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Time And Reason

Posted on Fri Jan 15th, 2021 by Lieutenant Commander Kelsi Dawson & Lieutenant Brandon Kerr & Arika Washington [J. de Planca] & Leah Reade [Mackenzie] & Bianca Bancroft [Gelo]
Edited on on Fri Jan 15th, 2021

Mission: Episode 12 - When The Bough Breaks
Location: Ortani Ruins, Ivaldi III
Timeline: Day 1 at 1109
1722 words - 3.4 OF Standard Post Measure


Reader discretion advised for this post. Events may be difficult for some to handle and materials herein may trigger PTSD events.

Bunec paced back and forth after having tied each of the four to chairs inside the small chamber. Something about the old ruins had made it impossible for Starfleet security sensors to work. He didn't even know the place existed until two days earlier before the ship entered the Ivaldian System. It was perfect and the small rooms made it even more ideal.

He entered the room and looked at each of the three girls and the woman in her Starfleet uniform. It was Leah and Arika he stopped in front of, "You two remind me of my own children," He said to them quietly. "I had three daughters before the Dominion..."

Leah stared at the Cardassian, ignoring for the moment that the surrounding area felt so familiar that it made her uncomfortable. "I'm seven..." She told him with a harshness to her voice. "I don't know what you expect to hear me say," She was terrified.

Leah didn't want to show her terror at being swept off the planet after being restrained. She could tell that she wasn't the only one feeling that way because an air of dread had fallen upon her friend sitting next to her.

Arika was also staring at the Cardassian, "We weren't even born when the war happened..." She said, "And, I'm the daughter of the Director of Starfleet Security did you take that into consideration when you took me?" She asked boldly.

Bunec shrugged as if he could care less, "That's not really my concern now is it... Sure I could have waited, but Starfleet will figure out that I took this before long and so I had to act faster than probably necessary." He held up the box so that the two young children could see what it was. "One of those strange artifacts from some long dead culture known as the Ortani Empire..."

Leah gasped, "You took one of those?" The edge of dread seemed to inch ever closer until she could only struggle to breathe. Immediately she knew where she was, "And, you brought us to this place?"

Bunec nodded, "It's one of the only places on the entire planet that doesn't require artificial means to prevent security scans and I'm quite pressed for time anyway. Besides your little friend and you aren't in any real danger here anyway."

Bunec then stepped in front of Bianca next, "You might do," He said with a shrug, "But, then you remind me of my eldest child..."

Bianca swallowed hard, "What do you mean by that?" She demanded.

Bunec held up the box, "This artifact is supposed to create life and I need a vessel in which to carry that life. I intend on bringing back my children, but I don't wish to harm anyone..."

Bianca stared at him in fear, "Well those two are far too young..." She looked at Kelsi and wondered what would be said next.

Kelsi looked at the three young girls, "You can hardly use them for this," She said after swallowing hard. "I'm an adult whereas they are children," She managed to muster up some level of courage, "Just use me and leave them out of this."

Bianca wanted to say something to the Commander and the Cardassian. She wanted to protect the others, but didn't want to open an argument and if it worked... She didn't want to imagine the consequences of that decision and so remained quiet. But, her mind was a blur of activity as she thought about what the Cardassian had planned.

"How do you think that thing will do that?" Leah demanded.

Bunec didn't look at the young girl, "I'm not really sure," He said. "I guess I'm going to find out soon enough." He dug around in the pack that he'd brought with him which included a Cardassian tricorder. He withdrew it and placed it on a long table. "It would probably be easier if I don't have to restrain you Commander," He said to the woman.

"So let me put it this way," He grabbed his weapon, "If you fight me then I will have no choice, but to use one of these three to try this on. And, the process could kill them," He said. "I recommend that you not fight me."

Bianca looked at Kelsi for a moment, "What if this doesn't work?" She asked suddenly. Her question was addressed to the Cardassian, "What if that thing doesn't achieve what you hope it will?"

Bunec shrugged, "Then I have options," He said to her. "I'd rather not use them," He said. Bunec looked at the three young girls, "You three remind me so much of my own children," He said quietly. "It would be a shame if anything were to happen to you."

Leah doubted it would work, "You don't know what you're messing with... Those artifacts are very powerful," The seven-year-old explained, "You don't want to do this because it could mean chaos." She didn't want to imagine what was about to happen the moment he opened the box.

It was in that moment that Arika realized why Leah was so afraid and remembering how much her friend suffered months earlier. But, how would this man know about that? Arika remembered hearing her Dad talk about it after the whole thing had happened. Something about Starfleet burying it so others didn't know details.

Kelsi didn't take long to come to grips with what was about to happen, "Okay," She said with a nod. "I won't fight you, but you have to promise me that these three don't get hurt. Even if it doesn't work I don't want them to get hurt," She said.

"I promise," Bunec lied. If it didn't work he was already planning on using the older of the three girls as a backup. The other two were far too young for it to work anyway. "Now then I'm going to remove your restraints and move you to here." He kept the weapon trained on her.

"Okay," Kelsi said.

Bunec removed the restraints and kept the weapon on the woman. He was resolved to carry out his threat if she tried to fight and part of him expected her to do it. He was bracing himself for the moment when he'd have to fire and was squeezing the button slightly.

Kelsi didn't resist and didn't fight as she went over and laid down on the ground where the Cardassian had told her. She didn't want to put the girls at risk even if it meant the device killing her. She would have to find a different opportunity to escape.

This was not that moment Kelsi realized as she laid flat on her back, "Okay," She said and took a few breaths. If it didn't work then she would try to disarm him otherwise the others were in danger. Because she didn't believe a word he said. She looked over at the three girls and braced herself.

Bunec activated a forcefield around himself and the Commander so that the artifact would not affect the three young girls. He looked at them for a moment and thought quietly to himself. Very soon he'd have his children back if this worked. For a moment Bunec thought about his three daughters.

Jarish, Jashet, and Jiliat were their names and they were killed when the Dominion destroyed parts of the capital on the planet. He remembered screaming their names and the name of his wife as he watched the home burn to the ground.

Bunec remembered how it felt when he held their burnt bodies in his arms unable to identify who was who. He remembered feeling like his soul had been ripped from his body in the most violent ways. Bunec could remember the feeling of blind rage and desire for revenge. Then came the numbness he'd felt over the years following the war.

Bunec gritted his teeth, "I'll have you back," He muttered under his breath as he opened the container and withdrew the Shard of Life from it's box and placed it on Kelsi's stomach. "I will..."

Kelsi tried to breathe as evenly as she could, but before long a soft pain started to radiate from her midsection. Soon the pain started to overwhelm her and she screamed without meaning to. She balled her fists and turned her head away from the girls before screaming again. It felt as if someone was tearing into her.

Bianca watched as Kelsi suffered and heard the blood curdling screams coming from the Starfleet officer. She watched on, but wanted desperately to turn away. Over and over again she apologized inwardly because she should have demanded the man use her instead. Bianca felt as if Commander Dawson should not have to suffer because of her.

Leah immediately remembered her short time under the influence of the Shard that had affected her. She winced when she heard the screaming, "Please make it stop." She started to repeat over and over again.

Arika didn't know how she felt about it, but she could hear the screams and it cut her. She wanted desperately to fight herself free and help the woman who was suffering so much in front of her. Memories of things past started to flood into her skull and she closed her eyes, unable to watch further.

Bunec sat watching as the woman struggled to remain conscience in front of him. He knew she was suffering, but it would be over soon enough and then they would know whether or not it was over. Once he was satisfied he would use the tricorder, but not yet.

Kelsi started feeling like someone was stabbing her insides with hot pokers as the pain continued to build. She released her fists and soon she slipped and lost consciousness.

Bunec watched as Kelsi's head drooped and slipped over. She was still breathing from what he could tell and he wondered if the process was finally over. He removed the Shard of Life from the woman and placed it back into his container. Now it was time to wait and see what came of it...

Bunec Gholra Written By:
Lieutenant Brandon Kerr


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