"Facing Facts"
[previous post "From Frantic to Foxy"]

Setting: MASQUERADE DREAMS, Promenade deck
Stardate: 30152.1450

"I made you a promise," UXtar casually said to the shorter dark hair woman walking next to him as the two of them neared the staircase leading up to the public decks.  For a brief moment the two of them looked into each other's eyes and Shar'El found it odd that she had not felt like a prey being stared down by a hunter, but rather felt as if the Hirogen had been another person, and nothing more.

"A promise?" the Ullian First Officer asked in return. Shar'El suspected that she knew what Uxtar had been referring to, but the undercover Intel operative had not wanted to make any assumptions.

"For me to give you all of the answers you were looking for earlier," the Hirogen clarified. The words and expression on his face made Shar'El understand that he had been a person of great integrity, one who could be trusted at all times to keep his word.

The Ullian offered a faint smile as she looked up.  The foot and a half separating the two of them seemed to be a universe onto its own, but in only a few seconds Shar'El had crossed the distance without moving, her mind having reached into that of the waiting Hirogen.

Memories flew by one after the other with he greatest of ease. The Ullian had not needed to dig into the Hirogen's mind, the memories having been made freely available to her.  Images of the NEW ALEXANDRIA complexe, of those who served there, his promotion to Lieutenant Junior Grade, his strange friendship with a Doctor by the name of Lea Summers.  Memories of shared moments with Counselor Dalziel and Lieutenant Commander Maya while on the ANUBIS meant that Uxtar had known them for a while.  Discussions with Captain Morningstar and Admiral Koniki also indicated that the Hirogen had not been a sudden arrival into the shadowy world on Intel.

Then the memories became darker. Shar'El could feel that this part of the Hirogen's life had been a very difficult one, painful in many different ways, yet he did his best to give the Ullian complete and unrestricted access to it.  As curious as she may have been though, the much shorter woman decided to respect the hunter and not dwell too long on that part of his life.  She had seen enough to know that Admiral Koniki had sent him on a deep undercover mission into the Delta Quadrant, one that had lasted two whole years.

The most recent memories, those dealing with the reasons why the Hirogen had been assigned to the maintenance staff of the MASQUERADE DREAMS had failed to give a better understanding to Shar'El as to why Uxtar had been here.  Being the First Officer of the ANUBIS, the Ullian had found it hard to believe that the Admiral would have kept this mission a secret from them, but knowing the man as she did, Shar'El did not put it passed him to have wanted to see how the crew would react to this unexpected turn of events.

"The Admiral never told me that anyone else from NEW ALEXANDRIA would be here," Uxtar said having felt the Ullian's mind pulling away from his own.

"I would guess that we are on two separate missions that ended up overlapping," Shar'El said, knowing that her words would be transmitted to the rest of the crew.  "Maybe the Admiral thought that that you would deal with the bomber without out even knowing about him, or he wanted to test us to see if we would be able to identify the threat.  Whatever his reasons were, we are here together now and faced with a situation that seems to be far more complex than anyone could have expected."

"My mission was to stop the bomber and put an end to the threat," Uxtar said in a dry and distant fashion.  For a moment Shar'El believed that the Hirogen had been about to say that the rest had not been his problem, an attitude that did not fit with what she had observed from the hunter's memories.  "The bomber has been stopped, but it seems that the threat still remains.  I would be happy if you accepted my help in whatever way I can offer it to see this threat permanently taken care of."

Now that had been the Hirogen she had expected.  The Ullian smiled, nodded and gave Uxtar the key to her room.  At the very least it would give the member of the maintenance staff a reason to seek her out at a later time while giving him the knowledge of where he could find her and that his generous offer for help had been graciously accepted.

Mark Hutchings

Lieutenant JG Uxtar
Currently on an undercover mission

[Earth is the insane asylum for the universe.]