"The Darker Side"
[Previous post: "Looking For Someone"]

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Corridor
Stardate: 63072.1920

Adriana watched in morbid fascination as Ensign Mitshiba nearly knocked several crewmen to the floor in her rush to get to wherever she had been going.  Apparently the news had been of importance which only served to make the ANUBIS' aCMO feel that much worse for having forgotten to mention the encounter back in Sickbay.

Suddenly alone in the corridor, Ensign Lopez debated as to which of the many medical labs she would visit first.  Getting better acquainted with the layout of the ship and with the tools of her field seemed to be the right thing to do, after all Akira had said that they never knew what they would end up face-to-face with, so being prepared had been a good precaution.

The aCMO's debate was unexpectedly interrupted when the familiar form of the Kzinti rounded the nearby corner.  "Adriana," the walking fur ball said with far more joy than Lopez would have expected.  "What are you doing here?"

"Akira was showing me around the ship when something came up," the aCMO replied not at all willing to clarify her role in the sudden departure of Ensign Mitshiba.  "So, you decided to stay onboard the ANUBIS," Adriana continued in an effort to change the subject.

"It was an easy decision," Hex said without hesitation.  "This is a golden opportunity to see things that no one else even knows are out there, plus I was not too fond of the idea of someone erasing my memories," the Kzinti added as she gently tapped the side of her head with a finger.  "Things are messed up enough up there as it is."

"You won't get any arguments from me there," Lopez playfully teased, her training as a Counselor having made it easy to read her friend's personality.

"Don't make me hurt you," the feline growled before a smile finally crept up onto her lips.

"Is there anyone that you will be leaving behind with this decision," the aCMO asked, still trying to come to grasp with the consequences of her decision to remain on the ANUBIS in order to find her sister.

Hex huffed.  "No one that will miss me or that I will miss," the Kzinti replied abruptly.  Clearly there had been more about this but this had not been the time or place for Adriana to try and get more information.  "What about you?  Aren't you worried about what your parents will go through if they believed you perished on the LANCELOT?"

Adriana's head dropped, the decision had been a difficult one and now the wound that it had created had been fully reopened by the Kzinti's question.

"They are going to be devastated," the aCMO confirmed.  "That is why I need to get some sort of message out to them."

"There is no way the Captain is going to allow you to contact your parents," Hex pointed out sternly.  "This ship does not appear on any registry, it would be impossible for you to talk to them without revealing something that you cannot."

"I wasn't really thinking of a face-to-face communication," Adriana added.  "More like an anonymous message that would just say that their daughter is alright, something to put their minds at ease."

"Wouldn't not knowing be just as bad?" Hex asked, trying to understand her friend's train of thoughts.

"Thinking that I had died on my first voyage out into space would be worse," the aCMO said, not certain if she had replied to the Kzinti's question or tried to convince herself.

"I still doubt that the Captain is going to let you send that message," the fur ball said in a sad tone.

"That's why I want to speak with Commander Enaii," Ensign Lopez added.  "I overheard several members of the crew speaking about the ANUBIS' ILO and she seems to be a woman able to do the impossible."

Hex's ear began to twitch.  "I would stay away from her if you can help it," the Kzinti said, her breathing having visible sped up.

"Why?" Adriana asked.  "Do you know her?"

"I do not," Hex replied sounding almost thankful.  "But I too have heard people talking, and that woman scares me.  Whatever absolute darkness there is out there in the universe, she's on a first name basis with it."

The aCMO laughed, certain that her friend had been exaggerating but it had been clear to see through the Kzinti's eyes that she wholeheartedly believed what she had just said about the ANUBIS' ILO.  Adriana changed her posture and tried to reassure her friend, now more than ever certain that Commander Enaii had been the person she needed to see.

After a few minutes, Hex and Adriana went their own way, the Kzinti having said that she needed to inspect other areas of the ship which left the aCMO with the same decision she had been faced with earlier; what medical lab to visit first?

Without looking at the name displayed, Adriana stepped through the nearest set of doors and walked into a large room filled with shadows. Surprised by the lack of lighting the aCMO had been just about to call upon the computer to increase the illumination when a voice came from the darkness.

"You wanted to see me."

Adriana's heart stopped for a brief moment as she watched a woman dressed in grey emerge from the shadows into one of the few lit areas.  From the description she had overheard of the ANUBIS' ILO there had been no doubt that the strange woman had been none other than Commander Enaii.

"How did you get in here?" the aCMO asked frantically.  "How did you know? Have you been following me and the others from the LANCELOT?"

The barely lit figure remained motionless and silent despite the Ensign's overbearing irrational behavior.  In time though Adriana calmed down and accepted the situation as it had presented itself to her.

"You want a message sent to your parents," the blonde woman dressed in the grey colors of Intel said, not asked, further showing that the ILO had been all that the aCMO had heard and more.

"I would be forever in your debt if you could somehow let them know that I am alive and safe," Adriana said having realized by now that there had been no need to be overly wordy with the ILO.

"Just what I wanted to hear," Enaii said in a tone as cold as space itself which left the aCMO feel as if she had just sold her soul to the dark universal force that Hex had spoken of earlier.

The lights in the medical lab suddenly went out only to return at full intensity a few seconds later, but that had been enough for the ILO to vanish as she had appeared; without a trace.

Marissa Montonera-Lombardi {mmlm24@gmail.com}

Ensign Adriana Lopez
Assistant Chief Medical Officer