SIM:Lysander, Malcolm/The Curse of Daris 2 Strikes Again! (Part 3)

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Treason

Kim and Servik interrogate a member of the Quetzacoatl, now in the Phoenix's brig. They discover that Captain Jodor is working for an unnamed, but powerful Admiral who is bent on liberating Cardassia from the Romulans. Using the topaline being mined on Daris 2, the Admiral plans to help build Federation colonies in Cardassian space, while helping the Cardassians regain power. The hope is that both the Federation and the Cardassians can overthrow the Romulans. The earthquake machine was used to run off the colonists, and mine the planet without the Federation's direct watch. As the crewmember finishes divulging the information, he trips a suicide switch on his neck and dies instantly. Meanwhile, the captain wraps up the mission.

::The moment is gone, and Lysander's head clears quickly again. Rushing back to him comes the feelings of the necessity to stand for the ship, and his crew. He does, with force. His short frame seems powerful, at least to himself, and he feels a little euphoric::

TOLQU: =/\= Tolqu to Servik: Sir on the ship's manifest it says they are carrying topaline and a large cache of weapons; non-federation weaponary. In fact i can see two designs that are illegal in federation space. Sir, may I recommend an away team to beam over and secure the ship properly? =/\=

LYSANDER: Tolqu, I have command of the bridge again. At this point, I do not want to send an away team over. Set a course for StarBase 118, with the Quetzacoatl in tow, and engage at warp five.

::Tolqu begins the manuever::

LYSANDER: =/\= Ensign Toullis, report to my ready room. =/\=

TOULLIS: =/\= On my way . . . =/\=

::The bridge crew waits. In the mean time, the ship makes an arc, away from the colony, with the steamrunner class ship in tow, and jumps to warp. The captain stands, waiting, before finally deciding to head down to his ready room. On the way, a com comes through::

SECURITY: =/\= Captain, this man is a spy from the other ship. I am escorting him to the brig. =/\=

LYSANDER: =/\= Understood. =/\=

::A few moments later, Toullis rings the door chime of the captain's ready room. The captain signals for him to enter, and motions for him to have a seat as Lysander himself sits on the edge of his desk, in front of Toullis. A few moments later, the two are interrupted, just as the captain had begun to express his thoughts::

SICKBAY: =/\= Captain, would it be possible to reinstate Dr Jones? We are in need of her expertise here in sickbay. =/\=

LYSANDER: =/\= Understood, I will have her come in as soon as possible. =/\=

LYSANDER: =/\= Lysander to Lt. Jones and Ens. Piper: I know I promised you some time off, but you're needed in sickbay. Please report as soon as you can, current emotional states taken into consideration. Lysander out. =/\=

::Malcolm turns back to the counselor seat, and takes a deep breath::

LYSANDER: I'm reinstating you. You will receive a mark on your permanent record in StarFleet, detailing this incident, however you will not undergo a court martial.

::Getting up, the captain moves to the back of his desk::

LYSANDER: Know that I take violations of orders very seriously, and this mark on your record may very well deter you from higher positions later in your career. However that is the consequence you must face. I assure you that the punishment I am doling will be less harsh than what you would receive in a court martial. Be sure of that. I want you to return to duty immediately and begin the long-overdue crew psychiatric evaluations. Dismissed.

::Toullis leaves, quickly, and Lysander sits again::

LYSANDER: =/\= Bridge, notify me when we are an hour from the base. =/\=

LYSANDER: =/\= Servik, I need a full report as soon as possible in my ready room. And bring that Kim kid...

The Report

The captain receives a full report of the happenings on the colony.

::Captain Lysander is left nary a moment to think before the Romulan officer stomps into his office, all business::

VALERIS: I am Lieutenant-Commander Valeris. ::She wastes no time in launching into the reason she was before him.:: I understand my presence her was rather untimely, I did not myself plan for any such commotion as took place. I am correct in observing we have set course for Starbase 118? If this is a direct course that has been set then I ask that I may secure a ride to the starbase. If it is not I desire the use of a shuttlecraft that I may be on my way.

::Before another word can be said, Servik and Kim enter. Lysander frowns, wondering if perhaps they've forgotten about protocols which state that announcing they wish to enter BEFORE entering is standard in StarFleet::

SERVIK: Captain...I still find her presence on the planet during this mission to be curious and recommend that an escort be assigned to her for the remainer of her stay aboard.

LYSANDER: I would have to agree. I don't know what your place is in all this, but I won't take any chances. You will have a security officer at your door at all times, and I will assign you quarters in the mean time. We are going directly back to the base, but it will be a bit of a trip, so settle in. If that is all, you are dissmissed.

::Giving us all a look of stony indifference, she leaves. Servik comes forward, dropping a PADD on Malcolm's desk before launching into a detailed report on the events at the colony. Ensign Kim stands by, at attention, looking duly uncomfortable::

SERVIK: Here is my report...in summary. I have made a log entry into this PADD which is more detailed.

SERVIK: We departed the Phoenix in a shuttlecraft only to be intercepted by the Quetzcoatl after the Phoenix's abrupt departure. Locke was the first to escape...then Nis aided the rest of us. It was all too easy and I realized that we had been allowed to escape. For what purpose? To be trapped on the planet's surface. I discovered that Locke initiated the shield generator to activate. Members of the Quetzcoatl crew were already on the planet waiting for us...and attempted to kill us. I realized at that point why we had been allowed to escape.

SERVIK: Nis was abducted by a Naroon Valleris, who we have under confinement in guest quarters. She has told us that she was with the Bureau of Colonization and was posted to the planet to oversee the topaline mining on Daris I. Recently, the job had become more dangerous due to the subversive activities of Starfleet personnel such as those on the Quetzcoatl and individuals within the Bureau. She had abducted Nis in hopes that he would sympathize with her plight and help her. More about that later.

SERVIK: I decided to shut down the shield generator so that we could escape the planet. The tremors intensified and knocked out communications. I found Cmdr. Valeris here attempting to shut down the shield generator as well. The shield generator was deactivated, she was injured, and I returned to the others.

SERVIK: When I returned to the command center...Quetzcoatl officers had every member of the away team, as well as Valleris unconscious. They soon transported out and the tremors continued to intensify until we were able to contact the Phoenix and beam out ourselves. I managed to upload as much information as possible from the colony's computer but found most of it encoded. Not only that...there has been a great deal of tampering done to the data.

SERVIK: You spoke with Captain Jodor and the Quetzcoatl left...after activating the tremor machine to destroy the colony and all remaining evidence of their activity there. When Nis and I deactivated the device, they returned to destroy us. They hadn't expected Kim to give us the shield frequencies...or at least I don't believe they did. We defeated them and beamed aboard several of their officers.

SERVIK: A spy has been aboard the whole time and has been relaying messages to the Quetzcoatl. I believe everything was orchestrated for a reason.

SERVIK: Their XO revealed that Captain Jodor, whose whereabouts are unknown, is a liason to an Admiral who is trying to establish Federation colonies in Cardassian territory in return for aiding the Cardassians in their war against the Romulans. While topaline is mined from Daris I, the Daris Colony on Daris II has become a weapon producing center...where Cardassian-type weapons are built. Also Genesis-type devices are present. But these devices serve a dual purpose...weapons...and a means of establishing new colonies on desolate worlds.

SERVIK: What's more...and why the XO killed himself....the Quetzcoatl wasn't just here to destroy evidence and protect topaline shipments. This was all part of a masterful diversion. I briefly melded with the spy...and discovered that as we speak, a meeting of Cardassian and Federation leaders is taking place on StarBase 118... staging for an attack on Romulan-held Cardassian space.

::Steepling his fingers in front of his face, the Captain breathes deeply, and thinks. The Admiral mentioned is no doubt, none other than Admiral Wolf. His shady dealings in all things... were well known. But as of yet, no proper evidence could be presented in all of his career that would endanger his position. And on top of that, even when evidence was put forward, he managed to dissolve the situation to his advantage somehow. The man was a master a diversions, covert operations, and data destruction::

LYSANDER: All these events come so, strangly timed. The fleet wide award ceremony is set to begin in just under a day and a half. That said, Admiral Wolf is no doubt already wrapping up this little meeting of his. The guise of the ceremony is probably how he got all of those people there in the first place. This is something we'll look into more deeply once we return to the base.

::Pausing again, the captain's thoughts drift inward as he contemplates. Servik and Kim stand, a bit easy at Lysander's silence, but quiet themselves, nonetheless::

LYSANDER: Alright, well we have about 36 hours, I believe, until we return to the base, at this rate. Everyone is to prepare immediately to attend the ceremony, after which we'll take some R 'n R. Kim, your behavior in the past day has been admirable. I wish to have you as a member of my crew. I can make the arrangements when we return to the StarBase. What do you think?

KIM: That is fine, sir. I am proud to be able to join you and your fine crew and I am also glad that I have finally made it to my assigned station. Thank you.

LYSANDER: Understood. You're both dismissed. Take the time to sleep, and I'll have you notified when we return to the base.

::Kim and Servik turn and leave and the captain's ready room becomes silent. The hum of the warp core somewhere nearby can just barely be heard, but it's comforting vibration is ever present. Lysander swivels his plush chair towards the window behind him, and looks out over the hull, admiring the beautiful markings "Phoenix - C". The stars race foward behind quickly as the ship gracefully pierces it's way through space, surrounded by the warp bubble. Lysander's eyes ache for a view of the Rynish cliffs on Malkus IX, and his hands tremble for the feel of the warm earth beneath their fingers. How long it's been since he's seen the mother planet...::

::Running his fingers against the grain of his goatee, the captain continues to gaze out into space. A few moments pass, and thoughts of Othello wander in and out of his consiousness. More-so do the thoughts of Nell... for all her faults she was his wife for many years. The need for a woman, in the body's recognition of spring, bubble to the surface of Lysander's mind. Pushing them away, to avoid bringing himself down more, Malcolm stands and leaves his ready room for the bridge::

Homecoming

The Phoenix returns to StarBase 118, and the crew enjoys some down-time.

::After a few long hours in the lounge, Lysander found his way to his quarters, where he proceeded to go through his ritual sleep procedure. First to the desk, check any incoming messages. Deal with them and head to the closet. Drop clothes and into the shower. Get clean and brush teeth. Don shorts and into bed...::

::The sleep was uneventful. He remembered no dreams when he woke, and only felt moderately rested. To the sink again to brush, before getting into a uniform and heading to the bridge::

::Tolqu was not present at his station, as expected, and instead a secondary officer was taking his place::

.oO Poor kid... been through so much along with Piper on this first mission. I wouldn't wish this on anyone. Oo.

HELM: Captain, we are about thirty minutes from the StarBase.

LYSANDER: Patch me through.

::A moment later, the senior officer for sector ship-organization was onscreen, smiling broadly. His pale face was long, and thin, and the smile just seemed strange on him now::

NARIC: Captain!! The proud Phoenix returns home. Long-range sensors show you have a trophy!

LYSANDER: ::Attempting to sound cordial in response:: Yes Commander Naric, we have the USS Quetzacoatl in tow. I need you to prepare a security detachment for some prisoners of that ship. And I'll also need a marine detail to guard the ship once we arrive.

NARIC: I'll have it set once you arrive. We'll transmit your approach details in just a few minutes.

LYSANDER: Thank you Naric, Phoenix out.

::Taking his seat, the captain nods to a nearby yeoman, and requests a hot drink. The female returns with a hot chocolate, and places it beside the captain. Thanking her, he looks over a short report written up by Khi, the new engineering officer, and then another with some information on the Quetzacoatl's status. Time passes quickly as the Phoenix approaches home, and at 15 minutes till arrival, Lysander calls for the hailing of all staff to prepare for departure to the base::

::The ship sails in easily to port, drops it's cargo-in-tow at one dock, then heads to it's airlock. The small crew is, for the most part, already waiting at the airlock as when Lysander walks up. With the soft bump, the helm officer still on the bridge locks the Phoenix into place. Most of the crew seems tired, and worn down. They're all dressed in their tight-collared dress uniforms, and for once, do look pretty spiffy; besides the drooping eyes of course. The airlock door slides away and the time-worn bunch follows the stout captain out, down the hallway and onto a turbolift, senior officers all piling in while the junior officers wait for the next one::

::Lysander, squeezed in the back, clears his throat as the doors close::

LYSANDER: Awards ceremony, please. ::He pauses as the lift moves upwards. The ride will be over a minute long, with the seperation of the decks:: I ... want you all to know that you did a stellar job on this mission. For a lot of you it was your first, and things... didn't exactly go as StarFleet would like them to. But I'm proud of you all. Proud to have you as my crew.

::Turning just a little blush at his speech, the crew responds with some quiet murmurs. A few moments of uncomfortable silence pass before the doors to the lift open with a hiss, and everyone lets out a held breath. The corridor curves sharply to the right and left, but directly ahead stands a large decorative door. Everyone piles out of the lift, making way for the captain to lead them in. Taking a deep breath and preparing himself for a little embarrassment, being that the crew is twelve minutes late, they enter::

::Admiral Wolf is at the podium just finishing a few words as he introduces the first presenter. The Phoenix crew sighs with relief for the distraction, as the audience applauds. Hastily, the captain demands a nearby ceremony staff member direct the crew to their positions. The officer points, and all fifteen of the crew senior staff make a beeline to the obviously empty section::

::The ceremony is long, and while Lysander keeps his back straight and his eyes forward, he does notice a few of his crew drifting off. That is, of course, until he himself is forced to take the stand to give his awards. Then, the crew had never been so attentive in their whole life...::

((After the ceremony...))

::Congratulations given and post-ceremony pleasantries finished, the crew pulls together for a few moments as the hall empties, Lysander calling them over::

LYSANDER: Good work everyone. I have scheduled a semi-formal dinner for us one week from now. Everyone must be there, so mark your calendars. I will send you an official notice in a day or so. ::He smirks:: And you may bring dates.

::The crew chuckles together::

LYSANDER: You're all off duty until then. Take your well-deserved vacation.

::With a few cheers, everyone heads out. The ceremonial hall is almost deserted, and it definitely shows signs of being used. The pastry tables have been emptied of their weight, the punchbowl carries more than one balled-napkin, empty cups lie everywhere, and the head stage's decorations are looking worn. Lysander breathes it all in, cherishing this moment; his first award ceremony at the StarBase, before moving towards the door::

WOLF: Lysander ...

::Malcolm stops abruptly and turns. The Admiral is standing close to where Lysander was just a few moments ago, and seems to have arrived out of no where. He grins devilishly, holding an almost-empty cup in his hand::

WOLF: Did you enjoy the ceremony?

LYSANDER: Immensely, Admiral.

::The good captain accents the word "Admiral", putting a big of an edge on it. Wolf hears this, but does not respond visibly to it::

WOLF: Good, good. I trust everything worked out smoothly on this mission?

::A coy look escapes Wolf's eyes. The grin has not faded or slipped from his face. Lysander stands firm, and simply nods::

LYSANDER: You will have my report on your desk within the next few days.

WOLF: Excellent Captain. I can see the command training did a lot for you...

LYSANDER: Yes Admiral, I appreciate your guidance in the program.

::Wolf chuckles as the two's guarded dance of speech comes to an end. Lysander salutes, signalling that he wishes to leave, and the Admiral responds with a half-assed salute in return. His eyes pierce the captain, leaving him to shiver just a bit as he turns again towards the door and walks out. Wolf's eyes stare icily at the back of his head, and Lysander feels this. Down to his bones, he shivers, only to feel relieved once the door had closed behind him::

((On the lift...))

::Cursing himself, the captain looks to his chronometer as it chimes quietly. The un-scheduled meeting with the Admiral had set him back twenty minutes with Kim. Sighing, he waits as the lift finally reaches his quarters. After a quick check in there, he boards the lift again for his ready room. Kim is seated in the waiting room outside::

LYSANDER: Come on in Ensign.

::The two move from the waiting room to the captain's ready room, which is spacious and well decorated. The captain motions for Kim to take a seat, as he does the same::

KIM: You requested a meeting sir?

LYSANDER: Yes ensign, I wanted to talk to you about your posting. I see you have background in security, correct?

KIM: Yes, sir. I have extensive experience as former member of a Korean Hostage Rescue Team (HRT). And have stayed with the security department through the academy. As you know, I was being sent to be a security officer to your ship when I was indefinitely sidetracked.

LYSANDER: Yes, I'll expect a report from you on your experiences on that in a few days, but don't worry about it, with the time off. Well then, I'll definitely put you in security.

::Picking up a PADD, he hands it to Kim::

LYSANDER: Sorry about the late assignment of the quarters, but I just got them myself, to give to you.

::He hands Kim a PADD with data including the location of the ensign's quarters, as well as other things::

KIM: ::glances at the PADD:: Thank you for your time, sir. It feels good to have finally made it to my final destination. I will report to duty as soon as I get settled in my quarters.

LYSANDER: Very well, Ensign. I also would like you to meet with our counselor Toullis to get a psych evaluation for our records. And make a visit to the sick bay about your ::ahem:: neck device... I will have Toullis and Piper contact you for respective meetings.

KIM: Understood, sir. Thank you.

((Two hours later...))

::Toullis made final preparations for the session, and stood waiting.::

TOULLIS: .oO Oh man, It's the Captain's turn!! Oo.

::Toullis was practically shaking when the chime sounded.::

TOULLIS: Come in.

::Captain Lysander stepped through the doors and walked over to the couch.::

TOULLIS: Please, Captain, lay down on the couch. It should make the session move more smoothly.

::Lysander smirks, contemplates laying down, then declines. He decides instead to sit upright instead::

TOULLIS: I understand that you have been having some problems with your son lately, please tell me about them.

LYSANDER: It's... difficult. I've noticed changes in him since I got this posting. We've grown very distant and I rarely see him. I feel like a ... horrible father. I don't keep track on him like I should, and we don't talk. ::Lysander pauses for a few moments:: We used to do stuff all the time. Jog together, or fence on the holodecks, but lately it seems like whenever I'm in our quarters, he's not, ever. He has a security detail who keeps tabs on him, obviously, but they don't track his every move.

TOULLIS: Could your relations with him have anything to do with the fact that you go away on missions often?

LYSANDER: Somewhat. I think I just don't have the time for him at all anymore. My posting keeps me busy with issues of commanding, or working with the crew all the time. I don't have any idea how people do this on a regular basis in the rest of the fleet.

::The captain shifts uncomfortably, thinking that his son is perhaps his biggest failure. Sighing, he waits for Toullis' next question, as the counselor scribbles something on a PADD::

TOULLIS: How has your son adjusted since you divorced his mother?

LYSANDER: He seemed fine, right after we moved to the StarBase. He seemed content, and had a lot of friends. But, as I said, I don't seem him much lately.

TOULLIS: What do you think you can do to bring the two of you closer?

LYSANDER: Not unless I were to give up my posting... which at this point... ::his voice fades off::

TOULLIS: Does your son visit his mother often?

LYSANDER: HA! Nell?! Yeah right. She has plenty of other things to be doing. She wants to play the good mother, but she's really not.

TOULLIS: How are your relations with you ex-wife? Do you still maintain a friendship with her?

LYSANDER: No. Her and I only talk when it concerns Othello. Otherwise, she doesn't call or anthing. Lately though... ::the captain wonders if he should go into this:: I've been lonely. Almost wanted to see her.

::The discussion shifts abruptly::

TOULLIS: How is your recovery from your abduction coming along?

::Cringing just a little, the memory delivers a definite response. Lysander's hand instantly become moist, and his eyes dart a little::

LYSANDER: Fine, just fine.

::Toullis looks up from his PADD skeptically, but continues::

TOULLIS: How were you treated where they took you?

LYSANDER: ::Growling a little:: You know exactly how... I don't wish to talk about this.

::The counselor sighs, frowns, then asks another question::

TOULLIS: When was the last time you had a vacation?

LYSANDER: Before I took command of the base.

TOULLIS: Perhaps you should take one with your son. In fact, I have a nice boating program. Choose the boat from many choices, and travel on any world. Sit back, relax, and maybe fish if you would like!

LYSANDER: I doubt I have time for that. ::Shaking head:: Sorry counselor. Thank you for your time, I will see you on active duty in a few days.

::Nodding quickly, with head down, the captain exits the room and heads hurriedly to the nearest turbolift::