808 words; about a 4 minute read
Episode 1: Palingenesis
Location: Starfleet Command - Earth
Vice Admiral Leena Haistro tugged at her teal collar, it was always nerve wracking when one of the senior Admiralty called you to a meeting but Fleet Admiral Lukas Fredricks was almost legendary given his actions through the Dominion War and post War also. She had also seen the tension around Starfleet Command the last few months, blood screenings, or so she assumed, seemed to be happening on a regular basis with everyone in the higher command positions.
Her attention started to wonder as she gazed through the window from the booth she had dropped down into outside of the Admirals Office. She could see one of the Neo-Constitution class vessels in a state of repair, the Nacelles floating free by the engineering hull. USS Titan was emblazoned across it and she knew that would be the new refit model USS Titan that had famously been command by Captain Riker, another legend.
Behind that was something of beauty, the new Excelsior II Class, reminiscent of the classic Excelsior Class but she was bigger, sleeker but she looked like an explorer. She had hoped that she would be assigned to one, heading out to the far reaches of known space to begin to get Starfleet back on the road to being the organisation they had been forged for. She watched the hub of activity that the space dock seemed to be today, officer coming and going, shuttle and transport pods zipping back and forth. Staring longingly at the vessel she still hoped to be assigned to but already knowing that her rank and position within Starfleet Science Division would not allow it. She was so caught up in her day dream she didn't hear the foot steps approaching her.
"This sight still fills me with awe." Fredricks said softly as to not startle her.
"Admiral" she still jumped not having sensed him approaching, possibly because her thoughts were still so scattered. She had been feeling a sense of change over the last few days, something she had not been able to shake. "Best view in the house. I believe you wanted to see me?"
Lukas smiled softly at the view before looking at Leena. "I have some news...about your nephew, Keiben." The aging Admiral paused for a moment before continuing. "I'm sorry to tell you but Keiben died several days ago. Seems he was taken over by some sort of parasite. There was a delaying in telling you due to the ongoing investigation that's currently taking place by Starfleet Security."
"What!" the blood draining from her cheeks and a form of tunnel vision falling about her.
'I heard him wrong, I have to have! her internal monologue started to tell her, or was it convincing herself she had not heard it.
"I'm so sorry, Leena. I know you were close to him." Fredricks said placing a reassuring hand on her upper arm. Lukas was known for not being very touchy feely but he felt this was appropriate for the moment.
"When?" she asked, her voice barley a whisper before she readjusted her question with a modicum more strength to her voice. "How?"
"Several days ago, aboard Deep Space 21." Lukas replied softly. "The station had been dealing with an outbreak of a virus. This virus was actually parasites. From the reports I've read, it seems the Queen Parasite had embedded themselves into poor Keiben." He stopped there not wanting to go into too much detail.
She sunk down onto the bench she had only moment before risen from. This was not the news she had expected and yet she had known something was wrong. Despite the lightyears she had felt Keiben was detached. It appears that detachment was from the mortal coil.
"What do you need from me?" she asked, her words hollow as she attempted to process the information but also maintain the decorum of someone of her rank.
"I'm sorry to do this to you, Leena, but we need you to go and takeover command of Deep Space 21." Lukas paused for a moment to allow his words to sink in a little. "I appreciate this is a very difficult situation for you, but Starfleet want a flag officer in command of that station and you're only one qualified to do so."
"Of course!" was all she could muster. It made sense that she would be heading out that way anyway to attend his funeral and it was so far out of the way that it would not make sense to send a second flag officer so for the time being she assumed, she would be over seeing the area.
Much of what the Admiral said next was lost on her as she still felt as if she was in free fall, trying to absorb the information that her eldest adoptive son was gone.