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Duty Log | Cmdr Almar Dahe'el | XO | "Frozen in time, thawed by forge-light..."

Posted on 241709.11 @ 13:49 by Commander Almar Dahe'el

Mission: Ballynamony

Crunch… Crunch…

Another set of footsteps in the snow, crisp and covered in frost, a trail laid out behind them showed a slow and consistent pace.

Crunch… Crunch…

Patrick Stack moved through the garrison like he belonged, to everyone that could see him he was a higher ranking cannon engineer, he was a Lieutenant in whatever passed for an army in this day and age and it gave him relative freedom to explore the garrison at his leisure. He assumed that part of that was due to the rank and part was due to his size, he was a good head taller than most of the Humans in the garrison, the only people who came close to his size were the smiths and carpenters, even the other cannon engineers paled in comparison.

He was looking, but not looking at the same time, for the prison or wherever they were holding the prisoners, rumour ran rife throughout the garrison about the aliens that had been found but no-one dared to speak of where they were being held. There was also talk of an execution but Almar was trying to put that out of his mind, the last thing he wanted to consider was the fact that some of his crew mates, some of them relatively new, would be facing the death sentence on a forgotten planet that hadn’t existed for such a long time.

Crunch…

Stopping mid-step, Patrick found his gaze drawn towards a small, squat building that was almost buried below the snow, where soldiers gathered against other buildings and seemed to flow in and out at regular intervals, this one stood alone and almost abandoned, only the occasional guard arriving and leaving. It was also sunk into the ground as if it were meant to be out of sight and out of mind, a place to stick the undesirables. A quick glance around him found a stack of logs up against the wall of the smithy, he moved over to them and bought the coat he’d acquired up and around his form like a makeshift blanket, he brushed the worst of the snow off with his sleeve and sat down on them with a sigh as he leant on the wall for warmth.

Observation.

Almar had become an expert at observing Human nature over the years and set himself about the task of watching the guards and his fellow soldiers as they moved around the prison block, they always looked to try and avoid it if possible, the guards were obviously uncomfortable as they came and went, they practically ran as the time approached for them to leave the building. From behind him, a voice made itself known and for a few moments, he found himself ignoring it before the figure cleared it’s throat again, “Lieutenant, sir?” the young man asked again.

“Sam, right? The Smith’s boy?” Patrick replied as he turned to face the newcomer and smiled slightly, “What can I do for you?” he asked as he looked him up and down, according to word around the garrison he was only fifteen but he was tall and muscled from years of working the forge alongside his master.

“Yessir, Lieutenant, sir.” the boy replied with a bright smile as he snapped to some form of attention and shuffled his feet a few times in the mud that had formed outside the door of the smithy, “Master Tom wants to know if you’ll join him for a mug of forge-warmed tea instead of sitting out here like a gargoyle?” he asked with a chuckle at his master’s comments.

Patrick allowed himself a chuckle despite the freezing conditions he was sat in and nodded in agreement, “Of course I’ll join him, let him know I’ll be in shortly.” the holo-covered Cardassian replied as he glanced between the warm and inviting orange glow of the forge and the cold, snow covered prison block. He pushed himself to his feet slowly and stamped them a few times to get some life back into them, the thermal regulator in his engineering coveralls was working overdrive as it attempted to compensate for the cold conditions. A few minutes after Sam had re-entered the forge, Patrick followed him and gave the master smith a bright smile and a respectful bow of the head as he moved around to far side of the forge and pulled up a seat close to it’s warmth, “Master Tom, I trust you’re well.”

The smith took a cast iron pot from the side of the forge and poured boiling water into three mugs he’d set out on the worktop next to him, the pot was discarded back next to the forge and he placed strainers over the top of the mugs and handed them out, one to Patrick and the other to his apprentice, “Aye, can be fair t’middlin’, Stack,” the smith replied with a grin that revealed several missing teeth, replaced by wooden dentures, “Y’know the score, they got me preppin’ t’gallows for them that’s in t’cells you been watchin’, me an’ Cal the carpenter.” he pressed the mug between both of his hands and allowed it to warm them, Patrick was doing the same and keeping himself from freezing, even in the warmth of the smithy, the breeze cut through him like a knife, “Ain’t s’posed to be known, but ain’t nothin’ kept secret in this place.”

“You’re not wrong there, Tom,” Patrick replied as he took a sip of the tea, it was earthy and bitter to the taste and without the luxury of sugar it was going to be an acquired taste, “I’ve heard tales of the nature of those held inside, what substance do you give to the rumours? Little green men from mars?”

“Heresy an’ lies…” Tom replied after a few minutes of thought and a sip of his own tea, he pulled a face at the taste but went back for a second before looking back at Patrick, “I’ve no time for stories ‘n’ fables, Stack, they ain’t nothin’ but spies an’ we’ll hang ‘em.” he added with certainty ringing in his voice.

Patrick simply sipped at his tea as Tom spoke and nodded along with the sentiments despite his whole being wanting to unload onto the man and reveal his true identity, over the crackling of the forge fire the sounds of boots crunching through the snow could be heard, the changing of the guard was happening outside and Almar made a mental note of it to report in when he made his way back, “So how’re the repairs coming along with the carriage on gun three?” Patrick asked, changing the subject back to business they had discussed a couple of times before, in his short time in the garrison Patrick had been pressed into service as an interim commander of the garrison’s gun teams.

“Best put’ya feet up, Stack,” Tom replied with a glint in his eye as he placed the mug down and reached for a few pieces of dark metal on the workbench, “We got a lot t’discuss.”

(To Be Continued…)

Commander Almar Dahe’el
Executive Officer
USS VINDICATOR NX 78213-F

Disguised as:
Lieutenant Patrick Stack
Artillery Engineer

 

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