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A puzzle

Posted on Tue Jul 25th, 2023 @ 11:07am by Lieutenant Hadir Prenar & Lieutenant Lily Marlow

Mission: A New Beginning
Location: Intelligence office
2988 words - 6 OF Standard Post Measure

A sudden sharp cry woke Lily up from her sleep causing her to sit upright in her bed, wondering just where that cry of hurt, came from. Then she realized it was from her and she laid back down, groaning, feeling her face wet from perspiration. She had a nightmare, one that came up from time to time. It was about a cabin exploding, and her best friend Annabelle having died in that explosion. However that was a lie, somewhere out there, her friend was alive and Lily wanted to find her, and find out who owned a ring which had an infinity symbol on it. She had been advised to talk to someone who was in intelligence, and well they did have someone who was the Chief of Intelligence, a Cardassian by the name of Hadir Prenar. She threw her covers back and went to her computer to send a message to him. It was late or was it the wee hours of the morning, Lily wasn't certain. She just decided to send a message and he could answer it at his leisure. The message read,

Lieutenant Prenar, I am Lieutenant Lily Marlow, a medical officer on the Majestic, I was wondering if I could meet with you, and it isn't about another medical exam. I would prefer to talk with you in private. Let me know where we can meet. Thank you in advance, Lieutenant Marlow

The sound of the communications chime awoke Hadir from his light sleep. He never slept too deeply it was something that afflicted him since his work with the Bajoran Resistance. He read the message and the thought of what this could be about settled within him. Marlow performed his physcial when he boarded the Majestic. That was the only thing that Hadir knew about the woman. Whatever this could be about he had to know. So wide eyed with curiosity he typed out a reply. "Come to the Intelligence Office at 2330 hours tomorrow evening." He would dismiss anyone that was there so they would be alone. Add to that the fact that the Inteligence suite of rooms was not on the internal sensor net so there would be no record of their meeting.

Lily received that message, and gave a nod towards the computer, then proceeded to send a return message. I will be there, and thank you.

With that she went back to bed to try to get some sleep.

The day stretched out and when it was done, Lily waited, and watched the slow crawl of time until it was just ten minutes before the meeting time. Then she left her quarters and made her way to the Intelligence office arriving right on time, and pressed the chime button, to let Hadir know she was there.

Hadir had been sitting behind his desk in deep thought for the past two hours. He pondered all possible reasons for Marlow wanting to see him. The fact was he was at a loss, he could not figure out any rea; reason for the visit, let alone the emergency. When the door chimed he raised his head sharply toward the door and squinted. Without a word he rose from he desk and plucked a device off of he. With presicse purpose he strode toward the door and pushed the botton for it to open.

When the doors opened Hadir pressed his finger to his lips, which indicated that Lilly should not say a word at least not yet. The Cardassian indicated for the woman to enter the office silently. Only once she was in and the doors closed did Hadir speak. "Lieutenant before we speak I need you to place your finger tip in this scanner. What it is going to do is make sure you are who you say you are. One can never be too sure. Should you refuse this request you may leave through the door that you entered." Hadir knew deep down that the precaution was most likely not needed. However, with intelligence reports talking about Changelings and Hadir's own Cardassian paranoia he had to make sure.

Lily gave a nod, not uttering a sound just went over and placed her fingertip into that scanner. When the scan was completed, she looked at the Cardassian Intelligence officer. "Do I pass?" she uttered quietly. Her gaze was steady but there was also in her eyes, indication of her not sleeping well. She didn't know if he could help her but it was worth a try. "Thank you for agreeing to meet with me."

"Yes your DNA is confirmed you are who you are. I am sorry about that but as I said one can never be too sure. Have a seat. It is not often that a fellow crew member comes to me with an issue that my unique set of skills can help with. Now first I would be remiss if I did not offer the pleasantries. Can I offer you some refreshment. I am drinking a wonderful Bajoran spring wine from my own cellar if you would care for a glass." Now that the suspicion had been dispursed with at least for the time being. Hadir would be the gracious host and see exactly what had been going on.

"That sounds lovely, thank you." Lily taking a seat. Gazing at Hadir, she realized that she didn't know much about him. She only knew him via the examination she had done for him when he first came aboard and it was a quick one. Her mind had been occupied on getting things orderly with the departure of the other CMO. To be truthful, she was relieved in having the person gone. But with her having been so busy, Lily didn't even take the time to do her usual bedside manners and strike up a conversation. "Here we are now, my hoping you can help me solve a puzzle. I had been told by someone in security that this could or should be handled by someone in intelligence. Then said person or persons ended up leaving the ship to go somewhere else." Lily giving a bit of a shrug.

Hadir handed her the glass of wine and took a sip of his own wine. He then sat down with a broad smile. "Well then lets hear what you have. Out with it and I will see what I can do to help." Well she certainly had his interest. He only hoped that this would not be something that he would have to go to the Interanl Affairs Division with.

Taking a sip of the wine, Lily sought to put things into an ordered state. "I have a puzzle that needs solving. It has something to deal with a ring that has an infinity symbol on it, flashes of memories that are starting to surface and medical indication that my mind had been tampered with. Hence my at least talking to you to see if there is something that can be done. My story starts as my having gone to my best friends Cabin in order to see how she was doing after the loss of her significant other. I had gone to get something for her to eat and she had told me to not come back to the cabin. I got an odd feeling and went anyway just in time for that cabin to explode, and I had been caught in the edge of that blast. Next thing there is recovery from injuries, and me going back onto a ship, none the wiser that someone had messed with my mind. Years have passed, now I am here and as I said before, I don't know what to make of that knowledge now, and since I now have fragmented memories piecing together, I know that my friend who, I thought was dead, wasn't, and a man who she was in love with had married isn't dead either. Well at that time of my memory." a sip of her wine then she spoke. "Maybe I am crazy, or paranoid."

"I do not think you are crazy or paranoid at all. There are any number of mind altering tactics that can be used that would have the effect you speak of. Why between the Cardassians and Romulans alone the tactics add into the hundreds. So I believe the best place to start would be why. Why would someone want to alter your memories of a tragic event? For if we cannot figure out the why then the only other answer may be biological. That is to say your brain has locked out the memory and created false ones because of the trauma of the event." Hadir explained as nonchalantly as someone would talk about water flowing.

Lily gave a slight sigh, "I do have my medical records and scans from the last time, I started trying to figure out what was happening. I was unconcious for two weeks since my friend's cabin exploded." she pulled up the records, on her padd then slid it over towards Hadir. " I even made a record of what well, someone did a mind meld with me to open up memories that were hidden. I thought that maybe my mind was trying to protect me from something. The memory that had been unearthed was I was hovering upon the edges of consciousness and unconciousness. I heard my friend calling out for me then another voice was telling my friend that she needed to leave. The other voice was trying to soothe my friend, and that the man had faked his death, and he decided to go get my friend to stop her grieving. Another memory that had been uncovered was the memory of someone in my hospital room, wearing a blue medical smock, with slender hands and a ring with an infinity symbol upon the right middle finger, touching me, then I slipped back into unconciousness."

Hadir began to go over the files closely. He looked for any inconsistancies, anything that may show that the file was doctored or what have you. As he looked he spoke. "Now as I said to the why. Why would someone do anything like this to you? For if we find the why we can then look toward the who." He knew that he perhaps did not make sense. However, he also knew that what he said was correct, and perhaps the only way that they could figure this out.

"I agree, I do want to know why. I am of no importance and what could be the reason of why that occurred. Unless something else is missing from my memory. If I concentrate I remember the voice, and it seemed so familiar. And why it seems familiar I don't know that either. Probably someone from my past, connected to Annabelle." Lily moved to adjust her position. "Is there something I may know in the deep recesses of my mind?"

"The short answer is yes." Hadir began and then leaned forward toward his desk and conversational companion. "My people alone have perfected many ways of hiding information within a person's mind. Not to mention the techniques and abilities of the Romulans. Add to that the brain's ability to hide anything that can be traumatic and you have a recipe for losing memories and information. Perhaps we should start with Annabelle if it is connected to her. Who was this person and how did you lose contact?"

"Annabelle Trevor, she was my childhood friend, we were like sisters. Even went to college together. She and her brother Max Trevor were the only children of the Trevors. But we were close friends. Annabelle and I went into college just after highschool. Seventeen years old and ready to take on the world." Lily laughed slightly. "Talk about naive ideals right? She went into theater, I went into the field my mother was in, medical. As time moved on, both of us age nineteen. We got boyfriends, her boyfriend was in science. We met our boyfriends when we went to San Franscisco to meet my uncle Jerome who worked at Star Fleet academy. He is an instructor there. She and I were nineteen at the time. Anyway her boyfriend his name was Lucien Zamfir, they were in love. We had to leave to get back to school in Oregon but Lucien and Annabelle kept in contact. Annabelle was doing the final performance of Phantom of the Opera, she was playing Christine Daae, the lead. Her boyfriend came to the performances. He never missed them. On the dinner after the performance, he proposed to her and she accepted it. Both Annabelle and I were twenty at the time. It was quite the occassion. "

She paused for a moment to drink some wine. "Two weeks later, Annabelle got tragic news. Her fiance' had been killed while on a mission. It devastated her, in so much as she quit school and went to be alone. I went to go see her, to spend time with her, just to cheer her up. So figured that we'd do what we normally did when either one of us had some bad moments. We had a spa day it cheered, her up then I came up with the idea of making chocolate cookies and get some ice cream much like we used to do to further cheer her up. So I went to go get the ingredients. And her favorite food. I was half way there when I got a call from her and she sounded really strange. She told me not to come back. That worried me, so I continued on. And that connects to what i had told you previously."

"Ok... So we are going to have to find someone with medical training that can be trusted. Specifically someone with experience in locked memories and blocked memories. That is the first step. We have to get that memory restored so we can proceed. It is of no use getting into something if you do not know what you are getting into." Hadir spoke in absolutes. Cardassians were known for being intense in just about everything they did.

"Do you have any connection you would trust? I feel I should know someone but, that knowledge isn't there either. Which really ticks me off." Lily said with great exasperation. The normally cool and calm seemingly unflappable Lily Marlow was not calm at this point. Her eyes flashed with fire, "Just, just how could they do this, whoever did this. I really want to render them paralyzed with just a few hits upon their chi points."

"You are speaking to someone who comes from the race that invented revenge. As such you must have patience and then the revenge will be sweeter. As for knowing someone unfortunately I do not know anyone. However, I believe someone with experience tapping into minds would be the ideal candidate. So perhaps a Vulcan or a Betazoid. Have you any friends in those races?" This was an exceedingly interesting case, and it go curiouser and curiouser. He would see this one to the end no matter what happened.

Lily thought for a moment, going through her memories then she smiled. "I think I have a contact who could help greatly. She was one of my instructors in college, and also a friend of my mother's. Her name is Aisanna Denae. She is full betazed, so she could be our solution on this matter. And she is in the medical field, much like my mother is. And I do trust her." Lily added.

"Then my dear I believe you have your answer. Contact her and arrange a meeting. For that is the next step to unlocking this mystery." Hadir said with a trademark Cardassian smile.

"You will be there when the meeting happens, won't you?" Lily asked, "As I probably will need your guidance on this. And you being there would be in my opinion, important."

"Who am I to refuse such a mystery." Hadir replied as he continued to smile. Truth was he was glad she invited him. He wanted to see this through, it was a curious case.

Lily's shoulders relaxed, and her smile was brilliant when Hadir agreed. "Once I get things worked out for the meeting with her, I will let you know. And thank you." finshing up her wine. She set the glass down then something flashed in her mind. "Oh, I am wondering if we need to read the captain in on this. We probably do need to do so. Will that be you and me or just me." a pensive expression in her eyes. "I really do not know the protocols on this sort of thing. Once again I am going to have to depend on your knowledge as to these matters."

"For now I do not see the need to tell the Captain at all. If or when it is needed to inform him I will make sure he is aware, and what he is aware of. We would after all not want to alert someone to something so personal if we do not have to." The truth was Hadir was in Intelligence Officer and secrets were his game. As such this would be kept in his pocket until such time as it would be beneficial to let it out.

Rising up from her seat, Lily straightened up her outfit. "Thank you Lieutenant. It was a pleasure." She turned and headed out of the door, pausing to look over her shoulder towards Hadir, then she left from his view the door closing behind her.

When the door closed Hadir sat behind his desk as his eyes narrowed with a little suspicion. "The pleasure was all mine Lieutenant, all mine." He whispered as he leaned back in his chair and pondered what was to come next.


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