This story is based in the "Star Trek" universe. The use of anything related to "Star Trek" in this series is not intended to infringe upon the rights of Paramount Pictures. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise.
All other content or otherwise are works of my own imagination. All events are fictitious in nature.
Any similarities to persons living, dead, or otherwise are purely coincidental.
This story contains strong themes of homosexual content, if this offends you in any way, please refrain from reading further. If you are not of legal age to read this, please leave now.
A/N: I'd like to thank TalonRider for editing this chapter. His unparalleled brilliance and tireless effort applied to my work is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Chapter 23: Interludes
Betazed, Near to the Opal Sea
Trey Suder watched
intently as the blond haired Human turned on the bed and looked up at
him. Trey stared into his blue eyes and smiled, “You’re
so beautiful, Alex.”
Alex grinned, his heart still beating rapidly from their ‘intimacy’ several minutes ago, “You too.” He replied, cocking his head, “I thought you didn’t like talking.”
Trey stared at him, “I don’t.” He replied telepathically.
“Good.” Thought Alex, looking at him, “What just happened was amazing.”
Trey laced his fingers with Alex’s, “Yes, yes it was.” He paused, “It was perfect.”
Alex lay his head on Trey’s chest, “I like it when you’re here, inside my head.”
“Me too.” Responded Trey, “It’s more…”
“Intimate.” Finished Alex.
Trey flashed him a smile, “Yeah.”
Alex lifted his head, leaned closer and kissed him gently. Taking the time to slip his hand under the sheets, over Trey’s smooth stomach, and gripped his flaccid dick, stroking it slowly.
Trey jumped at the sensation, reaching down to pull off Alex’s hand, giggling, “Hehehe, I need to recharge for a while.” He said aloud, looking at Alex, “I didn’t know Humans were…fast at refilling.”
Alex shook his head, “We’re not.” He paused, “You’re just too special.”
Trey nodded, being a telepath, he knew first hand what Alex was talking about. He knew exactly how Alex felt towards him. “I feel the same way, Alex.” He said, reaching over and stroking his back.
Alex looked at him, “You know, I’m still surprised by…erm.” He began aloud, before he thought it instead, “You look just like a Human from the outside, but what you do…inside is so different. I never expected…that.”
Trey smiled, “Yeah, I could say the same about you.” He said, hugging him closer, “Guess we’re full of surprises.” He whispered.
Alex nodded, a grin appearing on his face, “I wish I had three balls too, though.”
Trey laughed at that, “What? I have two, and you have two.” He frowned, “Do any species have three?”
“I dunno.” Giggled Alex, “But I wanna meet them, if they exist!”
“You little…” Began Trey, before he started to tickle Alex’s ribs gently, causing him to squirm on the bed.
“Hey, stop that!” Giggled Alex again, before he wrestled Trey on the bed, ending up on top of him, straddling his waist.
Trey tried to push him off, but Alex grabbed his hands, holding them against the bed.
“You’re so weak, Betazoid!” Called out Alex dramatically.
Trey shook his head, “You just got lucky.” He said, before he turned his head to the side, inhaling, “I stink.”
Alex leaned closer and took a sniff, “Hehehe, perhaps a little.” He said, before he buried his face in Trey’s neck, licking him there, “You still taste good.”
Trey rolled him over, “Come on, we gotta get up. Mom and Dad will be here soon. I don’t think they wanna see us like this.”
Alex slid out of the bed and stood up, flashing his nude form, “I thought you said I’m beautiful.” He grinned cheekily.
“You are.” Replied Trey, as he stepped off the bed, reaching out for Alex’s hand, “Come on. Let’s go shower.”
Twenty-minutes later, Alex and Trey had showered, gotten dressed, and were getting something for breakfast.
Alex looked out of the window, admiring the lush and vibrant nature of Betazed, “Why don’t your parents live here permanently?” He asked.
Trey turned to him, “I dunno. They really like Earth.” He paused, “But they do come here every so often, that’s why they still have this house.” He smiled at him, “I thought it’d be better if we come here instead of Earth because you’ve never been here before, besides, Mom and Dad were gonna come here sometime this month, so at least I get to see them too.”
He nodded and looked out of the window, “Yeah, thanks for inviting me. It’s so beautiful here. I don’t know why you’d want to move.”
“Well, it’s their choice. And it’s not like their jobs tie them down to one place, so they can go wherever.”
“Yeah.” Alex turned to him, “Have you ever been to a wedding here, on Betazed?” He asked quickly.
“A few times.” He replied, before he smiled at Alex, “I know what you’re getting at, and yes, we were naked.”
It was traditional Betazoid custom for both the guests and the couple getting married to be naked during the ceremony. A fact that Alex couldn’t seem to get his head around. “But that means that people have seen you…” He began.
Alex scrunched up his face, “Even your parents!?”
“Yep.” He paused, “It isn’t that big a deal. We’re not nudists, but the odd wedding has kept us quite liberal in that way.”
Alex shook his head, “I don’t think I could do that.”
“Sure you could.” Began Trey carrying some plates over to the table, before he wrapped his arms around him, kissing his neck, “You definitely have the body for it.”
He giggled, “But what if you get…erm…excited?” He asked, while sitting down.
Trey sat opposite him, “There’s this natural extract from the leaf of an Olan plant. It stops things from ‘popping’ up.”
Alex giggled again, “Does it really work?”
Trey nodded, “Yeah.” He smiled, “Once I took too much and I couldn’t get excited for like the whole day.”
Alex laughed aloud.
“It’s not funny. I was so frustrated!” Groaned Trey.
“Isn’t there a cure, something that reverses its effects?”
Trey nodded, “There is, but I was like fourteen at the time, and I didn’t know there was one. I wasn’t about to ask my parents for it!”
Alex laughed again, “I feel for you, that couldn’t have been fun.”
He shook his head, “It wasn’t.” He replied, while taking a bite from his sandwich.
“What time your parents coming?” Asked Alex.
“About thirteen hundred.” He paused, sensing Alex’s mood, “You know they’ll love you, right?”
“Mmm.” Replied Alex with his mouth full, “I hope so.” He thought.
“They will.” Replied Trey, hearing his thoughts, “Besides, it’s not my parents you have to impress.”
Alex smiled, swallowing, “Why? Who do I have to impress?”
Earth, Yellowstone National Park
Commented Casey as he stepped up behind Laura.
She turned around and faced him, “Thanks.” She replied, smiling at her bare-chested boyfriend.
He looked at her, acting surprised, “Oh, sorry Nurse, didn’t see you there. I was just saying how beautiful the National Par-“ he began before Laura swatted his arm.
“Sure you did.”
Casey walked forwards, wrapping his arms around her, and kissing her neck, “You’re gorgeous.”
She relaxed against his touch, feeling warm and secure in his strong, muscular arms, “That’s better.”
He rested his head on her shoulder, “So what do you want to do today?” He asked, kissing her neck softly again.
“I dunno.” She said.
He kissed her again, “Well, I’m just gonna fix us some breakfast.” He said, before he ventured back into the bungalow, from the patio.
“Oh thank you.” She replied, looking back into the house, “What are you making?”
He opened the fridge and wiggled his eyebrows, “You’ll find out soon.”
She smiled at him, before she looked back towards the National Park. She’d never been to Yellowstone before, and was quite surprised to find that Casey’s parents had a second home overlooking some of the natural beauty of the area. It was truly beautiful.
She slipped on her sandals and wandered back into the house, sitting down at the table and sipping some of her juice. She looked over at Casey and watched him closely as he worked in the kitchen, his eyes carefully focusing on what he was doing. She loved that part of him. While he was often in a playful, humorous mood, Casey had a very serious and calm side to him. And he was the perfect gentleman, an attribute that was continued in the bedroom. He turned and looked at her.
“I’ve got some cousins coming down later, from Montana,” He began, “The rents are gonna have a barbeque and stuff, if you wanna go.”
She smiled, “Yeah! We’re here to see family and stuff.”
“Cool. I didn’t want you to think I was gonna drag you around.”
“Of course not, babe.” She sniffed the air, “Something smells good.”
“Thanks. It’s my dad’s secret recipe.” He replied.
“Think you can share it with me?”
He shrugged, “Depends. What can you share with me? I’m up for a trade!”
“We’ll have to see.” She replied.
Casey reached out and picked up some plates as he started to dish up the food, or more specifically, the two omelettes and some toast.
“It’s nice about Alex and Trey, don’t you think?” She asked.
He nodded, “Yeah, they’re great guys.” He said, “Besides, Alex has been going crazy over him like forever. It’s about time.”
She giggled, “Yeah. It is.”
“Breakfast’s ready, want another drink?”
She shook her head, “No, I’ve got enough here.”
“Ok.” He replied, as he got himself a drink, before bringing the food over to the table.
“Mmm, looks delicious.” Remarked Laura, as Casey took his seat.
“Thanks.” He replied, picking up his knife and fork, “Bon appétit.”
During the next ten-minutes or so, they finished eating their breakfast and had decided on what to do for the day.
Casey grinned at her from the replicator, as he recycled the plates, “There’s this one part where you’d look out over this lake and it was just beautiful.” He paused, “A few hours walk and we can get there.”
She nodded, “Sure. I might have to replicate some proper shoes though, but it’ll be great.”
He smiled, “Yeah. Yeah, it will.”
“Oh, and before I forget…” She began, before she stood up and walked into the bedroom.
He watched as she vanished from sight, and then came back into the lounge, carrying a hypospray.
“What’s that?” He asked grinning, “Vitamins?”
She shook her head, “Vitamins!” She mocked, “Come on, you need this, Mr Jenkins!”
He stepped closer to her, offering his neck.
She reached out, pressing the hypospray to his neck, before pushing the button, releasing the contents into him.
“That hurt.” He cried, pretending to suffer from the non-existent wound.
“Oh please!” She giggled.
He looked at her, leaning closer, “So, what was that for, Nurse?”
She packed away the medical kit, “That was your monthly contraceptive.”
“One month? Already?”
She nodded, “Mmhmm.”
“Well…” He began, before he kissed her head, “Here’s to at least another perfect month.” He said, looking into her eyes, “Of us.”
I craned my neck, looking
up at the tall building above. I had never seen a building so high
before. It seemed almost alive in the way that it stretched upwards,
reaching to the sky.
“It is one of the tallest structures on Vulcan.” Replied T’Luk, looking at me.
“But not the tallest?” I inquired.
“No, there is one larger in the Vulcan capital.”
I nodded, “Amazing architecture.” I remarked.
It was about two o’clock in the afternoon when T’Luk and I were walking around Shi’Kahr. It was such a large and lively place. Very different to that of something like London. Perhaps it was because of the extreme heat, but there were also fewer people about than what would be expected of such a large city. Don’t get me wrong, there were thousands of people about, but many of them were Vulcan, so it was clear that there weren’t that many tourists about.
“Are you hot?” I asked, looking at T’Luk. Earlier in the day, I had looked at a weather forecast, which had predicted temperatures of around 48°C! Fortunately, given the high-rise buildings of Shi’Kahr, and some other climate-cooling technology, the actual temperature around me was several degrees cooler. Regardless, it was still one of the hottest temperatures I had ever experienced.
He raised an eyebrow, “It is of average temperature. Are you too hot?” He asked.
I nodded, “This is nothing like what I’m used to.”
“Indeed, it would be unwise for us to spend extended periods outside.”
I grinned at him, “I still don’t get how you guys manage.”
“Vulcans evolved in this climate, so we have had quite a long time to adapt.”
I giggled, “Yeah, quite a long time.”
I looked at him, “Are you comfortable in this temperature?”
He nodded, “It is relatively comfortable, yes.”
“You must be freezing onboard the Titan.”
“Vulcans have quite a high tolerance for large fluctuations in temperature. Given the cold temperatures of the more deserted locations of Vulcan, we also had to adapt to those temperatures.” He paused, “The Titan is relatively cool to what I am used to, but it is well within tolerance.”
“So you’re pretty much comfortable all around?”
“Indeed, however I do prefer to have one constant temperature, rather than it changing.”
We walked past a few more skyscrapers, before we came to a large square in the middle of the city. It could be compared to something similar to Central Park in New York City in that it broke up the large city, but it wasn’t as large. Perhaps a quarter of the size. In the square was a nice sized park, and on one side was a small restaurant, one that T’Luk wanted to take me to for lunch.
We headed over to the restaurant and sat down. Once again it was quite refreshing to be somewhere where it was much cooler. I looked at the menu, but had to translate it into English, not that it helped much as I didn’t know what some of the dishes were. Fortunately I had a Vulcan boyfriend, so he told me basically what the dished were, and which ones he recommended. I followed his recommendations and ordered them.
Lunch itself was beautiful. Add that to the lovely views of the park and the city, and it was a lovely afternoon spent with T’Luk. Part of me was still buzzing when I reminded myself that I was in fact on Vulcan. It was just really special to me. Even more so when nearly everyone we interacted with were Vulcans too. I was always smiling at them, they must have thought I was mad or something.
We were just about to get up and go, when I looked out of the restaurant and noticed a familiar figure, “Mal?” I said to myself quietly.
T’Luk looked at me, before looking out at the person walking across the square, “What did you say?”
I looked back at him, “I think that’s Mal. You know, Mal Jarot.”
He nodded, “I remember you telling me.” He paused, “Is that him?”
“I think so…But I only spoke to him a few days ago, after what happened on Titan, he said he was on Bajor.”
T’Luk stood up, “We could walk closer, to be sure.”
I nodded and stood up, and walked out of the restaurant, after I thanked the waiter and chef for the wonderful meal. We stepped out onto the square and headed over to the person. As we got closer and closer, I immediately noticed that it was indeed Mal.
“Mal!” I called out loudly.
He glanced over as I shouted out, and he stopped for a second, looking at me. His expression softened as he smiled, “Kai!”
We walked towards each other, before I reached out and hugged him, “Wow, it’s so good to see you again.”
“Yeah, you too, mate.” He replied, before he glanced at T’Luk who was approaching behind me, “That must be your Vulcan.” He said telepathically.
I nodded, “Yep.” I replied, as T’Luk stepped closer, “Mal, this is T’Luk, my partner. T’Luk, this is Mal, my best mate throughout school and the Academy.”
Mal reached out to shake T’Luk’s hand, “It’s great to meet you, T’Luk. All of Kai’s hails to me have been about you nonstop.” He joked.
“Thank you.” Replied my Vulcan prince, as he shook Mal’s hand, “Kai has told me many stories about your time together at the Academy.”
Mal raised an eyebrow, “Has he now?”
T’Luk nodded, “Indeed.”
“So how you doing?” I asked.
“I’m doing really well, how about you?”
“Yeah, I’m alright.” I replied, “Hey, what are you doing here anyway? I thought you were on Bajor.”
“Well, it seems that my talents were needed elsewhere. Looks like I’m going to be about here for the next few days.”
I looked at him, “Sounds interesting.”
He nodded, “It is, but I can’t talk about it.”
I giggled, “The wonders of Starfleet Internal Affairs.”
“Yes.” He grinned, “So you guys just eaten then?”
I nodded, “Yeah.” I turned to T’Luk, “I’m not sure what we were going to do next.”
T’Luk looked at me, “It would not be wise for us to remain outside for much longer. We could return to my house until a later hour.” He said, looking at Mal, “If you are not busy, you may accompany us.”
Mal smiled, “Yeah, yeah I might just do that. Thanks.”
After a short trip inside one of the Pods, and a short walk, we found ourselves inside T’Luk’s home. Amusingly, we were also alone, as both his parents were at work, but I doubt they would have minded the extra company anyway.
Mal looked at me as we sat in the lounge, “I really wanna meet my replacement, how comes he isn’t here.” He asked, with a smile.
“Replacement?” I asked, confused.
“H’Jan. I thought he’s your bestest buddy!”
I giggled, “He’s not a replacement, you’re BOTH my bestest buddies.”
“What about me, Kai?” Asked T’Luk.
Mal burst out in laughter at that, seemingly not used to a Vulcan with a sense of humour.
“You’re a very special friend, T’Luk. A totally different category.” I smiled.
He raised an eyebrow, “I can accept that.”
Mal laughed again, before the doorbell chimed. T’Luk stood up and walked over, opening it. He spoke to whoever was there for a few seconds before he called out to me. I walked to the door and looked at the two Starfleet officers standing there.
“What seems to be the trouble…Lieutenant?” I asked, noticing the two gold pips on his collar.
“By orders of Starfleet Command, I need Ensign T’Luk and yourself to accompany us to the Federation Embassy.”
“What?” I asked bemused, “Why? What’s going on?”
“I can’t tell you that. I just need you to come with us.” He repeated.
“Can I ask why you’re taking Mr Taylor and Mr T’Luk?” Asked Mal, as he stepped to the door.
“I am not at liberty to reveal that information with you, Ensign.” Replied the Lieutenant, looking at Mal’s uniform.
Mal stepped forwards, “Actually, Lieutenant, according to Starfleet General Code, Section Twenty, Paragraph Three, both Mr Taylor and Mr T’Luk are allowed to have select representation be present during any formal order. Moreover, if I am to determine the nature of the order, I am legally required to-”
“Who do you think you are?” Interrupted the Lieutenant, seemingly getting annoyed with Mal’s determination.
“Ensign Mal Jarot, Starfleet Internal Affairs.”
The Lieutenant visibly paused at the mention of ‘Internal Affairs’. No one liked to have that branch of Starfleet on their back.
“So unless you have a problem with that, Sir. I’m going to accompany these two gentlemen with you to the Embassy.” Added Mal.
The Lieutenant didn’t give us any more hassle, so we quickly pulled on our shoes and stepped out. One of the Lieutenants requested a transport, and seconds later we found ourselves inside the main embassy building, where there were some people waiting for us.
“Ensign Taylor, Ensign T’Luk.” Said another Lieutenant as he approached us. “Sorry about disturbing you during your shore leave, I assure you this is nothing to worry about. It is just that we would like to complete a debrief with each member of the crew from both the Titan and the Intrepid.” He paused, “As you can expect, that will take some time, so we want to get it done as soon as possible.”
I relaxed some at that, “Ok, what’s going to be done?”
“Just some interviews similar to that of a debrief. It should all be over within a few hours.”
I nodded and turned to Mal, who was wearing a determined look on his face, “If it’s just going to be a debrief, you don’t have to hang around for that.”
“I’m certain that something else is going on here, Kai. I’m not sure what, but the Lieutenant is hiding something. Nothing that will hurt you or T’Luk, but he’s not telling us everything.” He said telepathically, before he smiled, “If it’s all the same, I’ll hang around.” He said aloud.
“It could take some time.” Said the Lieutenant.
Mal smiled, “That’s fine, I’ve got nothing much to do anyway.” He replied, before he looked at me, “Besides, I might just be able to find out what’s going on around here.”
I nodded, “Ok.” I looked at the Lieutenant, “What do I have to do?”
He grinned, “Ok, if you just follow me then we can begin the interview.”
I glanced at T’Luk, “What about T’Luk?”
“Someone will be along shortly to interview him.”
I nodded and looked at my Vulcan prince, “I’ll see you in a bit.”
Betazed, Near to the Opal Sea
Alex threw the Frisbee
through the air, before Jake jumped up and caught it with his
“Good boy!” Called out Alex, as the Golden Retriever ran back over, dropping the Frisbee, before he dropped to the floor, rolling over and exposing his belly.
“He’s a good boy, yes he is.” Said Trey comically as he rubbed his golden chest, before he turned to Alex, “He really likes you. He says you’re fun.”
Alex faced him, “He says?”
Trey nodded, “It’s more like I’m picking up on his emotions and what he associates with certain things. So far he likes you because you’re fun and show him love.”
Alex looked at him, “Really? All that much?”
“Wow, I knew you guys could tell some things from animals, but not that much.”
Trey smiled, “It depends on the animal. Dogs, especially this breed, are quite ‘open’ to us.”
“That’s so cool.” He replied, as he scratched Jake behind his ears.
Trey reached out with his hand, running it through Alex’s blond head, before he leaned over, giving Alex a gentle kiss on the lips.
After a few seconds, Alex pulled back, blushing slightly when he noticed Trey’s parents glancing at them briefly.
“Hehehe,” Giggled Trey, “Don’t worry, they’re pleased about us.” He paused for a moment, “And Mom thinks you’re cute.”
Alex blushed again.
“Trey! Can you come help me in here for a minute?!” Called out his mum.
He looked up at the house, “Sure!” He shouted back, before looking at Alex, kissing him briefly again, “I’ll be back in a bit.” He said, before passing Alex a packet of ‘doggy treats’ from his pocket. “Here, see what you can get him to do for these.”
Alex took the packet, giggling at how Jake was sitting to attention, his eyes on the treats, “Sure.”
Trey stood up and jogged across the garden and across the decking into his house, “What can I do for you, Mom?” He asked
She turned to him, “I just need you to chop up some vegetables for us, if you don’t mind.”
“Course not.” He replied, as he walked over to wash his hands.
He dried his hands and looked over at the vegetables, “These ones?”
She nodded, “Yep, try to keep them quite small, so they’ll cook quicker.”
“Ok.” He replied, as he started to chop them.
After a few seconds, she looked at him, “ You know, I always thought you liked Alex a little more than you led on in your hails.”
He turned to her, “What do you mean?”
She smiled, “You spent the whole time talking about him. What you guys would do on the holodeck, or something that you done together. Your father and I were wondering if you were going to ‘take the next step’, so to speak.”
Trey blushed, “Yeah, well…” He looked at her, “I always liked him as a friend, a best friend…” He paused and looked at her, “But it was during the battle, on the ship when I could sense him.” He thought for a moment, “I wanted to comfort him, to hold him. I wanted him to feel better.”
She looked at him closely, “I’m sorry you had to go through that. Being a telepathic species, we can easily be bombarded by other people’s feelings and emotions.”
He nodded, “All I cared about was Alex.” He glanced out and watched as Alex played with the dog outside, “I’ve never felt this way towards anyone. He’s really special.”
She leaned over and kissed him on the top of his head, “I know.” She said, glancing out of the window, “And he feels the same, doesn’t he?” She asked.
“Yeah.” He said.
They sat there for a few moments before there was a chime at the door. His mom stood up, “That must be Kestra, I told her to say hello when she…” She began, talking about their next door neighbour, before she opened the door, revealing two Starfleet officers standing there.
“Good afternoon, Mam. I’m Lieutenant Campbell from Starfleet Command, are Ensigns Cauchon and Suder here?” He asked.
She nodded, “Yes, I’ll just get them.” She said, before looking back into the house, “Trey! Can you come here?!” She called out, “And bring Alex.”
About half a minute passed before Trey and Alex arrived at the door, “Is there something we can help you with Lieutenant?” Asked Trey.
“Yes.” He replied, “Starfleet Command would like to commence a formal debrief with both of you.”
“We didn’t receive a memo or any other messages.” Said Alex.
The other Lieutenant spoke, “That’s because none were sent. We are here from the direct orders of Starfleet Command. Both Ensign Suder and yourself are amongst several crewman whom we’d like to question as soon as possible.”
“Are they in trouble?” Asked Trey’s dad, as he appeared at the door.
“No, we’d simply like to hear their recollection of events.” He replied, looking at Trey and Alex, “It shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours.”
Trey nodded, the last time he had to have a debrief it actually managed to be done in under two hours. Perhaps they’d be lucky this time too.
“Do you work for
the Romulan Government?” He asked.
I rolled my eyes at the first question. The same one I was asked the last time I was questioned by Starfleet. But this time it was Command doing the questioning, not Intelligence. While I initially didn’t think it would make any difference, it was actually quite different from last time. For instance the person who was ‘quizzing’ me didn’t look as ‘threatening’ as the last guy. No, the person sitting in front of me was quite pleasant to look at and actually smiled at me. More than once. So the environment was greatly improved, yet the questions remained the same.
“Look, I know these may seem trivial, but we need to know for the record.” He said, indicating to the oval devices around the room, the holo-recorders that were ‘capturing’ the entire conversation between us.
“No, I’m not a member of the Romulan Government.”
“I asked if you worked for them.”
I paused briefly, “No, I do not work for the Romulan Government.”
“Are you a member of the Romulan terrorist cell?” He asked.
“Has anyone around you demonstrated support towards the Romulan terrorist cell?”
“What about your partner…Ensign T’Luk? Has he displayed any unusual activity?”
I wanted to retort with sarcasm, but that wouldn’t help things here, “No.”
He stopped for a moment and smiled, “There we go. Not so hard, is it?” He said.
I looked at him, “Is that it?”
He shook his head, “No, we still have many more things to go over.” He paused, “Could you please explain what happened…” He said, trailing off as he handed me a PADD with a calendar and Stardate, “On this Stardate.”
The date he indicated was when we first received orders to go to protocol Alpha-Talon. As it only occurred a few days ago, the events were still fresh in my memory, so I retold them from my perspective. It took a while and I had to pause in places, but we eventually got there.
“Ok.” Said the Lieutenant, smiling at me, “We have everything we need here. If you’ll just follow me.” He said, as he stood up.
I stood up and followed him out of the room, back outside where Mal was waiting. I glanced about, but I couldn’t see T’Luk there.
“If you could please take a seat, someone will be with you shortly.” He said, before he walked off.
I looked at Mal, ”Where’s T’Luk?” I asked.
“He’s in there.” He replied, pointing to the room opposite, “They’re questioning him too.” He said.
I watched him closely, he seemed to be concerned about something, “What? What’s going on?” I asked.
He looked at me, “I’ve spoken to a few people here, it seems that they have a tribunal set up here and everything.”
“What?!?” I exclaimed.
He nodded, “It’s because of something you did during the battle. When you piloted those ships into the bridges of the warbirds.”
I frowned, “I don’t understand. Am I in trouble because of that?”
“Simply put; yeah. Some people from Starfleet Command don’t believe that you acted responsibly. They’re referring to your decision as reckless.”
“Reckless?!” I fumed, “My actions could have very well saved the crews of both the Titan and the Intrepid, and they’re calling them reckless?!?!”
He gave me a look that calmed me down, “Kai, we can deal with this, but you have to be calm.”
I thought for a second, “Ok, when do they want to do this ‘tribunal’?”
“Today. Whenever T’Luk’s finished.”
“You kidding me?!?!” I asked loudly.
He shook his head, “Look, the thing is that they’re calling it a tribunal, but they don’t have any real legal standing.” He paused, “It’s more of an inquest into what happens. It seems that they don’t have enough support to pass it through a court.”
I relaxed some, “So what’s the worst that could happen?”
“They’re going to ask you, and T’Luk, some questions about what happened. They’re going to be direct and not very friendly.” He looked at me, “Their aim is to try to make your actions seem suspicious, if they succeed then they can request that the inquiry gets moved into a court.”
“How can we stop them from succeeding?”
“Just tell them what happened, how you felt, why you acted the way you did.” He leaned closer, “You have to let them know what it was like to be in that situation, and make it clear that you only acted in response to them attacking the bridge first.”
I nodded, “Ok.” I thought for a moment, “You said that it has no legal standing, so there’ll be no lawyers?”
He shook his head, “No, but you still have the same rights as usual, so you can choose to have someone with a legal background present.”
He nodded, “Me.”
I stared down the hall, “This whole thing’s messed up.” I turned to him, “What if they find me suspicious?”
“Believe me, Kai, if they had any real evidence to try you, then you would be behind a force field right now, talking to your attorney.” He replied, “I think they’re only doing this to ease their own minds. They want to know what type of person you are.” He said, before a door opened opposite, and T’Luk walked out.
“You ok, babes?” I asked.
He nodded, “I am fine.”
I looked at Mal, “I guess you’d better fill him in with what you just told me.”
Mal nodded and spent the next few minutes telling T’Luk about what was about to happen. Once he finished, T’Luk turned to me.
“Our actions were logical, given the situation.”
“I agree.” I paused, “I just hope that they see it like that.”
twenty-minutes later, Mal, T’Luk and I found ourselves inside
quite a large room. There were five people at the front of the room,
sitting behind a few desks, facing the door. We were sitting opposite
them, with some tables in front of us, giving Mal some room for his
One of the people sitting there stood up, “I am Vice-Admiral Biggs.” Said the silver-haired woman, “We appreciate you being here today.”
‘Like we have a choice.’ I thought to myself.
“Mr Taylor, Mr T’Luk, as you’ve been made aware, this is not a formal legal proceeding.” She said, looking at us, “This is not a court of law, we simply have a few concerns that we’d like to discuss with you.” She said, before she sat down.
They spoke to each other for a few seconds, before Biggs spoke.
“Mr Taylor, by examining the computer logs of the incident, we found that during the attack, Lieutenant Commander Jones, your superior officer, ordered you to send a shuttle towards the Klingon border. Do you agree?”
I nodded, “Yes, Sir. However her communication cut off before she could finish speaking.”
“How did this affect you in carrying out that order?”
I thought for a moment, “She didn’t have enough time to unlock the shuttlebay doors.”
The Admiral was silent for a second, “Yes, however it seems that you were successful in opening these doors. How did this happen?” She asked.
“I began to try to release the lock-out, but Ensign T’Luk offered to do it.” I looked at her, “I let him.”
She nodded, “Yes, and he broke several levels of security lock-outs doing so.”
I frowned at that.
She turned to T’Luk, “Ensign, were you aware of the legal implications of breaking the lock-out?”
“Yes, Sir. However it was the most logical choice of action.”
She looked at him, “Logical?” She paused, “I don’t necessarily see the logic in that decision, Ensign. Please, detail it to us.”
“Indeed it was logical.” He paused, “At that moment in time, we were unaware of the approaching Goran fleet, therefore it was also logical to assume that we would not have survived much longer. Faced with the very real prospect of our demise, I believed that an assault with the shuttles may reduce the probability of that prospect.”
His response seemed to knock her back a bit, but then she turned to me, “Following Ensign T’Luk’s successful attempt to open the shuttlebay doors, you made the order to launch all of the Titan’s support craft. Is this correct?” She asked.
I nodded, “Yes, Sir.”
“The log also indicated that you launched the Captain’s yacht. Is this correct?”
She looked at me, “Please explain your reasoning behind this ‘tactic’, Ensign.”
I thought for a second, “Admiral, at that time, we had just become aware that the Task Force were no longer going to arrive within the next ten minutes. We were under the strict impression that we were going to be alone for many hours. With that in mind, and with warp drive offline in both vessels, I thought that launching an assault with the support craft may be able to assist us.”
She nodded, looking down at her console, and then back to me, “That was quite an imaginative tactic, for an Astrophysicist.”
I was about to speak, when Mal communicated telepathically, “Don’t talk. Only answer her questions. She hasn’t asked you one yet.”
I followed his advice and remained silent.
She glanced at her console again, “Your Starfleet record shows no academic qualifications for strategic tactics, Mr Taylor. What forced you to make this decision?”
“It was common sense, Sir. We had the ships and the means to remotely pilot them, so I issued the order.”
“What about your decision to set a collision course with the warbirds, specifically with their bridges, was that also attributed to ‘common sense’?”
“No, Sir. That was not a decision I made lightly.”
She raised her eyebrows, “Oh, so you had an internal debate over this decision? Please, enlighten us, Mr Taylor. What was going through your mind in that instant?”
My mind went back to that moment in time, when I made the decision, “I only chose to act like that because they were focusing their weapons on our bridge. They made the first shot. I simply retaliated in a similar manner.”
“Similar manner?” She asked, “They didn’t make a collision course with the Titan’s bridge.”
“No, Sir, they didn’t. But what they did have was all their weapons trained on that single target.” I looked at her, “Our shields were failing in that section. Another shot would have taken out the bridge.” I paused, “And that would have certainly killed everyone up there, Captain Riker, Commanders Troi and Caves…”
“I am aware of who was on the bridge, Ensign.”
“With all due respect, Admiral, all you have is a list of names. To me they’re not names, they are people, real people. I had a friend up on the bridge, a very close friend. I was not going to stand by while some terrorists took him from us.” I looked at her, “If you find me guilty of one thing, it’s not that I acted ‘reckless’ it’s that I wanted to save as many people as I could. Good people. People who believed in everything that the Federation stands for.” I shook my head, “Unlike the terrorist cell whose sole purpose was to undermine everything that we stand for.”
The Vice-Admiral was silent for a moment as she thought over what I said.
I relaxed in my chair, my palms were sweaty, and I could feel my heart racing madly. Never before had I made such a strong argument, least of all against a Vice-Admiral!
Biggs opened her mouth to speak, before she was interrupted by the sound of the doors opening behind me, followed by a strong, male voice. “This tribunal is over.” He said.
I turned around to see an Admiral walking towards us, followed by a Vice-Admiral. I recognised the Admiral immediately, it was Admiral Hayes, head of Starfleet Command. But I didn’t know the Vice-Admiral.
Biggs seemed to be surprised to see him, “Admiral Hayes, what brings you here, Sir?”
“I’m here to collect Ensign Taylor and T’Luk.” He said, looking at us, “As of now I am disbanding this tribunal.”
“On who’s authority?” Demanded Vice-Admiral Biggs.
“On the authority of Starfleet Intelligence.” He looked at her, “Starfleet Intelligence had jurisdiction during the battle that ensued after the Stardate in question. This also means that if any investigation is to take place into the actions of Ensign’s Taylor and T’Luk, then it will be done so under their jurisdiction.”
Biggs looked at him, speechless.
“Also, after speaking to Starfleet Intelligence, it seems that they find little evidence to support your claim that Mr Taylor or Mr T’Luk’s actions could be seen as ‘reckless’. Therefore all counts of ‘reckless’ behaviour due to this incident have been dropped. They will not be pressed further.” He said, before he handed Biggs a PADD, “You will see the signatures of Admiral Ive and Vice-Admiral Becker, along with myself and Vice-Admiral Chun.” He said, indicating to the Vice-Admiral standing behind him. “Seeing as we constitute the majority of Starfleet’s heads of staff, the order is in place immediately.”
The Vice-Admiral stepped forwards, “Ensigns Taylor, T’Luk, and Suder. Please come with us.”
I looked at T’Luk and Mal, confused with how things were playing out, before I stood up and walked over to the Vice-Admiral, as we walked out of the room. We stepped outside and entered into the empty corridor.
I looked at them, “Sirs, I’m not sure I know what’s going on here.” I began.
Admiral Hayes turned to me, “You have nothing to worry about, Ensign.” He said, looking at T’Luk, “Neither of you have anything to worry about. Both Starfleet Command and Intelligence believe that you did not act ‘reckless’ during your defence of two Federation starships. In fact, we believe you should both be officially commended, along with several other members of your crew, for the work you demonstrated during the attack.”
I looked at him, unsure of what to say before T’Luk spoke, “Commended, Sir?”
Vice-Admiral Chun nodded and offered us a small smile, “Yes, I’m sure you know what we mean, but until any official announcements have been made, lets keep it between us.”
We all nodded at them, “Yes, Sir.”
“Good.” Replied Admiral Hayes, “Well, unless there’s anything else, Ensigns, you are free to go on about the rest of your shore leave.”
I nodded, “Thank you, Sirs.”
“Yes, thank you.” Added T’Luk.
We turned and walked down the corridor, heading to the transporter pad. My mind was on overdrive, still trying to crunch over everything that had happened over the last few minutes. But one thing was certain; we were in the clear. We were free. And with five weeks left of shore leave, we were going to have some fun!!!
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