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[2008: JAN-FEB] Test of Loyalty


Toni
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238502.05 0100 Hours

A lone officer walked quickly down the corridor into the awaiting open door. The door closed, and in the darkness a voice whispered, "Were you followed?"

"No," the officer returned. "I was careful."

"Yes, we must be cautious."

"No one must know."

Four hands clasped together in the darkness, signifying a pact, and simultaneously, a voice whispered, "You're right, no one should know. It has to remain a secret between us."

A few hours later the door opened, and a lone officer walked quickly up the corridor into the turbolift. The officer's heart beat rapidly from fear of exposure.

238502.06 0800 hours

Lt. Kiria Dristan was the last to arrive on the Bridge to start Alpha shift. Sitting down at her console she pulled up the latest Stella Cartography grids and began comparing them with the ones from yesterday, only glancing up when the Captain called for her report. "Captain Ransom, grid forty-two shows a significant build up of ionic storms. Enough that when we pass through it we'll have interference with communications, and make for a rough ride."

"And when are we to pass through the area?"

"Tomorrow at 1930 hours, Sir."

Ransom pondered the facts, then returned, "I want Alpha shift to report back to the Bridge, at 1900 hours. We'll need our best hands on duty to ride out the storms.

Lt. Brad Diaz, standing at his console behind the command chair, smiled inwardly, "Aye, Captain, we'll be here."

Within minutes a message appeared on four officer's padds simply stating, "Tonight - 2300 hours." and four heads nodded discreetly, seconds after the message was read.

238502.06 2300 Hours

A lone officer walked quickly down the corridor into an awaiting open door. The door closed, and in the darkness a voice whispered, "I'm glad you came."

"I couldn't stay away," the breathless voice returned.

"We'll have to hurry tomorrow."

"Yes, but we can take our time tonight."

"And tomorrow?"

"Don't worry, we'll find a way."

Four hands clasped together in the darkness, signifying a mutual trust, and at the same moment, the light came on, and the man caressed the small features of the woman's face lovingly, tracing each line and contour gently, recording her likeness to memory.

He smiled adoringly. "Lovely... the most beautiful woman I have ever known.

Later...

A lone officer walked quickly down the corridor into an awaiting open door. The door closed, and in the darkness a voice whispered, "No one saw you?"

"No, not a soul" the breathless voice returned.

"Do they suspect?

"No, nothing."

"Good... we have tonight to plan the trap."

"An tomorrow night?"

"Um... 1900 hours?"

"Perfect."

A few hours later the doors opened, and two officers quickly made their way up the corridor to the turbolift. Their hearts beating rapidly, one from joy, the other from heartache.

"Up late Lieutenant?"

"Yes, sir, I couldn't sleep."

The turbolift door closed and after a silent ride to the next deck, they continued to their quarters.

238502.07 0800 Hours

::Morning found Lt. Diaz at the Security Console, finding it difficult to concentrate on his work. The night had been very pleasurable, but sleepless, and the night to come promised to be even more so. When Lt. Kiria Dristan entered the Bridge, he winked at her. She returned a blushing smile, then quickly seated herself at the console.::

Diaz made some changes in the security staff then spoke. "Sir, I'll be doubling security on the Bridge for Beta shift, since you'll be here tonight."

Kiria shot a glance across the Bridge, which did not escape the notice of First Officer Deana Tuttle. "Is there a problem Lt. Dristan?"

Pushing her hair behind her ears, Kiria cleared her throat, "Um No, Sir. Everything is fine."

238502.07 1900 hours

Two officers entered the Bridge, nervous, but determined to carry out their plan, whispering so that the Beta Shift crew could not hear.

"Where did you put it?"

"I have it tucked safely away."

“I can’t believe we are actually going to get away with this.”

“You worry too much. No one suspects a thing.”

"Shush, they're coming."

The turbolift opened and two officers entered the bridge and Captain Ransom smiled, "How is everyone tonight?"

Brad and Kiria smiled back cunningly, "Fine sir, and you?

"Never better. He turned to his First Officer. And you, Commander Tuttle?"

Deana looked up from the reports. "Fine, but I don't understand. There are no records of Ion storms in this area tonight."

"That can't be," Kiria said, sitting down at her console to check for herself. "I saw them." She pulled the grid from the past few days up on her view screen, and the stark realization that the First Officer was right struck her squarely in the face. For a long moment she sat staring at the screen, then she turn to face the Captain.

She looked embarrassed beyond belief in front of the one man she wanted to impress the most.

Ransom glared at her sternly. "Lt. Dristan, come here."

Kiria, obeyed his order and came to stand at attention in front of him and the first officer.

"Lieutenant do you have anything to say?"

Kiria lowered her head, looking down, shamefully, "Yes, Sir I do."

He smiled, "Then by all means, let's hear it."

Kiria turned to the first officer, and with conviction clearly stated. "Happy Birthday, Commander Tuttle," then she gave her a small box.

Deana looked up at her father, then opened the box, taking out a locket.

"Open it," Ransom urged.

Nervously, she fumbled to open it, then gaze lovingly at the image it contained. "It's Mother."

"Yes," Lt Diaz said. "Kiria painted it from my recollection of her."

Captain Ransom interrupted, "You have no idea how hard it is to keep a secret from you. You do your job so well."

Deana, looking up at her father, tears staining her face, "So that's why you had me spying on Dad. I thought you were testing my loyalty. Gees Captain, you had me thinking he was a traitor.

Diaz hugged his daughter, "Yes, he did, but I knew your loyalty would be in the right place, just as I taught you.

Edited by Toni
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