"Oltharian Emotions"
[Previous Post Jessica's "It Was About Time That Something Went Our Way"]

<<The only way out is through.>>
- Ancient Wisdom

Setting: USS ANUBIS: Array Section, Deck 3, VIPER Launch bay
Stardate: 63073.1700

After having assisted Ensigns Thomas and Mitshiba with their power issues for their personal quantum field generator, the Oltharian had been dispatched to the Interceptor Launch Bay by Captain Rikar herself. The task given to the Chief Engineer had been to retrofit all three of the VIPERS with similar equipment, the redheaded CO apparently having the utmost confidence in the giant's ability to perform this complex assignment in less than half an hour. That had been just how much time the towering officer had before the ANUBIS would reach the YUDARA SECTOR and the source of the increasingly numerous temporal anomalies which threatened to take over the galaxy.

Although it had been quite a while since the Oltharian had taken any time to rest, the fact that he had originated from a world with 36-hour days allowed him to work much longer than most. Added to this Elan's insatiable desire to help and perform his duties to perfection insured that the "impossible" became common occurrence.

"I will take care of the required modifications to the power regulator on VIPER 3," the ANUBIS' Avatar announced all of a sudden without prior warning. With both of his arms elbow deep inside the systems of VIPER 1 the giant did not bother to question why Annie had decided to jump ahead in their work schedule.

"Lieutenant Fairborn?" The inquiring voice of the ANUBIS' Counsellor reached the busy Engineer, making him understand why the Avatar had unexpected elected to move as far away from the Oltharian as possible. Annie's ability to tap into any and all of the ship's systems, including the internal sensors had given the artificial woman an advantage like no other; like knowing when to grant someone privacy before they even knew they needed it.

"Right here," Elan replied while his back rested on the Interceptor launch tracks and his arms vanished within the open belly of VIPER 1. "Please forgive my impoliteness," the Oltharian offered with the utmost reverence in his voice, "but I am currently holding on to this Interceptor's main power conduit and am unable to reconnect it in time to properly greet you."

"No apologies are needed," Ensign Dalziel quickly offered as she knelt by the giant's side. Even while on his back and with the majority of his arms beyond sight, the Oltharian appeared as a massive yet gentle giant. "In fact I should be the one offering you my apologies for coming here and interrupting your work."

"How may I be of assistance?" the Chief Engineering Officer inquired despite the fact that the current task he had been working on had been of the highest possible priority.

"Just thought that you and I could have a word together," the Counsellor stated not having thought of any better way to break the ice with the constantly occupied Engineer. "Trying to catch you during a *down time* seems to be a temporal impossibility."

The Olthairan chuckled slightly while he continued to work on the VIPER's power system. "Being the Chief Engineering Officer of a vessel heading into a mission that could possibly hold the fate of the entire universe in the balance will do that," Elan said in a far more serious tone than Eve had expected.

"I had not realised that Oltharians were so *logical*," the Counsellor stated, knowing all to well that there had been nothing similar between Vulcans and Elan's people.

"Logic has little to do with it," the Chief Engineering Officer countered with. "In fact I would be more apt to say that it is my personal emotions which are the source of the clarity of thought required to focus on this task above all else."

"I noticed in your psychological file a rather overpowering sense to defend and protect others," Eve stated not having figured that keeping secrets from Elan would serve any real purpose at this time. After all it had been standard procedure for a ship's Counsellor to review the psychological files of all Senior Officers. "You care very much about everyone, not only those onboard the ANUBIS, that is an admirable quality."

"This may be so," the Oltharian countered with, "but my primary concerns are for those whom I have come to consider to be far more than shipmates. I would even venture to say that those onboard the ANUBIS are more than friends, they are family."

"Thank you Lieutenant," Eve smiled as she felt unequivocally included in that last statement. "I am honoured to be counted with the likes of Captain Rikar, Commander Maya and Lieutenant Summers," the Counsellor added in a way to help the CMO get a better idea of her official position in regards to the Oltharian.

"I am the one who is honoured in having such passionate and caring individuals around me," the Oltharian stated as he continued his work without any visible signs that the conversation had hindered his task.

"As busy as you always seem to be though, have you ever considered that it could be nice to be able to return to your quarters and have someone special there waiting for you?" Eve inquired in a half thought and immediately realised that she had said something wrong. The Oltharian's entire body had slumped and Elan had all of a sudden appeared to be lost in his thoughts.

Quickly the Counsellor mentally reviewed what she could recall of the Chief Engineer's file and sighed as she remembered a single name that had been mentioned only a few times. Amber Satori; an officer who had served with the gentle giant since his first run through the Academy and who now laid in a coma in the NEW ALEXANDRIA's medical facility. The file had not clearly stated that the two had been in a relationship, but the hints had been there, hints that now had been overly clear to the Ensign, if a little late.
Francois Charette {f_charette@hotmail.com}
Lieutenant Elan Talak Fairborn
Chief Engineering Officer

Robotics Engineering Officer