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Redimō (Part Two)

Posted on Sat Jul 8th, 2023 @ 8:48pm by Lieutenant Commander Finnley Keating VII & Lieutenant Commander P’rel M.D

Mission: Wrath of the People
Location: Ray's House
Timeline: MD7 0300
2097 words - 4.2 OF Standard Post Measure

"Have you ever seen your ulnar nerve...?" she asked, gently lifting his hand by the wrist and examining it. She ran a finger along the length of the outer edge of his hand and smiled; "would you like to?" she asked again, with an almost child-like earnest to her voice. "I may not have sufficient strength at present to empty your mind, but I guarantee you know that I have the willing, medical expertise, and motivation, to extract every primary nerve in your body until you talk...".

"You wouldn't..." he whispered, his stomach palpitating as the scalpel flicked on. His eyes locked onto the bright blade, before he looked past it to the Keatings. "You're going to let her?!" he practically pleaded. "Oh come on! Bad cop worse cop! Is that it!" the scalpel drew closer to his hand, now locked in the Vulcan's vice-like grip. "Colonel! Commander!" he bellowed. "Mrs Keating!".

Finn turned her head away, she couldn't watch what was happening. She wasn't sure she even agreed with it. Quinn looked over and saw what Cameron's words had done. His eyes lit with rage, but he contained it. It would do them no good if he beat the man to where he could no longer talk. "No one here is coming to your rescue, Cameron. Tell us what you know, or let the Lieutenant here strip every nerve from your body piece by piece. Your choice," he shrugged.

Commander Cameron's breathing had become heavy and panicked and by now had become more like snorts of desperation struggling through sweat, mucus and blood. "Waitwaitwaitwaitwait" he screamed as the Vulcan angled the scalpel tip to a fine setting and just ever so barely applied the tool his captive hand. She moved it away a fraction of an inch. "I'll talk I'll talk" he panted, desperately pulling away from P'rel who maintained her grip.

"Talk usefully" she warned, reaffirming her grip on his wrist and yanking him closer.

"Wha..what what will you do to me afterwards...?" he sniffed, his bravado having fallen away to a snotty, tearful, snivelling mess of a man.

P'rel looked around towards Quinn, and then back to Cameron. "You've caused a great deal of upset to the Colonel. And his daughter. I suggest you ask him".

"As much as I would love to, we can't kill you," he thought for a moment. "We'll turn you into the authorities unless that scares you more than the Lieutenant here?" He noted the fear in Cameron's eyes. Whoever was controlling him would have a way to get to him in prison. "Then we'll let you go, in the forest. If you're good, they won't be able to track you and you can go and slither away and hole up in some cave." He said, which was mostly true, but perhaps not the entire plan that Quinn had in mind.

He swallowed hard, as if a rock were in his throat, it would probably be the least worst of all the options. "Alright...alright..." he exhaled in a futile effort to calm his nerves and suppress the knotting feeling in the pit of his bowels. " a marine...will you vouch for my safety from her?" he asked, nodding to the Vulcan.

"Only if you start talking. NOW," Quinn's steely eyes looked through Cameron's. His patience was tiring. They needed answers and he wanted this to be done, to resolve so they could all move on, especially Finn.

Flinching as the man barked at him, he yanked his hand back to shield his face from whatever assault was coming, though luckily none did and, surprisingly, the Vulcan had released his hand. "Ok...ok...what do you want to know...?" he asked.

P'rel stood and left the pathetic cretin kneeling on the floor. "Why Captain Kane?" she asked, flatly and to the point.

"He knew too much" Cameron gasped, as he sat back on his buttocks and winced through the pain of whenever he'd been struck in the ribs by either Colonel Keating or Lieutenant P'rel. "And that damn ship. You all know too much..." he coughed and winced again.

"What about the ship...?" the Vulcan enquired, "Is the Athena in danger...?" she looked over to Keating who seemed to share on her face that feeling which P'rel felt in her gut.

"I don't know" Cameron spat, tonging a loose tooth and trying to clear his mouth of blood. "There was a discussion about neutralising the threat, but it was considered too close to home, too much of a coincidence. It was beyond my pay grade, I don't know if anything came of those discussions..."

"Neutralizing the whole ship?!" Finn had wheeled around to face Cameron again outraged at the idea that someone, or everyone, could be targeted on the Athena. "Who was having this discussion? We need names, details..."

"It doesn't work like that!" Cameron protested. "We don't exactly have an annual convention with name badges!".

"But you have to know something!" Quinn looked at him with determination. "You don't just sign up to commit treason with no idea what you're doing or who you're doing it for. It doesn't work like that either.". He stared at Cameron for a moment before sighing. "I don't think this is going to work. I think our friend here is stalling, perhaps he still needs more motivation?" He looked at P'Rel.

"A-A-Alright alright..." he sputtered in a panic. "General Taybok in the KDF...he's one of them, he was the one calling for Athena to be...dealt with...Legate Oongta too...Thot Sek though....he's running the show...more or less. I think. But there are people everywhere; clones, guys we've paid off, threatened...all over the place"

P'rel also had her attention piqued; "An impressive manifest. Talk to us about Admiral Nerak..." she probed.

If his heart could have exploded, it would have. "Ad...Admiral Nerak...?". His eyes darted between the trio; "he....was caught in the blast..." Cameron was shaking by this point. What would happen to him if he talked was nothing compared to what would happen to him if he talked about Nerak himself.

"Colonel..." P'rel warned Cameron with just a single word as she flicked the laser scalpel on again.

"Please. Please, not Nerak. I can tell you anything but please not about him. Nothing you can do to me will be worse..." Cameron pleaded.

"Lunc..." Kacey entered the room to say she'd found something suitable for lunch if anyone else was hungry, but stopped short at the sight of Cameron and blood on the floor. She looked between Quinn, P'rel, and Finn and sighed before reaching around the corner and grabbing a mop. "I will not have you leaving Ray's place a total mess so make sure you clean it up when you're done."

"Of course," Quinn took the mop and set it by the Commander before his wife left once more and he returned his attention back to Cameron. "We'll let you go. Who's to say they'll even find you? This is your only chance. Even if you don't talk, what's to keep them from thinking you did?"

The Colonel had a point. At this stage, were he to be honest with himself, his chances of living were vanishingly small. Perhaps his best hope was to cooperate and make a run for it before they caught up with him. He could lay a trail leading to Freecloud, and be 50 light years in the opposite direction before they realised. "Fine" he sighed. "There's already a plumb job for Nerak lined up after the election...that's what this is all for...with the huge losses in the 9th Fleet AO, and all the public pressure from certain Flag Officers, allied delegates and the ongoing threats...Nerak will be able to use the influence of his office to pull Starfleet out of the area in response to all the other voices..."

"For profit" P'rel finished. "By withdrawing Starfleet, the entire area will descend into a lawless battleground, just like the old Neutral Zone..."

"A lawless battleground" Cameron scoffed; "you're no fan of Starfleet Lieutenant" Cameron mocked, "what is it you say? Starfleet is militarised hypocrisy? A wolf in sheep's clothing? Starfleet has become little more than a suppressive military force to prop up an enormous state, and you know it..."

P'rel had to take a moment; he wasn't wrong, ultimately. "For all it's many, many flaws; Starfleet saves and protects lives. What you want to do is going to cause death. All that will happen is something like the Fenris Rangers - or probably a lot worse - will step in and become the peacekeepers...people will die, people will suffer, so you can what...get rich?".

"Better to be stomping on the floor than banging on the ceiling; isn't that the Cardassian adage'?" Cameron responded.

"So we know at least some of who's involved and what the general plan is, now how do we prove it to Starfleet?" Finn asked.

"There is no logical reason why he can not make a recorded statement..." P'rel responded. "All of the consequences of such are already in motion". She turned to look at the pathetic man on the floor. "My tricorder. Where is my tricorder? From the attack. The one I scanned Nerak with?".

"Destroyed" replied Cameron, touching his lips with the back of his hand and noting the flow of blood had at least slowed.

"Then...where is the Admiral...?" P'rel asked, looking at Colonel Keating as she did so...

Quinn returned the glance and somehow he knew they were both thinking the same thing. If the tricorder was destroyed, they needed physical evidence. That meant someone needed to collect the Admiral himself. A task that he was already looking forward to.

Cameron could feel his legs start to shake despite the fact they weren't even taking any of his weight, sitting as he was on the cold floor. "Federation Political Paris".

"You know what I saw on those readings of Admiral Nerak, don't you...?". P'rel's eyes darted to Finn, they had melded and she was looking for signs that she knew as well. The Colonel stood there as menacing as ever.

"I think so. It's not something I saw myself, but it's there like a distant memory," Finn said. "It shouldn't be possible."

P'rel looked between the mess on the floor, Finn and the Colonel; "Alright", she began, looking to Commander Cameron initially; "You are going to make a recorded statement, and then we're going to cut you loose wherever on Earth you want...after the Admiral is in custody...". The Vulcan turned her attention back to the Keatings. "Captain Kane is on the stand today. No doubt that prosecutor is going to run rings around the Captain's emotional state and back him into a corner. We need to end this, now, today".

"Let Ray and I handle Nerak," Quinn said. "We'll contact you when we've retrieved him from Paris then meet back at court with all of the evidence in hand."

P'rel nodded.

"I should help," Finn interjected.

"No, you stay here with the Lieutenant and figure out how we're getting into that courtroom without being stopped. We'll probably need to transport directly in and take the proceedings by surprise which means I'll need you to figure out how to hack through. The courts usually have an added layer of security," her father gave a logical response though his underlying reasoning was to keep Finn as safe as possible. He was sure that retrieving Nerak wouldn't be without its own dangers and she had already been through enough.

"You can also assist me with the filmed interrogation of....this the Vulcan added, looking to Cameron with distaste and pity.

Cameron for his part shook his head in disbelief. It had only been a few hours ago that he'd be given a stroke-inducing hypo and sent to interrogate her; now, he had little to reason he would be alive this time tomorrow. So well had had done his job, so deeply were they infiltrated within Starfleet, that he couldn't even find safety in protective custody. The irony wasn't lost on him, as a spat another mouthful of blood onto the floor.

"Besides, someone has to cover me and clean this up, or else your mother will murder me," Quinn smirked before squeezing his daughter's shoulders and running out the door to find Ray.


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