Perseus: Ghosts

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by DavidFalkayn, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    This is the first new Perseus I've completed in some time. It's a relatively short story that focuses on the chief tactical officer, the v'tosh katur Vulcan, T'Pren. It also brings in some plot elements that will be explored in future Sutherland, Perseus, and when they're ready for prime time, Bellerophon stories. I hope everyone enjoys it!
     
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  2. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Ghosts: Part 1

    P’jem Monastery


    “Gods!” An attractive blue-skinned Andorian woman exclaimed as she carefully reread the Vulcan text lying open on her desk making sure that she had translated the obscure dialect correctly. Shaking her head, she sighed as she closed the book and began a most ominous and foreboding log entry. “I’ve found what the humans call the ‘smoking gun’ in these ‘lost diaries’ of T’Pol that a friend loaned to me. T’Pol was very careful. Besides using a pre-Surak dialect, she wrote in a code that took me over three years to decipher. I suspect that she must have had help from Hoshi Sato in developing the code. The only way I managed to even begin cracking it was that I picked up on certain human and other elements that would not have appeared in any Vulcan code of the period, but that Sato would have been able to have easily put together. What’s in this diary...it’s hot. Once it gets out...” The Andorian historian paused as a light flashed on her computer monitor. “They know...” she exclaimed, a note of panic in her voice, “I have to move...they’re coming for me and the diary. I know a place where I can hide the diary and my notes, but I have to get out of here and get help and there’s only one person I can truly trust—but will she still be willing to help me after all this time? I hope so. Gods I hope so! End recording.”

    Taking the recording rod from its slot and quickly gathering the diary and her notes, Larissa threw together the few clothes she possessed into a valise. Then, addressing the computer, she commanded, “Computer...transmit the following message to Lieutenant T’Pren on board USS Perseus from Larissa sh’ Lannonshin. Plastering a nervous smile on her face, Larissa spoke, “Hey baby...”

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

    “Thanks for the workout, Samuels!” Lieutenant T’Pren remarked cheerfully to the young human who had agreed to serve as her sparring partner as she wiped the sweat off her arms and legs with a towel.

    “Don’t mention it, sir!” Crewman Richard Samuels replied as he joined his superior officer in cooling down. “I was getting rusty. I hadn’t been in a bout since Basic.”

    “Well...” The young Vulcan woman answered back, flashing a friendly grin taking the newly arrived security crewman aback. Noticing the surprised look on the young crewman’s face, T’Pren’s grin grew wider as she redid her ponytail, “Never seen a Vulcan smile before, have you? I’ve gotta admit, most of us don’t. Anyway, to get back to what we were talking about...you showed me a couple of moves I hadn’t seen before.”

    “Oh...” Samuels blushed, “I picked those up from a friend of mine who’s into this Bolian martial art—I can’t remember right off hand what it’s called. It involves making use of a lot of feints to lull your opponent into making a reckless move and then countering by striking at the exposed weak-point.

    “I see...” A now more thoughtful T’Pren replied. “Maybe you could teach those moves to the rest of the team?”

    Pleased at his superior’s praise, the young enlisted rating beamed, “I’d love to, sir.”

    “Great!” T’Pren smiled back. “I’ll get with you and your division leader and we’ll set up a schedule.” Then, catching a whiff of her aroma, the young Vulcan woman blushed a delicate shade of green, “Don’t know about you, but I’m going to hit the showers—I positively reek. Thanks again for the workout!” She called out again as she walked away.

    Watching the retreating form of the Vulcan security chief wearing her skin-tight gym togs, the young man sighed longingly.

    “Forget about her, Samuels.” A female voice playfully teased, “No way you’re ever going to get her interested in someone like you.”

    “Why?” Samuels retorted, “She got a problem with getting involved with lower ranks?”

    “No...” The woman chuckled, “It’s not your rank.”

    “Then what is the problem?” Samuels bit back, his frustration growing as T’Pren disappeared behind the sliding door.

    “It’s your gender.” The woman responded, her voice tone now a bit more sympathetic. “She’s only interested in girls. Preferably, from what I’ve heard in the gossip mill, blue skinned and with white hair and antennae...”

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

    Stripping off her gym togs the moment the door to her quarters slid shut behind her, T’Pren noticed the blinking light on her desk indicating a stored subspace message. Internally debating as to whether to check the message out now or wait until after she had finished her sonic shower, the young Vulcan, after getting yet another whiff of her body odor from her armpits, decided that hygiene couldn’t wait, “Shower now...message later.” Emerging a short time later from her shower, the security chief, now clad in a white terry-cloth bathrobe, began brushing back her long, luxurious auburn hair as she sat down at the desk. “Computer...” she commanded in between brush strokes, “...play messages.”

    As a familiar and long-missed face appeared on her viewscreen, T’Pren gasped in pleased astonishment, “Larissa!” Her pleasure quickly turned to concern though as the perceptive Vulcan at once picked up on the worried look on her lover’s face.

    “Hey baby...I know it’s been a while...too long...” the smile that had been on the Andorian woman’s lips turned down into a frown as she continued to speak, “...but with everything going on...the war and all...I guess we got kind of separated. I wouldn’t blame you if you cut me off right now, love, but I hope you’ll at least listen to the rest of this message first—it’s important—as in ‘lives—my own especially—on the line’ important.” Pausing to take a breath, the lovely historian brushed back a stray lock of white hair before continuing. “To make a long story short, after the war, I continued my research into pre-Romulan War Vulcan history—you know the stuff I was working on dealing with the return of Syranists to power and T’Pol and Tucker’s role and possible tie-ins to the Terra Prime movement and all. Well...” The young Andorian glanced nervously to her side before continuing, “I found something. Something big. Something I don’t think I was supposed to find. And it was out there all the time—all someone had to do was look hard enough for it. If...when...” she stated definitively, her eyes now displaying her Andorian warrior heritage, “...this gets out—a lot of people—I mean a lot—are going to get extremely pissed off. T’Pren...” her frown deepening as she saw the look of fear on her lover’s face, T’Pren leaned forward towards the monitor, watching and listening with even greater intensity. “...I need to see you. You can find me on Vulcan at the Valaran Hotel...suite 4314. Please...please...come. I’m scared, honey. Really scared.”

    Exhaling deeply as her old girlfriend’s image vanished from the monitor, T’Pren, springing to her feet, quickly donned her uniform as she tapped her comm badge. “T’Pren to Captain Hobson. Sir...may I see you for a few moments at your earliest convenience?”

    His thoughts concentrated on the Fu’Puk after-action report sitting before him on his desk, the fastidious commanding officer of the Perseus, quickly detecting the urgent timber in his security chief’s request responded in his usual quiet, patrician, voice. “Of course, Lieutenant. Would now be a sufficiently good time?”

    “Yes, Sir. Thank you, Sir.” The young Vulcan responded, heaving a sigh of relief as she took a recording of the message along with her. “I’m on my way.”

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

    “Come!”

    Entering Captain Hobson’s ready room the moment the door swooshed open, T’Pren strode quickly towards the captain’s desk, coming to a halt just before it.

    Looking up from his padd, a trace of a smile appeared on the Iceman’s lips as he observed his security chief standing before him. “What can I do for you, Lieutenant?”

    “I received this, sir...from Larissa.” T’Pren began tentatively, handing the recorded message of her lover to the patrician captain. “I’d appreciate it if you’d listen to it and tell me what you think?”

    “Are you sure, Lieutenant?” Chris asked with a raised eyebrow that would have done a Vulcan proud.

    “It’s all right, sir.” T’Pren replied, once again giving her assent, “There’s nothing in there for me—or you—to be embarrassed about. It’s just that...” pausing for a moment, the young Vulcan gave up trying to find the words, “...well, sir...it’d probably be better if you went on ahead and saw it.”

    “If you’re sure...” Taking the single, silent nod of her head as assent, the captain listened and watched intently as the video message played. Once the message ended, Chris removed the recording and handed it back to the Vulcan woman standing before him, inquiring, “Do you remember what sort of research she was doing?”

    Casting her mind back to her Academy days, T’Pren took several moments to consider her answer before cautiously replying, “I know she was pursuing a possible connection between the Terra Prime movement and the Vulcan High Command, but as far as I know, it never went anywhere—she just couldn’t find the sources to corroborate her hypothesis.”

    “Perhaps she finally did find them.” The scholarly Hobson commented and then inquired, “Do you have any ideas as to who or what it might be that is frightening her?”

    “No, sir.” The lovely Vulcan responded, shaking her head, her long ponytail swishing from left to right as she did. “I can’t think of anyone...after all, it’s been over two hundred years...”

    “Hmmmm...” The brown-haired captain vocalized as his mind calculated various possibilities, not liking any of them. “So... what do you want to do?”

    “Well, sir...” T’Pren began tentatively, “I do have several weeks of leave accumulated.”

    “That you do.” The captain affirmed. “I take it that you would like to take that leave to see your friend?”

    “Yes, sir.” The young Vulcan replied with a nod of her head.

    “I see.” The captain took several moments to carefully consider his junior officer’s request before reaching a decision, “Lieutenant...are you sure you wish to do this?”

    “Sir?” A somewhat confused T’Pren replied, not expecting that answer from her captain. “What do you mean ‘Am I sure?’”

    Exhaling the slightest of sighs, Captain Hobson spoke cautiously and in a very low, almost inaudible tone, “If your friend has attracted the attention of the people I think she might have attracted, it might already be too late for her and you might find that you’ve landed into a situation that you might not be able to extricate yourself from...even with my help.”

    Her eyes betraying her concern for her old lover, T’Pren inquired with an edged voice, “What are you talking about, sir? Who are these people and what do you mean about it being too late for Larissa?”

    Motioning with his hand for his subordinate to take the seat opposite his desk, Hobson explained, “As you’ve been made aware through Leyton’s coup attempt and other...incidents, there are many forces and factions at work within and without the Federation. The confusion and chaos created by the lead up to the War, the War itself, and its aftermath, have given these factions a great deal of opportunities. One such opportunity we saw recently at Fu’Puk...”

    “But that was the Klingons...” T’Pren began only to be cut off by her captain.

    “True.” Hobson agreed, “But that still does not exclude the possibility of some involvement by one or more of these factions. Between you and me, Lieutenant, I have a feeling the book has not been completely written on Fu’Puk as yet.”

    “So... what does this have to do with Larissa?” T’Pren asked.

    “Terra Prime has never completely gone away.” Hobson replied with a grimace. “It has instead metamorphosed and combined with other factions and entities—some of which...” he cautioned, “...work under the umbrella of Starfleet and enjoy the support and protection of prominent individuals and organizations not just in Starfleet, but on Earth as well.”

    “Who exactly are these factions?” The young Vulcan queried of her captain.

    Shaking his head, Hobson replied, “One of them is Section 31—you might have heard of that group.”

    "Only through rumors and conspiracy theories, sir." T'Pren replied, "I never took them seriously though."

    "Well..." Chris replied, "You can believe me when I tell you that while much of what is said about Section 31 and its activities is exaggerated, there is enough that is real for us all to be worried. But they're not the only ones. Another is the New Essentialist Movement.”

    “I thought they had been discredited after that affair on Risa.” T’Pren interjected.

    “Not completely.” Hobson answered back with a single shake of his head. “While Fullerton and his group’s attempt to sabotage the weather control system on Risa did cause a temporary setback to the movement, the New Essentialist Party disowned Fullerton and was able to make a complete recovery shortly afterward. If anything, thanks to the war, the movement has actually gained in popularity within the Federation.”

    “So... how do the New Essentialists play into this?” An increasingly curious T’Pren asked.

    “They’re one of the public and legitimate...or semi-legitimate in the case of the New Essentialists...faces of these factions.” Chris replied. “Along with a few other groups and parties—some of which might even surprise you if my suspicions are correct.” Shaking his head, the captain conjectured, “But no... I don’t think the New Essentialists are involved here.”

    “So, who else might be?” The security officer asked, repeating her earlier question.

    Sighing, Hobson replied, “It would take too long to explain in detail and much of what I do have is hearsay—second and third hand information...”

    “Forgive me, sir...” T’Pren ventured, the vaguest hints of a sarcastic smile crossing her lips, “But a lot of this stuff sounds like...”

    “The sort of stuff you’d find in a cheap holo-novel.” Captain Hobson interrupted, a rare, ironic grin appearing briefly on his face. “That’s what I thought at first.” He said, the smile on his face disappearing now to be replaced by his usual expressionless mask, “But then I found out the hard way that while much of it are just rumors and innuendo with no basis in truth—nothing more than a big pile of mugatu droppings really...” he remarked in an uncustomary earthy manner. “There are enough...more than enough...elements of truth. Elements that can and will hurt you and those closest to you if you prove too much of a problem to them. There are bogeymen in the woods, Lieutenant, make no mistake about that.” The captain firmly warned his visage now ice-cold. “But...I’ll give you what information I can if you insist on your course of action.”

    Nodding her head once, T’Pren affirmed, “I do, sir...with your permission, of course.”

    “Very well, Lieutenant.” Chris unenthusiastically agreed. “It’s quiet in this sector for now and your department is in good order. Permission reluctantly granted, but be careful.” Pausing for a moment as he gazed into the determined eyes of his subordinate, the captain inquired, “I assume you’ll need a shuttle or runabout?”

    “Thank you, Captain.” T’Pren responded with an appreciative grin, “A shuttle should suffice.”

    Nodding his head Hobson assented to his security officer’s request, “Very good, you may take the Pegasus. When do you plan to begin your leave?”

    “As soon as possible—if that’s all right with you, sir.” The Vulcan lieutenant promptly replied.

    “That would be acceptable. Ensign Galway should prove an adequate stand-in until your return.” Hobson concurred, “I will have what information I have available for you before you depart. I suggest strongly that you study it while enroute to Vulcan.”

    “Thank you, sir.” T’Pren smiled as she rose to her feet and turned to leave.

    “I hope everything works out well for you and your friend.” Chris concluded, dismissing the young lieutenant, “If you need assistance...”

    “I won’t hesitate to call, sir.” A grateful T’Pren responded
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  3. admiralelm11

    admiralelm11 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    I’m glad to see that you’re getting back to this story. And the Bellerophon? I’d be interested to hear more about the ideas behind that. :)
     
  4. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    This story feels familiar. I seem to remember this from years ago. I don't think it was ever finished. Looking forward to find out what conspiracy may have been uncovered here.
     
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  5. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    I posted it on our forum. It is finished now and I hope everyone likes the ending. Right now, Bellerophon is still very much on the drawing board stage. I've got a few principal characters: Captain Boris Rodenko (Thanks to LoneRedShirt for allowing me to give him command), Commander Ilya Zhreven (A Halenoi--a race encountered by USS Lexington), First Officer; Commander Vordus (Again thanks to LoneRedShirt) the CMO; Lieutenant Pamela Rydell in Engineering, and Ensign Angelica Harmon (a woman with something of a mysterious past) helmsman.
     
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  6. admiralelm11

    admiralelm11 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Awesome! Keep up with the great stories, United Trek!
     
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  7. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Ghosts: Part 2

    “Vulcan Central? This is the shuttlecraft Pegasus, temporarily detached from USS Perseus, Lieutenant T’Pren piloting, requesting clearance to land Kyrshara Starport, groundside.”

    “Shuttle Pegasus. There will be a one-hour delay before clearance can be granted.” A flat monotone voice responded. “Once final clearance has been given, follow standard customs and debarkation procedures upon landing.”

    “Will do, Vulcan Central. Thanks, and have a nice day.” Her laughter escaping as she imagined the ground control technician’s probable response to her sign off—most likely a raised eyebrow. T’Pren shook her head, allowing her long, luxurious, auburn locks to cascade freely down her shoulders and back. Sitting back in her chair, T’Pren took a deep breath and exhaled as she glanced down at the padd on her lap containing Hobson’s notes that she had been reading for the umpteenth time. “How did you get all this information, Captain.” T’Pren whispered in a low voice.

    Chuckling at her commanding officer’s wry wit as she read some of his marginal notes on the more fanciful conspiracy theories...the young lieutenant’s lips turned down into a frown as she read her captain’s conclusions regarding the intricate webs and alliances from those organizations and groups that he either knew or felt to be real. Taking a deep breath, she exhaled as she promised in a low, nearly inaudible voice, “Captain...you and I are going to have a long talk when I return.” Placing the padd in its receptacle, the young Vulcan spoke in a louder voice, commanding, “Computer? Take control and land at the given coordinates once they give the go-ahead.”

    “Acknowledged.” The female voice responded, “Estimated arrival time in one hour fifteen minutes.”

    Getting up out of her chair, T’Pren sighed, “Good. That should give me just enough time to grab a quick sonic shower and get changed out of this uniform.”

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

    A torrent of worry raced through T’Pren as she fixed a dusky rose hairclip in her hair just above her left ear as the young Vulcan imagined seeing her old lover’s face in the mirror as she recalled her final words: “Please...please...come. I’m scared, honey. Really scared.”

    “Touchdown in five minutes.”

    “It’s about time.” The security officer replied nervously, whispering a vow to her friend as she resumed her position at the pilot’s station, “Don’t worry, Larissa...we’ll get through this together...I promise.”

    Her shuttlecraft landing smoothly, T’Pren waited impatiently as the Starfleet shuttle was taxied into an empty berth. Quickly rising to her feet as she heard the chime indicating that she could now exit the vehicle, T’Pren opened the hatch and stepped down. Her heart raced as she stood, for the first time in years, on her home world. Scanning the starport terminal with her eyes, the young Vulcan immediately recognized the customs facility by the long queue of new arrivals uncomplainingly waiting their turn. Shrugging her shoulders, T’Pren walked towards the line, until, finally reaching it; she took her place at the end. Ignoring the raised eyebrows from other Vulcans at her un-Vulcan hairstyle, makeup, and dress, T’Pren tapped her foot impatiently until she was finally at the head of the line. Glancing down at the middle-aged clerk with a padd in his hand, the Perseus security chief handed him her identification disk.

    “T’Pren.” The customs officer recited in a flat tone, “Vulcan. Lieutenant...Starfleet. Currently assigned USS Perseus. Purpose of visit?”

    Wanting only to pass through as quickly as possible, T’Pren bit back her initial sarcastic reply, settling for a simple, “Leave.”

    “How long do you plan to remain on Vulcan?”

    “I’m not sure.” T’Pren shrugged, drawing yet another blank look from the clerk. “It depends. I’ve got plenty of leave accumulated and my captain doesn’t need me back right away...” she added pointedly, “Now...may I pass?”

    Seeing no logical reason to keep the increasingly emotional v’tosh ka’tur in front of him waiting, the clerk handed the woman’s identification disk back to her. “You may proceed.”

    “Thank you.” The young Vulcan huffed as she deliberately flounced away, ignoring the looks and hushed comments made by the Vulcans she passed by on her way out. Exiting the starport terminal, T’Pren, in a hurry to reunite with Larissa, made a bee-line for the public transporter station. “Valaran Hotel.” She requested as she took her place on the transporter pad, her luggage by her side.

    Materializing moments later in the hotel lobby’s transporter chamber, T’Pren, picking up her suitcase and garment bag, made her way to the lift. Tapping her foot as she waited for the elevator cab to reach the lobby, the young woman was startled by a voice.

    “Excuse me?”

    “Huh?” Looking about and then down, T’Pren spotted a Vulcan child, approximately age six. “Yes?” She replied, flashing a quick smile that drew a look of surprise from the little boy.

    “What are you doing?” He asked, pointing to her still tapping foot.

    “I was just tapping my foot to a song in my head.” The lovely Vulcan replied with a smile.

    “That’s illogical.” The child retorted.

    “Yes.” T’Pren replied, her brilliant white teeth almost literally lighting up the room as her smile grew wider, “It is.”

    “S’Van!” A female voice called out. “Come.”

    “My mother.” The child stated flatly.

    “I gathered.” T’Pren responded as she held out her hand, spreading her fingers in the traditional Vulcan manner, “Live long and prosper, S’Van.”

    “You too.” S’Van responded as he rejoined his mother.

    Ignoring the mother’s disapproving look in her direction as she mouthed “V’tosh Ka’tur” while taking charge of her child, T’Pren took a deep breath as the elevator door opened. Exhaling, the young Vulcan ordered, “Forty-third floor.” Worry and anticipation both mounting as the elevator cab climbed upwards, the lights flashing as the floor numbers flashed. T’Pren felt a churning in her stomach as the cab, finally reaching her floor, came to a stop. Dashing out as soon as the doors opened, the Vulcan security chief walked quickly down the corridor until she finally came to a door numbered, 4314. Pressing the enunciator, T’Pren spoke, “Larissa? It’s me...T’Pren.” Hearing nothing, T’Pren again pressed the enunciator, “Larissa? Open up!” Again, no response from inside. Taking a deep breath, T’Pren quickly sliced into the door’s security lock. Then, as the door slid open, the young Vulcan called out, “Larissa? Where are you?” Catching a whiff of decay, T’Pren’s heart began to race as she stepped into the living area. “Larissa?” She called out again as she moved further into the suite, the smell growing stronger as she drew closer to the bedroom.

    Pausing at the bedroom door, T’Pren paused, her acute sense of smell telling her what her mind and heart still refused to believe. Her hand trembling as it hovered over the access panel, the young Vulcan called out one last time, “Larissa? If you’re in there, please say something!” Receiving only empty silence in response, T’Pren entered in the access code. As the door slid open, the security specialist froze as she saw the decomposing body of her former lover lying on her bed, still in her bathrobe. Doubling over at the horrible sight and smell that confronted her eyes and nostrils, T’Pren, her body taking over, violently heaved the contents of her last meal on the floor.

    Slowly rising to her feet, T’Pren, placing a cloth over her mouth and nostrils, reluctantly made her way to where Larissa lay. Looking down, the security officer immediately saw how her lover was murdered—the lovely Andorian’s blue skull was caved in by what appeared to be a heavy object. Closing her eyes as she said a silent prayer for the dead woman’s soul, T’Pren, her training returning to her, slowly backed out of the bedroom, being very careful not to touch or disturb anything as she left. Tapping a comm panel, she called out, “This is Lieutenant T’Pren. Please send a security officer to suite 4314. There has been a murder.”

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

    “Investigator B’ran...Security Directorate.” A medium height, well built, Vulcan male with tan skin and dark hair combed in the currently approved style announced. “You are the one who reported the homicide?”

    Nodding her head, T’Pren replied, “Yes. I’m Lieutenant T’Pren. Chief tactical/security officer of USS Perseus.

    “Starfleet?” B’ran inquired, taking T’Pren’s single head nod as confirmation as he typed information on to his padd. “Your relationship to the deceased?”

    Choking back a sob, T’Pren replied, “We were lovers.”

    His right eyebrow raised slightly, the investigator commented, “I see.”

    “Yeah.” T’Pren answered back, striking a defiant pose, “Got a problem with that?”

    “Whether I have a problem or not is immaterial.” B’ran calmly responded. “I am interested in the circumstances surrounding the death of Larissa sh’ Lannonshin. You have admitted an emotional attachment to her. It would be illogical for me to not pursue all pertinent lines of inquiry. As a security officer, you should understand that.”

    “Of course, I do.” T’Pren reluctantly conceded. Taking a deep breath, she asked, “What do you want to know?”

    Pausing for a moment, the Vulcan investigator suggested as a crime scene unit materialized near the hotel room door. “Perhaps it would be better if we continued our interview in a less trafficked location. If you would care to accompany to my office?”

    “Am I under arrest?” T’Pren petulantly responded.

    His stoic face not revealing any reaction to the younger Vulcan’s emotional response, B’ran replied, “It would be illogical to arrest you at this time. I merely proposed using my office as it is readily accessible and is private, but if you have an alternate venue that would make you feel more comfortable, I am amenable to conducting our interview there.”

    “I’m sorry.” T’Pren apologized as she brushed back tears. “It’s just…”

    “Understandable.” B’ran interjected, his facial expression still stoic.

    Sighing, T’Pren nodded her head in acquiescence. “Your office will do. I’m ready to go whenever you are.”

    “One moment please.” B’ran responded as he walked over to the lead crime scene investigator. After a brief conversation, the Vulcan investigator nodded his head, “We can transport now.”

    “What about…” T’Pren choked as she saw her deceased former lover being transferred to a gurney.

    “The victim will be transported to our medical facility for a standard autopsy and then to the morgue where her body will remain in stasis until it is claimed by the next of kin.” The detective explained.

    “I can provide you with contact information for her parents and brother.” T’Pren volunteered as she daubed her eyes with a tissue.

    “Thank you.” B’ran responded, “That would be most helpful. If you are ready, we can transport now.”
     
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  8. Sgt_G

    Sgt_G Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Location:
    USA
    Well, that sucks. The events, not the story itself or the writing. Those are great.
     
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  9. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    This mystery just got deadly serious.
     
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  10. admiralelm11

    admiralelm11 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Location:
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    This is when you call your captain and hopes he posts your bail. If not, you’ve got a lot of ‘splaining to do, T’Pren.
     
  11. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    US Pacific Northwest
    An ugly incident, and a murder on Vulcan, of all places. On top of her tremendous personal loss, she'll have to deal with Vulcan society's disapproval of her embrace of her emotions.

    A great start!
     
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  12. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Ghosts: Part 3

    Nodding his head in the direction of an empty chair next to his desk, Inspector B’ran requested, “Sit and we can begin.”

    “All right.” T’Pren replied, not sitting until after the detective had already taken his seat.

    “Computer.” B’ran commanded, “Begin recording.” Turning his attention towards the woman seated across from him, the Vulcan investigator began the interview. “When did Larissa sh’ Lannonshin first contact you?”

    “I received a subspace message from her ninety-six hours ago.” T’Pren replied.

    “While you were on the Perseus?

    Nodding her head once, T’Pren answered, “Yes.”

    “What was recorded on the message?” B’ran inquired.

    “Personal stuff.” T’Pren answered back, her eyes boring into those of her interrogator.

    “The material on the message could be pertinent to Dr. sh’ Lannonshin’s murder.” The investigator chided, “As both a Starfleet security officer and a Vulcan, you should understand the illogic in withholding such information.”

    “Am I a suspect?” T’Pren countered.

    “No.” B’ran answered back. “Your shuttle logs as well as communications with your commanding officer have ruled you out as a possible suspect. You could not have been on Vulcan at the time of Dr. sh’ Lannonshin’s murder. Now, I again ask, was there anything that Dr. Lannonshin say to you in her message that you think could be germane to her murder.”

    “There is.” T’Pren reluctantly admitted, adding, “But I’m not sure I can trust you enough to tell you.”

    “I see.” B’ran responded and then chided, “I do not understand the logic of your actions. All I can do is promise you, as a Vulcan, that I will only divulge those log entries that I must to close this case and bring Dr. Lannonshin’s murderer or murderers to justice. Further, I must remind you that even though you are obviously vtosh k’tar, you are Vulcan, and you are also a peace officer in your own right. Surely you must see that maintaining your intransigence could only result in your friend’s murderer or murderers escaping unpunished?”

    “I do not wish for Larissa’s murderer to escape justice.” T’Pren sighed. “Very well, I will play the message for you—but only under my terms.”

    With a slight not of his head, the Vulcan detective indicated for T’Pren to continue.

    “We’ll listen to it on my shuttlecraft, in high orbit, and only after I have been assured that we are secure from any and all possible forms of monitoring. You will be permitted to reproduce only those entries that are deemed absolutely necessary—no more.” Her eyes fixed on those of the detective, she added in a firm voice, “These terms are non-negotiable.”

    Accepting her terms with a slight nod of his head, the Vulcan investigator replied, “Very well. While you are behaving quite illogically, your terms are not overly onerous. Shall we transport to your shuttlecraft? Once there, I can quickly gain clearance for flight.”

    “Let’s go.”

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

    “I have complied with all your terms.” Detective B’ran, seated next to T’Pren on the passenger’s seat of the shuttlecraft Pegasus, announced to the Vulcan woman seated next to him. “Now, will you honor your terms of our agreement?”

    “All right.” T’Pren reluctantly replied as she placed the data rod into its receptacle. “This is the recording I received.”

    B’ran watched and listened intently as the message played out. Once it had completed, the detective remarked in a level tone, “Dr. Lannonshin mentioned a ‘smoking gun’ in T’Pol’s diaries. Do you know what she meant?”

    “No…” T’Pren shook her head. “I remember when I first met her while I was a cadet that she was working on the diaries of T’Pol…that she was investigating the rise of Syrrannist Surakism and the Vulcan High Command.”

    “It does not seem logical for Dr. Lannonshin to be murdered over this.” Detective B’ran mused, “Unless…”

    “An immediate descendent—child or grandchild—could be involved.” T’Pren interjected.

    “A possibility…but not likely.” B’ran replied. “Even an immediate descendent would have no logical reason to feel guilt—that is an emotional response.”

    “Maybe not guilt.” T’Pren persisted. “The intention might be to cover up the involvement of one or more outside entities.”

    “Such as?”

    “The Romulans.” T’Pren immediately answered. “It has been postulated for years that the High Command had been infiltrated by one or more deep cover Romulan agents.”

    “There has never been conclusive proof of such infiltration or interference.” B’ran responded, “But…if Dr. Lannonshin had found or was thought to have found proof of such involvement, then that could conceivably result in interested parties desiring to ensure that such proof never surfaced. If that is the case…” the Vulcan detective remarked in a matter of fact tone, “…then it would appear that those parties have…for the moment at least…succeeded in their goal.”

    Noticing a red dot flashing on her console, a slight frown crossed T’Pren’s features. Reacting quickly, hoping that the detective didn’t notice the signal, the younger Vulcan responded jerked her head towards the transporter pad in the rear of the shuttle, indicating non-verbally to the police inspector that their time together had ended.

    His face an expressionless mask, B’ran rose from his seat, taking the unspoken hint. “Lieutenant. I trust that should you come across any pertinent information that you will inform the proper authorities.”

    “Of course.” T’Pren replied as she activated the transporter. “Live long and prosper.” She added with a mildly sarcastic smile as the detective dematerialized. The transport process completed, the security officer turned her attention back to the console and its waiting message. Taking a deep breath, T’Pren commanded, “Computer...play incoming message.

    Gasping as she saw Larissa’s face, her usual smile this time replaced by a worried frown, T’Pren held her breath for several moments as her old lover spoke in a tired and fearful voice. “T’Pren. If you’re receiving this message, then I’m either...” The youthful Andorian visibly gulped before pronouncing the next several words, “...dead...or I’ve been ‘disappeared’ by the people who are after me. The smart thing for you to do would be to delete this message and live what I hope will be a long and happy life, but I have a feeling that if you’re still the T’Pren I knew, that you’re not going to want to do that—that you’re going to want to get to the bottom of this.” Pausing for a moment, an especially grave expression appeared on the Andorian’s face. “Before I continue though, I want you to promise me that you’re going to do this with the right intentions. I don’t want you going on a vengeance quest or anything like that. If I am dead, that will not make me rest any easier, nor will it change the fact that I am gone. Do this so that the record is clear. Bring this into the sunlight because that’s where it should be. Do I have that promise from you?”

    After several seconds, Larissa continued with a sigh, “I guess that’ll have to do. Ok, T’Pren. Here’s what I need you to do. Go to the Special Collections wing of the Vulcan Central Library. Ask for the printed bound—not the electronic—edition of Surak’s ‘Meditations on the Katra. Third Edition. It has to be the third edition.” Larissa emphasized, “Not the first or second and most definitely not the generally more accepted fourth edition. Read page 874...read it closely...very closely...and what I need you to do will become very clear.” After several moments of silence, Larissa’s lips turned up into a shaky smile, “I guess I better sign off now, T’Pren. Know that I’ve always loved you and that I miss you. Live long and prosper.”

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

    Shaking her head as she listened to her deceased lover’s instruction, T’Pren slowly exhaled, “What did you get yourself into, Larissa, and what are you getting me into?” Pausing for a moment as she gathered her thoughts, the young Vulcan, after directing the computer to return the shuttlecraft to its assigned berth on the surface, took her place on the transporter pad. “Beam me down to the front lobby of the Vulcan Central Library.”

    Materializing at her destination, T’Pren took a nearby lift to the floor containing the special collections section. Knowing in advance that the hologram receptionist would merely refer her to the librarian responsible for the wing, T’Pren ignored the photonic being, taking a beeline path towards the librarian at that moment standing before a monitor behind a traditional v’tran wood counter. Addressing the attendant, T’Pren requested in a polite voice, “I would like to check out the third edition of Surak’s Meditations on the Katra.”

    Tilting his head slightly towards the holo-librarian, the Vulcan archivist replied, “The fourth edition is the academic standard. The holo-librarian can assist you with your needs.”

    “I don’t want the fourth edition.” T’Pren responded in an icy voice, directing her gaze directly into the eyes of the librarian. “I specifically requested the third. Now, unless there is some specific reason as to why I should not be granted access to it, I would appreciate it very much if you would get it for me and if there is a reason...” she added, her tone now carrying a much sharper edge, “...then I would like to speak to the head archivist of this wing.”

    His eyebrow raised at the young Vulcan’s display of pique, the archivist answered back, “There is no specific reason. I will retrieve the volume for you.”

    “Thank you.” A triumphant T’Pren replied with just the slightest hint of sarcasm in her voice.

    Once again appearing to ignore his customer’s emotional reaction, the attendant returned several minutes later with an old, leather bound volume. “This is the third edition. Please place your hand here.” He directed, motioning with his head at a silver metallic plate on the counter. Immediately recognizing the plate as a standard DNA scanner commonly used in libraries and similar places, T’Pren nodded her head as she placed her hand on the plate. Moments later, the archivist handed the volume to the younger Vulcan. Taking the book, T’Pren made her way to a nearby cubicle where she could read the text in privacy. Opening the book to the page number Larissa had mentioned in her message, T’Pren began to read. At first, she didn’t find anything odd—just the usual text, in this case Surak’s meditations on violence, but, remembering her deceased lover’s words to “read closely...very closely...” T’Pren concentrated more on not just the words, but on the page as well. That was when she noticed it...a transparent slip so very small, so slight and so easily missed by even the most observant eye. Carefully, T’Pren removed the transparency, placing it on her comm badge. Carefully closing the book, the young Vulcan returned it to the attendant.

    “Here.” T’Pren announced as she handed the volume back to the archivist. “I found what I was looking for.” As she walked out the door, the security officer never noticed the attendant press a small button underneath his counter, nodding his head at a young Vulcan male at a nearby data terminal as he did so. The young male, nodding his head in response, waited until T’Pren had exited the archives before approaching the archivist. “You have done well, A’ten.” The young man declared, “You will find your wife and children safe at home when you return there this evening.” With that promise, the young man walked away in the same footsteps of the woman who had just left.

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

    Entering the lift that would take her to the library’s lobby, T’Pren spotting a man making his way towards the elevator, quickly pressed the door control button as the man entered the lift, keeping the door open long enough to allow him to enter.

    “Thank you.” The young man who had spoken to the archivist after T’Pren responded, “The lifts have been slow lately. It would have cost me valuable time to have waited for the next car.

    Glancing out of the corner of her eye, T’Pren made careful, yet unobtrusive note of the features of the man standing next to her. Clean-shaven with the short haircut currently favored by both Vulcan men and women and clad in a tan gray tunic and trousers, the young man would easily meld into any crowd anywhere in the Federation. T’Pren acknowledged his thanks with a slight smile that drew an almost imperceptible raise of the eyebrow from the man.

    “Don’ t mention it. Do you frequently come here?” She inquired in a genial voice.

    “When my duties require it.” The male replied and further elaborated. “I am a research fellow at the Vulcan Science Institute.”

    “Fascinating, I’m sure.” T’Pren replied, slightly tongue-in-cheek as the lift door opened on to the lobby. “Well. I have to go. I have a feeling that I’ll see you later.”

    “Perhaps.” The other Vulcan responded, pausing for a moment to allow his fellow lift passenger to leave the elevator before him. After a short delay, the man then proceeded to carefully follow T’Pren as she nonchalantly made her way to the main exit.

    Feeling her watcher’s eyes on her as she walked towards the large transparent aluminum double doors, a slight smile crossed T’Pren’s lips. Okay...Mr. Research Fellow...who are you really and who do you work for? Well...she thought as a smirk appeared on her face...let’s see how boring I can make this for you. A grin still on her face, T’Pren walked down the street, taking note of old haunts until her nose caught a welcome whiff of aroma from freshly made plomik soup. T’Pren’s mouth began to water and her tummy rumble as she spotted a familiar kiosk. As she approached the stall, the sarcastic grin on the security officer’s face changed to a genuinely warm smile as she regarded the elderly couple standing behind the counter.

    “Greetings, D’Tan...V’Less. How are you?” T’Pren said in a polite, yet kind tone.

    “We are well, T’Pren.” The woman, V’Less, replied with a faint note of affection in her voice.

    “It has been too long since we have seen you, child.” D’Tan, the elderly man declared in a equally warm, by Vulcan terms, tone.

    “I’m sorry.” T’Pren apologized, “But...with the war and after...”

    “We understand.” V’Less interjected as she ladled a healthy portion of green plomik soup into a bowl. “You have been very busy. Here, T’Pren....” The elderly woman said as she pushed the bowl of soup towards the younger Vulcan. “Freshly made, just as I remember you liking it.”

    “Thank you.” T’Pren replied with a warm smile as she took a spoonful of the soup into her mouth. “It’s as good as I remember.”

    Nodding his head in appreciation at her compliment, D’Tan asked, “Have you been home as yet?”

    “No.” T’Pren answered back, shaking her head somberly. “I’m still—unwelcome—there as far as mother and father are concerned. Although I think Grandmother is a bit more open to my presence...probably because of Grandfather.”

    “That is a most illogical reaction on the part of your mother and father, but also I think that you are perhaps being a little to judgmental as regards your grandmother.” D’Tan commented, adding, “Saliya, while very much steeped in tradition, is at the same time a very broad-minded individual. Remember, she...along with your grandfather...recommended Dr. Julius Lang, the first human to serve as a full research professor at the Vulcan Science Academy.”

    “I guess you’re right.” T’Pren sighed, “It’s just that...all right...I’m not looking for their understanding or even their acceptance of the path I’ve chosen. I just want them to see me as I am... not as they want me to be. Do you understand what I mean?”

    “I will admit to not understanding why you chose the route you did.” D’Tan replied, “But I am sure that your reasons for doing so were...if you’ll pardon me for saying so...logical.”

    Chuckling at the elderly Vulcan’s sly joke, T’Pren responded with a lopsided grin, “Well...let’s just say it made sense at the time, and it still does.”

    “If you are content with your choices...” V’Less declared as T’Pren ate her soup, “...then that is all that matters. Infinite Diversity...”

    “In Infinite Combinations.” T’Pren completed as she finished her plomik soup. “Thanks.” She answered back with a warm smile to the elderly couple. “I think I needed to hear that.”

    “You are welcome here anytime.” V’Less responded.

    “Yes.” D’Tan added. “Anytime you wish.” He remarked as the younger woman made ready to leave, “Live long and prosper, T’Pren.”

    “And you as well, V’Less and D’Tan.” T’Pren replied as she gave the proper response, “Live long and prosper.” As she walked away from the elderly couple, T’Pren’s smile gave way to a slight frown as she noticed the young man from the library out of the corner of her eye following her from a discreet distance.

    Sensing that he had been detected by his quarry, V’Stan nodded his head slightly, his appreciation for T’Pren’s abilities rising a notch. This also logically makes her an even greater threat. He mused as he continued to follow T’Pren as she made her rounds down the city street.

    As she continued down the busy avenue, T’Pren maintained a casual, nonchalant pace, keeping her follower within her peripheral vision. Not wanting to spook her tail, at least until she had some idea as to his purpose, T’Pren went in and out the various shops and visited the different stalls in the city’s market district until she reached a public transporter pad. Presenting her ID at the pad, the youthful security officer requested transport.

    “Destination?” The Vulcan manning the transporter station inquired.

    “My runabout, the Pegasus.” T’Pren immediately replied as she stepped on to the transporter pad.

    V’Stan watched as the woman he was following dematerialized. Once her transport had been completed, he approached the transporter operator, showing him an identity disc. “V’Stan...Internal Security Directorate. I need the transport coordinates for the woman you just transported.” Handing him another disk, the security officer added, “This contains my authorization under the T’Ren Protocols to access that information and your cooperation.”

    Raising an eyebrow at the mention of the rarely used T’Ren Protocols and after verifying the authenticity of the right of the man standing before him to wield such authority , the transporter operator pointed towards the destination coordinates of his last client.

    “Thank you.” V’Stan acknowledged with a nod of his head. “I need you to beam me to this location.” He instructed as he entered in the coordinates into the transporter’s console, “And then wipe both those coordinates and the ones from the woman from your log. Needless to say, you are to mention nothing of this to anyone other than someone wielding this disk.”

    “Understood.” The transporter operator responded simply as he operated the controls sending the agent to his destination.
     
  13. admiralelm11

    admiralelm11 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    As Sherlock Holmes would say,” The game is on.”
     
  14. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Looks as if V'Stan's people will go to any length to carry out their goals, including murder, kidnapping and extortion. Which also means they have significant resources at their disposal. Getting to the bottom of this will be no easy task for our plucky Vulcan heroine.
     
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  15. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Ghosts: Part 4

    Dematerializing before the front gates to her family’s estate, T’Pren took a deep breath before proceeding to where the gate guard stood, wearing traditional Vulcan armor. That’s my mother! T’Pren sighed as her eyes focused on the guard, traditional all the way.

    Squaring her shoulders and taking a deep breath, T’Pren approached the guard and enunciated in clear, firm voice, “T’Pren, granddaughter of Varok and Saliya, daughter of Salen and T’Prel to speak to Saliya.”

    Nodding his head once, the guard spoke into a communicator. Turning his attention back to the young woman standing before him, he declared in a flat, emotionless tone, “You are forbidden access to the estate grounds.”

    “I did not ask for admittance to the grounds.” T’Pren replied in an equally flat tone, “I seek merely to speak to my grandmother. Whether I speak to her on or off the estate grounds is not the focus of my request.”

    Nodding his head in acknowledgment as to the logic of her statement, the guard spoke once again into the communicator while simultaneously pressing the button to a small device he held in his hand. Turning his attention back to T’Pren, he spoke, “The Lady T’Prel has forbidden you to...” Pausing as a beeping sound came from the communicator, the guard listened momentarily, spoke a word of acknowledgment, then turned back to T’Pren. “Mistress Saliya will see you in the gardens. I am to escort you to there and then back out after your conversation.”

    “All right then.” T’Pren responded, “Lead on.”

    As she walked down the pathway escorted by her guard, T’Pren spotted an old gnarled tree next to the path. A slight smile crossing her features, the young Vulcan called out to her escort. “Stop for a moment, I just want to take a closer look at that tree.”

    “The Mistress’s instructions were quite specific.” The guard protested.

    “I’m not asking you to go out of your way.” T’Pren countered, “I just want to touch the tree that I used to climb when I was a child...that’s all.”

    “I do not see the logic...” The guard replied, not wanting to be diverted from his task. “...in possessing such a sentimental attachment to a dying tree.”

    “What’s logic got to do with it?” T’Pren responded with a frown as she approached the tree. Gazing fondly on the twisted, dying plant, her lips turned up into a sad, almost forlorn, smile. “I fell down from that branch over there...” She declared, pointing up towards a large branch nearly rotted with age, “...when I six and broke my leg. After the physician fixed my leg, my father and mother both chewed me out for my failure to ‘exercise due caution.’ Grandfather Varok...” she reminisced as tears came to her eyes, “...came to my rescue, pointing out to my mother that she had done similar when she was my age. That immediately shut her up. Pausing for a moment as she placed her hands on the trunk of the old tree, T’Pren took a deep breath. “All right. I’m done here now. Let’s go see my loving family.”

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

    Entering the family gardens, T’Pren paused for a moment to smell the rare t’shara flowers. Remembering how her grandfather used to dote on those flowers, she gazed at the beautiful violet and white four-petal flower now in full bloom. As she admired the simple beauty of the rare flower, T’Pren recalled a humorous exchange she had with her grandfather that took place while she was on Vulcan on leave after just completing advanced tactical training.

    “Your t’sharas are always so beautiful.”

    “Such emotional displays are unseemly, Granddaughter. But I do thank you for your praise. They did come out rather well, did they not?” The elderly Varok remarked with a twinkle in his eye that did not go unnoticed by his grandchild.

    Chuckling softly, T’Pren gently teased, “Is that false modesty I hear Grandfather.”

    “Never false modesty, my child.” The older man rejoined, continuing the banter. “That would be illogical. I merely state a truth as borne out by the fact that my flowers consistently win the annual Botanical Exhibit prize for garden-kept flora.”

    “Of course, Grandfather.” T’Pren quipped, “My apologies.”

    “Your apologies are accepted, Granddaughter.” Varok dryly replied. “Now we should return to the main house. Your grandmother will be waiting on us for the late-afternoon repast.

    “I have a feeling this conversation in the garden won’t be as friendly...” T’Pren somberly mused aloud, “...and I doubt grandmother will have dinner waiting.”

    “Excuse me, Lieutenant.” The guard interjected, “Did you address me?”

    “No.” T’Pren responded with a shake of her head and a wry grin. “Just talking to myself. Let’s go...mother and grandmother await.”

    Responding to the woman’s illogic with a slight, almost imperceptible raise of the eyebrow as he nodded his head in agreement to her request, the guard simply motioned for his charge to continue forward.

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

    Entering the garden, T’Pren immediately recognized her grandmother and mother standing in the middle near a pair of marble benches. As she and her escort approached, the matriarch of T’Pren’s clan commanded in a patrician voice, “Thank you S’ven. You may wait at the entrance.” Turning her attention to her errant granddaughter, Saliya spoke, “Approach.”

    Taking a deep breath, T’Pren did as she was told, coming to halt a couple of meters before the older women. The fingers of her hand making the traditional gesture for greeting, T’Pren delivered the customary salutation, “Dif tor heh smusma.

    Lifting an amused eyebrow at the silence given her greeting, T’Pren remarked wryly, “Not responding to a polite greeting—that sounds almost...illogical.”

    Her face not revealing any hint of chagrin, Saliya responded, “Live long and prosper.”

    “Why are you here?” The woman standing next to the older woman demanded. “Understand that your presence here is merely a courtesy. You are still forbidden from setting foot on these grounds, T’Pren.”

    “I believe you know why I am here, Grandmother.” T’Pren replied, ignoring her mother. “That is why you agreed to meet with me.”

    “A logical deduction.” Saliya responded, nodding her head. “It is good to see that you have not completely abandoned our ways.”

    “I’ve abandoned nothing.” T’Pren retorted. “I still respect the teachings of Surak. His wisdom, his strength, and yes, his love are what saved our people. How can I not respect the man or his work? I have simply chosen to follow a different path—a more...logical, if you will...path for myself. I do not ask for your acceptance. I merely ask for your understanding.”

    Shaking her head, T’Prel answered back in a flat voice, “Your decision is flawed and emotional.”

    “Granddaughter...” Saliya spoke, addressing her errant grandchild with that word for the first time in years. “I am concerned that you do fully understand the potential pain and destruction the route you have chosen could lead to. Very rarely do v’tosh ka’tur live fulfilled lives. All too often, their choice leads to anguish and ultimately the ruin of themselves and those whom they hold most dear. That is why we Vulcans follow the path of logic—not because we deny our emotions, but because we know all too well the damage they can do. Witness our Romulan kin.”

    “Perhaps...” T’Pren replied, “Perhaps not. Maybe the key lies somewhere between the road of pure logic you follow and the way of the Romulans—that is path I seek to follow—and the path I believe Surak meant for us to follow. In any event, I was not brought here to discuss my life choices. Do you have what I need?”

    “I do.” Saliya stated as she handed a datapad to her granddaughter. “This came via courier yesterday. It had a message from your Andorian...lover...to give it only to you.”

    As she accessed the padd an alpha-numeric sequence that T’Pren immediately recognized to be a communications channel code flashed on the screen, remaining on it long enough for the Vulcan security chief to memorize it, and then vanished. A raised eyebrow her only visible reaction to the message, T’Pren asked her grandmother, “Do you or anyone else know what the message was?”

    “No.” Saliya replied, shaking her head. “Nor did we attempt to access it.” Pausing for a moment to choose her words, the elderly Vulcan added, “By your reaction, I can see that the contents are important to you. I hope they help you in whatever it is you are seeking.” Her voice now taking on a commanding tone, yet also one tinged by a faint note of sympathy, Saliya declared, “Now, Granddaughter, you have what you require. I am sorry, but you must leave us.”

    “Yes.” T’Prel agreed, “Leave now. You do not belong here.”

    “Yeah.” T’Pren retorted, “I got that impression, Mother.”

    “Live long and prosper, T’Pren.” Saliya stated, issuing the traditional parting before adding, much to her granddaughter’s surprise, “I do not know if this matters to you, Granddaughter, but I grieve for your loss. Since your grandfather died, I find my days...emptier.”

    “It does matter, Grandmother.” T’Pren replied, managing an uneasy smile, “A lot. Thank you. And I miss Grandfather too.” Turning to her mother, the young woman simply said, “Live long and prosper Mother. Maybe one day...” Then, seeing the cold, expressionless look on her mother’s face, T’Pren sadly shook her head, “Maybe not. Goodbye.” Turning to the guard, the young Vulcan quipped, “Well...I’m ready to go when you are.”

    Nodding his head, the guard once again pressed the small button on the tiny device that he had concealed in his pocket. Seeing the red light blink on his instrument console as he sat in his office, V’Shar Officer V’Stan nodded his head as he took out an identical device from one of his pockets and pressed the button on it before returning it to its place of concealment. Now...V’Stan thought...All that must be done is to let our quarry lead the way.

    As soon as she left the estate grounds, T’Pren tapped her comm badge. “T’Pren to Pegasus. One to beam up.”

    Watching as she dematerialized, Inspector B’ran spoke softly into a communicator. “Subject is now leaving the grounds and has apparently transported back to her shuttle. While I have ruled Lieutenant T’Pren out as a suspect in the murder of Larissa sh’ Lannonshin, her reluctance to fully cooperated dictates that I continue my surveillance of her. I am following...as the humans would say...a hunch. While seemingly irrational, I think that there is a certain logic in permitting T’Pren to carry out her own investigation. My role for now is simply to see to her safety with the ultimate outcome of arresting Dr. Lannonshin’s murderer or murderers. For now, I will follow the subject at a discreet distance. Barring unforeseen circumstances, next report will be at the standard time. B’ran out.”
     
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  16. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    The awkward meeting with the disapproving parents. Every rebel daughter/son has to go through that at least a couple of times in their lives. And it's gonna be extra tough if you happen to be a Vulcan v'tosh katur. T'Pren here proves the old adage that you can never go home again.

    Also, getting the feeling B'ran is going to play an important part in this before it's all over.
     
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  17. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Ghosts: Part 5

    Immediately upon rematerializing in the Pegasus’s transport chamber, T’Pren commanded, “Computer. Patch me into the following comm channel: T’Vral-09453-Xyal.”

    “Signal received.” The computer responded as a series of letters and numbers flashed on the monitor.

    “Record and decrypt.” T’Pren ordered as she sat down before the monitor.

    “Decryption complete, but unable to record.” The computer responded as a single line of text appeared on the screen: T’Pau Square…0300.

    “T’Pau Square...” T’Pren muttered, “Looks like I better get some rest. I have a feeling tonight’s going to be a long night.”

    As 0300 Federation Standard Time approached, T’Pren entered the normally bustling T’Pau Square to see that, even at this late, to many Vulcans, hour, there were still beings in the square sitting on benches reading or meditating. A pair of Tellarites stood under a statue of Sarek as they engaged in an increasingly heated debate—the topic of discussion being whether Captain Glover was justified in issuing General Order 24. On the opposite side, an Andorian bonding group sat together quietly talking amongst themselves. Walking across the square, T’Pren spotted a Vulcan male also crossing the square in her direction. As the two drew closer the male spread his fingers open in the traditional greeting, “Long life, T’Pren.”

    “Live long and prosper.” T’Pren responded, uttering the traditional reply. “Are you the one who sent me the message?”

    Nodding his head, the Vulcan replied, “Yes, but we must hurry. They are watching.”

    “Who are they?” T’Pren retorted.

    “There are those who do not want this information made public.” The man responded. “They will do anything to prevent that from happening. Even...as you saw...kill.”

    Unbidden, the image of a blood-spattered Larissa lying dead on her bed pushed itself into T’Pren’s mind. Gritting her teeth as she attempted in vain to dispel the image, the young Vulcan growled in a low, dangerous voice, “Yes...I know that full well. Now, again, who are these people?”

    “Not here.” The man replied as his eyes panned the square. “Come with me. I promise, I will explain everything when we get to where we have to go.”

    Taking a deep breath and then slowly exhaling, T’Pren responded, “All right. We’ll play it your way for now. But if you are as the humans would say, ‘yanking my chain’, you will regret it. Now, let’s go before I really lose my patience—and believe me—you don’t want to see that.”

    “Walk as normal.” T’Pren’s escort said as the pair walked down the street.

    “We have a watcher on the left—four o’clock.” T’Pren whispered to the man.

    “Another one on our two o’clock.” The stranger whispered back as T’Pren immediately spotted the woman apparently jotting down something on her padd. “We go left here…” He directed and then touched a badge on his belt immediately activating a transporter.

    Once the pair had materialized, T’Pren quickly placed her escort in a vicelike grip in a hold that could easily either incapacitate or kill. “Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t’ twist your neck off.” She whispered in a gruff voice, putting pressure on the neck to drive her point home.

    “Because I have the information here that you need to bring down your lover’s killers—kill me and you don’t get it.” He gasped.

    Pulling a small hand phaser from his belt, T’Pren released the man as she trained the weapon on him. “I haven’t checked whether this is set for stun or kill so…screw me over and there’s a fifty-fifty chance you won’t make it through it. Do we understand each other?”

    Nodding his head, the Vulcan stated, “You’ll find a padd on the table—that will contain information that will point you towards the killers.”

    “All right…” T’Pren said as she slowly moved towards the table, motioning for her informant to stand back. Picking up the padd, she perused it with one eye while keeping her other senses alert for possible threats. “Interesting. Anything else?” She demanded, motioning with her phaser.

    “No.” The Vulcan responded. “I was instructed to ensure that you received this—no more.”

    “Thank you.” T’Pren responded as she made sure the phaser was set to stun. “Nighty-night.” She then fired the phaser, stunning the messenger. Quickly rifling through his pockets, she found them clean. “Well…” The emotional Vulcan sighed, “Damn. It would be there. Pegasus…” She tapped her communicator, “One to beam up.”

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

    After transporting to the Pegasus, she activated her computer monitor. “Play recently downloaded file Larissa 3.

    ” Hey baby…” T’Pren’s eyes moistened as she saw that this recording was made in the very room her lover was murdered in. “Here’ s a message for you from well...Let’s call it Sha Ka Rhe because you can’t pronounce what we Andorians call Heaven. If you’re hearing this, then they haven’t gotten to you yet and you’re still tracking them down. I don’t know whether I should kiss you or kick that cute Vulcan ass of yours. I discovered that what I’m looking for is hidden in the ruins of the T’Karath sanctuary. I’m getting ready to head out there, but, if you’re reading this, they got to me first. Find the lost manuscripts of T’Pol and make sure the right people get them. I trust you to know who the right people are. Oh, and please, my love, bring my body back to Andoria to be one with the ice. Love you!

    Sighing, T’Pren ordered, “Computer…establish a direct subspace transmission to Captain Hobson on the Perseus…scramble code T’Pren Alpha Three.”

    Moments later, Captain Hobson’s usual poker-faced visage appeared on her monitor screen, “Yes, T’Pren.”

    “I received a message from Larissa. I’m uploading it to you now. I think you should read it.”

    “Hmmm…” The Iceman vocalized as he read the contents of the letter. “I’m taking it for granted that you are aware that your movements are in all likelihood being monitored by one or more parties.’

    “Yes, Sir.” The Vulcan security officer’s lips turned up in a sardonic grin. “I’d say at least two and probably three or more different groups.” She then ticked off the likely suspects on her fingers, “In order of most likely to least…the Vulcan security service officer investigating Larissa’s murder, whoever murdered Larissa who could be in one or more of these factions, the V’Shar, the Tal’Shiar, and any number of other black agencies or groups—Vulcan or otherwise.”

    “True.” Hobson nodded his head. “The Vulcan security officer…do you think you can trust him?”

    “Hmmm… He’s dealt straight with me so far…” T’Pren considered carefully and then answered, “And he seemed sincerely interested in catching Larissa’s killer, but I’m not sure trust is the correct word…more along the lines that I think he’s less likely to stab me in the back than someone else would be.”

    “That will have to suffice.” Hobson stated in his usual patrician tone of voice. “Who would you trust to pass this manuscript off to, assuming you attain it?” The Iceman then asked.

    “The only one I trust here…” T’Pren answered honestly, “Is you.”

    Perseus has just completed its mission here and we are close to Vulcan. I’ll have us divert there, but I would suggest you leave as soon as you can with the manuscript and meet us deep space.”

    “I agree.” T’Pren nodded her head. “I’ll get in touch with my contact in the Vulcan security service and we’ll move on from there.”

    “Very good, Lieutenant.” Hobson nodded his head, “When you’re ready, contact me on this channel. And…T’Pren…be careful. You’re an exemplary tactical chief and I’m loathe to have to find a replacement.’

    “Understood, Sir.” The emotional Vulcan responded with a warm grin. “I’ll watch out for myself.”

    After her communication with Hobson had terminated, T’Pren ordered, “Computer. Connect with Investigator B’ran...Security Directorate and scramble the channel.”

    “Lieutenant T’Pren.” The Vulcan detective nodded his head in greeting as the secured connection was opened. “If you are contacting me now, then it is only logical to assume that you have information regarding the murder of Larissa. Lannonshin.”

    “I do.” T’Pren flatly stated. “I find that I might have need of your assistance. Are you free to beam over to my shuttle now without anyone noticing your absence?”

    “I am.”

    “All right. Get ready.” She grinned as she activated the transporter. “Hello, Investigator. Now let’s get down to business.” She stated as she motioned for him to sit down on the copilot’s seat of the shuttle. “Basically, I need someone to watch my backside while I uncover what Larissa had found.”

    “And that would be…” Seeing the hesitation on the vtosh k’tar woman’s face, B’ran pointed out, “For there to be trust, both parties must act in good faith. It is not logical to enter a situation blind. If I am to be of greatest value to you, then you must trust me to as you say…watch your backside…and the only way I can do that is if you are honest with me.”

    “Yeah…” T’Pren’s lips turned up in a wry grin, “You’re right.” Taking a deep breath, she exhaled, “Ok…here’s what I’ve found out up to date.” She then filled the investigator in on the messages she received from Larissa as well as the clues that she had found on her own. “So…Larissa hid the manuscripts in the ruins of the T’Karath sanctuary. Most likely, whoever else is after those manuscripts also killed Larissa.” Seeing B’rel nod his head in agreement, T’Pren continued, “They’ve probably also been following me believing that I will lead them to the manuscripts.”

    “That would be a logical assumption.” B’ran agreed. “So…assuming you are able to retrieve the manuscripts, what are your plans?”

    “To do as Larissa wanted me to do.” T’Pren answered in a challenging tone. “I’m planning on taking them to my commanding officer on the Perseus.” Seeing the questioning look on the Vulcan peace officer’s face, T’Pren explained, “If my commanding officer is right about who might be after this, then you and by extension your family would not be safe if I entrusted it to you…also…I might find myself trusting you with my life right now…that does not mean that I am ready to entrust you with Larissa’s legacy.”

    “But the contents of that manuscript might be necessary in ensuring that her killers are convicted.” The police officer retorted in a typically calm Vulcan manner.

    “I think we’ll find other evidence. I’ll be recording everything that we see and hear in the ruins. Also…I am willing to have you accompany me to the Perseus. It’s on its way to Vulcan as we speak.”

    “That would be acceptable.” B’ran nodded his head in assent.

    T’Pren took a deep breath and exhaled, “I want you to understand that I’m not doing this for vengeance. Larissa didn’t want that. I’m doing this because Larissa wanted me to—and I’m not going to let her down.” She then glared at the Vulcan investigator. “Do we understand each other?”

    Nodding his head, B’ran responded, “Yes. So…what would you have me do?”

    Taking a deep breath and exhaling, T’Pren outlined her plan. After she had finished, she inquired, “Do you have any questions?”

    “No.” B’ran replied. “But I do have a suggestion which should improve the odds of a successful outcome.”

    “Well…I’m all for that.” T’Pren replied, “Lay it on me.”
     
  18. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Looks like we're getting closer to the truth, inch by inch. Not sure if people are going to like it once it is revealed. There might be no winners here at the end. Well, maybe justice.
     
  19. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Ghosts: Conclusion

    “I remember seeing these ruins as a child.” T’Pren commented as to her new ally as the pair scouted out the perimeter. “Always thought they were stark…lifeless.”

    “They have fallen into disrepair.” B’ran noted.

    “Yeah.” T’Pren shook her head. Then, eyeing a cluster of columns, placed her hand on the investigator’s arm. “There. That’s where they’re hidden.” She then noted the briefest of flashes from a low rise, “And there’s our sniper.” She smirked, “I’m betting he’s packing a TR-116 with a microtransporter.”

    “A logical assumption.” B’ran agreed. “I will circle about and neutralize him while you proceed with the plan.”

    “Sounds good.” T’Pren grinned, “Good luck.”

    “And may your endeavor prove equally successful.” B’ran responded.

    “There might be hope for you yet.” T’Pren teased as the investigator moved to carry out his part of the plan.

    Taking a deep breath, T’Pren made a final check to ensure that she had everything she needed to ensure the success of her plan. Then exhaling, she made her way down to the ruins to the cluster of columns. Reaching the columns, she acted as if she was searching for something such as a cache when, actually, she was setting her trap as she set small holoemitters near each column and then near the main column, a small photonic mine. Then, her trap nearly set, she hid a small phaser near one of the columns with a holoemitter. After she had completed all that, she made her way towards the ruined altar where Larissa had hidden the manuscripts. Searching, she found her lover’s mark where she had told her it would be. Pressing a button, the altar opened to reveal a bound book and what looked like a small purse.

    Hearing the unmistakable sound of a transporter, a slow grin crossed T’Pren’s face as she got up and turned around to see two Vulcans and a human standing before her, both in civilian garb and both with phasers aimed at her.

    “Thank you for showing us where the manuscripts where hidden.” One of the Vulcans stated in a deceptively calm voice.

    “I just followed the breadcrumbs.” T’Pren shrugged her shoulders. “I’m curious though as to why you didn’t just go ahead and follow them yourselves rather than have me…of course…” The young Vulcan nodded her head knowingly, “You needed to determine whether Larissa was working alone or not.”

    “Right.” The human grinned, “You’re a bright one. It’s a shame you’re going to be killed in a tragic accident.”

    “You do realize that they’ll pick up on phaser energy and damage during an autopsy—even when set on a stun setting…right?” T’Pren remarked as she surreptitiously gauged the distance between her and the column where she had hidden the phaser.

    “Of course.” The Vulcan stated as he produced what looked like a comm badge, “But then…” He stated as he tapped the badge, “…we’re not planning on using a phaser.”

    Moving quickly, T’Pren tapped the button activating the holoemitters, causing them to emit what appeared to be a dense fog as she dived and rolled, reaching the column just as a phaser bolt grazed her arm. Wincing from the pain, she hid behind the column as she took the hidden phaser.

    “You lay down fire while I go after her.” The human commanded as T’Pren heard a shout, “V’Stan is down. She must have had someone with her who took out our sniper.” Her lips curling up in an evil grin, the young Vulcan tapped another button, this one activating the photonic mine. Hearing more screaming, she peaked out from her hiding place and, seeing a figure in the fog, fired, her phaser set for heavy stun. Rewarded by the sound of a body collapsing to the ground. T’Pren waited for several moments before deactivating the emitters. Then, hearing nothing, she commed her partner.

    “Any movement from your end?” T’Pren asked.

    “None.” B’ran replied

    “All right.” T’Pren cautiously moved out of cover, “Let’s see what we’ve got.” Seeing three bodies lying on the ground, T’Pren waited for her partner to join her before she moved to investigate the bodies. Checking the human that she had stunned, she was shocked to see that he was dead. “My phaser was set to stun.” She stated as she kneeled down next to him. Then, spotting his blue lips and the tell-tale scent of almonds, she shook her head, “Cyanide. He must have had a subcutaneous implant that would have injected it into him in the event he lost consciousness.” Then, running her tricorder over the body, she nodded her head. “Yep. Just as I thought.” She then showed her readings to B’ran who nodded his head in agreement.

    “I suspect we’ll find that they have similar implants in their bodies.” He conjectured.

    “Yeah. Good guess.” T’Pren nodded her head as she got up to check one of the Vulcans.

    “Merely a logical supposition.” B’ran replied as he investigated the other Vulcan and nodded his head, “This one had an implant that injected a fast-acting neuro-toxin fatal to Vulcans.

    “Mine’s the same.” T’Pren declared as she checked the Vulcan’s combadge. “Just as I suspected, “V’Shar. We have to move quickly.” She then quickly grabbed the manuscript and handbag and tapped her combadge. “T’Pren to Pegasus, two to beam up and then immediate departure.”

    As the pair transported on to the Pegasus, T’Pren moved to the pilot’s seat. “Computer…plot a course for the Pegasus. Maximum warp.”

    As the shuttle departed Vulcan space and entered deep space, T’Pren scowled, “Frinx.”

    Looking at the viewscreen, B’ran stated, “While I probably wouldn’t have used that word, it does appear that we have pursuers.”

    “Just figured that out?” T’Pren grimaced as she evaded the phaser bolts being fired at their little shuttle by the two Musketeer fighters. “At least they’re not flying Peregrines.’ She sighed as she juked the shuttle again, a phaser beam just missing them “Ok, you son of a bitch.” The young Vulcan cursed, “Let’s see how you like some of your own medicine. Maneuvering quickly, T’Pren lined up her shot and fired, striking true with her phaser, disabling the fighter. “That’s one.” She exhaled as she barely dodged yet another burst from the other fighter. “Damn.” She swore as the fighter weaved, not allowing her to get a clean shot, “Whoever’s flying that fighter knows what he’s doing.”

    The shuttle’s computer then announced, “Four incoming hostile fighters on intercept course.”

    “Well, B’ran.” T’Pren quipped, the irony dripping from her voice, “It was fun while it lasted.” I’ll be with you soon, Larissa. She thought as she once again evaded the phaser fire coming from her pursuer. Just as all seemed lost, her lips turned up in a wide grin as she heard a familiar clipped voice coming through the shuttle’s speakers.

    Perseus to hostile fighters. Break off pursuit of our shuttle immediately or we shall open fire.”

    Whooping with glee, T’Pren turned her head towards the Vulcan sitting next to her and joked, “I wonder if those morons are going to be dumb enough to take on the Perseus?” Then, as if in answer to her question, the phasers of the larger starship fired, their blue light instantly destroying four of the pursuing craft as one turned tail and fled. “Yep.’ The lovely Vulcan nodded her head, “I guess they were dumb enough.” Then, hailing the starship, T’Pren reported in, “Pegasus to Perseus. I’m ready to come home and, Captain Hobson, I got what I came for, but I need to ask one more favor.”

    “After you land, report to me in my office, Lieutenant.” Hobson replied, “And we’ll talk.”

    “Aye, Sir.” T’Pren, taking a deep breath and exhaling, said in a low voice, “We did it, Larissa.”

    As his Vulcan security chief and another Vulcan entered his ready room, Captain Hobson gestured with a nod of his head to two chairs opposite the desk.

    “Here it is.” T’Pren stated as she handed the manuscript, Larissa’s notes, and handbag to her captain.”

    “Interesting.” Hobson commented as he perused the Andorian historian’s notes. His steel grey eyes gazing into those of the Vulcan’s, Hobson asked, “Are you sure you wish to stay for this entire briefing? What you will hear will endanger anyone you hold dear—and while Vulcans do attempt to master their emotions, the truth is that you do care about those closest to you. Do you truly wish to place them at risk?”

    “Are the contents within this manuscript that dangerous?” B’ran inquired with a raised eyebrow.

    “Yes. Most likely.” Hobson flatly replied in a stoic voice. Seeing that the investigator intended to persist on his current course, Hobson took a deep breath and nodded his head once. “Very well. While your friend made some very impressive progress in cracking T’Pol and Sato’s code, she had still just scratched the surface as she points out here…” The captain then pointed to the passage in question. “Do you see the ambiguity in T’Pol’s phrasing?”

    Taking several minutes to carefully analyze the text, T’Pren let out a soft curse, “Frinx me. She’s phrased it in such a way that you could take it in one of two ways—either that the old Vulcan High Command and Terra Firma both had been infiltrated by agents of the Tal Shi’ar—which would mean that the Romulans would have either had put in place deep conditioned human agents or…”

    “That they somewhere control a population of humans who are either willing or unwilling subjects of the Star Empire.” B’ran completed. “This would create problems for some within both the Vulcan and Terran political and intelligence infrastructures.”

    “Just so.” Hobson nodded his head. “While we know there are cases of Romulan-human hybrids such as Sela, and that the Romulans have taken human captives in the past, we also know that they are not averse to forming communities that were formerly prisoners of war—descendants of former prisoners of war who are willing subjects of the Star Empire. But…there is more. References that are as yet undecipherable.” Fixing his gaze now on T’Pren, Hobson inquired in a flat tone, “Do you trust me, Lieutenant.”

    “Yes, Sir.”

    “Are you willing to vouch for Inspector B’ran?”

    Taking several moments to consider her answer, T’Pren nodded her head, “Yes sir. He was there when I needed him and has so far kept his end of the deal.”

    “Inspector B’ran.” Captain Hobson warned, “This is your last chance to walk away from this. If you leave now, in the event you are interrogated by those we are seeking, they will only find out what they already know, and you will most likely remain alive—as will those you love. If you stay, you put yourself and them at risk.”

    “I and my wife are already at risk, Captain. We were at risk the moment I boarded the Pegasus—although I must admit, your conclusions and reasoning are exemplary. You have a most logically focused mind.”

    “Thank you.” Hobson replied. “If this leads to where I think it is going to lead, then the situation is most dire indeed. Seeing the curious look on T’Pren’s face and B’ran’s raised eyebrow, Hobson demurred, “I don’t want to get into specifics at this time—especially when all I have to go on is unsupported conjecture. However, I know of an individual who is highly skilled in encryption and decryption. I can see that he safely gets this manuscript and once he deciphers it, we can then plan our next moves. I must stress…secrecy is paramount. Do not tell anyone about these contents or what we are discussing now. Doing so will at best drive whoever is involved deeper to ground and at worst lead to all our deaths. Understood?”

    “Very good.” Rising from his seat, the captain signaled that the meeting was at an end. “Investigator B’ran? T’Pren can escort you to temporary quarters where you can rest until we reach Vulcan.”

    “Thank you, Captain.” The detective responded as he waited for his escort.

    “I assume the favor you wished to ask of me was to give you leave to return Larissa to her family, T’Pren?”

    “Yes, Sir”

    “I see no problem in that. We can transport both you and Larissa back to Andoria, Lieutenant. Consider yourself still on leave until after everything is concluded.”

    “Thank you, Sir.”

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

    “Thank you for coming with me, Captain.” T’Pren, wearing her dress uniform, smiled warmly at the man standing next to her, also attired in dress uniform. “I’m not sure I could have done this alone.” She said in a soft voice as she daubed the tears away from her eyes.

    “I am honored that you asked me to accompany you, Lieutenant.” Captain Hobson replied, as a note of warmth mingled with his usual clipped tone.

    “Her parents.” T’Pren whispered as a pair of Andorians approached.

    “T’Pren…” the woman’s lips turned up in a sad smile as the man placed a supportive arm around her shoulders, “…Captain…thank you for coming and thank you for bringing our daughter home. Please come with us. Larissa wanted you to have this.” T’Pren’s lover’s mother said in a soft voice as they showed the young Vulcan her slain paramour’s room.

    “The chest. It possesses everything of value to her. Please…” The grieving father said, “Take it and remember her.”

    “Thank you.” T’Pren sobbed as the mourning parents held her. “I loved her so much…”

    “And she loved you too.” Larissa’s mother wept. “She also gave you something else.” She said as she handed T’Pren a holodisk.

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

    Entering her quarters, T’Pren sat on the side of her bed and, taking out the holodisk, pushed the button. A holoimage of Larissa appeared with that impish grin on her face that she almost always had. “Hey baby…it’s me from…oh hells, you couldn’t pronounce it anyway…let’s just say that I hope wherever I am I can look down on you so that I can see your smiling face. Thanks for returning me to the ice—a little earlier than I wanted to go, but, like they say, them’s the breaks. I wish we could have had more time together, but I guess that wasn’t in the cards. Damn, all I can come up with are human clichés. Ok…let’s try it this way. Honey, I wish I could be there with you now and know that I’ve loved you from the moment we first met at that dance where Atris introduced us. Did you know I almost didn’t go—Atris had been setting me up on one blind date after another, but…she’s got a way of getting you to do what she wants you to do. I’m glad I did because the moment I saw those beautiful eyes of yours and that luscious red hair, I was lost. Look after yourself, honey, find friends who’ll stick with you, and…find someone to love…don’t let yourself be alone. And wherever you go—be true to yourself and sing while you’re doing it. Goodbye, my love.
     
    SolarisOne, CeJay and mthompson1701 like this.
  20. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    One mystery solved and yet from the sounds of things, the real threat is far from over. Curious to see how this will shape future events for T'Pren, the crew of Perseus and beyond.