Subject: FRONTIER, The end
Angus sat in the co-pilots seat in the command centre of the
ship, it was a small room with three positions, one was taken up
by doctor Wagemuellerstein and the other by a man who`s name
Angus still didn`t know. Starbase Epsilon continued to grow
slowly in the ships window, they had slowed down to final
approach velocity and in five minutes they would be berthed in
The last two days ranked as Angus least favourite experience
since the mission had began. He`d had two whole days to talk to
Leana and find out all that he could but there wasn`t the privacy
to ask the questions that he really wanted to and so they`d spent
the time carefully sidestepping all of the important issues and
ended up saying nothing. At the moment she was still in her bunk
and he was under strict orders to wake her up only once they`d
His thoughts turned again to his brothers offer, last night he`d
decided resolutely that he would stay on in Starfleet but now he
found his resolve crumbling and once again he was feeling tempted
by the promise of excitement and danger that was part of being
a mercenary. The main problem with either choice seemed to be
that his other ambition, to raise a family, couldn`t fit in.
What he knew of his parents told him that Starfleet is no place
for a family, and a mercenry ship could only be worse, there was
no promise of security or stability in this option. And then
there was Leana, he knew that he wanted her to be a part of his
family and so he would have to find an option to make her happy.
The doctor shook him, "Didn`t you hear me? I need you to adjust
our flight path, we`re on our way in."
Angus looked out of the window and saw the cavernous maw of the
Starbase opening slowly, he hastily put his eyes down to his
console to make the necessary course corrections.
The ship sailed leisurely through the magnetic field and stopped
adjacent to a free mooring station. Docking clamps took hold of
the ship, power and life-support couplings were attached and
there was a declining hum as the ships engines came off-line.
The doctor pressed the sequence of keys to release the airloks
and allow the passengers to disembark then he turned to Angus,
"Luther told me about your little arrangement," he said. "I`ll
be here for the next week, I`m waiting on a contract from Earth
so if you make a descision before I leave just come and tell me."
Angus nodded slowly and left the command room, the first thing
he would have to do was report in for debriefing but after that
he`d probably have a while to himself before getting his next
He caught up with Leana as she left the registration office,
"Once you`ve got sorted out with quarters and such how about we
meet at Mallory`s, there`s something I want to talk to you
"Sounds good, give me two hours and I`ll see you there."
He put his hand to her cheek and kissed her, then went into the
Patrick was feeling immensely relieved, he`d been cooped up in
a shuttle for two days and was rediscovering the joys of standing
up and being able to straighten his spine. To make matters even
better he had just secured a date with the junior Lieutenant
working at the registration office, she wouldn`t be coming off duty
for a few hors yet so he decided to go over the events of the
mission for the detailed debriefing tomorrow.
One thing he couldn`t help but notice was how busy the station
was, there was a trade summit due to take place the next week and
all of Starfleets reserved quarters were full so he`d been booked
into a room in the commercial district of the base, above Sisko`s
Once he located his room he unpacked the few things he`d been
able to take from the Frontier; his flute, a change of clothing
and his Tolstoyan combat knife, a particularly vicious looking
weapon that appeared to have been designed for disembowelling
very large animals.
He changed into his own clothes and then neatly folded his
Frontier jumpsuit and placed it in the closest garbage disposal
unit. He examined his newly issued Starfleet uniform and placed
it with his things on the bed, it was too small, as usual.
The door slid open and Ruth walked into the room, "Hi," she said, "I just
registered and I thought I`d drop by."
Patrick sat down on the bed, "How was the trip?" he asked.
Ruth rolled her eyes, "It was dreadful, those shuttles were definately not
designed for more than short trips."
"You think you had it bad, I`ve recently discovered that being tall isn`t
all it`s cracked up to be. My back still hasn`t straightened up."
"Just as well I arrived when I did then." she said a wry smile on her lips,
she sat down on the bed beside him and began to rub his back.
Patrick flexed his huge shoulders and arched his back to produce a painful
sounding crack, "Oh man, I think I need to get out and stretch a little."
"Well wait for a while at least, if you try and do anything in this
condition you`ll probably do yourself an injury." she said trying to ease
"I`ve injured myself plenty of times before, it`s never bothered me that
"I meant a serious injury though."
Patrick laughed briefly, "I don`t know if it`s as obvious as it used to be
but my left shoulder was rather badly torn a while ago. It took about eight
hours of surgery to get it fixed again, and that wasn`t the worst time."
"I gather you have quite an interesting medical history then."
"It`s pretty monotonous actually, lots of muscle injuries and a fair bit of
cardio-vascular problems, basic stuff for a Tolstoyan. Having said that
I`ve also broken my arm seven times, had a fractured skull twice and I think
about four spine fractures."
Ruth was speechless for a few moments before asking, "What exactly did you
do before you joined Starfleet?"
"Not a hell of a lot really, I fancied myself as a bit of an athlete but
most of my injuries happened when I was a kid, out playing with my friends."
"I dread to think what you and your friends got up to."
Patrick shrugged, "just the usual stuff, we fought quite a lot, but that`s
only natural. Your average Tolstoyan boy can`t control his aggression
until he`s about fifteen, and only about eighty percent live that long
Ruth took a deep breath, "One in five, that`s not a terribly good fatality
"Well we`ve worked hard to make it that good, but lets talk about something
"Such as?" she asked.
"Tell me a bit about Betazed, I`ve never got around to visiting yet, but
I`ve heard that it`s a nice place."
"It`s a lot like Earth, but there`s much more forest and a lot less cities.
A lot of poets and writers have likened Betazed to heaven."
Patrick chuckled, "Now isn`t that a coincidence, the few people that
actually dare to visit Tolstoy tend to liken it to hell."
"I may visit there myself one day, it sounds like a fascinating place."
"I wouldn`t advise it. The amount of vaccinations you`d need is really
quite horrific, and if you go for the minimum protection there`s still a
forty percent chance that you`ll contract a fatal illness within five days.
Total protection isn`t possible because some of the necessary vaccines
react in the bloodstream with terminal results. Basically the only
person who spends any time at all on Tolstoy is a Tolstoyan."
"In that case I think I`ll just look at it from orbit."
"Well, make sure your ship has rad-shielding and you`ll be alright."
Ruth gaped, "And you`re telling me that people actually *live* on that
"The atmosphere filters out most of the radiation, and we`re built to
survive what gets through."
"How does a race manage to evolve on a planet like that?"
"According to our mythology, Yeustovilys Tolstoy decided to have children
against her fathers wishes and so she was banished from the stars to live as
a mortal on the most dangerous planet her father could conceive. But out
of either defiance or pure spite she and her children survived and made the
planet their home."
Ruth finished massaging Patrick`s back and moved around so that she was
sitting in front of him, "Do you remember that last conversation we had on
the Frontier?" she asked, fiddling with the top button of his shirt.
"You know, I don`t think I do, would you perchance refresh my memory?"
LATER THAT EVENING.
Angus walked into Mallory's and was immediately taken aback by it's sheer
size. he'd gotten used to pokey little 2-Backward on the Frontier but this
place made even Space Place at ALB seem like the bottom floor of a
McDonald's. He instinctively headed towards the far corner of the lounge,
there was a huge window set the whole length of one wall which offered a
splendid panorama of the various stars and nebulae visible from the base.
He felt somehow relieved to be back in his own Starfleet uniform again
instead of the uncomfortable Frontier jumpsuit he'd been wearing for the
past few weeks. He picked a menu off the table and as he scanned the
columns of dubiously titled cocktails he noticed Patrick entering the
lounge with the young lieutenant from registration, the two seemed to be
getting along very well and Angus contemplated drawing Patrick's attention
but remembered that he was here for some earnest discussions with Leana and
He'd recently got some news which could cause problems for their fledgling
relationship, so he decided that it would be more practical to talk to her
He only had to wait a couple of minutes before Leana arrived and came
straight towards the table he was sitting at. She too was wearing her
standard Starfleet uniform, she sat down and seemed to study him for a few
moments before saying, "So I meet you as an equal for the first time,
Angus sighed, "There's no need to rub it in."
Leana took his hand, "I'll tell you what, you sit here and sulk for a while
and I'll go and get us some drinks."
"Wait a minute, there's something I was wanting to say."
He hesitated and then shook his head, "It doesn't matter, I'll tell you
Then she stood up and headed towards the bar.
Angus sat back and took a deep breath, "Leana, I love you." He sighed, "That
wasn't so hard, so why can't I say it to her face."
Leana soon returned with the drinks and then she sat and looked expectantly
"What is it?" Angus eventually asked.
"You said you wanted to talk to me about something." she replied.
Angus frowned, "I did? Oh yeah, I did. Why don't we both request leave
before we get assigned? We could go to Earth, or Bajor for a while. I mean
so far most of the time we've spent together has been while we were on duty
and I realised that I don't know all that much about you."
Leana nodded approvingly, "That sounds like a good idea to me."
Angus raised his glass, "We can sort out the details tomorrow, but right
now, let's get drunk." and with that he swiftly downed his drink.
* Allan MacLennan *
* [Lt.] Angus Murray *
"Put your faith in God and keep your powder dry."