Inc. They were a private police farce that had monopolized the law enforcement and prison industries throughout the city, and therefore the planet. Drako contracted with whoever had the most power in a district, as long as they tried to put on the face of a legitimate government. They had even helped coup districts to install more friendly leadership.
Drako enforcement officers had arrested him and other former LeFoi associates after the gang war. The plan to avenge the burning of Melandra's and all the senseless deaths it had caused, including that of their former employer himself, had been targeted assassinations. The guilty parties, members of the New Orion Syndicate from other planets had almost caused a civil war within the organization sector-wide. Only a negotiated settlement from higher ups had ended the blood shed. Of the two dozen LeFoi bodyguards who had been in on the scheme, he was one of three who had sat at the peace talks alive. Funnily enough, the only Orions present were from the mother organization.
That had been off planet, on a Syndicate frigate orbiting an uninhabited moon of an uninhabitable planet, a few systems over.
Once they got home, and none of them had a real reason to return in the first place, Drako S.I. sprung their trap. Fifty armed, literal rent-a-cops, surrounded their shuttle and popped tear gas into the rear port as they were exiting. For good measure, each was hit with the stun setting from one of Drako's antique surplus phasers.
When Cheldon came to, he was moving, yet restrained, being wheeled on an industrial dolly, by a man a foot shorter, and a hundred and fifty pounds lighter. His hands were cuffed behind him, on the back side of the dolly's middle bar. His midsection, from arm pits to hips, was wrapped in thick chains, wrapped elaborately behind the right bar, in front of the middle bar, then behind the left bar dozens of times. On his ankles were mantaciles straight out of 1400s earth binding his legs to the outer bars of the dolly.
He was wheeled up a ramp, and the dolly was lowered to the ground on the elevated platform it led to. Next to it, on the ground level, and nearly level with it was a heavy duty ambulance litter. Behind that, was a full body X-Ray. This was when they stunned Cheldon again.
Cheldon's next return to consciousness found him in a concrete room with a sonic shower, and a metal door on both the front and back walls. A loudspeaker in the top right corner of the front wall spoke up as he began to stir.
Voice: Five minute shower, no longer. Then the back door will open, and you will step through it. Understand inmate 97561?
There was no answer from the voice.
The back door led to another small room, much narrower. Another metal door waited on the other side. Between them was another device that looked similar to the full body X-Ray that he had been knocked out for.
The same voice, came from a different speaker, in the same general part of the current room.
Voice: Step in inmate 97561.
Cheldon did do, and the inner arm of the device orbited him.
Voice: Step out inmate 97561
Cheldon did as we was told. They had brilliantly devised ways to keep the guards from having to interact in person.
The back door of the second room opened, and he was spoke at again.
Voice: Enter the next room, inmate 97561.
Cheldon did, and surprise, surprise, another metal door on the back. On the left, near the front was a box that looked like one of the mailboxes people had once built into walls, but much bigger. Three feet further back, and two feet to the right of that, was a simple wooden bench.
Voice: Take your uniform from the box, and put it on. Leave your civilian clothes on the bench, inmate 97561.
Cheldon wanted to tell him where he could stick every article of clothing, but what good would that do? He snorted, but complied.
Voice: Next room inmate 97561.
The back door led to a room within a room. A simple, clear booth inside a doctor's office. There was another wooden bench to the right of the door he entered from.
Voice: Take a seat inmate 97561.
After several minutes, the doctor, flanked by two guards in full tactical gear, approached the booth. The shorter guard opened the door from his side, and the voice gave Cheldon the go ahead.
Voice: Exit the booth, inmate 97561.
After a quick sit on the biobed, and a couple dozen light scans, the doctor gave him a clean bill of health, and before Cheldon could lecture him on the Hippocratic Oath, the doctor popped him with an injector of sleep aid.
Cheldon woke to the hard bunk of his new cell, curled up in a bed meant for a smaller man.
Socks, check. Shoes, check. Now as he donned his Brotherhood robe, the memories of prison kept flooding in.
The first unwritten rule of prison was to find the biggest and toughest looking inmate and fight him, so no-one would mess with you. Cheldon was constantly fighting, never starting it, but consistently coming out on top. Most used weapons, the smarter new fish would sneak attack him. The really smart ones would all jump him together. But he routinely took out around three or four before they won.
No matter who started it, there was a no tolerance policy for violence among inmates. And every fight led to solitary confinement. There was little reprieve. Weeks of harrowing isolation, followed by perhaps a few days of relative normality, then a short outburst of thrilling violence usually lasting less than a minute, and the cycle repeated itself. This was his life for the better part of a decade and a half. Then the riot came, and while it damned so many others, it sent him along the path of redemption.
((Flashback Five Months ago))
Cheldon was in solitary again, after seven new guys jumped him, and then spending a week in the medical block. He had knocked out three, and one of those had died in the medical block, five hours after the fight from complications related to internal bleeding. Modern medicine was beyond the budget of Drako S.I.'s corrections division.
He had no idea when, where, why, or how, it started. But sometime in the early morning one day, the automatic door to his cell abruptly slid open.
Over the loudspeaker a voice came on. It wasn't the voice that was usually on the speaker, but it seemed familiar.
Voice: Riot, riot! The prisoners are in charge! We've had enough of these inhumane conditions. We're taking over!
Well, that was a pleasant surprise so early in the day. Shielding his eyes from the burning light, he exited his dark cell and began to wander towards general population, and his normal designated cell on F block. Turning the first corner, he came upon several inmates assaulting Officer Dernis. Cheldon grunted an amused chuckle. The half-Romulan guard was a massive [...], on a power trip 24-7. Dernis was getting what he'd been deserving for the seven years he'd been working here, and probably long before that.
Cheldon: If you hit him slightly softer you can make it last longer.
Cheldon had heard Dernis give this very advice, word for word, to a new guard who was politely put, interrogating a prisoner a few months back. And just to get the point across, the Andorian had given the advice to his fellow prisoners in his best impersonation of the guard's voice.
Walking away immediately, he called back, without turning back.
Cheldon: Wait for me in Hell, Officer Dernis. We'll swap stories, share a round of the Devil's best tequila.
He came across plenty of other Officers being assaulted. But none of them he had hated as much as Dernis. And the ones he could stand, well he didn't like any of them enough to stop the momentum of the moment.
As he neared F Block, the new local voice talent returned.
Voice: We have liberated the Armsroom! Free riot gear, and weaponry for all our brothers and sisters. First come first serve, but don't get greedy!
Cheldon straightened his robe, then pulled the hood up over his antennae. He closed his eyes and inhaled.
((Flashback after the escape))
The lake was at least five miles in any direction from the shores of the island, and less fit individuals might not have made it. But that wasn't all. There were about ten miles of open plains between the shores of the lake and any semblance of a hiding spot, en route to Meltown. A weaker man would have collapsed after the constant running. A cave in the first forest he came upon was enough shelter for the night.
((Time skip 1 month))
Cheldon had stolen a civilian shuttle he found parked outside of Meltown, and booked it for space. Not sure where to flee to, he decided to check out the flight plan of the former owner. A little world called Theta 122 where his victim was to deliver energy cells for a new solar array. Better yet, he ascertained that the people there were unfamiliar with the man, and didn't even know his name. And hey, the cells were already loaded. Cheldon hoped it was payment on delivery, but if it hadn't been, he would have made due. Anywhere but home, he thought. Now he was approaching his destination. He never knew what caused the crash in the desert, but looking back in hindsight, it could have only been the gods guiding him to his redemption.
Brotherhood of Thet