Teaser for Tuesday, May 31, 2011 -- "It Never Ends", Part Five
SIM BEGINS at 5:30 PM!!
(one year in the future)
"And finally, a grand three-day fête is planned to celebrate the admission of Tyrnia into the Federation, bringing the number of Federation member planets back to 149. Betazed's readmission to the UFP four months ago -- which carried with it a requirement not to withdraw any time within the next century -- was the most recent change. President Mera tol Breck's press secretary promises that more joining -- or re-joining -- member worlds will be announced in the coming months. The celebration will begin at 1300 hours Greenwich Mean Time, kicking off with a parade and a concert featuring new operatic sensation Marie La Salle, hit band the Rugroons, and space jazz great Sherelen Th'Shanal.
"For NewsMinute, I'm Melanie Maddox Radimir."
Vedek Poe Dalin had never been more content or at ease. There were only 16 Bajorans on Pacifica, not including himself or his half-Bajoran daughter Mira Mirna, but there were a few Pacificans and even two Caitians interested in learning about the Bajoran culture, prompting Dalin to begin services on Pacifica twice a week. It was rewarding to share his faith with others, and to bolster their own belief in the universe. The Bajoran faith had only grown stronger after the wormhole had been closed, when many had predicted that event would shatter the planet's religion.
But that was not Dalin's primary job. His primary job was one he relished, and could not ever see himself leaving: raising his daughter Mira Mirna. He and Mira would visit the governor's office almost every day -- whether to grab lunch with Martinique or just visit in between meetings. Martinique had been very busy coordinating with Ahansii Lor-Tyr -- one of Ret's relatives, and the new governor of Cait -- on mutual defense of their planets and sector, and talks had begun for two unaligned nearby colony worlds to join the Two Sun Free-State, as the marriage had been called.
Despite her often busy schedule, Martinique made a point of being home most evenings for dinner at 1800 hours.
It was strange living on a non-Federation world, Dalin mused, even though Bajor had only been in the Federation for a few years. But the Free-State maintained positive relations with the Federation, including an embassy and a group of four Starfleet personnel manning a science station on the outskirts of the sector. Martinique was planning a trip back to the Federation for early 2389, and Dalin found he was looking forward to it ... but also happy to be coming back to his life as it was now, free of Starfleet intrigues, Federation politics, and the rest.
Being a civilian was exactly what he was supposed to be at this point in his life, but a part of him would always miss the Pegasus.
It had taken Captain Marcus Betencourt five months to get the newly reformed Betazed planetary defense battalion into decent shape, but now that things were settled the battalion ran like a well-oiled machine. Work days were sometimes long, but quite often he was free to join his wife in Sarde Marzia for dinner. There was still the matter of finding and arresting Orion Syndicate contacts on the planet -- the Syndicate was still involved in some criminal activity planetyside -- but the homeworld was secure.
It still was strange to think of Betazed as his homeworld, or even his home ... but it was getting less strange every day. And now that his adoptive father Richard Betencourt had been strongly contemplating taking a second home in Sarde Marzia, Marcus was finding it much easier to stay on Betazed as the days went on.
Life on Betazed was good, but a part of him would always miss the Pegasus.
As she lay on the operating table, waiting for the anaesthesia to kick in, Dezra Daire contemplated just how much her life was about to change. She'd passed her initiate training with flying colors -- and much faster than was common, although that was primarily due to having been joined previously -- and now it was time.
Dezra would be joined with a Trill symbiont and become ... well, that was hard to quantify. It wasn't right to say someone new -- but definitely a new version of Dezra. After the joining, she was scheduled to return to Starfleet, and had even received a posting aboard the USS Pegasus.
It would be good to go back. Dezra had missed the Pegasus.
Captain Carlos Ruiz rolled out of the way as a fist hit the padded mat right where his head had been. Behind him, a voice said, "I'm going to enjoy besting the direction of Section 31." Carlos kicked a leg out in an attempted sweep, but his opponent jumped out of the way.
Getting back to his feet, Carlos smiled. "You'd be amazed how often I hear that, Captain Aldur. I have to say, I'll look forward to stepping down as Director at the end of the year." He moved in towards his opponent, reaching for an arm that stayed just within his reach. Too late, he realized it was a ploy: the other man stepped forward quickly, then attempted to throw Carlos over his shoulder.
Carlos responded by throwing his legs around the other captain and pulling backward sharply, forcing the man in the black hakama onto his butt in a sitting position. Carlos wrenched his arm free, then blocked a rear elbow strike. Carlos launched into a rear somersault, kicking Aldur's back and forcing his chest forward into the mat as he did so. Now on his feet, he charged after his opponent as he got to his knees. The man in the black hakama prepared a double punch that would have hurt like the dickens, but Carlos had expected it, and he deftly sidestepped.
Instead, he grabbed onto Aldur's arm and applied an armlock, then spun around and dropped to a knee, faceplanting his foe down to the ground. Captain Aldur grunted in pain as he hit the mat. Carlos placed a knee on Aldur's elbow and applied a second joint lock, prompting the man in black to tap out with his hand and his left foot, slapping the mat repeatedly with them. Releasing the armlock, Carlos moved back on his knees, taking the other captain's feet in both hands and applying a double leglock. Again, Captain Aldur tapped out, shaking his head and saying, "I'm done."
"Good, because you've got a launch to get ready for, and I've got to return to the Falchion. I'm sorry your last match in the Alpha Quadrant had to be a loss, Brian, but I'll offer you a rematch when you return from your five-year mission."
Brian Aldur stood up, offering the much taller Carlos a hand good-naturedly to shake. "You're on." He departed the room, after Carlos wished him well. On his way back to the USS Falchion, Carlos smiled to himself. A good sparring match was a great way to start a day, especially when your job regularly involved dealing with covert operations and questions of Starfleet morality. His career was advancing in an interesting manner, and he was looking forward to leaving Section 31 behind him as he considered the mission ahead of him, which offered autonomy, excitement, and was vital to Starfleet security.
A part of him would always miss the Pegasus, but his path was not to return to that ship for a while ... if ever.