[USS Vanguard] RPG: A Penny for Your Thot

  • From: Andy Ho <andywoho@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: vanguard <ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2005 10:31:44 -0500

Commodore Dominic Santos
After "Coyote Kate's Ranch...," during "The Morning After..." and
"Recovery, Rebuilding and Remembrance"

[From "Coyote Kate's Ranch Goooes Bye Bye!"]

"And Commodore, there's something else." Zena added after the
Commodore had finished.

"We have one of them captive" Cynan finished. To this, Santos' eyes
lit up and without a word mounted his horse and road off in the
direction of what was left of Kate's ranch.

"Xristha, Cynan, Sam go with him. We'll stay here and help out. I've
got to try and find Billie's mom too."


Commodore Dominic Santos arrived at Coyote Kate's ranch. He surveyed
the devastation wordlessly. He spotted Desdemona circling the cattle
pen with a woman he assumed to be "Coyote" Kate. Des spotted him and
caught his eye.

Santos reseated his hat back on the crown of his head and nodded
silently at her.

Santos turned to Mandrake. "Show me the Breen."

"He's in the cellar," Mandrake said.

The foursome circled the farmhouse until they reached a set of double
doors that led into the earth.

Mandrake pulled the ring on the right-hand door, swung it up and over
where it landed on the ground with a rickety crash.

Mandrake led the way, with Santos behind him, Droin and, finally, McCaw.

When Mandrake reached the bottom, he produced a wrist-torch from a
hidden pocket.

He shone the light into a corner of the basement. Santos spotted a
bureau, a three-legged kitchen table and two mismatched chairs.

The Breen was nowhere to be found.

"Where..." Santos began, when Droin suddenly shouted, "Nick, watch out!"

Santos felt a stiff weight ram into his lower back, an elbow in his
kidney. The air rushed out of his lungs in one painful breath and he
crashed into the kitchen table. He shook off the blow and sprang up.
Mandrake, McCaw and Droin were wrestling with the Breen, trying their
best to subdue him. Tatters of rope hung off the Breen, the remains of
what Santos assumed had been used to truss him.

Santos drew his gun, walked up to the Breen, and backhanded the alien
across the face. When Santos' pistol struck the Breen's helmet, a loud
CLANG! rang out.

The Breen dropped to its knees. Droin took a step back, horrified at
the sudden violence.

Santos raised his pistol again and struck the Breen in the back of the
neck. The Breen stopped struggling.

Santos coughed and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. He saw
blood on his hand, licked his lips and spat on the ground.

"Cynan," he said, "pick up our friend and put him in the corner. If he
moves, shoot him in the stomach."

Droin stared at him without saying a word.

Santos holstered his weapon, unbuckled his gunbelt and handed it to McCaw.

"Cynan, give Sam your gunbelt." Mandrake looked from Santos to McCaw.
The Vanguard's helmsman unbuckled his gunbelt and handed it to McCaw.

"Sam," Santos said, "take Xristha upstairs to the house. Find some
rope. Bring it back here."

Sam paused. He held the two gunbelts in his hand and looked at the commodor=

"Go on, Sam," Santos prompted.

"Aye, sir," Sam said quietly.

Mandrake and Santos listened as Droin and McCaw climbed the stairs
back into the sunlight. They were left alone with the Breen. Neither
said a word.

McCaw returned with the rope and handed it to Santos, who sat the
Breen up and began circling him, from ankles to shoulders, with more

As he did this, Santos said, "Sam, go upstairs and sit with Xristha."

McCaw paused. "What are you going to do, Nick?"

Santos said nothing.

"What we have to do," Mandrake replied. "Go upstairs, Sam. Sit with Xristha=

McCaw slowly and quietly walked upstairs.

When Sam's shadow passed the cellar door, Mandrake turned and looked
at Santos. Santos had finished tying up the Breen and had laid the
alien on the ground.

Both men waited until the Breen began to stir. It turned its head to
the side and stared at Santos.

At first, it said nothing, merely staring at the two men.

Then it made a soft gurgling sound, a "Hurk, hurk, hurk." Santos
stared emotionlessly at the Breen and listened to it laugh at them.

Very slowly, Santos approached the Breen. Santos hunkered down next to
the Breen and stared at its visor. It continued to make its
hurk-hurk-hurk sound, now a little more loudly.

Santos bent down and put his face close to the Breen's.

"Hello," Santos said. "Maybe you know who I am. I met your kind in the
Neutral Zone. They ambushed me. I destroyed all of you, but not before
you killed everyone aboard my ship, the Gauntlet."

At the mention of the Gauntlet, the Breen hurk-hurk-hurked a little
more loudly: HURK-HURK-HURK.

Mandrake listened to Santos without saying a word.

"Where is your thot?" Santos asked quietly. (A "thot" is the Breen
equivalent of "general.")

The Breen said nothing.

Santos felt a coldness steal over him and didn't fight it.

Mandrake watched silently as Santos picked up the Breen's helmet. The
helmet was about six inches off the ground when Santos rammed the
Breen's head back on the ground.

"Where is your thot?" Santos asked again.

Mandrake watched as Santos repeated the torture, over and over.

After ten minutes, the Breen still had said nothing, although it had
stopped making the gurgling sound.

Santos stood but continued to stare at the Breen.

Without turning, he said, "Cynan, give me your knife." Santos held out his =

Mandrake drew his knife and gingerly turned it so that he gripped the
blade between his fingers. He placed the knife, hilt first, into
Santos' hand.

Santos took the knife and knelt by the Breen. He showed the Breen the weapo=

Santos slowly slid the knife point into its suit, exactly where a
human's heart would be.

A tiny hiss could be heard as the gas used to keep the Breen alive escaped.

"In a moment, I'm going to twist this knife," Santos said,
emotionlessly. "And nothing can save you. Your suit will leak. And you
will die. So for one last time, I ask you, 'Where is your thot?'"

"What is going on here?"

Santos turned to see Droin and McCaw coming down the stairs.

He stood and stared at them.

McCaw rushed toward Santos. Mandrake grabbed him and held him.

"What the hell do you two think you're doing!" McCaw shouted. "You are
violating nearly every law Starfleet has against the treatment of

"Tell that to the men, women and children who were killed by this
monster and his friends," Mandrake replied. He pushed McCaw back.

Droin produced her tricorder, walked up to the Breen and began
scanning its life signs.

"Nick, please remove the knife," Droin said calmly, as if asking
Santos what he planned on having for lunch in Event Horizon.

When Santos did nothing, Droin turned. "Nick, take the knife out of
his suit, please."

Santos stared at Droin. He walked up to the Breen, knelt and drew the
knife from its suit.

They watched the Breen and listened as its suit slowed, then stopped,
its leak. The Breen's suit had repaired itself.

Santos returned the knife to Cynan and walked upstairs. Mandrake and
McCaw followed his progress with their eyes. After Santos' shadow
passed the cellar door, Mandrake and McCaw turned to one another.

"We did what we had to do, Sam," Mandrake said.

McCaw said nothing but stared at Mandrake. Then, very slowly, McCaw
shook his head.

[From "Coyote Kate's Ranch Goooes Bye Bye!"]

Xristha nodded and began to treat the Breen. "You know I'm surprised
he's not dead after his suit was broken" she commented to Cynan after
the Commodore had left.

The Breen wouldn't say a word, despite the Commodore's efforts.

"Stubborn to the last breath", he mumbled to himself, annoyed,
propping himself up against one of the last remaining beams and gazing
out to the desert.

[From "Recovery, Rebuilding and Remembrance"]

Darkwater and Santos spoke in low tones, and Des didn't try to listen
to their conversation. As she headed towards what was left of the
barn, Cynan approached, heading in Santos and Darkwaters' direction.

[Insert "The Morning After the Nightmare Before"]

Santos finished rebuckling his gunbelt, spotted Des standing against
the cattle pen and made his way to her.

He stood next to her and rested his arms on the fence, mirroring Des.

They stood that way for a few minutes, gazing out at the prairie,
before either said a word.

"Hello, Nick," Des said.

Santos said nothing.

"Well, I said it before, but I'll say it again," Des said, "you sure
know how to show a girl a good time."

They both laughed.

"Let me cut to the chase," Des said. "Do you know what needs to be
done? To keep everyone alive and get everyone the hell off this

Des looked at Santos. Santos nodded.

"Then do it," Des said. "No matter what it takes, do it. Do what you
have to do."

Santos looked at Des.

"What's going on with us, Des? This mission, it's changing us, each of us."

Des looked at Santos. "What do you think, Nick?"

"I think it's this place. This place reminds us of our past--our
lawlessness, a way of doing things where the way of the gun was the
only rule of law. We're devolving into something primitive, something
that we thought we left behind when we left our ancestors behind."

"No, I don't think so," Des said.

They paused. Then both laughed.

"We're in a survival situation, Nick. And we'll do whatever it takes
to survive. And that's not an outlook I completely disagree with.
Sometimes, I wish my people had fought a little harder, realized the
threat a little sooner...before the Borg finished with them."

Santos shifted his weight. "Tell me about the last time you were on
Earth. Tell me about your late husband."

Des sighed and looked at the ground.

"It's been so long since I've talked about this," she said. "So very,
very long. How did you know about that, Nick?"

"Nothing magical," Santos said. "It's part of your public record. But
of all the times I've been in Event Horizon and we've talked, that's
one story you've never told me."

Des turned her head and looked toward the farmhouse. When she turned
back, Santos was surprised to see something in her eyes he had never
seen before: tears. But there was something else there, too: steel and
fire. Not even the tears could obscure that.

"I wonder if it's Carillon that makes me want to tell this story," she said=

"Or maybe sometimes we just have to be asked before we want to start
telling our stories," Santos said gently, slipping into the role he
slipped into so easily when he had been a reporter and interviewing
had been one of his strengths. "Tell me, Des. Tell me about your last

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