"From Farraginous to Factoids"

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Setting: MASQUERADE DREAMS, Room 22-049

Stardate: 30152.1615

"ANI," the Chief Engineering Officer said softly, knowing all too well that the Avatar had been listening in, "initiate privacy mode for both Ensign Ya'Han and myself."

=/\= Privacy mode engaged, =/\= the artificial woman on board the USS ANUBIS confirmed, isolating the two women from the rest of the undercover team.

"So since it's just you and me now, girl" Sonja said from across the room, "tell me about NYLA IV, how was it growing up royal must have been interesting."

"Do you really want to know?" Ya'Han asked with a bit of scepticism.

"Yes I do, why else would I ask" the engineer said with a grin, "but if don't wish to talk about it that is fine too, it's your story to tell if you wish to tell it," the redhead stated with a genuine smile.  "This is NOT a Spanish inquisition after all, those are unexpected," CEO said laughing out right this time.

The dark haired woman found herself looking at her companion in confusion over her last statement… yet again.

Sonja seeing this look just waved her hand dismissively with a grin.  

"I asked ANI for privacy to possibly make it more comfortable for you, if you wanted to share that is.  Might be easier if the entire crew wasn't listening in," the CEO shrugged.

Ya'Han looked into the eyes the redhead and saw no malice only friendship and curiosity which seemed to be part of her natural state.  The security office took a breath and began to tell her story, such as it was. 

"As the thirteenth daughter of the High Sovereign, all of my needs were taken care of even before I knew I had them.  My days were scheduled to the minute with various training, activities and studies. Etiquette, finances, diplomacy where on the agenda every day," the purple haired Chief of Security said, not at all sounding overly happy with the memories that had been brought back up by the CEO's request.

"Wow," the redhead huffed, "Sounds like it was 'rathah boring'," the last two words having been spoken in a posh British accent.

"Fun was not on the daily agenda. I actually rarely saw my father unless we were both attending some sort of official banquet or reception," Ya'Han admitted, her gaze having fallen to her immobile feet.  "There were days when I even wondered if he knew which of his daughters I was."

"The perfect loving father," Sonja said rhetorically.

"I may not have felt a great deal of his love for me, but I did feel the full extent of his wrath more than I care to remember," Ya'Han said as she drew in a long deep breath, as if trying to hold back her emotions and tears from openly flowing for her friend to see.  "It was never a wise idea to not obey the wishes of the most powerful man on NYLA IV, whatever reason I might have convinced myself of using," the white haired woman added hinting to there having been some condition which had required a medical intervention at the time. "Perhaps feeling his wrath was better than being invisible to him."

Sonja thought that things might not have been perfect in her own upbringing, but they had certainly been better than what Ya'Han had endured royal or not.

"I was looked down upon by my sisters because I seemed bent on going against our father's wishes," Ya'Han said, pleasant and unpleasant memories clashing in her mind as she recalled her twelve older sisters and the way they all spoke to her whenever they had the chance.  "Some did offer their support and counsel, others though saw me as nothing more than an insult to the family.  Our role as daughters was to represent our father to the best of our abilities, secure as many economic ties with our world as possible through marriages, no matter the personal costs that we would be asked to pay."

"Like having to marry a Ferengi?" Sonja said with a small moue distaste. 

After a few moments, Sonja stepped back into the main living area when she did not get a response to find Ya'Han staring at the mirror in an odd manner, as if the woman had somehow been hypnotised by her own reflection.

"Are you alright?" the redheaded Engineer queried as she took hold of the other woman's shoulder.  "You suddenly stopped talking to me."

"I..." Ya'Han began as if she had just been snapped out of a daydream.  "I didn't hear you speaking; I was lost in the memory of the last time I spoke to my father."

"You were doing more than that," the Engineer pointed out as she turned her attention to the reflective surface hanging on the wall.  "You were staring at that mirror the same way Shar'El was when she went wack-a-doodle."

"Do you think there is something special about that mirror?" the Chief of Security asked as she watched the Chief Engineer study with great care the outer edge and frame of the item in question.

"Not something special *about* the mirror," Sonja corrected as she took the mirror off the wall hinges, "but something special about something behind it.  ANI, patch us through to Commander Maya."

=/\= What can I do for you Lieutenant Paquette? =/\= the Shillian Scientist acknowledged right away.

"Ya'Han and I discovered something about the mirror in the room, the same mirror that Commander Shar'El was looking at when she lost her marbles, there was something that was secured to the back of the mirror" the Engineer began as she carefully analysed the strange device that had been placed perfectly in the middle of the back of the mirror.  "I wanted your opinion before I actually did anything with it.  From what I see, there is a miniature Tetryon power cell feeding whatever this thing is.  The other parts that I can actually identify just by looking at them appear to be some sort of cerebral inducer, similar to those found in our own Sickbay."

=/\= When looking into the mirror, do you or did you feel a sense of losing control, of having a specific thought being forced into your mind? =/\= the Chief Science Officer inquired, Maya having already come up with a possible theory as to the purpose of the covert device.

Ya'Han simply shook her head.  "Nothing was forced into my mind as far as I can tell, but I did recall a very traumatic memory in perfect detail, as if I had actually been there."

=/\= I thought it might have been some sort of thought control device, =/\= the Shillian admitted, =/\= but based on what you have just said, I would be more willing to believe that the device is some sort of psionic inducer, forcing one or more specific memories to the surface thus likely insuring the person looking at the mirror from having their thoughts wander off target. =/\=

"Well that would make sense," Sonja said with a sigh.  "Sounds like a good way to make sure that any would-be bomber did not get cold feet just before going out in a big bang."

=/\= It would also help explain what happened to Commander Shar'El.  If the device is indeed a psionic inducer designed to focus the thoughts of an individual on a specific traumatic memory, the Commander would have had her mind filled with countless such memories following the knowledge and memories she was given from the ancient machine back on the moon of PI ALPHA III.  It is very easy to imagine that several traumatic memories had been placed in her subconscious and that this device brought them *all* to the surface, shattering the Commander's hold on reality. =/\=

"ANI, restore full communication," Sonja demanded.  "Captain, we may have found something here that could help Commander Shar'El as well as to give us a better idea of what kind of uber sicko we are dealing with in regards to the bombing attempt."


Lorraine Paquette

Lieutenant JG Sonja Paquette

Chief Engineering Officer