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Welcome home...

Posted on Tue Nov 24th, 2015 @ 6:39pm by Lieutenant Mark Whistler & Captain Farenia Meowlith

Mission: Turalek Misadventure

Mark looked around the medical bay, and buried a sigh. He was glad he had managed to get everyone to safety, and he knew he wouldn't have done it without Se'Lah, Shae or the security team. He also felt a twinge of regret for Gonnadie, considering how he had died, and as he left the medical bay, he made a beeline for the Captain's quarters.

He reached there in no time, still wearing his blood stained outfit from Turalek, and rang the chime, waiting to be given entrance.

"Come in," Farenia called, sitting behind her desk and looking over some documents as she ate dinner. Looking up as the doors opened, she set her fork down and slid her plate aside. Maybe now wasn't the best time to eat...

"Captain. Thought you'd like to know we just got back." Mark said, handing her a PADD. "Wrote a report on the way back, but...I don't think I can cover everything well enough in a report." Mark explained.

Taking the PaDD, Farenia looked it over before setting it down. "Official reports are just that - an official summary of the events. Please, have a seat and tell me more."

Mark nodded, and sat down, leaning back in the chair. "Well, we have twenty three more people aboard, the remnants of my clan, and a couple of others. I'm sorry to say that we also lost Gonnadie, and two of the security officers. We also learnt of a new force that was rising. I think...I think Turalek was a test ground for a new army." Mark said.

"With past Section 31 involvement there during the Dominion War, I'm not surprised." Farenia said, leaning back as well. "Was there any way you could have prevented those deaths?"

Mark shook his head. "Only reason we made it out was because of those who died. The security officers, Sanchez and Jensen, they were heroes. Sanchez, he died saving the life of a kid." He said. "I know it isn't much comfort to his family, but I'm going to be asking for awards for them both. Gonnadie...he was a good man, didn't deserve to die. None of them did." Mark said. He sighed, ignoring the tear rolling down his cheek. "I always knew I needed to go back there one day...but I never thought I'd see others die the way they did. I've sent a message to Starfleet Intel, demanded a few ships to be sent there. They've promised a task force to go and stop this rising army, and some of my clan will be going back as advisors. Part of me wanted to go back too...but I've got a job here to do." Mark explained.

"These things happen now and then. Try not to beat yourself up about it too much. I would like you to write up the letters to their families though, if you think you can handle it." Farenia said softly. "I'll be keeping tabs on the Turalek situation as well, just in case. So... what happened, anyway? You went there to track down someone and came back with a lot of people."

Mark nodded. "Yeah. Turns out that the person who hired that woman to steal our deflector dish...they wanted Federation Technology to help improve the work they were doing. They had taken some of the worst people from Turalek, implanted them with crude metal and robotics, and used them as an army. But it wasn't working how they wanted." Mark explained.

"Sounds more like a torture setup than experimentation to me..." Farenia replied. "Did you at least find her? Is she in custody now?"

"The girl? No. She wasn't anywhere near the planet, which was probably for the best given what they did with people. I'll have an alert put out for her. I doubt we've seen the last of her. From what one of the shopkeepers said, she's stubborn, and headstrong. She probably didn't like losing to us." Mark said.

"That sounds rather unresolved... I don't like it." Farenia said, thinking the whole thing over. "So... you brought back refugees, lost three people, discovered a secret plot to turn people into war machines, and... What do you have to show for your mission then? What did you accomplish in regards to your original purpose?"

"More questions, although the person on Turalek did say something before he died. He said Turalek was but one. It does make me wonder how many other worlds are like Turalek, and if there are more, were they designed that way? I was able to find some old records from before the fall of Turalek, although badly degraded. Hopefully we can restore them. If someone is creating other Turalek's to build an army, we need to stop them." Mark said.

"If we can't find solid evidence of an outside power influencing them, then we have to follow the prime directive even if someone is taking advantage of the situation. We do have some freedom in things, but..." Farenia didn't want to not get involved, but she didn't see a way for starfleet to let them easily dig themselves into this whole mess.

"Well, we have the evidence from Turalek, because the technology they were using was not from Turalek. I brought back some of the modifications, not the bodies though." Mark replied. "If we find another world, I'm sure we can find the evidence. That being said, I have an alternative." Mark said. "I'd like some of my people to remain on board. They can serve as civilians, but if we have a situation we can't officially enter, we can go down without any Starfleet links." He suggested.

"We can't exactly leave them here on a Ferengi station to fend fore themselves, now can we? We'll have to keep them aboard until we can get to a Federation starbase." Farenia said slyly. "And until then, they're your responsibility. I don't want them getting into too much trouble, ok?"

Mark smiled. "Oh, don't worry, they won't get into 'too' much trouble." He promised. He dropped his smile. "I'm asking a couple of my people to stay on the station, however, to not only keep an eye out for our thief, but to keep a line of communication open. If anything goes down on the station, we'll know. I'll be speaking with a shopkeeper on the station: she knows the girl, and I can put enough pressure on her to take one of my guys into her shop undercover." Mark said.

Farenia preferred people's loyalty through other means, but she wasn't entirely opposed to the situation. "Ok, but remember that ultimately I'm the one responsible for the conduct and actions of these people. No getting me in trouble with Command, ok?"

"You're already in trouble with them, remember? They wanted me gone, you told them no." Mark said. "Don't worry, they know the meaning of the word discreet." Mark promised.

Farenia giggled softly a moment at that reminder. "Yeah, I've pissed off more than one admiral so far it seems. Ok then. I've already decided to trust you so I'm trusting you on this as well. Just make sure they're careful."

"They will be. They survived Turalek, just as long as I did, if not longer in some cases." Mark said. "My team that will be remaining aboard, well, they have a number of skills. I'll keep a few in my department, and the others may want to learn new skills. Any objection to them remaining as 'civilian consultants' aboard?" He asked.

"If they can become reliable and productive members of the crew while they're aboard, I'd love to have them." Farenia reassured him. "We're a hair under optimal crew levels as it is."

"Oh, I'd trust them with my lives, and they'll definitely be productive. Kara, she always wanted to learn about the stars, and she had some excellent theories, which I think she can work with in science. Drasko, he wanted to build things, so engineering will suit him." Mark started.

"Let's get them started on auxiliary training courses then and see where they go." Farenia replied with a smile. "Was there anything else you needed to report on before getting cleaned up?"

"Yeah. I need permission to use the holodeck for a few hours exclusively. You'd be welcome to come along if you wish, but I want to have a family barbeque, a reunion of sorts since we're now off of that rock." Mark replied. "After everyone's had a chance to rest up, of course."

"That sounds pleasant," Farenia said, leaning forward and punching the request into the computer. "There's 3 hours solid during peak times available tomorrow and the day after. Take your pick."

"I'll say tomorrow. This meal has been a long time coming." Mark said. "I think, right now, we all need something to remind us that we are together still, after everything. That's the worst thing about Turalek, we were apart for so long and lost so much. Now comes the time to heal, and I know that won't be easy. Family dinners were always enjoyed, and I think it's something not enough people do."

"That's actually a pretty good moral. Even with replicated food, I think people miss out on one of the best spices - stimulating conversation." Farenia replied, finalizing the request. "Holodeck is yours starting at 3."

"Appreciate that, Captain." Mark said. "Anything else you need? I think I need a shower."

"Not that I can think of. Go get cleaned up. You've earned it." Farenia replied with a smile.

"Thank you, for everything." Mark said, before turning and walking for the exit. As the doors opened, he stopped, but didn't face her, and spoke calmly. "There are only a few people I've ever been indebted to in my life. You have my gratitude, and for the outcome, for allowing me to go, leading to my family being saved, giving us a home...you have my loyalty, from now until the end of all things. My blades, my fists...they are always at your service, something that no one has had before." He told her.

Farenia was silent, processing this. She nodded, though she knew he wouldn't see that, but it was the only response she could formulate at the moment. That and a respectful silence.

 

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