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Empok Nor
SAT 1500 Colleen and John's Quarters 
6th-Jan-2009 11:07 am
Colleen normal yellow1
At lunch time, John had dropped Keith off at their quarters and gone back to work in the Hades's engineering. Apparently, today was Warp Core Calibration Day. When John announced this at lunch, he was oozing excitement to the point where Colleen nearly fell asleep, catching his contagious boredom. Calibrating the warp core was long and tedious. "Thank God we only do it once every two months," he had said.

Keith went to his room to watch a video about Harris Kayden, and Colleen went back to decoding the chip. The numbers were dizzying after a few hours, and she had to take a step back or face them all blending together. She stretched, did a few pushups, and thought about how much she wished she had Keith's mathematical genius right around now. Then, it came to her.

"Four seven six three," she whispered, and jumped up, picked the PADD off the desk, and stared at it. "Four seven six three eight...twenty-two, not two, two." She was careful not to speak too loud, for fear that Keith might hear her and become upset. She grabbed the stylus and scribbled madly on the other PADD, revealing a sequence of letters. Then she sat down, and stared at the letters, trying to unscramble them.

"Let...on...wait...not let-on, Telon!" *Oh my God,* she thought, staring at the word. Telon was in the code. The planetary system Riker and Henderson were now heading to. She looked at the other scrambled letters, and began rearranging them. She nearly gasped. "Pressman," she whispered.

She rose. *What do I do?* she thought, and placed the PADD on the desk. She began to pace. *What do I do, what do I do, God? Do I go after them? I know you've sent me this message...I need to know what I should do with it. Does this mean they knew about Telon and are going there to get whoever's using Pressman's name? Or does this mean they're walking into a trap?* She sat down on the edge of her bed and gazed out the window. Then she looked at the Chronometer. *If you do anything, it has to be soon, or you won't make the poker tournament.*

She stood once more, and looked out her bedroom, into Keith's. Then she made one of those split second decisions she hoped to God she didn't regret later. Grabbing both PADDs off her desk, she removed her communicator from her uniform and entered Keith's room.

"Keith, Buddy, pause the video for a minute."
6th-Jan-2009 05:17 pm (UTC)
Keith pressed 'pause' on his controller and looked at Colleen. She was feeling weird feelings...feelings he didn't much like. "What's wrong?" He asked.
6th-Jan-2009 05:18 pm (UTC)
Colleen smiled, and got down on one knee. She placed the communicator in his little hand. "I need you to do something for me, Keith. It's very important. You need to take this communicator, and watch the chronometer. And when the chronometer goes past fifteen minutes from now, you hit that communicator and say 'Keith to Jaxa, I need you to come to my quarters.' Can you do that?"
6th-Jan-2009 05:19 pm (UTC)
"Why?" Keith asked, utterly confused and scared. "Where are you going?"
6th-Jan-2009 05:20 pm (UTC)
"I have to go run and errand, and I might be gone for tonight and tomorrow night, but I'll be back soon, okay? I promise I'll see you again soon." Colleen said. It broke her heart to have to leave him again. She could see the fear in his eyes. "I won't get hurt," she promised him. "I'll be okay." *Why are you promising him that? You can't promise him that. You can't even promise him you'll be okay. You're walking into a Section 31 trap.*
6th-Jan-2009 05:21 pm (UTC)
Keith looked into Colleen's eyes, betraying his fear, and wrapped his arms around her neck. "I don't want you to go," he said, feeling the tears well up in his eyes. But he held them back. "Will you try to be safe?"
6th-Jan-2009 05:21 pm (UTC)
Colleen nodded. "I'll try my very hardest to be safe. I promise, Keith. I will try my very hardest." She pulled out of the hug and stood. "Do you remember what to do?" *Stupid question,* she thought. *This is the kid that never forgets *anything*.
6th-Jan-2009 05:22 pm (UTC)
Keith nodded quickly, and followed her to the door. "Come back soon," he said, and sniffed. "I love you, Colleen."
6th-Jan-2009 05:24 pm (UTC)
Colleen stopped just before getting to the door, and turned around. She picked him up and held him close to her. She felt his little body tighten around hers, and clenched her jaw against tears. He was so heartbroken when anyone left...he always feared they wouldn't come back. "If anything goes wrong in fifteen minutes from when I leave, you can push the button early. But only if something's dangerous. Like if you get hurt, or if there's a fire--something like that." She put him down. "I love you, Keith. I love you very much, and I'll do my best to come home soon."
6th-Jan-2009 05:26 pm (UTC)
Keith looked down at her big shoes, and nodded. "Okay," he said quietly. He felt her sadness as she walked out of the room. He stared at the door for a moment, and then looked at the chronometer. Studying the communicator in his hand, he knew this was the biggest responsibility he had ever had. He had to press the button at the right time. So he didn't get hurt, or start a fire, or anything else, he resolved to stand right there by the door and not move until fifteen minutes were up.
6th-Jan-2009 05:29 pm (UTC) - Shuttle facility
"Eckerd, I'm taking the Chariot for a test run," she called to the tech. "Is she ready?" She knew the shuttle was ready--she had checked the roster on her way there. But she had to ask the question so as not to arouse suspicion.

"Yes, Ma'am," The crewman said. "But why take her on a run off schedule, Ma'am?"

"Did you see those flight control statistics last time? We were .15 degrees off on yawing starboard. I've got an algorithm I think will work. I'm gonna go ahead and try it out."

"Yes, Ma'am," he answered, still a little puzzled as to why this couldn't wait until the Eckerd's flight tomorrow. But nonetheless, he opened the shuttle facility doors for her and she climbed in, set the PADDs next to her, and started the shuttle. Five minutes later, she had taken off.

"Request permission to enter Warp to test turning radius," she said, and the shuttle facility granted permission moments later. She hit the button and changed her course in almost one motion. She was off to Telon II.
6th-Jan-2009 05:30 pm (UTC)
Fifteen minutes went by and Keith took a deep breath, trying to sound as grown-up as possible when he tapped the communicator. "Keith to Jaxa. I need you to come to my quarters now."
6th-Jan-2009 05:36 pm (UTC)
Jaxa looked up at Keith's voice. There was stress in it but not panic, apprehension, but also determination. She was glad that she did not have a client for a while.

"I am on my way Keith." She answered quickly, though calmly. She wondered at the call the entire time she was walking quickly to their quarters. She rang the chime as soon as it was in reach.
6th-Jan-2009 05:37 pm (UTC)
Keith tried to reach the button that opened the door, but couldn't. He said, "Just a minute!" As loud as he could as he dragged a chair over. Colleen's voice was screaming in his head not to stand on chairs, but he didn't have a choice. He stood on the chair, and paused a moment, as if waiting to be yelled at. Then he pressed the button, and the doors slid open. "Hi," he greeted Jaxa.
6th-Jan-2009 05:39 pm (UTC)
Jaxa smiled at him and picked up off the chair. "You know you can just say 'come in'"
6th-Jan-2009 05:42 pm (UTC)
"Oh," he said, and shrugged. "I thought it didn't open unless you press that button. Colleen left. She told me to call you when fifteen minutes was up and fifteen minutes was up so I called you and you came. Now what?" He asked, very glad that someone was holding him up. For some reason, he felt safer.
6th-Jan-2009 05:53 pm (UTC)
Jaxa considered her response, once again thankful for her time on Vulcan, and on Betazed. Then took a calm breath.

"Now I suspect, you should do some of the work on your cultures class homework." Jaxa said being very careful to have her mood as normal and caring as possible and working to not let her confusion and concern leak out. She would call the Captain, but only after Keith was safely working on something else.
6th-Jan-2009 06:00 pm (UTC)
"But I was watching a movie," Keith said, feeling much more relaxed now that Jaxa was here. She wasn't scared--this must be normal, if Jaxa wasn't scared. "Can I finish the movie, then work on homework?"
6th-Jan-2009 06:09 pm (UTC)
Jaxa made a bit of a display of considering. "If you are certain you can finish the homework after than I guess that would be alright." Jaxa gave him a hug and then put him down as he ran off to his room. Then sighed.

She walked over to the Console and asked the console where Colleen was. Not on board was the answer. Jaxa had noticed that Keith had had her com badge so the answer wasn't a surprise. She called the shuttle bay to see if she had gone that way, sure enough she had taken a shuttle out on a test run. She wasn't on the standard test run route, but they assured Jaxa that was normal for Colleen. Jaxa smiled, thanked them for their time, and then called Tashanas. The comm was answered quickly.

"Yeas Counselor?" Tashanas tone was more neutral than normal. Jaxa found a part of her mildly amused at that distinction as she continued on.

"Captain I think we might have a problem..." Jaxa than proceeded to tell the Captain everything she had gathered. She saw storm clouds gathering behind the Captain's eyes and her features becoming more studied as Jaxa finished.

"Thank you Counselor, I will look into this, you take care of Keith, and try to keep John's temper from getting out of control, I will tell him what is going on so Keith doesn't have to deal with the initial reaction."

"Thank you Captain." Jaxa smiled slightly as Tashanas cut her off in the middle of her thank you.
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