"How Is Just The Start of The Explanation"
(Previous Post: "
Red Darkness")

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 30148.2030

To say that the Shillian Scientist had been thrilled beyond words to see Captain Morningstar standing there in front of her would have been an understanding of galactic proportions, in fact it had taken every bit of self control for the acting Executive Officer for her not to leap out and hug the man.  Such shows of emotions, especially between command level officers was frowned upon by Starfleet, but this could have easily been a special case.

"Captain, how did you manage to get back to the USS ANUBIS without anyone else knowing?" The Chief Science Officer asked, half curious as to how the man had accomplished such a feat and half not truly caring as to the how but more interested as to the why?  Had his returned been self directed or had one of the other races managed to find a way to return the Commanding Officer back to his ship and crew?  Had there been another force at play in this?

"It is actually a story that I am sure you will enjoy," Captain Morningstar said with a smile, knowing all too well that what he had been about to explain would fall squarely into the domain of expertise of the Shillian Scientist.  "After everyone else was brought back to the ship, and the situation with Eeru was taken care off, I took the place of our Assistant Chief Medical Officer inside the ancient machine.  I will admit that it was a strange experience and I soon found my memories and knowledge thoroughly scanned.  It took some effort but I was able to focus the memories I wanted the machine to see to the forefront."

"That is all it ever wanted," the Assistant Chief Medical Officer said from her biobed, the Bajoran still trying to recuperate from her time in the machine.  "It possessed a pure and unending thirst for knowledge, a thirst that was tainted by some component that was added to it."

"That component was brought back to the ANUBIS for analysis by Lieutenant Paquette," the Chief Science Officer quickly explained.  "I will be happy to have a closer look at it now that you are back on the ship, but you have still not explained as to how you came to return on board the ANUBIS."

Captain Morningstar chuckled, there had been no way of getting around the insatiable curiosity of his Chief Science Officer, even if she had been given the additional responsibilities of an Executive Office.  "Alright, so the machine was scanning my memories and once I figured out how to do it, I made sure it learned what I knew about crossing dimensions.  Although I would not consider myself to be an expert, it seems that my time as the Chief Engineer on board the USS PROPHECY and First Officer on board the USS PARADOX was enough to provide it with everything it needed.  From there it was relatively simple to direct the machine to open several dimensional rifts to the respective homes of each of the races, including our own, by showing the machine memories about the importance of what it meant for living entities to be back where we belonged."

"We did notice these dimensional rifts open for the Akitashiinu, the Yxidii and ourselves, and it seems that you conveyed to the machine the possibility of some level of resistance as there was a gravitational pull added to each of these rifts.  This gravitational pull was not enough to disrupt our systems, but it was strong enough to insure that we would not be able to escape the rift.  That is when we all started to fear the worst in your regard," the Shillian admitted before adding a sigh of relief again allowing for her delight in having the Captain back to be visible.

"I will be honest in saying that I had been ready to stay behind as long as the ANUBIS and her crew were safe," the Captain said, in a way confirming what the First officer had suspected at the time.  "As I followed the ship as it passed through the rift though, my own memories of the ANUBIS and those on board must have triggered something in the machine.  The next thing I knew I was here in Sickbay, feeling rather relaxed and at peace."

"It must have been a residual effect of the memories I had been focussing on," the Bajoran Assistant Chief Medical Officer said.  "My memories and thoughts were of my time on VULCAN, memories that I had hopped would restore the machine to a more logical course of action."

"Whatever you did Doctor, I would say that it worked quite well," the Captain stated with a pleasant smile on his face.

"Internal sensors did not pick up any dimensional rift inside the ship," the Chief Science Officer quickly followed up with as she reached for a nearby medical tricorder on the table next to her.  "That said though, I am still at a lost to explain how you simply came to appear back on the ship."

"Remember," the Commanding Officer said with a grin having found it amusing that he had figured it out before the Shillian, "the USS PARADOX is not your standard trans-dimensional vessel."

"Of course," the Shillian Scientist exclaimed, "instead of using a dimensional vortex to send you through space, a method which would have very likely caused your death, the machine must have created up a temporal opening, allowing it to send you back on board the ANUBIS before it actually went through the dimensional rift.  As the Captain of the ship, the computer would not have noted your sudden appearance as having been a danger of any sort, and only accepted it as a fact.  I can detect residual tachyon emissions from your cells," the Chief Science Officer continued as she moved the small device in her hand over the full form of the standing Commanding Officer,  "In fact I can confirm that this was the case as your cellular degradation is slightly off based on what it should have been from your last medical scan."

"Nothing like traveling back in time, even for a few seconds, to make you feel like a new man," Captain Morningstar said in a joking manner as he smiled back at the Shillian woman.  "It is good to be back."

"We are all very happy to having you back with us Captain," the Chief Science Officer said with yet another sigh. "Especially myself.  I realize that this may not be the right place or time for my saying this, but I feel that I must.  The prospect of losing you made it very clear to me that I am not now, nor may ever be ready for the responsibilities of command.  My place, my calling are as the Chief Science Officer, a role that I would rather continue performing while on board the USS ANUBIS, but it is the position that I was and am meant to hold.  Command is something that seems to be beyond my abilities despite your confidence in my.  Of course I will continue in the role you were so generous in granting me until such time as you can find a replacement to take over as the First Officer of this ship and crew."

"Maya, Are you sure?" Captain Morningstar asked, stunned by the unexpected announcement.  It was true that he knew of the discomfort of the Shillian woman in the role she had taken, but he had never expected the Scientist to be so quick and absolute with her decision.

"I am certain of this Captain," the Shillian said as she lowered her head, certain that she had somehow disappointed the man whom she had been so happy to see alive and well.


Jessica Solarik 

Lieutenant Commander Maya
Chief Science Officer

"To see the world in a grain of sand,
and a heaven in a wild flower.
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
and eternity in an hour."
- William Blake (British, 1757-1827)