726: An Eternity

Concurrent with The High Road

-=Armory, USS Serendipity=-

Zanh, Blane, Briggs and Lindsay stepped out of the turbolift door. The tension between the Sera's Second Officer and the Captain from Temporal Investigations was still clear, but they were both determined that it would not interfere with what they had to do.

TC knew he would need both eyes looking out for his Captain, his crew and young Lair Arie and couldn’t afford even one to spend its time watching Lindsay. Though constantly cautious, he realized that he had to make himself trust Will just enough if they were going to pull this off- and he was determined they were.

TC quickly selected a phaser rifle and pistol that he secured to his belt. A tricorder, two concussion grenades and a mobile med kit completed his ensemble. He then assisted others in choosing a weapons load out suitable for the mission.

Lindsay went about his business in silence, glancing a look in Blane's direction every now and then. For his part, felt he’d sized up Blane pretty well during their little talk before and believed that even if they didn’t like each other, was still exactly the type of man he wanted, even needed, on this mission.

Liis was certainly not one to miss all this and though she was not aware of the exact details of the conflict, she knew TC well enough to trust that if it were going to be an issue he wouldn’t keep it from her; a brief look in Blane’s eyes was all the confirmation she needed. She didn’t have time to question him anyway. They now had less than ten minutes before the first possible opportunity to get on the ship where Keiran may already be fighting for his life, she intended to take it.

They wasted no time in selecting their weapons as they’d each been in enough similar situations before to know what worked best for them. Each took a standard hand phaser and clipped them to their respective belts then chose their rifles; deciding based around their own personal skills between power and precision.

Will grabbed a rather large rifle but Liis immediately took it from him and put it back, handing him something more appropriate. The one she’d chosen would be just as capable of taking out any Romulans and there was a point where a weapon getting more powerful just meant a higher chance that it would either misfire or damage one of the Romulan ship’s systems it shouldn’t and their own people would get hurt. She wasn’t going to risk anyone getting hurt.

Will was accustomed to leading, not following, but the Captain had told him she was calling the shots and she was following through. The way they each moved was fast and efficient, which considering their respective backgrounds wasn’t surprising, but Zanh Liis was moving the fastest. As soon as they were armed she was turned around and heading back to the turbolift, moving so quickly that it was impossible to get ahead of her.

With all four on board she gave the order that they were moving to transporter room three, where they would meet up with the rest of their team.

The minutes leading up to their departure seemed like hours to most. Many milled around impatiently not entirely sure what to do with themselves. TC observed each from a distance, eyeballing their choice of weapons and offering words of encouragement to any who seemed overly anxious. Eventually he made his way to the captain.

He approached and faced her, placed his hand on her shoulder and squeezed supportively. "How are you doing, Sir?"

"He's over there, Thomas," Liis' voice was low, and heavy with the weight of the task that they were facing as she deftly avoided answering his question. Saving Lair Arie and Salvek from Taris was their official mission: making sure that her husband, and partner for all those Jumps and all those missions, made it through this as well was her personal one.

"I'm certain that he's already on board that ship, and just as determined as I am to see that this ends here, for good." Realizing that she hadn't given him an answer and that his eyes still sought one as to how she was managing, she nodded to him slightly and drew a shuddering breath. "As soon as I see he's all right, I'll be much better."

"Then let's get this show on the road," Blane replied, giving her shoulder one more squeeze before releasing her. "Let's bring them home."

She did not notice the small transponder that was now securely attached to her shoulder where TC’s hand had been.

"I concur. What is the damn, hold up-," Zanh was about to tap her badge and read Reece the riot act, but just as her hand reached the metal, he was hailing her.

[Reece to Liis. Hey, that rhymes!]

"We’re ready for transport." Zanh replied curtly, not wanting to waste a second.

[We can’t. They did get their shields up. What’ll we do?]

Liis, TC, Will, and Paxton Briggs all exchanged a glance, as Zanh balled up her fists, raised her voice and gave Reece a single, definitive command.

"Fix it!" Zanh slammed her hand back onto her badge to close the signal, and then raised it into the air to garner the attention of her officers. "We're going to split into two transport groups. Commander Blane and I will go first, with team one. Marley, Stokes, Chapman, Everheart, you're with us. Captain Lindsay and Commander Briggs will transport over with the rest of you in the second round."

"Captain Zanh," Lindsay watched his tone, and his expression as he spoke up. He didn't want to undermine Liis' authority in front of her crew, but he had a promise to keep, to a man that he was certain was probably already waging a personal war on the very ship they were about to beam to. "I would request to accompany you as part of your team."

"Denied." Zanh answered without hesitation. Lindsay blinked indignantly, and Zanh elaborated for not only his sake, but that of the others present. "You're a Starfleet Captain, Will. Your leadership skills are too valuable to be wasted or to be risked by you and I going in the same transporter cycle. If the Romulans find a way to divert the beam or scatter my molecules into space like dust in the wind I do not want you going with me. Understood?"

Will bristled and sighed, but Liis knew that was the absolute best response she could hope for. "Aye, Sir."

"Take your positions." Zanh indicated to the others and they climbed onto the transporter pad. She leaned toward Lindsay and snagged him by the sleeve, leaning close to whisper into his ear. "William, I appreciate what you're trying to do. Don't worry. You'll only be two seconds behind me."

"Two seconds..." Will answered softly, "is an eternity, and you know it."

Liis wasted no time in joining the rest of her team. "Adjust the coordinates for the second transporter cycle to put the second team a short distance away from the first," She instructed the transporter operator. "That way if one escape route is cut off hopefully they'll be able to create an additional one for us."

TC turned to the rest of the away team as the transporter began its cycle. “Remember to close your eyes during transport, it could be dark over there and your eyes will adjust faster if there not recovering from transporter glare.”

The team closed their eyes as the transporter began to break them down into molecules. When they opened their eyes they stood in the docking bay of the Romulan ship.

Then the fireworks started.

The beams deposited Blane, Zanh, and the rest of the first wave of Sera crew onto the Romulan ship directly behind Salvek.

“Captain! It is good to see you. Arie is in the shuttle.” The Vulcan informed.

*Of course she is. Where else would she be.* Before she could give voice to her internal monologue, Liis' thoughts came to a grinding halt. Her eyes darted around the bay, seeking one form; one face she had to see for herself before she could force her feet to move a single step.

O'Sullivan immediately tilted his head in her direction and held her gaze, raising his hand in a silent gesture of greeting. He seemed both at once pleased, and sorry, to see her standing where she was. She understood exactly why; she felt the same way, finding him in his current location.

“We’re going home, all of us, I promise you.” Zanh assured Salvek, who was clearly at the end of his strength. They needed to get this over and done with. “Blane! Melt the controls to the bay door. We don’t need the Romulans opening it up and sending us out into space.”

"Aye, Sir." As Blane set about his task with the help of the rest of team one, across the bay O'Sullivan finally turned to the familiar man who had just materialized over his shoulder and scowled.

"You weren't supposed to let her outta yer sight!"

"She gave me no choice, Keiran," Will protested, knowing even as he offered it that the answer would not satisfy. "She insisted, and the Sera is her ship. Only two seconds. I was right behind her."

"Two seconds is an eternity," O'Sullivan rumbled, "and you know it."


Captain *William Lindsay
(as told by Rada Dengar)
Temporal Investigations

Commander TC Blane
Second Officer
USS Serendipity NCC 2012


-=/\=- Zanh Liis
Commanding Officer
USS Serendipity NCC 2012