Note: This takes place after the following stories on the USS Ulysses
1) A Plea For Help – acting as ‘M1 – Chp14’ for the Sojourner story arch
2) A Plea Answered – acting as ‘M1 – Chp15’ for the Sojourner story arch
Stardate 240011.24 – 16:00 Hours
Kirin sat in her ready room staring out into the warp as the ship made all haste towards the Markonian outpost. Before her on the table were various reports from the department heads outlining the damage the ship had endured over the last few days; first by the strange blood dilithium crystalline entity-like being and then from their short engagement with the Hirogen ships while coming to the Ulysses’s aid. Repairs were, yet again, underway but it would take several more days to get everything fully operational, not to mention the time it would take for the multiple wounded crew to recover. She was glad that over this whole ordeal, they had only lost a single crew member but she dreaded having to write the pending letter to Andrews family.
That last thought drew her eyes to the PADD sitting off to the side. The report from Commander, ‘Captain Gor now I guess’, she thought to herself, about the murder of Captain Tharia sh’Elas.
The Sojourner had provided additional security personnel to sweep the Ulysses looking for the creature responsible but to no avail and even the impressive sensor suites the ship possessed found no trace of it or its means of escape. The unanswered questions nagged at Kirin and the crew, not just those who had met sh’Elas but everyone as the death of a decorated captain was felt by all.
With a sigh, Kirin picked up the latest engineering report from the XO and began to read through it.
Stardate 240011.29 – 12:00 Hours
Kirin found herself, almost one full month later, standing in the same spot on the second floor overlooking the same busy market corridors on the Markonian outpost after her first visit. She swung the large bag off her shoulder and placed it on the floor beside her. She was pleased with the items she had been able to pick up; in particular, the strange alcoholic drink that she thought her father might like.
As her eyes wandered over the plethora of people, shops and oddities below they were drawn to several Starfleet uniforms among the crowd, a few of whom she even knew all too well.
Ril, Belania and Kerry stuck out, even in the market where there were people of so many races and genders. The imposing half-Klingon had no issue pushing forward as the other followed in her wake. All three of them were lunging bags of various sizes with things they had picked up.
“Ril, what’s the rush?” Belania called after the security and tactical officer. “There was that noodle restaurant we were told about just back there. Could be nice to get some lunch that isn’t replicated.”
“Not to mention putting down this bag,” Kerry said with a laugh as she clearly struggled with a heavy burden.
“Maybe if you hadn’t bought that carving from the Brenari back there your bag wouldn’t be so heavy, that thing weighed at least 10kg,” Ril said.
“Not to mention all the other bits, though that dress suited you,” Belania said with a smile.
“What do you need with that anyways? The carving that is.” Ril said as she turned and looked at the two other women.
Kerry snorted, “Well if you must know it is a type of artefact that the Brenari claim helps to focus your mind, promotes inner calm and she even mentioned it could help you get in touch with your inner self; though not sure what that means. One of the refugees we met a few weeks back had one and showed me.” She smiled as she looked around, “I really like that idea and I think it will look nice in my quarters.”
“Some might say it is nicer than the wall of blades in your quarters Ril,” Belania said with a laugh.
Ril rolled her eyes, “Though you said it showed my Klingon side well.”
“Oh, it does,” Belania smirked, “So very martial of you. They are very nice I will admit.”
Ril laughed, “That they are. So shall we get that food you mentioned?”
Belania and Kerry both nodded and all three walked down an adjoining corridor.
Stardate 240011.29 – 14:00 Hours
Ensign Dese Tycon and Ensign Jenoda Toi sat together in the port-side crew lounge on deck 5 looking out over the activity on the exterior of the Markonian outpost.
“I cannot believe this is the first downtime we have had since we came across those Malon transports,” Jenoda said as she took a sip of the strange fruit concoction she had picked up when she had been at the station earlier that day.
Dese looked back at her and nodded in agreement, “Yeah, well considering the beating the ship took I am not surprised. It was nice of the captain to give everyone extended leave today and tomorrow. Between the battles, repairs and such I am exhausted.”
Jeonda cocked an eyebrow as she looked at the young Orion and smiled as she sipped on the straw, “Is that all? Though I saw you and Ined together more than a few times and he seems to be on your thoughts a fair amount. Always seem to have time and energy for that.”
Dese put down her cup of coffee and glared at her roommate. “I thought you were meant to read my mind Jen.”
“I don’t need to read your mind D,” Jenoda said as she leaned across the table slightly, “You come back to the room humming whenever you see him.”
Dese’s green cheeks took on a reddish hue as she blushed, “Oh, I, um, didn’t realize.”
“Just glad you are happy, especially after what happened with the blood dilithium.” Jenoda said as she leaned back, “You haven’t mentioned how you feel since the Doc provided you with the implant, feel any different?”
Dese turned and looked out the viewport for a moment and shrugged, “Honestly, no. Feel completely normal in fairness.” She lifted her left arm and rolled the sleeve up exposing a small wristband, “Nurse Joy gave me this, allows both medical and I to keep an eye on things and will alert me if there is an issue. I sort of hope that I won’t need to worry about it anymore.”
Jenoda nodded, “I get that. Sorry I wasn’t around to help after it kicked off. I know it was rough.”
That caused Dese to laugh, “What would you have done, complain of a headache maybe? Besides you were knocked out in sickbay after your exposure to the blood dilithium. As far as I know, Ined has not complained about his interactions. Enough about me though. I heard you knocked around the security officer the Doctor sent to help you; hit him with a chair?”
Jenoda gritted her teeth and looked down at the table, “Yeah. Honestly, I still do not get why I acted that way. I know why, the blood dilithium and all, but I knew the effects it could have and I remember a part of me thinking the way I was behaving was not needed but I panicked I guess. I am just glad Crewman Jennings is ok, a bruise on his arm and maybe to his ego was all that I caused.”
Dese chuckled at that, “Yeah, I ran into him yesterday, he asked how you were feeling. I think he feels bad that he had to sedate you.”
Jenoda shrugged, “He needed to in fairness, I was out of control.” She was about to continue when the door to the lounge slid open and Ensign Ined Bruco walked in and waved at them. “Though I would find the two of you here. Some of us are going to the holodeck, one of the guys on the beta shift has some new holo-novel he picked up on the station and they need a few more.”
Dese and Jenoda looked at each other and smiled, “Sounds fun,” they said together.
Stardate 240011.30 – 23:30 Hours
Thanen, looking a bit more dishevelled than usual, sat at the main diagnostic panel in engineer as he massaged his head with his right hand. The ratio in the intermix matrix after the repairs these last few days just wasn’t right and no matter what he did he couldn’t it optimized. He knew that there was no threat to the ship or risk that the core would shut down but he had it perfect after tinkering with it before they encountered the strange blood dilithium entity.
“Why are you wanting to work with me Sojo,” he muttered to himself. “Do you just want to keep me on my toes? Between this and the normal first cruise hiccups you are running me ragged.”
A voice from behind startled him and he almost fell out of the chair, “Sir, are you talking to me?”
Thanen regained his balance and turned around to find Lieutenant Anahis Sanin, the assistant chief engineer. “No, no,” he said as he shrugged, “I was just muttering to myself.”
Anahis stifled a slight laugh at seeing her boss almost fall off his chair before she slumped into the chair beside him, “Ah, I would be lying if I didn’t do that myself.”
Thanen snorted as he looked back at the console, “Why are you up, your shift ended hours ago and I thought I told you to take some time?”
Anahis arched an eyebrow quizically, “Recall, It that must have slipped my mind. Besides some of the gel packs on Deck 4 were not working at 100% efficiency so I swapped them out and checked on the gel pack nursery to make sure we had sufficient replacements coming along.”
Thanen sighed knowing that even if he ordered her to stop working she would likely find something else to tinker with. “Fair enough. Since you are here care to help with the intermix matrix, the ratio is still off?”
Anahis smiled widely, “Sure thing boss, let’s have a look.”