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Season Three

302 Shall We Not Revenge?

Stardate 51712.6

While Dr. Mariella Torrelan visits her friend Helen Framlington's orphanage school, many of the Starfleet crew are attending a function in one of Daya Marash's cod-medieval holonovels.

Lela Marash approaches the school to discuss the possibility of adopting - the Captain and his wives are infertile. During a hearty dispute about the parentage of the holographic Queen's unborn baby, the Captain interrupts the assembly with news of the kidnapping of Loras Veltr'a from a law enforcement conference. He charges Petersen with liasing with civillian security to retrieve Veltr'a.

Petersen reports the kidnapping to Kath'lar, and she insists on helping with the report. He takes her suggestion to inspect ships leaving New Lhasa. Later, a young male Romulan comes to Mariella's house. She pretends to be out. Later, Helen repeats to Mariella a rumour that Lela Marash had been kidnapped herself by thugs, and they inform Starfleet and civilian security. The Captain confirms to Petersen that Lela was missing. This is added to Petersen's workload.

Mariella - confident in her hypospray - escorted Helen home. On the return, she saw the same Romulan cross the street in front of her. Later, she is mugged for her medical tricorder and some credits. She tends her injuries at home with her dermal regenerator. When the Romulan calls on her communicator, she cuts it off quickly, and takes it off instant communication.

The next day, Petersen is woken by a request for a situation report from Kath'lar. She is nonplussed by news about Lela. The interviews and searches continue. Fortunately, the Hammurabi ship the Wyatt Earp (one which Mariella is taking her shift, under Captain Eiffel) discovers Lela Marash.

Starfleet and civillian security move in. Although the ringleader somehow slips away, one of the thugs identifies him as Gardi. And Horah-Morash identifies Gardi as an old enemy from his days as first officer on the USS Victory - Gardi crippled Horah-Morash's shuttle after the conflict left five scientists and Gardi's partner dead. Horah-Morash disclosed that Gardi had left him with a permanent injury. He also described Gardi as a powerful telepath, explaining his success in slipping away.

When Mariella goes off shift, she is interviewed briefly by Petseren about the disappareance of Lela Marash. She is not able to help much. But Gardi identifies Mariella as someone who was talking to Lela Marash and, telepathically disguised as Helen, visits her to drain her of information. But Mariella, herself a Vulcan-Betazoid hybrid, senses something wrong and alerts security. A medical scan confirms her suspicions - the entity is not human. When Gardi cannot control Mariella it attacks her. Fortunately, civillian security get there in time to stop Gardi finishing her off.

Civillian security recognises a threat that Starfleet is better qualified to deal with, and transfers Mariella to the Stephenson. It transpires that Gardi - now jailed - is an M-113 creature. Horah Marash confides in a log entry that the creature rendered him infertile. This is a particularly crushing disability in a species, like the Grazerites, that regard parenthood as the only rite of passage into the adult word.

Veltr'a remains missing.

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© Ian McDonald 2004