The Redemption Preludes:

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The Redemption Preludes: Empty The Redemption Preludes:

Post  Admiralwood on Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:49 am

Author's note: With the impending Earth Rescue Mission sim on Redemption, there's going to be a lot of use of a character from Admiral Wood's past - an old, close friend of his who rose to become the head of Starfleet Intelligence. As she was never really much of a character in previous sims besides the odd conversation or mention in passing, I felt it was high time we got to know this lady better - so that the events of the coming sim would have more impact (as well as maybe getting to know the Admiral a touch better in the process).

I'll be posting her story in parts, with each post being a part. Hope you enjoy!


2361, San Francisco

In a vast hall adorned with the banners of every Federation world sat a multitude of excited young adults, the rows so numerous they seemed to blend together into a single mass for the man standing upon the stage at the front of the hall. He tugged lightly upon the hem of his Starfleet dress tunic, clearing his throat before speaking into the tiny microphone built into a lavish wooden note stand.
“Duty. Honor. Loyalty. Truth,” His voice carried despite the microphone, “Words you will hear more times than you will be able to count during your time here. They are words that every Starfleet Officer live by. We stand for the Federation, peace and exploration....”

As this distinguished Captain talked on, two members of the crowd tried their utmost to stifle cackles of laughter – forcing them to apologize to their irritated neighbors.

“Hey Matt, can you imagine him in bed with a voice like that?” One of the two, a human girl, couldn't help but chortle, prodding her partner in mischief with an elbow, “Oh yes, approaching warp speed!”

They both broke down laughing, unfortunately they were unable to bite down upon their knuckles quickly enough to avoid the ire of their new squad commander, whose powerful grip took hold of the napes of their necks, “Wanna see how funny the latrines can be without modern cleaning tools?” Cadet Commander Grimes hissed, “Keep it up and you'll find out.”

“Sorry Cadet Commander,” The one named Matt nodded his head several times more than was necessary, “It's just so distracting.”

“What's so distracting Wood?”

“The way the light reflects off the top of his head -”

Grimes took in a deep breath, “Guess you two do want to find out. Fine. See me at the end.”

“Grimey.” The girl whispered after a moment.

Wood smirked, “That was bad.”

“Maybe a little,” She shrugged, “And I thought the Academy would be boredom with a side of lectures.”

Wood glanced around to be sure no-one was watching, “Janice Richards. These are the best years of our lives. Of course we're going to go and do amazing things and save the Galaxy but, we can have fun getting there. Remember: Best years.”

“Partners in crime?” She met his gaze and made for a handshake.

Wood grinned and shook her hand, “Agreed.”

The sound of Grimes loudly clearing his throat was enough to make them both straighten up and pay attention – outwardly. Janice couldn't help but steal a quick glance at her new Partner in Crime, scarcely able to believe her luck. Growing up she'd had difficulty making friends, which had been a source of worry to her parents. Yet here she was, one short parade and an Inauguration speech since starting Starfleet Academy and already on the fast track to friendship with a funny, smart and kinda handsome British kid.

Maybe this career move wouldn't be such a chore after all...

2381, Vancouver

Thick torrents of rainwater poured down a small, dirty window looking out at the infinitely cleaner, smarter cityscape of British Columbia's most vibrant city. With precious little sunlight penetrating the thick rainclouds above, a small Starfleet issue survival lamp provided the extra illumination needed for the occupants of an old, abandoned slum apartment.

Around a rickety wooden table sat three men and two women, not one of them human. That sole position fell to a Starfleet Rear Admiral, who stood by the window watching the rain while her guests made a decision that could end their careers. Though she took great care not to show it, Janice was a bundle of nerves. In order to ask for these agent's help, she had to make herself vulnerable. She never did that, she couldn't. It was as much a death sentence in the Office as it was in the field.

Some days Janice just wished she could be that girl who walked into the Academy again, carefree and looking to have some fun.

“Admiral Richards?” One of the Agents stood for her, “We've made our decision.”
She took a deep breath, “Yes?”

“The evidence speaks for itself. We have an oath to keep. You have our support.”

Though she desperately wanted to, Janice swallowed back a huge sigh of relief, “I'm glad we agree. This doesn't come without significant risk, our task is not a simple one.”

“What is it?” Agent Piper, the group's elected spokeswoman, asked.

Janice reached over to a dusty bookshelf and pulled a PADD from the top level, “As you can imagine I'm not going into great detail, security reasons. What I will tell you now is that we are going to do something nobody else has ever done before. On this PADD you will find the locations I am assigning you to, where you will find a safehouse and means for secure communication with myself only. When the time comes, I will give you a location and instructions.”

The PADD was dropped on the Agent's table for them to peruse. There was no further need or expectation for conversation. Far from what was depicted in spy holonovels, real spies rarely started a job with all the mission details to hand – and they knew better than to ask for them. For now they would disperse around the globe, waiting for the message that would tell them what they were really doing.

Which was sure to raise eyebrows when that time came, Janice thought, because she was going to ask them to sabotage Earth's defense grid.

2364, San Francisco

Two Academy seniors slowly walked through the lovingly manicured gardens surrounding the main campus, bathed in the soft glow of small street lamps designed to create a calming atmosphere at night. Cicadas chirped, a gentle breeze caressed them and not another soul was in sight.  

“I think Walter likes you,” Janice said, “Have you seen how she keeps on trying to burst your personal bubble?”

Matt chuckled, “Kind of hard not to. Not a fan of the blue hair, blue eye, squeaky voice thing she's got going though.”

“Sure you don't,” She elbowed him gently in the ribs, “Kirk wannabe like you not interested in a female? No way in hell.”

“Seriously. She annoys the living daylights out of me.”

Janice feigned a look of shock, “What? Since when were Cadet Commanders in Commander school learning how to command things allowed to have un-commander feelings towards someone under their command?”

Matt looked at her with something between being impressed and confused, “A very commanding use of the word command, how long did that take to put together?”

“Maybe a few minutes,” She confessed, “Was hoping you'd give me a chance to use it.”

Their friendship had grown to the point where few didn't believe they were a secret couple, a fact which didn't escape the faculty. One very uncomfortable chat with the Commandant was enough to put some distance between them – at least during the day. Here in the gardens, late at night, Matt and Janice both felt they could be themselves. A secret practice that allowed them to be real – at least with each other.

“Only two weeks left,” Janice said after a moment's pause. She let what else she wanted to say with that slide into more silence, losing the courage to press forward for the moment.

“Graduation.” Matt spoke the word as though it was an impending disaster, “Did the spooks take you on board in the end?”

They stopped walking atop a small wooden bridge that crossed an ornamental stream, leaning upon the well manicured railing to gaze out toward the bay. Neither one spoke as they dwelled upon what the coming weeks meant for them.

“Well,” Janice swallowed hard, “Guess that makes two of us who already have assignments, right?”

Matt nodded. He was set for deep space upon the USS Nagura. Despite the fact he'd been head-hunted for that posting, he couldn't help but feel a little down. Going from boss to minion again was not going to be an easy transition for him, he enjoyed the boss role far too much.

“I'm going to miss these nights,” Janice sighed in hope of bringing the conversation back to a more intimate level.

“Huh? Yeah, me too.”

Janice turned her head to hide her disappointment at his distant gaze and complete failure to pick up her signal. Her heart was racing at warp speed as she was obviously working up the courage to say something important – and he was barely away she was even there right now?

“We should probably get back inside,” Janice was once again the one to break the silence, “Big day tomorrow.”

Again Matt seemed a thousand light years away, “Yeah, we probably should.”

What he didn't know about was the tears she shed after they parted. Her room mate, who was woken every night by Janice's return from her walks, just shook her head and muttered, “Why don't you stop letting him treat you like a sister already – do us all a favor?” Before going back to sleep.

The Redemption Preludes: <a href=The Redemption Preludes: Richar10" />

----- Rear Admiral Janice Richards, 2381

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