Star Trek Lower Decks - Mariner and Petra's Incredible Adventures (part one)

By Gun Roswell

Preface

What, are you hiding dear Petra?

The hunt for stolen treasure continues

Imma gonna bust you out!

Preface

Set somewhere in the space time continuum of Star Trek the Lower Decks (missing scenes from season three)

The continued adventures of Petra Aberdeen and Mariner Beckett, both of them now former Starfleet officers and independent contractors. Searching the Milky Way Galaxy for any and all incredible, most unique and long lost artefacts while perhaps sharing more than just a friendship between the two of them.

A Mariner/Petra pairing

What, are you hiding dear Petra?

'Trust is earned, not given, unless of course, it is bought!'

"I see you could not wait to rummage through my personal files!"

Petra was back in the cockpit, having left just a moment ago, clearly having forgotten something before taking off to the planet.

"Yeah, well, I am not really too good with this cloak and dagger type of thing."

Mariner immediately defended herself, even if she had no business going through someone's personal files.

"Well, if you must know, it is Admiral Picard who is funding this operation. His vineyard's proceeds are the thing keeping us afloat."

Petra revealed as much to the overly curious Mariner.

"Well then, guess the cat is out of the bag finally and we can move on?"

Mariner did not enjoy secrets, keeping them nor being a target of them either.

"If you can live with the fact the there is nothing nefarious behind this op, then guess we can."

Petra yielded, as even if Mariner had dug into her personal files, to figure out what was going on with their operation. Then fine, she liked having someone else around. And Mariner surely had potential to be just the one Petra would prefer to have around for a long while.

"I can."

Mariner had hesitated for a moment before responding, but she had nowhere else to go either and she liked hanging around Petra, so there was that to consider.

"Now, if we can just put this little incident behind us, can we go get those slushies?"

Petra let out a small smile and slapped Mariner on the back.

"Sure! Come on then, number one!"

A few weeks had passed since that conversation had taken place. The two of them, Mariner and Petra had been an unstoppable dynamic duo pulling jobs for the Artefact Retrieval Project, ARP, as Picard had named it so aptly.

They had managed to get back several stolen historical relics in a short amount of time too. With Petra's canniness and Mariner's somewhat unorthodox skills, they were able to move in fast and get inside whatever fortress or hold the stolen items might have been inside of.

Having been on running gigs non-stop for almost the durance, the two of them were finally having a break. Even if it had all been interesting and exiting enough, to say the least, it was nice to have a breather every once in a blood moon.

"Can't believe we've been pulling jobs for this long without a day off!"

Mariner wasn't really complaining though.

"I mean not even the worst ops in Starfleet were ever this busy. Well, except maybe being in the frontlines during the Dominion War. But yeah, it's nice to have a day off!"

"I know what you mean."

Petra understood what Mariner was saying, having been part of Starfleet herself and having fought in the war herself too.

"And it wasn't really this busy before you joined me."

Petra let out a small chuckle.

"Picard knew you had potential, as did I. And I am glad you are onboard. It is so much easier with the two of us. But, guess having a day off is good for a change."

Mariner could not help but to smile. It was great to hear for once, that she was good at something and held in regard for doing the job and not constantly reminded of doing something bad while pulling out her somewhat unique stints to get the job done.

After all, how many times had she been reprimanded by her superiors while in Starfleet, even taking to the brig, for doing something worth while, even if it was against the regulations, in a manner of speaking. Even if Mariner never saw that herself. Well, most of the time.

"That… that really warms my chilly little heart, ya know."

Mariner was all smiles now.

"Because when back on Cerritos, well, I kinda got thrown into the brig for doing good deeds. A lot!"

Mariner was using air quotes there, as one person's idea of a good deed might not have been the same for someone else.

Petra let out a hardy laugh at the comment knowing well, how rigid things could be in Starfleet.

"I hear ya, my friend, I hear you loud and clear."

Petra used Mariner's vernacular, just out of jest.

"I remember the few or let's just say several reasons, starting to accumulate slowly but surely for myself back then. How restricted it all was while in the 'Fleet. I mean, guess the old adage, no good deed goes unpunished is apt in whatever you try to do. It's never enough for those in charge there."

Petra was being reminded of her time served in Starfleet. Doing somewhat similar things which Mariner had done. Helping those who could not help themselves, the underdogs of the galaxy. And then being scolded for the very fact.

After all, Petra had gone against the Prime Directive more times than she cared to remember. Not that it was anything really bad or considered totally illegal. Well, she had been reprimanded just the same even if those people were happy and alive simply because she had helped them.

Because of their similar ideology and background, Petra could easily relate to Mariner and where she was coming from. But they were different in personalities. Petra still liking to look before she jumped while Mariner completely threw herself overboard, no matter which kinds of beasts she just might have been facing.

"Well, the thing I am glad of, despite my many trips to the brig is, that I made some difference in the lives of those whom Starfleet wasn't willing to help, or did but with a delay."

Mariner noted then.

The both of them in a rather solemn mood, the memories shared with each other taking them back to times they could both reflect on with pride and perhaps joy. Simply because of having made a difference.

"Yeah, those were certainly the times."

It was almost nostalgic for them both, perhaps even having a second thought of leaving Starfleet. But, they were on their own now, a dynamic duo of bounty hunters of sorts. But never collecting any of it for themselves. The Robin Hoods of the galaxy, as Picard had put it.

Just as the mood was turning to something neither felt too comfortable with, there was a beep on the console. And then, a familiar face appeared onto the view screen.

The hunt for stolen treasure continues

'If there is one constant in the galaxy? Well, guess it is greed no matter how evolved the inhabitants of any planet might just have become.'

"Mariner! Catch!"

Petra was the one who had been carrying the artefact. But Mariner was in lead and the guards of the so called temple were right on their heels. Petra was about to throw the somewhat ugly looking bust to her, just in case she was caught.

As the statue flew up in the air, Mariner made a quick turn, managing to catch the flying object just in time before it crash landed onto the ground. Tucking it under her arm, she kept on running.

The guards tried to fire at them with phasers, but they kept on missing each and every shot. Mariner glanced back, assuming Petra was still following her. And just as she thought they were out of the woods, being a longer distance ahead of Petra, the guards fired again and this time, the phaser blast found it's target.

Petra went down in a loud thud.

Mariner looked horrified at the scene. Petra was down and they had agreed to get the stolen artefact back to its rightful owner. Mariner glanced at the butt ugly face of the statue and back at Petra, before making her decision.

Or rather it was already made for her as the guards, whom outgunned the two of them two to six, had reached Petra and were already hauling the unconscious body up from the ground. They then simply stood there watching Mariner go, as there was nothing she could do for Petra. For now.

"I have the…"

Mariner paused and looked at the bust placed on top of the console in the cockpit.

"The artefact."

"Why do I sense a but there somewhere."

Picard's tone was clipped, as he did not see Petra anywhere. And usually it was her making the contact. Well, it was always Petra. It had been, so far. Sensing there was something going on, Picard waited for Mariner to explain with a rather unhappy face.

"Yeah. There is." Mariner paused and gulped, thinking back to the scene during their mission." Petra got caught."

Mariner wasn't too happy about it, at all. Mostly blaming herself for the capture, even if for whatever reason, Petra had not managed to run as fast as she usually did.

"What?!"

Picard was furious now.

"How did you let that happen?"

Clearly, Mariner wasn't the only one blaming herself for the happenstance. Picard was too.

"I don't know what happened."

Mariner tried to recollect the steps they had taken, but there was no reason as to why Petra had lagged behind. Not one she knew of anyway.

"One moment she was there, running right behind me and the next, she was tossing the statue to me and then she was shot."

"Shot!?"

"Yeah, by the guards. But she seemed, well alive. I mean she was. They only stunned her."

Mariner was sure of that.

As was Picard.

"They will interrogate her and want to know whom you are and whom you were working for."

Picard was sure of it. After all, it wasn't exactly his first heist either, having run the ops before he had hired Petra and then Mariner to do it.

"Yeah, I kinda figured that would be the case."

Mariner was quickly thinking of her options, not really sure what she should or could even do. After all, she was alone now. Unless Picard had some ideas.

"Well, it is quite clear what your next option is."

Picard too seemed to be deep in thought, planning ahead though.

"Yeah? What did you have in mind?"

Mariner asked curiously.

"You, my dear Mariner, will get back there and bust her out of the place. After all, we don't leave our own behind."

Picard remained Mariner of the one hard stone chiseled rule they all shared. A Starfleet rule for sure. That of never leaving anyone behind.

"Me? By myself?"

Mariner was all up for an op, for sure. But alone?

"Yes, there is no time to send anyone else there. I know someone close by, who owns me a favour and you should be able to get a cloaking device for the ship from them."

Picard knew it wasn't the standard issue for any Federation vessels to carry the cloak on any Federation registered ship. It was actually against the law. But, this was a special mission and the means were low if non existent. So if having that one single advantage would help Mariner to get undetected back to their enemy territory? Then Picard was ready to break a few rules. The rest was up to Mariner after that.

"A cloak. Isn't that, well against the rules?"

Mariner sounded surprised of this, reckless rule breaking Admiral.

"Yes, but desperate situations and means and all that jazz."

Picard reminded Mariner then.

"I will call ahead and they will help you install it. I am sending the location to you now."

And soon enough the console beeped with a new set of coordinates.

"And Mariner, get her home safely."

"Will do!"

Mariner saluted the Admiral. After all, she knew the big secret now. Having stumbled on it. By accident. At least she held onto that explanation.

That of Petra being Picard's daughter.

After all, there was no hiding any secrets from Beckett Mariner!

Imma gonna bust you out!

'Having friends in too close quarters can be a curse, but mostly, it is a blessing.'

With the cloak quickly installed after some few chosen words exchanged between Mariner and Picard's best friend forever. The rather slick Ferengi trader, Mariner was already on her way back to the planet of their original heist. This time, she was there to save her dear Petra.

Mariner was in position.

Keeping an eye on the small base of the so called collector. The one whom had stolen the artefact the duo had retrieved in the fist place. From their base which was not really that heavily guarded. After all, being a small time thug wasn't as lucrative as they let on. And so, being able to hire the muscle needed to protect all the stolen possessions wasn't easy. As the employees wanted to get paid for their services. Naturally.

Mariner wasn't as familiar with the layout of the whole base as they had only gotten the information of the upper levels where the thief kept their stolen assets. Right there on display on the upper levels of the base where they lived too. Still, all of it being tightly under lock and key inside their cases.

But Mariner suspected that the cell or prison most likely was situated in the two lover levels of the base. At least, that was her starting point while trying to locate Petra, whom their opponent had most likely stashed away somewhere to get the intel out of her. She was alive, that much Mariner was sure of. She had to be. Alive.

After all, there was value in keeping Petra alive.

Mariner made her way rather stealthily in the shadows of the base. Not having to worry about too many guards, as there were only two at the main entrance. But she knew another way in. And so, making her way in through the same vents they two of them had used the first time around. Mariner found herself inside in no time.

She made it through the long hallway of the second floor. With the third and forth ones reserved as living quarters and the display area, which Mariner already knew of course.

But she was more interested in the lower levels of the base now. The one she was on and the one below it.

Mariner quickly walked across the floor, the hand held scanner not revealing any signs of life there, which was a good thing for her. In a way, as she needed to find Petra, but at least there are no guards there. As the peeked into a few doors, she could find mostly storage rooms and it was likely this floor was used just for that. Storing wanted and unwanted stuff, from the looks of it.

So, making her way towards the stairway, where she would be able to haul herself on floor down.

Mariner reached the lowest of the levels in no time. The base being none too big. And having seen the specs and been there before, the floors were similar in size it seemed. Even if the above ones were more of an open layout while the other two were built with long hallways and small rooms.

She scanned the area again, but no life sings detected there either.

It was a surprise, as Mariner had expected to find Petra there, for sure.

Running the scan again, she found an anomaly in the results. It seemed there was an area which the scanner could not penetrate. As if there was some kind of force field jamming any scans.

Mariner decided it was the place she needed to take a better look at. And so heading towards the area without any hesitation. Or regard to her own safety, not that she worried anyone would detect her, not really.

As Mariner reached the area she could not scan, she could already see from the distance the red shield in front of what looked like a holding area. Rushing there quickly. And thankfully finding Petra there, who was lying on the bunk bed.

"Petra?"

Mariner called out to her partner in crime in a soft whisper. Not wanting to alert the guards in case they were on rounds having decided to check the prisoner or something.

"Petra, are you with us still?"

There was a soft growl and then, Mariner could see Petra raising her head and glaring right back at Mariner.

"Ma- Mariner? Is it really you?"

"Yeah it's me. I'm here to bust you out. You game?"

Mariner asked with a chuckle, only too happy to find Petra and in one piece too.

"Yeah, I am so ready."

Petra was already up, clearly having played more hurt than she really was for the benefit of her captors.

Mariner did her thing. And in no time, managing to hack into the door's locking mechanism and the force field fell right off.

"Come on then, let's go!"

Mariner urged Petra, not needing a second encouragement to get moving.

As they were making their way out, hastily at that, all being good so far, Petra jus thad to ask.

"Did you see the guards?"

"Only two, at the entrance on the outside."

Mariner told her as much.

"There are two more, so we need to be careful."

Clearly, their graceful host being too cheap to hire more help, despite the theft Mariner and Petra had pulled inside of the thief's base. But, it wasn't really their problem, now was it.

"Well, let's hope our good luck holds then."

Mariner could only hope so, having managed to get inside undetected. That they were lucky enough to get out undetected too.

Just as the two of the had reached the second floor and were on their way towards the vents, they heard the rather familiar voice from behind them.

"Hold it! Right there!"

"Busted!"

Mariner hissed through her teeth.

The two of them raised their hands in surrender and slowly turned towards their host, whose's voice the both of them would've recognised anywhere. Having heard it before.

Slowly turning around to face their adversary, Mariner nodded towards Petra, motioning slightly with her eyes for Petra to see the second set of phasers Mariner had hidden under her pants belt.

Petra signalled her understanding back to Mariner.

"So, you thought you could just waltz out of here, just like that, after stealing from me."

It wasn't a question, not really. As their opponent stood there with two guards, weapons pointed at Mariner and Petra.

"Yeah, well, that was pretty much the plan."

Mariner was holding her own against this, thug.

"Well, I hate to disappoint. Because neither of you are going to get out of here. Alive."

The threat was real. As the owner of the base, the thief the two of them had stolen from, then nodded their order for their guards to take aim at Mariner and Petra.

There was a moment, where none of them moved. And then, one quick glance at Petra's direction before all hell broke lose.

Petra grabbed the one phaser while Mariner had the second one in her hands before anyone could even blink.

The shooting started immediately. The two guards went down first. And then, the three of them were in a Klingon stand off. Each of them with weapons drawn. The so called collector, the thief, having their phasers aimed at Mariner and Petra, while the two of them were pointing their phasers at thief.

"So, looks like the odds are even now."

Petra simply retorted.

"Yeah, will you let us go. Or do you have a death wish?"

Mariner simply had to throw it there, getting a glance from Petra, rolling her eyes at Mariner. The one cliché stated for sure.

The moment and then two passed between them. And then, their opponent lowered their weapons.

"Fine, I yield."

Mariner took another glance at Petra, getting the slightest of nods before turning back to their opponent.

"Good."

And then, Mariner stunned the thug.

"Now, let's get the hell outta Dodge!"

Mariner and Petra started running towards their egress, making out of the place in no time. Never looking back, not even once.

With their now ship safe in space, en route to their next gig, Mariner and Petra had some down time on their hands again. After all, they had had quite the adventure just now and taking a breather was a must.

As they sat in the comfortable silence for once in the cockpit, it was Petra who broke it this time around.

"So, did you leave anyone behind on the Cerritos? Boyfriend, girlfriend maybe?"

Petra just had to ask, just in case… Getting a sort of a wistful glare from Mariner in response.

TO BE CONTINUED