"Booboo Removal"
Previous post – Tiffany's "Painful Answers"

Setting: Moon of PI ALPHA III, Inside the Underground Ruins
Stardate: 30148.1950

Everything had been said in a whispered tone between the ILO and CNS up until Shar'El had voiced the need to not only help the Akitashiinu but also the ancient machine.  Whatever memories she had encountered in her quest for answers had been powerful enough to make the Ensign forget about the need to keep a low profile.

The Captain had heard everything that had been said thus far, his attention having been split between Eeru's speech and the ongoing efforts to understand the situation at hand.  Eve and Shar'El had done a great job to unraveling some of the mystery that involved the alien race and ancient machine, and the outburst from the ILO had only made it clear that the time for action had come.

"Ensign Shar'El, go and see if you can help Lieutenant Paquette in addressing the machine's tempering.  Counselor, see if you can help Ensign Mizore, we have no way to know what will happen should this tempering be somehow reversed."

Upon seeing the two women heading towards the machine, Eeru became aware that she had completely lost track of everyone else except for the two men who had been standing in front of her.  As the Akitashiinu tried to catch the closer of the two females, the imposing FCO moved to stand in the being's way.  Normally the Zaldan would have been more than a match for someone of the size of the reddish furred being, but in this case Wydran had to call upon all of his strength and training to hold the silicon-based creature at bay.

"Whatever you two are doing," Erik called out to the CEO and ILO as he joined the much taller pilot to try and keep Eeru from intervening, "I would suggest that you hurry up."

Without wasting any time Shar'El followed the direction the CEO had taken and quickly found her kneeling in front of an open panel with her arm elbow deep into the machine.

"It's in pain?" the redheaded CEO said in a way that hinted to her not fully understanding the emotion that she had perceived from the biomechanical entity.

"Someone tampered with it," Shar'El explained.

"Alright spy-girl," Sonja grinned.  "Gimme the skinny."

Although the phrasing had been completely foreign to her, the ILO had still understood the idea that Sonja had welcomed any and all information that Shar'El could provide.  "The best I can offer is that something was added to the core processing component, something that added a set of military directives which are conflicting with the machine's original programmed parameters."

"That would explain a few things, found something a little fishy in here," the Engineer nodded, her attention still very much focussed on the hand that had been sent deep into the contraption.  "I came across something that didn't feel right, and based on what you have just told me, I think we found the booboo."

"I hope you two are making some sort of progress in there," the Captain said in a clearly strained manner, obviously being given more than they could handle from the Atkiatshiinu.

"If you have indeed found the problem," the ILO pointed out, "then just remove it."

"In a mechanical system, pulling any component without having it properly disconnected has the potential to create energy feedback or an overflow that could lead to a discharge or even an explosions that could leave us looking for a new line of work in the hereafter," the redhead explained obviously not overly keen with the proposed idea.  "What, are you trying to get me back for that *zappity* issue from back in the cells?" Sonja lightheartedly added with a grin, her hands still fidgeting inside the ancient machine.

"The problem is that right now we do not have any real data to work off from.  The machine is hurting because of the added device, and because of it an entire race has been made to act against its beliefs and ways," the ILO argued back.

Sonja looked at the device in question, her hand firmly having taken a hold of what she believed to be the cause of the machine's pain.  Her experience and training  as an Engineer made it so that she could not act as suggested, yet the redhead woman knew that something needed to be done.

On the other side of the machine, Eve had made her way to Seska, the Bajoran still appearing relatively at peace on the surface.  "Don't worry," the Counselor said to the Doctor, trying her best to offer whatever morale support she could.  "We'll have you out of this in no time."

"Machine in pain... trying to fight itself... trying to help its hold on to logic... and... reason," the Bajoran explained, hinting as to what she had been doing since her integration into the ancient machine, but the mechanical sound that had accompanied her last word has pointed to the degrading state of this conflict.

"Sonja, Shar'El," Eve called out.  "If you two have a course of action, I suggest that you *try* it NOW!" the Cardassian born Counsellor added having noticed the increasing intensity of the scuffle between Captain Morningstar, Ensign Wydran and Eeru.

"Do or, do not," the redheaded Engineer muttered to herself with a quiet laugh.  "There is no try," Sonja added as she took a solid two-handed hold on the item before bracing her feet against the side of the machine.  "Looks like this is it baby girl, lets hold on to our hats and see what happens.  By the way, I do this and you get to clean up whatever mess comes out," the CEO concluded with before she pulled with all of her strength.

Out of simple reflex mixed in with fear the ILO turned away and shielded her face half expecting there to be some sort of explosion as earlier warned by the crazy redhead.

Lorraine Paquette

Lieutenant JG Sonja Paquette
Chief Engineering Officer