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Chapter 1.4

Posted on Mon Apr 10th, 2023 @ 11:14pm by Willian Targaryen & Commander Galatea

1,150 words; about a 6 minute read

Mission: Remember Everything
Location: Ready Room, USS Enterprise
Timeline: 3189-03-17, 06:55

Galatea followed Captain Willian Targaryen into the Ready Room adjacent to the Bridge of the Starship Enterprise already fairly certain of what would happen next. Having served with the former Admiral for a long time, even longer than he probably realized, she knew his moods and responses better than he himself would. Her positronic brain had already calculated out several scenarios of how this conversation would go, she merely hoped that the one where the Captain phasered her wasn't this potential outcome.

When she came to a stop just inside the threshold of the room, knowing exactly where to be for the door to shut, the android noted his posture and demeanor. The Captain of the vessel was standing between his desk and the small seating area with his arms crossed and a sour disposition on his face. He stared at her, waiting to pounce like a tiger upon its prey. She truly wondered if the phaser scenario was the one to play out.

"Commander Galatea, reporting as ordered," she announced as the door slid shut.

"What the Hell were you thinking?" He asked as soon as the door what shut.

Standing firm, Galatea answered, "As part of my responsibilities as the Liaison from Federation Security I am required to ensure the safety of Federation resources and material. I needed to ensure that this ship and crew were prepared for any eventuality, including the possibility that the prefix codes had already been utilized to commandeer the vessels of Battle Group Omega."

"Don't you think it would have made sense to alert me, the Captain of his ship, to the situation before you started it? Why did you act unilaterally?" The Captain questioned.

"Responses needed to be genuine," Galatea replied, "and you would not have approved the request."

Willian shifted his stance as he looked at the android, "You don't get to make that determination, Galatea, nor do you get to assume how I would answer a request."

"Captain, I have known you far longer than you may realize and that gives me insights into your responses that you yourself may not realize. I had already calculated out the statistical likelihood of every response from you to my request to run the simulation. Of every scenario each led to you denying the request, in most instances citing that the crew was on 'strung out shape' and would not react well to learning the events were a simulation. Does this not sound like the answer you would have given?"

The Captain sighed and walked away toward the window, thinking carefully about what Galatea had said. Staring out as the warp streaks passed the ship he nodded, absently, as he considered her words, "You're probably right."

"However," she added, "It is not the entire cause of the answer." She approached, "Captain, you and your crew do not trust me. Despite the amount of time that we have truly spent together, despite my having saved you and your crew more than once, you do not trust me. You see me as an interloper, an enemy sent to challenge you and your every move, that is not my function. I am here to help, even if you don't see it and choose to view the situation differently than the reality."

"To be fair you have treated us differently this entire time, Commander. You always act as if there is more to the story than we're allowed to know. I was an Admiral, I have clearances that truly outnumber pretty much everyone else in this limited Starfleet, yet you don't trust me with the answers to my questions. You don't give me the information I need to truly fulfill my function in this reality." He thought back to the missing personnel from the Risa mission, to the planet Galatea allowed them to destroy, "You've let people die."

Galatea nodded at the last part, "Unfortunately, you are correct, Captain. I have had to make the decision to allow others to die in order to satisfy the greater mandate that I have to protect the entire Federation, or what's left of it, from the challenges that it faces. You may not believe this, but my decisions do weigh on me. The death of the Svians is tragic, Captain, but the challenge of the death of the entire Federation following the loss of Battle Group Omega would be worse."

"From what I see Battle Group Omega is, at most, a dozen vessels. What makes them so important in the grand scheme of things?" Willian really was curious.

"In a Federation near death the nine vessels of Battle Group Omega could make an incredible difference to the safety and security of the entire Federation," Galatea explained. "Or they can make an incredible weapon to destroy the last refuges of the Federation. You have been lucky, Captain, you did not live through the actual Burn. While this time is not truly suitable, while we constantly face the possibility of death, things have stabilized tremendously from those early days. Captain, I have seen the Federation cannibalize itself. I have seen the Federation nearly tear itself apart. We went from over 300 worlds to 39 in the span of a century, and I fear that is not over. Hence my actions at Risa, demanding we defend instead of leave."

Looking back out at the stars that flew by the Starship Enterprise, Willian really thought about the Burn and what damage it had caused. They were seeing a century later, that was true, and the Hell that immediately came after was probably infinitely worse because of the fear and uncertainty that swept through the galaxy. Who would he be if he had lived through it and not experienced it second hand? Who would he be if he watched the Federation die and become the zombie it was today?

"That had to be hard to live through."

"It still is, Captain," she answered honestly. "I have to live with what has happened every day, I have to live with not knowing what caused the Burn, and I have to live with the fear that it could happen again and there is nothing I can do to stop it."

Willian looked back at her, "I never considered it could happen again. Just what does the Federation know about the cause?"

"There are more theories about the cause of the Burn than there are ships in Starfleet at this point, Captain. We genuinely do not know the reason and we do not know if it will occur again. That is why we must prepare ourselves and stabilize Starfleet as best we can for what may come. Which is why I need to give you more details about this mission as they may be important," Galatea, for the first time, told him the truth about her assignment and what may come.

And it made Willian Targaryen sick to his stomach.


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