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Walking the polished floors

Posted on Tue Nov 8th, 2011 @ 9:56am by

Mission: All Souls Descend. Season 2, Episode 6
Location: Starfleet Command, San Francisco, Earth

There was something about Starfleet Command, the handful of times she had been there had always marked times of great change in her life, the assignment to the Daystrom Institute, Starbase 400, 611 and most recently DS7. Walking past the office once used by Admiral DeVuor she recalled the meeting where the disparate crew of 611 were reassigned to a distant sector to man a recently acquired Cardassian space station, the thoughts being pushed to one side as she turned the corner and approached her destination, the office of an old friend and someone she knew would hear her out.

Commodore Malcolm Nielsen was the one who put her forward for several assignments, many of which were still highly classified, but upon hearing of Lam's arrival back on Earth he knew it wouldn't be too long before she appeared at his door, his adjutant allowing her to enter he smiled as he stood to greet her, "took you long enough, I was beginning to think you got lost."

The middle aged man still had the same wit and wry smile as the first time she had met the then Captain Nielsen only five years ago, "not quite, I'm actually on leave and managed a few days before putting the uniform back on. I've been working on something but need to talk to someone with security clearance."

"So you came to me, well that's probably a good choice, I mean how many flag officers do you know." Moving over to the window Nielsen took a seat on the long sofa, Sara sitting on the curve, "so what's so important you had to talk shop on your leave?"

One trait they both shared however was they liked to get to the point, "about a month ago the starship Genesis picked up some strange sensor readings, from what I've been able to establish phase-conjugate graviton beams seem to have been used in some way to influence a subspace rift, I've never seen anything like it and there are no records of anything similar, not in the standard databases at least." Her request seemed to land with an almighty clang but the pair had discussed some serious things in the past five years and to her at least this was no different.

"So you want me to look into classified research or sealed mission files to what, give you a lead?" The Commodore asked bluntly, although there was no malice in his statement he was clearly taken aback by Lam's request.

"Yes" Sara paused, "I have a theory but that's all it is, if there's evidence that can corroborate it then it could mean a change in the balance of power in the Alpha Quadrant!" Perhaps it was over the top but the thought of some sort of artificial subspace weapon didn't sit well with her.

Moving to his desk Nielsen unlocked the system before beginning a search, "from what I recall there have been a few projects utilising phase-conjugate graviton beams but only one was successful, the project was highly classified by Starfleet Tactical at the time of the Dominion War and even now is an eyes only document, you're security clearance is sufficient to view it but you understand that a retina scan is required before I let you see it?"

A small micro scanner emerging from the desk causing Sara to involuntarily gulp, her dislike of having things close to her face coming to the fore. "Security Clearance Verified" came the computers response, moments later the tall windows were soon covered by what could only be described as a blast screen in order to ensure no one outside could see what they were up to.

"Let me know when you're done" said Malcolm as he pulled out the desk chair before grabbing himself a cup of tea from the replicator as he knew it would take her a while.

Looking upon the test data Sara felt a sense of relief wash over her, her persistence had paid off but now her worst fears had been confirmed, the Genesis' scan data matched that in the file, in fact almost to perfectly . It took another three hours for her to read the entire document, Malcolm bringing her a steady stream of coffee and a few sandwiches, but as she finished she knew her short vacation was over, "I'll submit my report to you Commodore but skipping to the end I'll need a ship."

"A ship! To go where?" he exclaimed, "I can't just give you a ship to go chasing theories with a crew you can't tell about a program that is so highly classified they and you would be locked up for the rest of your lives." It was times like this that Nielsen remembered the head strong determination of the woman he was dealing with, so much so he instantly knew an argument would just waste time.

"Sector 21505, that's where the Genesis picked up these energy signatures, I know its a risk but I need to find out what happened and if this Doctor Khan's project has been subverted in some way how far they've got in replicating it." It was honest and straight to the point, a logical argument and one she hoped he could help her resolve.

"That sector is mostly in Cardassian space, there's no way a starship would get close enough without drawing attention from half of the Fifth Order." As much as he wanted to help the cold reality of galactic politics prevented him or anyone short of the Federation President from sanctioning such a mission.

"What about the Manzanar? She was never shipped out to DS7 so must be in a storage hanger somewhere." Lam and Nielsen looked at each other, a moment of clarity between the two as they both knew that taking a runabout would mean only one thing, she would be going it alone.

"Its still assigned to R&D, think she's in one of the hangers up on Spacedock, has been ever since you got back from Starbase 400, you understand that if anything happens we can't come and get you?" Malcolm could tell from the look on Sara's face her mind had already been made up but still needed her to say it.

Realising the Commodore had nothing else to say Sara considered he options but she knew there was only one thing to do, she had to go home and yet again say her goodbyes before flying off into the unknown, "I'll be ready to go in the morning, sir."

"Very well, I'll make sure she's made ready for you, I'll list the flight plan as open route back to DS7, if you take a detour then it should be fine." It was all he could do, anything more risked an official record that could be traced back to him.

As always Nielsen had come through for her, just as she knew he would. "Thank you, I'll be sure not to draw any attention to myself, to say I owe you one seems like an understatement."

"And then some, just be careful out there Sara, whatever's going on it doesn't sound good." With an acknowledging nod Lam moved swiftly towards the door, she had the data, she had a way of getting there but there was still something else she needed, a way of getting into Cardassian space without being blown to pieces by the first Gul wanting to use her small craft for target practice.


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