USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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Blast From the Past

Posted on Mon Jun 12th, 2017 @ 2:25pm by Lieutenant Elijah "Eli" Dreznik & Commander Akiva ben-Avram
Edited on on Mon Jun 19th, 2017 @ 8:37am

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: First Officer's Office
Timeline: MD 90; 1000

As the saying on North Star Colony went, the easiest paths are the ones you have navigated before. And coming back to the Vindex, Eli Dreznik felt like he was doing just that -- returning to a path he was once on, and was anxious to resume. He regretted having to depart so suddenly last year, but the urgency of the situation on Hekaras II had demanded immediate attention. Now here he was, standing outside the XO's office, reintroducing himself and becoming reacquainted with friends. He pressed the chime and waited for a response.

Akiva had not even the chance to sit down before his door buzzed.

"Enter," he said. When Eli presented himself, Akiva broke into a grin and hurried around his desk. "Welcome back. It's good to see an old face with all the turnover we've had in our mad dash to establish the Nova Mercia colony."

"Thank you Sir," said Eli, pleasantly surprised at the XO's warm greeting. "The trip to Hekaras II took longer than expected...plus, the weather control matrix required extremely precise calibration. You have no idea how glad I am to be back on a ship again!"

Akiva contorted his face in a mock grimace while extending his hand in a firm handshake. "Remind me not to loan you out to another vessel anytime soon. Can I get you something to drink?"

Akiva held up a finger. "Hold on. I have just the thing."

He went back behind his desk and retrieved a clear glass jar filled with water from a drawer.

"I know it's not impressive, but water was a scarce commodity for a generation or two when Hebron was first colonized. Of course, since reuniting with Earth, water now flows like the milk and honey of old, but it is still highly valued for symbolic reasons." He poured two glasses. "This jar is filled with mineral water from a particularly popular spring called Ama'Evar. Virtually worthless anywhere else, to be sure, but back home, it's prized more than most wines."

He offered a glass to Eli, then raised his own to the man.

"L'chayim!"

"Dory, Dorek-ya," responded Eli, offering a traditional salutation in Skagaran. The water had a crisp, very slightly metallic tang to it; nonetheless, the Science Officer was appreciative of the gesture. "From what I have been told, the ship has had quite an adventurous time without me."

Akiva sat back on the edge of his desk and shook his head in reverie. "We've broken the back of the Consortium, rescued the captain and other hostages from a heinous traitor, and discovered a new world." That last part snapped him back to the present.

"Speaking of which, have you been briefed on the Dulcite Mineral Entity?"

"I know of its existence," said Eli with a slight frown. "The uplink with Starfleet was very sketchy in the Hekaras Corridor, so my information access was limited. Once I am set up with access codes again to the Vindex mainframe I will read the available files. If I may ask, what is your take on the Entity, Sir?"

Akiva leaned back and sifted through the reports in his top drawer. After finding the correct PADD, he handed it to Eli.

"Commander Tau was the first classify it," Akiva explained while Eli accepted the PADD. "It's an unknown mineral composition made up of complex saccharides. My biochemistry is next to nil, so even though it sounds like sugar to me, Commander Tau insists in his report that isn't an accurate comparison."

"I could have one of my colleagues from the Maginot look at the data," offered Eli. "Doctor Rethalen is a brilliant geologist with a strong background in exobiology."

Akiva shrugged. "As for what it means to us? I don't know. It's capable of broadcasting intense levels of kinoplasmic energy--enough that it nearly brought down the ship from orbit. Somehow the captain managed to make contact with it, which is even more surprising considering the lethal levels of radiation surrounding the quarry which houses it in the southern mountain range."

Sounds almost like an adapted cosmozoan, Eli thought to himself.

He shook his head and laughed. "I don't know how she did it. Apparently Captain Ainscow somehow talked to the humongous thing, and brokered a ceasefire agreement which would prohibit certain bandwidths of energy from both the colony and the Entity. That's a good thing, too, since the ecosystem of the planet seems to take cues from the Entity's energy fields."

"The Captain is full of surprises, it seems." Eli paused to take another long sip of the water. "Is, uh, Kaz...I mean Lieutenant Linn, still on board?"

Akiva stiffened at the name. "Yes," he said with slow enunciation, "though I don't know where he is now. He left without telling anyone, so I can only presume it was on orders from Starfleet Intelligence." He coughed into his hand. "You will find the lieutenant is different from when you last knew him."

"Oh," said Eli in a noncommittal tone. There was certainly a reason as to why the Commander's demeanor stiffened suddenly, but Eli decided that was a question for another time. "I was just curious. We were...friends."

"He needs one now," Akiva said bluntly. "I'm not sure what else I'm at liberty to say." When his terse words replayed in his ears, he effected a softer tone. "I have no doubt he will be as overjoyed to see you as the rest of us."

Oh Kaz, thought Eli. By the Two Suns, what have you done?

Akiva thought quickly. This could be good. He was new to spycraft, and it seemed no one could be trusted. But if Kaz vouched for Eli, then it might be handy having a trustworthy scientist and his network of professionals at their disposal.

"We'll all have to get together sometime," Akiva said. "Once he's back on board himself, that is."

Eli smiled broadly. "I would like that very much," he said. He decided then and there that he would make some discreet inquiries through his sizable network of contacts. This was a mystery worth solving, but he would have to fly solo. "I'm told the fella that replaced me is an acquired taste. I understand that he has asked to transfer rather than be bumped back down to Assistant Chief. Poor guy," said a Eli with obvious sarcasm.

"He's certainly not a people person," Akiva conceded with a laugh. "And normally I can appreciate that in a colleague, except he would talk my ear off without mercy about things well outside my understanding. I think he prefers being on a station rather than a starship, so I'm sure once he recovers from his surgery he will be quite pleased to hear the transfer was approved."

Eli simply nodded. Since he had never really met Gareth Tau, he would have to take the word of others. "I wanted to thank you once again for making me feel welcome, Sir. It's very gratifying to know I was missed." He downed the last swallow of water. "Sometime when we're both off duty, I'll pour you a glass of Skagaran Whiskey. Over 500 years old, and quite potent."

"Anytime." Akiva stuck out his hand and gave a crooked smile. "Thank you for returning to us, Lieutenant."

"Thank you for having me back, Sir," said Eli with enthusiasm. He took the offered hand and shook heartily. "If you don't mind, I'll take my leave to pick up the pieces of my department."

Akiva nodded. "Dismissed."

 

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