Somewhere beyond the sea
somewhere waiting for me
my lover stands on golden sands
and watches the ships that go sailin'
- Bobby Darin (Beyond the Sea)
Otra awoke in perfect darkness.
“Is anyone there?” she asked. She groped around. Her extremities were unbound. Her clothes were intact. She didn’t appear to have any injuries. The chavecoi were a bit droopy, but such was to be expected under such circumstances.
The room was tiny, a cube that was perhaps a cargo container, it was so small. It was maybe one and three-quarters of a meter on all sides and vertically, although maybe a little bigger. She could stand and not hit her head, and could only reach the ceiling if she stood on her tippy toes and really stretched a hand up. Then she could graze the ceiling with her outstretched fingertips.
She traced the thin outline of a door or hatch on one wall. Next to it, there was a bowl containing some sort of soupy food. She tasted it - it was, she couldn’t be sure of what it was, but it was, perhaps plomeek broth, laced with a Kreetassan spice mixture.
So you’re Kreetassan, maybe. She thought to herself. You’re certainly not Vulcan as a Vulcan would never use so much seasoning. But maybe you want me to think that you are, eh? She ate in silence. You’ll have to open this door in order to collect the bowl, she mused.
She contemplated what that could mean for her, in terms of trying to escape or at least seeing her captor or more of the location where she was being kept. She didn’t have much time to think about this as there was another spray of tricoulamine gas. But before she went completely under, she felt a slight tug, as if the gravitational pull of wherever she was, it was somehow shifting. That could only mean one thing.
It was a jump to Warp.
“Wow, I totally loved the Basilica!” Sheilagh gushed. “They just don’t build ‘em like they used to, eh?”
“I guess not. But there are some pretty amazing artistic sights on Bajor and Betazed. Ready for lunch?”
They did not see, but Marisol had followed the partial Calafan biosign. There were crowds at the Basilica - there always were - and she blended in, effortlessly. To any passing Italians, she was just a lovely tourist, of some indeterminate Native American extraction. She could be Brazilian, or Chilean, or Mexican.
Rick and Sheilagh settled on another tiny café. There was nothing to order - it was just one of those places where they would serve whatever they had, at a table d'hôte.
Marisol smiled to herself. This was beyond ideal. She got herself around to the building’s back, to the door to the kitchen. There was a boiling pot of gnocchi on the stove.
The cook was also the server, and she was in front, gabbing and passing around antipasto plates. Marisol fished the gnocchi out using a slotted spoon. It was a simple matter to grab an unused fry pan and put it on the floor. She placed the Ebola vial in it, and crushed it with her heel. Using a rag so as to try to keep the tiny glass fragments from entering her skin, she shoved bits of dirty, Ebola-laced glass fragments into each of the gnocchi, and then dumped the remainder into a pot of sauce.
By the time the chatty cook came back, Marisol was gone, and the only evidence that anything was at all different was that the small fry pan was in the sink, and no longer hanging from a peg on the wall. The cook put a bit of soap on her fingers to rub onto the frying pan, and cried out. She sucked on her finger - she’d cut it on something.
In the dark, and even unconscious, Otra felt it, a change in time. It looked like millions of head of dead cattle.
The tiny café contained eleven patrons. In addition to Sheilagh and Rick, there were two French couples and a family of five from Texas. The father was older, and was regaling his children with tales of the Fifth Army landing at Anzio in February of 1944. He fumbled with a phrase book at times but they were having a grand time until the gnocchi arrived.
“I don’t want this,” said his younger daughter.
“It’s like ravioli, see?” said her brother, eating a piece.
“It looks weird. It’s shiny,” she complained.
“Shiny?” asked their mother.
“Yeah, see?” the girl showed her mother.
“Gene, I think there’s glass in there,” The mother said to her husband, alarmed.
“Ever’body, check!” he bellowed. “Miss!” Phrase book forgotten, he did what he could to communicate his distress.
Seeing the commotion, Rick and Sheilagh hit their Communicators a couple of times in order to reset them from Italian to English. “Is everything okay?” Sheilagh asked.
“No!” yelled the man. “Uh, sorry. It’s not your fault. But it looks like there’s ground glass in my daughter’s food. See there?”
“Ooh, yeah, that does look nasty. Rick, take a look.”
He looked, and then switched back to Italian to tell the cook. She argued with him until he told her that if the food was completely safe then she was welcome to eat his.
Remembering her cut finger, she told her husband that maybe she’d broken a jar of capers, and perhaps that had ended up in the sauce. He yelled a little, offered a thousand apologies to his customers and shooed them all away without finishing serving the meal or asking for payment.
“You still hungry?” Rick asked as they walked away.
“Not after that.”
The computers in 3109 began to go nuts, as Kevin watched. He hadn’t really been monitoring, but he did like to look while people were away. A bit of a mother hen at times, he couldn’t help but to look out for the younger folk.
He was surprised to see the changes coming in. Otra should have picked up on them before he did. He engaged his Communicator to call her, but there was no answer.
Alarmed, he ran to Conference Room six as fast as his bulk allowed. No Otra. He then went to Carmen’s office. She checked for Witannen and partial Witannen biosigns. The Witannen contingent was completely accounted for, but there was no extra, no Otra.
They went to Otra’s office and found it empty.
“Same as Marisol,” Kevin said.
Somewhere beyond the sea
she's there watching for me
If I could fly like birds on high
then straight to her arms
I'd go sailin'
- Bobby Darin (Beyond the Sea)