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Posted on Sun Sep 17th, 2017 @ 8:14pm by Captain Claudia Ainscow & Master Warrant Officer Lucinda Ingham

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: Mission Day 101; 14:30

It had bugged her for far too long. Claudia made her way down to sickbay and looked around for the nearest doctor so she could check the Starfleet Medical database for any matches to her DNA. Her conversation with Mark had made her realise that if she at least made the effort then she wouldn't lose any sleep if they weren't interested.

Sickbay looked busy with the various injuries caused by the aliens. Claudia made a note to visit Shadi after ensuring it was a suitable time to do so - with the severity of her injury it was unlikely she would be able to talk to anyone any time soon. The Saurian had gone above and beyond in her duty to help her fellow officers and Claudia intended on making sure she was recognised for it.

Taking a seat in the waiting area Claudia let herself go deep into her thoughts. She did it that well Claudia did not hear Lucinda approach and subsequently ask if she was alright. It was the El-Aurian doctor's hand resting on her shoulder that brought her back into reality.

"Is there anything I can get for you Captain?" Lucinda asked.

Claudia smiled. "I'm sorry Doctor...I was in a world of my own. As a matter of fact there is. I would like to access the Starfleet Medical database to cross check my DNA in there for potential matches. I appreciate this could take some time so if I need to come back later I don't mind doing so"

Lucinda wasn't really sure what to do or say. Claudia clearly doubted part or all of her parentage and Lucinda was unsure how to react to it - it wasn't every day someone came into sickbay asking her to find out who her relatives.

"I'm available. Come to one of the rooms with me and we'll get started" Lucinda responded.

Claudia followed Lucinda into the room indicated and took a seat in one of the pair of chairs facing the desk. Once Lucinda was sat down opposite her she waited patiently for the doctor to bring up her medical record.

"'s the baby doing?" Lucinda asked.

Claudia smiled. "Fine thank you"

"That's good. We should probably bring you in for a check up in a couple of weeks just to make sure everything is alright. I'll book you in for November 17th..." Lucinda replied.

Claudia nodded. "That's fine"

Lucinda booked Claudia in for her appointment and then turned her attention to the main reason she was there.

" you want to cross-check the Medical database for any DNA matches. Do you have any particular criteria that may help us narrow down the search and reduce the time it takes?" Lucinda asked.

Claudia nodded again. "I'm half El-Aurian and this comes from my father's side - so an El-Aurian male. I'm unsure of any possible names or his age though. Oh...he was on Earth in the early 2350s if that's of any use"

Lucinda entered the information on the computer and started the search after Claudia authorised it. It would probably take a short while so she suggested Claudia returned later once they were in.

A few hours later Claudia returned to sickbay after carrying out some tasks which were still waiting to be done. It had passed the time quickly and she hadn't realised how late it was until Claudia remembered to return to see if her results were in.

Entering Sickbay for the second time that day Claudia didn't have to wait for long. Lucinda had just finished her rounds and spotted Claudia as soon as she went past the waiting area.

"I'm ready whenever you are Captain. I thought you'd forgotten" Lucinda said.

Claudia chuckled. "Sorry. I kind of buried myself in work to try and pass the time. I didn't quite realise just how much time I ended up passing. At least I'm up to date with all of my reports and paperwork now"

Also for the second time that day Lucinda led Claudia into the same room they were in a few hours ago. After sitting down Lucinda powered up the console and found the results Claudia had returned for.

"Well...they're in. Took a bit longer than I hoped they would but the criteria you gave me was helpful and probably saved you coming back even later or tomorrow. Are you ready Captain?" Lucinda said.

Claudia nodded. She was eager to get some closure and find out once and for all - then she could make an effort to try and contact her 'new' family and try to get to know them. With her relations with her mother and sister Heidi far from cordial it was an opportunity Claudia didn't want to pass up.

"I am Doctor" Claudia said.

With the results beyond doubt Lucinda turned the screen towards her.

Claudia looked at the screen. Four names were listed.

Ingham, Lieutenant Commander Gareth Stephen - Starfleet Security
Ingham, Master Warrant Officer Lucinda Rhian - USS Vindex-A
Ingham, Lieutenant Paul David - USS Derbyshire-C
Ingham, Rear Admiral Stephen - Starfleet Command

She had no words. The Admiral she had come to loathe and despise - the man who had tried to circumvent Commodore Hutchinson's authority while they were still of equal rank - was her father. Then there was the matter of the woman on the list who was her half sister. That woman was sat right opposite her.

"Captain...?" Lucinda asked.

Claudia had nothing to say. She just kept staring at the screen and the four names over and over. One of them had come on her ship and tried to order her around to suit his own needs and the other was sat opposite her giving her the results of her own DNA cross-check request.

"This is a fucking joke right?" Claudia said.

Lucinda shook her head. "No. It's accurate"

"Why go through all of this bullshit if you knew this was going to happen Lucinda?" Claudia replied.

Lucinda sighed. "Alright...I'll tell you everything"

"You better fucking had. I've just found out my father is an absolute moron who has no interest in anyone but himself" Claudia responded.

Lucinda nodded. " got that part about him right. I was told a few years ago but...he...told me not to contact you if I ever got the opportunity. He felt it would be damaging to his reputation and his marriage if it was discovered he had an affair. Fast forward to when I joined the Vindex - he persuaded me to join because he wanted someone else to look out for you"

"I wasn't sure at first. I had tried to contact you before by applying for a post on he USS Endurance but there weren't any vacancies. I stayed on the USS Tarleton until my...our father...told me there were vacancies that needed filling here. Did I join because I wanted to do what he asked me to do? In a way...yes. I wanted to look out for you but he told me I wasn't allowed to tell you"

"I wanted to tell you right away. I didn't feel what he was doing was right and I still don't feel it was now. All I can say to you is that I'm sorry and...we're not all like him. He's wanted to fulfil his own agenda for that long he's lost sight of what really matters. I want to be your sister and I can confidently say Gary and Paul will want to be your brothers too. Please believe me when I say this - I wanted to tell you so fucking much but he told me not to. I am so sorry Captain"

Lucinda then broke down in tears. She slumped on the desk and cried more than she'd ever cried before - even more than when she found out her boyfriend had died in an accident whilst rock climbing. The pressure had left her shoulders but there was still the immense guilt of not telling Claudia before now. With the truth now out between them Lucinda was desperate not to lose her only sister.

Claudia listened to every word. Her thoughts of her father clearly matched Lucinda's and this was the first time they had ever had a proper conversation which mentioned Stephen Ingham. Claudia certainly didn't hate Lucinda and nor was she angry with her. It was clearly a huge burden Stephen had placed on poor Lucinda's shoulders and now it had been released the amount of pressure it had placed on her was clearly evident.

Claudia stood up and walked around to the other side of the table. She immediately offered Lucinda a hug to try and offer her some much needed reassurance. She felt Lucinda's arms wrap around her whilst crying against her left shoulder.

"You don't have to worry about him anymore. I'm here for you now and I'm not going to let him push you around or tell you what to do anymore. He's going to have to come through me" Claudia said.

Lucinda felt that now the truth was out Claudia had the closure that she deserved. Whether that was her Captain or her half sister speaking to her it didn't matter - she was just relieved someone was now there to stand up for her.

Lucinda sobbed. "Do you mean that?"

"Of course I do. We're family and we're going to stick together whether he likes it or not. I just want to tell him exactly what I think of him and tell him to fuck off back to the Alpha Quadrant and never come anywhere near this ship again" Claudia replied.

Lucinda dried her eyes on the cuff of her sleeve.

"I'm so sorry Claudia" Lucinda said.

Claudia smiled. "Don't be. Forget about it and just focus on everything we need to catch up on - yes it's going to take some getting used to but I think we can do it. I will have to tell my wife and daughter before we introduce you to them but I think they'll be more than happy to meet you"

"I have a daughter too. She'll be so happy to find out she has a cousin on the same starship. Gary has a son and a daughter and Paul has two sons - so yeah. You've got three nephews and two nieces as well" Lucinda responded.

So she was Auntie Claudia as well? It was going to take a long time to explain the new side of the family she'd found out about to Rebecca and Grace later that evening.

"That's amazing...I'm now Auntie Claudia as well. Do they all know about me or is it just you?" Claudia asked.

Lucinda shrugged. "I told Gary and Paul the last time I saw them but whether they've told their families I don't know. I told my daughter but I asked her not to tell anyone yet"

"Well...let me have a chat with my wife and daughter. Maybe you can both come over for dinner in a couple of days? It would be nice to spend some time together as a family and catch up on all the time we've...let's say lost. What do you think?" Claudia replied.

Lucinda nodded. "Yeah...I'd like that. I think Lorelai would too"

"Any specific dietary requirements? After all...I don't want to ask the chef to prepare something one or both of you don't like. That wouldn't be a very good start" Claudia asked - giggling slightly.

Lucinda shared her sister's amusement at her own comment.

"Nope. I'm happy...that you didn't push me away. I was scared you would" Lucinda replied.

Claudia smiled. "No way. I don't think I could forgive myself if I did that to you. Especially as you're nothing like our father..."

Lucinda burst out laughing. She had a feeling she was going to get on very well with Claudia - especially as they both shared a general dislike and distrust of their father.

"I don't think anyone could be. But...yeah. Thank you" Lucinda responded.

Claudia nodded. "No. Thank you for telling me. You answered some important questions and that's more than my own father was prepared to do for me. I'm proud of you Lucinda"

"I owed it to you. You didn't deserve to be kept away from your family" Lucinda said.

Claudia was indebted to Lucinda for what had gone on that evening. It sounded like they would have to organise a big family meeting at some point so Claudia could meet Gary, Paul and there respective families.

"We'll arrange a meet up when we get to Starbase Unity. As for now though...go and tell Doctor Sjet I said you could book off early and take a couple of days off. You've earned it" Claudia replied.

Lucinda wasn't going to argue with that. She stood up and gave Claudia a tight hug which lasted for around ten seconds before letting go. There was a noticeable height difference between the two but there was no doubt they had more than just the same father in common.

"Thanks. Let me know what your wife and daughter say...yeah?" Lucinda asked.

Claudia nodded. "I sure will. Get yourself booked off and get your feet up in your quarters. Don't make me order you"

That was enough for Lucinda to take advantage of the early finish and subsequent two days' rest on offer. Giving her sister another hug she left the room to finish her shift and head back to her quarters.

Claudia meanwhile spent a few moments thinking about things. She was angry that the aliens had threatened Lucinda - and had she known they were related before then she would have done anything to get her away from them much sooner.

Claudia departed Sickbay and headed towards the messhall.

=/\="Rebecca...I've got a lot of things to explain to you and Grace. I'll go and order us some dinner from the mess hall and I'll meet you both back at our quarters soon. Out"=/\=

Claudia finally had the closure she wanted.


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