The Star Bread Baker"
By: Ian Hunter, Commanding Officer, [PC]
Teilani Dane, Chief Medical Officer, [PC]

Stardate: 58209.20 0500



==Mars==

Sunlight peeked through the wooden shutters and casted it rays on the away team. Little speckles of dust flew around as one of them turned and sat up.

It was too early but it promised to be a hot day. Teilani stretched and yawned, carefully moving to the side so she didn’t wake up the others.

“Where you going?? she heard softly behind her.

She turned and looked at Sam.

“Just going to get some food, and do a number 1. “ she whispered back. “ Go back to sleep.. its still early. “

“Early?? Sam muttered and looked at the window. “ Bloody sun is already shining.?

“Shhht you wake up Hunter and you know how is is when he hasn’t had his morning coffee. “

Sam giggled softly and laid herself back down. “ Careful out there Doc.?

As Teilani stepped into the street, the merchants were already busy setting up shop. The smells and sounds brought back memories. "Hey gorgeous your up early.." one of he merchants said and offered her a tray with cakes.

"No thanks.. say is Chez Maurice still there?"

"Chez Maurice..?" the merchant said.. "No ma'am he went out of business a few years ago.

"Dang." Teilani said..'he had the best breads ever."

"Well if you looking for fresh bread and not the replicated stuff. Go to Simon." the merchant said.. "Straight ahead and to the left."

"Will do."

More and more shops opened, taking the opportunity to do some early business before the midday sun became to hot. Usually after 12 the streets were deserted and shopkeepers did their business underground. Although Mars was terraformed there were still places where the process hadn't taken too well.

There it was.. Simon's bakery it read on the window.. Looking around for any Marsian police Teilani entered.

"Mornín' she said to an old man behind the counter. "You got any starbreads?"

"Sure have missy... freshly baked this morning.. " he said taking a starlike bread form the shelf.. its still slightly warm.. great to eat with rubarb jelly."

"Ohh.. its been ages since I have eaten that..Teilani said accepted the bread. "you got some.?

The old man studied her for a while.. "You know" he said..while taking a brownish jar behind him "You look familiar..

Teilani shrugged. "They have said that before.. guess I have a plain face."

Simon nodded " That must be it."

"How much do I own you"

"50 credits"

"50!?" Teilani said rolling her eyes.. "I have only 35.. You take an I owe you.?"

"Missy, ... its hard enough to make a living.. 50 or else ..."

Teilani dugg in her pocket and brought up some change.. "I have 42? Please.

The old man smiled. "Hard currency eh?" He paused to regard Teilani,

"Well you know.. you give me 42 and you bring the rest later alright?"

Flicking back her hair Teilani smiled. “I will I promise. Thanks Simon."

*** Hotel..Babylon **

Hunter, who had been watching great dust devils churn across the barren landscape turned as Teilani entered.

"Ah what have we here?"

"Something to eat Sir. Bread, jelly and coffee.. " she said with a grin taking a sip from a large mug balancing a brown bag with on her other arm.

Hunter helped her unload her arms, setting the items on a rickety table.

"Gathered you had to be hungry, and I scouted around town...

"See anything?"

Teilani shook her head. "Nothing in particular, some security patrols, merchants. Its still early of course. Coffee??"

Hunter nodded and quietly the team ate Teilani's breakfast.

"That was good," said Hunter.

“It isn’t much.? Teilani said. “Lots of goods are restricted or rotting away on the space docks. Quickly she cleared away the remains.

He glanced at Carter, "Well, let's get on with it."

The crew gathered their equipment, carefully dismantling it, they returned them to their hiding spots.

Opening the door of their room Hunter squinted at the peaked morning sunlight.

"Let's go."

"Sir..." Teilani said touching Hunters arm.

Hunter turned, "Yes?"

"There is something more.. when I went out to get breakfast the guy.. well he made a remark that I looked familiar."

Hunter squinted as he pondered the possibilities, "Does he look familiar to you?"

"I don't know.. I haven't been here in well you know many years." Teilani said with a shrug.

"Okay."

He nodded to Carter "Sam, you and Martin go see what you can find out about our baker, stake him out. Xavier and Dane will accompany me to locate the underground."

"Aye Sir."

Phase Two "
By: Bart "Burner" Reed, Fighter Pilot, [RNPC]
M'Ressha Mikaht, Fighter Pilot, [RNPC]
Maxine Tappert , Computer Specialist , [NPC]
RAWH , Pegasus AI , [NPC]

Stardate: 58209.20 0900



--First Officer's log: The away team having left for their mission on Mars, the Zion has set course for the Saturn moon, Tethys where we will begin intelligence gathering for the second phase of our mission. The crew is preparing the Pegasus, an experimental class of ship for a recon mission to monitor the activity at the ship yard."

***

Commander Wright stepped off the turbolift and made his way into the shuttle bay. The massive room was abuzz with activity. Engineering crew were busy configuring an intelligence gathering module to the Pegasus. This module would allow additional lodging for a covert away team. It would also turn the Pegasus into a mobile intelligence gathering command center with specialized communications monitoring equipment.

Wright scanned the room until his eyes landed upon the felinoid Catian they called Blitzer. "How are we doing?" he said when he had reached him.

Blitzer, who was humming the melody of his favorite Klingon opera as he inspected the contents of supply containers being loaded on the Pegasus, paused and stood up straight. Recognizing immediately he was being addressed by the ship's first officer gave a reflex-like salute as he turned toward Wright.

"Sir, we're just about ready for our mission."

"Very good," said Wright as he turned and watched a crew of marines enter the bay. "It looks like your passengers have arrived."

"Commander," Madge nodded to Wright as she stepped inside the Pegasus and over to Wright's side, allowing the rest her group to come onboard. The Marines all nodded respectfully to Wright as they passed along with varying comments of 'sir' and 'commander'. "It'll only take my boys a wee moment tae stow their gear," she assured the Zion's XO and Blitzer at the same time.

"Good luck," said Wright as he watched them board the Pegasus. When the hatch had been sealed Wright turned and left the shuttle bay.

***

Maxine looked up from where she was sitting at a computer console when the 'troops' arrived. "Calvery's here," she commented to Blitzer in a hushed tone.

Burner watched as the marines stowed their gear. Saying nothing he made his way forward toward the bridge. Climbing a short set of stairs he entered the bridge and took his seat next to Blitzer. "Our guests are getting settled in."

"Excellent," said Blitzer as he checked the status of various ship systems.

"Do you think that engineer got all the Peg's bugs worked out?"

"I dunno," shrugged Blitzer, "he keeps to himself a lot."

"He is a weird one," said Burner. "I tried to get him to visit Miranda's with me, but he said he had work to do. I don't think he leaves his engine room." Burner configured his station for launch.

Blitzer gestured, "Lock in NavComp 2....yeah, weird."

"I've heard of dedication to your job, but this guy takes it to a new level." Burner paused for a split second and then switched topics, "So, you going to let me take her out this time?"

RAHW materialized on the bridge of the Pegasus. "All systems are ready and standing by for your command," she informed the crew.

"Hey baby, how ya doin'?"

"My systems are running at one hundred percent efficiency, doll," the Pegasus AI informed him, and then grinned. She was decked out in a form hugging one piece jump suit that showed off every curve she had. Her hair was in a mass of braids and tiny scales glistened around her hairline, over slightly pointed ears, and down her neck.

Blitzer grinned, "wow.." he said with a purr in his voice.

"'Wow' is not an appropriate response," Rahw pointed out.

Blitzer exchanged a blank look with Burner and then turned to his console. Seeing that engineering had already signaled the ready status, he flipped on the com and hailed the Zion's flight officer, "Flight Control, this is the Pegasus, We're ready."

The com chirped, "Roger Pegasus. You are clear for take off."

Blitzer tapped the comlink again, "Attention crew, Blitzer and Burner are your pilots today and we're about to depart. If you haven't flown with us before, I'd like to assure you there is nothing wrong with the inertial dampening fields, that's just the way we fly."

Blitzer turned toward Burner and nodded. Their voices joined in their usual pre-mission mantra, "show time!"

Then, with his usual garish, Blitzer lifted the pegasus off and nose down accelerated as fast as possible to the maximum take off speed as stipulated by maquis flight regulation section 6 subparagraph 9.

Just as the Pegasus approached the force field, it shimmered and vanished.

New Orders Pending "
By: Keighlee Alexi, Engineer NPC , [RNPC]

Stardate: 58209.20 1100



Keighlee was staring out the viewport of TR-35 once again. Her mind was replaying the conversations from several days ago about earth and other planets that seemed to be paradise.

Her thoughts were interrupted by Lieutenant Thorp who called to her from the bridge, one flight of stairs up. "Starfleet Command is hailing you."

Keighlee felt as if her blood had just cooled a dozen kelvins.

Without a word she somberly walked up the steps and stood before the main display, "on screen."

A high ranking woman appeared and gave Keighlee a curt smile, "New orders Lieutenant."

Keighlee nodded.

"A repair barge will dock in 3 hours. Commodore Barretts is onboard. He will be personally overseeing final repairs to TR-35 and TR-36. When the repairs are completed he has requested that you join him in tomorrow's technology review and present your handiwork to the committee."

Speechless, Keighlee stammered, "I-I'd rather just stay and finish my shift on TR-35 Ma'am."

"You're too modest, dear. Never the less, those are your orders. Command out."

Wide-eyed and terrified, Keighlee covered her mouth and slumped into the chair.

"You okay?" asked Thorp.

Keighlee didn't answer, she just shook her head, 'no.'

Thorp knelt down beside the chair, "Keighlee, its okay, stay focused."

"Th-three hours. Th-they'll be here in three hours. I absolutely don't know what to do."

Thorp took a deep breath, hoping she would do the same. Knowing very little about the specifics of Keighlee's mission, he drew on his Ops training.

"Okay," he said, "we can't compromise our mission. We need them to believe that everything is normal. Can we still do that,"

Keighlee shook her head again, "no," she said, "they'll see the matrix is being reflected and not processed. I'd have to restore the matrix to its original specifications."

"Can you do it?"

"Yes, but then the Zion won't be able to escape without detection."

"Understood. We'll have to cross that bridge when we get there."

"I don't want to go with them."

Thorp shook his head, "It will be alright, we'll find you."

The look on his face betrayed him. Keighlee knew such assurances could not be guaranteed and that Thorp was only trying help her.

"Okay." said Keighlee bravely, "I have a lot of work to do. I could use your help."

***

Keighlee looked at the chronometer. There was less than 45 minutes to go. She had succeeded in overlaying the real matrix and without interruption, started streaming the matrix into the processor. She had left her enhancements in place, removing them might be suspicious.

She carefully packed Max's equipment into her gear bag and looked around. Everything was nearly as normal as it should be.

Now, all she could do was wait.

The Boss "
By: Dante , Consigliere , [NPC]
Don Falcone , Boss , [NPC]
Natasha , Capo , [NPC]
Officer Mulligan , Security Guard , [NPC]
Tagliano , Capo , [NPC]

Stardate: 58209.20 1300



==Mars - Don Falcone's Office==

Falcone stared at the fat Ferengi on the video display. "It's done then?"

"Yes, the syndicate has ordered his termination," said the Ferengi. "I am to inform you that there is a bounty on his head."

"It isn't often that the syndicate will put out a contract on one of its own," said Falcone.

"Jenkins has become a liability. His stupid plan to steal a Maquis warship nearly cost us all."

Falcone nodded in agreement. "What about that lap dog of his? Birkhoff?"

"He is to be eliminated as well."

"What about Jenkins' territory? who gets that."

The Ferengi smiled. "I intend to take it."

Falcone kept his expression neutral. "We'll see about that Ferengi."

The Ferengi laughed and the screen went blank.

Falcone stood up and walked over to a small bar in the corner of his office. His office was at the top of a tower. The walls around him were transparent and he could see out into the harsh reality of of the Martian landscape. To Falocne the rugged landscape was a work of art. He poured himself a drink.

Falcone was not stupid, he knew that Jenkins' territory would more than likely go to the one who terminated him. He was not about to let a fat Ferengi get between him and a fortune. He swirled the drink in his glass set it down and returned to his desk.

Falcone opened a comm link and the face of a long black haired beauty filled the screen. "Natasha, I have a job for you."

A grin slowly spread across her face. "I love it when you say that darling."

"Just get over here."

"I'll be there shortly," she said and the screen went dark.

Falcone pressed a green button on his console. A few moments later a door slid open and in walked Tagliano, a stout bald man dressed in an ornate vest and suit. He silently crossed the room and handed a credit chip to Falcone without uttering a word.

Falcone took the credit chip from Tagliano and slid it into a slot on his desk. A frown spread across his face. "Your light about fifty thousand credits."

"Sorry Boss, it's that Baker, Simon. He's got them merchants up in arms and they ain't payin' up."

Falcone shrugged. "This is not my problem," he said, "but if I were you, I'd get some muscle and lean on the baker. You gotta make an example of these trouble makers. Either way, you still owe me another 50 K."

Tagliano grunted and turned to leave.

"Where are you going?" snapped Falcone.

"Boss?"

"Do that on your own time. I got a job for you." Falcone pointed his finger at the underling.

Tagliano returned to the spot he was before, "yes?"

"That new guard at customs. There is a rumor that he is pushing girls." He spread his hand out on the top of his desk.

He studied the image on the monitor behind Falcone.

"He is busting in on my business. Go get him and bring hm here for a little chat."

"Anything else?"

"No."

Tagliano turned and headed toward the door. As he arrived, the door opened, with a curt whistle, two large thugs flanked him and he left.

Before the door closed,however, a silver haired man dressed in a tailor made suit stepped though the door. "Natasha is here to see you Boss."

"Show her in Dante," replied Falcone as he straightened his silk necktie.

Dante left the room and a few minutes later a tall woman with dark hair and legs that went on for miles entered the room. "You have work for me darling?" She sat down in a chair across for him.

"I need to you erase a mistake," said Falcone. He slid a hand held device containing all the information he had on Jenkins across the table to her.

Natasha picked up the device and read it. "Is this who I think it is?"

Falcone gave a single nod of the head. "This job is supported by the union."

Natasha flipped through the files on the device and committed them to memory. She set it down on the desk. "This will cost you double my going rate."

"Not a problem," said Falcone.

Natasha stood up. "I'll get started right away."

"I thought you would."

Falcone smiled as he watched her leave his office. She was one piece of work.

****

==Falcone's office==

Tagliano pushed on the security guards shoulder causing him to fall back into his chair. "I told you," continued Tagliano, "my boss just wants to talk to you."

Tagliano stepped back as a large man who's drug enhanced body would intimidate a klingon backhanded the guard. "What did you say your name was again?"

"Mulligan," he said spitting blood contemptuously.

Just then, Falcone entered the room. He walked right up to the guard and punched him square in the face. He felt the satisfying crunch as Mulligan's nose broke. "You thought I would just let you break in on my game did you?"

It was a long moment before Mulligan could answer. His head bobbled on top his slouched over body, pain flowed back through his head like the blood that flowed from his face. He swallowed hard, "I don't know what you mean," he muttered softly.

"Don't lie to me," said Falcone. He punched the guard again, his blood splattered everyone in the room. "You made a deal with a freelancer selling girls. How much is he kicking back to you?"

"I dunno, f-fifteen percent."

"Fifteen percent," shouted Falcone as he punched Mulligan again. "Who is the freelancer and where can I find him?"

"Name's Jones. Ma-market center. I think...

"If you're lying to me I will kill you," said Falcone.

"No..no."

"Now, I got one final problem," said Falcone. He grabbed Mulligan's sagging head by the hair and jerked it up so he could look him in the eye.

"Wha..?"

"I don't trust you. You tried to steal from me." Falcone shook his head sadly. "I guess I'm gonna have to kill you." He let go of Mulligan's head and paced around the room. "Unless..."

"What?"

"You can make it up to me. You can help me fix another problem."

"Problem..."

"It's those damn Ferengi," said Falcone. "The government on this rock granted them a gaming license. They are now in direct competition with my casinos."

Mulligan did not respond.

"Those insufferable aliens are bringing in a shipment of latinum for their grand opening. You being on the security force know this already yes?"

He hesitated then nodded his head affirmatively.

"Good." Falcone clapped his hands together a nodded. "You being on the security force also might get inside information as to their route they plan to take with their shipment yes?"

He shook his head no, "I'm not told that.

Falcone threw his hands up in the air. "Now you see, I don't want to hear the word 'no' from you. Tell me that you are going to find me that information."

Mulligan, barely conscious, grunted and muttered incoherently.

Falcone shrugged, "Either you find me that route or my boys here are going to take you for a walk out there." The crime boss gestured toward the rugged Martian landscape outside."

"I'll see what I can do," he muttered.

"Good," said Falcone. He turned to the his men. "Boys escort Mr. Mulligan out. Then go find this Jones fellow."

"What do you want us to do with him?"

"Kill him."

The Commodore "
By: Jonathan Wright, Executive Officer, [PC]
Keighlee Alexi, Crewman, [RNPC]
Simon Zent, Chief Science Officer, [RNPC]

Stardate: 58209.20 1345



Simon Zent, the Zion's chief science officer turned in his chair, his brain continued to assess the situation that he had just witnessed has he looked out at the forward viewer on the bridge.

"Sir?" he said addressing Commander Wright, who sat in the Captain's chair.

"What is it Mister Zent?"

"I think you should see this."

"On screen."

Zent switched his display to the main display viewer as narrated, "This is the output from TA-35, the tachyon grid station that we have subverted."

He paused a second, "Now, watch this,"

He slowed the display down, then in a single frozen frame of the image, which showed the output frequency from the tachyon grid matrix showed a break, and then was inverted 180 degrees.

"My interpretation of this data is that the tachyon grid has been reactivated.

"That is a concern," said Wright. "We better..."

"Sir," came a voice from the tactical station.

"What is it?"

"A Sabre class ship has changed course and is now heading directly toward TA-35."

"Helm follow that vessel," said Wright. "Yellow alert."

********************************

TA-35

"The Commodore's ship has arrived," announced one of the marines.

Keighlee chewed nervously on the edge of a fingernail.

The transporter pad lit up as five transporter beams appeared. Moments later a Commodore stepped down followed by an entourage of engineers.

He returned their salutes and then strode over to Keighlee.

"You must be our heroic engineer," he said greeting her.

Keighlee smiled faintly.

His entourage stopped behind. One of them produced a small box which was handed to the Commodore. He opened it and showed the contents to Keighlee.

"Do you know what this is?"

Keighlee nodded, "Its a Cochrane medal of Excellence."

"That's right. And its yours," he said, taking it from the box and pinning it on her uniform.

"...Congratulations."

"Thank-you, Sir." she responded as she watched the engineers disperse.

“Please,? said the Commodore. “Give me a tour of your handy work.?

“Yes Sir. This way.?

Keighlee led the smiling Commodore down several flights of stairs to the engineering section.

“So, you were able to repair the ionization chamber.?

“Yes Sir. That was not so hard.?

The Commodore chuckled.

“Over here is the accelerator matrix.? She showed the Commodore a schematic of her improvised device, which even now running with an improvised containment field, still yielded 180% output.

He returned a smile to her, “Beauty, smarts and modesty? he quipped.

The Commodore gestured to one of his staffers who promptly approached him.

“I think I have found a new research assistant.?

*******************************

USS Zion

The helmsman slowed the ship and announced, "Closing in on TA-35 Sir."

Zent turned to address the commander, "five humans have beamed onto the station Sir."

"Continue to monitor the situation," said Wright.

After a long hour past by, Zent stirred. "Sir, 6 humans have beamed back to the Sabre."

A moment later he amended his observation:

"The sabre is heading toward its original position Sir."

"Helm set a course to follow that ship. Mister Zent, monitor all communications from that ship."

"Yes Sir."

Reunion"
By: Ian Hunter, Commanding Officer, [PC]
Teilani Dane, Chief Medical Officer, [PC]
Nikita , Resistance fighter , [NPC]
Teilani Dane, Chief Medical Officer, [PC]

Stardate: 58209.20 1700



The cross-hairs of the long-range phaser rifle followed Doctor Teilani Dane as she and her small entourage made their way through the crowded underground corridors of the martian mining colony.

The rifleman, poised in the recess of an alcove carved high into the canyon like passage way, slowly squeezed the trigger until it made a dull empty click.

"Yeah, that's her." he muttered, handing the phaser rifle back to a woman near by.

"You don't seem to happy to see her."

"Should I be?"

"Isn't she family?"

The man scowled at the shapely leather clad woman and said, "no."

The woman fired back a perplexed look.

"She's a traitor," he said as he turned and pushed past the woman and two men. He stopped abruptly at the door and looked back over his shoulder, "Bring them to the section 6 meeting area."

"Josh."

The man turned and stepped forward and responded with annoyance, "What?"

The woman, signed and then spoke softly, "Protocol specifies that you meet...."

"Protocol? Merde!" he blurted out interrupting her. He stepped even closer, "I'll call the shots. Now go get them."

"They don't know us, what if they don't come along?"

Josh scowled, "Then, shoot 'em."

One of the men nearby gave Josh a shove on the shoulder, "knock it off, we need this contact. Your going to have to put your petty family problems aside."

Josh turned and walked toward the door again. Without turning he said, "tell them Uncle Brex's star bread is still the best."

****

The woman approached Hunter and Dane as they stopped to look around in the open market place. Acting as if they were good friends she stopped in front of them, "Well look at you!" she said, "I haven't seen you in ages."

Only in a split second Teilani managed to hide her surprise. "Hello... it has been indeed a long time. How have you been." she replied.

"I hear your Uncle Brex makes the best star bread."

Teilani shook her head. " You are mistaken.. it only tastes good with Simon's royal jelly."

She reached out and gave Dane a friendly hug, pulling her close enough to whisper in her ear, "come with us."

"Ke.." Teilani whispered back. She gestured at Hunter. "This is an old friend of mine."

"Please to meet you, I'm Jones."

The woman, who couldn't have been more than 19 or 20 years old, smirked slightly and said, "Of course, Mr. Jones....This way please."

As she spoke, two other men approached them. They wore long cloaks and dark eyeshades. From their gait Hunter could tell they were likely concealing a cache of weapons.

One stopped and kept point while the other approached the group. "The taxi is ready," he said.

"So business is going good?" Teilani said as they followed the woman, "Things have indeed changed here."

"No, not good at all really," said the girl looking around. "We can talk later."

They continued through the crowd, crossing over to the row of shops that lined the corridor. Behind the shops a ground transport pulled up. Its driver was dressed as a miner.

The group got into the vehicle and sped away. After a bumpy 5-minute ride they stopped at a mass-transportation depot.

They got off the vehicle which drove off in a hurry. In front of them was the Martian mass transportation system which appeared to be a large transparent tube. Within moments a highspeed car slowed to a stop, causing a section of tube to rotate until the entrance was aligned with the deck.

They entered the compartment which held about 40 empty seats and made themselves comfortable.

The vehicle lurched forward as overhead com panels began making announcements about various destinations. Hunter perceived they were going very deep below the surface. The environment was noisy and dusty.

"This ride will last about 15 minutes, I'm sure you have lots of questions."

Hunter nodded.

Eventually the car stopped and they disembarked. Another vehicle was waiting for them. They traveled just a few minutes, got off. Suddenly from no where, three sentries appeared and scanned the away team. They nodded at the girl, who motioned them back on the vehicle which proceeded down a dark tunnel.

"We're now in a secure area," she announced. "My name is Nikita." said the girl, introducing herself at last.

"Welcome to Mars,"

Teilani nodded. "My friend will lots of questions questions.' she said. "I only have one. How's Josh?"

Nikita drew a breath and signed. "Angry," she paused, "...and bitter."

Teilani nodded slowly. "I thought so and I don't blame him. We didn't part on the best of terms. Frankly I am surprised," she continued.

"Oh?"

"Yes... that he hasn't try to kill me yet."

Nikita nodded, "he doesn't talk about you."

Teilani looked at Hunter. "When I left.. we had a big fight.. Josh accused me of being a traitor.. and that when ever I tried to set foot in his house he would kill me."

"Then don't go in his house," Hunter said.

"He was or better yet is always been a man of his word. So I... I wonder what will happen." Teilani said feeling a little sad. Frankly she wondered if she had done the right thing. Had she not left, she would be in the resistance now.. working along side her brother.

"You should know," offered Nikita, her face conveyed a certain uncomfortableness, "...that Josh was seriously wounded in battle a couple years ago."

Nikita leaned forward some, "What resolve he had before that, has turned him solid as titanium. He is just a black angry shell of a man."

She leaned back and gestured with her hands, "brilliant leader, though..."

Teilani managed to offer a little smile. He had been hurt and she hadn't been here. Perhaps she could have helped him, maybe she could help him now. She looked out side seeing her own reflection. She had changed over the years, but according to Nikita so had Josh. Teilani wondered if their differences could be reconciled. She felt her sadness deepen.

This wasn't a time to dwell on the past they were here to do a job. To bad she wasn't a vulcan, then she could put her emotions to the side and only focus on the misson at hand.

She remembered a discussion she had had wiht Patia, about family it was a lot of targ poo. Family only brought you pain and hardship. She clenched her jaw. Well if Josh didn't want to speak to her or be in the same room then so be it. She was a grown woman... she didn't need to pay pennance to him.

The vehicle ground to a halt and the occupants got off one by one.

"Welcome to Mining section 6," said Nikita.

It was dark dank and dusty. The station was dimly lit and the air was stale and kinda musty. One did notice that they were deep underground. Usually the deeper you went the colder it was getting but not here, it was hot. The excess energy of deep mining was channeled through the corridors, giving off its heat.

Nikita gave them some hard hats, "We gotta walk a few yards." she said. "mind your step.."

The walls were covered with a slimy green substance.. Teilani recognized it as an algae native to Mars.

"Watch the ceiling." Nikita said pointing upwards. Dust particles and little pieces of rock fell down as the group passed.

"Lift you feet here.. there is a trip wire." Nikita said as she waited until Hunter had passed her.

The heat was getting more apparent.. and Teilani could feel her throat tighten. "How much further?"

"Not far." Nikita said. "You will get used to it in a few hours." she said

"Its tough.." Teilani said coughing.

"The only place the security doesn't come.. to unsafe."

After many more minutes of arduous walking, they came to a stop. Nikita pulled out a small device and entered some data into it.

A section of the corridor dematerialized. Behind it another dark corridor. "In there," she said.

As they entered there was a single spotlight, shining in the center of a vast large room.

Two men stepped forward and escorted Dane and Hunter to that spot. There they patted them down for weapons and scanned them for any electronic devices.

After which, they disappeared into the darkness.

There was a long foreboding silence.

Hunter squinted against the light, he couldn't make out but a few shadowy figures. surrounding them.

"Do you have the data?" said a loud voice.

Hunter shook his head. "no."

"Then where is it?"

"No," said Hunter, "we will deal directly with Joshua Dane or not at all."

After a moment, Josh stepped into the circle of light.

"I am Josh Dane."

Teilani nodded at Hunter. It indeed was her brother. He was older, more lines, she noticed he walked with a slight limp, probably from the injury. His features were hard.. rough.. She could sense he had seen a lot of hardship. While she had a good life on the Zion he obviously had to fight for survival.

"Hello Josh." she said softly and smiled hesitantly.

Josh came and stood in front of Teilani but said nothing, He studied her for a moment, just as she had studied him.

"Teilani, " said Josh clearing his throat, "there are 40 phasers pointed at you and Mr. Captain here...."

He stepped back a couple steps, "is this really the Captain and not a Federation impostor?"

She nodded. "Allow me to introduce Captain Ian Hunter Commanding officer of the USS Zion. Of course you will understand we do not have our official ID's with but he is indeed the real deal." she said.

"You haven't changed at all," muttered Josh. "You are still a smart ass."

"Sir.. Joshua Dane.."

"oh, spare the pleasantries. Just tell me about the data, supplies and arms."

Hunter looked around briefly at the shadowy figures moving about. "Perhaps in a more private venue."

Josh's upper lip curled into a snarl, "fine. Follow me."

The three of them walked to a large metallic door which opened on Josh's command.

Inside was a small table and some food. Nikita followed them inside as well, "Help yourself," she said gesturing toward a small kitchette.

Hunter placed a small isochip on the table. "Don't worry," said Hunter. The was data is encrypted by a vulcan. The key is safeguarded elsewhere.

"Okay," said Josh, "Nikita, take the Captain to go retrieve the key.

Without a word of hesitation Hunter and Nikita departed.

A long long while passed, neither brother nor sister spoke.

"Well." Teilani said softly . " This is awkward.. I suppose a hug is out of the question right?"

"It would be."

"Understandable.. " she replied and walked towards the kitchenette. "Coffee?"

"Thanks."

Her hands were shaking as she made some of the brown liquid for her self. Holding the mug tigthly she turned back to her brother. "Your still mad a me right?"

He slapped his hand down on the table, causing half the coffee in his cup to slop out."Mad doesn't even start."

"I did what I had to do Josh.. but you only know part of the story. I never joined up with the Federation. Sure I worked for that Admiral as his personal physician, yet when ever I had the chance I filtered information to the Maqui.

"Bullshit," scowled Josh.

"No body knew.. so its understandable that you think I am a traitor. I mean if you can not trust your own sister then who can you trust."

"I can trust," said Josh slowly and with conviction, "the 140 men and women outside this door."

Sipping her coffee Teilani nodded. "I'm sorry.. I shouldn't have come." she said and placed her mug on the table.

"You should know about Melissa too."

"Melissa?" she asked turning back.

"She was almost killed 4 months ago. She's not in very good shape."

"Where is she?"

"Selenia Valley."

"Even though you hate my guts Josh I still am a damn fine doctor and although I can not correct the wrong I obviously have done according to you I can still cure people. So put your damn pride to the side and take me to her!!" Teilani suddenly burst out.

"There is no pride in this. This is just hard living under Federation rule."

"You think you had it hard!!" she answered. "You don't know half of what I have gone through. Thinking you all were dead. Got myself nearly killed... etc etc. I will spare you the long stories... you piggheaded idiot."

"Look at me. I have been killed. Twice. My knee is gone, the skin on my back is gone and I'm still here fighting for the cause."

"Yes and what am I doing? " she said stubbornly. "picking my nose or so?" Look we are in the same boat, now I can not undo the past but we can at least try to set our differences aside right. We are fighting for the same cause. "

"Are you sure?" he said as he limped to the other side of the room. He rubbed his knee.

Teilani shook her head. "Well obviously I need more to convince you. Your so stubborn Josh." Teilani said gently and pushed him on a chair.

"Now shut up and let me look at it."

He lifted his leg up. It was externally braced in a robotic joint.

She reached over for her pack and from a small concealed compartment took out a medical tricorder. "One of the ligaments is gone.. there are some little bonefragments lodged between your kneecap. That's what causing you the pain."

"We have no Doctors." said Josh, "Just a dozen overworked medics." [****DAVE: They have no docts but can install robotic joints? Also, by his injury descriptions...he should be dead if there were no doctors. Consider saying that they have very frew overworked medics] A distant explosion punctuated remark.

She looked up, two pair of eyes meeting each other. Eyes which had seen a lot of suffering, pain.. hate and despair. "You have now." she answered.

"What do you mean?"

"I will tell Hunter I will not come back with him. I can do much more here. Perhaps we can even try to get some medical supplies." she said. "For now I can only give you something for the pain."

"If your Captain left you behind," he said with a grunt as he lowered his foot to the floor, "He'd have to take me with him, because it would be impossible for me to stay on the same planet as you," he said with a slight smirk.

"That's alright." Teilani said as she adjusted the brace. She had her head lowered so she didn't see Josh's smirk. "I'm sure I can find a place where you and I don't have to encounter each other."

Suddenly a warbling klaxon sounded. The door swung open and several of Josh's men entered.

"We need to leave Sir."

Josh stood up and hurried Teilani forward by her upper arm, "we have to hurry."

Far Cry"
By: Ian Hunter, Commanding Officer, [PC]
Nikita , Resistance fighter , [NPC]
Samantha Carter, Security Officer, [RNPC]

Stardate: 58209.20 2005



Nikita led Hunter back to the station and the waited for the mass-transit to arrive.

Nikita looked down at the ground and flipped a small rock over with her foot, "She's stubborn."

"Hmmm?"

She looked up at Hunter pensively, "like her brother, very stubborn."

A slight smirk graced Hunter's face. "I suppose so."

The expression on Nikita's face suggested she was getting at something else.

She shook her head, "Some days, he's like a madman, wandering around barking orders that make no sense. The next day he can be decisive be the leader we so badly need."

Hunter said nothing in response, but just nodded.

"This has been going on for years. Its a far cry from where I thought we'd be by now."

Their conversation was interrupted by several explosions down one of the tunnels.

Hunter instinctively bolted toward the tunnel they had come from.

"No!" said Nikita holding his arm pleadingly, "There isn't anything you can do anyway. The encryption key is the most important thing right now."

Hunter took a deep breath, "Yeah," he said acknowledging her. He looked back over his shoulder in time to see the mass transport unit coming toward the station.

"Let's go then," he said stepping up to the loading platform as their ride slowed to a stop.

========

After the long ride back to the market place Hunter looked at Nikita, "I'm hungry for star bread. Do you know any good places?"

Nikita nodded, "This way."

They walked to the location where the Star bread baker's store was. The area was almost deserted. Hunter looked around and then went inside.

He immediately spotted Sam as well as several other suspicious looking patrons.

He pretended to be perusing the baker's goods and made his way near Sam.

He nodded as if being courteous, "ma'am," he said softly as he stepped past the spot she seemed to be riveted too.

Sam nodded.. and continued to browse a shelf with trinkets on it..Then she held up some item, " Now this is fascinating, there is no telling what you will find here..How cool."

Hunter nodded, "I agree," and walked toward Nikita. Sam had used the duress phrase, "no telling."

When Hunter was close enough to Nikita, he said openly, "I'm not finding what I'm looking for."

Nikita nodded and turned with Hunter toward the door which was immediately blocked by two of the larger patrons that had been in the store.

"Going somewhere Mr. Jones?"

"Do I know you two?"

The men looked at each other, one of then turned back and said, "you will."

"What a catch today," said a voice from the back of the store.

Hunter and Nikita turned slowly, behind the counter was a stout, bald man. "Who are you?" asked Hunter.

"Tagliano's the name."

"What do you want from us?" inquired Hunter.

"First, I'm going to liberate your girls, Mr. Jones, then, I'm going to kill you."

Tagliano gestured toward one of the large men, "We'll don't just stand there, pat'em down." he said holding up the chip Sam was holding to the light, "See what other goodies they got.

As one of the goons put his hand on Nikita's but, she grabbed him in a wristlock and spun him around, flipping him to the ground violently. Before the other goon could move she pulled out a small phaser weapon and fired it. The goon's head turned instantly into a sandy gray soot and spilled to the floor as the body dropped to its knees for a moment and fell over.

With out flinching she targeted the goon on the floor and fired at him point blank then she leveled the gun at the thug behind the counter.

Hunter grabbed him and pulled him over the counter and threw him on the floor. The chip tumbled a few feet, landing near Sam who picked it up.

Hunter picked up Tagliano by the collar and pulled him to his feet. "Who are you?" he asked.

"Mobsters." answered Nikta before the man could answer.

Movement over his shoulder caused Hunter to turn. More men were standing in the door with weapons drawn. Nikita also turned drawing her weapon, but before she could fire, they were hit by weapons set on heavy stun.

Log Index | Go to Stardate 58209.21