"Mutual Trust"
[previous post was "Getting Ready" written by the highly talented Lorraine]

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Sickbay
Stardate: 30145.1120

Being an Intelligence Liaison Officer meant many things. To remain unseen while performing various tasks had been a given. Being able to confront someone face-to-face and maintain one's composure and objectives had been another.  For the meeting with the ship's CMO, Shar'El had decided to test her skills on the latter.

"Good morning," the Ensign said in a welcoming manner as the unknown Intel officer stepped into Sickbay.

"Doctor," Shar'El nodded. "I am here for my physical exam."

"I do not recall seeing any senior officers assigned to the Intel department," Lillie said, curious yet still very inviting.

"I was just assigned to the ANUBIS and thought I would report here to get certain matters taken care of," the ILO said, her eyes locked on those of the CMO.

Not truly knowing why, Doctor Doyanne began to feel uncomfortable, as if some unpleasant thought had been crawling inside her head in an effort to come out.

"Do you have any kids?" Lillie asked in an effort to focus her thoughts on something different.

"No," the ILO replied as the stare intensified for a brief moment as a specific memory came into focus for Shar'El to see and explore.

"Neither do I," the CMO said as she pushed the memory of her own children out of her mind. Only a few people knew of them, and to insure their continued safety it had been best that this remained as such.

"You should not deny your own children," Shar'El coldly stated as she closed her eyes to recall the details of the memory she had pried from the blonde woman's thoughts.  "They are very beautiful, and lucky to be free of the disease that your people carry."

Lillie's face instantly drained of all color. How could this person have known so much about her and her children?

"You have nothing to worry," the ILO continued. "Your secret is safe with me."

Reluctant, the CMO proceeded with her examination of the ILO not entire sure as to how to deal with the reality that her secret had already been discovered despite her best efforts.

"We all have secrets," Shar'El offered as she pulled back her black hair using both hands.

"You are Ullian and had cosmetic surgery performed to hide that fact," Lille gasped.  Most would have failed to see the small scars that had been left by the surgery, and Shar'El was actually pleased to see that the CMO had been skilled and quick enough to link everything together so fast.

"Survival in this universe is based on a great many things. One of these things is the ability to trust someone with your most vulnerable secret," the ILO said with a tone that seemed to belong to someone many times the woman's age.  "I am trusting you with my secret to hopefully prove to you that you can trust me with yours."

Lille offered a weak yet sincere smile. The CMO had been right, this place had been filled with a complexity that seemed endless and in that she found comfort and peace.  The Terallian was not any more an outsider than the Ullian who sat on the biobed in front of her.

On board the ANUBIS suddenly everything seemed possible.

Tiffany Reeve

Ensign Shar'El
Intel Liaison Officer