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Breckinridge One: Breaking Waters - Part 2

Posted on 17 Aug 2022 @ 10:20am by Master Chief Petty Officer Callan McNeil CallSign: FishSmoke & Lieutenant JG Hannah Wagner & Senior Chief Petty Officer Lex Navine

Mission: M3 - Into the Deep
Location: Obsidan Command & Tribal Village Obsidian
Timeline: MD: 03 17:35hrs
3815 words - 7.6 OF Standard Post Measure

.: [Katha-Yunathi Tribe Village] :.


The rear hatch opened and Lonj was there "Glad you're back Fish, things are going downhill fast! A Noroc Tchuru Priest turned up, he's saying something about how the Headman's grandchild is going to die because the village accepted our help with the water. J'beth is arguing with him but it's turning ugly!"

"Damn, lets get down there" McNeil grimaced, grabbing the surgical case. Part of their mission was to win some hearts and minds, not cause a religious incident.

"Jingles, pull a couple of sidearms, just in case, but keep them covered ok"

"Got it Fish" Bell drew two phasers from the weapons locker and stuffed them under her jacket.

McNeil tossed Wagner a wide sun-hat from a locker. "Put that on Doc, it's pretty brutal out here" Clamped his own down on his head and followed Lonj back out of the hatch into the blazing sunlight.

"Add brutal sunshine to the list of perks of this place" she muttered before jamming the hat on her head and letting her curls fall behind it. She tied it under her chin and

They made their way back down the rocky path. A crowd was gathered in the clearing around the water hole, they were grouped around J'Beth and a couple of the Elders, opposite them was a stranger, in a grubby white robe, carrying a staff and wearing some kind of ornate head dress.

The four of them were shouting and gesticulating angrily.

The priest stood his ground, repeating loudly a chant of some kind and holding up his staff turned horizontally. The staff was topped with a polished metallic sun symbol super imposed with a symbolic eye, fitted in the center with red faceted glass through which light scattered.

"You have cursed the life source of your entire tribe." The old man's voice was forced through a parched tongue. His craggy fingers gripped the staff which he held forward as if he were managing a protective field, a ward against the curse so it would not affect him as he delivered the prophecy. "By working with sky-devils, you have set yourselves against the Divine One. Today you will pay for this abasement! The favor of the Divine One leaves you even now! I have seen it written in the fleeting of the sand over the stones!"

J'Beth brindled in fury "Nonsense! We have done nothing to offend the Divine One. The sky dweller simply cleansed our water hole of the pestelance put there by the minions of the evil one!

We are ever faithful and I cannot belive the Divine One in his might would wish us to be sickly!" J'Beth countered

"The child will be taken from you!" He rasped, shaking the staff. "The babe will die for your sin of taking the easy paths offered by the spawn of the Firey one! The Divine One turns his face from Katha-Yunathi! You forsake Him and are forsaken!"

"We have done no such thing!" One of the Elders shouted back. The other one looked cowed and grabbed at J'Beth's arm, trying to pull him back but the old man was not backing down.

"My grandchild is innocent! Why would the Divine One send his rage against the innocent who have not sinned againt him? You are mistaken priest!"

"What exactly is a Noroc Tchuru Priest?" Dr Wagner asked as she straightened. She wasn't tall, but once she was on solid ground she was a formidable presence, when she had a mission to accomplish.

"Trouble! With a capital T" McNeil muttered, keeping an eye on the argument. "They hold themselves to be the sole arbitrators of the will of the Divine One, the local deity. They hold a lot of power here and they don't like us, or anyone who comes from space."

"Couple weeks back they tried massacering hundreds of people because they determined them to be under the influence of their bad guy , the Firey One" Lonj added. "This priests don't just rant and rave Doc, down here they execute people!"

"Lovely" she muttered sottovocce before tipping her head up in defiance , and she spoke in a strong clear voice that carried to the shouting elders "And if the babe does Not die?"

The priest backed away, seeing the surrounding federation sky devils and their side arms, but gave his final warning. "The transgressions will be paid! The Firey one offers miracles for your allegiance and so honeys the trap to bind the people of the Divine! You cannot cheat the Divine One of his edicts. Live not among the sky-devils. Learn not their crafts. Lest you become needful of them and all the grit of your teeth be lost and you scattered among the sands in the last. The prophet of the Divine has forewarned!" He stomped his feet to loose the dust from them. "Your fate I will not bear with you."

With his final pronouncements he descended the rock.

"Fearmongering tactics are at their worst with old men who are afraid of change. " Hannah licked her lips, looked at the chief who was clearly concerned for his daughter. "Take me to the girl, please."

J'Beth turned to look at the new woman. Anger but also worry in his eyes, he tried to live a faithful and just life, and encouraged that within his villagers. He did not believe the Divine One would seek retribution on an innocent for letting the sky dwellers cleanse their water supply, but he knew the power of the Noroc Tchuru and many of his people would worry over the priest's word. He had been leader for many years, but some might use this as an excuse to challenge him. He would need to tread carefully here.

"Who this woman?!" he demanded of McNeil, regaining his composure and authority.

"She is a skilled Healer" McNeil stepped forward. He spoke clearly so that others could hear. "She came at our request to help the daughter and grandchild of J'Beth. We are not of this village, but we are friends to this village. We do not follow the Firey One.

As with the water hole, we seek only to help the Katha-Yunathi. You can chose J'Beth, please let her try and save your family"
J'Beth looked from McNeil to Wagner. He knew he needed their help, but cautious of his reputation he turned to consult with his Elders.

One nodded consent, the other was still unsure. "What if the Priest speaks truth? You would curse our entire village!"

"Do you think these people wish us ill? That they came to poison our water? You saw them work hard, in the heat and sun, to cleanse the water." J'Beth asked "You think the Divine One wants the lives of my daughter and grandchild for that?"

"I do not know..." The Elder shrugged "I did not think so, but they are from the sky, who can truly say? The ways of the Fiery One are devious.

If the sky dweller Healer is true, and the Divine One, who sees all, sees her truth, she should accept the blood trade. If your daughter and grandchild die, she is a servant of fire and her life must be forfeit! She must be cast out upon the sand, along with he who accepted them in!

If they live, then the priest was mistaken, the sky dwellers are friends as they say and thus it is The Will of the Divine One.
If she refuses the trade, we will know she is evil The new water hole and that contraption must be destroyed! They must all be banished and never return! Along with he who accepted them in!

Or do not accept their help, send them away now, place the lives of your daughter and grandchild in the hands of the Divine One that His will be done..."

J'Beth grimaced. Here was the challenge, from an old friend too. He gave the Elder a long hard look. The man had drawn a sand ring around him and they both knew it.

He glanced at the other Elder, the man was concerned, J'Beth could see in his eyes that he recognized the trap J'Beth had been set.

The Elder nodded slowly. "It is harsh my friend, but it is our way. It would show us the Divine One's will J'Beth, whatever the result, none may counter."

J'Beth nodded, he caught sight of his second wife, she had come out from the birthing hut. She stood with his first wife, there were tears in both their eyes but they both nodded to him.

J'Beth turned to McNeil and Wagner, again he spoke that the tribe would hear his words. "I believe the sky dwellers came to help us and I allowed them into our village. The Noroc Tchuru priest has said they are false and servants of fire, that my own flesh is cursed by my actions.

I have been given the choice, to ask for their help or to send them away.
If the sky Healer is true, and can save my children, will she stand with me and accept the blood forfeit?
If she fails, she, and I, will be cast out upon the sands!

If she refuses, she and the rest of the sky dwellers will be banished, along with myself and my family.

I chose to ask for their help! Let the Divine One, who sees all, show us if there is truth in their hearts!"

The crowd of villagers turned to look at McNeil, Wagner and the crew.

"Dammit!" McNeil cursed under his breath "Doc, this is serious. You accept and something happens to the mother or child they will try to drag you out on the sand behind one of those big beetles and leave you there to die! You and J'Beth both. But we can't let that happen, which is going to create one almighty incident.

We have to refuse. We will need to leave right now! We'll be lucky if they don't chase us out of here with stones!. Jingles go get Sheila out here now! Lonj be ready we're going to heading up the track as fast as we can!"

"I have no intention of letting either of them die." Hannah said holding up her hand, to stop any argument. "I have been asked for my help, and I will give it. I will accept the consequences of that choice. "

"This is serious Doc" McNeil cautioned "These people will try and kill you if it goes wrong and we will have to stop them, which means using these " he gestured to their phasers "And more people getting hurt or even killed..."

"Trust in my ability. Please. If you can't then go back to the ship and wait for me." Her temper was beginning to flare, if they would just get out of her way and let her actually do her job, that would be perfect. Every moment they made her wait put the baby in more danger.

McNeil looked around a moment. If this went wrong there would be hell to pay, not just for them but the Headman and his family too. But if Wagner was able to help, and she was confident in her abilities, then this situation could be resolved in everyone's favor and Starfleet would have made a damn good impression on these people's lives.

"All right Doc" He nodded "You're the boss, we'll try it. "

He waved to J'Beth that they would stay. The Headman nodded his thanks.

J'Beths wives both came over to guide Wagner to the hut and lead her inside.

.: [Katha-Yunathi Tribe Village - Headman's House] :.


It took a moment for Hannah's eyes to adjust to the dim light of the tent, but her nose registered several things at once and had difficulty with the combination. She sneezed, three times before muttering "Well that's a good omen." under her breath, for it was good luck where she came from.

The hut was constructed of mud bricks and roughly shaped stones, it had a corbelled roof and was quite large. The first roof was dimly lit by a couple of lamps, but a further doorway was bathed in light and the sounds of moaning and wailing came from within.

There was a female voice speaking Standard. "It's ok Mesantha, hold on a little longer. We've got a Doctor coming down to help, they'll be here soon"

The two wives led Wagner to the doorway. The room was perhaps some sort of bed chamber, although the rustic furniture had all been cleared to the sides of the room, leaving an empty space in the middle. The light came from a Starfleet portable light that was set up on a wooden chest

A Human Woman in a paramedic's flight-suit was speaking with a young Obsidian woman who was waddling around the room, her simple shift pulled up around her knees, clearly in pain and distress. There was another older Obsidian woman there, she too was speaking soothingly to the younger woman in their native tongue.

The paramedic looked around hearing people enter and focused on Wagner. She came over. "Doc? Sorry I don't know you, but I'm glad you're here!

I'm Petty Officer Stevens, Paramedic on Breckinridge One." She handed over a medical tricorder. "Took that about a minute ago. Patient is Mesantha, she's about eighteen, this is her first child, it's a boy, she's at full term. Been in labor about nine hours now, fully dilated but it's a Frank Breech birth. Now, I think the umbilical cord is getting compressed, as the baby's oxygenation is starting to fall, it's down to about eighty-three percent. That's down from eighty-nine three minutes ago."

"Lovely, have you done any interventions?" she asked softly, as she approached Mesantha and bowing slightly to her. "Mesantha, my name is Hannah. I am a Healer and I would like to help."

"Negative Doc, been a while since midwife class" Stephens replied. Still not sure who this new Lieutenant was.

"Next time you come across this, a dose of tri-ox is appropriate" a brief smile crossed Hannah's lips as she raised her eyes to the Medic.

Suspicion warred with pain in the young woman's gaze, but the tears dried on her cheeks told a story of her ordeal. "I wish for this to be over. Why does he not come?"

"Well, your baby is turned the wrong way around. and he can't be born with his legs crossed inside your belly, like this." She seated herself in the position the baby was in, with her legs crossed and her knees sticking out.

That seemed to make sense to all the women in the room, and Hannah caught a slight smile from the woman who had led her here, Mesantha's mother. The girl's voice was exhausted, but she spoke firmly "How can you help?"

"You have 3 choices. I can turn him around so he comes out the right direction. I can straighten his legs out so he can come out backwards. Or if I need to, I can cut him from your belly. " There was no point in not being blunt about it, she knew that women died in childbirth. "You would not feel any pain in any of the choices."

The girl's dark eyes got huge, and it was that moment that she was taken by a contraction that didn't even leave her enough breath to cry out. Instinctively, Hannah reached out and t he girl leaned heavily onto her. Once she was able to draw breath she sobbed into the lab coat Hannah was wearing.

"Draw me up 100cc's of tri-ox would you please Stevens?"

Steven nodded, withdrew a hypo from her case, filled it with the correct amount of the drug and handed it to the Lieutenant. "Here you go Doctor"

"Call me Hannah, or Doctor Wagner if you absolutely must. " The hypo hissed at Mesantha's throat and all the women in the room tensed until the girl seemed to immediately breathe easier.

"Copy that Doc... Hannah" Steven smiled

"What's the oxygenation on the baby now?" Hannah asked as her eyes flickered gold in the light of the room. "You must choose Mesantha, whether you wish to push this child into the world, or allow me to bring him forth. But you must choose now. "

"Rising, both mother and child" Stevens reported "Baby is up to ninety four"

"Mother, I don't want to die..." the exhausted girl whispered into the stillness that had fallen in the room once the doctor's words had faded from the room.

"Your father called to the Divine One for aid. The Divine one brought her here from the skies in a great metal bird, to help you." Her hands stroked through the girls sweaty hair and then rested her forehead on her daughters. They looked very similar right then, and Hannah could see whom Mesantha favored in her looks. "You must make your choice, as we have all made ours."

"Will Father be ashamed if I choose to end this now?"

"Father will stand by you his beloved daughter....and our grandson will be the light of his world. He will praise the Divine one for his life, and for yours."

Conversations of faith made Hannah uneasy, but they were a part of life for many cultures. Her faith had been shaken, when she was young and she'd never managed to fully regain her blind devotion to the divine.

.: [Katha-Yunathi Tribe Village] :.


"How long has it been?" McNeil asked

"About ten minutes since you asked last time, so just over two hours now" Bell replied

"If this is her first child and she doesn't want surgery this could take all night Fish" Lonj added

"Yeah, I'm not sure some people are going to wait that long"

Since Wagner had entered J'Beth's house tension in the village had been rising. The Headman was on the other side of the clearing, sat under some scraggly trees, with maybe twenty or thirst other villagers. The mood over there seemed patient and optimistic but that was perhaps a little forced.

A smaller group, of maybe a dozen, were gathered around the hut of one of the village's other Elders. They were having muttered conversations and several were glaring openly at McNeil and his crew.

It was still dangerously hot, even this late in the afternoon, it would get dark soon and McNeil was getting concerned of things escalating once the sun went down.

"Alright here's the plan. Jingles I want you up in the ship, get it flight prepped and ready to go, just don't start up yet. Oh, and make sure you close the hatch, don't want anyone getting ideas of sneaking onboard.

You better let Control know what's going on. Lev should still be on duty, tell him exactly what's happening and that we might need to get out of here in a hurry.

Lonj and I will stay here. If it goes bad, we'll get the Doc and Shelia and stay right outside J'Beth's house. You bring the ship to us, drop it right down in front of the house and keep the thrusters running, that should keep people back for a while. Pop the hatch, we'll get aboard and you dust off A-SAP!

He tapped the phaser on his belt. "If we need to use these, it's stun setting only. That lot -" He nodded toward the small group "- might want to get all blood thirsty but I'm not killing anyone over this"

Bell nodded, "What about J'Beth and his family?"

"I don't know, if they want to come with us then we'll try and get them on, but our personnel are the priority. If it's not safe to wait for them, then he's going to have to take his chances with his own people. Clear?"

Bell and Lonj nodded

"Jingles, head up the path, nice and casual like and -" he stopped midsentence.

There was movement at J'Beth's house, the door opened and Wagner emerged, carrying something in her arms.

Hannah had delivered on her word, and handed the bundle screaming, dark haired bruised faced little boy to his grandfather. He'd gotten a little stuck, and it had taken all of her expertise to deliver him safely.

Both groups, those around J'beth at the tree and those by the other Elder's house stopped their discussions and turned to look as the Doctor crossed over to J'Beth.

Hannah had delivered on her word, and handed the bundle screaming, dark haired bruised faced little boy to his grandfather. He'd gotten a little stuck, and it had taken all of her expertise to deliver him safely.

The old man came forward and took the baby gently from her.

"He's a big lad, weighed in at 9lbs 8oz. Mesantha is sleeping, but well."

"So I see" J'beth nodded, "But he must yet be inspected and accepted by the tribe"

Opening the clothe the baby was wrapped in and J'Beth carefully inspected his new grandson. Seeing no deformity or mark of evil he held the child up for all to see. "I accept this child, before the eyes of the Divine One and of my Tribe, I take this boy as my Grandson!"

He turned and presented the baby to another man, his daughter's husband. He too carefully inspected the child, then held it up. "I too accept this child, before the eyes of the Divine One and of my Tribe, I take this boy as my first-born son!"

The group around them applauded and came forward to congratulate the two men, then to see and accept the child into the tribe themselves. Those around the other Elder gradually came over and joined in accepting the child.

Finally, the Elder came over. He too gave the baby a careful inspection. Silence fell over the villagers as he did so. The old man took his time.

Finally, he turned to J'Beth and nodded. "I accept this child into the tribe of the Katha-Yunathi!" he said loudly and clearly, holding the baby up. "He is free from evil!"

That set them off again for another round of applause and congratulations.

J'Beth pushed his way out of the throng and came over to Wagner.

"Though you are of the sky, I believe the Divine One sent you to help us. The priest was mistaken. You are welcome in the village of the Katha-Yunathi"

"My thanks, Elder J'Beth." she responded politely, Hannah's smile holding a hint of pride in the part she'd played here. Her tired eyes raised to the others, standing a ways away from the house and she nodded once. Then she gestured for them to join what was all set to turn into a raucous party.

 

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