USS ANUBIS - Mission 15
Peace Negociations
IN PROGRESS
POST INDEX
Post # Character Title
001 Morningstar Time To Move On
The ANUBIS heads outfor its next mission
002 Shar'El Elasian Tactical Review
Shar'El reads the info on the Elasian factions
003 Lopez Professional Assessment
Adriana and Xana talk about the mission
004 Ya'Han Elasian Combat Training
Ya'Han trains and ends up in Sickbay
005 Maya Tears Can Be A Dangerous...
Maya researches Elasian bio-engeneered weapons
006 Bonviva Agita
Xana starts the search for Amanda
007 Shar'El Digging Up Dirt
Shar'El gathers intel on the Elasian
008 Bruxa Stomach Churning
Satella reads the Elasian's bioengineering work
009 Stark The List
Xana gives Jayson a list of items to get
010 Shar'El A Friendly Chat
Shar'El seeks out Ya'Han to speak to her
011 Paquette The Mother of All Talks
Ya'Han goes to see Sonja
Post # Character Title
012 Bonviva Who Is Rilliz?
Xana gets a call from her son
013 Lopez Counseling The Junior...
Adriana fights with Amanda
014 Bonviva Reveange
Xana talks to Adriana and then to Erik
015 Morningstar A Universe of Uncertainty
Two Elasian Destroyers rush in to intercept
016 Bruxa Rapid Modifications
Erik informs Satella and Shar'El of his plan
017 Bonviva The Biscotti Talks
Xana and Adriana contemplate their next move
018 Lopez Reachin Out
Adriana and Xana contact War Master Daanold
019 Shar'El Jumping Ship
Shar'El heads for one of the Elasian Destroyers
020 Ya'Han Tracking
Ya'Han tracks Shar'El and the Elasian Destroyers
M15-P001: USS ANUBIS: Morningstar: 34020.1400 ("Time To Move On")
##########
"Time To Move On"
Previous posts (ANU) "Loose Ends" / (BAS) "We Lost Paradise But Found Something Better"
##########

"The greatest challenge in any diplomatic negotiation is to actually get everyone to sit at the same table without them trying to destroy the building that it is in."
- Ambassador Karnakos, special Federation envoy to ELAS

=====
Setting:  USS ANUBIS, Bridge 
Stardate: 34020.1400

The Native American Captain sat in his chair at the center of the bridge, leaning slightly forward with the weight of his torso resting on his left elbow which was firmly planted on the armrest. Seeing the man in this particular position could indicate a myriad of things dealing with the past, the present as well as the future, and the odds were good that it was all three. Their mission to OLTHAR PRIME had been an interesting one, to say the least, concluding in the most unexpected of ways. Some had died in the most horrific ways imaginable, some had sacrificed themselves for love, and some even managed to come back from death to once again stand amongst the living. One man had moved on and left the ANUBIS to be with the woman he loved so that the two of them could have a better future together while one woman decided to stay to help shape a better future for her protégé.
 
Now it was time for the USS ANUBIS to leave OLTHAR PRIME behind and head to their next mission, this one on a planet called ELAS, the homeworld of the Elasian who were facing the horrors of a civil war.
 
"Operations?" Erik demanded.
 
"All systems are showing ready, Sir," the recently promoted Chief of Operations replied.
 
"Tactical?" The Captain requested next.
 
"All offensive and defensive systems are at full battle readiness, Captain," the Chief of Security who had also been recently promoted to the rank of Lieutenant stated.
 
"Bridge to Main Engineering, how are we doing down there?" The Native American asked next, realizing that he had just contacted the three officers who stood a little taller than before thanks to their promotions.
 
=/\= How do you think we're doing down here? =/\= The newly minted Lieutenant Commander shot back sounding rather upset. =/\= You are up there sitting on the bridge while I am down here working my fingers to the bone to get everything up and running because let's face it, I have to meet your expectations. Now, Captain, do me a favour and try not to break anything this time. It would be nice to be able to make it through just one mission without my having to replace half of the power conduits, shield generators or replace some control panel that exploded in someone's face. =/\=
 
"Does that mean we are ready to leave orbit?" the Captain asked, rolling his eyes and shaking his head. It was hard to believe that someone like Sonja Paquette could ever be on a Starfleet vessel, but as shown by her new rank, the woman was good at what she did and that granted her a fair amount of leeway with the rest of the crew including the Commanding Officer.
 
=/\= Of course we are ready to leave orbit, =/\= the Chief Engineer replied suddenly sounding hyper joyous. =/\= Warp and transwarp speeds are available at your discretion, Captain, and by that, I don't mean it in the USS EXCELSIOR kind of way. If I tell you that it is ready to work, it's because it's ready to work. =/\=
 
"Very well," Erik said understanding the obscure historical reference made by Sonja. "Helm set course for the planet ELAS, warp 8. Engage when ready." The curved azure horizon of the planet quickly slid to one side of the main view screen to be replaced by a magnificent field of stars that also vanished soon after replaced by the streaking multicoloured lines indicative of the ship traveling faster than the speed of light.
 
"At our current speed and heading, we should reach ELAS in four days," Lieutenant Stark reported.
 
"A lot of things could happen in four days," Counsellor Lopez said from the back of the Bridge. "I hope that we will arrive in time to stop the war before it starts."
 
"So do I Counsellor, but if you want this ship to go faster, you will have to take it up with our Chief Engineer," the Native American added.
 
"Four days will do just fine, Captain," the woman added making it known by her reply that she had been on the bridge long enough to have heard the earlier exchange between the Sonja and Erik. "Now that we are on our way, could I take a few moments of your time?"
 
"Of course," the Native American said as she stood from his chair and began to make his way to the Ready Room before suddenly stopping to look at the woman. "Just for the record, will this be as this Ship's Counsellor or as the ANUBIS' official Junior Ambassador?"
 
"If it is all right with you, I would like to speak to you on a personal matter, therefore, to answer your question, I would like to speak to you as Adriana Lopez," the woman replied taking the Captain and everyone else present on the Bridge by surprise.
 
"By all means," Erik said inviting Adriana to step into his office once the door opened.
 
=====
 Setting:  USS ANUBIS, Captain's Ready Room
 Stardate: 34020.1410 
 
"Is everything all right?" Erik inquired. It was strange to have the Lieutenant JG in his office like this, especially after seeing her more assertive side in action.
 
"Everything is fine Captain and is part of the reason why I wanted to speak to you. I know that my recent actions have not been beyond reproach and I am also aware that this whole Junior Ambassador thing has not made things between Admiral Koniki and yourself any easier," Adriana said trying to work up to some sort of an apology.
 
"Let me make this easier for you," the Native American said with a reassuring smile as he approached the visibly nervous woman. "Things between Koniki and I have never been smooth at the best of times. The man has his way of doing things, which usually revolves around working in the shadows found behind the scenes without letting others know what he is planning. Me, on the other hand, I prefer a more direct and upfront approach. As for what happened on OLTHAR PRIME, I can give you the official statement, which is the same one that was entered in my Captain's log, or I could give you my personal opinion. Which would you prefer?"
 
"To be perfectly honest, I am not sure which of the two sounds scarier," Adriana said forcing a smile to appear on her lips.
 
"Officially, I had to state my disappointment in your performance, especially in taking matters into your own hands without checking with me or Commander Shar'El first. I also had to state that thanks to your being officially appointed as Junior Ambassador, there was nothing I could do as you made it abundantly clear to everyone that you were acting in that role and not as this ship's Counsellor," Erik explained.
 
"Unofficially?" Lopez cautiously inquired.
 
"Unofficially, I believe you did the right thing," Morningstar stated. "The artifact belongs on the OLTHAR PRIME, and I was concerned as to what Koniki would have done with the clone of the High Elder of that planet. Your solution might not have been the most diplomatic one, but it was the one that achieved the best result. Koniki was not able to get his hands on the clone, the artifact is no longer in play and as a bonus, and Ambassador Bonviva was given a new lease on life. All of that after we completed our mission objective which was to stop Mordana from doing any more harm than she had already done. So, as far as I am concerned, personally speaking, I do not believe we could have wished for a better way to end this mission."
 
"Thank you, Captain. That means a lot to me," Adriana said clearly showing signs of relief.
 
"The ANUBIS is not your typical vessel," Erik explained. "Our missions are certainly not the type of missions that were ever mentioned at the Academy and as for the crew, well we both know just how atypical we are."
 
"Our Chief Engineer comes to mind," the Counsellor said laughing.
 
"I am very happy that you are still with us," the Captain said. "Not only do I not have to break in a new Ship's Counsellor but the ANUBIS officially gained the services of an Ambassador and Junior Ambassador. I honestly feel like I came up on top this time around. That said, I would ask something of you."
 
"Of course Captain, anything," Lopez said feeling more than ever ready to help the man standing before her.
 
"Next time you plan something like what happened on OLTHAR PRIME, please, let me know first. At least that way I will have some time to prepare myself before Koniki blasts me into the next century and I might be able to make sure that a few pillows are waiting for you next time you do something that will land you in the brig."
 
"Very well," Adriana said grinning. "I will let you know, but I think I will be avoiding doing anything like that ever again. I got lucky the first time around and I am not entirely certain that my luck will hold a second round. Thank you again, Captain, for being so understanding."
 
"Don't go out there telling everyone," Erik joked. "I still have a reputation to uphold. Now, I am sure that you have things to do as both this ship's Counsellor and Junior Ambassador, and I have a stack full of reports to get through before we reach ELAS."
 
Adriana smiled and nodded her head before leaving Erik to his work.

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

Commanding Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501

AND

Lt. Commander Elan Fairborn [Access Character BIO for Elan Fairborn]
Robotics Engineering Officer
NEW ALEXANDRIA (currently on OLTHAR PRIME with his fiancée)
M15-P002: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: 34021.0515 ("Elasian Tactical Review")
=-=
"A Few Concerns"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Time To Move On" by Francois / (BAS) "Personal Reflections" by Rachel]
=-=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, IGC
Stardate: 34021.0515

In the world of Intel, there was no such thing as being too early to do anything. If something needed to be done, it is a safe bet to assume that it was already overdue by the time someone even started working on it. With the ANUBIS heading to the Tellun Star System and ELAS, the Elasian homeworld at the maximum speed allowed by the Chief Engineer, a great deal of information needed to be sorted through. This data was essential for the diplomatic and retrieval teams to be as ready as they needed to be to ensure the success of their respective missions. The whole thing might have sounded relatively simple to some, but the ExO / ILO knew better than to just sit back and assume that all would go as planned. Experience had taught her time and time again that life on board this vessel was just not meant to unfold that way.

Because of that experience, the Chief of Security had already been informed of a potential complication that the crew might be facing during their stay on the Elasian homeworld. Ya'Han requested to be given any available information as soon as possible, something that the ExO / ILO quickly figured would be used by the Nylaan as an excuse to be too busy to do anything else, be it with Jayson or anyone else. As this served the Commander's needs to properly prepare the crew for their mission to ELAS, Shar'El saw no reason to refuse the woman's request.

The reports provided to the Chief of Security regarding a bio-engineered weapon based on the tears of Elasian women was not something to be dismissed or ignored, and that was only one of several dozen potential problems the IGC team had already come across. Not being as technologically advanced as the Federation did not mean that the Elasians were unable to make things very difficult for everyone who dared to get in their way. In fact, this race of warrior-minded fighters could easily make things very unpleasant for others without giving their own safety a second thought.

Thinking back to the weaponized tears, the ExO / ILO thought that it was fortunate that their diplomatic team was made up of only members of the female gender, making the unorthodox weapon far less effective against them. Maybe that was part of the reason why Admiral Koniki had been so willing to see Ambassador Bonviva remain on board the ANUBIS to assist the newly appointed Junior Ambassador, Lt. Adriana Lopez. Whatever the plan was, the fact that the diplomatic team consisted of only women solved one problem out of several more.

To ensure that the retrieval team would not be a potential target of this weapon, the ExO / ILO made plans to see the male senior officers remain on the ANUBIS. As much as Lieutenant Stark might object to this, the Commander had more than enough work to keep him occupied while the ship was in orbit. What it did mean though was that Jayson and Ya'Han would once again be separated, not that it seemed to be that much of a problem at this time. The hints provided by the Chief of Security, consciously or not, pointed to her wanting it that way, at least for the time being.

"Commander," one of the IGC Techs called out from his station. "We have compiled the preliminary data on the two main Elasian factions."

"Transfer it to my station," Shar'El ordered, the ExO / ILO was genuinely looking forward to better understanding the reasons behind this conflict. Reading through the report, the Commander quickly identified the main points that would fuel hostilities between the factions. The 'Elasian Nationalist Puritans', led by a woman called Evaanku, believed that the only way their race could survive in the growing age of darkness that was spreading through the galaxy was to sever all liaisons with the Federation, its allies and anyone else the planet dealt with on a professional or personal level. The fact that her father was the War Master of the Elasian military only strengthened her position and credibility in the eyes of the general population.

Evaanku vowed to use her father's military resources to seek out and remove all of the undesirables from their world. This meant that anyone proven to not be 100% Elasian would be shipped off-planet on the first available transport without any considerations as to their current role in the planet's government or economy. That was as long as those found guilty of being 'unpure' did not simply vanish to never be seen again, that they made it to a transport ship or not. Her promises about this 'cleaning of the Elasian bloodline' would spare no one and separate any bastard child from their parents and family should they be found to have less than a pure Elasian ancestry. The second phase of the Elasian Nationalist Puritans' plan was to arm every citizen no matter their age or social status, claiming that this would be the only way to truly ensure the safety of their world.

Shar'El sighed with disbelief after reading that part of the report. Evidently, the apple had not fallen far from the tree, Evaanku's words and action closely echoing those of her father, the War Master Daanold. Nothing good ever came when fanatics were armed, this no matter what their reasons were, especially when those weapons came with the support and endorsement of a governmental figure. Chaos and anarchy were sure to follow close by, but then again was it not what the Lokustaar wanted to accomplish? At this point, there was no need for a conflict between factions as the 'Elasian Nationalist Puritans' possessed all they needed to destroy the home world's culture all on their own. With that unsettling thought in mind, the ExO / ILO resumed her reading of the report on the current state of the Elasian factions.

On the other side of this extreme political standpoint stood the 'Expansionist' led by Jeruun, a well known and highly respected Elasian businessman who believed that the survival of the Elasian people could only be assured if they reached out and strengthened their alliances with all Federation member worlds starting with the Troyians. Since there was still a sizable portion of the population who despised their closest neighbors for no other reason than because they saw them as being weak, these ideals of collaboration were not as popular as some might have liked them to be. Still, many supported the belief that the odds of survival would be much greater with the help of stronger, more prosperous and peace-oriented allies who would help curb the increasing oppressive ways of the Elasian military.

With these two factions standing on such opposing political platforms, it was easy to understand how easy it would be for a Lokustaar operative to bring the planet to the brink of an all-consuming civil war that would leave the planet in utter and complete ruins. After gathering her thoughts, the ExO / ILO continued reading the report, half wondering how any of this could be made worse.

The information compiled by the IGC techs showed several 'informational campaigns' distributed to the general population designed to polarize opinions to one side or the other of this rapidly growing conflict. This would ensure that people's fears were used in the best possible way to create distrust and chaos between the factions and even within their ranks. Several smaller factions were also involved but mostly in throwing their support behind one of the two main forces of this civil battle. Although smaller and not as influential, these lesser-known factions could not be simply ignored and required an eye to be kept on them at all time. Two such secondary factions were the 'The Dark Order', a group of elite warriors led by a skilled, seasoned and morally questionable officer by the name of Puunce who not surprisingly supported the faction of the War Master Daanold. The leader of the other smaller faction was a woman by the name of Anshaa, a remarkable Elasian beauty who made a name for herself as a charmer of man and trader of goods. Although there were no indications that she was responsible for turning tears into a weapon, the ExO / ILO did not put that possibility beyond the grasp of that woman. Her track record on her various trades made it clear that she was not a person to be taken lightly. Her supporting Jeruun's side most certainly gave him and his faction extra power in their corner.

"This gets better and better by the minute," Shar'El said to herself before taking a long and deep calming breath. "Xana and Adriana sure have their work cut out for them," the ExO / ILO added as she continued with her reading, which thankfully dealt more about the planetary logistics and respective assets of each of the factions instead of the lead players in this head-spinning political game. With roughly 3 days and 12 hours before reaching their destination, things would need to happen quickly if the ANUBIS and its crew were to be fully prepared to deal with growing civil unrest on ELAS and stop a bloody conflict from erupting.

Maybe one way to achieve this would be for the Ambassador and Junior Ambassador to reach out and communicate with the factions before their arrival. This would allow everyone to get an even better idea of what they would be dealing with while at the same time making sure that the diplomatic team remained perfectly safe.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve <sttr242526@gmail.com>

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M15-P003: USS ANUBIS: Lopez: 34021.0730 ("Professional Assessment")
-=-=-
"Professional Assessment"
[Previous post: (ANU) "Elasian Tactical Review" & (BAS) "A Sorrow-Filled Farewell"]
-=-=-

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Counselor Lopez' Office  
Stardate: 34021.0730

Adriana's office had been transformed into 'Diplomatic Central' with holographic displays now all over the room showing the leaders of the main factions, their closest allies, and the reach of their sphere of influence on the Elasian people and beyond. The task of getting a solid understanding of the unstable Elasian political situation was not going to be an easy one. Just looking at all of the faces and the colored links between them indicating who was a friend or foe was starting to give the Junior Ambassador a wicked headache. To make this a little easier to deal with, Xana replicated several small dishes making this a working breakfast claiming that the fruits were an excellent way to ward of the pain she was suffering from.

"This Daanold fellow worries me," the Junior Ambassador said reading for the third time the PADD containing the War Master's list of accomplishments before looking up at the man's holographic face. "He is ruthless and unyielding in his beliefs. In some ways, he reminds me of Khan Noonien Singh in the hay days of the Eugenics Wars. His policies in regards to others he sees as 'inferior' are a match to those Khan used as his rallying cry. The War Master clearly sees himself as being superior to everyone else and does not tolerate being surrounded by anyone he considers to be weak in the slightest manner. I just can't figure out why a man trained as he is and possessing all of the experience he has is not the one leading the Elasian Nationalist Puritans."

"It's all about the image," Xana said as she took a bite out of some unknown red-colored fruit. "By putting his own daughter at the head of that faction, he gives her and their political platform that much more credibility. Plus, the Elasians see women as natural leaders to be respected and even feared, a fact that Daanold knows and understands all too well. He knows that Evaanku will draw-in support just because of who and what she is without either one of them having to raise a finger."

"How are we supposed to deal with someone like that?" Adriana was visibly overwhelmed by the task that stood before them. "Even if we do manage to get the factions to talk, Evaanku and Daanold are capable all on their own to reshape ELAS to suit whatever the Lokustaar wanted. Even with the Shadows in full retreat throughout the galaxy, they are still managing to exert their dark influence on other worlds. How do we fight against that?"

"One battle at a time," the Ambassador said sitting down on the couch and taking a bit out of another fruit, this one yellow in color. "Think of it this way," Xana continued taking hold of an apple and tossing it to Adriana. "To conquer that fruit, you cannot just swallow it whole, you need to take one bite, then another, and continue until the fruit has been completely eaten. We are faced with a similar, although much less appetizing scenario. We have to take this one bite at a time while making sure that we do not sink our teeth into a section of the fruit that might be rotting from the inside."

"That is not a very appetizing, or comforting image," the Junior Ambassador said carefully placing the apple down on the table where the bowls were set.

"It was not supposed to be," the Bolian/Human woman said as she looked at the Hispanic woman with a sudden increase in interest. "Can I ask you a personal question?"

"Of course," Adriana said not at all having expected that question.

"Your sister, how do you see her?" Xana asked still looking at the woman as if trying to see something that was not there. "I mean, how does she physically appear to you? I know that you are twins, but do you actually see yourself when you see and hear her or are there physical differences that might reflect what you believe happened to her."

"Oh this should be interesting," Amanda said, the sister in question having appeared sitting right next to the inquisitive Ambassador. "How *do* you see me, sis? Am I better looking than you see yourself, or maybe you see me as having an air of smarts that you lack and could not live without?"

"I see her as I imagine my sister would be if she were here," Adriana firmly replied. This was bound to happen sooner or later, and it might as well happen now so that it could be dealt with and pushed out of the way. "I see my sister as an annoying and argumentative sibling who gets on my nerves more times than I would care for."

"That is very unsisterly of you," the hallucination of the twin said pouting. "How about all those times that I helped you when no one else would or could? Face it, you may not *like* me, but you *need* me. As a projection of your mind, it is not like you can get rid of me, although you have tried, repeatedly."

"So, you actually argue with her?" Xana asked. Satella had defended the woman, but this admission concerned the Ambassador quite a bit. Seeing and hearing her missing sister was almost understandable, but arguing with her seemed to be pushing the envelope a little more than the Bolian/Human hybrid was willing to accept at this moment.

"Argue in the sense that, as a projection of my own mind, she offers me those options that I would not normally consider," Adriana explained trying not to look directly at the pouting hallucination sitting right next to the woman she was speaking to. "The greater majority of people debate courses of actions silently in their heads on a daily basis, most of the time never realizing that they are doing so. Should I have the apple or the orange? Should I go to the gym or the holodeck? Everyone does it and no one around them gives it a second thought. In some cases, these internal debates seep out into the real world as people voice those debates aloud. Again, most people don't give it a second thought, understanding that the person was simply listing options available to them at that moment in time. Look at Captain Morningstar, when the ANUBIS is faced with a dangerous situation and there is time to debate what is the best course of action to follow, he demands that his command staff openly give their opinion and no one questions his sanity or the sanity of those who complied with his request."

"You seeing and hearing Amanda is not the same thing," the azure-skinned woman said.

"I am very aware that Amanda is nothing more than a mental projection rooted in the pain of my having lost my sister at a young age," the Counselor said. "The psychological trauma has caused me to externalize those feelings through an audio-visual hallucination that allows me to deal with the fact that she is not here and that I have no idea as to where she is or even how she is. The *arguments* we have are nothing more than her, meaning me, presenting options and course of actions that I might not be overly comfortable with but that are as valid and any other option if not more. The only real difference is that I openly acknowledge her presence instead of brushing it off to others as me just talking to myself." Adriana stopped realizing that the tone of her voice had gradually gone up as her defense and explanation went on. "A long-distance runner will encourage himself throughout a race," the sister said having returned her voice to a more passive tone. "At the end of the race, they will credit themselves for having had the strength to push their body and mind to the limit. They might even offer thanks to someone close to them for inspiring them. The difference here is that I credit Amanda for helping me make it through those moments I thought I would never have been able to. She is my inspiration, my drive and she is the one I thank for my being here now. It was because of her that I joined Starfleet, and it was still because of her that I made it through some of the darkest times in my career. It was also thanks to her that I did not back down from doing what I believed needed to be done back on OLTHAR PRIME.  I am sorry if you believe that makes me less of a person or even unworthy of being your Junior Ambassador."

"You care," Amanda said with an exaggerated smiled. "You actually care about me. That is so sweet," the hallucination continued before suddenly turning completely serious. "Now, stop feeling sorry for yourself. If she really did not trust you, she would not have wanted this meeting with you, brought you fruits after you complained of a headache or asked about me. She would have tossed you and whatever hallucination you have out the nearest airlock for fear that you might jeopardize the mission."

"I do not believe that this makes you any different than anyone else," Xana quickly defended. "I was simply curious as to how your sister appeared to you. Is she taller, shorter, has the same curly hair or does she have green-skin?"

"Green-skin?" The twins said in perfect unison looking at the woman with the blue-colored skin.  "We are not Orion or Martian," the sisters said, again speaking as one, which in truth they were.

"The question was not meant to insult or even put your skills and ability in question," Xana further explained. I just thought that it would be nice for you to think of something other than the Elasians for a moment, and it was a perfect opportunity for me to address my own personal curiosity. I know how close sister can be, and I am sorry if my question upset you."

"I should be the one to apologize," Adriana said. "I overreacted."

"Good," the Ambassador said as she stood. "You can use this as a learning experience. Those people," Xana said pointing at the holographic images of the faction leaders. "They are going to do everything they can in order to prove their point and win, this means that they are most likely going to try an undermine our efforts in one way or another. Whatever is said, whatever is done, we have to remain calm and in control. Do not let them get the upper hand. You have to think as a diplomatic officer, not a Counselor. That means you have to anticipate their words and actions allowing only those that are beneficial to the talks to make it out in the open. You cannot let them take control, nor can you just sit there and passively listen to what they have to say. Doing so will result in people getting hurt. If they manage to say something, do not take it personally, and more importantly, do not let their words bait you into an emotional outburst. If you do that, we lose any hope of keeping control and getting them to talk peace."

"Are you sure that we can do this?" The Junior Ambassador asked. "More to the point, are you sure *I* can do this?"

"Of course you can," Xana laughed. "You brought me back from the doors of the great beyond, to me that means that there is nothing you can't do if you put your mind to it."

"She's right," Amanda said, the hallucination still sitting on the couch. "If you can keep a semblance of sanity while arguing with yourself the way you regularly do with me, it's the Elasians who are going to have their hands full, not you. Trust me on that, I'm your sister, that means that I know crazy better than most."

-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor & Junior Ambassador
USS ANUBIS
M15-P004: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: 34021.0800 ("Elasian Combat Training")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Elasian Combat Training"
[previous post were (ANU) "Professional Assessment" / (BAS) "No Looking Back"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: ELAS, dark alley
Stardate: 34021.0800

This was not the first time the Sec/Tac found herself fighting against multiple opponents, her training both on NYLA IV and Starfleet Academy had prepared her for such situations, but this fight was proving to be a lot more demanding than the red-haired woman could have expected.  The fighting style of the Elasians was like most others, utilizing the same basic moves with a few flares native to that race. What made things more difficult for Ya'Han though was her inability to completely focus on the fight, her mind still managing to wonder off to somewhere it should not, to someone she could not.

The Sec/Tac managed to block the assault of one of the three Elasian fighters she was up against, quickly setting up for a counter attack against the second, but as she did so the third, whom she had lost track of for only a few seconds, landed a powerful blow against her jaw sending the Nylaan down to the ground.  Unable to properly defend herself, the other two attackers quickly landed shots of their own, kicking the red-haired Starfleet officer in the abdomen and head.  She Ya'Han saw a trickle of blood pouring from the corner of her lips, she understood that it was over.

"Computer, end program."

The three Elasian fighters vanished, quickly followed by the alley that served as their battle arena as the holodeck returned to its normal, inactive state.  Ya'Han remained on her hands and knees for a few moments, assessing the extent of her injuries. The cut and bruises on her face would be easily enough for her to deal with once she returned to her quarters, but the one or maybe two broken ribs she could feel would be a completely different matter.  Painfully forcing herself back onto her feet, the Sec/Tac surrendered to the inevitable as she slowly limp her way out of the room heading for Sickbay.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]  
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Sickbay
Stardate: 34021.0820

"Do you have a death wish?" Doctor Bruxa demanded. "You almost died on OLTHAR PRIME, so you would think that you would be more careful or at the very least more grateful instead of going up against some crazed holographic fighter with the safeties off."

"There were three of them," Ya'Han winced.

"That is not helping your case," Satella hissed. "I understand that you feel guilty for what happened to the clone," the Doctor said avoiding calling it by name. "That does not mean that you have to punish yourself like this."

"I was not punishing myself, Doctor," the Sec/Tac said in her defense. "The Elasians are a warrior race, that means that even if they give Ambassador Bonviva and Junior Ambassador Lopez the respect their positions call for, they will not hesitate to attack the rest of us, especially if we are out there wondering the streets looking for that Lokustaar operative."

"Making those guys invisible to sensors is just plain nasty," the Doctor said while taking care of the broken ribs the Sec/Tac had walked in with.

"Making them invisible to sensors was a brilliant tactical move by the Lokustaar," Ya'Han said. "As much as I might not like what it means for us, I have to admit that it is a sound tactical decision and it forces us to be on the planet to search for the operative. This means that one way or another we will have to deal with the locals, and I wanted to be ready. Reading about their fighting style is not enough; I have to experience it in order to come up with the best counter moves in order to avoid being beaten."

"How did that go for you?" Satella asked pocking her patient to make her point.

"Not as well as it should have," the Sec/Tac admitted. "I was distracted."

"You know, I should get Adriana in here. Clearly, you need to talk to someone about this."

"The Counselor is currently locked away in her officer with the Ambassador," Ya'Han stated. "My guess is that they are going over their strategies to figure out which will have the better odds for success."

"How do you know that?" Bruxa asked.

"Doctor, I was the daughter of the High Sovereign of NYLA IV and even though I might not have been trained to be an Ambassador or even a negotiator, the role that my sister and I had meant that we had to know how to read people and quickly find the best way to win their favors," Ya'Han explained. "Also, I am this ship's Chief of Security and that means I keep track of everyone's location at all times."

"Everyone? I find it hard to believe that you are able to keep track of everyone on board the ANUBIS. The only one who should be able to do that is ANI, but then again she can only do so because she cheats," Satella challenged.

"Alright, maybe not *everyone*, but I do keep track of the most important people on board to ensure that safety."

The Doctor slightly tilted her head to one side while looking back at the Sec/Tac clearly not believing her. "I will give you that you know where some of the members of the senior staff are, simply because that is where they usually are. Shar'El is in the IGC, Captain Morningstar is on the bridge or in his office, Sonja is in main engineering and I was, as I usually am, in Sickbay. What I believe is that you are going out of your way to keep track of Adriana. Officially, you can claim that you are keeping an eye on the ANUBIS' Ambassadorial team, personally, I believe that you are keeping track of her whereabouts to avoid running into her because if you did, she might force you to talk about what happened."

"Doctor, you are, I believe the expression is, fishing," the Sec/Tac sighed.

"Maybe I am, or maybe I am right. Either way, I know what I know. You coming to me injured the way you were shows me that there is something wrong. While we are on board the ANUBIS, you being distracted may not lead to issues, but once you are on ELAS, you and I both know that those mistakes can be unforgiving," Satella said trying her best to make Ya'Han understand that she was not alone to deal with any of this. "You are all fixed up. It might be sore for a few hours, so take it easy.

"Thank you, Doctor," red and black-haired Nylaan said, leaving it unsaid as to whether she was thanking the woman for her professional and medical assistance or for simply being an understanding and concerned friend.

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

Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M15-P005: USS ANUBIS: Maya: 34021.0830
("Tears Can Be A Very Dangerous Weapon")
---
"Tears Can Be A Very Dangerous Weapon"
(Previous Posts: (ANU) "Elasian Combat Training" / (BAS) "No Looking Back")
---

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Science Lab
Stardate: 34021.0830

Being the Chief Science Officer of the USS ANUBIS was not an easy task and it kept the Shillian very busy, and because of that Maya spent the greater majority of her time locked away in some laboratory away from the normal hustle and bustle of the crew. Most of the time, this did not bother her, in fact, this was what she preferred doing as dedicating herself to science, in all of its aspects, had become her life. There were some days though, being few and far in between, when the shapeshifting woman felt a sting of loneliness as memories of the reasons why she was a scientist unwillingly came back to her. Accompanying those memories was also a unescapable reminder that she was the last of her kind, a reality that forced her to dismiss those feelings as they risked plunging her into a depression that she might never recover from. Her only solace was her work and the fact that she was part of a crew who, for all intents and purposes, had become her family in more ways than one. So it was with joy that she set out to work on whatever she could get her hands on ensured that her new family were as well informed and ready as could be.

From researching the bio-engineered vessels used by the Lokustaar to the life-force transferring device brought back from, and soon after returned to, OLTHAR PRIME, Maya had moved on to looking into the use of biological weapons by the Elasians. Most races tended to stay away from such tools of warfare as they could not only prove dangerous to their opponent but also for the people using them. Despite not being as technologically advanced at the Federation, the Elasians moved forward with their research into bio-engineered weapons not letting the prossibilities of their work mutating into something that the designers could not expect, entificate and, of course, had no way to protect themselves from.

Searching through all available data concerning the use of this type of weapons by the Elasians, the Chief Science Officer discovered that these people were no stranger to bio-engineering and the problems generated by this kind of work. On ELAS, there were several smaller islands dedicated to this type of research, some of them having been permanently quarantined following undisclosed incidents claiming the lives of all those who were working there. Being isolated from the main land provided a natural defense mechanism should there be any such problems as the effects would be contained, but according to some of the records the Shillian was reading through, this had not always been the case.  One such example was the attempt to create a viral infection that would only target the Troyians which backfired and created instead a virus that saw thousands of Elasians die in a most horrific manner before a cure was created. Other attempts at creating biological weapons with specific targets in mind proved equally ill-conceived and forced all of the research teams to eventually change their methodology.

Instead of focusing on what could kill a loathed adversary, the Elasians shifted their research to improving everything they considered as a strength for their people. From bio-engineered weapons, the race of warrior began tinkering into bio-engineering of their own people with the aim of increasing strength, endurance, skill and speed. The parallel with the historical records of EARTH and the Eugenics Wars was impossible to miss, and even more so where the similar consequences involving the newly created members of the warrior race who saw themselves as superior to the rest. The main difference between EARTH and ELAS was that the Elasians were able to overcome their creations before it was too late, thus putting an end to the threat as well as that particular type of research.

With their efforts in bio-engineering people having failed so completely, the Elasians, instead of abandoning all work in the field of bio-engineering, returned to their initial work of creating a weapon that would give them the edge they sought against their adversaries. Using the failures of the past as guidelines, they eventually managed to create something that proved to be as successful as it was strange. The concept and weapon used the tears of Elasian women.

Looking back at the long list of failures from the Elasians in this field of work, the Shillian Scientist had to admit that she was impressed by the success of this latest work. By simple design, half of their own population would already be immune to the effects of this weapon, and the other half, if affected by it, would simply fall hopelessly in a state of deep admiration with the first woman they saw. This meant that as long as a woman was in charge, the men would continue to fight, maybe with even more passion than they had before, no longer caring about anything else. The problem with such a weapon was that it could only target half of the people it was meant to be used against, but of all the weapons at the disposal of the Elasians, this one was by far the one they would use with the least amount of concerns.  Used in small quantities and in specific areas, such a weapons could prove to be exceptionally effective in giving the Elasians the advantage they needed.

Maya was actually thankful that she belonged to the gender that could not be affected by this weapon and quickly confirmed how this bio-engineered weapons functioned. According to the research and test notes on this weapon, the tears of Elasian women were a pure, liquid form of pheromones that would affect a target immediately upon contact. This meant that the final weapon would be 99.9% effective against males regardless of species as this natural substance was common throughout the galaxy. Simple and effective, turning pheromones into a potent weapon made the Chief Science Officer fear that there was little they could do to protect the male population, be them of the ANUBIS or anywhere else in the galaxy.

It was easy to see and understand why Commander Shar'El and Lieutenant Ya'Han were so concerned about this weapon and how it could be used on friends and foes alike to ensure that some gained control over others.

---
Jessica Solarik

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

&

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

"To see the world in a grain of sand,
and a heaven in a wild flower.
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
and eternity in an hour."
- William Blake (British, 1757-1827)
M15-P006: USS ANUBIS: Bonviva: 34021.1000 ("Agita")
"Agita”
(Previous Posts: (ANU) "Tears Can Be A Very Dangerous Weapon" / (BAS) "No Looking Back")

=/\=
Location: USS ANUBIS, Corridor
Stardate: 34021.1000

“What am I making for ya now, Ambassador?”

Xana looked over at the CEO and smiled.  “I didn’t say you had to make anything for me, Sonya,” she said as she walked down the corridor.  “Did I?”

Sonya was rolling her eyes.  “All I know this *was* supposed to be a simple discussion now I’m hearing weaponized tears and that means I’ve gotta make a miracle.”  

Xana smiled at that.  “I love that my work is “simple”.”

“There’s probably something there in talking so much that people just give in--”

“That might be the most accurate description of my job I’ve ever heard,” Xana agreed.

The engineer gave a look.  “But are ya making a marvel of engineering to save the day?” 

The azure woman raised an eyebrow.  “Tell me, what are you making to help save the day.”

“I canna tell you as I haven’t made it yet!” Sonya fussed.  Looking over she said, “Aren’t you sassy since you’ve gotten better?”

Xana smiled at that but she felt the churning in her stomach again when she thought about getting better.  “I’ve always been sassy--”

“That’s a way to put it,” Sonya quipped.

The Ambassador chuckled.  “But you have me thinking about what’s been bothering me.”  Smiling she said, “Thanks, Sonya. I appreciate it.” Winking she said, “I won’t tell Adriana that you’re now a backup Counselor now!”

“Ya, ya, I’ll add that to the other jobs I’m doing!” Sonya grinned.

=/\=
Location: USS ANUBIS, Xana’s quarters

She was supposed to be doing outreaching or researching…instead her stomach was in knots.  Drumming her fingers on her desk she mindlessly scrolled through the notes on the Elasians wondering about what type of people would put their kids at risk and why she was living for this.  She also had a job to do, she also had to help Adriana…

“Computer, reach out to Bonviva, Gavrosh,” she tried first, thinking to reach out to her eldest son.  Getting a message, which wasn’t unusual for the far-flung places places her son found himself in, she left her son a message knowing this was going to be ping pong.  

“Computer, contact Captain Siobhan Reardon,” she tried next, expecting the same reaction.  Much to her surprise the computer changed from the symbol of the Federation to the redheaded Captain she knew so well.  

[/\] Xan… do you have any idea what time it is? [/\] She looked a little groggy, but otherwise the same.

“Siobhan!” Xana said, relief pouring into her as she saw her long time friend.  “I have so much to tell you!”

It took a few seconds for the azure woman’s enthusiasm and urgency to rub off on the Captain of the BHUTTO, but she managed a more alert response. [/\] Wait- where are you? [/\]

“Except that,” the white-haired woman said. The two women were no strangers to need-to-know privilege and all that entailed. 

The former Counselor mentally shrugged. [/\] Okay, I’m listening. [/\]  

Xana explained about her recovery, how she never had to worry about the illness again.  “Siobhan...I should be thrilled. I am thrilled! Why am I feeling this agita every time I think about getting better?”

[/\] Obviously something is bothering you about it… [/\] Sio remembered Xana’s need for control in all aspects of her life. Why would her death be any different? [/\] There was a part of you that was ready to go, wasn’t there? [/\]

The Bolian/Human thought about it.  “I made all the arrangements,” she said quietly.

[/\] That’s not the same as being ready, [/\] Sio pointed out.  She looked sympathetic across the light-years.  

“It wasn’t like how I thought it would be...at the end,” Xana said quietly.  

[/\] Very few people, anywhere, get the death they think they will. Or the death they deserve. Even you don’t get to control that, [/\] Siobhan said.  

The Ambassador sat quietly looking off to the stars.  “Am I terrible if I say I was ready?” Looking back at the screen she said, “Nothing was how I planned it but...no one asked me how I felt, my family wasn’t there, but some small part of me was….ok.  I had several Bolian firewaters, I was level with the stars again and I thought to myself, “You know, this isn’t such a bad way to go”. My kids were safe. I did my job. I was...at peace. And it was good.”  She was really quiet for a moment; then she shook her head. “A few hypos later, flash, bam, boom, I’m saved. I don’t even remember being asked if I wanted to be. I know that sounds horrific, childish...I mean obviously yes, living is wonderful but...I was *ready*. “  There was a pause before she finally said what she had long felt but hadn’t said all this time. “I was at peace...I was ready to die.”

Siobhan looked troubled. She was getting a lot of information, amazingly good news, really, but it still didn’t seem like it was all there. Like there were important things missing. Maybe if- [/\] Can you come visit? I’m sure I talk Admiral T’Sen into having you aboard. There aren’t many places that couldn’t use an Ambassador these days. [/\] It seemed foolish to ask the question, but the pain that Xana was still feeling was palpable, even on a comm link. The only good thing about it, is that it wasn’t physical anymore. But her friend was still in some kind of distress.

Xana smiled sadly.  “I’d like to but I’m needed here.  I actually pulled some strings to say here with my Junior Ambassador.”  Tapping on the keyboard, she said, “Actually, that's the reason why I was reaching out before I just started venting…you have gone to all sorts of places.  I’m sending you information on a missing persons case, a kidnapping actually. Let me know what if anything this matches for you.”

 [/\] Telling me you’re alive and well is *not* venting. It’s the best news I’ve had in quite some time. So stop it. [/\] Sio scanned the data, which was for a woman named Amanda Lopez. She’d been missing since she was a little girl. The case looked pretty cold, but her occasional foray into Intel told her there could easily be more there than met the eye. She wondered what the connection was between the case and Xana. [/\] Did you know her? [/\]

“No but I know the family,” Xana said.  “I figured I’d reach out to those that I know who go to unusual places and I can trust.”

The Captain nodded at that. [/\] You tried Gavi, didn’t you? [/\]

“And knowing my son, he’ll call me back at 0300 sometime,” Xana sighed.  

[/\] I wonder where he learned that from, [/\] Sio yawned.  The CO looked over the file. [/\] You know who could be helpful-- [/\]

Xana sat up straight in her chair.  “I recognize that tone, Siobhan Reardon.”

[/\] -- he would probably help you if you asked -- [/\]

“Absolutely not.”

[/\] --I’m just saying, he does go to a lot of places, different places that I go to.  Jake would probably be useful here. [/\]

Xana glared across the universe. “I am NOT calling my ex-husband.”

[/\] Your friend, your decision, [/\] Siobhan said, holding up her hands in surrender. [/\] Speaking of friends, you know if you need to just talk, I’ll be here, right? You don’t need a reason. [/\] 

“I do, thanks,” Xana smiled.  “You too. Bonviva out.”

=/\=
Sarah Albertini-Bond

USS ANUBIS NCC 18501

With Guest Appearance By 

Susan Ledbetter
Writing for 

Captain Siobhan Reardon
USS BENZAIR BHUTTO
M15-P007: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: 34021.1100 ("Digging Up Dirt")
=-=
"Digging Up Dirt"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Agita" by Sarah / (BAS) "Asking A Few Questions" by Karen]
=-=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, IGC
Stardate: 34021.1100

In missions such as the one they were heading into, Intel on the groups as well as the individuals were of the utmost importance as the slightest detail could change the landscape of the negotiations. It was expected that each side had something to hide and that they would have done everything in their power to uncover the secrets of their counterparts. What the ExO / ILO needed to was to find those pieces of information that stood beyond these hidden gems, the ones that no one else knew about but the selected few.

Normally, doing this kind of in-depth search required an agent to be on location, but thanks to the Elasians being members of the Federation, a lot of this information was already out there buried in the public records. All that was required was to find the links that had been purposefully omitted or removed from those details to protect those who did not want this information to be known by others.

Due to War Master Daanold's rank and position, Shar'El decided to skip him for the time being as an in-depth search of military records of this 52 years old Elasian might prove to be more timeconsuming than she could afford at this point. Therefore, the ExO / ILO decided to instead focus her initial focus on his daughter, the leader of the Elasian Nationalist Puritans, Evaanku.

The 26 years old woman grew up enjoying all of the privileges afforded by her father's high ranking position within the Elasian military. Evaanku attended the most prestigious schools, followed rigorous extra-curriculum activities and accompanied her father in many of his troop inspections. Every second of her life appeared to have been planned, monitored and closely followed by people of the highest level. Knowing all that, it made perfect sense that the young woman followed her father's lead in regards to the way she perceived the world around her. A harsh and demanding government, very much like the one in charge of their military was the only way to ensure the safety and compliance of the population.

For a brief moment, Shar'El actually felt sorry for the young woman who had known nothing other than the life her father had laid out in front of her. According to everything the ExO / ILO had seen so far, Evaanku had never enjoyed any sort of freedom or the intimate company of another. Her existence was devoted to upholding the ideals of her father in any and every way she could, and that was why she created the faction she now led.

As clean and straight forward as Evaanku's life had been, the opposite could be said about the leader of the Dark Order. Puunce had grown up in one of the harshest districts forcing him to fight for survival on a daily basis. Abandoned by his parents at an early age, he had to rely on his cunning and ruthlessness to take full advantage of whatever presented itself. As soon as he came of age, he joined the military and volunteered for some of the most demanding campaigns in order to prove himself worthy. During the five years that followed, he was brought in front of a disciplinary committee seven times to address charges of gross misconduct towards superior officers and insubordination. Apparently, he knew better than his superiors when it came to striking a quick and decisive blow against their enemies. The fact that his service record noted him as being one of the most ruthless of his battalion played in his favor during sentencing. The Elasians did not abide by any universal rules of conduct when it came to warfare, so he was spared the full extent of his punishments in acknowledgment of his prowess in action. Such reward normally reinforced the man's already twisted psychology and view on how he should behave.

It was when he fell under the command of Daanold that his life took a turn for the better, finally being recognized and rewarded for what he did best. The high ranking military officer often sent him on missions without any specific course of action to follow, only a goal that he had to accomplish if he wanted to be accepted back into the ranks when he returned. This drove the man to become even more unforgiving and heatless, ensuring that he would be welcomed back with open arms, which he was, time and time again. Of course, this chain of events secured Puunce's loyalty to the War Master making him an exceptionally dangerous and unscrupulous 38 years old man ready to do whatever was necessary to get the job done. and please his 'master'.

Shar'El made a quick mental note to keep Puunce in sight at all times. Of all the people who would be at the peace talks, he certainly was the only to be the most cautious of since, according to his list of accomplishments, he would not hesitate to do what was asked of him by the War Master, even if it ended up costing him his own life.

Moving on to the next person on her list, the ExO / ILO started looking into the past of the respected 44 years old Elasian businessman. Very much like the leader of the Elasian Nationalist Puritans Jerrun had grown up in the lap of luxury and never wanted for anything making him appreciate the benefits of prosperity. As soon as he was of age, he followed his father out onto various trade routes learning the skills of the trade hands-on. Within a few years, he took on his own trade routes which soon grew into a full network that accounted for nearly 20% of the planet's global trades. More than once he forwent profit to hire more Elasians so as to 'spread the wealth' to his people knowing that through the prosperity of some, many more could come to live better lives.

During one of his trade expansion efforts, he met a very attractive Elasian woman by the name of Anshaa who although gave him quite a hard time at first grew to respect and even admire Jeruun for what he was doing. This is why the 32 years old trader offered her support to his cause, agreeing that prosperity for their people could not come as a result of endless conflicts and even wars.

What Shar'El found especially interesting was the fact that there was a period of two full years during which time the stunning Elasian trader seemed to have stopped all commercial activities. In fact, for those years there were absolutely no records of her doing *anything*. As this was the kind of anomaly the ExO / ILO could not ignore, she started digging a little further. What the Ullian uncovered was a list of ship manifests that covered the week before the woman's sudden disappearance. What was truly interesting was that those records indicated that the ships operating under Anshaa's control had ventured into the domain of the Orion Syndicate.

"What were you doing there," Shar'El asked of the screen, now more than ever resolved to discover the reason for this two-year hiatus. "Computer, access all available Intel on the Orion Syndicate for the period coinciding with the two years Anshaa was inactive. List all occurrences of an Elasian woman."

=/\= Initialting search, =/\= the Computer acknowledged. =/\= There is one mention of an Elasian woman found within the specified time parameters. =/\=

"Show me the report," the ExO / ILO ordered. Whatever she went through so much effort to hide from her own people was certainly not going to be enough to stop Shar'El from getting to the bottom of this. As soon as the report appeared on her monitor, the Commander began reading it, getting a completely new impression of the Elasian beauty. "Rilliz? What were you doing talking with that sorry excuse for an Orion smile? More important, why try to keep it a secret from your own people? That guy could not convince a Ferengi to accept free latinum if his life depended on it, so why would Anshaa go all the way to an underground Orion trading outpost to see you? What were you selling that she needed so badly, or was it that she was trying to sell you something? Either way, this could prove to be very interesting, not to mention potentially damaging if it fell into the hands of Evaanku. Let's face it, Rilliz may not be the best, but he sure one of the most versatile dealing in everything the Orion Syndicate manages to get their hands on."

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M15-P008: USS ANUBIS: Bruxa: 34021.1300 ("Stomach Churning")
=-=
"Stomach Churning"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Digging Up Dirt" / (BAS) "Far-Reaching Implications"]
=-=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, CMO's Office
Stardate: 34021.1300

Cmdr. Shar'El was an amazing First Officer. The woman always seemed to be there to lend a hand or answer whatever question came up. As the ANUBIS' ILO, she was a force to be reckoned with day or night. At her best, there was nothing out of her reach, and in some ways that fact scared Satella. What would the raven-haired woman find if she ever decided to go digging into the crew's past? Bruxa had nothing to hide, but still, maybe there was something in her past that was better her not knowing about it. Luckily for everyone, the woman in charge of the IGC was currently too preoccupied to worry about such trivial things.

The moment the news of a bio-engineered weapon reached the CMO, she inquired about getting more information. Shar'El was more than accommodating and provided the Doctor with pages upon pages of data. Obviously, the Elasians were a race that enjoyed risking their own lives. If any of their previous work had become an airborne contagion, everyone on the planet could have easily perished. What was truly scary was that this could have happened several dozen times over the last century or so. These people were either more skilled than they let on, or they were the luckiest race in the galaxy.

Satella had set herself up to eat her lunch in her office while reading the files provided by Cmdr. Shar'El. The moment she began reading though, the CMO instantly lost her appetite. That was why her bowl of Mikulak Vegetable Stew was now cold and likely to remain so for quite some time. Nightmarish visions filled the Doctor's mind as she read some of the work done by the Elasians. What were they thinking?

The list of ideas for a bio-engineered weapon quickly went from bad to worse as Satella read the list. A neuro-toxin meant not to paralyze anyone expose but instead to kill them by liquefying the nervous system. A flesh eating genetically engineered bacteria that could devour a full-grown man in minutes. A modified strand of the Ruthian plague, capable of ending all life on a planetary scale within days of its release. There were even plans to attempt a genetic merger of some of the most deadly viruses known int he galaxy.

"Weaponizing the tears of Elasian women is nothing compared to these abominations. How did these people ever manage to be accepted into the Federation?" The Doctor was clearly shocked and in total disbelief. "These people are monsters."

"That is not fair," Adriana said. The CNS had apparently come to join her friend for a late lunch. "You are judging them by their mistakes, not their accomplishments."

Doctor Bruxa threw herself back into her chair. "What accomplishments?" She demanded. "How many people did those bioengineered weapons kill? Is that the accomplishments you are referring to?"

Adriana smiled and pulled a chair to sit across from her friend. "The Elasians were able to create a stable planetary government, something that not every race is capable of doing. For a time, they also managed to have peace with their neighbors the Troyians. Keep in mind that at one point in their history, all they wanted was to kill every one of them. They have a thriving trade industry and have a few social aid programs. All of those is enough to make them valid Federation members. I am sure that keeping an eye on their bioengineering work was part of the decision. Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer."

Satella just shook her head. "Everyday you sound more like an Ambassador than a Counselor."

"Is that such a bad thing?"

"Maybe," Doctor Bruxa said, concern for her friend appearing on her face. "I don't trust the Elasians. The fact that they are on the brink of a civil war is not going to make them reasonable. I believe that it will be quite the opposite. They have come to a point where they re ready to turn their weapons against their own people. That is never a good sign/"

"If they truly wanted to do it, they would already have," Adriana said. "This internal conflict was brought on by the interference of the Lokustaar. They are the ones who want to see war break out on ELAS. Our job, meaning Xana's and mine, is to remind them of this. We have to get them to realize that they have the same enemy."

"What if they don't listen? What if they decide to use any one of those nightmare bioengineered weapons on you to make a point?"

Adriana shrugged and smiled. "I am not worried."

"Why are you not worried? Have you read this report from Shar'El? I feel like I am about to throw up. Just reading about all of those things is enough to make me ill."

The CNS laughed ever so gently. "I am not worried because I know that you will be there to save the day."

"Save the day? I am not even sure I would be able to save your life. I understand the need to restore peace on ELAS. Trust me, that is the one thing I am in full agreement about. I just don't like the idea that someone will have to be down there to do it."

"I guess I should inform Cmdr. Shar'El and Cpt. Morningstar in a change to our plan."

"A change in your plan? What plan are you talking about?"

Adriana was actually finding this very amusing. "I requested that you and Maya be part of the diplomatic away team. That way you would be able to keep an eye on us while the discussions proceeded."

"Me on ELAS?!?" Satella felt a knot growing in her stomach. "Now I am really going to be sick."

=-=
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]
M15-P009: USS ANUBIS: Stark: 34021.1400 ("The List")
"The List"
[previous (ANU) "Stomach Churning" / (BAS) "Far-Reaching Implications"]

[/\]

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 34021.1400

They were still over three days from ELAS and their next mission but the OPS Officer was already experiencing a lot of misgivings about what was to come.  Every report the senior staff was told to read painted an increasingly troubling picture of the planet and its people. By the looks of things, the Elasians were a race with a level of technology that far surpassed the wisdom required to properly use it. Their unhealthy and persistent tinkering with bio-engineered weapons was proof enough of this, confirming just how dangerous these people could be to everyone including themselves.

Jayson certainly did not envy the task the Adriana and Xana faced, easily imagining numerous ways for the peace talks to turn ugly in the blink of an eye. What made it worse was that he, along with every other male crew member, would have to remain on the ANUBIS to avoid them falling victim to the Elasian's latest weapon.

"Is everything alright Lieutenant?" Ambassador Bonviva asked, the azure-skinned woman having made a straight line to the Operations station as soon as she stepped onto the bridge.

"Yes, Ambassador, I was just..."

"Good," Xana interrupted; apparently, her question was misinterpreted as one of concern instead of a simple gesture of politeness to make sure that she would have his complete attention. "Here is the list of items that both Junior Ambassador Lopez and I will require before we reach the orbit of ELAS." Jayson had barely had time to take hold of the PADD being handed to him before the Ambassador continued. "As the Chief of Operations for this vessel, I presume that there will not be any problem for you to fill this list before our arrival, and by you filling the list I do mean *you*. I need you to personally ensure that each item is exactly as described, no exceptions, no substitutions."

"Why do you need..."

"If you have any problems procuring any of the items listed, let Junior Ambassador Lopez know as soon as possible," Xana said interrupting Jayson once again. "As a newly promoted Lieutenant though, I suspect that you will not have any issues with any of the items on that list, well, maybe one or two, but Adriana said to trust you, so here I am." Whatever schedule the Ambassador was on clearly did not afford her the time for idle chat, that or she simply did not want to speak to the OPS Officer any more than she absolutely had to. In either case, Xana was already boarding the turbolift by the time he realized that she was leaving without answering his question.

With the Ambassador gone as quickly as she had come, Jayson had no other choice but to reread the list Xana handed to him. Some of the items listed made sense, in some ways, but several others seemed to be completely out of place. "What are they going to do?" The OPS Officer asked aloud rereading the items on the PADD to make sure that he had read them correctly. Once he reached the end of the list and confirmed that all of the items were as he had read them to be, Jayson laughed. "Maybe I should just throw in a couple of Quantum torpedoes, given some of the items on this list; I doubt that she would even notice that they are there." Following a short pause, he checked on his console the location of a specific member of the crew. "Might as well get this over with."

[/\]

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Main Engineering
Stardate: 34021.1420

Jayson walked in and made his way to where he knew the CEO was. "Lt. Commander, may I have a word with you?"

"What do you want?" Sonja asked, not happy to see the OPS Officer, not that she ever was happy to see him. The woman took a perverted pleasure in taking shots at him whenever she could for no other reason than because she could.

"Ambassador Boniva gave me a list of items that she needs for the away mission to ELAS and she requested that I be the one to procure each item personally. No exceptions and no substitutions," Jayson said handing over a PADD listing those items that Sonja would be able to provide.

"Ambassador Bonviva asked you to get this?" The CEO asked, looking down at the list with puzzled curiosity. "What does she want to do with any of this equipment?"

"She did not tell me," the OPS Officer said. "She just exploded onto the bridge, handed me the list and rushed back out as if the devil itself was after her."

"Even if the devil itself was after her, it would not explain some of the items on this list," Sonja quipped. "Which brings up an interesting question, do Bolians believe in the devil or something like it? Then again, I guess it does not matter as she is half-Human, so trying to avoid half a devil would still be bad enough.  Alright, so let me see what I can do, but in the meantime, I need you to answer one question. Why ask you to do this? What did you do to tick her off?"

"I don't know," Jayson shrugged. "The closest I got to an answer on that is Adriana trusts me. So I can only guess that my landing this task was thanks to her."

"Obviously, Adriana becoming a Junior Ambassador has dulled her judgment," the CEO said rolling her eyes.

Jayson was not in the mood for this kind of dealings, but right now he needed Sonja on another matter. "Can I ask you a personal question, Sir?"

"Oh, this should be good," the redhead grinned evilly.

"Is Ya'Han alright? I have barely seen her over the last 24 hours and I am worried about her."

"Listen," Sonja hissed. "She's a big girl and does not need you playing Boy Scout. Whatever is troubling her, and I am not saying that there is something, she will work it out without you hovering over her every move. Now, leave Ya'Han alone, go back to your work, and I will take care of this list for Xana."

As much as he did not like the answer he got, Jayson had little choice but to do what he was told.  As soon as he left Main Engineering, Sonja turned to the ship's avatar. "Find Ya'Han. She and I need to talk."

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M15-P010: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: 34021.1600 ("A Friendly Chat")
=-=
"A Friendly Chat"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "The List" by Jayson / (BAS) "Code Black" by Rachel]
=-=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Holodeck
Stardate: 34021.1600

Watching Ya'Han move was mesmerizing. The way her movements effortlessly flowed one into the other made it seem as if the Nylaan was performing some magical ballet that the ExO / ILO could not help but admire. The best part of this was that their Chief of Security was not sporting the green-colored hair of an entertainer but rather the full bright red of her warrior training. To Shar'El, the dance of the entertainer and the fighting style of the warrior were very close, but the final results were worlds apart.

The Ullian started clapping her hands as soon as the lastest fight sequence was completed leaving a single person standing, surrounded by more than a dozen computer-generated opponents. "I think you have the fighting style of the Elasians figured out to perfection. I took the liberty of checking the settings of the program before walking in. Do you truly believe that you or any members of the retrieval team will be attacked by a full dozen of expert, military-trained, highly trained members of the Crimson Blade Order?"

"It never hurts to be prepared," Ya'Han replied while trying to catch her breath. "The situation on ELAS is likely to be volatile and dangerous, and as much as I am sure that the ANUBIS will be keeping a transporter look on every member of the away team at all times, we both know how easily that lock can be interfered with of straight out interrupted. We are being sent to apprehend a Shadow operative, and we know from experience how difficult that can be."

"Agreed, but Mordana is gone," the ExO / ILO clarified. "She was the worst of the worst, in every way imaginable. This one should not be anywhere as complicated or difficult to get our hands on."

"Commander, with all due respect, it is not like you to down-play a situation," the bright red-haired Chief of Security said as she moved in closer to the woman.

"Granted," Shar'El nodded. "Just like it is not like you to question your combat skills to this extent. No one could expect someone to do what you just did, this regardless of their combat proficiency. You are pushing yourself beyond even your limits, and that is not good, not for you and certainly not for the mission."

"I am not pushing myself any harder than I usually do," the Nylaan challenged in a tone that Ya'Han quickly realized was much more confrontational than it should have been, especially when addressing a superior officer.

"Ya'Han, I am not here as the ANUBIS' ExO or the ILO, I am here as a friend," Shar'El said, keeping her voice down to help make the Chief of Security feel a little less threatened. "You are pushing yourself harder than ever before, we both know it and we both know why." The Nylaan narrowed her eyes in a distinct show of displeasure but the Ullian did not give the woman the chance to voice her rapidly mounting anger. "I did not scan your memories, I did not have to. When anyone trains to this extent, they lose the ability to control their thoughts and memories. Each time you punched one of them down or flipped them into the air, you rage towards yourself came loud and clear. So much so that I was able to feel it from the IGC."

"Really?" Ya'Han gasped in horror.

"No, not really," Shar'El chuckled. "No matter how powerful a memory may be or how strongly it was projected, I still need to be in a line-of-sight to pick it up, but your reaction indicates that you know I am right. You are angry at yourself for what happened to the other Jayson, you are angry at yourself for the way you felt for him and you are angry at yourself for not being able to just go back to the real Jayson as if nothing happened."

"Sounds like you have been speaking to Adriana," Ya'Han sighed. As much as she wanted to argue all of the points made by the ExO / ILO, she knew that there was no point because everything said was true.

"I did not need to," Shar'El admitted. "I am the ANUBIS' ExO, this means that the well-being of the crew, be it physical, mental or even emotional, falls under my responsibility. The moment we came back from OLTHAR PRIME, I suspected how difficult things would be for you and hoped that I was wrong." The ExO / ILO stopped and looked at the dozen bodies scattered on the ground left there by the Chief of Security following her latest training exercise.

"Computer, end program," the Nylaan ordered, erasing the evidence being used against her, but that, of course, changed nothing about what Shar'El saw and how Ya'Han felt. "I guess my saying that I am alright is not going to change anything, right?"

"Right," Shar'El confirmed. "As your friend, I have to tell you that you need help. You need to talk to someone, and if it is not me, then talk to Adriana or Sonja. Honestly, I would suggest you stay away from Maya though unless you plan on spending a few hours being lectures as to the biochemical imbalances that your feelings are causing throughout your body."

Ya'Han actually laughed even if not for very long. "You are not going to tell me to talk to Jayson?"

"No," the raven-haired woman sais shaking her head. "Right now you owe it to yourself to get your thoughts and feelings straight first. Jayson cares a great deal for you and we both know that he will wait as long as it takes. He understands, at least in some part, what you are going through and he cares enough to not push you to resolve your feelings overnight."

"Thank you," Ya'Han said, "for being my friend."

"Do not thank me too quickly," the Commander added. "As the ANUBIS' ExO / ILO, I have to add one more thing. Until I get a clean bill of emotional health from Counselor Lopez in your regards, you will remain on restricted duty, this means that you will not be permitted to beam down to ELAS and take part in the hunt for the Shadow Operative."

Again Ya'Han was ready to challenge Shar'El but following a few long breaths, the Chief of Security simply nodded her head. "I understand."

"You have three days before we reach ELAS," Shar'El pointed out. "Speak to Sonja, speak to Satella, heck you can even speak to Xana. Get all of the help you need before going to see Adriana. I am not doing this because I don't believe you to be capable of performing your duties, you have proven yourself more than physically capable. I am doing this because I am worried about you and I would hate for the ANUBIS to lose you."

"Are you saying that as a friend of the ExO / ILO?" Ya'Han teased.

"Both," Shar'El replied. "Now, go take a shower and put on a fresh uniform. I do not think Captain Morningstar would appreciate having his Chief of Security look like she just came back from waging a war on some distant planet."

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M15-P011: USS ANUBIS: Paquette: 34019.1630 ("The Mother of All Talks")
"The Mother of All Talks"
previous posts were (ANU) "A Friendly Chat" / (BAS) "What's In The Box"

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Paquette's Quarters
Stardate: 34019.1630

After making her presence known and being granted access to the Chief Engineer's quarters, Ya'Han carefully entered to find Sonja sitting at her desk speaking to someone on her desktop console.

"Hang on, I have a visitor," Sonja said as she muted the conversation in order to speak more freely with her guest.  "Are you done beating people up?"

"What?" Ya'Han said not having expected those to be the first words out of her friend's mouth. After realizing what she was talking about, the Nylaan sighed, holding her head down. "I am, but how did you know?

"Just a little over two hours ago I asked ANI to find you, which she did, in the holodeck. I went to talk to you then and walked in on you beating up half dozen Elasians into the afterlife only to bring them back and do it all over again, so I said to myself 'screw that, I am not talking to her like this'." Sonja explained. "I was not going to get in the middle of your Nylaan-style therapy session and I figured that when you were ready you would come to see me, which seems to be right now."

"I'm sorry," the woman with the now solid black hair said. "I did not mean to interrupt your conversation with whomever it is that you are talking to."

"Relax," the redhead said waving the woman's concerns away. "I'm just talking with my mother, and it's about you anyway."

"About me?" Ya'Han demanded before moving closer to confirm that it was indeed Sonja's mother on the other end of the communications channel. "What are you two talking about me for?" The woman with the black hair asked to which Sonja only unmuted the channel as a reply.

[/\] There you are sweetie, wait, weren't you a redhead last time we spoke. Black really doesn't suit you, it makes you seem sadder, anyway, Sonja told me everything, poor you, but you have to realize that you had more than this one, [/\] the older Terran woman said nodding towards her daughter. [/\] You had the love of two men, yes they were nearly identical, but you have to embrace their differences because although they might have appeared to be the same to you, I am sure that they saw you in a completely different manner as compared to the other. Even if they did share the same memories, they saw you from a completely different perspective. Your problem is that you are trying to look back at them from only one. [/\]

It was Ya'Han's turn to mute the conversation as she turned to look at Sonja with utter dismay. "You revealed the details of our last mission to your mother?"

"Will you relax," Sonja said again dismissing Ya'Han's concerns with a flamboyant wave of her hand. "Clones, transporter malfunctions, they are all the same to her and by tomorrow she won't even remember any of the details save those of your love life. As long as she is focussed on your love life, she'll leave me alone. As for the rest, don't you start accusing me of breaching our security protocols. Your situation is a lot more problematic than my talking to my mother could ever be." Having said this, the engineer unmuted the channel once more. "Mother, I have to go. We can talk about this later; right now Ya'Han needs my help."

[/\] Speaking of help, did you know that your sister managed to get to the ruins on ALTAR SIGMA all by herself? Those idiots at the museum actually pulled her funding away and she still managed to get a fully equipped team there to start digging. There is a lot you both could learn from her. [/\]

The daughter rolled her eyes with frustration and reached for the controls to the monitor. "Good bye, mother," the redhead engineer said just as she terminated the conversation. Now looking at Ya'Han, Sonja gave her friend a careful study before speaking. "I hate to admit it, but she is right."

"She's right? About what?" Ya'Han asked.

"Let's start with the fact that black really doesn't suit you. It might have been who you were once, but that is not who you are today. As for anything else, I am not admitting to my mother being right about anything without at least two full glasses of wine in me. At least that way I have enough ground to claim that it was not really me speaking but rather the wine."

"Would you rather us talking at a later time?"

"Absolutely not," Sonja fired back as she got up and went to fetch two large wine glasses and a bottle of red Chardonnay from her personal wine cellar located in a bottom cupboard. The Chief Engineer was not one to use replicated wine in a situation like this, or any situation come to think of it. "You are not leaving my quarters until you have drank enough that you hair will actually have forgotten what black is."

"I do not need to drink wine to change my hair color," Ya'Han said as her hair went from solid black to the more customary red/black mix. "I can do that all on my own."

=====
Lorraine Paquette

Lt Commander Sonja Paquette [Access Character BIO for Sonja Paquette]
Chief Engineering Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501
M15-P012: USS ANUBIS: Bonviva: 34021.1915 ("Who Is Rilliz?")
Who Is Rilliz
previous posts were (ANU) "The Mother of All Talks" / (BAS) "What's In The Box"

=/\=
The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand 
-Frank Herbert

=/\=
Location: USS ANUBIS, Counselor’s Office
Stardate: 34019.1915


Adriana was sipping her water as she leaned back in her seat.  “There are many ways to respect the image but get what we want.”  Tilting her head, she said, “On the surface we need to ensure we are being friendly in a way that the Elusians will recognize and respect.”

Xana thought about that.  Skimming through the notes on her PADD she nodded,  “I agree.  This will be very tricky.  We’re going to have to be monitoring their body language closely.  I’m concerned that what they’re saying is not going to match what how they really feel.”

The Junior Ambassador/Counselor nodded at that.  “That’s true in so many areas of our lives; what we say and how we’re acting don’t often align.  It would take a true actor to not be able to show their feelings while saying another thing.”

Xana paused for a moment and just stared at Adriana, wondering how to bring up her missing twin.  She desperately wanted to ask how could Adriana have interactions with her deceased twin and everyone else around her not be aware of it.  

A sound trilled through the air.  =/\= Message for Bonviva, Xana, Ambassador =/\=

Xana sighed as she looked over at Adriana; she was loathe to interrupt their conversation.  “Computer, unless this is a priority message--”

=/\= Priority message,=/\= the Computer confirmed.

The azure woman closed her eyes.  “I brought that on myself.”  Rubbing her left temple she asked, “From whom?”

=/\= Bonviva, Gavirosh of F.I.E.R.C.E. =/\=

“I love my children...they’ve all mastered the art of ‘How To Send A Priority Message’.  This is only off because he’s not calling at 0300,” Xana admitted.  Pointing to a console she asked, “Do you mind?”

“Go ahead,” Adriana nodded.  

Xana moved over to the desk and tapped the screen so the images changed from the Federation to that of a man with long black hair, the beginnings of a beard (or more likely as Xana would have explained -- he just simply hadn’t shaved today), high cheekbones, and dark almost sleepy eyes.  Wherever he was it was daytime and they could see the desert vista behind him.  

It was clear, to Adriana, that despite the shared name, Gavrisosh Bonviva was not biologically related to the Ambassador.  However, when he opened his mouth, he certainly sounded like the woman sharing the room with her.  =/\=Hey Ma.   I got the note on you getting better but I know that’s not why you told me to call.  So what is this wild goose chase?  And who am I doing this wild goose chase for?  And news flash, I have a job. =/\=

Xana waved her hand as she changed the subject.  “First of all, it would not kill you to clean up. Shave your beard--”

=/\= I like my beard.=/\=

“You look like an uncivilized mountain man,” his mother shot back.  Sighing dramatically she said, “Adriana, meet my son, the Mountain Man.”

Adriana leaned over and looked at the screen.  The Ambassador’s eldest son looked to be about her age; nodding at him from she said, “Hello.”

Gavi threw up his hands, and Adriana noticed for a brief moment that Xana’s son wore black gloves on his hands.  =/\= Gods, woman, I’d tell you to stop interfering but that would be like telling you not to breath, =/\= he shot back.  Looking over at Adriana he said, =/\= And hello and welcome to our family drama. =/\=

Adriana looked vaguely amused.  “Not the first one I’ve been involved in.”

Gavi rolled his eyes.  =/\=Not shocking. =/\= Leaning in he said to his mother, =/\= Listen, do you want to know what I know or not? =/\=

Xana tapped her fingers on the desk.  She thought about the rounds of negotiation that she’d have to deal with and decided to cut to the chase.  Sighing she asked, “What will this cost me?”  

=/\= To be determined at a later date and time, =/\= Gavi shot back with a grin that transformed his usual serious face into something that was near charming.  Leaning back in his chair he said, =/\= After talking to the usual drifters and grifters that come into these camps, I found someone. =/\=  Seeing his mother open up her mouth a warning finger came up, =/\= Don’t even, Ma -- stay focused. =/\=

The Ambassador rolled her eyes.  “Get to the point, Gavi.  You found someone and….?”

Gavi sighed.  =/\=Right about that.  I found someone for your friend who lost her twin. =/\=  Pausing for a moment as he asked seriously, =/\= I’m surprised you didn’t just tell her about Aunt Corina.  That seems like it would be more appropriate here.=/\=

Xana paused for a moment, a ton of emotions playing on her face.  “Gavi, honey, what do you have?”

Gavi leaned in towards the screen.  =/\=All I got you was a name, Ma.  They said to find Rilliz.  I even tried to find out more info from my source but they upped and vanished.=/\=  The man across the universe looked questioning back at his mother, =/\=Who is Rilliz? =/\=

Xana looked over at Adriana who also looked confused. “Good question, I don’t think we know.”

=/\=
Sarah Albertini-Bond

USS ANUBIS NCC 18501
M15-P013: USS ANUBIS: Lopez: 34023.0830 ("Counseling The Junior Ambassador")
-=-=-
"Counseling The Junior Ambassador"
[Previous post: (ANU) "Who is Rilliz?" & (BAS) "Patient vs Patience"]
-=-=-

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Counselor Lopez' Office  
Stardate: 34023.0830

The idea of being made a Junior Ambassador by Xana Bonviva was actually exciting. How many people could claim to have been given such an opportunity in their lifetime? The problem was that the work matched, and most of the time surpassed, the expected demands of the position leaving Adriana to feeling seriously overwhelmed. Not seeing the inside of her quarters or even feeling the comfort of her bed for over 24 hours straight was not helping matters.

The ANUBIS was less than 36 hours away from its destination, the Elasian homeworld of ELAS, a planet torn by conflicting political ideas that threatened to plunge the inhabitants into a civil war at a moment's notice. As a result, the pressure was on the diplomatic team to find an expedient way to resolve this situation as quickly as possible before things turned ugly making their mission that much more complicated, if not impossible.  The Counselor knew that the two Ambassadors would not only have to face the difficulties of the negotiations but that they would also have to keep an eye open for the Lokustaar operative responsible for this mess. With the retrieval team hunting the instigator, it was a likely possibility that the Shadow Agent might turn his attention on the diplomatic delegation to ensure that war did break out, one way or another.

The Lokustaar were not after any political gains, they were not even after making claims on lands, territory or people. The only thing the race was interested in seemed to be to spread chaos and destruction as far and wide as they could, going as far as to doing so beyond the confines of their own dimension. This changed everything as normal conflict resolution methods and techniques would prove ineffective in this situation. What Xana and Adriana needed to do was to make the Elasians understand that they were being played by an outside force that cared nothing about them, their ideas or even the outcome of this conflict. All they truly cared about was to see things unravel to the point where the streets would be covered with blood.

With that lovely thought dancing in the back of her mind, Adriana forced herself to study the dossiers of the faction leaders he diplomatic team would be dealing with. Evaanku was a dangerous woman who followed her father's footsteps in his views of cleansing ELAS of the influence of others. How ironic that the push for this had come from a being who himself was being influenced by creatures not even of this dimension?  Jeruun was the kind of businessman that could be found on countless outposts and starbases; a man doing his best to secure prosperity for himself and those who believed in him.  It was Anshaa who struct the Junior Ambassador as being a little on the odd side. Given her looks and skills, at least as they were listed to be on her dossier, the Elasian woman appeared to be somewhat out of place in the role of a trader. Either she was forced to work in this field for a reason not mentioned in the report of the well-known and attractive trader was using this as a cover for other, darker purposes.  One thing was certain, Lopez would have to keep a close eye on that woman.

"So," Amanda said, the mental projection of the missing twin sister having appeared sitting on the couch directly across from where Adriana was. "Figured out a way to fix this mess?"

"You know I have not," the sister sighed. "Why come now? You left me along throughout the night, so why appear now?"

"You are the Counselor," Amanda laughed. "You tell me. Maybe it's just because you felt lonely or you are seeking a way to get out of this. Let's face it, this is your first official stint as an Ambassador, and it is certainly not as glamorous as you might have hoped it to be. No grand banquet or fancy state dinner. You are heading into a room with people who are bent on ripping each other to shreds. Even if you do manage to get them to talk and realize that they are being played for fools, nothing will change unless the other team gets their hands on the Lokustaar agent. You guys are fighting an Intel war on two separate fronts in the hopes of stopping a civil war from starting."

"Do you truly think I do not know that?" Adriana snapped, her being tired making it impossible for her to think clearly. "I am trying to prove myself worthy of the honor Xana has given me, and I am not just talking about her officially making me a Junior Ambassador but also for protecting me when she could have just left me to rot in the brig."

"Yeah," Amanda chuckled. "Wanting to leave the person who saved your life to rot in jail is the usual reaction."

"That is not what I meant," Adriana fired back. "She could have looked at me and decided that I was too impulsive, too emotional, too undisciplined. All I wanted was to get her help in finding you and I was ready to sacrifice my career to accomplish that because I knew that her resources would go a long way. I knew that if I asked Shar'El of the Captain they might agree to help, but I was just a small, insignificant part of this crew. By saving Xana's life, I would make sure that she owed me a debt and that way I could rest knowing that someone was truly pulling out all of the stops to find you."

The Junior Ambassador paused and just stared at her sister for several seconds as the hair on the back of her neck stood on end. her back was to the door to her office but somehow she knew that someone had walked in during her conversation with her sister. That meant that whoever that person was had been given a front-row seat to the madness that was hers.  

Scared to discover who the person was, Adriana slowly turned to face the doorway, half hoping that she was imagining the presence of someone there. After seeing and hearing her missing sister, having to deal with another imaginary presence would not be all that strange. That possibility was quickly dismissed when the Junior Ambassador's eyes fell onto the azure tones of the Bolian/Human woman standing there, looking back at her with more than a hint of confusion and concern.

"Xana... I can explain."

"There is no need."

-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor & Junior Ambassador
USS ANUBIS
M15-P014: USS ANUBIS: Bonviva: 34023: 0840 ("Vengeance")
“Vengeance”
[Previous post: (ANU) "Counseling The Junior Ambassador" & (BAS) "Patient vs Patience"]

=/\=
The song is ended, but the melody lingers on
-Irving Berlin

=/\=
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Counselor Lopez' Office  
Stardate: 34023.0840

Xana watched Adriana, the Counselor’s dark eyes wide and unsure.  The Ambassador moved across the room and sat down on a chair in front of a console.  She typed something into the console as she said, “It’s hard.  I think even though we think we understand grief, we don’t allow for it.”  Pausing as she looked up she said, “Not really.”

Adriana just looked at the Ambassador.  “What do you know?” she asked, her voice wavering between defiance and curiosity.  

“It’s interesting.  Twins begin their identity in the womb.  Doesn’t matter if they’re identical or fraternal, it begins there.  And when the loss occurs there are the natural steps,” Xana said naturally.  

“I know what the steps of grief are,” Adriana grounded out.  Ticking them off she said, “Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance; the stages are not linear nor progressive.”  Pacing she said, “The Kubler-Ross theory is centuries old, and has been built upon, tore down, and expanded upon in more ways than I can count.  Furthermore, Kubler-Ross wrote it as a way to help people understand how people understood the dying, not grief.”  Giving a pointed look to the Ambassador she said, “Know anything about that?”

The azure woman crossed her legs, appearing to be studying the Counselor.  “You know I do.”  Pausing the Ambassador thought through her next words, “After the initial shock, there’s a sense of vengeance after a loss of twin….it never leaves.  There are lots of reasons, from the cliche of having to live for two lives in one to the sense of survival to that ever presence echo in your soul...whatever the reason or reasons, that vengeance will be there.”  Standing up she walked over to the Counselor.  “But that vengeance can either drive you or kill you.  Only you can decide what to do with it.”

“I can’t control it,” Adriana snapped.  

Xana shook her head.  “I don’t believe that and I don’t think you do either.”  Touching Adriana’s arm she said, “If that were true, then Amanda’s image wouldn’t come to you when you were upset, she wouldn’t goad you when you were contemplating something.  She’d come to you at other times too.  That she *only* comes to you then means you are controlling it.”

There was a long pause before Adriana wrenched herself away.  “You don’t understand.”

The azure woman just looked at the Counselor before saying softly.  “If you say so.”  Without further word, she turned and walked out of the office.  

Adriana exhaled and collapsed on the couch, rubbing her brow.  After some time, she had a thought to get something to drink, perhaps find someone to see if they wanted something to drink or eat too...and only then did it occur to her to turn off everything in her office.  

Walking over to her console did Adriana see what the Ambassador had brought up on her screen.  Sitting down, the Counselor studied the two pictures.  It didn’t take a huge leap to figure out these were family pictures, but unlike the previous pictures Adrianna had seen these were of Ambassador with (what Adriana guessed) her siblings.  The first picture, judging from the age of it, Xana was young, perhaps just before a teenager with a twin sister, a younger brother, and much younger sister.  All four siblings were smiling, and judging from the location, Adriana guessed it to be on EARTH.

“Oh no,” Adriana murmured as she scanned down to the next picture.  

As the next picture was several years later judging from how much older everyone was but there were only 3 siblings: Xana with her brother and the much younger sister...but her twin sister was gone.  

=/\=
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Observation Lounge
Stardate: 34023.1100

Xana stood at the large windows, staring at the stars, when she heard the doors open.

“Ambassador.”  

It probably was the height of rudeness but she didn’t turn around right away.  She held her tea, desperately wishing for something stronger, as she greedily stared at the stars.  “You know, before Adriana bargained for my life, I had the realization that I missed the view.”  Turning around she addressed the person in the room, “Captain Morningstar.”

The Captain looked at the Ambassador questioningly.  “You asked for a meeting to discuss the view?”

Xana smiled at that.  “I wish,” she said.  Pausing she weighed her words.  “You’ve had enough time to review my record--”

“You’re record for Ambassador stands for itself--”

“Before that.”

There was a weighted silence in the Observation Lounge for the space of several minutes as the Ambassador and the Commanding Officer took measures of each other.  “You’re still here,” Erik Morningstar said finally breaking the tense silence.  

“I’m worried about someone on the crew,” Xana said quietly.

Erik studied the Ambassador.  Why was she being cagey?  “If you have a concern then bring it to--”

“I’m bringing it to you for a reason,” the Ambassador pointed out.  “Watch them.”  Walking over to stare at him she said, “Just watch.  You know better than I, there’s been a lot of stress.  It would break even the strongest person.”

“Regulations are clear here, either they can handle it or they can’t.  If they can’t, then they are removed from duty,” Morningstar pointed out.

Xana smiled wanly at that.  “Regulations are the only thing that are black and white; the rest of the universe operates in the gray.”

=/\=
Sarah Albertini-Bond

USS ANUBIS NCC 18501
M15-P015: USS ANUBIS: Morningstar: 34023.1120 ("A Universe of Uncertainty")
##########
"A Universe of Uncertainty"
Previous posts (ANU) "Vengeance" / (BAS) "Patient vs Patience"
##########

"Part of being a captain is knowing when to smile, make the troops happy even when it's the last thing in the world you want to do. Because they're your troops and you have to take care of them."
- Captain Benjamin Sisko

=====
Setting:  USS ANUBIS, Observation Lounge
Stardate: 34023.1120

“Regulations are the only thing that are black and white; the rest of the universe operates in the gray.”

The Native American Captain smiled as he joined the Bolian/Human Ambassador in her admiration of the starscape beyond the windows of the Observation Lounge. Erik knew all too well that Xana was right and that without him taking into account the specific field in which the ANUBIS and its crew operated in. Absolutes were not a part of life and even less so in the world of Intel. A life-long adversary could become an ally overnight, just as much as a trusted friend could turn into an unmatched enemy. Nothing about any of what they did was certain with maybe one single exception -- uncertainty.

Thinking back to recent events, Erik could easily see how everything fell under this banner. The way the situation with the clone of Lt. Jayson Stark, the subsequent undercover mission undertaken by their Chief of Security Lt. Ya'Han. The journey to OLTHAR PRIME and the battle in the underground ruins. No one could have predicted how any of this came to pass, just as no one could have imagined the way the lives of the Ship's Counsellor and Ambassador would be forever changed following what transpired on the planet.

Refocusing his thoughts on the warning he had just been given by Xana, Erik considered the uncertainties that laid before them. The mission to ELAS was uncertainty-given-form as there was no way to even begin to predict how things would unfold, especially when taking into consideration that the situation was being manipulated by an agent of the Lokustaar. Was this what the Ambassador was referring to when she offered her cryptic warning or was there something else? Was the azure-skinned woman's concern a general one or was it more specific, targetting one member of the crew above everyone else?

The Native American was about to ask, in a diplomatic manner, for some clarification when the voice of of the First Officer was heard =/\= Commander Shar'El to Captain Morningstar. You are needed on the bridge. =/\=

"That does not sound good," Xana pointed out.

"It never is," Erik agreed. Whatever discussion the Captain and Ambassador were in the middle of would have to wait.

=====
Setting:  USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 34023.1135

"Report," the Native American ordered as he stepped onto the command deck closely followed by the Ambassador.

"We have two Elasian destroyer-class vessels heading our way on an intercept course," Ya'Han reported. Erik was happy to see her back at her station but this was not the time to make that sentiment known.

"They are refusing to identify themselves or state the reason for their rapid approach," Jayson added.

=/\= Captain, I recommend that we do not take any chances. They might have been sent to escort us to ELAS but they could also have been sent to stop us from reaching the planet. There is no way for us to be 100% certain at this time, =/\= Shar'El said. Despite the First Officer not being on the bridge, the woman was more than involved with what was happening, partially thanks to her access to the resources of the IGC.

"Even with two ships, they are no match for the ANUBIS," Ya'Han pointed out. "We do not even need to deploy the ablative armour to ward off their main weapons."

"Captain," Xana interjected. "I should not need to remind you that we are here on an official diplomatic mission. Any action we take here could have negative repercussions on what we have been sent here to do."

"You are right, you do not need to remind me," Erik sad shooting a quick glare back at the Ambassador before returning his focus to the main view screen. "I am pretty certain that this is exactly the reason why they have been sent on this suicide mission. Whoever is behind this is expecting us to see those ships as a threatening move that will force us to act accordingly. Even if our actions are purely defensive, we will be portrayed as being the ones who used excessive force. How long before they are in firing range?"

"Based on what we know about this class of ship, optimal firing resolution will be in 45 seconds," the Chief of Security reported. "They could fire within the next 25 seconds, but the odds of them hitting us would be insignificant.

=/\= Captain, =/\= Shar'El jumped in. =/\= The Elasians are aware that a Federation vessel is being sent with a diplomatic team on board, but they do not know the ship or its tactical capabilities. =/\=

"Revealing any of our strengths is going to weaken our position later on," the Native American said thinking aloud. "We need to get out of this without tipping our hand. Helm, turn us around," Erik ordered before tapping his communicator. "Morningstar to Paquette, I need emergency warp speed in 5 seconds."

=/\= WHAT?!? =/\= Sonja blasted. =/\= Are you out of your cotton-picking mind? What do you think I am? A miracle worker? =/\=

"Sonja!" The Captain sighed making it clear that he was not in the mood for one of her flamboyant displays.

=/\= All right, just for the record, you certainly know how to take the fun out of this. Emergency warp speed at your disposal now. =/\=

"Lt. Stark, as soon as at the edge of sensor range of those Elasian destroyers, launch a Mark IV decoy probe. Let them think that we are heading back the way we came. Lt. Ya'Han, as soon as the probe is launched, engage the ablative amour. Once that is done, we will drop out of warp and wait to see what they do next," the Native American finally made his way to his chair and sat down. "Bridge to Commander Maya, I need you to perform a complete passive sensor scan of those ships. I want o know everything we can about them without giving any signs of our location and activities."

=/\= As you wish Captain, =/\= Maya replied.

=/\= The IGC will monitor all communications to and from those vessels, =/\= Shar'El added. =/\= The moment they believe we have withdrawn, someone is bound to brag about their victory, however fake it will be. =/\=

"Ambassador," Erik continued as he turned to look at the Bolian/Human woman who had not moved from where she had stopped following her exit of the Observation Lounge. "I suggest that you and Counsellor Lopez use this to get some information from the factions. Although I am sure that both will act very surprised at our *withdraw*, one of them should be hiding a certain level of joy if not relief. We need to know which side and this will likely identify who sent these destroyers our way."

"There is always the possibility that neither one of them did this," Xana pointed out. "Our sudden withdraw could be used by each side to blame the other for derailing the peace talks before they even started. Are you sure you want to *tip our hand* in this fashion?"

"They are going to learn about this one way or the other," the Captain noted. "I would prefer if we could manage to get some Intel out of this if at all possible."

"Very well," the Ambassador sighed, clearly not liking this part of the plan.

With Xana heading to the turbolift, the Captain tapped his communicator once again. "Bridge to Doctor Bruxa, I need to see you in my Reay Room as soon as possible. We may require your skills."

=/\= Ah... All right, =/\= Satella said, not at all certain as to what this was all about.

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

Commanding Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501

AND

Lt. Commander Elan Fairborn [Access Character BIO for Elan Fairborn]
Robotics Engineering Officer
NEW ALEXANDRIA (currently on OLTHAR PRIME with his fiancée)
M15-P016: USS ANUBIS: Bruxa: 34023.1200 ("Rapid Modifications")
=-=
"Rapid Modifications"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Digging Up Dirt" / (BAS) "Far-Reaching Implications"]
=-=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Captain's Ready Room
Stardate: 34023.1200

As per the Captain's request, Satella walked into the Commanding Officer's Ready Room. The man was sitting at his desk, a pensive expression on his face.  "You wanted to see me, Captain? Is everything alright? Are you feeling ill?" The question made sense, at least to the CMO. The ANUBIS was not under attack and no injury report was made Sickbay. Morningstar being unwell was the only explanation she could come up with to justify why she was here.

"Everything is fine, Doctor," the Captain replied. "I needed you here for your expertise?"

Satella jerked back with surprise. "My expertise?" Epidemiology was her major at the Academy while Alien Biology was her minor. Had Shar'El discovered something new about the Elaisnas and their tinkering with bioweapons? Her additional training in Experimental Treatments and Genetics might be considered as expertise. One thing was for certain, her being able to play the violin was not what this was about.

The Captain's explanation was delayed by the sound of the door hissing open. It was the First Officer who walked in, surprised to see the Doctor standing there. Satella, on the other hand, accepted the woman's presence as proof of what she suspected. Something changed and it would likely not be good for the CMO of the ANUBIS.

The Captain turned his attenion to his First Officer. "What is our status with those Elasian Destroyers?"

Keeping an eye on Bruxa, Shar'El gave Morningstar a verbal report. "They took the bait. Both ships are following the decoy we sent. According to the pattern of their sensor sweeps, they have no idea as to our position.  Commander Maya is still analyzing the data gathered from our sensor scans as the ships flew by us." With that said, she turned to look at the Captain straight on. "Are you alright? Are you feeling ill?"

Erik shook his head. "Alright, point taken. I will need to have the Doctor report to my Ready Room more often. Even if only to say hello. She is actually here for you Commander." The two women turned and looked at each other, trying to figure out what this was all about. Morningstar took the opportunity to continue and explain his reasoning for bringing them here. "It is evident that someone is doing everything they can to sabotage the peace talks. This means that both our primary and secondary missions will be made that much more difficult. We need to position ourselves in the best possible way. That way we will be able to protect the diplomatic team and get our hands on the Lokustaar operative."

"You already wanted me and the rest of the retrieval team to beam down as Elasians. That way I would be able to scan the memories of the faction leaders before rejoining the team. What changed?" Shar'El was a little puzzled.

"The fact that those Destroyers were sent to stop us from reaching ELAS. Someone down there is worried and I intend to use this to our advantage."

"I was afraid of that," Shar'El sighed as she turned to Satella. "How quickly can you change my appearance to be like that of an Elasian?"

The CMO was actually taken aback by the question. Both the Captain and First Officer were operating on a level that she was not accustomed to. After regaining her mental footing, Satella offered an answer. "It should take an hour, maybe a little less if there are no complications."

"My guess is that those Destroyers are not going to be pursuing the decoy forever. Once they are confident enough that we are not changing course, they will set course back to ELAS. We need to be ready before then as it will be our goal to beam me on board one of those ships." Shar'El paused as she turned back to look at Erik. "Half hour, tops?"

"If we are lucky," the Captain said.

"Alright," the First Officer said turning back to look at the CMO before taking hold of her arm. "Come on Doctor. You have a lot of work to do and little time to do it in." With no other choice, if she wanted to keep her arm attached, Satella followed.  

=-=
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]
M15-P017: USS ANUBIS: Bonviva: 34023. 1220 ("The Biscotti Talks")
=/\=
“The Biscotti Talks”
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Rapid Modifications” / (BAS) "Patient vs Patience"]

=/\=
Look and see which way the wind blows before you commit yourself.
-Aesop’s Fables


=/\=
Location: USS ANUBIS, Black Hole Lounge
Stardate: 34023.1220

Often they met in the Counselor’s Office to discuss Diplomatic measures but as Adriana wandered into the Black Hole Lounge she wasn’t sure what to expect.  Her last discussion with the Ambassador had been exhausting; and the Junior Ambassador wasn’t sure if she wanted to have another conversation again so soon. 

Lopez walked into the Black Hole Lounge and started looking around at the tables, both lower and upper levels, for the Ambassador.  After several, if unfruitful, minutes of that she was about to question the computer if the Bolian/Terran woman was really here when something caught her eye.  Walking across the room, as she got closer the smell was what next hit the woman; a combination of citrus zest and something rich and deeply aromatic.  Finally, she made her way to the bar, where behind the counter where food was prepared she saw...the Ambassador baking.

“Oh hello, Adrianna,” Xana said.  As she moved around behind the counter, the other woman noted the change in appearance from earlier.  Gone were any robes, or accouterments indicating that there was any kind of formal discussions here.  Xana had her white hair pulled back into a haphazard ponytail and was dressed informally in a pair of black yoga slacks and tunic.  As she held a triangular bag with a metal pipe, melted chocolate with orange zest came out to be layered upon each log on the counter.  “I apologize for the change in venue, but after my time on the Bridge, I needed to think.  And I do my best thinking when I’m baking.  I figured I was close to being done when we had to meet so hence the change in venue.”

Looking over at the counter at the Adriana looked at Xana who went back to intently dippling each baked good into a bowl of chocolate and orange so each was ½ way covered with chocolate and the other ½ was still a dry baked good.  “What is that?”

“Biscotti,”  and asked.  “It’s an Italian, twice baked biscuit.  Typically it’s dipped in a drink.”

Adrianna looked over in interest.  “What was the reason for the chocolate?”

Xana stopped dipping each biscotti nicely half-way and instead dropped the last biscotti entirely in the bowl so it was “dunked”.  “I need a reason for chocolate?”  The dismay was apparent in her voice as she looked at the other woman.  

Taking pity on the older woman, Adriana smiled.  “No, I suppose not.” 

Sighing in relief, Xana looked at the damage.  “We have food, I have a drink, if you want one--”

“I got it,” Adriana replied.  Eager to get herself back on track she said, “And I’ve read the report from the Bridge.”

Xana cleaned up biscotti crumbs as she said, “Adriana...I’m going to say something.  And I’m probably going to say it badly.”  Pausing she searched for the right words before trying, “I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life.  I know the typical cliche is that the mistake you regret is the most is the one you didn’t take.  I don’t know about that.  But the mistakes I regret the most are the ones where I’ve hurt people...and that’s almost always because I didn’t give myself time. Time to heal from whatever I had, because I pushed myself.  Now you’re not me, you’re you but...serving the Federation whether its in the Fleet or as an Ambassador, always means you’re being pushed, unless you have enough recognition to say: ‘I need a break now’.”  

Adriana thought about that as she helped stacked the biscotti on the plate.  “A briefing...some analysis ...this is not what pushes me.”  When Xana looked worried the Junior Ambassador looked back steadily.  “I know what my trigger points are, for lack of a better term.”

The azure woman thought about that as she walked around the bar, balancing her tea and biscotti, momentarily marveling that not that long ago this would have been a herculean task.  And if it hadn’t been for Adriana, Xana would not would have been able to do this; which made the Ambassador wonder if that was her impetus for wanting to protect her.  Sighing to herself, she tried to make a mental note to come back to that train of thought as she acknowledged she had to trust Adriana’s analysis that she could handle the next steps.  Finding a table out of the way, she sat down and waited for the other woman to join her.  “So you got the report from the bridge, what do you think?”

Adriana twirled the biscotti above her own warm beverage.  “Daanold does concern me,” she admitted.  Thinking about it she swayed in her seat, “But perhaps that is what we have been told.  What we were led to believe.”

“You think he’s fluffy and kind,” Xana asked, slightly amused as she dipped her biscotti in her cappuccino before enjoying the treat, remembering well the last conversation she and Adriana had on Daanold.  

A snort of derision escaped the Junior Ambassador before she became serious.  “No he’s not.  But it would be rather convenient for us to focus all our attention on Daanold wouldn’t it?”  Suddenly Adriana became thoughtful, “It helps Puunce doesn’t it?  We focus on Daanold who appear to be the apparent immediate threat--”

“--and it clears the way for someone else to take over the board.  Puunce is resourceful, and didn’t strike me as the type of person who would be opposed to using tactics not approved by those advocating for the ELIAS peace talks,” Xana finished off as she agreed.  Thinking it through, she asked, “Wasn’t there someone else in the report?”

Adriana looked thoughtful.  “Lots of people.  You’re going to have to narrow it down.”

The Bolian/Human woman munched on her biscotti as she rearranged items on the table.  On one side she placed her own steaming mug, on the other side was Adriana’s mug, in the middle was the large plate.  Pointing to Adriana’s mug she said, “That’s Daanold and his faction.”  Pointing to her own mug she said, “That’s Puunce and his faction.”  Pointing to the middle she asked, “Who was left?”

“Assuming this is not to scale,” Adriana said. “I believe you’re referring to what was in the report as “Other interests”.  Jeruun and Anshaa are high profile traders are two to start.”  Tilting her head to the side as she picked up a biscotti she asked, “Why?”

Xana shook her head, as if trying to physically unlodge a prickly memory.  “Ferengi Rule of Acquisition 34: War Is Good For Business.”  Sighing she said, “I have the feeling that it’s not only the Ferengi who think war is good for business.”

“You know we’re not seeing the Ferengi,” Adriana pointed out.  “And there’s Ferengi Rule of Acquisition 35: Peace Is Good For Business.”  Looking at Xana’s face she asked, “You’re not buying that is the case here? A third outreach is what you’re thinking?”

“It’s taking initiative,” Xana said.  Pointing to each of the mugs and the plate of biscotti she said, “Ok, so who do you want to start with?  I figured we’re each going to have to start reaching out to the groups.”

=/\=
Sarah Albertini-Bond

USS ANUBIS NCC 18501
M15-P018: USS ANUBIS: Lopez: 34023.1245 ("Reaching Out")
-=-=-
"Reaching Out"
[Previous post: (ANU) "The Biscotti Talks" & (BAS) "The OGRAAM"]
-=-=-

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Black Hole Lounge  
Stardate: 34023.1245

Adriana studied the cup in her hand thinking back to the exercise Xana and her had just went through. The situation on ELAS was complex and filled with pitfalls, but the Ambassador was right, they needed to take the initiative. Someone on that world wanted the peace talks to fail and see the planet plunged into the chaos and destruction of a civil war. The odds were good that the dark, unseen forces behind the scenes that were manipulating things were the same ones as those who caused the rapid increase in friction back on EARTH leading to the destruction of Paris. This also meant that it would be nearly impossible to clearly identify those responsibly. The solution needed to come from within, and given the respective mindset of the faction leaders, this would be a challenge all onto itself.

"The choice is simple," the Junior Ambassador said, bringing her cup up as if it held the answer to their dilemma. "As War Master of the Elasian military, Daanold is the one we need to reach out to first. As much as Puunce is the leader of the 'Dark Order', he is a subordinate, following the War Master's lead, so contacting him first could create friction hat we are trying our best to avoid. Also, Daanold's reaction to our reaching out to him should provide us with the answer we need about those Elasian destroyers that came after us."

"Are you sure?" Xana asked. "What about his daughter Evaanku? She is the leader of the Nationalist Puritans and the most vocal force to see ELAS cut all ties to all aliens."

"The faction, as well as its leader, are nothing more than a public front, a more acceptable and pleasing image to rally the public's support. Daanold knew that he would face a stronger opposition if it was him leading the charge, some likely accusing him of trying to mount a coup. This way, his daughter gets to be in the spotlight while he controls the military situation from the shadows," Adriana said. "I am sure that the War Master will sooner rather than later direct us to speak to his daughter in order to maintain his political distance from her and her faction, but he real power on that side of the debate is his."

"Could Jeruun and Anshaa see us reaching out to Daanold first as us taking sides in this conflict?" The Ambassador tried her best to come across as genuinely concerned, but as a Counselor, Adriana easily picked up on what was happening here. Xana was testing her Junior Ambassador making certain that the decision was sound and well thought through.

"Both Jeruun and Anshaa are experienced traders, that means they understand the need to properly set the scene in order to avoid problems and misunderstanding," Adriana explained. "It is unlikely that they will see us as taking sides because we reached out to Daanold first, but that is as long as we do not try to hide this from them. There is no need for us to inform the War Master that we are starting the peace talks from a distance, but it would be unwise for us to keep this information a secret from the other two as that could make them much less likely to trust us."

"Alright," Xana said with a smile. That the explanation was right or wrong, the Ambassador seemed to agree with it, at least enough to see them go back to a better-suited location in order to make the dreaded call.

-=-=-
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Counselor Lopez's Office  
Stardate: 34023.1300

As soon as the two Ambassadors entered the room, the Bolian/Human woman headed for the nearest communication terminal and activated it.

[/\] Yes Counselor, [/\] Jayson Stark said, not having actually looked at the image on his end of the communication channel before speaking. [/\] Sorry Ambassador, I just assumed based on where the signal was coming from. [/\]

"No need to apologize, Lieutenant," Xana said, the tone of her voice hinting that things might not be so easy. "What you could do is to establish a secured communication channel to ELAS. Junior Ambassador Lopez and I need to speak to War master Daanold."

[/\] Is that all? [/\] Jayson said, meeting the woman's casual tone with one of stunned disbelief. [/\] I strongly doubt that the man is that easily reached. [/\]

"If you are unable to do this, I am sure that Commander Shar'El or Lt. Commander Paquette will be able to find a way to get the War Master on the other end of a channel," Adriana said without actually walking in the frame of the visual communication between her office and the bridge.

[/\] I will see what I can do. Bridge out. [/\]

Xana turned to look at Adriana, both woman sharing a quick understated smile between them. "Impressive," the azure-skinned woman said. "That was a nice little way to flex your Ambassadorial muscles."

"Not really," Adriana chuckled. "That was more along the lines of a Ship's Counselor using the information they possessed on a member of the crew. "Jayson is always struggling to prove himself, and he dislikes the way Sonja always picks on him. So I knew that by using their names, it would motivate him to find a way to accomplish what we needed instead of finding excuses to justify what he believed to be impossible."

"I still think it was impressive, even if not for the same reasons." The friendly discussion between the two women ended when the small screen came alive once again, this time showing the face of the Elasian War Master Daanold.

[/\] I was told that this was important, [/\] the man said. It was easy to see by the expression and scars on his face that the War Master was not the type of individual who just sat behind a desk all day. He was a man of action, a man who did not like having his time wasted. Therefore, knowing this both Xana and Adriana jumped into action.

"War Master Daanold, my name if Xana Bonviva, Federation Ambassador on our way to ELAS to help you and your people resolve the mounting friction that is threatening to rip your world and people apart." The introduction was short, sweet and did not offer any sort of apologies, experience having taught the Bolian that this would only weaken their position in the eyes of the Elasian Military Leader.

[/\] Yes, we were informed of your coming, [/\] the War Master said, not sounding overly impressed or enthusiastic. [/\] We have already assured the Federation that you and your vessel would be safe for the duration of your diplomatic mission to ELAS, so I see no reason why you are contacting me like this. [/\]

Xana and Adriana shared a quick glance. The man did not give any indications that he was surprised by the call, but his annoyance was genuine.

"We simply wanted to extend our gratitude for the Destroyer escort that was sent to meet us," Adriana said. There was no real way to see if the War Master had been involved with this other than to confront him straight on about the situation, but there was a way to do this that would minimize any potential problem.

Daanold's eyes narrowed ever so slightly before he spoke again. [/\] I look forward to speaking with in person when you arrive. In the meantime, I have pressing matters that require my immediate attention. [/\] With hat said the channel was closed leaving the two Ambassadors to analyze what had just happened.

"He was not the one who sent those Destroyers," Adriana said with a sigh.

"It was highly unlikely that he would have been the one to do it. This way he could claim to be unaware of it, but you are right, his reaction was not one of concealment but of displeasure. Someone went over his head and he is not happy about it," Xana said before turning back to the small communication monitor. "Now we have to contact Jeruun and Anshaa and see how they react to this."

-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor & Junior Ambassador
USS ANUBIS
M15-P019: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: 34023.1245 ("Jumping Ship")
=-=
"Jumping Ship"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Reaching Out" by Marissa / (BAS) "The OGRAAM" by Dawn]
=-=

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Sickbay
Stardate: 34023.1300

Shar'El studied the reflection in the mirror that was not her own. The similarities were unmistakable but the woman looking back at the ExO / ILO was not Ullian nor Terran but clearly Elasian. Her hair was still as black as night but instead of being straight the flowing hair was now in long, tight curls. The shape of her eyes was slightly different but she could still acknowledge the person hiding behind the black pupils as someone she recognized.

"Excellent work Doctor," Shar'El said while her fingers traced the contour of her new face.

"It would have been a lot harder had you still been sporting your initial features," the CMO explained. "The cosmetic surgery performed on you to make you appear more Human made things a great deal easier for me, not that your Ullian features would have made things worse, just a lot more time-consuming."

The ExO / ILO diligently scrutinized the reflection, trying as best as she could to recall the woman that was once looking back so many years ago. The faces of those she had seen the more private and personal memories of were the only ones she could bring up, her own former appearance remaining beyond her reach. As troubling as this realization was, the ExO / ILO could not let this distract her from the mission she was about to embark on. "Thank you, Doctor," Shar'El said as she forced herself to look away from the reflective surface. "I believe it is time for me to head to the transporter room."

=-=
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Transporter Room 2
Stardate: 34023.1330

The Elasian woman dressed in a standard military uniform stood on the other side of the transporter control station waiting for a report from the bridge. In theory, Shar'El could have returned to the IGC and coordinate the beaming efforts but doing a sight-to-sight transport from the IGC to the transporter room only to be beamed onto one of the Elasian Destroyers did seemed to be problematic. It was best to keep things simple even if it went against the nature of the ExO / ILO.

=/\= Bridge to Commander Shar'El, we have one of the Elasian Destroyers heading back this way, =/\= the Chief of Operations reported. =/\= What is strange is that they are now broadcasting a message on all open frequencies. It seems that they are here to escort us to ELAS. It has to be some sort of a trap, =/\= Jayson added. =/\= If this is what they wanted to do from the start, why wait until now to make such an announcement? =/\=

"There might be another reason," Shar'El sighed as she reached for the communications controls on the transporter station. "Shar'El to Ambassador Bonviva. Were you able to get a hold of War Master Daanold?"

=/\= We did, =/\= Xana confirmed. =/\= Is that a problem? =/\=

"No, not really," the ExO / ILO replied. 'We just have one of the Destroyers heading back this way announcing on all open channels that they are here to escort us to ELAS."

=/\= The War Master did seem rather surprised when we thanked him for sending those ships, =/\= the Bolian/Human Ambassador said. =/\= My guess is that one of his 'pressing matters' he referred to at the end of our conversation was to contact those ships and clarify or counter the orders they were given. =/\=

"Could also be his way to bring himself above suspicion," the surgically altered woman added. "Either way, it changes nothing to the Captain's plan. I will be beaming over and see what I can find out. It should be easy enough to scan the memories of one of the command-level officers to see where the order to intercept us came from."

=/\= Commander, I would like to officially state my objection to this course of action. Should you be found out, it would undermine any diplomatic effort to resolve this situation. =/\=

"Ambassador," Shar'El sighed. "I understand where you are coming from, but you have to remember that your diplomatic mission to ELAS is only half of the reason why we are here. Whatever peace you and Lopez might manage to usher would be short-lived if the Lokustaar operative is not found and removed from that world.  For this mission to succeed, we need to win on *both* fronts, not just one. Also, any information I am able to gather could prove highly useful to you and your Junior Ambassador as it could provide you with a negotiating edge that you would otherwise not have."

=/\= I agree, =/\= Xana stated in a nonchalant manner. =/\= I just needed to make it official that as the Diplomatic Officer on board this ship, I have to oppose your chosen course of action. =/\=

"So noted Ambassador, so noted," and with that said the ExO / ILO closed the channel. "Can you get me onto that Destroyer in an area where I will not be seen, preferably a moving turbolift?" the Elasian military officer asked of the Transporter Chief.

"He can't," Sonja said as she walked into the room, "but I can." Shar'El smiled as she watched the red-haired woman hip-bump the Transporter Chief out of her way. The Chief Engineer would have made a wonderful Intel Operative, but it would likely have been a waste of her knowledge and expertise. Being onboard the ANUBIS and in charge of all of its state-of-the-art gadgets was where the woman belonged. "If you would be so kind as to step onto the transporter platform, I will take care of sending you over without anyone being the wiser."

"Thank you Sonja," the ExO / ILO said before turning to make her way up a couple of steps to the stated area.

"Sonja? How do you know me? I have no idea who you are. I am just here to get you off my ship and back onto that flying garbage tug the Elasians refer to as a Destroyer." The smile on the Chief Engineer's lips showed that she was kidding, but it also served to show that the surgical alterations performed by Doctor Bruxa were as convincing as they needed to be.  "Try to not have too much fun while you are over there," Sonja added. "I would hate to have to beam in after you and arrange for your extraction."

"So noted," the ExO / ILO smiled just before the transporter sequence was activated sending the Elasian military woman where she would not draw any sort of attention, or so they all hoped.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M15-P020: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: 34023.1345 ("Tracking")
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"Tracking"
[previous post were (ANU) "Jumping Ship" / (BAS) "The OGRAAM"]
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Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 34023.1345

"Transport completed," the Sec/Tac reported. "Shar'El is on the Elasian Destroyer and I am not picking up any signs that her arrival was detected.

"No reasons why they should," ANI said sounding almost smug about it. "We transmitted a computer file a split second before the Commander's beaming so that the internal sensors would recognize her as being a member of the crew. This also serves to make sure that she will have complete access to every section of the ship."

"The mechanical aspects were covered," Jayson reluctantly agreed. "The problem is the 'Human element', or I guess in this case I should say the 'Elasian element'. Fooling the computer into believing that the crew was always 'plus one' is one thing, but it will not be that easy to convince the crew. This is not a luxury star-liner; it's a military vessel where everyone knows everyone else."

"Do not underestimate Shar'El," Ya'Han said. "This is not her first undercover mission. The woman had been in worse situations, and she has skills that will make things a lot easier. She can scan someone's memories and use details there to help convince anyone that she was there with them, that they remember her being there or not.  Plus, I doubt that Shar'El is going to be doing a lot of socializing with the crew of the Elasian Destroyer, doing so is just not her style."

The red and black-haired Nylaan paused for a moment, thinking back to the times spent with Shar'El, usually in Sonja's quarters enjoying wine. On top of her engineering expertise, Paquette had quite a refined taste for fine wines, a beverage that always helped those present to unwind allowing them to be something other than a simple off-duty officer. Even while under the influence of the intoxicating liquid, the normally stoic woman remained pretty much the same. Yes, she would appear more relaxed and maybe even smile a little more often but as a whole, the raven-haired woman kept to herself, choosing observation over interaction.

"What is the status of the Elasian Destroyers?" The Captain's question drew the Sec/Tac out of her thoughts, which should have been on her duties and not memories.

A quick scan of the tactical station provided Ya'Han with all of the information she needed to answer the Captain's question. "The Ablative Armor is still making it impossible for them to detect us. According to their flight path and sensor sweeps, they are desperately looking for us while making their way back to ELAS."

"Ship's records will show that they were looking for us, but they are in no rush to find us," Jayson noted. "If they were, they would not be heading in the opposite direction they last saw us following."

"Ambassador Bonviva's little chat with War Master Daanold rattled things. If the Elasian was the one who dispatched those Destroyers, he is playing the innocent quite well, and if it was not him, someone is likely trying to avoid him at all costs. Either way, the ships have been recalled home," the Captain said.

"I think this is better," Ya'Han added. "I would much rather us doing the escorting than the other way around. At least this way we can keep control of the situation and investigate without anyone paying too close attention to what we are doing."

"Maybe so," Jayson countered. "The problem is that it is going to make it difficult for us to explain how the Ambassadors are suddenly going to appear on ELAS. The existence of the covert retrieval team not being known is part of the game, but Bonviva and Lopez need to make a more public entrance to avoid being seen as trying to do something underhanded."

"We will have to address that problem once we reach ELAS," the Captain said. "Whatever Intel Shar'El is able to gather on that Destroyer might very well dictate our course of action once we arrive. Worst case scenario will be for Ambassador Bonviva and Junior Ambassador Lopez to conduct the negotiations from a distance, maybe using holographic technology instead of them beaming down to the planet surface."

"The Ambassador is not going to like that," the Sec/Tac said. Ya'Han may not have known Xana as well as she might need to, but the Nylaan knew enough about the Bolian/Human hybrid to understand that she was the type of person who liked to be where the action was. In addition, remotely conducting any sort of peace negotiation was possibly the worst way to handle things as it displayed a lack of trust and commitment that was essential for people to even just start to acknowledge that they needed to be there to talk instead of anywhere else fighting.

A set of flashing indicator on the tactical display accompanied by an alarm drew the urgent attention of the Sec/Tac who immediately displayed a head of bright red hair.  "That does not sound good," the Captain said.

"Sensors are tracking four more Elasian Destroyers heading this way at maximum speed. Their weapons systems are fully powered," Ya'Han reported.

"I thought you said that they could no detect us," Jayson said, not understanding what was happening.

"They can't," the Sec/Tac confirmed. "They are not rushing in to confront us," Ya'Han added. "The flight path of the new Destroyers is putting them on a direct intercept course with the first Elasian Destroyers sent to meet us. By the looks of things, this new wave is under orders to engage the first group."

"How are we supposed to usher in peace when all they want to do is kill each other?" Jayson complained aloud.

"I think we have a bigger issue," the bright red-haired Nylaan said. "The destroyers nearest to us have raised their battle deflectors which is making it impossible for us to beam Shar'El back."

A shared sighed of frustration echoed through the command deck of the ANUBIS. Many options were available to them; they could engage the attacking Destroyers, easily dispatching them, or they could offer support to the first group by using the heavily armored shell to deflect the weapons fire. The problem was that in either case, the presence of the Federation vessel, as well as its cloaking capabilities, would be revealed to the Elasians, something that would most certainly weaken their position as well as hinder their chances to complete both of their missions.

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Hanali Han

Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501

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