Chapter 14 - Revelations with Pumpkin Spice

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"Can we talk to you?" Mack asked Rick as Marty looked on.

"Of course."

"I mean some place private," she said. "Like my ship, I suppose. Captain, do you mind if I continue to borrow Marty – I mean, Commander Madden here?"

"By all means. We'll reconvene tomorrow at, say, 0900 hours? We'll have some breakfast and await the admiral's arrival."

"Thank you," she said. She engaged her communications bracelet. "Wes? Can I have you meet us at the Cookie?"


"Soon as possible."

The three of them returned to the Cookie. Wes was already there, waiting. "What's going on, Coach?"

"Well, apart from figuring out how deep Yi'Imspi was with the Terran Empire, M'Belle was also hurt but she's gonna be okay."

"All right; I'll visit her in Sick Bay once I get the all-clear from Mom or Majira. Does Crita know?"

"Good idea." She engaged her bracelet again. "Majira? Could you please let the team know what's going on with M'Belle?"

"I already told them. They are working out what sort of a gift to give her. Confidentially, I'm voting for candy."

"Good going. And thank you. You've been amazing. Mack out." She turned to the men. "Okay, now that that's all settled. Wes, I want you here because I want to know exactly what is on this boat."

"Dana, I'm not so sure I should be telling you any of that."

"Richard," she said, a little exasperated, "I have a team member in custody and another who almost died today. And it was all about the technology on my little ship. Consider us sworn to secrecy. We won't tell a soul."

"Of course not," said Marty.

"You can count on us," Wes agreed.

"But let us know. Because I really want to know if anyone else might come knocking and want something else. Let us know what to look for. And right now, I'm not involving Crita and Daniya and Majira but I would like for them to be privy to this information as well."

"I thought you said you weren't going to tell anyone."

"You know what I mean. Those people are my innermost inner circle. I know they're trustworthy."

Rick tapped the back of his left ear, to engage his implanted communicator. "Yeah, Carmen? Join us on the Cookie, please."

Carmen materialized in front of them nearly immediately. "You got a pretty quick beam-in," Marty commented. "I suppose the folks in the transporter room weren't too busy."

"I didn't go through them. We've got our own little bag of tricks. Now, what the devil is going on?"

"I want to know everything that's on my ship. We'll keep quiet but for the inner circle but we really do need to know."

"I see," Carmen said.

"Can we tell them?" Rick asked his boss. "Or will that be against protocols?"

"Oh, screw the damned protocols. I think you're entitled to know – all of you," she said. "You've been through plenty already."

"Then let's go to Engineering," Wes suggested. "Because apart from the ionization diffuser, I am guessing anything of note would be in there."

They walked together, passing the diffuser. Carmen stopped and walked back after they had passed. "Richard, are you seeing what I am?" She pointed to a series of switches above the diffuser. If someone sat in the seat right by it, the switches would be just overhead.

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