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Posted on Fri Sep 4th, 2015 @ 12:01am by Major Delvok

Mission: Discovery
Location: Marine Barracks
Timeline: Discovery


The marine barracks were a hive of activity. Marines dressed in camouflage fatigues and black combat boots moved around the space setting up their new flat pack assault course. The assault course was designed to be portable and could collapsed and carried between the company for training operations. It had been created at the request of Delvok with the assistance of the chief of operations, and now it took up half of the barracks as the marines assembled it for the first time.

Delvok moved amongst his company. This was the first time he had watched them operate as a team and he was very intrigued about how they would operate.

Cadet Mago Barca felt rather intimidated as he entered the new course. It wasn't the course itself that intimidated him; after all, the cadet had been assigned to help construct it, and he had always been a quick study with putting things together and mapping out plans. He was the one who had operated the large industrial replicators from which most of the pieces of the course had been fabricated. What intimidated him was the large number of marines moving around him. They all seemed to know exactly what they were supposed to be doing. That was the exact opposite of how Mago felt at the moment.

He was surprised to recognize a familiar face, given that he had never been down to these barracks. It had been a very long time since he had even touched his deck of Starfleet officer collector's cards, and he'd turned ownership and development of the project over to his Academy friends. Letting that go felt neither good nor bad; it was something he had to do to deal with his trauma, and yet he felt no relief from the decision. Perhaps it was because no matter where he went, he was reminded of the cards every time he recognized an officer's face. As he did right now. He stood staring dumbly at the marine captain. "Captain Delvok," he said awkwardly as he approached the Vulcan, also awkwardly. "I'm Cadet Mago Barca, from Operations."

“Greetings Cadet” responded Delvok in his emotionless done, and giving the cadet the family ‘V’ shaped Vulcan hand salute. “How may I be of service?”

"Live long and prosper," Mago said as he replied with the same salute. It had taken some practice in his first year at the Academy to get his fingers to behave, but now that they were trained, he found that it came naturally. "I, uh, I was one of the Ops team that helped replicate your new obstacle course. I guess... I think I wanted to see what it looked like put together."

Delvok made a sweeping hand gesture towards the obstacle course “As you can see cadet your assault course is working well within designated parameters.” Delvoks tone was full of typical Vulcan emotionlessness, but it was complimentary for a Vulcan.

"Um... thanks?" Mago had interacted with Vulcans at the Academy, and their deadpan speech was always slightly confusing. He took a deep breath and steadied himself to change the subject. "I... er... you were a prisoner of war to the Cardassians?" He blurted out the words, and it was something in between a question and a statement.

"Indeed" said Delvok with an expressionless face, except for one quizzically raised eyebrow. He wondered how a Cadet knew of such a thing, and if he knew further details like just how long he was a POW for.

"It's, um, sorry, sir. I don't mean to be rude. It's just that I was sort of a prisoner of war as well. Sort of. Not for nearly as long as you were... Um, it's in your personnel file, which I... It's a long story... But I was tortured, you see..."

"Say no more cadet" said Delvok placing a hand on the man's shoulder. "How can I help?"

Mago exhaled a sigh of relief. It was more relief than he had felt for a while. He still felt the need to be cautious, however; the former Intel chief had also promised to help him, but like a typical spook, he'd vanished unexpectedly. "Can you tell me about how you withstood the torture? I didn't do too well when... when it happened to me."

"Cadet" said Delvok in a frank a manor as a Vulcan could do "I did not withstand the torture. Nobody does. Everybody breaks eventually. Anybody who tells you otherwise is either lying or has mental health problems.”

Mago scrunched up his face. "But... you're Vulcan. I thought you were immune to torture, because of your training."

Delvok shook his head slowly “Alas this is not the case cadet. Our lack of emotion and psychic ability give us a certain robustness, but any torturer worth his salt will find a way passed any mental or physical walls…..In my case they used a Lethean.”

"What's a Lethean?" Mago regretted asking as soon as the words left his mouth, as he was certain the answer would be something terrifying.

"Letheans are an alien species renowned for their telepathic abilities, there attacks have a tendency of putting one in a coma whilst they suck the information from your brain through a series of induced hallucinations."

"A coma!? Were you... did it put you in a coma?" Mago felt bad again, and then felt bad for feeling bad. He had found Delvok's assertion that everyone broke under torture to be both demoralizing and somewhat reassuring, as there was nothing he could do but also there was nothing he could have done better. But now it was clear that it had taken someone literally ripping the information out of the Marine captain's head for Delvok to break. Mago could not claim that level of integrity. "Does that mean that before the Lethean, you were able to resist their torture?"

"Cadet I broke on the third day. Most people do, when it became clear that regular torture was not yielding the necessary effects they brought that alien in.....I was only in the coma for a matter of hours after that."

Mago looked defeated. "So... there's nothing I can do, then. I was always going to break. I only lasted a day... I was hoping..."

"A day is good cadet. If a rescue is going to come its normally within fourty two hours."

"But I didn't last forty-two hours," the cadet muttered. "Can you teach me?" he asked desperately, "how to withstand torture longer?"

Delvok's face remained a mask of emotionless fortification. But he raised one quizzical eyebrow. "Indeed cadet. Do you foresee yourself getting captured in the future?"

"I didn't foresee it last time," Mago replied forthrightly.

Delvok stroked his beard thoughtfully, he wanted to say, ‘don’t get captured.’ However this was likely to be counter intuitive for the cadet. “Come with me young man and I will teach you a few pointers that I learnt as a POW.”


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