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Old friends reconnect

Posted on 19 Apr 2016 @ 12:06am by Lieutenant Commander Adam Casey & Lieutenant Commander Temerant Bast

Mission: Outbreak
Location: Science Officer's office
Timeline: MD5 - 1630 Hours

Data padd in hand, Temerant Bast walked into the main Science lab. The latest maintenance task list included a major rollback on the main sensor array, to backtrack the modifications that he himself had made while he was under Consortium control. The software modifications would have allowed for a complete sensor blackout, following the introduction of an encrypted signal. He needed to eliminate that security threat, but the implementation of that procedure required taking the main sensor array off-line for two hours.

Something that had to be coordinated with the ship's Chief Science Officer. All that Bast had been able to find was that there was indeed a new Chief Science Officer on board, but the computer had been unable to provide the officer's name.

The new Science officer's back was turned when Bast walked in. The Trill cleared his throat. "Good afternoon," greeted Bast.

Standing in front of five of his officers, Adam smiled, looking at the information in front of him. "Excellent work. Now show me that your calculations work." He said, handing the PADD to one another. He picked up a second PADD, and looked at it. "No, you need to adjust for the subspace variance." He said, as he heard the door to the science lab open. "Get the modifications to me by the end of the day."

As he heard the person talk to him, he turned around as his officers dispersed. "Can I help you?" Adam asked, looking at the man.

Temerant frowned. The man seemed familiar - yet his face was unknown to him. Then the realization that he knew him well hit him.

"Little Adam Casey," said Bast, smiling. "You're just about the last person I expected to meet in the Gamma Quadrant."

Adam raised an eyebrow. "Well, I wasn't expecting it too much myself." Adam said. "But took my kids on holiday. Have we met?" He asked.

"I should think so," replied Bast, grinning widely. "I taught you the proper way to string your violin. And how to spot neutrino drift in the lower bandwidths."

Adam's eyes widened as he realised who the person was, and he smiled. "Bast? I don't believe it, old man. You...well, you don't look so damned old." He said. Then his smile dropped as he realised what had happened. "What happened?" He asked.

"I'm Temerant Bast, now. Wilem died about eight months ago," he explained.

"I'm sorry to hear it, old man. I'm also sorry we lost touch. I meant to get back in touch after Amy was born, but circumstances changed heavily." Adam explained, indicating for the man to join him in his office.

Temerant tucked the data padd under his arm, and followed Adam into the Chief Science Officer's office.

"I see you've made yourself at home already," he said, spotting pictures of Casey's daughters on the desk. He picked up the frame containing his youngest daughter's picture. "The last time I saw her, she was crawling on all fours, trying to push her toys as far under the couch as she could," he remembered. "She's gotten big." He put down the picture. "How is Jessica?"

Adam sat down, and his eyes were showing a pain inside. "She fell pregnant again five years ago, at the start of the year. During Childbirth, however, there were...complications. Neither she or the baby survived." Adam said. "I meant to contact you, but things were, as you can imagine, complicated. My former sister in law wanted custody of the kids; you know what Maria was like. She never did like me."

Bast's heart filled with sorrow at the mention of Jessica's death. He had met her a few times. He remembered her as a vibrant woman, who could fill up a room with her simple presence, and brighten it up with a smile. "I'm very sorry," he said. "How are the girls adjusting?"

Adam smiled sadly, and then poured himself a coffee from his coffee machine. "They're doing well. Maria didn't have many memories of Jessica, sadly, but Amy did. It was tough, but they seem to have adjusted well enough." Adam said. "Coffee?" He asked.

Temerant nodded. Wilem Bast had been a heavy coffee drinker. Temerant preferred tea, but for old times' sake, he graciously accepted the coffee. "So what brought you out of retirement?"

"Harvey and the Consortium. He met me down on the planet; I was on holiday with the kids, and he came across us. He warned me about what was happening, and asked me to serve here. Since it's likely dangerous going through the wormhole, I elected to come aboard. Plus, promotion to Lt. Commander, so can't say much wrong there." Adam said, handing the coffee to the man. "Black, and strong, the way you like it. I always carry real beans with me. Just don't tell anyone; I'll be inundated with requests for coffee." He added, grinning.

With the mention of the Consortium, Temerant's mood grew somber. He tried his best to hide it.

"Well, with all that's been happening on that front, we need all the loyalist help we can get," he said. He flipped the data padd in his hand. "And on that topic, I need to talk to you about a maintenance on the sensor array."

"Ah, shop talk, our favourite kind." Adam said, with a sly grin. "Alright, what do you need?"

"There was some Consortium sabotage of ship's systems, recently," Bast explained, leaving out the d├ętails of exactly who was responsible. "I need to rollback a few software installations. And for that, I need to take the main sensor array off-line for about two hours. That's what I wanted to coordinate with you."

"Well, we're not currently using it for anything important, although I'm sure someone will complain. Still, it makes sense to do a reboot. Are you sure you managed to get all of the unwanted systems purged? I'd hate for a virus to come and bite us in the ass." Adam said.

"It's not a virus per se," replied Bast. "And yes, my inventory was very thorough. The only impact for the Science department is losing access to the sensor array for two hours while I reboot the system, roll back the software modifications, and restart again."

Adam nodded. "Alright, let's get it done. While that's happening, I'd like my team to take a look at the installations. What were they designed to do?" He asked.

"They were designed to cause a sensor blackout upon the activation of a very specific access code."

"Have you still got the program saved somewhere?" Adam asked, frowning. "That's definitely something we could use if we can program it for our own purposes."

"Don't worry," replied Bast, "I, uh... programmed it myself..."

"I'm missing something here, Old Man." Adam said. "Wanna fill me in?"

Bast took a sip of coffee, trying to delay the conversation while at the same time ordering his thoughts. "The short story," he said finally. "While I was stationed at DS11, Commodore Terlexa drugged me, with a substance that disrupted the link between the host and the symbiont. And then they assaulted me telepathically, and converted me to the Consortium."

"The more I'm hearing of this Terlexa, the less I'm liking." Adam said, frowning. "She seems like she has a lot to answer for."

"That, she does," confirmed Bast. "And she's not the only one." He took a deep breath, and pushed the dark memories from his mind. There would be time enough for that later. Right now he just wanted to be happy at having found his old friend.

He got up out of his chair. "I have to get back to work. Because of all of this, I now find myself without a staff, and with a maintenance list that's as long as your desk. But we have to get together soon, and catch up."

"Well, if we can help with anything else, let me know." Adam replied. "Let me know when you're ready to take the sensor grid offline, we'll go from there."

Bast nodded. "I'll send you the details." He shook his friend's hand, and walked out of the Science laboratory.


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