" Status "
(Previous Post was Francois' "Secrets Within Secrets")
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Observation Lounge
Stardate: 63072.1755
The young woman sat at the end of the table where all of the ANUBIS' Senior Officers, including the ship's Avatar had gathered as per the CO's request.  Many had believed that this gathering had been about the Imperians, but none had dared to ask prior to the official start of the meeting.
"Doctor Summers," the redheaded CO began.  "What is the status of our guests?"
"87 survivors spread through Sickbay and two converted cargo bays," the CMO reported.  "Most of them are suffering from scrapes up to broken bones, but nothing life threatening… they were lucky."
The entire gathering became silent as their thoughts went to the other 213 crew members who had not shared in this good fortune.
"Ensign Thomas," the Captain continued in an effort to bring the meeting back on track.  "Have we made arrangements for our guests to be returned home?"
"We have Captain," Elliot replied as he looked down onto his PADD to confirm the details he had been ready to state.  "We will be connecting with the USS AMON-RA in roughly 5 1/2 hours, at that point we will be able to beam the entire LANCELOT's crew to them, once the proper sedatives have been introduced into the cargo bay's air flow."
"Since the AMON-RA is a Marine transport under the control of Admiral Koneki, no one will question the presence of Marines onboard the LANCELOT, and the crew will be able to insure that the ANUBIS' intervention remains unknown," the Shillian Chief Science Officer offered.  "The fact that the cargo bays are nearly identical and that none of the survivors have seen any other part of the ANUBIS, there will be no questions asked.  The only hitch to that plan though is Captain Morningstar and the officers who were brought into Sickbay… they have seen more of the ship than anyone else, although they did not see all that much."
"We could always do a synaptic erasure," the CMO added.  "It is relatively easy to locate recent memories and erase them from a subject's mind."
The redheaded woman sighed… the situation that she had been put in because of Captain Morningstar's revelation had been an uneasy one to handle, but not because of what Erik had thought.
"Maya… tell us about the Saturn Project," the CO requested.  Immediately the Shillian's eyes lit up to the general dismay of the rest of the gathered Officers.  As much as Rikar would have liked to avoid what was to come the ANUBIS' Commanding Officer had needed her Senior Staff to be up to date in this particular matter.
"The Saturn Project refers to the highly classified Federation's attempt to create ships capable of traveling through the fabric of space-time.  As of the most recent Intel reports there were five vessel that had been constructed towards this purpose… the USS SAGAN and USS SATURN where both destroyed during their maiden attempt to break the dimensional barrier.  The USS JUPITER and USS PARADOX vanished without a trace which left the USS VORTEX alone to carry on the research in this field.  Needless to say that Starfleet Command has been somewhat reluctant in letting the VORTEX attempt too many dimensional jumps and so far no temporal excursions have been attempted as far as we know."
Captain Rikar chuckled slightly at the last words spoken by the CSciO… *as far as we know* seemed to carry such a different meaning for them as compared to anyone else.  What SFI knew had only been a fraction of the reality of what was out there, the fact that Maya had unrestricted access to the information on the Saturn Project had been only a sample of this.
"Captain Morningstar was enlisted, based on his experience, by SFI to gather Intel on the USS PARADOX which according to certain rumours was seen in a sector of space well beyond the Federation's sphere of influence," the young woman submitted to her gathered officers.  "His plan had been to select a group of unknown graduates who displayed skills and abilities that he believed would serve him well on the initial Intel gathering.  Once the information had been obtained, if any, he would have returned to SFI for further instructions, and maybe even sent to the OFREAN SECTOR, within Gorn space, where these rumours were apparently stared."
"That's why he wanted to see you alone in my office," Doctor Summers grinned.  "He wanted some privacy to tell you about his *secret mission*.  I can only imagine how hard it was for you to keep a straight face," Lea added having found the entire situation rather amusing.  The CMO had been right though… for Captain Morningstar to confide as he had done not knowing that Rikar had been in a position that actually stood above and beyond the official reaches of SFI had been somewhat comical.
"The question is… do we help him in this mission?" The CO inquired of the gathered officers.
"If there is a vessel out there able to cross dimensions or even travel through time, we have a responsibility to investigate," the Oltharian CEO replied in all seriousness. To Elan the situation had not been one of Intel but one of science… in the wrong hands a ship such as the PARADOX could prove devastating to the Federation and everyone else in this reality.
"We are far better equipped than anything else SFI could launch at this mission," the Shillian added.  "We could actually go directly to the OFREAN SECTOR and begin the investigation before SFI would even have finished to analyse any submitted reports.  We could get several months head start on this which could prove invaluable in locating the PARADOX, if indeed it is there."
The gathering of Officers seemed in agreement with what had been said, with the exception of the ANUBIS' ILO who, as always, had remained distant and silent.
"I will have to confirm this with Admiral Koneki," the Commanding Officer explained.  "In the meantime though I need the ship's defensive system brought back to full operational status," and with a nod of her head the redheaded woman ended the meeting and sent everyone back to their respective duties.
Once alone Enaii approached the standing redhead.  "Morningstar and Mitshiba have enough clearance, the others do not.  If you accept them onboard, it will be under your responsibility."
Rikar had expected some sort of lecture from the ILO in regards to the breach of security that the new Officers would represent.  When new Academy graduates were selected to join the NEW ALEXANDRIA complex their background had already gone through extensive scrutiny… this time though they would have to rely on a single man's opinion, a man who had been only moments away to have all that he knew about Starfleet and the universe around them challenged and brought into new light.
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Captain's Ready Room
Stardate: 63072.1830
Captain Morningstar stood across from the young woman's desk; the expression on his face reflected the information that the redheaded woman had elected to share with him.
"Guess I should thank you for not having straight out laughed at me back in Sickbay," Morningstar admitted.  "There I was considering how dangerous it was for me to tell you what I did while you were standing there knowing more than I did."
"This job has a way of putting us in situations that are rather unexpected," the redheaded woman explained in a humorous tone.  "I have confirmed with Admiral Koneki, and he has agreed that these rumours require an immediate investigation.  The ANUBIS will be heading for the OFREAN SECTOR as soon as the surviving members of your crew and transferred to another ship which will bring them to the nearest starbase."
"What about those officers that were with me and were brought to your Sickbay," the Native Officer inquired, showing that he had not been a stranger to the world of Intel and its unique requirements.
"If you vouch for them, they will remain on the ANUBIS and be integrated into my crew… if not they will undergo a synaptic erasure procedure and sent home with the rest of the LANCELOT crew," the Commanding Officer of the USS ANUBIS explained, not having spared her words to clearly display the only available choices.
"With your permission Captain," Erik sighed.  "I would like to speak to them first… we are talking about their lives, their future… or at the very least their brains being turned inside out.  I am ready to vouch for all of them now, but I cannot make such a decision without explaining to them what is at stake."
The young woman nodded her understanding and approval.  "I will need your final reply by 2200 so that Doctor Summers can prepare for the procedure should it be necessary."
Sabrina Jones {sabrina_sweet@hotmail.com}
Captain Sabrina Rikar
Commanding Officer
"We are Grey, we stand between the Candle and the Star, between the Darkness and the Light"
-Entilza Delenn, Babylon 5