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"Pieces of the Puzzle"
[previous post was "Intelligent Argument"]
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Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 30148.1640

It had never been the goal of the Chief of Security to insult anyone on the ship, she had merely wanted to be absolutely certain of the details that she would be including in her report to Commander Maya.  Maybe her desire to prove herself to the crew had made her to be too direct and blunt.  The problem was that slightest error could prove dangerous and possibly even deadly, and given the complexity of the situation Ya'Han had thought it best to be as precise as possible.

Time had always been a factor in any situation, and in most cases it had been a factor that pressured everyone to perform and come up with solutions within the briefest possible delays.  That they were in another dimension did not change the fact that time had been an unseen adversary, one that followed their every move.

"Based on my observations of the Yxidii," the Chief of Security replied, following the question that she had been presented with, "they are a direct and proud race.  I suspect that their offer to help us was not out of compassion but rather came from a need.  Either to have us be out of their way as soon as possible or to try and sway us onto their side of their conflict against the Akitashiinu.  I am sure that this need was also responsible for your speedy return to the ship soon after."

"There is a lot that we do not know about both races," Stark said, happy that the discussion had moved away from his earlier ideas and impressions.  "From what I saw while on the moon, I would say that they both have secrets and that they are trying to deal with us landing in the middle of their affairs as best as they can."

"I agree, they seem to be far too busy with each other. Either race could have held the away team hostage demanding that we provided weapons, supplies or even tactical assistance in their conflict.  Instead, one race healed the wounded while the other side removed some of the unknown elements from the equation returning them to this ship," Ya'Han said, thinking out loud.

"Could it be that simple?" Jayson asked, the words of the Chief of Security having triggered a thought.  "Could both  races be simply trying to get us on our way so that they can continue the fight without anyone getting underfoot?"

"Did you not tell me that one of the Yxidii had been killed while you were in the underground room?" Ya'Han questioned, trying to make sense of Jayson's new train of thought.

"Getting us out of their way is only a secondary objective," Stark answered.  "They are still trying to out maneuver one another and  want us to be out of their way so that they do not have to deal with us interfering while they try to kill one another."

"It does sound like an odd tactic, but one that is not beyond the realm of possibilities," the dark haired woman said with a grin.  "In any conflict, one side will try to gain the advantage over the other.  Sometimes this advantage presents itself in the form of knowledge that was not available to either side.  Here, we may be dealing with information that both sides already have in their possession and wish to keep it that way."

"Would it not have been easier to just kill the away team and destroy the ANUBIS?" Ensign Stark said, only realizing the full extent of what he had proposed after the words had come out of his mouth.

"Too many unknown variables," the Chief of Security replied as if she understood how both sides had thought.  "Kill the away team would have likely been easy, destroying an unknown ship could have presented unexpected problems.  Plus, it would have been too risky that more would be sent to investigate if they were successful. Instead of stumbling onto something this ship and crew did now know of, the next ships and their crew would be rushing in searching for explanation and maybe even revenge.  No, this makes a lot more sense.  Rescue the crew and ship, allowing them to quickly head back to where they came from while they count their blessings.  If more ships did return after a while, they would do so much later and out of cautious curiosity instead of looking for blood."

"So if we accept this as the more likely possibility," Jayson said with a sigh. "We are left with a large piece of this puzzle still missing. What is it that they do not want us to know about?"

"Whatever it is has to be somewhere on the moon," Ya'Han said with definite certainty.  "Why else drag the entire moon into another dimension?  Why limit the movements of the away team and shield the entire moon from our sensors?  Why would both races be so friendly towards us while in the middle of a life-or-death conflict?  It is apparent now that they do not want us to just find whatever it is out of fear that we would either join the battle for its control or simply destroy it to avoid either side to possess it."

A moment of silence was shared between the two Ensign as the implications of what had been offered became clearer.  As much as all of this had only been a speculation, the pieces of this puzzle seemed to fall into place far more than with any other line of reasoning.  Unfortunately this also presented the crew with an additional problem, that of discovering what the two races had been so adamant in hiding from them while at the same time rescuing the still missing senior officers.

"Getting our sensors to work through this interference is even more important now," Jayson stated, breaking the silence that had taken hold.  Both Ensigns looked into each other's eyes and shared an unspoken hope; that Commander Maya and Doctor Doyanne were making some level of progress in their efforts to do just that which would allow them to become active in the search for their missing officers and allow them to search for the secret at the heart of this mystery.

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Hanali Han

Ensign Ya'Han
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer