"Questions and Debates"
Previous post "What Next?"

"Great Maker! Sometimes I feel I don't understand anything anymore."
Londo Mollari, Babylon 5

Setting: MASQUERADE DREAMS, Room 24-112 (Erik)
Stardate: 30152.0945

"Ya'Han, is everything alright?" Eve Dalziel asked as the Native American looked upon her, his head ever so slightly tilted to one side.  As much as Erik might have been concerned for the well being of the woman, it had not been in him to ask so openly.  Luckily for the CO of the USS ANUBIS, he had not been the one listed as the ship's Counselor.

Everyone from the ANUBIS's covert team had heard what the Sec/Tac had said to Ye'Lan, and none doubted that the meeting had not been a chance encounter or that the verbal exchange had been meant to rattle Ya'Han on a personal level.

=/\= I am fine, =/\= the Sec/Tac whispered back, her trembling voice having been more than enough to cause the Cardassian born Counselor to shake her head, making the Native American know that the Counselor had not accepted the soft spoken reply.

=/\= ANI, who is the closest to Ensign Ya'Han? =/\= the Captain inquired, having already decided that he would not let the Chief of Security be by herself now or for the remainder of their time on board the MASQUERADE DREAMS.

=/\= Lieutenant Pauquette in on the same deck as Ensign Ya'Han.  328 meters away. =/\= The ship's Avatar replied almost instantly, ANI having kept tabs on every member of the crew using the ANUBIS' extensive sensor system.

=/\= Roger that, =/\= the Redheaded Engineer stated, having easily anticipated the CO's intentions.  =/\= Stay put Ya'Han, I'm on my way and will be there in two-shakes of a lamb's tail. =/\=

As confusing as the expression used by the Terran woman had been to the exiled daughter of the High Sovereign of NYLA IV, Ya'Han said nothing other than a simple 'understood' to confirm that she had received the message and would be complying.

"ANI," Erik continued as he rubbed the side of his beard in a rather upset manner, "engage privacy mode for both Lieutenant Dalziel and myself."

=/\= Privacy mode engaged, =/\= the Avatar promptly stated, ANI never having been one to question orders or the reasoning behind them.

"Don't tell me that you are upset for my wanting to make sure Ya'Han was alright?" Eve queried, truly not expecting that the Native American would reply in any way positively to her question, but it had been a perfect way to get him to open up, something that the Counselor suspected he had already been ready to do.

"What I need right now is a friend," Erik sighed, "not a Counselor."

"Oh," Eve noted with surprise as she shifted on he bed, the only chair that had been in the room having already been in use by the Native American.  "What's going on?"

"This entire mission," Erik pointed out as his hands pointed to nothing in particular.  "Koniki sending us here on a three-week Intel gathering mission already came across as being weird, but now I can't help the feeling that we have been played for fools."

"You know better than most how the world of Intel works," Eve stated as she offered a warm, reassuring smile to the man sitting not too far from her.  "Plans within plans are the norm, and not revealing everything about a specific mission is something that you have used yourself at times to make sure that those involved do not fall into a tunnel vision mentality."

"You know," Erik sighed, "maybe it would best if I did speak with a Counselor instead of a friend."

"Why is that?" Eve questioned rhetorically, the grin on her lips having grown quite a bit.  Years of working with the Native American had given her a unique perspective and understanding into the man sitting in front of her.

"At least a Counselor would take my side in this story instead of trying to make me be one of the bad guys," the Captain explained as he shook his head while letting out a long sigh.

"You are not the bad guy here," Dalziel said, her voice having returned to a much more serious and professional tone.  "Neither is Koniki. He did what he thought was necessary to get the job done, which included sending us all here.  The situation surrounding Ya'Han is likely one of several more that prompted the Admiral to his final decision to send us here.  If we were told of four, five or even six possible missions, we would all have been unable to see anything happening around us, trying to fit any strange happening into one of those boxes."

"I know," Morningstar said as a faint smile tried to form on his lips.  "Without a specific mission objective we are not trying to get to the end.  Right now all we can do is try to figure out what is happening and why.  That said though, it just goes to confirm that I was right about not trusting Koniki and his official reasons for sending us here."

"As much as you will not want to hear this," Eve said as she leaned back on her arms, "you and Koniki think a lot alike.  That is why you end up arguing so much one against the other, because he knows that you know what he's thinking in the long run."

"You know what," Erik said as he let his head fall backwards over the edge of the chair he had been sitting in.  "This is not helping me feel better."

=/\= ANI to Captain Morningstar. Sorry to bother you, but I thought you would like to be made aware of this. The data collected by Doctor Mizore has been transmitted and received.  The ANUBIS' sensors should be able to be adapted to scan for Nylaan physiology in about two hours. =/\=

"Thank you ANI, keep me informed of your progress," the Native American acknowledged, the Avatar's call having brought his mind back on the mission at hand.  "You can disengage privacy mode."

"Guess that means we are back to business," Eve said as she added a wink.

"In about two hours from now we should be able to scan the MASQUERADE DREAMS and see just how many Nylaans are on board," Erik explained sounding rather anxious to see what the final result would be.

"Whatever the result of that scan will be," the Counselor pointed out, "it will not be the answers we need but rather give us a lot more questions to try and answer."

"Agreed," the Native American nodded with certainty, "but at least we will have actual questions to tackle instead of this not knowing what it is we are supposed to be doing here."

Francois Charette

Captain Erik Morningstar
Commanding Officer


Lt. Commander Elan Fairborn
Robotics Engineering Officer