513: Going Down

by TC Blane and Zanh Liis
Following Blown Away
-=Soundtrack: 24 by Jem=-

-=Inside The Farm, a concealed medical research facility on Klaestron IV=-

Zanh Liis continued her search, making sure her new Klaestron companion stayed a step ahead of her as she kept her eyes sharp and her phaser ready.

Private security patrolmen were now swarming the building; their orders were to ensure that no one got in but also more importantly that no one got out.

"In here," the Klaestron grabbed Liis by the sleeve and pulled her into a large supply closet as the patrols drew nearer. Once inside, they listened as heavy, booted footsteps paraded past.

"Be sure you secure A7 first," a male voice directed. "Those subjects are still ambulatory enough to try to leave."

"Yes, Administrator."

After most of the steps retreated, Liis and the woman heard one lone set of feet still pacing back and forth in front of the closet door. "What a disaster," the voice lamented. "This couldn't have happened after the next group of subjects was sent away..."

Liis held her breath as the sound of him thumping his fist against the door in frustration rattled her to the bone.

Directing his vision downward the man now observed with curiosity that the light in the closet had been left on. He sighed as he regarded it, shining through the crack at the bottom of the door. *Careless janitors...* he thought, but then another idea crossed his mind and replaced the first.

He decided he'd better open the door to make certain that none of their ambulatory subjects was hiding out inside.

His hand moved upward toward the handle and grasped it. Liis' heart was in her throat as she heard the tell-tale clicking of the latch and was certain they were about to be discovered.

She had failed.

*I'm sorry, Keiran,*

Just as the man was about to pull the door open wide, at the last instant he was called away by another voice. He released the handle and moved off.

Liis shuddered a sigh of relief as silence prevailed once more in the corridor beyond. *Guardian angels, indeed,* she thought, as she wondered which one from the ranks Keiran's often mentioned 'Heavenly Host' had been sent to watch over young O'Sullivan and his would-be band of rescuers. Herself included.

"That was Administrator Traen," the Klaestron woman informed her. "He runs the research program here."

"Exactly what kind of research and-" Liis stopped talking as more people hurried past. These were shouting back and forth over their communications devices about the fire outside and how the flames that had spread to the building were nearly contained now. Then they said something more which truly alarmed her.

"The Lestath Community Guard just arrived on scene."

"Not local law enforcement." Traen groaned. "Don't let them in the building! Don't let them talk to anyone inside!"

"It's too late, Administrator, they said they're coming in. There is a male Trill on the edge of the roof, shouting that he's going to jump if we don't agree to release the angry mob of Ambulatory Volunteers that have managed to escape the ward and are now congregating up there."

*Jesus Christ, Reece...* Liis thought, *When you create a secondary diversion, you really create a secondary diversion.*

"I want those people secured! If they talk to law enforcement," Traen began to panic. "Tell them that that level houses the psychiatric patients, and they are all delusional. I'll be there as soon as I can."

The squad of security men hurried past, and then all was silent.

"What kind of research happens here!" Liis demanded once more.

"Scientific. Mostly creating medicines and-"

"Pharmaceutical research?" Liis opened the door and seeing that the hallway was once again clear, began searching for the elevators or better yet; a stairwell.

"The Klaestron are known for our medical breakthroughs, not only for our own people but for the benefit of other worlds."

"So who do you do this great testing on? Tell me that."

"Our subjects are patients from standard government hospitals, who submit to having their illnesses studied. Or they're healthy volunteers who want to further science and try to prevent the suffering of others," The woman replied earnestly.

"You actually believe that?" Liis shook her head at the young woman's naiveté. "Really? After what you just heard, you still believe that?"

"How else would they get the volunteers to," she stopped. She thought a moment, and then she turned much paler than she had been a moment before.

They passed a bank of turbolifts, but Liis thought twice, not wanting to take the time to try to override the security protocols which surely restricted their use.


"That way,"

They ran around a corner and down another long corridor before the emergency stairwell came into view.

"Up or down?"


"Listen to me carefully." Liis hissed, as they reached the stairs and she began to descend them three at a time. "My friend Carrick is very important, and I have been sent by powerful people to get him out of your little volunteer program. So I need you to tell me exactly where you saw him last and what condition he was in."

" 71282..." she paused, "I mean, Carrick, was very weak. From the drain. They took so much more out of him than they usually..." Atien suddenly began to connect random statements and sights she'd seen in the past twelve weeks since she began working here as a physician's assistant...and realized now that they were adding up to something very dark.

Zanh stopped as they reached the door to access the administrative offices level. If she could get to the computer with that patient ID number, hopefully it would tell her where he was now. "Can you gain access to the database to find out where they've taken him?"

"I don't have clearance to access more than the parts of his files relevant to my own job," the woman explained sadly.

"Of course you don't." Liis realized that she didn't have time to try to hack into the computer, she was going to have to just keep looking. Quickly.

They continued down another flight of stairs, and Liis was about to blast the door open on this level if she had to as the sound of another security patrol approaching from above echoed all around them. She realized that this floor housed the security command post; someplace they definitely did not want to visit.

"Come ON." She urged, taking another flight of stairs down as fast as she could run. "This 'drain'. What is it and where would they take him afterward?"

"Blood donation and filtering...it's," she paused, "They said they were sending him home."

"Where do they take the ones to send home?" Liis fought to catch her breath as they continued on. "I'd ask you by name but,"

"My name is Atien." The woman volunteered. "They take them to B4, one more level down. Discharge is there."

"Is there anything else there?"

"The morgue."

Now things were coming together in Liis' mind. "Have you ever actually been to Discharge, Atien?"

"It's restricted to only those who are going to process the volunteers for release,"

"Or who are going to dispose of their bodies," Liis breathed more rapidly. She was on the verge of panic, but reminded herself that too much was riding on this for her to lose her focus now. They reached the access door marked B4, and as Liis expected, it was secured by multiple locks. "Is there another way in?"

"You don't understand. We need an authorization code to get anywhere on these levels-"

"Like fun. Watch this." Liis took her phaser and turned down the confinement on the beam, using it to cut away the exterior panel of the door controls and beginning to perform some creative electrical work on the locking mechanisms.

She stripped the coating off the tips of the wires with her ragged fingernails, then crossed several more wires and shoved them back into the panel. The computer beeped again, then released the doors.

Atien's mouth hung open.

"I've been around the block a time or two." Zanh huffed, short of breath from running down all those stairs.

"I think it's this way," the Klaestron instructed, leading onward.

They came around the next corner and on the other side stood a familiar figure.

That familiar figure reacted immediately to their arrival by pointing a phaser directly at Zanh's head.

"Hey, it's me," Zanh announced. "Did you see any areas down here marked 'Discharge'?"

"All that's down here is the morgue, Captain," Blane informed her. The Klaestron woman gasped and TC now trained his phaser on her. "Friend of yours?"

"She's with me for the moment, but keep an eye on her." Zanh instructed. "She said she's seen him. Where is Steele?"

"I was about to try hot-wiring this elevator so we could get out of here, so I made her go search coffins for the kid."

As Steele came running toward them now, Zanh could only hope that she hadn't found him in one of them.

"'Carrick isn't here," Landry called. As much as she hated to admit it even to herself, she was glad to see Zanh Liis.

"Dane?" Zanh asked as Blane analyzed the controls outside the lift.

"Haven't seen him since they dropped us off down here."

"He probably ditched his comm, too risky if he got caught wearing a wire."

"Hi." Landry said suddenly, turning to the unfamiliar woman with the Captain. A woman whose eyes were boring through her. "How are you."

"We need a destination to aim for here," Blane glared at the Klaestron. "Anyone have any helpful suggestions?"

"Where else could they have taken him, Atien?" Zanh demanded.

Atien was conflicted. She would surely lose her job, that much was certain already, she'd left her post. But the thing that worried her was losing her life. She had heard stories she never believed until now, about employees at The Farm going missing, disappearing...and she'd also heard rumors about something called Harvesting.

She wondered now if those who had 'disappeared' had found out that the myth was reality.

"C6," Atien replied. "It's the most heavily restricted area of all...if there is really anything up there."

"What do you think is up there?" Blane asked.

"Surgical suites," Atien droned, her spirit completely broken. "For organ harvesting."

Blane glanced at Zanh and then back to Atien. “Restricted huh.”

Suddenly he produced a knife from seemingly out of nowhere as he stepped forward again, toward a console on the wall. He used the blade to pop open the panel to expose the wires inside.

After an initial inspection, he reached in a yanked out two wires that sent a small spark wafting down.

He fully intended to hijack this elevator. The only problem was that the wires he needed to cross would not reach each other.

Zanh kept her phaser raised and covered Blane's back as he worked.

“Steele, find something that I can use for a conducting bridge.” He ordered.

Landry nodded and looked around for something that could be used as a bridge to carry the current between the two wires that TC had pulled out. He glanced around as well, dismayed that she couldn't find anything that would be suitable.

"The one time I leave my earring at home," Zanh grumbled, knowing that it would have done the job rather nicely.

Steele continued thinking a moment longer, then looked at Blane and shrugged. “I’m sorry sir.”

TC had now stripped the wires, exposing the ends. “OK never mind get your butt over here. Captain, please stand back.”

Landry jogged over, frowning as Blane's request to the Captain gave her pause.

“Here hold onto these.” He offered one wire to each of her hands and she instinctively grabbed them.

“Ouch!” She yelped as she received a shock from them. “That stings!”

TC nodded. “Yup it will. I need you to hold on to them, keep the connection active. You’re the bridge.”

Landry shuddered and another shock hit her. “No way! First you knock me out and now this?” She dropped the wires. “You're nuts! Why don’t you hold on to them and get your ass shocked?”

TC glared at her. “Fine.” He flipped his phaser around and held it out to her, handle first. “I’ll hold onto the wires and you can dispatch whatever security is at C6 and be responsible for the protection of the Captain.”

Landry glared at the commander for a long second. Holding onto the wire and dealing with the electrical shock seemed to be a far better choice then having to deal with the inevitable violence that she was certain was waiting for them at their destination.

With a disgruntled snort she snatched the wires back up and drew in a deep breath before touching the exposed ends. She shook as the first shock hit her.

TC turned back to the captain and her newfound guide as the lift doors slid open. “All aboard.” He said with a smile.

"As I've said before, Mister Blane," Zanh marveled, ripping the interior control panel from the wall and assisting Blane so they could also override the lift's internal security protocols, "You're a handy guy to have around."

-=/\=-Zanh Liis
Captain of the Serendipity


Commander TC Blane
Second Officer
USS Serendipity NCC-2012