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Posted on Thu Jul 23rd, 2015 @ 11:42am by Lieutenant Commander Vanora Stele
Edited on on Wed Oct 21st, 2015 @ 7:46am

Mission: Heart of Stele
Location: Stolen Razor Interceptor, Somewhere in the Alpha Quadrant
Timeline: After "Destination Known"


There were many things in life that Vanora regretted. She regretted not keeping in better touch with her older brother, Neil, who, like their father, was a very wise and calm soul. A helpful balance in a family full of hot blooded Elasian women. She regretted not being at her baby sister Peri's Academy graduation. She regretted not thanking Captain P'Trell more often for everything he did for her during the darkest days of her life.

But more than anything else, Vanora regretted agreeing to take that cargo run job five years ago for those Ferengis. The job that cost her her ship, her crew, and worst of all, the love of her life, her husband, Tang. The job that had cost her everything.

Since then, with the help of P'Trell and many others, she had managed to rebuild a life. It was a very different life than she'd ever envisioned. Starfleet was a place where she was constantly helping to explore, to help people in need. It was noble in a way that called to her Elasian blood, and she had found much satisfaction in it. She had also found new friends, friends that she felt as close to as any of her former crew. And in some ways, as close to as even her family.

At the moment, she regretted betraying all of them. It was all Vanora could do to put them out of her mind, to remind herself that Tang might be alive, that she had no goal at the moment, no reality except the one where she finally found him. The guilt of having attacked her best friend so viciously, even though she understood that Mercia had been trying to help her in her own way, all those feelings were overwhelmed by the feelings of guilt she had now of having abandoned her search for her husband. She had been selfish, trying to move on with her life, when he had been alive this whole time, rotting away in some Troyian prison camp. Even this she had to force out of her mind, since every time she thought of it she had burst into tears, sobbing uncontrollably. And this Raptor was not equipped with the sterilization technology of her quarters, meaning her psychotropic tears were now contaminating the entire space. She would have to get the space scrubbed if she did ever return it to the Molai bounty hunter. She felt some guilt for that, as well, although to be fair, Kanoa could have avoided much of what happened, including the theft of his ship, had he just told her what she wanted to know, instead of demanding to be let out of his cell in exchange.

And then there was Khelev. The thought of her lover, of how she had left him without a single word, tore her heart apart. It was because of that that Vanora felt she had to ignore thinking about him entirely right now. She certainly refused to think about what would happen if Tang really was still alive. How would she tell him about Khelev? And what would she say to Khelev, who must have felt betrayed and abandoned when he found out she had left in search of her presumed-dead husband?

Those were not thoughts she could handle at the moment. All she could do was to fly the interceptor, and focus on how she would approach her mission once she got to the Tellun system. Tellun had two moons, and it would thus be relatively simple to confirm what Kanoa had reported, to find the supposed prison facility. And from there, to find Tang, if he was still alive. But she had no idea what she would do at that point. Would she violate Federation law and break him out? If she did, where would they possibly go? Even this was too much for her to handle at the moment.

"Computer, ETA," she asked.

"Estimated time to destination at current warp speed is 6 days, 10 hours, and 23 minutes," the computer replied.

Vanora sighed. Another week to go, and to sit with her regret.



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