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[previous post was "Finding Friends or Fighting Foes"]
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Setting: MASQUERADE DREAMS, Deck 22, Corridor
Stardate: 30153.0525

As the Sec/Tac officer of the USS ANUBIS, Ya'Han had known about some of the details concerning this 'Shadow Protocol'.  Knowing about it though had not prepared her in any way to be right in the middle of a situation that required the protocol to be implemented.

During her time at Starfleet Academy, the protocol had been mentioned a few times in passing, insuring that everyone doing security studies knew about it existence.  The privilege of knowing all of the specific details about this protocol had been reserved to those who followed a course of study more in line with Intel work. Because of this Ya'Han knowledge on that particular matter had been incomplete in many different ways.

As Sonja and Ya'Han made their way to the last known location of their missing officers, the lack of specific knowledge of the black haired woman was filled in by the redheaded engineer who had taken point.  What surprised the Sec/Tac officer the most had been the ease with which her companion had explained the darker aspects of this protocol, namely that stopping the security breach stood higher as a priority than saving the lives of their friends and fellow shipmates.

For the sake of protecting the Federation as a whole, the captured officers were deemed expendable. Insuring that none of the classified information they possessed fell into the wrong hands had been the highest and most important aspect of this protocol, which authorized the use of lethal force.

Although she had not been ready to admit this openly to anyone, there had been no way Ya'Han would be able to 'terminate' either Jayson or Lillie, no matter the situation or reason. She understood the need to insure that no classified information, however small, made it off the Risian cruise ship. Knowing this though, the Sec/Tac could not bring herself to warrant killing her friends in order to do so. Another course of action had to be available to them, and the black haired woman would make sure to find and use it.

"Does the Captain truly intend to kill them?" the black haired woman asked in a trembling whispered voice, low enough she hoped not to be picked up by the subdermal communicator.

"If he had truly wanted to 'terminate' them, you and I would not be here snooping around for clues," the red haired engineer answered in the same whispered voice.  "With the ANUBIS near by, he could have transported all of us back to the ship without any advance warning. From there he could have easily reduced the MASQUERADE DREAMS into a cloud of floating particles. With an official report from SFI as to the presence of a bomber on board, the Risian government would have believed this to be the result terrorist attack. No questions asked."

Ya'Han swallowed hard at the cold and dark image painted by the Chief Engineer, the black haired woman unable to come to terms with both what had been described and the ease with which Sonja had done so.  How could anyone be so casual about what had been described?

The two women had reached their destination when the news about the CMO's true origin was made.  The silence that had followed the Captain's announcement had made it clear that this had been something of great significance, but to the exiled thirteenth daughter of the High Sovereign, the information had actually meant little at first.  Ya'Han was forced to remember several of her classes on aliens civilizations before she finally understood what all the fuss had been about.

"Lillie is Tarellian? I thought they were all dead," Ya'Han whispered to herself, hoping once more that her words had been softly enough spoken to avoid them being transmitted for all to hear.

"Apparently not," Sonja said in reply, matching perfectly her companion's whispered tone of voice. "Although I can see why they would want everyone to believe that. People can be rather cruel when dealing with their own irrational fears."

"Irrational?" Ya'Han asked, still trying to come to terms with the implication of what had been said.

"Listen," Sonja said as she turned on her heels to face the black haired woman. "She made it through Starfleet Academy and was taken on as part of the NEW ALEXANDRIA staff. Obviously they all know something that is above our pay grade. So you can either accept this as a fact and work to save our shipmates before it's too late, or you can head back to the ANUBIS and let me work on my own. We really don't have time to bat this issue around."

The black haired woman looked back at the redhead engineer for several seconds as she rapidly blinked. Never had she expected Sonja to be so dry in her words or opinions, but in the end the Sec/Tac could only be thankful that her friend had been so blunt and direct.

"Sorry," Ya'Han said, lowering her head in shame. Even if the thought and fear had been in her mind for a split second, the Sec/Tac could not help but feel that such a debate should never have taken place in her mind.

"No need to apologise to me, keep that for Lille," Sonja said as she returned her attention to the nearby walls and floor to see if a clue could be found.  "You being able to say that directly to her will mean a lot more. So no more talking and a lot more searching." 

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Hanali Han

Ensign Ya'Han
Chief of Security / Chief Tactical Officer