Literary Challenges : The Library Computer
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Join Date: Dec 2007
05-12-2011, 02:32 AM
Lost and Found
“Sir this just came in by shuttle. It’s from Captain Odenkirk of the U.S.S. Poor Richard.” She proffered the legal sized manila envelope with her ice blue hand. The side closest to her hand had an odd, small bulge. That Odenkirk sent it in a manila envelope she could not help but think was a quaint gesture. It had to be a joke from the now Captain of Irion’s second command. Made sense given their current post on the U.S.S. Llamrei a twice retrofitted Excelsior class heavy cruiser. They had put to at Earth Space Dock for intensive maintenance, now the bridge was a buzz of activity as officers prepared to hand the ship over to the Corps of Engineers for the remainder the maintenance cycle. Already scores of old CMU "Work Bees" and newer Sphinx Workpods detached from the Maintenance bay to begin external repairs.
Captain Irion's nose was buried in his PADD as he went over the maintenance cycles to assure that their stay ad ESD was as short as possible. They had a patrol in the Gamma Orionis sector after this and the Llamrei had to be in peak condition for it. She noticed, as his right hand rose for the message, that he held his pinky crossed over his ring finger almost as if to look for or protect something that was supposed to ride there. A mannerism of his that suggested he was deep in thought. He never looked up from his PADD as he took the missive from her hand, nodded his head and mumbled his thanks.
Till the weighted end of the package thumped against the cuff of his duty jacket. Curiosity wrinkled the spots that framed sides of his Trill eyes as he tucked the PADD under an arm so he could tear the edge off the envelope furthest from the small bulge. He pulled out, unfolded, and read a document that had been within then handed the letter over to her, “There is nothing too private there.” An implication that it was fine for her to read tri-folded letter. It simply read…
To Captain Dal Bova Irion,
This was found, during the last refit of the Poor Richard, lodged between the second level deck grates that surround the central support hub of the warp core. Later, and by happenstance, when I went through the Plank Owner’s crew list I saw a photo in which you wore something that looked just like this. If that is the case it is my honor to return it to you.
As she read she saw in her peripheral vision the Captain squeeze the sides of the envelope as he turned it on end against his cupped right palm so the torn edges touched his hand to keep object within so it would not tumble out and onto the deck. Her eyes hovered over the Captain’s name on the sheet of paper. She thought it was odd that a joined Trill’s symbiont would adopt the surname of their current host.
The envelope still obscured the object it held from their view yet his eyes took a far away cast and seemed to mist while the corners of his mouth twisted up in a kind of wane smile…
To Irion the words on the letter were simple and to the point. They yielded no clue as to what else was hid within the envelope. The mystery object was cold and heavy for its size. The way it thumped against the bridge of his palm caused Bova, his host to stir to the point that Dal was forced to the very edge of consciousness. The grim determination of his host is what drew Dal to Bova. The occasions that Bova forced himself into he and Dal’s shared consciousness made Dal remember when they first met. Dal was still joined to Kenter at the time…
This was not the kind of place Kenter Dal was used to. The air was humid with the sweat of dancers, stale spirits and the stench of smoke. Dim light and the constant shuffle of patrons hid illicit transactions of all sorts. Even the barter of Trill cultural heritage could be found in this bar. That was what the man Kenter came to arrest traded, stolen Trill art with blood on it.
The music from the band played a raucous tune oblivious to the violence that unfolded by the game tables. “Kenter I know you’re with Starfleet.” The man he had come to arrest chortled through clenched teeth, “That is why I will gut you like the fat pig you are.” Dal could feel the tip of something sharp pressed to Kenter, his host’s, abdomen. Dal had the man almost doubled over backwards against the snooker table his right forearm barred against the criminal’s windpipe, his left hand thrust against the inside criminal’s elbow. In a proverbial sense he had the wolf by the scruff of the neck. Let go and you get bit, tire and you get mauled. There was neither leverage nor room to maneuver away from the knife with the criminal’s goon pressed to his back. A blow delivered by that goon to Kenter’s kidney drove the knife home. Off to Dal’s left a crony held a cue over head in a double handed grip as he looked for an opportunity to beat Dal off his boss. His knees drew weak, time had run out.
The cue stick disappeared from the crony’s hands. It was too dark in the bar to see who had snatched the improvised weapon away. That silhouette darted behind the goon and in an instant the goon was gone. The crony threw a hurried right the figure side stepped only snatch the crony’s wrist and elbow followed by a twist that flung the corny into the goon who had nearly recovered his feet. They went down in a mass of arms and legs.
Now free of goon Dal slid his hand down the forearm that held the knife to get control of the wrist that held it, and head butted the criminal in the bridge of the nose till he went slack. Hands clenched over the gash in the side of his stomach and weakened by loss of blood, Dal fell more than sat down. Hands wrapped around his chest from behind and he noticed he was being towed toward the door. Kenter Dal’s feet and buttocks left a left a bloody smear on the floor. “He’s bleeding. Get an ambulance on the way. Can you stand?” Was it the silhouette that asked that of him? Then the sound of broken glass and something splashed onto Dal’s left shoulder. Whoever had dragged him rolled over to Dal’s right. The young Trill bouncer that had checked Id at the front door lay near him on the floor, a nasty gash marred his forehead, the wound gaped open so that a bone of the skull beneath could be seen. The bouncer’s right hand rested on his chest. On his ring finger a simple sliver band with a large rectangular green stone inset in it. Even the gem was simple. That was Bova Irion. He came to several times, tried to help Kenter's away team, only to pass out again from a concussion but the important thing to Dal was Bova kept trying…
Bova’s parents were Trill, but his mother had dated outside or the race before she met Bova’s father. Dal found this out when, as a Field Docent for the Symbiosis Commission, he vetted Bova to be his next host. Bova’s adoptive father had dated his mother. He was from Upstate New York which explained the Maine jade that was inset in Bova’s ring...