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Not Exactly a Textbook First Contact

Posted on Mon Dec 10th, 2018 @ 9:11pm by Commander Martin Sorenson & Karrun North

Mission: A Misguiding Hand
Location: Braxia, near crash site

"Put you hands up and turn around slowly."

Ignoring Karrun's expletive, whatever it meant, Martin carefully lifted his hands and rotated slowly, trying to school his features to an appropriate expression for a father worried his kid had been anywhere near the explosion. It wasn't especially hard, since he was genuinely anxious as to the fate of the two Mirans. Suppressing the impulse to yell at someone for just blowing up a crash site without checking for survivors was a bit harder, but helped by the sight of old style projectile weapons pointed directly at him and Karrun.

The two men holding the weapons, who he assumed were militia based on their identical clothing, eyed them suspiciously. "What are you doing here?" one of them demanded.

"Looking for our son - he and his friend ran off to see the meteor," Martin replied, letting a hint of distress come through in his voice. "Have you seen them? Did anyone check the area before..." He turned a hand, indicating the destruction behind him.

"No, we only -" the second man began before a glare from his comrade shut him up.

"We ask the questions," the first stated tersely.

Karrun's lip began trembling as she began to sniff and then burst into tears pointing accusatorily at the two new comers to this awkward situation. "You! You bastards you killed my baby!" She let out an anguished cry as she sank to her knees.

Okay... so much for not yelling at people with firearms... Still, Martin was impressed. Tears on demand - Karrun was quite the actress. He decided to follow her lead, turning to reach toward her, while shooting an angry look at the militiamen. "What did you do!?"

"Nothing!" the younger man protested, his gun dipping as he reacted to apparently distraught parents. "We didn't -"

"Shut up!" his comrade snapped, leveling his gun at Martin's chest. "You, face forward." He frowned at Karrun. "You, get on your feet. We're taking you to the Colonel."

Karrun just cried as she struggled to her feet grasping tightly at Martin as she shook, almost cowering away from the weapon being pointed at her 'husband'. "They're dead, I know it. You killed them." She said morosely, eyeing the younger Braxian as covertly as she could. The elder obviously was alot more by the book, but if they could at least convince the younger one, get a champion so to speak it might make things easier. Besides, anyone with a heart would be turned by a grieving mother.

Covertly watching the younger guard, Martin could see him struggling between that effect and whatever orders were in place here. If he were the James Kirk type, he might look for that to create an opening to pull a gun away, knock out the guards and get away. But he wasn't a fighter; and even if he were, he had a sense that, especially among these paranoid Braxians, that sort of thing would only make the situation worse. Still, Karrun's performance just might help convince someone to release them. He briefly wondered if you could nominate someone for an Emmy for acting while on an away team. He however was nowhere near being that good at acting, and so simply played along, wrapping a supportive arm around his 'distraught wife' and scowling at the guards.

=/\= Colonel's tent, a short time later =/\=

Martin sat next to Karrun at a wooden table, upon which their gear was laid out on display like evidence while two guards stood at the door behind them to ensure they neither tried to use it nor escape. Thankfully, Karrun's act had had enough effect that the militia had only taken their bags for inspection rather than performing a more invasive search, so Martin's comm badge and medscanner were still in his shirt and coat pockets. His medkit, however, which any more serious inspection would show had various supplies much beyond the medical science of this world, was sitting right there in front of him. Martin clasped his hands together in his lap, willing himself not to grab it.

Karrun snaked her hand in between Martin's, clasping one tightly. Somewhat to stop the Doctor from doing something silly, somewhat to comfort herself, and finally somewhat to continue the act. She had decades of experience interacting with local populations, all where fundamentally different yet all the same during their early space faring years. They were so wonderous yet terrified of the future at the same time. The Braxians were so close to space, yet the universe was so vast and their own naturally tendency to mistrust made this difficult. She looked at him worriedly, they hadnt seen Evans or M'rrina nor the boys so there was still hope. "I'm sure the militia is just... worried, when they hear our story I'm sure they will help us find the boys."

"I hope so," Martin replied just as an officer, with what he assumed were Colonel's rank insignia, entered room.

The man came to a halt in front of the table. "I am Colonel Zorth," he announced and looked them over with a rather less than sympathetic expression. "And you are trespassers without valid identification who were found near the site of a mysterious explosion."

Martin felt a rush of hope at 'mysterious'. Maybe Jack and Nolan had set the shuttle to self-destruct, which would mean they'd gotten out. "You mean you didn't do that?"

"Blow up a site my unit was moving in to investigate?" He replied with terse sarcasm. "No. You, however, are prime suspects. You claim to be looking for boys who ran off to see the meteor, but how far could boys have run in one night? Most of my men are from this area and none of them knows you or has ever heard of you."

The relief Martin had felt at the news that the militia hadn't destroyed the shuttle, so just maybe Jack had been the one to do it, which hopefully meant he and Nolan had gotten clear, faded as the Colonel voiced his suspicions. He swallowed and offered what he hoped would pass as an explanation. "We keep to ourselves."

"We'll see." Zorth frowned. "We're running a check on your identities and you'll stay right here until it comes back. If you aren't who you say you are, your accommodations will become a lot less pleasant."

On that decidedly unpleasant note, he turned and left. The guards followed him out, but stopped just outside, taking up position to stand guard.

Martin cast a worried glance at Karrun and tossed a silent prayer to any local deities who might be listening that Vesta was monitoring transmissions from the site and would be able to intervene.


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