The Astounding Adventures of Terri Cornelia Lee - Part 14 "Wounds"
Posted on Sat Jul 15th, 2017 @ 1:05am by Lieutenant Terri Lee
Episode 4 - Truth, Justice, and the Federation Way
Timeline: 2419, In A Future That Was
::Resistance Camp Hyppolyta, Somewhere in the Amazon Forest::
Terri was in the middle of fixing a broken transphasic cloak - the only one the resistance had - when she heard loud commotion outside of her tent. Annoyed, she put down, or rather slammed, her tools on the desk. She hated it when people disrupted her work. Determined to give whoever was causing all the fuss a piece of her mind, the short-haired blonde marched out of her tent.
A dozen people had already gathered around an old Type-9 shuttle parked in the middle of the camp. Unable to see what was going on from outside of her tent, Terri began to walk toward the shuttle for a better view. Half way there and just outside of the infirmary, she saw a pair of resistance fighters carrying a stretcher rushing toward her, or rather the infirmary. It took a second, but once she recognized the woman on the stretcher, she gasped. "Alenis!" Rushing over, she held on to the Bajoran's hand. There was so much blood on her tattered clothes, but no visible sign of life.
"What happened?" Terri shouted, demanding an answer.
Without stopping, the Trill carrying the head of the stretcher answered as they entered the infirmary. "Bolanus' men were waiting for them at Cairo. It was a trap. They didn't have a chance. She's one of the only two that made it back."
Before Terri could ask more questions, she was stopped by one of the medical staff.
"You can't be here, Lieutenant Lee." Said the Romulan doctor. "Lieutenant Laren has lost a lot blood and we have to begin the surgery ASAP."
"But . . ." Terri wanted to stay, but she knew she must let the doctors do their job and save Alenis. Reluctantly she nodded.
As soon as she was outside, the blonde vented all her anger on the first thing that came into her sight: several empty crates stacked just outside the infirmary. With a cry of frustration, she toppled one onto the ground and kicked the rest into disarray. It was all her fault. She should have insisted on going with Alenis to Cairo. She could have saved her. But instead she had that stupid fight with that stupid Gustave.
Suddenly she remembered that Gustave and a small team were supposed to infiltrate Starfleet Security headquarters early in the morning. As the image of a dying Alenis flashed before her, dread began to dawn on her.
No, she couldn't lose both of them.
::Next Morning, Runabout USS Hudson::
Gustave finished packing his day pack and sling it over his shoulder. He stepped out into the bright, early morning sunlight and then strode over to where the rest of his team was preparing to leave. He nodded to a few of them, feeling serious, but showing a small smile to lighten the nervous tension that permeated the air. They may have been Starfleet officers, but that didn't mean that they didn't get anxious.
The leader of their group, a Lieutenant Commander named John Braddock, said, "Alright, let's get going. Everyone on board," then ducked under and through the entrance to the Runabout. Gustave followed behind him, and the three others came after.
They closed the door and took off. En route, they discussed the plan of attack and the top-secret Intel they'd be gathering on the lucrative happenings that had been going on in Bolanus's group. Once everything was thoroughly understood, they fell into idle chit-chat. Braddock came up to Gustave with a look of concern as he asked, "Hey. So I saw you and Terri got in a fight the other day. Is everything alright with you two?"
Gustave sighed and leaned back in the chair he occupied, then replied, "I don't know. Our friendship was shaken up a bit a few months ago, a few nights before we joined the resistance. Ever since, she's been acting strangely. I just don't understand women. One minute she likes me, the next she can't even stand to be near me. Is it the hormones? Am I giving off some kind of unconscious signals that she can pick up on but I, for the life of me, never can? Help me out man, this chick is cra-"
Terri was incensed as soon as the former pilot said "I don't know." (Was there ANYTHING that he understood?!) She wanted to give him a piece of her mind, but her personal cloaking device suddenly decided to no longer cooperate; it simply wouldn't turn off whatever she tried. Now even more incensed, Terri smashed the device on her waist and materialized with a few sparks flying and traces of fume dissipating.
"You stupid t'lehi!" She shouted, using a rather vulgar Trillian word.
Gustave whirled around, surprised to hear Terri's voice. "Wha-" he said, then comprehended what was going on, "What the hell are you doing here? You aren't a part of this mission!" Hadn't Alenis just been badly wounded? Why wasn't Terri be her side? And how did she get on board, anyways? And why was her belt smoking and making strange sounds?
"My dad needs that intel, and I'll make sure he gets it." Said Terri. "Besides, what are you gonna do? Turn back? You are on a tight schedule. You don't have the time." She was talking to Gustave, but it's also for the rest of his team, who were equally startled by her sudden appearance. One of them even pulled out her phaser before realizing who the "intruder" was.
"Great," Gustave replied with sacral castor enthusiasm. And just when he thought he would be getting a short break from her constant berating of him. He sighed and sat down. "Go ahead, take a seat," he gestured to one across the cabin and handed her his mission briefing paDD, "And read through this. In detail."
"Don't tell me what to do." Terri said as she took an empty seat opposite of Gustave and crossed her arms.
::Meanwhile, Back in Resistance Camp Hippolyta::
"She did what?!"
The frustration in Nami was unmistakable. She would have a serious talk with the girl later, but the mission could not be aborted. "Proceed as planned. Keep Lieutenant Lee out of harms way at all cost."
"Yes, Ma'am." Lieutenant Commander Braddoct acknowledged with a nod before terminating the transmission.
Nami sat there and considered her options for a moment. Then she tapped her wrist communicator and opened a channel to Major T'Lar Haefort, a special ops veteran.
"Ishikawa to Haefort. Gather your team and meet me in the command center in 15 minutes.
"Yes, Commander." Came the response.
::Later That Afternoon, Mount Parnassus, Greece::
Terri didn't know for how long she was out, but when she finally came back to her senses, she felt like someone had pounded on her head with a power hammer. The last thing she remembered, they were running from Starfleet security. They got what they had come for, a micro isolinear memory chip with every little dirty secret on Bolanus and his cronies - at least that's what they had been told was on the chip. The mission would have been a complete success, and they would have been back in the camp by now if not for that stupid security guard, who for whatever reason decided to begin his round 54 seconds earlier than scheduled. Why wouldn't people slack on their job when you need them, too? Stupid workaholic.
Slowly opening her eyes, Terri found herself in a dimly lit cave. "Arrg!!" She cried as she tried to rise from where she was lying. The pain at her abdomen and chest was excruciating.
Gustave got up from where he had been sitting against the side of the cave. He pushed her back down and held her shoulders so that she wouldn't hurt herself, "You got hit pretty hard. Just stay down, okay? I don't want to have to stun you to keep you down so that your body can heal itself, but I will if I have to," he said sternly. He waited for her eyes to show comprehension, then slowly took his weight off of her.
"What happened?" Asked the blonde.
"We got separated from the rest of the team after our little skirmish with security. I'm not sure where they are at the moment, but they'll find us soon enough. None of the team could have gotten too far," Gustave continued to explain, "And before you ask, we are not going out to find them. We're both injured and we'd only get killed."
Terri felt weak and could barely move her limbs, much less getting up and rescuing the rest of the team. She hated feeling weak, but worse still, now she had to rely on Gustave for care. It was not supposed to be like this.
"What do you care?" She retorted, not so gratefully, but half expecting - hoping - Gustave to say he cared about her
"I care about living to see my family again. I care about fighting for a better tomorrow. I care about getting your sorry self back alive, because leaving you in the hands of Bolanus would be a disaster for us all," Gustave retorted angrily. All of his conversations with Terri lately seemed to be angry retorts. "The question is: what do you care? You risked this entire mission by sneaking onto the shuttle. Do you realize how childish that was? Do you realize that the team now has to risk their lives to bring you back because we can't let you get captured?" He tried not to raise his voice in case someone was listening, but he hoped at least one thing he said was harsh enough to hit home with Terri.
Terri's heart sank. He didn't care about her. He only cared that she didn't fall into Bolanus' hands. But the blonde was ever defiant. "I didn't ask to be the daughter of the only person in this damned quadrant who can bring down Bolanus! I'm sick and tired of people using that excuse to hold me down. I can take care of myself. And don't you accuse me of being childish, Mr. I-would-rather-look-at-a-stupid-bird-than-man-up-and-face-the-questions."
"It doesn't matter if you can take care of yourself or not, what matters is that the resistance will stop at nothing to bring you home safely, even if it means losing dozens of officers. I can't believe that my bird watching is a bigger deal to you than the lives of the people who will die because you felt like going on a little joyride. One stupid bird isn't important, but the resistance and its success are," Gustave couldn't believe that she still didn't understand. Yeah, it sucked not being able to get out and fight every fight, but she'd just have to suffer for the greater cause.
"Damn right that stupid bird wasn't important." Terri shot back.
Since he wasn't getting through to her on the logical front, Gustave decided to try her emotions instead.
"Alright. I get it, you hate being cooped up all the time instead of getting to do your part for the resistance. But Terri, Bolanus would stop at nothing to get his hands on you, and I'm not about to let that happen,"
He sighed and put his head in his hands, his tired and worried face accentuated by the low lighting in the cave. As the meaning behind his statement set in, he could no longer look at Terri, and he didn't feel like talking anymore. He just hoped she was convinced, and wouldn't pull another stunt like this.
Terri rolled her eyes and channeled her inner sarcasm. "I know, because I'm too damn important for the resistance."
"No," Gustave replied, "Because you're important to me."
"Yeah, yeah, I know, my dad wouldn't . . ." The words were already out of her mouth before it finally occurred to Terri what Gustave had just said. Blinking her eyes, her mind raced to make sense of it. But before it could, a smoke grenade rolled up to them. As tear jerking haze began to fill the cave, a team of two men clad in black rushed in.
"Freeze! Federation Special Service!"
"Shit," Gustave muttered, rolling in front of Terri and grabbing his phaser. He whispered to her, "Try to get to the back of the cave," then began to cough as the noxious gas filled his lungs. As long as he couldn't see the attackers, they couldn't see him, so they had to move fast before the smoke cleared. And better yet, they'd have to do it blindly and without breathing.
Gustave saw their flashlights cutting through the fog, and turned around to face them, phaser in hand as he pulled himself and Terri behind a small boulder. He hoped she still had her phaser on her, they'd need whatever firepower they could get.
The sudden incursion of their pursuers roused Terri from whatever confusion her mind had been in. For the moment it no longer mattered that Gustave had admitted he cared about her, and it vexed her that Gustave still thought he needed to save her. She had never needed saving from anyone, and she was not about to start now.
Despite the grueling pain coursing through her body, she grabbed her own phaser, and despite Gustave's warning, she sprang up from behind the boulder and fired into the smoke. "I'm right here. Come and get me, you sons of bitches!"
"Do you have a death wish, woman?!" Gustave muttered angrily. Well she could get shot again and die if she wanted, he would stay behind this rock and save himself. This crazy lady was beyond hope now. He aimed his weapon at the smoke and waited for the first people to come through.
Terri was beside herself as she fired randomly into the choking haze. She's pissed. She had sneaked onto the runabout and come here to make sure the stupid Gustave wouldn't get hurt like Alenis was. But did he appreciate it? No, not only did he not appreciate her coming along, he was treating her like a fragile flower that need to be kept in a green house. She hated flowers. They were so pretty, so tender, and so stupid. One of those days she's gonna . . .
Before she could finish that train of thought, a beam of phaser struck her on her left shoulder and then another just below her chest where she had been stabbed with a knife a few hours earlier. She cursed vehemently as she dropped to the ground.
Gustave immediately began firing where he saw the phaser beam that hit Terri come from. He heard a groan from one of the attackers, and hoped the stun had done the trick. He aimed into the mist and just fired a full spread at about chest-height. He held his finger down on the trigger, releasing a steady stream of fire for nearly 30 seconds until his phaser registered a low battery. Thankfully, he had a couple extra battery packs on him. He holstered his phaser, confident that he'd hit something.
He walked over to Terri and knelt down beside her. He frowned at her and said angrily, "If you weren't dying right now, I would slap you. Hard. In your face. With a large rock."
"You would . . . you would . . . try." Terri retorted ever so defiantly as she struggled to keep her mind from slipping into a dreadful nothingness. It was a futile endeavor; she could feel the blood gushing out of the wound under her chest, and each drop that left her brought her closer to the edge of the abyss. Would it really be that bad? Perhaps she would finally meet her mom for the first time. It wouldn't be so bad. But everyone, Alenis, Micahela . . . dad, and . . . and . . . . . .
"Yes, I would," He replied, "Now we need to stop this bleeding." He put pressure on the spot where blood was soaking her uniform, hoping he was covering the entire area. He noticed her eyes beginning to glaze over and her breathing slow down, so he gently grabbed her chin and said, "Hey, eyes on me, you need to stay awake." He saw no real effect, so he put his forehead to hers and said, again, "You hear me? Stay. Awake." He was freaking out a little bit. She couldn't die, not now. The resistance needed her. How would he ever explain it to her father?
Terri's mind began to cloud as she stumbled aimlessly toward the precipice. There it was, the bottomless abyss. It didn't look too bad from here, she thought to herself. But something was amiss; something was holding her back. A voice. Someone's voice . . . She looked back and saw him through the haze.
No. She couldn't let him go. She couldn't.
She reached out, or she tried, but Gustave was drifting away. Slowly. Ominously. She was afraid.
"Don't . . . don't leave . . . m . . . e . . ." She gasped for air, for him.
"No, Terri, damnit... You don't leave me," He glared at her, daring her to even try dying on him. Not on his watch. "Hang in there, our people will be here any minute. You'll be fine, just stay awake."
"It would . . . it would be nice . . . if . . . . . . if . . ." Her voice drifted away as the light in her crystal blue eyes began to fade.
Gustave shook his head in desperation. "No, no, no, not like this, Terri, not like this. Terri!!" His cry reverberated around the cave before rushing out into the forest with redoubled pain and anguish. If Bolanus men were still looking for them, he had just given away their location. In fact he could hear the sound of boots approaching through the brush and into the cave. But he didn't care. Let them come. It didn't matter. All he could feel was the body of his friend, his best friend, lying motionless in his arms, and all the sudden he was terrified: she was his world, and now his world was gone.
[To be continued in Part 15 . . .]
Lieutenant JG Terri C. Lee
(NPC - Oliver)
Lieutenant Gustave Dolarian
(NPC - Theo)