JP LtCmdr T'Lea & Lt JG John Kendrick - The Gain of Time, Part 9

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Sep 5, 2021, 8:42:53 AM9/5/21
to USS Juneau – StarBase 118 Star Trek PBEM RPG

((OOC: Last time on Star Trek Juneau: JP Lieutenant JG John Kendrick & Lieutenant-Commander T'Lea - The Gain of Time (Part 8) (google.com) ))

 

((The Wanderer – The Bridge))

 

John sat at the circular helm console, piloting the ship. Sitting behind him in the Captain’s chair was Hennessey.

 

Their journey so far had been pretty standard and uneventful. To John’s surprise Dal Selta had decided not to follow them although the old Aerie-class ship which had been converted into a cargo ship, would have been an easy target for her. Commander T’Lea probably had the answer to that question, but after what happened between the two of them he had done his very best to avoid her as much as possible. And apparently so had she. They’d barely spoken a word to each other after he’d left his cabin wrapped in bed sheets.

 

As his fingers danced all over the helm controls, he whispered her name.

 

Kendrick: Lieutenant-Commander… T’Lea.

 

By emphasizing her rank, he hoped to cancel out any emotional feelings connected to her name. But the truth was, no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get her out of his mind. It felt like he was fighting a gravitational pull. A fight he knew he’d lose in the end.

 

He was suddenly distracted by two BEEPS coming from his console. He looked down at one of the little screens on his station and saw the coordinates of a planetary system popping up.

 

Kendrick: We’re approaching Lightside Station.

 

Hennessey: On screen.

 

As John carried out the order, a small image of Lightside Station against the backdrop of Orstand III appeared on the view screen in front of them.

 

Hennessey: Magnify.

 

Captain Hennessey got up from his chair and moved towards the Helm station. Within seconds Lightside Station with various ships coming and going filled the screen.

 

Hennessey: I’m still impressed by the size of that thing.

 

John smiled as he remembered their last mission.

 

Kendrick: Then you haven’t seen Ring 42 in Dialran system yet.

 

The Captain turned away from the view screen as he looked down at John. He already knew what his answer was going to be, still he decided to ask the question anyway.

 

Hennessey: So… Still planning on putting back on that Starfleet uniform of yours?

 

John didn’t look up and pretended to be busy monitoring his station.

 

Kendrick: Of course. ::pauses:: Why wouldn’t I.

 

Although he was eager to return back to his life in Starfleet, the truth was he wasn’t so sure about returning back to Juneau after what happened between him and Commander T’Lea.

 

Hennessey: We could certainly use someone with your experience. ::turning to his Captain’s chair:: And this ship will need a new captain once I retire.

John smiled. His ego was flattered by Hennessey’s proposal.

 

Kendrick: I don’t think Moa would agree with you.

 

Their conversation was interrupted by an incoming transmission. John looked down at his console to check the codes.

 

Kendrick: It’s Starfleet Intelligence.

 

As the Captain returned to his chair and sat down, the image of Commander Quest – early forties, sharp looking and wearing a black Starfleet uniform – appeared on screen.

 

Quest: Wanderer. This is Commander Quest of Starfleet Intelligence. I am sending you the coordinates of our rendezvous point to hand over Raivus.

 

Hennessey checked the coordinates on the small screen on the armrest of his chair.

 

Kendrick: Wait. What about the other Romulan, Ajen?

 

Quest: The man you’re referring to hasn’t committed any violations against Federation or interstellar law. You are ordered to release him as soon as you’ve docked at Lightside Station.

 

As if Hennessey knew John was going to object, the Captain immediately intervened.

 

Hennessey: Very well Commander. ::changing subject:: If I was informed correctly, there was a reward involved?

 

Quest: Yes. Of course. Payment will be transferred to your personal account the moment my men have taken Raivus into custody.

 

Hennessey: I’d prefer an advance payment to be made before we hand over our prisoner. ::smiling politely:: If you don’t mind.

 

Clearly Commander Quest wasn’t amused by Hennessey’s demands.

 

Quest: You don’t trust Starfleet Intelligence?

 

Hennessey: Trust as you probably know, since you work for Starfleet Intelligence, has to be earned. And this is my price.

 

Quest: ::smiling:: Very well. ::nodding to someone offscreen:: The transfer has been made.

 

Hennessey: Thank you, Sir. ::at Kendrick:: Lay in a course, son. The sooner those damned Romulans are off my ship, the better.

 

Kendrick: ::smiling:: Aye aye, Sir.

 

As the communication channel was closed, John set course for the coordinates given by Quest, wondering how T’Lea would react when she found out they had to let Ajen – her mother’s accomplice – go when they reached Lightside Station.

 

((The Wanderer – Cargo Hold Five))

 

Theirs had always been a tumultuous relationship. It was something that Raivus regretted, and worked hard to correct over the years.  For a time she had achieved peace with her daughter, but even that was more circumstantial than earned.  

After T’Lea’s marriage dissolved, and T’Sara (her youngest daughter) had accepted her fate as an apprentice under the tutelage of Mister One, Raivus’s status had been upgraded to the only family member left in T’Lea’s shattered life. 

For a while it seemed that T’Lea had finally reached a plateau in their relationship where trusting Raivus had become a means of acceptance.  It was strange to feel that way given Raivus’s history of lies, deceit and manipulation, but in her defense those offenses had always been committed out of love.  Having moved past that, it had devastated T’Lea more than she’d cared to acknowledge when she learned that Dal Selta had killed her mother.  And then devastation hit again after learning the truth. 

But perhaps that was the plan all along – spend years building a relationship, and then destroy it to destroy her.  It seemed like the Tal Shiar thing to do.  Play the long game. 

It was easy to believe that was true, but harder to know it wasn’t. 

T’Lea stood in silence as Captain Hennessey walked Commander Quest into the cargo hold with three of his armed agents.  Surrounding them were stacks of crates, and containers ranging from small to very large.  One of the refrigerated shipping containers had been home to Raivus and her innocent bystander, Ajen, for three days.  Perhaps it was inhumane and cruel to keep them on ice, but it was well-deserved, and in reality it was the only place secure enough to hold them since the Wanderer had no brig. 

Neither criminal looked worse for the wear after having had a chance to properly thaw before the authorities arrived.  In fact, they both looked downright dignified, especially Raivus who always kept her composure no matter how screwed she was.  

Aware of Commander Quest’s arrival, T’Lea showed up on the scene only moments before Quest in order to avoid having words with her mother.  Honestly, she almost didn’t show up at all, but after hearing about SFI’s dismissal of Ajen’s involvement, T’Lea had to make a final plea against that stupid decision. 

T’Lea: This is bullshit. 

Maybe not an eloquent plea, but it was a start.  

Quest: I understand your position, Commander T’Lea, now understand ours- 

T’Lea:  No.  Aiding and abetting a fugitive is a serious offense.  You frakked up once by trusting that woman, and now you’re letting her accomplice go? 

Quest snagged T’Lea’s arm and pulled her aside for a private conversation.  Raivus and Ajen exchanged glances suspecting what the conversation entailed.  Tactical and strategic elements were in play, of that Raivus was certain.  Upon Ajen’s so-called release she inferred that agents would be watching his every move very closely in hopes of leading them to the Dal.  At least, that was how she would manage this game. 

The expression on her daughter’s face as Quest spoke in hushed words, told Ravius that T’Lea wasn’t going to get her way.  Also the unflattering name, which she loudly called him, was a good indicator of complete failure too. 

Quest:  Mr. Ajen.  You are free to go. 

Ajen smugly glanced around at his former captors and as he moved for the exit he stopped at the puny human that he’d defeated, so very easily, for the right to mate with T’Lea.  The look of disgust and loathing in his eyes was calmly, but hotly conveyed. 

Ajen: Did you have her? 

John took one step forward. It was only yesterday that he had come to realize that it was during their fight in Cargo Hold Four that he had his first real brush with death. And now he wanted to look the man in the eye as if seeing death in the eye one last time. Absurd of course, he knew that. But still, the fact that he had triumphed when maybe he should have died an honorable death at the hands of the man who had rightfully earned his place beside T'Lea, felt like a burden on his shoulders he just couldn’t quite shake off.

As John stood face to face with his opponent, he could feel the hot air breezing out of the man’s nostrils. It was as if he could smell the anger that was building up inside of the Romulan. And then he took two steps back, trying to put some distance between the two of them – both literally and emotionally.

Kendrick: Yes.

A simple yes and a smile. That’s all he gave Ajen. John couldn’t imagine a worse punishment for the Romulan than having to imagine all the things he and T'Lea did to extinguish the fires of Pon Farr.

Ajen glared back at him, and then “huffed” before leaving. There was still unfinished business between them. John knew it and he was certain the Romulan knew it too.

Quest:  ::at Hennessey:: Thank you for your cooperation. 

Hennessey: No thanks needed Commander.

The Captain looked down at the padd he was holding in his hand and smiled as he saw the reward had been fully transferred to his account as promised .

Hennessy: If I'd known how much it paid to be a bounty hunter, I would've switched careers decades ago.

Quest just smiled as he signaled his men to surround Raivus. As she was being moved out, she twisted back toward her daughter, straining against the guards and the tightly latched cuffs against her hands.  Her face broke with remorse and sincerity. 

Raivus:  Believe it or not, I did this for you, paenhe! 

The projected sentiment was one last wave of a knife as far as T’Lea was concerned.  That’s what the statement felt like -- a bladed tongue trying desperately to make one last manipulative cut. 

T’Lea:  Of course you did, you psychopath. 

Her words were dressed to draw an equal amount of blood.  She watched her mother disappear into the abyss of SFI’s custody.  There was a good chance she’d never speak to, or see Raivus again.  If she was lucky. 

Hennessey left after that, then John and the rest, and after a few afflicted moments alone, T’Lea followed.

((Docking Section – Lightside Station)) 

Sounds of an active space station ricocheted along the corridor where T’Lea stood.  Behind her awaited a bustling avenue that would lead to the facilitation of good mental health.  In other words a bar full of booze.  

In front of her stood the Wanderer crew whom she owed a great deal of gratitude.  That of course was not her forte. 

T’Lea: Thank you for the use of your cargo hold.

Hennessy: Normally we don’t gallivant across the galaxy saving young damsels in distress. ::looking at John:: You'd have to thank that young dashing Lieutenant for that.

Moa folded her arms and grinned.

Moa: Something tells me she’s already thanked him enough, Cap’n.

The Cardassian, Brikane, had to try really hard not to burst out in laughter.

John suddenly felt his cheeks blush and tried not to look at T'Lea. The Wanderer was a small ship and of course everyone knew about T’Lea’s condition once they had beamed her aboard. They were both adults and there was nothing they had done that he should be ashamed of. Quite the opposite actually – in a very unique way he had saved her life. Still, having to discuss such intimate affairs with people he barely knew, felt pretty awkward.

As he finally found the courage to look at T'Lea, he realized he was about to step back into the real world. The world of rules and regulations. The world of Starfleet. How would their relationship evolve? Did they even have a relationship? There were still so many questions unanswered. So many thoughts unspoken. Through the act of Pon Farr, for a brief moment, John had been able to break through the wall that she had carefully and meticulously built around her. Now, it felt like he was once again standing at the gates, looking from the outside in, hoping to pick up a glance of something that resembled affection.

Luckily for the both of them, Captain Hennessy was wise enough to steer the conversation in more safe waters.

Hennesey: We're scheduled to leave tomorrow morning.

The young Bolian engineer named Tolena, stepped forward.

Tolena: ::excited:: Who’s ready for a crazy night out?

John looked at T'Lea, but this time he looked at her as a Junior Officer awaiting his Commander’s order. Shore leave was about to end and there were probably tons of preparations to make for the next mission.

T’Lea:  Drinks are on me? 

John smiled, happy he'd be able to share one last night with this incredible group of people – including T'Lea.

As T'Lea turned around and headed further down the corridor, John and the Wanderer crew quickly followed, all looking forward to a great night out to celebrate their victories and perhaps for some, to forget about what had happened these past couple of days.

 

END  

 

((OOC:  Big thanks to Jon for entering into T'Lea's insane world and helping me out with this story line!  Thank you! :D ))

===

 

Lieutenant Commander T’Lea

First Officer 

USS Juneau

Author ID I238301T10

 

 &

 

Lieutenant JG John Kendrick

Security

USS Juneau, NX-99801

Author ID J239801JK3

 

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