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Posted on 23 Apr 2014 @ 11:26pm by Captain Harvey Geisler

Mission: Echoes
Location: USS Black Hawk, Geisler's Quarters
Timeline: January 5, 2388 || 2300 hours

Harvey sloshed the vodka around in the small glass. Normally, he would mix his drinks (Harvey rarely drank in the first place), but today called for something strong. In one afternoon, he ordered the destruction of a ancient and powerful weapon, causing the destruction of an ancient facility in the process. Surely the Federation Science Council would have a thing or two to say about the incident.

Earlier he was guilty.

Now, he didn't care.

Too many other questions fluttered in his mind including thoughts of what might have happened had he remained on the sidelines a while more. He could have permanently lost crew members or witnessed the destruction of a nearby world. He could have been visited again by these "Golden Stars" and put up with a firefight, potentially falling in the process.

The Federation had little jurisdiction in the Gamma Quadrant, limited to humanitarian missions and scientific expeditions, forbidden to expand due to a treaty from a war of yesteryear.

Behind him, the chime loudly sounded, announcing a presence at the door. Harvey glanced down, instinctively checking to see if he was dressed, which he was still in his command tunic and black pants. A glance at the nearby clock told him the hour. Harvey's eyes widened in surprise, remembering he sat down nearly three hours ago with his first round of vodka. The bottle on the table in front of his was still full.

The chime sounded again. "Come!" Harvey ordered, rising to his feet to see who was begging to see him. As the doors parted, he recognized his (former) XO, Lieutenant Commander Jason DeVries.

"I see I didn't wake you," Jason said, stepping inside the room, PADD cradled in his hands.

"Just having a drink," Harvey replied casually showing the glass. "Would you like one?"

"Not tonight," Jason replied. "Transporters and alcohol don't quite mix for me."

Harvey nodded. Part of the arrangement that he had made with Jason's newest handler was that Harvey would deliver the intelligence officer en route to his next assignment. That would be in just a couple short hours. "Fair enough."

Jason stepped forward and surrendered the PADD. "My full report, Captain," Jason explained. Normally, reports like these took time, time Jason would not have where he was going.

"Any idea where you're headed?" Harvey asked, accepting the PADD and taking a cursory look at the information.

"Don't know." Jason's eyes darted to the full bottle of vodka on the nearby table, then to the mostly full glass still in Harvey's hand. "Never care to know until I get there, really."

Harvey nodded before laying the PADD on his desk, right next to a picture of Alison.

"If I may," Jason asked, clasping his hands behind his back, "have you thought about what you might do if you see a Jem'Hadar or a Vorta?"

Harvey paused. His eyes glazed over Alison's image, once again reminded of his last sight of her and her trademark smile. Harvey slipped a half-smile to his face and looked back at Jason. "I already said my peace," he firmly replied. "Took a long time to move on. Anything else now would be like opening an old wound."

The Captain looked the Intelligence Officer up and down. He was too young to have seen war, but his face said enough. The life of intelligence was worse than war, having to deceive, disrupt and destroy. It always seemed easy, but the cost sometimes is too hard to pay. "Closure is not easy to obtain. But, when you have it, don't let it go."

"Yes, sir," Jason replied with a smirk of his own. Silence fell in the room. Both men knew the inevitable, and delaying it was no longer an option.

Jason however, knew better. "There is one thing. I included it in my report, Captain. Ensign Sherman did a fine job down there." He watched as Harvey walked over to the desk to pick up a PADD. "I know he's overdue..."

Harvey handed the PADD to Jason and waited for the look of surprise on his face. "Approval came in early evening," Harvey replied. "I was going to inform him in the morning."

Jason let the surprise become a smile. "Be sure to give Lieutenant Sherman my best then."

"Will do."

"With me gone... What will you do now, sir?" Jason asked. He spoke earlier with Beh'ruken, the Antican meant to replace DeVries. Though it was Starfleet's order to serve as Geisler's XO, Beh'ruken was not pleased in the slightest.

Harvey rotated the glass in his hands, considering the question. "The only thing I can do. Move on. Starfleet does as Starfleet feels. I plan to plant roots here on the Black Hawk. I hope I can find a crew willing to do the same."

Harvey extended a hand to his former XO. "I bear no qualms, Jason," he added. "Starfleet may have orders, but our lives our own. Make it a good one, and learn to let go."

Jason shook the hand and returned the PADD with the promotion orders. "Thank you, sir. It may have only been a week, but it was an honor, Captain."

Harvey smiled. "Dismissed, Commander." He watched as Jason left, leaving Harvey alone with his thoughts and untouched vodka.

The last week was a rough start, and with one mission under his belt, it was time to settle in. After all, the unknown frontier of the Gamma Quadrant beckoned the crew of the Black Hawk. Personnel changes were in order, but that was not Harvey's concern.

Something unknown was out there...

Something dangerous...

Something he had to find...



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