An uneasy sleep had befallen Lance Thomas finally. The red stain of hyperspace was in the back of his head all night along with mixed memories of a turbulent past that were all too crystal clear for his taste. He tossed and turned in the night and wished that his wife was there with him. Not that he had seen much of her, then his time in captivity had changed things. He had the uneasy feeling that she had moved on without him a long time ago. Perhaps he had just been fooling himself when getting married again, it didn’t work out the first time, what made him think it would work out this time?
The uneasy sleep produced uneasy dreams, uneasy dreams turned into nightmares. Nightmares warping memories into different stories of blood and failure…
He saw Drem covered in blood with dead eyes looking off into the distance, part of her head missing. Then he saw the cybernetic inside of Siv, the woman tries to drag herself forward on one hand before the android body fails and shorts out her program. In his mind’s eyes it was a battlefield on some forgotten planet, a war, the Solas Tempus banner hanging tattered held by a dead soldier leaning against a rock, he became aware of the smoke and smell of brimstone. Looking around the battle field was filled with versions of the uniform, closer to him he saw Sal looking at Candy’s corpse and turning him to him, “Lance, why? How could all of this be worth it? Where have you lead us?”
The sound of th COM was salvation as Alice’s voice came over, “Admiral, we are about to exit hyperspace. The gate has accepted your access codes.”
“Thank you Commander, I will be there shortly.” he said before closing the link. He didn’t have much time to get up there, going into the bathroom he splashed cold water on his face and cleaned himself up as best he could in a short amount of time. Sighing he looked in the mirror and even as the contents of the nightmare faded from his mind the feeling lingered. He sighed again as he slipped into his uniform, old practiced movements had himself ready for the bridge soon enough.
He walked onto the bridge, Alice was sitting at the console, Lance sat in the command chair just as the jump point opened. Soon enough the ship was back in real space and the barest hint of relief flowed over his mind. Alice spoke then, “Capetian Star System, Admiral.”
“Move us away from the gate and —” Lance is cut off then.
Alice’s voice was entirely business without even the hint that something might be wrong, “Admiral, signal coming from Embers Hold.”
Lance nodded, “Move us away from the gate and head for Antionette, open a channel.”
Alice nods, and does exactly that. The view screen is that filled with the sight of a rather unfortunately scarred man, looked like he’d been through the wars. Romulan-Human by the looks of it, two massive scars running down his face. They both meet at his right cheek which appears to have had some major reconstruction happen, though done poorly. “I am Supervisor Lemata, you are a long way from home and you used a very old code to get here. Who are you and state your business.”
Lance just answers clearly, “I am here to see to the last wishes of a friend of mine who died, I trust that I don’t have to tell you the value of discretion.”
“I don’t like surprises, Sir, especially ones that I can’t put a name to. Don’t give me any and make sure I don’t think of any questions that might need answers.” The screen closed. Lance looks at Alice who seems to be taking this whole thing in stride, he was grateful. After a moment he says, “Standard orbital approach, then observe passive stealth protocol, minimal power, minimal sensor signature, keep the warp core offline. Then scan the surface, for this…” He pauses as he enters some information into his console. A specific kind of energy signature comes up, he doesn’t explain it. She just nods, “Aye sir.”
Getting up Lance says, “Radio silence, once the sweep is done, passive sensors only. I’m going to get ready to head down to the surface.”
Finally Alice says, “Admiral, on orders of Admiral D’Amico, no flag officer shall beam down to a potentially unsafe situation without armed escort, I will accompany you.”
She said it so matter-of-factly that while Lance almost just agreed then he said, “You will stay on board the ship, this is not the safest place to leave a ship with time travel capabilities in, Commander, that’s an order.” If Alice was frustrated she didn’t show it, and just nodded going back to the console and performing a sensor sweep.
Lance was finally able to take a shower. As the water rinsed off the sweat he was trying to think of anything but his nightmare when another bad memory entered his mind. He hadn’t been in training long when Lady J ended up with 3 children of varied ages in her care. Their father was someone of some importance to her, though the details of it were lost on Lance at the moment. He remembered the kids though, Ashley, Brittany, and Jace. The trio were siblings, Ashley was the oldest and had essentially been raising the other 2. He recalled their mother was a woman off ill repute and someone who would sell her soul for drugs.
The underbelly of many places was filled with such people. Lance figured that Lady J was just going to dump the kids into the system and leave it at that. He was never sure why but she didn’t, she made arrangements to take care of them herself. His training took a different turn, less toward the spy-work and more toward assassinations and such, Lady J herself was absent from the program. One day he got a call on the way back from a mission, an urgent call. He remembered it clearly, he could still hear the terrible panic in Lady J’s voice. Anything that could panic her had to be worthy of it, he diverted the ship immediately and came to her aid.
Seems the Cardassian Government had paid the children’s mother and the kids were a bargaining chip. The woman, Michelle, had agreed that if they got her kids back she would tell them whatever the wanted to know. To this day Lance wasn’t sure what the Cardassians wanted so badly that this woman had. She was a broken down old druggie who couldn’t hold down a job let-alone take care of her kids. Cardassian soldiers had fought through the guards provided by Section 31 and stolen the children. Lance was going to pursue them himself but word came down from above that the kids had been killed in some kind of an accident, along with the mother.
Now that his shower was done he tried to pull his mind away from that awful memory. Lady J and he had become far closer during this and the aftermath, she was never the same. He could see her constant struggle to keep going and admired it. She had been so powerful that he never thought for a moment she’d fall. The thought came quickly after the memories were put back in their bottle… He was wrong, she had fallen. All he could do was sigh again as he headed to the bridge.
“Admiral, I have located the signature, it is right around 2 meters underground about 5 km outside of the only settlement on the planet.” Alice reported in an even and dispassionate tone
He nodded and didn’t have to be told that it was a grave, “Set coordinates for beam down, I’ll notify you when I’m ready to beam back up.” She nodded and he headed for the transporter.