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PostPosted: Fri September 19th, 2014 5:01 am 
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Chapter 2 Breakfast
Several weeks passed, the Ronin rendezvoused with the Titian and Ensign Gregg received his Lieutenant pips. There were a few personnel changes and all family members disembarked, the two construction and engineering biased away teams returned from Andor well amused with their supplied cold weather gear, and the Itinerant docked in her bay.
“Now that I have all of you here I feel it is appropriate to properly brief you on our mission.” The Captain assembled her senior staff as they waited outside of the Jouret IV system. Something had told Walker their trip to Andor was more personal than official. “Computer raise a level ten force field around the briefing room and initiate a phase varying dampening field.”
“Actions confirmed.”
“Now. As to the mission.” Captain Rigel stood up and grasped the head rest of her chair, “Vice Admiral T’Lara was with Ambassador Jaarx when he made contact with the Voth and has some excellent news. There are those who have accepted the Distant Origin Theory and are interested in defecting. The scientific colony where these potential allies are located is in the Delta Quadrant. The Borg may not be a threat to the Voth at this time, but they are to us. As all of you have already been told the Romulan S-type cloaking device has been fitted and is functioning within acceptable parameters. Subcommander Vella is still assisting Chief Junt with the final tests.” She glanced at Chief Junt asking telepathically for a response.
“That is correct Captain. We are only having an issue at high warp. The Subcommander and I should have that fixed shortly.”
“Excellent, Lieutenant Key as chief of security I would like your staff to take the lead on running tactical scenarios involving the Borg. Every crewman must attend these training secessions.”
“Understood.”
“This mission is simple, get to the Voth colony, locate their science station, contact the potential defectors and escort them back to federation space. Commanders Walker and Leaf any concerns?”
Leaf leaned forward, “Will they have their own ship?”
“There are many unknowns. Admiral T’Lara chose to only share her mission for us telepathically and allowed me no questions. The only certainty is the Voth’s name, Noras Veer.”
“Would you like me to assemble a team of commandos again?” Walker spoke up.
“No, I want Lieutenant Key’s security force in charge of any man to man assaults; that is their function.”
“Understood.”
“Beta shift will run simulations on Voth ship functions. Admiral T’Lara has supplied us with technical diagnostic for a small Voth Palisade Science Vessel. Apparently Starfleet Intel got their hands on one.” The Captain removed a small memory stick from her Odyssey jacket and tossed it to Walker. “Do not upload it, and always run it in coordination with Key’s men, I want guards posted outside the holodeck while it is in use.”
“Aye sir.”
“Any other questions?” She glanced around and was happy to see her staff perfectly accepting of the new mission. “Not a word about the Voth to anyone, until we are in their space. Commander,” She turned to Walker, “your crew will obviously be aware, but nothing of or mission. Computer remove the dampening field and the force field around the conference room.”
“Command confirmed.”
“Lieutenant Vega, maintain a standard distance from the Gateway, Dismissed.” She remained in the room still leaning on the headrest as they exited behind her.
Leaf, her first officer, noticed her distress on her way out, “Anything you need?”
After a long pause and a double check to make sure they were alone the Captain asked, “Do you have any children Commander?”
“Yes sir, you have met him.”
“Oh, that’s right, I am sorry my head is elsewhere. Andor is still recovering from the Borg’s attempt to assimilate it.” She sighed and shook her head. “I wish Starfleet would have let our families stay on board.”
“I feel at ease knowing Macon is safe with my husband on Betazed.”
“Did the Dominion occupy your family’s city?”
“The Dominion occupied the entire planet, luckily our abilities drove them away before we had to utilize physical force. I assure you, your children are safe, and look forward to your return.”
“Thank you commander.”

Valmont was waiting for Commander Walker in the smaller mess hall which had been highly modified, “What news?”
“I’ll schedule us for simulations on one of the holodecks after our normal shifts until we enter the gateway.” He glanced out of the dark room’s windows. The gateway was just within visual range.
“Understood.”
“Anything to drink gentlemen?”
“Prune Juice for me, five degrees Celsius please.”
“I’ll take the same and two glasses of Aldebaran whiskey, and not the replicated stuff.”
“Um..”
“Don’t look at me like that. Do as your told, I know Markoff has some stashed back there.” The young Crewman still uneasy left to fill their orders.
“Expecting someone?”
“No. Mira Peck is meeting me for breakfast.”
“I forgot the time. Peck… Peck?”
“She is an Ensign in Engineering.”
“Hmm..” he still was drawing a blank.
“She is the redhead who always wears the skirt uniforms.”
“A Terrain?”
“Yes.” The drinks arrived and Valmont slammed both whiskeys before the crewman put all the drinks down.
“Anything else?” he was almost afraid to ask.
“Here.” Valmont handed him back the glasses after downing the prune juice as well instantaneously giving him brain freeze, “Well,” he sucked deep for air, “I. I must be off Commander. See you at 1600?”
“Just, be yourself.” Commander Walker had never allowed himself to become too familiar with any of the women on board, mostly because of the position he held but partly because he enjoyed Klingon dating rituals and very few can endure them.
“Commander, may I sit?”
Walker gestured for the Doctor to join him, “Mortel, what’s on your mind?”
“Have you faced the Borg before?” In their briefing the Doctor had not said a word and it appeared normal as he was usually reserved.
“Yes.”
“I have served with many who had been assimilated as well. Have you?”
“I was assimilated.” He almost dropped the glass he was holding and was obviously upset.
“I didn’t know.” Walker had served with several assimilated individuals as he was in command of a squadron during the War for Andor, and could easily sympathize. “Do you fear meeting them again?”
“No.” His glass quivered.
“Did the doctors on Adigeon Prime resequence your nanites?”
“Yes, but.”
“These are the risks we take.”
“I..” with his deep breath came a look of defeat.
“We have a few councilors aboard, perhaps.”
“No, no. I work next to them. I don’t want official records of anything.” He picked his glass back up and his hand steadied. “It’s just your men are... confidential.”
“I think I understand. You are the chief medical officer of this warship. The Captain chose you. It is her right. She specifically chose you above all others to be in charge of medical. Do you know anyone else who was assimilated on your shift?” The doctor shook his head yes. “Start there, just talk to the others about it. Key’s men doing most of the dirty work, and really we are avoiding all conflict. My door is always open.”
Doctor Mortel stood up a bit more confidant and headed for the medical bay.

“Sir are you waiting for anyone?”
“I have to stop sitting down when I come in here.” As he often did Walker spoke his mind.
“I am sorry sir.”
“No, by all means sit.” Suddenly Walker morphed into his Klingon form.
“Wow, I haven’t actually see you do that before.” Cassie was not new to the ship and had been assigned as a senior medical research specialist from the Vulcan Consort, even though she was Romulan. Cassie had a reputation on the ship for being punctual and overly meticulous.
“I apologize, but I am tired and the human form is pointless right now.”
“I must say this is much more, you.”
She still stood there, but began examining his ridges, “What is it I can do for you?”
“Nothing, I just find you interesting and I thought I would ask if I could sit with you.” She was as blunt as Walker and it made him laugh in a quieted Klingon rumble.
“Please, by all means. Have you eaten breakfast, I would enjoy the company?”
“No. My shift starts in thirty,” she graciously sat down, “I thought I would stop by this mess hall, it is more aesthetically pleasing than the main mess and you happened to be sitting here alone.”
“Hmph, Markoff was allowed to reconstruct the room, I like it too. The Captain thought it would bring a bit of ambiance to a stark ship.”
“It reminds me of a place I use to go on Earth in Montreal, all it is missing is a fireplace.”
“Did you ever get to travel to Romulus?”
“No, my parents defected from the Tal Shiar and we have only traveled to New Romulus to see my family.”
“There was a place just like this in Rateg.”
“You have been to Romulus?”
“When I was 18 or so.”
“How old does your species live?”
The young crewman didn’t know how to interrupt so he just blurted out awkwardly, “Can I get you two anything?”
“Romulan meal 74 with extra garlic and scrambled eggs please.”
“And you Commander?”
“Grilled octopus over Krada, just combine Klingon meal 12 and I forget the octopus one’s number.”
“I’ll get it figured our sir.”
“Thanks.” He turned back to Cassie, “Where were we... age? I have been told we live half the span of El-Aurians. Though truly I do not know. I am very young, forty one by Terrain standards. I haven’t spoken with any elders of my species. All I know is what I remember from my parents.”
“There is much we do not know about your species. There are what only three of you know?”
“Well, three in the fleet. I know of four others. How many Romulans are there left and how young are you?”
“I am only twenty nine and there are many more Romulans than there are Chameloids.”
“Still, your people have taken a great loss. How have you achieved so much at such a young age with all that adversity?”
“I was sent to New Vulcan, they have reestablished many of their schools. From five to fifteen I was basically stuck in a training sphere. The New Vulcan Medical center accepted me and I graduated seven years ago. Starfleet asked for three medical researchers for this assignment and I put my name in. I only attended Starfleet Academy for the one class on integration. It really has taken little effort on my part.”
“My sister lives on New Vulcan. Where did you stay?”
“I stayed at their education complex in Raal II.”
“Of course. My sister lives in Gol’s Honor next to the sea.”
“Here you two go. One order of extra-large mollusks and one order of grilled octopus over Krada.”
“Thank you.”
The two finished their meals in a pleasant silence. After the crewman recycled their plates Cassie glanced at her subcutaneous chronometer, “Well, I must be heading to medical. Duty calls.”
“And I am off to my chambers. Have a pleasant day.”
“Commander?”
“Yes.”
“You really should just walk around as you are. It is much more, aesthetically pleasing.”

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