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Civil Disobedience

Posted on Friday May 28th, 2021 @ 10:03am by Niyahra Riohn & Wraet tr'Melanth

Mission: Out on Bad Behaviour
Location: Dominion Labour Camp, Corvan II
Timeline: MD01 - Early morning
1707 words - 3.4 OF Standard Post Measure

The sound of the sand crushing beneath the boots of the patrolling Enforcers was all that disturbed the crisp morning air, the gathered crowd didn't dare to look up from staring at the ground right in front of them, let alone speak. There was a wave of unease that rippled through the camp's population as a door opened in the far end of the court.

A woman, one of the camp's many workers, was dragged out by two Andorian enforcers in the direction of the small elevated platform in front of the gathered masses. They were closely followed by the Cardassian administrator of the camp, who took two small steps and stood next to the woman she was being tied to a wooden pole, "It gives me no pleasure to have to do this." the voice broke the silence and echoed against the quarry that they were standing on the bottom of, "eyes up and witness what happens if you go against orders."

Some of the gathered workers hesitantly lifted their heads. A great many of them kept gazing at their shoes. Those who looked up saw how the human woman with an unruly head of dark curly hair was strapped to the pole, forcing her to stand upright and face the crowd.

"I SAID EYES UP!" The Cardassian suddenly bellowed, an echo catching off the far wall, repeating his last words until it ebbed away in the distance.

A couple more workers startled and looked up to face the elevated platform where, in the centre, now sat a woman they all knew. She was caught stealing food for some of the weaker people in the camp. For the past few days people passing by the small brig area in the corner of the camp had heard screams and pleas for mercy until yesterday. Rumours had quickly spread that she had died, but here she was. Alive and well.

"Before you stands Meghan VĂ©ronique Moreau, pleading guilty to the crimes of stealing Dominion food rations, inciting rebellion among your fellow camp residents, and the aggravated assault of a DPI Enforcer, you are sentenced to one hundred lashes." Those in the crowd that knew what the Cardassian leader had spoken about stirred, Meghan wasn't the one inciting them to do less and less work, it was one of the old Tellarite men.

It had been a rather good approach to disobedience he had proposed, slowly decreasing the output across the entire population so that it didn't draw too much attention to a single individual up until the moment that the numbers really started to dip. They had hoped to interfere with the supply lines, knowing that the Dominion fleet was stretched thin.

Grel Colv clenched his jaw. He had looked upward even before the command and now Meghan found his eyes, understanding passing between them - speaking up would not free her, in fact it would only add to her punishment for not having named him, and he would die by the lash while she hung there in agony, forced to watch. At least 100 was not a death sentence - they disliked losing laborers permanently, especially ones they believed they had broken - and with no others for this 'example' she would be cut down and cast back into the huts where someone might help her to a cot.

No, all he could do now was to honor her by not flinching from watching. He fixed his eyes on her, bearing witness to hold the memory against the day when he could act, even if it was with his dying breath to avenge her and oh so many many others.

There was an eerie silence that was broken as the whip cracked through the air. A brutish Orion man stood at the side and slapped the whip across Meghan's back. There was a whimper, but Meghan bit her cheek and closed her eyes. She'd have to get through this. She'd have to persevere. Another crack of the whip.

The crowd began to stir, there were some in there that didn't really agree with standing idly by as one of their own was getting punished things she didn't do. They were all in this together, that had been the whispers, that was the mantra they kept repeating amongst themselves. A free and united Alpha quadrant. Now they were standing idly by looking at a single person taking the hits.

"Stop this you fucking monsters!" The big man started to push through the group, trying to make his way to the podium. He was able to get to the edge of the crowd before he was knocked in the head by one of the Andorian enforcers, quickly followed by a kick in the knee from the other side by a second enforcer. His leg buckled and he went to the ground. Another kick, this time from the first enforcer before the other stood in front of him, weapon pointed at his head.

Back on the podium, the whip cracked on, tearing into the flesh as the rags that were covering Meghan were slowly disintegrating from the lashing. Her perseverance and defiance was also being whittled away. Tears streaking down her face, and when the whip came down for the sixteenth time she let out a blood-curdling scream, one of those screams that you could just tell came from the bottom of her soul, one of those screams that chilled anyone within earshot to the core of their being.

It was as though something broke in the crowd, that scream piercing the tsunami of pent up rage that had momentarily halted by the first man beaten down. Now they surged forward, a single angry mass. Colv did as well - the crowd's thirst for blood a mere echo of his own, a pounding pulse of desire to tear every traitor Andorian and that bastard Trill into tiny scraps of flesh and then trample that into the dust -


The sound of pulse rifles ripping into the crowd brought him to his senses. Men and women fell before him, writhing from their wounds. Gods, no... Grel dove for the child in front of him - a boy barely 10, born in the labor camp and standing wide eyed at his first witness of open resistance, and its consequence. He took him down in a near tackle, rolling to cover him and bring them both to where they were partly shielded by a man laying dead on ground. He could feel the boy's panicked heartbeat, hear the sob caught in his throat. The screams of sounds of fire seemed to last so much longer than the few beats Grel actually counted. And then it was quiet - a foreboding quiet broken only by a few plaintive moans from the wounded.

The quiet was then interrupted by the continuation of the whipping. The hits from the whip and the screams from Meghan obscured the approach of the true leader of the camp, the Trill DPI Investigator. Sadal Nurol had come out of his office and had made his way to the podium. The whipping stopped as he stepped up in front of the crowd, "Give me that," the voice was calm, an iciness over his tone that completely seemed to ignore the culling that had just taken place not five meters from where he was standing. He took the whip from the man administering the whipping. "It never fails to amaze me how stubborn some people can be," he lashed the whip across Meghan's back, "it's almost sad to realise that you put all of your hope and trust in an organisation that failed you so miserably twenty-five years ago." Another crack of the whip.

"It's like most of you weren't even there to see them decline, to see their hubris and arrogance whittle away their grip on a failing quadrant," Another lash, another scream, "The Dominion isn't here to destroy, the Dominion is here to repair. To lift us up from our barbaric quarrels. To make us better, to make the universe better." Another lash, this time clearly harder than the previous ones, "And yet," another lash, "you insist" a scream that got stuck in Meghan's throat halfway, "on fighting" the crack of the whip seemed to get louder still, "the inevitable!" he whipped three times in rapid succession then dropped the whip on the ground next to Meghan. The whipping had momentarily stopped but the sobbing and wheezing continued from the woman hanging from the pole on the elevated platform.

Sadal shook his head, the fierceness of his voice completely gone, an eerie calm returning "The truth is, you're not at all deserving of the Prime's mercy." He turned to Meghan and grabbed her face, to force her to look into the crowd, "You're do not deserve to be elevated, swimming aimlessly in the ocean of your own ignorance, bathing in your own excrement." Out of nowhere, he drew a pistol from his holster and blasted Meghan in the side of her face, the shot piercing clean through. The sobbing instantly stopped, the body hung lifeless from the restraints on the pole.

Casting a dark look around the worthless prison scum he'd been placed over, he sneered. "If any of you think you have any value that would prevent me from putting you to death," he cut the binding, letting Meghan's body fall to the platform with a dull thud. "Let this be a lesson."

Grel clung to the child, holding the need to protect him in his mind like a talisman against the howling impulse to rush the Trill in blind fury. He could feel the ripple of impotent anger in others around him, though it was drowned in the greater surge of grief and despair. All the careful work of forging some small hope washed away...

A cruel smile twisted Sadal's lips. "Lest you think eliminating a few of you scum will reduce your workload. The quota is the same. Now, back to work!" At seeing someone try to drag a bleeding woman to her feet, he snapped the whip. "Leave the wounded! You can pick up any that survive to end of the shift."


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