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Necessary Evil

PROLOGUE
Lt. Commander Zara Undine fired up the thrusters and pivoted the attitude of the
shuttle for a steeper departure vector. The angle plus the bank gave Captain Tammas
Parkin Arblaster-Garcia an excellent view of the mob gathered at the fence in protest of
all things Fleet. The protest signs had been hurriedly assembled, evidenced by the fact
that most were in English, bad English with letters reversed or poorly drawn, though
some were in Klingon with letters that were even more deformed. The signs were mostly
derogatory statements describing biological forms of waste and places where Star Fleet
could put it. One of the protesters pitched a small bottle and managed to score a direct hit
to the forward window. It caused no damage to the shuttle, but when the bottle broke a
green liquid spread itself over the window. Undine blinked and hastened their exit.
Captain Garcia had already been in a particularly foul mood before the fiasco, but
now his mood hadn’t seen a rival. The Away Team was abnormally quiet, as if they were
expecting him to throw a tantrum. Unfortunately for them, he wasn’t ready to preach
from his soap box yet or his anger might have been dissipated more quickly. Instead, he
put a foot up on the console and a fist to his chin and sulked.
“I think your concert went off fairly well,” Lt. Commander Tatiana Kletsova said.
Her metallic, silver uniform, with red highlights marking her as security, momentarily
caught and reflected the sunlight as the light slipped across the inner space of the cabin as
the shuttle continued its climb. The sun’s intensity polarized the forward window.
Lt. Undine glanced back at Kletsova, glanced to the Captain, and then put her
attention back to her piloting. Undine was not human, she was Zaldan. The only
evidenced of this were her webbed fingers and toes, and a very straight forward manner
that was often mistaken for antagonism. Consequently, she didn’t feel the need to try to
soften the Captain’s mood or in any other way ease the tension that filled shuttlecraft
‘Mississippi Moon.’ As a Zaldan, she not only saw courtesy and compliments as a form
of dishonesty, she believed it was a waste of time. She was aware that Garcia knew his
performance was flawless. Saying so could only be construed as social manipulation, an
attempt to distract him from his present anger. An anger she believed he was entitled to.
As it was, Garcia ignored the compliment. He didn’t even look back at Tatiana, a
friend since enrolling in Star Fleet Academy. Instead, he tried to distract himself by the
fragment of a song in his head, “Mississippi Moon want you keep on shining on me…”
Normally he would be working hard on forgetting the song that was stuck in his head, a
manifestation of OCD, but his anger was stronger than his obsession with the lyrics or the
tune in the background of his mind. All the shuttles were named after songs, either direct
titles or words found from random lyrics, and this was no doubt the immediate trigger of
Garcia’s current musical tangent, a necessary distraction that was aiding him from
verbally chastising his crew in an unproductive manner.
Lt. Commander Tuer, the security officer for the New Constitution, was unable to
tolerate the continuing silence and scowled as only a Klingon could. “I don’t see why
you’re angry at me,” Tuer said. His uniform was similar to Tatiana’s in that it was silver
with red highlights, minus the skirt, of course, but it also had Klingon style armor.
Polished and cleaned armor, something Garcia had insisted on for his Klingon crew. He
wanted his warriors to appear as if they didn’t lack for state of the art materials, whether
it was weaponry or defensive tools. “It’s not like I started the fight.”
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