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Chapter 4 - Obligations

by Bud Walker

Walker made his way through the corridors of the ship, heading back to his quarters. He was scheduled to be on the bridge within the hour, and after his disastrous lunch with T’Ploth, he needed to change uniform shirts. As he rounded a bend, Walker suddenly had the eerie feeling that he was being followed. He glanced quickly over his shoulder but only saw the normal coming and going of other crew members behind him. Walker shrugged and dismissed the feeling as residual paranoia on his part.

 

Walker stepped through the doors to his quarters and his eye caught the indicator light on his desk console. Curious, he sat in front of the console and pressed the activation button. The screen illuminated and displayed a message in the standard StarFleet font, “Secure Communication Request. Gamma level encryption.” Walker swallowed hard as he immediately knew who the message must be from. Remembering the decryption code that he had been given, Walker typed in “CPE 1704 TKS.” The screen remained blank for several minutes, presumably while the other party was notified that Walker was ready to talk. Then the face of an Asian human male appeared on the console screen.

 

“Hello Bud.”

 

Walker just nodded.

 

“Just to let you know, we have arranged for your promotion to full Commander. Your CO, Admiral Smith, should be informing you shortly. Try to act surprised.”

 

Walker replied, “But I just got promoted! Half the crew doesn’t even know that I am a Lieutenant Commander yet.”

 

“Nevertheless, to be of any use to us, we need you to be at least the rank of Commander.”

 

Walker remained silent for a moment. Then he mumbled, “One of my crewmates figured out that I am from the Mirror universe ….”

 

“Dammit Bud! You need to be much less sloppy! Is your cover blown?”

 

“No. She is a friend and said she would keep my secret.”

 

“What does she know?”

 

Walker answered, “Just that I am from the Mirror universe, not much else. I told her that I am a refugee, which is true of course. But I also told her that it was Starfleet Intelligence that placed me on the Heimdal, so I am sure she will keep quiet.”

 

The man on the console considered for a moment, then spoke.

 

“Ok, I think we are good then. But you better be more careful from now on! We got you out of your universe, we can always send you back!”

 

Walker swallowed hard and said, “Yes, I know …..”

 

“You better remember, you owe us everything. If it wasn’t for Section 31 …. You would be a dead man!”

 

Without waiting for a reply, the other man deactivated the connection, and the screen went blank. Walker stared at the blank screen for a long time, lost in his thoughts.

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