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Lieutenant JG Tomas Falt: Bigger Problems


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Another great sim by our Science Officer @Tomas Falt:

Quote

((Outside the Citadel, City, Anadasa Surface))

 

Tomas found himself being led, or force marched if he was being accurate, through the city streets toward the imposing temple that dominated this part of the city's skyline. Two of the guards still held him firmly between them but to his surprise they hadn’t made any effort to bind him or subdue him further.

 

oO Must actually think I might be a priest Oo

 

The boy the guards had beaten had been dragged away down a side street by two of the group, leaving the rest to escort him. They hadn’t said anything about the boy’s fate but Tomas had no doubt it would be unpleasant. The fact they had been separated gave Tomas reassurance and concern in equal measure. Whilst he didn’t seem to be sharing the boy’s fate yet he also had no idea where he was being taken, or what was likely to happen when he got there.

 

As they approached the temple he saw a long row of people queueing to enter through a large gate. As they got closer to the line he considered his choices. There were a lot of people, and thus there would be a lot of witnesses if he protested his capture in front of them. Many in the crowd looked like pilgrims and he doubted they would all agree with the arrest of a priest.

 

After a moments thought he discounted that option. The prime directive required him to have no impact on the planet’s population. He’d already strayed from that rule to make sure the Captain hadn’t been captured, better to stay quiet and not draw even more attention to himself now.

 

His captor’s led him past the queue and toward the huge metal gates of the temple. But just before they reached them he was led off to the right, away from the line of people. After a couple of minutes marching around the temple’s perimeter they came to another throng of people in what seemed to be a large courtyard. The crowd made way as the guards marched to the centre of the courtyard, stopping in front of a raised platform. For the first time since his arrest the guard leader spoke.

 

Guard Leader: ::venomously:: Watch, and be under no illusion this will be your fate if I find out you have lied.

 

Tomas had studied enough history to know what the man meant, what was about to happen. He looked around at the crowd, a crowd that had gathered to witness an execution. A cheer erupted from them as a figure stepped onto the stage. From his vantage point Tomas had a clear view, and what he saw was really, really, not good.

 

The figure was a man, dressed in black. Presumably the executioner. What was troubling Tomas was his headgear. He was wearing a hood over his head, but one that only covered one eye. It could only be mimicking one thing.

 

Borg.

 

oO We’ve got bigger problems than we thought. Oo

 

Another figure was being pushed onto the platform. Tomas noted with some relief that it wasn't the boy from earlier. He was much older, with long greying hair that spilled over the blindfold he was wearing.

 

Executioner: ::to the crowd:: This man has been found guilty of leading worship to the old gods, against the teaching of J’Kre.

 

The crowd jeered.        `.

 

Executioner: In her wisdom the High Priestess has shown clemency to those who believed his lies. They have been sent to the labor camps in the T'Vorni Mountains, to work until they repent their sins.

 

The assembled people erupted into applause at this. Tomas wondered if the boy was going to be among those granted clemency, although he suspected the labor camps were actually a prolonged death sentence.

 

Executioner: But for this man, the ringleader, there can be only one mercy.

 

The bound man began to sob as the crowd cheered. The executioner picked up a black dagger and showed it to the crowd. It’s blade split in the middle and ended with two points, six inches long and about an inch apart. The symbolism was clear to Tomas.

 

Stepping behind his victim the executioner grabbed the back of his blindfold and pulled his head back before thrusting the dagger points deep into his neck. After a second he withdrew the dagger and let go of the old man, who dropped to the floor, blood flowing from his neck and onto the platform.

 

Again the crowd applauded as the executioner looked to the sky and crossed his arms over his chest, blood dripping from the blade still in his hand.

 

Executioner: May J’Kre judge his soul worthy to join her celestial collective.

 

A huge rush of adrenaline hit him. He had just witnessed a man murdered, by a group that were clearly venerating, if not worshiping, the Borg. As the guards marched him away through the crowd he tried to make sense of it all. There had to be a link to the crashed ship, but how had these people found out so much about the Borg without being assimilated themselves? There must have been active Borg on the planet, that was the only realistic explanation.

 

The guards led him out of the packed courtyard through a small metal door. Tomas half expected to encounter Borg behind it, but the small room he found himself in was empty. He assumed he was now inside the temple.

 

Guard Leader: Now we will find out the truth. ::to the guards:: take him to the dungeon.

 

Tomas thought about escaping but he didn’t know where to run, and he was sure there would be a lot more guards nearby. An escape attempt now would likely result in his death, and he knew he had a duty to stop any Borg that remained and try to minimise the cultural damage they had done. He couldn’t expect help from the Captain, Kendrick, or anyone else from the ship. The prime directive would limit their options, and there was no way to know if they even knew about the Borg influence yet. He was on his own, best to bide his time and wait.

 

He forced himself to stay calm and silent as the guards put him in chains, and dragged him down a spiral staircase to the dungeon. He was glad it was only him and not the Captain and Kendrick as well. He had given them a diversion so they could escape and that gave him hope, hope that they would be able to stop the Borg if he failed.

 

NT / TBC

 

Lieutenant JG Tomas Falt

Science Officer

USS Juneau, NX-99801

J239807TF2

 

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