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A Search For Moriarty

Posted on Sun Feb 20th, 2011 @ 8:46pm by

Mission: Flawed. Season 2, Episode 3
Location: Various
Timeline: Recent Past


Three Months Ago...
USS Serenity

Xander rushed into the Brianna's quarters with quiet intensity and determination. While he thought about laying into Brianna about leaving Mac alone at such a critical moment, he found himself to concerned about making sure his family was safe to take any such action at this moment. He stopped just inside the door to survey the situation before making the mistake of diving into an unsafe situation. "Where is he?" he asked the woman he loved.

"Hannah!!" She cried out, looking at her quarters, her memory flashing back to the last time it was broken into. "Oh God..." Slipped from her lips. "I'm in here!" Hannah called out. Brianna heard her baby cry and ran into the bedroom. "Thank God Hannah!" She grabbed her infant. "Try and get to your station...I am unsure what happened...don't get yourself trapped, come back here if you can't get to it, do you understand me?" She asked and watched the other woman run off.

Brianna frantically checked her son for any injuries and found none. She realised that she had been holding her breath. "I think he is ok.."

"Good," Xander responded as he frantically swept through the quarters to make sure everything was safe. He hadn't gone through hell to reunite with his family only to lose them to some freak accident. His family? If things were bad they would need an exit strategy. Regardless, without any information they were in the dark and in the dark was not a place Xander felt comfortable, "We need to find out what happened."

Brianna went to the porthole still holding Mac close to her. "It looks like a mine field out there...look..." She moved slightly so Xander could see out.

"Well, this certainly complicates things," Xander commented at the sight of the mine field. He had never been the type to put his fate in the hands of others. It made him feel helpless and he was not the type of person to accept feeling helpless. Even when he had to rely on others, he always tended to have a modicum of control. Of foresight. Two steps ahead of everybody else had always been his way of life. Until now...



Eight Months Earlier...
Zarinn 2 Orbital Facility

Alex had been in and out of dives like this for days now. Finally, he had gotten a solid lead. He really hadn't expected the station to be quite as shady as it turned out to be considering the fact that it was technically located within Federation space, but considering the recent pirate activity in the area he supposed it was as good a place as any for someone like Craig to hide out. For one thing Starfleet's presence in the system was too busy hunting down a group of pirates who had managed to somehow get a hold of a Defiant Class ship and destroy some Starfleet fighters from the USS Veracruz than to search for missing fugitives that were presumed deceased. That suited Alex just fine. He wasn't exactly here on Starfleet orders. Had he been he certainly wouldn't have called in the favors he did to travel in civilian transports to get here. Nor would he have been able to move as unhindered as he had for the past few days.

He held Jadzia's arm in his just he had done for the past few days playing up the appearance of the two of them being a couple and led her into another of the seemingly endless bars on the station. Unlike the numerous Starfleet officers from the recently docked Prometheus Class starship, at least they were able to blend in. It was almost a crime how poorly Starfleet trained their officers on the fine art of infiltration. Of course they hadn't spent the past few weeks practicing like Alex and Jadzia had been doing either. They walked in past another of the countless card games that seemed to litter the station through the bar and out the door on the other side to come face to face with a small bookstore.

"This should be the place," Alex said quietly, "From what we've gathered Kardos should be in here."

Jadzia was feeling more defiant than usual today and she was itching to get away. It wouldn't do her any good though...if Alex had been able to track down this Kardos the way he had he would be able to track her down in no time. "Please let go of me my are bruising my arm." She said, her words coated with honey. "Let us go see if this Kardos is home and wants to play shall we?"

Alex looked at his make believe wife with a hint of annoyance in his eyes and yet found a way to smile warmly and sugar coat each word that slipped from his mouth, "Of course honey bunny." The former spook let her arm go free and instead took her hand in his inserting his fingers between hers. It was somewhat petty, but the more time he spent with her the more she tended to grate on him. In a way it also served to endear her to him in some crazy get to know you kind of way. not that he would ever consider leaving Brianna for her, but he did find that he wanted her to have a chance at a good life. That was another reason for using Kardos in this situation. The man was a legend when it came to buying and selling intel. Where he learned his trade was as much a mystery as what his real name was. When all was said and done Jadzia would have the choice of going back to Starfleet or starting a new life. Whatever her choice, Alex was going to make sure it started off right.

The pair entered the bookstore and wandered their way through the shelves stacked five to six rows high. There was an old musty smell that one could only find when in the presence of such ancient tomes. Alex found it comforting. He had always had a special place in his heart for paper and ink. As they rounded a set of shelves they found an elderly human with his head in a book. Wired framed glasses wrapped around his face giving him the look of a man out of time given the rarity of such devices. A sly cheshire smile grew upon his face blending perfectly with the strange twinkle that ignited in his eye as he said in a jovial tone, "Mr. and Mrs. Summers or is it Winters? I take it you've come for a book?"

Alex pondered the question for a moment all the while wondering how this man knew who they were without them introducing themselves. It was a trick he had used to the annoyance of others many times in the past, but he was fairly certain that they had been quite careful about not giving away their identities. It was a conundrum that would bother him until he actually got around to asking the man the answer. "It's Summers and we're not exactly shopping for a book."

"Ahh, yes Summers. I often get the seasons mixed up. Living on a station where there really is no such thing as weather tends to dull one to the delights of nature," Kardos responded slowly getting up on his creaking knees, "However, I'm quite certain that you did come for a book. Now let's see if we can find you the perfect one." The man began running his finger across volumes stacked upon the shelves.

"Have you not left the station in a while?" Jadzia asked. She never liked staying on a ship or station for too long...this was the longest she had been without being on a planet surface and allow the sun to hit her face.

"Well, when you get to my age galloping around the cosmos just isn't what it used to be," Kardos grinned as he pulled a book off the shelf and handed it to Alex.

"Sherlock Holmes? The Final Problem?" Alex asked with raised eyebrows, "I've read it."

"Then I insist that you read it again just to be sure you understood it the first time," Kardos said pushing the book in Alex's hands back closer to his body, "Besides, you can't really be sure that you read it at all.... can you?"

"Holmes is pursued by his archenemy Moriarty and they apparently die in a fight above the Reichenbach Falls," Alex cliff noted.

"In the short version maybe, but you are missing the hidden meaning of the text," Kardos went on to explain, "Words thrown together are not meant for just some kind of summary. They are there because words have power. They have meaning. Read the story again and find the meaning of the words. Then return to me and tell me what you've learned. Once you've done that I will give you what you are searching for."

"You want me to do a book report?" Alex questioned a little peturbed.

"If that's how you want to think about it," Kardos somewhat gleefully responded as he half jumped, half skipped down the shelf a little further and pulled another book from it only to turn and hand it to Jadzia, "And for you, my dear. A gift. From me to you."

Jadzia looked at Alex, then back at the old man, "Thank you." She said taking the book.

Kardos smiled back at the woman, "Now then, since I'm feeling so generous today I believe the time has come for you to take your leave before I change my mind and decide to charge you for those books." The old man started walking toward the back of his shop not bothering to even say goodbye.

Alex thought for a moment about following him in order to get the answers he wanted. His patience was already at an end. However, Kardos was trading a favor and disrupting the process would only set them back at square one. They had come so far and were so close, but even Alex had to accept the fact that one day would not kill them. At least not if they were careful. And perhaps that was the lesson Kardos was imparting despite his eccentricity. The spook turned toward Jadzia and briskly said, "Come on. It's time to go back to our quarters. We have a little reading to do. Besides, it's not safe here anymore."


Three Months Ago...
USS Serenity

Normally Xander would have leaped into action. Digging through every little piece of information he could get his hands on and even a few he might not have been able to. A flash in the distance was more than enough to tell him that the field they were in was highly unstable and probably quite old. However, that was Alex's life. One of working the angles. Finding the details that could unlock the secrets. Discovering the one little overlooked clue that would shed light upon the entire situation. His only concern now was the immediate safety of his family. There were hundreds of individuals aboard the ship who could deal with the current scenario, although maybe not in as subtle a way as he hoped he would have been able to do. Regardless, safety of the ship was no longer one of his responsibilities.

He looked over at Brianna. She still wore the uniform he had come to distrust, and yet, there was still a sense of pride in him when he saw her in it. She had continued to stay her course despite the tragedy that had befallen her over time. It was an admirable trait and one of the many that he admired about her. "So, now how do you plan to proceed?" he asked hoping she didn't start to think he was interrogating her.

Brianna wasn't looking at him as he spoke to her but felt his eyes keenly on her as she held their son. She snuggled her baby close to her and smiled. Brianna counted her breaths and the moments as she formulated her response to him. She knew that he wouldn't like it but she hoped that Xander would trust her decision. It wasn't so much as a decision but what she had to do. "I have to make my way to the Bridge. I know I can be of some help." She finally said looking up at him.

"Then you'd better hand me Mac. I'll take care of him," Xander said calmly trying not to give any emotional indication of whether or not he approved of her decision. The last thing he wanted to do was undermine her intentions with his own personal views and strategies. "Stick to the center of the ship if you're going to go. That's where the least amount of damage should be. If you need, there are a number of different ladders and jeffries tubes you can crawl through that will take you directly to the bridge if you need them, but given the quiet, I would assume that the worst is over for now. The main lift should be functional and there are always the transporters that can be utilized if absolutely necessary. Just be careful. Be safe."

Brianna handed the baby to Xander and cupped his cheek before she kissed him. "I'll be fine Alex. You taught me how to take care of myself and to not be afraid." She smiled warmly. "I will always come back...I love you." She replied before she left the two men in her life.


To Be Continued...


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