Shatter Point

This section features appearances by the following NPCs:
BayalPavenSiggy.png
JadaOKeefeSig.png
18420375_w434_h_q80-1-1.jpgSeth Anderson (mirror)
omin.jpgOmin Chris
eviljill.jpg
Caterina-1.jpg Caterina Costala
Vail.png
BayalSiggySM.png
GovanSiggy.jpg
TorrikSiggySM.png
jennyanderson.jpg
JachinSig1.png

:: USS Hawking ::
:: Captain’s Ready Room ::

SmokeandMirrorsOpening.jpg


Captain’s Log, Supplemental…

It’s been six hours since the alternate Hawking emerged from the polaric anomaly we inadvertently created. In the subsequent battle that followed our unexpected counterpart succeeded in turning the tide of the fight, and forcing the Beradi from the system. For the moment, Girijan is safe from her recent invaders.

Many questions, however, still remain unanswered.

Communication with the strange new ship has been limited to audio only. I can only assume the reasons behind this decision as we’ve continued broadcasting with the full range of audio and visual comms. The Captain of the ship, who has yet to clearly identify himself, has agreed to a meeting with key staff from both ships on board our Hawking at 0800. To say I’m looking forward to this meeting to would be a lie. To say that I’m nervous about it would be an understatement.

The markings on the ship’s hull indicate that she is the IAS Hawking, which perhaps sheds light on where this ship came from. But why and how are still shrouded in mystery. I’ve called both Bayal Paven and Jada O’Keefe to a meeting to discuss the possibilities. Our discovery of what we’ve been calling the ‘Orb of Reflection’ and the subsequent dispersal of polaric energy must be fully examined if we intend to rectify the current situation.

The judgment I’m left with is what exactly rectification would look like…


The chime rang, drawing Nils from his log. I’ve yet to complete a log entry without being interrupted, he thought wryly. “Come in,” the Bajoran called as he rose from his desk.

Lt. O’Keefe stalked through the door, followed by the meek Bayal Paven. The two took position opposite Nils at the desk and stood at attention. The young CO would never get used to the formality his position engendered. In truth, it bothered him.

“Please, sit down,” he said gesturing to the chairs they stood behind. “And let’s get right to it… Did the Orb open that portal?”

“Yes and no,” O’Keefe said, diving in. “Clearly the Orb is the source of the energy that sparked the interdimensional rift. But I’m uncertain what would have happened had we not intervened. It may have dissipated after it annihilated the planet… It may have simply devoured itself and imploded… Again destroying the planet. In any scenario, though, I don’t see that we had much choice. Finn’s call was legit in the best way. I do think it’s fair to conclude that our dispersal of the energy contributed to the formation of the anomaly, however.”

Nils nodded and glanced to Bayal, their resident ‘expert’ on Bajoran mysticism.

“I can’t say for certain what the purpose of the Orb is,” he began humbly. “But,” he continued sharply, “I know it has a purpose. All of the Tears left to us by the Prophets have very specific functions in teaching us lessons. They can show us the past or the future… Or show us something that could never exist. They may reveal a truth to us that we would never have found without their presence… But we’ve yet to unravel what it is this Orb was sent here to do. I suspect that it did exactly what it was designed to do.”

“With all respect, Captain… The artifact is simply that… A piece of alien technology that sparked a firestorm in subspace. Theorizing on possible questions of a theological nature is both a waste of time and without basis in scientific fact.” She paused and glanced at Bayal from the corner of her eye. “And quite frankly I resent a meeting where I’m expected to present facts that compete with faith. Facts rarely win out in such conflicts…”

“That’s not why you’re here at all,” Nils retorted sharply. “I want answers. And based on what we encountered on the planet I think I need both of your expertise to get them.” A moment passed. “Besides, I find that science without faith is empty…” He turned to Bayal and continued, “And faith without science is absurd.”

The two officers nodded, O’Keefe in acquiescence, and Bayal in deference.

“So now for the big question… Where the hell did this ship come from?”

“I think we all know the answer to that, sir,” O’Keefe answered bluntly.

Bayal nodded in agreement. “There is little doubt it is from what Starfleet calls ‘the mirror universe.’ The Emissary had more than one…encounter with the inhabitants of that universe and based on his own experiences I suggest caution in dealing with these people.”

“But they did help us fight off the Beradi,” O’Keefe fired off. “We would have been toast if they didn’t arrive when they did.”

“This much is true,” Bayal conceded.

“I agree… With both of you. Caution is warranted in any case…all the time. But I’m not going into this meeting looking for enemies where there may be friends. Up to this point these…mirror inhabitants have shown us they can be trusted. They could have very easily blown us out of the sky. They did not.” This didn’t relieve the stress the CO felt building in his chest. Nils felt a solemn obligation to get all of his decisions right. And in this situation his decisions could potentially affect more than one universe. The pressure he felt was staggering.

“If these truly are mirror inhabitants, I look forward to meeting them. Think of the shape their lives have taken. They could very well be…us…” Bayal seemed genuinely intrigued.

“I’ve considered that,” Nils said seriously. And he truly had. He’d read every log entry he could find in the LCARS in regard to the mirror universe. None of them made him feel particularly enthralled with their prospects. “And… clever name for the Orb, Paven,” the scientist turned Captain added, calling Bayal by his more intimate name. “I think that in light of our circumstances that name may stick.”

“It seemed appropriate…”

“I’ve got another simulation running,” O’Keefe said sharply. “So if we’re done with the more concrete portions of this discussion I’d like to try to find us more answers.”

One of Nils' eyebrows slowly rose. “We’re done… We know the how… We just need to find out the why. You’re dismissed,” he added to both of the crew members. They nodded and exited.

Nils crossed to the large window in his ready room and gazed out at the enigmatic ship that seemed to stare back at him across cold, empty space. He momentarily considered who may be aboard, before ending that line of vain thought. His only concern should be the safety of this ship. And their next step…

But something in his gut told him their next steps may lead to shaky terrain.

Post featuring NPC's Bayal Paven and Jada O'Keefe
Originally Posted 10/2/08 by Torrik Nils


Eighteen Hours Ago
IAS Hawking
Finn/T’Shaini quarters

“Where are you going?”

Harry finished lacing the hide boots over the Devanagari leggings, “Planet-side… there’s a thing and his holiness thinks I need to be there.”

Seth Anderson leaned against the wall, arms crossed over his chest, “I thought they weren’t bothering with local camouflage,” after all, the Alliance had never shown any concern, one way or another for any emerging cultures. They were equal-opportunity exploiters.

“They aren’t.” Almost there… he still had to go to sick bay and get a face and he wouldn’t be granted a sword until the bitter end. “Malkat delivered the gear and the order for me and T’Shaini to join him and the others down at the Orb cavern. Whatever’s happening, this is why we were brought on the mission… or so I’ve been told.”

“And me?” Seth’s voice was tired, “why am I here?” As Finn showed no sign of answering, only began to wrap himself in the heavily stitched coat, “Harry… why am I here? Why did you take me out of Hutet? Why…”

Not looking up, “Getting you out of that pit isn’t enough? You have to ask why?”

“Yeah, I do,” Seth, sick of being ignored, finally crossed over the Harry and spun him around, “I need to know because you… you’re not with us, anymore… you’re… you’re…”

“What?” Steel blue eyes met weary grey, “What am I?”

“Broken.”

“And,” Harry didn’t pull away, “who’s fault is that?”

Seth’s face creased with sorrow, “Harry…”

“Who’s fault is it that the Dolios took that last job, Seth? Who kept me from taking the meet with Malkat’s shill? Who didn’t think I was a hundred percent with the team so it was, ‘No, Harry, you stay on board, we’ll scope this one out… we’ll handle it.’”

Now he did pull away, but not too far. T’Shaini was in the next room, waiting for him to finish preparing so he kept his voice low, “Well you handled it, all right. Handled the Dolios right into Malkat’s hands… got Jenny and Meg and the others killed and got those of us still breathing an express ticket to hell.” If his voice broke a bit, remembering, he’d never admit it. “And that’s where they got me… in hell. And now I got you out of hell… you and T’Shaini and…”

“You didn’t get me out of hell, Harry,” Seth’s own voice cracked now… an apt reflection of his soul, “Every day I wake up, and I know Jenny and her mother are still dead… every breath I take free from the stink of Hutet, knowing how many of our crew are still in it… every time I walk by one of … them… and they don’t spit on me is worse then the darkest hole I ever worked in that camp. You didn't get me out of hell,” he insisted, "you just brought me to a new kind of pain."

“And that,” Harry Finn held his best friend's gaze, “is exactly why you’re here.”

Present
USS Hawking
Executive Officer’s Quarters

Harry Finn was cramming. He’d been released from the bridge shortly after the first contact from the IAS and given another once-over in sickbay to assure his mental faculties were in order (he knew that stepping-down move had been overkill… less is more, Finn) and sent to his quarters to rest. That he’d had to check with the ship’s computer to locate those quarters, and then bypass the security code to enter them were details he’d just keep to himself, thank you very much.

Upon entering he’d first locked the door and then made for the replicator in search of a stiff drink only to be informed, “That order cannot be fulfilled,” in the shockingly feminine voice of the Hawking.

If he were expected to spend much more time on this bird, he’d be doing something about that

Meanwhile there were still files to review. A meeting between the two vessel’s staffs had been set for 0800 and he’d have to be deep in character if he was to deal with both these strangers and the… people… who knew who he really was and the mind-bridge had only passed on the bare essentials… some of the other guy’s very recent history and a few operating codes. And to top it off, it seemed that this Hawking’s Finn was a heavily abridged book: sparse in his own log-keeping and, when Harry attempted to read his personnel files, classified up the yin yang which, in one sense was okay (if his history was that hush hush, he wouldn’t be expected to talk about it) but in another, it made it tougher to play the part without all the pages in the script. He’d started creating a workaround to get into the blocked files and, while the computer was processing his initial requests on that task, he started reading up on the rest of the crew… anyone he felt ought to be close to Finn, like…

… like Jenny.

He’d read her file straight off and it had revealed a lot… her father killed in the line, mother, remarried and living on Earth and Jenny herself new to Security and still recovering from some freak of a telepath’s mental abuse… he rose from the desk to walk off a completely irrational rage. This wasn’t his Jenny… he didn’t know this girl and more, he knew that the perversions which the Betazoid, Chuck, had inflicted on her were the perfect means for Harry Finn to protect his own cover, if she started to suspect anything was off.

There was a time he’d have hated himself for even thinking like that. Nowadays, however, his level of self-loathing remained at a steady 97.6% and one rancid deed more or less didn’t make much of a difference.

He moved back to the desk, checked the comp’s progress on Finn and, as that was still ongoing, turned his attentions back to the staff… and didn't it just figure that Costala was here, too? And, from Finn's ship's logs, they were on good terms.

Without thinking, he rubbed the hand which T’Shaini had taken hold of on the bridge. She… cared for him.

Featuring NPC Seth Anderson and the Mirror Universe Finn
Originally Posted 10/3/08 by Harry Finn


-Deck Four-
-USS Hawking-

"I used to rule the world, Caesar'd rise when I gave the word," Javier sang as he replaced a set of EPS conduits, "Now in the morning I sleep alone and sweep the streets I used to own." He worked quickly to repair the damage that the Beradi had dealt to the ship. At intervals along the maintenance passageway CPO Kowalski and Cadet Boyce were in the process of making repairs to the same systems. Decks four and five had been hit hard and the systems required more than the quick patch and reroute that had been done during the ship battle. One deck below Costala's engineering team, Lt. Yeoh, Crewman Mills and PO Bilara Wakeel worked on the same systems.

"Chief," Boyce suddenly spoke, breaking what had been a working/singing silence, "what do you think your mirror counterpart does?"

Javier contemplated the question while removing a whole series of ruptured gel packs. "I have no idea. I haven't really had time to think about it."

"Maybe you're someone important?" Fenton suggested.

"Maybe you're poor or dead," Kowalski added.

The Chief Engineer stopped working so he could give Kal-El the odd look that the statement deserved. "Thanks Kowalski, I knew I could count on you to think positive thoughts."

"I'm just trying to say that any number of possibilities might be..possible," Kal-El stated after giving the Chief an apologetic shrug. "For instance, my mirror counterpart, could be the complete opposite of me..unintelligent or ugly, then again he could be almost as intelligent as I am.."

"I bet mirror Darby Saunders is hot," Fenton suddenly commented.

"Now what's that supposed to mean?" Kowalski asked belligerently, as he absentmindedly waved his tricorder over the EPS node.

That your girlfriend's an ugo. Costala thought to himself, stifling the urge to chuckle before saying, "I think Fenton meant that she's probably as pretty there as she is here." he said in hopes the conversation would turn to another topic.

"I don't know if that's exactly what I was saying Chief…" Boyce started to explain before a glare from the engineer cut him off in mid-sentence. The cadet gave the repair work his full attention. "It would just be interesting," he remarked, "to see what your other self does."

=^=Bramley to Lt. Costala.=^=

Javier tapped his commbadge, wondering what Bramley needed from engineering. "Costala here, go ahead."

=^=Chief Costala, I need you to report to Sickbay immediately.=^=

Javier brushed his hand across his head, his fingers bumped the facial reconstruction that he still wore. Realization dawned on the engineer and he replied: "Bramley, I completely forgot about the surgery. I'll be right down. Costala out." After giving Kowalski brief instructions, Javier made his way down to sickbay to 'get a new face' or in this case, an old one.

Originally Posted 10/3/08 by Javier Costala


Tucking her hair behind her ears to more closely examine her newly retuned face T’Shaini wondered if it was mere vanity that brought the surge of relief. No, I do not think so. She was fairly certain it had far more to do with identity and the culmination of a very stressful mission than a generic ‘oh my goodness, I am so glad I did not receive any permanent scarring’. Stressful mission… Not that he stress level would be any lower any time soon, even with the aid in the battle, the fact that said aid came from a mirror universe version of the Hawking was unsettling to say the least. And now, they were to meet the crew. The counselor knew little of the meeting ahead, only that she was required to be there, and it was clear from his tone that her Captain’s nerves were stretched to the breaking point. If the only purpose she served there was to calm the tensions that were likely to arise, then that was all that mattered. A tiny thrill fluttered deep within, and T’Shaini put her hand on her chest to tamp down the inappropriate response. What if it is? She did not know whether she hoped it was or she hoped it was not, but the prospect of meeting mirror universe counterparts to people she cared for was certainly exciting. Would she be there? Would Nils? Would Harry? Even more importantly…would Javier?

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈ ≈≈

She untucked her hair and let it hang over her face as she looked at herself in the mirror disapprovingly, it was not vanity, well not entirely, that made her want to hide. With no idea who or what they would be facing when they went over, T’Shaini felt…exposed, and if keeping her hair down helped her in lessening that feeling, then that is what she would do. This is what happens when you have no control in your own life. The thin white line that ran down the side of her face was completely covered…as long as she did not move too quickly. And how likely is that really… She ran her finger along the long scar that traced the side of her face, not that it was the only scar she had from interment, it was merely the visible one. A flutter made her press her hand over her stomach to quiet it. She knew of course that there was, or had been a Harry on the other Hawking, [i]if only they could remain where they were,[/i but she wondered who else could be there. Would she? Would she be happy? Her nose wrinkled at the impossibility of that concept, then the flutter began to crescendo, if Harry was there, he might not be the only one. Would Seth be there? T’Shaini could barely let herself think the next thought….would Javier?

Originally Posted 10/3/08 by T'Shaini


She kept her laboratory cold. Most of the Alliance hated the cold. It was her way of ensuring they didn't wear out their welcome when they came to check on her progress. Despite being human, she had earned their trust, but that brought no comfort to her. She was hated by most Terrans and Vulcans, and she knew it. Jill was pardoned from a life of servitude when an Alliance scientist by the name of Malr Shia recognized her talent in science; specifically medicine. She had two choices, serve the Alliance or die. She chose to live, and from the Terran Empire's perspective, that made her a traitor.

Uncertainty was, by far, the worst part of living. From the day she swore her allegiance to the Alliance, Jill knew she would never see her family again. She had a duty. And they had a duty. If they ever met, their duty would be to kill the other.

She had to bear her pain privately, unable to talk to anyone else, no matter how much she yearned for comfort. The closest she came to a friend was a collegue, a half Bajoran/half human scientist, Omin Chris. His father's name was Hodges, but he chose not to use it. It was enough that he had to carry the burden of being a half breed, he didn't need the name to make things worse.

The door to sick bay swooshed open, "They say that babies who are breast-fed tend to have a higher I.Q than those who are not."

Jill turned from her desk to face the Bajoran doctor, who was carrying a tray of food in his arms, a sandwich and a glass of milk, "OK…" She lingered, wondering where this was going.

"However, having been a formula-raised baby, I always take umbrage with that statement. I was only fed formula." He took a large bite of his sandwich, lettuce spilling out the sides of his mouth, "Look how smart I am."

The expressionless doctor raised an eyebrow, "But think how much smarter you'd be if you HAD been breast-fed."

He nodded, pondering the possibilities, "Maybe if I'd been breast-fed, we'd have a concrete way to control the rebels. Or I'd have been able to prove Fermat's Theorem."

Jill turned back to her work, "At the very least, maybe you wouldn't lose your damn tricorder every week."

"That's minor," he waved his hand dismissively and paused before offering a benevolent smile, "How's your research coming along?"

Before answering, she leaned over and tapped on a console that sat just below a frosted glass barrier. The frost became transparent, revealing 3 dead humans on the other side.

Omin sighed, "That good, I see."

"We're not talking about coercive persuasion here. You're basically asking me to reprogram a human cerebrum. That's going to take time. It's going to take…" She looked up at the 3 three corpses. She felt sick to her stomach.

"Use as many as you as you need." He rested his hand on her shoulder, "Jill, keep in mind that it's not me who is asking. It's his holiness, Torrik Nils, who is asking." He stuffed the last piece of sandwich in his mouth, "I don't care how many Humans or Vulcans we kill. The rebels must be controlled."

Her passionless blue eyes stared at him with intense emptiness, "I hate this," she muttered.

"Good."

Featuring NPC Omin Chris
Originally Posted 10/3/08 by Jillian Munro


-Main Engineering-
-IAS Hawking-

Caterina inhaled sharply as the hand landed on her shoulder. She had been in the process of calculating the yield from a different mixture of matter and anti-matter, in an effort to squeeze more power from the core. The sudden touch had startled her but the ever-present fear and loathing of her department chief only made her more nervous.

"Caterina you're so tense, you need to relax," Gul Kallar's voice said as he placed his other hand on the human female's shoulders and began to lightly massage the smooth skin. The lack of outer bone structure on the human form enticing him to slip his hands around her slender neck. "If anything, I try to create an atmosphere of accommodating professionalism in Engineering. And yet you are always so tense and formal." Kallar's hands slipped down to her shoulders again, massaging deeper with his fingers.

The Terran female suppressed a shiver of disgust knowing that the male Cardassian would read the response differently. He'll use it to try and.. At that thought she removed herself from his touch with a swift turn and side-step, one of many evading moves that Caterina had become skilled at during her time on the Hawking. Rather than let Kallar think she was trying to escape she stayed close but stuck a PADD between herself and the Chief Engineer.

"Here are the results of the trial runs and diagnostics with the new mixture," Cat offered as she placed the PADD in his hands.

Kallar smiled as he took the PADD and looked over the information. He was impressed by Caterina's work, he was also impressed by the fact that she continued to 'play hard to get' as the humans called it. Her evasion was exhilirating and only made him look forward to the moment when she would yield to him. Of course he could have taken her at any point within the mission, there might have been some minor backlash as there had been before but humans were the lesser race in the Alliance and no one wanted to anger his family. "Excellent work as always Caterina," Kallar said, the art of flattery not lost on the Cardassian, "for a human you have considerable skill as a technician."

For a human.. It was the same compliment her instructors had given her on Mars. The crewman smiled slightly as she remembered something Javier had replied to one of the teachers. For a Cardassian you really know how to make me feel good about myself. He was being sarcastic of course and the remark and fear of reprisal had frightened her. But it had also made her proud that he was her's.

Thinking that Caterina's smile was for him, Gul Kallar continued, "I have mentioned your competency in my reports to Alliance Command." He moved his arms behind him and stepped closer to the female. "I also have an assignment for you. My duties," his eyes glanced briefly at another human female engineer who was less evasive, "will keep me from attending the meeting on the other Hawking." Kallar fixed his gaze upon Caterina. "I would prefer if you went..in the capacity of Assistant Chief of Engineering."

Caterina stared at Kallar in shocked surprise. It was the promotion that she had dreamed of but thought she would never obtain because promotion meant having to share Kallar's bed chamber. "I..I won't let you down Sir."

"I know you will not disappoint me Caterina," Kallar said kindly. Soon, very soon you will not be able to refuse. "Dismissed," he said and watched the human female walk away before turning his attention to the woman he had been surveying during he and Caterina's conversation. He made a signal to her which she immediately acquiesced to and made her way to his office. Kallar followed the woman. I will pretend she is Caterina Costala. the Cardassian officer thought as he watched the female engineer begin to undress. Ahhh the spoils of war.

Featuring NPC Catarina Costala
Originally Posted 10/3/08 by Javier Costala


IAS Hawking
Brig

”Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue, idn'it, ay? Beautiful plumage!”

The lean man currently stretched out on the brig’s hard cot shifted his head slightly before responding to his own query in a slightly falsetto voice. “The plumage don't enter into it. It's stone dead.”

“Nononono, no, no!” he roughly denied his own accusation, “'E's resting!”

“All right then,” the strangely schizoid interview continued, “if he's restin', I'll wake him up! 'Ello, Mister Polly Parrot! I've got a lovely fresh cuttle fish for you if you show…”

He kicked the side of the cell, “There, he moved!”

His head turned to the left, “No, he didn't, that was you hitting the cage!”

Now it shifted to the right, “I never!”

Left, “Yes, you did!”

Right, “I never, never did anything…”

Left and kicking the cell wall again, “ 'ELLO POLLY!!!!! Testing! Testing! Testing! Test…”

“Do you think if you make enough noise, the people on your Hawking will be able to hear you?” a new and unwaveringly superior voice cut into the solo performance, “But wait, they don’t even know you’re gone, do they? No one knows…”

“Awww, man,” Harry Finn sat up and threw a disgusted look at the guard, some unnamed Bajoran with entirely too much power, “you made me lose my place. Now I’ll just have to start over.” He closed his eyes for moment before, “Okay, here we go, ‘ello, I wish to register a complaint’…”

“If you don’t shut up, I’m going to turn it on, again.”

Harry shut up. The ‘it’ his guard referred to was the latest in Agonizer ™ technology: a subcutaneous implant set at the base of Harry’s skull and, voila, all the Enforcers had to do was press a control pad affixed to their wrist and watch as their prisoner did his best impression of a freshly-landed trout.

It had been fun, in a completely no-fun kind of way.

“Sorry,” he said, forcing himself to at least look relaxed as he held the Bajoran’s eye, “just trying to kill some time… you know, before the shit hits the scrubbers on this diabolically stupid plan your bosses have sucked you all into…”

“Note to self,” Harry muttered ten minutes later, after the inevitable trout dance had ended, “people on the other side of the glass have no sense of humor.”

Featuring excerpts from Mony Python's infamous 'Dead Parrot' skit.
Originally Posted 10/3/08 by Harry Finn


USS Hawking
Executive Officer’s Quarters

Lt. Commander Callan Vail offered up a quiet smile as the XO’s door opened, “Harry,” he greeted the clearly surprised man.

“Commander,” Finn had no reason to believe that Harry was on equal terms with the El-Aurian so he fell back on formality. “Could I help you with something?”

“I’m not certain,” Vail’s demeanor was easy, as usual, “I thought perhaps, as we’re both required in the transporter room, we could use the travel time to have bit of a talk.”

Harry checked his wrist chrono: it read 0740, “I don’t think it’s going to take us twenty minutes to get there,” he pointed out.

Callan smiled, “Quite right! Well then, let’s just chat, here.”

“Okay,” Harry shrugged and stepped aside. He’d already blacked out his computer screen, though it was still running through potential byroads into the XO’s sealed background. “Sorry, there’s not much… ah… anything, in here.” Which was baffling. Here was Finn, an Executive Officer in the Federation’s Starfleet and all he had to show for it were some uniforms, a handful of weapons, some workout gear and that red blanket on the couch. Combined with the no-alcohol, Harry was starting to wonder if this version of himself were some kind of monk. He was also beginning to wonder if T’Shaini had edited out some key points while acting as a bridge between the two men.

“No worries,” was all Vail said, entering the room and making himself at home on the couch. “So,” he cut to the chase, “you tried to step down from your job, in the middle of a firefight.”

The game’s afoot, Finn thought as he committed to the toughest test of his acting ability, yet. “Yeah, well… it may not have been my brightest moment ever…” Harry ran a weary hand over his hair, wondering why the hell an Intelligence officer who wasn’t even attached to this ship cared…

“And then you recommended Hawking go silent running, again, in the middle of a firefight.”

“Am I being accused of something, here? ‘Cause, yes… okay it was a dumb-ass idea. If I’d heard it, I would never have gone for it but…”

“But?”

Harry locked eyes with the other man, “It had been a bad day. You’ve had a few of those, I’m sure.”

Vail nodded once, though his gaze didn’t waver, “Many, as it happens, but you and I both know that you’ve had worse… much worse and only recently. And the fact remains that you made two very uncharacteristic and nearly catastrophic decisions in the course of five minutes and,” here he leaned forward, “you were, by your own admission, in close contact with that Orb… the same Orb which has brought us face to face with another Hawking.”

The tall Human let out a short hiss of breath and found himself sitting in the armchair opposite his guest, “So, you think I’m… what… receiving broadcasts from another dimension? Another me?”

“PO Bayal has named the artifact the Orb of Reflection,” Callan said, “and given its apparent ability to allow another Hawking to glide through the looking glass, who’s to say what other things might not also pass through: ideas… memories… personality traits…”

“I told her, T’Shaini… up on the bridge, that, that I felt like… like someone had shuffled my synapses, that I was getting ideas from… they felt like they were coming from nowhere, like I didn’t own them,” Harry’s eyes trailed to the port and out, to view the IAS Hawking as it drifted nearby. “Shit.”

“Indeed,” Callan sat back and considered. “How are you feeling now?”

“Tired… but that’ s not new,” Harry offered a familiar half shrug, “and frigging antsy… diplomacy isn’t my thing.”

“I find that a great deal of nodding and smiling can go a long way. And, perhaps we’ll find that they do also have a Harry… and if so he, and they, may be able to shed some light on the Orb and if it did, indeed, ‘shuffle your synapses’.”

“Maybe,” Finn rose from the chair, preparatory to leaving, “but I wouldn’t put a lot of credits down on the opposimg team’s willingness to share.”

Which, Callan thought, as he preceded the XO into the corridor, at least sounded a great deal like the Finn he’d come to know.

Following with a briefly shadowed expression, Harry wondered just how long he’d be expected to keep up this charade vs. how long he’d actually be able to. T’Shaini had better have some more insights into this guy or…

“Coming?”

Harry realized he’d stopped walking, “Yeah, yeah… let’s go make nice with… whoever,” and the two men continued their journey, each deep in his own speculations.

Featuring the anti-Finn and NPC Callan Vail
Originally Posted 10/4/08 by Harry Finn


-Sickbay-
-USS Hawking-

"Bramley, I don't see what a DNA scan and a complete physical has to do with the surgical removal of those Devangari features," Javier complained as he lay on the biobed in the corner. Sickbay was his least favorite department on the ship, not because he disliked doctors or the medical practice, but because he had spent so much time in the area after their last few missions Javier figured that he wouldn't need to return after coming back from Girijan with only minor injuries.

"Lieutenant, we heard that you were pretty banged up after the fight on Girijan," Bramley noted in a concerned tone, "I'd just like to make sure that you don't have any secondary injuries because of the quick patchwork done on the planet."

"It was done by your superiors," the Chief Engineer grumbled as he waited while the nurse ran a scanner over his chest. "It was my arm and my head that were injured," he told Bramley.

"Just checking everything Chief."

"Better safe than sorry," Javier mumbled before Bramley had a chance to say more. He began to think of all the times he had been in sickbay. I was shot in a holo-program with the safeties turned off. Then I got stabbed in the side after the shuttle crash..then there was the virus quarantine after Halcyon..then I carried T'Shaini here after Vanona..

"We'll run these tests and have some results for you in a few hours Chief," Bramley said as he snapped his tricorder shut, "You should rest here until the results are in."

"Forget that, I have repairs to make and a meeting to attend," the officer said as he started to sit up. "Comm the results to me.." His eyes went to the security officer, Mellon Astyr that approached at Bramley's beckoning.

"I'm sorry lieutenant, you're going to have to stay here until we can clear you for duty," Bramley explained, his voice a mixture of regret and adherence to his responsibilities. "We have safety protocols to follow after a crewmember has been taken over by a hostile entity. After the incident with Vanona Hawthorne, we had to follow stricter measures and one of those says that you have to remain here for the duration of the tests until we deem that you are not a security risk."

"It was a pah wraith," Javier said in disbelief, looking from Astyr to Bramley, "not another person..and it went into the Orb..I'm all me. One hundred percent essence of Javier."

"I believe you Chief but we have to be certain."

"I have to go to the staff meeting with the others," Chief Costala explained.

"I'm sorry sir, we can't release you as per orders," Bramley said adamantly.

"Well maybe someone should overturn those orders."

"Only the Captain or the Executive Officer can do that."

"Right, okay.." Javier thumped his commbadge in annoyance. =^=Costala to Finn, Harry, they're holding me in sickbay because of some stupid rule that came about because of Vanona..they think that because the pah wraith possessed me that I'm a threat to the ship..=^=

There was a pause before Finn’s voice came back =/\=Sorry, Costala… I’ve recently been told that the MD trumps the XO in Starfleet. These people know what they’re doing, just let them do it and you’ll be sprung in no time… besides, you wouldn’t want to chance that the Pah Wraith could mess with the ship… or your daughter… because you didn’t follow protocol, right?=/\= then, before the Engineer could offer a protest =/\= Shit, the company’s transporting in now, take the test, we’ll see you on the flip side, Finn out.=/\=

"What the ****?" the engineer voiced after Harry signed off. Javier knew that following protocol was for the good of the ship but he also knew the test was useless at this juncture. And Harry should have known that. He could only shake his head and sit down on the biobed. "Okay Bramley, I guess I'm waiting until you're finished with your idiotic test."

With an appearance by Dr. Evil..and Harry Finn.
Originally Posted 10/4/08 by Javier Costala


~Moments Earlier~

:: IAS Hawking ::
:: Transporter Room ::

The Captain of the Hawking stood stark still lost in a PADD. All of the crew selected for their ‘diplomatic’ call to the other Intrepid Class ship had gathered and were waiting for his final order. Their presence, however, spurred him on in no way whatsoever. Bayal Paven waited patiently for one man. And until his holiness arrived everything else remained moot and in utter limbo.

It didn’t matter anyway. His study of the other universe’s incursions into their own space drew most of his attention. It wasn’t as if he hadn’t read it before. In fact, quite the opposite. Torrik had insisted they knew ‘Starfleet’ history, as well as the political relationships of the ‘Federation’ and her many allies and enemies. The man was nothing if not thorough… That thought drew a wicked smile.

The ‘other’ Finn had been damned little help, however. That is…until the bridge the Vulcan woman had so kindly provided. But even still… All of this seemed like a waste of resources, time and energy to the Bajoran Captain. With the warship he commanded the Bajorans finally had a real chance at breaking from the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance. But the Intendant of Wormhole Space (as the Bajoran sector had come to be known) and the High Priest had seen differently.

The door to the transporter room swooshed open and his holiness’s acolyte entered quickly, looking quite disheveled. “Captain, I’m supposed to take the place of High Priest Torrik for this venture. I just came from your quarters where he gave me final instructions…”

“What?” Bayal interrupted quite angrily. “This whole damned expedition into hell is his… Fine…” Chief among all the things he knew was the there would be no arguing with an edict from ‘his holiness.’ Since his ascension in the holy ranks, there’d been no reasoning with the man. “We’ll beam over in two teams. Highest ranks first. And remember your orders, everyone.”

Bayal and the first team stepped onto the transporter. The acolyte followed closely on the heels of the Captain. That is until the young man’s forward progress was halted with an open palm to the chest. “Highest ranks first,” Paven repeated. Disdain dripped from his words and expression. “You’ll go in the second group…” He watched the acolyte nod, never making eye contact, and slither off to get lost in the second group of travelers. The simpering idiot may be a favorite of Torrik’s but the Captain had little use for him. In fact, he’d tried on more than one occasion to have the young man killed. But he turned out to be harder to kill than a rabid vole… Though they had about the same value.

Paven shook his head once more then stood tall and tried to look pleasant. The game was about to begin.

“Energize,” the Captain called out with counterfeit kindness. Then he faded from one Hawking and arrived on another…

Introducing Captain Bayal Paven of the IAS Hawking
Originally Posted 10/5/08 by Torrik Nils


USS Hawking
Aft Lounge - Deck 11

=/\=… the first wave is on board and en route, Tenanji out.=/\=

Zal Govan, standing at quiet ease between B’Naath and Rak’h, watched Jameson look over his team before the CPO spoke, “Okay boys and girls, it’s showtime. Eveyone knows their backups?”

A series of ‘aye’s’ and ‘yes, chief’s’ followed.

“Right, so here’s the deal: if any one of you sees another one of you enter the room, you tag your assigned second, who will come in to replace you, at which time you take the second’s duty post. Or their down-time if they were off-shift.”

“What if the backups have a double present?” B’Naath, whiskers twitching in mild amusement, queried.

“Then they call in their backups and before you ask,” Bill offered the Caitian a look, “if there are enough Alliance crew coming over to double the third string, we may as well just trade pink slips…” the antiquarian Earth reference brought the man no joy, however. “I’m just saying, they’re bringing over a butt load but still, odds are we won’t see too many of ourselves. This is Alliance, after all.” And most of the USS Hawking’s Security force was made up of the subjugate races of the Alliance.

Zal shifted uncomfortably as he, Darvin and Rak’h were offered some surreptitious glances. “Things may have changed,” he offered, though none of the looks were specifically accusatory.

“Right you are… hence everyone on our team has a backup… just in case. LT wants to avoid any excess confusion and, while the senior staff may have to play nice with themselves, it’s our place to be on the lookout for distractions, not become them. To your stations.”

The lone Cardassian in Security let out a small breath and, obscurely, felt one of his mother’s old chants dart out from his memories. As he B’Naath made for their posts… either side of the head, how nice… he glanced about at the assembled Security team. “So, who’s your backup?” he asked his friend.

“Bardon. Yours?”

“Anderson,” Zal frowned over that. “Which surprises me, since I was under the impression she was still on Finn’s staff.”

B’Naath shrugged fluidly, “Word is, she wasn’t required for the meeting and, as we seem to be running low on cannon fodder, Jameson tagged her as a second for this lovely party.” His ears shifted independently of one another, “I also hear she did quite good work with that torpedo.”

“Well, we didn’t blow up,” Govan turned to face the lounge, assuming the comfortable but ready posture of sentry duty, “but she tells the worst jokes I have ever heard…”

Taking his own place, feline crewman’s irises widened, “Really? How bad…” but their banter was cut short as the doors to the lounge opened to reveal the first of the visiting party.

Zal froze, but to his credit it was for less than a moment before he tapped his badge, “Govan to Anderson, I need you to take my place in the lounge.” He barely heard the young crewman’s confirmation past the blood rushing through his ears.

On the other side of the room, Gul Zal Malkat, Chief Enforcer and second in command of the IAS Hawking, caught his other’s eye… and smiled.

Featuring NPC Zal Govan and some more Hawking Security
Originally Posted 10/5/08 by Harry Finn


~Transporter Room~
~IAS Hawking~

Caterina did her best to blend in with the other officers from the Hawking without drawing attention to herself. She knew her 'human status' would always keep her from truly being a part of the crew but she consoled herself with the knowledge that she knew the systems of the Hawking better than anyone else in the room. The engineer realized that the title Assistant Chief of Engineering carried very little weight among the senior officers and so chose to stand with the lesser denizens in the away team.

Her eyes came to rest on the other lesser beings in the room. One was a severe looking Vulcan woman, the other was an older man who looked as if he had seen better days. Who hasn't on this ship. Caterina thought. She knew from some of the scuttlebutt in Engineering that the two had served in the Rebellion. Maybe they knew Javier, maybe they know what happened to him..or if he's alive. Caterina realized. She had hoped her husband was alive but what little news she could glean from reports pointed towards his death in a shuttle crash. But there were misgivings about the reported crash. Javier was too good of a pilot to have died like that.

The engineer found herself slipping through the Hawking's minions until she was standing close beside the Vulcan woman. "I've heard you were once a part of the Rebellion," Caterina said very quietly, she knew she was taking a huge risk for even talking about the subject. But I have to know.

Cold, hard eyes looked down at the smaller, softer woman. Drawing herself up to loom even further over her, T'Shaini sneered slightly. "Once." What was this woman thinking? She flicked a glance over to Seth, who seemed to be pretending he did not hear. "Not anymore. Ill suited for anyone who would like to survive."

She ignored the menacing body language, rhetoric and general feeling of dislike that the woman directed towards her. Caterina had experienced all of those reactions before and they were nothing new to a Terran in the Alliance, in fact they were almost normal. "My..my husband might have.." How do I ask this?

"Did you ever meet a man named Javier Costala?" the engineer asked.

The Vulcan felt her whole body run cold and an almost imperceptible stiffening of the man next to her made it clear that no matter how much he was pretending, he could hear every word. "Costala…it does sound familiar." So this was what he 'moved on' to. While she was rotting in Hutet, Javier was with her. The feeling of betrayal that washed over the security officer made her jaw clench. She certainly is beautiful. The thought made T'Shaini tip her head forward to make sure the scar on her face was shielded by her hair. "What do you want to know?"

"Please, is he still alive?" Caterina's voice broke as she asked the question. She knew it was foolish to show feeling and the woman would probably use it against her at some point but she couldn't help it. "I haven't heard anything but what the reports say.." Cat's voice drained from a whisper to nothingness.

"No." T'Shaini's tone was harsh, designed to wound. She wanted to see her hurt, as irrational as she knew it to be she wanted her to feel pain. "His shuttle was shot down in a rescue attempt, there is no possibility that he survived."

"Oh." She had thought knowing for certain would make her feel less empty, but it didn't. "Did he get anyone out? Javier said he wouldn't be able to come back to me until the people he was trying to rescue were safe. He said he cared for them too much to live well while they suffered. Did they escape?"

"No." A slight shudder shook the Vulcan as memories of the recapture and the retribution for the attempted escape flashed across her mind. "No one got out." Forcing herself to look back down at the pleading human, T'Shaini crossed her arms in front of her body. "Are we finished? Or would you care to inquire more? What color the walls of the camp were? If your Javier died in my arms whispering your name?" The nudge from Anderson had her stopping there, who knows what else may have spilled out if she had been allowed free reign.

Caterina stared at the woman. Insults were nothing new but these had been structured to cut her off. She knows something more. Cat realized. "I just wanted to know that my husband had not wasted his life for nothing." She gave the Vulcan and Terran man the once over then said, "But it looks as if he did just that." Caterina straightened her shoulders and tugged her uniform straight. "You'll address me as 'Ma'am' henceforth if you know what's good for you. Are we clear?" she told the Vulcan woman, staring her down from a few inches beneath the Vulcan's lofty height.

Raising one eyebrow T'Shaini snapped off an ironic salute. "Yes, ma'am." Whatever you want 'ma'am' just as long as you leave.

"Is there something wrong with your eyebrow Vulcan?" Caterina inquired with fake concern, "I'm sure Dr. Munro could find a cure for that twitch." A permanent cure.

Ahh, little girl…you should know better than to try to bait a Vulcan. T'Shaini stared impassively at the woman until she gave up and slid back to wherever she had come from. Releasing a breath she had barely knew she was holding, T'Shaini looked over to Seth. "Good thing that is over, if she had said the word husband one more time I was going to snap her scrawny little neck."

JP a very crabby MU Tee and some random hussy (written by the hussy's paramour)
Originally Posted 10/5/08 by T'Shaini


.:: USS Hawking : Aerowing Shuttle ::.

Vince walked out of the aerowing, greeted by Scott, and Gordon. He continued to walk past the, they fell in behind, and Scott spoke up.

" So, did you see it?" He moved up next to Vince.

Vince stopped and looked over at him," No, it just wasn't big enough," he paused," Ofcourse I saw it, and right now I'm heading to the conference room now, I'm gonna see what the deal is."

Gordon moved up on the other side of Vince,” You know there’s nobody from the other ship here yet, so the conference room will be empty.”

The three men walked into Vince’s room, and Vince turned to look at them both,” Well, I’m not to worried about that. I was out in that shuttle for awhile, and if need be I’ll put my feet up, take a nap, and wait for those guys to get in there. Right now though, you guys stay right here, I’ve gotta change.”

Scott sat down on the bed, watching Vince walk towards the bathroom,” Do you think this could be a bad thing, or id it something that could be good?”

“ Are you serious, it’s a copy of our ship, I see bad things written all over it.” Gordon said sitting next to Scott.

“ Well I’m not sure, what if they want to join the fleet, two Hawkings would be great for this quadrant.” Scott looked over at Gordon,” That and they did dispatch the Beradi ships, and didn’t fire on us, that doesn’t say bad guys to me.”

Vince popped his head out of the bathroom,” It’s not good, they’re gonna do something, I can feel it. Hell they may even try something against us in the meeting, I’m gonna be prepared……..”

.:: IAS Hawking : Stellar Cartography ::.

The cartography room was empty, say for one individual, doing multiple scans of the surrounding system, and at the same time, scanning the USS Hawking. He stood up and moved to another console, sitting in the seat, tapping in commands. He stared at the screen, not paying any mind to the man walking into the room. The second man approached the first, handing him a data pad.

“ Sir, I was sent to give you this. There some extra information of the USS Hawking, and some orders for you on it.” He looked at the man sitting at the console, ignoring him,” Sir! Are you going to acknowledge me?!”

“ You are slime, people like me shouldn’t have to consort with your kind, but for the sake of the ship I oblige you from time to time. At the moment, Mr. Marshell, I’m trying to gather all the information that I can about the current location, and you coming in here and interrupting me is just pissing me off, breaking my concentration.” The man looked up at Marshell,” Why is your collar unbuttoned?”

Marshell looked down, not looking the other man in the face,” I was uncomfortable, and we weren’t doing anything serious, so I unbuttoned it. I’m sorry Lt. Cmdr. It won’t happen again.”

“ I do hope so, and be glad it was I who saw it. I may show disgust for your kind, but I do pity you for how weak you are. Now excuse yourself from my sight, and don’t enter a room that I’m in without addressing me first, Is that clear.” The man sat back down, taking the pad from Marshell.

“ Yes, Mr. Stryfe, I’ll be sure to do that from now on.” He turned and left the room, shaking his head as he did.

Stryfe turned and tapped a comm button on the console in front of him,” Stryfe to the Bridge.”

=/\= This is the Bridge, go ahead Stryfe.=/\=

“ May I inquire as to the reason that I have to go over to that wretched ship? This interruption will only make my work harder, and slow down my research.”

=/\= Cmdr. You are the Chief of Science, Vincent, and when you are given an order, you have no place to question it. With you’re background I’d expect you to know that.=/\=

“ Ofcourse Captain, I’m sorry for my questioning of these orders. I shall report to the transporter room at the listed time.”

=/\= Be sure that you do. Bridge out.=/\=

Vincent leaned back in his seat, then slammed his fist on the console, causing it to flicker. He stood up, straightening his jacket then headed towards the exit. He had a couple of things he needed to do, then he would make his way to the transporter room, delaying his work…..

.:: USS Hawking : Conference room ::.

Vince sat down in what was his usual seat during briefings, and placed his feet up on the table. He glanced down at the screen on the table, checking the time, and noticed he had plenty to spare before the meeting with the other Hawking’s crew. He put his arms behind his head, and leaned the back of the chair a bit, getting relaxed. He set an alarm on the computer for about 30 mins before the meeting was supposed to begin, hoping that Nils wouldn’t walk in before that and see his Helmsman asleep. He unzipped his top to make things a little more comfortable, then returned to his relaxed position.

As he started to doze off, he began to think about what these crew members would be like. Maybe they were what Scott thought, good people just wanting to help the galaxy, but he had a sinking feeling in his gut telling him that they were here on a bad note. He fell asleep, still pondering what was about to happen……

Originally Posted 10/5/08 by Vince Stryfe


“From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.”*

:: IAS Hawking ::
:: Temple ::

Finally alone, the High Priest had made his way to the Temple suite. The holographic environment had been specifically programmed for this endeavor, and filled with actual relics and icons from the Bajoran religion. As custom dictated, five acolytes were chosen to tend to the shrine and never left the suite without the permission of his holiness. For now those numbers were diminished by one, as one of the servants had been sent on a very specific errand. A dark smile passed Torrik’s face as he considered possible outcomes.

When he reached the suite, the large doors groaned and opened before him. The large (or seemingly large, for the holograms and force fields created a convincing illusion) ornate room flickered with light of one hundred and six torches. The smell of incense and burning skin wafted about the spacious area and a thin veil of white smoke floated above, smothering the room in a blanket of warm quiet.

Few of the crew aboard the ship were even aware that this room existed. The MSD showed the area off limits due to hazardous chemical storage. But the faithful on board knew better. Those who heard the true call of their mission were not only aware, but made daily pilgrimage to the room to beseech blessing from the ‘Lonely Ones.’

Torrik strode boldly down the center aisle, between rows of relics and candles as their flames danced at the man’s passing. His dark clothing clung to his taught frame and his dark eyes scanned the sanctified place for an acolyte. He didn’t immediately see one, so he approached the dais alone, crossing his arms over his chest in reverence to the Ascended. He lowered his eyes and closed them before reaching out to touch one of the Arks the High Priest had gathered for their journey. It was an unauthorized move, but one he felt completely justified in. In order to be fully in tune with his Masters, he needed the connection each Ark provided.

As the Bajoran man opened the Ark, he was bathed in crimson light. Heat sprang forth and licked his face producing immediate beads of sweat that gathered on his brow. He was immediately aware of how diminished the Orb of the Ascended appeared. As Kosst Amojan had warned, this universe limited the reach of the beings from their realm of fire.

“I thought you would have joined the expedition to the other ship, your holiness,” said a voice next to Torrik. He slammed the Ark shut and immediately raised his hand to strike the acolyte across the face. Instead he lingered holding his arm over his head, before finally lowering it to caress the long curly hair of the steward.

“I’ve asked you not to disturb me while I’m praying…” His voice was kind, but thin. The kindness seemed only a sheer veil to the fury the lurked beneath.

The acolyte dropped to his knees and tears filled his eyes. “I’m sorry, High Priest. I’m very sorry.”

Torrik smiled. He could overlook the minor transgression today. “It’s alright, acolyte,” he offered coldly. The acolytes had surrendered their names to the Ascended when they entered service. All chosen at the onset of adolescence, they served until the end of young adulthood. This acolyte was the youngest and often made mistakes. “With just the four of you here today, I think maybe you’re overburdened.”

“Yes, your holiness,” he pleaded raising his head, but not his eyes. “It won’t happen again.”

“I know,” Torrik said sharply with a tight smile that didn’t touch his eyes. He lowered himself to his knee and touched the acolyte on his bare shoulder. “Sing for me the Prophecy of Ralen Vor… And all will be forgotten, hmm?”

The acolyte nodded and crossed his arms over his chest. He began singing the song in a rich tenor. Although fully entered into the changes of adolescence his voice still bore the hallmarks of youth. Kneeling there on the floor Torrik closed his eyes and listened, as the words washed over him.

Home is behind
The world ahead.
And there are many paths to tread.
Through shadow,
To the edge of night
Until the stars are all alight

Mist and shadow
Cloud and shade
All shall fade
All shall…fade.**

The echo of his pure voice ended a full four seconds after the acolyte sang the last note. Until there was silence, Torrik did not open his eyes. When he did, he smiled…full of warmth and excitement. He cupped the acolyte’s face in one hand and raised his chin.

“Perfect…” Then he rose and turned back to the Ark. “Go put on some clothes and gather your brothers. The five of us should pray this meeting through.” The young acolyte stood immediately and his bare feet slapped against the apparent marble floor as he retreated to gather the others.

One more time, Torrik opened the Ark and gazed at the brilliance of the Ascended. Then he said the prayer he’d been waiting to say since they crossed the threshold into this new world.

“Lords of the fire… We’ve arrived. And I offer this new universe to the Pah Wraiths. May your glory burn it…and sear it… And refine it to purity.”

Introducing Torrik Nils, High Priest of the Ascended
Originally Posted 10/5/08 by Torrik Nils


Jill breathed a sigh of relief when the acolyte entered the transporter room inplace of Torrik Nils. There wasn't anyone in the universe she hated more than his holiness. He had, on more than one occasion, spared her life and yet she dreaded being in the same room as him. Unfortunate for her, he called on her often.

The young acolyte spoke, “Captain, I’m supposed to take the place of High Priest Torrik for this venture. I just came from your quarters where he gave me final instructions…”

Jill quickly shifted her eyes to the floor when the Captain turned the acolyte away from the transporter pad, "You’ll go in the second group…”

The acolyte nudged his way through the crowd until he stood beside the doctor in the back row. His presence was oddly warming, and he smelled of incense. She tightened her arms against her body and took a deep breath.

The young holy man slowly turned his head towards Jill, "How are you today, doctor?"

"Each day better than the next." She continued to stare ahead.

The acolyte hinted at a smile, and turned his eyes forward, "His holiness has given you every opportunity to explore your passion…I would expect you to be thankful for his encouragement."

"I am thankful when he wants me to be thankful."

His eyes darkened as he looked down at the small woman, "Then I will send his holiness your regards."

His gaze was interrupted by the Hawking's transporter chief, "Second group, prepare for transport".

Originally Posted 10/5/08 by Jillian Munro


Transporter Room One
USS Hawking

Bare moments had passed since the second stringers had arrived on the alternate Hawking when T'Shaini's sense of unease remaining from the encounter with Caterina Costala jumped up at the sight of Harry Finn bearing down on she and Seth. "Spectacular." She muttered to Anderson. "This day just gets better and better."

Damn… what was the relationship with this version's Seth…? They must have been close… if Jen's behavior was an indication… he allowed a slight, surprised hitch in his approach before he spouted the party line. "Welcome to the USS Hawking," Harry said, nodding generally to the small crowd of lesser beings from the IAS, (though he was unable to look anywhere near Munro). He'd been left to escort the second party while this ship's captain, with Vail and Tenanji, had escorted the senior staff to the lounge. "If you'll follow the crewman," he nodded towards the Xepolite who's name he still didn't know, "we'll have everyone settled soon." The others nodded and followed but he placed himself in front of Seth and T'Shaini, "You should know," he told Anderson in an undertone before herding the two so that they were just far enough from other ears to converse, "that Jenny is here."

Seth's face went even more pale and his steps faltered. "Where?"

"Nowhere you can see her," Finn replied easily, having made sure the XO's yeoman would be nowhere near the festivities.

T'Shaini winced, she knew how deep that was going to hit Anderson. She placed her hand on his shoulder. "As long as we can keep out of the way…"

"Not an option… it's show and tell time for the Alliance and you'd both better be damn convincing," Finn's tone had gone hard, though his expression was nothing but friendliness. "And here's the lift," he said full voice, nodding towards the almost full conveyance, "Mr… Anderson…" with just a touch of hesitance, "why don't you go ahead, we'll take the next one."

Seth joined the rest of the party, offering T'Shaini one last, empty glance. As the doors closed, Harry turned to the Vulcan, "So, here we are," he said, looking as if he was having a quiet chat about the weather, "alone at last."

T'Shaini pressed her hands against her thighs standing at attention. She could feel her fingertips dig into the flesh as she strove to maintain her cool exterior. "Was there something you needed to speak to me about?"

"Always," he replied, his eyes dancing across the corridor, nodding towards a member of the science department who apparently knew Finn and was curious about this alternate T'Shaini, "but this time I'm curious… just how much did you edit out of that little mind bending thing you performed with Harry V.2 'cause I'm getting the strangest feeling that me screwing up this mission would suit your rebellious little heart to a… tee."

"As much as getting in the way of whatever you have going on here would please me, there is no way I can pick and choose what would be exchanged in a mind bridge." She drew away only to feel her back press into a wall. "Perhaps you are simply not receptive enough to have all the information transmit successfully."

"Perhaps if you were more giving," he cut off as the 'lift doors opened, releasing a noticeably pregnant Bajoran who smiled beatifically on the two, not noticing how both Finn and T'Shaini had stiffened upon first seeing her. Entering the 'lift, Harry waited for the doors to close before requesting, "Hold lift…. if you were more giving," he repeated, "the process might have gone more smoothly," he twitched a bit at the nauseous memory of the transfer, "Did the other guy even survive?"

"He was alive when I last had contact." She did not trust that he would still be alive, not if Harry found his existence to be 'inconvenient'. "You tell me."

He ignored the almost-challenge and accepted that he'd have to ask Malkat what had happened to this ship's Finn. Not that he had any particular fondness for another him running around but if there were a chance of getting more intel from the guy… "Freaking rush job," he muttered. Harry's eyes slid back to the woman and his mind to other matters, "You know, there's a T'Shaini here, too… and she likes me."

"Clearly the Finn she has contact with resembles you in nothing but appearance then." She tried to control the urge to shrink away. Close, too close. I hate lifts. She bit back the urge to ask who else was here, any information he had about what interested her was just more ammunition at his disposal. T'Shaini tried shifting to the offensive. "What am I doing here? What purpose could a lowly Vulcan serve in a contact mission." She held up her hand as he started to spout the party line. "Oh I know, 'blah blah, look how nice we are to the lesser races now', but I want to know, why me."

"Because you were available," he threw off the question, which was irrelevant, and focused on her, taking the small step necessary to bring him into her space so that their bodies almost touched… almost, "I have never laid a hand on you," he said his voice strangely neutral, “Not once in all this time… and I could have, being Malkat’s man… I could do… anything I wanted, but I never have…”

Her breath caught, she knew that some day this would all come out in the open, but somehow was still unprepared for it. "What do you expect me to say? 'Oh Harry, I am so grateful for your kindnesses?" Her face twisted with revulsion. "I know what you have done, I know what you are willing to do."

"And I did it all for you," after the warmth of this universe's T'Shaini the cold hatred he'd thought himself inured to was, in fact, just too much to take. Shoving the woman back, knowing she could fight back but wouldn't, he leaned in close until they were molded to one another, "all of it, every rancid, bloody job was so I could get you out of that prison. ME, not Javier… it was me who pulled you out of the dungeons. So, yeah, maybe a little gratitude wouldn't suck."

She could not push him away, all the fight had drained from her ages ago. "Gratitude." Flat, emotionless. "Yes, thank you for returning me to servitude, thank you for showing me that I was not worth waiting for, thank you for…"

He cut her off with a kiss… as rough and desperate and full of need as one would expect after years of obsession denied but the response was as the void… null, cold, unresponsive… a corpse might have yielded more. Pulling back, setting her free he looked above her head, "I don't need gratitude," he said, quietly, "I don't expect love but," now his eyes rested again on hers, "when this is over I do expect you to be to me what you were to him. I'll have all of you or…"

"Or what?" Eyes dry she stared him down. "What can you take from me that has not already been taken?" She feigned surprise. "Oh, my life?" The forced expression slid off her face leaving it wooden once again. "An empty threat, I do not hold it in enough worth for it to be much of a bargaining chip for you."

"I would never hurt you," he said, one hand reaching for her hair but not quite touching, "Never." But before T'Shaini could process that the hand dropped and he continued, "I'll kill them," he explained, "everyone left from the Dolios: Alex, Jereen, Saavik… Seth. I'll kill them all and I'll make you watch." He gave the words a moment to sink in before he added, "So you might want to admit to the truth I figured out two years ago… we're all whores here. The only question is, did I finally reach your asking price?"

She had not thought it was possible, she had not thought there was any place that he could reach her that would still hurt. But it seemed that there was no place that she could hide that he would not be willing to stoop to. Where T'Shaini would not lift a finger to save herself, no matter how badly she wanted to, she could not allow him to do what he was threatening to. Head dropping down in defeat she whispered one word. "Yes."

"Good," Harry turned away from the wilting T'Shaini, "now get your shit together, we have a performance to get through. Deck eleven," he instructed, outwardly as calm and distant as would be expected of the XO of the Hawking.

Pushing herself off the wall she scrubbed her face with her hands, hoping to erase the last few minutes so she could keep moving through the rest of the day. Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.

Harry and T'Shaini kissing in the 'lift… (JPing, that is)
Originally Posted 10/5/08 by Harry Finn


USS Hawking
Corridor - Deck 11

Crewman Jenny Anderson made good time getting to the lounge. She’d been hoping for a chance to get in on the big meet though, after hearing Govan’s voice when he’d called for a replacement, maybe seeing yourself wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

Not that she felt any real worries. What were the chances of another Jenny ending up on another Hawking… the odds of even just the Anderson gene pool being that…

… the young woman’s feet tripped to a halt as her eyes caught sight of the group headed towards the lounge from the opposite direction. She noted that Jillian’s reflection was present, and Lt. Stryfe, even, and both walking near a young Bajoran she didn’t recognize, though there was something about him… but they were all background images… the trees which set off the subject of the painting and the subject of this painting wore an achingly familiar face… older than I remember…

Seth didn’t think, didn’t care that he was surrounded by Alliance stooges in Human form… all he knew was that she was alive… she might not be his but she was and for now, that was all that mattered. Ignoring Dr. Munro’s peremptory command he strode away from the party and directly up to the young woman who stood, wide-eyed and pale and staring at him as if she, too, were seeing a ghost.

“Jenny,” he began but stopped as she held up a shaky hand, which then tapped the badge she wore on her uniform.

“Anderson to Lt. Peress,” her voice was… yes… as hollow as Zal’s had been.

=/\=Peress here, go ahead.=/\=

“Sir, I’m afraid you’re needed in the lounge…” she found herself unable to complete the sentence.

=/\=There’s another Anderson?=/\=

“Yes, there is… another Anderson…”

=/\=On my way, Peress out.=/\=

Duty complete, Jenny finally let herself respond to the man before her, “He died,” she said, surprisingly matter-of-fact, “over three years ago.”

Seth, his eyes, as grey as hers, filled with understanding, “So did she… just over three years, now.” And, having said that, there was a moment as each was engulfed by a separate past before Seth, staring, realized there was still a chance… a chance for one Jenny to be saved, “There’s something I need to tell…”

“Jenny?”

“Sir!” Jen started to attention as Harry, accompanied by a careworn rendition of T’Shaini, stalked down the corridor, looking from her to the shadow of his best friend and, in that spare glance, Jenny thought she saw the glimmerings of hate but when he turned his gaze once more to Jen, they wore nothing beyond a sad understanding.

“I thought I’d released you from duty,” he began, “but… well, since you’re here, you can do me a favor. I left a PADD that I need for this shindig on my office desk… think you can go retrieve it before someone calls me on some diplomatic protocol I never heard of? After all this,” he jerked his chin in the direction of the lounge, “maybe the three of us will have a chance to, I don’t know, compare notes or… something?”

“Sir, of course,” Jenny nodded towards the Vulcan who also, from her expression, was feeling kind of weirded out by this whole ordeal and, after exchanging one more look with Seth, she forced herself to walk away from another daughter’s father.

Harry waited until Jenny was well out of range before returning his attentions to Anderson, who’s expression was utterly non-repentant. “Both of you will stay away from her,” Finn said, calmly, “and you will keep your mouths shut about anything not on the approved conversation list…” but whatever else Finn was about to say was lost as he caught sight of Lt. Commander Jillian Munro, almost racing down the hall towards the lounge and seeing her is mouth went dry his muscles twitched in remembered spasms and everything spun out of focus… “Go,” he ordered the other two, “get in there and act your asses off.”

Neither moved.

“GO,” his voice went even more hard and, finally, Seth and T’Shaini entered the lounge, leaving Finn to reach for the wall’s support as the twin of his own personal nightmare closed in.

"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."

Post featuring Jenny Anderson, Seth Anderson and a surprise appearance by the Good Doctor
Originally Posted 10/5/08 by Harry Finn


IAS Hawking
Getty Quarters
This takes place before the groups have beamed over to the USS Hawking

The sound of breathing was all that could be heard in the dark room. Shadows danced across the ceiling as the dim lights from Luke’s bedroom shone into the sitting room. The entrance to his quarters opened and he watched as his wife stepped into the room, “Where have you been?” He had been waiting for her to return, his anger growing with each passing minute she was late.

“Nowhere,” she answered, her accent more pronounced in the silence of the room. She wasn’t surprised to see him waiting for her to return. It was something he did once he picked up news about her whether it was bad or good, “I was working, you seem to have forgotten that there are other things going on. Why?”

“I passed Nordin in the hall. She thought it would be nice to tell me exactly how my wife liked to be screwed by her. What were you thinking?”

She scratched the back of her neck and cleared her throat. Tatiana looked over her shoulder and shrugged, “I don’t know what you want me to say. I was bored and she was there.” She laughed, “And she is way kinkier than I originally gave her credit for. I was impressed.” Tatiana turned around to see Luke staring at her coldly. “What is your problem, Lucas?”

“You are my wife,” he shouted. The sound of his voice was sharp to Tatiana’s ears and she sighed in irritation.

“Yes, I am your wife, and?” she questioned, pulling the tie from her hair and tossing it on the brown couch. “You like to pretend that our marriage is more than a business arrangement, and it’s not. Do you honestly think I married you because I love you?” she asked mockingly and laughed. Her laugh stopped suddenly as her husband snatched her top and pulled her forward. He grabbed her arms and shook her slightly.

Luke increased the pressure of his hold around her arms and watched as Tatiana grimaced. She pushed him away and said quietly, “If you put your hands on me like that again, I’ll make sure you won’t have them anymore.”

“Your threats are beginning to get old,” he told her, grabbed her arms again and pulled her closer. He pulled her chin up and brought his head down so that his mouth was close to her ear, “I’ll do what I want to you, when I want to. You are mine.”

His lips traced the outside of her ear, before trailing a path down her neck. She gasped, “Perhaps.” He was entirely too good at what he was doing, and the fight was leaving her. The engineer lost herself in the sensations of his hands and mouth; it was only moments like these where she could tolerate him.

“Tell me you’re mine,” he instructed and guided her towards the couch. She plopped down, and stared up at him from her seat. He ran his hand across the back of her shoulders, her neck, and twisted her hair in his palm. He pulled her head back, and gazed down at her, “Tell me.”

She closed her eyes and said, “You really are a possessive son of a bitch. If I haven’t told you in the last three years, what makes you think I’ll tell you now?” Her breath caught in her chest as she felt his free hand wrap around her throat. Her eyes opened and she looked at Luke through a haze of anticipation. His eyes had darkened and she felt his grip tighten, “You wouldn’t like it if I did say it to you anyway. I know you get off on the conflict.”

“You’re right,” he admitted and loosened his hold on her neck. His hand was still buried in her hair, and he didn’t make a move to release the strands.

“Don’t,” she moaned, and she smiled when he constricted his hand again. He bent down and kissed her roughly. “Let’s go to the room.” He leaned in again and planted his lips on hers.

Tatiana broke the kiss and said throatily, “Make it quick, I’m beaming over with the second group.”

A post by the MU Gettys.

Originally Posted 10/6/08 by Tatiana Thorne


:: USS Hawking ::
:: Aft Lounge, Deck 11 ::

Nils stood uncomfortably with his hands clasped behind his back. He tried to exchange smiles with the visiting senior crew of the IAS, but he found the whole situation both surreal and disconcerting. Staring into the face of someone who looks exactly like a person you know very well with the knowledge that the two people are not one in the same left him reeling on multiple levels.

At present, the young CO listened to another CO recounting their own adventure ‘through the rabbit hole.’ It bore striking similarities to their own, but always with some twist. The plastered smile on the man’s face looked false, but Nils wrote it off to the fact that he too probably felt ill at ease. And frankly, he couldn’t blame the man.

An important note that Nils had already filed away for later contemplation was the presence of both human and Vulcan crewmembers in the delegation. From everything he read in the reports from DS9, he had the impression the Mirror galaxies politics were remarkably different than their own. He hesitated to broach the subject just yet, but before all was said and done he intended to discover a little more background. The other universe couldn’t be too oppressive considering one of the faces he’d already witnessed belonged to Vince Stryfe. If he belonged on the senior staff, then all couldn’t be as bad as the reports indicated.

Still… Starfleet personnel were generally very accurate in mission logs. And the crew of DS9 was legendary in more ways than one.

Caution, Nils thought to himself, remembering his own Paven’s warnings.

“Ah…our ship’s physician,” the IAS Captain said cheerfully reaching out to some newcomers. “Jill Munro… This is Captain Torrik.”

And there she was. Nils couldn’t help but smile. Even in another universe the woman he loved healed the sick. “Hello,” he said holding out his hand, lost momentarily in her cold hard beauty.

Wait…

She nodded icily, unable to look the young Bajoran in the eye and moved off quickly without taking his hand. Despite the similarity in profession, this Jillian was nothing like his. Never had his Jillian’s beauty been cold… Or hard. He’d expected a lingering flirtation or that supernova of smile but received nothing. Perhaps it was juvenile, but he felt let down. Indeed, he realized completely and finally, he did not know these people.

“It is an honor to meet you,” another voice said with an eerily familiar ring. It was intense and quiet. And it stung Nils to hear it.

“Not now, acolyte,” Bayal interjected stepping between the two men. “I’m sure the Captain is…”

“Excuse me,” Nils said seriously, sidestepping the other Captain. He returned to the… What had Paven called him? Acolyte? Although, the younger man wouldn’t raise his eyes, Nils felt like he knew what he’d see in their reflection. Something about the man was familiar to a degree that he couldn’t explain. “I’m Torrik Nils,” he said quietly and put out his hand. “Captain of the Hawking…”

The acolyte backed away suddenly and ever so slightly. It was a defensive move, as if he were going to dodge a punch. Or no…not dodge. The young man had steeled himself for it. With eyes low, he crossed his arms over his chest and bowed slightly. “Thank you for receiving us, your holin… Captain.”

He couldn’t place the acolyte’s face. Surely at sometime in their own universe he had come across this person. “What’s your name?”

“I’m First Acolyte to the…”

“I’d like you to meet our First Officer Zal Malkat,” Captain Bayal practically shouted one more time. “He’s been on board Hawking from the beginning and…”

“I know you,” Nils continued, unswayed by his counterpart. Some deep and profound stirring focused the Bajoranto the degree that all diplomacy became unimportant. “What is your name?”

“As an acolyte my name is no longer mine, sir,” the acolyte said eagerly. “It belongs to the Ascended.”

The Ascended? Another name for the Prophets? Nils stepped closer, essentially blocking out the rest of the universe… Blocking out the rest of both universes. “Then what is the name you gave to them? What did they call you before you were an acolyte.”

“I’m… Not permitted to speak about it. But,” he paused and finally his eyes met Nils’. “Surely you know. Because I would know you by sight. You are Torrik Nils… And you look like my brother…Torrik Nils.”

All the air seized up in Nils’ chest and he made an audible gasp. His hands closed into fists and he visibly stumbled back on his heels. His gut felt as if he’d been sucker punched by a Jem Hadar and the world spun around him.

“Then you are…” He struggled with the words. And he couldn’t say the name of the person who had defined his existence. Tears stung his eyes and he suddenly realized he needed to be somewhere else. His presence was a detriment to what had to be accomplished.

“I was… Torrik Jachin… Your brother.”

Featuring NPC's Captain Bayal Paven and Torrik Jachin of the IAS Hawking
Originally Posted 10/7/08 by Torrik Nils


.:: USS Hawking : Aft Lounge ::.

As the Senior staff of the IAS Hawking walked through the door to the lounge, Vincent scanned the area, looking for anything of intrest, and ended his scan when he layed sight on his counterpart of this universe. From his studies of the Federation, he could tell that the man was a Lt., a rank lower than himself, and was not a shining image of the fleet. The double of himself was asleep with his feet on the table, and his jacket was unzipped. Was this how the Senior staff of the USS Hawking presented themselves, or was this some joke that the man was trying to play.

As he readied himself to aproach the man, another person wisked by him, and knocked his double's legs off the table, stirring him from his sleep. He raised an eyebrow as he looked on the other man. He was the counterpart to the weak man that constantly bother him during his research, but that wasn't apparent in the man infront of him. This man had confidence above what he witnessed from the humans he was around all the time, and he seemed to have a different air about him.

As his counterpart gave the man a punch to the shoulder, which he eagerly returned, Vincent sat down at the table, eyeing the man who shared his likeness, then spoke," Greetings, I am Lt. Cmdr. Vincent Stryfe, Chief of Science on the IAS Hawking."

Vince paused as he looked over at Scott, his face with a look of amazement on it, then looked over at the man who had adressed him," Umm…. Nice ta meet ya, Vincent, I'm Vince Stryfe, Lt. and I happen to be one of the many pilots on this here ship, the best if you ask my opinion."

" And I'm Scott Marshell," He extended his hand to Vincent, but was not obliged, as the man shot him a cold stare," I'm the Asst. Chief Helmsman, and the second best pilot on this ship."

" I did not address you, nor shall I in the near future, now leave us be, I would like to talk to this man alone." Vincent stared at Scott.

Scott smiled," Well, your manners suck, and for that I don't really feel like being here now," He stood up, then leaned towards the man," you can just shove off for all I care…."

" Well Scott, nice welcome there, just go get a drink," Vince gestured towards the bar," I got this, he's just not used to people being actual people."

" And what might that mean, Mr. Stryfe, are you trying to imply something?" Vincent turned his gaze to Vince.

" Look, all I'm saying is that in the Mirror universe you guys have different ways of looking at things, right? So, Scott just doesn't know much about the Mirror Universe, or as we call it, and he doesn't know how humans are treated there." Vince zipped up his jacket up, and sat up in his seat.

Vincent smiled, staring at his twin," Well, from what I know, it's polite…. to not interupt a conversation when it has not been directed towards you. I was speaking to you and no other, thus I had no need for his interference."

Vince smirked, then laughed at the remark he had just heard," You honestly have no clue, and here I was thinking you were smart or somthing with that title above your head. You're in our universe now, that wasn't an interuption, or interference, that was him being nice, introducing himself, being courteous."

"You sure know how to speak to someone yourself, don't you. Is this how you adress everyone you know, or are you just doing this towards me?" Vincent looked at Vince's face, looking for somthing," I chose to greet myself to you, which would be under me in any other circumstance, due to your lack of discipline, i usually wouldn't permit myself to be near your likes."

Vince slammed his hand down on the table, standing up," I'm the likes of a true human, you're just a filthy Cardasian wanna-be, and I should beat the ……………………..

Vincent shook his head, and looked infront of him. The man at the table was still asleep, it had only been a day dream of sorts. He sat down at a table across from his twin, looking at him, thinking to himself.

" Why would I have a thought like that? What has caused me to think somthing that would be little myself. Is it somthing to do with this ship, or am I going crazy. Or maybe Idon'tknow who I really am…." As he finished his thought he looked up, only to be greeted by his counterpart..

" Hey how goes it, Lt Vince Stryfe, nice to meet ya………"

Originally Posted 10/7/08 by Vince Stryfe


Smoke & Mirrors

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