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Journey to the past

Posted on Tue Sep 1st, 2015 @ 6:10pm by Lieutenant Mark Whistler & Lieutenant Commander Se'Lah & Kalin 'Shae' Brennan

Mission: Turalek Misadventure

Mark stood in the transporter room, having gotten the ship he had confiscated from Jeffrey ready, and checked his weapons one last time. It wouldn't be a long trip to Turalek, but even short trips meant he needed to be fully armed, and there was only one person he wanted with him on this trip, the only person he knew would understand the planet. In truth, he was glad Shae was around, because it gave him strength knowing he had family around. He did, however, also have three well trained security officers, all veterans of combat. He didn't want someone who had never seen real combat before, not on Turalek. "Whistler to Gonnadie, please join me in the transporter room. Whistler to Brennan, I'm in the transporter room whenever you're ready." Mark said.

=/\="On my way,"=/\= Shae replied over the comm. She had already taken her daughter to Sickbay so Val could watch her and she'd made all the preparations she felt were necessary for this mission. Now, she made her way down to the transporter room to meet with Mark, dressed in the S31 issue stealth suit and vest she'd replicated and wearing the face he'd known her as all those years ago, her now blond hair braided over her shoulder. Her exotic features would stand out in a crowd, so she shed those in favor of human features that would allow her to better blend in.

Mark almost did a double take when he saw Shae walk in, and smiled at her. "Shae. When we get there, we'll introduce you as Angela, for now. We'll tell the others the truth later, but for now, let's keep it as simple as we can." Mark said. He took a belt of throwing knives hanging over his shoulder. "I kept these for you all those years ago. Never got rid of them." He said, referring to the fact that he had ordered the weapons made for Shae back on Turalek.

"That's fine," Shae said with a nod. She wouldn't have changed her appearance like this if she hadn't been prepared for him to make use of that old identity. "And thank you... I replicated a few, but these are much better," she added with an approving nod as she looked the blades over, drawing one from its sheath and flipping it in her hand a few times to test its weight and balance.

Mark smiled. "I'm glad you like them. I wish you didn't need them, but you know what it's like. Our new Captain has approved the mission, we're using a ship I confiscated from a criminal not long ago, it's bigger than a shuttle, and no Starfleet markings. We'll be able to get the rest of the clan out of there at least." Mark said, as he checked his Kulak's. "Whatever happens Shae...I want you to know how much I am glad to have you back in my life."

"Me too," Shae replied with a wistful smile, fixing the new blades at her waist, concealing them under the leather vest. "Who else is coming with us?"

"I've called upon Ensign Gonnadie. The Captain insisted I take an engineer along with us." Mark replied. "I would take more, but I don't think anyone else on the ship can handle what we're going to be facing."

"It's been a while since I've had to do any piloting, but I could do it in a pinch if we don't have a capable pilot coming with us," Shae said, suppressing her natural Irish lilt as she spoke. She hadn't used her accent back on Turalek, and since she was using her Angela identity again then she wouldn't use her accent now.

Mark smiled. "I got the piloting down. I'll definitely need your help as a co pilot, from what I've been told, this ship needs two pilots." He said.

Shae simply nodded and waited with a cool and aloof demeanor for the Engineer to arrive so they could leave.

Gonnadie entered the transporter room, an engineering kit slung on one shoulder and his face staring at a PADD that he held in his left hand. He paused a moment when he realized he wasn't alone and looked around.

"Sorry I'm late." He said simply. "We ready to go?" He looked between them then back at his uniform. "Am I overdressed?"

Mark looked at the man and smiled. "We'll replicate you something on the way." Mark said.

"Whatever you say." Gonnadie shrugged lightly taking a step onto the transporter bad and adjusting the strap of his tool bag.

*****

At that moment, thanks to a miscalculation on Mark's part, Se'Lah's computer beeped, and played a message. "Se'Lah, by the time you get this message, I should be on my way to Turalek. I've got to go back. Not only is there a lead there, potentially anyway, on who wanted our deflector dish, but I have friends there, my family. I know I didn't tell you...because I didn't want to risk your life. I'm not going alone, I have Shae...Miss Brennan with me, since she has been there before. I don't know what I'll face there...but I will carry you in my heart. Hopefully, I'll return soon, and maybe you can forgive me. If I don't come back...remember, your actions now, your deeds define you. You are an incredible woman, and you made my life better. Goodbye, Se'Lah. I hope we will see each other again, in this life or the next." Mark's image recited.

Se'Lah had been reading a PADD that had some information on her past. As the message played, she sighed. "Dammit..." She said, standing up, and moving to the gun locker to get her gun, and several throwing knives. "Computer, locate Mark Whistler."

"Lieutenant Whistler is in the transporter room." Came the monotonous reply.

Moments later, Se'Lah had herself well armed with hidden blades, her gun in it's holster, and was grabbing her leather jacket on the way out the door.

[Transporter Room - 1 Minute Later]

Before the transporter operator could begin the transport, and much to Mark's surprise, the doors opened to admit Se'Lah. Unlike her normal uniform, or how many had seen her dress off duty, she was now dressed in an all black outfit consisting of a black t-shirt, black loose fitting jeans, and a black leather jacket, which concealed her gun. She gave a quick glance to the others, assuming that the unfamiliar woman was Shae.

"I'm not letting you go to Turalek, without taking me with you." Se'Lah told them as she stepped up on the transporter pad next to Mark. "Besides... Apparently, this is what I'm good at."

Mark looked at her. "Where we're going...if there is a hell, I'd rather go there." Mark said, realizing his mistake. "When we get there, you need to know that we'll be landing on the outer edge of the primary city, where my old camp had been. Hopefully it's still there." Mark said.

"And maybe this is what you're good at, but you aren't prepared for a place like Turalek," Shae said to Se'Lah in an aloof manner, her whole demeanor becoming more like the Angela Mark had known years ago. "Once we touch down, you and Gonnadie are to remain with one of us at all times. I know you are our superior, but not on Turalek." Though she looked like a blond human, Shae still had the same crystal blue eyes that Se'Lah would recognize right away.

Mark nodded in agreement. "Trust me, you've never seen anything as bad as Turalek. If we're lucky, we'll get in and out before we're seen. If we're not...we'll have to fight our way through for the information we need." Mark said, as three security officers also arrived, having been summoned by Mark.

As everyone stood on the platform, Mark looked at the transporter operator. "Energise." He ordered. He felt the transporter wash over him, and found himself on the command bridge of Jeffrey's ship. There were five chairs, much like a runabout, but could be controlled by one. Mark looked at the group.

"Alright people, I've already set the course for Turalek. The plan is to find the people who wanted our deflector dish. However, when we get there, we'll also be looking to evacuate innocent people, a group of people who were in my crew and stayed behind voluntarily when I left. What we're going into is nothing less than the darkest pits of hell. You need to remain with Shae and I. For the mission, Shae will be using the name Angela. You'll see things you don't want to see, including children killing adults and adults killing children. There is no law, no government, no one to answer to. If you get attacked, do not hesitate to fight back. We'll be using the journey to replicate as much food and medicine as we can to help as many people as we can while there, but expect the worst. Any questions?" Mark asked.

Shae/Angela had no questions and simply took a seat at the co-pilot's station and began familiarizing herself with the controls and prepared for the trip.

"If this place is as bad as you say, we may need a better assortment of weapons, and tools." Se'Lah said, gesturing towards Gonnadie, since she figured Mark, and Shae would already be at least somewhat prepared. "I'll begin preparing a more optimal assortment of weapons, and ammunition."

Mark nodded. "Nothing energy though. Energy weapons don't work on Turalek, something to do with interference in the atmosphere or something." He explained.

"I don't use energy weapons, Mr. Whistler. I've found that they are not totally reliable in certain situations." Se'Lah replied, then gave him a smirk. "And call me Mellissa."

"If you two are done flirting..." Shae said teasingly. She confirmed with port control that they had clearance to leave and began the undocking procedures.

"Yes ma'am." He smiled at Se'Leh. "Alright people, let's get moving, shall we?"

"Indeed, lets get out of here..." Shae disengaged the docking clamps and began to pull away from the station and maneuvering the rickety old ship into the course that Mark had set. "I'd recommend finding a seat or something to hold on to," she said as soon as they had enough distance from the station to safely jump to warp. A ship this old would probably toss them around going in and out of warp.

Se'Lah moved to one of the open seats. She would sit there long enough for the jump to warp, then she'd get started on preparing their weapons.

Gonnadie looked between Mark, Shae, and Se'Lah. "What do we need all these extra weapons for?" He asked. "We've got three security guards with us. Can't they protect us?"

Mark smiled briefly, and looked at the engineer. "Imagine, for a moment, the most dangerous battle you've heard of. Imagine hundreds, if not thousands, of people who are looking out for themselves, willing to kill anyone, including children, just to get food. And then imagine they've been doing it all of their lives, surviving by killing. Then imagine that there is no form of law, no order, just chaos, where children are traded like slaves for food and drink, and even for personal use. Then imagine yourself there. That, Mr. Gonnadie, is Turalek. Do you think three security guards will be enough?" Mark asked.

"Brutal..." Gonnadie said in a stunned reply. Never in his career had he imagined he'd be going to a place such as the one Mark had just described. "I hope all that Starfleet training will keep me alive long enough to see my next birthday."

"So do I." Mark replied. "But I lived there for thirty years. I know the terrain. It's rough, more so than anything you've ever seen. You're about to see the real universe, not just the one Starfleet feels should exist." Mark said.

"Then I guess I'll just have to defer to your experience, Sir." Gonnadie replied.

Mark looked at the younger man, nodded, and then took his seat. Taking a breath, he looked at the console, and then at the space ahead of him. "Let's punch it." He said to Shae.

"Alright, hold on to your butts," Shae said with a grin and punched it into warp. She was surprised this bucket of bolts was even capable of warp, but once the ship stopped shaking she was able to confirm that the warp field was stable. She double checked that navigation was on course, then she set the autopilot so she could help get Se'Lah and Gonnadie ready. They wouldn't have much time and there was still a lot to do...

Once the ship was moving at warp, Se'Lah got up from the seat, and silently moved to a side room. From the looks of it, everything she'd need was right there... a Replicator, a chair, and a table... the rest would be coming from her own mind. She knew that her pistol would not be enough, and that they might need some extra fire power.

Se'Lah moved to the replicator, and began tapping to input data. "Computer, begin replicating the inputted items, and materials in pairs, as well as plenty of ammunition to go with the weapons once they're assembled." As she looked, pieces of various guns began to appear on the replicator pad, which she moved to the table to keep them out of the way of each next set.

She turned to see Shae standing there. "Care to help me assemble some weapons?" She asked.

Shae glanced at the components, watching how Se'Lah was putting them together and she was able to work out how the rest went together. Firearms, mechanical, combustion propelled projectiles. She was familiar with Earth's history of similar weapons, but had never personally used one before. But that didn't stop her from sitting next to Se'Lah to start assembling the weapons with such dexterity that one could believe she had done this before. "I have a custom phaser, but I typically don't like using weapons that can 'run out'," she said, which seemed a contradiction considering she was also a master archer, but in the wilds she could retrieve her arrows after a hunt and make more when necessary, but even coming from a replicator, bullets were finite and single use, not to mention heavy to carry around in bulk. But she was not going to criticize Se'Lah's choice of weapon; judging by the Vulcan's proficiency at constructing one of these weapons, she was very good at using them.

"That's why you always take an extra weapon with you, in case you run out." Se'Lah replied as she finished assembling one of the shotguns, and began to load shells into it. "I will also be carrying an assortment of throwing knives, and a sword just for that reason."

Shae simply nodded, setting a newly assembled handgun closer to Se'Lah for her to load. It still seemed like a lot of effort... "Make sure Gonnadie knows how to make one of these," Shae suggested as she started assembling another weapon.

"Half of these weapons are for him." Se'Lah said, shoving the last shell into the shotgun, before priming it. "I plan to have them all assembled, and ready to fire, before we arrive." She picked up the pieces of one of the Uzis that she had replicated, and began assembling it, her muscle memory doing all of the work. "I know why Mark is going, and I know why Ensign Gonnadie is going..." Se'Lah said seemingly randomly. "But I'm not quite sure why you're going... Not that I'm complaining."

"I have been to Turalek. I know what this place and the people there are capable of. Mark is a friend, I just wanted to give him and the team the best possible chances of surviving," Shae answered honestly. "Why are you going?" she asked, though she had a pretty good idea already, she just wanted to hear it from Se'Lah.

"I have a lot of reasons for going on this trip, one of which happens to be Mark." Se'Lah said simply, then hesitated in her actions. She realized in that moment that this would be the first time she'd acknowledged her relationship with anyone other than Mark. "My relationship with him, as well as my own past make this trip mean quite a bit to me... Besides, I couldn't just let him go into a dangerous situation without the help of yet another trained professional." She said, as she resumed her work on the Uzi.

Shae nodded and completed another handgun and set it aside so she could start assembling another weapon. "Fair enough. Just be careful; this world has already taken so much from Mark..."

Se'Lah let those words hang in the air as she finished assembling the Uzi, and picked up the pieces to assemble the second one. When she finally replied, she was a bit more quiet. "Without my memories, I don't have much more to lose." She finally said. "Aside from my own life, the most important thing to me right now is Mark... These are the two things I hold most dear."

"He smiles more now, this is good, but if you break his heart, I will break your neck," Shae said quietly. She finished up the last handgun and set it aside, offering a smile to Se'Lah as she headed back to the cockpit to monitor their course.

Se'Lah raised an eyebrow as Shae disappeared through the closing door. In the two months since her accident, she couldn't remember being on the receiving end of such a veiled threat. As the door closed all the way, she sighed, priming the weapon with a loud click. "Guess we will see what happens..." She said, as she picked up the pieces of the second shotgun and started assembling them.

Mark leant back in his chair, and sighed, looking at Gonnadie. "I've got some clothes programmed into the ship's replicator system, you'll definitely need to be out of uniform." Mark said.

"And here I thought I'd show up flaunting all the colors of Starfleet...." Gonnadie replied dryly. "Is it really needed for me to even be here? I mean the Deflector dish isn't on Turalek the last time I checked."

"The deflector dish may not be there, but the people who wanted it may well be. And we'll be needing your engineering expertise, not only to keep the ship intact, but to ensure we can get an edge against anyone who will want us dead. Starfleet expects us to be prepared for anything, and an engineer will be an asset on the planet." Mark said.

"Then let's hope we don't end up getting attacked by another ship." Gonnadie said. "As old, and ragged as this ship is, I doubt I'd be able to keep her intact very long under those conditions."

"Just do the best you can, that's all I ask." Mark replied.

"That's all I can give you." Gonnadie replied with a shrug.

Mark nodded, as he checked the controls again, and leant back in his chair. It was going to take a while to get there, so he knew he should rest as much as he could. It would be the only time he would get to relax.

 

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