"Little Helper, Big Help"
(Cont. from "Musical Break")

Setting: NEW ALEXANDRIA, Section C-2, Level 5, Arboretum
Stardate: 63073.1530

Ensign Dalziel had left Aki alone in the Arboretum in order to take care of some ship related business.  The aCSciO had not minded being alone in tis peaceful setting as she tried to make sense of the sensor data gathered by the VALLA ROYAL.

After over two hours, the Asian woman had shifted to have her back against the grassy ground with her legs resting on the bench that she had been sitting on earlier.  The PADDS that Aki had used during that time could now be found scattered all around the aCSciO, a visual clue as to the level of frustration she had experienced in her efforts to discover what had happened to the XANTUL.

"A fluctuation in the magnetic containment field could have led to an uncontrolled antimatter reaction within the care," Aki sighed as she reviewed this possibility once again.  The VALLA ROYAL sensors had shown a sudden drop in the magnetic field but there were other issues that kept the aCSciO looking elsewhere.  "So why do the readings after the explosion not show the residual energy caused by an uncontrolled matter/antimatter reaction?"

Having come across this same problem a few times before, Aki's frustration finally boiled over and the PADD that she had been holding went for an unscheduled flight through the air.  When it landed, the strange sound of a small animal having been scared drew the aCSciO's immediate attention.

Aki was surprised to see a small monkey-like creature apparently having been busy reviewing some of the data being displayed on the PADDs that had been left on the ground not to far off.  There had been something strange yet familiar about the small woodland creature but the Ensign had been to in shock with her new discovery to make the connection with something that Lt. Cmdr. Maya had once said.

Just as Aki had been ready to try and move closer to the small monkey without scaring it away, the creature known as a Trusa pressed on one of the PADDs and pushed it closer to the aCSciO who took the device out of sheer curiosity.  Not having expected to find anything that she had not seen several times before, Ensign Mitshiba was stunned to discover that the miniature primate had called up something new on the visual display.

Forgetting all about the Trusa, Aki began to diligently review the new data, the files that had been brought together in such a way as to compare their content having indicated something that the Ensign had entirely missed over the last couple of hours.

"Of course!" Aki exclaimed as she bounced to her feet, clinching the PADD that had been in her hands with all available strength.  "The fluctuation in magnetic containment field was not the cause of the explosion but a result of a transfer of power away from the antimatter containment pods and towards an implosion device that was set there to make the XANTUL's explosion appear as an accident.  Why didn't I see this before?"

Without looking back Aki rushed out of the Arboretum to find someone, anyone to report what she had discovered, leaving behind the small, grinning monkey who happily returned to a nearby tree to continue dealing with its own issues.

Life had indeed been easier for the Shillian in this form even though she had been only able to remain in this way for an hour or so at a time, but still it had given her the ability to experience a tranquility that would have otherwise been impossible to achieve. That Maya had been present in the Arboretum had been a mere coincidence but that she had been able to help her own assistant had made the CSciO consider, even if only for a brief moment, the possibility of returning to active duty.

Dawn Bohr
Ensign Akira 'Aki' Mitshiba
Assistant Chief Science Officer