The Astounding Adventures of Terri Cornelia Lee - Part 9 "Fugitives" (Flashback)
Episode 4 - Truth, Justice, and the Federation Way
Timeline: 2419, In A Future That Was
::Tribeca, New York City::
Alenis scanned their surrounding again to make sure they weren't being followed and there weren't any law enforcement agents in the immediate vicinity. They had already ditched their uniforms and were now in civilian clothes, but you could never be too careful, especially after Starfleet Security got the wind of their little rebellion and arrested Mei and Samira. Only by pure luck were she and Gustave able to evade capture, having left the Churchill to meet up with Terri and to see if she would be interested in joining them. Ever since then the three of them had been on the run from Starfleet, well, at least the part of Starfleet that had joined Bolanus in his coup.
Once Alenis was certain that they were in the clear for now, she relaxed a bit and turned her attention back to her companions sitting around the small table in a back corner of the busy sports bar. There was Gustave, who had been rather quiet since they got to New York this morning to see Terri; then there was Terri, who was gobbling down her triple cheese burgers. She still looked gorgeous despite the ketchup and bread crumbs smeared all over her pretty lips. There was definitely something special about the girl, and hopefully she would have the chance to find out just what that was.
Taking a sip of her drink, the Bajoran said, "So guys, what's the plan? We can't just keep running like this."
Gustave sighed and shook his head, "I don't know. If we need to, we can go stay with my family. They're safe, and they could protect us, too. But then we wouldn't be able to do anything to help here, where it's needed."
He growled in frustration, running his hands through his hair and pulling on it. He had been trying to think through this for days, strategizing and planning, but he came up with a dead end each time. He was getting extremely frustrated, knowing that he couldn't help the resistance by always being on the run, but not being able to stop unless he wanted to be killed.
Terri listened as she munched on her burger. When Gustave knocked on her apartment doors, her first thought was that he had come to talk about that little kiss they had the other night, but it turned out he was there along with his friend to ask her to join the resistance they were planning, a proposal she immediately agreed to now that Theo and her family were safely out of Bolanus' reach. As for Alenis, she was all around a nice person, and Terri liked nice people. But still she need to talk to Gustave and find out exactly why he had pushed her away, quite literally, that night.
Gustave added, "Maybe we could go into Midtown or Coney Island or somewhere busy, then spread the word about Bolanus' oppression and how something needs to be done. We don't need to reveal our involvement in the resistance, but we could just rile people up. Get them ready, you know?"
Terri swallowed the last piece of her burger and picked up another one from her plate. "Nah, instead of talking and making speeches, we should just fight back and punch Bolanus where it hurts." Turning to Alenis, she asked, "Weren't you guys planning to join another group in South America?"
"Yeah, that was the plan." Said Alenis. "The rumor is, your dad has sent someone to help the resistance, and that person has already made contact with the South America group. We were supposed to meet up with someone in New Orleans first; that person would then take us to Guatemalan City, and from there someone else would take us to the South America group. I have been trying to reach our contact in New Orleans, but the comm link never got through. I guess he must have found out that we are fugitives now and didn't want to be compromised."
Gustave snorted. "I guess we'll have to hike all the way to Guatemala then." he replied sarcastically, rolling his eyes in annoyance. "It'll only take us a month and a half to get there." He leaned forward onto the table, resting his chin in his hands as he looked down at the wood grain. He sighed and took a swig from his glass of water.
"Hiking is nothing." Said Terri as she took another big bite of her burger. "I wens warkd from Synnie arr the way to . . ."
Before Terri could finish her barely intelligible sentence, Alenis interrupted her and said alarmingly. "9 o'clock, two MPs."
Gustave slowly stood up, saying, "Party's over, let's move." He was shoulder to shoulder with Alenis, Terri was behind. He used himself as a plow to clear their small group a path to the exit, politely shouldering people out of the way as they headed to the glowing green exit sign.
Terri grumbled. She didn't like running away from a fight; it's just not her. But before she could protest, Gustave and Alenis had already stood up and were moving discreetly toward the back exit. Grudgingly she followed them. As they passed a table several yards away from the exit, Terri felt someone grabbing her. She paused and turned around to find a young man sitting at the table with her arm in his hand.
"Hey, babe," Said the man with a self-assured smirk as his companions chuckled. "Wanna join me for a few rounds? Or are angels not allowed to drink?"
Unimpressed, Terri raised a fierce eyebrow. "Call me babe again, and I'm gonna punch you so hard you won't even know what your own name is. And get your hand off me before I break it."
"Feisty. Just how I like it." Said the man as he stood up and began to pull the short-haired blonde toward him.
Terri twisted her arm, pulled it away from the grasp, grabbed the back of the man's neck, and yanked his head down until an upward knee kick smashed into his face. As he tumbled backward in pain, She quickly landed a left hook on his already bloodied face and sent him crashing down onto the table.
As the table cracked under his weight and momentum, his companions sprang from their chairs, and one of them shouted. "Hey, Rafael might be a jerk, but you shouldn't have done that!"
"What?!" Terri turned her fury to the Berellian and raised her fist. "You want some of this, too? Then come and get it!"
Alenis' jaw dropped as she watched the spectacle unfolded before her. She already had the feeling that Terri was not your average girl, but had no idea how fierce the blonde could be, and it was exhilarating to watch. She was exhilarating to watch.
Gustave heard the commotion and looked back. His eyes grew wide and he muscled his way back through the crowd towards Terri. They didn't have any time to lose if they wanted to get out without being caught. He pushed past the creepy old perverts who were oogling Terri and grabbed his companion on her shoulder. He leaned down to whisper so that only she could hear, "If you want to live to see tomorrow, we have to leave now." His voice was laced with urgency as he pulled on Terri's shoulder. He motioned for Alenis to keep moving. Hopefully at least she could make it out alive, if he couldn't get Terri to go.
The growing commotion caught the attention of Petty Officer Noraz. A quick scan with her head-mounted virtual display identified two of the individuals involved as deserters from the USS Churchill and a third one as a priority alpha fugitive. Opening a comm link, she reported her finding.
"Noraz to Central. Fugitives Alpha 028, D-305 and D-306 identified at 255 Greenwich. Approaching to apprehend."
=/\=Acknowledged. Reinforcement on the way. Proceed with caution. Alpha 028 is to be taken alive with minimal injuries.=/\=
"The other two?"
=/\=Lethal force is authorized if necessary.=/\=
Closing the channel, Noraz turned to the Trill next to her. "You heard Central. Phaser on stun."
Lance Corporal Eero Kors grumbled under his breath as he adjusted the settings of his phaser. "I hate my job."
"Hate it all you want, partner." Said Noraz. "Just keep it to yourself and don't go around telling everyone like Murot did." Without waiting for a response, the human pushed through the crowd and raised her voice. "Starfleet Security. Lieutenants Lee, Laren and Dolarian, stand down."
Just as expected the fugitives did not heed her command and escaped through the back door instead. She and Kors could have easily caught up with them if not for the crowd, and she swore that some of the patrons were intentionally obstructing them, but there was no time for that, her targets were getting away.
::Alley Behind the Bar::
Gustave had Terri in a lifeguard-style hold that she was having one hell of a time trying to escape from. He rolled his eyes irritably and dragged her out of the back door of the bar. At this rate, they would never catch up to Alenis, and they would get caught by the MPs who were tailing them. Why does Terri have to fight everything that moves? Gustave thought angrily, first, those guys at the bar, now me! Can't she just . . . his thought was abruptly cut off as he heard a small army of cop cars getting close, probably at the front of the bar. His grip on Terri slackened as he tried to move faster.
Terri finally freed herself from Gustave's grasp. Turning to face him, she lashed out. "What the hell?!! I could have taken down all of those bastards by myself!"
Gustave sighed, trying to keep himself from raising his voice, "Terri, even if you had beaten those guys, there would have been a thousand more behind them. Even you and I together couldn't take that many. Just calm down, and you can go punch something later." He kept walking, looking around to see if Alenis was still nearby. He spotted her across the alley in an unlit alcove.
His words were far from mollifying her, but before Terri could lash out with even greater fury, a visibly worried Alenis rushed back to her companions. Reaching out, the Bajoran gently grabbed the blonde's hands. Softly she said, "Terri, I know you are angry at those guys, and so am I, but if we don't leave now, we will all be behind bars, and you won't be able to do anything about them. I promise, once we are safe, I'll help you track down those low lives and give them what they deserve."
She didn't know if she could keep the promise, but she would worry about that later.
Terri looked at Alenis as she spoke. Her hands were so soft, her eyes so warm, and her voice, it was . . . angelic. The rage in her chest began to subside. Ignoring Gustave, she allowed Alenis to pull her away and toward the other end of the narrow alley.
Gustave was surprised. Since when could anyone get Terri to calm down so fast? Gustave hadn't seen her calm since he stole her cheerios when she was five years old! He had always forked so hard to pacify her, and all Alenis had to do was say a few soft little words and all of a sudden, Terri was softer than a puppy! His blood started to boil as he looked at Alenis. He wasn't sure why, but he felt an urge to get back at that underhanded Bajoran.
::Across the Street::
Leaning against his patrol car, Officer Thatuat scanned the busy night life around him. It seemed that not even the coup and the impending civil war could dampen the Big Apple's appetite for fun and amusement, or perhaps it was in fun and amusement that people sought escape from the uncomfortable reality of civil war.
His thought was interrupted when his partner nudged him on his arm. "Look." Said Officer Shanta Tamboli, gesturing at the alley across the street from them. Two women and a man, all in their twenties, were rushing out, pursued by two figures whose identities were obscured by the dim lighting of the alley way.
Alarmed, both officers drew their phasers and intercepted the trio on the other side of the street. "NYPD, freeze!" Ordered Thatuat as the pedestrians made way for the hulking Cardasian and his human partner.
"Uh oh," Gustave muttered to his companions, "We're cut off. Is there anywhere we can go?" He started looking around frantically, hoping he didn't look as frenzied as he felt. He was terrified they'd been caught.
"What's going on?" Asked Thatuat, but before any of them could answer, their pursuers shouted from a distance. "Starfleet Security. By order of General Bolanus, stop them!"
The two officers exchanged a look, and with an almost simultaneous nod of their heads, they returned their phasers to the holsters. They were not going to help Bolanus' lackies, not if they could help it. Stepping aside, they leaned back against the windows of a bakery. "As you were." Said Officer Tamboli as she took out an Illian peach from her back pocket and bit into it.
Tilting her head, Terri didn't know what was going on, but that peach looked SO good.
Gustave was confused. Two officers just... ignored an order? Well, he wasn't one to waste an opportunity. He took Terri's hand and practically dragged her towards their escape. He felt Terri resisting, "Come on Terri, we don't have any time to lose."
Noraz surveyed the surrounding, and there was no sign of the three fugitives. She had lost track of them amid the crowd. Turning to the two police officers leaning against a shop window, she asked with a small frown. "Why did you let them go?"
Officer Tamboli shrugged and handed her partner a pizza roll. "We are on break." She said matter-of-factly.
Noraz turned to Thatuat, and the Cardassian gave her an equally nonchalant shrug. "What she said."
The frown on Noraz' brows deepened. This was not the first time the NYPD had refused cooperation with Starfleet Security despite the new police commissioner's public pledge otherwise. Exchanging a look with Corporal Kors, she was ready to call in when a man in the crowd raised his voice.
"They made a turn on Broadway " He pointed in the direction where the three fugitives had been heading. "Go get them, lads."
Noraz nodded to the man in appreciation. Without another moment of delay, she dashed forward with Kors in tow. At least some people understood what they were trying to do. They were doing their job, and they were doing it for the greater good.
[To be continued in Part 10 "Cornered" . . .]
Lieutenant JG Terri C. Lee
Researcher, Starfleet R&D
(NPC - Oliver)
Lieutenant JG Laren Alenis
Intelligence Officer, USS Churchill
(NPC - Oliver)
Lieutenant Gustave Dolarian
Fighter Pilot, USS Churchill
(NPC - Theo)