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Blake receives a letter from [[Rivi Vataix]], asking her to come to [[Betazed]] so to make a case with Betazed Immigration regarding [[Faith Blake|Faith]]'s status. With [[Zhou Tai-Sheng|Zhou]] in tow, she is introduced to the [[Eleventh House of Betazed]], and it's ruling family, the Vataixs - though she suffers somewhat of a culture clash, and feels uncomfortable with the free use of telepathy commonly experienced on the Betazed homeworld.
She meets with [[Aagan Eislas]], Faith's father, for the first time, and the two discuss Faith's options for when she is brought to Betazed—however, with a long wait between news, Blake chooses to leave Betazed to await court proceedings. She returns to join Rivi's small gathering on Betazed, and again discusses Faith with Aagan, learning that Brekka is dragging it's heels politically. She thanks him for the information.
She is called back by the Starfleet
rangers to accompany [[Rairen Caide]], the Shoals division's new managing officer, to assist with the search for Lieutenant Kehive na-Soldim, who had gone missing the year before. On their journey, Caide requests to stop by smaller settlements to check in with them and learn about the area in general. They arrive in [[Bupirninyirring]] and are greeted by settlement manager Keyri Largew, who explains that the water reclamators [[Tristam Core]] designed the year before have been having ongoing maintenance problems, and fears foul play—Caide offers to take a look at them. The next day, the two are assisting with menial tasks and learning about the settlement when Caide is involved in a minor accident with Pierce Macnamara's horse and carriage. The following evening, Blake locates the water reclamator saboteur, a colonist who wishes to move the minor settlement away from the Tholian border, and takes them to Largew.
Unable to treat Caide on Kidman, the two Rangers leave the area for the nearest outpost with medical supplies. They begin a tour down the Tholian border once Caide is healed and cleared for duty, and after four months, end up in the Roxburgh sector with no lead on Kehive's location. Blake receives a request to return to the ''Veritas'' following the death of another Starfleet officer on [[Ketar V]], and she leaves Caide to continue the search in the system to re-join her crew.
A few days later, Blake stumbles into Sickbay and states to Doctor MacKenzie she feels as if she "is going to die", and complains of a serious migraine. MacKenzie discovers Blake's spine has begun to deteriorate due to the precense of thalaron radiation, which had been converted into metaphasic particles during an operation on her spinal cord back in 2388. MacKenzie and [[Geoffrey Teller]] place Blake in isolation, in hopes of slowing the progression of bone breakdown. Due to the nature of thalaron radiation, Captain Rahman orders the officers not to speak of the situation outside of those with rank. Removed from the rest of the crew, Blake feels confused and relays to Caide that she doesn't totally understand what is happening to her. As she breaks down behind the isolation field, Caide reassures her she will be alright. He leaves once more, and gives her reports to go over while MacKenzie and del Vedova determine how best to treat her.
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