Gospel Magic

This section of the episode features the following NPCs:
150px-Terok_Nor_Cardassian_Offic-2.jpg Zal Malkat
18420375_w434_h_q80-1-1.jpg Seth Anderson (mirror)
Daniel-Craig1-1.jpgCallan Vail (mirror)

IAS Hawking

Despite his unease, despite the knowledge that his every breath was being monitored by the extremely… dedicated… guards the IAS boasted, Harry’s body finally lost the battle to weariness. His eyes drifted closed and in one long, strange, liquid moment he was dreaming and in that dream lay the Girijan sea, smooth and calm as glass… though he’d never seen it calm… and rising above that sea was the nearest moon… and he had seen that. But as he watched the full moon rise to view itself in the shimmering mirror of the ocean, it began to ripple, as if it, too, were part of the deep salt sea and then the ripples became quivers which became tremors which became quakes and from the heart of this undulating sphere there erupted… a hand.

And he knew that hand… it had, in its time, brought both healing and death, though that last only at the greatest need. But this hand held no comfort and the woman behind the hand, as broken in her own way as the riven moon, offered no easement, no refuge and no solace.

As Harry watched her once again approach him where he lay, broken and bleeding and lost out of all reason, he kept asking her to stop, please stop… don’t do it don’t… stay out of my…

“… head… Wendy, don’t…”

But she had. And now…

A dance of fire spasmed across his nerves, jerking him to waking once again.

“No sleeping allowed,” the perennially lurking Bajoran, whom Finn had christened Kenny, informed the Human calmly, almost smiling as the prisoner shuddered to his feet and took to, once again, pacing the cell like a caged fire wolf. Judging from the Human’s level of fatigue, he figured it wouldn’t be long before Omin or Munro began interrogation procedures. He wondered, as he returned to his chair and lifted his raktajino blend, how long it would take this one to break.

Originally Posted 10/7/08

:: USS Hawking ::

“Hello,” he said holding out his hand.

In her universe she would have no choice but to return the gesture, but this was not her universe and this was not the same Torrik Nils that had so much control over her. Unsure of how to react, she chose to return the greeting with a quick nod and a step to the side. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see him continue to stare at her. Did he know her? Not her, but the other her? Was there another Jill on board?

This Torrik Nils was different. That much was clear. Physically they were identical, right down to the intensity in their eyes, but it was a different kind of intensity. She looked up again, but his gaze had moved on. He was now in conversation with the First Acolyte. Impatient and uncomfortable, Jill turned to one of the Hawking security guards, "Excuse me, would you please escort me to sickbay? I think I'm feeling a bit nauseous. Most likely transporter sickness."

“Of course,” B’Naath replied smoothly. With a short nod to Jereen, who slid over to take his place, he gestured towards the entrance, interested in this new Jillian Munro, "I'm sure Doctor Munro will have just the thing to make you feel better."

Jill turned her head sharply towards the Caitian security officer, "Munro? Jill Munro is a doctor on board this vessel?"

It was hard to tell through all the fur, but it looked as if the large cat was smiling, "Lieutenant Commander Jillian Munro is our chief medical officer," he glanced down at her, "To be honest, I figured that's why you wanted to go to sickbay."

"No. I had no idea." She shook her head slightly, and held her stomach. Running into herself was not an inviting thought. Partly embarrassed by what she had become but mostly terrified to see what she could have become made her feel sick to her stomach, "I think I feel worse than I thought."

B'Naath chuckled, "You have nothing to worry about, Doctor. Your doppelgänger would make you proud. She's a good person." As they rounded the corner, B'Naath held his arm out towards a set of double doors. Jill nodded and entered first.

"Looks like the good doctor is out," B'Naath peaked around the corner into Jillian's office, "I'm sure she'll be back soon. I'll be in the hallway if you need me."

Jill forced a smile, "Thank you."

As the doors swooshed closed, the room become silent. It was comforting to finally be alone.

Jill walked into the CMO's office and looked around. Books, anatomy models and Finger-paintings (that were most likely made by the ship's youngest patients) littered the room. She was just about to pick up one of the doctor's PADDs when a framed photo caught her attention. She picked it up.


The man in the picture was extremely handsome, in a silent, passive way. A smooth-skinned face it was, with a tentative smile. Warm but not inviting. The large, finely shaped blue eyes might have meant anything - either a deep, rich, mysterious nature, only dimly hinting at its capacity for passion and pain, or, merely - large, finely shaped blue eyes, much like the ones she knew back in her universe. The eyes in her memory were empty and cold. At sight of his image, the habitual frown on Jill's brow lifted slightly. She set the photograph down and seated herself behind Jillian's desk and drew a deep breath. The room felt clean and pleasantly lacked the smell of death. And yet she was vaguely uneasy. The picture of Torrik Nils was haunting.

She wondered why this Jill would have a photo of the Captain on her desk.

Originally Posted 10/7/08 by Jillian Munro

"Harry! Look, I know you guys like to call me Doctor Doom and everything", Jillian joked, "But my zombie experiments are over…", she squeezed his arm, "Drop by every now and then, will ya? You guys have been avoiding sickbay like the plague."Jillian's laugh trickled down her throat. Harry was white as a ghost, "Harry? Are you feeling alright?", she asked sincerely.

"Ha," he tossed out a belated half-assed chuckle at the zombie comment which rang a bell but not (thankfully) from his memories of this Jill's counterpart, "No, I mean, yes I'm just," he kept looking away, down the hall, anywhere but at her, "it's just been a long couple days, is all."

Jillian nodded while taking a step closer to him, "It's all so strange, isn't it?" She whispered, "I keep thinking I'm going to turn a corner and see myself. What would I say?"

Demon get thee gone?, "Hello?" he ventured, forcing himself to look at her… it was almost impossible. Even though he knew this Munro was nothing like his, Jill's work had been too thorough. If he meant to keep his cover, he'd have to get over his skittishness with this woman. "You'll, ah, have a chance to find out," he added, "she's here."

Her jaw dropped. "Here? You waited this long to tell me that the other Jillian is here? On. This. Very. Ship?" A huge smile broke out across her face, "This is so exciting! Let's head over to the aft lounge! Come with me?"

"Oh, wow, I'd just, love to but you know… I think that… two of you could really damage a guy….'s feelings…"

"Do I have to twist your arm…literally?" She said with a straight face.

"No, ma'am," he responded, quickly, eyes dropped to the floor.

Jillian burst out laughing, "Harry, you're hilarious." She gave his arm one last squeeze, "Alright, we'll I'll catch you later then. Take care of yourself."

"I'll just do that," he said a bit breathlessly, thinking that now, more than any time since beaming up to this Hawking, he really needed a drink. As it stood, he'd settle for burying himself in fake diplomacy and hope Jill was enamored enough with herself to leave him in peace.

Jillian watched as Harry quickened his pace down the hallway, it hadn't occured to her until that very second how odd their conversation had been. She shook off the feeling and continued towards sickbay.

JP between Dark-Side Harry and Jedi Jill
Originally Posted 10/7/08 by Jillian Munro

IAS Hawking
Getty Quarters

“I have to go,” she said hoarsely as she planted her hands against her husband's chest to push him off of her. The sheet fell to the side when Luke rolled to her left. She slid out of the bed, and picked her clothes off of the floor. After dressing, she felt her head, and frowned at the strands that were all over the place. She walked into the restroom and called for the lights to brighten the previously dark room.

Tatiana stood in front of the bathroom’s mirror straightening her hair. She stopped suddenly when she saw the skin on her neck beginning to change color. “Shit,” she muttered, and poked the darkening skin on her neck, “Something so beautiful should not leave a bruise this ugly.”

While she examined her throat at different angles, she caught the sound of bare feet on the tiled floor and then felt the heat of Luke pressing up behind her. Her breath caught in her chest immediately. He ran the back of his hand down the side of her face, and caressed her neck, “It looks good. Now when you’re over there, everyone will know you belong to someone.”

“That’s enough, Lucas,” she said firmly and moved away from the mirror. There was nothing she could do about her neck, so she grabbed her uniform top and exited the restroom. “I’m leaving.”

“You keep your hands to yourself,” he instructed from the doorway. “If I have to come over there, it won’t be good.”

“I’ll be sure to be a good girl,” she assured him and left their quarters. The trek from her and Luke’s quarters passed quickly, she was lost in thought over what was happening. They were going to an identical Hawking, she didn’t know much about what was going on. She entered the Transporter Room and waited for the rest of the group to arrive.

She was standing on the transporter pad, waiting for them to be beamed over. She was in the far left of the crowd, standing diagonally so she could both watch who entered the transporter room and keep an eye on the doctor. The physician was one person she would never turn her back on. Tatiana stumbled, when one of the acolytes pushed past her to get to the back. She wanted to turn around and say something, but she held back. The acolyte had the ear of Torrik Nils, and he scared her far beyond anyone else on the ship. She wanted to keep her name out of any conversations he may have now and in the future.

“Second group, prepare for transport.”

The switch was instantaneous. She was on the other Hawking, and immediately she could see the change. The lights were bright, and not dimmed to appear more ominous. She and the others stepped off the platform and listened to their guide as he explained where they were going. The young woman was there just to observe, not to speak. They exited the transporter room, and she lost interest in what he was saying. Their path throughout the ship was familiar, and once they were closer to their destination. She noticed a brunette woman walking quickly in their direction. Before she passed them, their eyes met and she walked on.

Tatiana didn’t stop, but there was something about the eyes that she knew. She didn’t catch the face of the woman, but the feeling didn’t go away. Once their guide stopped outside of the location, she thanked him and followed the group in.

Then it hit her how she knew the eyes.

They were her own.

USS Hawking

Tatiana stopped and turned around to watch the visiting group disappear down the corridor.

“Hey Thorne, what’s up?” It was Usha, she looked in the same direction that Tatiana was looking, before turning around and shooting her a curious look.

“Nothing, I thought I saw…something,” She continued and shook her head. Her mind had to be playing tricks on her. The group had moved quickly, there was a chance that she did not just look herself in the face. “Are you heading to Sickbay?”

“Yes. You want to join?”

Tatiana nodded, “Yeah, thanks.”

On the way to Sickbay, the two women discussed the new rumors flying around the ship, “Did you hear about what was going on?”

“Yeah, another Hawking came through a portal. Apparently they’re meeting with the Captain now.”

She didn’t respond at first, but walked beside Usha lost in thought. Tatiana didn’t know whether it was wise to mention what she saw, but she needed to say it aloud. “I think I saw myself,” she blurted. She took a deep breath and continued, “I mean…I’m not exactly sure, but I had to stop and look again.”

Usha turned Tatiana’s comment over in her mind, “I’m sure we’ll hear about it later.”

“Yeah, you’re right,” she agreed. “I just didn't feel right when I looked at her. But I guess watching youself walking towards you can do that to anyone."

"It would be creepy," Usha agreed.


A post featuring Two Tatianas, One Luke and a Stryfe.
Originally Posted 10/7/08 by Tatiana Thorne

-USS Hawking-

"Look, here, read this," Javier told Nurse Bramley as he motioned towards the console screen which displayed almost all of the information Starfleet medical had on Pah Wraith possession. "My eyes should be flashing with some sort of power and I should be able to move people by thought." He held out his hand, palm towards Bramley and closed his eyes to concentrate.

"What are you doing?" the nurse asked. The man withdrew from the Chief Engineer, stepping back two paces as he observed Costala's features tense.

"I'm trying to move you with my mind," Javier replied. "Is it working?"

"Well I moved back but I think it's because you're freaking me out." Bramley moved around to the console and continued to read the medical research of a Dr. Julian Bashir about a young man on Deep Space 9 who had been possessed by a pah wraith. He looked back at the engineer, who was still standing with his palm outstretched. "What are you trying to do now?"

"I'm sending bad vibes to Mellon, she's going to get nervous and stun you with her phaser," Javier stated as he waved his hand back and forth towards the amused security officer. "Don't fight it Astyr. Give in to your desire to stun Mister Bramley."

Cadet Mellon's hand drifted towards her phaser.

"Cadet?" Bramley started before Astyr smiled and returned her hand to her side. "That was uncalled for."

"Bramley, I'm not under the influence of a Pah Wraith," Javier said, "Read the article. This kid had the same experience as myself but nothing bad happened to him after the entity left him. And while he was under its control his speech and appearance changed drastically. Do I look or sound different?"

"Not really sir but we have to be sure.."

"Would it help if I called in someone who actually saw the pah wraith leave me and could explain my behavior and the differences?"

Bramley contemplated the importance of such a witness. "It wouldn't hurt lieutenant and your test results should be in shortly," the nurse shrugged, "why not." Javier tapped his commbadge. =^=Lieutenant Costala to Lieutenant Commander T'Shaini.=^= he said then waited until he heard her reply. =^=I need a character reference in sickbay. Nurse Bramley won't let me leave until someone convinces him that I'm no longer under the control of the pah wraith.=^=

=^=I am on my way=^= Within moments T'Shaini was striding through the doors of sickbay, finding the agitated Javier was an easy task, he seemed to be gathering a crowd with whatever he was doing to convince Joseph that he was safe to be released. She stepped in and squeezed Javier's arm, then smiled warmly at the nurse. "Good to see you Joseph, now how can I be of assistance?"

"The lieutenant says that you were there when the pah wraith relinquished its hold on him," Joseph Bramley said, "Can you tell me if there was a noticeable change in his appearance, speech or presence? I'm trying to determine whether the change was enough to warrant me believing that the pah wraith is no longer in control of him."

"I'm still going to make you levitate," Javier said as he stretched out his hand towards the nurse. "It's just mind over matter." The engineer knew he wasn't helping himself by pretending to be able to command the powers of a pah wraith but the utter ludicrousness of Bramley's precautions had made Javier resort to foolish displays to try and get his point across. "Unless of course I have no powers, then I can't do it can I?"

T'Shaini bit her lip against the inappropriate desire to laugh and looked Javier up and down before turning back to Bramley. "Not only do I now observe that you show no indication of imminent flight, I can attest that when possessed by the pah wraith his personality underwent a dramatic transformation, including symptoms such as a single minded focus on the orb, a lack of connection and recognition of myself," And with one sidelong look at Javier she finished. "and a decided lack of humor…which is quite unlike him indeed." She stepped closer and laid her hand on Joseph's arm. "I assure you, especially after Vanona, there is no one who would be more cautious in this regard than I am, I will take full responsibility for any decision you make and I recommend that he be released…under my observation, if that would make you more comfortable."

"Well, I guess I could release him into your care," Bramley said after a moment's hesitation. Farley Smit chose that moment to amble over and hand Joseph the engineer's provisional test results. Bramley glanced down at the results as Farley gaped at Javier. "You the one that was possessed?" the medical crewman asked with accent that seemed to originate from the backwoods of Mississippi.

"Yes, do you want me to tell you your thoughts?" Javier responded. He closed his eyes and pretended to be in an intense state of concentration.

"You can do that?" Smit asked in disbelief, his eyes widening. "I got a cuzin that could read tea leaves."

"Farley go change the bedpans," Bramley said with a shake of his head. His tone held the tiniest hint of irritation.


"He was just thinking about doing that," Javier said as he opened his eyes. "He's a step ahead of you Bramley."

"Hay, your good!" Farley exclaimed in surprised hick language before walking away.

"You're free to leave Lieutenant Costala, your tests all came back negative. Usually we would keep you for a few more hours of observation but if T'Shaini keeps an eye on you then I'm satisfied that you're under some type of medical observation." Bramley signed off on the test results as he spoke.

"Or I could stay here tell fortunes and teach levitation to my followers," Javier stated as he indicated Mellon and the retreating back of Farley Smit.

The counselor stepped in between the men and threaded her arm through Javier's. "Or we could leave Joseph to his work while we go to the meeting." She hugged his arm to her side. "I am curious to see if we will 'recognize' anyone from the other Hawking, are not you?"

"Do you think my twin has powers too?" Javier inquired, not wanting to waste one last chance to nettle Joseph Bramley. "Don't worry Bramley, I'll call security and have him quarantined if he shows absolutely no signs whatsoever of having any unnatural abilities."

"Just doing my job Lieutenant," Bramley grunted before walking away to log Costala's test results in the engineer's medical file.

"Poor Joseph." T'Shaini watched the rather huffy exit of the nurse before smiling at Javier. "Perhaps he does not appreciate your humor." Then as they left sick bay she leaned in to drop a kiss on his cheek. "At least, not the way I do."

"I might have been too hard on him," Javier admitted, beaming after 'getting some sugar' from T'Shaini. "I know the guy's doing his job but he didn't have to trick me to get me down to sickbay." They paused beside the turbolift, waiting for the conveyance that would take them to the aft lounge. "Have you seen anyone from the other Hawking?" he asked then almost immediately said, "Just tell me that Kal-El isn't their captain and I'll be happy."

"We were not told much, but I think if Kal-El was indeed Captain of the other Hawking we would be able to hear him talking in the lounge from here."

Javier couldn't help but laugh outloud at those sentiments. He was still chuckling when they exited the lift just outside the lounge doors. The engineer was in a great mood and he was aware that T'Shaini had a great deal to do with his good humors. "I think I'm going to make you my personal First Contact trainer," he told the counselor as he drew her close. Beyond the doors of the lounge he could hear the buzz of conversation and the corridors were clear. "You always know just how to make me feel good about diplomacy," Javier told her before pressing his lips to her soft, warm mouth. His lips parted slightly so he could gently suck on her lower lip while his hands rubbed her back, pressing T'Shaini against his body. "Thank you for rescuing me from mean old Bramley too," Javier added after pulling back a few inches from her lips.

"Anytime." T'Shaini closed her eyes to savor the last moments of that dizzying affect he had on her before they moved forward to the lounge. Leaning her forehead against his, she sighed contentedly. Then a noise behind her had the counselor straightening up quickly. "Oh, Harry, have you had a chance to meet some of the new arrivals?"

The engineer was caught in a malevolent glare that lasted little more than a second before it was concealed by a blank stare. Javier wondered if the XO was more angry at him for kissing T'Shaini in the corridor or for leaving sickbay early. "And I'm fine by the way, turns out my tests all came back clear..except for the virus." He faked a cough into his hand. "Of course it's not serious from what Bramley tells me, only one in every five people that get it actually die. We've had worse odds before though, right?"

The engineer grinned at Harry then glanced into the lounge as the door opened, the good humor drained away as his eyes came to rest on one particular person. "She's here," was all Javier said as his hand gripped T'Shaini's tightly.

Tee & Javi being diplomatic.
Originally Posted 10/8/08 by Javier Costala

USS Hawking
Aft Lounge - Deck 11

His training taking a firm grip, it was only a moment before Finn recovered (externally, at least) from the unwelcome vision of this reality’s Costala with his hands all over T’Shaini (two women, two universes, and in each one, Javier f**king Costala gets the prize?). After allowing a decent lead, he settled his cover more firmly and followed the pair into the congregation of counterfeits.

From the general atmosphere of the lounge, Harry got the impression that the first forays into inter-universal contact were going about as smoothly as a pigeon drop on a Jem’Hadar mark (yeah, he’d tried it… once). He also sensed that the Alliance reps were holding the higher ground but then the Alliance… those truly of the Alliance… also knew what was really going on, here.

Noting that Captain Torrik was looking shaky indeed in his company, which consisted of Captain Bayal, Gul Malkat and that gawky looking acolyte, he started towards the group but was waylaid by Tenanji and, ah ha, PO Govan.

“Sir, did you happen to pass Anderson on your way in?” Usher addressed his superior briskly, “she was to cover for Mr. Govan…”

“Yeah, sorry but, if you’ll look over there,” Finn indicated the corner to which Seth and T’Shaini had retreated, not speaking to one another but also not mixing with anyone (had she seen Costala, yet?), “she ran into her dad’s double so I sent her on another job. I didn’t realize you’d conscripted my yeoman…”

“Ah, it seems she called in the third string,” Govan’s relief was palpable, “Lt. Peress has arrived. Sirs, if I may?”

“Dis…” Tenanji began but…

“So… is it Govan… or Malkat?” Harry interrupted. “Not that it’s any big… unless there was something you were trying to hide from the ‘Fleet…?”

“Govan was my maternal grandfather’s surname,” Zal said, taking the question easily enough. “I didn’t hide anything from the recruiting office, I merely explained that I had no wish to ever be identified with, or compared to, my father.”

Harry considered the Cardassian for a moment. “Okay,” he said, “dismissed.”

Usher watched the petty officer walk away then turned back to the taller Human, “Sir, I’d like to request that, in future, you leave such questioning of my staff to…”

“You’re dismissed, too,” Harry told him before vectoring back to where Torrik had been… and lo and behold, bearing down at three o'clock was the other…

“Ah, Lieutenant Finn, was it?”

Zal.. Mark-1. “It still is,” he said with a dry smile. “Gul Malkat?”

“Indeed.” The Cardassian, second in command of the IAS Hawking, glanced to where Tenanji was stalking away and then to the space where Govan had been stationed, which was now filled by a Human officer. “Trouble in the ranks?”

“No trouble,” Finn denied, “just… being careful. With all the duplicates running around our Chief of Security thought it best if his people, at least, were one-offs.”

Malkat gave a small nod of understanding, “And the First Officer? What does he think?”

“If Tenanji hadn’t taken the measure on his own, I’d have told him to.” Not enjoying the fencing in the least, Harry moved on, “How are you finding your reception?”

“Tepid but… turbulent.” Zal’s head tilted wryly, “Your Captain was somewhat discommoded by the appearance of the Ascended’s nameless one.”

Who wouldn’t be? “I should see if he needs…”

“I wondered if it would possible to converse in private… two second-in-commands may manage swifter forays into the meat of the many issues this new gateway presents, away from the presence of our superiors.”

Blue eyes met and held brown and after a long moment, Finn gave one short nod, then caught the arm of a passing ‘Fleeter who turned out to be O’Keefe. “If anyone’s looking for us, let them know Gul Malkat would like a brief look around the ship before we get down to business,” he told her, glancing around at what had to be the most awkward gathering known to sentient life. “Given the current rate of progress, I might have time to give him the ten credit tour.”

At the Science Chief’s acquiescence, Harry led the way out of the lounge, nodding or commenting wryly as necessary. In moments the two were in the corridor, empty but for the Security stationed at intervals but one quick ‘lift ride and they were on deck 2 and then, still unspeaking, at the entrance to the XO’s office. It was empty; Jenny had been and gone, already.

“Nice,” Malkat commented, entering the room ahead of Finn, “Not as utilitarian as I’m accustomed but, I can see how it might suit a Human.” He heard the door slide shut and Finn engage the privacy lock. “I’ll be sure to tell the owner that you’re taking good care of his place. And you are,” he asserted, turning to face his tool, “Very good care indeed. I’m proud of you, Harry… quite proud.”

From where he now knelt on the floor, hands on knees and eyes cast down in complete and utter subservience, Finn almost shivered at the visceral joy his master’s praise elicited. “Sir, thank you, sir,” he said to the carpet, “My life for you.”

Malkat smiled, “I know.”

Insomnia post featuring NPC Gul Zal Malkat and his pet Finn
Originally Posted 10/8/08 by Harry Finn

She could not help but notice, how could she not? The energy with which he did everything pulled her attention even in this universe. He entered the room like a coiled spring and she always was waiting to see what would happen next, it drew her.


Then her gaze took in whose hand he was holding so tightly. Oh gods. It seems as if, at least in this universe, something managed to go well. But no matter the image before her, she wanted it to be her hand he was holding, her life that mattered to him. She barely noticed the two halting steps toward him until Seth put his hand on her arm. “T’Shaini…you don’t know him.” Stopping, but unable to tear her eyes away it finally registered that he was not looking in her direction. She swept the room, searching, until….gods…


In an echo of what had been done to her, as if watching a microcosm of her life, she watched Javier pull away from her…T’Shaini, and cross the floor toward Catarina Costala with an intensity that reverberated in waves from his body. As he crossed in front of her, not even noticing her existence, she felt her knees buckle as the pain of loss shot through her body anew. Seth’s hands steadied her while she stared at the floor trying to regain the vaunted Vulcan impassivity. Snapping erect, she shrugged off his hands and stared blankly ahead.

It seems as if it does not matter what universe I am in…unimportance transcends all.

Originally Posted 10/8/08 by T'Shaini

-Aft Lounge-
-USS Hawking-

She had been doing her best to blend in with the crowd of people milling about in the room. But she had avoided entering into conversation with any of the Starfleet people. Caterina used the camouflage the others provided to study the ship, as far as she could see the Hawking was almost identical to the ship on which she served. The differences were small but noticeable as far as atmosphere went. It seemed as if the Starfleet that these humans worked for wanted to decorate their ships in tones that were pleasing to the eye. Gone were the stark, featureless bulkheads of the IAS Hawking. They try to set their people at ease almost immediately. the engineer thought. It was very different from the Alliance who seemed to thrive on making people second guess themselves.

Her attention was drawn to the movement of someone who was making their way toward her rapidly. Caterina's gaze rested on a person she hadn't seen in months, a person she had only recently learned was dead. Her heart skipped a beat. It was Javier, her husband. He's alive! She stepped forward, ready to be caught up into his welcoming embrace then baulked as she realized that he looked angry. He's angry at me.

"What are you doing here?" Javier asked Cat, his voice hoarse with anger. Before she could reply he continued to speak, "I told you never to come after her. After that last fiasco you're lucky I didn't have the authorities on Jericho lock you up. Lia's not your daughter, not anymore, you gave up that right when you left us to go find a wealthy boyfriend." The engineer felt his anger blaze in intensity as the memory of how Caterina had kidnapped Lia then tried to convince him she was dead returned to him.

He had only spoken to her like that once before, when she had tried to dissuade him from leaving to search for his friends. But now he was talking about things she had never heard of. Our daughter? Lia.. There was something different about him. So much fury. "I don't understand, Javier I.." then it became clear, this person was not the man she had married.

He was the Javier Costala for this universe. And he and this universe's Caterina had had a child together. The knowledge of their happiness made Caterina hurt inside. And she ruined it, this universe's Caterina had ruined the one thing that she had wanted the most, a family. Tears flowed from her eyes as Caterina spoke, "I'm sorry that I remind you of her but you remind me of my husband. I don't know what she did to you but I'm sure you're a good man.." Her voice broke and Caterina walked away from Javier quickly. She left the room at a quick walk, not caring about orders or who issued them. Caterina wanted to find a place where she could be alone with her thoughts and tears.

Breathing out a regretful sigh as his anger cooled, Javier realized that he had just committed a collosal mistake. She's from the other ship. he realized as he ran a hand through his hair while shaking his head in disbelief. In their universe Caterina serves on their Hawking. As soon as he had seen her, he had jumped to the conclusion that Cat had returned to try and take Lia from him again. "I'm such an idiot." Javier proclaimed to his corner of the room. Why does Nils even let me out of my quarters when we're involved in a situation that calls for diplomacy? the engineer thought as he turned to survey the room. Everyone else, except T'Shaini, seemed to be ignoring him, the counselor had given him some space to speak with Cat. Give an idiot just enough rope and he may hang himself. Costala thought as he mentally kicked himself again.

His eyes drifted around the room and came to a rest on two humans that were standing to the side of the crowd. Time to make a good impression. I can do this, diplomacy is my friend. The engineer took two drinks from one of the tables on which a variety of drinks and fingerfoods were arrayed, and made his way over to the two, nodding across the room at T'Shaini, to join him in making 'First Contact'.

"Hello, I'm Lieutenant Javier Costala," he said to the older man as he handed him the drink, then turned his attention to the Vulcan woman to add, "Chief Engineer of the USS Haw..king.." His voice bled away as Javier realized he was speaking to T'Shaini. A more severe, Vulcanesque T'Shaini, who was hiding her face behind her hair, but still T'Shaini. She knew he was staring and he took a moment to swallow and break eye contact. "Sorry, you look like.." He realized he didn't need to explain, she could recognize her own reflection.

Originally Posted 10/8/08 by Javier Costala

‘From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone.’

:: USS Hawking ::
:: Lounge ::

Having extricated himself from the fray, Nils found himself leaning against the only bar in the room. Thankfully it held his weight, because truly he felt light headed. He glanced over his shoulder nervously making certain the shade from his childhood hadn’t followed. Luckily he had a moment to regain himself.

“Tea…something cold,” he muttered when the tender came close.

“Kilmooran Spice…good for taking the edge off,” Dalluk said casually.

Nils looked up finally acknowledging his former Sentinel crewmate. “What are you doing here?”

“Well someone had to serve drinks, didn’t they? I mean,” he chuckled lightly through his commentary. “They weren’t going to serve themselves. Of course I shouldn’t rule anything out… Not on this ship,” he added smartly with a wry glance about the room. He set down the iced tea and placed both hands on the bar.

“Indeed.” The young Captain scooped up the beverage and began gulping. It certainly was spicy. The aromatic vapors tickled his nose and a strange heat followed the liquid down his throat. “Dalluk, this isn’t an intoxicant is it? Because I’ve got to…”

“Nils, Nils, Nils,” he answered shaking his head. “Do you take me for a damned fool? I can see the panic on your face and hear the shake in your voice. Clearly you just had the shit knocked out of you… Metaphorically speaking, that is. You think I’d give the Captain of the ship some brain fuzzer while he’s maneuvering a mine field?” The barber turned bartender gave his friend a shameful look. “You oughta know better than that, son.”

“I do,” the Bajoran said, checking the room for the mirror image of his brother… All grown up… And alive… He found him. And Jachin was staring back. The elder version of the child Nils had watched die offered a slight nod and a reverent bow as greeting. “Ah damn,” Nils said turning quickly back to the bar.

“That youngster giving you problems?” Dalluk leaned out over the bar trying to get a better look at the supposed threat.

“No… Not exactly. That’s Torrik Jachin. But…from…”

“Riiiiight,” Dalluk said, continuing his examination of the young man. “Imagine that’s a real mind f**ker, huh?” The Yaderan wandered off after that gem of wisdom and began restocking his bar.

“Yes,” Nils said. “Something like that.”

:: IAS Hawking ::
:: Temple ::

“Por’vaya en tu sensa… Kah dul’yan ep tu relusa…” The drone of prayers circled the room, echoing off walls and rising up into the scaffolding where it mingled with the incense vapors. Over and over the prayers to the Ascended sounded and rebounded. Over and over the young acolytes struggled through the pain to keep their words in time with Torrik. Their success rate was uncanny considering the agony each one of them felt.

Light from an open Ark bathed the room in a deep purple glow. The heat was staggering. All of the braziers were lit to full height and raging fires put off their own smoke. The acolytes lay prostrate before the Orb. Torrik Nils paced between them, urging them on with his own prayers. Occasionally he would stop, making sure the creatures burrowing through the young men’s skin were doing their duty. Ruzta beetles were voracious. They had to be maintained so that they didn’t do any permanent damage.

Torrik was gracious, however. He only allowed the insects to rake small paths of skin from the back of the acolytes’ calves. And only when the most effective prayers were needed. But the ‘Lonely Ones’ demanded pain in order to draw their attention. And often they demanded death in order to invoke action. Thus the reason for the bound and gagged technician.

He’d been in the wrong place at the wrong time. And the acolytes had easily abducted him during his normal rounds. Paven would complain, as he despised losing valued crew. But Torrik knew this was necessary. They needed favor. And only suffering could incur the prize he desired.

Nils knelt and plucked the beetles from the boys calves one at a time. Then he strode to their prisoner with speed and purpose. He tossed the beetles in the man’s face and turned away. “Have at,” he said over his shoulder. He had no stomach for watching the gory sacrifices his gods demanded. But if Torrik Nils was anything, he was a creature of duty.

He returned to the acolytes and knelt between them, tearing his shirt from his chest. Their sighs of relief mingled with their prayers. With the painful beetles removed from their skin the incantations came so much more easily.

“Me…” Torrik’s voice was apprehensive, but resolute. Knowing full well their master’s desires the acolytes rose and moved each to their post. One brought Torrik his own Ruzta and prepared it, dangling it over the High Priests back.

“We are ready, holiness,” came a voice from near the Orb. Torrik’s own sacrifice of pain would likely incur a frenzy from the Ascended. The Ark must be sealed in case that happened. Otherwise the ship could be lost in a dream…or nightmare of the wraiths creation. “If you are unconscious when he returns, should we inform Captain Paven why Dalluk is missing?”

“Who’s Dalluk,” Torrik asked impatiently. “Oh…” he said, glancing only momentarily at the writhing mess on the Temple floor. “No… He’ll figure it out soon enough.”

“Our prayers will be heard today, holiness,” said the youngest Acolyte. “I can feel it. Their glory is coming. And it will consume this galaxy. And in the destruction they leave behind, we will rebuild it in their likeness… And they will enter into the enemy’s gate and cast out the Usurpers. And their fire will purify us all…” The words were from an old prophecy. Paraphrased, but Torrik was impressed with the young one’s knowledge of such an ancient text. He smiled grimly, and nodded to the acolyte hovering over his shoulder.

“Yes,” Torrik said. “Something like that.”

Then he was lost to the pain and agony.

Featuring NPC's Dalluk and Torrik Nils, High Priest of the Ascended
Originally Posted 10/8/08 by Torrik Nils

USS Hawking
Aft Lounge

“Okay, I’ve got the PADD, now where’s the Harry?” Jenny muttered to herself as the lounge doors slid shut behind her. She scanned the room which was, even she had to admit, not the brightest move. Most of these people were taller than herself and, lord the doubling! It was reminiscent of that one time back at the Academy, when her then roommate had smuggled in a bottle of replicated Scotch.

She hadn’t even tried a beer since that night.

Giving up on catching a visual of her godfather, Jenny began to circle the periphery. If she was lucky (in a weird, kind of depressing way), she’d run into her… into Seth… Mr. Anderson… she shook her head in frustration. There was no possible good way to address the man.

“You seem lost,” a smooth and very understanding voice halted both her feet and her wayward thoughts.

“Oh,” Jenny looked up to see the Bajoran who’d been walking with her… shit… with Seth. “I was just looking for Lt. Finn,” she held up the PADD he’d sent her for, “he wanted this data but the room is so crowded…”

The Nameless one considered the young woman before him with interest. It was unusual to see a Human unburdened by fear but, truth to tell, it was this one’s manifest purity which had first drawn his attention. “Is Lt. Finn the tall grumpy man with the… ahhh…” he remembered at the last moment that diplomacy was called for

“The… ahhh… yes, that sounds just like Uncle Harry… er, the XO.” Jen grinned, “It’s okay, he’s prickly but we’re used to it.”

“I am afraid your prickly uncle departed with our own First Officer, just a few minutes past,” he told her, surprising himself by smiling in return.

“Ah, well,” Typical, she thought, glancing down at the PADD and suddenly wondering if the errand had been Harry’s version of sending her for a left-handed spanner. Returning her eyes to the young man's kind of intense gaze, “Thanks for the intel. I’ll just go out to the corridor and wait for him.”

“May you not stay?”

“Oh, that’s very kind but it’s… this isn’t…”

“Forgive me, sir but, I wondered if I might speak to the… Crewman… for a moment?” Seth felt like a heel, ditching T’Shaini but, truth to tell, there was no room for him in that messed up triangle… square… thing (Javier's ability to step in it was apparently multi-dimensional). In fact, he’d been doing everything in his power to not look at the shuttle wreck in progress when he’d spied Jenny talking to this… servant… of his Holiness.

He was across the room and at her side before he’d even thought.

Meanwhile Jenny had gone quite still at the sound of his voice. It wasn’t him, any more than she was his daughter but she’d been read to and chastised and comforted by that voice for the first sixteen years of her life and hearing it again was… it was like realizing quite suddenly that she’d been missing a limb for the past three years…

“I believe,” the acolyte said with some graciousness, “that is up to the Crewman, herself.”

“I… well, sirs, I do need to… I’m just going to be in the hallway, waiting for the First Officer but,” she looked to Seth, “company might be nice.”

But Seth was still looking to the Bajoran, waiting for permission.

The acolyte nodded, “As you wish… I am sure we can spare your presence for a few minutes, at the least.” His gaze rested once again on Jenny, noted the similarities in coloring and, of course, those grey eyes. Since it was unlikely they would ever meet again, he made space in his memory for the innocence of Seth’s mirror-daughter. “It appears that there are many first-time reunions to be found in this crossing.”

And so saying, the two Andersons watched his attentions wander towards the bar, where Captain Torrik was in conversation with Dalluk.

Seth took the dismissal for what it was, “After you?” he asked, gesturing towards the doors.

“On it,” she replied, strangely relieved to escape the thick atmosphere of the lounge.

Once in the corridor, Jen took a deep breath before turning to face him, “So, earlier, you said you needed to tell me something?”

Featuring NPC's Jenny Anderson, Seth Anderson and Torrik Jachin
Originally Posted 10/9/08 by Harry Finn

"So, this is awkward." Jillian said matter of factly.

"It is a little unnerving, to say the least," Jill sounded stunned, but calm. The two were handling the situation remarkable well considering they had spent a lifetime being themselves, only seeing their own reflection by looking in a mirror. This was just strange.

Jillian winced in mock disgust, "Do I really sounds like that".

"Most likely," replied the other Jill. The thought irritated her.

It was easy to tell that this Jill did not share her sense of humor, "Not that you don't sound lovely," she shook her head when she realized how ridiculous this all sounded.

Jill blinked slowly, a hint of a smile peaked up from the corner of her mouth, "It's OK, I know what you meant."

An awkward moment passed before Jillian slapped her hands into her lab coat pocket, "So, this is what it's like having a twin. Like looking at yourself in a mirror."

Jill was amused by Jillian's nervousness, "Except that we are not twins. We share the same name." She took a step closer to the doctor and examined her face, "The same freckle on our left cheek and…"

Jillian nodded, "…the same DNA."

"We are practically the same person." Jill looked around the room, "The only difference is our environment. We are a product of everything we grew up around." She stared the naive looking woman up and down, "It's obvious you had a very…" she paused, "…different upbringing."


Jill raised an eyebrow. "Weird" was not a word she would use to describe the situation, in fact, it wasn't a word she used at all. It seemed too simple a thing to say, "Yes…weird." She repeated.

Jillian wasn't sure if she should hug the woman or make an excuse to get the hell away from her, was it wrong to think yourself gives you the creeps?, "So, what brings you to sickbay?"

Jill smiled ironically, "I feel sick."

Jillian felt like a tool, "Alright, let me take a look". She pulled out her medical tricorder and slowly moved the wand across Jill's torso and up towards her head, "Hmmm…space sickness. That's odd. I never come down with that." Jill offered no reaction, "I'll give you a shot of Asinolyathin".

"I would prefer Hydrocortilene."

"I think Asinolyathin would…"

"And I think that this is my body that you're holding a hypospray to, and since I know just as much as you do about medicine," most likely more, she thought to herself, "I would like to dictate what goes in my body. Is that clear?"

Jillian forced a smile. "Hydrocortilene it is."

Jill watched as the doctor turned around to fetch a different hypospray. Once again her eyes lingered over towards the photo of Jillian and Nils, "Why do you have a photo of that man on your desk?"

"I beg your pardon?"

"Torrik Nils", she motioned towards the office, "There is a photo of you and Torrik Nils."

Jillian smiled. The mere mention of his name made her heart melt, "Captain Torrik and I are….were…in a relationship at one time."

"Were?" Jill was intrigued, "Not anymore?"

"We're friends. He is very special to me." Jillian pressed the hypospray to Jill's neck, "I take it you and your Nils are not close?"

Jill lifted her eyes and her heart sped up with the anger and pain that his name evoked "Depends on the day. Sometimes we are a lot closer than I would like. He is quite unpredictable."

Jillian had the grace to look uncomfortable, "Well, that is definitely something the two of them have in common," she replied, with a forced smile.

Jill rubbed her neck where the hypospray had injected the Hydrocortilene, "Thank you, Doctor. I should be fine now." She stepped down from the biobed and held her hand out for Jillian to shake, "It was nice meeting you, Jillian Munro."

Jillian paused before stepping forward to hug the other Jill, "Take care of yourself."

Originally Posted 10/9/08 by Jillian Munro

IAS Hawking

Intendant-Elect Callan Vail entered the brig wearing, as per usual, a cool smile. “Ah, Crewman Arras,” he greeted the Enforcer on duty, “I was just at loose ends and thought it might be nice to have a chat with our visitor.”

Arras Crayn, who’d jumped to his feet so quickly he’d spilled raktajino all over his uniform, grimaced in reply. “Sir,” he jerked his head towards the cell, “The prisoner is being prepped for interrogation… orders are he’s to be left alone until…”

“Oh, I promise I won’t do anything to ruin Munro’s… fun,” the smile went a bit hard, “But seeing as how I’m expected to administer the peoples of this new frontier, I think it best I start getting to know their ways as soon as possible.” Then, as he saw the protest forming in the Enforcer’s eyes, added, “I’m afraid I must insist.”

Crayn nodded and backed away a hitch, all the while thinking that the ‘peoples of this new frontier’ would soon be deprived of any rights to their ‘ways’.

Vail didn’t move. “Alone, if you don’t mind.”

“Now, sir, that’s…”

“An order. Oddly, I do get to give them, though I seldom care to, on another man’s ship.”

Defeated, Arras nodded and started for the door, “The monitors will be recording everything,” he warned.

“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” the El-Aurian replied pleasantly as the doors slid closed. Wasting no time, he approached the cell to see that the prisoner in question had ceased his frenetic pacing and moved up to the barrier, where he’d been watching the exchange. “Lt. Finn,” Vail greeted the Human, who’s eyes were both wary and weary, “my name is Vail, Callan Vail. ” Then he leaned slightly closer to the energy field and offered a knowing grin, “But you knew that, already, didn’t you?” his head tilted, observing, “because you’ve met another me at some point. How… interesting.”

Finn said nothing and Callan sighed, “I hope you understand, I’m not here to interrogate you… whatever deep dark secrets you have I’ll leave to others to ferret out. I only wished to… get a feel for you.”

“Let down the barrier,” the Human said softly, “and I guarantee you’ll get a feel.”

“I’ve met your counterpart, too, you know,” Vail said, ignoring the challenge.

At that Harry just shrugged and headed back to the cot.

“Have you no interest in him? In the road not taken?”

In answer, Finn stretched out on the narrow mattress, thinking he might manage a few second’s of rest before Kenny came back.

“So, it doesn’t worry you, what he’s doing over there… in your place? With your people? To your people?” Callan watched closely. The outward response to the question was so miniscule anyone else might have missed it. Pressing further, “Do you have a woman, Finn?” The slightest increase in tension answered that question. “I wonder if they’ve had any time together, yet? Do you think she’ll even notice…”

“It seems to me that, if your mole is spending his brief and valuable time on the Hawking trying to ‘get some’ instead of doing his job, you’re the one who should be worried,” the comment floated up from the prone figure on the cot.

“And what makes you so certain his time on your Hawking will be brief?”

“I know me… and he doesn’t.”

Vail’s expression became serious, “But he will,” the soon-to-be ruler of the sector explained. “Once you’ve spent some time with Dr. Munro,” another twitch… he knew that name… “she’ll know you and once she knows you, he’ll be given everything he needs to…”

“To what?” Harry sat up and stared at the other man. “To help the Alliance take over the multi-verse? ‘Cause I gotta tell you, that plan has some holes in it you could drive a Galaxy class through. For one… that portal… how stable is it? What’s keeping it open now? And what makes you think the invasion might not go the other way?” He rose and walked to the barrier, eyes locked on the older man’s, “Who signed off on this venture, Vail? Who’s financing the Alliance’s manifest destiny and who…” now he leaned as close to the barrier as he could, “benefits?

“Not the Alliance… not really because assuming you succeed, initially, and get a few thousand, a few hundred thousand to give up their lives to move realities, what happens when they’re forced to deal with themselves? When they’re forced to kill themselves… or their families? Think that'll go over well?

“And once they’re here, once they’ve seen how the other half lives… how many of them are going to stay true to the cause?” Harry jerked his chin toward the corridor where Kenny the Enforcer was waiting, “The Alliance rules by fear… you show your people a society built on trust and respect, how long do you think that rule can survive?” Harry couldn’t tell what, if any, effect his words had on the El-Aurian but he took his silence for permission to continue so he did, “And while we’re here, having this little chat, maybe you can tell me what was in that Orb… both those Orbs.” Because that was an image that he was sure had been burned indelibly into his psyche…

slick and dark and grasping it had slid through the blinding beams holding Harry frozen and into the Devanagari’s eyes, his ears and filling his open and screaming mouth…

Harry shook it off. “I saw it…” he hissed, ignoring Callan’s apparent confusion at the change in topic. “I saw… something… crawl into one of the Devanagari and then, when I got sucked through to your side… he was there, too. A hunter… a local… and he’d been infested by something that came out of that Orb and… it was… it,” but rational words failed and he had to look away before confessing, “It was like his soul was being eaten.”

Vail’s expression closed entirely, “It has been quite an education, meeting you,” he told Finn with the slightest of nods. “I hope…” but then, really, what hope was there for this Human? He was due for interrogation and then… well, people had a way of disappearing on the Hawking. Most … prisoners, of course… went to Munro’s labs and some just…

Turning to leave he paused, looking back to where Finn was still standing, still watching him, “If you want to live, Harry… may I call you Harry?” But he continued without waiting for a response, “If you want to live, you’d do well to make yourself useful.” Then he watched as the man in the cell offered up his own, grim, smile.


This rant featuring NPC Intendant-Elect Callan Vail
Originally Posted 10/10/08 by Harry Finn

Jill stood staring at the turbolift doors, practically willing them to open. If she never saw Jillian Munro or the USS Hawking ever again, it would be too soon. Never in her life had she ever yearned for the cold steel plated walls of her laboratory on board the IAS Hawking. There was something about this other Jill that made her skin crawl. She seemed weak. Naive. Child-like. And to top it off, Jillian Munro was in a relationship with the one man Jill hated more than anyone. Disgusting.

Her internal rant was interrupted by the swoosh of the turbolift doors. Hoping she would have the lift to herself, she was annoyingly disappointed to find two of the IAS Hawking crew already there.

She offered a quick nod of acknowledgment, "Sir," she glanced towards Finn who immediately looked away, "Finn."

"Ma'am," the Human responded tensely, then, "Hold lift."

Gul Malkat, on the other hand, smiled, "Dr. Munro… just the person we needed to see. I'm afraid I must ask you to cut your visit short… your skills are required on our own Hawking."

A not-too subtle sigh of relief escaped mouth, "Sir, I would be more than happy to return home." Home.Could that be the first time she had referred to that hell as home?, "What would you have me do?"

"It seems there are some significant gaps in… Lt. Finn's… records. In order to maintain the illusion, Harry needs more intelligence," he glanced at the man Dr. Munro had remade into Zal's private soldier. "Report," he ordered.

Quietly, Finn laid down what he needed to continue to perform as the XO of the USS Hawking. In addition to the sealed service records, there were inter-personal relationships… and a few of the command codes weren't quite right. "… and the self-destruct might not be useful on it's own but I should at least know it," he concluded. The entire recitation had been delivered to the space above Jill's left shoulder.

Malkat picked up the narrative, "I've supplied Harry with a covert communications device… once you have any useful information, you can send it to the code I'll provide."

Harry's inability to look Jill in the eye gave her a sense of twisted satisfaction. She offered a smile to Malkat, "It will be my pleasure to obtain the necessary information, Sir. You know that I will go to any means," she looked over at Harry, "to get what I want."

Malkat nodded at Finn, who released the hold on the lift before requesting deck eleven, "Mister… I'm sorry… Lieutenant Finn has alerted the transporter room of your needs." The conveyance arrived at their destination and Finn preceded his master into the corridor. Zal Malkat paused before following, "Everything rests on this deception," he reminded her, "I know I don't need to tell you, time is of the essence but accuracy is paramount. Fail in this and…" he left the threat hanging but, even with his back turned, he could feel Harry, his personal hound come to point.

Jill could only smile, "Not to worry, Sir." She took one last look at Harry before adding, "Be careful, Harry. We wouldn't want anything to happen to you."

"Likewise," he said and, to the casual observer the response was nothing but sincere however, before the comedy of manners could degenerate the Gul gave a short nod and stepped out of the 'lift.

"Good luck to you, doctor… I look forward to hearing of your progress on my return."

She tipped her head forward, giving a slight bow, "Thank you, Sir." And with that, she watched as the turbolift doors closed, "Deck 4."

This evil (between the lines) post, brought to you by MU's Harry Finn, Jill Munro and Zal Malkat
Originally Posted 10/10/08 by Jillian Munro

:: IAS Hawking ::

From the moment she transported back to the IAS Hawking, she could tell at once that she had some reason to feel pleased with herself, some cause for satisfaction. She walked slowly, enjoying the familiar sensation, not bothering to place it, grateful for its vague comfortable warmth. It protected her from the disagreeable noise of the Alliance crew, from the thought of living in a universe where she had no control, from wanting to smack the followers of Torrik Nils upside the head. What were they playing at, she would ask them, what good did they see in such a monster? Where did they think he lead them, what did they think they were asking for? She knew full well that those types of questions could get her killed, but it didn't matter. The followers never listened. They would blink at her, uncomprehending, like cattle, the sacrificial virgins, not yet made restless by the smell of human or vulcan blood. I could tell you about Torrik Nils, she wanted to say, I could tell you enough to wipe those empty eyes off your faces: but she never said a thing.

What withheld her most from rebeling was the sense of her salvation. Because, amazingly, she had been saved, against all probability: her life which had seemed day after day to be a lonely and frightening hell, had been so redeemed by her work that she could now afford power in this universe. She snapped back into focus as the doors to her laboratory approached.

Jill Munro was welcomed into her lab by the one person she considered a friend, Omin Chris, "Zal Malkat sent over our new assignment."

"I know", she said sharply while picking up her lab coat from off of her desk.

And again he began, "Did you know about Harry Finn in our brig?"

"Of course," said Jill, almost shocked that she may have known something he didn't, "I have permission to use any of the prisoners for my experiments, so long as they are disposable." She added.

"I suppose that makes sense," said the scientist, managing to sound slightly hurt, "Regardless, what do you want to do with him? We could test the new technique on him."

"Have you had any success while I've been away?" She looked up with hope.

Chris motioned towards the frosted glass, "Two more stiffs added to the cooler just an hour ago. No dice, doc."

Jill rubbed her eyes with her hands and leaned against her desk, "Then we can't use it. We can't lose this one. He's too valuable."

"So what do you want to do? Stretch him on a rack? Burn him with hot branding irons? Stone him? Shackle?"

If there was one reason Jill enjoyed Chris' company so much, it was his sense of humor, "I was hoping we could be a little more…elegant." She pushed herself from her desk and walked over to the nearest wall console. Chris observed as she brought up Harry Finn's medical history. A sly smile crept across the doctor's face.

=/\= Munro to Arras =/\=

=/\= Go ahead, doctor. =/\=

=/\= Please escort Harry Finn to my laboratory…immediately. =/\=

=/\= Understood. Arras out. =/\=

"I take it you have a plan?" Inquired Chris.

Without responding to the question, Jill turned to her fellow doctor, "Prepare for interrogation. I will need a neural neutralizer, a psychotricorder, a type 1 standard Klingon agonizer, and a site to site transport."

Chris raised his hands in confusion, "I thought you said this guy was valuable? What the hell do you need all that for? Are you planning a brain transplant?"

She rolled her eyes and waved off his sarcasm, "Just do it."

The door chimed.

"Enter," Jill smiled,"Harry Finn," she said slowly, "…welcome to my parlor."

Originally Posted 10/11/08 by Jillian Munro

USS Hawking
Thorne Quarters

“I’ve been waiting for you.”

Tatiana stopped unzipping her jacket top suddenly and took a deep breath. She didn’t turn around because there was no mistaking the person speaking to her. “How’d you get in here?”

The woman laughed, “You see one of the good things about looking and sounding like someone else, is that people aren’t exactly sure if you are the one they know or the one they don’t. There are certain people err or the side of stupidity and spill everything you ask to know.”

Tatiana turned around. She couldn’t form words to describe what it was like to look at an exact of herself that wasn’t plastered in a mirror. “Mikhail?”

“Stephanie,” she corrected, and paused, “That woman is all over the place. I can’t even begin to understand how you can stand her longer than five minutes." She motioned in the corner, "Hey, can I get a glass of water?”

She nodded, “Yeah.” Tatiana walked to the wall and replicated her guest’s water. “Here,” she said and handed the cool glass to her. She watched in interest as her doppelganger daintily sipped at the drink. Once she was done she sat the glass down.

The engineer moved closer to Tatiana and reached out to touch her face. Before the woman’s fingers could connect, Tatiana moved out of the way. The reject stung the engineer, “Why are you nervous? I am you, and if you can’t trust yourself then who can you trust?” There a ring of something ominous that the doctor could pick up on. Something was keeping her from completely allowing the woman close to her.

“I can’t say that I…know what to do in this situation,” Tatiana explained. “I mean it’s not everyday that I get to meet myself, you know?” She also wanted to reach out and touch her mirror’s face because like the woman looking at her, there was a part of her that couldn’t believe that it was possible to meet another living and breathing Tatiana. She looked at her visitor curiously and asked the one thing she had noticed when the other began to talk, “You have an accent and I don't. Did you grow up in Russia?”

Tatiana nodded, “I was born there. I never knew how my father ended up there, but he met my mother and my brothers and I happened. I wasn’t a slave from birth like a good number of Humans. But life still wasn’t the best. Now that I think about it, it wasn’t so bad, my mother…she did what she had to make our life okay. When she died, things changed for the worse.” The mirror reached her hands out so Tatiana could look at them, “Look at my hands then look at your own. Once my mother died, I became property of a man who wasn’t very nice when things didn’t go his way.”

The doctor reached out and took the woman’s hands in her own. Her fingers traced over the ragged scars and she looked up at the woman. “What happened?”

“He took a whip to my hands, and these are the final products.” She fluttered her left hand in the air, “It doesn’t matter anymore though, I am over it. And I managed to get away anyway,” her voice was too even when she talked about her time before she was married. It was practiced, as if she worked to keep all emotion (either negative or positive) about her former "Master" out of her tone.

“How?” The question hung in the air, while the other woman turned the question over in her mind. She toyed with glossing over the truth, but it was never policy to do it when it didn’t matter.

So she went for honesty, “I got married to the right person.” She was bitter, and she knew it was obvious by her tone.

Tatiana blinked noiselessly, and when she spoke the woman looked personally offended, “You’re married? Seriously?”

The woman looked sympathetic, it was one thing they had in common. “Unfortunately I am serious. You seem to be taking it harder than I did and I’m married to the man.”

“I just…never imagined myself, any of my…selves, married. It sounds like you don’t even like him, why did you even marry him?”

“Well, when you metaphorically fellaciate the right people in my world, you get privileges others don’t have. At the time, the man I married could be found in the top ten of people that were on their knees for the Alliance daily. It got me out of the life I didn’t deserve to be in. Look, everything from day one with Lucas came from me looking out for number one,” she explained and took a sip of her water. “With him as my husband, I got to live and live right. That means more to me than anything else in this world.”


“Getty,” her counterpart answered.

Tatiana found herself shocked again. She was married to the stoic medic in the mirror universe. The 45 year old medic. She leaned forward and whispered, “He’s 45.”

Her mirror copied her actions and looked around suspiciously. “I know,” Tatiana said slowly. “He’s 45, I’m 24. It’s strange to you right? Look, he’s great in bed; it makes up for the fact that he’s old enough to be my father.”

Tatiana shook her head in disbelief. She stared at the other woman for what seemed liked minutes, “And so you married him to better your life, and now you’re stuck with him.”

She drained her glass and slammed it down. Tatiana stared at the glistening bottom and back at her naïve counterpart, “No. He’s temporary. Once things change in our world, he’s the first person I’m getting rid of. He’s a bastard. I realized a month into our marriage that my life would be ten times better if he wasn’t in it.” Her voice was hard and she glared at the cup as if it was Luke itself.

The doctor wanted to get off subject quickly; it seemed her doppelganger had issues with her husband that she didn’t want to get into. Her mirror’s problems would stay her own. There was something that bothered her about the woman’s story. “Wait, what happened to the guy you…worked for?”

Tatiana looked at herself coldly, “I killed him.”

The other couldn’t find the right words to respond. “Oh."

Sometimes Two Tatianas is Better than One
Originally Posted 10/11/08 by Tatiana Thorne

USS Hawking
Corridor - Deck 11

“So, earlier, you said you needed to tell me something?”

It’s all a lie, Bayal’s friendliness is a lie… Harry is lie! but those words were trapped, buried in his throat as surely as Seth had ever been buried in the mines of Hutet. It didn’t matter that he was on a supposedly friendly vessel in a completely different universe… in Seth’s mind he was still in prison. “I… ahh,” Seth stuffed his hands in his pockets, “saw how the acolyte was watching you when we arrived and… well, he… they’re… well I thought I should…”

“Warn me about a guy?” Jenny almost smiled but only almost because something about the explanation rang false. “Even if you were my… well, you know… I’m pretty sure that nineteen is old enough to…”

“I still see you as sixteen,” he interrupted her, hating himself for being so weak, “I suppose… maybe that’s how all parents are.”

Taking pity on him, Jenny laid a hand on his arm, “I think it is… seeing as how my Mom still sees me as eight.” She considered the man for a moment; genetically he was the spitting image but… there was something… broken about this Seth. To distract them both from the general ouch of their situation, she asked a question that had been practically burning a hole in her psyche, “So, is there another Harry?”

“No,” he said, quickly… too quickly? “I mean, there was but… we lost him… at about the same time as you… I mean… shit.”

“Yeahhh,” she sighed, “awkward.” Shaking it off, “Well, how did you come to be on the IAS…”

“Ahhh, Mr. Anderson, I see you’ve found a friend… or is it a relative?”

She turned at the sound of Govan’s voice… but not. God this was one weird-ass meeting. Behind Zal’s double was Uncle Harry, giving Seth a quizzical look.

“Crewman Anderson,” she introduced herself to her teammate’s double, “USS Hawking Sec… er, First Officer’s Yeoman.”

Harry smiled at that, “Temporary,” he confirmed, calling on the communications he’d seen from the ComSecOps on Jenny’s disposition. “Jenny, this is Gul Malkat, first officer of the IAS Hawking.”


“I’m sure the lieutenant quite fortunate to have such a charming aide de camp,” Malkat said, “And, as much as I’m pleased to see cross-universal relations going so very well, I’m afraid Mr. Anderson is needed inside. I'm quite certain the formal meeting must be starting soon.”

A bit dazzled by this aristocratic version of Zal, it took Jenny a moment to realize he was expecting a response. “Of course,” she turned to Seth, “It’s been a pleasure,” she told him, quite sincerely. It was good, she realized, that there was a Seth Anderson out there, somewhere.

“Yes, it has,” he agreed, his eyes locked on hers in such a way that she was certain he was trying to tell her something.

Probably whatever he wanted to say was too personal for public airing so Jen followed her instincts and took the image of her father in a quick and thoroughly unprofessional hug. “Take care of yourself,” she whispered before backing away and offering the PADD she’d been holding to Harry, “Here’s the data you requested, sir.”

Harry accepted the PADD with a nod, then gestured the IAS denizens towards the lounge. Seth immediately took to his heels but Malkat remained for a moment, “You were quite kind to him,” the Cardassian told her, quietly. “I only hope he won’t…” his words tapered off awkwardly.

The crewman looked after Anderson, “Won’t what?”

Zal sighed before leaning confidentially towards Jenny, “Anderson is only recently out of… medical care. He blames himself for the loss of his family, you see. I fear, seeing his daughter again, even if she’s not… well… it might undo a great deal of his healing… do you understand?”

Jenny glanced at Harry who also looked a bit flummoxed. “Of course,” she nodded, a bit too briskly, “of course. If you don’t need anything else, sir?” she asked her godfather.

“No,” he told her, his voice soft with pity, “No, you’re dismissed. Take the shift, Jenny. We’ll talk later.”

“Sirs,” she nodded to both generally then turned on her heel and made for the ‘lift. She didn't think it was her imagination that, all the way to the turn in the corridor she could feel their eyes on her.

Post featuring NPC's Seth Anderson, Gul Zal Malkat
Originally Posted 10/11/08 by Harry Finn

-Aft Lounge-
-USS Hawking-

Javier didn't notice that the other man had slipped away from beside the mirror version of T'Shaini. His gaze held her face and the room around them seemed to shift and blur out of focus. She's not your T'Shaini. the engineer had to remind himself so he could tear his eyes away from the uncomfortable glare. He was still holding the drinks that he had been about to give her and the other man. Javier took a moment to drain the glass. "Woof, that's some strong stuff," he commented from the standpoint of not being much of a drinker. In all fairness he could have been drinking water and gotten choked up. "Here, try it," Javier said awkwardly as he pushed the other glass toward the woman.

Be careful what you wish for. She had wanted so badly for him to notice her, then when his direction changed, she thought he was coming for her…then the realization that he was only walking away from Cat sunk in. Well, that is something. T'Shaini stood stiffly as the shock of seeing her washed over him and he tossed back whatever was in his glass. The glass Javier pushed at her started to slip through her fingers but she caught it before it crashed to the floor and set it aside. Staring at the image of the one she loved and lost and quite likely had meant far more to her than she ever had to him, T'Shaini found that words would not come. What could she say? It was not as if he could answer any questions she still had. No matter the package, it was not the same man. Her externally calm gaze held his until the silence was excruciating.

"I guess in your universe we weren't..aren't.." Javier let the question die. It was foolish of him to think that just because he and T'Shaini had a relationship in his universe, that they would in other lifetimes. "I..am I..are we friends?" He wanted to know if it was possible that some sort of attachment existed beyond the space that separated their lives. "I mean, do you know me in your universe?"

"Friends? No." Her tone was flat, she wanted to cut him off and send him away, but the disappointment that flashed across his face pushed her forward. "We were…friends, but no longer." Should she tell him? T'Shaini was uncertain it was wise to keep the conversation alive but it was likely he would find out…why not from her? "Javier Costala, the one that I know, was killed in an attempted rescue mission some time ago."

"Oh I see," he replied. Kowalski was right, my mirror counterpart is dead. the engineer thought. "I can understand how seeing me must have been a shock." I wonder what I..he was like? This T'shaini was much more Vulcan. It was like his T'Shaini when she had cut off her emotions. He felt sorry for her and his tone softened, "Who was he trying to rescue?" Javier asked as he studied her features. His eyes locked onto a scar that ran the length of her cheek. She's been in a fight, then remembering what he had read about Vulcan-Alliance relations thought, or someone has mistreated her.

"A group of rebels that had been sent to an internment camp." She lifted one shoulder in a shrug. It was difficult to not notice where he was staring, but T'Shaini forced herself to not try to cover it further "It was foolhardy of him…the possibility of succeeding was near to non-existent."

"Maybe he thought they were worth the risk," Javier shot back. The woman's flippant response irritated him. He didn't know why he was defending someone he didn't know, but in some ways the engineer chose to believe that he and his counterpart were alike. "I apologize, you knew him better than I did so you would know his reasons." He looked away from T'Shaini thought for a moment then lowered his voice and said, "Are you okay? They aren't mistreating you are they..your face, you should let one of our doctors examine it."

Her eyes narrowed. "No." T'Shaini's tone was icy. "They are not mistreating me." She glanced over his shoulder to assure herself that they would not be overheard, not that a casual glance would tell her much, but it seemed that the only person interested in their conversation was her counterpart from this universe. "The scar was received in the internment camps, medical facilities are not quiet up to Alliance standard there."

"I think our medical facilities surpass them both," he responded, "if you would like I can ask one of the nurses to look at it. They're very dedicated." I would know. Javier gave some more thought to what she had told him. "Did your Javier try to rescue you from the internment camp?"

Javi and Mirror Tee rehashing her past.
Originally Posted 10/11/08 by Javier Costala

"No." T'Shaini tamped down the flash of pain that still accompanied that thought. "He assumed I was dead."

"What made him assume that?" he asked. The question had been on the tip of his tongue and so Javier had asked it.

Same shrug. "Who knows? It was convenient? There were other things to occupy his time?"

"Other things? A mission? Helping someone?" the engineer stated. What would keep me from finding T'Shaini if she was missing? Javier couldn't think of anything at first. Lia, if she were safe then I could look for T'Shaini. The engineer remembered that he couldn't really compare himself to the Javier Costala this T'Shaini knew. Maybe he didn't love her as much as I love my T'Shaini.

"I do not know." The Vulcan spoke these words with as much finality as she possessed. "He heard our crew had been killed, and as is right, moved on with his life, married Caterina." She pushed aside the memory of his confusion during the rescue, they had not had the time to truly communicate in the chaotic atmosphere and after…well, after it was too late. All she had were assumptions, and none of them filled the hole that the knowledge that she was not important enough to wait for, left.

"He married Cat?" Javier said in disbelief after following the story's telling. Dumbass. Now he was certain that the Javier from the mirror universe was different from himself. "He must have fallen pretty hard after he lost you," he told T'Shaini, "I mean really hard. Really, really, really hard. Because Cat is..well, was the Javier from your universe playing with a full deck? I mean, was he okay upstairs?"

"Excuse me?" T'Shaini wondered what was wrong with Caterina in this universe…because judging from his reaction, something clearly was. "He was in full possession of his faculties if that is what you are asking."

"I see." He stood in silence for a few moments wondering if the Caterina from the other universe was more human than his ex-lover. "I only have one more question then I'll leave you alone. What are you doing here?"

"I was ordered."

"I lied," Javier told the tall Vulcan woman, "I have two questions. Are you okay?" There was something wrong with T'Shaini, he knew her counterpart well enough to know that there were
hidden words behind her facade of emotional unattachment.

"I will ask you one in return." T'Shaini tipped her chin up and met his gaze coldly. "If I am not, is there even a remote possibility that you have the power to change that?" She glanced over his shoulder at the image of herself that was cautiously moving towards them. "I think not…if you will excuse me." Without giving him a chance to respond, she slid passed him and disappeared into the the crowd milling through the lounge.

Javier watched her walk away, then frowned and softly said, "Well there's your first mistake Mirror T'Shaini, you just understimated the lengths I'll go to to help someone." He was going to have to find out what was troubling the Vulcan but first he had to clear it with his diplomatic advisor. The engineer turned to find her close by his elbow. "There's something wrong," he told T'Shaini, "she's acting like you do when you try to hide something."

A crease appeared between her brows as she watched her doppleganger fade away. "Well, I cannot predict whether she would wish you to delve further…" A slight smile lifted the corners of her mouth as T'Shaini turned back to look at Javier. "however I likely can predict that you will try."

A Javi sandwich
Originally Posted 10/11/08 by T'Shaini

USS Hawking
Corridor - Deck 11

“Do you think he told her anything?”

Harry shook his head as he and Zal Malkat watched Jenny disappear around the curving hallway, “No. She’s too,” innocent, “fresh… doesn’t know how to lie yet. If he’d spilled to her, we’d have seen it.”

Zal considered that. “Very well, but if she shows the slightest indications of suspicion…”

“I’ll handle it,” Harry turned towards the lounge to discover that Seth hadn’t entered the room but had, in fact, been waiting, watching and, from his expression, listening to everything the other two had been saying.

Malkat glanced at Finn, “Handle this,” he said before plastering on his ‘diplomat face’ and re-entering the fray in the lounge.

“It was so simple,” Harry told the pale and furious face of his oldest friend, “all you had to do was stay away from her. Now, if she did hear of anything hinky from you…”

“She didn’t.”

“… if she even got the feeling that something’s not right,” Harry continued, as if Seth hadn’t spoken, “then you’ll be able to go to bed at nights with the warm, comforting knowledge that you’d managed to kill your own daughter… twice.

“Now, I don’t know about you,” he said, suddenly easy and companionable, “but I could really use a cup of coffee,” he jerked his chin towards the door, “Shall we?”

Seth, after one long glance down the corridor where Jenny had vanished, ducked his head in apparent defeat and preceded Harry into the lounge.

Featuring NPC’s Seth Anderson and Gul Zal Malkat
Originally Posted 10/12/08 by Harry Finn

-Main Engineering-
-USS Hawking-

Mustapha sat beneath the warp core console. He had the service panel open and was performing a diagnostic on each of the gel pack's circuitry. The Assistant Chief pulled out the gel packs one by one and scanned them with his tricorder. Mustapha had requested to work the shift instead of attending the meeting with the people from the other Hawking. He knew the people he cared for the most were in his universe, so he was not even the least bit curious to see what the others were like. Perhaps they have a more well-behaved version of Eli. Mustapha wondered as he replaced the next gel pack. The thought elicited a smile from the older engineer. His son had just narrowly escaped a hiding that morning after climbing on a stack of furniture to try and grab a box of chocolates that Mustapha had given to Katie and she had wisely placed out of his son's reach, or so they thought. He is fortunate his mother believes in 'time outs'.

"Chief Ibrahim," it was Kowalski speaking, "there's a message for you." The engineer had been working near the MSD and had been alerted to the arrival of a message to the Chief Engineer's console by the incoming message chime. "It's marked Urgent," Kal-El informed Mustapha.

"Did you read it?"

"I..uh..I glanced at it," Kowalski replied. His tone sounded odd to Mustapha. It was if all of Kal-El's pomposity had drained out of him. "I think you had better read it Chief..it's about Pierce."

He has not been cleared of his crimes. Mustapha surmised as he flipped his tricorder closed with a heartfelt sigh. He had liked Pierce. It was rare to find someone who was continually cheerful and excited about the mundane tasks that the lower ranking engineers performed. But he had found Pierce to be a fount of good nature. "Okay, take over for me here."

"Yes, Chief," Kal-El replied without so much as a complaint.

Mustapha looked at the man then made his way toward the office. The news had struck Kowalski silent. This cannot be good. His eyes lifted up to the second tier of Engineering where Fenton Boyce was working. Mustapha knew that the cadet wanted his friend and roommate to come back and believed he would. How will he respond if Pierce is sentenced to imprisonment?

The message light blinked at the engineer until Mustapha entered the receive code. There was a short pause then the short message scrolled across the screen. It is with much regret that I write this to inform you that Crewman Benjamin Hyde Pierce was killed in action while aboard the USS Lakota.. Mustapha read in shocked silence. The senior chief sat down in the chair beside the desk. ..cleared of all charges. Mustapha cupped his chin in his hand. ..post-humously awarded the Medal of Valor for actions above and beyond.. The older man's eyes dropped to the bottom of the page, the letter was signed by an Admiral Lee with the signatures of two other admirals. Mustapha let out a long, slow breath then tapped his commbadge.

=^=Senior Chief Ibrahim to Lieutenant Costala.=^=

=^=Javier here, go ahead Mustapha.=^= The Chief Engineer's tone sounded worried and Mustapha regretted that he had to share more bad news.

=^=Javier, we received a letter from Starfleet Command, about Crewman Pierce.=^= Mustapha paused, If he's in conference then blurting the information out may not be the best way to tell him. =^=I think you should find a secure console and read it for yourself. It's of a sensitive nature.=^=

=^=Okay, thanks Mustapha, I'll get to it as soon as possible. Costala out.=^=

Mustapha began to read the letter again. Out of the corner of his eye he saw someone streak by the office. He stood to his feet and went to look for who was in such a hurry. He found a woman speaking to Kowalski, she wore an unfamiliar uniform. "Can I help you ma'am?" Mustapha asked.

Caterina turned to find that the kind voice belonged to a tall, handsome engineer. "I..I just wanted to come here, to a familiar place, to think.."

The woman was sad, Mustapha could tell from her tear-stained cheeks. "Are you an engineer?"

She nodded, then said, "Assistant Chief Engineer of the IAS Hawking."

"Ah, then as one Assistant Chief to another, welcome to Main Engineering. I'm afraid I cannot offer you a tour as I am unsure about your security status. But you are welcome to stay here with Petty Officer Kowalski.."

"I'll stay with her Chief," Fenton suddenly offered, "since Kal-El is busy." The cadet was looking at the woman like he had never seen the species before.

A distraction until we can tell him about Pierce? Mustapha reckoned. "That will be fine. This is Cadet Fenton Boyce," he said, introducing Fenton to the woman.

"I'm Caterina Costala." the woman replied with a friendly smile.

"Uhh.." Fenton said. Kowalski's mouth was hanging open. Mustapha felt the same but did not let it show. This is Javier's Ex? She does not look like a bitch.

Post featuring NPC Mustapha Ibrahim
Originally Posted 10/12/08 by Javier Costala

Emily checked her makeup one last time before heading out of her quarters. It was time for her shift, her first shift as a matter of fact as a security member.

It wasn't as if she'd woken up one morning and decided she wanted out of medical, from what she'd seen the Hawking had a perfect sickbay and the medical staff was nothing short of amazing. With that in mind she was pretty sure her decision would have been seen as a sign of a midlife crisis, or a warning that someone was incompitent enough to keep their staff interested. That was not the case, not even close. Thankfully she'd had a valid reason so the transfer had gone smoothly.

Emily nodded to a engineering officer as they walked by before continuing with her self assessment. For some reason she needed to verify her thinking, prove that she wasn't just being silly. She'd been in sickbay since …well since..carl. She'd lived for security before then, lived for the thrill and adrenaline which came with a ship out in space. There was never a dull moment, never a lull, never a boredom. However she'd been hiding in Sickbay. She was 'safe' in sickbay. Despite the things that came through the doors, no matter the ailment or the dilemma, she didn't have to see or stand up to whatever they were battling. There were less risks involved.

However, she could only be a coward for so long and …as strange as it sounds, she did wake up with a strong feeling that compelled her to change back to her previous role in starfleet. She smiled, it was a nice feeling to be back in a gold uniform.

"Relief," she said with a smile to the security guard standing watch in the lounge, "Go eat."

The lounge was busy this day, people had a lot to talk about as she could see. Then again, she could sense it without even hearing the frenzied conversations. She focused her thoughts on the emotions fluttering around the ship, they all seemed rather normal and expected under such circumstances. A few stood out, unexpected but she was never one to understand humans entirely. Emily cocked her head to the side. Nothing seemed too out of place.

Originally Posted 10/13/08 by Emily Star

Smoke & Mirrors

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