Part of USS Denver: Mission 4: Can’t Come Home Again Part: 3 and USS Denver: Mission 4: Can’t Come Home Again

The Shackles of Consequence

Transporter Room, USS Denver
July 22, 2374 23:05
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Aoife ran her fingers up the transporter sequence controls and the pad hummed to life.  As the blue energy faded a single individual appeared in the center, her hands in cuffs.  The young blonde was visibly barely keeping it together as she stood there.

“Transporter room three to bridge,” Aoife said into the comm.

Berkely had taken the Conn when both the Captain and the Commander had left the ship. He sat in the command chair and was looking at the incoming reports from the mission when he heard the intercom. 

“We have the prisoner the Captain told us about sir,” Aoife replied.

Berkely looked over at Jeter and nodded. “See to it Chief,” he stated.

Jeter made his way to the transporter room to oversee the prisoner handover. The Captain had been overly vague about who the prisoner was but had given clear instructions that she was to be treated well and would be debriefed upon her return to the ship. The door before him slid open and he stepped into the transporter room, before looking at the prisoner he nodded to the two security officers who were keeping an eye on her and Aoife. “Status?”

Aoife simply indicated the blonde woman still standing on the transporter pad. “Our visitor is secured Chief.”

“Perfect,” Jeter remarked before turning to face the prisoner. “Welcome to the Denver, I am Chief Jeter.” He glanced at the security officers and nodded, “If you will follow me I will show you to your accommodations until the Captain is back.”

Órlaith nodded, and stepped forward, “How is Lieutenant Nalam?”

Jester turned and looked at the prisoner. “Nalam? She is recovering in medical. I heard you helped treat her. Thank you for that.” He paused and gestured to the door, “After you.” 

She nodded resigned to her fate.  She was conscious of the cyanide tablet hidden inside a false molar.  She would not allow herself to be tortured.  “I assume you want… revenge?”

“Revenge?” Jeter asked as he led Órlaith down the corridor with one security officer in tow. “No, any crimes you committed will be held against you but that is not for me to decide. The judge advocates general and federation will handle that.” He paused for a moment and glanced at her, “Or are you referring to my double? Is revenge something he would seek?”

“Is that not something anyone would seek?” She asked curiously. She didn’t wait for him to respond, “I have committed no crimes towards your people, other than associating with those who have.  I haven’t killed, robbed, or harmed anyone except those in self-defense or in defense of others.”

Jeter listened as they walked and nodded slowly, “Revenge is not something people seek often, sometimes yes but usually only when the offense is of a deeply personal nature. As for your crimes, if you have not committed any and you do not have designs such as those of the others then you have little to worry about as long as you cooperate and provide assistance.” Before Órlaith was able to respond the door to the sickbay opened and the XO stepped out.

Cheon stepped out of sickbay, his shoulder fully healed, and looked at Órlaith. “That isn’t the Federation way, Órlaith,” he stated as he looked at Jeter. “I’ll take her from here.”

A worried expression crossed Órlaith’s face.

The comm interrupted.  “Mackenzie to Master Chief Jeter.  Another batch of prisoners is beaming aboard. This time a Carolyn Crawford.”

“Master Chief, meet up with Miss Crawford and have her sent to me on the observation lounge,” Cheon ordered as he looked back at Órlaith. “Come with me,” he suggested as he motioned for her to follow him to the observation lounge. “I am sure as soon as Lieutenant Nalam is able she will join us.”

“Be cautious of Crawford,” Órlaith warned.  “She is quick as lighting,  and deadlier than a cobra.  She is one half of my mother’s personal assassination team with her father.  She needs no reason to kill,  and nor will she bat an eye. They both enjoyed their work and mama kept them busy.  Even mama didn’t trust them, though it is ironic that it was they who stayed at her side while the one she did trust betrayed her.  I would not have expected Carolyn to have come willingly,  nor without her father at her side.”

Jeter acknowledged the order from Cheon with a nod before he looked at Órlaith for a moment before nodding, “I appreciate the assessment I will keep an eye on her.” He turned to walk back to the transporter room but stopped. “Once the Lieutenant is back on her feet who should I send her to first Commander?”

Cheon stood there for a moment and was about to speak when Órlaith spoke.

“Sir?” Órlaith started cautiously, “Do you know what happened to my parents?”

A sigh left his lips. Not one of irritation but one of guilt. He looked at Jeter, “I’ll call for her,” he stated.

Jeter nodded, “Sounds good sir.” He then turned and made his way towards the transporter room and this Carolyn Crawford.” As he did he couldn’t help but wonder what her connection was to Lieutenant Crawford.

“Órlaith,” Cheon paused for a second, “This isn’t the place to discuss this,” he said as he tried to keep his tone level. “If you would follow me to the observation lounge we can have this discussion in private.”

“And when is there an appropriate place?” She demanded her eyes set and staring into his. “I murdered my brother to protect your people. You owe me the fate of my parents.”

Cheon leaned in toward her ear, “You sure that you want this information to be known to everyone?”

“I know how a ship works. Everyone will know by the end of the day anyway,  and knowing now means my imagination cannot get out of hand.”

Brig…

Peter Crawford sat outside the cell that held Carolyn Crawford.  They both stared at each other, the open hostility could have fried the circuits that powered the forcefield.  Peter held a PADD in his hands while Carolyn’s hands rested at her side.  She hadn’t said much since he’d stepped through the doors, and he’d been content to observe her while reviewing the notes from the ranch and the ongoing investigation that was in progress on Earth below.  He started with, “The DNA and genetic analysis from the body of your father is giving the science team a bit of a struggle.”  His eyes went from the PADD to hers, “We move quickly here on the Denver, so anything you’re trying to hide won’t stay in the darkness for long.”

Carolyn gritted her teeth.  “Why don’t you just say what you know, pretender?”  She would have spat at him, but whatever she lobbed would have bounced back at her.

“I’d rather hear it from you.”

A sigh between the clenched jaw and she grumbled, “My father isn’t dead.  He’s in the wind…and far the hell away from any of you.  That Peter Crawford was a clone…and it would have worked.”

Prime Peter chuckled, “That’s where you’re mistaken.  You shed no tears for him or exhibited any kind of emotional connection.  That was the first clue.  The rest was our science team doing their due diligence.  No matter what happened or if you’d found the tears to shed…the truth would have come to light.  You said he’s in the wind?  Location?  Direction?  Intent?”

She stared at him in silence, her fury registering in her glare.  She snarled, “He didn’t tell me.  I wouldn’t let him.  No matter what you do to me, I’ll never be able to tell you.  Even if I did know…I’d rather die at the hands of Starfleet than tell any of you.”

Crawford sighed and stood, finishing his notes.  “You have such a dim view of us.  We don’t torture, and we don’t abuse.  We’re members of the Federation…and we’ve got a duty and a responsibility to uphold.”  He stepped to the door, and a mournful look crossed over his face, “If we were anything like what you imagine us to be…I would have returned the favor you paid to my aunt and uncle on their ranch.  Their blood is on your hands…and you’ll get proper justice for it…not mine.”  The door closed behind him, leaving Carolyn Crawford to stew in her own rage as the emptiness of the situation became more and more apparent to her.