USS ANUBIS - Mission 14
A Friend In Need
IN PROGRESS
POST INDEX
Post # Character Title
001 Bonviva A Brigade of Tribbles
Xana talks to her son
002 Stark Chaos
The clone and Ya'Han confront Mordana
003 Ya'Han Nothing Is Ever Easy
Ya'Han evaluates her situation
004 Bruxa Growing Concerns
Satella and Xana argue
005 Morningstar Rough Seas Ahead
The ship leaves KTARIS, the crew learns the truth
006 Lopez Emotonal Management
Adriana chats with Xana
007 Ya'Han Absolute Darkness
Ya'Han goes through another flashback
008 Bonviva Emergency Transmission
Xana receives an emergency call
009 Stark Loneliness
The clone explores his thoughts and feelings
010 Lopez Personal Sacrifice
Adriana has a discussion with Amanda
Post # Character Title
011 Bruxa Working Hard
Satella feels left out
012 Morningstar A Friend In Need
The ANUBIS returns to KTARIS
013 Shar'El Beginning of te End
Shar'El watches from the IGC
014 Lopez Breath of Fresh Air
Adriana waits for Xana's return
015 Stark Two Sides, One Coin
Looking through the eyes of Jayson and his clone
016 Bonviva The Man By The River
Xana negotiates with the Ktarian government
017 Shar'El Second Star To The Right
Xana negotiates with the Ktarian government
018 Ya'Han A Dark Trail
Xana negotiates with the Ktarian government
M14-P001: USS ANUBIS: Bonviva: 34003.1200 ("A Brigade of Tribbles")
"A Brigade of Tribbles"
Previous posts (ANU) "Well, That Could Have Gone Better" / (BAS) "Silver"

=/\=
You say I am strong when I think I am weak

You say I am held when I am falling short

--from Lauren Daigle’s “You Say”

=/\=
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Holodeck 3
Stardate: 34003.1200

[/\]BUT MOOOOOM….I’m bored.[/\]  A young boy with the same azure skin and white hair as the Ambassador but with the blue eyes of his father said on a vid continued on, [/\]And you’re not here and Dad’s not come.  I know you can’t do much but you at least try to be fun.  Dahlia doesn’t even try anymore to be fun,[/\] he said referring to one of his older sisters while surrounded his 6 Tribbles.

The azure woman was sitting in what she was not-so-lovingly referred to as the “pretzel-chamber”.  It was limiting to what she could do; she understood that.  She also intellectually understood that she was closer to her worst (physically) than her best, so rest was for the best.

But that meant she had to sit here.  Alone.  Instead she was catching up on her messages, this one was from the youngest of her 4 children.  Benito “Ben” William Bonviva-Chrichton was sitting on his very messy bed back on EARTH, surrounded by most of his Tribbles doing his best to guilt-trip her back home.  

Ah guilt...her old friend.  Rubbing her brow, she tried to rationalize the feelings.  Ben was *fine*.  He was healthy; surrounded by loving family; his two eldest siblings (Xana’s two eldest children from her marriage with Daisy) were adults and were capable of watching Ben and Dahlia.  And his father (who was *healthy*) would be there for him and Dahlia, hopefully, soon.  It was sweet that he was worried and missed her, but she could rationalize that a little separation was fine.  In fact, it was probably overdue.  Unlike his siblings, Ben had the most stereotypical “normal” upbringing; he hadn’t had to deal with extend periods in warzones, temporal displacements, the Hirogen, Kazon, or disgruntled former Starfleet officers trying to kill or trade him, or even Q asking for you in replacement for a life your mother took.

No wonder his 3 elder siblings said Ben was spoiled.    

When the message ended, the Ambassador leaned back against her pillow.  Starting up a message she responded to Ben, telling him to be patient, to feed the Tribbles (it was the one chore she figured he’d do but it didn’t hurt to remind him), and everything would be fine in the end, and if it wasn’t fine, then it wasn’t then it wasn’t the end.  

Did she believe that?  Xana wasn’t so sure anymore; but she had to install that kind of optimism in her kid.  The universe did not need a disgruntled 10 year old with a small army of Tribbles.

The doors whooshed opened and the silver haired doctor came in.  “Am I interrupting something?” Satella asked.

Xana shook her head as she paused the message.  “I’m just sending a message back to one of my sons,” she explained.  “And hopefully saving my ex-husband some heartache from a Battalion of Tribbles and a disgruntled middle schooler.”

Satella smiled at that as she came over.  “A Battalion of Tribbles?” she inquired.  “What was your life like before you came on board?”

“It had its moments,” Xana smiled wanly.  “No, we do not have a Battalion.  Ben is a responsible “Tribble parent” as he puts it.  We only have 6.”

“Well you’re nice to smooth things out, even without a Tribble Regiment,” the Doctor commented.  Satella looked as if she was going say something else but became distracted.  “You’ve been here for a few hours?  Don’t lie.  You didn’t move right?”

“You would know if I had,” Xana replied.  “Why?”

“Well I’m seeing the an increase in the rapid neutrino actuator but then there’s a decrease in the--”

The Bolian/Human woman blinked at that.  “I’ll send a Brigade of Tribbles for some words I understand.”

Satella looked up from the panel.  “You’re not healing anymore.  You’ve hit a plateau,” she said.

The Ambassador blinked her violet eyes at that.  “Well damn it all to 99 hells...I understood *that*.”

=/\=
Sarah Albertini-Bond

USS ANUBIS NCC 18501
M14-P002: USS ANUBIS: Stark: 34003.1200 ("Chaos")
"Chaos"
[previous (ANU) "A Brigade of Tribbles" / (BAS) "Soothing Melodies"]

[/\]

Setting: KTARIS, Government Building, Underground Cloning Facility
Stardate: 34003.1200

Mordana was beyond mad. For a woman who rarely showed any signs of emotions, the sight of her ready to rip someone's head clean off their shoulders was something to see, and something to fear even more. Following the debacle of the Grand Garden, the trio had returned to the underground base to discover that their problems had only started.

The first bad news they received was that the Ktarian government was holding Mordana personally responsible for the death of Alus Pami. As an official diplomatic liaison, his death had sparked outrage amongst the local government and now they wanted to see the woman, as well as her associates, leave their planet.  While trying to smooth things over, the second bad news came in the form of a report about the destruction of the boarding vessel. If that had not been enough, the third and last bad news concerning the cloning pods was delivered shortly after. Apparently, someone had managed to sabotage them effectively killing the clones and making the equipment unusable.

The sight of so many others like herself had proven to be too much for Mordana to handle in the way she usually handled everything else, and now it was her anger that was there for all to see.

"I will personally rip the eyes out of the one responsible for this," she said glaring straight at Ya'Han.

"She was not the one responsible for this," Jayson said, once again coming to Ya'Han's defense. Since their return to the underground base, Mordana had been ready to blame everything that had gone wrong on the Nylaan, no matter if it was justified or not. "Although no one saw what happened, the style of the work points to only a couple of possibilities, and since there was only one of them present here, we have to conclude that it was Tanith who managed this."

"I knew we should have killed her the moment she was discovered," Mordana hissed while glaring at both Jayson and Ya'Han. "This plan to exchange her for Alus was ill-conceived from the start and proves utterly useless."

"Even if you had killed her the moment I betrayed her, it would not have changed a thing," Ya'Han said not ready to just give up and be made into the one responsible for what had happened. "Tanith had already sabotaged the pods and the result would have been the same. The only difference is that Pami would be alive and we would not have had the chance to discover that the crew of the ANUBIS are able to detect your cloaked ships."

"That is another suspicious turn of events that I have yet to figure who is responsible for," Mordana spoke through clenched teeth, barely managing to contain her mounting rage.

"Listen," Ya'Han snapped back, her red fiery hair showing that she was ready for a fight. "Since Jayson came on board the ANUBIS I have been told how the Lokustaar thrives on chaos. Now it looks like they like to spread chaos but are unable to deal with it when that same chaos is thrown back at them."

"Watch your tongue or you might find yourself without it before the day is over."

"Mordana!" Jayson snapped. As much as he was genetically conditioned to obey all of her commands, he could not just stand by while she was proving to be less than what their creators expected. "Like it or not, she is right. You have grown so accustomed to dishing out the chaos we are here to spread that you have lost perspective. Now that the Orion Syndicate has come out and flexed their political muscles on KTARIS, it will be difficult for them to remain a 'behind-the-scenes' force, in time this will create increased tensions that will ripple to other systems and governments as they wonder if the Syndicate is involved in their affairs."

The Lokustaar lead operative stared at Jayson while bringing her breathing back under control, her anger quickly being pushed aside. As much s she might have hated it, he was right and the loss of the cloning facility would be nothing more than a setback that when taken into account on the larger scale of things could actually play in heir favor.  "At least the communications array is still operational, even if not at full capacity"

"Ya'Han was able to intercept Tanith before she could sabotage the array," Jayson said once again defending the woman standing by his side. "It will take another 48 hours or so for the array to reach full power."

"We cannot stay here that long," Mordana said. "With the Ktarians and the Orion Syndicate breathing down our necks, our being here would only increase the risks of either one of them finding this location. We need to get off this planet."

"We could use the SPHINX," Ya'Han suggested. "The tracking systems on board are still disabled, and with its camouflage abilities intact, we should be able to leave orbit without any problems. The question though is where do we go from there? The craft is not equipped with any type of FTL drive. That means once we reach orbit, we will be just sitting there."

"Leave that part to me," Mordana said. "That is of course as long as you can get us in orbit without being detected."

"If the ANUBIS sees us, they will kill us on sight. If the Ktarians see us, they will either kill us on sight or contact the ANUBIS which will act on their behalf and put an end to the insult that I have become to them," Ya'Han explained. "I am pretty sure that the explosion on the planet surface was meant to more than it did, namely to kill me. After all, I was right there in the center of it all. Captain Morningstar is not just going to let me walk away, so I am well motivated to make sure he doesn't find us."

Mordana did not appear convinced, but she did have very few options available to her at this time. "Get the SPHINX ready, we leave as soon as possible," she said reluctantly before walking away.

Jayson smiled and lovingly glanced at Ya'Han. "See, I knew that this is where you belong. Not everyone would be able to stand up to Mordana, let alone win an argument."

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M14-P003: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: 34003.1215 ("Nothing Is Ever Easy")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Nothing Is Ever Easy"
[previous post were (ANU) "Chaos" / (BAS) "Soothing Melodies"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: KTARIS, Government Building, Underground Cloning Facility
Stardate: 34003.1215

Jayson smiled and lovingly glanced at Ya'Han. "See, I knew that this is where you belong. Not everyone would be able to stand up to Mordana, let alone win an argument." 

The former Sec/Tac looked back at the man and forced a grin to appear, thinking that this most certainly did not feel like a victory. Mordana was barely tolerating her presence and never let the Nylaan out of her sight. Even if the Shadow Agent was not in the room, Ya'Han could feel the woman's eyes constantly on her suspecting that one or more cloaked Lokustaar were nearby waiting to strike the moment she did something wrong.

Getting Tanith back on board the ANUBIS was a huge gamble, only made more difficult by the transfer of the data chip Ya'Han had in her possession. Despite all that had taken place, her allegiance was still with her ship and her crew; this no matter what the crew may believe her to be. They all needed to see her as a traitor to ensure that their reactions were as genuine as could be. Mordana and the others needed to see the hatred in their eyes to help solidify the idea that the Nylaan had indeed been swayed by the clone's strength and charms.

The truth was that she did find a great many things about Jayson's clone appealing. The man possessed a strength that the original Jayson lacked, but the more she thought about the situation, the more Ya'Han came to see that she could never come to love the clone of the man currently recuperating in the ANUBIS' Sickbay. Her attraction to the man responsible for her being here was real, that she could not deny, but it was not the kind of feelings that could support a long-term relationship. Soon enough she would grow to despise him the same way she had come to feel for her father and eldest brother, endlessly loving and hating them all at the same time. Therefore, in order to ensure the safety of her true love as well as that of everyone else on board the ANUBIS, the officially disavowed Sec/Tac needed to continue with this masquerade until the very end.

"We better get moving," the clone said with the assurance and commanding tone she had grown accustomed to hearing from him. "We have to get the SPHINX ready. Winning that argument is not going to make her more likely to forgive us not being ready as she expects us to be."

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Setting: SPHINX, Flight Deck
Stardate: 34003.1245

The moment they walked into the camouflaged mobile command center, the former Sec/Tac performed a quick system's check to make sure that everything was as they had left it.

"Everything is as it should be," Ya'Han said. "There is no way for the ANUBIS to track the SPHINX, we are completely invisible to them, at least that is as long as we don't go knocking at their door and announce our presence."

"I am pretty sure that Mordana has other plans in mind. After what happened to the boarding vessel, I am relatively certain that she will want to stay as far away from the ANUBIS as possible," the clone said as he sat at the FCO's station. "Speaking of which, I know you said that Sonja and Maya were the ones likely to have figured out a way to detect the cloaked Loksutaar vessels, but how effective do you believe their upgrade to be?"

"It is impossible to say," Ya'Han replied. "Whatever upgrades to the sensors they came up with would not have been fully tested. It is very possible that the range is limited and only provided them with a general idea that something cloaked was getting closer."

"Based on what I know of both Sonja and Maya, it would surprise me that they were able to come up with something so vague," the clone said, challenging the former Sec/Tac's take on the situation.

"If the sensors were able to detect more, do you not believe that they would not have sent the away team down to the Grand Garden the way they did? The place was crawling with Lokustaar ready to jump on them. As much as I can imagine that Sonja and the others want to see me drawn and quartered, I doubt they would have risked the away team's lives to get me. No, my guess is that the sensors managed to pick up something coming closer and not wanting to take any chances, the Captain ordered whatever it was destroyed."

"That does fit the report re received," the clone said. "The boarding vessel was destroyed at close proximity of the ANUBIS, so if they could see it from afar, why wait that long to shoot it down?" He paused and looked at Ya'Han once again. "Your explanation makes sense, but it would still be wise for us to keep our distances from the ship, just in case."

"I agree," Ya'Han said, glad that neither the real Jayson nor his clone possessed any type of mind-reading abilities. The juggling act the Nylaan needed to keep up was increasingly demanding, trying to keep whatever edge the ANUBIS had intact while at the same time keeping her own cover safe. The former Sec/Tac hoped that the data contained in the crystal she gave to Tanith would help them keep the tactical advantage they would need to come up on top against the Lokustaar.

"Are we ready to go?" Mordana said as she boarded the SPHINX.

"All systems check out," Jayson's clone replied. "We should be ready to leave within the next 30 minutes. The best part is that the ANUBIS will still be unable to track us until we reach high orbit, and even then they would need to be on top of us to do so.."

"Good, not that it will matter much. Get the ship ready and set us on the fastest route to reach orbit."

"That is going to take us dangerously close to the ANUBIS?" Ya'Han pointed out. "The ship is in geosynchronous orbit of KTARIS, so unless they decided to move, which I strongly doubt, it means that they are going to be right over our heads."

"That will not be an issue," Mordana said with eerie confidence. "They will be too busy dealing with something else to be concerned with looking for a craft they cannot detect, even if it might hold the former officer they want to punish above all else."

As curious as she was, Ya'Han knew that any inquiry might reveal a level of concern for the ship and its crew that she was not permitted to have at this time. She was an outcast, a traitor, a disavowed officer who should be happy to see her former crew face difficulties no matter in what form it presented itself to them.  All that the Nylaan could do was to have confidence in her friends as well as their skills and abilities to deal with whatever unexpected shadows Mordana had planned for them.

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

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M14-P004: USS ANUBIS: Bruxa: 34003.1245 ("Growing Concerns")
=-=
"Growing Concerns"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Nothing Is Ever Easy" / (BAS) "Soothing Melodies"]
=-=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Holodeck 3
Stardate: 34003.1245

The treatment was theoretical at best, but so far it had shown some solid potential. The Ambassador's condition had improved, although slightly, but it had changed in the right direction. Unfortunately, that progress had come to a stop, hitting a wall that she could neither see or understand. Xana's condition was like no other, as was her treatment for it. This left Satella scrambling to understand what was happening, or more to the point why it was no longer happening.

"According to these readings, everything is working as it should be." The CMO sounded frustrated, almost angry. "The issue is that your body is no longer responding to the treatment."

"You and I both knew that this was a long-shot," Xana said. "I will give credit to Lt. Cmdr. Maya and Lt. Paquette, they both did their best. In the end, though, it was just not meant to be."

"Ambassador, with all due respect, we did not survive the last few days to see you give up." For a physician, Dr. Bruxa appeared quite ready for a full-blown fight. "You made it through some rough negotiations with that Ktarian diplomat."

"His name is Alus Pami," Xana said mournfully. The man might have been nothing more than a vegetable, but she still respected him. The Orion Syndicate had shifted the blame for the death onto Mordana. This meant that the Federation would walk away from this issue with their hands clean. The only stained that remained was on her consciousness. Right or wrong, she felt partially responsible for the state of the man who was still in Sickbay.

"I'm sorry," Satella regretfully said. "I understand that the situation may be difficult for you. That does not mean you have the right to just give up. What about your son? Does he not deserve to have his mother do everything she can to live for as long as she can?"

"Leave the psychological dealings to Miss Lopez," the Ambassador dismissed. "They will be irrelevant if you are not able to figure out the medical aspects of this issue."

"Don't you worry," Satella shot back. "I will find a way to have you get over this plateau. I do not know how yet, but I will find a way. You will live if for no other reason than to save me the unenviable task to inform your son of your passing."

"That is a most honorable sentiment," the Bolian/Human said sarcastically. "Do you always plan on treating your patients this way? Saving their lives for no other reason than to spare yourself the task of reporting bad news."

"Don't try and turn this on me. This is about you and your stubbornness."

"Doctor, you seem to have forgotten that I have been given this fatal diagnosis quite some time ago. You might not have come to accept it, but I have. There is no point in fighting against the inevitable. What is to happen will, that we want it or not."

Satella took a moment to collect her thoughts. "Alright, maybe it is because I am naive. Maybe it is because I lack experience. It might even be because I have seen the impossible come to pass too many times. Whatever the reason or reasons are, I am not ready to give up. As long as you are here, under my official care, I will not give up.  I am sure that with Maya and Sonja's help, we will be able to figure something out."

Xana actually smiled as she gazed back at the agitated CMO. The woman displayed tremendous passion and conviction, something that the Bolian/Human could only admire. "Very well Doctor, I will not give up."

"How are you two doing?" the CNS asked as she walked into the Holodeck.

"She is being stubborn." The simultaneous reply from Xana and Satella caused the women to pause and look at one another. After a few moments, they both started to laugh.

Adriana moved closer. "Glad to see that everyone is in such a good mood."

"Actually we are not," Satella corrected.

Just as the CNS was about to comment, the lights in the holodeck shifted to flashing red. The three women instantly understand what was happening, this long before the announcement was made.

=/\= RED ALERT! All hands to battle stations. Doctor Bruxa, please have your medical personnel ready. We may be facing trouble on a large scale. =/\=

Satella wasted no time and headed for the exit. "You stay here and keep an eye on Xana. Make sure she doesn't give up."

"Give up? On what?" Adriana asked.

"On living," the CMO said just before vanishing from sight. This left the CNS a little perplexed and confused. Just a few moments ago, she had walked in to find both women laughing. Obviously, Adriana had missed something important; the question was what?

=-=
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Sickbay
Stardate: 34003.1300

Doctor Bruxa had no idea what was happening. All he knew was that the ANUBIS had been placed on highest combat readiness and that her staff stood ready for the worst.  Teams were dispatched to all of the major areas to help with emergency treatment and triage while the CMO remained behind. Her job would be to deal with life and death cases.

Giving Sickbay a quick once over, Satella noted that two of her beds were already occupied. One by Lt. Stark while the other was by the vegetative Ktarian diplomat.  The CMO would not have normally hesitated to free up that spot for any incoming emergencies. Following the discussion with the Ambassador though, the physician felt less inclined to act.

"You two," Bruxa said motioning for two of her nurses to come closer. "Take Alus Pami to one of the secondary recovery rooms." Satella could see the hesitation and confusion in their eyes, prompting her to clarify her order. "Move him out of here. We might need that bed. Just make sure to treat him properly and with respect. Ambassador Bonviva would not be overly happy if we did anything less."

With that said, the nurses proceeded to move the Ktarian and freeing up his spot for incoming medical emergencies.

=-=
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]
M14-P005: USS ANUBIS: Morningstar: 34003.1300 ("Rough Seas Ahead")
##########
"Rough Seas Ahead"
Previous posts (ANU) "Growing Concerns" / (BAS) "Soothing Melodies"
##########

“We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds."
- Aristotle Onassis

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 34003.1300

With his Chief of Security absent, the Native American thought it best to man the tactical station himself. If the sensor readings were accurate, he could not risk anyone else making a mistake that could easily cost the lives of everyone on board the ANUBIS..

"Morningstar to Shar'El," the Captain said while confirming the battle readiness of his ship. "Please confirm your earlier report," he requested as all defensive and offensive systems showed a green light.

=/\= I'm confirming it all right, there are three, I repeat, *three* Lokustaar capital vessels heading straight for us, and they are not even bothering to hide behind their cloaking ability. They are coming in fast and are making sure we see them coming. If their goal was to scare us, I think it is fair to admit that they are succeeding. =/\=

"My guess is that they want our attention focused on them instead of the planet," Erik theorized. "That way Mordana can escape without anyone noticing or tracking where she might be heading."

=/\= I will say this, =/\= Shar'El said, =/\= that is one very effective distraction. They will be in weapons range in less than a minute, and there are still no signs of any activity from the surface. If this is her plan, she is waiting to the last moment to make her move, that or she is waiting to see what kind of bang we are going to make. =/\=

=/\= Sorry for barging in but ANI and I have been listening to our conversation, =/\= Sonja announced. =/\= The ablative armour was barely able to hold when only one of those nightmares was firing at us with their energy weapons. There is no way in hell that we will survive *three* of them pounding us into next Tuesday. We managed to piss off Mordana in a huge way and this is her getting even with us. She is not pulling any punches. =/\=

=/\= Captain, =/\= the First Officer jumped back in. =/\= The Lokustaar will be in firing range in about 30 seconds. What are your orders? =/\=

The Native American wanted to stay and fight as it was not in his character to abandon one of his officers, no matter how bad things got. That said though, Erik knew that any attempt to engage the three approaching ship could only result in the rapid demise. "Ensign Tanith, set an evasive course that will take us as close as possible to this system's sun before heading back out. That should be enough to mask our warp trail and make sure they can't follow us."

The Flight Control Office simply nodded her head to show that she understood what had been asked of her and after a few seconds the ANUBIS broke orbit and headed for the Ktarian sun.

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 34003.1330

Commander Shar'El stepped into the bridge to find the Captain sitting in his chair, a concerned air surrounding him. "Your plan worked, sensors are not picking up any Lokustaar ships in the vicinity. We left them behind."

"We also managed to leave Ya'Han behind in the process," Erik unhappily noted. "Now Mordana has once again escaped leaving empty handed and without our Chief of Security."

"Speaking of which, it might be a good time to inform the senior officers of what happened," Shar'El suggested. "There are bound to be a lit of questions asked as we start searching for Mordana."

"I thought you offered to take care of that?" The Captain inquired.

"Never got the chance to do it," the First Officer admitted.

"Fine," Erik reluctantly said. "Call for a senior staff meeting."

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Observation Lounge
Stardate: 34003.1345

The Native American stood at the end of the large conference table, meeting the inquisitive gaze if his senior officers.

"Doctor Bruxa, let us start with a status report on those currently not here," the Captain said, delaying the unenviable task he had to perform by a few minutes.

"Jayson is still recuperating from his surgery," the Chief Medical Officer reported. "He should wake up in a few days and back on his feet a week or so after that. Xana is resting in Holodeck 3 and is under strict orders to stay there until we can find a way to fix the equipment."

"The equipment was working fine," Sonja challenged. "What did she do to it?"

"She did nothing, but her body is no longer responding to the treatment. Unless we can find a way to stop the progress of her illness, she may only have a couple days left."

"All right," Sonja sighed. "As soon as we are done with this meeting, Maya and I will head to Holodeck 3 and find a way to keep our white-haired Ambassador around for a while longer."

"Speaking of hair colour," Shar'El said, verbally prompting Erik to say what he needed to tell the others.

"Ya'Han is not a traitor," the Native American announced after having been cornered by his own First Officer.

"I will guess that because she didn't shoot you, your definition of traitor differs from mine," the Chief Engineer huffed, not making any efforts to hide her discontent.

"Ya'Han acted as per my orders," Erik clarified. "We needed someone on the inside and the presence of Jayson's clone offered us a perfect opportunity. This information was not openly divulged to ensure that following actions and reactions we're genuine."

"That means that Ya'Han is not a traitor?!?" Counsellor Lopez was clearly relieved by the news, a sentiment that was alas not shared by everyone present.

"The plan is for us to wait a day or so before heading back to KTARIS," Shar'El explained. "We know that Mordana used the three capital ships to hide her escape, but we are hopeful that Ya'Han will have found a way to help us track their movements or hint as to their possible destination."

"That does explain the data chip she gave me back in the Ktarian Grand Garden," Tanith voiced.

"I guess that means you will be able to hand it over to me so that I can retrieve whatever information it contains," Maya said while looking straight at Sonja.

"I am still not convinced that the chip is not somehow trapped or infected by some electronic shadow virus," Sonja said growling softly.

"Didn't you hear the Captain?" The Counsellor asked. "She is not a traitor; this means that our friend is out there in need of our help."

"She may not be a traitor," Sonja growled. "She may be in trouble and is in need of our help, but she is no friend of mine." Having said this, the Chief Engineer stood from her chair and walked out of the Observation lounge.

"Dismissed?" The Native American said following the departure of Lt. Paquette who had clearly heard enough.

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

Commanding Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501

AND

Lt. Commander Elan Fairborn [Access Character BIO for Elan Fairborn]
Robotics Engineering Officer
NEW ALEXANDRIA
M14-P006: USS ANUBIS: Lopez: 34003.1415 ("Emotional Management")
-=-=-
"Emotional Management"
[Previous post: (ANU) "Rough Seas Ahead" & (BAS) "Soothing Melodies"]
-=-=-

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Holodeck 3
Stardate: 34003.1415

While Lt. Commander Maya and Lieutenant Paquette worked on the device meant to help, if not cure Ambassador Bonviva, the Counselor stood next to the woman trapped inside; her attention divided between those Adriana considered being her two most important patients.

"You seemed distracted Counselor," the Ambassador said to her junior aide. "Should I feel hurt, rejected, abandoned even?"

"I'm sorry," Adriana said returning her full attention to Xana. "I'm trying to figure out how much of Sonja's reaction is actual heartfelt anger. I can understand that she is feeling hurt or even maybe betrayed by Ya'Han and her actions, but I would have expected her to be happy after learning that she was not the traitor we were all made to believe."

"Why are you happy?" The Ambassador's question took the Counselor a little off guard causing her to appear lost and confused for a moment. "Alright, let me clarify. Why are you happy that Ya'Han is not the traitor she was portrayed to be?"

Adriana thought about the question and after a few moments smiled knowingly. "Should I be making you a junior Counselor? Sounds only fair given that you made me a junior Ambassador while on KTARIS."

"Dealing with people and their psychological issues is a core prerequisite for anyone working in the Ambassadorial field," Xana said. "The only difference is that we do not usually try to help those we are analyzing or evaluating, instead, we use what it is we learn and discover against them to gain whatever political advantage we can."

"Glad you are on our side," the CNS said giggling. "You are on our side, right?"

The question was meant as a tease and Xana knew it, but it was still enough to make the Bolian/Human smile. "You still have not answered my question. Why are you happy that Ya'Han is not the traitor she showed herself to be?"

The CNS took a few seconds to think of her reply. "I do not know her as well as some of the others, like Sonja, but personally I am relieved that we have not lost a very competent and skilled officer," Adriana replied but when she saw the unimpressed expression on Xana's face, the Counselor knew that the answer had not been what was expected. "Alright, I am also very happy that I will not have to break the news to Jayson.  Everyone knows how in love those two are and it would have broken his heart to learn that she had gone rogue and left him for his own clone. At least now he will be able to deal with what happened with a more professional perspective as she did what she did for the sake of our mission as well as the crew."

"In time, he will be able to accept what happened, but it may not be easy," Xana said nodding with agreement. "As you pointed out yourself, Jayson and Ya'Han are linked by strong emotions that go well beyond those expected to be shared between shipmates. Now, put yourself in Sonja's shoes. Her link to Ya'Han may not be that of a lover, but it is still one that is much stronger than what would be expected to be found between officers. You see Ya'Han as a valued member of your crew, Sonja, on the other hand, sees her as a dear friend. Jayson was spared the hardship of dealing with the woman's betrayal that was perceived to be real by everyone, which means that his accepting what happened will be made that much easier. Sonja, on the other hand, was not spared this and was directly and more important unwillingly involved in the conspiracy, going as far as to be shot by the person she regarded as a cherished friend."

"They do not teach you about close friendships at the Academy," Adriana said. "There are chapters on the development of friendships between shipmates, but nothing that comes close to what I have seen here on the ANUBIS."

"This ship is unique in many ways, not only in its construction and mission profile but also in the way its crew is required to deal with things the likes of which no one else needs to even think about," Xana explained, the Ambassador clearly speaking from personal experience. "The hardships that these people face daily is more than enough to break their spirits, so they need to find ways to better cope and allowing themselves to feel a closer bond to those around them is such a way. Even you have fallen into that pattern."

"Me? How so?"

"Really Counselor?" Xana said rolling her eyes. "Too close to see it for yourself? You and Doctor Bruxa. It is evident that the two of you are very close, far more than would normally be expected to see between the CMO and CNS."

"Now you just need to tell her why?" Amanda said the hallucination of her missing twin sister having appeared leaning over the device built to save the Ambassador from her rapidly advancing illness. "Satella is your best friend for no other reason that she knows about me while no one else does. You two have gone through a lot together but let's face it, I am the reason why the two of you are as close as you are. You trust her with your deepest secret and in turn, she knows that she can count on you to keep whatever secrets she might one day reveal to you.

Adriana remained quiet knowing that both the Ambassador and her sister were right. Unfortunately, all that it all meant was that it would take a lot of time and work to see the relationship between Sonja and Ya'Han return to the way it was if it actually ever happened.

-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor & Junior Ambassador
USS ANUBIS
M14-P007: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: 34003.1500 ("Absolute Darkness")
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"Absolute Darkness"
[previous post were (ANU) "Emotional Management" / (BAS) "Soothing Melodies"]
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Setting: SPHINX, Flight Deck
Stardate: 34003.1500

Ya'Han had managed to get a quick glimpse of the ANUBIS as it rushed towards the Ktarian sun, trying its best to avoid a confrontation with the three Lokustaar ships sent after them. The view from the flight deck of the SPHINX, as it reached orbit over KTARIS, was very limited but more than enough to make the undercover Sec/Tac feel a great deal of concern for all those on board. The key was to not allow those emotions to show and possibly jeopardize everything she had so far managed to accomplish.

As the SPHINX floated in space waiting for whatever was to happen next, the Nylaan gazed out through the forward windows of the Flight Deck at the distant stars while her thoughts drifted to another place, another time.

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FLASHBACK
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Setting: Freighter #3
Stardate: 20313.1 (Age of 14) 

Today, the daughter of the High Sovereign currently sitting in a cold and dark cargo hold turned 14. This day was meant to be a time of joy and celebration as the girl she had been up to this point became a woman in the eyes of her people. Today, the announcement of her betrothal to Daimon Ardrax would have been publicly announced, sealing the trade agreement between the Ferengi and her homeworld of NYLA IV. All of her needs would have been taken care of in return for providing her new husband with the companionship and all of the personal attention he desired. As an official representative of her father, every moment of her life from this point on would have been set, lacking in nothing with maybe one exception -- freedom.

Ya'Han made her choice, choosing freedom over a life of servitude as an object to be admired and used by whomever her new husband deemed worthy of experiencing her charms and skills. She decided to take control of her life and to venture into the dark and cold unknown away from her father, her family and everything she knew. That freedom though came at a price that she was still trying to fully understand.  The world beyond the Imperial Palace was cruel and unforgiving and she learned quite rapidly that any show of emotion could prove deadly.

The other black-hair Nylaan who was in this cargo hold with her the day before had been dragged out by the ship's Captain and tossed out of the nearest airlock for having accused one of the crew members of trying to have their way with her. Ya'Han had seen everything but it quickly became evident that showing any signs of emotions would have meant hr sharing in the poor girl's fate.

As long as she said nothing, as long as she showed no outward emotional reactions to anything happening around her or even to her, the odds of her survival would remain fair. The lesson had come at the price of someone else's life and she owed it to her memory to practice what she had learned to the best of her abilities.

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End of FLASHBACK
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Setting: SPHINX, Flight Deck
Stardate: 34003.1510

Prying herself out of the painful memories, Ya'Han looked through the forward windows of the flight deck once again but this time saw nothing but perfect darkness. Curious and a little troubled to understand what had happened, the Sec/Tac quickly looked down at the control panel in front of her to get an idea of what had taken place. That was when she discovered that the controls were just as dark as the view from the forward windows.

"Welcome back," the clone said seeing the Nylaan moving her head in search of answers. "You were lost in some sort of daydream. I hope that it was a pleasant one."

"I have had better daydreams," Ya'Han said, not willing to go into any details.

"I figured that you would sooner or later realize that something had happened. You have nothing to worry though; the stars have not all died out and gone dark. One of our ships picked up the SPHINX while we were in orbit. We are being taken to a safer location."

"Safer location?" Ya'Han echoed trying to imagine what could possibly be safer than being surrounded by no less than three Lokustaar capital vessels.

"Safer as far as Mordana claims it will be," Jayson said sounding somewhat amused. "She is keeping rather quiet about where it is we are heading to. She's in the back room right now having a discussion with our associates as to what our next course of action should be."

"She went to the back for that? I suspect that she will never fully trust me," the Nylaan said looking around the Flight Deck to see if the woman in question was close enough to hear the comment.

"It is not just you but me as well," the clone said. "If it was not for you, I am pretty sure that she would have destroyed me and left me on the cloning facility amongst all of the other dead clones."

"You have done everything she asked of you, and more," Ya'Han said. "I am the outsider here, the one who came from a completely different life."

"You have proven yourself through your actions," Jayson said. "Right now though, she is not ready to trust anyone, not that she truly ever did before. We just have to accept that it will take her time to understand that you have made your choice and embraced the destiny that is yours to claim. Imagine the face of that Ferengi troll Ardax when you take control of the throne of NYLA IV and send a few Shadow vessels to decimate his trade fleet. You will even be able to have him dragged down to kneel before you before his head is separated from his shoulders."

"That could be interesting to see," Ya'Han said keeping her thoughts on the scene created by the man sitting next to her instead of the feelings of concern she felt growing within her for the members of the crew who had been left behind without a clue as to her true feelings and purpose.

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

Lieutenant JG Ya'Han [Access Character BIO for Ya'Han]
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M14-P008: USS ANUBIS: Bonviva: 34003.1430 ("Emergency Transmission")
“Emergency Transmission
Continued from: USS ANUBIS “Absolute Darkness”/USS BASTET “Twelve Days To Go”/USS PHOENIX “Husband And Father”

=/\=
Nothing in this world was more difficult than love
--Gabriel Garcia Marquez

=/\=
Location: USS ANUBIS, Holodeck 3
Stardate: 34003.1430

The two women were quiet in the Holodeck until the Counselor asked quietly.  “Do you think you could have done it?”  When Xana looked over she asked, “What we all thought Ya’Han did...run away for love?”

Xana leaned back, her violet eyes far away.  Adriana wondered if she pushed the Ambassador too much, emotionally, too fast.  Instead the answer the Bolian/Human woman gave left her more confused.  “Dead. Missing. Divorced.”  Looking over Xana clarified, “That sums up marriages: dead, missing, and divorced.  I’m not sure you should be asking me for my opinion.”

Adriana tilted her head to the side.  “So you don’t believe in love?”

The Ambassador laughed at that.  “Don’t believe in it?  We are more than the sum of our past experiences….aren’t we also hopes and dreams for the future?”

The Counselor nodded at that.  “You still have hope?”  She paused before asking softly, “So then I don’t need to worry Dr. Bruxa about the euthanasia paperwork you have on file with the Federation Registry?”

“I’m a dying woman of Bolian descent,” Xana pointed out meeting the Counselor’s gaze.  “Euthanasia has been existing and recognized on BOLARUS IX since the Middle Ages.  Of course I have that paperwork filed.”

“And you have a talented doctor on board who is fighting to save you,” Adriana pointed out, her voice still calm.  “Not to mention our Engineer and Scientist as well,” she said indicating the pretzel chamber that Xana was in.  

Before either woman could say anything there was a shrill sound.  [=/\=] EMERGENCY TRANSMISSION FROM EARTH TO AMBASSADOR BONVIVA [=/\=]

Xana nodded, shared a look with Adriana as she swallowed the lump in her throat.  “Bonviva here.  Authorization Bonviva Alpha Seven Epsilon Two Three Phi.”  

A screen appeared and the Federation logo appeared for a few seconds was suddenly replaced by a young boy who had frequently contacted the ANUBIS in the last few days.  [=/\=] MOM!  [=/\=] Ben Bonviva-Crichton yelled as if he needed to amplify his voice the distance from EARTH to the USS ANUBIS.

“Ben,” Xana exhaled as she stared at her youngest child.  “Why did you initiate the emergency protocols to do a site-to-site live call?”

=/\=
Location: EARTH, Venice, Italy, Bonviva Villa

Ben Bonviva-Crichton was sitting in his room, surrounded by all 6 of his Tribbles.realizing suddenly that he was going to have to explain his obviously brilliant idea to adults.  It was always adults who slowed him down, the 10 year old thought to himself fleetingly.  “Mom, who is that with you?” he asked in response to her question.

His mother looked at the woman next to her and then looked back at the screen.  [=/\=]  This is the junior Ambassador and Counselor, Lieutenant Adriana Lopez.  Now answer my question. Are you hurt?  Are your brother or sisters hurt?  WHAT IS WRONG? [=/\=]

“You didn’t ask about the Tribbles,” Ben pointed out.

[=/\=]You do have a lot of Tribbles,[=/\=] Adriana remarked.  

“Thank you,” Ben nodded, pleased someone cared about his passion.  “I’m the Founder and President of the “Save The Tribble Society” on 3 planets.  I can send you information on joining.  Did you know that--”

[=/\=]BENITO,[=/\=] his mother warned.  It didn’t matter how many star systems away she was, she’d still find some way to ground him, judging from her tone if she didn’t get the answer she wanted.

“I called because Dahlia locked herself in the bathroom,” Ben explained.  “And she’s threatening never to leave.”

Ben watched as his mother looked confused for a moment.  [=/\=]Ben...you initiated emergency protocols for something your sister does every day?  What am I missing?[=/\=]

The 10 year old thought about it.  When put that way, it *did* sound foolish.  “Well...I mean it seemed important,” he tried.  

[=/\=]I know...[=/\=] Xana sighed.  [=/\=]I’m sure you had a reason...just like I’m sure Dahlia had a reason for locking herself in the bathroom *today*.[=/\=]

Ben looked up and was surprised that his father had joined him in his room.  He hadn’t heard his father join him; hadn’t realized that he was here until he felt his bed dip down with his weight.  

“Well I think Dad wants me to say that the reason why Dahlia locked herself in the bathroom today is because of him,” Ben explained as he angled the vid so his mom could see both of them.  

=/\=
Location: USS ANUBIS, Holodeck 3

Xana cleared her throat.  “So, Dahlia’s locked herself in the bathroom?”

[=/\=] Yes, I’m the reason why she’s has locked herself in the bathroom,[=/\=] Jake said.

“Not entirely,” Xana said.  “Ben, go tell Dahlia I’m on the comm and I want to talk to her.”

Lt. Adriana Lopez, Counselor and Junior Ambassador, watched the family drama unfolded.  On one hand, she could reason, she should step back and let the family have its moment on their own.  On the other, she was a Counselor and Junior Ambassador, and shouldn’t she (in both capacities) be here to assist?  So being here was exactly what she needed to do.

If Adriana had to guess from Xana’s earlier comment of “died, missing, divorced” then it didn’t take a huge leap to figure out that this was the spouse that she was divorced from.  And yet...the way the Human Commander at the Bonviva home stared across the galaxy at the Ambassador and she at him, Lopez would not have guessed that they were divorced.  There was more said without using words in this moment than many couples said in their entire lifetimes together.

“Sorry I lost my manners,” Xana murmured.  “Lt. Adriana Lopez, this is my ex-husband, Commander Jake Crichton.  Jake, this is Adriana.  She’s the Junior Ambassador and Counselor.”

“Commander Crichton,” Adriana replied.

Jake nodded at that; he was about to reply when they were interrupted by arguing kids.  [=/\=] They don’t need to hear you two fighting,[=/\=] he said to Dahlia and Ben as they came into view.

[=/\=] Mom is the one who asked for it,[=/\=]  said a teenage girl who came into view.  Adriana noted that like her brother she was similar looking to Ben but she had a Bajoran nose; clearly this was “Dahlia” who they had been discussing.

“I asked for you to come,” Xana pointed out.  Inhaling she said, “Like you asked to go see Jake because he was, and I quote, “more cool since he can do stuff as he’s not dying” unquote.”

Dahlia flushed at that, Ben began yelling, and Jake glared at Dahlia.  “Basta,” Xana said in her native tongue.  “I know that...let’s call it what it is, my dying has been hardest on you and Ben and Erika and Gavi.  I know,” Xana said, as her voice broke as she listed out all 4 of her children.  “And I am so proud of all of you.  I’m proud of how you helped me, Dahlia, with my paperwork on Bolarus IX so if I need advanced medicine and with my will.  I’m proud of you Ben, how you lined up all my medicine every day.  I never asked for your help, but you gave it.  I’m proud of your brother and sister too, because they stepped up, and if something were to have happened to Jake, they agreed to raise you two.  But...it’s time now for you two to go live with your father.  You were right, Dahlia.  You should have fun, there’s no reason to feel guilty about that Dahlia.  And bring your Tribbles, Ben, because no one else will take care of them, ok?”

[=/\=] Okay,[=/\=]  both Ben and Dahlia muttered.  

“Good,” Xana sighed as she leaned back.  “Te amo,” she said.

“Love you too,” the kids replied.  

Xana’s violet eyes flittered up to Jake’s one more time, and they exchanged a look, but they said nothing.  There really was nothing more to say.

The transmission ended, probably by one of the kids, maybe by a Tribble, who knew.  For several moments Xana and Adriana stayed in silence, letting the peace wash over them.  Finally Xana said, “You asked me “Did I think I could have done it?” What we all thought Ya’Han did...run away for love?” Adriana...you know what it would probably make me the worst Ambassador ever but when I thought Ya’Han did run away for love, part of me inside cheered her on.  There is always going to be someone to do our jobs; someone better, someone faster, someone smarter.  But we are the only ones who can live our lives, the only ones who can love the people we do the way we do.”

The Junior Ambassador cleared her throat and finally asked, “I take it that was the divorced out of “died, missing, divorced”?”

Hearing the note of incredulity in the other woman’s voice Xana said nothing for a moment before finally replying.  “Sometimes the greatest act of loving someone means letting them go so they can be happy somewhere else.”

=/\=
Sarah Albertini-Bond

USS ANUBIS NCC 18501
M14-P009: USS ANUBIS: Stark: 34003.1600 ("Loneliness")
"Loneliness"
[previous (ANU) "Emergency Transmission" / (BAS) "Twelve Days to Go"]

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Setting: SPHINX, Flight Deck
Stardate: 34003.1600

The SPHINX was as quiet on the inside as it was dark on the outside. The small ship was engulfed in a bubble of complete silence and darkness ensuring that everyone was lost in his or her own thoughts. After all that had taken place, it was not difficult to understand why that silence persisted with such tenacity.

Ya'Han had turned her back on the life and people she knew all because of her feelings for him. As pleased as he was about that outcome, the clone also felt a twinge of remorse for what he had helped bring to be. The woman sitting next to him at the controls of the craft was remarkable and he knew her to be destined for much greater things than being the Chief of Security on board a ship. Her bloodline alone demanded that she be more than she currently was, and her skills, as well as her passion, would make it so that nothing got in her way. It was just unfortunate that the life she knew had to be left behind in order for her to embrace this new path.  It was easy to see that the choice she made was weighing heavily on her as feelings of loneliness sneaked into her mind from time to time.

Jayson understood those feelings all too well. The sight of all those dead bodies found throughout the cloning facility on KTARIS had made him feel remarkably small and alone. As a Shadow clone, he knew that he was part of something much larger, and yet he could not help but feel isolated and alone. Where there should have been hundreds, there stood only one, him. His loyalty to Mordana and other Shadow Operatives had been dread into him, giving him clarity of purpose like nothing else could, but something still stirred deep within him. Not only did he possess the memories of the original Jayson Stark, but he also possessed the admiration and overpowering feelings for the Nylaan woman.

As a clone, he could imagine how Mordana felt after seeing so many lifeless copies of herself. She was not afraid of death; none of them were as that was also part of the genetic makeup, but it made sense that the Lokustaar had never expected loneliness to be a factor in any of this. The race was connected in a way that even surpassed the Borg hive mentality, at least while they were in their home dimension. Here, in this dimension, the individual Lokustaar were just that, alone and separated from the others, at least that would be until the communications array on KTARIS went into fully active mode.  This would allow the Lokustaar to regain their connectivity but it would not change the way the clones felt or dealt with the universe around them. No matter what happened, they would be forever doomed to be individual pawns in this game of galactic conquest.

Like the man he had been made to be though, Jayson felt both the full extent of this loneliness as well as the cure for it. Bringing about the darkness that the Lokustaar desired to see spread through the whole of the multiverse was not an issue for him, that was as long as Ya'Han was there by his side. Of course, there was no way for him to openly admit to this, as it would confirm to Mordana that he was not the clone he had been meant to be. Therefore, he had no other choice but to suffer in silence, the cure to his loneliness sitting a single arms-length away, close enough for him to touch her and dream of a life that he would never be permitted to live.

"This ship will be released in about two hours," Mordana said, the Shadow Operative had appeared behind the other two passengers like a ghost, unseen and unheard. "We will leave the SPHINX behind and transfer over to another vessel which will bring us to our final destination."

"Why leave the SPHINX behind?" Ya'Han asked.

"The ship, although small, does possess technology that could prove useful to us," Jayson added in support of the question spoken by the Nylaan.

"I am still not entirely convinced that the ANUBIS is not able to track this craft," Mordana hissed. "Therefore, we will be leaving it behind and see if they manage to find it."

"The ANUBIS managing to find this craft does not mean that Ya'Han betrayed us," Jayson quickly said seeing what Mordana was hinting to. "Captain Morningstar is highly driven and a well-experienced officer who is not just going to give up because there is nothing for him to track. If we leave the SPHINX behind, he will find it, that I have no doubts about."

"I have disabled all of the tracking systems and the camouflage of the outer hull will effectively make sure that no one can see the SPHINX, but that will only last for as long as the power cells remained charged. As soon as the power goes dead, the craft will just be a piece of debris that will be easily detected by any ship traveling within a few lightyears of its location," Ya'Han explained.

"Even if it is not the ANUBIS who initially discovers the SPHINX, it will not take long for news of the find to reach the Captain and he will come to investigate," Jayson added.

"You almost sound like you fear for them," Mordana said while glaring down at the clone of Jayson Stark. "I hope they come to investigate because we will be waiting for them. Maybe I should have you both remain on board to ensure that the bait is juicy enough for them to take it. The plan was for us to gain control of the ANUBIS, as this failed I see no reason to allow that ship and its crew to live. They managed to escape unharmed from KTARIS, now I want to make sure that they pose no threat to our continued plans."

"Leaving us behind would be a tactical error on your part," Ya'Han said as she stood to stand face-to-face with Mordana. "You have already underestimated Morningstar and his crew and look where it has brought you. Do you truly believe that neither Shar'El nor him would not suspect a trap when they see the SPHINX floating in space? Even with three Lokustaar ships hiding nearby, I would not put it past them to find a way to scoop up the craft and get out before the trap can be closed. If we are still on board, it would give our adversaries two pawns for them to use against you and the others. If you trust us so little, your only course of action is to kill us both here and now, sending a clear message to the ANUBIS that you are deadly serious in achieving your objective."

Although the idea of being unceremoniously terminated was not at all pleasant, Jayson could not help but be in awe at the way Ya'Han handled the situation. Her lack of fear made her a formidable adversary to a race that thrives in creating that particular emotion and reaction in others. This made the Nylaan worthy of being considered as an ally, something that the clone figured had played in Mordana tolerating her for as long as she had.

The Shadow Operative locked eyes with the exiled Nylaan, the two women silently sizing the other one. Jayson feared that they might start exchanging blows and silently he hoped for the expertise of the Chief of Security to give her the edge in order to claim victory. After several longs seconds, Mordana took a step back.  "You may end up being more useful than I first believed you to be," she said glaring at the clone. "You certainly have more potential that this clone.  We will be leaving the SPHINX in two hours, be ready." With that said, she turned and made her way back to the rear of the craft leaving the other two to think about what had just happened.

"If you didn't believe me before, I hope that you will now," Jayson said, keeping his eyes on the corridor through which Mordana had vanished.

"I know," she said with a faint smile. "I belong here, but I fear that I might not able to win these little arguments much longer. Sooner or later she is going to stop backing down. She has some major misgivings about my being here but she also has a plan, a plan that will not happen if I am not part of the bait, be it willingly or not. Sooner or later, she is going to see me as being more of a pain than I am worth."

"I won't let that happen," Jayson said with absolute conviction, allowing the feelings the felt for her to be openly voiced, even if only for a very short moment.

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M14-P010: USS ANUBIS: Lopez: 34003.1600 ("Personal Sacrifice")
-=-=-
"Personal Sacrifice"
[Previous post: (ANU) "Loneliness" & (BAS) "Twelve Days to Go"]
-=-=-

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Counselor's Office
Stardate: 34003.1600

Adriana sat alone in her office; the flickering light of a single candle set on the table in front of her was the only illumination in the entire room. Xana's earlier admission had struck a nerve with the Counselor and to be honest Lopez was not entirely sure why. All she knew was that she found herself tittering on the edge of tears ever since.

"Some top-notch Counselor you turned out to be," Amanda quipped, the hallucination of the twin sister having appeared on the couch set on the other side of the table where the lonesome candle was. "One little admission, which in all honesty, you should have expected at least on some level, and here you are alone in your office ready to let the waterworks loose. How did you ever make it this far?"

"You are an insensitive BIT..." Adriana stopped herself short then drew a long deep breath as she reminded herself that the woman sitting in front of her was not actually there. "Xana let go of her husband and her family to spare them having to deal with her illness. She loved them enough to let them go at a time when she needed help and support the most."

"Alright," the hallucination shrugged. "That does not explain why you are acting like this." Amanda paused before leaning over the table so that the flickering light of the candle touched her face. "You have no husband or children, so why are you fighting back the waterworks?"

The expression of quiet sadness on the woman's face quickly morphed into erupting anger as she mirrored her sister's stance over the table. "I do not have a husband or children because of you! I left mom and dad because of you. I joined Starfleet because of you. I am here, dealing with one of the greatest threats we have ever faced as a species instead of enjoying a quiet peaceful life because of you. I abandoned EVERYTHING to go looking for my sister who I have not seen since the age of 6, which was two DECADES ago. I gave up having a life to go looking for you!"

Amanda smiled a smile of confident revelation, which was a reaction that stunned the sister. "You forget to mention that it is because of me that you made it through the Academy. It is because of me that you survived the attack on the KROGEN, and that is was me who helped you keep it together on CAIT.  If it were not for me being there by your side, that you wanted me or not, how many people would not have benefited from your help? You certainly would not have become friends with Satella. I would also like to point out that I am the reason why you are able to face the things that you do not want to otherwise. I am your conscience, that little voice in the back of your mind that tells you what you don't want to hear and makes you see things from a different perspective."

"You may be a great many things, but a *little voice* in the back of my mind is certainly not it," Adriana said before letting out a long sigh. "I gave up everything for you because I love you and felt incomplete without you. Xana gave up her family because she loved them, and here I am on the other side of that equation with nothing because I loved you more than mom and dad."

"I doubt it is that simple," Amanda added. "I am sure that there is a certain level of guilt in there somewhere, just like there is with Xana. She likely feels guilty for being ill the way she is even though it is not her fault. It is that guilt that made her push her family away, and it is that same general guilt that made you do the same with our parents. It was not her fault that she got sick, nor was it your fault that I vanished, yet you both were driven by that guilt. Her family, just as ours, understand what happened and the reasons behind it. That they agree with it or not has nothing to do with this. In some ways, I think that both her family and ours have come to accept this better than you two have individually. It is always easier to sacrifice one's self instead of fighting on and dragging everyone around you in no matter what might happen."

"We still have hope," Adriana said. "We both do. Xana in that a cure can be found and me in that one day you will be found."

"Hope is only a small part of the equation," the mental projection of the missing sister continued. "You can hope all you want, but if you are not actively working and doing everything you can to make things happen, hope is nothing more than a dream, a fantasy that has been accepted to be something that can never come to pass. Xana may have hope, but if she is not fighting for it, if she is not driven to stay alive to be with her family, the outcome is inevitable. Remember what that mathematics professor used to say at the Academy, you have a 100% chance of failing anything that you do not try to do.  Hope does not change that. Imagine if you please that Captain Morningstar only hoped to find Ya'Han instead of facing the hostile universe that is out there. Do you think she would ever come back to us?  Xana is in the same situation if she accepts her fate, there is a 100% chance that she will die sooner than everyone else hoped, and if you don't fight for me the odds are the same that this hallucination is the only thing of your twin sister you will ever see. Self-sacrifice may be an honorable thing to do, at least according to some, but it is?"

"I need to speak to Xana," the Counselor said. "Computer, lights!"

The room instantly became filled with light showing an empty couch where a sister had been only seconds before. With a determined expression on her face, Adriana blew out the candle and exited her office. Hope would not be the only thing the Ambassador and Junior Ambassador would be claiming to have from this moment on.

-=-=-
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Holodeck 3
Stardate: 34003.1630

Adriana quickly made her way to the 'pretzel chamber' and looked inside at the Ambassador who was in quiet contemplation.

"Is everything alright?" Xana asked, seeing the tale-tale signs of emotional turmoil on the face of the woman looking at her.

"Everything will be, that is as soon as you get out of that contraption and do more than just hope for things to happen. We both have a family that is expecting us to be there for them, no matter how difficult things might be. Your children need you, just as much as my sister does."

"Your sister?" The Bolian/Human woman asked perplexed. "I do not recall seeing the name of a sibling in your file.

"Adriana?" Satella interjected, although here for another reason the Doctor had quickly picked up on the conversation and its focus. "This may not be the place of time to speak of this."

The Counselor smiled, a smile that immediately made the twin think of the one her sister had recently given her. "You like mysteries, right?" Adriana asked of Xana. "Well, call it an incentive. You get out of this chamber healthy and ready to face the future and I will share a secret with you, a secret that only one other person knows."

Xana's purple eyes bounced between Satella and Adriana indicating that she figured out who the keeper of that secret was while still having no clues as to what that particular secret entailed.

-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor & Junior Ambassador
USS ANUBIS
M14-P011: USS ANUBIS: Bruxa: 34003.1645 ("Working Hard")
=-=
"Working Hard"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Personal Sacrifice" / (BAS) "Twelve Days to Go"]
=-=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Holodeck 3
Stardate: 34003.1645

In this job, there were days when everything worked the way it was supposed to. Today was not one of those days. Yes, certain things had gone their way, like the explosion in the Grand Garden. Getting Tanith back had also been a welcome turn of events. Learning that Ya'Han was not a traitor or fugitive was also incredible news. The problem was that it did not seem t be enough to tip the balance onto the good side of things. Xana's condition had deteriorated to such a point that the Bolian/Human woman was a prisoner of the 'pretzel chamber'. Everyone was working like mad to find a solution but so far, nothing they did was making a difference. If no breakthrough was found, the Ambassador would not be here to see the next day.

Satella was aware that Adriana had joined them in the Holodeck. Maybe the CNS was trying to cheer their patient, or maybe she was gathering the opinions of a dying woman. Either way, the CMO could not afford the time to investigate. Every minute they lost trying to find a way to stop and reverse the illness was one less minute the Ambassador had to live.  In retrospect, saving Jason's life had been easy compared to this. At least the physician knew exactly what to do then, but here she felt like a first-year medical student.

While Adriana and Xana explored the mystery that the CNS had mentioned, the CMO found herself unoccupied. In an effort to remedy the situation, Satella turned to the CSciO and CEO.  "Maya," Doctor Bruxa said moving in between the two women. "Did you try boosting the temporal field?"

"Without being properly modulated, the field could affect biomatter in the opposite way that we are trying to achieve. Instead of reversing the neurological damage, it could actually accelerate it. We also have to keep in mind the possible cellular repercussions. Stopping the neurological degradation was not easy, but actually reversing it is proving to be much more complicated. We have to carefully target the effects to make sure that we do not end up creating a worse problem. Although unlikely, we could, in theory, end up causing a complete cellular collapse. Cells were never meant to have their inner processes shift into reverse. We need to focus the effect on the nerves alone without affecting any of the nearby biological matter."

"Doctor," Sonja abruptly interrupted. "We have the scientific and engineering aspects of this figured out. We know what it is that we must do, so please, let us do it. All we require from you at this time is to keep an eye on Xana's vitals. Leave the rest to us."

The CEO did not sound pleased but Satella was not certain as to the actual reason. Was Xana's situation the reason why Sonja was on the testy side of things or was it Ya'Han's fault. The way the engineer left the observation lounge had made it evident that she was not pleased. Their Chief of Security was not a traitor, but that did not change what had happened. Being shot by her friend was not something she was soon about to forget or forgive.

Thinking it best to leave Sonja and Maya to their work, Satella took several steps back. From where she now stood, the CMO could see everyone in the Holodeck. Maya and Sonja were working on the machine while Adriana and Xana were talking.  All four were mumbling or whispering to their respective partner leaving Bruxa alone and feeling useless. It was safe to say that the Ambassador was in good hands, even if those hands were not those of the physician.

=-=
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Sickbay
Stardate: 34003.1700

Satella returned to her domain. At least here, no one would tell her what she could or could not do. With the ANUBIS waiting for a safe opportunity to return to KTARIS, things were quiet.

The CMO approached the other patient under her care. Jayson's vitals were strong and it would not take too long before he was awake. Of course, that would create a whole new problem as he would question Ya'Han's whereabouts. How were any of them suppose to inform the man that the woman he loved was not on board? If she had been planet side, the explanation might not have been that difficult. Explaining that she was now undercover within the Lokustaar fleet would be a challenge. Detailing that she was there with a clone created from his own biology would certainly not be easily accepted. To reveal that the clone possessed his memories and feelings would be traumatic if not flat out devastating.

On one hand, Satella wanted Jayson to wake up. In doing so h would demonstrate that the operation had been a success. On the other hand, she hoped that he would remain unconscious for a while longer. At least that way he would be spared the news of what had 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]
M14-P012: USS ANUBIS: Morningstar: 34005.1500 ("A Friend In Need")
##########
"A Friend In Need"
Previous posts (ANU) "Working Hard" / (BAS) "Stars"
##########

“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out."
– Walter Winchell

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Observation Lounge
Stardate: 34005.1500

It had been over two days since the ANUBIS was chased out of the Ktarian system by the Lokustaar and the Native American believed that the time was long overdue for them to stop playing 'hide the starship'.  The meeting of the senior officers was called and Morningstar was pleased to see a couple more people present than he had originally expected. Although they appeared weaker than normal; Ambassador Xana Bonviva and Lt. Jayson Stark joined the gathering so that they would be in the know as to what had and would happen next.

"Let us start with a quick recap," Erik said as he stood at the end of the long table. "Our initial mission, to locate and apprehend the Shadow Operative known as Mordana, failed drastically once again. As I saw this outcome coming, I was forced to take advantage of the opportunity that presented itself, this regardless of the risks involved. The possible benefits, namely putting an end to this war was just something that could not be overlooked or ignored. Therefore, under my direct orders, Lt. Ya'Han followed the clone we had captured while claiming to have feelings for him. She also acted to support her claim of allegiance to the Lokustaar. The act was necessary to give as much credibility to her defection as possible, and so far it seems to have worked.  I am sure that I speak for her as well as me when I say that I am sorry for not telling you the truth beforehand. There was simply no time for that."

"If we had known, our reactions to everything that followed would not have been genuine and could have risked not only the mission but Ya'Han's life," Counsellor Lopez offered. "You did what was required and I am sure that we all understand the importance of what it is we are trying to accomplish." Adriana shot a quick glance at Sonja who still displayed clear signs of resentment about this situation.

"How do we get her back?" Jayson asked, the Chief of Operations sounding very keen on getting underway in order to secure the safe return of his beloved. To him, all of this talking, blaming and apologizing was nothing more than a waste of time. The time for action was now.

"Commander," the Captain said as he looked over to Shar'El, passing the next part of the meeting to her.

"The IGC has been closely monitoring the KTARIS communications net, using the listening stations we left behind as well as the channels normally used by the Orion Syndicate," the First Officer reported. "As much as I hate to admit it, the Syndicate did an impressive job in getting the local government to turn against Mordana and the Lokustaar by using what happened to Alus Pami as a catalyst. Although the government building is back under the full control of the local authorities, they have not yet been able to gain access to the lowermost level where the communications array was discovered."

"That thing is huge and was extremely well protected when I came across it," Tanith noted. "Even if the Ktarians did manage to reach that sublevel, which I am sure has been blocked or even sealed, I doubt the local authorities would be able to come anywhere close to the device itself."

"The tactical analysis performed by the IGC and myself supports that opinion," Shar'El added. "Although it was confirmed that Mordana left KTARIS using the SPHINX, there is no report of the Lokustaar doing the same, so it is prudent to believe that they are still there protecting the array even though we have not been able to detect any signs of them on the surface. We also have to take into account that those three capital vessels that chased us out of the system could still be somewhere in the system even though our sensors have not picked up any traces of them. As great as the modifications to our instruments are, they are far from perfect, and that means the Shadows can still hide from us, even if not as well as they used to."

"Why are we bothering with this array then?" Jayson demanded. "We should be going straight after Ya'Han. After two days, there is no telling what trouble she might be in. She could be in dire need of our help."

"Captain," Xana said, joining in on the conversation. "As much as I understand the need for you to rush in after your missing officer, the ANUBIS must return to KTARIS in order to show support to the local government. I am sure that despite Mordana no longer being there, the Lokustaar and their allies are trying to shift the blame of what happened back onto the shoulders of the Federation. Our presence there will help confirm the story created by the Orion Syndicate and make it that much more difficult for the Shadows to regain control. We must meet with the Ktarian government, even if only for a short time to solidify this alliance of need."

"I am guessing that you are offering your services for this meeting with the local government?" Erik asked, looking over to Doctor Bruxa to make sure that the Ambassador was physically able to perform the mentioned task.

"Lt. Paquette and Lt. Commander Maya were able to modify the temporal energy chamber," the Doctor explained. "For now, Ambassador Bonviva *must* spend a minimum of 12 hours per day in the chamber in order to avoid the neurological damage increasing and making things worse."

"In other words," Xana interjected, "Yes, I am volunteering to go down to KTARIS. I need to do something other than being locked in that pretzel chamber; no matter how better it makes me feel. That contraption may be helping my body, but I can assure you that it is not doing anything for my mind."

"I will accompany her down to the planet surface," Counsellor Lopez offered. "As the Junior Ambassador, I should also be present and it will give me the opportunity to make sure that the Ambassador does not overexert herself or finds some way to avoid returning to the ANUBIS."

"Et tu, Brute?" the Bolian/Human woman teased, the smile on her lips indicating that she actually welcomed the presence of the Junior Ambassador on this mission.

"Then it is settled, we will be heading back to KTARIS and while the Ambassadorial delegation is on the planet, we will be looking for clues as to the whereabouts of Mordana and Ya'Han."

"What about that data chip Ya'Han gave to Tanith?" Doctor Bruxa inquired.

"After making sure that it was not some sort of trap of Trojan horse, we were able to retrieve some information from it," the Chief Engineer snarled, not appearing or sounding in any way happy.

"Some of the data dealt with the array," Maya said. "Ya'Han provided us with everything she could given the circumstances but there are a lot of details missing. We can confirm that the array will enable all of the Lokustaar to communicate with one another on a level well beyond anything we know. There is just not enough data to understand how this will work or how to counter it."

"The data also mentioned other cloning facilities scattered throughout the Galaxy," Shar'El added. "Unfortunately, there is no mention of how many of where they might be. Our guess is that Ya'Han was not aware of that information when she uploaded the data unto the chip."

"She was able to give us one thing though," the FCO continued. "We have the locations of a few dozen Lokustaar bases set up on non-aligned planets as well as a few Federation worlds. That may give us a good starting point to start looking for Lt. Ya'Han."

"Well, what are we waiting for? Let's get going!" Jayson was clearly not in the mood for chatting, preferring swift actions.

"All right, Lieutenant. Red alert! All hands to battle stations!" The entire ship fell under the red hue of the status lights as the senior officers quickly filed out of the Observation Lounge. "Counsellor Lopez, Doctor Bruxa, Lt. Stark, please stay."

"Yes, Captain?" The Chief of Operations asked once everyone else was out of the room. Jayson seemed rather annoyed that he was being held back instead of participating in the preparations for their chivalrous return to KTARIS.

"I just wanted to make sure that you are all right, Lieutenant," Erik reassured. "I am certain that our good Doctor will confirm that the operation you underwent was very taxing physically, and the news of Ya'Han being out there instead of here is not making things any easier for you on an emotional level. As we head back to KTARIS, I need to make sure that my senior officers are ready for the tasks to come."

"I am fine Captain," Stark confirmed without hesitation. "I may not be at 100%, but I am more than capable of helping with what we need to do, plus I am sure that you would rather have me at Operations rather than someone else. If there is a way to locate Ya'Han, you know that I will be the one to find it.  I can also provide an insight that you lacked until now. If the clone was created using my biological and psychological identities, I know how he thinks just as much as he knows how I think. When I was unconscious and recuperating from the operation, he had a clear advantage, but now that I am back, I can use that same advantage to give us the edge we need."

"Very well," the Native American accepted before releasing two of the three officers to their respective duties. With a quick look, the Captain instructed the Counsellor to remain behind so that they could have a quick one-on-one chat about what had been said. "What is your take on all of this?"

"To what are you specifically referring to?" Adriana asked, a devilish grin dancing on her lips. "Are you asking me about Ambassador Bonviva's acceptance of her situation? On Jason's excessive need to show that he can and will save Ya'Han? On the still very palatable anger of our Chief Engineer or on your own insecurities towards the way the crew might see you after what you asked Ya'Han to do and how well she performed the deception?"

The Native American hesitated to offer a reply; not having expected to be so bluntly put on the spot, but then again, that was what the Ship's Counsellor was supposed to do when dealing with the ship's Commanding Officer. "All of them," Erik finally offered before leaning back against the edge of the conference table.

"All right, I will give you my report in that same order," the Counsellor said. "Xana is doing her best while walking the thin line that separates what she knew would happen and what we are offering her. Although it is not as simple as that, I can describe it as her standing on the edge of light and dark, of life and death. Although she had come to terms with her mortality, I believe that we all have managed to make her see that there is another possible outcome. For the time being though, I believe she prefers to focus on the task at hand instead of her own situation. The bonus for us is that as long as she is working on helping us find Ya'Han, she is not simply letting her life slip between her fingers. I am certain that she will be of great use to us in the days to come."

"That is indeed very good news," the Native American smiled.

"As for Jayson, he is not holding you in any way responsible for what happened," Adriana explained. "He is just too preoccupied with finding Ya'Han and making sure she is safe and sound. I cannot predict what he will do should we fail in that goal, but I honestly hope that we will never find out. Sonja, on the other hand, stands on the opposite side of that emotional scale. Her anger is quite real and threatens to escape her control at any moment. She feels utterly betrayed by Ya'Han and you for having put her and everyone else through that ordeal. Her anger is clearly misplaced, but it is giving her a drive that would not be there otherwise. In her case, it is our finding Ya'Han and bringing her back safe and sound that frightens me as this will give Sonja the opportunity to unleash her rage."

"Great," the Captain sighed while rolling his eyes. "It is the Kobayashi Maru scenario all over again. No matter what we do, no matter how this ends, we will end up with one officer wanting to see me floating out the nearest airlock."

"I doubt that it will come to that, Captain," Adriana reassured with a smile. "The crew understands the necessity of what you did. The Lokustaar are an adversary the likes of which we have never seen before requiring unorthodox methods in order to effectively fight against them. The crew's trust in your judgment has not changed, and they will follow your orders no matter where they lead us."

"Thank you, Counsellor," Erik said with a clear hint of relief. "We have a great many obstacles to overcome, so we might as well get started. As my father used to say, let's do this one catastrophe at a time."

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 34005.1800

In order to avoid being easily detected, the ANUBIS had snaked its way back to the KTARIS system using whatever they could to hide their approach. Even under the protection of their cloaking armour, the Native American did not want to take any risks. These many detours also provided the crew with a little more time to scan and search for possible clues as to the whereabouts of their Chief of Security.

"We are now entering the Ktaris system," Ensign Jones announced, the FCO ready to deal with whatever might be heading their way.

=/\= IGC to bridge, no signs of the Lokustaar capital vessels. If they are still here, they have managed to find a way to avoid our sensors, =/\= Commander Shar'El reported.

"Makes sense," the Chief of Operations noted. "If the Ktarians no longer want to have anything to do with them, it would only make the situation tenser if their ships were seen floating about the star system." Without realizing it, Jayson glanced over to the tactical station as he said this expecting Ya'Han to be there and offer some supporting comment to his statement.

"Captain," Commander Maya called out from the science station. "Sensors are picking up a faint trace of dispersed ionized particles that most likely came from the SPHINX's propulsion system as the pushed into a higher orbit. The problem is that the trail seems to suddenly end as if the craft was plucked from where it was. One of the three capital vessels or maybe a fourth one could have swooped in and taken the craft making it impossible for us to track. Given that the SPHINX does not warp capable, it makes sense that hey would do this."

"It might make sense, but that is not going to make our job any easier," Counsellor Lopez said, the woman standing right next to the Captain in order to offer support should the need arose.

"Helm, bring us into high geosynchronous orbit over the main Ktarian government building," the Native American ordered. "Commander Shar'El, keep your eyes open for those Lokustaar vessels. It would be nice if we could avoid getting surprised by them."

=/\= Understood, =/\= the First Officer acknowledged.

"Bridge to Ambassador Bonviva, stand by for transport. Please do what you have to do as quickly as possible. The Ktarians might not want the Lokustaar to be here, but I doubt that their desire is going to be enough to force the Shadows out of the system, especially considering that their communications array is still there."

=/\= Adriana and I will be as quick as diplomatically possible, =/\= Xana replied.

"We will reach orbit in about 7 minutes," Tanith reported, the woman was as calm as could be despite the situation they faced.  As odd as the Ensign could be at times, her natural demeanour made it clear that this was where she belonged.

=====
Setting: SPACE, In orbit over KTARIS
Stardate: 34005.1825

Under the protection of its cloaking armour, the ANUBIS hung in the emptiness of space, hovering over the main government building where Ambassador Bonviva and Counsellor Lopez had been down to. While they waited for their return, the entire crew was looking over every cubic centimeter that surrounded them in search for something, anything that might help them find their missing Chief of Security.

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 34005.1826

=/\= Sensors are still not picking up any signs of the Shadows, =/\= Shar'El reported from the IGC. =/\= Either they have left, are hiding under some very big rock or they have managed to find a way to circumvent our modified sensors. Whatever the case may be, I do not like it at all. The techs here, as well as I, are not used to having anything be able to hide from us, and we are finding this very annoying. =/\=

"If being annoyed is the worst we end up suffering from, I think we will be able to consider ourselves lucky," Counsellor Lopez chuckled. There was really nothing funny or amusing about their situation, but Adriana seemed determined not to let anyone fall pretty to their, negative thoughts.

"Captain!" Maya called out in somewhat of a panic. "Reading a huge build-up of energy coming from the government building where the communications array is under."

"Is it some sort of weapon?" The Captain asked thinking that maybe there was more to the large underground structure that had been discovered.

"Unsure," Maya reported, "but the energy clearly possesses a strong dimensional signature. Whatever is it did not originate from this universe."

"The energy wave in increasing exponentially," Jayson reported. "It will hit us is just a few seconds."

Of course, by then, it was too late for anyone to do anything other than brace for impact. What surprised everyone was the lack of any sort of signs that the shockwave had actually happened.

"Report!" The Native American demanded.

"A shockwave of dimensional energy was generated by the Lokustaar communications array and it did hit us, but so far we are not picking up any effects," Maya reported sounding glad and perplexed all at the same time.

=/\= IGC to the bridge, Captain, we have no idea what that energy wave was but it is spreading fast, =/\= Shar'El reported. =/\= We have no idea what it was meant for, but we can tell you this, the dimensional energy has made every Lokustaar vessel within sensor range visible. Only one if the three ships that chased us out is still here and it is hiding in close orbit of one of the moons of the sixth planet in this system. =/\=

"Why would they make it impossible for their ships to hide f on our instruments?" Tanith inquired aloud.

"Forget the ships," the Chief of Operations chimed in. "Sensors are picking up every Lokustaar on the planet, this no matter how deep underground they are. Whatever that dimensional energy wave was, it is making them glow like lights at Christmas."

"Captain Morningstar to Ambassador Bonviva, please respond. This is a priority one communiqué," Erik said after opening a channel.

=/\= Yes Captain? =/\= The Ambassador replied, a hint of surprise in her voice.

"It seems that we have new information available, and we are sending it down to you now. You might want to share this data with the Ktarians, whatever you decide to do though, your rapid return to the ship is imperative. We are not completely certain as to what happened exactly but it looks like we might have caught a break. A very huge break that might have changed everything."

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

Commanding Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501

AND

Lt. Commander Elan Fairborn [Access Character BIO for Elan Fairborn]
Robotics Engineering Officer
NEW ALEXANDRIA
M14-P013: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: 34005.1835 ("Beginning Of The End")
=-=
"Beginning Of The End"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "A Friend in Need" by Francois / (BAS) "Stars" by Karen]
=-=

Setting:  USS ANUBIS, IGC
Stardate: 34005.1835

Shar'El could not believe what she was seeing. The ANUBIS' sensors were picking up every Lokustaar biosignature no matter how far they were. For the race known as the Shadows, their days of hiding had come to an end in a single epic explosion.

"Commander," one of the IGC techs said, the crewmember showing a level of emotions that was unusual for anyone working in this department. "We are receiving priority reports from our NEW ALEXANDRIA Operatives inside the Romulan Star Empire and Cardassian Union; several Lokustaar vessels have been engaged."

"This was likely just as much of a surprise for them as it was for us," Shar'El said, leaning back into her chair. "For a race that works unseen from the shadows, suddenly being visible with nowhere to hide must be quite a shock. I am sure that they will adapt quickly enough, but this is the time for us all to strike while we can."

"We are also intercepting news reports of creatures matching the descriptions of the Lokustaar appearing on several planets triggering an immediate reaction from the local population," another tech reported. "Armed forces have been dispatched to deal with these demons."

The First Officer smiled. The Lokustaar's modus operandi was to create fear and chaos, but not that same fear would play against them. Without being able to influence others without being seen, the presence and appearance of these walking nightmares would prove enough to set the public at large against them. The War of Shadows was far from over, but this unexpected turn of events would drastically shift the momentum.  All that was left for those on the side of light to do was to take full advantage of this and deal a crimpling blow to the Lokustaar, making sure that they would never again think of invading this dimension.

With the Lokustaar openly challenged on every front, the First Officer became curious as to the state of the planets where Shadow bases had been reported to be by Ya'Han. The list of worlds was likely incomplete given the manner in which the race operated, but the twelve names provided were enough to gauge the scale of the hold the Shadows had on this dimension. Although Lt. Stark was aware of the number of planets listed, the FCO had not known the exact content of the said list, in fact, only those responsible for deciphering the data knew about the specifics of the data provided by Ya'Han.

A couple of the worlds on the list were not at all surprising, the governments controlling them being a perfect match for the underhanded chaotic ways of the Lokustaar.

* CARDASSIA PRIME, home of the Cardassian Union.
* REMUS, the twin world of ROMULUS and home of the Remans.

Other locations on that list were a little more surprising but Shar'El could see the advantages of establishing a base of operation on those particular worlds, giving the Lokustaar easy access to several other planets and systems.

* MARIAH IV, a well-known and established port-of-call along the Valerian smuggling route.
* THERA, home of the Xyrillian, a race under the control of the Gorn Hegemony.
* OTAR II, an uninhabited planet located within hours of travel of several other systems.
* MIRIDIAN VI, a planet located near the Romulan Neutral Zone.
* CATULLA, a planet located deep inside Federation space.

The next few worlds on Ya'Han's list were the most surprising ones due to the implications the presence of a Lokustaar base created by being there.

* DENEB KAITOS V, the location of the Federation Academy of Sciences.
* MAZAR, home of the Mazarite and location of a large number of interplanetary embassies.
* OLTHAR PRIME, the place of birth of Elan Fairborn.

The last two planets on the list were the most surprising, not because of their locations or political associations but rather because of the personal link they possessed with certain members of the ANUBIS' crew.

* ULLIA, the homeworld of the ANUBIS' own First Officer Shar'El
* NYLA IV, place of birth of Lt. Ya'Han, the ANUBIS' Chief of Security, the woman who was now undercover inside the Lokustaar forces.

With pressure coming from all sides against the Lokustaar, it made sense that Mordana would select one of these worlds in search of refuge, the problem was figuring out which one before it was too late. The knowledge of this list did make things a little easier for the crew of the ANUBIS but it still left them with a sizable set of problems, each planet offering unique challenges and obstacles.

One thing was certain though, having Ambassador Bonviva on board the ANUBIS would prove to be a great advantage, of course, that was as long as the Human/Bolian was able to stay standing for more than a few minutes at a time. That task would become the responsibility of not only Doctor Bruxa but also of their Chief Engineer and Chief Science Officer with possible support from the Ship's Counselor.

This mission would draw upon the skills and knowledge of everyone, and the possible benefits at the end, that is to see the War of Shadows end with a victory for the inhabitants of this dimension, would ensure the dedication of everyone involved. First things first though, Xana and Adriana needed to return to the ANUBIS.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M14-P014: USS ANUBIS: Lopez: 34005.1845 ("A Breath of Fresh Air")
-=-=-
"A Breath of Fresh Air"
[Previous post: (ANU) "Beginning of the End" & (BAS) "Stars"]
-=-=-

Setting: KTARIS, Government Building, Waiting Room
Stardate: 34005.1845

Adriana was getting antsy. Following the communication from Captain Morningstar and the reception of the information concerning the effects of the dimensional energy wave, Xana had vanished behind closed doors, supposedly talking with one or more Ktarian officials. As a Junior Ambassador, she understood that her access to certain people and information was restricted. As a member of the senior staff of the ship giving them this crucial information Counselor Lopez thought that maybe those restrictions would have been for a brief moment lifted or ignored. Evidently, this was not the case.

Pacing back and forth in the waiting room, threatening to wear out the carpet, Adriana tried to find solace in her immediate surroundings. "At least the decor is nicer than it was in the last government building we were in," she said sounding almost as if trying to convince herself.

"You spent the greater part of your time in the sublevels dealing with a diplomat that is now laying in the ANUBIS' Sickbay as a bona fide vegetable," the illusion of the twin sister said. "Of course this place looks nicer, heck, you would likely find the inside of an airlock to be an improvement over that last place."

This was not the ANUBIS and there was no way for Adriana to know if she was being observed or if anything she said was being recorded for future analysis. This meant that the sister had no other choice but to ignore the comments of her twin, something that seemed to be getting harder and harder.

"I wonder if they have a brainwave pattern recognition system in place here," Amanda said, looking at the walls and ceiling in a way that instantly bothered the twin. "I mean, it would make sense to have that kind of system in place allowing security to monitor the thoughts of whoever was here waiting to see if they might present some sort of danger to the official government personnel. In theory, it would also permit them to gauge the mental state of anyone here to see if they are mentally stable or suffering for some sort of psychotic issue or hallucinations. Let's face it, you can never be too careful, there are a lot of nuts out there, right sis?"

Amanda was not real, and Adriana knew this. The illusion of her missing twin sister was nothing more than the creation of her own mind, a projection meant to make her face some of the unpleasant truths that surrounded her. Understanding this made it even more difficult to understand why the projection of the twin sister was so constantly mean to her. Was this some twisted perception of what she believed her sister would be had she actually been here?

"We've already gone through this, sis," Amanda sighed while walking on the couch before sitting on the upper headrest. "We have already established that you would not like having the 'nice and understanding' sister who agrees with everything you do, say or think. That would be pointless. I am here to remind you of those things that you, consciously or subconsciously, want to ignore. We both know that your greatest fear is not being unable to find me, but rather to actually find me and discover that I am not the person you have been dealing with all those years. For all you know, I might be some high-powered government official living life like a queen or some poor girl sold into slavery wondering if she will see tomorrow. That is what scares you the most, that I will not be whom you see me be now."

Again, Adriana found herself unable to react or respond to her sister, not that she needed to. The image was a projection of her own mind; therefore, she knew every thought and feelings that bounced inside her head. Unsure as to how long Xana would be in whatever meeting she had gone into, the Counselor decided to step out. At least that way she might have the chance to say something back to the annoying projection of her twin sister, regardless of how futile it might all be.

-=-=-
Setting: KTARIS, Government Building, Waiting Room
Stardate: 34005.1900  

Adriana slowly filled her lungs with one long breath, the sweet aroma of flowers overwriting everything else. Nothing had changed, this was the same world they had been on not that long ago to proceed with a prison exchange, and yet everything had changed.

The Counselor found herself walking, absentmindedly putting one foot in front of the other drawn by the freshness of the air. Even the light from the sun felt brighter, warmer, something that was scientifically impossible but psychologically made perfect sense. Following the explosion of dimensional energy, the Shadows were driven back to the realm of darkness which they called home, and the universe was celebrated this.

The sound of a commotion drew Lopez' attention to a group of Ktarian security officers. At first, the Counselor believed them to be fighting amongst one another but after closer inspection, she realized that they were attacking a single member of the Lokustaar race. The beast jerked back with each blaster hit, the creature having likely been caught by surprise on the surface desperately trying to find its way back underground.  As the assault continued, Adriana began to hear an ear-piercing screech that was soon after followed by the arachnid-like being falling to the ground. Despite being down and motionless, the weapons' fire continued relentlessly for several seconds until nothing but am unrecognizable shell was left behind.

The idea that the final battle to come would count one less creature of darkness should have made Adriana smile, maybe even cheer, but instead, the Counselor felt a twinge of pity for the being and those like it. The advantage in this War of Shadows had clearly been in the Lokustaar's favor from the start, but now the table had turned and the race of usually unseen beasts would be cast back into a darkness that they would never be able to come back from.

This was the unfortunate truth of war; one side would be victorious while the other would be defeated, but both would come to feel the pain and agony of the emptiness and devastation the conflict would leave behind. The only difference in this particular conflict was that the winning side would be the only one to feel this, as the opponent would likely become nothing more than a dismissed memory.

-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor & Junior Ambassador
USS ANUBIS
M14-P015: USS ANUBIS: Stark: 34005.1850 ("Two Sides, One Coin")
"Two Sides, One Coin"
[previous (ANU) "A Breath of Fresh Air" / (BAS) "Stars"]

[/\]
Setting: Lokustaar Vessel, Observation Chamber
Stardate: 34003.1600

Their leader, the woman known only as Mordana appeared angry, but more troubling was the fact that she seemed nervous. Since the blast of dimensional energy, everything had changed. The Lokustaar were now on the defensive, running away from conflicts that they would normally have not even been involved in. The balance in this conflict opposing the forces of light and darkness had shifted, and Mordana could feel the control she had once had slipping from her grasp.

From his station, Jayson could see angered Mordana but as much as he tried to focus his thoughts on his work, his mind kept drifting to someone else. His concerns for her were real, even more so following what had taken place. The Lokustaar forces were in disarray and the number of casualties amongst their troops and allies was quickly mounting. The clone's concerns were not for himself, but rather for her as he feared that she too might soon be amongst those who had fallen.

He needed to keep on top of things and make sure that no harm came to her.

[/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 34003.1600

Their leader, the man they knew as Captain Erik Morningstar appeared relieved, but more interesting was the fact that he seemed confident.  Since the blast of dimensional energy, everything had changed.  Since the blast of dimensional energy, everything had changed. The Lokustaar were now on the defensive, running away from conflicts that they would normally have not even been involved in.  The balance in this conflict opposing the forces of light and darkness had shifted, and Captain Morningstar could feel the control he had been so desperately trying to get a hold of finally be within his grasp.

From his station, Jayson could see the confident Captain but as much as he tried to focus his thoughts on his work, his mind kept drifting to someone else.  His concerns for her were real, even more so following what had taken place. The Lokustaar forces were in disarray and the number of casualties amongst their troops and allies was quickly mounting. The man's concerns were not for himself, but rather for her as he feared that she too might soon be amongst those who had fallen.

He and the others needed to find her quickly and before any harm came to her.

[/\]
Setting: Lokustaar Vessel, Observation Chamber
Stardate: 34003.1610

"Mordana," the clone said. "We are receiving a transmission from the GORSHEX Sector, the Cardassians managed to trap one of our capital vessels in an old minefield. The final report to CARDASSIA PRIME states that the ship is nothing more than a mass of inert black goo."

"At this rate, we may not have any ships left for us to go fight with," the Shadow Operative said barely managing to contain her anger. "We need to regroup before it is too late."

"Would that not make it easier for them to find us?" The Clone asked.

"It will also make it a lot more difficult for them to engage us," Mordana pointed out.

[/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 34003.1610

"Captain Morningstar," Jayson said. "We are receiving a transmission from the GORSHEX Sector, the Cardassians managed to trap a Lokustaar capital vessel in an old minefield.  The final report to CARDASSIA PRIME states that the ship is nothing more than a mass of inert black goo."

"At this rate, we may not have any Lokustaar ships left for us to go looking for," the Captain said sounding troubled. "As great as these victories may be, it is going to make our task that much more complicated as they will be forced to retreat and regroup."

"Would that not make it easier for us to find them?" Jayson asked.

"It will also make it a lot more difficult for us to engage them," the Captain pointed out. "Dealing with one Capital ship is one thing; dealing with a whole fleet of them is an entirely different matter."

[/\]
Setting: Lokustaar Vessel, Observation Chamber
Stardate: 34003.1615

The clone watched with dismay the data being displayed on his control panel. The Lokustaar were being challenged on every front with only a few sectors avoiding the conflict, so far. One such sector was the Nylaan system; home to the woman he had grown very fond of. Despite all that was happening, he still wanted to see her return home and claim her rightful place there. Ya'Han was too strong to be a mere follower, her destiny from the day of her birth was to lead.

[/\]
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 34003.1615

The OPS officer watched with dismay the data being displayed on his control panel. The Lokustaar were being challenged on every front with only a few sectors avoiding the conflict, so far. One such sector was the Nylaan system; home to the woman he loved beyond anything else. With all that was happening, he wondered if the Lokustaar would force her to return home where it might be safe, at least for them. Ya'Han was strong, there was no denying that, but could she manage to face her family once again?

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M14-P016: USS ANUBIS: Bonviva: 34005.1900 ("The Man By The River")
"The Man By The River"
[previous (ANU) "Two Sides, One Coin" / (BAS) "Halfway There"]


=/\=
“Honest speech does not seek secret places.”
-Saint Jerome

=/\=
Setting: KTARIS, Government Building, Tea Room
Stardate: 34005.1900

“And you expect us to believe you, after the way you treated our most exalted Diplomat,” the Ktarian junior diplomat sniffed, “that now you are coming around with some kind of offer?”

Xana said nothing as she eyed the tea, wondering if it was safe to drink.  So far none of the Ktarians in the room had reached for their drink, so she wouldn’t either.  Basic rule of diplomacy was not to touch something unless someone else had, unless you knew the other party you were with very well.  She was discussing the offer with the Junior Diplomat, and there were four guards around the room, none of whom she knew and none of whom touched the tea.  Damn shame; she was thirsty.  Attempting to shift in her seat she stifled a sigh and reframed her offer.  “We are still aligned in our goals for a safe universe, that’s never changed,” she offered up kindly.

The Ktarian Junior Diplomat bounced up and prowled around the room, as if they were a caged lion.  The Federation Ambassador was not someone that the Ktarians could turn away, which is why they had to take this meeting.  However, the Ktarian government were bound to make the Federation pay for every slight.  “You tried to take over our government.”

Xana waved her hand as if to dismiss an annoying gnat.  “Overly zealous negotiation tactic.”  Pausing for dramatic effect she pointed out, “And you had one of the most accomplished linguists held here against her will, and lured here under false pretenses.”  Looking at her nails that were in desperate need of a manicure, Xana said, “Or did you think I, and by extension the Federation, forgot that?”

“You hurt Diplomat Alus Palmi,” the Junior Diplomat pointed out.

The violet eyed Ambassador sighed.  “It’s been a long series of intense negotiations,” she pointed out.  “And we are all worn out.  He’ll be fine now that he’s home.”  Looking over at the Junior Diplomat she said quietly, “You’re not going to listen to anything I have to say, are you?”

The Junior Diplomat’s head reared back at that.  “The position of the Ktarian government is not going to be decided without our Senior Diplomat here,” he said finally.  

Sighing she leaned forward to stare at the tea, seemingly hypnotized by the amber liquid.  The Bolian/Human wondered since the experiments were seemingly not providing the same level of results if her life was really going to end soon.  Certainly she had prepared for it but to know that the anticipated was now a reality hardened in her mind.  When she thought about the end of her life, she had some thoughts and wishes; but nowhere in there did she wish to die by drinking tainted tea with the Ktarians.

Today was *not* a good day to die, Klingon philosophy be damned.

“Look, I’m aware that most see me and think of me as the Bolian Ambassador,” Xana Bonviva explained, referring to her azure skin.  Waving her hand she said, “It happens even within the Federation.  But I grew up on EARTH and I still have a home there, and I am half Terran.  And growing up I heard of a story that I’m reminded of now.

“A man lived at home alone along a mighty river, and heard a report on the news of a terrible flood to come on the news report.  But he said to himself, “I’m a good man, I pray to my gods, I do what I am told so I’ll be fine if I stay here.”  

Xana watched as the Ktarians looked at her with disinterest but she continued on.  “The flood waters, as the news said they would, came up dangerously.  Well then, the man’s neighbor came by with a boat, and the neighbor said, “Come on!  Let’s get out of here,”  And the man said, “No, I am a good man, I pray to my gods, I do what I am told, so I’ll be fine if I stay here.”  

So the neighbor went away, and the man stayed.  But the waters rose.  So the man was forced up onto his roof to survive.”  Xana watched as the Ktarians started to look at her a little more, not wanting to betray their interest in her story.  Leaning in, she said, “Now a hovercraft came by, and seeing the man on his roof, broadcast out, =/\= Come, let me help you! I’ll beam you up! =/\=  But the man shook his head and yelled back with all his might, “No, I am a good man, I pray to my gods, I do what I am told, so I’ll be fine if I stay here.” So the hovercraft left.”

At this point the Ktarians stopped feigning interest and were now standing or sitting around Xana.  Still she sat as she had been the entire time, watching each of them, as she told her story of the man by the river.  “Well the waters rose enough, and the man drowned.  After he died, he met the gods.  So there is he is before them and he said, “What happened?  I was a good man.  I prayed to you.  I did what I was told.  Why did I die?”  

Xana looked at the Ktarians, and paused before finishing up the story.  “The gods answered unanimously, “We sent you a news report, a neighbor with a boat, and hovercraft with a beam.  You shouldn’t have died.  So why are you here?”

The Federation Ambassador paused to let her story settle in before saying, “I came to you, as a representative of the Federation to tell you that Lokustaar is going to come down.  This is not the first time I’ve come to you but this the last time I’ll come to you about this.  We have new information.  You can either join us or you can continue down the path you are.  But much like the man by the river, if you do continue doing things the same, you will drown.  I’m here with a way out.”

Slowly standing up the azure woman dusted herself off and said, “By the way, leaving my Junior Ambassador alone was a mistake.  She’s been making contact with other agencies.  We’re due back to our ship.  Please let us know immediately if you wish to live or drown.”

=/\=
Sarah Albertini-Bond

USS ANUBIS NCC 18501
M14-P017: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: 34005.2000 ("Second Star To The Right")
=-=
"Second Star To The Right"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "The Man By The River" by Susan / (BAS) "Allocation Issues" by Dawn]
=-=

Setting:  USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 34005.2000

"Are we ready to go?" Captain Morningstar was ready to say farewell to KTARIS, as were the greater majority of the rest of the crew. Their last mission to that world had been a nightmare in more ways than one and as long as they remained in orbit and dealt with the local government, there was little chance that things would get any better. Now that the Bolian/Human Ambassador as well as her Junior Assistant were back on board, it was time for them to get moving.

"All stations report ready, Captain," Jayson Stark informed, the Chief of Operations was just as anxious to get underway although his reasons were far more personal than anyone else's on board the ANUBIS. He wanted for them to go so that they could find Ya'Han and save her from the clutches of the Shadow Operative and her clone lackey.

"Heading Captain?" The FCO asked as she looked over her shoulder at the man sitting in the central chair. Everyone was ready to go, but a destination had yet to be determined, which was likely the reason why the ExO / ILO was on the bridge instead of in her usual domain.

"Commander?" The Captain said, passing Tanith's query on to his second in command.

"The one main advantage we now have is being able to locate and follow the movements of the Lokustaar vessels, the problem is that we have no way to know for sure on which vessel Ya'Han is on or even if she is still on one. The entire fleet is in disarray and is scrambling to avoid being confronted by fleets sent to destroy them. It is very likely that by now Mordana has taken her clone and our Chief of Security to a more secured location, away from the conflicts, in order to better coordinate the regrouping of their forces," Shar'El explained.  "Thanks to the intel provided by Ya'Han, we have been able to narrow the possibilities, but even with a half a dozen worlds to consider, we are still left with a very large field to search through.

"So we are looking at a shot in the dark?" Morningstar summarized. "Any suggestions where we should start?"

"I say NYLA IV," Jayson offered even though the question was not directed at him. "If there is a Lokustaar base there, on her home planet, Ya'Han will do everything she can to convince Mordana to head for it. Since the planet is inside Ferengi controlled space, they would also be able to avoid running into the Romulans, the Cardassians or the Federation, which right now seems to be a very inviting proposition. To me, that would be the best and safest place to go in order to coordinate a regrouping of their forces."

"Maybe so, but I do not believe that Ya'Han would be able to sell the idea of her *wanting* to return to the planet she escaped from," Shar'El countered. "If they do go to NYLA IV, it will be Mordana's choice and will be against Ya'Han's official and very outspoken wishes, anything else would leave the Shadow Operative to question the motives of our Chief of Security. As much as it might make sense, I believe that NYLA IV is one of our least valid choices if Ya'Han wants to keep her cover intact."

"Using the process of elimination, we can cross out CARDASSIA PRIME and REMUS from the list as well," the Captain said. "Every report we have received show that both the Cardassians and Romulans have engaged the Lokustaar with as much firepower as they could commit, so I doubt that any base located on their respective home worlds will stay operational for very long. This should help narrow the list down a little further."

"We can reduce it by one more," the ExO / ILO stated. "I doubt that they would venture to ULLIA. Although the Lokustaar have proven themselves immune to the race's telepathic abilities, Ya'Han is not and bringing her there might present Mordana with a set of trouble that she would rather not have to deal with at this time.  That said, I will say that I am rather shocked at learning that there is a Shadow base there, and for that reason alone I would like for us to investigate, but we can do that after we have rescued Ya'Han."

"We have to find her first," Doctor Bruxa said, the CMO joining in on the conversation as she stepped out of the turbolift. "I wanted to inform you personally, Alus Pami's body was returned to the Ktarian authorities. They have thanked us for everything we did, which is all thanks to what Ambassador Bonviva and her Syndicate connections were able to accomplish."

"Thank you, Doctor," Morningstar acknowledged. "Where is the Ambassador now?"

"She is back in Holodeck 3," Satella replied. "Adriana is there with her, keeping her company and making sure that she stays in the chamber for more than a few minutes. Lt. Paquette and Lt. Cmdr. Maya did a wonderful job in getting the machine to work once again, but in order for actual results to be seen, she needs to be in there as much as possible."

"That should not be an issue," the ExO / ILO said. "She can stay there and rest until we reach our destination, which we still need to figure out. From the rest of the worlds where we know there to be a Lokustaar base, none of them stands out over any other, at least not on a tactical manner.  The best we can do at this time is to see which system is in the general direction of their last known heading and head there. It is either that or we wait here for a clue to appear, which might take some time."

"Agreed," the Captain said. "I have never been one to just sit and wait if another option is available to us.  So, let us get underway.  Helm, set course for the nearest world on the list provided by Ya'Han and engage at maximum warp speed when ready."

"Aye, Aye, Captain," Ensign Jones acknowledged, quickly looking at her console and setting their destination into the navigational system.

"Hold on," Jayson whispered under his breath. "We're on our way."

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M14-P018: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: 34008.1430 ("A Dark Trail")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"A Dark Trail"
[previous post were (ANU) "Second Star To The Right" / (BAS) "Allocation Issues"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: OTAR II, Underground Complex
Stardate: 34008.1430

The man who was in charge of the underground complex on OTAR II stood in front of Mordana as if held by some sort of invisible forcefield as his head bounced at his feet. The Shadow Operative was not in the mood to be given excuses and the loss of yet another cloning facility was more than she cared to deal with at this time.

"I'm guessing that we are done here," Jayson said, not at all surprised by the way this meeting had come to an end.

Ya'Han wanted to feel bad for the man. Whatever he had done, she believed that he did not deserve the fate that he received, but then again he did make a choice to side with the Lokustaar, and if only for that reason the Sec/Tac could not find it within her to feel any sort of sorrow for him.  "Why was this facility not better protected?" The Nylaan asked, instinctively falling back on her ways and training.

Mordana shot an icy glare at the Nylaan before storming away; leaving the clone of Jayson Stark to answer the question, if that was his intent.  "According to the computer records, the base was being attacked by local troops. The Lokustaar normally charged with defending this facility were relocated to help protect the upper levels but somehow, someone managed to make it down here and using a plasma grenade, caused a chain reaction that destroyed all of the pods, killing all of the clones inside."

Ya'Han did a quick count of the shattered pods contained in the room. "12 by 12, that's only 144 clones. Is there another room somewhere?"

"The cloning facility of KTARIS was the largest one," Jayson stated. "This one was meant to be for operatives to help solidify control once the Lokustaar would win the war."

The Nylaan made sure that the Shadow Operative was well out of earshot before speaking. "Well, looks like that won't happen anytime soon. The Lokustaar were too arrogant in the way they scattered their assets throughout the galaxy. They believed themselves to be untouchable, unstoppable thanks to their ability to remain unseen, and that lack of planning will prove to be their ultimate downfall."

"Accusing the Lokustaar of 'lack of planning' show just how little you know them," the clone said in their defense. "The plan to invade this dimension was hundreds of years in the making, and this setback does not mean that the war is over."

"Do you truly believe that they can still win and conquer this dimension?" Ya'Han asked showing a hint of surprise.

"I have to," the clone admitted. "I was created by them and they made sure that I could never doubt them or their ability to achieve their goal.

"Good," the black and purple-haired Nylaan said," I would hate to be part of a fight where my side has already given up.  Might be best to head back and regroup with Mordana. The way she looked after dispatching that man, I would not put it past her to leave us behind."  As she said this, Ya'Han glanced over at the still standing body of the man in question to see it finally collapse to the floor, joining his severed head.  While still looking at him, the former Sec/Tac of the USS ANUBIS began to walk and ended up running into one of the shattered cloning pods. "Ouch!"

The woman's cry immediately summoned the clone's attention who wasted no time to rush to her side. "Are you alright?"

"I was distracted," Ya'Han admitted. "I didn't pay attention t where I was going and ended up running into that piece of glass," she explained pointing to a sharp wedge that had cut her leg.  "It's only a minor cut. My pride is far more injured than my body is. A few seconds of a dermal regenerator and I will be back to the way I was. Let's go, we don't want to keep Mordana waiting."

Jayson's clone smiled, glad to see that Ya'Han was not hurt and that her spirit was just as strong as it had been before. If there was a chance for the Lokustaa to turn the tide back to their favor, he truly believed that the Nylaan woman by his side would have a role to play in this.

Returning the man's smile, the undercover Starfleet officer glanced back at the piece of glass as they walked away, making sure that the sample of blood she had left behind would be enough for Doctor Bruxa to identify her with.  It was difficult for Ya'Han to leave clues as to their presence wherever they went. This was even more challenging if she did not want to be discovered, but so far, she had done relatively well to leave hints as to her being here still alive and well, and if at all possible, provide some sort of sense as to where they would be heading next.

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

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

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