What To Do - Part 1 "A Chance"
Episode 4 - Truth, Justice, and the Federation Way
Location: USS Arcadia, Silent Triangle
Timeline: 0732 Hours, MD 2 (March 4, 2393)
::Captain's Dining Room, Deck 18::
Nami glanced around the spacious dining room as the chef brought them their breakfast. For her it's bacon and eggs with Brill cheese on a half bagel and a cup of Paksor coffee dark on the side. She had always liked her coffee dark as the bitterness, especially of the Paksor blend, reminded her of her roots and of the inherent cruelty of life. It's easy to forget them when you were around Oliver Antoninus Lee, who had ordered for himself two Ktarian waffles covered in moba jam with a glass of tangerine juice. The man had always liked his breakfast sweet. That much hadn't changed.
"Thank you for coming, Captain." said Oliver as he took a sip of his juice. "I was afraid that after the debriefing yesterday, you might turn down my invitation."
Nami chuckled slightly. "Well, how could I say 'no' to real breakfast with real food? We have been on rations for the last year or so."
Oliver smiled. "I think we can safely say that those days are behind you, Captain."
"Please, call me Nami." said the Trill. "It'd be nice to hear that from you again."
Oliver hesitated for a second, not because he was a sticker for formality, but because from the moment he first met her in the sickbay after saving her ship from the Klingons, he had had the feeling that she knew him well and that they had been close in her timeline. Yet part of him just couldn't shake off a sense of wariness about her. It's as if she was hiding something from him.
"Very well, 'Nami' it is then." he said with a small smile. "So, Nami, how's the repair on the Themyscira going?"
"It's going well, as a matter of fact. Thanks to your engineering team's help, all the hull breaches have been repaired, and half of the weapons and defensive systems are back online as well."
Nami paused to take a bite of her bagel before continuing.
"But they are still having some trouble with the warp drive. Apparently the chrono-generator drew a lot more power than we had anticipated, and that coupled with the fight with the Klingons nearly fried the entire system. We were lucky that you showed up as quickly as you did. Otherwise, even if the Klingons hadn't finished us off, a warp core breach would have."
"Glad we could help." said Oliver as he dug into his waffles. "And speaking of defensive systems, Commander Nurim is quite . . . fascinated by your ablative generators and transphasic cloaking device. She has been asking permission to take a closer look of those."
Nami looked up from her plate with a small frown.
"I'm afraid I can't allow that." she said, "Alterations to the timeline are unavoidable whenever temporal incursions are involved. I knew that when I signed up for this mission, but I cannot allow more changes to the timeline than what's absolutely necessary. That means every advanced technology we brought here stays on the Themyscira and is strictly off limits."
Oliver nodded. "That's exactly what I told Commander Nurim. But you know StratOps, they are always looking for an edge over our potential enemies. I would know. I worked for them for quite some time."
"Is that right?" asked Oliver. Setting down his fork, he said, "I couldn't help but feel that you know me quite well, perhaps even better than I know myself. Were we close?"
Nami drank from her cup of Paksor coffee and considered his question.
"What happened to upholding the Temporal Prime Directive?" she retorted, but before he could answer, she chuckled wryly and said, "Look who's talking. The short answer is yes, and the long answer . . . well, perhaps another time?"
"Fair enough." said Oliver as he went back to work on his waffles. A few moments of silence passed between them before he spoke again.
"I just heard from Starfleet Command about an hour ago."
"The President and the Federation Council will consider the intel you have brought with you as well as your proposal, but my order is to escort you and the Themyscira to Starbase 139 once the repair on your ship is complete. Special agents from the Department of Temporal Investigation will debrief you there."
Nami raised an eyebrow at the news.
"Do you plan to carry out that order?"
The frown on her brows deepened. "Should I remind you that we only have one chance to destroy the Dominion weapon before we loose track of it, and that window is closing fast."
"I'm aware of what you said at the debriefing yesterday, and so are the President and the Council. But what you are suggesting has the potential to start the war that you have traveled all the way back here to avoid."
Nami slammed her half eaten bagel back on the plate. Standing up from her seat, she walked over to the holographic view screen embedded into one side of the walls displaying a view of the space outside.
"We were close, Oliver, very close. As a matter of fact, I owed my life to you and Korra. It's you who rescued me from the slaver ship where I had spent almost my entire childhood in suffering. You told me that the universe wasn't always so cruel and heartless. I believed you. I followed you."
She turned back to look at him.
"When General Bolanus took power on Earth, even though deep down I knew he was doing what's necessary to save the Federation from itself and from the corruption that had crippled it, I stood by you and even helped you to topple his government and restore the politicians whose incompetence had allowed the war to drag one for fifteen years. And sure enough, one year after your triumphant return to Earth, the Federation fell, and I saw you die in Terri's arms."
Walking back to where he was sitting, she rested her hands on the table and looked into his eyes. "Don't let that happen again, Oliver. The war cost the lives of tens of billions, yours included."
Oliver took a deep breath and said, "I'm sorry, Nami. I have my orders. But more important, I won't risk a war just for a chance to save my own life."
"How about a chance to save Renee's?"
Oliver's heart sank at the mention of his mother.
Taking her hands off the table, Nami walked back to her seat and sat down.
"About a year into the war, the Themyscira picked up a distress signal while on patrol near the Talen System. One thing led to another, and a few days later we found your mother safe and sound in a shuttle trapped inside a subspace interphase eddy. We were able to pull her out before the eddy collapsed on itself.
"You were overjoyed, of course. But we were in the middle of a war, so you arranged for the Endurance to take your mother to Starbase 32, and from there the El’nar Ascendant would take her back to Earth, where you thought she would be safe. But the day before the El’nar Ascendant arrived, the Dominion took the station and massacred everyone on it, men, women, and children."
Oliver listened quietly as Nami spoke. His brows tightened and then relaxed before tightening again.
"How did she get trapped inside the eddy? Where is she now?"
"I don't know." Nami answered calmly. "We never figured that part out, and your mother said everything after she put you inside the escape pod and ejected it from the Wells was a blur to her. She didn't remember a thing."
She paused to drink from her cup of coffee.
"How long has it been since you saw your mother last time, Oliver? 27, 28 years? You loved her, Oliver. You loved her dearly. It broke you when you lost her, didn't it? It would have destroyed you if your grandparents hadn't brought you back to New York where you met Korra."
Leaning forward from her seat, she said, "But if you can stop the war from happening, Oliver, you will have a chance to find you mother and there won't be a war to take her away from you again. It's just a chance, but don't you want that chance? Don't you?!"
A chance to see his mother again, a chance to save her, that's all Oliver had ever wanted since that fateful night 27 years ago. He was too little, he was too weak to save her back then, but now he had a ship and there was a chance.
"I . . ."
[To be continued]
Captain Oliver A. Lee
USS Arcadia NCC-89015
Captain Nami Ishikawa
USS Themyscira NCC-85430
(NPC - Oliver)