Taking Time – Wrapping It All Up
by Commander Christopher McNeil

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Title   Wrapping It All Up
Mission   Taking Time
Author(s)   Commander Christopher McNeil
Posted   Fri Jan 29, 2010 @ 12:49pm
Location   McNeil's Office, USS Tethys
Timeline   2000 hours, Day 2
ON: [USS Tethys, McNeil's Office, Day 2, 2000]

McNeil didn't bother to look up as the door chimed. He merely pulled up the next file on his list and called out, "Come in."

The doors hissed open and Special Agents Dulmer and Lucsly stepped into the office, stopping just inside to allow the door to close behind them. Dulmer spoke first. "Commander McNeil, we wish to speak with you."

McNeil still didn't look up. He merely waved to the chairs across the desk from his and waited until he heard them sit down. As he finished the file he was reading, he opened the next. "And what can I do for Temporal Investigations, gentlemen?"

Dulmer and Lucsly looked at each other, then back at McNeil, who still wasn't paying them the least bit of direct attention, or so it seemed. "You speak as if you are used to dealing with our department, Commander," Lucsly stated. "I have to wonder how many times I would find your name in our files if I checked."

"None," McNeil replied without hesitation. "I have checked... Let's just say that you don't work directly under an Admiral, particularly one with as many interested as Admiral Meyer, without learning a bit about departments that the average officer will never encounter. You gentlemen are probably the best-known agents in a very... secretive department. But that's neither here nor there. What questions can I answer for you?"

Lucsly looked thoughtful as Dulmer cleared his throat and looked at his PADD. After a moment, he looked up and asked, "Did anyone other than the official away team visit the surface of Gateway?"

This time McNeil did look at the agents. He quirked an eyebrow. "No. And before you ask, no, no one, it would seem, touched, talked to, or even paid close attention to the Guardian."

"Yet Counselor Andeti told us she'd been having odd feelings and dreams since the away team returned, which could be an indication of a temporal incursion. Add that to the fact that Volaris was found dead with burns that were most likely caused by a Starfleet phaser and it looks very suspicious," Lucsly replied.

McNeil chuckled as the pieces fell together in his head. The fact that Volaris was already dead when the away team found him had bothered him quite a bit. Enemies that annoying didn't just shoot themselves or get shot by one of their men (who would then have had to magically disappear) to do you a favor. "I think I can fill in the pieces for you, gentlemen... at least the basic ones."

"Please, do," Dulmer said, holding his PADD up and preparing to enter notes on it.

McNeil nodded. "Keep in mind, I just came up with this theory based on what I know and what you just told me, so it may not cover everything. I believe that Volaris learned of the Guardian's abilities and used it to travel back in time to destroy or weaken the Federation in some way. Why, I couldn't tell you for certain. By the time he entered the Guardian our away team was already on the surface and was, thus, unaffected by the resulting timeline change, if there was one. Presumably after they had found out what Volaris had done, they failed to stop it in time. The Guardian being what it is decided to head off the problem by placing them on Gateway BEFORE Volaris arrived. They killed him and then, now part of an alternate timeline themselves, ceased to exist."

"And then their current incarnations beamed down to find Volaris already dead," Lucsly finished thoughtfully.

"Meaning that there never was a temporal incursion, even though there was one," McNeil said. "Temporal Mechanics give me a headache, but I think you'll agree that no permanent damage is likely to have been done."

"Indeed," Dulmer answered somberly, shutting off his PADD. "Thank you, Commander. We'll leave you to your work."

"Anytime, boys," McNeil replied as they left his office. After a moment of thinking about it, he shook his head. "I'd better just get back to work or I'm going to need a powerful painkiller..."

OFF:

Special Agents Dulmer & Lucsly (NPCS)
Temporal Investigations

Tony
AKA
Commander Chris McNeil
Mission Advisor
USS Tethys