By: Chester , Captains Cat , [NPC]
Clarice, Stowaway Child, [RNPC]
Jonathan Wright, Executive Officer, [PC]
Doctor McIntyre , Doctor , [NPC]
Stardate: 58209.24 0030
Wright entered sick bay and made his way toward Clarice. He was surprised to see that she was moved out of isolation, but what really surprised him was the cat sitting on her chest. The cat had his eyes closed and was purring loudly.
"You must be the famous Chester," said Wright.
Wright reached out and scratched Chester's ears.
Doctor McIntyre saw him enter and joined him.
"So how is she doing?"
"She's been upgraded to stable. I thought you might want to know right away when you got back."
"Yes, thank you Doctor."
"As you can see, she's out of quarantine, she has been well for the past couple days. There is no indication of any active virus or infections in her systems. I think we can bring her to anytime."
"Let's start the process then," said Wright.
McIntyre nodded, he produced a hypo-spray and pressed it against Clarice's neck.
"She'll come around in a few minutes, Commander."
Wright looked at her, the at the cat sitting her. Wright was sure that she had never seen a cat before. He reached out and picked up Chester and placed him on the floor.
Chester looked up at the human and gave him his best indignant look, stretched and curled up in a ball at the base of the bed. He did not purr.
"Sorry fella," he said. "We don't want to scare her."
Chester decided not to even dignify that with a response and ignored him.
Wright watched as Clarice started to wake up. Her head turned from side to side. Her eyes opened and she looked around the room trying to focus. Finally, she focused upon Wright.
"How are you feeling?"
She paused a moment as if assessing her condition. "I'm really cold."
"That's normal. You have been pretty sick. You will start to warm up."
She nodded and pulled the covers up to her shoulders. "Are you mad at me?"
"We do have a lot to discuss," said Wright, " but I am not mad at you."
"I just had the get away from that place...from Bajor... and..." Clarice paused to try and hold onto her courage. "I want you yo be my dad."
Wright struggled to make word come out of his mouth. He had never thought of himself as father material.
"Now you're mad," she said and pulled the covers over her head.
Wright could not help it. He laughed.
"Now you are laughing at me!" She exclaimed from under the covers.
Wright laughed again and uncovered her head. "I am not mad. I just surprised."
At that moment Chester decided that the bed would be more comfortable and he jumped onto the foot of the bed.
Clarice let out a screech that Wright was certain was heard back on Bajor. The bio-bed monitors all red-lined.
Wright placed his hand on her shoulder to calm her down. "It's okay. This is Chester. He is the captain's cat."
Wright nodded and scratched the cat's ears.
Chester started purring and he walked up her legs and reclaimed his spot on her chest.
"That noise he makes, I like it."
Wright could see her eye lids getting heavy. "You should rest. I will be back later. "
"Okay father," she replied.
McIntyre, smiled at Wright as he walked near, "the things kids will do huh?"
"Indeed." Wright left sick bay.
McIntyre watched as the door closed. He shook his head and chuckled at the notion that Commander Wright had been in so many situations, and yet, nothing in his Academy training would prepare him for this.
By: Keighlee Alexi, Crewman, [RNPC]
Stardate: 58209.24 0115
Keighlee habitually checked the engineering system of the runabout as she traveled back to the Tachyon Matrix Unit. She didn't have to, but it was something to do to pass a little time.
The old pilot on the other hand was well acclimated to long, inter-system travel at sublight speeds. With the shuttle on auto pilot, he was busy digging in a large gear bag he had brought with him.
Over the past several hours she had spent with him, she'd learned much about him. He was essentially a courier. Shuttling priority deliveries of sometimes precious or exotic cargo: a food replicator part for one of the mining facilities, ship supplies to Neptune station, even exotic Orion dancers.
She looked over at the pilot who she'd spent quite some time with by now. She thought about the story he had told her about his daughter.
"So how did your daughter do it?"
"Yeah, I mean, one does not simply walk into Neptune Station and take a transport to ... where ever" she said, gesturing with her hand.
"Well, true, but you used to be able to relocate to Federation controlled planets and colonies, which is what she did, moved to a remote planet and then disappeared." He drew a deep breath and sighed.
"How would you do it now?" asked Keighlee.
Her question drew a concerned look from Conrad.
She stammered a little, "I-I mean, you know, theoretically speaking," she feigned a bright smile."
"Hmmmpph. Well, its extremely dangerous. It's considered treason now."
Keighlee shrugged and kept smiling.
The old pilot sighed and continued, "Theoretically speaking," he said with a slight wink, "the Tellerites operate an in-system trading post, one of the few allowed by the Federation, now, I've heard that for a high price, they will smuggle you out."
"What's a high price?" asked Keighlee unconsciously biting her nails.
"Theoretically," said Conrad with emphasis, "Maybe two or three bars of latinum."
Keighlee laughed nervously, "Like, anyone has that kind of currency."
A long time passed in silence which was interrupted by Conrad "We're almost there," he said as he signaled the station, "preparing automatic docking sequence."
Keighlee stood up after the ship was secured. "Well, good-bye Conrad, it was nice to meet you."
"Good-bye," he said in a voice with soothing affection.
As she turned to go, Conrad stood up, "Wait!"
Keighlee stopped and turned around, "I never got to say good-bye to my daughter. You remind me so much of her. I have something I want to give you," he said fumbling around in his bag.
He pulled out a box, about 20 centimeters square, and handed it to her. "For me?"
"Yes, I want you to have it."
She pushed a button on the side and the top raised up carrying with it the content of the box.
"A dilithium crystal? is it real?" she said with a smile.
"Oh, yes. It's real."
"...but, but this is worth a small fortune."
"Not really, they are illegal to sell. But I do have several of them." She looked at him with smirk, "How did you get them?"
"Well, I routinely deliver star ships a dozen of them at a time. If a starship doesn' t need a lot of supplies or repairs, they wait outside the grid and I deliver them. But, " he said ruefully, "...they are from the dilithium mines of Remus. And, some of the seasoned Captains we still have won't use them, won't even take them on board." He chucked, "some of them think even having them on board betrays their ship. Instead, they barter for dilithium from other traders." He shrugged his shoulders.
"So, we go through the motions, the ship rendezvouses and leaves. Oh, why am I even telling you this." he looked her in the eye, "Please don't tell anyone."
"Don't worry Sir. I won't." she said pushing the button on the side again.
He watched as the crystal descended back into the container and smiled. "Make a necklace out of it or... who knows, theoretically, you could buy your way out of this war."
Keighlee's lips parted in surprise, she didn't have a response.
The old pilot shook his head, "I admit, I've thought about it too, but I'm too old, I've got no place to go." he said easing himself back into the pilot's seat.
Keighlee looked down at her gift. She wasn't sure what to say or do. "Thanks."
"Well, you best be going, Ol' Conrad has a schedule to keep."
Keighlee nodded and scooped up her bag and put the box in it. As the air lock opened she turned and waved, "be safe," she said as she stepped through.
== Tachyon Matrix Unit 35 ==
As the airlock closed behind her, Keighlee opened her eyes and took a deep breath which exited in a sigh of relief as she spotted crew members she recognized from the Zion.
"They probably haven't left without me, " she thought to herself. She stepped out on to the deck hoisted bag's strap onto her shoulder, and went up the short flight of steps to the station command center and looked around. There were some faces she didn't recognize so she thought it best to play it cool.
She sat down at a station console and looked over the station logs. Nothing significant happened while she was away.
"Welcome back Ensign Alexi."
With a start she turned around. She han't heard her name in what seemed like ages.
"It's okay, we're all from the Zion here today. The Captain will want a full report."
She nodded and took the PADD being offered to her.
"Great. Let me know when it is ready, we'll beam it on a secure link."
"I'll get started on it right away."
By: Ian Hunter, Commanding Officer, [PC]
Jonathan Wright, Executive Officer, [PC]
Stardate: 58209.24 0800
Hunter studied a PADD containing the data from Jax's isochip. Across from him was Commander Wright who like-wise was studying a the intel.
Jax's information mostly corroborated with what the Zion had already acquired from Maxine Tappert's worm.
Riker's name did not appear on the manifest obtained from the Zion. Instead, three prisoners where simply listed by number. Two listed as human males, one Klingon female. Twelve other names appeared on the list, including Silvio's father and 14-year old girl listed as "Penelope S."
"Who executes a 14-year old girl?" said Hunter with a scoff.
Wright instantly thought about the orphan stowaway Clarice, who was currently in sickbay. A strange anger welled up within him. Not wanting to show his emotion he stuffed his anger away and simply replied, "I do not know captain. It's clear that we need to do something."
"It appears that the Federation is accelerating these executions, some of them have been moved up," Hunter paused, "they are all scheduled for execution in 2 weeks.
"It's not a lot of time but we can put together a rescue plan and get them all."
Hunter raised an eyebrow and looked up over his PADD. "A rescue?"
The Captain sighed and set his PADD down. "I don't think even Admiral Riker would condone the risk of an Alliance capital ship and her crew to risk his life?"
"This goes way beyond rescuing one man captain," said Wright. "Something is not right. Why after all these years would the kill the admiral? We thought he was already dead."
Wright gestured with his hands as he spoke, "No, they want to demoralize us. Don't you want to know why? It could be important."
Hunter leaned his chair back, "What I want to know," he paused to reflect, "...is what the Romulans are up to." he said, referring to Max's intel report from stardate 58209.23.
He nodded as if agreeing with himself and leaned forward. "If the Federation is forging a new alliance with the Romulans this could change the balance of things."
"We can rescue them and find out what's going on captain."
"Alright.," said Hunter, "coordinate with Intel to evaluate some strategies."
"Yes captain," said Wright
Hunter took a deep breath. "Very well, dismissed for now."
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