Freedom - Sorta
Previous post - Hanali's “That Sinking Feeling”

Setting: PI ALPHA III, Underground cave system

Stardate: 30148.1400


Sitting on the cold, rocky ground with her back against the far wall of her cell, Shar'El's thoughts were lost in fictitious memories. Thanks to her Ullian heritage, the mind of the ILO had been filled with partial memories of others which she could mix and match to create something that had never truly happened.  If their captors had indeed been looking into their minds to learn something to be used against them, the dark haired prisoner had every intentions on disappointing them to the highest degree.


The ANUBIS had been made to be a simple exploration ship with holodecks on every level.  An elaborate Bajoran temple occupied a complete section of the ship leaving barely enough space for the medical and scientific laboratories.  The main engineering section on its part appeared more like an old style library filled with paper books on history.  Shar'El had been just about to use the memories of their FCO to reshape the command deck of the ANUBIS when a pebble of notable size fell onto the woman's head.


The ILO rubbed her head while staring at the offensive rock now next to her feet.  As far as Shar'El had been concerned at that specific moment, there had been clear and obvious advantages to working in space.  When another rumble swept through the cell, he dark haired woman quickly got up hopefully giving her the ability to avoid another stoning.  Several more rocks fell from the ceiling, some several times the size of the one that had previously found its mark on her head.  What followed next startled the ILO, as a large rectangular slab came off the side wall of her cell.


"What was that?" The CEO asked from her cell across the passage way in response to the loud sound.


"A large piece of the wall just came crashing down. I am guessing that the last tremor loosed it," Shar'El replied, her eyes studying an unexpected discovery where the stone slab had been.


"Are you alright?" Doctor Doyanne asked soon after, the CMO never having abandoned her duties and responsibilities despite her inability to see or touch any of the other members of the team.


"I am fine Doctor, but I think I have discovered something interesting," the ILO said while looking at the dozen or so small conduits set against what appeared to be some sort of computerized back board.


"As long as it's not a skeleton, I guess we will be alright," Sonja said with a chuckle.


"It is not a skeleton, but I do believe that it is something that you would likely be interested in," Shar'El said.  "It looks like something that you would find behind one of the access panels in your department.  I just can't make any sense of it as it looks like a cross between an Andorian abstract sculpture and a light show set on *epileptic seizure*.

“Ooooh pretty lights,” Sonja chimed in, a little unhumourously. “Well looks like you’re going to be the guinea pig for now,  likely part of that may control the doors so we have to try,” the CEO confirmed.


“Great, and I have no idea what I’m looking at, I have never seen anything like this...” The ILO sighed with trepidation.


“Ensign, just give it a try.  Begin by removing a chip or wire,” The CO said encouragingly from afar.


The raven haired woman slowly advanced onto the now opened wall trying to decide what to do.  As she stared into the open panel with its multitude of rods in various colours, her eyes focused on what appeared to be some isolinear chips and a trunk of cables and wires.  The trunk even had small rods within it and what seemed like tube with a fluid running through it.  The ILO could actually see the energy flowing over the trunk.  She could stare at this for some time if it weren't for the fact that this open panel could free them.


Shar’El took a deep breath and reached for the more familiar looking item within the panel.  She touched it quickly to test.  All seem to be fine.   She was reaching out again when…


“Go for it, it’s not going to bite you, well it shouldn't anyway,” grinned the anxious CEO, while she wished she was able to tinker with the panel herself.  “At best you will have a perm,” the redhead said helpfully.


“Thanks, that helps,” the ILO said with a little sarcasm. 


It was then that the woman grabbed what looked like an isolinear chip and tugged.


Shar’El suddenly found herself on the ground after receiving a shock, and was shaking her head to clear it.


“Feeling a wee bit tingly, are we,” Sonja said with a bit of giggle.  “Did you get any curls from that one?,” the CEO couldn't help adding.


“No curls, thanks for asking,” the black haired woman stated with more sarcasm as she began to stand. “I would rather not do that again,” the ILO added once fully on her feet.


“Are you alright?” Dr Doyanna asked even knowing there was not much she could do.


“She will be just fine in a minute or so,” the engineer said with confidence.  “That happens to me all time, well more like it used too,” she continued.


“That could explain things,” Stark chimed in from a distance.


That statement caused Lilly and Shar’El to smile a bit having become familiar with the ANNUBIS’ new CEO’s quirky ways and humour.


“A little ZAPPITY DO DA never hurt anyone,” the redhead stated matter of factly.


“Still I would rather not…,” the ILO started to explain.


“Ok… I read a lot of engineering books and manuals and I remember them,” Sonja stated staring directly at the ILO and remembering she was not alone with her memories while on the SPHINX. “Perhaps I should flip through them now,” the CEO said flippantly adding.  “Perhaps it might help get this sorted."


The ILO returned the look understanding what the engineer was saying.  Although she was a bit annoyed with herself that she had let herself get found out as it were, while assisting the red haired woman keep her mind off her injuries on the SPHINX.


“Aright, go through your memories and see what you come up with.” Shar’El stated, also understanding that in speaking as she had the CEO was not letting her secret out, something the ILO was appreciative of.


The raven haired woman looked over at Sonja who was making herself comfortable on the floor of her cell by the keeping herself in plain view.  The ILO took a deep breath and began… 


Shar’El stood next to Sonja in her memory real or fabricated she wasn't sure.  In front of them stood a massive bookshelf filled with what looked like an amazing array of engineering tomes.


The CEO picked one and started flipping through it slowing at pages with diagrams or photos of panels. The only way to let her know it was or was not right was to say so aloud.


“No,” the ILO said firmly.  And the next book was picked up … and so it went for several books. This must have sounded strange to the others, if so no one said that she noticed at least.


Until finally Shar’El saw what looked familiar and all but shouted “Stop that is the one”.

The CEO stopped and spread the book in front of her.  Suddenly the memory shifted to one of an lab at Starfleet Engineering on EARTH.  The speed of the images being spun through made the raven haired woman dizzy, the engineer was on a mission to find the right information.


The image stopped still in the engineering lab and the was an elderly man looking fondly at the engineer.  The panel was in front of them the red haired woman pointed at the the components in order several times then removed them in the same order. 


Shar’El looked at the panel and did as she was shown, thankfully no shocking surprise.  “Done,” she stated aloud and turned back to the memory.   The CEO showed her wires sounding a rod on the bottom of the panel… she pulled the orange wire off leaving the others.  The ILO sighed and went back to the panel, hoping not to have a perm at the end of it.  The wire came free with little effort.  Once free the bars came down to everyone's surprise not least the ILO who was wearing a huge grin. 


“Well done cupcake,” Sonja declared.  “Now get over here and open mine,” the CEO said with a grin.


Shar’El opened the red haired engineer's cell using what appeared to be some sort of control panel that had been for obvious reasons located well out of reach and sight of anyone within the cells.  Once the woman was freed they both opened the other cells with haste.

Sonja reached Tosk’s cell, “are we sure we want senor grumpy pants out?”  This eliciting a growl from the Zaldan who was in fact grumpy.  “Alright, alright don’t get you panties in a wad, sheesh” The CEO stated laughingly as she reached for the panel and freed the FCO.


All the crew was out and standing in the middle of the hall talking quietly as Tossk and Sonja arrived.


“Everyone is present and accounted for, so what’s the plan El Capitaine?”  The CEO asked with a grin.

Lorraine Paquette
Lieutenant JG Sonja Paquette
Chief Engineering Officer