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Difficult Duty

USS Excelsior Logs and Narratives


by First Lieutenant Peter McMillian & Lt. Commander N'Tazzia
[Stardate ]

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Difficult Duty
JDL: 1st Lt Peter McMillian with Counselor N'Tazzia as Kelandra and Matthew Bradley Esq.

(This takes place right after the log "Peter's Call")

Peter closed the comm with the Excelsior and smiled at Kelandra. She smiled back and leaned her head onto his shoulder. His thoughts drifted to how beautiful the Betazoid woman was for just a second before he felt guilty for momentarily considering his feelings for Kelandra instead of focusing on his daughter's plight and the tasks that Holden had given him.

“It's going to be okay Peter. Don't feel guilty if you need some time to let everything sink in before you start to digging into this..” she whispered softly.

It almost seemed like she could tell what he was thinking but he knew she would never intrude mentally without asking. Kelandra was...different...from women to whom he'd been attracted to in the past. His previous wives has been just as exotic and gorgeous as she was, but while T'Valra had been assertive and intense, and Taz was dynamic and passionate, Kelandra managed to be independent but much softer and gentler at the same time. Peter pulled himself away from his distracting thoughts once again.

“I can't call Matthew right now anyway, my thoughts are way too scattered. Can I ask a favor of you? I forgot what it's called but can you make me some of that purple smoothie stuff that you used to make for T'Valra when she was expecting? I haven't eaten in over twenty-four hours and my mind won't stop spinning. That stuff always calmed me down.”

Kelandra laughed. “Of course I can. And I don't think we ever gave it an official name. Malinda called it “Purple stuff” and that kinda stuck. I'll be right back with a big glass for you..”

He heard her moving round in the kitchen getting the ingredients together and decided to check on Baby Lobren. When he peeked into the nursery, he saw Mini-Mav on the floor next to the baby's bed. Ever-vigilant and protective, the dog's eyes opened and he lifted his head only to set it back down when he saw it was Peter. Kelandra came up behind him.

“He looks so peaceful.” She said gazing lovingly on the sleeping child. “Thank the Jalara Guardians that he's too little to know what's going on. Come back over to the sofa, I'll massage your shoulders while you enjoy your smoothie.”

Peter followed her back and sank down into the cushions. Kelandra's purple concoction still looked as strange and still tasted as good as he recalled. Her shoulder rub felt wonderful too and Peter slowly started to relax for the first time since he had seem the disturbing images of Malinda being carried down that dark corridor by an unfamiliar man.

Peter whispered “I love you.” into her ear as he drifted to sleep. Two hours later he woke to find her curled against him napping, her arms wrapped tightly around his waist. He felt like he had slept all night and he suspected that the purple drink and her presence next to him had something to do with it.
He kissed her on her cheek and whispered “Thanks.” and then slid out from her embrace without waking her. Invigorated and feeling much better, he spent five minutes performing a series of stretches designed to help him focus and remain calm. He reminded himself about the time and effort he had put into the training with the Vulcan monks, further centered his thoughts with a helpful mantra and placed the comm call he had been dreading the most – the one to his family's long-time lawyer and good friend.

****
Matthew Bradley Esq. was sitting behind his desk, looking over the record of a large bank draft from the McMillian account for the fourth time. It wasn't the amount of the transfer that was giving Matthew pause, the McMillian accounts had plenty enough credits to accommodate the request, it was the family member who had requested the money, Malinda, Peter and Taz's seven year old daughter.

Several questions swirled around in Matthew's head at once. Why would Malinda need to hire a ship? Who would let a little kid charter a ship? And most importantly, how did this slip past me and my staff?

Matthew was about to call in his clerk, Devon, when his eyes landed on something else he found odd –and even more disturbing about the bank transfer notice. The time stamp on the draft was more than 24 hours ago. Matthew didn't have the time to properly consider what the delay might mean before his private comm line buzzed. He saw the source of the incoming call and took a deep breath then accepting the call and facing Peter McMillian.

Is Malinda okay? He asked immediately upon seeing Malinda's father.,

Funny you should ask Matthew.” Peter replied sternly. “No, she's NOT okay. She...” Peter stopped himself from filling in the details. This is so wrong. He thought. I can't even trust this man that I've known all of my life. “..she managed to transfer credits to a passenger ship and leave Vulcan. Can you explain how that happened?”

Is your comm line secure?” Matthew asked.

Peter gave the lawyer a perturbed look. “Yes, of course it is. Is yours?”

Matthew inhaled sharply. “You commed my private link, you know it's secure Peter.”

“I don't know anything for sure Matthew anymore.” Peter snapped. “ For example, I know there are supposed to be special safeguards preventing my children from withdrawing absurdly large amounts of money from the family's accounts, but that somehow magically managed to happen anyway.”

I know and I don't have the answer that you are going to ask me for, yet. The matter only came to my attention a little while ago and I haven't had the chance to get my clerk in here so that he can start investigating what happened. From what I've seem, there might have been some sort of difficulty between the bank and my office that caused a delay.”

“That difficulty set in motion a series of events that resulted in a very serious situation Matthew. A life or death situation and one that has me not fully trusting one of my oldest and closest friends.” Peter lowered his voice. “You need to do whatever it takes to find out the specifics of this situations origin. You have twenty-four hours to uncover how this happened. Is that clear?”

Crystal.” Matthew said seriously. “If my office is the source, I promise you, heads WILL roll.”

“Whatever it takes. Spend my money if you have to, just get me answers before the time is up. Please, don't let me down.”

I won't Peter, I'm sorry.” Matthew replied sincerely, “I'll get back to you as soon as I know anything.

Peter severed the link between them.

When Peter's image faded, Matthew clicked over to the office intercom.

“Devon! Stop doing whatever it is that you are working on and get in here NOW!


TBC

   
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