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Lt. Cmdr Townson - The Story of Bilire IV


Sedrin Belasi
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((USS Tiger-A - Bridge))

Delores: lloann iumnahna? I believe I heard that word before...

::Tracey turned towards the Tactical officer who had just spoken. There was

a pause before the Vulcan Science Officer spoke also in Romulan.::

T'Mihn: ::Looking over at Tracy, ::In a very surprised tone. :: rhanne

ssuaj khla, riov. ( I understand you commander) Idh iumnahna. (- (they are

Very desparate.)

Delores: Captain, maybe we should contact some other ships in the

Federation, because it seems that we are in a desperate situation.

::Tracey nodded. She agreed with the idea of the tactical officer. Further

information would be key.::

<Responses>

::After a long moment Sidney looked up from where she sat thinking. Her

bright green eyes were fixated on the viewscreen.::

Riley: Agreed Lieutenant Delores. I will be...

::The look of surprise on those she was facing forced Tracey to revert her

attention forward. Looking up at the main viewscreen, the Klingon vessel

had disappeared, to be replaced by just a star field.::

Wilde: Cloak and Run? ::scoffing:: Not very Klingon!

Riley: We're going to need to track it...

Clack: That might be hard to do...

Wilde: I'm sure we can extrapolate their heading?

Riley: I have a feeling I know where they are going...

Townson: ::turning back towards the Captain with a quizical look. Tracey

knew that the Captain was not telepathic.:: Where to, Captain?

Anyone: <Response>

Riley: Well, there is only one Romulan Colony in the Ithassa Region...::She

looked over at Townson and then Clack...after a very long

pause.::....Bilire IV.....

Clack: Bilire.... ::he paused:: Somehow I knew we would be going back there.

Clark: That makes sense.

::Tracey slowly turned back in her seat as her thoughts once again went to

the past. But this time more recent events, and events in this universe.

The idea of returning to Bilire was not one Tracey was looking forward to

as she let out a sigh of memories incurred from that mission.::

((Bilire IV - Year ago))

::Tracey ran. She ran as fast as she could. With each footfall to the muddy

ground, Tracey counted the seconds. She knew she would not make it to the

conference on time, and being late was never Tracey's way. But Tracey had a

second chance, to right a wrong she did years earlier. Even if it meant a

poor mark on her service record, Tracey was not about to do once again what

she did years earlier.::

((Time-Warp - City of Solius - Romulus - Otherverse - Years Ago))

Tal'Aura: Beautiful evening, isn't it?

::Tracey had just finished work at the office and she was sitting at an

outdoor terrasse at a Romulan version of a cafe. All day, Tracey had seen

the sunlight beat in through her office window, and she knew that after her

day of work, she wanted to relax. The Romulan Cafe was just on the ground

level of the offices she worked at. Tracey was sitting, enjoying the

setting sun of this alien planet as the Romulan soldiers patrolled the

streets. This was a bustling, military city, where 90 percent of the

soldiers were Romulan. The other 10 percent was made up of a mix of

different alien species, with her being one of them. Humans who were

assigned to Romulus were dispersed all over the planet. Since her arrival,

Tracey only counted a handful of humans assigned to the city of Solius. And

only about three times that amount who were members of starfleet.::

::Looking up from her PADD, Tracey squinted through the setting sun over

the man's back. Placing her hand over her brow to protect her eyes, Tracey

looked up and smiled.::

Townson: Why yes it is. ::gesturing towards a seat opposite from her::

Would you care to join me, Commander?

Tal'Aura: Why thank you Cadet. ::pulling out the chair and sitting down::

::Tal'Aura ordered a drink and when it arrived, he took a sip.::

Tal'Aura: Still working I see. ::gesturing towards Tracey's PADD::

Townson: Just studying, Commander.

::Tracey watched as the well-built Romulan sitting across from her took

another sip. Tracey found him to be quite handsome, and if her situation

would have been different, if Tracey was not with Jaxx, Tracey would have

probably tried her luck. But She also knew it was completely inappropriate

to think the way she did. But her loneliness of being away from her

Betazoid boyfriend for so long, and the lack of any relationships in her

environment, Tracey found herself to be flirting with her superior officer.

To Tracey, it was as if there was an internal battle between her brain and

her body. And up until today, her brain had won out. But all that was about

to change.::

Tal'Aura: Very good, Cadet. I am very proud of your progress thus far.

Townson: Thank you, Commander.

Tal'Aura: Please, Cadet. In there, ::referring to the office building they

both worked in:: my name is Commander Tal'Aura. Out here, my name is Hvaid.

::smiling::

Townson: ::placing her PADD on the table in front of her and looking at the

Romulan with a mischievous smile:: Thats very unprofessional of you,

Commander.

Tal'Aura: ::feigning a broken heart by holding his hands to his chest:: My,

my. Are you going to report me, Cadet?

Townson: ::smiling:: Only to say that you are one of the best teachers I've

ever had. And only if you stop calling me Cadet.

Tal'Aura: ::taking one last sip then putting his empty glass on the small

round table.:: Then we have an agreement. We call each other by our first

names.

::Tal'Aura looked around the landscape of the city before returning his

gaze on Tracey.::

Tal'Aura: Have you had the chance to tour this city, yet, Tracey?

Townson: ::nodding:: I took the primary tour upon arrival and I have walked

around the center core near my place. Why do you ask?

Tal'Aura: Well I know this city very well. My grandmother used to live

here. I used to visit quite often as a child. I know places here the tour

guides would never show you.

Townson: Is that so, Hvaid.

Tal'Aura: Would you like me to show you?

Townson: ::smiling:: Yes. Since I've come to Romulus I find it all to be

quite enchanting. I would very much like to see the rest of the city.

::And with that, the two stood up and left the little table at the cafe and

walked. The two walked for hours throughout the evening, as soldiers wound

past them at every turn. They went into various shops and tried different

local treats. Tracey practiced her Romulan with each shop they'd enter and

look around in. The two laughed and spoke the whole evening through,

despite the ever present backdrop of the familiar war-zone they both lived

in. Several hours later, the two found themselves on top of a mountain on

the edge of the city, looking down at the city lights, while sitting on a

bench.::

Townson: Thats it! ::pointing to building in the distance::

Tal'Aura: No, no! Thats it! ::pointing to another building close to the one

Tracey was pointing to:: I'll bet you dinner thats it.

Townson: No...Look at the markings on the roof. Thats our office building.

Tal'Aura: Oh...yeah. I guess you are right. ::smiling and looking at

Tracey.:: It looks like I owe you dinner.

Townson: ::looking up at Tal'Aura and smiling:: Yes you do.

::On the bench next to theirs, a young Romulan couple were embrasing one

another.::

Tal'Aura: Young love.

Townson: ::looking towards the shadowed couple then back to the city

lights:: Yes.

Tal'Aura: How is Jaxx?

Townson: ::without averting her eyes from the lights below:: Far away.

Tal'Aura: You miss him.

::Tracey just nodded.::

Townson: I hate this war.

Tal'Aura: Don't we all. It makes us all very lonely, and we could all die

tomorrow.

Townson: ::turning to look at Tal'Aura:: Is there someone special in your

life, Hvaid?

Tal'Aura: ::shaking his head and looking down to the ground:: I have placed

all my efforts into the military. I had no time for much else. I had to

work hard to earn the rank of Commander at such a young age. Plus with the

war...::trailing off::

Townson: I know.

::The couple at the opposite bench stood up and walked away hand in hand as

Tracey and Tal'Aura watched them leave. Tal'Aura turned to look at Tracey

and their eyes locked for a minute. Tal'Aura gently took Tracey's hands in

hers and Tracey didn't pull back. She knew what would happen next, and for

the first time in years, Tracey allowed her body to overrun what was going

on in her head. Tracey took a deep breath, and the two embraced.::

((Later))

::A light misty rain was coming down over the city of Solius, as Tracey an

Tal'Aura were walking down a laneway, hand in hand, leading to Tracey's

temporary home. When they arrived, the two stopped.::

Townson: Thank you...for a wonderful evening Hvaid.

Tal'Aura: And thank you too, Tracey. ::pause:: Back to work tomorrow.

Townson: Yes. Back to work tomorrow.

::The two kissed one last time, and then Tal'Aura started walking away.

Tracey watched as the man became a shadow under the lights and then a

message came through her PADD that drew her attention. Tracey quickly

scanned the message which said she was being recalled from Romulus in the

morning. Tracey looked up at the retreating Tal'Aura in the distance and

opened her mouth to shout something. But before she did, she closed it and

watched the man disappear into the night of this alien city. Tracey never

saw Commander Tal'Aura again.::

((Bilire VI - Present))

::Tal'Aura had been reading and the more he read, the more he was

fascinated by this Starfleet Officer. The tales of battles and near death

experiences were quite extraordinary. This one was not afraid of

confrontation. Tal'Aura would look up from his reading once in awhile,

hearing the moans of agony coming from the hospital, and he cringed each

time and look towards the drawer wher the cure to the disease lay. And he

would fight himself to not just take the hyposyringe and walk over to the

hospital himself and cure all those suffering. But he knew Arrhae would

kill him. Literally. He was under the watchful eye of the Tal'Shiar

continuously. He was the chosen one to infiltrate Starfleet and introduce

the "wrath". But so far, it was the Romulans who were dying. And Tal'Aura

was torn

man.::

::Tal'Aura was interrupted by a knock on the door. He quickly hid his

reading material and went to the door fully expecting Arrhae to be on the

other side. But to his surprise, it was not.::

::Huffing and puffing, Tracey found the door to her former superior

officer's abode. She quietly chided herself for being so out of shape,

despite the fact that running through mud was quite physically demanding.

Tracey quickly caught her breath and knocked on the door.::

::The door opened and Tal'Aura stood and looked down to the petite human

standing in front of him. She was dirty and muddy and appeared to be

catching her breath.::

Townson: Hvaid. I've been ordered back to the ship.

::Tal'Aura just nodded.::

Townson: I didn't want to just leave again without telling you.

Tal'Aura: Well thank you.

::Tal'Aura was curious as to why the human used his first name.::

Townson: I never told anyone. I...I tried to forget. It would have been

impossible.

Tal'Aura: ::with no clue what the human female was talking about, but

nodding nevertheless:: I know.

Townson: Then you are not angry?

Tal'Aura: If I was, I would have told you last night.

Townson: ::smiling:: Thank you, Commander.

Tal'Aura: Return to your duties, Commander. Dismissed.

Townson: Aye Commander.

::Just as Tracey was about to leave the doorway, she became very weak and

her world began to fade. Tracey then passed out as blood trickled out of

her mouth. But she was once again caught by the Romulan and kept from

falling. Tal'Aura then brought her inside and lay her down on his small

couch, and placed a small saucer under her mouth to collect the blood. He

then stood and looked over her unconscious body and recalled all the

adversity this human had gone through in her short life. Despite her tiny

frame, there was an obvious strength to the human that he admired. Besides,

from the short conversation at the doorway, there appeared to be more going

on than what was written in the Medical logs. Tal'Aura was just a minor

Centurion in this universe and he was finally given the chance to be

someone by helping in this mission. He grabbed it at the time, just to get

out of the doldrums of life. But from the readings of the human lying in

front of him, Tal'Aura knew he could be more, without having to kill.

Without having to watch people suffer. Without thinking, Tal'Aura went to

the drawer where the hypospray with the antidote rested, opened it, removed

it and headed to the couch where Tracey lay. He pushed asside her long,

black hair and pressed the hypospray to her neck. The audible hiss sound

emerged and Tal'Aura returned the device to the drawer and then washed the

blood from the human's mouth and waited till she came back to

consciousness.::

::Tracey sat up and looked up at Tal'Aura.::

Townson: I...what happened, Hvaid?

Tal'Aura: ::smiling:: I believe you may be overworked, Tracey. You should

get some rest as soon as you get the chance.

Townson: That's never happened to me before.::sitting up:: How long was I

out for?

Tal'Aura: There's always a first time. You were only out for about five

minutes. I gave you some smelling salts to revive you. So are you going to

follow my order or not?

Townson: Hvaid?

Tal'Aura: Your dismissed. ::smiling::

::Tracey stood, came to attention in front of the Romulan for a moment,

then turned and headed to the door. But just before leaving, Tracey turned

back to face the Romulan.::

Townson: Thank you once again, Commander. I will be back.

Tal'Aura: I am looking forward to it, Commander.

Townson: This colony is lucky to have someone like you here. They could

learn alot from you. You have always been the best teacher.::smiling::

Tal'Aura: oO As have you, Lieutenant Commander Tracey Townson, and that is

why I could not let you die. Oo You are wearing out your stay, Commander.

::smiling::

Townson: ::tappinhg her com-badge with her prosthetic hand:: Townson to

Independence. One to beam up.

::Tracey took one last look at Tal'Aura then took a deep breath, closed her

eyes and waited for the transporter beam to envelop her.::

::Tal'Aura stood in the doorway looking at the spot where Tracey was

standing seconds earlier, with a smile, then a look of shock overcame his

face as he felt the blade enter his back. Then nothingness.::

((Present - USS Tiger-A - Bridge))

::But that decision to return to say goodbye to the man Tracey was led to

believe was the same as that from her universe of origin, turned out to be

a ruse. A plant. But for what purposes, Tracey would never know. One thing

was certain, however. Going back to say goodbye that day certainly came

with a cost. For she was late to a conference. And that tardiness, to

Tracey's surprise, led to her demotion a few days later.::

((Lt. Commander Karynn Brice's Office - USS Independence-A - year ago))

::The Haliian First Officer was expecting her at any moment. She had asked

the human Chief of Operations to come to her office to discuss an

unresolved issue: the woman’s tardiness to Karynn’s meeting. Karynn had

been able to give the whole situation some thought since their discussion

after the briefing and had come to a few decisions.::

::Tracey hobbled to the door of the First Officer’s office. She had no idea

what to expect from the Halian, but she figured that it had something to do

with her tardiness to the conference.::

::Tracey figured she would probably just get a slap on the wrist. She

figured that conferences in this universe were free for alls in any case,

what with the drinking and the smoking, that what could be so bad about

showing up a few minutes late?::

::So Tracey walked up to the First Officer’s door and pressed the chime.::

::Karynn looked up.::

K. Brice: Come.

::The doors opened to reveal a medium sized room, and Tracey stepped in. It

was decorated in a spartan fashion, and Tracey was curious as to why. The

Haliian seemed to Tracey to be a lot more of the type who might collect

objects as treasures. Emotional keepsakes, if you will. She was after all a

former Counselor. And how many people actually had the opportunity to visit

the worlds that the First Officer of a Starship could? But asking questions

along this line was not the reason Tracey was here. She knew why she was

here, but decided to ask

in any case. She wanted to be sure of her gut feelings.::

Townson: ::standing at the doorway and at attention once the doors opened::

You asked to see me, Commander?

::The Haliian rose, her bright green eyes studying the human woman in front

of her. She nodded slowly, indicating a chair across the desk from her

own.::

K. Brice: Yes. Please come in, Lieutenant Commander Townson. Have a seat.

Can I get you something to drink?

::Tracey shook her head and gave a slight smile, as she entered the room.::

Townson: No thank you, Commander. But thank you.

::She approached the chair offered and winced a little as she sat. She

maintained her posture while in the seat and looked across the desk at the

First Officer.::

Townson: How may I...be of assistance?

::The Haliian sat after the other woman did, settling back in her seat. She

clasped her hands in front of her and smiled ever so slightly.::

K. Brice: I wanted to discuss what happened at and after the meeting.

::Tracey held back a smile. She knew this moment would come, and she had

the feeling it would be now. What Tracey was curious about, was what her

punishment would be. Tracey knew that if it was her on the other side of

that desk, she would not have treated herself anywhere nearly as polite as

the Halian was doing this moment. It would have been over and done with in

a matter of seconds, and not precious minutes that could be used for better

purposes.::

Townson: I understand Commander. And I am prepared to deal with the

consequences of my actions.

::The green-eyed first officer nodded slowly.::

K. Brice: Good. ::pausing:: As you know, I found your actions to be

disrespectful of both the crew and the chain of command, particularly for

the reasons given. A personal matter, simply stated as that, is no reason

to ignore a commanding officer’s orders.

Townson: I fully understand, Commander. And if I were in your position, I

too would be...disappointed. I don’t expect to be treated differently than

any other crew member who would do such a thing as I did. Not only did I

disrespect you and my fellow crew members, I showed a poor example to the

junior officers.

K. Brice: ::Nodding:: Only a few hours later, our counselor was traipsing

about the ship blatantly ignoring my orders. I can’t help but feel the

incident was related.

Townson: ::Looking down in front of her at the top of the desk for a

second, then looking back up at the First Officer:: I’m aware of the

situation. However, if I had to do it again, I probably would. The benefit

to myself, and to my well-being...I had to right a wrong, Commander.

Something I did in my youth. I never thought I’d have this

opportunity again, especially with my coming to this...peaceful universe.

I...I don’t expect you to understand.

::The Haliian tightened her lips slightly, in thought. She’d had a few

wrongs she would have liked to right in her life... but that didn’t change

the severity of the situation. And the fact that the woman would do it all

over again. That itself was serious. She took a deep breath in.::

K. Brice: On one level I can understand, but I can’t allow this action to

go unpunished. I’m disappointed that you would repeat it given another

opportunity. ::she cleared her throat:: As such, I’ll be placing an

official reprimand in your file.

::Tracey stared at the woman in front of her and showed no emotion. A

Vulcan would have been proud.::

Townson: I fully understand Commander. It was a matter of poor timing. I

was in a no win situation and I chose to salvage one that was of personal

benefit to me. It was selfish of me, and I fully understand your

responsibility. I chose to place my personal feelings above those of my

crew and responsibility, something I was drilled for years to

never do. But my heart pulled me away from that, and for a fleeting moment,

I figured if I could just steal myself away from everything, and do what I

knew in my heart was the right thing to do, then perhaps the universe, at

least mine, would be just a little more comfortable to live in, despite the

price I knew I’d pay.

::The Haliian almost felt sad about what she was going to do next. But she

didn’t really feel as though she had much choice in the matter either. In

all logic she did - it was her choice. But it was a necessary action she

had to take. The effects had been too serious.::

K. Brice: I’m not without sympathy. I can understand your motivations. But

there’s more. Because others followed your example, and you’ve expressed

the intention to do it again if given the opportunity... I hereby demote

you to the rank of Lieutenant. ::she paused, letting out a sad sigh before

rising and holding out her hand.:: Please hand me your half pip.

::Tracey’s mouth opened a little and she showed a little surprise. But she

quickly closed it and returned to her previous form. Tracey had no idea

that this would happen. It was one thing having a mark on her permanent

record, but it was quite another losing a rank. For goodness sake, she

thought, she was only fifteen minutes late. Would she be drummed out of

Starfleet if she was on hour or an hour and a half late? Whatever it was,

Tracey considered this to be overkill, but she was not in charge and she

reached for her pip with her prosthetic hand, felt for the one at the top

of her collar and removed it as it fell into her palm. She then, for a

fleeting moment, considered crushing it in her palm, but chose otherwise,

letting it fall onto the desk in front of her.::

Townson: ::looking at the pip in front of her, then back up at the Halian

First Officer with a slight smile on her face:: I knew this day would come.

I’m not cut out for command in this universe. I never was, and probably

never will be. If I had to do what you just did, I would have just asked

for the pip to begin with. No questions asked. Or send a notice to said

officer of his or her demotion and to remove a stripe. I am actually happy

in a way. Thank you Commander.

::Tracey was lying through her teeth, but she did not want the First

Officer to know how she truly felt. Tracey figured she didn’t deserve that

knowledge.::

Townson: ::standing:: If that is all, Commander ::coming to attention::

K. Brice: ::hesitating:: Lieutenant... I believe that you have much

potential for command, even in this universe. I have no doubt that you will

return from this setback soon, and more prepared for command.

Townson: Perhaps, Commander.

::Tracey couldn’t help but see a genuine look of, was it regret? on the

Commander’s face. It appeared that she too was learning the ropes of the

hardships of Command. The decisions that had to be taken no matter ones

personal feelings. Decisions for the greater good. Tracey was beginning to

understand this Halian better and she was beginning to see that her role

was hard for her as well. In a different way, mind you. But difficult

nonetheless.::

Townson: Permission to speak freely, Commander.

K. Brice: Permission granted, Lieutenant.

Townson: ::relaxing her posture just a bit:: As a former Counselor, I am

hoping you would understand that I find it very difficult in this place.

Doctor Huff once told me that I may never really come to terms with where I

am, but I must live in it. For my own sanity and for my own peace of mind.

I just wanted to tell you the same, Commander. I am sure that you have not

had many people counsel you in your career. I just wanted to let you know

that I admire and respect you. I may not agree with you at all times

however. ::smiling::

::The Haliian rose, standing in a relaxed position. Her stern, slightly sad

expression relaxed, a hint of a smile pulling at the corner of her mouth.::

K. Brice: Thank you. ::pause:: I think its rare for any officer to always

agree with everything their superior officers do.

Townson: ::standing back at full attention, despite the sudden bout of pain

from her recent surgery:: I wouldn’t know. I’ve not been here long enough.

But I plan to learn, Commander. I plan to endeavor to be the best I could

be. Starfleet keeps me alive and sane. My work allows me to forget all I

lost. And this extra time may be whats best for me. At least, I hope so.

::pause:: Permission to be dismissed, Commander.

K. Brice: ::nodding:: Permission granted, Lieutenant. ::smiling slightly::

Heal soon...

::Tracey nodded and with that, turned and left the room. Once she exited

the room and watched the doors close behind her she noticed the crew

looking at her as they walked by. She reached, with her good hand to her

collar and felt her two remaining pips. She forced a stern, military look

onto her face as she took off quickly back to her

quarters where she knew she would cry for hours. But there was no way she’d

allow anyone to notice her weakness. She was a soldier and an officer. She

wouldn’t allow her emotions to affect anyone else again. She lived and

would die for Starfleet, and it was her emotions that caused her to almost

lose it all. She’d never allow that to happen again.::

((USS Tiger-A - Bridge - Present))

Townson: Never again. ::mumbling the words as the Captain stood.::

Riley: Mister Clark, set course for Bilire IV, Warp 5.

Clark: Ummmmmm............. The warp core is offline, Captain. It was

shutdown by the engineering crew.

Riley: Commander Clack, I need an estimated repair time from engineering

and a casualty report from sickbay.

Clack: Very well.

::Sidney then addressed the entire bridge.::

Riley: I will be in my ready room reviewing files and finding out more

information. ::She looked back at her FO.:: Commander Clack, you have the

bridge, oh and....there will be a field promotion ceremony in the

conference room in an hour.

Clark: Understood, sir!

::The bridge fell quiet for a little while as the crew busied themselves.

Commander Wilde's voice broke the silence.::

Wilde: There's one thing I don't get.

::He said to no one in particular.::

Townson: What would that be, Commander?

<Responses>

Wilde: Why not simply invade when Romulus was lost? The Romulans were never

in a weaker position than then, yet the Klingons did nothing. The

Federation gave them aid, helped them resettle some people. Now, once the

Romulan Government is stronger and they are picking up the pieces, the

Klingons attack.

Townson: ::shaking her head:: Red tape?

Anyone: <Response>

Wilde: Well the trouble with Klingons is their stubborn belief in honour.

::He turned to Clack.::

Wilde: No offense.

Clack: <Response>

Wilde: Even they don't succeed in conquering the Romulan Empire, many great

songs will be sung of the fallen warriors who tried. In that respect, who

cares who wins and who loses?

Townson: No one, Commander, wins in war. ::turning back towards her console

and work as she recalled her encounter with the reaper in sickbay days

before her demotion.:: In war, Commander, even angels lose their souls.

((Sickbay - USS Independence-A - year ago))

Townson: Do it Lieutenant! Shoot! That's an order! ::At that moment, an

Ensign in gold uniform entered the Sick Bay who also drew his phaser and

aimed it in the direction of the threatening Reaper.::

Shryker: With me, after three, fire at the one with the yellow eyes, full

stun!

Reaper W’tine: No, don’t do it *Lieutenant*. Do as I tell you! Kill him!

::pointing at the real W’tine.::

Real W’tine: Don’t listen to him Shryker, stun him now.

::Tracey looked up quickly towards the second W'tine, then back to the one

with the glowing, yellow eyes. There was no doubt which W'tine was real and

which was not, and Tracey was curious how those in sickbay could have

missed it.::

Finnegan : On your word, sir.

Shryker: Three! ::They fired full stun at the creature, now looking less

and less Star Fleet and more and more the stuff of nightmares. It fell to

the ground.::

::Tracey watched the creature slump and looked more like she remembered it

from the bridge. Tracey turned towards Shryker and pointed behind her

towards where the creature was.::

Townson: I want it confined. I don't care where. I just want it out of my

sight and somewhere where it could cause no damage.

Shryker: Don’t worry Sir, I’ve got it covered.

Finnegan: I think his “brother” is in a cage in the cargo bay. I'm sure

they could throw together a second one.

::Tracey spun on her bare feet and began to head back to the room from

where she came, while she ignored what the creature had to say. Tracey was

happy that a creature as strong as it was, apparently had the level of

intelligence of a flea.::

Reaper W’tine: You foolish girl. Couldn’t you see, he is the REAL danger to

this ship, not me!

Z'Leah: ::Weakly.:: No!

::Tracey continued walking while snickering. But her smile quickly faded

when she heard a sound of something dropping to the floor. Tracey spun

quickly and watched in horror, for a second, as the creature grabbed

Lieutenant Shryker by the leg, as her phaser was lying precariously close

to the creature.::

Reaper: YYEEEESSS!! You are MINE!!!

Shryker: No, I _ am _NOT YOURS! Get away _ from me. ::break:: Some help

here?

::Tracey took off towards the creature in a run as she noticed others doing

the same in her now sharpened peripheral vision, due to her sudden rush of

adrenaline.::

Real W’tine: Jade, I’m coming! ::Eyas tried to move to help her but he just

stumbled forward down onto all fours.::

::Tracey could feel her newly knitted bones and flesh coming undone at the

seams as she dove and quickly snatched up the weapon off the floor with her

good hand and grabbed onto the extremity of the creature which was gripping

Shryker by the leg, with her prosthetic hand.::

Reaper: Muwahahaha!!!

::Tracey increased the phaser level to the highest kill setting as she lay

there with reopened suture wounds, and blood stains on the floor and on her

hospital gown. Tracey then placed the phaser at the creature's head as she

gripped the creature so hard, she could hear the crunching of bones and a

brownish fluid began seeping out from

between her prosthetic hand's fingers.::

::With anger in her voice and staring at the Reaper closely at its yellow

eyes with her own tiger-like yellow eyes, and with an evil smile on her

face.::

Townson: You make a poor changeling. You have no idea who you're dealing

with. ::as she strengthened her grip::

Reaper: I may make a poor changeling, but you my dear would make an

excellent Reaper. You are wasted here amongst these rodents. We would be

good together!

Townson: I don't care. Let go of the female, and I may let you live.

Without your magic toys, you're nothing.

Reaper W'tine: And what would you be without your robot hand and gun, eh? I

could kill you all if I wished. But if you kill me, your pythron officer's

soul will die too.

Townson: Your threats are meaningless now. The Starfleet Officer,

Lieutenant W'tine, would make such a sacrifice if it meant saving his ship

and crew, and he would understand if I killed you now. But I am giving you

a choice. ::as blood started flowing down the side of her mouth as she

maintained her wicked smile:: You let go of the female

and return whatever you have the belongs to Lieutenant W'tine, and I let

you live to see another day, or I turn your whole body into goo like I'm

doing to your limb. You have ten seconds to decide. ::spitting out blood::

((USS Tiger-A - Bridge - Present))

::Recalling that painful day with vivid clarity, Tracey recalled her

feelings at the moment that Reaper died on the sickbay floor. Tracey felt

sadness. But not due to its death, but because she could no longer torture

it. That feeling on that day haunted Tracey to this day, whether that

feeling was placed into her consciousness by the reaper, or by her own

internal demons, was something Tracey will probably never know. But

something that scared Tracey nevertheless.::

Wilde/Anyone: RESPONSE

-TBC-

Lt. Commander Tracey Townson

Chief of Operations

USS Tiger-A

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