Location: In orbit of Jutus
Speed: Standard Orbit
Shields: Nominal
Hull: Nominal
Systems: All Systems Nominal

Before we Begin
Episode 11 - Family Matters
Stardate 73834.3
MD004 1400 hrs

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The Klingon Conundrum

Posted on Wed Jan 9th, 2019 @ 2:12am by Captain Cornelius Tremble & Captain Larta Daughter of Shog
Edited on on Tue May 14th, 2019 @ 7:43am

Mission: Episode 5 - It Would Be Their Pleasure
Location: Holo Suite 4 - Mighty Mickey's Gym
Timeline: MD011 1900
1625 words - 3 OF Standard Post Measure

Once Makeba left, Neil sat on a floor mat while Mik staunched the blood flow from his nose.

“She kicked your behind, kid. You took her for granted and look at you. Your face looks like hamburger.”

“Gee thanks, Mik, Neil slurred as he continued to rinse his mouth and spit into a bucket. The adrenaline was fading to a dull ache and he was going to have to go to medical. Which meant he was going to have to write a report on this.

Which wasn’t so bad, though he may get chewed out for live sparring away from her keepers. She was a fighter and deserved that respect if she was going to be staying on the Pioneer. And she was going to have to get over herself.

That might be the hard part.

He relaxed against the cool stone of the pillar, tilting his head backwards.

“You look like a raccoon, too, Mik’s gravely voice told him, helping.

“I’m not surprised,” Neil replied, “I feel like I’ve been out all night trash-canning.”

Mik snorted at him, slapped him on the shoulder and went to clean up the ring. “Oh, I forgot, you’ve got a call.”

Lifting his head, Neil focused his good eye on Mik asking “What kind of call?”

“A call. Some woman, called a few times and you weren’t around. Now she’s on the phone again. Waiting. Use the office phone, but don’t be on there all day.”

Neil tightened his shoulder muscles and climbed to his feet, sliding up the column using it for leverage. Mik had wrapped his ribs, using bandages and tape from his gym bag. He wandered toward the office and slid into the chair behind the desk, picking up the handset.

“Operator, who’s on the line,” he asked.

“You have a pending communication waiting with one Larta, daughter of Shog. Should I connect?”

“Go ahead,” he said after a few minutes. To one side of the desk, light flickered and a 3D image of Larta appeared and he returned the handset to the cradle.

Larta hadn’t changed much since she’d beat his rear over a year ago. She still had that fierceness to her and her eyes locked onto him as he slouched painfully and put his feet up on Mik’s desk.

“Finally. I have been trying to reach you for over a week.”

“Been busy, Larta,” he replied.

“Yes, I gathered,” she said, running her eyes over him. “You look you were playing with a pack of targs,” she observed.

“Pretty close on a couple of accounts, but this is just training,” he said as casually as he could, grimacing as he shifted trying to find a more comfortable position.

He failed.

He saw her taking his condition in and was suddenly glad that she wasn’t physically present. A predator around another wounded predators typically didn't end well.

After a moment, her eyes turned away and looked around the office then out into the gym proper. “What is this place?”

“Sparring gym, part of a holodeck program,” he told her. He saw her sneer a bit, looking back at him, “Playing while training. I never understood that.”

“Not playing, but it helps focus the mind away from everything else. And it’s good to have a quiet place to focus your body, while your mind works on things it needs to,” he replied, keeping his seat while he looked at hers.

She was dressed in tight leathers today, meaning Larta was someplace she trusted to be safe. She turned back to him and saw him eyeing her and barred her teeth. “What are you looking at?”

“Nice butt, Larta. Nice package overall, but don’t worry, it’s a human thing. What can I do for you?”

Larta glowered at him, “Do not get any ideas. I would sooner mate with a Shooshk,” she told him, crossing her arms.

“Don’t flatter yourself, Larta,” he replied, meeting her eyes. “Take the compliment based solely on your physical appearance for what it is and get to the point.

She held his eyes for a few beats, then asked “Is this a secure channel?” Neil sighed and rose painfully, walking carefully to the door which he locked and bolted.

He then sat, picked up the handset and dropped it in a drawer then turned on the radio. Queen’s ‘Another One Bites the Dust,” began playing and he leaned back with a wince.

She gave him an expectant look and he grinned again, “Now it’s secure. One of my old CO’s built this program and it gets updated every so often.”

She shook her head and then took a seat across from him. “You may not know this, but I am half human,” she related to him. Neil didn’t have to feign surprise and didn’t try to hide it. She nodded at his raised eyebrows and continued, “I favor my father more, but it’s true. And it’s important for what I am about to ask.”

Neil continued to hold her eyes and asked, and this is what you and your father were referring to when we met?”

She shrugged and looked away then, “Not so much maybe, but I do need.” She paused, then amended, “I would like your help.” Neil didn’t say anything, letting her get to her point in her own time.

“My mother was of the Maquis” she told him. “And took the fight to the Cardassians. How she and my father met is not important, but she disappeared twenty two years ago.”

Neil did some math and guessed, “When the Dominion and Cardassia became allies?”

She nodded and Neil shut his mouth, seeing that she was uncomfortable. “I had to grow up without her and I would like to know what happened. I’ve tried off and on since I became an adult, but have had no luck.”

She looked at him expectantly and he spread his hands, “What do you expect me to do?”

“I hoped you would be able to query the Cardassians since your ship is going to be in their space and see what you can find.”

Neil nodded, “I’ll do what I can. I’m not surprised we’re going back into Cardie space.” He caught the look of surprise that flashed over her face then and he smiled. “What?”

“That was…simpler than I thought it might be,” Larta told him honestly.

“I talked to dad. He agreed there was some debt there and regardless, it likely isn’t going to cost me much to poke around.”

“Nothing is ever as easy as it seems,” she told him. There is something there. Something buried deep,” she related. “The inquiries I have put forth have not been always subtle. If she had died or was in a prison camp, something. Some word should have shaken loose. But there has been nothing. Her name is Brenda Ilene Shaw.”

Neil caught a catch in her voice as she stared into a corner of the room and he caught a glimpse of a girl growing up without her mother. He didn’t know much about Larta’s upbringing, but obviously she’d been raised Klingon and that couldn’t have been easy for the human half in her. And the Klingon half would have warred with that.

“Look Larta, this isn’t a problem. I’ll do what I can but don’t expect too much. There’s no telling what access I’ll get.”

She stood then and looked at him, leaning on the desk, “Somehow, Tremble…Neil, when it comes to you I can’t but expect much. Qapla’!”

Her image flickered and disappeared. There was a buzzing noise from the handset and he returned it to the cradle.

Neil closed his eyes and thought for a time, then picked up the phone. “Operator,” came the reply. “Pull together updated files on Larta, Daughter of Shog, son of Larm and Brenda Ilene Shaw. As deep a history as my clearances can pull.”

He heard scratching as if from an old fashioned pencil on paper and the voice acknowledged, “Got it, anything else?”

“Nope. Thanks,” he said and hung up. He loved this program and would have to send another thanks to Major Far’dan for putting it together. The detail always amazed him. He rested a few moments longer, then levered himself up with a groan and let himself out of Mik’s office. The old man was lingering near the exit, smoking a cigarette. As Neil neared him, he spoke around puffs.

“Better get them ribs and that eye looked at,” he advised with his gravely voice. “And you better drag your arse back in here again soon if you don’t want to continue to get it handed to you.” The old man held out his gym bag.

“Yeah yeah, thanks Mik,”Neil responded, taking the bag. “Keep working with Ms. Brown, but keep her out of the office, yeah?”

Mik gave him a cold stare and gestured to the arch, “Don’t tell me my job, youngster.”

Neil smiled wryly and threw him a half salute as he left the holo-suite and shut down the program. He headed toward the lift and sick bay, deciding to get it out of the way.

A Joint Post By:

Second Lieutenant Cornelius Tremble
Marine Commanding Officer, USS Pioneer

Captain Larta Daughter of Shog
Commanding Officer, Ram Cha' Par
House H'rell Bird of Prey


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