=/\= SD 240605.02, The TCV Nodlan, Du'Ji Cluster (five LYs from Trill) =/\=
Few things seem as vast as the emptiness of space. For imperceivable distances the only visible spectacles are stars lying so far out of reach, civilization had to harness the power of suns in order to find them. Areas of space still exist where no living thing has ever been, even now. Yet in this emptiness, the tiny TCS Nodlan slipped silently from it's high-powered subspace flight. A quick flash shown million of kilometers away, and then she popped almost out of nowhere. Her silver-line hull glistened as the speckled lightshow of stars danced invitingly on the metallic surfaces and artistic curves of her frame. Landon sat at the helm near the bow, a wide but sleek position, with windows both starboard and port meet ing the center viewer. Nodlan wasn't a small ship, by a shuttle's standards. She was in fact much larger than any Starfleet ship in the same class, but was still small enough to fit inside most shuttle bays of any starship. Sitting in someone else's hold wasn't really Neyes' style, however, and he would have probably landed his ship on a hostile planet rather than imprison her in docking moors.
The cabin door to the rear slid open with a subtle hiss as Gregory stepped into the control room. There wasn't a great distance between the helm and the back of the room, but it was enough for Neyes to have to anticipate Greg's solemn impatience as he moved to the co-pilot's seat. And sure enough it took less than a moment for Greg to clear his thr oat, ever so conspicuously.
"Yes?" Landon chimed, sarcastically.
"I see we dropped out of warp, friend. But there's nothing here-" He barely had time to finish the sentence when Odalla came stomping through the doors as well.
"You might give us a little warning next time, Ensign! SOME people have to catch up on their sleep after c hasing around a neurotic Trill pilot for the last week!"
Spoiled, that's what they were. Both Greg and Counselor Odalla were used to going on a mission after a Starfleet briefing. They wanted to know how, when, where, why and what. Now he carried them around in his most prized vessel (whose sound insulation wasn't designed to keep the thrum of a decelerating starship out of the sleeping quarters) and it was all they could do to keep from tearing his head off at every slight.
Neyes slowly to turned in his seat to confront her, but hi s intentions to scold her were suddenly thwarted as he looked upon he r disheveled appearance. It seemed she had neglected to take the time to put up her hair, and it was strewn about carelessly in her face, dark curls messed and twisted inside themselves. His brow shot up and he pointed at her. "You. You don't look half bad first thing in the morning." He teased. "We're where I want us to be. Now we just need to wait here for a moment."
"Wait for what?" Greg asked.
"Yes, PLEASE. Enlighten us to whatever mysterious plot you've dragged us into. I'd like to know what's going on." Odalla spat, taking the queue from Neyes and quickly tying up her hair into a small bun. She was a beautiful woman, but she didn't need to look bea utiful in the current company. It would have probably been a wasted effort anyway. Greg was a noted 'good-man' type who courted for the long haul and Neyes was... well... a joined Trill. They tended not to take on relationships. Even the Neyes symbiont talked a big talk, but she knew she was in no real danger of being approached for anything substantial.
As if summoned by their complaints, a ship immediately blipped on the sensors. Greg quickly took to the sensor controls and tried to analyze it. Landon simply sat and watched.
"I've got a small ship off the port bow. 1 million kilometers. Looks like they just dropped out of warp." Greg looked over at Landon. "Is this what we're waiting for."
"It's who... not what. And yeah." Neyes said, a little smirk gracing the corner of his lips. "He's here."
Odalla's eyes narrowed. "Who, HE. Ensign? Is this some contact of yours?"
The comm system came to life. "We're being hailed. Landon. I'd guess you want to speak to him." Greg looked over at him.
Landon began tapping the controls of the helm. "Open a channel." The computer chirped in response.
The man who sounded over the comm system had a relaxingly ch arming sound to his voice. He spoke with flawless intonation and a seductive flair. "Hello Neyes. It's been a little while." His attractive face lit up a side monitor. The man was slightly older than Landon, probably 27 in Earth years, and was just as physically fit. His jaw-line practically cut the edges of the frame. His metallic-silver eyes carved an intimidating look onto each of them as he nodded to both Greg and Odalla.
Odalla watched with a careful eye as she witnessed the exchange begin to take place. Landon had visibly shifted his body language. He no longer had the cocky, terse tightness, and a kind of familiar relaxation radiated off of the young man. Odalla couldn't tell if it was their past dealings or some es tranged sense of security, but Landon definitely knew a good deal abo ut the man to whom they were speaking. He seemed comfortable, but also cautious. Sneaking around in the corners of space and meeting up with unknown ships wasn't exactly in her job description. She found herself wondering if they hadn't gotten themselves into something terribly personal; if this wasn't some kind of a 'off the record' issue she'd missed.
Neyes' response was just as comfortable, and he also found himself using the same refined speaking form. "New body, new life, all that. I've gotten used to being a man, though. Sounds like you agree?"
"Of course. I haven't been a woman for a while now though, you know. Not since before I met you, I think." He replied. The words seemed to imply more than gender discussion, and everyone in the cabin felt it. To the unknowing listener, however, it would appear to be little more than play-talk. The two men obviously had had dealings with each other before, and given their talks so far, the meeting place and the similar ships, Greg and Odalla both felt like outsiders stepping into a private conversation.
Greg looked from side to side, and locked a quick mutual gaze with Odalla. "Who is this guy, Landon?"
"Sorry. Greg, Odalla, please meet my old friend. Na'jan Daeryx."
Odalla's brow furrowed, and Greg merely sat staring, ignorant to what it meant. "Your Daeryx?" She asked, implying her knowledge of his file and the symbiont's history.
Landon sighed. "Yes. My Daeryx."
His enthralling voice came back over the comm system. "Pleased to meet you both." He made a motion at one of his controls and his ship came to a stop about 100 meters off the Nodlan's bow. Greg leaned a little forward, as the small Trill ship came into view. Landon's ship was impressive, but this Daeryx... his was indescribable. Sleek curves and edges came to a melded round at the nose of the fighter, if that was indeed was it was. The ship obviously had warp capability, but the nacelles were built into the rounded wings of the ship. It was more like art than craft, and it looked like it was deceptively limited in it's weaponry.
From the corner of his eye, Neyes could see Greg looking at the ship in awe. Landon had been the same way when he'd seen the ship for the first time. It was almost fr ightening to be at the helm of that vessel, and Neyes had only experi enced in once. Daeryx was extremely touchy about letting anyone else man the helm.
"I suppose there's a reason you asked for me to meet you here, Neyes? I can't say I don't love getting to see you every few decades or so, but you usually don't ask on such short notice." Daeryx raised an eyebrow and cracked a thin smile.
Landon looked back over the viewer, "Yeah. Well..." He looked over to Greg and Odalla, hesitating to say anything out loud. A few moments was all it took for him to damn it all and just go with it. They were both already in this until the end. "I need you help to wipe the organization that killed my family of f the chart, Daeryx. I've got a lead on them, but I have a hard time thinking i'll be able to do it all alone."
"You? You think you can't do it alone? I'm honored, truly." The other Trill man chimed sarcastically.
"Joke all you want, Na'jan. I'm asking for your help."
"You have it, old friend. Always."
Greg's panel shouted an alarming serie s of blaring beeps as the tracking computer moved Daeryx's image to a smaller side screen and brought up a local map of space. Red dots flickered at them, and they appeared to moving at terrifying speed right in their direction. "Something just dropped out of warp! They're on an intercept course, headed here at full impulse!" He looked up first to Landon, who was already charging the engines, and then to the comm channel. Daeryx's image was gone however, and his ship was no longer in front of them.