USS ANUBIS - Mission 07
Saving Agent Troy
POST INDEX
Post # Character Title
001 Morningstar Agent Down
002 Shar'El Not Giving Into Emotions
003 Stark Worthiness
004 Dima Number Five
005 Morningstar Just Another Morning
006 Shar'El A Range of Emotions
007 Paquette One Finger To Rule Them All
008 Ya'Han The Color of Hate
009 Maya Bending The Laws of Sanity
010 Paquette No Words
011 Morningstar Mission Briefing
S001 Houston The Life for Me – Chapter 1
012 Shar'El Beyond Borders
013 Ya'Han Crossing The Line
014 Stark New Day, Old Problems
015 Shar'El What Hides In The Dark
016 Maya Beyond Sight
017 Chen Idle hands
S002 Houston The Life for Me – Chapter 2
018 Ya'Han Unexpected Surprises
019 Shar'El Hide And Seek, Ullian Style
020 Dima Causes of the Effect
021 Stark Darker Times Ahead
022 Ya'Han Anger Training
023 Stark More Darker Times Ahead
024 Paquette Messing With The Wrong...
025 Maya Looking To The Shadows
026 Ya'Han The Influence of the Past
027 Dima Origins
028 Shar'El Unseen Eyes
029 Morningstar Time To Face The Shadows
030 Ya'Han A Little On Edge
031 Shar'El Peace and Quiet at Last
032 Paquette Forever a Friend
033 Chen/Dima Losing Her Mind
034 Shar'El From Dark to Dark
035 Stark A New Attitude
036 Ya'Han Changing Colors
037 Maya The Biology of Shadows
038 Shar'El Planning
039 Ya'Han The History of Colors
040 Maya Getting Ready for the Mission
041 Stark Smaller than Expected
042 Shar'El Wine, Women and Words
043 Ya'Han The Decision
044 Stark The Reaction
045 Ya'Han The Discussion
046 Paquette The Bogart
047 Shar'El The Plan
048 Stark The Kiss
049 Ya'Han The Change
050 Morningstar A Prayer, Some Hope, and...
051 Stark The Arrival
S003 Houston The Life for Me – Chapter 3
052 Shar'El The Trap
053 Ya'Han The Past
054 Paquette The Search
055 Shar'El The Mess
S004 Houston The Life for Me – Chapter 4
Post # Character Title
056 Stark The Deal
057 Ya'Han The Associates
058 Shar'El The Chaos
059 Stark The Aide
060 Ya'Han The Lost Daughter
061 Morningstar The Shadow Hunters
062 Paquette The Passageway
063 Shar'El The Trap
064 Ya'Han The Guilt
065 Maya The Fifth Member
066 Chen We Live To Serve
067 Stark The Brat
068 Shar'El The End
069 Ya'Han The Emotions
S005 Houston The Life for Me – Chapter 5
070 Stark The Stars
071 Paquette The Freighter
072 Ya'Han The Family
073 Morningstar The Prey
074 Shar'El The Conflicts
075 Stark The Silence
076 Ya'Han The Struggle
077 Maya The Unseen
078 Shar'El The Talk
079 Stark The Wait
080 Ya'Han The Mirror
081 Stark The Pastime
082 Ya'Han The Rage
083 Shar'El The Friend
084 Paquette The Help
085 Dima The Busy Season
086 Stark The Morning
087 Ya'Han The Meeting
088 Dima The Staycation
089 Stark The Rut
090 Shar'El The IGC
091 Ya'Han The Relief
092 Paquette The Wiz
093 Dima The Pushover
094 Stark The Thoughts
095 Ya'Han The After Session
096 Shar'El The Questions
097 Maya The Search
098 Ya'Han The Memories
099 Dima The Business Lunch
100 Shar'El The Frustration
101 Paquette The Drinks
102 Ya'Han The Reason
103 Stark The Rampant Imagination
104 Shar'El The Spin
105 Ya'Han The Black
106 Shar'El The Morning After
107 Paquette The Wine
108 Dima The New Day
109 Shar'El The Next Target
110 Stark The Source
111 Ya'Han The Walk
112 Dima The Tale of Zaccarias
113 Morningstar The Last Meeting
M07-P113: USS ANUBIS: Morningstar: Day 12 - 1000 ("The Last Meeting")
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"The Last Meeting"
Previous post "The Tale of Zaccarias"
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Time is the wisest counsellor of all.
- Pericles

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Captain's Ready Room
Stardate: 32007.1000

The Native American sat at his desk, his gaze lost on the hidden stars beyond the ablative amour that covered the window of his office.  It was during the times when the armour was active for long periods of time that the crew, including himself, realized just how much they enjoyed and missed seeing the streaking stars.

"I will need to speak with Sonja and see if something can be done about that," the Captain of the ANUBIS mused to himself. As a former Engineer, the Native American knew a few things about how to make certain plans come to pass. His unvoiced idea of having some type of holographic stars being displayed on the windows while covered by the ablative armour seemed like something that was worth exploring.  In the meantime though, remaining hidden and safe was the highest priority for the ship and crew until they reached the safety of Federation space.

Returning his attention to his desk, and the numerous PADDs neatly placed on it, the Captain reached for the small control panel to his right. "Computer, stand by to record log."

=/\= Standing by, =/\= the disembodied mechanical female voice acknowledged.

Erik drew in a slow, deep breath before starting. "Captain's log, stardate 32007.1. The ANUBIS is on its way back home and by the looks of things the Lokustaar are not following, and I will admit that I am not complaining about that.  Based on the reports from the IGC, it is highly probable that the planetary blockade of both MARKALA PRIME and NYLA IV triggered by the High Sovereign himself had something to do with this.  As much as this may not please my Chief of Security, this is an even better reason for the ANUBIS to be heading back home instead of going to the NYLA system.  Hopefully, things will settle down in time on both the planetary and family level, although I doubt it.  If the reports I have read from the members of the away team are a hint of what is to come, it is possible that this entire region of space could find itself in the middle of a civil war, the ruling family of NYLA IV standing right in the center of it. My guess, as unfortunate as it may be, is that things are going to get a lot messier before they get better. Computer, pause."

The Native American stopped for a moment. As much as he hoped that they would not have to return to this region of space, the fact that the only Nylaan in the Federation, who also happened to be a member of the royal family, was his Chief of Security. That and that alone pretty much insured the involvement of the ship and crew at some point in the not so distant future. Luckily for now, that involvement would have to wait until things settled down.  As powerful and stealthy as the ANUBIS could be, trying to go through a full planetary blockade established around one of the primary planets of any region of space would prove to be a challenge well beyond their abilities to successfully complete.

"Computer, resume recording," Erik continued, not wanting to allow himself to be too distracted. "I will be meeting with Counsellor Dima shortly to discuss her report on those who took part in the away mission to MARKALA PRIME. I have already read through the preliminary reports and it seems that for the most part, the crew is managing well.  Some, for obvious reasons, will need some extra time to process the events that transpired, but I am confident that with Counsellor Dima's assistance every member of the senior staff will be back to themselves well in time for our next mission, whatever that may be. Computer, end recording."

The Native American glanced at the time display. His meeting with Nicole Dima was set for 1030 which gave him only a few minutes to make the final preparations.  Yes, Nicole was officially the Ship's Counsellor, but this meeting had not been about her coming here in that capacity. Although Erik would take the opportunity to get the full reports on the rest of his officers, he would also act as the one who would see how well the joint Trill had weathered the entire affair, both while on the planet and afterwards on the ANUBIS.  From experience he knew that counselling a counsellor could be very tricky business, but luckily for him he had a fair deal of experience thank to the woman he knew as Eve Dalziel.

Erik made his way to the food dispenser, thinking it best to do what he could to make the Counsellor feel more at ease. Being on the other side of the counselling table could make some nervous enough, but to be doing so with the ship's Commanding Officer on the other side was a sure thing at making anyone nervous. "Two cups of Risian tea, hot."

The wall-mounted unit lit up for a few seconds, then the requested items appeared just as the door chime rang.

"Perfect timing," Erik mused to himself. "Come in."

"I hope that I am not disturbing you or interrupting anything Captain," Nicole offered the moment her foot landed onto the floor of the Captain's Ready Room making the Native American grin. Multiple lifetimes of experience and still the petite woman found it in herself to be nervous.

"Not at all Counsellor, please come in and have a seat," the name said, inviting his guest to sit on the couch instead of in one of the chairs facing his desk.  "Here, something for you.  I know that you enjoy Risian drinks, but I thought it was a little too early for a Sunrise. So, I will owe you one of them at some point."

"You don't have to," Nicole stated as she graciously accepted the steaming cup of tea.

"Actually I do," Erik grinned in return. "It will give me an excuse to get out of this office and make it to the Black Hole Lounge. Believe it or not, I don't get to do that as much as one might think a Captain would. Now, shall we get to work?"

"Where would you like to start?" the Counsellor inquired, knowing that there were several points that they needed to address during this meeting including her own mission evaluation.

"Where ever you feel most comfortable," Erik replied, a smile dancing on his lips.  Following the two of them looking at one another for a few seconds in silence, the Native American added, "felt nice sawing it instead of hearing it."

"I bet it did," Counsellor Dima sighed before cracking a large smile.  "So let's see. Sonja is angry at Maya for not having been an exclusive petting monkey to her. Maya is angry at herself for not having been able to do more. Jayson is angry at the universe including himself but I think I managed to get him to be angry at Ya'Han instead forcing him to talk to her which in turn should get her to realize that being angry at herself is not healthy. Shar'El is forced to expand her inter-personal skills not being able to through people's memories. That leaves me and my take on the mission, how it has affected everyone, including myself.  The mission was a success in that we saved agent Troy, but it came at a heavy price, one that we will all be paying for in the near as well as distant future."

Erik laughed. Never had he expected to get such a rapid overview of everything, but it showed him that as demanding as the task might have been, Nicole had been the right person for the job.

"How about we go through that again, this time at impulse speed. I am sure that a lot of the details and nuances were lost the moment you jumped into high warp."

"You being a former Chief Engineer is showing," Nicole grinned.

"I have always believed that it was one of my most positive features," the Native American countered with, leaving the Counsellor to realize that the man actually allowed himself to be less than the stoic and perfect Captain with her.  "So, let's review the reports in chronological order starting with Lieutenant Paquette," Erik suggested as he reached for the PADD that he had placed on the table in front of the couch for that specific purpose.

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Captain's Ready Room
Stardate: 32007.1155

The Native American glanced at the time display. It had been nearly two hours since the meeting with the Counsellor had begun, luckily they were nearing the end.

"Looks like you have everything well under control in regards to staying on top of the various personal issues mentioned earlier," Erik noted with a distinct tone of satisfaction. "The crew is very fortunate to have you here."

"I consider myself fortunate to being here," Nicole offered in return.

"Very glad to hear that Counsellor. That said, I think we can stop here and call it a day," the Native American offered, knowing all too well that he still had one last thing to mention before the joint Trill left his office.

"Thank you Captain," Nicole acknowledged, standing from the couch and taking the opportunity to stretch her arms and legs. No matter how many lifetimes Dima went through, sitting in the presence of someone holding any type of higher authority over her always seemed to bring back feelings of nervousness.  That said, she had to admit that the meeting had gone better than she had expected.

"Before you leave," Erik added just as the woman had been about the reach the spot where the door would automatically open. "I wanted to let you know that everyone who took part in the mission to MARKALA PRIME will receive a commendation ribbon noting their involvement in the rescue of agent Trent Troy. The award is also meant to acknowledge the unique difficulties you all had to share during and following this unique mission. It may not be much, but at least it will be an official record of the achievement that you all share in."

Nicole stood motionless for a moment as she processed the news that had just been shared with her. "Thank you Captain. I am sure that the gesture will be appreciated by everyone."

"I hope so Counsellor, I truly hope so. For now though, get some rest you have earned it, we should be back at NEW ALEXANDRIA in about a week.

--==(/\)==--
Francois Charette

Commanding Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501

AND

Lt. Commander Elan Fairborn [Access Character BIO for Elan Fairborn]
Robotics Engineering Officer
NEW ALEXANDRIA
M07-P112: USS ANUBIS: Dima & Shar'El: Day 10 - 1600 ("The Tale of Zaccarias")
“The Tale of Zaccarias”
(Continued from “The Walk”)

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Counsellor's Office
Stardate: 32005.1600

The petite Trill woman smiled upon the other woman’s arrival. 

Nicole had been happy to see Shar'El now sitting in front of her, not because it had been the Commander's turn to be seen by the Counsellor, but because she had been the last of those who had gone down to MARKALA PRIME. Even though some of the meetings had been simple and quick, the sheer number of them had proven to be quite taxing on the Trill who had not been in any way adverse to finally calling the task required by their Captain done and over with, that is, as soon as the current meeting would be concluded.

"How are you doing Counsellor?" Shar'El asked as she leaned back into the couch, comfortably settling in.

"I am fine," Nicole grinned back, "although for the record I do believe I am the one who is supposed to open with that line."

"Sorry about that," the ExO / ILO offered with a chuckle. "As the ANUBIS' First Officer it is my responsibility to insure that everyone, especially the senior staff is all right."

"I do appreciate you asking," the Counsellor offered. This had been one of the friendliest icebreakers that she had gone through for the last few days.

"My pleasure. How is Ya'Han? I am not asking as her ExO but rather as her friend," the ExO / ILO said and clarified. Given what the Chief of Security had endured, it had been quite a surprise that a new color had not been seen on the woman's head since their return from MARKALA PRIME.

"Your desire to keep an eye out for your friend is admirable, but you do realize that there is little I can divulge to you at this point," the Counsellor stated, remaining perfectly polite and professional. "As much as your responsibilities as this ship's ExO includes the continued well-being of the crew, this including psychological evaluations, this particular personnel review was ordered by the Captain himself, and therefor my report will be given to him. Should he decide to share some or all of my findings with you, it will be entirely up to him."

"Of course Counsellor," the ExO / ILO said beaming a huge smile to the Trill. "I did not meant to say that you should breach our professional oath of confidentiality in this particular instance. I was just concerned that we might need to have additional security at the ready should Ya'Han decided to go full *red* on us."

Had it not been for the humorous demeanor of Shar'El, Nicole might have actually been concerned that the possibility mentioned by the Commander had been a valid scenario.  "It will take her some time and a few more sessions, but I am confident that she will be fine," Ensign Dima offered, trying her best to find a middle ground between what her official responsibilities to her patients and Captain were, and the concerns of the woman sitting on the couch across from her.

"Perfect, glad to hear it," the Commander announced leaving Nicole to assume that she had been ready to move onto the part of this meeting which actually dealt with her and not any other members of the away team.  "I am guessing that you did not notice anything special or out of the ordinary with Sonja or Jayson? Having been shackled in the room while Ya'Han's half sister was murdered could not have been easy for them."

"Seeing anyone killed while being unable to act or prevent it would be difficult for anyone," the Cns confirmed adding a sigh in response to the continued efforts of the ExO / ILO to have their discussion and meeting be on anyone else but her. This might prove to be more difficult than her strained lunch yesterday with Director Chen. "How did it make *you* feel?"

A certain surge of pride swept through the Counsellor who had managed to slide in a question directed at the woman. Hopefully this would get the ball rolling on what this meeting had been meant to be.

"I did not know her," the Commander pointed out. "I was curious as to who she was, especially given her purple hair and family association with Ya'Han, but I had no emotional investments in the situation.  I was impressed by the strength displayed by the aide Ze'Kon and greatly admired the way Jayson did everything he could to protect our Chief of Security.  By the way, in your talk with Jayson, did he detail the reason why he acted that way? Just curious if he did so as a member of the crew to help another, or as a man trying to be chivalrous in front of a woman he is romantically involved with?"

"Commander," Nicole sighed while shaking her head, trying not to smile too much.

"Sorry," Shar'El grinned. "Not being allowed to look into the memories of anyone on board the ANUBIS does make things far more difficult for me to find the answers to my questions. Speaking of which, how did Maya enjoy spending so much time as a small primate? She did seem to enjoy the attention that Sonja was giving her while on the freighter.  I can only imagine how much she talked about that, the woman must have been itching to speak to someone after having been reduced to nothing more than high pitch squeaks while on our mission."

"Both Jayson and Maya are fine," the Counsellor stated hoping to bring this meeting back on track.

"Good, I suspect that Director Chen was also very happy to have her agent found safe and sound although I did read Doctor Doyanne's report on his physical state. A normal man would not have managed that level of captivity as well.  I wonder how any of us would have fared in his place."

"Being locked alone in a room without anyone talking to you does have a certain advantage," Nicole whispered to herself. She actually found the thought rather appealing, her latest effort to bring Commander Shar'El back on track obviously failing miserably.  The woman clearly appeared to be on a mission to *not* discuss her personal thoughts and feelings regarding the mission.

"So you believe that you would have been able to handle the confinement that Trent was subjected to?" Shar'El demanded as she shifted her position to now being leaning forward, her elbows resting on her knees while her chin was supported in the palm of her hands. "I bet that the knowledge and experiences from your other lives would have most certainly come in handy and maybe even given you an edge that agent Troy could never have hoped to have.  That said, have any of your previous hosts ever been held captive against their will?"

*Other that right now?* she thought. Nic felt a gnawing at her stomach that she wasn’t sure could be attributed to frustration or hunger, and since the only one she could be certain to resolve would be the latter, she procured a tray of fruits and cheeses along with sparkling water. Before she sat back in her chair, she browsed the selection and popped a piece of strawberry, a chunk of pineapple, and a cube of Swiss in her mouth.

The young woman folded her arms on the desk, trying to compose herself. “Dima’s third host was a man named Zaccarias. He was a scientist, and a very dedicated one, not unlike Maya. His attention to detail was well known, and some of the papers he published are still used in our higher education system today.” A touch of pride once again laced Nicole’s voice as the memories swelled forward.

“Certainly an ideal candidate for joining, someone intelligent with a drive towards learning and strong personality.”

“You’re right, of course. But Zaccarias was not originally slated to become the next host. You remember E’Lynda?”

The Ullian recalled the story of the second host, a woman who had served in Starfleet and died in an accident on a space station, leaving her family behind. It was a story she had found herself experiencing through the eyes of Nicole as she searched for Shar’El in the haze of the Lokustaar encounter they had before the meat and bones of their mission. “Yes, I do.”

“As you can imagine, this was difficult for her to accept. While the concept of physical death is softened among those who were joined, as each hosts lives on in a way through their symbiont, those who have passed still must not actively seek out former loved ones.”

Shar’El nibbled on a piece of apple. “What does this have to do with the selection of a new host?”

“While the candidates undergo a rigorous screening process to prove their worthiness to be joined, it’s also important that the host and symbiont work well together, like a series of checks and balances, or like two soulmates.”

“Yin and Yang,” the ebony-haired woman remarked.

Nicole nodded. “E’Lynda’s death being against her will, and not being of natural causes, would affect the next host in some way. The first selection of the Commission was a young man with a wife and children. But not only was the timing off, they were concerned E’Lynda’s grief would negatively impact the candidate. That’s where Zaccarias stepped in.”

“Why Zaccarias?”

The Cns picked at some grapes. “He always was a very analytical man. Having children of his own or even a spouse was something he had decided against a few years earlier. He enjoyed the solitary life as it allowed him to pursue his theorems and hypotheses. And this is what he told the Symbiosis Commission.  He believed it would allow Dima to heal and perhaps even E’Lynda’s heart to be soothed, without impacting him as the host.”

“And he was correct in his assumptions?”

Nic grinned. “On several levels, yes. He conducted a study, and wrote a thesis about it.” 

“Interesting,” The ExO/ILO mused. “But what does this have to do with what we were talking about?”

Ensign Dima stood and folded her arms. “First of all, I got you to stop thinking about the crew for a few minutes.”

“Okay, you did. But I gather there’s something else.”

“I spoke briefly with Selyara Chen yesterday as a part of the wrap-up. The information she provided was not extensive, but it was telling. The two of you are very different, but there was one similarity I could point out.”

“Which was?”

“You both have... skills and talents very few others possess. For various reasons, you’re currently only using them in times of crisis or emergency. But that’s a problem, or at least has the potential to be.”

“In what way?”

“You’ve relied on them for so long that it makes regular interaction… difficult. And somewhat unsatisfying. I mean, why ask a question and try to interpret the answer when you can just reach inside and find what you’re looking for?”

Shar’El considered this. “Is that what the crew thinks?”

“No. That’s not what I’m saying. You’re friends with Sonja and Ya’Han. However, you have yet to find a balance. Like the balance of a host and symbiont. Not only do you need to reach out to the others, you need to allow them in as well. Allow them to know you in the way you have gotten to know them. I’m not an empath or a telepath or even a Betazoid. The answers I’ve gotten from some of the Senior Staff are cryptic, to put it mildly. But none of that matters because I need to help them. More often than not, it means helping them help themselves. But it most assuredly is not a one-sided thing.”

The ExO / ILO carefully considered the words that had just been spoken by the Counsellor, then Shar'El considered them some more. As an Intel Operative, things had been simpler. Remaining alone, unseen and out of everyone's way had been expected if not required, but as the First Officer, the requirements had drastically changed. Now she was expected to be in the forefront, visible and accessible to all. As much as she had believed in having made great strides in her transition, it was evident that there had still been a great deal more work to be done.

"Your point has been well made and noted Counsellor," the ExO / ILO offered following an extended silence that left Nicole wondering how the Commander had taken what she had said. "Thank you. It seems that I have more to do on my interpersonal dealings than I had realized."

"I am here should you need any sort of help," Nicole offered. "After all, it is my job."

"So noted," Shar'El chuckled. "So, how have you been doing?" the ExO / ILO asked, clearly in a teasing manner as she leaned back onto the couch, a few pieces of fruits in her hand.

=-=
NM:

And this concludes the scheduled Counselling sessions for those who took part in the mission on MARKALA PRIME.

It was a great mission, with some surprising twists and a great deal of room for character growth, both individually and as a crew. Bravo to you all for a very successful mission

=-=
This post brought to you by:

Susan Ledbetter

Chief Counselor
USS ANUBIS NCC-18501

with a little help from

Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET
M07-P111: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: Day 10 - 1435 ("The Walk")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"The Walk"
[previous post was "The Source"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Corridor
Stardate: 32005.1435

During the entire length of her shower, the Sec/Tac felt bad about the way she had pushed Shar'El away. The woman had simply wanted to help, to offer her friendship and to check up on the Nylaan, this after that Ya'Han had gone to her quarters seeking out her help. There had been no real reason to explain why things had happened as they had, none other than an unexplainable desire to be alone.

This guild followed the black and red haired woman as she made her way out of the gymnasium and into the corridors of the ANUBIS. At first she had decided on returning to her quarters, but there she feared that her complete solitude might lead her once again to face the ebony haired woman that seemed to want to reassert herself in her mind.  Now, staying in more public surroundings would insure that her hair and corresponding mood would remain focus on who she needed to be instead of the emptiness she had felt growing within her.

Nicole had been a huge help in making Ya'Han see and understand more about the person she was, but that had only been the first step on a journey that would likely last an entire lifetime.  Like any such life travel though, she needed to take things one step at a time and never stop moving. Although the idea had been more figurative than anything else, the Sec/Tac had decided to apply it literally as she made her way through the numerous corridors that filled the USS ANUBIS.

Ya'Han made her way through the maze of corridors and decks without thinking, barely looking as to where her feet were taking her. Her mind was wandering through time while her body did the same but through space. The advantage was that her emotions were not as well protected as her body thanks to the ablative armor surrounding the ship.  Despite the rollercoaster ride brought about by her journey through memory lane, knowing that she was out and about insured that her hair color remained as it needed to be.

"Ya'Han!"

Of all the corridors on all of the decks on board the ANUBIS he could have been on, he had to be on this one.  She sighed and instinctively reached for her comm badge to see if she had inadvertently put it on after having left the gymnasium. No, it seemed that luck had been against her, the Chief of Operations not having used the computer to locate her as he had done the night before.

"Ya'Han, please wait up!"

She lowered her eyes to verify the status of her feet and noticed that indeed she had still been walking. Like her mind it seemed, her feet had wanted to continue on their quest without any interruptions, unfortunately it was evident that this would not be.

"Hi Jayson," she offered, forcing a smile.  As much s she might have bee annoyed at him, he had been nothing but sweet and caring. Granted his overactive imagination had gotten in the way, but still she had to admit that deep down she actually enjoyed his presence.

"I am so sorry about last night," he offered well before having reached the woman he had been running to catch up to.  "I was just..."

She raised her hand and stopped him dead in his tracks, both verbally and physically.  At first he feared that he had done something wrong, again, but the smile that danced on her lips instantly eased his concerns.

"You allowed your imagination to run wild, and I am just as guilty of allowing my emotions to get in the way," she explained. "I should not have snapped at you the way I did. The last mission was rough on both of us and it will take some time and I guess several sessions with Counsellor Dima for us to get back to the way things were."

"So you believe that we will go back to how we were?" Jayson asked, not realizing that Ya'Han had been speaking on a far more general level and not about the relationship the two of them had started prior to them going undercover to MARKALA PRIME.

"Let's walk," she grinned, inviting the slightly winded man to join her as she continued her wandering of the ship.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Corridor
Stardate: 32005.1450

"So, you don't think that I am angry at you?" He asked, again, as if the answer she had given him the previous three times had not counted.

"I do not think that you are angry at me, but I will admit that I will start feeling that way towards you if you ask that question again," she said in not completely mock frustration.

"Sorry. I just could not deal with you thinking that I was holding you responsible for anything that happened," he offered, casting his gaze down as he matched the Sec/Tac's pace and length of stride.

"Can you explain something to me," Ya'Han said in all seriousness. "How do you get to be angry at me for what happened on the planet surface? It is not like it was my fault that my father's aide was there or that I was my fault that we ended up shackled to the wall."

"That's not what I meant," Jayson quickly said trying to fix the situation before it exploded into a full blown situation that he would likely not walk away from.  "I meant me being angry at you for having kept me away as you did. Angry for having pushed me away instead of allowing me to be there for you to help you through the hardship of everything that you went through."

"Good, because I should be the one angry at you for not having been able to do more," Ya'Han continued without skipping a beat or a step. "Let's face it; you were not the most effective punching bag back there."

"What?" He gasped before tripping over his own feet and crashing onto the corridor's floor right next to the woman he had been walking next to.  "You're angry at me for that?"

"I am not," she reassured after having stopped and turned around to help the fallen man up back to his feet. "I was teasing."

"Obviously, there are no hair color for comedians on your world because you are lousy at it," Jayson chuckled as he accepted the woman's assistance to return to a more dignified standing posture.

"Like I said, it will take some time for both of us to get back to normal," Ya'Han admitted, slipping her arm inside his.  "Nicole will have to set aside quite a bit of time for the likes of us two.

"I will be able to tell her that I made it official with you."

"Made *what* official with me?" Ya'Han questioned, wondering what he had been talking about or if he had found some way to get back at her for what she had just done to him.

"That I have fallen for you of course," he grinned.

Ya'Han just smiled and gave his arm a tight squeeze.  Although he had been much taller than she was, there had been no denying the fact that the Sec/Tac had been far stronger than the OPS Officer was, but still she had no wish to hurt him despite his overly frequent annoying ways.

As they continued down the corridor, Jayson found himself smiling as he felt the woman's head leaning against his arm.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Hanali Han

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P110: USS ANUBIS: Stark: Day 10 - 1400 ("The Source")
"The Source"
[previous "The Next Target"]

[/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck A-3, VIPER Launch Bay
Stardate: 32005.1400

The meeting with Nicole had happen some 5 hours ago and still the question haunted him. Was he angry at Ya'Han?

Sitting in the cockpit of the VIPER, Jayson had found the perfect place to be alone with the one question that he struggled to answer. A simple yes or no would be enough to allow him to carry on with his day, but each time he thought he had figured things out, something else would come into his mind to resurrect the debate.

Nicole had been right, if things had not happened as it had, there would not have been any obstacles between them. Her motions and focus would have been on him instead of on her now dead sister, and with that, there would not be any questions. Either Ya'Han would have continued as they had before the mission or she would have broken things up between them. Either way, he would not have been left in a limbo that he could not escape from without confronting the woman; something that he was certain would not end ell for him in one way, shape, or form.

It was her fault. Had she not felt the way she did, he would not be here sitting alone and wondering what would happen next.  Of course thinking that way immediately made him feel guilty for thinking that way, how could he held hr responsible for feeling the way she did after what had happened. If the roles had been reserved and he had lost a sibling, that he knew of them or not, Jayson knew that he would not have been able to handle the situation half as well as she had.

Her strength of character had been undeniable, but if she was so strong, why had she still been fighting her emotions on this? Shouldn't Ya'Han have already resolved the issue through some means? Especially given the fact was that the woman was dead and there was nothing that anyone could do about it. Beyond that, the sister shared only half of her blood lineage and up until a few moment before her death, the Nylaan Chief of Security had not even known of the sibling's existence. Shouldn't that make it easier for her to distance herself from this entire nightmarish ordeal?

Jayson closed his eyes and smacked his head against the headrest in frustration. Yes he was angry, Nicole had been right about that, but now it seemed that his anger had been far more general, aimed at anyone and everyone even the Counsellor herself for having made him realise this.

e took hold of the single stick control that protruded from the floor between his legs. The system had been meant to give the pilot a more direct control of the craft allowing better maneuverability during combat. Had the ANUBIS not been inside Ferengi controlled space and under the protection of its ablative armor, the OPS Officer might have requested permission to take the VIPER out. Unfortunately, the best he could do for the time being was to sit in the cockpit and hold onto the control stick with an angered grip.

After a few more moments, Jayson actually burst out laughing as he finally released his grip on the control stick, the imprint of which was very visible on his hand hinting as to the strength of his hold. "Confronting the source of this anger gets me killed or worse whoever I actually blame for it," the man said to himself as he leaned his full weight back against the pilot's chair. "Face the Captain and tell him that it's his fault, and I will find myself scrubbing power conduits for the rest of my life or worse find myself floating in space until the Ferengi discover my frozen body and sell it to the highest bidder. Confront Ya'Han about her leaving me in limbo like this and I will likely wish that she kills me quickly, a request that I suspect she will not be in a mood to grant, wanting instead to use me to vent whatever frustrations I brought to the surface," he said adding a sigh of defeat afterwards.

Holding Nicole accountable for his anger seemed to be a stretch that even he could not manage for any length of time leaving the Chief of Operations with only one possible source for his hanger. Himself.

He understand why the Captain had refused to head to NYLA IV, their presence there could easily made a bad situation a lot worse. Blaming Ya'Han for her feelings in losing a sister, that she knew of her or not, was a lousy way to shift the blame to someone else. She needed to be surrounded by people who cared for her, not ready to blame her for something that she had no control over.  That left only one person, one source, from where everything came from.

"Nicole is good, I will give her that," he sighed to himself, shaking his head. "She knew that I was holding myself responsible for everything and she managed to make me see just how futile it all was by having me redirect that anger onto others.  Getting me to even consider in the slightest way at being angry with the Captain was a nice touch, but I will admit that having me blame Ya'Han was a low blow. The end result worked which I am sure was the intention, but still it was a low blow."

Jayson looked down into his sore hand, closing and opening it to work the blood back in. Whatever emotional anger he had been carrying had apparently been refocussed into his hand. Luckily, for him and everyone else, no damage had been caused which might have triggered an entirely different set of problems with the ANUBIS' Chief Engineering Officer.

"That was a dangerous gamble she took," he continued. "I could have allowed my anger to boil over, which might be again the reason why she mentioned the Captain knowing that I would not do anything stupid." Jayson paused for a moment as he looked around at his surroundings. "Okay, something truly stupid. Sitting in a VIPER while the ship is under the protection of the ablative cloak is not something that I would consider to have been one of my most brilliant moments."

Feeling far more relaxed than he had felt over the last five hours or so, Jayson exited the cockpit of the VIPER thinking to himself that he needed to put what was left of his off duty hours to better use. Maybe this time he could speak to Ya'Han without enlisting her anger and making himself look like a complete fool as he had the night before.

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P109: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: Day 10 - 1300 ("The Next Target")
=-=
"The Next Target"
[previous post was "The New Day" by the digging team of Susan and Jayson]
=-=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 13, Corridor
Stardate: 32005.1300

Tomorrow she would be back on official duty, but in the meantime the ExO / ILO needed to remain busy, and in so doing hopefully ward off the lingering effects of the crimson liquid the CEO had granted her an over plentiful access to.  Shar'El had another reason for wanting to keep busy, having received the report from Counsellor Nicole Dima that all she had seen all of the members of the teams who had ventured to MARKALA PRIME. All with one exception.

Shar'El had no reason to be concerned; this after all had not been her first time where she would be face-to-face with a Counsellor. Yet, the ExO / ILO had decided on a quasi-conscious level to not make things easy for Nicole based on a single aspect of what would overshadow their meeting, the fact that the Ullian would not be permitted to use her telepathic skills.

Being able to look into the memories of the person asking the questions had always provided Shar'El with an advantage that allowed the Ullian to even out the playing field. More than once, she had even found herself asking the questions by the end, placing the Counsellor on the defensive instead of the other way around, but this would not be the case. Captain Morningstar had made it perfectly clear that she was not to use her ability on any member of the crew without their express knowledge and permission. Needless to say that as far as the ExO / ILO had been concerned such a restriction took all the fun out of it.

With that in mind, Shar'El made her way down the corridor dressed in her workout slacks. Since there was no training of her mind permitted, she might as well work on her body and complete the work Doctor Doyanne had begun earlier that morning.

=-=
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 13, Gymnasium
Stardate: 32005.1315

The off duty ExO / ILO walked in to find a red and black haired Ya'Han perform some sort of martial art movements on one of the smaller floor mats. The moves were meant to mimic some sort of hand-to-hand battle and although the flow had been very slow, the strength and control required had been beyond evident.

"I do not recognise the style you are using," Shar'El said, again wishing that she could have just looked into the woman's head to get the answer, but that would have deprived the Ullian of the conversation that would be sure to follow. Ya'Han had no longer simply been the ship's Chief of Security, not that she every truly was only that, but following the night before it seemed reasonable to consider her to be also be more than a friend.

"It is a variation of the Moropa fighting technique taught by the military to their soldiers," Ya'Han explained as she continued the complex sequence of strikes, blocks and counter attacks. "I find it relaxing as well as educational to practice the fighting styles of other races."

"Not only does it give you a physical knowledge of how a member of a race might strike, but on a more psychological level it should permit you to have a better idea on their preferred methods and targets," the ExO / ILO noted as h watched with great interest the movements being demonstrated by the Chief of Security.

"Not everyone understand that," Ya'Han added, still not breaking from her exercise routine. "Klingon fighting techniques are heavily based on strong, direct strikes while those taught at the Academy focus more on defence, trying to win a conflict through submission instead of defeating an adversary."

"For the record," Shar'El grinned, "I will say that I am very happy that you are on our side. I would hate to have to face you in any type of conflict, and that apparently seems to include wine drinking."

"That was not a fair battle," the Nylaan woman laughed out loud, which caused her to break from her training. "You and Sonja had a head start on that, but even if I had been there from the start I suspect that she would have easily managed to win. That woman could drink a Klingon under he table."

"Can and has," Shar'El confirmed. "You will need to ask her to tell you the story if she has not already given you all of the details.  Anyway, I never had the chance to say thank you for cleaning up my quarters. I may not remember a great deal about that evening, but I do vividly recall that things were not as tidy before I passed out on the couch. I also remember, to my great shame, trying to perform some very demanding dance moves."

"That would have been my fault," the Nylaan said, offering an apology of sorts.

"It is I who should be sorry," the raven-haired off duty ExO / ILO corrected. "I was the one who picked up on your memories without permission."

"None was needed," Ya'Han pointed out suddenly appearing more distant and cold. "You have nothing to worry about; your promise to the Captain is still intact. Whatever memories you picked up on during that evening, be them from me of Sonja, were freely shared."

"Thank you," Shar'El nodded with gratitude. "That leaves only one question that I need to ask you. Why did you come to my quarters?"

"The reason is no longer valid," Ya'Han explained without offering any details. It was easily to see that the raven-haired woman had not been satisfied with the answer, but it had been equally clear that the Nylaan woman had not been in a mindset to pursue this conversation at this time.

"I'm sorry," Shar'El offered. "I feel like I let you down by my not having been there as you needed me to. You came to see me of your own free will and I was unable to help as I should."

"No apologies needed," the black and red colored haired woman offered in a very serious tone. "A great many answers were obtained even though they did not come to me in the manner that I had expected. Still, my visit to your quarters proved to be a positive one in more than one way."

"I am glad to hear this," the ExO / ILO admitted, "even though I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, I am happy that it turned out well for you.  Maybe next time I can be a better host, if there is a next time."

"There will be," Ya'Han said with a smile. "Just not right away. Now if you will excuse me I need to get to the showers, the workout was more demanding than I had expected it to be."

With that, the Chief of Security made her away out of the gymnasium leaving a perplexed and concerned friend behind. As much as Shar'El might have wanted for Ya'Han to be open about her feelings and emotions, the ExO / ILO understood that this would take time and patience, two commodities that the raven-haired woman found herself struggling with in more than one way.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET
M07-P108: USS ANUBIS: Dima & Stark: Day 10 - 0900 ("The New Day")
“The New Day”
(Continued from “The Wine”)

[/\]

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Counsellor’s Office
Stardate: 32005.0900

“Good morning,” Ensign Dima offered with a tired cheerfulness.

Jayson finally made it to his meeting. As much as he had wanted to avoid it, he knew that there was no escaping it. After all of the other Counsellors he had seen, how bad could this one be? Like Eve, she was a member of the crew, and Nicole had been there on the planet, so she knew the problems they faced.

"Where should I start," he asked nervously, his right leg noticeably bouncing up and down as he fidgeted while waiting for an answer.

"Where ever you feel most comfortable," Nicole answered. She’d replicated coffee and two mugs; after yesterday’s sessions she really needed the caffeine this morning, and thought maybe the OPS should have that option as well. All she wanted was to make him feel at ease, but it appeared that she would need to do a little more to achieve that objective. "How about you start with you, your feelings right now."

"Nervous," he replied, noticing only after the fact that his leg was moving without his direct thinking. "Guess you already know that though. I'm just concerned about Ya'Han."

"I have already spoken with her as you know," Nicole said, already going for her second cup of coffee. "She is doing fine." Stark’s file was probably the most extensive of the crew, but experience with a previous Cns apparently hadn’t done much to alleviate the getting-to-know-you phase of meeting a new staff member.

"The mission was rough on everyone and it will take time for them to get back to normal, if that even possible," he said, doing his best to control his fidgeting.

Nic leaned back in her seat and steepled her fingers. “Tell me, what do you consider ‘normal’?”

“No stressful situations. No distractions.” Jayson realized he wasn’t capturing the full extent of what he meant. He wanted to be able to pursue his feelings for Ya’Han without so many misunderstandings. To know where her intentions towards him were. To be secure that her deepest frustrations were not caused by him, rather than only guessing and hoping they were not. His assumption last night that she was going to ‘run away’ from the ship being an exception, of course. “Um, stability, I guess.”

“I know what you mean, but we’re in Starfleet. Somehow I don’t suspect we’ll ever reach the plateau of ho-hum predictability.”

Jayson looked glum. “I suppose not, but is it too much to ask for a mission with less direct impact?” 

Nicole thought about what she had read in the man’s records, and then thought of the Dima symbiont’s prior hosts. "We are the sum of our experiences, good or bad. But you surely understand what happened can’t be absorbed quickly or easily for Ya’Han. Without even knowing it, she possibly has years of these experiences to still sort through and come to terms with. And the timetable for that is not decided by any of us, not even her." Ya’Han had found safety and purpose in her role as an officer. But the feelings that had been stirred up indicated the Sec/Tac had never really stopped running. She did not trust that she was completely safe… yet.

“And I can’t do it for her,” Jayson admitted.

Nicole smiled. “You can support her. But something tells me you already do. And while the mission was rough for Ya’Han, it was even more so for some, like you.”

"Me?"

"You did offer yourself as a punching bag for Ze'Kon, an offer that as I recall he accepted more than once," Nicole explained.

"I meant emotionally," Jayson corrected, not having expected the Counsellor to turn the tables on him as she had.

"Yes. Emotionally it was not an easy mission, and you have taken on more than you needed to on that front as well. This is not the first time you have come face-to-face with the death of someone close," Nicole prodded gently. "The sister was not close to you, but you are taking it as such by proxy through Ya'Han. The fact that your first concerns were not about your well-being, but about Ya'Han instead, proves this and shows that you have taken on a much greater emotional share than what should be yours in this matter."

"I..." Jayson tried to say something but he realized that anything he would offer would only sink him deeper into the trap that he had already sunk himself into.

The joined Trill could tell he was uncomfortable but she didn’t know why. "How do you feel about the death of Ya'Han's sister?"

"Sad and angry," he replied, not expecting that there had been a lot of other possible answers available to him or anyone who had been there.  "I feel sad for her having died and for Ya'Han having lost someone who she was related to."

Nicole nodded. "What about your anger? Do you feel angry at Ze'Kon for having done what he did or is your anger directed towards you for not having been able to stop him? You could also be holding some resentment towards the Captain. He was after all the one responsible for the mission and for the ANUBIS not going to NYLA IV as soon as we left MARKALA PRIME."

Jayson had been ready to give an answer, but found himself thinking very carefully at the choices offered to him. He knew he was angry, but Nicole had been right in that he had not been certain as to where that anger had been directed.

“There is another option. You might be angry at Ya’Han.”

He ran his hands over his shaved head and looked over at the Counsellor with disbelief. “What?”

“If all these things had not happened to her, the two of you would be free to be together. There wouldn’t be obstacles. That would make a part of you very happy.”

"Those weren’t her fault," he replied harshly. 

“What the mind knows and what the heart feels aren’t always in alignment with each other.”

He just sat there, blinking, processing what had been said. If Jayson had learned anything from all of his meetings and sessions with Counsellors it was that it never was a good thing to dismiss their offered opinions and perceptions on any situation. Was he angry at Ya'Han? He would need to think about this some more, but what scared him the most had been the possibility that Nicole had been right.

[/\]
A post by

Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501

And

Susan Ledbetter

Chief Counselor
USS ANUBIS NCC-18501
M07-P107: USS ANUBIS: Paquette: Day 10 - 0700 ("The Wine")
"The Wine"
previous post was "The Morning After"

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Paquette's Quarters
Stardate: 32005.0700

"Lieutenant?" The Avatar softly said as she stood next to the bed, her efforts to draw the sleeping woman out of the deep slumber she had crashed into following the activities of the night before having so far failed.  "Lieutenant!" ANI repeated, this time with far more strength and urgency, startling the woman awake.

"What? Did we hit something? Is the warp core going critical?" Sonja asked in a slumbered panic, having raised her head as much as she could. When no confirmation was given the Chief Engineer quickly fell back onto her pillow.

"LIEUTENANT!" ANI yelled, adding a powerful smack against the woman's barely covered rear.

"Geesus Roosevelt! That better have been foreplay or you will have a lot of explaining to do," Sonja snapped as she rapidly sat on her bed to see who had done this. Following that, she immediately calmed down upon looking up at the emotionally lacking expression of her creation. "Oh, it's you."

"As per requested, I am here to wake you up at 0700 hours," the Avatar explained.

"I remember asking you to do that," the Engineer noted as she fell back down onto her bed and buried her face back into her pillow. "Wish I hadn't though, but I do remember asking you to wake me."

"Was my complying with your request an error?" ANI asked, puzzled by the woman's reaction. "Should I have taking you being in the quarters of Commander Shar'El as an indication that your earlier stated request might require some sort of amendment?"

"Sweetie, if you have to question my every request because I indulged in a drink or five the night before, you will be spending every single day wondering as to what you should or should not do," Sonja chuckled. "Then again, how would that be any different than anyone else on this ship?" The Engineer added before flipping onto her back and swinging her feet and legs over the edge of the bed.

"Shall I have breakfast ready for you?" The Avatar inquired without hesitation, as if the question had been perfectly normal.

"Just a raktajino will be enough for the moment, thanks," the Engineer replied. "I would hate to be called into the principals' office and grilled over the coals for using the ship's Avatar as my own personal maid and servant."

"Principal's office?" ANI repeated as she headed for the food replicator unit, not immediately understanding the reference. Following a quick search of the computer's data banks, the Avatar nodded with understanding. "The person with the highest authority or most important position in an organization, institution, or group. You were referring to Captain Morningstar and what would likely be an unfavorable reaction to you using me as your own private slave," the Avatar detailed as she returned with a steaming cup of Klingon coffee.

"Saying it like that would even make me want to throw myself in the brig," Sonja said as she accepted the hot beverage. "You are no one's slave; I just wanted you to wake me so that I could get a quick report as to the ship's status without having to read through all of those boring technical reports. Moreover, I knew that you would wake me even if you had to drag me out of bed.  I might be off duty but I cannot afford to stay in bed for the entire day. I have friends to check up on."

"By friends I believe you are referring to Lieutenant Ya'Han and Commander Shar'El who was in Sickbay just over an hour ago," ANI reported.

"Who was in Sickbay?"

"Commander Shar'El," the Avatar clarified. "According to the report filed by Doctor Doyanne, the Commander suffered from an over extended ligament in her right shoulder as well as several micro tears in her leg muscles."

Sonja laughed. "Well, that's what she gets for trying to copy a highly trained green-haired Nylaan royal entertainer who needed to unwind. The couple of glasses of wine she had before though might have helped matters. Guess we could have asked for Lillie to drop by her quarters before we left just to make sure everything was alright, but I suspect that it would have led to a great many questions that I would not have been able to answer with a straight face."

"Falsifying facts?" ANI asked, actually looking curious, or at least as interested in a reply as the programming of the artificial woman permitted.

"As a not so bright and I must admit even less wise man once said, 'Alternative Facts' my dear, 'Alternative Facts'."

"You would have made the Doctor believed that the noted injuries had been the result of an activity other than her dancing?"

"As hilarious as it was to see Shar'El bust a move as she did," Sonja said placing the empty cup on the side table, "it would have been even more fun to make Lillie believe that something more worthy of a woman under the influence of wine would have been. I tell you, our good Doctor has a good imagination and it would not have taken that much to make her believe this."

"If you say so," ANI noted, fetching the cup from the side table and bringing it back to the food replicator where it could be properly disposed of.

"Thank you," Sonja offered, a little puzzled by the way the Avatar had been behaving. As much as the Chief Engineer appreciated the gesture, the question needed to be asked. "Why are you cleaning up after me? I am relatively certain that I, or anyone else, did not put that in your programming. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that you are so attentive, but that is by no means helping others in *not* believing that I am using you for my own personal reasons."

"You have nothing to be concerned about," the Avatar confirmed. "My programming was not altered by yourself or anyone else. This is just the result of an adaptive subroutine that was initially created to allow me to offer assistance in engineering without having to be expressing told to do so. Based on my immediate environment, I can identify and predict basic needs. I believe that you have intended it for me to locate tools no longer required and return them to their proper place, thus avoiding clutter and possible hazards. I simply applied the same parameters to this situation and given that you had finished your drink, it was expected that the empty cup be returned where it could be properly disposed of."

"In other words you are accusing me of being the victim of my own expert programming," Sonja softly chuckled. "You better head back to the bridge before I end up adding some additional subroutine that will end up getting us both into a lot more trouble, and that *before* Doctor Doyanne gets her imagination in gear."

=====
Lorraine Paquette

Chief Engineering Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501
M07-P106: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: Day 10 - 0530 ("The Morning After")
=-=
"The Morning After"
[previous post was "The Black" by the dedicated Hanali]
=-=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Shar'El's Quarters
Stardate: 32005.0530

Her bed might not have been the most comfortable place to rest on, but today it felt exceptionally lumpy as if someone had spent the entire night dancing on it. As that thought flashed in the mind of the ExO / ILO, the fuzzy memory of her dancing came into her mind.

"Now I remember," Shar'El said in muffled pain, her head feeling several sizes too small. "I guess I should be thankful that Sonja didn't force me to drink some of that chech'tluth she is so fond of. Still, I don't remember dancing on my bed," the woman said as she rolled over in search of the edge only to find the floor instead.

Quickly regaining her wits, Shar'El forced herself onto her knees to discover that she had not been in her bed but rather on the couch. With a little bit of effort, she pushed herself up onto her feet and cautiously made her way to the replicator.

"Computer, I need a cold glass of fruit juice," Shar'El said as she tried to bring her thoughts and vision back into focus. "Note to self, no more drinking for Sonja. Those wine glasses need to be labeled as dangerous when loaded," she added as the replicator created the drink that had been requested by the off-duty First Officer.

While enjoying the coldness of the drink as it passed her lips, Shar'El scanned her quarters searching for remnants of the night before. Apparently, her guests had taken it upon themselves to clean up leaving the room as pristine as it had been before the drinking fest had lead to dancing and who knows what.

"Well, if the Captain ever doubts my ability to wind down and relax, I will have to remind him of last night," Shar'El chuckled. "Not that I think he will believe me even if Sonja acts as a witness. Come o think of it, I might not want to mention last night to anyone," she added feeling a twinge in her right shoulder. "How does she manage to do some of those moves is beyond me," the raven-haired woman said recalling some of the more exotic dance moves she had seen a green-haired Ya'Han perform the night before.

With the glass of fruit juice in her hand and a pain in her shoulder, the ExO / ILO made her way to her desk to review the ICG reports. Although having been official off duty as per the Captain's own orders, Shar'El considered herself to never being off-duty when it came to the IGC.  The universe did not follow any sort of calendar or timeline when it came to chaos, mayhem and destruction.

While sipping on the much smaller glass as compared to those of the night before, Shar'El reviewed the reports of her department, glad and a little disappointed in that everything seemed to be normal in this region of the cosmos. No sings of the Lokustaar had been found while the intercepted communications, be them coded or not, had made no mention of any additional problems. The lockdown of MARKALA PRIME and NYLA IV had remained the top story for obvious reasons, a story that the ExO / ILO had been pleased to see made no mention of any Federation involvement.

With the cleansing fruit drink finished and all of the reports read, Shar'El was left with dealing with one last thing.

=-=
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Sickbay
Stardate: 32005.0550

"Just an over extended ligament in your shoulder, nothing to concern yourself with although I am curious as to how you managed to do this during the night," Doctor Doyanne said following her examination of Shar'El who had been more than happy to see the Chief Medical Officer be on duty as this early hour of the day.

"Let's just say that is was an interesting night," the ExO / ILO said, looking forward to regaining the full range of motion for her shoulder.

"Interesting you say?" Doyanne chuckled. "Your blood chemistry shows an elevated amount of real alcohol and there are several microscopic muscular tears in your legs. My guess is that Sonja had something to do with the alcohol in your blood but that leaves me to question what kind of physical activities you ladies were taking part in to cause you current physical state."

"It was all Ya'Han's fault," Shar'El laughingly sighed. "That woman has some truly unexpected moves."

Lillie paused for a moment, certain that she had just been given far more information than Shar'El should have made public. "You might want to keep the details of your evening together more private. I suspect that our Chief of Operations would not like to hear about such an unexpected switch from Ya'Han."

"What?" Shar'El queried, not understanding what the Doctor had been referring to, leaving the woman with a perplexed expression on her face. "DOCTOR!" the raven-haired woman gasped after a few more second during which she pieced everything together. "Dance moves. Dance moves," the ExO / ILO clarified with force. "Ya'Han, while sporting her green hair has some very unique moves which she was happy to show Sonja and myself. Nothing else happened."

"Of course," the CMO teased. "That is the story that I will be entering in my official log, you have nothing to worry about. Your secret will be safe with me."

"You are not being funny Doctor," Shar'El pointed out clearly no impressed by the woman's attempt to humor.

"Why should all the rest of you get all the fun while I am stuck here in Sickbay?" Lillie countered with, an amused grin dancing on her lips.

"You are more than welcome to join us the next time we go on an undercover mission Doctor," Shar'El offered. "I can make sure that your name is at the top of the list next time we have to deal with a power hungry, murderous royal aide or the stringless puppet of a transdimensional race bent on destabilizing this entire galaxy."

"You know what, I'll pass," Doctor Doyanne happily offered in return as she pressed a hypospray against the raven-haired woman's neck. "This will help with the dizziness cause by your blood alcohol level. I will have your shoulder and legs back to perfect as soon as I run a tissue regeneration protocol on them. It will take only a few minutes."

"Thank you Doctor," Shar'El acknowledged while sitting on the main examination table.

"No worries," Lillie said as she fetched the medical tool she required to perform what had been explained. "Should I be expecting Lieutenant Paquette to come in with the same tissue damage or was she only responsible for getting you drunk so that Lieutenant Ya'Han could have her wicked ways with you?"

"DOCTOR!"

"Sorry," Doctor Doyanne chuckled. "You, Sonja and Ya'Han had your fun last night; now allow me to have mine. I promise to behave the next time we meet, that is unless you are no longer this ship's Executive Officer having taking on the duties of the ANUBIS' dancing and entertainment specialist."

Shar'El rolled her eyes and sighed. Having spent the night on the couch had apparently not been the last of the consequences she would have to deal with for the night before.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET
M07-P105: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: Day 10 - 0515 ("The Black")
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"The Black"
[previous post was "The Spin"]
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Setting: USS ANUBIS, Ya'Han's Quarters
Stardate: 32005.0515

One would think that after all of the drinking she had done the night before, the Sec/Tac would have been passed out on a bed or couch as Shar'El had been instead of being wide awake and alone in her quarters. Actually, the Nylaan woman had been far from alone, countless thoughts and memories keeping her company during the early hours of this new day.

Every reflection she caught a glimpse of showed her having solid black hair, making the Nylaan question her emotional state. Keeping a log about how her memories affected her mood and how this translated onto the color of her hair had been relatively easy, that is as long as she could clearly identify the memory and emotion that was linked to it.  Back in Shar'El's quarters, her hair had turned green following her recalling of her first official performance as a royal entertainer. Jayson's subsequent visit had triggered a fiery rage that was quickly displayed in her bright red hair, but from there on things had not been as simple.

Sonja and her had taken seats near the passed out Shar'El so that they could keep an eye on her while they talked and shared a few drinks. Ya'Han had been more than happy with the fact that they had done far more talking than drinking, allowing the off duty Sec/Tac to avoid sharing their friend's fate.  As the two women spoke, memories and recollections of their childhoods were shared and it was only after they had decided to call it a night that the Nylaan realized that her hair had remained black the entire time.

Maybe this odd fact had been noted by Sonja who had chosen to ignore it for one reason or another, but still it had made the Nylaan woman think. Nicole had pointed out that Ya'Han had problems controlling her hair color when not on official duty, making it easy for everyone to judge her current mood. Last night though, the off duty Sec/Tac had not been so restricted by the demands of her work or the expectations of a mission, so why had her hair turned and remained black?

At first Ya'Han had thought that maybe the large quantity of red wine that had been amicably forced into her had been the cause for this, but from experience she knew that had she actually been under the intoxicating influence of the crimson liquid, her hair would have changed that much faster to reflect her shifting moods. The only other option the Sec/Tac could think of was that her unexpected control had originated from a need to not display her feelings to her friend, something that honestly made no sense whatsoever.  Not only did Sonja knew about her moods and changing hair color, but she had been more than a good friend in helping the self exiled royal daughter deal with the more recent events.

Alone in her quarters with her thoughts, Ya'Han could not accept this possibility. There had been no reasons for her to hide anything from Sonja, not that she truly believed she would be able to. The redheaded Chief Engineer had been an unstoppable force that could not be denied, hence why the off duty Sec/Tac had stayed behind to talk and drink this even after Shar'El had been down for the count.  Something else had to be at play, something that had somehow caused her to find an emotional detachment from her memories, this however troubling they might have been.

Ya'Han found herself looking face on at her reflection, finding the black hair of the woman looking back at her puzzling if not disturbing.  Slowly closing her eyes, the Nylaan woman did as every child of her race was taught even before earning the color of their first cast. As she reopened her eyes, a woman displaying white hair stared back at her as had been expected. Having proven once more that her conscious control of her ability had still been there, she closed her eyes once more, clearing her mind of any thoughts and memories.

When she slowly opened her eyes to look at the reflection the black and red haired Chief of Security she had expected to be looking back at her was not there. Only the Nylaan commoner could be found with an expression of concern quickly appearing on her features.

Ya'Han quickly conceded that she would need to speak to someone about this, hoping that they would be able to give her a reason for this that had obviously escaped her to this point. Sonja had likely been relaxing in her quarters from the drinking of the night before while Shar'El had certainly still been on the couch where she had been made to be as comfortable as possible before their departure.  At this early hour, it had been highly unlikely that Counsellor Dima had been in any position to deal with a situation that the Nylaan could not qualify as having been an emergency leaving the black haired woman with very few options.

After having made her way to the communication monitor, Ya'Han's finger hovered over the control panel as she engaged in a last moment debate about what she had planned on doing. Jayson would likely be more than happy to hear from her, this despite the rather rough manner in which their last encounter had unfolded. The man had been sweet in his concerns for her although his logic had been lacking in countless ways. At the very least she owed him reassurances that she would not act as he had feared and maybe in doing so she would be able to discover if her hair color still responded to her emotions.

The more she thought about thi though, the more she managed to talk herself out of her planned course of action. The time had been simply too early, regardless of whether or not Jayson would be happy to hear from her. The other point that had tipped the scale in favor of her *not* contacting Jayson had been that should her emotions no longer reflected in her hair, he would very likely believe that the cause had been him in some way.  There had been no need for her to make his life more guilt ridden that it already was, so with that in mind she withdrew her had from the control panel.

Looking down at the small monitor resting on the table, Ya'Han caught a faint reflection of the black haired woman whom had puzzled her so since their return from Shar'El's quarters.

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Hanali Han

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P104: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: Day 09 - 1900 ("The Spin")
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"The Spin"
[previous post was "The Rampant Imagination" by the sweet Jayson]
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Setting: USS ANUBIS, Shar'El's Quarters
Stardate: 32004.1900

For the raven-haired woman, being the ANUBIS' ILO had been a perfect fit. All of her training and expertise had lead her to hold such a position, the fact that she had been under the tutelage of Admiral Koniki serving only to insure that this would be where she ended up instead of on a border patrolling vessel.  Her greatest flaw and weakness as an ILO had been from the very first day her ability to interact with others on a friendlier level than that required and expected by one in the role of an Intel Operative.

Shar'El had grown accustomed a long time ago to being the one sitting alone in the corner of a room while scanning the memories of those coming within her visual range. In the world of Intel, knowledge had always been a highly sought after commodity and this had been the one thing she excelled in gathering with little to no effort. For the Ullian it was easy to look at a couple of shady individuals trying to settle a covert deal, gathering all of the information on the one thing they were trying their best to hide from those around them. Other times, she would stumble onto memories that could be used again their owner at a later time, like the time a certain high level diplomat had decided to enjoy activities that were clearly illegal, unethical and against the wedding vows he had taken a few decades before. The many green-skinned Orion slaves who had been prominent in his mind had proven too much for the aged man to resist.

As an ILO Shar'El had enjoyed a simple way of life, one that allowed her to purposefully remain by herself, away from the people she had been meant to investigate. That unfortunately all changed the day Admiral Koniki decided to fill the position of First Officer with the one person no one would have expected to take on that role.

It had proven to be quite a shock, to herself and everyone on board the ANUBIS when she was suddenly promoted to her current rank and position. From a simple ILO able to hide in the shadows, Shar'El had been shoved in the middle of the spotlight to take on the very public role of First Officer. It had taken her a lot of time and effort to become comfortable with the new role as well as adapting to the new ways she needed to interact with her fellow shipmates. Over time though she did manage to accomplish her goal, going as far becoming more than simple friends with the ship's Chief Engineering Officer Sonja Paquette and Chief of Security Ya'Han. In all honesty, they had made her job easy in that regards, both appearing to need someone to call a friend as much as Shar'El discovered she needed.

Maybe that had been where the problem had started.

As the ExO / ILO, Shar'El had been forced to act contrary to her initial ways, forcing herself not to look into the memories of those around her. With some practice, she had managed to reach a point where she no longer felt the urge of peal off the layers of memories to see what hid beneath. At least that was when sober, a state that thanks to Sonja and her excessively large glasses of wine had been drastically altered.

Shar'El had been so much under the influence that she could no longer clearly identify which memories had been hers and which had been those of someone else, this despite the obvious hints. Never had she enjoyed the specific drink which seemed to be the Engineer's favorite, so any memories of her having such a drink back at the Academy could not have been hers.

Having one's body sensually swaying to the sound of music had also been an activity that she had never taken part in before, so again the memory of the act could not have been her own. Yet in both instances Shar'El had responded as if the memories had been hers, going so far as to try and mimic the complex sequence of moves convinced that she could perform them just as well as she remembered them.

Although her skills had been far from those of the originator of the memories, the efforts of the off duty ExO / ILO had apparently proven sufficient to amuse the crowd of two that had been silently watching.

"I can't believe that she is still going," Sonja laughed at the sight of the raven-haired woman's continued attempts to be a green haired Nylaan entertainer.

"What?" Ya'Han said, clearly having been distracted by her thoughts more than the lack of dancing skills being displayed by Shar'El. "Sorry. Jayson just got me thinking about something else," the still bright red haired Nylaan explained.

"Not that I don't like you as a redhead, although I will admit that the competition is not an easy one for me to accept, it might be better if you changed your mindset to something that may prove to be a little less dangerous for our host," Sonja said, glancing over to the still dancing woman. "If she ends up picking up a different memory of yours, one more in line with your current hair color, we might end up having to fight her to the ground."

"I do not believe that it will be necessary," Ya'Han said, drawing the Engineer's attention onto the woman who had begun to spin to the point of making herself dizzy.

"What is she doing?" Sonja wondered.

"The dance move does look a lot better when wearing a dress," the Nylaan admitted with a faint smile, the display of unskilled dancing making her remember her own experiences as such causing her hair to return to the green color that had started this entire affair.

"You will have to show me one day," Sonja chuckled before taking a large gulp from her wine glass. "Right now though, I fear that we have a more urgent issue to take care of.  Shar'El!" The redhead called out as she approached the spinning woman. "You might want to sit down before you spin yourself into one of the tables."

"tlhIngan Hol: ghang QaQ jajvam!" Shar'El exclaimed before falling onto the nearest couch to pass out, guided by the quick thinking Chief Engineer who had reached her just in time to insure nothing bad would happen.

"What did she say?" Ya'Han asked, recognizing for of the sounds as having been Klingon in origin but clearly not able to make sense of the whole phrase.

"That would be another of my memories," Sonja sighed in amusement while shaking her head in disbelief, both of the current event and her own recollection. "Today is a good day to *drink*," the Engineer translated, recalling the specific day when she had uttered those very same words, while granted not having been in the complete drunken state that her friend had been in.

"Maybe you should think about switching to synthohol," Ya'Han proposed, looking at the imposing and barely touched glass of wine Sonja had provided, which had been sitting amongst a large number of similar glasses, all of which had been deprived of their contents.

"Where would the fun be in that?" the redhead countered, quickly reaching for her glass and raising it for a toast. "To adventures. To living another day. To great friends and the secrets they keep."

Ya'Han glanced at the woman who had passed out on her own couch before returning the woman's smile as she met her gaze. "To great friends," Ya'Han repeated, cautiously taking her own wince glass and joining in on the toast.

Now Shar'El may be indisposed but I am still here for you if you want to talk," Sonja offered. "I might not be able to look into your memories, or be a certified Counsellor, but I do have some experience and dealing that might help. If not, then we can always drink ourselves to sleep so that Shar'El doesn't feel left out when she wakes tomorrow morning."

"I shouldn't," the green-haired woman said, the woman visibly uncomfortable at staying given the situation.

"Tell you what," Sonja negotiated. "How about you help me straighten this place up and then we can see how you feel. If you want you can leave after, or maybe we can have a few *small* drinks while talk, either way I think it will be good if we don’t leave poor Shar'El alone in the state that she is in."

Ya'Han hesitated for a few moments as she looked at the unconscious woman before looking back at the red haired Engineer. "All right," she conceded, adding a faint smile as she did so. "I'll help and we can talk."

"Splendid! First task is for us to empty both the platters and wine glasses before we put them away," Sonja said, adding in a playful wink as she pointed to the glass currently in the hand of the green haired Chief of Security.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET
M07-P103: USS ANUBIS: Stark: Day 09 - 1845 ("The Rampant Imagination")
"The Rampant Imagination"
[previous "The Reason"]

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Setting: USS ANUBIS, Corridor
Stardate: 32004.1845

Maybe he should not have asked the computer for Ya'Han's location. Sometimes not knowing was better, now all he could do was think of her and wonder as to what she was doing in Commander Shar'El's quarters. Had they been on active duty, the OPS could have dismissed this as a security briefing of some sort. Given that the ANUBIS was still in Ferengi controlled space, the possibility had still been there, but somehow Jayson doubted that this had been the case.

This of course left the reason for Ya'Han's visit to be of a more personal nature, and that's what bothered him. Why seek the ship's First Officer if not as for insight or guidance on an important matter, one that would stand beyond the expected reach of a ship's Counsellor?

His curiosity grew with each passing seconds but he refused to give in. He had not right to question her, whatever his feelings might have been for her or her feelings for him. She had the right to her life and privacy, allowing him to know the details at her discretion.  He just needed to be patient, something that he had become aware he was not overly good at when it come to anything dealing with Ya'Han.

He wanted to be with her, to be there for her and to make all of this mess about her family just go away. Jayson could only hope that things would be easier with the help of Counsellor Dima, but still he worried. What if all of the help and support was not enough? What if this had been the reason why Ya'Han had gone to see Commander Shar'El?

The situation with her father and brother could not have been an easy one to manage. When you added the involvement of the Imperial aide and the death of her half sister, things just went from bad to worse. The more he thought about this, the more he had to admit that he would not have been able to handle this whole affair. Maybe that had been the reason why he thought of her so much and wanted to be by her side, to better understand how she was doing what he could not imagine himself doing.

"I am going to drive myself crazy," he said to himself as he continued his walk down the corridor. What he wouldn't give to be able to get on board one of the VIPERS and just go for a few laps around the ANUBIS. As soothing as that thought was initially, it quickly grew into something else, something that further fuelled his concerns.  "No," he gasped, "she wouldn't."

He had feared at one point that Ya'Han might take a craft and head to NYLA IV without letting anyone else know. Of course doing so would put her career in Starfleet in jeopardy which was the reason why the idea was dismissed, but what if this had been the reason for her visit to Commander Shar'El? Maybe she had gone to see the First Officer to ask for the best way to approach the captain about this idea, of her heading back to her place of birth by herself.

Unfortunately for Jayson, that is not where his thoughts stopped. The man had found himself on a slippery slope and was quickly finding himself gaining speed as he slid down it towards a self made hell.

There was no way either the First Officer of their Captain would allow Ya'Han to go to NYLA IV by herself, and since the ANUBIS could not go there without risking a great deal more trouble, the Chief of Security would be left with only one course of action. To resign her commission.  As a civilian she could find a way back to her home planet and deal with her family's situation then.  Without the support of the crew and ship though, how would she be able to achieve her goal, whatever it might be?

Ze'Kon had proven himself to be a deadly and remorseless adversary, so any direct confrontation would be pointless. Telling her father about what she knew would likely not work any better as the High Sovereign had not reason to believe his runaway daughter, especially not given the opposing testimony that he brother would give.  No, Ya'Han going to NYLA IV could not end well, no matter what came to pass. Even if she somehow managed to get into the palace, see her father and convince him of everything that she had seen and heard, Jayson could not imagine the man welcoming his daughter with open arms. It was far more likely that she would be made an example of to insure that no other of his children disobey his will.

Having worked himself into a near complete frenzy, Jayson started to run down the corridor with a very specific destination and course of action in mind.

[/\]

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Corridor, In front of Shar'El's Quarters
Stardate: 32004.1855

Not only had he pressed the door chime more times than he could remember, but the OPS Officer had also decided to bang on the closed door with a sense of urgency that he was sure would alert the entire ship to his presence and need to be let in.

When the door opened, Jayson had been ready to push his way in but the redhead Chief Engineer had not been one so easily moved aside.

"Where do you think you're going?" Sonja said, a snarl dancing on her lips.

"I came to see Ya'Han, so let me through."

"Excuse me?" the Engineer said in a clearly defying tone. "I don't see no four pips on your collar boy," she pointed out in a distinct southern accent. "In fact I don't see an officer before me but a civilian who is trying to gain access to quarters into which he has not been invited to."

"Jayson, what are you doing here?" Ya'Han, displaying an unexpected green head of hair asked as she came to stand next to the woman who seemed ready to rip the man limb-from-limb.

"I came to see you," he admitted. "You can't quit Starfleet."

"Quit Starfleet?" Sonja and Ya'Han said at the exact same time, looking at the man standing before them as if he had suddenly grown a few extra heads.

"Want me to deal with this nutcase?" Sonja asked of her friend, clearly wanting an excuse to act as she had wanted to since his arrival.

"As I recall, you are the Chief Engineer and I am the Chief of Security," Ya'Han pointed out with a grin as her hair shifted to the full bright red that he had been all too familiar with. "Let me handle this."

"Fine," the redhead growled visibly disappointed, "but if you need my help, just let me know. It would be my pleasure to have this two-footed lost soul find his way to the nearest black hole, and I don't mean our on board crew lounge."

"Thank you Sonja," Ya'Han said as she moved the woman out of her way by taking hold of her shoulders before stepping out into the corridor to join Jayson.  "Where did you get the stupid idea that I was quitting Starfleet?"

"It's the only way for you to go to NYLA IV without the Federation risking getting drawn into some sort of conflict and for you to deal with your family," he explained in a blur trying to make his point without having to list all of the reasons he had come up with as to why this had been a bad idea.

"Are you drunk?" The bright red haired woman demanded, thinking back to the state Shar'El had been in.

"Why else would you have come to see the Commander if not to discuss your leaving Starfleet?" Jayson asked as if the question had actually been perfectly normal.

"Are you keeping track of my whereabouts?"

He actually took a step back after Ya'Han had asked this, the angered tone of her voice mixed with the color of her hair having spelled a great deal of pain for the man who was being made to see the foolishness of his train of thoughts.  "I was worried," he offered in a whispered voice, trying to avoid his head being made to become one with the nearest bulkhead.

"You need to calm down," Ya'Han said, following her own advice. "I came to see Shar'El for reasons that are my own and as much as I appreciate your concern for me, I do not need it.  I am very capable of taking care of myself, and as for quitting Starfleet you need to leave the Intel work to Shar'El because you are not at all good at it.  I am not quitting Starfleet or even setting off the ANUBIS, at least not before we make it back to NEW ALEXANDRIA.  Go back to your quarters, lock the door and relax. You need to sit down and think back to whatever twisted ideas led you to believe this and mention them to Nicole when you do get to see her."

"Ya'Han," Jayson pleaded. "I'm sorry, I just let my imagination run wild."

"I think your imagination running wild is a grave understatement at this point," the bright redhead said. "Go back to your quarters and we can talk about this later. Right now though is not the time," she added before making her way back into Shar'El's quarters where, just as the door was closing, Jayson thought he had seen their First Officer dancing in a rather suggestive manner.

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Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P102: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: Day 09 - 1830 ("The Reason")
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"The Reason"
[previous post was "The Drinks"]
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Setting: USS ANUBIS, Shar'El's Quarters
Stardate: 32004.1830

How would she explain this to Counsellor Dima? The black-haired Nylaan had come to Commander Shar'El's quarters seeking assistance in retrieving memories from her childhood, memories that Ya'Han believe might be helpful in better understanding the person she had become. A daughter who at the age of 14 had run away from an oppressive father only to find herself a decade later wanting to protect the same man from those who had wanted to hurt and kill him.

Planning for various tactical scenarios was part of the job for any Sec/Tac on board a Federation vessel, but Ya'Han could not have anticipated that the Chief Engineer would have been in the quarters of the First Officer or that the two of them would have been as *happy* as she had found them to be. Before she could find a way to remove herself from the situation she had unexpectedly walked into, the black haired Nylaan had been sitting on the couch with a gigantic glass of red wine in her hand, both thanks to the insistence of Sonja Paquette.

"Have some hor d'oeuvres," the Engineer added as she pointed to the half-empty platter on the living room table. "I think you will like the swirly meaty ones. Shar'El thinks they are too spicy. I think she just doesn't like anything that has a little kick."

"Those things have more than a *little* kick," the First Officer amended in a whispered voice while leaning towards the new arrival. "Be sure to have the wine at the ready if you do try them, but be aware that I suspect it's her diabolical plan to get us all drunk before supper."

"Thank you," Ya'Han said as she placed her untouched wine glass on the table and moved to the edge of the couch, getting ready to stand, "I should be going and leave you two to your drinks, food and relaxation."  Just as she was about to stand though, the Sec/Tac found herself gently pinned down on the couch thanks to Sonja's hand having landed on her shoulder.

"Stay," the Engineer said, not as an officer of higher rank, or even as a fellow shipmate, but rather as a concerned friend. "There is plenty of food and wine to go around, the one thing we were missing was another friendly face, and yours fits the bill just perfectly."

This had not been the first time that she would be sharing drinks with Shar'El and Sonja, but for some reason something had felt different this time around. Ya'Han felt more uncertain, more vulnerable, not because of the wine but rather because of her feelings.  Brushing her hair while looking at the reflection in the mirror had made her recall certain things, and those things had specifically led to others. That had been the reason why the dark haired Nylaan had come here, to access these memories in a more 'surgical' manner.

With Sonja's exuberance and free spirited attitude, combined with the intoxicating effect of the wine she so freely offered those around her, the memories Ya'Han sought to retrieve would more than likely come out like an avalanche threatening to sweep the Nylaan away. One thing that Nicole had made clear though was the fact that being alone might not be the best setting to explore all of these memories. So here she was, looking at the glass of wine sitting on the table thinking that this had simply been another way to break down the mental barriers of her mind, keeping certain memories from view.

"Alright, I'll stay," Ya'Han nodded to the redhead standing next to her who immediately smiled before putting down a second platter of hor d'oeuvres down.

"One day you will have to allow us to sample some of the foods you grew up with," Sonja said, "but not today. Today we enjoy peppered Klingon tangqa and some non-synthaolic wine. That thing tastes awful anyway."

"Are you referring to the meat or the wine?" Share'El teased as she took another sip from the third glass of wine Sonja had brought her.

"Don't make me force feed you some chech'tluth," the redhead engineer said in a playful yet threatening manner.

"Uncle, uncle, uncle," Shar'El pleaded causing Sonja to again gently tap the side of her head.

"Again, not your memory," the engineer said before turning to the Sec/Tac. "Just be careful what you remember, seems like our illustrious First Officer has lost control of her skill and can't tell the difference between her memories and those of someone else. That said, we could have some fun with that. Anything juicy in that head of yours we could use to have a little bit of fun with?"

Ya'Han paused as she tried to match the descriptive used by Sonja to a specific memory. There had been some moments from the Nylaan's past that could have been described as *juicy*, but none had been anything that she would have wanted to remember.  Forcing her thoughts away from the unpleasant memories that had for the most part occurred in a darkened corner of some filthy freighter, the off duty Sec/Tac focussed her mind onto something more pleasant if not *juicy*.

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FLASHBACK
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Setting: NYLA IV, Imperial Palace, Banquet Hall
Stardate: 19294.1

Tonight would be the ultimate test. She had relentlessly practiced for the last 100 days to fine tune her every move and make her father proud. The banquet had been meant to welcome some new and important trade partners and she, as the youngest daughters, had been tasked with the evening's entertainment. As much as Ya'Han understood the reasons her father had given for having selected his least experienced daughter for this task, she knew that it had also been for her to display skills and potential to would-be.

The large raised square platform stood in the middle of the room, allowing the performer on it to be easily seen by everyone sitting at the surrounding tables. Bright lights shun on the stage making it nearly impossible for the performer to see her audience, but that mattered not. Her sole reason for being there was to entertain, and that was what she would do to the very best of her skills, agility and endurance.

A hush filled the room as the music started and her body began to sway, following the rhythm to perfection. Hundreds upon hundreds of hours of practice had made the moves seem perfectly natural even when her legs or arms seem to stretch beyond the normal range of Nylaan physical limits.  As the music gradually increased in beat, so did her movements that told a story of unimaginable sensuality and abandonment.

Ya'Han had even been forced to hold back her smile when she heard some of the whispered words of admiration. Her ability to maintain her composure was further tested when she heard one of the chairs falling backwards immediately following a sultry sequences of sensual sways of her hips. The youngest daughter of the High Sovereign had hoped that the complex choreography that she had specifically practice for this occasion would enlisting a reaction very much like the one she had suspected had just happened.

For the next hour or so, all eyes had been on her, making the entertainer swell with silent and unseen pride as she continued to push the limits of her body for the enjoyment of those surrounding her. When the music finally ended and she struck the final pose, Ya'Han rejoiced at the sound of applauds that filled the large banquet hall.  For her sisters, what came next would have been a source of even greater pride as the guests and their reason for watching this performance became clear as they called out rapidly increasing numbers. From a few hundreds the numbers reached several thousands making Ya'Han realize that they had been calling out amounts, their bid to claim her as theirs.  No one had mentioned that this would happen leaving the green-haired entertainer to wonder if this auction had been for the night or for her life.

*SOLD!* was the last thing she remembered hearing her father say before behind escorted out of the banquet hall to the cheers of the gathered guests.

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End of FLASHBACK
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"Whatever you are thinking or remembering, keep it up," Sonja chuckled to the now green-haired woman who reopened her eyes to see Shar'El trying her best to match the sensual dance the entertainer's had performed on that fateful night.

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Hanali Han

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P101: USS ANUBIS: Paquette: Day 09 - 1730 ("The Drinks")
"The Drinks"
previous post was "The Frustration"

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Setting: USS ANUBIS, Shar'El's Quarters
Stardate: 32004.1730

Two large and empty wine glasses sat on the small living room table indicating that the two women had taken part in the activity mentioned earlier by the Chief Engineering Officer.  The partially empty hor d'oeuvre plater on the other hand indicated that the planned event had grown to be far more elaborate than initially anticipated.

"What do you call these little swirly things again?" Shar'El asked, her second nearly empty 'Sonja sized' glass of wine in one hand while a small cracker holding some meat swirl was in the other.

"It's a peppered Klingon tangqa'," the redhead answered as she reached for the same that her friend had just inquired about. "Personally I would like it more if it had a little more kick to it."

"More kick?" Shar'El laughed. "It this thing had more kick I would have to kill it before eating it.  How did you ever come to enjoy such spicy foods. Some of the other things on that plater could peel the ablative amour off the ship."

"And that my wee lassie is why you have the wine," the redhead grinned as she lifted her glass. "It helps to wash it down."

"Anymore 'washing down' and I fear that I will not make it to my bed before passing out," the raven haired Commander admitted as she studied the remnants of the red liquid in the glass currently in her hand. "Those things are way too big."

"There is no such thing as an overly large wine glass my dear," Sonja corrected. "One's hand may be too small, but never is the glass too large," the Engineer stated as she downed the last of her drink.  "Of course, we are currently limited to the size of the food dispensers. Anything larger than these would have to be replicated back in Engineering using the industrial size matter replicators."

"Those are meant to provide you and your Engineers with needed parts for repairs," Shar'El pointed out sounding slightly on the tipsy side of things. "They were not meant to be used for the creation of giant wine glasses."

"Everyone likes a good keg or barrel party once in a while," Sonja laughed. "I will even provide the straws and let's not forget that, as Doctor Doyanne would confirm, wine has a great deal of antioxidants. Therefore it's good for you."

"In moderation, and as for the kegs and straws, I'll pass," Sharp El dismissed with a poorly coordinated wave of her hand.

"You are as much a party pooper drunk as you are when sober," the redhead Engineer huffed as she made her way to the food replicator. "Computer, two more wine glasses. I think my friend needs a little more loosening up."

"Sonja. Please. No," Shar'El slowly pleaded. "I truly won't be able to handle a third of those giant glasses of yours. I can already feel my eyes floating in my head like that time back at the Academy after the mid-year evaluations."

"Shar'El, you are cheating," Sonja said as she gently tapped the side of her head. "That memory is not yours, it's mine and the floating eyeballs was not because of wine but because of a challenge that I simply could not refuse to take part in.  Needless to say that the other four, no make that five Cadets where all snoring their heads off under the table by the time I took my last drink."

"You are incorrigible," Shar'El said as she watched her friend return with the two new glasses that she had just requested from the replicator. "You do realize that we are still inside Ferengi controlled space and that we could be called back to duty at a moment's notice?"

"You said it yourself," the redhead pointed out as she placed one of the oversized glasses in front of her friend. "The new and improved sensors showed no Lokustaar or anything else for that matter anywhere near the ship. The Captain gave us two days to relax and I think we should comply with his orders to the best of our abilities."

"That the sensors did not pick up anything doesn't mean that they are not out there," the raven haired woman pointed out, a pout having formed on her lips.

"Reasons more for us to enjoy life now," Sonja said, her tone and posture having suddenly become cold and serious.  "We could have all died back on MARKALA PRIME if it had not been for Maya and her monkeying around. I'm not sure if she realizes just how much of a part she played in our being able to get out of there alive."

"The mission was not as easy as it had been meant to be," the tipsy Commander stated. "For some, it was as close to a nightmare as it gets," Shar'El added thinking of their Chief of Security.

"I can't help but worry about Ya'Han, wondering if some part of her died when she saw her sister killed the way she was." the redhead said, adding a sigh at the end.  "Life is too short, too fragile to be spent worrying about everything that may or may not be around us."

The sound of the door chime diverted the two women's attention to the door, which Sonja had started heading to.

"These are my quarters," Shar'El promptly reminded her friend as she walked to the door, likely to open it and see who had been on the other side.

"You are in no condition to get up and greet your visitor," the redhead grinned. "I just hope it's not the Captain," Sonja added as she opened the door. "YA'HAN!" The Engineer exclaimed grabbing the woman by the arm to pull her in.

"I did not mean to intrude or interrupt," the black haired Nylaan quickly offered as she noticed the state of the quarters and of the two women there. "I simply wanted to ask for help of Commander Shar'El in retrieving some of my earliest memories."

"I would be careful," Sonja warned. "Right now no memories are safe, she can't even make the difference between her memories and those of someone else."

"Maybe I should come back at another time," Ya'Han offered before Sonja place the wine glass she had been holding into the hands of the latest arrival.

"No time like the present my dear," the redhead smiled as she pushed the Nylaan towards the couch. "Have a drink and relax. We can all talk about distant memories or whatever else the wine leads us to."

=====
Lorraine Paquette

Chief Engineering Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501
M07-P100: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: Day 09 - 1530 ("The Frustration")
=-=
"The Frustration"
[previous post was "The Business Lunch" by the dynamic duo of Susan and Alix]
=-=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck A-4, IGC
Stardate: 32004.1530

Although a great deal of frustration literally sat on her shoulders, the ExO / ILO returned to the IGC to see the implementation of the sensor modifications meant to help the ANUBIS track the Lokustaar bioships. Although a great deal of work and effort had gone into this, the First Officer had been less than happy with their final result, more more accurately lack thereof. The fault had not been Maya's, far from it, the Chief Science Officer having gone above and beyond all expectations set by the head of the IGC. The problem was that there had just not been enough information out there for them, or anyone else for that matter, to work with. The Ullian had compared their efforts to catching smoke with their bare hands, an imagery that the Shillian had been quick to counter using some scientific process that had completely been beyond Shar'El's interest

"Sensor modifications have been initialized," one of the IGC tech reported causing Shar'El to bring her thoughts on the present and to lower her gaze onto her main monitor. If something was to be detected, she would see it there, but based on everything that Maya had said, the hopes of the ExO / ILO had been set low, very low.

Seconds slowly passed and as expected, nothing new appeared on the monitors as the result of the improved sensors. As explained by the Chief Science Officer, this expected result did not show a failure in the modifications but rather could simply indicate that no Lokustaar vessels had been present in their immediate vicinity. Given the outcome of their first encounter while the ship was en-route to MARKALA PRIME, it made sense to believe that the nightmarish shadowy race would be more cautious when dealing with the ANUBIS. That or they would have improved their cloaking abilities to insure that no such confrontation would occur unless they wished it.

A long, deep sigh escaped from the raven-haired woman. "Keep monitoring all frequencies and continue with the repeated thorough scan of this region," Shar'El ordered as she stood from the chair in which she had sat in for only a few moments. "Keep me informed of any discovery, how ever small it may seem to be," the ExO / ILO added as she walked out of the IGC, not ready to subject her staff to her rapidly degrading mood.

=-=
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 13, Stellar Cartography
Stardate: 32004.1600

Frustration had continued to mount as the ExO / ILO wandered the corridors of the ANUBIS leading the woman to eventually end her journey in the 5-story high Stellar Cartography lab. Their search for an advantage or even a few simple answers continued to come up empty despite their greatest efforts. Commander Maya had done everything she could and more, but the results had remained unchanged. Very little had been known about the Lokustaar, or the Shadows as many other races had come to referring to them, and even less had been known about their opponent or opponents. This specific conflict between light and dark, good and evil appeared to be as old as time itself, still no specific information could be found on the main combatants of this eternal battle.  Whatever few mentions of the races involved seemed to always be focussed on the darkness and the chaos it created before both vanished from the history books following some grand conflict. As much as the side of light came to be praised, no description was ever offered of the race, their ships or methods of defeating the nightmarish opponent.

With the possibility that the unknown race or races that had kept the Lokustaar in check for so long had become extinct, the ExO / ILO found herself slipping into a darker mood as she gazed at the impressive display of the stars and worlds which could be scanned at this moment. With so many world and advanced civilizations out there, it had been next to impossible to imagine that now could challenge the dimensional threat.

"We are getting dragged into a fight that no one knows about. We don't even know how many of those bioships we are dealing with," Shar'El angrily noted to herself, the ExO / ILO being the only one in the room.  "How are we suppose to confront an adversary that we cannot see? We can't even confirm that the race standing on the other side of this conflict is still there. For all we know we are alone in this battle," she concluded with allowing her frustration to boil over and translate into anger which was released in a single shot against the nearest control console.

Shar'El sighed as she looked down at the impact area and rubbed the edge of her sore hand. As angry and frustrated as she might have been a few seconds ago, no damage had been caused, yet the ExO / ILO could already imagine the redhead Engineer being made aware of the emotional outburst before rushing to this location as fast as possible to see who had been mistreating her ship. 

The ExO / ILO returned her gaze onto the large curved screen, waiting for Sonja's imminent arrival, which Shar'El suspected would take place in only a few seconds.  Again, time passed, but the Chief Engineer failed to materialize causing the raven-haired woman to sigh once more.

"The entire universe is on a quest to see just how much frustration I am able to handle," Shar'El dryly chuckled as she made her way out of the lab onto to come face to face with the Chief Engineering Officer who had been standing in the corridor, her arms crossed and a less than pleased expression on her face.

"If you wanted me here, all you had to do was call," Sonja snarled. "And if you needed me to get here faster, all you had to do was to let me know that there was a glass of wine waiting," the Engineer added with a smile. "That or one of those Risian hunks, I will admit that would do it too. He wouldn't even need to be dressed, come to think of it, I would have to say that it would be preferable if he wasn't. All that to say, there was no need for you to go postal on the console"

"I'm sorry, it was not intentional," Shar'El offered as both an apology and an explanation.

"Intentional or not, I have no other choice but to act," the redhead said actually sounding upset once more. "There has to be consequences for your actions and as the Chief Engineer I just cannot allow people to mistreat the ship, it's just not professional."

"Sonja?"

"Don’t Sonja me," the redhead said waving a menacing finger towards the ExO / ILO. "You will not get out of this that easily, but because we are friends I will be nice and give you a choice," Sonja stated still sounding completely serious about the entire deal. "You can either set an appointment with Counsellor Dima and have her deal with your anger management issues, or you and I can go back to your quarters and we can have a couple of glasses of wine."

"My quarters?" Shar'El laughed, "why my quarters over yours?"

"Come one, you're the First Officer," the Engineer pointed out, echoing the woman's smile. "Your quarters are bigger and nicer than mine, plus that way if anyone makes a mess it won't be up to me to clean it up."

Not having been given any real option in the matter, the ExO / ILO accepted the redhead's conditions and invited Sonja to take the lead as the two off duty officers made their way to Shar'El's quarters.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET
M07-P099: USS ANUBIS: Dima: Day 09 - 1400 ("The Business Lunch")
“The Business Lunch”
(Continued from “The Memories”)

=/\=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Black Hole Lounge
Stardate: 32004.1400

Selyara looked up from her seat at the Black Hole to see Nicole Dima walking in and briefly speaking to someone at the counter. Selyara glanced back down at her padd sourly. She’d heard rumors that the counselor was making the rounds of everyone that had been on the away mission, and she fervently hoped that the woman’s arrival here was just coincidence. Unfortunately it wasn’t. She felt the Trill’s eyes lock on her from across the room, and heard the sound of approaching footsteps.

“No. And Yes. Goodbye counselor,” Selyara said when she judged that the counselor was close enough to her to hear.

“I beg your pardon?” The counselor sounded amused. “Yes and no what?”

“No, I am not suffering from any psychological trauma after our mission, and yes, I’m sure that I am not in need of counseling. Goodbye counselor,” Selyara said in her best irritating, smug, superior voice, and hoped that the woman would take the ‘less of a hint, more of a direct brush off’ and give up.

The petite brunette sat down instead, either completely oblivious to Selyara’s strategy, or choosing to simply ignore it. She eyed the head of Section 31 with an open and unabashed curiosity. “Your cooperation, while helpful, is not required.”

Selyara glared in her standard way, shooting daggers at the Cns. “Why are you here?”

Nic grinned, steepling her fingers underneath her chin. “It’s been quite the morning. I wrote the preliminary report on the mission from my own limited perspective, and spoke to Sonja, Maya and Ya’Han. And I thought taking lunch somewhere else besides my office might make for a pleasant break before my next appointment. The fact that you’re here is purely coincidental.”

“Poor form, counselor. A transparent lie. Taking that tack is beneath you. I expected something more interesting from someone with what, five hundred years to build up guile and cunning?” 

“Actually it’s only one hundred and seventy or so. I could come back when I’m on my ninth host but you wouldn’t be around to appreciate it.”

“No, but I should be around in another hundred and twenty five. How about you find me then?”

Nicole considered the heavily baited invitation, but in her mind decided it would probably be an enriching experience. Of course, none of those ideas would please the psionically gifted woman. Annoyance was the air she breathed, and hope of finding something underneath was fading quickly. The Ensign gathered she was just one in a long line of people who had struck out trying to make their way past Selyara’s prickly exterior. Nothing would change that. 

Selyara Chen looked smug once again. She saw the gears turning in the moppet’s head but no words were coming out anymore. All she had to do was wait for her surrender. 

Dima motioned for the food she’d ordered to be brought to where she was sitting. “You understand that I’m acting on the orders of Morningstar, upon the recommendation of Shar’El. I didn’t wait through a delayed graduation only to shirk my responsibilities.” She dug into the orzo salad which was garnished with mediterranean vegetables.

“I assure you lacking one report won’t make you an undesirable.” The younger woman’s enthusiasm was grating.

Nicole sipped her blackberry tea. “And of course Admiral Koniki will be very interested in the events of our trip to MARKALA PRIME. Interesting man, the Admiral. He was pretty much straightforward when I met him aboard the station before deployment.”

Selyara bit back a laugh, “That man has more secrets than the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Shroud of Turin combined.”

“Regarding his job, yes, I’m sure he does. But his relationships with people, he seems to cut a much clearer line. In one way or another, we all work for him.”

The Vulcan hybrid’s face showed even more displeasure, as if that were possible. “Your attempts at subterfuge are easily spotted, Ensign.”

Nicole looked over her plate at the once more gloved hands of the woman once known as the Shadow Master. “It wasn’t until we reached the planet’s surface that I began to understand the restraint you have used since setting foot on the ANUBIS. Not to mention I never got to thank you for your help when Shar’El was ‘lost’ during her experience with the Lokustaar. I’d be willing to believe that even someone as seasoned as yourself has learned a few things during your time here. Do you really want the last impression you leave as you assume your post to be that you wouldn’t submit to a meeting with me?”

Selyara sighed, and looked longingly back at the padd she’d being reading when Nicole had disturbed her. 

“I’m fairly sure you know exactly how little I actually care about what you think,” Selyara snapped back. “But you are keeping me from something far more interesting, and I am moderately impressed by your self restraint for holding off on the ‘you’re overdue for a psychological evaluation, and I could theoretically keep you from working’ route, even though I’m sure that it’s on the table. How long do I have to talk to you before you’ll leave me alone?”

“Just lunch. That’s it.” Nicole deftly grabbed the short window she’d been given.

“Deal,” Selyara said casually, her face scrunched up like she was smelling something bad.

“When you went in to attack Morten, it didn’t go as planned. What exactly did you come across when you touched him?” Dima asked her most thought provoking question first.

“That is a singularly difficult thing to explain to someone who has no telepathic skills, that’s like asking you to describe what it’s like to have a symbiont to me. I suppose the simple answer would be ‘evil’, but I’m not a big believer in evil. It was almost like touching the Lokustaar ship, but moreso, since I was using Shar-El as an intermediary, and so I didn’t get the full… Experience. But more than that he was a person subsumed by the will of the Lokustaar, he was willing to do what they wanted, to let them carry out their ‘evil’ in exchange for power. Which is stupid, because any power he had is the power of a slave. Which is not real power. But his psyche tried to wrestle me? Convince me?- to subsume to their desires, which is why I rather ignominiously passed out.” 

Nicole absorbed the answer and its ramifications. Despite their ability to evade the shadow beings, the hypothesis suggested by the Intel Director indicated they were not completely separated from them. If they had managed to find one host, there must surely be others. 

“If you had been the CO of this mission, with your high experience level, what would you have done differently?”

“I think you’re overstating my experience. I was in the stockade almost as long as I was in Starfleet, but good play appealing to my ego.” Selyara leaned back and steepled her fingers. “I’m not an objective person here, clearly I wanted to get my agent back at any cost, but once we encountered the Lokustaar we should have retreated back to Federation space and decided on a different tactic. Like small single person insertion teams, maybe made use of the rest of my agents. The Lokustaar were aware of us, and that alone should have warned us off. But as I said, I wanted Trent back, so I am satisfied with the outcome regardless.”

“The mission objectives were met, but not without some obvious setbacks. Do you have an opinion as to the ‘root cause’ or ‘fail point’ which led to the capture of most of the away team?”

“Well, for one, I wouldn’t have allowed Ya’Han anywhere near the Ferengi Alliance space. For two, I would never have put her and Stark on the same team. Ya’Han is too valuable as a potential pawn or bargaining chip against the Ferengi for me to consider putting her somewhere she might be captured, and as far as her and Jayson’s relationship goes, it’s a liability.”

“Love is a liability?” Nicole pounced on this. Selyara gave her a withering look.

“Emotional attachments in general are a liability where missions are concerned. I’m sure people enjoy having close friends, and I’m sure the camaraderie is nice, but if it were up to me, once people got too chummy I would start bringing in new people. People start getting emotional, and make stupid decisions,” Selyara’s tone was slightly defensive, which interested Nicole.

“What advice would you provide me, as a new officer, to further my skills and career in Starfleet?” It was a beginner question, well, from a beginner. The sort of question Nicole knew Director Chen wouldn’t like. But the Trill would have kicked herself if she hadn’t asked. The chance of an audience with someone of this calibre would be rare.

“Don’t be too nice, and remember in the end, everyone’s only in it for themselves. Starfleet demands much from you, and you can give your heart and soul to them, but when you need it, you’ll be out in the cold. Starfleet will be nowhere in sight,” Selyara’s eyes went cold, and Nicole had the impression that she was deadly serious, and so deeply bitter she couldn’t hide it.

Ensign Dima placed her napkin down on top of the empty plate. A deal was a deal. “That’s my cue. Thank you,” she said simply as she stood to leave. If Selyara was surprised that the young woman hadn’t tried to wheedle another question out of her, it did not show on her face at all. She wore the same mask of indifference that she had started their meeting with, and simply picked up her padd and began reading again, as though she’d already forgotten Nicole existed.

The Trill Counselor was still thinking about Selyara as she made her way back to her office. Being involved with Intel so closely it wasn’t uncommon to keep things close to the vest. Information was the most vital and precious commodity of any covert organization. It would be easy to dismiss the older woman’s reluctance on that alone. But the walls she had put up were taller and broader than simple professional cautions. She had hidden most of her personality, causing the Cns to wonder what she was hiding from, or what she felt so weak and powerless about herself that the need to push it inside was so great. On one hand, Nicole hoped the woman would find help at breaking free from these conventions. Still, her closed-off style had worked for her. The benefits of it had so far outweighed the risks. And if there was one thing that Nicole Dima knew, it was that change can’t happen until the person realizes that there is a problem with the current behavior. And it was clear that Selyara Chen did not see any issues with keeping the status quo.

=/\=
A post by

Alix Fowler

Selyara Chen
Director
Section 31

And

Susan Ledbetter

Chief Counselor
USS ANUBIS NCC-18501
M07-P098: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: Day 09 - 1330 ("The Memories")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"The Memories"
[previous post was "The Search"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Ya'Han's Quarters
Stardate: 32004.1330

The brush flowed through the woman's dark ebony hair in perfect rhythm with her slow, deep breathing, the full length of her now solid black locks having been brought forward over her shoulder so that she could contemplate the reflection of what she was doing. At least that had been the idea before Ya'Han closed her eyes and focussed entirely on how this simple activity had made her feel.

The sensation of her hair being brushed this way felt both strange and relaxing. As a daughter of the High Sovereign, never had she been required to brush her own hair, a servant having always been at the ready to do so both mornings and nights. The strange part of this was the fact that the black colored hair was normally displayed by the servant, not herself.  Something else had struck the off duty Sec/Tac as being strange, the actual sensation of the brush through her hair had been an oddly soothing one. This had not been the first time she had indulged in this activity, but this had truly been the first time she had felt this way in a very long time.

As the brush repeated the same path through the black locks of the Nylaan's hair, her mind began to travel back to another time, another place.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
FLASHBACK
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: Federation Starbase PARASIDIO, Guest Quarters
Stardate: 24081.0745

According to what she had been told, the quarters that she would now be staying in had been small and barren. Memories of her time in the cargo holds of the countless low-end freighters filled her mind as she walked in for the first time causing her to actually come to a dead stop in the doorway. The location that she had been looking at had been a great many things, but small and barren had not been how she would have ever chosen to describe it.  With each new step she finally took, the ebony haired woman grew increasingly concerned that a terrible mistake had been made. The quarters into which she had been escort to had almost been a match for her own room back in the Imperial Palace on NYLA IV.

With complete disbelief, she cautiously wandered from room to room, finding it hard to believe that this location had actually been offered to her. She could not remember how many people she had been forced to speak to, not that *forced* had been at all accurate, but she could recall how everyone seemed more than happy to help and listen to her story. She even discovered that some had been willing to provide her with a caring shoulder when she would no longer be able to hold back her tears.

It had taken several days, maybe even a week or so before she had been cleared and allowed out of the starbase's infirmary. The countless bruises that had been easily discovered over the entirety of her body upon her arrival had proven the accounts of the type of brutal treatment she had received during her travels. Maybe those had helped to sway the opinion and sentiments of those she had been asked to speak to, or maybe it was just that this Federation treated people far differently than the Ferengi Alliance of the rule of NYLA IV.

That was all in the past now. She no longer needed to be scared of the slightest move caught in the corner of her eye. Here she would be able to truly rest and plan the rest of her life away from her father and of the Ferengi troll he had wanted her to marry.

When she caught sight of her reflection in the mirror of what would be her bedroom, Ya'Han ran her fingers through her ebony hair, brushing it as she had done since her escape from her home. Basic toiletries had not been considered when she had finally decided to leave, so she had become accustomed to brushing her hair using nothing but her fingers.  While in the infirmary though, someone had used a brush to make things easier, and now she found that she missed the sensation.

That was when she noticed something that made her smile. The same brush, or one made to be exactly like the one that had been used then, had been left in front of the mirror.  With some hesitation, she carefully pulled the stool out and set herself in front of the mirror, brush in hand gazing at the reflection of a scared young girl looking back at her, not appearing so scared anymore.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
End of FLASHBACK
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Ya'Han opened her eyes to see the all too familiar reflection, yet one that she had not seen in this particular manner in a very long while. The fear that had once been there could still be seen although the reason for it had drastically changed. The act that she had still been performing had been a source of comfort and peace. During her years at Starfleet Academy though, the brushing of her hair had become a basic routine, a necessity that no longer held any sort of emotional attachment. The solid ebony hair appeared the same as it did back then although the woman to whom it belonged to did appear to having grown older and more mature through a life that would never had been hers without that single decision she took so many years ago.

"Sorry Nicole," the Nylaan grinned ever so slightly. "Computer, begin recording a new entry for my Personal Counselling Log."

=/\= Ready, =/\= the computer acknowledged.

"You would think that brushing your hair would not trigger an emotional reaction," Ya'Han said as she continued doing just that. "Sorry to say that in my case, as I have just discovered, brushing my black colored hair has brought back a lot of memories of my time on a Federation Outpost.  The Starbase where my life as a member of the Nylaan Imperial family ended and that of a Federation citizen began.  I hope that the account that will follow will not be too long, or boring," the off duty Sec/Tac said before pausing for a moment as she continued to brush her hair, a smile having appeared on her lips.  "I had just been released from the infirmary after a stay of about a week there during which time I was examined, both physically and mentally, by what felt like anyone and everyone present on PARASIDIO…"

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Hanali Han

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P097: USS ANUBIS: Maya: Day 09 - 1530 ("The Search")
---
"The Search"
(Previous Post: "The Questions")
---

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 12, Astrometrics Lab
Stardate: 32004.1530

For the last two hours, the Chief Science Officer and Intelligence Liaison Officer had been pouring over every piece of data available on the Lokustaar and their bioships. This had not been the first time that Maya had dived into this research and as all previous attempts to find answers; the search had proven rather futile.  The 'Shadows' as they had been referred to by countless other races had been worthy of their nickname in more than one-way, leaving little to no traces of their presence wherever they went.

"The race does exist," the Shillian scientist confirmed as if reassuring herself, her latest efforts not having uncovered any new data. "There are many accounts of the Lokustaar having been around for quite some time through the lore and legends of world dating back several millennia, but there is never anything concrete. There are many stories of black monsters, resembling the bioship we encountered on our way to MARKALA PRIME, seen hovering in the sky of worlds from every region of the galaxy. There are also several accounts of a feeling of extreme cold and dread while in their presence, but again nothing that would actually help us in locating any such craft. The accounts of a scream as cold and dark as space itself heard only in people's minds isn't helping either unless we modify the sensors to pick up ultra-high telepathic frequencies."

"There has to be someone out there that knows more than this," Shar'El exclaimed, sounding disappointed that their intensive and continued search had yielded nothing useful.

"Base on the accounts we have been looking over for the last two hours, it is a forgone conclusion that the Lokustaar have been here for a very long time and that they have at least one enemy," Maya pointed out calling ancient texts and images to appear on the central screen of the Astrometrics lab. "Unfortunately for us, whoever that race may be, they have been as secretive if not more as their adversary. The only accounts of their even being out there are repeated tales from various worlds of a conflict opposing the forces of darkness and light. If at least there was a drawing or something of those other ships, we could try to find a match in our database. Even if there was no match, a description of their design, even a vague one, could give us a few hints as to what race we might be dealing with. I would settle for even a logo or a single letter from their alphabet to get us on the right track."

"What if that race was extinct?" the First Officer offered, playing devil's advocate against her own wishes. "If the Lokustaar have been around for that long, it is not unthinkable that they could have waited for their opponent to die out before returning. It would be a wise tactical move given that their last encounter resulted in their defeat, so why risk another if it can be avoided.  From all that we have seen and read, it does appear that the Shadows are not one to lack in patience," Shar'El continued. "There were some very powerful races that have fallen into the pages of history, the T'Kon and Iconians just to name a few."

"True," the Shillian agreed before continuing with a challenge. "But why would the Lokustaar continue hiding if their one true opponent is no longer present? Would it not slow down their reaching their ultimate goal, whatever that may be?  I do not understand why they would continue to keep working behind the scenes instead of just making their presence known to all. They seem, at least according to everything we have uncovered on them, that they enjoy or maybe even require chaos. We experienced this first hand on MARKALA PRIME, so I do not understand why they simply do not just make themselves known to the general public.  Even a single bioship at the size they are appearing over a high population metropolis would create all of the chaos they seem to thrive on. Multiply this by a few dozen worlds and the entire quadrant could be plunged into a panic the likes of which had never been seen."

"Resistance," Shar'El answered in a single word, offsetting the verboseness of her research partner.  "Yes, revealing themselves would create panic and chaos, but they would also plant the seed of resistance, one that would quickly grow and spread to worlds that may not even have been touched by the darkness.  By operating behind the scenes as they do, the Lokustaar insure that races work one against the other instead of collaborating to fight against a common enemy."

"You do realise that the more we search for answers, the more unpleasant things become as we discover that we have even less to work on than we initially believed," the Shillian said having clearly become disillusioned with the possible outcome of their work. "We are dealing with a race from another dimension, one that we have no way to detect or even account for how many of them we are dealing with. Was the ship we engaged the only one or was it only one of thousands scattered all over the galaxy? Then we have to consider that their opponent may no longer be here, ready to confront the darkness or at the very least rally those able to do so into a coherent group that would be able to defeat the Shadows.  The more we look into this, the deeper we dig for information about them, the more the situation appears hopeless and without a way for us to survive a confrontation, let alone win it."

"There is always hope," Shar'El offered, forcing Maya to look away from the screen and the data that was displayed on it.  "Not only did we managed to locate the bioship that had been following us, be we were able to disable it.  The battle may be far from over, but we are far from being ready to throw in the towel.  We need to continue our search for answers while hoping that those on the side of 'light' are still out there, ready to help us. In the meantime we will do what we have been doing and will continue to do; to fight the darkness everywhere we come across it just as we did on MARKALA PRIME."

"Of course," the Chief Science Officer agreed, adding a gentle nod of her head, "you are right. I am sorry for having become so emotional."

"Emotions may be what will see us through this," the First Officer stated with a faint smile. At this point, any advantage, be it real or perceived had been a welcomed one.

"Since our search for answers about the Lokustaar has resulted in very little additional data, maybe we should refocus our efforts on the other side of this 'light vs dark' conflict," Maya offered. "Since there is next to nothing known on the side of light, any information we uncover will be a step towards maybe learning more about these Shadows and the best way to oppose them."

"Well, our schedules are officially open for the next couple of days," Shar'El pointed out glad that she had found something productive to focus their time on.

---
Jessica Solarik

Lieutenant Commander Maya [Access Character BIO for Maya]
Chief Science Officer
USS ANUBIS

&

Captain Selene Fiona Iverson [Access Character BIO for Selene Iverson]
Commanding Officer
USS BASTET

"To see the world in a grain of sand,
and a heaven in a wild flower.
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
and eternity in an hour."
- William Blake (British, 1757-1827)
M07-P096: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: Day 09 - 1300 ("The Questions")
=-=
"The Questions"
[previous post was "The After Session" by the remarkable Hanali]
=-=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck A-4, IGC
Stardate: 32004.1300

Shar'El sat in her chair set on the elevated platform allowing her to easily supervise the whole of the IGC with a simple glance. Although she had been relieved of duty, the ExO / ILO hd found it impossible to relax, something that maybe would be worth mentioning to Counsellor Dima when she would meet with her. In the meantime though, the Commander sat in her chair, perusing the reports appearing on her monitors while her mind sought answers to countless questions.

Through the internal sensors Shar'El had kept track of the off duty members of the senior staff. Not because she had been required to or even because she had been concerned for them, but simply because she could.  She had found it interesting to find Jayson Stark in Holodeck 3 without any programs running. What had he been doing there? Or more to the point what had he been thinking about to be so distracted?

On her end, Ya'Han had been in her quarters, relaxing as they should have all been doing. Being the person who had been the most affected by their mission to MARKALA PRIME, the ExO / ILO found it interesting to see that she had been the one who appeared to be accepting the forced vacation with the greatest ease. Maybe that had been for the simple reason that she had also been the one needing the rest most, that or Counsellor Dima had found a way to get the Nylaan to actually sit down for more than a few seconds and rest.  How had this come to be?

Having abandoned her shapeshifting ability for the time being, Maya had seemed content in staying in the Astrometrics lab, studying whatever astrological phenomenon in range. Although this had not been what the ExO / ILO would have considered to be relaxing, Shar'El could see how the Shilling found what she was doing to be more enjoyable than sitting in her quarters.  As wildly different as the two women were, the Ullian had to concede that the two of them shared several traits when it came to keeping themselves busy when not officially on duty. Had that been such a bad thing?

The redheaded Engineer had also found a way to keep herself busy based on her personal interests and field of expertise. Sonja and ANI had spent quite a fair bit of time in the Cybernetics / Robotics lab leaving Shar'El to wonder what kind of upgrades the ship's Avatar would be seen with? Given the situation that had taken place on the planet, the ExO / ILO wondered if maybe it would not have been better for the android to display a different hair color.  As much as the purple had allowed for the mechanical woman to be easily seen and identified, it could become an undesired reminder to their Chief of Security, not that this had ever been a problem before.  Maybe that had been the reason as to why Ya'Han seemed to keep her distances from the Avatar.  Had the hair color selected for ANI truly been part of the issue or had there been another reason for this?

As for Director Chen, she had spent quite a bit of time in Sickbay, not because of any illnesses but simply to keep Agent Trent Troy company while he recuperated from his treatment during his captivity. The man had displayed amazing strength, both physically and psychologically, but still the ordeal that he had endured had certainly left its mark on the man, even if he was genetically altered and enhanced.  At first, Shar'El had thought the attention given by Selyara had been sweet and caring, but the ExO / ILO quickly revised her opinion based on what she had seen of the Vulcan / Betazoid woman. It had been far more likely that the Director of Section 31 had simply wanted to thoroughly debrief the agent, making sure that no detail had been omitted. Why else would she have spent so much time by the bedside of the man?

Of the officers who had taken part in the away mission to MARKALA PRIME, the only one left had been Counsellor Nicole Dima, the only one who had been denied the rest that everyone had been granted. Of course, it would have been very difficult for anyone else to perform the psychological evaluations requested by the Captain without them having an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the situation they had all faced on the planet. It was hoped that the Counsellor would be able to enjoy some well-deserved R&R once all of her scheduled meetings with the members of the away team were completed. This though raised an entirely different question; who would take care of the Counsellor's own debriefing and evaluation?

Wanting to give her own mind a break from all the questions she had brought upon herself, Shar'El shifted her attention to another monitor, one that displayed the data from the external sensors. MARKALA PRIME and NYLA IV had now been outside of active sensor range, while the border between the New Ferengi Alliance and the Federation stood several days away leaving little in between for the sensors to focus on. The question though, had they truly been alone or had another Lokustaar bioship been covertly following them? Using the experience of the transdimensional race's first encounter with the ANUBIS, could they have adapted their technique to insure not being detected? If so, why would they stop following once the border would be reached? In fact, with the ablative armor down, the ship and its crew would become nothing more than sitting ducks for an unseen adversary to strike at.

The ExO / ILO suddenly stood from her chair, the prospect of a Lokustarr vessel actually following them without them being able to detect it having been too much for the woman to accept.  Yes, everything seemed to indicate that the race who originated from another dimension had their hands, or claws, full with the situation on both MARKALA PRIME and NYLA IV, but still the possibility remained. What could they do to confirm this and at the very least allow the raven haired woman to be able to sleep at some point over the years that she hope she still had to live?

To answer this latest question, one that had easily overshadowed all others, Shar'El left the IGC and headed for the Astrometrics lab where she hoped Commander Maya would be able to offer some insight as to finding a way to track the invisible bioships of the nightmarish race.

=-=
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 12, Astrometrics Lab
Stardate: 32004.1330

"Commander Shar'El," Maya exclaimed as she noticed the ExO / ILO entering the room. "What brings you here? Is everything all right? Is there a problem? Am I using too much of the sensors to research that trinary star system? The system cannot be observed from our side of the border, so I thought I would get as much information as I could while we were here."

"Relax Maya," Shar'El said, glad to see that the Chief Science Officer was in full form. "Nothing is wrong, at least not yet, that is why I need your help."

"Whatever I can do to help Commander," the Chief Science Officer offered, "although I am puzzled by something. Why do you need *my* help? The sensors linked to the IGC are far more precise than any available to me through this or any of the other laboratories."

"It is not your sensors that I need but your own expertise, especially in the area of finding something that doesn't want to be found," Shar'El clarified

"You are still concerned with the possibility of the Lokustaar following us," Maya said having quickly figured out the reason why the First Officer had come to see the Shillian Scientist.  "I did not have the time to fully review the data we were able to collect during our first encounter with them, but I know that there is enough there to allow us to make it easier for us to detect them. It may not be a hundred percent effective, but I suspect that any more than what we had will be a major improvement."

"How long before you can give me and the ICG something to work with?"

"If you are willing to assist me, we could have something ready within the hour," the Chief Science Officer replied. "Of course we will need to use the ICG sensors to fully test whatever we come up with, and in the end we may not be able to confirm if the modifications are working or not. A failure to show any Lokustaar bioships in the vicinity may only prove that none are there and not that we are unable to detect them. To fully test the modified IGC sensors we would have to actually see such a vessel with our eyes before it vanishes to see if our instruments are able to track it and to what extend we can do so. Is this still acceptable to you?"

"If I wish to ever sleep again, we have little choice," Shar'El admitted. "So if you are ready, so am I."

With that, the two women began their work to give the ANUBIS and in turn all of Starfleet an advantage against the race that seemed to be heavily involved in the affairs of this dimension and the races within.  All that was left was to see if all of their work and efforts would actually work?

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET
M07-P095: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: Day 09 - 1300 ("The After Session")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"The After Session"
[previous post was "The Thoughts"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Ya'Han's Quarters
Stardate: 32004.1300

She felt tired, weak, emotionally drained. After the counselling session with Nicole, Ya'Han had been unable to think straight. So many things had happened so fast that it had been nearly impossible for her to keep track. As the ANUBIS' Sec/Tac she had been glad that the Captain had given everyone who had taken part in the away mission a couple of days off. At first, she believed this to have been an ill advised course of action, but now the black and red haired Nylaan had been more than happy that she did not have to worry about her duties on top of everything else.

The sensation of the hot water cascading over her form lingered on her skin as she stepped out of the bathroom and into the main living area of her quarters. As relaxed as Ya'Han felt though, her mind was still very much occupied by what had happened in Nicole's office. The Counselor had made her point expertly and there had been no denying it, there had been a great deal of work to be done.

"Computer," Ya'Han began as she looked out the nearest window, looking forward to once again seeing the stars beyond once the defensive armor would no longer be active. "Begin a new personal log, one that is to be accessible to Counsellor Nicole Dima. Make sure that she is notified of any new entry to this log."

=/\= Log creation confirmed, =/\= the computer stated after only a few seconds.

"Record first entry," Ya'Han said, adding a sigh as she put her thoughts in order. This would not be easy but it had been made perfectly clear that this had been necessary. "This log will keep track of my emotional state as well as the cause of any fluctuations, both in my mood and hair color. Hopefully it will help in establishing the true causes of my feelings and apparent lack of control over them. Pause."

Ya'Han stopped and closed her eyes. There had simply been too many memories for her to select one over any other to start talking about. Nicole had mentioned during their last meeting how difficult Starfleet Academy could be with the support of a family, a statement that had likely been meant to trigger a reaction, which it had. Still, this made the Sec/Tac think back to her days on EARTH, more specifically to the first time she had set foot on the grounds of Starfleet Academy.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
FLASHBACK
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: EARTH, San Francisco, Starfleet Academy
Stardate: 25004.1100

As if being on an alien planet had not been difficult enough, walking onto the grounds of what would become her home for the next 4 years, if all went well, had proven to be quite an emotional shock. The lavish flora had been quite a welcomed change from the dark and slimy walls of the various freighters she had been onboard to escape Ferengi controlled space. As far more pleasant as the Federation starbase she had finally made her way to had been following the freighters, the Academy grounds had been heavenly in comparison. Still, as grand and beautiful as everything was, the black haired Nylaan could not help but think back to the exquisite garden of the Imperial palace that she had left behind.

She had escaped for a reason, several in fact, so it would serve no purpose for her to keep looking back to a past she would never be able to return to. EARTH had become her new home thanks to the help and generosity of many, and her success would be the greatest thanks she would be able to offer them in time.

Today would be dedicated to her orientation, to meeting those she would come to call friends, a luxury that she never truly had before today. Once all of this would be done, she would be able to relax and look ahead to her first day of her new life as a Federation citizen and a Starfleet Cadet.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
End of FLASHBACK
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

"Computer, resume recording," Ya'Han said as she made her way into her bedroom, glancing at the mirror as she walked in. "When I entered Starfleet Academy I felt happier than I ever thought possible," the Nylaan said as she noticed her hair having reverted back to the full black that had been her standard for many years. "Despite the joy that I experienced though, there was a sense of sadness and unworthiness. Maybe that was why I held on to the black color of my hair for so long, to be honest I cannot recall. What I do remember though was feeling sorrow at having reached the goal that I had wanted since my departure from NYLA IV. I know it makes little sense, at least to me, but seeing EARTH and later Starfleet Academy for the first time left me feeling sad, knowing that I truly would never be going back home or see any of the people I had seen each and every day of my life before I ran away."

Again, Ya'Han paused as she studied the reflection of the woman with the solid black hair, a woman she knew very well but one who now seemed to belong to an entirely different life, one that had barely been her own.

"Counsellor Dima, please not that the memories of my first day on EARTH and at Starfleet Academy caused my hair to change back to the black that I had willingly taken on from the moment I had arrived onto the Federation starbase," the Nylaan explained as she ran her fingers through the long ebony locks. "I am not entirely certain as to why I selected black back then. I could have just as easily gone for a more exotic blue, white or even continued with the green that I had displayed from one freighter to the next. I can only guess that at the time I wanted to distance myself from what it meant to be Nylaan, a feeling that I clearly recall having later on. Given the more common colors at my disposal I went with black to be less noticeable and maybe because I did not feel worthy of portraying myself as being anything other than a commoner without any special skills to advertise. That too was a feeling that I recall having later on during my time at the Academy. Computer, end recording."

Still looking at the blackness of her hair, Ya'Han reached for her brush. For Nylaans, black hair showed a person to be someone of least importance, a lower than low commoner who had been unable to master the basics of any of the casts. Displaying such color had never been a choice and yet this had been the color that she had opted upon when she had first set foot on a Federation outpost.

Over the years, Ya'Han came to look upon the black of her hair as not having been such a bad thing, but despite having the skill to change it, she continued to display it. Maybe through the exploration of her past, the Sec/Tac would discover the main reason that had been responsible for this, but for the time being, it had been best to keep her thoughts anchored in the now.

The brush continued working through the ebony colored hair while she smiled, presenting the Nylaan with an odd reflection which she had not seen in a great many years. Back on her home world it had been next to impossible to see anyone with such colored hair smile, but she could remember looking into a similar mirror as a Cadet and finding herself smiling back.

The sound of the door chime drew Ya'Han from her reverie, but instead of allowing whoever had been on the other side of the door to enter; she simply looked at the sealed door. The odds had been good that Jayson had been the one who had come to check up on her. Shar'El would have simply used the IGC to confirm that she had been all right and Sonja would have just walked in, no doors on the ANUBIS having been able to hold the woman back.  When the door chime rang once more, her suspicions were confirmed but still she could not bring herself to open the door for him.

This was not for a lack of desire in seeing him, but Ya'Han found that her wish to be left alone for the moment had actually been greater. Later she would seek him out and apologise, offering some excuse as to why she had been unable to open the door, but for the moment, she wanted to be alone. She *needed* to be alone. Not out of sadness or even depression, she simply wanted to not have to talk to anyone as she brushed her solid black hair some more.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Hanali Han

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P094: USS ANUBIS: Stark: Day 09 - 1300 ("The Thoughts")
"The Thoughts"
[previous "The Pushover"]

[/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 6, Holodeck 3
Stardate: 32004.1300

He stood in the archway looking at the yellow on black holodeck grid trying to figure out what program to call up. Over the last 20 or so minutes Jayson had been debating through countless simulations, some meant to keep him entertained while others would have simply kept him busy.  As much as he tried to push his thoughts back, they came returning, each time stronger than before. However hard he tried, he could not stop thinking of her... and her... and her.

The first 'her', for obvious reasons had been Ya'Han. The last time he had seen her, just before she vanished into Counsellor Dima's office, she had appeared ready to tackle the universe in a way that very much resembled the way that she had been prior to their mission on MARKALA PRIME.  That alone should have been enough to ease his concerns but he knew all too well how a Counsellor could bring back certain aspects of one's past.

That brought him to the second 'her' he could not stop thinking about, and this for an entirely different reason. Counsellor Nicole Dima, another expert in reaching into someone's head to rattle things loose. Due to his own personal history, the majority of his adult life was spent with one Counselor or another by his side, helping him through the darkness that he always seem to find himself slipping back into.  Counsellor Eve Dalziel, or at least the women he knew by that name, had been of immeasurable help in his case and Jayson could only hope that the current ANUBIS' Counsellor would be able to do the same for Ya'Han.

Now, if only he did not have to face the current Counsellor as he had so many others. The circumstances were completely different, that there had been no denying this, but still the apprehension he felt had been impossible to shake. Her task, as the Chief of Operations understood it, had been to perform some sort of psychological evaluation on each and every member of the away team. Jayson could imagine that her focus would at some point land on the horrible way in which Ya'Han's sister had died in front of them.

That was the third and final 'her' he found himself unable to stop thinking about. Death, as unfortunate as it was, had always been an integral part of life in Starfleet. When dealing with the unknown as well as hostile forces, it was only a matter of time before someone had to deal with losing someone they knew. In this particular case Jayson had not know the woman with the purple hair, but through the woman whom she had taken the name of, the Operations Officer felt as if he did know her, even if only a little.

Her death, or more specifically the way her life had been so easily snuffed out by the High Sovereign's aide had been what truly bothered him. Throughout his life, Jayson had been called upon to deal in some way with people who were better described as creatures of evil. The terrorists responsible for the death of his wife had been but s small sample of the evils that could be found in every region of the galaxy, but Ze'Kon had quickly risen on the man's scale after what he had done, and how he had done it.

The man had been a monster, a beast, a despicable excuse for a life form and one that needed to be dealt as such. A quick death, as the one that he had dealt to Ya'Han's sister would be far too kind for him but Jayson knew that there had been no way for him to carry out such a sentence.  The best he could do was to be there for Ya'Han and offer her support and understanding, or maybe she would be the one giving him those based on how he found himself upset at the death of a woman he truly knew nothing about.

The rumbling of his stomach made Jayson abandon his train of thought for a brief moment. "Computer, what time is it?"

=/\= The ship's time is 1315, =/\= the computer replied making Jayson realize that he had been here for almost a full hour without having even come close to making a program selection.

"Bet Nicole would have a field day with this," he chuckled, shaking his head in complete disbelief in his own actions, or lack thereof.  "So, explain to me, in your own words, why you went to the holodeck and spent almost an hour looking at the bare walls?" He continued, in as much a feminine voice as he could manage, obviously trying to mimic the Counselor but coming across instead as incompetent actor. "Because I'm an idiot," he replied to his own question, his last words having been uttered in his own voice.  "Computer, exit!"

With that, he pivoted on his heel and exited the holodeck which had not been used, the memories of his thoughts and of the three women he had been thinking of having been the only thing that had filled the yellow grid of the chamber.

[/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 2 Corridor
Stardate: 32004.1330

With a purposeful step he made his way down the corridor, leaving no one he came across to believe that he was aimlessly wandering the corridors of the ship. Most would have assumed that he had been returning to his quarters to indulge in some relaxing pastime, but those ideas would have been quickly dismissed as he walked right past his door to instead stop at the one next to his. He stopped in front of the doorway leading to the quarters of the ship's Chief of Security and paused for a few seconds, gathering his thoughts before pressing the chime.

When no reply came he pressed it again, suspecting that maybe she had been busy or had not heard the chime, as annoying as it could be. Seconds passed and still no reply from within the room.  His first thought had been to call upon the computer to confirm the location of the ship's Chief of Security but just as he was about to tap his communicator he stopped himself. Surely the woman had earned some alone time if she had so wished it.

Without knowing for sure that Ya'Han had been beyond the closed door, Jayson stepped back and studied the flat surface for a few seconds, memories of his time in the holodeck quickly returning to haunt him.

"So, explain to me, in your own words, why you seem fascinated in studying flat non-interactive surfaces today?" Jayson said, once again using the most feminine voice he could in a sad effort to mimic the Ship's Counsellor. Instead of a reply this time, he simply shook his head and back tracked his steps, this time stopping at the door leading to his quarters before vanished therein.

"The next two days off duty might prove to be harder than the mission was," he said to himself before the door closed behind him.

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P093: USS ANUBIS: Dima: Day 09 - 1130 ("The Pushover")
“The Pushover”
(Continued from “The Wiz”)

=/\=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Counsellor's Office
Stardate: 32004.1130 

Nicole walked in to find Ya'Han already waiting for her, sitting, her legs casually crossed, the woman appearing as anyone normally would, if they were a civilian with purple hair. As the Sec/Tac of the ANUBIS that the Counsellor had expected though, the woman had been as out of place as could be. Her demeanor had shifted considerably.

"You seem to be in a better mood," Nicole said, curious as to what could have happened to make the woman seem so carefree. "Would you like to share?"

"Shar'El," Ya'Han began realizing that she had once again used the woman's name without her rank. "The Commander relayed some news that the IGC intercepted. Apparently MARKALA PRIME is under a Hirogen planetary blockade which has trapped Ze'Kon."

The gears turned in the joined Trill’s mind. “This leaves the Sovereignty in a safer place.” And Ya’Han’s estranged family, Nic thought. She wasn’t sure what this meant down the line, but for now, the relief it provided was palpable. She suspected that Shar’El hadn’t needed to monitor the transmissions as they sped away from the Ferengi Alliance space, but she had done so with the attempt to help the troubled Nylaan woman. The Counsellor marvelled at the uniqueness of each member of the Senior Staff she had interacted with so far, and their unlikely ability to work as a team despite their differences. "Tell me about your your family, I see that you have a total of 12 brothers and sisters," Nicole said. "That had to create an interesting family dynamic."

"Maybe in a normal setting having so many siblings would have created an *interesting* dynamic as you say," Ya'Han promptly corrected. "As the ruling family of an entire world, things were not as *interesting* as you might think they were.  My brothers were groomed for leadership roles from a very young age while the girls were prepared for the life of the wife we would become to strengthen the economic bonds between NYLA IV and other worlds. We all endured the same grueling training to earn our colors, although a higher importance was assigned my brothers for their warrior training while my sisters and I were required to be as great of entertainers as we possibly could."

"Give the mentioned in your record and your own chosen field of work, I would have to guess that being part of the warrior cast was something that you wanted," Nicole said, suspecting that the statement would trigger another emotional reaction, which it did.

"I was a failure as a warrior," the Sec/Tac sadly admitted. "My sisters were able to earn their red hair far quicker than I did, which only served to anger father. I learned through my travels on many freighters while escaping my world of the importance and need for me to be able to defend myself. That was why I chose security when I finally reached Starfleet Academy, and maybe that is why I am quick to see my hair change to that color," Ya'Han emotionally explained.

“So then, have you decided to keep the purple hair, or is this just for the duration of your forced vacation?" Nicole asked with a smile, the woman's ever-changing hair color having been next on her search for answers.

"My hair?" Ya'Han asked out of surprise, reaching for a lock to bring it into view. "I was talking with Jayson, and it led me to think of my father, of my family as a whole. I guess that made my hair change color. I'm sure that you are aware that it tends to change according to my moods, although I am trying to control that a bit more. As great as it is for everyone else, it is a little annoying to have everyone else around me know what is on my mind just because of the color of my hair."

"It is an advantage for us," the Counsellor agreed, thinking about the mention in the woman's file about the red hair as well as the warning Jayson had given her. It also signified the fact that the Sec/Tac couldn’t fully control either her emotions or her hair’s hue. That was something Nicole wanted to urgently assist with. "Why do you think that it is more difficult for you to control your hair while on the ANUBIS than it was on MARKALA PRIME? According to the mission report, you managed to maintain your green hair for the entire duration until the very end when you were forced to change as per the man's request... what was his name again?"

"Ze'Kon," Ya'Han replied in a low growl, which caused her hair to change as Nicole had suspected it would. She was doing it on purpose to test the extent of the Nylaan woman’s self control when faced with these highly emotional issues. Jayson Stark had tried to be kind to Nicole in reporting his observations, but the truth was Ensign Dima wanted to see what the OPS was talking about, firsthand.

The Counsellor stood in front of Ya’Han, leaning against her desk, watching the other woman closely. “Did you ever receive disciplinary action during your time at the Academy?” she asked, her voice wavering a little.

“No.” There was an additional glare of irritation and pain in her eyes. 

“You had a difficult childhood, so much so that you needed to run away to preserve yourself. You trained at Starfleet Academy, an environment that is by no means an easy one, especially without the support of your family, who had either written you off or thought you were dead. Even after all of that, you feel a connection and a desire to protect them, despite the fact that they did not give you the same courtesy. You proved your abilities by being assigned to the ANUBIS. You have overcome many disadvantages to get this far, more than anyone could reasonably expect to. And yet, at this time, you can’t make it a few minutes without wanting to throttle a man you supposedly care about? Why?” 

The flame-haired woman stood swiftly, raising her fist to hit and beginning her follow-through. Somehow, perhaps through anticipation, the petite brunette was able to lift her arm to deflect her strike. However, all that momentum needed to go somewhere, and that meant Dima hit the floor like a sack of potatoes.

Nicole slowly picked herself up, a little winded but otherwise okay. “Do you know what you just did?” she asked the Nylaan woman, moving herself carefully to the chair behind her desk.

“I’m sorry,” she almost whispered in response, frozen in place. Ya’Han’s bright crimson hair became intermixed with ebony once more, as she tried to calm her breathing. She forced her memories to be on "Nan" whom she wished for a brief moment had been here on the ANUBIS with her, safe from the chaos threatening her world. “I tried to attack you.”

Nicole rubbed her shoulder. “No, you didn’t. You *reacted*.”

Ya’Han looked confused. “What’s the difference?”

Ensign Dima was more enthused than she might have had a right to be. “You don’t mean to hurt me, or anyone else. But you have never really allowed yourself to express the frustrations and true emotional pain you’ve suffered at many points in your life. Any kind of stress, especially what happened on MARKALA PRIME, is bound to elicit a response excessive to the stimulus.”

Flashes of the abuse and hardships she had been through touched the edges of her mind, then faded just as quickly. “And that means what, exactly?”

“It can be addressed. It can be fixed.”

Another smaller weight now was lifted from the Sec/Tac’s shoulders as she began to understand where Nicole’s odd sense of happiness was coming from. 

“It’s going to take a little time, though. And work.” There were a great deal of questions, many of them hard to ask, but eventually they would need answers if Ya’Han was to break free of her past and truly embrace the future. 

“How do I begin?”

“Right now i’d like you to monitor the times when you suddenly feel angry or agitated, and try to determine the actual cause of that, instead of what’s happening right in front of you. I mean, obviously the current event is a trigger of some kind, but the real reason or reasons is what we want to discover and confront.”

“We?”

“You didn’t think I was going to let you go through this alone?” Nicole said with a grin.

Ya'Han felt a swell of emotions bringing her almost to tears. The news she had received from Shar'El should have made everything better and easier, but now she realized that it had only unsealed her emotions. However difficult it had been for her to keep her emotional control before, it would be even more demanding now, but that prospect did not scare the Nylaan, in fact if made her smile for a single reason. She would not be alone in facing this.

=/\=
A post by

Hanali Han

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501

And

Susan Ledbetter

Cns
USS ANUBIS
M07-P092: USS ANUBIS: Paquette: Day 09 - 1045 ("The Wiz")
"The Wiz"
previous post was "The Relief"

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 21, Engineering Upper Level, Cybernetics / Robotics Lab
Stardate: 32004.1045 (Sorry, minor back post)

Being off duty did not mean that the redheaded woman in charge of the ship's Engineering department could not be where she felt most at ease. What it did mean though was that she could take care of other things than what would have normally been her daily roster of duties and responsibilities. In this case, Sonja had wanted to give the Avatar a complete system's check as well as a few tweaks to her personality subroutines.

"How have you been feeling?" the redhead asked of the artificial woman standing perfectly still in the middle of the Cybernetics / Robotics lab as bare as the day she had been created.

"My systems have been operating within established parameters," ANI replied, as an android would have been expected to. "Any deviations were immediately identified, addressed and self-corrected."

"ANI," the Chief Engineer growled. "I have not turned any of your character subroutines off, so don't play games with me."

"My apologies," the Avatar offered in all seriousness. "I was under the impression that you desired a mechanical diagnostic, not an emotional account of my status and performance.""

"Don't make me put a wart somewhere on that perfect body of yours," the redhead threatened as she called up another diagnostic on the console she had been working at. "Keep in mind that I could always give you a green face and a crooked nose to go with that wart."

"That would make you Dorothy," ANI chimed, still in perfect seriousness. "Ya'Han could be the Lion based on her ability to fight, not her lack of courage. Shar'El would have to take on the role of the Tin Woodsman based on the heartless requirements of her duties as Intelligence Operative, although she did act to the contrary this morning; and I suspect that you would give the role of the Scarecrow to Jayson for no other reason than to annoy him by association with a brainless fictional character. The only available option for Toto would have to be Maya, although she would have to learn how to shape-shift into a small canine."

"All right," Sonja grinned, "looks like your comedic subroutines are working just fine. Now, back up to that part about Shar'El acting to the contrary to the requirements of her position as ILO. What happened?"

"Following your combined efforts to cheer Ya'Han, Shar'El headed to the IGC where she spent the night instead of her quarters," the Avatar explained. "At 0931 the IGC sensors locked on a primary communication relay used by the New Ferengi Alliance. After breaking into the system, half of the IGC stations began scanning communications coming and going to NYLA IV."

"Shar'El probably wanted to find something to help Ya'Han make it through this," the redhead offered. "Dealing with a brother trying to become king, a father in line to be assassinated and a sister killed in cold blood, it is a wonder that she is not already on a stolen VIPER heading for her home world." Sonja paused for a moment, making a mental note to insure that all of the auxiliary ships were well secured. "Did the Tin Woodsman find anything?"

"Many communications were intercepted and decoded, but nothing logged proved to be of any use," the Avatar replied. "There was one signal that was transmitted *from* the ICG covert array meant for the Nylaan Imperial palace."

"We sent a signal?" the Chief Engineer gasped, unable to fathom what her friend and First Officer could have wanted to send.

"Apparently, a short encoded signal was transmitted through the Nylaan Imperial network directed to the High Sovereign informing him of the murder of one of his daughters at the hand of his aide," the Avatar calmly relayed. "Within minutes, an Imperial order was issued calling upon the Hirogen fleet to blockade MARKALA PRIME."

"Not only did their plan to expose the ANUBIS and drag the Federation into a war fail, but now the aide is stuck on that planet with Ya'Han's father staring down at him," Sonja laughed. "If that doesn't cheer Ya'Han, nothing will. I need to go and tell her, where is she?"

"Both Shar'El and Ya'Han are currently in the Black Hole Lounge, and given their position according to internal sensors, I suspect that the news has already been delivered," ANI reported, her unique link with the ship having once again proven to be more than Sonja could have ever hoped it to be.

"Stay put," the Chief Engineer bluntly ordered as she rushed out of the Cybernetics / Robotics Lab. "I need to have a word with Miss Tin Woodsman and get the story on this heart she seems to have found. Initiate site-to-site transport to Shar'El's projected location."

ANI remained in place and simply blinked to comply with the order she had received. When the transport was completed, the Avatar found herself alone and completely exposed for anyone stepping into the lab to see. Unable to feel shame or concern in her current state, thanks to the fact that the Chief Engineer had not deemed it necessary to include modesty and pride in her programing, the artificial woman simply waited for the return of the Chief Engineer.

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 15, corridor
Stardate: 32004.1110

"Shar'El!" Sonja called out to the woman now a few feet ahead of her. "Wait up; I need to ask you a question, or three."

"How did you..." the First Officer began, wondering as to how the Engineer had suddenly appeared before she managed to answer her own question from experience. "Must be important for you to use the site-to-site transport to get to me. So what's up?"

"Just wanted to confirm that the Tin Woodsman found its heart and decided to use it to help the Lion," Sonja explained, leaving Shar'El utterly confused.

"What are you talking about?" the off duty First Officer asked, not at all able to understand what the Engineer had been going on about.

"A certain message to the ruler of a certain planet from which we are currently heading away from," Sonja whispered getting the woman's instant and complete attention.

"Not here," was all that Shar'El said as she took hold of the redhead's wrist forcing her to follow if she had wanted to or not.

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck A-4, IGC
Stardate: 32004.1125

"How did you..." the ILO began as soon as both women had stepped into the protection of the IGC, a defence that Shar'El had no longer been as certain of after this.

"ANI," Sonja grinningly replied knowing very well what the question would be.

"You and I need to have a long talk about the need to keep what goes on in here, here. ANI can't report back to you everything that happens in the IGC," Shar'El huffed.

"She didn't report, I just happen to ask the right question at the right time," Sonja explained. "Remember, she follows the same rules as the ships' main computer. ANI cannot and will not just go around and announce to everyone what is going on in the IGC, or anywhere else for that matter.  I will be happy to add some more security protocols if that will make you feel better, but keep in mind that I will still have access." The two women looked at each other for a few moments as if debating how to proceed next.  "I'm not here to bust you for what you did, whatever it was," the Chief Engineer stated adding a smile, "I'm here because I'm curious as to what, why and how you did what you did.  Ya'Han is my friend just as much as she is yours, and I am as concerned about her as you are. You managed to help in a way that I could not and I want to be in the know."

"Fine," Shar'El quickly conceded. "I have to finalize my report to the Captain, you can watch and I will explain everything."

"As in everything official or everything that actually happened?" Sonja teasingly asked.

"I am starting to believe that it wouldn't matter," the ILO sighed. "You would somehow find out every single detail even if the files and sensor data were erased."

"I do have my ways," the redhead grinned. "It pays to be the Chief Engineer of a ship like the ANUBIS."

=====
Lorraine Paquette

Chief Engineering Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501
M07-P091: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: Day 09 - 1115 ("The Relief")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"The Relief"
[previous post was "The IGC"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Corridor
Stardate: 32004.1115

Since the news of the blockage of MARKALA PRIME by the Hirogens and what Shar'El had done to make this happen, the Sec/Tac had felt lighter in every sense of the expression. The weight that had been on her shoulders since the end of their mission was gone, as well as the dark clouds that had hovered over her head.  Jayson had even noted that her hair had appeared brighter, to the point of almost glowing.

The fact that her father's life had no longer been in immediate danger had proven to be far more meaningful than the Nylaan woman could have ever expected it to be. Ya'Han had hated the man and ruler of her home world for as long as she could remember, going as far as to wishing him dead on more than one occasion. So why had she been so happy in the knowledge that the assassination plot had been for the time being derailed?

The man had still been the reason why she had left her home planet the way she did. He had also been the reason why she had been meant to marry that Ferengi troll against her wishes. He had been nothing but a dominating figure; a bully who cared nothing about her or her feelings, a father in blood and demands but never in love and affection. So why had she been so happy that her brother would not claim the throne over his corpse anytime soon? How had she managed to find any sort of affection for the man after all he had done, not only to her but to all of her sisters?

"Ya'Han?" Jayson asked, the man having gladly accompanied the Sec/Tac to her meeting with Counsellor Dima. "You seem to be hundreds of lightyears away. Is everything alright?"

"I'm fine," she replied, the smile on her face actually feeling strange, out of place. Had it been so long since she had smiled like this? How depressed had she been to be made to feel this way following the news that she had received from Shar'El? "Just thinking, maybe too much, but that is all it is, thinking."

"Thinking is a good thing," her companion offered, the look in his eyes showing that he delighted in seeing her smile and care free. The issue with her brother and her father's aide had been far from over, that he knew all too well, but things had been made to be far less stressful for the Nylaan and everyone who cared about her. "Bet talking to Nicole is going to be a lot easier after what Shar'El said. If we are lucky, the whole situation might end right there thanks to those nasty Hirogens."

"Not all Hirogens are *nasty*," Ya'Han suggested recalling a specific member of the race of hunters who had been working for Starfleet Intelligence and whom they had required the assistance of while on the MASQUERADE DREAMS.

"Speak for yourself," Jayson laughed. "Uxtar was a massive pain. Forget the fact that he was taller than the door frames and louder than a thundering herd of Klingon targs, the beast could sneak up on people like a bloody ghost and *that* made him as nasty as it gets."

"He would not have been a good hunter if he could not sneak up on people without being seen or heard," the Sec/Tac grinningly explained.

"I just think he enjoyed sneaking up on *me*," the off duty OPS officer sternly corrected. "It's like everyone likes picking on me. Just look at Sonja, I can't see her without fearing that some panel is going to blow up right when I pass next tot it."

Ya'Han laughed. "Jayson, she is the ship's Chief Engineer and one one responsible for ANI. If she wanted something to blow up when you are next to it, she wouldn't have to be there to make it happen."

"I know that," he professed with certainty. "I just know that she would enjoy it more if she saw it first hand, hence why I get nervous every time she is near me."

"Sounds like you need to speak to Nicole well before me," the Sec/Tac chuckled.

"I am sure that my time will come soon enough," he dismissed with a shake of his head. "I am more than happy to relinquish the next session to you, plus I think it is better for everyone involved for her to see you in as good and relaxed of a mood as you are in now."

"I really didn't realize how much this entire story weighed me down," Ya'Han admitted as her hair slowly began to turn purple. "I never realized that I still cared for my father this way, that despite my having wished him dead on many occasions that the idea of his actually dying was more than I could bare."

"Whatever history you two share, how ever bad it might have been, he will always be your father and you will miss him as such," Jayson said his lengthy experience with Counsellor over the years having made him able to recognize many things and address them in a way that would not have been expected from a Chief of Operations.  "Time softens memories, and now after all of the years you have spent away from him, you miss the man that you had wanted him to be, not the one that he was."

"Think Nicole would mind if I took my session with you instead?" the Nylaan playfully asked not having heard the door to the Counselling department opening and the woman in question stepping into the corridor.

"Unfortunately the Captain was rather specific about my having to see every member of the away team," the Counsellor stated as she came to stand next to Sec/Tac. "Are you ready?" Nicole asked of the still purple haired woman, not having expected Ya'Han to appear so relaxed, willing or happy given what she had gone through.

"I am," the Nylaan answered with a smile before making her way around the Counsellor and stepping into the office without having been asked or instructed to do so, her long flowing hair still reflecting the birthright that Nicole had clearly remembered reading she had wanted to distance herself from

"Did something change? Last thing I heard what that she had left you to be taken to Sickbay and that she had been ready to rip the heads off anyone who got too close. She's even openly displaying the Imperial color of her hair. What happened?" Dima asked, having prepared herself for what she had expected to be an unpleasant confrontation with the Sec/Tac.

"I will let her fill you in on the details," Jayson offered with a broad smile, which further confused the Counsellor. "Just don't mention any sparring in the gymnasium and keep an eye on her hair. If it goes full red, things could turn ugly," he explained before walking away feeling rather proud in the fact that he had not been on the receiving end of things for once.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Hanali Han

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P090: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: Day 09 - 0930 ("The IGC")
=-=
"The IGC"
[previous post was "The Rut" by the courageous Jayson]
=-=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck A-4, IGC
Stardate: 32004.0930

She had not slept, at least not enough that it would count for anything. From the Black Hole Lounge the ExO / ILO had come straight to the IGC with a plan in mind, one that she hoped would ease the concerns and anger of their Chief of Security.  First though, Shar'El needed to see how much they could accomplish from their current location and despite their heading away from the focus of her work.

"Commander," one of the IGC techs called out, drawing Shar'El's attention to station 5. "We have located one of the primary communication relay satellites used by the New Ferengi Alliance. Starting encryption decoding now. We should have access to the control system and network in a few minutes."

Shar'El smiled. This was the first step in her plan, one that she would have to notify the Captain about at some point, but not right now.  As the ExO / ILO and head of the IGC, the Commander had been given a substantial amount of freedom in gathering as much information as possible no matter where they were. After all, this had been the prime function of the IGC, so tapping into a communication network had not been by any stretch of the imagination something that stood outside of her duties.

Officially, the techs of the IGC would be listening in on the communication traffic, looking more closely into encoded transmissions as they held the higher odds of possessing something worth hearing. The fact that they would focus more on signals coming or going to NYLA IV had simply been coincidental. At least that would be the story the ExO / ILO would give to the Captain should he confront her about the biased content of their findings, whatever that may be.  Shar'El had hoped to see if Ze'Kon, the aide to he High Sovereign, had returned to NYLA IV to carry out his sinister plan or if the events on MARKALA PRIME had somehow delayed him. The city of Kololu, if not the planet as a whole, had been left in chaos following the presence of Hirogen hunters helping the local authorities rounding up any and all Humans. That along should have been enough to make things more difficult for everyone still on the planet.

The ExO / ILO leaned back in her chair, allowing her own memories of their time on MARKALA PRIME to surface. Ze'Kon and his associate Mister Morten had appeared to have everything planed to the smallest details, at least that was until the away team messed everything up for them. The aide had lost his prized prisoner, the heir had lost his fiancee and Morten had lost the Intel ship that he had been so keen on exposing.  They would need to adapt their plan, something that Shar'El knew would not take all that long.

"We are in!" The IGC tech sitting at station 5 announced, making the head of the IGC spring forward in her chair.

"I want all *odd* numbered stations to start looking into signals to and from NYLA IV," Shar'El ordered letting her drive come through her words so that everyone understood how important this had been. "Break down whatever encryption you come across and prioritise any signal meant for the Imperial palace or high ranking officials.  Everyone else is to continue with the wide field search for any type of signal that might indicate the location and heading of a Lokustaar bioship. Report any and all findings immediately to me."

The whispered sound of fingers dancing on consoles filled the room like a soft breeze. This was the only hint an outside would get as to the level of the work being done in this room, if an outsider had actually been permitted to be here. With nothing else to do but wait for the result of their investigation, the ExO / ILO called up a display of the NYLA system on her primary screen.  The Captain had been perfectly clear in his position, one that Shar'El had to admit she agreed with on many levels, but that had not stopped her from trying to influence the situation from beneath the cloaking armor of the ANUBIS.

=-=
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 15, Black Hole Lounge, Upper Level
Stardate: 32004.1045

"Commander!" Ya'Han called out when she noticed the ExO / ILO approaching the table where Jayson and she were enjoying breakfast. "Please come and join us."

"Can't," Shar'El replied nodding to both officers dressed in civilian garments. "I have a lot of work to do."

"Work?" Jayson said, puzzled and confused. "I thought everyone who had taken part in the mission had been put on leave for a few days?"

"We have," the ExO / ILO confirmed. "So consider this an unofficial visit. Ya'Han, this is for you," the raven-haired woman said as she offered a PADD to the sitting Nylaan, Shar'El very pleased to see the woman appearing relaxed and allowing herself to enjoy a few moments of simple pleasure.

"Commander?" the black and red haired woman asked, not understanding why the First Officer would have come here to hand over a PADD.

"First, we are *all* off duty, so no rank," Shar'El clarified in mocked annoyance. "Second, I think you will find the information contained in the PADD very interesting.

"Sorry," Ya'Han said accepting the PADD while still unable to speak the woman's name. With the help of a few glasses of wine, the task had been far easier, but while sober, the Chief of Security could not simply bring herself to address the ExO / ILO by her name, even if the woman had proven herself to be a supportive and caring friend.

"Has the Captain changed his mind about our going to NYLA IV?" Jayson hoped, the man having been just as anxious as his companion to see this situation dealt with and the aide to the High Sovereign put in his place once and for all.

"The Captain is still unaware of the information contained in this PADD," Shar'El explained. "I believe that is it on one of the files that have been forwarded to him along with the countless other reports he gets daily. That said, even when he does read it I suspect that it will not change his position, as it would not change mine if I was in his place. It does change a few things on the other side of the problem though hence why I thought you should be made aware of this now."

"The Hirogens have blocked all traffic to and from MARKALA PRIME. They are not letting *anything* or *anyone* pass," Ya'Han said, sounding both happy and puzzled by the news. "Looks like they received an direct Imperial order from NYLA IV."

"From your father?" Jayson quizzically inquired, more confused than Ya'Han could have ever been considering the Operations Officer's severe lack of understanding in the politics of the planet.

"It could be either him or Ya'Kun," the exiled Imperial daughter clarified. "As the heir, and being of age to ascend to the throne, both he and our father are able to proclaim such orders. The problem is that there is no way from this to tell who did it or why. It just looks like MARKALA PRIME has been completely isolated thanks to the Hirogen blockade, which is forcing Ze'Kon to be on the wrong side. He will not be making it back to NYLA IV until this situation is resolved."

"The official report of our findings that is currently in your hands does not cover everything," Shar'El added, still standing over the two civilian dressed officers. "We did break into the Imperial communication network, that is how we were able to find out about the Imperial order. What is not stated is that someone might have sent an anonymous message to the High Sovereign about an unnamed daughter of his having been murdered by his aide or possible associates of his."

"But the body was burned during the church fire," Ya'Han quickly pointed out. "No proof of what he did will ever be discovered. Ze'Kon will make sure of that."

"I was not expecting this news to bring an end to his plans, especially not when taking into account that the Lokustaar are also involved up to their necks in this," the ExO / ILO offered rather casually. "What I do know is that the investigation that will be triggered is likely to take some time and that after that, I suspect that your father may not be as trusting of his aide as he once was. It may also have your father ask several unwelcomed questions of your brother. None of this may stop things, but I am confident that it will cause a great deal of delays and obstructions. With suspicions directed at your eldest brother and the aide, any unexplained passing of your father would no longer result in Ya'Kun taking the throne under the manipulation of Ze'Kon. Since that was their end game, they will need to reconsider their course of action, this *after* the dust settles on this mess of theirs."

"That might give my father and those who still support him the time they need to discover the assassination plot that was set against him and those responsible for it," Ya'Han joyfully said, finding it odd that she had sounded as happy as she did given her feelings and troubled history with her father.

"See," Jayson smiled. "I told you that things would be alright."

"It's not much, but it was the least we could do to help," the ExO / ILO said, drawing a great deal of pleasure and satisfaction in the exuberant reaction of their Chief of Security.

"Thank you Shar'El," Ya'Han said while doing her best to keep her tears of joy hidden. There had been no need to make a complete spectacle of herself in such a public venue.

"It was worth it just to have you be able to call me by my name without having Sonja force feed you some wine," the raven-haired woman grinned. "I will let you two finish your breakfast in peace. I have to head back to the IGC and gather as much information on this *unexplained* planetary blockade, which I suspect the Captain will be happy to hear about as this should draw the heat away from us and allow us to return to Federation space without any unexpected Lokustaar interference. He might also be relieved to know that you were pleased with my having relayed the news to you. I will see you two later."

Ya'Han and Jayson smiled at one another, the full significance of what the ExO / ILO had reported sinking in.

"Shar'El," Ya'Han called out after a few seconds, trying to get the attention of the woman before she could reach the nearest exit. "Thank you," the Chief of Security added when the woman she had called for turned to look back.

"You are welcome," the ExO / ILO returned with a beaming smile before resuming her exit out of the Black Hole Lounge to return to the IGC and finalize the official report which would be handed to the Captain upon its completion.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET
M07-P089: USS ANUBIS: Stark: Day 09 - 0910 ("The Rut")
"The Rut"
[previous "The Staycation"]

[/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Corridor
Stardate: 32004.0910

With Maya having vanished into the Counsellor's office, Jayson and Ya'Han had been left alone in the corridor, neither one of them sure as to what to do next.  Being off duty meant that both had been free to do as they wished while they waited for their turn to see Nicole Dima, but this freedom also meant that they needed to make a decision as to what exactly to occupy their time with.

"Guess us going to the gymnasium and working out is out of the question," she teased, making sure that he saw that her hair had not suddenly gone full red.

"I would rather not," Jayson dryly chuckled back. "I don't think Doctor Doyanne would ever let me out of her sight if I was to get injured once again.  How about breakfast? That sounds like a nice and safe activity."

"I'm not really hungry," Ya'Han said trying to find a nice way to turn the OPS officer down. She had half expected him to run away after having mentioned the gymnasium, but to her surprise, he had stayed put.

"Ya'Han, can I ask you a question?"

"Of course," she replied, surprised that he thought he needed permission to ask her anything.

"I know that what happened on MARKALA PRIME was rough on you. Heck, it would have been rough on anyone. I was just wondering though when you were planning on getting out of the rut you seem to be forcing yourself in?" Jayson asked making sure to have kept more than an arm's length distance between the two of them.  He had not expected to be able to avoid any attack she would unleash in his direction, but the perception of distance had made him feel that much more confident in asking the dangerous and possibly life-threatening question.

"What?" Ya'Han gasped, surprised and confused by the words she had heard come from the man standing in front of her.

"I'm sorry, I can't even come close to imagining what it is that you are feeling, but I also know you to be the strongest woman I have ever met," he nervously explained, sure that the next thing he would see would be the floor or maybe the back of his own head.  "You have gone through so much, endured hell more times than any of us actually know and have always come back for the next round. Now, you are just angry at the universe and taking it out on anyone that happens to be within reach. When are you going to stop feeling sorry for yourself?"

"Feel sorry for myself?" The Nylaan repeated in a low and angered growl that was quickly followed by the woman's long hair, which cascaded over her shoulders, turning once again bright red.

"WAIT!" He pleaded with urgency placing his hands as far in front of him as he could. His shields, as useless as they might have been, had been raised against the woman's rage that he had summoned against his better judgement. "You can kill me after, but hear me out, please. I get it, you *are* angry. Angry at that sorry excuse of an aide for having killed your sister. Angry and your worthless brother for plotting against your father and being too much of a lightweight to see that he is being used by that same despicable aide. I fully understand that you are angry with Captain Morningstar for not having changed out heading to your home planet claiming whatever Starfleet regulation or reason he could.  I even get that you are angry with me for not having been able to protect you the way I should have while on MARKALA PRIME.  You are angry; we all get it, some more than others, but why not focus that anger on something more constructive?"

Ya'Han's rage was beyond visible. The fire in her eyes matched the redness of her hair, and the way she was standing made it seem as if she would be breathing fire any moment now turning him into nothing more than a pile of ashes.

"Jayson..." She hissed clenching her fists to the point of making them almost as red as her hair.

"Alright, I'm ready to die," he said closing his eyes and turning his head as if that would soften the hell that had been about to be unleashed on him.

"How did you know what the Captain said?" She asked, her voice having been much softer than he had expected it to sound, not to mention the complete absence of his being painfully hit by a flurry of punches.

"I'm not just another pretty face you know," he replied, opening only one eye just in case the pain he had so frightfully expected had only been delayed by a few seconds. "You went to see him and came out as cold as space itself. It wasn't hard to guess what you had asked and what the answer was."

"I'm sorry," she offered as her hair and demeanor returned to normal. "Sonja and Shar'El did their best to get me to calm down, and to be honest they did better than I would have expected them or anyone else to. Unfortunately, it is clear to me that there is a lot more work to be done, I just can't let what happened go like that."

"No one is asking you to forget what happened," Jayson said, lowering his guard and risking opening both eyes. "We all understand the cause of your anger because we share it. All right, maybe not quite to the level that you show, but we are there with you, al of us.  Right now, your anger is directed in the wrong direction and at the wrong people."

"You might want to stop now Jayson," she offered placing her hands on her hips in a distinct show of annoyance.

"Why? Am I going to get hurt again?"

"No," Ya'Han said actually showing a smile. "I just think Counselor Dima may not look too kindly in you trying to take over her job." The two officers looked into each other's eyes before suddenly laughing out loud. "Alright, let's go for breakfast, but I am not making any promises about not hurting you at some later point."

"I would not have it any other way," Jayson said offering his arm to the Chief of Security who seemed genuinely happy with the way the exchange the two of them had shared came to an end.

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P088: USS ANUBIS: Dima: Day 09 - 0905 ("The Staycation")
“The Staycation”
(Continued from “The Meeting”)

=/\=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 13, Corridor --> Dima’s Office
Stardate: 32004.0905

There were a few seconds of uncomfortable silence between Jayson, Ya’Han, and Maya as they tried to decipher the unique brand of humor that the redheaded Engineer seemed to possess in spades. The Shillian finally shook her head in defeat, a rueful smile gracing her lips. “Is it too coincidental that I am here for my appointment with the Counsellor?”

It was hard for even the Science Officer to determine her associates’ view of this new information. They both looked relieved, and at the same time frustrated that it was something still looming in their futures rather than something they had already passed through. 

“Good luck?” Ya’Han said tentatively. 

"Luck has nothing to do with the dissemination of facts and information gathered while on our mission," Maya protested mildly. "But I appreciate the vote of confidence." With that less than rousing send-off, she apprehensively entered the Counselling department.

Abiding by the orders of their Captain, the Shillian Chief Science Officer headed to the office of Counsellor Nicole Dima.  Her set appointment had still not been for another half hour but Maya,  knowing herself better than anyone else, had not wanted to get sidetracked by something lingering around any of the research labs found on the USS ANUBIS.

After having announced her presence at the door by using the door chime, Maya waited patiently hoping that her early arrival would not cause any issues.  The scientist was surprised by the speed with which the young Ensign had come to open the door.

"Commander Maya, you are early," Dima said as she greeted the Shillian and invited her to enter. “I haven’t cleaned up the breakfast Sonja and I had yet, so pardon the mess.” There was a nearly empty tray of assorted breakfast goodies and a couple of empty coffee cups sitting on the edge of Nicole’s desk.

"I am sorry," Maya offered as she looked through the office to see if anyone else had been there.  "I know I am early but I wanted to make sure I was not going to be late. There are several scientific researches and analyses that could have easily delayed me."

The Trill smiled as she tidied up the room. "No worries, Commander. I took a moment to review your personnel file and actually scheduled you for extra time prior and after, just in case.” Nicole replicated a pitcher of water and some glasses, placing them within convenient reach of either of them. “Now if you would take a seat, we can begin."

“I noticed that Sonja just completed her appointment,” Maya said, trying to ease into things. Small talk wasn’t exactly her forté. Something more along the lines of a debate over the oscillation of Neutrinos in an argon matrix was more her style.

An odd look crossed the waifish newcomer’s face as she nodded in agreement. “That’s right. I’m not sure if I have ever met someone so, well, *relaxed* while on board a covert vessel. I’m not sure relaxed is even the right word.” 

"She appeared rather pleased with herself, playful even," Maya observed out loud. 

"So that’s not unusual," Nicole mused. "I was beginning to wonder if it was something I said."

Maya sipped from the perfectly chilled glass of water. "If I was presenting a report or a schematic, I’d know exactly what to say. But with something like this, I’m not sure where to start."

Nic shook her head, her sleek cap of brunette hair falling back into place. "The good news is there’s no right or wrong way to begin. But let’s see if I can select a point of reference. Maybe you could tell me about how the mission went, not as a member or leader of your team, but rather as an individual.  What were the hardest and easiest aspects you had to deal with?"

"I am not sure if I can put this into words," the Shillian nervously stated.

"No worries, just try. You can start with just a few words," the joined Trill suggested.

Maya had to think for a moment before offering her reply. "Strangely enough, I would have to say it was the same.”

"What was the same?" Dima asked, confused.

“The same aspect, the form I chose to take for our mission, that was what proved to be both the hardest, and at the same time the easiest. I had rightfully expected that my being in animal form would grant me much more freedom to navigate through the crowd and merchants, but it also made it difficult for me to communicate with Ya'Han and Jayson. We still managed as well as could be expected to communicate, but there were times when it would have been easier had I been able to voice my observations to them. It was impossible for me to let them know that I had noticed something or was following someone if they had lost sight of me; but then again, I guess it could be said that it was my fault as I should have made sure I remained in their field of vision. That being said, however, and taking into account all that came to pass, I cannot find any faults in my decision to approach this mission the way I did.  As a humanoid, whatever disguise I might have used, I would not have been able to help any more than I did. In fact, I suspect that I might have been even less effective as I would not have been able to follow the Nylaan aide or managed to steal the key that allowed me to free the others without being seen until it was too late. I guess one could argue that I could have joined the fight as a Gralo, a Night Howler as most have come to call it, but I fear that even in that for my combat skills are at best mediocre."

Nicole stated back at the woman sitting in front of her, wide-eyed, glad and a little amused that Maya had declared before starting her inability to put her thoughts into words.

"So, you could say that although the mission was a technical success, in that agent Trent Troy was located and extracted safe and sound, my own personal self-evaluation would be less than stellar," the Shillian Chief Science Officer continued, having apparently found her second wind. 

"I am sure that you will say that we are all the worst judge of our own performances, unless the individual suffers from some type or narcissistic delusional disorder at which point they would become their own *best* critic, but in my case I fear that this is not a condition that I am afflicted with.  In fact, I believe that many would refer to me as being a 'perfectionist' should they be called upon to describe me in a single word, that or 'long-winded'. I do recall several individuals using that term to describe me, although the description might be accurate it is far from being a complete all-encompassing definition. I do realize that at times I have a great deal of information to relay and that I might get sidetracked as I do so, but surely my wanting to have people around me be as informed as possible should not define me as a person. What were we talking about?"

Nic felt herself sinking in her seat. Maybe if she asked Maya to demonstrate her shape-shifting abilities the Counsellor would be able to get a few second's respite. One thing was for certain, the Trill would have a far greater appreciation for silence after this.

"Ah yes, the mission and my opinion on how things went," the Shillian resumed. never giving the Counsellor the chance to slide in a word edgewise. 


=/\=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Dima’s Office
Stardate: 32004.1000

How long had it been since this session had started? An hour? It sure felt longer given that the Chief Science Officer had never stopped talking leaving the Counsellor to wonder if Shillians possessed an alternate method of drawing air into their lungs. The woman was a machine, one that luckily for most enjoyed working over socializing.  So far Dima had gathered the following: Maya had been happy with her performance during the mission although according to her it could have been better, she had been very happy with the performances of the fellow teammates although they all could have handled certain aspects differently; and she had been very sad for what had happened to Ya'Han's half sister although things could have been much worse for all of them.  The entire session could be summarized this way with ease, everything else mentioned by the shapeshifter had been details on points that at times seem to have very little to do with the mission or the planet itself.

"Thank you Commander," Nicole said, the stretch of several seconds of sustained silence having actually caught her off guard. "There is a lot for me to consider."

"I hope that I was not too vague on some of the points. Maybe it would help if I elaborated on anything that I might not have sufficiently detailed."

A cold sweat rolled down the Counsellor's back at the thought of the Chief Science Officer describing *anything* in more details than she already had. "No, thank you. I believe I have all the details I require at this time."

Maya took the empty glass she had been hanging onto and set it down. “Then I am free to go?”

Nicole grinned uncontrollably. “You were never captive to begin with. I promise.”

The highly intelligent woman, now reassured she had given the best statement possible, exited Dima’s office, a little less burdened for the experience. “Thank you, Counsellor.”

“It’s Nicole, and it was my pleasure,” she called out after the Shillian.

Then, the young woman flopped back in her seat, brushed her bangs away from her forehead, and glanced at the chronometer, hoping she had time to recoup before her next subject showed up.

=/\=
Jessica Solarik

Lieutenant Commander Maya [Access Character BIO for Maya]
Chief Science Officer
USS ANUBIS

And

Susan Ledbetter

Cns
USS ANUBIS
M07-P087: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: Day 09 - 0845 ("The Meeting")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"The Meeting"
[previous post was "The Morning"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Ya'Han's Quarters
Stardate: 32004.0845

She sat cross-legged on her undisturbed bed, the PADD displaying the message from Doctor Doyanne resting in front of her. Everyone who had taken part in the mission on MARKALA PRIME had been given two days' rest. Officially, this had been meant for them to recuperate from the hardships of their last mission. Unofficially, the Sec/Tac suspected that this had been meant to give both the Counsellor and Doctor all the time they needed to see everyone individually.  Either way, the Sec/Tac found herself with a great deal of time and little to occupy herself with, something that she was not overly thrilled about.

Ya'Han closed her eyes and focussed on her breathing. Rest had been the last thing on her mind, so much so that she had actually been looking forward to returning to her duties; at least that was before receiving the official notification from Doctor Doyanne. At least at her station on the bridge she would have been able to keep busy and not have her mind wander onto matters that she could neither control nor affect. Sometimes keeping busy was the best solution and remedy to an overly active mind when friends could not be there.

Thanks to Sonja and her joining Shar'El and Ya'Han in the Black Hole Lounge the night before, the three women had enjoyed some good drinks and great company. For most of the night and some early morning hours, they had talked and laughed without a single worry in the world. Looking back to those joyous times, Ya'Han could only smile at the relentless efforts of her friends to make her smile and forget about what had happened on MARKALA PRIME as well as what might happen on NYLA IV.  The future, as the ILO had been fond of pointing out, was uncertain even in the most controlled of environments.

The Lokustaar as well as those working for them had been made to discover this first hand with the way their plans had been turned upside-down. The ANUBIS and its crew had been meant to fall into a trap that would undeniably link the Federation to the chaos that would originate on NYLA IV and quickly spread through Ferengi controlled space an beyond. Now there had been no way to know what would come to pass. It had been highly unlikely that the plans that had been set in motion would be abandoned, but it had been equally unlikely that things would progress according to the schedule that had been previously set.

The best Ya'Han could do for the time being was hope that what had happened on MARKALA PRIME would delay things enough to give her family time to prepare for the darkness that had been heading their way.  Maybe, if the universe so willed it, the ANUBIS would find its way to the planet of her birth to see Ze'Kon and his *associates* dealt with once and for all.  For now though the Sec/Tac needed to keep both her mind and body busy, this without injuring anyone else as she had Jayson.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 13, Corridor
Stardate: 32004.0900

Ya'Han, now dressed in civilian clothes, had found herself wandering the ship without having a specific destination in mind. As the Sec/Tac of the USS ANUBIS she had used this aimless walk to review the protocols in place should the ship be boarded by hostile forces, picking out blind spots that her security teams could use for cover.  As she studied the corridor ahead of her position, the black and red haired woman noticed another civilian, tis one appearing to be hovering around a particular area.

Following a few more steps, Ya'Han identified both the person and area as being Jayson and the office of Counsellor Dima.

"Jayson!" the Sec/Tac called out, beyond happy to seeing the man standing without any sort of visible assistance. While enjoying a few drinks with Shar'El and Sonja, Ya'Han had been informed that he had been brought to Sickbay, but both women who had been there with her had been quick to down play the incident. The ExO reassuring that Doctor Doyanne would take of things and have him back on his feet in no time while the CEO seemed content to claim that there had been nothing to worry about since ANI had not come looking for them with some sort of urgent report.

"Hey you, what are you doing here?" he asked, meeting the rapidly approaching smiling woman with a bright smile of his own.

"Same as you it seems," the Sec/Tac grinned. "Trying to keep busy while off duty.  Is your meeting with Counsellor Dima soon?"

"Actually I have no idea when she plans to meet with me," Jayson admitted. "I was released from Sickbay only a little while ago. So I went to my quarters, changed and came back without realizing that I had done so until I found myself looking at the door to the Counsellor's office. Guess I'm just anxious to see this done and over with."

"I am so sorry," Ya'Han offered as her hair began to slowly grow lighter, much lighter.

"Sorry for what? For us having to meet with the Counsellor?" He asked in a amused dismissal tone. "It may not be standard procedure to have every member of an away team report for a psychological eval from the ship's Counsellor, but we all have to agree that the mission was not your typical, run-of-the-mill, search and rescue."

"Not for that," the Sec/Tac said as she went to hit the man on the shoulder, stopping herself just in time so as to not touch him and risk injuring him once more.  "For what I did to you in the gymnasium that forced you to sleep in Sickbay."

"Relax," Jayson flat out dismissed. "It was the best sleep I have had in a long time. It is true that the beds in Sickbay could use some extra padding, but our friendly Doctor gave me some sort of sedative that knocked me right out. The bonus of it all is waking up and being told that we all had a couple days' to get some rest."

"Nice try," she shot back incredulously. "You hate having this time off just as much as I do. It gives us too much time to think and neither one of us does well with that."

"Guess that would be why we ended up here," Jayson said pointing to the door leading to the Counsellor's office with his thumb while adding a playful wink. "Maybe we can use this time and keep each other busy, that is as long as we don't set foot in the gymnasium. To be honest, I think I have had my fill of that place for a while."

"I promise," Ya'Han laughed. "No more flipping you over my shoulder and onto your back for a while."

"Being on my back with you was never an issue," Jayson said, realizing only after the words had left his lips as to how that might have sounded, not that he appeared overly concerned about the possible alternate meaning of his words.

Just as things were about to escalate into a much more awkward situation, Commander Maya appeared down the corridor heading their way.  "I am glad to see that you two are enjoying your off duty time. The civilian clothes suit you well."

"As they do you Commander," Jayson said after having only glanced at the woman who had still been in a Starfleet uniform. "I meant clothing," he quickly amended. "I meant you look nice in clothes, not that I have seen you without, I mean aside from while you were in your animal forms."

As Jayson desperately tried to find his way out of the hole he had hurled himself into, the door to the Counsellor's office opened and the CEO stepped out, the woman having a distinct bounce to her step.

"Well, lookey here. Looks like the majority of the *off Duty* gang is here," Sonja joyfully announced. "Did you all come here to see me crawling out of the Counsellor's office? If so, sorry to disappoint. The Counsellor and I have a very good talk, one that I suspect she will remember for a long time to come. Let’s just say that she will be looking forward to speaking with you Commander."

"Speaking with me?" Maya gasped in horror wondering what Sonja could have said that would have made Nicole so interested in speaking with her ahead of whatever time had been set or scheduled.

"I was teasing," the CEO laughed, the others not understanding why this had been as amusing as the engineer made it seem to be. "Glad to see you back on your feet there Jayce," Sonja added as she slap the man's shoulder hard enough to have him take a sideways step. "I am very happy to see that last night's wine did not do too much damage to you, although your hair does seem to be a lot whiter than usual," the engineer added looking at Ya’Han before making her way down the corridor and away from the gathered officers. "Anyway, no time for monkeying around. I have places to go, boxes to fill and an Avatar to check in with.  Later gang, and remember, keep the love alive."

Stunned and unable to figure out how to respond to the woman's odd words, Maya, Jayson and Ya'Han just watched in silence as Sonja vanished around the corner. After that, the three looked at one another trying to find words to describe the odd meeting they had all experienced. "That woman is weird on more levels than I can list," Jayson said, breaking the silence that had taken hold of them as he still looked at the location where he had lost sight of the woman in question

"She is unique, *that* I can attest to," Ya'Han added smiling, thinking back to the night before as she ran her fingers through her long loose hair which returned to the normal darker black and red mix as she did so. One day the Sec/Tac would have to find a way to properly thank both Shar'El and Sonja for having been such wonderful caring friends, especially when she had needed support and understanding the most.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Hanali Han

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P086: USS ANUBIS: Stark: Day 09 - 0830 ("The Morning")
"The Morning"
[previous "The Busy Season"]

[/\]

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Sickbay
Stardate: 32004.0830

"Good morning Lieutenant," the Doctor said in a singsong voice as she came to stand next to the waking man who had spent the night in Sickbay.

"Morning?" Jayson said groggily feeling as if his head had somehow been detached from his body. "What are you doing in my quarters?"

Doyanne laughed. "You spent the night in Sickbay," she explained, satisfied to see his vital signs close to what they needed to be.

"I spent the night in Sickbay," he repeated, closing his eyes and wiggling his shoulders against the bed in an effort to find that sweet spot that allowed someone to fall right back asleep. That is when he noticed that his body had failed to move as much as he had wanted it to.  Instantly following that discovery and putting it together with what he had heard and said his eyes sprang open. "I spent the night in Sickbay! What happened? Why can't I move?"

"Relax Jayson," the Doctor said placing a caring hand on his shoulder. "Everything is fine. I thought it best to insure that you got a good night's sleep without placing more stress on your injuries, hence the containment field. You are fine, so relax and I will have you out in no time."

"Injuries? What injuries?" He demanded. "I agree that the punches from that Nylaan aide were solid, but when I came to see you I did not have any *injuries*."

"Some lost of memory can be expected following the impact that you suffered," the Doctor explained. "Do you remember going to the gymnasium on deck 13?"

"Why would I have gone to the gymnasium? You told me to go back to my quarters and relax?" He asked, unable to recall having gone to the stated location.

"Do you remember what you did in your quarters?" Doctor Doyanne continued with the interrogation to see if she could trigger the memories without having to resort to more dire medical measures.

"I went back to my quarters and started working on building a new model. You wanted me to rest and since I'm not a reader, that was the most relaxing thing I could think of doing," he recalled with ease.  "I asked the computer to create a model for a NOVA-Class cruiser. I remember starting it and getting frustrated at some point. That's right," Jayson added as the memories of that particular point in time came back to him. "I got so frustrated that I put the whole mess back into the replicator and asked for an already made model, after that I went..."

"Went?" the CMO asked stretching the word out wanting to make sure that he had indeed remembered his going to the gymnasium and what had  His reply would dictate her next course of action.

"I went to the gymnasium and say Ya'Han," he sighed clearly appearing saddened and concerned. "I surprised her and she sent me flying over her shoulder like she had done countless times before."

"Well, maybe not quite in the same manner," Doyanne corrected. "You landed with a great deal of force and in such a way that both you back and head hit the floor mat square on. When I arrived following Commander Shar'El's call, you were drifting in and out of consciousness, complaining about how much your back hurt."

"Where is Ya'Han?" Jayson demanded, fearing the worst. That the Chief of Security had sent him for a loop had been one thing. To have the Chief Medical Officer involved had been another matter, but to have the First Officer right in the middle of all this had been a worst-case scenario.  "It was an accident, she did not mean to hurt me, and in fact the fault was entirely mine for surprising her the way I did. She was practicing some battle moves and then stopped, so I thought she was done. I approached her and put my hand on her shoulder not thinking about her reacting the way she did. Obviously, she was still in her battle mind-set, which I should have known by simply looking at the color of her hair, but I didn't think.  It was not her fault! Please tell me that Commander Shar'El didn't reprimand her for what happened."

"Relax Jayson," the Doctor said once more. "Last thing I heard was that they were talking in the Black Hole Lounge. You being here was my decision because I wanted to keep you under observation. My report will be like all previous others that concerned you and Ya'Han sparring in the gymnasium.  You tried, you failed, you got hurt, end of report."

"Thank you Doctor," he said sounding relieved before pausing for a few seconds as he considered and remembered what had happened. "Guess she really got me good."

"That she did," the CMO confirmed. "Two bruised ribs and a nasty bump on the head, but your ability to recall what happened to vividly proves to me that you are fine," Doyanne said releasing the force field that had kept Jayson from moving.  "You will need to take it easy for a few days though."

"Of course Doctor," he agreed before carefully forcing himself up into a sitting position, feeling an odd stiffness in his muscles. "I will keep my walking around the bridge to a minimum. I will even make sure that I do not over stretch, just to make sure I do not reinjure my ribs."

"You are a funny one some times," Doyanne chuckled. "As per my medical recommendations, you have been taking off active duties for the next few days, as well as everyone else who went to MARKALA PRIME. Nicole will need to see you all for her psychological review and I need to conduct a physical exam on everyone, minus you as I have completed all that I needed to do while you were sleeping."

"So I'm off duty?" He asked sounding not at all pleased by that.

"After all that you and the others endured, I would have thought that a few days' rest would have been more than welcomed."

"Of course," he agreed sounding distracted. "Days off. Welcomed. Us happy." Jayson stopped as he sat on the edge of the bed, his legs dangling absentmindedly. "Guess that means my schedule is wide open for that meeting with Counsellor Dima."

"Yes it is," the Doctor laughed. "Don't worry, she's a Trill, not a Catian, she doesn't claw or bite."

Jayson smiled, thinking to himself that he would probably be able to handle a fight with a Counsellor over having to sit and talk. His history with Counsellors had been a very lengthy one and even though he had made a lot of progress, his instinctive reaction had been one of apprehension. Talking about his feelings toward the mission, the Lokustaar, Morten or the Nylaan heir and aide had not been something that troubled him. Speaking about his feelings for Ya'Han, his fears and concerns for her, *that* was what concerned him. He worried that he would say something that would cause issues with her or their still very fresh relationship.  She could hurt him as much as she wanted, but he could not bare to think that anything he could say or do would make her life more complicated than it already was.

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P085: USS ANUBIS: Dima: Day 9 - 0830 ("The Busy Season")
“The Busy Season”
(Continued from “The Help”)

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 7, Counsellor's Office
Stardate: 32004.0830

Ensign Dima touched the back of her head gingerly, confirming that the significant bump on her head was gone. Doctor Doyanne and an attentive medical staff had wasted no time in taking her injuries down several notches closer to normal, but she was still a little sore from her body being tossed back like a rag doll in the underground lair.

She took a sip of the green tea with honey and lemon, not minding that it had gone cold, while she sat in front of her console, rapt with attention as she tried to document her experience on MARKALA PRIME, before her appointment book became filled with the experiences and thoughts of the others.

A reminiscent smile formed on her petite face as she recalled how much this felt like writing her thesis papers at the Academy. There was only so much thought that could be put into it, and then all that remained was to get the information down as quickly as possible, while it was still fresh and unclouded by the ‘what ifs’. There were a lot of those playing in her mind today, even as she recalled happier times.. Things could have easily gone sideways and nearly did. If not for the quick thinking of several of the Senior staff members, they might not have made it back, securing the rescue of Trent Troy.

Nicole had spent time with him in Sickbay, following protocols for evaluation for post-traumatic stress disorder. While it was important that he too be given the opportunity to give a report, it was more important that the captured man be able to recover. 

She typed a last summarization statement, then saved and closed her work. One thing that most definitely was *not* like SFA was the fact that she didn’t have all the answers. She wondered what was to become of the pilot and his cohorts who had been able to help the away team escape. She wondered what would happen to the sovereignty on NYLA IV. She wondered about the Lokustaar and what their plans might include. It was a very sobering set of unknowns.

The door opened and Sonja entered, her bubbly and vibrant personality none the worse for wear after their adventure. While others on the crew may have had to still warm up to the idea of meeting their new Counsellor, the CEO dove right in and volunteered to be the first.

“Good morning,” the joined Trill offered, as she turned her teacup into the matter reclamation unit and proceeded to replicate some pastries and coffee. “How are you?”

“Glad to be back to myself and back to a place where I can focus on the warp core. I understand that a lot better than what we went through on that planet.”

“I think I know what you mean about being in a comfortable place. When I was in Nova Squadron the only thing on my mind was being in the air, flying that craft like I was threading the eye of the needle. The ship and the pilot become one and the same, moving as one unit. There’s nothing quite like it.”

“Which one of your hosts was the pilot?”

Nicole looked at Sonja with a sly expression. “None of them. That was me. I’m a little out of practice, though. Once I loaded up on psychology classes and other studies, I stepped away from it.”

“No worries. We all fly by the seat of our pants on the ANUBIS,” the redhead joked with a twinkle in her eye as she took a raspberry danish. “So, Arwen-girl, are you ready for this deposition? Fasten your seatbelts.”

Ensign Dima gulped some double-everything coffee, not sure how she felt being compared to an elf. But then again, the Engineer had a way with nicknames. “Okay, Chief.”

=/\=
Time Index: 40 minutes later [32004.0910]

“Were you as surprised as I was to realize that Commander Maya was able to remain in Trusa form for nearly the whole duration of the mission?” Counsellor Dima was in awe of the shape-shifting abilities of the Science Officer. 

Lieutenant Paquette paused. That in and of itself was a minor miracle. It had been all Nicole could do to keep up with the Canadienne as she colorfully filled in the details of her time planetside with Shar’El as they portrayed two Pythron women. But none of that had prepared her for Sonja’s reply. 

“Don’t even get me started about that cheeky, dirty monkey!” Sonja looked positively indignant.

Nicole’s mouth gaped open for a few awkward seconds. "Why do you suddenly have so much anger towards Maya? From what I read on the mission reports so far, she was not part of your team and was in fact with Ya'Han and Jayson. Beyond that, was she not the one that ultimately freed you and the others who were shackled to the wall?" the Counsellor offered, finding the hostility displayed by the Chief Engineer very puzzling.

"*Why*? I will tell you why," Sonja unleashed, causing Ensign Dima to lean back in her seat to avoid whatever rage she expected to be released in her general direction. "I spent who knows how long petting her while we were on the freighter. There she was, on my lap all nice and comfy while I was petting her. I thought we were sharing a moment, something special, but *no*. When we get back to the ANUBIS Selyara goes to visit her and she gets instant free nudity. The woman didn't even have to walk into Maya's quarters to get that. What do I get you ask? I get nothing, nada, zilch, zippo. When we came across one another in the corridor she barely smiled at me. I mean what was that about?  Not even a ‘hello’ or ‘how are you doing’. She just walks right by me and barely smiles as she looks down to the PADD she had been carrying.  I can only guess that it was a letter from Selyara or maybe a picture of our guest meant to return the gift that Maya had generously given earlier."

Nicole hesitated in speaking, all of her earlier attempts to cut in having been immediately countered by the continued rage of the woman sitting on the couch across from the Counsellor.  "So you are angry... at Maya.. for having been *naked*, when Selyara went to her quarters?" Nic asked, actually surprised that she had been permitted to say the entire sentence. 

"You're darn tootin’ right I'm angry, furious even. How could Maya betray what we shared so easily and with someone who is not even a member of the crew. I tell you, that woman is a menace, and she needs to be stuffed into a very small box and hurled into the nearest black hole or quantum fissure. Heck I would settle for a gravitational vortex as long as whatever it is leads to pain, a great deal of pain," Sonja continued, adding a full body twisting gesture to emphases the discomfort and agony she wished on the person who had now been the focus of her rage.

"I'm confused," the Counselor admitted never having expected to deal with such a situation. "Who are you stuffing into that small box."

"Selyara of course," the redheaded Engineer blasted. "Have you *not* been *listening* to me all this time. The woman saw Maya at her most vulnerable. She didn't even have any fur to hide her delicate Shillian modesty as when we shared our special and unique moment on the freighter. Plus, with Selyara being reduced to a compressed set of atoms, Maya will be free to realise that I am here for her and that I will always be there to pet her whenever and however she needs to me.  It's love I tell you, the kind of love that cannot be easily found in this universe.  Nothing can get between a woman and her monkey, nothing I tell you," Sonja continued, ending her tirade with a maniacal laughter that confirmed the Counsellor's suspensions. The woman was completely and utterly mad.

Nicole sunk in her seat, trying to process this odd tirade. While it was true that Selyara was a figure of authority and mystery, she hadn’t seen anything during their time as a team that would indicate she had any designs on Maya or anyone else.

Then, in the blink of an eye, before Ensign Dima could formulate a response, the redheaded Engineer instantly became calm as if nothing that had been said or done had taken place. She calmly sipped her coffee and nibbled on a blueberry muffin. There had been no signs of the woman's previous hyper agitation or even the slightest trace of the anger that had been palpable only a few heartbeats ago.

"Are you okay?" Nicole asked, confused once again but for an entirely different reason.

"Of course, why would I not be?" Sonja countered, her smile as fresh and genuine as could be.

The gamine woman’s eyebrows furrowed with a dawning understanding. "You are not angry at Maya or Selyara, are you?" the Counsellor inquired, after having taken a few moments to analyse the situation.

"Of course not," the Engineer confirmed. "I just thought I would give you something interesting to write for your report to Commander Shar'El. I was going to put her through this, after all she is my friend and complained that things can get boring when we are not actively doing Intel stuff. So since I was ordered to report to you, I figured why not, let's have a little fun.  Nothing like a good emotional outburst to make you feel as fresh as rain."

"You... are... unreal," Nicole sighed.

"All I ask is that you let me know when Shar'El will be given the report. I want to make sure ANI is there to monitor and record her reactions," Sonja requested, standing up and brushing the crumbs from her uniform. "It would help if you looked concerned when handing your report to her, maybe even mention something about a possible crimes of passion. So, anyhoo, I’m done. See you around the campus."

As soon as the door swooshed behind the playful CEO, Nicole felt a rush of relief as she bit into a chocolate croissant. “Oh, I’m concerned all right,” she said with a ragged breath.

=/\=
A post by

Lorraine Paquette

Chief Engineering Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501

And

Susan Ledbetter

Cns
USS ANUBIS
M07-P084: USS ANUBIS: Paquette: Day 08 - 2130 ("The Help")
"The Party"
previous post was "The Friend"

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 16, Black Hole Crew Lounge, Lower Level
Stardate: 32003.2130

As the ship's ILO, Shar'El had a unique way in keeping up-to-date with events occurring both off and on board the ANUBIS, namely the Intel Gathering Center or IGC.  Regardless if the developing situation was public or private, or somewhere in between, the First Officer always seemed to be right there on the front line getting near real-time updates as to what was happening. This of course made perfect sense given the woman's role and responsibilities on board one of the most sophisticated Intel cruiser in Starfleet.

As the Chief Engineering Officer though, Sonja did not have that kind of access to information on events taking place near or on the USS ANUBIS, but she did have something just as effective. The ship's Avatar known as ANI. Thanks to her link with all of the ship's systems, the artificial being knew pretty much all that there was to know, all that someone needed was to understand how to get the Avatar to reveal what she had seen or heard.  In this particular case, the redheaded Engineer had learned very quickly of the trouble in the Gymnasium involving two members of the senior staff; Jayson and Ya'Han.

Sonja's concerns had not been for Jayson, the OPS officer having likely been given exactly what he deserved, whatever that might have been. It was Ya'Han that the Chief Engineering Officer had been worried about, especially after having been told that Commander Shar'El had intercepted the Chief of Security outside of the room where the situation had taken place.

Without hesitation the redheaded woman took it upon herself to go and help.  With ANI's assistance, Sonja had quickly located the two women and rushed to the Black Hole Lounge in order to join them.  Without knowing exactly what to expect, the Engineer was concerned that maybe she would find Ya'Han on the receiving end of a less than pleasant official discussion about what had happened. That or the Commander had decided to go all out and give the Chief of Security a dressing down like no other not taking what had happened on MARKALA PRIME into account. Either way, Lieutenant Paquette had already been thinking of ways to spin whatever had taken place in the gymnasium to hopefully allow her friend to walk away with both her rank and position on board the ANUBIS intact.

It took only a few seconds for Sonja to locate the two women after having stepped into the Black Hole Lounge. The Avatar had reported them being on the upper level and knowing the ship's layout as she did, the Chief Engineer had narrowed down the possible specific locations to only two, three if more effective drinks than those preferred by the two women had been ordered.

"Ya'Han?" Sonja nervously asked as the Engineer reached the upper level and walked up to the two sitting woman, glad to see them chatting in a friendly manner.  "Soooooo, everything... copacetic over here?" The redhead asked inquiringly. The two women looked at her, the smiles on their faces being their only reply. "Well then," the Engineer stated while taking a seat, "what are we drinking and how many do I have to have to catch up?"

Grinning, Shar'El answered giving the half empty glass and cup a quick glance, "Just water and Risian tea, at least so far."

"Geezus! Have I taught you women nothing, were my words wasted on you?"  The CEO exclaimed in mock anger.  "Clearly this," she added gesturing to the sad beverages currently resting on the table "must be remedied."  Tuning to hail a passing waiter while remaining seated in the chair that she had appropriated, the redhead called out. "GARCON! We are in dire need of 3 glasses of *real* red wine," she stated with a grin. "Oh, and by the way, make sure you *Sonja* size them. Don't worry the specifications are already programed in the ship's replicator system," she finished to the quizzical looking waiter.  Immediately after this, she turned her attention back to the ladies at the table to find Shar'El smiling and shaking her head while Ya'han was outright laughing.

"What...?"

=====
Lorraine Paquette

Chief Engineering Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501
M07-P083: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: Day 08 - 2050 ("The Friend")
=-=
"The Friend"
[previous post was "The Rage" by the troubled Hanali]
=-=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 13, Corridor
Stardate: 32003.2050

News of the Nylaan woman going to the Gymnasium had easily reached the ExO / ILO, the First Officer having been in the IGC at the time. By itself, this had not been an issue in the least as the Chief of Security had the right to venture through the ship at her leisure, but when Shar'El learned that Ya'Han had been seen with a full head of bright red hair, the First Officer had thought it best to check in on her, just in case.  Since the mixture of black and red hair had become the default for the woman, seeing her in a 'warrior cast' mindset meant that she was ready for a fight, and since the ANUBIS had not been in any sort of danger it had been safer to check things out.

Although faster, Shar'El had decided not to use the site-to-site transport system that Sonja seemed very fond of, especially when effecting repairs all over the ship. The ExO / ILO believed that appearing in the gymnasium unannounced might actually make things worse, but upon seeing the state in which the woman had been walking towards her, the First Officer considered her decision to having been a bad one.

As the two women grew closer, Shar'El was forcefully reminded of her agreement with Captain Morningstar in that she would never use her telepathic abilities on any member of the crew without their explicit consent. This of course could not stop her from picking up memories that were being broadcasted by people around her. Such memories, as intense and meaningful as they were to the person to whom they belonged, usually came across to the Ullian as a gentle voice of hazy image. In this particular instant though, the memories of the Nylaan came across as desperate screams as images appeared faster than the ExO / ILO could process.

"Ya'Han!" Shar'El called out to make sure that the Chief of Security knew she had been there and avoid a repeat of what had happened to their Chief of Operations.

"Commander?" the fiery red haired woman said as she came to a complete stop. The expression on her face changed from anger to concern bordering on fear in a split second. "I'm sorry..."

"Ya'Han," the ExO / ILO gently repeated to interrupt the visible troubled woman, adding as much of a reassuring smile as she could.  "I am not here as your Commander, but as your friend. No rank, just simple old me, Shar'El."

"I fear there is nothing simple about me though," the woman said as he hair gradually began to change back to the black and red mix that everyone had grown used to seeing on her.

"Come, I think we need to sit and talk," Shar'El offered, still beaming the reassuring smile to make sure that Ya'Han understood that this had not been in any way, shape or form an official talk.

"What about Jayson?" the Chief of Security gasped. "I left him..."

"Flat on his back, I know," the ExO / ILO said finishing the woman's sentence as she gently tapped the side of her head with a single finger.  "The memory of what happened was very clear and although you did wind him, I am sure that he will be alright."

"He caught me by surprise," Ya'Han said in an attempt to justify what had taken place. "I didn't know it was him. I just instinctively reacted."

"Your training took over, and that is a good thing, especially for someone in the field of Security," the ExO / ILO said doing her best to defuse the situation by not making a deal out of anything that had happened, not that she would have done so at any other time.  "Let's go to the Black Hole and have a few drinks," Shar'El added as she ushered the woman towards the nearest turbolift making sure that the Nylaan was walking faster.

"If you believe that it will help," the black and red haired woman offered, the fight having apparently drained from her, at least for the time being.

As soon as Ya'Han was far enough ahead of the ExO / ILO, Shar'El tapped her communicator. "Shar'El to Lillie, can you please go to the Gymnasium on deck 13. Lieutenant Stark may be in need of some medical assistance."

=/\= I told him to take it easy, that boy never listens, =/\= the Doctor sighed in disappointment. =/\= Fine, I will be right there. Doyanne out. =/\=

With the communications channel closed, Shar'El quickly caught up with Ya'Han before she reached the turbolift, the Nylaan appearing to not have noticed the delay in her friend having followed or the call that she had made.

=-=
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 15, Black Hole Crew Lounge, Upper Level
Stardate: 32003.2115

In a continued effort to make Ya'Han feel more relaxed, Shar'El had escorted her friend to the upper level and as far away from the usual foot traffic that frequented this establishment. Their little get together had been meant to be an off-record girls' chat, one meant to help Ya'Han find her mental and emotional stability without having to worry about decorum or protocol.

A cup of Risian tea sat on the table in front of the troubled woman while a simple glass of water rested in the hands of her drinking companion.

"I hope no one is planning on seeing either one of us drunk," Ya'Han announced, laughing for the first time since Shar'El had intercepted the woman coming out of the gymnasium.

"For that kind of fun we would need to get Sonja down here," Shar'El chuckled back. "I still can't get over the fact that she likes that chech'tluth stuff. That thing is nasty and could peal the ablative armor right off our outer hull.

"It's not the only thing she drinks," the Nylaan said as she cradled her drink remembering that the Engineer had also been fond of Risian Tea as what had been in her cup at this very moment.  "Commander, I am sorry."

"You should be," the black haired woman playfully snapped back. "I said that I was here for you, not as a superior officer but as your friend, so cut the rank.  You can call me Shar'El, no rank, just Shar'El. You have done so before."

"I have?" the Nylaan questioned, actually unable to remember a single occasion in which she had called the woman by her first name.

"Yes you have," Shar'El reiterated with confidence, "and if you didn't, then you should have.  I know that Starfleet regulations stated that such informal chats should not happen, even during off duty gatherings, but given all of the hell we face as a crew, we are far more than shipmates to one another, we are family and as such you should be able to talk to others using just their name."

"When was the last time you called the Captain 'Erik'?" Ya'Han teased before taking a sip from her cup.

"I believe it was the day, no I think it was the hour before I was given an old style manual floor brush and ordered to go outside and make sure that the ablative armor shined like a mirror," Shar'El laughed.

"Old style floor brush?" Ya'Han echoed joining in on the laughter. "He must have been in a real good mood that day."

"The man is a great Captain and I consider myself honored to be serving under him," the ExO / ILO stated with pride. "He is what many can only dream of becoming, but in order to be the man that he is he had to sacrifice a few things, being overly familiar with the crew as a whole is one of those costs that he had and continues to pay for our benefit."

"To the Captain," Ya'Han said as she raised her cup to offer a toast.

"Tothe Captain, and to good friends who will always be there when we need them," Shar'El added as she raised her glass of water to join Ya'Han's cup of tea.

"To good friends," the black and red haired woman repeated with a smile, the woman feeling noticeably better than she had not that long ago.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET
M07-P082: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: Day 08 - 2030 ("The Rage")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"The Rage"
[previous post was "The Pastime"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 13, Gymnasium
Stardate: 32003.2030

A loud smash onto one of the floor mat greeted the OPS officer as he walked in, his surprised gaze quickly locking onto the bright red haired woman who had been the cause for the sound resulting from the flipping of a fellow shipmate over her shoulder to crash with force onto the ground. Jayson smiled as he looked at Ya'Han and the scene that she had been at the center of, proud beyond words that he had called things to near perfection.

"You might want to be careful Sir," a crewman said in a cautious whispered voice to the new arrival as he walked out with a notable limp, "she's out for blood."

Jayson chuckled to himself as he looked at Ya'Han once more, the woman clearly having taken on the persona and attitude of a Nylaan warrior. So lost had she been in her rage that she had not noticed the new arrival into the ship's Gymnasium even as he began to move towards her.

Less than a meter away he stopped and watched as the closed-eye warrior moved with a grace that belonged to an entertainer of the same world.  The enchanting gestures provided a unique and mesmerizing contrast to the color of her hair, each and every move appearing to have been practiced countless times before letting Jayson guess as to what sort of combat training they had belonged to.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
FLASHBACK
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: NYLA IV, Imperial Palace Courtyard
Stardate: 16031.0630 (over 15 years ago)

In the early morning as the sun rose over the horizon and its light bathed the Imperial Courtyard, most girls of the age of 9 would have been dreaming of cakes, dolls or of running barefooted through a wide open field. As the daughter of the High Sovereign, she had not been permitted to have such simple and pleasant dreams, nor had she been allowed to still be in bed by the time the sun could be seen over the walls surrounding the lavishly decorated courtyard.

Each morning required Ya'Han and her sisters who had not been yet married off to be in the courtyard for physical exercises.  Some days the youngest daughter wondered if this had not been one of the reasons why her sisters all seemed to be more than willing and anxious to be given to a man to marry and serve.  For her though, this training had been just another of countless other demands placed on her time and body, demands that she had no say in whether she wanted to participate in or not.  That said, of all the activities she would be forced to take part in, this one had likely been the most enjoyable.

"Deep breaths Ladies," the aged instructor calmly reminded the four young girls standing with their eyes closed, their faces warmed by the rising sun. The woman the sisters only knew as Nan and been their own mother's trainer long before she became theirs, a fact that only made the young Nylaan girls that much more willing to listen to her wisdom and guidance.  "No matter what role you will be asked to take throughout the day, be it a member of the Warrior or of the Medical cast, your ability to control your breathing will always permit you to rise above your emotions as the sun does over this palace."

The moves had become natural to them, not requiring any thoughts to repeat them in perfect sequence and unity. Having been created by mixing specific and unique moves from every cast, only the daughters of the High Sovereign were permitted to learn and practice this. Although it had never been meant to be anything more than a display of physical balance and harmony between the casts, the dance had over the years become a tool for meditation as well as a reminder to the daughters of their need for control over all things.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
END of FLASHBACK
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

It had taken the death of a sister she knew nothing about as well as the confrontation with her father's aide to have Ya'Han remember this part of her past, something that like everything else she had left behind a decade or so ago.  What had happened to Nan during those days? With the two youngest sisters having left NYLA IV, there had likely been no one left for her to train and guide during those early morning hours.  Had she still been there, comforting their mother or had she already fallen prey to the dark and murderous plans of Ze'Kon.

Whatever peace Ya'Han had managed to gather during the short-lived meditation had all but completely vanished the moment the aide's name resurfaced in her mind. The scene of the unknown sister being choked to death and her body casually tossed to the wayside played once more in the mind of the Sec/Tac.

"I don't think the Captain is going to take too kindly to you filling Sickbay with unexpected injuries," Jayson teased as he placed his hand on the red haired warrior having taking her now standing still as a sign that she had finished whatever personal training she had been in the middle of.

With a speed that should have been expected by anyone and everyone who know her, Ya'Han reached for the hand that had landed on her shoulder before her brain could identify the voice that had originated from the same general location.  In the span of a blink of an eye Jayson found himself in an all too familiar position, that of having his back on the training mat while looking up at the woman who had put him there. The difference though was that instead of amusement or even playful apology, the Sec/Tac had been looking down at him with an anger the likes of which he has never before witnessed.

"Jayson! You know better than to sneak up on me like that," Ya'Han snapped, obviously not feeling any remorse in having sent him crashing to the mat as she had.

"I'm sorry," he barely managed to say as his lunge slowly emptied of whatever air had still been in them, the whole of his body hurting in a way that he had never thought possible.

With her anger now directed towards someone whom she had never wanted to hurt in anyway, Ya'Han turned on her heels and made a rapid exit out of the gymnasium leaving the man who had surprised her flat on the mat.  This had not gone at all the way that she had hoped, and the unexpected and very quick sparring match with Jayson had left her feeling even worse than she had before having come to this place in an effort of finding some peace to call her own.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 13, Corridor
Stardate: 32003.2050

Through the overflowing rage that she had been unable to control, Ya'Han's mind had been filled with memories of her distant past, of the away team's encounter with Ze'Kon and now with images of Jayson being flat on his back barely able to breathe. The world around her seemed to be falling apart and it appeared that there had been nothing she could do to stop it.  Lost in her thoughts just as much as she had while in the gymnasium, the Sec/Tac failed to see Commander Shar'El heading her way.

Even if Ya'Han had seen the woman her down the corridor heading in her direction, it would have been very unlikely that the bright red haired Nylan could have held back her memories so as to not broadcast them for Shar'El to pick up on.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Hanali Han <sectacyahan@gmail.com>

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P081: USS ANUBIS: Stark: Day 08 - 1930 ("The Pastime")
"The Pastime"
[previous "The Mirror"]

[/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Sickbay
Stardate: 32003.1930

"I have been expecting you," the blonde haired Doctor said upon noticing who had walked into Sickbay bringing Jayson to a complete stop just far enough for the door to woosh close behind him.

"You were expecting me?" He asked wondering if he should turn around and make a hasty exit before the answer was given.

"You are the OPS officer on an Intel ship," Lillie said looking back at Jayson as if daring him to do as he was thinking. "Add to that the fact that you were part of a planet-side mission that ended with you and the others returning to the ANUBIS on board an alien freighter, the crew of which I had to erase the most recent memories to keep our presence in this region of space secret. Did you really think that I would not somehow become aware of what happened?"

"I guess trying to keep anything secret on board this ship is impossible," he agreed before resuming his walk into Sickbay.

"Especially when the First Officer came by and gave me a verbal report of what happened, including your offering yourself as a punching bag to save Ya'Han," the Doctor added as she tapped on the main biobed inviting the man to sit.

"I didn't do it to be made into some sort of hero," Jayson sighed.

"Don't worry, no one thinks that you are a hero," Lillie confirmed with a chuckle. "Well, maybe Ya'Han but certainly not anyone else." Lillie had thought that it would have been funny to tease the man that way but his reaction proved otherwise. "Is everything alright?"

"The mission was rough on her, and right now I don't think she sees me as a hero, in fact I don't think she sees anyone as anything. I was lucky to get a couple of words out of her," Jayson explained as the Doctor ran her medical tricorder over the full length of his body.

"From what I heard as to what happened, she does have a few good reasons to being lost in her thoughts," the Doctor said as she put the tricorder away and fetched a hypospray.  "I am sure that she will come around soon and will see you for the brave man that you were then."

"I hope so," he said finding himself lost in his thoughts, so much so that he failed to see the Doctor coming at him with the now loaded hypospray which was pressed against his neck startling him almost clear off the biobed.

"You need to relax," the CMO said not having expected him to react as he did.  "Ya'Han will make it through this, she's a strong woman who has seen more than most would in their lifetime. She also has the advantage of having a solid circle of friends that will be there for her when she decides to step out of the fog she is currently in.  I'm sure that after speaking with Nicole, our Chief of Security will be back with us."

"Meeting with the Counsellor," he muttered, not because he was acknowledging what the Doctor had said about Ya'Han but rather because he knew that he would have to see Nicole as well, something that in all honesty he was not entire certain about. "Thank you Doctor," Jayson added as he jumped off the biobed.

"The injection will help to reduce swelling and should dull the pain, that is as long as you don't over stretch or re-injure yourself," Doyanne explained. "You need to relax, which means no demanding physical activities. Go back to your quarters and read something, I am sure that such an activity will get you to rest and get your mind onto something else."

[/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Stark's Quarters
Stardate: 32003.1945

"Read," Jayson repeated once more as he walked into his quarters, having said that particular word many times during his journey back to his quarters as if the sound of it had been offensive in some way. "I'm not a reader," he added thinking back to the suggestion made by Doctor Doyanne while he glanced at the few shelves around him, not a single book in being in view. What he did see though were several miniature models of famous starships that he had built, a pastime that he had not indulged in for quite some time.

With a smile on his lips, he studied the models remembering the details of both their meticulous construction as well as the history behind the ships that they represented.  The first ship his eyes fell upon was the USS FARRAGUT, a Hercules-class frigate destroyed by the Romulans in 2414. From there, his eyes and memories drifted to the USS SUTTNER, a Dyson-class starship in service until 2419 and the USS DISCOVERY, an Investigator-class starship that bared an uncanny resemblance to another ship he knew the existence of.

"Computer, access Starfleet building schematics for the NOVA-Class cruiser and using my model development program, create a model following the standard 1:1000 scale. Have the pieces pre-painted as I doubt I will have the time or patience to give is the proper colors," Jayson instructed. Knowing that he would not be able to request the schematics for the SCARAB-Class, the one that he had requested would be the closest model he would be able to get for him to add the ANUBIS to his collection.

Several chimes came from the computer before the replicator activated and a complex set of miniature pre-painted parts along with all of the tools the off duty OPS officer would need to put the model he had requested together.

"This may not be reading, but it should be enough to get me to relax and not think about Ya'Han or my meeting with Counsellor Dima," Jayson said realizing too late that the fact he had mentioned the two women would make the task he hd set for himself that much more difficult.

[/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Stark's Quarters
Stardate: 32003.2015

The dining table had been cleared and the parts for the miniature ship had been expertly laid out to make the construction of the ship as simple as possible. So far the two warp nacelles as well as the array section had been assembled leaving the rest of the NOVA-Class model scattered on the table.

"I think I remember why I stop building those models," he complained as he stretched his back and arms, regretting the move instantly afterwards. "I also understand why Doctor Doyanne suggested reading, I am going to be paying for that stretch for quite some time," Jayson added as he ever so carefully returned his arms to a more normal position.  "Reminds me of the time Ya'Han..."

Jayson sighed as his shoulder's dropped. No matter what he was doing, she had been on his mind. Even while building the model the OPS officer imagine how the red haired Chief of Security would react to this particular pastime, wondering if she had taken part in something similar during her youth. As the daughter of the planetary rule, he doubted very much that she had enjoyed such a frivolous waste of time.

Ya'Han had never been fond of talking about her past, especially the parts dealing with her family and the events which had left her with no other choice but to run away, leaving her homeworld far behind.  As he looked at the incomplete model, Jayson wondered just how successful Nicole would be in getting the Nylaan to talk, half wishing that he had been there with her, not to hear what she would say but to just be by her side.

Frustrated Jayson glared at the model and after a few moments scooped everything that had been on the table and returned the entire jumbled mess to the replicator alcove.  "Computer, recycle and create a completed model as per the previous specifications.

Once again, the replicator activated, dematerializing the small bits and pieces to replace them with a fully finished and painted model of a NOVA-Class cruiser.

"Perfect, now computer, locate Lieutenant Ya'Han."

=/\= Lieutenant Ya'Han is on Deck 13, Gymnasium. =/\=

"That's my red haired girl," Jayson noted with a smile. "Wonder who the poor sap is that she is beating through the floor?"

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P080: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: Day 08 - 1830 ("The Mirror")
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"The Mirror"
[previous post was "The Wait"]
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Setting: USS ANUBIS, Ya'Han's Quarters
Stardate: 32003.1830

Jayson had meant well, and she felt bad for having been so distant and cold to him.  As much as she appreciated what he had tried to do, Ya'Han had been unable to control herself beyond what she had managed to do so far.  The Counsellor would have her work cut out when they would actually meet as per the Captain's orders, which was why the Sec/Tac figured she needed to face her inner demons well before then.  All of the combat training she had endured as a child in order to earn her red hair had focussed on one core belief, that she needed to know herself first and above all else.

In any conflict, be it individual or interplanetary, not knowing one's own strengths and weaknesses, being unaware of your own abilities and flaws would always result in defeat.  As much as she did not see her meeting with Counsellor Dima as being such a confrontation, the Sec/Tac knew that she needed to better understand herself and the source of her feelings before then.  As much as she had despise the training of her youth, it would be what she would now fall back upon to help her face and defeat the demons of her mind and heart.

A hot shower would help Ya'Han in this, so she made her way to the bathroom peeling her Starfleet uniform from her body as she walked.  As she arrived at her destination and looked at the shirt now in her hands, the overwhelming pride that she had once felt in wearing it had all but completely vanished.  As much as she had wanted for the Captain to agree with her request she understood his reasoning, trying her best to offset her anger with the reality of the situation around them. The plan had been all too clearly laid out by Morten and Ze'Kon; the Federation needed to be shown as having been involved in this nightmare, which would only grow darker with her brother ascending to the throne over their father's broken corpse.

There had been no certainty that their going to NYLA IV would change things in that regard even if all went perfectly well, but should the slightest error be made and their presence on the planet of her birth discovered, nothing would save them.  A link would be drawn between the royal family and the Federation, leaving all of her brothers and sisters to suffer the unpleasant consequences. As cries for justice rose from the general populace Ze'Kon would take control of the Imperial Palace and follow whatever sinister plan Morten had set for the next step.  No, it had been better for all if the ANUBIS returned home to Federation space.

After tossing her uniform shirt onto the floor of the living area behind her, Ya'Han gazed into the mirror expecting to see a saddened and disillusioned woman looking back at her.  Instead, she saw an angry bright red haired woman glaring back, a bloodthirsty warrior ready to face and conquer the darkness that stretched before her at any cost including that of her own life.

Quickly closing her eyes, she forced herself to relax and regain control of her feelings, knowing that should she display such strong emotions to the Counsellor the Sec/Tac risked making her situation even more impossible.  Ya'Han needed to show self-control and not let others believe that the plans of her brother against their father had made her unstable or untrustworthy. The truth was that Ya'Kun had not been the real problem; it was Ze'Kon who she believed presented the greatest threat, not to her father but to her entire family.  Whatever the true source of her range was though, she knew that keeping it under control had been beyond essential.

Should her father actually be murdered in a way that allowed her brother to claim the throne without any suspicions, her mother Na'Rin would be removed from her station in the Imperial Palace. At best, the loving and devoted wife of the former High Sovereign would be given a home in the countryside to spend the rest of her days there, but Ya'Han suspected that Ze'Kon would not permit this. It had been far more likely, especially given the man's cruel nature, that her mother would find herself the victim of some unexpected accident, or simply vanished without a trace or explanation.

From there, the rest of her family still present on NYLA IV would be in grave danger as Ya'Kun solidified his hold on the planet and its people under the guidance of their father's aide, the one man who now seemed to be the one to benefit the most from this.  Using the death of his fiancee and her half sister, Ze'Kon would easily control the new High Sovereign and guide him to lash out at the Federation.

As self-centered as she knew her brother to have been as she grew up, never had she pictured him to be so hungry for power that he would consider killing their father. Granted the man had not been perfect, far from it as shown by his having sired another girl with someone other than her mother, but to his sons he had been beyond generous.  Ze'Kon had to be the reason being all this, just as he had been the reason for the cold-blooded murder of her half-sister which he had declared to all he would use to even better control Ya'Kun.

From overwhelming anger, Ya'Han felt a swell of pity for he brother, the heir to the throne having likely been played for fool from the very beginning, leaving him to be enraged at the wrong people for his fiancee's death.  The way Ze'Kon had manipulated things, the youngest daughter of the High Sovereign wondered if her brother's feelings had even been his to start with or had the aide orchestrated the entire matter to insure the blind obedience of Ya'Kun.

Ya'Han looked back into the mirror and found her doppelganger looking back at her, her features framed by purple hair that very much resembled her own.  A single blink of her eyes changed the reflection to what it had been expected to be, that of the exiled daughter displaying the hair color of her birthright. All that the Sec/Tac knew about her half sister could be summed up in that split-second reflection, a passing memory of someone who had been like herself a person detached from her name.

Again, she closed her eyes in an effort to settle her thoughts and emotions. One second the Sec/Tac had been ready to tear the universe to pieces and a few seconds later, she had been ready to cry her eyes out.  Escaping from NYLA IV and Ferengi controlled space had been meant to make things easier and different for her. So far, things had indeed been different but far from easier.

As she reopened her eyes, the color of her hair reflected the emptiness she felt inside, a darkness that mirrored both her feelings and the evil that they had faced before and which she knew they would again have to fight, hopefully before it would be too late for her family.

However hot or soothing as the shower would be, Ya’Han knew that it would be incapable of washing this darkness from her soul. The best she could hope for was to allow her to control her emotions long enough not to have Counsellor Dima declare her unfit for duty.  If her family stood any chance of surviving this nightmare, the last daughter needed to be where she was now, where she would be most effective in trying to block Ze’Kon as well as those working with him.

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Hanali Han

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P079: USS ANUBIS: Stark: Day 08 - 1730 ("The Wait")
"The Wait"
[previous "The Talk"]

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Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 32003.1730

Since the dawn of humankind, it has been said that patience is a virtue, something that Jayson needed to remind himself time and time again since their return to the ANUBIS. Ya'Han needed time to process what had happened on MARKALA PRIME as well as the decision from Captain Morningstar not to divert the ship to NYLA IV.  He could only guess as to what was happening in the woman's head and in some ways he was glad that he had not been a telepath, certain that the inner conflict would have ripped him apart, this both physically and emotionally.

"Lieutenant Stark, Lieutenant Ya"Han," Commander Shar'El said as she stepped out of the turbolift and back onto the bridge.  "I wanted to inform you in person. Every member of the crew who went on the last mission to MARKALA PRIME is to set up for an appointment with Counselor Dima at a suitable time. She has been informed and is expecting everyone involved to contact her to set up an appointment."

Ya'Han remained perfectly silent and still but Jayson could see that she had not been happy with the news. Now, in addition to being unable to act on the situation on her homeworld, she would need to talk about everything that she had seen and heard during their mission, things that the OPS officer was certain beyond any reasonable doubts the woman had wanted to forget.

"If it will make it easier, I could go with you," Jayson offered. "Maybe a friendly presence in the same room will make things easier.  Would also make it easier on Nicole by being able to schedule two sessions at the same time."

"You will need to go and see Doctor Doyanne so that she can give you a thorough physical check-up," the ExO added looking straight at Jayson.  "You took quite a beating back there in that room while shackled to the wall, and I suspect that the iced towel you received from that Orion girl is not going to be enough to take care of everything. I am sure that Counsellor Dima will be more than happy to see you afterwards in a session of your own."

He had been ready to argue the matter and to point out to the Commander that it would not be an issue for him to wait. He wanted to be there for Ya'Han, but the way she had been looking back at him made Jayson understand that the decision and words of their First Officer had not been open for debate or interpretation. Ya'Han had been meant to go and speak to Nicole alone, just as every other member of the crew who had been misfortunate enough to be part of the mission to MARKALA PRIME had been required to.

[/\]

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Corridor
Stardate: 32003.1810

Since the announcement made by Commander Shar'El on the bridge, Ya'Han had been quieter than she had been before, if that was even possible. The black and red haired woman had closed in onto herself to such a point that he could feel her growing more distant to everyone surrounding her.  When they had left the bridge at the end of their shift, having insured that the ship was as safe as could be given its current location inside Ferengi control space, Jayson had tried to reach out to her, even if only to reassure her that she had not been alone to face this.

His efforts were shot down as soon as he had tried, Ya’Han making it clear without saying a single word that she had wanted to be alone and stay that way for the time being.  Jayson considered forcing his presence by her side, maybe even going as far as to walk into her quarters without being invited, but he quickly reconsidered knowing all too well that she would be able to toss him out with ease. Given her current state of mind, he also suspected that in doing as he thought she would make sure that his visit to Doctor Doyanne would happen a lot sooner than he might have wanted to.  Sending him to Sickbay feet first if he was very lucky.

"Maybe we can go to the Black Hole for a quick bite to eat?" Jayson offered. He hoped that she would accept giving him the chance to spend some nice one-on-one time with her. Even if she decided to remain silent, the simple fact of being near her would be enough for him and prayed that it would be the same for her.

"Not tonight," was her only reply, said very quickly and without any sort of emotion as she continued down the corridor without looking back at him.

As he watched her silently vanished within her quarter Jayson reluctantly abandoned himself to the fact that he would have no other choice but to wait for the woman he had been so concerned about. In time he could only hope that she would allow him back into her world as a friend who had grown to be so much more.

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Setting: USS ANUBIS, Stark's Quarters
Stardate: 32003.1820

He had been in such a rush to get out of his merchant's clothing and back into a Starfleet uniform upon his return to the ANUBIS that Jayson had failed to notice the numerous bruised that covered his body. The dark shade that covered one side of his jaw had been the only visible account of his encounter with the aide of the Nylaan High Sovereign.  The full extent of the beating he had received could only be gaged by the numerous other bruises that had remained hidden up until now. As he studied the other marks on his body, the OPS officer recalled each and every strike that had caused the unpleasant souvenirs he had been left with.

"I will admit, for an old man he sure packs quite a punch," Jayson said as he delicately touched one of the bruises on his side.  "Lillie is going to be pissed that I didn't go down to see her the moment we returned to the ship. Then again, even if I had wanted to, she was up to her eyeballs in dealing with the crew of that freighter that took us off the planet.” He paused as he recalled something else about the crew of the freighter and the Nylaan woman.  “The look on their faces was priceless when Ya'Han changed her hair color to purple and ordered the guards to escort them.  If only the rest of the mission had been that easy," he continued as he stood in front of the full-length mirror carefully tracing the outer edge of several other bruises.  “I promise this, I will never again complain about whatever bruises she leaves on me.  By the look of things though, all I can do now is wait to see if she will actually leave more of those on me at some point”

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P078: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: Day 08 - 1620 ("The Talk")
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"The Talk"
[previous post was "The Conflict" by the momentarily exposed Jessica]
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Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 32003.1620

Shar'El could not help but feel bad for Ya'Han. Although their mission to retrieve agent Troy had been by any account successful, the people they had unwillingly encountered as well as the additional information that they had come across concerning the ruler of her place of birth had been troubling to say the least.

Under normal circumstances, the ExO / ILO would have been the first to get in line to try to convince their Captain to change course for NYLA IV, but this had been far from a normal situation. The longer they stayed inside Ferengi controlled space, the more they risked revealing the involvement of the Federation in this affair. The fact that Morten had especially wanted this to happen had only made it that much more urgent for the ship to return to Federation space.

Now the question was what Shar’El would do about this particular situation. There had been no choice for the ExO / ILO to agree with their Captain, the ANUBIS *had* to return home as quickly as possible.  As the Chief of Security, Ya'Han had also been left with no other option but to comply with that need, the safety of the crew as well as countless more Federation citizen resting on them doing so without being detected.  Just like the Ullian though, there had been more than duty beneath the surface of the black and red haired Nylaan woman, and that would prove to be the most difficult aspect for everyone to deal with.

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Setting: USS ANUBIS, Captain's Ready Room
Stardate: 32003.1645

"Here are the latest sensor reports," the ExO / ILO said as she offered a PADD to the man sitting on the other side of the desk.

"How is she doing?" The Captain asked, showing that beneath the stern facade of the Commanding Officer which he needed to project to all, there had still been a caring man beneath it whom his First Officer had been permitted to see, even if only on very rare occasions.

"It will take her some time to get over what happened. No one could be expected to simply continue on without being affected," Shar'El explained. "Despite having to deal with the betrayal of her brother and the aide, and her inability to stop the assassination of her father, Ya'Han is strong and will make it through this. That I am sure of."

"I do not doubt your impression of our Chief of Security, but I would like for Lieutenant Ya'Han to see Counsellor Dima at the earliest convenience. In fact it might be a good idea if each and everyone member of the away team went to see her. Since she was on MARKALA PRIME, she will be able to understand what they need to say that much better, keeping everything in perspective with what transpired," the Captain said in a way that might not had been voiced as an order but had been received and understood as such.

"I will make the arrangement with Nicole as soon as I leave," the ExO / ILO confirmed. "I can imagine that our good Counselor is going to have her hands full with what we all have to say.  This may not have been the most difficult mission we have ever been one, but I suspect that there will be a great deal of emotions that will need to be worked through."

"Following your report on the mission I can only agree," Erik nodded keeping the rest of his thoughts to himself.

"I know that I am under direct orders not to scan the memories of the crew, but i would like your permission to suspend this restriction for one person," Shar'El offered in all seriousness.

"Who and why?" the Captain demanded, surprised that his First Officer would even make such a request.

"I would love to get inside Maya's head and see what she saw. She managed to remain in her primate form for the greater majority of the mission, not even breaking her cover when we were on the freighter," the ExO / ILO detailed with a smile no longer able to hold the illusion of her seriousness.  "I received a report from the IGC saying that the internal sensors had followed the primate all the way back to Maya's quarters. I suspect that it would be an amazing experience to see the world as she did during that time."

Erik sighed, uncertain as to how to answer the playful request he had just been presented with. Would he answer in an equally humorous manner or would he carry on as the Captain would be expected to.

"Ask her," he finally offered. "The restriction imposed on you was not meant to curb your abilities but to make the crew feel safe in that their more private memories would not suddenly be exposed or reported back to me. Knowing that the internal sensors of the ANUBIS are keeping track of everyone's movements and activities on the ship is difficult enough to deal with, but to fear their memories being observed would make life on board impossible. If Maya is willing to share, there is nothing I can do, but I would ask one thing from you if you do this."

"Let me guess," Shar'El laughed. "You will want a copy of what i will have seen, that is as long as it deals with nothing more than her time on MARKALA PRIME and the STAR OF DESTINY."

"Keep it up like that and I might have to add 'latent telepathic abilities' to your personnel file," the Captain chuckled back.  "As for Ya'Han, keep an eye on her. She is not one to keep things overly well hidden; that we have all seen through the color changing of her hair, but this might force her to become more distant and private. I want her to know that we are all here for her should she need a shoulder to lean on."

"No worries," the ExO / ILO quickly added. "Ya'Han has many friends on board including Lieutenant Paquette and myself, plus I am sure that she will find some comfort in her blossoming relationship with Stark."

"Good. It looks like she is in good hands."

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Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 7, Counsellor's Office
Stardate: 32003.1700

"Commander Shar'El, what can I do for you?" the Trill woman said as she welcomed the ANUBIS' ExO / ILO into her domain.

"I do understand why your office needs to come across as being as cozy and welcoming as possible, but I will admit that I am a little jealous. My office and quarters are nowhere this relaxing and peaceful looking. Maybe that's why I spend so little time there," Shar'El stated with a smile.

"I could give you the name of my decorator," Nicole grinned back before continuing. "Although I suspect that the decor of your office and quarters have less to do with you not being there than the time requirements of your position and duties.  From what I saw from your daily routine when not busy on some alien world, you seem to enjoy being in the IGC far more than your duties require."

"Being the ILO of the most sophisticated Intel cruiser in the fleet is a dirty and thankless job, but some body has to do it," the Commander chuckled. "Then add in the responsibilities of an ExO for a ship this size and I guess I am lucky that I am able to spend any amount of time in a single location."

"I can understand that," the Counsellor offered as she sat on one of the couches. "Now, are you here on a personal visit, as the ship's Intel Operative or it's First Officer?"

"As the ship's First Officer, at least for this visit," Shar'El clarified. "I was speaking with our captain and he would like for every member of the away team who were on MARKALA PRIME to meet with you. He would like a psychological evaluation made to make sure that there are no lingering effects from what we had to deal with while on the planet."

"He wants me to evaluate Ya'Han," Dima said, her several lifetime of knowledge and experience having been more than enough to figure out what the Captain had truly aimed to achieve.

"Although it is the primary goal, it is not only reason why the Captain would like to see this happen. As a friend, I am concerned for her. The sheer scope of what she discovered about her family is enough to destroy a person at their very core.  I know her t be an exceptionally strong woman, her long list of hardships as she escaped Ferengi space being ample proof of that. Still everyone has a breaking point and i would like, as her friend, to make sure that she has not been made to cross that line."

"I will do my best," Nicole acknowledged.

"I know you will, that was never the issue. I simply would like you to keep me informed as to your progress with her, not only as this ship's ExO but also as one of her closest friends. Ya'Han, like every other member of the senior staff of the ANUBIS is far more than a fellow shipmate, and even more than a close friend. She is part of the family we have all created through the hardships and difficulties we have lived through and shared. My wish to insure that she is all right extends far beyond my duties as First Officer; they are first and above everything else the need of a friend to know that she will make it through this in one piece. Bruised, battered maybe, but still in one piece."

"Your concerns for your friend’s well-being have been duly noted Commander," Nicole stated having been made to see an unexpected side of the woman tasked with the duties of being the ANUBIS’ ExO and ILO.  "I am looking forward to speaking with you again, this time as the woman who was on MARKALA PRIME and not the officer caring so much about the state of a friend."

"I am looking forward to that as well Counsellor," Shar'El admitted. "Might be interesting to see if they can actually be separated for the sake of our next meeting.  I for one am uncertain where one ends and the others begins, or even if there is an actual division between the two."

"I guess we'll find out when we meet."

"Indeed. Please provide me with a list of the officers that you will have seen and let me know should any of them give you a hard time about this," Shar'El said having returned to her professional demeanor.

"You mean Director Chen," Dima specified. "I can imagine that out of all the officers who took part in the mission, she will be the one most opposed to meeting with me.

"That would also be my guess," the Commander voiced before making her way out of the Counsellor office to return to the place where she felt most at ease. The IGC.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET
M07-P077: USS ANUBIS: Maya: Day 08 - 1600 ("The Unseen")
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"The Unseen"
(Previous Post: "The Struggle")
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Setting: USS ANUBIS, Maya's Quarters
Stardate: 32003.1600

She had easily stayed out of sight while on board the STAR OF DESTINY, at least after having allowed herself to be a soft-furred calming influence on the Chief Engineering Officer. The truth was that the sensation had been a very enjoyable one for the Shillian, hence why she had remained there for as long as she had. The moment the freighter had been brought on board the ANUBIS it had not been difficult for the shape-shifted Shillian to quickly disembark and make her way back to her quarters, all of this apparently undetected by any of her fellow shipmates.

The members of the away team all had valid reasons for not having paid any attention to the primate, everyone having had their own pressing matters to address. That said though, Maya had found it strange that no one had inquired as to the whereabouts of the monkey or that none had questioned the travels of a small monkey through the ANUBIS.  As much as the Chief Science Officer had wanted to find some fault in this glaring flaw she rapidly concluded that everyone who knew her as well as her unique ability had granted the Shillian a confidence that she should instead be thankful for.

Life on board an Intel Cruiser such as the USS ANUBIS was filled with surprises and countless unknowns, but obviously seeing a small primate galavanting about through the corridors of the ship had not been amongst them.  Likely the Avatar had detected her presence through the internal sensors and had immediately identified the creature as not having been a threat to anyone.  Maybe if Maya had changed into the more menacing form of a Night Howler people might not have been so accepting, but that would have to be tested at another time.

Now back in the safety and seclusion of her quarters, the woman had gladly regained her humanoid physical attributes, which she had delayed in covering in any sort of garment.  Maya had learned to enjoy the natural freedom granted by the lack of clothing while in animal form and had wanted to delight in it just a little while longer before having to report to Doctor Doyanne for the required physical examination.

The Shillian glanced out the nearest window our of habit, having expected to see the streaking stars instead of the cold and dark black metal of their defensive shell.  Having still been deep inside the New Ferengi Alliance it had made perfect sense for the ablative armour to still be in effect forcing the Chief Science Officer to wait until she found her way back to Stellar Cartography to enjoy the small distant points of light.

The attention of the Shillian was diverted towards the door to her quarters when the sound of the door chime filled her room.  Curious as to whom might have come to see her, the Scientist skipped her way to the door and pressed the control to open the door.

"Whoa," Selyara exclaimed quickly putting her gloved hand in front of her eyes, trying as best she could to not invade the privacy of the woman who had opened the door without any clothes on. "If this is a bad time I can come back."

"I am so sorry," the Shillian offered as she quickly rushed to her bedroom to fetch a fresh uniform.  "I became so used to being this way, meaning my not wearing clothes during the mission, that I just continued to do so after having returned to my quarters. The feeling was just too enjoyable that I simply did not make it a priority to comply with a more acceptable dress code, which in this case would have been *any* dress code that required someone to actually wear something."

"I can always come back later. I do not wish to impose my presence on you while you are recuperating from the ordeals of our mission on MARKALA PRIME," Director Chen offered while still standing in the corridor, feeling very bad for having interrupted what she considered to be a very personal and private moment, regardless of the reason given by the Shillian.

"No worries, please come in and make yourself at home. I will be with you shortly," the Scientist hastily said as she hurried to put on her uniform and greet her visitor in a far more presentable and proper manner.  "Here we go," Maya continued as she stepped out of her bedroom and back into the main living area, this time with a Starfleet Uniform covering her body. "I am truly sorry for having greeted you in this inappropriate manner.  When I shapeshift I usually have a spare set of cloths at the ready, that is because I usually do this while in a holodeck. This time, for obvious reasons, there were no such spare clothing available when I could have reverted back to a humanoid form on the planet, and on the freighter there simply was no chance to do so, not without revealing my true nature to the crew. By the time I had returned to my quarters I was so content and felt so safe that I immediately became enthralled in the feeling of not having wear any clothes. The sensation I will admit was overwhelming and I completely forgot about how I was when I came to open the door. I hope that I have not shocked too you much."

"With all due respect Commander, I have been assigned to head Section 31," Selyara said sounding far more Vulcan than anything else at that time. "If seeing a single naked woman is enough to *shock* me as you suggested, I would have far more troubling issues to deal with at this time."

"Of course," the Shillian agreed as she invited her unexpected guest to take a seat on the couch set beneath the armour-covered windows. "Now that I am in a far more presentable position, can i offer you something to drink?"

"No thank you," the Vulcan / Betazoid hybrid declined wondering if she would actually be able to get to the reason why she had come here before they would make it back to Federation space in a week or so.  "I do not wish to take more of your time than necessary, so i will get to the point. I wanted to know if you had notice anything special, anything out of the ordinary while on MARKALA PRIME. As the small primate that you were, your perspective on things, such as the room where the aide and son of the High Sovereign were confronted in, was unique. I was just curious to know if you had seen something that might not had seemed to belong there."

"I can only guess that you are referring to a Lokustaar," the Chief Science Officer deduced. "I am afraid that I did not see anything that could help in our efforts to detect them. My attention at the time was unfortunately focussed on trying to get to the key and free the members of the away team.  With both you and Counsellor Dima havin been taken out of commission, I thought it was the most logical course of action at my disposal."

"It was," the woman confirmed once more sounding more Vulcan than anything else. "The decision was most logical. I was just inquiring as my efforts to disable the man known as Morten proved to be surprisingly ineffective."

"You wanted to know if what happened was because you touched him or something else, something invisible that might have gotten in the way, like a Lokustaar," the Shillian theorized.  "I cannot confirm or deny what happened, everything having taken place far too quickly, but I can say this. Given what I know of the race, as little as it may be, I strongly doubt that the battle against the Nylaan aide would have unfolded as it did had a member of that race been in the room with us."

"Thank you," Selyara acknowledged as she stood from the couch, the answer she had received having been the one that she had expected, but still she had needed to investigate in case some additional piece of information had been available.  "I will not take any more of your time."

"It is not a problem, I assure you. Please do not let my not having been dressed when I first greeted you as an indication that I wished to be alone," the Shillian explained sounding very concerned at the fact that her guest seemed to be in a hurry to leave.

"It is not the case, I simply wish to return to Sickbay to check up Agent Trent Troy," Director Chen stated having already made it halfway to the door.

"I am glad that we were able to find him alive. I just hope that he will recuperate," Maya offered. "I can only imagine from what I saw the kind of hell he was submitted to by Morten and Ze'Kon."

"I am more concerned about the hell that those two will be creating for others than the one they subjected a single agent to," Selyara concluded before she exited the room and left the now clothed Chief Science Officer to her affairs.

---
Jessica Solarik

Lieutenant Commander Maya [Access Character BIO for Maya]
Chief Science Officer
USS ANUBIS

&

Captain Selene Fiona Iverson [Access Character BIO for Selene Iverson]
Commanding Officer
USS BASTET

"To see the world in a grain of sand,
and a heaven in a wild flower.
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
and eternity in an hour."
- William Blake (British, 1757-1827)
M07-P076: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: Day 08 - 1555 ("The Struggle")
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"The Struggle"
[previous post was "The Silence"]
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Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 32003.1555

With each second that passed her homeworld grew further and further away, not that she would have ever openly called it that. The planet known as NYLA IV might have been the place of her birth as well as the home she had known for the first 14 years of her life, but it had been the one point in the universe that she had wanted to get as far away from as she could. So why had she felt this way? Why had this sadness continued to swell within her?

Ya'Han could feel the concerned eyes of Jayson on her, and as much as she might have found it sweet and endearing, she also wished that he would stop.  It was as if he had expected her to suddenly shed all of the feelings and emotions that had been triggered within her just as if nothing had happened.  He wanted the old Ya'Han to be back, and although a part of the Sec/Tac understood and even shared this desire, she knew that it was not possible.

Too much had happened on MARKALA PRIME for her to simply ignore it all. Even if only some of what she had been made aware of had been revealed, Ya'Han knew that it would have been very difficult for her to continue as she had before the mission.

Learning that her brother wanted to kill their father had not been something that the exiled daughter could not handle. In fact, she even agreed with Ya'Kun on many levels, her discontent for her father having been more than enough to insure that she would not shed a tear should the news of his demise reach her.  As much as she hated him though, he had still been her father and stood at the center of her most cherished memories, as ever few there might be.

Learning that her father's trusted aide had been plotting with her brother had bothered Ya'Han more on a professional level than anything else. The man had swore his loyalty and life to her father, so how could he act as he did, siding with her brother to see him elevated to the position of High Sovereign?  How could her brother or anyone else for that matter ever come to trust Ze'Kon after what he would help bring about?  Honor and loyalty had been driving into her fro a very young age, which had been one of the reasons why she had felt so bad leaving the way she had.

The involvement of Mister Morten and the Lokustaar in the affairs of her place of birth had been by itself a source of minor annoyance. Their dealings had been like those of any other race with her people based on an exchange of goods and/or services for the return of the same. That was what the Ferengi Alliance had been based on and what the New Ferengi Alliance had continued to believe in.  NYLA IV stood as a proud beacon of this way of living, so making a deal with another race within included the exchange of some deserted real estate had not been so unexpected. Still there was something sinister about the man and those he constantly referred to as his associates, something that sent chills down the Nylaan woman's back.

Lastly, the discovery of the existence of her half sister had been what played on her mind. That the woman with whom she shared her father's blood with had taken on her name and identity had not been that much of an issue. Ya'Han's departure from her birth world and from the New Ferengi Alliance had severely weakened any claim that she might have had to those. What truly bothered the Sec/Tac had been the fact that the woman had been killed in cold blood right before her eyes.

Knowing how cruel Ze'Kon could be had made it that Ya'Han had not been surprised that he had been able to act as he had, snuffing the woman's life without hesitation or considerations other than his own. What proved to be the most troubling had been the fact that he had done this to a person he had saved as an infant and protected for all those years.  However cruel she had believed the aide to be while she had been growing up in the Imperial Palace, the display that he had put on had proven her perceptions to be greatly short of the truth.

That man was beyond ruthless, there had been no denying it, and it was equally clear that he cared nothing for the people he used for his own gain, which now seemed to include her brother Ya'Kun.  Blinded by his desire to become the new High Sovereign it was very likely that her brother had been unable to see the danger that he had placed himself directly in the path of, a route that would lead to him sharing the fate of fiancée.

Ya'Han paused for an instant and looked at the stars streaking by on the main view screen.  In time, they would be back in Federation space and all of this would be behind them, to be dealt with by someone else. Maybe Ya'Kun would be a better High Sovereign than their father had ever been, that was as long as Ze'Kon allowed him to rule as he needed to and not as the puppet the aide had apparently made him to be.

It was upon that realization that that Ya'Han found herself gasping. This was no longer about who would be the High Sovereign or how they would rule, but rather if this had been the first step in erasing her family from history.  Is Ze'Kon had felt no remorse or hesitation in killing the woman he had saved and protected for so long, how much would he hesitate to dispose of Ya'Kun or ano of her other brothers and sisters? How much mercy would he show their mother Na'Rin?

Without saying anything, the Sec/Tac rushed to the door leading to the Captain's Ready Room.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Captain's Ready Room
Stardate: 32003.1605

"Enter," the Captain said following the rather insistent sound of the door chime.

"Captain, I need to speak with you," Ya'Han said as she burst into the man's office without having been invited in.

"I figured that you would at some point," the senior most officer said not at all sounding upset by the lack of decorum displayed by the visibly upset woman now standing before him on he other side of the desk. "Have a seat."

Ignoring the man's invitation to sit, Ya'Han rushed in with the reason that had brought her to be here. "Captain, we need to turn the ANUBIS around and head for NYLA IV."

"Although I suspect that I am already aware of the reason for you making this request, I would like for you to explain to me, in detail, why you believe that this ship should not return to NEW ALEXANDRIA. This after we successfully completed our mission to bring agent Trent Troy back," the Captain proposed in a far calmer manner than the Sec/Tac had been able to herself managed.

"The aide of my father is plotting with my brother to help him ascend to the throne of NYLA IV by killing our father the High Sovereign," Ya'Han emotionally explained. "I believe that this will not end there. I suspect that Ze'Kon will dispose of my brother as well as the rest of my family to reach whatever dark and sinister goal he has set for himself, one that may very likely involve the Lokustaar.  Following our escape from MARKALA PRIME, we may have enough time to reach NYLA IV and stop the assassination of the entire royal family."

"Please forgive me Lieutenant, but you are basing all of this on what?" the Captain challenged still showing far more self control than his Chief of Security had displayed since her entrance into his office. "I suspect that you believe that the murder of your half sister is just the start in what the Federation would very quickly consider to be an internal matter of a sovereign world that is well outside of the Federation sphere of influence."

"Captain, we must do something, and do it quickly!" the Sec/Tac said as she slammed her closed fists on the man's desk.

"LIEUTENANT!" the Captain shouted back causing the bright red haired woman to take a long step back.  After allowing Ya'Han to gather her thoughts, Erik leaned forward over his desk and continued this time speaking in the calm and controlled voice that he had been using before the outburst.  "I understand that you are uniquely affected by this situation, but the matter is clearly beyond our reach.  Unless NYLA IV is currently in negotiations to join the Federation, there is *nothing* we can do. Even if they reached out to the Federation and requested help, we would not be able to intervene as the planet falls under the jurisdiction of the New Ferengi Alliance. Whatever personal feelings may be at play, this ship and its crew cannot interfere in the political affairs of a world just because it may affect one of my officers in an undesirable way."

"I understand Captain," Ya'Han said as she forced herself to stand at full attention. "Permission to be excused?"

"Permission granted," the Captain replied sounding somewhat saddened by the way the discussion had come to an end.  "Ya'Han?"

"Yes Captain?" the Sec/Tac replied without turning to face the man who had called out her name.

"I am sorry," the Captain said with audible honesty. "As much as the ships operating from NEW ALEXANDRIA have a much broader margin to work within, we cannot simply force our will on the political affairs of other worlds, no matter how they may affect us professionally or personally."

"I understand, thank you Sir."

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Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 32003.1615

Ya'Han returned to the bridge and made her way back to her station, closely followed by the eyes of both Commander Shar'El and Lieutenant Stark.

"If we did go to NYLA IV and were discovered there as we were nearly at MARKALA PRIME, countless worlds would suffer as the Federation would have to defend itself against allegations of interference which could easily escalate into an armed conflict. That is exactly what Morten said the Lokustaar wanted," Shar'El explained. "Even if we did manage to sabotage the assassination plot, it could lead to your world and countless others to be ravaged by war."

"I know," Ya'Han said,m unable to meet the woman's eyes with her own. "It doesn't make it any easier when you think that maybe your entire family may soon be dead."

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Hanali Han

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P075: USS ANUBIS: Stark: Day 08 - 1545 ("The Silence")
"The Silence"
[previous "The Conflicts"]

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Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 32003.1545

They had left the bridge together as merchant and slave, and had returned together this time as two Starfleet Lieutenant. The entire time though Ya'Han had remained perfectly quiet. He had offered her several caring smiles and even had reached out to give her hand a squeeze but she remained cold and distant.

He had wanted to let her know that he was there for her, as a friend or in any other capacity that she would have him. He had wanted to tell her how absolutely beautiful she had been while dressed as she was when they had left the bridge and he had wanted to verbally admired how professional she appeared while in uniform.  He had even wanted to comment on the brightness of her red hair, letting her know that it suited her far better than the purple she had displayed to get them to board the freighter.  In the end though, everything that he had wanted to tell her remained unsaid.  He just could not bring himself to break through the defensive wall of silence that she had raised around her, a wall meant to either to protect her from the universe or to protect the universe from her feelings.

"Captain," Jayson reported. "Doctor Doyanne is confirming that the memories of the four crew members have been altered to hide their encounter with us. They are being returned to the freighter as we speak."

"Good," the Captain said glancing towards his officers obviously happy to see them back in uniform. "Lieutenant Ya'Han, any signs of the Hirogens or the Lokustaar?"

Jayson looked at Ya'Han who seemed frozen in time leaving the OPS Officer to wonder if she had even heard the Captain's request.  Acting quickly, he rushed to the Tactical station and pressed several controls.  "Sorry Captain, that's my fault. I thought it would be wise for us to run a sensor diagnostic to make sure that we were set as best we could to detect the Lokustaar bio-ships.  I am terminating the diagnostic now.  There is nothing on sensors, it looks like the Hirogens have been left completely behind with no idea where to look."

"Thank you Lieutenant," the Captain said not at all sounding as if he had fallen for Jayson's effort to protect Ya'Han.  "Stand by to drop out of warp and release the freighter back into space."

"Yes Captain," the OPS Officer acknowledged as he returned to his station, finding the continued silence of the Chief of Security increasingly troubling.

=/\= Doyanne to bridge. Everything is ready. They should regain consciousness if a few minutes. =/\=

"Thank you Doctor," the Captain acknowledged. "Stand by to drop out of warp and retract the ablative armor in front of Shuttle Bay 3.  Use the tractor beam to insure that the ship is returned to space without any problems."

"Everything is ready Captain," Jayson said. "The entire process should not take more than 25 to 30 seconds."

"Still nothing on sensors?" Morningstar demanded, this time looking directly at his Chief of Security and Tactical Officer.

"Sensors show nothing but space," Ya'Han answered making Jayson smile. Even though the words had not been anything special, he found them to be very reassuring and pleasing, the sound of her voice being something that he never tired of hearing.

"Let's get these people back to where they belong," the Captain ordered setting the list of things to take place in motion.

"Dropping out of warp speed," Jayson reported. "Shuttle Bay doors are opening and the ablative armor is being retracted. Engaging tractor beam. Freighter is being slowly pushed into space. 60 meters. 50 meters. 40 meters, the freighter is now more than half way out. 20 meters. 10 meters. The freighter has cleared the shuttle bay entrance."

"Close Shuttle Bay doors and restore full ablative armor. Helm, take us back to maximum warp speed on the new heading of 203 mark 47. Engage!"

"Sensors are still showing nothing out there other than the freighter, and with our new heading it is highly unlikely that they will know where to look if they even get that far as to look for another ship," the OPS Officer reported. "With their sensors currently out of commission, they will likely think that they went through some sort of spacial anomaly and will consider themselves lucky to still being in one piece."

"Good," the Captain said as he stood from his chair.  "Commander Shar'El you have the bridge," the man stated as he made his way back to his Ready Room.

"Ya'Han, are you alright?" the First Officer asked, obviously concerned for the woman's emotional well being.

"I'm fine," the red headed woman replied as she looked down at her instruments adding a sigh of sadness that left Jayson to wonder what she had been looking at. One of the advantages of being the Chief of Operations was that he could call up the display of any station onto his, so by doing this he could see what had triggered the reaction in the Chief of Security.

"The sensors of the ANUBIS had been directed towards a very specific region of space, one that held a single solar system at its center. Jayson had not needed to check with the computer's star charts to know that the name of the system had been NYLA and that Ya'Han's attention had been directed to the fourth planet of that system.

With their current heading and speed, the NYLA system would be in sensor range for another hour or so. Jayson could only hope that Ya'Han would return to the person she had been before their mission to MARKALA PRIME once they crossed that point.  The silence that surrounded the woman having become more than the man could bare to stand.

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P074: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: Day 08 - 1445 ("The Conflicts")
=-=
"The Conflicts"
[previous post was "The Prey" by our illustrious Lead Writer Francois]
=-=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 22 Corridor, outside Shuttle Bay 3
Stardate: 32003.1445

There was no denying it, being back on he ANUBIS felt good. The time spent on MARKALA PRIME might have been minimal but it had been long enough to make a lasting impression on not only the ExO / ILO but also on the rest of the members of the away team. Some more than others.

"Commander!" Ya'Han called out as she rushed to catch up with Shar'El who had not wasted any time exiting the Shuttle Bay after her little confrontation with Doctor Doyanne. "May I have a word with you?"

"You can, but should you not be supervising the transfer of our guests to Sickbay?" the Commander wondered, hoping that the Nylaan woman had fully returned to them based on the restored bright red color of her hair.

"I thought it best if I was not around them, leaving the task to the security detail that had been dispatched by the Captain," Ya'Han explained. "Given that they believe me to be a member of the Nylaan royal family might cause more problems and would most certainly trigger a great many questions that I am sure none of us wish to deal with."

"You *are* a member of the Nylaan royal family," Shar'El sternly corrected having recognized a certain tone in the woman's voice. "Their beliefs on this matter are based on what they saw and heard. It might be difficult to convince them otherwise if it is in our best interest to challenge their opinion on your status and relationship with the royal family of Nyla IV."

Ya'Han reached out and grabbed Shar'El's shoulder forcing the ExO / ILO to stop and turn around to face the Nylaan woman who had appeared more than ready for a verbal fight. The question on the mind of the Commander was would this conflict be with the ANUBIS' Chief of Security or with the daughter of the High Sovereign?

"I am sorry Commander," Ya'Han offered as she withdrew her hand from the shoulder of the ExO / ILO. "This is a very difficult situation for me," the Chief of Security added.

"I understand," Shar'El offered not as a superior officer but as a friend. "I do not envy your current situation but we do have to focus on the tasks at hand, the first being to get the ANUBIS back to Federation space safe and sound. Can we count on you for this?"

"Of course Commander," the bright red haired Chief of Security confirmed.

"Then let's get to the bridge," the ExO / ILO instructed as she noted Lieutenant Stark and Paquette heading their way. "Once we are cleared of any immediate danger we can start working on a way to deal with Captain Houston and his merry band of adventurers."

=-=
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 32003.1455

"Welcome back," the Captain offered as the four officers stepped onto the bridge, none of them having taking any time to change out of their undercover civilian clothing.  "I suspect that the mission was a success."

"The mission objective was successfully met and agent Trent Troy was found and extracted safely. By now he is likely under the tender care of Doctor Doyanne," the ExO / ILO clarified. "As for the rest of the mission, let's just say that things did not go quite as smoothly as they could have."

"Why do I have the feeling this is going to be a long mission debriefing?" The CO sighed, gently shaking his head from side to side in an almost amused manner.

"As soon as we can confirm that the ANUBIS is safe and out of harm's way I will be happy to give you a full verbal account of what we encountered on the planet's surface. The actual report will take quite a bit longer for me to write and you to read."

"Isn't that always the case," Morningstar noted. "On another note, as soon as possible, I would appreciate you all changing back into your uniforms. Your current attires are somewhat *distracting* to say the least," the Captain stated giving Ya'Han a very quick glance to make sure she understood that she had been the one targeted by his words.

=-=
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Captain's Ready Room
Stardate: 32003.1515

After having confirmed that the Hirogen fleet had not given chance, Shar'El had followed their Captain into his office.

"Alright, so what happened on MARKALA PRIME?" Morningstar asked as he leaned back again the edge of his desk.

"During our search for agent Troy we came across the aide of the High Sovereign of NYLA IV, a gentleman by the name of Ze'Kon who we discovered as associated himself with a Mister Morten, likely someone working for the Lokustaar. Both appeared to be heavily involved in an assassination plot against the ruler of NYLA IV so that the oldest son named Ya'Kun could claim the throne. We also discovered that his fiancée was actually a half sister who had taken on the name of Ya'Han, this supposedly to help rally those opposed to the current High Sovereign."

"Wait," Erik interrupted. "She was the half sister of the aide Ze'Kon?"

"No, Ya'Han was the half sister to the heir Ya'Kun."

"What? Ya'Han is only a half sister to the heir?" Erik continued, no longer following the story.

"Not our Ya'Han, but the other Ya'Han. The one that was killed by Ze'Kon."

"Wait! What? Ze'Kon killed Ya'Han?"

"Yes," Shar'El confirmed before stopping herself having heard what had been said. "Well, no. He killed the half sister who took on the name Ya'Han, not the real Ya'Han who is our Chief of Security.  We managed to escape thanks to Maya who had stayed in her monkey form, but by then it was too late to save Ya'Han. Obviously the half sister one and not the real one as she is on the bridge as we speak."

The Captain simply stood and pulled down his uniform shirt before making his way towards the door.

"Captain?"

"I'm heading to Sickbay to speak to Doctor Doyanne and see if she has a few aspirins. I have the feeling I am going to need quite a few of them when I get started on reading your report."

"What about the crew of the STAR OF DESTINY?" Shar'El inquired before the Captain could exit the room.

"The what?"

"The STAR OF DESTINY is the freighter we used to make our way back. The ship that is currently in Shuttle Bay 3. The crew is under the impression that Ya'Han is a member of the Nylaan royal family because she changed her hair color to purple to convince the guards not to block our way," the ExO / ILO explained.

"They are under the impression that she is a member of the royal family, but I thought that Ya'Han was. Is she not the youngest daughter or was that the other one? Did something happen on MARKALA PRIME to change this?"

"No," Shar'El said as she tried to keep track of everything herself. "Ya'Han, our Ya'Han, *is* a member of the royal family, just as her dead half-sister was although no one knew of her existence, the half-sister one, but we never confirmed this with Captain Houston or the other members of the crew of the freighter."

"Captain Houston is..." Erik said sounding completely exasperated.

"The one in charge of the STAR OF DESTINY," the ExO / ILO confirmed.

"Good, just wanted to make sure," Erik stated as he walked out. "You have the bridge. Whatever issues I need to deal with in Sickbay are bound to be far simpler to handle than trying to make sense of this story."

"Would a flow chart help?" Shar'El asked with humor as she watched the Captain walk away without bothering to look back.

=-=
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 32003.1525

With the Captain gone to Sickbay to take care of the crew of the STAR OF DESTINY, Shar'El had returned to the bridge.

"Things seem to be quiet," the ExO / ILO stated as she looked at Ya'Han and Jayson. "You two can head back to your quarters and get changed. Might make things easier on the Captain if he came back and saw Starfleet Officers on the bridge instead of an exotic merchant and a red haired Nylaan slave."

The two officers glanced at one another, smiled and nodded their agreement and understanding before heading for the turbolift.

As soon as Ya'Han ad Jayson vanished behind the closing turbolift doors, Shar'El reached for a PADD and sighed. "Erik was right, this is going to be a very confusing report to write and even more so to read."

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET
M07-P073: USS ANUBIS: Morningstar: Day 08 - 1420 ("The Prey")
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"The Prey"
Previous post "The Family"
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"It is said that the future is always born in pain. The history of war is the history of pain. If we are wise what is born of that pain matures into the promise of a better world. Because we learn that we can no longer afford the mistakes of the past."
- Ambassador G'Kar

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 32003.1420

Over the last three hours, the ANUBIS, under the command of Captain Erik Morningstar, had done everything possible to remain undetected by the pack of Hirogen hunters closing in on them. The strategy they were using, as simple as it might have been, had proven more than effective in forcing the ship under the protection of its cloaking armour to make its way back to MARKALA PRIME.  All that the Native American could do was hope that his people would be there waiting to be scooped up as they went by not at all liking the idea of dropping out of warp speed and giving the Lokustaar and easy target to fire at.

"Captain," the assistant Flight Control Officer said, an unmistakable nervousness present in his voice. "The Hirogen fleet has reduced its speed.  Either they have detected the ship or expecting whatever they have been corralling up to this point to slow down as we reach the planet."

"The Hirogens are experts hunters," the Chief Medical Officer pointed out with reserved admiration, the Doctor having come up to the bridge to see first hand what kind of unsavoury situation they had been right smack in the middle of.  "They are not the type to do anything without a valid reason."

"I know," the Native American agreed with a sigh trying to figure out his next move. Completely dropping out of warp speed would only make a bad situation worse as the Lokustaar would likely be able to detect them despite the ablative armour being active.  The simple fact that one of the massive bio-ships had been able to follow them while they were on their way to MARKALA PRIME hinted at their ability to see past the cloaking armour.  "Reduce our speed to match that of the Hirogens. We need to take as much time as possible to get to the planet. Hopefully Commander Shar'El and the others have managed by now to find agent Troy and secured a way off the planet."

"Even if they did, how are we going to know what ship they are onboard?" Doctor Doyanne inquired. As the Chief Medical Officer, she had not been an expert in covert tactical maneuvers but still the question had been a valid one from her point of view.

"Please Doctor, one catastrophe at a time," Erik sighed back as he called up a tactical display of the entire MARKALA System on he main view screen.

"That's what I thought," Lillie nodded in return. She knew the Captain well enough to know that he had been capable enough to handle the most demanding of situation on the fly, a confidence that she could also grant to their First Officer.  Although no official plan had been set, the Doctor felt assured that the two of them would find some strange and unexpected way to find each other.

"Captain," the aFCO jumped in once again, the sound of his voice edging on near complete panic. "There is a ship now heading directly for us at sub-light speed. At first it had appeared as some sort of freighter but now both sensors and visual scans show it as being a small Hirogen runner."

"Looks like the trap is being closed in on us," Doctor Doyanne stated suspecting that her medical skills might be called upon shortly. 

"No," Erik countered. "You said it yourself, the Hirogens are expect hunters. If they had wanted to close a trap, they would not be using a small ship the size of a runner.  The best tactical move would have been to let the Lokustaar close the trap as we are incapable of detecting them while they are stationary. The only other smart way to end this chase without the assistance of some shadow bio-ships would be to have another group of Hirogen ships waiting for us ahead of our position to insure that we have nowhere to run.  Sending a single small ship makes no sense.  What did you say that ship looked like before?"

"For a few seconds it appeared as some kind of freighter," the aFCO reported. "I thought maybe that the ship had tried to hide from us."

"Maybe," Erik half grinned, "or maybe it's the other way around and they are trying to hide from both the Lokustaar and the Hirogen thus allowing them to get away from the planet without getting into trouble."

"Alright, I'll bite," the Doctor reluctantly sighed. "If they are trying to get away from MARKALA PRIME and doing so without attracting the attention of the Hirogens and Lokustaar, why head directing for a hunting pack?"

"Come on Doctor. Looks like you have been locked in your Sickbay for too long," the Native American chuckled. "If you were searching for something that you could not yourself detect, you would have to rely on the actions and movements of others who might be able to see what it is that you cannot."

"Like searching for the highest concentration of white blood cells to identify where an unseen infection might be," Lillie said having translated the situation into something that she had been far more apt at understanding. "There is one problem with that, sometimes the body can trigger an autoimmune response for an infection that is not actually there. If that ship is truly a freighter capable of changing its sensor signature and outward appearance to appear as a Hirogen Runner, there is no proof that Commander Shar'El and the rest of the away team in on board.  Added to that, there was no way for them to know that we would be ahead of the pack and heading back.  Heading straight for the ships that are currently behind us without knowing that the ANUBIS is there would be pure suicide."

"We do have an advantage over the other ships," the Captain pointed out. "Bridge to IGC. I need a full sensor scan of the Hirogen runner that is between us and MARKALA PRIME."  As Erik waited for the results of the scan, he turned to look at the suspicious looking Doctor Doyanne. "Although the odds, as far as I am concerned, are well in our favour there is no harm in making sure that we are indeed dealing with a camouflaged freighter."

=/\= Sensors have picked up an odd external energy output, one that resembles that of several holographic emitters.  We have also picked up a faint repetitive rhythmic resonance coming from the hull. The ship is not as it appears; it is far more likely that it is some sort of specially equipped freighter possessing a sensor dampening system as well as holographic imaging capabilities. The rhythmic pattern is a short burst followed by a long one, then a pause followed by another long burst. =/\=

"Old morse code," ANI stated. "Dot, dash, pause, dash spell out A and T."

"A and T? Acute Tachycardia? Accelerated Treatment? Amnio-Tripsy?" Lillie suggested.

"I suspect nothing quite as medically complex," the Native American offered in return. "The message needed to be simple yet perfectly understood by us while ignored by everyone else."

"Away Team," the ship's Avatar further contributed, the match with the letters given and their current situation having scored the highest probability of accuracy.

"Satisfied Doctor?" Erik rhetorically wondered of the woman standing next to him.

"I will be as soon as I see them all in Sickbay and declare them fit," the Chief Medical Officer shot back with a joyous smile on her lips.

"ANI, can we beam that craft directly into one of the shuttle bays?" the Captain inquired, the plan having been the easiest and safest when taking into consideration the fact that a fleet of Hirogens ships had been behind them and likely several more Lokustaar vessels were waiting for them near MARKALA PRIME.

"The mass of the vessel, which despite our high calibre sensors remains uncertain, added with the speed variant between us and them makes the prospect exceptionally dangerous for both. It would be far safer to allow the ship to enter the cargo bay on its own," the Avatar explained.

"That is going to be a problem since all shuttle bays are aft facing," the Native American noted in dismay before making his way to the aFCO. "How close to them can you drop us out of warp speed while effecting a 180 degree turn?"

"Captain?" the pilot gasped as the colour rapidly drained from his face.

"Sorry," Erik apologized before turning back his attention to the artificial woman. "ANI?"

"As you wish Captain," the Avatar said as she closed her eyes, calling upon her unique link with the ship to coordinate every step that needed to be performed at in very specific time to insure the safety of both the people on board the freighter and those on the ANUBIS.  “Dropping out of warp speed in 12.8 seconds. Doors to Shuttle Bay 3 will begin to open as soon as we begin the 180-degree turn. Ablative armor will retract from the Shuttle Bay entrance 3.4 seconds after, leaving the freighter with a 4.1-second window to reduce their speed to avoid crashing into the back of the Shuttle Bay, which will be protected by a flexible force field that will act as a final speed reduction. If the freighter’s speed is too high, it will suffer severe damage to its frontal section.  Emergency teams have already been dispatched with the exception of those belonging to the medical department.”

“That sounds like my queue,” Lillie quickly noted as she rushed to the turbolift.

“What are the odds of this going off without a hitch?” Erik inquired in a somewhat whispered tone.

“Dropping out of warp speed in 4.9 seconds,” was the only reply the Captain received.

=====
Setting: SPACE
Stardate: 32003.1430

The STAR OF DESTINY, appearing as a Hirogen Runner thanks to its holographic emitters that had been embedded into the hull matrix, had maintained its course and speed, a fact that would make everyone exceptionally happy in the next few seconds as Shuttle Bay 3 of the ANUBIS suddenly became visible.  In the span of only a few seconds, the disguised freighter vanished inside the ablative cloak of the ship before the armour was fully reinstated and the SCARAB-Class Cruiser returned to high warp speed.

To the pursuing Hirogen Hunters, the small ship had simply vanished from both their sensors and sight. To the Lokustaar though, this minor disappearance had meant that their mission to trap the Federation crew and ship had failed on a scale that they could not have foreseen.  Thanks to the Human's continued unwillingness to abide by the plans that had been set for them, the matter of the High Sovereign of NYLA VI would have to be altered to insure the greatest possible impact on not only the New Ferengi Alliance but the organizations that bordered it on all sides.

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 22, Shuttle Bay 3
Stardate: 32003.1435

The weapons of the massive security detail that had been dispatched had been trained on the hatch which had been slowly lowered. Tensions were quickly relaxed when the form of the ANUBIS' First Officer, followed by that of the Chief Engineering Officer emerged.

"Welcome back Commander," Doctor Doyanne stated with joyful relief. "Are there any injuries that I should be made aware of?"

"You might want to check Jayson's jaw," Sonja replied. "He took quite a few good hits and don't look at me that way I am not responsible for them. Still not certain if that is a good or bad thing though."

"Doctor, please give the crew of the STAR OF DESTINY a full medical check-up and attend to those who might require your special care," Shar'El ordered as she started to head out of the Shuttle Bay.

"I was planning on doing just that Commander," the Chief Medical Officer stated as she ordered one of the security officers to stand guard at the door to insure that no one could exit without her direct permission.  "Shall I start with you or will you be watching to make sure that everyone else passes their exam first?"

"Doctor!" the First Officer growled. "We are still in hostile territory and unless some of the crew received promotions during our absence, the Captain has no Senior Officers by his side.  I promise that I and anyone else who did not do so at this time will report back to you once we are safely on our way back towards Federation space."

"Fine," Lillie unhappily conceded, understanding that the argument made by Commander Shar'El had been one that the Doctor could not go against.

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 7, Sickbay
Stardate: 32003.1530

"Will we be permitted to leave this ship or are we prisoners?" the man who had introduced himself as Captain Jack Houston demanded as he shot a rather unpleasant glare at the oddly dressed security officers guarding the doors to the room they were in, as well as each of the four individuals who had not belonged to the crew of this ship.

"I am more interested in being told why a daughter of the Nylaan High Sovereign is using a ship manned by Terrans?" Mazikeen added in a less than polite manner. "Was this why the authorities and the Hirogens were hunting down all Terrans back on MARKALA PRIME?"

"I am sorry," the Native American offered as he stepped out of Doctor Doyanne's office, the Captain having momentarily abandoned his uniform to instead present himself in more general garments.  "The least you know the better it will be for you all.  The only thing that I can give you at this time is to confirm that you are all in fine physical shape and that you will be allowed to leave very shortly."

"What about my ship?" Jack inquired fearing that for some reason or another he would be made to leave the STAR OF DESTINY behind.

"You have nothing to worry about," Erik confirmed. "Your ship has not been touched other than a minor loss of data from your sensor log as well as a quickly fixed malfunction in the same system. You should have full sensors by the time we are well out of your scanning range."

"Alright, I get it," Horur said as he slipped off the biobed that he had been sitting on. "Whoever you guys are want to remain anonymous. Trust us, we understand that, but how are you going to handle the fact that we have seen all of your faces?"

"Short term memory engrams are actually easily disrupted," the Doctor explained as she tinkered with the hypospray that had been in her hands. "Although you will remember some of what you experienced here, it will feel more like a dream that you are unable to fully recall the details of."

"Now hold on a cotton pickin minute," Jack exclaimed as he jumped off his biobed and took a single step towards the Native American before being stopped by the security officer that had acted as his shadow for the last hour.

"Jack," the Orion woman offered as she moved towards the visible upset man. "We are alive and they are letting us go. They could have just as easily killed all of us and tossed our bodies into space along with a wreckage of the STAR OF DESTINY making it look like an accident or a pirate attack.  They have shown us nothing but kindness, so I think that a few jumbled memories is not too high a price for us to pay for having escape from MARKALA PRIME with our lives."

"Shi," the Terran man said as a tender smile danced on his lips while he caressed the green-skinned woman's cheek with the back of his fingers. "Why do you have to be so beautiful and wise.  Fine, do what you have to do."

"Thank you for your understanding," the Native American said before turning to face Doctor Doyanne and giving her a quick nod of his head to which she acknowledged by pressing the hypospray that had been in her hands against the neck of the bald Mokra giant who after a few seconds collapsed to the floor followed by his fellow shipmates. To avoid any potential problems or confrontation, Lillie had instructed three members of her staff to stand ready and follow her lead, injecting the whole of the crew of the STAR OF DESTINY simultaneously.

"Well done Doctor," the Native American stated. "Once you have confirmed that their short-term memories have been properly altered, beam them back onto their ship and notify the bridge so that we can drop out of warp just long enough to have them be back where they belong."

"Aye aye Captain," Doctor Doyanne acknowledged. "Will I be able to perform the examination of the away team follow that?"

"Of course Doctor," the Captain answered. "It looks like we gave our Hirogen friends the slip and so far we have not had any indications that the Lokustaar are actually following us.  I think the detour we made took them by surprise."

"Yes, because everything else that we did before that had been perfectly expected by everyone else in this galaxy," Lillie sighed as she grinned and rolled her eyes. Being on board the ANUBIS meant a great many things, not the least of which had been that one never knew how things would come to be. 

--==(/\)==--
Francois Charette

Commanding Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501

AND

Lt. Commander Elan Fairborn [Access Character BIO for Elan Fairborn]
Robotics Engineering Officer
NEW ALEXANDRIA
M07-P072: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: Day 08 - 1410 ("The Family")
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"The Family"
[previous post was "The Freighter"]
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Setting: STAR OF DESTINY, Passenger Area
Stardate: 32003.1410

The world of MARKALA PRIME was now well behind them, the chaos that had taken over the city of Kololu would become nothing more than a memory, just like the sister the Sec/Tac of the USS ANUBIS never knew she had would become.

Under normal circumstances, Ya'Han would have contested the woman's claim of royal descent, but there had not been anything normal about the situation the covert team had faced.  What had at expected to be a simple rescue mission had quickly turned out to be anything but. Now, the crew needed to deal with the knowledge of the assassination plot against the ruler of NYLA IV. On a more personal level, the Sec/Tac needed to deal with the possibility of the death of her father at the hands of her brother as well as having been witness to the murder of her half-sister at the hand of her father's aide Ze'Kon.

From what she had seen of the woman who had taken ownership of her name, the half-sister had been several years her senior. Maybe that had been one of the reasons that had played in her father being so hostile towards Ya'Jun and herself, not that the High Sovereign had been all that much kinder to any of his other daughters.

As the first and eldest daughter, Ya'Min had enjoyed certain privileges but nothing compared to those bestowed upon her two older brothers Ya'Kun and Ya'Del. As the eldest sons of the High Sovereign of NYLA IV, the boys had been the pride and joy of their father, but still the eldest sister would always be held in higher regards over any of the other girls that would come after her.  Had this been another reason why their father had not officially claimed the illegitimate daughter as his?  Had he felt so little for her that her death had meant nothing to him or had it been something else, something more?  Had her father actually felt shame in having sired another girl, one that had been conceived outside of his vows to their mother?

The more she thought about the events that had taken place and the discoveries she had made about her family, the more Ya'Han found her mind spinning out of control. Her father's betrayal of her mother and the unexpected discovery of a half-sister whom she never got the chance to actually know before her brutal death had been a difficult and very emotional situation to accept.  That her brother Ya'Kun was plotting the death of their father in order to gain access to the throne that much sooner had not been any easier for her to handle. What made things even more complicated for the exiled Nylaan daughter of the High Sovereign was the fact that she could not bring herself to fully condemn her brother's desired course of actions.  As much as the ruler of NYLA IV had been her father, the hatred for him had been quite substantial and she had hoped that she had found a way to deal with it.  Based on her current emotions, it seemed that she had not been as successful as she had hoped to be in that regard.

Many had warned her about venturing back into Ferengi controlled space. Although some had clearly stated that it might cause problems, never had she expected what had come to pass. At worst, Ya'Han had expected someone to look at her and point out an uncanny resemblance to the members of the Nylaan royal family, a claim that she would have been able to dismiss easily enough. Instead, she had freely claimed both the color and birthright as her own to assist in their escape. That the action had been required or not had no longer mattered, the fact that she had not hesitated to embrace the person she had worked so hard to distance herself from had been what bothered her the most.  Actually, what the Sec/Tac found more bothersome than anything else was the way she found herself enjoying, even if only briefly, the manner in which the guards had acknowledged her absolute authority for no other reason than the color of her hair.

For a moment, Ya'Han wondered if maybe it might have been best had she not set foot on MARKALA PRIME. Maybe it would have shielded her from the knowledge that she now could not find an escape from, the words spoken by her brother and father’s aide echoing in her mind repeatedly. Then again, had she not been there, the outcome of their mission could have been completely different. After all, it was through her claiming her true identity that had saved them from a likely unpleasant confrontation with the guards. Even more important had been the simple fact that the Sec/Tac had never been one to run away or hide from any situation, no matter how bad or uncomfortable it might have appeared to be.

Ya'Han continued to gaze at the stars trying her best to empty her mind but finding it impossible to push aside the souvenirs of her childhood and family.  The encounter with her brother Ya’Kun and the nameless half-sister had forced countless memories back to the surface despite her greatest efforts. As bad and sad as most recollections were, there had still been a few happy moments in her past, memories that actually made her look back at the members of her family with a hint of nostalgia.

As the human saying went, through the course of their lives, one could choose their friends and adversaries, but none could ever select their family.

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Hanali Han

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P071: USS ANUBIS: Paquette: Day 08 - 1410 ("The Freighter")
"The Freighter"
previous post was "The Stars"

=====
Setting: STAR OF DESTINY, Passenger Area
Stardate: 32003.1410

Without thinking about what she was doing, the redheaded Engineer was gently petting the monkey that had landed on her lap after their departure from MARKALA PRIME.  The motion and sensation of the soft fur against the palm of her hand had been rather soothing and by the looks of things, the small primate had not been complaining about the attention.  As she continued to caress the resting animal, the undercover Engineer found herself studying the internal layout of the alien freighter.

Unlike Federation starships which hid all matters of conduits and regulating controls for the sake of the crew's visual benefits, freighters such as this one kept everything well in sight to allow for the easy identification of problems as well as quick access for repairs.  Being able to see all of the conduits had allowed the expert and trained eyes of the ANUBIS' Chief Engineer to identify several out-of-place components.  Although Sonja could only guess as to what these additional systems were meant for, their placement as well as the way they seemed to draw power from the ship's primary grid had given her a sharp advantage in guessing what they were all about.

"Commander," Sonja began as she leaned in closer to Shar'El. "It will not take too long for Mister Morten and his *associates* to figure out where we are and pounce on this ship, especially not after her royal display back on the planet," the Chief Engineer mentioned as she looked at their Chief of Security who appeared completely lost in her thoughts. "From what I can see of this freighter, it is equipped far more than would be expected for a ship of its size and purpose but against one of those shadow bio-ships it won't last more than a few seconds."

"The Captain of the STAR OF DESTINY was very pleased to get back on board and gave me quite a detailed account of the unexpected capabilities of his ship as we came on board," Shar'El said, adding a sideways grin. The smile had been meant to make it clear that although the Commander had been given strict restrictions in regards to looking into the memories of the members of the crew; those restrictions had not applied to anyone else whom the Ullian might have considered to be of interest.

"Alright, let me see if I'm right," Sonja said not wanting to lose this opportunity to prove her expertise in the field of Engineering.  "Bio-regenerative hull."

"We all noticed that before we boarded the ship," the Commander sighed in disappointment.

"I'm just warming up, plus I wanted to make sure that *you* noticed it too," the Engineer teased. "Those controls look like they belong to some sort of sensor dampening system, likely meant to hide the ship's true size and weight making it easier for the crew to smuggle items from one system to the other."

"Again, not much of a challenge for anyone who can identify a dampening field generator," Shar'El grinned in return, finding it amusing to give the Chief Engineer a difficult time on this matter.

"Those are holographic emitter regulators and since there are no actual emitters to be seen, we can only guess that the ship is able to project an external holographic image to make it appear as something else," Sonja pointed out with a soft side-to-side wobble of her head. "Add those to the sensor dampening system and you have a ship that could fool a great many people into believing it that it is far less than what it is."

"Agreed," the Commander smiled. "Maybe we should have a chat with the Captain and explain that it would be in all of our interests to make ourselves be something else."

"Sounds like a plan. Now, do you want me to talk to him or do you think it would be better if the taller gypsy was the one to explain our situation to him?" Sonja offered, following the Commander's gaze onto the woman with the purple hair.

"Well, I have two reasons that point to me being the one that needs to do this," Shar'El said in all seriousness.  "The first is that although it would likely be better received if it came from our resident royalty, she does appear to be in no shape to speak to anyone at this time."

"And the second?" Sonja queried.

"I would hate to have to explain to Doctor Doyanne why your legs and possibly even your arms came to be covered in numerous deep claw gashes that occurred *after* we left the surface of MARKALA PRIME," the Commander said glad to see the expression of confusion on the features of her fellow gypsy. "Maya appears far too comfortable on your lap for me to disturb her by asking you to do this. Plus I suspect that if I did, she would claw out my eyes as well,” Shar’El added as she stood from her chair and headed for the flight control room.

Sonja abruptly stopped petty the small primate that had been on her lap as she had been doing, having completely forgotten about the ability of their Chief Science Officer to shape-shift into animals.  The moment she stopped, the monkey looked up in a clearly discontented manner.

"Sawwy," Sonja said without actually voicing the word aloud.  As silence stretched, the Engineer looked down at the monkey unsure if she had been meant to resume her previous calming activity or if she was to permit the primate to take possession of the seat that had just been vacated by Commander Shar'El. The Ullian woman had been far too anxious to leave Sonja to her situation and go and speak with the Captain of the STAR OF DESTINY to discuss their shared need to remain unseen for as long as possible.

Appearing as if she had not been given any other choice in the matter, Maya stepped off the laps of the Chief Engineer and walked over to the vacated chair, shooting a quick glance in the direction of the woman who had been petting her not so long ago.

“I am going to be made to pay for this in one way or another aren’t I?” the Engineer sighed to which the small primate simply turned its head and smiled before climbing up the exposed pipes and vanishing into the inner workings of the freighter.

=====
Lorraine Paquette

Chief Engineering Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501
M07-P070: USS ANUBIS: Stark: Day 08 - 1410 ("The Stars")
"The Stars"
[previous "The Emotions"]

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Setting: STAR OF DESTINY, Passenger Area
Stardate: 32003.1410

A general atmosphere of relief washed over the members of the away team as the ship they had secured passage on thanks to Shar'El and Ya'Han exited the planet's atmosphere. Through the rectangular windows that lines the sides of the room they had been brought to, the peaceful lights of the stars could be seen.  As much as they may not have been the stars he had grown accustomed to seeing, they still held a special significance for the OPS Officer, in that they were that much closer to being back on the ANUBIS.

"Can I get you something to drink?" The Orion woman asked as if it had been her duty and responsibility to attend to the needs of the unexpected guests on board the vessel.

Jayson had been ready to thank the green-skinned woman for her consideration and send her on her way, but he quickly reconsidered his decision when the felt a sharp stink of his jaw where Ze'Kon had hit him.  "It would be nice if you have some ice."

The Orion woman smiled and politely nodded her acknowledgement before going to wherever had been required to fetch the requested item, obviously she had figured out what he needed the ice for.  While he waited, Jayson surveyed the other members of the away team wanting to make sure as best he could that everyone had been alright.

His scrutinizing gaze ended up stopping on the purple haired Nylaan sitting on the other side of the room, her thoughts appearing to be a million light years away.  Ya'Han's gaze was lost amongst the same stars that he had been so pleased to see, but judging by the expression on her face, the distant lights had failed to make her feel the way they had made him.  His initial reaction had been to get up and go to her in order to offer support and comfort, but there had been something about her posture that made him reconsider.

From his own personal experiences, he could see and recognize her need to be alone, her desire to be isolated from the rest of the universe. In time this would pass but for the time being it had been best if Ya'Han was left to deal with her thoughts and emotions as she believed best, at least for the time being.  As much as he understood her desire to be alone, he also knew firsthand how the presence of someone could help in dealing with these emotions. The least he could do for the troubled Nylaan was to be there for her.

"Here you go," the Orion woman said as she presented Jayson with a professionally wrapped ice pack pointing out that this had not been the first time she had played the role of a nurse.

"Thank you," he acknowledged as he took the ice pack and delicately placed it against his sore jaw. "You are most kind."

"Just trying to help," the Orion woman smiled showing a genuine desire to serve, something that had very likely been part of her being from the very start.  "May I ask you a question?" She nervously added, not certain if the simple pre-question would be enough to offend their passengers.

"Of course, I will do my best to answer all of your questions within my abilities to do so," he replied while glancing at Ya'Han for a brief moment leaving the Orion woman to suspect that the Nylaan royalty would be the reason as to why he would not be able to give specific details as he answered her queries.

"Why did you need a ship? I would have expected a member of the Nylaan royal family to have something far more luxurious at her disposal," the green-skinned woman inquired before sending a curious glance in the direction of the purple haired woman sitting on the other side of the room.

"Let's just say that it's complicated," he chuckled. There had been no way for Jayson to explain that the member of the royal family the Orion woman had referred to had in fact not been in the High Sovereign's grace or that she had actually been an officer on board a Federation vessel, one that belonged to a secret base of operations.  "We were in need and we are most grateful that you happen to be at the right place at the right time."

The Orion woman laughed aloud. "Jack will be very happy to hear that."

"To hear what?" Jayson questioned surprised by the woman's reaction. "That we needed a ship?"

"No, that he was at the right place at the right time. He will be boasting that for weeks to come."

"May I ask you a question?" He continued before the green-skinned woman could walk away.

"Of course," she happily replied leaving Jayson to suspect that the Orion woman would not hesitate to answer any question he might have if only to abide by what he had presumed was her core desire to please anyone and everyone she met. Something that had likely been forced upon her at some point in her life.

"May I ask for your name?" Jayson queried. Although he did have a great many more questions, he believed that this had not been the time to place the poor woman through any sort of interrogation.  Commander Shar’El having been much better set-up to get any and all of the information they might come to need as they tried to regroup with the ANUBIS.

"Shi," she replied with a smile not having expected such a simple question. "My name is Shi."

"Nice to meet you Shi," Jayson nodded back adding a grateful smile before glancing once more towards Ya'Han who had not moved a muscle from her observing the stars.

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P069: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: Day 08 - 1250 ("The Emotions")
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"The Emotions"
[previous post was "The Trap"]
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Setting: MARKALA PRIME, Trade City of Kololu, Underground Chamber
Stardate: 32003.1250 (0935 local time)

The moment Maya had unlocked the shackles that had held the Sec/Tac back, the youngest daughter of the High Sovereign quickly made her way to the motionless body of the sister she never knew she had. However much Ya'Han had feared and even hated her father's aide as a child, she now despised the man even more than she had thought possible. Ze'Kon had always been cruel beyond measure, the lifeless form of the sister without a name of her own being the latest irrefutable proof of that.  What had changed was the living sister's newfound desire to see that cruelty come to an end once and for all.

"We have to go," Commander Shar'El softly said, placing a caring hand on the shoulder of the kneeling Nylaan woman. "It is not safe for us to remain here, especially with Ze'Kon on the loose.

"Just one moment," Ya'Han pleaded as she looked up at the woman standing over the two sisters. "Please."

Necessity demanded that they depart from this location with the greatest urgency, the chamber having been a less than ideal place for them to be trapped in, but Shar'El also understood the emotional turmoil that the purple haired Nylaan had been going through.  With a nod of her head, the Commander granted the woman's wish for extra time, opting to check in on the injured members of her team.

Ya'Han gently reached down and took the lifeless woman into her arms. Although she possessed but a mild family resemblance to the woman looking down at her, the color of dead woman's hair had been all the proof the Sec/Tac required to feel a deep closeness to her.  The fact that she had witnessed the woman's death at the hand of the man she had hated for as long as she could remember had only solidified that link.

"I'm sorry," Ya'Han quietly offered in sorrow.  "I am sorry for what father did to your mother and the life he forced you into. I am sorry that Ze'Kon thought of you as nothing more than a pawn in his game. I am sorry that events kept us apart to see us finally meet as enemies instead of family."

"We might all end up a lot more sorry if we don't get out of here," Jayson said, managing to catch Ya'Han's hand as it came flying for his face.  "Woah there! I know that you are upset, the fact that I was able to stop you proves that you are not at your best, so imagine what would happen if that sick aide of your father sends in troops to deal with us.  We are all unarmed and some of us are not in any shape to hold our own in a hand-to-hand confrontation.  I understand that her death is difficult for you to accept, but would it make you feel better if any of us don't make it out of here alive to boot?"

Her first reaction had been to strike at him for having downplayed her sadness, but his reasoning quickly took hold in her mind.  After a few seconds, she reached up and wrapped her arms around his neck, forcing her cheek against his only to realize after the fact that she had pressed against the bruised that had come to be following Ze'Kon hitting him while he had been chained to the wall.

"You two ready?" Shar'El asked, the rest of the away team including the agent that had been the reason for them being here in the first place all having been ready to leave.

Jayson and Ya'Han gazed into each other's eyes for a brief moment before he helped his grieving friend to her feet. "Right behind you Commander."

As they made their way through the dark passageway, Ya'Han suddenly stopped. "We can't leave her that way. Ze'Kon could return and use her body to help complete his plan."

"How?" Jayson asked, not understanding how the man, as evil as he might be, could use the dead body of Ya'Han's sister to his dark advantage.

"I'm not sure, but if there is one thing we should have learned from this is that Ze'Kon is capable of anything to strengthen his position and further his cause."

"Alright," Jayson nodded, agreeing with the woman by his side. "What would you have do?"

As they looked back, the two officers noticed a flickering light moving towards them.  As they readied themselves for what they believed would be a battle, Ya'Han and Jayson saw their little primate friend running towards them, a small lit torch in one of its hands.

"Did we almost leave you behind?" Jayson inquired, feeling rather foolish that he and Ya'Han had gone without realizing that they had not been the last as they had believed.

Maya rushed past them giving the torch to Ya'Han before she reached for Jayson's pant leg, pulling him in the direction that she was heading in.

"Wait," the Sec/Tac said. "I can use this torch to make sure Ze'Kon can never use my sister's body to help him gain whatever advantage he might have come up with."

The small monkey shook its head vigorously and pointed back towards the darkness that she had come from.  A fire had been started and was gaining ground on the last members of the away team. Whatever plan Ya'Han had come up with it appeared that the Shillian Primate had already had the same idea and acted on it.

"Time to move!" Jayson announced as he scooped the monkey to place her onto his shoulder before ushering Ya'Han forward as fast as they both could move.

As they did so, Ya'Han looked over her shoulder to gaze upon the fire that would claim the body of her sister. As little as she knew about her, the fire would provide her with a passing that had been fitting of someone of their shared lineage. One day she hoped, the name of the woman would be discovered so that a final prayer from the sister whom she had shared a name with could be given as a final acknowledgement of her life.

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Hanali Han

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P068: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: Day 08 - 1222 ("The End")
=-=
"The End"
[previous post was "The Brat" by the very understanding Jayson]
=-=

Setting: MARKALA PRIME, Trade City of Kololu, Underground Chamber
Stardate: 32003.1222 (0905 local time)

(From Hanali's "The Guilt" to establish timeline)

"Your Highness," Ze'Kon acknowledged in a condescending manner. "You have nothing to be sorry about; in fact we are all very glad for what you did so as it allowed for what will come to pass to happen quicker than it would have had.  As for anything else, you should not worry about it; your lives were forfeit the moment you set foot on this planet.  Your only concern now should be as to how I will dispose of you; personally I would love to see just how much pain and suffering you can endure."

(Mine)

With an evil smile dancing on his lips the aide to the High Sovereign suddenly turned to welcome the new arrivals as they walked into the room located beneath the Church of the Ancient Ones. Ze'Kon had without efforts recognized the footsteps of the boy he had seen grow up as well as those of his half sister who had been poised to become his mate.

"Your Highness," Ze'Kon said as he greeted the Nylaan heir with all of the reverence the man's title and status required, offering nothing more than a respectful nod of his head to the woman by Ya'Kun's side.

"Who are they?" Morten suspiciously asked as he glared at the two women who had followed the new arrivals in.

"They saved our lives," Ya'Kun stated clearly not at all impressed by the tone of the question that had just been asked. "It seems that those opposing my ascension have decided to act against me once again."

"I am happy to see that they failed," Ze'Kon offered with a louder than expected sigh of relief.  "I will admit though that I find it strange they knew you would be here on MARKALA PRIME. No one at the Imperial palace was aware of your travel plans with the exception of us three."

"Maybe it was her," the heir accused as he approached the shackled woman with the purple hair. "Maybe my *sister* overheard something.  By the way, which one is she?"

Anyone else would have been surprised by the question but the aide to the High Sovereign knew well the heir's unwillingness to keep track of his numerous sisters. As far as Ya'Kun was concerned, their purpose in life had been nothing more that to become wives to others so as to strengthen their world's influence in the galaxy.

"She, your Highness," the aide grinned, "is your youngest sister Ya'Han. The one who ran away and whom your fiancée appropriated her current identify from."

"*You* are Ya'Han?" The other purple hair woman gasped in wide-eyed surprise, taking a few steps towards her namesake half sister.  "You are looking well for someone who is supposed to be dead."

"I agree," Ya'Kun said as he too moved closer to the chained woman, the man appearing curious but not at all conserved by the manner in which his youngest sister was being treated. "Her being alive will cause issues with our plans," he added while looking at his father's aide.

"I can assure your Highness that this unexpected situation will be quickly rectified to suit our needs," Ze'Kon calmly offered as he once again took a solid hold of the youngest daughter's face. "It would seem that your allies have uncovered a plot by the great and mighty Federation to undermine your claim to the throne through a foolish and desperate effort to impersonate a member of the royal family. Maybe due to their lack of knowledge about the ways of our world or because of their sheer arrogance they believed that sending an agent as one of your sisters would make things easier for them. Whatever misplaced logic was used, their treacherous efforts to accomplish this objective failed following a confrontation with forces loyal to you and your cause in which the agent's face was unfortunately rendered unrecognizable."

"Yes," the heir joyfully agreed. "I can see why father always praised your devious way of thinking.  It is too bad for that father will be made to be on the receiving end of your brilliant plans this time around. That said though, he will be the lucky one in that he will not have to suffer for very long. His death at someone else's hand is required for me to claim my rightful place without any challenges or opposition."

(Insert all of Jayson's post "The Brat")

While the three Nylaans were discussing in great details the revision of their plan, Selyara and Nicole watched and listened with great interest from the entryway, the two women having realized the tactical advantage of not being too close.  Calling on her many lifetimes of experiences, Counselor Dima easily remained stone-faced despite having discovered that the Chief of Security of the ANUBIS had not perished as they had been led to believe.

With the Nylaan heir having confirmed his agreement with Mister Morten and his associates, the fine dressed man could turn his attention to the two ladies who had accompanied the soon to be ruler of NYLA IV.  "I am interested in learning as to how you came to learn about the attack on his royal Highness," he asked clearly letting it known without saying anything that he already knew a great deal.

Nicole quickly glanced in her partner's direction certain that their close association with the four captured officers would be all too soon discovered. Fooling the Nylaan heir and his soon to be mate had been simple enough, but there had been something different about the man standing before them. Although Morten did not appear to be anyone special, other than the fact that he chose to be very well dressed, he did have a dark aura about him, one that warned others when dealing with him on any level.

Selyara glanced around the room taking in each and every detail. The large metallic door with the small opening to see beyond had likely been where Trent Troy had been kept captive. The old style skeleton key hanging on the small hook next to the door appeared to fit the locks both on the door and on he shackles.  A diversion of some sort would be required to draw the attention of Morten and the three Nylaans to give the chance for Nicole to reach the key and even out the odds, that was *if* the odds had not already been in their favor.

The Betazoid / Vulcan hybrid gently rubbed her hands together, having already identified the exposed skin of each of her targets. The more she reviewed the plan in her mind, the easier the entire thing seemed to be, allowing the uniquely skilled Director of Section 31 to end this in only a few seconds.  Selyara met Morten's eyes once more and soon after lunged at him like a viper, her hand aiming for his neck. The moment her skin came in contact with his though things changed.

A cold and inhuman darkness filled the woman's mind making her instantly recall the void that she had felt while working with Shar'El against the Lokustaar bio-ship. As great as her training and expertise were, the unexpectedness of the event caused Selyara to fall to the ground instead of the man whom she had targeted.  As much as she tried to regain control of her mind, the best the hybrid could do was to barely manage to control her trembling body.

"What is going on here?" Ya'Kun demanded after having witnessed the woman who had saved his life fall down at Morten's feet.

"It would seem that the four Federations agents that were captured earlier were not the only ones," the suited man said, his cold gaze having turned to Nicole. Despite all of her lifetimes of experiences, never had she faced someone with eyes such as those Morten had been looking back at her with. It was clear that the man had not been Human or even close to it.

"This day keeps getting better and better," the robed man said, an immeasurable cruelty filled his words.  "The mighty Federation is going to have a very hard time trying to deny their involvement thanks to all of you."

Ze'Kon, the aide to the current High Sovereign, Ya'Kun, the eldest son and heir to the throne as well as his fiancée who had taken on the name of Ya'Han came to stand behind Morten, everyone finding the most recent development very entertaining.

"Do not be greedy Ze'Kon," the heir said as he drew once again his sword. "I know that you enjoy your work, but as your future ruler I reserve the right and privilege of ending one of their lives myself."

"Please," the fiancée pleaded as she held onto the arm of her soon to be husband. "There is no need for you to be cruel. Do not be what you hated the most about your father."

Ze'Kon glared at the purple haired half sister, despising her influence on the boy he had haled forge into the man that had been needed.  "Your Highness, you need to prove to everyone that your strength comes from more than simple words. If you wish to be respected by your subjects, they will need to see and know that you are a man of action."

"That is not respect that you speak of Ze'Kon. What you want people to do is fear Ya'Kun, just as they feared our father before him," the woman hanging to the heir's arm said, pulling her fiancé back to insure that he would not be in range to strike at either unshackled prisoner.

"A respected man is said to be able to rule a world," Morten stated as he looked by at Ya'Kun. "A feared man is said to be able to rule all worlds. Which do you wish to be you Highness?"

The aide looked at his protégé for a few seconds and when he saw the hesitation in his eyes, Ze'Kon sighed in disappointment. "You are weak, but in time you will be made to become who your people needs. In the meantime go with Morten and leave a real man to take care of what needs to be done."

"I will not be dismissed by you or anyone else," Ya'Kun countered with anger.

"She can stay to vouch for the *cruelty* of my actions," the aide stated with authority, clearly challenging without fear the heir's will. "You need to leave *now*!" Ze'Kon added before sending his right hand flying through the hair to strike the standing woman who had been discovered to be just another undercover Starfleet officer. The force of the blow had been such that Nicole flew through the air to hit the wall next to the metal door of the first capture agent's cell.

Once Ya'Kun had been ushered out of the room by Morten, Ze'Kon turned his attention back onto the woman he had helped to take on the identity of Ya'Han many years ago.

"You are a cruel man, and I will not allow you to turn Ya'Kun into the same kind of man and ruler that our father was," she stated while their gaze remained locked with one another.

"When I saved your life after the High Sovereign learned of your birth, I knew that you would be someone special," the aide admitted. "He could not officially claim you as his, and your birthright made it impossible to keep your true identity a secret," he continued as he brushed his fingers through the woman's purple hair.  "I knew that you would help bring a new age to our people, that thanks to you things would be different.  Having you claim Ya'Han's name protected you from your father's need to see you dead while providing him with the weakness that I was able to exploit.  I just never expected you to have such a powerful hold on your brother."

"I will make sure that he never becomes what our father was," she confirmed with conviction.

"I believe you, that is why I have no other choice but to do this," Ze'Kon said as he grabbed the woman's throat with a single hand and lifted her clear off the floor. Despite her struggles to break free, his hold remained firm.

"NO!" the real Ya'Han screamed just as the sound of the woman's breaking neck echoed through the room before he callously disposed of her body.

"You are going to pay for that,"Ya'Han snarled through clenched teeth as she pulled on her restraints with all of the strength she had.

"She had served her purpose, and now her death will insure that your dear brother becomes the leader I need him to be," the cruel aide said as he began to make his way back to the youngest daughter of the man he had served for far too long.  "I needed your name to rally those against your father, but now that I know that you are actually alive, her death will be used to enrage your brother into claiming his place and set his eyes against the Federation itself, especially after he learns that you have killed her with your bare hands."

"That will be hard for you to achieve," Sonja said as she approached the robed man from behind. As Ze'Kon turned to see who had said this, he noticed that one set of shackles had been vacated, seeing instead a grinning small monkey with the skeleton key in his grasp.  As he completed his turn to face the woman, she unleashed a punch across his jaw that she had expected would send him staggering for several steps. Instead, the robed man simple held his ground while Sonja shook the stinging pain from her fist.

"You are no match for me," Ze'Kon laughed as he rose his hand to strike at the woman who had dared to hit him.

"Guess they make them just as big and stupid on NYLA IV as they do in the rest of the galaxy," Sonja offered in return while smiling and looking behind the robed man to see the monkey hard at work freeing the other members of the team.  As Ze'Kon went to stop the primate, the undercover Chief Engineer simply extended her feet to trip the man. Although it would certainly not be enough to stop him, Lieutenant Paquette had figured that the delay would be enough for Maya to complete her task.

Quickly seeing the odds shifting against him, Ze'Kon returned to his feet and headed for he exit, this after having forcefully pushed the woman who had struck him out of his way.

"Let him go," Shar'El ordered as Maya freed her from her bonds. "It is clear that he is far stronger than any of us and we have more pressing matters to take care of. Right now we need to focus on getting everyone out of her and back to the ANUBIS."

One by one, the members of the away team were freed allowing them to process all that had happened before making their way out of the underground room.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET
M07-P067: USS ANUBIS: Stark: Day 08 - 1225 ("The Brat")
"The Brat"
[previous "We Live To Serve"]

[/\]

Setting: MARKALA PRIME, Trade City of Kololu, Underground Chamber
Stardate: 32003.1225 (0910 local time)

The taste of copper filled his mouth as Jayson found himself looking at twinkling stars that he could not recognize the configuration of. The metal shackles dug into his wrists as the fullness of his weight was being supported by the restraints following the powerful backhand strike that had knock his ability to stand clean out of him.

Through blurred vision, he could see the door that he had earlier noted, but this time the metal that it had been made out of appeared to be wavering, as if caught in some sort of spacial anomaly.  As he shifted his gaze to one of the wooden support beams overhead, Jayson could have sworn that he had seen some kind of furry animal.  As his vision cleared, he again tried to locate the beast hoping that it had been Maya, but he found nothing letting him conclude that the monkey, like the shimmering door had been nothing more than an optical illusion brought upon by the physical trauma he had suffered.

For an old man responsible for providing assistance and guidance to the ruler of an entire world, he sure had packed some unexpected strength along with the aim of a sharpshooter.  The more Jayson regained his mental and physical footing, the more he came to realize that the one and only strike he had received would leave him with a sizeable bruise on his jaw, not to mention the ability to see several stars for quite some time.

As he turned his head to look at the man who had nearly hit him into the next life, Jayson caught only the last part of the conversation he and Ya'Han had shared. Although he had not heard all of it, what he did hear had been enough for the OPS officer to know that he meant to harm the woman he cared about more than anything else.

"You high and mighty Nylaans are all the same," Jayson said hoping to draw the aide's attention away from Ya'Han. "Always picking on those weaker than you are to insure that your sorry excuse of an ego is not shattered into dust. You are all a bunch of cowards, incapable of handling a fair fight.  That's why Ya'Han trained as she did and refused to let her hair be the color it is now. She wanted to distance herself as much as possible from the weaklings that all of royals are."

Jayson briefly smiled as he noticed that all eyes had fallen on him. At least this way, Ya'Han had been safe, even of only for a few more moments, but each second he could draw had been extra time for Ya'Han or the others to find a way to get themselves out of the mess that they had all found themselves in.

"You dare insult a member of the royal family?" Ya'Kun snarled as he drew a sword from beneath his cloak.

"You, her and especially him, although he doesn't have the right color hair," Jayson confirmed with as much arrogance as he could muster. "My guess is that his mother was too weak and ugly to be able to get the big guy's interest."

"JAYSON, STOP!" Ya'Han pleaded, hoping that he would stop what he had been doing before it was too late. Unfortunately for the man who had portrayed an exotic merchant for the mission, the warning had come only a split second before Ze'Kon backhanded Jayson once more.

"Case and point," he managed to say as he spat out the blood that had gathered in his mouth.  The bruise on his jaw would indeed be a massive one, but Jayson knew that this had been a small price to pay to make sure that Ya'Han and the others would be safe for a little while longer.  "How proud are you for striking a man who is incapable of defending himself? Bet it makes you feel as grand as can be."

Maybe, just maybe, if he could goat him enough to have his bonds removed Jayson would have the chance to find a way to save them all. Then again, maybe the aide would simply be happy to beat the captive Starfleet officer into oblivion and call it a day.  The powerful punch, which landed on his stomach, showed Jayson that the second possibility had been far more likely than the first.

"Ze'Kon!" the chained Ya'Han ordered. "STOP!"

"And why would I do that your Highness?" the aide sarcastically asked, leaving the man coughing blood alone for the time being in order to refocus his attention on the woman who had become his most prized possession, at least until he would finally force the last breath from her lungs.  "It is truly remarkable that despite you having done everything within your power to distance yourself from your father and his ways, that I can see and hear so much of him in your eyes and voice.  It is truly a shame that you could never have been placed in charge of anything back on our world. I suspect that you would have made quite a formidable leader. One easily capable of teaching a great many men a thing or two about how to be in charge of others.  Unfortunately for you your Highness," he continued tightly grabbing Ya’Han’s jaw in his hand, “your path leads to you dying as a nobody.”

"I grow tired of this," Ya'Kun announced with impatience, sounding like the brat that Jayson had figured him to be.  "Kill them and let's get on with our plans. The longer we remain here, the longer you amuse yourself with my sweet little sister and her friends, the longer my dear father and his allies have to find a way to deny me the thrown that should have been mine years ago."

"Relax. Whatever allies your father might have gathered or enlisted will be dealt with as per our agreement," Morten clarified with great assurance. "All we ask in return is for my associates to be able to use some of the deserted islands on your world as a base of operation."

"Yes, yes," Ya'Kun agreed with impatience. "The agreement was very clear and I will abide by its terms. You give me the Nylaan thrown and I give you all of the islands you and your associates will need.”

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P066: USS ANUBIS: Chen: Day 08 - 1150 ("We Live To Serve")
---
"We live to serve"
(cont "The 5th member")
---

Setting: MARKALA PRIME, Trade City of Kololu, Unknown building, Second Floor
Stardate: 32003.1150 (0835 local time)

When the two Nylaans had passed in front of the doorway to the room they had been hiding in, Selyara and Nicole quickly noticed that both had been displaying the purple hair color reserved to members of the royal family of NYLA IV.

"Brother and sister in love?" the Counselor raised her eyebrow and made a face

"Half sister," the Director of Section 31 corrected, being specifically accurate having always been a part of the world she lived in. "Plus such romantic associations are not uncommon. Many royal families believe that marrying within their own family strengthens their bloodline. It also reduces the number of families that can be claimants to the throne."

"Half sister or not, the reality of genetics cannot be ignored," Nicole sighed as the two waited to make sure it was safe for them to follow the couple.

"People have said the same things about the realities of biology throughout the ages, and yet people in love have always found a way. For all we know the Nylaans have developed some sort of medical counter agent to offset the genetic shortcomings of inter-family breeding. Besides, you're a Trill. Enough lifetimes and eventually you might accidentally fall in love with your great great great grandchild twice removed or something." Selyara pointed out as she slowly stood to glance into the corridor to make certain they were alone. "But that is nether here nor there. We need to stick to them. I do love court intrigue. It's so delightfully twisty and overwrought."

"... I thought were were looking for your missing agent?" Nicole muttered.

"Did I mention that court intrigue tends to usurp whatever local goings on are usually happening? It's like a vortex of crazy that sucks everything into it."

"So you're saying it's related then?" 

"Come now, in all your past lives have you never had the pleasure of being embroiled in a quality intrigue? More's the pity for you, as to my hypothesis, we'll find out soon enough, won't we?" Selyara said distractedly as she scooted down the corridor. 

"And you're not at all concerned that Ya'Han-"

"No, why would I be? Oh, come on, whatever is going on here has to have been going on for ages, probably since before my agent disappeared. Ya'Han is probably fine. And even if she wasn't, so what?"

"You're-"

"A horrible person? Boring reaction."

"I was going to say 'remarkably blase about life, for a being that only gets one', actually. Is that more interesting?" Nicole raised an eyebrow.

"A little bit." Selyara said, indicating that it was a very, very little bit. She picked up the pace and entered a large indoor marketplace. She paused at the grand entrance, searching for their target. Her face darkened as she searched the crowd, apparently having no luck. Nicole followed suit.

"Wait, there!" Nicole cried out and swung Selyara around to look in the right direction. Ya'Kun had donned a hooded cloak which covered him from head to legs, likely due to some misplaced royal unwillingness to change his hair color to anything that would not make it so easy for him to be recognized.  His companion on the other hand had not hesitated to display a far more appropriate color, one that hid the half royal blood she shared with her brother. Selyara grunted a grudging thanks, then grabbed Nicole's hand as she surged forward into the crowd, intent on the Nylaan's trail like a bloodhound on the scent. 

"They are sure taking their time getting to where ever they are going," the Counselor noted finally, as Selyara paused finding the thick crowd of the trade city somewhat annoying.  It had been nearly impossible for anyone to take a single step without bumping into someone else, a fact that the Trill had found strange that it had not bothered the Vulcan / Betazoid hybrid. That was until Dima noticed that Selyara's hands had been ungloved.  Using the forced proximity of everyone around her, the Director of Section 31 had decided to use this to her advantage and gather as much information as she could while following the royal Nylaan couple. Selyara's face was slightly far away, as though she wasn't really there, and Nicole supposed that she wasn't really, she was flitting in and out of everyone's mind. Nicole wondered what that must be like, and then decided that it must be something like when she accessed the memories of old hosts. 

Selyara's hands fluttered and hovered through the crowd, sometime alighting and fluttering away instantly, sometimes lingering. Finally her hand came to rest on the shoulder of another target, her finger ever so gently brushed against the man's neck allowing her to make contact. The image that instantly flooded her mind caused the hybrid to jerk back due to its intensity.  The shock had been so violent that the man who had been the origin of that particular thought looked back at the redhead woman who had touched him, an unimaginable rage engraved onto his features.  She stepped back, staring at him, a slightly stunned expression on her face. 

"Why are you just standing there, do something!" Nicole hissed as the man reached for his weapon. She poked Selyara rather ungently in the ribs. Selyara shook her head like a dog and her hand snaked forward and she brushed his collarbone. He went down like a pile of bricks. "What was that all about?" Nicole demanded, glancing at the now unconscious man lying at the team leader's feet.

"An assassin, he plans to kill Ya'Kun. Which we, of course, do not want." Selyara began to move forward.

"Are you going to leave him there? Shouldn't we interrogate him or some-"

"Of course not. He has accomplices, serious assassins never work alone. We have to save the prince," Selyara surged forward to catch up with the Nylaan prince, awkwardly tugging off pieces of her clothing as she went. Nicole followed, snagging clothing as it was discarded- it made sense, Selyara's psionic abilities were her weapon, anything that made skin to skin contact more likely would tip a fight in her favor, but afterwards, it would attract unwanted attention. "I will deal with the other assassins. You get to the Prince's side, keep him and the woman calm, and if someone happens to get past me, stop them."

Nicole fought her way towards Ya'Kun, she had just caught up with him when Selyara made a sudden running jump-kick, a fearsome ululating battle-cry coming from her lips. The crowd scattered in all directions, and she yanked a pole free from one of the awnings, and swung it around her head fast enough for it to whistle eerily. She let out another screech, and the remaining crowd scattered even further. All except for three Nylaans, two men and one woman, who strode purposefully towards the now exposed prince. Selyara tossed the pole at Nicole, and then made a beeline towards the largest of the two males. 

"Relax, your majesty, we're here to help," Nicole said as she took up position in front of the two royals, trying to look and sound as trustworthy as possible.

"Who- who are these impudent-" Ya'Kun spluttered, as Selyara rolled past Nicole and grabbed the pole again, neatly smacking the male right in the middle of the forehead. He staggered and Nicole caught the instant where Selyara brushed her fingers across the man's hand, just before he slumped to the ground. She tossed the pole back to Nicole, who used it to fend off the Nylaan woman, who'd tried to sneak in for the kill. She got in a few lucky hits, before the woman sent the pole clattering into crowd. 

Selyara rushed at the woman, her hands flung out like talons, clawing and pulling at the woman's hood and clothing, trying to get her hands on bare skin as she kneed the woman repeatedly in the kidneys. The final man came up behind her, and had one arm around her neck, choking her out. Selyara grabbed the woman's hood with one hand, and with the other scrabbled behind her at her attacker. Nicole cast around for something to help the woman with, but could come up with nothing better than flinging Selyara's discarded clothes into the face of the man choking her. It surprised him more than anything else, but it ended up being unintentionally effective. He jerked his head back in surprise, and then overcorrected and snapped his head forward into the back of Selyara's head. The contact was enough, and he crumpled to the ground. There was just the woman left. Suddenly a flash of a sword flicked out from behind Nicole, and the woman crumpled in a pool of crimson blood. Nicole turned around to see Ya'Kun wiping his weapon on the edge of the fallen woman's robe. 

"You have saved my life," Ya'Kun stated as he looked back up and Selyara. "I am in your debt."

"It was an honor to serve you and protect the future of our people," Selyara offered in return, adding a deep, sweeping bow to further seal the appearance that she had been on his side now and always.

"To serve *me* and not the entire royal family as you are sworn to as per the pledged you made when the color you now display was earned?" Ya'Kun challenged, his voice bordering on insulted anger. Nicole winced slightly as she caught a slight tightening of Selyara's lips which said she was annoyed. It was subtle, but there.

"Your Highness, I am here because I feared an attack like this would happen," Chen explained keeping to character while calling upon everything that she had learned and heard up until now. "Many know of your quest for our people and some such as myself are ready to give up our lives to ensure your success."

"What about your friend?" Ya'Kun continued as he pointed to Nicole as if ready to order her death should the reply given not be to his liking.

"She is a stranger to our world but a woman who made it possible for me to find your Highness and allow me to be here when you needed me to be. I can vouch for her, she is no danger to you or the future of the Nylaan people, in fact she supports your claim to the throne," Selyara offered, still displaying all of the reverence the presence of the heir of NYLA IV would have demanded of a member of the red haired Warrior Caste.

"See my love," the other Ya'Han said as she quickly cuddled up to the Nylaan heir. "I told you that our people would accept you as their new High Sovereign without any hesitation. Even people from other worlds are anxious to see you take control and rule as it should have been from the start."

"Very well. I am most happy to hear this," Ya'Kun offered with a smile, his anger having vanished as if it had never been there in the first place.  "Since it is obvious that my life and that of my future wife are in danger, I require your continued protective skills to insure that we reach our destination safely."

"We are both at your service your Highness," Selyara said as she tapped the Counselor's leg instructing her to bow.

"We have no idea what kind of mess we might be walking into," Dima whispered once the two undercover women fell behind the two members of the royal Nylaan family.

"At least we no longer have to struggle through the crowd to keep up with them," Selyara pointed out as if she had always been the type to see the brighter side of things, something that Counselor Dima knew not to have been the case. Perhaps her mood had been somewhat sweetened by the promise of front row seats to her beloved intrigue.

---
Alix Fowler

Selyara Chen
Director
Section 31
M07-P065: USS ANUBIS: Maya: Day 08 - 1220 ("The Fifth Member")
---
"The Fifth Member"
(Previous Post: "The Guilt")
---

Setting: MARKALA PRIME, Trade City of Kololu, Underground Chamber
Stardate: 32003.1220 (0905 local time)

As a Shillian Night Howler the woman in her animal form had been able to see through the darkness with much greater ease, and with her increased sense of smell Maya had placed the odds well in her favour of staying on top of their current situation. In the near complete darkness of the passageway, it would have be difficult for anyone or anything to sneak up and avoid the wolf in order to reach the other members of the team.

Therefore, it was with no small amount of shock and surprise that the Shillian wolf was suddenly and repeatedly struck before being tossed back towards the rest of the away team like some sort of ragdoll. However or whatever had managed to get close to Maya without being seen or detected by the shapeshifted woman had also been in possession of remarkable speed and strength, which the Night Howler was unfortunately made to experience first hand. 

Luckily for Maya, she was dismissed as no longer having been a threat following the short-lived and rather single-sided confrontation, left alone on the cold stone floor as either having been dead of very close to hit.  The truth of the matter was that although she had indeed been hurt and barely conscious, the Shillian had survived the assault far better than would have been expected given the force employed against her.  The unexpected variable proved to be the physiology of the Night Howler that had been far tougher than that of similar sized creatures.  In any of her other animal forms, there had been no doubts in the mind of the Chief Science Officer that she would have perished.

By the time the Shillian had regained her wits, the animal form she had taken had given way back to a humanoid form leaving the scientist very thankful that the room had been deprived of both lights and windows.  A mixture of gratefulness and concern quickly swept through her mind as the woman realized that she had been alone, no members of the away team having been there to possibly catch a glimpse of her unclothed body through the darkness. It took the shapeshifter several more moment to gather enough strength to transform once more, this time electing back on her native tree-dwelling primate. Hopefully, as the small and agile monkey that she had initially been before very recently the Chief Science Officer of the ANUBIS would be able to locate the missing members of her team.

Using her sharp claws to cling to the walls, aiming for the softer material between the rocks which had been used to hold them together, Maya made her way down a second corridor she had discovered after having surveyed the dark room.  Although the sense of smell of the primate had not been as developed as that of the Shillian canine, it had been enough to confirm that she had been on the right track. The perfume worn by Ya'Han as a green haired entertainer she had become for this mission had been delicately sweet and easy to follow.

It had not taken long for the Shillian in her monkey form to reach the end of the corridor where a lit room was found. Within that room, six individuals were noticed; the four other members of the away team shackled firmly to the far wall while two other men, one in a suit and the other in robes, were chatting with their captives.

As she searched for a way to reach the members of her team, this without being seen by the other two men, Maya noticed something strange, their Chief of Security had forgone her green hair to instead display the colour of her family heritage.  As Maya studied the Nylaan, the shapeshifted woman also noted the large bruise on the face of their Chief of Operations as well as a trickle of blood coming from the corner of his lips. Obviously, something drastic had happened before the arrival of the Shillian primate, but that had not been as important as finding a way to help the members of her team who clearly appeared to be in dire need.

The best the small primate could do for the time being was to quietly reach the nearest diagonal wooden supporting beam and wait for the right time to act.  The set of keys the Shillian had spotted on a hook by the large metal door might have been exactly what she had been looking for, but the problem had been for the shapeshifted woman to reach them without revealing her presence.  Patience needed to be her ally at this time, as much as the Chief Science Officer had wanted to jump to the help her fellow shipmates, being herself captured would serve no one. 

---
Jessica Solarik

Lieutenant Commander Maya [Access Character BIO for Maya]
Chief Science Officer
USS ANUBIS

&

Captain Selene Fiona Iverson [Access Character BIO for Selene Iverson]
Commanding Officer
USS BASTET

"To see the world in a grain of sand,
and a heaven in a wild flower.
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
and eternity in an hour."
- William Blake (British, 1757-1827)
M07-P064: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: Day 08 - 1220 ("The Guilt")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"The Guilt"
[previous post was "The Trap"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: MARKALA PRIME, Trade City of Kololu, Underground Chamber
Stardate: 32003.1220 (0905 local time)

They had fallen for the trap like first year cadets. The moment the corridor had given way to a room, the Sec/Tac should have acted accordingly and prepared better than she had to fight off their attacker or attackers.  Then again, the darkness had been such that Ya'Han could not have seen anyone, not even having been able to see Maya to check on her following the unceremonious manner in which she had been made to knock the group down.

With her hands tightly held in shackles and chains, the green haired entertainer had kept her head down, allowing for her long loose hair to hide her true identity from Ze'Kon.  Like any self-respecting bad guy, both him and his associate had divulged their pain, going into rather specific details which they would be able to use to stop them. That was if they could find a way to free themselves from their bonds before being disposed of as had been described.

Listening to Ze'Kon and his associate talk about the manner in which the Federation would be implicated in the assassination of her father had been far more upsetting that the actual death of the High Sovereign.  As a Starfleet Officer, such a reaction had made sense, but something about the way she felt bothered Ya'Han. However much she might have hated the man who ruled the world of her birth, however much she had wanted to escape his demanding and cruel grasp, he had been then and remained even now her father.

As much as she had learned to fear her father, Ya'Han realized that her keeping her identity hidden from Ze'Kon had been because she feared him even more.  As great as the High Sovereign's rage could become, the 13th daughter had rarely seen his anger directed to others outside of the royal family and those who had been tasked with serving them.  As the curious little girl that she had always been, she had witnessed on more than one occasion the large scale cruelty that her father's aide had been capable of. The countless screams of his numerous victims in the night had been more than sufficient to forever condition the woman to respond as she was to his presence.

"We should get this over with and dispose of them now," Ze'Kon suggested, the icy coldness of his voice hinting that if no one else had been available to do as he had said, that he would be more than ready to do the deed himself.

"They are yours to dispose of in the manner and time of your choosing," Morten stated with a detached respect that had been present in his voice from the very start, the man doing whatever he had been asked to do as if the immediate outcome had not been his concern in the slightest. "Our agreement simply states that once they are dead, their bodies are mine to use to insure the successful conclusion of our plan."

The aide bellowed in laughter. "I guess that means I will have to keep their bodies somewhat intact, at least enough so that their likeness can be placed on record for later identification by the Federation and its puppets," Ze'Kon added as he took hold of Sonja's face into his hand, squeezing it with such force that the CEO could barely move as she tried to free herself from his grasp.

"Leave her alone!" Shar'El ordered. "She won't scream, not the way you like to hear your victims do. If you want to torture someone, use me." Sonja and Jayson turned to look at the Commander, impressed by the sacrifice that she had been willing to make while realizing that she had likely scanned his memories to use something that would insure his leaving their Chief Engineer alone, at least for the time being.

"You have spirit," the aide said as he launched a single powerful blow into the shackled woman's abdomen causing her to gasp in pain.  "I will make a deal with you. You will be the first to die, but not before Ya'Kun and Ya'Han are here so that I can show them how to properly break a slave. It will also serve to show that I am not one to be taken lightly, not now and certainly not once the High Sovereign is dead."

Having heard the name of her eldest brother as well as her own, the green haired woman had finally looked up to met the aide's gaze just as he had been ready to strike at Shar'El once again. The hesitation of his second attack against the bound undercover officer showed that he had seen something familiar in the Nylaan woman's features. With his hand still high above his head, ready to come down with as much force as he could call upon, Ze'Kon moved closer to the entertainer.

"This cannot be," the man said as he slowly lowered his arm to take hold of the woman's face as he had that of Sonja, although this time he had done so in an almost loving and caring manner.

"Don't you dare touch her you filthy..." Jayson demanded in an uncontrollable rage enlisting Ze'Kon's immediate reaction.  As the back of his hand struck the male Starfleet officer's jaw, a long string of blood flew through the air leaving no question in anyone's mind as to the strength and experience the aide of the High Sovereign possessed.

"Is it really you?" Ze'Kon questioned, looking deeply into the Nylaan woman's eyes while he caressed her cheek with the back of the same hand which had seconds before silence Jayson. "Could it be possible? What follies would have made you chose to come here of all places?  I beg of you your Highness, abandon this unsavory color," the aide said, not as a suggestion but clearly as a direct request, one that the green haired woman knew he would not ask so kindly again if she refused.  "Claim your birthright and prove this old man that he is not dreaming."

Terror flowed through her body and mind, so much so that she had been unable to stop shaking.  Doing as he had asked would insure her suffering more than she could have ever imagined, but refusing to do as he wished would have resulted in possibly even more pain as he tried to force her to comply.

"SHOW ME!" He suddenly screamed as he shifted his hold of her face from the caring and tender one he had to a rage filled hold that threatened to shatter her jaw.  As fast as her Nylaan biology had permitted it, Ya'Han's hair changed from the green that she had been displaying to the color that had been demanded from her, the color that declared her to be of royal lineage as well as the woman Ze'Kon had suspected her to be.

"It is clear that you know her," Morten said as he came to stand right next to the robbed man. "Care to introduce us?"

"Mister Morten," Ze'Kon replied with a smile as he released his hold on the now purple haired woman. "Meet her royal Highness Ya'Han, the youngest child of the High Sovereign who somehow managed to escape our world at the age of 14. Many, including myself, had come to believe her to be dead when the efforts to locate her were unsuccessful.  Her leaving created a great deal of problems back in the Imperial Palace which eventually led to her sister Ya'Jun to follow in her footsteps. The poor child could not withstand her father's rage in the manner that her younger sister could."

"I'm sorry," Ya'Han offered close to tears, the hardships that her sister had endured being the only thing she regretted. There had been a lot more that she had wanted to say and explain, but she knew that her words would have no sway in whatever her father's aide had planned now that he had discovered who the bound woman actually was.

"Your Highness," Ze'Kon acknowledged in a condescending manner. "You have nothing to be sorry about, in fact we are all very glad for what you did as it allowed for what will come to pass to happen quicker than it would have had.  As for anything else, you should not worry about it, your lives were forfeit the moment you set foot on this planet.  Your only concern now should be as to how I will dispose of you, personally I would love to see just how much pain and suffering you can endure."

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Hanali Han

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P063: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: Day 08 - 1150 ("The Trap")
=-=
"The Trap"
[previous post was "The Passageway" by the quick thinking Lorraine]
=-=

Setting: MARKALA PRIME, Trade City of Kololu, Underground Passage
Stardate: 32003.1150 (0835 local time)

The underground passageway that the two away teams had taken seemed to gradually grow darker with each step the group collectively took.  Had it not been for the close proximity of the walls on either side and the knowledge that the shapeshifted Shillian had been in the lead as a wolf, the team might have been concerned about walking into a trap.

Each member of the team had place their hand on the back of the person ahead of them to insure that they would remain together, the darkness having become near perfect.  Shar'El, being in the lead, could only rely on her ability to make out the faint sound of the claws against the cobblestone floor they had all been walking on.  As long as the ExO / ILO could hear Maya they would press on while silently hoping to reach the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel safe and sound.

"What happened to the walls?" Sonja asked in a surprised whispered tone having noticed that the narrow passageway had suddenly and inexplicably grown in width, so much so that no one had been able to reach for the walls that had been so close only seconds before.

"Maybe this is a room or chamber of some sort," Ya'Han quietly theorized, as she stretched out her hand as far as it could in an effort to test her own hypothesis. "It could indicate that we have reached the basement of the church."

"Would be nice if we could find a light switch or maybe even a torch," Jayson muttered with frustration. "I would settle for a glowing arrow on the floor to show us the way. I can't even see my hand on your back, or even if it is indeed your back."

"No worries," Ya'Han whispered back as she tried to pierce the darkness surrounding them so completely. "It's me."

The unexpected sounds of a struggle made everyone come to a complete stop, and before anyone could silently or outwardly wonder as to what was happening, two loud canine yelps echoed through the darkness.  There had been no doubt about it, Maya had run into trouble and the group had been unable to help in any way, blind beyond any ability to even see what had taken place and who the shapeshifted woman had been fighting against.

What they heard next sent a chill down their backs as the sound of a single loud hit was followed by a bloodcurdling yelp.  Maya had been hurt, badly. Shortly after this, the canine form of the Shillian came sliding down the floor to knock the majority of the away team like bowling pins.

"Two yelps and now this. It's official," Sonja growled as she quickly tried to regain her footing while at the same time searching with her hands for the form of the shapeshifted Shillian. "It's a trap."

One by one, and despite their greatest efforts and skills, the members of the away team fell prey to an unseen assailant who replaced the surrounding physical darkness with the equally dark and cold void of unconsciousness.

=-=
Setting: MARKALA PRIME, Trade City of Kololu, Underground Chamber
Stardate: 32003.1215 (0900 local time)

Slowly the fog of unconsciousness lifted from the mind of the ExO / ILO who found herself shackled to a wall, the coldness of the stones against her back while her wrists were stretched high over her head.  As she scanned her surroundings, both to find out where she was and if the others had been here with her, Shar'El noted that Jayson and Ya'Han had been in the same predicament as her on the right while Sonja also shared their situation but on the left.  Although there had been more than enough light to see the entire room, the captured undercover officer could find no trace of the fifth member of the team who had ventured into the dark passageway.

"These are the best the mighty Federation could send?" the aide to the Nylaan High Sovereign laughed as only an evil antagonist could, not paying any extra attention to the entertainer whose green hair had been covering her face and hiding her features from the man who would recognize her for who she was.

"I am glad to see that you are pleased with our work," the man dressed in a sharp suit said as he walked into the room, casting a quick glance at the metal door behind which the bait to this plan had been held captive.  "I will admit that you and your team did not make things easy for us, but the challenge was still minimal," Morten added as she came to stand directly in front of the shackled ExO / ILO.

"This is far from over," Shar'El snapped as she struggled against her metal bonds, quickly discovering that the chains and lock had been well beyond her strength and skill to break free of without external help.

"You are quite correct," Morten agreed, a faint yet clearly arrogant smile dancing on his lips. "This is just the beginning. Sadly, you and your ship will be implicated in the assassination of the Nylaan High Sovereign, which will send shockwaves through the entire New Ferengi Alliance.  This will cause several worlds to question their association with the great and mighty Federation, and I suspect that several might even withdraw from your little interstellar club. After all, who would want to be associated with a shady and manipulative organization such as what the Federation will be shown to be."

"You will never get away with this?" Sonja added, joining her friend Shar'El in the verbal challenge. "The Federation will easily be able to prove that we had nothing to do with what you are planning."

"I am sure that they will try," Morten nodded, his smile having grown ever so slightly. "Their efforts to prove the evidence false will only further confirm their guilt, especially following the documents that will be carefully leaked to all of the other major powers in the quadrant.  I suspect that even the Gorn will end up being outraged by the attempt of the Federation to influence not only the politics of NYLA IV but that of several other sovereign worlds established well outside of their borders."

"We will stop you," Jayson added as he too tried to force his way free of the metal shackles and chains, but without the slightest hint of success.

"You four could not even manage to rescue your agent over there," Ze'Kon chuckled maniacally as he glanced at the large metal door located to his left.

**Four?** The ExO / ILO noted to herself meaning that Maya had still been out there somewhere, although there had been no way to know as to her condition or even is she was still alive after what they had all heard before going unconscious.

"Your broken bodies will be found here on this planet and will be easily linked, thanks to documents that will be found on your persons and which have already been mentioned to the local authorities, to the assassination plot of the High Sovereign. Unfortunately, this condemning information will have been discovered too late to save him," the well-dressed man explained without remorse, sounding instead as he was enjoying all of this far more than he should. "Just in case you were thinking that your ship would be the one to stop us, your Captain is currently busy with an entire fleet of Hirogen cruisers hunting him down.  Cloaking armor or not, they will find and destroy it. The discovery of your ship so deep inside New Ferengi Alliance space will further confirm that everything which will be presented as evidence is in fact an inescapable truth."

Shar'El, Sonja and Jayson struggled once again against their chains and shackles, hoping that maybe some kind of luck would come to join them to assist in countering the unspeakable plan that had just been explained to them. Ya'Han was the only one who remained still, taking this entire affair in on an entirely different level than everyone else. How could she not having once been the daughter of the High Sovereign whose assassination had been mentioned several times.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET
M07-P062: USS ANUBIS: Paquette: Day 08 - 1145 ("The Passageway")
"The Passageway"
previous post was "The Shadow Hunters"

=====
Setting: MARKALA PRIME, Trade City of Kololu, Underground Passage
Stardate: 32003.1145 (0830 local time)

The passageway had been barely wide enough for a single person to travel through. That had forced the regrouped away teams to proceed single file in order to follow the aide of the High Sovereign in the hopes that he would lead them to the missing SFI agent.  Although Commander Shar'El had seen Trent Troy in the memories of the priest, as well as the underground access in the memories of the Nylaan aide, there had not been any proof that the two had been connected. Still the odds had been well in the favour of the group as the passageway they were currently in had been heading directly in the direction of the Church of the Ancient Ones.

Everyone followed at an arm's length distance to make sure the surrounding darkness would not cause them to run into one another and create a noisy mess that would alert anyone listening to their presence.  When Shar'El suddenly raised a closed fists in he air, everyone came to a complete stop and remained perfectly silent. As Starfleet Officers their training had been very different than that of Marines, but the First Officer believed that their covert infiltration of the underground network would have so far made at least some of the Military Officers proud.

After glancing over her shoulder to Jayson who had been bringing up the rear, Shar'El motioned for the shapeshifted Shillian to join the Ullian Commander at the front. Given the narrowness of the passageway, anyone else would have had a difficult time complying to this request, but as a small monkey Maya was able to reach Shar'El with just a few bounces as she moved from shoulder to shoulder.  With a silent gesture of her head, the First Officer instructed the tiny creature now on her shoulder to move ahead and investigate, which it did without delay.

"Good idea sending the monkey in first," Sonja ever so quietly whispered to the woman who had taken the lead of the infiltration team and who was now kneeling ahead of the Chief Engineer. "What were her instructions? One squeal for an 'all's clear' and two for *it's a trap*?" She inquired in the same, barely audible whispered voice while maintaining a certain lightheartedness about the whole thing.

"How were you ever assigned to an Intel ship?" the Commander very discretely demanded as she allowed her immeasurable disbelief to cross her lips.  As much as Sonja and her shared a friendship, Shar'El had to admit that there were times when the Intel trained Officer questioned how they had managed to serve on the ANUBIS together.

"My good looks? Maybe because Koniki knows that redheads are simply better at pretty much everything," Sonja said jokingly as she glanced back to the grinning woman behind her. Normally the Nylaan Chief of Security could be found with red hair instead of the green that her undercover identify had forced her to display, but then again the Engineer's own hair had gone through a colour change as well for this mission.

"I heard something, maybe footsteps," Ya'Han said as she tapped on Sonja's shoulder causing her and everyone else to fall completely silent.  As the four officers listened carefully they came to hear what the Chief of Security had just warned them about, but instead of the footsteps she had suspected the sound instead came across as clawed paws slowly heading in their direction.

"A rat?" Jayson inquired, trying to identify the strange sound that was beyond a doubt getting slowly but certainly closer.

"That would be a huge rat," Sonja noted having had her fair share of encounters with the nasty furry mentioned beasts having grown up in Vancouver, Canada. The changes of the season in addition to the occasional floodings had made the run-ins with these unsightly pests a more than yearly occurrence.

"There!" Ya'Han said as she pointed to two small spheres reflecting what little light had been present back towards the kneeling quartet.  As the small orbs grew ever closer a large set of teeth appeared beneath them identifying the approaching creature has being some sort of imposing canine.

Everyone instinctively leaned back, trying to add as much distance as possible with the beast while limited by the narrow passageway they were in, everyone with the exception of Commander Shar'El who simply shook her head.  "Thank you for that heart attack Maya," the First Officer quietly sighed. "Is the path ahead clear?"

A nod of the Night Growler's head or Gralo as the Shillian's called such a creature confirmed both that the First Officer had been correct in her identifying the new animal form of their Chief Science Officer and that the way ahead of them had been clear of problems and traps. With a gesture of her hand, Shar'El dismissed the wolf-like animal and sent it back ahead into the darkness of the passageway.

"How did you know it was her?" Sonja questioned. "That thing could have just as easily been some sort of wolf that had devoured poot Maya while she was in her cute little monkey form."

The lead Gypsy softly chuckled as she looked over her shoulder to her away team companion. "We didn't hear the three squeals that would have indicated that she was in mortal trouble," Shar'El playfully offered back to the Chief Engineer, believing that it had been time to use the woman's own silliness against her.

=====
Lorraine Paquette

Chief Engineering Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501
M07-P061: USS ANUBIS: Morningstar: Day 08 - 1100 ("The Shadow Hunters")
##########
"The Shadow Hunters"
Previous post "The Lost Daughter"
##########

The greatest enemy is not the Shadows themselves, but the fear they create and those they recruit or charm into doing their dark bidding.
- Engraving found in the Temple of Eternal Light, a structured said to be over 5000 years old.

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 32003.1100

"How are things going up here?" Doctor Doyanne inquired as she stepped onto the command deck,

"As one would expect when playing hide and seek with a shadow lost in the darkness of night," the Native American replied with a long stretched out sigh.  "Helm, change course and speed to heading 014 mark 25, speed warp 8."

"Aye aye, Sir," the Flight Control Officer acknowledge, this having been the 14th or 15th course change in the last hour or so.

"Trying to stay ahead of the Lokustaar while not thinking too much about the others?" Lillie questioned as she came to stand next to the sitting Captain who for obvious reasons appeared to be far more stresses than he would have normally been. With the greater majority of his Senior Officers back on MARKALA PRIME, the Doctor understood all too well the reason for the Native American's current state of mind.

"*Trying* is the opportune word," Erik admitted. "The worst part of all this is that there is no way for us to know how things are going back on MARKALA PRIME. Any effort to contact the away teams could risk giving up their presence or even their position, so I have no other choice but to be patient and believe that they are well."

"You of all people know them and their skills," Lillie pointed out with a reassuring smile. "I would never hesitate to place my life in any one of their hands.  You should not worry so much and trust them."

"I do trust them, more than you realize Doctor," the Native American confirmed. "That is why we are here playing hide and seek with the Lokustaar instead of being in orbit of MARKALA PRIME offering whatever assistance we can.  Unfortunately, I also trust our opponent to make things as complicated as possible for everyone involved in this unsavoury affair."

"There is not much available in the ship's databanks in regards to the Lokustaar," the Doctor stated with a hint of concern. "In fact, there seems to be only a select few who can actually speak about this strange race with any amount of personal experience, you being one of them.  Everything else comes across as some far-fetched myths or legends meant to scare people."

"My own dealings with this race were to say limited and short-lived, but I can confirm at least this, the legends and myths are not as far-fetched as you believe them to be," the Captain explained.  "Following my encounter with this race I did a great deal of reading and research on them, I realize that these are nothing more than words and the opinion of others, but the stories have been repeated too many times from too many different races and distant locations to be simply ignored. Between the realms of light and darkness there is a world filled with shadows from where our greatest fears are born and given form. It is from there that the Lokustaar influence the affairs of other worlds, spreading chaos and destruction to see which group within a race, or even which race amongst countless others will emerge victorious and stronger because of the conflict."

"They truly sound like the kind of people who would be better avoided," Doctor Doyanne noted.

"From all of the legends and myths, the Shadows as they are often referred to, are never themselves present, using others to act and influence the politics of other worlds on their behalf," the Native American continued. "The fact that we actually dealt with one of them directly can only mean that whatever is happening on MARKALA PRIME is just the tip of a very large iceberg."

"For a race that has never been directly linked to anything other than myths and legends, they have sure earned your cautious respect," the Chief Medical Officer admitted with surprise.

"It is a wise man who can respect what he cannot understand and face what he should fear," Captain Morningstar stated, quoting the ancient wisdom of his people.

"All of this has made you to be far more poetic than I have known you to be," Lillie chuckled.

"Poetic?" Erik repeated with a quizzical expression on his features.

"Captain!" The officer manning the Tactical station called out interrupting the talk between the Captain and Chief Medical Officer. "Sensors are picking up a dozen vessels rapidly approaching on an intercept course from our forward port-side. Their configurations and power signature appears to be that of long-range Hirogen Hunting Frigates."

"Hirogens?" The Doctor exclaimed. "What are they doing here?"

"My guess is that they have been tasked with finding us," Morningstar theorized.  "How long before we are made to go through their tachyon search net?" The Captain demanded of the Tactical Officer.

"Search net?" Lillie repeated not understanding the dynamics of their situation.

"Remember what I said before about the Shadows, I mean the Lokustaar not doing their own dirty work unless they absolutely have to? If the Hirogens have been drawn into this by them, which would be the only reason why they would be here in the first place, it is safe to believe that they have been challenged with the hunting of a ship invisible to sensors. That will force them to use other means to locate us or find a way to force our revealing our presence through rushed maneuvers."

"Guessing that them being here is not a good thing for us then?" the Doctor sighed as she looked at the image that had been brought onto the main view screen which showed the dozen crafts heading their way.

"At their current speed and heading we will be forced through their detection net in just over 18 minutes," the Tactical Officer reported, the sensor reading he had been studying confirming that there had been a tachyon net set between the 12 vessels.

"Let's just say that staying hidden is going to be a lot more difficult from now on," the Native American said in reply to the Doctor's earlier query.  "Helm, maintain current speed and begin a gradual starboard turn of 1 degree every 10 seconds, continue this until we match their heading. Once we have accomplished that, match your speed to theirs, hopefully we can stay ahead of them without giving away our presence through warp field speed variance that I am sure they will be looking for."

"You seem to have you hands full at the moment," Lillie stated as she took a few steps backwards. "I'll be heading back to Sickbay and remain as quiet as a mouse."

"Thank you for the offer Doctor, but of all the races we know, the Hirogens have some of the best sensors and detection systems known to the Federation. I highly doubt that you remaining 'as quiet as a mouse' is really going to make a difference," Erik said actually sounding mildly amused by the woman's comment.

"It might not make a difference but it will help to make me feel better," Doctor Doyanne stated before vanishing inside the turbolift and leaving the Captain to his game of cat and mouse which had unexpectedly taken on a new life.

"If the Lokustaar have brought the Hirogens into this, for whatever reason they might have had, I can only guess that our away teams are going to have more than their hands full on MARKALA PRIME," the Captain noted out loud to the other bridge officers.  "If there were any doubts as to this having been a trap from the start, I believe that our discovering these hunters so far away from their normal hunting ground will certainly settle this matter once and for all."

=====
Setting: MARKALA PRIME, Trade City of Kololu, Outside the Nylaan Supply Depot
Stardate: 32003.1115 (0800 local time)

"We got lucky, I don't think they heard us or even knew we were there," Jayson quietly announced as the Chief of Security and Chief of Operations exited the building before he glanced over his shoulder to see with a rather great sense of relief that they had not been followed.  "The question though is what do we do now?"

"We follow that imposter and find out why she is posing as me while my dear brother tries to overthrow our father," Ya'Han replied, her anger still very much visible in both her face and the fiery colour of her hair.

"As much as I would like to help you with this personal quest for answers, this is not the mission we are here for," Jayson pointed out as he held onto the Nylaan woman's shoulders to force her to look at him.  "We are here to find the missing agent and get him as well as ourselves off this planet safe and sound.  Once we are back on the ANUBIS, maybe the Captain will be able to help you look into this matter."

"It might be too late by then," the redhead snapped back at the man trying to calm her down. "Ya'Kun might be High Sovereign by the time we get back to the ship, so we need to act now."

"And do what exactly?" the undercover officer asked, trying to take control of this situation. "What would you have us do? Track whoever that woman is and confront her? Even after you make her spill her guts, in more ways than one, what do we do next? Confront your father's aide and make him realize that not only are you still alive, but that you are now a member of Starfleet? What then? What about Trent or even Commander Shar'El and Lieutenant Paquette, what will you tell them? That dealing with this issue was more important than completing the mission?  I understand that this is important to you but you really need to get a hold of yourself before we are all made to pay for it."

Ya'Han stared into the man's eyes and as her breathing slowly returned to normal, as did her hair, gradually returning to the green colour of her undercover persona.

"I'm..." she started before being silenced by a single finger placed against her lips. The man to whom the digit belonged to offered a gentle smile as he did this.

"You have nothing to be sorry about," Jayson stated with a smile. "Now let's find Maya and see if we can get back on track with this mission."

Just as he said those words, the small primate emerged from an open window and drew the two undercover officers' attention before resuming its following of the High Sovereign's aide who had left the supply depot using another door.

"Looks like we are back playing catch up," Jayson said as he offered his hand to his companion who appeared less than thrilled with the idea of following the man who had been alone.  As much as she had wanted to instead find and follow the other Ya'Han, the Chief of Security quickly reminded herself of her responsibilities and duties to both her shipmates and their mission.

=====
Setting: MARKALA PRIME, Trade City of Kololu, Outside the Church of the Ancient Ones
Stardate: 32003.1130 (0815 local time)

The two Gypsy travellers also known as Shar'El and Sonja, had scrutinized the entire religious structure as well as the immediate surroundings in the hopes of locating some other way to gain access to the basement without attracting any undue attention.

"I can't believe that we are so close," the Chief Engineer sighed in disgust. "There has to be another way to get under that church without having to go in it."

"It is a sound tactical defence to have but a single access point to a location where prisoners are kept," Shar'El stated sounding almost in admiration with the thinking used.  "This allows them to focus their security an control both the traffic in and out without the use of too many resources.  The fact that they are using a church makes things even easier as it would not be uncommon to see non-religious figured walk in or out."

"Shall I put your name down as a sponsor for them?" Sonja said rolling her eyes. "We should be spending a little less time admiring them and a little more time getting under them. If there is truly only one way into that basement, we need to come up with a way to get in and out without causing a full war to start."

"Quiet," Shar'El suddenly said in a strong whispered voice. "Someone is coming," she added while pushing her friend behind a set of crates to avoid them being seen.

As the fine robbed man came into view he stopped and looked around as if searching for something or someone. This of course made both Shar'El and Sonja wonder if he had somehow been aware of their presence. After a few moments he cautiously resumed walking leaving the two hiding Gypsies to wait a few minutes to insure that their own presence would not be detected.

"Interesting," Shar'El quietly voiced, obviously having scanned the robbed man's most recent memories.

"You can tell me later, someone else is coming," Sonja said as she pulled her friend back behind the crates, the two Gypsies trying their best to remain as quiet as possible to again avoid being detected.

=====
Setting: MARKALA PRIME, Trade City of Kololu, Streets
Stardate: 32003.1135 (0820 local time)

Since their arrival on MARKALA PRIME Selyara and Nicole had been wandering the streets, finding the city both intriguing and disturbing.  The fact that the local authorities had started rounding up Terrans as if each and every single one of them had been amongst the worst possible criminals had not improved their perception of Kololu.

"I have no idea how you manage to stay so calm," Counselor Dima quietly stated. "Even with all of the lifetimes I have, this place gives me the creeps. It is as if the shadows themselves were looking at us."

"I only have one lifetime to draw upon," Director Chen offered without the slightest hint of emotion or concern reflecting in her voice, "and I can tell you this, if the shadows are indeed looking at us, it is currently the least of our troubles. There is something strange happening in this city and we are dead in the center of it."

"The fact that the authorities are arresting every Terran in sight?" Nicole inquired, not entirely certain as to what her undercover companion had meant by her words.

"No, there is something else, something darker," the half Betazoid, half Vulcan woman said as her senses diligently scanned their surroundings for something to help her better define what she had meant and how this place had made her feel. "I cannot explain it, but there is something else here. All of the people I have touched and scanned unconsciously felt it too although they were unable to make any sense of it."

"Your highness, he has been waiting for you," the voice of a female servant was faintly heard saying through the hustling and bustling of the crowd

"Highness?" Both Selyara and Nicole repeated to one another as they watched a female form entering the building where the source of what they had heard had come from.  Although the term itself had not been all that strange, the fact that it had been spoken in an environment such as the one they had been located in had proven to be very peculiar.

"Follow my lead," the woman posing as a member of the Nylaan Military force offered to her partner who truly had no other choice but to comply as instructed. Within seconds they had made their way to the doorway and servant that had caught their attention.

"May I help you?" the black haired Nylaan inquired as the two women presented themselves by the entry where the person who had just been referred to as *Highness* had vanished into.

"Let us pass!" Selyara bluntly ordered, calling upon everything that she had learned about this culture from the ANUBIS' Chief of Security. "I have important business with her Highness, unless you would care to report to her yourself that this woman here has important information in regards to who else is aware of her presence on this planet."

Without hesitation the servant allowed the two undercover officers in, adding an apologetic bow of her head as she did so.

"That was a risky gamble," Nicole said as they began their climb up a long set of stairs.

"Not so much," Selyara explained. "The woman was clearly Nylaan, I recognized the features and based on what your Chief of Security had told me, I knew that my authority as a red haired warrior would not be challenged.  Now remained quiet, we are almost there."

As the two women arrived at the top of the stairs, they quickly found an empty room to hide in and listen in on the conversation.

=/\= I am so happy to see you here Ya'Kun. I have missed you so, =/\= a female voice said, likely belonging to the woman they had been following.

=/\= As am I my dearest. Now tell me, how did the meeting with the Hirogens go? =/\= a commanding male voice followed.

"Why does the name Ya'Kun sound familiar?" Dima inquired in a whispered voice.

=/\= The meeting went exactly as you had expected, they accepted my claim without question. =/\=

=/\= I am most pleased to hear this. To have the Hirogens on our side will make things much simpler.  That said, I will admit this, the name Ya'Han does suit you much better than it did my foolish dead sister. =/\=

"Ya'Han is *dead*?!" the Counselor gulped barely able to maintain her silence at the news.

"And that would make him the heir to the Nylaan throne," Selyara coldly added, easily recalling where she had come across the man's name while ignoring the announcement concerning the fate of the ANUBIS' Chief of Security.

=/\= It is an honour to serve you, and to do everything in my power to insure that you ascend to your rightful station as High Sovereign and ruler of all Nylaans, my love, =/\= the voice of the woman now claiming to be Ya'Han stated with clear and absolute devotion.

=/\= Father was a fool when he refused to acknowledge your lineage simply because your mother refused his terms. The fate be bestowed upon you and your mother in his rage was uncalled for, the fault was his from the start. I will make sure that you take your rightful place as a member of the royal family, not as my sister but as my wife. I also vow that you will be there by my side when my father's head is torn from his body granting your mother the justice that has been owed to hers for so very long.  All of our people will bare witness and see him perish in the same horrifying manner in which he ended her life, this i promise you. =/\=

=/\= You are too generous my Lord, I could never repay the kindness that you have shown me over all of these years since the first day you discovered my broken body. =/\=

=/\= That you love me as much as I do you is payment enough. Now we need to regroup with Master Ze'Kon and that soulless captures agent, the trap that my father's aide and his associates have laid out for those Federation fools will soon be made to close and forever crush them as they so rightfully deserve. =/\=

"What do we do?" Nicole demanded as she looked at her teammate, half certain of what the woman who had been recently placed in charge of Section 31 would say.

"The only thing we can do," Selyara replied in a calm and controlled whispered voice, adding a faint nod of her head for good measure. "We follow the shadows."

=====
Setting: MARKALA PRIME, Trade City of Kololu, Dark Alleyway
Stardate: 32003.1135 (0820 local time)

At this hour of the morning the streets had been far busier than before which had only made their task of following the aide and the monkey trailing him that much more difficult.

"Great," Jayson huffed with anger as he held onto his lower right leg. "Thanks to the clumsiness of that guy back there we lost them. How can we lose them? You would think that keeping track of a small monkey running around on the walls of a city would be easy."

"I am sure Maya will find a way to get back to us," Ya'Han offered as a reassurance.

"Maybe we can help?" Sonja said with a beaming smile as both she and Shar'El stood from behind a set of crates located around a corner.

"Are we glad to see you two," Jayson exclaimed. "You will never believe who we ran into?"

"The aide to the Nylaan High Sovereign?" Commander Shar'El teased in reply.

"Remind me to never play poker against you," the undercover Chief of Operations chuckled. "You wouldn't happen to see where he went?"

"No but I can do better," the Ullian explained. "He was remembering how to gain access to some underground location accessible through a secret passageway when he started walking away from us.  I was hoping that it was the access we were searching for, and the fact that you are here only confirms it. Where is Maya?"

As if on queue the small primate landed on one of the crates, the expression on her tiny visage hinting that she too had lost track of the robbed man.

"Why were you searching for a way to get underground?" Ya'Han inquired as she gently reached for Maya to place her back on Jayson's shoulder.

"Because that is where Trent Troy is being held," Shar'El replied. "I saw him in the memories of one of the priests of this church."

"Ze'Kon and the Church of the Ancient Ones?" the green haired Nylaan entertainer questioned out loud. "Why would my father's aide be involved with the people responsible for taking an SFI agent and who are using this church and its beliefs as a hiding place?"

"Only one way to find out. Down into the shadows we go," Commander Shar'El offered glad that the two of the three away teams had found their way back together and that they had been that much closer to bringing an end to their mission.

--==(/\)==--
Francois Charette

Commanding Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501

AND

Lt. Commander Elan Fairborn [Access Character BIO for Elan Fairborn]
Robotics Engineering Officer
NEW ALEXANDRIA
M07-P060: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: Day 08 - 1035 ("The Lost Daughter")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"The Lost Daughter"
[previous post was "The Aide"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: MARKALA PRIME, Trade City of Kololu, Streets
Stardate: 32003.1035 (0720 local time)

Every fibre of her body screamed for her to run the other way, but instead she pressed on through the crowd keeping both Maya and Ze'Kon in sight.  With each step Ya'Han took, she could feel the cold nipping of fear eating away at her soul. As much as she had learned to fear her father, the daughter of the High Sovereign had learned through countless stories and accounts that the man they were now following had been far more deserving of that feeling.

Dodging people with little effort, Ya'Han paid no attention to the curious and surprised looks that she and Jayson had drawn.  Her attire and hair color had clearly made the woman to be a Nylaan entertainer, but the way she had been leading her master and owner had not been what anyone could or would have expected to see.  Keeping their cover had no longer been the highest priority, instead keeping up with Maya and ensuring her safety had taken the top spot in the mind of the undercover Sec/Tac.

"I am really going to need to work out more," Jayson panted, the rushed slalom through the busy streets having been more than he had been ready for. "Where are they?" He inquired realizing that they had stopped to see where the man or monkey had been.

"Not sure," the green hair entertainer said, not at all sounding out of breath. "Maya was bouncing from booth to booth in a very erratic manner making it that much more complicated to keep up, but I understand why she needed to do that. Now with all of the fancy decorations though, I lost track of her."

A high pitch animal squeal drew the attention of both undercover officers. Although Jayson and Ya'Han had been unable to locate the small primate, it had been able to easily notice the exotic merchant and green hair entertainer from the ledge of the building upon which it had come to stop.

"This way," the undercover Sec/Tac said pulling man who had been standing by her side along, the entertainer having followed the unusual sound to its source.

"What is that building?" He wondered not having noticed any recognizable signs or markings on the nearly perfect black colored structure to identify its purpose.

"Figures," Ya'Han regretfully sighed. "The seal right above the door is that of my world. The building is most likely a storage facility used to safeguard goods and merchandise being shipped to or from NYLA IV."

"Most likely?" Jayson pointed out, those words having stuck in his head over all others. "What else could it be?"

"Could also be a weapon's storage facility; a military training center; or it could even be some sort of off-world Nylaan covert commerce hub where the transactions that are not to be known by the general public or even local business authorities take place."

"Wouldn't the door be normally locked to a place like that?" the would-be merchant reasoned as he studied the rather ominous looking structure.

"Yes, normally it would," Ya'Han confirmed, "but in this case I believe we have a little furry key to help us get in," the green haired woman said having noticed the door to the structure being ajar thanks to the primate's tail having been placed between the door and frame.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Setting: MARKALA PRIME, Trade City of Kololu, Nylaan Structure
Stardate: 32003.1055 (0740 local time)

Without making a sound, Maya, Jayson and Ya'Han made their way into the building, quietly closing the door that the primate had kept open for them.  Inside the barely lit wide open space, hundred of crates were found, each and every single one of the appearing to bare the royal Imperial seal.

"I guess we should be happy that this is a storage facility as you had expected it to be instead of some military or weapons' facility," Jayson gratefully pointed out in a quiet whispered voice.

"I would not be so quick to rejoice," the Nylaan woman countered almost immediately. "This is my father's seal which means that the content of these crates officially belongs to him."

"They *all* have that seal," Jayson added in a whispered gasp as he pointed to several piles an walls of crates, each one displaying the same marking.

"What is going on here?" Ya'Han asked of herself as they carefully and quietly made their way to the back of the storage facility, using the crates to remain undetected. A light as well as the sound of voices coming from what appeared to be an office of some sort had been their target. Obviously, Ze'Kon had come here to meet with someone, but the trio had still been too far to make out who that person or persons had been.

As they continue their covert approach, Ya'Han could only see the outline of her father's aide as he carried out his business with someone out of view. Their half-whispered voice could barely be made out from where they were causing the currently green haired Sec/Tac to try and move faster while still remaining unnoticed.  Finally, they reached a location close enough to clearly hear the conversation without being noticed should anyone glance in their direction from within the office.

"Perfect, then it is settled," the aide to the Nylaan High Sovereign stated as he offered an acknowledging nod to the unseen figure he had been speaking to. Unfortunately for Ya'Han and the others, they had not been able to get close enough in time to hear the details of the conversation that had apparently just ended.

"Not quite," came a husky alien voice that Ya'Han could only guess as having belonged to a Naussicaan Warrior or maybe even a Hirogen Hunter.  "It is not that we do not trust you, which in fact we don't, but we need proof of what your claim.  As impressive as all of the crates back there may be, it is still not sufficient to support your claim that what you are asking us to do is sanctioned by the heir of the High Sovereign."

"What does Ya'Kun have to do with any of this?" Ya'Han asked again to no one in particular knowing that neither Jayson nor Maya would be in a position to offer any sort of answer on this matter.

"Ya'Kun is your older brother and next in line to the throne of NYLA IV, right?" Jayson inquired, never having been able to keep track of the names the Sec/Tac threw his way when she finally spoke about her family.

Ya'Han confirmed the man's suspicions with a quick nod of her head immediately followed by a gesture telling him to be quiet as she tried to hear more in the hopes of discovering what this had been all about.

"I am sure that you will understand that he could not be here at this time," Ze'Kon politely explained. "His absence from the Imperial Palace at this time would raise too many questions, but he has sent his sister in his stead and hopes that you will accept her words as his own."

"Sister?" Ya'Han quietly echoed in shocked surprise.

"Given what you are asking us to do, there is only one other that we would accept to see as a royal representative of the heir," the still unseen figure declared evidently unwilling to proceed any further without some sort of proof that he would deem acceptable.

"May I introduce to you the lost daughter of the High Sovereign," Ze'Kon announced as he motioned for someone hidden behind him to step forward into the light.

"Lost daughter?" Ya'Han repeated her attention and interest being beyond piqued.

"Since her escape from NYLA IV she has been working with her brother to overthrow their father, her being out of the High Sovereign's reach having greatly helped in her efforts to rally support for her brother's claim," the aide explained as if making an elaborate sales pitch to the unseen mercenary.

"Ya'Jun?" the green haired Nylaan questioned, the second youngest daughter of her father having been the only one Ya'Han had come across since her escape from Ferengi controlled space. At that time, the 12th child of the High Sovereign had been on the MASQUERADE DREAMS along with the Rutian terrorist Fenix, so there had been some possibility that the sister had somehow become involved with the eldest brother to overthrow their father.  Still though the possibility had been a far fetched one as Ya'Jun had never been one for any sort of outward political statements, enjoying being with people of questionable reputation for nothing more than the thrill and defiance to her father's wishes.

"May I present you her Imperial Highness, Ya'Han," Ze'Kon said as he placed his hand on the lower back of a woman who displayed the customary color of a member of the ruling family.

"What!?" the green haired entertainer gasped, ready to jump up and confront the imposter only to be brought back down behind the cover of the crates by a quick thinking Jayson.

"Well, she does have the right hair color, but certainly not your looks," the undercover Chief of Operations said, hoping to calm the woman by his side with a well-placed compliment.

"That's not me!" Ya'Han argued not as quietly as she should, clearly appearing more than ready to leap out and teach whoever this impostor had been what it meant to take on the identity that had been hers.

"We all know that," Jayson said as he pinned the enraged woman down, actually wondering how he had been able to keep her from doing as she appeared more than ready to do.  "Right now is not the time, and in fact it might be best for us to make for a hasty retreat just in case one of them heard us."

Although Ya'Han had been ready to ignore the wise words of her friend, it was the urgent confirming nod of the small primate's head that made the now bright red haired woman realize that this had not been the time for such a confrontation.  Whoever the impostor had been, she would get what was coming to her soon enough. Whatever role the fake sister and her brother Ya'Kun were playing in this story about overthrowing her father would be in time fully investigated. For the time being though, the trio needed to insure their continued secrecy and immediate safety.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Hanali Han

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P059: USS ANUBIS: Stark: Day 08 - 1015 ("The Aide")
"The Aide"
[previous "The Chaos"]

[/\]

Setting: MARKALA PRIME, Trade City of Kololu, Streets
Stardate: 32003.1015 (0700 local time)

He kept looking at the green haired woman as she tightly held onto his arm, the would-be exotic merchant wondering if she was alright. Physically there had not been a shadow of a doubt in his mind, knowing first hand that Ya'Han was able to effortlessly toss him or anyone else onto their backs even on her worst days. It was her emotional state that he had been concerned about, especially after their dealing with the slave merchant and the six Nylaan women he had been peddling.  As much as slavery had been a part of her world, it had not been something that she, as a Starfleet Officer, could casually accept.

From the start, both Ya'Han and Jayson had suspected that this mission would be a difficult one for her. Having gone through so much to escape her father's hold and leave Ferengi controlled space as far behind as she could, it was easy to imagine that coming back would trigger memories and feelings that had been long ago forgotten.

An unexpected nudge from the small furry creature on his shoulder made Jayson look at Maya who quickly pointed to a group of local law enforcement officers heading their way. The entire city had been turned upside down in the search for all Humans making things that much more difficult them as well as the other members of the ANUBIS' away teams.

"It makes no sense," Jayson muttered to himself as he took a path that would take them away from the authorities in the hopes of avoiding them all together. "All that they are managing to do is create fear in everyone."

"Fear is a very powerful weapon," Ya'Han voiced ever so quietly, again speaking with intimate knowledge of the stated fact.  "People will do pretty much anything to protect themselves and will not hesitate to turn in someone they mildly suspect of being guilty if it increases their chances of avoiding being targeted by the authorities, be it on this world or any other.  Of all the weapons in this universe, fear is the most powerful and destructive of them all, able to turn neighbor against neighbor, friend against friend, and even sibling against sibling."

"We need to find this Morten," Jayson stated wanting to bring a quick end to this mission, more so for Ya'Han's sake than that of the missing agent. As he said this, Maya suddenly jumped off his shoulder and climbed her way to the edge of an overhead hanging set above one of the market booths. Obviously, the shapeshifted Commander had noticed or hard something interest and the undercover Chief of Operations had best leave her to the solo investigation she had embarked on.  The only thing he and Ya'Han could do at the moment was to stay in view of the miniature primate to make sure she would know where they were.

"She seems rather taken by that merchant in the next booth," Jayson said, only giving the small monkey a quick glance so as to not draw attention to her presence. "Wonder what he is talking about with that other fellow? They seem to be having a rather unpleasant exchange."

Her curiosity having been piqued by his words, Ya'Han glanced at the two men who had initially attracted the Commander's interest. At first, the green haired woman did not see anything out of the ordinary until the second man turned and allowed his hood-framed face to be seen.  Instantly her posture changed and turned to hold onto Jayson tighter than she had ever done before, so much so that the would-be exotic merchant had almost feared losing his arm.

"What's wrong?" He asked with concern, trying his best to keep the pain out of his voice. Ya'Han may not have looked it, but she was much stronger than she appeared, especially in her current entertainer costume.  Whatever fear she had so unexpectedly fallen prey to, it had increased her strength out of sheer uncontrollable desperation.

"We need to go, now." There had been a hint of panic in the woman's voice, something that he had been unable to accept, especially not from her. Whatever she had seen had shaken her to the core, at least that he had been sure of.

"What about Maya? We can't leave her here by herself," Jayson offered in return, glancing at the small primate that had not appeared ready to move from its prime vantage point.

"She will catch up, but it's too dangerous for us to stay here," Ya'Han said, the panic he had seen in her eyes still very much there. Unable to go against her wishes given the state that she had been in, Jayson slowly began to make his way back in the direction they had come from. He would do his best to add as much distance between the booth and themselves as he could while still keeping a line-of-sight with the miniature monkey.

"Crap," the exotic merchant let out as he watched the monkey jump from one overhang to the next as Maya followed the man with whom the other merchant had been speaking with. It was clear that he had been the one the Commander was interested in, unfortunately he had also been the one Ya'Han had wished to remain hidden from.  "We have to follow. Don't worry, I will make sure that he doesn't see you. In this crowd it should be easy enough to do."

"We can't" Ya'Han desperately pleaded. "He is my father's aide and one of the few people who would be able to recognize me whatever color my hair may be.  Following him is beyond dangerous and could far too easily lead to my being identified and you captured, convicted and executed on the spot for having been my kidnapper. We have to stay away from him, I beg of you."

"I understand what you are saying, but Maya heard something important enough to follow him," Jayson explained, caringly looking into the green haired woman's eyes trying his best to reassure the trembling woman.  "We can't abandon her like this. Even if we forget about the mission, we cannot leave Maya to deal with that man by herself, especially if he is as bad as you claim him to be. Whoever and whatever he may be, Maya will have a better chance to make it out alive if we are all there together."

"His name is Ze'Kon," Ya'Han said almost in tears. "He is more dangerous than you can imagine. I only dealt with directly him on rare occasions but what I saw and heard from him was enough to last me several lifetimes." Over the next few seconds, the demeanor of the green haired woman changed, becoming colder and more assertive.  "We need to follow and make sure that Maya does not fall into his grasp or she will be made to suffer in ways that you cannot even begin to imagine."

"He sounds like a wonderful fellow," he gulped, looking through the crowd to make sure that the small primate had still been in view.  "From what little you have mentioned about your father to me, I can see why he would have appointed someone like that as his aide.  This mission just keeps getting better and better doesn't it?"

As they made their way through the crowd in an effort to keep up with the rapidly moving monkey, Jayson was surprised not to see Ya'Han's hair changing to the color that better reflected her new attitude. As much as she had wanted to avoid this Ze'Kon fellow out of fear, her desire to insure Commander Maya's continued well being had made her jump back into the combat mode that he knew her by. Usually though, when she slipped into that particular mentality, it would normally be reflected by the fiery red of her hair, but today had not been the case. Through whatever fear she had experienced, Ya'Han had managed to keep her calm and focus about her.

Whoever this aide had been, he had made his mark on Ya'han and whatever scars still remained from it she had not hesitated to put herself back in harms' way to protect the shapeshifted woman currently following him. Plowing through the crowd, Jayson could not help but wonder as to why the aide of the Nylaan High Sovereign had been here in the first places. He also desperately wanted to know what that man had done to enlist such a reaction from the usually unshakable Chief of Security proving once again that this mission had been far more demanding on her than anyone else. At least for the time being.

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P058: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: Day 08 - 1000 ("The Chaos")
=-=
"The Chaos"
[previous post was "The Associates" by the captivating Hanali]
=-=

Setting: MARKALA PRIME, Trade City of Kololu, Streets
Stardate: 32003.1000 (0645 local time)

To the untrained eye, it was business as usual in the trade city of Kololu. Merchants, local as well as foreign, were vying for the attention of members of the crowd in order to unload whatever merchandise they had. Colorful displays and boisterous voices were everywhere making it difficult for any traveller through these parts to focus on a single thing at a time.

To those trained and experienced in seeing beyond the facades and veils of daily life, the heightened stress and concerns of many had been impossible to miss.  Some of the merchants appeared to be in a more urgent need to sell their wares while many of he would-be customers were clearly preoccupied by other thoughts and concerns than the needs of the nearby vendors.

"There goes another one," Sonja said in a whispered voice as she tilted her head in the direction of another Human being taken into custody by the local authorities. "If this is because of that ship that didn't stay in orbit, they are sure not taking any chances."

The Gypsy who had been known by the name of Shar'El in a not so distant former life offered a gentle smile to her travel companion, acknowledging that she had not said or even thought of the name of the ship in question or the away teams that had been beamed down. Given the chaos that reigned through the city, it had been best to keep their actions and thoughts as unnoticeable as possible.

With a gentle pull on her arm, Sonja was made to follow Shar'El into a small shop.  The sign over the door indicated that antiques could be found inside but upon entering the Chief Engineer was forced to quickly re=evaluate her definition of old and valuable items. "I have seen junkyards with better merchandise than this place.  I don't even think that half this stuff could be recycled into a working door-stop."

After having given the inside of the store a thorough screening, Shar'El turned back to look at her friend. "We are alone and the metal may held hide our thoughts from any telepaths trying to scan the crowd," the undercover ExO / ILO explained in a very soft whispered voice. "The crackdown by the authorities may very well be a double-edged sword.  Taking any and all Humans into custody may give them the chance to grab someone of interest to them, but it also will force those here on specific business to rush and possibly make a mistake that will reveal their presence and intents."

"Crafty little piece of..." Sonja quietly whispered back, her sentence having been timely interrupted by the arrival of the shop's proprietor.

"Ladies!" The Byzatium merchant exclaimed as if the two Gypsies had been the first customers he had seen in days, if not weeks. This was a sentiment that Sonja, given the state of the merchandise surrounding her, understood all too well. "How may this humble provider of rare and difficult to find goods may assist you today?"

"This junk?" Sonja gasped, realizing only after the fact that she had reacted as the Chief Engineering Officer of the ANUBIS and not the traveling gypsy that she had been dressed as.

"My sweet little girl," the merchant asserted with an arrogant smile as he looked down upon both women, "these are some of the rarest items in the quadrant, maybe even in the whole of the New Ferengi Alliance.  Take this exquisite piece for example, it may appear as a regular Nylaan secondary power converter, but if you look closely at the markings, you can see that it is engraved with the seal of the Imperial Fleet ensuring its quality and durability despite its current lack of luster.  With one good polish, an eager traveler could possess a piece of equipment sanctioned by none other than the High Sovereign of NYLA V himself."

"Four!" Sonja sighed, shaking her head in amused disbelief.

"Four?" The merchant repeated.

"*For*, my friend said, as in 'for a good price' which I am sure said eager traveler would be more than happy to pay for such a rare find," Shar'El quickly rectified.

"Everything in this shop has a unique story. Do not let the appearances of the items mislead you, each piece is as special as the next and all are well worth the price," the merchant announced before his attention was diverted onto another customer entering his store.  "If you will excuse me ladies. Have a look and if you have any questions about the specifics of any item, I will be pleased to explain it all."

"I'm sorry," Sonja offered in shame. Due to Ya'Han having been their friend, it had been impossible for the engineer to hold herself back from correcting the man in his flamboyant ignorance.

"No need to apologise," Shar'El noted with a friendly and understanding smile. "It gave me the opportunity to scan his most recent memories which may have given us what we have been looking for."

"Good, let's get out of here before I forget what all this equipment is actually supposed to look like," the Chief Engineer asserted as she took a hasty line for the shop's exit. 

=-=
Setting: MARKALA PRIME, Trade City of Kololu, Church of the Ancient Ones
Stardate: 32003.1030 (0715 local time)

"Here?" Sonja wondered hoping that there had been some mistake as to where Shar'El had wanted to go.

"This is the place," the undercover ExO / ILO confirmed. "It was very prominent in the memories of our friend the merchant along with the likeness of one of the priests."

"How is a priest of an antiquated belief system going to help us?" the Chief Engineer questioned, certain that this would be another monumental waste of time.

"The merchant's memories seem to indicate that this priest is far more than he appears," Shar'El clarified. "His knowledge may very well extend beyond the limits of the walls and faith of this church."

"I hope so," Sonja unhappily sighed as she and her travel companion made their way inside the religious building.

"Welcome to the Church of the Ancient Ones, may their blessings show you the way," and elderly priest offered the moment the two Gypsies had walked into the dark and barely lit main chamber. "How may I be of service?"

"We are searching for one of your members, a very tall and imposing fellow," Shar'El explained in a very calm and respectful manner. "We are sorry that we are unable to recall his name at this time, the chaos that has taken over the city has been very troubling to me and my friend here."

"Chaos is the force by which the weak and separated from the strong," the priest noted in a way that made it clear to the two women that this had been a fundamental belief of this church.  "Only those strong enough to survive the trials of fire and war will inherit this universe," the robbed elderly man added as he cast his gaze to the ground in a show of penance.  "As for the one you seek, his name if Horur and you just missed him."

"Thank you for your time, we will seek him elsewhere. Please accept our apologies for having taken your precious time on this matter," Shar'El offered with gentle bow and reverence before pulling Sonja by the arm so that they would both be leaving together.

As soon as the two women had returned to the streets of the trade city, Sonja glared at the ExO / ILO. "What was that all about? You gave up way too easily in there, so my guess is that you found something in that wrinkly ancient head of his."

"I did," Shar'El acknowledged with a faint nod of her head. "I know where Trent is."

"Great!" the Chief Engineer exclaimed. "Let go and get him out of wherever he is so that we can get ourselves off this planet.  I will be happy to settle for the time being with getting as far away from this building. There is something about this church that gives me the hebejebes."

"He is being held in the basement," the ExO / ILO quietly explained, looking at Sonja with a somewhat troubled expression.

"Getting into a basement should not be all that difficult," Sonja countered.

"It might be more difficult than you think given that the basement is located below the church we just stepped out of."

"Oh."

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET
M07-P057: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: Day 08 - 0955 ("The Associates")
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"The Associates"
[previous post was "The Deal"]
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Setting: MARKALA PRIME, Trade City of Kololu, Streets
Stardate: 32003.0955 (0640 local time)

The six women being sold has entertainers had indeed been from her home world of NYLA IV, that had been easy enough for Ya'Han to confirm by their features. Anyone looking at them from he street would have been able to make the same conclusion, so in that regard the merchant had been truthful.

During her inspection of the women though Ya'Han came across another unique trait, one that the once daughter of the High Sovereign had completely forgotten about.  The small tattoo placed at the base of the neck identified the person branded with it as a royally certified slav, which all six of the women had been.

Although Nylaan slaves were usually expected to have green hair or in some rare cases even red, the majority came from the common population. These citizen of NYLA IV had lost the few privileges they had possessed as individuals for having failed to comply with one of countless laws or ordinances of their home world.  Imprisoning people for crimes had long ago been considered to be a waste of resources and time, so selling them as slaves had been a far more economically sound way of dealing with them.  Even if a certified slave was sold for next to nothing on the open market, their being removed from the society served to insure that culture's continued prosperity.

Unlike their features and the branding on their necks which had all been genuine, the color of their hair had been a falsehood. Granted only one with intimate knowledge in the way Nylaan hair could be made to change color, as Ya'Han had been, would have been able to pick up on the deception. Likely the merchant had acquired the six black haired slaves with the intent of reselling them as green hair entertainers for a sizeable profit, a trick that had likely been learned from another merchant, that one of Ferengi origin.

Having returned to her Master's side, Ya'Han quickly took hold of Jayson's arm as a slave of the position she had been portraying would have been expected to.  The currently green haired woman had wanted to do something to help the other six, but she knew that this had been beyond both her abilities and the reality of their situation.

"Are you alright?" Jayson asked of Ya'Han who clearly appeared disturbed by what she had been asked to deal with.

"Yes My Lord," she quietly replied, continuing to play her role to perfection.

"Maybe I could negotiate for the release of one or two of the slaves as compensation for his trying to trick us?" Jayson inquired in a whispered voice, the would be exotic merchant having assumed that her current condition had been caused by the fact that the slaves had been just that -- slaves.

"It would not matter," Ya'Han whispered back. "The moment they were branded as slaves, the rest of their lives was set. Their bodies, their minds as well as their very life essence belongs to someone else. He can do with them as he wishes. The only possible escape for them now is death, which will come in one form or another far quicker than I am sure any of them would like. At least for now.  In time they will be begging to see their lives as slave come to an end. They all do."

Jayson gave Ya'Han a gentle squeeze as he tried to reassure and comfort her. he could tell that she had been speaking from experience, but he also knew that this had not been the time or place to ask for a more detailed explanation. There would be plenty of time for him to learn more about the culture that his green haired companion had grown up in and escaped from.

"Here is the deal," Jayson began as he called for the merchant to come in closer so that no one else could hear the details of the suggested arrangement between the two men. "I am in need of information, the kind not readily available to the general public. You will give me the name and location of someone who can answer my questions and in return I will forget about this incident as well as your attempt to draw me into a purposefully unfair and misleading business transaction.  Should you disagree, I will have no other option but to call upon the local authorities as well as the F-C-A. I have a few friends in their ranks and am convinced that they would find many ways to make you regret having lied to me."

Panic flashed on the merchant's face, the mention of the Ferengi Commerce Authority having been more than enough to make him wish he had never set foot on MARKALA PRIME.  "His Lordship drives a hard bargain, but it will be my pleasure to comply with your requests and conditions."

"Good," Jayson smiled. "One more thing, my associates will make sure that the hair of your slaves are returned to their rightful color and that they are in no way harmed or made to suffer for what was clearly *your* fault. Do I make myself perfectly clear?"

"Absolutely your Lordship," the merchant stuttered as he quickly scanned the surrounding crowd as if trying to locate the associates which had just been mentioned. Whatever panic had been there before had exploded into a full fledged terror, the merchant's body visibly trembling with fear.  "If I may be so bold, may I ask as to why you are not asking Mister Morten for the information you seek?"

"Morten?"

"My apologies your Lordship, I thought that by you mentioning your associates you were acquainted with him," the merchant explained, his fear having as if by miracle nearly completely vanished.

Jayson quickly understood that this Morten, whoever he might have been, had been the key to the man's reaction and likely held the answers the away team had been looking for. The next words out of his mouth would either completely break the web of lies he had created or seal once and for all the deception.  "I know that Morten has the answers, but I was curious to see if you would be so quick to give out his name to someone whom you had just met.  I am sure that he will be most interested in knowing that his name so quickly escaped your lips."

In a matter of only a few seconds the merchant became as white as a ghost, Jayson's effort to regain control of the situation havin worked far better than he could have ever hoped it would.  "I beg for your Lordship's forgiveness and mercy. My knowledge of Mister Mort... I mean, my knowledge of the gentleman with whom you share associates with is only passing.  I actually never meant him, only heard many great things about his generous heart and kind ways.

"Fine," Jayson sighed, making the merchant believe that he had accepted his explanation while in reality he had been disappointed that he would not be getting more information on the mysterious men called Morten.  "I will not mention this to him as well, but make no mistake, our associates will be keeping an eye on you no matter where you may go."

"Of course your Lordship, I completely understand," the merchant nervously said as he offered a trembling deep bow as a show of respect. "I will make sure that my slaves see their original hair color restored at no cost to be, be it monetary or otherwise."

"Good," Jayson nodded. "I am glad that we have reached an agreement. Now, I have to take care of other business," the undercover officer posing as an exotic merchant stated as he began to walk away from the stage and the trembling man standing upon it.  Jayson displayed an air of great confidence and pride as he travelled down the street with the green haired slave woman tightly holding onto his arm and miniature monkey resting comfortably on his shoulder.

Their next step -- finding this Mister Morten.

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Hanali Han

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P056: USS ANUBIS: Stark: Day 08 - 0945 ("The Deal")
"The Deal"
[previous "The Mess"]

[/\]

Setting: MARKALA PRIME, Trade City of Kololu, Basement
Stardate: 32003.0945 (0630 local time)

Just as she had predicted, the streets of the city had quickly become busy with a wide range of activities which included a fair number of green haired entertainers showing off their skills.  Men and women alike were on display, some had been there of their own free will while others had clearly been forced into the situation they were now in. As much as Jayson tried to make sense of what he was seeing, the best he could do was to follow Ya'Han's lead as she held onto his arm.

As much as he found the scene disturbing, he found comfort in that the woman on his arm had been right. The presence of all the other green haired entertainers had made Ya'Han just another face in the crowd making it easier for them to make their way through the streets unnoticed.

"Your Lordship," a merchant called out trying to get Jayson's attention. "Please My Lord, I only ask for a moment of your time."

"Lordship?" he repeated to himself, sure that the merchant had not meant him.  A gentle nudge from the monkey back on his shoulder proved otherwise making Jayson turn to face the man standing on a wooden platform with half a dozen women standing behind him, the sadden expression on their faces making him understand that they had not been there by choice.

"Yes," Jayson offered, trying his best to come across as a man worthy of the title that had been so unexpectedly bestowed upon him.  "My time is precious, so speak your mind quickly."

From the corner of his eye Jayson could have sworn that he had seen Commander Maya smile as the small monkey she had taken the form of in response to the quick exchange the two men had shared.

"I see by the beauty by your side and the exquisite creature on your shoulder that you are a man of great taste and wealth," the merchant said, his velvety voice making it easy to guess that he had been doing this for many years. "Maybe you Lordship would be interested in an additional companion for your lonely arm. Maybe your charming partner would be interested in making the selection herself, thus insuring for a more pleasant times.

Jayson's body immediately tensed in response to the suggestion made by the merchant, an idea that he had not at all liked and even less so because it had degraded Ya'Han in a way he would never allow. A single half step forward was all that he was able to take before Maya dug in her claws into his shoulder, having recognized his demeanour and pride as something that belonged elsewhere. On MARKALA PRIME and while in the trade city of Kololu, he needed to not only act but think as the exotic merchant he had made himself to appear as.

Reluctantly Jayson smiled and nodded his head in agreement to the merchant's offer, releasing Ya'Han from his arm and silently instructing her to inspect those standing on the wooden stage.  As she complied, the undercover Starfleet Officer did his best to keep his eyes on the merchant demanding the same from him.  If *his* woman could get any sort of information from the women on display, she would need as not to be under the scrutiny of their owner.

"I must admit that your Lordship has exquisite tastes, both in his desire for women and pets," the merchant said, looking at the small primate on the man's shoulder with an interest that easily matched that of a predator for a would-be prey.  "I have truly never seen this creature's equal and would be most grateful if your Lordship would provide me with the name or location of your acquiring it."

"How grateful?" Jayson asked in return only to keep the merchant's interest on both him and the shapeshifted Commander allowing Ya'Han to speak with the others for a few more seconds.

"I am pleased to see that My Lord knows how to deal, I can appreciate this, and will be more than happy to make it worth your while," the Merchant said in a way that made Jayson expect to see him throbbing at the mouth at any moment.

"My Lord," Ya'Han said with a tone or urgency. Her tone had immediately drawn Jayson's attention onto her, but her words had made his heart skip a beat. Beyond the fact that he had never expected to hear her say those words to him, the level of conviction that had been in her voice had been beyond absolute.  "These slaves are not as they appear," she added in an accusing tone, her glare directed at the merchant. "The color of their hair is not natural."

"How dare you question my honesty you worthless slave," the Merchant spat as he turned to physically challenge the green haired woman who had addressed him with such lies, but before he could take a single step, Jayson took hold of his arm and held him in place.  "Unhand me!" the merchant demanded, his admiration for his would-be client havin vanished as had the smoothness of his tone.

"Explain yourself," Jayson sternly demanded while the primate leaned forward and hissed at the merchant while displaying the sharpness of its teeth and claws.

"Your companion is mistaking," the merchant politely offered as the one and only explanation that he had been willing to entertain at this time.

"I am not mistaken," Ya'Han clarified with assurance. "Forgive me My Lord for being so vocal, but I cannot allow you to fall prey to this man's trickery."

"Let's make this simpler on both of us," Jayson said, tightening his grip on the merchant's arm. "Make no mistake, I believe her over you and I cannot be held responsible should my little furry friend here decide to rip your eyes out of their sockets."

"My profound apologies your Lordship, I meant no disrespect," the merchant offered, his voice having returned to the more eloquent tone that he had previously used. "It appears that my provider has tricked me in making me believe that these slaves were of genuine Nylaan origin. I pray that you will find it in your heart to forgive me and be allowed to make amends."

"Maybe we can reach some sort of deal that would be beneficial to us both," Jayson stated as he motioned for Ya'Han to return to his side. Officially, as her owner, it made sense for him to wish for his property to be back next to him, but as the undercover officer that he was, he needed her back to know exactly how to handle the situation, this entire things having gone very quickly out of his field of expertise and knowledge.

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P055: USS ANUBIS: Shar'l: Day 08 - 0915 ("The Mess")
=-=
"The Mess"
[previous post was "The Search" by the humorous Lorraine]
=-=

Setting: MARKALA PRIME, Trade City of Kololu, Basement
Stardate: 32003.0915 (0600 local time)

The well dressed man known only as Mister Morten glared at the captured SFI agent through the small opening in the metal door. The plan had been simple, his presence on this world had been meant to be a catalyst for a chain of events designed to cripple the economic foundation of NYLA IV and through it severely undermine the New Ferengi Alliance by increasing tensions between them and the Federation.  Alas like so many other plans which had been years in the making, the Human factor had proven to be the one unpredictable variable that he and his associates would be forced to deal with.

The USS ANUBIS, the flagship of the NEW ALEXANDRIA secret base of operations had been meant to be discovered in orbit, cementing the Federation's involvement in their side of the affair. A single captured again could be easily dismissed as having been a rogue element, but an either ship designed for Intel operations would not have been so easily written off by anyone.  Since the ship had not remained in orbit, that part of the plan had been put on hold for the time being, leaving Morten and his associates to deal with the mess that the annoying Federation had created.

"Then send more ships to find it," Morten said, the man having been the only one able to hear the voices coming from the nearby shadows.  "If the ANUBIS was able to beam someone down, the local authorities will find them. They have no where to go, the entire city has been sealed.  All we need to is make sure that they find their way here so that we can confirm the Federation's involvement."

The usually calm and collect man appeared to be on the edge, Morten never having liked to deal with the Humans or anyone associated with the Federation, but his assignments had never been open for debate. The conflict with the Neo-Essentialists which had seized EARTH had been a delight to him, and the casualties from Paris and the ships that were destroyed in orbit had been far too little for his liking. The best that he could hope for now was to see this latest plan led to even more trouble for the meddling race and its organizations.

=-=
Setting: MARKALA PRIME, Trade City of Kololu, Streets
Stardate: 32003.0930 (0615 local time)

Despite the city wide lockdown, the local merchants had carried on with their daily business, their livelihood depended on it. Waiting for whatever reason for this to be resolved had not been an option, all that they could do was hope that this would not last too long. With the authorities patrolling the streets as they were, merchants and customers were nervous, and that had never been good for business.

"They are sure making a big deal of his," Sonja said as she pointed with a gesture of her head to a group of local law enforcement officers going through the crowd, making sure to meet the eyes of each and every individual they came across.

"There are still no guarantees as to whom they are searching for," Shar'El quietly noted. "In a trade city like this one, there are an endless number of possibilities. Maybe they are simply looking for the person responsible for the murder of that Dopterian's brother."

"That or they might be looking for an escaped Nylaan royalty; maybe the last surviving member of a shapeshifting race; then again they could be looking for a Ullian pretending to be someone that they are not," Sonja pointed out, thinking of the Chief of Security, Chief Science Officer and First Officer respectively.

"You do realize that there might be some telepaths in this crowd," the First Officer softly growled.

"Telepaths are exceptionally rare in these parts, that is why we are here as we are," the Chief Engineer explained with a smile. "The novelty of someone being able to do something uncommon is at the base of our personalities."

"You two, stop!" One of the local law enforcement officers called out pointing to the two Pythron Gypsies.

"What can we do for you officer?" Sonja asked, drawing the man's attention onto her to make it easier for her partner to scan the memories of the law enforcement team. Hopefully something good would be learned from this.

"How long have you been here?" The man asked, staring down the much shorter woman clearly doing his best to intimidate her, unfortunately for him he had been dealing with none other than the fiery Chief Engineering Officer of the USS ANUBIS.

"Here?" Sonja replied pointing to the spot where she had been standing. "20, maybe 30 seconds. Before that we were back there and before that we were in one of those shady pubs getting a drink before starting our day."

The officer narrowed his eyes in a less than pleasant manner as she continued to stare down the petite woman who clearly appeared unphased by the man's efforts to intimidate her.

"Tell you what, how about I give you a free reading?" Sonja countered with a half smile, certain that she was giving Shar'El ample time to do her magic.  "I can see in your eyes that you have been given another lousy task by your superiors, one that you believe is well below your skills. In fact I see you thinking that you should not be here at all but instead managing the entire region from a nice comfy desk at the head office.  Hmm, interesting, I see a man with great influence who has taken note of your work.  In fact, I see a promotion in your future as reward for your dedication."

The officer continued to stare down at the Gypsy, not appearing as if her words and predictions had made an impact on him.  As he turned his head and shifted his gaze onto her companion, his eyes suddenly opened wide as he noticed something.

"YOU! STOP!" The local law enforcement officers screamed as a man dressed in a dark leather jacket started to run away through the crowd.  "Stop that Human!" He added as he gave chance to the unknown man quickly followed by the rest of the law enforcement team that had been with him.

"Well, now we know that they are looking for Humans," Sonja sighed, glad that the man had finally stopped casting an unpleasant shadow over her.  "I hope that you managed to get something good from him," the Gypsy added.

"How did you know about the influential man? I saw something in his memories about someone that he admired and feared all at the same time," Shar'El asked knowing that the rest of the *reading* had been completely fictitious 

"A Gypsy never reveals her secrets," Sonja replied adding a wink. "You never go wrong by inflating a man's ego.  Any idea who the man was in his memories?"

"No idea, but I definitely got the impression that he is someone important, very important." Shar'El said as she cast her eyes in the direction in which the authorities had vanished while chasing the unknown Human male.

"Why do I have the feeling that we are in the middle of a much bigger mess than a simple missing person?"

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET
M07-P054: USS ANUBIS: Paquette: Day 08 - 0635 ("The Search")
"The Search"
previous post was "The Past"

=====
Setting: MARKALA PRIME, Pub
Stardate: 32003.0635 (0320 local time)

Following their run-in with Drov, the drunken brother of the murdered Zhar, the two Gypsy women entered the small pub that Shar'El had earlier identified without giving the stumbling Dopterian and his family issues a second thought. In all honesty the two undercover officers had more than enough to worry about at this time, and the day had still been young.

Immediately upon their entrance into the pub, the half dozen patrons who apparently had spent the night here as well as the bartender stopped what they had been doing to instead glare in a rather unfriendly manner at the Pythron women. "We don't serve your kind here," the bartender growled casting a loosely pointing accusing finger in the women's general direction.

"Our kind?" Sonja sighed, now certain beyond any doubts that they had found their way into the most backwards location in the galaxy. "Would that be us being Pythron, Women or wandering travellers?"

Shar'El quickly glanced in her companion's direction, certain that her words would enlist a very unpleasant retaliation, one that if they were truly lucky would only be a verbal one forcing them to seek another location to begin their search for clues.

"The moneyless kind," the bartender replied unimpressed by the defiant attitude of the shorter of the two Pythron women.

"Oh," the undercover First Officer noted, the answer from the bartender not having been what she had expected.  Quickly reaching into one of her pockets, Shar'El produced a credit chip that she skillfully tossed through the air so that it would land on the bar directly in front of the man who had challenged their presence in his establishment.  After having confirmed that the small card had indeed been valid currency, he motioned for the two to step in with a motion of his head.  The gesture had not only been meant to welcome the two new patrons, but also reassure those who had been there before that all had been as it should and that they could resumed their drinking and other shady activities.

"Remind me to mention this place to our travel agent," Sonja unhappily whispered to her friend. "The personnel is actually more unappealing then how the place looks and smells."  The barely audible words had been enough to have Shar'El send a quick elbow into the side of her friend and teammate, just as a reminder that they needed to be as friendly as possible in order to increase their chances of discovering something about the missing agent Trent Troy.

"We don't usually see Pythron Gypsies wandering into a pub," the bartender pointed out. "Are you here to meet someone?"

Another quick glance was sent to Sonja from Shar'El, this one indicating that the undercover CEO needed to keep the man busy while his memories were being scanned.

"We are actually looking for someone," Sonja responded, following the earlier instructions from Shar'El as to how to draw to the surface memories that would be the most beneficial for their quest for information. "He's powerful, knowledgeable and knows a good deal when one is presented to him.  He has also no scruples, dealing in a very wide range of affairs from contraband to keeping certain important individuals hidden from those who might be looking for them."

"I know of no one like that," the man said in a clearly offended tone. "Order a drink and leave, I don't want any sort of trouble for you or anyone else."

With a motion of her head Sonja pointed to one of the bottles on display on the back shelf. Within seconds two glasses were poured and offered to the women before the bartender left them alone.

"Friendly fellow isn't he?" the undercover Engineer sarcastically noted in a whispered voice as she turned to look at Shar'El who had already diverted her focus onto the other patrons in the establishment.

"He was as friendly as he could," the undercover First Officer said in the same whispered tone as her friend had used. "He's scared, terrified in fact. His memories were of a Dopterian who extorted protection money from him while making sure that he stayed on the straight and narrow, likely because the crook I saw in his mind had not wanted any sort of competition."

"A Dopterian," Sonja asked with a sigh. "Let me guess, that same drunken fellow we ran into earlier?"

"No," Shar'El quickly replied. "Although I could see some family resemblance, maybe it was that Zhar fellow he spoke of."

"What a wonderful place this is," the Pythron Gypsy said slightly louder as she downed the content of the drink in a single gulp. "The drinks are just as bad as everything else, remind me to cancel all of my future trips to this place.  I believe there is a penal colony on CARDASSIA PRIME that has better accommodations than this place.

"Nothing here," Shar'El sighed after having scanned the memories of all the patrons without having found the slightest clue as to the possible whereabout of Trent Troy.  "Let's go, might as well go elsewhere since we are obviously not welcomed here," the undercover officer said in a loud voice, making it perfectly clear that the bartender's message had been made and understood.

"Wait," Sonja said as her friend was about to leave, "what about your drink?"

"I'll pass," came the rapid reply as Shar"El resumed her course for the establishment's exit.  Not wanting their credits to go to waste, Sonja downed the second glass and instantly regretted the move, the woman wishing that the pud had Klingon bloodwine on tap to help wash the taste of her last drink down.

=====
Setting: MARKALA PRIME, Streets
Stardate: 32003.0900 (0545 local time)

The undercover officers posing as Pythron Gypsies had entered and exited several more equally unwelcoming establishments over the last 2 1/2 hours, their search for clues not having at all been successful.

"You do realize that there is a much quicker ways for you to get me drunk," Sonja teased, every single establishment they had so far been in having required them to purchase something.

"I am not trying to get you drunk," Shar'El grinned back as the two Pythron women made their way down another street, this one lined with street vendors preparing to open for business. "I know you and that nasty Klingon chech'tluth stuff, it is going to take a lot more than a few watered down drinks to get you flat on your back."

"True," the undercover Engineer chuckled, "but if the waiter is cute it might happen a little first."

Shar'El stopped and turned her head to look at the woman standing right next to her, confusion having appeared on the features of the undercover First Officer.  After having picked up on the specific memory that Sonja had purposefully recalled, the taller Gypsy rolled her eyes and sighed.  "Are you always this frivolous?"

"I blame my mother for that," Sonja said as she nodded her head.  "Wait, something is happening over there," the shorter Pythron said, pointing to a group of local authorities having a rather unpleasant exchange with a merchant.

"I said that I needed to leave now!" The merchant nearly screamed drawing quite a bit of attention onto himself.

"And we said that you can't" one of the city's security personnel reiterated as he stood nose-to-nasal opening with the alien. "All ships have been grounded until further notice as well as all traffic in and out of the city."

"Alright, alright," the merchant finally accepted as he threw his arms in the air. "I guess I can always have the merchandise beamed up to my partner's ship, although he is going to charge me for that, a fee that I will be sure to submit a bill for to the city's administration."

"Let us save you the trouble," the officer said, still appearing very serious about the entire affair.  "All communications as well as transports to and from the planet have also been blocked. Anyone trying to get out of this city by any means will be immediately arrested and turned over to the Grand Magistrate, who is already in a very foul mood."

"The city is on lockdown," Shar'El noted as she turned her back to the authorities to better shield her conversation with her mission partner.  "My guess is that someone knows that we are here and are trying to find us before we can get a hold of Trent and make our way off this world."

"With all ships grounded and no way to transport to an orbiting vessel, things are going to be a lot more complicated," the Chief Engineer of the ANUBIS pointed out, this mission having gone from difficult to nearly impossible in the blink of an eye.  "So what do we do?"

"We continue as best we can," the First Officer replied. "We do not have that many options open to us for the time being.  Maybe something will make itself available as we continue, but right now we need to continue searching for Mister Troy and do so while not attracting the attention of the authorities."

"Sure, no problem," Sonja sarcastically laughed. "While we are at it, maybe we should locate the missing Rings of Betazed and find a way to make the Romulan and Vulcan reunification happen. I mean, since we are trying to do the impossible, might as well set the bar as high as we can."

"This is not the time for this," Shar'El countered

"Fine," the Engineer sighed. "I just hope that the other teams are having better luck then we have had in finding something to point us in the right direction."

=====
Lorraine Paquette

Chief Engineering Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501
M07-P053: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: Day 08 - 0815 ("The Past")
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"The Past"
[previous post was "The Trap"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: MARKALA PRIME, Streets
Stardate: 32003.0815 (0500 local time)

The errant drunken vagabonds of the night that the team had come across in their travels had gradually given way to the street vendors who had come out to prepare the displays of their wares.  Most had paid little attention to the merchant, most of them choosing to instead cast their envious gaze onto the green haired Nylaan woman accompanying him.

"I am starting to wonder if you being as you are now was not a very bad choice," Jayson whispered to Ya'Han, not at all liking the way everyone stared at the woman by his side.

"It is still very early," the green haired entertainer said in a soothing voice. "By the time the market becomes more active I will be just another face in the crowd, one that will be just like any of the other Nylaan entertainers that will be found here.  Had it been mid-day, I am sure that our arrival would not have raised a single eyebrow."

"You seem pretty sure about that," Jayson said, casting a quizzical glance at the woman lovingly holding onto his arm.

"Unfortunately, I am."

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FLASHBACK
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: NYLA IV, Marketplace of the Imperial City
Stardate: 14111.1435 (over 17 years ago)

All 13 brothers and sisters had been dragged out of the Palace without any reason having been given, not that one had been required for the children of the High Sovereign to do as their father had demanded. Each child had been escorted by at last one guard, the older siblings deserving of more protection while her oldest brother Ya'Kun enjoyed the same protection as their father.  With a distinct air of pride about him, the eldest son followed in his father's footsteps like an obedient shadow, showing to the world his status as the next High Sovereign.

Heads were held low and eyes kept to the ground as the royal family made its way through the streets of the marketplace of the imperial city.  Back then Ya'Han believed this to be a show of respect for the High Sovereign and his family, but over the years that would come to pass she would learn that their reverence had been born out of fear, not admiration.

Scattered through the multitude of black haired commoners, Ya'Han noted the presence of a few blue and white haired individuals, but by far the second more common color had been that of the Entertainers.  Through the large windows of some of the establishments that at the age of 5 she had been still too young to understand, the youngest daughter could see green haired women swaying to music that she could not hear.  Although their movements displayed a certain level of enjoyment, the lack of a smile on their lips left Ya'Han puzzled.

As they continued their journey through the streets of the city, the purple haired little girl noticed that the same lack of a smile had been present on the faces of each and every green haired entertainer she had been able to see.  As intrigued as she had been though, her attention and focus had to remain on staying in line with the rest of her siblings.

As the royal procession reached the central stage of the marketplace, Ya'Han noticed a large gathering of green haired entertainers, raging in all size and shapes. There had been so many of them that they easily outnumbered the black haired commoners surrounding them leaving the still innocent little girl to believe that the entertainers might have come to offer some sort of show to the High Sovereign and his children.

With his business in the marketplace concluded, the High Sovereign returned to the palace with his children closely in tow, the youngest daughter disappointed in not having seen the show she had expected.  It would only be many years later that Ya'Han would be made to understand that they had not been there to entertain the crowd or her father, but instead to be sold as slaves. To do so brought honor to the family not to mention secure their immediate financial future as green haired Nylaans were considered a prized and valued commodity.

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END of FLASHBACK
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Holding on to the arm of the exotic merchant as she had, Ya'Han appeared like any others green haired member of her race who had been sold into slavery to help their family.  Finding work as a freelance entertainer had not been a difficult task, most establishments being more than happy to welcome a new face with a fresh body.  Unfortunately, there were too many of them forcing the wages to remain low leaving many to consider self-imposed slavery as the only mean to provide on a long-term basis for their family in a single act.

It had also not been uncommon for Nylaans who had earned the right to display their green hair to be abducted and sold into forced slavery, but their story never ended well being seen as a disposable commodity, especially when they came to refuse to perform as told.  Sooner or later death became the only escape from the abuse they suffered during their captivity. Although she herself had not experienced this extreme in the life of a slave, the methods used in her escape from NYLA IV and Ferengi controlled space had given her first hand knowledge as to the abuse they faced in a daily basis.

"You are cutting off the circulation in my arm," Jayson winced as Ya'Han suddenly tightened her hold. The thoughts and memories that had resurfaced having caused her to instinctively seek refuge and comfort, in this case from the man walking next to her.

"I'm sorry," the green haired woman offered ever so quietly, releasing her hold only enough to allow blood to flow through the man's veins once more. "Thank you," she added in the same soft-spoken voice while leaning her head against Jayson's arm.

"Thank me for what?" Jayson asked, puzzled and certain that he had missed something important.

"Just a thank you for no other reason," the green haired entertainer replied, briefly closing her eyes to insure that she would be able to maintain her composure and not allow her emotions to overwhelm her.

Having felt and noticed the woman's odd emotional state, the small furry primate quickly moved from the merchant's shoulder to that of his female companion, offering a gentle nudge of her cheek as a show of solidarity and support.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Hanali Han

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P052: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: Day 08 - 0615 ("The Trap")
=-=
"The Trap"
[previous post was "The Arrival" by the masochistic Jayson]
=-=

Setting: MARKALA PRIME, Streets
Stardate: 32003.0615 (0300 local time)

After having confirmed through a lengthy pat-down that everything had been where it had biologically been meant to be, Sonja and Shar'El made their way into the dark and nearly deserted streets of the city.  The location for their beam down had been purposefully set to be out of the way, and the early hour of the day had only served to further insure that their arrival would be unnoticed.

"Not exactly RISA," the once redhead said as she studied their surroundings.  "Guess I should not have expected any different being so deep inside Ferengi controlled space."

"Unfortunately the Ferengi do not have the monopoly on places like this," Shar'El pointed out in a whispered voice not wanting to attract any unwanted attention from those shady characters with whom they had been sharing the streets with.  "There are many worlds on the other side of the border that equally as unappealing, and many of them have governments in good speaking terms with our own.  Respecting a world's right to sovereign rule means that they can chose to have their least fortunate live this way.  As much as we might not agree with it, this style of social separation has been around for longer than your people's written history."

"I don't need a social or historical lesson," Sonja huffed. "What I do need right now though is some sort of nose plug, and maybe even a good scrubber. I think I just stepped into something," the Pythron gypsy said as she lifted her foot to see what sort of unpleasant substance had found its way onto the soul of her boot.

"I may not be able to offer you either of the items you have wished for, but maybe I can offer a less unpleasant location for us to start our business to this place," Shar'El said as she pointed to what appeared to be some sort of a pub less than 50 meters away.

"It's not like we have that much of a choice," the Chief Engineer sighed while trying to find a way to avoid the stench floating in the air. "We won't get a whole lot of information if we stay out here with the decomposing rats, and unless this Trent Troy fellow suddenly comes stumbling out and falls to our feet, we have to be proactive in our search for him."

With just a little less than 20 meters to walk in order to reach the pub that they had set their eyes on, an unknown individual came staggering out of one of the alleys to trip and land right at the feet of the two Pythron women.  Sonja glanced at her traveling companion for a moment, an amused smile dancing on her lips as if all of their prayers had suddenly been answered.  "Can we take him home?"

"Maybe it would wise to ask this poor person's identity first," Shar'El grinned back motioning for her friend to help the man to his feet while she scanned his memories. "We would not want to be accused of kidnapping."

"Fine," the Pythron Gyspy huffed in silence as she leaned down over the fallen man. "The streets are no place for you to rest my good man," Sonja offered as she took the individual by the arm in an effort to help him back to an upright position.

"You are too kind miss," the man graciously said accepting the helping hand without hesitation, his slurred speech and inability to remain standing having been the only proof the two women needed to establish the cause of his collapse.

"May I ask as to your name and where you come from?" Sonja questioned, Shar'El having given her mission companion several tricks to use in order to draw memories to the surface for the Ullian to easily pick up on without having to rely on a more demanding and time consuming deep scan.

"I am Drov, younger brother of the murdered Zhar and now the sole heir of our noble and ancient house which is one day destined to rule the galaxy," the drunken Dopterians said as he returned to his feet.

Shar'El simply shook her head confirming that no useful information had been gathered from the man's jumbled memories, and what she had seen had only confirmed the claim of the murder of his brother. The rest of his statement in regards to his family one day ruling the galaxy had been nothing more than a fantasy given form by the influence that he had been under.  With some help from the two gypsies, Drov resumed his staggering walk down the street under the unimpressed gaze of the women who had helped him.

"I just hope that the next person that falls to our feet won't be as drunk," Sonja mumbled already looking forward to returning to the ANUBIS and taking a very long and hot shower to cleanse herself of the residuals of this world on her.

"I would not sell this chance encounter too short," Shar'El corrected pulling her friend in close. "He saw the murder scene he spoke of, and I can tell you this. I understand why he is drinking the way he is, no sane man would be able to see what he saw without being affected by it.  I can also say this, the way his brother and associates were ripped apart leaves me certain beyond any doubts of who was responsible for their deaths."

"Them?" Sonja gasped silently not wanting to voice the name of the Lokustaar aloud for fear that someone else might hear them speaking about the nightmarish race.  There had been no need or necessity for anyone to become aware of the presence of this race here.

"We knew that they were here, but we never expected them to be involved in the local affairs of this world or even this city," the undercover ExO / ILO specified. "There had always been the possibility that their presence here on this planet and the disappearance of Trent was just a mere coincidence, but based on the memories of that man, I can guarantee that *they* are more than simply involved in this affair. This may have very well been a trap set for us from the very start."

"Great," Sonja sighed with clear disapproval. "Not only have we walked into a trap but there is no way for us to just get out of it before it springs over us.  We need to let the others know before it's too late."

"We can't do that and you know it," Shar'El said as she placed her hand over her friend's arm to make sure she would not reach for the camouflaged communication device each team had been given in case of extreme emergency.  "Our green haired friend made it clear that this place listens in on every single communication and that any encoded signal would draw the full force of the authorities on its source.  The best we can do right now is to continue as planned and locate Trent as quickly as possible. We can trigger the re-gather signal after that. The advantage we have is that we know this is a trap, so all we need to do is stay one step ahead of them."

"Staying one step ahead of anything with this goo stuck to our boots is going to be next to impossible," Sonja said trying to make light of the situation they had found themselves in.  Without the support of the ANUBIS or the ability to freely contact the other teams to better coordinate their efforts, the two Pythron Gypsies had faced a very difficult situation, one that unfortunately they could not simply walk away from.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET
M07-P051: USS ANUBIS: Stark: Day 08 - 0605 ("The Arrival")
"The Arrival"
[previous "A Prayer, Some Hope, and Courage"]

[/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Corridor
Stardate: 32003.0605

Even before the materialization process had been completed, he felt as if his stomach had been in his throat, and his body had been somewhere else entirely.  Reading about the effects of near-warp transport on the body had been one thing, but to experience those effects first hand had been an entirely different matter.

Jayson quickly searched for something to grab hold of to steady himself while his breathing and heartrate went crazy, the now completed transport sequence having left him without the means of being able to tell which way was up.

"Are you alright?" Maya asked out of concern, the would-be merchant appearing to have taken the worst of the possible effects of their near-warp transport.

"I will be Commander," Jayson said desperately trying to catch his breath. "I mean Maya," he quickly corrected.

"Try to slow down your breathing or you risk passing out," Ya'Han offered as she helped Jayson stand, directing him towards a set of crates that he would be able to lean on to further help steady himself.

"They weren't kidding about the possible side effects.  I am not entire sure that my organs are where they are supposed to be.  In fact I am not entire sure that *I* am where I think I am."

Ya'Han and Maya each held on to an arm while waiting for Jayson to regain his bearings, the still humanoid shape-shifter closely studying his features to see if he would actually be sick.  With their attention focussed on the unsteady man, both women were unaware that their group had attracted some unwelcomed company.

"What do we have here?" a scruffy looking muscular man said in a very deep, low voice, his more than imposing 7 feet-tall frame easily filling the access to the alleyway the away team had been beamed into. The site had been selected to insure that the transport would not be noticed by those passing by, but it had the clear disadvantage of having place the three undercover officers in a location with only one exit which was at the present unavailable to them.  "A pretty little green haired Nylaan! I bet you would fetch a very nice price on the slave market, or I might go straight to the pleasure house and see if they will take you. Either way, looks like my fortune has finally changed for the better.

"You leave her alone," Jayson hissed while still hunched over and using the crates to help keep himself standing. "She is not yours and will never be."

"You scrawny excuse for a bipedal worm," the imposing alien snarled, his voice rolling like thunder. "By the time I am finished with you, there will be nothing but a pile of goo on the ground where you stand."  In the span of two large steps, the giant had bridge the gap separating him from his intended mark. With a simple heavy swing of his arm, he sent Jayson flying through the air making it that much easier for the towering alien to take a hold of the green haired woman's arm, which had vanished like a simple twig within the giants oversized hand.

"JAYSON!" Ya'Han screamed in horror as she looked back to where her teammate had ungraciously landed after having crashed into the nearby wall with an unpleasant thump.

"Relax," the giant growled at his catch. "If you are nice I might just forget that he was there in the first place and let him live.  How a puny worthless thing like him ended up with a Nylaan beauty like you though is beyond me."

"His family has class and wealth, more than you will ever have in your sorry existence," Ya'Han hissed back offering a very weak struggle against the imposing alien's hold on her. It had been easy to see that pure strength would not be the solution in this situation, so the Chief of Security had been required to come up with an alternate course of action.  For the moment, delaying the beast’s departure from the alleyway had been the highest priority.

"Of course he's rich," the giant snarled with a nod of his head. "How else could someone like him end up with someone like you by his side?"

Ya'Han remained silent, studying with great care the way he moved, analysing what would most likely be his weaknesses. He would be made to pay for what he had said about Jayson, that she would make sure of, but her attack needed to be precise and perfectly timed to be successful against the mountain that had been holding onto her arm.

"Come here you scrawny worm," the beast said as he reached down to grab hold of Jayson by the throat. “Wait a minute, where is the other girl?” The answer came in the form of a small furry creature that jumped from behind a crate and clawed at the giant's face before he could solidify his hold on Jayson.

The unexpected distraction had proven to be the opportunity Ya'Han had been waiting for. The attack from Maya had forced the giant to release his hold on the green haired entertainer who quickly called upon the skills and training associated with her role as the redheaded Chief of Security of the ANUBIS.  Having taken a clear attack posture, the still green haired entertainer prepared to unleash her combat skills against the distracted tower who had been screaming like a girl, a rather large one at that.

The alien wildly flailed his arms as he tried unsuccessfully to swat Maya from his face. In the meantime, Ya'Han prepared to strike at the inner knees of the mountainous man in such a way that he would be taken out of the fight entirely.  With one perfectly placed and powerful blow, the giant was sent crashing down to the ground where a final simultaneous strike by both the entertainer and feral monkey ended the confrontation.

"Glad this was supposed to be a quiet beam down," Jayson said as he forced himself back onto his feet with some help from Ya'Han.  "Is this going to be the way the entire mission is going to be or can we hope to not have to fight for each and every step we take?"

"It was just bad luck," the green haired woman smiled. "Coming across an oversized drunken Hupyrian was certainly not part of the plan and I doubt that we will be having a repeat of this encounter soon."

"I really hope not," the battered man said as he tried to stretch the pain out of his limbs.  Stepping over the downed giant the small furry primate jumped and landed on Jayson's shoulder, a certain air of pride floated around the creature.

"Thank you Commander," Jayson said triggering an almost instant head-butt from the Shillian monkey against the side of his head. "Sorry, I meant Maya."

"You really need to stop doing that," Ya'Han giggled. "If not this might not be the last time you get yourself tossed against a wall, but next time it might be by that little creature on your shoulder."

"That would just be perfect," he said rolling his eyes. "As if getting beaten up the way I did before only to be saved by the two of you had not been bad enough, getting owned by a small monkey would insure several counselling sessions with Nicole.  I would rather try to avoid that if at all possible."

"Don't worry Jayson," the green haired woman said as she caringly took hold of his arm. "As long as you are with us, you'll be safe. We'll make sure of that."

"Thank you," Jayson said hesitantly as he glanced at the monkey on his shoulder and the green haired entertainer on his arm. "I think."

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Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P050: USS ANUBIS: Morningstar: Day 08 - 0400
("A Prayer, Some Hope, and Courage")
##########
"A Prayer, Some Hope, and Courage"
Previous post "The Change"
##########

When you are in doubt, be still, and wait;
when doubt no longer exists for you, then go forward with courage.
So long as mists envelop you, be still;
be still until the sunlight pours through and dispels the mists -- as it surely will.
Then act with courage.
- Ponca Chief White Eagle

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 32003.0400

The ANUBIS felt quiet and peaceful as MARKALA PRIME stood just over two hours away at their current high warp speed. Erik had taken only a few hours' rest over the night not having been able to mentally distance himself from what would soon come to pass.  Had the mission been nothing more than the search and extraction of the missing undercover agent Trent Troy, the Native American would have likely considered this to be nothing more than a run-of-the-mill operation. Unfortunately this had not been the case thanks to the discovery of the Lokustaar.

Their presence on MARKALA PRIME meant that this mission would be anything but simple and that the repercussions of whatever would happen could not be anticipated or measured.  The Native American had very limited dealings with that particular trans-dimensional race, but it had been enough for him to know that thanks to these *shadows*, nightmares were made to become real.

Whatever misgivings and fears Erik might have had though there had been no turning back. This was why the ANUBIS and the NEW ALEXANDRIA secret base of operations had been created for, to oppose the unseen darkness which threatened the peace of the Federation and its allies.  The only thing the Native American could do at this point was to review their planned course of action and rely on the expertise and knowledge of those who would be beaming to the planet's surface.

To consider that billions of lives could be decided by the outcome of this single mission had been too much for him to accept, so Erik focussed his thoughts on the initial objective of their having traveled into Ferengi controlled space.  The ANUBIS had been sent to locate a single individual and save his life. If others would be saved by this, it would be a welcomed bonus but the Native American could not permit himself to try and save them all from the start.

The Lokustaar fed on death and destruction. Chaos was their preferred tool and what they enjoyed living in the middle of.  To save but a single life was the only attainable objective at this time in order to create an island of stability in what he was sure would soon become a raging sea of political and social unrest.

"Captain," the ship's Avatar began as she walked up to the ANUBIS' Commanding Officer who had been pensively sitting in his chair. "Just wanted to report that the wake-up call has been sent and acknowledged by everyone taking part in the away mission. In fact several of them were already up and getting ready when the call was made."

"That is what happens when you have a dedicated crew," Erik whispered to himself. "May the Great Spirit watch over them and light their path so they can find their way back home."

"Captain?" ANI inquired the softly spoken prayer from the Native American not having been loud enough for her acute auditory systems to fully pick up.

"Nothing to worry about ANI," the Captain offered instead of a reply. "Maybe Sonja can explain upon her return the need for some to express wishes and desire to an unseen force that may not even exist."

"Ah, you were praying," the Avatar noted with an understanding that the Commanding officer had truly not expected to see. "I may not feel the necessity to do so, but Lieutenant Paquette has granted me access to a great deal of material and literature which allow me to understand the humanoid need many have to externally voice their hopes and wishes.  I also hope, that is as much as I am capable of doing so within the parameters of my programming, for everyone's safe and rapid return from this mission."

"ANI, you are a truly remarkable entity," Erik smiled as he looked at the artificial woman standing next to him. "You are more than the ship given form, and would go as far as to claim that you are in many different ways her soul and spirit."

"Thank you Captain," ANI replied. "I am sure that Lieutenant Paquette would be happy to know this, but first it might be prudent to instead insuring that she and the other members of the away teams make it to the planet surface safe and sound."

"Agreed," the Native American noted with assurance. "Where are we with the preparations and safeguards for the near-warp transport?"

"The engineering team, as per the instructions of Lieutenant Paquette, has been working double shifts through the night to test and fine tune the transporter system to insure that nothing could go wrong," the Avatar reported. "Transporter rooms 2, 3 and 4 have also been given a complete maintenance check and recalibration.  Given the very short period of time during which we will actually be in orbit of MARKALA PRIME, all three transporters will have to be engaged simultaneously."

"Was Lieutenant Ya'Han able to provide additional information on the satellite communications network orbiting the planet?" Erik questioned, the plan to increase the odds of a safe transport having been laid out a while back.

"Yes," ANI confirmed. "her providing us with the standard frequencies and orbital dynamics of the satellites will permit us to greatly increase the odds of the transport sequences being properly completed this after we return to warp speed.  The layout of the city of Kololu will also be very useful in insuring that no one finds themselves inside a solid structure. Three out of the way beam-down locations have been identified to further increase the odds in our favour."

"Very glad to hear this," the Native American admitted, "but I have the feeling that I still don't want to know what the odds actually are."

"Indeed," the artificial woman confirmed adding a faint smile after.

"Very well, keep me informed should anything change and keep an eye on the away teams to insure that they do not fall behind in their preparations."

"Understood Captain," the Avatar acknowledged before taking a few steps back. Unlike other members of the crew, ANI did not require to be at any given station to comply with the order she had received or any others for that matter, her systems having been fully integrated with those of the ANUBIS.

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Sickbay
Stardate: 32003.0430

With over an hour before the dreaded beam down Lillie had been beyond busy with all of the surgical alterations to be made on the members of the away teams who needed them. Normally doing such esthetic work had not been an issue, the Chief Medical Officer having had more than her fair share of practice since having come onboard the ANUBIS. The problem had been time, a commodity that she had alas far too little of leaving her to be eternally grateful for those officers who had not required any work.

"Looks like you are ready to go Ya'Han," Doctor Doyanne said as she glanced over to the bio-readouts of the currently green-haired Nylaan woman.  "Any idea as to where Commander Maya might be? She still needs to pass by Sickbay for a quick medical check-up."

"I believe that she is in her quarters meditating Doctor," the Chief of Security replied, the woman not at all appearing as her role onboard the ship but rather as the seductively dressed entertainer that she had been meant to be for the mission.  "The demands that this mission will place on her body are not as easily addressed as for the rest of us."

"Even more of a reason why she should be here and getting a check-up," Lillie pointed out in a huff. "I am sure that she would not appreciate having an unexpected cramp or malaise that would cause her to revert to her humanoid form in the middle of a market square because she did not take a few minutes to be properly inoculated for the three or so dozen bacterial and viral agents found on MARKALA PRIME."

"I will make sure that she reports to you as soon as possible," Ya'Han stated before making a quick exit out of Sickbay in order to complete the task that she had taken upon herself.

"Alright you two," Lillie continued as she turned to look at the Ship's Counselor and Director of Section 31, the pair having come to Sickbay together. "Sit and let's get started on what needs to be done.  We are running out of time and I suspect that I still have far too many ridges to add and skin pigmentation to alter.  I just hope that i don't get all of those things mixed up during the process."

"Well, they could always go down to the planet as a hybrid of whatever ridge mix you created," Counselor Dima offered in an attempt to lighten the mood and make the Chief Medical Officer relax, even if only a little.

"Stepping into a new life and even a new appearance may be easy for you Dima," Lillie dryly grinned back as she actually addressed Nicole's belly. "As a joined Trill this sort of thing is as normal for you as it gets, but for the rest of us it takes a little more time to prepare in order to become someone else and make it believable for everyone else around."

"With proper training, taking on an alternate identity is actually relatively simple requiring only the most basic of preparation from the individual," the Vulcan / Betazoid hybrid offered sounding overly logical and unemotional.

"You Vulcans are all the same when it comes to things like this," Doyanne sighed. "Logic this; logic that; unfortunately for you the rest of the universe is not as logical as you people try to see it as."

"I guess then it is lucky for me that I am only half Vulcan," Director Chen noted with an actual grin.

"Lucky us," the Doctor said rolling her eyes while she pressed a hypospray against the neck of the hybrid before repeating the process against the neck of the Trill Counselor who would be accompanying her down to the planet surface.

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Corridor
Stardate: 32003.0450

Heading towards the quarters of the Shillian Chief Science Officer, Ya'Han was happy to see both Maya and Jayson walking in her direction.

"Is everything alright Lieutenant?" Maya asked, not having expected to see the Chief of Security walking about, especially not looking as she did.

"Doctor Doyanne wanted to make sure you reported to her for a medical check-up and inoculation," the green haired Nylaan explained.

"That is exactly where we were heading," the Shillian said glancing momentarily at the Chief of Operations who seemed completely taken by the appearance of the Nylaan woman standing before them.  "I will head to Sickbay, you two can catch up later but don't take too long, we are scheduled to beam down in just over an hour."

"No worries Commander," Jayson half mumbled, his eyes still very much stuck on Ya'Han. "We'll be right there."

After having waited for Maya to have vanished, the two officers locked gaze and smiled.  "Am I to gather that you approve of my appearance?" Ya'Han teased as she placed her hands on her hips in a clearly seductive pose.

"Approve?" Jayson gulped, "What is there *not* to approved? How am I supposed to keep my mind on the mission with you looking like that? I won't be able to look at anyone or anything else."

"Well that is the idea," Ya'Han pointed out taking a single sultry step forward before ever so gently caressing Jayson's cheek with her fingers.  "While everyone is looking at me, it will allow you and Maya to do some recon without attracting any attention."

"This is a bad idea," the Chief of Operations said as he shook his head while trying to put some distance between them, an effort that was quickly brought to a stop by Ya'Han taking hold of his shoulder.  "I can't," he sadly added.

"Can't what?" she asked, the softness of her voice instantly melting his hesitation to say anything.

"You and me, us, together," he started trying to put his thoughts into a form that would actually make sense. "You are aware of how I feel about you. You know that I would do anything for you but I don't know if I can actually handle being on the outside watching as others look at you thinking what it is that I am thinking right now.  I am afraid that I will end up doing something that will not only jeopardise our mission but your life as well."

"Jayson," Ya'Han said as she gently, caringly took hold of the man's face in her hands. "Never forget who I am. As much as I love the fact that you want to protect me, that you want to be there by my side in case something happens, you know that I am well capable of taking care of myself.  The only think that I can offer to make this easier for you is this, I will be dancing thinking of you and no one else.  My hope is that I can make it as easy for you and Maya to find the clues we need to return to the ANUBIS and put as much distance between us and this region of space.  When we are back, I promise that I will dance for you and that you will be able to do nothing else but look at me, in fact I will expect it."

"I doubt that it will be that simple," Jayson said, finding the sensation of her skin against his intoxicating.

"Nothing worthwhile is ever easy," Ya'Han pointed out. "Both of our lives have made that clear to us in countless of ways. Now let's get to Sickbay before Doctor Doyanne sends a security team after us."

Jayson smiled and happily followed, his hand holding onto hers as if their lives depended on it.

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Transporter Room 2
Stardate: 32003.0525

"Sonja, your engineering teams have checked these circuits more time than I can count," the First Officer pointed out to the Chief Engineer who seemed unable to accept the reports contained on a PADD that had been handed to her personally by the departing group of engineers.

"We are going to be pushing our transporter system to its absolute limits," the physically altered woman said, her once red hair having been changed to reflect a more common dark colour for a Pythron nomad woman.

"I should have known that when you said that you wanted to be at the transporter room early it would be to run more tests," Shar'El sighed, her midnight black hair having been made slightly lighter to match that of her away team companion, both having taking on the identities of Pythron Gypsies.

"Of course I want to check everything," the Chief Engineer huffed as she scanned the now exposed components of the transporter platform. "Not only are we going to be effecting a near-warp transporter, but we are going to be doing so with three independent transporters while using the satellite communication array in orbit of MARKALA PRIME to increase our targeting accuracy in the hope to avoid someone becoming part of a wall. There are so many things that could go wrong with this, I need to check and recheck everything to keep me from going completely insane."

"Sonja," Shar'El snapped in a much stronger tone that either one of them had expected.  "Relax and think of this," the First Officer continued in a more relaxed and friendly tone.  "The ship... your ship won't allow anything to happen to you and if it will make you feel better I will get ANI to come here and tell you herself.  I have dealt with many Engineers over the years and I have to admit that each one had some weird ways of doing things, but of all of them yours is the strangest and yet the one that I admire the most."

The Chief Engineer paused for an instant and looked up at her friend who had come to kneel next to her by the raised transporter platform.  "Did you just call me weird?" Sonja said trying to come across as hurt but failing miserably in her attempt.

"Yes I did," Shar'El replied with clear defiance, "but your weird is a good one. I have never before you seen anyone make such a powerful connection to a ship, and the way she seems to respond to you is frankly a little scary.  I may not understand what it is that is happening, but I have come to know this; the ANUBIS won't allow anything bad to happen to you."

Sonja looked around the room as if listening for a voice that only the Chief Engineer could and would even be able to hear, that of the ship's soul.

"Alright, you win," the Chief Engineer conceded as she returned the transporter platform to its working position.  "Now I need to contact Counselor Dima."

"Why?" the First Officer inquired, somewhat shocked by the woman's admission.

"To tell her that you are after her job as this ship's Counselor, what else?" Sonja grinned as she bounced back onto her feet.  "We have less than 30 minutes, might be time for us to get our bags ready and onto the platform. We'll only get one try at this."

Shar"El smiled and nodded her agreement.  As dangerous as this entire near-warp transport might have been, the First officer had to admit that she felt more secure knowing that this would be done on board the ship cared for by the Engineer standing right next to her.

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 32003.0555

"We will be arriving at MARKALA PRIME in 6 minutes, 48 seconds," ANI reported the entire bridge having become far livelier than it had been a few hours ago.  "Commander Shar'El and Lieutenant Paquette and ready in Transporter Room 2, Direct Chen and Counselor Dima are entering Transporter Room 3 now and Commander Maya, Lieutenant Stark and Lieutenant Ya'Han are ready in Transporter Room 4.  Sensors are not showing anything on our approach vector to the planet."

"Alright, here we go," the Native American announced as he repositioned himself in his chair. the next 10 minutes or so would be beyond demanding on everyone's nerves, that he knew all too well.  "As soon as we are in range lock in on the closest communication satellite and established a secured link as per Lieutenant Ya'Han's instructions.  ANI, make sure that we get as much of a scan of the trade city of Kololu as possible while we are in orbit. If we are able to return or even communicate with the away teams, it might be nice to have something to offer them."

"Of course Captain," the Avatar acknowledged, "the IGC is on stand-by and will gather all that they can as soon as they have broken through the satellite's encryptions giving them access to the planetary communication network.  All available sensors are also on standby to scan the city and its surroundings."

"Bridge to Transporter Room 2, Commander Shar'El," Erik called after having opened a channel from his chair.

=/\= Go ahead Captain, =/\= the First Officer replied.

"Just wanted to wish you good luck. We will do our best to return for you but if the Lokustaar are in fact waiting for us..." the Commanding Officer began before behind interrupted by the second in command.

=/\= No worries Captain. We will secure a way off the planet and meet you at the established coordinates.  All you have to do is worry about you and the ship, we'll take care of the rest, =/\= Shar'El said in a tone of confidence that Erik actually found reassuring.

=/\= ANI, =/\= Sonja added as she cut in, =/\= you make sure that he takes care of *my* ship.  I want to come back without having to repair every single system once again. =/\=

The Native American sighed and simply shook his head, finding it somewhat amusing that the Chief Engineer had continued to refer to the ANUBIS as having been *her* ship and not that of the Commanding Officer.

"Bridge to Transporter Room 3, Director Chen," the Captain continued, wanting to touch base with each away team before the actual beam down.

=/\= Yes Captain? =/\= The head of Section 31 replied, a unshakable calmness about her voice.

"Just wanted to wish you good luck on your mission," the Native American offered suspecting that the Vulcan / Betazoid hybrid had found his need to express such feelings to be nothing more than a waste of time.

=/\= Thank you Captain, =/\= Nicole offered confirming what Erik had suspected. =/\= Same to you. We are already looking forward to seeing you and the rest of the crew upon our return with Agent Troy. =/\=

"Bridge to Transporter Room 4, Commander Maya," the Native American continued, trying to get through this as quickly as possible so as to give the teams all of the time they needed to complete their final preparations.

=/\= Maya here Captain, =/\= the Shillian replied without any hesitation.  =/\= Everyone is ready. =/\=

"Good," Erik smiled. "Make sure that you all find your way back."

=/\= We will Captain, =/\= both Jayson and Ha'Yan said in unison.

"Captain," ANI cut in. "we will be in transitionary orbit of MARKALA PRIME in 2 minutes and 41 seconds. The IGC has already established a link with the nearest communication satellite and estimate that they will breach the security protocols in the next 30 to 40 seconds.  Sensors are still showing a clear path to the planet. Transporters 2, 3 and 4 have been synchronized and the transporter sequence set to begin as soon as we drop out of warp."

Erik gave a quick look at ANI and the other officers on the bridge, there had been no turning back now. "Stand-by to drop out of warp directly into high orbit of the planet."

=====
Setting: MARKALA PRIME, High Orbit
Stardate: 32003.0559

With the bio-ship that had been following the ANUBIS having somehow become disabled, there had been no way for the Lokustaar to know exactly when or where the ship would arrive in orbit, but given all they knew about the Federation and its predictable methods, the time frame for this event had been calculated to be within mere minutes.

As if following a perfectly orchestrated plan the vessel hidden behind the black ablative armour dropped out of warp speed right into the planet's high orbit as had been expected by the Lokustaar.  The dozen of unseen bio-ships that had been waiting quickly turned their attention to the dark silhouette but before any of them could even begin to move against the Federation vessel it jumped back into high warp leaving everyone to wonder as to what had just happened.

--==(/\)==--
Francois Charette

Commanding Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501

AND

Lt. Commander Elan Fairborn [Access Character BIO for Elan Fairborn]
Robotics Engineering Officer
NEW ALEXANDRIA
M07-P049: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: Day 07 - 2230 ("The Change")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"The Change"
[previous post was "The Kiss"]
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Setting: USS ANUBIS, Ya'Han's Quarters
Stardate: 32002.2230

She leaned against the wall right next to the door trying to catch her breath and thinking back to what had just happened. This had not been the time for such amorous frivolity, her mind needed to be on the mission at hand as well as the obstacles that they would come to face and need to overcome. Still, Ya'Han could not find it in her to regret in the slightest way the time she had spent with Jayson, and even less the passionate kisses they had shred.

Starfleet regulations had been clear in regards to relationships between officers, but life out amongst the stars had not been the same as that found behind a desk lost in some office building. Dealing with the unknown and the potential that each mission would be your last forced emotions to the surface.  That was an inescapable fact just as the reality that sooner or later everyone dealt with these heightened emotions. Given their past and the uncertainty of their future, no one could hold it against the Chief of Security and Chief of Operations for having claimed those few moments as their personal own.

With her eyes closed Ya'Han tasted the lingering presence of Jayson's lips on hers, half wishing that she had not been so professionally responsible.  With the Lokustaar in the mix, it had been a good possibility that the mission to MARKALA PRIME would end up being their last, but of course having spent the night with him would have simply increased those odds.  No, them not being together right now had been the right decision, the prospect of them being able to continue where they had left off would focus their thoughts and hopes onto making sure their mission would be a success.

Jayson had mentioned something about having figured out that he needed to look towards the days yet to come instead to those that had already come to pass. Although but he and her had come from completely different backgrounds, that revelation had been as true for him as it had been for her.  Her culture as well as her upbringing as the daughter of the High Sovereign had locked her and everyone else onto a very specific path. The more time she spent with him, the more Ya'Han came to see just how restrictive her culture had truly been.

Each and every Nylaan worked long and hard to earn the right to belong to a cast and color beyond black, but once they finally achieved that elusive goal they would find themselves even more restricted on what they could or could not do.  As revered as the color purple might have been by her people, Ya'Han now understood that it was that color which restricted the owner the most.  As a member of the royal family, everyone had been given specific responsibilities and duties which could not be ignored unless one chose to forfeit their own life.

Where those with black hair had been considered to be the lowest of the low, the unworthy and deserving of nothing, Ya'Han began to see them has having had the greatest freedom. From one day to the next they could chose to do something different where no one else could.  The only restrictions imposed on them had been from the other casts who might have been jealous of them at some point in their history.

With fatigue gnawing at her body and soul, Ya'Han decided to make her way to take a nice hot shower. This philosophical review of her people and their ways would have to wait for another day. Right now, she needed to physically relax and emotionally rest if she was to be ready to take on the role of the green haired Nylaan entertainer who had become the property of the merchant Jayson would become for the duration of the mission.

As Ya'Han walked in she made a double take as the woman noticed the oddly hair colored reflection in the mirror. One of the distinctive aspects of the Nylaans was the solid color of their hair, which clearly indicated the cast they belonged to without any possibility for errors. The Sec/Tac had been surprised when she had been able to mix both red and black, creating a never before seen mix for her people.

That said, it was even more surprising for Ya'Han to see the odd flow of colors that her hair had taken. Her roots had been black, a color that she had been all too well familiar with, but instead of continuing to the ends of her hair, a strange shade of light purple graced her head before finishing in the customary full purple showing her birthright.

From having inadvertently found a balance between two colors; being black and red, the Sec/Tac had stumbled onto a completely new mix. All that Ya'Han could do was study the hair with puzzled interest while trying to understand what had happened. Jayson had accurately pointed out that her hair color changed according to her emotions and mood all according to her culture's ideas. The mixture she had now been looking at did not fit into those ideas, not by a longshot which made the Nylaan woman wonder as to which emotion or mix of emotions had been responsible for this uniquely colorful display.

Whatever the cause had been, Ya'Han could not help but find the new mixture of color strangely interesting and even more so liberating, feeling that she would need to further explore after they all safely returned from MARKALA PRIME.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Hanali Han

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P048: USS ANUBIS: Stark: Day 07 - 2215 ("The Kiss")
"The Kiss"
[previous "The Plan"]

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Setting: USS ANUBIS, Corridor
Stardate: 32002.2215

After having enjoyed a quiet meal with Ya'Han in the upper level of the Black Hole Lounge, Jayson had escorted his companion back to her quarters. He had done this not because she had needed an escort, far from it, but because it had been the polite and chivalrous thing to do.  As they casually walked down the corridor, Jayson could have swore that the appearance of her hair had softened, gone slightly lighter. Based on the way her chair constantly changed color depending on her mood and emotions, the possibility had been very real but in the end he had decided to attribute what he saw to having been caused by the ambient lights.

Holding on to his arm tightly as they walked, Ya'Han did not display the complete and absolute assurance that she usually showed for all to see as the ANUBIS' Chief of Security. In fact she seemed almost content in being nothing more than a woman walking alongside someone who had been elevated to being more than a simple friend.

His heart and breathing increased ever so slightly as they turned a corner and their destination came into view. For a brief moment Jayson had thought of taking another corridor or flat out heading back the way they came, but he knew that it had been late.  She had mentioned needing to return to her quarters and despite his desire to see this take as long as possible, he would not so openly delay granting her wish. 

"Thank you," Jayson offered with a smile as they stopped in front of Ya'Han's quarters.

"For what?" She asked in return, her hair still appearing to be a lighter color than what he remembered it to be.

"For your wonderful company during diner. For having said yes to having diner with me. For having accepted to be with me, I mean *us* for the away team," Jayson said having corrected himself after remembering the pain he had already endured from Maya's tiny yet very sharp monkey claws.  "In short, thank you for giving me this chance to apologise and prove myself."

"You *have* changed," she said while moving closer to him and looking into his eyes, the six inches of height he had on her forcing Ya'Han to look up as he looked down. "Not only did you apologise, several times in fact, but you are now thanking me for having been able to do so. Two things that I don't believe I have ever heard you say to anyone before."

"I'm sorry and thank you," Jayson said with a grin. "I should have said those things and a great deal more to you a long time ago," he admitted, a tone of remorse and regret breaking what had been his quietly joyous voice.

"You of all people should know better than to worry about things that have or have not been said or done in the past," Ya'Han offered, gently caressing his cheek with the tips of her fingers. "Instead focus on the here and now. I believe that thinking that way will be best for both of us."

Jayson smiled and nodded his agreement. Right now the OPS Officer felt more alive than he had in a very long time, and if it had been in his power to do so he would have stopped time to enjoy this moment forever.  As much as she might have wanted the same though, Ya'Han reached for the small control panel next to the entrance way to her quarters to unlock and open the door.

Jayson smiled and gently shifted his weight forward against her form having fully expected for both of them to walk back into her quarters.  Instead, he was surprised to feel her hand pressing against his chest, halting his forward motion.

"As much as I would love for you to come in, we can't," Ya'Han said, the smile on her lips hinting that she wished she could have said and done otherwise.

"I don't care what others think," he countered in a whispered voice.  All he wanted right now was to continue to be with her, to feel alive once more and not see his every thoughts be about his duties and responsibilities.

"Neither do I," she agreed in a musical voice. "That's not the reason why though. We both need to be well rested for our away mission and we are already overdue to rest.  There will be other days, other nights," Ya'Han added before pulling Jayson down so that they could share another passionate kiss.

By the time he had found the strength and will to reopen his eyes after the kiss had come to an end, Ya'Han had already vanished and the door to her quarters closed.  Still feeling her delicate presence on his lips he smiled and slowly headed back to his quarters not at all certain that he would be able to get any sort of rest following what had just happened.

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P047: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: Day 07 - 2100 ("The Plan")
=-=
"The Plan"
[previous post was "The Bogart" by the quote loving Lorraine]
=-=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Black Hole Lounge
Stardate: 32002.2100

After the drunken exuberance of their Chief Engineer and the overly cheerful entrance of the couple consisting of the Chief of Security and Chief of Operations, the atmosphere in the Black Hole Lounge had actually become more somber over the hour that followed.  Sonja had scaled down her quoting of famous actors from EARTH's golden era of cinema while Ya'Han and Jayson had retreated to an out-of-the-way table on the upper level.

Shar'El had wanted to carry on the conversation with Sonja, but the CEO had turned her attention to the contents of a PADD displaying various engineering components. The ExO / ILO could only guess that the concerned woman had decided to keep her mind busy instead of dwelling on all of the possible problems that could come to pass during a near-warp beam down.  On her end, the raven-haired woman sat in silence, her eyes scrutinizing the coming and going of people while keeping track of how many hours remained before their arrival to MARKALA PRIME.

=-=
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 32002.2130

"Thought your plan was to be resting by now," Captain Morningstar said as he welcomed the ExO / ILO back to the bridge of his ship. "Our ETA to MARKALA PRIME is just under 9 hours."

"There is such a thing as too much rest," Shar'El countered. "Especially given the specifics surrounding this mission, I think being left alone with my thoughts right now would not be a good thing."

"Being nervous prior to going on stage is said to be a good thing," the Captain offered, trying his best to reassure his First Officer.

"Not you too," the ExO / ILO sighed. "Sonja was quoting movie actors from EARTH's cinematic era and made a few comments surrounding the idea of putting on a show."

"Well, when you consider that undercover operations and stage performances are not all that dissimilar, you can see why Sonja would have made such comments," the Captain offered, the man being almost too relaxed given what they would soon be facing.

"No actors on any stage places their own lives on the line to gather information to hopefully lead them to saving the lives of others," Shar'El quickly countered, her tone as serious as could be.

"Shar'El," Erik started as he stood from his chair at the center of the bridge. "I am in no way saying that undercover work and stage acting are the same, I am simply pointing out that there are certain similarities.  You and the rest of the away team will be taking on alternate identities and for as long as you are on MARKALA PRIME will be living a life that had not been yours prior. The skills used by those long-ago renowned actors that allowed them to seamlessly fall into character are the same general skills that you will all be using to become someone else.  Your training and experiences in the field of Intel is what will make the difference while you face potentially life-and-death situations.  My comment was not meant to diminish what you will accomplish in the least; in fact it was quite the contrary."

"Sorry," Shar'El said forcing a smile on her lips. "You are right, I should be resting. It is obvious to me now that I am more tired than I had realized."

"Go rest," the Captain said not quite making it an order but not giving the woman other options either. "We will make sure that everyone is up two hours before our arrival."

=-=
Setting: MARKALA PRIME, Trade City of Kololu, Basement
Stardate: 32002.2130

Through narrowed eyes, Morten looked at the captive agent beyond the metal door of his cell. The man had been kept on the edge of living, his only purpose to draw out the agents sent to find him.

"No," the man dressed in a suit replied to a question that only he could hear. "There has still been no contact with the ship tracking the ANUBIS. Something happened but it is highly unlikely that the cloaked vessel was responsible. Even if they had somehow found a way to disable them, it would not matter. As soon as they arrive in orbit, we will be ready for them. Our forces are ready to strike at a moment's notice."  There was a pause while Morten listened to the instructions from his shadowy associates.  "I understand. The strike against whatever ground personnel they send and the ship will happen simultaneously. The attack will be perfectly timed and powerful enough to insure that no one will be left standing.  Documents proving the New Ferengi Alliance's involvement in the kidnapping of the agent and the upcoming attack on the ANUBIS and its personnel have already been put into place. Sections in those documents clearly show that the Nylaan High Sovereign was directly implicated in what has and will happen.  Even if the Federation decides not to carry out some sort of retaliation, the public backlash against both groups for their involvement in this will destabilize this area of space and further solidify our influence and control.  Everything is still happening as planned."

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET
M07-P046: USS ANUBIS: Paquette: Day 07 - 2000 ("The Bogart")
"The Bogart"
previous post was "The Discussion"

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Black Hole Lounge
Stardate: 32002.2000

In roughly 10 hours or so the members of the crew who had been selected for the away mission to MARKALA PRIME would be on the planet's surface, or in one of the walls of the many buildings which made up the trade city of Kololu.  Using transporter technology was a precise science, one that relied on several thousand pieces of equipment and computer calculations to be working at near absolute perfection to insure that everything went well.

Beaming from one ship to another when both vessels were traveling at the same warp velocity created some unique complications which made this less-than-simple process even more dangerous.  Should the warp speeds of the point of origin and that of the destination be different, then the potential for complications increased by a factor of tenfold.

Every first year cadet in the fields of Engineering and Science were told of the potentially deadly consequences of doing a near-warp transport, a process whereby a starship briefly drops out of warp speed in order to use the transporter, and then quickly returns to warp as the object or person being transported is still materializing

Knowing that the Lokustaar were in the vicinity of MARKALA PRIME meant that the ANUBIS could not simply drop out of warp and fall into orbit in order to beam down the away team.  The only way to avoid any sort of confrontation with the invisible bio-ships of this nightmarish race was to have the armoured Federation vessel be at any one location for the least possible amount of time.

"Come on Shar'El, drink! In 10 hours or so we could become permanent fixtures of the landscape of MARKALA PRIME," the redheaded Engineer said as she lifted her glass inviting her friend to join in the cheer.

Following their several hours of training and preparation in the holodeck, Sonja and Shar'El had decided to head to the Black Hole Lounge for some relaxation, food and drinks.  Judging by the sounds of things though, Lieutenant Paquette had enjoyed a little too much of the latter.

"Sonja," Shar'El sighed with a giggle. "Why do you do that?"

"Do what?" the Engineer grinned back.

"Play drunk," the raven haired woman clarified. "I have seen you drink that awful Klingon concoction and walk a straight line while those who merely watched could barely stay sitting in their chairs.  The two glasses of wine you had were by no means enough to get you as tipsy as you are trying to make everyone believe you are, even if they were *not* synthehol."

"Listen sweetheart," Sonja started in her best Humphrey Bogart impersonation, "The whole world is about three drinks behind and the only thing you owe the public is a good performance."

Shar'El burst out laughing as she easily picked up on her friend's memories and the sources of the quotes she had, for whatever reason, decided to use at this precise moment.  "Who was Humphrey Bogart?" The Ullian asked unaware of the turn of the 20th century actor.

"The man was a genius, a visionary even," the redhead proclaimed as she raised her glass high into the air. "He accurately stated that 'things are never so bad they can't be made worse'. The man must have been a time traveller because I am sure that he had what we are about to do in mind when he spoke those words."

"Sonja!" Shar'El sighed heavily.

"Alright, alright, you do know that you are a party pooper, right?" the redhead conceded as she put the glass back down on the table.  "I'm tired and worried about the mission."

"You can have ANI check and recheck all of the transporter systems to make sure we survive the near-warp transport," the Commander suggested.

"She has been on the job for a few hours already," the Chief Engineering pointed out. "I am more worried about our performance while on the planet.  Going undercover in a slum like the city of Kololu to pick up clues as to the whereabouts of a missing agent is one thing, but trying to stay one step ahead of the Lokustaar is not going to be easy.  Adding to this that we are going to be completely isolated from the ANUBIS is honestly making me more nervous than I have ever been."

"Will you relax," Shar'El said offering a warm and reassuring smile to her friend. "Each and every officer on this mission knows what they are doing.  There is absolutely nothing to worry about. The reason for the near-warp transport is not only to safeguard the ANUBIS but also make it so that the Lokustaar are unaware of our presence and location. By the time they finally figure out that we are there, we will have found Trent Troy as well as secured a way to get off the planet and regroup with the ship.  Trust me, everything will be fine."

Just as the First Officer said this, the doors to the Black Hole Lounge opened to allow the Chief of Security and Chief of Operations to walk in, the two of them laughing as if neither one of them had a single care in the world.  Beyond the obviously joyous nature the two openly shared, the way that they were holding to one another hinted to there having been something more between them, something far more personal.

"Looks like Ya'Han and Jayson have resolved their personal issues," Shar'El noted with a nod of her head.

"I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis," Sonja mumbled as she reached for her wine glass and downed its content in a single swift gulp.

"What?" the raven haired women queried not having understood the latest line said a-la Humphrey Bogart.

"Angels of grace defend us," the Chief Engineer said in a off target attempt to clarify things for her friend.

"What are you trying to say?" Shar'El asked through her giggles.

"Fine!" The redhead offered in defeated frustration. "In the famous words of Captain Malcolm Reynolds 'Well, something sure the hell ain't right," Sonja added this time speaking as if she had been some sort of wild west cowboy.

=====
Lorraine Paquette

Chief Engineering Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501
M07-P045: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: Day 07 - 1540 ("The Discussion")
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"The Discussion"
[previous post was "The Reaction"]
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Setting: USS ANUBIS, Ya'Han's Quarters
Stardate: 32002.1540

Black.

As odd as it may have seemed, that had been the color that both her hair and feelings ended on following the turmoil that had been raging within her heart and mind.  Ya'Han looked at Jayson, a touch of sadness in her eyes, his confused expression hinting that he had been wondering what utter chaos had taken place in the woman's mind.

"Are you alright?" Jayson asked, not sure if he should actually step forward.  He had been more than ready to offer a caring embrace, but having so recently seen the bright red hair of the Sec/Tac had made him wary. The last thing he wanted was to find himself flying through the air and crashing against the nearest wall with a mighty crash from the shattering of his bones.

"I am," Ya'Han hesitantly replied as she lowered her head allowing the dark locks of her hair to fall from her shoulders confirming to the Nylaan the final state of her emotions.  "Just trying to make sense of my own thought. As well as my own emotions."

"Why do I have the feeling that black is not a good thing?" the OPS Officer said, still keeping his distances despite his growing desire to hold the visibly troubled woman standing before him.  "As I recall, black was your color of choice, but it was also the one that your people associated with the lowest class.  That said, as much as the color does look good on you, its significance was not then or is now yours to claim."

"Consider it a reset," Ya'Han offered as an explanation to her dark hair color. "From the start I have had problems figuring out where my emotions stood when dealing with you.  Let's just say that my experiences with men have not been the kindest and you were the first person that I allowed myself to get closer to."

"And then I go all jerk-like and try to keep you away," Jayson said unable to hold back the emotions from his own words. "I am sorry, I should not have acted the way I did. My only excuse was that I wanted the best for you, and I still do.  I just could not see myself as being worthy, especially not when you go all royal. Like I said before, you change just as much as your hair. You have not manage to control yourself in that aspect, that is why we all know to keep our distances when you go weapons hot."

"I will need to find a way to better control that while we are on MARKALA PRIME," Ya'Han admitted with a faint grin. "It would not play to our advantage if I went 'weapons hot' while trying to entertain the crowd."

"I guess that will be my responsibility," Jayson grinned back. "I will make sure that you stay safe while Maya snoops around for clues.  As for us," Stark continued, this time actually bridging the space between them so that he could wrap his arms around the still black haired woman, "I am truly sorry if I have hurt you in any way, it was never my intention, not then, not now, not ever."

"I know," the Sec/Tac nodded, her hair gradually adding on a slight red mix to the black that had been there given Ya'Han the color mixture that had become her new standard.

"Does this mean that we are back to our sparring matches?" Jayson whispered as he gave Ya'Han a caring hug.

"Not right now," the woman countered, "at least not before we head down to the planet surface.  I think it might be a good idea for us to work on the details of our alternate personas and figure out a way to make sure that we are always working on the same target.  Might not hurt if we also took into account possible alternate course of actions should we come face-to-face with a problem or worst with a Lokustaar."

"You know, for a moment I had actually forgotten about those nightmarish beasts," the OPS Officer sighed. "I will be honest and say that I hope we don't encounter any of them while on MARKALA PRIME."

"I would not worry about that too much," Ya'Han said as he hair changed once more, this time to reflect the highest level of battle readiness she could display. "If those creatures are anything like their bio-ships, we won't get to see them. They will likely rip us limb from limb long before we are even aware that they are near us."

"Can you answer this question?" Jayson added without missing a bat. "On your home world, are there any Counselors and if so what hair color do they display?"

"We don't really have Counselors," the Nylaan woman admitted after a few seconds pause. "The closest we would have would be those in charge of the health of others, so the color would have to be white. Why?"

"I can see why you don't take on that color all that much," he giggled. "You would not be overly successful as a Counselor or even a morale officer.  In fact I feel rather depressed right now following your description of what an encounter with the Lokustaar would likely be."

With a swift spin after having taking a solid hold of the man's wrist, Ya'Han brought the man down to his knees, his arm stretched back as far as it could go without causing any permanent damage.  "You saw the red hair. I mean you had to see it, and still you decided to be a fool by insulting me."

"Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!" Jayson quickly repeated through his laughter, the discomfort of the position he had been forced into not offsetting the amusement the two of them had managed to share.

"Maybe it is time that I teach you a lesson," Ya'Han added as she brought Jayson back to a fully upright posture with a couple of lightning fast moves before causing him to gasp as her lips pressed tightly against his, their passionate embrace framed by the unexpected color of the woman's own royal lineage.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Hanali Han

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P044: USS ANUBIS: Stark: Day 07 - 1510 ("The Reaction")
"The Reaction"
[previous "The Decision"]

[/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Holodeck 2
Stardate: 32002.1510

All he could do was gaze into her eyes, still trying to process what he had heard. He had expected there to be some hesitation on her part, maybe even an all out refusal to consider the possibility. He had even entertained the likelihood of her tossing him with ease and force onto the floor as she had done countless times before. In any of those cases Jayson would not have blamed Ya'Han for her actions after all that he had done to her.  Maybe his reasons had been valid, but the way he had gone about it had been all wrong.

While on his shoulder, the shapeshifting CSciO watched this and after a while decided to act. With a gentle nudge of her head against the man's cheek, Jayson was made to realise that he had not said anything in reply to the Chief of Security's last words.

"I am so glad that you will be with me," Jayson admitted, his gaze still lost into the deep darkness of her eyes framed by her now green hair. The error of his words was quickly pointed out by another nudge, this one slightly stronger, from the small primate standing on his shoulder. "Sorry, meant to say *us*. I am glad that you will be going to MARKALA PRIME with us."

"Well, while you and Maya wander around to see if you can hear or see anything relevant to our mission, someone needs to keep the crowd otherwise occupied," Ya'Han said, adding a single swish of her hips that instantly made Jayson gulp. How was he suppose to keep his mind on the mission while she moved the way he had seen her do back in the Black Hole Lounge?

With another nudge of her head against Jayson's cheek followed by a quick pointing to the holodeck door, Maya easily conveyed her desire to see them both leave.  When she jumped onto the floor right next to the nearly folded uniform, both officers understood what she had wanted the privacy for.

"The one draw back of her skill," Ya'Han said with a smile. "Her clothes do not change with her, so we will have to make sure we bring along a few extra outfit, just in case.  There may come a point where she will need not to be a cute little monkey."

Sitting next to her clothes Maya shot a growl at Ya'Han who just smiled and took Jayson by the arm to pull him out of the holodeck.

"Sorry Commander," the OPS officer offered, "I meant Maya. This is going to be more difficult than I thought."

[/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Ya'Han's Quarters
Stardate: 32002.1530

If the announcement that she would be part of his away team had not been shocking enough, the fact that she had brought him back to her quarters had truly left Jayson wondering if he had been dreaming.  Given all of the possible outcomes to what he had said and done, this had been one of the greatest long-shots he could have imagined.

"Alright Jayson, time to explain yourself," Ya'Han said having suddenly turned to face him once the doors had closed behind them.  "You went from doing your best to ignore me at every turn and then suddenly you want to talk. What changed?"

"Me," he quickly replied. Again he had not expected things to be going so well. He had expected this discussion to happen in bits and pieces during their time on MARKALA PRIME, but if she wanted to take care of it now, Jayson had been more than happy to oblige.  "I changed, or more accurately my perception and attitude.  I acted the way I did because I have feelings for you and believed that as a former member of a royal family you deserved someone better than me."

"That's nonsense. Why would you believe that?" Ya'Han said, her hair having begun to change back to the red and black that everyone knew.

"A lot of reasons actually, one of which being that," Jayson replied while pointing to her hair. "Your hair color reflects your mood, and when you go purple you are not the same person."

Ya'Han froze as she considered all that had been said, trying her best to recall all of the instances when her hair and attitude had matched Jayson's claim and the fact that he had openly admitted to having feelings for her.  The more she thought, the more she could see confusion in his eyes likely because her hair had been changing color to try and match her emotions which were at this very moment all over the map.

At times she had felt concern, attraction, jealousy and even anger towards him, and now that she had been thinking about it she could see in her mind the color of her hair matching those feelings not to mention the training that had accompanied each.  He had not been of her world, so it made sense that he found her ability which bordered on the edge of split personality to be difficult to deal with.  Even now she found it hard to focus on a single emotion when looking at him, joys and pain from their shared adventures filling her mind.

She needed to make a decision, to make a choice as to what her reaction would be in response to his feelings.  What emotion and corresponding hair color would take hold to declare her reaction to him?

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P043: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: Day 07 - 1445 ("The Decision")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"The Decision"
[previous post was "Wine, Women and Words"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Corridor
Stardate: 32002.1445

Following the socio-cultural lesson the Sec/Tac had given to Selyara, Ya'Han had found herself wandering the corridors, her thoughts bouncing through time.  That she might have liked it or not, explaining to the Director of Section 31 the significances of the hair colors as well as the status of all females on the world of her birth had brought back many memories, many of which she would have preferred not to have resurface.

For the most part those memories had been painful but all of them had led her to be the person she had become. Running her fingers through her black and red hair had, Ya'Han could further confirm that she had come a long way from being who her father and even the culture of her people would have required her to be.  Even some of the comments made by Director Chen had made the Sec/Tac feel more at ease with herself, a drastic contrast from the verbal confrontation the two had shared in the ship's gymnasium.

Having given her own past a detached review, one that had prove to be from a point of view that she had never before considered, the once daughter of the High Sovereign could look upon herself as an entirely different person. The best part of all this had been the realization that her path and future had truly and completely been hers to decide and share as she wished.  Instead of allowing her past to influence her decisions, she had come to better understand that it was her future which she needed to allow to influence her choices.

Her past had forced her to run from all that she knew, but now there had been no reason for Ya'Han to continue running. In fact it had been well time for the Sec/Tac to look beyond the now and consider where she wished to be down the road. The black and red haired woman stopped walking as her thoughts went to one particular person, a man who had been part of her new life for quite some time, even if only as a friend.

Back on EARTH she had allowed her desires to take hold but the timing had been beyond poor, Jayson's mind having been elsewhere. His last words to her back on the bridge though had indicated that he had changed, that he had made some realizations of his own.  Maybe this mission would prove to be the catalyst to bring them closer than they had ever been.

Ya'Han grinned as she heard the voice of her friend in her mind, the Chief Engineer harping at her about making things too easy for Jayson.  Sonja's opinion had been made perfectly clear, Jayson needed to work and earn the right to be with her, not the other way around. In fact the Sec/Tac had been told in many ways that she needed to make things as difficult as possible for him.  As much as Ya'Han might have agreed, she could not find it in her heart to be so cruel to him, even if he had hurt her in a way which only he could have.

He had made the first overture, even going as far as to apologize, so it had only been fair for Ya'Han to reciprocate and let Jayson know that she had been willing to go to the surface of MARKALA PRIME with him.  On one end she would make him happy which would please her, and on the other she could find ways to make things more difficult for him while searching for clues, something that the Sec/Tac had been sure would greatly please her friend the Engineer.

"Computer, locate Lieutenant Stark."

=/\= Lieutenant Stark in in Holodeck 2. =/\=

Ya'Han chuckled. From one holodeck it seemed that she would be heading into another.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Holodeck 2
Stardate: 32002.1500

The door to the holodeck had been secured, which had not been all that unexpected depending on the program running beyond the doors, but what Ya'Han found interesting had been that the seal had been set to easily allow two others in, Jayson Stark and herself.  When the Sec/Tac confirmed the owner of the program has being Commander Maya, the black and red haired woman found herself even more curious as to what she would discover beyond the doors.

The thick and luscious holographic forest filled the room, but that had not been what drew the woman's immediate and complete attention.  The monkey resting on Jayson's shoulder had been a rather odd and impossible to ignore sight.

"Ya'Han?" Jayson gasped as he turned to see who had joined them in the holodeck.

"Is that Maya?" The Sec/Tac questioned, the cute little creature having caused her voice to pitch higher than normal.

Instead of a verbal reply by the Operations Officer, it was the monkey herself who reply which a nod of its tiny little head.

"We have been working on non-verbal communication," Jayson explained. "The idea, at least as I have been made to understand it, is that the Commander will be able to wander around with greater ease in this form."

Jayson quickly winced as the monkey dug in its claws into his shoulder and gave the man a clearly displeased look.

"Maya," the OPS officer corrected. "I meant to say Maya."

"It would be strange for the merchants we would come across to hear you refer to our pet monkey as *Commander*," the Sec/Tac said, finding the entire scene exceptionally cute and endearing.

"We? Our?" Jayson repeated with hope, fearing that maybe he had misheard.

"Yes," Ya'Han confirmed as her hair began to take on an emerald hue.  "I think it will add to your credibility as an important merchant to have both an exotic pet and woman by your side while in the marketplace of the trade city of Kololu."

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Hanali Han

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P042: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: Day 07 - 1400 ("Wine, Women and Words")
=-=
"Wine, Women and Words"
[previous post was "Smaller than Expected" by the new pet owning Jayson]
=-=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Shar'El's Quarters
Stardate: 32002.1400

After nearly two hours in the holodeck, Shar'El and Sonja had shared quite a bit, laughing, crying and even facepalming a few times in response to what one or the other had said. So of course after all that excitement there had only been one possible place for them to go to next.

"Here you go," the raven-haired woman said as she offered to her friend sitting on the couch one of the two large wine glasses the ExO / ILO had fetched from the food replicator.

"You do realize that we have not had lunch, right?" the redhead said in return, not objecting in any way, shape or form to the crimson liquid offering she had been presented with.

"Consider this an appetizer," Shar'El smiled as she joined her friend on the couch. "We still have not made a final decision on what persona we will be taking during our search and rescue mission on MARKALA PRIME, and *no* I am not going as any sort of an escort or private dancer," the raven haired woman said, having noticed the playful grin forming on her guest's lips.

"I was not going to suggest it again," Sonja quickly stated in her defence before hiding as best she could behind the large glass as she brought the liquid held within passed her lips.  "Still," the redhead quietly continued after having taken a fair sized swallow, "you have to agree that it would be a good way for you to have a target's undivided attention for more than 20 to 30 seconds."

"All joking aside, we need to come up with a final decision," the ExO / ILO pointed out in all seriousness. "Depending on what we select, we might need some esthetique work to be done by Doctor Doyanne not to mention getting ourselves into the proper mindset to insure that we do not blow our cover through some stupid and easily avoidable mistake."

"I was not the one who blew our cover on the MASQUERADE DREAMS," Sonja stated as she deposited the glass onto the small livingroom table.

"I never said you did," Shar'El quickly defended, "but the fact remains that he forgot his role, even if only for a brief moment, and by doing so risked not only his life but all of ours in the process.  That we were on a luxury cruise ship meant that the consequences of that error were far lesser than they could and should have been, but there is no doubt in my mind that the trade city of Kololu is not going to be an as forgiving locale.  Any mistakes there could easily cost us our lives and that or countless others."

"Alright," the redheaded Engineer conceded as she stood from the couch to make her way to the food replicator. "You sure know how to drain the fun out of something."

"Would you rather be captured and tortured?" the ExO / ILO offered as an alternative, the raven-haired woman trying her best to make her point as quickly and directly as possible.

"Guess it all depends on who is doing the torturing," Sonja chuckled. "Let's face it, if we run into a 'Christian Grey' down there, I will be more than happy to let him capture me and do whatever he wants to me."

"You are incorrigible," Shar'El sighed while trying to hold back her laughter.  "I see a little more of the family resemblance between you and your mother now."

"I am nothing like my mother," the redhead challenged, her voice bordering on anger. "Now," Sonja continued with a beaming smile and joyous tone having done an instant about face in her demeanor, "Do you want garlic fried cheese sticks or should we try something a little more exotic.  Might save us a gag or two if we sample some of the local cuisine."

Shar'El quickly grabbed a PADD and did a rapid research as to what kind of food they could expect to find on MARKALA PRIME.  "Let's go with the cheese sticks," the ExO / ILO said a few seconds later, her eyes as wide as could be while she took a large and deep swallow. "The local cuisine seems to be heavily influenced by Ferengi tastes which is not all that surprising, but for what I do not recognize as being on the Ferengi regular menu, it appears to have mutated from something that escaped the kitchen of a disgruntled Klingon missing most of his teeth."

"That bad and mushy?" the redhead chuckled as she waited for the requested garlic flavored fried cheese sticks to appear.

"Let's just put it this way," Shar'El half chuckled, concern lacing her every breath. "Surviving the food on MARKALA PRIME may have become our greatest obstacle for this mission."

"Well, better enjoy these and plan for a hefty supper and breakfast," Sonja said as she placed the platter on the table in front of her host.  "Looks like we will be on a crash diet the moment we near-warp ourselves onto the planet and its unique culinary selection."

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET
M07-P041: USS ANUBIS: Stark: Day 07 - 1330 ("Smaller than Expected")
"Smaller than Expected"
[previous "Getting Ready for the Mission"]

[/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 32002.1330

One might say that things had been quiet, too quiet. With the senior staff preparing for the away mission, the bridge had been peaceful, a rather rare occurrence at the best of times.  Everyone seemed a little more relaxed since the Lokustaar ship that had been following them had been taken care of. The fact that the ship was heading to a planet infested by the same creatures did not seem to play on people's minds.  That calmness reflected the impressive dedication and professionalism of the crew while faced with a less than desirable situation.

From his station on the bridge, Jayson could track the members of the away team. Commander Shar'El, Lieutenant Commander Maya, Lieutenant Paquette, Lieutenant Ya'Han and Director Chen had been scattered through several holodecks, likely running various programs to get their minds into the proverbial game.  The only two officers who had not been immersing themselves in a holographic simulation had been Counselor Dima and himself. The OPS officer knew why he had not elected to join the majority but he could only guess as to why the CNS had done the same.

A small flashing light on his console drew his attention. A message had been sent to him by Lieutenant Commander Maya requesting his presence in Holodeck 2 in roughly an hour's time.  No other information had been given leaving Stark with nothing more than a best guess to figure out why the Chief Science Officer had asked for his delayed presence. All of the possibilities he came up with were nearly instantly dismissed as all of them required for him to head to the holodeck now.  Without anything more to work off on, the OPS officer decided to make the best of the situation.

[/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Counselor's Office
Stardate: 32002.1345

"Ensign Dima?" Jayson said as he walked into the office, the Counselor busy looking at some PADDs. "I hope  am not interrupting anything?"

"Not at all," Nicole smiled. "In fact I was reviewing the psychological profiles of the members of the away team. Thought I should get a better idea as to how each one might deal with a 'no-win-scenario."

"It's that a rather grim opinion on our chances?" Stark pointed out.

"My research has nothing to do with this particular mission," the Counselor reassured, "I am simply looking at how each person faces what would be a final situation. This gives me a base to extrapolate how everyone is likely going to act and react should we come face-to-face with the Lokustaar."

"Given what Captain Morningstar and Commander Shar'El have said about that particular race, I highly doubt that we will end up face-to-face with them," Jayson explained. "I think it will be far more likely that if we are discovered, we will be taken out without even first being aware that our cover was blown."

"Now who has the grim opinion?" Nicole shot back, a hint of playful annoyance in her face.

"Just being honest and realistic," Stark grinned back. "We are heading down into a very large and uncertain game of cat-and-mouse, a game that could quickly change without any advance warning.  I have the upmost respect and admiration for everyone going down, but after seeing that bio-ship, it would be unrealistic to believe that nothing could go wrong as we search for the missing agent."

"Well, you certainly seem to have our situation well figured out," Counselor Dima noted, the playful annoyance having shifted to being nothing more than a genuine smile.  "So, what brings you here?"

"Everyone else is in a holodeck, and in about 30 minutes you will be the only one as I have been asked to join Commander Maya in whatever simulation she is running," Jayson explained. I"I just wanted to make sure everything was alright."

"Everything is fine," Nicole answered, "and as you can see I am also getting ready for the away mission, the only difference is that I do not require the use of a holodeck, at least not at this time. My training ground is the mind, and I fear that the holodeck would not provide any adequate scenarios for me to be as ready as I can be."

"I am sorry," Jayson said, finding himself apologizing far more than he had ever done before, as if he had suddenly become Canadian.  "I did not meant to imply that you were neither now or would later be ready for our mission."

"No insult or negative opinion from you has been taken," the Trill Counselor said, reassuring the OPS officer that all had been as it should be.  "I do appreciate that you came to check up on me though. Maybe we can do this again? There are several points in your personnel record that I would like for you to clarify.

"I figured as much," Jayson nodded, his career in Starfleet having been heavily filled with meetings and sessions with Counselor, something that he had not expected to change, at least not yet.

[/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Holodeck 2
Stardate: 32002.1430

Jayson walked in to find a thick forest landscape, one that did not resemble in any way what had been described to be on MARKALA PRIME.  Wondering if maybe he had misread the request from Commander Maya, the OPS Officer reached for his com badge.

"Stark to Maya, please come in."

A chirp drew the man's attention to a neatly discarded uniform making him realize that not only had he been in the right holodeck but that the Chief Science Officer had no longer been herself.  Unsure as to what to look for, Jayson remained perfectly still and diligently scanned the forest which extended in front of him. Had Maya been expecting him? Has she been waiting to surprise him or even test his ability to react to an unexpected attack?

His concerns and fear quickly diminished when he noted a pair of small eyes looking back at him from a branch almost two full meters in height.  Jayson had been ready to swear that the small monkey had been smiling back at him, making him feel confident enough to walk closer.  With a speed that had not been entirely unexpected from a tree dwelling creature such as the one he had seen, the monkey climbed down and came to stand in front of the officer.

"Commander Maya?" Jayson asked, just in case the creature had been a part of this holographic recreation.  The monkey actually nodded its head, confirming that the OPS officer had been correct in his assessment.  "Guess there is no need for me to ask what your undercover identity will be," he chuckled, "and if I may say so, it will be one very hard to match for someone like me."

Unable to speak in her current form, Maya was forced to use none verbal communication, something that she was actually more than skilled at. Climbing up the man's leg, the small creature came to stop on his shoulder making it understood that this would be where she would lead her team.

"This could get interesting."

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P040: USS ANUBIS: Maya: Day 07 - 1330 ("Getting Ready for the Mission")
---
"Getting Ready for the Mission"
(Previous Post: "The History of Colors")
---

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Holodeck 2
Stardate: 32002.1330

Although there had still been a great deal of work that could be done on the information gathered during the 8.36 seconds during which the Lokustaar bio-ship had been scanned, the Shillian had decided to focus her attention on the next stage of their mission.  Going undercover in a strange and alien environment had never been an easy task, and to insure success it had been wise for each and every participating member of the away team to prepare themselves as best they could.

Based on the skills, abilities and character of each of the officers taking part in the away mission, the preparation be them psychological and/or physical could greatly vary.  It had not been a stretch of the imagination to believe that Director Chen and their own Chief of Security Lieutenant Ya'Han were hard at work preparing themselves in similar ways. Both women being the type to tackle any situation head on with the deadliest possible speed and accuracy.

Commander Shar'El on the other hand had likely been focussing more on the psychological aspect of their mission, her unique ability to scan the memories of others having been an advantage that needed to be exploited to the best possible level.  As for the others, becoming as knowledgeable as possible with the culture on MARKALA PRIME and the alternate identity they would call their own for the mission had been their best possible course of action.

For the Shillian Chief Science Officer, her preparation entailed an entirely different process, one that required a great deal of mental and physical strength.  Over time, Maya had managed to improve her shape-shifting skills, allowing her to maintain any of the animal form for almost a full day instead of just an hour or so.  The problem, as she had discovered over the many repeated holodeck training sessions, had been for her to keep hold of her humanoid identity.  After spending so many hours as a Trusa or Gralo, it grew increasingly more difficult for the woman to remember who she had been before taking on the chosen animal form.

Beyond the ability to maintain the form for as long as would be needed, the focus of the training for the Shillian woman had been to find ways to improve the strength of her hold on her identity as the Chief Science Officer of the USS ANUBIS.

"Computer, initiate holodeck program Maya-0-1."

The thick forest landscape that Maya had requested from the computer seemed to be a perfect place for someone to seek solitude while enjoying the embrace of nature, but to the Chief Science Officer this program held an entirely different significance.  After having insured that the door had been secured behind her, the Shillian carefully removed her uniform and gazed at one specific branch as her body changed from a humanoid female to that of a small a tree dwelling primate.

While on MARKALA PRIME, it had been the hopes of the Shillian woman that her small and swift animal form would permit her to move about the crowd unnoticed, allowing her to see and hear what might have been hidden from the other members of the away team.  For this to work as intended though, Maya needed to insure that her mind remained on task regardless if she had been in this form for a few minutes or countless hours.  The life of the missing agent name Trent Troy depended on the entirety of the away team performing at their very best, the presence of the Lokustaar having only made that requirement even more imperative.

As a team leader she would be required to think of the best possible course of action to take as well as all of the possible consequences of these same actions.  Finding the agent might have been the primary objective of this mission, but the safety of the officers who would be following her lead had been what mattered the most to Maya. That priority further pushed the Shillian to improve her abilities not wishing to put the lives of two she would be placed in charge of to be at risk because of her being unable to control what would be a rapidly growing drive to act according to the instincts of her selected animal form.

An hour or so later, when the door to the holodeck opened, the small Trusa quickly made its way to the first branch it had used to gain access to the holographic canopy.  From where the small creature was, it could easily see the confused expression on the face of the Chief of Operations who had been asked to report to this location.

Preparing for the away mission had included a great many things, but for Lieutenant Stark, the list of things to be ready for had included one additional item which had suddenly presented itself before him as a small, short haired monkey. 

---
Jessica Solarik

Lieutenant Commander Maya [Access Character BIO for Maya]
Chief Science Officer
USS ANUBIS

&

Captain Selene Fiona Iverson [Access Character BIO for Selene Iverson]
Commanding Officer
USS BASTET

"To see the world in a grain of sand,
and a heaven in a wild flower.
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
and eternity in an hour."
- William Blake (British, 1757-1827)
M07-P039: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: Day 07 - 1330 ("The History of Colors")
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"The History of Colors"
[previous post was the amazing "Planning"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Holodeck 5
Stardate: 32002.1330

Director Chen had wanted to learn about NYLA IV, and more specifically what it meant to be a Nylaan woman,  In order to comply with this request, Ya'Han had instructed the computer to present them with a recreation of the Imperial Palace.  Selyara displayed little interest or admiration for the elaborate structure and artwork contained within, quickly explaining that the focus of this exercise had been to allow the head of Section 31 to better play the part of a member of the race.

With that in mind, the black and red haired Chief of Security altered the holodeck's parameters, instantly taking the two women outside of the Imperial Palace and into the streets of the capital city which were populated by holographic people displaying a wide range of colored hair.

"This is more like it," the half Betazoid / half Vulcan offered as she studied their surroundings. "Now, tell me about the different hair colors and how they affect the individual and those around them."

The question had been relatively simple, the answer on the other hand had been anything but, and finding herself walking through the busy streets of the capital city had made this entire experience even more surreal.  "As you are likely aware, Nylaan by default have very dark hair and must earn the right to display any other color."

"Although I am aware of certain aspects of Nylaan culture, it would be best if you treated this lesson as if I knew nothing," Selyara suggested. "That way we can insure that every angle of this matter is covered in one form or another."

"Very well," Ya'Han nodded in reserved agreement. "The moment a Nylaan child is old enough to understand, they are told the legend of how the first High Sovereign came to rule several millennia ago. During the age of darkness, civil war raged over the planet, the inhabitants divided by geographical boundaries and beliefs of geographical superiority under the rules of the black haired leaders of each region.  One day, a man with purple hair appeared and through various acts of strength and intellect managed to elevate himself to become the leader of both the red haired warrior cast and the blue haired science cast which were scattered all over the world.  With those two casts now united under a single ruler, the momentum of the war shifted forcing rest of the planet quickly fall in line.  With the warriors and scientists of different factions working towards the same common goal against their own factions, no one could stop them, not even the vastly numerically superior black haired inhabitants."

"An interesting legend, one that would explain some of the resentment held against your own family by the commoners," Director Chen offered as the two women continued their casual walk through the streets of the capital city.

"According to the legend, everyone is born a commoner, one unworthy of being allowed out of the darkness," Ya'Han continued. "It is only through the display of certain specific skills that someone can elevate themselves to become a member of one of the casts.  This process is deeply embedded into the biology of the Nylaan people and is simply accepted as is, never to be questioned or researched."

"Makes sense," Director Chen chimed. "You would not want anyone not part of the Royal family to suddenly discover how to change their hair color to match and challenge the High Sovereign and his hold on the general population."

"From an early age, children work long and hard to prove themselves worthy of stepping out of the darkness and into any one of the casts," the Nylaan woman explained further. "Only a handful are capable of mastering the requirements of multiple casts allowing them to display more than the black of the commoners and the color of their primary cast."

"Like members of the royal family," Selyara noted with interest.

"Members of the royal family are born with the ability to change their hair color to purple, confirming for all to see their lineage back to the first High Sovereign," Ya'Han added.  "The draw back is that the demands for our being able to change our hair to that of the other casts are far higher. Where a commoner might require less than a year to learn the requirements for a specific cast, members of the royal family usually require years of intense training and study to achieve the same."

"It does insure that your skills are more than a match for anyone else, regardless of which cast they might belong to," the Director of Section 31 offered, giving the Nylaan woman a quick once over, the Chief of Security not having appeared to be anything overly special.

"Any Nylaan seen in public with dark black hair is immediately looked down upon, considered to be unworthy and a failure," the Chief of Security further detailed recalling how she had embraced that specific color upon her escape from the Imperial Palace. "It is why everyone tries their best to belong to a cast, and why those who cannot achieve this usually keep their eyes to the ground and avoid interactions with anyone who does belong to a cast."

"So going as a black haired Nylaan would insure that I would not draw any attention," Selyara said, not as a question but rather as a fact for her to consider in her plan of action.

"On a world other than NYLA IV, a black haired Nylaan might actually draw more attention as they are looked upon as unworthy creatures that can be abused without consequences," Ya'Han clarified as she allowed her hair to change to the mentioned color. "Black haired Nylaans who manage to leave our homeworld usually do so as hard laborers on transport ships or stowaways. They are usually forced to stay onboard that vessel, so finding a commoner in a marketplace such as the ones we will find on MARKALA PRIME would hint to there being something not right."

"What would you suggest?"

"As a green haired entertainer," the Chief of Security began as her hair changed to reflect the cast she had been speaking about, "you would be sure to draw attention. Nylaan woman of that cast having a well established reputation.  If you wish to take on such an identity I would strongly suggest that you practice your dance moves," Ya'Han stated as she began to sway her body in a way that even made the Betazoid / Vulcan hybrid look twice.

"What about the Warrior cast?"

"The red hair would grant you instant respect," Ya'Han admitted as her hair took on the bright shade of the cast. "Although it will most certainly cause many to remove themselves from your path, it might entice others to challenge you in order to prove themselves to others.  That said, usually a single well place disabling strike will be enough to end the battle before it even starts," the Chief of Security stated as she unleashed a single, lightning fast, expertly practiced and powerful punch towards an invisible target.

"You mentioned the blue haired science cast?" Selyara moved on with, not wanting to show any interest in the display that she had just been a witness to.

"Their strength is their intellect," the Nylaan woman continued, her hair taking on the distinct color of that particular cast. "Think of Commander Maya and how everything single thing she does is deeply rooted in science, for a Nylaan though this would be both physical and psychological.  The only exception, which came through the war, was that those who have mastered the medical arts are able to be clearly identified through their white hair so as to avoid being targeted during combat.  As they are few of them, their skills are highly sought after, so I would not recommend it for this mission unless you are planning on getting very close to a lot of sick and needy people."

"Is that all of the colors?"

"There is only one left," the exiled daughter of the High Sovereign said as her hair changed to reflect her birthright. "And I would not suggest you take on such an identity unless you are planning on having a full security detail accompanying you, which would greatly hinder any effort of now drawing any unnecessary attention."

"So noted," Selyara accepted without any outward display of emotion, the lesson having been very enlightening.

"What about gender equality?"

"There is none," Ya'Han sadly noted.  "The High Sovereign rules over all as do his sons. His wife is there for his pleasure and to provide him with daughters that he can use as pawns to strengthen the economy of NYLA IV through pre-arranged marriages.  In every cast, women are held at lower levels than their male counterpart, and for the commoners being a black haired woman is even worse as you are at the mercy of everyone's sickest desires."

Something about the way Ya'Han had said the last word hinted that she had spoken out of personal experience, something that Selyara found both interesting and disturbing.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Hanali Han

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P038: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: Day 07 - 1130 ("Planning")
=-=
"Planning"
[previous post was "The Biology of Shadows" by the admirable Jessica]
=-=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Sickbay
Stardate: 32002.1130

As promised to Doctor Doyanne, the ExO / ILO had returned to Sickbay so that the CMO could complete her medical examination following Shar'El's rescue from the great darkness that had been discovered within her mind.  As strange as the experience had been, the raven haired woman could not help but look back on the experience with a sense of admiration and increased self-understanding.

"How are you feeling?" Lillie asked, running the medical tricorder once again over the entirety of the First Officer's form.

"Is Counselor Dima alright?" Shar'El asked in return, her voice reflecting the seriousness of her facial expression.

"Why do you ask?" Doyanne replied, visibly concerned. "Did something happen to her without my being aware?" The CMO added finding it troubling that someone could have been injured or incapacitated in any way without her being even remotely aware of it.

"As far as I know Nicole is fine," the ExO / ILO confirmed in absolute seriousness. "I was merely asking based on your question to me about how I was feeling."

"It seems that your sense of humor is working just fine," Lillie said sarcastically while rolling her eyes.  "As for the rest, I cannot find anything wrong, all of the readings are well within acceptable range.  In fact I am a little surprised by you not displaying any signs of elevated stress. You would think that dealing with the Lokustaar as you did and the away team heading down to the surface of MARKALA PRIME with a near-warp transport sequence would be enough to have you and everyone else beaming down to be a little more on edge."

"Everyone deals with stress in their own way," Shar'El pointed out.  "Speaking of stress, you seem rather on edge yourself, especially for someone who is not taking part in the away mission."

"I'm the Chief Medical Officer," Lillie pointed out matter-of-factly. "I know *exactly* what a near-warp transport entails, plus I will be more than busy all the way until we reach MARKALA PRIME. I have to perform surgical alterations on whoever will need their faces and bodies changed to reflect the alter-ego they will have opted for.  I also need to do some research of the type of harmful biological agents present on that world to properly inoculate the members of the away team, unless you would rather them getting sick the moment they have a drink or touch something."

"Your point has been clearly made Doctor," the ExO / ILO offered with a grateful smile.  "We are all very thankful for your work and research on our behalf."

"Speaking of alter-egos, have you decided on your identity for the away mission?" Doyanne asked as she put away the medical tricorder.

"I do have a few ideas, but I need to speak with Lieutenant Paquette before I can make a final decision," Shar'El explained.

"You and Sonja are teaming together? May the gods, old and new, have mercy on whoever you come across," the Doctor sighed as she walked away, leaving the First Officer to see herself out of Sickbay.

=-=
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Holodeck 3
Stardate: 32002.1230

"What is this place?" the redhead asked, the expression on her face clearly one of disapproving disgust. "I have been in Klingon bars after a brawl that look and smell better than this place."

"This is one of many trade sectors of the city of Kololu," Shar'El explained. "I thought it would be best if we had an idea of what to expect before actually being there. Plus I wanted you to see what we would have to be dealing with in order to better select our undercover identities for this mission."

"How about a pair of perfume and deodorant sales clerk?" Sonja said as she brought her hand to her nose and mouth to dull, even if only a little , the stench that had assaulted her senses the moment she had stepped into the holographic recreation.  "Remind me to get ANI to tweak the olfactory subroutines of the holodecks, I think they are malfunctioning, there is no way this place can smell this bad."

"The higher end trade sectors of the city are actually quite beautiful, filled with flowers and gardens," the ExO / ILO stated.

"So why are we here? Are you getting me back for something that I've done? If it is the case, please forgive me and let's get out of here before my skin starts to peel off my body," Sonja pleaded.

"The smell is not that bad," Shar'El countered, "and it made more sense for us to see this location as it is far more likely that we will be able to collect useful information as to the whereabouts of the missing agent here."

"Alright," the redheaded Engineer reluctantly agreed. "We would probably only end up with the recipes for some equally bad tasting meal anyway.  What's your game plan on us picking the brains of the decomposing scum that we will find working here?"

"Despite our being deep inside Ferengi control space, civilian humans are still rather common, especially if they are the type to seek making a few credits," the raven haired woman explained.

"So you want to play the escort while I do what, try to draw in a crowd for you to entertain?" Sonja said unable to hold back her smile. "You could get a few pointers from Ya'Han, I am sure she would be happy to show you one or two of her special moves."

"I don't think I would be able to do *any* of her moves," Shar'El quickly stated, shaking her head. "As for the rest, can we be serious about this, we do not have that much time to get ourselves ready."

"Sorry," the Chief Engineer nodded, "it must be this smell, it's melting my brain.  I am guessing that you already have a few ideas for me to consider? You are not one to simply walk into a situation without having an idea or two up your sleeves."

"The idea will be for us to keep vendors and travelers in sight for a good 20 to 30 seconds each so that I can scan their memories," the ExO / ILO stated.

"Easier said than done in a crowded place like this," Sonja noted as she looked around and took in the physical layout of the marketplace. "No tall buildings for us to get an overhead vantage point, and I can only guess that with this smell no one will be standing still.  Getting their attention, even for 20 to 30 seconds, may prove to be quite a challenge.  The private escort idea still seems like our best bet."

"I was thinking more along the lines of pair of travelers looking for parts for their ship as well as trade merchandise to acquire," Shar'El suggested instead. "I am certain that two women with credits to spend will attract more than enough attention without our risking finding ourselves trying to explain why we are suddenly not interested in whatever proposition was offered to us."

"Come on spy-girl," Sonja giggled. "Think of all the remarkable specimens such a place would most certainly make available for us to have our ways with."

"Sonja," the Commander sighed, not having expected the Engineer to be so unwilling to be on task.

"I'm sorry," the redhead said once more, "blame it on nerves, on the near-warp transport and the fact that the ANUBIS will not be in orbit while we make our way through this slum.  This is *my* ship, and I don't like her not being near or at least knowing where she will be."

"Captain Morningstar will take good care of her during our absence," the ExO / ILO reassured.

"I know he will," Sonja noted with absolute certainty, "ANI will make sure of that, but that does not change the fact that I will be worried. No self-respecting parent would act in any other way while leaving their baby."

"We might want to set up a meeting with Counselor Dima after we are done here," Shar'El said as she shook her head. "I have known a lot of Chief Engineers, but never one like you, especially one who refers to the ship as their child."

"I'm special," the CEO grinned, her head tilted to one side, "and you know that is the reason why you decided to be paired with me for this mission."

"Of course," the First Officer grinned back. "No one else would be able to stay sane."

"Ouch!" Sonja said as she covered her chest with both hands. "Now I recognize this awful smell, treason, foul and unforgiving."

"Alright, maybe we should take on the identities of two wandering stage performers. You seem to have your part already down to near perfection."

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET
M07-P037: USS ANUBIS: Maya: Day 07 - 1125 ("The Biology of Shadows")
---
"The Biology of Shadows"
(Previous Post: "Changing Colors")
---

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Exo-Biology Laboratory
Stardate: 32002.1125

It had been 3 hours exactly since the Lokustaar bio-ship had been dealt with by the combined telepathic skills of Commander SharÈl and Director Chen, granting the sensors and the Chief Science Officer a momentary glimpse into the previously unseen ship of nightmares.  While analysing the preliminary data, the Shillian had wanted to confirm something with Doctor Doyanne, explaining why Maya had been in sickbay during the conversation to find a way to save their First Officer.

Once Shar'El and Jayson had left Sickbay, Lillie had been available for Maya to speak to about some of the strange bio-readings picked up by the sensors.  Although the total scan time had been 8.36 seconds, it had been enough to get some very interesting data on the imposingly nightmarish vessel that had been covertly following them.

With the help and expertise of Doctor Doyanne, the Chief Science Officer had been able to resume her research, focussing her efforts on understanding the unique physiology of the bio-ships in the hopes of gathering information that would prove useful against the Lokustaar they were bound to encounter of MARKALA PRIME.  Knowing that the race originated in another dimension had been useful but far from enough to prepare the Shillian Scientist for what she had been looking at.  The cellular composition had been entirely different forcing Maya to start from scratch as to understanding what she had been looking at.

---
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Exo-Biology Laboratory
Stardate: 32002.1150

Director Chen had been on her way to the ExO-Biology laboratory when she was intercepted by the Chief of Security of the USS ANUBIS.  With little do to, Selyara had hoped to gain a better understanding of their opponent through the work being done by the Shillian Scientist.  Like the Shillian, the Vulcan / Betazoid hybrid had know well before Shar'El had confirmed it, that the Lokustaar would be present on MARKALA PRIME, likely waiting for them.

The first obstacle faced by the head of Section 31 had been how to have the Lieutenant Commander give an account of her findings without having the Chief Science Officer go into an overly lengthy scientific explanation that would leave the woman with no other choice but to remove her gloves and silence the Shillian for good.  Maybe the idea had been a little on the extreme side of things, but Selyara had to admit that the simple prospect of doing as she had thought had been a pleasant one.

"Lieutenant Commander Maya," Selyara began as she stepped into the Exo_biology laboratory where the Shillian had been hard at work. "We are both busy, so I will began by asking you to keep your answers as short and on point as possible."

"Of course Director Chen," Maya acknowledged with  smile. "What question would you like me to answer in the shortest and most direct manner possible that will allow you to obtain the information you seek while not sacrificing time?"

Selyara shook her head in disbelief, even while complying with the request made, the Chief Science Officer had found a way to make her acknowledgement wordier than it had needed to be. "Have you found anything useful that the away teams could use while on MARKALA PRIME?" Director Chen asked, making her question as specific as she could in to hopes of having the reply be as specific and short.

"Not yet," Maya sadly admitted. "The biology of the ship you and Commander Shar'El disabled allowing our sensors to scan it for 8.36 seconds provided a great deal of information, all of which only led to a great deal more questions."

"It was a longshot," the head of Section 31 noted with a sigh, disappointed in the content of the answer while being satisfied in its length.  "Continue, and good luck," the director added before pivoting on her heels and exiting the laboratory.

Maya simply watched, holding back any further explanation dealing with the unique biology and cell structure of the Lokustaar, or even her theories as to how these creatures could become invisible to both visual and artificial scans.  The Chief Science Officer could have also added a few theories based on what Doctor Doyanne had offered to explain the nightmarish appearance of the race, but it had been obvious that the gloved woman had not been interested in any lengthy theoretical explanations of a biological entity that they really knew very little about.

---
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Captain's Ready Room
Stardate: 32002.1315

The Chief Science Officer stood before her Captain while he read the content of the PADD the Shillian had handed over. The small device had been loaded with all of the research the Shillian had so far completed, listed and indexed for the easiest possible perusal by the Commanding Officer.

"I will admit that I am impressed by the amount of information you were able to extrapolate from an 8 second scan," the Captain noted as he reviewed the research data.

"Actually it was only 8.36 seconds," the Shillian corrected as if the extra 36 hundredth of a second had been reason enough to account for the information.  "As much as we might be able to learn from that particular scan, there are still a great many questions that we are no closer of answering, and in fact I would go as far as to say that I have more questions now then I had when I started the research."

"When dealing with the Lokustaar," the Captain began as he deposited the PADD down onto his desk, "I have the strange feeling that any answer is more than we were meant to have.  I would not consider the unanswered questions which remain as a failure, but rather the questions that you have been able to answer as a victory."

"Thank you Captain," Maya offered, feeling better about her lack of a breakthrough. "I will continue my work and report back should I discover anything new."

"Of that I have no doubts," the Captain noted with a smile. Despite her quirks, the Shillian Scientist had been a positive force on board the ANUBIS, and as annoying as the Chief Science Officer might have been with her wordy explanations, everyone knew that they could count on her to find answers where none had been expected.

---
Jessica Solarik

Lieutenant Commander Maya [Access Character BIO for Maya]
Chief Science Officer
USS ANUBIS

&

Captain Selene Fiona Iverson [Access Character BIO for Selene Iverson]
Commanding Officer
USS BASTET

"To see the world in a grain of sand,
and a heaven in a wild flower.
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
and eternity in an hour."
- William Blake (British, 1757-1827)
M07-P036: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: Day 07 - 1050 ("Changing Colors")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Changing Colors"
[previous post was the amazing "A New Attitude"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 32002.1050

"What was that about?" Sonja whispered into the ear of the stunned Sec/Tac, the CEO having walked up behind Ya'Han and placed her chin on the Nylaan's shoulder.

"He wants me to consider us going to MARKALA PRIME together," Ya'Han replied in the same whispered tone, her eyes still glued onto the man who by now had returned to his station and resumed his work.

"As a couple?" the red haired Engineer gasped.

"Yes... no... I mean together as a team," Ya'Han tried to explain as she turned to face Sonja.

"So you said no," the Engineer shrugged as if the answer had been the only possible one the Sec/Tac could have given.

"I didn't give him an answer," the Chief of Security said in a whispered voice, her hair having shifted towards the black side of the color spectrum. "He actually only asked me to *consider* it."

"After having done his best to ignore you, now he decides he wants to be with you?" Sonja gasped once more sounding rather upset, "What is wrong with that boy?"

"Something changed," Ya'Han replied as she glanced over her shoulder at the man, the amorous tone of her voice not to mention her nearly pitch black hair having been enough to make the Chief Engineer sick to her stomach.

Although Sonja had been more than ready to give Ya'Han a piece of her mind about this entire affair, the Chief Engineer remained quiet thinking back to what the Sect/Tac had just said.  Something had changed, that was beyond obvious and given what the CEO had witnessed in Sickbay, she wondered if maybe Selyara had had a hand in this.  Right now though had not been the time to investigate this situation.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Corridor
Stardate: 32002.1130

"Director Chen," the once again black and red haired Sec/Tac called out as the woman was just about to vanish around a corner.

"Lieutenant Ya'Han," Selyara said after having turned to see who had called her name in what had seemed to be an urgent manner. "How can I help you?"

"Actually I was wondering if you still wanted me to help you?" the Sec/Tac corrected. "First though I should apologize for my earlier behavior. It seems that the ghosts of my past are still very much present despite my best efforts to have them be as far away as possible."

"It is an unfortunate reality of all our pasts," Selyara noted without a hint of emotion. "Whatever we might do today or even strive to achieve tomorrow, the events that have taken place in our yesterdays can never be changed. The best any of us can hope for is to make peace with our past and accept it. From there we use the past to guide us into the future, either along the same path or away from it."

"The past is a wise guide and teacher as old as time itself, and yet far too many ignore its lessons," Ya'Han said quoting one of her professors, someone whom she had not thought about for a very long time.

"It sounds like you have decided on a new path," the head of Section 31 pointed out, again speaking without any outward signs of emotions.

"Yes," Ya'Han nodded in agreement. "If you are still interested in learning about Nylaan women, and if your schedule permits it, maybe we could meet in one of the holodecks later today."

"Holodeck 5, say at 1300?" Selyara suggested sounding as if the time and place had already been set aside for that particular occasion.

"Holodeck 5 at 1300 it is then," the Sec/Tac confirmed finding it strange that she felt both reluctant and excited at the prospect of explaining to someone else what it meant to be a Nylaan woman, something that in all honesty she had not entirely been certain she knew herself.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Holodeck 5
Stardate: 32002.1255

Ya'Han arrived a few minutes early to mentally prepare herself for what she had been asked to do. Never before had she considered the question, let alone trying to explain it to someone else, but still the Sec/Tac found the opportunity to be an interesting one as she hoped it would allow her to get a better understanding into her own people and who she had been.

As she walked in, the Sec/Tac was surprised to find Director Chen already in the room, standing in the middle of the empty grid as if meditating.

"I'm sorry, I did not mean to interrupt," Ya'Han offered not entirely certain as to what she had walked into.

"You did not interrupt anything," Selyara stated. "I just wanted to use this time to clear my thoughts and prepare for your lesson."

"My lesson," the Sec/Tac chuckled dryly. "I am no teacher, but I will do my best."

"That is all I can ask for. Proceed."

**Proceed,** Ya'Han repeated in her mind, **if only it was that simple.**

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Hanali Han

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M07-P035: USS ANUBIS: Stark: Day 07 - 1030 ("A New Attitude")
"A New Attitude"
[previous "From Dark to Dark"]

[/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Sickbay
Stardate: 32002.1030

Jayson could feel himself waking up, as if he had been climbing a long ladder that had started somewhere deep beneath the waves.  The trek had been long and slow but he knew that he was making progress, as little as it might have been.  What struck him as strange had been the growing need he felt to speak to Ya'Han, not just talk to her but to be honest about the feelings he had and before even that he knew he needed to apologise.

"Welcome back," the blonde hair Chief Medical Officer said, both her hair color and smile reminding him of another Doctor, but strangely enough Jayson's thoughts did not linger of that particular woman, instead it went back to the black and red haired Chief of Security as if his mind had been linked to that thought with an elastic band.

"That is the last time I volunteer for anything," He said rubbing the back of his head as he sat up on the bed.

"You will be fine," the Doctor said looking over the latest medical scans of the OPS Officer. "At last you should be proud of yourself, your volunteering made it possible for us to get Commander Shar'El back safe and sound."

"Glad to hear it," Jayson said as he jumped off the bed and stretched his neck one way then the other, causing a few snapping sounds to be heard through Sickbay.  "Now if you will excuse me, I have someone to talk to."

"The Captain?" the Chief Medical Officer asked, thinking that he had the same reason for speaking with their Captain as the First Officer had.

"Why would I want to speak to the Captain?" He asked already halfway through the opened door between Sickbay and the corridor. "I need to speak to Ya'Han. I have something important to say to her."

The door closed behind him before Lillie could make sense of what the OPS Officer had said.

[/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 32002.1045

Jayson stepped back onto the bridge, thinking back to how he had been beamed from his station to Sickbay.  Although he had been thinking of setting up some sort of computer block to insure that this would not happen again without his authorization, the moment he walked onto the bridge his mind snapped once again onto the black and red haired woman.<