"Meeting of Minds"
[Previous post - "Flavor of Memories"]

"In the world of Intel it is wise to know who your enemies are, who your friends are, and who pretends to be something else."
- Admiral Charles N. Koniki


Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 15, BKACK HOLE lounge, upper level
Stardate: 30145.1210

The Native American slowly walked up the stairs to the level where the ILO had been waiting for him.  With each step he took Erik could easily feel the intensity of the woman's eyes on him.

Little had been said by Admiral Koniki on the ANUBIS' new Intel Operative, other that she had been a uniquely talented Ensign.  That alone had been enough to put the ship's CO on the defensive.  For Charles to describe anyone as being talented had already been high praise, so when the word *uniquely* was used as well Erik began to wonder.

Not knowing if Shar'El had possessed any telepathic abilities, the Native American had put up all of the barriers his training and experience had taught him. Whatever frustration he might have had about the mysterious nature of the woman would have to be put aside and dealt with at a later time.  For now the CO had been given a chance to know more about the mysterious ILO and he had not been one to ignore such an opportunity.

"Ensign Shar'El," Erik began with as he quickly studied the raven haired woman, noting her posture and general expression.   "It is a pleasure to meet you."

"The pleasure is mine Captain," the ILO respectfully offered in return.  "I have had the pleasure to read quite a lot about you and your career," Shar'El added as she continued to fight the urge to look into the man's mind.  The Ullian still had so many unanswered questions that could so easily be addressed in mere seconds.

"You have me at a great disadvantage, Ensign," Erik admitted having figured that the direct approach had been best in this situation.  "Admiral Koniki was, shall we say, less than forthcoming with the details of your assignment, qualifications and *unique* skills."

"Your file does not do you justice Captain," Shar'El countered with, a playful smile having appeared on her dark lips.  "I see why you were assigned to the USS PARADOX and now are in command of the ANUBIS. You are an agile tactician as well as quick on your feet. Skills that would be essential to the CO of any specialized vessel operating under the NEW ALEXANDRIA banner."

"Are you complimenting your CO in the hopes of gaining some adventage or are you simply trying to flatter an adversary into a false sense of confidence?" Morningstar returned as he crossed his arm over his chest.  As much as the Native American may not have enjoyed playing such mind games, he knew enough to understand that this had been a normal part of the world of Intel Operations.

"Although I may appear to be human," the ILO began having decided to be completely honest with her Captain. "I am Ullian, and was surgically altered at my own request to be this way.  If you are unfamiliar with my species, I am capable of scanning people's memories. Surface memories are the simplest and require only a few seconds while intense or buried memories require more time and usually alerts the target to my efforts to scan them."

"Target?" Erik repeated, not truly liking the implied significance of the word used by the ILO.

"My apologies Captain," Shar'El said through a faint smile. "I could have used the word *victim* or *subject*, but I thought that those words would certainly create the wrong impression."

"I see why Koniki used *uniquely talented* in describing you to me," Erik stated.  "Shall we sit and continue this meeting as Officers serving on the same vessel or stay standing and try to ascertain the strengths and weaknesses of our respective adversary?"

Yes, there had been no doubt, Shar'El would have loved to gaze into the man's mind and sample his memories. How much she would enjoy discovering the intricacies of his past and see through his eyes the events that had made him who he now was.  Instead though, all that the ILO could do at this time was to sit and invite Erik to join her.

"Shall I order us something to drink?" Morningstar inquired. Although they both had still been on duty, the ANUBIS' CO believed that this single breach of protocol would not be a problem.  At least not this time.

"Thank you but I only drink water," the ILO explained. "That way there are less temptations and should a drink be tempered with I have a greater chance of identifying the attempt before it becomes a problem." The explanation came followed by a faint smile from the ILO.

"I believe that working with you is going to be a very interesting experience," Erik stated as he joined the ILO at the small table.  The rest of their meeting was spent nursing two glasses of water as they discussed and shared ideas, opinions and expectations for the upcoming training mission to the moon of PI ALPHA III.


Francois Charette

Captain Erik Morningstar
Commanding Officer


Lt. Commander Elan Fairborn
Robotics Engineering Officer