Previous Post: "Decoy"

Setting: NEW ALEXANDRIA: Section H, level 8, Training Holodeck 1
Stardate: 63071.1445

Enaii traveled deep in the darkness of the shadows, unnoticed by those she had followed for several hours.  A small girl kept quietly to her side, only briefly catching the attention of those they stalked, but only as a flutter of darkness, easily dismissed by the woman who had seen it.  The Intel Operative was not fond of training exercises, believing her time was better spent on other tasks.   Koneki, however, had insisted she participate, and so she brought along her daughter, in the hopes of imparting a few firsthand lessons on the girl.

The first choice the child had been faced with had been who they would observe.  Which of their targets, their fellow crew members, would be most worth their intel gathering exercise.  Enaii had expected the six year old to pick a target based on her own preferences - she would have expected the girl to pick her other mother, Sabrina or one of her frequent tutors, Elan or Maya.  Instead, Talia had peaked the woman's interest by picking the Chief Medical Officer.  When asked, the girl had replied that she knew little of the Doctor's capabilities and motivations and thought she'd be the best to observe.  Enaii had been impressed with her daughter's thought processes, and with how seriously she had taken her lessons, but rather than lavish praise on the girl, she had given the child only a slight nod of the head and grin.  To Talia, her mother's reaction had been better than a box full of Tatkeet babies.

And so they had followed the physician as she had clamored along, clumsily plummeted into a hole, and then waited in boredom as the woman awaited rescue.  It came as no surprise that it had been the Oltharian to save the healer, but what seemed wholly unexpected was the ease with which Leah had managed to emotionally drive away her rescuer.  The gentle giant's music was truly enchanting, Enaii had heard it on occasion while observing the man, Talia had been privy to it many a night as a gentle lullaby - but they both knew better than to speak to the man about his playing.  The music that flowed from him was so clearly sacred to him, that it seemed absolutely absurd that Leah had not instinctively known better than to speak of her violation.

After a few of hours following the pair, Enaii noticed they had been traveling in circles.  About half an hour later, Talia caught her mother's attention and spoke.  "Nan'ha, why does Elan keep coming by here?" she whispered as they passed a distinctly shaped rock.  The ILO hushed her daughter and continued their journey of secretive observation.  The woman now paid far more attention to the terrain, and far less to the engineer and doctor.  In another hour, it became clear that Elan was noticing the circular path he had been traveling, as he began to make slight adjustments to his course, slowly and systematically trying to arrive at a place that he had not yet been. Quite characteristically, he kept his concerns to himself, hidden from the healer he carried in his arms.  As strong as he was, after carrying her for so long, she must be causing his arms to ache and cramp up.  He would, of course, never let her know of his discomfort.

The Intel Operative, now knowing that the holodeck puppeteers were willfully keeping them in one place, did not allow the Oltharian to get more than a half dozen feet from her and her child, lest they be separated.  She allowed him to complete his 360 degrees of course adjustments before stepping out of the shadows and into his path.

The giant jumped so far into the air that he nearly dropped his precious cargo, but recovered quickly enough to prevent the good doctor from yet another great fall.  "Co...Commander!" Elan stuttered.  He had always found the tiny woman to be a frighteningly formidable force.

"What are you doing here?" Lea inquired, a little ruffled over nearly taking another fall.

Talia stepped out of the shadows behind her mother, the child had never adopted her mother's cold stare or heartless tone.  However, in this case, she looked completely alike Enaii, revealing the seriousness of the situation to those who knew the girl.

"Let's skip the niceties, shall we?" Enaii snarled.  "We're going in circles, have been for hours.  You have exhausted all possible routes of escape.  Either we wait here and do nothing, or we fix this problem."

"We've been what?!?" the doctor inquired, she had been so totally lost in her world of thought that she hadn't noticed the familiarity of the terrain.

Elan quite gently placed the doctor down on a mossy rock beside them.  The reverence with which he handled her did not betray his turmoil over having inadvertently shared his intimate self with her.  "We have been travelling in circles, or more accurately, the holodeck program will not allow us to progress further than this point."  The Chief Engineer looked up at the ILO, "She needs medical attention, tell me how we can fix this."

The operative turned to her child and spoke, "Raed'aeusnnta'jhiy Ta-ha'lia iekil'eirh 'ie TEAR aellei 'ie entaiy?"

"Nan'ha au'e hveolhaonn raed'aeusnnta'jhiy iekil'eirh ak'h'uehldl," the small half-Risean girl replied in perfect Romulan.  Since the girl had been returned to her mother she had been raised as the woman herself had been, in proper Romulan tradition.  Dispite the fact that neither of them was Romulan, this particular exchange seemed completely normal, as natural as breathing, to the doctor and engineer, who had both observed such conversations on many occasions.

"Give them to Elan," Enaii commanded.  Instantly the child nodded and reached into a tiny pocket on the dark utility belt she wore around her waist, producing a silver blade and a sphere no larger than a big marble.  The Oltharian held out his huge hand and took the items gently onto his palm.  He knew he now held the girl's most prized possesions, that one of them was made by his own hands filled him with a deep pride.

The man pressed the ball and a low click sounded as the machine began to hover and whirred into life.  "TEAR", or "Talia's Educational and Assistant Robot" had been the white-eyed man's birthday gift to the girl two years ago, he had spent the greater part of a year working on the machine before that.  It had taken the merging of many different types of technology as well as the use of nanites to build the microscopic internal circuitry, but the little robot, that looked no more like a tool than a toy, could administer the girls lessons, answer basic questions of knowledge and test the child while in the Educational mode it defaulted to.  In it's assistant mode however, it could carry messages, record vast amounts of data, and most importantly, due to a single nanite left inside the devise, rewrite it's own basecode to be able to interface with any computer equipped with a remote access.  Taking the silver blade carefully in his huge fingers, the Otharian inserted the tip into a small slot on the bottom of the robot and turned, switching the device into it the appropriate mode of operation.

"TEAR," Elan spoke quietly, though not knowing why.  "Scan the vicinity for remote access, and interface with the holodeck controls."  Knowing it would take a couple of seconds to comply, the man turned to the Intel Operative, "What shall I have it do Commander?"

"End the program," Enaii hissed, rather annoyed by this vast waste of time.

"You can't do that!" Lea objected, "The Admiral expects us to finish the training exercise."

"We can hardly finish anything if he does not allow us to move forward, I do *not* intend to be a rat in his maze any longer," the Operative spat in distaste.  Her hatred for Koneki only rivalled by her daughter's inborn dislike for the man.

The robot flashed a short sequence of lights.  "Interface established, please input commands."

Elan looked from the doctor to the Intel Operative.  Enaii was the ranking officer in the group, he was more than a little afraid of her, and the Doctor, a sacred healer, required medical attention.  His choice was obvious.  "I'm sorry doctor, please forgive me.  TEAR, end program."

Suddenly a bolt of energy flashed through the air and impacted on the machine, causing it to fall to the ground, lifelessly.  Talia ran over to her fallen robot as Koneki's voice rang out through the area, "No cheating!"

The little girl looked up as she cradled the tiny machine in her open palms, her eyes were slit and a cold fire burned within.  "When we get out of here," she hissed, her tone almost identical to Enaii's, "I am going to put a snake in his bed."

Lisa Mac Isaac <lisa_mac_isaac@hotmail.com>

Writing the hopes, dreams and future of:

Commander Enaii
Intelligence Liaison Officer / Acting ExO

"The worst is over now, and we can breathe again...
There's so much left to learn and no one left to fight"
 ~ Broken by Seether feat. Amy Lee