Previous post – Susan's "Self-Control"

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 7 - Exo-Biology Lab
Stardate: 30148.2200

The device that had been pulled out from the ancient machine sat on one of the analysis tables of the Exo-Biology lab with both the CMO and CEO looking at it as if expecting something to happen. Following the initial scans of the item, it had been deemed best to perform the research in one of the medical labs due to he clearly biological properties of the device's outer shell.

"It's blue," Doctor Doyanne said with puzzlement, the flowing dark azure colour of the device seemed to hint to some sort of bioengineered origin.  The real issue had was that its colour had been thus far the only concrete data they had been able to collect from the item which had proven to be impervious to all deep scans.

"What if we tried opening it using a phaser set to a low intensity narrow beam?" the redheaded Engineer offered in all seriousness.

"If we are going to try anything along that line, I would rather use a laser scalpel," the Chief Medical Officer countered with, having shot a quick glare at the woman standing across from the analysis table.

"I was going to offer that option first," Sonja grinned, "but I was worried that you would think I was after your job.  Performing operations on anything biological is after all *your* domain."

"What about the bio-gel packs that are found throughout the ship?" the Doctor inquired, her hands having landed with determination on her hips.  "They are an integral part of this ship's system, and fall under *your* domain as the ANUBIS' Chief Engineer."

"Well," the redheaded Engineer grinned, "those biological things I know.  *That* thing is barely reading as being biological, so it's all yours Doc."

"It has taken everything we have just to figure out that this is some sort of bioengineered surface," the Doctor said in frustration, "and we have yet to be able to confirm this beyond any real doubts.  The fact that this device likely came from another dimension is not helping matters any."

"We need to think outside the box," the redhead sighed as she reached below the analysis table to fetch something from her engineering kit.  "We have done everything according to standard protocols in regards to alien technology.  We need to try something different."

"What did you have in mind?" Doctor Doyanne asked, her frustration having left her open to pretty much anything that the CEO might suggest.

"A more direct approach, we are going to take this ol' school," Sonja replied as she lifted a hammer clear over her head before bringing it crashing down in the center of the device.

"WAIT!" the CMO exclaimed but alas too late, by the time her words had been said, the hammer had already been well on its way to test the device's external shell.

Out of simple reflex both women looked away as the hammer impacted the device with considerable strength, fearing that some sort of shards or maybe even an explosion would result from the act of desperation.  When nothing happened, the CEO and CMO turned back to study the item which had still been on the analysis table where it had been prior to the impact.

"Looks like the force of the impact was absorbed and redistributed by the device's shell," the redheaded Engineer pointed out as she observed the dark azure coloured skin slowly return to its original form.

"I saw something similar not long ago," Doctor Doyanne admitted as she rushed to a nearby console.  "I was reviewing some of the sensor data collected by the ANUBIS during the confrontations between the Yxidii and Akitashiinu.  At the time I didn't give it a second thought, but now it might give us another angle to approach this problem."

"Alright Doc, you got me curious," Sonja said as she made her way around the analysis table to join the CMO at the research console.

"When the Yxidii battle cruiser was being attacked by the Akitashiinu ships, sensors picked up a rapid regeneration of the ship's outer hull following each hit.  At first I just figured that their technology was much like ours in regards to bio-regenerative hulls, but now I wonder if maybe it operates on a completely different bioengineering matrix, one that is well beyond our ability to scan."

"You're thinking that if this thing is based on the same tech, so an energy discharge possessing the same amplitude and phase variance as the Akitashiinu weapons might be able to cut through that shell," the redhead nodded as she moved to a nearby console to get the information she needed to test this theory.  "I will give it to Commander Maya, she made sure that every piece of information on those ships was gathered.  It will take a few minutes but I am pretty sure that I will be able to duplicate the energy frequency of the Akitashiinu weapons."

"We will have to start with a very narrow beam and angle it to only hit the surface of the device," Doctor Doyanne continued.  "If this should actually work, we don't want to pierce the outer shell and risk damaging whatever is inside."

"Tell you what Doc," Sonja mumbled, her attention having been more on her research than on what the CMO had been saying.  "I get the beam ready and you use it as you see fit. Dang it woman, I'm an Engineer, not a surgeon."

Several minutes passed as the CEO worked to match the energy frequency output of one of the lab's ceiling mounted laser emitters to that of the Akitashiinu weapons.  A smile slowly creeped on the redhead's lips as the Engineer neared success.  "You may fire when ready," she announced as she rubbed her hands together in celebration.

"Setting the laser to hit one of the corners of the device on an angle that should not hit anything inside," the Chief Medial Officer stated as she placed the ceiling mounted laser and set the coordinates into the computer.  "It might be a safe precaution to put some sort of barrier between us and it though as we have no idea how this will actually work."

"Computer," Sonja called out.  "Establish a level 5 energy dispersal, bio-containment field around Analysis Table 1."

The computer immediately complied causing a shimmering energy field to appear around the Analysis table where the ceiling mounted laser had been placed.

Doctor Doyanne glanced at the Chief Engineer for a moment as if wanting some sort of confirmation that everything would be alright.  Having noticed this, Sonja simply smiled and nodded her head.  "What's the worst that could happen?"

"That is what I am afraid of," the CMO admitted as she reached for the console to press the laser's fire control switch.

A short bean fired from the tip of the laser and easily made its way through the biomatter shell that surrounded the device, leaving the inner components exposed for several seconds before the dark azure flowing mass began to regenerate in an effort to repair the damage that had been caused.

"Do you know that this means?" the CMO exclaimed with joy.

"That we have one answer and several more questions on our hands," the CEO replied, not as enthusiastically as the Doctor might have hoped her words to have been.  "It means that this device is of Yxidii origin and that they were the ones who actually tempered with the ancient machine in the first place.  Now we have to figure out why and if this is going to be a problem for us at a later time."

"You really have a way to take the fun out of this," the CMO sighed.

"So, do we get to shoot it again?" Sonja expecting glee.  "Just to be sure of course.  Scientific reasons and all that jazz."

Doctor Doyanne glared back at the redheaded Engineer with a slight grin barely visible on her lips.

"What?" the CEO demanded in a higher pitch tone, her hands opened in a playful questioning gesture.


Lorraine Paquette

Lieutenant JG Sonja Paquette
Chief Engineering Officer