"Unstable Minds"
(Cont. from "Arrival")

Setting: USS PARADOX, Observation Lounge
Stardate: 63073.2300

Aki's eyes were glued on the seat where the Selay had been sitting only moments ago before the beam from the disrupter ripped his body apart into nothingness.  The reptilian's scream of tortured agony still echoed in the aCSciO's mind along with the words spoken with such venom by Vellarno.  [[I can't stand being lied to.]]

How would the Vorta react should she discover that those in the room wish her had also lied to her, not only about their identities but also about their intentions?  If Vellanor had been so upset about the Selay's hidden agenda that she had deemed him worthy of a quick, yet painful death, the aCSciO could only dread the fate that any of the members of the away team would be made to suffer.

The undercover Starfleet officer dressed in civilian Romulan attire felt a gentle hand being placed on her shoulder, the gesture had been perfectly harmless but it still caused Aki to jump startled.  Despite all of her training and experience the aCSicO had been deeply disturbed by what she had witnessed, a sight that she uncontrollably feared would be soon repeated.  Ensign Mitshiba had been rightfully concerned that she would be the next target, but her fears had not been limited to her own safety.  Ensign Dalziel as well as the others from the ANUBIS had all risked the same fate by having come onboard the PARADOX.

It took several seconds for Aki to turn her attention towards the owner of the hand and see Eve simply motion to the Romluan to follow, the Vorta having already left the Observation Lounge after having told everyone to get some rest. Before doing as she had been instructed, Aki glanced back at the seat one last time in morbid fascination of what had taken place, the empty chair having become a shrine to her feelings.

Setting: USS PARADOX, Guest Quarters
Stardate: 63073.2330

Caden, Natalie Portree and Saaki had been escorted to individual quarters on some lower deck of the ship by a handful of guards.  The aCSciO had been in such a state that she had not even taken note as to which deck or section of the ship they had been taken to.  In fact Aki had been so lost in her own thoughts about what had happened that she could only vaguely recall that Eve had spoken to her before each one had vanished into their assigned quarters.

Now with nothing but her own thoughts and memories of recent events to keep her company, Aki began to truly feel the psychological impact of what she had witnessed in the Observation Lounge.  The sight of the Selay's body being ripped atom from atom while the air filled with his scream of suffering haunted the aCSciO's soul like she had never thought possible.

Death was, unfortunately, an all too common part of being in Starfleet, one that each and every crewmember on any starship had been required to accept and face in one form or another.  From small cargo freighters to the full size heavy cruisers, anyone onboard a star faring vessel had to deal with the reality that accidents happened and people died.  Even with this knowledge firmly in hand, Aki could not just dismiss what she had seen, the death of the Selay not having been an accident by any stretch of the imagination.

Alone with her thoughts, the Asian woman stood by the nearest window, her gaze lost on the few visible stars appearing from, and disappearing behind the shifting asteroids.

Dawn Bohr <serra.moon.angel@gmail.com>
Ensign Akira 'Aki' Mitshiba
Assistant Chief Science Officer