The Betrayal Chapter 51 snippet

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If Tina Brooks had a weakness, it was singing in the shower. Off-key as hell, she liked to sing to any and every song that came to her mind. The noise of her singing had become such an issue while aboard the Roanoke that she had installed a sound-blocking force field around her shower. This had managed to quiet the train of complaints that had flooded the Skipper’s office.

Unfortunately for the people on space dock, they had no such luxury. As the steam from her shower enveloped her, she was busy singing “Lady Marmalade” by the ancient earth performers ‘The LaBelles.’ Feeling free of the burden she had been under since arriving home, she had let herself go. Maybe, she mused, it would help her to clear her head over what it was about the Skipper that bothered her so.

“Hey sister, go sister, soul sister, go sister,” she sang. “He met Marmalade down in New Orleans, strutting her stuff on the street…”

The sound of the holovid in her living quarters interrupted her song. Damn it, she mused, couldn’t she even be able to take a shower without someone coming to her with a problem? The job that Beatty had assigned her was more of a full-time babysitting gig then it was a real job. Never before in her life had she seen so many people who needed to be watched over!

“Damn it,” she cursed as she stubbed a toe trying to step out of the water.

She reached over and grabbed her towel, using it to dry herself off. Since she could set the holovid to show just her head, she didn’t worry about dressing herself. Whoever had timed their call for when she was in the shower, she mused, deserved a special place in Hell. How was she supposed to have a life if she couldn’t even get a shower without being bothered?

“This had better be good,” she muttered as she activated the device.

A familiar face appeared on her screen, and she felt her breath hitch. She hadn’t heard from him in years, especially since he had retired, so why was he calling now? However, she mused, his calling her meant one thing: that something major was getting ready to happen that her expertise was needed for.
Otherwise, Reyes wouldn’t be on her screen right this second.

To say that Brooks wasn’t an engineer, but an Intelligence Agent would only be half true. Reyes had recruited her shortly after she had graduated from the Academy and added her to his ranks of deep-cover sleeper agents. As the years passed by, she came to realize that her combination of intelligence and training on the Fleet’s latest technology made her a perfect cover agent for him. So, without Fleet knowing anything about it, she had been reporting their new discoveries to him for years now.

Which certainly means he needs something from me that’s more tangible, she thought. Or we wouldn’t be having a conversation.

“Commander,” he said. “I trust you have been well?”

“As well as expected, sir,” she said. “Keeping the Skipper on the right course, and out of trouble was quite a challenge.”

“I imagine so,” he said with a chuckle. “Speaking of Captain Almir…that is why I have called.”

She felt her eyebrows rise in surprise as she took in what he said. No one had heard from Kate since she had left, she thought, and it was downright worrisome to her. After spending as much time with the Skipper as she had, for her to be out of contact this long was not in character for her. If something had happened to Kate, she didn’t know what she would do…

“Do you have any information on her?” she asked, the anxiety showing in her tone.

“She’s alive, Commander,” he said. “So you can relax-not much-but you can.”

“If I can’t relax, sir,” she said. “Where is she?”

Reyes spent the next several minutes bringing her up to speed over Kate’s trip to Haven. When he was finished, she felt the blood drain from her face. It would be difficult, she mused, at best to rescue her from that planet. A mission like that couldn’t be carried out by her alone either!

“Sir,” she said as she ran a hand through her sodden hair. “I’m going to need someone else with me.”

“I understand that completely, Commander,” he said. “Which is why I’m activating Commander Paul too.”

“Sir,” she said with a sigh. “Is that wise? While I need to help, Kate isn’t stupid! If she suspects us of working for you, she’s liable to kill us and go completely rogue.”

“It’s your job to make sure she never knows, Commander,” he said. “But I expect you and Paul to get to Necko at the earliest time possible and work on getting her out of there.”

“I understand, sir,” she said.

“Is everything ready for her return?”

“All we need is Lieutenant Loving and her,” she said, feeling sick on the stomach that she was going to have to lie to Kate again. Wasn’t it bad enough that he had stacked her entire command crew-sans Loving-with deep cover Intelligence agents? Did they have to keep manipulating her still?

“Just make sure they’re both there when they need to be,” he said. “Reyes out.”

Brooks sighed as she stood in the center of her room, her damp form growing colder. For long moments she stared at her desk before she turned and went back to finish her shower. This time, though, she didn’t feel like singing.
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