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Part of USS Cantabras: Family Reunion

Here We Go Again…

Derdoria III, Beta Quadrant
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The sounds of loud music filled the machine shop, accompanied by the rhythmic turning of a socket wrench. The cacophony was broken up by the sounds of heels on the concrete.

“Shop opens at 8,” Alex said, not looking away from his work.

“Ah, no Mr. Benson. I’m here about-”

“The answer’s no,” Alex interrupted the woman.

“I’m sorry?” The woman said, confused.

“The only people who call me, Mr. Benson are people looking to harm me, financially or physically. If it’s the first one, extortion hours are between 9:30 pm and midnight. If it’s the second, you might want to take your heels off. Either way, I haven’t had my third cup of coffee yet, so I’m not in the mood for either right now.” He removed the engine’s manifold cover, set it on the ground, and looked inside the engine with a small light.

“I’m not here about any-“

Alex stood up and angrily dropped his light. He turned around to face the woman. “Listen, I sai- Starfleet?” Alex chuckled wryly, “I haven’t told you guys no for a while.” He reached down a cleaned his hands with a nearby rag. “Well, let’s step into my office then.” He threw the rag into a tool rack. “Do you want some coffee? It’s better than the raktajino crap they serve on starbases.”

“You’re a hard man to track down, Mr. Benson.”

“That was the point,” Alex called over his shoulder as he walked away.

She followed Alex to an attached service office. He poured two cups of coffee and handed one to the woman. “All right, let’s hear your pitch, Lieutenant…”

“Breton, Arielle Breton,” She rummaged through her bag. “Yesterday afternoon, Starfleet received a priority message from Sitera. It’s a small planet in the Beta Quadrant.”

“I’ve heard of it,” Alex said, taking a sip of coffee.

“There has been a series of uprisings… terrorist attacks. Until recently, the government has been able to effectively quell them. But a group identifying themselves as Shining Hope has unified the planet’s revolutionaries to a-”

Alex mock yawned, the sound filling the space. “Get to the part where I care. If they want the planet, let them have it. Might be better than the last boss.”

Breton produced a PADD, pushed a few buttons, and handed it to Alex. “We’ve identified one of the main leaders. I trust she’ll be familiar.”

Alex stared at the image. “April…” He blinked back to reality, “I haven’t spoken to April for 10-15 years. What kind of effect am I supposed to have?”

“Quiet ones, preferably. We’re hoping to use this as a springboard for Sitera’s admission into the Federation.”

“I get it. So Starfleet comes in, takes care of business, and everyone throws a big victory party. And the Federation can collect on the debt.” Alex took a sip of coffee. “I have to admit, it’s genius. Anyway,” he set his cup and the PADD on the counter, “good luck with that.”

“What do you think happens to the next person we approach with this? I doubt they’ll be as subtle.”

Alex stopped and turned to face her. He angrily pointed a finger in Arielle’s direction. “See? This is why I hate Starfleet. You dangle a family member in front of me, tell me to take the mission, or the next guy might not care.”

“So you’ll do it then?”

“Yes, I’ll take the mission,” Alex said with a resigned sigh.

Arielle smiled and picked up the PADD. “I’ll inform the-”

“Not so fast, I didn’t say it was unconditional. I’m restored to full rank before my incarceration, with retroactive benefits. And I want my arrest record expunged. And, I want to run the mission with latitude.”

“Sir, that’s… 16 years of back benefits,” Breton said, swallowing hard.

“Then I suggest you get in touch with Starfleet. I’m going to change.” Alex said, walking out of the office.


  • 'People looking to harm me, financially or physically.' At first I was wondering if this is unresolved trauma from childhood, but then I remembered that his whole life is unresolved trauma lol. 'I haven't told you guys no in a while' is such a great line, but my man really should have seen that turn of the screw coming! Methinks he's been under the hood too long!

    May 28, 2023