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Part of Eos Station: Mission 1: Rule 34 War is Good for Business

The Past Isn’t in The Past

Sickbay - Office
10.16.2400 @ 0800
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The reports continued to stack up, and Longfellow continued to organize them as they were completed.  The physicians were settling in while the orderlies were becoming familiar with the inventory and where everything belonged.  The beds were still an in-progress item, and he'd made a note to set aside some time later today to do just that.

“Sensei Longfellow?”  Asato stood at his door, a curious look on her face, “You have visitors.  A Romulan and a Vulcan."  She stepped forward and handed him a PADD with their information.  He did not recognize the Romulan name, but he immediately felt a chill as the Vulcan name jumped out at him from the screen.

“What are they doing here?”  He glanced up, his nerves bunched tightly in his stomach.

Hiro sensed his tension, “They are here to debrief you on the events on Starbase Bravo and beyond.”

Henry looked at the files again, “Neither of them is Starfleet…or Federation credentialed.”

The nurse nodded, “It is unusual.  I would recommend you accept them, Sensei.”

The chief medical officer let out a long sigh as he thought about what this meant.  He hadn't seen Major Tulak and his entourage since March.  They had fled into the darkness of space, and no trace had been found.  It had always rested in the back of his mind that the Major and whoever he was working for would find him again or have need of finding him again.

“They cleared security?"  She gave another nod.  Henry pushed back his chair and stood, “Let's find out what the hell is going on.”

Hiro stepped into the hall and returned with Major Tulak and an older Romulan woman.  She stepped forward, and Tulak remained slightly behind her as she spoke, “Good morning Lieutenant Longfellow.  I am Captain Thasaz of the YAR Journey, and this is…”

The CMO interrupted, “Major Tulak.  We're acquainted."

Thasaz held the pause and glanced back at the Vulcan, “I'm aware of Tulak's previous…encounter with you.  I assure you we are not here in his…previous capacity.  He is no longer a Major, for one.”  She gestured to the chairs, “May we sit?”

Longfellow regarded both of them cautiously and relented as he took his seat as well.  “What do you want?”  He gave a thankful look to Hiro, who remained standing at the back of the room.

The Romulan captain looked him in the eye, “We're here to give you some information on the events and causes of what occurred to you and yours at Starbase Bravo…humans would call it ‘closure’ or something similar to that.”

Henry felt his anger spark, the raging wildfire of furor threatening to let loose upon each of them, no matter their words.  He took a few breaths, and the sparks remained while the fire retreated behind the lines.  He merely gestured for them to continue.  Thasaz related the connection that his Vulcan patient T’shalaith shared with the Romulan known as Commodore Patra - the one who had unleashed the virus that had impacted both Longfellow and the USS Edinburgh.

Tulak spoke up, his voice quiet, “I was employed as a high-level envoy within his… organization.  I was tasked with retrieving T’shalaith or her Katra at whatever cost.”  He gave a look of deference to Longfellow as he spoke, “You make it impossible to complete my mission.  I can say now I am…appreciative of your efforts to prevent me and my group from making any progress in our mission.”  He shifted in his seat, “If you had not protected her as you did, Lieutenant, the Commodore would have had access to a great mind who knew the shadows intimately.”  He put his eyes on the floor for a moment and then returned his gaze to Longfellow, “You will be relieved to know Patra is dead…or as dead as one can be.  Captain Thasaz and I are working to dissemble and disable the remainder of his operation and operatives.”

Henry sat back in his chair, taking what the former Major had said.  He wondered aloud, “What changed for you? What brings you back to the side of justice?”  He leaned forward, his arms on his desk, “Why should I believe you?”

Tulak understood the doctor's words.  He tried to explain, “I came to realize the darkness in my heart…the evil that my hands practiced…that my feet led me to…it was going to kill me eventually.  My Katra…would be sullied…unclean…and poisoned.  It is an old human saying, but I found religion.  I…rediscovered Logic…and the need for it in my life.”  He looked to Thasaz, “Justice is a concept the galaxy calls out for every day.  We know the right things must be done.  We've both walked on either side of that line.  We no longer wish to walk in the darkness, Lieutenant.”

Longfellow felt his throat growing tight, an emotional urge pulling at him.  His wife had always talked about righting the wrongs and doing the right thing.  She'd had a special place for people who had lost their way.  He gave a quiet nod, “You're words are appreciated, Tulak…Thasaz.  I'm still grieving…, and I'm not sure when that will fade from the sharp pain it feels like to the dull ache I know it will eventually become…but you've reminded me of her in this moment.”  He looked to each of them.  “She would have liked you both if she was sitting here."  He let out a sigh, “What else can I do for you?”

Thasaz stood, and Tulak did the same as she stepped forward and held out her hand, “You've done more than enough, Lieutenant Longfellow.  I hope this information…helps.”  He shook her hand and regarded Tulak as he held out his own hand.

He stepped out from behind his desk and approached Tulak, who flinched as Longfellow spoke carefully, “I studied a story of a woman in old Earth history.  Eva Mozes Kor.  She was a survivor of the Holocaust…a genocidal horror.  She did something later in her life after surviving the event…she made a public statement of forgiveness."  He shook his head in disbelief as he remembered reading about her decision and the reason she made it her remaining life's work to talk about the idea of forgiveness.  “It was not that she forgot what had happened to her…but she let go of the anger…the rage…the fear…she put it behind her and lived for the new life and journey that awaited her.”  Longfellow looked to Tulak, “I don't imagine I'll ever forget what you or Patra did to me…what was taken from me.”  He put his hand in the Vulcan's, “But I can move past holding the weight of it in my heart, Tulak.  I have so much life to life…, and you have plenty more than me.  Let us find ways to bring light into the darkness.  I wish you both godspeed."

Tulak gave a small bow, “Thank you, Lieutenant Longfellow.  I hope we find each other again before the end." Thasaz thanked him again, and they both departed as Hiro walked them out, the door sliding shut behind them. 

Asato returned and sat in the chair across from him, "Was I right, Sensei?"

Longfellow sat in his chair once more and gave her a quiet smile, “You were right, Hiro-san.”  He regarded her a moment longer before handing her a PADD, “Let us return the work of today, shall we?”