Part of the unit-wide mission Task Force 86: Headquarters and Task Force 86: Headquarters

Ale and Tridents pt.2

Starbase 86, Cargo Bay 16
January 2400
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When Sh’ill arrived at his lab, he saw the usual. People with back pain, plasma burns, the Tarkalean flu, etc. He looked at the duty roster, and saw that it was his turn to work in the Emergency Department. He walked through the door, into the ward, and saw about 15 people with severe plasma burns.

A nurse walked up to him, and explained: “They’re telling me that a couple of plasma conduits blew on deck 25. Most of the people here are okay, though we do have a more severe case. A Cardassian girl, the daughter of one of the shopowners on the Promenade. We haven’t told her father yet.” As the nurse was talking, Sh’ill recognized the little girl. Her father was not only a shopowner on the Promenade, he was also one of the main buyers of Sh’ill’s smuggled Romulan ale.

Sh’ill hurriedy said to the nurse: “Go tell her father, but by no means let him in here.”

“Yes, doctor.”, and the nurse walked into the nearby turbolift.

“Mr. Sh’ill,” A voice came from behind, “we’d like to ask you a few questions about several illegal shipments of Romulan ale found in cargo bay sixteen. After you’ve finished treating these patients, of course.” Commander Saveq Dreylenn looked on, flanked by two gold collared security officers.

“Yes, ma’am. This will take about half an hour. And also, don’t get in the way.” Sh’ill then rather rudely pushed them aside, and ran to his first patient.

Dreylenn merely raised an eyebrow as the Caitian shoved his way past. She and the other two security officers stood, expressionless, waiting patiently as he worked. Watching Sh’ill in action, it was hard to imagine an individual who demonstrated such care for others was involved in the kind of illegality they suspected him of.

Sh’ill’s hands moved with grace as he treated the patient’s plasma burns, and he slowly moved from one to another. He continued this cycle, until only one patient remained. A little girl, whose burns refused to heal.

Sh’ill then called out for Dreylenn: “I know that you’re busy pointing a phaser or whatever at me, but could you bring me a cortical stimulator?”

“Uh… sure.” She brought over what she thought was a cortical stimulator. “Are you blind? That’s a dermal regenerator, and believe me, that ain’t gonna do much good here. Put down the regenerator, and help me set up a tachyon reversion field.”

Dreylenn rolled her eyes at the obnoxious cat, “Here,” she passed the metallic cylinder to Sh’ill, “and tachyon reversion field? That one didn’t come up in field med training. Maybe one of the actual medical staff around here might be more help?”

Not receiving a response, she stood by as Sh’ill worked. She could see the concentration in his feline features, his yellow eyes transfixed in concentration as he programmed the cortical stimulator to emit the tachyons at precisely the frequency required to effectively phase the burned tissue back in time and out of existence. Dreylenn’s ridged eyes were themselves fixed on the Caitian’s movements, and the gentle bobbing of his tail that formed the shape of a shepherd’s crook as he leaned over the girl to check the healing process.

Finally, Sh’ill stepped away, and Dreylenn stepped forward, “Ensign Sh’ill, I can’t say I’ve ever seen or heard of a medical procedure quite like that. Nevertheless, as per Starfleet regulation six, paragraph three, you are required to accompany us to station security for questioning.”

“If I may ask, why am I a suspect, or is this just routine poking and prodding of station personnel?” Sh’ill’s eyes slightly squinted.

“You, in this case, are considered both a suspect and a witness. According to the security logs, you’ve been in Cargo Bay 16 a couple of times this past week.” Dreylenn replied, whilst measuring him up, and trying to determine what he was thinking about.

“Of course I’ve been in there a couple of times. If you’d have checked the bay more closely, you’d have also noticed a large amount of medical supplies. And if you’re wondering why I’m in there in the middle of the night, I have a fair bit of insomnia.” Sh’ill said all of this as if it had been pre-recorded.

“Well, no matter what’s in the bay, you’ll still have to come with us.” Dreylenn said, completely dismissing Sh’ill’s last statement.


[Station security office]

“As you can see, the Romulan ale is in the corner, right there.” Dreylenn had been showing Sh’ill a plan of the bay for the last 5 minutes, in the hopes of having him reveal something crucial. The Caitian, surprisingly, had managed to sit there with almost no body movement whatsoever, except for the autonomic movement of his tail.

“That’s great.” Sh’ill finally spoke up. “And as YOU can see, the medical supplies are on the other side of the bay. All of your evidence is circumstantial. You have nothing to arrest me on, or even accuse me. It could have been anyone who has been in that bay since the last station inventory.”

Dreylenn pursed her lips. It seemed the Caitian was determined to make this difficult. She looked towards the ceiling, partly with disdain and partly to concentrate on what she was about to say, “Computer, access the personnel entry/exit logs for cargo bay sixteen. Authorisation Saveq theta-two-gamma.”

“Authorisation acknowledged.” Came the monotone response.

“Give the names of  all personnel present in cargo bay sixteen on stardate 77038.5.”

“Personnel present in cargo bay sixteen on stardate 77038.5, in order of entry: 0126 hours, Lieutenant James Beychelle. 0703 hours, Petty Officer Third Class Pon, Crewman Jennifer Orvan, Crewman Y’Indala. 0938 hours, Ensign Dret Holdinar, Ensign Steven Baker-”

Dreylenn grew impatient, “Computer skip to personnel present after 2130 hours.”

“2147 hours, Ensign Sh’ill. 2308 hours, Senior Chief Petty Officer Xal, Petty Officer-”

“Computer, that’s enough.” She turned to Sh’ill, “I can guarantee you every other name you just heard had a reason for being in cargo bay sixteen that evening. Care to explain what you were doing?”

“As I’ve just told you, there are medical supplies in that bay. Seeing as I specialise in Temporal Medicine, they are very specific supplies. As I recall, the crates contain large quantities of tachyons suspended in 2 parts solanagen and 1 part tau particles. Also some equipment necessary for my research, such as-” Sh’ill was stopped mid-sentence.

“I’ve heard enough. I don’t don’t believe you, Mr. Sh’ill, as I’m sure you’re aware. You’re free to go, but believe me I will be watching. Furthermore, I have revoked your permission to leave the station until my investigation is complete.”

“So, may I leave, ma’am?” Sh’ill asked Dreylenn, just as she pressed the button which opens the door. “I’ll take that as a yes.” Sh’ill walked out.

Dreylenn’s left hand clenched into a fist. This cat was bad news. A simple shipment of Romulan ale and she might have been prepared to look the other way, but not now. Not with the kind of contempt that he’d just put on show. This was war.