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Langley: Relena Returns


ON:

==Station Operations==
==SD 38 1150 hours==

A steely look of resolve etched into her otherwise soft features, Darlian stepped out of the turbolift and clasped her hands behind her back. Giving a cursory glance around and not seeing any of the stations command level personnel (or at least, any that she knew), she put on her best stern tone and barked out, "Who's in charge around here?"

Lieutenant Heral raised an eyelid at, what for Relena, amounted to an outburst. A low mistrusting growl could be heard coming from under the OPS central console. Putting her hand down beside her chair she attempted to quieten the noise before she responded with "I suppose, that would be me. Welcome back."

Narrowing her eyes as she glanced around the command center (which still showed signs of damage from the incident), Relena only half acknowledged the other woman. "Lanis and O'Dwyer - where are they? One of them has answers that I need."

==Meanwhile==


Lanis had just signed off from sending his message to Starfleet when he received notification of the summons from Ops.

"If it's not one thing, it's another," he muttered under his breath. He had not yet had time to change into uniform for work in the infirmary, so he left the medical section, re-entered the turbolift, and rode it up to the command center.

The doors opened, and he glanced about, looking for whoever wanted him. He paused as he caught sight of the shorter, slender Terran woman standing near Talara Heral. "Relena! Welcome back!"

Hearing her name, Relena spun on her heel. Catching sight of the older Bajoran man, her eyes narrowed into a glare. "Really? That's all you have to say? Just 'Welcome back' like nothing at all happened on this station a week ago? Like nothing at all has been going on aboard this station since you got here? Because oh - did I ever get a colorful earful from my former superiors at DTI over what has apparently been going on under my nose around here. Did you know that, even though I resigned as a field agent, DTI still expects me to keep my ears and eyes open for any potential temporal incidents? I knew that, but apparently I haven't been doing my due diligence. Because Vossknocker COMPLETELY aside, my own boss has been performing experiments that could have massive implications for the integrity of the timeline!"

Talara's eyebrows may as well have been on the station's comms array they had risen so high. Glancing around OPS and the various stunned faces therein. The disruption caused to station operations by Relena was unacceptable, but in the mood she was in breaking that to her would be difficult. Composing herself she interjected. "Errr... sorry to interrupt. Captain O'Dwyer was still in the meeting room on deck 5 last I saw him. That may be a good venue if you need to have a more... private meeting."

Lanis was used to Relena's outbursts, but this was getting to be too much.

"I think a more private meeting would be an excellent idea," Lanis agreed, somewhat acidly. "Far more discreet than arguing about it on the br--in Ops." He gestured toward the turbolift. "If you'd care to join me, Ms. Darlian?"

"Why yes, I would, DOCTOR. I'm sure Captain O'Dwyer would love to hear just what has been going on around here!" Darlian was positively beyond the point of caring what anyone else thought, especially after Vossknocker nearly getting them all killed, then spending a week either getting lambasted on Vulcan or on a high speed transport with none of the comforts of home.

The turbolift doors hissed shut. Lanis let out a breath and studied the angry woman standing in the small space with him. She looked as tired as he now felt, and he didn't see her rabbit with her.

"Where's Winston?" he asked and didn't care if she thought it an absurd question in light of what she'd brought up.. Though he privately joked about Relena's pet being lunch, he did like the rabbit, and the fact that Relena didn't have him with her was disquieting. Despite the position he held, individual people still held a prominent place in his thoughts, and Relena without Winston was Not Right.

Just when one thought that things couldn't be any worse, Darlian's face soured - her eyes began to well up. "He is still with the station veterinarian. He's lucky he survived getting thrown off that console when the station shifted back to the present." she answered, fighting back the tears. She wanted to not think about what had happened to her bunny. No, she wanted to stay angry.

Lanis' eyes widened. "He's still with the vet?" And then it occurred to him that, of course, Winston would be. There was no sense in Relena taking an injured rabbit all the way to Vulcan. "I'm sorry, Relena; I didn't think. He'll probably be very happy to see you when you when you go to pick him up."

He returned his attention to the matter at hand. "All right." Lanis fixed her with a stern look. "So what about my work has your hair in a knot--Precisely? Because there are things I can disclose to you--and Captain O'Dwyer--and things I can't. And why the blazes were you spouting off about that in the middle of Ops? You couldn't have waited until we got to a secure location? What the hell were you thinking?"

Wiping an errant drop of water from her cheek, she steeled her resolve once more. "What was I thinking? What were YOU thinking? Conducting this experiment with virtually zero oversight from DTI? They thought I was in on your plans, and the only thing that got me out of that hot water was being thrown into the fire for not knowing about it at all! Not one, but two people were monkeying with temporal mechanics under my nose, and I was none the wiser! At least what you're up to is presumably going to maintain temporal integrity - we still don't know just what Vossknocker was doing."

"My...plans?" Lanis gave Relena a puzzled look. "My only 'plan' was to find out the results of Vossnocker's test on the artifacts he was applying stupid amounts of energy to. There didn't seem to be much reason to get DTI involved. As for temporal mechanics, I assure you, my involvement with them is strictly on an observation basis. I'm a medical doctor. The less connection I have with temporal mechanics, the better I like it. I'm not qualified to work in that field of science."

To say Darlian looked skeptical would be an understatement. "Really now. Just observing, huh? Because Director Hicks said that if you denied anything, I should ask you about..." At that she dropped to a whisper - even in her (something vaguely resembling) rage, she wasn't about to let a major security leak come from her mouth, "The Frequency of Twelve."

Lanis went very still, thinking furiously for several moments. "I won't discuss that in a public turbolift," he said at last. "There's an old Earth saying that is similar to one we use on Bajor: 'Three people can keep a secret if two of them are dead.' It is...unnerving to find myself seemingly surrounded by people--none of whom are my commanding officer--who know something I have been told was a highly classified topic. I have not discussed this matter with anyone who I did not know for certain was read in--even this morning, when I very much wanted to. I'm going to presume that, since you were told that particular phrase, you are approved to know about the situation. Let's go somewhere secured, so we can discuss it."

"Anyone? ANYONE? I was briefed by the director of DTI in a sealed, underground, commless room barely bigger than this turbolift which, I was assured, was surrounded by enough armor to withstand a direct hit from a tri-cobalt device. And I was told flat out that if I hadn't been a field agent for almost ten years and his former student from my days at Oxford AND working on a starbase that's up to its neck in... this - that I never would have been briefed on this in a million millennia. Oh, and if I breath a word of this to anyone but you or O'Dwyer they'll shove me out of an airlock. Because, I was informed, I was the forth person associated with DTI to be informed of this... thing!"

At that Darlian raised a hand and started counting off on her fingers. "Director Hicks. Deputy Director Bullock. And former Director Hartwell. And those three aren't saying a word to anyone, even under threat of death."

That was about the moment when her brain caught up to her ears. "Wait a minute - surrounded? Who else knows about this?"

OFF - To be continued...

Relena Darlian
Anthropology and Archaeology Section Head
Hromi Cluster Research Institute
Langley Station

and

Lt. Cmdr. Dhuro Lanis, MD
Expedition Director, HCRI
Langley Station

and

NPC by "Moose"
Lt. Talara Heral
(Temporary) Chief Flight Control Officer, Langley Station

?

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