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When we left Off, Lobren was still talking with the ambassador, Gar was still trying to get Pete To do His Job, Waite was still trying to feed everyone and Mav was being Mav so now we continue
Pete let the Girl follow him as he walked up to Helen. "Sorry, Helen, Gar was being pushy about getting back to work, so what do you need?"
The Girl smiled and Looked at Helen "Me help" .....then held up two fingers cause she couldn't say two.
Helen smiled to the girl before looking around the kitchen area and seeing a large water container that would be perfect for fixing up a cool, nutritious drink for the ones that didn't want the soup she made. "Want to help me fix up more drinks for everyone? The container will make the drink cold while we put all sorts of things good for people in it." She smiled, getting more cinnamon and rice flour and a bottle of Vanilla extract to add to powdered milk and water to make some Horchata, adding extra nutrients to the mix as was needed and showing the girl how much to use of each to make the drink. "Think you can do it?" she asked the girl, "By the way, what's your name?"
The Girl Looked at her confused. "No word."
Peter looked at the girl and asked. "Sweetie, are you saying you don't have a name?"
The Girl tried to mimic Pete and said "swee swee sweetee."
Peter's heart melted even more as he watched her but he was also very concerned the child had no idea what either was talking about.
~ Helen, is it just me or is this really odd? If I didn't know better, I'd say she can't talk because she doesn't know how. How is that possible? She's gotta be 10 12 years old. ~
~ There's a number of possibilities, Pete, delayed development is probably the biggest one that comes to mind. There's a number of stories of kids in the 20th and 21st centuries that were severely abused and not permitted to socialize with others that had very sketchy speech patterns. Autism is another high possibility. We STILL haven't figured out all the ins and outs of that one yet. I guess you're pretty close on her age and we can try to help her but she may never be fluent in any particular form of communication other than one she comes up with herself and teaches to us.~
Helen got the girl and Pete a cup of the horchata to try to see if they thought it might need anything added to it. Helen smiled the girl. "Do you mind if I call you 'Angelita'? It means 'Little Angel' and that's how I see you."
The Girl smiled and replied "Like!"
Peter laughed "Ok, well, I gotta go look around. Will you stay with pretty lady and help her out? I promise I'll be back."
The Girl smiled and said "ok."
Peter then walked off and began patrolling the perimeter, looking for any trouble.
As he walked off, she got a little sad, so much so that she some shared it with Helen. "He no want me. Just like others."
"What others, Angelita? Pete has a job to do and he WILL be back, he keeps his promises. And he does want you, just like I do."Helen continued to smile to Angelita then moved closer to the girl only to give her a hug. "I think you're going to get adopted by either Pete or me if we can't find your folks."
Angelita lit up when she said that. "He want me, you want me! This true? Me happy."
As for her other question, she wanted to speak but was afraid so she told the truth as best she could. "No secret, say die, no who me or die."
Helen listened to what Angelita was saying and tried to understand. "You're saying that you can't tell me or someone will kill you? We'll protect you if need be, Angelita. I promise you that." She was furious that someone would do that to a child and, if she ever got her hands on them... by the time she finished, they would be PRAYING for death. That is, if the others didn't beat her to it.
Angelita continued "Many days, others like Girl," then points to Helen "told me words, then say 'hide' then many big booms and angry others, so me do, stay until man find me. Now, no more words, hurts here," she pointed to her heart.
Helen hugged Angelita to her tight and gently kissed her forehead. "Well, I'll do my best to always be there for you and you can always come to me or Pete to talk to us about things. For that matter, probably any, if not ALL, of the crew would be in love with you the way Pete and I are. And we'll try to keep you from hurting any more." She tried to send a feeling of love to the girl as if it were a huge, soft, fuzzy, warm blanket that would bundle her in and keep her there always.
As Lt McMillian walked the perimeter of the Central Hall, he caught a glimpse of Lt. Gar speaking with a jittery-looking man. McMillian guessed that might be the administrator of the colony. The man was either still nervous over the condition of the colonists or the fact that Commander Lobren was standing over him. That would make anyone jittery.
Looking more at the colonists, Pete decided to study them as they ate and see if any of them looked similar to “Angelita.” Maybe he could find her family. Most of the colonists were all busy eating the provisions they were given, none seemed to be looking as if they were missing a child.
As he was coming along the fourth wall of the Central Hall, he nodded to Ensign Bevins, who had been standing guard and watching the people. Peter glanced back to the crowd and noticed a woman who would busy herself, eating some soup, but she kept glancing over in the direction of “Angelita.”
Peter found this kind of suspicious and the old him wouldn't hesitate to shoot her where she stood but he started thinking what would Holden do what would Holden do. The he thought wait a sec she might be her parent or something so he decided well why don't I just ask? but first he decided to something he never tried before. He attempted to telepathically communicate with both Helen and Mav at the same time.
~ Helen, it's Pete. I'm in the central hall and see a woman who's eyeballing Angelita. Be ready to grab her and run, just in case something's up, might be her parent, not sure yet. Mav, I don't know if you can hear me but I'm about to approach a women who's eyeballing Angelita. I need you to go around and block a Path in case she tries to rabbit.~
Helen caught Pete's sending. ~ Thanks for the heads-up, I see her and I've got precautions ready, just in case. I just hope that we don't need to use them. ~ She was already feeling extremely protective about Angelita and was not going to allow anything bad happen to her if she could help it.
The wolf did not bother replying. He simply moved to an area opposite McMillian and sat down, effectively blocking off the avenue of escape. Of course, the woman could always climb up over the table, but Maverick knew he could easily block off that avenue as well.
Peter then walked up to the woman "Hello ma'am, my name is Peter McMillian of the USS Excelsior. I noticed you looking at the girl over there. Do you know her?"
The woman, a frail looking, petite woman, had seen Peter approaching her. She had tired her best to ignore him and make it look as if the soups in front of her was the most important thing in the room. When he had asked his question, She shook her head. She didn’t look at him. “No, no….. Don’t know no little girl.”
Warning bells were going off in Helen's head at the woman's statements warring with her obvious interest in Angelita, and she resolved that if it came to it she'd try to probe the woman's mind to see if there were something more that she was not revealing. IF the woman was Angelita's mom, that was one thing, but if she were up to something nefarious, then... she was going to have a very bad time of it for a very loooooooooong time. Helen kept her eyes as well as mind scanning the room and people there, just to be sure that everything was kosher and no one wanted to hurt anyone else.
Peter just knew she was lying and something about the way she spoke was familiar so he kinda pushed the issue. "Well then, Ma'am, why do you keep staring in her direction.?"
The woman hunkered down closer to her bowl. “Not watching no girl,” she insisted. “Don’t know no girl. Go away.”
Instantly feeling kinda Angry, he said. "Look, if I'm wrong, I'll apologize but I found her barely alive and scared for her life. I don't care for people who threatens children so I'm gonna again, Nicely. Who are you and why do you seem so interested in that child?"
“Not threatening any child!” the woman insisted getting louder. Other colonists started looking their way. “I’m just eating. Go away!”
Peter could still sense something was off his gut was screaming arrest her. He wasn't sure why but he knew he didn't have any real evidence I mean looking in someones direction isn't really a crime. He also realized making a scene would probably escalate the situation even more so he just nodded.
" Your right, ma'am, I'm sorry I disturbed you, ma'am, have a nice day and enjoy your soup "
tag Captain if you want
Peter then proceeded to walk away but still telepathically communicated with both Helen and Mav.
~ Helen I didn't get anything from the women but I can't help shake this feeling someone wants to harm Angelita. I'm gonna talk to Lobren. I think we may need to have her brought to the ship, she's bringing too much attention. Do you agree or do you think I'm just being paranoid? Cause to be honest, I'm not sure. ~
Helen got Pete's message and almost immediately sent back her answer. ~No, I DON'T think you're being paranoid and the ship might be the safest place for her. She was telling me that there were people who told her to hide and stay in a secret place before there were a lot of, as she said, big booms and a bunch of angry Others running around all over the place before you found her. She doesn't seem to want to talk about it too much however.~ She then replayed the conversation for Pete verbatim to his mind so he could get all the nuances that her words alone could not display. She was not trusting the woman either and so kept a mental eye on her constantly while allowing her physical eyes to scan the whole of the room.
~ Mav, I know your not my deputy, but thank you. In a few, I'm gonna talk to Lobren but I need a favor, if it doesn't interfere with you duties. Can you watch her? Something about her rubs me the wrong way.~ He then tried to telepathically relay the information Helen just told him. ~I'm gonna tell Lobren and or Gar this as well but I don't trust her, so if you could watch her, I would appreciate it, please and thank you Mav. ~
The wolf simply sat at the one end of the table, still blocking the one escape route. He stared at the woman, and she turned and stared into Maverick’s black orbs that were his eyes. His ears came up and he cocked his head slightly. ~~No malice.~~ he simply sent out.
Peter then tapped his comm badge. "Lobren, sir, when you have a minute, I need to speak to either you or Gar, it's important."
Commander Lobren had been paying attention to what Administrator Buffens was saying when he had heard the woman getting loud. It hadn’t escaped his notice that Mick was standing right by her, but it did surprise him when the tactical/security officer simply walked away from the woman. He brought his hand up and tapped his badge.
“I’m right over to yer left, Mick,” Lobren said into his badge. “Come over here.” He tapped off the comm link.
Peter then noticed Lobren and walked over. "Hello, sir, got a minute? I need to talk to you in private." He looked at the Administrator as he said, "I mean no offense to you, sir."
Lobren glanced to the administrator, who looked like he was about to bolt anyhow and moved off to the side to talk with is officer. “What is goin’ on?”
When making sure they were alone, Peter went full steam ahead. "Ok sir, I don't know if you noticed that woman over there. Well, anyway, I noticed her eyeballing the Kid and proceeded to ask her about it. She then got cagey so I decided to force the issue. Then she got loud, I decided the best thing to do was walk away. I asked Mav to keep an eye on her just in case and quick scanned her and told me she has no malice towards the girl but, sir, someone here does. I can feel it in my bones." He then told Lobren word for word what Helen had relayed to him, emotion, mannerisms, the whole nine yards.
After a brief pause, he continued. "Anyway, me and Helen both agree it's too dangerous to keep her here, out in the open. We both want her to return to the ship. However, I have an idea, sir, if you approve and if Angelita agrees. We let her go the ship but we use her as bait. Now, before you go nuts, hear me out, sir. I'm suggesting we hook her up with like a mental copier or metal simulator or whatever its called and connect her to the computer. Then we create a complete hologram of her which is connected to the cortical thingamajig. Then, we bring the hologram down her and let them grab her. Whoever wants her may try to grab her and if we used a mentally connected hologram, we could use her as a Trojan horse, find out whatever information we may need. What do you think sir?"
Peter then stopped and allowed the commander to speak, even if the answer might be 'no'.
"Well, I think ya flipped yer fleevin’ wig, Mick,” Lobren flat out stated. “If ya think th’ girl’s in danger Then stay wit’ her yerself. It’s clear ya’re not gonna be any good otherwise. As far as her goin’ back ta th’ ship, not my call. That’s th’ cap’n’s call. I would suggest ya exhaust all avenues down here first in findin’ out where she really b’longs. But’ we got our hands full with whatever th’ Roms are doin’ in this system ta start any fancy setups on a hunch.”
Peter kind of felt insulted by Lobren's comment but figured the most important thing at the moment was Angelita so he figured best thing to do was say "yes sir" and focus on her so he did and started walking back towards Helen and Angelita.
~ Helen, Lobren thinks we're nuts. It's up to us. On the plus side though, he did say I could try finding her parents though. However, a part of me really doesn't want to. Any ideas? I can't just keep walking up to people who look her way ~
~I know, Pete, isn't the first time for either of us in that particular rodeo of Lobren's. It would probably be the best just to keep on going the way we are and try to be more stealthy about trying to ascertain their emotions and other feelings about the situation.~
As he returned to their side. "Now where can I find the most beautiful creature in all the cosmos?"
Angelita looked up and asked "who talk, me or girl?"
Peter couldn't help but smile "you, of course, Angel, now have you behaved yourself for Girl?"
Angelita smiled, "me help feed."
Peter could hold back anymore, he hugged her and apologized "I'm so so sorry Angel I had to work but can I confess something?"
Angel innocently smiled "What?"
Peter Looked at her and said "Every second I was away from you, it felt like eons but I promise at least for today I won't leave you side again, ok?"
Angelita giggled and jumped up and down accidentally revealing a some kind of of bar code on her middle arm area
Peter saw it and asked Angelita what that was
She quickly covered it up and said "Secret, can't Tell"
Peter looked at Helen clearly concerned
~ That can't be Good. I can't Leave her again, I Promised but can you go call the captain ask him if we can bring her to the ship? I really think someone needs to examine her. I don't want to scare her by calling the captain here. ~
Helen nodded and tousled Angelita's hair. ~Of course, Pete, I've been trying to search mentally for her stalker and I've come up with two or three possibles scattered throughout the hall but nothing more concrete. But sure, I'll talk to the Captain about getting her examined on board. I'll even put it as I'm trying to see if it would be possible to adopt her if we can't find her parents.~ "Angelita, I need to go talk to someone for a few moments, so could you stay here with Pete and keep serving the soup and sandwiches to everyone for me till I get back?" She moved to the back of the kitchen area and tapped her commbadge to talk to the Captain about the latest developments and if they could bring Angelita on board to get checked out privately.
There was a brief pause over the open comm-link after Lt. j.g. Waite had made her request to the captain. Finally, Holden replied, "The answer, at this time, is no, Lieutenant. If she has already been examined by the medical staff on the ground and released, there is no medical need for her to be transported up, at least without the knowledge of whomever has custody over her. If we were to beam her up here and someone were to show up, there would be serious repercussions. The girl cannot leave the planet until we discern just what her story is."
Angelita frowned but said "ok, you grups go alot"
Peter laughed as he watched Helen walk away. "I've got this, had years of practice with Malino, Malinda and now, Lil Lobren."
Then Peter and Angelita fed as many as they could while Peter was really hoping the captain would share there concerns.
When Helen returned, she telepathically delivered the News. Pete was frustrated but he looked at Helen.
~ I will find the proof we need to get them to believe us if it the last thing I do. Maybe if I get us captured then they'll listen. Sorry, Helen, no other choice. This is the only way I know to protect her now ~
Peter just picked Angelita and said "Sorry, sweetie, but I need you to trust me." Helen watched as Peter in essence kidnapped the child and walked away.
TO BE Continued in sim.............................