A/N: This story is a sequel of sorts to CMO Confidential.
PLEASE keep in mind that this story deals with sensitive topics, which I hope that I have treated respectfully. It's H/C, with quite a lot of "H" - so be forewarned.
Beta'd by Indus_NM. Comments greatly appreciated.
Part One: Terror
They have been overpowered, overwhelmed, taken by surprise.
It happens so quickly. He hears a burst of small, rapid explosions, and suddenly the large, dimly-lit restaurant is filled with smoke and screaming people, most of them belonging to his crew, scattering and diving and trying desperately to get away. Some of them are bleeding, others look stunned.
His first thought is that there has been some kind of bomb. He recovers his feet quickly, checks on those closest to him, tries to herd them out the door. He is vaguely aware of Bones moving among them as well, triaging quickly, moving toward those who look most in need of his help.
His ears are ringing from the blasts, and he can't hear at all. People are speaking to him, but he ignores the questions that he can't understand anyway and points forcefully in the direction of the exit, mouthing "Move!"
He doesn't understand why the room doesn't seem to be clearing, despite his shoving and pointing and directing. He looks back at the door, prepared to unleash his frustration on whoever must be panicking and blocking the exit.
But there are dozens of armed men standing in a row by the door and moving forward into the room. They line the walls. Although they are dressed in the same sort of drab clothing the other colonists typically wear, they are clearly well-organized and disciplined; their eyes share the same confident, hard expression. The only item of clothing they all seem to be wearing in common, a uniform of sorts, is a mask fitted tightly over their mouths and noses.
Jim can think of only two reasons for them to be sporting such unusual facial gear. Either they don't want to be identified easily, or, more ominously, they don't want to breathe something that he is about to be breathing.
His hand goes unerringly to his belt, grasps his communicator. He is unarmed; they are in a civilian establishment, and Starfleet abides by the colony's injunction against hand weapons. Clearly, he thinks, not everyone here has been following those treaties to the letter. He'd been briefed on spots of political unrest in the outlying areas, but obviously, the information they had was outdated…
His thoughts don't go much farther. He sees one of the terrorists raise his hand in some sort of hand signal, and flick a small cylinder into the center of the room. It lands not far from Jim, cracking open and leaking something gaseous and smoky.
Jim is unsurprised as he loses consciousness and falls to the floor.
When he wakes up, Jim is so pissed off, he can hardly breathe.
Terrorists. They are being held hostage by old-fashioned, gun-toting, mad-eyed extremists. In the middle of what was supposed to be a relaxing shore leave, for Chrissake. In a fucking restaurant.
By the time he regains consciousness, the political nature of their situation has been made clear. They are in the large anteroom of the restaurant, about seventy people. All Starfleet, mostly from the Enterprise. The civilian colonists who were with them before have been separated from them; he has no idea whether they are still alive, but they are nowhere to be seen. Their communicators have been confiscated. All of the Starfleet personnel have been dumped unceremoniously in a heap of bodies in the center of the room, surrounded by the armed fanatics who are strutting back and forth, pointing their weapons menacingly at them. Around him, people are stirring, groaning, in some cases retching.
He counts twenty-three terrorists, planted at intervals around the room, and guarding the exits. One of them is speaking, telling them in no uncertain terms to remain seated and quiet. Anyone who disobeys his orders will be punished, he says.
At least his hearing is returning, Jim reflects gratefully. His ears still ring, but he can hear a little. Everything sounds a little attenuated and far away, lending a sense of unreality to the situation. He shakes his head, trying to clear it, then stops quickly. Ouch. His head pounds, so he presses on his temples and takes a deep breath.
"Jim," he hears, and feels a light touch on his arm. Bones is there, on his knees in front of him, looking at him questioningly, scanning him with his eyes for damage.
"I'm all right," he says tightly. "What are the injuries?"
"Nothing serious. Some abrasions, minor cuts, some anxiety-related symptoms. They took my medikit. What the hell's going on, Jim?"
"Gonna find out," he says. He looks around at their captors, trying to gauge who the leader is. Sensing his train of thought, Bones shakes his head, a flicker of fear in his gaze.
"No, Jim. Don't draw attention to yourself." Jim notes that their whispered conversation seems to have attracted the notice of one of the guards, who has trained his weapon on them.
"I'm a starship captain," he says quietly. "I'm responsible for all these people here. Do you expect me to hide that?"
"Are you insane? These people will—"
"Quiet!" The guard's voice rings out. Bones moves away grudgingly, giving Jim a final warning glance. Don't do anything stupid, he mouths.
But there's no way Jim's going to sit down and play the demure, helpless pawn. It's just not in him, and the terrorists may be willing to let some of the others go, if they know that they're holding a high-level grade A hostage like him. At the very least, he can unsettle them, test them with a bit of non-cooperation. Maybe he can draw them into a conversation with him, get them to reveal who they are and what their plans are.
So Jim ignores McCoy's cautionary words and gets to his feet slowly, noting the weapons trained on him. "I'm Captain James Kirk of the U.S.S. Enterprise," he says loudly and clearly. "Who is your leader? I demand to know—"
He gets no farther. Three of the guards advance upon him. One of them belts him with the butt of his gun, making his head spin and his knees crumple. It is then ridiculously easy to drag him away from the others.
He hears the noise of his crew's protest, and the sound of a gun being fired into the air. They quiet down.
When his head clears, he finds himself standing on an elevated platform at the far end of the room, held from behind by one of the terrorists. He struggles, but the man holding him is strong and steady, and is bending his right arm upward at a highly uncomfortable angle. They are standing on a sort of small stage, and facing him is a tall, handsome man whose air of quiet authority informs Jim that he is obviously the ringleader of this merry band.
"You were told to keep quiet and remain seated," he says. He smiles at Jim almost sadly and signals to the man behind him.
The man makes a sudden sharp move, and the crack of Jim's humerus bone can be heard clearly in the hall. Jim cries out harshly at the burning pain, and he hears a sympathetic hiss from the hostages gathered below.
"Still, it is a pleasure to meet you, Captain James Kirk," says the leader calmly. "Hero of the Federation. How fortunate. You will make a lovely symbol for our resistance."
It doesn't end there, of course. That is only the beginning. These are evil sadistic Federation-hating bastards, and he is, after all, Captain James T-for-Troublemaker Kirk. Bad combination.
They beat him, to start with. He expects this and for a time, he manages to hold his own well enough. It's hard to protect himself from the blows when his right side, his dominant side, is compromised from the outset. But he's no stranger to broken bones, and he's so furious that at first, his anger shields him from the pain. He even manages to get in a few strong kicks, until the man delivers a sharp blow behind his knee, sweeping his legs out from under him and sending him crashing down onto his right side. His broken right arm takes the brunt of the fall and he lets out a full-throated howl, overwhelmed by pain. For a moment, he is unable to do more than curl into himself, gasping, eyes tearing blindingly. From then on he is helpless against the blows and kicks that rain down on him.
When there is a respite at last and his tormentor steps back with a satisfied grunt, he closes his eyes and tries to take stock of his situation. So far, he concedes to himself, he hasn't accomplished much. He is injured and hurting badly: his arm is a white-hot brand of fire, his jaw aches, it hurts to breathe, and there are assorted pains scattered over his torso from chest to knees. He turns onto his left side and is engulfed by a wave of nausea, and he retches helplessly, gradually becoming aware that he is being watched.
Oh, God. They're all watching him, humiliated and beaten. He gazes at the Starfleet hostages dully, recognizing many of them as crewmembers and friends, and can hardly bear the horror and pity in their eyes. He can see Sulu and Scotty, and cringes in shame. He could stand the beating, but he can't stand the mortifying idea that his colleagues and companions are watching him puke and moan in pain.
It's more painful than the actual bruises. It brings him back to other places, other beatings, other bullying bastards that used their strength to make him feel small and helpless.
No. Don't think about that now. Breathe.
Bones is there, too, eyes wide and mouth open, looking ready to dash forward toward him and screw the consequences. Jim fixes him with a meaningful glare that he hopes is well understood. Stay there. At least, if these trigger-happy militants are bent on hurting somebody, let it be him. He can't be worrying about anyone else right now, especially not Bones, not until his breathing settles and he can control his reactions. He closes his eyes and focuses on relaxing, on calming his heart rate.
The man is speaking to him again, and Jim gathers himself, tries to sit up and listen. "That is enough for now, my Federation friend. We will talk shortly. I have many questions for you."
"Go to hell," he rasps out. "I have nothing to say to you."
"We will see." He speaks rapidly, in a language Jim can't identify, to his men. Jim finds himself grabbed roughly by two of the thugs and pulled to his feet. There is an adjoining small office to the right of the stage. Jim is quickly maneuvered into the small room and pushed into a chair. The two guards station themselves at the entrance.
Shit. This is bad, he thinks stupidly. The beating that he has just received seems to have served two purposes: to demoralize and deter the hostages, and to soften him up for questioning. He's a Starfleet Captain, with access to all kinds of classified information which these jerks would probably love to get out of him and use.
He's not looking forward to the next stage. He hopes that at least, the guards will close the door.