(Continued from "Shoulder Deep" from the Amazing Tiffany)

"The anger of a person who is strong, can always bide its time."
-James Whitcomb Riley

Setting: Moon of PI ALPHA III, Inside the Underground Ruins
Stardate: 30148.1935

Eve was as still as possible, while the members of the away team took to their tasks as stealthily as they could. As she watched Morningstar speak to Eeru, with Ensign Ttosk flanking them, she uttered a Bajoran curse under her breath that she wasn't able to read lips.

Her fists clenched involuntarily, as her Cardassian physiology prepared to fight. Logically, she knew that wasn't a wise prospect. The Akitashiinu's near feral strength had proved more than a match for the men on the away team; and even though she was stronger than most men her size, so were her male crewmates in their own right.

But perhaps, if it came to fisticuffs, she could buy the rest of the group enough time to escape.

Eve shook her head in the dark, trying to cast out any thoughts of violence. It was not the way she wished to carry herself; but it was a necessary part of who she was and as such could not be ignored. She had learned long ago to make it her friend, to nurture it, and not only would it serve her well, she would maintain control and discipline over it.

She felt the smallest push of fear at the edges of her stomach. Fear wasn't necessarily a bad thing either; a little fear would make one careful, and prevent them from acting in haste.

Unable to see the Chief from her vantage point, Eve looked to Shar'El, monitoring her vitals as best as she could without being an actual Doctor. Her breathing had become more shallow, but not so much that it felt endangered. Her eyes were open, but gave the impression that they were unseeing, as least in the physical sense.

Commander Zakel, one of Eve's Intel handlers, had shown her the Vulcan mind meld once as part of a demonstration. The practical uses for such a process hadn't fully dawned on the young officer at the time, but even as she tried to stay on task and in the moment she wondered if the technique would help her better understand and help Shar'El at moments like these.

Eve sighed, and remembered a prayer her adoptive mother had taught her as a child, and she used it now to focus and to ask for protection for Seska, those around her, as well as those on the ANUBIS. "Jia'kaja, tre'nu'tol'a rem. La'por i'lanu kos. I'nar tan'a'tali nor...."

Setting: Behind the "Machine"

Anyone else looking at the jumble of tubing and wires would have just seen a complete mess, but the zaftig CEO could see well beyond that. She could sense that the delicate balance of the device was off, as sure as the sound of a mosquito could unnerve a herd of wild horses.

"What is it, baby," the redhead said soothingly, listening to the distinct hum the equipment made, and also the dischordant murmur she could occasionally detect.

Her hands gently followed where her mind told them were to go, until she came upon a coupling that appeared to have been tampered with. The materials used in this section of the device weren't homogenous with the rest of the structure.

Sonja frowned. Was this a repair? Sabotage? Or had the machine's purpose been somehow changed? She continued to explore the circuitry, wondering what more she could do without bringing harm upon the aCMO captured in its embrace.

Susan Ledbetter

Lieutenant JG Eve Dalziel