Erhlich Tarlazzi reviewed the padd that Cole gave Limis while seated at the main engineering section’s master situation console. He was comparing the specifications with library computer schematics. Limis looked over his shoulder while discussing this daring rescue plan with Kozar, Morrison, and Sullivan. “It all checks out,” Tarlazzi declared, interrupting the hushed words of the other officers.
“You still wish to proceed with this insane plan?” Kozar huffed. “We have no way of knowing where they are since they certainly altered their course to the Ventani system.”
“Our passive scans as well as other ships they might have passed can provide more and more information about that ship,” Limis retorted, taking the padd back from Tarlazzi. “Some sensor genius could still come up with a neat trick for tracking them.”
“How will get yourself and Markalis off that ship?” Morrison inquired.
Limis hadn’t really thought that far ahead, but these officers were right to be concerned for her safety as well as that of the officer she was planning to rescue. “One thing at time, people,” she replied. She raised her hand when Kozar was about to speak. “Any rescue mission carries risk, but we have to try. That’s the whole point. And I’m going to risk any more lives other than my own. Is that clear?”
“Perfectly,” Kozar said almost inaudibly.
“I’ll be damned,” Tarlazzi mumbled as he continued scrolling through the data transferred from the padd.
The others stepped over to the console to learn what piqued the engineer’s curiosity. “This virus the Augments plan to use,” Erhlich continued, “it was engineered by
Section 31 partially based on a pathogen first developed by Doctor Sarina Kaur of Project Chrysalis four-hundred years ago, possibly for use during the Eugenics Wars.”
“Forget the history lesson,” Kozar impatiently interrupted.
“There’s more,” Tarlazzi replied with a pleasured smirk at his specialty for antagonizing his superior officers, as that topic did hit a nerve in Kozar. “It is also based on a gene disruptor used by the T’Lani and Kelleruns called the Harvesters.
“They were determined to eliminate whoever knew about these weapons after their centuries-long war, including the Starfleet officers who assisted them. Looks like their worst fears were realized when Section 31 had Doctor Julian Bashir in their custody on Stardate 51698.”
Limis rolled her eyes, remembering that Cole’s rationale for wanting to prevent the use of this weaponized virus was the potential astro-political fallout. That never stopped such agencies before. This new information now added even more pieces to the puzzle. “And now Section 31 wants us
to clean up their mess,” she groaned. “Lovely.”
The computer chimed, getting everyone’s attention. “Access denied
,” said a nasal feminine voice.
“I knew I was getting greedy,” Tarlazzi quipped, as he was still scrolling through all the new data.
“I want that probe ready to go in an hour,” Limis said. “And don’t tell me it’ll take longer.”
She walked away, ending the meeting before Tarlazzi had a chance to respond. He just mouthed a barely coherent, “Yes, ma’am.”
Sullivan was completely silent during the mission briefing, possibly because Kozar and Morrison were already voicing the concerns that were already on her mind. Rebecca kept her gaze on her friend while weaving her way through the crowd of officers and technicians. Along the way, she did see Morrison give her an approving squint, meaning he was either imagining her naked or assuming she and his former love interest Sara Carson were more than friends. Yes, Sara was an attractive woman and Rebecca was mildly infatuated with her, but that was hardly Mandel’s concern. Rebecca returned his gaze with a derisive snort while continuing towards the main entryway to catch up to Limis.
While Vircona was looking straight ahead as she paced down the corridor, she could still see Rebecca’s approach form the she could still see Rebecca’s approach from the shadow being cast on the deck. “You were awfully quiet back there,” she curtly remarked.
“I hadn’t noticed,” Rebecca retorted. “Those Starfleet vets couldn’t dissuade you, but maybe I can as your friend.”
“You’re welcome to try,” Limis said avoiding looking at Sullivan, hoping any further discussion on the mission even with her closest of friends.
“It isn’t so much about stopping these fanatics now,” Rebecca offered, “as it is about punishing yourself for sending Aurellan on this possible suicide mission in the first place.”
“’Punishing myself’?” Vircona repeated, stopping to face Rebecca. “Wouldn’t that involve putting myself in harm’s way for no conceivable reason?”
“Not necessarily. You sent one of your crew on a dangerous mission and you feel saving her is your responsibility and yours alone.”
“More is at stake than one person’s life. But I owe it to her to get her off that ship alive. I did the same for you fourteen years ago. Believe me, I’ve considered all
the alternatives and this is the best one.”
“Good luck then,” Rebecca relented. “Especially after what you did for me then.”
“I’d do it again in a heartbeat,” Vircona replied putting a hand on Rebecca’s shoulder. She then continued down the corridor lost in recollection of the lengths she was willing to go to in order to save Rebecca all those years ago.