Prologue

This portion of the story features the following NPC's

Vail.png
jennyanderson.jpg
KerrinSig.png
GovanSiggy.jpg
UsherSig.png
chodges.jpg
brandilewis.jpg
JadaOKeefeSig.png

Zocal’s Second Prophecy


Meka vu tan ti rella soont
Ta feya ku Vehsanu kem ta Rinna

Ban Rinnas kema ud’zal rekulla
Ta riya Rinna kolo vu na Kolor
Mekeya Rinnas anan kem

Ur kin mekan Rinna tana vi kor feleya
Wi Trata’tu rin-ku rin

Rekulla ema ba pan’i Ur kin mekan Rinna
Ta wil’tenta hir ru kana vima zona’kor
Ta zona’kor ema’propeh vu’ta Rinna

Pa mekana so’ri mekemma
Wi so mekemmen Rekulla ema lu’rasa

Gan Trata'tu kem vo’tra
Ta bura’se vanto-ressa ha’ko’kem
Wi Feleyanta pin vanta ehsuk in’Rekulla

[Translation]
Scattered on the seven winds
The eyes of the Prophet’s seek their true children

Four eyes gaze on the faithful remnant
The center eye speaks to the speaker
The lost eyes still search

One lone lost eye stares at its own reflection
And reviles the sight it sees

The remnant reaches out for the lone lost eye
The warriors take the first step into the heart
The heart leads the way to the eye.

What was lost will be found
And in finding, the remnant brings purity

But the reviled watched in return
The merciless strike will come from the dark
And the Pool then threatens the gates of the Remnant.
-Retranslated 2384, Unknown

Dark eyes scanned the document bearing the original Prophecy. The Bajoran had gone to great lengths to insure the original was in his possession. And now his new plan was in motion. Almost fifteen years ago, his world had come falling apart and the movement he’d created splintered. His vie for political power had been thwarted by a technicality. But he knew he’d gone about it the wrong way. Preying on the raw fears of the people and reaching for political power had been shortsighted. The Pagh of the Bajoran people had always been in their religion. With this scroll, and his painstaking translation ,new plans were already set in motion. The culmination of which would bring full attention back on his movement. No one could deny the Prophet’s hands on his work.

And as the hearts of the Bajoran people were turned…they would force the Federation, Starfleet, and every other infidel from Bajor’s shores. Once again…Bajor would be pure…

Originally Posted 8/1/08 by Torrik Nils


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


Captain’s Log - Stardate 61569.7

It’s been two weeks since I took command of the Hawking. We’ve stayed close to the Outpost during that time in my personal hope that another Officer will surface that can take the role of Captain. Thus far… None have.

Despite the extensive repairs Chief of the Boat Jackson facilitated during the Megiddo Regatta, Alex Gorsky’s AI proved to be of the more hearty and stubborn lot. The interaction with our Main Computer and its affinity for Javier Costala made for interesting and unique solutions to a problem we never should have had. However, our computer is fully restored and repairs are complete.

We currently await orders, and the latest communique from Starfleet Command indicated those orders would come through Lt. Commander Callan Vail, who has chosen this ship on which to affect the repairs of his runabout. Command’s nebulous message and the fact that orders will come from the non-crew Intelligence Officer fortuitously placed on board the ship, causes me to suspect our next mission will be of the more sensitive nature.

I took the opportunity to conduct crew reviews during our two week…

The chime on the door warbled and distracted the Bajoran. “Computer pause log. Come in…” As the door slid open Nils stood and nodded to Callan Vail. The official orders must be ready for presentation. The newly commissioned CO couldn’t help but note the manner by which they arrived. Had he been remotely attached to his new assigment, he may have resented the role Vail played as Command’s chosen messenger. But that was not the case. For all he cared, Vail could take the ship.

“Captain…” Vail said sharply. He entered with purpose and precision and stood next to the chair on the far side of Nils’ new desk.

“Temporary Commanding Officer, actually,” the younger man offered half-heartedly. The correction had become second nature to him. Much like correcting so many species misuse of his Bajoran name had once been. That habit had long faded though. Somehow this one mattered more.

“Hmmm….” Vail hummed with an air of disapproval. “I assume you’ve heard from Command.”
Nils nodded and sat down. Vail remained standing.

“I was beginning to wonder when I would hear from you.” Nils tried to sound amiable, but this meeting was uncomfortable in the worst way.

“I see…” Callan smiled, but it didn’t touch his eyes. “I do apologize for keeping you waiting.”

Something was happening here and Nils didn’t like it. Although he outranked the man (a fact that was absurd in and of itself), he felt as if he was being…coddled. Or worse…patronized. The discomfort brought on a characteristic silence and a bit of brooding from the Bajoran.

“Well…. Here we go then.” Vail flipped open a desk PADD and spun it around. A Bajoran woman’s portrait stared back at Nils.

Bedie.jpg
“Her name is Kamaal Bedie," Callan continued. "She was a follower of Jaro Essa, leader of the Alliance for Global Unity… Are you familiar?”

Nils nodded and sat back in his chair. “The Circle. They tried to seize political power immediately following the Occupation. I was still… I hadn’t returned to Bajor at the time, but the story is well known. The Coup was averted because of the discovery of Cardassian involvement in their armament deals, I think.”

“Very good,” Vail said, seeming genuinely pleased. “Yes… The Alliance resented Federation involvement in Bajoran reconstruction. They held to some xenophobic views of off worlders and became very popular with the general populace. Much of it was centered around religious matters, and the recent occupation I’m sure fueled that popularity. But it boiled down to wrestling for political power.”

“I assume this history lesson will lead us to our mission?” This conversation seemed wrong on so many levels.

“Of course…” Vail took a moment to study the young CO before continuing. “ Although, the Circle lost all validity in the eyes of your provisional government, they didn’t just fade away. They’ve been active and mobile over the last fifteen years. They’ve actually grown into a relatively powerful organization… Though much of that power is faith based and hasn’t hit the mainstream…yet.

“Last week Kamaal, took a registered transport through the wormhole to a colony on Beradis II. Her inquiries on the planet drew Starfleet’s attention. It is our belief that she hired a group of mercenaries on Beradis and took them with her when she departed the planet. Rough lot if the reports are to be trusted…”

“You think she is going to start another uprising on Bajor?” The conversation suddenly turned very interesting.

Featuring NPC Callan Vail
Originally Posted 8/1/08 by Torrik Nils


The prospect of an overzealous Bajoran leading a group of alien hired guns past Deep Space Nine and the Militia was serious, but not really that threatening. “Surely a group of mercenaries couldn’t…”

Vail held up his hand and shook his head. “That’s not what we believe. In fact, at this point we have more questions than answers. A listening post not far out from Megiddo tracked her ship on a heading that would take her to the Omeron system. Specifically to a world categorized as Omeron 341. It hosts a prewarp society with what appears to be an ancient history.”

“I’ve never heard of it,” Nils said honestly. He was being drawn in by the intrigue of the El Aurian’s story. Welcome or not, the man could tell a story.

“A Vulcan survey ship did a short stopover a couple of years ago. Their data is incomplete, as the Vulcans don’t usually show much interest in pre-warp societies.” Callan shrugged and smiled. “It’s their way…. But the locals call the planet Girijin. The files can be accessed through LCARS.”

“Why is Kamaal taking mercenaries to a planet like that?” Try as he might, the astute Bajoran couldn’t come up with a reason for such an expedition. At least, none that would have any beneficial outcomes for the Circle. But even the more nefarious plots a potential terrorist may set in motion, didn’t make any sense in light of the planet’s populace and location.

“We don’t know… And we don’t like not knowing.” Callan paused, looking once again as if he were trying to peer into the Bajoran’s Pagh. He hesitated even more before saying, “There is this…” He leaned in and activated his PADD. A recorded message began playing. An impassioned female voice poured from the speakers.

“…are in our employ. If our interpretations of the Prophecies are reliable, the item will be ours within the week and we can move to the next phase of…”

The transmission cut off abruptly.

“Our listening post intercepted that portion of an encrypted transmission. The ship was only in range for a few seconds and traveling at high warp. It’s all we got and as you can tell…”

“What does it mean?” The question was rhetorical but had frightening implications. Clearly the Circle was stirring…and they had a plan. Not only that, but something they needed was on the planet Girijin. And then there was the word ‘Prophecies.’ That may be what Nils found the most haunting of all…

“I understand you have a relationship with the Prophets…” Vail’s comment was heavy and dropped like a lead brick in the room.

Nils eyes shot up but he didn’t answer right away. His spiritual path held a very private place in his Pagh. In point of fact, he’d only discussed it with Bayal and T’Shaini. The fact that Vail had even an inkling of what Nils may have gone through made the hair on the back of the Bajoran’s neck rise and prickle. “My spiritual life is…private.”

Callan nodded, almost apologetically. “Well, I’m sure you can surmise the nature of this mission. We’re being sent to investigate.”

“I’ll assemble the senior staff,” the CO said after a long sigh. “We’ll set course immediately.” He rose, indicating his desire to end the conversation.

Callan caught the hint and stood up as well. After gathering his things he stepped towards the door. “Captain, I’d like you to know I’m not here to interfere with your command in any way… In fact, I’d like to make myself available to you and your crew while I’m on board.”

“Temporary Commanding Officer,” Nils corrected immediately. “And I don’t expect any interference from an officer with a lesser rank.” It was rude. He knew it. But something about the man had rubbed the Bajoran wrong from their first meeting. There was a shadow of arrogance to everything that came out of his mouth.

Vail absentmindedly fiddled with the pips on his collar. “Riiight…” He smiled broadly before turning away. As the doors parted and he stepped through he tossed a final comment over his shoulder. “You should drop the Temporary CO bit. It’s rather annoying.”

Featuring NPC Callan Vail
Originally Posted 8/1/08 by Torrik Nils


USS Hawking
XO’s Office

Harry, a week and a half into his new position, looked up as the door chimed, “Yup,” he called out, thanking whatever programming god had allowed for slang when setting parameters for the door’s voice commands. “Hey, Jenny,” he sounded surprised, rising from his desk which was, quite literally, buried in PADD’s and Harry’s own scrawled paper notes. “What’s up?”

She paused, confusion replacing of the abject depression which had taken root after her, just-twenty-minutes-ago-failed ‘friendly fire’ testing. “I don’t… LT told me you wanted to see me?” She frowned at the wreck of Harry’s desk.

“I did?” Harry looked confused, picked up a PADD, stared at it, put it down, then looked back at her. “I did… right. I think…” he started shuffling through the mess, “Ah, HA,” he pulled out one PADD, triumphantly… a sensation which lasted about all of five seconds, as the mountain beneath which the recovered tech had rested began a slow but inevitable slide to the carpet.

“Well, hell.”

Jenny, in spite of everything, burst out laughing. “Uncle Harry,” she shook her head and joined him in cleaning up the disaster, “you’re a mess. What… who’s your yeoman? This is…” she waved her hand at the accumulated representations of shipboard activity, “out of hand.”

“Yeah, well,” Harry rose, “Turns out, Nils wanted to keep T’Landra on his staff, which is fine but Greene is… fact is, five minutes around him and I start calling everyone ‘Dude’.” Gathering up an armful of PADD’s Harry considered the mess, “Think anyone would notice if I just shoved these into the recycler?”

“YES,” Jenny, who had served as Yeoman to Admiral Nechayev for over a year, dove in to save whatever records Harry had been willing to consign to the circular file. “You need to get an assistant,” she told him, taking the mess and glancing around the room… in a moment she found an empty transport case and, carrying it to the desk, started sorting the collection into ‘keep’, ‘download’ and ‘transfer’. The task, simple as it was, gave her something to focus on beyond her inability to get through a simple holographic test without taking out three of her crew mates… each of them individuals Chuck had used in his mind games… but that had been weeks ago, now.

“A few weeks isn’t that long, Jen,” she heard Harry comment, from where he was watching her work and she realized, belatedly, she’d been thinking out loud. The young woman felt the onset of her trademark blush but Harry was still talking, “It takes time,” he was saying, “PTSD isn’t a joke and it doesn’t just apply to physical trauma.” Coming closer, leaning on the desk she’d taken over, “A few weeks is nothing and if you push too hard or try to go on as if it doesn’t matter, it’ll just take longer to get back on track.”

Which was what she’d been hearing from T’Shaini, too but, “Fine,” she continued sorting, “I won’t push… I can’t push, anyway. LT’s taken me off the roster. I’m off the job until… until… I don’t know when until.” Angry, frustrated, hurt, she threw the last of the PADD’s into the ‘transfer’ case. “I’m f**king useless… I don’t have a purpose on this ship and I don’t…”

“That’s enough, Crewman,” Finn ordered and Jenny turned to see him, no longer casually leaning but standing tall, eyes hard. “If you were useless, Tenanji would have transferred you out, already; he doesn’t waste time on dead horses. Has he done so?”

Stunned, Jenny shook her head, no.

“So, you’re off Security until further notice, is that what you’re saying?”

She nodded her head, yes.

“Okay,” Harry stared hard at her for a moment, then he looked away, towards his office window port, “Okay,” he turned back and now his eyes weren’t hard, they were speculative. “Okay, how about this,” he gave a short, shuddering glance to his now-organized paperwork, “how about you come work for me until I can find… someone… who I can put up with and, while you’re helping me get used to my job… I’ll help you get back in the game for yours.

“It won’t be easy,” he pointed out, quickly, “I’m a disorganized slob in the office and… well, you’ve seen me in training… I won’t be nice… I’ll make you work harder than Tenanji ever would and I won’t pull any punches. But I guarantee, if you stick with it, you’ll be back on the job, if that’s what you want.” He nodded towards the case she’d just filled, “And in the meantime, you won’t be useless… in fact, you’d be saving me… I swear, I think those PADD’s have frikking Tribble blood in them: turn your back for five minutes and they’ve multiplied…”

“Okay,” she said, unsure, really, if she was being smart. She’d never really worked for Harry up-close like… even when he’d been Chief of Security, they’d crossed paths minimally, his orders usually filtering through Jameson. “But… if it looks like I can’t cut it… I mean, security-wise…”

“I won’t be nice, then, either,” he assured her, quietly. “You know me well enough to know that.”

“Yeah,” she looked down a moment, then sighed. “So, sir,” she looked back up, “What’s next?”

“Ahh, right,” he looked blank for a moment, “I don’t know?”

Jen smiled, then pointed to the case o’PADDS, “Maybe I should deliver those to wherever they’re supposed to go?”

“Yes. Good plan. I like it.”

Shaking her head, Jenny took up the load and headed to the door. It looked as if, while Harry was training her, she’d be training him, as well. “I’ll get these taken care of,” she told him, “then come back and we’ll set up a filing system and then I’ll start downloading the departmental reports.” She glanced over at his desk top computer, "And you have an incoming from Captain Torrik," she added, moving out of the way for him to take the message.

“Right, great.” Harry leaned on the desk and almost upset the nearest stack as he keyed in his code, “Shit. And I’ll clear the transfer with Tenanji and Jackson… and T’Shaini,” who he was sure would prefer to be kept up-to-date. The message he accessed was text memo. It seemed a staff meeting was brewing… ahh, new orders.

Temporary transfer,” Jenny's reminder cut into his thoughts as the door closed behind her.

"I hope so," looking up as he replied quietly to the empty room. Harry then tapped his combadge, “Finn to Tenanji.”

=/\=Tenanji, here. How did it go?=/\=

“She went for it… go ahead and inform Jackson and we’ll try for a re-test in three months.”

=/\=Copy that… and… thank you. She is a good officer but…=/\=

“I know,” Harry cut in, “Thanks for letting me watch the test. Finn out.”

Featuring NPC Jenny Anderson
Originally Posted 8/1/08 by Harry Finn


-Main Engineering-

<>ATTENTION. LEVEL FIVE DIAGNOSTIC IN PROGRESS. ALL SECTIONS PREPARE FOR SHUT DOWN AND RESTART.<>

The entire engineering staff was present for the comprehensive systems test. The last time the department had initiated the test was before the Hawking was launched on her maiden voyage. Now, with a refitted warp core, upgraded AI and systems overhaul the ship was ready for the diagnostic that would ascertain if all the repairs were performing in unison at peak levels. In layman's terms, the diagnostic would tell them if the Hawking was ready to fly.

=^=Chief Engineer to the Bridge.=^= Javier said after tapping his commbadge.

=^=This is the Commanding Officer, go ahead Lt. Costala.=^= Nils replied.

=^=Captain, we're ready to initiate the Level Five.=^=Javier said with a slight grin, he knew how much Torrik Nils disliked being referred to as captain of the Hawking.

=^=Please proceed Chief, we are monitoring the results on the Bridge. Commander Torrik Out.=^= the CO replied brusquely.

Javier turned to Mustapha, who stood to his left beside the Master System's Display, and nodded. "All Sections, report your status." the Assistant Chief of Engineering ordered the four section chiefs and their staff.

"Lt. Yeoh here, environment is stable."

"Lt. Rasoul reporting, systems are green."

"Ensign Tehamia, the core is stable and ready."

"Chief Petty Officer Vrass reporting, electronics are a go Chief."

Satisfied that everyone was on the same page, Javier addressed the ship's computer. "Computer verify Lieutenant jg. Javier Costala, Chief Engineer, Gamma Epsilon Kappa Omega Five."

<>Verification complete. Chief Costala identified, awaiting your orders Sparks.<>

"Computer initiate Level 5 diagnostics for Main Engineering," Lt. Costala said. The consoles in Main Engineering grew darker as the various systems powered down, only the glowing blue light from the warp core and the monitoring systems remained to illuminate the area. Javier and Mustapha waited, the minutes ticked off as both men watched the master systems display. The computer, systems and core were aligned and tested for the slightest differences during the period of silence. Some of the engineers waited patiently, their faces illuminated by the blue glow of the core. Others fidgetted nervously during the procedure, aware that a failed diagnostic could mean four more weeks in spacedock.

The lights on the consoles powered up and the computer began to send out streams of data as the Master Systems Display registered unity between the core, systems and computer. "All Sections report."

"Environment is a go."

"Systems are go."

"Warp Core is online and functioning at peak levels."

"Electronics are green across the board!"

A cheer went up in Main Engineering. The ship was ready to fly.

=^=Captain, this is the Chief Engineer,=^= Javier stated proudly, =^=All systems are functioning above normal levels. We're ready Sir.=^=

Originally Posted 8/2/08 by Javier Costala


USS Hawking
Dedicated Lab 1138

"I don't see why I have to go, why can't I just give you a padd and you read it." Kerrin groused.

"Because I do not have a degree in anthropology nor am I an expert in pre warp cultures."

Kerrin stuck her tongue out at the smug Vulcan counselor…okay, well it was T'Shaini so she wasn't really being smug, but Kerrin hated meetings, all those people staring at her expecting her to know things. Command rarely understood that there were no real hard and fast answers in her sciences, hell…most other science people didn't get that. "Fine, I will go, but I won't like it."

T'Shaini bit the inside of her lip to keep from smiling at the sight of Kerrin behaving like a recalcitrant 4 year old (and she certainly now knew what that looked like) before reaching for a padd. "Swords?"

"Yeah, swords, a composite bow and crude cannon." She shot the Vulcan a sly smile. "You swordfight as well as you shoot?"

A raised eyebrow was the only response.

Reading over the information gathered by the Vulcan survey the counselor felt a small tingle of excitement begin in her chest. It looked as if they were going to have the chance to make contact with a culture untouched by the Federation, pristine and new. A heady thought to be sure. A small smile curled the corners of her mouth as T'Shaini looked back to the disgruntled Kerrin. "You are not even a little excited by this?"

Blowing her bangs out of her eyes, Kerrin turned around and let out a little laugh. "Of course I am, and I will likely kill anyone who gets in my way of going down planetside…let that be a warning to ya missy." She got up on her tiptoes to stare the too tall Vulcan in the eye…who calmly put her hand on top of Kerrin's head and squashed her down to her normal height.

"You could try."

"Was that a joke?" Kerrin squinted up at T'Shaini. "I hope so, because on further reflection I doubt I could take you in a fair fight." Then breaking into exuberant laughter she flung her arms around the taller woman and squeezed.

Gasping for air when Kerrin finally let go, T'Shaini smiled. "Or you could always hug me to death, it would at least be a pleasant way to go." Sidestepping the swat of retaliation the counselor scooped up an armful of padds. "No matter how much you try to distract me I will not forget about the meeting." In an effort to forestall the pout she could see forming, and to get them out of the door she continued. "Also, if we arrive early we can choose where we may be seated that will most advantageous." Please do not ask me advantageous for what.

"Right." Kerrin nodded brusquely. "Right!" Grabbing the last of the information, Kerrin bounced toward the door. "Onward! God for Harry, England and Saint George!" She shouted as she sprinted out the door.

Breaking into a run to catch up, T'Shaini called after her. "I understand the Harry part, but what do England and Saint George have to do with the staff meeting?"

Featuring Dr Kerrin Schaeffer
Originally Posted 8/3/08 by T'Shaini


USS Hawking
Deck 14, Corridor

“Lieutenant, do you have a moment?”

Usher Tenanji had just walked out of auxiliary tactical, on his way to the Senior Staff meeting, when Zal Govan’s voice halted him. “As a matter of fact, I…” he barely got that much out before the quietly furious Cardassian interrupted.

“I am almost certain,” the Petty Officer was saying as he approached, “that I signed on to Starfleet… not some Federation clone of the Obsidian Order.”

Tenanji’s eyes narrowed. “My office,” he said tersely, ignoring the curious glances they received from Rodriguez and Paress as they passed. Once the two were inside the swiftly closing door, he turned to Govan and, though his expression was neutral, his voice was ice, “Explain.”

“Sir,” the Cardassian officer began, determined to see this through, despite B’naath’s warnings to just ‘let it lie’, “I’m referring to the disposition of the records B’Naath recovered from Lammas Ren’s… lab.” Lammas Ren being the torturer who had ripped Harry Finn apart, put him back together and again ripped him apart, repeatedly, over a three-day period. Govan, B’Naath and the Klingon brother’s Rak’h and Koll had viewed no few of the recordings of Ren at his work and B’Naath had downloaded the data, thinking that it would be a step towards putting the professional sadist out of business. “They’ve gone missing and I… it was thought that Outpost Security should be made aware that this kind of operation was taking place on their watch.”

There was also the chance that putting Ren down would quell some of the nightmares Govan had been experiencing since their return… these featuring his father and the visits a much younger Zal had taken to the Hutet Labor camp.

Dammit. The problem was, Usher agreed but, “You well know, since you were also on the Yemen when Vail laid down the law, that those records technically never existed and the reason they never existed is, in the universe according to Vail, we were never in the Habitat; never, in fact, set foot on Kendrassa Prime. The entire mission has been classified and, while I know this goes against the grain, it is also not to be discussed.”

“Then we become a party to the crime,” Govan spat out. “When we do nothing to stop…”

“Tell me,” Usher’s icy tone cut through the hot protest, “having seen the type of situation we pulled Finn out of, do you, for one moment, believe that the people Ren worked for will allow him to continue after so great a failure? He allowed a significant prize to escape…”

“With all due respect,” Zal, the son of an adept in the art of pain, interrupted in his turn, “the people Ren works for… they will always have new enemies who must be taught a lesson… and a good teacher can be very hard to find.”

“Then we can only hope that, someday, a much more stringent educator will arrive to teach Ren a few lessons. Listen,” the Security Chief checked his wrist chrono, he really did have to get to that meeting, “I understand your concerns. I share them but the matter is entirely out of my hands and in those of Starfleet Intelligence.” Moving towards the door, he gestured at the PO1 to follow. “Meanwhile, we must take what comfort we can in the knowledge that we did pull one of our own out from under Lammas Ren’s knife.”

“Yes, sir,” Zal followed, resigned but not in any way happy, “Still, seeing how matters have turned, I rather wish that I had been on Kendrassa Prime.” At Tenanji’s curious glance he shrugged, “If I’d ever been there, I could have taken more permanent steps to put an end to Ren’s trade.”

“I rather think Mister Finn might share that sentiment,” Tenanji replied. “It’s too bad you’ve never visited the Outpost.” Once he’d received Govan’s silent acquiescence to the way things had to be, Usher continued on his way to the turbolift and Zal turned back to the locker room where B’Naath had said he’d be waiting.

The Caitian, it turned out, was one of those who loved to say ‘I told you so.’

Featuring NPC's Zal Govan and Usher Tenanji
Originally Posted 8/3/08 by Harry Finn


:: Sickbay ::

“Sick bay is locked and loaded”, the half human/bajoran bioweaponeer sang as he secured a medical storage door, “…bring on the sick.”

Brandi Lewis, the ships new pediatrician, raised an eyebrow with concern, “A little respect, Mr.Hodges. You’ll understand that, as a pediatrician, I don’t share your enthusiasm for using wounded or sick as my personal test rats.”

Chris paused, obviously the newbie didn’t share his sense of humor. To be fair, most people didn’t, but he had developed a close enough friendship with his colleagues that they knew when he was joking, “I’m only kidding, Doctor Lewis. I just meant we’ll be ready for anything.”

Lewis sniffed and turned her attention back to sorting medical reports, “How many children are on board Hawking?”

“Aren’t you the pediatrician?” Chris hated to be sarcastic but this new Doctor was already cramping his style.

Brandi had little patience for attitude, “Precisely why I’m asking. I believe the medical database is out of date. Our CMO seems a bit unorganized.”

“Unorganized? No. Catching up from a chaotic past 6 months? Yes.” If Chris had had any inkling to help the new Doctor get oriented, it was now gone. He sighed. “But let’s see…there’s Lia, Eli, Autumn, Kadence, Samuel, Jimmy, Tyson, Edded & Anthony,” he counted them up again in his head, “So…9 children… I think. You might want to double check with Doctor Thorne.”

"Thorne?"

"Yep. Munro's right hand wo-man, so to speak."

She nodded, “Very well. I’d like to set up meetings with their parents…”

“Of course, Doctor Lewis,” came a voice from the entrance of sickbay. Brandi looked up to see the ship’s chief medical officer walk through sickbay doors, “…anything we can do to help you get set-up, just let me know. Oh, and I sincerely apologize for the state of our records,” she pointed to the PADD Brandi was holding, “We’ve had a lot going on and we’re currently understaffed. You can imagine how excited we are that you’re here.”

Yes. Oh Joy, thought Chris.

The woman waved the CMO's concerns aside, “Jillian, it’s so good to see you again!” The pediatrician offered her hand.

Jillian shook the woman’s hand, slowly, as if she were trying to remember where she had met her,“I’m sorry, Doctor. I don’t….”

The older woman chuckled, “No, of course you wouldn’t. You would have been about two years old the last time we met. I was a friend of your fathers.” She offered a big smile, “The apple doesn’t fall far form the tree, does it?”

Jillian returned the smile, if not half heartedly, “…not if the tree has anything to say about it.”

“Oh? Medical wasn’t your first choice?” She questioned.

Chris shot Jillian a look of disbelief. Who the hell is this woman? He thought. Jillian cleared her throat. Everything about this was awkward. It didn’t matter if medical was her first choice or not. She had chosen it because it was the only connection she had left to her family. She felt safe in medical, and she knew how to do the job, "My father was, of course, a huge influence but yes, medical was my first choice,” she assured the pediatrician.

The new doctor smiled. Another awkward moment.

“Umm…Doctor Munro,” interrupted Chris, “I almost forgot to tell you. Captain Torrik has called a meeting with the senior staff,” he handed her a PADD, “… the details.”

Jillian exhaled, “Yes. Well,” She took the PADD from Chris and gave Brandi a polite nod, “If you need anything, just let me know. Chris, you know where to find me."

Featuring NPC's Chris Hodges and Dr. Brandi Lewis
Originally Posted 8/4/08 by Jillian Munro


:: USS Hawking ::
:: Briefing Room ::

Several pairs of eyes met Nils as he passed through the swishing doors of the briefing room. Evidently he was the last one in. Feeling a little uncomfortable at the attention, he cut his eyes to one of the PADDs he carried checking the chrono. Surely he wasn't late to his very first mission briefing as CO. The time relieved some of his anxiety. It seemed the senior staff were just over eager.

"Hi," he said a bit nervously as he ambled to the seat at the head of the table. Mentally he checked the names from the list, making certain everyone necessary was present. The entire senior staff was present and accounted for, including the newly appointed Usher Tenanji to Chief of Security. Lt. Commander Vail sat off in the corner, ready to jump in, of course, with any details he may have held back prior. And Kerrin Schaeffer hopefully sat in as resident expert in Anthropology. Though he'd read a small portion on the Vulcan survey team's report, Nils had spent the bulk of the time preparing for the briefing by studying up on the mysterious Circle.

"I guess we should just dive in…" In as few words as possible, Nils lined out everything Vail had told him. He transferred data around the table and even added a few graphics of the Vulcan survey ship for good measure. When he finished summing up the bare bones of their mission he paused and glanced around the table. "That's why we're already on route to the Omeron system at our best speed…"

Tenanji looked up at Finn, who was leaning against the wall and waiting, so he cleared his throat, "What is our precise objective? That is, are we merely seeking intelligence," he didn't look at Vail, "or do we in fact mean to intercept the acquisition of this mysterious artifact?"

In the corner, Vail lifted his head and answered softly. "We're uncertain the nature of the item in question, or its purpose. The objective of the mission is gathering…information. And acting appropriately as the facts on the ground unfold." With arms crossed over his chest, he pursed his lips and slid his eyes towards the CO.

The Chief Engineer accidentally rubbed some of the grease on his hands to the PADD he had been given. He frowned and wiped the PADD on his uniform transferring the wayward lubricant back to his person then scanned the information listed. "I don't understand why we're the ones doing recon for this..object. Starfleet has specialized units that do that sort of thing. Am I missing something?"

"Those specialized units don't often have command of their own starships," Harry threw in from the wall, eyes on Commander Vail. "They tend to make use of what's available when they need to get somewhere." He straightened and began, as was his habit, to pace the room. "What might be useful in determining what this Kamaal is after, however," he continued, "Is knowing more about her. Do we have any access to her personal history: her interests, areas of study; anything that would indicate the reason for her being the one to take this trip?"

"Other than her involvement with Jero, her records are relatively bare," Nils began, scanning a pad in front of him. "She was a member of the Circle and spent some time incarcerated following their initial attacks on DS9. This report," he said scrolling further down on the screen, "indicates she studied with a Vedek Marias on her way to becoming a prylar or mylar or some other cleric position. Marias is…" The Bajoran looked up and his cheeks reddened. Sometimes his people's beliefs were just too out there. "He's a leader of a sect that holds to a more fundamental view of our faith. That the Prophets are for Bajorans only… It's somewhat backwards in my thinking."

"Fundamentalist bordering on xenophobia." T'Shaini interjected. "Bajor for Bajorans, no interference from the Federation, not simply in a political sense, they wish to banish any sort of 'impurity' from any external influences, and have been know to use violence to uphold their ideals."

"But what about the people who are already there? The ones who have children? They can't just tear families apart, can they?" Jillian quickly made eye contact with Nils, she paused, "This sounds serious."

T'Shaini nodded. "It is. Purification of the race is the goal, which though they do not specify it can only lead to genocide. It is not their public face, but the further you delve into their teachings the more extreme they become. Think Nazi Germany of the 1930's on Earth. The begin by taking the downtrodden and give them focus, identity and pride and once they have them employ psychological methods to warp their sense of reality."

"It's no better than a spiritual occupation," Nils muttered to himself. The prospect angered him.

"So we need to…" Tenanji began.

At the same time, Finn said, "Then our plan is…"

The current and former Security Chief's looked at one another before Harry grinned and nodded, "You first."

Tenanji only jerked his chin solemnly. "So to sum up," he began again, "We intend to land a team on this planet… seek out Kamaal and discover her true purpose, all without contaminating the local culture?" He glanced about, "And what of her ship?"

Finn was smiling, "We clearly need to come up with a stealth approach, if we don't want a firefight," he agreed. "And then, of course," he looked down at Kerrin, then Jillian, "we have approximately six days to get a team prepped and passing for natives… right doctors?"

Kerrin gulped audibly as heads swung in her direction. "Well, if we wanted to blend in…if you refer to your padds, we would need darker pigment…" She snuck a glance in the direction Tenanji. "in some cases. A folded upper lid to the eyes as well as a rather pronounced brow ridge, all of which seem to be genetic mutations to deal with the harshness of their sun." Kerrin's nose wrinkled as she thought further. "I would also suggest some eye protection, we are unlikely to be able to deal with the glare without some damage. But that is only a guess."

Jillian nodded, "That shouldn't be a problem. Once I have a face template, it will be easy to customize each of the landing party with Colgonite astringent and a generous amount of Dermatiraelian plastiscine. As for the eyes, I'll fit everyone with a lens that fits snug against the cornea, it was commonly used in the 21st century - they called it a "contact"." Jillian shifted in her seat, "The real challenge will be fooling sensors and scanners…" she paused, "I can temporarily genetically alter everyone, but…it would take some time to recover from that."

"No need." Kerrin cut in. "No sensors, no scanners."

"If you're not worried about Kamaal and her accomplices having them," Jillian shrugged, "Then I think we can get by with external cosmetics only."

"What if the team is compromised?" Javier suddenly interjected. "This is a pre-warp society, if I've read Starfleet regulations correctly, and I believe I have, we'd be breaking the most significant part of the Prime Directive. What contingencies are in place if the mission fails? How do we 'clean-up' something like that?"

"It would be best if each of us adopted a new perspective on the Prime Directive during this mission," Vail began suddenly. "Our chief concern needs to be Kamaal and what ever item…"

"Excuse me?" Nils interrupted, his eyebrows lowering with growing concern. "Our chief concern needs to be the directive that has been a guiding principle of this 'Fleet since its beginnings… It's called Prime for a reason. And I agree with Javi…with Chief Costala. We need to make every assurance that we are not discovered and that the native culture is left intact and undisturbed. And we need to insure Kamaal does the same…"

"Given that her vessel has a week's head start," Finn interjected, his eyes locked onto his captain's, "that may not be an option. But I can assure you," he added, "that any team we assemble will be as prepared as possible to maintain the illusion that we are a part of that culture. To that end," his eyes crossed Tenanji's and landed on Kerrin's, "we need to go over the specifics of the society… weapons, status… what kind of small unit might be traveling outside of larger tribes?"

"The family is the tribe." Uncomfortable, Kerrin stood. "Or Clan rather, you are born to a clan not to a mother and father, after a child has been weaned he or she is raised by the entire clan. Familial connections are no more important that any other elder in this society. They will have small hunting/raiding parties (Juvayni) that number anywhere from 1-15 horsemen…camelmen…hexamelmen…whatever." Wiping the flopsweat from her brow she continued. "Weapons, composite bow, long curved blade and a large crude cannon. Doesn't look like you can count on its trajectory but I wouldn't want to be in a 100 yard radius when it does go off. Yassira, or 'the code' is enforced by the elders, no one person holds much power…well, except for a shamanistic figure called a Herati. He or she takes care of spiritual guidance as well as medical care." A brief smile flashed across her face. "You will note my use of both he and she, the Devanagari expect everyone, regardless of sex, to share every duty. You are as like to find a woman with a sword as a man chaning diapers, all depends on your fitness for the task."

Nils looked at Harry and suggested, "Maybe we should organize our away teams in 'tribes.' I'd like to avoid all contamination of the culture… Stay out of their way completely if possible. But if not, we need to blend in convincingly."

"Agreed," Harry was already mapping out potential team members, "once we've set the teams, they need to go into intense training, weapons and holographic insertion into the environment, as close as we can get." He shook his head, "I don't want to lose all our advantage and we have to have coms… what kind of cover can we get for the smaller tech?"

"I'll have to speak with Dr. Schaeffer about what sort of prized or personal possessions the tribe members carry," Javier said, nodding across the table at the anthropologist, "then I'm sure Kal-El and I can disguise whatever tech we need to resemble common objects the Devanagari utilize."

O'Keefe leaned forward, her lips pursed and angry. "I've just finished looking over the long range scans of the Omeron system. The planet has no less than four natural satellites orbitting on eliptical paths. I feel sure I can work with helm to project a course that will conceal our approach from any vessel in the area. We might have to drop out of warp sooner than we'd like, but it's doable."

"Good," Nils said uneasily. "Then we've got plenty to keep us busy. You're all free to begin any preparations that need… preparing…" His awkward was kicking in. He'd have to practice sounding more COish. "We'll need some appropriate attire as well. Someone see if you can't reprogram the replicator and make it sew."

Brought to you in technicolor through the combined efforts of Costala, Finn, Munro, Nils, T'Shaini, & the NPCs
Originally Posted 8/4/08 by Torrik Nils


Unhelpful Tears

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.