USS ANUBIS - Mission 13
Clones and Betrayal
POST INDEX
Post # Character Title
001 Bonviva Tell Morningstar to Stock Up
Xana meets with Charles and Quint
002 Shar'El Time to Reflect
Shar'El faces a new year
003 Bruxa First Breakfast
Satella and Adriana have breakfast together
004 Morningstar New Business
Erik gives the mission briefing
005 Bonviva It's Personnal
Satella gives Xana her medical exam
006 Lopez Psychological Profile
Adriana goes to speak to Satella
007 Ya'Han Defence Mechanism
Ya'Han and Jayson have a discussion
008 Bruxa Medical Collaboration
Satella called Sofia requesting help
009 Shar'El An Eye On Everyone
Shar'El keeps watch on the senior staff
010 Paquette Not Enough Time
Sonja gives Satella a hard time
011 Bonviva There's A Sunny Side...
Xana goes to see Sonja, with lunch
012 Ya'Han Scars From the Past
Adriana visits Ya'Han who has a flashback
013 Stark Keeping Busy
Jayson tries to stay busy while Ya'Han is away
014 Shar'El Red Red Wine
Sonja's get together is in full swing
015 Bruxa The After-Party
Satella gets help from Adriana after the party
016 Morningstar Trying to Understand
Erik visits Xana before going to Stellar Cartography
017 Bonviva The Universe Only Feels Big
Ya'Han visits Xana in solitary confinment
018 Stark You Did What?
Ya'Han Tells Jayson where Xana is
019 Bruxa Minor Adjustments
Satella learns that Xana is in the brig
020 Lopez Why Is Nothing Ever Easy
Adriana speaks to Satella about Xana
021 Shar'El Emotonal Uncertainty
Shar'El keeps an eye on Xana
022 Ya'Han Threat Analysis
Ya'Han goes in a holodeck to review the attack
023 Bonviva Pain as Motivator
Xana learns of the attack on KTARIS
024 Morningstar Queen's Gambit
Erik briefs the team on their next move
025 Shar'El Playing Games
Shar'El speaks to Erik than Adriana
026 Paquette An Unexpected Question
Ani asked an unexpected question of Sonja
027 Ya'Han Last Minute Training
Ya'Han trains in the holodeck
028 Bonviva Play The Cards You're Dealt
Xana talks to Adriana
029 Stark That Had to Hurt
Jayson gets schooled by Tanith
030 Jones Always Wear an...
Tanith thinks and reviews the situation
031 Lopez Psychological Review
Adriana argues with Amanda about Xana
032 Shar'El It's Game Time
The team goes down to the planet
033 Bruxa The Antidote
Satella and Maya finally make progress
034 Morningstar Bishop to G5 - Check
Things are proceeding not quite to plan
035 Shar'El There's No Bluffing In Chess
Away team falls into a trap
036 Bonviva Your Reputation...
Xana speask to the Ktarian head diplomat
037 Ya'Han Chasing Shadows
Ya'Han gets some help in hunting Mordana
038 Lopez Heightened Stress
Adriana gages everyone's stress level
039 Bonviva One Hour or ...
Xana negotiates things her way
040 Maya Looking At The ...
Maya makes an important discovery
041 Stark Field Operations
Jayson admires Ya'Han in action
042 Shar'El Fighting Through
Shar'El keeps an eye on the away team from the IGC
043 Bruxa The Showdown
Satella gets Sickbay ready and speaks with Adriana
044 Lopez Some Wounds Never Heal
Adriana and Amanda have a blowout
045 Stark Fighting What Cannot...
The away team arrives at the building
046 Shar'El Dangerous Shadows
In the IGC, Shar'El keeps an eye on the surface
047 Bonviva Interpretation of the Prime...
Xana gets into some trouble with Alus Pami
048 Morningstar Inside Affair
Erik contacts Ya'Han
049 Ya'Han Hunting Shadows
Ya'Han goes after the Lokustaar
050 Bruxa Urgent Reconstruction
Satella operates on Jayson, trying to save him
051 Paquette Another Way In
Maya enlists Sonja's help to reach the building
052 Ya'Han Fake Shadows
Ya'Han runs into and kills another Mordana
053 Shar'El Shadows and Mirrors
Shar'El gets Sonja and Maya to help
054 Jones The Right Friends Open Doors
Tanith regroups with Xana
055 Ya'Han Familiar Shadows
Ya'Han wakes up in shackles and is rescued by Maya
056 Maya Multiplying Our Problems
Maya and Ya'Han make an unsettling discovery
057 Lopez Watching a Master at Work
Adriana watches with awe Satella operate
058 Bonviva What's a Little...
Xana and Tanith make a discovery
059 Ya'Han Hide and Seek
Ya'Han keeps an eye on Xana
060 Bruxa Medical Interlude
Satella and Adriana talk
061 Shar'El Listening In
Shar'El listens in on Xana abd Alus
062 Ya'Han Unexpected and Disturbing...
Ya'Han and Maya make a troubling discovery
063 Maya A Clone Is A Terrible Thing...
Maya argues against Ya'Han as to what to do
064 Bruxa Professional Concerns
Alus contacts the ANUBIS and talks to Satella
065 Lopez A Little Action
Adriana and Satella beam down to KTARIS
066 Stark Awakening Consciousness
Jayson wakes up, not where he expected
067 Bonviva I'm Not Looking To Save...
The Med team, thanks to Tanith, regroup with Xana
068 Ya'Han Doing The Right Thing
Ya'Han is forced into taking action
069 Bruxa Complications Aplenty
Satella and the others find Ya'Han and Maya
070 Stark Not Feeling Like Himself
The clone questions who and what he is
071 Shar'El Never Easy
Shar'El listens in on a debate as to what to do
072 Ya'Han Conflict of Emotions
Ya'Han and Adriana talk about the situation
073 Bruxa Different Priorities
Satella goes to help Xana
074 Jones Ace in the Hole
Tanith sabotages the cloning pods
075 Bonviva Different Priorities
Alus confronts Xana, Satella and Adriana
Post # Character Title
076 Stark A Simple Decision
Jayson's clone struggles with his inner self
077 Morningstar Not Just Any Other Name
Erik listens in on Xana's conversation with Alus
078 Ya'Han Hidden Secrets
Ya'Han and Maya find a secret passage
079 Lopez Distracted Distraction
Adriana talks to Amanda before something happens
080 Bonviva Something Akin To A Ship...
Xana remembers meeting Louise for the first time
081 Shar'El Contemplating The Game
Shar'El is working on a plan
082 Ya'Han Descent Into Hell
Ya'Han and Maya discover a large machine
083 Bruxa Medical Confrontation
Satella goes up against Xana
084 Bonviva The Junior Ambassador
Adriana makes an unsettling discovery
085 Stark A New Purpose
Jayson's clone fights against his programming
086 Shar'El Game Changer
Shar'El gets a new plan in motion
087 Paquette A Thankless Job
Erik goes to see Sonja in Engineering
088 Morningstar A Change of Scenery
Erik gives the go ahead for the new plan
089 Ya'Han Close But Not Enough
Ya'Han & Maya realize that they are back on the ship
090 Shar'El Roll Call
Shar'El checks on those beamed up
091 Stark Unfamiliar Territory
Jayson's clone finds his way onto the ANUBIS
092 Lopez Not So Junior Issues
Adriana takes on the role of Ambassador
093 Bruxa Medial Emergencies
Satella goes to help Ya'Han
094 Bonviva Side Effects May Include...
Xana wakes up in sickbay and talks to Jayson's clone
095 Stark Decisions Decision
Xana delays Jayson's clone from killing the real one
096 Morningstar Siblings
Erik goes to see Louise in the holodeck
097 Ya'Han The Familiar Eyes...
Ya'Han tries to reason with Jayson's clone
098 Stark Caught Between a Heart...
Jayson's clone struggles with what he has to do
099 Shar'El Mental Approach
Shar'El looks into the clone's memories
100 Bruxa Broken Bones
Satella tries to help Ya'Han
101 Lopez Ambassador Sized Headache
Adriana deals with Alus with help from Louise
102 Stark Dark Destiny
Jayson's clone is in the brig, thinking
103 Bonviva You Have An Answer...
Xana recalls times with Louise
104 Bruxa No Walking
Satella deals with Xana and Ya'Han in Sickbay
105 Stark Inner Darkness
Satella, Xana and Ya'Han visit the brig
106 Shar'El Unorthodox Diplomatic...
Shar'El enters the holodeck to scan Alus
107 Lopez Floor Level Diplomacy
Adriana deals with he aftermath
108 Bonviva Propinquity
Xana confrons Jayson's clone
109 Ya'Han Across The Forcefield
Ya'Han grows increasingly confused
110 Shar'El Loose Threads
Shar'El sends Tanith on a clean-up mission
111 Bruxa Game On
Satella struggles with speaking to Jayson's clone
112 Ya'Han What Was, What Is...
Ya'Han tries to understand her feelings for Jayson
113 Paquette Oh Hell Nah
Sonja confronts Ya'Han and the escaped clone
114 Stark Love is Hell
Ya'Han makes a choice and sides with Jayson's clone
115 Bruxa Now What?
Satella is not given a moment to rest
116 Shar'El Losing a Friend
Shar'El reports to Erik on what happened
117 Morningstar Doing This My Way
Erik physically reveals the truth to Alus
118 Ya'Han A New Woman
Ya'Han and Jayson return to KTARIS
119 Stark Welcome To The Dark Side
The clone explains the Lokustaar to Ya'Han
120 Bonviva Wrist Slapped
Xana and Erik discuss recent events
121 Lopez Anger Management
Adriana tries to think of something to do to help
122 Bruxa Emotional Support
Satella is called in to help Alus Pami
123 Shar'El Status Report
Shar'El goes to see Erik and confronts Xana
124 Ya'Han Better, Stronger
Ya'Han learns more about the way things work
125 Stark The Dark Web
Jayson explains the large device to Ya'Han
126 Bonviva Ambassadorial Duties
Xana tries to understand why Louise was on KTARIS
127 Morningstar Gambit of Shadows
Shar'El explains to Erik what she discovered
128 Ya'Han Looking Into The Abyss
Ya'Han betrays Tanith
129 Paquette It Never Happened
Sonja defends Shar'El to Xana
130 Bruxa One Explanation
Satella feels conflicted due to Alu's condition
131 Maya So Many Mysteries...
Maya becomes frustrated and headsto see Sonja
132 Stark Smiling Across the Forcefield
The clone gets put in his place by Mordana
133 Shar'El Things Change
Shar'El receives communication from Mordana
134 Ya'Han Slipping Further...
Ya'Han deals with being on the other side
135 Lopez Emotional Darkness
Adriana keeps Jayson companie in Sickbay
136 Bruxa Red Line
Satella and Shar'El go head-to-head
137 Shar'El 90 Minutes
Shar'El pulls Adriana aside to talk
138 Stark Setting The Trap
The clone explains the plan to Ya'Han
139 Paquette Braindead Man Walking
Sonja reacts to the plan explained by Shar'El
140 Bruxa Better, Faster
Maya and Satella find a faster way to do their task
141 Lopez Ambassadorial Review
Xana and Adriana discuss the situation
142 Shar'El 45 Minutes
Shar'El concernly watches from the IGC
143 Ya'Han Cold Silence
Ya'Han thinks about her past and her situation
144 Paquette Yes It Will
Sonja argues with ANI about the plan
145 Bruxa Medical Curiosity
Satella confronts Sonja about her creation
146 Stark Mothing More Than Pawns
Jayson's clone thinks about the situation
147 Bonviva A Deal In The Shadows
Xana gets the help of the Orion Syndicate
148 Shar'El When Things Get Messy
Shar'El and the others have a surprise of their own
149 Ya'Han Wounded Pride
Ya'Han deals with the botched trade
150 Morningstar Well, That Could Have...
Erik reveals the truth about Ya'Han
M13-P001: USS ANUBIS: Bonviva: 34001.0800 ("Tell Morningstar to Stock Up")
=/\=
“Tell Morningstar to Stock Up”

Previous Posts:
(ANUBIS) “Life Continues”/ (BASTET) “To Boldly Go...Home”
(and for continuity purposes only):
(FRPG) “They Want You -- Epilogue”

=/\=

It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live
Marcus Aurelius

=/\=
Location: NEW ALEXANDRIA - Section 3 -> Section 6
Stardate: 34001.0800

Allyson, who was on track to receiving “Most Likely to Help” (if such an award was given), stuck her head into the room where Cmdr. Quint and Admiral Charles Koniki were wrapping up a briefing.  “Apologies for interrupting,” she said by way of beginning, even though she had been told to do just that, “but *she’s* here.”

The Ferengi male groaned under his breath but Koniki stood up, motining for Quint to follow.  “We’ll go to her,” Koniki decided.

Quint would have raised an eyebrow at that but simply followed, as they went from Section 3 to 6.  “Sir,” Quint asked politely on the way, “I know I’ve met the Ambassador before.  But how do you know her?”

“We’ve worked together over the years.  She’s reported to me; I’ve reported to her.  It’s what happens if you work in the Federation,” Koniki answered brusquely without really answering.  “Various times our paths intersected; in just about every sector you can think of.”

Still in Section A, now on Level 6, the men made their way into an unused conference room where Aoriel was chatting with an azure woman with white hair that was stylishly pulled into a chignon. Despite her rank, she was dressed casually in blue jeans, a white button up shirt, black boots and despite the fact she was inside large black sunglasses perched on her head (usually it was to hide the dark circles under her eyes or the glare she got in most rooms); her Ambassador robes tossed over her bags.  “You know there are many herbal remedies that would work for that earache you have.  For example, licorice root with citrus peel and--”

“And a strong shot of Bolian firewater,” Aoriel finished off with a smile.  Turning to the men, the woman nodded and made her way quietly out.  

“Ambassador,” Admiral Koniki said.  Watching the woman he remembered once so full of life slowly get up he said, “You can stay seated.”

“It’s fine, Charles.  And I’ve told you to call me Xana,” the Bolian/Human woman said as she finally stood.  Turning her attention the Ferengi man she said, “I’m Xana Bonviva, I was summoned to assist with the War of Shadows.”

Cmdr. Quint blinked.  “Yes, I know.  We’ve met; about 10 or 12 times.”

“Really, I thought you were the manservant.  So I guess no bar then,” Xana said. 

“At 0800?” Quint asked.

“A little mimosa wouldn’t kill anyone,” Bonviva pointed out. 

Quint sighed.  “No, we like to be sober when we do work.”  

“WHY?” she asked.  Turning back to Koniki she asked more seriously, “How may I be of service?”

“We’re looking for your take on the situation,” he said.

“What’s your take,” she countered.

Koniki leaned against a table.  “There has to be an alternative.”  Frowning he said, “I am not going to continue to commit valuable lives and resources to a war that is seemingly without end.  That seems to be mass psychosis.”

The azure woman leaned against the opposite table, her legs shaking; not from fear but from exhaustion.  “Wars of this kind have torn apart planets.  It’s torn apart my own homes.  Conflicts continue on until there is a new element thrown in...or until everyone is just utterly exhausted.”

Charles looked over at Xana and said, “I know that you are very active in the Bolian religion but in a Terran religion there is a quote--”

“And I looked and I beheld a pale horse, and its rider was Death.  And Hell was behind him,” Xana quoted quietly.  Looking at the men and said quietly, “I thought the same.”  Looking over at them she said, “Yes, I’m scared as should you be too.”  

“But you think we can stop this war,” Koniki said.

“Yes,” Xana agreed.  

“Good,” Koniki nodded.  

As the men started to leave she yelled out, “But I will need a drink.  And chocolate.”  Pausing for a moment she added, “Lots of each actually.”

Koniki turned to Quint and said, “Tell Morningstar to stock up.”

=/\=
Sarah Albertini-Bond

USS ANUBIS NCC 18501
M13-P002: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: 34001.0001 ("Time to Reflect")
=-=
"Time To Reflect"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Tell Morningstar to Stock Up" by Sarah / (BAS) "To Boldly Go... Home" by Susan]
=-=

Setting:  USS ANUBIS, Shar'El's Quarters
Stardate: 34001.0001

As a Ullian, this particular date and time meant nothing to Shar'El, yet she could not escape its significance. Having witnessed the memories of so many Terrans over the years, the passing of one calendar year to the next had become something that despite her own background the ExO / ILO had grown to anticipate and even welcome.

For many on board the ANUBIS, this day marked the beginning of a new year, the rebirth of lost hopes, the redesign of abandoned goals. It marked a passing into something new, a reason to let go of the darkness that had dragged along to instead focus on the light that stood before them in the distant.  For the ExO / ILO, this single tick on the unseen clock of the universe meant nothing, yet in some ways, it held more meaning than anything else.  The year that had come and gone had brought with it a great deal of hardships and trouble for countless, both on a universal and personal level.

The continued war against the trans-dimensional invaders known as the Lokustaar had left its mark everywhere, causing some people to retreat onto themselves while others lashed out at those around them. Fear permeated everything including the dreams of the most optimistic of individuals. Everyone had been forced to deal with the cold and dark sting of death in one form or another, and that too had left scars that would take a great amount of time to heal. The problem was that there was no time for this healing right now as the universe cared nothing for this particular date or time. The war stopped for nothing, especially not a date on the calendar of a single world amongst thousands.

With those thoughts haunting her, the ExO / ILO made her way out of her bedroom and into the living area, noticing for the first time the relative emptiness of her quarters. Life on board an Intel cruiser such as the USS ANUBIS was hectic and demanding, allowing for little time for frivolity. The hunt for the Shadow agent had made that an inescapable reality, Mordana proving time and time again in being a skilled and elusive prey. Her capture would become Shar'El's priority mission in the coming New Year, a goal that the raven-haired woman knew everyone on board the ship would be more than happy to help with.

Shar'El drew in a long deep breath, ready to tackle the new day, the New Year. All she needed to do was to get dressed and report to her home away from home, the one place on the ANUBIS where she felt truly at ease.

=-=
Setting:  USS ANUBIS, IGC
Stardate: 34001.0800

The ExO / ILO sat at her station reading the latest reports on the Lokustaar. As always, the race of walking shadows struck unseen, spreading chaos and destruction everywhere they went without taking credit for the desolation they left behind. Officially there was no way to confirm that the trans-dimensional race was responsible for any of what Shar'El was reading, but she knew the clues to look for.

Following the review of the last report, Shar'El raised her eyes to look upon the vacant IGC. With the ANUBIS back home, her department was completely empty but that didn't bother her. Her team of dedicated technicians had worked beyond expectations during their hunt for the Shadow agent Mordana earning them a well-deserved rest. That it was the first day of a new year, as far as the EARTH calendar was concerned, did not come to play in this.

Shar'El's gaze fell back onto her screens following a smile chime indicating that a new file had been received. It was the service record and dossier of a new officer that would be joining the ANUBIS as per Koniki's request. The woman was a Bolian/Terran Ambassador by the name of Xana Bonviva. As a personal acquaintance of the Admiral, none of the standard background verifications were necessary but that only further pushed the ExO / ILO to dig even deeper into the woman's past in order to learn as much as possible. It was part of her duties to know everything there was to know about everyone, especially when they would have a role to play in their upcoming missions, whatever they may be.

As she read the extensive dossier, Shar'El thought of the fresh and unblemished year that stood before them. This would the year everyone hoped the War of Shadows would come to an end. The year where the galaxy would reclaim in part if not in whole the peace it so desperately wanted. It would be a year where wounds would finally begin to heal. This would be the year where people could start to look upon the future with a glimmer of hope instead of overwhelming fear.

The year was 2434 and the crew of the USS ANUBIS would do their best to make this the year the one where the light would push back the darkness once and for all.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M13-P003: USS ANUBIS: Bruxa: 34001.0815 ("First Breakfast")
=-=
"First Breakfast"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Time to Reflect" / (BAS) "To Boldly Go... Home"]
=-=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Black Hole Lounge
Stardate: 34001.0815

Satella walked into the two-level high common area and quickly locked in on her target. The woman was sitting alone at one of the tables on the main level. It was nice to see her relax, even if only a little. Following a quick detour to the bar to pick up a pitcher of iced Risian honey tea and two glasses, the CMO moved in.

"Good morning Adriana. Happy New Year."

"Happy New Year?" The Counselor appeared genuinely confused as she repeated the greeting.

"Isn't it today a celebration for you and your people?" As a Mikulak, this entire idea of such a celebration was alien to Satella. Still, as a friend, she wanted to make today something special, something memorable. After everything the crew had endured, it would be nice to commemorate something good.

"If by people you mean Terrans, then yes, today is a special day, at least for some. As for me personally, I was born on the EPSILON THETA colony. That means we didn't celebrate New Year's, at least not the one that took place on EARTH."

"I am sorry," Satella said placing the pitcher and glasses down.

"That's alright; it's the thought that counts. I do appreciate you bringing drinks though. I was starting to get thirsty after all that reading."

"Speaking of which, what are you reading?" Satella decided to change the subject. Clearly making a big deal of this particular day had failed.

"Trying to get a better psychological profile of this Mordana," Adriana said. As she put the PADD down on the table, she began tapping it with a single displeased digit. "We traveled to dozens of different worlds and spoke to countless people. Each gave us a personal account on the woman and we still know next to nothing about her." Adriana was not happy.  "We know that she has lengthy black hair, black eyes, white skin and comes across as exceptionally charming. Some said they felt a strange and eerie cold darkness when near her. Beyond that though, we have no idea of who she is. We don't even know what race she might belong to."

"I figured you would be more interested in her psychological profile. That is more in line with your duties as Ship's Counselor," Satella said. When an awkward silence formed between them, the CMO poured the pitcher's content into the glasses.

"I was just trying to look at her from a different perspective. We know that Mordana possesses a very dark personality. From what we have seen and heard, she cares nothing for the lives of others. All of the information we have on her shows her to be a dangerous psychopath. As an agent of the Shadows, all she wants to do is to spread chaos end death. Unfortunately for us, she's been very good at doing just that. This has left us with the unenvious task of picking up the pieces left in her wake."

"You were hoping that by getting a better physical profile we would be able to anticipate her next move?" Doctor Bruxa was doing her best to understand what was happening.

"Honestly, I am not sure what I was doing. I just got tired trying to look inside that woman's head. There is just so much darkness anyone can look into before it starts to affect them. I just got tired of feeling those chills creeping up my spine." Cns Lopez paused, sighed and then picked up her glass of iced Risian honey tea. "Let's change the subject. Happy New Year."

Satella studied the raised glass for a few seconds before understanding that she needed to reciprocate. "Happy New Year," the CMO chuckled as her glass was raised to match that of her friend. "I thought we weren't celebrating."

"We are not," Adriana said, confusing Satella even more. "I am just deflecting to a more pleasant subject matter. This way, I can focus on more enjoyable thoughts and share a drink with a valued friend."

"I will drink to that," the CMO said before bringing the glass to her lips. After a small sip was taken, Satella waved for a waiter to come closer. "Now, how about some breakfast? I believe that there are some customary foods for this special day."

"It depends on the culture, family or even specific individuals. Even if we were on EARTH, not everyone celebrates this day in the same way. There is no set food dedicated to this or any other Terran celebration. Plus, as I said before, we are *not* celebrating, remember?"

"Fine, we are not celebrating, but I am still hungry. How about a bowl of fresh fruits? As a vegetarian, I know that you like that sort of thing. I have seen you enjoy that dish more than once, and I feel like trying something new."

"I do like your suggestion," Adriana agreed before turning to look at the waiter. "Two bowls of fresh fruits. Please make sure that there is one whole strawberry placed on top." After the waiter acknowledged the order he made his way back to the bar.

"Why the whole strawberry?" Satella asked.

"Following the disappearance of my sister, it was something I remember my mother doing. It was meant to mark an important event. It symbolizes something whole, something beautiful, and something worth taking the time to enjoy."

"So we are celebrating!"

"Not the New Year," Adriana clarified. "I just want to note the fact that I am glad to have you as a friend. After all of the hardships we have dealt with, it is nice to recognize the good. When fighting the darkness, it is always a good idea to keep the light in view."

"I will never look at a strawberry the same way ever again," Satella chuckled. Moments later two bowls were brought to the table, a whole strawberry resting on top of the small mountain of fresh fruits. "To a great new year, the start of which we are not celebrating," Doctor Bruxa said lifting the small red fruit into the air. "To a great friendship," the CMO added drawing a smile from the Counselor. Could there be a better way to start a new day, a new year?

=-=
Rachel Jackie Johnson

Lieutenant JG Satella Bruxa [Access Character BIO for Satella Bruxa]
Chief Medical Officer
USS ANUBIS

[Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. - Mark Twain]
M13-P004: USS ANUBIS: Morningstar: 34001.0900 ("New Business")
##########
"New Business"
Previous posts (ANU) "First Breakfast" / (BAS) "To Boldly Go... Home"
##########

“Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts.”
- Ambassador Londo Mollari

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 8, Starboard Docking Port
Stardate: 34001.0900

Ya'Han waited patiently at the open docking port, her eyes scrutinizing everyone who stepped into the umbilical connection linking the secret base to the ANUBIS. Normally she would be monitoring the comings and goings from the bridge, but Captain Morningstar had requested that she be the one to greet their guest. It didn't take long for the Chief of Security to identify the individual in question, her pale blue skin and straight white hair making the Ambassador stick out from the regular crowd.

"Ambassador Bonviva," the red-haired Nylaan said as she greeted the woman. "My name is Ya'Han, I am the Chief of Security and I was asked to officially welcome you on board the ANUBIS. I am to escort you to the Observation Lounge where you will meet Captain Morningstar and the rest of the senior officers."

"Thank you," Xana acknowledged. "I am not sure if I should be touched or concerned by the fact that your captain decided to send his Chief of Security to meet me here."

"I am sure that the Captain did not mean any disrespect," Ya'Han quickly said. "I was not given any other instructions than to escort you to the Observation Lounge. No specific instructions regarding security measures were given to me."

"Good," the Bolian/Terran hybrid sighed trying to appear as troubled as possible. "Now at least I know what exactly I am to be upset about. Clearly, I am not considered to be a danger, which is a shame as I remember a time when I would have at least made people nervous at the mere mention of my name."

"I am so sorry," Ya'Han said, her mind reeling. It was true; Captain Morningstar had not given her any special instructions. All that the Chief of Security had been asked to do was to welcome the Ambassador at the umbilical connection and escort her up to the bridge and Observation lounge. Now the Nylaan feared that she had done a massive diplomatic faux pas. "Would you prefer if a full security detail was here and escorted you to meet the Captain and the rest of the senior officers?"

"I was just teasing," Xana said with a smile. "I can see that you do not have a great deal of experience with any type of ambassadorial staff."

"You are correct, our mission profile tends to keep us away from any sort of Ambassadorial personnel and related events," Ya'Han explained as she tried to calm herself down. Her only dealings with diplomatic figures were as the youngest daughter of her world's leader, and no good memories had ever been associated with those.

"Please, lead on," the Ambassador said, inviting the visibly shaken Chief of Security to take the lead and proceed with the task that she had been given.

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 34001.0905

"Welcome to the ANUBIS, Ambassador Bonviva. I am Lt. Jayson Stark, Chief of Operations. I have been asked to relay an important message to you," the man said as soon as the Ambassador set foot onto the command deck.

"An important message?" Xana repeated thinking of a thousand and one jokes she could use at this very moment, but after what had happened with the Chief of Security, the Bolian/Terran hybrid opted to keep her attempts at frivolity to herself.

"Yes, I was asked to inform you that Cmdr. Quint made sure that no less than two-dozen crates of the items you requested from Admiral Koniki have been transported and stored on board the ANUBIS. They are being held in a secured section of Cargo Bay 3," Jayson informed. The Chief of Operations would have normally inspected the crates in question but since they had been sent over by the NEW ALEXANDRIA's Chief of Base Logistics and Supplies, there were no concerns about their content. "Now if you will follow me, Captain Morningstar and the other members of the senior staff are expecting you."
    
With a smile on her lips, Xana motioned for the man to take the lead, suspecting that the Chief of Security who was now behind her preferred her new role and position.

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Observation Lounge
Stardate: 34001.0907

"Ambassador Bonviva," the Native American said as she stood from his chair following the arrival of his Chief of Operations followed by their guest. "Welcome on board my ship. I am sorry that we were unable to give you proper diplomatic honours, but Admiral Koniki sent time-sensitive information pertaining to our next mission, one that I suspect you are already aware of at least in some level. So, if you would care to sit, we can proceed with the mission briefing."

Xana said nothing and simply took the first available empty seat at the table, quickly meeting the inquisitive gazes of the other officers already present. The ANUBIS was not like other vessels, its mission profile made that very clear, and it was evident that the crew was equally unique.

"We have received Intel that suggests Miss Mordana is currently on KTARIS trying to enlist support for the Lokustaar," Erik announced as a 3D holographic image of the planet in question appeared in the middle of the conference table.

"Are we sure she's there?" Sonja asked. "That woman is more slippery than a slimed Ferengi scum eel. I would hate for us to start yet another diplomatic affair for nothing."

"That is part of the reason why Ambassador Bonviva will be joining us on this mission," Cmdr. Shar'El said as she moved in with the mission briefing. "Political relations between the Ktarian and the Federation have never been overly smooth, and we suspect that this is part of the reason why Mordana decided to stop on KTARIS. it should be easy enough for her to locate people who share her dislike for the Federation, the only problem is that they are not aware that her loathing is not limited to the Federation and its citizens."

"As soon as this meeting is over, the ANUBIS will make its way to KTARIS where upon arrival Ambassador Bonviva will make contact with the local government. The goal is to make those in charge aware of how dangerous she can be and hopefully get them on our side."

"What if they choose to ignore our warnings and block our efforts to find that woman?" Xana inquired.

"Your orders are to establish a diplomatic avenue that will make things easier for us," Erik replied as the holographic representation of the woman's head replaced the image of the planet. "That you are successful or not will not change our orders."

"Locate and apprehend her," Ya'Han said with a smile, the stated goal being something that she had been looking forward to finally doing for quite some time.

"Let me guess," Satella joined in. "Admiral Koniki is going with the idea that it will be easier for us to ask forgiveness than permission."

"Actually," the First Officer continued, "it is hoped that the presence of Ambassador Bonviva on KTARIS will give us more time and maybe even cause Miss Mordana to make a mistake thus providing us with a better opportunity to locate and capture her."

"That is unlikely," Counselor Lopez sighed. "Based on all of our previous dealings with that woman, she is not one to make mistakes. Her plans, at least those that we have managed to uncover, have always been exceptionally well prepared and held several contingencies."

"That would be part of the reason why Ambassador Bonviva is here," Shar'El added. "It will be a variable that Mordana could not have anticipated."

"Please, call me Xana," the Bolian/Terran hybrid politely requested.

"I want Mordana in the brig by the end of this mission, so I need everyone to be ready before we arrive in orbit of KTARIS," the Native American ordered. "Cmdr. Maya, please continue on your work on identifying Shadow ships and technology. lt. Paquette, make sure that all support vessels are ready for field operation. As we have little data to go on as the moment, I would like for us to be ready for any and all situations. Counselor Lopez, we will need an updated psychological profile for Miss Mordana. Any insight into how she thinks could prove crucial to our being able to capture her.  Ensign Jones, get the ANUBIS on her way." Erik paused for a moment as he looked directly at their guest. "Xana, I would like you to report to Sickbay so that Doctor Bruxa can give you a complete medical examination."

The Bolian/Terran hybrid stared back at the Native American. She knew that he knew such a medical examination had been performed when she arrived at NEW ALEXANDRIA, but instead of making that open knowledge, the Ambassador simply nodded her head. Clearly, the Captain wanted to be kept up-to-date as to the progressive, degenerative, genetic disease she had been diagnosed with.

"If there are no questions, you are all dismissed."

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

Commanding Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501

AND

Lt. Commander Elan Fairborn [Access Character BIO for Elan Fairborn]
Robotics Engineering Officer
NEW ALEXANDRIA
M13-P005: USS ANUBIS: Bonviva: 34001.0930 ("It's Personal")
“It’s Personal"
Previous posts (ANUBIS) "New Business" / (BASTET) "To Boldly Go... Home"

=/\=

There’s not a word yet
For old friends who’ve just met

--Gonzo the Great - “I’m Going To Go Back There Someday”

=/\=
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Main Sickbay
Stardate: 34001.0930

Lt. jg Satella Bruxa walked into Sickbay to find the Ambassador already waiting for her, seemingly engrossed in a PADD.  The Mikulak presumed that the Ambassador was reading up on the mission ahead; who could blame her?  As she prepared her own work for the physical exam, the CMO thought about how Mordana had eluded everyone and now by engaging KTARIS it was bringing another level of diplomatic imbroglio--

“May I ask you a question?” the azure woman asked without looking up from her PADD.

The CMO wandered over as she brought over her own materials, “Of course, Ambassador.”

“It’s Xana,” she said absent-mindedly.  Holding up a PADD with a combination of images and words in big white bubbles she asked.  “Can you tell me the appeal of this?”  As Bruxa looked over she explained.  “My son gave me this to read while I was traveling, it’s a comic book about a character called Ashix the Avenger.  But he’s not avenging anything; he just seems to run into walls while yelling.”  

Satella looked at the comic book/PADD then looked at the Ambassador.  “This is factual?”  

“Gods no, 10 year olds don’t read anything factual.  And this is not my first choice for reading,” Xana admitted as tucked aside the PADD.  “But a promise is a promise, I told Ben I’d read it.”  Looking over at the young doctor she asked, “So you’re here to see how close I am to dying.”  

The CMO gave a look at her patient; she wasn’t sure she expected that level of honesty right away.  Then again she appreciated it.  “Everyone gets a medical review upon coming on board.”

“I know,” Xana nodded.  Looking over next to her she pulled out another PADD and handed it over.  “I go for regularly for visits: SF Medical, BOLARUS IX, and VULCAN when I lived there.  It should be updated but the short answers are:  on a good day I take 7 hypos on a good day and upto 12 on a bad day to get me and keep me going.”

“And in a typical week, how many bad days and how many good days?”  Satella asked.  Looking over the PADD she said, “You were born on EARTH, and last living there, so let’s use their 7 days as a measurement.”

This was a typical question.  “The doctors told me I’m supposed to try and stay with with 7 hypos per day for as long as possible.”

CMO looked over her notes as she listened to that evasive answer.  “You mentioned a son.  Is he your only child?”

“No.  That son I mentioned, Ben, is the youngest.  He’s 10,” Xana mentioned.  “I have 4 children ranging in ages 22 to 10.”

“All living at home with you?” Satella asked. 

“No, the eldest two are on their own but the youngest two I share custody with my ex-husband,” Xana explained, tilting her head.  Even for a woman who was nimble with conversation, this confused her.  “No one else gave me comic books, they give me other headaches, but none I’ll bother you with.”  

Satella smiled at that.  “It sounds like you still are close with your children, regardless of where they live.”  The CMO swung her head around as she reached for something on the monitor around Xana’s head, making her silver hair dance.  “And the Ktarians, that sounds like a lively conversation.”

“That is one way of putting it,” Xana mused.  Looking over she asked the CMO who was hovering over her she asked, “Do you need me to move?”

“No,” Satella said softly.  “Because I know that right now you couldn’t; at least not easily.”   Leaning back from the readings she had been adjusting at the monitors above Xana’s head she said, “Your K3 indicator readings are high.  So if a conversation causes stress let me ask again...how often do you actually take more than 7 hypos a day?”

“Most days.”  With a smile playing on her lips she asked, “How did you know to press for the personal?”

Satella gave a small shrug.  “I have to; with medicine it starts with the personal.”

“Same with politics, we just like to pretend the policy is neutral but it’s not,” Xana nodded.  Her violet eyes lit up, “If you ever want a change in careers let me know.”

“I have no training in diplomacy or politics,” the CMO pointed out.

The Bolian/Human winked at the Mikulak.  “Neither did I and now people think...well they tolerate me at best but they think I do an okay job of politicking and negotiating,” she grinned.  

=/\=
Sarah Albertini-Bond

USS ANUBIS NCC 18501
M13-P006: USS ANUBIS: Lopez: 34001.0945 ("Psychological Profile")
-=-=-
"Psychological Profile"
[Previous post: (ANU) "It's Personal" & (BAS) "To Boldly Go... Home"]
-=-=-

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Counselor's Office
Stardate: 34001.0945

The holographic image of the Shadow agent hung in the hair, rotating ever so slowly as Adriana studied every single detail. There was something mesmerizing about the woman, an aura of mystery that demanded closer scrutiny at one's own expense. One did not need to read the list of crimes accredited to her to understand that she was evil, just looking into her eyes was enough for that. As far as their research had uncovered, the woman had been responsible for nearly 50,000 deaths spread over three dozen worlds, and those were of the victims they knew. How many more had she been responsible for through her influence and manipulation of others?

Adriana felt a chill crawl up her spine as she gazed into the woman's dark eyes. This was nothing more than a holographic recreation and yet the cold aura of death that surrounded her was present. How would any of them react should they actually come face-to-face with this monster?

"Torturing yourself again?" An all too familiar voice said.

"At least it's not you this time," the sister said to her twin, ignoring the hallucination that had appeared on the couch.

"I think I should be jealous," Amanda giggled. "You have traded the unreal image of one person for that of another so that you could torment your waking hours. At least with me, you have the advantage of being able to have a conversation, with her, all you can do is look into those dark gloomy eyes. Although I will admit that there is an odd charm about her. I can see why people are willing to kill or even die for her."

"There is something unnatural about her," Adriana said as she tilted her head ever so slightly while looking into the hologram's eyes.  "I just need to figure out what it is."

"Death," the twin bluntly offered. "As a Ship's Counselor, you of all people should know how powerful death can be. Not as a force of its own, but as a lure to draw others closer. Some will run away only to stop halfway to where they wanted to go in order to turn around and look back. Others will just stand there, frozen by a fear that they do not truly wish to escape from, and then you have the rest who will be attracted to it. Being so close to death can be quite an exhilarating sensation."

"Being attracted to death is a psychological anomaly," the twin sister argued. "Most people will put as much distance between themselves and what it is they fear, and death is one of the universal fears."

"Maybe so," the hallucination of Adriana's sisters continued. "Think of it as a kind of natural selection. That woman uses fear to weed out those she considers worthy, or at least those she knows she can use with greater ease. If they run away, then become a victim is all they deserve, but if they are drawn by it, attracted by her own dark charms, they become worthy of being an instrument in spreading that same death. That they will share in the fate of the others doesn't matter as long as they are made to feel they are part of something greater as it happens."

"She's a pure psychopath without any links to this dimension, that is why she is able to do what she does without any remorse or hesitation," Adriana said aloud as if presenting the woman's profile to someone else. "To her, the people of this dimension are nothing but pawns to be used and sacrificed in order to reach her master's goal, to see the shadow of death and chaos spread to each and every planet and outposts in this galaxy and beyond. As important as it is for us to stop her, we have to keep in mind that she is only one agent in a war that threatens us all."

Having made and accepted this dark realization, Adriana left her office in search for someone who would help her better understand what it is she had come to see while at the same time making her feel a little less alone.

-=-=-
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Sickbay
Stardate: 34001.0955

"Satella, I need to..." Adriana's voice trailed into silence as the CNS noticed that the woman she had come to see had not been alone. "Ambassador Bonviva, I am sorry, it was not my intention to interrupt your medical exam."

"I believe the good Doctor was just about to tell me that the exam is over and that I will live, at least for a few more hours," Xana said in a lighthearted manner. There was no need to make her situation worse by casting a dark shadow over herself and everyone around her.  "What brings you here in such a hurry?"

"I just wanted to share some ideas about Miss Mordana."

Speaking of dark shadows, Xana knew that the woman in question had her beat in that regards, and maybe it was for the best. "I may not know a great deal about the woman, other than what I saw and heard in the mission briefing, but she does come across as someone who would not be on my 'want to know better' list."

"We do not have a complete account of what she has been responsible for, but according to the data we have thus far been able to collect, Miss Mordana was responsible for the Shadow Virus outbreak on GALEMAE; the destruction of the Andorian embassy and death of everyone inside creating an uproar in the Lurian government; as well as the renewed hostilities between inhabitant of the ALPHA and BETA moons of PELIAR ZEL," Satella detailed, the tone of her voice leaving no doubts in anyone's mind that she held no admiration for the elusive and deadly Shadow agent.

"Mordana seems able to spread fear and chaos on a world even before setting foot on it," Adriana added. "That is why she must be stopped, a goal that we would be best to accomplish while on KTARIS.

"I will do my best to help," Xana said, happy to focus on something other than her own medical problems.

-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor
USS ANUBIS
M13-P007: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: 34001.1015 ("Defence Mechanism")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Defence Mechanism"
[previous post were (ANU) "Psychological Profile" / (BAS) "To Boldly Go... Home"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 34001.1015

An alarm sounded at the tactical station which caused the Sec/Tac to quickly jump and fix the reason for it.

"Are you alright?" Jayson asked from the Operation's station.

"I'm fine," Ya'Han sternly dismissed, scanning her console to make sure that nothing bad had happened. It appeared that the warning alarm combined with her reflexes had been sufficient to avoid a major catastrophe.

"You may be fine," the man said knowing better then to argue with the woman, especially when her hair was as red as it currently was, "but you do seem somewhat distracted though. Are you sure you are alright?"

"I said I was fine," the Sec/Tac reiterated with force, the brightness of her red hair warning everyone on the command deck that the 'Red Dragon' was not in a good mood.

Jayson debated what to do next. It had taken them some time to return to where they had been as a couple. Her reaction to his gift the time before last they had been in NEW ALEXANDRIA had caused a rift between them that he feared would never be fixed. After a great deal of work, patience, and help from Counselor Lopez, Stark and Ya'Han had become a couple again. This left the Chief of Operations with a single although very important question; was figuring out what was going on worth risking their relationship?  "Ensign Jones, would you mind holding down the bridge for a few minutes?"

Tanith glanced back at the Chief of Operations and quickly figured out what was happening. With a reluctant nod of her head, the FCO accepted. With that said and done, Jayson approached the Tactical station and placed a gentle hand on the shoulder of the Sec/Tac. Nothing was said but Ya'Han understood that he wanted to talk.

"You are not going to let this go are you?" The Sec/Tac asked through narrowed eyes.

"We almost had a volley of photon torpedoes fired into open space for no reason," Jayson said. "I think it might be best if you and I talk now instead of you having to come up with some sort of explanation to Commander Shar'El or Captain Morningstar."

"You are getting better at using blackmail to win," the Sec/Tac said, a faint grin playing on the edge of her lips.

"Would be hard for me not to pick up a few tricks while on board the ANUBIS," he jokingly added.

"Alright, five minutes," Ya'Han agreed before making her way to the Observation Lounge closely followed by Jayson.

"It's just you and me and since we only have five minutes, I need you to tell me what's on your mind," he asked as soon as the doors hissed behind them. "You have not been yourself since that Bolian/Terran Ambassador came on board. Do you know her from somewhere else? Did she do something to you?"

"No!" Ya'Han quickly countered. "It's not her that's the problem, it's her title," the Nylaan explained, her hair gradually shifting from the bright red it had been to the purple of her royal lineage. "From the very first day I can remember, Ambassadors were people who came to the palace for business with my father. My sisters and I were under strict orders to be respected and even fear them, just to make sure we didn't get underfoot. When I was old enough, those same Ambassadors became individuals whom, as the daughter of the High Sovereign, I was expected to serve and entertain." The purple-haired woman paused and gathered her thoughts, forcing her hair back to the normal black and red mix that had become the norm for her. "While on board the ANUBIS, we have not had to deal with a great deal of Ambassadors, so this was never an issue, but Xana coming on board just brought back a lot of memories that I would have rather remained buried. I am sure that Shar'El picked up on a few of those memories but she has been kind enough not to confront me with them."

"Maybe you talking with her would help," Jayson suggested.

"Shar'El has better things to do than to deal with the issues of my childhood. I ran away so that i would not have to deal with all of those issues, so why would I want to make this one more than it is?" Ya'Han argued back.

"First, the fact that your hair turned purple is enough for me to know that this is bothering you more than you are willing to admit," Jayson pointed out. "Second, I did not mean to suggest for you to speak with Commander Shar'El, I meant that it might be helpful if you spoke to Ambassador Bonviva. The ability of you being able to see her as a person instead of her title could help you look at her without having flashbacks from your childhood."

"When did you become a Ship's Counselor?" Ya'Han asked rolling her eyes.

"You know my history," he replied crossing his arms over his chest. "I have logged more hours with counseling staff than anyone else on board this ship. Again, it would be difficult for me not to learn something through it all. There is no way I could ever claim to be qualified, plus I suspect that Lopez would toss me out the nearest airlock if I tried, but in your case, i think I have come to know you well enough to be able to offer a tiny bit of help."

"Alright, you win," Ya'Han said before giving the man a quick kiss on the lips. "I will find a reason to speak to her on a personal level. Maybe I could ask for Sonja's help. She tends to be good at getting people together and to open up."

"Great," Jayson sighed already half way to the doors. "That's just what we need, another one of her wine parties. Guess I'd better start allocating more energy to her replicator. Every time she has one of those get together there is a power drop somewhere on the ship."

"What can I say," Ya'Han shrugged. "The woman knows how to throw a girls-only party."

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

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M13-P008: USS ANUBIS: Bruxa: 34001.1100 ("Medical Collaboration")
=-=
"Medical Collaboration"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Defence Mechanism" / (BAS) "To Boldly Go... Home"]
=-=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, CMO's Office
Stardate: 34001.1100

Satella was alone in her office. Yet the shadow of her newest patient lingered, haunting her every thought. Everywhere she looked; there was something there to remind her of Bonviva. Every monitor in the Doctor's office displayed some aspect of the disease the Ambassador was afflicted with. Although it resembled Spinocerebellar Ataxia, what Xana had was worse, much worse. There was only positive thing Doctor Bruxa had found in all of her research. The degenerative illness appeared to only be affecting half of the hybrid's genetic makeup. As great as that distinction might seem to be, it was far from enough. Unable to live with only half her genetic material the woman had to face the only possible fate this terminal disease would lead to.

Wanting to do something about this was also not enough. The simple desire to find a cure was unfortunately just the start of the process. In this particular case, the options had been dreadfully limited and getting smaller with each passing moment. The initial diagnosis gave Xana 10 years, a respectable timeline for anyone to come to terms with their situation. According to the latest scan though, the initial timeline had been cut by a factor of 5. Since the prognosis had been given over 2 years ago, this meant that the Ambassador had little time left. Satella had to consider informing that Captain that their guest might not make it to the end of their mission.

The number of injections Xana was taking stood as proof of just how bad things were. Yet, the woman pressed on fighting through the exhaustion, weakness, tremors. Many would have given up long ago faced with such obstacles. Unlike them, the half Bolian, half Human woman faced each day with unparalleled courage. The Doctor had no choice but to admire the woman's strength. Xana did her best to keep a positive air about her despite knowing all too well how bad things were.

The woman who was in her Sickbay not that long ago did not seem to match the files Doctor Bruxa had read over and over again. Based on the medical data, the Ambassador should have been a weak woman barely able to move. Adriana might theorize that Xana was in the throes of a complete psychological refusal of her situation. That could explain the hybrid's sometimes odd sense of humor. Whatever the reason for the woman's current mental state, Satella knew that she needed to focus on the physical.  Surely there was something somewhere that could help stop or maybe even reverse this progressive genetic disease. All that was required was to find it before it was too late. This meant that the CMO would be working against the clock in a big way.

"Computer, open a communication channel to the BASTET, to the attention of Doctor Sofia Andersson."

=/\= Channel opened. =/\=

[/\] What can I do for you Satella? [/\]

"I need your help," Bruxa said, not trying to hide her disheartenment.

[/\] What is it about? The ANUBIS could not have already reached KTARIS, so what happened? [/\]

"It is not a *what* but a *who*. Xana Bonviva, the Ambassador and our guest."

[/\] I remember her, she is suffering from a progressive, degenerative, genetic disease as I recall. She likely has another 6 to 8 years if memory serves me right. [/\]

"Yes and no," Satella said. "The timeline of the disease has been greatly decreased. In fact, so much so that I am honestly concerned that she may not make it to the end of this mission."

[/\] Whoa. [/\] Sofia was stunned and could do nothing but blink several times. It took a few moments for the news to be fully processed. [/\] Does she know? [/\]

"She knows that she is sick. She knows the disease is terminal. She knows that the number of injections she is taking is far higher than they should be."

[/\] She's doing everything she can to distance herself from the inevitable. That means she will not fight you as you try to help her, but she won't be knocking at your door either. [/\]

"My problem is that I do not know what I can do to help. This genetic disease has been progressing increasingly faster despite all efforts. I am not sure if there is something that I can do beyond what has already been done. That is why I am calling you now. I need a fresh perspective. I need a set of eyes that can see beyond the normal limits of our medical science."

[/\] I completely understand what you are saying and I might have a couple of options for you. [/\] Sofia said attracting Satella's complete attention instantly. [/\] Do you think your Chief Engineer could recreate, on a smaller scale, of course, the BASTET's temporal drive? [/\]

"I have no doubt that Sonja could build anything she sets her mind to. How would recreating the Temporal Drive help though?"

[/\] It would not be a cure, but it could serve to slow down the progression of the illness. That would give us more time to come up with a possible cure. Based on what you have just told me, time is against us, so we need to change that. In the end, it might not make any difference. At least we will have tried everything we could. [/\]

"I will speak with Sonja."

[/\] Good, in the meantime, I will start looking into possible ways to treat this genetic disease. We might have to go deeper to figure out what it is we are dealing with. [/\]

"Deeper?" Satella repeated, her thoughts already forming on something new. "We need to go beyond the genetic, maybe all the way to the atomic. This would be just like what we did with the Shadow Virus."

[/\] I read your report on that nasty bit of work from the Lokustaar. You did well on GALEMAE. Wonder if they will name a hospital after you. [/\]

"Sofia, thank you for your help. I will get Sonja to work on a smaller scale Temporal Drive or at least something like it. In the meantime, I need to reread my notes on the Shadow Virus. There might be something in there that could help Xana. I just hope I can figure it out in time."

[/\] Let me know if there is anything else I can do. Good luck. Andersson out. [/\]

For the first time since the Ambassador had left Sickbay, Satella was smiling. There was a lot of work that needed to be done. Even if everything was completed in time, there were still no guarantees that any of this would work. Still, she needed to try.  "Computer, locate Lt. Paquette."

=/\= Lt. Paquette is on Deck 29 in the specialized craft storage area. =/\=

Before the computer had finished answering the Doctor's query, Satella had already exited her office. The CMO would do everything in her power to save another life. How ironic would it be if the Lokustaar's Shadow Virus proved to be the answer to this quest?

=-=
Rachel Jackie Johnson

Lieutenant JG Satella Bruxa [Access Character BIO for Satella Bruxa]
Chief Medical Officer
USS ANUBIS

[Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. - Mark Twain]
M13-P009: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: 34001.1200 ("An Eye On Everyone")
=-=
"An Eye On Everyone"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Medical Collaboration" by Rachel / (BAS) "Hunting Shadows" by Jessica]
=-=

Setting:  USS ANUBIS, IGC
Stardate: 34001.1200

As the ANUBIS' ExO / ILO, Shar'El had a long list of duties and responsibilities that occupied her time. As the First Officer, her attention needed to be directed inwardly onto the ship and its crew while as an Intel Liaison Officer that same attention needed to be outwardly cast. This would have been impossible to accomplish for a single person but thanks to the skilled and dedicated staff of the IGC, the raven-haired woman could do both with remarkable ease and efficiency.

Although the ship was still more than a day away from its destination, the IGC technicians were hard at work in gathering and filtering through all available information originating from KTARIS in order to help locate the target of their mission. Miss Mordana had already been identified as a dangerous Shadow agent, a woman who did not hesitate to kill anyone who got in her way, be them friend or foe. Shar'El had found herself admiring the woman on more than a few occasions as she read reports of her activities. The agent was calculating and ruthless, which made it that much more important for her to be captured or even simply taken out as she had done so many others working on her behalf.

With her team working on finding the woman, the ExO / ILO decided to turn her attention back on the ship and its crew. Making sure that everyone was working at their best fell under her jurisdiction, that the officers targeted by her attention liked it or not.  The first two people to fall under the Ullian's prying eyes were the Chief Engineer and Chief Medical Officer whose at times heated conversation could be listened in on.  Following the talk between the CMO of the USS BASTET and their own Doctor, it had made perfect sense for Satella to visit Sonja and explain her plan to the engineer. Likewise, it had been understood that the redhead had been less than thrilled by the scope of the task suggested by the silver-haired medical officer.

With that discussion on track to last quite a bit longer, Shar'El shifted her scrutiny to another member of the senior staff, a woman who was easily found in one of the many science labs on the ANUBIS. As expected, Maya had been hard at work on the task given to her by Captain Morningstar, the Chief Science Officer diving completely into her work as she always did. It would not come as a surprise to the ExO / ILO if the Shillian would be found in the exact same lab upon their arrival to KTARIS, the woman not having exited the room or even slept during their journey.  **Good luck, Maya,** the raven-haired Commander thought, hoping that some good news would come from the scientist's work.

Next on the Intel Operative's list was Counselor Lopez who had selected to remain in her office to work through the data concerning Miss Mordana. In some ways the ExO / ILO felt sorry for the woman as more information was channeled her way by the IGC technicians. Every piece of information on the psychopath had been requested by the CNS and Shar'El had seen no reason to not comply with the request. Maybe had Adriana realized the volume of the data she would be dealing with, she would have formulated her demand with more restrictive parameters.

Miss Mordana could be considered an expert in evading capture, going as far as to suggest that she possessed some sort of magical abilities, but that did not mean she was an expert at hiding her trails. As a primary Shadow Agent, the death and chaos she would normally leave behind would have been sufficient to erase any traces of her passing through, but thanks to the ANUBIS having followed her on and off three dozen planets and outposts, the IGC as a team had quickly learned what they needed to be looking for. Unfortunately, this still meant that they were several steps behind the woman, a failure that the ExO / ILO hoped would be fixed with the Counselor's assistance and ability to create a more specific psychological profile.

Next on her checklist were those officers currently on the command deck of the ANUBIS. Ensign Jones expertly manned the flight control station, the woman keeping her thoughts to herself as she usually did. Although Tanith could not be counted upon to liven-up a room, her skills as an FCO could not be challenged. Maybe that explained why she seemed to delight in being at her station more than most.

With a grin dancing on her lips, Shar'El turned her attention onto their Captain, Erik Morningstar. The man was as good a Commanding Officer as anyone could hope for, possessing patience, wisdom and a will to do what needs to be done in order to complete a mission as long as it did not jeopardize the safety of his crew. More than once the two of them had chatted about their own future, and Erik had always inquired as to why Shar'El did not want to claim a central chair as her own.  The question always remained unanswered triggering her to ask why he had never mentioned a desire to further climb the chain of command. Even without looking into his memories, the Ullian could see that he was happy where he was, just as much as she was in the position where she currently had.

Moving further towards the back of the bridge, Shar'El's attention fell onto the couple with a troubled past, both as individuals and as an item. Following their little chat in the Observation Lounge which the IGC took notice of, the Chief of Security and Chief of Operations had returned to their respective stations, a plan for the evening having been formulated.

With that in mind, the ExO / ILO shifted her inspection onto their guest, Ambassador Xana Bonviva.  Shar'El was very aware of Satella's findings and wondered how the Bolian / Terran hybrid would react upon learning the news of her imminent death. All that could be done was to hope that what the CMO had in mind would be able to slow or even stop the genetic disease from reaching its fatal conclusion.

Fearing that things might not happen as quickly or simply as they needed to, the ExO / ILO decided to join in on the action, without of course revealing the extent of her knowledge on the situation. "I'm heading down to Deck 29 to the specialized craft storage area. Let me know if anything major is discovered as to Mordana's whereabouts."

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M13-P010: USS ANUBIS: Paquette: 34001.1215 ("Not Enough Time")
"Not Enough Time"
previous posts were (ANU) "An Eye On Everyone" / (BAS) "Hunting Shadows"

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 29, Specialized Craft Storage Area. 
Stardate: 34001.1215

"Please Sonja," Satella begged once more. "I need your help. Xana needs your help. There is no way for me to build this thing without your assistance. I don't have the expertise to even start putting that contraption together and link it to our power grid."

"Well, aren't you in a fine pickle situation," the Chief Engineer said from beneath an open panel of the Underwater / Stealth Mobile Command Unit called BARRACUDA. "The Captain told me," Sonja continued, this time in a heavy Scottish accent, "nay, ordered me to make sure that all of the support crafts were ready for field operations. I simply dinna have the time to build whatever it is you are asking me to and I do not wish to piss him off since he was in such a mood."

"We are just over 24 hours away from KTARIS," the CMO argued, the debate had been going on for quite some time now. "Surely you have time to finish everything down here after you get this small-scale Temporal Drive built. You would be saving a life by doing so."

"Listen," the redhead huffed as she pushed herself from under the BARRACUDA. "I may have already checked all of the LOCUS but I still need to clean and test the air filters on this baby before I start working on the SPHINX which needs a complete system's check that will include the testing of the caterpillar tracks and their emergency replacement system. After that, I have to head up to the Array Section and give the VIPERs a full maintenance check. I will be lucky if I finish all before we reach the orbit of KTARIS."

"I am asking you to do something that might save a woman's life, doesn't that count for anything?" Doctor Bruxa pleaded almost in tears.

"What happens if the filters on the BARRACUDA crash while we are underwater? Those who are inside will die. What happens if the caterpillar tracks on the SPHINX break while we are climbing a steep hill? Those inside end up as scrambled eggs as the craft goes tumbling down. What happens to those inside a VIPER is the engines stall or one of the panels comes loose exposing the inner system? Those who are inside will die, well maybe not right away as the ANUBIS would be able to lock in on them and beam them back, but that's beside the point. If any of these support craft should fail while we are on a mission, more than one member of this crew could die."

"Those are all potential things that could happen," Doctor Bruxa continued, trying her best to keep her mounting rage in check. "There is 100 percent chance that Xana will die if we do not build this machine."

"I'm sorry but I have my orders," Sonja said, her voice as cold as ice and her facial expression as unemotional as a Vulcan Grand Master.

Furious and disappointed beyond words Satella stormed out of the room nearly knocking Commander Shar'El as she came in.  "Should I ask what that was all about?"

"Come on Spy Girl," the engineer grinned as she returned to her work beneath the BARRACUDA. "We both know that you already know what this was about. There is nothing on this ship that happens without you knowing about it."

"All right," the First Officer nodded in agreement. "So I am guessing that you flat out refused to build that Temporal Drive she asked for."

"I have my orders straight from the Captain. He wants..."

"I know what he wants," Shar'El interrupted. "I also know who I am speaking to. Where is ANI?"

"I am right here Commander," the Avatar replied as she stepped out of the SPHINX. "How may I be of assistance?"

"I only need you to answer a few questions for me," the First Officer explained prompting the Chief Engineer to quickly push herself out from under the BARRACUDA once again.

"ANI, you are not to answer her questions," Sonja ordered.

"You of all people know that I am bound by the same security and operational protocols as the ship's computer. Therefore, I am unable to refuse a query from Commander Shar'El even if you order me not to do so."

"Thank you ANI," Shar'El grinned. "What is there left to do on the maintenance of all of the support crafts currently on board the ANUBIS?"

"The diagnostic on the SPHINX is nearly completed. All of the LOCUS the VIPERs have been checked and are ready for field operations. The only craft still requiring major work is the BARRACUDA which I could do in less than two hours."

"Traitor," the Chief Engineer mumbled as she glared in the direction of the ship's Avatar. "I was going to build that contraption. I just didn't want Satella to believe that it was that easy. How am I supposed to keep my reputation as a miracle worker if I do everything everyone asks for right away?"

"You didn't have to upset her the way you did," Shar'El pointed out.

"You are right," Sonja reluctantly agreed. "Would not have been as much fun though. One gets their entertainment where they can when wine is not allowed." That last statement drew a narrowed-eye glare from the First Officer. "All right, I'm sorry. I'll get started on the small scale Temporal Drive right away. I will even use personal Holodeck 3 so that the Ambassador is close to Sickbay allowing for Doctor Bruxa to keep a close eye on her. Will that be satisfactory?"

"Yes, although it would have been nicer had you simply told her that in the first place," the First Officer pointed out while shaking her head in dismay.

"I'm an Engineer, not a clown meant for the amusement of others. That's Jayson's job, speaking of which I am going to need to transfer a large amount of power to Holodeck 3 in order to maintain the simulation as the equipment that will be in it are beasts. If I use actual building materials, it will take several days to get that thing built, and we both know that our grand and mighty Ambassador doesn't have that time."

"Just get it done as quickly as possible," Shar'El said. "I will let Satella know that there was a small misunderstanding."

"A small misunderstanding?" Sonja sighed. "Well, there goes my reputation, both as a miracle worker and a cold hearted bitch that cares for no one but herself." The CEO paused then sighed before continuing. "Built this Cinderella, fix that Cinderella, think of others Cinderella."

Shar'El rolled her eyes. "If it makes you feel better, I will make sure that both of those are permanently added to your personnel file. I'll even send a copy of it to your mother who I am sure will want to speak to you in order to discuss your new status and why they were added to your file."

"You are mean," the redhead said holding her chest as if mortally shot. "That's why I like you."

"Good, you can prove it by having a small get together for the ladies after everyone's shift is over. Make sure to invite our guest, that will be the perfect opportunity for you to apologize to Satella and give Xana a quick explanation as to how the machine you will have built works."

With that said Shar'El just walked away not giving Sonja a chance to say anything. Just before the First Officer stepped out of the room, the redhead CEO called up a specific memory which she forced to the forefront making it impossible for the Ullian to ignore.

"Don't even go there!" The Commander warned without even looking back.

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 6, Personal Holodeck 3 
Stardate: 34001.1245

"ANI, let's get this thing built," Sonja said to the artificial woman who walked in with her into the bare holodeck. "First, we need a class 4 single occupant chamber, let's make sure that the mattress and pillow are as comfortable as possible. Don't want Shar'El to have something to tell my mother. We will need the chamber to be at least 50 centimeters from the deck in order for the temporal field to encase the entire structure without affecting the holodeck's emitters. Next, using the schematics based on the Temporal Drive found on the BASTET, create a temporal generator that will engulf the chamber. We will need a power converter as well as a secondary power generator in the far corner so as to not put too much strain on the holodeck's own system. It might be safer if we took holodeck 4 off-line for the duration of this little exercise."

"According to the data available, this will not cure Ambassador Bonviva of her genetic illness," the Avatar stated.

"I know," the Chief Engineer nodded. "The goal is to at worst slow down the degradation of the genetic material giving her enough time to complete the mission. At best, this little time machine will reverse the genetic damage giving her a few extra days, weeks and who knows maybe even months. That reminds me; let's make sure that we have a complete medical array installed into the chamber. I am sure that Doctor Bruxa is going to want to keep a very close watch on what this is going to be doing to her patient. Now, let's get moving on the temporal emitters and field stabilizers."

=====
Lorraine Paquette

Chief Engineering Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501
M13-P011: USS ANUBIS: Bonviva: 34001.1330
("There's A Sunny Side To Every Situation")
"There’s A Sunny Side To Every Situation"
previous posts were (ANUBIS) "Not Enough Time" / (BASTET) "Hunting Shadows"

=/\=

Fear is going to be a player in your life but you get to decide how much.
-Jim Carrey

=/\=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 6, Personal Holodeck 3 
Stardate: 34001.1330

Xana had been reading up on the latest Ktarian government, none of which made her feel better.  There was a real concern about the stability of the leadership making the upcoming trip to KTARIS all the more precarious.  On one hand it made a macabre sort of sense; if true an unstable government would be ripe for dangerous, lethal operatives.  If it wasn’t true, then why were the Ktarians in the middle of this mess?

The azure woman was about to do some outreach to known contacts when Satella interrupted her, explaining her thoughts on the reconfiguring a drive and a bed.  That was as much as the Bolian/Human got out of the conversation.  Honestly, most of it went over Xana’s head.  Still it was very touching. 

Walking over to Personal Holodeck 3, Xana walked into the stark Holodeck with a basket in hand, in the middle of which was a red-headed Engineer cursing as she was sorting out various tools while talking with an impressive AI.  “There are still variances in the avidyne memory log,” ANI stated.

“Tell me something I don’t know,” Paquette said.  “Crystal articulation with photonic conduits will fix that.”  The CEO, hearing footsteps looked over briefly at the white haired woman who had come in and said in no uncertain terms, “It’s not ready for it’s unveiling.  If it was I woulda told you.”

“Greetings and Salutations.  It’s lovely to meet you too,” Xana stated warmly as she walked in.  Placing the basket on the floor she said, “Here’s some food for you.”  

Sonja looked up, something between apprehension and disbelief emitting from her emerald eyes.  “I’m building a marvel of engineering and you think I can’t replicate a sandwich?”

Xana raised an eyebrow at that.  “You think *real* food can be replicated?  That’s just quarks in a Halloween costume.  I don’t care how smart you are, that’s not *real* food.”  Easing herself down she opened up the basket and said, “I didn’t con Charles out of food and drink so it could go to waste.”  

The Engineer sniffed.  It smelled good; but she was not going to be swayed; especially if it came from the Admiral.  Still… “You’re on a first name with the Admiral?  No one is.”

“He’s got a first name,” Xana shrugged as she went rummaging through the basket.  Finding a container full of pasta, she then got a fork as well.  Popping open the container she blissfully began to eat.  After several bites she finally said, “We all get up in the morning, get dressed, and all that.  We can all count pips, it’s not like anyone has gone soft in the head.”  

Sonja narrowed her eyes at that before taking a roast beef sandwich.  It was just good preservation to see if the Ambassador didn’t fall over and croak from food poisoning; since she didn’t it seemed safe to take some food.  “Soft in the head,” she scoffed as she unwrapped the sandwich while fiddling with the tetryon clamps.  “You should talk about that.”

Xana paused before poking at the food again.  “Ahhh...okay,” she nodded.  “Anything in particular I should know about?”  Placing down the pasta and looking for something to drink she asked, “Or is this about my general eccentricities?”

“Eccentricities?  That’s a good one,” Sonja snorted as she put down the sandwich.  “Is that what it’s called when you don’t know you’re dying?”

There was a heavy moment then when the Engineer wasn’t sure what was going to happen then; that sometimes happened both in engineering and in life.  Sometimes circuits bypassed the expected path or ionizers collapsed.  In life, people could shut down or emotions could bubble up to the surface.  

Then again...the woman across from her could tilt her head back and begin to laugh.  A real and true belly laugh until it seemingly bounced off the walls of the holodeck.

“Mi scuzi,” the Italian born azure woman said, wiping the tears from her violet eyes, “but you -- and others think -- that *I* don’t know that I’m dying?  And soon?”  Snorting and laughing she said, “Oh gods, that was good.”

“That!  You make no sense!” Sonja yelled.  Climbing back under the console she muttered, “Feel free to leave when you’re done.”

“I would but my legs aren’t cooperating,” Xana sighed. Looking up at the holodeck she sighed.  “There are worse things than dying.  There was an old Earth philosopher heard to say “There’s a sunny side to every situation”.”

“Not listening.  Some of us have work to do,” Sonja pointed out.  

Xana looked over.  “I know.  And you have to wonder how bad it is that they sent me.”

Sonja paused for a moment under the console.  She was *not* going to fall for this.  The Ambassador was maddening, exhausting, and...now Sonja wanted to know more.  “Excuse me?”

“When the Ambassadorial Corp reactivated me,” the azure woman said conversationally, “they knew I was dying.  *I* told them I was dying, I told them how bad it was, and they said they knew all that.  I warned them but they said it was dire. How bad is it that you need a dying woman?”  Sighing she said, “Still, I won’t die at home...that was my fear.  That one morning, my kids, who’ve had to hand over my medicines every day and watch me write out my will and euthanasia plans, would come into my room and find me dead.  This way now they’ll be with their father.”  Smiling wanly she said, “So think I’m crazy, it’s ok.  These are nicer quarters than I usually get on other ships, I serve the Federation once more, and I don’t haunt my children by dying out here.”  Even though the red-headed Engineer was under the console suddenly the Ambassador’s violet eyes were far away and glistening as her voice was soft.  “There are far worse things than dying, trust me.”  Clearing her throat several times she finally said, “So thank you, Lt. Paquette.”

=/\=
Sarah Albertini-Bond

USS ANUBIS NCC 18501
M13-P012: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: 34001.2100 ("Scars From The Past")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Scars From The Past"
[previous post were (ANU) "There's A Sunny Side To Everything" / (BAS) "Hunting Shadows"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Gymnasium
Stardate: 34001.2100

Her shift was over and the invitation to join the others in Sonja's quarters had been received, but instead of being there the bright red-haired Nylaan had come here to train.

Even on the best of times those present in the gym at the same time left the Sec/Tac alone for fear that she might injure them. The intensity of her training had been well documented and even experienced by some, namely Lt. Stark who kept returning for more. Today though, people had actually decided to leave the Gymnasium and not risk getting caught in the Nylaan's rage which had already claimed one punching bag.

"Ya'Han!" Adriana cautiously called out making sure that she remained well out of reach of the training Sec/Tac. "Is everything alright?"

"Of course," the fiery redhead replied, quickly calming her breathing. As intense as the physical display had been, it was but a fraction of what the Sec/Tac was capable of unleashing should the situation call for it. "Why do you ask?"

The Counselor glanced at the destroyed punching bag before meeting Sec/Tac's eyes and smiling. "I had a few people contact me with, shall we say, personal and professional concerns."

"Concerns?" Ya'Han chuckled, easily understanding where those sentiments could have come from. "Were they worried that I would injure them or damage the ship?" The Sec/Tac asked with a hint of amusement in her voice.

"Would you believe both?" Adriana answered; glad to see Ya'Han in good humor. "Want to talk?"

"Do I have a choice?"

The Counselor leaned back against one of the mirrors, still making sure to remain out of immediate reach of the Sec/Tac, just in case. "You know that I cannot force anyone to speak to me. Only Captain Morningstar or Commander Shar'El can order a member of the crew to have sessions with me. Since you have not received such orders; yes you do have a choice. I just thought that I would offer my skills as a listener to you as a friend. All I know is that something changed when Ambassador Bonviva came aboard."

"Was one of those *concerned* Jayson?" The red-haired Nylaan demanded, the color of her hair growing brighter as she made the inquiry.

"We did speak, but to answer your question no he was not one of the crew members who contacted me because of the intensity of your training. Jayson came to see me earlier to talk about his own affairs. You two are close enough that I am sure you are aware of his troubled past and need to speak about it on a regular basis. His being back in a serious and committed relationship is not something easy for him," Adriana explained.

Shame flashed on Ya'Han's face before her head dropped. "I know that I am not making it easy for me. We both have a lot of baggage we carry with us from our past."

"That is part of the reason why I am here, to offer you someone to talk to and maybe help," the CNS said before taking a few careful steps to bridge the distance between them. "I read all of the files Counselor Dima left behind as well as your own records of what happened following your escape from your home and Ferengi controlled space. I also know that everything I read is only the tip of the stories that have led you to be here with different hair color. My professional guess is that there is something about Xana being an Ambassador that triggered all of this."

"I can see why you are the Ship's Counselor," Ya'Han chuckled. "You are quite correct, I have nothing against the woman, and in fact, I admire her on a professional level for all that she has accomplished. My issue is personal and pertains to nothing else than her title."

The Counselor nodded with understanding. "It is a learned response like so many others. Some people have uncontrollable, even violent, reactions when they see or smell something specific because it brings back very traumatic memories. What I can tell you is this, with time and proper support, those reactions can be made to go away. It will not happen overnight, but if you are willing, I would be happy to help you confront those memories and find a way for you to not be powerless as they flood back into your mind."

The Sec/Tac hesitated, closing her eyes to face some of those memories the CNS had just mentioned. The Ambassadors who came to visit NYLA IV and her father the High Sovereign did so to hopefully establish diplomatic and financial links with her people. In many instances, those agreements were sealed and celebrated with grand banquets.

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

Setting: NYLA IV, Banquet Hall
Stardate: 14074.2200 (Ya'Han is 7 years old)

This was not the first time the youngest daughter of the High Sovereign had snuck out of her room, but it would be the first time she would see one of her father's grand receptions. She had never before seen a Markalian and the knowledge that the Ambassador from their world had been here proved too much for Ya'Han to ignore. She needed to see what he looked like and to experience the glamor of these grand banquets that her older sisters had so often spoken about.

Hiding behind one of the support pillars on the second-floor balcony, Ya'Han could see all of the delegates, the servants as well as the green-haired entertainers. The sight was beyond mesmerizing and after a short while, the youngest sister even managed to pinpoint her oldest brother and sister in the crowd below. As the heir to the throne of NYLA IV, Ya'Kun sat next to their father, learning all that he needed to in order to one day take over. As the oldest sister though, Ya'Min's only task was to entertain their guests by dancing as only a member of the royal family could.

Ya'Han watched in awe as her sister moved with enchanting grace, her bright emerald-hair flowing through the air as if each strand performed a synchronized dance of their own. The youngest daughter wondered if one day she would be able to dance like that, a dream that she would all too soon come to wish she had never had.

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

"Thank you for your offer Counselor," Ya'Han replied calling back her tears before they could be seen by Adriana. "Maybe one day, but right now I believe that we have a party to attend to. I would hate to have Sonja believe that we did not want to be there."

Lopez laughed. "You are right; I can just imagine the hell she would unleash on us both."

"Go and tell her that I will be there shortly. I think it would be best for me to take a shower before joining the festivities."

"See you soon," Adriana said as she made her way out of the gymnasium leaving Ya'Han alone so that she no longer needed to hold back her tears as she rushed to the showers. There, the evidence of her grief, as well as the stench of her workout, would be washed away once again.

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

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M13-P013: USS ANUBIS: Stark: 34001.2200 ("Keeping Busy")
"Keeping Busy"
[previous (ANU) "Scars From The Past" / (BAS) "Overthinking"]

[/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 34001.2200

KTARIS was 15 hours away at maximum speed, everything was functioning as it should on board the ANUBIS so there was little else to do but wait. His shift had ended several hours ago but the OPS Officer had decided to return to the bridge.  When the Captain stepped out of his office, the man was surprised to see Jayson at his usual station.

"Is there a problem Lieutenant?"

"No Sir. I just did not want to be alone in my quarters. The 'girls' are enjoying themselves in Lt. Paquette's quarters, likely drinking and laughing, and I just didn't want to be by myself."

The Captain smiled. "I have heard some rumors about those parties. I can only imagine how this one will be with Ambassador Bonviva joining in on the celebrations."

"Speaking of the Ambassador, may I ask you a question which in some way falls under a professional query?" The OPS Officer asked causing the Captain to look back at him with a raised eyebrow.  With a movement of his head, Morningstar agreed to at the very least hear the question although no guarantees of a reply were offered.  "Why was Ambassador Bonviva assigned to this mission? I may not know the specifics of her medical condition, but following Lt. Paquette's requests for extra power in Holodeck 3 and the work she did for the Ambassador, namely installing a temporal field generator, I can only surmise that our guest is not doing well."

The expression on the Captain's face indicated that he was right and that as expected Morningstar was not at liberty to divulge the specifics of this matter. "Admiral Koniki assigned her personally to this mission. Our job is to comply with his order and for us to do everything we can to make her stay with us as comfortable as possible in order for her to complete her part of the mission."

"My apologies Captain, It was not my intention to be out of line," Jayson quickly said feeling bad that he had allowed his personal curiosity to take over.

"Relax Lieutenant," the Captain said. "I am not one to ask for blind obedience from those under me. I appreciate your curiosity and desire to know what you suspect might be an important aspect of our mission. Admiral Koniki wanted the Ambassador to be with us on this particular mission, the reasons for this were not divulged to me. All I know is that her presence here is an asset and we all need to help ensure that she is able to perform her part."

"Of course, Captain."

"Now, go back to your quarters and relax. I will need all of my senior officers sharp and ready for action once we reach KTARIS. Pick up a book, read, listen to music, do whatever you need in order to not worry about everything else. I am sure that we will have plenty to keep us busy once we reach orbit and start hunting for that Shadow agent. She has escaped us too many times already."

"Aye aye, Captain," he said before leaving his station once again.

[/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Stark's Quarters
Stardate: 34001.2230

Jayson walked into his quarters and immediately realized his mistake. Yes, these were his official quarters but this is not where he spent his time when not on duty. Every so often Ya'Han would come by to make sure the place had not turned into a complete post-apocalyptic war zone, and he knew better than to mess up her quarters. As the OPS Officer looked around, he came to accept his unconscious decision as being the better one. Here he could wait for her return without making it appear that he was doing just that.  All he needed to do was to find something to occupy his time as the Captain suggested.

When he had a moment to himself, Jayson usually worked on building some sort of miniature model, usually a replica of an older class of starship, but tonight his head and heart were not where they needed to be for this. Going to the gym without Ya'Han there seemed pointless so he had few other options to consider.

"Wow," he sighed. "Never realized just how pathetic my personal life was. If I am not on the bridge working, in the gym looking up at Ya'Han after sending me to the mat for the nth time or talking to Counselor Lopez, I am usually in her quarters. I actually don't spend enough time in these quarters to justify my having them." Jayson carefully looked around studying the details that hinted to the person living here. What he discovered was that everything pointed to the occupant not being here a great deal. That is when he made what many would consider being a life-altering decision. As soon as he would have the chance, he would ask Ya'Han if she would be willing to have him officially move in with her.

All he needed to do was to figure out how to ask her, something that would likely keep him busy well past when she would return from her get together with Lt. Paquette and the other female officers of the ANUBIS

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M13-P014: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: 34001.2300 ("Red Red Wine")
=-=
"Red Red Wine"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Keeping Busy" by Jayson / (BAS) "Overthinking" by Moi]
=-=

Setting:  USS ANUBIS, Paquette's Quarters
Stardate: 34001.2300

As a member of the senior staff, Sonja's quarters were relatively spacious but never had they been meant to hold so many, a fact that did not seem to bother the Chief Engineer in the least at this particular moment. Actually and in all honesty, the woman appeared positively thrilled with the energy that filled the room, not at all concerned by the growing mess the gathering of women was creating.

Tall, oversized wine glasses could be found throughout the room, outnumbering the occupants nearly 3 to 1. Most were empty offering only a whisper of the crimson liquid they had been filled with while the others waited to be relieved of their content. Soft yet animated music mixed in with the conversations and amusement that reigned in these quarters. Sonja had proven herself to be just as good a host as she was an engineer, maybe even more so. That the woman had started with a quote that took many by surprise, because of its origins rather than the words themselves had set the tone of the gathering to be one of joy and happiness.

"As Plautus once said many many moons ago, let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words. For those of you who are not familiar with ancient Terran, it means to drink, have fun and speak only kind words. If you don't, you'll be answering to me!"

Those words may not have been enough to get everyone started on the celebration, but in time the glasses offered to everyone were gradually emptied of their intoxicating red liquid. One advantage of being aboard a vessel the likes of the ANUBIS was that synthehol was not the standard offering to those wishing to celebrate life. The wine, just as the idea of making the best of this moment, had been as real as could be.

From the corner of the couch where she was sitting, the ExO / ILO could see everyone as they drank, talked and even danced with merry abandonment. Memories flowed as easily as the wine did provide the Ullian with more than she could have expected or wished for. This had not been the reason for her being here, far from it, but as an Intel Operative Shar'El was not one to forgo the opportunity to learn a little bit more about people in general. One such individual was Xana Bonviva, the blue-skinned Ambassador and guest of the USS ANUBIS.

Shar'El noted after a little while that Xana seemed particularly entranced by Ya'Han's dancing, then again who could resist the woman when she decided to give in to the unique abilities and skills that her green hair vouched to. Looking at the increasingly sensual moves, which were made more public thanks to the free-flowing wine they were all sharing, the Ullian almost felt envious of their Chief of Operations who likely enjoyed such shows on a regular basis. As rough as their relationship could be at times, it was beyond evident that Ya'Han and Jayson shared a deep emotional connection. His loss, in that he was not here to see this show, would be their gain, and what a show it was turning out to be. 

If those present were not looking at the sensually dancing Nylaan, they were occupied by the small fury monkey that was scampering about, jumping from shoulder to shoulder. It was nice to see Maya be something more than a workaholic scientist, even if only for a little while, all because she had accepted to partake in the offered intoxicating beverage. It had not taken much to send the shapeshifter into joyous abandonment that led her to demonstrate her shapeshifting abilities to everyone else. With the Nylaan and Shillian acting as they were, the ExO / ILO began to wonder if maybe Sonja had added something to the wine to increase its inhibiting effects of her guests.

Scanning the room for indications that may prove or dismiss that theory, Shar'El noticed the CMO and CNS sitting one next to the other. Satella and Adriana were laughing without restraint, cheering on the green-hair dancer when they were not giggling uncontrollably as the Shillian monkey jumped across their shoulders. The ExO / ILO also noted the ANUBIS' FCO sitting alone in a corner of the room. Tanith appeared to be enjoying the gathering as much as could be expected from her, the woman is quite the solitary sort, which made it even more of a surprise that she had accepted to join the event.

"Would you like another glass Commander?" Sonja asked with a full large glass already in her hand. "As the senior most officer in the room, it is your duty to lead by example, although I would recommend for you to be careful. We would not want a repeat of the last celebration; it took me a week to get the couch cleaned."

"Let me ask you something," Shar'El said accepting the engineering's latest offering. "What is your opinion of our guest, Xana?"

"She has issues," Sonja said smirking as she glanced at the blue woman, "then again who doesn't, especially in this crew.  Ya'Han has family and identity issues, Maya as loneliness issues which anyone in her situation would have. It is not easy being the last surviving member of your race. You have issues thanks to you dealing with everyone else's memories, especially the ones that they don't want to know about. Tanith issues have issues of their own, at least that's all I have to go on since she is not one to open up to others, even with a few glasses of wine in her.  That leaves Satella and Adriana who have to deal with everyone's issues including Xana whose one main issue is that she is dying. Of all the things we deal with, her current issue is the hardest and easiest one to deal with."

"Easiest and hardest?"

"Of course," Sonja said as if this was as evident as the glass of wine in their hands. "Knowing that you are dying is a hard reality for anyone to accept, but it is also the easiest thing to deal with once you have accepted it. Once you know there is nothing you can do about it, death is something that you are no longer concerned about. That inevitable fact gives her the freedom to enjoy each and every moment to their fullest without a shred of fear."

"Without fear?" Shar'El repeated as a smile grew on her lips. "Could it be that simple? Is Koniki using that one simple detail to justify sending her on this mission?" The ExO / ILO whispered as she gazed at the blue-skinned woman in a way that she had never done before now.

"What are you mumbling about Spy Girl?" Sonja asked, sounding ever so slightly on the tipsy side, this after having been responsible for emptying the majority of the glasses scattered around the room. The redhead was known for drinking Klingons under the table.

"Just a theory," Shar'El replied. "The Lokustaar, as well as their agents, work on using people's fears to have them do things they otherwise would never have ever considered. We saw that pattern on every world we chased Mordana through. She uses fear to make people do her bidding and turn against their own countrymen and families. Now imagine what would happen if a truly fearless individual was added to this equation? Mordana would have no power over them or anyone else who would come to see the universe the way Xana does. This freeing lack of fear would completely drain the Shadow agent of her influence over others."

"Sounds like wishful thinking on your part," Sonja huffed before taking a large sip of her glass which nearly emptied the oversized clear container.

"Maybe it is," the Ullian agreed. "Then again, maybe that is exactly the reason why Koniki sent her to KTARIS with us," the ExO / ILO added, looking her eyes on Xana in order to search for that one memory that would confirm her suspicions.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M13-P015: USS ANUBIS: Bruxa: 34002.0100 ("The After-Party")
=-=
"The After-Party"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Red Red Wine" / (BAS) "Hard Decisions"]
=-=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Holodeck 3
Stardate: 34002.0100

The ambient lights were turned down to their lowest possible setting. This created a strange yet tranquil environment for the odd collection of equipment. The flashing indicators of the various machines brought together by their Chief Engineer made it seem like Christmas. All that was missing was a cover of snow on the ground.  The gentle darkness and twinkling lights helped to create a peaceful and tranquil environment. The relaxing atmosphere reflected in the face of the sleeping azure woman.  Satella looked upon her sleeping patient with satisfaction and relief. Oddly enough, Xana appeared not in the least bit troubled by her high-tech sleeping arrangements. The Ambassador had seemed more than happy to slide into the strange contraption.

"You did a good job," Counselor Lopez said in a whispered voice as she came to stand next to Doctor Bruxa.

"I can't take credit for this," Satella said vehemently. "Sofia gave us the idea and technical specifications. Sonja did all of the actual work in creating this. Jayson made sure that this pretzel looking machine has all of the power it needs. Even Maya deserves to share in the credit; it was her research and work on the Shadow Virus that made most of this possible. All I did was to get this project started."

"The first step is often the most difficult," Adriana said, giving the woman a friendly hug. "The last steps can be just as demanding. I am sure that Xana appreciates all that you have and are doing for her."

"All I am doing is standing here watching over her while she sleeps," the Doctor pointed out. "The machines are doing all of the work if they are doing anything at all. Right now, I cannot make heads or tails of what those monitors are reporting. I can hear a humming but could not tell you which of the equipment is responsible for it. Actually, I am not even sure that the sound I am hearing is coming from out there. For all I know it could be from in here," the CMO said gently tapping the side of her head. Forcing her eyes into focus, Satella looked at an amused Adriana. "Don’t you look at me that way. I am not drunk, but I may slightly be under the influence. To be honest, I am not sure I will be able to stand for much longer. That wine Sonja gave us packs quite a punch. We just had to look at Ya'Han and Maya to see a proof of that."

"Our Chief Engineer does not do things in half measures."

"I noticed," the CMO softly growled recalling a specific earlier confrontation. The verbal battle the two had shared back in the Specialized Craft Storage Area had proven that much. Good or bad, Sonja gave it her all no matter what the outcome might be. "I am still trying to figure out if her being that ay is a good or bad thing."

"I would say that it's a good thing," Adriana said. "We all needed that party. It gave us all chance to enjoy the moment instead of just reacting to things. We have been after this Mordana for so long that we have forgotten how to enjoy life. Being able to sit down, drink and enjoy the company of others was something we all needed."

Satella laughed. "It is somewhat ironic that it took someone on the edge of death to make us enjoy life."

"Nothing ironic about that," Adriana corrected. "It often takes something bad to make us appreciate the good. That psychological reality extends to most races. We only truly come to appreciate life when we are faced with death. In this case, we are appreciating life because we are dealing with someone facing her own mortality. Although the party might have been a little too much, it was something we all needed. Being together like that helped us all realize what we have as a group. It also served to put into perspective what it is we are fighting for. I think we lost track of that along the way while chasing that Shadow agent."

"I never realized that wine could make someone so wise," Satella chuckled. "Maybe I need to drink more."

"I think you had quite enough. As for me, I did not drink as much as most at the party. I thought it might be prudent to have at least one person with a clearer head. It was nice to see everyone forgetting about their problems, even if only for a short while. For me, that made it all worth it. We all needed that and I am sure that it will make our next mission a little easier."

"It will be easier only if I can get a supply of hangover pills ready for general distribution. That is as soon as I get some sleep," Doctor Bruxa said as the Counselor stopped her from falling over. "Thank you. Will need to tell Sonja to find a way to stop the ship from tipping back and forth. In the meantime, let us leave Xana to her dreams. Will you be coming back to check on her?"

"I will escort you back to your quarters and then I will head to my own. As for the rest, you have nothing to be worried about, not even as far as Xana is concerned. She is in good hands," Adriana explained, glancing over to the Avatar. Ani had received specific instructions to stay in the holodeck and monitor all of the equipment. The android linked to every system on board the ANUBIS was the best person to be watching over the Ambassador especially now that most were not as quick as they should be.

"If you say so," Satella agreed using Adriana to help keep her standing. With each passing moment, the effect of the wine was becoming more apparent. This forced the CMO to either leave the holodeck with the assistance of the CNS or request a cot to be created so that she could find a corner to sleep in. "Take me home, please."

=-=
Rachel Jackie Johnson

Lieutenant JG Satella Bruxa [Access Character BIO for Satella Bruxa]
Chief Medical Officer
USS ANUBIS

[Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. - Mark Twain]
M13-P016: USS ANUBIS: Morningstar: 34002.0200 ("Trying to Understand")
##########
"Trying to Understand"
Previous posts (ANU) "The After-Party" / (BAS) "Hard Decisions"
##########

“Close your eyes, breath, and listen. Only when you hear your own heartbeat will you begin to understand the universe. It cares nothing of material needs or wants. It simply is, living through each and everyone of us.”
- Amber Satori to Elan Fairborn the night before she fell into a coma

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Holodeck 3
Stardate: 34002.0200

The Native American stood silently next to the sealed chamber, close enough to gaze upon the sleeping Ambassador through the transparent cover but far enough not to interfere with the temporal field that engulfed the machine and its occupant. As a former engineer, Erik was in absolute awe with the mechanical marvel that had been created, finding the gentle hum of the machine, which seemed to echo right through him, soothingly relaxing. As the Captain of the USS ANUBIS, he found an odd sense of comfort in seeing his guest resting so peacefully appearing to not have a care in the world.

"According to the latest molecular bio-sensor readings, the genetic disease killing Ambassador Bonviva is showing signs of slowing down. I believe that with some minor modifications, the damage could actually be reversed. Not completely mind you, but enough to give her a few extra months, maybe more," the ship's Avatar reported her voice no louder than a whisper as if her speaking might actually wake the woman in question.

"I am happy to hear this," Erik smiled, matching the soft-spoken tone of the artificial woman now standing next to him.

"Was there something you needed, Captain?" ANI asked, puzzled by the man's presence and general demeanour. The Captain had not said a word before she spoke to him, and he seemed to not be interested in her report. So why had he come to the holodeck?

"I just came to see... to listen... to understand," the Native American replied, never taking his eyes from the sleeping woman, his voice echoing alien wisdom that was not his own.

"I am sorry Captain, but I am not sure I understand what it is you are here for," the Avatar said. As sophisticated as she was, ANI was nothing more than an extension of the ANUBIS's computer, the ship made flesh, possessing an intellect equal to the gathered knowledge contained within the main computer, but lacking the ability to look beyond what could be seen. The android designed as a humanoid woman was smart, strong, quick, and could even manage to be funny at times but intuition and the ability to look at the universe beyond the physical realm was something that she could not do.

"I am here because this is my ship and she is my guest," Erik cryptically replied. The Avatar would understand the words and their basic physical significances but the reason and purpose behind them would remain well out of her reach. "Continue monitoring her vitals as well as the equipment," the Captain calmly, peacefully ordered. "Let her rest and be closer to understanding the universe then any of us may ever likely to be."

The Avatar blinked a few times before acknowledging the order with a nod of her head and several steps backward making her vanish into the relative darkness that ruled the outer parameter of the room. This would not be the first time ANI had been faced with a statement or action that she could not make sense of, and as in the times before, the android would simply log the incident in her memory for more in-depth analysis and review. Maybe one day something would be said or done that would enable her to understand all of this, but tonight would not be that day.

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 13, Stellar Cartography
Stardate: 34002.0230

Stretching over 5 decks, this was the largest room on board the ANUBIS. Here the Native American could gaze upon the vastness of cosmos without actually being out in the vacuum of space. Since the ship was traveling at high warp, his walking on the outer hull as he liked to do was not an option, so he came here instead.

"Computer, bring KTARIS on the primary horizontal axis. Planetary magnification 5," the Captain ordered after a few minutes of enjoying the view he could never tire of. Following the order, the starscape changed to bring the requested planet to be in full view directly in front of him. Appearing no larger than a beach ball, the planet they would soon be in orbit of appeared as peaceful as any other. The Native American had almost expected to find the sphere visibly touched by cold and unexplainable darkness, a shadow spreading over the surface like some sort of disease, but that was not the case.  From space, the planet appeared like so many others, alone and vulnerable.

Erik studied the live image, his gaze darting from one detail to the next without actually knowing what it was he was searching for. When nothing out of the ordinary was uncovered, the Native American closed his eyes, took a deep breath and allowed his thoughts to flow freely. The Captain was not a telepath or even possessed any sort of external mental abilities, those had been the gift and curse of his first Officer Shar'El. All that he wanted to do was to calm his mind and open himself to the wisdom of the universe.

After several minutes Erik reopened his eyes. "Computer, access Lokustaar activity reports for the last year and show on this map all confirmed events involving the race."  Following the parameters provided by the Captain, only a handful of red dots appeared, scattered all over the holographic star map. "Computer, using the same reports and time frame, display all suspected confrontations with the Lokustaar using a yellow indicator." Joining the handful of red marks already there, hundreds of new markers appeared, transforming the map in a most frightening way. Morningstar exhaled as he saw one of the new yellow indicators in the middle of the sphere representing their destination.

Nothing had changed, Mordana was as good as she had been all of the other times before, never allowing anyone to confirm beyond a shadow of a doubt that she had been there at all. Yet, KTARIS would be different this time, Erik was not sure how or why but he could feel it. He did not need to understand why he felt the way he did, all he needed to do was to ensure that they would make that feeling become a reality.

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

Commanding Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501

AND

Lt. Commander Elan Fairborn [Access Character BIO for Elan Fairborn]
Robotics Engineering Officer
NEW ALEXANDRIA
M13-P017: USS ANUBIS: Bonviva: 34002.0630 ("The Universe Only Feels Big")
"The Universe Only Feels Big"
Previous posts (ANUBIS) "Trying to Understand" / (BASTET) "Hard Decisions"

=/\=
If you can’t change your fate, change your attitude
-Amy Tan

=/\=
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 19, Isolation Room
Stardate: 34002.0630

Lieutenant JG Ya’Han had received the message; she did not doubt its veracity.  However, she still had to see it for herself.  On the way she turned over in her mind if true then why.  Shaking out that thought, she reasoned that this simply could *not* be true.

Then she stood in the Auxiliary Security Office, outside one of the Isolation Rooms, and saw for herself it *was* true.  The Ambassador had taken up residence there.  Shooing out all the gawkers and wide-eyed officers, Ya’Han cleared her throat.  “Ambassador?” she said.

The azure woman, who was holding a steaming mug with one hand and reading a PADD with the other, looked up.  “Good Morning,” she replied.

Ya’Han paused for a moment, before trying again.  “Ambassador.”  When assured she had the other woman’s attention she asked, “Why are you here?”

“On the ANUBIS?  You know a lot of people are asking that.  Well not of me, but I hear the murmurings.  To be fair, I have the same question.  The only thing I can say for certainty is that I was assigned but as to *why* I don’t know,” Xana admitted.  Smiling carelessly she said, “They don’t even tell me that.”

Tapping her foot in her boot, Ya’Han tried again.  “Why are you in an Isolation Room?”

“Oh,” Xana replied, her mouth making an “O”.  “That’s a different question.”

“Yes.  Yes it is.”

Xana sipped from her steaming mug.  “Want some tea?”

“No,” Ya’Han replied.  

The azure woman sighed.  “You’re going to kick me out aren’t you?”

The Security Officer frowned as she looked at the sitting woman.  It was inconceivable that she’d kick out the Ambassador.  Then again about 10 minutes ago it was inconceivable that the Ambassador would be in an Isolation Room but here they were.  “No but I’m -- nevermind. If you want the Isolation Room, you can have it, short of an emergency.”

The azure woman sat back and watched the flummoxed Security officer.  As the red and black haired woman turned, the Ambassador called out.  “I wanted somewhere quiet to read.”  After a heartbeat she continued on.  “I couldn’t find a conference room and...well I started out many many moons ago in Security.  I feel safe here.  It’s quiet.  The materials I’m reading need to be in a secure location.  That’s why I sought out here if I couldn’t be in a conference room.”  Frowning as she looked at the materials she said, “I think there’s been a violation of Regulation 6.57 and once I’m on the ground I’ll need to invoke Tactical Directive 36A.”

Ya’Han turned back around, her face contemplative.  It was clear that the Ambassador was telling the truth.  Yet, it didn’t align with what she expected.  “You could go to the Observation Lounge,” she pointed out.  

Xana blinked at that, a shock mixed in with confusion on her weary features.  “On the Bridge?  Please.  This is probably my last assignment.  I’d prefer not to screw it up before I get on the ground.”

The Nylaan looked at the Bolian/Human, now clearly confused.  “How would going to the Observation Lounge be a problem?”

“I am well aware that I am not allowed on a Bridge.  I mean I went yesterday, but that was because the Captain called me there.  I’ll never go again, I promise,” Xana said in the same tone one of kids would have used to do a “pinky swear”.  Exhaling the Ambassador admitted, “Look, everyone here has treated me far better than I normally get treated on a ship, I mean unless I’m friends with the Commanding Officer which isn’t often.”  She lifted the mug to her lips in thought.  Once she brought it down she said, “I am deeply appreciative, please understand that.”

Ya’Han furrowed her brow.  “How do you normally get treated?”

“I usually look for my quarters about a step away from an airlock,” Xana said.  Smiling wryly she said, “I think it has something to do with I’ve divorced an XO and the CO and I aren’t exactly...friendly.”

The Nylaan thought about her own upbringing for a moment; this whole conversation was so very confusing and it showed despite her not wanting it to.  “You’re an Ambassador, though.”

“Yes, I am.  And that plus a replicator credit gets me my tea,” Xana said.  Looking at Ya’Han she narrowed in her violet eyes.  “Do you mind me asking where--”

The Security Officer was used to this line of questioning, even if it didn’t thrill her.  “I’m from NYLA IV.”

“I see,” Xana murmured.  Setting down the PADD and mug, she looked over at Ya’Han as if trying to puzzle something out.  “I’ve been an Ambassador multiple times.  On and off through the years.  The first time was 15 years ago.  I remember because it was when one of my daughters was born.  And you don’t know what you don’t know when you go out.  They just pick you and you go, hoping that you’ve learned previously is enough.”  There was a long silence before the Ambassador said, “The universe only feels big.”  Xana sipped her tea then.  “Let me know if you want to talk--”

“You can continue to stay here, that’s fine,” Ya’Han said, cutting off the Ambassador as she turned around to walk away.

=/\=
Sarah Albertini-Bond

USS ANUBIS NCC 18501
M13-P018: USS ANUBIS: Stark: 34002.0650 ("You Did What?")
"You Did What?"
[previous (ANU) "The Universe Only Feels Big" / (BAS) "Hard Decisions"]

[/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Ya'Han's Quarters
Stardate: 34002.0650

Jayson was recycling the dishes used for breakfast when Ya'Han returned, the woman appeared a little more flustered than she did when she left.

"So, what was the big emergency?" He asked not having been told anything after Ya'Han had received the message.

"She was there," she mumbled. "I can't believe that she was actually there."

"Who was where?" The OPS Officer demanded. He might have found this a little amusing at first but his patience was rapidly running out.

"The Ambassador."

"Alright," Jayson sighed, rolling his eyes. "That takes care of the *who*, now all I need is the *where*."

"She's in one of the isolation rooms attached to the Security Office on Deck 19," Ya'Han explained still trying to come to terms with the situation.

"Wait! What? Did you actually put the Ambassador in the brig?" His eyes were as wide as could be, and the expression on his face was one of pure shock and disbelief. He knew Ya'Han could be strict in matters of security but never would he have expected her to go that far. The Ambassador was a guest of the crew, a special envoy assigned to the ship's latest mission by none other than Admiral Koniki himself. "What did she do?" He continued trying to hold back his laughter. "That must have been one heck of a party last night. Why didn't you tell me about this earlier?"

"There was nothing to tell you about," Ya'Han strongly defended. "Nothing happened last night. I was not the one who put the Ambassador in isolation; she did that all by herself. As far as I was told, Sonja escorted her back to the Holodeck after the party. There she slept, at least that is where she was until earlier this morning when I received the message that our illustrious guess had walked into the Security Office and commandeered one of the isolation rooms."

He could not believe his ears, but as much as he wanted to know more about all of this, he knew that the two of them needed to be elsewhere. "Whatever the story is, we need to head to the bridge. Our shift is about to start and I do not think the Captain would look upon our being late too kindly. By the way, Doctor Bruxa came by and gave me these for you," Jayson said as he handed Ya'Han a couple of white pills.

"What are these?"

"I was told that these would help deal with what happened last night at the party, which according to you was nothing. I just find it interesting that this nothing somehow ended up with Ambassador Bonviva in the brig."

"She is not in the brig!" Ya'Han exclaimed as she walked out of their quarters, pills in hand, the bright red color of her hair warning Jayson that he'd better stop or risk calling forth the full wrath of the 'Red Dragon'.

[/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 34002.0700

"Good morning Captain," the two officers stepping out of the turbolift said in unison. Ya'Han had regained her normal red and black mix indicating that everything had returned to normal, at least as far as everyone else was concerned.

"Aren't you two cute," Counselor Lopez said smiling. She had several reasons to be happy to see them together; both had come to her privately and professionally to voice concerns about their relationship with the other. Adriana understood that their individual pasts were more than enough to create more than a few rough patches, but the two of them always seem to get back together afterward. It was almost enough to make the CNS believe in destiny. "How are you feeling this morning?"

The question was meant for Ya'Han but Jayson thought it would be amusing if he were the one to reply instead. "She's feeling great; after all, nothing happened last night."

"Don't mind him," Ya'Han sighed. "I am fine although I will admit that I am feeling some slight discomfort in my legs and back. Thanks to Satella though, my head is as clear as could be."

"I am not surprised you physically feel the way you do," the Counselor said nearly laughing as she did so. "I would have expected you feeling a lot more due to the way you were dancing last night. I think the Ambassador found your dancing very entertaining."

"Speaking of the Ambassador," the Captain jumped in with, clearly having overheard something of the conversation. "Do either one of you know where the woman is?" The man asked moving closer to the security station. "I would like to speak with her about a few things regarding our mission before we actually arrive, but when I passed by Holodeck 3, she was already gone."

"You might want to try the brig, Sir," Jayson replied from the Operations station, keeping his head down and eyes on his console.

"She's not in the brig," Ya'Han said through clenched teeth, exasperated by Jayson's insistence in using that particular designation. "Last I saw Ambassador Bonviva; she was in one of the isolation rooms on Deck 19."

"What happened? Why was she placed in solitary confinement?" The Captain demanded of his Chief of Security ignoring the OPS Officer who was trying his best not to crack up laughing aloud.

"I did not put her there, Captain. I assure you; she decided to go there on her own. According to the Ambassador herself when I spoke to her this morning, that specific location was the best place on board the ANUBIS for her to quietly enjoy a cup of tea while reading."

The man blinked repeatedly, the explanation making very little sense to him. "The best place on the ANUBIS?" The Captain asked as he slowly turned to look at the equally puzzled Ship's Counselor.

"I am sure there is a perfectly simple explanation. Let me speak with her," Counselor Lopez suggested before quickly making her way off the bridge glancing in the OPS Officer's direction as he tried as best he could not to release a burst of laughter that would likely be heard all the way down to the ship's engineering section.

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M13-P019: USS ANUBIS: Bruxa: 34002.0730 ("Minor Modifications")
=-=
"Minor Modifications"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "You Did What?" / (BAS) "Hard Decisions"]
=-=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Holodeck 3
Stardate: 34002.0730

The first order of business was to check on the medical condition of their guess. The Avatar had provided a detailed report but the CMO wanted to see things for herself. The first surprise when she walked in was to find that the Ambassador had already left. Satella had never considered that the Bolian/Terran could be an early riser. Then again, after last night, Doctor Bruxa had not been able to consider a great many things. The second surprise was Sonja, or more to the point the way she entered the room.

"How did the equipment work?" The Chief Engineer asked bouncing into the holodeck. The woman was happy, overly so, as if skipping through a field of flowers. All that Sonja was missing was a couple of braids sticking out on both side and a woven basket. How the redhead could be so jovial was beyond the Doctor's grasp.

"You're in a super good mood this morning. Guess the pills I sent your way helped."

Sonja stopped and debated for an instant as to how to react. Would she chose to be angry or continue joyously? Once the decision was made, the redhead took one last skip in Satella's direction. "Pills?" the CEO asked with a Cheshire cat smile dancing on her lips. "What kind of woman do you take me for Doctor? Do I look like the kind of person who needs drugs to feel better? Do you believe me to be the type who needs a couple of white pills to undo the effects of my drinking the night before? I will let you know that I have left many Klingons passed out under a table. So much so in fact that they have named a drink after me. Well, at least I think they did, my name doesn't really translate well in their language."

"I'm sorry. I meant no disrespect." Satella was not sure if the woman was upset or not. Her smile pointed to one thing, her words seem to indicate the opposite. An apology was the safest course of action.

Sonja's smile grew even more. "No offense taken. It takes more than a few bottles to get me down. That said, may I ask if *you* took any of those pills? You look slightly under the weather. I would say green around the gills even."

"I am afraid that the pills are not as effective on me. There are certain unique differences between Terran and Mikulak physiology. I will be fine though, in an hour or so."

"I will keep that in mind for our next get together. I can give you your own pills before you leave."

"One day... one party at a time please." The CMO could not wait for the pills to actually take effect.

"Alrighty then!" No doubts about it, Sonja was in an excessively good mood. "Back to the reason why we are both here. How did the equipment work?

"According to the sensor logs and Ani's report, everything worked perfectly. The temporal field targeted Xana's nerves leaving everything else untouched. Looks like we were able to slow the progression of the disease. I believe that with a few minor modifications we could actually reverse the damage. There is no known way to cure the disease, but I think we are well underway to giving her more time."

"Never underestimate the marvels of modern engineering I am capable of creating. Now all you need to do is get Xana to spend more than a few hours in this." Sonja was looking at the small screen, showing that the machine had worked for less than 5 hours. "With the temporal field set so low, exposure is the only way this will actually work.

"You are right," Satella agreed looking at the same data. "For this to work, she will need to spend no less than 8 to 10 hours in the machine. We may need to make it more inviting. I will have to speak with her on that matter. She will not be able to just walk away when bored or feeling uncomfortable. All I have to do is to find her."

"You hunting her down might explain why she escaped to a security isolation room. As an Ambassador, I am sure she is well aware of how dangerous a single-minded Doctor can be." Sonja paused for a few seconds before continuing. "Luckily for her, you don't have a wibbly wobbly, timey wimey, thingny in your possession. At least not yet."

"What? What are you talking about? Hunting down Xana? I am not hunting her down. By the way, where did you say the Ambassador is?" Satella was confused beyond measure. That the Ambassador had not been here when the CMO came in was one thing. That she might be hiding from her was something completely different. To add insult to injury, Sonja was not making things any easier.

"The Ambassador is in one of the security isolation rooms. Ani followed her there when she left here."

"What is she doing in the brig?" Satella was beside herself. It was bad enough that her patient could not be in Sickbay for observation. Not that it would have helped that much due to the condition. To have Xana in prison was unimaginable. That she was an Ambassador only made all of this even more unacceptable.

"First, I am sure that Ya'Han would take offense at you calling the isolation rooms the brig. They are not the same thing. Second, Xana went there of her own accord. No one forced her to be down there."

"That's not an explanation!" Maybe it was the pills or her hyperventilating, but Satella was feeling light-headed. "I need to go down there and check on her."

"You do that. I will be right here quietly, peacefully recalibrating the equipment."

"Where am I going?" Satella was flustered to a point where she could no longer think straight.

Sonja smiled. This was proving to be quite entertaining, and without wine being involved. "The security office on deck 19. Should I ask for Ani to escort you there?"

"NO!" Was all that Doctor Bruxa said before running out of the holodeck, almost tripping over her own feet as she did so.

=-=
Rachel Jackie Johnson

Lieutenant JG Satella Bruxa [Access Character BIO for Satella Bruxa]
Chief Medical Officer
USS ANUBIS

[Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. - Mark Twain]
M13-P020: USS ANUBIS: Lopez: 34002.0730 ("Why Is Nothing Ever Easy")
-=-=-
"Why Is Nothing Ever Easy"
[Previous post: (ANU) "Minor Modifications" & (BAS) "Hard Decisions"]
-=-=-

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 19, Corridor
Stardate: 34002.0730

Adriana was given a single task; to create a psychological profile of the Shadow agent known as Mordana. All that the Counselor had to go on was the chaos and death the woman left in her wake, never involved in anything directly. Her modus operandi was to enlist the help of local individuals who were usually people with shady pasts or a desire to see a rapid elevation of their current position, status or power. Part of the problem was that most of these pawns would soon after be found dead or not found at all following the agent's departure from that world. The woman was good, making it that much more difficult for them to lock in and capture her.

Creating the profile by itself had not been as easy as it should have been and having to deal with the eccentricity of their guest on top of things had not helped in the least. Standing in front of the door to the Security Center, Adriana gathered her thoughts, mentally readying herself for what was to come. Xana was a friendly woman, there was no denying that, but the Bolian/Terran was not what would normally be expected of someone in her position

"What are you doing, sis?" Amanda asked. "Waiting for the Ambassador to escape from her cell?"

If it was not enough, there were the hallucinations of her missing twin to ensure that things could never be as simple as they could have been. The CNS quickly looked down the ends of the corridor to make sure no one would hear or see what was about to happen.

"I need to think things through," Adriana said in an exasperated manner. "I can't just go barging in and ask what is wrong with her, now can I? I have to be diplomatic."

The mental projection of the twin laughed aloud, not concerned about anyone else hearing her. After all, being a hallucination meant that Amanda knew Adriana was the only one that could interact with her. "You? Diplomatic? That I have to see. Being a Counselor is one thing, being a diplomat is something entirely different. You will be lucky if you do not end up locked away in some distant and forgotten stockade. The woman in there is not your run-of-the-mill officer; in fact, she is levels over the First Officer or Captain. With a simple call to Koniki, she could have you scrubbing the waste manifolds for the rest of your life."

"The Ambassador may have issues, but I believe her to be a decent person," Adriana said in the woman's defense. "Being eccentric is not a sign of her being mean or even unreasonable. The fact that she is dying is not helping either. As much as she might have come to terms with the reality of her situation, it would still be playing on her mind in some level, maybe even only subconsciously."

"Came to see our prisoner?" Satella said as she walked down the corridor, announcing her presence to the twins recognizing the way Adriana was mumbling to herself as another confrontation with the hallucination of her sister.

"Xana is not a prisoner," the Counselor clarified. "According to Ya'Han, she went into an isolation room of her own free will seeking peace and quiet."

"Sonja said the same thing," the CMO said. "Apparently, Ani followed the Ambassador when she left the holodeck. Guess the humming of the machine was too much for her to handle."

"It might not be that simple," Adriana sighed. "You are working on the medical aspect of her disease, trying to find a way to make this mission easier for her, to extend her life and maybe even find a cure. Sonja is working on the mechanical aspects of what you established to be her needs in order to accomplish your goal. As the Ship's Counselor, I have to deal with her thoughts on not only her rapidly deteriorating condition but the mission as well not to mention the possibility that she may not die as quickly as she was told due to what you and Sonja and doing. She is dealing with all of those as well as whatever else is haunting her thoughts. Her seeking refuge in an isolation room might have been nothing more than an unconscious need to remove herself from everything."

"Wow," Amanda gasped rolling her eyes. "That is one massive load of pshyco mumbo jumbo. Do you actually believe all that? I think your friend the Ambassador is nothing more than a crazy diplomat who likes to see just how much she can get away with."

Adriana's shoulders slumped letting Satella know that something had happened. Knowing what she did about the Counselor and her sister, it didn't take long for Satella to figure out what had transpired even is she had not heard or seen any of it.

"Don't let her get to you. Amanda is nothing more than a projection of your fears and insecurities. What you just said makes perfect sense, so don't start doubting herself. Psychology, just like medical science, were never and are still far from being a perfect way to deal with anything. We all do the best we can with the information and technology available to us at the time."

"Thank you."

"Don't thank me yet," Satella said with a grin. "We still have to go in there and speak with her. I have to convince her to speak more time in the machine Sonja created. That alone might prove to be an impossible mission."

"You and I make a great team, so I am sure we will find a way to make it happen. If you are ready, let's go."

The two women moved forward towards the door causing it to open and allowing them inside the Security Center where they would be able to see and speak to Ambassador Bonviva, this without paying too much attention as to the reason why she was there in the first place.

-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor
USS ANUBIS
M13-P021: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: 34002.0800 ("Emotional Uncertainty")
=-=
"Emotional Uncertainty"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Why Is Nothing Ever Easy" by Marissa / (BAS) "Hard Decisions" by Karen]
=-=

Setting:  USS ANUBIS, IGC
Stardate: 34002.0800

The ANUBIS was about 4 hours away from KTARIS, which under normal circumstances would be more than enough time to get everything ready for a search and retrieve mission like the one the ship and crew were currently involved in. Unfortunately, there was absolutely nothing normal about any of the facets of this particular mission which had for objective the capture of a woman working for the Lokustaar.

There was nothing remotely ordinary about the individual they were after. As a Shadow Operative, Mordana had proven herself to be exceptionally skilled in evading her pursuers and equally talented in recruiting people to do her bidding. This made tracking and following the woman's trail that much more difficult, calling upon all of the resources and expertise of the IGC personnel.

The ANUBIS had traveled to three dozen locations and each time they arrived too late to be able to corner the agent. It was hoped that this time would be different thanks to the help Admiral Koniki believed Ambassador Bonviva would provide, either through getting support from the local government or offering some sort of diversion to distract the Shadow Operative. The problem was that as their target, there was nothing normal about the Bolian/Terran woman either.

As an experienced Ambassador, the ExO / ILO was inclined to believe that Xana being on board the ANUBIS could prove helpful in the completion of their mission. The problem was that since the woman was dying of a rapidly progressing degenerative, genetic disease everything had been spun into the realm of the unknown and unpredictable. Instead of focusing on their mission, many members of the crew were obliged to deal with Ambassador Bonviva in one way or another to ensure her being able to take part in the mission.  Everyone worked on the assumption that the presence and assistance of the Bolian/Terran would actually help them in their quest to apprehend the Shadow Operative.

As much as the ExO / ILO wanted to believe this as well, the Ullian had seen certain rather troubling memories during her scan of the Ambassador's mind.  While watching a green-haired Ya'Han dancing to the best of her physical skills and training, Xana allowed her mental defenses to drop enough to permit Shar'El to easily gain access to the Ambassador's memories. What she found made Shar'El question the woman's ability to participate, let alone contribute, to this mission.

Had it only been her finding images of the Bolian/Terran having been raped, not once but twice, it would not have made Shar'El question the woman's emotions stability.  Adding to those memories Xana's being labeled as a Federation traitor, acknowledging her first husband's death in a rather horrible way, dealing with her second mate's sudden disappearance leaving her to raise two children, and dealing with the brutal incursion of the Romulan Star Empire on BOLARUS IX, was more than enough to put everything into question.

From the IGC, Shar'El could keep an eye on Doctor Bruxa and Counselor Lopez as they talked with the Ambassador. Xana appeared comfortable in the isolation room although there were the occasional display of annoyance from the Bolian/Terran that made it evident not all was well. After all, she had gone to the Security Center and commandeered an isolation room in search of a quiet and peaceful location, a quest that had epically failed beyond anyone's wildest expectations.

Shar'El carefully listened to the conversation between the three women. Adriana was doing her utmost to make Xana feel secure and safe, going as far as to claim some level of understanding as to what she was going through. This made the ExO / ILO chuckle as there was no way anyone could truly understand what the Bolian/Terran woman had endured during her tumultuous career. She had faced the death of a husband; the disappearance of a wife; multiple children to care for; several troubling and demanding planetary intrigues as well as a fatal genetic disease. Any one of these would be enough to send a sane person over the proverbial edge, and here was a woman who had gone through all of those and more. In a battle of who could deal with what, there were no doubts that the odds were clearly in Bonviva's side.

On the other side of this three-way affair, Satella was trying to convince her patient that more time needed to be spent in the machine constructed by their Chief Engineer. The logic was simple if Bonviva wanted to slow down the progression of her disease but Xana's reaction seemed to indicate some level of hesitation and even maybe apprehension. Since she had made her peace with what was to come to pass, even if earlier than initially expected, it made perfect sense that the Bolian/Terran would have difficulties living beyond that point.

For many, the idea of dying was something they would never be able to accept, fighting again the inevitable to the very end. For a select others, the idea of living once the idea of dying had been accepted would prove to be even more difficult to deal with. The question was; was Xana Bonviva one of those people?

"Commander," one of the IGC Techs called out. "We are receiving a transmission from KTARIS, it would seem that someone just attempted to kill the leader delegate of the Bolian trade delegation. Local security forces were able to intervene in time to avoid any casualties, but the person who made the attempt was able to escape. According to the official report, the authorities are searching for a humanoid woman with long black hair."

"Looks like our guest the Ambassador is going to have her work cut out for her," Shar'El said as a grimace formed on her face. "It would also appear that our Shadow Operative is slipping. Why would she not only try to kill the lead trade representative but actually fail in achieving her goal? I can't accept that Mordana could become so inept after giving us the slip through three dozen locations scattered throughout the quadrant. Some is not right. I need to brief the Captain on this, after that i am sure he will want to speak to Ambassador Bonviva, that is if she is willing to get out of her not-so-isolated and not-so-quiet room."

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M13-P022: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: 34002.0900 ("Threat Analysis")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Threat Analysis"
[previous post were (ANU) "Emotional Uncertainty" / (BAS) "Hard Decisions"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 34002.0900

The Sec/Tac had three hours to determine if it was safe for the Ambassador to beam down to KTARIS following the attempted murder of the head of the Bolian trade delegation. By default Ya'Han would say yes, this being an isolated incident targeting a single individual who at first glance had nothing to do with their mission, but the more she looked at the case, the more she found her concerns grow.

The location of the attack was on the steps of the building the Ambassador would be visiting. The government officials Xana would be meeting were the same that the head of the Bolian trade delegation had just finished speaking to. As far as the Sec/Tac was concerned this was not a coincidence that could simply be dismissed.

Another point to be considered by the Sec/Tac was the description of the would-be murderer which resembled far too much to the woman the crew of the ANUBIS had been after. Although not a lot of details had been gathered on the attacker's appearance, what had been seen matched perfectly the description of the Shadow Agent known as Mordana. Tall, dark, female humanoid with long black hair who seemed to appear and disappear straight from the shadows themselves. The only thing that didn't match was the fact that the attempt on the man's life had actually failed, something that seemed to be well out of character for the Lokustaar operative. Again though, there were too many details to dismiss this as just another coincidence.

Commander Shar'El was still investigating the case from the IGC, but as the ship's Sec/Tac, it was Ya'Han's responsibility to ensure the safety of the members of the crew which now included Ambassador Xana Bonviva. Providing the woman with a full security detail while on the planet would be the most basic course of action but the full red-haired Nylaan hesitated in making that recommendation to the Captain. According to earlier reports and accounts, similar attempts on political figured credited to Mordana had been rapid and deadly, this regardless of the security measures that were in place.

This bothered Ya'Han as the failed attempt against the head of the Bolian trade delegation stood as an anomaly and a mark against the otherwise perfect record of the Shadow Agent. Something about all of his didn't sit right with the Sec/Tac and she needed to get to the bottom of this mystery before their arrival.

"Where are you going?" Jayson asked surprised by the unexpected departure of the Sec/Tac from her station.

"I need to check something out. If someone needs me, I'll be in one of the holographic simulation chambers."

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]  
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck A-5, Holographic Simulation Chambers 1
Stardate: 34002.0930 

This room was more than a holodeck, much more. It allowed the occupants to interact live with any environment contained in the ship's computer or accessible to the ANUBIS' state-of-the-art sensors. Even though the ship was still two and a half hours away from KTARIS, the data collected by the long-range sensors combined with the information held in their computer allowed for the simulation to be as the Sec/Tac needed it to be.

She stood right where the attack had been said to have happened, permitting Ya'Han to see the layout of the area exactly as it was. The Sec/Tac scanned her surroundings trying to identify the exact place from which the attack would have originated from.

"Computer, using all of the data collected and processed by the ICG relating to the attempted murder of the head of the Bolian trade delegation, recreate the scene."

=/\= The recreation will have a 16.8 percent error margin as to the flow of events for the specified time period. =/\=

"I don't have much of a choice," Ya'Han softly said to herself. "Proceed."

The physical layout remained the same but the light from the sun changed to reflect a later hour of the day, covering most of the ground and area with dark and suspicious shadows. Soon after, the Bolian trade delegation appeared coming down the stairs of the government building.  Ya'Han gave her immediate surroundings a quick scan in an effort to identify where the attack would come from.  As the holographic delegation approached, the Sec/Tac took a few steps back as she was standing exactly where the action was about to take place.

As soon as the head of the delegation stepped where Ya'Han was, the man screamed before collapsing to the ground. As the rest of the delegation surrounded the fallen Bolian the Sec/Tac saw a dark feminine form rushing away from the crime scene. This meant that according to all of the testimonies no one had seen the attacker before or even during the assault, seeing the woman with the long black hair simply running away.

"Computer, what was the weapon used against the head of the Bolan trade delegation?"

=/\= No weapon was identified and no wounds were discovered on the victim. =/\= The computer reported. =/\= The attack was classified as an attempted murder due to the fact that a poisonous chemical was discovered in the delegate's bloodwork. The chemical analysis was identified as a neurotoxin that is only harmful to Bolians.  Further medical analysis of the chemical showed that the composition was altered making it non-fatal in this particular attack. =/\=

"The poison was altered, why?" Ya'Han inquired aloud but to no one in particular. "Why would Mordana alter a chemical deadly to a single species only to make it non-lethal against the intended target of the same race? it makes no sense whatsoever."

With more questions than she had come here with, the Sec/Tac decided to speak with Xana hoping that maybe the Ambassador would be able to shed some light on this mystery. After all, she was the only Bolian on board, well at least half of her was.

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

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M13-P023: USS ANUBIS: Bonviva: 34002.1000 ("Pain as Motivator")
"Pain As Motivator"
Previous posts: (ANU) "Threat Analysis" & (BAS) "Still Asking Why"

=/\=
People acting together as a group can accomplish things which no individual acting alone could ever hope to bring about.
-Franklin D. Roosevelt

=/\=
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 19, Isolation Room
Stardate: 34002.1000


Satella Bruxa and Adriana Lopez were in front of the Isolation Chamber where the Ambassador was making notes and whistling.  For a woman in the Isolation Chamber, she was in good spirits.  

“You haven’t spent enough time in the chamber!” Satella pointed out.

Xana sorted out her PADDs in various piles.  “I disagree, I’m making remarkable progress,” she pointed out.  Pointing to the pile to her left she said, “This is the pile of humanitarian and Federation issues.”  Gesturing to the pile to her right she said, “These are the resources that are potentially needed.”

Adriana looked at a third pile that was haphazardly thrown to the side.  “What’s in that pile?” she asked.

“Totally unnecessary,” the Ambassador admitted.  “I’m not proud of it but it was necessary.”

Satella was besides herself.  “Wonderful progress.  Couldn’t you have done this from Holodeck 3?”  

“I wiggled my toes this morning when I woke up,” Xana said, seemingly absentmindedly.  “I haven’t done that in 2 years.”

The hallucination of Adriana’s missing twin said (thankfully only to her), “You’re on the hunt for a dangerous operative, there’s only hours left until it’s boots on the ground, and you’re sitting in here because of a *toe wiggle*?  Well then let’s call out the Starfleet Marine Band!”

Adriana’s shoulders sagged for a moment, and as Satella gave her a comforting look as she directed her question to the Ambassador.  “But think, if you got a toe wiggle from a few hours, what then would happen if you spent more time in the chamber?”

The Counselor brightened up, and shook off the mental image of her twin, as she remembered something.  “You have some pain but your intellect is high too,” she asked.  “You haven’t taken that many hypos have you?”  When the azure woman shook her head she counted the PADDs she encouragingly said, “You found your inspiration again, and combined with some small progress, you pushed yourself forward.”  Smiling gently she said, “It’s McDougall’s theory.  He found when his intellect was the most inspired was when his pain was most intense.”

“Pain as motivator, I’ve heard that.  You know what else motivates.  Life.  Life, as in what’s in Holodeck 3,” Satella said in her motivating voice.  

Ya’Han came into the room and quietly observed the trio for a moment.  “Ambassador,” she said in a clear voice after a moment.  “Earlier you mentioned Tactical Directive 36A which is when Starfleet Captain will not engage with a hostile force without the protection of a security force.  Of course this directive is expanded flag officers other high ranking personnel such as yourself.  Tell me, were you invoking that earlier because of a potential threat or because of you knew of an imminent threat?”

“My life is often on the line.  I usually invoke Tactical Directive 36A when I’m on the ground somewhere that’s not considered a safe territory.  Given the political instability over the last several official, and unofficial, reports coming out of KTARIS, it seemed to be prudent to ask for that now,” Xana pointed out gesturing to the pile on her left.  Raising her white eyebrows she asked, “Did something happen?”

Ya’Han appeared to consider the Ambassador and if she wanted to make the arrangements where she was sitting more permanent.  “There was an an assassination attempt made on the Bolian trade delegation,” she said.  Passing over to the Ambassador a small 3D rendered holopic she asked, “Do you know this man?”

Xana held up the imaging as she watched some of the earlier footage of the crime scene on a smaller scale.  “It’s Bamix Drass,” she said quietly.  “He’s the Chair of the Bank of Bolias.”  Looking up she said, “I’ve met him a handful of times.  I headed up an investigation into banking irregularities after the Incursion of BOLARUS IX and post-war funding.  It turned out that they were funneling the credits as part of a black-market scheme that involved a child labor camp on ACAMAR III and several trade businesses owned by Councilmembers.”

The Bank of Bolias was an old Bolian institution; credits often survived wars.  Merits, Dilithium, Credits, Chronitons and any other currency you wanted were all accepted, stored, sold and exchanged (for a reasonable rate).  Most Bolians, and many off-worlders, had accounts there; just because EARTH had gone to a society beyond credits didn’t mean that the rest of the Federation had.  

Ya’Han looked skeptical.  “The Chair of the Bank of Bolias is the head of the trade delegation?” 

“The Bank of Bolias has the most to gain, or lose, in any trade agreement.  The Incursion of BOLARUS IX left the planet decimated,” the azure woman said softly, her voice heavy with painful memories.  “We survived but at a cost.  There aren’t many of us who serve.”  Looking at the picture she said, “The Drass family has always survived and served.”  Passing back the holopic to Ya’Han she added, “For a price.”

Whatever else might have been said was punctured by the voice of the Commanding Officer.  =/\= Morningstar to Senior Staff, report to Observation Lounge. =/\=  

There was a pause before the CO added as if he knew this was a necessary (for some reason).  =/\= Ambassador Bonviva, please join us. Morningstar, out.=/\=

The Ambassador stood up slowly, and patted herself down, ensuring that her black slacks and white tunic hung appropriately along with all the items she had to carry; there would be time to put on the formal white robes before they got to KTARIS.  Slipping her feet into her red flats she said to the others with her violet eyes sparkling. “I told you, I wouldn’t go to the Observation Lounge unless absolutely necessary.  And now, it’s necessary.”

=/\=
Sarah Albertini-Bond

USS ANUBIS NCC 18501

M13-P024: USS ANUBIS: Morningstar: 34002.1030 ("Queen's Gambit")
##########
"Queen's Gambit"
Previous posts (ANU) "Pain As Motivator" / (BAS) "Still Asking Why"
##########

“Time is fluid, like a river, always finding a way to move beyond whatever confinment we try to put in its way. The key is not to build better barriers, but to find ways to better predict how and where the water will flow.”
- Admiral Charles N. Koniki

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Observation Lounge
Stardate: 34002.1030

The Native American sat at the end of the long table watching as the members of the senior staff came in one after the other as per his request, and in compliance to that same request, the Bolian/Terran Ambassador had come.  As soon as everyone was in and seated, the Captain started the briefing.

"As I am sure you have all heard by now there have been some unexpected developments on KTARIS that are directly affecting our mission. It would seem that our target, Miss Mordana, attempted to kill Bamix Drass, the Chair of the Bank of Bolias and head of the Bolian Trade Delegation. The most interesting part of this at the moment is that the attempt failed, and according to all gathered Intel, it would appear that this failure was on purpose."

"Why would Mordana purposefully fail in trying to kill that man?" Counsellor Lopez asked. "It makes no sense."

"I am sure it makes sense... to her," Shar'El sighed wishing that she or anyone else sitting at the table knew what the reason for the failed assassination attempt was.

=====
Setting: NEW ALEXANDRIA, Section A, Level 6, Admiral Koniki's Office
Stardate: 34002.1030

"Admiral," Allyson said, the secretary to the Admiral walking in with a stack of PADDS as well as her customary beaming smile. "Here are the reports from ARGELIUS II, CAMOR V, and TILONUS IV. Also, the sisters are ready with the analysis of the information from KTARIS."

"Thank you," the Commanding Officer of the NEW ALEXANDRIA complex replied, accepting the PADDs and putting them on his desk before moving to one of the large mural paintings displaying a clearly of Egyptian motif of six female figures.  With a simple touch of his finger against a hidden control panel, the intricate artifact receded into the wall and lifted up to reveal a large and very modern screen. "What have you found?"

A figure hidden in the near complete darkness of the room the screen was looking into stepped forward. The outline clearly appeared feminine but the features of the person could not be made out, yet the Admiral knew exactly whom he was speaking to. "There is an 89.7 percent chance that the attack against Bamix Drass was meant to ensure that Ambassador Bonviva beams down to KTARIS," the female said in a soft-spoken voice.

"There is a 72.6 percent chance that the attack is a precursor to an attempt against the Ambassador herself," another voice added, the intonation and cadence of the words making it clear that the two women who had just spoken were closely related in some way, like sisters. "It is still a possibility that the Ambassador is not the intended target."

"If she is though, the crew of the ANUBIS has an 84.9 percent chance of figuring this out. If they do, Lieutenant Ya'Han has only a 48.2 percent chance of actually stopping the attempt against the Ambassador and saving her life," a third voice, equally similar to the previous two, added.

"The murder of Ambassador Bonviva on the steps of the Ktarian government building will have a 73.7 percent chance of leading to a complete breakdown of any diplomatic liaison between the Federation and KTARIS," a fourth sister added.

"Once this happens, there is a 78.4 percent chance that the Bolian government will demand that the trade delegation returns without completing any trade agreement," yet another feminine said as she emerged from the darkness to join the other four figures barely visible on the screen.

"Those are not the odds that I wanted to hear," the Admiral lamented. "What can we do to shift the odds back in our favour?"

"As you anticipated," the sixth and last sister offered, "Doctor Bruxa with the assistance of Lieutenant Commander Maya and Lieutenant Paquette were able to find a way slow down the Ambassador's illness. Unfortunately, there is only a 52 percent chance that this will actually play in favour of Xana not taking a reckless course of action that will end her life and start the chain of events that will lead to KTARIS becoming completely isolated from the Federation making it a perfect target for the Lokustaar."

"The odd drops to less than 10 percent if Ambassador Bonviva learns of the fate of Commander Crichton before she beams down to the planet surface," the first of the six women said, the sisters performing to the best of their skills and gifts.

"No worries there," the Admiral grinned. "I was not planning on letting her or anyone on the ANUBIS knows about that, at least not yet. Sending Xana to KTARIS was a carefully calculated gamble and so far things have proceeded as plan, although as I said before, I do find the odds you have provided me here to be less than what I had hoped."

"These are only speculations," the sisters said, each one saying only a few words before another jumped in to continue as if sharing the same mind and thoughts, which the admiral knew to not be the case. "The odds are fluid, depending on the thoughts and actions of everyone involved, including the Shadow Agent Mordana. Her goal is to destabilize the economic and political foundations of KTARIS, and she could find another way to accomplish this in the next hour. The odds are slim of this happening, but there are still possibilities that the Ambassador will survive the mission."

"Keep analyzing the information from the ANUBIS and our operatives on KTARIS. Keep me up-to-date on any changes," Koniki ordered.

"We always do," the six sisters said as they retreated into the darkness of their domain before the mural returned to how it had been before the discussion had started. The Admiral trusted them implicitly because he knew just how precise their predictions could be. Furthermore, there was no reason for him to doubt them, the sisters had been his creation, just like so many others operating out of this secret base.

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Observation Lounge
Stardate: 34002.1045

"Yes," the Native American agreed with his First Officer's latest assessment, "it is highly possible that this is a trap aimed directly at Ambassador Bonviva, hence why I want alternate options."

"Knowing that the trap is there only means that we can be ready for it," Xana offered, the Ambassador had been adamant about her beaming down regardless of the dangers.

"Capturing Mordana is no longer our only objective," Ensign Jones said.

"She's right," Lieutenant Stark agreed, supporting the FCO's take on their mission. "Capturing her has been made to be a secondary objective. Protecting the Ambassador's life so that we can avoid all hell breaking loose on KTARIS has to be our primary objective."

"I will make sure that all measures are taken to protect the Ambassador," Lieutenant Ya'Han stated with absolute certainty. "We do have to keep the security detail small as to not scare Mordana away as we do need to capture her, but with a few well placed officers, I am sure that this is doable.

"We could send Ani down," Lieutenant Paquette suggested.

"I can even work on creating an antidote for that chemical we found in Bamix Drass," Doctor Bruxa added. "Knowing what we do, that the chemical was more than likely a test run on a way to quickly and efficiently kill a Bolian/Terran hybrid, I am sure that I can get that done in the one hour or so we have left before we arrive. It will be even easier if Maya helps." The Shillian nodded her head, agreeing to shift the focus of her research from being able to detect Lokustaar ships to instead making sure a valid antidote for the Bolian/Terran hybrid was ready for use in the time they had available.

"I will have all of the IGC resources locked on that area," Shar'El added. "There will not be an ant able to move without us knowing about it."

"With Ani and the D.R.O.N.E.s on the planet surface with the Ambassador, we would be able to react even before Mordana thinks about doing anything," the CEO offered, again suggesting that the ship's Avatar should be part of the security detail. "I don't care how sneaky that woman is, she won't be able to move a finger without us snapping it back and shoving it where the sun doesn't shine."

"I will say," Xana smiled. "I do feel somewhat overwhelmed by all this support, not to mention that I am rather glad that I am on this side of whatever hell will be happening once I beam down.

"We do seem to have everything covered," Counsellor Lopez softly pointed out to their Captain who was still reluctant to going ahead with this plan.

"My orders are to make sure that Ambassador Bonviva remains safe," the Captain offered as his last objection, but before he could continue the Bolian/Terran woman interrupted.

"With all due respect, Captain," Xana said, standing up and putting her hands flat on the as she glared back at the Native American, "We all die. Sooner or later we fall down and never get back up. At least here and now I can do something good, and if I fall, at least it will have been because I tried, not because I waited for my time to come. There is more at stake here than just my life."

"As I was saying," Erik continued, matching the woman's posture although in a much less dramatic and confrontational manner. "My orders are to make sure you are safe, but I am satisfied that with everyone working together on this plan we can accomplish our mission objective with minimal risk to your safety, a risk that is worth the possible gain."

"Oh," Xana gasped, slowly returning to her seat. "Sorry."

"We have one hour before we establish orbit around KTARIS," the Captain said, tugging at the bottom of his uniform shirt. "You all know what is required, so get to work. This is going to be a chess match against the Lokustaar and more specifically Mordana, let's make sure we have all of our pieces where they need to be and ready to move if needed. Dismiss."

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

Commanding Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501

AND

Lt. Commander Elan Fairborn [Access Character BIO for Elan Fairborn]
Robotics Engineering Officer
NEW ALEXANDRIA
M13-P025: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: 34002.1100 ("Playing Games")
=-=
"Playing Games"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Queen's Gambit" by Francois / (BAS) "Still Asking Why" by Dawn]
=-=

Setting:  USS ANUBIS, Captain's Ready Room
Stardate: 34002.1100

"Do you have a few minutes to talk?" The ExO / ILO asked after she had followed the Captain back to his office, not giving him the chance to make it around his desk and to his chair.

"Of course Commander," the Captain replied understanding that something was not quite right. "What can I do for you?"

Shar'El looked over her shoulder to make sure the door had closed behind her before explaining the reason for her being here. "I was just curious as to the reason why you did not tell the senior staff about the reason why Ambassador Bonviva is a more-than-likely target?"

"I did not believe it to be necessary to inform them that Mordana was tipped as to the Ambassador's arrival on KTARIS," the Captain replied as he sat down. "Especially when that information originated directly from Admiral Koniki. I did not want to risk the crew feeling like Xana is being used as an unwilling pawn to draw out the Shadow Operative that we have been after for far too long. I need them to be focused on their respective tasks, not on hating the Admiral for his unfeeling ways. There will be plenty of time for all of us to do that after we have Mordana in the brig."

"Xana knows that she is being used in this manner," Shar'El explained. "Here memories on that matter are very clear, she agreed to go on this mission and be the bait. We just did not expect Mordana to set a trap that she would herself spring instead if following her usual M.O. In a way, this may be better for us as we might be able to grab her right there and then."

"I agree that this development may play in our favor, but I am still sworn to Xana's safety as well as everyone else's on board my ship. We are taking a huge risk with going down to the planet's surface knowing that Mordana will get expecting her, but I agree that this will be our best chance of finally take her out of commission, one way or another."

"You have never been one to like the Admiral's plans," The ExO / ILO dryly snickered. "You have always held on to the belief that there is a better, safer way to accomplish our goals while the Admiral is more of the mindset that sacrifices are necessary to ensure the rapid and successful completion of a mission."

"That is true," the Captain agreed. "Koniki likes the quick and dirty method while I prefer the slower and more careful approach. Guess I prefer playing the longer game if it means there is less of a chance for us to suffer casualties."

"You are both experts in playing this Intel game we find ourselves in each and every day. You Captain, I would describe as being more of a 'go' player while the Admiral tends to be more of a 'chess' player," the ExO / ILO said before taking a few seconds to think of the comparison she just used. "Granted, the Admiral is playing chess using a 3D board with trapped squares, but that does not change the fact that he is a chess player. To him, sacrificing a piece to gain an advantage that may lead to winning the game is acceptable is not expected."

"That would be where he and I differ in our playing style," the Captain said continuing with the game analogy. "The problem in this particular game is that I have to concede that he is likely correct. How many people have already died because we have been unable to stop Mordana?  Playing by my rules, it is evident that she is a better player than I am, so we need to change the game. Therefore, as much as I might dislike it, we have to change our tactics and hope that the Admiral's way is a better one. I would just like for us to do everything we can to see us win without having to sacrifice any of our pieces."

Shar'El smiled. "Under normal circumstances, I am sure that the Ambassador would be touched by your thoughts and efforts, but you have to understand that she willingly volunteered because she knew that, as a piece in this game of chess, she was already dead. Going to KTARIS was her last chance to do something before it was too late, that is why she agreed to be the bait in order to draw Mordana out. Whatever the Admiral did or said, it evidently worked better than anyone could have expected."

"Which makes it that much more important that we do not waste this opportunity," the Captain said. "We now have less than an hour to make sure everything is in place."

Understanding what the Captain was saying, the ExO / ILO nodded her head. "I will return to the IGC and make sure that the area is completely covered. I will also coordinate with Lieutenant Paquette to make sure that Ani and the D.R.O.N.E.s are ready for planetside operation and check in with Doctor Bruxa and Lt. Cmdr. Maya to see how their work on an antidote is going. I will keep you informed of any changes." With that said, Shar'El exited the office confident that this time they would win the game against Mordana.

=-=
Setting:  USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 34002.1115

"Commander," Counselor Lopez called out wanting to make sure she intercepted the ExO / ILO before she left the bridge. "I would like to ask you a question about the Ambassador."

Shar'El smiled. It didn't take a telepath to know what question Adriana had on her mind. "You and I know that Xana accepted to be on this mission because she wants to do something good, something that will shine a light on what she believes to be the last part of her life. That Doctor Bruxa has managed to find a way to slow her disease may or may not actually change that. Unfortunately, I can only see people's memories, not their future. As Ship's Counselor, it may be up to you to convince her that there is still a great deal for her to accomplish beyond this mission."

"I am not sure that I can," Adriana said, the task feeling too big for someone with her limited experience.

"You fail 100 percent of the tasks you are too afraid to try," the ExO / ILO said. "The worst you can do is not to try, so speak to her and take comfort that whatever happens, you did your best."

"I thought I was the Counselor on this ship?" Adriana grinned.

"Then I suggest that we both get busy with our respective tasks. We will be in orbit of KTARIS very soon."

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M13-P026: USS ANUBIS: Paquette: 34002.1115 ("An Unexpected Question")
"An Unexpected Question"
previous posts were (ANU) "Playing Games" / (BAS) "Still Asking Why"

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 21, Cybernetics / Robotics lab 
Stardate: 34002.1115

Time was running short, but that's the way Sonja liked it. What was the use of doing something in a rush if there was no reason for it? The greater the pressure was, the better she performed, likely because it forced her to deal with only one thing instead of the several dozens that were always competing for her attention and time.

"I am still unable to access the D.R.O.N.E.s," the Avatar reported standing motionless in the diagnostic frame located in the center of the Cybernetics / Robotics laboratory.

"I know!" Sonja snapped. "I needed to take them off-line in order to upgrade their software and add a few extra tools to their arsenal. We are only going to get one chance to take Mordana down, and after losing her three dozen times, I want to make sure that everything is ready."

"The woman is rather a difficult person to capture," Ani said while she continued searching for the Dynamic Remote Operated Nanotech Explorers through her link to the ship's main computer.

"Saying that she is a difficult person to capture has to be one of the worst understatements of the century," the redhead Chief Engineer said with unescapable frustration. "Hell, we used the ship's phasers to stun an area over a square kilometer and she still managed to walk away. We had to deal with a lot of unhappy people, but the fact that she was able to shrug off a full strength stun setting made it clear that she's a lot more than a simple black-haired pain in our aft section. At first, I thought that the locals calling her a witch or even an agent of the devil was a little over the top, but now I agree with them and more. She may appear humanoid but there is no doubt in my mind that we are dealing with one of those walking nightmares. That is why I have to make sure that both you and the D.R.O.N.E.s are at peak operating level."

"I understand," the artificial woman acknowledged. "May I ask you a question?"

"As long as it is not about the D.R.O.N.E.s or my upgrading your physical frame and articulation to allow you to dance like Ya'Han, than yes you can ask me a question."

"What does it feel like to die?"

"WHAT?" Sonja exclaimed nearly falling off her feet. Of all the possible questions the Chief Engineer could have anticipated, this one had not been anywhere on any lists and as such took the woman by complete and utter surprise. "Where the heck did that come from? Wait, let me guess, it has to be because of that blue-skinned, white-haired Ambassador. You spoke to her?"

"There was no need for me to speak with her," the Avatar clarified. "I have direct access to all information on her as well as the entire medical and sensor data collected since her arrival. I also spent several hours observing her while she slept in the machine you created in Holodeck 3. I am sorry if the question is inappropriate."

"It was not inappropriate, just extremely unexpected," the Chief Engineer said trying to regain her mental footing. "Of all the people on board the ANUBIS, you are the one who is the least likely to die, to pass on, to expire, to become a stiff bereft of life, to kick the bucket, to push up daisies, to cease to be, to end up as a portrait on someone's wall. Even following a complete shutdown of your primary systems, you can still be fixed and restored to full operational capabilities. Whatever could happen to you, we can rebuild you; better; stronger; faster."

"I am aware of this," Ani said again surprising the Chief Engineer. "I was not referring to myself, knowing that physical death would not mean the end of me. My question was an inquiry as to what it feels like for a biological life form such as yourself to die? As your body begins to fail, what types of thoughts, emotions, and feelings are experienced?"

"Why are you asking me?" Sonja loudly exclaimed glaring at the Avatar. "I'm not dead yet, nor have I ever been, and frankly I don't plan on being dead for quite some time. If it does happen it will likely be due to a warp core breach, and my last thoughts at that time will be 'Oh fu...' or 'shi...'  Now, there was that one night after several hours of heavy drinking with a group of Klingons. By the way, and for the record, I was the only one to walk away, well mostly. I had to crawl the last few meters to the nearest bathroom. Once there I do remember wanting to die, but after praying to the great ceramic God and finding myself the next morning cuddling said God, I got over it. So if I do die, Doctor Bruxa and you can always bring me back to life. Once that's done I will be more than happy to answer your questions, but if you don't want to wait that long, we could always run a few experiments. Do you know where Jayson is? We could try a few different ways of dispatching him and see if the final results are all the same."

ANI just looked at Sonja, silent and perfectly stone-faced.

"Fine," the redhead Chief Engineer sighed. "If Mordana manages to get to Xana despite everything that we are doing to stop that from happening, you will get your chance to ask her, that is if the good Doctor can get that antidote to work. That all said, and to be perfectly honest, I hope you don't get to ask her or anyone else for quite some time." Sonja paused in order to bring herself back on task. "Now, be quiet and let me work. I need to get these emitters installed and tested on the D.R.O.N.E.s before we reach orbit."

=====
Lorraine Paquette

Chief Engineering Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501
M13-P027: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: 34002.1115 ("Last Minute Training")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Last Minute Training"
[previous post were (ANU) "An Unexpected Question" / (BAS) "Still Asking Why"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck A-5, Holographic Simulation Chambers 1
Stardate: 34002.1115

Becoming as familiar with the area as possible was crucial in ensuring the Ambassador's safety. As much as the Sec/Tac trusted Doctor Bruxa and Lt. Cmdr. Maya to come up with a working antidote, Ya'Han pushed herself to do everything she could to avoid the remedy being needed. This meant training as hard and fast as she could.

"Computer, reset simulation and increase assailant's speed and strength by another 10%."

Thanks to the IGC's sensors, the environment was exactly as it would be once they arrived. Every step, every wall, every light post were where they needed to be to make this simulation as perfect as possible. The only variable was Mordana, a woman they knew very little about despite the crew hunting her through three dozen systems. When the holographic Ambassador appeared, the Sec/Tac knew that it was time to start another simulation.

With hair as red as could be, Ya'Han stood guard next to the walking Ambassador, her eyes trained on anything and everything that could present a threat. During the previous simulations, the computer made the Shadow agent attack from every possible angle and using a wide range of tactics that kept the Sec/Tac on her toes. Not wanting to leave anything to chance, the strength and speed of the attacker were increased each time making it more difficult to keep Xana out of harm's way.

Like all previous simulations, Mordana literally appeared out of nowhere giving the Sec/Tac mere seconds to react. With the poison specifically designed to kill a Bolian/Terran, the Nylaan did not hesitate to place herself in between the attacker and her target. Every time before, Ya'Han had been able to block the attack without being injured herself, but this time the speed and strength of the holographic attacker proved to be too much.  The simulation ended when the hypospray held by the Lokustaar operative made contact with the Ambassador's bodyguard.

Although no poison was actually injected into her arm, Ya'Han felt the need to rub the area where the attack had landed. "I have to do better. All reports point to Mordana being fast and skilled, so I have to go on the idea that she will do everything she can to reach her target. That is what any assassin would do."

"Are you sure that all of this is necessary?" It was Xana, the Ambassador having apparently walked in without Ya'Han noticing.

"I am," the Sec/Tac replied with absolute confidence. "We are walking into a trap that Mordana has had plenty of time preparing. This means that although we know of the trap, we will still be at a tactical disadvantage. Not knowing the extent of her skills makes it that must more difficult to prepare, so I need to push everything to the highest limits if I am to ensure your safety."

"Let me ask you this, is your mission to keep me safe or to capture Mordana?" The tone of professionalism used made Ya'Han wonder that this was all about.

"Can't we do both?"

"Not if one gets in the way of the other," Xana said. "Charles was clear when he explained to me the goals of this mission. Capturing Mordana is the top priority, the woman is already responsible for hundreds if not thousands of death and that doesn't take into account all of the political hell she has unleashed on every world she has visited. So, I'll ask you again, is your mission objective to keep me safe at the possible cost of letting her escape, or to capture her at the possible cost of my own death?"

Ya'Han knew what her answer needed to be. As Xana said, capturing Mordana was their top priority, and allowing her to escape once more would place the lives of countless others in danger. They needed to stop the Shadow agent now and that at any cost. "I am not answering that question," the Sec/Tac sternly said.

"I appreciate your dedication to my safety, but you need to keep the larger picture in mind. Saving me and letting her go means more will die. Capturing her means that only one will die. The math is simple."

Ya'Han turned to face Xana and took a few steps towards the Ambassador before speaking. "I have learned a great many things from being an officer on board the ANUBIS. Everyone one has helped me in in their own individual ways to understand the universe a little more. Captain Morningstar taught me that as important as what we do for the safety of the Federation and its citizens, we would lose too much if we started going by the numbers. I don't mean lost of lives, but lost of integrity and everything else that makes us the civilization that we are."

"Ever thought of becoming a politician?" Xana laughed. "Maybe even an Ambassador?"

"I am quite happy where I am, doing what it is that I do. Now, if you will excuse me, I have to complete my training before I have to return to the bridge. I am sure that the Captain will want to have me there before we reach orbit."

"Very well," the Ambassador said before simply vanishing making the Sec/Tac realize that she had been speaking with a holographic image of the woman. =/\= All I ask is that you keep what I said in mind. =/\=

"At least it explains why I didn't see her come in," Ya'Han muttered to herself before turning back to face the simulation of the steps leading to the Ktarian government building. "Computer, reset simulation and increase assailant's speed and strength by another 10%."

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

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M13-P028: USS ANUBIS: Bonviva: 34002.1135 ("Play The Cards You're Dealt")
“Play The Cards You’re Dealt”
previous post were (ANUBIS) "Last Minute Training" / (BAS) "Shattered Identity"

=/\=
Hope is a dangerous thing.  Hope can drive a man insane.
-From Stephen King’s “Shawshank Redemption”

=/\=
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 7, Counseling Office
Stardate: 34002.1135

Lieutenant JG Lopez walked into the Counseling Center to find the Ambassador with a deck of cards, shuffling them as she appeared to be in thought.  

“Xana?” she asked, not sure if she was interrupting something.

Looking up the Bolian/Terran smiled at the Counselor.  “I procured a deck of Terran cards, but clearly these are new; too stiff.  So I’m trying to--”

“Break them in,” Adriana nodded. Sitting down across from the Ambassador she asked, “What do you like to play?”

“I play all kinds of things,” Xana smiled, still shuffling in an attempt to break in the cards.  “All kinds of Poker, War, Egyptian Rat Screw--”

Adriana chuckled at that.  “On a ship called the ANUBIS, the last one should be popular.”  Looking over she said, “You didn’t answer the question.  The question is what do you *like* to play, not what can you play.”

“I’m a politician ultimately.  What I like is secondary to what I can do,” the azure woman replied.  

Adriana sat back.  “Somehow I doubt that,” she said with a thought.  Holding out a hand for the cards to help shuffle she said as she squared the deck, “I don’t know of a lot of politicians, or anyone else really, who’d voluntarily go into an Isolation Chamber.”

“It was quite lovely.  In the future I think everyone will be going in there,” the azure woman said cheekily as the Counselor cut the deck.  The Ambassador tapped the cut, so the Counselor could pick up the stacks and resume the shuffle.

Adriana placed the two stacks in front of her, with the two corners pointing at her.  Placing her thumbs against the corners, and her index fingers against the opposite corners.  She used her thumbs to draw the corners upwards, drawing the corners upwards, the two halves of the deck closer and closer together, letting the cards fall.  During the rhythmic shuffle she said, “I think you do what you like but it’s not the same code as Starfleet’s, or the Federation's.  I think you have your own moral compass.  If I were to make a Venn diagram, it would overlap a lot, but there would be a portion that it wouldn’t.  And you’re ok with that.”

Xana leaned back in her chair and watched Adriana’s nimble fingers.  “More importantly the Federation and Starfleet have figured that there’s a portion that doesn’t overlap and they’re ok with it too,” Xana pointed out, not disagreeing with the Counselor’s analysis.  

“I suppose that’s true,” the Counselor agreed as she neatly tapped the cards.  Placing the cards down said, “So why go through with this?”  There was a pause when she clarified, “You know that this is a suicide mission.  You heard it with us, and you knew it before then.  Is it for legacy?”

“Gods no,” Xana scoffed as she held out her hand.  Taking the cards from Adriana she began shuffling the cards herself she said focusing on the cards but her mind long lost on far away memories. “My first husband died in a suicide mission and I hated him for it for years.  Trust me, of all the ways I thought I’d die, this was not it.”  Sighing she said, “I loved my first husband but he wanted to be a hero.  He lived to jump in first and save people.  My wife, before she went missing, she had some of that hero complex in her.  My ex-husband is like that too, even as much as we wanted to be together.  But that’s never been me.  I’ve always talked my way out of every situation.  Yet, here I am.”  

There was a long moment where the silence was only punctured by the shuffle of the cards.  Finally looking up she smiled wanly.  “So if anyone here tells people that I’m hero after I die, I will haunt all of you.”

Adriana nearly rolled her rich chocolate eyes.  “No heroics will be said about you, got it.”  Leaning in she said, “But you know Ya’Han is training, I heard you talking to her.  Satella and Maya are working on an antidote.  Sonya is working overtime on all kinds of gizmos.  Shar’El probably is reaching out to all kinds of people.”  Leaning in the Counselor asked, “What if it all works?”  The Ambassador looked up.  “What if you don’t die?  What if everyone saves you?  And you go back to the Holodeck and we extend your life?  What will you do then?”

Xana tapped the cards into a stack, flipped them over so they all lay face up in a fan on the table.  “You play the cards you’re dealt.  And not one of those cards is hope,” she said softly.  

=/\=
Sarah Albertini-Bond 

USS ANUBIS NCC 18501
M13-P029: USS ANUBIS: Stark: 34002.1135 ("That Had To Hurt")
"That Had To Hurt"
[previous (ANU) "Play The Cards You're Dealt" / (BAS) "Shattered Identity"]

[/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 34002.1135

KTARIS was about 25 minutes away and everyone was rushing like mad to get everything done in time. As much as he understood the reason why Ya'Han was in the Simulation Room, Jayson would have preferred to have the Chief of Security at her station on the bridge. This was not because he feared the ANUBIS not being tactically ready once they reached the planet's orbit. He knew that she could get the entirety of the ship ready in less than 60 seconds. What concerned him was the beating she was taking, a beating that came at her own request and which grew increasingly more severe each time the simulation was reset.

From the Operation stations he could watch her fight one assault after another, each attack demanding more and more out of her as the strength and speed of her adversary increased. According to the Simulation Room's own data, the last Mordana that had been created possessed strength nearly that of two full-grown battle-ready Klingons while her speed and reflexes were several times that of the most agile humanoid race known to the Federation. The Shadow Operative might have been good, but Jayson strongly doubted that she was *that* good.  At this point, the Chief of Security risked suffering injuries that would make it impossible for her to actually beam down to the planet surface with the Ambassador.

"She knows what she's doing," Tanith said from the Flight Control station, the FCO sounding completely unimpressed. "You worrying about Ya'Han is nothing more than a waste of time."

"I'm allowed to worry about Ya'Han," he said in his defense. Maybe his personal feelings for her or even his moving in with her did not grant him that right, but as a member of the same crew, he believed that his concerned were more than warranted.

"You are allowed to worry about her, just as much as you are allowed to worry about a star gone nova. You worrying about it won't change what will or will not happen. Worrying about it, as I said, is nothing more than a waste of time."

Jayson wanted to argue. He wanted to justify his feelings, his concerns, but he remained silent instead. As much as he hated to admit it, Ensign Jones was right; worrying about something was not the best way to deal with that situation or any situation for that matter. He could have been worried about the ANUBIS running into a Lokustaar cruiser before reaching KTARIS. He could have been worried about the transporters experiencing a catastrophic malfunction just as the away team was beaming down. He could be concerned about a million other things, all of which he would be powerless to do anything about. His being worried for Ya'Han was not a matter of professional concern as he tried to convince himself of. His feelings were nothing more than him not wanting anything to happen to the woman he loved.

The Ops Officer glanced at his control panel and saw that the simulation had been terminated and that the Chief of Security was on her way back to the bridge. According to the internal sensors, Ya'Han was walking, favoring one leg over the other. The last simulation, which he had missed thanks to his talking to Tanith, must have not gone as well as the others, but seeing her heading back made him realized that his concerns had served no purpose. It was much better for him to focus on his work, to make sure that everything went as smoothly as possible instead of worrying about something he could not control.

When the doors of the turbolift opened, Jayson held himself back from rushing to her side and making sure that everything was alright. "Did you have fun in the Simulation Chamber?"

"If you are asking, it's because you already know the answer," Ya'Han replied, clenching her teeth as she limped to the Security station, her bright fiery red hair cascading over her shoulders. "I need to come up with a better way to keep Xana safe. The last two simulated attacks actually reached her. I simply cannot allow that to happen, no matter what she says."

"You do realize that you stacked the deck against you from the start," the OPS Officer pointed out. "You had the computer increase the speed and skill of the attacker to a point where she would be able to defeat an entire army by herself. On top of that, you set the simulation to be only you against Mordana when in reality Ani and the DRONEs will be there with you."

"Maybe so, but I cannot take any chances. Xana may be ready to die, but I am not ready to let that happened. I will not allow this to turn into a suicide mission. I'm just worried that I am not doing enough to make sure that it doesn't turn out that way."

"Worrying about something you cannot control is a waste of time," Jayson said drawing a quick over-the-shoulder glare from their FCO. "You have done more than anyone could have asked. You went through every possible and imaginable scenario, some of which I am sure Mordana herself would never consider because they are just too crazy. You forced yourself to face opponents faster and stronger than anything alive out there. You prepared to such an extent that you actually injured yourself."

"I'm fine," Ya'Han brushed aside. "One quick hypospray from Satella and I will be back to normal, but even before that I am well enough to toss you on your back using only one hand."

"I believe you," Jayson quickly said, scared that she would actually do as she had just said to prove her point. "I know firsthand how well you fight, but that doesn't change the fact that you are worried about all of this for nothing. You are ready, more so than anyone else could have expected you to be. You will not be alone on the surface and we will be keeping sensor and transporter locks on everyone. The rest is beyond anyone's control, so stop worrying about it. We will all do the best we can, after that we will just have to see what happens."

"When did you become so wise?" Ya'Han smiled, her hair gradually returning to the black and red mix which Jayson found much less threatening.

"I learned a few things of my own," he grinned while glancing at the FCO who seemed more than happy to ignore the two bickering lovers who were too busy arguing and debating instead of working on any final preparations before the ANUBIS reached its destination.

"We will reach the orbit of KTARIS in 15 minutes," Tanith announced. Maybe, she hoped, saying that would prove to be enough to get them back on track.

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M13-P030: USS ANUBIS: Jones: 34002.1150 ("Always wear an appropriate hat")
"Always Wear an Appropriate Hat"
[previous (ANU) "That had to hurt" / (BAS) "Shattered Identity"]

[/\]

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 34002.1150

Tanith focused her attention on the helm, after her short conversation with Jayson, resuming her silent default state. Silence was best. People never really understood how much of themselves they gave away in idle chitchat, lots of little clues, little throwaway lines that, aggregated, created a far more complete profile than the talker would have imagined.

Unfortunately for Tanith, all these little tidbits of information lodged in her mind whether she wanted to or not, whether it was a conversation she'd had, or something she'd overheard. The counselors had told her it was something like PTSD, a constant state of heightened awareness due to the years of undercover, but try as she might, she couldn't just let all those bits of information go. So, for the sake of politeness, she tried to ignore the conversation between the Operations officer and his- girlfriend? Love interest?- Tanith was never quite sure *what* to classify them as, and she didn't care to ask. Whatever it was, it was volatile. Jayson seemed in turns in awe of the woman, and vaguely terrified of her, which made a certain sort of sense to Tanith, who counted fighting the Nylaan to be near the top of the list of ways she didn't want to get hurt.

She stared hard at the helm, focusing on the countdown on the distance gauge, and the gentle beeping as the computer made some course corrections. The Anubis was top of the line, and if she was honest with herself, it basically flew without her most of the time, especially in deep space. Deep space was basically day after day of her staring at the controls and the blur of the warp field out the view screen. Getting into orbit around KTARIS would be a nice change of pace.

She'd get to take the ship to manual for the approach, she'd have some chit chat with the local traffic control, make a few turns, then put on the parking break.

Easy peasey, at least until the last, inevitable need for some last minute heroic flying.

Tanith's lips turned up into a slight grin as she remembered the last time she'd gotten to do some fancy flying- it had involved smuggling a case of Saurian brandy, seventeen purebred dachshunds, and some very gratuitous nudity in green housepaint- Tanith's smile vanished as she realized Shar'El was behind her. Tanith quickly clamped down on the memory, possessively, it was hers, and besides, the aftermath had been less cheery than the hijinks that had happened on the way.

The XO gave her a somewhat bemused look, and then gestured to the console.

“Everything ready?”

“Yes ma'am. I've started procedures to drop us out of warp,” Tanith said with a satisfied nod. “Once we're there, I'll be ready to make my way down to the shuttle bay to be the Ambassador's chauffeur. I've even got the appropriate hat, won it in a poker game last leave we had.”

Tanith pulled the aforementioned hat from under her seat and held it out for the XO's inspection. The woman gave her another searching look, a slight smile of amusement on her lips.

“It is a very appropriate hat. Excellent, Ensign. As you were. Take us in.” 

[/\]
Alix Fowler

Flight Control Officer
USS ANUBIS NCC-18501
M13-P031: USS ANUBIS: Lopez: 34002.1150 ("Psychological Review")
-=-=-
"Psychological Review"
[Previous post: (ANU) "Always Wear An Appropriate Hat" & (BAS) "Shattered Identity"]
-=-=-

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 7, Counseling Office
Stardate: 34002.1150

The moment the Ambassador left, the Counselor flopped back into her comfortable armchair, exhausted. Counseling sessions were rarely easy, and some required a great deal more work and effort to achieve the smallest level of progress. Playing cards with Xana had opened a path for a casual discussion that quickly turned on point, allowing both to reflect on the difficult situation the Bolian/Terran woman was facing.

"I don't think it worked," Amanda said, the mental projection of the long lost twin sitting exactly where the Ambassador had been mere moments ago. "She's accepted her fate and won't do anything to change that. Why should she? Once you have accepted that you are dying, why allow yourself to hope and find yourself in a lose-lose scenario anyway?"

"Life is not a lose-lose scenario," Adriana argued. "Holding on to life or even the simple hope of it can create opportunities that would never have been there otherwise."

"You really are naive," Amanda sighed with exaggerated exasperation. "I guess that is why you are still hoping to find me, but you do realize that if you do, this hallucination will have nothing in common with the person you will be standing in front of. She will not have spent all of her days by your side, pointing out each and every error you made, or pushing you when you were about to give up. This can also be true of Xana. She has accepted her fate, but if she changed that and held on to even just the hope of life, she would no longer be the same person, both to herself and to everyone around her. Beyond that, if she Satella did cure her, that poor woman would have to face death all over again at some point, and that time may not be on her terms."

"That's too negative an attitude even for you," the Counselor snapped moving to sit on the edge of the armchair. "Life is its own reward, not just for the individual but for all those around them. Life encourages, life inspires, even if only as hope. It is my hope of one day finding you alive that brought me to Starfleet. It was that same hope that saw me through the attack on the KROGEN and gets me up every morning even as we face the darkness that the Lokustaar represent. Now, imagine what Xana could accomplish with just the hope of life. She is an accomplished diplomat with experiences and knowledge that I could not even hope to match by the end of my career. Going down to KTARIS does not have to be the last step she takes; in fact, it should be the first step into a new life in which she would be able to help countless others."

"As I said, you are naive," the twin moaned.

"Maybe I am naive," the CNS smiled. "Maybe I am looking at the universe in a far too positive light. Not only do I believe that one day I will find you, but I also believe that we will find a way to stop the Lokustaar from casting their dark, cold shadow over every world we know. I also believe that there is something inside Xana that understands the value of life and that her time with us on the ANUBIS might have made her realize that life, or even the simple hope of it, is more powerful than any weapon out there."

"Xana is not your standard person suffering from some sort of depression and needing someone to give them a motivational speech," Amanda said as she mimicked the twin's posture. "She is a woman who had a long and productive life faced with the reality that she has a fatal disease that could not be cured. When she was informed that the illness was progressing much faster than expected, she had no choice but to put her affairs in order before it was too late. Koniki gave her a way to go out with a bang instead of a weak whisper lost in the wind. Come back from something like that is not going to be easy, and that is *if* she wants to. As far as she is concerned, she might have decided that her time is done."

"What about her kids?" Adriana asked. "No parent wants to just go; they all want to see the next step and achievement in their lives. What about love? Obviously, this was a rocky road for her, but since she has been married three times, there is a possibility of a fourth, or fifth, or even sixth. Then there is her professional life. How many more people would she be able to help? How many lives would she influence and change for the better? To give up on herself, especially when the hope she has been presented with is much more than a simple dream, is to give up on everyone else."

"She won't change her mind. You and I both know that," the hallucination said with a tone of certainty followed by a smile

"Remember, I'm naive," the Counselor said, matching her sister's smile. "It means I believe that all of the talks we had, all of the help she was given, all of the encouragements she received made their mark. She may have accepted her fate, but I am sure that there is something in her that is wondering what life could be after this mission. There is one thing I know for sure," Adriana added, glancing at the time displayed. "No one on board the ANUBIS is going to make it easy for her, and like it or not, she's dealing with it as we speak."

-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor
USS ANUBIS
M13-P032: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: 34002.1220 ("It's Game Time")
=-=
"It's Game Time"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Psychological Review" by Marissa / (BAS) "Shattered Identity" by Rachel]
=-=

Setting:  USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 34002.1220

"Is everything ready?" Captain Morningstar asked from his chair at the center of the command deck.

"Not quite," the ExO / ILO reported coming to stand next to him. "Doctor Bruxa and Commander Maya have not finished with the creation of an antidote. According to our resident science expert and all around super smart Shillian, the molecular composition of the poison is far more complex than they initially expected and this is making things a lot harder for them. They both said that the poison has distinct Shadow properties."

"Nothing is ever easy when dealing with the Lokustaar or anything they create," the Captain sighed. "We can't wait for them; if we delay Mordana may suspect something." With a quick press of a button on the control panel on his chair, a communications channel was opened. "Morningstar to Ensign Jones, are you ready to go?"

=/\= Yes Captain, =/\= the FCO promptly replied. =/\= We are ready to launch. =/\=

=/\= Ready but not happy, =/\= the Ambassador could be heard objecting in the background. =/\= You said that I was beaming to the planet surface, not being taken down in a shuttle. Why was the plan changed and more importantly, why was I not informed? =/\=

"The decision was made for your own safety Ambassador, and at the time you were in a session with Counselor Lopez," Shar'El interjected, trying her best to spare the captain from the brunt of the woman's anger. "You have nothing to fear though, you are in good hands with Ensign Jones, she's an excellent pilot and you will have a full VIPER escort to make sure that your journey is as uneventful as possible. So just sit back and enjoy the ride."

=/\= It is not as if I was given a choice, =/\= Xana vehemently complained. =/\= Guess I should be grateful that Doctor Bruxa did not force me to be in a hover chair, just to make sure I would not suddenly run away. =/\=

"No one believes that you would run away Ambassador," Shar'El said shaking her head. "All of this is to ensure not only your safety but the completion of the mission. All you have to do is concentrate on meeting the Ktarian government representatives while we take care of Mordana. Ensign Jones, you may leave," the ExO / ILO concluded before closing the communications channel to make sure that they did not have to continue with Xana's objections.

"VIPER squadron has been launched," Lt. Stark reported from the Operations station. "Doors to the shuttle bay have been opened and the craft is on its way. Sensors are showing no signs of any craft in their flight path."

"Phase one completed," the ExO / ILO said. "I'd better head back to the IGC and keep a close watch on everything."

The Captain nodded his head before opening another communications channel, this one to the transporter room. "Morningstar to Lt. Paquette, you may proceed with the beam down at your convenience."

=-=
Setting:  USS ANUBIS, Transporter Room 3
Stardate: 34002.1225

Ya'Han and Ani stood on the transporter platform, a small case resting on the floor in the area reserved for materials.

"I hope this works," the Chief of Security said, her full bright red hair showing that the Nylaan was as ready as could be for a fight. After all of the training she had submitted herself to, not actually getting into a fight seemed like a huge waste.

"Just remember to release the D.R.O.N.E.s the moment you arrive and give them at least 20 seconds to spread out before making your way to the government building. This will allow them to get into position and set up a sensor parameter that will give you both several extra seconds when Mordana decides to strike. You will arrive out of the general public's sight about 250 meters away from the standard beam down location, so you will have ample time to ready yourselves. From there just make your way as if everything was as it should be and let that soulless shadow demon attack."

"That is if she actually shows up," Ya'Han said sounding a little concerned. "All of this hinges on her going after the Ambassador between the beam sight and the government building. What happens if she realizes that we have set a trap of our own?"

"By the time she realizes that we tricked her, it will be too late," Sonja said with a distinct air of pride about her. "Trust me, everything has been worked out and tested. Nothing will go wrong, I am willing to stake my reputation as the best engineer in the Alpha Quadrant, There's that one guy in the Beta Quadrant that is good, but I'm sure he cheated off of my own work on that last project."

Any comments the Chief of Security might have had were held back as the Ship's Counselor walked into the room. "Just wanted to wish you good luck and to remind you to keep an eye on the Ambassador. I believe that she will not do anything rash, but I have been known to be wrong at times. I did everything I could to make her understand that this does not need to be her last mission."

"If everything works as planned, Mordana will have been captured and beamed back to the ANUBIS before Ambassador Bonviva even sets foot on KTARIS," Ya'Han said looking at the Avatar standing next to her. "Whenever you are ready."

Ani turned her head to look at Sonja who seemed more than anxious to see just how well the latest addition to her creation would work. After a few seconds, the android was covered by a shimmering effect, and when it dissipated the Avatar's had been replaced by a perfect likeness of the Bolian/Terran woman."

"Sensor readings are spot on," the Chief Engineer happily chimed. "There is no way Mordana can tell that you are not Xana, well at least from afar. The moment she gets close enough, I am sure that the two of you will delight in showing her just how wrong she was."

"This might just work," Adriana said with a beaming smile, her hopes for everything growing with each passing second.

"Only one way to find out," Sonja added as she reached for the transporter controls. "Energizing!"

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M13-P033: USS ANUBIS: Bruxa: 34002.1230 ("The Antidote")
=-=
"The Antidote"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "It's Game Time" / (BAS) "Quick Changes"]
=-=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Sickbay
Stardate: 34002.1230

"You know, at this rate, none of this will actually matter." Doctor Bruxa was visibly upset at their lack of progress. "Xana is already on her way to the planet's surface. We were supposed to get this done before the ANUBIS established orbit around KTARIS. We had a few extra minutes to play with when they changed their plans. Using a shuttle to bring the Ambassador to the surface played in our favor. However, it was not enough for us to create the antidote. Now she is gone without what she needs to save her life should Mordana succeed. Because of that, she could be cold dead, face down in the dirt, by the time we figure this thing out."

"I will agree that there is still work to be done," Maya said. With the CMO in such a state, the CSciO needed to be the voice of reason. "We still have to confirm the molecular makeup of the poison. Once that is done, we will need to synthesize the actual antidote. It would also be prudent for us to test the counter poison's effectiveness. That said I doubt that the Ambassador will be dead by the time we finally accomplish this. We are just one team among many others. Each is working on their own part of our current situation. Our part is the antidote while others are changed with the Ambassador's safety. We must remain confident that they will succeed as I am sure they are doing about us."

Satella raised an eyebrow as she glared at the woman working next to her. "So in short, you are telling me to stop worrying and start working."

"I would never be so blunt," the CSciO said. "I just believe that it is to everyone's best interest for us to continue working on our assigned task. Giving up and letting frustration take over will not result in anything good. Everyone is counting on us."

"Well, maybe not *everyone*. I am sure that Xana would agree that she has more at stake than anyone else. That is, of course, pending on whether or not Adriana was successful in convincing her that life is a better option."

"Life is always a better option," Maya said, a deep sadness echoing in her voice.

"I agree, but I would venture that you have a truly unique perspective on that matter. Being the last living member of your race, your life holds a lot of importance. Xana may not share that opinion, especially in light that her legacy is secured by her children."  It was Maya's turn to stop, the words that Satella had said hit home with an unintentional sting. "I am so sorry. I did not mean to upset you. I simply wanted to point out the difference in your perspective as compared to hers."

"That is quite alright. Very much like Ambassador Bonviva, I have made peace with my personal situation. I have accepted that I am the last of my people, just as she has accepted the end of her life."

"The only difference is that there is something she can do about her situation." The twitch on Maya's face indicated that the CMO had again said something wrong. If anything, this would serve to make Satella better appreciate what Adriana did on a daily basis. Cheering people or simply talking about their lives compared to others was not as easy as it might seem to be. "I am so sorry, again. I think it would be best if I stopped talking and resumed our work. At least that way, the odds of there being two dead bodies will be greatly reduced."

"I could never hurt you, Doctor. I respect you too much as a fellow shipmate to ever think of doing anything that would harm you."

"I will admit that I am very happy to hear that," Satella said with a smile. "But I was not thinking about you hurting me. I was more going along the lines of what I would do to myself for hurting you the way I did."

"You do not have to be concerned with that. In fact, I believe that there is something much more important that requires our attention." Maya was no longer looking at Satella. The attention of the CSciO was focussed instead on one of the monitors.

"What did I say?" The Doctor had not noticed the change in her partner's attention.

"It is not what you said."

"Alright, what did I do?" Satella sounded a little annoyed with herself.

"It has nothing with what you did. It is about what we should be doing."

"I get it, let's get back to work. We need to figure out this shadow chemical." Satella was frustrated, but at least this time it was not because of their lack of progress. This frustration, unlike the other, actually allowed her to smile.

"Actually, we have." Maya decided to help Satella by bringing her attention to the data being displayed.

"We did?" Doctor Bruxa was beside herself, looking at the screen to confirm their findings. "What are we waiting for? The antidote is within our grasp. If we hurry, and luck is on our side, we might be able to beam it down before Xana steps out of the shuttle."

=-=
Rachel Jackie Johnson

Lieutenant JG Satella Bruxa [Access Character BIO for Satella Bruxa]
Chief Medical Officer
USS ANUBIS

[Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. - Mark Twain]
M13-P034: USS ANUBIS: Morningstar: 34002.1230 ("Bishop to G5 - Check")
##########
"Bishop to G5 - Check"
Previous posts (ANU) "The Antidote" / (BAS) "Quick Changes"
##########

“Chess is the struggle against the error.”
- Johannes Zukertort

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 34002.1230

The Native American watched with great interest the four images being displayed on the split main viewer. There was simply too many 'pieces' to keep track of on a single view screen, so this simple yet effective system was used. Many times during his youth, Erik's father had compared life to a game of chess, trying to convince his son of the need to think ahead, to plan for several moves and counter moves. The analogy more often than not failed to apply to everyday situations, but since his assignment to the ANUBIS, Morningstar had to admit that his father's wisdom had come in handy more often than not.

On the upper-left portion of the main viewscreen, the progress of the shuttlecraft and therefore of the Ambassador could be followed at a glance. On the upper-right, a composite aerial view of the landing party based on sensor data was displayed, showing Ya'Han, Ani and the four D.R.O.N.E.s as they prepared to make their way to the Ktarian government building.  In the lower-left corner was a tactical view of the ANUBIS tracking any and all objects in orbit around them. In the lower-right end-side, the fourth and last quarter of the main viewscreen showed a less than happy Bolian/Terran woman who, for obvious reasons, had not been informed of the change of plan that would have seen her beamed to the planet surface.

"Bridge to IGC," Erik said, the channel linking the two sections of the ship was opened the moment Commander Shar'El had left to return to her domain. "Report."

=/\= Showing everything as clear, Captain, =/\= the First Officer reported. =/\= As you can see on the bridge's main viewscreen, we are receiving telemetry and signals from everyone. The away team had arrived and the shuttle should land in about 10 minutes. So far, everything is proceeding according to plan. =/\=

The debate as to whether or not to have the shuttle and away team land at the same time had actually not lasted very long. Although both scenarios offered advantages and disadvantages, the scattered landing was in the end deemed safer for the Ambassador without jeopardizing the mission's objective. If Lt. Ya'Han and Ani made contact with Mordana, the Ambassador would be able to disembark safely without any issues. If on the other hand, the landing party failed to lure the Lokustaar operative into the open, the shuttle could always be ordered back, again ensuring the continued safety of the Ambassador. Even if the landing party did confront the Shadow agent unsuccessfully, there would be ample time to recall the shuttle or at worst case beam both Bonviva and Jones back on board the ANUBIS.

As Shar'El pointed out, these scenarios covered only the top most likely possibilities, but in order for the trap to have any chance of working, they could not take the time or commit the resources to address all other contingencies. The only near certainty in the scenarios they chose to be ready for was the high likelihood that the Ambassador would be less than happy that she would not be directly part of the action.

"Morningstar to away team, you are 'go' to proceed." The Native American said, his attention diverted from the main viewscreen momentarily as Lieutenant Stark stepped back on the bridge just in time to see Ya'Han making her way to the governmental building.

"Is there any sign of Mordana or any other suspicious individuals?" Jayson asked while making his way to the Operations station from where he would be able to follow the action more closely, should anything actually happen.

"No," the Captain replied, "then again we were not expecting her to appear on our instruments as some sort of flashing red icon. The D.R.O.N.E.s will provide us with an advance warning, but no one is expecting that to be more than a few seconds. That said, I suspect that thanks to the intensive training our Chief of Security subjected herself to before beaming down, those extra seconds will be more than enough for her to make Mordana regret ever going up against her."

"That is my hope, Captain," Lieutenant Stark said glancing down at his console to confirm the distance that separated the landing party to the steps of the government building.  "Ya'Han and Ani are now at 200 meters from the steps. If Mordana is out there, she sees them, unfortunately, the D.R.O.N.E.s have not yet identified anyone that matches her description."

"Again, that was expected. All of the accounts from the three dozen planets and stations we chased her through were the same, she is a ghost.  This was the first time Mordana actually took matters into her own hands, and even with that, the eyewitness accounts could only identify a mysterious black-haired woman running *away* from the scene.  My guess is that she possesses some sort of personal cloaking technology allowing her to appear and vanish at will."

"Like the Jem'Hadar during the Dominion War," Jayson nodded in reluctant agreement knowing that this would only make things more difficult for the away team. As unwelcome as that possibility as it was, this particular matter had been taken into account thus why both the D.R.O.N.E.s and Ani had been ready for that specific eventuality. Not only were they scanning for visual cues of a would-be attacker, but they were also scanning for distortions, motions beyond the visual spectrum and out of place heat generation.  "Doctor Bruxa is reporting the antidote is nearly ready. Also, the away team is now a little less than 150 meters from the steps."

"All the pieces are in place," the Native American whispered to himself. "The most logical tactical moves have been considered and every single one of them has a counter move ready for us to use. All that is needed is for Mordana to make her move."

"Captain!" Jayson cried out. "The D.R.O.N.E.s have locked on a woman dressed in black that appears to match Mordana's description. There is just one problem."

"What is it?" Erik demanded as he studied in a hurry the computer-generated aerial view of the area in front of the Ktarian Government building, unable to see what the D.R.O.N.E.s had reported.

=/\= It appears to be Mordana, Sir, =/\= Ya'Han reported. =/\= We cannot be sure but the woman is just standing there, watching us. She's not even trying to hide from us. If it is Mordana, she has made drastic changes to her mode of operation. =/\=

"Could she be onto our plan? Does she know that it is not the Ambassador down there in front of her?" Jayson asked, concerned that their plan had failed and that Ya'Han was in greater danger than they had expected her to be in.  "Should I instruct Lieutenant Paquette to beam them back?"

"No," the Native American quick ordered. "Ya'Han, you are to proceed as plan. We need to know for sure what she is up to, and if in fact, the woman is Mordana. This could be nothing more than a test to see if there is a counter trap in place. The woman could be a decoy to draw your attention away from where the attack will originate from. We have to wait and see what she does not." Erik's heart was pounding in his chest as he watched and waited. The opening moves had been done, now the only thing they could do was to see what would happen next.

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

Commanding Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501

AND

Lt. Commander Elan Fairborn [Access Character BIO for Elan Fairborn]
Robotics Engineering Officer
NEW ALEXANDRIA
M13-P035: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: 34002.1240 ("There's No Bluffing In Chess")
=-=
"There's No Bluffing In Chess"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Your Reputation Precedes You" by Sarah / (BAS) "Quick Changes" by Karen]
=-=

Setting:  USS ANUBIS, IGC
Stardate: 34002.1240

The key for any trap to work is the bait. Without an effective means to draw in the intended target, the entire process quickly becomes useless. In this case, it was the Ambassador who played the role of bait, well, initially that had been Xana's who had been cast in that role but for safety reasons, that plan was changed and the ship's Avatar took over as a stand-in.

The Bolian/Terran woman had not been happy about this, not one bit, her blue skin showing clear shifts towards the other end of the color spectrum. That much could be seen on the image being relayed from the shuttlecraft. With the way the situation was developing on the steps of the government building though, the ExO / ILO was increasingly happy that the switch had been made. Ya'Han and Ani had made contact, seeing the woman standing there, quietly waiting as they approached. Captain Morningstar had made his position clear, the mission was to proceed so that the trap could be triggered and the Shadow agent captured. At least that was the plan, and as most of their plans, things did not go exactly as expected.

"IGC to Ya'Han, please confirm hat Mordana is there on the steps of the governmental building."

=/\= Confirmed, =/\= the Nylaan Chief of Security replied sounding a little confused by the question. =/\= She is on the second step from the bottom, roughly 80 meters away and to our right. Is there something wrong? =/\=

"Ani, what are you seeing?"

=/\= The individual Lt. Ya'Han is referring to is actually a sophisticated holographic image, =/\= the Avatar explained. =/\= Initial scans did show a physical form there, but following a closer analysis, I can see that the heat signature is too uniform to be an actual living entity. In addition, I am unable to detect any signs of a heartbeat, breathing or any other biological functions. Adding all of these clues together would lead us to believe that we have been set up. Mordana is not here. =/\=

=/\= I thought we were the ones setting up a trap! =/\= Ya'Han exclaimed, understandably upset.

"She's good," Shar'El sighed. "Annoyingly so." The ExO / ILO looked at the multitude of screens in front of her, trying to figure out what was happening.  "Ani, do me a favor and scan the area, I doubt that Mordana went through all that trouble to not be there to see if her trap worked.

=/\= Repositioning the D.R.O.N.E.s. =/\=

=/\= Shuttle to ANUBIS, we are starting our final approach, =/\= Tanith reported. There was no reason to call the craft back although the fact that they were not certain as to the operative's actual location did bother Shar'El. It appeared that all of their planning had been for not.

"Ani, Ya'Han, I need one of you to confirm that Mordana is there, somewhere in the vicinity. If you are unable to do so, the captain may have no other choice but to recall the shuttle or worst have Sonja beam the Ambassador back." The options were not the best, far from it, but if Captain Morningstar were to stay true to his desire to keep Ambassador Bonviva safe, he would have little choice as long as the Shadow agent was unaccounted for.

=/\= The hologram had been deactivated, =/\= the Chief of Security reported, the ExO / ILO seeing her standing on the second step of the building, likely where the image had been. =/\= The device appears quite sophisticated and I would not be surprised that we find out it has shadow technology inside. =/\= Shar'El nodded, figuring that Ya'Han was right but before either could say anything, one of the indicators on the screen showing the away team began to move, quickly. For a yet to be determined reason, the Avatar was rushing to her escort's location. The two indicators became one before a strange noise was heard coming through the open channel.

"What happened? Is everyone alright?" Shar'El asked fearing the worst.

=/\= The holographic emitter was trapped, set to implode after being picked up, =/\= Ya'Han reported, the stunned expression on her face could be heard by the ExO / ILO.

=/\= The D.R.O.N.E.s and I picked up a sudden increase in localized graviton emission. I ran to knock the device out of her hand before it triggered. No one was injured but I believe that I may have located Mordana. The D.R.O.N.E.s observed a woman matching her description and appearance running away following the device imploding. =/\=

"Our sensors are unable to follow her, you will have to pursue on foot," the ExO/ILO said. "We will keep track of your movements but you're on your own as far as tracking her."

=/\= Understood, =/\= the Chief of Security said as she and the Avatar exploded in a mad dash to catch up with the escaping woman.

"ANUBIS to shuttlecraft, proceed to the government building with caution. It would appear that the away team is in pursuit and heading away from the area, but since we are unable to track Mordana from up here, I recommend that you be careful."

=/\= We will, =/\= the FCO acknowledged.

=/\= Tell Doctor Bruxa that I received her little gift, =/\= the Bolian/Terran hybrid added, evidently referring to the antidote that the CMO and CSciO had managed to create. =/\= Now, I have Ambassador-like things to do, can we get moving? =/\=

=-=
Setting:  KTARIS, Shuttle Landing Platform
Stardate: 34002.1305

Ensign Jones stepped out and looked up to see the VIPER escort flying overhead. Their appearance might have been strange but the fact that they were there seemed to make the entire situation a little less stressful.

"Stop daydreaming," Xana said in good fun. "As of right now, you are my entire Ambassadorial staff."

Tanith rolled her eyes and starting to walk in pace with the Bolian/Terran woman as she made her way to the government building with a brisk and purposeful step.

=-=
Setting:  ANUBIS, IGC
Stardate: 34002.1310

The ExO / ILO watched with a certain amount of trepidation as Ambassador Bonviva and Ensign Jones made their way up the stairs of the Ktarian Government building. Lieutenant Ya'Han and the ship's Avatar were nearly a full kilometer away; still trying to catch up to the Shadow agent, but this did not make Shar'El feel any better. There was still a possibility that Mordana had turned back or never had actually left, but by now, it was too late do to anything more than what was being done.

The trap they had set had failed, thwarted by a trap within a trap set by the Lokustaar operative who had once again proven just how slippery she could be, no matter the situation.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M13-P036: USS ANUBIS: Bonviva: 34002.1315 ("Your Reputation Precedes You")
=/\=
"Your Reputation Precedes You"
Previous posts (ANU) "Bishop to G5 - Check" / (BAS) "Quick Changes"

=/\=
Diplomacy is saying "Nice doggie" until you can find a rock
-Will Rogers

=/\=
Location: Ktarian Government Building
Stardate: 34002.1315

“Ambassador Bonviva, we weren’t expecting you now but your reputation precedes you and KTARIS is honored to host you,” Alus Pami, the head Ktarian diplomat, said.  Looking around he said, “Is this your entire attaché?”

Xana smiled at that.  It was unheard of, both for her personally and for most Ambassadors, to come onto a planet with such a small party.  In this case it was just her and Tanith; and it wasn’t like the pilot was saying much.  

Ignoring the question she said, “We have important matters to discuss.  Let’s get down to business.”  Looking around she found what appeared to be a seating area and sat down across indicating that the diplomat should sit too.  “After speaking with and reading reports from various officials, here’s what I’ve come to understand.  You are being negligent in your duties to your own people,” the Ambassador said.  Leaning back in her chair as she said, “Now you’re looking to be bought, in order to be brought back in line.”

“We reject that line of questioning.  Ktarians don’t look for bribes,” Alus Pami sniffed.  

Xana looked over at the man.  “You think Bamix Drass was here because he wanted a vacation?  The head of the Bank of Bolias and Bolian Trade Delegation was here because it was profitable to you, to him, to BOLARUS, to KTARIS, and to the Federation,” she pointed out.  

Alus Pami, ever the diplomat, kept his voice calm.  “Many business leaders come to KTARIS.  We’re always open to new ventures.”

The azure woman did not roll her eyes, although that took great effort.  “Yes, I know, I’ll be sure to note your benevolence next time there’s a humanitarian crisis.”  Looking over she asked, “If you were open to a trade with BOLARUS IX -- out of curiosity -- what would you be getting?”

“Infrastructure materials and building materials for shipping,” the government official said after a moment.  “If such a deal materialized.”  A long pause settled as the two diplomats considered each other.  “I didn’t know that the Federation paid off people,” Ktarian official said.

Xana shrugged; she didn’t care for that term.  On the other hand she couldn’t ignore that or history either.  “Terrans have been paying off other governments since their Industrial Age, if not earlier.  Countries would make new leaders and pay tributes to another to quote unquote keep them in line.  Bolians were not much better, they did it back to their Medieval Age.  So yes, it’s been done.”  Leaning in she said, “If you want, it’s the price we pay for being alive, free, and atone for the sadly the criminally negligent behavior of the Federation Council.”

“Which you had been a member of until recently,” the government official pointed out.  Giving her a look he said, “As I said, we know who you are.”

“Well I don’t brag that I was a member of the Federation Council.  It wasn’t that exciting except for the day drinking,” Xana shrugged.  Looking around she said, “You know you mentioned my lack of attaché, but you also have a lack of attaché.  Where is everyone?”

“Elsewhere,” Pami said vaguely.

“That’s helpful,” Xana countered.  “Are they looking for deals with other organizations...or other people?”

“KTARIS is unaffiliated.  We reserve the right to do business wherever our best interests may be,” the diplomat pointed out.

The azure woman kept trying to wiggle her toes in her shoe as a reminder of why she was here, as a reminder why she kept pressing forward.  That little action, which she had been unable to do for 2 years, gave her more to dream about for the future than anything else.  That dream had to keep her going; even when the person opposite her was annoying.  It just had to remind her to take another tactic.  

Leaning back, Xana reached into her pocket and took out the cards she had been playing with on the ANUBIS. “I like games, and it’s my understanding that there are some parlor games popular on KTARIS.  Want to play a game?”  

Alus Pami said, “I don’t know Terran or Bolian card games.”

Xana smiled then.  “Good we’ll bet and make it interesting then.”

=/\=
Sarah Albertini-Bond

USS ANUBIS NCC 18501
M13-P037: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: 34002.1320 ("Chasing Shadows")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Chasing Shadows"
[previous post were (ANU) "There's No Bluffing In Chess" / (BAS) "Quick Chnges"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: KTARIS, City
Stardate: 34002.1320

By now, Ambassador Bonviva was likely speaking to a Ktarian government official, safe and sound, at least that was as long as Mordana was busy running away from the Sec/Tac and the ANUBIS' Avatar. That is what Ya'Han kept telling herself so s to not think about the operative's agility and speed the like of which the Nylaan had never seen before. Although they had chased the dark woman through countless worlds and environment, never before had they been so close to catching her, and never had they been for far.

"How can she move that fast?" Ya'Han asked aloud while using every trick she could to just maintain the distance between them. The only advantage the team of two had was the Avatar who thanks to her speed had on a few occasions forced the operative to take an unexpected detour.

=/\= She is heading down the alleyway to the left; I will try to intercept on the other side. =/\=

This could be it. There would be no escape route out of the alleyway, not unless the woman had some sort of wall-climbing ability, which would not have completely surprised the Sec/Tac at this point. Ya'Han turned into the narrow passageway and saw Mordana nearly half way through it. If Ani could not reach the other end in time, the pursuit would continue and judging by the operative's stamina it could last for quite some time.

Ya'Han allowed a cautious smile to appear on her lips as she noticed Ani blocking the other end of the alley. They had her! She had nowhere to go so all that was left to do was to grab her and return to the ANUBIS. The smile quickly vanished though when Mordana plowed through the Avatar as if she had not been there, sending the android flying backward to crash into a nearby wall.

"ANI!" Ya'Han screamed as she ran to the mechanical woman's side. "Are you okay?"  The question was nothing more than a reflex, after all, the Sec/Tac was speaking to a wonder of mechanical engineering created by Sonja to be as indestructible as could be. When no reply was offered though, the Nylaan's concerns became real. "Ani, are you alright?"

"Failures of primary and secondary power systems. Cascading failure of cognitive processing in progress. Unable to correct..."

"Ani!" the woman with the bright red hair pleaded, but the sound of the four D.R.O.N.E.s suddenly falling to the ground made the Sec/Tac understand the severity of what had happened. "Ya'Han to ANUBIS. Emergency beam up for Ani, she's hurt, badly."

=/\= What did you do to her? =/\= Sonja asked, her voice like that of a mother concerned for a child.

"Mordana just pushed her out of the way and into a wall. The impact might have caused some internal damage or the physical contact between the two of them caused something else to happen. Beam her back up, I'll continue the chase." Ya'Han immediately started running, taking only a split second to look over her shoulder to see the Avatar and her D.R.O.N.E.s vanish in the shimmer of a transporter beam.  As she ran, the Sec/Tac considered the possible futility of her actions. If Ani was unable to stop Mordana, what chances did she have, especially now that she was alone?

With each turn and jump over whatever obstacle they came across, the Sec/Tac saw the distance between them increase, not by a great deal but it was still enough to make Ya'Han understand that she would never be able to catch up on foot. The Shadow operative was just too quick.

=/\= Don't give up, I'm on my way down with all of our Marines. In addition, the VIPERs have been redirected to your location. Maybe they can help by providing visual tracking. =/\=

It would have been nice for Ya'Han to be able to claim the capture of Mordana but right now there was no place for her ego. That Jayson was coming down along with 50 Marines meant that the odds might have at the very least returned to be even. The Sec/Tac scuffed at that though realizing the mathematical equation she had just considered to provide a balanced formula. It took 52 warm bodies as well as three fighters/interceptors to even out the odds against a single Shadow agent.  Was this a sign of just how outmatched they had been all along?

"Ya'Han, wait up!" Jayson said.

"We don't have the time to *wait* or *chat*," Ya'Han snapped, her frustration with the situation overflowing.

"Relax, take a moment to breathe. The Marines have the area completely sealed. Might cause a diplomatic issue to see Federation troops on KTARIS but the Captain made the call. He wants her captured and right now I think he doesn't care what we have to do to make it happen. We have never been so close, so take a moment to take a breath and let's go in clearheaded. Whatever political issues this causes will be handled by the Ambassador, that she knows it or not."

The Sec/Tac took a few seconds to take a long inhale as suggested by Jayson, but once that was accomplished, she looked straight into his eyes. "There, done. Now let's go and get that woman. We can't underestimate her in the slightest, so make sure that their weapons are set to the highest possible stun setting and even then I have my doubts that it will work. We may have to use something stronger."

"Way ahead of you on that one," the Chief of Operations grinned as he rushed after the already running Sec/Tac. "The Marines came down armed for war, which in hindsight might make Ambassador Bonviva's task even more difficult, but as I said before, the Captain authorized the action. I'm guessing that the Captain, the Admiral or the Ambassador have some sort of ace up their sleeves to offset the hell we are about to raise."

"Then we better get this done and over with as quickly as possible. I am sure that Xana will appreciate all of us being off this world when she as to explain why we had to do this," Ya'Han explained already several meters ahead of Jayson. "Come on! Keep up, we have a Shadow agent to capture and put into isolation."

"Might not be so isolated if the Ambassador goes back there after the mission."

Ya'Han was not entirely sure how to react to that statement. As far as the Sec/Tac knew, there were still some very large questions about whether or not Xana would even return to the ANUBIS, and if so in what state. After all that the crew had done, it would be a shame if she did not embrace the opportunity that had been placed before her, but right now the most important matter to anyone to be focussed on was the capture of Mordana.

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

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M13-P038: USS ANUBIS: Lopez: 34002.1330 ("Heightened Stress")
-=-=-
"Heightened Stress"
[Previous post: (ANU) "Chasing Shadows" & (BAS) "Quick Changes"]
-=-=-

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 34002.1330

With everything that was happening, it was expected that everyone`s stress level would jump up, and it had, so much so that Adriana could feel it. It was as if the gravitational constant of the universe had suddenly increased, weighting on everyone like an inescapable force. Although every situation was different, the results were the same, stressful situations surrounded them on all sides.

Although she could not see Sonja, the exchange between the CEO and Captain had been clear enough to explain why the Engineer had been in an aggravated state. Whatever had happened to the Avatar had caused a great deal of damage which Lt. Paquette needed to fix while at the same time dealing with her own emotions. As much as Ani was for all intents and purposes nothing more than a machine, the crew responded to her a fellow shipmate and Sonja looked upon the android as much more than that.

Leaving the CEO to her work and looking at the main viewscreen instead, Adriana could see the circle of Marines slowly closing in on a central point. The CNS could only imagine how stressful this was for the Chief of Security and Chief of Operations as they had never been so close to the woman they had been hunting for so long. They were literally only steps away from completing their mission, but that did not ease their stress. The memories of all their previous failed efforts were surely haunting them as they grew closer, wondering in silence if this would be just another repeat.

Far away from the action displayed on the viewscreen, there was Bolian/Terran woman dealing with a completely different kind of stress. On one side, Xana had to manage her personal thoughts, fears, and hopes in regards to her condition and what the future held. On a professional level, the Ambassador had to not only be careful of her exchanges with the head Ktarian diplomat Alus Pami, but she also needed to explain why a group of heavily armed Federation Marines had landed on this world. A single one of those things was enough to drastically increase a person's stress, and currently, the single woman on KLTARIS was facing with both.

Then there was Captain Morningstar, sitting in his chair, looking at the main viewscreen, taking in everything that was happening around him without allowing himself to react in any way. The CNS knew that he felt the stress of those under his command which added to his own. As long as Sonja worked on repairing Ani, the ANUBIS would have to do without the skills and knowledge of their Chief Engineer, unless some sort of catastrophic emergency come to light. He also had to figure out what he would say or do should the Ambassador fail in smoothing things over with the local government following the beaming down of armed military troops. It was his decision that saw the 50 armed men and women beamed to the surface and he could not just depend on the Bolian/Terran to make it all better. Above and beyond all of that, the man's thoughts were beyond any doubts on the unfolding situation concerning their mission. Capturing Mordana had been anything but easy and to make matters worse, it had not yet happened. Although they were closer than ever before, the final move in this game had yet to be made.

As the Ship's Counselor, Adriana wanted to offer a few words of reassurance, something that would ease the man's stress if not that of everyone else, but she knew that this was not the time for it. Even if she had in her possession the perfect words to make everything better, it was more likely that the Captain would ignore those magical words if he heard them at all. His attention was solely on the planet surface and the action taking place there. That was the only way he could manage the tidal wave of stress that had and continued to wash over him. The bast Counselor Lopez could do was to stand by his side and be ready to offer support when he would permit it.

-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor
USS ANUBIS
M13-P039: USS ANUBIS: Bonviva: 34002.1340
("One Hour or One Hour and One Minute")
=/\=
"One Hour or One Hour and One Minute"
Previous posts (ANU) "Heightened Stress" / (BAS) "Quick Changes"

=/\=
“Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.”
--Theodore Roosevelt


=/\=
Location: Ktarian Government Building
Stardate: 34002.1340

Alus Pami, the Ktarian diplomat, went to the door to talk to someone who came in to get a message.  He turned twice to watch Xana, as if he expected her to disappear, but in the end he nodded a few times and came back into the room.  He squinted his eyes at the Bolian/Terran Ambassador eyes, making the frontal lobe more pronounced.  “Show me your game,” he demanded.

“All you have to do is look at 3 cards and follow 1 of them,” Xana said as she lazily played with the cards.  Digging out three cards, she put aside the rest of the cards.  Flipping them over, the Ktarian noticed that two of the cards were red and one was black.  “I have 2 red cards: Queen of Diamonds and Queen of Hearts,” she said pointing to each.  “This final card is the Joker.”  Tapping the black Joker she said, “Follow this once I flip over these cards.”

“Follow the Joker?” Alus asked.

“Follow that black card; that’s it,” Xana promised him, tossing down the cards from right to left.  With that she flipped the cards over so that the slightly bent cards were showing their backs, but the Ktarian still watched what he knew to be the black card.  He watched as she shuffled the cards.   They did two practice rounds, betting 25 credits each time where the azure woman tossed around the cards in a steady manner but both times the Ktarian was able to pick out the black Joker.  

“You owe me 50 credits,” Alus boasted.  

Xana nodded.  “So I do.”  Shuffling the cards she said, “Let’s do a real game.  Playing for credits is child’s play.”  

“You want to keep losing that’s fine with me,” Alus agreed.

Tossing down the cards from left to right, Xana once again shuffled the cards, this time going faster.  Finally she stopped the shuffling to ask, “Where’s the black card?”

Alus tapped the middle card.  “There.”

Flipping over the card, Xana revealed the red Queen of Diamonds.  

“You cheated,” Alus accused.

Xana smiled wanly.  “No,” she replied shaking her head as she flipped over the other cards showing the other Queen and the Joker.  Leaning back she said, “This is a popular card con game on EARTH known as Three Card Monty.  Simple game really, anyone can do it.  The con is that you got so used to me throwing down the Joker first that’s where your eyes went to.  So when it was time to bet, I threw down the Queen of Diamonds first and you didn’t realize it.”

The Ktarian diplomat still was displeased with the azure woman.  “It was still trickery.”

“I took what I knew about you and used it against you.  It’s no different than trade or politics, except it was a game,” Xana shrugged leaning back.  “I didn’t know if it would work.  You know why?  Because of the first thing you noticed, I didn’t come with an attache; which tells me you’re perceptive.  Now do you want to know why I didn’t?  Because that’s a con too.”

“You have other people on KTARIS,” Alus said on an exhale as he leaned back.  It was clear he had known this, through his own network, and had been waiting to share the news.  “That’s why you came by yourself.”

“Yes,” Xana nodded.  Tapping the Queen of Diamonds she said, “And that’s who we want.  Turn over Mordanna and we’ll go.”  

“Or what?  You can’t just stay here; the Federation would be trampling on the sovereignty of the Ktarian people--”

“Mr. Ambassador, you are harboring the criminal known as Mordanna.  Now, we said we were playing for real so here we go.  I’m going to direct the Federation to take your airspace, then we’ll take your capital.  Strictly speaking, we’ll take your planet without the paperwork,” Xana said.  

Alus’ eyes bulged.  “Is this why there are reports from my capital of disturbances?”

Xana smiled at that.  “I wouldn’t know,” she said, hoping that the ANUBIS was close to catching Mordanna.  “But here is what I do know.  I hate paperwork.  And I was able to wiggle my toes this morning.”

“What does that have to do with anything?” the Diplomat exclaimed.

“It means that KTARIS is looking like a lovely place for another villa for me,” Xana said.  Leaning in she said, “I don’t know what you were promised but she won’t give it.  You’ll be forever known as the Diplomat who gained 50 credits but lost a planet in 3 card monte.”  She dropped her voice as she became serious.  “You have 1 hour to turn over Mordanna to us.  Direct your resources to assist us or get out of the way.  At one hour and one minute, I tell them to run up the Federation flag.  Clock starts now.”

“How do I know this isn’t another con?” Alus asked.

“Check in again 61 minutes from now if you don’t believe me,” Xana shrugged.  “Then again as you said...my reputation precedes me.”  ”

=/\=
Sarah Albertini-Bond

USS ANUBIS NCC 18501
M13-P040: USS ANUBIS: Maya: 34002.1340 ("Looking At The Smaller Pieces")
---
"Looking At The Smaller Pieces"
(Previous Posts: (ANU) "One Hour or..." / (BAS) "Time for Action")
---

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 13, Main Stellar Cartography
Stardate: 34002.1340

With the antidote for the Ambassador done and in her hands, things could return to normal for the Shillian Scientist, that is, as normal as things ever got on board the USS ANUBIS during a crisis.  Thanks to Xana Bonviva negotiating with the head diplomat of the Ktarian government Alus Pami, and Lieutenant Ya'Han, Lieutenant Stark leading 50 Marines to surround and capture Mordana, all eyes were on KTARIS. Never having been one to follow the crowd, Maya had decided to cast her eyes elsewhere, namely to the orbit of the planet and beyond.

Before she was enlisted to help Doctor Bruxa in the development of the antidote, the Chief Science Officer was tasked to find ways to increase their ability to locate and identify Shadow technology. The main goal of that assignment was to permit the USS ANUBIS to detect Lokustaar vessels with greater ease, this proved to be a lot harder than it seemed for many reasons.

The work to better understand the Lokustaar and the dark bio-technology they used had progressed exceptionally slow if at all. The race nicknamed Shadows by an increasing number of races who had dealings with them were experts in hiding in plain sight and covering their tracks. That they finally cornered the agent they had been after for so very long had been a surprise by itself, but it offered a certain level of hope for Maya to find something that would help her in the task she was assigned to at the start of this mission.

Since the sensors of the USS ANUBIS were unable to track a Lokustaar vessel, it made sense that those same sensors would be unable to follow the movements of the woman while on the surface. This meant that the biotechnology used by both the Shadow agents and the vessels of their masters followed the same rules. If Maya could break through one, she should, in theory, be able to break through all of them giving them an unmeasurable advantage in the continuing war against the darkness. All that the Shillian had to do was to break through this cloak of darkness that surrounded anything and everything about the race of dimensional invaders.

Using the state of the art equipment that projected the space surrounding KTARIS, Maya scanned for any signs that a Lokustaar vessel might be in orbit with them. So far, nothing had been detected but the Shillian knew that this meant little as those ships were known for appearing out of nowhere in a matter of seconds and disappearing just as quickly once their task was accomplished. Still, she needed to search for that elusive piece of the puzzle that would change everything.

Maya called up all of the data they had collected from TAU OMEGA, the orbital station and the underground facility and compared it to every other iota of information they possessed on the shadowy race. Since it was suspected that both the humanoids and bio-vessels shared some, if not most, of the technology granting them their strength and ability to hide from sensors, the Shillian scientist figured that she might work on a smaller scale in order to unveil the larger items.  Looking at the data in front of her, she knew that the answer was there, somewhere, just out of her reach. So, in order to figure it all out, she needed to be somewhere else.

---
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 14, Bio-Chemistry laboratory
Stardate: 34002.1345

With all of the research data transferred, Maya jumped right into work the moment she stepped into the room. The answer was in there somewhere and the Shillian was driven more than ever to finding it.

=/\= Bridge to Lieutenant Commander Maya. =/\= It was the Captain, which by itself was not unusual or surprising, but there was something on the tone of his voice that made the Shillian believe that there was something different about the reason for the call.

"Yes Captain, how can I be of assistance?"

=/\= I would like you to be on the bridge. Lieutenant Ya'Han and Lieutenant Stark have captured Mordana. Due to the fact that we are unable to get a sensor lock on her, a shuttle will be taking them back to the ANUBIS. I would like you here to help keep an eye on the shuttle, the occupants as well as anything that you might believe to be problematic in orbit. I know that Commander Shar'El and the IGC are doing just that, but I would appreciate an extra set of eyes on this matter at this time. =/\=

"Of course Captain. May I inquire as to how long before the shuttle reaches the surface of KTARIS?"

=/\= The shuttle has already been launched and is scheduled to land within the next 10 minutes, =/\= Captain Morningstar informed. =/\= Is there a problem? =/\=

"No, not at all," Maya replied looking over at all of the data that was displayed on the monitors throughout the laboratory. "I was just working on the initial project you gave me, that is to find a way to have our sensors locate Lokustaar vessels as well as their technology.  I believe that I might be close to figuring something out. Therefore, I would like to remain here at least until the shuttle is about to land."

=/\= Very well, we will inform you when the shuttle is about to land. Bridge out. =/\=

Whatever the Shillian scientist was planning to do, she now needed to do it a lot faster. Using the computer to match, compare, analyze and dissect every they had gathered in order to display it on these monitors, Maya hoped that she would be able to see something that they had not noticed before. With the additional data collected on GALEMAE, the Chief Science Officer was confident that she would finally discover what they had been after.

Looking at the pages and pages of data rolling on the numerous screens, Maya noticed something odd, something that while looking at things on a larger scale they had never before seen. Shadow technology, at the atomic level, always showed a characteristic set of missing data due to the inability of the sensors to lock in on those particular atoms or molecules. If they could not scan for what was there, maybe they could search for what was missing.

"Lieutenant Commander Maya to Commander Shar'El."

=/\= What can I do for you, Maya? =/\= The Commander replied, her voice echoing a certain joy likely brought on by the capture of the Shadow operative Mordana.

"The sensors of the IGC are the most sensitive on-board the ANUBIS. Would it be possible for you to make modifications according to the specs I am providing you at this time? It these work, we should be able to get some sort of sensor reading on the Shadow Operative. It may not be enough for us to beam her up, but it would confirm that my theory is valid and this could provide us with the means of detecting not only operatives on the surface of planets but also to locate Lokustaar vessels in orbit or in space.  Can you do this?"

=/\= Already done Maya, =/\= the Commander said having used the lengthy explanation to get the modifications in place before she finished. =/\= We are picking up some new signals from the surface, but I am afraid that your modifications are faulty. We are picking up half a dozen new signals in addition to the one that should be Mordana. =/\=

"That should not be the case," Maya said looking at the displayed data with puzzlement. "There is nothing in the modification specs I provided that could or would account for any echoes and duplicate readings.

=/\= Well, there is something really wrong then. Those half dozen new signals are moving independently from the one that is next to Ya'Han and Jayson. If this is not caused by an error in the sensors...=/\=

"It means that there are six Lokustaars down on the planet surface, at least in the area that our sensors are currently targeted on. There might be more."

=/\= We will take care of things from up here. Thank you, Maya, you might just have saved our people on the surface. IGC out. =/\=

Feeling her legs becoming weak, the Shillian fell backward into a nearby chair, looking at the data still scrolling before her. Had she done enough and was what she had managed to do been done quickly enough to save those currently on the surface?

---
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)
M13-P041: USS ANUBIS: Stark: 34002.1345 ("Field Operations")
"Field Operations"
[previous (ANU) "Looking At The Smalle Pieces" / (BAS) "Time For Action"]

[/\]

Setting: KTARIS, Public Park
Stardate: 34002.1345

In his capacity as OPS Officer of the ANUBIS, Jayson saw a fair amount of action, both on the ship and in the field. Investigating mysteries, going undercover, visiting new worlds and chasing 'bad guys' were all part of the job, but being here on KTARIS and helping with the capture of Mordana felt excitingly different.

"Why are you smiling like that?" Ya'Han asked, looking down at the woman sitting on her knees with her wrists tied behind her back.

"Can't I be happy that we accomplished our mission?" He asked back. "After all of the running around she put us through, you would think that you would be happier that she is in custody."

"Something doesn't feel right," Ya'Han muttered looking around, making sure that every Marine was accounted for. "It was too easy."

"There is something truly wrong with you if you believe that all of this was *too easy*," Jayson said, unable to believe what he had just heard. "We chased this woman through three dozen worlds and bases, and it took fifty Marines to finally bring her down, and this only because she was baited to show herself. How can you claim that this was easy?"

Ya'Han, with her hair as red as could be, looked down at the kneeling woman whose face showed no emotions whatsoever. There was no indication that she was sad for having been captured or that the Nylaan's suspicions were accurate. They might as well have put the cuffs on a statue as far as the Shadow agent was reacting to recent events.

"5 Marines, 50 Marines, 500 Marines, it should not have made a difference," the Chief of Security said glaring at their prisoner. "She was able to escape from us in much more difficult situations, so I can't help but wonder why here and now? As I said, something doesn't feel right."

"Maybe so," Jayson dismissed, "but the shuttle will be here in a few minutes. Once we are on board, the VIPERs will escort us back to the ANUBIS where our newest guest will be given accommodations right next to those of the Ambassador. The two of them will be able to share some quiet times together or chat up a storm, either way, we will finally be heading back home with this mission done and over with. We might even be able to take a few days' rests before we get shipped out again."

He could see that Ya'Han wanted to believe what he had just said, that their mission had finally ended with the capture of Mordana. It had been a victory long in the making, and maybe this was why it proved to be so hard for the Chief of Security to accept.

=/\= IGC to away team, we are uploading new tracking software to your devices. Be aware that there are six new targets in your vicinity immediate. =/\=

"What?" Jayson had not expected that announcement, unlike Ya'Han who had quickly reached for her tricorder.

"MARINES! Close in ranks and locked down a perimeter around this location. We have six incoming from various vectors! Set weapons to full power!"

"What's going on?" Jayson asked not understanding what was happening.

"I knew something didn't feel right," Ya'Han repeated. "We fell into a trap and she was the bait, which is why it was so easy for us to capture her. Now we have to deal with six, or maybe more, of her Shadow friends," the Chief of Security said tossing the tricorder in his direction so that she could take hold of the pulse rifle one of the Marines had handed to her."

"These readings are beyond blurry, there is at least a 2.5 meter distortion for reach signal," the OPS Officer pointed out with dismay. "If we use these to aim and fire, we could be hitting nothing but air the entire time allowing whatever those signals are to easily breach the parameter. Why did they wait to attack and free her? Our being able to detect them, even if only partially, does reduce their advantage and takes away any element of surprise they might have had."

"My guess is that they were waiting for the shuttle to arrive in order to catch us off guard. That way they would have been able to concentrate their attack and easily free Mordana while making a very public example of us," Ya'Han explained. "Bringing the shuttle in right now is too dangerous as we have no idea what weapons they have at their disposal. We need to punch through their line and find a safer and more defendable location."

"Are you sure?" On board the ANUBIS Jayson would not have worried, the weapons and defensive systems of the ship would be more than enough to give them time to regroup, but here in the open, surrounded by an invisible opponent, things were about to take a turn for the worst. "Even if we get out of this area, where would we go?"

Ya'Han carefully considered the question and situation before offering the only answer that made sense. "We have to head back to the government building. The structure is solid and will be easier to defend than we being here in the open." The Chief of Security looked around and bellowed an order to the Marines. "We need a secured corridor heading back the way we came," she said pointing in the intended direction. "I need 15 Marines on either side in close rank, 10 in the lead and 10 making sure nothing sneaks up being us. If we have to shoot our way through, spread out the shots until a target is clearly identified, once that is done, take it out of our way. We have our prisoner and I do not intend to let her go without a fight."

Jayson had to admit that he was impressed. As the Chief of Security, Ya'Han knew how to lead a group while faced with a difficult situation, but never had he expected her to sound like some sort of Sargent or higher-ranking Marine Officer. As much as this scared him a little, he had to admit that he found it interesting to see her this way. Maybe being a Marine Officer was something that she could consider if she ever grew tired of being in charge of security on a starship, even one as impressive as the ANUBIS.

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M13-P042: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: 34002.1350 ("Fighting Through")
=-=
"Fighting Through"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Field Operations" by Jayson / (BAS) "Time For Action" by Jessica]
=-=

Setting:  USS ANUBIS, IGC
Stardate: 34002.1350

Maya had done an amazing job with discovering what she had, which allowed the ANUBIS and its crew to finally be able to track the Lokustaar. Yes, the precision of this tracking was less than perfect but it still gave them an idea of whether or not members of the shadow species were nearby. In this particular case, they were indeed close and following the heavily armed group as they made their way back to the Ktarian government building.

"IGC to away team," the ExO / ILO said having kept the channel with Ya'Han and Jayson opened. "The six initial targets have fallen back and are following at a distance, but we are picking up three new signals directly ahead of you.  I suggest you take the path to your left. It will delay you by a few minutes but at least you will avoid a direct confrontation with them, at least for the time being."

=/\= Understood, =/\= was all that the Chief of Security said in return, but it was enough. The group under the close watch of the IGC quickly complied with the recommendation taking them out of the path of the new threats. Although this was a good thing in the short run, it also meant that not six but rather nine Lokustaar were now following the away team and their prisoner. This also raised the questions of how many more of them were present on KTARIS and why were they there in the first place?

That Mordana had come to this planet over any other could have been explained as this being the next closest location for the Shadow agent to run to while she continued to avoid capture, but now it seemed that there was a lot more in her decision to come to KTARIS. The presence of multiple Lokustaar on the surface pretty much confirmed this. The question was were they dealing with a small group of the Shadow invaders or was there something more significant to explain their presence on this planet?  The more she thought of those possibilities, the more the later concerned the ExO / ILO.

"Have the orbital scans revealed anything?" The Commander inquired, the answer would permit Shar'El to get a little closer to understanding what they were truly dealing with.

"Negative, Commander," three IGC technicians replied in unison.

Without a Lokustaar vessel in orbit of KTARIS or at least one that they had yet to detect, the odds that the reason for Mordana to come here were increasingly shifting to being more planet-bound. All they needed to do was to figure out what this reason was and how much of a pain it would turn out to be for the ANUBIS and its crew.

"IGC to Ensign Jones, please relay this message to Ambassador Bonviva as soon as possible. The away team and Marines are heading back to the government building with Mordana. We now have the ability to track Lokustaar activity and have so far identified nine individuals from that race following the group. Our ability to scan is limited but we suspect that there may be more Shadows on the planet, likely due to them having established some sort of outpost on KTARIS, We recommend that she proceeds with extreme caution, at least until the Marines can offer both her and you some additional protection."

=/\= I will tell her, =/\= Tanith unemotionally replied, the FCO never having been one to say more than she had done, that was when she actually said something.

"Alright people, we need to keep the away team safe. I want a full scan of the area between their current location and the government building. Their odds of making it there in one piece will greatly increase if we can avoid them running into any of those Lokustaar."

"Commander," one of the techs began. "Would the repeated changes of heading by the away team, following your recommendations, not indicate to the Lokustaar that we are now able to track them?"

"It is likely that they already suspect this based on the way they have retreated and are following the away team at a distance," the ExO / ILO explained. "They are trying to ascertain if we are actually able to see them or if the away team has just been lucky up to this point."

=/\= We will add a few additional course changes before we reach the government building, =/\= Ya'Han said having heard the conversation over the open communications channel. =/\= We may have to engage once before we get there though. I am sure that the Captain will want to keep this advantage a secret for as long as possible. Any help you can provide us to point us towards the smallest number of targets would be appreciated. =/\=

"I agree, and we will as much as we can," Shar'El said once again noting in the back of her mind just how lucky they were to have such a person as their Chief of Security. The woman was formidable in many ways, not only in her physical skills and strength but also in her ability to see the tactical needs of a situation, both short and long-term.

=/\= Wait, what? =/\= Jayson gasped. =/\= We are going to engage those things... on purpose? =/\= Stark could clearly remember what the Lokustaar cruiser had done to the ANUBIS and he, for valid reasons, feared that the same would come to pass this time against the away team.  As armed as the Marines were, the Chief of Operations was not entirely sold on the idea that they would be able to match, despite their number, the likes of those walking shadows.

=/\= Don't mind him, =/\= Ya'Han said, the ExO / ILO actually hearing the smile on the Nylaan's lips. =/\= I will keep him safe. =/\=

"I have no doubts that you will, nevertheless, be careful. Nothing good as ever come from underestimating an opponent. Good luck." Shar'El watched as the away team made a sudden turn for no other reason than to try to support the belief of the unseen Lokustaar that they were in fact just that; invisible. This, of course, was the easier part of this plan, the actual confrontation that was to come would be the part that they were all worried about. That said, it was essential to do this in order for the ANUBIS and its crew to keep their recently obtained advantage for a little while longer.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M13-P043: USS ANUBIS: Bruxa: 34002.1400 ("The Showdown")
=-=
"The Showdown"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Fighting Through" / (BAS) "The Longest 20 Seconds in History"]
=-=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Sickbay
Stardate: 34002.1400

Nothing was ever easy. Then again, that was par for the course in regards to life in Starfleet. One could not venture into space without expecting something to happen. On a ship, there was always the chance of accidents and injuries. Cuts, bruises, and even the occasional broken bone were part of the daily life for a CMO. On alien worlds, the interaction with unknown fauna or flora could easily break the daily routine. Various toxins and poisons were often encountered adding a little bit of spice to the day. When dealing with other, unknown races though, all bets were off. From nauseous body odors to simple contacts that could cause severe burns or even, nothing was impossible. The best anyone could do was to hope for the best while preparing for the worst.

Although little was known *about* the Lokustaar, the race itself was well known to this crew. They had witnessed firsthand the effects of the simple presence of these walking shadows. Death and darkness closely followed them wherever they went. Nothing so far had been able to stop this shadow from spreading its cold, unnatural touch across the galaxy. Therefore, Doctor Bruxa knew that a battle between the ground team and the Shadows would not end well.

Being able to locate, even in a general sense, these normally undetectable creatures would help, a lot. Unfortunately, this did not mean that the ground team would have an overpowering advantage. The energy of their weapons would hit their intended target with greater ease, maybe. On the other hand, the Lokustaar would still be able to strike as they wished. The accuracy and strength of their attacks though would likely increase. Why would they hold back when being fired upon with increased precision?

Multiple stasis chambers were being prepared. Dealing with several deep lacerations would be demanding enough, but there would be more. Doctor Bruxa had seen too many people turn into that black ooze before vanishing completely. They still had no clues as to why this happened but the CMO needed to be ready. Preferably, the stasis pods would be able to stop that from happening. That was of course if those injured were beamed up soon enough for the medical staff to do anything to help.

As far as Satella was concerned, a physical conflict was never a valid option. Discussion, diplomacy or simply walking away were much better and safer alternatives. Then again, that attitude made sense for a Doctor, especially one in charge of an entire department. Despite that idealistic vision though, Doctor Bruxa understood the need for more forceful measures. Not every race welcomed diplomacy. Not every race cared for the lives of others. There were even a few races who cared nothing for the lives of their own. In cases such as these, a physical conflict was the only way to get any point across.

As a Doctor, Satella's job was not to evaluate if this situation called for what was about to happen. Ambassador Bonviva was responsible to find a diplomatic avenue wherever possible. Lieutenant Ya'Han was responsible for fighting in order to protect her fellow shipmates. As for the Captain, it was Morningstar's responsibility to see which option was best. All that the CMO needed to do was to be ready to pick up the pieces should conflict erupt.

The sound of the door whooshing open made Satella turned to look at who was coming in. At first, the CMO feared that it was the first of many injured Marines to come. No warning or announcement had been made which further troubled the Doctor. Had something unexpected happened? All of those fears quickly vanished when she saw Adriana stepping into the room.

"Came to see if everything was alright," the CNS said. "Actually, I came to see if you were alright. I know how stressful situations like these can be. Waiting for people to be brought in suffering from who knows what kind of injuries. Just thought I should check in on you." Adriana's smile could not hide the woman's troubled thoughts.

"I'm ready." Satella smiled, standing as tall as her 5'0" frame permitted. "The question is are you?" Adriana blinked several times never having expected that question. "I know you, and I know what you went through on the KROGEN. At least I know as much as you have cared to share with me. I know that dealing with the Lokustaar is not easy for you. Not that it is any easier for any of us. I also can easily imagine how especially difficult it may be for you to see those injured by them. There is no reason for you to be here."

"I have to. I cannot run away every time we run into the Lokustaar or some similar dark and nightmarish race. Those who will be brought here will need you first. After that, they are going to need me and who better than me to help them deal with the emotional scars?"

Satella could see the determination and conflict in Adriana's eyes. The CNS did not want to be here but the CMO knew that on some levels she needed to be. Lopez's own experience with the Lokustaar gave her the perfect insight as to how a patient would feel. She knew the fears they would have to deal with as she had felt those exact same ones back on the KROGEN. Doctor Bruxa wanted to protect her friend, to find a way to send the woman back, but she could not.

This would not be easy for Adriana but it was something that needed to be done. The two women hoped that things down on the planet would go better than expected. For now, all either one of them could do was to prepare and hope.

=-=
Rachel Jackie Johnson

Lieutenant JG Satella Bruxa [Access Character BIO for Satella Bruxa]
Chief Medical Officer
USS ANUBIS

[Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. - Mark Twain]
M13-P044: USS ANUBIS: Lopez: 34002.1415 ("Some Wounds Never Heal")
-=-=-
"Some Wounds Never Heal"
[Previous post: (ANU) "The Showdown" & (BAS) "The Longest 20 Seconds in History"]
-=-=-

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Sickbay
Stardate: 34002.1415

"You know she is right," the twin sister said while sitting on one of the empty beds that had been prepared for the conflict to come. "You should not be here. You were a mess back on the KROGEN and you being here will lead to the exact same thing. What you want and what you are capable of doing are not the same thing, and as a Counselor, you of all people should know that. You, sis, are damaged and this is only going to make those scars you try so hard to hide to come out for everyone to see."

"I promise to stay out of the way," Adriana said to Satella but her words were just as much for the hallucination of her twin sister. "I need to be here and help, no matter how uncomfortable it may be for me."

"Uncomfortable?" The twin sister grimaced. "That has to be one of the worst understatements ever. After stumbling across the mutilated bodies of your shipmates back on the KROGEN, you fell onto your hands and knees and tried hiding by crawling through the Jefferies tubes. The only reason you managed to make it through those black-slime-covered passageways was me. I had to push you the whole way until you finally found someone that could help.  What do you think those Marines who will be brought here are going to look like? Happy vacationers with a smile on their faces and sand in their boots? You saw what the Lokustaar can and have done to a humanoid body. Do you really think that this time will be any different?"

"Have you prepared some stasis chambers?" Adriana asked of Satella in a shaky voice, trying as hard as she could to ignore the image and words of her missing twin.  "The injuries that will be showing up are going to be extensive."

"I remember you telling me that based on what you saw on the KROGEN," the Doctor explained. "Also, added to this what we saw while in orbit of TAU OMEGA made the extent of the possible injuries painfully clear. That is part of the reason why I think it would be better if you were not here." Satella followed Adriana's gaze, which was hovering over one of the prepared beds. Since no one was there, Doctor Bruxa concluded that the Counselor was suffering for another hallucination, "She's not really there. You seeing your twin sister is your way to confront difficult subjects."

Adriana forced a nervous smile on her lips. "Difficult is just the start. I'm fighting against myself about being here."

"That is why I said that you should not be here," Satella said. "I understand you want to face your fears, to have them lose some of the control they have on you, but this may just be too much too quickly."

"Fear is what the Lokustaar use to gain the advantage in a conflict; it is also their tool of choice to have others do their bidding. The moment we give in to our fears, they win and that even before a single shot is fired. Everything they do is aimed to create as much fear as possible in as many people as possible. We have to stop this somewhere, and for me, that is here and now."

"Big words for someone whose knees are about to collapse from under her at the simple thought of what may show up any minute now," Amanda unleased with a disdain that only a sister could have for her twin. "Listen to your friend, for once we are actually in agreement. You should not be here. Go back to your quarters, or your office, or even the bridge, heck you could take a page from Xana's book and go hide in one of the isolation chambers. Be somewhere else, anywhere else but here. You can rush back in once your friend here puts the bodies back together. Once that is done, you will have more than enough figurative scattered brain matter to try and put back together again."

"I know that my emotional and psychological wounds may never fully heal," Adriana let out while on the very edge of tears. "There are times I wonder if I have not seen and suffered too much to ever be able to be normal. The fact that I am constantly haunted by the hallucination of my twin sister is proof enough of that, but I have to try. I could hide in my quarters or my office but that would not solve anything. Accepting that the most severe of your wounds will never heal does not make things better; it only forces you to remain emotionally stuck. I need to do this and face those fears. I need to overcome the trauma that I endured then by not running away from it now. I may not be able to help as much as I should, but I do intend to help as much as I can. Even if i fail I will have at least tried, and that alone will help me move beyond the shadows that have haunted me for far too long."

"You are stronger than you allow yourself to believe you are," Amanda said jumping off the bed. "That is why I am here, to force you to realize that. Yes, you are scared, and you have every right to be, but having to fight against me, someone that you know and recognize allows you to face the unknown that is out there.  Yes, you may be crazy, as I am your friend the Doctor would attest to, but in some ways that makes you the best person to be here at this time."

The two sisters looked at one another, and exchange that Satella could only see half of but still understood that it was taking place. "Are you alright? Doctor Bruxa asked.

"I will be, maybe," the Counselor replied nervously.

"If you are staying, then I need you to make yourself useful. I will need help keeping track of who comes in, so your job will be to record their names and get me and the rest of the medical staff any pertinent information contained in their files."

"I can do that. Thank you for allowing me to help."

"Do not thank me just yet. Things are likely going to get a lot worse before they get better, and that is if they get better," Satella said.

"As long as we do not give in to our fears, it can only get better. We just have to keep pushing forward no matter what wounds we carry within us."

-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor
USS ANUBIS
M13-P045: USS ANUBIS: Stark: 34002.1430 ("Fighting What Cannot Be Seen")
"Fighting What Cannot Be Seen"
[previous (ANU) "Some Wounds Never Heal" / (BAS) "The Longest 20 Seconds"]

[/\]

Setting: KTARIS, Near the Government Building
Stardate: 34002.1430

With 50 Marines moving together to keep 2 Starfleet Officers and their prisoner safe, it was no surprise that anyone they came across ran away. The rumors that Starfleet had decided to invade KTARIS or at the very least make them pay for whatever plan to strike at the organization had gone wrong were likely rampant. The reasons as to why this world had not joined the Federation were many and stood on both sides of the deal.

Officially, KTARIS wanted to remain independent and free of Federation influence, and on their end, the President and Council were happy to abide by the Prime Directive and grant that request. Behind the scene though, the Ktarians knew that a lot of their questionable activities would fall under much closer scrutiny if their world was under the scrutiny of the United Federation of Planets. Therefore, keeping their distances was essential and allowed them to operate without worries and the ability to deny any direct involvement if questions came up. 

That was what Jayson figured was part of the reason for the reaction of the general population as well as the apparent lack of assistance by the government on this matter. Then again, the return to the government building had been without any issues, so the OPS Officer was not complaining.

"500 meters!" The lead Marine called out as he pointed in the direction of the government building.  The announcement came as kind of a mixed blessing as the plan was to engage the Lokustaar, but the Shadows seemed to have other plans.

"Do you think they are testing our ability to see them?" Jayson whispered. "First they surround us, not they seem to be moving out of our way. Wonder what their gameplan is."

"Likely listening in on our chatter to see what *our* plans are," Ya'Han snapped back through narrowed eyes making Jayson wished that he had been born mute.

He had seen her angry. He had seen her hair turn bright red in the blink of an eye and he had felt her fury more than once, but never had he seen her like this. Ya'Han seemed positively ready to rip someone's head clean off their shoulders with her bare hands, and right now Jayson was the closest available target. Having the Lokustaar so close did not make things easy, that the OPS Officer understood, but still, he did not believe that he deserved to be on the receiving end of her anger.

Jayson shot a quick glance at the handcuffed woman closely following them, the eerie smile she offered sent a shiver down his spine. Here she was, a prisoner, surrounded by 50 Marines and yet she gave the impression that she was in control of the whole situation. The worst part was that he was not entirely certain that she was wrong. There were no proofs but he was sure that she could see, hear and was aware of far more than the rest of them were. The way Mordana looked around and reacted to things that no one had seen or heard hinted to the dark woman operating on a different level than they were.

"Delta team, secure the building entrance!" The lead Marine ordered sending the group that was bringing up the rear ahead, the two side teams closing in ranks to ensure that their prisoner remained unreachable.

"I can imagine that Satella will be happy that we made it here without any issues," Jayson said, certain that their plan had been a bust.

"We are not there yet," Ya'Han hissed as she scrutinized their surroundings, glancing at her tricorder to confirm that presence of those beasts her eyes could no see no matter how hard she tried.

As he looked around as well, Jayson noticed Mordana's smile. He did not believe that it had changed, but yet it appeared colder and more certain. This did not make the OPS Officer feel any more secure or confident that they held the upper hand, in fact, he began to doubt that they had any advantage at all despite being able to see where the Lokustaar were.  All they needed to do was to make it through the next 400 meters and they would be safe, well at least safer while inside the government building.

Ya'Han suddenly grabbed hold of Jayson's arm and pull him closer. "Keep up," she said through clenched teeth before starting to run towards the building. Obviously, everyone else had gotten the memo as he was the only one taken by surprise by this unexpected home stretch dash. Even Mordana did not appear surprised by this, easily keeping up to the Chief of Security while the OPS Officer struggled.

At this speed, they would reach the building in less than a minute, which was something that he again would not be complaining about. At least inside, they would not have to be concerned with an unexpected attack from creatures they could barely keep track of, at least that was what he hoped and kept telling himself.

The first team of Marines to reach the building quickly set up a defensive parameter while the second and lead team created a sort of corridor for Mordana, Ya'Han, and Jayson to use in order to safely reach their destination. The two teams that had been flanking spread out to establish the first line of defense around the building. Everything happened quickly and by the time the OPS Officer realized it, they had climbed the steps and were at the main entrance.

"That was almost easy," Jayson teased as some of the Marines entered to secure the inside of the building closely followed by Ya'Han and their prisoner. As Mordana walked past him, she again offered a smile that gave him the shivers. There was definitively something weird about that woman, and it was because of that feeling that he remained outside for a few more moments. Given the choice, he would rather be with the Marines than with her.

Half the Marines remained outside, on the outer parameter, making sure that the government building was secured while Jayson stood by the entrance debating just how badly he needed to be inside. During the journey back, Mordana had managed to make him as uncomfortable as could be by doing nothing else than smile at him, so he was welcoming the opportunity to be anywhere away from her, even if only momentarily.

After a few minutes, he decided to head in. As much as he did not want to be near Mordana, he suspected that Ya'Han would not take too kindly to his absence. As he began to walk in, a strange coldness swept through his body. He instantly found it hard to breathe and impossible to walk. His vision blurred as he felt something hard pushing from his back through his chest causing his mouth to fill with the taste of liquid copper.

The last thing Jayson could recall before darkness took over his mind and body was Ya'Han screaming his name as he collapsed to the ground.

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M13-P046: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: 34002.1445 ("Dangerous Shadows")
=-=
"Dangerous Shadows"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Fighting What Cannot be Seen" by Jayson / (BAS) "The Longest 20 Seconds" by moi]
=-=

Setting:  USS ANUBIS, IGC
Stardate: 34002.1445

The game had changed thanks to Maya discovering a way to track the location and movements of the Shadows, unfortunately, the Lokustaar had apparently changed the rules of that game just as quickly as the discovery was made. The IGC, along with the Marines on the planet surface were able to 'see' these invisible beings using modified equipment, but it was evident following the attack on Lieutenant Stark that this was far from enough.

Seconds following Jayson's vitals vanishing from the IGS screens, a frantic call from their Chief of Security was received. Something had viciously attacked the Chief of Operations, and based on the description of the injuries there was only one possible explanation to account for everything. One, if not more, of the Lokustaars seen and avoided up until now by the away team, had made it to the building's entrance and found a single man to be in their way.

The Lieutenant's body was transported directly to Sickbay where Doctor Bruxa immediately went to work in order to save his life. Looking at the transporter and data transfer log though, the ExO / ILO knew that the task would not be an easy one, far from it. To call these Shadows brutal in the way they physically attacked people was an understatement, the assaults always designed to be as frightful a spectacle as could be. The attack was only secondary to the goal of creating fear in anyone who would come to see the results of this one-sided confrontation.

"IGC, to Captain Morningstar."

=/\= Go ahead Commander, =/\= the Commanding Officer replied, the sadness in his voice indicating that he had become aware of what had transpired on the planet surface.

"Sensors are still tracking, as best we can, the Lokustaar on the planet surface. So far we have picked up a total of 12 signals, 11 of which are currently outside of the government building, scattered all over the place. The last signal appears to be inside the building but we keep losing it. Either there is something inside the building interfering with our sensors or that one particular nightmare has already come up with a way to adapt. We are doing everything we can to correct this, but right now we can only suspect that one of those Shadows is inside. For all we know it might have never set foot inside, although I would find that highly unlikely.  Lieutenant Ya'Han and Ambassador Bonviva have been notified of the situation."

=/\= Understood, keep me informed if anything changes. Bridge out. =/\=

Captain Morningstar was not happy, then again why would he be. His Chief of Operations had been attacked, his Chief Medical Officer was doing everything she could to keep him alive, one or more of those Shadow creatures were inside the government building threatening the safety of the Ambassador while at the same time putting in jeopardy the status of their prisoner, Mordana.  The fact that the woman had been capture did not come across as being such a wonderful thing at the moment, not that Erik or anyone else on the ANUBIS was ready to entertain the idea of letting her out of their grasp.

=/\= Ya'Han to IGC. Shar'El, do you have a fix on that Lokustaar that entered the building? We have the Marines shoulder to shoulder outside, so nothing else should be able to get in, but we need to get the one that is inside. I have something personal to tell it. =/\=

"We have not been able to break through the interference. The techs suspect that there is something inside the building generating this field and making it impossible for us to track that Lokustaar or even make sure that there is only one. When we do get a blip, the signal is so vague that it appears to be in two or three different rooms at the same time making it impossible for us to get a positive lock. You and the other Marines who are inside will have to look for it yourself or wait for it to come to you."

=/\= I don't like either of those options, =/\= the Chief of Security said, anger still very much present in her voice following the attack against the Chief of Operations and lover. =/\= We go looking for it will mean that we are all split into small groups reducing our effectiveness in dealing with it when it is encountered. Waiting for it to show up means that we are at a defensive and will be fighting it on its terms when it is good and ready to do so, which may never happen. Given the two options though, it looks like we have little choice if we are to make sure everyone is as safe as possible. The Marines and I will meet up with Ambassador Bonviva and wait for the shuttle to come and get us. =/\=

"The shuttle is already on its way," the ExO / ILO informed. "Do what you have to in order to keep everyone safe. We will have you and your prisoner heading back to the ANUBIS in no time. IGC out." Shar'El paused for a moment, looking at the sensor data being displayed on her monitors. In orbit of KTARIS, everything seemed fine, no signs of the Lokustaar had been discovered. On the planet surface, the 11 signals wondering around the government building were still there, as if waiting for instructions from the twelfth member of the Shadows.

The fact that there were a group of Lokustaar on the planet and none in orbit still very much bothered the ExO / ILO who suspected that this indicated the presence of some sort of base or facility on KTARIS. In order to confirm this though, the ANUBIS would need to break from its current location in orbit and perform a thorough scan of the entire planet. Even then, there would be no way to know for sure is the sensor data was accurate as they could not find one single Lokustaar in a building, indicating that the technology to black their modified sensors was out there.

The best way the ExO / ILO saw to resolve this problem was to get Mordana on board the ANUBIS and interrogate her. It was highly unlikely that normal interrogation techniques would work on the Shadow agent, but the Ullian had a few tricks up her sleeves that might prove very effective in getting some information. Shr'El would have preferred not having to use her abilities as looking into the mind of a Lokustaar or even one of their agents, had already proven to be a most unpleasant experience.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M13-P047: USS ANUBIS: Bonviva: 34002.1450
("Interpretation of the Prime Directive")
“Interpretation of the Prime Directive”
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Dangerous Shadows" by Tiffany / (BAS) "The Longest 20 Seconds" by Tiffany]

=/\=
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
--Benjamin Franklin

=/\=
Setting: Ktarian Government Building
Scene: 34002.1450

There were not many times that Xana missed her old life of being in Starfleet.  It was one of the few things she was pragmatic about.  She served, served to the best of her ability; and when life took her in another direction, she went with it.  She looked back on her time...well she looked back on the good times with fondness and the rest were scars she tried to live with.

Days like today were hard though.  

She heard the noises from outside the building, rose to go to the windows, and was blocked by guards and then by automatic shutters.  Pausing for a moment (seemingly for dramatic effect but also because damn it her legs were hurting again) she said to the darkened windows.  “So I’m to gather that you’ve decided *not* to help.”

Alus Pami, the Ktarian diplomat, replied. “Did you really think that we’d go another route?”  When Xana turned around he said, “You know you were never going to go through on your threat.  It was all empty.”

"I’m stuck here enlighten me.  Why is it an empty threat?  But I’m also missing Bonviva... Morningstar.”

=/\=...=/\=

There were a series of discreet beeps that the Ktarian  diplomat wasn’t familiar with as Xana hoped her secret channel to Erik Morningstar worked.  “What are you talking about?  Morningstar?”

“Oh,” Xana said with an innocent expression.  “A Morningstar is a club with a heavy spiked head.  I have one of those at each of my villas.  Obviously.  But I interrupted you.  You were explaining why I was clearly wrong about my own government.  Can’t wait to hear this one.”

“Your precious Federation would never trample on another’s rights,” Alus shrugged carelessly.  

Xana waited a beat, then another.  “You are letting the safety of your people, and other innocent people around the galaxy, rest on the interpretation of the Prime Directive?”  When Alus Pami nodded the azure woman looked up looking for divine inspiration, alcohol, chocolate, or anything that might help her.  Finding none of that, she inhaled and looked at the other diplomat.  “Okay, even if we were to set aside hundreds of years of inconsistent direction or application let’s just be logical for a moment.  While it came out of a very real, pure, need to not have superpowers, it was never meant to stop the collaboration between equal parties if there was an common goal.  And Diplomat Pami, I believe we have a common goal.  You can’t say that what Mordanna is doing to your home is a good thing.  That’s why I came here to say you should help.”

“You gave an ultimatum,” Pami pointed out.

Xana did not roll her eyes, and somewhere she gave herself some internal points for that.  “Diplomatic negotiation tactics.  You understand.”  When he didn’t appear to be softening she pointed out, “You’ll also notice I haven’t flown the Federation flag above the building like I said I would so let’s back down a bit.”  Realizing her communicator was open (hopefully) she could only imagine Morningstar’s reaction to that. 

The Ktarian gave a look at that.  “True,” he murmured.  He paced the floor before stopping the Bolian/Human woman.  “You demanded assistance or for us to get out of the way for help with Mordanna.  Correct?”

“Yes,” Xana said.

“We did neither because she’s not there,” Alus Pami said.  Walking out he said, “And you’re not leaving.”

Alone in the room, Xana looked to the blackened windows wondering what had happened outside and now what the Ktarian diplomat was playing at.  

=/\=
Sarah Albertini-Bond

USS ANUBIS NCC 18501
M13-P048: USS ANUBIS: Morningstar: 34002.1455 ("Inside Affair")
##########
"Inside Affair"
Previous posts (ANU) "  Interpretation of the Prime Directive" / (BAS) "The Longest 20 Seconds in History"
##########

“We always end up doing what we *have* to, not what we *want* to.”
- Michael Garibaldi

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 34002.1455

=/\= IGC to the Bridge. Captain, we have lost all sensor signals from inside the government building. Some sort of powerful dampening field was engaged and is now encasing the entire structure. There is no way to penetrate the walls with our instruments, so as of right we have no indications as to what is happening. The Marines on the outside of the building have reported that all doors and windows have been sealed. This means that those inside are cut off from support or reinforcements. There is no way to know what is going on. =/\=

"We are not completely blind," the Native American offered. "As long as Ambassador Bonviva keeps the channel open, we will be able to get some idea of what is happening, plus we have Ya'Han and the Marines down there, so let's hope that they can maintain control of the situation."
 
=/\= Maintain? =/\= Shar'El repeated in a skeptical tone. =/\= I'm not sure that we were ever in control of this situation. It feels like we have been played from the start. Admiral Koniki might have wanted to set up a trap, but from here it looks more like we are the ones caught and unable to act as we want. =/\=

"The game is far from over," The Native American noted with a smile. Although the situation was less than ideal, the Captain knew that several other options were still open to him and his crew. Bonviva knew the game which meant that she would try and find a way to help if she could. That was as long as she didn't try to take over the planet and annex it in the name of the United Federation of Planets.

Xana opening a comm channel to broadcast her conversation with the Ktarian diplomat Alus Pami was a perfect proof of her knowing how to play the game. It also indicated that a diplomatic solution was not going to be a possibility. Erik had to admit that he was not entirely surprised at this turn of event. As great as the Ambassador might have been, the odds were stacked against her in that prospect. Her unofficial job was to offer a decoy of sorts and by the looks of things, it might have worked, maybe even better than expected. All that was left to do was to figure out how to use this information and development to their advantage.

"Bridge to IGC, Commander Shar'El, do you have any idea as to why communications with the inside of the building are still possible?" The Native American was a little suspicious about this unexpected oddity. Normally, communications were the first thing to be impeded when a building, ship or area was cut off from everything else.

=/\= We know that Ktarians can be paranoid at times, so it would make sense for a government building to set up the means to block sensor and transporter signals. It could be part of that same paranoia that made them keep the need for communications. At least that way they would be able to call for help if needs be. =/\=

"If we go with that idea of paranoia, it would make sense to suspect that all communications to and from the building would be monitored," the Captain suggested.

=/\= It won't help them; all of our communication channels are on a quantum rotation encoding system using subspace carrier waves. It would be next to impossible for them to even know we have a channel open, let along them listening in on it. =/\=

"I agree, so we have to play the game the way they need us to," Erik smiled. "Open a broadband transmission to Ya'Han. We need to make sure she is aware of what is happening," the Captain ordered.

=/\= The channel is open, =/\= Shar'El reported after a few seconds.

The Native American took a moment to carefully think about what he would say next, and more to the point was how he would say it. "Morningstar to Ya'Han, we have a situation and I need to be perfectly open to you about it. Do you understand?"

=/\= I do, Captain? =/\= The Chief of Security replied after a short pause of hesitation. =/\= How may I help? =/\=

"The government building that you are currently in has been completely sealed off. No one can go in or out, at least not through conventional methods. Sensors and transporters are unable to reach inside but for a reason that we have yet to figure out, communications are working. As far as we can tell, the Ambassador is still safe somewhere in the building while she continues negotiations with the Ktarian diplomat. Using the resources currently available, I am placing you personally responsible for the safety of both your prisoner and the Ambassador. We will do everything we can to get you out of there as quickly as we can, but until the doors are unsealed I fear that there is little if anything, we will be able to do. Therefore, you are on your own. Good luck."

=/\= Understood. Ya'Han out. =/\=

With the broadband channel closed, the Native American sat in his chair looking at the image of the government building being displayed on the main view screen. Erik could not hide his frustration at the situation. here he was in command of one of Starfleet's most powerful vessel and all he could do was wait.

=/\= Shar'El to Morningstar, do you think she got the message? =/\=

"Ya'Han is one of the best Chief of Security I have ever had the pleasure and honour to serve with, I am sure that she understood everything. I am also hoping that our not mentioning Tanith is going to give her that little extra wiggle room to maneuver and help. The woman manages to remain literally unseen and out of everyone's way when she is here on the bridge and on duty, I can just imagine what she is capable of when no one is actually looking for her. Now, we have to figure out a way to help out people. The shuttles that are there will be useless if no one can get out, and I would very much like to see Mordana on board the ANUBIS, locked away behind the forcefield of an isolation chamber."

While sitting in his chair, the Native American allowed his thoughts to drift. He was still waiting on news from his Chief Engineer about the state of their Avatar, and from Doctor Bruxa about the condition of their Chief of Operations. Now, on top of that, he now needed to be concerned about an increasing number of his officers as they faced a situation that seemed to become more dangerous with each passing moment.

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

Commanding Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501

AND

Lt. Commander Elan Fairborn [Access Character BIO for Elan Fairborn]
Robotics Engineering Officer
NEW ALEXANDRIA
M13-P049: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: 34002.1515 ("Hunting Shadows")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Hunting Shadows"
[previous post were (ANU) "Inside Affair" / (BAS) "The Longest 20 Seconds"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: KTARIS, Inside Government Building
Stardate: 34002.1515

The Sec/Tac had never been one to just sit around and wait, certainly not after her escape from Ferengi-controlled space. Back in those days, while hiding in the cargo hold of various grimy freighters, the youngest daughter of the High Sovereign of NYLA IV had no other choice but to sit and wait. There, amongst the shadows and in between the cargo crates, she sat scared of what could happen and powerless to stop the mental and physical abuse she was all too often fell subject to. As a result, when she earned her place as an Officer in Starfleet, Ya'Han vowed to never 'sit and wait' ever again.

So it was with a certain amount of relief that she welcomed the message from her Captain. The Ambassador was in some sort of trouble and she would be the one to help. The Sec/Tac had also taken note that the name of the FCO had not been mentioned, so it was very likely that Tanith Jones was also out there trying to find a way to help without making her presence known to the Ktarian or the Lokustaar who were trapped in the building with them.

having left the Marines behind to guard their prisoner, the fiery red-haired woman ventured into the building in search for the Ambassador. It was unlikely that Alus Pami would harm her, as she was more valuable alive than dead, but Ya'Han also knew that this balance of power could be easily tipped to one side if the Ktarian diplomat became aware of the precocious medical condition of the Bolian/Terran woman. This meant that the Sec/Tac needed to act quickly if she was to secure Xana before finding a way for all of them to leave the trap that this building had become.

Using what she recalled of the building's internal layout, Ya'Han carefully made her way through the corridors, occasionally glancing down at her tricorder to see if the Lokustaar who had attacked the Lt. Stark before coming inside would grant her the ability to enact her desire for revenge. It was very likely that her one and only pulse riffle would prove insufficient to kill the nightmarish beast, but not knowing if Jayson had actually survived the assault, the burning redhead would try without hesitation is given the chance.

The range of the tricorder had been restricted to nothing more than line of sight, forcing the Sec/Tac to scan down each and every corridor she came across. On more than one occasion, Ya'Han found herself debating about hunting the Lokustaar or going towards the area of the building she suspected the Ambassador to be in. Her need to avenge Jayson was strong, but in the end her responsibilities to her Captain and ship won causing her to reluctantly go down one path over another.

This all changed when the tricorder in her hand picked up of Lokustaar signature as it crossed in front of her. The creature had apparently used one of the perpendicular passages allowing for the handheld device to 'see' it as it walked by. At that moment, the decision was made and the Sec/Tac would follow it until she would be able to unleash the full power of the weapon in her hands.

With a speed born of hate and an overwhelming need for revenge, Ya'Han rushed down the corridor down with the creature had gone into. Although her eyes claimed that there was nothing there, the tricorder confirmed that the creature was in front of her. All she needed to do was to get close enough, aim her weapon and fire until the energy pack ran dry. If that proved to be insufficient, she would have to rely on more primitive means, but in the end only one of them would walk away from this fight.

Just as she was about to point the weapon at the unsuspecting Lokustaar, Ya'han was distracted by the muffled sounds of a person in pain. The Sec/Tac could not recognize the specific person but she could identify the source as being a woman. When she heard the sound once again, the Nylaan turned towards the door that she believed the point of origin was behind.  Unable to recognize who it was making these stifled sounds, the fiery red-haired woman decided to resume her original course of action. Glancing down at her tricorder, an enraging development came to be; the Lokustaar had vanished.

Ya'Han's first instinct was to run down the corridor and scan all possible ways the creature could have left, but another muffled cry of pain made the Sec/Tac quickly reconsider. As much as she wanted that walking nightmare to pay for what it had done, her duties and responsibilities as a Starfleet Officer required her to act in a different manner. Someone needed help and she was the only one who could intervene.

The Sec/Tac carefully leaned in closer to the door, trying to confirm that the sounds had originated from the other side. When she was able to confirm this, Ya'Han tested the door's automatic opening system. Either the lockdown had sealed this door or the occupants had locked it to make sure they would not be disturned. Whichever case was the truth, the red-haired Nylaan had no other choice but to use her pulse riffle to open the door. Once she did, she would need to rush in and take control of the situation in the few split seconds that would be granted by the surprise of her entrance.

Ya'Han mentally prepped herself for what was about to happen, glancing down the corridor just in case the Lokustaar had decided to return, not that she would have been able to see it as her eyes lacked the technical upgrade her tricorder possessed to detect these walking nightmares.  With her new course of action clearly in mind, and another suppressed cry of pain coming from the other side of the door, the Sec/Tac jumped into action.

Right now she needed to save whoever was being hurt beyond that door; her revenge for Jayson would just have to wait until after this side mission was completed. Maybe this would avoid Ya'Han to one day confess that she had been ready to disobey orders because of him, something that she could hardly believe she had even considered.

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

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M13-P050: USS ANUBIS: Bruxa: 34002.1515 ("Urgent Reconstruction")
=-=
"Urgent Reconstruction"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Hunting Shadows" / (BAS) "The Longest 20 Seconds in History"]
=-=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Sickbay
Stardate: 34002.1515

The damage to the body and organs was extensive. The hole in the man's chest was unlike anything Doctor Bruxa had ever seen or could have imagined. The lacerations seemed to have been made by a giant, rough-edged claw. The entry point was in his back, between the left Scapula and the 5th to 7th Thoracic Vertebrae, shattering the 6th entirely. Luckily, the attack missed his heart, coming out of his chest in an almost straight line. The angle of the puncture saved the Chief of Operations from immediate death. That said, putting Jayson in stasis was the only reason why he had not yet died. All that Satella needed to do was to keep him that way while they repaired the damage.

Bones and muscular tissue were being reconstructed at the cellular level. The job was painstakingly slow but there was no way around it. While that was happening, his left lung needed to be completely replaced. The organ had been completely destroyed by the viciousness of the attack. If that was not enough, there were traces of some sort of Shadow infection trying to spread through his body. Thanks to the work done on GALEMAE, Doctor Bruxa could fight the infection back. The problem was that doing so delayed their work on everything else.

Under normal circumstances, the patient would have already been declared dead. It was not common practice to have stasis pods ready or to have the Doctor ready for extreme injuries. The only advantage Satella could see in the situation so far was that Jayson was her one and only patient. Unfortunately, this only helped to increase the pressure for her to be successful in saving his life. All of her attention and skills were solely directed at him. Jayson dying was not an option and there would be no excuse to absolve her if she failed.

The Doctor could feel the concerned eyes of her friend Adriana scanning what was being done. The Counselor was understandably scared of what could happen to Jayson. The truth be told, Satella felt the same way. It would take all of their knowledge, skills and even a fair bit of luck to see the man survive. If she could not manage to save him, as the CMO it would be her responsibility to inform the next of kin. Telling the family that Lt. Stark had died in the line of duty was one thing. Telling Ya'Han, face-to-face, that she had been unable to save her man had not been a pleasant thought. So Doctor Bruxa worked that much harder to avoid having to face the Chief of Security in that manner.

With the back vertebrae reconstructed, Satella could focus a little more on countering the spread of the infection. Any biological tissue touched by he Lokustaar was altered in such a way that it turned black. If this effect remained confined to the area of contact, things would not have been so bad, but this was not the case. The effect spread through living tissue as an alarming rate, this even with the body in stasis. A large section of the man's body had been thus infected, but the battle was not lost. As long as she kept up this pace, Doctor Bruxa and her medical team would win this battle. The infection would eventually be stopped, in maybe an hour or so.  After that, it would be a simple medical procedure to have a new lung take the place of the old one.

"Doctor," a nurse said, her voice trembling in fear. "Blood pressure is dropping rapidly. We are reading 80 over 45. The stasis field is destabilizing."

"It's that damn Shadow biology, it hinders everything it comes near to," Satella barked.  She was angry, not at her people, but at the Lokustaar for being so bent on killing everything they touched. "Establish a secondary field and have it ready to replace the first the moment it collapses. We cannot afford to have Jayson out of stasis, even for a second. There is still far too much damage for him to survive.  Adriana, I need your help."

"What can I do?" The Counselor sounded almost happy that she could do something to help.

"I put those Shadow Virus emitters in storage in my office, just in case. I need you to bring four of them here. I am not sure if they will help with this new infection, but they cannot do any more harm. Whatever Maya did with those things, they work better than the emitters in my Sickbay. We need all of the advantages we can get our hand on right now." Satella had not even finished her explanation before Adriana was gone. "Jayson, you listen to me. You cannot give up. Ya'Han is expecting you back on your feet, and so is everyone else. Hang in there."

Adriana returned with the stated equipment and placed it around the operating table. She quickly turned them one and took a few steps back, resuming her role as observer. Satella was not so lucky, her work ongoing and the life of a man squarely in her hands.

=-=
Rachel Jackie Johnson

Lieutenant JG Satella Bruxa [Access Character BIO for Satella Bruxa]
Chief Medical Officer
USS ANUBIS

[Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. - Mark Twain]
M13-P051: USS ANUBIS: Paquette: 34002.1515 ("Another Way In")
"Another Way In"
previous posts were (ANU) "Urgent Reconstruction" / (BAS) "The Longest 20 Seconds in History"

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 21, Cybernetics / Robotics lab 
Stardate: 34002.1515

It had been two hours since Ani was brought back to the ANUBIS with an emergency beam-out following her run-in with Mordana. It had also been two hours since the redhead Engineer had been working on the artificial woman to repair the damage the Shadow agent managed to inflict. How the woman had done so much damage in such a short period of time, and with nothing more than a simple contact was beyond the CEO's comprehension.

"How are the repairs proceeding?" Maya asked, the Shillian standing at the doorway of the Robotics lab not daring to come any closer to the frantically working Engineer.

"The power core was completely fried and had to be replaced. I have no idea how this even happened, the bloody thing was made to withstand power surges that would knock out this ship. Well, okay, maybe not," Sonja amended knowing that her exaggeration would be nitpicked by Maya who was a stickler for accuracy, even when someone was ranting out of frustration. "The power core was designed and shielded to avoid Ani becoming incapacitated by electromagnetic pulses or other high-energy discharges, the likes of which we have encountered before. I wanted to make sure that she would still be standing if something happened to the rest of the crew."

"The Lokustaar and their technology are not like anything we have encountered before," Maya clarified. "It is therefore understandable, if not expected, that our own technology would prove ineffective and maybe even incompatible. The best we can do is to learn a little bit more after each encounter."

"I have learned something alright," the redhead angrily sighed. "Next time we come up against that Shadow tramp, I will drop an entire runabout on her. She may fry all of the systems onboard, but it will be worth it just to see her end up as flat as the Wicked Witch of the West.  We would then be able to call her the Black Bit..."

The Shillian quickly interrupted. "Since the woman in question is currently in the custody of our Chief of Security and a detachment of Marines, I suspect that you will not have the opportunity to do this."

"Great," Sonja grumbled. "Denied once more!" Without looking at the woman still standing in the doorway, the redhead continued. "If you are here only to torpedo my hopes and dreams, I would appreciate you leaving me to completing the repairs on Ani. This is proving frustrating enough without having to deal with being told that I will not be able to enact the most brutal and diabolical revenge ever recorded in history."

"Actually, I came to ask for your assistance," Maya said venturing with a single footstep into the Engineer's domain. "The ship's sensors are unable to penetrate the structure of the government building, which means no one can beam in or out. Since no one can walk in or out either due to all doors and windows being sealed, I started looking around the structure for possible alternatives and believe I might have found one."

"Maya," Sonja sighed, "you do know that you are the only one capable of turning yourself into something small enough to climb through air vents? As much as some of us would love to be a shapeshifter like you, we mere mortals do not possess that skill. Plus, I think Jayson would have way too much fun running around the ship as a monkey."

"The air vents are too small and too well protected to be used, no matter how small anyone could be made to be," Maya explained. "I was looking at the foundation of the building and noticed that there are some sections that extend beyond the limits of the outer walls, which means that they are likely not as well protected by this dampening field. It would take far too long for us to dig down to those sections, but I figured that with a properly modulated narrow enough transporter beam, we should be able to get additional reinforcement down there and provide those already inside with a way out if needs be."

"Like what we did for the underground research facility on TAU OMEGA," the CEO half grinned. "The problem is that we can't get a lock on Mordana, so we would not be able to beam her up, but if we could get a few more inside to help Ya'Han, we could make sure that everyone comes out. Once that is done, I can drop one of the shuttles on her head."

"I don't think the Captain will endorse such a course of action," the Shillian said in all seriousness.

"Fine! We'll do it your way," Sonja lashed out in mock frustration. "Show me what you have and we'll figure out a way to get you and anyone else willing to go into that sardine can down there." Sonja gave Ani a quick pat on the shoulder, before whispering, "You stay right there, I'll finishing taking care of you as soon as I send Maya down a very small rabbit hole."

=====
Lorraine Paquette

Chief Engineering Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501
M13-P052: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: 34002.1525 ("Fake Shadows")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Fake Shadows"
[previous post were (ANU) "Another Way In" / (BAS) "The Longest 20 Seconds"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: KTARIS, Inside Government Building
Stardate: 34002.1525

She would get only one shot at this. The element of surprise was always a good tactical advantage but it rarely lasted more than a few seconds, and the Sec/Tac would have t make full use of that time. The primary objective would be to locate the source of the cries, which she expected to be a woman tied to a chair or to a wall. That thought brought back memories of their mission to NYLA IV where she was in that situation, shackled to the wall facing her treacherous brother Ya'Kun and a woman claiming to be her.

With her pulse rifle set to a wider dispersal, the Sec/Tac took aim at the sealed door and fired. Due to the setting, instead of piercing a hole through the door, the energy of the pulse rifle caused the metal plate to collapse into the room whole. With a single quick touch of the weapon's controls, Ya'Han restored the rifle's setting before exploding into the room. What she first saw was nothing more than a few small lights creating more shadows than she cared for. When her eyes adjusted to the lack of ambient light, the bright red-haired woman saw something that she could not have expected.

The Shadow agent they had been after for all that time was standing right there in front of her, a rod that resembled a Klingon pain stick in her hand pointed at the body of an unconscious woman tied to a chair. With her back to the door and her head down, the Sec/Tac could not identify the identity of the prisoner but there were no doubts that they needed help.

"I have no idea how you escaped from the Marines, but you are not going anywhere. Now drop that weapon!" At this range, there was no way that Ya'Han would miss if she fired, and at the current setting of the pulse rifle, her target would vanish in the shadows for the last time. "I said *drop* the weapon!"

Mordana smiled. "There is a great deal that you and your friends have no idea about, and should you ever come to realize even a fraction of it, it will, unfortunately, be too late. You cannot stop us."

"We may not be able to stop all of you at this moment, but I can assure you that I am quite ready to stop you here and now," the Sec/Tac said not trying in the least to hold back her anger. As far as Ya'Han was concerned, the woman standing in front of her was just as responsible for Jayson's current condition as the creature that had impaled him. "This is your last warning, DROP THE WEAPON!"

"Your flesh is weak. Your mind is weak. Your governments are concerned with nothing more than holding onto and increasing whatever power they believe they have over others. You live each day worried that it may be your last and hold onto foolish hopes that you actually have a say in what will happen," Mordana said not at all giving any signs that she feared the Nylaan or the weapon in her hands. "This dimension will fall like all others before yours. There is nothing you can say or do that will change that. We are everywhere, controlling people and governments in ways they do not now, nor ever will realize. Oppose us all you want, it will change nothing. You all are facing the end of life, as you have known it. You are all dead!"

With an air of superiority the likes of which Ya'Han had only seen once before, on the face of her own father as he dispensed his brand of justice, Mordana forcefully pressed the rod against her prisoner making her scream at the top of her lungs. Clearly, the agent cared nothing for the life of the woman tied to the chair, nor did she care about the warnings of the Sec/Tac pointing a pulse rifle at her. This meant that there was only one possible way to deal with this situation.

The weapon's energy pulse hit the shadowy woman dead on against hr chest, the force of the blast enough to cause her to fly backward dropping the rod in the process. Ya'Han quickly moved forward to see if the result was as she suspected it to be. Looking down at the woman now on the floor with a wound that resembled the one Jayson had received; the Sec/Tac could easily confirm that Mordana was dead.

With a certain sense of joy, the red-haired Nylaan turned to evaluate the status of the woman tied to the chair. Being able to the skin and hair color for the first time, Ya'Han was momentarily relieved that the prisoner did not show any indications of being Bolian. It appeared that Xana was not here and hopefully still safe wherever she was.

"You are safe now," The Sec/Tac said, kneeling down in order to start undoing the bonds that held the woman in place, but just as she was about to start unfastening the straps, a strange and unnatural darkness spread over the woman's exposed skin. Before Ya'Han could even begin to question what was happening, the woman melted into a pool of black ooze which itself vanished before hitting the floor. "What? No!"

Angered and frustrated, the Sec/Tac turned back to look at Mordana. Maybe she hoped to find some comfort in the agent's dead form, or maybe she thought that shooting her once again might make her feel better, but instead all that Ya'Han could do was to watch the agent turn into the same black ooze, which soon after vanished into the shadows that filled the room.

=/\= IGC to Ya'Han, is everything alright? We heard the weapon discharge and you apparently disagree with what happened. =/\=

"Nothing of importance," the woman with the red and black mixed haired replied. "Mordana is dead."

There was a pause before the Commander said anything.  =/\= That's impossible. The Marines just confirmed that she is still with them, cuffed and with half a dozen pulse rifles pointed straight at her. Whoever it was you had to shoot could no have been Mordana. =/\=

Ya'Han carefully reviewed the most recent events, trying to find a way to explain who the woman she had just killed could have been if not the Shadow agent they had been after. The clicking sound of heels made the Sec/Tac quickly turn to see something unexpected, or more accurately someone unexpected. "How?"

"As we said there is a great deal that you and your friends have no idea about," the woman said sounding overly certain of herself and the statement she had just made. Before Ya'Han could raise her weapon or even say something back, the pulse rifle was knocked out of her hands by an unseen presence, which the Sec/Tac immediately suspected to be the Lokustaar. "You are your kind have a role to play in this, that you realize it or not."

Ya'Han did not like the idea that the Lokustaar had plans for them, but the Sec/Tac would not be given the opportunity to say or do anything about it at this time as she was knocked out by a massive hit to the base of her head sending her crashing to the ground. The last thing she saw before falling unconscious was Mordana looking down at her, smiling as only the Shadow agent could.

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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
M13-P053: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: 34002.1540 ("Shadows and Mirrors")
=-=
"Shadows and Mirrors"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Fake Shadows" by Hanali / (BAS) "Time is Relative" by Dawn]
=-=

Setting:  USS ANUBIS, IGC
Stardate: 34002.1540

The ExO / ILO was not happy, not one bit. First, it appeared that there was more than one 'Mordana' out there making their lives as difficult as could be, and as much as that discovery helped to clarify certain before now unexplainable details, it did not make anything easier. On top of that, Ya'Han was no longer responding to communications attempts leaving the Commander to fear the worst without being able to do anything about it.

"Shar'El to Sonja and Maya, how are things going on your end?" There was only one hope, and it rested in the hands of the Chief Engineering Officer and Chief Science Officer.

=/\= We are trying to thread a transporter beam through roughly 12 meters of ground, over a meter of reinforced structure all of which is partially covered by an interference field designed *not* to let anyone beam in or out. How do you think we are doing? =/\= Apparently, Sonja was not happy either; at least that was what she was trying to convey.

"So, that means that you have it all figured out?" The ExO / ILO asked, knowing that the sounds of extreme frustration and exasperation in Sonja's voice had been nothing more than the woman's way to prove her point. She might not have been happy about any of what was happening, but that did not mean that her work ethics suffered because of it.

=/\= Of course it means that we have it figured out. What kind of Chief Engineer extraordinaire would I be if I could not solve this? Remember what I always say, the regular run-of-the-mill stuff was done last week, the difficult and demanding stuff was done a couple of hours ago, and I ask for at least 24 hours to figure out how to do the impossible. This means that I'll have it done in 12, but that's beyond the point. Since getting a transporter beam down through the edge of that interference field was not an impossible task, it is done. =/\=

"Glad to hear it because I think Ya'Han needs help," Shar'El said in all seriousness. "She is no longer responding to communications and her last words were that she had killed Mordana."

=/\= That's 'Red' for you, taking all the fun for herself. At least we are finally rid of that pain in the aft, trouble making, good for nothing, wish she fell into an industrial sized blender, massive nuisance, =/\= the redhead Engineer cheered.

"Sonja," the ExO / ILO said in a sterner manner. "You are not getting what I am saying. According to the Marines Mordana is still in their custody. It would seem that we are dealing with more than one Shadow operative with the same appearance making it impossible for us to tell one from another. Ya'Han may have killed one, but the fact that she has gone silent is what worries me the most."

=/\= Wait! What? There are more than one of those shadow loving two-legged cockroaches? It would explain how she managed to survive that blast on CORIDAN or escape capture when there was no way out, but that's not important right now. You said that Ya'Han may be in trouble? =/\=

"Yes," Shar'El confirmed. "That is what I am trying to make you understand."

=/\= Well what the heck are we waiting for? Red is in trouble and we are wasting time yapping here. Really Shar'El, I thought your priorities were better set than that. Maya and I are heading to the nearest transporter and we'll let you know as soon as we are ready to beam down. =/\=

The channel was closed before Shar'El could say anything more. After a few seconds, the ExO / ILO smiled as her instruments showed that two officers used a site-to-site transport from the Robotics lab on Deck 21 to Transporter Room 7 located on Deck 14. The CEO had made transporting from one location on the ship to another an art and Shar'El could not help but admire the woman for her ways of doing things.

=/\= Spy-Girl, you listening? Of course you are, you always are listening, never mind. Maya is ready to beam down, =/\= Sonja announced, the engineer sounding rather concerned for the wellbeing of their Chief of Security who also was her personal friend. =/\= We can only beam one person down at a time, the modifications on the transporter beam make it impossible for more than one to go up or down. I would beam down myself but someone needs to stay here and make sure that the interference pattern surrounding the government structure does not get in the way and scramble the data stream. It may not fully cover the target area but it does phase in and out enough to make getting through it problematic. Also, since sensors cannot fully penetrate the area, I thought it best for something a little smaller to be beamed down. Whenever you are ready Maya. =/\=

=-=
Setting:  USS ANUBIS, Transporter Room 7
Stardate: 34002.1545

The Chief Engineer watched with bemused interest as the Shillian effortlessly transformed into a Trusa, a native creature of her homeworld that strongly resembled a Terran monkey. In that form, the odds of Maya beaming into a wall or some other undetected structure was much less, but it did mean that the woman would need to get dressed again once the transporter sequence was completed.

"You go down there and get Red back to us in one piece," Sonja said to the primate.

=/\= Shar'El to Maya. Remember that you will need to maintain communication silence so as to not alert anyone down there as to your presence. They allowed for communications to work and we can only guess that it is because they are monitoring them. I still find it hard to believe that they could have figured out a way to break into our codes, but i would rather not take a chance. =/\=

"The monkey nodded its head," Sonja said as she waited for Maya to gather her clothes as much as possible given her little paws before the Chief Engineer engaged the transporter.  As soon as all was ready, the pile of clothes along with the small primate that was sitting on top of it vanished in the twinkling effects of the matter-to-energy process. "Transporter Room 7 to IGC," the Engineer added, sounding more concerned than before. "The fury-long-tail package has been delivered. All we can do now is to wait and see what happens next."

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M13-P054: USS ANUBIS: Jones : 34002.1520 ("The Right Friends Open Doors")
"The Right Friends Open Doors" 
(continued from Tiffany's Shadows and Mirrors)

* * * * * *
Setting: Ktarian Government Building
Scene: 34002.1520

Getting into the room Ambassador Bonviva was in took some doing, even by Tanith's standards. She'd been splayed lazily on a bench in the main foyer outside the room where Xana and the  when the sudden humming of the shields going up brought her to full attention, the hairs on the back of her neck standing up. It took her moments to figure out what had changed, and once she realized what it was, she knew trouble was imminent. She remained where she was, sprawled loose-limbed on a bench tucked away in an alcove of the foyer, alert, but unmoving. Instinct told her to run to the Ambassador, but Tanith knew better than to go by instinct. Snap decisions got people killed, rushing in at the wrong moment was just as bad, if not worse, than arriving too late. The Ktarian diplomat was hardly likely to be murdering Xana Bonviva and no one new had entered the room in the time Tanith had been stationed outside it, so odds were, Xana was safe.

A few minutes later, her patience was rewarded as the Ktarian Diplomat flounced out of the room, pausing to lock it as he left. Tanith watched him go through heavy lidded eyes, then stood. She took a seemingly aimless wander though the foyer, acting the tourist, pausing to seemingly study the myriad of bric-a-brac and paintings scattered around the area. She stopped her wandering at a vase of Ktarian flowers, situated on a plinth near the entrance to the door Xana Bonviva was trapped behind, her body language indicating that she was admiring the flowers, a riot of electric blue and shocking red flowers that reminded Tanith of spider lilys, while her eyes instead took in the lock and security on the door. 

It appeared to be a standard key card, along with a DNA sample. Tanith grimaced inwardly. Two factor authentication was far more of a pain in the butt to break into. 

"Excuse me, can I help you?" The sudden female voice behind Tanith made her straighten up abruptly and wheel around to face the speaker. As she did so, her elbow caught the edge of the vase sending the delicate crystal sailing to the floor. The woman, an aide of some sort, dressed in the government uniform saw the falling vase and leaped past Tanith to try and save the vase. She was too late, and the vase shattered as it hit the floor, spraying the aide with a mix of glass and water. 

"I'm so sorry!" Tanith said, and walked over to the aide, letting forth with a long stream of babble to keep the woman from concentrating on anything properly. Leaning over she took the aide's jacket from her, and pretended to shake the glass out of it and dab at the water. As her hands brushed the shards away, she deftly reached into the pocket, snagging a key card from it. She hid it up her sleeve and then got down on all fours next to the aide, picking up pieces of glass and putting them into the ruined bottom of the vase. She bided her time until she saw her opening. As the Aide reached towards a larger piece of glass, Tanith did the same, snatching it back towards herself, and nicking the Aide's hand in the process. 

The aide swore, and brought her hand to her mouth.

"Ohmygosh, I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to hurt you, oh man, I've really made a mess of things," Tanith said, getting as far into the woman's personal space as possible, hoping that Ktarians had a similar concept to humans. She pulled a rather bedraggled handkerchief from her pocket and began to dab ineffectually at the Aide's bleeding hand. The Aide's lips pulled into a curl of disgust, and she took a step back. "Here, let me-"

"NO! I mean, no. I'll send someone to clean this up. You've done quite enough already," the woman backed away from Tanith. "Just. Don't touch anything else, and go find somewhere else to loiter."

The Ktarian bustled away from Tanith as quickly as possible. Tanith waited until she had rounded the corner, and then triumphantly made her way to the door, slapping the key card on the reader, then carefully shaking a few drops of blood from the piece of glass. The door hissed open.

"Hello Ambassador Bonviva," Tanith said with a wave to the woman at the table. "Things appear to be getting interesting, and I thought you could use some back up."

***
Alix Fowler

Flight Control Officer
USS ANUBIS NCC-18501
M13-P055: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: 34002.1600 ("Familiar Shadows")
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"Familiar Shadows"
[previous post were (ANU) "The Right Friends Open Doors" / (BAS) "Home Terrain"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: KTARIS, Inside Government Building, Basement Room
Stardate: 34002.1600

Slowly Ya'Han began to regain consciousness. The hit to the base of her head was powerful enough to knock her out cold and now that she was slowly waking up, the Sec/Tac had a wicked headache as proof of her ordeal. Through blurred vision she tried to figure out where she was, trying her best to regain her bearings. Since the sight of her feet was framed by her own black hair cascading down her head, she knew that something had changed.  A quick pull of her arms confirmed that the Nylaan was shackled to a wall, a position that she was oddly enough all too familiar with thanks to her brother, Ya'Kun.

"What is that smell?" The Sec/Tac said, the discomfort of her position clearly evident in the tone of her voice. The odor was pungent but also strangely familiar and it took only a few moments for Ya'Han to recall where she had been exposed to this before, almost 2 years to the day.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
FLASHBACK
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Setting: MARKALA PRIME, Trade City of Kololu, Underground Chamber
Stardate: 32003.1220 (0905 local time)

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 he 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 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 ensure 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 himself 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 ensure 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 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 ensure her suffering more than she could have ever imagined, but refusing to do as he wished would result 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 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 tender 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 many 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 than 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."

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
End of FLASHBACK
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Setting: KTARIS, Inside Government Building, Basement Room
Stardate: 34002.1605

It was the stench of that Mister Morten that filled the air, but a hundred if not a thousand times worse. The smell was so strong that the Sec/Tac expected to find the room filled with men resembling the black-suited man. As she recalled the events and words that were spoken two years ago, the Nylaan wondered for a brief moment if their plan had succeeded. Had her father been killed in order to allow her brother to claim the throne of NYLA IV? Surely if this had happened, the news would have reached NEW ALEXANDRIA, but in view of their war against the Shadows, it was possible that Admiral Koniki had deemed it best not to release that information.

Ya'Han felt the weight and pull of the shackles against her wrists increase as emotions took over. She hated her father for everything he had done, so much so she ran away as far as she could, stopping only when she finally reached EARTH. Yet, he was her father and damn it for that she loved him enough to shed a tear for him despite her hatred.

The Sec/Tac was startled when a gentle tiny touch swept the tear from her cheek. Whatever the black-haired Nylaan had expected to see, she could never have predicted that her eyes beheld. "Maya?"

The little monkey smiled before using its claws to pull the pin out of the shackles releasing the captive woman. Once the same was done to the other side, the primate scurried down and transformed back into a Shillian.  "This is deja-vu all over again," Maya grinned. Two years ago, it was the same monkey who had come to the rescue of the away team, freeing them of their bonds and saving their lives.

"The only difference is that it's only me this time," Ya'Han said vigorously rubbing her wrists.

"Time to get you back to the ANUBIS, and retrieve my clothes at the same time," Maya said. "No matter what world we find ourselves on, these basements are always too cold and damp."

"Let's fetch your clothes, but I want to stay and investigate. There is something about this place, something that reminded me of something, of someone, and I don't like it one bit."  The Sec/Tac cleary appeared serious, her hair had returned to its full bright combat-ready red. "There is something down here, I am not sure what, but I know there is something. Mordana, or at least the woman who appeared like her, could have killed me before, but instead, she chose to shackle me to the wall. That alone would be enough to make me want to get to the bottom of the reason why, but there is a smell down here that demands me to figure out what is going on."

As a Lieutenant Commander, Maya outranked the Sec/Tac, but in matters of combat and tactical positioning, the Shillian knew to follow Ya'Han's lead.  With a gesture of her hand, the CSciO invited the other woman to take point. At least that way, if they encountered someone, the naked Shillian would not be the first thing they would see.

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

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M13-P056: USS ANUBIS: Maya: 34002.1610 ("Multiplying Our Problems")
---
"Multiplying Our Problems"
(Previous Posts: (ANU) "Familiar Shadows" / (BAS) "Outside Looking In")
---

Setting: KTARIS, Inside Government Building, Basement Room
Stardate: 34002.1610

Over the years since her attending and graduation from Starfleet Academy, Maya had spent a great deal of time and effort on improving her shapeshifting skills. The process still required a lot of energy from the Shillian but at least now she was able to maintain her chosen form for more than a few minutes. It was because of those demands on her body and mind that she had elected not to transform back into a tursa following the rescue of the Nylaan Chief of Security.  

Therefore, unburden by a uniform, Maya followed Ya'Han closely as they made their way back to the beam down location. As they navigated through the dark corridors, the Shillian could tell that something was bothering the Nylaan. Although not a Counsellor, the Chief Science Officer could tell that having been captured and shackled to the wall once again was not the only reason for the current mood of the Chief of Security. Something else happened and that explained in part why she wanted to stay instead of returning to the ANUBIS.

It did not take long before the duo made their way back, unchallenged.  "Here you go Maya," Ya'Han said pointing to the uniform on the floor, her fiery red hair pointing to the woman not lowering her guard in the least. The Shillian quickly grabbed her uniform and rushed to become a more presentable Starfleet Officer, after all her current manner of dressing, or lack therefore, was not becoming of a woman of her rank and responsibilities. Being able to shapeshift might have its advantages, but it did leave her vulnerable and exposed to unpleasant drafts amongst other things.

"Since we are not heading back to the ANUBIS, where are we going?"

"On the way here I noticed a heavily secured door at the end of a short corridor," Ya'Han replied. "I think it would be the a good place for us to start."

Maya smiled and gave Ya'Han the go ahead to proceed. As a scientist, the Shillian had never before said no to investigating a mystery, and this time would not be an exception. The two women heading back, this time at a must quicker pace, the Nylaan apparently in a hurry to answer whatever question had been plaguing her.

"Is it me or does this seem a little too easy?" Maya asked, looking at the secured door at the end of the short corridor. "Why have a protected door so relatively open for anyone to reach. I mean, I understand that we are in the basement of a government building, but the lack of security does seem to be odd, especially when taking into account that the whole complex is currently protected by a field that would be found on some sort of high-end military structure."

"The Ktarians are an untrusting people," the Chief of Security offered, "but I do agree that this is out of place. I believe that Alus Pami, or one of his subordinates, are hiding something, and that something is behind that door." Ya'Han scrutinized the corridor and after a few moments turned to face Maya. "Mind if I borrow your communicator?"

Due to her shapeshifting abilities, the Shillian could not have a subdermal communication device, so she had to rely on more conventional methods to stay in touch with the ship and other members of the crew while on an away mission. Since Commander Shar'El requested that the Chief Science Officer maintain communication silence, Maya saw no harm in handing the item over. As long as the two of them remained together, the Chief of Security would be able to contact the ship if needs be.

With the comm badge in her hand, Ya'Han studied the short corridor once again before throwing the item in as if tossing a rock onto the surface of a body of water. Maya watched with amusement as the communicator spun through the air, hitting a specific target on the wall before bouncing across to hit the opposite side. That is when a set of laser beams filled the corridor in a crisscross pattern.

"Like I said," Ya'han sighed, "the Ktarians are an untrusting people.  Wish Sonja was here, she would be able to figure this out in a few seconds, that is right after making some reference to an old movie she likes. We need to figure out a way to get to that door without triggering those lasers. The problem is that I'm afraid that we may not have the time to do so, triggering that trap likely alerted someone as to our being here."

"I might have a way for us to get through," Maya said before her uniform landed on the ground once again. Instead of a small monkey though, the Shillian emerged from the clothes as a Terran cat, one of the non-native forms she had managed to master following her graduation from the Academy.

Ya'Han watched in a mixture of admiration and concern as the feline carefully made its way down the corridor, avoiding the area where the lasers had been moments before. The Chief of Security let out a sigh of relief when Maya reached the door safe and sound.  After returning to humanoid form, the Chief Science Officer quickly went to work on the small control panel located to the right of the secured door.

"I do not mean to make the situation more stressful, but it would be nice if you could hurry up," Ya'Han said, keeping an eye on the ends of the adjacent corridors to see if someone was coming.

"I am going as fast as I can," Maya explained. "Figuring out this code is not as easy as identifying a quantum singularity inside a variable spatial anomaly."

Ya'Han shook her head. "Yes, because doing that is easy. If there is anyone who can figure it out, it is you Maya."

"Actually, I believe that Commander Shar'El would have an easier time at this, her expertise in the field of Intel would give her a major advantage. I also believe that Lieutenant Paquette would be able to figure this out faster as well, her engineering knowhow would permit her to bypass the controls and disable the security system as well as unlock the door.  I also believe that Lieutenant Stark could perform this task faster than I, his knowledge of computers and operational systems would give him an edge that I unfortunately am lacking."

"Maya, please, less admiration for fellow shipmates and more figuring out that security system," the Chief of Security prompted. "I believe we are about to get company very soon. I am hearing footsteps heading our way."

The Shillian worked as fast as she could, trying to make sense of the controls, using mathematical logic to ascertain the possible combinations while guessing as to what each of the people she had mentioned before would do in this situation. "I think I figured it out," Maya said as the security system deactivated and the door unlocked.

"Good," Ya'Han said as she rushed in and grabbed Maya with one hand and her uniform with the other. "No time to waste, let's go." Without wasting a single second, the two women entered the secured room and closed the door behind them, hoping that it would provide some level of safety again whoever or whatever had been heading their way. With her back against the door, Ya'Han studied the content of the room with surprise and horror, her nose twitching as if the new odour was in some way offensive. "What is this?"

The room was filled with rows upon rows of clear cylindrical pods, each attached to the ceiling with cables while screens monitored the liquid and forms inside.

"It would seem that we have stumbled upon a cloning facility," the Shillian Scientist replied as she stepped forward, the thrill of the discovery having made Maya complete forget that she was still naked. "There must be hundreds of clones in here, and by the looks of things there are only a few biological patterns that are being replicated, although I will say that from the looks of these I would hesitate to call what is inside Humanoid," the Chief Science Officer explained as she approached one particular pod which contained a familiar looking form. "These clones are of Mordana."

"This is not good," Ya'Han sighed. "Not good at all."

---
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)
M13-P057: USS ANUBIS: Lopez: 34002.1610 ("Watching a Master at Work")
-=-=-
"Watching a Master at Work"
[Previous post: (ANU) "Multiplying Our Problems" & (BAS) "Timely Glitch"]
-=-=-

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Sickbay
Stardate: 34002.1610

Adriana made sure to stay out of the way of her friend and her team of dedicated medical experts as they frantically worked to save the man's life. Satella had been fighting against the shadow disease pretty much from the get-go, but once the emitters were put into place around the operating table, things became a little simpler.  No longer having to battle the spreading infection, the medical team could concentrate on fixing their patient.

The Counselor watched in complete awe as the Doctor worked, her hands were as steady as could be despite the stress she was under and the speed she needed to use in order to keep the odds of Jayson's survival above pure mathematics. Adriana's eyes kept moving from the man's open chest to the readouts on the large medical monitor. Every time something went wrong, Satella quickly moved in and solved the problem before returning to her previous task.

"She's one heck of a Doctor," Amanda announced, the hallucination of the twin sister had returned, this time standing behind the operating physician, looking over her shoulder.  Adriana's first instinct was to tell the sibling to be careful, but the Counselor quickly reminded herself that the woman was nothing more than a projection of her troubled subconscious.  "She is unwilling to give up, is she? I guess that what makes her a good Doctor."

"As well as a good friend," Adriana said under her breath, not wanting to say or do anything that might distract Satella. Working as she was, the Counselor could imagine that a single slip could prove to be fatal for their patient.

Doctor Bruxa let out a string of unsavory curses as she nudged one of the emitters. Nothing bad happened, but Satella was not used to having obstacles in her way, especially during such a demanding operation.

"Do you want me to move them back and out of your way?" Adriana asked. As a Counselor, she could not offer to help in any way with the operation, but at least she could lend a hand in anything outside of that range.

Satella shook her head. "No need, I just need to learn to work around those things. Right now, they are what is making it possible to save him, and as much as I know that a few inches are not going to make a difference, I rather have them where I can see. At least that way I know they are there and it means that I have one less thing to be worried about." Adriana nodded with understanding. There were a thousand and one things for the CMO to think about and consider at this prices moment, and not having to be concerned as to whether or not the emitters were there and working was a good thing.

"I think mom would like her," Amanda jumped in with completely changing the subject. "She has worked with a lot of Doctors; some of them pompous know-it-all jerks, making her appreciate when she ended up with someone who understood what they were doing above being a flesh butcher. Bet she would have loved it if you had followed in her footsteps instead of joining Starfleet to come looking for me."

The sister sighed. Adriana should have known that this would turn against her in some way, it always did. Amanda was the incarnation of the 'Devil's Advocate', always making sure that her sister faced each and every possible error or questionable decision she made.  "You are doing a wonderful job, Satella, keep it up."

The Doctor quickly glanced up at the Counselor, questioning without words as to where that particular statement of encouragement had come from. Noticing that Adriana's eyes were not on the operation or any of the medical staff, Satella understood what was happening. Being one of the few people who knew of the hallucinations that plagued her, the woman simply smiled and dismissed the comment.

"Another hour or so and we should be done with the reconstructive aspect of this little operation," the CMO announced with a hint of relief in her voice. The battle had been a long and difficult one.

"I am sure that Ya'Han is going to be very happy to hear that, as soon as she returns on board that is."

"I bet she will as happy to hear this as I will be to tell her," Satella admitted. "This was not an easy feat and the prospect of her being angry at me was quite a powerful motivator."

Adriana smiled knowing that her friend was kidding, at least for the most part. Neither the CMO nor CNS would have enjoyed dealing with the Chief of Security had the operation not gone the way it had. Luckily, they would not have to face that situation, at least not this time around.  With the atmosphere much more relaxed, the Counselor could return to her admiration of the Doctor's skill and her friend's undying devotion to those she cared about.

-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor
USS ANUBIS
M13-P058: USS ANUBIS: Bonviva: 34002.1630
("What's a Little Assassination Attempt Between Friends")
=/\=
“What’s a Little Assassination Attempt Between Friends”
[Previous post: (ANU) "Watching a Master at Work" & (BAS) "Timely Glitch"]

=/\=
A diplomat thinks twice before saying nothing
--Edward Heath

=/\=
Location: Ktarian Government Building, Diplomatic Rooms -> Basement Hallway
Stardate: 34002.1630

Xana was sitting when Tanith, the dark haired Human woman sashayed in.  “Hello, Tanith,” she smiled.  She pointed to the hidden communicator so that Tanith would know there was an open line and continued on in her normal breezy way. “Lovely of you to join me.”

The quiet woman inspected the room, which in many ways was a typical sitting room with a long table, surrounded by chairs, and a sitting area off by the windows (now shuttered) and along the far side of the wall a set shelves that held various diplomatic and art pieces.  It was clear they had to get out but going out the corridor that Tanith had come in through was not an option as there were too many people.  

Xana watched as the woman walked around the room.  First she pointed up, and it took the Ambassador a moment to realize Tanith was pointing to an impossibly small vent.  Ignoring basic laws of physics, like how she’d fit herself through a vent that was smaller than she was, there was no way she’d be able to get herself up to a vent that was at least 12 feet off the floor, not in the condition she was in.  “No, that won’t work,” she said in no uncertain term.  Tanith’s expression didn’t change much but Xana could sense the disappointment.  

There was evidently an exit behind the tall bookcase but Tanith quickly closed that back, shaking her head, indicating that was not an option.  The windows were clearly not an option either with it still being shuttered.  The azure woman watched as Tanith seemingly wandered aimlessly around the room.  She had nearly given up watching her, when Tanith suddenly started...tap dancing?  No, it wasn’t tap dancing but she was tapping her foot in a rhythmic motion.  

Tanith walked back over to the art pieces and after an examination grabbed two small sculptures.  Using the arm of what appeared to the sculpture of a Ktarian dancer, Tanith quickly worked up several tiles on the floor to reveal a trap door.  Tossing aside the Ktarian dancer sculpture, she picked up a modern art piece that appeared to be different art works fused together.  Tossing it around in her hands she finally found what she was looking for and used one of the edges and attached one of that edge so that it was an inclined plane wrapped helically around an axis.  The panel opened with a slight “pop” sound.  

Walking over, Xana peered down the narrow tunnel which appeared to drop off to some floors below them.  “Well that looks tight,” she commented.  

“Hope you’re not being personal,” Tanith dryly, quietly replied as she cleaned up. She then quickly and with minimal sounds slipped down the darkened hole.  Xana listened and then slowly lowered herself until she couldn’t any longer; her hands let go of the ridge above and she dropped to a heap on the floor next to Tanith in a darkened hallway.  

Groaning, Xana looked to see that somehow she wound up on a small set of pillows; that led her to wonder how in 99 hells Tanith jumped down and procured pillows.

Then again she wasn’t going to ask because she was a little afraid now.  Instead she stretched out her legs and tried for wiggling her toes.  “Give me a minute,” she insisted.  

Tanith nodded, seemingly melting away.  She didn’t explain herself but Xana hoped it was to check things out.  Eventually when the toes felt better, and she could feel sensation in her legs (probably the bruises and abrasions forming) she slowly eased up.  Looking around she was trying to find Tanith when she heard someone coming down another corridor.  Quickly, she scrambled the rest of the way up, ignoring the shooting pains (although she cursed a bit at that); but was finally standing when she saw Alus Pami coming her way.  

“Ambassador,” the Ktarian diplomat said quickly.  Looking around he said, “Well I suppose it’s futile to pretend any further.”

“Mmhmm,” the azure woman nodded as she looked around.

Leaning in he asked, “Can I trust you?”

Xana looked around, and still only seeing a darkened hallway, answered, “You could but really where’s the fun in that?”

Alus Pami gave her a look and then appeared to shake off the seemingly dry comment as if it was just Bolian humor.  Instead he as if he was a child who figured out what he was getting for his birthday.  “Behind this door,” he said, “is the key to our future.  And now if you want to get in on that to sell to...whomever, I’m good with that.”  Quietly he said, “Now I know you’re not here for the Federation.”

“Wearing a long white robe and presenting my credentials would have convinced most people,” Xana smiled.  “What had you convinced otherwise?”

“You’re here the same day as the head of the Bank of Bolias.  I understand why you’re really here.  We could have had an auction with the way things are going,” he explained.  Leaning in he murmured, “I’m glad you didn’t take that aggressive mix-up earlier personally.”

Xana blinked her violet eyes.  “Yes, good help is hard to come by.  And what’s a little assassination attempt between friends?”

“Well yes we wanted to kill you when we thought you were with the Federation.  But then I realized you weren’t, no need to,” Alus said.  Tapping on the door he said, “So, want to see what we’ve been creating?”  Leaning in he said, “I think you’ll find that clones are truly amazing.”

Xana tried to dart her eyes around, but didn’t see Tanith.  However, it was clear that Pami thought that she knew what was going on, far more than what she did and she wasn’t going to let that go.  She wasn’t sure what was going on with these “replications” but that she could figure out soon enough.  Inhaling she said, “Sure.”

=/\=
Sarah Albertini-Bond 

USS ANUBIS NCC 18501
M13-P059: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: 34002.1635 ("Hide and Seek")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Hide and Seek"
[previous post were (ANU) "What's a Little Assassination..." / (BAS) " Timely Glitch"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: KTARIS, Inside Government Building, Basement Room
Stardate: 34002.1635

The room was huge, so much so that the Sec/Tac could hardly believe what she was seeing. To create a cloning facility would already be a massive undertaking, but to do so on this scale required a tremendous amount of resources, not to mention the amount of energy that was needed to maintain this place operational. Maybe that was part of the reason why the energy field around the government building allowed communication signals to come through. The power requirements were simply too great for whatever power generation system was present.

"This is remarkable," Maya said, the woman more was clearly interested in their discovery than in the fact that she had not put her uniform back on. Clearly, being in the buff had never been an issue for a Shillian. "How did they manage to build this without anyone knowing about it?"

"I'm sure someone up there knows about this," Ya'Han said casting her eyes upward. She was not sure who, but the Sec/Tac was relatively certain that one or more high-ranking Ktarian had helped in the creation of this facility. If they had not, this would mean that the Lokustaar would be even more dangerous than expected, able to do pretty much anything they wished without anyone even knowing it. "Now, can we hide? Someone is coming," the Nylaan said handing over the shapeshifting woman's uniform to the Shillian before they ducked behind one of the control stations just as the door opened.

"I am sure you will be quite impressed," the Ktarian diplomat said. It was easy to hear and see in the way the man spoke and walked that he was beyond proud of what he was about to show off. This meant, as far as the Sec/Tac was concerned, that Alus Pami was involved in all of this. How deeply his involvement ran was yet to be determined, but his collaboration had all but been confirmed.

"I have seen clones before," Xana said doing an amazing job to appear unimpressed while at the same time relaying as much information to the ANUBIS over the opened comm channel. "Maybe not in this quantity, but a clone is a clone. Let's face it, they all look the same."

Alus shook his head in disbelief at the Ambassador's attempt at humor. "The clones are not important," the Ktarian continued. "Part of the agreement we made was that once all of these clones are ready to be let out, the equipment used to create them will remain here, under our control. We will then be able to sell units to the highest bidder and make a fortune."

"And you want me to help bring in potential buyers," Xana said, looking around as if studying he clones while in reality, she was searching for Tanith.  "Why not sell the clones instead?" The blue-skinned woman asked, keeping Alus speaking meant that there was more time for the FCO to do what she was doing, whatever that might have been while providing Captain Morningstar and Commander Shar'El with more details as to whatever this was.

"Sell the clones?" The Ktarian repeated with glee. Apparently, he had not thought of that option.

"Of course," Xana replied with assurance as she toured the nearby pods. When she walked past the control station, the violet eyes of the Bolian/Terran hybrid quickly fell onto the two hiding Starfleet Officers, the Ambassador making a rapid note that one of them was completely naked. "Sell a man a cloning machine and cash-in once on the sale, or sell a man a clone and cash-in as many times as that clone is required. It's plain and simple business logic," Bonviva said in her best impression of a Ferengi as she made her way back to the Ktarian in order to keep him away from that control station.

"I knew that bringing you in this was a good idea," Alus said, his greed growing at such a rate that Xana actually feared it might figuratively fill the enormous room they were in.

"Tell me more about this deal you made," Xana said as she and her new business partner walked in the opposite direction. "I want to make sure that you didn't agree to something that might end up costing us in the end."

"What is she doing?" Maya asked, not entirely certain she understood what had been overheard.

"She's keeping him talking and giving us the chance to get out," Ya'Han answered. "The problem is that there is no way for us to reach the door we came in through without being noticed. We need to make our way to the back and hope that there is another access down there. We'll have to be quiet though, we can't afford to be noticed and risk exposing the Ambassador as something other than she is currently presenting herself to be."

Maya agreed with a nod of her head and quickly made her way from behind one pod to the next, still holding onto her uniform. Finding the sight somewhat troubling, Ya'Han hurried ahead and took the lead. Officially, she could claim that as the Sec/Tac she would need to be the one to deal with whatever they encountered should something unexpected come up. Unofficially, she would no longer have to look upon the exposed form of the ANUBIS' Chief Science Officer until such time as she decided that putting her uniform back on was more of a priority than studying the cloning equipment.

As the duo made their way further into the room, Ya'Han glanced back to make sure that Xana was still alright. The woman's quick thinking had saved the day but it was still the responsibility of the Sec/Tac to make sure that the Ambassador remained safe and out of harm's way. The greater the distance between them became, the more the Nylaan felt that what she was doing was wrong. Her place was here, keeping an eye on the Bolian/Terran woman.

"I need to make sure that Xana is safe," Ya'Han hiding behind the nearest pod. "You keep going and search the perimeter for another way out. I will head back and stay near the Ambassador.

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

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M13-P060: USS ANUBIS: Bruxa: 34002.1645 ("Medical Interlude")
=-=
"Medical Interlude"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Hide and Seek" / (BAS) "Timely Glitch"]
=-=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Sickbay
Stardate: 34002.1645

It had been over two hours since Jayson was attacked. After the brutal assault, the man was left with a gaping hole in his chest. It was only thanks to the speed of the intervention and the pre-prepared stasis field that he survived the first few moments. Every moment that followed was a battle to keep him in the realm of the living.  After countless setbacks though, Doctor Bruxa was finally making progress. The Shadow infection had made things difficult, to say the least, but that fight had been won. Thanks to the shadow emitters used on GALEMAE the lightning fast infection had been stopped. This meant that Jayson would survive the vicious attack he had been the victim of. All that the physician needed to do now as to put the man back together again. That would take at least another hour as long as nothing unexpected happened.

Repairing or flat out replacing the damage tissues had been a long and difficult job. It would feel good to be able to tell Ya'Han that the man she loved would live to see another day. Satella made a mental note to caution the Chief of Security. Their recurring sparring practices would have to wait until Jayson was fully recovered. It was likely that any other physical activities would also have to be put on hold. The damage he had suffered was far more than a simple broken bone or torn ligament. The man's chest had been ripped open and one of his lungs destroyed. Even with the advancements made in the field of medicine, this had not been something easily dealt with.

Taking a moment the physician looked up at her friend. There would be another part of the healing process that would need to take place. This one though would fall squarely onto the shoulders of Counselor Lopez. As the CMO she could fix broken bones and even replace damaged organs. The emotional and psychological scars though would be an entirely different story. As much as she might have wanted to help, this was out of her professional reach. Where Satella's job ended would be where Adriana's would begin.

"Doctor," the aCMO said. "How about you take a break. We can finish and close things up here. I promise to not undo anything that you did." Satella showed no signs of willingness to leave. Jayson was her patient and he still needed her. Maybe not quite as much as he did when he arrived, but he still needed a great deal of medical care.

"You have been working nonstop for hours in less than ideal conditions. The more you push yourself, the greater the odds of you making a mistake." The Counselor's words were true, but the CMO still displayed resistance.  Following a friendly stare-down with Adriana, Satella finally gave in.

=-=
Setting: USS ANUBIS, CMO's Office
Stardate: 34002.1650

"How are you doing?" Satella's question to Adriana took the Counselor by surprise.

"Shouldn't it be me asking that question?"

The CMO smiled as she sat behind her desk while looking over the CNS' shoulder. "I noticed that you had a visitor during the operation. That is why I am asking. I simply want to make sure that you are alright."

"If you are going to play Counselor, maybe I should head back out there. I could help with 'closing things up'. All I need is for you to remind me what tool I should use." Adriana's effort at levity was made that much better as she held up a laser scalpel.

"You win, you win," the physician conceded with laughter. "I will leave the counseling to you. As a friend though, I am allowed to be concerned. Therefore, the question still stands. How are you?"

The CNS smiled as she sat in one of the chairs on her side of the CMO's desk. "I'll be alright. The visions have decreased in numbers, but that doesn't change things much. Amanda always manages to say what I don't want to hear, no matter the situation."

"She does have an unfair advantage," Satella said gently tapping the side of her head. "Not easy dealing with someone who is constantly in your head."

"True," Adriana chuckled weakly.

"Any news as to what is happening on the surface?" Satella asked, changing the subject.

"I have not been keeping track as much as I could have been. I was too busy watching you operate. Last I heard, Maya had been sent down to help."

"Maya was sent down? Why don't they just beam the whole entire blasted building up along with everyone inside? Might be a mess to sort through but I think it would be an easier solution."

"That would be hard to do right now," the CNS shrugged. "There is an energy field surrounding the building making transport in and out impossible. Communications are still working; at least I think they are. As I said, I have not been keeping up with what was happening. I figured that if the Captain was not asking for my help, I would just be in the way."

"Next time, you might want to start with that piece of knowledge. The protective field means that someone is hiding something. That is something that deserves a closer investigation." That having been said the Doctor rose from her chair and headed towards the exit to her office.

"Where are you going?"

"To the bridge of course. I need to know what's going on. I can use as an excuse that I am reporting on Jayson's condition. Once we are up there, if we overhear something good, it will be nothing more than coincidence. I could also ask about the Ambassador's condition. As the ship's CMO, I should be concerned as to her medical condition."

"You are incorrigible," Adriana laughed as she too rose from her chair.

"However bad the universe may become, you should always remain true to yourself. Now, let's go. I need to know what happened."

=-=
Rachel Jackie Johnson

Lieutenant JG Satella Bruxa [Access Character BIO for Satella Bruxa]
Chief Medical Officer
USS ANUBIS

[Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. - Mark Twain]
M13-P061: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: 34002.1700 ("Listening In")
=-=
"Listening In"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Medical Interlude" by Rachel / (BAS) "Timely Glitch" by Karen]
=-=

Setting:  USS ANUBIS, IGC
Stardate: 34002.1700

The ExO / ILO listened in on the conversation between Xana and Alus with mounting interest. If the ANUBIS should ever go rogue, Shar'El would make sure that the Bolian/Terran was assigned as the lead business liaison for all transactions. The woman knew her way around making shady deals so much so that the raven-haired Commander wondered if there was not some Ferengi hiding in the lineage of the woman's ancestry. One thing was certain though; this little conversation was proving to be most revealing.

=/\= Is the equipment able to handle more than the four patterns I have so far seen n the pods? Would be a shame if we were limited as to the merchandise we would be able to provide potential customers. =/\=

That was another spot-on question from the Ambassador. Not only would it served to give a little more details as to the range of this cloning facility but it also would confirm if there were more than four identities of Shadow agents they needed to be concerned about.

=/\= I was told that these pods can be modified to accept any biological sample in order to create a clone, this regardless of species. I was assured by my associate that the equipment would be able to handle whatever bio-matter we put, from Andorians to Vulcans. =/\=

=/\= Guess the Zobral will never realize just how lucky they are to not be in the range of these machines. Actually, come to think of it, maybe we are the ones who are lucky, those people can be rather skillful in coming up with schemes. The last thing we need would be to have a few thousands more of them running around the galaxy. =/\= Xana was trying her best to keep the mood light, that way the Ktarian would be more likely to keep talking.

=/\= Of course, in order for the clones to be viable as autonomous individuals, we would need to obtain a complete neurological scan along with the biological sample. Without it...=/\=

=/\= The clones would be nothing more than a mindless body barely able to stand up,=/\= Xana interrupted. =/\= I am sure that it can't be easy to get a complete scan without the original individual being aware of what is happening. =/\=

=/\= If the process was simple, there would be a lot more clones wandering around throughout the quadrant, =/\= the Ktarian diplomat said this in a way that made the Bolian/Terran woman suspect that he was still not telling her everything. As much as he had revealed so far, Xana could not help but feel that he was holding something important back, but so far all of her efforts to figure out what that was had monumentally failed.

=/\= So when are we taking possession of this lovely equipment? =/\=

"That's right Xana, keep him talking," Shar'El whispered to herself as if the duo located in the underground of the government building might actually hear her.

=/\= That was the one part of the deal we are still discussing. The regular clones are nearly ready to be let loose, but my associate informed me that they needed more time to complete some 'side project' which involves the cloning equipment. =/\=

"Side project?" The Shar'El repeated, her curiosity piqued to its highest level.

=/\= Side project? =/\= The Ambassador asked as well, echoing the ExO / ILO's interest.

=/\= I was not given the details, =/\= Alus admitted to the disappointment of both women. =/\= Since all 1000 pods are to be given to us, I figured I should not be asking too many questions. =/\=

=/\= Of course not, =/\= Xana reluctantly agreed. =/\= You did say 1000 pods, right? =/\=

=/\= Yes, =/\= Pami confirmed. =/\= Why? =/\=

=/\= I know that I am not one of those fancy mathematicians, but I did count 36 rows with 27 deep, that would only make 972. So where are the other 28? Are they somewhere else? =/\=

=/\= This is the only facility, =/\= Alus sounded confused, maybe even a little upset. =/\= I was told specifically that there were 1000 pods, not less, not more. Why would he lie to me? =/\= Evidently, the Ktarian had never taken the time to count the number of pods contained in the room, but luckily for the ANUBIS, Xana had made the math and reported not only the number of clones they were dealing with but also the fact that 28 pods were 'missing'.

=/\= Maybe we should go and ask him, either that or we can go looking for those missing pods ourselves and see what your 'associate' has been hiding from you. =/\=

As great as the idea of searching for those missing pods sounded to the ExO / ILO, Shar'El worried that the Ambassador was not up to the task despite having proven her negotiating skills up to this point. Uncovering something that had been hidden by what was more than likely another Lokustaar operative could prove to be exceptionally dangerous.

The only thing the Commander could do was to hope that Tanith, Ya'Han or Maya would be there to help her should things go sour.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M13-P062: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: 34002.1710
("Unexpected and Disturbing Discoveries")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Unexpected and Disturbing Discoveries"
[previous post were (ANU) "Listening In" / (BAS) " Timely Glitch"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: KTARIS, Inside Government Building, Basement Room
Stardate: 34002.1710

While Maya was searching for another way out, Ya'Han was following the chatting duo at a safe distance, making sure to remain well out of sight. Observing them as she was, the Sec/Tac would have believed that the Ambassador and Ktarian diplomat were the best of friends, or at the very least great business partners. The back and forth talk about taking ownership of the cloning pods in order for them to create clones that would be sold to select buyers sounded frighteningly genuine. It was unlikely that Xana was planning on actually doing as she was saying, but the blue-skinned woman was very convincing in her portrayal of an interested investor.

The Sec/Tac nearly jumped out of her skin when she felt a hand land on her shoulder. Ya'Han had been a split second away from breaking the arm attached to that hand when she realized whom it belonged to. Apparently, the Shillian had been just as stealthy as a Humanoid as she was as a monkey or cat.

"Don't sneak up on me like that," Ya'Han pleaded, more for Maya's own safety than anything else.

"Sorry," the clothed shapeshifter said ever so quietly. "I found something, come."

In order to make sure that the Ambassador was safe, the Sec/Tac needed to stay near her but following what she had seen and heard Ya'Han believed that Xana was in no immediate danger, in fact, she suspected that it was Alus Pima who was the one who might need protection, but not in the physical sense. Giving the duo one last quick look, the Nylaan followed the Shillian, again making sure to remain out of sight.

Quickly moving between pods and control stations, the two women reached the end of the room where Maya pointed to a section where the wall met the floor. Ya'Han shrugged her shoulders indicating that she could no see anything but Maya, with a gesture of her hand, insisted that she looked again. Carefully studying that particular section over any other, the Sec/Tac eventually saw something, a very faint light coming from beneath that section of the wall.

"A secret door," Maya whispered as she looked at the wall. As so signs of a panel or some sort of mechanism could be found, the Ya'Han figured that the method of opening this door was either by remote or located elsewhere in the room. A quick scan of their surroundings identified three control stations out of place when compared to the others. As much as it might have been nothing more than a technical requirement, it was the best and only place for them to start. Remaining low to the ground and as quiet as possible, the two officers made their way to the control station and quickly studied its configuration.

"That is very interesting," Maya said, her voice no louder than a soft whisper. "The layout is exactly the same as all the other control stations, but the pod designations are all wrong. Each station, at least all of the ones I saw with the exception of this one, monitored and controlled 12 individual pods. This one is set to monitor only 9 but in a much closer and detailed manner."

"The other two appear to be the same," Ya'Han reported. "Maybe these stations keep track of the missing pods Xana mentioned earlier. There are supposed to be 1000 of them here in this room."

"There are 36 rows containing 27 pods in each, this only makes 972," the Chief Science officer said showing that she had already surveyed the room on that level. "If we add the 27 pods that these control stations are, as we believe them to be, monitoring, that still leaves us only with 999 pods. Could the Lokustaar agent had simply rounded out the number?"

"I don't think so," Ya'Han said shaking her head. "With all of our dealings with the Shadows, estimates and rounding out numbers do not fit their method of operating or even their way of thinking. The Lokustaar are a calculating race, that means they do not leave anything to chance, instead they will aim for specific data and numbers. If the associate as Alus referred to is a Shadow operative, his claiming that there were 1000 pods means that there are in fact 1000."

"That would mean that there is still one missing, that is of course if these control stations are in fact linked to the other 27 missing pods," Maya offered, studying the control panel with the hope of finding a way to access those pods and prove or disprove their theory.  "There is something odd about this control panels," the Shillian added running her fingers under the section of the console that was sticking out. "There is a switch down here."

Just as she said this, a secret door slid upward where the faint light had been earlier detected. Fearing that this might alert Alus, or someone else as to their presence, Ya'Han took hold of Maya and rushed into the opening. As soon as they were in, the Sec/Tac located the controls on the wall next to the door. With a quick press of the controls, the door was returned to its original closed position.

Finding themselves in a much smaller isolated room behind a closed door, Maya and Ya'Han could stand and investigate without too many concerns. As expected, they found 27 cloning pods, each one attached to a secondary control station. By itself, the setup meant that they had discovered something important, but a closer inspection of the pods revealed something even more surprising.

"Ya'Han, you might want to come and see this," Maya said having looked at the humanoid form inside one of the pods.

The Sec/Tac complied and gazed inside, studying the oddly familiar form in search of what Maya had noticed. When she looked upon the clone's face, Ya'Han gasped in horror and disbelief.  "It can't be. It can't be him," she pleaded.

"It does look like him though," Maya confirmed. "The clone is not fully formed, but the resemblance cannot be contested. It might be a good idea to have Doctor Bruxa confirm the genetic identity of the clone. Once that is done, we can try to figure out how they came to be in possession of his genetic material in the first place in order to create this clone."

Still in a state of complete shock, the Sec/Tac could not take her eyes off the man whom she now easily recognized as being the man she knew and lived with; the ANUBIS' own Chief of Operations, Jayson Stark.

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

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M13-P063: USS ANUBIS: Maya: 34002.1730 ("A Clone Is A Terrible Thing To Waste")
---
"A Clone Is A Terrible Thing To Waste"
(Previous Posts: (ANU) "Unexpected and Disturbing Discoveries" / (BAS) "Time Can Be A Flickle Thing")
---

Setting: KTARIS, Inside Government Building, Secret Basement Room
Stardate: 34002.1730

"How were they able to do this?" Ya'Han gasped, troubled and angered by what they had discovered, now wondering if Jayson or any the other member of her crew were the genuine articles or just a clone who had been put there in their place. After seeing so many copies of Mordana waiting in the pods found in the previous room, the Chief of Security was questioning everything and everyone.

"The technology is quite sophisticated," the Shillian scientist said, not at all trying to hide her admiration of the equipment and what it was capable of creating. "It is far more advanced than what we found in the previous room and appears to be set at a much higher cellular reproductive rate. According to the information on this control panel, the initial biological matter was introduced into the pod 32 days ago."

"32 days ago? That would put it somewhere around when Jayson fell into that reinforced pit while running after Mordana. We lost contact with him for a few minutes which Doctor Bruxa accounted to him losing consciousness after hitting his head," Ya'Han recalled, identifying what she believed to be the exact moment where all of this could have started. "She did say that there were a couple of bruises that she could not explain, but dismissed them as simply being the result of having fallen in a strange manner."

"A few minutes would have been ample time for someone to collect the necessary genetic material to begin the cloning process, which would also account for the unexpected bruises," Maya explained. "It could have also been enough time to obtain a neurological map allowing this clone to possess the knowledge and memories of our Chief of Operations. Granted those memories would not include more recent events, but if the clone was meant to replace the original, it would not take it long to catch up using personal and duty logs once it came on board the ANUBIS."

There was an odd silence shared between the two women as each considered the full significance of their discovery. It was the Chief of Security that broke this lull with unmatched certainty. "We have to destroy this," Ya'Han said, her eyes still very much locked on the face of the man she knew could not be there.

"As much as I agree that this clone is a potential security threat, I would caution on doing any hastily. There is a great deal that we could learn from this, and by this, I mean both the technology as well as the clone itself. The process used here to create the clones is far more advanced than anything we have ever encountered, this includes the technology used by the Mariposans some 70 years ago which the Federation studied and experimented with. If we could bring a single pod back to NEW ALEXANDRIA, I believe that we could improve our knowledge in this particular field by decade if not centuries." The more Ya'Han listened to Maya, the more the Chief of Security could hear the growing admiration the Shillian had for the technology, apparently forgetting where it had originated from.

"With all due respect, Commander," Ya'Han said drawing her phaser and looking at the Chief Science Officer. "I meant to say that we should destroy *everything*, not just this one pod. We cannot allow a clone of any member of our crew, created by Lokustaar technology, to step out and have the opportunity to replace the original. We have a chance to strike now and it would be foolish of us to not take full advantage of this. We have seen firsthand what a single one of those clones can do," the fiery redhead woman said referring to the Shadow Operative they had been pursuing far too long.

"I understand your apprehension, Lieutenant," Maya said in a way that clearly indicated that she was about to pull rank on the Chief of Security, "but I cannot let you do that, not when there is so much we can learn from this. Your fears and concerns are possibly well founded, that I will agree with, but the long-term gains far outweigh the short-term risks. Now that we are aware of the existence of these clones, we can act accordingly and ensure that they do not pose a threat to us or anyone else, this without destroying them or the technology that saw them created in the first place. Imagine what we could learn, not only about cloning technique itself but the Lokustaar through our better understanding of this remarkable technology. For all we know, the answer to this ongoing conflict could be right here waiting for us to understand it."

The Nylaan officer slowly returned her angered gaze onto the form inside the pod, her hand still firmly holding onto the weapon she had just pulled out. On one side, the Chief of Security could not disobey an order and even understood the point of view of the scientist, but on the other, Ya'Han could not risk a copy of Jayson or anyone else to be created. The conflict between her personal and professional opinions ranged within with such force that she heard the cracking of the phaser casing in her hand. The faint sound proved enough to snap the woman out of her trans and make a decision.

"What do we do next, Commander?" The Chief of Security asked, holstering her weapon back.

"We still have 26 more pods to investigate," Maya said, glad to see that Ya'Han had decided to see things her way, not that the scientist had given her a great deal of choice. "Once we have completed our survey we will be able to offer a more complete report to the Captain, at that time he might very well agree with your assessment of the situation over mine." The Shillian did not like to see the Nylaan upset at her as she was, the woman was a dedicated and skilled officer who deserved respect and have her opinions listened to more than they had been. 

---
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)
M13-P064: USS ANUBIS: Bruxa: 34002.1730 ("Professional Concerns")
=-=
"Professional Concerns"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "A Clone Is A Terrible Thing To Waste" / (BAS) "No Mistakes Allowed"]
=-=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Sickbay
Stardate: 34002.1730

The news of the away team's discovery spread like wildfire through the ANUBIS. The Ktarians were involved in the creation of clones, and not just a few. There were hundreds of replicates beneath the government building. The realization that Mordana was a clone made sense to the many including the CMO. It explained how the Shadow agent could appear on another world after being believed dead. The fact that they could never find any signs of the woman's body could also be accounted for by her being a clone. It made sense that the Lokustaar had designed these biological copies to vanish without a trace should something happen to them.

As important as this latest development was though, Satella's mind was on something else. Actually, it was on someone else to be more accurate.  "I wonder how Xana is doing?" The physician quietly asked aloud without realizing that she had so.

"She is with Alus," Adriana answered in the same whispered voice. "As long as he believes her to be an asset, she will be safe. If we take the woman's experience and style, I would not worry about her. I suspect that she will make sure she maintains a level of importance in his eyes."

Doctor Bruxa chuckled. Had it not been for the CNS' reply, she would have likely never known that the question had been openly voiced. "I trust Xana to do everything she can to stay out of the Ktarian's crosshairs. I was more concerned about her physical status. She did not spend nearly as much time in the holodeck as needed. She has been on her feet for more than half a day now without being able to truly rest. With everything that has taken place, I can imagine how stressed she is, and that is not going to help her condition. You, of all people, know how stress can manifest itself in physical form."

"I know what you mean, but it's Xana we are talking about," Adriana chuckled. "With all due respect to the Ambassador, I believe that she is more likely to stress someone else. That said, I do agree that she might overexert herself. She felt much better after her short stay in the machine you and Sonja created. That feeling could leave her vulnerable to exhaustion from not pacing herself."

"I thought you were to help me feel better," Satella huffed. The smile on the physician's lips though indicated that she was doing this in good humor. "Isn't it your job as this Ship's Counselor to make people feel better? To make me feel better?"

"Speaking of physical manifestation of stress," the Counselor laughed. The levity shared between the two women was interrupted by the voice of their First Officer.

=/\= We are receiving a communication from Alus Pami, the diplomat Ambassador Bonviva was meeting on KTARIS. He would like to speak to Doctor Bruxa. =/\=

"He wants to speak to me? Why?" Satella asked as genuine concern appeared on her face. "Is the Ambassador alright?"

=/\= I have no idea Doctor, =/\= Shar'El said. =/\= All I can tell you is that he requested to speak with our Chief Medical Officer... by name. =/\=

"If he asked for you by name, it is likely because Xana requested it," Adriana said. The theory made sense but did little to ease the Doctor's concerns.

"Captain?" Satella asked of the man in charge, not wanting to go over his head. As the ANUBIS' CMO she had the authority to take charge in any and all medical matters. That did not mean she wanted to get her Commanding Officer upset at her, not that she believed he would. Still, there was no reason to make a bad situation worse.  With a nod of his head, the Captain allowed Bruxa to 'take the call'.  "Commander Shar'El, please relay the communication."

=/\= You are on Doctor. =/\=

"This is Doctor Satella Bruxa. How can I be of assistance?"

=/\= Doctor, my name is Alus Pima of the Ktarian diplomatic corp. I just wanted to check in with you about Ambassador Bonviva and her condition. =/\=

"As her physician, I cannot reveal any personal details. What I can tell you is that he is suffering from a progressive, degenerative, genetic disease that requires constant monitoring and precisely scheduled treatments."

Satella and Adriana looked at one another, as the Ktarian diplomat remained silent. Was the man confirming the story given by Xana or was he looking for a way to use that information against her?

=/\= I see. =/\=

"Is the Ambassador alright? She is well overdue for her next treatment." The Doctor was doing everything she could to play this game while keeping the Ambassador's wellbeing in mind. "Can she return to the ship?"

=/\= The Ambassador is fine, but she cannot leave. If you can come down, I will arrange for you to be allowed inside the building. =/\=

Satella looked at Adriana once more. "I will need one of my nurses to accompany me. The equipment is rather heavy and I will need her assistance to assess the Ambassador's condition."

Silence once again was the result of her words. Everyone on the bridge knew what the CMO was doing, but some worried that she had gone too far. Being allowed to enter the building was a huge step, one that Satella might have jeopardized by her request.

=/\= Fine, you and a single nurse will be authorized to enter the defense parameter. Please be at the main entrance in 15 minutes. Alus Pami out. =/\=

"Well played Doctor," the Captain offered.

=/\= Yes Doctor, well played, =/\= Shar'El agreed. =/\= As for the Ambassador, you have nothing to worry about, she was the one who requested your presence. She also was the one to convinced Alus to allow Adriana to accompany you. =/\=

"How did you know I would bring Adriana?"

=/\= Doctor, not only am I this ship's First Officer but I am also the ILO. I know everything. Now, I suggest that you two get going, you have 14 minutes to get your equipment and beam down to the surface. =/\=

=-=
Rachel Jackie Johnson

Lieutenant JG Satella Bruxa [Access Character BIO for Satella Bruxa]
Chief Medical Officer
USS ANUBIS

[Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. - Mark Twain]
M13-P065: USS ANUBIS: Lopez: 34002.1740 ("A Little Action")
-=-=-
"A Little Action"
[Previous post: (ANU) "Professional Concerns" & (BAS) "No Mistakes Allowed"]
-=-=-

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Transporter Room
Stardate: 34002.1740

The uniform felt strange as if it didn't properly fit, which of course it did. The fabric against her skin was itchy, but Adriana knew that this was all in her head. Federation replicators were not in a habit of creating material that reacted in any way to the skin of its personnel. Shifting the shirt ever so slightly on her shoulders, the Counselor closed her eyes and concentrated on her own thoughts and feelings.

As a newly minted Ensign, she had joined the USS KROGEN as their Assistant Chief Medical Officer, so she knew what the job of a Medical officer entailed. Following what happened on the ill-fated ship though, Lopez had never again put on the uniform of a member of the medical staff in order to protect herself from memories that, despite her ongoing efforts, found their way into her conscious and subconscious mind.

"There is nothing to be nervous about," her friend the Doctor said. "We have gone down into worse situations and faced more dangerous opponents."

It was that statement that made Adriana realize just how fidgety she was, unable to stay still for the slightest amount of time. Satella knew of her past, of her issues, so why did she believe that this physical reaction was caused by some sort of concern about their beaming down? True, there was more than enough to be worried about. They would be beaming down to KTARIS where the Lokustaar had been seen, and walk into a building that was currently protected by some sort of energy field. Should they actually make it inside, they would have to deal with the Ktarian diplomat as well as the presence of countless clones beneath their feet. The potential of something going wrong was sizable, to say the least, but still, that was not the reason why she Counselor felt as she was, and the Doctor should have known this.

"For crying out loud, sis," the hallucination of Adriana's twin sister said after having appeared on the transporter platform right next to the Counselor turned Nurse. "Do you really want your friend to come out and say that she knows that putting on that uniform is making you more of a basket case than you usually are? I am sure the Captain would love to hear about the hell that you went through on the KROGEN after it was attacked by those walking shadows and that it is still affecting you to this day. Maybe you would rather Satella announce to everyone that you are haunted by visions of your missing twin sister and that of all the people on board this flying fortress, you are the one needing a Counselor more than anyone else? She knows what's bothering you, she is just being kind enough not to make a public spectacle of it. You could learn something from her."

=/\= Doctor Bruxa, are you and Counselor Lopez ready to beam down? =/\=

"Nurse Lopez and I will be ready shortly," Satella said in reply to the First Officer's query. "We just need to load all of the equipment onto the transporter platform. We don't want Mr. Alus Pami to doubt what I said about the Ambassador's physical condition. This equipment should do the trick."

=/\= I do appreciate what you are trying to do Doctor, but I should remind you that your first priority is to ensure the Ambassador's wellbeing. All we have to go on so far is what Xana has been able to relay back to us through her open comm channel. She convinced Alus to allow you and Counselor Lopez to beam down but we have not established the actual reason why. Do not take any unnecessary risks. =/\=

"Nurse Lopez and I will be careful," Satella said, pushing once more the undercover identity of her partner in crime.

"I think you are enjoying referring to me as your nurse a little too much," Adriana said shaking her head.

"We are going undercover, actually you are," Satella grinned looking at Adriana from head to toe. "I'm going down as myself so there is no issue there, but we both need to get used to you being referred to as a nurse to make it believable. If I called you by your actual title of Ship's Counselor, even if only once, things could turn ugly very quickly."

"As I said, I think you are enjoying this undercover thing a little too much."

"We are part of a state-of-the-art Intel vessel and we have done very little actual Intel work," the CMO pointed out. "So let me enjoy it while I can. Now let's beam down there and see what Xana calling for us is all about. Energize!"

-=-=-
Setting: KTARIS, Outside the Government Building
Stardate: 34002.1755

Although she knew that a full contingent of Marines had been present at their beaming site, the would-be Nurse was still surprised to see so many heavily armed personnel in a battle ready stance.

"Feels like we have just arrived in the middle of a war zone," Adriana said with some apprehension. Grabbing the handles of the two cases she was responsible for. 

"Just wait until we get inside. My guess is that the real battle is going to happen then," Satella quietly teased to the undercover Counselor before looking straight at the main entrance and announcing their presence as loudly as she could. "Alright, we are here. Mind letting us in?".

The energy field surrounding the building shimmered before extending to cover the area directly in front of the main entrance, The shift happened so fast that no one, not even the heavily armed Marines, could react ensuring that only those permitted to do so could gain access to the protected building.

"You wanted action?" Adriana asked of her friend who did not appear as confident as she had not that long ago.

"This is nothing, nurse," the Doctor said as if trying to convince herself more than her friend. "After hours of operating, this is a welcomed change of pace. Now, let's find the Ambassador and make sure that she is alright."

-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor
USS ANUBIS
M13-P066: USS ANUBIS: Stark: 34002.1740 ("Awakening Consciousness")
"Awakening Consciousness"
[previous (ANU) "Some Wounds Never Heal" / (BAS) "The Longest 20 Seconds"]

[/\]
Setting: Total Darkness
Stardate: 34002.1740

He felt alone and detached from the universe around him. He could feel his physical form but was unable to get it to respond to any of his wishes. It was as if his mind had been lost in an absolute darkness, a bottomless pit that he should never have found his way out of, but yet here he was, a consciousness without form, at least not one that he could affect.

Without being able to focus on his immediate surroundings or even his own body, Jayson retreated back into his memories. He smiled as he became more aware of the images and feelings that populated his past, at least he would have had he been able to control his physical form. He could sense that his consciousness was trapped inside a shell of flesh and blood, but he was powerless to connect with it, so he continued on his inner journey through his memories.

The first person he saw was a smiling black and red haired woman whom he instantly recognized. She had become someone of great importance to him and he could not imagine his life without her now. He hoped that she was alright and that he would soon see her once more with his real eyes instead of through his memories of her. From Ya'Han, Jayson made his way through each member of the crew of the USS ANUBIS, recalling their faces and what he found most memorable about them.

Captain Morningstar was an experienced man who had earned the right to be in command of the ANUBIS. The man was the quiet sort, speaking only when the situation called for it, but when it did, Jayson knew that he and the rest of the crew could count on their Captain to make those hard and difficult decisions with little hesitation.

The solid black-haired woman that appeared next actually scared him. Commander Shar'El might have been the friendly sort to the other female officers, but to him she was cold and demanding, as any First Officer needed to be. In the end he didn't mind, understanding that the woman was simply being professional towards him while allowing herself to be a little more care-free with the others.

That thought brought up the image of the ship's Chief Engineer. There was no denying it, Lieutenant Paquette was flat out mean to him, taking every chance she got to take shots at him in whatever form she could. Once, or maybe twice, he could not be certain, the woman had paid him a compliment only to undo her kindness soon after. He was not entirely certain as to why this was, but the day she would actually be nice to him he would know that something terribly wrong had happened to alter the universe as he knew it to be.

Thinking of the universe, Jayson's memories went onto the officer who seemed to never tire of observing and researching it. Maya, the last member of her race, was an amazing scientist who, when given the opportunity, could explain the inner workings of anything in excruciating details. It was clear that her passion was science and the missions the ANUBIS and its crew were sent on gave her ample opportunities for her to dive into the unknown head first.

From the overly vocal Chief Science Officer, Jayson's mind drifted onto the Flight Control Officer. Ensign Tanith was the complete opposite of Maya in that she was as quiet as could be leaving the OPS Officer to often wonder if she was there at all. The woman was a skilled pilot and gave hints that her skills extended far beyond that role. As long as she was at the helm of the ANUBIS, Jayson felt reassured that they would reach their destination, whatever it may be.

As he travelled through his memories of the ship he was stationed on, Jayson eventually made his way to Sickbay where he saw the silver-haired Chief Medical Officer. The woman appeared young but her skills as a Doctor far surpassed her youthful looks. More than once he had gone to see her because of some bruise or fracture caused by his sparring with Ya'Han and each time the Mikulak woman patched him back up without any problem.

Of the medical staff though, it was the Ship's Counselor that he was the most thankful for. Adriana Lopez had helped him, like so many had done before, to leave his shattered past behind in order to better enjoy the beauty and opportunity of the present. Jayson was certain that if it had not been for people like her, he would never have been able to open up as he had to Ya'Han finding a new lease on life.

The memories suddenly vanished from his mind as he felt his body convulsing. Something was happening be he did not what other than his body was reaction to something. In a desperate effort to figure out what was happening, Jayson used everything he could, everything he had to connect with his body. Even if all he could accomplish was to open his eyes he would be able to get a sense of what was happening to him.

He clawed at the darkness that surrounded him, frantically trying to break free of this mental prison he had found himself in. When he finally managed to set himself free and open his eyes, he was relieved to see Ya'Han looking back at him through a narrow field of vision. Although he could not understand why she appeared so troubled, the color of her hair made it clear that she was not happy. As he tried to reach out to her, his hand collided against something solid, some sort of wall or barrier stood between him and her. How he had found his way into this pod he did not know, but all he could do was hope that the woman's anger would be enough to get him out sooner rather than later.

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M13-P067: USS ANUBIS: Bonviva: 34002.1815
("I'm Not Looking To Save The Narwahls")
“I’m Not Looking To Save The Narwahls”
[previous (ANU) "Awakening Consiousness" / (BAS) "No Mistakes Allowed"]


=/\=
“Gamora, remember that plan we talked about?”

“Uh, no.”

“Oh right, that makes sense cause I just made it up inside my brain.”
--Star Lord and Gamora from Lego Marvel Super Heroes - Guardians of the Galaxy: The Thanos Threat

=/\=
Setting: KTARIS, Outside the Government Building
Stardate: 34002.1815

A small dark haired woman appeared in the corner of the building right at the edges of the shadows the Doctor and “Nurse” Lopez, near a crack of where the Marines were guarding the buildings.  

Satella and Adriana made their way over to Tanith, who motioned for them to follow her through a side entrance and not through the main entrance.  “How is Xana?” Satella asked quietly.

Tanith paused for a moment while walking before shaking her head quickly.  “Not good but it’s noticeable... yet,” she said after a moment. 

Satella and Adriana exchanged a glance but before they could ask more questions, they realized that Tanith was taking them through a narrow alley behind the Government Building that would require them to walk single file.  The alley eventually wound down so that it was parallel with a lower level to the Government building.  

And they were away from the Marines; completely out of sight and out of ear shot.  

“Go in straight, make two lefts.  You should find Xana.  She’s with the Ktarian Diplomat -- Alus Pami,” Tanith explained.  “Ya’Han and Maya are also looking around but not in the same area.”  With that she touched a slight indentation in the bricks a door opened, Tanith stepped aside, and allowed the Doctor and Counselor inside.

Adriana was going to ask something to Tanith when she realized that she was gone.  “Go straight, make two lefts,” she said, holding up the case.

Bruxa nodded and they went off down a darkened corridor with minimal light coming in.  They quickly made their two lefts and as they got closer they heard voices; one of which was familiar.

“How do I know I can trust you?”

“You can’t,” the other voice said, and that the officers identified as Xana.  “But I already told you that.  But here’s what I can tell you.  I have contacts, you know that.  And I have experience; I wasn’t always in Federation government.  I used to work for privately owned businesses.”

“I always thought that Federation types shunned making credits.”

“Anyone who tells you that credits are at the root of evil doesn’t have any,” Xana parried back.  “Or credits can’t buy happiness?  Go on a shopping spree on any station and see if that changes your mind.”  There was a pause before she said, “I just think you don’t want to do what is required.”

“Shouldn’t we go in?” Adriana asked.

Satella thought for a moment.  “Let’s see where this goes.  If there’s a natural break in conversation, yes, then we go in.  Otherwise I don’t want to stop what she’s trying to get out of him.”

“And what is that?”  the other voice queried, who Adriana and Satella guessed was Alus Pami the Ktarian Diplomat.

“Work. Your. Butt. Off,” Xana said firmly.  “You have gone on and on about the clones but I’ve not learned about the “special project” or potential buyers--”

“I told you--” Alus tried.

“And I’m telling you, I want a winner, not a piker,” Xana replied cutting him off.  “A piker only looks for the immediate play.  A piker looks for turnover now.  A winner looks to take the sweep, even if that means waiting for the longer payout.  Now, I thought you were a winner, Pami.  I’m not looking for a friend and I’m not looking to save the narwahls.”  There was a pause and the two officers from the ANUBIS almost walked in but then Xana spoke again.  “Look, maybe this isn’t for you.  I get that.  You have to want this--”

“This is *my* deal.  I will get you the information you are looking for and then we can have our deal,” Alus Pami huffed.  Suddenly Satella and Adriana flattened themselves against a wall as they watched a Ktarian man walk out of a room quickly and off in a different direction. Figuring this was their moment, Satella and Adriana walked in quickly to a room with many pods.  Looking around, they found the Ambassador leaning against a pod in the middle of the room.  

Satella was over first, then Adriana.  “Xana!” Satella said quickly.  “How are you?”

Smiling as if she hadn’t been yelling at a Ktarian Diplomat to turn over all information on an illegal cloning program, the Bolian/Human smiled.  “I’m glad you’re here.  How are you?”

“We can catch up later,” Adriana smiled back.  “However, Dr. Bruxa would do better if you just explained--”

“Oh that,” Xana admitted.  Looking around she finally leaned in and whispered.  “I started getting the neuropathy on my right side like right before I lose all feeling.  Except I know I can’t leave.  So...what are my options?”

=/\=
Sarah Albertini-Bond

USS ANUBIS NCC 18501
M13-P068: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: 34002.1815 ("Doing The Right Thing")
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"Doing The Right Thing"
[previous post were (ANU) "I'm Not Looking To Save the Narwahls" / (BAS) " No Mistakes Allowed"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: KTARIS, Inside Government Building, Basement Room
Stardate: 34002.1815

The survey of the other 26 pods revealed very little information, therefore nothing compared to the surprise of their initial discovery. The clones in the other pods were of people they knew nothing about, that was part of the reason why both Maya and Ya'Han eventually made their way back to the one that contained an all too familiar form.

"On the good side, we know that none of the other members of the crew were cloned. That has to count for something," the Sec/Tac said, still very much troubled by what she was looking at. She knew that the man inside the pod was nothing more than a clone of Jayson, an impostor who she felt a rapidly growing hatred towards. That feeling, when confronted with her emotional connection to the ANUBIS' Chief of Operations, pushed Ya'Han to make a decision that she could not talk herself out of.

Following a quick study of the controls linked to the device containing the offending form, Ya'Han turned to Maya in an all too serious manner. "I wonder what all those other clones are meant for? If this clone was meant to infiltrate our ship and somehow take over Jayson's place, what could possibly be the target objective of those other clones?"

The Sec/Tac made a point to look and point at the other pods, directing the Shillian's attention as far away as possible. Not suspecting what was about to take place Maya looked down the row of pods and went on with a probable explanation to answer the woman's question. As the scientist did this Ya'Han's hand reached back and tapped the controls of the station linked to the one pod she had become obsessed about.  Seconds later set of alarms filled the room drawing the full attention of both women.

A rapid scan of the controls by the Chief Science Officer revealed the cause of the alarms. "I'm not sure why but the incubation sequence was prematurely terminated."

Ya'Han watched with a certain sense of relief as the form thrashed about. She had caused this, and as much as Maya had wanted to keep these clones for later research, the Sec/Tac could not allow this particular one to exists. That feeling, as strong as it might have been, quickly disappeared when his eyes opened to meet hers and his hand extended to touch her.

The now black-haired woman could see the confusion and fear in the man's eyes, a man that she recognized in countless ways. Everything about the person inside the pod reminded her of Jayson as if it was actually him that was looking back at her in desperation. The more she gazed into his eyes, the more her unwavering conviction wittered away. The Sec/Tac had started wanting that thing dead, now she wanted to save him, her emotions overwriting her logic and knowledge that it was not him locked inside that pod.

"His vitals are falling," Maya said, as she looked at the controls, the woman strangely calm despite the severity of what was happening. "Heart rate is already at a dangerous level and his panicking is making it harder for him to breathe. If we do not figure out a way to get him out of there he will die."

The earlier decision that made the Sec/Tac force this malfunction no longer mattered. All that Ya'Han wanted now was to save Jayson and looking at the pod and its control systems, it was evident that they would not be able to find an easy way to simply open the device. With time and options at the smallest possible values, the bright red-haired Nylaan reached for her phaser and without hesitation fired at the side of the pod causing it to burst open.

A wave of thick clear liquid washed onto the floor as the clone of Jayson collapsed out of the pod and into the arms of his savior.  As he desperately tried to catch his breath, the man looked up and once again met the gaze of the Nylaan woman, both of them smiling at one another.

"Am I ever glad to see you," he said before wrapping his arms around Ya'Han's neck in order to pull himself closer so that he could reward the woman with the only gift he was in a position to give at that particular moment. Maya watched with puzzlement as the couple shared a passionate kiss, the scene was a direct contradiction to the sentiments the Sec/Tac had earlier stated.

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

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M13-P069: USS ANUBIS: Bruxa: 34002.1845 ("Complications Aplenty")
=-=
"Complications Aplenty"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Doing The Right Thing" / (BAS) "No Mistakes Allowed"]
=-=

Setting: KTARIS, Inside Government Building, Main Cloning Area
Stardate: 34002.1845

With her tricorder in hand, the physician gave the Ambassador a thorough visual exam. Satella didn't need to look at her hand-help instrument to see that Xana was in pain. The treatment had been too little too late to offer any hope of a lasting relief. Now, they needed to deal with the situation as it was. With an air or reluctance, the CMO opened the medical scanner and went to work.

The preliminary scan of the Bolian/Terran woman's right side confirming what she had reported. The illness had reasserted itself beyond the level where it had been when last observed. How the Ambassador had managed to function up to this point was beyond the CMO's understanding.

"Aren't you going to ask me if I am feeling any pain?" Xana sarcastically asked. The grimace on her face was more than enough to answer her own rhetorical question.

"I don't need to," Satella replied, matching the woman's tone. "I am sure that most of the crew felt that pain. Why didn't you say something earlier?"

"Of course, what was I thinking?" Bonviva hissed. "All I needed to do was to say how excruciating the pain was while I was fishing for information. I am sure that Alus would not have picked up on that in the least."

"This is not helping," Adriana said. Although she had taken on the role of a nurse, her training as a Counselor quickly kicked back in. "Ambassador, I understand that you are in pain, but taking it out on us is not going to make this any better. We are here to help."

The Bolian/Terran hybrid sighed. "Do what you have to. I need to continue with this mission if we are to learn anything."

"Thanks to that," Satella said pointing to her own comm badge. "I am sure that Commander Shar'El has been given a great deal of useful information. Your priority now needs to be on you getting better," the CMO added as she prepared a hypospray. "No good can come of you becoming completely incapacitated and unable to function."

As Satella applied the small injector against Xana's neck, the sound of a muffled phaser was heard. Fearing that someone was firing at them, all three women took a more defensive posture. The quick movement was immediately followed by the moans of pain and discomfort from the Ambassador.

"What was that?" The undercover nurse asked, looking around for the source.

"That sounded like a standard Federation phaser," Xana replied wincing in pain. "By the sound of it though, it's in another nearby room."

"Good ears." The Counselor was trying to give the woman a compliment in the hopes of making her feel better.

"Bad experiences," Xana corrected. "And before you ask, there are too many of them for me to start listing."

"What do we do?" Adriana asked of Satella.

"Unless the Ktarians have found a way to get Federations side arms, there are only two possibilities." The Bolian/Terran woman did not appear reassured by her own words.

"Actually, Ya'Han and Tanith are no longer the only other members of the crew here. Lt. Cmdr. Maya beamed down when our Chief of Security encountered some problems."

"This doesn't change anything. Tanith is not the type to use a weapon when faced with a problem. Neither is Maya, which leaves only one likely and logical source." Xana explained. As a skilled observer of people, the Ambassador had analysed the situation as she always did.

"Let's go and have a look around the room," Satella said. "The content of the hypospray should make the pain more bearable for a little while. Just long enough for us to locate Ya'Han and find a way back to the ANUBIS."

"As I said before Doctor, I cannot leave here, not now. There is still too much that we need to learn and i am the best chance we have to get that information." Xana's argument was cut short as Satella moved away. After a quick glance at the Counselor turned nurse, the Ambassador reluctantly followed.

The trio made their way to the closest wall, stopping to look at the smooth surface that stood in their way. "You said that the sound likely came from a nearby room?" Adriana asked to which Xana simply nodded her head in agreement.

"I cannot see any signs of a door," Satella noted while running her hands on the wall. The Doctor stopped when her foot landed into a puddle with a distinct splash sound. "Something sprung a leak."

"Look at the shape," Xana pointed out. "It looks like the liquid is coming from beneath that section of the wall."

"Good eyes," Adriana said, smiling at Xana who failed to respond in any way. "Let me guess, more bad experiences?"

"Trust me Counselor; I have seen things that would freeze the blood in your veins. So to answer your question, yes, bad experiences," the Bolian/Terran woman clarified. "Look at the nearby control consoles, there has to be a way to open whatever this is."  Before the three women could start their search, the secret door opened revealing another set of three.

"Doctor Bruxa? I am so glad that you are here, he needs your help." Ya'Han was helping a naked Jayson walk, the man appearing exceptionally weak.

"What happened?" The physician exclaimed. The last time she saw the man was on the operating table. In the state she had left him, there was no way he could have made it here. More important was the fact that his abdomen showed no signs of the operation. "Who is this?"

"He's a clone of Lieutenant Jayson Stark," Maya answered. "A clone who appears to possess all of his memories as witnessed by his reaction to Ya'Han. Also, we had to get him out of his pod prematurely in order to save his life. There was some sort of unexplained malfunction and it was thought best to save him."

"His vitals are all over the map," Satella said looking at the readout of her tricorder. "We need to get him back to the ANUBIS. In fact we need to get you *both* back."

=-=
Rachel Jackie Johnson

Lieutenant JG Satella Bruxa [Access Character BIO for Satella Bruxa]
Chief Medical Officer
USS ANUBIS

[Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. - Mark Twain]
M13-P070: USS ANUBIS: Stark: 34002.1900 ("Not Feeling Like Himself")
"Not Feeling Like Himself"
[previous (ANU) "Complications Aplenty" / (BAS) "The Longest 20 Seconds"]

[/\]

Setting: KTARIS, Inside Government Building, Main Cloning Area
Stardate: 34002.1900

There was something strange about the way they were looking at him, something that made him question everything that had happened. First, he could not remember how he had managed to land in that muck-filled pod. The last thing he remembered was falling into a pit and hitting his head, hard, but that felt like it was a distant memory that belonged to another life. Second, he tried to understand why he was where they had found him? What possible purpose could be served by caging him in there?  He tried his best to understand what was happening, to answer the questions that were invading his thoughts but the sound of his own heart racing was pretty much the only thing he could hear. It was so loud that it distorted or flat out drowned the voices of those around him.

If it wasn't for Ya'Han physically holding him up, there were no doubts in his mind that he would not be able to stand on his own. He felt weak and disoriented, desperately trying to listen in on the conversation around him to understand what had taken place. Every so often, he would catch the gaze of Doctor Bruxa as she used her medical tricorder on him. The expression on her face was not one of concern but rather of troubled curiosity, and that did not make him feel any better. The way Maya looked at him only made things worse, the Chief Scientist studying his every move as if she was looking at some sort of never before seen alien creature. What was wrong with him? Had the Lokustaar done this to him, whatever *this* was? 

As he thought of those soulless nightmarish creatures, Jayson closed his eyes and immediately saw eight glowing red eyes looking back at him. As the red slits peered into his very soul, a wave of excruciating pain washed over him sending the man to his knees, screaming in agony.  As much as he wanted to reopen his eyes and hopefully ed this, Jayson could not do anything other than scream. He could feel the hands to those around him trying to hold him, trying to help him, but the pain was just too much to fight against. The worst part was that this mental attack did not feel like it came from some outside source but rather from deep inside his own mind.

"JAYSON!"

He knew she was right there next to him, the feel of Ya'Han's concerned hands against his bare arm was unmistakable, but her voice sounded like it was coming from a distant dream. Clearly, something was wrong with him, he just hoped that Doctor Bruxa or even Lt. Commander Maya would be able to figure it out and find a way to counter this indescribable pain. In the meantime, all he could do was to try and mentally stand up to the pain and do his best to ignore the eight glowing red eyes that continued to look straight at him.

The sensation of a small cold metallic object against his neck was quickly followed by everything becoming quiet. He could no longer hear anyone or feel anything but the glowing eyes remained. As the eight slits grew increasingly closer, an unearthly coldness spread through him, freezing his very soul and yet he welcomed it as if it was a sensation that he had somehow been previously aware of.

Again, he wondered what had been done to him. What possible nightmare had the Lokustaar unleashed on him? Was this their way of getting even for all of the trouble he and the rest of the crew of the ANUBIS had caused? Was this their way of striking back at them from pursuing Mordana as hard as they had been?

In the cold stillness that now surrounded him, Jayson somehow knew that this was not a retaliation from the Lokustaar. In fact, he felt a certain affinity towards the creatures of darkness who originated from another dimension and sought to spread chaos and destruction through the multiverse. The creation of conflicts served to push races and individuals to grow, to become better or face extinction. Those that survived would be better once they emerged from the chaos and would be able to claim their rightful place in the universe.

Those thoughts felt strange to Jayson as none of his memories supported such beliefs, and yet he could not help but find himself agree in some ways with what the Lokustaar were trying to do. They were not here to kill for pleasure, they were here to help evolution along and ensure that those races that remained as strong as could be in order to face the hardships the universe held in store for them.

Could the Lokustaar be right? Could their ways actually be better than the painfully slow natural evolution they had locked into since the dawn of time? Necessity had always been said to be the mother of invention, and there would be no greater need for survival as long as the Shadows forced conflicts on them all.  The more he thought of this, the more he understood their reasoning, and yet the more he felt the conflict within him.

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M13-P071: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: 34002.1910 ("Never Easy")
=-=
"Never Easy"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Not Feeling Like Himself" by Jayson/ (BAS) "No Mistakes Allowed" by Jessica]
=-=

Setting:  USS ANUBIS, IGC
Stardate: 34002.1910

The mission to KTARIS was already not going to be an easy one, but never could the ExO / ILO have anticipated the way things came to unfold. Before their arrival in orbit, dealing with the Ktarian diplomat Alus Pima was likely going to be the largest unknown, aside from the possible presence of the Shadows on that world. Intel reports on him identified the diplomat as someone whom a Lokustaar agent could approach with relative ease in order to lure him into some scheme that would see the friction between his world and the Federation increase.

The game plan had been to use the meeting between Ambassador Bonviva and the Ktarian diplomat to bring Mordana out so that they could finally capture the Shadow Operative. That part of the mission had proven successful as she was now in the custody of the Marines currently on the surface of KTARIS. Unfortunately, that was where their good fortune and luck ended.

Jayson Stark, their Chief of Operations, had been viciously attacked and nearly killed before the government building was locked down and protected by a transporter and sensor dampening field. If that as not sufficient, it was discovered that Alus Pima had been convinced to take part in a cloning operation managed by the Lokustaar all for the promise of the equipment being turned over to him after all was done. To top it all off, Ambassador Bonviva was fighting against the mountain pain and discomfort of her illness while still refusing to return to the ANUBIS to resume her treatments.

To ensure that the crew of the ANUBIS would not find all of this too easy to deal with, the universe had seen it necessary to add one more problem to the already monumental list. The away team consisting now of Doctor Bruxa, Counselor Lopez, Lieutenant Ya'Han, Lt. Cmdr. Maya, Ensign Jone, and Ambassador Bonvavia had now been joined by the dying clone of the ship's Chief of Operations.

Thanks to the opened communications channel established by both the Ambassador and Chief of Security, the EXO / ILO was able to keep track for the most part of what was happening. Even though there were some pieces to this drama missing, Shar'El had heard enough to know that the situation had gone from bad to worse and showed no signs of getting better any time soon.

"ANUBIS to Doctor Bruxa, it sounds like the ball is squarely in y9our court. What do you recommend be our next course of action?" The ExO / ILO hated putting the CMO on the spot like that but there were few other options as there was no way for the ship to lock transporters on the away team and bring them all back regardless if they wanted this or not.

=/\= I am looking at two medical situations, one of which is urgent while the other is a flat out emergency. We need to find a way to get everyone back to the ANUBIS ASAP. =/\=

=/\= I told you that I am not going back, =/\= Xana argued making Shar'El shake her head with disbelief. The Bolian/Terran woman was a great many things, and it seemed like being stubborn was near, if not at the very top, of that list. =/\= I need to stay here and get Alus to reveal what this 'special project' is. =/\=

=/\= I think we have already figured that one out, =/\= Ya'Han snapped. =/\= I would say that creating clones of Starfleet officers would rank as being more than just a special project. =/\=

The next voice to be heard by the ExO / ILO was that of their Chief Science Officer. =/\= There is still one cloning pod unaccounted for, that is if we accept Alus Pima's account that the Lokustaar are to hand over exactly 1000 cloning devices. If we were talking about any other race, I would accept the possibility that this number was rounded for reasons of simplicity, but using all that we have learned and seen about the Lokustaar I believe that this is highly improbable. This particular race is too calculating and precise in everything they do to not use exact numbers in regards to anything they do. If they said 1000 pods would be turned over to Alus, we have to go on the idea that this is exactly the number that is available and not just the 999 that we have been able to account for at this time. =/\=

=/\= And that's why I have to stay. =/\= It was evident that the Ambassador had no intentions of making this easy for anyone. She was on KTARIS to complete a mission and she would remain there until it was done to her liking. =/\= If you people want to go back, I won't stop you, but I'm staying. =/\=

=/\= Ambassador, where do you think you are going? =/\= It was Counselor Lopez' turn to jump into the argument. =/\= You are in need of urgent medical care. The injection you received will only help subside the pain for a short period of time and will not help in restoring your current physical state. I understand that you may not like it, but you will have a better chance of completing your part of the mission if you return to the ANUBIS with us and then come back after you are better. =/\=

=/\= That is not an option, =/\= Xana promptly dismissed. =/\= Do you truly believe that Alus would even talk to me after I somehow vanished? He would suspect that I was up to something, and he would be right. That would nullify all of the work I have done so far and set us back further than I am sure your Captain would like. =/\=

=/\= Commander, it looks like we are at an impasse. What would you suggest we do? =/\= The ExO / ILO could tell that Doctor Bruxa was frustrated, both on a medical and professional level.

"Call up the schematics for that government building. There has to be some sort of medical facility in there, it may not be much but it will be better than what they currently have, which is not much." It only took a few seconds for the IGC team to find what had been requested and make available at the ExO / ILO's station.  "Doctor, there is a First Aid station on the main floor of the building you are currently in. My guess is that it will not have anything useful for either of your current medical problems but you might get lucky and find something of some use."

=/\= Jayson looks like he needs more than First Aid, =/\= Ya'Han said, the tone of the woman's voice sounding as if she was actually referring to the real Chief of Operations and not just a clone of the man.

=/\= You can go and see what you can find there. I'll stay right here and wait for Alus' return. I would suggest that you hurry though as I imagine that he will be back very shortly, =/\=

=/\= We would have to carry the clone all the way there, =/\= Maya pointed out, none of her animal form able to help in that particular task.

=/\= We can't do that, =/\= Doctor Bruxa added. =/\= It would attract far too much attention. We have to find another way to stabilize his vitals. =/\=

=/\= There is only one way that I can see as being available to us. We need to get the clone of Jayson back into one of the pods. At least in there, he will have a better chance of survival. =/\=

=/\= That would mean killing the clone that is already there in order to put Jayson in its place. =/\= Adriana voice to at least present the group with the moral dilemma their intended actions were creating.

=/\= You tell me how to get one of those Pods opened, and I will take care of the rest. =/\= Ya'Han words were direct and determined to make it perfectly clear to everyone that she was not affected by whatever moral issue the Counselor had presented them with.

=/\= Fine, do what you have to do, but do so quietly. I will do my best to make sure Alus doesn't get in your way, =/\= Xana said, the pain she was experiencing audible in her voice.

The ExO / ILO felt completely powerless as the away team acted upon the decision that they had finally made. The issue with the Ambassador was far from resolved and Shar'El knew that this would be but another problem that they would have to revisit sooner rather than later, but for now the team had a plan of action to save Jayson's clone, this despite the Commander not entirely believing that it was the right thing to do.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M13-P072: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: 34002.1915 ("Conflict of Emotions")
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"Conflict of Emotions"
[previous post were (ANU) "Never Easy" / (BAS) " No Mistakes Allowed"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: KTARIS, Inside Government Building, Secondary Cloning Area
Stardate: 34002.1915

Commander Maya was working on opening one of the pods in the far corner while Doctor Bruxa did everything she could to stabilized Jayson's condition under the careful watch of the Sec/Tac. The concerns the Nylaan felt were plainly visible on her face as she paid little attention to anything else other than the unconscious man.

"Satella is doing everything she can," the Counselor reassured in a calm and whispered voice.

"I know," Ya'Han said in kind. "What troubles me the most is that I also know that I should not be feeling the way I do. Jayson, the real one, is on the ANUBIS, recuperating from his surgery. Despite being aware of that fact, I can't help but feel sad and worry about this Jayson even though I know he is a clone, a simple copy of the original."

"I don't think *simple* describes him or any of the other clones," the Counselor offered. "I will say this for the Lokustaar's cloning technology, they make very convincing copies," Adriana continued. "I am sure that Satella will agree that the bio-engineering is top notch, but what impresses me most is how they managed to capture and implant his psychological profile. Copying someone's memories, which is already beyond our medical and scientific abilities, is one thing, but we all deal with those memories in different ways and judging by the way he looked at you, his emotions were on par with the original Jayson. That is likely the reason why you feel the way you do. Not only does he look the same, but he also thinks and feels the same way as the Jayson you know and love."

"Maybe so, but my feeling this way shows how vulnerable we are," Ya'Han proposed, forcing herself to look away and leave Doctor Bruxa and Commander Maya to continue with their efforts.

"Vulnerable? How so?" The first key to being a good Counselor is to keep someone talking, and Adriana knew this all too well.

"The security of the Federation and of each individual who is part of it," the Nylaan explained. "Our first line of defense in dealing with clones like these is to recognize that there is something physically different about them. If there are no discernible physical differences, we then have to rely on identifying psychological differences, like false or missing memories, or an inability to deal with situations in the same way as the original would have. If these clones possess the exact memories of the original individual as well as their thinking pattern, how would we be able to tell the difference between the two?  If Jayson had been killed here on KTARIS and replaced by this clone, I might never have been able to tell the difference."

"I think you are overthinking this," Adriana said while trying to keep an eye on the Ambassador whom she could not see from where they were. "No copy is perfect. Even genetically identical twins have subtle differences that allow, for those who pay attention, the ability to tell them apart. If Jayson had been replaced, I am confident that you would have figured out that he was an imposter faster than anyone else on board the ANUBIS for the simple reason that you know him best, even me. There would have been minor differences that you would have picked up on leading you to question who he really was. As his Counselor, I would have likely dismissed these differences as being something minor and unimportant."

"Maybe so," Ya'Han said not sounding entirely convinced by the Counselor's argument. "I guess we'll never know, but at least we can be happy that we discovered these clones before they were used to replace their counterparts."

"Got it!" Maya said with excitement as the thick liquid inside the pod she was working on began to drain followed by the sound of several small latches being unlocked.

"What do we do with that clone?" Ya'Han asked looking at the figure of an unknown male Trill inside the now drained pod.

"If I understand these readings correctly, it would appear that the synaptic transfer had not yet taken place making this form to be nothing but a mindless shell. I doubt that he will be offering us any problems," Maya replied.

"If we are going to save *this* clone, we need to put him in there *now*," Satella said having done everything she could to maintain the other Jayson's vitals.

As soon as the pod was opened, the Sec/Tac reached down and took hold of Jayson's clone to lift him off the floor and place him into the now vacant cloning pod. As soon as this was done, the door was closed and secured allowing the pod to be refilled.

"The pod's controls seem to be accepting and adapting to the new clone," Satella announced as she carefully studied the information displayed on the console. "Looks like it will be able to keep him alive, at least for the time being. We will just have to figure out what we plan on doing with him and the other clones once Xana gets all of the information she needs from Alus Pima, information that she better get quickly or we may have to put her in one of these pods."

Ya'Han was no longer listening, her attention solely focused on the man now inside the pod. Not so long ago she had made a decision to end the clone's life, wanting to protect the identity of the original Jayson Stark, but now she found herself looking at him and hoping that he would survive. The very short time she had spent with him had had enough to blur the differences between the two men. Now the Sec/Tac could not bring herself to end the life of someone who seemed in every way to be the person she loved.

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

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M13-P073: USS ANUBIS: Bruxa: 34002.1925 ("Different Priorities")
=-=
"Different Priorities"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Conflict of Emotions" / (BAS) "No Mistakes Allowed"]
=-=

Setting: KTARIS, Inside Government Building, Secondary Cloning Area
Stardate: 34002.1925

With Stark's clone back in a pod where he belonged, the CMO could focus on her other patient. Satella and Adriana had been permitted to beam down under the pretext that Xana needed help. Now it was time to act upon that idea. The Ambassador might have a mission to complete, but so did the CMO and CNS.

"Where are you going?" Due to her speaking with Ya'Han, Adriana had not noticed Satella leaving.

"*We* are going to join Xana," the physician replied. "That hypospray is likely already wearing off and I would be surprised if our patient manages to still be standing. Therefore, nurse Lopez, you are with me."  Satella did not give the distracted Chief of Security a chance to argue. She and Cmdr Maya could keep an eye on the clones while the two of them were out.

"Either we are in a rush or you are still angry at Xana for refusing to return to he ANUBIS." Adriana's assessment was based on the speedy shuffle of the CMO's steps. "You have to agree that her argument was and still is valid."

"I'm the Chief Medical Officer." There was no doubt about it, the Doctor was not in a good mood. "I don't have to agree with anyone when it comes to medical matters. Xana wants to be stubborn, that's her prerogative. But when it comes to the health of members of the crew, I'm the one in charge no matter the situation. The moment she came on board the ANUBIS, she fell under my jurisdiction. Beyond that, she owes me."

"She owes you?" the CNS repeated trying not to laugh as she did so.

"Yes. If it was not for me and Lt. Paquette she would not even be here to be stubborn about the mission. At best she would have been in so much pain that she would not be able to function. At worse, well she would not have made it to the surface in the first place." As she said those words, Satella came to an abrupt stop before turning to Adriana. "I am not on some sort of power trip."

"I know that," Counselor Lopez said. "I have known you long enough to know that much. You are a dedicated Doctor, and you hate to see a patient oppose you when their health is on the line."

"So why is Xana not getting that? All I want to do is help her."

"You simply have different priorities," Adriana said matter-of-factly. "You want to see her get better. She wants to make sure that this mission succeeds. You have a way to reach your goal and are unwilling to let it go. She has a way to reach her goal and is equally unwilling to let it go.  Like it or not, the two of you are more similar than dissimilar."

"No need to get insulting." Satella took a deep breath and turned back towards where Xana should have been. "I see your point. That would be why you are not my usual nurse."

"And why would that be?"

"You argue with me far too much. Worse, you have a bad habit of winning those arguments. That's just not the way its suppose to happen. You can be quite annoying when you win."

Adriana chuckled. "Looks whose insulting whom now."

"There she is," Satella said changing the subject. Xana could now be seen, leaning against one of the cloning pods. "As I feared, she doesn't look well."

Picking up the pace, the Doctor and nurse made their way towards the Ambassador. The closer they got, the more in distress the Bolian/Terran woman appeared to be.

"Ambassador Bonviva, are you alright?" Adriana's question made Xana turn her head. The expression on the woman's face was all the answer they needed.

"That injection you gave me worked, for about 30 seconds." The Ambassador spoke through clenched teeth, barely able to move her right arm and leg.

"Nurse," the physician said looking at the undercover CNS. "Find something for the Ambassador to sit on. We are going to have to go to plan D."

"Plan D?" Xana growled through her rapidly increasing discomfort.

"Plan A was to get you to agree to return to the ship and into your chamber. Plan B was to give you enough sedatives to knock you out so that we could drag you back to the ship. Once there, we would have placed you in the chamber and let you sleep things off. Plan C was to give you a lower strength injection and see how long it would take before I had to go to plan D."

"You sill have not told me what this plan consists of." Despite the excruciating pain she was experiencing, the Bolian/Terran woman was not ready to just give up. "Will this latest plan of yours allow me to continue with the mission?"

"Against my better judgment, it will." While answering the Ambassador's question, the physical fetched some items from one of the cases. Snapping pieces together, Doctor Bruxa created an articulated frame large enough to be meant for a humanoid leg.  "These will allow you to keep walking and moving. Not very gracefully mind you, but at least you will be able to move around. These articulated frames will also reduce the stress on your muscles. That should help with some of the pain."  While Xana was examining the frame she had been handed, Satella pressed another hypospray against her neck.

"What was that for?" The Ambassador inquired sounding even more upset.

"That is for the rest of the pain. The problem is that the dosage needs to be high, and by high I mean dangerously so. You may experience some dizziness and maybe even some nausea. This, combined with the articulated frames should be enough to see you through your mission."  Satella watched as Adriana returned with some sort of a bench that Xana ungracefully fell onto.  "Let's start with putting on the frames for the legs. We can do the arms after, once those are in place, we'll need to use these."

"What are those?" Xana asked, sounding a little better but also somewhat on the tipsy side.

"These?" Satella replied holding up a small electronic device between her fingers. "They will allow you to control the frames with your thoughts. This is design to help your muscles and bridge your mind to the frames. It might take a few minutes for you to get used to the system. Once it is done though, you will be able to move as if the frames weren't even there."

"Nice," Xana huffed. "I get to look like a reject from a second- class world robotics convention." Although clearly unhappy with this latest plan, the Ambassador sat and watched as the frames were put into place.

"Your priority is the mission, mine is your wellbeing. Looks were never part of either of what we consider to be important."

=-=
Rachel Jackie Johnson

Lieutenant JG Satella Bruxa [Access Character BIO for Satella Bruxa]
Chief Medical Officer
USS ANUBIS

[Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. - Mark Twain]
M13-P074: USS ANUBIS: Jones: 34002.1910("Ace in the Hole")
"Ace in the Hole"
Continued from ANU "Different Priorities"

Setting: KTARIS, Inside Government Building, Primary cloning area
Stardate: 34002.1910

If Tanith was a cat, she would have been dead a thousand times over. Her curiosity was prodigious, even for a covert operative. She hated not knowing what was behind doors, and she hated secrets uncovered.

Once she had vanished from Xana's side, she'd promptly began to poke around, keeping one ear on the Ambassador's conversation as she did so. At first it seemed like she would strike out, when, in a stroke of serendipity, she found an unlocked computer console. She smirked. No matter how secret a place, there was always some lazy technician who hated having to log in every time they reached a console. She opened it up, poring over the readouts on the computer, trying to make sense of it. She wasn't an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but she could read basic schematics and readouts well enough to gather that it was monitoring the health of the growing clones and ensuring that the equipment was functioning as intended. A sudden blinking on the screen drew her attention. The cavalry. The doctor and the counselor, by the looks of it. Which was fortunate. Xana had been hiding it well, but Tanith could tell something was wrong with her, probably whatever had caused her to be confined to that pod thing back on the ship.

Since the ambassador was clearly the de factor face of this game of intrigue now, it wouldn't do to have her falling on her face. Tanith snuck to a place she could see the other woman and the Ktaran. It didn't seem as though there was any danger of Xana being shot, so Tanith reasoned that it would be alright to leave her alone to get the doctor and the counselor. It took some doing, but she eventually found them, and led them back to Xana, before skirting back off into the tanks, and poring over the readings again. She was confident they could still get out of here with what they wanted, but she still preferred to have an ace in the hole, something they could trade if things went sideways. Of course, the relative ethics of said ace in the hole really depended on whether or not you considered the clones to be... sentient? Fully fledged beings? 

But then again, what was the endgame if not putting a stop to an army of special operatives, clones or not? 

Tanith considered the ramifications of sabotaging the cloning facility, and then, just as quickly, decided it was beyond her pay grade. Whatever she did, she'd put the decision square in Xana's court, and wouldn't lose any sleep over it.

She opened the console settings and set to work, fingers flying until she had what she needed. A simple transmission from her communicator, and the system would begin messing with the nutrient levels, making the cloning vats too hot, too acidic for proper growth, and bumping up the nutrients until it became an inviting buffet for all sorts of nasty bacteria. Then, as a coup de grace, she locked the console with a password of her own devising. She'd give the rest of the away team part of it, and that way if things went pear shaped, they could bargain for everyone's life. Satisfied, she returned to the group, feeling rather smug.

---
Alix Fowler

Flight Control Officer
USS ANUBIS NCC-18501
M13-P075: USS ANUBIS: Bonviva: 34002.1920 ("There's Always An Accomplice")
“There’s Always An Accomplice”
Continued from (ANUBIS) “An Ace In The Hole”/(BAS) “No Mistakes Allowed”

=/\=
“To ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

=/\=
Setting: KTARIS, Inside Government Building, Secondary Cloning Area
Stardate: 34002.1920

Alus Pami had been running back and forth between Xana and wherever he was going to all in hopes of getting her whatever she deemed to be worthy of “investing” in.  In reality Xana, Satella, and Adriana were stalling the man so that Xana could use the extra time so Xana could get used to her “new” legs.

“This is amazing,” Xana said, her words coming out in a sing-song, as her legs began doing a modified can-can dance.  “I mean you could go bring this to any station and the lines for this on any station would be--”

Adriana did not smile, as much as she wanted to even as she exchanged a glance with Satella.  Instead she asked, “Ambassador...are you good to continue?”

“Oh yes, I could continue this for a *long* time,” Xana nodded as she kept kicking.  

Satella shook her head.  “I think Nurse Lopez meant are you good to continue on with why you’re here.”

The azure woman continued her can-can but her legs slowed down a bit.  “How do you do that?”  Looking at them she asked, “It’s like you two share a consciousness.”  

The doctor looked over and asked, “Something else you’ve had experience with?”

Xana suddenly became serious, and her legs stopped kicking.  “It was lovely but it was a lifetime ago,” she said softly.  “Well the kicking stopped,” she said brightly after a moment.  

Satella scanned her patient.  “You seem to be adjusting better to the treatment,” she nodded.  

The Ambassador smiled at that and tried walking but it came out more like at “tap-tap-shuffle-shuffle”.  “Matter of opinion,” she replied, her voice still quite lyrical.  “Perhaps I should have been nicer to my elder daughter when she came home high on Hupyrian beetle snuff.  It’s far harder to negotiate your body when you’re not in control than I realized.”  As she shuffled off sideways she said, “Then again, no.  She did sneak out and got high when she wasn’t supposed to.”

Adriana, immediately behind Xana, asked, “What did you do?”

“Ground her,” Xana sighed.  “And grounded my eldest.  He was the one who helped her sneak out.”  Looking over her shoulder as she tried to sidestep through the pods.  “It’s also helped me prepare as my next daughter become a teenager.  Except she didn’t start sneaking out, she started sneaking people *in*.  That’s the other thing, the next one in line becomes smarter.  They learn, adapt, and change up things.”

“Do you have any more kids?” Adriana asked.

“You have 4,” Satella replied.  When Xana looked over she clarified, “I remember from your exam.  Your youngest is a young boy.”

“Yes,” Xana sighed.  “But he's still young. Although I think when he gets older a dungeon will be needed.”  Shaking her head she said, “But I got side-tracked--”

“How can you ever tell?” Satella asked.

“I can’t but that’s not the point.  There is always an accomplice.  You two reminded me of that when you looked at each other.  Friends help friends.  Siblings help each other.”  Xana finally made her way to a set of pods that were set off from the others.  “And those in a conspiracy always help each other.”

The three women had been talking to each other that they hadn’t heard another joining them.  “Well said, Ambassador Bonviva,” Alus Pami said.  As the three women turned to see the Ktarian he asked, “Your silver tongue almost had me fooled.”

Xana nodded.  “Yes, that was a possibility.  It happens to most people,” she said by way of apology.  

The Ktarian said, “So now we’re going to go--”

The azure woman sighed as she leaned against the pod.  “No we’re not.”

There was a weighty silence as the two stared at each other.  “Excuse me?” Alus Pami finally said.  “I don’t think you understand how this works.”

A long exasperated sigh escaped from Xana’s lips. “You love to explain things to me, so let me explain something to you.  I know I’m not the most beautiful woman.  My body is failing me, that’s why the doctor and nurse had to be brought here.  But what I do have is a quick mind and mouth.  And one more thing:  no fear.  When you’ve said goodbye to everyone and everything, there’s nothing you won’t do.” 

Slapping a console next to her the pod lit up and the clone, eerily familiar, looked back at them; naked, cold; and unprepared for the harsh reality of life, looked back.  “I’m so sorry,” Xana said quietly to the clone, unsure if they could hear her through the pod.  “Let’s talk about your accomplice,” she said to the Ktarian diplomat.

=/\=
Sarah Albertini-Bond

USS ANUBIS NCC 18501
M13-P076: USS ANUBIS: Stark: 34002.1925 ("A Simple Decision")
"A Simple Decision"
[previous (ANU) "There's Always An Accomplice" / (BAS) "Important Discovery"]

[/\]

Setting: KTARIS, Inside Government Building, Secondary Cloning Area
Stardate: 34002.1900

The physical pain had finally stopped, but his mind was still bouncing all over the place at warp speed. The conflict between the darkness that was growing inside of him and the love and affection he felt thanks to his memories of Ya'Han simply did not match. It was as if there were two different people fighting for control of his mind and body, one happy to be in the light that she had brought into his life, the other wanting nothing more than to spread darkness throughout the galaxy.

The thing that scared him the most was that he could find himself agreeing with both sides of the inner debate raging within him. As harsh as the ideas originating from the darkness were, they still managed to make sense in promoting the survival of the strongest races and individuals through conflicts. On the other side, he could recall how depressed he had once felt following the death of his fiancée and unborn child, a feeling that he had been unable to completely shake until he and Ya'Han grew closer. Her strength in view of her own adversities, which he still knew very little about, had shown him that he too could overcome his past with love and support.

It was clear that the two opposing philosophies could not be both right, one of them had to be better than the other was in some cosmic way beyond his ability to understand, but which? As a cog in the wheels of the universe, whoever small or unimportant as he might be in the greater scheme of things, he still needed to know which way to turn. Was his objective, or in other words, the meaning of his existence, meant to embrace and support life and joy or spread and cause death and despair?

At the core of his being, the part that defined the person that he was, he could feel his own ability and drive to follow either path. He could as easily imagine himself helping those in need to see them face the hardships to come as he could envision himself destroying anything in his path leaving the task of surviving to those only strong enough to do so. Strangely enough, that ability to contemplate both possibilities felt completely wrong to him, as if one of those was something that he would never have considered before now. Apparently, something had changed within him, but what?

The more he tried to understand this inner conflict, the more he felt that there was something wrong with him. No one should be forced to make a decision like this, not when choosing one side over the other would have such a drastic impact on not only his own life but those of the people around him. This was a question of not who he was but rather of the type of person he wanted to be. The type of person he needed to be for his own sake. Was he meant to follow his emotions and keep pace with what Ya'Han had shown him or was he to give in to the darkness threatening to take over him, a darkness that would threaten everyone, including the woman he loved?

He needed to understand, to figure out which of these two paths was his to follow.  With his eyes closed, Jayson could clearly recall the concerned expression of Ya'Han's face the last time he saw her. There was no doubt that she believed in the path of light, the path of love, and that she was scared for him and wanted to help in whatever way she could. However strong the waves of darkness grew within him, that single thought of the woman he loved would keep him anchored to the other side until such time as he would make the decision that would define the person he would be in the eyes of the universe.

Light or Dark? Good or Evil? Love or Hate?

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M13-P077: USS ANUBIS: Morningstar: 34002.1925 ("Not Just Any Other Name")
##########
"Not Just Any Other Name"
Previous posts (ANU) " A Simple Decision" / (BAS) " Important Discovery"
##########

“To be prepared against surprise is to be trained. To be prepared for surprise is to be educated.”
- James P. Carse

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 34002.1925

Erik sat in his chair at the center of the bridge, his gaze fixated on the part of the planet that was being displayed on the large screen in front of him. Waiting to see what would happen was an unfortunate part of his job as the Captain of an Intel vessel. Rushing things only made matters worse, so the native American had long ago learned to be patient. In this particular case, all he could do was to listen and envision what was happening down below on the planet.

Officially, Commander Shar'El was the one listening in on the conversations relayed back through the comm channel left open by Ambassador Bonviva. Up there, in the relative quietness of the IGC, the First Officer and her team of Intel technicians could quickly process and identify any information deemed of importance to their mission or to the general safety of the Federation and its citizens. That said, it didn't stop the Native American from eavesdropping in every now and then just to make sure that everything was still going well, relatively speaking of course, especially given the complexity and uncertainty of the current situation on KTARIS.

Erik knew, from what he had heard thus far, that the Ambassador had managed to keep Alus Pima off balance, but that had suddenly changed. Judging by the tone of the man's voice and the way he was now addressing Xana, the Ktarian diplomat would no longer play the game that she had set up between them. Maybe this was due to the arrival of Doctor Bruxa and Counselor Lopez, or maybe something else had happened to change the game's dynamics, but Captain Morningstar found himself curious to see how the Bolian/Terran woman would talk her way out of this latest obstacle.

=/\= Let’s talk about your accomplice, =/\= Xana said to the Ktarian diplomat, her voice filled with calmness and assurance that made Erik think to himself that he would hate to ever have to play poker against the woman. The pause that immediately followed was clearly on purpose, meant to increase the effect of the final reveal, like a magician preparing to stun the crowd with the mind-blowing conclusion of her greatest trick. =/\= Louise Morningstar. =/\=

"What?!?" The Native American said almost choking on air. Never in a million years had he expected to hear that name spoken by the Terran/Bolian Ambassador, or anyone else for that matter.

=/\= IGC to Bridge, =/\= Shar'El called down right away. =/\= Captain, did Xana just say what I think she did? =/\=

"It sure sounded like it," Erik replied, still in shock. The name belonged to his one and only sister, a woman who had dedicated her life to the Federation as a linguistics expert. The woman's skill with languages was beyond her brother's comprehension, as she seemed to learn a new dialect once every couple of months. It was clear from an early age that this was her gift, her strength, and it took her on a very different path than his own.

=/\= She is one of the most gifted linguistics experts I have ever met, =/\= Xana continued, doing her best to convince Alus Pima of her opinion.

=/\= Who needs a linguistics expert when you have universal translators? =/\= The Ktarian was evidently not impressed or willing to just give in without a more solid argument than the one he had been presented with.

"It's never that simple," the Native American muttered to himself recalling some of the instances he witnessed his sister in action.

=/\= Universal translators are not perfect, =/\= Xana argued clearly speaking from personal experience. =/\= Even if the translation is spot on with the words and significance, it does not pick up on the underlying tones and unique intonations of a specific language, plus being a linguistic expert also means that you can get more information based on *how* they say something over *what* they say. Imagine the advantage that would offer us in negotiating deals. =/\=

=/\= If the clone possesses most of the memories of your sister, that would not be the only advantage they would gain, =/\= Shar'El interjected from the IGC, likely having called up the woman's service dossier up.

"Louise is a skilled negotiator in whatever language she chooses," Erik said clearly admiring his sister's abilities and accomplishments. "Even if the clone possesses only a fraction of her memories, there would have personal details on countless governments and diplomats that would never be found on any official record, not even yours Commander. By wanting to use that as a way to tip the balance back in her favour, Xana is playing the game exceptionally well. That said though, it still does not answer the one question that I have right now."

=/\= What question would that be? =/\= The ILO asked, the woman never skipping on a chance to learn more about someone, whoever they might have been.

"I would love to know where and when Xana met my sister."

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

Commanding Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501

AND

Lt. Commander Elan Fairborn [Access Character BIO for Elan Fairborn]
Robotics Engineering Officer
NEW ALEXANDRIA
M13-P078: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: 34002.1930 ("Hidden Secrets")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Hidden Secrets"
[previous post were (ANU) "Not Just Another Name" / (BAS) "Important Discovery"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: KTARIS, Inside Government Building, Secondary Cloning Area
Stardate: 34002.1930

Hiding in the primary cloning area among the 970 plus pods had been an easy task, doing the same in the smaller adjacent secret room that contained only 27 pods had proven to be a much greater challenge. Luckily, the Ambassador was keeping the Ktarian diplomat's full attention and by the looks of things the latest reveal had sealed the man's interest. To be completely honest, the discovery that the Captain's own sister had been among the clones had piqued the interest of the Sec/Tac as well.

"This might be our chance to leave," Maya said in a quiet, whispered voice think that it would be best if they took advantage of the Ktarian being otherwise occupied.

Ya'Han quickly considered their situation. On one hand, the Sec/Tac wanted to stay and maybe learn more about the clone pointed out by Ambassador Bonviva. Staying put would also make sure that she would be able to keep an eye on Xana and ensure her safety should Alus decide to no longer consider the Bolian/Terran as an ally. On the other hand, she knew that the longer they remained where they were, the greater the chances of them being discovered grew, and this endangered not only everyone but the mission's success as well. Having made her mind, the red-haired Nylaan needed to figure out a way for them to act.

"There is only one exit from this room," the Sec/Tac pointed out matching the other woman's soft-spoken voice. "You might be able to transform into something less visible and sneak your way out, but I cannot. Unless we discover a secret passage leading away from this already secret room, we are stuck here until they leave."

"It would not be unheard of to have a secret room or passage accessible only through an already hidden section of a structure," Maya added as she looked around while Ya'Han thought back to another lifetime.

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

Setting: NYLA IV, Imperial Palace, Lower Level
Stardate: 14070.0445 (Ya'Han is 7 years old)

The youngest daughter of the High Sovereign had quickly learned that she could escape her room with relative ease at certain hours of the day. Although the Imperial Palace was heavily guarded and constantly patrolled by the hand-picked red-haired members of the warrior caste, their skills could not ensure that they covered every corridor and passageway all the time. Using those lapses between patrols, Ya'Han could sneak out of her room and into other areas of the palace.

Today, she decided to venture down into the lower level and see what secrets her father kept down there. Ya'Han was aware that there were several storage areas there but their content had remained a mystery, one that the High Sovereign seemed to wish to maintain from everyone. Of course, such a restriction only served to heighten the young lady's interest and curiosity.

Reaching the stair leading to the lower level had been relatively easy, the young Nylaan avoiding the patrols as she had many times before. Once she reached the bottom of the long and narrow stairway, things became a lot more difficult as the number and frequency of the patrols greatly increased. In order to avoid being detected, Ya'Han was forced once more to seek refuge in whatever room or alcove was nearest.

As she pressed herself as tightly as possible into one such alcove, her hand discovered a loose stone that, once it was pushed into the wall, triggered some sort of mechanism with a soft click. Leaning a little more into the wall to see what her hand had done, Ya'Han felt the wall against her back shift ever so slightly. With a grin dancing on her face, the young Nylaan turned to face the wall and using all of her limited strength pushed as hard as she could hoping that her thoughts and hopes would prove right.

It took some effort but the wall eventually slid back revealing the entrance to a set of secret passages that the youngest daughter of the high Sovereign would delight in exploring and use for years to come.

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

Setting: KTARIS, Inside Government Building, Secondary Cloning Area
Stardate: 34002.1930

Remembering those secret passages from her youth, Ya'Han had no choice but to agree with Maya, and given the near paranoia nature of the Ktarian people, it was very likely that they would hide something inside an already hidden location. With that in mind, the Sec/Tac began to study the nearby walls, searching for any indication of a secret passage. After all, there should not be a need to camouflage a secret access beyond normal reason since it would already be hidden within this secret room.

Seeing something that might be just what they were looking for, Ya'Han tapped Maya's shoulder and directed her attention to one of the corners where one particular stone appeared to be much larger than any of the others.  "It's big enough to hide a secret door," the Sec/Tac pointed out silently wishing that their scanning instruments actually functioned making it easier for hem to confirm what they suspected.

Maya nodded her head and carefully made her way to the large stone in the corner, closely followed by the Sec/Tac who was keeping a close watch on the group standing at the other end of the room. As long as Xana, Satella, and Adriana kept Alus busy, the sneaking duo had a chance to figure things out without being detected.

"It's not budging," Maya quietly grunted as she tried to move the large stone to no avail. Again remembering her experience back in her father's Imperial Palace, the Sec/Tac searched for a smaller stone, one that could be the trigger to unlocking the larger one. After a few attempts, Ya'Han's hand found what they had been searching for. With a smile, the Nylaan quickly moved back to the now unlocked secret access and pushed the stone out of their way while wondering if this underground had been constructed by the same person who had built the home she grew up in and eventually escaped from.

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

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M13-P079: USS ANUBIS: Lopez: 34002.1935 ("Distracted Distraction")
-=-=-
"Distracted Distraction"
[Previous post: (ANU) "Hidden Secrets" & (BAS) "Important Discovery"]
-=-=-

Setting: KTARIS, Inside Government Building, Secondary Cloning Area
Stardate: 34002.1935

As a nurse, Adriana's role in the conversation between Ambassador Bonviva and the Ktarian Diplomat Alus Pami was limited at best. If someone needed to jump into this war of words that was raging between the two of them, it would be Satella to do so in her capacity as Chief Medical Officer and personal physician to the Bolian/Terran woman. This gave the CNS the opportunity to turn her attention elsewhere, namely to the pods as well as their contents, specifically the one that Xana I just identified.

Studying the features of the woman inside the roughly cylindrical containment unit, Adriana started to recognize some of the Morningstar facial features. As the Ship's Counselor, Lopez was well aware that the Captain had an older sister, that fact was on the very first page of the man's lengthy personnel dossier, but never had she expected to see her, or a clone of her. According to what little the CNS had read on the woman, Louise Morningstar was a skilled and expert linguistic, but that was the extent of her knowledge as Erik Morningstar had never been one to discuss members of his family.

While understanding that the woman inside the pod was not truly his sister but rather a clone, Adriana could not help but wonder what kind of person Louise Morningstar was. Had her brother figuratively been cut from the same stock as she had been, making the two similar in the way they thought and acted, or were they as many, if not most siblings; as different as could be?

"You really think that most siblings are destined to be as different from one another as possible?" Amanda asked, the hallucination of Adriana's missing twin sister standing next to the pod containing the clone of the Captain's older sibling. "I think you are wrong. Who knows, I might have joined Starfleet as well if I was more than the figment and projection of your troubled mind."

Adriana looked over her shoulder to make sure that Xana and Satella were still completely occupied with the Ktarian diplomat and that none of them would even notice if she said mumbled something to someone who was not actually there. "If you had not been taken as a child, I would not have joined Starfleet in the hopes of discovering what happened to you. I don't know if we would have followed the same path, but I know that whatever path that would have been would be completely different from this one." After saying this, the CNS looked over her shoulder once again, making sure that neither Satella nor Xana had overheard what she had just said.

"You are probably right," Amanda playfully grinned as she walked around the pod, looking at the woman inside. "If you and I grew up together, we would have become two completely different people with different interests and we would have likely gone our separate ways as soon as the opportunity came up. Once on our own, we would rarely talk to each other and eventually even forget that we had a twin sister in the first place."

"Alright, you win," the sister quietly sighed. For years after her twin had vanished, Adriana felt as if something was missing in her life, something that could not be physically quantified or in any way explained. It was only when she learned of her having a twin sister that those feelings began to make sense. On that day, she decided to do everything she could to find her missing sister and fill the void that her absence had left behind. This same void was part of the explanation as to why Adriana saw and interacted with the hallucination of her missing twin sister.

"Don't get all teary-eyed on me now, sis," Amanda sighed sounding genuinely disappointed. You have a job to do," she added pointing to the woman inside the pod whose eyes had just opened to their fullest.

"Doctor!" The Counselor-turned-Nurse said trying her best not to scream as she did so. "The clone! She's waking up."

The discussion the trio were having came to an abrupt end as all eyes turned to the clone of Louise Morningstar. Everyone watched with a mixture of concern and awe as the pod drained of its liquid before the locks on the door hissed open. Seconds later the woman stepped out without a second thought.

Quickly looking around to find something to cover the woman's naked form, Adriana located a set of towels resting on a small shelf. Given their current location it made sense that these were meant for this exact purpose. As the Nurse fetched a towel from the stack, she also noticed that a set of neatly folded clothes were on the shelf right next to them.

"Thank you," Louise said as she accepted the nurse's offering, not at all appearing bothered or even questioning the fact that she was completely naked after having stepped out of a strange pod. "Would you be so kind as to get my clothes that are on the shelf next to the towels?" The woman asked as she dried herself off, again showing no indication that any of what had just happened was out of the ordinary while confirming that the clothes on the shelf had indeed been meant for her.

-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor
USS ANUBIS
M13-P080: USS ANUBIS: Bonviva: 34002.1935
("Something Akin To A Ship Graveyard")
"Something Akin To A Ship Graveyard"
[Previous post: (ANU) "Distracted Distraction" & (BAS) "Important Discovery"]

=/\=
You can close your eyes to reality but not to memories.
-Stanislaw Jerzy Lee

=/\=
Setting: KTARIS, Inside Government Building, Secondary Cloning Area
Stardate: 34002.1935

Louise Morningstar was nothing if not unflappable.  She was standing naked, dripping in goo; and yet, she calmly toweled herself off as if this was an ordinary day.  

“Hello, Xana,” she said calmly.  Taking the pile of clothes from Adriana she said, “Thank you.”

“Welcome,” Adriana nodded.  

Satella again took out her tricorder.  “Readings are...normal,” she confirmed.

Looking around for a bench or something to hold her clothes, she finally turned to the person she actually knew and asked, “Would you mind?”  When the azure woman nodded, Louise practically handed over the pile of clothes to the Ambassador and one at a time began to take each back as she got dressed.  As she slipped on the tunic she asked, “So Xana...are you here because you need my services once again?”

=/\=
FLASHBACK
=/\=

Setting: GATEWAY STATION -2 (Gamma Quadrant), The Angel’s Angst Restaurant
Time: 26028.2043 (Approximately 8 years ago)

It was easy to find an empty booth in a restaurant and ensure that there would be no one around you when you owned the restaurant.

Xana Bonviva sat in the back of her restaurant, looking out on the expanse of the Gamma Quadrant, the lovely stars swirling in the inky blackness, punctured by the fighters that were blocking out anyone coming too close to the Station.  If she squinted her eyes just enough she could make out the Bajoran wormhole in the distance.  

“Ambassador?”

Xana looked up and saw a striking woman standing at her table.  Knowing the staff would not have let anyone get close unless necessary it was fairly easy to guess who the woman was.  “Louise Morningstar?”  When the dark haired Terran woman nodded, the Ambassador gestured to the bench across from her.  As the linguist sat she asked, “Please call me Xana.  And I take it you’ve been briefed?”

“We’re going into a Cardassian ship graveyard, to see if anything can be ascertained about the whereabouts of the medical team that was dispatched from Daystrom Institute,” Louise nodded.  With an air of calm reassurance that belied the situation she explained, “They were classified as Missing In Action several days ago; however their last signal indicated they were near the ship graveyard.”

The Ambassador, not dressed in her robes but dressed in her more informal black tunic and slacks, picked up her tea and asked calmly.  “I appreciate that you have the official dossier.”  Sipping her tea, she uncharacteristically paused as she through what to say; she had 10 days to think through this.  “I asked to go on this mission.  It’s personal for me.  However, it’s not personal for you, so if this makes you--”

“Your co-wife, Dr. Daisy Bonviva, was leading the team that disappeared.  You were joined in an oxderlinjk about 2 and half years ago on BAJOR.  The oxderlinjk was protested on BAJOR so you and Dr. Bonviva made sure to file appropriate paperwork for your union with the Federation, although that was technically duplicative work.  She was mostly stationed planet-side with you and your family until this mission,” Louise filled in, her soft voice hitting the harsh Bolian syllables perfectly for the Bolian word for merging of families.  There was a heavy silence before the linguist picked up the water that was on the table for her.  Choosing her words carefully she said, “I read the official dossier but I also made sure to know everything unofficial about this mission.”

A flood of memories, in no particular order, crowded Xana’s mind.  “Well then.  If that’s it, we’ll get going in about an hour--”

Louise paused with the water just before her lips.  “Didn’t you have any questions for me?”

“You could say “oxderlinjk”,” Xana smiled wanly.  “I’m told Bolian is pain with it’s irregularities.  If you can do that, then I trust you can do Dominionese and Cardassiani.”

“And all dialects for each,” Louise Morningstar nodded.  Sipping her water she seemingly contemplated the woman across from her, before making a judgment.  “Ambassador.  If I may...these types of missions do not have a high success rate.  And most definitely not when there is a personal stake involved.”

“I know,” Xana nodded quietly.  Looking over at the door she said, “You know I keep expecting Daisy to just walk in.  With every door opening, I expect her to come running in, chattering away about why she was late and how I should have expected it because she’s always late....”  Pointing to her head she said, “I know up here, that’s she’s most likely gone; that’s she’s probably died and that Starfleet won’t say it for whatever reason.”  Pausing she pointed to her heart, “But in here, I know I have to try.  I have to try for me.  I have to try for our kids, because now I’m a single mother, and no matter how much I do, I’ll never be enough for them because I’ll never be her.”  Sighing she said, “So really, I need someone I can trust because by the end of this mission, you probably will have to do the heavy lifting.  I know you’ve done work in every quadrant, have studied every language and can understand nuances I wouldn’t even begin to comprehend.  But as you pointed out, this is not the typical mission.”

Louise said nothing for the space of several heartbeats as she sipped her water.  Finally she placed her glass down on the table and said.  “So I believe you said we leave in an hour.”

=/\=
END OF FLASHBACK
=/\=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Inside Government Building, Secondary Cloning Area
Stardate: 34002.1945

Xana looked at the woman who had gone on an ill-fated mission with her so many years ago which only wound up confirming the Bolian/Human’s worst fears.  “No, Louise. I’m not here because I need your services again,” she said softly.

For a moment the female Morningstar looked uncharacteristically nonplussed.  “Oh,” she said.  “Well then, how may I help you?” she finally asked.

Alus Pami looked over at the Ambassador and asked.  “Yes, how exactly do you think Ms. Morningstar is going to help?”

Both women were nimble with words, just in very different ways.  So it took the Ambassador a moment to choose hers carefully because she knew that if anyone could pick her sentence apart, it would be this woman standing across from her.  Xana was careful when she asked, “Louise...I need to know if I’m standing in something akin to a ship graveyard or not.”

=/\=
Sarah Albertini-Bond

USS ANUBIS NCC 18501
M13-P081: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: 34002.1950 ("Contemplating The Game")
=-=
"Contemplating The Game"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Something Akin To A Ship Graveyard" by Sarah/ (BAS) "Important Discovery" by Karen]
=-=

Setting:  USS ANUBIS, IGC
Stardate: 34002.1950

From the Intelligence Gathering Center, the ExO / ILO could keep track of everything that was happening pretty much everywhere, be it on board the ANUBIS, in orbit of the planet or on the surface. That was what this section of the Intel Cruiser had been designed for, so there was nothing strange about this. What was strange was the fact that their sensors and transporters were unable to penetrate the energy field protecting the government building where the away team was. This inability to track their movements, beam down support or be able to bring them back at a moment's notice was a source of great frustration for Shar'El.

Tapping her communicator, the Commander asked, "IGS to Sonja, any luck?" 

=/\=Listen spy-girl,=/\= Sonja replied sounding exasperated. =/\=You asking me every 5 minutes is not going to make things go any faster. I am working as quickly as I can and will let you know the moment I come up with a way to get through that blasted defence screen.=/\= The Chief Engineer paused her reply to make sure that the ExO / ILO understood that they shared the same frustration, which needless to say, did not help the situation in any way. =/\=Shar'El, I understand that you want to get in on the action and that you are concerned about the members of our away team. Heck, you might even be worried about Xana, but you have to keep in mind that we are not dealing with your tycipcal Ktarian technology here. That energy shield is clearly based on Lokustaar technology which is making it a whole lot harder to figure out and get through. I promise, I will let you know the moment I have something, but in the meantime I would appreciate you letting me do my work without being constantly interrupted.=/\=

"I'm sorry Sonja," Shar'El offered, realizing that although patience was one of her basic skills, the current situation had worn that ability to next to nothing. "I have the utmost confidence in your skills and technical expertise. Keep me informed of your progress, IGC out."  Once the channel was closed, the ExO / ILO returned her attention to the ongoing conversation between the Ktarian diplomat Alus Pami and the Federation Ambassador Xana Bonviva who was doing her best to get as much information as possible out of the man. It had become clear that he was in league with the Shadows but they needed to know how deep this partnership went. Thanks to the communications channel the Ambassador-turned-spy had kept open, every word of their conversation could be heard, which helped uncover a dark plan. The Lokustaar would hand over control of 1000 cloning pods to the Ktarians once they were done with them. Needless to say, the ANUBIS and its crew could not allow such technology to fall into the hands of an unaligned world such as KTARIS, nor allow any of those clones to leave the planet.

Having learned that one of the clones was a copy of their own Chief of Operations had been shocking enough, but now, Xana and the medical team assigned to her had been joined by the clone of Louise Morningstar, a biological copy of their Captain's own older sister. Both Doctor Satella Bruxa and Counselor Adriana Lopez, who was currently playing nurse, appeared very interested in this latest clone. What surprised them most was the extent of the knowledge and memories the clone had at her disposal, which were not her own. It was evident that the Lokustaar possessed cloning technology far superior to anything the Federation had ever come across in their travels through the galaxy.

As long as the defence energy field was up, there was little the crew of the ANUBIS could do. The advantage was firmly in the hands of Alus Pami, a situation that the ExO / ILO needed to see change as quickly as possible, that was why she hounded their Chief Engineer whom she knew would be able to figure this puzzle out, hopefully sooner rather than later.

"Is Holographic Simulation Chamber 1 ready?" Shar'El inquired of her team of Intel Tech.

"The program is ready for use, based on the sensor data we were able to collect prior to the energy field going up. We have compiled all available data on the cloning chambers but it is unlikely that a holographic recreation will be good enough to fool any the Ktarians who have been in that room before, especially Alus Pami. We would need a complete and detailed sensor sweep of those areas to be able to recreate a convincing scene."

Shar'El sighed knowing that this would not be possible, even if the energy field was somehow deactivated. The cloning chambers had been hidden from their sensors long before the energy field had been activated; this meant that the only way to gather the information would be from within the chambers themselves. If that was not enough of an obstacle, the ANUBIS as a whole needed to also locate and identify the identity of the last clone, the one the Lokustaar referred to as their 'special project'. That designation alone was enough to have the ExO / ILO be very concerned as to the identity and purpose of this final clone.

As much as Shar'El hated to admit it, all she could do was to wait for one of more of the away teams to report back in with news. While Xana, Satella and Adriana kept Alus busy, it was up to Tanith, Ya'Han and Maya to figure out a way to shift things back in their favor, if that was at all possible.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M13-P082: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: 34002.1955 ("Descent Into Hell")
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"Descent Into Hell"
[previous post were (ANU) "Contemplating The Game" / (BAS) "Important Discovery"]
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Setting: KTARIS, Government Building Basement, Secret Passageway
Stardate: 34002.1955

The corridor discovered by Maya and Ya'Han was strangely wide and well kept for a secret underground passage. No dust or moisture was found on the walls making it clear that this passageway was frequently used, which only served to heighten the Sec/Tac's misgivings as they made their way further.  Neither of them knew what to expect, but both knew that they would find something unpleasant in one way or another.

The Nylaan came to a sudden stop as she noticed that the straight corridor came to an end, giving onto a set of stairs leading down to their right. The secondary cloning area was already located below the normal basement level of the Ktarian government building; this meant that the new area they were heading towards, whatever it may be, was even further underground shielding it even more from curious eyes and sensor scans.

The Sec/Tac carefully looked around the corner to see how far the stairs went. Thanks to the low ambient light, the Nylaan could barely see the last step making her feel as if they were about to descend into a place no one was ever meant to come back from. Despite her mounting fears, Ya'Han confirmed that all was clear and motions for Maya to follow with a movement of her hand. Returning to the secondary cloning area would serve no purpose and might even make matters worse as they risked being discovered by Alus Pami or any of his Ktarian subordinates.

Cautiously, silently, the two women made their way down the lengthy set of stairs, listening attentively for anything that might indicate someone or something heading their way. With roughly 10 meters or so to do before reaching the bottom, Ya'Han came to another sudden stop, reaching back with her arm to make sure Maya did not fall forward due to the unexpected shift in momentum.  With fear-filled wide-opened eyes, they watched as a member of the dark insect-like Shadow race walked across the section at the end of the stairs. The creature appeared like a living nightmare instilling fear in anyone unfortunate enough to see it. Holding their breath they watched in absolute silence as the Lokustaar went on its way failing to notice the presence of the intruders in the stairways.

Neither Maya nor Ya'Han dared to allow themselves to feel any kind of relief knowing that the presence of an uncloaked Lokustaar could only mean trouble for them as well as everyone else currently trapped inside the Ktarian government building. After a few moments, the two officers looked away from the bottom of the stairs and at each other.

"No matter how far you are when you see one of those creatures, it's still too close for comfort," the Sec/Tac whispered to the scientist next to her. The fear they felt was evident on their features but both knew that retreating was not an option at this time. "Still, we have to go on."

"This could give us the proof we need to show that the Ktarians are working with the Lokustaar," Maya said offering a solid reason for them to continue moving forward despite the way they felt after seeing the nightmarish creature.

"The gaping hole in Jayson's chest was all the proof I needed," Ya'Han continued in the same whispered voice she used before, taking a moment to recall the brutal and vicious attack against the ANUBIS' Chief of Operations. Again, she wondered if the Lokustaar had not meant on killing him so as to make it easier for their clone of him to take his place. Whatever their plan had been though, this was not the time to try and figure it out. "I agree with you, the proof of their involvement has to be down there, somewhere, and who knows, we might find something that will help us fight against those beasts. So, stay close," the Sec/Tac instructed, "we have no idea what it is we are going to run into down here. There might be more of those creatures wandering about, so we have to do our best to remain unseen."

After confirming their readiness with a nod of their heads, the Sec/Tac resumed her journey down the stairs, being even more careful than before. With each additional step down, the stairs grew shorter, their destination closer and their fears stronger. The ability of the Lokustaar to create this kind of reaction by their simple presence was something that Ya'Han truly hated as it filled her mind with memories and feelings that made her want to run away screaming.  For the sake of everyone else though, she could not allow herself to succumb to those feelings, forcing herself to take another step following the last one in order to reach the next level.  With only a few steps left, they began to hear a strange unearthly hum accompanied by an occasional high-pitch clicking which Maya suspected was the Lokustaar's language due to its odd non-rhythmic pattern. 

"The echo makes it sound like the room at the bottom of these stairs is large, very large and likely filled with some sort of equipment," Maya said trying to get an idea of what they might discover once they reached the next level. "The hum is uniform meaning that all of the equipment is in perfect sync, something that even Sonja would appreciate."

"As long as it's not another chamber filled with clones, I'll be happy," Ya'Han said in return forcing herself to take the last few steps allowing them to see the area that stretches beyond the last step. With their backs glued to the wall, the duo took the last few steps and saw the source of both the hums and clicking. The room was huge but contained a single massive machine the function of which they could not figure out at this time. What they did know was that there were several dozen Shadow creatures around it, working on various components; some appearing Ktarian in origin while others clearly appeared by their solid black color to have come from the Lokustaar's home dimension. The problem was they neither of the two officers could even venture a guess as to what nefarious purpose this machine served.

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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
M13-P083: USS ANUBIS: Bruxa: 34002.1955 ("Medical Confrontation")
=-=
"Medical Confrontation"
[the previous posts were (ANU) " Descent Into Hell  " / (BAS) "Important Discovery"]
=-=

Setting: KTARIS, Inside Government Building, Secondary Cloning Area
Stardate: 34002.1955

Satella was happy to see that the articulated frame was working well. By reducing the stress on the Ambassador's muscles, she was able to move with greater ease. The range of motion was still limited, but it was an improvement to what she could do before. Unfortunately, due to the severity of her illness, this was only a temporary fix.

In order to help the Bolian/Terran woman, pain medication needed to be used in conjunction with the articulated frame. What worried the physician most was just how much of the pain suppressor was required. In order to offset the disabling pain, the dosage needed to be well above recommended levels. This created a biochemical imbalance that manifested itself through dizziness and slurred speech. As far as anyone else dealing with Ambassador Bonviva was concerned, she appeared tipsy, if not flat out drunk.

Doctor Bruxa watched her patient with great diligence as she and Alus spoke. Despite the effects of the medication, Xana seemed well in control of her faculties. Satella could not help but admire the woman's strength and resolve as she defended their need for Louise Morningstar to join their team. Obviously, the Ambassador had previous dealings with the woman. The way she spoke about and to her also showed no indication that her being a clone was an issue. At least not at this particular time and place.

Taking advantage of a lull between the Bolian/Terran Ambassador and the Ktarian diplomat, Satella jumped in. "I understand that all of this is of great importance to you both. Whatever business deal you are in the middle of though is of no interest to me. Nurse Lopez and I are simply here to make sure that Miss Bonviva received the medical help she needs." Turning to Xana and applying another hypospray to her neck, the physician continued. "You need to take things easy. The articulated frame is not a fix-all cure as it is designed to simply reduce the physical demands on your muscles. The medical is also going to make it harder for you to think. I would hate for you to agree to something that you would later regret. Therefore," the CMO continued, this time turning to face the Ktarian, "may I suggest a recess. I am sure that whatever deal you two are trying to figure out can wait an hour or so."

"I am fine Doctor!" Xana exclaimed, clearly unwilling to put a pause on her work.

"With all due respect Ambassador, you are not," Adriana joined in with. It made sense for the Counselor-turned-nurse to side with the Doctor. "The first dosage of medication you received should have been enough to make it impossible for you to stand. The only reason you are still standing is thanks tot he frames on your legs. With the latest dose given to you, I suspect that even the frames will not be able to keep you standing. You need to rest."

"It would seem that you are outnumbered," Satella said, smirking at the apprehensive blue-skinned woman. "I assure you that you will be able to resume your deliberation as soon as you get some rest. Now, if it would be at all possible, could you show us to a room where she can sit." Doctor Bruxa made sure to sound as commanding as she could given the situation. She was no diplomat or a member of a diplomatic team, not by a long shot. What she was though was a Doctor who needed to take care of her patient. If she played her cards right, the Ktarian would have no choice but to give in on her demands.

"Fine," Alus agreed reluctantly. "Follow me," he said channeling his inner Klingon, the growl in his voice clearly audible.  He might not have been happy, but Satella was. She had won that match; all she needed was to win the next one that would see her go up against the Ambassador herself.

=-=
Setting: KTARIS, Inside Government Building, Waiting Area
Stardate: 34002.2015

Xana was sitting on a chair, while Adriana took her blood pressure old-style. Without the ability to use their medical instruments, they needed to find other ways to get the data they needed.

"You do realize that you may have ruined everything I have been working on?" The Ambassador was upset, but not as much as she wanted to be. The pain medication was making it difficult for her to muster the anger she wanted to show. "Where is Louise?"

"She's with Alus," Satella replied. "I thought that it would help your argument if he spent a little bit of time with her."

"Have you completely lost your senses?" Xana demanded as she rapidly stood only to fall back down on the chair a few seconds later. "She's a clone. A Lokustaar agent. The woman may possess all of the woman's knowledge and memories, but she is still working for the other side. I needed to further test her on her knowledge. I also needed to test her on her allegiance. I find it hard to believe that the Lokustaar would have created clones without the means of controlling them. Them spending any time together, alone, may make our job a great deal harder."

"I'm sorry," Satella offered. "I needed to get you to rest and thought that his being with her would give you the time needed. You need to be clear-headed in order to operate the articulated frame. The pain medication you were given is not going to make that any easier. I figured that rest would give you the chance to clear your thoughts. It would also give you a chance to plan your next move."

"My next move will be to assess the damage that your decision created," Xana hissed.

"Ambassador," Adriana said politely moving between the two women. "We also needed to get everyone out of that room. We lost track of Maya and Ya'Han but staying there only increased the odds of them being discovered. We had to find a way to get you and Alus Pami out of there. We are sorry if the way we did this is not convenient, but it was the best we could do at the time. Just imagine how the situation would have turned if the other team had been discovered."

Xana sighed. As much as she did not want to, the woman had to agree. If Maya and Ya'Han were discovered, things would have been much worse. "Do what you have to do Doctor. We need to get back out there as soon as possible and hope that it is not too late."

=-=
Rachel Jackie Johnson

Lieutenant JG Satella Bruxa [Access Character BIO for Satella Bruxa]
Chief Medical Officer
USS ANUBIS

[Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. - Mark Twain]
M13-P084: USS ANUBIS: Bonviva: 34002.2015 ("The Junior Ambassador")
"The Junior Ambassador"
[the previous post was (ANU) "Medical Confrontation"/ (BAS) "The Face of Terror" ]

=/\=
“Be unprepared, that's my motto. Let life surprise you.” 
― Marty Rubin

=/\=
Setting: KTARIS, Inside Government Building, Waiting Area
Stardate: 34002.2015

“You need to rest,” Satella said *again*.

Xana looked over at the CMO.  In any other situation, truly, she would not be this much of a pain.  Well...that was debatable.  But nonetheless, here they were and she was being that much of a pain.  Rubbing the back of her neck she said, “I did rest.”

Bruxa didn’t even need to check the chrono.  “It’s been 5 minutes since the last time we’ve had this conversation.”

Adriana smiled encouragingly at the Ambassador.  “You really don’t like this do you?”

“I *like* relaxing,” the Bolian/Human woman protested.  “I love RISA, real or simulated.  I shoe shop with the best of them.  Damn it all to 99 hells, I’d settle for a glass of wine, an eye mask and facial.  WHEN THIS IS ALL DONE.”  

“You won’t be able to do any of that,” Satella pointed out, “if you don’t sit down *now*!”

The azure woman continued sitting in her chair, looking up at the ceiling; seemingly contemplating the drop ceiling and the intricate tile pattern.  “Something was off with Louise. And we let her go off with Alus.”  

“It was a calculated risk,” Satella nodded.  

The Bolian/Human woman thought about it a little bit.  With some dismay, Bruxa noticed that she was no longer tapping her toes.  The doctor was going to ask about it when the Ambassador suddenly said, “Adriana...I’m thinking...when you entered into service, as a Counselor you had to take the Starfleet oath right?”

The Counselor nodded.  “Same as everyone.”

“I’m old and dying.  Refresh my memory,” Xana said with a wave of her hand.  “It was something like…’I, Adriana Lopez, do solemnly swear--”

The Counselor shrugged and thought to humor the Ambassador.  “Yes, ‘I, Adriana Lopez, do solemnly swear, that I will support and defend the Constitution of the Federation against all enemies, foreign and domestic; and that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.  That I vow to uphold Starfleet--” when the Ambassador began coughing at that she asked, “What?”

“We can skip that,” Xana said evasively.  “Keep going.” 

“I vow to adhere to a principle of non-interference and uphold it with my life if necessary.  And I will seek out new life and new civilizations,” Adriana finished off.

The azure woman thought about it and nodded.  “I forgot how wordy it was.  Close enough for government business.”  Waving her hands around Xana said, “By the powers vested in me, you Adriana Lopez are now a Junior Ambassador.”

Satella Bruxa gave the Ambassador a look.  “Can you do that?”

“I can until they tell me, “no”.  Generally that’s how I operate,” Xana grinned.  

Bruxa sighed.  “Explains so much.”

“How are you able to do that?” the Counselor asked.

“Thanks to the lazy writing at the Federation government, except for one phrase, the oaths for Starfleet and the Ambassadorial Corp are the same,” Xana pointed out.  “So now you’re the Junior Ambassador.”

Adriana, her chocolate eyes wide, stared at the Ambassador and said.  “Does a Junior Ambassador even really exist?”

Xana thought about that for a moment.  “No idea.  But we have Wine Wednesdays if we survive this; there was a Book Club but it interfered with the drinking.  But for now go liaise with Alus and Louise.  Observe them at the least; because I think something is “off” with Louise.”

Adriana, with eyes wide, looked at Satella who shrugged, and after a moment went off to find Alus and Louise.  Satella looked at Xana.  “What do you think Captain Morningstar is going to say to all this?”

Xana thought about that for a few moments.  “You know, there’s a laundry list of reasons why the Captain might kill me including I didn’t disclose I knew his sister and now we are facing her clone,” she said thoughtfully.  “Drafting a member of his Senior Staff is sure to be on the list but not sure where it would fall.”  Looking over wryly she said, “Not sure why you keep trying to save me.”

Satella’s gray eyes pierced Xana’s violet eyes.  “I save all my patients.”   

The Ambassador thought for a moment as she leaned back in her chair.  “I suppose then I need to get used to that,” she said.  

Whatever else the doctor would have said, she didn’t because Adriana came running back into the room.  Her brown hair was flying behind her as she was dashing into the room.  “We need to go back--”

“Finally!” Satella cheered.

“And we need to find the others,” Adriana continued on.

“Of course,” Satella nodded.

Xana held up a hand waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop.  “What is it,” she asked.

“We need to take Louise with us,” Adriana announced.  Looking at the other women she said, “Louise Morningstar here isn’t a clone.  She is *the* Louise Morningstar.”

=/\=
Sarah Albertini-Bond

USS ANUBIS NCC 18501
M13-P085: USS ANUBIS: Stark: 34002.2020 ("A New Purpose")
"A New Purpose"
[previous (ANU) "The Junior Ambassador" / (BAS) "The Face of Terror"]

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Setting: KTARIS, Inside Government Building, Secondary Cloning Area
Stardate: 34002.2020

In order to heal his failing body, the clone was rushed into a new pod, his original one having been destroyed when he was forcefully removed from it. Ya'Han and the others had wanted to save him for a reason of their own, but by doing so they inadvertently linked the man back with the dark forces programming all of the clones in the pods. The directives implanted in his head were subtle and definitively fell onto the darker side of things, but there was little the man could do against them. Locked inside the pod, he was powerless to fight against the ideas being fed directly into his mind that gradually changed the way he looked upon his memories as well as his own existence.

Where he vividly recalled feeling love before, Jayson now felt loathing. Where he had once seen caring directed at him, he now saw envy and jealousy. The memories had not changed, but his perception of them was being altered in a way that he was powerless to counter. His most recent memory, that of the woman he had seen so concerned for his wellbeing, was being twisted to make him feel as if the actions taken had been motivated by a need to use him for their own, dark purpose.

The longer he remained in the pod, the more he felt the man that he had been slip away, replaced by a darker, colder entity, one filled with anger directed not at specific individuals but at the whole of the universe. Peaceful coexistence was not an option as it only weakened their own position and prospects for a better, greater future. Through conflict, the human race would become stronger, gaining resources as they expanded their sphere of control beyond the politically neutral borders currently in effect.

With those ideas and concepts now firmly in his mind, the man opened his eyes as the liquid within the cloning pod drained. A minute or so later, the latches unlocked and the door opened allowing him to step out into the world as a new man, one driven to see the human race reach better and greater things.  As his bare feet landed on the cold, stone floor of the room, Jayson looked around for something to cover himself with. It would be difficult for him to instill the passion he now felt while being exposed as he was.

Following a quick scan around the room, he located some clothes on a shelf. They were not those of a Starfleet Officer but for now, they would do quite nicely until he could return to his ship. There, he would be able to use his knowledge and access to help bring about changes and with the help of others, those changes would see the Federation eventually step down from its weak peacemaking ways in order to step into a more productive future of conquests.

Jayson smiled as he began to formulate a list of the races the Federation would easily subjugate or flat out exterminate, removing them from the human race's path to glory. Those worlds would come to accept their new masters or suffer the consequences. This list quickly grew in the man's mind, expanding to civilizations beyond the border of the Federation. His smile quickly vanished when NYLA IV appeared on his mental list, the home of the woman he had once admired and loved.  She hated her own people, so there was no reason to suspect that she would not follow his lead, but she would forever remain an outsider and traitor to everyone else.  The safest course of action would be to dispose of her, but that thought sent shivers down his spine.  How could he possibly harm her after everything they had shared? More troubling was how he found himself thinking those very thoughts. Not long ago he would have given his life for her without a second's hesitation, and now he was debating about the need to have her permanently dealt with.

Jayson dropped to one knee as he took his head into his hands. There was no pain, but the mental struggle made it impossible for him to think straight. Before stepping out of the pod, everything had been so clear, so simple, but because of a single woman and his deeply felt feelings for her, that clarity was rapidly slipping away from him. He needed to resolve this as soon as possible, how he was not sure, but he knew that finding Ya'Han was the first step to putting an end to this uncertainty once and for all.

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M13-P086: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: 34002.2020 ("Game Changer")
=-=
"Game Changer"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "A New Purpose" by Jayson/ (BAS) "The Face of Terror" by moi]
=-=

Setting:  USS ANUBIS, IGC
Stardate: 34002.2020

Shar'El was still in shock at the announcement made by the Counselor-turned-Nurse-turned-Junior Ambassador. Due to the fact they were dealing with clones, never had the ExO / ILO even considered the possibility that an original individual would be found inside one of the cloning pods. The more she thought about it, the more surprised she became not understanding how or why this had come to be. Nevertheless, the situation remained that the real Louise Morningstar had somehow been abducted by he Lokustaar or one of their agents and brought to KTARIS for a reason yet to be determined.

This unexpected game changer meant that they needed, more than ever, to find a way to get through the energy field protecting the government building. Getting the away team, along with Louise Morningstar back on board the ANUBIS had become a matter of urgency. Out of simple reflex, the ExO / ILO reached for her communicator wanting to see if their Chief Engineer had made any progress but her hand stopped short of its target, Shar'El appearing as if she had somehow become frozen in time.

Her hand ever so slowly reversed course and pulled away from the communicator as if its simple proximity to the insignia was enough to bring about the end of life as they knew it. Granted the imagery might have been a little exaggerated but Shar'El knew that if she contacted Sonja once more it was very likely that someone's life would be forever changed, and that someone would likely be her. Since contacting the Chief Engineer was not an option at this time the ExO / ILO decided to reach out to the Captain. After all, if he was listening on what was being picked up on the channel left opened by the Ambassador, Erik was now aware of the situation surrounding his own sister.

Once again her hand traveled up to touch her communicator, this time reaching the small device and activating it. "IGC to Morningstar, are you aware of what just happened?"

=/\= I heard everything and am already on my way to Main Engineering. Maybe I can lend a hand to Sonja and find a way for us to reach our people. In the meantime, I need you to come up with an alternate plan of action. I don't care if we have to dig our way under the energy field; I want our people out of there, and I mean all of them. We can use the Marines already inside if we have to, but I want everyone on board the ANUBIS as quickly as possible. We can deal with the repercussions after. =/\=

The surprises were coming fast one after the other. Shar'El expected Erik to be somewhat more driven thanks to his sister being in the middle of the action, but she never expected the stoic man to react the way he was.  "I will get started on a more active and direct way for us to get through the energy field and I will keep you up-to-date as to our progress. IGC out."

The ExO / ILO took a moment to review the situation, carefully studying the data, layouts and images currently displayed on her monitors. As interesting as the Captain's suggestion of digging under the energy field was, it would prove to be highly ineffective and would risk exposing anyone trying to retaliation from the Lokustaars still outside of the structure. As long as they believed that those outside were powerless to do anything, they seemed to be happy to leave things as they were. This meant that Shar'El and her team needed to find a more covert method to reach their objective should the Captain and CEO were unable to do the same on their end.

With very few options and pressure from their Captain, the ExO / ILO decided to break communication silence, at least partially. "I need an encoded channel directed only to those on KTARIS equipped with a subdermal communicator. No need to openly broadcast what I am about to say to everyone. Make sure to have the signal on the widest possible spread to lower the odds of someone tracking the receivers. Try to see if you can bounce the signal off the orbital communication network before it is send to the surface. Let's keep out friends the Lokustaar guessing on both sides of this communication."

The team of IGC Techs quickly went to work and it only took a few moments before one of them looked up and back at the woman in charge. "Communication link has been established. Suggest that you keep the channel open for no more than 20 seconds to ensure that the subdermal communicators cannot be traced using possible electronic echoes."

"A whole 20 seconds?" Shar'El repeated with a smirk while nodding her head. "That will be plenty enough." With her finger hovering over the controls, the ExO / ILO went through in her mind as to what she would say, making sure that her words and instructions were simple and precise. After setting a timer in the corner of one of her screens, the black-haired Commander opened the channel. "This is Shar'El, we have a situation and need to bring the energy field around the building down. This is priority 1, do everything you can to disable the field. Once that is done, we will be beaming everyone back. Good luck."

The ExO / ILO leaned back into her chair immediately after closing the channel. The 20 seconds she had been given was more than enough but that did not mean those currently behind the defensive screen would be able to accomplish this mission. They initial game plan had been to remain unnoticed, keeping as much of a low key as possible, but the new instructions would make that nearly impossible.  Shar'El was confident that between Maya, Ya'Han and Tanith the task would somehow be completed, but how much of a hell would they raise in the process?  The only way to know was to wait and see what happened next.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M13-P087: USS ANUBIS: Paquette: 34002.2030 ("A Thanksless Job")
"A Thankless Job"
previous posts were (ANU) "Game Changer" / (BAS) "The Face of Terror"

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 21, Cybernetics / Robotics lab 
Stardate: 34002.2030

On a regular day, the officers assigned to Engineering knew to give the redhead Chief a wide berth, especially when she was busy with a demanding project. With Sonja's "to-do" list now including finding a way to penetrate the protective energy field around the government building on KTARIS, no one dared to be in the general vicinity as the Chief Engineering Officer. Getting in her way was a dangerous proposition at the best of time, but right now doing so would be sheer suicide, luckily for them, the woman had locked herself away in the ship's Robotic's Laboratory.

"Come on ANI, I need you," Sonja said as she tried once again to activate the ship's Avatar. The damage the android had suffered at the hand of the Lokustaar agent had been extensive, destroying internal components that the Chief Engineer once believed to be indestructible. Since the moment the mechanical woman was beamed back, Lt. Paquette had worked on the repairs, trying as best she could to do everything required as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, it seemed that one or more things had been omitted somewhere along the way leaving the Avatar unable to return to active status.  "Computer, run another level 3 diagnostic on her power distribution network. I know that her power core is operational; I just need to figure out why the rest of her systems are refusing to respond. If I didn't know better, I would swear that she's doing on purpose just to spite me for all those arguments she lost."

While the computer was complying with the latest request, Sonja turned her attention to a nearby station that was dedicated to figuring out a solution to the task Captain Morningstar had given her. Finding a way to get past the defense field would not be easy, especially when considering that there was Shadow technology behind its creation. The transdimensional race had not made things easy for them, keeping the greater majority of their secrets well out of reach. This meant that trying to find a way to go against anything of the Lokustaar was an uphill battle that seemed to leave them going back more often than they managed to make any headway forward. The Chief Engineer's repeated efforts to fix the Ship's Avatar being the perfect proof of that.

"Lieutenant Paquette," Captain Morningstar sternly said as he exploded into the Cybernetics' Laboratory. "I need a way to get our people back on board the ANUBIS." Erik paused as he watched the redhead continue her work on the artificial woman. "Why are you still working on ANI? There are more pressing matters for you to be concentrating on," Morningstar added clearly not at all happy with what he was seeing.

"With all due respect, I am working on the best way we have for us to get through that energy field, Sir," Sonja added a certain harshness to her final word, not liking the manner in which the Captain was speaking as if he was implying that he cared more about those stuck on the surface than she did.  Ya'Han and Maya were her friends, and although she did not know Satella and Adriana all that well, she also considered them to be more than simple shipmates. Even the Bolian/Human Ambassador had grown on her during her short stay on board the ANUBIS.

"You do not understand," Erik snapped actually surprising Sonja who had never seen the man in such a state.

"What I do understand is that the energy field protecting the government building was put there by the Lokustaar. The more I try to figure a way to get through it, the more I realize that it was pure luck that we were able to beam Maya down in the first place. Right now, there is no way for us to beam anyone back and I would strongly recommend against trying sending anyone else down," Sonja paused as she looked directly into the man's eyes with a distinct hint of defiance. "You coming in here barking orders or implying that I am not doing everything I can to get our people back is frankly insulting. So unless you have something more constructive to add, I would respectfully ask that you leave me working, Sir."

The Captain just glared back at the Chief Engineer, the corner of his lips twitching every so often which Sonja interpreted as the Commanding officer trying to find the right words to put the Lieutenant back in her place. Instead, she watched as the man's expression gradually softened as his anger gave way to something else, another emotion that she had also never witnessed coming from the man.  "My sister is down there."

"Your sister?" Sonja gasped in shock. "Who? Why? Never mind, either that information is irrelevant to our current situation or it won't change a thing. Nice to see that you are just like the rest of us though."

"Meaning?" Erik asked.

"That underneath that stoic facade of yours, you are still as human as the rest of us," the Chief Engineer said as she returned to work on the Avatar. "I am hoping that ANI will be able to help with figuring out a way for us to reach the government building because right now, as long as that Lokustaar energy field is in place, there is nothing we can do. Sensors are being fully reflected, the power rating on that defensive field matches that of a battlecruiser which means that we would have to destroy everything in a 3-kilometer radius to even start to make a dent in that shield. Whatever the Lokustaar are protecting down there, they are not pulling any punches. Our only hope is for someone down there to find the off switch. If and when that is done, we will be able to bring everyone back, and that includes your sister."

"Is there something I can do to help?" The Captain offered, evidently having accepted the fact that the ANUBIS and its crew were powerless to directly change the situation on the planet's surface.

"I could use a hand in figuring out why ANI's systems are still unresponsive despite my having been able to restore power to all of her components. Something is interfering and I just can't figure out what or how to fix it."

The Captain sighed before he rolled up his sleeves and reluctantly joined the Chief Engineer in her efforts to reactivate the ship's Avatar with the hopes that she might be able to help find a way to bring everyone back, including Louise Morningstar, before things truly got out of hand down there..

=====
Lorraine Paquette

Chief Engineering Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501
M13-P088: USS ANUBIS: Morningstar: 34002.2040 ("A Change of Scenery")
##########
"A Change of Scenery"
Previous posts (ANU) " A Thankless Job" / (BAS) " The Face of Terror"
##########

“Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.”
(The more things change, the more they stay the same.)
- Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 21, Cybernetics / Robotics lab
Stardate: 34002.2040

Sonja might have calmed the Native American down a little but Erik had not in any way stepped back from his desire to bring his sister, as well as the members of his crew, safely back on board the ANUBIS. The Chief Engineer had made her case in regards to getting the Ship's Avatar back to operational status since all other avenues had been impossible to research at this time. Forced to accept that they were unable to penetrate the Lokustaar defensive energy barrier with their instruments, restoring ANI became the one and only project they could work on for the time being.

"Did you try to reinitialize the secondary power relays?" The former engineer asked.

"You've been sitting on that comfy chair on the bridge too long," the redhead huffed. "Of course I reinitialized the secondary relays. I also checked the polarity of the energy transfer conduits, confirmed the flow of power throughout the entire micro-network. I even checked the phase variance between the primary and auxiliary power cores. After all of that failed to solve the problem I used the ancient fix-it trick that every first-year engineering cadet is expected to have heard about and dismissed as useless."

The Native American shot a sideways glare at the woman, asking without words about this ancient fix-it trick. As a former engineer, Erik was a little puzzled by the fact that he had never heard of this before now despite Sonja claiming that everyone in the field knew this special trick.

"I turned her off then back on again," Sonja sighed as she rolled her eyes. "I tell you, I tried *everything* but nothing works. The power is there, I even have the burns to prove it, but it refuses to reach any of her components. Something is blocking the flow and I can't figure out what."

Erik pondered the matter while gently scratching his beard, knowing that the details as described to him were oddly familiar. After a few moments, the Native American smiled as he recalled the specifics of the event that took place on another ship many, many years ago. At the time, the Chief of Operations, Lt. JG Morningstar, along with the rest of the crew, had taken weeks to figure out what was causing the problem that currently plagues the android.  "Did you scan for any residual dimension energy?"

"Why the hell would I have scanned for that? ANI was disabled after Mordana ran into her, not because some alien from another dimension touched her," Sonja argued before considering her own words. "Alright, I know that the Lokustaar are just that, creatures from another dimension, but we have never before seen any indication of them leaving residual dimensional energy on anything they came in contact with, so why start now?"

"We never had to deal with any of our equipment being disabled through contact with Mordana or any other Shadow Operative," the Captain pointed out. "For all we know, she could have used some sort of dimensional weapon to disable ANI."

Reluctantly accepting the counter-argument, the Chief Engineer scanned the android's inner components for any signs of residual dimensional energy. "How?" Sonja wondered aloud with great surprise. "The trace energy is barely detectable but it is there throughout her systems, and the frequency is interfering with the power flow," the redhead engineer said before turning to look at the Captain straight on. "How did you know to look for this?"

"Remember, as a junior officer I served on the USS PROPHECY, a ship that was equipped with one of the first models of a dimensional drive," the Native American explained. "A lot of our time was spent trying to figure out why things were not working the way they were meant to. We had a similar situation where none of the power generated by the warp core or any auxiliary source could reach any of the systems. We had to scramble to figure out how to keep life support working and it took us weeks to figure out what the problem was. During one of our dimensional jumps, we managed to pick up residual dimensional energy and disabled all of our power distribution relays."

"Cleaning that mess is going to take weeks," Sonja announced as she analyzed the gathered data from her latest scan of the disabled android. "That dimensional energy residue is everywhere, by the time I get every system purged or replaced it will be too late for ANI to be of any use to us."

"Maybe not," Erik said, another grin having appeared on his lips.

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 34002.2050

=/\= It's working, =/\= Shar'El said sounding genuinely surprised. =/\= Our sensors are now able to penetrate the energy field, not perfectly mind you but definitely well enough for us to get a transporter lock on our people. =/\=

"How quickly can we get them back?" Erik asked.

"Getting them back is one thing, but doing so in order to accomplish what Spy-Girl had in mind is going to take a little longer," Sonja explained. "We have to beam everyone at the same time, making sure they land in the right Simulation Chambers, and all of that without anyone realizing what happened."

=/\= With us now able to reach inside the energy field, we could trigger a hypersonic burst powerful enough to cause disorientation or even loss of consciousness, =/\= Shar'El suggested.

"The distraction could work against us though," Sonja pointed out. "Without a way to explain what happened, Alus or anyone one else we bring on board that is not a member of the crew might question and in time figure out that they are no longer where they initially were."

"So we need a way to explain the distraction," Erik said, another grin forming on his lips.

"Great," Sonja sighed. "We are going to need a diversion to hide the fact that we are doing another diversion. Not sure about you but this is starting to sound like pure madness."

=/\= It gets worse, =/\= Shar'El said through the open channel. =/\= Sensors are able to lock in on everyone in that building on a general level, but there is one exception; Mordana. She still doesn't show up on any of our instruments. The best we can do is to beam every humanoid on board and sort things out after, leaving her down there by herself. =/\=

"We will just have to leave the Marines behind so that they can bring her on board the way we had originally planned," the Native American said. "Right now, our priority is to bring our people back on board the ANUBIS in a way that will allow Ambassador Bonviva to complete her mission while being in a much safer environment, one that we can control and adapt according to our needs. Getting them up here will also allow Shar'El to get involved in the situation. We will learn a lot more a lot faster this way."

=/\= I doubt that Alus Pami is going to just let my scanning his memories go without some sort of political backlash against us and the Federation, =/\= Shar'El said. =/\= Surface scans are easy enough to do without the target being aware of it, but as a Ktarian diplomat, I suspect that I am going to have to dig pretty deep to get anything of significance about his people's involvement with the Lokustaar. =/\=

"I am done playing this political game," Erik growled. We did everything we could to keep thing civil, now that we know we are dealing with a thousand clones, I think it is high time for us to shift into a more active course of action. Commander, you and Lt. Paquette get everything ready for the mass-beam out. Do your best to isolate the Marines and bring everyone else up. We can deal with the political repercussions, whatever they may be, after the fact."

=/\= Aye, aye Captain. =/\=

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

Commanding Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501

AND

Lt. Commander Elan Fairborn [Access Character BIO for Elan Fairborn]
Robotics Engineering Officer
NEW ALEXANDRIA
M13-P089: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: 34002.2100 ("Close But Not Enough")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Close But Not Enough"
[previous post were (ANU) "A Change In Scenery" / (BAS) "The Face of Terror"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: KTARIS, Government Building Basement, Lower Secret Room
Stardate: 34002.2100

The room was large, stretching beyond the Sec/Tac's ability to see it all, then again, the general darkness that filled the area did not make this any easier. The few lights scattered throughout the room were just enough to allow the two officers to see the outline of the nightmarish creatures as they walked about, moving back and forth from the consoles lining up against the walls to those attached to the massive machine located in the middle of the room.

Ya'Han could tell that Maya wanted to go closer and investigate the machine, its size alone inviting the scientist's curiosity. As curious as the Sec/Tac might have also been about the imposing equipment, its size made the Nylaan nervous and the proximity of several Lokustaar workers did not make her feel any better. Nothing that large, especially under the control of those dark giant spider-like creatures could be a good thing. What they needed to do now was to figure out what the machine was there for without them being detected or worst captured.

Cautiously, they made their way into the room, hiding behind whatever they could find. The closer they got to the machine, the larger it appeared, but that was not the only thing that caught their attention.  Maya took hold of Ya'Han's hand and made her look at it, more specifically at her fingers. There was an odd glow about them, like some sort of very weak energy build-up. The more the Sec/Tac looked at this strange happening, the more she became conscious of the feeling on her skin; like hundreds of ants rapidly moving up her fingers and eventually up to her arms.

"What's happening?" The Sec/Tac asked in a quiet whispered voice, the red-haired Nylaan appearing slightly concerned by this unexpected development.

"I would guess that whatever that machine is, it is creating a powerful electrical static field," Maya softly replied before looking over at the nearest walking shadows who were much closer to the machine than they were. "By the looks of things, the Lokustaar are not affected or bothered by this field, whatever it is for. It could be a residual effect of whatever that machine does, and since they are not affected by it, they would not give it another thought. The other option is that it is an integral function of that device but that would still not help us in understanding what it is for."

"We moved less than 3 meters from the bottom of the stairway, and this is what happened," Ya'Han said looking at her glowing digits before looking back at the imposing device. "We would have to cross another 10 to 12 meters in order to reach the machine. I can only guess as to what would happen to us if we tried. My guess is that this field is there on purpose and likely meant to protect the device from unauthorized access. I can imagine that the sensation would be very unpleasant if we were to get closer, plus the static field would make it impossible for someone to get close even if they possessed some sort of personal cloaking technology like the Jem'Hadar."

"Do you think we would be able to make our way around it?" Maya asked. The scientist had never been one to easily give up on a mystery, no matter the risks.

"I doubt it," Ya'Han whispered. "Those Lokustaar, at least the one that we have been able to see, are moving back and forth from the machine to the consoles located against the walls. I do not believe that we would be able to sneak past them."

"A humanoid might not be able to do it, but a Trusa might," the Shillian shapeshifter proposed.

Ya'Han was ready to argue the idea, pointing out the dangers Maya would be facing, not only due to the presence of the Lokustaar but also the fact that they could not see what was on the other side of the room. They stood a better chance of making it out if they remained together, but in the end, the CSciO did outrank the Sec/Tac and if Shillian truly wanted to do as she had suggested, there was little the Nylaan could do against it.

Just as the Sec/Tac was about to state her objection, both Maya and she felt a powerful wave of disorientation and dizziness sweep through them, causing them to look at each other with concern before looking at the Lokustaar and the large machine to see if this was their doing. The sensation was so overwhelming that they could not keep their eyes open and soon after collapsed onto the floor, their bodies feeling numb and tingly.

When Ya'Han managed to reopen her eyes, the dizziness and numbness had vanished completely vanished. Quickly, the Sec/Tac looked at her fingers to see that the electrostatic discharge from the machine had stopped. After checking to make sure that the Shillian was alright, the Nylaan looked up at the machine and discovered that all of the Lokustaar had somehow vanished.

"What happened?" Maya asked, rubbing the back of her neck.

"Not sure, but whatever it was made the Lokustaar either go away or become invisible and to be honest I am not sure which of those two possibilities I dislike the most," the Sec/Tac explained, looking at the machine that now appeared different. "Something happened," Ya'Han stated with certainty. "The machine appears to be inoperative; there is not a single active indicator on it."

"Ya'Han, wait!" Maya said as she reached out to grab hold of the Sec/Tac who had already moved out of their protective location.

"Something is not right," the Sec/Tac added. "None of the consoles are active and the acoustics of the room is completely different."

"Maybe there was some sort of power failure," Maya suggested as she cautiously joined Ya'Han who was now standing in plain view of anyone else that might be in the room they were in.

"No," the Sec/Tac said, looking around knowing that something was not as it should be but unable to specify what exactly. "The wave of dizziness affected us but not the Lokustaar, at least not as far as I saw before we collapsed to the ground. The numbness of our bodies was also something different, something familiar, like a transporter sequence." Ya'Han looked around once again, this time actually smiling before she turned to look at Maya. "We have been transported into a holodeck," the Nylaan added as she reached for her communicator. "Lt. Ya'Han to ANUBIS, which holodeck are we in?"

=/\= Well, that didn't take you long, =/\= Commander Shar'El replied. "I'm guessing that the sensor data we were able to get on your location was incomplete, which I am not entirely surprised about. Whatever was in that room created a great deal of interference, and that was after we were able to penetrate the energy field around the building. We were actually lucky to get a lock on you two. Do you believe that your absence will be noticed? =/\=

"Although we did notice several Lokustaar at our location, I believe that none of them were aware of us being there. We were still trying to figure out what the machine we discovered was for when we suddenly felt dizzy and fell tot he ground."

=/\= Sorry about that, it was the only way we could bring everyone up without them knowing what was happening. We suspected that the members of the crew might figure it out, but we hoped to create a realistic enough illusion to allow Ambassador Bonviva to continue with her mission while being safe on board the ANUBIS. Now, since you two know where you are and there is nothing for you to do in that simulation... =/\=

As the Commander said this the doors to the holodeck opened allowing the two officers to leave the holodeck and regroup with the others. Maybe someone could offer an idea as to the possible significance of the large device the two officers had discovered deep under the government building.

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

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M13-P090: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: 34002.2120 ("Roll Call")
=-=
"Roll Call"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Close But Not Enough" by Hanali / (BAS) "The Face of Terror" by moi]
=-=

Setting:  USS ANUBIS, IGC
Stardate: 34002.2120

The mass transport went better than anyone could have anticipated; especially given the somewhat vague data the sensors were getting at times. Making it through the energy field surrounding the Ktarian government building had not been easy, but somehow they had done it. No matter how anyone looked at it, Sonja was a miracle worker and the ANUBIS was fortunate to have someone like her on board, but praises and celebrations would have to wait.  With the hard part done and over with, the ExO / ILO could focus on making sure that everyone who should be here had in fact been brought aboard and redirected into the proper holodeck.

They had done their utmost best to replicate the environment base on the available sensor data, which at times was sketchy at best. Every location had been scanned and the IGC techs had worked hard to make sure that the littlest detail was addressed, at least for every location with the exception of the lowest level where Lt. Ya'Han and Cmdr. Maya had been found. Luckily for everyone, they had not been interacting with anyone, so their sudden disappearance would hopefully not trigger any alarms, but it did leave them with a mystery. What was the purpose of the large, imposing machine they discovered?

The ExO / ILO would investigate this further but not before making sure that everything else was as it should. The first thing Shar'El needed to check on was the Marines and their ward. According to the latest sensor sweep, all of the highly trained soldiers were exactly where they had been before the mass beam-out; guarding their prisoner who still failed to register on their instruments. Since nothing had changed there, it was safe to believe that Mordana still believed that everyone else was inside the building, out of reach of the ship and its crew thanks to the energy field protecting the structure. Her belief in this was considered to be essential to the plan as the Captain and First Officer both suspected that the Lokustaar had some sort of direct mental link to their operatives. This was the only possible way to explain some of the occurrences the crew had dealt with during their pursuit of the woman currently in custody.

Next, Shar'El made sure that the Ambassador and those around her were safe. Using the onboard sensors, the IGC could easily monitor the recreated room the three women were in, noticing with concern the deteriorating medical condition of the Bolian/Terran hybrid. Luckily, Doctor Bruxa and Counselor Lopez would now have access to the ANUBIS' resources but they needed to be careful as to how to use them to make sure that the Ktarian diplomat did not suspect that something had changed.

By the looks of things, Alus and Louise appeared to have accepted the dizziness they experienced as having been caused by something from within the structure. Neither the Ktarian diplomat nor the Terran linguistic expert showed any signs of questioning their immediate surroundings, which was excellent. This meant that the mission could proceed as initially planned with one major exception; the away team would now have the home field advantage even if the appearance of their surrounding indicated otherwise.

Thanks to the size and complexity of the holographic simulation chambers, the two groups could be inside the same physical room while experiencing two completely different environments. This would allow them to interact seamlessly with one another without any issues once they moved to be together once again. The IGC would be able to monitor and record everything and stand ready to act should something unexpected happen.

With the two primary groups being well taken care of, Shar'El could shift her attention to those who had been alone and beamed directly into individual holodecks under the idea that, once everything was checked, the ANUBIS' officers would be able to exit without having a negative impact on the mission. The Chief Science Officer and Chief of Security had already done this, so now the ExO / ILO just needed to confirm that everything was alright with the others.  According to the sensors, three other individuals had been beamed up to the ship at the same time as the groups. Thanks to the internal sensors, one was easily identified as their own FCO, Ensign Tanith Jones. The second individual appeared to be a Ktarian aid to the diplomat who was wandering the corridors when the mass beam-out was initiated. The third proved to be the greatest and most unexpected surprise as sensors showed him to be human.

As Shar'El read the gathered data on the last individual, she quickly turned to check on the status of their Chief of Operations who, as expected, was still in Sickbay recuperating from his operation. This could only mean one thing, that the man in the holodeck shown to be Jayson Stark was, in fact, nothing more than one of the clones, an expertly crafted facsimile good enough to fool their own sensors into believing that it was the genuine article.

The ExO / ILO studied the man with great interest. So far, the only data Shar'El had been able to obtain had been through her listening in on the conversations between Xana and Alus, but now she could directly study one of those clones. The sensors readouts were a perfect match to their own Chief of Operations, a fact that both astonished and concerned her. Even knowing that the man was not who the sensors claimed him to be, the First officer could not find any indicators to support this.  If the clones were so perfect, how could anyone be expected to detect them should they manage to take the place of the original?

Shar'El tried to come up with a way to get close enough to the clone in order to scan his memories. It was hoped that the mind and memories of these facsimiles would not be as perfect as the outside appeared to be giving them something, however small it may be, to work with in trying to identify these imposters.  The attention of the ExO / ILO was rapidly drawn back to the instruments when an alarm sounded. Somehow, the clone of Jayson Stark had opened the holodeck door and nonchalantly stepped out as if it had been perfectly natural for him to do so.

"Shar'El to Ya'Han, we have a security breach. Have a team report to Main Holodeck 1 on deck 9. I would also suggest that you be there as well."

=/\= What is going on? =/\=

"We have a clone wondering about onboard," Shar'El replied. "It's Jayson."

=/\= On our way. =/\=

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M13-P091: USS ANUBIS: Stark: 34002.2130 ("Unfamiliar Territory")
"Unfamiliar Territory"
[previous (ANU) "Roll Call" / (BAS) "The Face of Terror"]

[/\]

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 9 Corridor
Stardate: 34002.2130

He looked around while walking down the corridor, remembering the sights that he had never seen with his own eyes, and yet they felt as familiar to him as could be. This was his ship and he knew everything there was to know about it. He smiled as he noticed a scratch on one of the panels near the floor, which was caused by one of the crewmembers who had lost control of an anti-gravity sled. Lt. Paquette had been told about this but changing the panel for the simple reason to not have it display the scratch had not been a priority, especially not while the ship and crew were trying to capture the Shadow operative known only as Mordana.

The man kneeled down and ran his fingers over the small indent, the scratch was not all that noticeable but yet he knew it had been there, just he knew what conduits were behind the damaged panel. As the OPS Officer, he knew everything there was to know about the inner workings of the ANUBIS. He knew of its strengths and weaknesses. Worst of it was that the darkness within made him consider ways to use this information against those who might oppose him and his quest to see the Federation because the galactic force is should have been from the start.

As he returned to his full height, the man heard footsteps rushing in his direction. The sound made him smile once more as he realized the full extent of his knowledge, which went far beyond the limits of the ship's systems. There were four or five people running towards his location, but it was the lightness of one particular set of feet that made him react this way. As strange as it might have seen to be, he could tell that it was her leading the group simply by the sound.

"Hi Ya'Han," he said as soon as the woman came into view, his smile still very present on his face. "Is there a problem?" The smile slowly vanished as he watched the security detail reach for their sidearm; ready to draw their weapons should the situation called for more direct and immediate actions.

"No problem," Ya'Han confirmed, "that is as long as you come with us. Commander Shar'El would like to have a word with you."

"I know that our First Officer can be a little dramatic at times, but she could have just contacted me requesting that I report to her either on the bridge or in the IGC," the man said not trying to hide the extent of his knowledge about the ship or its crew. "Why send a full security detail?"

"She just wanted to make sure that you didn't get lost along the way," Ya'Han replied, her bright red hair cascading over her shoulders indicating without any doubts the state of mind she was in while facing this particular situation.

"If I refuse, will you shoot me?" The words had been meant as a joke, but the expression on the woman's face showed that this was no laughing matter. She was as serious as could be.

"I would rather not have to, but I will if you don't cooperate," Ya'Han said, trying to hide her feelings from him to no avail. He was able to remember all of the personal moments they had shared together and in so doing was able to pick up on her hesitation and conflict.

"Come on Ya'Han, you won't shoot me, you enjoy flipping me on my back too much for that," he said as his smile returned. "Don't worry," he added as he walked closer, "I won't give you the chance to."

Ya'Han had not expected those words, nor the speed with which he had reached out to grab her wrist. With skill and strength that were not those of the man she knew, the clone of Jayson Stark easily disarmed the Chief of Security as he flipped her onto her back while at the same time using the weapon she had been carrying to take out the rest of the security detail.

Once he confirmed that everyone was down and no longer a threat to him, the clone returned to the Chief of Security who was still flat on her back and trying to understand what had just happened to her. "See, I did learn a few tricks during all of those sparring matches," he said looking down at the woman. "Please let the Commander know that she will have to wait to speak to me. I have a few things to do first," he added before aiming the phaser at her.

Ya'Han had barely the time to push herself up onto her elbows before he fired the weapon at point-blank range. Once he had done this, he changed the setting on the phaser taking it off stun to increase the output to the highest available power setting. The next person to get in his way would not be as fortunate as she had been, and that was only because of the memories he had of her, and the feelings they had once shared.

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

c
M13-P092: USS ANUBIS: Lopez: 34002.2130 ("Not So Junior Issues")
-=-=-
"Not So Junior Issues"
[Previous post: (ANU) "Unfamiliar Territory" & (BAS) "The Face of Terror"]
-=-=-

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Inside Government Building, Secondary Cloning Area
Stardate: 34002.2130

The sensation of dizziness had gone as quickly as it had come, but there was no denying that something happened. Looking at Satella, Adriana could see that the CMO had experienced the same, which served to confirm that this had not been a figment of her imagination like so many other things.

"What happened?" Adriana asked.

"There are many possible explanations for what he experienced, but I would guess that amongst all of them there is only one main possibility. We were submitted to some sort of physically undetectable energy discharge that affected a yet to be determined area. Maybe it was localized specifically to this room or could have affected the entire building. In either case, this discharge caused everyone affected to experience a sense of mental numbness that could have been used to hide something else happening." Satella looked around the room before reaching for the nearest wall and tapping the stone structure as if questioning its existence.

"Why would they beam us to another location made to appear exactly the same?" Adriana asked.

"Because whoever did this wanted to make sure you are not crazy," Amanda replied, the hallucination of her missing twin not wasting this excellent opportunity to take a jab at the sister.

"Because," Satella replied unaware of the previous answer heard by Adriana, "whoever did this wants us to be in an environment they are able to directly control, either to mess with our minds or to help us. It all depends on which end of the issue those responsible are standing on," the CMO added before pointing up and down to indicate that the only two options were the ANUBIS or the Ktarians. "Until we are told otherwise, it is best we just continue as we were, which means making sure that we are able to carry on with the mission."

"Would be nice if someone said something though," Adriana said with a sigh as she looked at the Ambassador.  Although the effects of whatever had happened had rapidly come and gone leaving the CMO and CNS no different than they had been, the same could not be said for the Bolian/Human woman. Xana appeared completely disoriented, likely thanks to the combined effects of the pain medication Satella had given her earlier and the energy discharge.

=/\= Sorry for not contacting you sooner, we are dealing with a situation here. =/\= It was the voice of Commander Shar'El, a voice that Counselor Lopez was very happy to hear.

"You found a way to breach the defense shield and beam us back to the ANUBIS?" Satella asked.

=/\= We did, =/\= Shar'El confirmed. =/\= Thought it would be safer for everyone involved to be here instead of the planet surface. =/\=

"Can you beam the Ambassador and me to Sickbay? She needs urgent medical attention."

"You are going to leave me here by myself?" Adriana gasped.

The Doctor raised a single finger to ask for a moment from the Counselor. There was more to the question than it appeared at first.

=/\= Site-to-site transport is available. We can always add a holographic recreation of you two, but the computer system is already having a hard time keeping up with all of the variables of the multiple programs running simultaneously. Those images will only be able to perform basic interactions. =/\=

"Do it," the Doctor ordered before turning to look straight at the Counselor. "I needed to confirm that all of this was due to our people, which I am satisfied it is thanks to the replies. I need to take care of Xana before it is too late."

"Who is going to deal with Alus when he comes back?" Adriana asked in a panic. "Xana is the Ambassador, and the only person qualified to be here for this. She needs to be here to get him to reveal what else he knows."

"That is why she made you a Junior Ambassador," Satella pointed out. "You will need to figure it out. I will come back as soon as I can, in the meantime do your best but most important is for you to believe in yourself as Xana did. I am sure that Shar'El will keep an eye on you, that is as much as whatever the situation they are dealing with allows."

Adriana was about to argue some more but both Satella and Xana vanished in the shimmer of a transporter beam to be quickly replaced by two holographic images.

"How am I supposed to do this?" Lopez said, on the verge of tears.

"Stop being such a drama queen, sis. You have gone through worse. Despite the appearance of your surroundings, you are on board the ANUBIS, which means that you are not alone. The absolute worst you can do is to say or do something that would let that diplomatic blowhard know that he is no longer on KTARIS, at which point they would either beam you or him out of here," the image of the twin sister said, not sounding overly sympathetic.

"What happens if the Commander is unable to act quickly enough?" Adriana asked, the Counselor managing to work herself into a near complete frenzy.

"Then Alus Pami will discover the truth, land into a cataclysmic rage before he beats you to a pulp that even Satella will be unable to put back together."

Adriana was just about to give the hallucination of her missing sister a piece of her mind when the door opened letting Alus and Louise step back into the room.

"Is everyone alright?" The Ktarian diplomat asked, looking over at the holographic Doctor and Ambassador.  "There was some sort of power surge through the building but it doesn't appear that anyone was overly affected by it."

"Ambassador Bonviva does need to rest," Adriana said stepping into the role she had been given. "The negotiations had already taken a toll on her and the effects of the power surge have proven to be very difficult for her to deal with. She has informed me about the details of your conversation and authorized me to continue."

"You're a nurse," Alus exclaimed.

"As of a few minutes ago, I am also a Junior Ambassador as declared by Ambassador Bonviva herself. Since she is in no condition to carry on with the talks, you can either accept dealing with me or wait for her to be in better physical and mental condition, which according to Doctor Bruxa should not take more than four, maybe five hours.

"Well done sis," Amanda said. "Now, just try to not shake that much. The quake might make him suspicious that something is not exactly as you have said it is.

-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor & Junior Ambassador
USS ANUBIS
M13-P093: USS ANUBIS: Bruxa: 34002.2140 ("Medical Emergencies")
=-=
"Medical Emergencies"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Not So Junior Issues" / (BAS) "The Face of Terror"]
=-=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 7, Sickbay
Stardate: 34002.2140

Satella felt bad for leaving Adriana like this but there were no other options. The beaming back to the ship had been a blessing that might very well save Xana's life. Some might have argued that the mission was more important. That the Ambassador's presence was essential to reaching their objective. The truth was that even the Bolian/Human hybrid knew that she would not be able to make it to the end. Why else elevate their poor Counselor to the position of Junior Ambassador?

There was no time for Doctor Bruxa to contemplate this though. Ambassador Bonviva was in a bad state, the readouts on the diagnosis wall easily proving that much. The rate of decay of the muscular tissue had increased exponentially. While on KTARIS, Satella knew that the situation was bad but something must have been interfering with her tricorder. It was either that or the unexpected beam out had somehow aggravated her condition. Whatever the cause or reason, the CMO was now facing a dire situation requiring her immediate intervention.

First, she needed to bring things under control. According to the medical scanners, Xana's nerves were figuratively on fire. This was causing pain on a level that could be considered equal to extreme torture. The pain medication was helping in that the woman's brain did not fully register this. The problem was that her body still reacted to the internal assault from her own nervous system.  A hypospray containing a higher dosage of the pain inhibitor was pressed against the Bolian/Human's neck. This was just the first of many steps that needed to be taken. Immediately after, several more injections were given, these ones applied directly to the patient's arms and legs. It was crucial that the nerves be made to stop if any progress was to be made.

Next, neurological sensors were affixed to the woman's forehead. They would serve to monitor the amount of pain being generated by the nerves. Once the readouts would fall to a more normal range, Bruxa would be able to move on to the next step.  The Doctor watched as the numbers showing how much pain her patient was experiencing went down. The CMO was not happy to see the numbers move as slowly as they were, but at least they were heading in the right direction. As good as this progress was, it only addressed the symptoms. The cause of this excruciating pain was still very much there, and it would only get worse over time.

In an effort to try and deal with this matter, Satella tried her best to replicate the field used in the healing pod. Bruxa knew that the energy and concentration would be far from those generated by the device created by Sonja, but it would be better than nothing. Hopefully, this would be enough to help ease the cause of the pain, even if only for a short while.  Just before the CMO activated the field, an unexpected call came to interrupt her work.

=/\= IGC to Doctor Bruxa, we have a medical emergency on Deck 9. =/\=

"I'm dealing with a medical emergency of my own here Commander." Satella did not like to do this, but with Xana's life hanging in the balance, there was no other choice. Her priority was to the Ambassador and this according to Captain Morningstar himself.

=/\= It's Ya'Han, Doctor. She has been shot at point-blank range. Although the phaser was set on stun, the close range caused extra damage. She needs your help, now! =/\=

"She was shot! By whom?"

=/\= It was Jayson. =/\=

The CMO was certainly not expecting to hear that name as the one responsible. What made it even harder to accept was the fact that the man in question was recuperating from his operation in a nearby bed.  "How could it be Jayson? He's right here in Sickbay, and I assure you that he is no condition to do anything."

=/\= It was Jayson's clone. He was inadvertently brought onboard. The added problem is that he is using the knowledge he possesses to hide from our sensors. He has also made sure to disable site-to-site transport, so you will need to go to Ya'Han. =/\=

Satella wondered if being brought back to the ANUBIS had been such a good idea. Had they remained on KTARIS, this would not have happened. Then again, Ambassador Bonviva would likely be dying in the most painful way the CMO could imagine.  "Fine. I'm on my way. Bruxa out."  The Doctor gave her patient one last quick look before engaging the temporal healing field. Once she confirmed that the system was operational, she reached for a field med-kit.  "I truly hope this works," she said before heading out to help Ya'Han.

=-=
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 9, Corridor
Stardate: 34002.2155

It had not taken long for Doctor Bruxa to go down two decks and find the Chief of Security and the rest of her team. Every one of them was out for the count, and Ya'Han's uniform clearly showed signs of energy burn. Opening her field med-kit, Satella pulled out a hypospray and applied it against the woman's neck. The effect was almost immediate.

"He shot me!" She said, noticeably upset by this revelation.

"Don't move. I need to take care of those burns and make sure that there is no internal damage."

"I don't think I could move if I wanted to. I think that both my right arm and left leg are broken."

Hearing this, Satella changed the target of her medical scans. Confirming the self-diagnosis, the Doctor looked at the Chief of Security with shock. "Jayson did this?"

"His clone did," Ya'Han amended. "He may look and sound like him, but he sure didn't move like him. He was quicker and stronger than anyone else I have ever come up against."

"It would make sense for the Lokustaar to create clones that are superior to those they are meant to replace."

"We need to find him before he does some real damage to the ship." Ya'Han was about to try to get up but was quickly reminded of her physical status.

"You are not going anywhere other than Sickbay. Even if you were not as injured as you are, Shar'El said that they are unable to track him. It would seem that his knowledge of the ship matches his physical strength and skill."

Unable to argue with the Doctor, Ya'Han resigned herself to her fate. She would have to wait until Satella took care of the broken bones and other injuries. The emotional pain she felt at the fact that it was Jayson who had done this would have to be addressed later. Knowing that it was not really him did help, but the Chief of Security still felt betrayed by what had happened. As much as it had not really been him, the likeness was perfect, which made it that much more difficult to accept.

What other surprises did Jayson's clone hold in store for them?

=-=
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 7, Sickbay
Stardate: 34002.2200

Jayson Stark, or at least his clone, stepped into Sickbay not displaying any concerns or hesitation. The man was on some sort of holy crusade and nothing would get in his way. As we cross the room, he paused next to the blue-skinned woman. Since he had no memories of her, he considered her inconsequential to his plan. The person he wanted to see was on another bed, further down the room.

The sight was odd, to say the least, as one Jayson looked down onto the other. What kind of conversation would they have if they could? One might be curious about the other, but it was more likely that things would not be as friendly between them. The expression on the standing man was one of loathing for the man in front of him. With Sickbay empty, save for the two patients, it would not be difficult for the clone to claim his rightful place as a member of this crew.

=-=
Rachel Jackie Johnson

Lieutenant JG Satella Bruxa [Access Character BIO for Satella Bruxa]
Chief Medical Officer
USS ANUBIS

[Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. - Mark Twain]
M13-P094: USS ANUBIS: Bonviva: 34002.2145 ("Side Effects May Include...")
“Side Effects May Include…”
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Medical Emergencies" / (BAS) "The Face of Terror"]

=/\=
There’s a dignity in consequences
-James S.A. Corey

=/\=
Location: USS ANUBIS, Deck 7, Sickbay
Stardate: 34002.2145

Blinking her eyes against the bright lights, the Ambassador took a few minutes to settle into where she was and what her newest reality was.  She continued to blink her violet eyes against what she perceived to be harsh light.  

Coming out of her drug induced sleep/coma the azure woman looked up at the ceiling and didn’t thank gods for being alive, didn’t wonder where her doctor was, didn’t test out what was wrong with her now…

No instead the azure woman, turned her to the side, tried to lift her exhausted body as much as possible (which wasn’t much).  The nausea, which had been clawing at her throat since she regained consciousness and been pushing back down, fought its way up to the top.  Bile, sweat, tears came flying out as her stomach continually contracted violently forcing everything out.  Swaying dangerously  on the biobed, as the pungent odor wafted up to her nostrils, the woman groaned as she contemplated if her traitorous stomach was still committing mutiny or if it was done.  Convinced she was done, she flopped down back on the biobed heedless of the sensors on her.  

Finally glancing over at the man who was across the way who dangerously near the unconscious man, Xana groaned.  “Side effects may include nausea...my ass.”  Rubbing her eyes she stared at the situation for a few moments.  “Well you’re not Medical,” she sighed.  

The man said nothing.  

“So Majordomo,” she tried with a sigh as she felt pain shooting through her limbs.  

The clone scowled at her.  “That’s not who I am.”

Raising up her bed, in an attempt to be less dizzy she tried again.  “Well excuse me but people really should go back to wearing name tags.  Not everyone here is a mind-reader,” she pointed out.  Looking back and forth, it didn’t take too long to figure out that one was a clone and one was the real deal.  “I’m going to go on a limb here and say whatever you have planned for Sleeping Beauty there isn’t a wakeup kiss.”

Jayson Stark’s clone said nothing, just continued to stare at Xana.  He knew nothing about this woman; unaware of what to say or do with this mercurial woman.  

“Could I get a glass of water?  Tea?  I mean wine or firewater would be amazing now but I doubt you’d fetch that...Valet?  No, still not feeling it,” Xana tried.  Groaning she banged her head against the head of her bed she admitted.  “Come on, I’m asking for a drink before dying, it’s not a huge ask.”

“Dying?” Jayson asked. 

The Ambassador quickly looked at what she hoped was the healthy man still blissfully passed out and figured her best option now was to draw the attention.  “Well clearly you knew who I was,” she continued on blithely.  “Now, as a current Ambassador, there are those who wish to see me dead.  I think that contract is still out on my head with the Hirogen, but that’s old news, that’s been around since I was Secretary of Starfleet.  Now that’s very tempting if you kill me, but if I were you, I’d avoid the easy and go with the Paradan or Pakled.  They’ve both had contracts out on me for a while and according to chatter they’ll bid against each other because of the trade wars on -- oh why am I telling you this?  Clearly you’ve done your homework.  Now after you kill me, I’d take the Jeffries Tubes to the --”

“I wasn’t here to make a profit on your life,” Jayson snarled.  Muttering under his breath he said, “But now I’d consider it.”

“I have that effect on people,” she smiled, keeping eye contact so that Jayson’s clone was focused on her and not on original Jayson.  

=/\=
Sarah Albertini-Bond

USS ANUBIS NCC 18501
M13-P095: USS ANUBIS: Stark: 34002.2150 ("Decisions Decisions")
"Decisions Decisions"
[previous (ANU) "Side Effects May Include..." / (BAS) "The Face of Terror"]

[/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 7, Sickbay
Stardate: 34002.2150

The plan had been an easy one; locate Jayson Stark and dispose of him in a way that would leave no trace allowing for his clone to claim his rightful place as the OPS Officer of the ANUBIS. Thanks to the blue-skinned, white-haired woman being awake and aware of his presence in Sickbay, things had become a great deal more complicated.

As he looked at the mess she had left on the floor next to the bed, the clone genuinely considered disposing of her as well. She had already resigned herself to this fate so that would not be much of an issue, but her death and following disappearance would be difficult to explain, even for a rejuvenated OPS Officer.  With that option pushed aside, for the time being, the clone decided to try to turn this to his advantage.

"I find it very careless for them to leave you all by yourself in your current state," he said as he fetched a glass of water as the woman had requested.  "If they truly cared about you and your well-being, one would expect that someone would be here by your side at all times."

"Well," Xana said accepting the glass containing the clear liquid, "you are here, but I guess that doesn't count."

"It could," the clone continued as he studied the data being displayed on the diagnosis monitor. "I know people who would be able to help you, and by that, I don't mean make you feel better or push back the inevitable. They could cure you. Imagine life without pain."

"Pain is an integral part of life," the woman said after emptying the glass in a single shot. "It makes you cherish life that much more and reminds you that each moment of joy is obtained with an equal moment of pain. Still, I will admit that your offer does intrigue me, so please, carry on."  Xana knew she needed to buy some time and give someone, anyone the chance to get back here before the clone put his insidious plans into action. She was in no shape to physically oppose him, but her mind was as sharp as ever or at least she believed so.

"Belief in the survival of the fittest does not mean ignoring those who need help," the clone explained with conviction. "It means that such help is reserved to those who can and will contribute to the betterment of the whole instead of being nothing more than a drain on available resources. You could become an important part of a stronger and more assertive Federation, one that does not bend to the will and demands of weaker, less developed or even less evolved species."

"History is filled with those exact words, and as appealing as they may be to some, the majority stands firmly against it. What makes you believe that you and your friends will be able to succeed where countless others have failed?" Xana could see that there was a conflict within the man, his passion and beliefs were there, that could not be denied, but there was something else inside of him that was making him question his own convictions. That hesitation, that inner conflict was the part she needed to focus on in order to draw this conversation out for as long as possible.

"My associates are not like anyone or anything you ever had to deal with, at least not directly. I assure you that their methods and even more effective than they might sound to be, both in their abilities to allow a race to rise to its rightful place in the universe and helping each and every member of this race who cooperated to be better than the could ever have imaged themselves to be."

"Nice sales pitch, but I would need to see the product before committing to the purchase," Xana said hoping that this would delay the man that much more. It was clear to see that he knew what he was talking about, but his inability to know anything about her was a failure that she believed would prove to be the downfall of not just this clone but also all others like him. "Alus Pami already gave me the same offer, now the question is which one of you two is going to get the commission and recognition of your... associates?"

"Alus Pami?" The clone of the OPS Officer said with a smile. Although he had never met the man, the knowledge of him had been part of the information fed directly into his mind, this in order to facilitate his arrival into the world. Things had not gone according to plan in that regards, but that still did not change the fact that he knew of the Ktarian, and the fate that awaited him.  "Trust me; you are much better taking this deal from me. Do we have a deal?" he asked glancing over at the other Jayson knowing that time was short for him to dispose of the original in order to make room for his replacement.

Xana struggled to find something to say, something to ask that would delay him a little more. As much as she believed she had been successful in stopping him, it appeared that this had been but a fleeting perception. Summoning all of her strength, the Bolian/Human hybrid prepared herself to sit up and try to physically restrain the man. Just the thought of doing this proved to be enough to cause her stomach to object, threatening a repeat of the earlier unpleasantries. As she collapsed back onto the bed, the main doors to Sickbay opened revealing the CMO and injured Chief of Security.

"It's about blooming time," Xana exclaimed, directing an accusatory finger towards the standing Jayson who was only a few steps away from the unconscious one.

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M13-P096: USS ANUBIS: Morningstar: 34002.2150 ("Siblings")
##########
"Siblings"
Previous posts (ANU) "Decisions Decisions" / (BAS) " The Key"
##########

“A sister is both your mirror - and your opposite."
- Elizabeth Fishel

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Array Section, Deck A-5, Corridor
Stardate: 34002.2150

With the successful completion of the massive beam out, the situation had changed in their favour, at least that was what the Native American believed. With Ambassador Bonviva now in Sickbay with her most immediate medical needs being attended to, the crew could proceed in trying to figure out what exactly the Lokustaar wanted with the Ktarians. Was setting up a massive cloning facility out of sight of the Federation their only goal or was there a more sinister objective to all of this? Based on everything they knew and had experienced while dealing with the Shadow race, the latter seemed far more plausible.

Despite the importance and relative urgency of figuring this mystery out, there was one matter that Erik needed to address first and foremost. Although it was a personal matter, it was one that seemed to be heavily intertwined with their current situation, that is why he wanted to investigate this personally. As soon as the computer confirmed that all was clear, the Native American opened the doors to the holodeck and promptly made his way inside the computer recreation of the Ktarian government building.

It did not take long for Erik to track down the person he was here to see, but his initial reaction at seeing the woman still was one of surprise as if some part of him had refused to accept that it was her he would actually find. Instead of confronting her or asking why she had been on KTARIS, the Native American simply smiled at the sight of his sister whom he had not seen or heard of in years.

As if sensing a new presence in the room, the linguistics expert turned and discovered her brother standing there, grinning. "What are you doing here?" She demanded as if him being here was the worst possible thing that could have happened to her at this particular time.

"What am I doing here?" The Morningstar brother said echoing the sister's words, the tone used by Louise instantly erasing his earlier joys and dictated his mood from this point on. "What are you doing here?" He countered before amending his question to ensure clarity in both the query and reply. "Why are you on KTARIS?"

"I see you have not changed one bit since the last time we saw each other. You are still the same stock up kind of guy who needs to be in charge of everything and everyone," Louise quietly growled. "You know, I am quite capable of taking care of myself without you looking over my shoulder, not that has ever been an issue for you," the sister added taking the opportunity to point out once again as to how much shorter she was as compared to him. "It's nice to see you, little brother, even if I don't need you to be here. Being able to take care of myself and things is what I have been doing for quite some time now."

Erik shook his head in amused disbelief. The 'little brother, big sister' thing had been going on for as long as he could remember, and in some ways, this latest exchange reminded him of how much he missed these kinds of bantering between them. "It's nice to see you too big sister," he said teasing the woman who barely reached the height of his shoulders. "That still does not answer my question. What are you doing on KTARIS?"

"I came here to take part in a linguistics seminar organized by the local government," Louise replied even if she did not want to. "You know, the Federation is not the only one interested in ancient languages and the offer to study a dialect that had never been seen or heard of before was just too good to pass up, especially for someone like me."

"All right," Erik conceded with a nod of his head. "That does explain why you are on KTARIS, but it does not account for how you came to be here with Ambassador Bonviva trying to work out a deal with the Ktarian diplomat Alus Pami."

Louise was shocked that her brother knew so much about her recent activities, especially given that none of it had been previously planned. "Have you been spying on me? Are you so bent on proving that I need you as a saviour that you have taken up shadowing me around?"

"It's not like that," Erik said in his defense, trying his best not to get into an argument with his sister, an argument that he knew he would end up losing. When it came to this kind of things, Louise possessed the upper hand, her ability to think in multiple languages always granting her a way to look at a situation from unexpected and unconventional perspectives.

"Then tell me, what is it? I have a reason for being here on KTARIS. What's your reason *big brother*?" The next few words to be spoken by the angered woman were in a dialect that the Native American could not recognize but he suspected that they were not meant to sing his praises.

"I'm here on a mission," Erik explained. "Actually, I should say that my crew and I are on a mission, one that involves Alus Pami and possibly the Ktarian government being involved with a hostile force from another dimension."

"Let me guess, the Shadows."

"Where did you hear that name?"

"There are hundreds of civilizations scattered throughout the Alpha and Beta Quadrant, and the greater majority of them make reference to a race of pure evil that hides in the shadows. Most believe them to be ancient