Star Trek: Defiant

"Imperial Entanglements" - Part Six

Written by Kamiana Tyrrel

In the Captain's Ready Room, the USS Defiant

"Captain..." Lebin managed. "I tell you I have done nothing."

Bridges waved a hand at his desk screen. "I have to go by the evidence, Adam, you know that. Damn it do you think I like this?" He paused for a moment, took a deep breath, then continued. "You'll have plenty of chance to explain things at the court martial, once we get out of this to hold one."

He nodded with effort at Matute, who nodded back then spoke. "Adam come with me please." She too was fighting to keep her voice calm, praying silently that Lebin would not make too much of a fuss right now and let them all get through this.

Lebin shook his head. He couldn't believe this was happening again, why did it seem like he couldn't keep out of the brig and without having done anything to warrant that either?

With his thoughts in a whirl as he tried to figure out what in the universe had happened and how he'd find a way out of this one he nodded and followed Jen out of the room and through the corridors to the brig.

* * *

A short while later, in the USS Defiant's Science Lab

The news had buzzed through the ship's grapevine rather quickly, Lebin had been arrested and confined to the brig.

She knew the other Defiant was still towing them, that this ship had so far not managed to get its weapons systems back up (through her own carefully oh so carefully concealed efforts, of course).

Once they reached Imperial Starbase 225 they could transfer the crew en masse, that was the plan.

However, she could speed things up a bit more if she could get Lt. Cmdr. Lebin into the hands of her own people just a tad sooner, and getting him arrested was only the first step towards that goal.

She'd read the records of this ship, after all. She'd seen the account of the incident involving her counterpart and Lt. Cmdr. Lebin rescuing a kidnapped officer, and how Lebin had been framed for the alleged murder of that officer, and more importantly, how her counterpart had helped Lebin clear himself then.

It was time for that particular piece of history to repeat itself, or at least, to let Lebin think it was repeating itself.

As soon as her shift was over, she left Sciences and using the most roundabout route possible (just in case) she made her way to the brig.

* * *

Meanwhile, in the ISS Defiant's Brig

There was cold.

And darkness.

And pain, not only her body but her mind as well, she had been ripped apart and then put back together haphazardly, or at least that was what it felt like.

The twisted minds that were all around her only made it worse, she was too weak to shut them completely out of her own they hungered thirsted for pain her pain.

She pressed her hands to her eyes as if by doing so she could block the images, Captain Bridges, Rael, Mak, and Danorium, all of them had reveled in her suffering how could they, how could anyone.

What would they do with her, she wondered why had they not killed her already? Had they, had they made her betray them, hurt the people she'd come to care for?

She'd fought so hard but Danorium had been too strong for her, and she couldn't be sure what he'd forced from her mind.

Was her Defiant still there? Or had they been captured, too?

No. the latter wasn't likely. If it had been the rest of the crew would now be here with her in the brig, unless they, unless...

No. she told herself firmly. She couldn't think that way. She just couldn't. Besides they wanted her ship its crew intact that was the impression she'd gotten.

Damn it it hurt to think even to move but she had to hold on, she had to be ready. The next time that force field came down, she prayed silently that she'd have the strength to make a break for it. She wasn't sure she did but she'd have to, she'd just have to.

* * *

On board the USS Defiant, Ensign Kamiana Tyrrel reached the brig.

Seeing that Clark was there on guard she sighed. She had hoped not to have to deal with that one, but there were ways of handling such minor annoyances.

She plastered a seductive smile on her features and approached him.

"Ensign Clark," she cooed lasciviously. "I'm so sorry to bother you but could I please talk to Lebin, if it's not too much trouble of course..." She took his hand in her own, began caressing his fingers.

"Uh, Tyrrel..." he managed, a flush creeping across his face. "I... That is... I don't see why not..." He stammered. There hadn't been any orders to not let anyone talk to him, God was it getting hot in here or what?

"Oh thank you," she whispered, "I do so appreciate that..." and she suddenly pressed herself against him kissing him full on the lips.

"Wh..." was all he had time to get out before she'd pressed him against the wall.

What he didn't see was her other hand coming up and pressing a hypospray against his neck, there was only the kiss then darkness.

She smiled, then looking quickly around to make doubly certain she had not been seen by anyone else she bent over Clark and pressed her fingers into the contact points on his face, reaching out with her mind, she erased his memories of this little encounter, of her presence here.

That done (it only took a moment to plant that simple suggestion) she placed him back at the guard post, it would look as if he had merely fallen asleep on duty, if he were discovered before the transfer began that is.

Now for Lt. Cmdr. Lebin.

She reached the cell and putting on her best worried look.

"Adam, I'm sorry. I came as soon as I heard."

"Tyrrel?" he looked up at her, shaking his head. "I don't know what is going on, they say I'm the one that sabotaged the ship and I didn't."

"Of course you didn't," she replied firmly. "I know you'd never do anything like that." she smiled slightly. "Look, I'm here to help you, just like I did that other time remember?"

"What, oh, no. You don't mean..."

"Why not? Would you rather sit here and wait to be court martialed?" she put on her best pleading look. "If I get you out of here, I'll help you find out who really did this. I helped you clear yourself before, I will again."

Not that it would matter once this ship's crew was in the hands of Imperial Security and Intelligence, but she had to keep up the act a little while longer at least.

She didn't let any of that show on her features, though, only pleading and concern as she urged Lebin to escape.

Finally he yielded. It didn't take moments after that for her to bypass the security locks and shut down the force field at his cell (she'd planted a code in the programming to allow her to do just that, in case she'd had to use it to escape had they actually caught her).

That was, after all, what it had been intended for, but it would work just as well for this.

"Come on," she grabbed him, then tapped her commbadge with her free hand. But not on this Defiant's channel, the other one. The one she'd not used on this mission until now.

He barely had an instant to wonder what she was doing before the walls of the brig vanished in a shower of golden light...

....To reconstitute themselves a moment later. This time, though...

What in the???

He was inside the cell, just as he'd been before, but the cell looked different, somehow.

"Lebin," she smiled at him and it was a cold calculating smile that sent a chill up his spine.

"What the hell is this, Tyrrel?" he snapped, seeing that the force field was back up. And why was she standing outside it, she'd been in here with him a moment ago...

"I said you'd find out who was responsible for this, didn't I?" She replied coolly. "I never said you'd be able to do anything about it."

She shook her head. "I hope you enjoy your accomodations, since you won't be leaving. I still have things to do though, and you know how it is, duty calls." She chuckled at that, then vanished in another golden beam.

It took every ounce of strength he had to keep from throwing himself at the force field in an attempt to wring the bitch's neck. He'd do that first chance he got though, after last night how could she, unless had that been part of whatever the hell this plan was?

He looked around the room again, registering now what it was that had seemed off about it...there were a number of devices built into this cell that didn't exist in his Defiant's. Things that looked like instruments of torture. He shook his head. If this Empire was anything like the one Kirk had encountered a century or so back they probably were.

That's when he heard the throat clearing from behind him.

He turned round, and his mouth dropped open in shock.

"So they got you, too, did they?" Kamiana whispered quietly, not wanting to contemplate the implications of his presence here. The fact that he was also a prisoner was pretty good evidence that he was from her own Defiant nad not this one. "I..." she struggled not to cry. "I was so hoping you'd get away. They must have the whole ship, then, if you're here."

She looked down at herself then back to him. It wasn't being naked she minded, but that that did nothing to hide what they'd done to her, well, maybe it was better he saw, then he'd know what was likely in store for him.

"Tyrrel," he tried again, there were a million and one questions and he didn't know which to ask first. "What's going on here, and how long have you been here."

She raised a hand to cut off the flow, though even that simple movement made her wince, the welts on her back were still raw and having had to lie on the metal floor (there being no cot in here) hadn't helped.

"I'm not sure... A day, maybe two." She put a hand to her head trying to massage away the pain there. "It hurts even to think but I've got to hold on. Lebin, there's someone here, he calls himself a Counselor but--but he's the strongest Betazoid I ever met and he..."

"He beat you." Lebin finished for her.

"No... not physically. He forced himself into my mind, no matter how hard I tried I couldn't stop him."

"Then?" He paused, almost afraid to ask the question but he had to know. He wanted to be prepared in case they started in on him.

Her dark eyes met his and there was so much raw anguish in them it was all he could do to keep himself from taking her into his arms.

"Mak..." she whispered in a dead voice after a long moment. "It was Mak. Only it wasn't. He wanted to hurt me. I could feel it!"

The pain of that knowledge hit her again, made all the worse by the clash between that and what she had shared with her Defiant's Mak. These people, all of them, such twisted versions of the ones she knew.

She struggled again to keep the tears back she couldn't give into them, not here and not now.

"We've got to get out of here. Before they start in on you, before they come for me again..." She closed her eyes for a moment. "I don't know how much more of this I can stand."

"We will. One way or another we're both getting back." He replied firmly. Although right at the moment he wasn't sure how they'd manage it, he had no doubt that they would.

* * *

On board the USS Defiant, Kamiana Tyrrel reappeared in a corridor and quickly made her way back to Sciences.

The silent watcher had trailed her to Security, but not interfered when the breakout had occurred. He had simply observed, the time to act was not yet. He had to know for certain just how far this went.

He had made his way to Security Central and waited, watching the shipboard monitors until she reappeared. He hadn't thought she would, but there she was. Alone.

He'd checked Ensign Clark, the man would be all right, she'd only given him a mild sedative. He supposed that was a point in her favor, though only a little one.

There was still anger though he held it in check behind an icy mask. It had been one thing the business with Lebin last night but now to betray her shipmates and crew this way?

He would have taken oath that Kamiana would never have done such a thing.

But her own actions were clear evidence of that, weren't they?

Then it clicked.

There was an alternate of the Captain. They'd all seen him on the comm channel.

If there was a counterpart for Bridges it was only logical that there were doubles for everyone else as well, including...

Frag it, that was it. It had to be.

The woman who he had had dinner then, spent time with, in the holodeck last night was Kamiana, the one he'd known these last few months.

But the one who'd snubbed him in Eight-Forward, then gone off with Lebin, the one he'd told Marinus felt wrong, as if her entire aura had changed, the one he'd been watching all day, had to be the Tyrrel from the ISS Defiant.

It was all making sense now. Somehow the two Kamis had been switched, but then, where was the other one? What could be happening to her?

The icy mask grew colder than ever. He would find her. And if they had hurt her, or worse, well, someone would pay.

* * *

Elsewhere on the USS Defiant, Matute had put Security on full alert. Not that they hadn't been on alert already, ever since the crisis had begun, but now that Lebin had apparently escaped, the alert had intensified, not only in the admittedly vain hope that he was still on board, but to be prepared in case the ISS Defiant decided to beam any of their personnel over.

* * *

In the brig of the ISS Defiant, Ensign Tyrrel sat looking across at Lt. Cmdr. Lebin and waited. For the first time since she'd found herself in the nightmare of this ship she had a real hope of getting back.

They hadn't taken Lebin to the Agony Booth yet, nor had Cmdr. Danorium shown up, which was likely deliberate, intended to rattle him, make him more apprehensive about just when the blow would come.

Suddenly the sounds of movement in the corridor alerted them.

Both stood up, Kamiana still moving slowly from the pain, it had not just been her back, after all, the angry welts ran down the backs of her legs as well.

Three figures appeared at the entrance, Lt. Friese, and Ensign Clark and Joel, all with looks of pure malice on their faces.

Lebin merely glanced at Kamiana, not daring to say anything aloud within earshot of the Security officers. He hoped she was ready, they'd only have a second or two's chance.

"You," snarled Friese, pointing at Lebin, "you're for the Booth. Now. Are you going to come quiet like, or do I have to come in there and drag you?" From his tone it sounded almost as if he would prefer to do just that. Kamiana had to struggle not to retch at the graphically violent images pouring through Friese's imagination. Not just the images but his enjoyment of them!

Lebin nodded. He took one slow step towards the entrance, another...

Then suddenly bolted forward, as did Kami, their rush taking the three by surprise if only for a moment.

That moment was long enough for Lebin to slam Friese against a wall and rush past him, while Kamiana kicked Joel in the stomach sending her gasping to the floor.

Lebin reached the end of the corridor and then heard a cry, turning to see Kamiana struggling in Clark's arm lock.

He took a step back towards her but she shook her head "No, go on get back, tell them."

She was cut off as Clark rammed his fist into her mouth.

Lebin ran for the nearest transporter, hoping this ship was enough like his own Defiant that there was one he could reach before Security caught him.

If only he'd been able to get Kamiana too.

A few minutes later, even as red lights flashed and a klaxon began sounding, he was able to activate the ISS Defiant's transporter long enough to beam out.

* * *

Materializing back on the USS Defiant, on the Bridge, much to the surprise of Captain Bridges and the crew.

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