[USS Vanguard] RPG: Though Lovers Be Lost....

  • From: Kieran Darkwater <kierandarkwater@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2003 13:25:06 +0000 (GMT)


<Archaeology and Anthropology Lab, during ?The Future is Now? ? Andy>

Leaning back in his chair Kieran massaged his temples and blinked repeatedly as 
his vision wavered slightly. Four and a half hours of trawling through 
reproductions of obscure Vulcan text did that to you, he realised, as he stood 
to get the circulation going in his legs. The statuette that Mandrake had 
brought back from Vulcan continued to be an enigma.

Styling from one period, with a production method not consistent with that 
period, and a subject that came from three hundred and fifty years later: yet 
it was older than any of the three could account for by almost a thousand 
years. Again he donned the monofilament gloves and reached out to examine the 
thing with hand and eye, looking for something he might have missed.

Sensors and equipment were all well and good, of course, but it had been 
sculpted of soft clay by hand and eye, and the detailing shouldn?t be any 
better than he could manage with his own. He could almost recreate the thing in 
his sleep, so often had he done this, but still he couldn?t find the key ? 
couldn?t explain the discrepancies.

The ship had been heaving and bucking slightly for a few minutes, some 
phenomenon putting a strain on the inertial dampers, but there?d been no 
warning and no caution announcement, so he continued his work. Suddenly, the 
desk rose up to meet him, slamming into his abdomen and lifting him from the 
seat into the air. The statue shattered in his grasp, caught by the edge of the 
desk, and as he suddenly dropped to the deck from somewhere about head height 
the fragments dropped between him and the floor. The pain as the pottery shards 
embedded themselves through the muscles of his stomach wall was excrutiation, 
and he almost blacked out until his eyes fixed on something ? inside the statue 
had been a small, engraved, metallic toroid. He crawled up painfully, getting a 
little closer, reaching out with his hand for it, dragging it before his eyes.

A ?Val?tasor?! Stunned beyond the ability of the pain to put him under, he 
tapped his comm-badge without taking his eyes off the artifact.

=^= ?Medical assistance required in the A&A lab.? He wheezed, gently, before 
settling his head back on the deck.

A ?Val?tasor? ? a soul-gem.



<London ? Temporal Affairs Central Command>

?I see.? Kieran offered, slowly, playing for time a little. ?Are you sure I?m 
the best man for the job, sir? Perhaps someone with a little distance from the 
situation? this is my old ship, after all. I could be on it, for all we know.?

?That?s why we chose you, my boy.? The Admiral beamed over the desk, with a wry 
chuckle. ?You probably know at least some of these people ? that gives you 
credibility and influence, both of which you?ll need to minimise their impact 
upon this situation.?

?Very well, sir. I?ll be on my way. Is the ?Taval? available??

?She is, but you?ll only be taking her as far as Mars. I?ve arranged a ride 
with some other past acquaintances.? The smile slipped a little, and Kieran 
didn?t need to ask whom he meant. He did anyway.

?USS Marathon?? The Admiral simply nodded, and thought about holding the rest 

?You should contact Dominic Santos, as well. He?ll find out, one way or 
another, and come riding in.?

?I see.? Kieran?s jaw clenched a little, but only a little. ?I shall be on my 
way.? The Admiral dismissed him quietly, even his customary jollity gone as he 
watched the back of the black uniform disappear back through the doors. The 
limp appeared to have come back.

Kieran thought about transporting directly to the launch centre across the 
river, but took the walk instead. His knee, suddenly, was paining him, and his 
back ached ? it hadn?t done that for over a year.

* Looking for a way out? * He wondered, quietly, exiting the building and 
turning right onto the riverfront walk. Vauxhall bridge was closed again, the 
aged stone and iron-work threatening to give way at any moment, so he was 
taking the slightly longer route. Lambeth bridge was still there, leading to 
the massive, pristine façade of the Lambeth Palace. There were older cities, 
more beautiful cities certainly, and cities that had become cultural centres 
rather than working areas, but London was still his favourite.

The damage done during the industrial revolution had been, largely, restored, 
and the twentieth centuries coating of grime and dust had slowly been washed 
away during the century and a half the city had been uninhabited after the 
Eugenics war. It was still a quiet, subtle place, the narrow streets unsuitable 
for mass-transit systems, and so it retained a sense of timelessness, a motley 
collection of architectural wonders from thousands of years of being one of the 
great centres of world events.

The Thames, of course, had flowed as mute witness to it all, and he followed 
the lines of the river past the old parliament building, under the fallen span 
of Westminster Bridge and on towards ?New Westminster? and the Federations 
Temporal Research Institute headquarters. The walk hadn?t eased his knee, 
particularly, nor his back, but he had reconciled himself to the fact that the 
situation was coming. He acceded to the demands of his injury when it came to 
the stairs, though, opting for the lift to the rooftop launch centre. The 
Admiral had at least been thoughtful, and as he arrived an Ensign was just 
finishing the pre-flight checks.

Nodding his thanks, he slipped into the classic Danube class runabout, and 
settled into the pilot?s seat to send his message to the USS Vanguard.


<USS Taval - Approaching Utopia Planetia Construction Facility>

Kieran looked out the window of the venerable runabout as he approached the 
spacedock, eyeing the lines of the new vessel.

?A fine day for a launch?? he observed to himself, as he brought the ship 
alongside the docking port above the long cradle. The clamps engaged and 
secured the ?Taval? ? he vaguely recalled walking the Taval, a trail along 
Vulcan?s longest dried river-bed with? Thoughts like that were just going to be 
counter-productive. Nevertheless, there seemed little chance of avoiding them, 
given the situation.

?Captain Kieran Darkwater to USS Marathon.? Requested, as the communication 
circuits came on-line.

?Sir, this is Utopia Planetia Communications. The USS Marathon is under 
restricted communication protocols.? Came a polite but firm response.

?I?m aware of that. I have an authorisation from Admiral Torenson at Temporal 
Affairs. Transmitting now.? There was a short delay, and then the slightly 
surprised voice of the Communications officer returned.

?Putting you through now, sir.?

?Captain Darkwater, this is Lieutenant Challis of the USS Marathon. I?ll 
apologise for making this short, we?re a little busy here right now. What can I 
do for you??

?I need to speak with Captain Drath, if that?s possible??

?I?m afraid the Captain?s very busy. I?m the duty bridge officer, I?m afraid 
you?ll have to go through me for now.? It wasn?t officious, but the obviously 
hurried tone told him they truly were working hard.

?I have orders from Admiral Torensen at Temporal Affairs to come aboard, and 
liaise with Captain Drath on an imminent situation.? He downloaded the orders, 
and waited for them to be approved.

?Confirming your orders now, sir.? The Lieutenant answered, hesitantly. It was 
some time ? presumably involving checks with StarFleet Security ? but finally 
he was granted permission, and beamed aboard.

?Sir, welcome to the USS Marathon.? Challis, it seemed, had come down to meet 
him personally. ?I?m afraid the Captain is still busy, I could ask him to break 
off if it?s vital??

?I can speak with the Captain after the launch, so long as he is made aware 
that I?ve come aboard. I?m sure he?ll find a moment at some point.?

?Can I show you to the Guest Quarters, Captain??

?I?d rather see Lieutenant Leonov, actually.? He replied, which startled her 

?Ana Leonov? She?s on duty, I?m afraid.?

?Not tha.. no? Ana Leonid?s physical body must be aboard somewhere? I?d like to 
visit her ? we were close, once.?

?I don?t think I could?? Challis began, but a quiet voice from the doorway 
interrupted her.

?Let him.? Ana said, quietly, her eyes searching Kieran?s for a moment. ?It?s 
been a long time, Kieran.?

?Nearly six months.? He replied, quietly. Challis took her cue, excused 
herself, and returned to work. ?I tried to call ahead, to let you know I would 
be coming.? He explained.

?How are you?? she asked, ignoring the offering, caught somewhere between 
delight and anger.

?I?ve been busy ? work, mainly. I finally finished ?Lord of the Rings? last 
month, though. I was laid up after a mission inj?. Injury.? He tailed off, 
quietly, and her jaw tightened up a little more as he followed her into a 

?You could have sent messages.? She offered. ?Called once in a while. What 
happened to ?Till Death Do Us Part??. You offered that, remember, on the 

?I remember.? He snapped back. ?You declined, as I recall. You ?didn?t need all 
that pomp and ceremony?.?

?So you just forgot about me, did you?? The doors hissed open to reveal a 
stark, sterile, computer laden room somewhere in the heart of the ship. 
Monitors and readouts lined the walls, and conduits and channels gathered into 
banks around the narrow bed located in the midst of it all. A thin, frail, bony 
figure ? dressed in a perfectly tailored StarFleet uniform ? nestled amidst it 
all, locked into connectors and sensors, an elaborate mesh of interfaces and 
support equipment. Sat within it, the only truly clear piece of vision in the 
entire room, were the two deep, crystal blue eyes of what was left of Ana 
Leonov, rolling downward slightly to stare at him as she had for those nine 
long hours in the cave on Calenset seven.

?I could never forget, Ana. Never?? he said, and she didn?t need the 
holographic presence to see the tears glistening in his eyes.

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