Obsidian Command

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The Transformation of a Life

Posted on 04 Mar 2024 @ 1:51pm by Brek - Timeless Treasures Art Gallery

Mission: M4 - Falling Out
Location: Alpha Quadrant - FenixCorps Mining Operation
Timeline: Backstory: Autumn 2380
1144 words - 2.3 OF Standard Post Measure

Time seemed to stand still for Brek, who was now entering his third month at FenixCorps. His new ambition, to attend Starfleet Academy and transform his life, consumed him to the point where he barely left his office. He even devised strategies to avoid Mrs Wilander and Spud; timing his meals when they were absent from the kitchen. This, he thought, was for the best since they weren’t too keen on his presence.

He had opted for a career in science, despite the fact that he didn’t care much for this field. Not that it mattered. The allure of a Starfleet officer’s lifestyle, replete with luxuries and abundant food, were the only things that counted. How he performed in his chosen field was secondary. After all, who cared if he remained an ensign at the age of 90? The only real challenge was to achieve enough success to earn that one coveted golden pip.

Besides, Brek had already committed two science textbooks to memory, so making a shift to another department at this stage in his studies seemed ill-advised. However, having absorbed extensive knowledge on microbiology, and more specifically parasitology, the thought of spending his entire life scrutinizing specimens under a microscope was daunting. He would merely be trading his current small enclosure, this office, for a larger one: a laboratory. The solitude might be more than he could bear.

Nonsense! With the promise of three wholesome meals a day, and the best technology available, I'm confident he could endure anything.

“Absolutely,” Brek said aloud. He then returned to his PaDD, immersing himself in further reading about the symbiotic relationship between parasites and their hosts. He fancied himself as the parasite in the macro-world, with Starfleet playing the role of the host. A fitting comparison, he thought.

Approximately thirty minutes later, his reading was disrupted by a loud knock at the door. Deeply absorbed in the intriguing realm of bacteria - organisms of remarkable simplicity and resilience - he chose to ignore the disturbance and returned his attention to his PaDD. Unfortunately five minutes later there was another knock. It was Mrs. Wilander, expressing concern for his well-being, because she hadn’t seen him in two weeks. Big deal! After all, whenever they spoke, she had a tendency to tell him to shut up.

“I’m fine!” He shouted. “I’m studying stuff.”

Who knew, for instance, that bioluminescent bacteria could create light show symphonies and that they used those lights to communicate with each other? Also, since the realm of scientific discoveries was ever-evolving, the prospect of discovering new specimens was thrilling. One day, he might even have the privilege of naming one species. The name ‘Photobacterium brekensis’, for instance, had a beautiful ring to his ears.

“I’m not sure what you call studying, Brek,” Mrs. Wilander continued, her tone laced with annoyance, “but Mr. Farik has been trying to reach you. Our boss is under the impression that you’ve been neglecting your duties. Last week’s accounts are still pending. He’s concerned about your health. Are you listening to me?”

Brek, who couldn’t care less, didn’t say a word.

“He also mentioned that if you’re ill, it could potentially jeopardize my health as well! I’m asking you for the final time, Brek. Open your door. I need to see you. If you refuse, I swear, I’ll get Spud involved…”

“By all that is precious!” Brek finally said. “You hewmons are so annoying. Can’t you let a Ferengi have a moment’s peace?” Rising to his feet with the self-assurance of a Grand Nagus, he swiftly opened the door and met Wilander’s gaze with a resolute expression.

Sad to say, his attitude had no effect on the human woman. She brushed past him and surveyed his office. It was a pitiful sight, sparsely furnished with mismatched pieces. A lone bed, adorned with a mustard-colored assortment of old pillows and blankets, dominated the room. The desk, situated on the other side, was equally diminutive and littered with PaDDs. Images of various Federation planets, including Earth, Andoria, Vulcan, and Tellar Prime, were pinned on the walls.

Wilander spun around and looked at him with suspicion. “What are you really up to in here?” She asked, her nose wrinkling. “There’s a peculiar smell.”

“I already told you. I’m studying.”

“Studying what, exactly?”

She picked up a PaDD from the bottom of a stack and skimmed a few lines about Cupriavidus metallidurans, an unusual bacterium that consumes metal compounds and excretes gold nuggets, more or less.

“Science, as you can see. I’m preparing for Starfleet Academy. I’m definitely going to join,” he declared with a sense of pride.

The woman merely frowned. “You don’t strike me as someone who has a knack for science.”

“Regardless, I’m acquiring a wealth of crucial knowledge, and I’d like to continue, if you don’t mind.”

“Actually, I do mind,” she added, glancing at him and pursing her lips in displeasure. “You look unwell. I’ve prepared a snail hash for you, perfectly braised. It’ll strengthen you. Once you’ve finished eating, you can work on Mr. Farik’s accounts. Now, come along, we have wasted enough time.”

Once they stepped into the corridor, characterized by dim lighting, peeling paint, and cracked concrete - clear signs of a facility where latinum had been sparingly used, Wilander resumed her conversation. Her voice taking on an authoritative tone, “What about the ethics of Starfleet? The Prime Directive, non-violence, and diplomacy, to mention but a few. How extensively have you studied these?”

“The prime… what?”

She let out a sigh. “Without a fundamental respect for ethical principles, you won’t be able to join the Fleet. I can help you with that, by lending you a book called ‘The history of the United Federation of Planets’. If you read it carefully, it will make a decent Federation citizen of you. But first, you must promise me to never disappoint Mr Farik. You have no idea how dangerous that is. For you, and for me too.”

Brek shrugged. “Sure, I’ll manage his accounts. The fact you have this book, though. does it mean you once belonged to the Fleet?””

Wilander chose not to respond, prompting Brek to add, “Your silence is quite telling.”

“Respect, empathy, and responsible conduct, Brek. These are the three pillars you’ll need to survive more than a couple of days in the Fleet. Are you confident you can memorize these values?”

“No problem there. We Ferengi don’t just survive, we flourish. Are you, by any chance, available for private tutoring?”

“"Are you trying to set a new record for pushing your luck, Brek?"

“Of course not.”

“Then I suggest you leave my past alone.”


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