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Deep Space 13

"Stars, hide your fires; let not light see my black and deep desires."

Prologue

"Your new command job is simple really," stated Admiral Nettera. "You will come in to command the station and bring a sense of control to the out-laying sector and planets of the system and neighboring ones as well. Starfleet is there to give a sense of closure and comfort for the Jetallan people. You do have your intelligence report on the history and schematics of the station and the planet?"

Nod.

"Of course you do," chuckled the bright-faced man. "You were one of our best and brightest out of the Academy in your graduating class. Amazing experience in field operations and spectacular diplomatic achievements."

He tapped through her file quickly and scanned with his eyes over bits and pieces of information combined from over thirty years. She sat still in the awkward silence that emanated around her. She forced herself to glance around the small office that belonged to the admiral and found a star outside his window in the onset of evening. She kept focused on that point and successfully appeared calm and collected like any Vulcan should.

"A remarkable career you have, Commander," began the admiral suddenly as he glanced up to her.

She straightened her posture and trained her green eyes on the admiral with respect.

"Thank you, sir," she answered.

"Although, what concerns me is the incident that occurred on Teprem III," he said with a long sigh.

"A very . . . unfortunate accident, sir," she spoke carefully as the memories poked at her brain and the twinge of uneasiness grew.

"The ship you were first officer on," he stated without taking the hint that the subject was an issue she wished not to discuss. "Your captain was killed on an away mission? Now why was he on the planet in the first place?"

"It is all included in the inquiry, sir," she calmly replied but somewhat struggled to keep her voice steady. "The interview has my account of the mission."

"I want to hear it from you, Commander," the admiral pressed.

She could feel her ears become red from feeling slightly flushed. She had told this story so many times; she almost had it memorized in her head but it always made her uncomfortable at some point.

"There were major disputes on the planet and we were ordered there to defuse the situations. It was my duty to beam to the surface but the ministry leaders of Teprem III wanted Captain Harpin to be there," she said pausing for a small breath while taking a quick glance at his searching glance and continued. "He agreed with them, sir, and I informed him that it was against Starfleet protocol but he disregarded my reminder. He then proceeded to the Transporter Room where he left me in command."

"Why didn't you try to stop him?" the admiral questioned further.

She squirmed visibly, a certain show of weakness on her part. She noticed he glanced away and did not notice.

"I did, sir, and we didn't know there was a possible Dominion collaboration. I was unsure what to do and it seemed like the problems on the surface were not going to escalate to perilous proportions," she commented.

The admiral stared at her long and hard a moment.

"Does this bother you, Commander?"

"No, sir, it does not," she said, using all her poise and strength to look him in the face without flinching. "I am Vulcan and I do not let emotions control me."

"I thought you were half-human?" the admiral popped another question.

"Indeed," she replied with a slight hesitation due to his questioning of a personal nature; though, like everything else, it was all in her files. "I am half-Vulcan and half-human. I prefer my Vulcan side." 

"Is that so . . .," the admiral pondered for a moment, staring at her hard for another minute, then sighed. "Well, I certainly hope you enjoy your new posting. It's a grand adventure."

"Thank you, sir. I look forward to it," she nodded and stood to meet him.

"This new position may be considerably unexciting compared to the fast paced excursions you had recently in the War," he laughed. "Though, it is very important that you lay some groundwork for our position and control in the sector."

"Of course, sir," she agreed.

"Just to warn you," he added. "Many of these Jetallans are fairly… lively. They rival even the most spirited of Bajorans with their tempers. These people were harassed by the Dominion, too, so I would not be too surprised if they don't take a liking to you right away."

"I understand, sir," she spoke understandingly. "I visited Deep Space 9 not long after Starfleet's liberation of Bajor. I know what may be waiting upon my arrival."

"Good, I am glad you know what you are getting into," he smiled gently at her as he stood. "Good luck, Commander Serea."