Beware The Jabberwock

This section of Smoke & Mirrors features the following NPCs:
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fain01.jpg - Fain
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KerrinSig.png
TorrikSiggySM.png
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::IAS Hawking ::
:: Munro Lab ::

Jill sat with her back pressed up against a cold and clammy surgical steel wall of the morgue. A tear traced its icy path down the side of her face, but she was beyond the ability to care. Her head throbbed and her body was aching from the Felicium leaving her body. She closed her eyes for only a moment when a voice drifted into the room. She opened her swollen eyes, "Hello?" she croaked. Silence. She clumsly stood up and looked around the room. Only dead bodies and herself.

"Jill…are you there?" It was her brother's voice. She turned around and saw him lying on the floor, he was struggling to get up, "I c-can't see…I..I think they took my eyes…"

It came back in a flash, the weapons glinting in the firelight, the rows upon rows of prisoner vehicles. Her eyes already raw from crying began to well with tears once again as she thought of her home and the burning shambles it had become. Images of her home began flashing in her mind…the river filled with bodies, kids being ripped from the hands of their parents, the cries of men as they were beat down to the ground. She stood staring at the boy lying on the floor, his hollow eyes reaching up to her - begging for help.

"No! You're not here!" She screamed at the floor. Only her echoe answered. Was he dead? She threw herself beside him and craddled his head in her hands. His head rolled to face her own, but it wasn't him anymore…it was Torrik Nils.

She woke with a start. The room was once again empty. It had only been a dream. Rubbing her eyes softly she slipped the empty Felicium hypospray into her pocket and pulled herself up off the floor. She had no idea why…but she had to see Harry Finn.

:: 10 minutes later ::
:: IAS Hawking Brig ::

"Doctor Munro", the Bajoran officer said in surprise, "I wasn't expecting you." He couldn't help but look down at the medical kit she was holding.

Jill gave a curt nod, "Harry Finn requires medical attention. I must see to him at once."

Unusual, crewman Arras thought to himself, "Ma'me, wouldn't you rather one of your assistant take a look…"

"No," She said abruptly. She motioned towards Harry Finn's cell, "If you don't mind."

The crewman shook of his confusion, "Yes, yes of course. Would you like me to escort you?"

"You can wait here. I'll call if I need you."

Jill paused in front of Harry's cell and waitied for the forcefield to deactivate. She sighed a breath of relief when she saw him sleeping. She was anticipating a hostile greeting. As the forcefield powered down, she stepped inside and immediately saw the little pools of blood underneath the bench he slept on. Without wasting another moment, she flipped open her tricorder and began scanning his punctured body. Multiple lacerations…internal bleeding…deep tissue bruising…all because of me I did this, she thought to herself. Her mind wandered back to the dream she had just had. The pain the Alliance had inflicted on her and her family. She knew nothing would make up for the horrors she had made so many endure, and she had accepted a long time ago that this was the life she had to live. She had accepted that she was a monster. This was her destiny in this universe. She looked down at Harry Finn, still sleeping.

"But this is not your universe, Harry Finn. Dying here is not your destiny." She aimed the High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound at the organ that was bleeding to death within his body, causing biological tissue to shrink and fuse together. It was then that he began to wake up…

Originally Posted 10/21/08 by Jillian Munro


Harry pulled himself to the familiar plateau in the damp autumn forest, knowing where he was going and what he was going to see when he got there and, for all that it was about the last thing he cared to view, he couldn’t make himself turn around and go back.

Moments later he stood at the entrance to the cavern, his shadow blending with the twilight dapples of a rainy November afternoon so that, in the end, it was just one more layer of darkness cast over the image of the nine-year old boy and what remained of his father.

He didn’t look up as yet one more shadow joined the mix over the young, so young, Harry Finn.

“You’ve been trying to make things right, ever since that day,” Jack Finn said, as he joined his son, whom he’d not lived to see become a man.

Harry watched himself pick up the fedora Dad had always worn and run it through his small, grubby hands, “Is that a bad thing?”

Jack smiled, “No, no… it’s just… it’s not what I would have wished for you, is all.”

Staring at the murdered shell of Jack laying on the ground, Harry nodded, “Same goes.”

“Thing is,” Jack continued, as they watched the child’s hand reach out to pat the lifeless husk, “the thing is, you’ve been doing it so long… trying so hard to fix a broken universe… maybe,” he finally looked at the grown Harry next to him, “maybe it’s time to give yourself a break… let someone else do the heavy lifting.” When that got no response, Jack tried the more direct route, “Harry, save yourself the pain. You already gave them what they want, just let it go. Stay… here. Stay with me… enjoy some peace, for a change.”

“You’d never say that,” Harry turned away from his ancient grief to confront the shadow of a ghost, “Jack Finn would never have said that,” and so he continued to turn, away from the false father and the dead father and the boy he’d been and towards the pain of living from which this dream had meant to remove him. But then, Jack Finn’s echo grabbed hold of his arm and, while Harry watched, the face of his father began to melt, hard weatherworn lines shifting and merging to create someone else… a stranger… but not.

Harry, frozen, stared at the Devanagari man who’s sword had driven Finn into the grasp of the Orb and its first, fledgling, portal. The Devanagari who was again, as he’d been then, being subsumed by a tactile darkness for which Harry had no name.

“It matters not,” the writhing figure told him with an oily black grin, “they will have you all, in the end.”

In response, Harry raised his fist to drive it into the nightmare’s face, “Not if I can help it…” but then it changed again, softening into more feminine lines… lines of a face he knew… but not.

“Dying here is not your destiny."

“Doesn’t matter,” he could barely hear his own voice, though he could feel that Munro had prevented the death his father’s image had been calling him to. “Nothing matters…” he closed his eyes against the face of his failure… the one for whom he’d, all unknowing, betrayed his crew. Not if I can help it…

He opened his eyes again, saw her watching him with a curious expression, “When it’s over… tell Wendy I’m sorry.”

Jill leaned closer, frowning. There’d been no Wendy on the manifest Finn had supplied. “Who? Harry… there is no…”

Even after the repairs he was weak from the loss of blood. “Wendy… s’Kerrin… Schaeffer… nickname for, for Kerrin… always looking for Neverland…” Finn allowed his voice to dwindle as his eyes went unfocused. “Don’t… forget…”

But, before the doctor could process this new crumb of information, or respond to his request, Arras lowered the cell’s barrier once more. “I’m afraid you’ll have to leave him now, doctor; the prisoner is… required elsewhere.”

“But, he’s under my…”

=/\=Malkat to Munro, please report to Transporter 1. We’re going on a… mining expedition.=/\=

Harry remained still as the doctor rose uncertainly. It sounded like his message might be delivered sooner than he'd expected and, though he wasn't much a one for hope, he hoped these words would reach their destination soon enough.

Featuring a cameo by Jill Munro
Originally Posted 10/22/08 by Harry Finn


Emily felt like a complete idiot. She'd been less than accepting of her assignment and made quite a fool out of herself in front of her fellow security members. She could still feel the blush rising to her cheeks as she realized her verbal babblings had come out instead of staying inside. As humbly and silently as she could she'd left and headed in the direction of the transporter room.

Why was she so …annoyed? She wondered to herself quietly. She'd dealt with parallel dimensions, weird happenings and such before. She'd experienced moments in which people turned invisible, when time unravelled before her eyes and for a few terrifying hours of having been stuck in a twentieth century war camp. She'd survived each place and yet knowing that there was another version of her seemed to creep Emily out far greater than anything else she'd ever experienced.

She arrived in the transporter room and asked if her assignment had arrived. Luckily he hadn't and with a straightening of her shoulders she decided to change her attitude and get her job done properly.

Originally Posted 10/22/08 by Emily Star


:: USS Hawking ::
:: Captain’s Quarters ::

There were very few moments for a starship Captain to relax. A case could be made that there were none. Despite the fact that Nils was officially off duty, and even though he’d forced himself to put down the PADDs and stop obsessing about the history of the mirror universe for five minutes, his mind still twisted and turned their current situation around and around ad infinitum. Personally it was a mess. Professionally it was a mess. Politically it was a mess. He wondered if a ‘correct’ next step even existed.

The door chime brought a sudden sense of relief from the mental maze he found himself struggling through. Throwing on one of his uniform undershirts, he crossed and palmed the panel to open the door.

“Sir,” the acolyte said warmly. “I thought perhaps I could have a word?”

It took a second for Nils to register the scenario and still a second longer for him to acknowledge the security crewman standing over Torrik Jachin’s shoulder.

“Lt. Tenanji thought it best he be escorted around the ship,” Crewman T’Thianco said dutifully.

“Indeed,” Nils answered. “I’ll take it from here, crewman.”

“Aye sir,” Shrell said, then nodded to both Torriks and moved off down the corridor.

“I hope I’m not catching you at a bad time?” Jachin’s expression was sincere. Nils still questioned his motives, however.

“There really isn’t ever a good time,” the young CO offered coolly. “I’m not sure… What can I do for you Torrik?” It was strange to offer his family name to a virtual stranger, despite the physical similarities between them.

“I am nameless… You can call me acolyte, if you wouldn’t mind.” With hands clasped behind his back, the younger Bajoran was the picture of manners and decorum. “Your Security Chief said I could stay aboard… With the obvious addition of some supervision,” the young man added, gesturing down the all to the departing Andorian.

“Yes well…” Nils took Tenanji’s allowance as a sign that the added security measures were already in place. So that was good at least.

There was an awkward silence as the cross-dimensional brothers stared at each other, each waiting for the other to make a move. “Maybe I could… Give you a tour of the ship,” Nils begrudgingly offered. It seemed the better option to inviting the uninvited guest in his quarters.

“That would be pleasant,” the acolyte said with a smile. “I would appreciate anytime you have to offer for your servant.”

Nils gave the enigmatic younger Bajoran a strange look before finally crossing the threshold of his quarters to begin the obligatory tour. “You’re not my servant,” he said, unable to withhold a smile. “In fact,” he added remembering his diplomacy, “you’re a guest aboard our ship. If anything… I’m here to serve you.”

The acolyte looked suddenly stricken but wiped the expression quickly from his face. “I’m…very honored…sir.”

“And you can call me, Nils. I do have a name and it’s appropriate for you to use it. So…” He nodded unsure of what to say next. “What would you like to see first?”

“Well…something that we don’t have on our Hawking, maybe? I would imagine our ships are quite similar.” The Nameless One’s tone seemed to soften as the moved slowly down the corridor. His air of formality dwindled in response to the Captain’s apparent discomfort with it.

“Holodeck?” It was the first thing that came to mind. It always seemed of interest to non-Federation types and made a good first impression.

“I’m sorry?” The Nameless looked puzzled.

“You don’t have a holodeck, then? Come on…” Despite how very unnatural the whole situation was, Nils couldn’t help but fall into a very natural rhythm with the young man.

A few minutes later, they arrived at the entrance to their holodeck. But the acolyte appeared uneasy at their arrival. His expression and tone both turned anxious and uncomfortable. “What is this? This is your holodeck? We have…something else here…”

“You’ll like it… Computer, initiate program Torrik Delta Two,” he said just as the doors cracked and groaned open. The ancient city of B’hala spread out before them. The architecture was pristine and new, and many people bustled through the holy city.

Nils watched as the Nameless’ face lit up. The artificial sun lit his eyes and he gasped a little. “Amazing… We…our holographic interface… What is this?”

“This is B’hala!” Hawking’s CO strode confidently into the midst of the city. The Bantaca Spire reached towards the blue sky just ahead of them. “Well… It’s B’hala like it used to be, over twenty thousand years ago. Or at least my best guess. I programmed it myself based on legend and a few fragmented texts. Your people don’t have a ‘B’hala’?”

“If we do, I haven’t heard of it,” the younger man said, still gazing up in awe.

“B’hala was lost to history, but at its prime it was the center of our culture. The Prophets had a strong presence there… You don’t have a holy city where the Prophets made some important ‘communion’ with your people?” Nils wondered how closely the history of his Bajor mirrored the history of his guest.

“We have a holy city. But we are not permitted to speak its name. It is in fact in reverence of the city that the acolytes of the High Priest offer their names up as sacrifice.” The young Bajoran seemed momentarily melancholy. “It is nothing like this though… And our Prophets…or… Ascended don’t appreciate this sort of thing,” he commented as he waved his hand about the city. “They are driven by…different things.”

“Oh,” replied Nils. “That sounds…ominous.” He smiled easily at his little brother… No! At the mirror representation of his younger brother. The Captain had to remind himself that this was not Jachin. “And you call them the Ascended, right?”

“Yes…the Ascended…”

“Well… As long as they walk with you, then I suppose a name is not important. Their light is for any who would like to follow,” Nils said waxing philosophical for a moment. He was probing a little as well.

“Their light?” The acolyte seemed a little confused but then shrugged it off. “Yes…their light… Their fire…” His next question came fast and without warning. And though Nils had similar questions to ask the young man, he’d wanted to wait until later. “What are our parents like?”

The acolyte’s eyes were wide and filled with wonder…just like Torrik Jachin’s…

Featuring NPC Torrik Jachin
Originally Posted 10/22/08 by Torrik Nils


Corridors of the USS Hawking

T’Shaini was beginning to wonder if the incessant yapping of this thing in security gold would ever cease. It was difficult to think in her presence, no amount of monosyllabic answers seemed to sway her from the misguided view that T’Shaini was in the least bit interested in her counterparts manners, how stifling it was in security or anything about some person named Kal-El. If she does not shut up soon I will have to kill either her or myself.

Initially she had no intention of searching for Caterina Costala, no matter how much Seth wanted her too. It was too difficult. But the Vulcan found that she thought much better while she walked and since there was little enough space in the quarters she had been given she had chosen to be guided through the ship by a member of their security team. Comparing this…Darby to even the least of the security force that she served on made T’Shaini assume that either nothing of note ever happened on this Hawking, or that they possessed some ‘hire the mentally challenged’ program to integrate lesser beings into society. Neither prospect reflected well on this universe. Or did it?

Was it worth it? Was it worth risking everything to aid people she did not even know? Would it be worth sacrificing her hard won equilibrium to bring the missing piece of Caterina into Anderson’s puzzle? A frown creased her brow as the high-pitched yipping of the human faded into the background. If she were honest with herself (and in the privacy of her thoughts she always was) she knew there was nothing left here for her here, Harry had made that very clear in their last meeting. Was it simply the fear of initiating the renewed pain of loss that held her motionless? And what of him? What of Javier? Her own had died in attempting to rescue her and her crewmates, could she do less? Could her actions make it possible for Javier to exist in another place and time? She halted so abruptly that Darby bounced off her back and almost lost her footing.

“Whoa! What’s up?”

“Can you take me to my crewmate, Caterina Costala?”

Originally Posted 10/22/08 by T'Shaini


USS Hawking
Transporter Room

“I’ll wait with you until your escort shows up,” Thorne told her counterpart as they waited for the rest of the exchange group. It was beginning to get crowded as the security officers that would be accompanying the IAS Hawking’s crew piled into the room. “I think you and whoever you’ll be with pulled Fehr or Rah’k…or maybe it was someone else, I can't remember.”

“Rah’k,” her counterpart repeated in interest. “Klingon?”

Thorne nodded. The engineer looked at the doctor, and raised an eyebrow, “Is he…seeing someone here?”

“I don’t know,” Tatiana responded. She looked at the other woman in confusion, “Why?”

The woman looked at Tatiana unapologetically, “I’ve never been with a Klingon, I’m curious.”

Thorne narrowed her eyes, “Aren’t you married?”

Tatiana laughed, “If you think that stops me from having who I want, you are sadly mistaken.” She frowned at the expression on her mirror’s face, “Don’t judge. He does the same thing to me; he just feels that he’s justified and I’m not.”

“I don’t-” the doctor cut her sentence short when she noticed the security personnel enter the Transporter Room. “Your security escort is here,” she said and pointed her chin in the group’s direction. “I’ll be in Sickbay if you need anything.” She patted her mirror’s shoulder and maneuvered herself through the crowd to the exit.

Tatiana Getty watched as the group filtered into the room. The Klingon caught her attention, and she tried to quietly will him towards her. Her grin fell when at the last moment the Klingon took stood close to the transporter pad. She was left alone with the disappointing human that had been selected to follow her and her mystery partner around.

“So, what’s your name? I don’t recognize you from my Hawking.”

“Rintala.”

The woman reached her hand out and grasped the man’s hand. He was average height, but the muscles that were outlined through the uniform overshadowed the uneven height. He stood in front of her and stared down at her quietly. Tatiana’s skin crawled as she noticed his eyes roaming over her body. He smiled lecherously, “I’ve always wanted to get to know you.”

She didn’t answer, but silently prayed that the rest of the IAS visiting members would arrive. If she focused on the events at hand, perhaps her escort would too.

“Tatiana!”

Her hand fell back to her side. She turned to face the transporter pad to see Luke standing there with the rest of the exchange group. His ever never ending glare was plastered on his face as he stalked towards her. The Chief Petty Officer’s smile never left his face as he ignored, or genuinely didn’t hear the approaching IAS member.

Rintala finally noticed the man that was glowering at him fiercely, “You’re with her Getty?”

“Yes,” he answered and pointed at Tatiana. “I would appreciate it if you'd stop staring at my wife.”

Rintala’s smiled dimmed, but it didn’t disappear. He held out his hand to Luke, “Chief Petty Officer Frank Rintala, I’ll be with you two today. Let’s get out of here.”

He led the way out, and the Gettys followed. Tatiana leaned over and nudged Luke, “This has to be the only time I’ve been glad you’re a jealous ass.”

“Hmm, that’s nice,” he responded absently. His mind was already forming a solution that would fix the problem his being on the USS caused.

Featuring Tatianas Thorne & Getty, Frank Rintala, and Luke Getty
Originally Posted 10/22/08 by Tatiana Thorne


.:: IAS Hawking : Science Lab ::.

The room was dark, only one light shining through the darkness, aimed on the occupied desk of the Chief of Science. Vincent was sitting alone, staring at a picture, thinking about what had happened just hours before.

He had met his counterpart of this universe, and was shocked to see just what kind of person he was in this place. The excitment, and happiness that he saw come from the man as they sat there and talked, then the cold sterness that he himself had displayed. He leaned back in his seat, and as he did the doors to the lab hissed open. He leaned forward again, looking to the door.

" I'm busy in here, and would much like to be left alone. If you honor what little life has offered you, then leave now." He said to the lingering dark figure standing just inside the door.

His words seemed almost unheard as the person continued to walk towards him, and he spoke again.

" Did you not understand what I just said? I am the Chief of this department and you will do as you are told in this room," He stood up," I will use excessive force if need…."

" You will do no such thing, scum!" The man cut him off," Now what are you doing in here all by you measly little self?"

Vince bowed his head, the tone in his voice changing," I am sorry brother, I wasn't aware of the fact that you were onboard the Hawking. I'm just going over some research, nothing that concerns you."

The man laughed, then back slapped Vincent," Youknow better than to speack to me like that. What if father ever heard such a thing come out of your mouth? I believe that somthing far worse would happen to you besides the additude adjustment that you just recieved."

Vincent wiped his mouth, looking for blood. Not seeing or tasting anything he looked back up at the man," I'm sorry Fain, I guess I had forgotten my place for a moment, but my research is my own, even father said as much." He sat back down in his chair, wiping his lip again," What would it matter to you anyway?"

Fain stepped forward, putting his foot on the arm of Vincent's chair," Ibelieve you just forgot your place again, Brother!" He kicked the chair, sending Vincent to the floor, then stepped towards him, placing his foot on Vincent's chest," Anything that pertains to you is my buisness, I am your older brother, and the one that father placed to be your, how do I put this, your babysitter. So? What are you researching?"

Vincent stared up at his brother," I'm researching the behaviors of the humans in this universe. I recorded several conversations that were going on in the room while we were on the USS Hawking, and I'm breaking it down to try and distingwish the different personalities of each person that seem of importance, to find weaknesses we can exploit, then you rudely interupted me, as you usually do," Vincent knocked Fain's foot off his chest, starting to stand up.

" Vincent, Vincent, Vincent…… Why do you lie to me?" Fain turned towards his brother, placing a solid fist across his jaw, sending him back to the floor. He walked over to where Vincent had landed, then kicked him in his gut, pushing him across the floor," You think that for some reason there could be a chance that you could have what they have, or lack there of. You honestly believe that you could be somthing in this universe, that you could be happy. You are……"

Fain was cut off as Vince launched himself off the floor, spearing him, and taking him to the ground, punching him in the face several times, then slammed his head against the deck floor.

As Vincent returned to his feet, he looked down towards his now dissarrayed brother," You really have no place in knowing my intensions, but have it your way. Once I have told you this, you become part of it, and therefore you'll be obligated to assist me."

Fain sat up, rubbing his jaw, then the back of his head," Well, you still know how to take a punch, then give it back, better than most humans," He stood up, staring down Vincent," So, enlighten me…."

" What is onething that our father had plugged into our heads for as long as we have been alive?" Vince gestured towards the picture on the desk.

" Hmm….", Fain glanced at the picture, then grinned," 'Power is not granted, it is taken by those who want it, deserve it!', what are you planning brother?"

Vince gestured Fain away from the desk, then took a seat," I've been analizing the emotional effects of meeting the USS Hawking crew, on our crew, if they choose to show it," Fain glanced at the now turned on computer screen, listening to Vincent," I want this ship, and I want to take it at the most oppurtune time, and this incursion has seemed to be the start of what lies ahead."

" Brilliant, I didn't think you had this sort of treachery in you, being human and all," Fain stepped away, then turned back towards Vincent," But, Bayal, and Torrik could see this coming, and there lies a problem in itself."

Vincent grinned at the comment," But, with them being distracted by the other Hawking, I may just be able to use certain things to my advantage, such as people that hate them."

Fain laughed," Very nice brother, living up to the family name quite nicely, but if they catch any foul winds from you, they may just kill you, and that gets nowhere, and how do emotions play on this?"

" The way they react to their counterparts, or counterparts to one's they have lost will play a key role, give us somthing useful to distract them. Ofcourse, if they are uneffected by those encounters, then we would need to attack them in another way, but I still need to analyze the data I have gathered." Vince pulled up another screen, showing the conversations he recorded.

Fain grinned," Well what can I do to help out?"

Vincent looked over at him," For starters you can refrrain from our usual demenor, and not hit me so hard next time."

" It was all in fun, you know that. You hit me just as hard too you know," Fain rubbed his jaw again, smiling.

" You have a point, but all you need to do is try and keep everyone completly away from me. I don't need any suspisions this early. I still need time to find the weaknesses each person is displaying, then I'll act on them, and you can help ofcourse." Vincent closed the computers down," I'll continue to be the obedient person that I have been for now, but soon things will change….."

" That they will, brother, that they will," Fain gave Vincent a firm slap on the back the walked towards the door," A ship of our own, Father will be so proud………."

As the doors hissed shut behind Fain, Vincent sat in his chair, smiling as he thought to himself…….

This was a post with Vincent and his Cardassian Step-Brother, Fain
Originally Posted 10/22/08 by Vince Stryfe


USS Hawking
Corridor - Deck 14

“Did you hear that Dramm Pal has an appointment with the XO?” B’Naath was saying as he and Zal Govan made for the Security training room.

“Missed that… but I did have the strangest conversation with Star,” Zal shook his head, remembering, “She was actively shocked to be assigned to the IAS detail.”

“Probably thinks you cooked the roster to avoid playing nursemaid to the visitors,” B’Naath replied.

“Mmm, yes… always pleasant to be ordered off an assignment because your evil twin is part of the delegation.”

“You don’t know he’s evil though… do you?” The Caitian’s tail twitched his curiosity.

Zal didn’t respond immediately. He was too busy thinking that, if the mirror Zal had kept his father’s name then the shuttle to hell had a space reserved for the son of Zyr Malkat.

“Zal?”

“No,” the Cardassian said through a tense jaw, “I don’t… know that he’s evil.” Seeing another uniform headed their way he nodded a greeting, thankful for the distraction, “Anderson… good to see you on the deck.”

“Petty Officer’s,” the young woman greeted the two, flipping her training daggers into a passive grip. “Just keeping up with the basic training. I was thinking… hoping… once this weirdness is over, to speak to LT about being shifted back to the department.”

Noting there was a slight shadow in her eyes but respecting her privacy, Govan tilted his head in understanding, “That will be welcome. Certainly it was good to have you in the torpedo bay during the Beradi engagement.”

Jenny’s eyes warmed a bit at the acknowledgement, “I hope the lieutenant agrees,” was all she said, though.

“I will be certain to back you up,” the Cardassian said, “but you must promise me one thing.”

“What’s that?” she asked, wary of being dragooned into weapons detail for the next six shift changes.

“Please find a better class of jokes to get you through a crisis,” Zal told her, ignoring B’Naath’s hiss of amusement. “The thing with the duck… I think I may be scarred for life.”

Jenny smiled at the two and this time it almost reached her eyes. “I’ll work on that. Have to run now… there are still reports that need filing.”

“Go to,” B’Naath said, purring as the young woman raced towards the turbolift. “It will be a relief to have Anderson back where she belongs.”

Govan turned back towards the training room, “Indeed. If only to compensate for the existence of Saunders.”

As they entered the holographic training area B’Naath’s tail twitched in frustration, “Damn! We should have asked Anderson what Finn wanted to see Crewman Pal about.”

Zal rolled his eyes at his friend, “Have you never heard the Terran saying about felines and curiosity?”

“That it grants them nine lives?”

The other man sighed, “Something like that.”

Post Featuring Security NPC's Zal Govan, B'Naath and Jenny Anderson
Originally Posted 10/22/08 by Harry Finn


:: IAS Hawking ::
:: The Brig ::

But, before the doctor could process this new crumb of information, or respond to his request, Arras lowered the cell’s barrier once more. “I’m afraid you’ll have to leave him now, doctor; the prisoner is… required elsewhere.”

“But, he’s under my…”

=/\=Malkat to Munro, please report to Transporter 1. We’re going on a… mining expedition.=/\=

Jill released a frustrated sigh, =/\= On my way, Sir =/\=

She knew there was no use arguing with Malkat but she was curious about where Finn was being sent, "Arras, where is he being taken?" She asked assertively.

The Bajoran looked uncomfortable, "I don't believe it's my place to say, ma'am," he began…

"Of course it is," she spat, "He is my patient and I want to know where the hell he's being taken. What if I need to see him? How will I know where he is?" She took a few steps closer to Arras, "You've seen what I can do when I want something. Don't try my patience." She hissed.

He certainly had… he'd seen, for instance, how she'd only recently worked over the man she was now calling her 'patient'. Fragging politics. Crayn would never have believed he'd have to take this from a Human. "Ma'am… your patient has been determined to be obsolete. Thanks to you, he's done what was needed and now…" he spared a glance for the man in the cell, "now he belongs to his holiness."

Holiness."The only thing holy about that man is the hole he's putting himself in," Jill quickly bit her tongue and took a deep breath, "If this man dies, he will be of no use to his holiness. Give me a few minutes to check him over." She paused, "Please."

From where he lay, feeling not unlike a well-rung dishrag, Harry watched Kenny the guard internally raise and discard several objections. Finally, the Bajoran shrugged, "He's as good as dead, anyway," Arras said, "if you want to make sure it takes longer…" then he stood aside and, again, the ghost of Jillian approached the Human mess she'd made.

"Why?" he asked, as she came close enough to hear.

Jill kneeled down beside him and began rummaging through her medkit. She hardly understood what was going on herself, "I don't know", was all she could say.

Looking at the eyes which now were neither cool nor distant, he began to realize something. Probably, she wouldn't welcome his opinion but, from what the guard had said, this was probably the last time he'd ever see her so, what the hell? "I think I do," he whispered.

She stopped what she was doing and looked the man in the eyes. After all she had done to him…could he really understand why she wanted to help him? She leaned in closer and whispered, "I am being sent to the USS Hawking," she looked over her shoulder to make sure Arras was not in earshot, "I'll find Kerrin Schaeffer and let her know you asked for her…for Wendy," she added. She had no idea if this would make him feel better, but it was the least she could do.

"They're worth it," he said, sensing that time was running out, that she was moving away, "you'll see… they're worth dying for…"

She had no idea who he was talking about, but she couldn't expect him to be coherent. Not after what she had done to him, "I'm going to give you a time released pain killer. I have no idea what Torrik Nils wants from you but just in case."

"K… thanks," he felt the drift coming on, again, "welcome back," he added before the grey took over, once more.

"Time is up."

Jill looked up at Arras who was standing at the cell entrance and nodded, "I'm done." She stuffed everything back into her medkit and took one last look at Harry Finn, "Goodbye Lieutenant Finn." And with that she picked up her medkit and started for the transporter room.

JP with Harry Finn
Originally Posted 10/22/08 by Jillian Munro


USS Hawking
Deck 14 - Office, ComSecOps

“You wanted to see me, LT?” CPO Frank Rintala had been relieved for lunch by Gran, with the stricture to report directly to Tenanji, do not pass Go, do not collect 200,000 credits.

Tenanji looked up from the PADD he was studying. “Rintala, yes.” He rose, rather than asking the Chief Petty Officer to sit. “I had a report from Transporter Chief Lottz that, in greeting the crew of the IAS to whom you were assigned, you behaved in a manner unbecoming a member of the ‘Fleet.” That wasn’t actually how Lottz had described the episode… what Lottz had said was that if Frank Rintala had been performing in one of the porn vids rumored to be circulating through the Hawking ranks, he’d have been boo’d off the screen for overacting.

“Sir, I was only trying to make the lady wel…”

“Stow it,” Usher snapped, uncharacteristically rude. “You have, in the course of two minutes, managed to disgrace the uniform and jeopardize an already precarious diplomatic relationship. Were we not understaffed in the extreme, you would walk out of this office and straight to the brig.” As it stood, with Jereen in hibernation, Darvin on the away team, Fehr on light duty pending medical clearance and Anderson re-assed to the XO, he had to use every available body. “Since we are, you will return to your assigned visitors, finish out the shift without incident and count yourself lucky with a demotion to Petty Officer 1st Class and a mark on the record…”

Frank’s jaw had dropped halfway through the lieutenant’s statement. “For what?” he protested, “All I did was admire…”

“I’ve seen that sort of admiration, before,” Tenanji interrupted. “It generally leads to a court martial and the sudden, shocking realization that ‘no’ actually means ‘no’. One more infraction,” he added as the newly-demoted crew member seethed, “and it won’t matter to me if I have to dragoon the bar staff to make up my numbers… you will see the inside of a cell.” Tenanji held out his hand, “Petty Officer… your collar.”

Frank slowly reached up and removed his rank tab, which he then placed in his superior’s waiting palm.

“Your new bars will be waiting in the main office,” Tenanji told him, “Dismissed.”

Frank spun and strode out of the room and Usher, once the door had closed, counted to fifty before he felt calm enough to contact Ellison with the request to keep a weather eye on Frank Rintala.

Featuring NPC Frank (he sure stepped in it) Rintala and Usher Tenanji
Originally Posted 10/22/08 by Harry Finn


::USS Hawking::
::XO's Office::

Having sent Jenny off on another errand, Harry now waited, eyes on the port, for whatever information Dr. Munro was supposed to deliver. He'd been waiting for Malkat in the transporter room and his master had arrived with the woman in tow, along with one of the Bajoran science team. From the Cardassian's pointed look and Munro's deliberate approach, Finn realized that he had no choice but to offer her the short tour she requested on their greeting. Taking the hint, Harry had politely shown the doctor a few of the less classified areas of the vessel, ending here, in his… well, Finn's office.

Finally. Jill was beginning to grow more and more impatient with every new room Harry and Jenny had shown her. The last thing she wanted to do was spend unnecessary time on this other Hawking. She released a sigh of relief when Harry sent Jenny away, "I was surprised at how difficult it was to crack the other Harry Finn," she announced with a smirk.

He didn't rise to the bait… it had taken Munro a good six months to condition him against showing her his hate. "But you did crack him," he said, managing to keep his voice steady. The other Finn liked his Munro, from all appearances. It was necessary to maintain character as much as possible, even in private. "What did you get from him?"

"The codes for one thing, which I already sent over." She crossed her arms, contemplating if she should tell him what she had learned about Harry's crew mates. She had no reason not to but for some reason she felt…guilty. Just tell him. You'll leave this universe and never have to see these people again, "There's a woman named Kerrin Schaeffer, have you met her?"

He turned to face her before he could stop himself, echoes of the conversation with Jenny rising to the surface. "I… no, not met. But I've heard about her."

She tipped forward and furrowed her brow, "I think she may have been someone important in Harry's life. He said 'When it's over, tell Wendy I'm sorry'. Chris and I check the manifest for a woman named Wendy, but no such luck. I asked who she was and he told me that Wendy is Kerrin Schaeffer's nickname. Apparently she was given that nickname because she's always looking for Neverland," Jill waved off the last part, "I have no idea what Neverland is…"

Neither did he but, "She's an archeologist… maybe it's like… some kind of historic dig site or something." Frowning at the carpet over the doctor's phrasing, "You said 'may have been'… 'been' past tense. So he's dead already?" Kind of crude for Herself but then, there was a time element in this operation.

Jillian stared at him blankly, "What difference does it make", it wasn't a question, "He'll be dead soon enough." She almost wished she could take back what she had just said, but it was the sad hard truth. Harry Finn was now in the hands of Torrik Nils. There was nothing she or anyone else could do to help the man. She looked down at the ground, remembering the last look Harry had given her, it was understanding, and it was a look she hadn't seen in many many years, "We can only pray it's quick", she added.

"Point taken…" like all her points. "Malkat indicated the attack can't begin until, what… Harpo… is in place so I need to keep up appearances until we're a go. I got that he's got a thing for Kerrin… or… Wendy… whatever. Is there anything else? What's this guy like?"

"He was…different", her eyes drifted towards the window, she shook her head as if it was difficult to explain, "Everyone here is so different." She fixed her eyes back on Harry, "I tortured him for at least 12 hours…I did horrible, horrible things to him…and in the end when I looked into his eyes, I saw no hate." She swallowed hard. She could tell from the look on Harry's face that she had said too much. This was not the Jill he was used to. If anything he would sense her moment of weakness and go tattling back to Malkat.

For the first time in over a year, Harry realized he was able to look the doctor in the eye, "Don't get down on yourself," he told her quietly, "if you'd have had another couple of months with him, I guarantee, you'd have seen the hate." The same hate he was showing her, now… without fear.

Without fear. "Is there anything else… any more orders?" he asked, still staring, wondering how long this feeling would last.

She could feel the ice crystallizing. He had nothing on her, and she wasn't about to let him feel any different. She stood up, placing her hands behind her back, "Yes. One more thing. When you return to the ship, I'd like to see you in my laboratory." She turned towards the door and paused before looking back at him, "Just remember Harry, you've got to be alive to feel hate. I've given you that. You should be a bit more appreciative." And with that, she left Finn's office.

Probably he should see her out… for appearances… Munro's Security escort would have expected it but he couldn't move. Harry's limbs had been locked in place by the surge of shame her tone induced. It was a very… specifically pitched vocality… she'd used it over and over during the endless 'sessions' in her lab.

And now she wanted him back in that lab. His hands, all unknowing clenched into fists so tight his knuckles went white and they began to shake in reaction.

Ten minutes later, when Jenny returned to the office, she found Harry seated at the desk, carefully scanning his desktop console. What she didn't see was the slow welling of blood from his palms, where the nails had dug in.

A joint post with Harry Finn
Originally Posted 10/23/08 by Jillian Munro


Emily didn't have to stand around long. Within only a few moments of waiting the familiar whirring of the transporter informed her that it was time to get to work. She motioned for her partner to wander over and greeted their visitors.

"Welcome aboard the Hawking. I'm Master Chief Petty Officer Star and this is Crewman Pal. We'll be your escorts for your stay." she did her best to smile at Malkat, as well as giving a nod to Monroe. Truth was he creeped her out. He had the same face, same body type but the eyes were so cold. Those types of eyes were trouble and Emily could only sense more trouble as she stood near him.

"I believe you have a specific place you'd like to see," Pal stated

He gave her a responsive nod, "Eager to look into your LCars."

Emily looked at Pal, "Deck five should be fine. Ensign Redrum was inquiring about your arrival, I believe he's already on board. We can have his security detail meet up with us on the way if that's alright with you."

"That's perfectly fine, whatever's easiest for you. Your the ones stuck following us around. You don't get a break?" Malkat gave what could be considered a grin.

"No break till your gone, so try not to take too long." she replied with a smile to add to her sarcasm. Well, it wasn't completely sarcastic. It was the honest truth and if they did take hours they still had to stick with it. Unless someone was assigned to relieve them, which given the amount of security they had walking with the other visitors, they didn't have many other crewmembers laying around waiting to take over.

The walk to the turbolift was silent and short. Given they were on deck four, the ride was even shorter and…squishier.

"Yay more people to stand around." Emily muttered to herself as they met up with Redrum. He, of course, was escorted by two security officer which made the gold suit tally rise to four. She glanced quickly at them and held back her snicker at the matching looks on their faces.

"This way please," she said motioning to the room down the hall, which of course had more security guards in it. The library was silent, minus the gentle tapping of someones fingers. Emily cocked her head around their guests and smiled slightly, "Ahem…"

Gorsky's head shot up, "Sorry just..last minute tinkering."

Emily nodded, "Malkat here would like to take a look at our LCars." she pointed towards Gorsky, "He's the guy you want to ask if you have any trouble. His brains almost twice the size of mine..or the same size as computer for that matter." she paused, "Not saying you need help..or that you're stupid or that your guy can't compare…I mean..that is I .." she just backed away and leaned against the wall feeling her cheeks flush.

'Twice in one day…could I make myself look even more incompetent before the day is over?' she thought to herself and sighed quietly.

Adding in- NPC Gorksy, Security Crewman Pal, Malkat and Redrum. ..and a fleet of gold uniforms.
Originally Posted 10/23/08 by Emily Star


:: USS Hawking ::
:: Munro Quarters ::

The ship was buzzing with talk of the mirror Hawking. Everywhere Jillian went people were gossiping about the neighbors next-door. She understood the excitement; in fact, only hours before she had been guilty of the same giddiness at the prospect of meeting her mirror self.

She did meet her mirror self and sadly, it had gone less than spectacular.

It was supposed to be once in a lifetime opportunity. There was so much she wanted to know about this other Jillian Munro. Where was she born? Did she have any sibling? Any family that was alive? She was positive that her doppelganger would have wanted to know the same things, but there was no interest. Her mirror counterpart hadn’t been curious in the slightest.

Jillian sat down and picked up the cup of tea she had poured herself earlier. The other thing bringing her down was her relationship with Nils. She had to keep reminding herself that they were not officially together and that this break was necessary for him to focus on his duty, he essentially had no obligations to her…but it still broke her heart. He had promised her that his future would be hers, but she knew it would only get harder from here, her mind jumped to the inevitable conclusion that in the end they would never be together. Being off duty was the worst time for her; she felt so small in her large bed. She missed him and at times even resented his success in the federation. She hated how selfish she had become. If she imagined hard enough, she could still smell his scent on her pillows; she could almost feel his soft breath against her cheek. But she couldn’t feel his arms around her. Before she knew the power of true love, she had been unaware of how alone she really was. Now that she had experienced a universe with him, she couldn’t bear to be without him.

But it had been weeks since they had last spoken and every time she went to see him, he was never there. Never in the same place…always being pulled away.

She slid forward on the couch and lightly touched the console on her desk. A reflection of herself appeared on the screen. She touched it again to begin recording.

She smiled.

=/\=

“It seems so silly that this the only way I can get a hold of you. Even on the same ship, distance is a challenge,” she paused. She could already feel the tears welling up in her eyes but she refused to start crying, “I met my mirror self yesterday," she laughed nervously, "Nils…it was so strange. She was nothing like me. At least I'd like to think she wasn't. She was cold, distant, removed…it almost seemed like she couldn’t wait to get away from me. She told me about the Torrik Nils in her universe…have you met him? I'm dying to know what that was like.” Another pause, “Anyhow, I really just wanted to say hello…to tell you how much I miss you…how much I love you…I know you’re really busy and you don’t have much time but…” There was an uneasy silence as she tried to hold back her tears, but it was too late. The sobs came quickly, “…but I’m not sure I can keep going on like this. I know your duty to the federation comes first, and so should mine…but I can’t sleep. I can’t stop thinking about you. The pain I feel in my stomach is unbearable…” She looked up at the screen with her swollen eyes and saw how miserable she looked. She tried to stop sobbing but, like a child, she started to gasp after each sob. She wiped away her tears and took a deep breath. What am I doing? Why would I send this to him in the middle of all this chaos. Even in the midst of heartbreak, she was thinking of him, “I’m just a damned fool.” She muttered, “Computer, save transmission. Do not send”.

=/\=

Originally Posted 10/23/08 by Jillian Munro


USS Hawking
XO's Office - Deck 2

Harry stared at the desktop console, not really absorbing what was on it. He was still reeling from the last encounter with Munro and the implications of that brief moment of… what… humanity? Not enough, though. And way too late for him.

He opened the next report, flexing the sore palm where a series of crescents displayed his redirected rage. Oh boy, Botany has a new hybrid….. NEXT… There were, he figured, more reports generated per shift by the Starfleet crew than there were planets leveled by the Alliance. Stores tallies… Operations needed to change their rotation… Chief of Engineering (no thanks… I'll let Jenny handle whatever that is)… room assignments for the IAS delegation …

Tapping for the next report, and the next, and the next, his brain fell back to the conversation with Jenny from last night… or early this morning. Not the cogent points though, no, just that one, fatal phrase: the answer to a question Harry had wanted to ask T'Shaini for years and, for years never once had.

"… if you had realized he wanted something more, if you’d seen him, and how he felt about you… would you have… is it something you would have wanted, too?”

He hadn't asked T'Shaini because, well, he'd never been one for words and the Vulcan who'd joined the Dolios had robbed him of what few he might have had and then, before he could even attempt to express what she did to him Costala had made his play and it was as if there were no other man in the galaxy.

He'd held out some hope, after their capture. Those months in Hutet, the few of them left, housed together, he thought she might come to care at least a little but she was looking elsewhere… to the skies… for him.

So when, after yet more months had passed and Harry had begun to be put under Munro's tender care for days on end and word came down of the rescue that Javier Costala planned and T'Shaini's eyes had lit up again in the old way… then he knew that there was only one thing left to do… only one hope of her ever seeing him… so he took it. But even after that… even after her unfaithful lover had failed to save her she still… never…

”… I never did see him."

Harry felt a strange kinship with this Pierce… along with a side of gratitude for his exceptional timing. If the kid hadn't kicked when he did, it was unlikely Finn could have gotten such a detailed history from Jenny. Which brought his attention back to the task at hand… he was on a mission and, like it or not, part of that mission was filling another man's shoes. He tabbed to the next report and, as he skimmed it for anything remotely relevant, a name caught his eye.

Dr. Kerrin Schaeffer several times in the course of the mission broke from the safety of the team…

And there she was, again. Dr. Kerrin Schaeffer who, according to Jenny, was the XO's woman… a fact reinforced by Munro's revelation of Finn's last request. "Tell Wendy I'm sorry…" Wendy who was Kerrin who was the last thing on Finn's mind before… before whatever had happened to him.

Harry read the rest of the report, considering. He had an appointment with Crewman Pal but not for at least two hours, when the Xepolite came off shift. Probably it was important to his cover to continue all of Finn's normal associations… or at least create a reason to break off from them. With that in mind, Harry requested Dr. Schaeffer's current location and, receiving it, left the room. As he exited, he refused to think about how it might feel to not be invisible.

Originally Posted 10/23/08 by Harry Finn


Lab 1138
USS Hawking

Kerrin carefully placed a small amount of her stash in for analysis, after a trip like she had, the anthropologist was dying to know what exactly what was in those Devanagari mushrooms. Sealing the remains of the packet and filing it away, Kerrin's mind began to drift toward the chaos of the rest of the ship. A second Hawking. As a civilian, she had no duties in connection with this one in a lifetime happening…and couldn't be more grateful for that fact. She was certain there was another Kerrin, another Jason, another Harry and she was having quite enough trouble dealing with the ones she did know, rather than seeking more out. She shuddered lightly at the picture of more than one of either of those men in a small space. Though I can name more than one woman who would think they had died and gone to heaven.

Puttering around her office putting away the created fabrics for the away team, plus one or two artifacts that had been given to individuals and now were being catalogued for entry into the Federation Species Database, Kerrin's mind now wandered in the direction of Harry Finn…again. Dammit. Never had one person engendered so many conflicting emotions. All those swirling, squirming emotions within began to seep toward the surface and she tried to shake them off in a giant wild 'icky dance'.

"Auuuughhhhh!"

"Is this a bad time?"

"AAAAAAAAAHHH!" Apparently her dance was not one of ick but one of conjuration. "Sonofabitch." Feeling her face flush red with embarrassement…no, no, that was far too mild a term…mortification…yes, that is it, Kerrin scooted to the other side of her work table and pretended to check on the progress of the mushroom analysis. "No, no….it is a fabulous time, can't you tell?"

Could Finn tell? Because, frankly, Harry had no viable response. "Your door was unlocked," he pointed out, watching her carefully. She was certainly attractive but… she seemed a bit… crazy. "And I wanted to talk about Lt. Fehr's report on the mission…"

Kerrin felt her jaw drop. "The report? You are here to talk about a report?"

"Yes," he said, remaining where he stood, "I am. Fehr indicated that you behaved in a consistently reckless manner throughout your time on the planet… the last episode leading to his almost dying and, if he hadn't been present to fight off that merc, you'd be dead, now and I wouldn't have to come to talk to you about a report."

"I think that is rather oversimplifying what happened." Kerrin felt an odd coldness settle over her. "And if you wanted a contingent of security drones on the planet then you shouldn't have sent me. I did what I thought was appropriate at the time," She started to turn away, then her hand gripped the edge of the table as she continued. "and if trying to find you and T'Shaini alive is not reason to be a little reckless, then put me in the brig." Her tone dripped with sarcasm. "Or can you? With me being a civilian and all."

That brought a slight… very slight… smile to his lips, "I can put anybody in the brig, if properly motivated."

"Really…" Kerrin turned to face him and, hands flat on the table, leaned toward him. "and have you been properly motivated?"

"Not yet," Finn replied, his eyes traveling the visible portions of the woman before him… who was looking at him for a change. Would it be so wrong, in comparison to some of the other things he'd done?

Kerrin started to push off the table to move towards him, but something stopped her. What am I doing? Burying her face in her hands the next words were muffled. "God, I don't know…what am I supposed to do Harry? What do you want me to say?"

"Wow, it really is never easy," he stepped around the corner of the lab's table to confront her, "How about you tell me what you want, thus saving endless guesswork and games of verbal footsie?"

"What do I want?" Kerrin backpedaled a couple of steps, he was making her nervous. "I want my life to be uncomplicated, but since that is never gonna happen…."

"Screw this," disgusted, he turned away, "You want uncomplicated, fine… I can uncomplicate it for you right now."

"Can you?" Despite everything, Kerrin felt her heart sink. "Can you really?"

The sadness brought him back, "Why not?" he stepped in closer, testing the water.

She tried to swallow past the lump in her throat. "I…I…" Kerrin's body leaned in slightly…hoping, hoping not… "That is the problem…you can, you always could." She leaned in a little closer…and….weird. "Harry?" The vibe was off, if she was this close her body should be vibrating…yet no. The question in her voice came out almost shrill. "Harry?"

Shit. Wasting no movement he slipped back, out of range of whatever preternatural sense was setting off her alarms, "Obviously this isn't a good time… maybe there won't ever be a good time."

Shit. Kerrin shook herself like a dog. Let it go. Let it go. "Christ Harry, are you just looking to pick a fight? When did the situation reverse?"

"I don't know, Wendy, maybe when I got sick of the rollercoaster?" He turned away and missed the expression that crossed her face. Nearing the door, he looked over his shoulder, "And if you can't stop pulling the kind of stunts you ran on Girijan, you're off any further planetary research. Good luck finding Neverland from inside this lab," and he strode out the door.

In the corridor, he paused in his escape and let out a shaky breath. In one point of view it had been a successful foray… no way would any intelligent female approach a man after that kind of scene. On the other hand, Dr. Kerrin 'Wendy' Schaeffer had only confirmed what he'd long suspected to be true… there really was nothing in his makeup that would inspire a woman towards love. And if that was the case… well, hell… he may as well earn their hate.

Alone in her lab Kerrin slowly unfroze. Wendy? Neverland? Okay, not quite like having someone call you someone else's name during sex…but bad enough. The mad that was starting to brew got mixed up in the weirdness she had felt when he was near. So weird.

"Wrong, something is definitely wrong."

Her voice echoed in the empty lab. What exactly was she supposed to do? 'Oh Captain…I think something is wrong with your XO. Why? Oh, well…I didn't want to throw him on the floor when he got too close to me and THEN he called me by his nickname for T'Shaini.' Yeah, I am sure that would go over so well.

JP with NSHF (Nasty stinky Harry Finn) featuring NPC Dr Kerrin Schaeffer.
Originally Posted 10/23/08 by T'Shaini


-USS Hawking-
-Transporter Room-

Delano Mills meandered over to where the Chief Engineer and the Counselor stood. He felt more at ease around T'Shaini since the adventure on Girijan and Lt. Costala seemed less threatening than usual. "Hello Commander," he said to T'Shaini then , "Chief, I..I..I g..g..guess we're all h..h..here."

"Just call me 'lieutenant' from now on Del," Javier commented without explaining his reasons to the engineer. T'Shaini gave him a quizzical glance but before she could question him one of the security officers in the room began a short chat on the security protocols and precautions to follow when visiting a ship that isn't under the Federation.

His mind drifted back to his conversation with Harry and the XO's odd behavior. After he'd left Finn's quarters Javier walked around the ship while he thought about the different avenues that were open to him. Resigning his position had been foremost in his thoughts when the engineer had suddenly realized he'd wandered down to the crew quarters. He started to turn and leave when a peculiar thought struck him. What would my mirror counterpart have done? Harry had adamantly reasoned that it didn't matter what the other Javier Costala would have done. But Javier was curious to know and there was one person onboard the ship who might be able to tell him.

The lieutenant found the quarters that had been assigned to the IAS Hawking crewmember and pressed the door chime. The doors slid open to reveal Darby Saunders who was in the process of relating how fond she was of a certain engineer to T'Shaini. Darby ceased talking and stared at Javier in shocked amazement. In the security officer's eyes he could see the dawning of suspicious thoughts.

"I'd like to have a word with T'Shaini, Petty Officer," Javier said officially.

"Of course Lieutenant," Darbs said as she drew aside to allow him to enter the room.

"Is that okay with you Ma'am?" the engineer asked the Vulcan woman, looking past Saunders.

How sad a thing was it that one would rather talk with the image of ones dead lover who had for all intents and purposes rejected them than the simpering idiot she was currently burdened with. "Yes, that would be fine."

With a nod of agreement, Javier entered the visitor's quarters then waited for a few moments before adding, "I want to talk to our guest in private, Petty Officer." Darby started to protest but the engineer's unrelenting stare silenced her complaints. "You can wait outside the door," Javier added, ignoring the dismayed look that Saunders displayed. She thinks she's going to miss out on collecting some prime gossip. Once Darby had left he turned his full attention back to T'Shaini.

"Are you comfortable here? Do you have everything you need? If you need a larger or more quiet space for meditation there are some other places aboard the ship you could go," Javier suggested as he tried to 'get a feel' for this T'Shaini.

"Meditation?" T'Shaini shook her head. "I find what has been granted sufficient to my needs, thank you."

"I see you drew the short stick on the security roster," Javier added with a slight smile as he jerked his thumb toward the door. "Saunders is..chatty." The way she was staring at him was disarming to say the least, like she was trying to discern his reasons for being there by slowly picking him apart. "I wanted to talk to you about..him, well me but more about him. Would that be okay?"

"What?" T'Shaini felt the muscles of her face tighten as she locked down any response. "You want to talk about yourself?" Would it be okay? No, actually it would not. But she did not want to divulge any more about herself than she had to, if the conversation could be had without too much depth it would aid in establishing themselves on the USS Hawking.

"I want to talk about your Javier. I want to know about him. What was he like? What was important to him?" the engineer explained. "Can you tell me..anything, I just want to know."

"Perhaps you should be asking his wife. It was a wonder the words came out, her jaw was clenched so tightly.

"I'm asking you..his lover," Javier responded. He didn't know where the words came from but the moment he said them, he knew it was true. There was something more between Javier and T'Shaini that exceeded the boundaries of their own universe. The mutual attraction that had brought them together, he from one side of the Fleet and her from the other, spanned beyond their reality. "I know how I feel about my T'Shaini," he explained, "so I know that if he and I were alike even an inkling, he had feelings for you.."

"And I am asking you to leave." T'Shaini calmly stepped toward the door…even a conversation with Darby is preferable to this. "I find your inquiry outside the bounds of what is acceptable."

"Energize," the transporter officer said. The word brought the engineer out of the depths of his memory as Javier's atoms were broken apart then displaced and streamed toward the IAS Hawking. The blue light of the transporter beam dissipated and a more foreboding room greeted them. It just screams: 'Welcome to the IAS Hawking, all your base are belong to us.' the engineer thought as he stepped down from the transporter platform.

Featuring the lovable Mirror Tee.
Originally Posted 10/23/08 by Javier Costala


:: USS Hawking ::
:: Holodeck ::

Nils settled on one of four benches that bordered a fountain near the central spire at B’hala. The foot traffic seemed to dwindle as the holographic sun began to dip behind the holographic horizon. “Well,” he began thoughtfully. “They’re devout. And fair… They are pretty dogmatic when it comes to orthodoxy. And… To be honest, I haven’t spoken to them in months. We’re…estranged, I suppose is the correct word to use.”

“Estranged?” The acolyte seemed confused. “What did they do? Why don’t you speak to them?”

“For starters my father was adamantly opposed to my career choice. Both in regards to the sciences and Starfleet. I’d been tapped very early for religious service and despite my ‘lack of interest’ he never really let go of that dream.” The young CO thought back on his family, something he rarely did and for the life of him couldn’t come up with a valid reason for their continued lack of contact. Strange how things that once seemed like such a big deal began to pale in comparison to the looming crises of ‘real life.’ “Mother was always on my side, but couldn’t say much. She is committed to my father and since you died… Since Jachindied, nothing ever really felt right. I was young at the time, so the relationships have always been strained…”

“Interesting,” the Nameless one commented sincerely. “Torrik Nils in my universe did end up following the path of ‘religious service’ as you called it. But our parents died when we were both very young. He thought it was his fault and that fact has shaped his destiny since then. His suffering puts him close to the fire of the Ascended.” Momentarily the young man became lost in his own thoughts. “I would like to meet your parents. I know they are not my own, but it would be nice to see the faces of those I remember so fondly. I think they were kind.”

“You don’t remember them well?” Nils puzzled over the stark differences but inescapable parallels that the Torrik family seemed to travel in their respective universes.

“Not well, no,” the Nameless said sadly. “I just remember how they made me feel.” He smiled warmly before shrugging it off. “They are gone. And I am Nameless. I am for service alone now.”

“There has to be more than service. I mean, do you have someone special in your life or…someone you can call your own?” It was prying and he knew it, but Nils felt somehow compelled to know this image of who is brother could have been.

“No,” the acolyte answered sternly. “We are not permitted to have relations with anyone outside of the Temple. I’ve never… I’m not…” He faltered as he looked for an apt explanation. “It is forbidden.” Quickly he added, “And you? Are Starfleet Captains permitted to have relationships? Is there someone special in your life?”

Nils smiled broadly. “There was… Or there is.” He scratched his buzzed head and cut his eyes towards the young man sitting next to him. “It’s complicated. But yes… There is someone very special, and I love her very much.”

The acolyte smiled waiting for more information. He leaned in expectantly urging Nils to continue.

“She’s the doctor on board the ship, and I’ve known her ever since I came to this quadrant. She is…perfect. A smile that makes me feel strong… She has this way of letting me know I’m ok even when I feel like I’m all wrong.” Nils smiled as he thought of Jillian and became lost in the telling. “And even though we struggle at working through the finer points of our relationship, I know she is the only one for me. I want to spend my life with her.”

“I don’t understand. You love her. And you are permitted to be with her, yet you are not? Explain…”

“There’s not a good explanation,” Nils said through a mild fit of laughter. “Things just always fall apart for some unknown reason. They don’t stay fallen apart though… In fact, I think we’re on a road now to something bigger. Our duties keep us busy, but she’s… She’s really the only true thing I’ve ever had in my life. Aside from my faith that is,” he added absently. “But even in that, I feel like it was her who set things into motion. She softened my heart to a point that I could sense the Prophets again…” He gazed up at the darkening sky with a wry smile. “Despite all the hardship in my life, she makes me think that ultimately life is a good thing.”

“Then you need to be with her,” the acolyte said almost frantically. “You should go to her immediately and tell her what you have told me! You should bond with her…”

“We will,” Nils said knowingly. “I once gave her a Betrothal Bracelet, a long time ago. A lot has happened since then, but the sentiment behind it still stands. I’m sure she knows it.”

“You’re sure? How can you be sure?” Something in the acolyte’s tone seemed urgent. “Brother, you shouldn’t toy with fate. The Ascended burn our paths before us! The fires may consume that which we take for granted.”

Nils’ expression darkened. “Your Ascended don’t sound much like our Prophets. I think you have them all wrong. Maybe in your universe you don’t get to see them like we do.”

“I’ve spent my life serving them… But that’s unimportant. You should tell the doctor you wish to be with her.”

Again Nils smiled. “You know what, Jachin. I think I will. I’ll tell her the next time I see her…”

The acolyte seemed relieved and he softened a bit. “Good… And my name is no longer Jachin. I’ve told you… I’ve given up that name and for you to continue using it disrespects the Ascended.”

“I’m sorry,” the Captain apologized sincerely. “It’s just that giving up your name is such a different custom… And you’re Jachin! I mean, I know you’re not my Jachin, but the mere idea of having this opportunity… To see what he would be like… To imagine what our relationship could be like…” Although the moment was bittersweet, Nils couldn’t help but smile as he gazed at the visage of the brother he lost. “I’m very glad to know you…acolyte.

The Nameless one’s expressions soured and his gazed slipped to the ground beneath their feet. His brows fell in the customary Torrik fashion and then he stood abruptly. “I should return to his holi… To our ship. I’ve been gone far too long…”

“Ok,” said Nils in mild confusion. Perhaps this meeting was too much for the young man. “I’ll walk you to the…”

“I know the way,” the acolyte said coldly. “If you would contact the transporter room and arrange for my departure I would be grateful.” With that and awaiting no further interchange he stalked out of the holodeck leaving Nils alone with his thoughts. Somehow the presence of Torrik Jachin had given clarity to the Bajoran CO. But at the same time, some other things seemed…clouded. The things that were right (Jillian) seemed more right than ever. But then there were things… A nagging feeling tugged at the base of his skull as he rose from the bench and moved to leave.

“Computer, end program,” he said finally and he exited the room.

= = = = = =

:: IAS Hawking ::
:: Temple ::

Torrik Nils turned as two acolytes brought the prisoner into the dark and acrid interior of the temple complex. They lowered him before the high priest and moved off to either side making room for their master.

Torrik took a few steps toward the worn and weary Starfleet officer crumpled on the floor. He took a knee, but kept his distance, trying to catch the swirling eye of the USS Hawking’s real First Officer. “Ah… Mister Finn… It’s been far too long. Far, far too long…”

Featuring NPC's Torrik Jachin and Torrik Nils, High Priest of the Ascended
Originally Posted 10/23/08 by Torrik Nils


USS Hawking
Deck 11, Main Engineering

She was in awe of this Hawking. Their technology was something she had not seen before, whether it be because she was ignorant of the advances, or her universe lacked it. Her hands flew over the console, looking at the information that she had been given clearance to see.

"This is amazing," she whispered to herself.

Luke stood to her right, staring at the screen, but his attention was focused elsewhere. He had been distracted since he had arrived. Suddenly, he wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her closer. Tatiana dropped her hands from the screen and looked up at him in alarm. “What are you doing,” she asked through clenched teeth. She made an attempt to push him away, but his hold tightened.

Luke brought his head down to rest against her hair. He could feel her tense up as he tried to sale their uncommon display of affection, “Remember our friend, Malcet?”

She nodded.

“He has a job for us. Since I was asked to come here, I won’t be on our ship to receive the message with the instructions. I need you to configure a communications device so I can speak to him.”

Her eyes widened, “How do you expect me to do this with an armed security guard watching our every move? Where do you expect me to get the equipment?”

Luke took his arm from around his wife’s back and grabbed her left hand. He turned her around and placed her hand under his top. The helmsman pressed her hand against his warm chest, “Do you feel it?”

She rolled her eyes, “You taped it to yourself? Have you not heard of pockets or are you just trying to appear more covert than you really are?”

The helmsman ignored her and leaned his forehead against hers. “Don’t start with me,” he warned in a whisper. “This is one time you won’t get in the way of what I’m trying to do. If you don’t do as I ask, I will kill you.”

Their escort cleared his throat and the two ignored him. Tatiana’s face was stern as they stared each other down.

“Is there a problem,” asked the security officer. It was the Petty Officer First Class Gran. He had replaced Rintala when he had been called to speak with Lieutenant Tenanji. The Tellarite watched the couple cautiously, his hand unconsciously settling by his phaser.

“No, not at all,” Luke answered brightly and put his arm around Tatiana’s shoulders and they turned back to face the screen. “I need you to find a place where you can get a message out with no interruptions.”

“This Hawking’s Tatiana has a console in her quarters; I should be able to get a message out from there. But, I don’t see how I could get back there without her.” She paused when a sound rang out that announced the entrance of someone into Engineering. It was Rintala, and this time there was no smile, but a barely concealed anger that burned brightly in his blue eyes. He spoke quietly with Gran and the Tellarite left his post. The human replaced him, glaring at the smirking Luke.

Luke chuckled next to her, his luck was turning around. “You don’t have to worry about getting to your double’s quarters. I have an idea.”

Tatiana shuffled through the ship’s technical specs, “And what is that?”

“I think you need a drink of water, you look a bit flushed,” he told her.

She raised an eyebrow, and shot him a sidelong glance, “Is that right?”

Luke nodded and shrugged, “I’d give you something myself, a little…”

“A little Petercillin,” she finished and laughed softly. “Talk about a blast from the past, I haven’t heard you say that in years.” Tatiana turned and eyed her husband, “I like that.”

She smiled widely at her husband, and he returned his custom grin. There was something about the two of them and deception. They were sure that it was one of the few things that brought out the best in them. It was the only time that Lucas and Tatiana Getty truly were husband and wife.

“When we get back, you and I…,” he led off and kissed her roughly. Once he broke the kiss he motioned for Rintala to come over. He explained that Tatiana needed a drink of water, but was too nervous to ask.

Rintala nodded and didn’t glance once at Tatiana, “I’ll take you to the Mess Hall, follow me.”

“Thanks,” Luke responded. He looked at Tatiana, "We'll talk about it when we get there."

Tatiana exited the specs and followed the helmsman out, wondering what he had planned for her to do.

Featuring MU Getty's and Frank Rintala
Originally Posted 10/24/08 by Tatiana Thorne


USS Hawking
XO’s Office

She’d been in the room for at least ten minutes before realizing what was wrong… Jenny straightened from where she leaned over Harry’s desk and looked around her… no coffee cups. What the hell? Unable to fathom such a circumstance at 1130 hours, she made a quick search… peering beneath the couch, opening drawers… no drained mugs… no half-filled mugs… no nothing.

“Huh.” Well, it had been a busy morning, interrupted by the tour the visiting Dr. Munro had requested though the woman had been far from enthused by the results. Jen returned to the desk and tapped her clearance into the console, checking for any new tasks Harry might have left.

Five minutes later, Harry entered to see her, sitting at his desk, looking as if she’d just been hit with a low-level stun. “What’s wrong?” he asked, quickly scanning the room for… well, anything that might be incriminating.

“Did you see this?” she asked, rising and turning the screen towards him. “Lt. Costala resigned as Chief of Engineering.”

Harry frowned down at the letter, which he’d not bothered to read earlier. “I hadn’t but, so what?”

Jenny felt herself go cold, “You have to make him rescind it… or, or tell Captain Torrik to refuse to accept or…”

“Why would I do that?”

“Because,” she began, eyes wide with confusion, “he’s the best thing that could have happened to Engineering,” (according to Fenton and Delano and even Kal-El!), “He’s a great leader, he thinks outside the box, he made them a team and besides all that, he’s your frie…”

“If the man thinks he’s not up to the job, than he’s not,” Harry interrupted, pointing at the text, which was basically the same whine-fest from their conversation the previous night. “Looks to me like he’s got a severe lack of commitment to his people, if he’s willing to bail like a…”

“He’s just in shock because he and Ben,” she swallowed the interfering lump, “he and Ben were… I think they connected on some level and BHP’s death hit him hard.”

“Price of leadership,” came back coolly, “People die. Some die too soon and others, nowhere near soon enough but die they do and if he can’t deal with that then, again, his instincts are right and he shouldn’t be in charge of a team. He can take his wallowing someplace where it won’t bother the rest of us.”

Jenny felt her jaw dropping.

“What?” Harry took the young woman’s shock for disapproval. “Don’t tell me you’ve got a soft spot for him, too? You get turned on by shallow, self-pitying pretty boys? Is that what Pierce was…?”

“Harry…” Jenny stepped back. She had to distance herself from… from whatever was eating at her godfather.

Seeing her response he worked to reign in the bile that the thoughts of any Costala raised in him, “I’m sorry,” he began, “I just don’t want you to get invested in this man… he’s made his choice…”

“Maybe Captain Torrik will see it differently,” she said, though quietly.

“You leave that to the Captain,” Harry told her, “as far as this office is concerned, it’s a dead issue.”

Jenny nodded, “Yes, sir. On that note, sir, perhaps it’s time I were no longer part of this off…”

But just then, the door chimed, interrupting her.

Harry kept his eyes on Anderson, “That’d be Crewman Pal,” he said, “Come,” the order snapped and, as the Xepolite crossed the threshold, Finn moved in on Jenny, once more, “We’ll talk about your disposition later. For now, give us the room.”

Beneath his suddenly quite suffocating shadow, Jenny nodded, “Sir,” before turning on her heel and not racing out the door.

“Crewman Pal,” she heard Uncle Harry begin as she made her escape, “I’ve been reviewing your records and they lead me to believe we should have a talk about your career path…”

Featuring NPC's Jenny Anderson and MU Harry Finn
Originally Posted 10/24/08 by Harry Finn


-USS Hawking-
-Main Engineering-

"Ugh, disgusting, can't they see people are trying to work?" Kal-El asked, voicing his displeasure over the improper PDA that was taking place on the lower level of the room.

Tehamia took a moment to glance in the direction that Kowalski was indicating with the PADD he was clutching. The mirror images of Tatiana Thorne and Luke Getty were canoodling near the console that had been designated for visitors. "Maybe they're in love," Tehamia tossed over her shoulder as she returned to her diagnostic scans.

"Even so, I don't want to know about it," Kowalski grumbled, "They should return to their quarters for that type of thing,"

"You're one to talk Kallee-Wallee," Tehamia said with a snort of laughter. "Everyone's heard about the welcome home snog you received after beaming in from Girijan."

"Just because one person was happy to see me return safely from a dangerous mission, doesn't..we didn't 'snog'..it wasn't like that at all," Kowalski retorted, refuting the accusation in an annoyed tone. "Darby..likes to show her feelings in ways that other people don't understand," the engineer scolded in his usual self-absorbed manner. "She was worried for me, and seeing me alive and well was such a relief.."

"She jumped into your arms and snogged you like there was no tomorrow," Tehamia finished as she turned back to see if the PDA was still ongoing. Thankfully, both of the visitors, along with their security detail had left. She could breath a little easier now. There hadn't been a security presence in Engineering since the Acker mess when Ajani had been killed. Both Tehamia and Kal-El had been injured in the blast that had reduced Ensign Obatu to ashes but it had taken a long time for Tehamia to recover from the young officer's loss. She'd never lost a colleague before and especially not in such a violent manner.

Her eyes dropped to the entrance to Main Engineering as the doors slid open to admit another newcomer. Tehamia's breath caught in her throat as she recognized him. The spectre of Ajani Obatu had entered the room. The woman's hands clenched the railing that ringed the upper tier. "Kal-El?" she whispered.

"I see him," Kowalski replied his voice steady. His thoughts were alive with memories, as the rush of heat and glare from the explosives detonation consumed the Jeffries Tube. He had turned back to warn Ajani one last time. Someone was standing behind the spirit of the man, and Kal-El tore his eyes away from Obatu to look. It was Hammish. What the hell is..?

"It's his mirror counterpart," Kowalski said with an uneasy sigh. "Christ, how could they let him come here?" The feeling of unease evolved into annoyance as Kal-El looked at the dead man. "The Chief probably doesn't know..if he did..Gods, they were friends."

Tehamia couldn't stand it anymore. She couldn't be around the person that it had taken so long for her to lay to rest. "I'm leaving for a bit..can you finish up?" The words spilled out of her mouth. She just wanted to get away from him, away from this carbon copy of Ajani.

"I can," Kowalski answered, sensing Tehamia's restlessness. Before he could say anything else she disappeared into a maintenance hatch. She's not even going to walk by him to exit from the main deck. Kal-El began to descend the ladder to the main floor. Hammish should have been notified about this..somebody should have known!

Originally Posted 10/26/08 by Javier Costala


Smoke & Mirrors

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