The Star Eagle Adventures: EVS3 - Homecoming

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by CeJay, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    US Pacific Northwest
    Wow, Michael's dad is as remote and cryptic as ever. At least it wasn't a shouting match, but for Jonathan to expect his son to just sign on to his operation without question and give up his command in the process... that's asking one hell of a lot. :eek:

    And Deen is now truly an ex-patriot, divorced from her people, perhaps forever.

    This is not the kind of homecoming any of these people were expecting... or deserved, for that matter.
     
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  2. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Michael had spent most of the next day at his family home near Waukesha, Wisconsin, only to find the large antebellum-style house mostly abandoned. It was obvious that his father hadn’t spent any significant time there in a long while. He had always suspected that he had avoided their home ever since his mother had died, perhaps because the reminder was too painful.

    He had ventured into his father’s study on the second floor and there on his large oak desk he found a holo-picture of the Owens family all together, his mother and father as well as he and his brother, both nothing more than kids but all smiling happily as their hair rustled under the light breeze of that day. The image looked perfectly life-like of course, thanks to holo-technology. It was a captured moment in time that seemed eternal, without any of those smiles wavering for even a moment.

    He couldn’t remember having taken that picture or if those smiles had been genuine. If this was a mere pretension of the Owens household, that everything was in fact as perfect as the image suggested or if there had been tension even back then.

    What he did remember vividly of course was that his mother had died in a workplace accident less than a year or so after. He remembered that his brother, Matthew, had abandoned the family as soon as he had been able to, unable to cope with his father’s never-ending demands, particular his insistence that he followed in his footsteps and joined Starfleet.

    He recalled that he himself had once hoped to become an oceanographer or perhaps a marine biologist just like his mother but that with her gone out of his life, his father’s will had manifested itself instead.

    And once Matthew had been gone, out of his father’s realm of influence, he had brooked no debate as to where Michael’s future would lie.

    It had been his father’s will that he’d joined Starfleet. It hadn’t been his choice at all. Jonathan Owens had wanted one thing out of his sons. A heir. Somebody to carry on his legacy.

    With those emotions still stirring up inside of him, he left the family home and returned to San Francisco.

    Michael had chosen to meet Jarik at the 602 Club in Mill Valley, just north of San Francisco and Starfleet Headquarters.

    By the time Michael had been in his second year at the Academy, he had left behind his trepidations of joining Starfleet on his father’s wishes and he had developed his own ambitions of becoming a pilot and a starship officer. As such the 602 Club had been one of his favorite hang-outs, as he and many other aspiring officers sipped on their synthehols exchanged Academy tales and eagerly stared at the pictures of the great explorers that had come before them decorating the walls. Like many other before him and likely long after, Michael too had idolized the images of Jonathan Archer, James Kirk and Grace McAfee, dreaming of following in their footsteps one day. Even Jarik who had never really shown much of an interest in becoming an explorer, had been attracted to the lore of this place back in the day.

    With the Academy semester having concluded, it wasn’t quite as loud and rowdy of a place as he remembered it from his own school years, which suited him just fine. He found his former roommate sitting in one of the more remote booths when he came in and quickly joined him.

    “Michael, glad you could make it,” he said with a large grin.

    “Of course.” Michael took a seat across from him and ordered a syntheholic dark ale he hadn’t tasted since the last time he had visited this establishment as a cadet. “Nothing like a trip down memory lane with a good friend. How have you been, Jarik?”

    “Cannot complain. Then of course my exploits have hardly been comparable to what you have been up to, saving the galaxy as we know it out there on the final frontier.” The gleam in his eye, gave proof that his mockery was good-natured humor.

    Owens regarded him for a brief moment but could notice no signs of the serious affliction his father had mentioned. He was either very good at hiding it or his father had invented the entire thing to convince him to take him up on his offer. He wanted to believe that he wouldn’t stoop so low, but in truth, he didn’t fully put it passed him either. “I’m sure Starfleet would fall apart without the bureaucrats.”

    “Flattery will not get you anywhere, Michael,” he said as they received their drink orders. “Besides, I know what you starship officers say about us bureaucrats when we are not around to hear it.”

    Michael laughed as he had a sip of his ale, the familiar taste and texture quickly brining back memories. He let his eyes wander across the club. “Those were the days, weren’t they? Everything seemed possible back then. Everything was within reach. Optimism and excitement everywhere you looked.”

    He nodded. “The galaxy was wide open to us. For some it seems the promise held.”
    Michael looked back at his old friend. “If I remember right, you didn’t quite hear the same call as I or Amaya did. You never had your head in the stars.”

    “True enough.”

    “Don’t tell me you’re regretting it now. It’s not too late, you know.”

    He shook his head as he had a sip of his own beverage. “No regrets. I’m perfectly content where my life has taken me and the work I’ve been able to be a part of.”

    “Yes, the mysterious SAI. So are we here so you can pick up where my father has left off? Is this the hard sell?”

    Jarik uttered a laugh himself, causing a couple of heads turning his way. Hearing a Vulcan laugh wasn’t as unusual as it had once been, and yet it still drew attention now and then. “If I have learned one thing over the years, it’s that Owens’ are a stubborn bunch. Your father is determined to see you come work for him and you are equally determined to stay where you are. Unmovable object, meet your unstoppable force.”

    “I don’t quite think it’s that,” said Michael. “Dad can make as many demands as the day is long but his reach goes only so far. I know he’s a man who is used to getting what he wants. There aren’t many people who can say no to him. Hell, I was once one of the people who fell in line for him. It’s reason I wear the uniform today. But I’m not a child anymore and I make my own decisions and I’ll be damned if I let him continue to meddle with them.”

    Jarik raised his hands defensively. “Hey, I’m not getting into the middle of this family dispute here,” he said and then looked him straight in the eye. “But let me ask you something else. Is this what you really want or is this just a way for you to spite your father.”

    Michael’s instinctive response was that this had nothing to do with his father at all. That he was happy with where he was in his life and his career. That commanding Eagle was everything he had ever wanted, and that he was not willing to give it up for anything. But he also realized that this wasn’t the complete truth. “So, tell me what you think, I should do then? Is this work you and my father are doing so important? Am I being selfish by hanging on to what it is I want instead of considering the wider implications and the greater good? Or should I commit myself to something I don’t even know the first thing about?”

    Jark took another sip and then looked around the bar some more, his eyes seemingly taking in the portraits of the great Starfleet explorers of the past. Men and women who had left behind legacies which had inspired generations of eager young cadets. “What is it you want to be remembered for, Michael?”

    The questions caught him off-guard. “To be honest, that’s not something I tend to worry about. I want to make a difference in the here and now. And I think I’m doing that on Eagle. What happens after I’m gone, that’s not something that keeps me up at night.”

    He nodded and looked back his way. “Fair enough. If you ask me, you should do what makes you happy. If that’s commanding a starship, if that is your calling, and all evidence seems to point to that fact, than that’s where you belong.”

    Michael shot him a puzzled look. “Don’t think my father would be very happy with you giving me that kind of advice.”

    A playful smile danced on his lips. “If you don’t tell him, neither will I.”

    And yet, with his father’s foreboding tone still edged in his memory, Michael couldn’t entirely deny his curiosity. “This Operation Myriad,” he said. “Is there anything at all you can tell me about it? Why it has my father so concerned?”

    Jarik couldn’t entirely hide his surprise at hearing that name. “What has he told you?”

    Michael frowned.

    “Dumb question. Nothing, of course. Listen, I would be lying if I didn’t say that it wasn’t important, the work we are doing. But I would betray your father’s trust if I were to reveal classified details, even to his own son, especially since you are not inclined to joining us. I’d rather not be in that position.”

    He nodded understandingly. “I think that’s fair enough.”

    They sat in silence for a moment, nursing their respective drinks. Michael looked back up at him. “So how is he? My father?”

    If Jarik was surprised by this sudden display of concern, he didn’t show it. “He’s fine. I mean, you probably know this better than most, but he has always been a driven individual, and the work we do, it takes a toll on him, there is no doubt. But Jonathan Owens is nothing if not persistent. He is determined to see things through and he will find a way, with or without you at his side.”

    Michael nodded gingerly. It felt odd hearing another man speak of his father like this and it made him realize that despite what Jarik thought, perhaps he in fact knew the man much better than he ever had. Jonathan Owens had been, after all, an absentee father for most of his childhood and he mostly remained a mystery to him even now.

    He was tempted to ask him about his own condition, about this supposed affliction his father had mentioned. But it felt inappropriate to bring it up, either his father had told him this in confidence or it was an outright untruth.

    “He’ll be fine, Michael.”

    It was oddly comforting hearing Jarik say this. He raised his glass. “I wish you and him the best of luck then. With whatever it is you’re doing to save us all from our own undoing.”

    Jarik smirked as he raised his own. “Here’s to avoiding our own undoing.”
     
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  3. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    The small white boat rocked gently on the calm azure and turquoise sea underneath and equally blue and mostly cloudless sky and a pleasantly warm sun.

    Michael stood near the bow, surveying his surroundings and taking a deep breath of sea air, once again realizing how much he had missed it, and that no matter how advanced technology had become, no matter how realistic of a depiction a holodeck could create, it would never quite be a true substitute for the real thing.

    “So, now that we’re on a sea-going vessel, I suppose you’d still want me to address you as captain.”

    Michael turned to see Tazla Star having emerged from the deckhouse, wearing a short-sleeved, black and white wetsuit similar to the one he wore himself. He had to admit however that the tall, redheaded Trill woman made the skintight outfit look a great deal better on her.

    He offered her a smile. “First let’s get our terminology right. This is a trawler, a converted fishing boat, if you will, and as such I think skipper would be more appropriate.”

    She gave him quick, mock salute. “Aye, aye, skipper.”

    He could tell she was enjoying herself and he was glad that he had decided to invite her along to his shore leave. It had actually been DeMara’s idea who had unexpectedly turned down his offer to spend shore leave with him and had instead suggested he invited Star instead, arguing that the captain and first officer should be spending more time with each other away from the ship. It had been a sensible recommendation, even if it hadn’t been his first choice, and yet he suspected that Dee’s suggestion had more to do with her decision to not spending time with him than strengthening his bond with his XO.

    The reason he had been hesitant to take Star along was mostly due to the fact that their relationship had been off to a rocky start when she had come aboard nearly two years earlier and had eventually revealed that her assignment on Eagle had been not much more than a smokescreen in order to carry out a clandestine mission for Starfleet Intelligence.

    Her position had been made permanent after that incident, ostensibly as a punishment for her disobeying orders and working against the interests of her then boss and his morally questionable aspirations.

    Michael had understandably not trusted his first officer after this for a long time, even after she had proven her dedication to her new position over and over again and some, like Deen, had questioned his commitment to having her around at all. It soon became clear that his approach of micromanaging the ship and crew was becoming frustrating to everyone, most of all Star herself.

    Eventually things had improved between them and trust had followed. In fact he had started to see the Trill as not only indispensable but also as an exemplary Starfleet officer, a notion which most people who knew of Tazla Star for her past crimes would have considered ludicrous.

    “I have to say, this is truly beautiful,” she said as her eyes roamed over the shimmering blue sea and the small chain of green islands. “I think I might be warming to the idea of a blue ocean.”

    Michael’s smile widened. “Oh, you haven’t seen anything yet. The real beauty of the Great Barrier lies underneath us.” He referred to an old-fashioned and colorful paper map which he had spread out on an equipment box. “We’ll be spending the next few hours exploring Osprey Reef and its amazing coral mesa. It’s home to all kinds of marine life; cuttlefish, wrasses, eagle rays, sea turtles and if we’re lucky a few dwarf whales and a reef shark or two.”

    His smile was clearly infectious. “I had no idea you were so passionate about the ocean.”

    He nodded as he looked up at the sea surrounding them. “Always have been. My mother’s influence.”

    “Well, I can’t wait and start exploring, never thought I do that underwater but I suppose there’s a first thing for everything.”

    “With all those accumulated lifetimes I find it hard to believe that you’ve never gone diving before,” he said as he considered the Trill for a moment, glancing briefly towards her abdomen where he knew her long lived symbiont resided.

    “Wexri, Star’s second host, was quite an avid swimmer when she was young and before she joined with Star.”

    Owens nodded. “Was she the politician?”

    Star smirked. “Yeah. A champion of equal rights and social justice. She dedicated her life to those pursuits, even more so after the joining. Spend very little time on personal pursuits as she became older. Wexri practically lived for her calling.”

    “She sounds like she was an admirable women but let’s try not to emulate all aspects of her life,” said Michael and grabbed the two rigs of lightweight oxygen-tanks which would allow them to remain submerged for hours and handed one to her. “Today is all about leaving duties and obligation above the surface. Skipper’s orders.”

    She smirked as she took the rig and began to strap it on, following Michael’s example. “Wouldn’t dream of defying that one.”

    He stepped up to her and double-checked her rig. “You’re good to go,” he said and padded her on the shoulder. “Trust me, after this, you’ll start wishing for more color in outer space.”

    A most unwelcome sound from the deckhouse interrupted their preparations. It was coming from his communicator.

    “Didn’t you give orders not to be disturbed?” said Star.

    Michael nodded and frowned. “Can’t be good.”

    He headed into the deckhouse and answered his communicator only to find that it was much worse than he could have imagined. After a brief moment he stepped back onto the deck and judging by the surprised look on Star’s face, he must have appeared as pale as he felt. “It’s my father,” he said, still trying to process the news he had just been told. “He’s dead.”
     
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  4. Galen4

    Galen4 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Sol III, within the universe of United Trek
    Seems Owens can't get a break these days. His brother and now his father. And just after his father all but pleads with him to come on board a top secret project. It may not have been a reasonable request, but I'm sure it adds the smallest measure of guilt to an already difficult loss.

    I hate to say this, but the way this homecoming is shaping up, Eagle's crew is going to need a leave from their leave. :eek:

    Thank you sir, may I have another? :hugegrin:
     
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  5. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oh, hell... this is either a tragic coincidence, or things with his father's project are uber-classified for a deadly reason. :eek: The loss of a parent is never easy, most especially when the relationship with that parent has been as strained as that of Michael and his Dad.
     
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  6. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Shore leave at the Great Barrier Reef was understandably cut short as the marvels of the Coral Sea had suddenly become the furthest thing from Michael Owens’ thoughts.

    Star had naturally been fully understanding and had been the first to offer him her heartfelt condolences, and he could tell that she truly meant it. She had also pretty much insisted to return the trawler to the seaport while he beamed back onto the ship. He had hesitated for a moment, considering her lack of experience with actual seafaring vessels, but she had convinced him that if she could pilot a three million ton starship, she’d be able to handle a comparatively tiny boat.

    He had relented, mostly because he found it suddenly quite difficult to focus on even the most basic tasks. And even after returning to his quarters on Eagle he still felt a sense of shock he hadn’t experienced since Jana Tren, the woman he had loved, had been killed during the war.

    He had of course not been as close to his father as he had been to Jana, not even as a child, and yet he couldn’t deny that inexplicable feeling that had settled over his chest, like a massive weight threatening to crush him. And even after having lost far too many people he had been close to over the years, his mother, his brother, Jana, Gene Edison and many other crewmembers and sometimes friends, he realized that he had not gotten used to this at all. That it still hurt as if a part of himself had been violently ripped out of his body.

    It had also left him slightly dizzy, unable to think what it was he should be doing first, even after he had returned to his quarters.

    One of his first thoughts had been to find DeMara, his closest friend and confidant, and share the news with her. After all she had known his father quite well and differently to him, had actually gotten along with him very well.

    He ultimately decided against it. Not only was she busy on Earth, the news would surely have hurt her a great deal as well, and Michael was already concerned about the way the death of a very close friend had affected her on their last mission.

    It was then that it suddenly struck him why the news felt so devastating besides the obvious reason. With both his mother and brother already gone, he had now lost everyone in his immediate family. The Owens clan went beyond this, of course, he had cousins, nephews and aunts, but many of which he had never been particularly close to.

    He felt alone all of a sudden, which seemed odd to him considering how rarely he had spoken to his father over the years. And then, very slowly, an even worse feeling began to spread inside of him.

    Regret.

    It took him a surprisingly long time to process all those emotions raging in his mind. In the past when he had lost people, it had usually been in combat or during some other pressing situation which had not allowed him time to think or grieve immediately, there had usually been a crisis surrounding the death of a friend or colleague which had forced him to divert all his attention to trying to resolve it and ensure that nobody else shared that same fate.

    For the first time in as long as he could remember, Michael found himself wishing for just such a crisis. Anything really to take his mind of the death of his father.

    It was Tazla Star who managed to ultimately get him out of this miserable state he had fallen into. She came to see him a few hours after he had left her in Australia to check up on him and to let him know that she had managed to return the trawler semi-successfully.

    Apparently sensing his despair, she had attempted to lift his mood by recounting her experiences of attempting to pilot the boat, including the three near-collisions as she had tried to navigate around much larger ships in the port which had very nearly resulted in her being taken into custody by the authorities and more than a few choice words by the captains of the other vessels.

    Michael did find himself laughing out loud at her horrible attempts of mimicking an Australian accent, and repeating some of the sailors’ words they had used to describe her sailing skills.

    “Turns out steering a boat on an ocean isn’t quite the same thing as piloting a starship,” she had said. “Unless maybe you count trying to navigate through a class-four ion storm.”

    She had asked him if there was anything else she could do for him before she had left, but as it turned out she had already done enough and he thanked her for it.

    After taking a sonic shower and dressing in his uniform again, he headed straight to Starfleet Headquarters to meet with the medical team responsible for taking care of his father’s body.

    He had taken his time to look at his still, lifeless corpse, taking a very small amount of comfort from the fact that he looked so peaceful and at rest after having lived a life that had clearly taken its toll on him.

    After having identified the body he spoke to the medical examiner. He had already been told that his father had died from a heart attack but he needed more details, after all at just eighty-nine years, Jonathan Owens had been too young to pass away from such a seemingly preventable death. But as it turned out, the medical examiner who had access to his father’s medical records determined that Jonathan Owens had suffered from heart problems for a few years now, no doubt brought on by the stressful nature of his occupation. And he had repeatedly refused to seek treatment which his doctors had highly recommended.

    “He was one of the most stubborn men I’ve ever known,” said Jarik who had met Michael in a small coffee shop on Market Street in the late afternoon. “And he was so damned secretive about his own health. It was just never a topic he would talk about. Even to me.”

    Michael nodded, seeing how evasive he had been about his actual work, it came as little surprise that he would have been just as vague when it came to his own well being. “I’ve been told it runs in the family.”

    “I feel awful about this, truly. No two days ago you were asking me about him and I told you he was fine, that there was nothing to worry about. I didn’t even realize how wrong I was. I am so sorry, Michael.”

    But he just shook his head. “You couldn’t have known.”
    “Couldn’t I? I’ve been working closely with him over the last three years. I practically talked to him every day. I should have seen it, Michael. I should have seen it and I should have insisted he’d seek help.”

    Michael sipped on his coffee. “We both know he wouldn’t have listened to you. The man was too stubborn to listen to his doctors, what could you have done?”

    “I could have threatened to quit, that’s what. I could have told him that he needed to take care of himself or I would walk away.”

    He uttered a mirthless chuckle. “It would have accomplished nothing. He most likely would have called your bluff. And no doubt if you hadn’t been there over the last few years, he would have worked himself even harder and died sooner.”

    Jarik didn’t say anything to that.

    “It wasn’t your fault. Let’s face it, if anyone is to blame here, it’s him.”

    “Don’t do that.”

    He looked up. “What? It’s true. His own stubbornness killed him.”

    “He was a good man. Maybe he wasn’t a good father but he was a good man.”

    “I guess you would have known better than me,” said Owens, finished his coffee and stood, he had a funeral to prepare for.
     
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  7. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    US Pacific Northwest
    Ugh. :weep:

    Poor Michael. As you pointed out, so many losses in the line of duty confronted by Starfleet personnel happen in the middle of an evolving crisis. Here, Michael has nothing else to distract him from the yawning chasm of loss, no other duty or priority. He must face this loss not as a Starfleet captain, but simply as a human, and the last remaining member of his immediate family.
     
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  8. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    There was a no more sobering place to fully realize the cost of the recent war than at the Starfleet Cemetery where the majority of those who had fallen in the conflict had been laid to rest.

    Michael understood that not all of the sea of countless white headstones belonged to casualties of the most recent war, but they made up, without doubt, a significant proportion.

    He watched on as his father’s remains were being lowered into the ground to join the thousands of bodies interred in this place.

    No matter how Michael had felt about his father when he had been alive, Starfleet had clearly thought very highly of him, judging by the large turnout at his funeral. The throng of white dress uniforms extended nearly as far as he could see, and he was fairly certain every last member of the admiralty was in attendance, certainly everyone within a day’s reach from Earth, and many of which seemed eager to share a few words with him, even those with whom he had clashed in a professional capacity over the years.

    All past transgressions appeared to be water under the bridge, at least for this occasion, as many came up to him, offering their condolences and reminding him what a great man his father had been.

    Michael accepted all this graciously of course but in the back of his mind he was unable to stop wondering if perhaps the casket had been accidently switched out somewhere and that he was attending the burial of an entirely different man by mistake.

    Any such doubts were ultimately dispelled for once and for all when he and the rest of the mourners watched a tall and gracious looking Andorian dressed in a long and beautiful black gown walk up a small makeshift stage just a few meters from where his father had been buried.

    Owens thought he recognized her even before the music had begun and she had started to sing one of the most moving renditions of La mamma morta he had ever heard.

    The tragic aria of a woman lamenting the killing of her mother who had died protecting her during the French Revolution had been his father’s favorite musical composition and seemingly unsurprisingly he had managed to include in his will not only that it be performed at his funeral, he apparently also had the connections to ensure Piraa Sh'zohlel, the Federations most famous soprano, would be the one to sing it.

    The performance was impeccable and Sh'zohlel easily channeled the legendary Maria Callas who had made that same piece immortal centuries earlier. Her rich and exotic bel canto technique added an otherworldliness to the aria unheard of before Earth had joined the intergalactic community.

    It was only after the music had died down—the audience remaining in quiet appreciation instead of breaking out in inappropriate applause—and the Andorian had cleared the stage that it struck him how much like his father this performance had been, making sure that even in death, at least for a brief moment, he remained the center of the universe.

    The speeches were next and he had dreaded those the most. Especially since the Commander-in-Chief had delivered a glowing testament to what he had called sixty years of selfless service to the Federation. The Chief of Staff, the Commander, Starfleet and the Head of Fleet Operations had all struck a very similar tone. When it came to his turn to speak—he had not wished to deliver a speech, but the top brass had talked him into it—and he stood at the podium in front of at least a few hundred high-ranking Starfleet officers, he found himself at a loss for words.

    It wasn’t because he was unaccustomed speaking in front of crowds or at funerals. As a Starfleet captain he had done both more times than he cared to remember, most recently only a few months ago on a planet very far from Earth. Granted, he usually didn’t have to address nearly the entirety of Starfleet Command, but public speaking wasn’t the issue.

    He glanced at those faces in the crowd looking up at him expectedly and awaiting to hear from the one person they believed had known Jonathan Owens better than anyone, his own son. The truth was the exact opposite.

    He spotted DeMara Deen in the audience as well, he had arrived with her from Eagle and her eyes were still red from the tears she had shed for a man she had greatly respected. After reading over his prepared remarks, she had also strongly suggested some changes to soften his language, all of which he had dismissed.

    He looked down at the padd resting on the top of the podium, reading the first words without uttering them out loud. ‘My father gave his life to Starfleet. The cost of which, unfortunately, was not just his health, but also his family.”

    There was no doubt that this would not play well with this crowd and when he had written it, he had felt an old anger resurface, and had not cared what the rest of the galaxy might think of him for condemning the man who had been a father to him in name only.

    He switched the padd off. “There is little else I can think of to say about my father after everything we have already heard. His accomplishment had a tremendous impact on Starfleet and the Federation. Jonathan Owens dedicated his life to Starfleet, and taught many of us, including me, what it means to serve and to believe in something far greater than any one of us.

    More importantly however, he was my father and while we had our difficulties over the years, even though we didn’t see eye to eye on many issues, I can say one thing with absolute certainty. I will miss him. Not Jonathan Owens the admiral, but my dad. I wish we could have had more time to get to know each other again.

    I wish …” he stopped himself when he realized that he was threatening to lose control of his emotions while stumbling through the improvised speech. He hadn’t even realized that he had felt that way. Regret, he realized, was a vicious emotion and one never truly understood until it was already far too late. Exploring it now, in front of hundreds wasn’t the right time or place. “Thank you for a lifetime of tireless service to the Federation, Admiral.

    You can rest now, Dad. We have it from here,” he worked hard to suppress the tears which were threatening to escape his eyes as a terrible silence seemed to have gripped the entirety of this vast cemetery. He could have sworn even the birds had stopped chirping. Or perhaps he had simply tuned out the world around him.

    He left the podium quickly and without making eye contact with anyone until he was back in his chair and feeling DeMara’s hand gently on his shoulder. He looked up at her and she was nodding slowly, wordlessly thanking him for his words.

    “It was a terrible speech,” he said later when they had moved on to the reception and he had found his voice again.

    “I think it came from the heart, and I think people could tell.”

    He had to field another string of well-wishers and condolences at the reception, many of which coming from people Michael had never even seen before. Some faces however were familiar, such as his cousin Vincent Owens who had brought his wife Kerra, both of which served in Starfleet as well, Vincent as a scientist and Kerra in the Sol Defense Force. They had been accompanied by their son Rhory who Kerra had proudly announced had recently aced his entry tests for the Academy and who was on track to become a cadet later in the year.

    Michael was hardly surprised, having found Rhory to be a very bright kid even at an early age, and even though he didn’t speak much, his attentive eyes seemed to do little to hide a keen intellect. The young man was clearly meant for big things, perhaps even following his own footsteps and becoming a starship captain one day.

    Michael was much more surprised to see another face at the funeral, one with which he was even more familiar with and for entirely different reasons.

    “My condolences, Michael. I’m really sorry for your loss.” The tall, dark-skinned woman wearing captain’s pips on her all-white dress uniform jacket hugged him briefly before he had even been able to register her approach.

    “I didn’t even know you were on Earth,” said Michael once they had let go and he was able to take in Amaya Donners fully.

    She nodded. “Yes. Sorry I didn’t tell you. It was really just meant to be a short layover. Agamemnon was due to depart two days ago but … well, I couldn’t miss the funeral.”

    It took him a moment to process this. The two of them had been friends since their Academy days, had even served briefly on the same ship and only recently had become more than friends even though they had both avoided trying to define their relationship exactly. It was difficult enough maintaining a friendship as starship captains with literally half a galaxy between them most of the time, harder still during a war.

    “I wish we had time to catch up but Agamemnon is making preparations to depart even as we speak,” she said and sounded genuinely apologetic for this missed opportunity to spend time together.

    “Of course, I understand. Thank you for making it to the funeral.” But then he remembered that he had thought that he had seen her before the funeral. At his father’s base in Russia just a few days earlier.

    She hugged him again before he could bring it up. “I’m truly sorry, Michael, I’m still in shock myself. We lost a great man but more importantly, you lost your father. I promise I will make time to talk to you soon,” she said and then disappeared again among the crowd of white uniforms surrounding them.

    Michael didn’t see her again that day and remained too busy trying to find her with the many other mourners seeking to have a moment with the son of the late, great Jonathan Owens.
     
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  9. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    US Pacific Northwest
    That, is a long, hard day. :(
     
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  10. Galen4

    Galen4 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Sol III, within the universe of United Trek
    A sad messy business to be sure. Really feeling for Owens, here.
    But also, strange things are afoot and I have a feeling Owens hasn't seen the last of this situation.
     
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  11. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Once back on Eagle, after a long and exhausting day, one of Michael’s first stops was the bridge where he found a skeleton crew of only three officers standing watch while most of the crew was on shore leave.

    Ensign Rachel Milestone was the most ranking officer, casually chatting with a female Vulcan ensign whose name escape Michael in that particular moment. He tried to not let that annoy him too much, even though he had prided himself on knowing the name and face of every officer under his command, a challenging task considering the frequency of crew rotations on a ship of Eagle’s size. Considering the day he’d had, he forgave himself for his lapse.

    The petite ensign was sitting in the first officer’s chair, even though she was the duty officer and as such was within her rights to occupy the center seat while she was in command. The young woman had a large smirk on her face, clearly amused with the conversation she was having even though the humor appeared to be entirely lost on the Vulcan, judging by her stone-faced expression.

    Milestone’s smile quickly dropped off her face when she spotted the captain approach and she stood from the chair and snapped to attention a little bit too quickly Michael thought.

    “Captain.”

    He waved her off. “At ease, Ensign.”

    She visibly relaxed.

    The Vulcan woman who had been standing already, with her hands clasped behind her back offered him a short nod.

    “I was hoping you could look into something for me,” he said, addressing Milestone. “I’m looking for the Agamemnon.”

    “Yes, sir,” she said and then promptly headed towards the operations console at the front of the bridge, taking the empty chair while Michael followed her.

    “Checking sensors now, sir,” she said as she worked the station. She started to shake her head within seconds. “She’s not in the system, sir.”

    “Can you check sensor records?”

    She gave him an efficient nod and turned back to the console. “Got her, sir. She was moored at Starbase One until four hours ago.” Anticipating his next order, she went back to look at the current sensor feed. “I have her on long range. She is traveling at warp eight on a heading of two-three-one mark five-two.”

    Michael considered that for a moment. “Can you tell when she arrived in the system?”

    Her fingers danced over the console. “According to the starbase’s arrival log she got here four days ago, sir. One day before us.”

    He wasn’t sure why it bothered him so much that Amaya Donners had never tried to make contact during the time they had been both in the same place. Starfleet captains, he understood were busy people, knew it first hand of course, but it felt odd to him that she hadn’t even attempted to get in touch until the funeral, especially since they had only recently worked together on a particularly challenging mission which had not ended in a way either of them had hoped for.

    “Is there anything else you would like me to check for you, sir?”

    Michael looked down and seeing Milestone glancing up at him and realizing that he had been in thoughts for a few seconds. He shook his head. “No, thank you, Ensign, that’ll be all.” He stepped away from operations but stopped again when he heard her speak again.

    “Sir?”

    He turned to look at her.

    She had left her chair. “I just wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss.”

    He gave her a short nod to acknowledge the sentiment and then headed for the turbolift and back to his quarters.

    Amaya had left him a message as it turned out but it was text only and didn’t elaborate any further on the few words she had said to him at the funeral, merely offering her condolences once more and apologizing for the missed opportunity.

    A short while later DeMara Deen came to visit, correctly anticipating that he didn’t feel like being alone. They sat together and he talked to her about his father and the few happy memories he had of him, the majority of which had been while his mother had still been alive.

    There was however one moment which stuck out to him, he told her. It was the day he had graduated from the Academy and he remembered vividly how proud his father had been of him. The cynical side of him had always attributed his father’s pride as a merely selfish indulgence on his father’s part. An indication that he was pleased with his efforts of ensuring his own legacy by having one of his sons follow his footsteps.

    Now on reflection however, he could remember how happy it had made him to have his father’s adoration in that brief moment.

    “I don’t think it was ever just about him, Michael. I know he could be intense and that he often put his work before everything else including you and his family. But I also know that he loved you dearly.”

    Michael nodded at those words and told her about their last meeting and his offer to join him and how he had turned him down.

    “Are you still considering it?”

    He shook his head. “No, I don’t think so. Besides Jarik told me at the funeral that he would be filling in as the interim director of SAI. It makes sense for him to continue my father’s work, whatever it was. Better than someone who knew next to nothing about it.”

    “I suppose you’re right.”

    “But I can’t stop thinking about Amaya. She was there the day I met dad at his base, I’m sure of it now. And I also know she worked for him before, was practically instrumental in getting her Agamemnon. I can’t shake the feeling that they are up to something.”

    “They?”

    He stood from the couch he had been sitting on and stared out of the sloped viewports into open space. “Amaya and maybe Jarik as well. It is not like her at all to not talk to me and now she’s off to God knows where in a big hurry,” he said and turned to glance back at her. “My father was worried about something. I mean really worried. I had never quite seen him like that before. Something is happening, Dee, and I have this terrible feeling that it will catch us all by surprise.”

    “What do you think it is? What was he working on?”

    Michael shook his head. “I haven’t got the slightest idea, but whatever it is, I think by turning him down when I did, I might have inadvertently made matters worse. Whatever’s coming, we won’t be prepared for it.”



    The story continues in
    Quantum Divergence
     
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  12. Galen4

    Galen4 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Sol III, within the universe of United Trek
    The stage is set for something big and it sounds like all of Eagle's characters will be drawn into whatever is about to happen. Definitely some ominous clouds on the horizon, here.

    All I can say is, I wish Owens and his crew all the luck, I'm sure they will need it! And the Federation too, maybe? :eek:

    Great build up. Looking very much forward to QD now, more than ever!
     
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  13. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Until She’s Gone



    May 2376



    “EJ-7 interlock.”

    The Bolian place the requested tool into Leva’s outstretched hand and the tactical officer didn’t even look at the device as he brought his hand back and into the open access hatch he was buried in up to his waist. After applying the tool his hand remerged to allow Marjorie Alendra to take it off him again.

    “Isolitic converter.”

    Once again the lieutenant went to the large toolbox she had brought with her into the narrow Jefferies tube she and Leva had climbed into, found what he had asked for and placed it into his waiting palm. And once again Leva wordlessly applied the device.

    “Interphasic coil spanner.”

    This time Alendra hesitated for just a brief moment before finding a large device in the toolbox and handing it over.

    Leva brought it towards him but apparently not realizing that its size wouldn’t allow it to fit inside the small hatch with him, he bumped it hard against the bulkhead which in turned caused him to flinch suddenly and hit his head.

    “Son of a gun,” he moaned and then crawled out of the hatch, only to find Alendra giggling at his misfortune. He looked down at the tool he had dropped. “Interphasic coil spanner, not compensator.”

    “Oh, sorry,” she said and then looked back towards the toolbox, rummaging through its content. “I don’t think we brought the coil spanner.”

    “I’m going to need the coil spanner here.”

    She shrugged her shoulders. “If you need the coil spanner, you’ll need the coil spanner,” she said with a grin.

    “I have an idea. Why don’t you go down to engineering and get us the coil spanner?”

    Alendra pointed right at him and then winked. “That’s why you’re the boss, boss. You come up with all the great ideas. I’ll be back in a jiffy,” she said and then tried to crawl passed him in the narrow Jefferies tube but just as Leva was attempting to push himself to his left to allow her room to pass, she also moved to his left.

    This ensuing back and forth dance achieved nothing but blocking them both from passing each other.

    After their fourth attempt, Leva held up his hand. “Stop. Seeing that I’m the man with the ideas here, I suggest the following. I stay put right here, you pass me on my left.”

    She gave him a quick nod. “Another excellent suggestion,” she said and then did as he had suggested. As it turned out however the crawlspace was still far too narrow to allow two people to pass comfortably side-by-side, particularly with Leva’s larger frame. Alendra had to practically squeeze himself past him.

    “I hope you don’t object to some incidental contact,” she said as she slowly made her way through.

    “Not as long as you don’t mind.”

    She stopped only halfway through, Leva practically pressed right against her. “I guess it would be silly to go back now, considering I’m already here.”

    “Couldn’t agree more. Let’s see this through.”

    She nodded. “Truth be told, I’ve been in much worse positions,” Alendra said before she continued on.

    “Not even top five,” Leva agreed.

    Alendra uttered a little laugh and finally managed to fully dislodge herself and emerge on the other side. She dramatically straightened her uniform jacket which had been ruffled by the tight squeeze. “Wouldn’t want people to get the wrong idea.”

    “Definitely not.”

    “I’ll be back before you know it.”

    “Can’t wait.”

    And with that she crawled off.

    He considered Alendra for a moment as he watched her make her way down the Jefferies tube on all fours. The bald-headed, blue-skinned Bolian with the very human given name had been about the only good thing to come out of his short stint as a first officer on the Sacajawea a few months ago.

    It hadn’t been easy for him to make the decision to leave Eagle after having served on her for nearly five years, in fact it had very much felt like leaving home. But with the war ravaged fleet in desperate need for experienced officers he had ultimately chosen to try and advance his career instead of sticking to what he knew and with what he had been most comfortable with on Eagle where the chances of climbing ranks were much less likely.

    Of course had he known what would have been in store for him as the first officer on the ill-fated Sacajawea, perhaps he would have thought twice about taking on that ultimately doomed assignment.

    Sacajawea had not worked out for him, had not worked out for anyone, really, and after her demise he had been more than happy to return to the home he had left behind. He had brought Alendra with him.

    She had been one of the very few officers who had sided with him in the conflict with her captain and she had made a great impression on him in other ways as well. Like many young officers during the war, particularly those serving on smaller vessels, Alendra had been a true jack-of-all-trades, serving at various times as a pilot, an engineer, at ops and at tactical. She was also thrust into the position of XO before Leva came onboard, pretty much by default, thanks to being the most veteran officer amongst a crew made up predominantly of enlisted personnel and fresh-faced ensigns just barely out of the Academy.

    She had been a good fit on Eagle and quickly became a very reliable relief tactical officer, just behind him on the depth chart, since his previous number two, Lieutenant Trinik, had left the ship to advance his own career. And her varied experience and versatility allowed her to serve as a general duty officer on the bridge, taking over pretty much any position if the occasion called for it.

    Leva had taken her under his wing not too differently as he had done on Sacajawea but with much greater success this time and it had become clear that she was just as capable in her new position as he had expected her to be, especially since she was allowed to serve in a much more conducive and nurturing environment than she had ever been exposed to on the only other assignment she had known.

    And Leva could not deny that he had taken a liking to the young officer under his command, assuming the role of her mentor and friend with great pleasure. And if their banter was any indication, she was just as happy with the way things had worked out for her on Eagle.

    Once she had disappeared into the junction at the far end of the crawlway, Leva turned back around and headed in the other direction where he spotted Nora Laas squatting by the opposite junction where she had been monitoring field strengths on the power taps Leva and Alendra had been modifying. It became quickly apparent however that she had been monitoring something else entirely, judging by the dark scowl the Bajoran security chief was throwing Leva as he headed her way.

    “What?” he asked as he approached.

    “You know what.”

    Leva’s response was a blank expression as he stepped out of the maintenance tunnel. “No, not really.”

    “Don’t give me that. You and Lieutenant Alendra.”

    “Marjorie? What about her?”

    She stared at him incredulously. “You’re kidding, right?”

    “We get along well, if that’s what you mean. It’s called developing a rapport.”

    She pointed back towards the Jeffries tube. “That was not rapport building. The two of you are behaving like infatuated school children and quite frankly it’s unbecoming and inappropriate.”

    Now it was Leva’s turn to look at her askance. “I think you’re exaggerating. We are just friendly with each other.”

    She shook her head and pointed at the two of them. “We are friendly with each other and we don’t do … whatever the hells that back there was. You’re a senior officer, So’. What’s more, she’s your subordinate.”

    “You’re serious about this,” Leva realized. “I don’t get it. Technically I outrank you, too. Doesn’t mean we cannot be friends.”

    She uttered a frustrated sigh. “And that’s obviously not what I’m talking about. Besides we have known each other for years and you are not my direct superior. You have known her for how long? A few months? I cannot believe you don’t see how this is wrong.”

    “And I don’t understand why you would believe it is,” he shot back.

    “Prophet’s preserve me, how could you possibly be so dense about this?”

    Leva was not willing to concede. “Even if you’re right, and my friendship which Marjorie is inappropriate—which I don’t believe to be the case—since when are you so concerned about interpersonal behavior on this ship?”

    Nora squared her shoulders almost defensively. “Somebody has to care. And as senior officers we should act as role models. Things have always been very lax on this ship when it comes to discipline. Too lax. And you know what happens when we stop worrying about discipline and everyone acts the way they want to? That’s chaos, So’. That’s how people die. We lost more than enough people during the war and I for one am sick and tired of attending memorial services. People have to realize that this isn’t a pleasure cruise. We’re Starfleet officers and we must—“

    She stopped herself in mid-sentence and Leva had noticed that her face had started to turn a shade of red.

    “Laas, are you alright?”

    “I’m fine, I just need a moment,” she said and then reached for the collar of her gold turtleneck uniform shirt, first pulling at it and then opening the fastener. “It’s just gotten really hot in here.”

    He looked around. “I don’t believe that’s the case.”

    “No it is hot. And really stuffy,” she said and gasped for air.

    “Laas, there’s nothing wrong with the environmental systems. This is you. Are you feeling alright?”

    “I’m fine, I just need a moment,” she took just one step but then collapsed. Leva was right there to catch her before she could fall to the floor.

    “You’re not fine at all,” he said and reached for her forehead. “You’re burning up.”

    She tried to stand again. “Maybe I just need a glass of water or some—“

    She never finished that sentence and instead collapsed again against him, her eyes fluttering shut.

    “Laas? Laas!”

    But she was no longer responsive.

    “Leva to sickbay. Medical emergency, deck twelve, Jefferies tube junction sixty-four Baker. I need some help here right away.”
     
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  14. Galen4

    Galen4 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Sol III, within the universe of United Trek
    Uh oh. This started out as a cute but well written piece showcasing the complexities of interpersonal relationships on Eagle.
    Now, we've ended on a troubling note with Laas falling sick.

    Given this is a United Trek ship, I'm already worried.

    Ready for more!
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017
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  15. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    US Pacific Northwest
    Yeesh, what just happened?!

    Some excellent character moments here, as various crew members try and pick up the pieces after the war. It seems Laas objects to light fraternization, dramatically so!
     
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  16. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Leva had spent most of the rest of the day in sickbay, Nora’s health having become a much greater concern than completing the overhaul of Eagle’s weapons systems.

    After all he had known Nora since they had served together on Deep Space Two nearly ten year ago, and they had become good friends along the way. During all this time, he had never seen her like this. She had always been the very epitome of a fighter both physically as well as mentally—not always by choice—having grown up on the war torn Bajor and then later choosing a career first as a Starfleet Marine and then later as security officer.

    He knew that she had been hit hard by the death of their former first officer Eugene Edison with whom she had been in a short but intense relationship, but even that she had weathered with her usual resilience and fortitude.

    He had been relieved when she had regained consciousness only a few minutes after she had been beamed to sickbay and the medical staff had began to treat her. Unsurprisingly her first instinct had been to try to downplay the entire episode and insist to be released to her quarters.

    But Doctor Katanga had flat-out refused any such request once he had arrived, even if he did admit that he wasn’t entirely sure what had caused her blackout. Nora tried to blame it on having tasted a new and particularly spicy meal while visiting Earth the night before, but Katanga was adamant that she stayed overnight for further observation.

    Nora had objected of course but it had been of little use. Leva had reluctantly left when she had practically demanded that his time was better spent going back to work than hovering over her while she was feeling perfectly fine.

    By then it had been near the end of his shift and he had decided to call it a day. After finding Nora still asleep in sickbay the next morning, but being assured by the duty nurse that she had been stable and shown no further signs of ill-health, he had met up with Alendra on the bridge.

    “How’s the lieutenant?” she had asked the moment he had left the turbolift.

    Leva joined her by the tactical console. “Resting. They say she’s fine and she certainly sounded like her old self last night. Basically threw me out of sickbay all by herself.”

    Alendra smirked. “That sounds like Lieutenant Nora alright.”

    He nodded absentmindedly.

    “Do they know what caused her passing out like that?”

    Leva shook his head. “No, and that worries me.”

    She reached out to touch his arm, causing him to look into her eyes. “She’ll be fine, So’. Whatever’s wrong, Katanga and his people will figure it out. And even if they can’t, we’re like two minutes away from the most advanced medical facilities in the quadrant.”

    “I suppose you’re right.” He hadn’t told her about the conversation he’d had with Nora just before she had passed out. That he had argued with Laas about his relationship with her. He had wondered if it could have been the cause of this episode somehow but it was difficult to believe that Nora, of all people, could get so agitated over a perceived lack of discipline and workplace etiquette that it would cause her to lose consciousness.

    The very same woman who had fought Cardassians all her life, who had gone toe-to-toe with Klingons, Nausicaans and Jem’Hadar on more occasions than most people would care for and had come out on top every time. The same woman who herself had been engaged in a short-lived but passionate affair with a senior officer.

    “I think what we both need is some busy work to take our minds off things,” she said and turned towards the console. “We still have to complete the simulations to test the new enhancements we made yesterday.”

    “We never got to finish them.”

    She shot him a smirk over her shoulder. “I did. I went back last night and finished the calibrations on my own.”

    “What would I do without you?”

    She shrugged. “Probably go back to running your team incredibly inefficiently.”

    “That’s out of line, Lieutenant.”

    “I beg your pardon, Commander,” she said with a widening smirk decorating her blue lips. “Just callin’em like I see’em. Besides if we get this all done on schedule, who knows, maybe there’ll be time to catch some R&R planetside. There are some places on Earth I wouldn’t mind getting a good look at.”

    He considered her suspiciously. “This was a voluntary assignment. You could have taken shore leave instead of staying behind and working on this.”

    “And miss out on all the fun?”

    “Right,” he said as he began to set up the simulation on the tactical station. “What places,” he said, without making eye contact.

    “I hear great things about Anguilla.”

    He nodded. “Nice beaches.”

    “Just the place to try out my new swimsuit. It’s the absolute latest in fashion design. Uses invisible force fields to hold the fabric in place.”

    “You don’t say,” he said, now making every effort to keep his eyes on the console instead of looking up at the Bolian whose tone had suddenly become much more playful.

    “Just need somebody to model it for.”

    “I might know somebody. But first there is still a lot of work to do. We need to see how the calibrations hold up. And seeing that you’ve done many of these by yourself, if they are off, you know I’m going to have to blame you.”

    “Sure, blame the new gal,” she said as she stuck out her lower lip.

    They went to work and began running one weapons simulation after the next, while monitoring the simulated energy usage and power distribution as it flowed through the recently recalibrated conduits. Ten minutes into their work, they were interrupted by an incoming signal which lit up the comms display.

    “Will you look at that?” said Alendra as she brought up the details of the sub-space message. “Private message for a Lieutenant Commander Leva. Who do you know on the Turing?”

    Leva gave her a puzzled look. “Nobody I can think of.”

    “Want to take it in the ready room?” she asked, knowing that with Captain Owens not on the ship and Star off-duty, the captain’s office adjacent to the bridge was available.

    “Put it on screen here.”

    The larger than life face that greeted Leva was perhaps the last one he had ever expected. The comely Romulan woman had a sly grin on her face, apparently enjoying his surprise of finding her contacting him from a Starfleet vessel.

    “Donatra?”

    She nodded. “Hello So’Dan. It’s been a while.”

    Nearly two years in fact. He had met the Romulan officer as part of the delegation which had facilitated his diplomatic mission to Romulus alongside his sometimes mentor Osanus Dar and his fellow Romulan-born Starfleet officer Commander Xeris, in what had been an appeal to the Romulan government to join the war effort against the Dominion. The mission had been a success, even if other events had factored into the praetor’s ultimate decision to turn against the Dominion and join the Federation and the Klingons.

    Donatra had acted as a liaison to him while she had reintroduced him to the world of his mother which he had left behind when he had been but a child. Showing him a side of Romulus he had never known, one that seemed to be tolerant and accepting of half-breeds like him. That, mixed with his budding feelings for the alluring Donatra, had very nearly led to her convincing him to stay on Romulus and make it his home once more.

    As it had turned out however, Donatra had been on a very specific mission to attempt his defection from Starfleet. She had offered a full confession afterwards but also claimed that she had not carried out the mission voluntarily. While their relationship had understandably suffered from this revelation, Leva and Donatra had parted on relatively good terms.

    “How have you been?”

    He nodded slowly. “Considering the circumstances, I am well.”

    Her bright lips turned upwards for a smile. “I am glad. And I’m certain you have been wondering about me contacting you. From a Starfleet vessel no lees.”

    “That thought had crossed my mind.”

    “I am part of a delegation which has been invited to Earth for a diplomatic summit between our people to discuss post-war relations. To be honest, I expect it to be a rather dry affair that ends up going nowhere in the end. Regardless, I understand you too are currently on Earth. Perhaps you could return the favor I once extended you when you visited my home.”

    “I am not so certain how much of a favor that truly was.”

    She offered a little nod, but her good cheer did not appear to be affected. “I suppose you are right. I just didn’t take you for a man to hold grudges.”

    “Used to be.”

    She raised an eyebrow in a way that would have put a Vulcan to shame. “And nowadays?”

    “Nowadays I see things a little differently.”

    “How does that bode for me, I wonder?”

    “I suppose you find out once you get here,” he said and offered a smile of his own.

    Her grin widened. “Why, Commander Leva, one might think you’ve got Romulan blood pumping through those veins of yours. This enigmatic side really suits you. The Turing is scheduled to arrive on Earth in eighteen hours. Until then. Donatra Out.”

    And with that her face disappeared from the screen.

    Alendra stared blankly at Leva. “That was … interesting.”

    He nodded but said nothing.

    “Okay, so who is she?”

    It took him a moment to sort his thoughts again after the unexpected call. “Donatra. She’s an officer in the Romulan Guard.”

    “Yes, I gathered that much from her uniform. But what is she to you? How do you know her?”

    “That’s a long story.

    She crossed her arms below her chest. “We’ve got time. Eighteen hours from what I hear.”

    He glanced her way. “Do me a favor and finish up here if you don’t mind,” he said and then left the bridge.

    “Right,” she said while he was already heading for the turbolift. “Good talk.”
     
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  17. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    US Pacific Northwest
    Hmm. Methinks the Bolian is turning blue with jealousy! :bolian:
     
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  18. Galen4

    Galen4 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Sol III, within the universe of United Trek
    Wow, why do I have the feeling that Donatra's appearance is the start of trouble? She already seems like an intriguing character although I don't think I read previous stories that she was in. But yikes. I bet she's the type that attracts chaos.

    Hmm. I think Owens and Star should get back to Eagle in a hurry. There seems funny business afoot here!
    Oh, and yeah...I agree...jealousy too. "Hell hath no fury like a Bolian scorned."
     
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  19. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    “We eventually got to see the praetor at a lavish reception he held for the diplomatic envoy during which he officially announced the Star Empire joining the allied war effort. Truthfully, I’m fairly certain that the suspiciously well-timed assassination of Senator Vreenak played a much more pivotal role in convincing him to abandon the Dominion than anything our envoy ever did or said. We did get to taste the absolutely worst imitation of champagne known in the universe, however. So there is that. It does make me wonder if replicated kali-fal tastes that awful to Romulans used to the real thing.”

    Leva and Alendra were back in the Jefferies tube only a few short hours after the surprising call he had received on the bridge, in order to complete the weapon and shield modifications, however this time sans Nora Laas who to Leva’s relief had been released to her quarters to rest.

    He had tried to learn more about what had caused her blackout but neither Katanga nor Nora had been in a sharing mood. And while he was still concerned about his friend, it had been the Romulan woman who had been on his mind for the last few hours.

    “Pass me the flux coupler, please,” he said, once again working inside a maintenance hatch with Alendra sitting by his side and passing him the tools he needed.

    However, the requested device was not being placed in his waiting palm this time.

    “Marjorie?”

    “Huh?”

    “Flux coupler.”

    “Oh, yes,” she said quickly and then promptly turned to the toolbox and fished out the requested device, handing it over. “Sorry.”

    Leva took it and brought his arm back into the hatch to apply the tool to the power tap they were working on.

    “So basically what you’re saying is that the only reason this Donatra woman got close to you in the first place was because she was working for the Tal Shiar on a mission to get you to defect.”

    “She’s not Tal Shiar, she’s Guard. But yes, she was pressured into a mission to make me change allegiances. It wasn’t something she wanted to do and she developed second thoughts. That’s why she eventually came clean. Phase decompiler.”

    Alendra was not going back for the tools. “That’s what she told you. After you figured out what her real agenda was.”

    Sensing that she was having trouble accepting this, Leva re-emerged from the hatch and sat down next to her in the Jefferies tube. “Yes. And I believe her.”

    She nodded absentmindedly. “But you don’t really know, do you? She could actually be a Tal Shiar agent. Even now as she’s coming to Earth to take part in some sort of conference. Shouldn’t you let Starfleet know about her? About the possible risks she might pose. She could be a spy.”

    “I don’t think she is.”

    “But that’s my point. You don’t know this for a fact. That’s an awfully big risk to take.”

    “I’m sure Starfleet Intelligence has fully vetted the delegation and will ensure none of them have access to sensitive locations or data,” he said, looking at her with growing suspicion. “Why do I feel there is something else you’re worried about?”

    “She played you once, I just don’t want you to get played again,” she said. “From the sounds of it, she was manipulating whatever positive feelings you still hold for Romulus and…”

    “And what?” he said when she didn’t continue.

    “And used her sensuality to get to you.”

    Leva laughed out loud.

    “I don’t actually think this is funny.”

    “You’re saying she seduced me.”

    “Didn’t she?”

    He uttered a heavy sigh. “I don’t think so,” he said but then changed his mind slightly. “Well, maybe at first. But there was more to it than that.”

    “You still have feelings for her, even after everything she did?” She shook her head. “So’, you can’t let her get to you like that again. In fact, I don’t even think you should talk to her at all. Let her do whatever business she came here for and stay far away. You cannot trust that woman.”

    “I know you’re trying to look out for me but that isn’t necessary, trust me. And the fact of the matter is, I know her much better than you do. I think I know what kind of person she truly is. I’ll return the favor she once extended me, even if it was just a pretense. And if I sense that there is anything else going on, anything beyond the obvious, then I make sure I take the necessary steps.” He handed the flux coupler back to her. “Let’s call it a day, the Turing is due to arrive in a couple of hours and I want to get ready. Take a couple of days off, take some shore leave, maybe go down to Anguilla. We can finish up with the new shield grid when I come back.” He gave her a parting smile and then headed for the junction.

    “What if you don’t see it?” she called after him.

    He turned to look back at her. “See what?”

    “Anything beyond the obvious.”

    “I’m a trained tactical officer,” he said as he continued to make his way down the tube. “I’m pretty sure I can read between the lines.”

    “Yeah? I’m not so sure you can,” she mumbled in a way Leva almost didn’t hear.

    "Don’t worry, everything will be fine.”
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
  20. admiralelm11

    admiralelm11 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Alas, not all tendres can be seen by tactical officers. Poor Marjorie.
     
    CeJay likes this.