"Metaphysical Discussion"
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"A soul is a notion given onto someone or something, not a belief belonging to only a select few."
- Ejenhan Sirra Starrise, Head Priest of the Oltharian Religious Circle

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Main Engineering
Stardate: 63073.0130

The rhythmic pulses of the warp core had been the most prominent sound in the room, and the only one the pensive Oltharian had listened to for the last 30 minutes. To the Chief Engineer, the towering pillar and technological marvel had not only been the central power source for the USS ANUBIS, but it also acted as the heart and soul of the ship.

The imposing giant's white eyes had been closed to allow him to better understand the ANUBIS' status. Like the heart in a living entity which hastened or slowed according to the conditions and burdens faced by the individual, the ship's power core responded similarly to the demands made of it. By simply listening to the enticing slow rhythm of the warp core the Oltharian could tell that the ship had been at peace, preparing itself for the task ahead.

"Hello Annie," Elan offered, his voice laced with an admiration and respect that could have only originated from the Oltharian.

"You are a very peculiar being Lieutenant Fairborn," the Avatar stated as she made her way past the Engineering Control Island to join the Oltharian. Unable to experience emotions, Annie had not physically or verbally displayed surprise or awe at the fact that the Chief Engineer had somehow known of her presence and approach from several meters away. Being the creature that she was, the Android only accepted this as fact and proceeded accordingly.

"Peculiar?" the Oltharian questions, a faint grin having flashed over his lips as he did so.

"Yes," Annie replied as her optical sensors scrutinized the rhythmic pulses that had so completely caught the Engineer's attention. "Although you have no direct interface with the ship, you seem aware of things that I thought only I would be able to know. My arrival in Main Engineering for example, the sound of my footsteps was well below your ability to hear, at least according to your medical file, and last time I checked you did not have a remote access to the ANUBIS' internal sensors."

"I sensed your soul," Elan cryptically explained, his eyes still closed and his head tilted back in a welcoming gesture to the core's pulses.  To someone with the most basic of religious understanding, the posture presented by the Oltharian hinted to the gentle giant having been in the midst of a deep communion with the mechanical *heart* of the ship.

"My *soul*," the Avatar demanded in as perplexed a tone as the artificial woman had been able to produce. "I am the physical representation of the ANUBIS, the ship given humanoid form, an interactive extension of its systems. I cannot have a soul; at least not in accordance to the more commonly accepted definition of that term."

"Annie," Elan began as he released a lengthy breath and opened his eyes to look onto the Avatar. "The ANUBIS is an entity onto itself, capable of amazing feats, as are you, but should circumstances demand it, you would both be able to function without the other. Although you would be diminished by such an absence, separate you would still be able to carry on. You and the ANUBIS share a connection like no other, a link that binds you together, a bond that you would both mourn should it be terminated, but your actions are independent. Therefore your soul, as that of the ANUBIS, is your own."

The onyx-haired woman gaze at the taller man now quietly standing next to her, the Avatar obviously in the middle of processing what the Olthairian had just said.

"Lieutenant Fairborn," the Avatar offered, her head having slightly tilted to one side. "I suspect that this link, this bond you speak of is not only limited to me and the ANUBIS," Annie stated as she turned her attention onto the pulsating warp core as had the Chief Engineer.

The Olthairan slowly closed his eyes once again and smiled, secured in the knowledge that he had been correct in his perception of the *souls* of the ship and that of the Avatar.

Setting: GORN Space, OFREAN SECTOR, YUDARA Asteroid Field, Planetoid, Trade Center
Stardate: 63073.0145

Under the large, reinforced protective dome that covered nearly half of the planetoid, the trading post had established itself as the perfect venue for traders and travelers alike.

"Luke at his homestead in the morning," the Tamarian whispered to himself as he stepped into the deserted streets of the trade center and took in a deep breath as he stretched his arms wide.  His words indicated his delight in taking in the morning's fresh air and his ability to peacefully survey his surroundings, looking towards to the challenges of the day.

Francois Charette {f_charette@hotmail.com}

Lieutenant Elan Talak Fairborn

Chief Engineering Officer


Robotics Engineering Officer