"You Can Take The Science Out, But This Shillian Will Always Bring It Back"
(Previous Post: "Inner Conflict")

Setting: Moon of PI ALPHA III, Outside the SPHINX
Stardate: 30148.1000

The Shillian had completed her survey of the inside of the SPHINX and gathered all of the items the acting First Officer believed might come in handy during the next phases of their training mission.  As she stepped out, Maya noted something odd between the Intelligence Liaison Officer and assistant Chief Medical Officer which beckoned her to approached.

After having inquired as to the status of the two Officers, Maya was presented with a scientific mystery that the Shillian simply could not ignore.  Although she had taken on the role and responsibilities of a First Officer, the fact remained that she had been a Scientist at heart, always willing and ready to dive into the unknown in search of an answer.

"If I understood these readings correctly, there seems to be five or six average-sized, silicon-based, Hominid Canidae bipedal creatures about ten clicks in that direction," Seska relayed as she pointed in the general direction with her one free hand while the acting First Officer closely studied the data contained on the small hand held device.

"Ensign, it is very unlikely that you picked up anything from such a distance on your medical tricorders as they are not meant to function at such a large range," the once Chief Science Officer of the USS ANUBIS diligently explained.  "The sensory components of the TR-755 are in fact rated, at best, to pick life-signs within only a five kilometer radius," the Shillian added with some hesitation as she studied the readings displayed on the device in her hand with unparalleled intensity.  "I mean, that this is not how these devices are meant to operate.  After all they are limited by their design specifications which were made to sacrifice range for mobility and medical accuracy."

"I'm guessing you found something," the Intelligence Liaison Officer said with a grin as the acting First Officer continued to study the small device in her hand, a growing expression of disbelief and confusion having entrenched itself on her face.

"This cannot be possible, unless," the Shillian said as she reached for her own tricorder.  "Microscopic metallic elements could have been vaporized into the thin atmosphere by the numerous volcanoes on this world creating a sort of sensor distortion field.  In a high enough concentration the presence of such elements in the atmosphere could, in theory, cause sensor beams to be reflected, in part or even in whole, back to the point of origin.  Of course this would also require some level of ionic polarization which could have, again in theory, been caused by the storm which we encountered on our descent to the surface.  Since there is a mathematical probability that these conditions have been met, it is therefore plausible that your tricorder readings are merely the sensor echoes of the members of the crew of the SPHINX.  Still, I have to admit that although the theory does have several solid points to create a scientifically sound foundation, it does fail to address one disturbing reading.  It does not explain why the life forms that you noted on your tricorder are of a silicon-based evolution."

"If I recall my Academy Exo-biology class correctly, the Horta is a silicon-based life form, no?" The Intelligence Liaison Officer said, having managed to follow, if only barely, the rapid ramblings of the Shillian acting First officer.

"Unfortunately, the Horta is more of a moving rock than anything else, and is far from fitting the bipedal readings gathered and recorded by Ensign Mizore. What is even more unfortunate is the fact that there are very few races that we know of which fit both the characteristics of moving on two legs and having their cell structure contain silicon instead of iron or copper," the Shillian continued as she tried to have her own tricorder lock-in on the life signs that had been noted earlier by the Assistant Chief Medical Officer.

"All right, you got me. I admit that I was not paying as much attention in my Exo-biology classes at the Academy as I should have," Shar'El regretfully admitted. "The Horta is the only sillicon-based life form that I know of. What are the others?"

A short pause of silence was shared between the three women as each tried to make sense of the tricorder readings and their implication on their current situation and training mission as a whole.

"The Excalbians are one," the Bajoran Assistant Chief Medical Officer said after a few seconds, almost hoping that her readings had in fact not been of that specific race.  Seska quietly went one step further in hoping that her tricorder had in fact not picked up the only other race that she could think of which also met the established primary characteristics.

"Although the Excalbians would find themselves very much at home in this type of environment, it is very unlikely that they would be present on this moon.  The most recent intelligence report on that race still shows them as not having any space travel capabilities.  This leave us with only one other possibility, one that we sadly cannot easily dismiss as being a possible explanation for this silicon-based life form capable of bipedal motion who would also have no problems existing in an environment as hostile as that of the moon of PI ALPHA III." The Shillian paused as if the mentioning of the name of the race would have been enough to make this possibility a reality.  "The Sheliak could have easily traveled to this world for exploration or even colonization purposes."

"This is not good, is it?" Shar'El said with a sigh.

"Damn, no this is not good at all," the injured Chief Engineering Officer said as she was being carried out on a stretcher by Doctor Doyanne and Ensign Ttosk.

The three women who had stepped out first turned to see the remaining officer standing just outside the SPHINX, clearly having heard what had been explained about the tricorder readings and their most likely and undesirable source.

"If the Sheliaks are in town, it is time for us to get the hell out of dodge.  They are not the kind of guests we want at this party," the Chief Engineer said with a sigh, not at all pleased to being unable to move on her own.

"We could always use her as bait to cover our escape," the Flight Control Officer said as serious as anyone could have been, drawing the immediate glare of the crimson haired Engineer and everyone else around.


Jessica Solarik

Lieutenant Commander Maya
Chief Science Officer

"To see the world in a grain of sand,
and a heaven in a wild flower.
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
and eternity in an hour."
- William Blake (British, 1757-1827)