USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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Lone Rangers

Posted on Fri May 19th, 2017 @ 9:08pm by Mystery Man

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: Nova Mercia
Timeline: Mission Day 84; 08:30

Mystery Man's return to the area was a quick one. His craft had taken a position above Nova Mercia's north pole and along with his most trusted colleague he'd beamed down to the planet and made camp in a cave on the very beach that his daughter was due to get married on. His informant aboard the Vindex had informed him of the wedding and Mystery Man didn't intend on missing it - even if he wasn't an invited guest.

"Good morning sir. I trust you slept well?" his assistant asked.

Mystery Man nodded. "I did thank you. Did you?"

"Well enough considering" the man replied.

Mystery Man sighed. "I wish I could be there giving my daughter away today - alas she doesn't even know who I am and that I'm her father. Maybe it's probably for the best anyway - I never was there for her when she needed me the most"

"Maybe you should just tell her? If I know Claudia then her compassionate listener side which she got from you would be open to listening to you - even if today is her wedding day. You should never just assume she's going to knock you back sir - at least if she does reject your claim then you can't say you didn't try" the man suggested.

Mystery Man sighed again as he rummaged through his bag looking for a food ration suitable for a breakfast meal. Eventually selecting a ration containing pancakes he opened it and poured the syrup on top before starting to eat it. He watched as his colleague ate something which looked like porridge - after heating it up on the portable cooker he'd brought along with him.

"I would if it was any other day. As much as I want to be a part of my little girl's special day I don't want to risk ruining it for those who are there. Paul Foster is a good man and I don't doubt how much he cares for my Claudia - he's far more deserving of it to be honest" Mystery Man said.

The assistant replied. "Paul is a good man"

"I don't doubt it. How's your porridge?" Mystery Man asked.

The assistant shrugged. "Nice enough I suppose. I'd have preferred some of the porridge Azarina made for us all yesterday but I guess I can't be too particular - at least we're eating something that's actually edible"

Mystery Man chuckled to himself. Azarina O'Donnell was a talented pilot but she was also a good cook - so Mystery Man was all too happy for her to run the galley on their rather undermanned K'Vort-class starship. Mystery Man was becoming quite attached to the Bird of Prey although he was expecting Starfleet to order its return for analysis sooner rather than later.

"She's a good cook. I think the ship's crew have become quite close since we took it over - before we were quite a scattered group across the Alpha Quadrant. It's almost like it's become an instrument of unity - even if we're on a mission to take something apart - although that can wait. I'm growing quite fond of the ship" Mystery Man replied.

The assistant nodded. "It's proven its use - although you should probably think of a name for it. The Klingon name will undoubtedly be linked with the fact it was taken over by Starfleet - renaming it would be wise if we end up having to infiltrate the mercenary cell"

"You are right. Maybe we should call it HMS Ranger - after all the last Bird of Prey which Starfleet captured was known as the HMS Bounty. What do you think?" Mystery Man asked.

His friend nodded. "I like it. HMS Ranger it is"

The two men continued their breakfast in relative silence before calling up to their ship to get a status report. It appeared the Ranger was functioning as expected and would be ready to depart the following day to infiltrate the mercenary fleet operating in the Gamma Quadrant and conducting hit and run raids on trade outposts. The HMS Ranger was undoubtedly more than a match for most of the vessels reported by the victims of the attacks - but Mystery Man wasn't going to be complacent about bringing the mercenary group down that quickly.

"Care to go for a walk Commodore?" the man asked.

Mystery Man nodded in agreement. He put his things away and prepared for the walk along with his friend. They were soon ready and made their way out of the cave - commencing a walk in an easterly direction along the beach which marked the edge of Nova Mercia's northern continent.

"I wish I could have raised her from the beginning" Mystery Man said.

His friend nodded. "I understand that - and forgive me for saying this - but why didn't you?"

"Elisabeth was married to her husband - what we had wasn't supposed to happen - but the good thing to come out of it was Claudia. Elisabeth and I had been friends for a while and she wasn't sure whether her husband loved her or not. We had an affair and we had a good time - and we got a beautiful daughter out of it - but ultimately she decided it wasn't fair on her husband. I accept that - she did the right thing going back to Richard and I understand they're still happily married even now" Mystery Man replied.

His friend understood that. It was a good enough reason and he couldn't have imagined how hard it was for Mystery Man to not be able to see his daughter. He knew Claudia to be stubborn but she was an extremely compassionate and caring person who in his opinion was a fine commanding officer. The man had never had a family of his own - and as much as he liked the idea - he never found the right person to settle down with. His career had always taken precedence and it continued to do so even now. One day maybe.

"I can't imagine how hard it was. Maybe one day you can get to know her" Mystery Man's friend replied.

Mystery Man nodded. "I hope so. One of these days I'll tell her - just today isn't the right day. It could be taken well but it could also be taken badly - and that's what worries me. I don't want to ruin my Claudia's special day marrying the woman she loves - nobody's prouder of her than I am"

"I can see why" the man replied.

They continued to walk along the beach until they spotted footprints in the sand and no more than 200 metres ahead were two people - a male and a female - one of whom was in a Starfleet uniform.

"That looks like Commodore Hutchinson and Claudia" the man said.

Mystery Man nodded. "Alright - let's sit back here for a bit. We'd be recognised instantly so I think we should probably head back towards base camp - presumably these stones here indicate where the ceremony could be being held. We'll watch it from behind those rocks over there - they'll provide decent cover from prying eyes"

"Very well sir. I'm glad I packed my binoculars in that case - I was only planning to observe the wildlife but I guess they're good for watching weddings from behind a rock as well. Shall we?" the man replied.

Mystery Man turned on his heel and started to head back to basecamp - not looking back to avoid the risk of being spotted by Claudia and David.

His friend had proven to be just that - a friend - someone to talk to and who understood how he felt about not being a part of Claudia's life as much as he wanted to be. Mystery Man also had a granddaughter he'd never met - the El-Aurian man hoped in time he could meet Grace too.

"Are they happy?" Mystery Man asked.

His friend nodded. "All three of them are. Very happy indeed"

"That's good to know. It's all that matters to me" Mystery Man replied.

 

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