Found!

Lieutenant Stev

Intelligence Officer

Encrypt protocol Scarecrow Alpha:

Retinal scan confirmed:

Password: ********

To: Frankenstein's Monster

RE: Operative Scarecrow report on mission

Contact located on Castis IV. Contact terminated before object could be obtained. Elimination of other agents not within mission parameters. Swift departure from Castis IV initiated. They were waiting for me in low orbit. Shuttle 'Ghost Rider' took heavy fire before defense initiatives were implemented. Minimal helm control. Self-destruct off-line. All October material destroyed per Directive 2. Set course away from normal space lanes. Cover story in place should someone chance upon my shuttle and effect a rescue.

Scarecrow out.

Somewhere on Starbase Earhart:

"I don't give a damn about their need for R&R! My operative ran into a trap. He's lucky he wasn't captured."

"Has your operative been neutralized?"

"He's unable to complete the mission, if that's what you mean."

"But why the Thunderchild? Burnett is not going to like having her crew's R&R postponed."

"Again with the questions. I know Burnett. She'll take the most direct route from Castis IV back to Earhart. I'm hoping she'll find something interesting on her way."

"You're hoping the Thunderchild will find your operative aren't you."

"So what if I am. I owe the man. After what I took from him, I won't let him die alone in deep space."

"Are you sure about this? You do remember who's serving on the Thunderchild now, don't you?"

"No, October is my concern. Crew assignments are yours."

"His former wife is an engineer onboard."

"Damn. I'd better get to work on a cover story explaining his absence."

Personal Log: Lieutenant. Llire

It's been 10 years. 10 years since he died. The Vulcan in me says it's illogical to miss him, but the Antosian in me still feels the sadness, the loneliness of his passing. On this the anniversary of the day, it all comes flooding back. Work helps to a point, and there are times I can go for weeks without thinking about him but, illogically, it still hurts. I will meditate and pray for his katra. This will help. It always does.

On board the shuttlecraft "Ghost Rider"

"Well Phread, we're adrift and the cargo hold has been vented to space. That means no supplies."

Looking over at a brown ball of fur sitting on the dead console, the more humanoid of the shuttle's two occupants continued, "There are times I wish that October's quartermaster division had given you the ability to communicate without using a terminal," he paused. "I don't know how we're getting out of this one."

The tribble chirped in reply to its companion.

"Yes, I know. It was awfully convenient for those ships to have been waiting for us in orbit. I'd like to survive this mission if only to find out how October had its security penetrated."

The lanky Vulcan glanced at the inoperative the controls for a moment then looked at his fuzzy companion, "At least I was able to set us on a course away from the space lanes before the helm died. Only a chance encounter will find us now." He watched as the tribble meandered close to the computer's input, "Yes, Phread, the falsified ship's logs are in place."

Stev sat down on the floor and forced his breathing to slow. Quietly, he reached up and pulled his tribble from the console and placed it onto his lap. Together the two of them entered a symbiotic trance.

Captain Burnett sat on her bridge. She was very grateful that the current mission Starfleet had given her was done. She was certain that Unobtanium was problematic at best and potential future source of irritation at worst. Now that it was no longer her problem, she was quietly contemplating what she would do with shore leave at Earhart. She listened to her bridge crew efficiently going about their duties. Her reverie was suddenly interrupted.

"Captain, sensors are picking a small vessel approximately 2 light years away," Lieutenant Blain announced.

"Why didn't we pick it up sooner?" Burnett asked.

"I don't know. It appears to be a Federation shuttle but it's a configuration I am unfamiliar with," Blain replied. She checked her console, "Fleet records indicate that this ship is still in prototype."

Burnett turned to her science officer, Lieutenant Commander T'Lal. The question her eyes asked did not need a verbal command.

"Confirmed, Captain. It is a prototype Federation shuttle Flemming-class, civilian markings, but it seems to be absorbing our sensor scans. I am picking up two faint life signs."

"Bryon, lay in an intercept course."

"Aye, sir"

"Can we get a lock on the life signs to beam them aboard?" Captain Burnett asked.

"No, sir," T'Lal replied. "Whatever is blocking our sensors is making it impossible to get a transporter lock."

"Have Commander Parker send a team to the shuttlebay. Let's bring it aboard."

Medical log: supplemental

Most of the injuries the crew suffered during the Unobtanium affair have been treated. My newest patients provided me with a mystery, a male Vulcan with some subtle enhancements to his internal physiology and a tribble that seems to be blocking my scans. The most subtle change to the Vulcan would be the alteration of his retinal patterns. Only a very skilled surgeon could have accomplished such a feat. I was barely able to determine the original pattern. I was shocked by my findingsā€¦.

"What do you mean he's supposed to be dead?" Captain Burnett asked her CMO.

"Just that Captain. According to Starfleet records, Lieutenant Stev was supposedly killed in a shuttle accident 10 years ago while serving aboard the Intrepid. According to my findings, this Vulcan is Lieutenant Stev. As you can plainly see, dead is something he most certainly is not."

"How the hell did a supposedly dead Vulcan end up in a stealthy shuttle way out here?"

"That Captain, I can't answer. What I can tell you is that he has a number of other medical anomalies in his system. It was difficult to determine but the tribble found sitting on his lap has been genetically and technologically enhanced."

Captain Burnett slowly shook her head and muttered under her breath, "I really need that vacation." She turned to head out of the sickbay, "I'll be in my office calling Earhart. Maybe Admiral Evans can help me find the answers to this little puzzle."

"One other thing, Captain."

Burnett paused and waited.

"I only looked closely at his bio scans because of the unusual circumstances surrounding his rescue. There is a complete record file for one Teven of Vulcan, a smuggler wanted by the Federation. Those are the faux retinal patterns this Vulcan has. If anyone other than a starship had found him, he'd have been identified as Teven, and brought to the authorities.

Captain Burnett turned to go, "Doctor, I know we've got some former members of the Intrepid's crew onboard. See if any of them can shed some light on this mystery."

"Aye, Captain."


T'Aiya sat on a chair looking at the bed. She could not believe what she was seeing. Logically, it did not add up. Stev died 10 years ago. She saw his shuttle blow before he could be transported off. He had died saving the other members of the crew. This couldn't be him.

"Why am I still sitting here?" she thought, "I have repairs that need to be done in Engineering."

"{You're sitting there because this is a mystery and you want to get to the bottom of it,}" a little voice told her. "{Also because Captain Burnett asked you to.}"

"You are correct as always," she replied to the voice.

T'Aiya watched as the 'mystery Vulcan' was tended to by the medical staff. She constantly checked the monitors watching his vitals improve. She told herself she was only interested in his well being because if he did not recover he couldn't answer her questions. She told herself that logically there was no chance that this person could be Stev. She was startled by the single word that escaped his lips as his eyes opened.

"Aishamano"

T'Aiya's hand came to her mouth. She had no reply.

Afterword

Stev walked down the corridor thinking to himself. He purposefully put an expression of absentmindedness on his face as he stroked Phread's fur. He really needed to get the Ghost Rider repaired as he was sure Frankenstein would want them available for another mission. Stev was also unsure of what was going to happen now that T'Aiya knew he wasn't dead. That situation would have to be handled and dealt with sooner rather than later. He still loved her of that much he was sure. He also wondered how October was going to handle his 'resurrection', surely they wouldn't mindwipe the entire crew of a starship. But these speculations were put on hold as he was now standing outside Captain Burnett's office.

Stev put on his most Vulcan face, it was one he used when dealing with people who were used to Vulcans. He doubted that Captain Burnett would be put at ease if entered the room smiling. He signaled at the door.

"Come," replied the muffled voice from within.

Stev entered the room. He allowed himself to notice her beauty, as he was sure he would never be seeing her again once he left. He took a seat when she indicated he should sit. He carefully placed Phread on the arm of the chair. Sitting at attention he waited for her to begin.

Captain Burnett ignored the ball of fur on the chair and looked directly at the Vulcan, "Lieutenant, I've just finished a lengthy talk with one Admiral Lenartin."

Stev did not let his face betray his shock, or so he thought.

"Ah I see you know who I'm talking about. He said your reaction would be almost unnoticeable."

Stev still said nothing as he had not been given a direct question.

"Admiral Lenartin, said to tell you, 'Halloween comes but once a year.'."

Stev allowed his face to relax slightly at the mention of the code phrase. He was still on guard though as he had not been given any specific orders regarding the Thunderchild and her crew.

"What did Admiral Lenartin tell you Captain?" the Vulcan asked.

"He told me who you really worked for these past ten years. He also said he'll be sending you confirmation of his conversation with me via the normal method."

Stev made a mental note to get Phread close to a terminal, "Worked?" he asked out loud.

"The Admiral told me you catch the tense. He's giving you your life back Stev."

Stev knew better, October didn't just give their operatives a retirement. Once you worked for October you only left in photon torpedo casing, if you were lucky. Stev's face betrayed none of those thoughts. "Really?" he asked in a neutral voice.

"Yes, he did say that though you'd have your life back, you would have a part time job doing things for him occasionally." The Captain replied.

"Part time?" Stev questioned, "What am I supposed to do with the rest of my time?"

"I have an opening for an intelligence officer. Are you interested?"

Stev thought for a moment. "I assume then, Captain, that my part time job would be acceptable to you."

"Yes, though your first priority would be to the Thunderchild. All missions from October would be cleared through me before embarking. Basically, Lieutenant, the Thunderchild would be a mobile base for those operations I do deem necessary for you to accomplish."

"How many members of the crew would be aware of the nature of my part time job?"

"Commander Downglade, of course, would be fully aware of your other duties. The senior command staff would aware of the generalities but not the specifics. Any other members of the crew would be told only what they needed to know. I'll let you decide how much to tell Lieutenant Llire."

"One more question before I go sir."

Burnett raised her eyebrow.

"Will we be repairing the Ghost Rider or will I be using shuttles from the Thunderchild's compliment?" Stev asked his new CO.

"The Ghost Rider got shot up pretty badly, but I'm sure that my engineers can get it working again," she replied. "Welcome aboard."

Stev grinned broadly at that. "Thank you Captain. You'll get nothing but my best."

"See Commander Hawk for your quarters. Dismissed."