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“Well, That Was Awkward”
JPL: Captain Trellis & Ensign Gar
The special Starfleet Intelligence shuttle shook slightly as the Madoran corvette took another shot. Captain Joshua trellis quickly maneuvered to keep out of their sights.
"Gar," he yelled over his shoulder. "See if you can get the stealth tech back online."
The ensign nodded. "Yes sir," she responded. A few moments pass as she examined the shuttle's systems. "I should be able to bring it back up to par if we divert power from non-essential systems." She glanced at the prepared the power allocations but waited for the “go: before changing the shuttle's power systems.
"Do what you need to do, Ensign," Trellis let out. "It's all our butts if you can't get it back online." He made another quick course adjustment. "These clowns won't give up."
"Aye, sir," she affirmed. She rerouted power from systems not needed, replicators and such. "That should... do it," she voiced.
On both her console, and Josh's, a green indicator told them that the stealth mode was back online. Josh pushed the shuttle in a sharp, direct-down dive, veered sharply to port, then corrected his course for the rendezvous coordinates to meet up with the XL. The maneuver worked in fooling their pursuers and Josh let out a breath in relief.
"Nice work, Ensign," He said. "Now you just have to pretend you never saw this technology."
"That won't be a problem, sir," said Sierra calmly. And even though the stealth tech is back in order, just like throughout the entire mission Sierra didn't seem to relax.
Captain Trellis set the aut0-pilot and turned to look at his "crew." Lt. Commander Wolfe was busy in the aft compartment fixing systems that were damaged in the brief pursuit by the Madorans. He noted the female ensign's discomfort. "Are you okay, Ensign," He asked.
The ensign blinked, seemingly caught off guard by the question. "Yes, sir," she said. "I'm still getting used to things again.
Josh stared at her for a moment, wondering what she meant. Then it suddenly dawned on him. "Oh! You're one of the rescued officers from that science ship that went M.I.A... " He paused a moment trying to remember the name of the ship Bones had told him about. "The Taurino! Right?"
A nod. "Yes, sir, I am," Gar said simply, her face carefully neutral. "Twelve years M.I.A."
Josh gave a thoughtful nod. "So... this whole thing must've brought back some memories for you.”
"Some, sir," she said. "Mostly of... literally, nothing. A green haze everywhere you looked." She sighed a little. "But, I'm fine."
The captain gave a nod. "How long were you in that ... haze? My wife told me it was something like two years? Is that true?"
Another nod from Sierra. "Yes sir. "Two years of no company but that of my own thoughts. It wasn't until I was... deposited, that I even knew anyone else had survived."
Josh shook his head. "That is an incredible and frightening experience," he commented. "I seriously do not know that I would have handled that all too well."
Sierra shook her head. "It was all one long... day? Night? For me. Time had no meaning." She shrugged a little bit, her eyes turning calm.
Josh again nodded. He did know THAT feeling. His incarceration with the alternate universe Breen wasn't two years, but long enough for him to have had the same feelings. "So, how has it been... getting to start all over again in Starfleet?"
"Difficult," admitted Sierra. "A lot has changed in the time that I've left, so I've had to work beyond hard to bring myself back up to speed. But, I'm a Starfleet officer and if that is what my duties require me to do then I will." Her eyes seem to change to a more determined expression as she spoke.
Josh let that sink in then said, "Pardon me if I get too personal here, and you certainly don't have to answer, but Bones told me that you were granted immediate assignment aboard the XL. Didn't you have any family that would be glad to see you aren't dead?"
"My parents, sir," was Sierra's response. "But I haven't had the time to contact them." She looked thoughtful for a moment, folding her arms in her lap.
"Again, pardon my intruding," the captain said, "But couldn't you have taken the time to get in contact with them? I mean Starfleet was allowing all the rescued crew to have leave time to get back in touch with their families, right?"
Sierra blinked. "I spent every moment of that time to get reacquainted with starships," she said. But something in her look suggested there might be something more to her reasoning than what she had said.
Josh saw that look and decided it might be too much prying. He simply nodded and said, "Now that's a dedicated officer for you."
"I do what I'm required to, sir. Nothing more or less." She fell silent, thinking to herself that maybe she couldn't put this off any longer. She'd have to contact her parents eventually. That would never change until she did it. But until recently, she had given up on them so long ago.
Again, Captain Trellis watched the younger officer. She couldn't have looked more uncomfortable. It was almost as if she had eaten something strange. "Okay... I'm going to pry some more, if I don't my wife will kill me for not getting all the information... Is there an... issue with your parents?"
"No sir," she said. "It's just... it would be an uncomfortable conversation for me." She sighed softly. "I gave up on seeing them again so long ago. They didn't prevent me from going to the academy but they feared for me, of course. To hear that I disappeared, and lord knows how many years later reappeared..." she shrugged. "Would that not shock you, sir?"
"No, it wouldn't," Trellis answered honestly. He had been in Starfleet long enough that not much would surprise him. "What do your parents do? I'm surmising they're not in Starfleet."
"They run a trading freighter," was Sierra's simple response.
"Like that doesn't have its share of dangers," Trellis muttered. He really didn't know what to say beyond that. So he turned and quickly checked to see that they were still on course.
Sierra didn't quite know what to say either. This conversation had troubled her somewhat. Perhaps, she thought, she should talk with Taz. Why was she so reluctant to speak with her parents? Her relationship with them had always been fairly smooth. And yet... for some reason the thought of seeing them after twelve years was difficult to swallow.
The next four hours went by even slower. Lt. Commander Wolfe must have emerged from the back, noted the awkward silence in the shuttle and retreated aft again. Josh actually let out a sigh of relief when Excelsior came onto their sensors.
After four hours of silence, Sierra was practically itching to get out of the shuttle and stretch her leg. She wasn't sure, but she thought she was starting to develop a feeling of claustaiphobia.