Then Spoke The Thunder

USS Hawking
Sickbay - Deck 5

Standing in the isolation chamber where Dana Grissom had been placed in stasis, Harry stood and stared. He wondered just what it was he’d thought to learn from this visit. It had just felt like something he'd had to do.

Getting in had been no easy task. Munro, he’d been told, had finally taken a break and in a sickbay made once again busy by Acker’s tool, he’d been met by silent hostility and significant resistance to his request, up to and including the brick wall of a medic who’s name Harry couldn’t recall but was reminiscent of Moose (had it been Goose, Truus… Talouse? Whatever).

In the end he’d found himself drawing his phaser and pointing it directly at Juice uttering the quiet but non-negotiable, “Either let me in, now, or I will shoot you.”

The staff had fallen silent and Deuce had moved aside, eyes glittering with the promise of payback.

Finn should have told him to take a number.

But he’d gotten in and now he was here and so was she and, big surprise, she wasn’t talking.

Her eyes were closed, thankfully, though the left lid caved over the ravaged socket, and the gaping wound in her neck had been sealed. Once Dr. Munro had gotten all her information, she’d given back what dignity she could to the woman.

Like dignity mattered to a corpse.

He hated that he felt that way but he did. This pale and empty shell was nothing like the young woman who, the last time he’d seen her alive had been laughing over ice cream in the mess…

He stopped breathing.

In
the
mess.

Finn stared down at Dana, balancing on that subtle scintilla of understanding that this finally, was it and…

… there it was. He placed one hand on the stasis unit, holding himself up as the past spun into view and he was, once again, in the mess hall, approaching Dana and Kerrin and scanning the room, as he did every room he ever entered…

And again time spun back, back another five, maybe ten minutes… to the turbolift…

Entering the ‘lift he’d been surprised.

“Chief,” the greeting had been friendly yet professional, as always.

Finn had requested deck six and then turned to his companion, “Where you headed?”

“Mess. And you?”

“Just checking… ah, stopping by one of the labs.” And he’d turned away, made some random comment about the fight between Green and Horace and then, as he’d left, he’d heard…

“Give my regards to Dr. Schaeffer.”

He’d thought no more of it but he should have… he should have known when he’d arrived in the mess hall and the other half of that conversation hadn’t been there.

Turning, he strode from the isolation room, almost blinded by the image pounding through his brain but when he entered main sickbay, three things happened almost simultaneously.

First, Dr. L’mek stepped up to face Harry, stern and with an air of barely suppressed violence. “Ensign Finn, after your most recent outburst, and by that I mean threatening a member of this staff, it is my medical judgment that you be removed from active duty until such time as you have both slept and been cleared by Counselor T’Shaini…”

Second, before Harry could tell L’mek where he could shove his medical judgment, he felt the sudden pressure and telltale hiss of a hypospray at the back of his neck, where a lurking Bruce had been waiting to administer it to the exiting Chief of Security.

And third, as his knees buckled and the murderer’s identity tried to escape the rapidly-descending fog, Hawthorne and Tenanji entered sickbay (called, he supposed, by the offended Romulan). One of his two lieutenants wore an expression of concerned dismay. The other…

… the other looked straight into Finn’s eyes as he slid down and down and down and in that regard which followed his descent was the sure and gleeful understanding that Harry knew exactly what was lurking behind the facade of duty. It was that sick rush of exaltation shimmering across the normally sedate brown gaze that mocked him into unconsciousness and there remained, so he would know, all the while, how very, very deeply he had failed.

Originally Posted By Harry Finn 02-28-2008


"I apologize for dragging you hither and yon today, we may settle here…at least for a short while." Scrolling through messages, shifting priorities in accordance to the latest incident in engineering, so many deaths, how will we recover…, searching, albeit unconsciously for word from Javier, she was brought up short by the missive from L'Mek.

"Oh dear…" Running her hands through her hair, the Counselor sat back and caught the young security officers eye. "it seems as if there was an 'outburst' in sickbay. Harry threatened a member of the medical staff and was removed from duty and put under sedation until I review his fitness for duty."

Jenny, who had been prowling the office while the Counselor worked, let out a helpless breath. "No," she said, though of course the denial was futile. What was done was done but, "That's not… that can't be the whole story."

"I am quite certain it is not, no matter what was done you can rest assured it was something that was connected to someone standing in his way of the investigation. Unfortunately, the deterioration of his (never particularly acute) social skills due to stress and lack of sleep, must have led to L'Mek's decision. Sleep may be the best thing for him." She scrolled once more through her messages…no Javier. "Perhaps we should wait an hour or so before responding…" She raised one eyebrow at Jenny. "He can sleep, you can sit, I can catch up on paperwork."

Rather than sit, Jenny continued to wander, looking briefly out at the stretched-effect of warp travel and thought how very much the image reminded her of Harry. "He's always been driven… focused," she said, not really aware that she was speaking, "from the time Dad first brought him home to meet me and Mom, you could see, if there was a case, no matter what else he was doing, you could see the wheels turning… see him working out the angles but," now she frowned, turned to face T'Shaini, "it's… this isn't like that. This is… it's like he's become nothing but the search. He's all sharp edges and there's no room left for Harry."

T'Shaini folded her legs beneath her and nodded at Jenny. "Indeed, the combined weight of the past and the present deaths seem to be crushing anything he deems 'unnecessary' from him." As my own actions have done to me. Shaking off that thought she returned to the present. "Once Acker has been caught, which I have no doubt he will be, the connections that he has made should be enough to bring him home. Kerrin, you…Alex, you have all brought something out in him that he had been denying for years. It will return."

Jenny's answer was a small, sad smile. If there were any coming home for Harry, she hoped he'd still have room for her. She'd been so cruel, the other night, after the thing in the shuttle bay. "I think you, too," she said, wrapping her arms around herself, trying to hold in the turbulence of hurt and worry and guilt, "He doesn't just respect you, you know… even now…"

I had allowed that to be pushed to the back of my mind. "I am honored by his regard, it is not something given easily." Jenny's body language spurring her to some sort of action, T'Shaini moved to the replicator. "Could I offer you something?"

She had definitely won out on the 'buddy' pool, Jen thought, taking a deep breath and yanking herself back into the present. "That'd be nice," she said, following, "I'd just about arm wrestle Jameson for some hot chocolate," she admitted, joining the Vulcan by the machine.

"Then hot chocolate you shall have." Handing her the steaming mug, T'Shaini then requested some coffee for herself. "Shall we sit?"

"Thanks," taking a sip that was like a small piece of heaven, the young officer found a spot on the couch before taking another, fairly hefty gulp. Coming up for air, she saw the gleam of amusement in T'Shaini's eyes. "I kinda dig the marshmallows," she said, by way of explanation. "Umm, so, where did that sad little tree come from?"

The cup halting halfway to her lips, T'Shaini flicked a glance over her shoulder at the bonsai before answering. "Harry." The corners of her eyes crinkled in slight amusement. "If a plant could cry aloud that was what it was doing when he arrived with it, a gift from his sister that he was doing his best to keep alive…unfortunately his best attempt was akin to ruination. I am amazed it has come as far as it has."

"I…" Jenny barely got the word out of her mouth. Something was wrong. "I feel…" she started to stand, then fell back to the couch, the half-full mug dropping to the floor as her stomach began to heave but that was nothing 'cause in a moment the world started to change colors… "Shit…" she got the word out before her entire body began to shake…

And no transporters… There was no doubt in T'Shaini's mind that Acker had done something to her replicator, dropping her own cup, she reached out and lifted the stricken young woman in her arms.., grateful that sickbay was just down the corridor.

=^=T'Shaini to sickbay, possible poisoning, I am en route.=^=

"I am so sorry Jenny…" I would give anything to exchange places with you.

JP T'Shaini and Jenny Anderson (as written by Crabby Finn)

Originally Posted By T'Shaini 02-28-2008


He had a job to do. Ensign Javier Costala, Chief Engineer of the USS Hawking had several responsibilities but the one he was about to perform was exceptionally difficult. It wasn't a repair task or even replacing a faulty system, it didn't require him to work with hazardous materials or in a potentially dangerous environment but it was a highly sensitive matter. Sensitive in the respect that he was closing the final chapter of one of his crewmates' lives. The responsibility of packing up Ajani's quarters belonged solely to the department chief.

The latest casualty in the Finn/Acker debacle had been more than a crewmate, it had been Ajani, his friend. With Ajani's commbadge clasped firmly in his left fist, Javier surveyed his friends quarters then slowly began boxing up Ajani's possessions. The engineer went about his task silently, trying to avoid any show of emotion. He wanted to ignore everything he felt and barricade himself from feeling anymore pain. The death of Lia then the death of Ajani at the hands of their saboteur had left him feeling hollow. Just hurry up and finish. He kept working in silence, his hands moving faster, cramming Obatu's stuff in the boxes. Emotions were held back, down and away until Javier grabbed a small hide pouch of Ajani's, then he broke and his feelings poured out.

"Why did it have to be you?" he said to the box. "Why did it have to be you, Ajani?" Javier repeated as he looked up at the ceiling. His eyes blurred as fresh tears threatened to break free. "You were my responsibility, one of my engineers but most of all you were my friend." The engineer felt himself being dragged down into misery as tears began. "You were the one who accepted me for who I was from the very beginning. You didn't care if I had my own way of doing things.."

"Jesus," Javier said as he brushed away the tears that streamed down his cheeks. "You were the best friend..you were my best friend, the only one I ever had," he sniffed, "and now you're gone." The engineer sat down on a small carved stool and rested his head on his hand. In his left hand he held the hide pouch, his thumb rubbing the smooth exterior of the leather which had become worn over the years.

"I should have known there would be a trap. If I had been there none of this would have happened. If I had been there.."

"..you would have been killed also," Ajani told him.

Originally Posted By Javier Costala 02-28-2008


USS Hawking
Sickbay

I know the answer…

Harry woke to a ship filled with death. Flinging himself off of the bed, he almost tripped over something… someone… he stepped away from the bloody mass that used to be Thorne. Furious and afraid he headed for the exit, scanning the bodies… L’Mek, Miller, Moose and… ah, no, Jillian… what had hit this place?

He left sickbay and here was the bridge and it reeked of smoke and singed flesh and no one was moving… he knew when he stepped from the ‘lift he was walking into a charnel house… Nathan… there was barely enough of the youth left to identify… if it weren’t for the implant over his eye…

Spinning away from the smoking ruins he strode down the corpse-strewn corridors… Jenkins, Costala, Torrik… all gone and no one, not a one, breathing.

He could barely look at Rodriguez.

In the shuttle bay, just past where Alex and Stryfe had fallen, he found a small mound of horror… a sacrificial pyre only just begun to flame and through the blaze he saw… no… their hair mixed in a triptych shading from Kerrin’s deepest brown through T’Shaini’s honey to Jenny’s… Jenny’s…

“You always had a weakness for the women, Harry,” the voice, so long hated, slid through the smoke and following that voice came Shaun Ryan Acker, as he was before the Anarasi Maru, before the fire. “Frail things, weak-minded… well, they’d have to be, the way they flock to you. Friends, lovers,” he kicked aside one small, pale hand that had fallen away from the others, “daughters…”

He tried to move, tried to go to them, to at least save them from this last stroke of malice but he had no power to move. His body wasn’t his except, except… he looked down, saw the knife in his left hand… the Bajoran knife that had been stolen and then been used to kill Dana and now he held it and Shaun was watching him watching them burn and what was the point of it all?

This is the point… He raised the knife and without a thought turned towards Acker but he was gone.

They were all gone.

Alone with the fire, he reversed the blade and plunged it into his own heart…

I know the answer…

Harry woke to a ship filled with death…

Originally Posted By Harry Finn 02-28-2008


"Where the hell is that dermal regenerator?" Miller shoved the drawer to her assigned cabinet closed. "Someone's been messing with my stuff…"

Tenanji blinked, still holding up his arm as the nurse had requested. All the while, his eyes continued to be drawn to the image of Finn, laid out on a nearby bed and, to all appearances, fighting tooth and nail against whatever sedative had been administered.

Seeing the direction of his gaze, Miller sighed, "I know it seems harsh but, really, he did threaten to shoot Druus."

"How long is he likely to sleep?" that from Hawthorne, who had just strolled up to join them. "And I have found you a regenerator," handing the tool to the frazzled woman. "There were two at the next station."

Accepting the item, Miller glanced back at Harry, "At least five hours, well, five hours for a normal person."

"Well, that should…"

=/\=T'Shaini to sickbay, possible poisoning, I am en route.=^= the com interrupted whatever Usher had been about to say. Rising from the bed, he and Hawthorne crossed to the entrance just as Lieutenant T'Shaini, bearing a stricken Crewman Anderson, strode into the room.

"Dr. Stryfe," T'Shaini called to the first physician she could see. "Jenny Anderson ingested a replicated liquid in my office and subsequently exhibited symptoms consistent with poison." Rushing to an open biobed she carefully laid the near to convulsing young woman down. "Hawthorne, Tenanji…dispatch someone to my office to inspect the replicator..if you would." She added belatedly.

Wasting no time, the young doctor ran to the bedside where Miller had already activated the stasis field. Even as Hawthorne contacted Chief Jenkins the diagnosis of an overdose of digitalis poisoning rang through the room. Tenanji, hearing that, pressed his own combadge =/\=This is Lieutenant Tenanji to Ops. We have an instance of digitalis poisoning from the replicator in Counselor T'Shaini's office. I recommend shutting down all the Hawking's replicators until a full diagnostic has confirmed their trustworthiness.=/\=

At Jenny's bedside a focused Dr. Stryfe was calling for anti-digoxin antibodies and epinephrine while programming the cardiostimulator.

Please, no more deaths… T'Shaini sent what she suspected to be a fruitless prayer up to whoever may be listening, if anything, the missed mark that she suspected she was would only be cause for an escalation of events. Taking in the rest of sickbay, T'Shaini located the biobed that was currently housing the very active (for someone that was not awake) Harry Finn. Drawn to his side, she was fascinated to notice that he seemed to be struggling to surface from the sea of sedation. Does he know? Reaching out her hand to rest on his shoulder she leaned forward to quietly speak into his ear. "I apologize, it did not occur to me that Acker would have tampered with my replicator or I would never have offered her something." She looked back at the progress, movement around the young woman had slowed, which T'Shaini took to be a good sign. "I believe she was treated quickly enough that she will pull through…as did Nils. We have lost two…but we have snatched two back from him. Small recompense, but it is something to hold on to."

"Counselor?"

Straightening up, T'Shaini faced the doctor. "Yes?"

"She's stable," Usha stuffed her hands in the pockets of her lab coat, "and no damage to the heart, thanks to your twenty meter dash." Looking down at the semi-quiescent Finn she frowned, "I don't suppose I have to ask if you think this is related to…"

"No, you do not." She took Harry's hand and gave it a squeeze. "Jenny is stable…that is two for our side." T'Shaini turned back to Dr. Stryfe. "If he awakes, inform him of the developments and do not place him under further sedation until I have been called."

Stryfe thought she might want some extra security around herself when Harry woke up… no way was he going to be pleased about L'Mek's enforced nap. "Listen, Counselor," she pulled the Vulcan away from Finn's bedside, as if he were listening, "the rumor mill's been working overtime, especially since the explosion and most of those rumors are not being kind to the Chief."

"Hmm, yes…I will see to it that one of his team is stationed here until he wakes." Signaling to Tenjani and Hawthorne she requested the same. "…it seems prudent to take all precautions against another Finnsplosion."

"We are stretched to the limit, already," Hawthorne pointed out, "covering all the likely targets," her head inclined ever so slightly towards the unconscious Jenny, "and for good reason, it appears…"

Tenanji frowned, "Still, it is only for a few hours… Ellison is assigned to Lincoln Purcell… if we shift him than Purcell can buddy with one of the other scientists… they are an odd man out." He didn't mention that the odd man out was one of Finn's discarded charges.

"I think that would be wise." T'Shaini agreed.

"Very well," Vanona huffed out a sigh, "Chief Jenkins was unable to determine the malfunction in the replicator but he did assure me there were no other threats in your office," she told T'Shaini before she nodded towards Harry, "He doesn't look terribly sedated," she pointed out.

"I doubt he is the type who would rest easily no matter how much sedation he was under," T'Shaini excused quickly. Unsure of why, she was yet internally adamant that Harry be left to awaken soon. Hoping to move them away from the biobed, T'Shaini began to walk toward the door. "I should return to my office."

"I will escort you," Lieutenant Tenanji stated, "we have to accept that you are on the saboteur's list of targets and he may not take kindly to the missed opportunity." Though he had to confess that, had Jenny succumbed, it would have given Acker's personality no small satisfaction.

"You should remain here," Hawthorne pointed to his arm, still untreated, "I will escort the Counselor."

"It is a minor burn," he replied, "I see no reason…"

"…that you both should not accompany me." If only to observe the source of the tension.

If looks could maim, both of the security officers would have been bleeding but, "As you wish," Tenanji nodded. After one last look around the room, observing the three wounded officers and the drugged Chief, he gestured towards the doors. "Shall we?"

JP T"Shaini and a plethora of NPC's as voiced by Harry Finn

Originally Posted By T'Shaini 02-29-2008


Javier opened his eyes to a bright sun in a pale blue sky. A gust of wind caught his hair and blew it in different patterns as the wind kicked up on top of the hill. He stared at the ground beneath his feet where tufts of grass were blowing idly in the breeze. The engineer slowly lifted his eyes, taking in his surroundings in disbelief. Dirt, grass, trees, rocks, hill, plain, houses..look to the side, an unknown yet familiar looking man and Ajani..

"You're dead," Javier observed.

"Yes." His friend or the spirit of his friend smiled widely then began to laugh. Javier found the laugh disconcerting, he did not expect Ajani knew he was dead, as in really dead.

"Ajani.." he started then looked to the other man. The man inclined his head in Javier's direction in speechless greeting. "Hello," Javier said, before turning back to Ajani. "You're not dreaming."

"Neither are you," Ajani replied. "That is my brother Thulile." He indicated the African man with a nod of his head in Thulile's direction.

"I'm not dreaming..then how can I see you?" Suddenly Javier knew what his friend meant. He inhaled suddenly. "Am I dead?" he exhaled.

Thulile chuckled.

"No my friend you are very much alive." Ajani's hand came up and clasped Javier's shoulder in a sign of greeting. "You are in the place where my ancestors dwell and you are welcome here." The air around them began to shimmer and Javier felt as if he was being pulled away from his friend.

"Ajani, everything is worse now..the ship is lost," Javier said suddenly, giving in to the despair he had felt in his comrade's quarters. "We don't know who did this to you."

"Kuzolunga amngane wami,"* Ajani told Javier. "Musuku lahla ithemba lakho."**

The engineer removed his hand from his face. He was in Ajani's quarters, sitting on the small carved wooden stool. The small hide pouch had fallen out of his hand and lay on the deck. Javier stared at it. Am I losing my mind? First Lia then Ajani..is the stress breaking me? Halcyon before that. Now I'm seeing things..ghosts? He got up, leaving the pouch where it lay, leaving the room, going to search for the one person who would know if he was crazy or not.

*'It will be alright my friend.'
**'Do not throw away your hope.'

Originally Posted By Javier Costala 02-29-2008


USS Hawking
Dedicated Lab 1138 - Deck 6

He’d made it through the door but, if Joseph Bramley hadn’t been there, silently watching over him, Alex wasn’t sure he’d have crossed the threshold.

But Bramley was there, an interesting combination of concern and curiosity playing across his features and, above and beyond that, his purpose was in this room. Whoever had murdered her was also, he was sure, killing the Hawking. Those codes which had drawn Ajani to his own death were spreading… he’d gotten the updates from Bramley as they walked. Transporters were out and now the announcement had come that replicators were being pulled offline as well, due to tampering in T’Shaini’s office.

It was all-too reminiscent of that time, months before, when the replicator in Gorsky and Finn’s own quarters had gone haywire, spiking random orders with whiskey. A sick joke, Finn had said… made by someone who had known about the alcoholism.

No joke, this time.

Bramley gazed around the lab uncertainly. He knew what had happened here… hell, he’d assisted Doc Munro on the autopsy… and couldn’t stop looking for signs of the event. Fortunately, the place was spotless, everything looked in its place and Gorsky wasted no time going to his safe to pull out… “A tricorder?” he heard himself asking.

Alex nodded before reaching into the safe once more for a small hermetically-sealed canister, “Not an ordinary tricorder… I’ve been using it as a container- slash-communicator for a nanite driven AI program.” He brought both items to the central counter and booted up his computer, pulling up the last series of searches he and… and Dana had been running.

“Split screen,” he ordered, then, “Computer, access current shipboard diagnostics and display identified anomalies, clearance code Foxtrot Delta 1923, Gorsky, Alex, Ensign, commence.”

“Search commencing…”

Looking over at the clearly puzzled Bramley, he jerked his chin towards one of the stools, “May as well sit down, this’ll take a while.” He then proceeded to crack the seal on the container and transfer the nanites into the tricorder’s specially designed receptacle.

“Ookay… so,” Joseph took the stool and moved it judiciously away from Gorsky’s work area, “what’s the plan?”

“I,” Gorsky began, eyes locked on the delicate transfer, “am going to break the ship.”

Post featuring NPC's Alex Gorsky and Joseph Bramley

Originally Posted By Harry Finn 02-29-2008


::Main Engineering::
::USS Hawking::

"Senior Chief!" Heather called out over her shoulder. This can't be right..Tehamia should check the core, she would have seen something by now..surely..maybe. Then Oakley remembered that Tehamia was in sickbay, the victim of an attack perpetuated by the person that had killed Ensign Obatu. She glanced at the alert the computer had just issued then snuck a glance over at the warp core. It looks normal..but one can't see tachyon pulses either.

"What is the problem?" Mustapha asked as he arrived at the console.

"The computer says that tachyon pulses are bombarding the warp core!"

"What?!" Mustapha replied in disbelief before tapping the console to pull up a diagnostic of the core containment field.

"Christ! Look at that!" Oakley said as she pointed to several areas on the grid where the containment field was being destabilized. If the shielding was weakened enough and collapsed..engineering would have a warp core breach on their hands.

"Where are these pulses coming from and why didn't the sensors warn us?" Mustapha wondered aloud. "They only exist at speeds faster than light but the sensors should have alerted us to their presence." The assistant chief went through a mental checklist comprised of what he knew about tachyon stream pulses. They can exist naturally, like the ones emitted by stars in the Bajor system or can be produced when a cloaking mechanism is being used..are we under attack?

"Mustapha!" the African man heard Oakley say in panic, snapping him out of his thoughts. The shielding around the core was failing. The resonant frequencies that the tachyon pulses were creating inside the core shielding were bringing it closer to collapse. Alarm klaxons began to sound.

"Full Stop!" he shouted to the crew that had gathered around him. They looked at him in shock. "Shut down the engines and bring us out of warp. We have a possible core breach." he instructed. The engineers scattered like leaves on a gale. They knew what might happen if the core breached.

=^=Bridge, this is Engineering, the computer is warning us that a core breach is immenent if we maintain our current speed. We are taking the necessary precautions to avert a catastrophe, the ship should be dropping out of warp shortly.=^= Mustapha said into the open comm.

He received no reply. Surely they can hear the alarms. The ship began to slow as the engineers enacted emergency protocol.

Featuring:

PO Heather Oakley
http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l286/SSgtOkuda/january_jones.jpg

&

SCPO Mustapha Ibrahim
http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l286/SSgtOkuda/Ibrahim.jpg

Originally Posted By Javier Costala 03-1-2008


USS Hawking
Dedicated Lab 1138 - Deck 6

“I am going to break the ship.”

“When you say ‘break’," Joseph began.

“Not the whole thing,” Alex was focused on the job at hand but he explained as he worked. “There are a series of codes which exist in… Torrik posits that they exist in more than one dimension of space. That’s tricky, right? Cause they’re there to see and then, poof, they’re gone, and when they’re there… here, they piggyback onto the operating codes of the Hawking. Sometimes on systems function coding and sometimes,” he glanced at the screen, which noted a disturbing geometrical progression in systems and operation anomalies, “sometimes on the personal codes of the crew.” His eyes went hard at the surge in activity on Ensign Obatu’s personal operating code prior to the time of the explosion.

“So there’s this multidimensional something or other piggybacking,” Bramley prompted after a moment of silence.

“Right,” Gorsky returned his attention to the tricorder, “and a piggybacking code, by its nature, needs a ride."

“And it’s your intention to take away that ride,” the nurse leaned forward, getting interested.

“Exactly. I can’t… the ship can’t handle it if we take out multiple systems, on top of what the saboteur is scragging but if we can find two, maybe three tops, non-essential systems that are serving as bridges between our dimension and whatever other brane of reality it’s coming from we might manage to create a cascade effect…”

Skipping mentally over the ‘brains of reality’ statement Joseph grabbed onto something he could, sort of, understand, “If it’s as easy as taking out a few bridges, why didn’t anyone try that before now?”

Entering the activation sequence for the adaptive interface link, Alex gave a small shrug, “When this code was first detected its appearance would have been too erratic to risk taking out multiple systems. What if you took down the holodecks but it made an appearance in stellar cartography?” He closed up the tricorder, downloaded the completed diagnostic onto an isolinear chip, “And partly because by the time I was made aware of the issue we were focused on discovering how the spook was hiding and then…” the words trailed away and there was a moment of too-crowded silence as the ghost of Dana Grissom filled the room.

“Yeah,” Joseph made sure he was looking anywhere but at Alex. “So, now what?”

It took another moment to claw his way back from the gaping hole of grief as he once again felt the strangely empty weight of Dana in his arms, “Ah, right. Now, I should get some input as to which bridges we burn…”

He stopped as the two men felt the almost indescribable sensation of a starship coming out of warp. It was less a sense of slowing, or even the sound of the engines then that of a change in the acoustics. “Shit,” Alex tapped his combacdge, ready to contact the bridge but he realized at the last second that both bridge and Engineering crew would be heavy in communications. After a brief hesitation, =/\=Ensign Gorsky to Lieutenant Torrik, please respond.=/\= Better to continue with the plan than get sidetracked.

=/\=**Torrik go****d=/\=

“That can’t be good,” Bramley was off the stool, adrenaline pushing through him as he sensed what may well be the collapse of the Hawking commencing around him. Too bad he had no idea where to go. Sickbay was his venue but Gorsky was his current responsibility.

“No, it's not.” Alex gathered his equipment and his data, “Computer, locate Lieutenant Torrik,” not that there was any reason to suspect…

“Lieutenant Torrik is currently located in Main Science on Deck 8.”

He looked at Bramley who gave a short nod and, without another word the two men were out the door and on their way to, hopefully, preventing the death of the Hawking.

Post featuring NPC’s Alex Gorsky and Joseph Bramley
http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff62/harryfinn/JustinLong-CSH-035241.jpghttp://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff62/harryfinn/VM_CR00313313_SS100_.jpg

Originally Posted By Harry Finn 03-1-2008


"…then you will know. Thank you." Signaling the door closed she caught one last disapproving glance from her watchdogs then crossed the room to rest her hands on Javier's shoulders. "I was informed about Ajani…he was a good man and will be sorely missed." Tentatively, T'Shaini cupped his face with one hand. "And how are you?"

"I don't know." Javier looked into her eyes then said, "I saw him. I saw Ajani." He watched as her eyes searched his face. "I was in his quarters getting his stuff ready to be sent back to his family..and uh..then I wasn't there." Concern. Javier thought as he watched T'Shaini's eyes. He took her hand and gently pulled her towards the couch so they could sit together. "I was in a place I've never been, a nice place but Ajani was there, as was his brother, Thulile..who I've never met before but looked so familiar.."

"Did he speak to you?" It was true, he had been under a great deal of stress…but that did not necessarily mean this episode had a negative connotation.

"Who? Ajani? Or Thulile?"

"Either, or both…" She laid her hand on his knee. "were they attempting to convey something to you?"

"I spoke first, I told him he was dead and Ajani agreed," Javier answered. His brow creased in thought as Javier tried to remember exactly what he had said on the hill. "I told him he wasn't dreaming..and he said neither was I. Then I asked him if I could see him because I was dead." He looked down at the deck. "I thought maybe I had died in the time between our world and his."

In dreams it is often believed that each part of the dream is an aspect of yourself, at least in traditional Terran Jungian philosophies, so a part of T'Shaini held very still as she waited for the answer to her next question for it may signify a wish unfulfilled. "What was his response?"

"Well they both found it humorous that I thought I was dead." Javier smiled as he remembered Thulile's chuckle. He laughs like Ajani. "Ajani said I was alive and that I was 'in the place where his ancestors dwell.' He looked up at T'Shaini. "Ajani said I was welcome there. What does that mean?" I'm going to die soon..and go there? Or I'm crazy.

"It could mean many things, did you find it reassuring?"

"Yes and no. I don't believe in a place after life. Nils has the prophets and that's all good and well for him. And it's sort of tradition for Bajorans," Javier rambled before coming back to, "If there is a place between or there is some place then maybe I could see Lia again." He ran his hands through his hair, noticing for the first time that his fingers didn't hurt. "But then again if I don't believe it and she didn't..then who's to say she is there at all." He bent the fingers that he had broken, they worked perfectly without any pain. How is that possible? Did Ajani have something to do with that?

"Many beings find belief in an afterlife a comfort for the very reasons that are occurring to you" T'Shaini steepled her fingers as she thought. "Ajani was a profoundly spiritual person, his afterlife was very real to him…and his appearance to you might signal a shift in your perceptions."

"Or that I have gone completely insane," he commented as Javier puzzled over how quickly his hand had healed. It's almost as if an internal force had..ahhh the nanites, Dr. Munro's nanites to be exact. Only took them four or five days, not bad. "What would happen to me if I am..well, crazy." he asked T'Shaini, "because between the nightmares about Halcyon, Lia's passing and ghostly Ajani…"

The corner of T'Shaini's mouth turned up slightly. "The aforementioned notwithstanding, I find it unlikely you would be having this discussion if you were truly unstable." Her steepled fingers rose to rest against her lips for a moment before she continued. "The mind can do many things when coming to grips with grief, and you have had more than your fair share in recent times. This vision of Ajani may be of your own construct, born of need…it could be a dreamlike state achieved in a time of intense mourning, but also do not discount the possibility that it may have been a true visitation…there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreampt of in our philosophy…"

He listened to her speak, soaking in the words, wanting to understand why Ajani had contacted him. Javier had never put much emphasis on afterlifes or religions in general, he trusted in what the Corps had taught him to, his wits and his weapon. But something told him that what he had experienced had been real. The engineer had been comforted by his friend's farewell even if he hadn't understood a word of it. He felt a surge of emotion as he realized that T'Shaini was doing her best to refute the craziness of what he had experienced. Javier reached up and moved her fingers away from her mouth with his, leaving her lips open so he could press his mouth against T'Shaini's. Her lips tasted just as he remembered and his kiss deepened as his hands cupped her face, brushing her cheeks softly with his thumbs. A shift in the floor caused him to pause. The earth just moved?!?

T'Shaini was unsure what brought about the abrupt change from philosophical discussions of sanity and the afterlife to a kiss…but who was she to argue. Lost in sensation she failed to notice anything outside of Javier's mouth until, on his hesitation, her surroundings came back into focus. "What is it?"

"The ship is slowing down," he whispered as it came to him. His mouth was mere centimeters from T'Shaini's and he could feel her breathe. Javier waited as the ship continued to decrease its speed. It took every bit of his resolve to pull away from the beautiful Vulcan and activate his commbadge. =^=Costala to Engineering, why is the ship losing speed?=^=

=^=..Chief…detected…core…ull sto…=^= crackled through the comm.

"I have to return to Main Engineering." He looked at her and smiled before saying, "I promise we will finish this 'conversation' later."

"Mmmm, I be certain to remind you if you forget." Walking with him to the door she brushed her lips against his cheek as the door slid open to reveal Tenanji and Hawthorne exactly as last seen…perhaps a little more on edge, but still standing guard. "See?" She spread her hands open and gestured to Javier. "Left alone with the dangerous Costala and I am still alive…"

"Although we were working on the little death.." Javier commented before he walked away, leaving the security officers to figure that one out.

JP Therapy the way Freud meant it to be

Originally Posted By T'Shaini 03-1-2008


USS Hawking
Counselor T’Shaini’s office - Deck 5

What were you thinking? Initiating the failsafes…” Standing calmly over a small, pathetic tree, the internal discussion raged silently through their frame.

There was no choice. Had I not, the moment he woke the entire ship would know who we are…

You can’t be certain of that,” the remnants of Shaun were sticking to the original mission, ”And the plan was to break him and then deliver him…

Stepping away from the plant to look over the rest of the room… taking in the stain from the spilled coffee that T’Shaini had failed to drink, and the sticky remains of the chocolate that Seth Anderson’s daughter had ingested, “Deliver… to what end? To watch another enjoy the fruits of our labor? Why should we give up the prize? What has Shaun done to deserve this kill?"

During the ensuing inner silence they shifted their eyes towards their opposite number, frowning over a tricorder as the replicator continued to guard its secrets, then to the Vulcan, placidly working at her desk as if she hadn’t just come within sipping distance of her own demise.

But it had been Jenny… sweet, young Jenny… who’d taken the fatal draught.

Near fatal.

They’d been planning on saving Jenny for the last… the final stroke against Finn but, once again, Lieutenant T’Shaini had neatly diverted their intentions: the first time it had been by saving Torrik and now offering the laced beverage to Anderson and then not even having the good grace to drink it, herself…

Then let her pay… let her join in on the endgame… let ‘Wendy’ be the breaking point…”

And then?” the challenge.

One hand reached into a pocket, took comfort from the small, sealed, vial, ”Then we watch him burn."

Post featuring: "Hey, you got your psychosis in my megalomania!"

Originally Posted By Harry Finn 03-2-2008


.: U.S.S. Hawking | Main Bridge :.

"So that, my young hewmon was how I, Dahrk, used the seventy fifth rule of aquisition to almost double my profit margin in a single day. It's also how the seventy fifth rule became my favorite."

The diminutive pain in the ass droned on and on as Nathan pored over his padd. The shift would be over in less than an hour, at which time Nathan would be able to be shut of the annoying little Ferengi, and possibly get some time to see Jenny. Of course, that's if she was off. and if Harry wasn't watching over her like the sallow faced, shadow bearded spector that he'd been as of late.

"…..and the profit margin would be astronomical.. Just think.. If they put the Sluggo Cola logo just right there on the shuttle bay doors… or even if we use the internal comms.. or the monitors….."

Dahrk continued to drone and for no less than the fifth time during their mutually tenuous stay together on the bridge, try and sell Nathan on the benefits of intra ship advertising. Nathan however, wasn't listening then, just like he hadn't been listening any of the other five times.

"Right… that sounds interesting… cool." He muttered, his eyes devouring the scrolling information flying up the padd's tiny screen.

"Captain." T'Preen spoke up from the Operations alcove. "Doctor Munro wishes me to inform you that there has been another attack. She says Crewman Anderson form security has been poisoned sir." Her serene, almost disinterested tone reached into his stomach and deposited the heaviest weight she could find there. It hadn't been this way with the others. Of course it'd been upsetting to learn of Dana Grissom's death. Same with Ajani. He'd still be unable to write the letter for either crew member's family yet. But Jenny? Dread's icy fingers pulled at the stricken teen's throat as he choked out his order.

"T-Take over here T'Preen. I'm going down to sickbay." He rose quickly as the Vulcan silently moved away from her station and ignored the still seated Dahrk until he'd reached the lift. He noticed that the Ferengi was still seated as he turned around to face the doors.

"Bring your ass on Dahrk!" Nathan yelled quickly, holding the doors open. Sensing the urgency in his "buddy's" tone, Dahrk made haste to the lift, and seconds later the car was speeding toward sickbay. the pair made the trip in silence. Even one so callous as Dahrk could see that the human's expression warranted no conversation. It seemed like forever before the lift finally deposited the two of them on Deck eight, at which point Nathan burst form the car like he was in a race. Dahrk nearly had to jog to keep up with the slightly taller teen's long strides and was a full two seconds behind him as the captain entered sickbay. Once inside, he scanned the room and found a group of doctors gathered around a bio-bed, obviously containing the Ghost's latest victim. There were also a few other beds, but they were occupied by engineer's form the earlier blast.

"Report!" came an order resounding of an authority not usually associated with the Hawking's young CO. Heads turned. Some lingered, but most of the doctors went back to their previous activities. L'mek moved toward him. The doctor's intense expression did little to quell the panic threatening to show on the teen's features.

Originally Posted By Nathan Benjamin 03-2-2008


::Boyce's Quarters::
::USS Hawking::

She talked too damn much; even during sex she would prattle on and on about the latest gossip right up until her eyes would close and she would throw her head back and yell. But that didn't stop Killian, he had worked too hard to throw away his one chance at companionship for the rest of their journey. I'm not about to spend the next two days alone in here thinking about 'the error of my ways.' he concluded with a snort of indignation as Boyce looked down upon the chatty hair-dresser.

He had spent the last three days cultivating a relationship via console link with the salon employee. Selena knew all about his recent troubles but had listened to his re-telling of the incident then had shared numerous bits of gossip with him about the ship. Finally she had agreed to meet with him in person, one thing had led to another and now they were 'bumping uglies' on a regular basis.

"It's no secret that Costala has his eye on Oakley," Selena told him in a scandalous tone, "and can you blame him? That Vulcan of his, T'Shaini, is so cold and aloof..why just last week Darbs was telling me.."

Boyce tuned her out and imagined that she was Tehamia. Blonde hair, blue eyes, lovely face and a huge set of..

"Are you even listening to me?" Selena asked.

"What?" Killian said, his fantasy shattered by the hair-dresser's voice, which got more annoying by the second. "Do you always talk this much?" he said, his tone moving from irritation to one of extreme annoyance. Boyce pulled away and left the bed.

"Where do you think you're going?" Selena asked, her tone unpleasant.

"Shower."

"Come back here and finish what you started!"

"Why? It's not like you would notice if I did…just talk yourself up to it," Killian yelled back at her. He stopped by the replicator and said, 'Coffee, no sugar, black.'

"Asshole."

"About four meters to your left is the door..you should use it now," Killian shot back. He waited for his coffee then smacked the machine once and re-ordered. "Coffee?" Nothing appeared. "Rakatajino?" No hum of machinery followed his order. "Goddammit! How do they expect me to stay confined to quarters without a working replicator?"

"Maybe they hoped you would eat shit and die!" Selena said as she stormed out of his quarters.

Featuring:

Crewman Killian Boyce
http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l286/SSgtOkuda/Boyce.jpg

Originally Posted By Javier Costala 03-3-2008


USS Hawking
Corridor - Deck 5

Everything was murky, still but he knew he had to keep moving. If he stopped they’d find him and if they found him there’d be more drugs and then he’d never again unearth the truth.

I know the answer…

And he did. Down and down in the deeps of thought he had the name that would end the nightmare…

… he just had to get to it.

Oh keep the Dog far hence, that's friend to men, ‘Or with his nails he’ll dig it up again!

A sick laugh escaped as the tortuous verse flayed at his broken memory. Harry looked away from the accusatory eyes which tracked his stuttering movement through the corridor. Got to keep up appearances… can’t let them know he’d broken out of prison… no… sickbay… broken out because he’d woken to the stern command for a report from Captain Awesome and, dumb luck finally on his side, the entire staff was busy elsewhere… looking away… leaving Harry to slip off the bed and out the door.

But not before grabbing… he looked at the device in his hand… what? He’d thought it was his phaser, sitting on the bedside table but this… this was something else… something medical. Disgusted, he shoved it up his sleeve to be dealt with, later.

For now… he paused, leaning against the wall because the damned ship wouldn’t stop shifting beneath his feet… for now he needed to think. He needed to be somewhere quiet and, most importantly, alone…

“Finn!”

He started walking, again. Maybe if he ignored the voice…

A hand yanked on his left arm and caused some issues as Harry’s feet kept moving but his torso remained behind. He almost fell on his ass before he could bring himself back into verticality.

“Are you drunk?” the accusation fell like acid and he flinched away from the words. The voice was… it didn’t sound right… muffled… as bleary as the flesh-toned oval of a face to which it belonged.

“I’m… no… I know…” the answer, "It's… Lieutenant…" Lieutenant "Brown…"

"He doesn't even recognize you," another voice, sharper, sneered from the right, "guy must be stinking, to mix you up with an LT.”

Harry squinted in that direction but all he saw was the telltale smear of mustard beneath a blob of blue-grey. “No time,” he jerked his arm away from the one holding him but the action sent him staggering against the wall.

“People are dying thanks to you,” the original speaker, the owner of the hand pressed forward, “and you’re getting trashed?”

“Be easier on the ship if we just gave the killer what he wanted,” the blue-grey blob surmised, looming over Harry where he slumped against the side of the corridor.

There’s no time… Anger was beginning to surge through his system, beginning to battle against the lingering grip of the sedative but not quickly enough because he heard a door whisking open nearby and then there were two sets of hands ‘helping’ him into the darkness of the abandoned library and then the door was closed and everything was quiet but he wasn’t alone and he knew things were about to get very bad, very fast…

Out in the corridor, CPO Kyle Ellison passed by the closed door of the library, on his way to keep watch over Chief Finn, as ordered.

Originally Posted By Harry Finn 03-3-2008


USS Hawking
Library - Deck 5

Toldar felt his fists begin to clench as Jacobs threw the drunken Chief of Security against one of the desks. His eyes narrowed, the systems tech waited for the chance to take out some of the anger he’d been sitting on since the explosion… and the death of Obatu. A death which could, according to all reports, be traced directly back to this stumbling fool.

Even as the tall human turned to face his attackers, the Benzite released the first blow, taking Finn squarely on the jaw and sending him against the nearest wall. “I wonder,” he said, fury practically burning his throat, “how messed up you have to be to get this ghost off our backs?”

Finn, it seemed, wasn’t in a talking mood. The man merely held onto the wall as if it and only it could keep him from falling to the ground, which was too bad because on the ground was where Zach Jacobs desperately wanted to see him. “At least he did half the work for us,” the mechanic told his buddy, lining himself up to take the next shot, “getting himself completely wasted…” he let his own punch fly, going straight for the temple…

It didn’t connect.

Holding the smaller man’s fist in his own iron grip, Harry straightened, eyes glittering coldly under the minimal light in the room, “I told you, I’m not drunk.” With a vicious twist, he torqued Jacobs’ arm in a direction nature had never intended. As the crewman fell away, clutching his arm, Finn stepped forward and, riding the adrenaline high that Toldar’s strike had spurred, gave the engineer a short lesson in karma. Once he was certain neither man was inclined to continue the debate, he tapped his combadge.

=/\=Finn to Tactical=/\=

Nothing.

=/\=Tactical… Peress, this is Finn, come back=/\=

Not even static.

He glanced down at the fallen engineer, “Thanks for the memories,” he said before, “Computer, give me the location of Lieutenant…”

Post featuring NPC's CPO Toldar and Crewman Zachary Jacobs

Originally Posted By Harry Finn 03-4-2008


"Hawthorn"

Even before her eyes opened the name spilled from her mouth. Had her name even been on the lists? T'Shaini was certain she had, but like Alex and Kerrin, Vanona was someone who she had considered above reproach. Head still swimming from the blow she had received..oh no, the bonsai, she closed her eyes tighter in an attempt to remember more. "Lt. Tenanji…"

"Don't worry about Usher," the voice, not-quite-familiar, slithered into her thoughts as something cold and slick traced across T'Shaini's cheek, "'He who was living is now…'"

"No…" Not another casualty, with each death it felt as if more and more weight began to press against her chest, opening her eyes, T'Shaini looked up at Vanona, who's features now seemed twisted with unfamiliar expression. "Why? Why must so many suffer?"

"Because," the amused tone contrasted sharply with darkly burning eyes as Hawthorne withdrew her purloined dagger.

Seeing the slim weapon was oddly more disturbing than feeling it against her skin, the same weapon that killed Dana, Usher and was no doubt meant for her next. Eerily hollow at the thought of her own death, yet something stirred at the callousness of the reply. "You can so easily dismiss them." T'Shaini pushed herself to sit upright against the wall. If she could reach Vanona then perhaps there was a chance of isolating the Acker personality. "Vanona, this is not what you are…"

"Are you sure?" the question was genuine, "Can you be sure?" Smoothly rising from where she'd crouched before the stricken T'Shaini, "Even I… Shaun… he never engaged in blood-combat… not until he met Vanona." Looking down from a height Shaun Ryan Acker had never known, she smiled a small, tight smile, "The part's of me you find so… distasteful… they were Vanona's birthright, not Shaun's."

"Her birthright, but something she never chose to acknowledge. Klingon honor placed high in her regard, Klingon bloodlust did not." It was difficult to discern who she was speaking to, was it Vanona? Was it Acker? Or was it some hybrid the counselor had not the remotest possibility of reasoning with.

"And she had no idea what we were missing." Reaching down, Hawthorne's hand gripped T'Shaini by the arm and, thrilling again to a strength never known in his previous life, Shaun hauled the Vulcan to her feet, holding her up against the wall until they were sure the counselor wouldn't fall.

Her back pressed to the wall T'Shaini became aware of something that she had become so accustomed to in recent times that it had slipped beneath her notice, the k-bar Javier had given her. Uncertain of its viability in her current condition she merely noted the knife's presence and hoped she would find an opening to use it. Perhaps it would behoove me to ascertain my limits. Pretending to weaken, T'Shaini let her knees buckle as she slumped down the wall, only to use the semi crouch to spring up and force Hawthorn/Acker back with an elbow to her throat.

With a hiss the Klingon hybrid knocked down the offending arm and, wrapping her own hand around T'Shaini's throat threw the Vulcan against the bulkhead, holding up the dagger once more, "Take it easy, Wendy," a voice which had never before been heard suggested, "or I might not let you live long enough to see the last act."

JP T'Shaini and the Bad guy/girl/thing…whatever

Originally Posted By T'Shaini 03-4-2008


::Bridge::
::USS Hawking::

Today is not a good day to run out of plasma… Warof thought as the Klingon scanned the console in front of him. Nothing appeared to be out of place and yet the ship slowed down and was in the process of gliding to a stop. A blinking light near his left hand drew his attention.

"The engines are down," he growled.

"The computer says that everything is in working order," T'Preen informed the bridge crew from her station at the Ops console. "Except for the replicators which have all been shut down."

"The computer lies!" Warof growled in an angry tone, shooting the Vulcan a look of dislike.

"Calm yourself Mister Warof," Sanya Cho warned from the command chair, "this situation demands that we find the problem without unnecessary emotional outbursts." Having been the senior-most officer on the bridge at the time of the crisis Cho found herself in Command of the ship. "Have you tried to contact the captain?"

"Repeatedly," T'Preen replied. "He is either unable to receive our communications or the communications system is not working properly."

"And Main Engineering?" Cho inquired.

"Also not responding," the Operations officer said.

"Sensors, long and short, show no outside threats," Crewman Bardon, the fill-in tactical officer reported from his station.

"However we are 'dead in the water' and have no communication with any senior crew members. We also know that the ship is under threat by a hostile intruder and this is possibly his doing..as the ranking officer I am going to call General Quarters," Ensign Cho informed the Bridge team.

"I concur," replied T'Preen and set the ship's status to full alert.

Featuring: A Medley of NPCs Filling in the Gaps.

Originally Posted By Javier Costala 03-4-2008


USS Hawking
Sickbay - Deck 5

Waking up was good. She hadn’t really thought she was going to, back in T’Shaini’s office, when the world had begun to change color and then her heart… one hand reached up to cover that abused organ… her heart had practically jumped out of her skin, or had felt like it, while accelerating to a bumpy warp ten and…

“Ventricular tachycardia,” a soft voice drifted down and Jenny looked up to see the face of Dr. Stryfe. The woman smiled, “Fancy term for your heart beating too fast.”

“Why?” Her mouth felt suddenly dry as she realized that, not only was Dr. Stryfe standing with her, but also the sort of spooky Dr. L’mek, and Nurse Miller, and a really big guy who she’d never seen before. Patient of the hour…

Usha momentarily placed a cool hand on her patient’s forehead, not so much to check for fever, as the biobed kept accurate track of all the young woman’s vitals but because touch was as important to healing as drugs or surgical tools, “Digitalis in the cocoa,” she explained, watching her charge carefully.

“Shit,” Jenny tried to sit up but her muscles, which felt like they’d just gone through six PT’s in a row, had a problem with that and if they didn’t, the blanket of L’mek’s expression was heavy enough to hold her down… for the moment.

Giving up on mobility, she tried for information, “Where’s T’Shaini? Is she okay? I was supposed to be watching out for her,” she reached down to her belt, “Where’s my sidearm?”

“REPORT!”

Jenny’s eyes widened at the sound of that voice. Most of her audience glanced in the direction of Nate’s command and Dr. L’mek actually moved away, presumably to supply the requested information. Jenny closed her eyes, feeling almost dizzy, again, but this time not from any replicated poison. No, this time it was pure humiliation: here she was, Starfleet Security, signed on to serve and protect and she’d become a nothing more than victim, which was bad enough but now he knew. Nathan, her captain, knew she’d screwed up.

The only thing that could possibly be worse was when Harry woke up and heard about it.

Post featuring NPC Jenny Anderson (With a slew of medical day players and a cameo by Dr. L'mek)
http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff62/harryfinn/images-1.jpg

Originally Posted By Harry Finn 03-5-2008


:: USS Hawking ::
:: Main Science ::

Torrik Nils paid no attention to the world around him. His complete concentration was lost in technical displays and theoretical physics. Despite the complexity of the signal bouncing around the multi-vectored branes of existence, the science officer refused to believe it was untraceable. If it existed…it could be quantified.

For hours he’d been stripping apart the fabric of reality looking for any particulate matter that could perhaps penetrate the signal on any level. Initially progress had been…the opposite of progress. However, an interesting return in duderon emissions changed all of that. The subatomic particles generally did nothing but…exist. Their precise function and nature performed as the cosmic equivalent of the human appendix. When Nils noticed a sudden function and flow to their nature aboard the Hawking he began categorically eliminating the reasons why that could possibly occur.

In the last few moments, his theory took shape and he’d determined that somehow, the “gateways” generated by the ghost's alien technology between universal branes attracted duderons. Unfortunately, the Hawking’s sensors were not calibrated to track duderon flow, because up to this moment, the particles never had any flow or purpose.

Nils whipped out his tricorder and immediately began recalibrating it. The job was simple enough and within moments the small sensing device was prepped and ready to track down Dana’s killer. Anxiously, the Bajoran initialized his scan ready to dash from Main Science.

Nothing happened.

A moment of confusion preceded clarity. Hawking’s own sensors were masking the duderon flow. Whether by design or serendipity, the telemetry of the ship’s internal sensors made tracking the intruder's signal impossible.

“Torrik to the bridge. I need control of all sensor arrays routed down to Main Science as quickly as possible.” His voice was intense and gruff.

There was no response.

Again Nils stabbed his combadge. “Bridge, respond.”

Nothing.

“Inconceivable…” lamented the Bajoran. Mere seconds from tracking Finn’s mole and he’d been stopped dead. He had no choice but to head either to the bridge or main engineering to accomplish his goal. Not wanting to waste a minute he sprinted to the door from Main science…which he collided with.

Skidding back on his hindquarters, Nils stared incredulously at the door that had refused to open. He shuffled back to his feet and approached the titanium alloy a bit more cautiously. Still it did not open.

“Computer, open the door to Main Science…”

More nothing.

“What in the …”

Realization struck like an anchor hitting the sea floor. Somehow, Main Science had been isolated. Communications were down and the doors were sealed. Nils was trapped.

Originally Posted By Torrik Nils 03-5-2008


USS Hawking
Corridor - Deck 5

“Lieutenant Hawthorne is currently located in Counselor T’Shaini’s office on deck five.”

=/\=Ensign Finn to McMennan, Tenanji, Gran, Brennek… does anyone copy?=/\= Racing down the corridor, he felt his jaw tightening as his hail garnered not a single response. Arriving in front of T’Shaini’s workspace, he signaled to the passing Yeoman T’Landra and Ensign Fisher, “I have reason to believe that Lieutenant Hawthorne is the saboteur and that she is in that office,” he began, keeping his voice low and calm and sounding for all the world like this was no more dangerous than trying one of Horace’s hemophiliac souffle’s, “Stay close, warn any other non-combatants off and… try calling for backup.”

“Do you mean to engage the enemy on your own?” T’Landra’s inflection indicated what she thought of that idea.

Wendy’s office… meant Wendy was probably in there… “That’s the plan.”

“But you’re not even armed,” Fisher stepped back as Harry turned on her, tall, angry and really, really focused. “We’ll be right out here,” she amended, moving to the left of the doorway. After a moment, T’Landra nodded and joined her.

He didn’t bother with the door chime. “Computer, engage Security override on Counselor T’Shaini’s door, ident code, Foxtrot-Sierra-two-two-niner-Echo-zero-zero-one…”

“Security override recognized.”

He was in the office before the door had fully opened, ducking right, towards the desk and cover but his caution was wasted…

Hawthorne wasn't there.

Post featuring NPC's Yeoman T'Landra and Ensign Brittney Fisher

Originally Posted By Harry Finn 03-5-2008


T'Shaini suppressed a yelp of pain as her skull connected with the wall in precisely the same place as the previous blow. Willing her vision to focus she replayed the last words in her head. "Last act?" Looking past the Klingon's shoulder she finally began to take in the space around her. Nothing familiar, at least not directly. They were clearly within a shuttle bay, but not the Hawking's.

"Please," the being formerly known as Hawthorne released T'Shaini as several other figures, all quite silent, joined the pair, "don't be coy. Even an optimist like yourself had to recognize that all those other events… those petty deaths… were just lead-ins to the main attraction. Of course," a weird, half-shrug, "you weren't supposed to be in this part of the show… you should have been dead, by now and Jenny, Seth's charming, innocent… well, maybe not so innocent, anymore, the way she's been sniffing around the captain…"

"So I was the previous target and Jenny was to be used to torture Harry?" T'Shaini asked flatly. "So sorry to have spoiled your plans. I seriously doubt that I will have the impact that you hope for." Scrambling mentally for a way to forestall the inclusion of any others in this scenario T'Shaini continued. "A much loved god daughter and an interfering Vulcan therapist are unlikely to elicit the same emotional response."

"There are none so blind as those that will not see." Apparently some part of the mental cooperation that was in charge found that statement less than satisfying as they added, "Or is it part of the 'new stoicism' that you can't accept another's… friendship?" Then another change of tone, almost of focus, "Not that it matters… you could be Darby Saunders and he'd eat his own liver over your demise."

They had her there. New tactic. "Holodeck? This is rather elaborate, it smacks of desperation."

"Think of it more as a history lesson," that shrug, again, "or, as Finn would say, returning to the scene of the crime."

"Anasari Maru."

"Ya' think?" She jerked her chin towards T'Shaini and one of the quartet, a stocky man… middle height, middle age, frosted red hair, gray eyes… moved forward to take her by the arm. His phaser, set to kill was pointed unwaveringly at her head. As the man yanked her forward, Hawthorne's eyes finally left those of the counselor and traversed the cavernous space. "Shaun died, here… most of him," she looked back at her hostage, "what the fire didn't take was lost when I learned Finn murdered Granther," again her gaze roamed, fixing onto a shuttle, roughly thirty meters away, hatch open and waiting. "All that's left now is the hate…"

Stumbling from the force of being dragged forward, T'Shaini's hope dried up, what could be done against that brick wall of malignity. Approaching the shuttle, of which so much had been heard and read she diverted her attention to what was beyond the arm that was driving her forward. Red hair. How far did this go? Could they be so far gone to have programmed the crew in as well? "Seth Anderson?"

At her words, the mastermind of the drama halted and the four puppets stopped with her, "Sorry, forgot you never had the pleasure of meeting 'Harry's Crew' in life but I guess you've been paying attention to whatever tidbits you managed to drag out of Finn during your sessions… like pulling teeth, isn't it?" She flashed a smile that didn't belong on Vanona's face before continuing, "Seth you've already met, sort of," though the gray-eyed man remained aloof. "Tim Willet, Esther Carson," a dark-skinned man with jade green eyes and a petite blond woman turned their own blank stares before, "And of course," here the voice tightened somewhat, "the infamous and woefully unpredictable…"

"Sara…" T'Shaini let out a breath she was unaware of holding. Holodeck constructs or no, it was a surreal experience to come face to face with the woman who had been the unspoken source of so much pain. Unbidden, her free hand stretched out toward her. "Sara Laslow."

The doppelganger of the dead woman tilted her head, slightly, something in her programming exceeded the others because there was an expression in her brown-eyed gaze… sadness, perhaps?

"Got it in one, Wendy," laying a possessive arm over the smaller-framed Laslow they leaned in to sniff the autumn-shaded hair, "I could never get what she saw in Finn but, whatever it was…" Hawthorne's body twitched and she pulled rapidly away from 'Sara,' "Doesn't matter, now. It only matters that this time, Laslow follows through on her programming."

Something inside shifted as Hawthorn/Acker leaned on the name Harry used for her…pushing it aside, she asked. "Programming?"

Pausing in the act of handing a pair of restraints to Laslow, the mad eyes darted back to T'Shaini, "There were going to be two shuttles… one decoy and one with me… Shaun… me in it. Harry was supposed to pilot and Sara was to kill him, then fly me to a rendezvous… but Finn ditched that plan and then Sara…"

"Sacrificed herself for him." What did she have to lose? Perhaps if angered he would become careless. "Does it pain you Shaun that he engendered so much love and loyalty from those around him while you are reduced to hijacking a ride on an unwilling mount?"

In less space than it took to blink Vanona's face was centimeters from T'Shaini's, "You have no idea what we share," the voice was almost a growl, "the ride was only rough at the start but time passed and now we're more than Shaun or Vanona ever could have been. It's only a pity that it takes Shaun's unique point of view for others to see Finn for the sanctimonious murdering bastard that he really is."

"Perhaps it is unique because it has no basis in reality."

"Tomato, tomahto," using one of Harry's own phrases, she returned to Laslow as if the outburst had never occurred. Having accoutered the copy of the woman Harry had loved with a pair of cuffs and a phaser, she turned her attention to Willet, "Tim, I believe you and Carson were placed on either side of where Seth is standing… why don't you take your places?" As the automatons moved to comply, she thrust the knife she still carried into her belt, next to yet another phaser, and pushed up her right sleeve to reveal some sort of elongated cuff, touchpad included, which fit snug to her forearm.

Once again feeling the thread of hope slip through her fingers but refusing to succumb to the truth that there was nothing that was able to rattle their control. "What exactly is the purpose of this over elaborate historical reenactment?"

"Oh, this isn't a reenactment," they corrected, "think of it as more of a revision. " They then turned their focus to a small screen flashing data over her wrist. When they found what they were looking for, they allowed themselves to glance up at the stubborn set of the Vulcan's face and said, in a voice slick with malice, "And as to the purpose… you already know the answer to that…"

Sliding one hand behind her back in a vaguely schoolmarmish pose, T'Shaini reassured herself of the k-bar's presence. "If your sole motive is the death of Harry Finn what is the reason behind the wanton disregard for the crew of the Hawking," She then drew herself up to her full height to at least give the illusion of looking down her nose at the Klingon, who was looking less like herself by the second. "and the side show theatrics you are staging here?"

"And you know the answer to that, too," eyes narrowed, Shaun-slash-Hawthorne held T'Shaini's cool stare, "I want him dead, yes but not until he knows every possible shade of suffering and, let's face it, Wendy, until recently, until after Halcyon and months of your hard, hard work, showing him how life is worth living, well, it would have been a mercy killing." A crooked grin that Harry might have recognized flashed across Vanona's face, "We're not interested in being merciful." So saying, the bifurcated being looked back down at the device on her arm and began to tap in a series of commands.

A wisp of something unidentifiable made the counselor's jaw tighten, Acker's assessment of where to insert a verbal knife as keen as Vanona's knowledge of the physical. Eyes narrowing slightly as she watched them work, T'Shaini realized it was quite a theoretical jump to surmise that the mechanism was how he/she/it was interfering with the ships processes, but that did not mean that it was an illogical one. If I could acquire it… Her body moving even before her brain had decided it was the correct course her elbow connected with Seth's abdomen and his head was brought forward by her blow she slammed the back of her skull into his nose. Using the pain it engendered to propel her forward, she lunged at the instrument on Hawthorn's arm.

But, say what else you would, Vanona Hawthorne was a trained security officer with years on the line and a Klingon lineage to back her up. T'Shaini's impetuous leap was quick, but her captor was ready, raising her left arm and swinging it like an iron bar to connect with the attacking Vulcan's throat. As T'Shaini fell back, choking, the part of them that was Shaun couldn't resist gilding the move by shoving her knee into the gasping woman's stomach and, as T'Shaini dropped to her knees, unable to take even the smallest breath, threw in a cheek-splitting backhand before leaning down over the retching, bleeding rebel, "I hope you've gotten it all out of your system," they told her before showing off the unscathed device on her arm and pressing one last, blinking control, "'cause it's showtime!"

Almost blinded by pain and lack of oxygen the words Acker/Hawthorn spoke took time to coalesce, it was only as she felt herself unceremoniously hauled to her feet that they made sense. Lifting her head she saw the shimmering outline of someone being transported to the shuttlebay. A warning that was meant to be shouted was a barely heard rasp. "Harry…"

JP Tee and the gang

Originally Posted By T'Shaini 03-5-2008


USS Hawking
Counselor T'Shaini's Office - Deck 5

Shit! “T’Landra! Fisher!” he shouted the names as he knelt by the too-still form of Usher Tenanji, the only living, barely, being left in the room. Seeing the women enter, he waved at Fisher, “Go to sickbay, get a team here, STAT, he’s bleeding out but I’ve got a pulse.” To T’Landra, “I need you to put pressure, right here,” he guided the Vulcan’s hands to the spot on the man's back, just below the ribs, lots of blood but he’s holding on, maybe she missed the vitals….

As the yeoman tried to stay the bleeding, Harry dried his hands on the carpet before retrieving Usher’s phaser from where it had dropped, or been thrown, several meters away. Scanning the room he found, near T’Shaini’s desk, the broken remains of the bonsai’s pot, the tree itself, devoid of needles and two combadges. One would be Hawthorne’s but the other… Wendy…

Without thinking, he retrieved the badges and stuffed them in his pocket.

“Sir!”

He turned to where T’Landra was kneeling.

“He’s awake…” the yeoman began but, even as Finn started towards her, the pearlescent beam of a transporter engulfed him and the merest breath of time later, Harry was gone.

Post featuring NPC's Yeoman T'Landra and Ensign Fisher

Originally Posted By Harry Finn 03-5-2008


USS Hawking
Corridor outside Main Science Lab - Deck 8

“It’s not opening.”

Gorsky threw his watchdog a disgusted look, “Thanks, I got that.” He gave the door a half-hearted kick before, “Computer, confirm location Lieutenant Torrik…”

“Lieutenant Torrik Nils is located in the Main Science Lab, Deck…”

“Eight, yeah, yeah, I got it,” Alex handed his data over the Bramley, “hold this,” he said and then, without hesitating, popped the cover off of the lab’s door controls.

Watching the younger man shift circuitry the way he, himself dealt a hand of cards, Joseph’s eyebrow rose in admiration, “So, I guess this isn’t the first time you’ve brok…”

“Gained access to a needlessly restricted area?” Gorsky interrupted, “No. Tragically, I’ve often had to use extra measures in order to, ah, keep abreast of the latest research.” His head jerked in what the nurse took to be Alex’s version of a shrug, “People can be so untrusting…”

“I’ll bet,” watching as the last chip was replaced and the door slid open to reveal possibly the crankiest example of a Bajoran either man had ever seen.

“Dude, your nose is bleeding,” Gorsky pointed out, helpfully.

“Don’t… call… me… dude…”

~Moments Later~

Still standing in the doorjam, Nils listened intently as Gorsky laid out his notion of using the AI to "break" the ship. He probed the ground with his eyes as his brain spun the scenario out to several possible outcomes. Although he'd spent little to no time with this young man, he was always impressed by the logic and efficiency he characteristically utilized in standard operation. It seemed those same traits held sway even when operations were less than standard.

"So Huey," the Bajoran started, wondering why he'd chosen to name his AI at all, much less with strange rhyming names, "could effectively shut down any system on board the ship, right?"

Gorsky waved one hand in semi-agreement, "He can tell the nanite cluster to do that, yes… but thing is, the nanites, once activated, have a limited lifespan… built-in safety protocol…"

"Okay okay," nodded Nils. "I need you to shut down the ship's sensors. All of them…internal, laterals, dorsals…everything." I glimmer of hope ignited in the young Bajoran's chest. He felt confident that without the sensors to muddle his tricorders readings he could immediately get a real time location for the device responsible for propagating the alien signal. And in so doing, locate Finn's spectre. Limited lifespan or not, they were moments away from sealing the deal.

"I can do that," Alex activated Huey then snapped his fingers at Joseph who, thankfully, was accustomed to being forgotten until some doctor needed that micro-suture STAT, and handed the young scientist the pack of chips he'd been holding. Snapping up the data, Gorsky made for the nearest terminal to double check his target coding. The rest of the world faded to insignificance for a time as he communed with Huey and his microscopic demolitions team.

Nils watched curiously over Alex's shoulder for a moment before leaving the little genius to his work. His attention snapped suddenly to Bramley who'd been patiently standing off in the periphery as the two "geeks" talked science. Momentarily befuddled by awkwardness, Nils forced a cursory smile and lifted his hand in a brief and pitiful approximation of a wave.

"Busy day, huh," he said idly, trying to force small talk.

Joseph, who'd treated Nils both times he'd been close to death, offered his own, less stilted grin, "Just another day in Starfleet," he replied, belying the genuine nerves at the thought of the Hawking falling to pieces around their ears. One thing about living in space, you tend to forget about it until the one thing keeping the space out there starts acting up, at which point, all you can think about is all… that… sp…

"Got it!" Gorsky looked up, eyes gleaming, "Time to burn some bridges."

"Burn em," Nils said dramatically, loosing the hints of smile around the corners of his lips. He engaged his own tricorder ready to follow some duderons on their path to the origin of the alien signal. Without any noticable change to the environment around them, his tricorder indicated that all sensors were offline. And his duderons didn't let him down…

"By the prophets," he whispered. "I have him. I have Harry's mole…"

A joint effort by Torrik Nils and Alex Gorsky (voiced by the unbelievable Harry Finn) with a momentary take on the terror by Joseph Bramley.

Originally Posted By Torrik Nils 03-6-2008


.: Sickbay | U.S.S. Hawking :.

"So.. she's going to be ok?" Nathan asked, his relief palpable at the good news. "I mean, Crewman Anderson…You counteracted the poison?"

The Romulan nodded. "Indeed we did Captain. It was a most crude blend of toxins. However, a very interesting choice by the would be killer."

"How's that?" Nathan queried, burying his hands in his pockets.

"He or she used Digitalis. It's quite a rare toxin. Quite difficult to come by." L'mek gave the Romulan equivalent of a shrug. "But then I suppose we are dealing with a rare individual."

Another reason that it was interesting that the killer would pick that particular compound, unbeknown to anyone on the ship save Nathan, Harry, and Usher Tenaji, was the fact that it had been used once before by another female in Harry's life. Sarah Laslow. He'd read that bit of information earlier on the padd that he just remembered was in his pocket. Squeezing the murder mystery novel contained therein, Nathan stole a glance at Jenny's biobed where the girl still lay unmoving beneath the silvery Starfleet issue sheet. The large delta rose and fell steadily with her shallow breathing. "Ok." he said. "Keep me informed."

"I shall." L'mek nodded before moving off to deal with other patients. Nathan meanwhile, looked over at the biobed containing his.. girlfriend? No, that wasn't the word. He didn't suppose there was a word. Friend, he supposed. With the option to upgrade. Hopefully. After watching her sleep for a few moments, the young captain turned to leave sickbay, intent of finishing the padd back on the bridge.

"C'mon Dahrk. We're going." He announced over his shoulder.

"Where's Finn?" Druus, who had just left Tehamia's bedside looked over at L'mek, then to Miller, who was adjusting Kowalski's meds.

"What?" Jenny, who'd kept her eyes closed, hoping to not have to face the inevitable disappointment in Nathan's eyes, sat straight up at the question, holding herself quite still for a moment as the world spun round to a stop.

Dammit Harry! He'd snuck out. He knew it. Harry couldn't be kept someplace if that's not where he wanted to be. Ill or not. Orders or not. Harry was where he intended to be. Stalking the ship, searching out Acker's mole no doubt. Nathan spun around on his heel, nearly colliding with the little Ferengi attached to his hip. "What do you mean where's Finn? Didn't you sedate him?" Nathan asked incredulously, slowly taking stock of all the people talking. Hi eyes came to rest on Jenny, who happened to be sitting, quite awake in her bed with a worried expression plastered on her face.

"Oh." He said awkwardly, Harry's sudden flight taking a backseat to this new development. "Are you ok?"

"I'm.." humiliated, "… fine. I feel like an idiot…" Casting around desperately, she saw her phaser, on her bedside table where some doctor or other had placed it, next to two others she recognized. "Well, hell," she reached over and grabbed the small handful of weapons, "wherever Harry went," she held them up for Nate's review, "he's not armed."

"The Mole probably is." Nathan noted. "It's a lieutenant. We just don't know which one. Someone with a pretty high clearance. I was looking at people's profiles when you.. when they called me and told me there had been another attack." He said, once again remembering the padd in his pocket. "

Moving past the barely masked implication that he'd come down just to see her, Jenny climbed off the bed, holstered her phaser, pocketed Harry's backup and, glancing at the clearly not carrying captain, offered him Finn's own weapon. "There are only two LT's in Security," she pointed out, "Tenanji and Hawthorn…" she tried to recall Harry's quick assessment at the scene of Dana Grissom's murder, "both have height and strength, but Lieutenant Tenanji is right-handed, though" she shrugged, "maybe the killer only used their left hand because Harry's a lefty… maybe they wanted him to look good for it." She realized that she was sounding like her Dad, back in the day, when he was dissecting a tricky case for the pips in JAG. "Anyway… those are the only higher ups I know…"

"Vanona is left handed." Nathan offered. "She also has clearance, and combatives experience." He continued, taking the phaser. "Noticed anything strange out of her lately?"

Ignoring the quelling looks from her doctor, Jenny started to edge towards the door but on the question she had to smile, "Sir," aware of their very public location, "I've only been on board for two weeks, I wouldn't have anything much to compare… I can tell you, she and Lieutenant Tenanji were assigned as 'buddies' and there was something… they didn't get along. I don't know if Harry.. the chief noticed… we should find him…"

"Agreed." Nathan nodded with a wry grin. "… crewman." He added, quite professionally. "L'mek, is she fit for duty?"

The Romulan doctor said something over his shoulder, obviously concentrating on whatever ministrations he happened to be performing on one of the engineer's caught in the previous day's blast. It was quite unintelligible, which of course led the teen captain to log it in as approval. He raised an eyebrow in Jenny's direction. "So uhh… If you're fit for it, what say we blow this place and go find your crazy uncle."

Already moving in tandem with Nate, Jenny nodded, "Computer, locate Ensign Finn."

"Ensign Finn is currently etherized upon a table 'ed in the library on deck five."

She looked at the young captain, who's own eyes widened at the interlocutory verse, "Does the computer do that often?"

Nathan shook his head. "Something's wrong." He whispered before tapping the little delta on his chest. "Benjamin to bridge." Silence. "Benjamin to Engineering." Silence. He looked over at Jenny. "Try yours."

She did, with quite the same result. A haunted look shone behind the teen's eyes before determination kicked it in the ass and took over. "Come on." He said "We're going to find Harry."

Originally Posted By Nathan Benjamin 03-6-2008


Anarasi Maru
Holodeck 2 (USS Hawking)

The moment the rush of the transporter hit, Harry began to raise Tenanji's discarded phaser so that, when the nightmare of a shuttle bay so long ago destroyed came into existence around him he was on guard but…

"Ensign Finn, you are ordered to stand down!" the command boomed from… everywhere.

He turned, weapon still raised, seeking a target and there were three. One was… Seth. Seth who was standing behind… he took a sharp breath… a very battered T'Shaini and holding a phaser to her head. The others… Willet, Carson… they weren't moving but she was bleeding. Safeties off, big surprise.

"I ordered you to stand down," the oiliness in his unseen lieutenant's voice was new, "and I gotta tell you, Shaun's always wanted to say that… it sounds so butch…"

Where was she hiding? Finn risked a glance towards the shuttle… hatch open as it had been, over three years ago but it was empty… "Shaunona," he greeted, not dropping the phaser, "you don't really think I'm gonna let that slide," jerking his chin towards the wounded counselor.

"Do not take responsibility for their actions Harry…" Disconcerted at how weak her voice sounded T'Shaini attempted to clear her throat and winced in pain.

"Drop the phaser, Harry, or I guarantee Seth will kill her and you still won't have found me."

"Harry…" Her voice gaining in power she pulled against the arm restraining her. "there is a device on Vanona's…" Her words came abruptly to a halt as Seth's fist connected just under her ribcage bringing her to her knees.

Finn was depressing the trigger, ready to take out the faux Seth as T'Shaini began to fall but a hand came from behind and knocked his arm off target.

"Too late," the silky words slid into his ear, as chilling as the metal touching the back of his neck. "He who hesitates," the smirking woman he'd known as Hawthorn slid around until she could remove the weapon from his hand, "well, you know the adage." Stepping out of the range of Harry's now-clenched fists, the murderer of Dana Grissom and Ajani Obatu grinned, eyes gleaming with something beyond madness, "Hello, Harry."

"Hacker," Finn replied, fighting against the need to move, to attack… Wendy couldn't take another hit like that and if there was the slightest chance of getting her out…

Knowing what the reaction across the room would be T'Shaini struggled back up to her feet,I cannot allow him to let Acker go because of me. The Hawthorn hybrid had taken far too many lives, and regardless of its statement of intent she had no faith that the killing would cease with she and Harry, so therefor they must be stopped. Wiping her mouth with the back of her hand she swayed slightly then straightened, noticing that Seth had not regained his grip on her once she stood.

"How you doing?" Harry wasn't looking directly at her, but he knew Wendy had risen, hemmed in by three opponents and too far away. "Rambo there giving you too much trouble?"

Rambo being the name of the adversary in her hand to hand training…if it had not hurt so much she might have smiled. "Some…actual is very different than theoretical, I just need more practice."

"Well…"

"How cute… you have a code," pointing Finn's weapon at T'Shaini and her own at Harry, "Try anymore of the moves you learned from Rufus or Rambo, Counselor, and you'll be nothing but a sack of broken bones…" Seth took the hint and, once again, locked the Vulcan in his enhanced grip. Satisfied that their leverage was secure, they looked back to the icon of Shaun's hate, "Yeah, I was watching. I've been watching you for months," a leer creased the muted Klingon features, "Though I gotta tell you, things have gotten a lot more interesting lately… especially that bit, oh, almost three days ago, now… you and Kerrin… I was busy at the time but I caught the vid and… DON'T!"

The order snapped like a whip and Harry fell back on his heels, unspent fury vibrating through his entire frame.

"Better." Vanona's body gave a small shiver, of distress or satisfaction is was impossible to tell before she… he… they… got back on track. "But now we have other business, don't we, Harry? Old business…"

"You don't need her here, for that," Harry heard himself uttering the pointless lines, cursed himself for blindly following Acker's script, playing the role as written by a psychopath…

"Of course I do," the response was no less leaden for it's being expected. At a sharp gesture, Seth wrenched T'Shaini's left arm back and up, wrist torqued to offer maximum control.

She didn't make a sound but Finn knew what she was feeling… he'd been there.

"If 'Wendy' weren't here, well, you'd have been fighting until one of us had taken you down in a the firefight and we can't have that, Harry, not yet and not that easy."

That wisp T'Shaini had detected within earlier began to spread through her chest as the knowledge that she was there to make certain Harry did not put up a fight hit home. The pain in her shoulder receded into the background with the shift in her perspective…furthermore, a glint of red in the shadows behind Harry signaled the next step in the escalation….oh gods. Willing him to look her in the eye, T'Shaini strained to warn him without words, not willing to be the excuse for more violence to erupt.

Wendy's eyes were flashing with more than pain but for the life of him, Harry couldn't read their message until…

"Harry?"

… until he heard her voice, reaching tentatively from the darkness behind.

Adventures in revenge

Originally Posted By T'Shaini 03-6-2008


::Killian Boyce's Quarters::
::USS Hawking::

Stupid bitch, why did she have to talk so much? Boyce thought as he finished dressing. He was annoyed with himself for ruining what could have been his distraction from boredom, and in his usual style, Killian blamed others for his own misfortune. After Selena had stormed out of his quarters, Boyce had stood in the shower contemplating the speedy demise of his relationship with the chatty hairdresser. I'll miss that thing she did with her tongue.. he thought with a smirk as the door chime to his quarters sounded.

"You can **** off Selena!" Boyce yelled towards the door then had second thoughts and went to open the door. "Look, maybe I was out of line but you should know better than to…" he started to say as the door slid open sluggishly. Selena wasn't on the other-side of the door. Killian's vision was filled with a rapidly approaching fist. It was too late to duck.

The fist slammed into his face and knocked Killian Boyce back into the room. He tripped over the corner of the bed and landed on his ass. Boyce looked up in surprise at the person that had thrown the punch.

"Get up asshole," Javier Costala told him as he unclipped his rank insignia and laid it on a table nearby. "Or lie there and get the shit beat out of you."

Boyce cursed and bounded to his feet as he swung a hay-maker of a punch at Costala's head. His arm was knocked away and then he felt two quick punches reverberate against his body. Then another solid punch landed on his jaw and Boyce staggered back.

"What's wrong Boyce? Things don't seem to work in your favor when you can't sneak around." The Chief's voice taunted him. Killian lunged to his feet again, angrily punching at the voice and its owner. But Costala absorbed the attacks on his outer arms and shoulders and went straight for Boyce's throat. Javier slammed him against the wall, choking Boyce before pulling him forward quickly, causing Boyce to lose his balance before throwing him back against a bulkhead. "Get up!" Javier snarled. Boyce shook his head in confusion as he tried to regain his footing before solid blows to his chest and midriff sent him back to the deck. "That was for Ajani, you piece of shit!"

::Earlier::

Javier walked down the corridor towards Main Engineering at a rapid pace. Commlinks could barely receive any signal, never mind trying to contact the engineers inside via the ship's computer which did not even recognize his codes. Sabotage on a grand scale. Acker strikes again. He walked a few feet from the doors when a strange sight presented itself in the corridor. A woman, half-clothed and looking extremely upset approached him, having just walked out of a turbolift. Costala recognized the woman as one of the civilians aboard the ship.

"Ensign Costala?" she asked.

"Yes ma'am, how can I assist you?" Javier replied, standing outside the doors to Main Engineering, then suddenly realized what had happened. She's been attacked..! "Who did this to you?"

"It was Killian Boyce..I thought he was going to..he had his way with me," the woman responded before her eyes dropped to the deck.

Boyce. Goddamn him. He's the mole! Boyce is Acker! I should have known all along it was Boyce! Javier thought as he coldly reviewed the crewman's actions. He has to answer for Ajani's death. Frustration and loss built into fury inside of the Chief Engineer. "Ma'am you should return to your quarters," he instructed the woman. "I'll take care of Boyce." His fists clenched as Javier turned away from the entrance to Main Engineering and went in search of Boyce's quarters.

Originally Posted By Javier Costala 03-7-2008


::Main Engineering::

There was no smoke issuing from the core so the engineers deducted that there was no coolant leak. But the tachyon particles which were affecting a chain reaction in the warp core had not ceased even after the Hawking had dropped out of warp.

"Unless there's some sort of temporal disturbance or this region of space just naturally emits tacyon pulses, we should see a change in the core's status.." Oakley said as her fingers flew over the console that was situated beside the core. The warp core hummed threateningly as it continued to de-stabilize internally.

"What is the likelihood of us travelling through a section of space with tachyons and the sensors not alerting us to their presence?" Edded Towak asked as he worked.

"Zero to none," Mustapha replied as he tried to hail the Bridge once more. All communications were down and he could not even contact the Chief. If the core does overload and we are unable to stop it, we must eject it, or the entire ship will be destroyed when it goes critical.

"Then we must assume that we were lured here or that someone is influencing this event," T'Bay, the Vulcan Warrant Officer stated plainly.

The engineers all paused for a few seconds, the time it took them to realize they were being toyed with once more. "Edded, Wallfram, Bayan get your tricorders and begin a scan of Engineering," Mustapha ordered, "if you find a device, do not touch it or move it until you have ascertained what it is and what it can do."

Ajani.

The engineers nodded and with a chorus of 'Yes Chief" rushed off to begin their sweep of Main Engineering. "Petty Officer, use the internal sensors to do a sweep of this area. Then run back through the sensor sweep and look for any anomalies within the information," Mustapha told Oakley.

"You don't trust the sensors Senior Chief?"

"At this moment I do not." SCPO Ibrahim turned to T'Bay who was busy trying to stablize the core by changing the shield harmonics on the core to prevent more tachyons from entering it. "There is a seventy-six percent chance that this will fail," the Vulcan informed him.

"Then let's put our faith in the twenty-four percent chance of it working," Mustapha replied as his thoughts went to Katie Ibrahim and his son Eli.

Featuring: The Engineering Remnant

Originally Posted By Javier Costala 03-7-2008


USS Hawking
The Ghost of the Anarasi Maru - Deck 5

"Harry?"

His eyes cut to where Hawthorn watched, with the cruel eagerness of a child pulling the wings off of an insect. "I wondered when she was going to show up," he said, though he didn't look at 'Sara', not even when she stepped in front of him, not even when he felt the touch of her hand, so very like her hand, pressing against his cheek.

Yesss. Watching intently, T'Shaini unclenched her jaw as the ace in the hole of Acker's plan failed to have the impact expected. As much as Harry's healing has opened up other targets to use against him it also diminished the effect of the one that they had expected to destroy him. A look that on someone else might register as smug, settled on the counselors face.

Disappointment and something else, something part of Vanona, perhaps, flashed across the shared gaze and Harry felt his own head giving a small shake, causing Sara's hand to fall away, "What did you think was going to happen?" he asked quietly, "You drag out some visual aids from the past and I'm going to fall apart? You've been watching me so carefully, you should know better." Taking a chance, he stepped away from Sara, towards the phaser pointed at his chest, "Face it, Vaun, some of us actually have managed to move on… even Shaun has… the real Shaun…"

"We both lose on that one," holstering the second phaser, she squared off against Finn, "I can't get to you with Sara and you can't get to me with Shaun… because I'm better now… he had no idea, always sneering at physical prowess because he didn't have it, and Vanona… all those years, holding back, restraining herself for the benefit of the weak. Now we can embrace our potential," all but shivering with self-importance and new-found ego she smiled, "and since we are the sum of so many parts, you can 86 the clever nicknames and just call us… Janus."

"How apropos…" The counselor's dry tone undercut the dramatic display. "Janus, god from ancient Terra…Roman to be specific, the dual faced god of gates, doors, beginnings….and endings." One eyebrow drifted upward as she added. "Also the root of the word janitor.

The phaser swung towards the Vulcan, "Shut up, Wendy."

"Hey, I'm all about the endings," Harry took another two steps closer to 'Janus', who swung the phaser back towards him, "In fact, let's end this right now." His eyes were full of challenge as he stared down his former 2IC, "What do you say, you and me, right here? Give yourself a chance to test out that physical prowess… you know you want to…"

"Let me think about that," Janus, sounding almost like the old Vanona, tilted her head thoughtfully before, "Mmmm, no." On the word she gestured towards Willet, who joined Sara behind Harry and took hold of his arms, dragging them behind him, "I think we'll stick to the original script, if you don't mind."

Harry, automatically resisting the holographic lieutenant's iron grip, felt something slip down his sleeve.. what the…? Riiight, he'd snagged something from sickbay… had no idea what it was or what it did but…

He stopped struggling, only jerking a bit when he felt the cold metal of the restraints as Sara fastened his hands behind his back.

There was something in the eyes of Janus voicing the words 'original script' that created unease within. Flinching inwardly at the sound of the cuffs locking around Harry's wrists, T'Shaini ignored the swirling within her chest and voiced her concern. "What beyond Harry is indicated in the original script?"

"Ohh, you don't want me to spoil the surprise, do you?" Malicious glee dripped from every word, but the steel glint in T'Shaini's eyes didn't waver, "Well, maybe you do," with a shrug, "Let's just put it this way, Counselor, you may have brought Torrik and Jenny back from the dead, but not for long… soon everyone on the Hawking will know 'the death of hope and despair… This is the death of air…'"

"You CANNOT" Without thought the words burst from the counselors mouth.

"I already did," turning away from T'Shaini's unusually violent response she added, "you should stop struggling, unless you really want Seth to dislocate that shoulder, again. And, as always, you can thank Harry for this oh so tragic outcome," Janus slid up to where Finn had just given up pulling uselessly against the combined grips of Sara and Tim, "I set the Hawking's death in motion the moment that I realized you knew…"

Joint post with T'Shaini, Finn and Janus

Originally Posted By Harry Finn 03-7-2008

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