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Part of USS Mackenzie: Mission 14 – Echoes of the Past

EOTP 005 – Brave New World

USS Mackenzie / Diplomatic Operations
8.05.2401
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“…and they’re still working to dissemble the Raven fleet, but the risk of explosion has been neutralized.”  Commander Charlie Hargraves finished reading from his report in the conference room.  Crawford and Nalam sat, pouring over PADDs with reports, intelligence, and information about what was being intercepted.  He pinched his nose out – mostly out of habit to cope with stressful situations, “Starfleet has asked us to help you with whatever you need.”  Beyond that, Charlie wasn’t sure what to say – the two heavy hitters had been shifted to the Mackenzie as soon as the New Maquis situation had made its startling appearance to the Arcturus.  Commander Riandri Nalam was a mystery to him, and her dossier was heavily redacted.  He knew Craword and her were friends from some time ago, so he had put his trust in the former deputy squadron commander.

Peter thanked him, “We’ll need some time to get our heads around it.”  Hargraves stood at attention and departed, heading for his office, which had a growing list of headaches.  Crawford turned to Riandri as he examined the long list of reports on the PADD, “We’re already behind – reports are slowing as the New Maquis are melting back into the various colonies, outposts, and stations.  Gonna be a hell of a hunt.”

Riandri nodded in agreement. “I wasn’t involved in the counterintelligence work for the Maquis in the early 2370s, but some of the other officers I knew were. They often said, ‘Finding a needle in a haystack would be easier.’ They had a knack for appearing without warning and vanishing.” She looked at Peter and sighed. “If it wasn’t for the war, I am not sure that the problem would have ended…”

Peter scrolled through the reports as she spoke.  There had been a saying in his family and others over the years – ‘Everything happens for a reason’ was the common refrain.  It was clear why the New Maquis had returned – the problems that had brought them about in the first place were still around…and, in some cases, getting worse. “War never changes…and neither do the results of it.  The New Maquis is the same as Old Maquis.”

 She picked up one of the PADDs summarizing the explosives found in the Ravens, “These Ravens have me concerned, it was very clearly a trap and was unlikely to succeed. It makes me wonder if it was a known long shot, poor planning, or something else?” She paused for a moment and picked up another PADD, “Do we have any confirmed reports of Maquis activity in nearby colonies?”

Crawford shook his head, “There’s evidence that the Raven operation wasn’t just a Maquis operation.”  He slid over an additional PADD, “That’s the additional background on a woman known as Pandora Crawford.”  He waited for Riandri to finish reading it.

As she picked up the PADD, she gave Peter a quizzical look. She felt them fall back into their old habits when it came to work: “Crawford? Any relation?” She cast her eyes off the PADD and the background on Pandora as the reality of the situation sank in, “Oh…I had not thought about her, well, both of them really, for a very long time.” She set the PADD down and looked back to Peter, “I guess she does look like Carolyn from what I remember, but does that mean she was ours also, well, theirs?”

Peter shook his head. “They were able to grab her DNA when she was imprisoned, and my doubles—whoever her mother was, she was a human. I think part of her rage against Carolyn is that somehow she knows the secret…and is afraid that she won’t outlive Carolyn.”  He tapped at the table’s console, bringing up a holographic system map and expanding to the sector, “We need to start somewhere.” He scrolled through the reports, “Now, that’s something.”  A smaller system with three planets and a sun had a sensor marking, “There was a sensor report of a transport ship entering the system…but not leaving it.  That was three days ago.  None of those planets have a registered colony.”

Relief washed over Riandri for a moment at Peter’s response, underpinned by the anger she felt knowing that her daughter’s mirror version was trying to kill her, “The way these universes come together is beyond me, but I will be damned if she touches Carolyn.”

Pete agreed, “I do not doubt that between the two of us, she’ll never have to face that possibility.”

She exhaled and let the anger subside before she pulled up the report Peter had mentioned. “That is odd, there are very few reasons for a transport to visit such a system. I think we have our starting point,” she said as a smile crossed her face. “These planets are far from hospitable though the second one is, at a push, a Class L. It would be a good place to start.”

Crawford tapped at the PADD, “I’ll assemble a support team for tomorrow to escort us to investigate.  Dinner still possible?”

Riandri smiled a little at that, “Dinner would be,” she paused for a moment, “Nice.” Looking back down at the PADDs, she couldn’t help but wonder how big of a hornet’s nest they were about to stir up.