Old Friends - Part 2
Episode 3 - The Future That Was
Timeline: Early 2416 (Alpha)
[Previously in Part 1]
. . . . . .
"I'll make the arrangement." Said the Bolian. Emptying another glass, she asked, "So how exactly did you go from a nerd to spec ops? I'm sure posterity would be interested in knowing."
. . . . .
"About a hundred years before the Bunker Hill I led a civilian dig of a Preserver planet. The Tal'Shiar boarded our ship and tried to kill everyone and take our research, and I decided that I liked killing better than dying. I also found out that I was pretty good at it. It actually goes back much further than that, but I don't want to bore you."
Alandra smirked as she filled both of their glasses with ale. "You already are."
"Well you asked for it. About ten years before the war I joined a dig on Earth during shore leave. A 33-century-old temple about 90 kilometers from where I was born in Iraq on Earth
"Dug up anything interesting?"
"You won't believe me."
"Try me." Retorted the Bolian.
"Okay. I found the mummified remains of a famous priestess from ancient Assyria, one of the only known woman warriors of that culture, and widely believed to be their most brilliant, and brutal general."
"So . . ."
"So, I tested her DNA."
"Ah, of course." Alandra downed another glass of the yellowish liquid. "Human I assume?"
"Oh it was human, but lacking even a single replication error, which is simply impossible, especially in a woman who died at the age of 53."
"I don't have a PhD in science, grandma."
"Human DNA degrades over time as cells replicate and replace themselves. Its why we get weaker as we age."
Alandra laughed. "I think that's the first time I have ever heard you admitting weakness."
"No, I haven't gotten weaker, my hair hasn't gone gray, my eye sight hasn't shortened and my responses haven't slowed. Neither, I'm guessing did those of Priestess Moozh Natanazi, who's DNA is identical in every way, gene for gene with my own."
"What are you saying? She was your ancestor?"
"Descendant wouldn't be unusual given my race, but human DNA gets blended about equally with code from both parents. My DNA and hers are identical in every way. It's like I'm her clone, rather than her descendant, which simply isn't genetically possible. I spent ten years trying to figure it out, but this bloody war got in the way and I still don't have the answer.
Alandra took her glass and leaned back into her chair. "Ah, yes, the war. It changed many people's plans." Gulping down her ale, she said, "You still haven't told me how you got into spec ops."
"Your buddy Lee again. He sent me and five scientists to study a bronze-age humanoid culture on Mercadia 3 with strict orders not to bring any advanced technology in case we got discovered."
"Of course he did." The Bolian snorted in response.
"Yeah, always thought it was silly myself, but anyway we got caught and rather than allow myself and my team to be executed as spies, I used Mercadian law and demanded trial by combat. There were four of us, and the other three wouldn't have lasted ten seconds in a bronze-age gladiatorial arena, so I fought all four of the senate's champions."
"What happened to them?"
"Well, they died, I was court martialled, acquitted as I only used Mercadian law and technology, and found that being a pansy on the bridge of a Starship or obeying silly rules like dying instead of fighting back just wasn't for me. General Renard offered me a job, and I accepted it. The war started a few years later and you know the rest. What about you?"
"Well, I went through the usual channels, nothing dramatic like yours. Spent a few years in security after the academy, then applied for special warfare, got selected, trained, and the rest, well, that's just history."
Alandra paused to empty the last bit of ale left in the bottle, and then asked. "It's a bummer that you have to work under Lee again. He sounds worse than even his reputation suggests."
"He's full of himself, a very smooth talker, but at least he tries to do the right thing."
"What if his ideas of 'the right thing' are not quite the same as what we believe to be necessary to save the Federation?"
"That will depend entirely on his ideas now, won't it?" Hsina suddenly got serious. "Alandra, I've never lost a battle. From my first schoolyard fight to Feron's March, I don't just fight to achieve the objective and I certainly don't fight by any rules. I fight to annihilate the enemy. One way or another, Lee will come to terms with that, or just get the hell out of my way."
"That's good to know." Said Alandra. Looking around, she asked. "Don't tell me this is the last bottle you have."
"You should know me better than that" Hsina replied as she reached into her bag and pulled out a bottle of 18-year-old single malt Scotch.
Brigadier General Hsina Amman
Joint Special Operations Command Kalandra
Captain Alandra Haro
Special Warfare Group Theta
(NPC - Oliver)