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Tight Spaces

Posted on Wed Jun 22nd, 2022 @ 2:52am by Captain Rhenora Kaylen & Chief Petty Officer Remal Kajun

Mission: *CD*
Location: Bajor
Timeline: Backpost

Zio and her family had been prepared, a small number of hand lights were quickly passed around once the plan was decided, casting beams of light into the pillows of darkness in the caves.

Patin lingered behind for a moment, setting up some booby traps as they left. Movement triggered rock falls, the odd gas mine and other old resistance tricks.

The caves were tall enough to stand up and walk relatively easily though in points, other pinch points sent the fleeing Bajoran’s onto their bellies to contort through meeting stalagmites and stalactites.

“ Oh come on” Rhenora couldn’t help but groan as the cavern roof descended into a small opening that led through to the next chamber. She was dirty, tired and hungry and just about fed up with whoever it was that was chasing them. At least now they had a solid lead, and a hell of a lot more information than when they had when they started. The cult of the Pagh Wraiths had been dogging them for months, taking pot shots on their lives, and now gunning down their friends to draw them back to the surface. Zio and Patin were the last ones left alive from either of their resistance cells back in the old days. They’d been in time to save their lives, but sadly others had perished.

He kept his head low and pressed on. If Rhen was experiencing tight spaces, imagine how he felt. 6 foot seven with broad shoulders meant spaces like these made him feel like toothpaste being squeezed through a tube. But he kept his mouth shut and did not complain for he felt their journey was nearing a close. The young ones led the way followed by Zio, Remal and the Rhenora and Patin pulling up the rear.

They drew to a stop as they maneuvered through the small opening in the cave, the smaller ones first wriggling through and illuminating the way forward. Rhenora crawled forward, wedging her shoulders through the crack and pulling herself forward to clear the rounding of her hips and belly.

Next Zio popped through, her tall skinny frame just barely making the fit. Remal eyes the opening with disdain. There was no way in hell he was likely to fit through. Stepping aside he allowed Patin an easy exit first. He attempted to flatten himself and squeeze through but the slit was taller than wider by triple. He managed to get to his rib cage before giving up and returning to inside the hole. "I think we're going to need a better idea. Anyone have a can opener, uh, other than Patin?"

Zio looked back with a mixture of concern and amusement. There was literally no way Remal was going to fit through that hole.

"Anyone got some lube?" She snorted as she rummaged through the bags to see if they could find anything that would assist in the matter. Meanwhile Rhenora blushed a shade of a thousand crimson parrots.

He grinned briefly and then looked out beyond them at the clearing. They had found the grotto. It was growing dark but he could see the open meadow with fresh untouched wildlife. "Hey, maybe if you can get a signal out they could transport me through the rock. I'm close enough, maybe." He knew it was a stretch for the transporters to reach Bajor let alone pluck him out of the rock face.

“ Doubtful” Rhenora did the rough calculation of how many tonnes of rock were still over their heads. In the meantime Patin and Zio were begrudgingly working together, Patin identifying a small fracture in the rock they could use to widen the opening whilst Zio powered up an energy weapon. It would give away their position but the options were getting more and more limited.

Meanwhile: Their enemy was closing in. The tunnel route had been abandoned after they had lost half a dozen to gas grenade traps, but there were other ways to track their prey. The tracking dogs had their scent on the air, it would only be a matter of time now. They loaded themselves onto the transport and lifted off above the trees. Setting sail for their last known location, it wouldn't be long now.

"Easy!" He blurted out as the weapon slowly cut through the rock. Remal had stepped back and to the side but sparks showered down upon him. "I'm not looking for a singed hair style." He carried on.

"Oh ya big baby, suck it up and suck it in." Patin replied while touching her own hair that had been hit with phaser fire only a couple of days prior. "A trim of that ole beard may do you good." She cackled.

On the air there was a shift. Like a distant echo there rose up a mechanical hum which reverberated throughout the mountainous caverns. Zio's children recognized the sound first. "Momma, they've launched a hover transport."

Zio responded. "Looks like they are using a new tactic." She eyed Rhenora. "They've sent out an armored transport carrier to search for us or more importantly, you mama Kaylen." She scanned their surroundings. “The moment we emerge we’ll show up on their sensors. They’ll be on us like beetles on a dung pile.”

“Then we must take full opportunity of every advantage we have,” Rhenora said decisively. She was over being hunted like an animal. Tired, hungry and more than a little cranky, she wanted nothing more than to be back in their cabin, with a full hot bath, a plate of deliciousness and a mug of coffee.

A moment later Remal emerged through the small opening, now that it was little bit wider thanks to Zio and Patin. There was no disguising the energy signatures, all they could do was bolt for the exit and try to find cover before the trackers landed.

The grotto was a large cavernous area with a rocky terrain covered with growth due to the water which flowed through the lower area. The stream had cut a path through the mountain's interior for centuries, creating a space teeming with unique life. As with most of Bajoran culture, the interior had once been discovered, catalogued, and then left alone in its natural state. Remal took it in for a moment before Patin grabbed him by the tunic and urged him on.

The sound of the transport was everywhere as it echoed off the rock walls. The only thing for certain was that it was getting louder as it grew closer. The group of six pressed on, following the river's flow, the easy path to a way out.

Panting as they climbed over a large rock, Remal asked, "How long before we can get a signal out?" He was worried they would have to fight whatever was coming for them and with their limited weapons they would be outgunned.

The sound of a transport overhead and the token potshots from unskilled fighters answered the question.



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