Desperate Times, Desperate Measures

Started by Trina, July 23, 2018, 06:43:54 pm

Trina

July 23, 2018, 06:43:54 pm Last Edit: July 23, 2018, 07:03:38 pm by Trina
New Hope, Wellspring township clinic, a year and half into the Unification War

As much as she'd wanted to avoid it, the war had come knocking on Trina's doorstep in the most abrupt way possible. The small clinic she was working in was so far removed from most of civilization on New Hope that it had likely been a surprise to the ships that had set down in the remote area that there was even a population nearby. Yet, one of the men had come into town in the late, late hours and woken her by tapping on the small window in the side room of the church that doubled as the town's clinic. When he revealed his purpose, Trina found herself in a situation. Did she help or did she turn them all away and likely condemn men and women to death? A deal was made: no names and she would help, though she would come to them. Until she knew the opinions of the townsfolk for certain, she'd not risk bringing anyone into town unless she had no other choice.

That had been two months prior and now, she'd seen the wounded and dying of more than four ships. Some cases had been beyond her help, though many more were treatable. However, it left her with a serious problem. The supplies she had were swiftly being outstripped by what was needed and what she had access to without raising serious questions. As small as the town was, a large order of medical supplies was going to draw attention she and the townsfolk didn't want. No one in town had voiced any love for the Alliance and in fact, several had joined up on the side of the Independents since that first ship. One or two had even left with that ship. Sitting at the desk in that same small bedroom that doubled as a private office, Trina stared down at the message she'd typed up. She was about to take a very serious gamble. The last ship she'd seen, someone had mentioned an idea about smuggling in the supplies she needed and initially, she'd balked at the idea. Now... now her supplies were so low, she'd sent out word that she might not be able to last another week if a ship came in now.

Sighing heavily and supporting her head with her hands, elbows resting on the desk, Trina knew there really wasn't much of a choice left to her. It was a road she was committed to now. She knew there were lives in the balance and her location on New Hope was proving to be somewhat ideal for the Independents. Dropping one hand to the cortex link, she hit send on the message and sent the desperate cry for help spinning out onto a network she had never intended to venture into.

'The risk will be worth it. It has to be,' she insisted to herself silently.

Gemma Pierce

A small snore came out of Gemma's mouth as she slept on stack of papers, a murmur and a drop of drool dropped threatened to fall out of her mouth.  Her PDA buzzed and Gemma abruptly shot up, the paper sticking to her face, her hair was bit of a mess.  She had done eight runs into the field these past three days, nearly got shot down twice.  Sleep hadn't been a priority, stealing what supplies were needed came first, and then the trips came before that.

She peeled the paper off her face and ran a hand through her hair, becoming a slightly less disheveled mess.  She looked at the PDA and it was another request for supplies , but a new location this time.  New Hope.  She had never heard of it before but they were a group of independents in need. She picked it up instantly, knowing their competitors would if she didn't. 

Gemma typed a quick reply,

Order is on the way. ETA is 12 hours. Keep a look out. Gemma sent the message and sent another message to the rest of her crew to gather the supplies and get moving. 


12 HOURS LATER

Gemma pulled up on on the clinic under the cover of darkness.  She brought their shuttle down quietly, or as quietly as one could. The few crew that did come with her unlocked the door and she made her way to clinic before unloading.  She preferred to confirm they were at the right address before delivering, after all, it could always be a trap.  Gemma knocked on the door, and waited patiently for someone to answer the door.

Trina

Trina stirred slightly, hearing the knock and blinked her eyes blearily trying to clear them of the sleep that had taken her. She'd all but given up on the message sender actually arriving, but the knock at the door could very well be that person. It might also prove to be a local as well, with some non emergency issue or even another ship of wounded for all she knew. That thought woke her up enough to grab her jacket and throw it on as she moved out of her room and to the door. She opened the small window panel on the door to peek out and whoever was knocking.

The woman outside certainly wasn't a local and she didn't appear to be wearing a uniform of either side which caused Trina's brow to furrow. "Can I help you?" For now, the door remained closed. Inwardly, the disheveled doctor prayed that it wasn't another ship of wounded and was actually the shipment she hoped for. She'd had no real information about who would be showing up, though that was likely for their own protection. That was easy enough to understand. Putting her own name out there had been dangerous enough, though asking for medical supplies might draw less attention. She hoped.

Gemma Pierce

Gemma grinned, the woman had a right to be cautious.  After all, the times were....dangerous.  "Special delivery for some much needed supplies ma'am. Third party assistance." She looked down at the PDA for the original message,

"Trina, right? Mind if I uhm...come in?  Trying to avoid attracting too much attention."

She motioned for her crew to turn off the lights and go dark, the time this was taking made her nervous, but she couldn't blame the woman.

Trina

As hopeful as Trina was that this was in fact the delivery she so desperately needed, she was still cautious. Closing the window, she checked the gun in her shoulder holster before opening the door to let the woman and whoever she'd motioned to come in. Part of her wished she knew who it was she was supposed to be expecting, but the nature of smuggling was a secretive one for a very good reason.

"I'm sorry. I'd almost given up on anyone showing up." Now more in the light than her face had been in the small window, it was clear she was in need of sleep. Around what was a one room church, there were several cots lined up in rows and a few still had people in them. One or two had long coats laid across the foot of their cots, though all turned inside out so as not to reveal names or any identifying patches. No one else, aside from herself and these patients seemed to be around. Trina felt her nerves ratchet up, the tension in her neck and shoulders tightening further. If this woman wasn't who she hoped, there was serious risk to those inside the clinic, herself and the people of the town.

Gemma Pierce

Gemma moved in to the facility and closed the door behind her.  Trina seemed a tad cautious, and Gemma couldn't blame her.

Quote"I'm sorry. I'd almost given up on anyone showing up."
Gemma shook her head at the woman, "Not at all, we're just very cautious..." She looked around the room, almost as if to determine if anyone else was there watching them. Gemma looked back at Trina with a small smile, she put out her hand, "The name is Gemma, we have your supplies, is the front door the best way to bring everything in or do you have a back entrance?" Gemma was confident it was a trap, or relatively confident, if it was, then this woman was a very good actress.

Trina

Trina winced as she saw one or two of the people on cots shift, as if they were hearing the conversation. Quickly, she lifted a finger to her lips and pointed towards the back of the building, specifically to a small hallway. Leading the way, she glanced at her patients and was relieved to see them settle, probably more due to their medicated state than real peace, but at least they were resting. Once back in the short hall, the backdoor became obvious. The door immediately to their right was hers, both office and bedroom. She pointed to the door to the left as she reached out to open it. The storage room was nearly bare, but a little medication and other supplies were neatly organized, but still looked mournfully alone.

"Storage is here, but with those men and women in here, you'll want to be quiet. Loud noises are probably not going to go over well with them." Stepping back from the storage room door, she moved to unlock the back door and prayed the hinges had been oiled enough. Holding her breath, she was relieved to not have the creak that had been there before. Now, she turned back to the woman, Gemma. "How much?"

There was no use delaying it. It wasn't going to be cheap and she'd known that from the beginning. Trina just hoped she could make her funds stretch long enough. 'Long enough to outlast the war...'

Gemma Pierce

Gemma nodded quietly in agreement as Trina put a finger to her lips. She followed the woman to the back room , where it was clear supplies were running low.  She looked around silently at the individuals in need of care and assistance, clearly Trina was trying to help as many people as she could, but definitely needed a helping hand. There was no way the woman had the supplies needed, or the funds.  A twinge of pain ran through Gemma as she looked back at Trina,

"Let's make it an even thousand, we're not trying to make a profit of this and most of it's stole anyway. Don't worry, none of it will come back to you. It's just enough to cover gas frankly. That's what we're here for, to help anyhow. It's not for the money." She gave the doctor a reassure smile and held up a finger as if to say 'one moment.'

Gemma walked out the back door and back to the crew members, she opened up the doors and they began unloading the items to the storage unit.  Walking back with a box of meds she put them on the shelf and stepped aside letting the rest of the crew take the items in quietly, she looked over at Trina,

"How did you manage to get a clinic out here in the middle of no where anyway, seems like an odd spot."

Trina

The money wasn't quite as much as Trina had been expecting. It was less than half the cost of the supplies themselves. Quietly, she looked Gemma over more than a little surprised by the woman's price and was so internally grateful at this small mercy. The relief that washed over her was apparent both in her face and the relaxing of her shoulders. With the supplies she saw coming in, Trina knew she'd last a little while longer at least. She wasn't going to have to refuse a ship, if one came looking for help. Gemma's question broke through the thoughts swarming through Trina's head and she looked up.

A heavy sigh escaped her. "I chose to be here. Good medical care shouldn't be reserved for those who live in the Core or have money to spare for it. Or, that's how I see it." It had been a long road to this point. Deep down, she knew this was where she was supposed to be, even if others didn't understand it. A faint smile flickered across her pale, tired features. "That's the short version, anyway. I doubt there's time for the long version."

Gemma Pierce

Quote"I chose to be here. Good medical care shouldn't be reserved for those who live in the Core or have money to spare for it. Or, that's how I see it." It had been a long road to this point. Deep down, she knew this was where she was supposed to be, even if others didn't understand it. A faint smile flickered across her pale, tired features. "That's the short version, anyway. I doubt there's time for the long version."


Gemma grinned, "You know I couldn't agree more.  Trained for a year myself, but this was too important. Plus I'm a better pilot than I ever was a doctor.  I'll leave that to the people who can actually tell the difference between the elbow and the knee." She gave Trina  quick wink and watched as the last of the supplies were brought in. 

Her crew exited back to the ship and Gemma turned back to Trina, "I suspect you'll be needing help in the future, please keep us in mind...." Gemma extended a hand to Trina, "Send the credits to the account in the message. It was a pleasure Trina, hope to see you again, under better circumstances."

Trina

A month and a half later

Trina stood in the storage room, looking over the remnants of her supplies. Granted, she wasn't as low as she'd gotten the last time, but she was still running lower than she expected to be after only a month and a half. She hadn't expected to see more than one or two ships in the time that had passed, but apparently word had gotten out among the Independent captains and higher ups. Part of her wondered if they realized she was just one woman, in a converted church building with only the local Shepherd and a part time nurse. Rubbing her forehead, the exhaustion headache clinging to her, she knew what she needed to do.

"Buddha help me... this can't keep going forever." Looking down to her cortex link, she sent word to Gemma again. This time, however, she put in for a larger order, indicating it could be broken up into two or three shipments if needed. With the message sent, she returned to the main room of the building and watched as a couple of local men lifted a stretcher covered in a white sheet. The man's belongings, including any form of identification was handled by another in a dark brown coat, but both she and that man had the same grim look on their faces. There was nothing she could do, but she had tried anyway. The infection had gone too far though and she'd lost him.

'Please don't let this be all they remember of me...'

Gemma Pierce

July 26, 2018, 07:27:07 pm #11 Last Edit: July 27, 2018, 07:03:49 pm by Gemma Pierce
It had been a month since Gemma went to New Hope, but she had been quiet busy.  As the war continued more and more supplies were needed, they had to change locations along with where they had stolen their supplies from at this point. Her badge at the school no longer worked, so they a few more nefarious characters had to join their expedition. 

She was plotting their next run when her PDA went off again.  It was Trina, she submitted a larger order, it would be tough to get, and they definitely wouldn't be able to do it in one run.  She sent a message to her crew and started to gather supplies for the ship.  Gemma sent a message back to Trina,

"First shipment on it's way. See you in 12 hours." 

12 hours later

Gemma landed the shuttle quietly again, just like last time and went to the back door this time. It seemed more covert and made the transaction faster.She knocked lightly and waited for Trina to answer the door.

Trina

Trina was already standing in the hall, leaning heavily against the wall after having lost not one, but three of the patients that had been brought in after she'd gotten word about the next shipment. The knock on the door barely registered at first, but she did at least look towards the door. After such prolonged tension, it was difficult to find the will to move. Move she did, after several long seconds and more than a few deep breaths to try and regain her composure. The squadron inside the building weren't the only ones mourning the losses. Bloodied gloves had already been removed from her hands, but still hung between her fingers as she reached to open the door.

It wasn't until she looked through and found Gemma standing there that Trina even realized why anyone would be knocking on the back door. Looking over her shoulder, she motioned for Gemma to wait beyond the threshold and she stepped outside to join her. In the brief time her face had been visible in full light, the dark circles under her eyes and the dampness in them were apparent. Also briefly visible was the large bloodstain across the front of her clothing that was a mix of brilliant red and darkening brown. "I'm sorry. There are others inside. Independents," she spoke softly, though her voice was a little choked. "They... I lost a couple of them, so they're... they're a little distracted, but I'll do my best to keep them away from the hall."

Gemma Pierce

Gemma looked over Trina, it she looked more tired than normal, and a little worse for wear.  The blood stain didn't bother Gemma, or not in the conventional sense. She could bring as many supplies as were asked of her but it was harder to get more people to fight the good fight. Things were getting tougher as the war raged on, that was for sure. Sometimes she wondered if she should've enlisted.

She motioned for her people to bring in the supplies, that seemed to be desperately needed. She looked back at Brenna,

"Are you okay? Seems things have gotten worse since we last saw each other."

Trina

Quote from: Gemma Pierce on July 27, 2018, 08:24:35 pm
"Are you okay? Seems things have gotten worse since we last saw each other."


Trina leaned against the wall of the hallway again and glanced down at herself. Taking a deep breath, she looked to Gemma and tried to smile, but it was so faint and her face so worn it barely registered as a smile. It was also betrayed by the wetness in Trina's eyes. "Things will continue to get worse if the war continues." Using her head, she nodded silently towards the main room of the clinic. "Especially if they keep fighting on no sleep with less and less supplies. Not unlike myself."

It was a confession she was loathe to make. Her days and night were blurring together and sooner, rather than later, she was going to need a serious amount of sleep. If she didn't, she was going to be completely useless to those coming for help. "I think word got out about this place." Her words were followed by a hollow laugh as she let her eyes close as she let her head fall back against the wall. If word really had gotten out, then it wouldn't be long before she'd be dodging the Alliance as much as Gemma probably was. Finally, she looked back to the smuggler. "May not be long before I'm asking for a ride out instead of more supplies. I'm sorry for that. You losing a source of income, I mean."

She genuinely was sorry for it. Out away from the Core worlds, more than just Gemma made their way in life scratching for jobs. So long as Gemma could avoid capture, she probably had more than just this little drop off at a clinic that sat in a town far out of the way of so many things. 'Except the gorram war... except for the gorram war...'

Gemma Pierce

Gemma frowned at Trina' reply. She would hate to see the place close down, the income didn't really matter to her because she wasn't make a profit from it in the first place. Looking around it would indeed be unfortunate to see this place go. But Gemma understood, the war took its toll in many ways, she had been nearly caught once or twice, and it would've been the end of her and her crew.

The remainder of the supplies were brought in and Gemma looked back at Trina, she took the woman's hand, "It was a pleasure working with you Trina. And I hope I hear from you again." Fully knowing this would probably be the last time she saw Trina, she hoped the woman would survive the remainder of the war. Gemma gave Trina's hand one last squeeze and nodded for her crew to leave quietly. That was the last she had seen or heard from the woman, no further messages were sent, but in the short time Gemma knew her, she had grown quite fond of the doctor.

In the years following, Gemma continued to smuggle as much as she could to the troops of the independents. Though like those that were in the same line of business, she found it difficult to keep up with the needs of the independents. The war ended eventually, and she became an independent smuggler to make ends meet, still doing the occasional trip to help out those on the rim.


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