440: Airlock

by TC Blane and Dane Cristiane
After Red Handed

-=USS Alchemy=-

TC sat on the dark and quiet bridge of the Alchemy. The lights were set down to the minimum setting and the only sounds that could be heard were the typical background song of electronics and the low hum of the ventilation system.

The only other person in the room was one Ensign Sanchez, who was sitting at the helm reading over the latest technical manual as she prepped for her next test.

TC’s attention was focused on a PADD that he held in his hand. Information of a highly personal nature had arrived for him while he was performing his daily workout and he was just now catching up on it. It was good news, a new lead on the where-abouts of the Sera’s disappearing officer had just came in.

“Oh sir. The Captain left word that she was heading back to the surface.” Sanchez reported.

TC nodded. “Very well.” He never looked up as he continued to read the dispatch from another ‘friend’ that TC had called in a favor from. His years with Special Ops were starting to pay off. Avery would not be able to hide from him forever.

Just then the comm unit beeped. [Transporter room to the bridge.]

“Bridge. Go ahead.” TC replied while continuing to read.

[Ensign Christane is requesting permission to beam to the surface.]

TC slowly stood up. “What? Hold him there, I am on my way.”

-=A few moments later =-

The doors to the transporter room slid open and TC strode into the room and found Dane standing on the pad with a large duffle at his feet. TC’s brows furrowed together in obvious confusion and growing annoyance.

“I though you already went to the archives?” He asked as he approached the pad.

"I did." Dane said nothing more.

Blane sighed with apparent aggravation as he gestured for the ensign to elaborate. Dane shrugged, and that irritated Blane even more. "You have a paper to write, Ensign, I expect you to be done with that before you go to the surface to play."

"I'm definitely not going to play, Sir, I have orders."

Blane laughed. "You do, do you? From whom exactly?"

"The Captain." Now, he had TC's attention, which was exactly what Dane had not wanted to have

“Really?” TC folded his arms across his chest. “Funny she did not mention anything to me about any orders. What are they?”

"Ummm, to get lost. Sir."

"Stop wasting my time. What is going on?"

Dane sighed heavily. "The Captain told me to find my own way back to Earth, and meet up with her when we get there. I'm sorry, I'm not at liberty to elaborate. If you ask her, I'm sure she'll be happy to tell you what I've done to earn the trip."

TC’s eyes narrowed. He turned to the transporter chief and nodded towards the door. The chief took the hint and was relieved to make a hasty exit his instincts warning him of an impending storm, or at least a tornado.

Once the doors slid shut he stepped towards Dane.

“One, without orders from the Captain you are not leaving this ship and two,” He stepped closer to Dane. “What exactly did you do?”

Dane opened his mouth to speak but TC halted him with a raised finger.

“Don’t even tell me again that the Captain will fill me in. If she is tossing you away from her like you are saying she is, you were a very bad boy.” TC seethed. “Start talking or I swear you will leave this ship, out the nearest available airlock.”

"Okay!" Dane relented, believing for a certainty that Blane would make good his threat. "I was instructed by the Admiral to do a little...checking on something. Zanh Liis caught me in the process of that...checking...and told me to find my way back to Earth. Where, if the Admiral doesn't kill me for failing to find proof that she remembers Keiran O'Sullivan and past timelines, she will likely finish the job herself once she gets there." Observing the look that now crossed Blane's face, Dane realized that he may still be going out that airlock anyway. To try to prevent that eventuality, he raised a hand, indicating he wanted to speak.

"Before you kill me, I want you to know that he promised me that it was important to the safety of the Captain, the timeline, and O'Sullivan that he find out the truth. That's why I did it."

"Really. He didn't offer you anything to sweeten the deal?"

Dane turned crimson.

"That's what I thought. Out the airlock."

Suddenly he grabbed Dane by the collar, hoisting the young man clear off of his feet. Dane had visions of what the vacuum of space was going to be like.

“Vox would say anything and do anything to get someone to do what he wanted to get done.” He shook the younger man out of frustration. “Damn it, Dane. That man made you break something more valuable then anything he ever could have given you!!”

He dropped Dane to the deck with a thud and then leaned in, still yelling.

“Do you understand this? Trust, faith, honor, and most of all respect are all earned, not given. The Captain hoped that you would earn those here. O’Sullivan hoped for the same and he worked hard to push you towards that.” He glared down at Dane. “You destroyed both of their hopes and faith in you and for what?”

He stood up with a sigh, his composure returning. “You know what; I don’t want to know because nothing in my mind could have been worth it.”

There was a long silence as Dane stared at the deck.

“Alright on your feet Ensign.” TC ordered.

Dane slowly stood. “What now?” He asked quietly.

“I’ll let you walk yourself to the airlock.” TC replied flatly.

Dane stopped in his tracks and stared at TC wondering if he was serious.

Commander TC Blane
Second Officer
USS Serendipity/Alchemy


Ensign Dane Cristiane
This close to floating home