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Part of USS Edinburgh: Mission 4 – These Are The Voyages

Her Last Request

USS Edinburgh - Sickbay
10.6.2400 @ 0900
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“Are you going to kill me?”  Major Tulak was strapped to a biobed with two security officers at his sides.  His eyes moved from face to face wildly, his breathing uneven.

Harris spoke as he nodded to the two security officers to step away, “Major, you know that’s not how we work.”

The Vulcan’s eyes pleaded with those around, “It may not be how you work…but the things I’ve done…the Romulan whose throne I sat on…you must understand my fear.”

The Chief Counselor spoke up, “We’ve all done things we regret in life.  We’re more interested in what happened to you to get you here.  That must be a helluva story.”

Tulak closed his eyes as he thought about the truth.  It was true. Starfleet wasn’t going to kill him.  “I took over for him because I was the best they had.  At first, I found it stimulating and worth my efforts.  Slowly I began to wonder if I was truly doing the right thing or even the things I should be doing.  I started to doubt my place in this machine…and that it needed to die.  So I needed to die.  So I tried to leave.”

Jordan Reid interrupted, “You’ll notice that his memory and mind have returned.  In his escape attempt, they tried to wipe his mind entirely of his knowledge of the operation.  Our friend here managed to escape the machine and jump to warp…but not before he got a pretty heavy dose of the machine.  He was found drifting in a ship and brought to Bravo – where he reached out to Commander Harris…and here we are.”

The CO frowned, “The signal?”

Kondo held up a bag with a small metal device, “They implanted him with a tracking device that would activate should he ever show up near one of the installations…and they would sound the alarm.”  He glanced at Tulak, “He remembers everything, which is a benefit but also troubling if they discover that he is restored.”

Jordan let out a sigh, “If you think I know how his brain just kicked back into gear, I’d need to run a battery of tests, exams…everything to figure it out.  The tracking device’s activation may have had something to do with it.”

Thasaz spoke up from the corner, “So the question is…what do we do with him?  And his knowledge?  He knows everything about the remaining pieces of the operations.  He won’t be able to hide now that they know he’s with us.  They’ll come for him.  And they won’t stop.  They just don’t want to start a war with the Federation…which is what is keeping us safe.  For the moment.”

Harris looked at Tulak, who shrugged, “I know that I must atone for my errors and the things I have done.”

Thasaz had been staring at the Major for quite some time as he and the others had spoken.  She broke her gaze on him and focused on Ambrose, “Commander…I need to see you in your ready room.”  With that, she walked out of sickbay.  Harris dismissed the crew and followed the Romulan to his ready room.  The door closed behind them, and she paced the floor in silence.  She looked at him with a look of regret, “I think I must ask you for something that…you may not agree with, commander.”

Harris offered her a seat on the couch and sat opposite her, “What’s on your mind?”

She shook her head slowly, “The idea came to my mind as the Major was talking about his story.  It grew as he spoke about his intentions and his desires.”  She leaned back on the couch, “I think I want to join him in the fight to destroy what is left of Patra’s work.”

Ambrose’s eyes went wide.  He attempted to form the words but couldn’t find them at first.  He ended up with, “You’re right…I’m not inclined to agree with that, captain.”

The former Chief Science officer shifted in her seat, smiling quietly, “The thing is…I don’t think you can tell me no.”  She looked up, “I’m a free agent.”

The CO tried again, “The Journey?”

Thasaz contemplated for a moment, “We’re a ship without a fleet.  Privately owned.  There’s a small fleet on that moon.  And I can scare the shit out of Overseer Shasa.”  Harris frowned, and she chuckled darkly, “Shasa was never a true Reman warrior.  I wasn’t surprised that he folded on us so quickly.  He’s more of a Ferengi than Remen.  He’s content to operate his mining operations and stay out of the way.”

Ambrose shook his head, “You’re taking a big risk, Captain.”

She leaned forward on the couch, “Comman…Ambrose.”  She looked him in the eyes, “I’m old enough to know what I’m doing.  You were my commanding officer…and you’re allowed to worry and wonder about me when I’m off on my own…but you cannot stop me from getting out there.  The same goes for any of your crew.  They won’t be with you forever, sir.  You won’t be on the Edinburgh forever.  Starfleet is big, with lots of places and people.”

Harris chuckled dryly, “ I don’t have to like it.”

“No, you don’t.” She stood, and he accepted her embrace, “I wish you luck, Captain Thasaz.”

She tightened her embrace for a moment and whispered, “The same to you, Commander Harris.”  She turned and headed out the door.  Harris stood quietly in his ready room, turning to look out the window.  Long ago, they had called it The Final Frontier. The Undiscovered Country.  He realized it was still true – the infinite nature of space refused to have an end point – it was constantly calling to the travelers and the explorers – that pull to seek out the newest of life, the new worlds, the new pieces of the connection that urged them together somehow in the end.

Harris turned back to the door to the bridge.  His journey had just begun.  He was quietly anxious for what would come next.

=^=Commander Harris to the bridge.=^=

He smiled wryly to himself, “I guess that answers that.”