"To Memories Gone By"
[previous post was "Bio-Engineering" by the comical Lorraine]

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Black Hole Lounge
Stardate: 30148.2245

It had been clear that the last mission had taken its toll on those who had lived through it.  What had started as being nothing more than a training mission, as demanding as it might have been set to be, had turned into a fight with countless lives hanging in the balance.

Each officer had now been called upon to deal with the aftermath of what had taken place, each in heir own way.  To expect anyone to simply bounce back as if nothing had happened after the experience on the Moon of PI ALPHA III would have been unrealistic, and everyone knew that.

It had taken some effort from the part of the ILO, but eventually the Cardassian born CNS had given in and accepted to join Shar'El for a night cap.  There had been no reason for anyone to dwell on guilt and doubts from the past, nor had there been any reason for someone to face these thoughts alone.

Eve and Shar'El were somewhat surprised to find Sonja sitting alone at one of the tables, a steaming drink in one hand and a PADD in the other.  Without consulting each other, the pair made their way to the lone Engineer to join her and maybe see if they could offer some help.

"Chech'tluth," the ILO exclaimed out loud with astonishment.  "That would explain a few things."

Eve tried her best to contain her amusement, allowing only a faint chuckle to escape and be heard.

"This?" Sonja laughed as she pointed to the curved metallic cup.  "This is what calms me down.  It's the bottle of Romulan ale that I shared with a barely dressed muscular Andorian before that will be responsible for any unexpected outbursts from me tonight."

"Care if we join you?" the Cardassian born Counselor asked, knowing that the Engineer had been kidding about the Romulan ale and muscular Andorian, but knew that something had been on the woman's mind.

"The chairs are empty," Lieutenant Paquette said as a general invitation.  "You may claim them at your own risks."

"Alright, out with it," Dalziel sighed as she and Shar'El sat in front of the Engineer, now more then before certain that something had not been quite right.

"You know that device I pulled from the ancient machine back on the moon," Sonja explained as she pushed the PADD that had been in her hand towards the two women who had just joined her.  "It seems that it is of Yxidii origin, and I can't help feel that we were played for fools in this little adventure," the redhead continued, ending with a large swig of her drink.

"Are you certain of this?" the Counselor asked, her eyes quickly reviewing the information contained on the PADD.

"The machine did originate from the Yxidii dimension," Shar'El said with a certainty that came from a knowledge that had not been hers.  "They were part of the coalition that sent the machine to the Akitashiinu dimension to isolate it, at least that was to official historical account.  Now I'm getting the idea that they wanted to dispose of the evidence of their tempering with it.  They wanted to gain control of it and its knowledge to use it to their goals of conquest but something went wrong."

"I thought is was Seska that had been linked to the machine," the Engineer playfully huffed as she looked at the ILO before taking another gulp from her drink.  The twinkle in Sonja's eyes hinted that she knew, at least partially, that Shar'El had been holding back speaking about certain abilities that she possessed.

Shar'El debated for a moment about letting Sonja, as well as the rest of the crew of the ANUBIS, know of her true heritage and special ability.  Admiral Koniki had wanted for the ILO to keep that knowledge a secret to avoid having the crew possibly become distant but after all that they had endured together, the Intelligence Liaison Officer doubted very much that this would be the case.

"I'm Ullian," Shar'El said, almost sounding as if the admission had been one filled with shame.

"I figured it was something like that," the redheaded Engineer half grinned.  "The way you helped me deal with my injuries back on the SPHINX, I knew then that there was more about you than that ghostly pale skin of yours.  You can dig into people's heads and look at their memories, and because the ancient machine was bio-mechanical, you were able to do the same with it."

"In a way," the ILO continued, her eyes having dropped to look at the table's surface instead of the Engineer.  "It was like looking through the pages and files of a galactic library, no emotions, only pure knowledge, at least for the most part.  After what you have just said tough, I understand where the conflict I felt came from.  The device that was used by the Yxidii to take control of it was never designed to deal with the level of information the machine contained."

"I am sure that we will be hearing from those trans-dimensional blue skinned things soon enough," Lieutenant Paquette said as she added a smile to her lips while reaching for the hand of the ILO.  "And I know that together we'll send those things back where they came from wishing that they had never come across the ANUBIS or any member of its crew."

The ILO looked up to meet the Engineer's eyes following the sensation of her hand on hers, Shar'El very happy to see that the admission she had made had not affected the professional friendship the raven haired woman had hoped to have with he redhead.

"That said," Sonja added, her facial expression having turned bitter cold without any warning, "if you get into my head once again without asking me first, I will stuff you and that wondering head of yours into the warp core and set it on high.  I will then scoop up what little is left, toss the whole mess into a torpedo casing and fire it into the nearest star.  Are we green?"

Eve had been ready to jump in to defuse the situation, but stopped when she heard Sonja's bellowing laughter.

Sonja turned and motioned the barkeep to bring three more Chech'tluth to the table, a request that he quickly moved to comply with.  As the drinks were placed on the table, one in front of each of the woman present, the Chief Engineer picked up her new cup and raised it for a toast.  "To memories gone by. May they forge friendships that will endure the memories yet to be made."

Tiffany Reeve

Ensign Shar'El
Intel Liaison Officer