Understanding That Family Is The Most Important Commander Knight's Office TBD
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~*~ Start Joint Log ~*~

Alyssa had not had to check in with an Executive officer for a while her last post before the transfer to the station had last a decent amount of time. The young Caitian/Human pushed her hair off her shoulder as she made her of the promenade and into a turbolift. She leaned against the lift as the doors closed watching her daughter happily chat away with Tazanna. "Deck 1, section Alpha," She said knowing that the stations schematics and how to get to the executive officer's office. Alyssa quietly road the lift until it came to a stop, stepping through the doors after they opened she made her way along the corridor towards the Executive Officer's office. Her yellow eyes taking in the station as she moved wondering what this Commander Andrew Knight was like other than what she briefly learned in his file. She made it a point to know more about the command team where she was posted other than their names.

Her long black fluffy tail moved slightly about behind her as she walked with a cat like grace as she continued along nodding to any officer she saw. Unfortunately, she had to remind herself that her daughter was not at her side but with Tazanna so it was not often that her daughter was not with her when off duty and she was not on duty until she reported in. Coming to stop outside the doors to the XO’s Office Chloe hit the chime made sure she had the PADD with her transfer orders on it in hand and ready to hand over.

Drew sat at his desk going over an reports of the incoming personnel, equipment and supplies that had arrived with the relief vessels. He was just finishing a review of the new members for the FOB Anchorage senior staff when the door chime announced a visitor. He looked up as he keyed an intercom switch at his desk. "Come in, at ease, sit down."

Alyssa came in thankful she had decided to wear her uniform when she went to the Promenade earlier with her daughter to meet Tazanna. "Lieutenant JG, Alyssa Matthews Reporting as ordered." She said coming to attention.

Drew watched her enter and come to attention before his desk. He gave a light chuckle and gestured to a chair. "I did say at ease and sit down Lieutenant Matthews, so please...relax." He rose from the chair behind his desk and returned his coffee mug to the replicator and recycled it. "Care for something to drink Lieutenant?"

She blinked, "Did you? must be too use to XO's that perfer the at attention on first entering sorry." She said with a natural purr as she smiled and moved to sit down. "Iced Vanilla Coffee, heavy on the Cream." She said softly. What? She was a feline, she liked her cream.

"Computer, one iced vanilla coffee, heavy on the cream. Plus, one colombian blend coffee, black." Drew retrieved the drinks and took a seat in the other chair in front of his desk, handing Alyssa her beverage. "First of all, allow me to welcome you to Forward Operating Base Anchorage. We call it the Rock...," he gestured to the stone hewn walls, "...for obvious reasons."

"The Rock..." She thought it over as she sipped her ice coffee, "Has a nice ring to it." She smiled softly not noticing her natural purr. "I have already seen the Promenade with Tazanna and my daughter Sara." She said softly having enjoyed the experience.

Drew cast a curious glance at Alyssa. "Your daughter?"

"Yes my daughter, a six year old bundle of trouble." She smiled softly.

Drew knew the importance of family and how it could be an immense source of strength. More "I understand, believe me, I understand. I have a seventeen year old niece that I look after."

"No children of your own?" She asked cocking her head to one side curiously her black cat ears twitching slightly. "I do not think I could go back to a time when I did not have my daughter with me." Alyssa admitted. "Though she can cause quite a bit of trouble sometimes." She smirked.

Drew chuckled as he shook his head. "No children of my own...yet." He gave thought to Cara and a warm smile spread across his face. "I am hoping to be a father though...someday." The next thought to enter his mind was seeing Ashley kiss Private Winters at her seventeenth birthday not so long ago. "I do hope when I do, it's a son. I really don't want to have to terminate the first boy that come calling on a daughter."

Alyssa laughed softly, "I never understood that why is it alright for your son to be a threat to someone else's daughter, but it is not alright for your daughter to be interested in boys?" Alyssa asked curiously remembering what it was like to fall in love with Bryan during her academy, however, this thought also made her sad. To her it felt as if it were the womeon of any society that got hurt because the Men were still alowed to act anyway they pleased. She shook her head to wipe Bryan from her memory. She hadn't seen him since she had told him she was pregnant. Her child has never known her father and if she had her way, will never know her father until the day she was old enough to make that decision for herself.

Drew may have not been a Betazoid, but he did have a great deal of human empathy. He watched as conflicting emotions crossed Alyssa's face. His own expression altered to one of concern. "I apologize. My comment was insensitive. I...." He suddenly felt at a loss for words.

"No it is fine, Just Sara's father was never really interested in being a father. He was interested in helping to make her because that is the fun part. Unfortunately the moment he learned I was pregnant he dropped out of the academy and I haven't heard from him since." She explained slightly managing to conceal her emotions again. "It is why I never understood why parents are less concerned about what their sons do with someone else's daughter and far more concerned with what someone else's son is doing with their daughter if that makes any sense."

Drew could not imagine what it must have been like for Alyssa. Pregnant at the Academy, starting her career and motherhood at the same time. You add to that being selected by Admiral Janeway for this assignment and he knew he was in the presence of a formidable person. "Well, let me just say it is an honor and privilege to have you on the senior staff here at Forward Operating Base Anchorage." He punctuated his statement by extending a hand.

Alyssa blinked at him for a moment then reached to shake his hand, "Thank you sir." She said wondering what had just happened really. "I do hope to be an asset to the Forward Operation Base Anchorage." She said softly.

Drew gave Alyssa a reassuring smile and squeeze to her hand. "I have no doubts you will be that and more Lieutenant Matthews. No doubts whatsoever." He rose and helped her up. "Now, go spend time with your daughter. I will see you tomorrow after you get Sara to day care." He released her hand.

"Aye Sir." Alyssa said softly her natural purr in place as she turned to leave his offer finishing her Ice Coffee on her away out so she could recycle the glass.
The Next Step in Their Journey The Knight/Nichols Family Suite
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Drew walked closely behind Cara as they moved slowly through quarters, his hands covering her eyes. Recent months had not allowed much opportunity for happy moments, but this was probably the happiest he'd had in that time.

"I hate this," Cara said as she was guided through Drew's quarters.

He stopped them briefly as he said open and they stepped through a door in the suite.

Cara knew Drew's quarters almost as well as she knew her own and there were only two doors he kept closed (other than Ashley's which was only closed when she was in her room....or when it was a mess). One was to his private office/study/man cave and the other was his bedroom (since he never made his bed....something Cara used, frequently, to tease him as being very unmilitary.) She sniffed as she caught a whiff of fresh varnish.

He guided her a few more steps and stopped. He then raised his hands from in front of her eyes to reveal then hand crafted eight drawer dresser he spent weeks building himself. "Yours. I hope it passes muster."

Cara blinked as her eyes focused. Her mouth dropped open when she saw the dresser. "Oh, Drew. It's gorgeous," she said as she walked over to it. Placing her hand on the wood and running it, gently, across the finish she asked, "mahogany?"

Drew nodded. He stepped up next to Cara and slipped a hand around her waist and turned her towards what was a made bed. A brand new, king-sized, four poster at that. The bed flanked by matching mahogany nightstands. It was, in essence, a brand new bedroom set. "What do you think overall?"

Cara turned and looked at Drew with a combination of love and awe. "You made all of this? When? I didn't know you could....," she hugged him. "It's beyond perfect. It's beautiful," she whispered, surprised at the fact that she was choking up and tears were forming in her eyes.

Drew hugged her back...tightly. He pulled his face back to look at hears and could feel his own emotions preparing to burst forth. "I've been working on all of this in one of the wood shops set aside for recreational use for the better part of the last few months. I wanted to surprise you with something nice for your birthday, but...this looked to be a more appropriate occasion."

Cupping her hands on either side of his face, Cara whispered, "you, Andrew Knight, are a very smart man," and she kissed him passionately.

Chris returned the kiss with a passion born of this next step in their journey to build a life...together. His love for Cara grew every day and he was astounded by how he felt.

Cara slid her hand along his arm and into his hand then took a few steps backward. "Close door," she said and the door to Drew's bedroom slid shut with a whispering hiss. "Lights to 30%," she said as she, gently, pulled Drew towards the end of the bed...all the while not taking her eyes off of his. When she felt the bed meet the back of her knees she pulled Drew closer then grabbed the front of his shirt and pulled him down as she lay back on the bed. "Let's see how well this thing is made," she said in a sultry voice.


Drew held his head propped up as he stared down at the sleeping Cara, her red hair cascading around her head as if a firey halo. He smiled as she murmured his name in her sleep. Their love making had lasted a long time and she had nestled into him afterwards. He had woken about an hour ago and was content to simply watch her sleep and dream. She brought him such joy in life, despite the hardships faced since the destruction of Starbase 900 months ago.

War was inevitable in this day and age. Kingdoms fought against invaders from other lands, against marauders who wanted to simply pillage...even kingdom against kingdom. Greed is the motivating factor in every war. And within the last five years Archaria had suffered through thirteen...the last of which took the life of their king and Andrew's father. Now, wearing the crown, Andrew is facing another war with a ruthless Baron from Ustril who is trying to make a name for himself by conquering as many of the smaller kingdoms as he can.

Andrew stands in his tent in the encampment on the edge of Archaria, dressed in his royal armor. His valet finishes locking down the shoulder pieces as Cara walks into the tent.

“That'll be all, Steven,” Cara says with a sweet smile.

The boy bows and said, “yes, Your Grace,” and makes a hasty exit.

Cara walks over to the table behind Andrew as he straps his scabbard around his waist and fastens the buckle. She picks up the ornate long sword and carries it, the blade resting lightly in one hand and a firm grip on the hilt with the other, over to Andrew and, gently, slides it into its scabbard on Andrew's belt. As Andrew adjusts the position, Cara returns to the table and repeats the act with Andrew's matching dagger, placing it in the sheath on the opposite side of the sword. All of this is done in silence. The only sounds are those coming from outside the tent as Archaia's battalion prepares for battle. When she is done she steps back and looks at her husband.

“I'm not going to say goodbye,” Cara says, her voice thick with emotion that she holds inside.

“This will be the last,” Andrew says, softly as he takes her hands in his and puts her knuckles to his lips.

Cara smiles and shakes her head. “You know that isn't true. As long as you are King you will need to be Archaria's protector. It is your duty just as it was your father's,” she says, with pride.

Placing his hands on the sides of her shoulders he, gently pulls her towards him and leans down, kissing her passionately for several seconds then he pulls her back and looks at her face, as if memorizing it. “I take your strength,” he says.

Cara reaches up and touches his cheek. “Come back to me, my love,” she says, her voice so soft it is almost a whisper. “Come back to us.”

They kiss again, briefly, then Andrew walks out of the tent, leaving Cara inside. She watches the curtain at the entrance of the tent billow after Andrew disappears and closes her eyes in silent prayer.

Suddenly it is no longer medieval times and the tent disappears. Cara is now standing in the center of the Anchorage Operations Center, staring at the main viewing screen where the image of an armada or Borg cubes loom in front of the Zumwalt, Hopper and the entire Air Wing. Two of the smaller cubes fire on the Javelins, taking them out, one fighter at a time. The larger cube advances toward the Hopper and fires on it, but the Hopper's shields deflect most of the blast. It is damaged but still manages to get off several more shots before taking evasive maneuvers.

Meanwhile, the Zumwalt moves above the cube and fires several torpedoes at the cubes upper hull. Only three of them get through and debris can be seen exploding from the top of the cube. The rest are deflected when the Borg adapt and adjust their shields.

Suddenly one of the smaller cubes breaks away from the battle with the Air Wing, now unnecessary as they have all been destroyed, and fires on the Zumwalt. The initial blast is deflected and Cara yells, '

As if hearing her, the Zumwalt veers off and comes around, firing everything she has at the smaller cube. Somehow they manage to damage the cube enough that it moves out of range and gives up the battle but the larger cube has moved into position and sends a volley of particle blasts at the Zumwalt, disabling her shields and propulsion. Cara watches in horror as the Zumwalt lists to the side, powerless. She fires at the larger cube to no avail and then everything seems to become slow motion as the larger cube fires two streams from it most powerful phasers and the Zumwalt explodes in a shower of debris and flames.

“NOOOOO!” Cara screamed and sat straight up in bed, shaking and drenched in perspiration.

Drew's smile vanished as she bolted upright screaming. He wrapped her in his arms and held her gently. He spoke softly into her ear. "Shhh. It was just a nightmare. You're safe now."

Cara grabbed hold of Drew and clung to him. She had had nightmares about the Borg ever since their attack on SB900 and this wasn't the first time she had woke up in a cold sweat. It was, however, the first time the fear had penetrated her inner armor and terrified her to her core. She couldn't speak. She could only cling to Drew as her body shook uncontrollably. The fear mixed with the loss of control overwhelmed her and she began to sob, burying her face in his chest.

Drew could tell this was no ordinary nightmare. It must have been something horribly terrifying to affect the strongest woman he knew. He also knew not to pry the specifics out of her. She would tell him in her own way and in her own time. He simply stroked her hair and held her against him as he murmured softly to her that she was safe and loved and cared for.

It seemed like forever for the tears to run out and her body to begin to relax. When she could cry no more she simply huddled in Drew's arms. She wanted to tell him to hold her and never let go but she knew how silly that sounded so she took a deep breath and whispered, "It was the Borg."

Drew kissed the top of her head and nodded. All of the survivors suffered through nightmares regarding the Borg. He himself had dozens of nightmares where the Borg assimilated him or those he cared about or simply annihilated everyone. "We're safe here. The Borg don't have this location and we've been very careful about sending ships out in ways that keep our location a secret."

Cara finally was able to get control of her emotions and she pushed herself back. "I'm sorry," she said, sheepishly, wiping her tear stained cheeks with the back of her hand.

Drew gave her the gentlest of kisses. "You, Cara Jean Nichols, have absolutely nothing to be sorry for. What we've been through. It would break almost anyone. You've held it've held me together. I love you Cara, more than anything in this universe. I...I'd have never been able to hold it together without you." He kissed her again to emphasize his point, not ardently, not passionately, but with all the love in his heart. He wanted her to know exactly how he felt for her in that single kiss.

Meeting the Brigadier General of the Rock CO's Office After the XO Visit
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After her visit with the Executive Officer, Alyssa almost went to check on her daughter, but she knew that Sara was fine with Taz and this Lady Waddington whom she has not met yet. Alyssa could not do this because she still needed to visit with the CO as well to check in. Alyssa found that she preferred to see not just the XO when checking in but the Captain as well for it was a sigh of respect really. Making her way back down the corridor towards the lift. Alyssa hit the call button for the lift nodding to a passing officer on the station as she exited.
The doors opened with a swish sound and Alyssa moved to step onto the lift. “Command Deck.” She said softly watching the doors close. Once they did close, she moved to stretch having to try to work out all the kinks. She yawned from having been up so long, the feline would quite rather be in her quarters and out of this uniform. Alyssa really hated the confining feeling of this uniform or any other one really. The doors to the lift started to open as she moved to the command deck just one above the previous deck. Making her way down the corridor towards the Captain’s Office she hit the chime letting him know of her presence on the other side.

Christopher was standing in front of the view screen reading an intelligence report on Borg activity when the chime sounded. Turning towards the door, he tugged on his uniform to straighten it.

"Enter!" he commanded.

Alyssa walked through the doors as she was commanded to enter came to attention. "Lieutenant JG Alyssa Matthews Reporting for Duty." She said unable to prevent the natural purr that came with her words her tail flicking about behind her slightly.

Christopher looked the woman over, keeping an eye on the tail that was flicking back and forth. Feline humanoids always took him off guard because he never knew where to keep his eyes. "Stand at ease, Lieutenant." Picking up a PADD, he searched through the personnel records until he found the one he was looking for.

"Matthews, Alyssa. Lieutenant Junior Grade. A graduate of the Class of 2385, ranked first in your class on the Operations track, and fresh off of an assignment as the Supply Officer aboard the USS Pequod. So tell me, Lieutenant. What brings you out to the Delta Quadrant? They don't usually hand out Chief Operations Officer spots on bases to too many Lieutenant JGs." Christopher asked, sizing her up. All too often, the downfall of junior officers was confidence. Christopher was looking for a spark of confidence that indicated that she could not only be sound in her decision making but back up those decisions when questioned.

"I requested this assignment of Admiral Janeway herself for the chance to prove I can be a good Chief of Operations." Alyssa told him remembering how surprised she was when she got the response back from Admiral Janeway. Alyssa had gotten passage on the first ship heading out to Forward Operations Base Anchorage with her child as soon as her transfer papers were in hand.

Chris smiled slightly. "Well, if the Admiral thinks you're good enough, then I'm not inclined to disagree with her but remember that you're the most junior officer here. Your decisions will be questioned by those that outrank you, so be prepared to back up your decisions, no matter if they're right or wrong. Do we understand each other?" he inquired.

"Completely, sir," Alyssa said affirmatively. She understood she would have to prove herself. Had expected as much really otherwise there was no challenge to push her to do better. If she had to claw her way up the levels for respect from her peers then so be it. She would strive to do better each day instead of the best of her ability.

Christopher stood silently for a moment to size the woman up again. "Good. Report to Master Chief Sullivan and he'll get you squared away with your duty shift assignment and command qualifications. Any questions?" he asked, refusing to break eye contact.

"No, sir," Alyssa said refusing to break eye contact either.

"Then you're dismissed," Christopher said as he turned back to the screen which was now displaying the intelligence report.

"Yes, sir." She turned on her heels and exited the CO's office considering he had already turned his attention elsewhere.

Meeting Sicily main engineering somewhere in-between
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Standing at the main engineering table, schematics up all across its surface, Byrnes swiped a hand through his hair for the hundredth time. It was one of hisunconscious habits when stress and angst were felt, and due to that, he now had a streak of grime, dirt, and soot mixed in with his locks. HIs face was smudged, as were his hands, and the uniform--well, there was no hope. It was covered in grime from shoulders to boots. Since he was wearing an engineer's vest with all his tools in the multiple pockets, his gold long sleeves showed the wear and tear of the day's workload. Sighing heavily and walking away to a small table and chair he had set up, Wulf sipped coffee from the thermomug as he sat down, running a hand over his face and feeling the whiskers starting to grow in ever thicker.

An ensign approached, a slight grin on her face. "You look tired and frustrated, Sir. How long has it been since you slept?"

The angst now gone after sitting down, Byrnes looked to the woman. "I'm not really sure. Haven't slept since I arrived."

"That was three days ago, Sir." The Ensign's grin disappeared.

"Alright then, three days." Wulf sipped more coffee before asking. "What's your name, Ensign?"

"Cristina Sirico." She extended a hand, which was shook.

Wulf had been looking at her trying to decide if she was Greek, Italian, or another of the Mediterranean people. He had his answer. "Italian, huh?" He stood up with a grunt, stretching after setting his cup down on the small table.

"Pfft." Responded Sirico. "Sicilian, Sir. That other place north of us has Italians." She smiled.

"Oh, you mean the place called Italy," asked Wulf, his own grin forming, despite how tired he was. "Italy is full of Italians..who knew?" He chuckled, feeling rummy.

Sirico giggled in return. "Anyway, go get some sleep. Trust that we will do things by the numbers and not blow up anything until you get back."

Byrnes rubbed the back of his neck, nodding that he would. "Just keep an eye on those tachyons, will ya? The wobblehead who thought that was a good idea musta forgot that tachyons are deadly to carbon life. But, instead of taking that into consideration they filled our systems with it due to weapons and defense." He gave a flabbergasted shake of the head as he began to walk away. "What's your specialty, Sicily?"

Sirico watched his back as he left, seeing all the grime from this man climbing around through jeffries tubes. "I'm just a jug-head engineer, Sir. No specialty, yet."

Stopping and half turning to look back, Wulf gave her a nod. "That was my path too. Alright, fair enough. Ensign Sirico you're in charge down here until I return, please note that in the base log and with the duty officer. Carry on." Giving the woman a wink he turned and walked out.

"I..uhh..yes, Sir." Being worried about her boss had not prepared Sirico for running the whole damn department. Had not been what she expected. Spinning on her heel she went to the 'pool table' and began to emulate what she had seen Byrnes doing...reading the boards and fixing problems.


A frustrated Ensign main engineering somewhere in-between
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Coming back into engineering, clean and in a fresh uniform and engineer's vest, Wulf saw Sicily standing bent at the waist at the main table. The 'pool table', as it was affectionately known by engineers throughout Starfleet, gave up to the moment reports on systems and problems detected. He could tell that Sirico had been stressed over being put in charge, and he knew the common mistake. He had done the same thing as a Lt.(jg), never having seen ensign since his academy scores provided him with a promotion right out of the gate. He strolled on over and saw a lock of black hair hanging down in front of Cristina's left eye, which she kept blowing out of the way every few seconds. "Well, we're all still here. Glad you didn't blow anything up, Sicily."

Sirico stood up straight, looking him straight in the eye. "That was a shitty thing to do to me, Sir."

"What, put you in charge?" Byrnes gave a stern look. "Welcome to Starfleet, and the life of an engineer. When shit goes down we're expected to fix it, no matter what. When I go down I like to know that those beneath me can take the reins and win the day. I suggest you park the attitude, Ensign."

Sirico gave a sigh, the shoulders visibly relaxing. "Apologies, Sir. Just a tad frustrated. This isn't as easy as I expected."

Byrnes grinned. "That right there is your problem. You have expectations as to how things should go. The thing that screws us up most in life is how things are SUPPOSED to be, not how they are." Dropping the lecture and changing direction, he asked. "So, what has your panties in a bunch?"

"I can't seem to stay caught up," replied Sirico. "I get one thing fixed and another pops up. This place is one giant headache."

Wulf gave a chuckle as he moved around beside her, pointing to the readouts on the table. "Okay, now you will learn how to prioritize. See this?" He got a nod so continued. "That's a personal replicator for someone's quarters." He swiped it off to the side. "Personal shit comes last. It has no bearing on our readiness. EPS and the Tachyon grid need to be maintained. If those Tachyons get inside the station we're gonna have people dropping left and right. Matthews is the OPS chief, so over here," he pointed to a section. "This is the OPS panel for power allocation and resources. That's her job, resource management, and why they too wear gold. Operations is all of us together."

"I get all that, Sir." Sirico was looking anxious again.

"Relax, Sicily." Wulf put a hand on her shoulder, squeezing lightly as he looked her in the eyes. "You held it down, Sirico. You had too many teams out fixing minor problems, but you had it covered. Weapons, shields, EPS, and life support. Those take priority. Everything else can wait. In the academy our training is mainly in starships. Bases are a whole different animal. You'll get the hang of it as we go. Find your confidence, know you can do the job, and you'll be able to relax and think on your feet."

Sirico had been staring into his eyes, completely attentive to what he had to say. Once he paused she blinked her eyes and gave a grin. "I'll improve, Sir."

Byrnes grinned in return. "I have no doubts. Now, go relax and enjoy your time off."

"Thanks, Sir," said Sirico as she spun on her heel. Getting over to the main entry she suddenly half-turned, looking back. "And they're ladies boxer briefs, just so you know."

Wulf had been looking at a data readout, half listening, looking up at her. "What?"

Sirico poked her right butt cheek with her index finger. "I don't wear panties while in uniform." With that said she stuck her tongue out playfully and walked out.

Byrnes shook his head, chuckling as he looked back to his work. "The people I work with, I tell ya..."

Meeting the Neighbors (part 3) Observation Lounge The Day Before the Fresh Blood post
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Iehos was impressed as they walked along the corridor and entered the spacious and tastefully decorated observation lounge with its 4 large viewing screens depicting different views of the space surrounding the asteroid. A large conference table sat off center in the room and several small sofas and matching chairs were in a hospitable arrangement underneath the viewing screens as if under large windows. A man in a uniform stood between the table and the less formal seating.

Jack motioned to two of his squad to stand outside of the door and dismissed the others then entered the room and stood, silently, by the door.

Stuos scrutinized the man standing in the lounge. The uniform appeared almost identical to their escorts, with a black trim at the collar instead of gold on Devlin's. He had a similar bearing and physical conditioning though. Another member of their Warrior caste.

Drew looked at the newcomers with curiosity. Iehos appeared to be taking in their surrounding as Stuos seemed to be cautiously assessing him. He looked to Lady Catherine and gestured in both directions. "Would you like to sit at the conference table or would the couches be more to your liking?"

Iehos walked over and sat down on one of the couches.

Catherine smiled and sat in her place.

Drew took his seat. "Allow me to introduce myself. Commander Andrew Knight. I am the Deputy Base Commander here at Anchorage."

"I am Commander Iehos and this is Commander Stuos," Iehos said. "We noticed the increased activity coming from the asteroid belt and were curious who had taken over the old Federation base. I, for one, am glad it is back in the Federation's hands."

Lady Catherine simply watched, her face an unreadable mask as the men spoke.

Stuos sat in one of the chairs and looked over at Jack Devlin. "I gather that you are the Enforcer here." It was a statement, not a question.

"You could say that," Jack said, with a bit of a smile while remaining at a relaxed parade rest by the door. "I'm Chief of Security for the Rock."

Stuos nodded. He turned back to Drew. "Well, while my colleague may be glad you have returned and...not some criminal element. I'd like to know why you have reclaimed a mothballed facility."

Drew considered how he would answer Stuos and decided on honesty. "The primary facility Starfleet operated from was destroyed in a Borg attack. A well hidden emergency protocol sent our evacuation ships here."

Iehos's eyes widened. "The Borg? In this sector?" he asked, the hackles on the back of his neck raising.

"On the other side of the gateway," Jack spoke up from his position by the door. "Which we shut down as soon as we escaped through it. We are what is left of 16,000."

Iehos had a look empathetic sadness and concern. The Borg had not been a threat in this sector. The main threat had been from the Voth. But they were kittens compared to the Borg. The thought that they were just on the other side of a gateway controlled by the Federation was unnerving as a lot of those Federation personnel were now assimilated and the knowledge of how to activate the gateway was now a part of the Borg collective.

"We will do all we can to safeguard this area." Catherine said softly.

Stuos gave a short snort before focusing his attention on Catherine. "How do you propose to do that...Ambassador?"

Drew started to answer, but was cut off by Stuos.

Stuos eyed Drew critically. "No offense Commander Knight, but my question was directed to your ambassador and not you.

Catherine surpressed a smiile and answered calmly. "By creating diplomatic alliances in this quadrant and maintaining an effective military." She smiled.

Stuos opened his mouth to reply, his expression indicating it was to be a critical response, but Iehos spoke first.

"Military?" Iehos asked, leaning forward. "I hope you are not suggesting imposing the Federation's military on civilizations in this sector that already have established militaries," he said, looking from Waddington to Knight and back again.

Drew took this opportunity to speak. "Starfleet is not a traditional military service Commander Iehos. Though we do maintain a defensive mission profile to deter aggression. It is primarily an exploration service. The United Federation of Planets is an interstellar society based on democratic principles."

"That's not the way she," Iehos pointed to Waddington, "made it sound. Oehiri has it's own military....which Commander Stuos and I are in charge of. We defend our own and have for centuries. Our society is a Parliamentary government was told to the last Federation envoy that visited our planet...we wish to remain an independent society." He looked at Stuos for confirmation. "I am sure Prime Ministers Cyx and Qem'a would confirm this once you meet with them."

Stuos nodded, then looked pointedly at Catherine and Drew. "Our ships may not be as powerful as your Starfleet vessels. But we do possess a formidable Space Force.

Drew turned to Catherine. "Ambassador Waddington. Perhaps you should lead a delegation. Meet with Prime Ministers Cyx and Qem'a."

"I will however I meant that the effective military would protect us from Borg attack, rather than expecting others to stretch the resources needed for their people to protect us," she said.

Drew gave Catherine a nod. He looked to Jack. "Commander Devlin, If you would see to it that Commander Iehos and Stuos are put up in VIP accommodations. We will schedule a meeting for tomorrow morning to work out a diplomatic delegation to return with you to your home planet."

"Of course, Commander," Jack said and walked over to the terminal at the head of the conference table. Without sitting down he put in a few commands and waited as the computer assigned accommodations for the two visitors. He plugged a small PADD into the side of the terminal.

Iehos looked at Stuos with concern. They hadn't planned on bringing outsiders back to the planet and hadn't even told the Prime Ministers that they were going to check out the new neighbors. Prime Minister Cyx was not going to be pleased. This could be the end to his career with the Enforcement Battalion. He would be forced to resign under less than favorable circumstances and his name would be forever marred in the history logs.

"Lodging has been cleared and assigned," Jack said. "Suites C7-31 and 32. One of my officers will escort you there. There are replicators in each suite and a civilian galley on Deck 6. Or there is the food court on our promenade." He motioned to one of the security officers standing by the door. "Burroughs?"

The Lieutenant stepped into the room. "Yes, sir."

"I need you to escort our guests to their suites," Jack said and unplugged the small PADD, handing it to the Lieutenant.

Stuos gave a nod to both Lady Catherine and Drew in turn. "Ambassador, Commander." He rose from his chair and stepped over beside Iehos. "My co-pilot is still aboard our patrol ship. Would you also see to it he is provided accommodations as well?"

Drew nodded at Stuos then nodded again to Jack.

Iehos stood up, still not comfortable with staying.

Jack made a couple of quick commands into the computer and produced another suite for the Oehirian co-pilot, which he handed to the other security officer and sent him to the landing pad to retrieve the third guest. "If you gentlemen will follow Lt. Burroughs?" he said, gesturing towards the door. Once the two men had disappeared into the corridor, Jack turned to the XO and said, "I'll go through the old databanks and see what I can find out about the Oehirians. If they knew about the Federation residing here before then Janeway must have had some kind of contact with them at some point. Hopefully any logs she might have made are still intact."

Drew gave the matter a moments thought before replying. "Pull any yeoman or operations personnel you need for the research and keep General Mitchell and I updated on the progress. Dismissed Commander."

Jack nodded and headed off to his office to do some research.

Drew turned to Lady Catherine. "Is it just me...or were the two Oehiri officers...a bit unsettled by our sending a delegation back with them?"

"Probably had thought to make the deal themselves thy are not the most diplomatic of people it appears," she said calmly getting up and walking to the dour where she was met by her guards.
Warriors of Peace Commander Knight's Office TBD
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Drew was standing at the office replicator when the chime to his office door rang out. He retrieved his black coffee from the cubby and glanced at the door. "Enter."

Michael walks in he held Mary's hand walking her to a chair watching her take the a seat he smiled. "Sorry ... I have to take her to see her new teacher and I don't have someone to look after her when she isn't in school," Michael said as he hands her some ice cream. "Major Phoenix reporting in." Michael said to Drew as he now stood at attention. Mary watched eating her ice cream.

Drew gave Michael a nod and gestured with his coffee hand. "Relax Major Phoenix." He looked at the replicator for a second before glancing back to Michael. "May I get you something? Coffee or tea?"

"Coffee please and tea for Mary," he said relaxing a little as he looked at the Commander than back to Mary. "Clean your face dear you have ice cream on it, "he told her. "I know daddy," she said using a napkin on her face.

Drew ordered up the beverages for his visitors and brought them over. He gave Michael his drink first and then gave a mug of tea to Mary. "Here you go young lady."

Michael took the drink. "Thank you sir," Michael said to Drew. Michael looked over at Mary. "Thank you," she said shyly as she took the mug then a drink. "What can you tell me about the base," Michael asked Drew.

Drew keyed in a few commands at his office workstation and gestured to the wall mounted monitor. A diagram of the base came up. "As you can see virtually the entire base is below the surface of the asteroid. It's set up in a series of functional hubs connected by a network of travel tubes."

Michael watches and looks over at the wall mount, "Very nice, how large of a force will the marines have once the General and you get to full staff," Michael asked.

Drew glanced at Mary for a moment. The information Michael asked about was not cleared for the ears of a young child. "I'll send you some specifics later on or meet with you tomorrow on bringing you up to speed on what a full operational plan is."

"I see. Would you like me to ask her to stay in the hall for a moment?" Michael asked as he looked at Mary who was drinking her tea.

Drew keyed a switch on his desk and a moment later a yeoman entered. "Yes sir?"

Drew gestured to Michael.

"Mary dear go with the Petty Officer here," he said looking at her as she stood up. "Don't worry I'll be right here." Mary nods as she stood up walking with the Yeoman into the hall she didn't speak at all as she was a little scared around others but her father.

Drew turned to Michael as the door shut. "Your battalion is the first of three elements to arrive. Starfleet Command has decided, due to the Borg threat, to deploy a fully manned and operational Marine Expeditionary Unit to the Rock. You are to command the Ground Combat Element. The Air Wing will task out craft for any operations until a dedicated marine composite squadron arrives to form the basis for the Aviation Combat Element. Brigadier General Mitchell and base staff will provide an ad hoc Logistics and Command Element as needed, but I gather operational control will remain largely in your hands."

Michael nods. "Very well best thing I can do now is check out the marine hall and check everything there and make sure it is up to my standards." Michael said as he pulled out his PADD taking a few notes it was something he learned from his father.

Drew raised a hand to stall Michael's departure for only a moment longer. "One more thing. There are 30 plus marines that were part of the survivors of the Battle of Starbase 900. Please do your best to integrate them into your battalion. Preferably together."

Michael nods. "I will look into seeing what I can do to keep them together but I can't promise anything," he told Drew. "Is that all," he asked the Commander.

"I think we've covered enough for the moment. Go and enjoy the rest of the day with your daughter." Drew went back to his desk, speaking over his shoulder. "You can also tell Yeoman Second Class Jones to assist you in registering Mary at the Children's Center...and that she can have the rest of the day off after that."

Michael nods " I will handle my daughters affairs " Michael said making his way to the door " Ready dear " Michael asked as he looked over at Mary as she was in a chair in the hallway, Michael smiled at her as she stood " Let's get you into your classes and check on the marine bay " Michael said " We still need to get food for home " Mary told him. " this is true also " Michael said " We can do all that before sunset I'm sure " he said to her with a smile as he walked with her.
A little down-time quarters current
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Byrnes, after another long day getting this FOB back in working order, entered his quarters and unzipped his engineer's vest, tossing it into a chair. Reaching up with both hands he mussed his own hair, scratching back and forth vigorously to get the capillaries flowing better, stripping down as he went to his bathroom. Starting the water shower, hot and steamy, he angled his face toward the ceiling. "Computer, play Carmina Burana, half volume throughout these cabins." The computer acknowledged and within moments the first track, O Fortuna, began to play. Stepping into his shower Wulf began to scrub away the day's grime.

After the shower and dressing in a clean uniform, engineer's vest added, Byrnes put the soiled linens through the refresher, hanging them after they were done. His people had been working overtime, split shifts, and double shifts to get the small amenities operating. Replicators were still hit and miss, some in worse wear than others, but each would be gotten to in time. His own personal replicator was down, not something he stressed over, since there were plenty of ration packs to choose from. He glanced at the stack of them in a corner, the ones he had absconded for himself, grinning. First order of business; survival. If they got hit by the Borg, or some other enemy, then he had what he would need to stuff a bugout bag full and head deep into the unexplored caverns.

"Computer," said Byrnes, tired of what was playing. "Switch the music to Black Label Society, random tracks." Again, the computer acknowledged and the first track chosen was 'In This River'. Going over to his guitar in its stand, Wulf took it up and strapped it on, tuning for a few minutes before telling the computer to start the song over, deleting the lead guitar, which he now played.


"In This River"

(Original Artist): Black Label Society/Zakk Wylde

I've been around this world
Yet I see no end
All shall fade to black again and again
This storm that's broken me
My only friend

In this river all shall fade to black
In this river ain't no coming back
In this river all shall fade to black
Ain't no coming back

Withdrawn I step away
Just to find myself
The door is closed again
The only one left
This storm that's broken me
My only friend

[Chorus x2]
[Chorus x2]


Halfway through the song his chime had sounded, he said come in quickly, and in walked Sirico. She did not disturb him, instead waiting and watching him play, seeing he was wrapped up in the emotions of the tune. When the song ended he turned the guitar off and set it in its stand. "Hi, Sicily. What can I do for you?"

"That was beautiful," said Cristina. "Sorry I interrupted."

Byrnes waved it off with a grin. "Not a problem. Someday you can listen as I play the piano portion."

Sirico smiled. "Let me know when." It was her turn to wave a hand. "Anyway, we have an issue with a generator. Fusion reactors tend to be fussy, Boss."

"With the state of this palce when we arrived, I ahve no doubts," replied Wulf. "Lead the way, Ensign."

Nodding at that, Sirico walked out with Byrnes on her heels.


Cross training Marine berth current
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Making his way to 'marine country', Wulf accessed the corridor leading to Major Phoenix's office. Finding it, seeing he was inside, Byrnes knocked on the doorjamb.

Michael looks up from his file as he leans back " Come in " he said as he picks up his coffee, Mary was reading one of her books on the couch that was in his office with her music playing through her earbuds.

"Thank you, Major," said Byrnes as he entered, glancing at the child a moment. "Hope to not be interrupting your day." He came to stand before the marine CO's desk, not all prim and proper, but as an officer of equal status. "I have an idea and wanted to run it by you, since the idea includes your department."

Michael stood up to great Byrnes " Hello Lt, call me Michael here if you would "he said then looking at Mary " That is Mary my daughter she is just reading and listen to music " Michael said to him " What is this idea and would you like coffee " he asked.

Wulf gave the girl a wave and nod of hello, but being caught up in her own world she didn't see it. Byrnes figured as much, being a child, so returned his attention to the Major. "Wulf, Major. That's what I go by among familiar faces." He gave a dismissive wave of the hand to that. "Anyway. I have been on away teams, both with TAC officers and marines, learning the basics of unit tactics. Since I am the CEO I am requesting permission to train with your marines, and you. This way, if you need an engineer on site then you can rest assured that the one you drag along has at least a rudimentary understanding of fireteam strategy. At the same time, I can train your leathernecks in basic engineering protocols, making them more efficient for boarding actions."

Michael nods listen to Wulf " I see just you " he asked as he hands Wulf some coffee " It's black I don't do cream or sugar " Michael adds as he takes his chair pulling up his roll call.

"Cream and sugar are for wussies," said Byrnes, nodding thanks for the beverage. "I like my coffee like I like my women, hot and bitter. " He chuckled a moment, then got back on point. "Basically, I myself want to train with you lot. The other engineers, it will be voluntary only. I know that Ensign Sirico will want to train, she's a go-getter." Wulf gave Michael a quizzical look. "Are you shutting me down, Firebird? If this is a bit much at this time, I understand."

" never said I was Lt " Michael said to him " We can set up something pick 10 of your engineers and I will take 10 marines to let you train engineering to " Michael said "But remember this once you enter this bay you and those officers are mine and will run and work their asses off " Michael said as Mary giggled "Sorry dear " he said to her.

"I would expect nothing less," replied Wulf, glancing back over his shoulder at the young lady, giving a wink. "Just keep in mind if an engineering incident occurs, no matter the training schedule, I will leave immediately to see to it."

Michael nods " Very well "he said as he works on his PADD " bring a team here 0600 tomorrow morning and we will start " Michael told him as he looks up " Please make sure they get some sleep tonight" Michael added.

"Will do. Thanks Major." Byrnes turned and walked out, giving a nod of goodbye to the little girl. Time to gather his flock and see who wanted in on this.

" Hmm engineers with marines.. " Michael said leaning back as Mary took her earbuds out of her ears " They might run away " she said with a smile " They might my dear " Michael said to her with a chuckle "You ready for some food " Michael asked her " Yes " Mary said getting her things together and joined her father at the door to go get something to eat.
Finding a true friend quarters current
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Byrnes and Sirico came around a corner from seeing to the fusion reactor. " you see? The EPS manifold that fed power directly to the system was faulty. Give it a few hours and all will be fine."

Sirico nodded to all that he had said. "Don't you check the work?"

"When I need to, yeah." Said Byrnes.

"You don't feel you need to on this project," asked Sirico.

Wulf stopped and turned to face her as she stopped. "No, I don't. This is the Delta Quadrant, and Starfleet would only send those they felt could handle the isolation. If they can handle that, they can handle a manifold without me looking over their shoulder every five minutes. I trust my people."

Sirico gave a single nod of understanding. "Fair enough. So, now what?"

"I'm gonna go play some tunes for relaxation, shower, then dive into the scratcher," explained Byrnes.

"Mind if I tag along?"

Byrnes got them walking again, his voice accented by chuckles. "I play my shit loud when in the moment, hope you can handle it."

Sirico gave a derisive sigh. "Wulf, my family is from Sicily, I'm from New York City." She dropped the covering of her NYC accent. "I can handle anything you throw at me. Ballads, metal, dubstep...bring it, boyo."

Byrnes gave a laugh as they made it to his door. "Sneaky bitch, arntcha? Alright, you've been warned. There's a 50 yr old bottle of Pendleton whiskey in the cupboard near to the dining table." They walked into his quarters, him giving an off-hand pointing to the libations before peeling off his vest and over-shirt, tossing them in a chair. His black tank top accented his body, built like a brick shit-house, and obviously a strength trainer atop an athletic frame. He took sat behind the piano and looked at her as she found the booze and two glasses. "Anything you wanna hear that I might know?"

Sirico went and sat next to him on the bench, setting the tumblers on the piano top and pouring them both full. "Surprise me." She put the cork back in the bottle and set it aside, taking up a glass for herself and handing him one. "I can deal with a variety of music, as long as it is good and gets my tush moving." She giggled.

Wulf sipped some whiskey, then set the tumbler over on an end table near him. "Okay. When I play, the entire band is included. I set it so that whatever I am playing is out of the track. Hence, the piano, and I will do vocals. You asked for it. This one is all piano and vocals, so I hope you enjoy." Setting himself and tuning for a few minutes, Wulf started the song he had in mind.


"Scars" (piano version)

{OA: Black Label Society/Zakk Wylde}

Say your peace, for I'll be on my way
One last look, nothing left to say
As I turn my back, to walk away
I shall forgive, but I won't forget that day

For every sky that shines
Shall meet the pouring rain
For my will shall never break though it may bend
Like the scars that heal yet never mend

When lies become the truth
Well, you've got your beliefs
No burdens on your mind
They're buried beneath your feet

As I turn my back, to walk away
I shall forgive, but I won't forget that day

For every sky that shines
Shall meet the pouring rain
For my will shall never break though it may bend
Like the scars that heal yet never mend

As I turn my back, to walk away
I shall forgive, but I won't forget that day

For every sky that shines
Shall meet the pouring rain
For my will shall never break though it may bend
Like the scars that heal yet never mend

For every sky that shines
Shall meet the pouring rain
For my will shall never break though it may bend
Like the scars that heal yet never mend


"Oh my God," said Sirico. "That was beautiful. You sang that from the well of your spirit. Bad break-up?"

"You could say that," admitted Byrnes. "Long time ago. I still feel her now and again."

"Really?" Cristina was kind of surprised by that, seeing this man as strong and independent. For someone to leave that kind of impression, and he still felt her, then that had been a deep intimacy. "Is she still around? I mean, alive?"

Wulf gave a grin and looked over while sipping some whiskey. "Yep. She's a Vulcan. Well, half Vulcan, half Romulan. It is believed that if you go deep into intimacy with a Vulcanoid they can develop a telepathic link with you. This one did. She's in the Alpha Quadrant, so any feeling I have from her is pretty dead this far out in the galaxy, since we're no longer together. She upheld her family obligations and married the man her family had arranged for her when she was just a girl."

"Arranged marriage?" Sirico shook her head. "Pfft. What the hell is this, the middle ages?"

"Vulcan tradition, and I respected that." Byrnes sighed. "Let's change the subject." He swallowed down his drink, handing the tumbler over. "Ice please. I like to let the ice melt a bit, brings out the aromas and flavors in the whiskey."

Sirico got up and did as he asked, bringing the glass back and plopping her tush on the bench. "There, massa. Is there anything else Miss Cristina can get for you? Slippers, perhaps?"

"I can, and will, kick you out," responded Byrnes, a grin on his face, the threat an empty one.

"Sorry," said Sirico. "Just trying to make you laugh. Your eyes died for a moment."

Byrnes leaned over and kissed her cheek. "Thanks for hanging with me tonight. Means a lot. You wanna know what I am searching for, then listen up." He switched to his guitar, standing right in front of her after she spun to sit on the bench and observe.


"Heart Of Gold"

{OA: Neil Young. Cover by Black label Society}

I want to live,
I want to give
I've been a miner for a heart of gold.
It's these reflections
I never give
That keep me searching for a heart of gold.

And I'm getting old.
Keep me searching for a heart of gold
And I'm getting old.

I've been to Hollywood
I've been to Redwood
I crossed the ocean for a heart of gold.
I've been in my mind,
It's such a fine line
That keeps me searching for a heart of gold.

And I'm getting old.
Keeps me searching for a heart of gold
And I'm getting old.

Keep me searching for a heart of gold.
You keep me searching and I'm growing old.
Keep me searching for a heart of gold
I've been a miner for a heart of gold.


Finishing, Wulf set the guitar in its stand and then sat down in his easy chair, facing his guest. "This isn't becoming a thing, is it?"

Sirico was surprised by the bluntness of the question. " Pretend I'm a baseball player."

Wulf gave a laugh. "What? What does that even mean?" He giggled some more.

"Okay, here it is." Said Cristina. "You use your bat, I prefer the catchers mitt." She raised her eyebrows in that look of 'get it?'.

"Ahh, message received," said Byrnes. "That's cool. So, we gonna hang out more often? Friends are hard to come by out here in the big D."

Sirico smiled. "Of course, you ninny. I don't know many here, and you are cool as shit. Casual. I dig that."

"It's a slow, southern Irish thing, not done on purpose," he said, grinning at the self-diagnosis. "My branch of the family went north, but the ancestry, beyond the island, came from down south. Mainly the Gulf states."

"Hence, your love of the sea." Sirico finished her drink and stood, setting the glass on the piano. "But, work comes early and my boss can be a stickler. If you got nothing going on any given night, give me a buzz."

"Thanks, Sicily, I will." Byrnes downed the secon tumbler of whiskey, which was half of the first with the ice. He stood to escort her out. "Have a good night, sister."

Cristina gave him a peck on the lips. "Always. Get some sleep, I'll see you tomorrow." She walked out.

The door slid shut leaving Wulf standing there alone. His chin dropped, fingers tapping the doorjamb as memories ran through his mind. Lifting his head he spun and went back into his main room, proper. After almost dying to get here it was comforting to find a friend, a confidante he could trust with his feelings, his fears, and his inadequacies. It was a rare thing to find people who were real, who were who they were no matter what, and with Sirico he had found that. She didn't judge and she listened. All he could ask for. Stripping down Wulf headed to the shower, hoping to wash away grime and memories that still haunted him.


Meeting Family Diplomatic Office
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Michael walked with Mary after he made classes and gear for school had been taken care of he also thought it would be nice for her to make some friends while they are here and enrolled her into some programs " We are going to see Taz she is family I hear she's a bodyguard here " Michael told her as she nods " Is she like grandma and grandpa " Mary asked him " She is of mom's blood, I haven't seen her in a little while" Michael said as they walked into the Diplomatic office. " Can I help you Major? " the officer behind the desk asked "Yes I am looking for a Tazanna Wilcox," Michael asked as Mary moved close to him due to the large group near.

"She is on the promenade with the Lady Catherine Waddington. Redheaded woman." the officer pointed to two women looking at the stalls " Thank you " Michael said as he looks at Mary " Can I stay here " she asked him " No love it is safe here I will make sure they don't hurt you " Michael said to her Mary nods as she walked with her father to the stalls "Taz " Michael said to her.

Tazanna looked around. Not many people shortened her name. Spotting her cousin she chuckled. "Hello, Mikey. Lady Catherine I'd like you to meet my cousin Michael Phoenix and this little angel must be Mary." Tazanna said to the flame-haired woman next to her.

"Hello, Major Phenix isn't it?" she asked

" Hello Taz and yes it is Ma'am, " Michael said to them as Mary hides behind him gripping his jacket from behind even tho she was nearly 10 she did not like groups of people.

"Hello, Mary. It's a little crowded here isn't it?" Catherine smiled, Mary nods her head into her father's jacket

" She is really shy but seems to enjoy being in the marine bay, " he said to them.

"Well its Fergusons day off but you are welcome to ours. Tazanna can bring you up to speed on whats been happening and I can get paperwrk done and I think we have some ice cream" Catherine smiled at Mary

Mary didn't move or say anything " so what is going on I heard some scuttlebutt about dragons, " Michael said as Mary put her earbuds into her ears

"Heard about it but never paid much heed." Tazanna admitted as they walked back towards the turbo lift. Michael nods as he moved with them Mary stays behind him " Would be a little weird to see something like that maybe if we kill one I can keep the skull " he chuckled to himself.

"EEw I see why she has earphones in now." Lady Catherine laughed as she ordered the lift to her floor.

Michael joined them with Mary standing close to him " shes use to my ways but I can't seem to get her out of that shell of hers "

"would help if she was not autistic." Tazanna commented

" Had her tested for everything and shes fine, her mother didn't help at all with anything and she pretty muched dropped her off " Michael said " One she was older she came around a little treated her like shit and dropped her off again"

"Really? she s so like our Yani with the ASD. Brilliant medic. Shitty social skills though" Tazanna chuckled

" She just needs someone to get her out of the that bubble she loved working with dad.. he showed her how to take rifles apart " Michael said

"Any female in the family could teach her that." Tazanna laughed as the door opened on Catherine's floor.

" You know dad he likes doing things like that and he did teach all of us how to shoot young "

"I remember." Tazanna smiled as Catherine opened the door.

"mom hated that " Michael said as he checked on Mary who was singing lightly with the music.

"Na she was thinking of all the charges you could get pulled up on." Tazanna grinned

"Your mother is lovely." Catherine stated as she prepped coffee cups. "Mary would you like some ice cream?"

" Yes please " Mary said as she pulled out her earbuds " Granny is the best " she said " She is that " Michael said with a smile

"I met her a few years back. Surprised her hairs so dark though." Catherine remarked

" She has had her hair many colors but I believe thats her real color " Michael said " I believe that's why my hair is dark and Sarah's is more like dads"

"I was meaning I was surprised you had not sent her grey" Catherine clarified causing Tazanna to chuckle

" No I believe dad would be the cause of all that all us kids had nothing to do with that " Michael smiled.

"Hey Mary wanna help me with my rifle?" Tazanna asked.

"Daddy says I can't out of the marine bay " she told Taz

"Mikey can we make an allowance as it's my billet and it needs cleaning please?" Tazanna asked

" No sorry she knows the rules about weapons, she isn't to touch one outside the bay and with out me near " Michael said "Plus I like watching the marines faces when she beats the company time "he smirked.

"Thats what our dads did with us." Tazanna remarked. "Poor girls headed for green already"

" I don't wanna be a marine " Mary said "I want to be a Lawyer like grandma " Mary said speaking up a little, Michael chuckled

#"You realise your Grandma is a MARINE lawyer?" Tazanna asked

"Yes but it doesn't mean I need to be a marine to be a laywer " Mary said

" This is true dear " Michael said to her.

"She definately got your mothers brains." Tazanna chuckled.

"Mary darling Icecream." Catherine said chuckling at Tazanna needling her cousin

" I don't know if that is a good thing " Michael said as he watched Mary take the ice cream.

"Your moms not her mom's. Uncle Kain says her brains kept him safe." Tazanna reminded him

" He did but dad is good at what he does she just kept the law off him " Michael said

"Which she wouldn't need to do if he was that smart." Tazanna pointed out

" Believe me dad isnt dumb " Michael said as he watched Mary eat her ice cream-

"Your moms smarter though. " she grinned. Catherine chuckled

"Your mother was representing a couple I was translating for." She told Michael.

"Yes i know she was but don't count him out you know " Michael said

"My mother said that about him." Catherine remarked

Michael didn't say anything as he watched Mary " Grandpa is awesome tho " she said to them.

"Drink?" Catherine asked

" No thank you I need to take her home and ready her for class tomorrow plus we still need to unpack a few things "Michael said with a smile

"Okay." Catherine smiled with her usaul easy going manner

" Plus I have a easly day tomorrow I am training engineers to be marines " Michael told them.

"Sick bay wil be busy then" Tazanna chuckled.

" I will go easy on them " Michael said before looking at Cathrine " would you care for dinner one night " he asked her.

"that would be nice." she smiled.

" Alright how about tomorrow night my cabin I'll cook " Michael said

"Sure" she smiled. " Alright princess lets get a moving " Mary stood up " Thank you for the ice cream " she said to Cathrine " An nice to meet you both " she adds as she moved to the door " I will see you both later and you tomorrow night " he said as he walked with Mary.

"Stay out of trouble cuz" Tazanna called

"Always " Michael said opening the door

" that Cathrine lady is pretty " Mary said

" She is dear " he said as the door shuts.
A Failure to Communicate (Working Title) R&D Labs- Deck 11- Section B Five hours after 'Here Be Dragons'
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Christopher walked into the slightly cramped lab that served as one of the research and development centers for the base. Looking around, he saw smoking beakers and devices that were beeping and blinking. Gingerly making his way around the lab tables, he made his way over to the assembled team.

"What do you have for me?" Christopher asked, his hands clasped in front of him.

Byrnes was to the left of the entry, creating a small space he could move in without fear of knocking things over, and the niche provided him access to a sensor station and computer. "Not much. Same situation. I'm half-tempted to take a runabout, go out there and start using hand signals. If they are intelligent then maybe they'll respond." He tapped more keys on the holographic screen. "I've been using scans to see if there are any unusual bio-electric signatures. So far, no luck."

Alyssa had not expected to be part of a research team right out the gate she had just barely beat the captain to the team group and was trying not to pant to catch her breath. "If we go by myth and legend then Dragons are either telepathic or can speak as normally as you or eye like for instance in the 20th century Dragon Heart, a movie I believe, or series of movies actually" She looked a bit puzzled before carrying on with what she found.

"In some instances like for instance an old 21st century game known as Skyrim they speak a mixture of English and Dragonia." Alyssa managed to get out pulling up what little research she had been able to make when she learned about this team research she had been assigned to. "Granted a lot of these movies and information is just that mythical and fictional, but often times fiction has some root or basis in factual I just haven't found any factual information yet mostly fictional." She added biting her lower lip slightly.

Cara walked into the lab carrying a sound card and plugged it into one of the open terminals. "Everyone....listen to this," she said. "It's North American eagles from Earth. Specifically...the mother calling to her young...apparently...letting them know she is coming home with food." She played the sound and a graphic appeared on the monitor showing the ebb and flow of the sound on a graph. She paused it. "Next is the male eagle during mating," she said and played the sound. "Mother eagle searching for her young after one gets bounced out of the nest," she said and played that sound. "And last, but not least...angry male eagle defending his turf," she said and played it. Once all recordings had been played and recorded on the sound meters she looked at each of the scientists and Byrnes and asked, "can you do anything with this? Compute sequences...duplicate them and amplify them in some way?"

Alyssa wasn't exactly a scientist, nor had she been in the ops command when they first met the dragons, "What exactly do North American Eagles have to do with Space Dragons?" Alyssa asked not seeing the connection.

Cara said, "Computer...access my video library. Circa 21st Century television shows. Game of Thrones. Episode 6-10. Play last 5 minutes of video." She turned the screen of the monitor so everyone standing there could view the scene where a dragon came screaming across the valley.

Wulf cocked his head, listening intently. His left hand picked up a wireless earbud which he promptly put in his left ear. While listening to the recording he was also splitting attention with his screen, seeing if there were any bio-electric signals that may, or may not, match.

"I still do not see the connection to Eagles, most of my research says that Dragons have more relation to dinosaurs than birds, of course, a lot of birds come from dinosaurs as well so there is that connection. " Alyssa commented though expected that she would be questioned on everything she did, that did not mean she wasn't going to ask questions as well.

"Same sound," Cara said, simply. "Whatever," she added with a shrug. "It was just an idea."

After listening to Cara's recording, which he now had a copy of to use for further research, Byrnes looked at Nichols. "Thanks, Doctor. I will endeavor to find anything remotely similar, or being used in the same manner. The only hitch I see, or hear in this case, is that this screeching was done in atmosphere." He gave a casual pointing to the screen with the dragons still flying around the asteroid. "That is space, no way for sound vibrations to travel in the same manner as you have given. But, it's a start and kinda where I was going with communications between them. Just because we don't understand how something works doesn't mean it isn't plausible."

Then another thought came to mind. "Lieutenant," she said, looking at Byrnes. "How far would the Zumwalt and Hopper have to be from the dragon's asteroid to grab it with their tractor beams?"

Wulf glanced her way. "Usually, they operate best at short range for particle weapons. When towing damaged vessels and other objects, a longer 'tether' is dangerous. Wait..." His voice trailed off as he tapped a secondary screen to come up, looking at engineering data. "We can also reverse the polarity and push things away, at greater distances. Pick a direction and just give the spacial body a little nudge, let inertia do the rest. But again, Doc, that all comes down to how close the dragons will let us get before they see a threat."

"What if...," a voice from the back of the room spoke up and Dr. Tookl, the base's Alien Anthropologist, stepped out of the shadows of his office in the lab. "...we enlist our Language Specialist to come up with a sound similar to the eagles' nesting cries that can translate in open space while Mr. Byrnes does whatever has to be done to do what he just said," the old guy waved his hand in Byrnes general direction indicating all of the engineering mumbo jumbo was out of his realm of knowledge. "Then we can try and make nice with the creatures through the emission of the sounds from one of our shuttles, allowing the two ships to get close enough to nudge the asteroid away from the Rock."

Alyssa fell silent mostly because well they were all a higher rank than her and so far they seemed more intent on believing they were dealing with large space eagles than dragons it seems so she let herself fall to the background. However, she did put her own research into the mix adding to what was already there from her PADD.

Cara shrugged. "Sounds like the workings of a plan," she said, then added, "I'll leave the sound card with you guys, just in case." Looking at the General she said, "let me know how it turns out,' and with that she made her exit and headed for her office.

"General," said Byrnes. "There's no reason to risk more than necessary on this endeavor. The smaller the object approaching the better our chances. We all have given ideas, based on Earth dragons, but these are obviously of a different nature. Our dragons didn't breathe plasma, they breathed fire. So, with that in mind, and my engineering knowledge for the tractor beam, I volunteer to take a runabout out there and try to move that damn rock. It will gauge how they will respond to an outsider, and we only lose one man in the process. IF they attack before trying to warn away."

"Isn't there a regulation that states no one officer should head into danger alone or something? I volunteer to go with him, besides two heads are better than one?" Alyssa said understanding the man's willingness go to it alone, but no one should face that kind of danger alone. Besides she had every intention of returning to her daughter.

"Of course," Dr. Tookl said with a chuckle. "Then we lose both of you. Of course, that makes all of the sense in the world." He shook his head, still chuckling. "General....if I may make a suggestion that makes more sense than two of your senior officers making a suicide run. Why not program a drone out there to see how close it can get before they feel threatened. It can also record whatever sounds they might be making so that our Language Specialists can analyze them and figure out if we can communicate with them. They are, after all, sentient beings and isn't it our job to make First Contact as painless for both parties as possible? I may be a civilian but when I joined the Federation Exploration and Research team I seem to remember they drilled that into us before we left Earth. Granted it was quite some years ago but my memory hasn't become that addled yet."

She had to admit that was a better idea, though she had to smile a bit she had no intention of dying now. Besides, it wasn't her time or so she liked to think.

"Damn, you two are like Drax, you take everything literally," said Wulf, both with cynicism and sarcasm. His voice changed to a more serious tone. "I've been saying we need to communicate since we were upstairs. Matthews, I intended to take you the whole time, just because I say 'I', doesn't mean some kinda Lone Ranger shit, okay?" With an exasperated breath he walked around Alyssa, went over and brought up a second screen next to the one monitoring the dragon movements. "Now, bare with me, this may shock you that I can listen to you and at the same time do my job. These animals are not acting like parents protecting a nest, these are parents concerned about their young because they can't get to them." Walking over to a sensor log station he pointed to a screen. "This is the same asteroid they are now around. With the Borg attack debris from starships began to collide with spacial debris and planetesimals, which would cause inertia. This asteroid was approximately one million kilometers further from the sun than its current position, and with the change in solar heat I can say it would alter the composition of ice and rock, and may end up becoming a comet. If I am correct, then this is a rescue mission, and all we need do is find out how to talk to mom and dad."

Alyssa put her hands up and smiled admitting she was wrong with her gestures rather than words to keep from interrupting the CEO as he spoke. Though when he brought the second image up to show them she enlarged it while listening to Wulf talk and listened to the sounds that the creatures were making again. "if we could just find a way to translate what they are saying." She growled putting in an algorithm to try and do just that, there was a family involved now no time to wait. "Doctor Tookl might I borrow you over here for a bit of your expertise?" She asked showing him the algorithm she was putting in to attempt to translate what she'd like to call Dragonia language later. Hey they where here to figure out how to communicate right?

Byrnes, for his part, went back to the sensor logs to find out what may have caused the asteroid to stop where it was, instead of hurtling deeper into the system and into the sun. There were no records before the arrival of the refugees, himself included. The only thing that made sense is that it had been impacted on the 'bow' as it traveled, hard enough to stop it where it was. That in itself would collapse internal cavities and passages as the asteroid changed in composition due to solar energy. But, the other theory in his mind was that the dragons themselves had forced the asteroid to a halt, and then people showed up so they went and hid until starships started buzzing about and people were seen as a threat.

Dr. Tookl looked at the young Lieutenant and smiled. "I don't know how much help I might be," the Alien Anthropologist said. "I don't know much about linguistics. But I'll do what I can." He walked over to the lab table and stood beside the girl with the purple hair. "What would you like me to do?" he asked as he glanced over to see what the CEO was doing.

Byrnes looked to the scientist. "Help me, Doctor. All I ask. These creatures were here before we were, and we need to remember that. I have a feeling that their young are trapped inside that asteroid."

Tookl looked at Byrnes and patted the stool at the terminal next to him. "Why don't we all work at this station," he suggested. "It will make it easier for us to work together." To Alyssa he said, "Like I said...I am not a linguist but it seems to me that if we run that recording the Doctor brought in through a synthesizer...lower the octave then run that through the language analyzer we might be able to come up with something workable. Just remember....sounds out there," he pointed upward, "will be modified."

"Of course Doctor Tookl I am not a linguistic either, I am working on an equation to work with the language analyzer to run the recording of the space dragons through and hopefully see if we can translate it into something we can use to communicate with them. I do understand that sounds are a bit more muffled in the vaccum of space. I believe I worked that into the equation to compensate for the void of space." She explained the equation as she moved to join them not at all adverse to working as a team.

Tookl turned to Byrnes. "I'm still partial to modifying a drone once we come up with a form of communication to transmit whatever we come up with," he said. "I'm not an engineer but I can turn a screwdriver so tell me what you need me to do."

Wulf came over and joined the team. "We need something low-yield. Not too intrusive, but enough to get their attention, good or bad. I can rig the probe with internal exhaust tanks so it will get filtered and not pollute space around them. The Bajoran wormhole taught us that even impulse emissions can be dangerous to some beings or creatures."

"Basically using trial and error on trying to communicate? if we could get the probe close enough there is a possibility that we could keep the probe from being detected long enough to translate how they communicate. Then, we could attempt to assure them we mean them no harm." Alyssa said thinking aloud.

Wulf nodded to Matthews. "A sound idea."

Alyssa chewed on her bottom lip unsure if she should mention another thought she had. "Lieutenant Brynes, what about echolocation like with whales keeping track of their pods? Space is dense enough in away similar to water that the dragons could possibly rely on echolocation?" Alyssa asked the CEO.

Dr. Tookl sat back and looked at Alyssa, rubbing his graying beard. "That is a fascinating idea, young lady," he said. Nodding he made some quick entries into the computer terminal in front of him and brought up a few variations of algorithms based on humpback whale calls. "Interesting," he said as he read over the data.

Alyssa nodded looking over the Algorithm that the Dr just typed out on the computer terminal. The young Caitian/Human gave a nod of approval that plus her own algorithm they would get some results.

"Ya know, I noticed their movements being more like a pod of whales trying to save their young," said Byrnes. "I couldn't quite place a finger on what that meant, and this echolocation is it. Thanks for being on the same page, Matthews." He nodded to Tookl. "Doctor, echolocation in space would need energy discharge of some kind or a frequency modulation. My best guess would be something more along the lines of electromagnetic pulse they may be sending out to tell each other where they are within a certain radius. It's worth a try."

Alyssa actually smiled at that, she gave a nod of agreement on the electromagnetic pulse.

"As a scuba diver I see space as an ocean, and most creatures in it act like ocean residents, for the most part." Said Byrnes.

"I didn't know you dived Lieutenant?" Alyssa asked she had been meaning to learn diving since she and Sara loved to swim so much, she would have to ask him about a good training program after this assignment.

Byrnes cracked a grin, glancing Matthew's way occasionally as he worked. "Oh yeah. How I got into engineering. In the Pacific Ocean I was part of a reclamation project as a teen. It led to engineering. So, when I see animals in their natural enviro, I immediately relate to the seas."

Alyssa smiled, "I was thinking of learning, my daughter and I love to swim. I thought she'd like to learn so was thinking of a holodeck program to help us. Know any good training programs?" She asked even as she wondered if a six year old could learn to scuba dive?

"If you are looking to Earth diving, go Caribbean first," explained Wulf. "Water is usually warmer, no harsh tides, and set for no sharks." He tapped keys to adjust the probe for an added exhaust tank. "And I would advise to not set weather on random. Hurricanes suck."

"Duly noted." She said softly working along with him to make sure that the probe had both algorithms so it would hopefully be able to translate that they meant know harm or learn how these space dragons communicated.

Chris had sat back and listened to their discourse and thought for a few moments. "Infrared." he said. "When I used to fly recon missions during the Dominion War, we used to transmit data by shooting concentrated dual-band infrared pulses to stations on the ground. Could we try the same thing here if we can mount a transmitter to a runabout?" he asked, wondering if this crazy idea could work.

"Its a thought we could add it to the list of trial and error ideas like the electromagnetic pulse or Echolocation does not work." Alyssa said to the Captain because it was a good idea.

Wulf glanced at Mitchell, then back to his work. "I can add an infra-red sensor node, Sir. A science probe like this can even analyze the frequencies for us, if the dragons don't fry the damn thing." Getting back to work he called down to Science and had the node sent up by transporter. Working diligently for twenty minutes Byrnes looked up when the lights and machinery flickered, then went out for a few moments, and came back on. They were dimmer than normal and all the screens were now fuzz. Just as he was reaching up to his combadge a female voice came through the speakers.

"Chief Byrnes, Sirico here," said the Ensign. "Main energizer is out, completely shut down. We need you, Sir."

"Like always, perfect timing," stated Byrnes, the cynicism not lost in his voice. "Sir, with your permission, I need to see to our power needs."

"Hmmm the station has perfect timing as well." Alyssa wondered aloud, "Do you need me?" Alyssa asked him the cynicism in his voice not lost on her either.

"No," said Byrnes. "I need you to finish the probe for Dr. Tookl and the Sciences. With the energizer it could be faulty EPS and I'll already have all of Alpha shift there to help. If the dragons find the probe offensive, then we'll need all the power we can spare." He turned and walked out.

Alyssa gave a nod and went back to work on the probe wondering if she could install a shield on it to help protect it from the plasma the dragons breath.
Running around and causing Chaos various backpost/somewhere in-between
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Sara looked around then ran down the corridor just short of using both legs and hands to run around considering she was so hyped up on sugar. She had slipped away from Lady Wadding and Mr Ferguson, they were busy talking and she'd finished the ice cream so she was slightly bored and hyper wanting to explore. The little Caitian/Human was looking for the holodeck but she didn't know where it was so she stopped at a wall console and tried to reach the buttons that would help her find her way. "Computer show me the way to the holodeck?" She tried wondering if starbase computers were like starship computers and voice activated.

Coming around the bend Byrnes spotted a young girl trying to stretch and reach a control panel. He heard her query, knowing that a child would not be able to activate the holodeck without adult supervision, the safety protocols prevented that. So, he walked over and knelt next to her. "Hello there. Do you need help, little lady?"

She jumped only slightly startled. "Yeah hold still please!" She said before pouncing on him and climbing up onto his shoulders to reach the controls. What she was hyper active right now her little black tail whipping around in her eagerness to get to the holodeck.

Byrnes stood up and moved her away from the panel, going the opposite way down the hallway, slowly. "Just ask and I might help." He looked over his shoulder at her on his back/shoulders. "And a 'please' would be nice."

She pouted down at him but I did say please." She sniffled her legs dangling from his shoulders her hands crossing on top of his head as she leaned her chin against her hands. "Please, I wanna see the holodeck, My mommy's busy and Lady Wadding and Mr Ferguson were talking and they gave me so much ice cream!" She giggled not at all shy about being on his shoulders. "Please pretty please?" She batted her pretty Grey eyes at him.

"Ice cream, eh?" Wulf gave her a gracious smile. "Well, we need to work off that ice cream, don't you think?"

Sara started to nod looking a bit like a bobbleheaded kitty, "Yes please." She bounced on his shoulders slightly.

"Okay," responded Byrnes. "You want the holodeck, and without a parent that is not accessible. So, tell me what you want in the holodeck and I will set it up...after I get your name and who your parents are."

"Oh right, that would help wouldn't it. My name is Sara Matthews, My mommy is Lieutenant Alyssa Matthews, she's the Chief Op-Operations Officer." Sara told him with a slight giggle.

"Nice, kiddo." Responded Wulf. "I am Beowulf Byrnes, the Chief Engineer, so your mom and I will work closely together. Those who call me friend call me Wulf." He then changed tactics. "So, little one, what is it you want to see in a holodeck?"

"Dinosaur world?" She asked him cocking her head slightly then looked through his hair slightly, "wulf? but you don't have any ears?" She asked curiously putting her hands on his head and using that to push up slightly to lean over and look him in the eyes. "Are you a wulf? or is that just a nick name?" She asked curiously.

"I'm a Wulf," said Byrnes, not able to quit grinning at this youngster. "My ancestors revered the wolf and the Raven, so my da named me Beowulf after a legend in our history. The wolf is in the heart, Sara." He grabbed her under the armpits, letting her twirl somersault style in his arms until she faced him, then held her in an arm so he could look her in the face. "I can let you see Dinosaur world, but it will be very fake. I can't allow you to be hurt, so I have to set the safeties all the way. Not fake as in not real looking, but T-Rex won't chase you for miles to try and eat you." He chuckled at that.

Sara giggled as he let her summersault slightly and grinned as he held her still. "Awww take all the fun out of it why don't you Wulf!" She crossed her arms over her little chest and pouted at him. Though she was only mock pouting she really didn't want to be chased by a giant man eating T-Rex she was just a little kitty, "Ok besides my little legs wouldn't run that fast I'd have to let you do the running for me." She grinned unrepent.

Byrnes carried her down the corridor, turning a few times, then came upon a panel next to a larger door/archway. He tapped the keys, seeing this holodeck was empty, so he punched in his codes. He would change the codes as soon as she was inside the chamber because he noticed she was fixated on his hand tapping keys, and any child this bright would remember what he had tapped for access. "Alright, it is ready." He said, setting her on her feet and taking her hand as they walked in, the archway opening up into a jungle tree-line near to an open field and a large lake. A hundred yards out from them stood a brontosaurus as it casually ate the soft, wetland foliage.

"Oh My God!" Sara hissed excitedly trying not to startle it. "Can I feed it!?" She asked Wulf bouncing in place excitedly having a feeling that if she had just tried to run after it he'd keep a tight hold of one hand causing her to jerk back so she didn't try but she did bounce because she was excited.

Kneeling on a knee, eye level, Wulf gave a smile as she turned to face him. "Sara, the safeties are on. When I turn on the safeties this world becomes a petting zoo. All the creatures don't see you as a threat, or food, and they are friendly because of that. So, yes, you can pet the Bront, just make sure it sees you approach. If a T-Rex is in the area, it will let you pet it too. Nothing will hurt you in here." He turned her to face the beast. "Go ahead, I'll stay by the arch."

"Ok, but just so you know that's basically a big cow that one only eats veggies." She grinned back at Wulf over her shoulder and then skipped towards the long neck. She grinned as it lowered it's head along it's long neck to the ground and let her pet it on the nose as it chewed on more leaves from the bushes by the lake. Sara giggled as she did so kissing it before it moved slightly away.

Byrnes stood and backed up, reaching the archway. Remembering to do so he activated his CEO status and changed his code for holodeck activation/shutdown. Sara had seen those numbers, and that sharp mind might have just tucked it into memory for later excursions away from adults. ~I was born during the day, kid. But, not yesterday~ He thought. He crossed his arms over his chest and leaned against the arch, watching as Sara smiled, giggled, and ran here and there, trying to see everything at once. With the G-rated safeties, the predators wouldn't even attack the others, with all the blood and gore that would not be good for some young minds.

Sara didn't mind she just liked seeing all the dinosaurs, the young caitian/human ran around until she was practically dizzy, but she was also coming down from her sugar high really and by the time she made her way back towards Wulf she was looking a lot more sleepy than when he first met her. She gave him a tired smile really.

"Come on," said Byrnes, opening his arms for her to come into. "You look tired and we need to find someone to take you in. And, no arguments," he gave her a pseudo-serious expression. "Deal?"

One little fist rubbed her eyes as she moved into his arms nodding. Besides she didn't have the strength to argue right now.

Scooping the girl up, and carrying her on his left arm, Wulf shut down the holodeck and then spun around. "Hey, hey," she looked at him, still rubbing those eyes. "Where is home, or a babysitter?"

Sara blinked sleepily she had been asleep when her mother had gotten the room assignment, she only remembered Lady waddington and Ferguson. "Ferguson and lady wadding were watching me." She said sleepily.

It took everything Wulf had not to make a sour face. Instead, he gave a grin. "Who is your mom?"

Sara did make a sour face at him though. "I told you that already member? I said Lieutenant Alyssa Matthews." She playfully stuck her tongue out at him.

Byrnes chuckled. "Okay, fair enough." Not wanting to keep the girl awake Wulf walked with a casual gait down the corridor he had originally found her in. She eventually put her head on his shoulder, which he knew would happen with the swaying and rocking of walking, like her subconscious remembered as a baby in the womb. So, he just walked and carried her, switching arms when needed.

Sara just slept against him one arm holding onto him the other holding onto her kitty doll.

Wandering along, no matter how long it took, Byrnes was in stride.

Alyssa was in her office going over some paperwork and reports.

"Computer, location of Lieutenant Matthews, Operations Manager." Byrnes waited and within seconds the facility's brain got back to him.

"Lieutenant Matthews is in her office."

Making his way through the station, Wulf arrived at the OPS chief's office, pressing the chime.

"Enter!" She called taking a chance to take a sip of her water, though her eyes widened when she saw an officer enter with her sleeping child. Then she looked wondering where Tazanna was.

"Sshhh," scolded Byrnes, his eyes full of mirth. "You'll wake her. It's not every day a girl gets to pet dinosaurs." Saying this he stepped inside, saw the small sofa, so moved over to it and cradling Sara's head, laid her down. He made sure she had an arm cushion for a pillow before turning toward the mother. "She was trying to access the holodeck, dinosaur world or something. Anyway, she got my version, safeties on and petting zoo style. Apologies if that was out of line, but she had no adult supervision, so I stepped in."

Alyssa moved to cover Sara with the crochet throw she had over the couch in her office was one of the only personal touches she's been able to make so far, "Not at all," Alyssa said with a smile and keeping her voice low so she didn't wake Sara, "I'm sorry if she gave you any trouble, I left her with my friend Sergeant Tazanna Wilcox, she had offered to take Sara to meet with Lady Waddington while I met with the Captain. I guess Sara got bored though and wondered off if youf ound her trying to access the holodeck controls." She sighed and rubbed her forehead. "I'm sorry I'm Lieutenant Alyssa Matthews." She introduced herself holding her hand out to him.

Wulf shook the offered hand. "Beowulf Byrnes, CEO. Like I told Sara, Wulf is what I go by." He looked down at the child a moment, grinning, then back at Alyssa. "It was no trouble, really. Just a girl on a sugar high who needed to burn it off. I changed the code on the holodecks, since she might have seen me punch it in. Last thing I need is a murder charge for a girl eaten by T-Rex." He chuckled, keeping his voice low.

Alyssa laughed softly, "good thinking, she has a photographic memory, well when it comes to numbers and codes. Once she sees your number she can input it and use it anytime she likes. On my last posting, she'd take to wandering the corridors for something to do first day on the job she slipped away from the nanny and bumped into the Executive Officer, well he did the same thing took her to the holodeck, she saw him put his code in next thing I know there's a pool on the bridge and she's doing a cannon balls. Thankfully the Captain had found it amusing enough not to get upset with her." Alyssa smiled at the memory. "She had been four at the time."

"Well," Responded Wulf. "The internal sensors have her logged, so not too tough to shut her down on her wanderings. The computer can automatically keep her out of dangerous areas with a simple program. Force fields, locked doors, secure panels--all that."

"She's too curious for her own good. but she loves the holodeck." Alyssa smiled. "and yes there is tons of protocols and securities to keep her out of any dangerous areas on the station." She gave a nod. "So she talked you into taking her to going to Dinosaur world huh? did she have fun?" Alyssa asked leaning back against her desk. "Oh, would you like a drink?" She asked softly.

Byrnes stepped over closer to mom, not wanting his voice to disturb Sara, who was breathing deeply lost in dreams. "No, I'm fine, thank you. And yes, she had fun. Was petting a brontosaurus and exploring the swamp. With safeties, nothing harms her or is afraid of her." He smiled at a memory. "She told me your name upon first meeting, which I had spaced while entertaining, and asked again. She gave me the 'what for' for that one. Smart kid."

Alyssa smiled, "She is a smart kid," Alyssa said looking at her daughter her eyes darkening with sad memories. Remembering how Bryan had never been interested in meeting his daughter. She'd remembered how much it hurt to go back to the dorm room she had shared with him to find him and everything he owned gone. Leaving her alone and pregnant with nothing to turn to but her academy classes.

Byrnes saw the far-away look in those eyes, and with the women he'd been with it meant deep thinking. "Well, just know she has a guardian in engineering.. Also, for the future, I'll let my people know she might, at times, try to be sneaky and explore where she shouldn't." His tone got a bit more firm, but not demeaning. "That's on you too, mom. She needs to be taught that there are places on this base that will harm her, badly, and once she is exposed it will be too late."

Alyssa blinked her thoughts away and bowed her head slightly so he wouldn't see her blink away tears. Shaking her purple head she looked up at the CEO with her Yellow eyes, making sure she looked him in the eyes. "She knows about them, I've taken her to each place that is dangerous and where she shouldn't go on her own and she's promised me she would stay away from them. However she is still curious and her favorite place. She also knows that by going where she shouldn't or sneaking away fro..." She trailed off realizing what he said, "A guardian?" She asked him arching one elegantly shaped brow at him. The only father figure Sara's ever known was her grandfather to be honest.

"Yes, a guardian." Byrnes kept his face neutral, but the way she reacted to the word was curious. "Someone who will look out for her should she wander to less safe places. Every time she does, though, I will chew your butt for it, or whoever let her escape and get that far. This base is in shambles, a new place we set up quick to have somewhere to call home. All the kinks haven't been worked out yet, which means the dangerous areas you showed her are probably not the only ones. There are reasons why certain areas are still closed off until we can get to them."

She was starting to brisle just a bit under his tone as if he were accusing her of not caring enough about her daughter. "I can assure you Lieutenant that I have always kept my daughter safe from anything I thought might harm her. I will continue to keep her safe with or without the help of others, now I do not know yet how she slipped away from Tazanna, but I will find out and I will make sure she does not wander off again." Alyssa said managing to keep her temper in check enough not to raise her tone higher than a whisper, but she sure as hell wasn't going to stand by and let some one who didn't know her call her a bad mother because that was technically what it sounded like to Alyssa.

She had done the best job she possibly could considering she was a single parent whom her parents had only offered to watch the child not help raise her. She had made sure to look the Lieutenant in the eyes as she spoke only when she felt tears burn at the back of her eyes did she turn away feeling stupid and foolish for letting the memory of Bryan continue to hurt her with not even wanting to know his own daughter. She had told Sara when she started asking questions that he had died defending his ship, but that was only temporary until Sara was old enough to know the truth. How could she tell her child her father hadn't wanted her let alone alife with them.

"Fine," stated Byrnes, throwing his hands up with finality. "Apologies for caring, it won't happen again. Have a good...whatever." Wulf turned and walked out.

Oh she could have kicked herself that was no way to thank someone who had just brought her daughter back to her safely. Alyssa hurried after him, "Wait Wulf," She said as she caught up to him. "Look I'm sorry, I shouldn't have snapped at you like that." She said on a sign having managed to contain her tears for now, unfortunately her eyes shined with unshed tears. "I went on the defensive a bit and I'm sorry on my last assignment before Sara had been sent to my parents my boss tried to accuse me of being a bad parent. Of not keeping my daughter under enough control that she didn't wander where she shouldn't go." She explained looking into his eyes as she spoke.

Byrnes had stopped when she had asked him to, turning halfway to watch her walk up face to face. "Hey, I get it, my tone got a bit serious. But, I have a serious job and the last thing I need is to be distracted by wandering children in my engineering spaces. I was NOT accusing you of anything, and when I said what I said about chewing your butt, I didn't let on that it was meant to be in fun, while making a point. Your anger is understandable." During his four years at the Academy and doing engineering courses it was part of the curriculum to watch internal sensor logs from starships, to see what could and would happen to people who got killed due to negligence. There were quite a few horror stories about children in jeffries tubes and crawlspaces, very little left of them to pick up, or horrid enough to have made twenty year veterans puke their guts out. It was something Wulf worked very hard to never have happen on his watch, and so far, the gods had looked out for him.

"I'll make sure she stays out of your engineering bay, and that she doesn't go where she should, especially with the station in such disarray." Alyssa promised. Even if she had to make Sara think she'd be sent back to earth without her which would be a total bluff, she would make sure her daughter stopped wandering where she shouldn't go. "Thank you again for bringing Sara back to me." She said softly.

"Miss Alyssa, it was my pleasure." Byrnes grinned at her. "Now, raise that chin and stand tall, you wear gold, it's a must. Also, if Sara wants to see engineering then I will gladly take her there to observe, safely. It's when they play hide and seek in the crawl spaces that I get perturbed. I've been doing this for over a decade and I still get burned by plasma," he chuckled.

"So do I." She said with a slight smile. "If she wishes to see Engineering I'll take her to see you personally." Alyssa said softly.

"Fair enough," Wulf said, smiling. "I will add, even in my off time. I'll come down and show her things one at a time, as she asks what they are."

"Thank you Wulf." Alyssa said softly glad Sara had made a friend, even if he was old enough to be her dad. Though that thought worried Alyssa a bit she did not wish Sara to get hurt.

"Well, this base won't fix itself," said Wulf, giving a grin and wink. "I better get back to it. Have a good evening, Alyssa." He turned and strode out the door.

She gave a nod and let him go this time before turning back to the sleeping child and shook her head. "We haven't been here a week and already you've started causing trouble for me." She smirked slightly her child looked like an angel sleeping like that. She sighed and would have to think of suitable punishment for running off.


Tour and new friends Lady Catherine's Suite TBD
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Sara hummed hugging her new kitty dollie to her as she skipped along side Tazanna whom had invited her to meet Lady Wadding. Sara was looking forward to seeing as much of the station as she could so she did not get lost if she decided to explore on her own. "Do we have holodecks here?" She asked in a cheerful tone she loved the holodecks they let you go to all kinds of strange and fun places. Last time she and mommy had been on the holodeck they had gone to the beach to splash around.

"I believe so. I'm afraid I have been a little busy to really know. but maybe Catherne will" Tazanna smiled.

"Is it super busy on a station like this? Will Mommy be able to play with me at night like she use to on the ship?" Sara asked not sure she liked the idea of her mommy not having time for her.

"It's not super busy it simply depends what your job is. As I am security for a diplomat it can be. I am sure your mom will have plenty of time to play." Tazanna added.

"Otay, I just know mommy's been very excited though she's trying to hide it. She got a message from an older officer before we left for our trip here. It was fun we spent so much time in the ships holodecks because she said the trip was a kind of vacation, but she was also preparing for her duties here at night when she thought I was sleeping." Sara told Tazanna as she skipped along side her.

"Aahh." Tazanna nodded as she opened the door to Catherine's chambers. "Hey Cat!" she called "You here?"

"Zanna you really are a one." Catherine smiled. "Poor old Ferguson hates shouting," she reminded her, "and you must be Sara?" Catherine said hooking a strand of fire red hair over her ear.

Sara wasn't one to hide behind someone when she meets new people, well unless her mommy was around. "Yes, I am Sara Matthews," She said in her big girl voice, "Nice to meet you Lady Wadding." She grinned a toothy grin.

Ferguson looked up from his seat at the table with a half-hearted smirk on his face. "I do not hate shouting. I simply see no reason to expend energy raising ones voice when normal volumes are just as effective." He rose from his seat and came around the table to greet Tazanna and her young companion. He gave a knee bending squat and looked at Sara. "So who do we have here?"

She raised one little fist while holding the kitty doll in her other arm and knocked on Sir Ferguson's forehead playfully. "I just said my name is Sara Matthews." She told him with a bit of a giggle.

"Well then Miss Mathews." He looked at Catherine and Tazanna for a moment grinning before turning back to Sara. "Would you like some ice cream?"

"Yes please, Half Chocolate, Half Vanilla." She said matter of factly obviously a six year old who knew her own mind. She grinned at Ferguson liking him since he offered her sweets. At least she remembered her manners though as well.

Ferguson strode off to the kitchen area to prepare a bowl of deliciousness for their young visitor.

While waiting for her ice cream she walked up to lady Waddington and looked up at her curiously wondering what she did on the ship the child cocked her head at her curiosly, "What do you do?" She asked softly.

Catherine smiled. "Well I help the Brigadier talk to people to get things we need and Tazanna makes sure I am safe." Catherine smiled.

"Then you're important? Without you there's no one to help the Brig-g-gadier talk to people?" Sara asked the six year old struggling over the big word. "Can he not talk?" She asked cocking her head curiously.

"Sometimes how rather than WHAT we say is important and someone trained to talk to peple can get a better response." Catherine smiled.

Sara giggled, "So it's not what is said, but how? Mommy is always telling me I need to think before I speak, but I don't think that far ahead I just talk you know I say what's on my mind and everyone here's been pretty nice to me so far I've seen a lot of scary people though since getting here. some that I never saw before." Sara admitted hugging her kitty doll still. The little Caitian/Human looking around her tail flicking slightly. "Where's my ice cream." She pouted though remembering someone saying they'd get her some ice cream.

Ferguson called from the kitchen. "Just about ready little poppit. Would you like some whipped cream and perhaps some caramel or fudge topping?"

"Yes, no, yes, and a cherry on top please!" Sara answered in order of the question, she is going to have such a sugar high that her mom's going to probably ban her from ever seeing this Ferguson character again, but she didn't care. She smiled up at the lady Waddington, she liked her.

"I hope her mother likes hyper kids." Catherine smiled at her companion

"Mommy wont mind." Sara giggled innocently.

"Lets hope not." Catherine smiled. "Where's Wraith?" she asked

Wraith referred to the third memberof their trio. Meredith Thompson. The dark haired pilot stood six foot tall and the more outgoing of the two marines.

"Got called to Mitchell's office." Tazanna commented non commitally. "Don't think she did anything to be called to the princepals office though."

Ferguson returned from the kitchen area with a sizable bowl of chocolate and vanilla ice cream, slathered in fudge syrup and whipped cream, a large cherry crowning the edible edifice. He took it to the table and place it down, along with a Sara sized eating spoon. He looked at Sara and gestured to the bowl. "Enjoy little poppit." He took a step back and joined Lady Catherine nearby.

Sara's eyes widened at the huge desert, it was bigger than she was. A smile slowly graced her small little face and she climbed up onto the chair faster than he could finish saying 'Enjoy little poppit' and had the spoon in hand to start eating the soon to be messy delights. after two little spoonfulls and her little legs kicking she plucked the cherry off the top and tilt her head back to eat it, "Mmmmm" was all she said before diving back into the sugary goodness.

Ferguson watched Sara digging into her treat. The sight brought a nostalgic smile to his face. "She kind of reminds me of you at that age," his comment coming out as he turned to Lady Catherine.

"You say that about all kids at all ages." Catherine chuckled.

Ferguson gave a soft chuckle of his own too. "True. But then I do have fond memories of watching you grow up into the person you are today."

Sara paused in her eating to stare at them fascinated with big sausor eyes at the moment as she was probably taking in far too much chocolate and sugar for a caitian let alone a half human/caitian. "Are you older than the Lady Wadding?" She asked before continuing to consume the confection to the last bite, though with the adults talking she was thinking of slipping out and exploring on her own. She wondered if she could get to the holodeck. Being a child that acts on thoughts without thinking through the consequences she turned to the two adults talking again and slipped off the chair heading towards the door.

Ferguson caught the child's furtive movement off the chair. Several steps of his long stride placed him between Sara and the exit. His mouth may have been in a stern line, but the twinkle in his eye spoke volumes as to experience with children trying to sneak off. "And where do you think you're off to little poppit?"

"What? I was just going to go explore." She grinned looking as innocently as she could.

Ferguson knew now not to take his eyes off this young one for even a second. Though facing Sara, his words were definitively for Catherine. "Now she definitely reminds me of you."

"Well are you older than Lady wadding?" Sara asked again out of curiosity bouncing around the room a bit to. "What's we going to do now?" She asked putting her little hands on her little hips her tail going out straight as she waited for one of them to entertain her.

Ferguson looked down at Sara and nodded. "Yes little poppit. I am considerably older than Lady Waddington. As for where we are going. I think the Plaza would be a good start."

"Yay come on lets go!" She bound out of the chair to grab Ferguson's hand and tried to pull him towards the door. She was too hyper to sit around and do nothing.

Ferguson allowed himself to be dragged to the door as he called out to the others. "I guess we are taking the little poppit here for a tour."
Catherine looked at Tazanna

"The park?" she suggested. Tazanna nodded her head.

"Would let her run off some of the sugar." she agreed

"Yay!" Sara jumped up and down still holding Ferguson's hand.

Ferguson, still holding Sara's hand, led the way out of the residientual suite and towards the transit tubes that would take them to the promenade.

Sara skipped along side Ferguson happily, ok so she wanted to run around but was still holding his hand for the moment.

Sara ran around the park, it was a nice park really, and there were some other kids there, but she didn't know any of them yet and despite how open she was with adults she wasn't as open with other kids because well kids can be cruel sometimes to someone they didn't know or was different. So sara did not try to make friends with any of them yet. She would start first grade in a day or so so hopefully she'll meet some friends then.

Sara looked around at all the adults talking she was bored with the park but did not want to interrupt the adults. She thought about it for maybe a second somewhere in the back of her head she knew she should stay with the adults watching her. unfortunately, sara was never really one to follow the rules if she could help it and she wanted to go to Dinosaur world on the holodeck. So she started back inside the station in search of a holodeck.

Crime and Punishment Chief Operations Office After Running around and Causing Chaos
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Alyssa made her way back into her office and looked down at her sleeping child shaking her head she moved to wake Sara up; the child had a lot to answer for. Though her child looked like an innocent angel, Alyssa knew that yes, her daughter could be very angelic sometimes, unfortunately she also knew that Sara’s halo was held up by little horns. Moreover, she seriously did not wish her daughter to cause any problems with her first grade teacher when she starts classes.

Alyssa sighed and moved to wake her child again. Sara’s little fist moved to rub her eyes sleepily, “Mommy?” She asked blinking wondering when she had gotten back to her mom and, “Uh oh.” She bit her lower lip.

“Yes, uh oh is right, care to explain what you were thinking running around this station?” Alyssa asked firmly hands on her hips as she glared down at her daughter.

“I was bored I wanted to look around mommy.” She pouted giving her those sad little kitty eyes.

Alyssa crossed her arms obviously unamused, “Do not even try that young lady you knew you were to stay with Tazanna until either I came and got you or Tazanna returned you to me do you have any idea how dangerous this station is right now? You could have been seriously hurt or worse do you want that?” Ok maybe she was being a tad bit harsh, but at this moment Alyssa did not think so the fact that Wulf had pointed out that the station is falling apart practically around their heads scared Alyssa even as she had thought he was accusing her of being a bad mother.

Sara looked up at her mommy and realized she was really mad this time. Which caused sara to try the whole tearing up and crying to try and lesson that anger. She reached up to rub her eyes with her little fists as she cried thinking about something sad. Though she did not have to think hard there were many things to make her sad, one of which was making her mommy angry. “I’m sorry mommy I just wanted to explore.” She said between her tears.

Alyssa stood and shook her head knowing this tactic well. “You knew it was wrong because I have had this conversation with you before.” Alyssa turned back to her child whom was hiccupping now because she had made herself cry.

“Yes mommy I knew it was wrong I am really sorry.” She said through tears. “I won’t do it again I promise.” Sara promised though they both knew she’d break that promise just Sara would not mean to she just is too curious for her own good she always thought it is better to ask for forgiveness than for permission. Then again, Sara was young and thought herself invulnerable because so far no matter what she’s done she’s luckily come out of it unscathed.

“Your right, it will not because you are grounded, and we’ll activate Nanny Nikki Tyler, so even if your visiting with Tazanna again. This way I can be sure that even if they take you to the park, or somewhere that holo-emitters do not go, if you come back into the station your Nanny will be right there to make sure you do not wander off.” Alyssa told her child uncrossing her arms and putting them on her hips again.

Sara looked up at her with watery eyes. “Yes momma.” She bit her lower lip as real tears started to form.

“I’m grounding you for two weeks. Classes start Monday, if I can walk you to classes I will otherwise Nikki will do it and then she’ll walk you right back home.” Alyssa told her daughter. “Honey this station is not safe right now. It may be our home for the foreseeable future, but even homes are not completely safe.” Alyssa said sitting next to her daughter.

“I really am sorry Mommy.” Sara said crawling onto her lap and giving her a hug.

“I know, but you still have two weeks to think about your actions and not repeat them.” Alyssa told her hugging her back. “Computer activate Nanny Program Matthews_one,” She said as Sara’s Nanny Nikki Tyler materialized in the office.

“Well it’s about time. I was wondering if you were going to keep me in the computer forever.” Nikki said with an exaggerated sigh. Yes, Nikki was a similar program as the EMH from Voyager she was self-aware and able to learn as she went.

“Sorry about that Nikki, unfortunately I ended up heading right to work after getting here.” Alyssa actually apologized to the hologram whom was more like family than a piece of equipment. Alyssa said taking her sleepy child’s hand.

“What exactly have I missed while in storage? You know I do not like cramped spaces right?” Nikki asked with an arched brow.

Alyssa had to laugh slightly, “Yes I know you do not like cramped spaces Nikki, and you missed our little devil here slipping away from her adult supervision on a station that has more holes in it than Swiss cheese only to be brought home by our very own Chief of Engineering.” Alyssa informed her as Sara pulled her hand free and went to her nanny as if for sympathy.

“I’m guessing two weeks grounding huh? Well that’s too bad because I had all kinds of fun stuff lined up for us when you weren’t in school young lady, now I’ll just have to wait to share them with you won’t I?” Nikki asked even as Sara hugged her.

Sara bowed her head and walked quietly with her mommy and nanny.

Main energizer is wonky main engineering current
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Byrnes reached engineering, running in and sliding to a stop next to the 'pool table'. The main board was lit up with red sections all accross the schematic, and several engineers stood around it trying to decide what to do.

"All eyes on me!" Shouted Wulf. "Gather around!" Once they did, Byrnes began to issue orders. "Main energizer is malfunctioning. Run all the bypasses you can, people. We need all the power we can get. Where are my matter/energy specialists?"

Three people raised their hands.

Byrnes looked to them. "You and you, go with Sirico and man the aux power controls. If the energizers begin to go down, use fusion power like you would on a starship. Go!" He then looked to the third. "You're with me. Everyone! Get to your stations and keep this base operational. Move!"

Going to the main station, Wulf began to read what was before him. Several EPS conduits had broken free, which usually meant an EPS manifold was about to blow. He tapped his badge. "Lieutenant Byrnes to all crew and guests. Maintain a safe distance from all EPS manifolds until further notice. Byrnes out." He tapped it off. It was going to be a very long night, and come morning he hoped he would have all he needed to maintain readiness.


The Ripping Commanding Officer's Office TBD
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Christopher sat behind his desk, a dumbstruck expression plastered across his face as he read over the report from the Quartermaster and the Personnel Officer. It appeared from everything that he had read, that both his Chief Medical Officer and Executive Officer had elected to request quarters together. Lowering the PADD slowly, he fought the urge to groan in annoyance. This was the epitome of disrespect- they had decided to not even request permission from him before doing so and had flouted regulations in the process.

Pressing the comm button on his desk, he spoke to the aide that was sitting at a desk in the center of the section.

"Get me Knight and Nichols. Now." he growled before he released the button, clearing the channel.

"Aye, sir," the aid said.

=^=CDR Knight and Dr. to General Mitchell's office ASAP.=^=

Cara was leaning over a 6 year old boy from one of the farming families who was laying on a biobed in Intermediate Care. "Hold still," she said, softly, as she eased a pair of hemostats into one of the boy's nostrils. Grasping the object blocking his sinus in the hemostats, she gently, pulled the object out of the boy's nose. "Seeds are to be planted," she said holding the seed up for the boy's mother to see, "not stuck in little boys' noses." She handed the hemostats to the nurse and the seed to the boy's mother. "He'll be fine," she said. "You got him here before it caused any irritation."

"Thank you, Doctor," the mother said.

Cara reached in her labcoat pocket and took out a sucker. Handing it to the boy she said, "my pleasure," then tapped her combadge and said, "on my way." She walked out of the cubicle and called to Cate, "I'll be on the comm," and stuck the medical comlink in her ear as she headed for the General's office. It took her ten minutes and two turbolifts to reach the Command deck. She walked up to the outer door of the General's office and rang the chime.

Drew was in the Athletic Center in the boxing ring with Kawalsky. They were two rounds into a three round sparring match when the call from the duty officer came over the base wide. The momentary distraction allowed Kawalsky to land a solid head shot that staggered Drew back against the ropes. The Senior Chief stepped forward shagging a glove and taking the mouthguard out. "You OK Sir?"

Drew blinked and shook his head clear as he also peeled off his gloves and spit out his mouth guard. He gave Kawalsky a nod of his head. "Isn't the first time you've given me a bell ringer Senior Chief." He blinked a few more times. "Probably won't be the last either." He pulled himself over to his corner and picked up his commbadge and tapped it. "Knight here, acknowledged. On my way."

Drew tossed his gear into a gym bag and rushed out of the gym to reach the command deck as soon as possible. He got there just as Cara was ringing the chime to Christopher's Office. "Hey there."
Cara looked at Drew with a combination grimace and smile. "Why do I feel like I did in school when I would get called to the principal's office?" she said.

Drew understood the reference, but saw no reason why it would apply to this situation. "Only way to know, is to find out why the General wanted to see us both."

Christopher was reading another report when his aide ducked her head in. "Sir, Commanders Knight and Nichols are here for you."

Chris nodded slowly. "Bring them in." he said, placing the PADD down on the desk.

Drew stepped inside with Cara and came to attention before Christopher's desk. "Commander Knight and Lieutenant Commander Nichols reporting as ordered sir." His voice was calm and expression neutral. There was a light bruise starting to form on the left side of his face.

Cara stood next to Drew, her hands shoved into her labcoat pocket. Noticing the discoloration on Drew's cheek she leaned sideways and whispered, "Forget to duck again?"

Christopher stood and walked from behind the desk. "Remain where you are." Taking two careful steps forward, he turned so that he was facing Drew. "Why is it that my waiter elected to inform me that my Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer have been having an inappropriate relationship while I was eating my scrambled eggs this morning?" he asked

"Inappropriate!" Cara exclaimed, her face turning red. "We moved in together. How is that inappropriate? Jesus, Mary and Joseph. This isn't the dark ages, Chris. " She looked over at Drew and whispered, "didn't you file the change of quarters?"

Drew started to nod, then realized, though he had filled the proper forms out. He had been to busy to submit them to the data base. "Um...well...not...exactly."

Chris wheeled to face her, his face slowly beginning to redden as the anger welled up inside of him. "First, Lieutenant Commander- Don't address me by my first name unless I permit you to do so. Second, it's inappropriate due to the fact that you're in the same chain of command and you damn well know it. If I need to cite the regulation then I will. How the hell can I expect the two of you to work together? God forbid you break up!"

Cara rolled her eyes. Sometimes she forgot that outside of the Medical facility rank mattered. "Calm down, General Mitchell," she said, her best bedside doctor voice. "You'll give yourself a stroke. We've been working together for 2 years. We're not children. We know what we're doing. It's not like he's a Commander and I'm an Ensign or a Petty Officer. "

Drew was trying to form a diplomatic response to Christopher's statements.

Chris began to pace back and forth with the same carefully measured steps, he stopped in front of Drew. "And what is this I hear of you and the diplomat having some sort of relationship?" he asked

Drew did speak up. "I admit...I had a brief attraction to Ambassador Waddington, but...", he looked at Cara and remembered that first kiss in the turbolift, "...I soon realized that I was transferring my feeling for Cara...onto a person I hardly knew out of fear."

Christopher let out a titter.

Cara rolled her eyes again. " need to stop listening to all of the gossip this place is full of," she said. "If Drew and Lady Catherine were in a relationship how would he and I be in one? Neither of us are like that. Come on, General. It's the 24th Century. We love each other. We are stuck on this rock for who knows how long. Aren't we entitled to some happiness and companionship?"

Chris sighed and rubbed his temples slightly. "To respond to your first point- the Staff Judge Advocate already spoke with a witness to this." Pressing the comms button on his desk, he gave a simple command to his aide. "Bring in Lieutenant Thompson." and released the button.

"To answer your second point- you can definitely have your happiness and companionship but not while one of you is serving in a command position. What can I expect when one of you goes on an Away Mission and the other has to make a decision that could lead them to their death? Answer me that. Could you make that decision?"

Christopher's second point did not catch Drew off guard, but he had avoided that issue by only taking an Independent Duty Corpsman on missions with the Zumwalt. The sheer fact of the matter was that their being understaffed until recently had led to Cara's presence at Anchorage was more vital to their ongoing mission than the need for a doctor aboard the Heavy Escort. "Sir. I do understand your point of view, but...with all due respect. I love Cara and if I have to make the choice of being your XO...", he looked from Chris to Cara, "...or retain my relationship with the woman I love...", his gaze returned to Chris. "... Please, sir. Don't make me choose."

Cara shook her head, looking up at the ceiling as she took her hands out of her pockets and crossed her arms across her chest. "Of course he," she nodded towards Drew, "would make the decision that would protect the crew of his ship or the inhabitants of this station," she said. "Would I?" she asked. "Luckily I am just the CMO of this base and I don't have to make those kinds of decisions. My patients come first above all else. Yes....I am a Starfleet officer. But I am a physician first. Would I choose the safety of my patients over Drew's? I have. He was my best friend long before the Borg attack on 900. So was his sister. On that day...I had to choose between them and the safety of my staff and patients. I don't think I need to remind you what decision I made," she said with obvious annoyance at her and Drew's relationship being made issue of. She wondered if the tables were turned...if Mitchell found someone to care about besides work...if he would forgo happiness and love. She doubted it. It wasn't fair to expect people to live and work together so far from home for years at a time....even decades....and not form lasting and loving relationships. It was unnatural to expect everyone to remain separate from each other. Frustrated she threw her hands up. "You know what? Bring in anyone you want. This is not a dictatorship. If Drew wants to sleep with the entire population of the Delta Quadrant it's his business. If he and I want to live together it is our business. You're just mad because we didn't ask your permission first." She looked over at Drew, scowling...her cheeks red with anger. "If you want to stay here and listen to this bull....then fine. I have patients to attend to. Let me know what the two of you decide about my future since I obviously have no say." She turned and headed for the door. She stopped and turned around and glared at Mitchell. " the way, General have missed two of your Physical Therapy appointments and your therapist wanted me to remind you that she needs you to stick to the schedule that she set up." With that she marched out of the door, giving Lt. Thompson a brief glance.

Meredith looked at the Generals assistant who indicated that she should go into the Generals office. Under her breath she muttered in soft Hatian Creole "Oh kè kontan, isit la nou ale." Pressing the chime she waited to be admitted

As the doctor stormed passed her she stepped inside. "You requested to see me, sir?" She asked in a calm New Orleans drawl.

Christopher nodded, his face becoming redder at this display of blatant insubordination. "Both of you, have a seat." he said. Looking over to the both of them, he decided to focus on Andrew. "Now let's get down to brass tacks. The reason Lieutenant Thompson is here is that I was handed communication recordings from the diplomatic security team that indicate that you were flirting with their charge. Now, I understand that you had feelings for the Ambassador and now for the doctor but I need you to be discreet. It undermines everything that we're aiming to do here if you're the subject of rumors, so all I'm asking is that you work on it."

Meredith muttered under her breath "Figure whose eggs you want to scramble would be a start" she sat with her back ramrod staright and her dark eyes as unreadable as obsidian

Drew didn't quite catch what Meredith said. He took a seat as directed by Christopher though. He cast a quick, furtive glance to the door Cara had stormed out of. He looked to Christopher. "Permission to speak sir."

Christopher released a quiet sigh as he felt a wave of fatigue washed over him. "By all means, Commander. I'm listening." he said as he leaned against his desk.

Drew nodded his appreciation. "I am in love with Cara...Dr. Nichols. I hope she is in love with me as well." He cast a quick glance at Meredith, almost as if he was about to say something he didn't want her...or anyone know. He returned his gaze back to Christopher. "It is my intention...when I feel the time is ask her to marry me. You want to sanction me for failing to file the proper forms, I will accept any punishment you deem fit..." His expression made a fundamental shift. Not so much defiance towards Christopher, but adament in his own convictions. "..., but with all due respect sir. I fully intend to continue my relationship with...Cara."

"Is there a reason I am here sir?" Meredith asked.

Drew looked over to her Meredith for a moment. He turned back to Christopher, curious as to why she was present.

open tag
An Irish Fire Storm Knight/Nichols' Quarters & ER After Ripping
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Cara stormed down the corridor towards her and Drew's quarters. She was seething. How dare the General dictate who could have a relationship. And how dare Andrew just stand there like a neutered dog and say nothing. She slapped the entry pad next to the door. The door was only halfway open when she turned sideways and stepped into the suite. She started to go over to the small bar and pout herself a drink but came to a stop when she heard giggling coming from Ashley's room. Ordinarily she would have let it go, figuring it was a teenage girl fest but one of the voices was too low to be a girl's voice. Quirking an eyebrow she walked over to the door of Ashley's bedroom. It was only partially closed as a rumpled shirt lay on the floor, keeping the door from shutting all the way. She pulled the shirt out of the opening and held it up. It was definitely a boy's shirt. Frowning, she pressed the entry pad and the door slid open, revealing two half dressed teenagers, Ashley and a boy Cara didn't recognize...that couldn't have been any older than Ashley...laying on the bed.

"Are you fracking kidding me?" Cara yelled.

Ashley gave a little high pitched shriek and pulled the bed covers up. The startled boy simply rolled off the far side of the bed with a loud thump...and an even louder exclamation of pain.

Glaring at the boy, Cara turned sideways in the doorway and pointed toward the front door of the quarters. "You! Get out!" she growled. She held out his shirt and he grabbed it as he stumbled out of the room and made a very hasty exit.

"You! Get dressed and don't bother trying to come up with an explanation because we both know that I know what I saw," Cara said, angrily, then whirled around and stormed over to the bar, pouring herself a double of Jameson's while Ashley got dressed.

Ashley stumbled out of her bedroom into the common area. Her cheeks a deep crimson. "'s not what you think...we...." If Cara had not cut her off then...the look on Cara's face would have done just fine.

Cara wheeled around, spilling some of her drink as it sloshed out of the glass, and held her finger up to stop Ashley. "Seriously, young lady? What did I say? Did I stutter?" she asked. "Park it," she points at the sofa. "I don't suppose you have told your uncle that you are sexually active have you?" She shook her head and didn't wait for an answer. "No. Of course you didn't. He would have replicated a chastity belt with twenty padlocks. So that tells me that you did not have his permission to have a male visitor over with no chaperones." She took a drink from her glass. "What the hell were you thinking? That we wouldn't find out? you think that if you fall into bed with that kid that he is going to love you forever? It doesn't work like that, Ashley Harper Knight. Boys that kid's age have only one thing on their minds. And once you give it to them they will use you for it every chance they get. My God, girl," she said, throwing up her free hand. "You are only 17. You have all of theses aspirations for an education but you're ready to throw them away on a young punk kid whose only goal in life is to impress his equally idiot friends with tales of the notches on his jock strap? What if you get pregnant? Everything you said you want to accomplish goes right out the window because you have a kid to care for. Do you think that punk will step up? No. They never do." She emptied the contents of her glass and turned her back to Ashley to refill it. "Dammit! I don't need this crap after the morning I've had," she muttered.

Ashley sat quivering in equal amounts of fear and frustration, but something also told her that Cara was more upset about something else. Call it female empathy, but getting caught with a boy in her room was not something she thought would upset Cara so. The only person she knew that might bring out this reaction... "What did Uncle Drew do?"

Cara took a long sip of her drink and took a deep breath. "He's a man," she muttered. "I can't believe he just stood there," she mumbled and took another sip.

Ashley had no clue what was going on. Thoughts of her getting into trouble for having Kyle in her room fell away. Something was going on between Cara and Uncle Drew and it seemed rather serious. She rose from her seat on the couch and approached Cara. She place a hand on Cara's shoulder. "What happened?"

"Your Uncle was supposed to submit our co-habitation request for clearance but he never sent the paperwork in," Cara snarled. "The General found out through the proverbial grapevine and is beyond pissed. I don't know if the pompous jackass is jealous because he's alone or if he's just pissed because we didn't clear it with him first but he called us into his office this morning to tell us that our relationship is unauthorized and inappropriate." She saw Ashley's eyes widen in surprise. "Yeah. Exactly my reaction," Cara said. "He, basically, said that two senior officers in the chain of command are not allowed to fall in love because they wouldn't be able to make command decisions that might put one of them in jeopardy." She took a sip of her drink and walked over to the window. "Then he began to question your uncle about a rumor about him having had a relationship with Lady Catherine. He even called in Meredith Thompson as a witness." She turned and looked at Ashley. "And what did your uncle do?" When Ashley shrugged, Cara continued, "Mr. Special Warfare Specialist just stood there." She took another sip of her drink and waved her free hand. "Oh, a meek piss your pants voice he told Mitchell he loved me but when Mitchell asked him if he had to choose between me or his duty as XO which would he choose Mr. Special Warfare Specialist said he couldn't choose." Her cheeks reddened. "COULDN'T CHOOSE!" She emptied her glass. "I told them both what I thought of being dictated to about who I could or could not have a relationship with when we are stuck out here a gazillion light years from home and the only people we have contact with are those on this fracking hunk of rock." She stormed back over to the bar and grabbed the bottle of Jamesons. "Then I stormed out." Gesturing with the bottle she looked at Ashley and said, "this is why you need to forget about men...boys....the male species....and concentrate on your studies. They are useless."

Ashley grew concerned for Cara. This Cara was a far cry from the Cara she knew as best friend to her late mother. The Cara she knew could hold it together no matter what, the Cara she knew had saved hundreds of lives to get the USS Hopper, with everyone aboard, out of harm's way...this...Ashley didn't know what to think...or say...and it scared her. She was also afraid for her Uncle Drew. Was this going to be the end of his and Cara's relationship? What was going to happen? How would it all turn out? It was all so very confusing and at the moment, she could only think of one thing to say. "Um...are you sure you should be doing that?" She pointed to the bottle of Jamieson in Cara's hand.

Cara looked at the glass she was about to fill and set the bottle back down. "You're probably right," she said. Closing her eyes she said to the wall, "how could he just stand there and let that arrogant Marine dictate our relationship?" Tears burned her closed eyelids but she refused to allow them to form.

Drew stepped inside, his expression deeply thoughtful. He spotted both Ashley and Cara in the living room and knew that something was up.

The sound of the door opening made Cara open her eyes and look in that direction. "Oh. If it isn't Mr. Silent Statue," she growled, looking back down at the bottle of Jamesons then at her empty glass. "Your niece has something to tell you."

Drew looked first at Cara, then at Ashley. He reached up and rubbed the area between his eyes as the makings of a full blown headache of super nova proportions started to form. "What is it you have to tell me Ashley?"

Ashley swallowed a lump in her throat the size of the asteroid they resided on. She glanced back and forth several times between Drew and Cara. She knew if she didn't say anything, that Cara would. "Um...I...had a boy in my room this afternoon."

Drew stopped rubbing. It almost seemed as if he stopped breathing he was so still. His head and body faced Ashley square on. "Pardon me? You had what...where?"

Cara put the top back on the Jamesons and stuck it in the cabinet. She carried the glass, with only ice cubes, over to the window and stared outside, leaving Drew to deal with Ashley while she sucked on the small cubes in her glass.

Ashley took a deep breath and let it out very slowly. "I was in my room with a boy and...we were kissing."

"On your bed and he was half undressed," Cara spoke up.

Drew shot a look over to Cara for a brief moment and slowly turned his head back to Ashley. He closed his eyes and slowly counted to ten silently, then he opened his eyes. "Was he the only one...undressed?"

Ashley swallowed hard. "Um...."

Cara turned and looked out the window. With her back to the room she folded one arm across her chest and said, "answer your Uncle, Ashley." She sipped at the water forming in the glass from the melting ice cubes. "And while you're at it you can explain why you and said boy are not in school today."

Ashley looked at Cara, then back to Drew. "I uh...may have had a few buttons on my blouse undone."

Cara whirled around and glared at the girl. "A few? Seriously, Ashley? A few? You are seriously going to down play the seriousness of what I saw going on in that bedroom? How do you expect us to treat you like an adult when you act like a clueless child?" she growled. Shaking her head she looked at Drew. "You handle this. I just hope you do a better job of it than you did with Mitchell," she said, glaring at Drew as she stormed across the room and slammed her glass down on the top of the bar. "I'm going back to work," she said and turned to look at Ashley. "I want you in my office first thing tomorrow morning for a GYN work up. That's not a request," she said, glaring at the girl. She turned her glare to Drew then stormed out of the quarters.

Peace of Mind (working title) (not sure)
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After taking Sara to see the Chief Medical officer so they could both get their physicals out of the way and check in with the CMO as Alyssa hasn't yet done she made her way over to Tazanna remembering that when she left Sara with her old friend they were going to visit with Lady Waddington the Stations Diplomatic. She just wanted to let Tazanna know that Sara was safely home and grounded for her actions that day.

Ferguson answered the door to see a woman with distinct Caitian and Human features at the door. Considering this person was a full meter or more taller than the little poppet Sara, he deduced this was Miss Sara's mother. "Greetings Miss Matthews, please come in."

"Thank you, I'm guessing then you've met my daughter Sara?" She asked softly as she stepped inside with a soft smile.

"Yes." Ferguson had an expression that was equal parts enjoyment and exasperation. "She is quite a...lively young child."

"That is being kind, I understand she snuck away from you I have already punished her for it, but I'd like to understand how she managed to sneak away from you?" Alyssa asked softly.

tag Alyssa
Trouble in Green FOB Detention Facility
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"I SAID THAT'S ENOUGH!" Jack yelled at Winter and Mackie, his booming voice echoing throughout the intake center of the Detention Facility. He stood between the two Marines, his arms outstretched to keep them apart. Winter already had a black eye and his lip was split and Mackie's nose was, obviously, broken. "Put them in separate cells," Jack told the brig officers holding the two men. He turned to the medic waiting to treat the men's injuries and said, "that one first," and pointed to Mackie. He stepped up to the opening of Mackie's cell and glowered at the Lance Corporal. In a quiet but menacing voice he said, "you give this young lady any trouble and I will throttle you myself. And I guarantee, will need more than a nose job if I do. Am I clear?"

Mackie nodded and said, "yes, sir," his voice muffled by the towel he was holding over his busted nose.

"Keep an eye on them," Jack said to the two brig officers. "I'll be in the office." With that he headed to the small office in the Detention Facility where he plopped down at his desk and ran his hand through his hair. Tapping his combadge he said, "LtCDR Devlin to Major Phoenix. I have two of your Marines in custody. I'll be in the Detention Facility office if you care to discuss their charges."

Michael sighs to himself as he stood up picking up his coffee as he took a drink he taps his badge " I will be there in a moment " he said to Devlin as he made his way to a lift and down to the detention facility making his way to the location of Devlin " Commander Delvin I am Major Phoenix " he said looking at Devlin.

Jack stood up and reached across his desk to shake the Major's hand. "Sorry to having to meet under these circumstances," he said with a polite smile. "I have wanted to get down to the Marine pod to give you a proper welcome but I am seriously short handed right now and it seems I barely get time to use the head. Have a seat," he said, gesturing to the chair in front of the desk.

Michael took his hand shaking it " I understand not having time to do things you wanted " he said as he took a seat " so tell me what happened " Michael asked Devlin as he leans back in the chair pulling out his PADD.

Jack sat back down and pulled up the custody report on his terminal. Turning the screen so Michael could see it, he said, "it seems that Private Justin Winter and Lance Corporal Jon Mackie got into an altercation over a dart game at O'Reilly's Pub on the Promenade. It started off with things being just a heated conversation that led to O'Reilly asking them to take it outside but then things escalated and someone threw a punch. It ended up with...," he looked around the monitor so he could read it off of the screen, "...5 chairs, 2 tables, a partition, a bathroom door, a bar stool, an AI server and too much glassware to count...," he quoted and sat back, "...being demolished. One bystander suffered minor injuries, Winter suffered a split lip and is sporting a nice shiner and Mackie has a broken nose. O'Reilly is fit to be tied and wants compensation for the property damage. Technically I can charge them with Destruction of property, disturbing the peace, public brawling and mutual assault. But I wanted to talk it over with you first since they are your men."

Michael nods " I will handle the punishment if you feel it is best for them, I'm sure O'Reilly will be taken care of not the first time a marine has busted up a bar " Michael said to Devlin as he took notes on his PADD " But I believe they should be punished that fits the crime even if they have to work it off fixing O'Reilly's place "

"I will leave them to you, then, major," Jack said and called out to the outer office. "Coman! Have them bring our two guests up," he called to the Petty Officer in the outer office. "It'll take a few minutes to process them out," he added. "So how do you like it here on the Rock?" he asked.

" It will take a little time to get use to but it does seem like I will have some fun here " Michael said as he put his PADD down looking at Devlin " Plus the ground is better for Mary, living on a ship can be troubling for a child sometimes " Michael said knowing what it is like being on ships most of his young life.

"Too bad the only sunlight or stars she will know here will be artificial," Jack said. "Even in the Ops Center all you see are the other asteroids in the field."

Just then PO Coman stuck his head in the door and said, "they're here, sir."

Jack waved his thanks to the Petty Officer and stood up. "Shall we, Major?" he said, gesturing to the door.

Michael stood up taking his PADD with him " Lead on " he said to Devlin, Michael followed along.

Jack walked through the outer office and into the reception area. Standing next to each other, looking battered, hungover and sheepish, were the two Marines. "Looks like you got a reprieve," Jack said to the two young men. "I am releasing you into the custody of Major Phoenix and am leaving your punishment up to him." He held up his finger at them and said, "but make no mistake...if you ever cause any trouble on this base's Promenade again I will not be so accommodating. You will be charged and will serve your time in this detention facility." He clasped his hands behind his back and looked into the faces of the two men. "Do I make myself clear?"

Winters and Mackie both mumbled, "yes, sir," in unison, their heads bowed.

Jack looked at the Major and said, "they're all yours Major," and stepped backwards to allow the Major the lead position.

Michael smiled as he moved to the men " First off this is not a good way to meet me, second this is not a way to make the marines look good " he said as he walked around them " SO the punishment is up to me " he told them " First you will work in the O'Reilly bar until the damages are paid off " Michael said stopping in front of them " Second you will report to the master sergeant in the morning you will be in full pack and you will run the obstacle course until you can't run anymore and you will keep running until she feels you are done " Michael said " Now say good bye to the Commander you will go with a few security officers to the O'Reilly place and say you are sorry to the owner " Michael turned his attention to Jack.

"SIR! YES, SIR!" the two Marines said in unison.

Jack raised his hand and snapped his fingers at the two Security Officers who had brought the two Marines out from the back and he motioned toward the door.

The two Secuirty Officers stepped forward and one said, "let's go," to the two Marines and the four men moved towards the reception room door and disappeared into the corridor.

Jack folded his arms and leaned against the wall, shaking his head and smirking. "Ever feel like a babysitter more than a CO?" he asked, jokingly.

Michael chuckled " at times it does feel like it at times " he told Jack " But that is part of the job "

Jack chuckled. "That it is," he said extending his hand. " has been a pleasure. Let me know when you get settled and I'll buy you a drink."

Michael smiled " Will do Commander " he said making his way to the lift to head down to the marine bay to work on a few files.

Late for their Check Up Deck 10 - Intermediate Care Clinic
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Alyssa lead her daughter and holographic Nanny to the medical bay, stepping off the lift onto deck 10 heading for the Intermediate Care. They walked down the hall together Sara yawning a bit tired wondering where they were going. it wasn't until they were inside that Sara realized they were there to see doctors. Sara turned around and tried to walk right back out but Nikki held her little hand tightly to keep her from escaping. Sara had little fondness for hospitals they always held sick or dying people when she had to go there.

"May I help you?" the nurse at the reception desk asked, smiling at the child.

Sara smiled back nervously

"I'm Lieutenant Alyssa Matthews, and this is my Daughter, Sara we're new to the station and need to have our physicals. I think Sara has an actual appointment."

The nurse brought up the schedule on her desk monitor. "It says here that Dr. Russell was scheduled to see Sara but he had an emergency surgery," she said. "Dr. Nichols is on call today. If you will have a seat over there," she pointed to the row of chairs off to the side of the waiting room, "I'll let her know you're here." With that the nurse got up and disappeared into the back. A couple of minutes later she returned at the door and smiled. "You can come on back," she said, standing off to the side of the doorway so that Alyssa and her daughter could enter the IC Clinic.

Alyssa took Sara's hand and lead her through the door, while Nikki waited in the waiting room for them. Alyssa smiled at the nurse as the did so.

The nurse led them to a large cubicle and asked, "who's going to be first?" She patted the biobed then activated the monitors.

"Let's go ahead and have Sara go first.." She started but her daughter moved to hide behind her. "Sara come on it's just a bio scan." She said gently leading her daughter back around her.

"No needles?" Sara asked biting her lower lip.

"I don't think so, just the biobed for now." Alyssa said and her daughter gave a nod. Alyssa put her hands under her daughters arms and lift her onto the bio bed.

"Dr. Nichols will be in in a minute," the nurse said and disappeared.

"Thank you." Alyssa said with a smile.

Cara walked into the cubicle and smiled, first at Alyssa, whom she had already met, then at Sara. "Hello, ladies. I'm Dr. Nichols," she said.

"Hello again, Dr. Nichols, This is my daughter Sara, Sara this is our Chief Medical Officer." Alyssa introduced them.

"Hi, your not going to use any needles are you? I don't like needles." She pouted at the Doctor.

Cara looked at Sara's file then turned back to the child. Smiling she said, "Nope. No needles. It looks like you have had all of your vaccinations." She used a hand held tablet that produced a 3D image of the child's skeleton and internal organs. "Have you started school yet?" she asked Sara as she looked at the images on the tablet.

"Mommy says I start Monday." She grinned excitedly, but was staring in fascination with her 3D image of her skeleton, "is that me?" She asked amazed.

Cara turned the tablet so Sara could see it better. "It sure is," she said. "That is what keeps you standing up." She flipped the image to show Sara her abdominal organs. With the flick of her finger she enlarged the image of Sara's stomach. Playfully poking Sara's stomach she said, "and that is your tummy."

Sara actually giggled, she liked this doctor, she knew how to have fun with her job. "wow, I'm a skeleton mommy." Sara giggled excitedly.

"Yes you are." Alyssa smiled giving Cara a thankful look for putting Sara at ease.

Cara set the tablet on the utility tray and placed her hands on the child's throat. Gently, she palpated the glands on the sides of the girl's neck. When Sara didn't seem to mind she smiled and said, "well, Miss are a picture of health." She took a sucker out of her labcoat pocket and handed it to Sara as she lifted the child off of the biobed. "Now it's your Mommy's turn," she said.

"Yay!" Sara said happier with the sucker than with her turn being over and it being mommy's turn she skipped out of the room to her Nanny's side while Alyssa moved to take her place.

"Thanks for giving her a sucker, you've made a friend for life now." Alyssa said softly smiling at Cara.

Cara smiled and held her hand up to block her mouth from Sara. "It's sugar free," she whispered with a wink then patted the biobed. "Have a seat," she said as she switched charts on the terminal. "So anything I should know about since your last physical?" she asked Alyssa as she cleared the screen of the tablet and began moving it over Alyssa.

Alyssa smiled glad that it was sugar free, not that Sara would mind too much but she may pout a bit. "Not since my last physical no." Alyssa admitted as she moved to sit on the bio bed. she'd been given a clean bill of health on her last trip to the doctor's office and that was a week or two before the trip to the Delta Quadrant.

As with Sara, Cara switched views on the tablet so she could see Alyssa's internal organs. "Are you on any birth control?" she asked as she focused her attention to Alyssa's reproductive organs.

"I am," Alyssa said softly though she had been on birth control before she'd gotten pregnant with Sara. At least until she had learned she was pregnant then she had stopped it for the pregnancy.

"Ever experience any side effects?" Cara asked, studying the image of Alyssa's ovaries. "Like cramping or painful menstruation?"

"Non of that, but I was using it when I conceived Sara, she wasn't planned and I still had my period during my pregnancy, I did not realize I was pregnant until I started to gain weight." She admitted.

"Because of your Caitian DNA....normal Human contraception tends to vary in effectiveness and...sometimes...can cause some uncomfortable side effects," Cara said, shutting off the tablet. "Can I get you to lie back please?" she asked, with a reassuring smile.

"Hmm, I didn't know my doctor did not seem to think it would be too much of a problem." Alyssa said as she moved to lay back on the bed. She hadn't worried too much about it because of her doctor, though now she wondered if she should have worried more.

Once Alyssa had lay back, Cara, gently palpated the area around Alyssa's uterus while watching Alyssa's face for any sign of discomfort. With no reaction she smiled and helped Alyssa sit up then moved so she could press Alyssa's back around her kidneys. ...this time expecting some reaction. "I'm seeing signs that your left kidney is a bit enlarged,' she explained. "Have you had any trouble urinating?"

"Not really, sometimes I'm too busy to keep an eye on if there is an irregularity." She admitted. "could it be nothing?" Alyssa asked hoping it was nothing.

"It could be a simple infection," Cara said. "It could also be a side effect of your current contraception. I would like to draw some blood to get a better idea of what we are dealing with. If it is just an infection we can clear it up in a couple of days with antibiotics. I do want to put you on a different contraception. One designed more specifically for your mixed DNA."

"Sure, whatever you think is necessary." Alyssa said trusting that Cara only had her best interest in mind when it comes to Alyssa's health.

Cara took a hemo-extractor out of one of the cabinet drawers and set it up with the required tube for the test she wanted run on it. As she walked back over to the biobed, she looked down at Sara and smiled. With a wink she said, "should we give Mommy a sucker if she doesn't cry?"

Sara giggled, "I think we should because mommy is always good about needles!" Sara said though knew if Mommy got the sucker she'd give it to her.

Cara placed the instrument over the inside of Alyssa's elbow and let the instrument locate a vein, then she pressed the trigger and a needle inserted itself into Alyssa's arm and the instrument began to fill the tube. When it was finished it retracted the needle and beeped. Cara removed it, placed a cotton ball over the small puncture mark and taped it down. "All finished," she said.

Alyssa was no fan of needles either, she just closed her eyes and let the doctor do her job then smiled at her daughter sweetly. "Thank you Doctor." She said.

Cara handed the vial to the nurse and said, "I want to start her on an Afatipryl regiment, beginning today. And get that to the lab. I want the results STAT." As the nurse hurried off, Cara turned back to Alyssa. "You will get a 10CC injection of Afatipryl once a month for three months then a 25CC injection six months later and then you will only need the injections once a year," she explained. "If, at anytime you experience any of the side effects listed on the information the nurse will bring back with the hypospray I want to know about them. We may have to adjust your dosage. And if you ever decide you want to get pregnant, we will need to taper you off of the medication. You can't just quit cold turkey."

Alyssa listened to Cara carefully, she always made it a point to know what her doctor is telling her so she didn't forget or miss something. "I understand, Thank you." Alyssa said softly.

The nurse came back into the cubicle and handed a printout to Alyssa then she prepared a hypospray. Placing the instrument against Alyssa's neck, she pulled the trigger and the medication was injected through the skin with the force of air. The nurse gently massaged the point of entry so that the muscle wouldn't react by balling up.

"Unless you have any questions, we're all done here," Cara said with a smile as the nurse began to put instruments away. "I will see you in a month for your next injection."

"No questions, I'll see you in a month." Alyssa agreed moving to get off the bio-bed so she could take her child by the hand the nanny was still waiting for them in the waiting area.

The grotto planetside current
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Byrnes had settled the main energizer problem, but it had taken the industrial replicators to aid in the repairs. This base was old, and not well maintained, with them moving in by force. To say they were behind in certain areas was an understatement. All the power relays were now showing in the green, working for now. "Sicily! Take a team and begin diagnostics of all power relays and backups."

"Aye, Sir."

Watching her gather her team and then leave, Byrnes returned his attention to the main board. The dragons were no longer his problem, this base was. He just hoped he didn't get fried on the rug with some Starfleet officer who got gung-ho over the dragons and killed them without provocation. As he was tapping keys his combadge warbled.

"Lieutenant Byrnes, we've ran into a problem in a tertiary jeffries tube."

Wulf sighed and responded. "What kind of problem?"

"'s better if you just come down and see for yourself, Sir."

Byrnes gave an audible sigh over the comm. "Alright, fine. I'm on my way. This better be good." He tapped his badge off and exited main engineering. Arriving in the secondary section, a long corridor for emergency evac, he found a group of four engineers standing near to an opening in the wall. What looked to be a collapsed section of the wall. "What the hell is this?" Wulf asked this as he approached, coming to stand directly in front of the opening, which was pitch black beyond this lit corridor.

"This is the problem, Sir. Jenkins there was up on a grav sled, repairing the lights, and this wall collapsed as he leaned against it for support. As you can see, it's kinda creepy."

Wulf could feel the cool, damp air coming from the dark caverns beyond. But, what surprised him the most is that he wasn't gasping for air, that the flow of air coming out seemed to be breathable. On this moon, or planetoid, or whatever it was, there should be no breathable air trapped in pockets. That, in itself, made him nervous. Stepping to a weapons cache he input his codes for CEO, the cache opening. Grabbing an equipment belt and donning it, Byrnes holstered a phaser and grabbed a tricorder. "Grab some weapons and watch this end. I'm going to go exploring, to see what we might have." Wulf grabbed a strap-on light, which could be adjusted as a palm lamp, or a head lamp, and he chose the latter. Strapping the light around his cranium, Byrnes began to climb into the opening.

"Are you sure this is safe, Sir?"

"No! I'm not sure," stated Byrnes, the cynicism heard in his voice. "But, until we check it out we won't know for sure, now will we?" Looking down into the depths of darkness, Wulf could see water. Water that appeared to be crystal clear even in the inky blackness of the cavern. "We have water, not frozen or off-color. A good sign. Send word to Security and the marines that we're checking this out." Clambering for handholds and footholds, Byrnes began to descend down to the water level. His hand slipped and he tried to correct, losing grip completely as he tumbled down into the pool of water. Splash!

"Pwah!" Wulf came up fast and spewed water from his lips, swiping it away quickly from his eyes, now drenched to the bone. Once standing it was obvious that this pool was only thigh deep, and though it had been cold during the initial shock of landing in it, the temperature of the liquid was just below tepid. That meant it was being warmed by something, some source of energy. Who was here? Drawing his phaser and setting it for maximum stun Byrnes continued to walk this water-filled trench. He moved along cautiously, his senses on high as he could only see as far as his head lamp would permit. To say he was creeped out was accurate. Then, without preamble, a bioluminescence started. Plants, roots, the insects fluttering about, all lit up as if on cue, illuminating the darkened cavern with soft lighting. Wulf reached up and doused his light, his head on a swivel as he looked around at the beauty of all this. Who, or what, had created this, next to a Federation facility, and no one knew.

Out of the corner of his eye Byrnes thought he saw two glowing points, like eyes, a neon blue-white color. They had been off in the distance, amid the bioluminescent plant life, and briefly showing. Not liking that, his sixth sense saying he was not alone, Byrnes continued on despite his anxiety. On several occasions he swore he caught it again, but always off to the side. Finding a step-up out of the water, Wulf used it, hearing the water running from his pants legs and shoes, looking this way and that to get his bearings, and then he was hit. His left shoulder felt the piercing and slamming through muscle and tissue, the trauma immediately felt as he reeled and fell to his back among the plants glowing around him. Looking to his injured shoulder he found an arrow protruding from it, hit from the front. It was a metallic alloy in nature, grey-ish silver, with fletching that appeared to be actual feathers. He grasped the wound around where the arrow stuck out, but did not dare to try and pull it free.

Rolling onto his right side and finally sitting up, phaser held loosely for defense, Byrnes gave a cynical chuckle and spoke out loud. "If you are out there, I mean you no harm. I mean this cavern no harm. Just exploring something I did not expect to find." He waited, listening, and expecting the next arrow to end his existance. "Hello?"

The glowing points he had seen, not unlike two EPS spots with the neon white-blue, this biped approached, arrow notched and aiming at his torso. "Stay still." The lavender colored being was warning him that he would be turned into a pin cushion if he did not comply. Laying his phaser down, holding hands up defensively, Byrnes gave a nod.

"I am not here to harm you," stated Byrnes. "I was curious about these caverns." His eyes took her in, the lavender skin, the natural tattoo patterns on her body, and the glowing eyes. She was wearing a bikini style outfit, with boyshorts for bottoms, and despite where they were her clothing had no sign of muck and mud. Just above the waistline of her trunks he could make out a glyph on her abdomen, half covered by the mysterious cloth, and glowing with the same blue-white irridescence.

"No come here," stated the purple elf. Her ears were long and pointed, as were her eyebrows, all of them moving slightly like the antennae of Andorians. He was damn sure that they were used to gather information about her surroundings. On top of that her accent when speaking Federation Standard was a cross between Slavic and Spanish, the R's being trilled and certain words having a twist to them.

Byrnes looked at her, his shoulder aching. "Can you remove this, or should I do it myself?" He motioned to the arrow in his left shoulder.

"Nehneh," said the strange being, shaking her head no and coming forward. While she moved she deftly put the arrow back in its quiver and shouldered the bow over her back, squatting when she got in near to him. "Dis will hurt."

"Like I expected anything less," commented Byrnes, gritting his teeth and waiting.

What he did not see was the amber energy that cascaded from her fingers as she wrapped them around the arrow shaft, becoming one with the nano-tech within, and the frog crotch arrow slimmed itslef to just a standard arrow tip, easily pulled free. Which, of course, she yanked free and squat-walked back from him as she cleaned it. "Stoopid, hooman. Always in places you not belong." She slid the arrow back into its quiver.

Byrnes smiled. "Human nature. We like to test our limits."

While he spoke this elven looking woman reached into a belt pouch and brought out what appeared to be a folded green leaf, opening it and showing the salve within. "Put dis, doht." When she said 'doht', she pointed to his wound, so he assumed 'doht' meant 'there'. "Thank you."

"What you called," asked the lavender girl, while applying the leaf and the salve to his puncture wound.

"Wulf Byrnes," he responded. "Wulf is my first name, Byrnes my last name. Friends just call me Wulf."

"Wulf," she said, testing it on her tongue, the W being pronounced between an F and a V sound. So, when she said it, it came out as Vulf, almost. "I like this name. Like wolf from Earth. Strong, a unit, protect each other."

Byrnes found that surprising, that this alien would compare him to an Earth mammal. How did she even know about them? "Are you familiar with wolves?"

"Just what I read." She pressed down on the salve and leaf, causing him to wince. "Medicine need to enter blut."

Wulf nodded, keeping his jaw clenched as she kept up the pressure. Whatever she was she was strong as hell. "Thanks." He then looked into those glowing eyes. "Hey, what are you called?"

Taking away her pressure the lavender woman tossed the leaf aside. "Niraasha Whisperwind. Nira, to friends." She smiled. "Like you say, friend give short name." Nira stood and looked around, her ears and long eyebrows waving about. "You need go. Others come, will destroy. I kill for grotto, you are warned." She shot off into the dark, leaving a flabbergasted Wulf in her wake.


OOC: If Security and Marines choose to be involved, I will respond.

In the Neighborhood The Rock
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It had been a quiet morning in the Ops Center. Conversations had run the gambit. Women, gambling, drinking, sports, jokes.... Until the alert light began to flash on the tactical console and a blip showed on the small sensor screen.

“We have incoming,” announced the ensign manning the station. “They just passed the first security beacon. Looks to be a civilian craft. No available registry.”

Knowing that they wouldn't be able to make contact until the craft passed the second beacon, the OD said, “keep an eye on it. It may just be passing by the beacon.”

“Roger that,” the ensign said and moved the center of the screen as the craft moved so that it would stay in sight.

Sitting in the cockpit of the Arnev, Michael Braylin said, “are you sure nothing happened between you and that green haired beauty you were pawing over back on Devu I?”

Zaen shook his head. “You're not going to leave it alone are you,” he said, more as a statement than a question. “You're like a Pecari with a bone.”

“I just worry about you, big guy,” Michael said. “Those girls are known for hunting for sperm donors then saddling said donor with a family whether he wants it or not.”

Zaen frowned. “Do you think I don't know that?” he said. “In case you have forgotten...I have been here longer than you.”

“I know,” Michael said with a chuckle. “But sometimes you think with your middle leg and not your brain. I just don't want to lose my best friend and the best partner I have ever had.”

“Best friend my ass,” Zaen laughed. “I'm your only friend.”

“Not true,” Michael said, acting insulted. “There's that guy on Mylerxra. He seemed to like me.”

“Of course he liked you,” Zaen said, still laughing. “You brought him two cases of Dicuder and only charged him for one. That cost us.”

“I keep telling you....what we lost in profits we gained in the rarest wine in the quadrant,” Michael retorted. “And that paid for our repairs after running into those Krenim bounty hunters.”

A light blinked on Zaen's panel. “We're approaching the second beacon,” he announced.

Michael opened a channel to the base. “Hello Anchorage. This is Captain Braylin. You friendly relocation specialist. I was just in the neighborhood and thought I would stop by and say howdy to my Starfleet buds and maybe visit a couple of your colorful drinking establishments. So how is everything on the Rock?” he said, cheerfully.

The lieutenant operating the comm station frowned and looked at the OD. “Do we know this clown?” he asked.

The OD smirked and shook his head. “Yeah. The Arnev. He's a local pirate,” he answered.

“A pirate?” The lieutenant asked. “Then why is out there and not under arrest?”

“Because he and the XO have an agreement,” the OD replied. “We don't arrest him and he provides us with intel and resource connections.” With a wave he added, “give him clearance. Put him on landing pad 4 and alert CDR Knight. Better alert security while you're at it just in case.”

OK, Commander,” the lieutenant said, dubiously. “ have permission to dock. Please use landing pad 4.”

Michael smiled. “Many thanks, Anchorage,” he said and steered his ship to the assigned landing pad. Setting the Arnev down, smoothly, he and Zaen waited for the atmospheric bubble to close in around the pad then left the Arnev, securing it. “I'm going to go find Knight. I'll meet you at that little tavern on the south side of the Promenade,” he said when the tram that traveled through the boarding tube came to a stop. They dismounted the tram and he headed off to the right then stopped and looked back. “And try and stay out of trouble until I get there. I don't want you to have all the fun.”

Zaen gave him a thumbs up, turned and headed down the corridor in the opposite direction. Over his shoulder he flipped Braylin off which gave the pirate a chuckle as he headed on his way.
Keeping secrets...for now tertiary corridor current
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The first to arrive in the side corridor was Security, at which point Byrnes stopped them at the T in the passage. "Sorry for the call, folks. I already called the marines and told them it was a false flag. Just a collapsed wall, nothing dangerous. My team will shore up this passage and add a door to keep people out until we can affect repairs."

The Security lead man kept looking passed Byrnes, over his shoulder. "I can see the opening. Anyone get hurt?"

"Just my pride," chuckled Wulf. "I'm still damp from falling inside while checking it out. Condensation on the rock walls built up due to our life support and warmth, which caused the wall to break down faster and collapse. We'll deal with it." He then hardened his countenance. "On my authorization as Chief Engineer this corridor will be shut down and locked off against foot traffic. We have too many vital areas that need maintenance first, so this one will have to wait."

As they stood talking two engineers pulled a grav cart up to the passage, bulkhead plating on the cart, along with a door and an old style combo lock.

"Alright, Chief, we'll bite." Said the Lead. "I'll report it as a minor issue that engineering has dealt with."

Byrnes shook his hand. "Thanks. I owe you one."

The Security Lead gave a nod, his eyes looking into Wulf's, letting him know that he knew that Wulf was hiding something. But, for now, he would let it pass. "Any further complications, let me know. Lieutenant JG Maxwell."

"You got it, Maxwell, and thanks again." Byrnes kept his gaze steady while sharing the stare, letting Maxwell know he would not budge on this subject. He then used his head to get Maxwell to follow him over to speak privately. "Look, Maxwell, there's a grotto in that cavern, huge. I found plant life, insects, grasses, all bioluminescent. And, there seems to be a caretaker of sorts, a small lavender colored gal with a bow and arrow. I'm trying to determine if she's a threat, or just trying to survive like us."

Maxwell looked through his eyebrows at Byrnes. "So, what you're saying Chief is that you know of a possible hostile and you're covering it up?"

"Yes," admitted Byrnes. "See?" He unzipped his blouse, then opened it to show the puncture wound in his shoulder and through his shirt, a bandage over it. "She shot me to wound, not to kill, thinking I was there to destroy the grotto. I was warned that if we damage the grotto she would fight back. This is why I am doing what I am doing, to try and get to know her and see if there is a potential ally here. Someone who can grow food, provide medicines, the like. You with me so far?"

The Lead lifted his chin, his stance relaxing. "I am. So, I will report that engineering has found a possible natural cavern with a pocket of atmosphere, and until THEY, that means engineering, clear others to enter the area then this corridor is off limits. I won't lie on an official report, Sir."

Byrnes gave the nodding of understanding. "I'm not asking you to lie, Maxwell, just creatively omit certain things..for now. Nira, that's the alien's name, and she speaks broken Fed Standard, which means she has been inside this base for a long time. Living next door I'm sure she figured out how to get in here and do some research on us. All I can figure, since I have never seen her species before."

"Sir, that in itself is disturbing," replied Maxwell. "If she means us harm I will take you down for asking me to overlook a possible threat. If she can get in here, unknown to us, then that is a serious infraction that could end us all." He gave a sigh as he tried to decide what the right thing to do was. "Fine. Fine. I'll play along, but this is on you, Chief. If she gets in here and hurts someone, or damages anything then I will prosecute you to the full extent of Federation law, and Starfleet regulations. Are we clear?"

"We're clear," responded Byrnes, shaking hands again. "It's a small chance for diplomacy and survival and I have to take the chance."

The engineers had the wallplates welded into place and were now attaching the heavy duranium doorjam, the door itself looking like an old fashioned bank vault door. Two were welding the frame in place, another welding the hinges on.

Maxwell gave Wulf's arm a friendly slap. "Keep me informed, Sir. I will make a running tally of all you report, in my personal logs, for later review once we know one way or another. Fair?"

"Done," said Byrnes, turning and walking with the man back to the engineers and Security personnel. "Have a good day, Maxwell."

"You too, Chief." He waved his people to follow and they left the corridor.

Sirico stopped welding the hinges and pushed her goggles up on her head, looking at Byrnes. "Is he going to play along, Sir?"

Byrnes grinned at her. "For now, yeah. We need to learn about this gal, just like we need to learn about those damn dragons. We're floundering in a sea of unknown and that is never a good thing."

"I'll keep the secret, Sir." Sicily went back to welding while talking. "As will everyone else who knows about it."

Wulf's tone went a little harder. "What happens in engineering stays in engineering, unless we have no choice. Keep that in mind, all of you. Signal me when the door is finished and the lock is in place." He turned and left, heading back to engineering.

Bending the rules... just a bit Quarters - Engineering After doctor's visit
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~*~ Start ~*~

"Come on please, if I promise to behave and come right back with you, I just want you to meet him!" Came the pouty voice 45 inches from the ground. Sara tried very hard not to stomp her little foot, but her nanny was really trying her patience.

Nikki looked to her young charge hands on her hips, "And I said no, your mother told you you were grounded for leaving Tazanna's side and going where you know you should not be wandering at the moment. The station is dangerous Sara." Nikki told her.

"But you'll be with me and I promise to stay right by your side, come on I have to apologize to him for causing so much trouble." She pouted still causing tears to form in her eyes knowing that her nanny was a big softy under her stern attitude.

Nikki bit her lower lip and turned a way form Sara knowing very well that the child was trying to trick her into saying yes. Unfortunately she had a great fondness for her young charge and though she knew she shouldn't give in and should follow Alyssa's ruling on Sara's behavior. Nikki sighed and turned back to Sara, "You stay by my side. We go and we come back and you finish out your grounding like a young lady I know you are rather than pouting to be let out again. Deal?" Nikki asked holding out her hand to her young charge.

Tears gone in an instant Sara grinned and took Nikki's hand "Deal." She giggled as she shook her nanny's hand and her nanny groaned knowing she had just been conned.

"Alright you little con artist, lets go." She shook her head and still holding firmly to Sara's hand lead the way out of the quarters and to the closest working turbolift.

~*~ Engineering ~*~

Sara was the first one through the door, but Nikki was right behind her. She looked around for Wulf knowing her mother was still with Tazanna and or Ferguson because of her and hoped to be in and out of Engineering before her mother came in to work on what ever it was she did for her position. Sara was never too clear on what that was sometimes. She did however know that it was working on repairs sometimes to systems like the holodecks. Sara had learned a lot from watching before she had gotten herself grounded planet side. Honestly it was one of the reasons she was happiest her mother had been transfered out here. Because the child knew that she couldn't just be sent home no matter how she screwed up. Not that she planned to screw up that badly.

"Oh there he is." She pointed out to her Nanny turning to Nikki whom looked in that direction then looked around to make sure it was safe to walk towards the CEO.

Byrnes, standing and reading from a tricorder next to the main energizer, got tapped on his left shoulder. He looked over seeing an ensign. "Yes?" The ensign then eye-pointed toward the main entrance to engineering. Wulf spun around and looked, seeing little Sara and an unknown female. He handed the tricorder to the ensign with a grin. "I got this. Continue the readings." Stepping away Byrnes came over to the two ladies. "Hello Sara. Who's your friend?"

"This is my Nanny Nikki Tyer, Mom thought it was past time to activte her since I clearly cannot stay with an adult that doesn't have holographic neurons and sensors to know where I am at all times." Sara said honestly pouting at him..

"Be glad your out and about you little devil, your suppose to be grounded remember." She said though clearly she loved the child for she spoke with affection rather than anger. "Hi, I'm sorry about Sara, I have a learning matrix similar to that of the Doctor on Voyager. it is the reason that Alyssa chose the matrix for my programing." She said with a soft smile.

Byrnes gave a nod and grin. "No problem, Nikki. Give me a day and we can change all that. I am the CEO." Squatting to look Sara in the eye, Wulf winked and smiled. "What? I don't get a hug?"

"Change all of what?" Nikki asked confused.

Sara giggled and jumped into Wulf's arms giving him a hug. "I'm sorry I caused you so much trouble Wulf." She told him before kissing his cheek. She was so going for the cute factor here, if you couldn't tell.

Wulf gave a chuckle as he stood up holding Sara and felt the kiss. He looked at Nikki. "I wasn't trying to be rude, Nikki. As an engineer I can aid with programming, was all I was saying. You have a CPU, which means you can learn as you go. And, it is nice to meet you." He extended his hand.

"Oh, sorry I do learn and I do make use of engineer's skills to enhance my skills. It is nice to meet you as well." She said softly smiling at him and Sara as the young girl clung to him. It was curious seeing her act like that to be honest. Normally she gave them this evil look in her eyes and planned to upset their entire day. This was the first male figure outside of her grandfather that Nikki had seen her take a liking too.

"Wulf whatcha doing today?" Sara asked hoping to drag him back to her quarters so they could play some games.

Byrnes looked at Sara and gave her a belly tickle real quick. "Working, what else?" She gave a squeal-giggle which made him laugh. "I have to work a longer shift, sweety, trying to get our big home here all fixed up and safe. You know, safe for all those little ones who like to wander off and play in holodecks." He winked at Nikki, smiling at his own humor, trying to goad Sara just a tad.

Sara kept gigging, "But I want you to come back to our quarters and play with me." She gave her best pouty I'm going to cry look if he doesn't say yes.

Nikki bit her lower lip to keep from laughing wondering how the good Chief Engineer will respond to Sara's usual trick to get her own way.

"Ya know," said Byrnes with a smile. "If you keep sticking that lip out like that a bird may poop on it." He giggled. "Just kidding. But, pouting is never a good way to get what you want. Just ask, and if it can't be done right now, then you have to be patient. When I am done working I have a special project I need to check on, a secret. If you promise to not cry, and not be difficult, some day I will show you the secret. Can you do that?" He winced, shifting the girl to his right arm since his left shoulder was still sore and healing from the arrow wound.

Sara sighed, "Ok fine, but will you please come by after work? so we can play a little? I think Mommy would like that too." She grinned mischieviously.

Nikki coughed to cover her laughter he had actually earned some respect points from her for not giving into Sara's pouting. "Ok Sara time to get back remember you are still grounded." Nikki remind Sara.

Wulf set the girl down and stretched his left shoulder. He would have to call Doc Nichols and get it looked at, despite how it may look. "I will try, Sara. I can't make a promise unless I mean to keep it, okay?" He looked at Nikki with a smile. "Thanks for the visit. Here at the main entree is always safe, any further inside would be dangerous. Stop by anytime, and if I'm not busy we can chat. Have a good day, Sara." He gave a squeeze and pat to her shoulder.

"Ok." Sara hoped he'd be able to make it, the six year old child while holding her nanny's hand frowned knowing wulf was going to head back to work now.

"I wouldn't have let her go further, thank you for taking the time to talk to us." Nikki said softly, "Come on Sara it's just about time for your lunch anyways." She said turning to leave the child reluctantly letting her nanny lead her away.

Byrnes watched them go and it gave a bit of broken heart to watch Sara deflate. But, that was life, he had work to get done if they were all to call this place home. In time, as she grew, Sara would eventually come to understand that. For now, her little brain just couldn't fathom not playing instead of working. He would definitely have to make time to stop by and visit at some point.