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Major Leo Handley-Page, "Vintage Mango Time"


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((Night Before Shuttles Depart - Handley-Page's Quarters; USS Vigilant))

::Leo sat on his bed looking out of the porthole. It had been a busy day, and tomorrow was going to be even busier it would seem. He'd been given command of the one of the shuttles – the Lapuente – and was to go down to the planet and meet up with the locals. This was going to be a *First Contact* situation. It wasn't Leo's first experience of meeting a hitherto undiscovered yet warp-capable species before, but was certainly his first as a member of Star Fleet. He relished the opportunity, but couldn't help thinking that he wasn't….. well…. quite at his best.::

Handley: Just a few more days rest and relaxation should do the trick…

::Leo reached across for the bottle of vintage Byzallian mango wine… and poured himself another final glass of warming liquor. It had fermented well, and had a powerful kick. He downed it in one and it steadied his nerves. Unlike everyone else on the crew – he could still recall every detail of the last mission. The mission to a land beyond the looking glass. A land of horror and of death.::

Handley: I hope this one turns out to be a tad more conducive.

::Leo got up and put the now empty glass and bottle over by the replicator. He was tempted to order something to eat, but then that would only dilute the effect of the drink, and quite frankly he wanted its full force tonight. The fight to the death with his evil twin was still so vivid in his mind. Leo wanted nothing more than to bury those memories deep inside, along with all the rest of the hurt…::

((Flashback - Bridge: The Forlorn Hope; The Far Side))

::The LEOs – Prime and Graven crashed in a pile at the back of the bridge of the Forlorn Hope.::

Graven: You're old Leo, no match for me apparently. Father has made some improvements that you missed out on.

::Graven punched Leo in the face, sending the Star Fleet Major sprawling backwards against the rear consoles.::

Leo Prime: Hurmph! Why did you ever let Father mess with perfection? Eh?

::Graven moved towards the good-hearted Leo, menace in his eyes.::

Graven: Perfection? Pah! You were the faulty prototype it seems.

Leo Prime: CRIKEY! Random Steam Engine!!!

Graven: What?

::Leo random comment was enough to buy him a second or two. Before Graven refocused his concentration to turn Leo's face into a bloody pulp, Leo swiped his hand across Graven's face, unintentionally connecting the infected green part of his hand with Graven's mouth.::

Graven: Uuurk!

::Graven spluttered. Leo wondered if Graven hadn't the taste for chroniton-fever, or whatever he called it, after all.::

Leo Prime: Have some of that!

::Leo was hopeful this green goo was something Graven hadn't bargained for and would undo him. Graven staggered back and thumped the engine controls for the ship. The vortex was slipping away from them whilst they had been fighting. Graven desperately needed to get the ship back on its correct heading, but the engine controls weren't responding..::

Graven: No!

Leo Prime: Sorry old boy. Looking for these?

::Leo reached into his pocket and waved the conduit connectors he had stolen earlier on his way to the bridge, from the warp modules. They were small but crucial to the ship steadying its position and going to warp. Graven snarled in fury!::

Graven: You fooooool! You will die, but I am one with the temporal flux. I need no ship!!!!!

Leo Prime: You really are quite mad!

::The ship was rocked again as a massive pulse of chronitons bombarded the bridge and the two men within it. Leo hadn't bargained on what happened next. Graven moved back from Leo, a wild grin on his face. As Leo watched in amazement, Graven eyes turned from blue/hazel to red. His skin took on a grey-green hue, and he looked even more demonic.::

Leo Prime: Someone can't handle their chronitons eh?

::Graven was swaying on his feet, absorbing energy and temporal waves from all around him. Leo was worried what he had unleashed. A monster evil Graven would be even more trouble than a run-of-the-mill evil Graven. Leo grabbed the phaser from the floor and took aim at the morphing Graven, who was taking on all the energy of the temporal rift opening up behind him.::

Graven: Mmmmm feeeels sooooo good.

::Graven licked his lips.::

Leo Prime: Well, feel this!

::Leo fired the phaser at full power into Graven's grey hide, but it had no effect as he seemed to absorb even that, growing more powerful and more monstrous with each blast.::

Gravenaurus Rex: Soooo Much POWER!

::Despite monster Graven's new found confidence, the Forlorn Hope was being buffeted and jolted by the rift as it spiralled, now out of control, towards the event horizon.::

Leo Prime: oO Just need to keep him distracted long enough…Oo

Gravenaurus Rex: KILL YOU!

::The Forlorn Hope began to tumble end over end. The stresses on the hull causing multiple fractures. Sparks and fires broke out everywhere.::

Leo Prime: ::Cough:: It's over Graven. You're reign of terror is OVER!

::Graven stalked forward after his prey, knocking the helm console over off its bolts as he moved..::

Gravenaurus Rex: DIEEE!!!!!

::His attack was short-lived as a metal girder from the roof collapsed through the ceiling, skewering the vile abomination to the ground. Blood spluttered from his snarling mouth, then silence.::

Leo Prime: ::Sighing now the battle was over.:: All I need now is a tall ship and a star to steer her by…

::The Forlorn Hope collided with the edge of the vortex, being cleaved in half in the process before exploding.::

((Present Day - Handley-Page's Quarters; USS Vigilant))

::Leo eyes opened. He hadn't realised he'd been daydreaming, or at least reliving those strange memories. Perhaps it had all been a dream? No one else had mentioned it to him – not even Eyas or Scania who had been there with him. Leo would be the first to admit he had a vivid imagination and this sometimes spilled over into his nightmares… now and then. Was he up to this mission? Maybe, maybe not – but one thing was certain - he really needed a rest…::

Handley: Can I do this?

Graven: oO Of course you can old boy..Oo

Handley: Really? I mean really?

Graven: oO DO IT! Oo

To Be Continued…

Major Leo Handley-Page
Strategic Operations Officer: USS Vigilant

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