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Homeward Bound

Posted on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 @ 1:25pm by Lieutenant Commander Soraya Delrisa & Chief Warrant Officer Akina Jrez & Lieutenant Artem Rihanoff

Mission: Purgatory's Shadow. Season 2 Episode 7
Location: USS Crazy Horse

Jrez sat alone in a corner, his thoughts turned inward, seeking advice and consolation from previous hosts. Get a grip on yourself, seemed to sum up what he was offered; that and there'll be time enough for this later. Right now you need to get back to the base.

He shook himself. Much though he did not want to admit it, it was sound advice.

"What do I have to do?" he asked of everyone and no-one in particular.

Someone lifted his head and put a warm hand to his neck. The soft hiss of the hypospray was strange in the quiet of the dark ship.

"Just a little nutrient boost, Chief," Soraya said softly. "You cannot let yourself get lost in the dream. That's what it was, a waking dream." She was looking him in the eyes, speaking almost in a mantra. "This ship is our reality."

He looked up at Soraya. "Thanks. I needed that. I don't know which was more drained; emotional energy or physical energy."

"You'll be fine, Jrez," came a gruff voice from further along, the origin of which was the tall and broad Xal Ra-Movraii. "What happened back there wasn't real. Sure, they may have been our inner issues made apparent, but they weren't there. That's some small blessing, at least." The Efrosian's own experiences had been on par with the Trill's, seeing his deceased wife and child, his former comrades, and the many Cardassians his rifle had cut down. But in the end, they were the same problems he had always been plagued by. They were just given a face for an hour. "The admiral says we'll be back at DS7 in about twenty minutes. Make sure you're presentable." He gave a flick of one of his moustachios. "I hear ambassadors are on board. Wouldn't want to upset that pretty little Vulcan CO of ours."

Close-by Mason stretched and shuddered slightly as her elbows and shoulders cracked with the movement. "Sounds like our party invitations were delayed in the mail."

"Party?" Jrez replied. "With our luck it will be Haqtaj Matlh battering down the airlock doors again."

"I sincerely hope not," Mason jibbed imagining the mammoth pile of paperwork that would fall into her lap in the wake of the Klingon Ambassador as normal.

"I'll be glad just to be home," Soraya said softly. She was weary, but hearing the lighthearted banter was a relief to her. Everyone was recovering from their emotional trauma, slowly but surely.

Artem stepped through the doors into the small lounge where the away team had been relaxing and recouping after their failed and doomed mission to Orias station. He had been working with the ships tactical officer to reconstruct the events of the last few days so they could explain the unusual readings they had picked up as they had warped through the area in time to see Orias go up in a hail storm of fire.
"We've had word from the station. Things are not going well their. Something to do with Cardassian trying to reclaim Deep Space Seven!"

He left that statement hanging for a moment still not fully believing it himself. "The Admiral also reports we will be docking in the next hour".

"Can they do that Commander?" Mason asked Ra-Movraii.

The Efrosian gave Mason an almost apologetic look, although he knew all-too-well he was not at fault, and his gruff persona covered any true softer feelings within. "Easily. The most recent Federation-Cardassian Treaty has Starfleet providing the main bulk of the Union's defence, to help them establish their own sovereignty. That might well include DS7, given it would be one of their most outbound installations." Ra-Movraii sighed before finally claiming one of the seats. "The Federation Council'll do all sorts of things to extend the olive branch to the Cardassian government and people, it's the burden of winning wars; you have to rebuild what you smash up.

"All the recent reports indicate the Cardassians are moving to secure their borders, anyway," he continued. "And with all this shit with the Romulans, they're making a show of it all, stepping up to the mark, making it clear they can hold their own... kind of."

"Wouldn't they be better off concentrating on re-building their economy and infrastructure?" Jrez mused. "I'm no Cardassian expert but - as I understand it - they were blasted nearly to oblivion at the end of the war. Surely they've got more important things to worry about than a long abandoned outpost? Even at its height, Roarak Nor was - at best - on the periphery of their empire."

Again the Russian Security officer chipped in having over heard some of what the Admiral had been discussing with Commander T'Rena over a subspace channel.
"Admiral Nechayev believes there to be more happening here than the Cardassians are letting on but their are bigger and wider concerns as well. It seems that Commander T'Rena will be focusing on something else happening in Cardassian Space".

"Great," Mason sighed. "For once I'd like to kept out of diplomatic debates."

"Wise girl," Ra-Movraii grumbled, folding his thick arms over his chest as his piercing eyes searched his surroundings at the other officers. "I agree with you, Chief: it's strange. Sure, they've done a lot of rebuilding since war's end, but they're not there yet. Not even close. With the Hobus supernova, maybe they're making power grabs, or are making new friends, I don't know." The Efrosian let out a tired sigh. "I do know the Cardassians are good at crawling their way back to the top, by hook or by crook, and I for one would like to be the one to help shove 'em back down." Malice punctuated every syllable of the lieutenant commander's words.

Artem was somewhat surprised at his superior officers comments. He himself had joined Starfleet to continue exploring the unknown and to offer aid to those that may need it despite his chosen career. To hear another officer who joined the same organization with such negative views of a race was something he had never expected to hear.
"I am more than a little surprised Commander", the lean Russian offered. "Being a Starfleet Officer I would have thought you and those like us would all be of the forgiving kind!"

"We must be diplomatic, Lieutanant Commander," Soraya added. "I cannot imagine the Cardassians would want another war, at least so soon..."

Jrez laughed mirthlessly. "A word of advice, Lieutenant. I would lose that misconception and quickly, if I was you. Those who fought in the Dominion War and saw the part played by the Cardassians are not, by and large, likely to forgive - or forget. And before you lecture me on the Obsidian Order and how things have changed since then on Cardassia, let me say that there are many in Starfleet who believe that leopards don't change their spots."

"So you say you agree with them Chief?"
The look of surprise on the Russian Security officers face carrying more of his naive belief than he would have wanted.

"I didn't say that I agree with them. I have merely responded to your comment about forgiveness."

'Commaner Ra-Movarii, please have your team ready to transport to the station. We will be within transporter range in the next few moments!', the voice of Admiral Nechayev filtering through the ships internal communication system.


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