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Arachnian Leash

Posted on Tue Jul 28th, 2015 @ 11:12pm by Ensign Corrine Steiner & Enlisted Cadet Jasmine [P: Steiner]

Mission: Blooming Friendships


Jasmine entered Corrine's quarters with tense expression and body language. Corrie sensed immediately, "Jaz! What's wrong?"

The girl stepped in and spoke with a quiet voice, "I need to ask of you a favor."

She shrugged, "Of course. You know I would help you."

The Shokirian shook her head slightly, "This is not a politically easy request. Starfleet might not approve." Her breathing became slightly labored, "It would get you into trouble."

"As... in... serious trouble?"

Jasmine's tone quieted, "In the eyes of admirals, yes. But... you needn't worry about any threat to the Federation."

Corrie's lips pursed tightly in reaction, "Mhhh!" She sighed, "Okay, sit down." Bracing herself, she calmly sat and studied her young friend's eyes closely.

"I need to borrow your Phantom."

Corrie gestured up her hands quizzically, "And?"

"I've received a distress call."

That garnered a pained expression, "So pass it to base rescue, for pete's sake!"

Jasmine's tone was quiet, "It's a Tholian."

"A Tholian? A Tholian what? And what exactly are they doing in this part of the quadrant?"

"It's a single Tholian in a dart. I don't know why he's here."

Corrine closed her eyes and touched her fingers up to her forehead, "Ohhh..." At length, she settled and cleared her throat. "The term 'spy' comes to mind. Jaz, this makes me nervous... very nervous! Tholians are consummate xenophobes. They never venture from their zone, and any trespassers into their zone get webbed on sight! We must report this!"

Jasmine closed her eyes from the stress. "I understand that, and I agree. But I beg you, let me help the Tholian repair his ship and get underway before we report it."

"Why, Jaz? Why would you help a Tholian like this?"

"I don't have a choice. My home world borders the Tholian barrier. As long as we remain benign and cooperate from time to time, they don't annihilate us."

"Would there be repercussions?"

Jasmine made strong eye contact, "Tholians are merciless arachnoids. Retaliation would be immediate and severe."

At length, Corrine sighed deeply. "All right, as long as he's outside Federation territory, we're upsetting people but not committing a crime. What do you need, and how much of a head start does the spider humanoid need?"

She handed her a data sheet, "I don't know how much time he needs. I would tell you upon my return."

"Can you ask why he's so far from home?"

Jasmine shook her head, "No. We never do that."

Corrine rubbed hard at the back of her neck, "Oh, Jaz Jaz Jaz!" After a closed eyed sigh, she studied the sheet. "I'll have these materials loaded into the Phantom." She shook her head, "A Tholian dart is a short ranged ship. There must be a mother ship."

"No. Not necessarily."

"Excuse me? Don't tell me he rowed his boat across the ocean!"

Jasmine sighed, "Galactic dimensions are dynamic. You know that sometimes Federation ships become trapped in rifts and get catapulted."

"Can Mister Tholian make it home by himself?"

"He would ask for more help, if he couldn't."

"You realize that this will damage Captain Von's trust for me?"

"Corrine, if this is asking too much of you, I would be willing to leave. Just please, let me take the Phantom. The consequences are to dire for me, for my people."

She sighed, pondering. "It won't be the first time that unusual decisions bent regulations at this starbase." Corrie managed a smile, "No, little sister. You're my symbiont, not a disposable convenience. The needs of the one outweigh the needs of the Tholi-phobes." She tipped her head, adding, "Of which I am one!"

With tears in her eyes, Jasmine gave a light kiss to Corrine's cheek, then pressed her hands together in a bow. She whispered, "Thank you."

"Jaz, this is a one off event. Tell your Tholian friend that you can't get away with doing this secretly a second time. He's going to have to trust this starbase to help him."

"I will tell him that I needed help from my host to acquire the repair materials. That will be enough."

"Will that get you into trouble?"

"Not as long as the Federation doesn't run him down." She hastened out the door.

Minutes later, Corrine ordered, "Computer, display current harbor control traffic." She watched the blip signifying her personal craft racing out of the solar system. "Computer, display current general open space navigational scans." The blip accelerated to maximum speed, soon passing into extreme range. Corrie virtually wore a path in her carpet from pacing while Jasmine was gone. Two hours later, however, Phantom's transponder registered with Harbor Control. A text message registered on her console, =/We are clear.\=

Corrie felt a blend of relief and dread. Now she had to brace herself to face the music with Captain Von.



Ens. Steiner
Cadet Jasmine

Starbase 332
Pegasus Fleet


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