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Posted on Tue Feb 23rd, 2021 @ 12:28pm by Captain Mrazak & Ferrofax & Lieutenant Commander Gwynne Emberly & Ensign Nandi Chakma
Edited on on Fri Mar 5th, 2021 @ 1:04pm

Mission: S1E4: The Hills Have Eyes
Location: Captain's Washroom | Overwatch Station
Timeline: MD 6

"The report said what?!"

Mrazak felt his eyes bulge out of his head. What he had just heard was categorically unbelievable.

"We were surprised as well," said Admiral Tau. "Especially in light of your field reports from the Sol system at the time."

"And just who reported that I died here on Overwatch?" The Vulcan gave Tau a sidelong glance.

Browsing his notes, Tau's eyes scanned back and forth until he found the name. "Lieutenant Commander Gwynne Emberly," he said. "Technical Specialist, though the report was sent via Starfleet Intelligence channels."

Mrazak shook his head. "Thank you for informing me, Admiral," he said with the clipped speech of barely contained anger. "I will deal with this Gwynne Emberly most propitiously."

"I don't care," Tau replied, and his tone reflected just that. "Just get your house in order, Captain Mrazak, because I swear to the higher power of your choice that if I have to do so, it will not be 'propitious' for anyone."

The transmission cut off, and not a moment too soon. Mrazak let out the deep-throated roar he'd been pushing down. SFI was no shortage of aggravation for him. Now they reported him killed-in-action when he had been light-years away in an entirely different sector of space? And somehow that was his fault? This was unbelievable. That made Mrazak do what he always did when events unfolded in a manner contrary to his expectations. He destroyed something. The PADD that he'd been using to take the admiral's transmission was flung against the wall where it shattered to pieces. Mrazak got up from the commode where he'd been sitting the whole time and stepped over the remnants of the PADD on his way toward the door.

Blue beams of swirling energy deposited a young lady in Science teal directly into his path.

"Gah!!!" she screamed.

Mrazak managed not to scream himself, but he still jumped backward and nearly out of his skin. "Who in fiery fusion are you?!"

"I... I... I... uh-uh-uh..." Between the surprise transport and the realization of where she was now standing, Nandi was at a complete and utter loss for words.

"Speak up!" Mrazak yelled. "That's an order! Who are you and what are you doing in the captain's washroom?"

"I'm sorry!" Nandi yelled back, though due to shock and humiliation rather than anger.

Looking up at the ceiling, Mrazak shouted, "FERROFAX!"

"You rang?" came the voice from outside the washroom. "You'll need to speak up, I know how you detest sensors in there so I'm being very thoughtful by limiting my sensorium to the threshold of your hygiene cubical."

Mrazak scowled even harder if it were possible. "You breached that threshold when you dropped a young lady here," he countered. "You'd better have a good reason for it."

From outside, Nandi offered her input. "A thousand pardons, Captain Mrazak. I asked Ferrofax to bring me to you as quickly as possible. I should have been more clear."

"If Ferrofax wishes to be treated like a glitching computer program, then that's the treatment he will receive," Mrazak said. After thinking for a moment, he asked, "By the way, who are you? I'm quite certain I haven't seen you before."

Nandi nearly jumped again when Mrazak walked outside the washroom. "Oh, um..." This was a terrible first impression. "I'm Nandi Chakma. Ensign Nandi Chakma. I just finished my senior cadet cruise this month. Just graduated, in fact, but remotely on the Guangzhou because of, well, you know... the trouble on Earth. Many of this year's graduates received their graduation off Earth."

"That does not explain what you are doing here," Mrazak said. "Either on the station or in my private washroom."

"Yes, I was just getting to that," Nandi said with a bright but nervous smile. "You see, I just transferred from the Guangzhou, though I had to go through a series of different shuttles just to get here, and I don't even know what I am supposed to be doing." She presented a PADD with her orders on it. "The assignment simply says 'Science Adjutant,' which made me think it was a teaching position. Or an assistant teaching position. But this doesn't look like any school I've ever seen." She looked around at the dark mood lighting and militant accoutrements that promised to fill her dreams with nightmares of space combat. "Is this a school?"

Holding up a hand, Mrazak said, "I ask the questions around here." Looking up at the ceiling, as if that was Ferrofax's only vantage point, Mrazak asked, "Ferrofax, why do I have a Science Adjutant?"

"Because I have more important things to help you with than the word jumble in the Federation News Service dailies. As well as the crossword, you'll need to help him with some of the larger words. Don't worry about the meaning, but the spelling is the key," Ferrofax said in a stage whisper to Nandi. "Also it would help if your reports didn't contain the word's 'impossible' and 'highly unlikely'. Your new Science Adjutant is here to help make things more transparent for the archives. Think of her as your new tutor, which goes some way to why she thought she was taking a teaching position."

"But I didn't request an adjutant!" Mrazak protested. "I wanted scientists! Forensics experts, STEM specialists, theoretical physicists." He was counting them off on his fingers before he abruptly stopped and turned toward Nandi. "Are you any of those things?"

Nandi brushed aside her wayward bangs with a hand she willed not to tremble in the moment. "Well, no," she said with a timid smile, "because, as I said, I just graduated from the Academy. But I was at the top of my class. Summa cum laude! I was of a great help on the Guangzhou -- the captain even joked about making me acting first officer."

"Sure they did," Mrazak said, rolling his eyes. "Now I know you're exaggerating. Not even the dullest captain would even think of making an ensign their first officer. It's... it's preposterous." Letting out a contemptuous snort, Mrazak said, "No, I believe you may begin your tenure here by getting me a cup of mocha. Vulcan mocha, I fear I must insist."

When Nandi just stood there in utter shock, Mrazak waved her away.

"Go on! Off with you."

"But... Captain, I..." Nandi wanted to tell him about all of her awards and commendations and--


The outburst shook Nandi to her core, leaving her with no response but to nod in capitulation as she hurried away to God knows to follow her first order at her first duty station. As she left, Mrazak took a deep sigh. On to other business.

"Ferrofax, please locate Lieutenant Commander Gwynne Emberly and transport her here."

Appearing in a blur of blue energy just as Nandi had a moment earlier, Gwynne's black Betazoid eyes took quick note of her surroundings and settled on the only person in the immediately vicinity.

Gwynne sighed as she recognized the man she'd reported dead. "Captain Mrazak, sir," she said calmly. His fury was obvious, even to a non telepath/empath. So evident in fact that she had to block him out in order not to get overwhelmed.

"Are you certain?" Mrazak asked through gritted teeth. "Because I have it on very good authority that you had me reported dead. You seem not to think me dead now. Explain yourself, Lieutenant." Whether by intent or neglect, he'd dropped the "commander" in her rank.

"Lieutenant Commander Gwynne Emberly, sir." The betazoid corrected, "the Black Nagus believed you dead in the attack by the Lethean possessed individual named Calderon Jarsdel. With more than half of Overwatch dead, with the simultaneous incident on Earth and Venus, at the time it felt the better course of action to let them believe you had indeed been, to at least try and salvage the situation on Overwatch, rather than possibly risk a wetwork team insertion, or another sleeper agent activation. If reporting you dead meant getting the Nagus off our back so we could regroup, it was well worth it. I will accept any consequence of my action, sir."

Mrazak listened intently with eyes narrowed and arms folded behind his back.

"I see," he said at length. "Allow me to correct you. The Black Nagus has been a thorn in our side for years yet we never fail to get the upper hand in the end. The breach of security on Overwatch is precisely why Marines are not counted among relevant personnel. This means, Lieutenant, that you greatly inconvenienced me." The anger in his voice made it spike in timbre and volume. "Do you have any idea how long it takes to get oneself reinstated after a KIA report? I've been taking my calls in--"

He cut himself off short of mentioning the latrine.

"Nevermind. I am so glad you accept the consequences because they are severe and they are myriad."

Looking up to the ceiling, Mrazak said, "Ferrofax, our know-it-all Betazoid friend here will be providing her intelligent attention to detail in Deep Storage from this day forward. Please transport her to the lowest deck level planetside that is at risk for a containment breach."

Gwynne sighed, still standing at attention, her black eyes studying the disturbed Vulcan. In her heart she knew she did the right thing, yet now she was being punished for it. So be it. Intelligence work was thankless by default, Linshara knew as she said a silent goodbye to the world, knowing she'd probably never leave that place.

"Nothing else to say?" Mrazak taunted as the transporter lock was set. "Good. I will cherish remembering you this way." He raised his hand in a Vulcan salute that turned into a rude gesture. It paired well with the evil eye he glowered on Gwynne as she vanished.

Returning with a steaming cup of Vulcan mocha in hand, Nandi entered just in time to witness the exchange between Mrazak and Gwynne. To say she was unsettled by it would be an understatement. "Um... here." She thrust out the cup toward Mrazak with newfound terror of her commanding officer.

"What?" Mrazak looked at her first in anger, then relented. "Ah, yes." Accepting the cup, he sipped it first. "Well done, Ensign Chakra. Well done."

Nandi wanted nothing more than to correct her name. Chakma, not chakra. But seeing as how she'd neglected to tell him that she'd taken his coffee from the nearest replicator and did nothing else to it, she did not want to curry his wrath. Not after what she'd just seen. "Um... thanks?"

"You may now go to my office and organize my commendations," Mrazak said. "Be sure not to disturb the small crate in the corner. It's... temperamental."

"Isn't everything around here?" she muttered.

"I don't know. I think Picard, Janeway and Tau are suitably dour and proper as all things go. Which reminds me I need to decontaminate them, they've been cleaning the magnetic coils of the back up reactors and they are a little radioactive," Ferrofax mused.

Nandi gasped. "The admirals?! We have to help them!" She didn't know what they were doing there, but it seemed the sort of place where admirals would be holding meetings, "But... why are they maintenancing the reactors?"

"Because he is not talking about admirals but Borg drones," Mrazak said drolly. "But never fear. We've domesticated them into harmless servants. If they surround you, just issue orders until they go away. Speaking of going away, my commendations are not going to clean and organize themselves." His mouth ticked up in a frown. "Not yet, anyway..."

The look of horrified confusion on Nandi's face would become a regular fixture.


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