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Part of USS Daedalus: Mission 2 – The Edge of Hope and Despair and USS Mackenzie: Mackenzie Squadron : The Edge of Hope and Despair

DEHD 017 – Where the Truth Lies

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“I am so sorry, Holbrook.”  Captain Leopold Halsey stood at the edge of the forest, the casket containing the man’s wife hovering in place.  They had told Holbrook Orena his wife had been found and that she was dead.  His grief overwhelmed him as they walked him away from the settlement to where the casket stood.  The crew was in uniform this time.

“I…it…this isn’t possible.  I…she can’t be gone.”  His legs fell out from underneath him, and he leaned against the hover unit, tears spilling down his face.  “We had been married for seventy years…such a long time for love to grow and take root.”  He sobbed, and Milton leaned down to speak softly to him.

McKee and Tir watched the town and the curious looks they were getting.  She muttered, “This isn’t going to go according to any plan, is it?”  She was running the scenario through her engineering mind – they had less than four hours to convince a people who denied knowing about the Federation or Earth – despite mounting evidence to the contrary.

Tir wondered the same thing, “We’re going to need to find a way.”  He turned as Ford called them over.  

Holbrook’s tears continued to flow, but he was desperately fighting his emotions to get what he needed to say said.  “You were right.  We came here in 2305 for a better life and to live away from the influences and modernity.  We told our children the tale of Thalis and built a statue in his name.  We passed it down from generation to generation.  We only built the radio to bring music to our ears and children…I don’t know who turned on the signal or who killed my wife…she would have told me if she had gone back to the ship.”  He wiped his face, “We never intended to return home or go anywhere.”  He touched the cold metal of the modern casket, “I will go with you…she was my only…there’s nothing left here.  My children are dead, and so is my line.”  The emotions overwhelmed him.

Ford stood, “I’ll get Sam down here to help him return to Daedalus.  We need to find the other elders.”

 

“So he told you.”  They stood in the small town hall, the remaining elder colonists sitting around them.  George Callaway had identified himself as the next senior to Holbrook.  “Everybody here loved Evelyn.  No chance any of us killed her.”  He sat at the table, “If what you’re saying is true, we cannot stay here.”

Halsey handed him a PADD, “It’s not just that – your offspring and their children will need significant medical treatment to prevent further genetic damage from occurring.  We have the facilities on the Daedalus to start, and our lead squadron ship has the rest.”  He looked each of them in the eyes, “We need to find the murder suspect before we can begin to bring anyone aboard.  I’m not willing to risk the safety of your people and ours.”  He noticed one of the older women shaking her head.  “You have something?”

She startled and jumped, “No!”  She rethought her words, “Yes.”  Her name was Ginnie Orena, the sister of Holbrook.  “My son has always wanted to explore this land…he’s becoming a man, and keeping him centered around our community is hard.  He will go off to explore for days at a time…and return with samples of the world beyond our own.”  Her eyes drifted out of focus, “He came back yesterday…and didn’t have anything to report.  He said he hadn’t found anything.”  She shook her head in disbelief, “I thought nothing of it then.  But now…”

Halsey asked, “Where is he?”

 

“They were hiding things from us!”  Jared Orena sat in a chair with two armed Starfleet Security officers at his side.  “They were lying to us all about where we came from…who we were…and how we got here!”  He shouted, “She found me there…and told me I had to forget all this and come home.  That this was a long time ago.”  He grunted, “I didn’t believe her.  She lied to me.”

Halsey sat across from him.  Several of the other elders stood to the side, observing the conversation.  He had read the boy his rights and explained he was a suspect in a murder.  The boy had admitted to his act.  Leopold took notes on his PADD, “So…what happened?”

Jared scoffed, “I had been taking care of it for the last few years…the ship.  I had cleaned it up, learned how it worked…I had made it my own.  I was so close to figuring out how to make it go…then she came in…she tried to stop me…so I made her stop.”  His face remained expressionless, “I wanted to leave her…to go far away.  To find what was next…what was out there…but they never talked about up there or out there.  They just told me to be content with what was around us.”  He scoffed, “I cannot do that.  I will never be able to do that.”  He recounted how he had tackled her and beat her as the blood had spread.  That he had waited until her final breath.  “Then I went home.”  He looked around the room, “Do I get to go home now?”

Halsey stood, “No, you do not.”  He motioned for the security officers to place Jared in restraints, “You are under arrest in the murder of Evelyn Orena.  You will be taken into the custody of Starfleet Security and stand trial.”  The boy shouted and fought against the two security officers, who held him fast.

“You can’t do this.  Thalis will save me.  He will take me into the great beyond.  I will see it!  I will see through the lies!”  He continued bellowing as he was escorted out to a waiting transport.  

Leo turned his attention to George Callaway, “I wish we had more time for your people, but we are on the clock. You must find a way to get them to leave this place and never return.  We’ve identified the Raven fleet as affiliated with The True Way, and they’re not a friendly bunch.”

Callaway muttered, “Not many out here are friendly.  We stayed hidden for so long…we thought we might escape something like this.  We can convince them to leave.  We will go with you…to whatever home you find for us.”

Halsey shook the man’s hand, “You have our word; we’ll find a safer place for you.”  Callaway walked out, leaving the Daedalus crew alone. Reid, head back to the ship—we’ll need an auxiliary sickbay activated and lots of room for these folks to feel safe. The rest of us will need to support these folks however we can. We’ve got two and a half hours left until we’ve got to leave.”  He looked around and found each face resolute and resolved.  “Good.  Let’s get to work.”