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A Reunion

Posted on Sunday 24 July 2022 @ 20:54 by Captain Melody Jones & Lieutenant Nir’anyar

Mission: Revelations
Location: Captain's office, Deep Space 21
Timeline: MD1
2337 words - 4.7 OF Standard Post Measure


With docking of the Pegasus complete, Melody picked up the twins from her temporary quarters, put them in the hover stroller and headed over to the space station. She caught the turbolift up to ops. There was a young Lieutenant Commander on duty who, upon seeing Melody came over. "Welcome to Deep Space 21 Captain Jones. I'm Commander Lillian Carter."
She look down at the two babies who were sleeping peacefully "Oh they're gorgeous, how old are they?"

"Only a few days old." Melody replied.

Lillian fawned over them for a moment before straightening up "Commadore Haistro is in his office and he's expecting you."

"Thank you Commander." Melody said as she then headed for the office door and pressed the chime.

"Melody, it's been far too long... And who are these!" Keiben beamed as he stood and made his way around the table to greet his friend and her new family.

"This is Rick and Alex. Draxx wanted to try again for some children and Caroline helped derived some treatments to make sure they developed at the normal rate.

"Congratulations" he pulled his friend into a hug before directing her over to a chair.

Melody sat down on the sofa, placing the hover stroller next to her. "Well, so much has happened since we last saw each other, where to start?"

"I had a similar conversation with Captain Reynolds not so long ago... I think it's just a running theme for any Starfleet Captain!" the Betazoid jested feeling a little envious that he was still to have his own child. "It might be an idea to start with where you are staying for your Maternity leave and what the hell did you do to your boat?" he pointed a finger out the oval window behind his desk at the fractured and beaten form of the Merlin.

"Draxx and I, we're planning to spend some time on Ba'ku while the Merlin is repaired but after that, we'll be returning to the Merlin. Admiral Jackson has assumed command while I'm on leave. You know David, Don't you? I believe he officiated your wedding. Congratulations by the way."

"It feels like a million years ago now. If you have time you should join Melanie and I for dinner one night in the next few weeks! But, what about her? I know I've beaten up Copernicus on a few occasions but I think you've got me beat!"
He was trying to inject a modicum of humour into the situation but wasn't sure he had succeeded.

Melody managed a smile. "That sounds wonderful." She took a deep breath. "As for the Merlin..... I suppose I better start at the beginning. We might need a drink after this." She added before continuing.
"The Merlin encountered a craft from a civilisation that had just discovered warp flight and on board was one of the undercover first contact team. During his debriefing, he revealed that the team leader had disappeared after learning that the locals were experimenting with Omega." She let that statement hand for a moment.

"Omega? I Starfleet Captain could happily go several lifetimes without hearing that!"
Keiben finally took a seat next to Melody after retrieving the seventy years old Andorian Ale he had stashed away. He poured two glasses and handed one to Melody.

"Well, we immediately set a course for the planet. We were almost there when they managed to blow themselves up. All life on the planet was wiped out and now warp travel in that sector of space is impossible due to the Omega detonation. The ship was damaged but not too badly at this point. We were limping out of the system on impulse when we got struck by a quantum filament, a by-product of the damage to subspace in the region and that finished us off. We almost lost antimatter containment at one point before help arrived and then we suffered a complete life support failure so we had to evacuate."

"And there I was thinking I had all the bad luck... All I've managed was crashing my ship into a planet!" he downed his glass of ale in one go and started to pour another glass for himself and then refill Melody's glass.
"Have you got orders for when Merlin is operational again?"

Melody sipped her drink. "We're being fitted out with a lot of new equipment that Starfleet wants testing including a Quantum slipstream drive and an experimental shuttle capable of folding space."

"I've read about the folding of space. Didn't Admiral Janeway and her crew attempt it in their journey home... A geodesic fold projector if I remember rightly... It didn't end well so promise me you'll be careful?"
Keiben shifted uncomfortably at the thought of the fold projector more than a little glad it had been chosen to be tested on any ship other than his own.

"The shuttle is something new. They're calling it The Phoenix project. It's supposed to be fast. Damn fast. Can't wait to try it." She added, with a wry smile.

One of the twins stirred at this which woke the other. "Looks like someone woke their brother up. Do you mind? They're hungry."

"Of course not, would you like some privacy... I can step out into Ops and engage the privacy blinds?" he asked chivalrously but before he got his answer his own excitement at his own news got the better of him. "I suppose this is something I should be getting used to since Mel told me the news!"

"No, you're ok, it's fairly private in here," Melody replied as she picked up the twins and sat down on the sofa. "And congratulations. Do you know what you're having?"

"Not yet... too early on to know!"

"Oh!" Melody remembered something that she had wanted to bring up. "The Pegasus sensors picked up an unusual temporal signature coming from the station when we docked. Have you been messing with the timeline again?"

"We did have a little jaunt back in time. My science officer seems to think we accidentally triggered a T'Kon devise that we found on the station. We also had a run in with a Q... Be on your guard, if they are back and about to make mischief then who knows what hoops they may be throwing us through!"
Keiben had already been pouring over the reports from Janeway, Picard and Sisko to glean more insight but in truth the Q they all encountered was a much softer being than the one he had encountered.
"We do owe him though as he was the one that brought us back to our time!"

Melody shook her head and spoke in a low tone, the twins having finished feeding had nodded off to sleep. She gently put them back in the hover stroller. "That sounds like quite an adventure. Just be careful you don't have temporal investigations knocking on your door. And a Q? That complicates matters. And here I was thinking that we'd had a rough time with all this Omega business. This one sounded more readable than the other Q Starfleet has had dealing with. Maybe the Q have changed."

"I wouldn't want to hazard a guess... but he did leave us with a revelation. We know that the Briar Patch is a supernova remnant and as such a young stellar nursery... What we didn't know is that the Briar Patch was formed from the nova that wiped out the T'Kon society. They were moving their star here to protect their homeworld from the Iconian's but the Iconian's discovered the plan and thought it a weapon... They attacked." The Betazoids tone was subdued and laced with sorrow. "We watched the events on long range sensors and there wasn't a thing we could do. To protect our timeline we... I, had to allow billions of innocent people die!"

Melody took a deep breath, she could tell this had affected Keiben deeply. She walked over to him and put a reassuring hand on his shoulder.
"I'm sorry. I know that can't have been easy for you. For all our technological advancements, discovering new life and new civilizations, sometimes the only action we can take is inaction. Would it not be the height of hubris to think we had the right to say who lived and who died? Sometimes, we have to let the Universe unfold the way it should. We're not Gods. Neither are the Q, but they like to think so."

What he couldn't tell her was that they had T'Kon survivors on board, but their existence had been classified, for the moment, by Starfleet. Only the crew of the station and the fleet brass were aware of their existence at the moment.
"It doesn't make it any easier knowing that though!"

Melody nodded. "They said Command would be tough. I can hear my instructor at the Academy now. We were all excited our first week showing off our new uniforms and our instructor said it's not all fun and games you know. Just wait until you've got 4 pips on your collar. You'll wish you'd gone into botany." She said with a smile.

"Anyway, let's changed the subject to a happier one. Two of my officers are getting married here on the station and we've still to discuss the refit schedule to the Merlin. I believe Starfleet has some new technology they want us to test out."

"I'm over seeing a wedding between two of my own officers in a day or so as well... Must be in season" he chuckled. "My shipyard head is dealing exclusively with Merlin's refit and I believe that Starfleet has sent the specs with materials on the way but it may be worth touching base with him about it as well."

"Oh, I will be doing." She replied "Starfleet has big plans for the Merlin. A lot of untested tech, a quantum slipstream drive, an experimental shuttlecraft. Very exciting stuff. But right now, I'm looking forward to a well earned rest on Ba'Ku. We've managed to arrange two cabins near one of the lakes. Have you visited there yet?"

"Not yet. I was hoping to have taken Melanie there as our honeymoon... I'm sure we will find the time eventually!" he chuckled knowing full well that it would likely be a dream as the station seemed to swallow any free time. "When do you depart?"

"In a few days, after the wedding of Mathias and Caroline." She replied. "Are your two officers tieing the knot soon?"

"I'm just waiting to hear from them when... I think it will be a big event. Both Junjie and Tamaska are liked by many on the station!" the Commodore chuckled to himself. "We may end up having to close down the Promenade for the ceremony!"

"Sounds about right for a wedding." Melody mused as she stood. "Thanks for the drink, I think I'll get these two back to our quarters. We'll have to meet up for dinner sometime. Did you meet Sansa last time? She has been appointed head of Marine biology aboard the Merlin with an honorary PhD from the Taylor institute on Earth"

"Your daughter Sansa... I thought she was only a few years old? There might be a need to update the Starfleet Database with her correct Date of birth!" Keiben added tentatively.

Melody took a long slow breath in. "Well... Technically, yes she's only about 4 but there were some... unique circumstances. My parents and I were captured by the Borg when I was only 18 months old. Both my parents were assimilated and I was placed in a maturation chamber. I was lucky enough to be rescued by a Starfleet crew but I'd been in this maturation chamber for 3 months and was now physically and mentally a child of 12 years old.

Melody took another breath and blinked a few times to clear the tears that had started to form as she brought up the painful memories of her childhood.

"Until Starfleet stabilised me, I grew older in bursts. It turns out there was something left in my system that caused her to age rapidly and when I was expecting Sansa I only carried her for about 2 months before she was born. Starfleet have since managed to stabilize her ageing too but puberty hit her pretty hard so will become clear when you meet her. I love her with all my heart, just as I love the boys here. Caroline and Starfleet medical developed a series of treatments before I got pregnant a second time so the boys here should age at the normal rate.

"Thank the goddess for small mercies" Kei said, picking up on the raw swell of emotions radiating from Melody as he placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder.

Melody smiled with pride. "Sansa is just like me. Headstrong and very independent. She had just returned from a mission with Lieutenant Teague to establish the first off-Earth colony of Humpback whales. She has developed a very unique connection to these mysterious, gentle creatures after she allowed an Alien ambassador to share her body for a time. She tells the story much better than I can."

"Well, she sounds like just the person we would need for the Marine Life Survey... Have her drop by my office and I can have a meeting with her and introduce her to Commander Reynolds who will be heading up the project."

"I'll ask her to come and see you. Oh, congratulations on the promotion, by the way. Just don't let that new pip cause your head to swell." She added with a friendly smile.

"No chance of that. The new pip keeps me so busy I don't have time to pee let alone inflate my own self worth!" Keiben chuckled as he started towards Ops with Captain Jones.


●●●● Captain Melody Jones
Commanding Officer
USS Merlin

Commodore Keiben Haistro
Deep Space 21 Commanding Officer - PNPC Nir'Anyar


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