USS ANUBIS - Mission 16
Welcome to NOWHERE
IN PROGRESS
POST INDEX
Post # Character Title
001 Shar'El Morning Report
Shar'El gives her daily report to Erik
002 Ya'Han Daily Routine
Ya'Han is visited by Erik
003 Paquette What The... Insert Rant Here
Sonja is less than happy
004 Bonviva Toss A Bar To Your...
Xana meets up with a few important personalities
005 Lopez Scavenger Hunt
Adriana is searching for something or someone
006 Shar'El Darker Than Normal
Shar'El confronts Ya'Han
007 Satella Medical Anguish
Satella meets up with Jayson
008 Bonviva Sunlight
Xana contacts Shar'El with news on Adriana
009 Shar'El A Whole New World of...
Shar'El goes to see the others asking for volunteers
010 Lopez Who Are You?
Adriana is captured and interrogated
011 Paquette Wakey Wakey
Sonja boards the HATHOR and powers it up
012 Bruxa Getting Ready
On the HATHOR, Satella talks with Jayson
013 Ya'Han Missing pieces
On the HATHOR, Ya'Han questions her emotions
014 Morninstar Blink and You'll Miss It
The HATHOR blinks to ORION
015 Shar'El Hurry Up and Wait
Shar'El is getting impatiant
016 Bruxa Relaxation Technique
Shar'El goes to see Satella and Jayson
017 Bonviva The Name is Bonviva...
On ORION, Xana pushes for Intel
018 Ya'Han The Bodyguard
On ORION, Ya'Han deals with a sticky fellow
019 Stark The Ultimate Question
Jayson goes to the bridge to help
020 Paquette Exit, Stage Left
Xana, Sonja and Ya'Han follow Krokax
021 Shar'El Tracking
The HATHOR tracks the Orion shuttle
022 Lopez A Friendly Voice
Adriana gets a friendy vistor
023 Bonviva Toto, I've a feeling...
The team realizes they are in another dimension
024 Bruxa Forced Actions
On the HATHOR, the crew makes a breakthrough
Post # Character Title
025 Shar'El Testing One's Luck
The second away team runs into trouble
026 Stark Descent Into Trouble
The second team explore the secret base
027 Paquette Broken Mirror
The ladies arrive to NOWHERE
028 Ya'Han The Dome
The ladies are intriduced to this new game
029 Shar'El Hide and Seek
The away team searches for a way to leave
030 Bruxa Over Thinking
The away team makes a disturbing discovery
031 Bonviva All The Sun and Stars Touch
Xana and Sonja deal with Ya'Han in the arena
032 Lopez Rude Awakening
Adriana receives another visit from Mandy
033 Ya'Han Twisted Reflections
Ya'Han meets The Crown, the counterpart to Sonja
034 Bruxa Final Fairwell
The away team fears dying as they try to escape
035 Morningstar Things Are getting...
The away team is brought back on the HATHOR
036 Maya Sciencing The Crap Out...
While in the shuttle Maya chats with Jayson
037 Paquette Searching
The ladies explore their new accomodations
038 Lopez Unknowing Pawns
Sonju talks to Xena and Han
039 Ya'Han Face-To-Face
Ya'Han comes face to face with Han
040 Bruxa Wandering Feelings
Satella and Jayson set things straight
041 Shar'El The Answer
A major piece of the puzzle is discovered
042 Lopez Solitary Musings
Mandy helps Adriana one last time
043 Ya'Han Seeing Red
Ya'Han goes out in search of answers
044 Stark Waiting and Thinking
Jayson and Shar'El talk
045 Bruxa Mirrored Perspective
Comparing Satella and Stella
M16-P001: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: 35005.0800 ("Morning Report")
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"Morning Report"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Quenched Queries" by Marissa/ (BAS) "Full Circle, part 2" by Jessica]
=-=

Setting: NEW ALEXANDRIA, Section C, Level 2, Corridor
Stardate: 35005.0800

The ExO/ILO made her way down the hallway, a sense of discomfort growing within her. The crew had been forced to stay at their base of operations while the ANUBIS underwent a full system's review and numerous upgrades following their conflict against the Lokustaar. The repeated battles had demonstrated some of the vessel's combat strengths, such as the Ablative Armor, as well as some of the weaknesses in the design and systems. Following a lengthy review and analysis, the areas needing to be upgraded were identified and work began to bring the SCARAB-Class Cruiser to optimal combat readiness before another galactic-level threat reared its ugly head. Unfortunately, this means that the ship had to undergo some rather drastic refitting forcing the crew to live in the temporary quarters set for them in NEW ALEXANDRIA.

As comfortable as the ultra-secret base might have been, Shar'El grew increasingly uneasy with being away from the ANUBIS, especially the IGC which she saw as a home away from home. Sadly, voicing this displeasure to Sonja, who was in charge of the work being done on her ship did nothing to make the Chief Engineer and does under her command work any faster. Truth be told, the red-headed woman was already spending the greater of her days dealing with a 'to do' list that never seemed to get any smaller from one day to the other.

"Commander!" Doctor Bruxa called out after noticing the ExO/ILO walking down the hallway as the physician stepped out of her quarters.

"No Doctor, Sickbay is not ready," Shar'El said with a heavy sigh answering the question before it was even asked, again. The two officers had been going through this exact same routine every day for the last couple of months now, and the novelty of this exchange had long ago worn off. "Lieutenant Commander Paquette is still working on the revamping of the power grid on that entire deck. No one who is not an engineer is permitted to be on that deck, or anywhere on the ANUBIS for that matter." It was evident by the woman's tone that she was not pleased about this, not one bit. Hoping to avoid some kind of verbal confrontation, again, the ExO / ILO carried on and quickly vanished into the quarters of her Captain.

"Have we been here that long that you no longer announce yourself before entering?" Captain Morningstar asked in all seriousness.

"You have a simple choice," Shar'El fired back. "You can either accept the fact that I will just walk in when it is necessary for me to do so or you can start looking for another CMO or whichever member of the senior staff who asks me when the ANUBIS is going to be ready for us to return on board."

"Come on in," Erik said inviting his First Officer to join him for a drink. "What do you have for me today?"

Shar'El sat at the table where Erik had prepared the drinks and presented a PADD to the man before reaching for the steaming cup of Risian tea. "Nothing new I'm afraid. Ambassador Bonviva is still on her diplomatic tour, rubbing elbows with high ranking officials and enjoying the best that her position and duties grant her while we are stuck here waiting."

"Sounds like you should be speaking to a Counselor," the Captain said teasingly before taking a sip from his cup.

"Don't get me started on that one," the ExO / ILO huffed. "I have not been able to get any news about Adriana. All that I have been able to get is that she requested transport on one of the other ships based here at NEW ALEXANDRIA in order to go off on some 'personal mission'. I blame Xana for this."

"Xana?" Erik repeated with surprise. "What does the Ambassador have to do with this?"

"If it was not for her, Adriana would not have become the more independent person that she is now," Shar'El explained in a very agitated manner. "Her new title and position as a Junior Ambassador are not helping either as it grants her a lot more freedom than a mere Ship's Counselor would normally have."

"So, you are just mad at her because she was able to escape this gilded cage while the rest of us are stuck here," Morningstar said laughing.

Shar'El chuckled, shaking her head but visibly agreeing with her Captain. "On another note, Jayson as asked me to check in on Ya'Han and make sure that she is alright. It seems that he has not seen her in weeks."

"It is the risk anyone who decides to have a relationship with a fellow shipmate takes," Erik noted. "This line of work is never an easy thing on a couple."

"Ya'Han took the death of Jayson's clone extremely hard, and I suspect that she has not been able to forget or forgive," the ExO / ILO explained. "Actually, I would say that she has not even tried, finding the anger she feels more comfortable than having to deal with the pain of her loss and the emotional conflict she is faced with when looking at Jayson while still having feelings for his clone."

"I do not envy her," the Captain said. "I know that Adriana was trying to help, but with her gone, for the time being, Ya'Han will have to speak with someone from the Counseling department of NEW ALEXANDRIA. It is either that or Admiral Koniki might find her unfit for duty should he be made aware of this situation."

"Neither one of us included her current state of mind in our reports, but this is Koniki we are talking about. I suspect that he already knows about it and maybe even more than we do," Shar'El said before emptying her cup in one swift swig.

"I will try to talk to here again," Morningstar said. "Do you know where I can find her?"

"At the exact same place where she has been since our return to NEW ALEXANDRIA," the ExO / ILO sadly replied. "She is with Commander Maya studying the Lokustaar we brought back. That nightmarish thing has become a true obsession for her, more than it is for our Chief Science Officer who had dedicated all of her time to better understand the race."

Maya being obsessed about the Lokustaar was expected," the captain noted. "As the curious scientist that she is, we all knew that this would happen, but the obsession Ya'Han is showing is not at all like her, and we both know that it cannot be healthy. I will go and speak to her; you can go and tell Jayson that we are on the job. It is not like I have that many more things to do at the moment."

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M16-P002: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: 35005.0900 ("Daily Routine")
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"Daily Routine"
[previous post were (ANU) "Morning Report" / (BAS) "Full Circle, part 2"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: NEW ALEXANDRIA, Section F, Level 2, biohazard lab 1
Stardate: 35005.0900

The routine was now well established as the Sec/Tac of the USS ANUBIS entered the lab where she would have normally been denied access to. On the first day following their return to NEW ALEXANDRIA, Lt. Cmdr. Maya granted Ya'Han permission to follow her in and the Shilian saw no reason to deny the Nylaan access the following day, or the day after that, or the one after that. Now, everyone involved in this research expected to see the bright red-haired woman walk in and the woman had no intention of disappointing anyone.

This routine had become so ingrained that the Sec/Tac could not recall where she had been before walking into the lab or even if she had left at all. She always seemed to be the first to arrive in the observation room and the last one to leave, visited sporadically by members of the research team or by Maya herself to make sure that she was still there and alright. The rest of the time Ya'Han was content to just sit at one of the stations and watch as the Lokustaar endured whatever tests it was being subjected to.

The Federation held at the highest level the idea of respect between races and that no life form should be harmed, directly or indirectly, for any sort of political or scientific gain. Somehow, those beliefs were had not reached the hidden base or its personnel, but then again the Lokustaar could hardly be considered to be a 'life form' deserving of any such respect. During the War of Shadows, the soulless nightmarish race was responsible for millions of lives lost and thanks to those who believed in their dark ways, lives were still being threatened each and every day. If that was not enough, the race from another dimension had left numerous clones behind to continue their work in spreading chaos and destruction wherever they could. If that one Lokustaar was made to suffer, even only a little, it would be justice.

One thing that brought Ya'Han back day after day was the hopes of seeing the creature suffer as so many others had, but the Lokustaar seemed resolved to deny her, or anyone else, that one hope. Despite the growing viciousness of the tests being performed on it, the beast displayed no reaction; instead, it just gazed with those multiple red-glowing eyes that seemed to reach into someone's soul to tap into that person's darkest fears and thoughts.

Knowing that the Lokustaar was a race possessing telepathic abilities, the research lab where it was locked in was equipped with a psionic dampening field isolating the beast in every way possible. Those few telepaths who stepped inside that field in an attempt to peek into the mind of the waking nightmare were quickly made to regret their decision, one going completely mad mere hours following the mind-to-mind contact with the creature. Now the science team was happy to limit their research to more physical avenues, but their tireless work proved to be just as ineffective as to that of the telepaths. They might have managed to capture a member of the fearsome race, but the only thing they managed to discover over the last several months was that the Lokustaar were just as formidable as individuals as they were as a race of cruel single-minded invaders.

Looking down at the creature, Ya'Han could feel a storm of emotions swirling within her. Her rage in wanting to see it and all others like it to be eradicated from this dimension mixed with a sense of endless sorrow as she thought of all the lives that had been lost in the battle against them. The plague created by these monsters had killed everyone who worked on TAU OMEGA and claimed countless more lives on GALEMAE, and that was only one example of the horrors the galaxy faced during the conflict.

The Sec/Tac should have been able to draw some level of comfort in the knowledge that the Lokustaar were trapped, unable to return to their home dimension while every race able to do so was hunting them down, but that thought did little to ease her pain. She wanted to see the one creature standing there in front of her to suffer as no other had ever done before. Only then might she allow her anger for the death of Jayson's clone to drift into history.

"How are you doing?"

Ya'Han instantly recognized the man's voice and even smiled at its sound. She had expected him to come to see her sooner and she appreciated the time and space he had granted her. In his role as Captain, the Sec/Tac knew that he understood, at least in some ways, how she felt.

"Good morning Captain. Is the ANUBIS ready?"

The Captain chuckled. "No, Sonja is still working like mad just to keep up with everything that continues to land on her shoulders. It seems that each time something is upgraded, something else breaks down, and as soon as that is fixed, something else needs to be upgraded. That said, you have not answered my question. How are you doing?"

"I'm alright," the Sec/Tac said never turning around to face the man she was speaking to, choosing instead to keep her eyes on the dark beast.

"Ya'Han," the Captain said placing his hand on the Nylaan's shoulder, politely requesting her fullest attention which she reluctantly gave by turning her head. "You are 'alright'. I gave you all of the time and space I believed you needed to get over the trauma you endured, but it is clear to me now that I have waited too long. We are all worried about you," Morningstar said making sure not to mention the clone or his name for fear that it might undo whatever he was trying to accomplish here. "I truly hate to do this, but I am ordering you to speak to a counselor, and by that I mean you actually *speaking* and *sharing* your thoughts and feelings."

"Yes, Captain," the Sec/Tac said not having been given any other choice, but strangely enough she was not angry at him. "I will contact Counselor Lopez and set an appointment as soon as possible."

"That might be more difficult than you realize," the Captain said realizing by this just how isolated the Sec/Tac had become. "Adriana went off on a personal mission as Junior Ambassador and is not here, if fact, she has not been here for quite some time now."

"She's not here?" Ya'Han was shocked by the news, not because Adriana has left but because the Sec/Tac had no idea that this had even happened. "What about Ambassador Bonviva?"

"Also out on a diplomatic mission," the Captain said further pointing out the extent of the woman's disconnect with the world around her. "Tell you what, if you would prefer, you can speak with Commander Shar'El first. It might actually be a good idea and give you the opportunity to catch up with what that has been happening, not that there are that many things thanks to the ANUBIS being completely reworked."

"I..." Ya'Han hesitated for a few seconds, trying to wrap her head around the fact that she had absolutely no idea that both the Ambassador and Junior Ambassador had left. This indicated a severe lack of attention on her part, something that she had never expected to happen to her. "I will seek out Commander Shar'El right away. Thank you, Captain, for your patience and understanding. It is very much appreciated."

"I know how difficult life in Starfleet can be, especially here in the world of INTEL," the Captain said. "We are asked to deal with so many different cold nightmares on a daily basis that we all too often forget to take the time to enjoy the warmth of whatever light is around us. We become so accustomed to gaze onto this darkness that we often fail to see the light even when it is right there in front of us. The first step is for each one of us to consciously make the effort to stop looking at the darkness, to stop looking at the universe of chaos and pain that surrounds us to instead look at the small, single speck of light that makes our lives worth living."

"Thank you," Ya'Han said smiling, realizing as she used those particular muscles that she had not smiled in a very long time. "I appreciate your wisdom."

The Sec/Tac nodded her head to acknowledge the Captain's invitation to step out of the observation room, but before she did so, Ya'Han glanced over her shoulder to look at the Lokustaar one last time, her gaze meeting the eight small red glowing orbs that were looking straight back at her.

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

Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M16-P003: USS ANUBIS: Paquette: 35005.1100 ("What The... Insert Rant Here")
"What The... Insert Rant Here"
previous posts were (ANU) "Daily Routine" / (BAS) "Perfect Sunny Day"

=====
Setting: USS ANUBIS, what used to be Deck 7, Sickbay
Stardate: 35005.1100

Sonja had to force the doors to Sickbay opened thanks to the sensors and magnetic tracks being offline due to there being no power in this section of the ship. Once she managed to get the doors apart, the Chief Engineer wished that she had not done that or even been here at all. Sickbay, or what used to be referred to by that title was nothing more than a gutted space with wires dangling from the ceiling. Although only the emergency lights were operational, they were more than enough for the CEO to see the state of the room. Every piece of equipment, every medical display, even the beds had been removed to give the engineering teams full access to the back-up power conduits that ran through the floor, which thanks to the floor plates having been removed were now fully visible.

"Jesus H Rosevelt Christ! What in the ever-loving pits of backwoods-engineering hell happened here?" Sonja exclaimed in complete disbelief. "What have they done?!?"

"You did authorize the work," Ani explained, the avatar had been following but chose to remain out in the corridor instead of joining the Chief Engineer in what could only be described as an area of unimaginable horror.

"I can assure you that I NEVER authorized this!" The redhead blasted pointing with two very accusing fingers at the general scene that surrounded her.

"Work order Sierra-Zero-Six-Three-Five," Ani stated, the artificial woman easily accessing the information due to her constant link with the ship's main computer. "Request access to the back-up power conduits located between decks 7 and 8 running directly under Sickbay. You authorized the work three days ago."

"I authorized them getting access to the conduits, not strip Sickbay bare!" Sonja was as mad as could be, so much so that Ani half expected the woman's hair to turn bright red in the same fashion as Ya'Han's hair did in such situations. "I can't keep an eye on everyone, I'm not Spy Girl, and there is not enough wine left on this ship for me to deal with this crap. I swear I am going to have to get them to speak to my mother."

"You never volunteer any communication with your mother," Ani said.

"And there's your sign!"

"They likely wanted to make sure they accessed the full conduits and not just one small section of it," the avatar said in the engineering team's defense. "Since the upgrade to the Warp Core and the main power distribution nodes, several reports of cascading failures have been reported due to the inability of the secondary conduits to accept the increased flow of power."

Obviously, fighting against the avatar was going to be pointless, and yelling at her would prove to be nothing more than a waste of breath, so Sonja decided to change tactics. Tapping her communicator she gazed at the devastated room. "Lt. Commander Paquette to Captain Morningstar."

=/\= Yes Lieutenant Commander, what can I do for you? =/\= Judging by the calm tone of the man's voice, he had no idea of the hell that was about to be unleashed in his direction.

"Do you know what they did? Everything here is gone. I mean everything."

=/\= You are going to have to be a little more specific, =/\= Morningstar said. =/\= What exactly is gone? =/\=

"What did you not understand about the word *everything*? By everything I mean everything! They took it all with the exceptions of the wires that are now handling in front of me, laughing at the fact that they are all that is left. They mock me, Sir. They MOCK ME!" Sonja explained if what she had just said could actually count as an explanation.

=/\= Sonja... =/\= Erik started but before he could say anything more, the Chief Engineer resumed her rant.

"I understand that I am the only one here, but as the Captain are you not supposed to keep track of what is being done to your ship? That is, of course, if you are still the Captain of the ANUBIS and this is not some twisted purgatory that I have been sent to for all those arguments I won."

=/\= I am sure that they did not take *everything*, =/\= Morningstar said, trying to talk the woman down.

"All right, they did leave some of the wall paneling, but that's about it. Everything else was removed including most of the floor plates. Who the hell does that? If you are going to take everything, why leave those few panels there, and worst, why damage them? The way they are now those panels appear to be twisted modern 20th-century art done by a 4-year-old instead of what they used to be. Are they planning on putting everything back or is it going to fall on my shoulders to fix this too?"

=/\= Sonja, you need to calm down, =/\= the Captain suggested. =/\= I still have no idea what it is that you are talking about. Where are you? =/\=

"On the ANUBIS, where else?" the Chief Engineer said rolling her eyes. "I have been here for the last several months, so where else would I be? Half the transporters are offline and I would not put any money on the other half working the way they should. The umbilical connections have been sealed to make sure no one from the crew tries to sneak their way in, which means that I am trapped in this mess with the rest of the Engineering teams that were assigned to refitting the ship."

=/\= Sonja, you need to take a moment and breathe, =/\= Morningstar said. =/\= I know you are on the ANUBIS, I was asking where specifically on the ship you are at this very moment? =/\=

"Sickbay," Sonja replied with a snarl, "or more accurately what used to be Sickbay. Do you realize that Satella is going to KILL me? I know she's all 'sugar and spice and medicinal and  nice' but when she sees this, even a battalion of enraged Klingons is not going to stand a chance against her. When she rips me into shreds it will all be your fault. Everything is GONE! I have never seen this level of devastation, I mean even after being hit by one of those Lokustaar capital ships multiple times the ANUBIS never looked like this. This scene is more like it was the work of some poor and desperate Borg trying to get everything they could get their hands on, whatever it might have been, in order to trade it to an even more desperate Orion scrap metal dealer for him to resale to some brown-robed dwarves living in the desert. It is going to take WEEKS to get just this one room operational enough for Satella to only scream at the state of it for a few hours. I can't work like this. Since our return to NEW ALEXANDRIA, every system on the ship has been upgraded, and each time one of them goes online, something breaks forcing us to fix it and upgrade that part too before something else needs fixing. This should have taken a month, two, max, and it is starting to feel like I am going to spend the rest of my life in this mess, a life that, for the record, is not going to be that much longer if I keep running into these kinds of surprises. I will tell you this for free, if I go, I am taking the whole lot of you with me."

"That would be impossible at this time," Ani pointed out, the avatar still standing in the corridor and well out of reach of the Chief Engineer. "The warp core is currently offline and the antimatter containment pods have been removed and waiting for their replacements."

"SEE!" The CEO blasted. "This is what I am dealing with. I can't! I am taking the nearest EVA suit and walking off this ship."

=/\= Sonja, please, take a moment. I will speak with Commander Nelson... =/\= Erik paused for a moment. After what Sonja had just said, describing the scene as what a Borg might have done, it might not be such a good idea to involve the NEW ALEXANDRIA's Borg Engineer in this affair. =/\= Actually, I will get a hold of Commander Wallace as well as Lt. Cmdr. Argus O’Dell. The two of them should be able to find a way to help. So, just stay put, I will contact you again shortly. Morningstar out. =/\=

Sonja stomped out of the room muttering to herself. "Upgrade the ship Cinderelli. Fix what broke Cinderelli. Wait until I call you back Cinderelli," the Chief Engineer stopped as she reached the avatar. "Join Starfleet they said. It will be fun they said," she added before blowing a rather moist raspberry in Ani's face before storming off through the barely lit corridor yelling at the top of her voice, "DO NOT FOLLOW ME or so help me, I will pull your plug out."

The avatar waited until the Chief Engineer rounded the nearest corner before pointing out to herself, "But I don't have a plug."

"I HEARD THAT! Trust me, if I have to install one so that I can pull it out, I WILL!"

=====
Lorraine Paquette

Lt Commander Sonja Paquette [Access Character BIO for Sonja Paquette]
Chief Engineering Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501
M16-P004: USS ANUBIS: Bonviva: 35006.1817
("Toss A Bar To Your Ambassador, Oh Valley Of Fun...")
=/\=
Toss A Bar To Your Ambassador, Oh Valley Of Fun…
previous posts were (ANU) "What The... Insert Rant Here" / (BAS) "Perfect Sunny Day"

=/\=
It was a mistake to speak one's mind at any time, unless it perfectly matched your political purpose; and it never did. Best to strip all statements of real content, this was the basic law of diplomacy.
-From Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars

=/\=
Setting: ORION, Valley Of Fun, Fire Dancer Casino
Stardate: 35006.1817

Xana Bonviva had just gotten used to being on The ANUBIS; and was rather appreciative of the people she served with.  She was loathe to leave it anytime soon, but she knew that her position did not often leave her with the choice to stay still.  

Still as she moved through the casino, ignoring the clinking of the chips, the sips of liquids to her left and right, and thanks to a last minute request to Dr. Bruxa she was able to resist the wafting smoke floating in the air, Xana straightened out the French cuffs of her tuxedo shirt and made sure that the black satin lapels were still perfectly straight on her tux jacket.  

Smiling to herself, Xana almost wished that Adriana could be here with her.  This was the kind of Ambassadorial assignment she knew that Adriana wished for.  And she would have taken her with her except for two things.  Whoever sent the mysterious message knew her, knew quite a lot about her, and it most definitely was not about official business. Also before Xana could even tell Adriana about this sojourn, Adriana had left on her own official business.  

Not seeing, or hearing from, whomever sent the mysterious message, Xana kept walking through the casino.  Suddenly a large Orion man, scantily dressed, carrying a drink tray came over.  “She said you’d want this for what’s coming next,” he said, referring to the large rainbow drink on his tray.

“I’m good,” Xana said waving away the drink.  “And who is she?”

The Orion man ignored the question.  “The show is starting soon,” he continued on.  Then he pivoted and walked away.

“No I’m good, thanks,” Xana muttered as she made her way following the crowd to the auditorium.  

The auditorium was a large circular room, set off from the main casino gambling area.  The stage was a circular stage set in the middle of the room, recessed down, so the crowd could look down on the performer.  The crowd took their seats and it was clear that they had seen this act before because there was a rhythmic clapping that began.  Spotlights began swirling around the auditorium building up the suspense.  Suddenly a disembodied voice said, =/\= Guests we have a special someone here tonight, I’m told.  So I’m going to start with our favorite.  Put your hands together, Oh Valley of Fun… =/\=

The crowd went wild at that.  Although the phrase was innocuous enough, Xana felt a sense of dread and instead of taking a seat, backed up against a wall, prefering to be in the “standing room”.  

From across the auditorium a voice began to sing out as the spotlight focused on him:


When a humble singer
Graced your stage
With tales of Ambassador
Along came this tale
From when the silver haired healer came
Death and disease did flay

Xana buried her head in her hands.  “Oh dear Gods, no,” she muttered.  She stood there and listened to an exaggerated version of what happened with OLTHAR PRIME; never once naming any of the crew by name but it was clear who he was singing about.  “Morningstar is going to kill me,” she muttered.  

As the singer got to the stage, the audience really got into the act (clearly they had heard this before) and sang the chorus.  That nearly everyone in the audience knew.  

Toss a bar to your Ambassador
Oh Valley of Fun
Toss a bar to your Ambassador
Oh Valley of Fun
Oh Valley of Fun
Ohhh

Not waiting to hear how the rest of the song went, Xana pivoted and walked out of the auditorium, through the casino, right to the bar.  Someone had tried to send a drink to her earlier; perhaps now would be a good time to find out more about that.  

The bar was nearly empty; everyone was at the performance or gambling or doing something else.  It shouldn’t have been too difficult to get a drink.  Any drink.  At this point Xana would have settled for some seltzer.  Trying to wave down the bartender, the Bolian/Human woman said, “Hello.  Can I get something?”

The bartender, one of the few non-Orions who worked here at the casino, was at the other end of the bar.  “In a minute; I’m busy.”

Xana looked around.  Aside from her, there was a man at the far end who was nursing a beer, and a giggling bachelorette party that appeared to be having a good time with their own champagne bottle.  “Uhm, I think it wouldn’t be that hard to get my drink.”

“In a minute,” the bartender snapped.  As she made her way over she said, “You’re going to want some kind of fancy drink--”

“I just want a wine,” Xana said.  

“--one of those fancy drinks with umbrellas, and we’re all out of umbrellas,” the bartender groused. 

“Really a wine is fine,” the Ambassador protested.  “Look I just came from the performance and I just want to drink.”

“Did you take the drink earlier?  No.  You sent it back.  And it was because of the damn umbrella.”

“I sent it back because I didn’t know… Oh dear gods,” Xana said as the realization hit her, as she finally got a good look at the bartender.  It all came to her at once.  The mysterious message.  The drink.  The snipping now at the bar.  The bartender glared at her to be quiet but it was too late.  “Selyara?” she hissed. 

Selyara, the Section 31 head now disguised as a bartender, huffed out.  “You are definitely not getting an umbrella now,” she ground out as she tossed her apron.  Grabbing Xana’s arm from across the bar, she walked to the end of the bar where the top lifted up and marched the Ambassador to a room that said “Broom Closet”.  

Standing in a closet, in between cleaning equipment and uniforms, Selyara glared at Xana.  “Last time I do a favor for you,” she huffed.  

Xana softened up at that.  “Thank you for letting me know about the song,” Xana said.  Looking at the door she said, “I’ll figure out something.”

The Vulcan/Betazoid looked at the Ambassador.  “There was a time you would have liked a song being sung in your honor,” she pointed out.  When the other woman said nothing the Section 31 head pointed out, “When I worked with you--”

“You worked *for* me, Selyara!” Xana yelped.  

“I worked with you,” Selyara rebutted.  

“For!”

“With!”

Both women blinked for a moment, distracted by the argument to remember the thread of what they had been discussing.  Finally Selyara tossed back her silky black hair.  “Circumstances have changed.  Not only for you,” she finally spat out.  Leaning against the door she said, “It’s changed here too.”

Xana nodded at that.  “I know ORION has changed.  The new government is not exactly Federation friendly.”

Selyara gave a look over at Xana.  “But they’re supposed to be,” she said.  Looking at Xana she said, “They’re going to want to meet someone from the Federation.  About some mutual acquaintances of ours.”  

Before Xana could respond there was a series of loud knocking at the door.  “Coming,” she called out.  She turned to look at Selyara but there was a mop where the Section 31 head had been.  Opening up the door there were 3 large Orion individuals, dressed in all black suits.  “Looking for someone?” Xana asked brightly.

The individuals leaned in and hauled her out.  “You’re wanted at The Golden Palace,” the lead ruffian said.  

=/\=
Setting: ORION, Basher City, The Golden Palace
Stardate: 35006.2245

The trip to The Golden Palace took a short time, but clearly the government representative intended to keep her waiting, as Xana had been sitting in a well appointed office for the better part of an hour.  Tapping her heel on the dark marble floor, Xana spun around in the dark guest chair waiting on the other side of a large well appointed dark desk.  Looking out the window that faced a courtyard of The Golden Palace, Xana wondered who exactly she’d be meeting.  At this late hour, she honestly wondered if they just forgot about her.  The only thing that stopped her from getting up and going was that she heard the brutes who had hauled her here on the other side of the door.

Just as she was wondering if it was worth it to stay here or go, Xana heard voices on the other side of the door.  As she turned around in her chair, the doors swooshed opened to show an average sized Orion woman in a smart white business suit.  As Xana stood up, the other woman walked over to her and said, “Ambassador Bonviva, I’m President Ligalla.  I trust you had no problem making it here.”

Raising her eyebrow at that, the Ambassador said, “No, no problems whatsoever.”  

The President nodded at that as she made her way over to the desk.  “I have to admit I was surprised when I was notified that you were on ORION and didn’t make an official check in.”

Xana remained standing; clearly this was going to be one of *those* meetings.  Official check-ins by Ambassadors to Presidents, or other government leaders was expected.  If one was on a planet for official business, which she wasn’t.  “I’m not here on official business.  This is a personal trip for me.”

President Ligalla sat down but made no indication that she wanted the Ambassador to join her in sitting.  “Ah, so I’m to understand that you just happened to make a vacation on ORION?”

The azure woman tapped her high heel, the click-clack sound reverberating on the marble.  “The Fire Dancer Casino had some entertainment I’ve never heard before.”

The President gave a sharp smile at that.  “We’re proud of our local talent,” she said.  “Ambassador, though, I have to keep coming back to this...you’re really not here on official business?”

Xana blinked at that.  Gesturing to her tuxedo she was wearing she said, “As you may have noticed, I’m not wearing my Ambassadorial robes. I’m not exactly dressed for diplomacy.”  Tilting her head to the side she asked, “Was there something in an official capacity that you wanted to ask me?”

President Ligalla leaned back in her chair.  “As you know this is a turning point for my people,” she said.  “We are trying to forge a new future.”  

“Hmmhmm,” Xana nodded, not exactly committing to the Orions long history of piracy, slave-trading, and racketeering.  This whole “we’re now a legitimate government” sounded wonderful, and the Ambassador would embrace it.  If it wasn’t for things like the large goons who dragged her here or the ominous vibes she was getting from the President, who rumor had it wasn’t exactly lawfully elected.  

“And as a free and independent people, we don’t appreciate others interfering in what is clearly a personal matter for the Orions,” Ligalla continued on.  Giving a meaningful look she said, “I’m sure you wouldn’t appreciate me interfering in your personal affairs.  Would you, Ambassador?”

Every alarm and nerve ending went off in Xana.  Schooling herself to keep calm, she asked, “My personal affairs?  You mean aside from having my life being sung about in casinos?”  When the President just gave an enigmatic smile she said, “Come now, we are women of the universe.  These half-truths and riddles do not become us.  What is it you want to ask?”

The President took her time, sipping an amber liquid on her desk and evaluating the Ambassador as she stood there before her.  Finally she said, “One of your ships is causing a problem for my people.  I want you to stop it.”

Xana raised an eyebrow at that.  “You must think I have far more power than I do.  Ambassadors cannot command ships to do anything.”  Pausing for a moment she asked, “Out of curiosity, what ship is it?”

“The USS PHOENIX,” President Ligalla said.  Leaning in she asked, “Are you sure you can’t do anything?  I was certain you had….well I’ll say sway with that ship.”

The azure woman for the first time that night regretted her choice of attire because her tuxedo had an open shirt, as she had opted to not go for a bow tie; and at this point she could feel that she was getting flush, her skin becoming almost the shade of a blueberry.  Although her children were on that ship, she knew that the President wasn’t referring to them.  In a crisp voice, Xana repeated back, “Ambassadors cannot command ships.”  

The space of several moments passed as the two women stared at each other.  Finally Ligalla waved off the Ambassador.  “Fine, I have no further use for you.  I won’t even bother you about this other Federation matter I had here on my desk.”  As she shuffled around some PADDs, she finally the one she wanted and leaned back in her chair to read it.  “Go, you’re useless.  You’re of no use to me,” Ligalla said dismissively.

Xana nodded and said, “Madame President.”  Getting no response, she spun around and walked out the door.  As she made her way out of the room, the Ambassador wondered if she did the right thing by the ANUBIS, the PHOENIX and...whatever that *other* Federation matter was that President Ligalla alluded to was.

The large brutes who had hauled her here were still hanging outside the door, but now they were playing cards.  One of them had the audacity to whistle the song from the casino as Xana walked out.  It gave her a moment of pleasure to give them a very undiplomatic gesture on the way out.

=/\=
Sarah Albertini-Bond

USS ANUBIS NCC 18501
M16-P005: USS ANUBIS: Lopez: 35007.0200 ("Scavenger Hunt")
-=-=-
"Scavenger Hunt"
[Previous post: (ANU) "Toss A Bar To Your Ambassador" & (BAS) "Perfect Sunny Day"]
-=-=-

Setting: ORION, Basher City, Shuttle Station 5
Stardate: 35007.0200

Officially, the Junior Ambassador had made quite a detour to this world as a representative of the Federation in view of establishing better diplomatic relations with the businesses of this world. This meant that officially Adriana's presence could be kept off the government's records as she had no dealings with them directly, but Lopez knew that her presence here could not be hidden forever. Sooner or later someone would be looking for her since she was not on VULCAN in order to ask as to why she had come to ORION instead, and this without flaunting her position as Junior Ambassador.  Luckily, her stay on this planet was coming to an end as the true reason for her being here was taking her elsewhere.

The merchants and businessmen she dealt with had not been of the highest reputation, but each had been the exact person the Junior Ambassador needed to see in order to move ahead in this scavenger hunt she found herself on. The information provided by Rilliz had been very specific in its vagueness. She needed to come to ORION and speak to a merchant by the name of Grendel. Since the man was a second-rate dealer in exotic information hiding behind the facade of a supplier of shipping containers, it took quite a bit of effort for Adriana to find the man.

As soon as she did though, the request to leave NEW ALEXANDRIA was filled, using her position as Junior Ambassador and the newly elected government on ORION as her excuse to come here. Lopez knew that sooner or later, likely sooner rather than later, someone would realize that she had not come here for the stated reasons, but hopefully by then Adriana would have found what she was here for.

Once she found Grendel, Lopez was directed to another merchant in another city. The only advantage was that she would not have to leave ORION to find Krokax, son of Duroj, a questionable dealing in hard to find alien drinks. Her dealings with that man reminded Adriana of some of the drinking parties Sonja enjoyed, although the atmosphere and quality of the drinks were far from what the ANUBIS' CEO prided herself on sharing.  With several shots in her system and more hours lost than she would have cared for, the Counselor was heading to find another individual, this one a businessman by the name of Hiltaros Bre.

The term businessman was technically accurate as Hiltaros did conduct business, but it was evident what kind of affairs he was involved with by the large number of scantily dressed women who filled the rooms surrounding his 'office'. As uncomfortable as the meeting with the slave dealer was, Adriana remained focused on her mission and soon found herself leaving with the next piece of the puzzle, this one giving her not only a name but also a location.  Kaseera, a Boslic woman who would be found on an unnamed trade station a few lightyears away from ORION.

That was what brought the Junior Ambassador here, to Shuttle Station 5. Since the destination had no official name, all that Adriana could do was to hand over a pass given to her by Hiltaros.  When the shuttle pilot looked at the pass, he blinked several times before looking up at the woman who had just handed it to him. "Listen little lady, you have the wrong shuttle."

"I was told to be here at this time and to give this to the pilot," Adriana said. "You are the pilot of this ship, are you not?"

"I am," the rough looking Ktarian man growled. "This pass is not what you think it is," he added. "Go back to where you came from little lady and order yourself a tall glass of warm milk. One day, you might realize how lucky you were to run into me instead of someone else."

"I am not going anywhere else other than in that shuttle," Adriana said standing her ground.

"Sis," the mental projection of Amanda said as she appeared behind the muscular man. "I have a bad feeling about this. It might be a good idea to listen to him and do as he says. To be honest, I am surprised that you made it this far, and I am afraid that you may be pushing your luck."

"Listen *big boy*," Lopez continued, using the same tone as the Ktarian had used on her when referring to her as a 'little lady'. "I have come too far to just turn around now. I have my reasons for being here and i do not expect you to understand them. All I need from you is to accept the pass and the payment I was informed would be required to allow me to board. Whatever happens after is not yours to be concerned about."

"I was just trying to save you a universe of trouble," the pilot said as he took both the pass and currency chip. Swiping both into his hand-held device he confirmed that the pass was genuine and that the sufficient for the transport was present. "It's your funeral. Get is and make yourself comfortable, it may be the last time you get to take it easy for a very long time.

Without saying anything more, Adriana boarded the shuttle and made her way to the first empty seat she found but not before noticing a collared Orion woman being held in place by what appeared to be an unsavory Humanoid male.  A few moments after Lopez nervously eased herself into the seat; the man appeared next to her, his breath smelling like three-week old rotting fish.

"Where is your companion?"

Fighting back the urge to be sick, Adriana waved the man away. "I travel alone and am in no way interested in whatever you might have to say or sale, so go back to your seat before you find yourself with a broken arm."

"Feisty aren't we?" He grinned showing his sickly and stained teeth. "I could be very kind to you."

"You have no idea how feisty I can be," Lopez hissed back, narrowing her eyes. "Maybe I should break both your arms and legs to show you just how much of a mistake you are making at this moment. After that, I am sure that your lady friend over there will be more than happy to pay you back for whatever *kindness* you have showed her so far."

Raising his hands in a show of surrender, the man retreated back to his seat leaving Adriana to catch her breath and allow her heart to start beating once more.  "Looks like those training sessions with Ya'Han paid off," Amanda chuckled with surprise. "You sure made it look like you were going to be ripping him a few new ones."

"I'm just glad I did not have to," Adriana whispered, knowing that she was the only one able to see or hear the sister sitting in the seat next to her.

"I still think that you are pushing your luck," the hallucination added. "There is still time, just get up and walk out. You can always claim that you forgot something. The worst that will happen is you losing those credits you paid to get this far."

"I would lose much more than that," the sister said, looking at the image of the twin with a swelling of emotions. The sound of the shuttle door closing drew Adriana's eyes on her one and only way out which sealed shut only seconds later. "It's too late anyway."  As she turned back to lok at her twin sister, Lopez found the seat empty reminding her that she was alone on this mission, a loneliness that she felt more deeply than anything she had ever felt before.

-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor & Junior Ambassador
USS ANUBIS
M16-P006: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: 35007.0900 ("Darker Than Normal")
=-=
"Darker Than Normal"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Scavenger Hunt" by Marissa / (BAS) "Unresolved Issues" by Rachel]
=-=

Setting: NEW ALEXANDRIA, Section C2, Level 4, Promenade
Stardate: 35007.0900

It had been two days since Erik had gone to see Ya'Han; two days since the Captain got his Chief of Security to finally step out of the science lab where she was keeping a fearful watch over the captured Lokustaar; two days since the Nylaan had said she would seek out the Ullian. The ExO / ILO had been more than patient, but two days was too long for Shar'El to accept this as being a normal delay for such a simple task.

Finding the Chief of Security proved to be a little more complicated than expected. Ya'Han had not been in her assigned quarters and neither had she been with Jayson. Since the ANUBIS was off-limits to all personnel except for the engineering workforce, this left the greater majority of the secret base for her to be hiding in. The make matters worse, the Nylaan had opted not to wear her communicator, making the job of finding her that much more difficult. Difficult but certainly not impossible, especially for a Ullian who was on the hunt.

Scanning the memories of anyone that crossed her line-of-sight, Shar'El quickly narrowed the possible location of the woman until she found her sitting in one of the couches of the Promenade overlooking the dock station of the USS ANUBIS.

"Lieutenant Ya'Han!" The ExO / ILO bellowed. The Commander had always considered Ya'Han as a more than a shipmate, the woman's history made her the kind of person the Ullian could not help but feel sorry for. The Nylaan needed friends whom she could look upon as an extended family, something that Shar'El hoped she had found on board of the ANUBIS. The problem was that the exchange that was about to take place could not be one that took place between friends.

"Took you longer to find me than I had expected," Ya'Han said, her tone, like ver hair color, much darker than usual. Shar'El did not need to call upon her abilities as a Ullian or even her skills as an ILO to know how the Nylaan was feeling. The color of her hair always proved to be a very accurate indicator as to the mindset of the woman, and right now it was easy to see that her mood was on the much darker side of things.

"Ya'Han," the ExO / ILO said having softened her tone quite a bit before sitting down in one of the chairs near the couch where the Sec/Tac was parked. "This is not like you. I understand your feelings, the sense of loss that you are experiencing, but pushing everyone away is not going to make things any better it will only make you feel worse in the long run. I am here to help. I am here as a friend."

"You did not sound like a friend when you found me," Ya'Han pointed out, the Nylaan seemed to be looking for a reason, an excuse even for this to turn into a fight. Even her hair had shifted to a darker crimson shade.

The ExO / ILO was not about to fall for that trap. Her experience, as well as her ability to pick up on unshielded memories, made Shar'El realize what was happening, all she needed to do now was to figure out the reason why. "I can tell that you are hurting. You believe that the Lokustaar are responsible for taking everything that you loved from you. Jayson's clone revealed that it was the Lokustaar who guided you in opposing your father. It was them who also ended up being responsible for taking him from you. Now, you are worried that they will find a way to take everything else from you including Xana and Adriana. They left on missions of their own that had absolutely nothing to do with the Lokustaar or their operatives."

"I thought you were not allowed to scan the memories of a member of the crew?" Ya'Han hissed, her hair gradually turning full combat-red.

"I could argue that we are not on the ANUBIS right now," Shar'El retaliated. "I could claim that you are broadcasting those memories, which in truth you are, but in the end what matters is that I am here for you, not as your Commander, but as your friend. You are hurting, and you are chastising yourself for feeling that way. You want to mourn the clone you grew close to being gone, but as long as Jayson is around, you cannot bring yourself to allow those emotions to surface and even less to include him, to allow him to help."

The two women looked at each other for several moments. Shar'El knew that her being a Ullian would have made it easy to be a Ship's Counsellor, but using that skill to gather Intel was what she had been trained for. Luckily, the ExO / ILO had picked up a few things from actual Counselors during her career.

"I can't talk to him," Ya'Han admitted. "I have tried, but each time I see him, all I can think about is the other Jayson. It was never my intention to develop such strong feelings for him, but i did. I wish I could go back and never go on that mission, but I can't. Now I am stuck feeling this way. It is not fair to him or me, so it might just be better if I just stopped being *me*." The Nylaan's hair went from full red to pitch black in the matter of a few seconds. Shar'El wished that Adriana had been here right now because what Ya'Han needed the most was not only an experienced Counselor but also a true friend, someone who would understand first-hand what the woman was going through.

Shar'El could do nothing but just sit there, watching with a growing sense of sadness and despair as the solid black-haired Nylaan gazed down upon the powered-down ANUBIS, the ExO / ILO desperately trying to find a way to help. Losing Ya'Han would be a devastating blow to the ship, but her departure would prove even more problematic to the friends she would leave behind.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M16-P007: USS ANUBIS: Bruxa: 35007.1000 ("Medical Anguish")
=-=
"Medical Anguish"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Darker Than Normal" / (BAS) "Unacknowledged Envy"]
=-=

Setting: NEW ALEXANDRIA, Section C-1, Level 1
Stardate: 35007.1000

Satella stepped out into the corridor in a huff after having been kicked out of the base's Sickbay. The CMO had been under the impression that the facility was an extension of the Sickbay on the ANUBIS. Apparently, it was not. The staff was assigned to assist the ship and crew whenever they were docked. The problem was that they had a full complement of personnel. So having another Doctor present was only causing more trouble. Especially when that Doctor was trying to take over.

"A Doctor with a Sickbay is no Doctor," Satella mused to herself. "I need to talk to a Counselor," she added followed by a short-lived chuckle. She had been denied her place of work as well as her friend and confidant. Things were not going well for the Mikulak woman.

It was nice to be off the ANUBIS. Enjoying a different setting was good for morale. As well designed as the ship was, it did not hurt to experience something different from time to time. It was also nice to be able to 'go back home', something that they had been denied. The ship needed extensive work following the repeated battles against the Lokustaar. Still, it would have been nice if the crew could return to their quarters. Being away from the ship might have been a good thing. Clearly, there was such a thing as too much of a good thing.

"Doctor Bruxa. Is everything alright?" It was Jayson Stark walking in her direction.

The CMO appeared surprised by the question. Was she not the one supposed to ask those kinds of questions? "Of course, why did you ask?"

"Honestly," he chuckled. "You look a little lost. Plus you are out here instead of in there," he said pointing to the door to Sickbay.

Satella sneered at the door. "I am not allowed in there. At least not unless I am deathly injured."

Jayson laughed. "I have the feeling we have overextended our welcome here. Everyone I have spoken to seems to be itching to get back on the ANUBIS and leave."

"Everyone you have spoken to?" Satella knew of the rifts that had developed between Ya'Han and him. So this was her way of asking if things had changed on that front.

"No, not her," he replied. His regret and pain were visible. So much so that Satella thought that Adriana would have been able to see them even if blindfolded.

"I'm sorry," the Doctor said. She could not think of anything else to say or do. The situation was well beyond her skills as a CMO. She could feel his pain but could not think of a way to help him. "I really wish Adriana was here. At least you would be able to speak with her."

Jayson forced a smile onto his lips. "I have come to realize one important thing. Life rarely goes the way we plan or hope."

"Well, it was unfair of Adriana to just go off the way she did. Not even a word. One day she was here, the next she was on a transport ship to some diplomatic mission. I bet she is one of those comfy resorts, enjoying a drink. She probably doesn't even time to think about us. Having too much fun being the diplomat that she is now."

The smile became genuine for a brief moment, "Well, at least there is one member of the crew who is enjoying their time while the ANUBIS is being fixed."

"Jayson Stark, you are a better person than I am. The scary part about that is that I am the CMO. I am the one who is supposed to always be looking on the brighter side of things."

"That is quite alright," he said.

"Were you going in there?" Satella asked. After their little chat, the CMO had just realized that he kept looking at the door.

"I was just going to ask if they had something for a headache," he said.

"Trust me, you do not want to go in there." Satella was exaggerating her gestures. The feelings were genuine, but she needed to make a show of it. That way, those behind the door might feel some sense of guilt for kicking her out and it might make Jayson laugh. "Those people are soulless automaton who care nothing about the wellbeing of others. They might sedate you just to keep you from complaining. No, you are far better staying here with me. I might have something that will take care of that headache of yours. The best part, you will not be kicked out once they are done butchering you. Come."

The show might not have had any effects on the staff of the base's Sickbay, but it proved enough to make Jayson smile. He agreed and followed the Physician. Whatever she had in mind had to make him feel better than he was at the moment.

=-=
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]
M16-P008: USS ANUBIS: Bonviva: 35007.1215 ("Sunlight")
"Sunlight"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Medical Anguish" / (BAS) "Sticks of Fury, Aftermath"]

 =/\=
First of all, keep him out of the light, he hates bright light, especially sunlight, it'll kill him. 
-- From “Gremlins”

=/\=
Location: ORION, Basher City, Federation Ambassador’s Residence
Stardate: 35007.1215

“I don’t understand.”

Ambassador Ayhan looked across the universe back at Xana.  [/\] My words were clear Ambassador Bonviva and there appears to be no distortion in the message.  Therefore, I am to understand that you received it.  Your…*Junior* Ambassador, one Lieutenant Junior Grade Adriana Lopez did *not* make it to VULCAN as promised.  As a result, we were not able to convene with her, ensure she had the adequate training, receive her reports--[/\]

Xana waved her hand in the air as she leaned back in her chair.  While she knew that she had support from senior leadership in the Federation government, the rank and file had some questions (as they usually did) when a new Ambassador came on board.  “I got the point, Ambassador Ayhan.”  Thinking it through she asked, “Did her shuttle make it?”

[/\] Yes. [/\]

The azure woman drummed her fingers on the minimalist desk.  Finally after several drummings of her nails on the desk she asked, “Did it not occur to anyone to, I don’t know, inquire about why the Junior Ambassador wasn’t there?”

[/\] That’s what this call is, Ambassador Bonviva.  Why isn’t the Junior Ambassador here on VULCAN? [/\]

She didn’t slap her forehead, so perhaps that was a good thing.  “I’ll figure it out and get back to you.  Bonviva out,” she said.  Pulling up various records and flight paths she started to mutter to herself, “Adriana... where did you go?”

It didn’t take long to search the Federation records to see Adriana had left the ANUBIS as expected but her shuttle took a detour.  A detour to Basher City, ORION.  Picking up her bag, Xana figure out her first place to go.

=/\=
Location: ORION, Basher City, Outdoor Market Place
Stardate: 35007.1330

Xana wandered through the colorful marketplace.  Stalls were side-by-side; each hanging their wares for sale.  Clothing stalls next to housewares next to jewelry and next to that small historical artifacts and around the corner was food with powerful aromas wafting through the air.  

This was not the first time the azure woman had come to the market; her travels had taken her to ORION before.  There were moments that she showed she was an Ambassador, and times she did not.  The Basher City market place was a place where ashe was a citizen; so she was dressed in a plain red tunic, black slacks and a black shawl wrapped around her shoulders.  

Xana poked around several stalls, finally settling on a stall that sold gadgets.  Looking through some of the gadgets she saw the proprietor come into her perphiary.  Years ago he had worked in the Diplomatic Corp…. now he just sold wares and other interesting facts.  “Ma’am, welcome back,” he said.  

“Thank you,” she nodded.  Looking through the gadgetry she asked, “Did you get anything new shipments since last time?”

“Always new shipments,” the Orion man pointed out proudly.  For a minute or so, he pointed out several new wares that had come in.  For a moment he paused and said, “But some of our wares... they have not made it to market.”  Frowning he said, “There are those in the universe who try and divert.”

Xana inspected a small creature who was in a cage.  The brown and white furry creature with ears on either side of his head appeared to be happy, almost giggling as he nibbled on a piece of fruit in the shade.  “He made it here,” she said.  

“Like many of us, he is not what he appears to be.  He can’t be in the sunlight for example.  Somethings should be in the sunlight but they’re too awful to see,” the proprietor said.  Sliding in another piece of fruit into the cage he said, “Some shipments come here bound for another location.  Some shipments come here and stay.  Some shipments come here and get diverted to somewhere else.”

The azure woman smiled at the creature in the cage.  “What if I am looking for someone that was diverted?  Someone that made a stop here that shouldn’t have?  And never made it to its final destination?”

The former member of the Orion Diplomatic Corp cleaned up around his stall for a little while as he seemingly ignored Xana’s question.  Just as she was about to give up, he finally spoke in a soft, low voice.  “I keep him in a cage because at night he transforms into something else entirely,” the proprietor said as he nodded to the happy brown-and-white creature in the cage.  Frowning he said, “There are those in the universe who seek to keep humans in cages, but not because they transform, but because they like being on the outside of cages.  Someone like you would be worth a lot in this situation.”  The proprietor opened his mouth to say something but he tilted his head to the side.  “We are all not what we appear to be.”  Nodding as he began to walk away he said, “Ambassador.”

As the proprietor turned away to take care of the rest of his wares, Xana furrowed her brow in the change at the proprietor. 

“Ambassador, are you having a good time shopping?”

Exhaling at hearing the goons from the Golden Palace, the Ambassador turned around and saw them now behind her completely out of place in the marketplace.  Yet, for completely out of place as they were their presence was a clear, stark reminder that she was being watched and clearly out of place here.  

“I always enjoy shopping,” she said as she walked away from the stall and into the busy street.  

“You didn’t get anything,” one of the goons said as they trailed her.  

Turning around in the middle of the plaza, she felt the sun beating down on her, but not so much as she felt the curious stares of people who were trying very hard not to look.  Somewhere along the way she also felt something heavy in her bag; clearly her Orion friend slipped something inside of it.  “If you say so,” she replied.

=/\=
Location: ORION, Basher City, Federation Ambassador’s Residence
Stardate: 35007.1440

To send a secure, diplomatic message across the universe should not have been a difficult thing.  To send a secure, diplomatic message across the universe to an Intelligence gathering ship, that was difficult.  And to send it while most assuredly being watched…. well now Xana was just asking for all kinds of problems.

As the computer bounced signals from all over the universe, the Bolian/Human woman made her tea and paced in her residence.  Finally the computer dinged a few times and as the Federation symbol began to shift, the Ambassador took her seat as the image of the Executive Officer.  “Hello, Commander Shar’El,” she said.  

[/\] Ambassador Bonviva, [/\] the Executive Officer said.  [/\] We weren’t expecting to hear from you anytime soon. [/\]

Xana smiled at that.  “I’ve missed you too,” she said.  Sipping her tea she thought about to say the next part and realized with the following there would most likely be someone monitoring her communications, so it didn’t matter how she said it.  “Shar’El, Adriana never made it to VULCAN.  There was a detour on ORION.”

[/\] So she’s with you then, [/\] Shar’El said.  It was clear across the stars that the Executive Officer was not clear for the reason for the phone call.  

“No,” the Ambassador said.  Taking out a small trinket from her bag.  It was neither Orion nor Federation.  Holding it up in the sunlight that was streaming in from the windows she said, “I inquired with someone I know and I have reason to believe that Adriana was taken.  That they’re keeping her somewhere.  I would keep looking on my own but it appears that I’ve attracted my own interest.  At any rate, does this look familiar?”  Holding up a PADD that came with trinket, a PADD with a flight manifest going nowhere but had a Human woman listed filed as "unintended passenger" she said, "There's more here but I think you could find this on your own."  It was a quiet reminder that Xana clearly did not trust the transmission on her end.

[/\] Yes some of that I could get.  But I suppose I’ll get a better look at what you have in your hands the next time we see each other.  Shar’El out. [/\]

=/\=
Sarah Albertini-Bond

USS ANUBIS NCC 18501
M16-P009: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: 35007.1530 ("A Whole New World of Trouble")
=-=
"A Whole New World of Trouble"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Sunlight" by Sarah / (BAS) "Sticks of Fury, Aftermath" by Moi]
=-=

Setting: NEW ALEXANDRIA, Section C2, Level 4, Promenade
Stardate: 35007.1530

The last time the ExO / ILO was here it was to speak with Ya'Han and that conversation had not gone al that well. Now, Shar'El was here to meet Erik and she suspected that the conversation they were about to have would be equally unpleasant.

"Please do not ask me about how long it will be before the ANUBIS is ready to take us back," the Captain said with a heavy sigh. Obviously, that question had been asked more than once of the Commanding Officer.

"We have a situation," Shar'El said opting not to waste any time and jump straight to the matter. "I received a call from Xana. It would seem that Adriana never made it to VULCAN. The Ambassador was able to trace her whereabouts and found that she detoured to ORION."

"Why do I have the feeling that them being together on ORION is not the problem you are talking to me about?" Erik sighed, the Captain already anticipating something much worse.

"Xana provided enough information for me to check with a few of my colleagues in the Intel department. What they came up with is not good, not good at all. Adriana went to ORION and somehow, voluntarily boarded a transport heading to a space station that officially does not exist. I am sure you can imagine the reasons why such a space station would want to remain unknown and unseen, but that only makes things more difficult for us. Adriana is there, on her own, dealing with who-knows-what and there is no official way we can just show up and help, especially not with the ANUBIS in the state that it is in." The ExO / ILO stopped and looked at the Captain, waiting to see what he would say next.

"I have the feeling you have already figured a way for us to help, so what is it?"

"The HATHOR could get us there in mere minutes and its cloaking device would allow us to remain undetected. A small away team could board the station and find Counselor Lopez, hopefully before it is too late," Shar'El explained.  "We just need to convince Admiral Koniki to allow us to use the ship for us to go to a space station that does not exist in order to rescue a member of our crew who should not be there."

Erik closed his eyes before cranking his neck. "The worst part of all this is I believe that my convincing Koniki is going to be the *easy* part of this mission." Reopening his eyes, he looked straight at his ExO. "Gather the crew. I will find a way to convince the Admiral one way or another. It might end up costing me a lot, but I have never left a member of my crew behind and I certainly do not intend to start today."

"Good luck, Captain," Shar'El said. "If there is anyone who can convince Koniki, it is you."

=-=
Setting: NEW ALEXANDRIA, Section C2, Level 4, Holodecks
Stardate: 35007.1540

Shar'El could have contacted each of the members of the senior staff and explained the situation over a comm channel, but the ExO / ILO thought a more direct approach would be best. This was serious enough to allow people the chance to voice their objections and even opt out of this mission, a mission that even if Koniki agreed to endorse, would most certainly not be listed as official in any records. A quick search of the crew's locations revealed that Lt. Stark and Doctor Bruxa were much closer than she could have hoped them to be.

As she walked into the holodeck, the ExO / ILO was shocked to see the two officers enjoying what appeared to be a game of ping-pong.

"Commander!" Jayson called out after noticing who had just walked in. "Care to join us for a little game?"

"This may seem as a weird question, but why come to a holodeck to play ping pong?"

"It was Jayson's idea," Satella said as she smacked the small white sphere back towards her adversary only to have it slip into two half way through the air.

"It's a variation of the game," the Chief of Operations explained. "The ball goes through random changes when it crosses over onto the opposing side of the table. Sometimes the ball speeds up, slows down, or splits into two. There are other programmable effects, but since this was Satella's first try at this, I thought I wold keep it simple."

"How kind of you," Shar'El said as she approached. "Adriana is in trouble."

That announcement proved to be the perfect way to bring the game to a complete stop instantly.

"When are we leaving?" Satella asked clearly demonstrating her loyalty to her friend.

"It is not that simple. Captain Morningstar has to convince Admiral Koniki to allow us to use the HATHOR. Since this is most likely not going to be an official mission, only volunteers will be going. I am here to..."

Satella interrupted. "As I said, when are we leaving?"

"As soon as we hear back from the Captain," the ExO / ILO replied before turning to Jayson. "This is a purely voluntary expedition, one that will have us without the resources of the ANUBIS."

"Will Ya'Han be going?" Stark cautiously asked. Shar'El could see the hesitation in his eyes and after speaking with the Nylaan, the ExO / ILO understood exactly why he reacted the way he did.

"I have not asked her yet," the Commander replied.

"I will go, just do me a favor. Do not tell her that I will be there if she decides to go."

"You cannot hide from her the whole mission," Satella pointed out.

"I don;t have to," he explained. "I will just stay out from underfoot until we are on our way."

"Let us see if she will come first," the ExO / ILO stated before leaving the holodeck with two willing volunteers all ready to go to the Counselor's help.

=-=
Setting: NEW ALEXANDRIA, Section F, Level 2, biohazard lab 1
Stardate: 35007.1610

Shar'El walked in to find Maya busy analysing the latest data gathered from the captured Lokustaar.  "Found anything new?" The Commander asked, announcing her presence at the same time.

"No," Maya replied without taking her attention away from the monitors. "That thing is just as much a mystery now as it was when it was brought here."

"How would you like to tackle something different?" When Maya turned to look at Shar'El, the ExO / ILO continued. "Adriana is in trouble and the Captain is going to need volunteers to perform a highly dangerous rescue mission."

"Will I be allowed to bring a field research kit?" The CSciO asked.

"We will have access to the HATHOR's systems, I hope. If not, you will be able to bring whatever you can as long as if fits in whatever ship we end up with."

"That will do. When do we leave?"

=-=
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Main Engineering
Stardate: 35007.1625

With Jayson, Satella and Maya on the team, Shar'El went to see Sonja next. The CEO was discovered in the ANUBIS' Main Engineering Section which lloked more like a desaster area than where the heart of a starship resided. "Sonja?"

"Right here," the redhead called out from behind one of the inactive warp core primary conduits. "If you are here to tell me that something else is broken, you better run, and run fast."

"I am here to ask for your help. Adriana is in trouble on some unsavoury space station in the middle of nowhere. The mission is likely not going to be sanctioned by the Admiral, so the Captain and I are asking for volunteers," Shar'El explained.

"As long as this takes me away from here, I am ready to face a full army of drunken Klingons armed with dull Bat'leths," Sonja said popping her head out from where she was.

"This is not joking matter," the ExO / ILO clarified. "This is going to be an exceptionally dangerous mission where we will not have access to any of the ANUBIS' resources."

"Alright, but can i bring something along?"

"Of course."

"Good. ANI! We are getting out of this wretched mess."

Shar'El smiled. This left only one office left for her to speak to, and she would likely be the most difficult one to convince given her current state of mind.

=-=
Setting: NEW ALEXANDRIA, Section C2, Level 2, Quarters
Stardate: 35007.1635

Shar'El stood outside of the quarters assigned to Ya'Han, her previous three attempts to get her attention having failed. Since using the door chime did not seem to work, the ExO / ILO decided to use a more direct and old fashion method. She knocked on the door as hard as she could.

After a few seconds of this, the door finally opened. "I was sleeping."

"In the middle of the day?"

"Thought it would be wise for me to get some rest before speaking to one of the base's Counselors," Ya'Han said.

"Speaking of Counselors, Adriana is in trouble. I do not have all of the details but instead of going to VULCAN, she found her way to ORION," Shar'El explained.

"That's not good."

"It gets worse," the ExO / ILO continued. "The information I was given by Ambassador Bonviva seems to indicate that Adriana went to a black space station, the kind that officially does not exist."

"That's really not good."

"Captain Morningstar and I need volunteers to go there and rescue her before she gets into too much trouble."

"It's likely too late for that," Ya'Han said rolling her eyes.

"It's alright; you do not need to come. This is not going to be an official mission, so there is no reason for anyone to risk their career or even their lives on this."

"Adriana is a friend," Ya'Han said.

Just as the black-haired Nylaan said this, the Commander's communicator chirped indicating an incoming signal. =/\= Morningstar to Shar'El. We have the HATHOR. It will be ready to leave in 15 minutes. How many people have you been able to convince? =/\=

Before answering, Shar'El looked at Ya'Han to see what her reply would be. When she nodded her head, the ExO / ILO replied. "We have more than we need to make this work."

=/\= Good, we will need to pick up Ambassador Bonviva once we reach ORION. That was one of the conditions set by the Admiral. =/\=

"*One* of the conditions? How many are there?"

"Don't ask. Right now, just get everyone that is going to the HATHOR. The earlier we go, the better our chances of rescuing Adriana are. Morningstar out. =/\=

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M16-P010: USS ANUBIS: Lopez: 35007.1545 ("Who Are You?")
-=-=-
"Who Are You?"
[Previous post: (ANU) "A Whole New World of Trouble" & (BAS) "Sticks of Fury, Aftermath"]
-=-=-

Setting: SPACE STATION BLACK HOLE, unknown room
Stardate: 35007.1545

Adriana could taste the twinge of copper on her lips even though she was barely conscious of where she was or what had happened to her. The journey to this place had been relatively quiet, the man who had previously approached her seeing the wisdom in leaving her alone. The Captain of the ship, if either could be called so, came to check in on her from time to time, an expression of saddened pity reflecting upon his features. She understood that her destination would not be a good place for her, but that is where the clues as to the whereabouts of her sister pointed, and that was exactly where she would go.

In an effort not be noticed, the Junior Ambassador had shed her official attire for more common clothes. Despite this, her arrival on the station drew a great deal of attention, but she dismissed it as a simple curiosity in the presence of a new face amongst the ruffians, scoundrels and other people of questionable background and intent. Not wishing to linger in these parts for any longer than she absolutely had to, Adriana made her way to the first store she saw and asked for the one name she had been given. Hel.

The man, or at least that was what she believed the creature on the other side of the counter to be, smiled a sickening smile before he went into the back of his establishment. Lopez felt a surge of hope come about her, certain that her quest for her missing sister was over or at the very least was nearing its end. Instead of seeing Amanda or even the shop keeper, Adriana felt the sting of an energy weapon set to a stun-setting more powerful than she could have ever imagined.

When she woke, she was tied to a chair as a muscular figure stood in front of her with only one question in mind. "Who are you?" His voice was deep and left no doubts in her mind that he meant business.

Adriana quickly replied with her name, but that answer was deemed unacceptable and led her to be struck across her face by the back of a hand. The question was repeated and each answer she gave proved to be equally unacceptable. It did not take long before the pain became too much and Lopez passed out. When she woke up sometime later, the entire thing repeated with even more ferocity causing both of her eyes to now be swollen shut. "I do not know what it is that you want me to tell you," she pleaded, her eyes unable to shed any tears because of their condition. "I am Adriana Lopez. I am here in search of my sister, Amanda Lopez."

Lopez heard the man's hand as it cut through the air, rising as high as it could in order to strike her down once again. Secured to the chair in such a way that she could not move her body, Adriana did the only thing she could do, bracing for what she was sure could very well be the final blow. Instead, she heard a single word spoken with such command that the entire room seemed to become frozen in time. "STOP!"

"Thank you," Adriana offered, unable to see the person who had likely just saved her life. "Whoever you are. I am just here looking for my sister, her name if Amanda Lopez. She and I were separated when we were 6. I have been searching for her since the moment I was able to join Starfleet." Lopez instantly regretted saying that as another hand took a solid hold of her hair and pull back nearly breaking her neck.

"She knows nothing," the muscular man said, his constant repeating of the same question made it easy for Adriana to identify him. "I say we kill her here and now. No one is going to miss her." The person who had grabbed her hair let go and moved to join the other, their quiet footsteps making it clear that they were smaller than the brute who had been beating her to near death. Adriana heard a whispered voice followed by a grunt of displeasure. "You get to live, for not," he growled easily picking up the chair Lopez was tied to. "Since you are Starfleet, may have some use for you, but don't get your hopes up. I will crush that tiny little head of yours, and when I do, not even that sister of yours you are so desperately searching for will be able to recognize you.

=-=
Setting: SPACE STATION BLACK HOLE, another unknown room
Stardate: 35007.1600

"You sure did it now, sis," Amanda said, this one was the hallucination of her twin sister and not the person she had come here to find. "I do not know if you have figured it out, but those guys are going to make minced meat of you, hopefully, *after* they kill you."

Adriana wanted to cry but her eyes were too swollen shut to permit it. She also wanted to scream but her jaw hurt too much to be opened enough for her to make any kind of noise above a whisper.

"Here, drink," a woman said startling Adriana. The surprise was compounded when she felt a small glass brought to her swollen lips. "Don't worry, it's only water. There is no fun in killing someone with poison."

Having little choice in the matter, Lopez accepted the offering and swallowed the content of the glass ignoring the pain the effort caused. "Why?" Why am I..."

"Don't talk," the woman interrupted. "You admitting being Starfleet may have saved your life, but you might come to regret that sooner rather than later. It might have been better for you to let big, tall and stupid kill you when he had the chance. Now, you are here and you will be treated with even less care than the countless slaves that come through here. Rest, if you can, try to sleep. Hel has you and you are not going anywhere anytime soon."

"Please!" Adriana pleaded but the sound of some sort of heavy metal door closing and being locked made Lopez understand that she was alone, more so than she had ever felt before in her life.

"What is just me or did it sound like she meant a person and not the location when she said *hell*?" The hallucination of the missing twin sister asked echoing the thoughts that the prisoner had, which of course made sense as the voice and person meant to represent her sister came from her own mind, likely a desperate effort to hold on to whatever reason to live she could muster.

-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor & Junior Ambassador
USS ANUBIS
M16-P011: USS ANUBIS: Paquette: 35007.1545 ("Wakey Wakey")
"Wakey Wakey"
previous posts were (ANU) "Who Are You?" / (BAS) "No More Drills"

=====
Setting: USS HATHOR, Corridor
Stardate: 35007.1545  

Sonja and Ani made their way through the darkened corridors using their portable hand-held lights to find their way. No lights, not even the emergency indicators were operational. "Did someone forget to pay the hydro bill?" Sonja asked of no one in particular as they pressed on, wondering why none of the systems were responding to either verbal or tactile commands.

"There are no hydro bills," Ani pointed out in a dead-pan tone. "Those have not been in effect since the mid-twenty-first century."

"How do you have access to a full library of knowledge and be so completely unable to recognize a joke when you hear one?" The CEO said allowing her frustration at the current situation to seep through.

"The majority of my knowledge comes from my subspace link with the ANUBIS' computer, which at this moment is working at less than full capacity due to the extensive work being done on the ship.  I could try to access the NEW ALEXANDRIA's mainframe but you yourself have given me strict orders not to do so."

"And I stand by that order," Sonja growled. "You link to that jumbled mess and there is a good chance that your core personality will find itself scrambled beyond repair. I would rather deal with your inability to recognize a joke over losing you completely. Now, come on. Main Engineering is just around the corner.

=====
Setting: USS HATHOR, Main Engineering
Stardate: 35007.1550

Sonja stepped briskly into the Engineering section of the HATHOR which was as dark as the rest of the ship. "Computer, lights! Maximum illumination."  As expected the lights failed to come forcing Sonja to feel her way to the core of the ship. "Everything seems to be in order; I wonder what the issue is?" After noticing that the main control circuits controlling the Warp Core and power distribution had been removed and left on the floor right next to where they should have been, the CEO began the task of reinstalling them. As more circuits were re-enabled, systems returned to life including the main source of power for the HATHOR.

"The core is back online. It will take several minutes for it to be ready to generate power to the rest of the ship," ANI reported. "Why would all of the systems be taken offline?"

"I can think of one possibility," Sonja sighed. "When you think about it, it does make a little bit of sense. The HATHOR does not have an official crew assigned to it; this allows our dear Admiral Koniki to keep the ship and its Blink-Drive ready as a means to escape to the farthest reaches of the universe."

"Why would the Admiral want to escape?" the ANUBIS' Avatar asked visibly perplexed but the proposed reason.

"This is Admiral Koniki we are talking about," the redhead Engineer smirked. "The man likely has skeletons in his closets that are haunted by endless nightmares which are themselves motivated by horrors we do not want to imagine. Just being around that man gives me the crawling creeps. I can imagine a million reasons why he would want to escape, and what scares me, even more, is the fact that there is likely another million reasons that only he is aware of that would push him to leave and never look back. Anyway, you and I have to get this bucket of bolts ready for departure as quickly as possible. We need to get the main computer back online first, so you take care of that while I get primary power and life support back to full. I am sure that Captain Morningstar will appreciate boarding a ship that is not completely asleep."

Sonja took a moment to scan the room now that she could see everything. The Main Engineering on the USS HATHOR was by no means that of the ANUBIS. It was quite Spartan in its layout and could easily fit into one of the two floors of her normal domain, still being here made the Chief Engineer feel better than she had felt in quite some time. Here, at this time, she could be an Engineer instead of a fix/repair/replace worker as she had been for the last several months.

Once she confirmed that power was being channeled to all other systems on the ship, Sonja reached for her communicator. "Paquette to Shar'El. The HATHOR will be ready in about 15 minutes, would have been sooner if you had told me that the damn thing was completely powered down. The one advantage we have is that this ship was meant for quick systems' power-up."

=/\= We are on our way, =/\= the First Officer stated.

"Is Doctor Bruxa with you?" Sonja inquired.

=/\= Yes, why? =/\=

"Just tell her that she actually has a location to do what it is she normally does, so I do not want to hear her complaining about there not being as many beds or that the equipment is not as she is used to having it."

=/\= No worries Sonja, =/\= Shar'El offered. =/\= I have the feeling that everyone is going to be very happy to be back in action, although I am sure that we would all prefer this came to be for another reason than our going to rescue Adriana. =/\=

"Agreed," Sonja sighed. As great as it was to be on a functional ship, even one as small as the HATHOR, it would have been better to not have to be worried about the safety and well-being of one of their own.

=====
Lorraine Paquette

Lt Commander Sonja Paquette [Access Character BIO for Sonja Paquette]
Chief Engineering Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501
M16-P012: USS ANUBIS: Bruxa: 35007.1600 ("Getting Ready")
=-=
"Getting Ready"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Wakey Wakey" / (BAS) "No More Drills"]
=-=

Setting: USS HATHOR, Deck 2, Sickbay
Stardate: 35007.1600

It felt weird to walk into a Sickbay that was not her own after being away for so long. The uncertainty was palpable as Satella moving in deeper. The physician found herself caressing the corner of one of the biobeds with the tips of her fingers. This was not *her* Sickbay, but it would do for this mission.

"Should I leave you two alone?" Jayson was laughing. Satella had completely forgotten that Jayson had accompanied her here. The moment he heard that Ya'Han would be with Captain Morningstar, he decided to board with the other team.

"Funny," Dr. Bruxa sighed. "Real funny. Should you not be heading to the bridge and help with getting the HATHOR out?" The Chief of Operations just shook his head. This was not going to be an easy mission. Going to wherever Adriana was would prove to be a challenge on its own. Dealing with the growing chasm between Jayson and Ya'Han would only make things more complicated. If this mission was to have any chance of success, they all needed to work together. "You cannot avoid Ya'Han for the whole mission."

"I promise you that it is not what I plan on doing," Jayson said trying to reassure the Doctor. "If I make my presence known now, she might decide to stay. If she does, our chances of rescuing Adriana from whatever mess she is in will drastically drop. She needs to be here, more than I."

"First, you should not sell your contribution short. You are just as important to this mission as everyone else." Satella paused for a moment, offering an understanding smile before continuing. "What I find interesting is just how much you admire her. Despite her keeping you as far away as she can, you still love her."

Jayson just stood there, thinking, remembering. His feelings made him go back every time she sent him crashing onto a mat during their sparring exercises. Satella had taken care of more than a few bruises because of this, and yet he always went back. His love for the woman was undeniable, and that made Bruxa feel sorry for the man. His love for her was hurting him more than Ya'Han might have ever wanted to but him through.

"I love her, more than life itself." His admission did not come as a surprise. It was good for him to say this though as it made him aware of his own emotions. "I want het o be happy, and right now that happiness is without me being near her."

Satella found herself wishing that Adriana was here. Jayson needed to speak to someone who knew exactly what to say. As a physician, her skills in that domain were very limited. She could offer an understanding shoulder to the man. She could even offer a few words of encouragement. Bruxa just wished that she could do more but knew her limitation in that regard. "You can stay here until the HATHOR leaves NEW ALEXANDRIA. Since we are a few crew members short, you can help me get this Sickbay ready."

"Thank you," he said before going to work.

While scanning the much smaller Sickbay, Satella notice someone standing in the opened doorway. It was Cmdr. Shar'El and by the looks of things she had been there for some time.  Bruxa was about to explain the situation when the woman just smiled and nodded her head. Obviously, she had seen and heard enough to know what was happening. If that was not enough, she could also pick up on Jayson's memories. Those would likely be more than enough to make the Ullian understand everything.

"Let us focus on bringing Adriana home. We can deal with the rest after." With that said, Shar'El left allowing for the doors to close behind her.

Satella turned back to look at Jayson. The man was already reviewing the equipment. As the Chief of Operations, he knew what to look for if something was amiss. What troubled the Doctor though was just how sad he appeared as he worked. This situation with Ya'Han could not be allowed to remain as is. As much as it needed to be addressed though, saving Adriana had to be their first priority.  Hopefully, this would be nothing more than a quick 'blink-in and blink-out' kind of mission. With Adriana back, she would be able to help the two love birds get back together as they deserved to be.

=-=
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]
M16-P013: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: 35007.1600 ("Missing Pieces")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Missing Pieces"
[previous post were (ANU) "Getting Ready" / (BAS) "Pre-Jump Chat"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: USS HATHOR, Bridge
Stardate: 35007.1600

Captain Morningstar was the first to enter the bridge of the HATHOR followed by Lt. Cmdr. Maya and Lt. Ya'Han. The initial surprise at being back on a bridge that was not that of the ANUBIS was quickly replaced by a sense of purpose, something that the Sec/Tac had sorely missed. Without hesitation, the black and red mixed haired Nylaan headed straight for the ship's Tactical and Security station.

"Systems are still coming online," Maya reported from the science station, the Shillian had reached the Science station just a little faster than the Nylaan had reached hers. The fact that Maya's station was active while Ya'Han's was not also contributed to the fact that the first report came from the other side of the bridge.

"Our Chief Engineer is on the job," the Captain said as he toured the much smaller command deck than he was used to be in charge of, easily noticing that not all of the stations were, as of that time, active. "Run a full system's check as soon as you can. I would like for us to be underway as soon as possible."

"Yes, Sir," Maya and Ya'Han both acknowledged at the same time. There were no doubts about it, being back in action felt great, the only problem was the reason for them being here heading on this unsanctioned mission. What kind of trouble had Adriana gotten herself into?  As a Counselor, the woman could be considered a quieter, more reserved person, but since Ambassador Bonviva had taken her under her wing, Junior Ambassador Lopez had taken on the habit of jumping head-first into whatever cause she believed in.

If it had not been for her, the Bolian/Human Ambassador would have likely died by now, but on the flip side of this, the Lokustaar clone of Jayson Stark might not have been forced to give up his life to save hers. As much as the Sec/Tac considered the Counselor to be a valued member of the crew, Ya'Han felt at odds in trying to reconcile her feelings towards Adriana as a friend. The more she thought about this though, the more the Sec/Tac felt wrong about her feelings. It was not fair to hold Lopez responsible for what happened as she had followed her beliefs with absolute passion and conviction, something that not everyone could claim on the best of days.

"Tactical systems are coming online now," the Sec/Tac reported as the console she was sitting at came to life. Instinctively, Ya'Han began with an internal scan of the ship and quickly noted the presence of the other members of the rescue team including Jayson Stark who was in the HATHOR's Sickbay along with Doctor Bruxa. For obvious reasons, her thoughts shifted from Adriana to Jayson, both of them dealing with issues out of their immediate control in the best ways available to each.

Jayson desperately wanted to fix whatever was broken between them, to return to what the two of them shared before the they went up against Mordana; before he was mortally injured; before she encountered his clone and infiltrated the ranks of the inter-dimensional invaders; before she found herself attracted to the man she had been meant to use to gain the confidence of the Lady in Black.  The fault was entirely hers for feeling the way she did, for being unable to look at the man who so desperately loves her without seeing the copy who ended up giving his life to save hers.

She watched the video feed on the small monitor of Jayson assisting Satella, and even with his back to the camera, Ya'Han could tell the weight that was crushing his spirit. He loved her, so much so that he took every available step to respect her wishes for him staying away from her. The man was as kind and generous as could be, that was part of the reason why he joined this mission, unable to turn his back on a fellow shipmate in need. It was also because of this unselfishness that he was in Sickbay instead of where his position and expertise demanded him to be. Even when faced with the rescue of a friend and shipmate, Jayson thought of Ya’Han first and above all else.

The Sec/Tac glanced at the vacant Operations station and immediately felt the conflicting emotions tug at her heart. His absence from both her professional and personal lives made her feel incomplete, and yet she could not bring herself to gaze upon him without thinking of the other, a man who was nothing more than a copy of the original. A copy that for all intents and purposes was arrogant, selfish, egotistical, but also a man who possessed a passion that she had only seen once before back on her homeworld through the often questionable actions her father.

Ya'Han could not help but question how she could have despised one man so much for displaying those traits and be attracted so much to another for showing the exact same attributes. This hinted to the Nylaan being broken in more ways than she could explain, and why she needed to be here and help bring back Adriana no matter the risks or dangers they would face.

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

Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M16-P014: USS ANUBIS: Morningstar: 35007.1620 ("Blink and You'll Miss It")
##########
"Blink and You'll Miss It"
Previous posts (ANU) "Missing Pieces" / (BAS) "Dimensional Survey"
##########  

"Well before the dawn of science, man knew that the shortest distance between two points was a straight line. That was before the idea of an 'Einstein–Rosen bridge' which folds space to bring those two points one on top of the other. So now instead of traveling in a straight line, we imagine ourselves jumping into a whole and hoping not to land on our heads after reaching the other side."
- Captain Erik Morningstar to Admiral Koniki about the new Jump-Drive of the USS HATHOR

=====
Setting:  USS HATHOR, Bridge
Stardate: 35007.1620

The Native American sat in the central chair, his eyes carefully scrutinizing the controls and people around him. As charming as the HATHOR might be, it was nothing compared to his ship the ANUBIS. The SCARAB-Class Cruiser outdid the DEFIANT-X Class Destroyer in nearly every aspect such as size, power, weaponry, and certainly the availability of resources.

Everything the smaller vessel could do, the much larger one could do better, with two glaring exceptions. The HATHOR's cloaking device protected the ship from sensors much better than the ANUBIS' Ablative Armour and, of course, no one could argue that the ability to travel countless light-years in mere seconds thanks to the Blink-Drive was not something to be envious about.

With a press of a single control on the armrest of his chair, Morningstar opened a communications channel. "Bridge to Engineering, Lieutenant Commander Paquette, are we ready to go?"

=/\= Will you give me a cotton-picken-minute. You do realize that I am working with no Engineering staff what-so-ever here as they are all busy rebuilding the ANUBIS. So everything has to be done and checked by Ani and me, that's it, no one else, just an exceptionally tired, and yet relatively still good looking redhead along with a cranky android who could not tell the difference between a joke and a falling bulkhead, =/\= Sonja unleashed to the amusement of the officers on the bridge.

"So, in other words, we *are* ready to go," the Native American said having become more than accustomed to the style and rants of his Chief Engineer.

=/\= Oh ye of little faith... of course we are, =/\= the CEO said as if this should have been common knowledge. =/\= We have been ready to go for a few minutes now. What's going on up there? Tell me; is our Chief of Operations asleep at the console again? =/\=

"He is currently not on the bridge," Ya'Han stated, using this opportunity to inform her friend of the situation while at the same time pointing out to both the Captain and First Officer that she knew he was on board.

=/\= Figures, men... =/\= the redhead grumbled. =/\= Maybe we should use this Blink-Drive and send him to the forest moon of ENDOR, no wait, I have a better idea. The jail world of EROBUS or the fiery pits of NETU would be perfect for him. =/\=

"I have never heard of any of those worlds," Shar'El said.

=/\= If I use the Blink-Drive to create a 'gate to the stars', trust me, you will get to know those worlds and a whole lot more. Just make sure to stay away from HALA or ORILLA, problems on those worlds have a nasty habit of *replicating* fast. =/\=

Dismissing the latest rant of his Chief Engineer as pure nonsense, Captain Morningstar focused instead on her earlier statement that the HATHOR was ready to go. "Commander Shar'El, since we do not have an FCO, care to take the ship out?"

"It would be my pleasure Captain," she replied quickly moving to the front of the bridge to take control of the Flight station.  "Clearing all moorings and setting a course for the outer doors. Standing by to engage thrusters."

=/\= Captain, =/\= Sonja jumped back in with. =/\= You do realize that the Blink-Drive can be used *now*. There is no need for us to take the HATHOR out into open space. We could blink right out of here. =/\=

"I suspect that Admiral Koniki would not appreciate that," Shar'El stated.

=/\= And your point is? =/\= the Engineer rebutted. =/\= It's not like he would be here to tell us how displeased he is... again. =/\=

"We can always claim that we were in a rush," Ya'Han added, the Nylaan clearly not finding any problems with the proposed idea.

=/\= Nah, just tell him that I sat on the controls by mistake, =/\= Sonja offered playfully. =/\= It would not be the first time that this butt made things move across space unintentionally. =/\=

"Fine," the Native American conceded. "Set coordinates for ORION and stand by with the cloaking device. I would prefer not making our presence known once we are there. After our arrival, contact Ambassador Bonviva and have her come on board. I think it will be prudent for us to hear everything she can tell us about this situation before we proceed to wherever Counselor Lopez is."

"Stand-by to engage the Blink-drive," Shar'El said as she monitored the power levels on her console.

=/\= And we are OUT OF HERE! =/\= Sonja shouted through the still open channel.

=====
Setting:  NEW ALEXANDRIA, view of the Docking ports
Stardate: 35007.1630

The HATHOR had moved 20 or so meters from its docking station, still surrounded by the secret base of operations and all of the other ships currently docked within it. To anyone watching, the small DEFIANT-Class Destroyer simply began to shimmer before suddenly vanishing as if it had never been there in the first place.

=====
Setting:  ORION, High Orbit
Stardate: 35007.1630

In the matter of a single split second, the HATHOR had traveled the distance between NEW ALEXANDRIA and the planet ORION, arriving into high orbit. Even before anyone could take notice of this miraculous apparition, the ship vanished once more this time using its cloaking device to keep its presence and purpose a secret.

=====
Setting:  HATHOR, Bridge
Stardate: 35007.1630

=/\= Poof! We are here, =/\= Sonja announced.

"Blink sequence completed," Maya reported from the science station. "All systems are showing operational and the cloaking device is working perfectly. I doubt that the planetary sensors saw more than a strange blip which they will likely dismiss as some strange and unexplainable technical glitch."

"Good," Erik said as he stood from his chair. "Commander, get a hold of Ambassador Bonviva and get her on the HATHOR as quickly as possible." The Native American took a single step forward and looked back at the chair he had been sitting in for only a few minutes if that much.  The Blink-Drive was a remarkable piece of technology but as useful as it was, Morningstar found it a little disconcerting that they could travel so far so fast, taking away all of the adventure and thrills of traveling through space.

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

Commanding Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501

AND

Lt. Commander Elan Fairborn [Access Character BIO for Elan Fairborn]
Robotics Engineering Officer
NEW ALEXANDRIA
M16-P015: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: 35007.1715 ("Hurry Up and Wait")
=-=
"Hurry Up and Wait"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Blink and You'll Miss It" by Francois / (BAS) "Dimensional Survey" by Dawn]
=-=

Setting: HATHOR, Bridge
Stardate: 35007.1715

Convincing Admiral Koniki to allow the crew to use the HATHOR proved to be a challenge. Enlisting the senior officers to join the unsanctioned expedition ended up being a great deal easier than the ExO / ILO had expected it to be. The journey from NEW ALEXANDRIA to ORION literally took seconds, so classifying it as 'easy' was clearly a major understatement. Things seemed to go from good to better in rapid succession as far as this mission was concerned and it was not entirely a surprise to see this pattern come to a sudden grinding halt.

"Still no response from Ambassador Bonviva," Maya reported, their attempts to raise the Bolian/Human woman on any channel having failed.

"I can't believe that we got here as quickly as we did only to sit and wait," the ExO / ILO said not trying to hide her mounting frustration. "Adriana is out there, likely in more trouble than she can manage by herself and we are here, waiting. Maybe we should just go."

"There is the possibility that Ambassador Bonviva is, herself, in some sort of trouble," Ya'Han pointed out. "Her sending us the information she did could have compromised her position and safety on ORION."

"Maybe," Erik concurred. "One thing for sure though, the Ambassador has proven herself to be quite capable of taking care of herself, a trait that I am sure she passed on to her Junior Ambassador, Counselor Lopez. Xana knows we are here, we just have to show confidence in her ability to get back to us as quickly as she can. As for Adriana, we cannot rush in without having all available Intel as this could not only put her life at risk but ours as well. As unfortunate and frustrating as it may be, the best thing for us to do at this time is to wait."

"I guess you are right," the ExO / ILO huffed while making her way to the turbolift.

"Where are you going, Commander?" Ya'Han asked, half fearing that the woman would go to the transporter room.

"I am not planning on leaving the HATHOR," Shar'El reassured. "I am heading down to engineering and see if Sonja needs any help. Don't worry, I'll be back."

=-=
Setting: HATHOR, Main Engineering
Stardate: 35007.1730

"Let me guess," Sonja sighed as soon as she saw Shar'El walk into the room. "Houston, we have a problem."

"Only if you take the fact that we cannot seem to get a hold of Ambassador Bonviva as a problem," the ExO / ILO explained. "We rushed here and now we wait. The Captain feels it best for us to let Xana figure things on her own, at least for the time being. If that was going to be the plan, then why blink here in the first place?"

"That's the way of the military, has been since the dawn of time, so why expect it to be any different in this century?" Sonja said while continuing with her work. "My family has been in Starfleet for generations, and that has been a steady constant. Orders come down telling you to get *there* yesterday, then you spend the next week waiting for the brass to figure out what they needed to do there in the first place. The best we can do is just keep swimming, even if it is in circles."

"I would just prefer it if we were doing something," Shar'El explained. "Us being here waiting is not sitting well with my knowing that Adriana is likely in serious trouble somewhere out there. Thanks to Ya'Han, I am also considering the possibility that Xana could be in some sort of trouble as well."

"My mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get," Sonja said doing her best to sound the part. "Life is all about the unexpected, heck that is pretty much the description of all of our missions. How many times have we gone somewhere with the idea to do 'A' and we end up standing on our heads, trying to figure out how we skipped the whole alphabet to land face first in the last letter of a never before seen language.  We adapt, and I hate to say it this way but it's true -- resistance is futile. We do our best to deal with what comes our way."

"Thanks," the ExO / ILO snarled sarcastically. "I guess I came here for some cheering up and instead got a plateful of truth.

Sonja laughed. "You can't handle the truth!" After a few seconds used to regain her composure, the CEO moved closer to her friend. "I'm sorry. You deal with your frustration one way, I deal with mine another. I agree with you, I want us to be doing something, but going down there and busting doors and breaking jaws is not going to help. Well, it might help us feel better, but it will certainly not help our situation or the people we are here for."

"Thanks for the pep talk," Shar'El said to her friend with a half-grin. "I will let you get back to work while I go check on Satella and Jayson. Maybe *they* will be able to actually cheer me up."

"I am what I am an’ I’m not ashamed," Sonja fired back in a deep, low voice before adding a playful wink to say goodbye to the departing Commander.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M16-P016: USS ANUBIS: Bruxa: 35007.1735 ("Relaxation Technique")
=-=
"Relaxation Technique"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Hurry Up and Wait" / (BAS) "Dimensional Survey"]
=-=

Setting: USS HATHOR, Deck 2, Sickbay
Stardate: 35007.1735

A selection of calm, relaxing music could be heard playing within Sickbay. Satella believed that it would help keep Jayson at peace. His initial idea was to head back to the bridge once the HATHOR left NEW ALEXANDRIA. He never expected the ship to blink right there and then even before reaching open space. Now, the crew was in orbit of ORION waiting for a sign from the Ambassador. Faced with this, the physician thought it safer for the COO to remain here, with her.

"Are you sure that my being here is not am imposition?" Jayson asked.

Without the CNS around to keep the CMO company, Bruxa was more than willing to accommodate Stark.  "You are not an imposition, on the contrary. On the ANUBIS, Sickbay is my home. Here on the HATHOR, this place is unfamiliar to me. I feel like an outsider; a stranger despite being surrounded by familiar equipment. Because of that, I appreciate you being here and not being left alone. I will admit that the old saying is true. You don't truly appreciate something until it is gone. I miss *my* Sickbay. There is no place like home."

Before a reply or comment could come from the COO, the doors to Sickbay whooshed open.  Instinctively, Satella and Jayson turned to see who was coming in. They watched as the First Officer briskly walked in before suddenly stopping. As Shar'El listened to the music playing, she turned her head and glared at the Doctor. "What is this? Is this a Sickbay or a spa/salon?"

Doctor Bruxa shook her head and smiled. "Why so serious?" Satella demanded of Shar'El. "I thought you would appreciate this little island of relaxation in this ocean of chaos."

Cmdr. Shar'El hesitated for a few seconds while looking around the room. "I was just not expecting... this. I don't recall you ever playing music on the ANUBIS. Certainly not *this* kind of music."

Satella took a few steps towards Shar'El. "Well, this is not the ANUBIS. I needed something to take the edge off. Something that would make me forget that I was not where I am supposed to be. There are noises that I am used to hearing in my Sickbay. The noises here are different, so I had to find a way to camouflage them. Plus, Jayson seems to appreciate my selection of music."

"If you say so." Shar'El was clearly challenging the statement that Jayson was enjoying the musical selection.

"You know this as well as anyone else. Your focus determines your reality. If you chose to hate something, it will be so. We both have agreed to enjoy this music and allow it to relax us. By the looks of things, I believe that you could use some relaxation yourself."

Shar'El sighed. "Fine, I will try."

Jayson chuckled. "With all due respect Commander. Do. Or do not. There is no try. To commit one’s self to success is to strive for it to happen. To commit only to try means that you are accepting the possibility of failure."

Shar’El looked at Jayson with one raised eyebrow. "We better find a way to get Adriana back quickly. I have the feeling that everyone is rapidly losing their minds. If we were on the BASTET, I would suspect that the Dimensional Drive was somehow broken. Channeling the thoughts and feelings of other people from distant dimensions into this one. Even those on the bridge seemed to sound different as if not being quite themselves. Since we do not have a D-Drive on this ship, I can only assume that everyone is actually going crazy."

"Crazy? No." Satella said, a hint of sadness creeping into her voice. "We are all concerned, worried and maybe even a little scared. It is never easy going on a mission knowing that one of our own is in danger. We are a team, a family. We may not fully realize it, but we are, and it affects us, both for good and dab. When we are together, we draw strength from it. When we are apart, we feel incomplete.  I work with Adriana each and every day. Maybe that is why I understand how she felt about her missing twin sister better than most. When she was acting as a Junior Ambassador, I felt her absence. It didn't bother me as I knew where she was and what he was doing. Right now though, no one has any idea of where she is or what she is doing. That is why we are here, and that is why we feel the way we do."

It made sense. The crew had been waiting for the ANUBIS to be fixed for much longer than they should have. Now there were here, in orbit of ORION, waiting to hear from Xana. This was playing havoc with everyone’s feelings and emotions.  "You two keep enjoying the music. I am heading back to the bridge to see if there is something I can do beyond waiting.  I might not have access to the IGC, but I still have a fair number of skills and resources that I can use."

"Good luck," Satella said.

Shar’El stopped and turned her head back. "You don't need luck when you've got skill."

=-=
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]
M16-P017: USS ANUBIS: Bonviva: 35007.1950 ("The Name is Bonviva. Xana Bonviva")
“The Name is Bonviva. Xana Bonviva.”
Previous posts (ANU) “Relaxation Technique” & (BAS) “The Color of Wonder”

=/\=
Shaken, not stirred will get you cold water with a dash of gin and dry vermouth.  The reason you stir it with a special spoon is so not to chip the ice.  James is ordering a weak martini and being snooty about it.
--President Jed Bartlett from The West Wing on James Bond


=/\=
Setting: ORION, Valley Of Fun, Fire Dancer Casino
Stardate: 35007.1950

Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world...Xana had to walk into this one.  Again.

Determined to find her Junior Ambassador, the Ambassador had talked to several people whenever she could.  Eventually it all led to a rather large poker game happening tonight at the casino.  Walking back into the Fire Dancer Casino, Xana once again adjusted the French cuffs of her sleeves, smoothed out the crisp white shirt, and made her way to the tables.

Suddenly an Orion waiter made his way in front of her.  “Ma’am, there is an opening at the Dabo tables.”  Then he nodded the way towards that she should go.  

“I see,” she murmured.  Walking through the casino, she was happy to overhear that it wasn’t the same musical act as the other night.  Making her way to a tear shaped Dabo table she watched the action for a round.  Inevitably someone yelled “Dabo” and everyone else was upset.  Before too long the croupier called out, “Bets!  Place your bets.”

Studying the wheels and the silver prongs that held it in check, Xana placed a series of inside and outside bets to play it safe at first.  Watching the wheels spin hypnotically it was easy to get lost in the balls rolling around; so easy that she nearly missed the croupier call out one of her bets.  “Dabo,” she yelled out.  As she collected her chips, she looked at the wheel placed another bet, this one not quite as conservative; this time just on the inside green.  A quick spin of the wheels had her losing that bet; but the next two bets (middle red and inside black) had her yelling out “Dabo” again.  

Occasionally, she would hear a jingle from her pocket where she was keeping her communicator but she ignored that and kept playing.  She had not made contact yet with the person who was told to make contact with.  

An hour in, she was up more than she was down.  Orion was liberal with Dabo that both Dabo “girls” and “boys” came over to the table as a means of distraction.  And it worked, in more than one way, as she felt a thrill.  That first round they showed up she lost.  Then the next two as well.

“You’ve done your jobs,” she smiled at the Dabo girls and boys, “but Mommy needs to win now.”  Smiling to herself turned over the chips in her long fingers she studied the wheel again.  The Dabo girls and boys didn’t leave but she refocused on the matter at hand.  Dabo couldn’t be predicted but the Bolian/Human knew there were certain odds for a Dabo wheel, and that was her focus now.

Ignoring the trill again of the comm in her pocket, she said, “Blue, outside.”  Looking at the other bets she pushed all her chips in.  “All of it,” she confirmed to the croupier.  

The trilling continued in her pocket, but again Xana ignored it.  She couldn’t slip her hand in her pocket; it could appear as if she was cheating, using a gravimetric scanner to tilt the game in her favor.  No her hands had to be out in the open.  

“All in!” the croupier yelled.  As he gathered the other bets he spun the wheels and for a moment it felt as if everyone’s collective breaths was being held.  The wheels spun to the right quickly then it slowed down and spun to the left….

“BLUE, OUTSIDE!” the croupier called out.

“Dabo!” Xana yelled as she leaned in to gather her winnings.

A woman at the table who had only arrived at the last spin.  “I admire your luck, Ms…?”

Xana looked up at an Orion man, this one who appeared out of place with the fine gilded veneer the Fire Dancer Casino was trying to present..  “Bonviva.  Xana Bonviva.”  Stacking up her chips she said, “And I admire your timing, Mr….?”

The man gave a laugh at that, as sweat poured down his glistening forehead.  “Krokax,” he laughed.  

That laugh gave Xana chills but she tried to hide it.  With that Xana left the Dabo table, and she wasn't surprised that Krokax began to follow her.  “It’s a shame you have to go, just when things were getting interesting.”

“Oh yes.  Well there are other games,” Xana said as she made her way through the casino.  

Krokax gave her a look.  “I like games,” he said with the obvious overture of a Ferengi.   

Xana did her best to smile.  “These games are too predictable,” she said.  

Krokax nodded at that.  “I know what you mean.  You’re looking for something a little more challenging.  Something with a little bit more of a human element.”

The tingling went up Xana’s spine.  What in the name of 99 hells had Adriana gotten herself into?  “Yes, that would be good.”

“This might take you away from here.  Far away from here.”  As they came to a table where they could stop and get drinks the Orion man openly evaluated the Bolian/Human woman.  “How do I know I can trust you?”  

Before Xana could say anything, there was a very familiar voice behind Xana.  “I’m gonna make you an offer you can’t refuse.”

Recognizing the voice growl of the Chief Engineer Xana stood about 90 degrees to her left and waved her hand.  “What my associate said.”

=/\=
Sarah Albertini-Bond

USS ANUBIS NCC 18501
M16-P018: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: 35007.2000 ("The Bodyguard")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"The Bodyguard"
[previous post were (ANU) "The Name is Bonviva. Xana Bonviva" / (BAS) "The Color of Wonder"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: ORION, Valley Of Fun, Fire Dancer Casino
Stardate: 35007.2000

Ya'Han stood on the edge of the nearby set of steps, granting her a slightly better view of Sonja, Xana, and everyone around them. The casino was filled with all types of people, each and every single one of them appearing a little less trustworthy than the others. At first glance, the casino appeared to be a respectable, higher-class establishment, but the Sec/Tac knew where to look and could pick out those details that hinted that there was more happening here, a lot more.

She felt the man approach and knew that he was there long before he spoke. "So, can we get you anything?"

Ya'Han needed to get rid of him without making a scene, so never taking her eyes from Sonja and Xana, she gave a reply she suspected would keep the man occupied for a while.  "Yeah, orange juice."

"Straight?" He asked laughing before adding, "You *are* a strange one. You are not Human but you know enough about them to ask for a drink that would take me some time to find. You also didn't ask for anything that might impair your judgment, so I can only guess that you are on duty of some sort."

"Is that so," the Sec/Tac said still keeping a vigilant watch over the other two women.

"I've been watching you all night from across the room," he said, his voice a few tones lower, clearly trying to use whatever charm he believed he had to sway her.

Ya'Han just sighed. "Why don't you go back there. Keep watching."

"So," he began evidently not ready to give up. "What is it that you are doing here. You have not looked at me. Do you believe me to be so ugly?"

"No," the Sec/Tac said, still not looking at the man standing next to her. "I'm busy."

"Busy doing what? Looking to see if someone is going to get robbed, or should I warn security about there being an attractive lady casing the customers, likely to steal everything they have the moment they show the slightest hint of vulnerability."

"I'm a bodyguard," Ya'Han said hoping that the explanation would be enough to drive the man away.

"Well, you don't look like a bodyguard."

"What'd you expect?"

"Well, I don't know, maybe a tough guy?"

"This is my disguise."

"Not much of a disguise," the man said. "A Nylaan with red hair kind of sticks out in a crowd."

That was enough to make Ya'Han glance in his direction, seeing he Orion man for the first time. The Sec/Tac had hoped to keep her hair black but obviously that plan had not worked. In hindsight, it made sense due to the simple fact that she needed to be at the ready to jump into action should either Sonja or Xana were the targets of any sort of attack.  Since changing her hair color back to black, or to any other color, would only raise more suspicions, the Nylaan decided to play the part to its fullest.  "Would you rather I had purple hair?"

"PURPLE!" The man exclaimed, "Are you crazy. Those royals are a bunch of stuck-up, entitled brats who think they own the universe. Trust me, if you had purple hair, there would be more than a few people here who would want you dead. Now, if you had green hair, that would be an entirely different story. The entertainers from your home are well renowned for their skills, both on the dancefloor and in more private settings. Are you sure you don't have green hair?"

The question might have sounded a little strange, but it actually meant that he knew enough about the people of NYLA IV to understand that the colors beyond the commoner's black were earned and not just something that someone displayed because they wanted to. When Ya'Han saw Sonja, Xana and another man begin to move away, the Sec/Tac knew that it was time for her to end this pointless discussion and follow her shipmates. "Sorry, I prefer to beat those that get too close into the ground instead of having them drop there of their own will to drool over whatever moves they saw and want to see. I would be happy to give you a demonstration if you still care to have one."

As famed as the green-haired entertainers were, the red-haired warriors were not to be casually dismissed. They might not match the Klingons in brutal strength and savagery or the Hirogens for their cunning and they certainly could not hold a candle to the pure viciousness of the Zenox, but they were not to be taken lightly either. Accepting that his quest to spend a little more time with the woman had failed, the Orion man bowed with respect and withdrew. "Not today Pretty Lady, not today, but if you ever change your mind and decide to try something different, let me know. Just ask for my employer: Ardax, he knows where to find me and I am sure that he would be more than interested in someone as well in shape as you."

Ya'Han almost lost her footing at the mention of that name. She almost turned to ask if he meant Daimon Ardax but the Nylaan quickly thought better of it. Asking about the man she had been betrothed to and was ultimately the reason for her running away from everything she knew would not have been a good idea, not now or at any other time.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
All quotes from The Bodyguard
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Hanali Han

Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M16-P019: USS ANUBIS: Stark: 35007.2015 ("The Ultimate Question")
"The Ultimate Question"
[previous (ANU) "The Bodyguard" / (BAS) "Difficult Decision"]

[/\]

Setting: USS HATHOR, Bridge
Stardate: 35007.2015

The moment he heard that Sonja and Ya'Han were beaming down, Jayson rushed to the bridge. The HATHOR was already understaffed, and it made sense that they would need extra support to make certain that all went well.

"Glad you could join us Lt. Stark," Commander Shar'El said as the OPS officer stepped onto the bridge. "Thought you might have gotten lost."

"The HATHOR is not that big," Jayson said as he made his way to the vacant Tactical station.

“Space,” Shar'El said, “is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.”

Jayson rolled his eyes. It was going to be one of those days and missions. Chosin to ignore the comment made by the Commander, the OPS Officer went to work. "Sensors have a lock on Sonja, Ya'Han and the Ambassador. They seem to be heading out of the main area and towards the back of the casino. At least I think that is what is happening. Sensors resolution appears to be much weaker than what it should be."

"Ani?" The Captain asked looking over at the avatar who was standing on the bridge.

"I've been talking to the Main Computer," the android said.

Jayson looked at her and waited but when nothing else was said he thought it pressed the issue. " And?"

The avatar turned her head to look straight at him. "It hates me."  A range of questioning sounds was heard, all indicating surprise at the android's statement. "Due to the fact that we are the only ones on board the HATHOR, the computer has to maintain all systems and it does not like having me poking around and asking questions about things that are not working as well as they should. I will mention this to Lt. Cmdr. Paquette as soon as she returns, but for the moment I am afraid that you will have to do your best with what is currently available."

"This day is getting better and better by the minute," Jayson sighed trying to see if there was something he could do from where he was to help.

"Have you ever tried yoga?" Shar'El asked looking straight at Jayson. Stark suspected that the woman's odd behavior and comments were likely to catch him off-guard allowing her to pick up on whatever stray memories would surface. As much as he hated to admit it though, it was working. Standing where Ya'Han was and taking in her distinct aroma had already made him think of her in countless ways and the comments from the Commander only made him remember things that he would not have been thinking of otherwise.

"Lt. Stark," Captain Morningstar said calling the man's thoughts back. "Do your best to maintain a sensor lock on them. I want to be able to beam them back as quickly as possible should the need arise."

"Yes Captain," Jayson acknowledged glancing up at the Commander before returning his full attention onto the Tactical console.  After confirming that what he was seeing was accurate, the OPS Officer raised an eyebrow to display his confusion. "I have no idea what is happening down there. They are back in the casino without having reached the back rooms. I could try to contact them but that might give away our position."

"The odds of understanding what's really going on are so dreadfully remote you might as well just keep yourself occupied," Shar'El said. "This is Sonja, Ya'Han, and Xana we are talking about. There is no way for anyone to know exactly what is or could happen. As long as we remain cloaked, we need to maintain communication black-out. Just the fact that we managed to beam two people down without being detected was stretching our luck, we cannot take too many more risks like that. So, the best thing for us to do is wait and contemplate other, less puzzling mysteries, like maybe the ultimate question of the of life, the universe, everything."

Jayson could feel a headache coming on. Maybe it would have been better had he stayed in Sickbay with Doctor Bruxa.

"42," was all that the Captain said but it made the OPS Officer's head snap up. "The answer is 42."

Seeing a slight hint of confusion on the Commander's face, Jayson decided to turn the table on her. The OPS Officer knew exactly where the Captain had taken that line from and he would continue it.  "Just wait a sodding minute! You want a question that goes with the answer for 42? Well how about what's six times seven? Or how many Vulcans does it take to change a lightbulb? Here's one! How many roads must a man walk down?"

It was Shar'El's turn to roll her eyes, but it was enough to make Jayson smile, even if only a little.

[/\]
All quotes from The Hitchicker's Guide to the Galaxy
[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M16-P020: USS ANUBIS: Paquette: 35007.2020 ("Exit, Stage Left")
"Exit, Stage Left"
previous posts were (ANU) "The Ultimate Question" / (BAS) "A Simple Discussion"

=====
Setting: ORION, Valley Of Fun, Fire Dancer Casino
Stardate: 35007.2020  

Xana and Sonja followed Krokax as he led them towards the rear of the casino, the women thinking in silent unison that their host was planning on using the rear entrance in order to reach whatever it was he needed to take them to. The CEO had indeed made him an offer he could not refuse as she had promised, and now the Orion man was quickly following up with his offer to show the Bolian/Human a game that would be more challenging and offer a bit more of a human element.

As they made their way across the busy establishment, Sonja kept looking over her shoulder to make sure that her 'bodyguard' was still with them.  Of course, this drew the Ambassador's attention and curiosity. "Was it wise to bring *her* here?" Xana made sure not to mention the Nylaan's name knowing all too well that there were just too many ears listening on anything and everything that was being said here. Using her name could add a whole new level of problems that they did not need at this moment.

"Finding you was not easy, and when we pinpointed you here, I did not want to take any chances. I also figured that if things turned ugly, she would be the better one to fight her way through, or dance her way out, whichever would be the most effective," Sonja said noticing that Ya'Han appeared a little distracted.

"By the way," Xana whispered to the redhead walking next to her. "How *did* you manage to find me?"

"That's a funny story," Sonja chuckled looking around to make sure no one else would hear what she was going to say.  "My little nerdy monkey did a planet-wide scan looking for Bolian life signs as it was safer than trying to look for humans. You would not believe how many Humans are on this mudball of a planet, anyway, that list was not precise enough to really help us, so I suggested something. We noticed that 'Miss Immortal Satori', before the whole life energy transfer back on the homeworld of big, tall and blue, displayed an odd bioenergy signature. No one really gave it any attention, but I suggested to monkey girl to scan for it here on ORION, just in case. Did you know that you glow like a 1000 roadside flares when scanning for that particular bioenergy? Once we knew where you were, we beamed down, and the rest, as they say, is history."

"So it was you trying to contact me using the communicator?" Xana did not sound pleased as the repeated attempts had made things rather difficult for her back at the Dabo table.

"Yes," Sonja admitted without hesitation. "At first I wanted to let you know we were here. When you didn't answer, I used the communicator as a tracking beacon. When we finally found you and saw what you were doing, I just kept calling to see how annoyed I could get you to be."

"Ladies," Krokax said as he held a door open for them. "If you would be so kind as to step this way, I promise you a challenging game that will truly excite and entertain you."

Xana debated on how to acknowledge the man's offer but it was Sonja who spoke first looking right at the Ambassador. "Mind if we make this a threesome?"  The redhead did not wait for a reply and turned to invite the Nylaan to join them, but when she did the Engineer noticed that the woman in question was not where she should have been. "Hold that thought!" Sonja said to Krokax as she held a single finger up to indicate the amount of time she required.

"What's going on?" Xana demanded as she followed Sonja.

"No idea," the CEO replied. "That is why we are going back. It's not like rainbow girl to just go off like that."  After several hurried steps, Sonja stopped and looked back at Xana who clearly did not share in the woman's sense of urgency. "By all means, move at a glacial pace. You know how that thrills me."(1)

Reluctantly, Xana picked up the pace; keeping an eye on the Orion man they had just left behind. "This better be good, we may be wasting to one chance we have to find Adriana."

"I am not leaving rainbow girl here by herself," Sonja stated. "I want to get to Adriana just as badly as you do, but not at the cost of losing someone else." After a few minutes of frantic search, the Bolian/Human and Human finally managed to locate the missing Nylaan. "What is going on? You are supposed to be playing the role of a bodyguard, not some lost puppy who caught the scent of a juicy steak."

"Ardax is here," Ya'Han bluntly stated, her eyes scrutinizing the crowd with an urgency that bordered on panic.

"Are you sure?" Sonja asked knowing very well that the name belonged to the Ferengi Daimon she had been betrothed to before running away from NYLA IV.

"One of his henchmen mentioned his name," the woman with the fiery red hair explained. "I was told to ask for him. If he is here, he may be looking for me, seeking revenge for what I did."

"Listen Rainbow Girl, you cannot let that big-eared creep get to you this way," Sonja said taking her friend by the shoulders to make sure she would be looking at her and nothing else. "If you're going to let one stupid prick ruin your life, you're not the girls I thought you were."(2)

Ya'Han gave her surroundings once last quick scan before looking back at her friend.  "I am sorry."

"No time for apologies," Sonja said taking both Ya'Han and Xana by the hand. "We have to get back to what's-his-name before he closes that door and our chances to find Adriana with it.

When they finally managed to get back to Krokax, the Orion man appeared less than pleased. "Where did you ladies go and who is your friend?"  The question could have been innocent enough, but the tome in the man's voice made it clear that the question extended far beyond the limits of his chosen words.

"You said you were going to show me a more challenging game," Xana said making sure to stand tall as she addressed the Orion man. "Well, I like to add a little challenge of my own whenever I can. I am sure that a red-haired Nylaan is going to make things very interesting and challenging for a lot of people."

Krokax smiled. "Fine, let's go."

"What was that?" Sonja asked in a whispered voice.

"Governments change. The lies stay the same,"(3) Xana explained without truly going into any details

=====
Setting: ORION, Valley Of Fun, Alley behind the Fire Dancer Casino  
Stardate: 35007.2045  

Krokax escorted his three lady friends to a small rundown shuttle, the entrance to which was guarded by a Chalnoth with a severe case of overbite.

"Hello," Xana said to the imposing figure that said nothing and simply welcomed the group with a toothy smile that sent shivers down Sonja's spine.

"You know him?"(4)

Xana shook her head ever so slightly. "Not socially. His name’s Jaws, he kills people."(4)

"Ladies, if you would be so kind as to step in, the fun is about to begin," the Orion man said.

"We have to get in *that?" Sonja gasped.

"We do not have much of a choice," the Ambassador replied in a forceful whisper.

"That's not fair," the redhead engineer argued back, keeping her voice to the same whispered tone used by Xana.

"Life isn't fair... it's just fairer than death, that's all."(5)

=====
Quotes:
(1) The Devil Wears Prada
(2) Legally Blonde
(3) James Bond: Golden Eye
(4) James Bond, Moonraker
(5) The Princess Bride
=====
Lorraine Paquette

Lt Commander Sonja Paquette [Access Character BIO for Sonja Paquette]
Chief Engineering Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501
M16-P021: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: 35007.2100 ("Tracking")
=-=
"Tracking"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Exit, Stage Left" by Lorraine / (BAS) "A Bump on the Head" by Dawn]
=-=

Setting: HATHOR, Bridge
Stardate: 35007.2100

The HATHOR was the perfect ship for this mission. It was small, easily maneuverable and best of all it was able to cloak, but as great as this ship was, the ExO / ILO was missing the equipment and staff of the IGC more with each passing second.  With the resources of the ANUBIS at her disposal, Shar'El would have easily figured out who knew what about their missing Ship's Counselor and Junior Ambassador. Every communication coming or going from this planet, be them encoded or not, would have been thoroughly investigated and analyzed. The Intel dossiers and background of every single individual in that casino would have been reviewed and the ones considered to be most likely to know something or even have any role to play in Adriana's disappearance would have been singled out. From here it would not have taken long to get more information out of them, and that without even them knowing they had become a target to their investigation.

"The shuttle is heading out on a North-North-West heading," Lt. Stark reported from the Tactical station where Ya'Han had been not so long ago. "The only thing in that direction is a couple of landing platforms surrounded by small buildings."

"Where are they going?" Captain Morningstar voiced aloud.

"Nowhere good,"(1) the ExO / ILO said rolling her eyes. "A couple of small landing platforms out in the middle of nowhere surrounded by buildings that our sensors are not able to see inside of. Whatever goes on in there is illegal, we just don't know how illegal it is. For all we know, they could be heading to a Zero-G Boslic Fight Club."

The Captain looked over his shoulder at his First Officer. "The first rule of a Zero-G Boslic Fight Club is: you do not talk about the Zero-G Boslic Fight Club."(2)

"How would you know that?" Shar'El asked, but the flash of a memory from the Captain proved to be more of an answer than she cared to receive. "Never mind, I don't want to know. Maya, is there any way for us to get a better idea of what is in those buildings? It would be nice to give our people a head's up if we can."

"The structures appear to be made of a highly reflective metal alloy, and I am able to gather this because of the way the surrounding light appears to bounce off the walls. I can also detect a high-powered field being generated around each building, and again I can report this only because the power generator is itself not shielded. Whatever is in those buildings, those in charge of them made sure that no one could get the slightest clue as to what may be inside."

"Alright, it's official. I hate these people," Jayson said letting his frustration out. As much as he might have wanted to do something to help Ya'Han and the others, it was clear now that there was nothing they could do. "I may not who they are, but as far as I am concerned, they are now my enemies, and as such, I hate them."

"Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgment."(3) Shar'El said. "I understand your frustration, but we have to keep in mind that we are talking about Ambassador Bonviva, Lieutenant Commander Paquette, and Lieutenant Ya'Han. If we allow ourselves to not let our emotions cloud our judgment, we should all quickly agree that it is those around those three that we should be worried about and not our own people."

"I guess you are right, but it would be nice if this was not as difficult as it has turned out to be," Lt. Stark said ith a sigh. As much as he trusted the three women to be able to take care of themselves, his personal feelings for one of them made him wish that she had never left the HATHOR

"The merit of all things lies in their difficulty,"(4) Captain Morningstar said, his experience having proven this more times than he likely cared to admit. "Keep tracking that shuttle, and stand by for an emergency beam out, just in case. "

"Captain," the OPS Officer said looking down at the Tactical station with puzzlement. "The shuttle, we are losing it."

"What?" The ExO / ILO said not completely certain as to what was meant by those words.

"Our sensors are having difficulty tracking the shuttle," Maya explained. "I am checking for a possible equipment malfunction."

"Equipment malfunction?" Satella asked, only walking into the situation now. "What's going on?"

"Ambassador Bonviva, Lieutenant Commander Paquette and Lieutenant Ya'Han are currently aboard an Orion shuttle that our sensors seem to be losing sight of," Captain Morningstar explained in a nutshell.

"Oh, that can't be good. That can't be good at all!"(5) Satella gasped.

"No, and it just got worse," Jayson added. "The shuttle has completely vanished from our sensors. I am also not picking it on any of our visual scans. It just disappeared"

"Did it crash?" The ExO / ILO theorized.

"No," the OPS Officer replied, silently wishing that Ya'Han was here at the Tactical station instead of him for multiple reasons. "We would be able to detect something like a power spike, an explosion or even debris, but sensors are picking up *nothing*."

"The shuttle is too small to possess any type of cloaking capabilities," Maya added. "So either it flew into or behind something that neither our sensors nor visual scanners can detect, or it entered some sort of undetectable anomaly that removed it from where it was."

"As interestingly weird as that might be, sensors would have picked up signs of an anomaly, or at the very least its effects on nearby vegetation. According to our instruments, there was absolutely nothing in the flight path of the shuttle," Stark explained.

"If the shuttle did not cloak, did not crash and was not swept away in a vortex to another reality, then, what happened to it?" The ExO / ILO inquired knowing that none of those on the command deck of the HATHOR would be able to answer that question at this time.

=-=
Quotes:
(1) Dollhouse
(2) Fight Club (paraphrased, duh)
(3) The Godfather
(4) The Three Musketeers
(5) Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M16-P022: USS ANUBIS: Lopez: 35007.2200 ("A Friendly Voice")
-=-=-
"A Friendly Voice"
[Previous post: (ANU) "Tracking" & (BAS) "Cat Herding"]
-=-=-

Setting: SPACE STATION BLACK HOLE, unknown room
Stardate: 35007.2200

Her eyes were still too swollen to permit Adriana to see her surroundings. She knew that she was in a small locked room, the sound of the latch when someone came in or left along with the echo of her own breathing made that abundantly clear. She still had no idea where she was or why she was being treated the way she was.  Lopez knew that the search for her sister would not be an easy one, but never could she have imagined that it would lead her to be abducted, beaten and imprisoned.

The Junior Ambassador jumped when she heard the latch of the door, indicating that someone was coming in. So far, she had dealt with three people, one whose lack of words was overly compensated by the strength of his hits. The second was a woman who also said little but seemed satisfied in watching the first pound their prisoner into another dimension. The third, another woman, was kind and seemed to genuinely want to help Adriana, at least as much as she could given the circumstances. The question was, which of those three was coming in or would Lopez be introduced to a fourth person, one that she feared would be worse than the first.

"How are you feeling?"  Adriana let out a sigh of relief as she heard the voice of the second woman, the one who for some unknown reason acted with so much kindness.

"Tired, scared, and thirsty," Adriana replied, trying to swallow but finding out that she could not.

"Tired? I can't help you with that one. The best I can offer you is to direct you to the far-right corner of your room. It appears to be the one with the least amount of stones sticking out from either the floor or wall. Scared? Again, there is little I can do to help. As I said before, you announcing that you are Starfleet may have saved your life but it put you in what I believe to be a worse position. They are not going to be kind to you."

"Who are they?" Adriana asked. That same question had been asked of her time and time again, forcing her through the beatings to reveal that she was a Starfleet Officer, an admission that at one point she had almost hoped would put an end to her pain.

"As for you being thirsty," the woman continued, ignoring the Counselor's question. "Here, it may not be much, but at least it is something. It was the best I could sneak in."

Adriana extended her tied hands forward, searching for whatever was being offered. When her fingers found a smooth, curved surface, her hands quickly grasped onto the small glass and trembling, brought it to her lips.  The content was not nearly as cold as she would have liked it to be, but it was water, and right now it was much more than she could have hoped for. In a matter of seconds, the glass was emptied of the water it contained leaving the prisoner wanting more, but she knew that this would not happen. Whatever little bit she had received was thanks to the generosity of someone who, by the sounds of things, had taken great risks to provide so little.

"Thank you," the Junior Ambassador said, offering the empty glass back and fighting back the urge to cry.

"Don't thank me," the woman said dryly as she took the glass back. "There may come a time when you will curse me for the help I gave you because it allowed you to live long enough to see just how cruel Hel can be. Her getting big, tall and stupid to beat you senseless is nothing compared to what she can do. Maybe, in the end, we will both regret what I did. I just felt sorry for you."

"Why?" Adriana asked. This might be the first time she would get any sort of information about anything or anyone since her arrival here.  "Why feel sorry for me?"

"I lost a sister too," the woman admitted, her voice filled with sorrow and pain the likes of which Adriana might have been the only one to truly understand. "It was a long, long time ago."(1)

"Don't go!" Lopez pleaded as she heard the woman quickly stand, the sound of her calling back tears. "Please," Adriana added, her own tears now flowing from her swollen shut eyes and onto her bruised cheeks.

=/\= MANDY! Where are you? Do I have to put you back in chains to make sure that you are where you are supposed to be? You know how much I despise searching for you. Do not make me regret not ripping that soft innocent skin off your bones when I had the chance. =/\=

"I have to go," the woman said in a panic as she exited the room and locked the latch behind her.

"Mandy?" Adriana repeated, "Could it be..."

"The universe has done stranger things," Lopez heard the hallucination of her missing twin sister say. "It would be unfortunate if it was her. Imagine, you finally found her only to risk both of your lives in doing so."

-=-=-
Quotes
(1) Star Wars
-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor & Junior Ambassador
USS ANUBIS
M16-P023: USS ANUBIS: Bonviva: 35007.2200
("Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore")
“Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore”
[the previous post were (ANU) "A Friendly Voice" / (BAS) "Caged Fury"]

=/\=
I'm stepping through the door
And I'm floating in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today
--From David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”

=/\=
Setting: EAGLE-5 (AKA “The Winnebago With Wings”)
Stardate: 35007.2200

“Again, I’m asking are we sure that this is a real ship?” Xana asked.

Sonja shrugged as she looked over at the console with the wires hanging out.  “What? Looks like a Winnebago with wings!” (1)  Shrugging she smirked, “Or was it the license plate that says “SPOIL'D ROTT'N IDIOT” that you objected to?” (2).

Ya’Han was looking out the window.  Sparing a glance for both her partners and where Krokax was piloting. “It’s all real,” she confirmed quietly. 

This shuttle was unlike any other that the women were used to; even taking into consideration non-Starfleet shuttles.  It was long and very boxy.  There was no “deck” aside from a front seating area that had a “Captain’s chair” and one other chair.  After that area, is where (to the women) it became very unusual.  Currently the three women were sitting on a long white L-shaped “pleather” sofa in the middle of the shuttle (or Winnebago with wings).  

There was a grunt from the front of the shuttle.  “Who wants to go check?” Sonja asked.  

Before Xana or Ya’Han could answer, they heard Krokax yell, “Buckle up buttercups!”

=/\=
Setting: SPACE, Outside EAGLE-5
Stardate: 35007.2230

The starry frame around the EAGLE-5 was exotic; something its inhabitants never forgot all that they lived amongst its ominous brittle silence.  There was no gravity to hold the EAGLE-5 firmly nor was there gravity to supervise their zeal and minds. 

There and then, in that moment of space and time, they were briskly floating amidst the glistening musical notes of a serenade, emanating out of nothing, but had enrobed the brimless sparkling pool of "space". The hallowed pool of subtle light had adorned itself with the diamonds of thousand moons and of thousand dreams, for these weaved themselves on that cosmic ether of divinity......all hung in the frame of "galaxy." Taking up gigantic leaps did they traverse out that path which, though had concealed itself off their sights, was occasionally failing to bask in its glory. Down were the stars and up were they. Demure, but still mesmerizing did the surroundings see as they were wafting ahead in that absolutely vast pool of divine creation.

But in a corner of the universe, betwixt and between war and peace; love and apathy; indecision and chaos was an opening…a gift.

The EAGLE-5 opened that gift.  But it was not a package but a quick rendering of the universe that they fell into.  

The universe has a way of fixing itself; of making itself whole again.  But not until the EAGLE-5 was on the other side.

=/\=
Setting: EAGLE-5 (AKA “The Winnebago With Wings”)
Stardate: 35007.2245

The three women from the ANUBIS looked at each other after that tumultuous tumble through space.  Xana was on the floor.  Sonja had been tossed to another chair across the Winnebago.  Ya’Han was the only one who stayed exactly where she had started.  

“I promised you a trip,” Krokax cackled from the “Captain’s” chair.  Suddenly an ominous beeping began from his console which he fixed by making a fist and banging aforementioned fist repeatedly on the console.  

It was a different ship, but Sonja was not about to let someone beat up a ship.  “Even here I gotta be Cinderelly,” she groaned as she got up.  Walking up she took the Co-Captain’s chair and looked at the antiquated console.  “There are errors in the antilepton subspace analyzer.  I could get a navigational photon infuser and tune it--”

Krokax tried to smile but it was more of a snarl.  “There are no problems with the antilepton subspace analyzer.”

That got Sonja’s attention.  Turning around in her seat she said, “Okay, I know it should not be reading like this.  We’re not that far from ORION--”

“Sure we are,” Krokax agreed. 

Meanwhile, in the back, Xana had gotten off the floor but went across the cabin so she was where Sonja had just been.  “Ya’Han,” she said quietly.  “Are you seeing this?  The stars and the planets do not look the same.”

The Security Officer nodded.  Studying the starry landscape for a moment she turned back around she asked, “This is only a shuttle.  It shouldn’t be able to have jumped.”

Both of the other women moved up to the front of the shuttle to join Sonja and Krokax.  Folding her arms, the Ambassador asked, “Krokax.  I asked you for a more challenging game.  The type you showed my friend.”

The Orion man smiled.  “And I will...but I never said it was where we were.”

The Nylaan, whose hair was changing colors rapidly, said with a glare in her eyes, “We understood we were leaving ORION.”

“We were leaving more than just ORION,” Krokax grinned.  

Sonja looked at the readings on the console.  “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” (3)   Looking at the other women’s faces she confirmed the thoughts they had.  “We jumped and judging by the readings, not just anywhere.  It's a mirror of our own universe.”

Krokax grinned as he shifted a long stick to his right, causing something to spin up in the ship.  “I feel the need...the need for speed!” (4)

=/\=
Quotes:
1 & 2: Spaceballs
3: The Wizard of Oz
4: Top Gun
=/\=
Sarah Albertini-Bond 

USS ANUBIS/EAGLE-5 (aka The Winnebago With Wings)
M16-P024: USS ANUBIS: Bruxa: 35007.2300 ("Forced Actions")
=-=
"Forced Actions"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Toto, I've a feeling" / (BAS) "Caged Fury"]
=-=

Setting: USS HATHOR, Bridge
Stardate: 35007.2300

The whole ship was in a panic. Well, as close as a crew of 5 officers and 1 android could permit themselves to be. The away team and the shuttle they were in had just vanished. No traces of the craft could be found.

"First, our Counselor, now, the away team. We are not having a good day." Jayson had not meant to say that aloud, but the sentiment was shared by all. Some missions came and went without as much as a single ripple of concern. Other lefts people sitting on the very edge of their seats the entire time. Few made you feel bad and unwilling to see what might come next. This was starting to be one of those missions.

"We need to start thinking out-of-the-box here," Captain Morningstar said. He wanted his people back. If he could not have that, he wanted answers. If he could not have that either, there would be hell to pay.

Maya continued working at the science station. "Out-of-the-box' is where I live."(1) Her fingers moved so fast over the console that Satella feared she might see them fly off.

All eyes were on Maya. No one knew what she as working on, but all hoped that it was something good. Sensor scans, 3-D graphs, long lists of numbers. The screens were filled with incomprehensible things. Everyone seemed lost, except for the shape-shifting woman. She looked relaxed, at peace, but more importantly, she was in her element.

"It would be easier to do this on the ANUBIS," Maya noted.

"A lot of things would be easier on the ANUBIS," Shar'El concurred.

"Time is an allusion, there is only the now."(2) Satella was not trying to sound smart or conceded. All she wanted was to keep everyone focused on the here and now. It was the only way they would be able to find the away team.

The Captain smiled, or at least what the crew considered to be such for the usually stoic man. "If you were on the BASTET, you might not think that way."

"The BASTET?!?" For some reason the mention of that ship made Maya think of something new. In a matter of seconds, the screens all changed. A whole new set of data and charts appeared. If what was there before made no sense, what they were looking at was pure nonsense.

"Wait!" Satella exclaimed pointing at one single line on one of the screens. "I recognize that. At least I think I do. It was part of the temporal mechanics class at the Academy. I hated that class. Anyway, you think that the shuttle vanished through time, right?" The Doctor could not have been happier with herself. This was so far out of her field of knowledge and yet the physician had figured it out."

"Time is not the issue here," Maya said instantly bursting Satella's bubble. "We are looking at a dimensional jump."

"Are you sure about that?" Shar'El asked.

The scientist finally looked away from her instruments, even if only for a second. "I need you to believe me right now. Please?"(3)

"Can you identify to which dimension they went to?" Captain Morningstar asked.

"No," Maya replied. "I cannot. What I can tell you though is that those buildings down there are what opened the rift. Maybe there is something down there that could help us figure it out."

"If not something, maybe someone," Satella offered. "There has to be a person in charge of maintenance or even simple cleaning."

"Our sensors cannot see inside those buildings," Maya stated.

"Then we have only one option," the Captain said. "Commander Shar'El, take Doctor Bruxa and Lt. Stark down to the surface and see what you can find. Ani is needed here to keep the HATHOR running and I will try to help Maya find more information."

"I have a bad feeling about this,"(4) the COO said

Satella turned to look at Jayson. "A life lived in fear, is a life half lived,"(5)

=-=
Quotes:
1, Battlestar Galactica
2, Kung Fu Panda 3
3, The Abyss
4, Star Wars
5, Strictly Ballroom
=-=
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]
M16-P025: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: 35007.2330 ("Testing One's Luck")
=-=
"Testing One's Luck"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Forced Actions" by Rachel / (BAS) "Caged Fury" by Rachel]
=-=

Setting: ORION, Near the four buildings
Stardate: 35007.2330

The second away team arrived on ORION with a clear goal in mind. This was not some fancy casino or even a bustling metropolis, the team had arrived in an open field allowing them to clearly see the four small buildings that had brought them here. Their mission, which they free chose to accept, was to investigate and return with and all clues as to which dimension the first away team had been taken to.

"Whatever interference those buildings are generating is making out tricorders useless," Jayson reported as he returned the small hand-held device to its holder on his belt. "Looks like we are going to be doing this 'old school' style."

"As long as we are doing something," the ExO / ILO began, "I don't care what style we use. Just keep your eyes open and look for anything that we can use to help us figure out where that shuttle went."

With their instructions clear, the team carefully moved towards the four buildings, keeping an eye on everything that might prove useful or dangerous. The nearby landing platforms were empty, so they ignored them focusing instead on the structures in front of them. What any of them failed to notice was a four-legged creature resting near one of the platforms, its long ears perking up as it heard people moving.

"Do you hear growling?" The ExO / ILO asked bringing the team to a full stop by raising a closed fist above her shoulder.

"I thought it was Jayson's stomach," Doctor Bruxa replied.

"No, that was not me," Stark clarified before pointing at the source of the growling. "Looks like we triggered the local proximity alarm. "Looks like we are not the only ones doing things old-school."

"Let me guess, no one brought a steak," Shar'El sighed. "If tricorders are not functional, it is very likely that our phasers will be equally useless. My guess that is why there is a watchdog here instead of some sort of high-tech security system."

"Alright, if phasers are out of the question and we are all fresh out of steaks, what's the plan?" Jayson inquired with increasing urgency as the dog-like creature approached, its sharp teeth more than visible.

"What you want? A cookie? Get the hell out of my face."(2) The outburst from the ExO / ILO failed to dissuade the creature.

"Well that plan didn't work," Satella said swallowing hard as the creature continued to move closer.

"You know what I've noticed? Nobody panics when things go 'according to plan'. Even if the plan is horrifying!"(3) Shar'El said. "I will admit that it was a bad plan, but no one would have said a word had it worked. I am opened to suggestions."

“Satella, do you have a sedative with you?" Jayson asked of the Doctor.

"Yes, always, why?" Bruxa replied. "Are you planning on sleeping through this?"

"Just be ready," the Lieutenant said as he took several steps forward to draw the creature's attention onto him before starting to run.

"Oh my God. Oh my God, is he nuts?"(4) Satella exclaimed in horror.

"Just be ready," the ExO / ILO quickly stated. "We are likely going to get only one chance at this." Doctor Bruxa, hypospray firmly in hand, watched in terror as Jayson barely avoided strike after strike as the beast lunged at him.  "Looks like all of those sparring exercises with Ya'Han have paid off," the ExO / ILO said just as she motioned for Satella to go.

In the blink of an eye, the man rushed by the two women followed by the guardian canine which was hit with the hypospray as she dashed right by the Doctor. A few seconds later, the creature began to stumble and eventually collapsed onto the grass, passed out thanks to the injection given to him.

"Thank you," Jayson said trying to catch his breath. "This got a lot closer than I wanted to, but then again, it could have been worse," he added looking down at his pant leg which had been clawed into shreds.

"Are you injured?" Satella inquired, certain that the man's leg would look very much like his pants.

"Nope," Stark confirmed sounding just as surprised as everyone else. "As I said, it got closer than I would have liked it to but it could have been worse. Now, Commander, can we get moving. I do not think my pants can take too much more of this.
With the watchdog taken care of, the away team resumed their trek to the nearest building. One after the other the buildings were carefully inspected but no signs of a door or any way to gain access could be found.

"This makes no sense," Doctor Bruxa voiced in frustration. "Why have buildings if there is no way to get inside of them?"

"Could they be decoys?" The Chief of Operations added.

"I strongly doubt it," the ExO / ILO said looking around for something that might shed some light on this latest mystery. "There has to be a way to access whatever is generating the energy field blocking sensors, not to mention the rift that allowed the shuttle to jump dimensions. If the access is not through any of these buildings, it has to be somewhere else."

"The landing platforms," Satella pointed out. "That is where that dog was. Maybe it is because the entrance is also there."

"It's worth a try," Shar'El said motioning the rest of the team to head in that direction. Once there they quickly began to search for any signs of a door or hatch but again nothing was found. As the ExO / ILO sat down on the edge of the platform to gather her thoughts, her hand began to move away on its own as the platform lowered.  "The platform is retractable. There is something beneath us," the ExO / ILO noted to the others explaining why they had not found any way to access the equipment. "Let's go!"

"What if we are seen?" Jayson asked.

"We may not get another chance to get inside, so either we take it now or we stay on the surface wondering what we can do to help find Adriana, Ya'Han, Sonja, and Xana."

That was all the others needed to convince them that the best course of action was for them to jump down on the lowering platform and see what would happen next.

=-=
Quotes:
(1) Avengers
(2) Hancock
(3) The Dark Knight
(4) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M16-P026: USS ANUBIS: Stark: 35008.0020 ("Descent Into Trouble")
"Descent Into Trouble"
[previous (ANU) "Testing One's Luck" / (BAS) "Caged Fury"]

[/\]

Setting: ORION, Underground Facility
Stardate: 35008.0020

The buildings they left behind appeared simple, ordinary.  The landing platform seemed rundown and not used all that often. What they saw as the platform lowered deeper down was the complete opposite.  The facility was new, state-of-the-art, almost out-of-this-world.  The contrast was almost overwhelming making the three of them forget for a brief moment that they needed to hide, or risk being detected.  As soon as an opportunity presented itself, they jumped onto a ledge and hid behind a set of crates watching the platform continue its way down several more levels before reaching its destination.

"What is this place?" Jayson was in stunned awe at the sight of this place. Although it could not be compared to NEW ALEXANDRIA, the way it was hidden in plain sight made the OPS Officer think that they might have stumbled upon the Orion version of their base of operation.

"Whatever it is," the Doctor cringed. "It's way bigger than anything we might have expected to come across. How did they manage to build this without anyone knowing?" Satella blinked, her mouth wide open in shock for several seconds. "I don't understand, where does all this come from? How do you get funding for something like this?"(1)

"People in high places who have very deep pockets," Shar'El said. "This is a perfect representation of this government; appearing as one thing on the surface but being something completely different beneath the facade."

"It may be even more than that," Doctor Bruxa suggested while pointing to a set of ships lined up in a section of the underground base. "Those ships are not Orion or anything else that I recognize, but then again what do I know, I'm only a Doctor."

"Well, if you are only a Doctor, I might as well take my shirt off now as I am only a man," Jayson said.

"This is not the time for this," Commander Shar'El said pointing to what looked like an opening with a ladder. "We need to move before that platform comes back up and someone on it sees us." Slowly, carefully, the three-man team made their way down the ladder, making sure that they were neither seen or heard. Luckily, all of the people that were present in this base seemed overly preoccupied with whatever they were busy doing.

"We are lucky that there is no security in this place," Doctor Bruxa said.

"I would not say that there is *no* security," Jayson amended. "I will agree that it is rather light considering the size of whatever this place is. I guess they really did not expect anyone just dropping in on them as we did."

"Makes sense," the Commander added. "There is nothing on the surface that would draw attention to this location. If it was not for the shuttle so suddenly disappearing, we would never have given this place a second look, and most certainly not beamed down to check things out." Shar'El paused as she looked around. "I am just worried about the kind of reaction we will trigger if we are found out."

"Simple solution," Satella offered. "Let us make sure we are not found out."

"This only ends when the fat lady sings," Jayson said laughing. As serious as overwhelming as the situation was, the OPS Officer believed that a little bit of humor could only help.

"Well, let us keep an eye open for any fat ladies, shall we," Shar'El said not seeing any harm in going along with Jayson. "If we see one, either shut her up or run."

Just as they reached the bottom end of the ladder, the team noticed that someone was there trying to climb up.

"Not good. That is not good,"(3) Shar'El exclaimed

Not wasting any time, Jayson let go of the ladder and dropped onto the man at the bottom. A fight quickly ensued but as long as the other man was busy fighting he would not be able to raise the alarm and warn the others about there being intruders in the underground base.

The fight was brutal leading to the OPS Officer's shirt being ripped from his body. When it was over, Satella moved in to make sure that he was unharmed. "I see you've managed to get your shirt off."(4)

He just smiled and playfully shrugged.

"We have to move!" Shar'El said with a sense of urgency. "There is nowhere for us to hide. Can you open that hatch?"

"I can try," the shirtless OPS Officer said looking at the numerical lock pad next to the only available way for them to exit the area without walking straight into the open.

"I hear footsteps, lots of them," the Commander said. "I have the feeling that your little fight drew some unwanted attention. You need to get us out of here before it is the end for us."

"I ain't heard no fat lady!"(5) Jayson pointed out as he continued working on the numerical pad.

"Forget the fat lady. You're Obsessed with fat lady. Just get us out of here!"(6) Shar'El snapped just as the lock was released and Jayson opened the door. Moving as quickly as they could, she ushered the others into the corridor thinking that it would be better to face the unknown inside rather than the multitude of people heading their way.

[/\]
Quotes:
(1) Independence Day
(2) Galaxy Quest
(3) 2012
(4) Galaxy Quest
(5&6) Independence Day
[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M16-P027: USS ANUBIS: Paquette: 35008.0030 ("Broken Mirror")
"Broken Mirror"
previous posts were (ANU) "Descent Into Trouble" / (BAS) "Bad Kitty"

=====
Setting: EAGLE-5, Passenger section
Stardate: 35008.0030  

Not only were they in another dimension, but the journey to wherever they were going was taking much longer than any of them would care for. The one advantage of this journey through unknown stars was that it gave the three ladies sitting at the back a chance to talk and discuss their unique predicament.

"Just for the record," the redhead engineer voiced in a whispered tone. "This is all Adriana's fault. Going rogue and sneaking her way to ORION was bad enough, but for her to find her way to this dimension is just plain ludicrous. What could she have been thinking about to get her to come all the way here?"

"Speaking about Adriana and how she managed to get all the way here..." Xana began. "I've been thinking..."(1)

"Why?”(1) Sonja instantly snapped back. "We have not been doing any of that up to this point, so why start now? We dove into this wild Orion rat chance from the get-go. I would have said 'goose chase' but let's be honest here, even a goose would be losing its mind trying to keep up with all of this."

"Adriana went after her twin sister," Xana explained, not that she believed she needed to. "That has been her driving force since the very beginning. It defines her, who she is and what she does. It is what made her join Starfleet. It is also what made her jump at the opportunity of serving on the ANUBIS and also why she saved my life. She hoped that I would help reunite her family and, in some ways, it is my fault that she is here. I managed to find a piece of information and that led her to another, and another and eventually to here. Amanda is her sister, her family, and that is all the reason she needed to jump to this dimension and do everything she can to bring her back."

"*Family* means - no one gets left behind,"(2) Ya'Han noted. As crazy as her family was, the Nylaan understood the driving force a family could have on an individual, be it good or bad.

"All right, all right rainbow girl, you made your point. You both have," Sonja said casting her arms in the air. "Your mission, should you choose to accept it,"(3) the redhead began in a deep voice, "is to venture into the unknown, into another dimension" The Chief Engineer paused for a second before continuing, "A dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You've just crossed over into..."(4)

"Sonja?" Ya'Han said tapping the engineer on the shoulder. "We are already here, which kind of means that we have already accepted the mission."

"You might have, but I didn't," Sonja argued in a thick heavy Scottish accent. "I was dragged here against my will. Forced... tricked... bamboozled even, and the worst part is that I was not even given the chance to scream and fight the entire way here."

"You came along because you knew that we would need you," Xana said dismissing the woman's claim for what it was, an outburst meant to make things a little less stressful, which was working.  "As much as you complain about it, you are at your happiest when you get to fix something."

"There is a difference between *fixing something* that needs to be fixed and being told to 'look into this', 'replace that', 'see if this rod fits up that crack'," Sonja carried on, now in a full stage production display. "If I could have any job in the world I'd be a professional Cinderella."(5)

The EAGLE-5 suddenly began to shake as if it was going to fly apart at the seams prompting the Chief Engineer to return to the front of the craft closely followed by the others.

"Are we under attack?" Ya'Han inquired thinking that this was the only possible explanation to account for the way the ship was shaking."

"Nah, the EARTH Alliance doesn't dare to come this far and we are way out of Reaver space. We are just caught in a powerful gravitational field," Krokax explained, almost laughing as he did so.

Looking at the archaic instruments lining the control console, the Chief Engineer seemed surprised. After tapping one of the circular displays to make sure the needle was not stuck, she looked out of the window directly in front of her. "If these readouts are accurate, which I have my doubts, the only thing that could generate that level of a gravitational field is a... Woah... That is one weird-looking moon," Sonja noted, looking through the forward windows of the odd shuttle they were in.

Ambassador Bonviva narrowed her eyes, trying her best to make out the outline of the odd shape that they were approaching. In a sudden moment of clarity, Xana gasped. "That's no moon. It's a space station."(6)

"Ladies, allow me to welcome you to Space Station *NOWHERE*," Krokax announced with a beaming smile. "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy."(7)

"I do not recall seeing that on the travel brochure," Sonja said, her eyes as large as saucers.

"I promised you games that would be like no others, and here in this place, your greatest dreams and scariest nightmares can be made real," the Orion pilot stated. "A simple man, like myself can become a prince overnight."

"If you're a prince, there's hope for every ape in Africa,"(8) Sonja stated as she studied the massive black structure that could barely be seen against the background of space.

"Relax," Krokax reassured. "I guarantee that you will have the time of your lives here."

"To be honest, that is what scares me the most about that place," Sonja sighed.

=====
Quotes:
(1) Sisters
(2) Lilo and Stich
(3) Mission Impossible (pick one)
(4) The Twilight Zone: The Movie
(5) Girl, Interrupted
(6 & 7) Star Wars
(8) Lion in Winter
=====
Lorraine Paquette

Lt Commander Sonja Paquette [Access Character BIO for Sonja Paquette]
Chief Engineering Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501
M16-P028: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: 35008.0100 ("The Dome")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"The Dome"
[previous post were (ANU) "Broken Mirror" / (BAS) "Bad Kitty"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: SPACE STATION NOWHERE, Arrivals
Stardate: 35008.0100

Ya'Han could not have been happier to finally step out of that 'Winnebago with wings', that was until she saw the state of this 'NOWHERE' space station. The inner walls were as black as those shielding the outside with pipes of various shapes and size snaking their way in all directions. The air was stale as if the oxygen scrubbers were only working at minimal capacity, and this caused a strong stench to hover in the air. Upon encountering this dreadful aroma, the undercover Sec/Tac could no help herself but gag in disgust.  Never had the Nylaan expected to think back so fondly of her life in the Imperial Palace, but right now she would prefer to be there, facing her father's unforgiving wrath, instead of being subjected to whatever this place was.

"I'm going to need a bath," Sonja said making Ya'Han feel ever so slightly better thanks to the knowledge that she was not the only one to think about this place with such dismay.

"You get used to is," the Orion man said as he led his three guests to what appeared to be a check-in counter. The two clerks sitting on the other side of the country appeared to be as unpleasant as the location, but that did not stop their host from pushing past numerous people who were waiting in line. "Krokax, with three very special guests."

"You again," one of the desk clerks said rolling his eyes. "What are you here for this time?"

"To take part in the dome," Krokax announced with a distinct tone of excitement. "She," he added pointing to Xana, "is my personal guest."

"The dome?" The clerk rhetorically asked before carefully studying the other two women with such intensity that both immediately felt uncomfortable. It was as if they were being sized up for some auction or as simple pieces of meat, neither prospect being an agreeable one. After having thoroughly looked at the two redheads, the clerk focused his attention on Sonja. "Are you classified as human?"(1)

"Negative, I am a meat popsicle,"(1) Paquette replied without missing a beat. In any other situation, she would have sent the man flying clean out of his shoes with a single punch, but for the sake of Adriana, she held back.

Not appearing impressed by the answer, the clerk reached for some sort of scanner and used it on Sonja who managed to remain calm as the oscillating red beam scanned her from head to toes and back. "You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting."(2)

"Now, hold on one cotton-picking minute," Sonja snarled, the comment having clearly insulted her beyond her ability to accept, even for the sake of their missing Ship's Counselor. With reflexes worthy of her position as the ANUBIS' Sec/Tac, Ya'Han quickly took hold of her friend and held her back before she could jump over the counter and teach the clerk a well-deserved lesson.  

Noticing this, the clerk's attention focused entirely on Ya'Han. "She is the one that you want anyway," Krokax said pointing to the fiery red-haired Nylaan.

"What's going on?" Xana demanded of the Orion man, the Ambassador managing with great effort to keep her calm about her.

"You said you wanted to take part in a special game, well there is no game more special than the dome," Krokax explained. "To make it truly interesting though, one of your friends will have to be right there on the main floor, and it is recommended that those who are there can take care of themselves, just in case things get out of hand."

"Out of hand?" Sonja asked glaring back at the Orion man.

"You have nothing to worry about. I am sure that she will know what sections to avoid," Krokax said in his customary charming way

"So, it is safe?" Xana asked, wanting reassurances that she knew would likely be worthless, but still, the Bolian/Human hybrid wanted to hear those words nonetheless.

"Of course," the Orion man replied with a confident smile.

"You take care of Xana," Ya'Han said to Sonja accepting the risks of what she would be asked to do. "We didn't come all this way for us to just give up. I will go and come back as soon as my tasks, whatever they may be, are done and over with."

"That's the spirit," the Orion man cheered before escorting Xana passed the check-in counter closely followed by Sonja who kept her eyes on the woman and friend they were leaving behind.

"I do not like this," the engineer whispered to the Ambassador as soon as they lost sight of Ya'Han.

"You know, just as much as I do, that she can take care of herself," Xana reassured. "We just have to be careful and make sure that we are in a state to welcome her back when she returns."

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]  
Setting: SPACE STATION NOWHERE, The Dome
Stardate: 35008.0120

The moment they walked into the stadium, Xana and Sonja understood where they were, and it was not where they wanted to be.  "This is a battle arena," the Bolian/Human hybrid forcefully objected upon seeing the metal frame shaped like a dome. "Where is Ya'Han?"

"She is safe," the Orion man again reassured. "You needed to have someone down on the main floor to be able to report on the contestants that will be fighting so that you can make educated wagers. It would be foolish to bet on any fighter without having a better idea of their capabilities. You have nothing to worry about, your friend is safe. She is with the other evaluators. Just before the match begins she will be asked to leave and report back to you with her findings. She will be here and able to enjoy the exhilarating spectacle just as much as you two will."

Neither Sonja nor Xana were overly convinced by Krokax explanation, but without any knowledge of what was going on, the two undercover Starfleet Officers could do nothing other than wait and hope that what they had been told was the truth.

As time passed. more and more spectators came in, most were humans but the others appeared as strange variations of races the Ambassador was familiar with. Whatever this dimension was, these people had likely seen and dealt with more than she could bring herself to imagine.

When a set of powerful spotlights inside the dome came on, casting their beams directly into the center of the arena, a loud thundering voice came over the loudspeakers. =/\= Ladies, Gentlemen and creatures of all shapes and sizes, welcome to the dome! =/\=  The crowd exploded in cheers of such power that Xana and Sonja feared that part of the surrounding structure might come loose. =/\= We have an extraordinary lineup for you tonight. Skrogd, the reigning Mutai grand champion will be defending his title against Sokra-Kel-Eldradi, this promises to be a memorable fight, so be sure to stay until the very end. =/\=

"Skrogd has been Muta-Do, or the Mutai Champion if you do not know the term, for the last 5 cycles. The man is a beast," Krokax said to his honored guest the Ambassador. "That's not true, Skrogd *is* a beast and referring to him as a man in any form is an insult. Trust me, you will love seeing him in action." Xana barely acknowledged the words of the Orion man, her attention was focused instead on the crowd in an effort to see Ya'Han.

=/\= But first, a little warm-up fight to get you all in the spirit of things. Although no betting will be permitted for this first match, we hope that you will all find it just as entertaining. =/\=

"That might explain why Ya'Han is not back yet," Sonja said.

=/\= The rules of engagement will remain the same as it is the law of the dome,=/\= the announcer added. =/\= You know the law: Two men enter, one man leaves.=/\=(3)

"TWO MEN ENTER, ONE MAN LEAVES," the crowd chanted.

=/\= Although today, the law should be that Two *women* enter, one *woman* leaves, =/\= the announcer amended sending a chill through Xana and Sonja. =/\= Coming from parts unknown, we give you the fiery hair maiden known as *Ya'Han*. =/\=

"WHAT?" The Ambassador was livid. "You said that she would be safe!"

"I have no idea as to what happened," Krokax said. "She should not be there. I swear this is not my doing."  The argument between the Bolian/Human hybrid and Orion was drowned by the jeers of the crowd as one of the spotlights cast its light directly on a bemused Ya'Han.

=/\= Her opponent, a lady that we all have come to know and love. I give you Xena, the warrior from down below! =/\= This time to crowd cheered instantly showing their preference. =/\= Ladies, gentlemen and creatures of all shapes and sizes, welcome to the DOME! =/\=

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Quotes:
1) The 5th Element
2) A Knight's Tale
3) Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Hanali Han

Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M16-P029: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: 35007.2330 ("Hide and Seek")
=-=
"Hide and Seek"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "The Dome" by Hanali / (BAS) "Field Medic" by Moi]
=-=

Setting: ORION, Underground Facility, Shuttle storage area
Stardate: 35008.0100

The whole of the secret underground base was in an uproar. They now knew that intruders had infiltrated their facility but so far their search for them did not result in them finding anyone. The question was, how much longer would the away team comprised of Shar'El, Jayson and Satella would be able to keep this up?  Using the ventilation ducks, maintenance conduits and whatever crates or equipment they could use to hide their presence, the team did their best to find a way out while at the same time gathering as much Intel on this facility, and the people using it, as possible.

With their eyes set on one of the alien-looking shuttles, the ExO / ILO formulated a plan that would, in theory, allow them to board the craft without being seen. "The majority of the personnel is busy looking for us, we may not get another chance," Shar'El said, her voice nothing more than a soft, delicate whisper.

"The problem is that there are no guarantees that any of us will be able to fly one of those crafts," Jayson remarked in the same soft-spoken tone. "We might end up cornering ourselves without any means of escape."

"It is a risk that we will have to take unless either one of you can come up with another way for us to leave this place without drawing everyone on top of us," the ExO / ILO said.

"I might have an idea," Jayson said before locking his sights on what appeared to be a member of the technical or maintenance staff wandering out from between two of the crafts in questions.

"JAYSON!" Satella gasped as she watched the man just walked out and head straight to the unknown and unsuspecting worker.

Without the slightest bit of hesitation, Lt. Stark walked up to the man, tapped him on the shoulder to make him look his way before hitting him with a powerful right cross that instantly knocked the technician out. After confirming that no one had seen this, Jayson dragged the man back behind the crates where Satella and Shar'El were hiding.

"That was irrational of you... not to mention unsportsmanlike,"(1) the ExO / ILO said.

"I was just tired of sneaking around," Stark said. "At least this way we might be able to find some sort of pass or key that will allow us to find another way out."

"Smart," Satella said. "Completely crazy, but smart. You could have been killed."

"Nah," Jayson said standing up from behind the crate they were hiding behind. "After everything I have endured while onboard the ANUBIS, it will take more than some unknown Technician or Maintenance guy to kill me." Just as he said this, a laser was fired nicking his arm causing him to drop back down for cover.

"You are hurt!" The CMO said quickly looking at the man's wound.

"It's only a flesh wound,"(2) Jayson dismissed with a wince.

"I have his keys," the ExO / ILO said holding a set of plastic cards which she took from the man the Chief of Operation had so nonchalantly punched and knocked out. "Let's move!"

"You should not have done that," the CMO said to the Chief of Operations as the three of them rushed between crates, behind pillars, through doors and down whatever corridor they could find. "We can't afford to take those kinds of risks. This is not just about us individually or us as a group, what we do here will also affect the lives of countless others, one in particular who is depending on us getting out of here to find and bring her back safely."

"Sometimes your whole life boils down to one insane move,"(3) Shar'El said looking back at Satella and Jayson. "The worst part of it is that I suspect that what he did will not be the last time any of us does something completely insane and uncalled for." After saying this, the ExO / ILO stopped, pried a vent loose and motioned for the others to get in before doing so herself.

"That doesn't change the fact that we are running for our lives now, and I will admit that I am scared," Doctor Bruxa admitted s she crawled down the ventilation shaft. "We can't contact the HATHOR or get them to beam us back."

"Being scared is a good thing, it keeps you alive." Shar'El pointed out. "Remember, there’s no courage without fear."(4) the ExO / ILO added as she brought up the rear. The group stopped as they heard footsteps rushing by behind them, growing louder before gradually fading away.

"Looks like we have lost them, again," Jayson, who was in the lead, said with a sigh of relief. 

"Unfortunately, that does not get us any closer to getting out of her and back on the HATHOR," Doctor Bruxa added. To be completely honest, Satella was getting fed up with all this running around in an effort to not be captured.

"I believe we may be dealing with a much larger issue," Jayson said as he looked through the mesh grill that stood before him before moving to one side allowing Satella and Shar'El to have a look for themselves.

"Oh my..." Bruxa could barely breathe as she looked at what Jayson had discovered. From where they were they could look down upon a large room filled with robot soldiers. Although they appeared clumsy in design, there was a definitive sense of terror emanating from the way they just stood there in perfect lines, ready to march as the army they had been created to be.  "Why would they have a robot army here?"

"I have no idea,"(5) The ExO / ILO said already making her way back through the ventilation shaft. "All I know is that we have to get back to the HATHOR, and quickly."

=-=
Quotes:
(1) Blade Runner
(2) Monty Python and the Holy Grail 
(3) Avatar
(4) Edge of Tomorrow
(5) Inception
=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M16-P030: USS ANUBIS: Bruxa: 35008.0130 ("Over Thinking")
=-=
"Over Thinking"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Hide and Seek" / (BAS) "Field Medic"]
=-=

Setting: ORION, Underground Facility  
Stardate: 35008.0130

They were back in the shuttle hangar, hiding behind some crates. The underground facility was just too large for the number of security personnel present. That was to the away team's advantage and gave them time to carefully think about their next move. While Shar'El and Jayson discussed the details of their plan, Satella just stared at the nearest craft. She was listening, but her mind was on a multitude of other things, all of them several millions of light-years away.

How was Adriana? Was she safe? Was she hurt or scared, and hoping that they would come to her rescue? The questions were piling one on top of the other faster than the CMO could process. Lopez going after her missing twin sister made perfect sense. The CNS had been thinking about doing this since long before joining Starfleet. Satella knew that it was only a matter of time before her friend went on this quest. What Bruxa was relatively certain about though was that no one could have predicted how complicated it would all turn out to be.

Now, Ambassador Bonviva, Lt. Cmdr Paquette and Lt. Ya'Han were missing. Cmdr. Shar'El, Lt. Stark and herself were trapped in some secret underground facility. If that was not enough, they had discovered a robot army whose purpose had yet to be determined. Was this real or could it all be nothing more than a nightmare that they could not wake from?  From that thought, things just went downhill for the physician as she began to imagine one worse scenario after the other until the universe itself was nothing more than ashes.

"Satella?" Shar'El asked after placing her hand on the Doctor's shoulder. "Are you alright?"

"I had the most terrible vision,"(1) Doctor Bruxa said as a chill swept through her body. "I'm alright, just allowed my imagination to run wild, and not in a good way. Guess you could say I had a walking dream, well, it was more of a nightmare, to be honest. It just felt so real for a split second."

Shar'El offered a faint smile of understanding. "Dreams feel real while we’re in them. It’s only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange."(2)

"Okay, back to reality for a minute,"(3) Jayson prompted. "We have a plan, but if it is to work, we need to get moving now."

"A plan?" Satella asked not having heard anything of what had been discussed before.

"There are two main things we have to deal with," Shar'El explained. "We have to get into one of those shuttles. We also need to get that platform we used to get here down. Once both of those things are done, we will be on our way out. The next step after that is for us to reach the HATHOR."

"But that's another nightmare that we will have to deal with at a later time," Jayson half grumbled.

Satella glared at Shar'El. "Who is planning on flying the shuttle?"

"I will." The Ullian's reply was as confident as could be. "I was able to scan the memories of a few of the techs as they walked by. I believe I have the necessary information to get us out of here. That is why we need someone to lower the platform. There is no remote access to it."

"That will be my job," Jayson said. "Anyway, wish me luck,"(4) he said before making his way down the hangar leaving Shar'El and Satella to take care of getting onboard a shuttle.

Looking over at the Doctor, the Commander forced a smile on her lips. "He'll be alright. We will be out of here in a heartbeat. First, though, we need to get into one of those shuttles. Let's go!"

The two women rushed across the hangar, trying their best not to be seen. That failed.  "THEY ARE HERE!" Someone yelled drawing the attention of the security forces back to the hangar.

"Just ran out of luck,"(5) Shar'El noted pushing Satella forward. There was no time to waste if they were to get out of there in one piece. No longer having the time to be cautious, they quickly stepped onto the one open shuttle. After finding the door controls, Doctor Bruxa sealed the entrance while Commander Shar'El sat at the controls. "How do you start this thing?"(6)

"Wait! What?" Satella moved closer to Shar'El. "You did not scan any memories as to how to start this thing?"

"I was too focused on being able to fly it," the Ullian admitted. "How hard can it be?"(7) Both women let out a sigh of great relief when the shuttle's engines engaged. "See, not as hard as you thought it might be. Now, stay by the door. You will need to open it once we are on the platform to let Jayson back in."

Satella was not in a position or state of mind to object. The plan, be it good or bad, was in motion and they would need to see it to the very end. Bruxa rushed back to the door, her fingers hovering over the controls. It was unlikely that they would have a great deal of time to perform this 'tour de force', so she needed to be ready.

The sound of banging against the outer hull echoed through the small craft as they moved past the gathered security personnel. Although it was not moving all that fast, the shuttle managing to move beyond stay well ahead of those in pursuit.  Following a few maneuvers, the small ship arrived onto the platform. With a motion of her hand, Shar'El instructed Satella to open the door, which she did.  Even before it was completely opened, Jayson jumped in, squeezing himself through the small gap. He jumped with such urgency that he ended up crashing against the other side of the shuttle.

"Ouch!"

"Is he alright?" Shar'El asked while Satella was closing the door.

"I have a boo-boo,"(8) Jayson replied holding up his index finger.

"He's fine," the Doctor confirmed. "Can we get out of here now?"

Everyone watched as the walls of the underground facility scrolled down past the forward window with increasing speed until they finally vanished altogether. The shuttle, with the away team on board, was out and on its way back to the HATHOR.

Falling back into the nearest seat, Satella let out a long sigh. "That was longer than a heartbeat."(9)

=-=
Quotes:
1, The Nightmare Before Christmas
2, Inception
3, Waitress
4, The Truman Show
5, Flight of the Intruder
6, Happily N'Ever After
7, The Witches of Eastwick
8, The 6th Day
9, 28 Days Later
=-=
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]
M16-P031: USS ANUBIS: Bonviva: 35008.0130 ("All The Sun And Stars Touch")
"All The Sun and Stars Touch"
Previous posts: (ANU) "Over Thinking" & (BAS) "Magical Explanation”

=/\=
Death smiles at us all.  All we can do is smile back.
--from the movie “Gladiator”

=/\=
Setting: SPACE STATION NOWHERE, The Dome -- Seating Area
Stardate: 35008.0130

“We need to get Ya’Han out of there,” Sonja warned Xana.  

Xana agreed with Sonja and was captivated by the action in the Dome.  She knew the Nylaan would be a serious contender here.  Despite her reserved public nature, it was clear that she was well trained in a variety of techniques and would not only be able to defend herself but could defeat any combatant.  

This was different.  This was defense to survive.  It wasn’t even offense for a strategic reason.  This was sport.  In many ways, the Bolian/Human saw this no differently than the Ferengi that offended the Nylaan; they were using the Sec/Tac for her physicality.  If they had obtained permission for this, Xana and Sonja were unaware of it.

Still in her ridiculous tuxedo, Xana did her best to smooth out the wrinkles with a sweep of a hand and said in her best Ambassadorial voice.  “Enough of this nonsense,” she said while standing up.  Glaring down at Krokax she said, “I want Ya’Han back.  *NOW*.”

Krokax, faced with a 6’ tall angry blue woman who bore an uncanny resemblance to another woman in the Dome, held his hands as he tried to talk his way out of this mess.  “The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?” (1)

Nostrils flared and there was now a distinct toe tapping now being done by the Ambassador.  Even Sonja was threw up her hands and said, “You are too stupid to insult!” (2)

Krokax looked over for a moment and replied to the red-headed engineer, “Thank you.” (2)  Looking back at the Ambassador he said as he got up, “It’s starting now but I’ll go find you The Crown.”

=/\=
Setting: SPACE STATION NOWHERE, The Dome -- Fighting Arena
Stardate: 35008.0135

After the stadium lift reached the ground level, Ya’Han stepped out onto the sand and dirt, which was heavily stained with blood of the former matches. The audience cheered wildly, even though they had no idea who Ya’Han was, other than she a novelty. Before entering the DOME she had been given a helmet that covered her entire head but gave her a small eye slit so she could see; a square shield; a rectangular breastplate that was strapped in over a sensor tunic; elbow and wrist bands that somewhat protected her; and leg armor that went from her ankles to her knees.  Her shoes were a durable slide that could allowed her maximum mobility but little protection.  As she made her way to the center of the ring, she drew her gladius, her double edged sword.  

Then Xena walked in.  Even through the eye-slit, Ya’Han could see the blue woman had similar armor but less, as if to draw attention to herself and away from Ya’Han.  The only other difference was that rather than a gladius, she had a spear trident which she raised to the sky to the wild roar of the audience.  

A woman dressed in white with a golden crown walked down onto a pier that overlooked the Dome.  Xena bowed respectfully to the woman.   As she bowed down Ya’Han heard from her competitor, “Bow unless you wish to die before it all begins.”

Giving the slightest of bows, she heard, rather than saw, clapping from the crowd indicating they were pleased with this.  As she got back up a man in white walked out and marked a line in the middle of sand and blood with water.  “We cleanse the area so we may begin anew,” he yelled.  Then the games-master gave the wave to start, and Ya’Han faced the Xena. 

They circled. Xena cast her trident spear quickly, but Ya’Han side-stepped as she backed up. 

Missed. 

Ya’Han speeded in towards her exposed opponent. Xena counted with her trident but the Nylaan brushed it aside with her gladius. 

The Nylaan could see the next thrust would be to her chest, so she pushed her armored shoulder toward the oncoming woman.  Xena’s blade glanced off the metal armor but Ya’Han went back due to the force. 

Xena went for Ya’Han, dropping her trident instead grabbing her exposed throat.  Ya’Han swung up her gladius from the side and placed it to Xena’s throat as Xena let a hidden dagger drop from her own wrist guard drop against Ya’Han’s neck.  Both women were locked in mortal combat; the slightest move would kill both of them. 

Xena’s purple eyes looked as mischievous as one could be with a gladius to one’s throat.  “You didn’t think it was gonna be that easy, did you?” (3)

Ya’Han kept calm as she replied.  “You know, for a second there, yeah, I kind of did.” (3)

=/\=
Setting: SPACE STATION NOWHERE, The Dome -- Seating Area
Stardate: 35008.0140

Xana watched the woman with a name similar to hers, who looked just like her, with arms folded and said very little.  Even in her peak physical form (which probably was 20 years ago, the *cough* 43 year old admitted to herself) she didn’t think she would have been able to do all that Xena could do down there.  And yet, aside from a vowel...it appeared she was just like her.  The Bolian/Human woman was fascinated.  She wanted so much to learn about her .  When, of course, Xena wasn’t trying to kill Ya’Han.

Suddenly everyone around them stood up, causing her and Sonja to look around.  Krokax nudged the two women to get up as he bowed, “Crown.  We did not expect you here.”

A radiant red-headed woman stood before them with a golden circlet on her head.  “I enjoy meeting the people,” she said.  Raising an eyebrow to Krokax she imperiously, “Including the new people.”

“Yes, meeting the people," Krokax said nervously.  Waving his hands he said, “This is The Crown, Sonju.”

Xana and Sonja exchanged a quick glance.  Going off what she saw earlier, Xana bowed.  “This is yours?” she asked with a sweep of her hand.

Sonju gave a slight nod as she said, “All the light touches is our kingdom.” (4)  Pausing with a mischievous grin she said, “And the stars too.”

=/\=
Movie Quotes:
1. Pirates of the Caribbean
2. The Hangover
3. Kill Bill, Vol. 1
4. The Lion King
=/\=
Sarah Albertini-Bond

USS ANUBIS
M16-P032: USS ANUBIS: Lopez: 35008.0130 ("Rude Awakening")
-=-=-
"Rude Awakening"
[Previous post: (ANU) "All The Sun And Stars Touch" & (BAS) "Magical Explanation"]
-=-=-

Setting: SPACE STATION BLACK HOLE, unknown room
Stardate: 35008.0130

Adriana had finally fallen asleep out of sheer exhaustion. The metallic floor, that doubled as her bed, was as cold as ice and a split second before she finally lost consciousness, the Counselor/Junior Ambassador wondered if this would be her end. As gradual and fear-laced as her falling asleep was, her waking proved to be the complete opposite as a sudden rumble through the floor and walls of her cell forced her awake in a single, terrifying, racing heartbeat.

Her eyes were still swollen shut thanks to the vicious beaten she received earlier, this made it that much more difficult for her to get her bearings. Eventually, the memories of all that she had endured came back to her leaving the poor woman broken and crying. All she had ever wanted was to find Amanda and fill the void that her missing twin sister had created through her absence. Adriana did not hold her sister accountable for any of this, knowing that none of it was her fault, but she wondered as to why the universe had decided to make such a simple quest be so impossibly trying.

The Junior Ambassador jumped once again as she heard the latch of the door, but this time she found herself hoping that she would hear a familiar voice. Adriana did not know who this Mandy was, but she was the one and only friend she had while she was a prisoner in whatever hell this was.

"Good, you are awake," Mandy said. At the sound of the woman's voice, Lopez broke down and started to weep uncontrollably. "It's alright," she offered to Adriana while kneeling down next to her. "You are safe for now, everyone is at the Dome. Hel loves to see people get maimed and killed in the most horrific of ways. If she is able to make a couple of winning wagers, she is even happier, and when she is happy, we all are."

"What does she want with me?" Adriana asked through her sobbing. "What did I do to her? All I wanted was to find my sister."

"Nothing is ever that easy, especially in this place," Mandy said.

"I just can figure any of it out? Why treat me this way? Why beat me to inches of my life? Why is my searching for my sister such an issue? As Amanda become someone that I should fear? We are twins, how could she be someone so completely different than the person I am today. Nothing about this makes sense to me, and some just come across as being so strange and bizarre."

"We're all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that's all."(1) Mandy said. "Try to look at things on the bright side. Hell could have locked you up on one of the sewer cells. Aside from the nose-melting stench, you would have to deal with Orion snakes, and I am not referring to the two-legged kind. These slithering ones love to wrap themselves around a potential meal and squeeze the life out of them over several hours."

"Snakes. Why'd it have to be snakes?"(2)

"As I said before," Mandy explained. "Hel loves to see people suffer. A quick death is too simple, too boring for her. She lives to see people in pain, that is the only thing that makes her happy. I think it is her way of getting back to the universe for what she endured. She doesn't talk all that much about her past, but the rest of us have managed to put a few clues together, at least those of us who have managed to survive up until now."

"If she is so terrible, why stay here? Why stay with her?" Adriana asked, wishing that she could open her eyes to see the reaction of the woman she was talking to. "Why not just leave?"

Mandy laughed. "Leave? And go where? This entire universe is one twitch away from absolute chaos." The woman let out a long sigh before adding, "Judgement Day is inevitable."(3) She paused as she stood back up. "When you have no friends, you are best to stick by the side of the nastiest person you were able to find. As bad as it may sound, it is the one place where you will be safe."

"I am not sure that life without friends would be worth living," Amanda said, her thoughts and memories on those she left behind in her quest for her twin sister,

"Then you should have stayed with your friends instead of coming here," Mandy said as she opened the door to the cell. "The only thing you would be missing would have been your sister, instead you find yourself here, alone, without friends, without your sister, and I'm afraid without any hopes for a future. As I said before, it might have been better for you to die instead of admitting that you were Starfleet."

"Maybe you are right," Adriana said raising her head in what she believed to be the woman's general location. "Maybe there is no hope for me, but I would not say that I am without friends."

"If your friends are smart, they will not risk coming here and forget that you ever existed. No one will come to help you."

"I do have a friend," Lopez pointed out. "She is here, in this cell with me right now, and she as already helped me more than once. Maybe you had no reason to leave when you were alone, but now you do have a friend."

"You think I'm a friend to you?" Mandy gasped

"Yes, I do."

"You ain't never had a friend like me,"(4) she said before leaving the room and closing the door behind her, the sound of the locking latch echoing through the small metallic cell as if mocking Adriana's last words.

-=-=-
Movie Quotes
(1) Breakfast Club
(2) Raiders of the Lost Ark
(3) Terminator 3: Judgement Day
(4) Aladdin
-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor & Junior Ambassador
USS ANUBIS
M16-P033: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: 35008.0200 ("Twisted Reflections")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Twisted Reflections"
[previous post were (ANU) "Rude Awakening" / (BAS) "It Never Is"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: SPACE STATION NOWHERE, Corridor
Stardate: 35008.0200

The battle in the dome was unexpectedly stopped when a group of armed thugs rushed into the arena and separated the two combatants to the thundering objections of the gathered crowd. Not everyone was disappointed in the lack of bloodshed though, Xana and Sonja felt relief while the fiery red-haired Nylaan experienced confusion on a scale never before imagined.

As the two warriors were escorted down a set of dark corridors, Ya'Han kept glancing back at Xena finding it very difficult to fully understand what and who she was looking at. The concept of a parallel universe where the same people could be found but with different lives was something that Ya'Han just could not accept, this despite what her eyes were seeing.

"How is this possible?" The Nylaan asked while making sure that she kept pace with her escort, not wanting to enlist their anger.

"Just as individuals are born, mature, breed, and die, so do societies and civilizations and governments."(1) The answer was not what Ya'Han expected as her question was targeting a specific person, the one walking behind her, the one who appeared almost identical to someone else, someone she would never have expected to fight in the manner she had just done back in the arena.

"There better be a good reason why you stopped us," Xena hissed while glaring at the woman who kept looking back at her.

"We were not given a reason," one of the guards replied. "We were simply told by The Crown to stop the fight, so we did. If you have something to say about this, you can tell her directly."

"We are being escorted to see The Crown?"

Ya'Han had no idea who this 'Crown' was but judging by the way Xena said the name it was evident that the person was someone of importance and power within this place. The problem was would this person prove to be someone that would make their stay in this place an easier one or a more difficult one?  As a former daughter of the High Sovereign of NYLA IV, the fiery red-haired woman understood all too well the impact someone of great importance could have on those perceived to have lesser roles to play in their society.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]  
Setting: SPACE STATION NOWHERE, Meeting Room
Stardate: 35008.0215

Based on the name of the person they were being escorted to see and the reaction from her former adversary, Ya'Han expected to find some sort of royal decor gracing the walls, ceiling, and floor of the room. Instead, the two combatants were brought into a room that appeared as dark and dirty as the rest of this space station.

"Here are our two brave warriors," a woman said drawing the Nylaan's gaze onto her. Ya'Han found herself staring as she studied the features of the woman who appeared more than familiar and yet seemed to be someone completely different.  "Sonja?"

"Hi Ya'Han," the reply came but not from where the Nylaan had expected, instead, it came from behind her to the right where she saw the two women who had accompanied her. Of course, seeing this made the Nylaan's head snap back to the initial person she saw when stepping into the room.

"My name is Sonju, but you can address me as 'The Crown'," the woman who was a spitting image of the ANUBIS' Chief Engineer said, her tone of voice much more commanding and severely less friendly than that of her counterpart.  "Are you injured?"

"No, I am not injured, just a little confused as to what is going on here," Ya'Han admitted

"It is human to have your soul brought to a crisis you did not anticipate."(2) Sonju said looking at Ya'han as if trying to gauge her reaction to her words. Was she testing the Sec/Tac on her pointing out that she was not as prepared for the fight as she should have been or the fact that she had been referred to as *human*? Either way, the Nylaan thought it best to not display any reactions, letting the words flow over her as if nothing had been said.  The woman eventually smiled at the silence that came to stand between them before heading towards the door. "I will let you three talk things over," she added before motioning for the guards to take Xena out of the room with a simple gesture of her hand to which they immediately complied with.

"Are you alright?" Sonja asked of Ya'Han once they were alone in the room.

"I am, but things could have gone smoother," the Nylaan said, still trying to understand what was happening to them.

"Show me a completely smooth operation and I will show you someone who is covering mistakes... real boats rock."(3) Xana said, staring at the door through which her counterpart from this dimension had walked through.  "We just have to figure out what we are going to do next."

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]  
Setting: SPACE STATION NOWHERE, Outside the Meeting Room
Stardate: 35008.0225

"Why did you stop me?" Xena growled, the Ambassador's counterpart from this dimension clearly not overly keen on diplomatic decorum.

"Because it was what was needed," another voice replied, this one coming from the shadows down the corridor. "I did tell you that they would be coming," she added.

"You did," Sonju agreed," but you never said they would be coming so quickly. I thought we would have more time to prepare."

"We have more than enough time. The three in there are only the bait meant to bring one of the ships able to travel to other dimensions here. That first one would not have been enough as they might have dismissed her disappearance as just a string of bad luck. Now, with those three, someone is bound to come searching for them, and when they do, we will be waiting for them."

"Hel," The Crown said revealing the woman's identity to the others in order to draw her out of the shadows. "Are you certain that this will work. I am risking a lot on this little plan of yours."

"Respect for the truth is the basis for all morality. Something cannot emerge from nothing."(4) Hel said as she walked into the light, revealing that she appeared exactly like the woman who was in her custody. "Trust me, this will work."

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
All quotes from Dune

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

Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M16-P034: USS ANUBIS: Bruxa: 35008.0230 ("Final Farewell")
=-=
"Final Farewell"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Twisted Reflections" / (BAS) "It Never Is"]
=-=

Setting: ORION Shuttle  
Stardate: 35008.0230

The shuttle was not built for comfort. The inertial dampeners, if there were any, seemed unable to keep those on board from bouncing all over the place. It was either that or questioning the piloting skills of their First Officer. Had Sonja been here, the CEO might have fired a few poignant comments. The woman seemed able to get away with saying pretty much whatever came into her mind. Since Satella doubted she would be able to get away with it, she kept quiet. Following another sharp shift, the CMO found herself on top of the COO.

"I'm sorry," the Doctor said, her cheeks turning bright red.

Jayson smiled. "No worries. It is hard for either one of us to stay put with all of this shaking." He gazed into Satella eyes for a brief moment, forgetting himself and his past for that time. Upon realizing what he was doing, Lt. Stark turned his attention to the front section of the shuttle. "With all due respect Commander," the COO said from the back of the shuttle. "Would you like me to fly this thing?"

"You are welcomed to try, Lieutenant." Shar'El was not pleased, not because of what Jayson said, but rather what was happening outside. "This thing is barely responding to commands and we are being followed. My guess is that those people back there are not too pleased with us stealing one of their shuttles."

"Just get us up into the high atmosphere. Once in orbit, the HATHOR will be able to help us." Jayson said, the solution seemingly beyond simple.

Shar'El clenched her teeth. "Do you really think I had not thought of that? This shuttle was not designed for space flight. Actually, I am not even sure it was designed for atmospheric flights either. I would have a better time flying an escape pod through a quantum singularity."

"What about opening a communication channel with the HATHOR?" Satella asked. "Should we not be out of the interference field generated by the buildings we went to investigate? If so, both sensors and communications should be working."

She small ship shifted sharply to one side sending everyone in the back crashing against the inner wall. The CMO and COO found themselves on top of one another once again. Just as the craft regain attitude, it shifted once more sending Jayson and Satella crashing on the other side. Stark let out a loud humph as Bruxa landed directly onto his chest. Jayson helped Satella back onto her feet, making sure she was holding onto something sturdy. "Maybe under different circumstances, this would be fun. Right now, though, I think it might be safer if I went to the front."  The Doctor agreed, trying to keep herself from blushing too much.

"There does not appear to be any sort of communication station," Shar'El said. "The memories from the technicians did not cover anything of the sort."

"First they build this thing with only one seat," Jayson said as he came to hold onto the chair in question. "Now you are telling me that they didn't bother adding a communication station? What were those guys thinking? What was this craft designed to do? Be a decoy for target practice?"

Satella held on as tightly as she could while looking at the forward section. Shar'El and Jayson were doing their best, but it was clearly not enough. They were in a bad situation and it seemed to be getting worse by the second.

"Maybe if we get this thing high enough the HATHOR will be able to get a sensor lock on us," Jayson said.

"That is if this shuttle is not somehow shielded from sensors," the CMO said. "A single seat and a wide-open rear section. My guess is that this craft was built for smuggling. If it was, it would make sense for the hull to be able to deflect sensors, even if only partially."

Shar'El smiled. "The ANUBIS' sensors will penetrate whatever shielding is present on this craft."

"One problem," Jayson pointed out. "The ANUBIS is not here. From what I saw of the HATHOR's sensors, they are far from being as powerful as those we are used to."  The craft shifted once again, but this time there was the added sound of something hitting the hull.

"They are firing on us," Shar'El reported.

"We do not have a choice," Jayson said. "Head for the upper atmosphere. We will just have to hope that the Captain will realize what is happening and come to our rescue."

"Hang on to whatever you can," Shar'El said as she pushed the engines to their maximum setting.  The craft quickly accelerated as it took an upward heading. It only took a few minutes before the blue of the planet's atmosphere was replaced by the darkness of space.

"This shuttle is definitively not insulated for space travel," Satella said as she shivered. "At the speed the temperature is falling, we are going to freeze in a matter of seconds. The HATHOR better get a lock on us and quick." As she said this, the craft as rocked by a powerful shot. "Why are we slowing down?"(1)  

"We were shot by something way more powerful than those shuttles that were following us." Jayson was barely able to hold on to the seat where Shar'El was sitting. From where he was tough, he had a clear view of the engineering display.

"Damage report!"(2)

"Guidance system out. Auxiliary system out."(2) The COO reported as he felt himself begin to float due to the lack of gravity.

Shar'El did a quick review of her instruments. "All right, the way I see it, there's only two possible outcomes. Either we make it down there in one piece and I have one hell of a story to tell, or we burn up in the next ten minutes."(3)

"We won't last ten minutes," Doctor Bruxa said. "The temperature here is dropping too fast. I can barely feel my feet as it is. We need to head back to the planet."

"Better to die in a fiery blaze than in a frozen ice-box?" Stark asked.

"Yes," Bruxa quickly replied.

Jayson looked over at Satella. "As you wish."(4)

Everyone looked through the forward windows which were already starting to freeze over. The starscape quickly changed to the planet's horizon before showing nothing else but the surface.  As the ship began its journey back down, Satella released her hold on the bulkhead. This caused her to fall forward and crash once again into Jayson. Before he could say something, she put her finger against his lips.

"I know that you and Ya'Han share something special. I also know that the two of you have not been as close as you should be. Whatever she went through should not be reason enough to treat you the way she does. You deserve better. You deserve someone who appreciates everything that you do." Seeing the confusion in the man's eyes, Bruxa removed her finger from his lips only to press hers there instead.

The emotional kiss lasted for only a few seconds, interrupted by the sensation of a transporter beam taking them somewhere else.

=-=
1, Battle Beyond the Stars
2, The Last Starfighter 
3, Gravity
4, The Princess Bride

=-=
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]
M16-P035: USS ANUBIS: Morningstar: 35008.0300 ("Things Are Getting Complicated")
##########
"Things Are Getting Complicated"
Previous posts (ANU) "Missing Pieces" / (BAS) "Dimensional Survey"
##########  

"All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them."
- Galileo Galilei

=====
Setting:  USS HATHOR, Deck 3, Shuttle bay
Stardate: 35008.0300

"Whatever was happening out there, I am glad to have you back on board the HATHOR safe and sound," the Native American stated to the Doctor and Chief of Operations before turning to his First Officer. "What were you able to discover while on the surface? I am hoping that the shuttle is more than it seems, especially given the fuss those other ships that were in pursuit made. It looked like they were far more interested in shooting you down rather than getting that craft back in their possession. To me, that means it has something of great value to them."

"To be completely honest, there is nothing about that shuttle that should have warranted that kind of retaliation," Shar'El explained. "My best guess is that they were not at all happy someone discovered their underground base and escaped to talk about it."

"A secret base?" Erik asked, the news summoning his full interest.

"It is not just the secret base that we should be concerned about," Lieutenant Stark added as he stepped forward. "We discovered an entire army of robots down there, and I am not talking about the cute cuddly kind. Those mechanical menaces down there were armed to the teeth and ready for war."

"Could it be an invasion force?" The Native American theorized.

"We were not able to get that much Intel on the robots or the base in general," Shar'El explained. "Once inside, we had to use every trick we could think of to avoid being detected and when that failed, captured. Our priority was to return with news of what we discovered."

"I totally understand," Morningstar said with an approving nod of his head. "You did the right thing."

"We can't stay here though. What we need to do is to go back down there," Jayson said while acting as if he was holding some sort of explosive device. "All I need is to walk back in that room with a thermal detonator and throw that thing into the mess of them. I'll even throw in a little greeting along the line of 'Say hello to my little friend!'"(1)

"That would be impractical and suicidal," Shar'El pointed out.

"As great as the threat of those robots could be, I am sure that there are ways for us to deal with them other than you sacrificing yourself," Doctor Bruxa said, allowing her voice to hint to a level of caring for the man that went beyond the expectations of professionalism. "We could notify the ORION authorities."

"The authorities are likely in on whatever is happening down there," Commander Shar'El offered with disdain. "No, I am afraid that we are on our own on this."

"As I said, just let me go back down there..." Jayson began before being interrupted by Satella who took a firm hold of his arm.

"I would very much appreciate you not being so keen on trying to kill yourself, no matter how honourable you believe the cause to be," Morningstar said, now more than ever certain that something had occurred between his Chief of Operations and Chief Medical Officer.

"By your command,"(2) Lieutenant Stark said, although somewhat reluctantly.

"Thank you for your cooperation,"(3) Morningstar acknowledged before reaching for his communicator. "Captain Morningstar to Lieutenant Commander Maya. As soon as the HATHOR is at a safe distance from ORION, I would like for you to come down to the shuttle bay and give this craft a thorough examination."

=/\= Of course, Captain, it will be my pleasure. =/\=

"In the meantime, you three should get some rest. I have a strange feeling that our problems have just started," Erik stated to his three officers.

"I agree," Shar'El sighed. "This is only the beginning."(4)

=====
1) Scarface
2) Battlestar Galactica
3) Robocop
4) Paranormal Activity 4

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

Captain Erik Morningstar
Commanding Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501

AND

Lt. Commander Elan Fairborn
Robotics Engineering Officer
NEW ALEXANDRIA
M16-P036: USS ANUBIS: Maya: 35008.0345 ("Sciencing The Crap Out of It")
---
"Sciencing The Crap Out of It"
(Previous Posts: (ANU) "Things Are Getting Complicated" / (BAS) "Fearful Amazement")
---

Setting: USS HATHOR, Deck 3, Shuttle bay  
Stardate: 35008.0345

With the USS HATHOR hidden from sensors and wondering, prying eyes thanks to its cloaking device, the Shillian scientist had all of the time needed to thoroughly investigate the shuttle used by Commander Shar'El, Lieutenant Stark and Doctor Bruxa for their escape from ORION.  The First Officer and Chief of Operations had mentioned that the craft was minimalistic in its design and equipment, but even that report failed to adequately prepare the Chief Science Officer for the emptiness she discovered as she stepped inside.  The outer appearance of the shuttle was already strange enough, but it was the Spartan inner layout that truly surprised Maya.

A lonely seat stood at the front section of the craft in front of controls the likes of which she had ever seen before. The appearance and layout were so different that the Chief Science Officer was almost to the point where she would consider them to be 'alien'. The Shillian understood that the Ullian had used her special gift of looking into the memories of others to gather the necessary knowledge to be able to fly this craft, but even with that, Maya found it amazing that Commander Shar'El had been able to accomplish that task allowing them to escape.

With little else for her to look at, Maya sat in the chair and began to analyze the strange configuration of controls and readouts using her tricorder. As simplistic as the inner layout of the shuttle was, the controls were of a complexity level that challenged her ability to make any sense of them. So far, the tricorder had been unable to offer any help, unable to recognize the markings as they appeared on the console.

"You have to admit that this is quite something to see," Lieutenant Stark said as he came to stand behind the sitting Chief Science Officer.

"Impressive. Most impressive,"(1) Maya admitted voicing her awe and amazement as she scanned the entirety of the controls, her tricorder still in hand. "I believe that there may actually be more controls here than on the combined Flight Control and Operations stations back on the ANUBIS. My biggest problem as it stands now is that I cannot even begin to make sense of any of these controls or their markings. It is as if this the language used to identify the controls came from a completely different universe."

"If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything,"(2) Jayson said in an encouraging manner.

The Shillian turned her head to look upon the Human. "I am surprised that you are here. I would have figured that following your near-death experience aboard this craft that you and the others would want to be as far away from this vessel."

"To be honest, things were not as bad as they could have been," Jayson said glancing back to the area where Satella and he were forced together before the two of shared a hurried kiss after standing exactly where he currently was. "I just thought that you might need some help," the Lieutenant quickly added forcing the memories of his close proximity and kiss with the Chief Medical Officer out of his mind.

"Is everything all right?" The Shillian scientist inquired. "You do seem somewhat distracted."

"Why would you say that?" The Chief of Operations nervously shot back.

"Lieutenant, I may not be a Counsellor, but I am a scientist, and as such, I am more than accustomed to looking at something and seeing more than what is believed to be there. Even if I did accept your excuse for being here as wanting to offer your assistance, the way you keep looking at the back of this craft, as well as the back of this chair, makes it evident that there is more than you care to say. I also noted a faint change in the pigmentation of your cheeks earlier, a reaction that I have observed many times in humans, especially when they are talking or dealing with something personally uncomfortable. If I may be so bold, I have observed that exact reaction on you several times when speaking about events involving you and Lieutenant Ya'Han."

Jayson raised his hand to stop Maya before she said anything more. Everyone knew how extensive the explanations of the Shillian could be, and clearly, those were not only limited to the field of pure science but apparently also included human psychology. "If it is all right with you Lieutenant Commander, I would rather we did not talk about Ya'Han at the moment."

"I am sure that she, Lieutenant Paquette and Ambassador Bonviva are safe and sound. All three of them are individually more than capable of taking care of themselves, so it would be safe to say that together they possess a range of skills and knowledge that will permit them to make it through whatever problems they might encounter."

"True," Jayson agreed before adding, "but that was not the reason for my not wanting to talk about Ya'Han."

"I am sorry Lieutenant," Maya said. "I should have realized that your request was due to the troubles you have been experiencing in your personal relationship with her."

"How?!?"

"As stated earlier in his conversation, I may not be a Counsellor, but I am an avid scientist, always observing the universe around me in search of indications pointing that something is not as it is meant to be. I have been observing you two since the first day you came aboard the USS ANUBIS and watched as you grew closer. Using these observations as a point of reference it was easy for me to note the growing distance between the two of you as well as deduce the probable causes for this."

"Please, Commander, stop," Jayson pleaded. "I understand that all of this is fascinating to you, from a scientific point of view, but my personal life is not meant to be an experiment for you to observe and dissect at your whim.

"Again, I am sorry. I was just stating my observations and hoping that you might find them to be of some help in resolving your personal problems with Lieutenant Ya'Han," Maya explained.

"We have different ways of solving problems,"(3) Jayson stated. "Since you clearly do not require my assistance in figuring out this shuttle, I will leave you be. Maybe Doctor Bruxa will have something for me to do to keep me occupied." The Lieutenant stopped dead in his tracks as he processed the words he had just spoken. "On the other hand, it might be safer for me to speak to Captain Morningstar directly."

Maya watched as the Human man exited the craft unhappily mumbling to himself. The Shillian felt bad but there was little she could do as her knowledge in dealing with the interpersonal affairs of others was visibly lacking. Finding herself alone once again, a state of being that she actually preferred, the Chief Science Officer resumed her investigation and research hoping that she would be able to find something to help them figure out where their missing crewmen were.

---
1) Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back
2) Back to the Future
3) Æon Flux

---
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)
M16-P037: USS ANUBIS: Paquette: 35008.0400 ("Searching")
"Searching"
previous posts were (ANU) "Sciencing The Crap Out Of It" / (BAS) "Cats Always Land On Their Feet"

=====
Setting: SPACE STATION NOWHERE, Guest Quarters
Stardate: 35008.0400  

After having been left to themselves in the meeting room for over an hour, the three 'guests' of 'The Crown' were escorted to what they were told would be better accommodations. During the journey from where they were to where they were going, Sonja kept an eye open for anything that might look like an airlock or anything that they might end up stuffed into before being jettisoned into space. This nervous paranoia continued well after they arrived into what they were told would be their quarters for the duration of their stay on the space station.

"Sonja, you need to relax," Ambassador Bonviva said as she watched the redhaired woman frantically search the room. "If they wanted us dead, we would not be here."

"Did you see who it was that 'invited' us?" The Chief Engineer said making the gesture for air quotes to draw the fullest level of attention to that particular word.

"Yes," the blue-skinned Bolian/Human woman replied. "She looked like you."

"Exactly," Sonja exclaimed as a pair of pillows were tossed over her head only to be caught by Ya'Han even tough the Nylaan had not even been looking in that direction. "I would certainly not trust me in a situation like this. This whole thing smells of a setup. The moment that Krokax fellow showed up, things have gone from bad to worse."

"His name is Krokus..." Xana corrected but held back saying anything else realizing that Sonja was right. "If you are right and this is some kind of setup, what is their end-game? Why drag us into another dimension? Ransom?"

As soon as Xana had finished saying this, Ya'Han turned to face both women, an extremely serious expression engraved upon her face. "If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you."(1) The Bolan/Human Ambassador and Human Chief Engineer looked at the Nylaan Chief of Security with expressions of surprise and confusion. "Sorry, I thought we could use a little bit of humour right about now. Maybe I have been hanging around Sonja for too long."

"You hanging around me is not the issue," the redhead woman chuckled. "Your humour though might need some serious polishing. Now, if we are all finished trying to make ourselves comfortable in whatever this place is, should we not get out?"

"The door was locked as soon as is closed behind us," the Ambassador stated, even going as far as to try to slide the door open to prove that it would not move.

"I find your lack of faith disturbing,"(2) Sonja grinned as she made her way to the door and pried open a previously unseen wall panel that was near the door.

"How did you know that was there?" Ya'Han inquired with amused surprise.

"What did you think I was looking for since we got here?" The Chief Engineer asked as she pushed her arm into the opening all the way to her elbow. "I spotted three air circulation vents that could be used to push any kind of poisonous gas into the room, two power plates that I'm guessing could electrocute any of us in mere seconds if it was powered up, and four general access panels like this one. Engineering logic dictates that its location right next to the door means that it should give me access to locking and opening mechanism."

"We are in another dimension," Xana pointed out. "There is no way for us to know if their engineering and way of building things are anywhere close to ours."

The redhead Engineer smiled as she looked back at the blue-skinned and white-haired Ambassador for a few seconds before the door unlocked and slide open by a few centimeters. "You were saying?"

Ya'Han turned to Xana. "You know, you gotta admire her. When she sets her mind on something..."(3)

"Nevermind, I got the point," Xana fired back while staring at the overly proud looking redhead Terran.

The Nylaan Chief of Security cautiously opened the door finding, with a mixture of relief and disappointment, that no guards had been posted outside their quarters.

=====
Setting: SPACE STATION NOWHERE, Zócalo
Stardate: 35008.0500    

A large number of strange and varied booths and merchandise could be found in this long, seemingly endless corridor, and an even greater range of strange and unusual aliens freely moved about this market place. Everyone seemed more than preoccupied with buying, selling or trading whatever items or objects were on hand, many of them appearing to the trio of women as being nothing more than junk. Navigating through this market, Ya'Han had taken the lead, as was expected from the ANUBIS' Chief of Security, leaving Xana and Sonja to follow closely or risk losing sight of the bright red-haired woman.

"Are you feeling all right?" The Ambassador asked of the Engineer. "You look a little pale."

"I'm in a hostile environment. I'm totally unprepared. And I'm surrounded by a bunch of guys who probably want to kick my ass. I feel like I'm back in high school,"(4) Sonja stated as her eyes fell upon a large robot-like machine. "When did start giving fishbowls legs?"

The Ambassador giggled at the rough description of the robot. Its oval light-filled dome-shaped head did resemble a fishbowl but the legs were a pair of stiff tube-like pipes ending in a box that the Ambassador could only guess contained wheels allowing the mechanical monstrosity to move about. The body appeared like some kind of space barrel with two accordion-like arms ending in pincer-claws. As the three women walked right next to the odd-looking machine, a small beige coloured bald humanoid with a mouth filled with short triangular sharp teeth came rushing by, knocking the robot and causing it to flail its arms and scream "Danger, Will Robinson, Danger! Danger!"

One of the robot's flailing claws managed to nick the Engineer on the shoulder, cutting her shirt and causing her to yelp in pain.  Ya'Han and Xana quickly converged on Sonja, making sure that she was not injured. Experiencing this unexpected rush of attention, the redhead quickly and forcefully dismissed her travel companions with a wave of her hand. "Just a flesh wound!"(5)

After confirming that the injury was as the Nylaan had described it to be, for the most part, the Terran Engineer motioned for the group to continue moving. "Let's go, we have to keep searching for Adriana and a way out of this place., preferably doing so before we end up as a side order to any flesh-eating creatures on this space station."

=====
(1) Taken
(2) Star Wars, A New Hope
(3) Mortal Kombat
(4) Mortal Kombat
(5) Monty Python And The Holy Grail

=====
Lorraine Paquette

Lt Commander Sonja Paquette [Access Character BIO for Sonja Paquette]
Chief Engineering Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC 18501
M16-P038: USS ANUBIS: Lopez: 35008.0700 ("Unknowing Pawns")
-=-=-
"Unknowing Pawns"
[Previous post: (ANU) "The Last Musketeer" & (BAS) "Crowded Loneliness"]
-=-=-

Setting: SPACE STATION BLACK HOLE, Cell
Stardate: 35008.0700

Adriana sat in the corner of her cell, her knees held tightly against her chest in an effort to stay warm. Thanks to the lack of any medical care, her eyes were still swollen shut but the CNS did her best to use her other senses to get a better idea of where she was. When things were quiet, there was a constant rumbling sound that made Lopez think of the portable generators she had seen Lt. Cmdr. Paquette use in times of need. When things were busy, the echoes of cheers and stumping made the woman feel as if she was in the underground of some ancient city.  The less than pleasant aroma that hung in the air supported this idea making the prisoner feel as if she was locked away in some sort of sewer.

Despite all of her listening and figuring, Adriana was no closer to understanding why she was in this cell, beaten to only inches of her life before being left to wait for someone or something that was clearly beyond her control.

-=-=-
Setting: SPACE STATION BLACK HOLE, Office
Stardate: 35008.0705 

The Crown sat behind a desk as dark as the office it was in, the room a perfect reflection of the space station it was in. On the wall to her right was a set of shelves with trophies that appeared as strange as they were varied. The woman known as Sonju was clearly a person of importance in this place and right now she held the fate of the Junior Ambassador in her hands.

"I do not like this," Xena voiced. The muscular Bolian/Human hybrid was standing in front of the desk, the Warrior looking at the Crown with a mixture of respect and apprehension.

"I do not like it any more than you do," Sonju said. "I don't know what's going on here, I'm just trying to do my job."(1)

A woman with thick black hair came into the office, interrupting the conversation. "They are loose," she said to the woman sitting behind the desk. "They were last seen in the Zócalo."

"How did they manage to escape?" Xena growled, the Warrior ready to run in after them and teach them what she believed to be a well overdue lesson.

"How they escaped does not matter," the Crown replied calling up several feeds from the security camera to appear on the wall to her left. "We have to make sure they remain safe or Hel will be more than happy to have all of our skins stretched on the walls of the Pit of Despair."

"Why don't we just deal with her like we have done so many before her?" Xena said, patience not being an attribute of the woman.

"Because we would all die a horrible death," the Crown coldly stated. "Whether you like it or not, you're in the middle of a war that has been raging for the better part of a thousand years."(2)

"The only reason we are still alive is because of Hel," the black-haired woman added. "She is the lesser of the evils that are trying to gain control of this place. Our doing her bidding is not a question of loyalty to her or her cause but is nothing more than a simple matter of our survival." The woman paused and began to study one of the images with a great deal more interest. "Red hair?!? Who does she think she is?"

"Aside from your counterpart from another dimension?" Sonju chuckled. "The other two call her Ya'Han."

"*YA*'Han?" The black-haired woman gasped with shock. "That prefix has not been used in a thousand years. Not since the fall of the NYLA IV. Who does she think she is, royalty?"

"In this dimension, your people have been conquered and nearly driven into oblivion. That you are not one of the rare green-haired slaves is a miracle onto itself. Who knows, maybe she ended up being luckier than you," the Crown said, her eyes darting back and forth between the Agent and her red-haired doppelganger.

"She doesn't look happy," Han said looking at the image of the woman on the screen. "How could she be? She holds on to the title of nobility while performing the role of a soldier. Even the way she walks reeks of her being a commoner."

"Just like you," Xena fired with a smile provoking the black-haired woman to lash out at the Warrior.

"ENOUGH!" Sonju said slamming her fist onto her desk and ending the fight before it could even start. "Everybody just stay calm. The situation is under control,"(3) the Crown added in a much more controlled tone. "Han, go to the Zócalo and make sure that our friends do not get into more trouble than they can handle."

"You do not want me to bring them in?" the black-haired woman asked.

"No, I want to see what they are capable of, plus letting them get an idea of just our things are handled here may dissuade them from trying to escape again at a later time.  Hel said to keep them safe," Sonju smirked. "She never said they could not get a few bumps and bruises to show for their stay here. Go!"
 
-=-=-
(1) Compliance
(2) Underworld
(3) The Abyss

-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor & Junior Ambassador
USS ANUBIS
M16-P039: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: 35008.0730 ("Face-to-Face")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Face-to-Face"
[previous post were (ANU) "Unknowning Pawns" / (BAS) "Alone, Together"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: SPACE STATION NOWHERE, Zocalo
Stardate: 35008.0730

The black-haired woman carefully studied her red-haired counterpart wondering about a life she might have been denied even before her birth. Her father always spoke of how he should have been the High Sovereign of their homeworld, how the entire population would have admired and revered him, how he should have been a god amongst men. Han dismissed those stories as being nothing more than the rambling delusions of an old drunken fool who enjoyed unleashing his anger on his wife and children whenever he could, but now, looking at the woman with the red hair, she pondered possibilities that the Agent had never before considered until today.

Her world had been ravaged and pillaged until nothing was left. Every city laid in ruins and everyone left alive had to fight for whatever scraps they could find. The only reason Han had survived and escaped the nightmare that her world had become was thanks to the generosity of a Ferengi Daimon by the name of Ardax. Calling what he did to her an act of generosity though was a stretch by any definition, but it did allow the black-haired Nylaan to find her way here to this space station, even if it was as nothing more than a slave.

It was Sonju who found her near death in the lower levels of this station. It was her who saved her life and gave the Nylaan slave a reason to live beyond mere survival. Now, Han owed her everything which was why she obeyed the Crown without question or hesitation. Therefore, keeping them safe would be her responsibility for the time being, but that did not exclude Han getting closer to her doppelganger.

Staying close enough to the three women while remaining far enough not to be noticed, Han kept a close watch on them. The more shops they visited though, the more they drew attention onto themselves as it was not common to see the Crown, the Warrior, and the Agent together wandering about on this level.  One shop owner was so shocked by what he saw that he fell backward into his display sending all sorts of merchandise flying about. The black-haired woman found the scene rather amusing until she noticed that one of the three women had vanished from her sight.

"Where could she be?" Han asked while scanning the immediate area surrounding the now destroyed shop display.

"Looking for me?" Someone said as they took hold of the black-haired woman's shoulder to spin her around in order to be able to look upon her face. When they did just that, both looked at the other with confusion and disbelief.

"I was wondering when I would get to see you," Ya'Han said keeping her hand firmly on the other woman's shoulder.  "It's Like Looking In A Mirror Only… Not."(1) It was easy to see that the red-haired woman did not like seeing herself like this, and even less with black hair.

"You should not be here," Han said looking into the eyes of the living mirror that was the other her. 

"What? In this sorry excuse for a space station?" Ya'Han asked waving her other hand about to direct attention to their surroundings

"No," the black-haired woman clarified. "In this world, in this universe. You and I are the same and yet different, standing on opposite sides of a war that has been raging for centuries.

"The eternal battle between good and evil, saint and sinners... but you're still not having any fun!"(2) Ya'Han went as far as to reach for the other woman's black hair to make her point. "I am very interested in figuring out why you are this way, but I am afraid that we simply do not have the time." Han tried to break free but Ya'Han proved to be too quick and strong for her counterpart. "I am you, just better. I know your moves and more importantly, I know how you think."

The black-haired woman narrowed her eyes.  "When all else fails - fresh tactics!"(3) Before Ya'Han could realize what had happened, the Sec/Tac found herself swept off her feet forcing her to land on the floor and roll in order to stay in a combat-ready posture.

"Alright, I will admit that you are good."

"I worked long and hard to earn the right to display my red hair," Ya'Han said flicking her head to move said hair from her face.

"You know, I was curious about you, about your life, about the life that I could have had instead of this one, but now I see what kind of person you are," Han hissed. "An overconfident brat that likely got everything she ever wanted in life."

"No," Ya'Han said standing down from her battle stance and letting her hair change color to match that of the woman standing in front of her. "My life was not easy, not by a longshot. I ran away from home to avoid marrying that troll Ardax."

"You not spending any time with him already makes your life a thousand times better than mine," Han said then added a sigh of sadness. "I had no choice if I wanted to survive. I had to accept his offer."

"I am sorry," Ha'Yan said. "Looks like both of us had to let go of our 'Plan A' and make do with whatever else life threw our way."

"Plan B is still an option."

"Plan B?"

"Plan B, Why Don't We Just Kill Each Other?"(4) Han was as serious as could be which surprised and deeply troubled Ya'Han.

"Sounds a little excessive, no?"

"Maybe if you knew about my life, you might not think so," Han explained.

"We could always sit down and share our stories," Ya'Han suggested. "That way we would get a better idea of some of the differences between our two worlds."

Han hesitated before looking over her shoulders and facing her twin from another dimension once again. "Not here and certainly not now. Maybe we will get a chance to do so later, but in the meantime, be careful. This place is more dangerous than you can imagine, and no one is as they appear. If you are truly just another version of me, then trust your instincts. They might save your life as well as that of your companions."

"They are my friends," Ya'Han said feeling the need to clarify this point with her counterpart.

"Friends? No doubt about it, you and I have lived very different lives."

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
All quotes from Face Off

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

Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M16-P040: USS ANUBIS: Bruxa: 35008.0900 ("Wanderings Feelings")
=-=
"Wanderings Feelings"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Face-To-Face" / (BAS) "Crowded Loneliness"]
=-=

Setting: USS HATHOR, Bridge  
Stardate: 35008.0900

The hours were flowing one after the other without any news from Maya or the surface. Captain Morningstar had called in a favor or two from people on ORION. Their mission, as simple as it seemed to be, was to investigate the underground base the away team had stumbled upon.  With nothing else to do, Satella sat on the bridge, looking at the main view screen.

Lt. Stark walked up to the woman. Her attention was so focused that she failed to notice his presence. "The more you look, the less you see."(1)

Satella looked up, startled. "Maybe so, but there is little else I can do. At least on the ANUBIS, I could keep myself busy. I enjoy keeping my work area clean and organized. Maybe a little too much, but I see it as a win-win. That way I know where everything is."

"I heard about that," Jayson laughed. "According to some people, you show signs of being O.C.D. when it comes to your Sickbay. Especially when it comes to one specific tray and tricorder."

Satella grumbled. "You should not listen to everything Adriana says." The moment the CMO mentioned the name of the missing CNS, her mood immediately darkened.

"I am sure she is alright," Jayson said, trying to reassure the woman. "You also have to keep in mind that she is not alone. Ambassador Bonviva, Sonja and Ya'Han are there." Now it was the COO's turn to see his mood grow darker. "I wish she was here."

Satella smiled and nodded her head in agreement. "Here's the thing about wishes. The more you have, the more you want,"(2) the CMO said. "First, we want them here with us. After that, the wishes keep adding up because we are never happy with what we do have. It is a curse of life that we spend so much time wishing for something else instead of embracing what we do have."

"Sometimes, what we do have is just not enough," Jayson said looking at the image on the large screen.

Satella looked straight at the man. "You better be careful with what you say or you might end up hurting someone's feelings."

"Why did you say that?" Stark asked looking down at the sitting woman.

"Ya'Han is not the only woman in this universe. There might be others who find you just as interesting or charming as you believe she does."

Jayson smiled, certain that Satella was joking, trying to cheer him up. "Maybe so, but the odds of my running into such a woman are slime-next-to-none. It is hard to meet new people when you work on an Intel vessel."

"The odds might be better than you imagine them to be," the CMO said.

Still thinking that Satella was joking, Jayson laughed as he said. "I suppose my power enchanted you and you were helpless against it."(3)  

"It is possible," the CMO confirmed instantly erasing the amused expression from the man's face.

Jayson swallowed hard. "You are serious."

"I thought that the kiss we shared in the shuttle was enough to make that clear."

The Lieutenant blinked several times, desperately trying to find the right words to say. "I thought that... maybe it was just... we thought we could die at any moment. I did not think that you were serious. I mean *serious*."

"Leave it to a man not to see what is right there in front of him. When it comes to understanding emotions, members of the male gender all seem to be equally clueless. I thought I made it perfectly clear before," Satella said. "Ya'Han has not been treating you right. She had been ignoring you since our departure from OLTHAR PRIME. That is not fair to you as I believe you deserve better. I may not have her looks, her skills or the ability to change my hair color on a whim. What I do have though is the desire to make you feel what it is like to be important to one person."

Jayson straightened his uniform. "This is…this is terribly uncomfortable."(4)  The conversation between the CMO and COO came to an abrupt end when a signal reached the HATHOR. "Captain Morningstar to the bridge. It is the Orion Chief Inspector calling for you on a secured channel."

The Captain appeared onto the bridge within seconds and took the vacant seat in the middle of the deck. The First Officer was not far behind, choosing to stand right next to the Captain. "Let's hear it!" Morningstar ordered.

=/\= We went to the coordinates you provided us with. We found the buildings and landing platforms. The underground base was where you said it would be, but that's it, there was nothing else. The complex was completely empty. No one was there. No shuttles, no equipment and no sign of that army of robots you reported your people saw. I will say this; the base was too clean to have been like this for any length of time. So, I have to agree that there is the possibility that someone was there. The problem is that they left no traces of their presence there. I have a team scanning through every room, but I doubt they are going to find anything. Whatever it is your people found is no longer there. =/\=

"How is this possible?"(5) Shar'El exclaimed. "We barely managed to get out of there alive."

"First a missing Counselor, then a missing Ambassador, Engineer and Chief of Security. Now we are dealing with the missing content of an entire secret base." Jayson was beside himself with puzzlement. "This has to be the largest disappearing act ever orchestrated."

Satella looked at Jayson and sighed before whispering. "We might have to add vanishing feelings to that growing list."

=-=
1, Now You See Me
2, Alladin (2019)
3, Willow  
4, Hocus Pocus
5, Now You See Me 2  

=-=
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]
M16-P041: USS ANUBIS: Shar'El: 35008.0920 ("The Answer")
=-=
"The Answer"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Wandering Feelings" by Rachel / (BAS) "Crystal Clear" by Rachel]
=-=

Setting: USS HATHOR, bridge
Stardate: 35008.0920

The crew was still trying to come to terms with the news that the secret underground facility that had been discovered was now completely empty. The ExO / ILO understood the reasoning for making a hasty exit but no one on the HATHOR had seen any indication of this emergency exodus.  As strange as the presence of this base was, the vanishing of everything and everyone inside now stood as an even larger mystery.

"It makes no sense whatsoever," Lieutenant Stark said. With the HATHOR being so much smaller than the ANUBIS, and adding the fact that the ship only had a skeleton crew aboard, it was unofficially decided that the senior staff meeting would take place on the command deck. "How do a two dozen shuttles and an entire army of robots just vanish into thin air?"

"I do have a couple of possible explanations," Shar'El stated, "but I would prefer to hear what Maya has to say about what she found in regards to that shuttle we brought back."

"Good, because if you start talking about time travel..." Captain Morningstar sighed.

"I don't want to talk about time travel because if we start talking about it then we're going to be here all day talking about it, making diagrams with straws,"(1) Shar'El laughed. "I doubt that the answer to our current problem will be found in *time*, despite there being some strong indications that it could be the cause."

"With the base now empty and the ORION authorities claiming full jurisdiction over the entire area, that shuttle is our one and only clue as to what happened," Doctor Bruxa stated. "It is also the only hope we have to figure out what happened to Xana, Sonja, and Ya'Han, which we all hope will lead us to Adriana."

"That is why we are on this trail," Erik said. "This whole affair started with Counselor Lopez going missing, and I would hate for us to have gone through all of this for her to still be listed as such after we get the rest of our people back."

"Agreed," the ExO / ILO quietly voiced before glancing at the Chief of Operations and Chief Medical Officer respectively, the two of them standing on opposite sides of the bridge. "We, unfortunately, have to keep in mind that things have a nasty habit of being unpredictable in this universe. Things that we might have expected to be on the straight and narrow all too often end up taking an unexpected turn that sends everyone scrambling. Sometimes, all it takes is one word."  Jayson and Satella knew that they were being targetted by those words. As much as the Ullian had sworn to never look into the memories of any member of the crew without the permission, it was impossible for her to ignore memories hat were being openly broadcasted. The last discussion between the two officers being one such memory that both kept reviewing in their minds, but for different reasons.

"Maybe one of us could go down to the shuttle bay and check on Lieutenant Commander Maya," Jayson offered, clearly trying to find a reason for him to leave the bridge and escape the inquisitive eyes of the ExO / ILO.

"That will not be necessary..." The Avatar said just as the door to the bridge hissed open to allow the Shillian woman to burst into the room.

"Found something?" Satella asked.

Shar'El sighed and rolled her eyes, managing to say something before Maya could offer her reply. "Don't ask questions you don't want to know the answer to."(2)

"Found something? I found it, the answer that is. I found it!" Maya exclaimed. "There was not a lot to work with as the design for the shuttle was overly simplistic, so I have to focus my work on the actual structure instead of whatever information might be contained in the computer that controlled the flight controls. Let me tell you something though, that computer was not an easy thing to deal with and even after I managed to get to the flight data, it proved to be completely useless as it only contained the geometry for the latest trip. The lack of data did actually help me in some way as it was clear the ship had gone through multiple trips although there were no records of them. It was as if the shuttle had traveled without moving. Although that might sound impossible, it got me thinking and I started looking at the rest of the ship for clues to support what I believe could have happened to account for this discrepancy."

Shar'El blinked several times before she raised her hand to catch the woman's attention. "Maya, please..." The ExO / ILO was always amazed by how the woman could unleash such detailed explanations at a moment's notice without apparently needing to draw breath. As interesting as all of this was to the Chief Science Officer though, the rest of the officers present on the bridge were only interested in the final conclusion. "What did you discover, and please tell us in 10 words or less."

Maya took a moment to actually count the number of words she would be using, making a few modifications before she actually decided on what to say. "The shuttle is from another dimension."

"Another dimension?" Lieutenant Stark repeated clearly not at all happy by this unexpected news. "You've got to be kidding me? I personally have had enough of dealing with beings from other dimensions."

Shar'El smiled. "We didn’t leave EARTH to be safe."(3)

The Captain rolled his eyes and shook his head. "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger,"(4)

"Well, it would explain why we have not been able to find any traces of our missing officers," Doctor Bruxa added. "That also means that there is nothing we can do to help," Satella said before pausing for a few seconds. "Actually, come to think of it, there is *one* option available to us, sort of."

The Captain's gaze met that of the ExO / ILO as the two of them shared a moment of single-mindedness.  "The BASTET," they both said in unison.

"Do you believe Captain Iverson will be willing to help us?" Jayson asked.

The Captain smiled, a sight that in itself was interesting to see. "I'll make her an offer she can't refuse."(5)

=-=
(1) Loopers
(2) Men In Black 3
(3) Alien  
(4) The Fifth Element
(5) The Godfather (paraphrased)

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Commander Shar'El
Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

Ensign Sofia Andersson
Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M16-P042: USS ANUBIS: Lopez: 35008.1000 ("Solitary Musings")
-=-=-
"Solitary Musings"
[Previous post: (ANU) "The Answer" & (BAS) "A Few Simple Questions"]
-=-=-

Setting: SPACE STATION BLACK HOLE, Cell
Stardate: 35008.1000

Adriana was thinking about the couch in her office, the one that people who came to visit her most often sat in. The welcoming softness of the material always seemed to help ease people into discussing what was troubling them, something that made Counselor Lopez's job a lot easier.  From that thought, the woman's mind went to one of the lavish dinners she and Ambassador Bonviva had enjoyed during an official function. Being a Junior Ambassador may not have been easy but there were some distinct advantages and perks to holding such a prestigious position.

The rumbling of her stomach that echoed through the small, bare room instantly recalled the woman to the here and now, where the comfort of the couch was replaced by the feeling of a cold metal plate against her back and the sumptuous meal was nothing more than an empty plate sitting in front of her, its content devoured in what felt like days ago.  Adriana did her best to hold back her tears but she found it impossible to do so, the situation she was now in had brought her to the edge of a psychological break. She had been beaten and isolated for reasons that he still did not know. Was she being kept as a trading pawn to be used to secure the safe return of some foreign diplomate or spy?  All she knew was what Mandy had told her, that it might have been better if the Starfleet Officer had died instead of admitting her allegiances.

The sound of the door latch made Adriana jump ounce again, her eyes still too swollen to permit her to see who was coming in. For a split second of mental comfort, the Counselor thought of her friend Doctor Bruxa. Satella would have been able to fix her eyes as well as everything else in meer minutes. That was something else Lopez realized she was desperately missing, the presence and support of those she considered to be her family.

"They are here," Mandy whispered as she placed a glass in the hands of the blind prisoner.

"Who?" Adriana asked, just before bringing the glass to her lips. Her hesitation and possible misgivings as to what the liquid it contained might be were quickly overwritten thanks to her current state of hunger and thirst. The Counselor was relieved to discover that the liquid tasted like nothing more than simple water, a sensation that she savored for as long as she could.

"Your friends," Mandy replied. "They were seen wandering the Zocalo."

"Are you sure?" The blind woman did not want to see her hopes explode beyond her ability to control. The psychological effect of her hopes being shattered could very well prove to be her end. "They could be anyone else."

"Trust me," the helpful woman quickly said, her trembling whispered voice only adding credibility to her statement. "They are not *anyone else*."

"Can you take me to them?" Adriana asked unable to hold back her rapidly swelling hopes.

"I cannot. The moment you would step out of this cell Hel would have both of our skins laid out on her wall. I might be able to help in another way though. Just stay here and wait," as she said this Mandy took the glass back and made a hasty exit out of the cell leaving the prisoner alone once again.

"Stay here and wait," Adriana said repeating the instructions she had just been given as she began to cry. "Where else would I go?

-=-=-
Setting: SPACE STATION BLACK HOLE, Lower Levels
Stardate: 35008.1030 

The trio of visitors to the station had managed to find their way to the lower levels. Most would have been stopped long before making it this far but given their resemblance to three very influential and powerful people, no one dared to get in their way.

A green-skinned Orion slave appeared down the dark corridor, approaching the three women while keeping her eyes down. As Mandy walked past the trio, she reached for the arm of the Warrior calling her attention down onto the meek and insignificant slave. "Turn right at the next corner and down three sections. There will be a set of stairs to your left. Taken them, your friend is in the fourth cell to the right."

"Who? What?" Xana was confused, not having expected to be given this kind of information at such a hurried pace.

"Your friend, Adriana," Mandy elaborated as she continued to move forward.

By the time the trio realized what had just happened, the green-skinned Orion slave had vanished.

From around one of the corners, Mandy waited to see if they would follow the directions she had given them, her heart beating in her chest with such force that she could hear nothing else. She smiled when she saw the trio resuming their travel and turning down the corridor she had indicated. Unable to do anything more, the slave went to leave but quickly discovered that someone else was standing next to her.

"You should not have done that," a figure completely dressed in black said in a cold, unforgiving voice coming from as a long, sharp blade was thrust into the slave's chest with deadly strength and accuracy, piercing the woman's heart killing her instantly. The Executioner gazed into the eyes of her victim as the last remnant of life drained away, only then allowing the traitor to collapse onto the floor.

-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor & Junior Ambassador
USS ANUBIS
M16-P043: USS ANUBIS: Ya'Han: 35008.1045 ("Seeing Red")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Seeing Red"
[previous post were (ANU) "Solitary Musings" / (BAS) "A Few Simple Questons"]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: SPACE STATION NOWHERE, Zocalo
Stardate: 35008.1045

Ya'Han was livid and the fiery red color of her flowing hair was the only hint anyone needed to give the woman and those following behind her a wide berth. That she was a spitting image of the woman known as 'The Agent' didn't hurt either, everyone in the market place taking quick notice of the woman's angered expression beneath a hair color they had never seen before.  The journey back to their 'room', if one cared to call it that, proved to be uneventful allowing the three women to address as quickly as possible the needs of their injured compatriot.

"You are safe," Xana said one again as she looked at the deplorable state of her Junior Ambassador.  Her clothes were ripped, her hair a complete mess, but it was the condition of her face that drew the most attention from the Bolian/Human hybrid. "Sonja, get me a cold compress for her eyes and see if you can find some sort of first-aid kit. Ya'Han, get me that blanket over there. She feels like ice."

"Why would they do something like that?" The Sec/Tac asked unable to imagine the Counselor doing anything that would warrant her being treated the way she had been.

"All they kept doing was asking me why I was here," Adriana said before starting to cough.

"Don't talk," the Ambassador said unwilling to even try to move the strands of hair that were in the woman's face for fear that she might inadvertently hurt her. "Just rest, you are safe. Ya'Han, I need that blanket."

The Nylaan woman quickly crossed the room and retrieved the blanket as per Xana's request, the eyes of the Sec/Tac leaving the injured Counselor only long enough to locate the item in question. As soon as Ya'Han handed the blanket over to the Ambassador, she took a few steps back and watched, feeling the rage mounting within her. Memories of the time spent with the Lokustaar agent Mordana rushed into her mind as a clearly non-Federation sanctioned course of actions was considered. Training and experience dictated that she remain here and ensure the protection of the other members of the team, but one detail kept finding its way back to the top -- this was not Federation space, in fact, they were not even in the same dimension as the Federation.

"I can't find anything that even remotely resembles a first-aid kit," Sonja said. "Ya'Han..." The words of the Chief Engineer drifted into silence as she watched the Sec/Tac head for the door. "YA'HAN!"

"What's going on?" Xana asked not having seen any of this as her attention was solely directed onto the Junior Ambassador.

"Looks like rainbow-girl just decided to go full-out Rambo. I actually feel sorry for whoever gets in her way," Sonja replied. "Want me to go after her?"

"No," the Ambassador quickly instructed. "She will have to take care of herself. I need you here to help me take care of Adriana."

"Be careful, but let them see red," Sonja whispered as she gave the door one last glance before turning to face the Ambassador and Junior Ambassador.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Setting: SPACE STATION NOWHERE, Zocalo
Stardate: 35008.1100

It took a couple of minutes but Ya'Han managed to summon and hold on to her black-colored hair, thinking that it would be best if she went about this in a less obvious manner. Her counterpart from this dimension displayed the hair color normally associated with the commoners of her people. There was no way to know for sure why she had decided to do this, but the Sec/Tac believed it best for her to follow suit, at least for the time being.

While making her way back to the cell where Adriana had been found, hoping to find some clues as to who had done this to her, Ya'Han caught a glimpse of a familiar face, one that she had not expected to see here. No longer feeling as driven by the rage she felt not so long ago, the black-haired Sec/Tac decided t make a small detour. Maybe she could get information from that individual that she would not have been able to get any other way.

Ya'Han trailed and waited for the right moment to make her presence known and when she did the black-haired Nylaan simply reached out and placed her hand on his shoulder.  The man who appeared as a much rougher-looking version of Jayson quickly turned and collapsed onto his knees, begging in a way she never could have expected. "Please, I'm sorry. I tried but I could not do as you asked. Please, give me another chance. I don't want to die."

This was not Jayson, far from it. They might have shared physical characteristics and appearances, but this version of the man was nothing like the one she knew, be it the original or the clone. The Chief of Operations of the ANUBIS may not have been a hero, but he certainly was no coward, and his clone was a man with unparalleled drive and confidence. This one was a trembling mouse to whom she could feel nothing but pity for. "Get up you sniveling fool!" She ordered, reminding herself that this was not the man she knew.

"Please, Agent, spare me," he continued pleading as he returned to his feet.

"Answer me this question and I might consider it," the Sec/Tac said playing the role to the best of her abilities. "What do you know of the woman that was kept in one of the cells in the lower levels?"

"Jay knows nothing," the man said referring to himself in the third person which surprised Ya'Han and further demonstrated the extent to which this version of Jayson was as pathetic as could be.

"Then Jay is useless to me," Ya'Han growled, raising a hand as if to strike the cowering man down.

"Please!" He begged, dropping down onto his knees once more. "I know nothing more than what you know," he explained.

"Tell me what you know or this floor will become your final resting place," Ya'Han said as she turned her open hand into a tightly closed fist.

"All I know is that it was Hel who ordered her there. The only person to go visit the prisoner was Mandy, the Orion slave girl, and it was just to bring her water and food. No one else was allowed to go there. No one knows why she was there, and no one dared to ask because it was Hel who ordered it." Jay replied as he looked up at the black-haired woman as if asking if the tearful reply was enough to save his life.

"Pathetic and useless," Ya'Han hissed while slowly lowering her fist. "Get out of my sight, GO!"

The man did just that, scrambling away barely managing to keep his feet under him. With that piece of information, the Sec/Tac decided to press on with her investigation, resuming her course for the lower levels and the cell where Adriana had been found.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Setting: SPACE STATION NOWHERE, Lower Level
Stardate: 35008.1120

Ya'Han proceded with extreme caution, looking down every corridor before moving further ahead. Her journey to the cell came to an unexpected stop when she noticed the body of an Orion woman on the floor. As the Sec/Tac approached, she noticed a pool of blood surrounding her. A quick check for a pulse indicated that the scene was fresh but that it was too late for the victim. By the looks of things, she had been run through by a small but long dagger-like implement impaling her heart.

Although no proof of identity could be found, Ya'Han strongly suspected that this was the slave girl Jay had just mentioned and that her being in his condition was likely due to Adriana's rescue.  However dangerous the Federation officers might have believed this place to be, this proved that the dangers were more than real, which is why the Sec/Tac decided to regroup with the others instead of pursuing her quest for revenge and answers.

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

Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M16-P044: USS ANUBIS: Stark: 35008.1100 ("Waiting and Thinking")
"Waiting and Thinking"
[previous (ANU) "Seeing Red" / (BAS) "A Few Simple Questions"]

[/\]
Setting: USS HATHOR, Bridge
Stardate: 35008.1100

Thanks to the 'blink-drive' the USS HATHOR returned to its base of operation in a snap, and with the ANUBIS still under lockdown while repairs were proceeding, the COO decided to remain on this ship while they waited. He was not the only one to have done this, everyone else who had taken part in the mission to ORION having elected to do the same.

"How did Adriana find her way to another dimension?" Jayson unconsciously asked aloud as he sat at the Flight Control station while staring at the inactive forward screen.

"The method by which a body can travel from this dimension to any other is remarkably simple once you understand the mathematical formulas that are the foundation of such a journey," Ani said, surprising Jayson who had not expected the android to be standing right there behind him. "I am sure Lieutenant Commander Paquette would be more than happy to explain the process to you if you ask her."

Stark just huffed. "Knowing her, she would be more inclined to *show* me instead of explaining it to me, namely by throwing me down the nearest wormhole hoping that I didn't make it out the other side."

"I believe that you have the Lieutenant Commander all wrong," the android said defending the woman the artificial woman considered to be her mentor or maybe even her creator.

"With all due respect Ani, I think that it is you who is suffering from a biased perspective on the woman," he fired back. "A lot of your systems including your programing comes from her. As much as you are linked to the main computer of whatever ship you are on, there is still a part of her in you that dictates how you process the information you are exposed to. You were created to believe yourself to be an independent entity but in reality, you are just an extension of the ship created as per our Chief Engineer's view of the universe, however straight or biased as it might be. You are unable to experience or fully comprehend real emotions, therefore your understanding of people, be them Sonja, Maya, Satella, Commander Shar'El or even Captain Morningstar, is limited and lacks a depth that I believe you can never hope to attain."

"Lieutenant Stark," Commander Shar'El called out, the First Officer making her presence known as she moved to one side in order to move from behind the android allowing the COO to see her. "Let's walk."

Jayson sighed but quickly complied, leaving Ani to contemplate what he had just said while he followed Shar'El off the bridge. "I'm sorry," he said once the two of them were alone, walking down the corridor.

"Under normal circumstances, I would ask you to see Counselor Lopez, but since she is not here and I would prefer that this little issue remains local, meaning that I do not feel the need to have you speak to one of the base's counselors, you are left to talk to me," Shar'El said. "So, go ahead. What's troubling you?"

"You could just scan my memories," Jayson said in a way that he immediately regretted. No matter how he was feeling at this time did not excuse him addressing his superior officer in such a manner. "My apologies Commander. I guess the idea of our people being trapped in another dimension is getting to me."

"Is that all?" Shar'El didn't need any special telepathic abilities to know that there was more to this story.

Jayson thought and thought some more before offering an answer. "It's Ya'Han. I feel like I am losing her a little more each day, and her being in another dimension now just seems to make it final."

"As much as I hate to say it this way, Ani is right," the Commander said. "Travelling to other dimensions may seem like an impossibility to most, but we know better. The BASTET is the perfect proof of that, and you heard the Captain. He is going to get us aboard so we will be jumping to that other dimension in no time."

"Thank you, Commander. You would have made a good Counselor."

"It's part of the job description," Shar'El said. "The Captain is in charge of the ship; the First Officer is in charge of the crew."

"If only things were that simple," Jayson sighed.

"This is not our first venture into the unknown," the Commander pointed out. "It is not the first time we go after our own people and I am sure that it will not be the last. Each mission is different, with unique obstacles and challenges. What I would suggest you do is focus on those details we know for sure, namely that Xana, Sonja, and Ya'Han are all very capable of taking care of themselves and deal with whatever situation they land in. Individually, those three women can handle pretty much anything, together it is likely that they will have everything all nicely wrapped up waiting for us to show up and bring them home."

Jayson smiled at the thought. It was true that Ya'Han could handle pretty much anything, and combined with the diplomatic experience of the Ambassador and the mechanical know-how of the Chief Engineer, there would be little the trio would not be able to handle on their own.  "Again, thank you, Commander. I guess the hardest part will be for us to get to that other dimension."

"Glad I could help," Shar'El said before leaving the COO alone to contemplate what had been said.

Stark just stood in the corridor, his mind traveling to countless other worlds and dimensions. So much had already happened, drawing Ya'Han and him closer before pulling them apart. There was no way to know what this latest ordeal would affect them, but he had to stay positive and hope that things would work out for the best.

[/\]
Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant Jayson Stark [Access Character BIO for Jayson Stark]
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501
M16-P045: USS ANUBIS: Bruxa: 35008.1100 ("Mirrored Perspective")
=-=
"Mirrored Perspective"
[the previous posts were (ANU) "Waiting and Thinking" / (BAS) "A Few Simple Questions"]
=-=

Setting: USS HATHOR, Infirmary
Stardate: 35008.1100

Staying up-to-date with the latest medical journals was essential for her chosen line of work. When it came to the anatomy of alien life forms it was impossible to know everything. Therefore, being aware of the latest discoveries could make the difference between life and death. A single error could lead to countless complications that would make a bad situation worse.  In order to avoid this, Satella needed to know everything she could about as many different species. In this grand universe, there was no telling who or what she might have to deal with next.

Knowledge was key as having a solid understanding of other race's anatomy could make a huge difference. As a Doctor, it was her sworn duty to make things as easy and simple as possible in her quest to save lives.  Suffering in any form was not something she enjoyed. That was one of the reasons why the Mikulak woman reviewed every medical journal she could when time permitted. This was also one of the reasons why she was considered to be so good at what she did.

With a PADD in hand, she sat in a brightly-lit room enjoying a little bit of peace and quiet. The unexpected was a daily occurrence, so it was nice to take a moment to just read. This did not mean that Satella's mind was not racing, reviewing past events in between sentences. That she liked it or not, the Doctor was directly involved in the latest struggle. Life and death were once again hanging in the balance. She was not directly responsible for anything that would come to pass, but her role was undeniable. As much as she might have wanted to not be here, this is where she was needed the most.

To hold someone's life in her hands was a huge responsibility. She needed to rely on her skills and instincts to make sure everything went as needed. Truth be told, saving a life was not always a simple affair. At times this weight threatened to overwhelm her. The only solace was the knowledge that there were people she could count on to make her smile. Satella thought of one such person, the one she considered to be her best friend. Not having her here by her side was not easy but it drove the Doctor to act as was required of her.

Bruxa sighed as she ran her fingers through her long silver hair. If all went well, the two of them would soon be together again, able to resume their lives as they were before her disappearance. The problem was that Satella knew deep down that things never returned to the exact way they had been. That did not stop her from missing the Hispanic woman and wishing to see her friend back where she belonged.


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Setting: SPACE STATION NOWHERE, Personal quarters
Stardate: 35008.1100

Staying up-to-date with the latest medical journals was essential for her chosen line of work. When it came to the anatomy of alien life forms it was impossible to know everything. Therefore, being aware of the latest discoveries could make the difference between life and death. A single error could lead to countless complications that would make a bad situation worse.  In order to avoid this, Stella needed to know everything she could about as many different species. In this grand universe, there was no telling who or what she might have to deal with next. 

Knowledge was key as having a solid understanding of other race's anatomy could make a huge difference. As an Executioner, it was her sworn duty to make things as easy and simple as possible in her quest to grant someone a quick death. Suffering in any form was not something she enjoyed.   That was one of the reasons why the Mikulak woman reviewed every medical journal she could when time permitted. This was also one of the reasons why she was considered to be so good at what she did.

With a PADD in hand, she sat in a dimly-lit room enjoying a little bit of peace and quiet.  The unexpected was a daily occurrence, so it was nice to take a moment to just read. This did not mean that Stella's mind was not racing, reviewing past events in between sentences. That she liked it or not, the Doctor was directly involved in the latest struggle. Life and death were once again hanging in the balance. She was not directly responsible for anything that would come to pass, but her role was undeniable. As much as she might have wanted to not be here, this is where she was needed the most.

To hold someone's life in her hands was a huge responsibility. She needed to rely on her skills and instincts to make sure everything went as needed. Truth be told, taking a life was not always a simple affair. At times this weight threatened to overwhelm her. The only solace was the knowledge that there were people she could count on to make her smile. Stella thought of one such person, the one she considered to be her best friend. Not having her here by her side was not easy but it drove the Executioner to act as was required of her.

Bruxa sighed as she ran her fingers through her short silver hair.  If all went well, the two of them would soon be together again, able to resume their lives as they were before her disappearance. The problem was that Stella knew deep down that things never returned to the exact way they had been. That did not stop her from missing the Hispanic woman and wishing to see her lover back where she belonged. In her arms where she would be safe from any harm.

=-=
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]

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