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A Glimmer of Hope: Part 1

Posted on Tue May 15th, 2018 @ 6:38pm by David Hawkins & Lieutenant Colonel Jonathon Hayter [Hawkins] & Cadet Junior Grade Zul'arra & Commander Mercia Kavi & Lieutenant Commander Halan Zeti & Lieutenant JG Theodore Treadagar IV & Lieutenant Lixor Nabohn & Major Karbainov Gennadiyevich Ph.D & Lieutenant Commander Mel Torma & Lieutenant JG Lydia Whitlock M.D., J.D. & Commander Khelev ch'Koro [Halan] & Lieutenant Commander Tayla d'Jax [Kavi]

Mission: New Horizon
Location: Conference Room 3 - Memphis Island Hospital

/// ON ///

The night had gone as well as expected. Merci'a surgery had gone as well as expected, the pirates never came back, and his crew was back together once again. Now they had to get ready and move onto the Resolute. It was the first chance, in several months, that they seemed to see a possible future in their new position in life. Now it wasn't about careers but about survival and finding a way to have a future... if any.

Walking down the steps with his cigar in his mouth, he lead a trail of smoke behind him as he made his way through the ruined lobby and off to a side hallway till he came up on a conference room. He looked around to the room which only had a couple of the glass walls still up. The rest were blown out and debris was crumbled all over the place. But a couple of the crew had been in there clearing out some space and chairs for them to relax in and lay out some food from a couple of the working replicators. He smirked as he saw a couple mugs of steaming cups of coffee at the top of the table.

"I thought you and Command Kavi may need it ," Zul'arra's voice spoke up from behind him.

He turned and nodded, "Yeah, I'm sure Mercia will like that once she gets down here."

"How is she?"

He shrugged as he took the mug. "She is... well physically, she is coming around."

"That bad?" Zul'arra asked as she crossed her arms and leaned up against the door frame on one entrance to the conference room.

"She will be fine. Everyone is stressed," he sighed as he took a sip of the hot liquid. He was enjoying the ability to have coffee and foods they used to have once again. He nodded at her to sit and relax. "Sit in, we have everyone coming and you are one of us."

Theo was the next to arrive, glass of Cheerwine in hand, wounds healing. "Hey boss.." he said with a smile as he took a seat...

"Good seeing you back," David spoke up as he raised his mug before noticing Zul'arra roll her eyes but just crossed her arms and looked around the table of food that she hadn't seen since they had past been on the Gladiator. "I'm guessing there was a little scuffling involved between ya'll?"

"More like sibling quarrels boss, and an errant stun round or two.." He gave a devilish chuckle for a moment as he sipped his Cheerwine. "You and more than likely Mel will go crazy when you see what we found.."

"That rust bucket?" Zul'arra scuffed as she shook her head.

"Whatever it is, we can wait till the rest get here, then we can all catch up and figure it out," David stated simply.

He turned to Zul'arra and scowled. "That rust bucket was your home for months and will more than likely help put our old home back together little lady.."

"Let's not argue, we need to stick together more now than ever, " Lydia encouraged, coming forward with her own drink in hand. She was exhausted from attending to Kavi with the rest of the medical team, and the work was hardly over with everyone so stressed. No doubt she and the rest of the counseling staff would be working overtime to keep people calm and focused.

"Yeah, no arguing. Besides, what will I go crazy over?" came the voice before the forms arrived, but sure as the dawn, Mel came into view. Each form held a warm mug of what was probably weapons-grade coffee, but she didn't seemed phased by the strength of it as each form took a sip. "It's good to see you again, Theo. You and that damn..."

"... cheerwine. Though, just let's us all know it's really you, and not a spy or anything." she teased in good humor. Being around the living really raised her spirits, having spent six months essentially alone, except for her kit-bashed engine that kept telling the same jokes over and over. Though, it looked like she could benefit from a pair of massages, a pair of spa treatments, and a seven hour long bath in a tub the size of the Defiant, just to say she did.

Zeti slipped in right in the middle of Mel starting to talk about the drones, she figured she would grab a cup of Andorian Katheka, which Khelev had gotten her hooked on back when they worked on the Minneapolis together. It was similar to coffee, but was slightly sweeter and was stronger than coffee. She also replicated three donuts before finding a seat. She wasn't in a uniform, instead opting for a pair of black tactical cargo pants, boots, her belt with a gun on her right and tools on the left and a yellow t-shirt on. Close enough to a uniform.

"Just a head's up to everyone, Tee Eee Thirty Seventy Five's installation was a success. All self-checks are in the green. If we leave, the drones will follow the last orders they..."

"... received until they get new orders or until they're disabled. So, I mean we could leave a force here to fight off whoever comes here, but they'll be fighting off *whoever* comes here." she stressed.

"Or, we could take them with us, but we'd have to fabricate a lot of equipment. Charging stations and the like. Or, we bring a few and dispose of the rest. I ... I dunno what to do." she admitted with a huff.

Theo set his Cheerwine down and got up, walking over to the twin forms of Mel and squeezed her tightly, reaching up and scratching between both pairs of her ears. "You don't know how much you've been missed Mel.." he said with a chuckle. "As far as what you'll go crazy over, we found an old Intrepid class star ship, Archer era.."

For Mel, a hug was nothing new, though the scratching between the ears was a new sensation. It actually felt good, comforting after all this turmoil. A friendly gesture, in a time when everyone needed all the friends they could find. Then, what he said finally reached her brain. Well, brains technically. "So, a relic from humanity's first steps into becoming a stellar nation? Oooo. How well preserved? How are the power systems? Are the chairs actually LESS comfortable than..."

"... the ones on the Gladiator? I had to make my own while everyone was asleep to accommodate the tails." she asked, and offered, with a pair of smiles
. It really was good to have the band back together.

Lixor couldn't help the smile that played with the edges of his lips. He strode in glancing around at the group and nodded. It was good to have the family back together, at least in part. He drew in a breath and moved off towards the side allowing Mel her time and not wanting to disturb the rest from theres.

Theo chuckled some at Mel's questions, especially the subject of the chairs. "Mel, it's fairly well preserved, Zeti got the old warp core up and running, she even knows some folks who can refit the thing, and the chairs are comfortable but functional, there's actually a gap between the back and the seat itself.." He saw Lixor come in and extended a hand to him. "Lixor..good to see you sir.."

"And you," Lixor replied giving the man a broader smile than he had worn for quite a while, "you said this ship is a few centuries old?" He drew in a deep breath and added quickly, "that sounds like paradise if it can get us home."

"Yeah, it's from the 2100's, Intrepid class.." He chuckled. "I went nuts when I found it being the history nut that I am." He grabbed his Cheerwine and sipped it. "It's been our home for the past few months and after we got power back up, I think it can be a huge asset.."

"It's possible, I had the warp core online before we found the scout ship and just ran like hell for here," Zeti spoke up finally. "It's only able to make warp six, after some of the modifications I made, so it would take a while to get here but if we're stuck in this time it might be worth salvaging. We just have to go back to sand hell to get it."

Mercia paused outside the door and clicked the button on her cane. It retracted into a stick that she gripped in her hand. She felt a twinge of pain and her legs were still wobbly. She took a deep breath and stepped through the door and found most of the crew already there. She walked towards table, next to where David was. She spotted a large cup of coffee steaming in her spot. She dropped in her chair quickly and pulled the cup closer. "Is this for me?" she asked her eyes going wide. "Doesn't matter, its mine now!"

Lizzy arrived shortly Mercia and grinned, walking over to Mercia and gave her a quick hug before moving back quickly out of cane range, "I'm glad you are okay." She then moved over to the other end of the table, taking a seat.

Alexander wandered into the room shortly thereafter and found a seat that was unoccupied, where he could watch what was going on. He personally felt very out of place, and didn't know when that feeling was going to ease. He'd only just arrived aboard when everything went pearshaped.

Daniel walked into the room and quickly scanned everyone inside. It didn’t take him long to confirm everyone’s identities which made him feel more comfortable being here. Moving over to one side of the room, he found a piece of wall out of the way, lent against it and waited, conducting a few self diagnostics in the mean time.






















"Alrighty, settle down," David spoke up as he looked around the crowded worn down conference room. It wasn't a normal meeting area for them as the last time they had all gathered was on the Gladiator's cantena. "Now that we have everyone here. Let's play catch up. Zeti, Theo, Lizzy, and Zul'arra, I hear you guys found a downed ship?"

Theo smirked a little as he sipped more of his Cheerwine and moved so that he was sitting next to Lizzy. "Sure did Boss, an old Intrepid class, hull has a couple holes but before we left, Zeti got the warp core back up and running." he chuckled some. "So interesting to live on one of those old things, I do think it can be a useful asset to us though once we get it fully operational again.."

"It felt like camping," Zeti chimed in, with a bit of a face. "I don't like camping, unless it's on the beach." She tapped a few controls on the table in front of her and a holographic image popped up of the canyon they'd been in along with the ship. "She was in good shame, I sealed the parts of the ship that would have been exposed to space, had we launched her. Warp core was online when we left. If we're going to be here long term we need to salvage it. It'll make a good patrol boat for MI once I get it refit. For the moment, we need to prioritize the Gladiator. With the Resolute, we can wake up all of my engineers and replicate anything we need. Then we can break off in the Resolute while the Gladiator gets home. That or we throw all of our resources into getting home, I've got an idea but I need some time to test it and Khelev can over see the refit of the Palomino if need be."

"We also have what Mel and Hayter found when we arrived yesterday," David looked over at the marine and twin form, giving them a simple nod as to give them the green light to speak.

"Well..." John started off as he leaned forward in the semistable chair and locked his fingers together as he grinned. "... I don't know about the 250 year old rust bucket, we stumbled upon the Resolute and Mel's robot army hidden inside the cliff launch bay. The ship is in pristine shape and looks like it was left behind by Stele... Admiral Stele."

"Well, not my robot army. And I wouldn't use the term 'Robot Army' but, yes, there was a Dalacari drone force stationed there. Along with an intact Thinking Engine." she paused, and her other twin picked up the slack, "That is not an AI. Just a very sophisticated control and decision matrix. Which, by now, has been installed inside the aforementioned Resolute, and was controlling the drone forces..."

"... that assisted in repelling the last push by those... whoever they were. I don't know if we have the proper resources to actually maintain a sizable piece of the drone forces for our own personal..."

"... security on whatever ship we wind up on. I'm also hesitant to bring back any drone tech with several decades of technological evolution under their proverbial belts. Not to mention a..."

"... Thinking Engine with decades of tactical success and failure calculations in its memory. If we're keeping it, we would have to see what it has stored within it and..." she paused, "... potentially reset it to..."

"... condition zero once we're home."

Zeti had to cover up the face she wanted to make, Vanora had really broken Khelev's heart and Khelev was her brother. While he was happy with Mercia now, it still made it tough for her not to want to punch the woman in the face.

"Zeti... " Mel started, "You said Break off in the Resolute WHILE the Gladiator goes home. Does that mean there's going to be some people who aren't coming home with us?" she asked.

"I don't mean to sound selfish, but I don't know how well that sits with me. We're a team, a family, a ... well, we're a bunch of friends at the least."

"We are a team and I'm putting all of the ideas on the table," Zeti answered Mel. "The idea I have could get us home, or it could kill us all, or both really. If we get back, we can still go get the Palomino, it was there in our time. Might be a good way to hunt these scum bags down."


Mercia watched Zeti, for a moment, annoyed by her reaction at the mention of Vanora. "I want to see that recording." she said pointing at John. "Next, getting every one on ice back here and awake and healed is at the top of my list. My daughter is still out there..." she said.

"We have to do that carefully, but that is possible. I dont want to wake people and not have the resources to care for them." Alexander quipped from his seat on the other side.

Karbainov finally arrived covered from head to foot in dust and debris. "Hello all!" He said with a smile and walked over to a corner seat. He locked eyes with Hawkins and made a sign with his hands in the standard SOF sign language. /Found Crash, totally destroyed, two hostile dead, burried./ He sat down and looked at all the new people he hadn't met yet.

"What us it, Lassie???" Hayter spouted off quickly in excitement looking at the marine. "Did little Timmy fall down the well again???"

Karbainov shook his head. “I forgot…. The academy was there for your amusement” Karbainov spit back at Hayter a little vehemiously. “Crash site found totally destroyed, two hostiles buried…” He stuck out his tongue at the other Marine and winked.

Zeti leaned over and smirked at Karbainov, "Oh just replicate Hayter some blue crayons, he says they taste the best and they'll keep him distracted for a while."

Tayla smirked, "I keep a stock of the green ones in my pack, only green things I can get him to eat." she said reaching over and patting his stomach teasingly.

"Well they are lean," John smirked slightly as he shook his head at the statements before leaning back and relaxing in the chair the best he could.

Lizzy blushed, "I got banned from using them for awhile too."

"Alright alright." Mercia smirked amused by this exchange. It had been a while since she witnessed the good natured teasing of this crew. "Its nice to see sign language being used." she said. "Alright, real plans, Who is going where next and doing what? What are we doing to get our family back with us, and get us all home."

"We go to the Gladiator, I wake up my engineers and we fix her. The Resolute can serve as home, honestly we could wake everyone up if we wanted. She can handle it," Zeti spoke up again. "As much as I want Khelev to come with us, he's trying to make sure we have a place to come home too."

"I'll want to take some time to switch out the kit-bashed Thinking Engine I built on the Gladiator for the actual model. I think TE Thirty Seventy Five can be of great help to..."

"... Gladiator's efforts to return home. In exchange, though it's a little rough around the edges the piecemeal Engine can still help assist in reviving the crew and can ease some of..."

"... the Resolute's computer burden." Mel offered. "Swapping the two Engines shouldn't take more than five hours."

"Sounds good. We launch after we all get settled in, but I am not leaving ch'Koro behind on the planet by himself," David stated as he looked around the table.

"So Tayla and I stay behind!" John spouted our loud.








"No, I need my fighter pilots just in case," the commander explained as he landed on the marine commander. "Captain, I am leaving you with ch'Koro to assist him here. He has plans, which he will prefer to do himself but he still could use your help. Besides, its good bonding experience."

Gennadiyevich looked nonplussed and shrugged. "Okay boss... but if I go warlord and take over the system before you get back, your not getting a cut of my profits..."

"Hey, I have a plan." Mel almost squeaked up from the conversation around her. "How about no one stays behind? Know what's a good bonding experience? Being on a ship together. Know what a great..."

"... plan is? Leaving together. Cause if we only get one shot to make things right and get everyone home, I don't want to be the one to write a letter to someone s.. saying that they..."

"... could have made it home, but were too busy being s.. s... stubborn." Yeah, she caught a bit of the sniffles. Oddest thing to watch a Dalacari cry. The speaker seemed to be the one all broken up, while the silent one just got teary eyed and sniffled a bit. She was trying to be brave though, brave in a room full of the universe's biggest badasses all competing to see who got to be the most stalwart.

Theo sat quietly watching the scene unfold. He put his hand on lizzy's knee and gave it a squeeze. He didn't speak as he didn't want to spoil the moment. It was touching to see the family back together again and he honestly wasn't a fan of splitting up again. Still though, he was an officer in Starfleet and Hawkins was his captain. Whatever Hawkins ordered, he'd do.

Zeti felt that she was best equipped to answer Mel, so she stood up and walked over to the twin forms and put one hand on each of their shoulders. It was one of the very rare displays of empathy that the normally cold Bajoran would never show, but this was something she understood.

"That big dumb Andorian, for all of his faults, is doing this for us. He'll never admit it, but this crew is his family. To an Andorian, family is everything. He'll fight, he'll kill and he'll die before he'd let anyone of us come to harm and Karbinov will be a good ally. I can't get us home from where the Gladiator currently is, but from here I can with Stele's data but it's going to take me time to get the ship ready. We can't lose this island."

"Agreed," David nodded as he looked at Mel, then at the rest of the group. "Some how, we got shafted and brought here in this timeline. I will be damned if I allow us to call this life home without at least having a fighting chance. I would not risk splitting us up once again just for the same thing to happen again. ch'Koro is family and whether we like it or not, this is my family... all of you are. So despite the fact that you don't like the idea of splitting up once again, we need Memphis Island. We need a place we can call home until we get us back home."

There was a short bit of silence before he stood up and looked around the room. "We leave in an hour..."

--- Continuation in Part 2 ---

/// OFF ///

Captain David Hawkins
Commanding Officer
U.S.S. Gladiator-A

&

Lt. Colonel John Hayter
Mission Specialist
U.S.S. Gladiator-A

&

Cadet Zul'arra
Marine Cadet
U.S.S. Gladiator-A

&

Lt. Theodore Treadagar IV
Chief Operations Officer
U.S.S. Gladiator-A

&

Lt. Lizzy Caldera
Chief Counsellor
U.S.S. Gladiator-A

 

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