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End of the Line

Posted on Wed Nov 8th, 2017 @ 8:37pm by Lieutenant Mark Whistler & Captain Claudia Ainscow & Mystery Man

Mission: S2E2 - Vindeux
Location: Mystery Man's Quarters
Timeline: Mission Day 117; 05:00

Stephen had decided to get rid of Mark and ensure he was out of the way to prevent him reneging on their agreement. He had somebody in mind to do the job for him and called the man down to his quarters. Stephen was due to depart for Andoria within the next couple of hours so he wanted to get it done quickly.

Stephen opened up his computer console and ensured the message was encrypted before typing a brief message to his contact. As far as he was aware Stephen's contact was on Starbase Unity and would be for the next few days at least.

Meet me in the main atrium at 06:00 hours. It'll be worth your while

It took less than a minute for a response, confirming that the contact would be there.

A few minutes ahead of the agreed meeting time Stephen had arrived at the designated waiting point. He had armed himself just in case but his contact had always been trustworthy in the past. Stephen just hoped he would see the message in time so he could give his contact one final assignment.

Emerging from the shadow, the robed man looked at Stephen. "You came alone. Good, you followed the protocol." He said. "I assume you have someone you need killed?" He asked.

Stephen was pleased when the man arrived on time and in the correct place. Reaching for a PADD from inside his jacket he passed it towards the man face down.

"Yes. The man on this PADD is causing me issues and I need him to disappear" Stephen said.

Accepting the PADD, the man looked up, smiling. "Mark Whistler. You know, everyone in this line of business would love to take him out. He's something of a legend in our company, in terms of being an opponent. You know that means a higher cost, right?" The man asked, looking at Stephen.

Stephen nodded. "I know there'll be a higher cost. Just get it done and I'll make it worth your while. I have to leave in a couple of hours so I expect we will probably never meet again"

"Not how it works." The man said. "Payment in advance, triple the usual cost." He replied darkly. "And I know you came prepared for it."

Stephen shook his head and took the PADD back from his contact. He knew it would cost more but not that much more. Nevertheless he was willing to pay to ensure that Mark wouldn't be able to bother him again.

"You can have half now and half afterwards. That's the best I'm prepared to do" Stephen responded.

"You wanna waste my time, good luck finding someone else." The man replied, turning to leave.

Stephen nodded. "Alright. I'll forward it to you when I get back to my quarters - but I want undeniable proof that you've completed your task...otherwise we'll have a problem."

"You'll have your proof. After today, Whistler won't ever be a problem for you." The man said. "But only once the money's been forwarded to me." He added, before he stepped into the shadows and seemed to vanish.

"Good. I'm glad we have an understanding" Stephen replied.

Stephen nodded and turned on his heel - quickly picking up pace to ensure he got back to his quarters before anyone spotted him. With only hours left before his departure he still had plenty to do and not enough time to do it in.

An hour later Stephen was back in his quarters ensuring that everything was packed up ready to go. Confirming that it was he helped himself to some breakfast and a cup of tea from the replicator. Taking the toast and hot beverage from the replicator he took it over to the table and sat down to eat it.

As soon as he sat down, the lights went out, and a figure stepped from the shadow. "I trust your mission is proceeding well?" The deep voice demanded.

"It is. I am looking forward to its completion so I can finally relax and maybe even retire from all of this crap. I'm getting way too old for this now and I could do with some time to do things for myself and my family" Stephen responded.

"What goals have you accomplished?" The voice demanded, looking at him, his white eyes visible, eyes that were good at instilling fear.

Stephen smiled. "Well I prevented that alien shuttle from falling into Starfleet's hands even if I didn't manage to get hold of it for myself. I have also secured the command of a Starbase which is in orbit of Andoria. I will be heading there shortly."

"No, you won't. I have a new assignment for you." The voice said, stepping forward and revealing his face. "It's called reporting to the Brig. Or, if you resist, going to hell." Whistler said. "I don't care either way."

"Oh do you? Well as I don't have to take orders from assignment to you is to get the fuck out of my quarters before my guest gets here. They're due any minute so I suggest you disappear before then - we have some private business to discuss that doesn't concern you" Stephen responded.

"Oh, you mean your assassin? Yeah, he's not coming." Whistler replied. "Dealt with him already. I already know you're not from around these parts. Can't say I understand about mirror universes, but what I do know is how to take people down. You're under arrest, by order of Starfleet Security." Whistler said. "So please, put up a fight."

Stephen rolled his eyes and resumed eating his breakfast.

"Oh I don't think so Lieutenant. Please...just go away and let me finish my breakfast in peace and don't bother me again. I didn't ask for you to disturb me and nor do you have any authority to be here" Stephen replied.

"Actually, I do. You see, you're not the Admiral, you're his mirror counterpart." Whistler said, drawing a phaser. "On your feet, now, or I will use force."

Stephen chuckled. "What have you had for your breakfast this morning Lieutenant? It makes me wonder how you can come out with such a preposterous thing as that. What exactly is a 'mirror counterpart'?"

Whistler chuckled as he went over to the large wardrobe in the room, and opened it, watching Stephen's body tumble out. "You tell me. I hope you're not afraid of the dark." Whistler said, activating a device so every source of light went out in the room.

Stephen didn't say anything however he reached for his concealed phaser and raised it up in the direction he last saw Mark standing. With his cover now blown he decided attack was the best form of defence.

"Give it up Whistler. You're no match for me" Stephen said.

Whistler smiled as he moved silently through the room. This was his element now. He was a killer; now he would show this man his final mistake.

He activated a device which beamed the two of them into the holodeck on the Starbase, a program Whistler had prepared for this moment. It was a large room in a building, but with very little light, and clearly in ruins. He had also disabled all vocal commands, and sent a message to Claudia, alerting her of what was happening.

"Other's have said the same thing, all of them dead now." Whistler said, before moving quickly. "The last thing you will utter in this life is my name, so Hell know's who sent you." He added, this time leaping away silently.

Stephen kept hold of his phaser and took aim at his target. The man clearly had this all planned out and had even managed to work out he had changed places with his prime counterpart.

"How much time have you wasted on all of this?" Stephen asked.

"Took me five minutes to set up. You know nothing about me, and that's what will end you." Whistler's deep voice said. Before the man could react, Whistler had ran at the man, and punched him in the face, sending him flying backwards. Whistler then disappeared into the darkness again. "The's my know nothing of it."

"I'll never let you have the pleasure of killing me" Stephen snarled.

After everything that had gone on between them Stephen had decided to save Mark the effort. Knowing the game was up and it was only a matter of time before his cover-up came out he simply turned his phaser on himself and adjusted the setting before firing.

The doors to the holodeck opened as Stephen fired the phaser. Whistler, standing a distance from him, looked at the body. "Coward." Whistler said, looking at the now dead man. His eyes were still white as he turned to see Claudia standing by the entrance of the holodeck. "Captain." He greeted, as he pressed a button to end the program. "I think we need a clean up here."

Having seen her own father shoot himself to avoid capture Claudia remained close to the door which had closed behind her. She stared at Stephen's dead body for a few moments before speaking.

"Get Security down here immediately" Claudia ordered.

"Whistler to Security team Alpha, need a clean up crew, Holodeck 1. Target is deceased. Remember Emile, discretion. We can't let anyone know of this." Whistler said.

=/\="Aye Lieutenant. I'm on my way"=/\= Emilie responded.

He looked at the Captain. "Before you say anything, this is a...complicated situation. And that wasn't your father." Whistler said.

"Well who was it then? He looked like him and I'm pretty sure based on my sister's description of him that was him. What proof have you got of this...deduction?" Claudia asked.

As Emilie arrived, he looked at her. "Clean up here. I need to show the Captain something." He said. "Captain, follow me." He said.

"Alright Lieutenant" Emilie responded.

She instructed her team to get on with their task quickly and efficiently as Claudia and Mark left the room. Fortunately for Mark she had decided to start two hours earlier that day to get some extra work done ahead of their departure.

He led the way to Stephen's office, where the man was still on the floor. "This is the asshole you call a father." He said.

Claudia followed and looked at the body. It was the exact same as the one that they had just seen in the was that actually possible? Had they transported Stephen's body from the holodeck to his office when Claudia's back was turned? She wanted answers. Now.

"This makes no sense whatsoever. How did you get his body from the holodeck to here before we got here?" Claudia responded.

"I didn't. This one's alive." Whistler said, kicking the man. "Wake up, now." He demanded.

"This makes no fucking sense whatsoever..." Claudia commented.

Stephen stirred and looked up at Mark. Slowly getting up from the floor he took a few moments to gain his bearings before punching Mark in the face in return for being kicked. Sure he was trying to wake him up but Stephen didn't like being kicked.

"I say we're even now. Next time you want to wake me up do it a bit more politely. I don't like being kicked" Stephen said.

"What the actual fuck. You're is this possible?" Claudia asked.

Stephen sighed. "Long story. I'd rather not go into it...although I'm sure your friend here has probably already told you. Did you get him?"

Mark nodded. "I did." He replied. He looked at Stephen. "He's dead. Coward took his own fucking life. No honor or decency. I wonder, how alike or how different you are." He said. "I suggest you forget this happened, for your own good. If your twin's people figure this out, then they'll try again."

"I suspect they probably will. At least you got him and he won't be able to do any more damage than he has already...the bastard's had me locked in there since he got here and I dread to think what mess he's left. We need to keep the body to avoid me getting blamed for anything he's done...where can we keep it?" Stephen asked.

Claudia stood back and listened. She took it all in and decided to help the man.

"Keep it in the mortuary on my ship. At least then it'll be safe and under lock and key away from any prying eyes or any attempts from his friends to try and take it back" Claudia replied.

Stephen spoke. "Are you sure?"

"Yes" Claudia responded.

"Captain, a word?" Mark asked. He led her outside the office. "Captain, I should warn you that I did my homework on the bastard. I found a database, and frankly, I'm not liking what I found. He seems to be from an alternate reality. I've checked with a few...sources, and it seems like Starfleet has encountered these realities before."

Claudia replied. "Send me the database. I'll take a look over it with you later...if necessary we'll inform Commodore Hutchinson. See to it that Admiral Ingham is checked over in Sickbay and then have him come to my ready room on the ship. I need to have a few words with him before we leave."

"We need to keep this to ourselves. We don't know if anyone else has been replaced. I know you're still you, and I've been doing my checks on my department quietly. But for all we know, Hutchinson is one of them. I know it sounds paranoid, but we can't trust anyone at the moment. Especially not...the Admiral. I don't trust him at the best of times." Mark replied.

"Alright. Like I said...send me the database and we'll go over it together in my office. That way we should be able to work out if it was father...or others have been replaced too. I'll be in my ready room if you need me" Claudia responded.

"Understood." Mark replied. He looked at the door, and walked into the office. "The Captain wants you in Sickbay, to make sure you're still in one piece." He said. "In the meantime, once you've been checked, I suggest you disappear. The man who replaced you will likely have allies. They find out he's dead, they'll hunt you, and I won't be around to save your ass. Or you can do something brave, and go undercover, track these bastards down. Not that expect you to have the balls for it, but at least you'd get your revenge." Whistler said.

"Thank you Lieutenant. I will work on something and make sure that nobody else is caught up in whatever that idiot is planning. It's likely there could be more doubles in the area so I'll alert those that need to know covertly and hopefully we can put a stop to it before it's too late" Stephen replied.

Whistler nodded. He may not like what he had heard of the man, but at least this one had some level of respect. But the thing that bothered him was the fact that he had a double...and apparently, he was some sort of leader, and likely a cold killer, like himself.

If he had to fight himself...well, that would definitely make things interesting.


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