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Rhan K'hal

Old Quadrant, New Decisions

After walking through all of the public areas of DS9 at least ten times since their arrival, Rhan was getting restless. Engineers were still poking at the Excalibur's wounds to see if there was any point in salvaging the ship, so he could do nothing there. He'd offered to help out the DS9 staff, but was politely refused; apparently being one of the saviors of the wormhole did have some downsides, as the Bajorans wouldn't hear of putting him to work. Therefore he now had nothing to do but prowl the Promenade and corridors of the station, and contemplate.


The honorary reception, besides the speech from his "favorite" admiral, had been enjoyable enough. Getting borderline drunk on amazing ale and spending time with Maryse was quite enjoyable. Watching Ithene throw the kitchen (not to mention the sink) at Commander Admiran was amusing, especially as the Trill seemed more interested in the buffet.


He had of course been in touch with his parents in San Fransisco. Both were naturally quite happy he survived and proud of the honors he'd received. They also lent a sympathetic ear while he blasted abuse about Admiral Abronvonvich. Due to classification he couldn't give them many specifics about why he was so riled up (nevermind the fact that the mission had led to the discovery of the subspace bomb threat, it still didn't cancel out the fact that Abronvonvich had risked an entire starship and her crew for a personal rescue mission). In any case, Abronvonvich would not be getting any Christmas cards from the K'hals, nor any favors. Not yet knowing what the future would bring, he'd packed up his shiny new hardware and sent it along to his parents for safekeeping via a courier vessel that was heading back to the Sol system.


Rhan also had a chance to speak with his sister, who had just submitted her doctoral thesis to her mentor at Oxford and was pensively awaiting word whether she'd be getting her Ph.D. in archaeology. They traded stories (on Rhan's side at least the ones he could tell), caught up on more personal affairs and shared news of the latest scientific discoveries from each quadrant.


Unfortunately he had been unable to secure a live transmission to either Hakran or Mreh, as both were on missions on their respective ships. Mreh's ship, the Hippocrates, was one of the few hospital ships that hadn't been pulled to DS9 or Camelot for the refugee crisis, and was handling an outbreak of some new Tarkellian flu strain on the Gregarin Colony. Hakran's ship, the Copernicus, was well out on the frontier. Rhan therefore had composed messages to both.


Otherwise he had spent some time socializing, managing a couple of dinners with Maryse in DS9's crowded facilities, a rather hilarious run-through of a holo-novel with Ithene, and some general passing of time with his other friends.


He made sure of doing that because he didn't know what the future would bring. Even if they declared the Excalibur salvageable, it was no guarantee that the crew would stay together due to the amount of time it would take to get the ship ready for action. The senior staff especially might end up going their separate ways as Starfleet absolutely hated leaving good officers on the shelf for too long. The possibility made Rhan rather sad, as even as much as he'd hated the time in the Gamma Quadrant, he'd made good friends amongst the crew and came to trust them. Though he still got nervous any time Ithene was above him.


Tomorrow would be the big day, and while his itch to get back to work applauded it, the rest of him dreaded it. What would the verdict on the Excalibur be? What orders would Starfleet drop from on high? Even the lauded K'hal family network hadn't been able to shine any light on it, so Rhan was as much in the dark as the rest of his crewmates.


The question marks pushed K'hal to stalk through DS9 on yet another circuit of the station's corridors.

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