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Feeling Sore

Posted on Mon Sep 11th, 2017 @ 12:05am by Lieutenant Mark Whistler

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: Deck 17 - Security Facilities
Timeline: MD 102; 1330

As soon as Mark was clear from Engineering, and in the turbolift, he ordered the turbolift to stop...before leaning against the wall, and groaning in agony. He had walked out of engineering after the battle, but hadn't stopped to let anyone know that he was aching all over.

When he had been a child, he had been given steroid enhancements to make his body stronger. But he wasn't invulnerable to pain, but he was very good at ignoring the pain or putting it off.

He forced himself up and had the turbolift continue on to the Security office. He needed to do something before he left, so as he emerged from the turbolift, he stood tall and walked straight to the security area. Seeing himself alone, he grabbed a med kit, and sat down, opening it.

"Those are for emergencies only," a deep voice said from across the Security office, "so unless you are critically injured, I suggest you head to Sickbay instead of treating yourself here."

"Yeah, they're not ready for what's out there," Mark muttered aloud. "I doubt any of them know what real training, or real combat, is."

Ja'tah did not appreciate being ignored. "This is your final warning: put the damned medkit back where you found it, or I will see that the Chief of Security formally reprimands you."

Mark looked up at the man. "I'll make a note to do that then. I'm sure that'll make a fun report: Security Chief reprimanded by himself." He said, as he took out the scanner to check if he had any internal injuries. Aside from bruises, he was glad to say he hadn't punctured anything.

"I see." Ja'tah stood up a little straighter. "Ensign Hendrick, sir. I was securing critical areas during the Intruder Alert. Are you injured?"

"Nothing I can't handle." Mark replied, as he felt a brief stab of pain in his arm. "Lieutenant Whistler." He added, as he got out a dermal regenerator. "Just been in the battle in engineering. We won." He said.

Ja'tah nodded in approval. "An honorable victory won against treacherous foes. True combat is fought between warriors for matters of honor. Anything else is merely taking out the trash."

"That's why I like Klingons. You understand the necessity for battle." Mark replied. "Everyone thinks I enjoy war, and combat. Not that many people understand what combat and war really is."

Ja'tah raised an eyebrow. "I am only half Klingon. Most think that Klingon warriors represent the society, but they are only part of it. There are weak Klingons, fat and worthless on a battle field, yet their cunning surpasses that of any Ferengi. Those types were my former masters, and they are the reason I am a citizen of the Federation." He stepped closer to Mark to better assess his wounds.

"That is a solid field dressing," he said plainly. "Men who perform that by rote typically have learned a thing or two. Sometimes, that discretion is the better part of valor."

"When you grow up like I did, you learn how to dress a wound." Mark replied. He finished using the regenerator and looked at Ja'tah. "Don't get me wrong, I don't think all your people are warriors, but war is more than combat. It's knowing when to attack, how to attack and when not to attack. I'll admit I'm not the first to retreat, but I've been through enough battles to know when something is futile." He said.

Ja'tah grinned at that. "Then I hope you gave them hell."

Mark returned the grin briefly, before standing up, slowing twisting his head slightly, before stretching his arms out. "I give everyone hell. Back on Turalek, I was known as Hell's Messenger, given how many people I sent there." He said.

"Turalek," Ja'tah repeated before shaking his head. "I've never heard of it. From the way you speak, there must have been heavy warfare."

"It was hell, in a word." Mark replied. He sighed. He hadn't talked about the world too much, except when he needed an example. "Every morning, you wake up wondering how many people you'll need to kill. You go to sleep at night wondering if you'll wake up. You don't know where your next meal is coming from and you don't know how long you'll live for. Children take a live before the age of five, and they're enhanced with steroids and implants to enhance their systems, knowing they'll become little more than weapons." Mark explained.

Ja'tah shook his head with disgust. "How did such a world come to be? And how did you escape it?"

"All I know is that years ago, no idea how long really, it used to be a normal world until the government collapsed and the world became chaos." Mark replied, stretching his arm. It still ached, but the pain was mostly gone now, thanks to the med kit. "About eight years ago, a ship landed. The crew were killed by others. But before they took the ship, I led my clan into battle against the cannibals, who had killed and begun to eat the crew. We won, but the cost...I lost brothers and sisters, but we got through, carrying their bodies as well. I refused to leave anyone behind. We escaped the planet, and flew for weeks before we were found by Starfleet."

The Klingon-Human hybrid nodded again, though his scowl deepened. "I was born to a 'civilized' planet by Klingon standards, but that only meant the prevailing government did as it pleased with no recourse. Were it not for the Federation consulate workers who took pity on me, I have no idea where I would be today. It seems we both owe much to Starfleet."

"I'd owe more if Starfleet hadn't treated us like lab rats when they first found us. They wanted to know why we were so strong, and how we could do the things we could. All in the name of our good health, of course. And they 'offered' me a position in the fleet, in return for their help in keeping my sister and friends safe." Mark said. He sighed as he sat down. "God only knows what became of my world. Starfleet said they were going to do something. No idea what they did, but as far as I'm concerned, they can scorch the whole damned planet. Probably safer, given the number of secure tribes, including the cannibals and the cyborgs."

Ja'tah sneered. "The Prime Directive would forbid that. Unless they were attacked or invited, Starfleet will probably do nothing except aid anyone else fortunate enough to escape." He paused for a moment. "Given that I've never heard of your world before, it would seem there are not many who have done what you did."

"No one ever did. I was lucky. No one usually finds Turalek. It's a single planet in a system that's in unclaimed space. No one cares about it, and no one goes there as far as I know." Mark replied. "That final was one of the hardest I'd ever been in. Three Cannibal tribes, two cyborg tribes and six others. Thankfully, everyone was attacking each other, so my tribe were able to cut through and get to the ship. As we left, we saw the result of the battle, with the cyborgs and cannibals retreating, knowing they had lost. But they took bodies with them, most likely for food." He said. He lifted his shirt, and showed Ja'tah a scar on his chest. "Got this in the final battle. Had to ignore the pain as we ran through and kept fighting."

Ja'tah nodded. "Our new Security transfers may have much to learn from you. Fighting a war without honor sees no difference between victors and losers. Only survivors."

"Honor...that was a word no one really knew on Turalek, but I did. My adoptive father, Scourge...he taught me all about honor, all about respect, and decency. I'll teach the security officers what they need to know, but they may not like it." Mark said. He sighed. "But they need to know how to survive. They all do."

The Klingon mongrel grunted. "I'll look forward to it."


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