USS BASTET - Mission 03
The Guide of EPSILON 358
POST INDEX
Post # Character Title
001 Iverson Archeological Mystery
002 Thorquelson The New CMO
003 Valentine Checking In On Things
004 Janeel Mission Analysis
005 Lopez A Friendly Chat
006 Mitshiba Questions Upon Questions
007 Valentine A Game Of Patience
008 Janeel Discussion
009 Lopez A Counselor's Point of View
010 Mitshiba Musical Attraction
011 Janeel Really Roughing It
012 Valentine The Sound of Silence
013 Lopez Too Quiet
014 Janeel Time and Music
015 Mitshiba Another Place, Another Time
016 Lopez Keeping Busy
017 Valentine Music to my Ears
018 Janeel The D'Arsay
019 Valentine Feet in the Sand
020 Mitshiba Rough Times
021 Lopez Bumpy Ride
022 Valentine Nothing but Sand
023 Mitshiba Sensor Malfunction
024 Iverson Past Association
025 Janeel Sands of Madness
026 Bruxa First Patient
027 Valentine A Few Brief Moments
028 Mitshiba From Nowhere to Somewhere
029 Iverson An Explanation
030 Bruxa Mind Test
031 Lopez No More Secrets
032 Valentine Looking for the Music
033 Janeel Getting On Her Nerves
034 Mitshiba Helping Out
035 Valentine Temporal Entanglement
036 Janeel A Storm Approaches
037 Mitshiba Sound Effect
038 Iverson Not So Loud
039 Bruxa Silent Darkness
040 Lopez Going Nuts
041 Thorquelsson Never Getting That Promotion
042 Janeel Theoretical Thinking
043 Valentine Songs of the Past
044 Bruxa Graceful Workings
045 Thorquelsson Messages In The Sand
046 Mitshiba From Good To Bad
047 Bruxa Scrambled Matter
048 Lopez Bad And Good Vibrations
049 Mitshiba Sounding Things Out
050 Janeel Something Odd
051 Bruxa Wondering Why
052 Mitshiba Not What Was Expected
053 Janeel Hook, Line And Sinker
054 Lopez An Observer
055 Thorquelsson Do No Harm
056 Iverson Grand Awakening
057 Valentine Knowledge and Secrets
058 Bruxa Sub-Counselling Session
059 Thorquelsson Prize
060 Mitshiba From Down Below to High Above
061 Valentine Contact
062 Janeel Timelessness
063 Iverson Times Change
064 Bruxa Restful Morning
065 Thorquelsson Ghost Stories
066 Lopez Troubling Sands
067 Janeel Debate in Engineering
M03-P001: USS BASTET: Iverson: Day 01 - 1100 ("Archeological Mystery")
---
"Archeological Mystery"
(Previous Post: "Back Home")
---

Setting: EPSILON 358
Stardate: 32004.1100

For the last six month she had dug through tons and tons of sand, dirt, and things she was not entirely sure of what it was.  EPSILON 358 had been said to be the homeworld of a grand and ancient civilization predating anything that the Federation had been aware of, and yet the lonesome archaeologist had found nothing, Zilch, Nada.

She could not lay fault in her lack of experience, this having been her 12th archeological dig in the last 16 years. The information that led her here had also been confirmed by countless external sources. Everything indicated that this had been the location of the capital city of that civilization, a remarkable metropolis said to be easily visible from space and spoken about for lightyears in all directions.  So why had she found nothing but sand and dirt in those last six months?

As an independent archaeologist she worked alone, well as alone as a woman with two dozen droids could be. This had the advantage of her being able to work on a dig site for days without breaks and without dealing with the discontentment of others, but on the other hand it also meant that there had been no one for her to speak to, no one to comfort her or reassure her when things did not go as she might have hoped. That said though, solitude had never been a stranger to her, the two of them having been the closest of friends for more years than she could or cared to remember.

The 32 years old woman had been studying the markings on a flat rock surface she had just uncovered, trying her best to find some man-made reasoning behind what had clearly been natural marking and erosion.  "I refuse to believe that everything we found before was wrong," she sighed in overflowing frustration.  "This *is* the right place, so why can't we find anything? Even if someone else had managed to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together, there is no way they would have taken the *entire* city without a trace. Even the Borg are not capable of such a feat."

That was when a loud, extremely high pitch screech pierced the silence of the desert, the soundwave having been so strong that it caused the sand to be brought up like a storm.  Fightin both the ear shattering sound and sudden blinding sand storm, the Archeologist reached for the small control on her belt and sent a signal to all of her droids causing them to stop whatever they had been doing.  Although the move had been intended to safeguard her mechanical companions, the end result proved to be far more welcomed and unexpected.

"What happened?" she demanded as she storm died just as quickly as it had begun, the Archeologist doing a quick survey of her working companions after having reactivated them on a self diagnosis protocol.  "Where is 12?" She asked of the others who, as expected by design, remained silent. "*12* where are you? Locate yourself."

A single mechanical hand emerged from behind a distant sand dune, the droid complying with the verbal request as best it could. This prompted the archeologist to move through the fresh surface layer of loose sand as fast as she could, the droid having appeared to be far deeper than expected.  When she finally reached it, the droid was found in the middle of a perfectly circular crater, her mechanical companion resting on what appeared to be a round stone cover with strange markings engraved upon it.

"You found something!" She exclaimed in absolute joy. "*12* you actually found something, but what was that high pitch sound blast?  What were you doing?"

Complying with the question, the small robot resumed what it had been doing before being remotely turned off. Just as the small circular brush at the end of one of its mechanical arms began to spin, a faint whistle sound followed, a sound that the lone Archeologist had heard a thousand times before.  A few seconds after, the faint whistle was joined by a much louder screech, one that quickly increased in intensity causing the sand around the stone cover to be pushed away.

Reaching for the control on her belt once more, she turned all of the droids off, causing the high pitch screech to again stop. Although she had no idea what the noise meant or even what exactly had been its cause, at least she had come to understand how to stop it.

"Alright boy, give me some room," she said to the droid after having once again returned it to active status. "Looks like I needs to look at this cover stone a little more closely."

---
Setting: NEW ALEXANDRIA, Section A, Level 6, Admiral Koniki's Office
Stardate: 32006.1300

The seasoned man read the report once again, trying to carefully weigh his reaction and what he would do next.  EPSILON 358 had been a distant desert world, one that held absolutely no Intel value, but the signal that had been picked up coming from it had changed all that.  As the head of the NEW ALEXANDRIA complexe, Charles N. Koniki had been able to easily keep track of the archaeologist and her work, the woman not having been one to move all that frequently.  

This particular dig had seemed to be like the other 11, a valiant effort to see what secrets the past of a foreign distant world located beyond the borders of the Federation held. The woman had been relentless and stubborn in her quest for answers, traits that he silently admired from a distance. During the last six months of that particular archeological expedition, nothing had been found, but that had suddenly changed forcing the Admiral to make a difficult decision.

Normally he would not have even considered stepping in, but the faint temporal distortions of the subspace transmission that was picked up had made it impossible for him to ignore the continued work of the lone woman and her droids.

=/\= Admiral Koniki, =/\= the voice of the receptionist to the head of the complexe echoed through the room, =/\= Captain Iverson is here to see you as per your request, =/\= Allyson added, her voice as cheerful as it had always been.

"Send her in," Koniki ordered as he turned the PADD containing the report off so as to insure that Selene Iverson would not see anything that she had not needed to, not that the woman had been ignorant of anything happening within the complexe.

"You have a mission for us Admiral?" the Captain queried, her tone barely bordering on enthusiastical.

"Federation deep space listening probes have picked up a strange transmission from EPSILON 358, a barren desert world out in the middle of unclaimed space near the center of the galaxy," the Admiral reported.

"The signal contained either some type of temporal or dimensional signature or you would not have called for me," Iverson pointed out drawing a slightly annoyed expression from the Admiral who had realized he was becoming far more predictable than he had wanted to the Captains serving under him.

"Some sort of temporal acoustic resonance," Koniki further explained. "The signal was exceptionally weak and would not have even been found by anyone just listening in. It was enough though to get our attention, hence why you and the BASTET are being sent is."

"We will be on our way within the hour Sir," Iverson stated having already pivoted on her heels to head out of the office of the Admiral.

"Selene," the Admiral called out causing the Captain to come to a dead stop, only her head having turned to look back at the sitting Commanding Officer.  "There is only one person on that planet, the one likely who was responsible for triggering that signal in the first place. The archeologist is Alexandria."

"An interesting complication," Captain Iverson noted without showing any sign of emotion.  "We will get there as fast as we can and make sure that she is alright. I am sure we will be able to come up with a valid story as to why we are there in the meantime."

"Thank you," the Admiral noted, glad to see that the woman had understood the added delicate nature of their mission.

---
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32006.1315

"Where are we being sent to this time?" Commander Valentine asked, the entire bridge staff having been waiting on pins and needles for the return of the Captain.

"As long as we are not sent to some distant past to collect more historical evidence on the family of some never-before-heard-of alien diplomat I will be happy," the Intel Liaison Officer and Mission Specialist pointed out, Janeel still finding it extremely difficult to deal with any sort of temporal travel.

"Commander Jannel, we will need all of the information you can get on EPSILON 358," the Captain stated as she took her seat in the center of the bridge. "Lieutenant Mitshiba, I will need you to look into the temporal harmonics that was found originating from that world which is located near the center of our galaxy. We are being sent in to investigate as well as secure the safety of the archeological survey team present there."

"Temporal harmonics?" Misaki repeated with piqued interest. "Could be a lot of things including some sort of quantum resonance that might not have anything to do with that signal having travelled through time. I will look into it right away."

"Sorry for asking, but why would the Admiral even know that there is an Archeological survey team there?" Counselor Lopez inquired with puzzlement. "I know that the Admiral likes to keep tabs on pretty much everything, but why such a distant world? If not the world, why keep track of that particular survey team? In either case it does not seem to make sense."

"Actually the team consists of a single individual along with a couple dozen specially designed and equipped droids," Captain Iverson answered.

"Alright, so the focus of his interest is that one person, why?" Adrianna continued, her curiosity having taken the better of her.

"Her name is Alexandria," Captain Iverson stated before looking back at the senior officers gathered on the bridge, "and she is the daughter of Admiral Koniki."

A mixture of silent gasps and stunned expressions filled the command deck.

---
Jessica Solarik

Captain Selene Fiona Iverson [Access Character BIO for Selene Iverson]
Commanding Officer
USS BASTET

&

Lieutenant Commander Maya [Access Character BIO for Maya]
Chief Science Officer
USS ANUBIS

"To see the world in a grain of sand,
and a heaven in a wild flower.
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
and eternity in an hour."
- William Blake (British, 1757-1827)
M03-P002: USS BASTET: Arstone: Day 00 - 2200 ("The New CMO")
The New CMO"
(Previous post "Archeological Mystery")
 
--==[/\]==--
Setting: STARBASE 222, Medical Office, Section 2-A Level 23
Stardate: 32002.2200
 
"No, No, No?"
 
Arstone rubbed the sweat from his brow. He had been on shift for over 14 hrs. It looked like it was not about to finish any time soon. STARBASE 222 was in the region of space called the Anaus Expanse on the far edges of the Alpha quadrant, and that meant that the entire medical staff had been beyond busy. Lance shifted across the room to a diagnostics table and entered a sample he was working on, a genetically enhanced virus that was seemingly meant to be sweeping through the station. After a short scan the results came back again negative. "Ensign Craddock please report to lab one".
 
Matthew Craddock was relieved for the change of environment as he had been sitting in Operations for the last 8 hrs and the lack of conversation had been getting to him to a point where he was humming to himself just to get a reaction from the others in the room that had failed miserably. Many of them in the room laughed "Craddock please stop the humming it's starting to grind."
 
He laughed and walked away from the room of people that were in that lab. To be fair his shit was over for now any way he would be back on Beta shift tomorrow.  Lance seemed to get stuck in a mindset with the current condition.
 
"Come on people there has to be a reason this isn't working? " He exclaimed rubbing his head above his eyes.
 
=^= Ensign Arstone please report to the Ops center, Commanding officers Lounge.=^=
 
"Great what now?" he thought. As he left he turned to the nearest doctor "Ensign Cladwell you're in charge till I get back."
 
She replied cheerfully, "Aye sir."
 
With that he was gone to the ops center which was 12 decks up so he took the time to relax and regain his thoughts. The turbo lift took him directly to where was requested to be. As he expected the Ops center was brimming with people all busy doing the stations bidding. Some one saw him arrive, "Lance the boss is waiting to see you he will see you asap." Nodding his acceptance he rang the door chime and waited to be greeted he heard the 'come-on-and-get-your-butt-in-here-now' speech.
 
"Ah Arstone. I am afraid I have some good news and some bad news for you."
 
Lance looked worried for second. "Like what?" He said with a little contempt.
 
Captain Lew smiled. "Don't look so worried. You have been promoted to Chief Medical officer not here though on the USS BASTET for now you will remain at your current rank but thats not to say your new CO won't change that. It will be a sad thing to lose such a talented medic but I am sure that our loss is Bastet's gain. you have around 1hr till your shuttle departs. Good Luck Mr Arstone." With that Lance left time was ticking.
 
--==[/\]==--
Setting: USS BASTET, Shuttle Bay
Stardate: 32006.1030
 
Lance had finally boarded the USS BASTET after several trips from STARBASE 222 to various other ships and shuttles. He was to end up as the Chief Medical Officer of the ship. A position of great importance to the man's career. A shuttle had been commandeered to take Ensign Lance Arstone to his new home and career. The Journey was uneventful as his final destination had not been too far from his starting location. He had been told that the ship had completed its current mission.
 
Lance was lost in deep sleep when he was gently awoken by the shuttle pilot, "Sir, we are approaching the USS BASTET."
 
Lance pulled himself awake, rubbing his eyes and stretching himself. "Thank you Crewman Kennedy for the smooth flight." He gave the man a smile and once the shuttle had landed he got his gear and headed down to the ramp to his quarters.
 
As he departed the shuttle he took in surroundings the smells and the sounds. He noted as he was walking that people gave him a cursory look wondering who he was and what was he doing here on their ship. Lance was not dressed in uniform so he could understand the reason of their suspicion. He found the deck that his room was situated on and he quickly stowed the gear that hand brought by hand. Other bits and bobs would be dropped to him later on for now he needed a shower and get into his uniform
 
--==[/\]==--
Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 32006.1130
 
Soon he had gotten himself ready to go to sickbay. He entered the room which was quiet other than the odd machine beeping and a cough of a crew man who was trying to get his breath back. Lance walked over to the man, "Here drink this," as he handed him a glass of water. The man seemed to control his coughing. Lance took a look at his O-B-S "Sorry, I am Doctor Arstone the ship's new Chief Medical Officer."
 
The man looked a little more relaxed.  "Thank you Doctor I feel a little better now."
 
Lance walked away from the man allowing him to rest he headed to the left of the room where he saw his office. It wasnt the biggest office he had been in but it was all his. He sat down in the chair and took stock of what  he was now looking after. He smiled and stood up stretched, "This is the life. I have finally made it." Lance took some time to get to where he was today. A place that others would say he would never get to. But now he was the one who was laughing. Ensign Lance Arstone, Chief Medical Officer of the USS BASTET. In years past Lance was concerned that he would ever reach the goal, his dream. He started to think back to his friends and family wondering what they would be doing doing now. It was around 12.PM and he started to feel hungry. The only downside of this was that he had not checked in with the Commanding officer yet or even got his access to the ship's computer so for now he was stuck the hunger would have to wait for now.
 
--==[/\]==--
Steve Oxlade

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET
M03-P003: USS BASTET: Valentine: Day 03 - 1345 ("Checking In On Things")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Checking In On Things"
[previous post (The New CMO)]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: USS BASTET, Corridor
Stardate: 32006.1345

With the BASTET on its way to EPSILON 358 to investigate some strange temporal harmonics and to check in on the lone Archeologist, Sarena had decided to check in on some of the ship's departments.  As the Executive Officer it had been her duty to insure the smooth workings of the crew, and because of this the Medical Department along with their new Chief Medical Officer had been first on her list.

As she made her way there though, her mind could not stop wandering to the one piece of information that had taken everyone by complete surprise. The Archeologist had been none other than the daughter of Admiral Koniki, a man who no one knew even had a family.  The only match to this surprise had been the fact that their Captain had been aware of this, hinting to Iverson and Koniki sharing a past that again no one knew about.

Sarena figured that during the course of their mission more would surface on this matter, shedding some light on the puzzling mystery, but for the time being the Executive Officer needed to focus on the task at hand.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 32006.1355

Commander Valentine stepped into Sickbay to find their new Chief Medical Officer, Ensign Lance Arstone, hard at work in the office of the CMO, the man likely reviewing the medical dossiers of the staff.

"Good day Doctor Arstone," the woman offered in a commanding yet friendly manner. "Glad to see that you are making yourself comfortable on board the BASTET. I am the Executive Officer, Commander Sarena Valentine. Allow me to welcome you aboard."

Lance looked up from the PADD that had been in his hands before quickly standing to attention to greet the woman possessing an air of mystery about her. "Thank you," the CMO nodded and smiled, "the honor is all mine and i hope that I will prove myself worthy of the position to which i have been assigned to."

"I am sure you will," Valentine smiled back.  "I hope that you have found everything to be satisfactory."

"My quarters and this Sickbay are beyond satisfactory," Lance stated with glee, "but now that you mention it there is one small problem that is actually my fault as I failed to report directly to you or our captain upon my arrival on board the BASTET."

"A problem?" Sarena questioned, not sure as to what sort of issue their new CMO could have been referring to.

"I believe that I do not have computer access allowing me to, amongst other things, get something to eat from the food replicator," Ensign Arstone explained.

Sarena chuckled as she made her way to the food replicator located inside the CMO's office. "Computer, one cup of hot black coffee, no sugar."

Lance watched with surprise as the woman, his superior officer and second in command of the ship he had been assigned to actually brought him a steaming cup of coffee just the way he liked it.

"Ensign Arstone, please allow me to explain something to you," the Executive Officer said as she deposited the cup in from of the still standing Doctor. "The BASTET is not a run-of-the-mill ship operating under the banner of Starfleet. Your clearance and access to all of the systems on board this vessel were arranged long before your arrival. If it had not, you would not have been permitted to even set foot on the ship, let alone casually stroll your way to your quarters and make it here to Sickbay afterwards.  In time you will come to fully understand why, but for now let me just say that these security measures are in place because of a few very special and unique pieces of equipment on board."

"My apologies," Lance offered, certain that he had done something wrong judging by the tone of the woman standing on the other side of his desk.

"No worries Ensign," Sarena smiled. "The BASTET as a whole does take some getting use to, especially when you get to see what she can do in the domain of *time and space*. In the meantime continue familiarizing yourself with the medical dossiers, once you are done you can come up to the bridge to meet the other members of the senior staff."

Lance froze as he tried to figure out what the Executive Officer had meant by her emphasis on the 'time and space' words, watching the woman leave his office without him being able to add anything.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Setting: USS BASTET, Main Engineering
Stardate: 32006.1410

Commander Valentine's next stop had been in Main Engineering, more specifically to check in on the Dimensional Jump Drive and Temporal Drive, the two pieces of equipment which gave the ship the ability to not only travel to other dimensions but through time itself.  It was because of these devices that the BASTET had been the type of ultra classified vessel it was, and why also it was sent on missions that no other should would be considered for.

Although EPSILON 358 had been in this dimension and timeline, the faint temporal harmonics picked up from that planet by the deep space Federation listening post had made the BASTET the one and only ship deserving of the investigation.  The fact that the Archeologist, whose name had been Alexandria, had also been the Admiral's daughter had sealed the choice of ship and crew for this mission.

As she confirmed the operational status of the two devices, Sarena could only hope that this would be a simple mission that would not lead them to yet another round of mind-numbing psychological reviews upon their return.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Karen Price

Executive Officer
USS BASTET, NCC 74977
M03-P004: USS BASTET: Janeel: Day 03 - 1400 ("Mission Analysis")
=-=
"Mission Analysis"
[previous post was "Checking In On Things" by the dutiful Karen]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32006.1400

The ship's database had very little available on the world to which the USS BASTET and its crew had been heading for. The planet designated as EPSILON 358 had been a distant mystery surrounded by fantasies and flat out fiction, far more than any real or concrete evidence that had been found.

Federation deep space probes had reported the world as being one massive H-Class desert deprived of any life despite there being a breathable atmosphere for most humanoid races including Terrans.  That had likely been the source of the wild and often conflicting stories or legends that the ILO / Mission Specialist had been forced to sort through during her research.  There had even been a religious movement started on EARTH in 2351 which claimed that EPSILON 358 had been the birthplace of all Humanoid civilizations, this after the findings from a Orion Science probe became public showing that the planet had been one of the oldest worlds known to the UFP's scientific community.

The lack of any visible surface evidence of a civilization having been on that planet, combined with the often harsh desert-like conditions covering the greater majority of that world led many to believe that some terrible cataclysm had befallen the inhabitants. Whatever global devastation had taken place, it had likely buried any proof of their existence deep below the constantly shifting sands. A handful of survey teams were sent to check things out but none ever reported having found the slightest proof of a civilization having been on EPSILON 358, be it on the surface or deep below the only imposing sandy ocean.  Those findings though did nothing to stop the rumors, legends and stories which surrendered that planet and the would-be civilization that was claimed to have once been there.

Janeel had to agree that the strange and intermittent electromagnetic readings from that world did lend themselves to supporting some of the wilder theories.  The greatest mysteries had been the archeological discoveries on other planets pointing back to EPSILON 358 as having been the point of origin of certain beliefs, art and music, which would have been impossible without a civilization having been there in the first place.

Most notable had been the 'Quiet Symphony of Aar', an elaborate musical masterpiece said to have been created centuries before the earliest records of life on any of the worlds known to the Federation.  Although no composer had ever been associated with this unique musical arrangement, the stories and legends clearly pointed to EPSILON 358 as the home of its creator. Giving at it was highly improbable that the planet itself had been responsible for this, the only other possibility had been that someone, at some point in time, had indeed called that planet their home.

The more the ILO / Mission Specialist researched the details and scattered history of EPSILON 358, the more she had to concede that there had been something odd that did not quite add up.  There had been something strange about that world, something lost over several millennia which only gave credit to the legends and stories that had been created to explain what no one, at the time, could make sense of.  Strange music-like sounds being heard as storms covering more than half the planet's surface raged for months at a time. Completely vacant sensor readings where people swore having seen something that could only be classified as an apparition or ghost.  Unexplainable lines appearing on the sand with no accountable reason for their appearance or vanishing.

The greatest mystery had been how a breathable atmosphere had come to be on a planet with no vegetation or other signs of the manufacturing of oxygen and nitrogen? Why had a seemingly barren world with no signs of having been home to any civilization be so clearly mentioned in the history of other worlds as the point of origin to so many artistic creations?  Had the stories truly been simple fantasies told by parents to their children to amaze them or had these ghosts been at some point real, and if so why had not proof of their existence even been found?

If it had not been for the location of that world, the ILO / Mission Specialist had been sure that the planet would have been a favorite of the archeological society, but the lack of any nearby inhabited planet as well as the unpredictable surface conditions had made it a location to best be avoided.  Still Janeel could understand the appeal that Alexandria had likely given into, hense why she had made he way there to peal back the layers of this very old mystery.

The latest reports from EPSILON 358 showed some faint temporal harmonics which Lieutenant Mitshiba had been quick to explain as having possibly been from some naturally occurring phenomenon. As much as the odds might have been against this having been another time-related disturbance, the Admiral had sent the BASTET in to investigate, likely more because of his daughter than anything else.  In the end either the crew would find a lonesome archeologist caught in some strange and weird natural event, or they would uncover a never before discovered part of a mystery that had kept everyone puzzled for thousands of years.

=-=
Setting: EPSILON 358
Stardate: 32006.1400

It had roughly been 48 terran hours since the discovery of the cover stone and so far Alexandria had been unable to make any sense of the markings that were on it or to get it to budge in the slightest.  The varied sensors of the droids which had accompanied her on this expedition had found nothing, and by that the archeologist meant that the stone did not register on any of her instruments. It had been as if the stone had not even been there despite what her senses of sight and touch said.

After six months she had not been ready to give up after having found something more than sand, so she sat next to the cover stone, her legs crossed and her eyes fixated on the markings. Maybe, just maybe she would come across something familiar, something that would lead her in a direction that would permit some sort of understanding of what she had discovered and its meaning. 

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET

Lieutenant Commander Shar'El [Access Character BIO for Shar'El]
Acting Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS
M03-P005: USS BASTET: Lopez: Day 03 - 1500 ("A Friendly Chat")
-=-=-
"A Friendly Chat"
[Previous post: "Mission Analysis"]
-=-=-

Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 32006.1500

Things had been quiet on the BASTET, the command staff had been busy with figuring out all they could about EPSILON 358 leaving the rest of the crew to deal with their duties.  As the ship's Counselor, Adriana Lopez had been in charge of the crew's emotional health and the evaluation of their morale. That had been the official reason why she had made her way to Sickbay, the unofficial reason having been nothing more than to meet their new CMO and introduce herself.

"Lieutenant Lopez," Lance greeted the Counselor as soon as he took notice of her arrival into his domain. "Come on in, what can I do for you?"

"I just came by to say hi and to see if there was anything that I could do to help in order to make you feel more at ease," Adriana replied, noting to herself that it appeared their new Chief Medical officer had not needed any help.

"Just been cataloging the medical supplies and making myself better acquainted with the senior staff by reviewing their medical files as per the recommendations of Commander Valentine," Ensign Arstone explained with a smile.  "In fact I was just about to head up to the bridge to meet our Captain and the rest of the senior officers, at least those who have not yet come by Sickbay to check up on me."

"Was it that obvious?" The Counselor grinned, the Doctor having easily seen through her not-so maniacal plan.

"There are a great many things that differ from the workings of a starbase and that of a ship," Lance detailed as he placed the PADD that had been in his hand down on the nearest working station.  "STARBASE 222 was a great place to work in, and I am sure that the BASTET will prove to be just as a great place to be, but no matter the location, there are certain jobs that will always stay the same.  Being a Counselor, just as being a Doctor, tends to mean the exact same thing regardless of where you are."

"Having the focus of our field of studies being people will do that," Adriana nodded in agreement. "Scientific research will change depending on what it is that is being studied; The duties of the Engineering and Operations departments will greatly vary on whether or not something is stationary or moving, and the speed at which it moves will also be a variable factor; same goes for Security which could be dealing with endless possibilities of problems depending on where they are."

"Let's not forget the Command staff," Lance added as he walked up to the standing Counselor. "Every ship, every base operates differently and the Command staff is responsible to stay on top of everything no matter what those differences are.  Then there is us, the Medical and Counseling departments who deal with individuals.  I fix broken bones, and you fix broken minds, but it doesn't matter where we might be since a bone will always be a bone, and a mind will always be a mind."

"I agree," Counselor Lopez chuckled, "although I would not have made it sound quite as simple as you did.  Minds, just as a body, is a complex organism that may need a great deal of attention in order to be fixed."

"True," Doctor Arstone conceded, "but it is easier, for the most part, for a Doctor or a Counselor to go from one type of posting to another, that is as long as the majority of the people we are asked to *fix* are the same as those we did before."

"You have nothing to worry about Doctor," Adriana reassured with a smile. "It is the aliens we deal with that are the interesting variables that we have to deal with, this all depending on who and what we end up encountering on our missions."

"Which brings me to a question that I have been pondering since Commander Valentine left Sickbay," Lance began as he slide to stand right next to the Counselor. "Our First Officer mentioned something about my having to get used to this ship's dealing with *time and space*. Could I ask what she meant?"

"I'll explain on our way to the bridge," Counselor Lopez offered as she invited the new Chief Medical Officer to follow her as she escorted him to the BASTET's command deck to meet the other members of the senior staff.

-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor
USS BASTET
M03-P006: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: Day 03 - 1500 ("Questions Upon Questions")
"Questions Upon Questions"
Previous post: "A Friendly Chat"

///^\\\
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32006.1500

While Commander Janeel had been busy researching everything there was on EPSILON 358, the CSciO had been studying the temporal harmonics which had originated from that same world.  Aki had not been sure how the ILO's research had been going, but this one had not proven to being easy in any way.

Mitshiba had confirmed that the signal had been as stated, a complex temporal harmonics, but because it had been so faint, there had been little more she had been able to say about the odd signal.  Had it originated from EPSILON 358? Most likely based on the sensor telemetry provided by the Federation deep space probe which had detected the signal. Had the signal contained temporal elements? Most definitively, the sensors having picked up unmistakable tachyon and quantum shifts indicative of some sort of temporal event. Had the signal contained harmonic resonances? Again absolutely, although faint the pitch and repeated rhythm present in the signal had almost made it seem like music.

Unfortunately that had been the extent of her knowledge and discoveries on the matter, questions such as 'who or what had created the signal?', "what had been the purpose of the signal?", and "how had it come to originate from what had been considered a completely dead world?' all still remained unanswered.

Aki decided to take a small break from the analysis of the signal, instead focussing on an entirely different set of questions, namely the daughter of Admiral Koniki.  When had he gotten a daughter? As far as the CSciO had been concerned, the man had never married or even been in a relationship.  Had the name given to their base of operation been an acknowledgement to his daughter? The similarities had been too obvious to be dismissed. Who had been the woman's mother and lastly why had Alexandria become an archeologist who ventured to the absolute limits of known space? Neither one of those questions could be answered, at least not without a great deal more information which Mitshiba suspected the Admiral would be most unwilling to share.

The odds had been in favor of Koniki having kept the existence of his progeny a secret so as to protect both himself and her.  As a man who had been involved in the world of Intel for as long as anyone could recall, it had made perfect sense for the Admiral to have hidden his daughter from the general public as well as those closest to him. Alexandria would have proven to be a possible weakness and target to be exploited by anyone wanting to control Koniki, and by such her life would have been in immediate danger should anyone knew who her father had been.

Of course this raised an entirely different set of questions, one that proved to be even more puzzling than the rest.  Why had the Captain been aware of the Admiral having a daughter? The age difference between Iverson, Koniki and his daughter made it highly unlikely that Selene had been Alexandria's mother or even sister, although having someone like the Admiral as a member of one's family would have gone a long way to explain many aspects of the BASTET's Commanding Officer.

No, it was far more likely that something in both their pasts had brought Admiral Koniki and Captain Iverson together on the efforts to have Alexandria's existence be shielded from the rest of the universe, hence why she had likely taken on the isolated responsibilities and travel schedule of an ancient civilization archeologists.  With all of these unanswerable questions though there had still been one more which troubled the CSciO above all others. Did Alexandria even know who her father was?

As a fatherless woman the archeologist would have accepted certain truths throughout her life which made it even more important now to keep those concepts intact by not revealing to her the identity of her father, and even less the role he played as the head of Starfleet Intelligence and of the NEW ALEXANDRIA secret base of operation.

The opening of the turbolift doors snapped Aki out of her question induced daze, and with a smile she greeted the return of their Ship's Counselor who had been accompanied by an Ensign whom Aki could only guess had been their new Chief Medical Officer.

///^\\\
Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Misaki Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Chief Science Officer
USS BASTET - NCC 74977
M03-P007: USS BASTET: Valentine: Day 03 - 1600 ("A Game Of Patience")
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"A Game Of Patience"
[previous post (Questions Upon Questions)]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: EPSILON 358
Stardate: 32006.1600

The cover stone refused to give up its secrets but the Archeologist had not been ready to abandon her quest, the answers to her questions having been too close for her to not press on. Alexandria had tried everything that she could come up with short of having one of her droids self destruct while on top of the only sign of civilization that had discovered on the planet.  For obvious reasons that had not been an option beyond the fact that the droids had become more than simple machines over the many years that had shared together.

Still faced with the same predicament, Alexandria ran her finger over the small line that seemed to separate the cover stone with the outer edge. The seal had perfect, impervious to all of her attempts to slide something between the two stone-made structures. The fit had been so tight that she even wondered if maybe there had been an opening at all.  Without any way to see beyond what her eyes could detect, there had been little more she could do.

Again she ran her hand on the surface, tracing with the utmost care and gentleness the mysterious markings. The circular cover had been perfect in every way, not having shown the slightest decay or erosion which would have been customary to see in a stone-made structure as old as this had been believed to be.  The markings on it had been old, that much Alexandria could tell even though she could not make sense of the symbols, but the more she studied it the more she began to question the actual origin of the discovery.

The civilization that had been said to have called EPSILON 358 its home had been ancient by any measures of time, so why had the cover stone appeared as if it had been carved only a few days ago, if not hours?  Every effort to scan the only discovery they had made had come back empty as if the stone had not even been there. Could there be some sort of advanced technology at play below the surface hindering her scanning instruments? If that had indeed been the case it would explain why no one else had discovered anything, but such a dampening field should at the very least shown up on some instruments as the result of an expenditure of energy.  As far as all of her scans and droids had been concerned, this world had been as dead as could be.

If she was to accept all of the sensor readings as accurate, however deprived of data they might have been, Alexandria had to consider other explanations to account for what had been discovered.  Could there be a shielded power source somewhere beneath the surface, one meant to keep the secrets of this world hidden from the outside world?  The possibility had been there, but to consider that such a power source and equipment would have been in operation for millennia made it difficult to accept.  Certainly over the passing centuries some flaws would have creeped into the sensor dispersion field making the shield itself able to be detected if not the secrets that it had been set into place to protect.

Another option, one that seemed far more likely, had been that the rocks of EPSILON 358 possessed some sort of natural sensor dispersion properties. This would again explain why no one had even been able to detect anything using instruments, but it failed to account for the prestine condition of the cover stone, especially given that all other rock formation that had been discovered had displayed all of the expected signs of natural abuse suffered over time.

The puzzle faced by the archeologist had remained as intact as the cover stone had, and by the looks of things neither had been ready to reveal their long-kept secrets any time soon.

Needing to take a break, Alexandria called one of her droids closer. Number 8 had begun to make some rather strange noises, likely due to the sand having found its way into the mechanical parts of the small robot.  Although the droids had been designed to be weather proof, sand always seemed to find a way into the most unlikely of places.

As she began to work on cleaning the affected parts, a faint, barely audible whistling sound came from the droid. As she reached for another tool from her kit to address this issue, Alexandria noticed something strange, the markings on the cover stone were changing.  Forgetting about the droid entirely, she diverted her full attention to the changing symbols, something that should not have been. At first the archeologist believed this to be the result of her tired eyes, or maybe some sort of optical illusion caused by the sand and light, but the more she watched the more the symbols continued to change.

"Do me a favor 8, turn everything off except for primary power and processor."

The droid complied putting a stop to the faint whistling sound which caused the symbols on the cover stone to also stop changing.  Could it be? Could the cover stone be made of some living rock, one that responded to sounds?  As she explored this possibility, Alexandria recalled the way the storm prior to the discovery of the cover stone had started and ended all of a sudden after the spinning brush of another droid had been used to clear their discovery.  At that time too the mechanical tool had produced a whistling sound, that one much louder.  Had there been a relationship between sound and the surround sands to the cover stone?

This latest discovery rekindled the archaeologist's hopes that an answer had been within her grasp, moreso now than ever before.

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Karen Price

Executive Officer
USS BASTET, NCC 74977
M03-P008: USS BASTET: Janeel: Day 04 - 0900 ("Discussion")
=-=
"Discussion"
[previous post was "A Game of Patience" by the understanding Karen]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32007.0900

EPSILON 358 had still been several days away but the focus of the entire ship had been on that one particular world and the archeologist they were being sent to hopefully only check up on.  The temporal harmonics that had been detected and brought that world the forefront had not appeared to be dangerous in any way, but the presence of the Admiral's daughter on that same world, a woman that no one had known anything about, had greatly raised the stakes and urgency of this mission.

"Any luck in reaching here through subspace channels?" Commander Valentine asked, the woman appearing somewhat reluctant in using the archaeologist's last name.

"No reply as of yet to any of our hails," the ILO / Mission specialist replied having been placed in charge of establishing contact with the Admiral's daughter.

"Are we sure she has a comm system with her?" the First Officer inquired, her frustration with the continued silence having almost reached its boiling point.

"She actually has several," Janeel explained. "According to her equipment manifest, three of her droids are equipped with complete communication arrays including universal translators and linguistic deciphering algorithms.  The woman is ready to deal with pretty much anything that she might come across."

"Maybe she doesn't want her location and presence known," Misaki theorized. As a fellow scientist, Mitshiba could understand the desire to keep one's potential discoveries a secret for as long as possible to insure no one could take credit that had not been theirs.

"She is very much like her father in that regards, that she realizes it or not," the Captain announced hinting again to a much deeper knowledge of the woman than anyone could have expected.

"Which part are you referring to?" the Counselor Lopez asked.

"All of them," Captain Iverson replied, her voice as steady and calm as it had always been.

"You do realize that with comments like those you will have to tell us how it is that you know so much about Alexandria, a woman whom despite our having known her father, we all knew absolutely nothing about," Sarena argued, the lack in her own knowledge, one shared by everyone else with the exception of their CO had been another point of frustration.

"I would not go as far as to say that we *know* the Admiral," Janeel pointed out. "The man is a riddle, wrapped in an enigma buried under several layers of mystery.  What we do know of him as and will likely continue to be what he has chosen for us to be aware of and nothing else."

"It's complicated," Selene added, her eyes locked on the streakin stars being displayed on the main view screen located at the front of the bridge.

"Of course it's complicated," the First Officer chuckled as she shook her head. "We are speaking about the daughter of our own Admiral Charles N. Koniki. There is nothing about that man that is *not* complicated, so why would the relationship to his only daughter be any different?"

"Commander," the ILO / Mission Specialist jumped in with, grinning from ear to ear. "There is no record of Miss Alexandria being the Admiral's *only* child. Given that there are no official records of her being related to him in any manner, there is a good possible that there are other children of his out there who also do not have any official records linking them back to him."

"You know," Counselor Lopez joined in, "I am already having a hard time seeing the Admiral as having been at any time a father figure to a single child, let alone him sitting at home in some comfy chair with several little ones running around, trying to get his attention and calling him 'dada'."

"That is an unsettling thought," Misaki agreed, the discussion about the Admiral and his daughter having taken a much lighter tone. "Imagine never having been able to keep *any* secrets from your father, the man knowing each and every detail of every aspect of your life regardless of how private you might have wanted them to be."

"Well," Adriana continued, "it would explain why she decided to become an archeologist who favors going alone to distant worlds, putting as many light years between herself and her past.  I can only imagine how a counselling session with Miss Alexandria would go," the Counselor added finding that she too seemed reluctant to use the woman's last name directly linking her to the Admiral.

"I very much doubt that it would be that easily explained," the First Officer countered as she continued to watch their Captain's reaction to their discussion.  Iverson had always been a cold woman who never allowed her emotions to be visible, but somehow she had managed to appear even more so while the rest of the senior staff on the bridge talked about a woman they all knew next to nothing about.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET

Lieutenant Commander Shar'El [Access Character BIO for Shar'El]
Acting Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS
M03-P009: USS BASTET: Lopez: Day 04 - 1000 ("A Counselor's Point of View")
-=-=-
"A Counselor's Point of View"
[Previous post: "Discussion"]
-=-=-

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32007.1000

After the short discussion, silence had returned to the bridge of the BASTET, each and every officer lost in their own thoughts and duties.  Based on the way she appeared, Mitshiba had been busy with trying to make sense of the temporal harmonics that had started this entire story. As a scientist this had been her focus and the one aspect of their mission she could work one with some sort of base knowledge.

On the other hand, Commander Valentine had seemed far more interested in the archeologist herself, more specifically her link to Admiral Koniki and the reasons why her very existence had been kept a complete secret.  Adriana could only imagine how the fact that Captain Iverson knew about the daughter bothered the First Officer, their CO having remained as tight lipped as ever about the details she had been aware of in this case.

Lieutenant Commander Janeel seemed to be caught in the middle of this story, trying her best to find out more on both Alexandria and EPSILON 358 but having little success on either front.  This of course left Adriana, as the Ship's Counselor, to look at everyone and try to figure what emotions and issues were at play in each of their actions and reactions.

"I will admit, you are part of a very interesting crew," Amanda chuckled, the comment from the missing twin sister having been heard only by the Counselor who because of where she was simply closed her eyes and remained silent.  "Now be honest Sis, you are looking forward to meeting this Alexandria and finding a way to figure out how much she actually knows about her father.  I can see it in your eyes, you wan to peel away the layers of her history to find out exactly what caused her to become the person she is."

Adriana did her best to ignore the image of her sister, focussing her gaze onto the silent tranquile figure of the woman in command of the BASTET.

"Of course," Amanda chimed in with more, "let's not forget trying to discover how Captain Iverson and Alexandria all fit into this drama.  That woman knows a lot more than she is letting on and I think she is actually enjoying taking you all for a ride.  Who knows, maybe she is doing all this on purpose to see how everyone is going to react to her having a secret from all of you, or maybe she is trying to see if anyone will be able to put the pieces of the puzzle together without her having to spoon feed the answer.  Like I said, you are part of a very interesting crew. Not sure which of you all is the craziest, but you are certainly an interesting bunch."

Counselor Lopez scanned the members of the bridge staff, taking into account what her sister had said.  If the prize for the greatest achievement in the field of 'crazy' needed to be bestowed onto any one of them, Adriana had to admit that there had been only one senior officer truly deserving of such a prize.  Herself.  After all, she had been the one who was carrying repeated daily conversations with the image of a sister whom had vanished from her life at the tender age of 6.

"Captain," Misaki called out with a certain tone of urgency.  "We are receiving new telemetry from the probe near EPSILON 358. It seems that the temporal harmonics have increased in frequency and intensity.  I have no way to know what this means, but it is clear that something is happen to cause this."

"Can we increase speed?" Captain Iverson asked.

"We might be able to divert a little more power to the engines, but it will mean cutting power to other systems.  Life on board might get a little rough for a while," the First Officer replied.

"Counselor," Iverson started as she turned to look at Adriana. "How do you think the crew would react if we diverted power from basic living conditions to allow us to reach our destination faster?"

"Captain, you already know the answer to that," Lopez replied in a perfectly professional manner. "The crew trusts your judgement implicitly and if you believe that reaching EPSILON 358 is important enough to call for certain personal sacrifices to be made, I can assure you that no one will argue, be it openly or behind closed doors."

"Thank you Counselor. It is still nice to get the opinion of someone else from time to time," Selene explained. "No one should ever take the ideas and devotion of others for granted.  Commander Valentine, see that we get as much speed out of our engines and inform the crew that we will be *roughing it* for a while."

"Roughing it?" Amanda chuckled as she looked at her twin sister.  "The crew might not be so willing to accept this when they learn that it was because of your opinion that they are *roughing it* all the way to EPSILON 358."

-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor
USS BASTET
M03-P010: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: Day 04 - 1130 ("Musical Attraction")
"Musical Attraction"
Previous post: "A Counselor's Point of View"

///^\\\
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32007.1130

There had been no doubts about it, the signal from EPSILON 358 had changed, grown stronger.  Instead of a few faint musical notes lost on the winds of time, the temporal harmonics had become a clear musical composition with its origins far into the distant past.  As strong and clear as the signal had been though, Aki had not been able to make any sense of it, although she had to admit that the rhythm had been very enchanting.

"Anything new?" Commander Valentine asked of the CSciO.

"Nothing on the significance of the signal," Mitshiba replied wishing that she could have given more, but alas that had been the extent of her knowledge and discoveries.  "The one thing I can say beyond that is this, the signal had been so faint that it was by sheer luck that we discovered it the first time, but now every race listening to what is out there is going to pick up that signal."

"So now we are dealing with a race to get to EPSILON 358 before anyone else does," the First Officer sighed, the situation having possessed the potential of being complicated enough without the need to deal with other races rushing in to see what was happening on the distant H-Class world.

"At least we have a head start and at our current speed we should get there first," Commander Janeel said in a hopeful tone.

"Getting there first is only part of the problem," the Captain added. "Getting there in time to avoid any real issue is the main objective at this point."

///^\\\
Setting: EPSILON 358
Stardate: 32007.1145

It had taken almost a full day but Alexandria had finally figured it out, sort of.  The markings on the cover stone changed according to whatever sound waves were coming in contact with it.  The more complex the waves, the more specific the markings became.  A few of her attempts had caused another sand storm but luckily with the understanding of their source it had been easy to simply stop them.  All of this though had not given her access to what had been beyond the seemingly impenetrable seal.

Several of her droids had reported some sort of unspecific ground level vibration as if the planet as a whole had somehow responded to her efforts to get passed the cover stone.  Some might have found this to be troubling, maybe even worth to be scared about, but Alexandria had not been one to frighten easy, not to give up once she had started something. Her perseverance had brought her this far and given what she had discovered there was nothing that would make her step back now.

The only thing that stood in her way was the cover stone, but the question was would it prove itself to be more stubborn than she was?

///^\\\
Setting: Unknown Ship, Science Lab
Stardate: 32007.1215

A three-dimensional map of a region of space filled the center of the room as various monitors on the walls displayed what appeared to be various soundwaves.

"Have you figured out where that annoying noise is coming from?"

"We have identified the source as being an inhabited planet in the EPSILON sector."

In the middle of the three-dimensional display a red circle appeared, drawing the attention of those present to the source of the noise that their instruments had picked up to their great chagrin.  The unnamed planet had been one of countless that had been of no interest to them, until now.

"Are there any indications that this noise will end anytime soon?"

"Impossible to say. We don't even know what caused it to start, let alone how to stop it or if it can be stopped."

"We'll find a way, even if we have to destroy that planet to do so.  I won't be spending any more time then I have to listening to that deafening noise each and every time we try to contact homeworld.  Just give the pilot the exact coordinates, we'll take care of the rest."

The information was quickly transferred to their pilot, clearly identifying the location of the planet that those within the United Federation of Planets had named, in their efforts to give a name to anything and everything they saw, EPSILON 358.

///^\\\
Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Misaki Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Chief Science Officer
USS BASTET - NCC 74977
M03-P011: USS BASTET: Janeel: Day 04 - 1300 ("Really Roughing It")
=-=
"Really Roughing It"
[previous post was "Musical Attraction" by the conspiring Dawn]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32007.1300

"Is it me or has the temperature dropped in here?" Counselor Lopez asked as an uncontrollable shiver swept through her body.

"With the ship's life support working on minimum power, it was bound to get colder," the First Officer confirmed.

"At least you should be feeling a little lighter on your feet," Misaki added with a grin. "The power to the artificial gravity plates has also been reduced."

"Well, I will admit that this is helping me appreciate when things are working at full power," the ILO / Mission Specialist commented, "but we are getting there a lot faster.  I think we have managed to squeeze every ounce or power available into the engines."

"We still need to be careful though," the Captain interjected. "We cannot expect the BASTET or its crew to work like this for too long."

"We shouldn't have to," Janeel pointed out as she confirmed the specifics of her report by looking at the data being displayed on the monitors of the science station.  "At our current increased speed, we should be reaching EPSILON 358 in less than a day."

"That is as long as we don't run into any trouble," Sarena countered with, her experience having more than once pointed to things getting more complicated the faster anything needed to be done.

"What possible trouble could we get into out here?" Adriana questioned.  "We are in the middle of nowhere heading to a planet that barely shows on any stellar map."

"Well," Misaki began, "the new signal from EPSILON 358 is powerful enough to draw the attention of anyone listening."

"Who would come here to investigate?" the Counselor continued. "I mean those races who do have space travel capabilities will likely not bother with this world because it is simply too far, so they will only listen and try to figure out what is going on. For those races who do not have space travel capabilities, they have no other choice but to listen as they try to figure out this mystery. To me it seems like we are going to be the only ones anywhere close to that planet."

"There's always them?" the Chief Science Officer added with a sigh.  "Long range sensors have picked up a ship heading for EPSILON 358, and at their speed they should reach it in four, maybe five days."

"Who the heck would be heading to that planet to investigate some strange temporal harmonics?" Adriana sighed in disbelief.

"Aside from us?" the Captain shot back as she glanced to her First Officer who had already moved to the science station to see if there had been a way to identify the ship's origin and allegiance.

"The long range sensors can tell us much from here, but based on the power distribution and warp signature, I think it is safe to say that we have a pretty good idea of who they are," Mitshiba explained just as Valentine reviewed the same information to come to the same exact conclusion.

"The Gorn!"

"Makes sense," Janeel nodded, "the border to their space is the closest to EPSILON 358, and my best is that they are not heading there to investigate but rather to find a way to stop whatever is causing the temporal harmonics."

"The frequency of those transmission due fall right in the range that would be exceptionally annoying to them," Commander Valentine confirmed.

"Great," Selene sadly began. "Roughing it will take on a whole new meaning when you add a bunch of aggravated Gorns to the mix.

"Roughin it doesn't sound so bad now that I think about it," Adriana admitted with clearly heard nervousness.  "Think we can get in and out before they reach the planet?"

"I am sure that this has become our new primary objective," the ILO / Mission Specialist said.  "Having the Gorn on our backs while trying to figure out what is happening on EPSILON 358 would not be a good thing."

"Not a good thing at all," Iverson agreed.  "See if we can further increase speed.  I'm willing to bet the rest of the crew will be willing to forgot showers and desert if it means avoid the Gorn entirely."

"Better get some blankets out Counselor," Janeel grinned. "I have the feeling things are goin to get a lot colder here for the next several hours."

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET

Lieutenant Commander Shar'El [Access Character BIO for Shar'El]
Acting Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS
M03-P012: USS BASTET: Valentine: Day 04 - 2200 ("The Sound of Silence")
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"The Sound of Silence"
[previous post (Really Roughing It)]
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Setting: BASTET, Valentine's Quarters
Stardate: 32007.2200

With the greater majority of the ship's power having been diverted to the engines, the BASTET had become a space cooler traveling at a speed best left to their CSciO to quantify. Every now and then the entire ship would rattle but this had been explained away as the reduced structural integrity fields working right at the limit of their increased speed.  Finding herself in a cold, dark and occasionally shaking vessel, the Executive Officer had retired to her quarters in the hopes of getting some rest.

Everything that could have been done had been, insuring that they would reach EPSILON 358 well before the Gorn ship that had been detected on long range sensors.  The question of what they would find and do once there had still bee in the air thanks to a complete lack of understanding of the temporal harmonics coming from that world.  Would they discover some strange event caught in a temporal flux beyond what their instruments could make sense of? Would they simply find some sort of strange natural tachyon-based phenomenon leaning towards the audible spectrum of sound?

Whatever they would find as the cause of these temporal harmonics, one question stood above all others: would they find the daughter of Admiral Koniki safe and sound?

Sarena gazed out of a nearby window, the blanket usually found on her bed now tightly wrapped around her to help keep her warm. In about 12 hours they would arrive at EPSILON 358 and all of their questions would then be answered, or at least so she hoped. With the Gorn a few days behind them, it had been best for the BASTET and its crew to find those answers quickly and leave, the Federation having enough problems already without adding more.

The Executive Officer closed her eyes for a brief moment and enjoyed the absolute quietness of the darkness that surrounded her, enjoying it as there had been nothing else for the woman to focus on at that moment.

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Setting: EPSILON 358
Stardate: 32007.2300

The planet had been an odd place in countless ways, the slow polar rotation meant that almost a full 24 hours was spent in the icy dark of night while another 24 hours was spent in the intense light of the day's burning sun. After over 6 months on EPSILON 358, Alexandria had learned to adapt to this, but the middle hours of the long night had still proven to be most difficult ones to adjust to.

Even with the droids providing a source of heat, the tent that she had retired to had still been cold beyond comfort.  Since it had been too dark to continue working on solving the musical mystery of the cover stone, the droids needing the power of the sun to maintain their energy reserves, Alexandria had decided to get some overly due rest.

Laying on her back, covered from head to toe in a thermal sleeping bag, Alexandria was reviewing all of the data she had collected on the shifting glyphs of the cover stone. It was beyond any doubt that sounds held the key, but for now she had been no closer to discovering what specific sequence and/or combination would cause the stone to reveal its long-held secrets.

With the cold nibbling at her extremities, Alexandria eventually put down her data display device an snuggled into a ball to maintain as best she could her body temperature for the longest and coldest next 6 hours or so.

(DREAMSCAPE)

The night stretched for as far as the eyes could see, while the cold reached to the very heart of her soul.  She could feel her body shivering, desperately trying to stay warm in this icy emptiness, and that's when she it. A faint, distant music. one that she instantly recognized as being ancient and alien.

Although she could barely hear it, the sound waves seemed to travel through her body making each and every cell vibrate in a musical symphony the beauty of which could never be truly understood.  Wherever she tried to go, the music would remain faint to the ears while still reaching to her cellular heart of her body as if each and every cell had been desperate to hear this mysterious melody.

In time she found herself standing still in the middle of the perfect void, trying her best to feel the music since actually hearing it had been beyond her reach. At first, the vibration of her cells had been minor, barely noticeable but in time they grew and soon she found herself able to hear the music, not from an outside source but rather from within. She had been the source of the melody she had been working so hard to hear.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Setting: EPSILON 358
Stardate: 32008.0530

With her entire body on the edge of becoming nothing but a giant icicle, Alexandria forced herself awake, seeking any source of heat available.  Several of her droids had used their remaining energy to keep her from freezing to death, and now it had been the task of the others to finish that goal.  As soon as the sun would rise, the droids would be able to recharge, but for now their one and only task had been to warm her beyond the threshold of an icy eternal sleep.

As warmth began to return to her extremities, Alexandria recalled the strange dream she had experienced, and in doing so believed that she had discovered the answer to unlocking the secrets of the cover stone. This theory would be tested as soon as she found herself once again capable of holding her instruments without dropping them due to the numbness of her fingers and hands.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Karen Price

Executive Officer
USS BASTET, NCC 74977
M03-P013: USS BASTET: Lopez: Day 05 - 0600 ("Too Quiet")
-=-=-
"Too Quiet"
[Previous post: "The Sound of Silence"]
-=-=-

Setting: USS BASTET, Corridor
Stardate: 32008.0600

At 0600 no one could have expected things to be noisy, many members of the crew still waking from a night's rest, but this morning had been different for obvious reasons.  With the lights reduced to bare minimum and the artificial gravity working at less than EARTH's standard, Adriana felt as if she had been walking through a dream.

"This is weird," Amanda said to her sister, the illusion of the twin not having left the side of the CNS since she had waken an hour or so.

With the mental projection of her missing sister constantly presented wherever she was, this might have been more of a nightmare than a dream, but as much as Adriana might have grown to despise these never ending chats with her sister, she knew that their absence would be greatly missed.

As she continued her wandering of the dark corridors in search of nothing more than possibly her long gone sanity, Adriana heard a small noise that immediately drew her attention.  Carefully listening for another instance, the CNS found herself concerned that maybe someone or something else had been here with her.

"Paranoia doesn't suit you sis," Amanda chuckled. "You would think that a starfleet officer, one holding the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade, would not be jumping out of her skin each and every time a strange sound was heard."

Adriana glared back at her sister, forgetting for a split second that only she could hear and see the annoying twin sister.  After motioning for Amanda to remain quiet, which by itself had been something strange had anyone else been witness to it, the CNS focussed hr efforts to identify the sound she had heard not that long ago.

"There," Counselor Lopez said out loud, "sounds like a strange sort of instrument trying to be tuned in very slow motion."

"That's just the ship," Misaki said scaring the woman who had not expected anyone else to be there out of her proverbial skin.  "Sorry, didn't mean to frighten you like that," the CSciO added after having seen the effect her unexpected words had on the woman.

"Why did you do that?" Adriana begged as she desperately tried to fill her lungs with the air that had been scared clean out of them.  "You should not be sneaking up on people like that."

"I am truly sorry," Mitshiba said trying her best to not laugh at the sight of the so easily terrified woman.  "You made a comment on the noise and I just thought it would be best for me to clarify instead of leaving you imagine something that was not real. What you heard is the effect of the now stronger temporal harmonics against the hull of the ship. With the artificial gravity plating working at reduced strength and the ship being a lot quieter, we actually get to hear it."

"You mean this is going to get louder the closest to EPSILON 358 we get?" the Counselor asked, not entirely certain that she liked the idea of the darker and colder corridors filled with strange music coming from another world and even possibly time.

"Maybe not that much louder, but the resonance effects do seem to be getting more intense as we approach the planet and point of origin of these temporal harmonics," the CSciO added.  "I for one can't wait for us to get there and discover what is creating them."

"Spoken like a true scientist," Adriana chuckled, glad to feel her heart having returned to a near normal beating rate.

"Don't be such a spoil sport," Misaki smiled back. "You are as curious as everyone else about this mystery, and the fact that we are on a search and rescue mission to find the Daughter of Admiral Koniki or that the Gorn are behind us is in no way getting in the way of what could prove to be an amazing and unexpected discovery."

"Yea sis, don't be a spoil sport. Can't you see that she's beyond excited to rush into what might be your doom?"

"I am trying not to spoil this for some," the CNS said, having only a few specific people in mind as she spoke.  "I just don't find any excitement in walking through a darkened corridor while the ship vibrates because of something that we actually know next to nothing about.

"I see your point," the CSciO agreed with a nod of her head.  "Still, we do have a choice. We can either stay in the dark and be scared to take the slightest step forward, letting our imaginations create nightmares out of what we do not understand, or we can embrace the adventure and every each and every moment to its best.  When you take the time, you can find mysteries and wonders everywhere."

"Again, spoken like a true scientist, but you are right," Counselor Lopez grinned. "There are too many things that get in our way of enjoying the mysteries and wonders of the moment at hand. Sometimes it is best to stop listening to the annoying ramblings that surround us to instead focus on what we would not otherwise even be aware of."

"Wait a minute!" Amanda gasped, "Are you referring to me? Are you actually calling me an annoying rambler? Sis, and here I thought that you loved me."

-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor
USS BASTET
M03-P014: USS BASTET: Janeel: Day 05 - 0700 ("Time and Music")
=-=
"Time and Music"
[previous post was "Too Quiet" by the jumpy Marissa]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32008.0700

The ship had been more quiet than it had ever been, not to mention colder than anyone could have ever thought possible, still the ILO / Mission Specialist had not been complaining. There was something serene about the way the ship felt, making Janeel forget for a while the problems that they had faced and would likely come up against next.

An odd musical vibration swept through the ship snapping Janeel and everyone else out of whatever thoughts they had been lost in.  Instantly everyone returned to their duties and the status of the ship was rapidly confirmed.

"Those temporal harmonic shockwaves are getting stronger and at our speed they risk rupturing the hull," the Chief Science Officer reported.  The harmonics themselves had grown in strength but had still not presented any risks to the ship, that changed when the shockwaves started not too long ago.

"We have made good time," Commander Valentine noted, "we could drop out of high warp and modulate the shields to offset the harmonics. It would mean that we get to EPSILON 358 a little slower, but it will increase the odds that we actually make it there."

"It is not like we have a lot of options at this point," Captain Iverson sighed. Given the choice she would have preferred to reach the planet at the earliest possible time, but the safety of the ship still ranked well above this wish.  "Reduce speed to warp 5 and make the necessary modifications to the shields," the Captain ordered.  "And while you're at it, please restore gravitational plating to full power. It will be nice to be able to walk without feeling like my feet aren't fully touching the ground."

"Heat?" Adriana asked,as she bounced on her heels.

"Of course," Iverson said, a rin almost forming on her lips. "Might has well make ourselves comfortable so that we are in a better position to face the Gorn when they show up."

"I would not worry too much about the Gorn using our slowing down to gain on us," Janeel offered in the hopes of offsetting their captain's misgivings..  "The closer they get, the harder those temporal harmonic shockwaves are going to hit them."

"Gorn ships, like the Gorn themselves, have a much stronger and thicker skin," Mitshiba explained. "It is very likely that their vessel will be able to weather these shockwaves all the way to the planet without any real problem."

"That may be the case," Janeel agreed, "but why did the Gorn decide to investigate EPSILON 358 and it having started broadcasting temporal harmonics?  It is certain not for any scientific reason, the Gorn are even less science-minded than the Klingons, and that's saying something."

"The sound wave amplitude and pitch," the Chief Science Officer stated with a faint grin. "The harmonics are right in the range that would drive them into a rage."

"Exactly, so they will not have a choice but to slow down as they get closer to find a way to adapt to the harmonics or risk having their brains explode," the ILO / Mission Specialist further detailed.  "We might even gain some time thanks to those shockwaves.  We are currently just under 2 hours away at our new speed, and I suspect that the Gorn vessel will be dropping out of high warp a lot farther than we did."

"If only things were that easy," the Captain sighed, her experience having shown time and time again that the universe rarely followed the path of least resistance when it came to missions such as this one.

=-=
Setting: EPSILON 358
Stardate: 32008.0700

Feelings had returned to her fingers and toes less than an hour ago but that had not hindered the woman's renewed efforts to figure out the secrets of the cover stone.  The dream that she had during the long cold night had been strange to say the least, but it had given Alexandria something new to consider as a possible tool.

A few of the droids had been modified to produce the widest possible range of musical notes. She knew that the answer would not be found through the creation of a single specific note, but it had been the best starting point.  Through the shifting glyphs on the cover stone, Alexandria hoped that she would be able to identify the required notes and create a tune that would do more than change the way the rock seal appeared.

=-=
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32008.0800

"Now entering the orbit of EPSILON 358," Commander Valentine reported, sounding rather pleased that they had made it this far with little trouble.

"Long range sensors are putting the Gorn at 4 days away if they maintain their current speed," the ILO . Mission Specialist added.  "As long as those temporal harmonic shockwaves continues we will have ample time to find our missing archeologist and figure out what is going on down there."

"Speaking of shockwaves," the Chief Science Officer began sounding somewhat nervous. "It's been a while since we have experienced one.  The pattern might not have been perfect but it was relatively predictable, and we are overdue."

Captain Iverson turned to look at Janeel in an 'I told you so' manner.  "Start scanning for lifesigns. Looks like we are only going to have 4 days to get to the bottom of this mystery."

=-=
Setting: EPSILON 358
Stardate: 32008.0800

One by one the notes had been played by he droids, and one by one Alexandria had built what she believed to be the song that would release the cover stone.  The markings had grown increasingly more complex which each new note added, and the archeologist even had to admit that the music that she had helped bring to life had been beyond enchanting.

Suddenly the ground began to shake and to Alexandria's greatest delight the cover stone began to sink into the ground creating a small passageway.  After having worked so long and hard to find something, there had been no force in the universe that would have been able to hold the archeologist back, so with a torch in her hand she made her way down into the opening into which the cover stone had vanished.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET

Lieutenant Commander Shar'El [Access Character BIO for Shar'El]
Acting Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS
M03-P015: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: Day 05 - 0815 ("Another Place, Another Time")
"Another Place, Another Time"
Previous post: "Time and Music"

///^\\\
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32008.0815

Having been so close to the source of the temporal harmonics, the sensors of the BASTET had barely been able to read the surface of the planet, let alone find a single person on it.  One would have thought that given she had been the only living soul on EPSILON 35, it would have been easy to locate Alexandria or any of her droids. Instead Aki's instruments were showing things that made absolutely no sense.

"Have we located Miss Koniki?" the First Officer asked, the combination of salutation and last name having sounded very strange to everyone on the bridge.

"Sorry Commander," Aki replied, a heavy sigh having accompanied her words. "From a distance we had detected a strange haze around the planet, something that I thought might have been caused by the interaction of the temporal harmonics with the atmosphere.  It now seems to be far more complicated than that, the sensors barely able to register the planet's surface."

"Finding someone on a deserted planet inside 5 days from orbit would not have been that difficult," Janeel stated shaking her head in disbelief. "Trying to do the same from the planet's surface or even from a runabout will be next to impossible. There is just too much ground to cover."

"Find a way to break through the interference or at the very least find something that would narrow down a search parameter," the Captain ordered, the approaching Gorn ship having once again become a real threat that needed to be avoided if at all possible.

///^\\\
Setting: EPSILON 358, Underground
Stardate: 32008.0815

The tunnel revealed by the lowering cover stone had been just large enough for Alexandria to slide down using her feet and back to control her descent.  Since she had not heard the sound of any sort of rock hitting ground, the archeologist had to hope that the vertical tunnel would not suddenly end leaving her to fall down towards the hidden secrets of this world.

After a few meters Alexandria noticed a large rectangular opening in the side of the tunnel, a quick inspection revealed several others located directly beneath the first giving the clear impression that she had found a ladder.  Without asking any questions, she continued down using the discovered indents which allowed her to proceed much faster down the tunnel that seemed to go on forever.

///^\\\
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32008.0830

"We might be able to get some surface readings if we use the temporal drive to general a localized temporal distortion dampening field that would counter whatever is surrounding the planet," Aki suggested.  "There is no way that we could cancel the field's effect over the entire planet, but if it works we should be able to start scanning the planet's surface from orbit which will greatly speed up our search efforts."

"It would be like searching through a telescope," Commander Valentine offered as she debated the advantages and disadvantages of the suggested course of action.

"The BASTET would have t move in a specific search pattern around the planet, but our altitude would give us a much wider search area than any runabout would have," Janeel added, obviously supporting the Scientist's idea.

"It's better than nothing," Captain Iverson agreed. "Do your best."

///^\\\
Setting: EPSILON 358, Underground
Stardate: 32008.0830

With her hands and feet busy carrying Alexandria down, the archeologist had been forced to use her teeth to hold onto the flashlight. In hindsight it would have been better had she taken her headlamp but to get it she would have to return to the surface, but that had been something she had been unwilling to do.

After several more meters of narrow descent, the tunnel ended and her feet landed on an actual ladder, one that felt very solid and round as if made of metal instead of the rock she had been using for far.  The ladder went on for only a couple more meters as Alexandria found herself in a room with four corridors stretching out in perfect 90 degree intervals from the others.

This might not have been the discovery that she had hoped for, but it was a discovery nonetheless, a discovery that had already made the six months spent here worthwhile.

///^\\\
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32008.0900

Using the temporal drive to create a dampening field was working, not as well as might have been hoped but it had allowed for the sensors to reach the surface of EPSILON 358 and get actual readings.  So far though no traces of the archeologist or her droids had been found.

"I will try to improve the effectiveness of the dampening field," Aki announced seeing on her console the sensors data which had been far lesser than expected or needed to perform a speedy search of the entire planet.

"Commander Valentine, in the meantime establish a search sequence to cover the main equatorial regions," Iverson ordered. "Let's hope that Miss Koniki decided to search for whatever may be down there along that area."

///^\\\
Setting: EPSILON 358, Underground
Stardate: 32008.0900

The first corridor she had ventured down into had proven to be a dead end, the roof of the corridor she had designated as 'North' having collapsed completely blocking the way. So Alexandria had returned to the ladder before heading down the second corridor she had designated as 'East' hoping that she would have better luck this time around.

Following a short walk that covered 50 or so meters, Alexandria came to some sort of balcony, one that gave onto a wide open area filled with lush plant life and even a river with sparkling clear blue water.  How had such a place been possible and had it been a natural phenomenon or something created to sustain life below the harsh and inhospitable surface?

///^\\\
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32008.0930

A few modifications to the temporal dampening field had been made but still the sensors had not been able to reach 100% effectiveness.  The BASTET had already been searching the surface using what little opening had been created, but it had been made very clear that 5 days would not be enough to cover the entirely of EPSILON 358.  Either they would need to better their search system or luck would have to come in and help the crew in their search.

///^\\\
Setting: EPSILON 358, Underground
Stardate: 32008.0930

This had been beyond amazing. Although the North corridor had not been of any help, both the East and West corridors had proven to be more than the archeologist could have ever expected.  The moment Alexandria had found stairs going down at the end of the West corridor, she knew that she would find her way to the garden seen from the East balcony.

Floating on her own excitement, the archeologist skipped stairs two and three at a time until she reached the bottom where instead of running into the tall grass and trees she had seen she instead found herself in a barren valley deprived of life just as the surface had been.

From where she stood Alexandria could see the balcony where she had been not so long ago, but the landscape she had discovered from up there had been nowhere to be seen from down here.

///^\\\
Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Misaki Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Chief Science Officer
USS BASTET - NCC 74977
M03-P016: USS BASTET: Lopez: Day 05 - 1000 ("Keeping Busy")
-=-=-
"Keeping Busy"
[Previous post: "Another Place, Another Time"]
-=-=-

Setting: USS BASTET, Corridor
Stardate: 32008.1000

"You know, you could always ask if there is something that you can do to help instead of waiting there to see if the floor is going to cave in from under you," Amanda half chuckled at her sister who for the last little while had remained completely motionless for fear of getting in someone's way.

"Anything I can do to help?" the CNS asked of the CSciO who had been beyond busy with the modifications to the temporal dampening field and their search for the archeologist who had been somewhere on the planet.

"Sensors are scanning as best as they can. I'm just trying to see if I can visually find something that might give us a clue, but from orbit it is highly unlikely that we will be able to see anything," Misaki replied.  "You could always try to get a communication link through those temporal harmonics. I just can't work on both the fine tuning of the dampening field and trying to set up a comm link."

"I would be happy to try," Adriana happily said, quickly making her way to the nearest available station.

"I would suggest that you focus your efforts on the shortwave band," Janeel offered as she passed by. "None of her droids are equipped with sub-space communication arrays, not that I believe any communication channel would have been able to pierce the temporal field surrounding the planet. Your best bet might be to try and reach Miss Alexandria through an old style signal."

"Would such a signal actually go through the temporal field?" the CNS asked, wondering if her efforts would be for nothing.

"Very doubtful, but you can always direct the signal through the dampening field," Misaki offered back. "We might get lucky and have the shortwave signal bounce off the surface and reach Miss Koniki."

"I will do my best," Adriana again happily said, embracing the task that would make her feel useful, at least a little.

"The problem will be that even if your signal reaches her, she might not be able to bounce her reply along the same route which would permit us to hear it," Janeel stated, effectively bursting the Counselor's bubble.

"I think your friend the scientist just wanted to keep you busy and out of her hair," the image of the twin sister laughed leaving Adriana actually glad that she had been the only one able to see and hear Amanda.

However bad the odds had been, Counselor Lopez decided to continue with the work. At best this would give them another chance to locate Alexandria Koniki, and at worst it would keep the CNS busy and out or everyone's way.

-=-=-
Setting: EPSILON 358, Underground
Stardate: 32008.1000

Each time Alexandria would look at the garden from the balcony it would appear as a luscious green space filled with plant life, but each time she would come down to the area she had just been looking at it became nothing more than a barren wasteland.  If the view from above had been some sort of hologram, the archeologist had been unable to discover the source or even speculate as to the reason.

Having returned to the balcony one moe time, the view having been far moe pleasant and enjoyable from here, Alexandria scanned the walls and anything else that she believed might help her solve this mystery. Given the lifeless state of EPSILON 358, understanding what this had been all about had become her highest priority.

As she leaned over the guardrail of the balcony to maybe see something that she had not notice before, a voice startled her nearly clean over the edge.

"You might want to be careful. The fall may not kill you but it will most certainly cause you pain and injuries."

"Who are you?" Alexandria asked as she quickly spun around to see a man looking back at her.

"I am who you need me to be," the man replied, a bright smile filling his face.

"That's not an answer," the archeologist snapped back, not seeing the man as having been dangerous in anyway, at least not yet.

"I am a projection based on your physiology and brainwave patterns."

"Okay, so that explains why you look Human and speak English, but it still does not answer what you are doing here."

"I am who you need me to be," he repeated, his smile not having grown smaller in the least. "I am a guide."

"A guide to what?"

"I am a guide to the past, to the history of this world which you are come to call EPSILON 358."

Alexandria's smile quickly grew to match that of her new best friend.  If he was truly who and what he claimed to be, she would be busy for quiet some time.

-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor
USS BASTET
M03-P017: USS BASTET: Valentine: Day 05 - 1100 ("Music to my Ears")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Music to my Ears"
[previous post (Keeping Busy)]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: BASTET, Captain's Ready Room
Stardate: 32008.1100

Captain Iverson had retired to her office to review their situation and see if maybe she would be able to come up with something that would allow them to scan the planet surface faster than they had been.  The sound of the door chime gave the CO an excuse to put down the PADD and look up. "Come in."

"Sorry to disturb you Captain," Sarena said as she stepped in.

"Any progress?"

"None," the Executive Officer sighed, making her way to the Captain's desk.  "The temporal distortion around EPSILON 358 seems to be in constant flux requiring Lieutenant Mitshiba to constantly made changes to the dampening field we are generating.  Lieutenant Lopez is continuing with her efforts to get a shortwave signal through to the surface, but as of a few seconds ago she had no success."

"What about the Gorn?"

"Commander Janeel is keep an eye on them," Sarena explained. "As far as we can tell they are still on course for EPSILON 358 and will be here within 5 days.  If our ability to scan the planet does not improse, it will take us at least 8 to scan the whole of the surface."

"All of this depends on Miss Koniki being in a position to be found or even wanting to be found," Selene noted with disdain. "Her druids are all capable of sending a distress signal, but I suspect that she would be the type to trigger this unless absolutely necessary, and maybe not even then."

"What if we were able to remotely trigger the droids' distress signals?" Valentine offered, an idea having formed in her mind.

"You sound like you have a plan," Captain Iverson said, looking forward to hearing what her Executive Officer had come up with.

"Lieutenant Mitshiba is trying to get a signal down to the planet but because of the narrow opening we have managed through the distortion field, the best we can hope for is that the signal bounces off some rocky formation to reach our missing archeologist," Sarena explained with a beaming smile.

"Instead of trying to send a communication, we could send a remote trigger. At least that way if the signal reaches any of the droids, it might help us locate her general location a lot faster," Selene said having understood the plan right away.  "Have Misaki focus her efforts on sending that signal instead.  Admiral Koniki gave us the specifics on the droids and with that the code for a remote activation of any of their systems."

"That new signal sounds like music to my ears," the Executive Officer smiled. "I'll have Lieutenant Mitshiba on it right away."

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Setting: EPSILON 358, Underground
Stardate: 32008.1100

No digging for hours to find a few shattered and barely recognizable pieces of the past. Her guide had shown her more in the last hour than she ever thought possible about the planet she had been on for over six months.

"I can't believe the extent of the plant life that is here," Alexandria cooed. "This is as close to the garden of Eden as I have ever seen any world be  Even RISA would be hard pressed to compared itself to this place."

"I have to remind you once more that what you are seeing is nothing but a projection of what once was, not what is. The world you know as EPSILON 358 is a barren desert which was made unable to support any sort of plant life," the guide reiterated once more, the archeologist still having problem in accepting what she was seeing as having been nothing more than a projection of the past.

"Speaking of colonization, you have yet to tell me the name of the people who came to this world or what caused this garden of Eden to be transformed into this," Alexandria offered, wanting to know everything possible about the culture that had come to this world and the sequence of event that led to what EPSILON 358 had become.

"I believe you refer to the race which came to colonise this world as the D'Arsay, at least that is the closest I can find in your mind which matches the civilization that appointed me as your guide."

"I like the way you say 'my guide'," Alexandria grinned. "It's music to my ears."

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Karen Price

Executive Officer
USS BASTET, NCC 74977
M03-P018: USS BASTET: Janeel: Day 05 - 1105 ("The D'Arsay")
=-=
"The D'Arsay"
[previous post was "Music to my Ears" by the imaginative Karen]
=-=

Setting: EPSILON 358, Underground
Stardate: 32008.1105

"The D'Arsay?" Alexandria repeated once again as she searched her own memories. The name had been familiar, not something that quickly jumped to mind, but a name that she had heard a while back, one that had at the time drawn her fullest interest. The one thing she had known for certain was that the name had been linked to her chosen field of work and expertise.

"The reference you are searching for is from the Archeological symposium that was held on BAJOR three years ago," her guide stated making it beyond clear that he had, through a yet to be discovered method, access to her memories. "The *mask* civilization was the term that drew your attention."

"Masaka and Korgano!" she exclaimed with a smile and a victorious snap of her fingers, "yes, now I remember.  Not a great deal was known about that race, and that even after the Federation's archeological division looked at every inch of that floating library."

"It was not meant to be a library," the projection of a humanoid man explained. "The probe was an attempt to insure the survival of the culture through recreating the environment of its point of origin. The technology, although similar in some ways, was far more advanced than the current energy-to-matter system that your people use. The goal was to allow future generations to benefit from the knowledge and culture that had been established before them by creating a world for them to enjoy."

"Wouldn't that have destroyed any existing traces of the local civilization?" the archeologist inquired in shock.

"The probe was set to search for a less advanced civilization, both technologically and socially. The process would have replaced the old structures and vegetation with the more superior one from the probe's point of origin, leaving the local population intact and providing a suitable and recognizable environment to possible settlers who would have been following the probe."

"Replacing the structures and environment of an already established culture does not sound at all advanced to me, in fact I would classify such an act as barbaric and extremely narrow minded," Alexandria angrily noted in return, her impression of the D'Arsay having gravely been reduced by this information.

"The probe would have left any indigenous life form intact," the projection defended with a tilt of his head. "I believe that your people attempted a similar venture, one that would have destroyed all biological matter in order to see it replaced by the new programmed setting. The process that was devised by your people used what you know as the Genesis Device."

"That's not the same thing," the archeologist sighed knowing that she had already lost this argument.  "It was never meant to be used that way, but the grandiose ideas of some were quickly misinterpreted by the military stupidity of others.  All of that was a long time ago and it failed, miserably," Alexandria noted.  "What caused the launch of those probes?" she added hoping to change the subject.

"A cataclysm destroyed the homeworld of those you call the D'Arsay, and along with the probes several colonization efforts were also launched, one of them settled on the planet you know as EPSILON 358," the guide explained, appearing almost puzzled by the fact that the woman standing before him knew so little about pretty much anything.

"Alright, so what happened to the colonist?" Alexandria continued, her guide not having been one to forward information.

"The biological element that had been responsible for the cataclysm was inadvertently brought alone with the colonist, leading them to suffer the same fate.  Some tried to seek refuge below ground, but they were unable to escape the outcome," he explained without showing any signs of emotions, not that Alexandria had truly expected there to be any from a projection based on her own physical and mental parameters.

"To have worked so hard to save their civilization only to see their efforts end because of some rogue biological element," she admitted, her sadness which was there, barely registering on her features.  "Would have been nice to see more of the culture."

"You can," the guide chimed in.  "The projection that you saw is but one of 1321 others that you have access to."

"Why didn't you tell me this before now?"

"You didn't ask."

"Fine, tell me why are you this way and if it is in your programming to annoy and frustrate anyone who might have found their way down here?"

"I am programmed to scan the memories of anyone coming here so that I can present myself in a form that they would recognize and address them in a language they would understand.  As advanced as the programming responsible for this projection might be, it is greatly limited by the limited intellect and memory capacity of your race."

"Great," Alexandria sighed to herself. "I've just been insulted by a holographic projection, and they wonder why I prefer the company of my droids..."

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET

Lieutenant Commander Shar'El [Access Character BIO for Shar'El]
Acting Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS
M03-P019: USS BASTET: Valentine: Day 05 - 1140 ("Feet in the Sand")
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"Feet in the Sand"
[previous post (The D'Arsay)]
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Setting: BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32008.1140

Hopes were high as the new system became active and it was confirmed, as best as could be given their limited sensors reach, that the remote emergency trigger signal had been sent to the planet surface. Now the best the crew of the BASTET could do was to wait and see if one or more of the droids that constituted the archeological team of Miss Koniki would receive that signal.

"You do realize that all of this is based on one very large assumption," Mitshiba said, looking up from her console for a brief moment to meet the Executive Officer's eyes.

"That the temporal harmonic distortion around the planet will not hinder the transmission of a distress signal as it is interfering with our sensors," Sarena nodded having known this possible complication from the start.  "We have to try everything possible if we are to locate the Admiral's daughter before the Gorn ship joins us in orbit."

"However difficult it is to scan the planet now, it will be that much harder to do so while trying to stay in one piece as the Gorn fire everything they have at us," Janeel added, the Mission Specialist having been equally aware of the issues and time restraints they all faced.  "That said, even if we do locate Miss Koniki, how are we going to get her off the planet? Our sensors are barely able to lock in on the surface, much less a specific person to be beamed up."

"That is why we will be taking the BASTET down to the planet surface and land," Captain Iverson replied as she entered the bridge from her Ready Room.  "Once we have narrowed our search parameters down to a few hundred square kilometers, we can land and take of business from there.  It might even give us a few extra minutes with our dealing with the Gorn who will be stuck in orbit."

"I was curious if that had been your plan from the start," Commander Valentine said, looking with a disapproving stare at her Captain.

"If we had more time, I would be willing to entertain other options," Selene stated with a firmness that made it clear her decision had been made. "With the Gorn closing in as they are, and the temporal harmonic barrier making things far more complicated than it should be, we are already behind schedule. Even if we do receive a signal back from any of the droids, there is no certainty that Alexandria will be there with them.  We need to confirm her exact location and in order to do that we have no other choice but to take the ship down to the surface."

"Although the BASTET is equipped with landing struts, it was never designed for suborbital flights," the Chief Science Officer pointed out. "Plus the higher we are, the larger our scanning range is, even if we are limited by that temporal harmonic distortion field."

"We have to be thankful that our temporal drive is permitting us to create a dampening field to counteract, at least in a targeted area, the effects of the temporal harmonics," Sarena noted, realizing that the BASTET had been the one and only ship that would have been able to handle this particular situation.

"Speaking of targeted areas," the Chief Science Officer said. "We are picking up a distress signal from the planet surface. Looks like our little remote trigger worked.  I can narrow the location of the signal's source to be within a 255 square kilometers."

"It is better than an entire planet to search," Sarena said with a smile, glad that the plan had worked, and rather well at that.

"I am hoping that our sensors will be able to further narrow our search parameter once we get beneath the distortion field and onto the planet," Mitshiba said with a distinct tone of hope in her voice. "Even knowing that Miss Koniki is somewhere in that area, it would take us hours to search for her without the help of instruments."

"Let's stay hopeful," Janeel said. "We know that technology does work on the planet based on the signal we have received from the droids, so it is safe to say that our sensors will work, even if at a limited capacity."

"If needed we'll have every single member of the crew out there searching for her," the Captain said, again making it perfectly clear that her decision had been made. One way or another they would find Alexandria, making the connection between the Admiral's daughter and the Captain of the BASTET even more suspicious.

"Sooner or later you are going to have to tell us why Miss Koniki seems so important to you," Sarena said. "It is cle that there is more to this than you simply knowing about her."

"Captain Iverson to all hands," Selene said after having opened a ship-wide channel, ignoring her First Officer. Stand-by for an atmospheric re-entry. Secure all stations. Lieutenant Mitshiba, please see if you can generate a temporal field around the BASTET that will ease our descent towards the surface of EPSILON 358."

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Karen Price

Executive Officer
USS BASTET, NCC 74977
M03-P020: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: Day 05 - 1200 ("Rough Times")
"Rough Times"
Previous post: "Feet in the Sand"

///^\\\
Setting: EPSILON 358, Underground
Stardate: 32008.1200

As annoying as the holographic guide could be at times, Alexandria could easily overlook the lack of interpersonal skills, happy to instead take in the historical account of the D'Arsay outpost through the 1321 holographic projections that had been available.

"The culture was truly remarkable," the archeologist said with awe as she looked down at the latest display from the balcony. Although clearly modern, the city that stretched before her possessed structures and architecture that strongly resembled that of the ancient Mayans and Aztecs back on EARTH.  "Can you explain to me why a civilization able to travel to distant stars chose stones as their primary building material?"

"Accessing file 1-1-0-1," the guide announced as the massive holographic display changed, the large stone-made city having been replaced by a single pyramid which easily dwarfed anything the archeologist had ever seen or even knew of.  "The race you refer to as the D'Arsay had very simple beliefs, the building materials and architecture reflecting this. The legend of the endless and eternal chase of Masaka by Korgano through the heavens was meant to convey many ideas. One was the futile and eternal need for some to chase what they can never reach. It was also meant to show the balance in nature and the need for simplicity."

"Did the D'Arsay ever visit EARTH?" Alexandria asked, wondering if the similarities between the ancient civilizations of her homeworld had been somehow influenced by these aliens as it had been theorized by many over the centuries.

"EARTH?" the holographic guide said, trying to match the woman's thoughts and memories of the planet she had named with the star charts and information he had access to.  Before he could complete the search though, the ground shook as if EPSILON 358 itself had been hit by something.

"What was that?" the archeologist asked, looking in horror as the holographic pyramid began to shimmer and fade.

"Temporal interference... program stability compromised..." the guide said before continuing in a language that Alexandria could not make any sense of.  Seconds later both the guide and pyramid vanished into nothingness leaving the archeologist alone on an underground balcony looking down onto a empty and lifeless valley.

///^\\\
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32008.1210

"Re-modulating the temporal dampening field," Aki announced from the science station, the entire ship shaking so hard that everyone had been forced to hang on to the closest anchored object.

"Looks like we underestimated both the strength and thickness of the temporal harmonic field around the planet," the First Officer said to their Captain, both women tightly holding onto the armrests of their respective chairs.

"There was no way for the sensors to give us a clue as to what we are now encountering," the CSciO added.  "Even with that though, I am guessing that this was not here when Miss Koniki arrived six months ago. Something changed between then and now and my guess is that it is all directly linked."

"Alexandria found something," the Captain said to herself, "she always does."

"Do your best to give us a chance to land," Commander Valentine added, having glanced to their CO briefly.  "We can try to figure out what is going on after we are on the planet surface in one piece."

"The temporal sheer is off the chart, external structural integrity at 68% and that's with our dampening field at maximum strength," Aki reported as the ship and crew went through another massive jolt.

"Try enhancing the dampening field using dimensional inverse harmonics," Janeel suggested. "Maybe we are trying too much to offset the temporal aspects of this field instead of focussing on the harmonics."

"Altitude is now at 7000 meters and dropping quickly," the First Officer reported in somewhat of a panic. "We need to regain flight control or risk creating the largest sand castle this world has ever seen."

"I am trying," Aki said, her fingers frantically moving over her consol. "The closer we get to the planet, the stronger the temporal harmonics are.  I am not sure if the addition of dimensional inverse harmonics will help or even be enough to get us down to the surface in one piece."

"Do what you can," Commander Valentine said. "You have 6500 meters to find a way for us not to crash."

///^\\\
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32008.1225

The lights on the bridge flickered on and off as the members of the senior staff returned to their feet.

"Damage report," the Captain asked, quickly looking around to see if anyone had been injured.

"The temporal harmonic field ended roughly 2000 meters above the surface," Aki reported with a sigh of relief. "That gave us just enough time to decrease our approach vector and land, sort of."

"First step is to get an idea of our we are doing, then we start looking for Alexandria," the Captain said, glad that the mission had not ended earlier than it should have.

///^\\\
Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Misaki Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Chief Science Officer
USS BASTET - NCC 74977
M03-P021: USS BASTET: Lopez: Day 05 - 1225 ("Bumpy Ride")
-=-=-
"Bumpy Ride"
[Previous post: "Rough Time"]
-=-=-

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32008.1225

"Ouch."

That was the only thing Adriana could say following the ride and landing they all had gone through.  If being bounced around during their approach had not been enough, the Counselor had found a way to crash land on the floor when the ship had come to a complete stop on the sandy surface of EPSILON 358.

"You would think that they would add seat belts on these ships," Amanda chuckled as she looked down at her twin sister.

"Might have to ask Starfleet to revisit the seat belt idea," Commander Janeel said as she helped Counselor Lopez back to her feet, leaving Adriana to wonder if the woman had in fact heard the statement made by the illusionary image of her sister.

"Sorry?" Lopez asked, trying to gather if something had changed in regards to her seeing and hearing her missing sister.

"Seat belts on the chairs," Janeel reiterated. "Starfleet command has always been reluctant to having such things installed because they claim it hinders the ability of a bridge officer to quickly respond to an emergency situation.  I for one think that it would allow us to better respond since we would not have to pick ourselves and others off the floor each time the things get bumpy."

"The woman does have a point," Amanda said while standing right next to the helpful Commander. "Maybe you should start a petition to have seat belts installed."

"No," the Counselor said, realizing only after the fact that she had replied out loud to her sister's comment.

"No?" Commander Janeel repeated with surprise. "You don't think seat belts would be a good idea?"

The question had served to confirm that she had still been the only one able to hear or see her missing sister, but it had left Adriana with the urgent task of finding a way to justify what she had said.  "No. I actually think that they would cause more harm than good. On a crash like the one we just endured, we could be looking at whiplash and possibly even broken hip bones.  picking ourselves up from the floor seems to be a small price to pay for avoiding more severe injuries."

"I guess that is the way Starfleet Command also sees it," Janeel smiled, satisfied that the Counselor had been alright.

"Not bad," the image of the twin sister grinned. "You do know that one day you will have to fess up and tell them that you are seeing and hearing your missing twin sister, that would be me. You won't be able to hide that for the rest of your career, especially not as a Counselor. You are supposed to be the sane one here, not the craziest."

"Captain." Lopez said as she forced herself back on her feet, glad to find that her legs were strong enough to hold her weight.

"Yes Counselor?" Captain Iverson replied.

"I didn't mean to tell your Commanding Officer *now*," Amanda said, shock having appeared on her face.  "Unless you are truly crazy, than if so, go ahead. I can't wait to see what her reaction is going to be."

"If everything is alright here, I would like your permission to return to Sickbay and see if I can help with whatever injuries have happened following our unexpected bumpy ride and landing," the Counselor proposed, completely ignoring her sister.

"That is very thoughtful of you Counselor, thank you," the Captain offered as she visually confirmed the status of the other officers on the bridge. "Looks like we have everything under control here."

With a nod of her head, Adriana excused herself from the bridge and made her way to the turbolift, closely followed by the illusionary image of her sister.

"Deck 5, Sickbay," the Counselor said as soon as the doors closed, granting her the solitude she needed to be able to speak to the person only she could hear and see.  "Listen, we have had this conversation many times before.  Whatever it is that is causing me to see you does not register on any medical or psychological scan.  The only thing that I can come up with to explain *you* is a deep emotional need to hold on to the possibility that you are somewhere out there, alive and looking for your family.  As far as I know you could be dead on some distant world or not even realize that you were abducted from your family as a child.  My seeing and hearing you is not my going crazy, it is in fact the opposite, it is what keeps me sane."

The turbolift pod slowed to a stop and upon the opening of the doors, Adriana stepped out into the corridor, anger and determination driving her every step as she made her way to Sickbay alone, even in her thoughts.

-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor
USS BASTET
M03-P022: USS BASTET: Valentine: Day 05 - 1430 ("Nothing but Sand")
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"Nothing but Sand"
[previous post (Bumpy Ride)]
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Setting: BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32008.1430

The BASTET had made a rather rough landing on EPSILON 358, but based on the reports that had been submitted both the ship and crew had fared rather well.

"The port aft landing strut suffered some damage," the Executive Officer reported. "According to the engineering team though it should not hinder our taking off. The rest of the reports list some bumps and bruises but nothing major. Looks like Counselor Lopez might have been right about our not needing seat belts."

"What about sensors?" the Captain asked of the Chief Science Officer.

"Although we have passed through the temporal harmonic field surrounding the planet, there is still a fair amount of temporal interference below the 2000 meter mark. Sensor accuracy seems to be highly unreliable, it's like looking at a dozen or so different scans all at the same time. One scan reports a set of mountains, the next shows wide open fields at the exact same location," Mitshiba replied, clearly less than happy with the facts that she had reported.

"Can we use the runabout to allow us to cover more ground?"

"Based on the chaos the sensors are relaying," Misaki sighed, "the runabout would likely be limited to visual scans only."

"Almost sounds like we would have a better chance of finding Miss Koniki if we stood on the outer hull," the Executive Officer said in a joking manner which was met by an opposingly serious approving look from their Commanding Officer.

"Looks like we are doing this the old fashion way," the Captain said, drawing the attention of everyone on the bridge. "Commander Valentine, Commander Janeel, you two will lead a search team heading out in the general direction of the distress signal we triggered. I will take the BLACK CAT and hopefully help in locating our wandering archeologist."

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Setting: EPSILON 358, Surface
Stardate: 32008.1445

Sand as far as the eyes could see.  Sarena clearly recalled Misaki saying something about the sensors showing mountains, but none could be seen.

"Valentine to Mitshiba."

=/\= Go ahead Commander. =/\=

"Remind me of the definition of a mountain," the Executive Officer said, trying her best to hide her sarcastic amusement.

=/\= I would not worry so much about the mountains that you are not seeing Commander, =/\= the Chief Science Officer offered in all seriousness. =/\= The sensors are showing you approaching what I can only guess is a large river or lake. =/\=

"Unless we are making our way into quicksands, I would not worry about us drowning anytime soon," Sarena offered back.

=/\= Commander Janeel, I have picked up a possible metallic reflection about 1200 meters from your current position.  If you continue as you are you should be able to see it to your left.  I am hoping that it is one of the droids Alexandria loves to bring with her on these excursions. =/\=  The Captain's voice was hopeful and again echoed a familiarity with the archeologist that no one else knew or could have ever suspected.

=/\= Janeel to Valentine, can you hear that? =/\=

"Hear what?" the Executive Officer asked in return, the only thing she could hear having been the sound of the sand being gently pushed by the hot breeze.

=/\= Its sounds like... music, =/\= she replied sounding slightly confused. =/\= Granted nothing that I have ever hard before, but there are distinct patterns and rhythms. =/\=

"Keep moving towards that metallic reflection mentioned by the Captain and keep us informed of any changes in that music," the Executive Officer ordered. "My team and I will continue on our current path just in case, but if there is any issues let us know and we'll head to you right away."

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Setting: EPSILON 358, Underground
Stardate: 32008.1445

It had almost been three hours since the guide and his holographic recreations had vanished. Obviously something had happened, either as a result of the earthquake she had felt or some sort of explosion which had caused the ground to shake. Whatever had happened, all of her efforts to bring the interactive image of the man had failed.

Alexandria's anxiety grew with each passing moment. As annoying as the guide might have been, he had been the one and only key to the knowledge the archeologist had been so desperately searching for.  Without him, she had no other option but to find the source of the holographic images, and in order to do this she would need help; the only help she had ever needed while on an excursion such as this -- her droids.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Karen Price

Executive Officer
USS BASTET, NCC 74977
M03-P023: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: Day 05 - 1450 ("Sensor Malfunction")
"Sensor Malfunction"
Previous post: "Nothing but Sand"

///^\\\
Setting: BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32008.1450

Normally Aki would have been more than happy to stay on board the BASTET and monitor everything from the bridge using the sensors, but given the effect of the temporal interference on the instruments the CSciO had been ready to call it quits.  After having passed through the temporal harmonic field which surrounded the planet, Mitshiba had expected sensors to work far better than they had, but that had not been the case. Far from it.

According to the sensors, the team led by Commander Valentine had been either knee deep in a large body of water, or walking through the solid rocks of some sort of mountain formation.  The team led by Commander Janeel had fared much better having, again according to the sensors, found their way through a forest or a swamp. With the sensor readings changing as fast as they were it had been next to impossible to tell, the only consolation being that Aki had been able to keep track of the two teams, at least for the most part.

The BLACK CAT had not fared any better, at least according to the sensors which showed the craft flying through an electromagnetic storm one minute and through solid rock the next.

"Where is everyone?" Counselor Lopez asked as she returned to the bridge, Adriana no longer having been needed in Sickbay to assist with the treatment of the many bumps and bruises suffered by the crew during their rough landing.

"Commander Valentine is leading her search team into a large river or a lake, Commander Janeel is taking her team through some sort of forest or swamp and Captain Iverson is on board the BLACK CAT flying through a storm. All three of them are searching for signs of Miss Koniki, the sensors being pretty much useless," Aki sighed with overflowing annoyance.

"Sensor malfunction?" Adriana asked. Since she had not been on the bridge, the CNS had not been aware of the troubles Aki had been faced with thanks to the sensor readings.

"The sensors are working fine, at least according to the self diagnostics," the CSciO explained showing her console as proof of what she had been about to add.  "It's this temporal interference that permeates *everything*.  The temporal dampening field that we are generating is somewhat helping, but it is far from making things easy.  I can't even confirm if the locations of the away teams and that of the BLACK CAT are accurate or not. For all I know I could be seeing them hundreds of meters if not more from their actual location."

"Obviously something on this planet is generating these temporal harmonics," the Counselor pointed out, "but the questions are still what and why?  Could Alexandria Koniki have discovered something that triggered this?"

"Your guess is as good as anyone else's," Aki sent back with another sigh. "The sensors are useless in this temporal soup.  If someone had wanted to hide something, why create a field that only partially disrupts sensors? Would it not have been a better idea to use such technology to hide the planet?"

"I'm just a Counselor," Adriana replied. "This is way over my field of expertise. The best I can offer is that maybe something malfunctioned, or that whatever is doing this only started because of Miss Koniki's presence on the planet."

"Of all he theories, that one makes the most sense," the CSciO pointed out, having abandoned looking at her instruments for a short little while.  "The probe picked up these temporal harmonics long after Alexandria was said to be on EPSILON 358, so it makes sense to believe that she somehow triggered this, be in on purpose or inadvertently."

"Why would she have done this on purpose?"

"She might have tried to send a signal out, or tried to activate some ancient piece of tech she came across," Aki replied shrugging her shoulders.  "The only way to know for sure will be to ask her, but we have to find her before that, and without sensors we are stuck doing this 'the old fashion way' as the Captain said.  Speaking of which... where is she?"

"You did say that she was flying through some sort of storm," Adriana pointing out while still very much aware that the storm had been nothing more than something the sensors had picked up through the temporal distortion field.

"This is different," the CSciO said in a rapidly growing panic. "Even through the mess the sensors were picking up, I could still track the runabout, but now it is as if it it no longer there."

"Could it have landed?"

"Not that fast," Aki said shaking her head. "The only way the BLACK CAT could have vanished that quickly is by suddenly crashing without any warning.  BASTET to Captain Iverson, please come in."  The CSciO waited for a few seconds before trying again. "BASTET to Captain Iverson, please respond."  When nothing more than silence was heard, Mitshiba shifted her attempts to the next best available way to locate the missing runabout. "BASTET to away teams, do either one of you have eyes on the Captain? I have completely lost the runabout from sensors."

=/\= No signs of the runabout from here. Could it be a sensor malfunction? =/\= the First Officer suggested.

"As bad as the sensors are at this time thanks to the temporal distortion field, they are showing as working perfectly," the CSciO replied. "The ship was there one second and vanish the next."

=/\= If the runabout had crashed we should have seen some sort of explosion or at the very least some kind of sand cloud, =/\= Janeel explained trying to be reassuring and logical all at the same time.  =/\= Since we have not seen anything of the sort and no emergency communication was transmitted, we can only assume that she landed after having seen something. =/\=

=/\= Our best bet is to continue searching for Miss Koniki, maybe she can help shed some light on this. In the meantime, Lieutenant Mitshiba, continue monitoring both sensors and communications and let us know if you pick up anything. =/\=

"Will do," Aki replied, now unwilling to take her eyes from her instruments even for the shortest possible time for fear of losing someone else.

///^\\\
Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Misaki Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Chief Science Officer
USS BASTET - NCC 74977
M03-P024: USS BASTET: Iverson: Day 05 - 1500 ("Past Association")
---
"Past Association"
(Previous Post: "Sensor Malfunction")
---

Setting: Runabout BLACK CAT, Flight Deck
Stardate: 32008.1500

"BLACK CAT to BASTET."

Silence.

"Iverson to BASTET, can you hear me?"

Again, silence.

"This is Captain Selene Iverson of the USS BASTET, can anyone hear this transmission?"

As much as she might have wanted there to be some sort of reply, the channel remained perfectly silent.

"Away team protocole," Selene scowled at herself, "I know it, Sarena knows, everyone knows it and I still had to go against it. That serves me right."

All the consoles were dark and nothing was responding, even the emergency lighting had somehow become non-functional. Whatever happened to bring the runabout to where it was now had been swift and powerful. Beyond that fact there had been one point that troubled Selene even more, the realization that she had found herself to be alone in the BLACK CAT, the other members of her team having inexplicably vanished.

From the forward windows, Captain Iverson could see a solid rock face, the darkness of the texture and the apparent lack of sunlight hinting that the BACK CAT had been brought to an underground location.  How and why were still very much on the mind of the Commanding Officer, but the most important question at this time had been where had her missing officers vanished to?

---
Setting: EPSILON 358, Underground
Stardate: 32008.1510

All of the power cells on board the runabout had been drained, so the phaser and tricorder Selene had brought out with her had all been at best for show.  Whoever or whatever had done this had very effectively isolated the Captain from her crew and ship, but by no mean had that meant she had been powerless or defenceless.

Carefully Selene made her way out of the runabout, quickly confirming that the BLACK CAT had somehow found its way into an underground cavern that so far appeared to have but a single point of access.  The tunnel had been almost directly in front of her, which was why the Intel Trained Officer decided to venture down that path only as an absolute last resort.

The survey around the runabout revealed two things; that the BLACK CAT had suffered no external damage and that there had in fact been only one apparent way to exit this location without the use of a transporter.  With only a single option available to her, Selene made her way back to the tunnel and gave the support craft one last glance before heading into the dark natural corridor.

Although the walls had been as any such naturally occurring formation would have been expected to be, the floor had been made to be perfectly flat and smooth.  Obviously someone had created all of this, but why and furthermore why had they not made their presence known?  Given the ease with which the BLACK CAT had been brought to where it now sat, it had been easy to imagine whoever had done this possessing the power and means to destroy the runabout and everyone inside. So why had they not?  If the objective had been to bring a single member of the crew, in this particular case the highest ranking officer, then why not make contact? The only other possibility that Captain Iverson could imagine had been that this had been some sort of test, a maze that she had been placed into to see if she would be able to find a way out.

As she continued down the corridor, Selene's thoughts went to Alexandria and her wellbeing. Given all that had recently taken place, the Captain of the USS BASTET feared for the safety of the missing archeologist despite knowing first hand how capable the woman had been at taking care of herself.

(FLASHBACK)

---
Setting: USS SOUTHERN CROSS, Arboretum
Stardate: 08281.1345 (roughly 24 years ago)

With only five years separating the two girls, Alexandria and Selene had grown very close, each taking on the role of the sister the other had never had.  With their parents busy with their duties as officers on board the ship, the girls found themselves with a fair amount of time which they spent together.  In the greater majority of these occurrences, the time had been spent studying, but for the rest it had grown to be an unhealthy habit for them to find increasingly creative ways to get into trouble.

"Hurry up Alex, someone is going to be here any minute to see why the internal sensors are no longer working," Selene urged her friend who had been busy using a compound they had taken from one of the medical laboratories to alter the colour of the prized rainbow roses belonging to the First Officer of the SOUTHERN CROSS.

"This is not as easy as it looks," the younger of the two girls growled back. "I have to inject the compound into the stem using this old style syringe.  How people actually shoved needles into their veins is making me sick."

"They are here!" Selene called out suddenly finding herself standing in front of a pair of engineers as the doors to the arboretum opened.

"Miss Iverson, what are you doing here?"

"I was just about to leave, why?"

"We were sent here to check the internal sensors. Apparently they have stopped working, in this room, and *only* in this room."

"Sorry, can't help you," Selene said trying to make her way out only to have her arm grabbed by one of the Engineers who had noticed the odd and sickly colouring of the roses their First Officer spoke of daily.

"I suspect that Commander Satori is not going to appreciate having her roses tempered with, again."

"I didn't touch the roses," Selene argued, her statement having been as honest as could be.

"Then who else did? You are the only in here."

As Selene was escorted out of the room, she glanced back over her shoulder to where Alexandria had been seconds before, her friend having vanished as if she had never been there at all."

(END OF FLASHBACK)

---
Setting: EPSILON 358, Underground
Stardate: 32008.1520

Captain Iverson arrived into a large open space, one completely empty except for an undisturbed blanket of sand which covered the entirety of the floor.  Selene's eyes scrutinized the wide open area until she notice what appeared to be some sort of balcony on the far opposing wall.  Curious to see if maybe this would answer some of her questions, the Captain made her way across the open valley, as she did so a figure appeared on the balcony, one that appeared rather familiar.

Before Selene could call out, the silhouette vanished, only to reappear a few seconds later this time emerging from another opening, this one at ground level.

"Selene? Is that really you?"

"Hi Alex." the woman replied with an actual smile gracing her face. "It is good to see you safe and sound."

"Why are you here? *How* are you here? Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled that you are, but I am at a loss to see why you managed to accomplish what took me over 6 months to do."

"My guess, since you are here and not being held captive by some unknown alien force, is that you discovered something, something that attracted a fair deal of attention from not only the Federation but the Gorn Hegemony," Iverson explained, her joy at having found Alexandria safe and sound being impossible to miss on the features of a woman who very rarely showed only the slightest of emotions. "That is why we were sent here."

"We? You are not alone?"

"Captain of the USS BASTET," Selene replied while pointing to the pips on her collar. "So no, I am not here alone, and some of my crew are currently missing and I have no idea what happened to those searching for you on the surface."

"You made Captain? I can't believe that Starfleet was that desperate to give you a ship and crew. Which Admiral was crazy enough to believe you could command a starship?"

"Your father," came the dry reply, Selene not happy that Alexandria had completely sidestepped the issue of the missing crew members. "He also was the one who sent me here, looking for you," Captain Iverson added, making it clear that this had not been a fortunate run-in with an old friend, but rather an official matter.

"Oh," Alexandria simply said, not sure as to what to say or do next.  It had been so long since she had even spoken to him that she had almost forgotten that she had a father, one that she had done her very best to distance herself from so many years ago.

---
Jessica Solarik

Captain Selene Fiona Iverson [Access Character BIO for Selene Iverson]
Commanding Officer
USS BASTET

&

Lieutenant Commander Maya [Access Character BIO for Maya]
Chief Science Officer
USS ANUBIS

"To see the world in a grain of sand,
and a heaven in a wild flower.
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
and eternity in an hour."
- William Blake (British, 1757-1827)
M03-P025: USS BASTET: Janeel: Day 05 - 1515 ("Sands of Madness")
=-=
"Sands of Madness"
[previous post was "Past Association" by the magnificent Jessica]
=-=

Setting: EPSILON 358, Surface
Stardate: 32008.1515

For what had been expected to be a simple mission, things had most certainly not gone that way. The Gorn having joined in on the race to EPSILON 358 had been somewhat expected, the planet having been closer to their space than that of the Federation, but that had pretty much been the extent of the surprises the crew had been in line for.  Let's face it, they had been sent to search for an archeologist on a distant world all because some strange signal had been detected.

The inability of their sensors to pierce the temporal harmonic field surrounding the planet once they had reached orbit had proven to be the first of many obstacles the crew of the BASTET would need to overcome.  The rough forced landing on the planet's surface had been nothing when compared to the sudden disappearance of the BLACK CAT and its crew which to everyone's great dismay included their Captain.

What had initially been nothing more than a hurried search for a missing archeologist, who also happened to be the daughter of Admiral Charles N. Koniki, the head of NEW ALEXANDRIA, had turned into a frantic search for the vanished runabout and their Captain. Without sensors working as they should things were bound to get more complicated very quickly.

"Where are those blasted droids we triggered the distress signal from?" Janeel called out in frustration while scanning the sand dunes which seemed to stretched beyond the horizon. "We did get the signal back, so where are they?"

=/\= They have to be out here somewhere, =/\= the voice of the First Office came over the open communication channel. For the sake of security, and in the hopes of not losing more officers it had been thought best to proceed this way. =.\= We all need to be patient and keep our heads on our shoulders. Keep your eyes opened for anything that may not seem to belong here. =/\=

"The only thing on this blasted planet is sand," the ILO / Mission Specialist huffed in anger.  "I can feel it slipping into my boots and even down my back, and that annoying music is not making things any easier."

=/\= Is the music louder than before? =/\= Commander Valentine asked, Janeel and her team having been the only ones to hear whatever the sound had been so far.  At first, the First Officer had hoped that the increased volume meant that the team had gotten closer to finding something, but the desperation in the woman's voice had hinted to something entirely different.

"It's all that I can hear," Janeel replied sounding as if she had been in excruciating pain.

=/\= The sensors are not picking up anything new, =/\= Mitshiba reported from the bridge of the BASTET. =/\= That said, it is very possible that whatever she is hearing is mixed in with the temporal harmonic distortion field that is affecting our sensors. =/\=

=/\= Janeel, =/\= Sarena began in a stern yet supportive manner, =/\= stay put. We should be at your position in just a few minutes.

The ILO / Mission Specialist had been ready to acknowledge the orders she had been given, but the music that now filled her head had been too much for Janeel to overcome. It was as if the planet itself had decided to see how much it would take to have the head of one of the new arrivals explode.

The music had grown so loud that Janeel had been unable to stay standing, and it was not long after her knees had landed on the hot sand that the rest of her body followed.

=-=

Through the darkness the ILO / Mission Specialist could hear her name being called out. At first it had come across as nothing more than a soft whisper but gradually it grew stronger, closer. When Janeel managed to open her eyes, she saw the BASTET's First Officer looking down at her.

"Hang in there Janeel. We're taking you back to the ship. You'll be safe there.."

=-=
Setting: EPSILON 358, Surface, just outside the USS BASTET
Stardate: 32008.1545

With the sensors being as unreliable as they had been, using the transporters had not been an option, so Commander Valentine and her team had been forced to carry the ILO / Mission Specialist and her team back to the BASTET, a task that had proven to be both long and difficult.

"Valentine to BASTET," the First Officer said, never having expected to be so relieved to see the underbelly of the ship.

=/\= Go ahead Commander, =/\= Mitshiba replied, the Chief Science Officer having monitored the communications from the very start.

"We are here, have a medical team meet us at the ventral access port and notify sickbay that they are about to receive several members of the crew," Sarena reported.

=/\= Do I give them an idea of what sort of injuries they are going to be dealing with? =/\=

"To be honest, I have absolutely no idea," the Commander admitted as she looked at the pain laced features of Janeel who had been the worst case of the team Sarena had helped to bring back.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET

Lieutenant Commander Shar'El [Access Character BIO for Shar'El]
Acting Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS
M03-P026: USS BASTET: Bruxa: Day 05 - 1555 ("First Patient")
=-=
"First Patient"
[previous post was "Sands of Madness"]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 32008.1555

This was everything she had ever wanted. Here there were on an alien world as far away from everything else and her skills as a Doctor would be put to the test.  After her graduation from the Academy Satella had been assigned to the BASTET as the assistant Chief Medical Officer. That is where she would still have been had it not been for an unfortunate accident which had taken the current lead Doctor permanently out of sickbay. It was without any hesitation that she had taken on both the position and responsibilities created by the vacancy.

In all honesty, Satella felt bad. A sense of excitement coursed through her body as she waited for the injured to be brought to sickbay.  She had not been one to wish harm to anyone, her profession and personal values forbidden it, but without injuries there would have been no need for her or her department. Her excitement vanished into nothingness the moment the doors whooshed opened and the first patient was brought in.

"What are we dealing with?" Satella asked as the lead officer of the team was rushed onto the main examination bed.

"We have no idea Doctor. She was complaining about hearing loud music, but we heard nothing when we caught up with them." The other team leader and First Officer of the ship replied. Satella had to force herself back on task having taken a half second to enjoy the way the term *Doctor* had been used to address her.

"Strap her in and initiate a full holographic cerebral scan. We need to know if this music is actually coming from her head or if something else is playing tricks with her ears. What about them?" While her first patient was being prepped, Satella had a few seconds to check on the other members of the team. Their medical needs had not been any less important than that of the Commander who had been brought in first.

"Everyone reported hearing the same music, but not to the extent Janeel did." The quick reply from the lead officer of the other team had set the tone. The one needing immediate attention had been right where she needed to be, all that was missing was the presence of the CMO by her side.

"Use the portable medical scanners to confirm that everyone else is fine, and that includes the second team. I'll take care of this one." With the other members of the away team busy being scanned by the medical staff as per Satella's orders; the CMO could dedicate her full attention to her first patient.

Blood pressure, heart rate and every other physical data gathered by the scans showed that the patient had been in good health. The expression on her face though told a different story.  Having confirmed that the problem that had been reported had not been from a physical nature, the CMO could focus on the results of the cerebral scan.

Floating just at eye-level of the Doctor was a holographic recreation of the patient's brain and nervous system. The image made it appear as if the brain, spinal cord and all other small nerves had been pulled out of the patient.  The technology granted those trained to scan for potential neurological problems with a speed that could never have been imagined centuries ago.

"Will she be alright?" The question from the First Officer had been premature as Satella had still been in the process of trying to identify the cause of the problem. Finding a cure and estimating a period for recovery came only after that.

Using her hands to increase the resolution of the holographic image, Satella focused her investigation on the auditory center of her patient. Daledian physiology might have been different from most other humanoids but that had not change the way the brain worked.  From what the CMO could see, the issue had not been with the woman's ears meaning that the music she had been hearing came from somewhere else.  Using her hands to return the holographic image to its previous size, Satella turned her investigation to the brain itself. That was when she noticed something different. 

"Take off her boots." As strange as the request had been, the First Officer and a nurse quickly complied causing sand to spill from the patient's boots onto the floor.

Commander Valentine watched with interest as the Doctor studied the holographic image. When the First Officer had been ready to ask what this had all been about, she noticed a smile forming on Satella's lips.

"You found something." Sarena said with a distinct tone of joy and relief.

"The sand.  It's having a amplification effect on the nervous system. It seems to have a much greater impact on the Daledian nervous system. All of you need to strip and take a good long shower. The moment the sand will be washed away, everyone will be feeling a lot better." Satella ordered, silently proud of having solved this mystery.

"So the sand was causing her to hear the music?" the First Officer asked while taking off her clothes.

"No. It amplifies neural inputs and sensitiveness. The sand was not responsible for the music heard by Commander Janeel. What it did do was to make her neural system more sensitive to the harmonic vibrations. Since these vibrations seem to be everywhere on this planet, and that neither you nor your team heard this music, I can only speculate that something else was at work. Either the composition of the sand was different; or they were exposed to a different type of harmonic vibration; or there is something in her physiology that made her more vulnerable. I cannot give you more at this time, but from the preliminary data, Human physiology may very well be immune to this neurological effect. Whatever the case may be, the area where this took place should be looked at more closely." Satella explained; glad to see the pain having vanished from her patient's face.

"Keep looking into this and let me know what you find. In the meantime, looks like I have a shower to take.  I will head back out to search for Miss Koniki and our Captain as soon as you have completed your examinations." With that the First Officer made her way to a the medical showers where she would be able to remove the last pieces of clothes before taking the Doctor prescribed shower.

=-=
Rachel Jackie Johnson

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET

[Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. - Mark Twain]
M03-P027: USS BASTET: Valentine: Day 05 - 1615 ("A Few Brief Moments")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"A Few Brief Moments"
[previous post (First Patient)]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 32008.1615

There had been no denying it, the shower felt devine.  Although she had no spent that much time out there surrounded by the endless sand dunes of EPSILON 358, Sarena had been more than happy to have all traces of that world removed from her body. How Alexandria Koniki had survived over 6 months in that hellish environment had been well beyond what the Executive Officer could understand.

As much as she might have been enjoying the shower though, the Executive Officer could not permit herself to remain in her current situation for too long. Aside from the fact that they still needed to locate the archeologist, finding the missing runabout and their Captain had been a higher and more urgent priority

With a fresh uniform over her form and her hair having already been blow dried, Sarena returned to the main treatment area where Doctor Bruxa was giving Commander Janeel one last look over to complete her report.

"Perfect timing, I just completed my analysis," Satella announced inviting the Executive Officer to follow into the office of the Chief Medical Officer.

"Can we protect ourselves from the effect of the sand?" Sarena asked as soon as the two women had entered the office, the Executive Officer noting with perplexity a certain amount of reluctance in the Doctor taking ownership of the chair that had become hers the moment she had been appointed as the BASTET's CMO.

"That's the easy part. The effect of the sand seems to only be triggered when it comes into direct contact with non-terran skin tissue. So far it looks like Daledian physiology is the most vulnerable, but I have not had the time to run all of the tests," Doctor Bruxa explained before getting interrupted by the Sarena.

"Terrans -- good, Daledians -- bad, got it," the Executive Officer noted rather abruptly. "What else do you have? We need to get back out there and locate our Captain. For all we know she could be in trouble and in need of assistance."

"I would suggests full EVA suits to insure no contact with the sand just to be on the safe side," Satella offered, but knowing that this would have been a time costing course of action, the CMO proceeded with an alternative.  "The other option is to make sure that your search team is only comprised of humans, at least until I can confirm which species are immune to the neurological effect of the sand on this planet."

"Thank you Doctor," Sarena acknowledged before reaching for her communicator. "Commander Valentine to Lieutenant Mitshiba."

=/\= Go ahead Commander. =/\=

"How are the sensors?"

=/\= Same as before I'm afraid Commander.  The sensor images are just as confusing as they were when you and Commander Janeel were out there. =/\=

"Very well. Meet me on deck 15 at the ventral access gangway. Since the sensors are pretty much useless, I can use another set of sharp eyes out there search for the Captain," the Executive Officer stated, recalling with ease that their Chief Science Officer had been a full blooded Terran.

=/\= On my way, =/\= Misaki confirmed sounding actually pleased to being able to help more than she had in locating their missing Captain.

"Doctor, I leave Janeel in your capable hands," Sarena said as she made her way to the office's exit.  "On an additional note, you might want to make yourself more comfortable with this office, it is yours after all., so you should not be concerned or even fearful about sitting in that chair."

As Sarena completed her exit, Satella remained behind looking at the desk and chair realizing that the Executive Officer had been right. Since her appointment to the position of Chief Medical Officer, Doctor Bruxa had not once sat in that chair. In fact she clearly recalled having done her best to avoid being in this office.  Seconds passed as she gazed at the chair before eventually smiling. Yes, this had become hers and there had been no reason for Satella to feel bad about it.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Setting: BASTET, Deck 15, Gangway
Stardate: 32008.1630

"We will be returning to the last location where Commander Janeel was," Sarena announced to her newly formed and all-Terran search team which now included the CSciO.  "Keep your eyes open and report anything back to me.  We will proceed in a straight line search pattern with each member of the team at no more than 5 meters from the person next to them. This will allow us to keep an eye on one another and to cover as much ground as possible while we search for clues both before and after we reach the stated location.  Any questions?"

Misaki found herself looking over the shoulder of the Executive Officer, the endless sea of sand coming across as being both an amazing scientific experience as well as a scary venture to be undertaking.  After a few moments of hesitation, the CSciO and the rest of the search team replied in the negative to the Commander's question before they followed her down the gangway and onto the sands of EPSILON 358.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Karen Price

Executive Officer
USS BASTET, NCC 74977
M03-P028: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: Day 05 - 1635 ("From Nowhere to Somewhere")
"From Nowhere to Somewhere"
Previous post: "A Few Brief Moments"

///^\\\
Setting: EPSILON 358, Surface
Stardate: 32008.1635

From what she had been able to see through the distorted images created by the sensors, the planet had been filled with various ecological items, but what she had seen with her own eyes had been far from that. From the tips of her feet to the distant horizon there had been nothing but a gentle ocean of sand, the warm breeze having created soft waves and ripples.  Had it not been for their missing Captain, this little journey might have actually been a scientifically interesting one.

"Don't bother," Commander Valentine said to the CSciO having noticed that she had reached for her tricorder. "Those work even less than the ones on the BASTET.  Whatever the cause may be for that temporal harmonics distortion field, it is doing quiet a job on our instruments."

"If it was not for the ship, it would be very easy for anyone to lose their way," Aki noted with a sigh. "There are no natural points of reference or even some distant mountain range to allow us to keep out heading."

"We discovered that rather quickly on our first time out here," the First Officer admitted. "So we made sure to keep the BASTET directly to our afts on the way out and took a straight line back in.  It may seem strange, but you get to stop seeing the ship quickly and that small breeze you feel erases our tracks almost as fast."

"We should have brought some communication amplifiers," the CSciO pointed out wondering how the First Officer had not thought of this. "We could have used them as markers to insure we didn't lose our way should we find ourselves having gone too far to keep our eyes on the ship.

Commande Valentine grinned as she pointed to the ends of the line created by the members of the search team.  At either end the officer there had been carrying a back mounted support with a dozen or so amplifiers.  With each of those two officers putting down one amplifier in an alternating pattern, the search team could venture quite a distance without finding themselves lost in this endless desert.

"Sorry Commander," Aki sheepishly offered, feeling rather bad in that she had not expected the higher ranking woman to know what she was doing.

"No worries," Sarena smiled back, obviously not having taken any offence. "I do appreciate officers who are not afraid to state the obvious. As much as I may not be the first to point it out, I am only human as as such am vulnerable to making mistakes. Of course should you repeat this to anyone else, I will deny ever having said this and will have you scrubbing the plasma inducers for the next few months.

"Yes Sir," the scientist quickly acknowledged glad to have been given a momentary glimpse into a more human side of the Commander.

It had taken them another 15 minutes or so to reach the location where Commander Janeel had become unable to continue, and till the sandy landscape had seemed not to have changed in the least with one exception, the BASTET could barely been seen.

"Let's begin with an outward vector search pattern," Commander Valentine ordered.  "Since this is where the music heard by Commander Janeel was at the strongest, maybe we can find out where it originated from."

"The tricorder is not picking up anything beyond the background harmonics, so this will not help in any way," Aki reported. "What I find odd though is that we have not heard any *music*, so could it be that the interaction of the sand with the nervous system be the cause, or maybe even the means by which said music can be heard?"

"It is an interesting theory," Sarena accepted. "Our only problem right now seems to be that there are only Humans here and according to Doctor Bruxa we appear to be immune to this effect."

"I took the liberty of downloading her research before our departure from he BASTET," Aki stated as she opened her tricorder and made some modifications to the scanning array.  "It may not be overly accurate, but I should be able to modify some of the components to mimic Commander Janeel's neurological structure to see what the tricorder can *hear*.  At the very least it will allow us to track down a possible source by moving towards the strongest signal-vector."

"See," Commander Valentine grinned, "I knew there was a reason why I wanted you here with us."

"Like I said though, this will not be overly accurate and may in fact not work at all, but since we are here in the proverbial middle of nowhere, might as well give this a try," the CSciO stated as she knelt down into the sand and scooped a handful of sand to place it against the tricorder sensor element.  "This may not work at all as there is no way for me to have the tricorder fully copy the biological structure of the Commander's nervous system. Since we have no idea how this process actually works, it may be a complete waste of time to try."

"Or maybe not," Sarena said with a faint smile as some faint and strange noises started to come from the small handheld device.  "Lead the way and let's find out where this music, if you can call it that, will take us."

///^\\\
Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Misaki Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Chief Science Officer
USS BASTET - NCC 74977
M03-P029: USS BASTET: Iverson: Day 05 - 1640 ("An Explanation")
---
"An Explanation"
(Previous Post: "From Nowhere to Somewhere")
---

Setting: EPSILON 358, Underground
Stardate: 32008.1640

Over the last hour or so Selene and Alexandria had barely spoken to one another, this following the archaeologist having heard that her father had been the one responsible for the presence of her friend on EPSILON 358.

"Alix! You cannot continue ignoring me like this," the Captain of the USS BASTET argued once more.  "Forget about your father, forget about the reason why you went into this mad exile. I need your help to get back to the surface and to my crew who I am sure frantically looking for both you and me."

"I am not going back," the daughter of Admiral Koniki snapped without an iota of friendship in her voice as the archeologist continued down one of the many corridors that laced the underground of the planet. "As for you getting back to the surface, you can figure it out on your own."

"Will you stop being like this!  I have responsibilities to my crew."

"Responsibilities? We both know just how great you are with those."

(FLASHBACK)

---
Setting: USS SOUTHERN CROSS, Shuttle Bay
Stardate: 10003.1430 (roughly 22 years ago)

"Why are you going? You're the only friend I have on this ship." Alexandria pleaded through her tears.

"My application at Starfleet Academy was accepted," Selene explained, holding her friend by the shoulders to make sure she would not be running away as she usually did when upset. "I have to be back on EARTH in two days, but I promise to come and visit each and every chance I get.  I know that this will be tough for both of us, but think of it this way, I will be able to give you all of my notes and help you through all of your classes when you go to the Academy."

"You promise?"

"Of course I promise. As your big sisters it is my responsibility to take care of you."

(END FLASHBACK)

---
Setting: EPSILON 358, Underground
Stardate: 32008.1635

"I wrote to you each and every chance I got," Selene snapped back. "I also took every opportunity to go back to the SOUTHERN CROSS to visit you and my parents, but it was not easy given that it took several days to go there from EARTH and back.  You were the one that eventually stopped writing back.  We were the best of friends and you turned your back on me."

"Friends don't leave the way you did," Alexandria pointed out as she reached a small room where her droids had been waiting.  "Friends don't suddenly vanish from the lives of those they knew, Friends stay by your side no matter what. These are my friends, the only friends I have needed for the last 16 years."

(FLASHBACK)

---
Setting: USS SOUTHERN CROSS, Quarters
Stardate: 16038.1430 (roughly 16 years ago)

"All I am trying to do is get information as to what ship Selene Iverson is currently serving on," Alexandria sighed at the Starfleet Officer coldly looking back at her through the visual communications channel.

[/\] As I explained to you, the information is classified. I am truly sorry but there is nothing more I can say.  If you wish, you can submit your request for information to the head of Starfleet Intelligence. Maybe Admiral Koniki would be willing to bend the rules for you. [/\]

"Nevermind!" Alexandria growled as she ended the communication with a rather hard slam on her hand against the controls. "I never thought she would join Starfleet Intelligence, and even less that she would be working under him.  Looks like our paths have been set, hers under his shadow and mine to be on my own anywhere else but here.  At least he should be happy, having traded one daughter for another. Some friend you turned out to be Selene."

(END FLASHBACK)

---
Setting: EPSILON 358, Underground
Stardate: 32008.1640

"Are they all here?" Selene demanded, knowing all too well that the BASTET and its crew had used the automated emergency transmitters of the droids to help in locating Alexandria, and in so doing finding their Captain as well.

"Yes they are, and the emergency signal that you managed to remotely trigger was stopped" the archeologist confirmed without any show of remorse. "Like I said, if you want to go back to your new friends and family, you will have to do it on your own. I am sure that *dad* will be far happier to see you back than me.

"Alright, I get it. You are angry at him for having had to leave you the way he did," Selene said taking a solid hold of the younger woman's shoulder.  "You have to understand that he did what he knew was best. Thanks to his dealings with the Orion Syndicate he knew that your life would be at risk if they learned of your existence. When he helped the Vulcans countered the Tal'Shiar it became even more important to separate himself from those he cared. Either one of those groups would not have to use you to get back at him.  He did what he did for your safety."

"Depriving a child of their father is never a good thing, no matter how you try to spin it," the woman spat, clearly upset about the situation that she had been living with for the last 16 years.

"Alex," Selene said as she took hold of the archeologist by the shoulders. "He might not have been there for you as you had wanted or needed him to but never did he abandon you.  He did everything he could to help you without you knowing. As an independent archaeologist he could not protect you as easily as he could have a Starfleet Officer, so he kept his distances while maintaining a watchful eye on each and every thing you did."

Alexandria struggled against the hold of her once best friend but her heart had not been in it, the tears flowing over her cheeks having been proof enough of the state in which the woman had been in.

"He loves you," Selene pointed out, her hold on her friend having turned into a loving embrace.  "That is why he did what he did, because he could not live with himself should anything happened to you. So he injured himself by your absence to keep you safe, and he watched over you. That is why I am here, not to remind you of what you believe you have lost, but to point out what it is that was with you every step of the way."

---
Jessica Solarik

Captain Selene Fiona Iverson [Access Character BIO for Selene Iverson]
Commanding Officer
USS BASTET

&

Lieutenant Commander Maya [Access Character BIO for Maya]
Chief Science Officer
USS ANUBIS

"To see the world in a grain of sand,
and a heaven in a wild flower.
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
and eternity in an hour."
- William Blake (British, 1757-1827)
M03-P030: USS BASTET: Bruxa: Day 05 - 1655 ("Mind Test")
=-=
"Mind Test"
[previous post was "An Explanation"]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 32008.1655

"Can I go now?" The woman sounded upset or at least bored out of her mind. She had been on the bed for over an hour now and would have left had she not been restrained.

"Not quite yet. I just have to run a few more tests." Satella automatically replied.

"You said the exact same thing 5, 10, 15 and 30 minutes ago." Janeel sighed.

"Same question, same reply. I believe it was Einstein who said that doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results is a sign of insanity." The CMO had spoken never having looked back at her patient.

"Is that why you asked me here?" The timing of Counselor Lopez's entrance into sickbay could not have been better planned.

"What is this? What is going on?" The restrained woman did her best to turn her head to look at the Counselor. Maybe if she could get a glimpse at her face Janeel would be able to figure out what had been happening.

"Just needed your opinion on something." Satella said. The Doctor and Counsellor made their way to the large display screen, ignoring the patient as if she had not even been there.

"The neurological activity seems rather elevated and appears to be increasing. Could possibly trigger some sort of paranoia, maybe even full onset delusions." The Counselor whispered but not low enough to avoid Janeel from overhearing.

"That is what I am worried about. The effects of the sand varies from species to species. Terrans appear to be immune, but others, like Daledian, appear to be highly vulnerable.  Dementia may only be the first stage of this neurological attrition. There are possibilities that it will lead to a complete neural collapse." Doctor Bruxa continued in the same whispered voice.

"How bad is it? Is there anything you can do? Am I going to die?" Janeel asked, her voice tittering on full out panic. After an hour of tests and the less than forthcoming replies from the CMO, it had been understandable that the woman had been on edge. Faced with what she had overheard, Janeel could only hope for a favorable outcome.

"Commander, you have to understand that we are doing everything we can. This sand and its effect on the neurological system is undocumented. Doctor Bruxa is doing all that she can to find answers as quickly as possible. All you can do at this time is to be patient and allow her to do her work. We are all working as fast and hard as we can to find a solution" The words from Counselor Lopez had been soft and soothing. Adriana had done her job perfectly. All that was left to do was to wait and see what would happen next.

Janeel released a long exhale after having closed her eyes. Dealing with one's own mortality had never been an easy task, but it was a part of life in Starfleet.  She wished that there had been both time and opportunity to put her affairs in order. Doing so though would have required her to accept this fate, something that she had not been ready to do.  "Thank you. I know that you both will do your best."

Adriana and Satella gazed at each other for a few moments before looking back at the oversized medical display.

"What do you think?" The Doctor's question had come across as having almost been said in humor.

"I believe we are done here." The Counselor's reply came in a similar lighthearted tone.

"Are you two giving up on me?" Janeel asked in shock, having reopened her eyes to glare at the two standing women.

"Quite the contrary Commander. You are being cleared to leave sickbay." Counselor Lopez answered as she released the restraints.

"Please allow me to explain.  The effects of the sand on your neurological system was not as extensive as we led you to believe. This was necessary to test the lingering impact of your exposure. I enlisted Counselor Lopez's assistance to create this situation which would allow us to best test your responses. I was reluctant in using artificial stimuli for fear that they might taint the results.  Keeping you restrained and withholding information was meant to bring you as close to the breaking point as we could. You past the final test, that of having you believe that this was fatal, with flying colors." Satella explained while helping the bemused woman off the examination bed.

"We are very sorry Commander, but this was the best and most expedient way to get answers. All other tests would have left us with questions as to the possible undetected effects on your nervous system." Adriana added. It had been the hopes of both the Counselor and Doctor that the reason for their deception would be understood and accepted by Janeel.

"I will admit that I am not pleased at having been submitted to this mind game of yours. That said I do appreciate your efforts to insure that I was fit to return to duty. Now if you will excuse me, I should return to the bridge where I can at least try to help." It was easy to see that the Commander had not been overly happy. That said though, her tone and somewhat relaxed manner in which she exited sickbay showed that she had not held any ill feelings towards the two women.

=-=
Rachel Jackie Johnson

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET

[Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. - Mark Twain]
M03-P031: USS BASTET: Lopez: Day 05 - 1710 ("No More Secrets")
-=-=-
"No More Secrets"
[Previous post: "Mind Test"]
-=-=-

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32008.1710

"That was a pretty elaborate plan you two came up with," the image of the missing twin sister said, Amanda having actually remained silent through the entire event to Adriana's surprise and pleasure.

"Thank you for your assistance Counselor," Setalla smiled, appearing rather pleased with the results of their tag-team efforts.  "I understand that this could not have been easy for you but it was necessary. I do not generally condone the use of deception, but I do understand the need to do so under certain situations.  In this case, our need for a rapid diagnostic did force our hand. In time I am sure that Commander Janeel will come to accept what we did and may even come to forgive us."

"She might, or she will find a way to lock us both into a crate and fire it into the nearest star," Adriana chuckled.

"Seeing you locked into a small enclosed space would be something," Amanda laughed. "You may not officially be claustrophobic but small tight spaces have never been your favorite."  The statement from her sister who could only be seen or heard by the Counselor actually caused Adriana to wince briefly.

"That would not be a pleasant experience," Doctor Bruxa commented before she tilted her head ever so slightly to one side as if having noticed something strange about the Counselor.  "Miss Lopez, can I ask for your help? I need to recalibrate the examination bed. I want to make sure that all of the tests done on the sand and on Commander Janeel have not caused the diagnostic array go off balance.  Since I have your bio-readouts on file, it should not take more than a few minutes to complete."

"Of course," Adriana agreed, not thinking that there was anything wrong with the request or the need for the Doctor to insure that hr instruments worked at their highest designed specifications.

"While you are there, you might want to ask her to scan that pretty little head of yours," the twin sister snickered. "After all, you are still suffering for continual auditory and visual hallucinations, which you do your best not to interact with on varying degrees of success."

"Are you comfortable?" Doctor Bruxa asked, having noticed a flash of annoyance on the Counselor's face.

"I'm fine," Adriana quickly stated. "I'm just not used to being the one laying down during a consult," the Counselor added with a chuckle.

"Now, try to remain as still as possible. This won't take long."

"If you are lucky she'll find that you are completely nuts and restrain you the way the Commander was not so long ago," Amanda teased while looking down at her sister from above her head making the illusion appear upside-down to the Counselor.

"The instruments do appear to be working as they should," Satella said in a way that made Adriana suspect that there was more.

"Is there a problem?" Lopez asked worried that maybe she had managed to mess up the calibration.

"Not sure, depends on whether or not you are suffering from some type of headache or are seeing something that is not truly there. There is some very odd neurological activity from your visual and auditory cortex the likes of which I have only seen in medical simulations," Doctor Bruxa explained having turned back to look at the Counselor who now appeared flushed.

"I'm fine," Counselor Lopez far too rapidly said as she shut up from the bed.

"Adriana, relax. I am not here to judge or make things difficult for you. In fact, I am here to help.  Whatever is the cause of this will remain between us, but you need to tell me what is going on so that I can help," Satella explained with tenderness and care.  "Right now I am worried that the sand from EPSILON 358 possesses possible narcotic properties which we had not before seen or even suspected.  So I need you to be honest with me, how long have you had these visions?"

"Visions? What Visions?" Lopez said in a desperate effort to save herself from what she knew would be coming.

"You keep looking at something or someone that is not there. You seem to be reacting to things that no one else sees or hears, and aside from the neurological scan I have just performed, you own reply confirms that you are seeing something," Bruxa explained, trying her best to come across as understanding and supportive as possible.

Lopez had been on the verge of tears. Never before had she been on the receiving end of the psychological tricks the Doctor had used against her to get the required answers. There had been no way that Satella had known for sure that Adriana suffered from hallucinations, but the way her question had been asked had been designed to cause a response that would remove any doubt.

"You can't tell her that you see me," Amanda pleaded. "She will send you to the closest psych-ward and throw away the key."

"The sand has nothing to do with it," Adriana stated as she looked at the image of her sister who appeared terrified with the prospect that their secret would be revealed. Amanda might have joked about this many times before, but the reality of actually admitting the situation had been an entirely different issue.  "It's been years that I have had these visions, and they are of my missing twin sister.  We talk and even argue. She is rarely not there for me to interact with."

"That's okay," Satella gently reassured with a smile. "I am here to help, not judge. You made Lieutenant so as far as I am concerned you have proven yourself more than I have, therefore you have nothing to fear from me.  I just want to help you, nothing more. So relax, breathe and tell me the whole story from the start."

-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor
USS BASTET
M03-P032: USS BASTET: Valentine: Day 05 - 1715 ("Looking for the Music")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Looking for the Music"
[previous post (No More Secrets)]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: EPSILON 358, Surface
Stardate: 32008.1715

Using the tricorder to mimic the nervous system of Commander Janeel to then use the sand in order to pick up the music that the woman had claimed to hear had not been as simple as is sounded. To be honest it had not sounded very easy to start with and had proven to be even more complicated once they had actually started doing it.

It had been nearly an hour since they had set on this quest to find the music heard by Janeel, and Mitshiba had compared their efforts to being like searching for the echo of a sound while using a tone-deaf flightless howl.  There would be times when they would have a very precise direction to head towards, and then there would be other times when staying still had been the only way to go.  Whatever this strange music had been, it seemed that it did not originate from a single specific location.

"At least, and according to the communication amplifiers, we are not going in circles," the Executive Officer offered, her hope for locating their missing Captain in a rapid fashion having quickly dwindled down to nothing over the last 30 minutes or so.

"I am sorry," the CSciO offered, "I did say that this was not going to be a perfect solution. For all we know, Commander Janeel might have been faced with the same exact problem we are dealing with now.  It is actually possible that the actual point of origin for this music is either mobile or naturally occurring by the interactions of elements here on the surface."

"We can't give up," Sarena pointed out in all seriousness. "We have to do everything we can to locate the Captain."

"We are," Misaki confirmed. "It would just make things easier if somehow the droids had not stopped transmitting the distress signal. At least that way we might be able to lock in on something other than a music that only a select few can actually hear as they go mad because of it."

"What if that was the idea?" Sarena suggested as being slightly more than a passing thought. "Could this music have been designed to guide those who lived here while causing anyone else to go mad?"

"It could be," the CSciO admitted, "we know so little about all of this. It is theoretically possible that the music was meant to be some sort of defence mechanism, but that would leave us to believe that Humans were either ignored as a potential threat to this world's culture or that we are somehow related to them. The other option, one that I believe to be more likely, is that the Daledian are genetically closer to the original inhabitants of this world which allowed Commander Janeel to tap into whatever system is creating this music."

"Now that's an idea," the Executive Officer said with a beaming grin. "Could you use the data on Janeel's nervous system as a base, making modifications to the tricorder in the hopes of getting a better reception? Worst case scenario would be that we gain nothing and revert back to the base data that you already have. On the other hand, if the modifications work, we could find something that would lead us to the Captain a lot faster."

"Making these kind of modifications would be a lot easier if I had the help of a Doctor," Mitshiba admitted. As much as she thought the plan had been a good one, making the requested modifications without having a more solid understanding of the Daledian nervous system would only slow down the process which the CSciO had already figured would not be a simple and quick one."

"Luckily for us, we have a nice line of communication amplifiers between us and the BASTET," Sarena grinned as she reached for her communicator.  "Commander Valentine to Doctor Bruxa."

=/\= Go ahead Commander. Is everything alright? =/\= There had been a fair amount of static but not enough to make it impossible to understand what the woman currently on board the BASTET had been saying.

"We have a theory and need your medical expertise," Sarena rapidly explained.

"We are currently using a tricorder to mimic the neural structure of Commander Janeel so that we can, using some of the nearby sand, track the source of the music that she had reported hearing," the CSciO added, doing her best to quickly explain their situation and the reason for the assistance of the CMO. "Right now the system is working but far from well, so we were hoping to effect some minor modifications to see if we could get a better and more accurate readout."

=/\= So you are trying to come up with a neurological close cousin to the Daledian. Alright, let me see what I can do to help. =/\=

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Karen Price

Executive Officer
USS BASTET, NCC 74977
M03-P033: USS BASTET: Janeel: Day 05 - 1730 ("Getting On Her Nerves")
=-=
"Getting On Her Nerves"
[previous post was "Looking For The Music" by the trouble solving Karen]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32008.1730

There was no hiding that the ILO / Mission Specialist had not been happy about what Doctor Bruxa and Counselor Lopez had done. As much as Janeel might understand why this had to be done, there had been a part of her who still resented the fact that she had been tricked into believing that she had been at death's door.  Getting out of Sickbay had been the best thing to do, giving her time to think and calm herself, at least that had been the plan.

With the ship's sensors being pretty much useless as far as finding Miss Koniki or Captain Iverson, Janeel had faced an entirely different source of frustration.  She had hoped to be of some help in locating the missing individuals but instead the ILO / Mission Specialist had found herself barely capable of keeping track of the search team lead by Commander Valentine.  Whatever mystery and secrets this world had been hiding; it appeared that they would remain so for quite a bit longer.

Janeel had been aware that the First Officer had contacted the Chief Medical Officer but the ILO / Mission Specialist had not been included in their discussion, so she remained unaware of the specifics. The best she could do was hope that either one of them would at one point call for the Daledian's assistance.

=/\= Sickbay to Commander Janeel. =/\= Satella said through a newly opened communication channel.

"Go ahead Doctor," Janeel replied, wondering if the woman had some sort of telepathic ability that had been omitted from her personnel file and service record.

=/\= If you are not overly busy up on the bridge, I could use your help here in Sickbay. =/\=

Janeel grinned in silence. She had been more than busy with twiddling her thumbs and looking at an ever changing landscape, the sensors unable to penetrate the temporal harmonics that could be found everywhere on EPSILON 358. "I will be right there," she eventually said, trying her best not to come across as being overly anxious to so quickly return to sickbay, which in all honesty had been the truth.

=-=
Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 32008.1735

"What can I do for you?" Janeel asked as she stepped into the room, not at all thrilled with seeing both the CMO and CNS apparently waiting for her.

"We need your help," Adriana offered.

"Commander Valentine and Lieutenant Mitshiba are currently using a tricorder which has been modified to mimic your nervous system based on the data that had been gathered following your being affected by the sand," Stella explained. "What they are hoping to do is initiate certain modifications to the data in the hopes of getting a more accurate reading from the instrument."

"Your nervous system is for one reason or another affected by the sand leaving Doctor Bruxa and myself to believe that your specie may have some genetic common ground," the Counselor offered, her role in this having obviously been to help make Janeel feel more at ease with this entire affair.

"I am not getting back on that thing," the ILO / Mission Specialist huffed while pointing with an angered finger at the main examination bed.

"No worries Commander," the Doctor smiled as she picked up a medical tricorder. "We should be able to get what we need with a simple scan."

"Commander," Adriana respectfully offered. "We are sorry for what we had to do, but it was necessary to reach a final and rapid diagnostic. The same could be said for this. It is the Doctor's hope that she can isolate specific genetic markers or neural connections that will enable Commander Valentine and her team to locate the Captain and Miss Koniki with greater speed."

"I can see that the two of you are going to make a great team," Janeel sighed as she made her way to the main examination table.  "It sure didn't take you too long to find a common ground to form a friendship that I suspect the entire crew will be made to experience the result of very soon."

"No worries Commander," Satella smiled as she began to scan the sitting ILO / Mission Specialist. "All we did was talk and shared a few things."

"Shared a few things?" Janeel repeated, looking at Counselor Lopez so as not to pay too much attention to the Doctor whose proximity had actually sent a shiver down the willing patient's back.

"It was believed that the time had come to share some of the darker secrets from the past," Adriana teased, knowing all too well that the best way to hide something was to have it in plain sight.

"Dark secrets?" the Commander asked sounding intrigued.

"Sorry Commander," Satella said in gentle laughter, "but those secrets fall under the medical confidentiality rules."

Janeel's gaze bounced from one woman to the other and back several times as she desperately tried to figure out who had divulged what secret to whom. By the expressions on the two women's faces, it had been impossible to solve the mystery of who the dark secrets had belonged to, leaving the ILO / Mission Specialist to believe that she had likely been played once more by the CMO and CNS. Whatever friendship the two had formed, the sitting woman believed that she had not felt the last of it.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET

Lieutenant Commander Shar'El [Access Character BIO for Shar'El]
Acting Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS
M03-P034: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: Day 05 - 1740 ("Helping Out")
"Helping Out"
Previous post: "Getting On Her Nerves"

///^\\\
Setting: EPSILON 358, Surface
Stardate: 32008.1740

"Do you think they will be able to find something that will help us?" Aki asked, trying to make some conversation while they waited for Doctor Bruxa to contact them with something more for them to use.

"We can only hope so," Commander Valentine replied, not sounding overly hopeful.  "Without the droids transmitting their distress signal, any sort of visual landscape to work with, and the complete uselessness of our scanning instruments, the odds of finds either Captain Iverson or Miss Koniki are less than good."

=/\= We might have something, =/\= the Doctor announced over the comm channel. =/\= We are transmitting a revised neurological schematic for you to use. Hopefully this will make your scans more accurate as to finding the origin of this music. Good luck. =/\=

"Thank you Doctor," Valentine said after having confirmed with Aki that the data had indeed been received.

"The new data is not all that different from the original but I see certain clear changes in the way the nerves are designed to process information," Aki noted as she put into effects the new modifications to her tricorder.

"How is it looking?" Sarena asked, her hope having returned.

"I just need to calibrate the scanners to use the properties of the sand to the best possible level and we will be ready to test this live," the CSciO replied, her own hopes having also greatly increased despite having no idea whatsoever about these new modifications working or not. "Alright, here we go."

///^\\\
Setting: EPSILON 358, Underground
Stardate: 32008.1750

The silence between Iverson and Koniki had been deafening. Obvious there had been a great deal of bad blood between father and daughter and as much of a friend as the two women had been at one time, it had helped little to smooth over the situation.

"What are you doing," the Captain asked having tried her best to understand what the archeologist had been working on.

"Trying to fix what you broke by being here," Alexandria hissed in anger without even looking back at the woman who had been following her every move for the last two hours.

"Tell me what it is that you are trying to do and maybe I can help," Selene offered, trying her best to bridge the gap that had formed between the two friends.

"You've helped quite enough," the archeologist snapped turning to face the woman as tears graced her cheeks.

"Alex, I am not the enemy here. I want to help," the Captain stated.

"Maybe we can be of assistance?" Sarena added as she and Aki walked up behind their Captain.

"Glad you were able to find us," the Captain offered with a smile.

"It was not as easy as it might seem," the CSciO pointed out. "It required some fancy work and collaboration from Doctor Bruxa and Command Janeel.

"I am looking forward to reading your reports, but right now we need to help Alexandria," the Captain said as she moved forward to offer some comfort to her friend.  "Our arrival caused some sort of havoc here in the underground of the planet and we need to figure out how to undo whatever it is we did."

"What about your mission?" the archeologist said trying her best to hold back her tears. "Your cherished Admiral may not like you delaying dragging me off this planet, especially not with those overgrown cold-blooded Gorn lizards heading this way."

"The Captain said that she wanted us to help, and that's what we will do," Aki jumped in, adding a smile to show Alexandria that 'dragging her off this planet' had not been the way this mission had been meant to unfold, regardless of what obstacles they would face.  "So tell me what you are trying to do and what you believe the arrival of the BASTET caused.  I may not have an answer right away but at the very least I can offer you my experience and knowledge is trying to come up with a solution.

Alexandria glanced over to Selene and Sarena, both women having offered a simple smile to confirm that the offer for help had been genuine.

"It will be easier if I show you the main room," the archeologist said clearing the tears from her cheeks while still trying to figure out her emotions towards her childhood friend.

As Alexandria led the way, she explained what had been discovered to the BASTET's CSciO, the Captain and First Officer following a few steps back listening in on the conversation. The news of this world having been a once remote colony of the extinct race known as the D'Arsay and piqued everyone's interest.  The presence of an interactive holographic guide as well as over a thousand three-dimensional archived images and further made their need to find a solution to the current situation important.

"Do you have any ideas or suspicions as to why the arrival of the BASTET on the surface caused the entire holographic system to go off-line?" Aki asked, having received enough information to start working on narrowing the possible reasons for what had happened.

"To be honest I am even sure as to what caused the guide to appear in the first place," the archeologist admitted. "It took me over six months to find the slightest clue of the civilization that had been rumored to being here and it was through luck that I managed to open the coverstone using some rather complex harmonics."

"It was a Federation deep-space probe detecting temporal harmonics that brought us here," Commander Valentine offered. "The same harmonics that will likely see the Gorn be here in five days or so."

"We initially suspected that the harmonics were some sort side-effect to you having discovered something here on EPSILON 358," Aki explained, "but after everything that you have said and what we have seen in orbit and on the surface, I am starting to believe that the harmonics are far more important to this mystery.  In fact  would venture as far as to say that they may well be the key to figuring all this out."

"What about the temporal elements of the harmonics?" Sarena asked. "They may not have been prominent on any of our scans but there is no denying that they are there."

"I may have a few ideas as to why the harmonics have an additional temporal signature, but I would rather wait until I see this main room before voicing any of them, the CSciO said glancing back at the First Officer.

"This ought to be interesting," the Captain grinned inviting the two women in the led to proceed.

///^\\\
Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Misaki Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Chief Science Officer
USS BASTET - NCC 74977
M03-P035: USS BASTET: Valentine: Day 05 - 1800 ("Temporal Entanglement")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Temporal Entanglement"
[previous post (Helping Out)]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: EPSILON 358, Underground
Stardate: 32008.1800

"Not sure if Janeel is going to agree with the theory that her race may be in some distant way related to the D'Arsay," the Executive Officer mentioned to her Captain following a quick report on how they had managed to find an opening to the underground which had led them to finding both missing individuals shortly thereafter.

"I suspect that nothing about this thing is going to be simple," Captain Iverson said as she too tried to figure out what role time played in the events that had taken place.

"Here we are," Alexandria said as the group arrived on the balcony overlooking the large open area where the holographic images had been displayed.  "The guide appeared over there the first time I say hime."

"I am not picking up any signs of holographic emitters or any sort of technology in the walls," Mitshiba reported using her modified tricorder to scan their surroundings.  "Even if the guide had been created through unknown and/or ancient technology, there should still be some sort of mechanical or technological component detectable to account for it."

"You did say that the holographic images showed to you by this guide had appeared exceptionally real, is this correct?" Valentine asked.

"Items and scenes created on our own holodecks appear as real as can be," the Chief Science Officer said not understanding the reason for the question.

"I was not actually concerned about the realism, but more on he fact that I can only think of a single way that a realistic *hologram* could be created without the use of any sorts of emitters and a sizable computer to manage the entire process," Sarena explained.  "I am also trying to bring in the temporal aspect into this, and again I can only come up with a single possibility that makes any sort of sense."

"I see where you are going," Mitshiba nodded in agreement, her eyes having become larger with excitement. "It would account for the realism of the images, the presence of the temporal component to the harmonics and the reason why the entire system went off-line the moment the BASTET landed on the surface.  The solution is so simple, I am wondering why I had not thought of it earlier."

"You can take solace in the fact that I did not think of it either," Captain Iverson said adding a single raised eyebrow. "In fact it would be nice if either one of you would share this epiphany with the rest so that we can enjoy this enlightenment."

"We cannot detect any holographic emitters or any sort of technology that we would expect to find because there are none," the Chief Science Officer said with a smile that radiated throughout the room and beyond as she turned to look directly at the archeologist.  "I am still not sure how, but it does make sense. The images and the guide who presented them to you are not actual holographic images but rather temporal echoes.  The BASTET has been using its temporal drive to generate a dampening field to allow its sensors to get some sort of reading since it came into orbit. The field was likely too weak to affect the underground but that changed when we landed."

"The dampening field is still active," Captain Iverson noted, the entire concept now making far more sense than it had before.

"Like I said, I have no idea how this is happening, but it all makes sense," Mitshiba continued. "Miss Koniki somehow triggered a system by which images from the past were transmitted through time to this location.  It accounts for the realism and interaction while also explaining why there is a temporal field all around this planet.  The BASTET's temporal dispersion field disrupted this field and interrupted the communication."

"Captain Iverson to the BASTET," Selene said as she tapped her comm badge.

=/\= Captain! It is great to hear your voice. Commander Valentine is out looking for you as we speak. =/\= the static filled reply from Commander Janeel came. =/\= Your signal is coming in exceptionally weak. Is there any way for you to boost it so as to give the search team a better chance to lock in on your location? =/\=

"No need," the Captain said as she looked at her Executive Officer and Chief Science Officer. "Commander Valentine and Lieutenant Mitshiba are already with me in an underground structure."

=/\= Great news and it would explain the weakness of the signal. When can we expect you back on board? =/\= The question was asked through the static that seemed to have actually become more intense.

"Not quite yet, we have found Alexandria but need to investigate something she discovered first," the Captain replied as she looked at her friend, hoping that all of this further proved that she BASTET and herself had not been sent to simply drag her back to her father.

=/\= Is there anything we can do to help Captain? =/\=

"Actually there is," the Captain continued. "We need you to deactivate the temporal dampening field."

=/\= Captain? =/\= Janeel gasped. =/\= Without the dampening field we will not be able to communicate with you in any way and there are no guarantees that we would be able to reestablish communications afterwards. =/\=

"Understood," Iverson acknowledged. "Have the search team still on the surface return to the ship. Commander Valentine and Lieutenant Mitshiba will be staying with me. Don;t worry about us, we will find our way back on our own. In the meantime you are to see to the safety of the ship and crew until our return."

=/\= Very well Captain, =/\= Janeel reluctantly agreed. =/\= We will have the temporal dampening field back up in two hours so that we can try to reestablish communications. =/\=

"Two hours should be more than enough," the Executive Officer nodded. "We can always take the temporal drive off line again if our investigation is not completed."

=/\= Two hours it is than. Iverson out. =/\=

"So how long before we know if this works?" Mitshiba asked, not entire certain as to who would offer an answer or even if anyone could and would.

"Not that long I would say," the Executive Officer said as she pointed with a gesture of her head to the image of a man who had just appeared.

"You brought friends? Good, now maybe things can proceed in a smoother fashion. She was not overly cooperative," the guide said as he shot a disapproving smirk in the direction of the Archeologist.

"Maybe two hours was too long of a delay," Valentine quietly sighed not at all having found the attitude of the image endearing in the least.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Karen Price

Executive Officer
USS BASTET, NCC 74977
M03-P036: USS BASTET: Janeel: Day 05 - 1830 ("A Storm Approaches")
=-=
"A Storm Approaches"
[previous post was "Temporal Entanglement" by the amazing Karen]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Observation Lounge
Stardate: 32008.1830

However bad the accuracy of the sensors had been while the temporal dampening field had been active, the situation then could not be compared to how things were now. Without the field generated by the unique drive found on board the BASTET to offset the effects of the temporal harmonics, the ship and its crew had been rendered for all intents and purposes blind.  Their only access to the world beyond the hull of the ship had been through whatever windows they could see out of.

"I am sure that the Captain is fine," Counselor Lopez offered to the visibly concerned Commander Janeel, the woman having set up camp by the window, her gaze lost over the sandy horizon of EPSILON 358.

"I have no doubts that both Captain Iverson and Commander Valentine are capable of taking care of themselves, if fact they have proven so more than once. I just dislike the fact that we are here counting the minutes before we can re-engage the temporal drive," Janeel explained while never taking her eyes off the seemingly endless horizon.

"I will have to mention to both of them how much you were concerned during their absence," Adriana teased.

"Counselor, my concern is purely professional," the Commander clarified with absolute seriousness. "Starfleet regulations concerning away missions clearly states that only one of the two highest ranking officers can leave the ship at the same time.  I am simply concerned in the fact that should something happen, neither the Commanding Officer nor the First Officer are here to take matters in hand."

"The BASTET is currently firmly landed on a planet where there seems to be nothing but sand for as far as the eyes can see," Adriana pointed out. "I agree that the effects of the temporal harmonics on our sensors is annoying, but in less than 90 minutes we will be able to resume communications. With the Gorn more than 4 days away from our location, I really do not see there being any need to be concerned."

"As the Ship's Counselor you are trained to keep a positive outlook on any and all situations," the Commander coldly sighed, her gaze not having once left the scene beyond the window of the Observation Lounge.

"I could point out the perfect opposite, in that as the BASTET's ILO you have grown to not only see but expect the worst possible cases in all situations, even when such a case is far from being within the realm of physical possibilities," Adriana sighed back, concerned as to how anyone could go about each and every day with such a pessimistic view of the universe.

"It only takes a few seconds to open a dimensional portal to another plane of existence, one that could be ruled by a race far technologically superior to us and who would not hesitate to destroy anything remotely alien," Janeel noted, her voice having actually grown colder. "Species 8472 and the Masters are only two such races that we have encountered. Who knows what other nightmarish races are out there plotting from the darkest shadows to destroy us?  Add to this the limitless temporal possibilities that we have opened due to our own recently acquired technology, and the number of possibilities are truly endless. The Gorn being 4 days away is inconsequential to what could happen in the next 90 seconds, let alone 90 minutes."

As much as Adriana might have wanted to argue the matter with Janeel, the Counselor had to concede that as dark as the woman's take on the universe might have been, she had been right. The greater majority of Starfleet only needed to deal with those problems from this dimension and time, but thanks to their dimensional and temporal drives, the crew of the BASTET had been placed in a unique position.  When looking at all of the dimensions and all of the time lines contained within these alternate plane of existence, the potential of a catastrophic event happening had been rather terrifying. 

"I will leave you be Commander," Adriana said in a soft and clearly defeated tone, the Counselor now needing to purge her own mind of the much darker possibilities that the short chat with Commander Janeel had opened up for her.

"Counselor?" Janeel said summoning the woman back to her side. For a moment Adriana had hoped that the Commander was going to offer some sort of silver lining to the dark storm cloud that she had held bring over the Counselor's head, but that would not be the case.

"What is that?" Lopez gasped as she looked at the now invisible distant horizon, the line that Janeel had been staring at for so long having suddenly vanished to be replaced by a blur as if someone had taken their finger to smudge the painting of the EPSILON 358 landscape.

"That Counselor I believe is one of the scenarios that I was concerned about and yet had not actually considered," Janeel sighed, only one possible explanation having come to her mind to explain what they had been looking at.  "Without sensors there is no way to confirm, but I believe that we are looking at a massive sandstorm, one that seems to be heading our way."

"We need to notify the Captain," Adriana stated having been ready to rush back to the bridge to do everything required to make her words become reality.

"The Captain gave us specific orders," the ILO / Mission Specialist said, "not to mention that they are currently under ground and likely in a safer location than we currently are.  As we have no idea of just how powerful this storm will be, it would be best for us to ready the BASTET for the incoming storm. As you pointed out earlier, you are sure that both Captain Iverson and Commander Valentine will be fine, this means that our current priority is to insure that we are the same."

"I better get back to Sickbay in case this storm causes more trouble than we fear," Adriana stated as she headed out of the Observation Lounge. "Satella might need some help once the storm hits."

Of all the possible problems that could have come to pass, Janeel had to admit that this had not been the worst, not by a long shot. That said though the approaching storm had nicely made her point to Counselor Lopez by demonstrating that the universe had never been one to be underestimated when it came to making things more complicated then they needed to be.

As the senior most officer on board, the responsibility of insuring the safety of the ship and crew feel upon her, and as such there had been but one thing she could say as she followed the Counselor's footsteps out of the Observation Lounge.

"RED ALERT!"

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET

Lieutenant Commander Shar'El [Access Character BIO for Shar'El]
Acting Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS
M03-P037: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: Day 05 - 1830 ("Sound Effect")
"Sound Effect"
Previous post: "A Storm Approaches"

///^\\\
Setting: EPSILON 358, Underground
Stardate: 32008.1830

"Remember what you said about the two hour delay being too long?" Captain Iverson chuckled to her First Officer, the two women having been left to the wayside by the CSciO and archeologist who had completely monopolized the guide's attention.  What was even more surprising was the fact that the holographic man appeared beyond content with the endless string of questions being sent his way at an alarming rate by the two scientists.

"Guess the only thing I can say is that I am glad that I brought her along," Commander Valentine chuckled back, watching the CSciO who had been acting like a child a Christmas with her new state-of-the-art toy.

"This is beyond amazing," Aki exclaimed having turned to look at the Captain and First Officer who had for the last 30 minutes or so been unwilling witnesses to the guide's interrogation. "Even if our sensors had been able to penetrate the distortion caused by the temporal harmonics, we would not have been able to detect any sort of technology as there aren't any on the planet, at least not as we understand it.  The D'Arsay, at least those that made it to EPSILON 358, found a way to use the naturally occurring crystalline formations in indigenous rocks as the base for their technology. So, to us the structures appear as being nothing more than natural formations easily dismissed and ignored as such."

"That is also why there had only been legends and stories of the civilization said to having been on this world," Alexandria added. "Whatever ships flew by would not have been able to detect anything aside from possibly some very minor and very low technology encampments.

"You do have to agree that such a type of technology would give any planet bound civilization a distinct advantage making them nearly invisible to orbital scans, especially to any race looking for or interested in other world's technological advancements" the First Officer said easily identifying the tactical benefits of such an unorthodox system.

"The advantages go well beyond that," Aki continued barely able to contain her excitement. "Think of it this way, the crystalline formations embedded in the rocks act in the general same way as small memory modules. Each of these are linked through a very faint harmonic vibration which is also naturally occurring."

"Turning the entire planet into one massive computer," Captain Iverson said completing Aki's sentence and giving a better understanding of their discovery.

"The crystals respond to specific amplitude and frequencies, which the D'Arsay made into music allowing them to control almost every aspects of the planet," Alex added, the archeologist being just as excited if not more as the CSciO.

"Every single sound made both on the surface or underground causes the planet to react, of course the reaction is in direct proportion to the size of the sound," Aki noted with a beaming smile.  "People must have been singing their way through the days to have the planet respond to their needs and whim.  Can you imagine what a song shared by the population of an entire city could accomplish?"

"What about the sounds generated by a starship?" the Captain asked, her thoughts and concerns having quickly moved to the BASTET and its crew.

"The temporal distortion field generated by the ship would have masked the greater majority if not all of the soundwaves coming from the BASTET, so there are no issues," the CSciO pointed out meeting the shocked and troubled gazes of the Captain and First Officer with hr own.

"The field that was deactivated as per your suggestion to test a theory to see if we could get the guide back," the Captain explained. "If what you are saying is true, the planet will respond to the sounds coming BASTET in a yet to be determined way.

"Actually, I can answer your questions now as I can hear the ship resting on the surface. With over 300 people on board, an active matter / antimatter conversion system and countless smaller devices all contributing to your vessel's song, it would be impossible to not know that it is there," the guide stated causing everyone's attention to suddenly fall onto him in a less than pleasant way.

"How is the planet going to respond?" Commander Valentine demanded, sharing the Captain's concerns for the ship and crew.

"Likely the same way it responded to my making noises that it did not like or recognize as music from he D'Arsay," Alexandria said through a saddened sigh.

"Which means what?" the Captain asked wanting specifics instead of just a vague explanation."

"A sand storm of direct proportion to the sounds generated of course," the guide said as if this had been common knowledge to everyone present.  "I can even show you."

Everyone rushed to the edge of the balcony to see the holographic image being generated clearly showing a massive sand storm rolling over the landscape directly for the BASTET.

"Will the shields be enough to weather that storm?" The First Officer asked with a distinct tone of hope.

"If the BASTET actually engages its defence systems, it will most probably cause the storm to increase in intensity. Shield technology work on the most part using a wide range of frequencies that will almost certainly be picked up by the crystalline formations in the rocks around the ship," Aki theorized, not al all liking that she had been responsible for what was happening.

"We have no way to warn the ship, and if Janeel follows standard protocol she will engage the shields as soon as she figured out that the storm is heading straight for the ship," Valentine pointed out.

"You have nothing to worry about," the guide offered not understanding the commotion that had suddenly come to be, "I can hear the shields of your ship, they have just been activated and pushed to full strength.

"Won't that make the storm more powerful?" Aki asked, not sure if she had missed something based on the casual manner in which the guide had been speaking.

"Of course it will, and by the time it reaches the ship it should be powerful enough to destroy it."

Captain Iverson, Commander Valentine, Lieutenant Mitshiba as well as Alexandria Koniki could only watch in horror, as the storm grew increasingly larger and closer to the BASTET.

///^\\\
Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Misaki Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Chief Science Officer
USS BASTET - NCC 74977
M03-P038: USS BASTET: Iverson: Day 05 - 1845 ("Not So Loud")
---
"Not So Loud"
(Previous Post: "Sound Effect")
---

Setting: EPSILON 358, Underground
Stardate: 32008.1845

"There has to be a way to stop that storm before it hits the BASTET," Selene voiced out loud not ready to accept the conclusion offered by the holographic guide as a fact that could not be changed or altered in any way.

"The storm is the storm, it cannot change its mind just as Korgano could stop chasing Masaka. Nature is what it is so the storm cannot be stopped," the guide explained, looking at the four gathered women with an air of complete confusion. It was apparent that the being had been unable to understand why they all had been so shocked and concerned about a simple sand storm.

"Even Korgano managed to catch Masaka at some point," Lieutenant Mitshiba said as she turned to the guide, the Chief Science Officer obviously having had an idea that she could not take the time to explain to the others. "An eclipse! Day could be turned into night, but in this case instead of light we are dealing with sound. The storm was created due to the sounds created by the BASTET, so all we need to do is send a message to the ship to have them turn *everything* off."

"Without the temporal dispersion field active, there is no way for us to communicate with the ship," Commander Valentine pointed out.

"No we cannot," Misaki quickly agreed. "There is no way for us to use the normal communication channels but we could use the crystals in the rocks to relay a message to Commander Janeel or even better still send the command directly into the computer of the BASTET telling it to power down everything with the exception of life support systems."

"Why not just tell them to reactivate the temporal dampening field instead of turning everything off?" the First Officer inquired, thinking that her solution had been a much a safer and practical one, not to mention quicker.

"Because if we get the temporal dispersal field back online we lose the guide and all of the information he has access to, and us through him," Alexandria pointed out.  After having spent over six months searching for something beyond sand, the archeologist had not been ready to abandon the discovery so quickly, a way of thinking that Lieutenant Mitshiba seemed to share.

"As annoying as he may be, we might still need his help to figure all of this out," Misaki added as she generally pointed to everything around them.  Without the guide they would have likely never found out about the crystals within the rocks or their integral use in the system which had allowed all of them to interact with a holographic image from the distant past.  Placing any and all emotional reactions aside, it had made scientific sense to do everything possible to safeguard the system that had been responsible for the guide and the holographic images available through him.

"Tell us, can we use the crystals present in the rocks of this planet to communicate with our ship?" The Captain demanded of the Guide making it very clear that she would not accept anything short of a rapid and direct answer to address their current dilemma.

"Of course," the guide replied, again sounding as if the answer should have been common knowledge to everyone, "but I suspect that your combined voices would be far from enough to create a song loud enough to be heard by anyone on board your ship.  Plus, the vibrations created by any such song would likely dissipate through the metal frame of your ship."

"There might be another way," the Chief Science Officer noted as she reached for her tricorder. "Doctor Bruxa has some of the sand in sickbay, what if we managed to create a sympathetic harmonic vibration in that sand? If we do it right, we could actually have it act as a relay that would permit us to send a sonic signal that, in theory, could relay information directly to the nearest main computer interface.  From there, it would be a simple case of specific signal modulation to instruct the computer in shutting down all but the most basic systems.  Once the BASTET goes *silent* the crystal would lose the signal that they used to create the storm.  Again, this is all in theory of course." 

"How long before the storm hits the BASTET?" the Captain asked as she looked at the holographic image the guide had provided, wanting to know if this plan had any possibility of succeeding. 

"Hard to say but based on the holographic display that we are being shown and taking into account the smaller scale of the image I would guess no more than 10 minutes before the destructive part of the storm comes in contact with the ship," the Chief Science Officer replied.

"Do what you have to," the Captain ordered. However of a long shot this idea might have been, it had been far better than doing nothing other than watching her ship be destroyed by a sand storm.

---
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32008.1850

"Shields are at full power," the Tactical officer reported to Commander Janeel who had assumed command of the BASTET in the absence of both the captain and First Officer.

"It would be nice if the sensors were operational in this temporal harmonic soup," Janeel sighed not at all liking the fact that they had no way to gage the strength of the storm or even have some sort of timeline before it would sweep over the BASTET.  "Put the storm on the main viewer, maximum panoramic view."

"Is the image distorted in anyway?" The Commander inquired, the displayed scene not at all being what she had expected to see.

"No Commander, the visual feed is what you would see through any of the windows facing the storm."

"Then this is far from being good unless it is some sort of optical illusion. From the last time I looked at it, the storm has visibly increased in size and strength," Janeel said in a somewhat trembling voice.  "I am officially concerned that the shield may not be sufficient to protect us from the storm. Bridge to sickbay, Doctor Bruxa have your medical teams on standby, we will be moving all personnel to the inner sections of the ship in an effort to minimize casualties but the I suspect that the storm is going to make things exceptionally difficult for us."

---
Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 32008.1852

"Medical emergency response teams are already on standby," the Chief Medical Officer confirmed following the announcement made by the current acting Commanding Officer.  "Be ready to deal with a large number of broken limbs and concussions," Satella added as she looked at her emergency teams. "If this storm tosses the ship like an empty container, we are going to have a lot of injured people all at once."

"Doctor," Counselor Lopez began as she quickly moved next to the woman in charge of Sickbay, "is there anything that I can do to help?"

"Hang on and give us one less person to worry about," Satella said, not having tried to joke in the least.

Complying with the suggestion that she had been given, Adriana search the room for something that had been solidly secured to the floor and which she would be able to hold on to.  As she quickly did a survey of the room though, the Counselor noted something strange about the small transparent container in which the sample of the EPSILON 358 sand had been kept in.  Although the storm had not yet hit the ship, the sand appeared to be moving as if responding to a yet to be felt vibration.

Having found this scene rather puzzling, Adriana made her way to the table where the container and sample had been on as she tried to understand what it was that she had been witnessing.  When the sand began to violently thrash about the small transparent container, Counselor Lopez actually stopped wondering if she should continue with her investigation or withdrawn in case something unexpected happened.

"Is something wrong?" Satella inquired having noticed the perplexed expression on the features of the Counselor.

"I am not entirely certain," Adriana replied as she hesitantly pointed to the small container and the sand in it which had seemed to be trying to break free from its restricted confinement.

"Why is it doing that?" Doctor Bruxa asked, not really having the time to investigate this strange occurrence given their current situation.

"Not sure," the Counselor offered. "Wish Misaki was here; bet she would be able to tell us without having to do too much figuring out.  The best I can do is guess, and I would go with that the sand is somehow responding to the storm or some other external stimuli."

"Well, unfortunately we simply do not have the time to look into it," the Chief Medical Officer dismissed.  "I am placing you in charge of whatever that is, I need to finish getting the rest of the medical teams ready for the hell we are going to be faced with."

Adriana simply nodded her agreement, not risking taking her eyes from the small container and the sand thrashing about in it. The more the Counselor gazed at the sand, the more she believed that she could see some sort of pattern in the way the sand moved.  With her curiosity winning over her sense of self preservation, the woman made her way to the table and carefully removed the lid in order to get a better look at the way the grainy substance had been behaving.

---
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32008.1855

"Commander!" The Tactical Officer called out in a panic. "Shields have dropped and I am reading a massive shutdown of every system on board including the warp core.  I have no idea how or why but everything is being taken offline with the exception of emergency life support."

"How is that possible?" Janeel demanded in anger, the shields having been the only defence the ship and crew had against the approaching raging storm.  "Did someone breach our communication and computer?"

"Impossible to say Commander, the main computer is shutting everything down including itself," the Tactical Officer reported just as the console he had been working on as well as the lights went out.

---
Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 32008.1856

"Sickbay to Bridge, what is going on? Why have the lights gone out?" Doctor Bruxa demanded after having tapped her communicator with a little more force than she had wanted.

"The lights are not the only thing out," the Counselor offered. "Every single console and system is also dead."

"Not everything," Satella corrected, "emergency life support is still operational," the Doctor clarified as she pointed to the panel responsible for the display of life support systems throughout the BASTET. "What could have caused a ship-wide system failure like this?"

Quietly Adriana returned the cover to where it had been, sealing once again the sand inside the container. Although there had not been any proof to point to this having been her fault, the coincidence had been simply too much for the Counselor to ignore at this time.

---
Setting: EPSILON 358, Underground
Stardate: 32008.1900

"Did it work?" Sarena asked, her eyes glued onto the holographic image of the storm and ship.

"The ship has gone silent," the guide informed sounding almost disappointed by the fact that he had just reported.  "From the thundering roar that was coming from your vessel, I can now only hear the soft whispered songs of the people on board."

"Will that be enough to stop the storm?" the Captain asked, the holographic display showing the outer edge of the storm already washing over the hull of the BASTET.

"It will take time for the crystals to process the sudden lack of sound originating from the ship, but it should happen fast enough for us to see something changing in the storm itself," the Chief Science Officer offered, part out of scientific understanding as to how the process seemed to work, and part out of unscientific hope to see the ship and its crew be spared the catastrophe that they had seen unfolding before their very eyes.

"Look," Alexandria nearly screamed as she pointed to the image of the storm.  Just as it was about to impact the landed ship with unimaginable force, the storm suddenly vanished, the gale force winds and projectile speed sand having been replaced by what appeared to be a breeze.  As strong as the winds might still have been, the outer hull of the BASTET had been more than enough to shield those inside from them without any visible issues.

"That was close," Sarena sighed. "A little too close if you ask me."

"Looks like we are going to have to dig the ship out, but at least it is intact and everyone on board is safe," Misaki offered, beyond happy to have been able to make her little plan work.

"As strange as it may seem," the archeologist softly grinned, "the fact that a fair amount of the ship is now covered with sand may actually make it easier for you to communicate with your crew.  The resonance of the crystals is carried through the sand and now there is a much greater surface contact which might be enough to carry some sort of audio signal."

Selene looked at her childhood friend with surprise, never having expected Alexandria to propose such a valid and scientifically sound observation.

"Being alone and digging for relics for months at a time as taught me a great many things, and like so many others you underestimated me," the archeologist pointed out, not sounding overly happy with Captain Iverson.

"Alex, I never underestimated you, not then and certainly not now," Selene said in an effort to patch the situation. "I was just thinking about how Charles was right when he said that he had been proud of the woman you have become.

Not having wished to hear of or speak about her father, Alexandria let out a long sigh and turned her back to the other three women.  With a purposeful step she headed down the corridor which led to the main cavern, the archaeologist seeking the solitude that she had been well accustomed to have as her one true friend and loyal companion.

---
Jessica Solarik

Captain Selene Fiona Iverson [Access Character BIO for Selene Iverson]
Commanding Officer
USS BASTET

&

Lieutenant Commander Maya [Access Character BIO for Maya]
Chief Science Officer
USS ANUBIS

"To see the world in a grain of sand,
and a heaven in a wild flower.
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
and eternity in an hour."
- William Blake (British, 1757-1827)
M03-P039: USS BASTET: Bruxa: Day 05 - 1900 ("Silent Darkness")
=-=
"Silent Darkness"
[previous post was "Not So Loud"]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 32008.1900
With all of the ship systems having unexpectedly gone offline, everyone including Satella had braced for the worst. Without shields the risk for countless and potentially fatal injuries throughout the ship had jumped to a frightening level.  Even with shield the approaching raging sandstorm would have only been partially offset. Still it had given the emergency response teams some hope which had not all but vanished.

For an unknown reason though emergency life support had remained active. The lights on the control panel having confirm this to the Chief Medical Officer's delight. At least the medical teams would not have to fight the lack of oxygen along with everything else they would be called to deal with. 

Silence and darkness had taken a choking hold on sickbay, and likey the rest of the ship.  Without internal communications to get updates from the bridge there had been little to do but see whjat would happen.  Doctor Bruxa and her personnel waited in silence for the storm to actually hit so that they could deal with the unpleasant aftermath. Worrying about what had not yet happened had served no purpose, a fact that Counselor Lopez would have certainly agreed with.

"Are you alright?" Satella asked of Adriana, the Counselor having appeared troubled. Having been made aware of the visions of Counselor Lopez, the Doctor had guessed that the unseen twin had been responsible.

"I'm okay," the Counselor replied casting a quick glare into the darkness.

"Amanda?" the Doctor whispered, not truly needing the confirmation. The expression on the Counselor's face had been more than enough to know. That said though, Satella also knew that it had been a good thing for Adriana to see that she had no longer been alone to deal with this.

A nervous shake of the woman's head confirmed the Doctor's suspicions. The faint and barely visible smile that followed showed that Adriana had been glad to have someone to confide in.  The Counsellor suddenly gasped and grabbed hold of the table she had been near.  Being in sickbay meant that they had been unable to hear the wind, but its effects on the ship had been an entirely different story.

The gentle rocking of the ship grew in intensity for a short while before coming to an unexpected stop.Instead of the head-over-heels tumble the Doctor and the rest of the emergency medical staff had been waiting for the ship had returned to being completely still.

"What that the storm?" Adriana asked still very much expecting all hell to break loose.

"Hard to tell. Without any means to contact the bridge we are completely blond down here." Satella replied as she looked around Sickbay surprised at the general peacefulness that reigned.

"Something might have happened to the storm. That or Commander Janeel found a way to protect the ship." the Counselor suggested with a great amount of hope in her voice.

"Right now our lack of knowledge is what is causing the most problems. Tell you what, we'll wait another couple of minutes to make sure that we are actually done with the storm. After that you can head back to the bridge and coordinate with Commander Janeel. I will send the emergency medical teams out to make sure everyone is alright. In the meantime I go down to Main Engineering and see if I can get some answers as to why this happened.  If we are lucky we might have the lights and the rest of the systems back online by then."  As unsure as she might have been, Satella could not afford to let the others know. She needed to keep morale up and people busy.

"I find it strange that you have me *climbing* up to the bridge while you get the easy way down to Engineering." Counselor Lopez had tried her best to come across as annoyed, but her smile had broken the illusion she had tried to create.

"Climb? of course, how silly of me. I forgot that with everything offline the turbolifts would be inoperational." the Doctor grinned back in mocked surprise.

"Nice try. I will get back to you for that. Not today, not tomorrow, but some day. I will get you back." Adriana nodded, her smile still as bright as it was before.

"Do be careful though. The emergency lights are not all that good, especially in the jefferies tubes." Satella offered, this time in absolute seriousness.

"You too. I only have four decks to climb up, you have seven to make your way down through.  Falling down that many levels is sure to hurt, not to mention breaking a few things.  We would not want our Chief Engineer to get angry at you for breaking something on his ship." The Counselor teased in return apparently making due on her threat to get even.

=-=
Setting: USS BASTET, Jefferies Tube
Stardate: 32008.1945

Navigating the tight shafts with limited lights had not been easy. Doing so with a medkit in one hand had made a difficult situation that much more complexe. Still, one rung at a time Satella had been making her way down through the desks of the ship.

It would be a forgone conclusion that the Doctor would have a much greater appreciation for the turbolifts after this. Like in so many other aspects in life, one needed to be deprived of something to realize its importance. That thought made Satella smile as she thought back to Adriana and their little chat. The absence of her twin sister had left a very large vacancy in the Counselor's life. The vision of her sister having been a normal and understandable reaction to fill that void.

Hopefully, being able to talk to Satella would give Adriana another avenue to help her deal with that absence.  Even if it didn't, it had given the Counselor ad Chief Medical Officer something other than business to talk about.

"Deck 10." That was what was written on the wall next to the ladder indicating that there had still been two full decks for her to travel trough.  Although not the largest ship in the fleet, not by a long shot, the BASTET had at this very moment been large enough to annoy the Doctor.

"I am sure that I mentioned that I enjoyed playing the violin, not mountain climbing." Doctor Bruxa sighed as she carefully continued her descent to reach the ship's Main Engineering Section.

=-=
Rachel Jackie Johnson

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET

[Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. - Mark Twain]
M03-P040: USS BASTET: Lopez: Day 05 - 1945 ("Going Nuts")
-=-=-
"Going Nuts"
[Previous post: "Silent Darkness"]
-=-=-

Setting: USS BASTET, Jefferies Tubes
Stardate: 32008.1945

"I can't believe you told her," Amanda nearly screamed at her sister who was doing her best to climb up the ladder lead to the bridge. "You actually told her that you see your missing twin sister who isn't actually there. If you wanted to be thrown into the nearest loony bin you could just have signed the paperwork yourself. Let's face it, as the CNS you had the authority to declare yourself *nuts*, and I can assure you that no one would have argued it."

"She's a friend," Adriana sighed back in disbelief. Was she truly having an argument with her sister here of all places?. "She's a real friend, one who actually understands what it is that I am going through not to mention someone who is not trying to get me killed at this very moment," the Counselor added sending a quick glanced downwards to the bottom of the shaft which had been far too distant for her liking.

"Don't you dare blame me for that," Amanda snapped, the illusion of the twin sister now sitting on a ledge half a level higher than the Counselor. "I am a figment of your deranged mind, remember? I am not the one putting you in danger, you are managing that quite well all by yourself. You are so desperately trying to deal with the absence of your twin sister that you risk distracting yourself all the way to the bottom of that shaft.  I can just imagine the look on your friend the Doctor when they scoop you up with a shovel."

"That's enough!" Adriana countered at the top of her lungs having had more than enough thanks to the situation that they all had found themselves in.  After the initial outburst, the Counselor felt bad and nervous that someone might have heard her, but to her advantage she had been the only one in this particular shaft linking the decks where Sickbay and the Bridge were located,  "I needed to tell someone. I needed to have the support of someone real so that I could stop feeling like I am completely crazy. I needed to make a connection with someone real."

"Be careful what you wish for *sister*," Amanda continued, her anger still as strong as it had been this entire time.  "I was the one who helped you through the mess on the LANCELOT or have you forgotten that? I have been by your side each and every step of the way when the BASTET travelled to the dimension of the J'Den and confronted the Masters a we bounced forward and back through time, or have you forgotten that too? Your best friend is not even here with you now, she instead decided to go as far away from you instead leaving you to venture up these barely visible ladders to check in with Commander Janeel.  Come on Sis, I have been the only stable voice in your head, one that has been there for you from the very start."

"You are right," Adriana conceded as she continued her journey up the darkened shaft. "You are nothing more than a voice in my head, and I have to start accepting that and not fall into the delusion that my anger and sorry at your absence have created in me."  Without looking where the image of her sister had been, Lopez continued on her way and soon reached her destination with a great deal of gladness and relief.

-=-=-
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32008.1955

"Welcome to the Bridge Counselor," Commander Janeel offered as Adriana crawled her way out of the small opening that led to the shaft she had been more than happy to leave behind.  "I am guessing that you were the one volunteered to climb all the way here to see what happened?"

"Is it that obvious?"

"Although Sickbay is not as far from the Bridge as it is on other larger starships, the climb up here is still a good one, and if I correctly recall the content of your personnel file, there are no mentions of rock climbing or the enjoyment of demanding upper body workouts," the acting Commanding Officer said, coming across as being in a far better mood than the Counselor would have expected.

"I'm guess by your tone that we found a way to resist the storm," Adriana said, simply glad that a solution had been found.

"We cannot take the credit for what happened," Janeel explained. "The storm had actually appeared to have gained in strength and size then suddenly all of our systems went dead and the storm soon after followed suit."

"Could the systems on board the BASTET have been responsible for the storm?" Counselor Lopez offered, not at all able to even imagine how that could have been possible. The only clue she had to even present such a wild theory to the Commander had been the coincidence in the unexpected vanishing of the storm so soon after all systems having gone out on the ship.

"Without sensors and now a complete inability to contact the Captain, there is no way for us to know or even guess," the Commander stated. "What we should do right now is be happy that we are still in one piece and with life support.  The fact that we do have emergency system operational leads me to believe that this shutdown was no accident."

"Could someone on board have done this without authorization?"

"Not unless they have the Captain's authorization codes. She is the only one who could have ordered the computer to turn itself off as it did."

"Wouldn't this have required the Captain t have access, either in person or through some kind of communication channel, access to the computer?" the Counselor questioned, her puzzlement growing with each passing second.

"And that's just another question that we are currently unable to answer.  There is something weird about this planet, and by the looks of things it is only getting worse by the moment.  I will be honest, this not known about the status of the away team and how all of this happened is driving me nuts."

"Making people nuts seems to be the theme so far for this planet," Adriana whispered to herself, recalling the yelling match she had just had with the mental image of her twin sister.

-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor
USS BASTET
M03-P041: USS BASTET: Thorquelsson: Day 05 - 1955
("Never Getting That Promotion")
-=-=-
"Never Getting That Promotion"
[Previous post: "Going Nuts"]
-=-=-

Setting: USS BASTET, Main Engineering
Stardate: 32008.1955

"I am never getting that promotion."

Ensign Halston Thorquelsson, the new chief engineer of the USS BASTET, moves on to the next phase in his attempt to restart the matter / antimatter injection sequence.  "First mission here, and I can kiss lieutenant goodbye, let alone lieutenant commander!" 

Main engineering is a mess.  Engineers are running to and fro, trying to figure out why every system on the ship seemingly shut down on their own.  Thorquelsson hurries over to a group of three engineers, all with PADDs, trying to run diagnostics.  "Alright, let's get the madhouse atmosphere calmed down.  Shaw, I want you to take a team and make your way to emergency systems.  Emergency life support is still working, so we might be able to do something there.  Brody, you take Saunders and get to the shuttlebay.  We might be able to rig enough power from a shuttle to jump start the warp core.  Harris, get up to the bridge and see if they have any idea what just happened.  Everyone scoop up someone who isn't engineering and get them to the Jeffries tubes to set up a bucket brigade for communication."

The trio reply in unison, "Aye, sir."

Thorquelsson heads over to his remaining engineers.  "Umaru, I want you to see if you can get shipboard communications back online.  Even if we have to use hardwired comm panels, that would be better than nothing.  Idri'ala, I want you to run a diagnostic on the temporal drive.  We were using it to try and counteract the temporal harmonics on this planet, so maybe when we took it offline on the captain's orders, something short circuited in the process that shut us down.  Prakul, you and Boyd get back to work on the injection sequence.  Mar'gesh, you're with me.  We need to figure out how the main computer was accessed and where those shutdown codes came from."

As the engineers heading into the ship manually release the doors, a gasp of relief is heard from the other side.  "I had forgotten the doors wouldn't work.  How I didn't realize that as I was climbing down the Jeffries tube is beyond me."

Thorquelsson grit his teeth and then turned around.  "Doctor Bruxa, what brings you down to Engineering?"

Satella smiles as she slides in past the small army of engineers heading out.  "Trying to figure out what just happened, Thor."

Thorquelsson shakes his head in defeat at the sound of the newly minted nickname that Satella called him by.  He only hoped that it wouldn't catch on with the rest of the crew.  "Best we can tell, someone outside of the ship implanted the commands for a full shutdown of all systems except emergency life support.  If that sandstorm hadn't dissipated when it did, with the intensity and size that it was at the time of shutdown, it would have overwhelmed the shields in short order and sandblasted right through the hull.  I doubt much of us would have been left after it died down."

"So it was a lot worse that what we thought.  We were ready to deal with the ship possibly flipping, but that was the least of our worries?"

Thorquelsson picked up a PADD and turned to Mar'gesh.  "Go ahead and get to work on the computer access issue.  I'll be with you shortly."  Mar'gesh puts a hand over his heart in salute and does a smart about face, getting to work.  "You don't know the half of it.  There was something going on with the sand, and the storm.  The readings we were getting and the simulations we ran gave us the distinct probability that the sandstorm was increasing in intensity on an exponential level.  By the time that it would have hit us, we'd have had seconds left.  Were you to have been in space, you'd have seen the storm without need for magnification."

Satella let out a low whistle.  "Then it was a REALLY good thing that it died out when it did."

"Absolutely.  I just dispatched teams all over the ship to see about getting the warp core back up and the other systems running, but I don't know if we can.  From what I can tell, someone actually communicated the ship shut down codes to the main computer.  Only problem is, I have no idea how they did it.  The comm system outside of the ship was down, and the captain isn't on the ship to have given them here.  Problem is, there's nothing other than sand out there."

Satella looks at Thorquelsson with curiosity.  "The sand?"  She trails off.  "The sand.."

Thorquelsson runs his hands through his hair, looking at Satella in bewilderment.  "I am NEVER getting that promotion."

---
Setting:  USS BASTET, Umbilical airlock
Stardate: 32005.0800

Ensign Halston Thorquelsson walks into the airlock, stopping short of the deck of the USS BASTET, sets his gear down and salutes the two figures in front of him.  "Ensign Halston Thorquelsson, reporting for duty as Chief Engineering Officer of the USS BASTET, sir."

Captain Iverson steps forward and extends a hand.  "Welcome aboard, Ensign.  I am Captain Selene Iverson, your new commanding officer.  This is Commander Sarena Valentine, our executive officer."

Thorquelsson reaches out and shakes the captain's hand.  "Thank you sir."  He turns and shakes the outstretched hand of Commander Valentine.  "A pleasure to meet you both in person."  The two senior officers step back as Thorquelsson reshoulders his gear and steps onto the BASTET.  "I'm familiar with the Promethus class starship, captain, but from my initial observations, this particular ship has been refitted to not have multi-vector warp assault capabilities, would that be correct?"

Captain Iverson nods.  "That would be correct, Ensign.  When the BASTET was built, she was redesigned with a more, shall we say, interesting purpose. I have made sure that you have a full specification report in your office in Main Engineering, for when you begin your shift at 1200 hours.  I do expect that you will be familiar with most of the technologies in use aboard our ship, though you may have to learn how they all fit together."

Thorquelsson gives the captain a quizzical look. "I assure you, by the time my first shift is over, Captain, I will be as familiar as possible with our ship and her capabilities, sir."

"Then we won't hold you up any longer.  You already know your cabin assignment, Ensign, so I would suggest you get your gear stowed and make your way to your new home.  If you're like any other chief engineer I've ever met, I wouldn't put it past you to move a bed into your office."

Thorquelsson gives a tight smile.  "If you think that's wise, sir, I may do that.  If I may be excused?"

The captain nods.  "Of course, Ensign. I look forward to working with you."

Thorquelsson turns and makes his way to his quarters.  He sets down his bags and sits down at the computer station.  He quickly pulls up a schematic and details of the ship.  "So let's see what they weren't telling me about this lady..."  He jumps as the information comes up.  "What in the..."

---
Setting: USS BASTET, Main Engineering
Stardate: 32008.2005

A light bulb goes off in Thorquelsson's head.  "You've got an idea, and I think I may know where you're going with it.  If you don't mind Doctor, I think I may know how the captain was able to shut down the ship, and a theory as to the why as well."

Thorquelsson rushes off as Satella takes a step back.  She looks at him as he rushes across to meet up with Mar'gesh.  "Glad I could help."

-=-=-
Kenneth W Choate

Chief Engineering Officer
USS BASTET
M03-P042: USS BASTET: Janeel: Day 05 - 2015 ("Theoretical Thinking")
=-=
"Theoretical Thinking"
[previous post was "Never Getting That Promotion" by the enthusiastic Kenneth]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32008.2015

=/\= Main Engineering to the Bridge... can you hear me? =/\= As uncertain as Ensign Thorquelsson's voice had been, the sound of it had been more than welcomed by those on the command deck of the USS BASTET.

"Bridge here, go ahead Ensign," the ILO / Mission Specialist happily replied, her delight in hearing the voice of their CEO indicating that *something* was working other than the emergency life support system having been evident.

=/\= Mar'gesh! It worked, now get working on getting the turbolifts back online, =/\= Halston was heard saying before continuing with the acting Captain. =/\= Sorry about that Commander, we have been busy getting primary systems online. =/\=

"Thank you Ensign, we are most fortunate to have an Engineer who knows what they are doing," Janeel said as she scrutinized the bridge to see which of the consoles would be turning back on first.  "May I suggest focusing your efforts on our defensive systems. Would be nice for us to have shields should another storm hit or the Gorn end up over our heads before the Captain and the away team return to the ship."

=/\= Sorry Commander but the shields are not a priority, =/\= the Chief Engineer announced taking the acting Commanding Officer off guard. =/\= We have a theory down here that we need to test first. If we are right, we should be able to communicate with Captain Iverson and Commander Valentine despite the interference of the temporal harmonics. =/\=

Counsellor Lopez, who had also been on the bridge, appeared somewhat stunned by the manner in which the CEO had followed up on the Commander's suggestion.

Janeel had wanted to snap back to the Ensign for having so blatantly ignored her words, but the ILO / Mission Specialist quickly thought against it.  If whatever Halston had planned actually worked, being able to contact either the Captain of First Officer would be much better than getting shields back, at least for now.  "Can you give me an idea as to your theory?" She inquired, thinking that it would be nice to know what the general idea had been.

=/\= Too long to explain, =/\= Thorquelsson dissed once again to Janeel's dismay. =/\= but I would be more than happy to show you. Turbolifts are back online... now. =/\=

"On our way," Janeel noted as she motioned for Adriana to follow.

=-=
Setting: USS BASTET, Turbolift en route to Main Engineering
Stardate: 32008.2020

"Commander," Adriana began in a gentle tone. "May I ask as to the reason why you wanted me to come along?"

"Wanted you there to make sure I don't over react," Janeel explained.

"That's what I figured," the Counsellor admitted.  "I am sure that he had or has no intentions of undermining your authority. He could have easily just been caught in the momentum of action caused by the sudden system shutdown.  As the BASTET's recently assigned Chief Engineering Officer, it is easy to imagine that Ensign Thorquelsson took this as a direct affront to his skills and knowledge."

"Maybe so," the acting Commanding Officer sighed.

"Just remember, Engineers do not look at problems the same way as other officers do, especially when those problems relate to the ship they are on," Lopez pointed out having noticed an increase in the Commander's stress level.

"So noted Counsellor, thank you," Janeel said after taking a deep breath, adding a genuine smile to show that Adriana's wisdom and knowledge had been graciously welcomed.

=-=
Setting: USS BASTET, Main Engineering
Stardate: 32008.2025

"You seem to have a better understanding than I do about what is going on," the ILO / Mission Specialist said as she stepped into Main Engineering and took a direct line to reach the Chief Engineer. "So what do you have?"

"The is one fact but everything else is still very much on the theoretical level but it fits," Halston said as he bounced from one workstation to the next.  "The computer received a command level shut down order, and based on the clearance code provided the order came directly from the Captain. That's the one and only fact that I have."

"How is that possible?" the ILO / Mission Specialist demanded. "There was no way for the Captain or anyone else to contact us."

"Well, that's where we start with the theoretical parts," the Chief Engineer continued. "Since no communications were received through the array, I had to do a little more work figuring things out following the computer reboot.  The signal it seems was received from *inside* the ship."

"Alright, my turn, how is that possible?" Counsellor Lopez asked.

"And this would be where the theoretical really takes a spin on the wild side, " Halston noted. "According t the trace record of the shutdown command though, it seems to have originated from Sickbay."

"Adriana had noticed before the lights went out that the sand sample we had was acting strangely," Doctor Bruxa pointed out, joining the discussion.

"My guess is that the Captain figured out a way to transmit a signal through the sand, using the sample in Sickbay as a relay station to interface with the computer and shutting down everything with the exception of emergency life support."

"Why would she have done that?" the Counselor inquired.

"The storm," Janeel theorized.

"That's what I believe as well," Halston agreed. "My guess is that the energy output generated by the ship contributed and enhanced the storm somehow. Without sensors it will be hard to determine the exact cause, but the good news is that I believe that we might be able to use the same method used by the Captain to contact her. Hopefully she can shed some light on all of this."

"Sounds like a plan," what about the rest of the ship's systems?" the ILO / Mission Specialist wondered.

"If I may," Satella jumped in with. "The Captain went through a great deal of trouble to shut down everything, whatever her reasons were I believe it would be safer if we did not rush turning everything back on too quickly."

"So noted Doctor," the acting Commanding Officer agreed. "Keep working on trying to contact the Captain, that is your first priority. In the meantime we'll keep only the essential systems operational."

"Yes Ma'am," Halston acknowledged returning to his work immediately with Satella in tow.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET

Lieutenant Commander Shar'El [Access Character BIO for Shar'El]
Acting Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS
M03-P043: USS BASTET: Valentine: Day 05 - 2020 ("Songs of the Past")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Songs of the Past"
[previous post (Theoretical Thinking)]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: EPSILON 358, Underground Balcony
Stardate: 32008.2020

Over an hour's time had passed since the signal was sent to the BASTET ordering the main computer to shut everything down, and since then Captain Iverson had not taken her eyes off the holographic display of the ship which was now half buried in sand.  It had been too late to stop the storm before it reached its destination, but thanks to the system's shutdown the vessel had not been made to feel the full force of the strange weather phenomenon.

"The structural integrity of the hull does appear to be intact," Mitshiba repeated having made the same report several times over the last hour in an effort to ease her Captain's troubled thoughts, but the woman remained perfectly silent and focussed.  At first everyone had attributed this to an emotional reaction, but the longer it lasted, the more the Executive Officer and Chief Science officer became concerned.

"She is probably holding me responsible for what happened to her ship and crew," Alexandria offered with a sigh giving the guide a quick glance before looking back to Commander Valentine and Lieutenant Mitshiba.  "She was always good as isolating herself from others when she needed time to calm down. She did something similar back on the SOUTHERN CROSS when we were on that ship as kids. I think that was one of the reasons why my father ended up liking her more than me. The two of them are far more alike than we could have ever been."

"I severely doubt that your father would have loved anyone more than you," Sarena countered unable to imagine any father choosing another's child over his own, no matter the circumstances.

"The man you admire so was not there for me when I was a child. My mother raised me as a single parent because his career and life in the world of Starfleet Intel had been more important than his family," the archeologist said in a mixture of sadness and anger.  "I did get some birthday gifts but they always seemed to appear out of nowhere. I never saw him or even heard his voice wishing me a happy birthday."

"I cannot speak for your father, but I am sure that there were valid reasons for him not having been there for you and your mother," the Executive Officer of the USS BASTET suggested in her best effort to calm things over.  "I am sure that Selene will tell you the same," Sarena added looking at the Captain hoping that she would jump in on the discussion, but Iverson remained silent, her gaze still locked onto the holographic image which the guide had provided when the issue of the storm had begun.

"Captain?" the CSciO quietly asked, trying with a little more effort to get the woman's attention. "Captain Iverson?" Mitshiba said after a few seconds, this time reaching out to touch the CO's shoulder. Despite the verbal and physical coxing, Selene remained silent and motionless, as if she had fallen into some sort of trans.  Puzzled by the lack of any response, the CSciO leaned in to look at the Captain's face.  "Commander, there is something definitely wrong with the Captain."

Upon hearing this the Executive Officer quickly turned to face the guide. "What did you do?"

"I have done only what has been asked of me," the guide replied unemotionally. "I was asked to provide an image and I did just that."

"Alright then, Turn it off," Sarena ordered, thinking that the solution had been as easy as it had been made to sound.

"Your Captain seems rather taken by it, I suspect that she would not be overly happy if you simply had me 'turn it off' as you say," the holographic recreation of a man argued, his defiant tone not at all sitting well with the Executive Officer who had not expected this sort of reply from the holographic guide.

"Turn it off or I will make sure that this entire cavern is reduced to dust," Commander Valentine quickly followed up with in a clearly threatening tone, squarely meeting the hologram's gaze.

"You wouldn't dare!" Alexandria contested in a panic as she stepped towards the Executive Officer before being held back by the Chief Science Officer.  "This is the archeological find of the century, you can't just destroy it like that."

"We were able to contact the BASTET and have it shut everything down," Sarena explained in a very slow and cold manner. "How difficult do you believe it would be for us to have the ship lift-off and launch a few well placed torpedoes before reaching orbit?"

"You are bluffing," the guide challenged.

"Starfleet Officers *never* bluff," the Commander offered as she found herself in a stare down match with a hologram. "Here is the logic as to why this is not a bluff. My duties include protecting the Captain and every single member of the crew, if destroying this place allows the ship and the rest of the crew to be safe from what I am now perceiving as an attack against us, than I will not hesitate to give the order.  I am not sure what it is that you are trying to do here, but I will make sure that it will be the last time it ever happens," Valentine carefully explained before turning to look at Miss Koniki to add, "Be this the archeological find of the century or not."

"The image is irrelevant," the guide offered with a grin as the hologram vanished. "Your Captain is now listening to the songs of the planet you refer to as EPSILON 358."

"She is completely unresponsive," Mitshiba reported having tried through variying methods to snap the Captain out of her trans-like state.  "We need to get her back to the BASTET so that Doctor Bruxa can examine her.  I am barely picking up her vital signs on the tricorder."

"You were able to get a simple computer signal to the ship using the crystals in the sand, should you not be able to do the same with a communication signal," Alexandria offered, hoping that she would be able to save her discovery from being destroyed.

"The problem is that verbal communication signals are far more complex," Commander Valentine pointed out, "although we could try to relay simple messages to the ship's computer which would hopefully be understood by Commander Janeel or anyone else on board."

"We do have an advantage though," the CSciO added. "The BASTET appeared to be about 50% covered by sand, this should greatly increase the exposure of the ship to the crystals responsible for carrying our original signal. This in theory should make it easier for us to get any sort of new signal through to them, even one possessing a much more complex composition."

"Lieutenant Mitshiba, start working on trying to establish a dynamic contact with the ship. Two-way communication, be it written or verbal would be a distinct advantage for everyone.  Miss Koniki, this is your discovery, please investigate as to the possible reasons why our Captain and your friend has been rendered as she now is," Sarena ordered, strongly hoping that an answer would be rapidly found on the issues of their Captain and communication with the BASTET.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Karen Price

Executive Officer
USS BASTET, NCC 74977
M03-P044: USS BASTET: Bruxa: Day 05 - 2030 ("Graceful Workings")
=-=
"Graceful Workings"
[previous post was "Songs of the Past"]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Main Engineering
Stardate: 32008.2030
This was as far away from her domain as the Doctor could have been. Even back at the Academy Satella had done her best to avoid anything to do with the field of Engineering. It was not that she hated it, she just enjoyed working on living things over mechanical ones.  Based on that alone, the Chief Medical Officer should have made a hasty exit the moment it had been possible. After all she had done her part in checking in on 'Thor' and with the turbolifts working there had been nothing holding her back.

Still, Satella found it hard to leave. As a Doctor she found observing the Chief Engineering working on the required tasks interesting. Her duties all too often required her to perform delicate and extremely precise work. By the looks of this, his required him to run all over the room dealing with a hundred-and-one things all at the same time.  His 'chaos' to her 'order' should have made her want to rush out. Instead, she found herself drawn to the organized madness that he seemed to be in charge of.

"No, no, no! If you do that you'll blow the entire control board." How he had been able to keep track of the actions of each and every single one of his subordinates had been beyond explanation. It was easy to see why the man from Kiev had been placed in charged of this department.

"Looks like you are enjoying watching him work," Counselor Lopez said, a smile dancing on her lips.

"He looks like he knows what he's doing," the Doctor shrugged, dismissing her friend's observation.

"Maybe we should go and leave him to his work," Adriana suggested, the Counselor not having had any reason to be here since Commander Janeel had returned to the bridge.

The Doctor nodded her agreement but stopped in her tracks when she noticed something. "Thor?" Satella called out, trying to draw the man's attention onto her, even if only for a split second.

"What?" Came the thundering reply, the Chief Engineering confirming that Satella had given him a very fitting nickname.

"Panel," the Doctor quickly said pointing to an overhead panel that had gotten loose. Normally she would not have said anything, certain that someone would notice. This was after all not her department, but the way everyone had been running she thought it would be nice to mention it.

As Halston looked up to see why Satella had interrupted his train of thoughts for, his head found the corner of said panel.  Even before the blood could start to flow from the gash on his head, the Doctor had found and opened the nearest emergency medical kit.

Before he could realize what was happening Halston found himself sitting on the floor with Satella standing over him.

"I'm fine," he argued swatting at the air as if trying to get rid of an annoying fly.

"Stand still," Bruxa snapped as she ran the dermal regenerator over the wound. The order had been direct and stern. Although both shared the same rank, the Chief Medical Officer did outrank him in matters of medical issues. 

"I have things to do." Halston said with a low unhappy growl.

"So do I. So stay still and this will go a lot faster." Came the soft spoken reply.

The wound had not been deep and the blood flow barely noticeable. A few passes of the medical device had been enough to seal it, but Satella found herself studying her work with great interest. This had been the perfect example of what she had been thinking about while watching the engineer at work. The method of his work had been on a much grander scale than hers. As diametrically opposed as their styles had been though, the two Ensigns shared an enjoyment for their chosen field of work.

"Can I go now?" The question came after Halston noticed that Satella had stopped moving.

"Yes," the Chief Medical officer replied taking a small step back. "I believe that you will live."

"Thank you Doctor," the Ensign softly growled as he returned to his feet. "As for my living, it will all depend on my being able to open a communication channel to the Captain."  As if nothing had happened, the Chief Engineer resumed his work, all under the inquisitive stare of the Chief Medial Officer.

"Thor?" Satella called out after a few more seconds.

"What?" Halston replied, ducking his head just in case.

"Do be careful," the Doctor offered before heading out of Main Engineering with Counselor Lopez allowing her patient to work without further interruptions.

=-=
Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 32008.2050

The Doctor felt a sense of relief as she stepped back into her domain. There had been no denying it, this is where she belonged.

"Glad to be back home I see," Adriana smiled, the Counsellor having been only a couple of steps behind the Doctor.

"I became a physician for a reason. I like to feel the heartbeat of my patients when working."

"Halston could argue that the rhythm of the warp core is the same for him," Adriana explained.

"Maybe," Satella shrugged. "Still, I am very happy to be up here and him be down there. Hopefully he will be able to get a hold of the Captain."

"Agreed," the Counselor said. "Commander Janeel seems to be a little on edge since having become acting Captain."

"I do not envy her the sudden added responsibilities." The words spoken by Doctor Bruxa carried a heaviness that reflected her feelings. Without the Captain of First Officer on board or able to be reached, the continued safety of the ship and crew had fallen squarely onto Janeel's shoulders. Now the Intel Liaison Officer had certainly not been a stranger to those kind of responsibilities. Her rank and position hinted that she had been responsible for the lives of others. The only difference that the Chief Medical officer could image had been the unexpectedness and size of the added task.

"It is not just the responsibilities of command that she has taken on," Adriana pointed out. "I can imagine that the heaviest burden on her right now is the fact that both Captain Iverson and Commander Valentine are missing. Anyone in her place would feel the overwhelming need to find them."

"Thor and you have a lot in common. You both are experts in your respective fields." Satella said with a smile, finding comfort in knowing that every department head had appeared to be exactly where they needed to be.

"Speaking of which, I am not entirely certain that he likes you calling him that," the Counselor said with a mild chuckle.

"Well if he truly doesn't, he can always set up an appointment with you to talk about how it makes him feel. From there, I am sure that you would let me know. Until then, I will continue to use it as I believe it suits him very nicely."

"Hard to believe that we are in the middle of a potential life or death situation by the way you are going on." Adriana's sigh had only been emphasised by her hands having landed with some strength on her hips.

"Commander Janeel is stressed because the Captain and First Officer are missing. Thor is stressed because he is trying to get a communications channel open to reach the Captain. You as the Ship's Counselor should be the first to realize that there is already far too much stress on board. So I am doing my part to not add to it." The cheerfulness of Satella's words actually made Adriana smile.

"You know that you are certifiable, right?"

"Coming from you, that's a compliment," the Doctor offered in return, being the only member of the crew aware of Adriana's vision of her missing twin sister.

=-=
Rachel Jackie Johnson

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET

[Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. - Mark Twain]
M03-P045: USS BASTET: Thorquelsson: Day 05 - 2100 ("Messages In The Sand")
-=-=-
"Messages In The Sand"
[Previous post: "Graceful Workings"
-=-=-

Setting: USS BASTET, Main Engineering
Stardate: 32008.2100

"No, that goes there.  THAT goes there!"  Ensign Halson Thorquelsson rushed over to a pair of engineers who weren't setting up the makeshift communication system that his team had been working on.  He turns to another group who were pulling a heavy cable from outside of engineering.  "Don't forget the flow regulator and the positive power converter on that thing.  We want to be able to get off this rock soon!"

If main engineering had been a mess right after the captain had shut down all systems, it was even more so now.  Wiring had been ripped from panels all over and had been rewired in a manner that would make most Starfleet engineers scratch their heads and curse.  Other wiring had been pulled from the ceiling, and another extremely large cable was laid next to the one that the engineers were pulling in now.

Mar'gesh, the Klingon petty officer who was normally in charge of weapons systems strode up to Thorquelsson with a PADD. He puts a fist over his heart.  "It was a stroke of genius to pull power from the shuttles, sir.  The captain's shutdown didn't specify that shuttlecraft should also shut down, and I'm impressed that you realized that so quickly.  Many other chief engineers I've worked with would never have thought of such a maneuver."

Thorquelsson takes the PADD, looks at it disgustedly and hands it back.  "We had to find some source of power and computer processing that wasn't tied to the main computer and warp core.  Those were the only things that had even a fraction of the power we needed to get basic functions back.  Shouldn't have been too hard to figure out for a seasoned engineer."

Mar'gesh frowns, and shrugs his shoulders.  "If you say so, sir.  I think we're about ready to perform the first test."

Thorquelsson nods.  "Good.  We'll route the first test here through the comm panel in Main Engineering, and if that works as it should, we can transfer the control to the bridge and they can try and talk to whoever is out there."

The pair of engineers head over to the comm panel.  Thorquelsson calls over to the group of engineers who had been pulling in the cable from outside of engineering.  "Brody, are we ready over there?"

The engineer in question looks to his two partners, who nod.  "Ready over here, sir."

"Okay, here goes nothing."  Thorquelsson activates the comm panel.  "BASTET to away team.  Please respond."

-=-=-
Setting: EPSILON 358, Underground Balcony
Stardate: 32008.2110

=/\= BASTET to away team.  Please respond. =/\= Commander Valentine and Lieutenant Mitshiba hear the faint hail through their combadges.  =/\= BASTET to away team.  Please respond. =/\=

Sarena turns to look at her chief science officer.  "Is that Ensign Thorquelsson?"

Aki nods.  "I think so.  Why is he the one trying to communicate with us instead of Commander Janeel?"

"I don't know.  We had better find out though."  Sarena taps on her combadge.  "Away team to BASTET, we read you."

-=-=-
Setting: USS BASTET, Main Engineering
Stardate: 32008.2111

=/\=Away team to BASTET, we read you.=/\=

A cheer goes up through the engineers in Main Engineering.  Thorquelsson is visibly relieved.  He places a hand back on the comm panel.  "Commander Valentine, it's so good to hear your voice.  Things have been... interesting here."

=/\=We know the feeling, Ensign.  Can you get us transferred to the bridge and Commander Janeel?=/\=

"I think so, Commander, but it may take a little bit more work.  What is the status of the away team, so I can pass the word to Commander Janeel?"

=/\=We are safe as of this moment, but the Captain has been caught in some sort of trance. She was watching a hologram of the BASTET, but we're thinking something else may be going on here.  Once you get communication with the bridge, we can give Commander Janeel a full report.=/\=

"Understood, Commander.  I hope to have the comm capabilities transferred to the bridge shortly."  Thorquelsson thinks for a moment.  "If not, we can reactivate the turbolifts temporarily for her to get down here."

=/\=Good work, Ensign.  Valentine out.=/\=

Mar'gesh and Brody both get to Thorquelsson about the same time.  Brody shakes his hand vigorously, while Mar'gesh gives him a smack on the shoulder that nearly spins him around. "We did it, Ensign!"

Thorquelsson regains his balance and puts a hand on each engineer's shoulder.  "Well, that's one problem solved.  Sounds like we've got a few more to resolve before we can get our lady off this dust ball."  He looks around at the rest of his team.  He roars, "What are you all standing around for?  We've got work to do!"

The engineers all scramble back to work, and Thorquelsson nods to himself.  I've got a good team here, and a good ship.

-=-=-
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32008.2145

"So, how exactly are you managing this?" Commander Janeel asks Ensign Thorquelsson.

Thorquelsson hands the commander a PADD.  "Well, we took our inspiration from the Captain.  We're using harmonic vibrations to transfer signals through the sand to the area of their combadges.  Basically, we're using the crystalline structure of the sand like we normally use circuitry to transfer information from the main computer to any station."

"And Commander Valentine confirmed that everyone on the away team is alive?"

"Yes, Commander."

Counselor Lopez is nodding her head.  "So, we're basically writing messages in the sand to each other?"

Thorquelsson looks over at her.  "An oversimplified way of describing it, but that's the basic concept."

Commander Janeel stands up from the Captain's chair.  "And now everything should be ready to communicate from here?"

Ensign Thorquelsson nods.  "Yes sir.  All I have to do is a quick modification to the bridge comm systems and we should be ready to go."

"Do it."

Thorquelsson looks over at Brody, his primary communications engineer.  "Let's get it done."

The two engineers start pulling panels off and rewiring systems.  Janeel looks over at Counselor Lopez.  "I don't think this ship is ever going to be the same after this mission.  If Engineering looks as bad as what these two are doing, it'll be a wonder if we can get out of here at all!"

Adriana looks over at Thorquelsson, who has gone from a medium-pink shade of skin to about one shade short of maroon.  "Well, if our new Chief Engineer and his team can tear it apart, they'll just have to put it back together again."

Thorquelsson glances back over his shoulder.  "That we can, sir."  He closes the panel he was working on, as Brody does the same.  Thorquelsson moves over to the Ops station, leaning over the officer there and begins tapping.  He enters a final sequence. "Communications should be available now, Commander."

Janeel nods to the Ops officer.  "Open a channel."  

"Channel open, Commander."

"BASTET to away team..."

-=-=-
Kenneth W Choate

Chief Engineering Officer
USS BASTET
M03-P046: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: Day 05 - 2150 ("From Good To Bad")
"From Good To Bad"
Previous post: "Messages In The Sand"

///^\\\
Setting: EPSILON 358, Underground
Stardate: 32008.2150

=/\= BASTET to away team... =/\=

The voice of Commander Janeel had almost caused everyone to cheer. There had not been a question as to wherever or not this would happen, not following the earlier accomplishment of Ensign Thorquelsson, but still hearing her voice had brought would-be possibilities into reality.

"Valentine here, glad to hear your voice Janeel."

=/\= Not as glad as we all are at hearing yours Commander, =/\= Janeel said, not at all trying to hide her relief in being able to get feedback and instructions from the First Officer.  =/\= What is your status? =/\=

"We are all safe and sound including Miss Koniki, but we do seem to have run into a problem," the First Officer reported. "The Captain has fallen into some sort of catatonic trans, one that we are unable to get her out of."

=/\= Do you have any theories as to how this happened? =/\=

"In a nutshell," Aki jumped in with, "Alexandria came across a holographic guide from the past who is able to show large scale images of what this planet was like centuries ago.  When the storm was heading for the BASTET, Captain Iverson requested to see a live feed of the event. Something happened during the display that caused her to fall into this trans. All of our efforts to snap her out of it have thus far failed."

=/\= Couldn't the guide offer some sort of help? =/\=

Alexandria looked at the guide, the image of a man she had grown to admire but now found beyond displeasing in his attitude and arrogance. "The guide seems to be unwilling to assist which is leaving me to believe that he may not be what he presented himself to be when I first encountered him," the archeologist explained not at all sounding happy.

"From what Alexandria told me, the guide's programing was meant to answer questions and display images as requested," the CSciO continued. "By the sounds of things it appeared that the programing was simplistic, non-dynamic but now I suspect that it might have been done on purpose this way to force whoever came in contact with it to reveal as much as possible about themselves."

=/\= You guide from the past is gathering information from the future? =/\= Janeel gasped.

=/\= As insidious as this sounds, you have to see the advantages in doing just that, =/\= Lopez joined in. =/\= The creator of this holographic guide could use the gathered knowledge to change their own future and our past. =/\=

"I was thinking the same thing," Aki rapidly agreed. "That is why we have limited our interaction with the guide. The fact that it was through his actions that the Captain has become non-responsive is making it clear that he wants more than what we have been willing to provide."

=/\= No worries, =/\= Janeel continued. =/\= Now that we are able to communicate with you, and have a better understanding of how this entire planet seems to operate you should be able to return to the BASTET without any further complications. =/\=

"You can't leave now," the guide said, the tone of arrogance in his voice making it evident that his words had not been a plea or even a request but rather an inescapable fact.

"You are nothing more than a hologram from a distant past," Alexandria launched at the humanoid image. "You cannot stop them or me from doing anything. If we want to leave that is exactly what we will do."

"I will not stop you," the guide pointed out, his smile and voice echoing an unshakable certitude. "The planet on the other hand may not be so willing to let you or your ship leave."

=/\= Commander! We are picking up an increased in subterranean vibrations coming from your general location. Is everything alright? =/\= Commander Janeel inquired in a panic, quickly imagining the worst possible scenario.

"Everything is alright, at least for now," Commander Valentine reported. "We are experiencing some minor ground rumblings but the structural integrity of the underground caverns we are in appears to be holding."

"Of course it is holding," the guide said as if this had all been perfectly normal. "I have no wish to kill or even hurt any of you, but I am afraid that you will find that the corridors leading to the exit have been rendered impassable."

"You have trapped us down here?" Alexandria demanded angrily as she rushed the guide having forgotten for a split second that he was nothing more than a holographic image.

"Away team to BASTET, can you still hear us?" Sarena called wanting to make sure the communication channel had still been open.

=/\= No worries Commander, =/\= Janeel quickly replied. =/\= The advantage of communicating this way is that as long as we are both in contact with the planet, we will be able to keep this channel open. No matter how much shaking your guide puts you through, we will be able to talk. =/\=

"We may need more than a simple communications channel," the First Officer pointed out.  "You and Ensign Thorquelsson need to figure out a way to use these crystals to carry a transporter signal. Since it appears that we are now stuck here, it may very well be the only way for us to get out of here before the Gorn show up."

=/\= I will relay this to him right away. =/\= 

"I suspect that our Chief Engineer is not going to be overly happy with the new goal you have given him," Aki pointed out to the First Officer. "Give all that he had to do in order for us to be able to have an open comm channel, it is going to require a near miracle for him to accomplish what you have stated."

"We do not have that much of a choice Lieutenant," Valentine stated with a sigh. "It would take a lot more than 5 days to dig us out of here, especially give that we would not be able to use any sort of tools for fear of creating another storm."

"This planet reacts to the slightest rhythmic vibration," the archeologist confirmed. "Every time one of my droids used a drill we would find ourselves in the middle of a localized storm making it impossible for us to work.  I can only guess that the larger the drill, he larger the resonance would be which would create a storm of comparable size and intensity."

"Using the transporter is the fastest and likely safest way for all of us to escape from this trap," Aki confirmed in support of the course of action presented by the First Officer.

"Commander Janeel, have you heard all of this?"

=/\= Yes Commander, we are already working on the problem and will report back as soon as we figure something out. In the meantime, we will keep the channel open, just in case. =/\=

"Why do you fight this?" the guide questioned. "Would it not be simpler if you simple accepted to remain here? I can answer all of your questions and even provide you with food." As he said this, a plate of odd-looking fruits appeared on the floor next to the still immobile Captain.

"Lieutenant Mitshiba to Commander Janeel, the guide has just demonstrated that the crystals, at least some of them, are capable to acting as a transporter relay signal. The task of using our transporters is possible, you and Ensign Thorquelsson just nee to figure out how to tap into that system."

=/\= Good news then, I will make sure to relay this to our Chief Engineer. =/\=

"Creating that fruit platter was a very bad tactical move, especially given that it served no purpose or even answered any of our questions," Alexandria pointed out with puzzlement.  "You have never been one to offer anything without first having been asked, and even then we have to be very specific as to what it was we wanted, so why this sudden show of generosity?"

The guide said nothing, instead offering nothing more than a playful smile as if all of this had happened according to a well laid out plan set by none other than himself.

///^\\\
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32008.2200

"Commander Jannel, the communication channel has gone dead," Lopez reported.

"How is that possible?"

"Unknown," the Counselor answered, "but we can't hear them anymore and I suspect that they cannot hear us either. Something changed in the way the crystals are relaying our signal."

"Bridge to Thorquelsson," Janeel called out, "we need to get a transporter beam down to the away team's location. Something has happened to make us lose communications."

=/\= How is that possible? =/\= Halston asked, repeating Adriana's question word for word. =/\= There is nothing that can actually interfere with the signal. =/\=

"Well something is doing just that, so we need to find a way to get a transporter signal down there. Just before we lost contact, Misaki reported that the crystal could handle such a signal load."

=/\= Well, if she said that it can, I just need to figure out how to do it. I'll get back to you as soon as I have something, Main Engineering out. =/\=

"What do we do now?" Lopez asked.

"We try to see if we can figure out why we so suddenly lost communications and if we can find a way to help Ensign Thorquelsson in his efforts to get a transporter signal to the Captain and First Officer's location.

///^\\\
Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Misaki Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Chief Science Officer
USS BASTET - NCC 74977
M03-P047: USS BASTET: Bruxa: Day 05 - 2230 ("Scrambled Matter")
=-=
"Scrambled Matter"
[previous post was "From Good To Bad"]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 32008.2230
With the communications issues both on and off the ship, Adriana had come back down to Sickbay to speak directly with Satella. Commander Janeel had wanted the Doctor to work on a special project and it had been simply easier to explain it in person.

"Are you absolutely certain of this?" Doctor Bruxta asked. The plan as described by the Counsellor had been as crazy as could be. Therefore it had been wise to make sure that Adriana had relayed the message accurately.

"Before we lost communication with the away team, Misaki confirmed that the crystals could carry a higher density signal, like that of a transporter. Halston is already working on the mechanics of making this happen; using the channel we had as a starting point. Janeel just wants you to insure that the data would remain intact through an actual transport." Counsellor Lopez repeated.

"I can imagine that she would not be overly happy if we lost someone through an incomplete transport sequence. I just am not entirely certain as to how I am meant to do this. The sample of sand that we have on hand here is far from being enough to run that level of tests." Doctor Bruxa felt apprehensive with the task that had been handed over to her. As challenging and exciting as it sounded, any mistake could result in the death of one or more members of the command staff.

"We need to at least try. By the sound of what Commander Valentine said, their lives might very well depend on it."

"No pressure at all. This would be a lot easier is Misaki was here." Satella said, trying to offset the feeling of discouragement she was feeling.

"What can I do to help?" The Counsellor's offer had been meant to reassure her friend while at the same time focus her thoughts on the task at hand. Accepting that a task would fail even before it had been started would insure that result. So it had been for the best if Adriana and Satella approached this with hope and conviction that they would find a way to insure it worked.

"Get others to help and fetch me an ample sample of sand. With the ship nearly half buried it should not be too difficult. I will start creating a computer model to more closely study the interactions of the crystals as a higher density signal is bounced through them."

"Sounds like a plan. I will be back shortly with an entire beach worth of sand." the Counsellor's enthusiasm actually made the Doctor smile. Satella could see in Adriana's eyes that she had been just as scared and concerned about this plan. The fact that the lives of their Captain, First Officer and Chief Science Officer not to mention that of Miss Koniki rested on their success had been that much more troubling. Giving up would have been easy, but on the BASTET that had not now nor would ever be an option.

=-=
Setting: USS BASTET, Cargo Bay 6
Stardate: 32008.2245

Adriana had asked Satella to follow her, the Counsellor having been too proud of her achievement not to have someone see it with their own eyes.

"See. I did promise you a beach full of sand." The smile on the Counsellor's lips had been as bright as a summer's sun. The whole of the carbo bay had been filled easily reaching a height of over a meter at the highest point.

"How?"

"It was actually easy. This cargo bay has an outside access, so I just had to open it and let the sand flow in. Think this will be enough to run the tests we need?" Adriana asked appearing more than pleased with herself. If the rest of their task could prove to be as easy, they would have the Captain and the others back on board in no time.

"I will need to bring in some equipment, but yes this will be more than enough. Thank you. Now, want to help me bring down what I will be using to test the crystals?"

"Absolutely."

=-=
Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 32008.2230

With all of the equipment set up back in the cargo bay, Doctor Bruxa had been able to perform her tests from Sickbay. From there the Chief Medical officer could use the full range of her instruments while using the sizable sample provided by Counsellor Lopez.

"We have set up miniature transporter platforms at opposing ends of the cargo bay. Since neither is connected to the other, the signal will have to travel through the sand. We can observe the results from here and see what kind of issues we might be dealing with should we try to use the actual transporter." Unlike before, Satella had actually sounded confident about the outcome of their tests.  If a communication signal could be transmitted through the sand, and if Misaki had confirmed that it had been possible to use the transporters in the same manner, what could possibly go wrong?

"The first test sample has been set in place. We can engage the miniature transporters when ready."

Following the report from Adriana, Satella confirmed on her instruments that the inanimate object had been set according to her specifications.  Once the Doctor was satisfied that everything had been as it needed to be, she engaged the transporter.  On her console both women could see the small solid block vanish from one end of the cargo bay to reappear on the other side.

"It works!" Counsellor Lopez said ready to begin the grand celebration of their victory over the sands of EPSILON 358.

"That was just the first test. A single solid block that was as simple as could be for the transporter system to process. The sand does not appear to cause any issues at this level, but it may not be as kind to biological material. So unless we are beaming nothing but rocks, we should not be too quick to rejoice." Satella's words had been cautious. She knew that transporting biological matter had been a far more complex procedure.

"Sample number 2 is on the platform." Adriana announced, her enthusiasm just as strong as it had been prior to the Doctor's talk down.

"Engaging transport sequence."

The two women watched with unmatched interest as the biological sample vanished from the first platform. Their hopes quickly vanished when the sample failed to reappear on the second platform located on he other side of the room.

"What happened?" Adriana asked, shocked that the second test had been such a complete failure.

"Looks like the crystals scattered the bio matter instead of keeping it as a single data stream. I can detect the sample bio-matter in the sand, and by the looks of it our sample is now covering an area in excess of 25 square meters. We have proven that the transporter does work, we just need to figure out how to not have our people have their biological matter spread all over the planet."

=-=
Rachel Jackie Johnson

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET

[Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. - Mark Twain]
M03-P048: USS BASTET: Lopez: Day 05 - 2240 ("Bad And Good Vibrations")
-=-=-
"Bad And Good Vibrations"
[Previous post: "Scrambled Matter"]
-=-=-

Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 32008.2240

Adriana had been beyond thrilled when she had managed to get so much sand so quickly into the cargo bay. The accomplishment had been so unexpected that she had not even realized that her sister had not been anywhere around. In fact, since the Counsellor had confined in her new friend the Doctor, Amanda had become far quieter than the twin sister had ever been.

Although a small part of Adriana actually missed listening to her sister’s endless ramblings and put-downs, the Counsellor had actually found some peace in the absence of the hallucinations of her sister. At least until now.

"Somehow I don't think that's the way it was meant to work," the twin sister said with a grin, teasing both the Counsellor and Doctor despite the fact that only one of them could hear her.

"Can we find a way to narrow the transporter beam to avoid the scattering effect?" Adriana asked, ignoring her grinning sister who had decided to sit on biobed directly behind the two women.

"The beam was scattered nearly at a full 100 percent when it passed through the crystals," Doctor Bruxa reported as she analysed her findings now being displayed on the console in front of them. "Even if we managed to reduce this by half on our next attempt and then by half again on the one after that, we would still be looking as a dispersal ration of 25 percent.  Imagine transporting you or someone else and knowing that a full quarter of their body would not make it to the other end of the transport."

"That would hurt, a lot," Amanda chimed in causing her sister to wince suddenly. The visualizing of the horrific sight and imagining the atrocious pain that such a incomplete transport would cause had been enough to cause the Counsellor’s physical reaction. The fact that the illusion of the twin had apparently returned in full force had not helped matters any.

"There had to be a way or Misaki would not have said that it could be done," Lopez pointed out, not willing to give up on their efforts of their missing crewmembers.

"Like I said before," Satella nodded with a lengthy sigh. "This would be a lot easier if she was here to help with the scientific aspects and to explain exactly what she saw to have her come to the conclusion she relayed to us. Unfortunately we cannot rely on her help, so we have to use what we have to come up with a solution that is much better than a system working at only 75 percent."

"The answer to this has to be right in front of us, I can almost hear it," the Counsellor said, wishing that she had been better at pure and applied sciences, but her chosen field had been Psychology and Sociology, two field that had been of little help in the current situation.

"The only thing you two will get will be to hear the screams of those poor people if you try to beam them back with that system working at anything less than 100 percent," the illusion of the twin sister said. For an unknown reason, Amanda had come across as almost evil as if looking forward to witness the terrible scene that had been described.  Adriana could easily imagine that her sister had still been very angry at the fact that her sister had revealed the truth to Doctor Bruxa.

"Are you alright?" Satella asked, having picked up that something had not been quite right with the Counsellor. "Is it Amanda? Is she interfering with your work?"

"Yes and no," Lopez replied as she suddenly looked back and smiled at the image that the Counsellor knew she had been the only one able to see or ear. "As crazy as it may sound, she can make things as difficult as can be while actually helping me work through whatever problem I am faced with.  In this case, she just gave us the missing element to make the transporter work."

"At least she's helping in a not quite orthodox manner," Satella said, offering a gentle squeeze of the Counsellor's arm as a show of continued friendship and support.

"Music," Adriana detailed. "Sounds, this entire planet responds to sounds and vibrations. What may be missing from the transporter beam is a carefully modulated sonic frequency."

"It does sound like a valid option," the Chief Medical Officer said in agreement.  "We can run a few starter tests but we will need Halston's help to make sure that we can accurately calibrate the transporter system if our tests are conclusive as to this being the answer we need."

"Then we should get started," Adriana offered without glancing back over her shoulder to see if her sister had still been there or not. The simple fact that she could not hear Amanda offer some demeaning comment had been good enough for the Counsellor.

"Let's start with having the pattern enhancers in the cargo bay resonate at a low frequency. This should give us a baseline to work from as we modify the amplitude, pitch and frequency to affect the results," Satella suggested as she prepared the system using the console while Adriana relayed the instructions to the crewmembers in the cargo bay. As soon as the system had been readied and a new biological sample placed on the transporter platform, the next stage of their tests could begin.

As the transporter was engaged, the sample vanished as expected from the first platform and rematerialized a few seconds later as a gooey lump of bio-matter onto the second platform.  Although the test would have normally been considered to be a failure, the fact that the transport sequence had actually reached the intended target had been an unexpected and welcomed victory.

"That actually worked better than I had expected," the Doctor noted with confidence. "We just need to figure out the exact modulation of the added harmonics. Once that is done we can get Thor to help implement these modifications to the transporter system. After that we will be able to beam the Captain and the others back to the BASTET long before the Gorn reach orbit.

With success within reach, the two women quickly resumed their work not wanting to waste any time.

-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor
USS BASTET
M03-P049: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: Day 05 - 2240 ("Sounding Things Out")
"Sounding Things Out"
Previous post: "Bad And Good Vibrations"

///^\\\
Setting: EPSILON 358, Underground
Stardate: 32008.2240

Since the creation of the fruit platter and the challenge made by Alexandria Koniki as to the reason why this had happened, everyone had become exceptionally quiet as if concerned that their words would be used against them by the guide.

"How is the Captain?" Aki asked of Commander Valentine in a whispered tone, making sure that the guide had been as far away as possible to further insure that he would not listen in on their conversation.

"No change," the First Officer sadly replied not that she had expected there to be any. Whatever had happened seemed to be part of a plan orchestrated by the guide, and the state of their Captain seemed to an integral part of this. The only question though was what did a hologram from the distant past want with them and how did all this serve his purpose.  "I need you to speak with Alexandria and see if you two can figure out what this is all about.  Go and explore more of this underground complex if you need to. She understands this place better than anyone else and your scientific expertise might give you an understanding that the rest of us lack.  I will do my best to keep our guide busy while you work on this."

"What about the Captain?" Aki questioned, concerned for the well-being of their Commanding Officer.

"She is not going anywhere and I will not leave her side, now go," the Commander ordered as she noted the guide approaching.

"Still puzzled by what you have seen and experienced?" the holographic man asked in a rather condescending manner as if the intellect of those he had addressed had been nothing when compared to his own.

"Puzzled may be a strong word, but I do have a few questions for you about the manner in which you and those images are made to appear in this room," the Commander said, waving the CSciO away with a motion of her hand that had been out of the guide's sight.

"Come," Aki whispered to the archaeologist, grabbing hold of her wrist to make sure that the woman would indeed follow before asking any questions that might tip their guide as to them making a quick exit.

"What's going on?" Alexandria asked once the two women had been down one of the corridors and well out of earshot.

"There is something strange about the way the guide is behaving," the CSciO explained. "You mentioned that he answered only to specific questions either verbally or by showing you detailed holographic images. As you pointed out to him, the creation of the fruit platter was out of character for him and that as left both Commander Valentine and myself to suspect that there is something more about him and his reason for behind here."

"What are you suspecting?" the archaeologist inquired adding a mild agreeing nod of her head to show her sharing the doubts mentioned.

"Not sure, that is why we have been sent on a mission to find out more about this place," Aki explained as the two women continued walking deeper into the corridor they had just vanished into.  "I need you to show everything you discovered about this place. Maybe I can find something that will lead us to a better understanding of the guide and what is true purpose here is.  In a best-case scenario, we might come across something that will allow us to return to the BASTET faster than if we wait for them to find a way to beam us back.  As much as I have confidence in Ensign Thorquelsson's skills and knowledge, I just can't help shake the feeling that there is something more at play here, something that might actually depend on him and the others back on the BASTET solving this problem."

"There was nothing other than corridors and dead ends," Alexandria reported. "Whatever system is being used appears to be embedded into the rock. The only way I found for accessing the system was when I had the droids play a complex set of tones in order to open the headstone that gave me access to this underground cave system."

"If we are dealing with a sound frequency based interface, the key might simply to find out what tonalities result in specific reactions," Aki theorized as she carefully ran her fingers on the rocky wall of the corridor they had still been walking through.

"Back on the surface, any wrong set of frequencies triggered a sand storm," the Archaeologist reported. "At first I thought is was nothing more than weird weather patterns, but I quickly realized that the sound and sand storm were related in some way. I suspected that it was part of a defence mechanism so I had to work in a quieter set of variables, but in time I managed to open the cover stone."

"Maybe a similar set of frequencies could open more down here," Mitshiba offered.

"I was thinking the same thing," Alexandria grinned.

"Where are your droids?"

"Not far, this way," the woman replied, quickly taking the lead and enjoying being able to do something instead of waiting for a solution to their situation to be found by others.  Alexandria had never been one to let others do what she had been able to do for herself, and this especially included finding solutions to long lost mysteries.

///^\\\
Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Misaki Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Chief Science Officer
USS BASTET - NCC 74977
M03-P050: USS BASTET: Janeel: Day 05 - 2245 ("Something Odd")
=-=
"Something Odd"
[previous post was "Sounding Things Out" by the amazing Dawn]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32008.2245

As if being on an alien planet with the ship half buried in sand had not been bd enough, the BASTET had to deal with the fact that both Captain and First Officer had not been onboard and that all communications to them had been cut off. Luckily for them, the Gorn ship that had been detected heading their way had still been several days away.

Down in Sickbay Doctor Bruxa and Lieutenant Lopez had been hard at work trying to find a way to get the transporter system to work through the temporal harmonic interference. The plan had been to use the naturally occurring crystals found throughout the planet and sand to relay the signal to and from its destination. The same idea had been used to relay a communication signal thanks to the ingenuity of their Chief Engineering Officer, Ensign Thorquelsson.

In a way thought, that had been what troubled the ILO / Mission Specialist. So far it seemed as if everything was on track for the transporter system to work along the same parameters as the communication link had, so why had they lost contact with the away team some 45 minutes ago? Something was not adding up.

=-=
Setting: USS BASTET, Main Engineering
Stardate: 32008.2255

Commander Janeel made her way down to the ship's Main Engineering to speak to the man in charge, hoping to call upon his expertise and instinct to provide some answers.

"How are things going with the transport sequence?" the ILO / Mission Specialist asked as she approached the man who had clearly been busy at a control console.

"We almost have it all figured out," Halston replied. "We have the dispersal factor at less than one percent. Of course that is far from being enough, as per the endless reminders from Doctor Bruxa, but we are confident that we will have it down to perfect very soon. Might need to call upon the computer's transport logs to fill in some of the gaps, but I am sure that the Captain, First Officer and Chief Science Officer won't complain if they are a few grams lighter."

"Please tell me that you are kidding," the Commander shot back with a scowl.

"Of course I am. Rest assured that I will not be using this unless I was ready to go through the process myself," Ensign Thorquelsson assured. "The away team will be beamed back *intact*, that you have my word on it."

"Since you seem so fully immersed in the entire process, can I ask you a question about it?" Janeel inquired, carefully looking over the man's shoulder to see what kind of modifications he had been doing on the transporter system to make it work given the unique environment they were currently dealing with.

"Of course," Halston confirmed, never taking his attention away from his work. "What's on your mind Commander?"

"Do you have any ideas as to why we suddenly lost contact with the away team?" Janeel asked, clearly sounding somewhat troubled. "I mean we can't get a hold of them and yet we are going to be using the same system to beam them back.  I am in no way doubting your skills or expertise, I am just concerned that there is something that we are not taking into account."

"The test signals reach the intended destination," the Chief Engineer stated. "The fact that we lost communication is simply an inability of the way team to reply. Maybe something shorted out their com-badge or maybe they were lost in the tremor that we detected.  Nothing seems to be hindering our ability on this end."

"Alright, call me paranoid but I just can't help shake the feeling that there is more to this than we have been led to believe," the ILO / Mission Specialist explained. "We were able to peak to the members of the away team one moment then nothing,yet we were given just enough to be able to start working on a transport system that would work. Please tell me that I am not the only one thinking that there is something wrong with this?"

"Commander, with all due respect, I'm just the Engineer. You give me a problem and it is my job to find a solution.  We needed to get a communication signal to the away team and we did. Now we need to get them back to the ship using a transporter signal and that is what  am working on. If you need to have some sort of physiological sounding board, may I suggest speaking to Counselor Lopez. She is far more qualified in that domain than I."

As much as she might have wanted to be upset or at the very last annoyed with the man, Janeel could only applaud the man for his work ethics and dedication not to mention that he had been completely right in his suggestion. The ILO / Mission Specialist had come down to the Engineering deck to seek a technical opinion which had been exactly what she had received. The rest of her concerns had been from a field that had not been in he Ensign's usual reach, and he had been professional enough to not offer something that he considered himself ill equipped to provide.

"Keep up the great work and keep me advised at to your progress," Janeel stated as she made her way out of the BASTET's Main Engineering section.

=-=
Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 32008.2305

"We are almost there Commander," Doctor Bruxa announced as she noted the Commander entering her domain. "Thor is a wizard and we should be able to get our people back very soon."

"Thor?" Janeel repeated puzzled by the mention of the mythological Norse God of Thunder.

"Ensign Thorquelsson," the Counsellor clarified. "Satella gave him that nickname. I think she likes him."

"On a professional level," the Doctor quickly amended. "The man is good at what he does, so my giving him a nickname has nothing to do with why or what the name is. Plus, it's a lot easier to say than his name actually his."

"Can I ask you both a question?" the ILO / Mission Specialist inquired having been sent here by the name in question.

"Is there a problem Commander?" Adriana asked, having noticed a troubled expression on the woman's face.

"Yes and no," Janeel replied obviously not providing any useful information with such a vague answer. "I am just having reservations as to the fact that we are working towards using the same process that allowed us to contact the away team and which is no longer working."

"All of the test signals have reached their destination," Doctor Bruxa pointed out.

"Yes I know, Thor... I mean Ensign Thorquelsson has already made that point to me. I just can't help wonder if we are going about this the right way."

"You are concerned about the fact that we lost contact with the away team and that we are using the same general process, although far more complex and powerful, to beam them back," the Counsellor offered certain hat she had as the expression went 'hit the nail on the head'.

"Yes," the Commander confirmed. "Don't get me wrong, I am the first one on board the BASTET who wishes for the safe and prompt return of the away team, but there is something that just doesn't add up.  What bugs me the most is that I can't put my finger on it."

"I wouldn't worry about it too much," Satella pointed out. "We will be able t get the away team back in less than 30 minutes at this rate, and once that is done you will be able to relax and realize that this was all for nothing.

"The process we are going to use is dangerous," the Counsellor added.  "That could be the source of your concerns. I am sure that Halston had said this to you already, we will not engage the transporter until we are absolutely certain that this will work."

"Maybe you are all right," Janeel reluctantly admitted despite the feeling that had only grown stronger to the point where it had actually caused a physical tremor to course through her body. "Maybe I am being paranoid. Keep working on this and let me know when we will be ready to bring our people home."

"Of course Commander," Adriana acknowledged. "We will let you know the second we are ready to proceed."

"Get some nice soothing cup of tea," Satella added. "We will be done and ready to engage the transporter by the time you get to the bottom of that cup."

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET

Lieutenant Commander Shar'El [Access Character BIO for Shar'El]
Acting Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS
M03-P051: USS BASTET: Bruxa: Day 05 - 2310 ("Wondering Why")
=-=
"Wondering Why"
[previous post was "Something Odd"]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 32008.2310
"What is just me or did she seem *really* bothered by this? I mean more than we would consider to be expected given the situation?" Satella wondered out loud.

"There is definitely an elevated level of stress. You do not need to be a Doctor or a Counsellor to see that. It is easy to see that Commoner Janeel in on edge," Adriana agreed looking at the closed door through which the Commander had just walked out.

"I don't see what she could be so stressed about. We are minutes away from being able to bring our people back," Doctor Bruxa shrugged as she continued her work

"Maybe it's the stress of being in command. As the ship's Intel Liaison Officer, I do not think she was ever expecting to be placed in charge of and responsible for the ship and its crew. Now she is worried about what could go wrong and is seeing problems where there are none," Counsellor Lopez suggested.

"Not everyone is cut out to be in a command position. Though I will admit that I thought Janeel was more suited to that role than many. Maybe it's as you said, being the Intel Operative on a trans-dimensional vessel capable of also traveling through time may be more than she would care to handle," Satella added.

"Being in charge of a ship is not an easy task. Anyone who has been in charge of a department on board a ship knows that. Being in charge of a ship such as the BASTET is beyond that. I would classify it as being as close to a nightmare as it gets. We are truly set to deal with an endless infinity of problems, each one more dangerous and deadly than the other."

"Makes you admire Captain Iverson just that much more. The woman is as calm and collected as it gets. I suspect that there is not a lot out there that could rattle her cage. So let us get to it and bring her back home. It will save Commander Janeel from a complete nervous breakdown at the same time.  That way you wouldn’t have to deal with her breakdown as the ship's Counsellor," Bruxta said in a teasing manner.

"You sure know how to motivate someone," Adriana chuckled.

"Speaking of motivation. Doctor Bruxa to Ensign Thor," Satella called out after having tapped her combadge.

=/\= Thorquelsson here, =/\= the Chief Engineer replied with an audible sigh,

"Just wanted to confirm the readings on your end. Things appear to be a near perfect match with what a normal transport sequence would be like."

=/\= The crystals are presenting us with a unique challenge, that I will tell you for free. The harmonic resonance it causing the signal to fluctuate but we seem to be able to keep that under control. My suggestion is that we do the transport one person at a time. We are able to maintain he integrity of a single signal, but I could not guarantee the same if we tried simultaneous multiple beaming, =/\= Halston reported.

"I am pretty certain that was the way we were planning to get this done," the Counsellor voiced, the simple idea of attempting a multiple beaming sending shivers down her spine.

"No, we will definitely be doing this one person at a time. No need to add more stress onto Commander Janeel. She is already close to the edge and I suspect that telling her we are trying a simultaneous transport would be enough to push her over," the Doctor stated.

=/\= Is there something wrong with Commander Janeel? =/\=

"Nothing is wrong. That is as long as we get the Captain, First Officer and Chief Scientist back safe and sound. You could say that she is feeling lonely at the top," the Counsellor clarified.

=/\= All right then. Our first step is to send over a set of signal boosters. This should allow us to get a solid lock on whomever we are beaming back. I have programmed the test units to transmit a signal back to us the moment they materialize. I hope that it will be enough to confirm the completion of the transport sequence. So far all of the shorter-range tests have worked. All we need to do now is to confirm that this will work on the larger scale and distance. =/\=

"Our fingers are crossed, Thor. Let Commander Janeel know that we are ready for the final test and let's see what happens. We will be monitoring the bio-signs from here and keep you informed should there be any sort of trouble. Go do your magic Thor," the Doctor said causing the Counsellor to chuckle and roll her eyes.

=/\= Will do. Thorquelsson out. =/\=

"I really don't think he likes the nickname you have given him," Adriana said with a grin, shaking her head in disbelief.

"Well, it's a lot better than me calling him 'the great Nordic god' or 'that awesome engineer who gets the job done no matter what we send his way'," Satella said clearly amused by the sound of her own words.

"I agree. ‘Thor’ does roll off the tongue with much greater ease and grace. That I cannot deny, not that I would want to. Maybe after all this I could suggest to him a nickname for you. Something along the lines of 'that annoying Doctor with the silver hair',” Adriana shot back trying to keep the atmosphere lighthearted. Letting the tension of the moment take its hold could led to both women suffering from stress as Commander Janeel was.  As strange and out of place as it might have seemed, laughter had been a great thing to have right about now.

"You could. I have been called worse over the year. A lot worse," Doctor Bruxa said seriously before adding a playful wink while they waited for the result of the final test. If everything went according to plan, the people locked in the underground would soon be back. If on the other hand things did not go as plan, her next duty might be to perform a DNA comparison to identify the remains of the first person to have been beamed back. A task that the Doctor had truly hope she would not have to do. Not today or ever.

=-=
Rachel Jackie Johnson

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET

[Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. - Mark Twain]
M03-P052: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: Day 05 - 2310 ("Not What Was Expected")
"Not What Was Expected"
Previous post: "Wondering Why"

///^\\\
Setting: EPSILON 358, Underground Passageway
Stardate: 32008.2310

With an impressive collection of droids in tow, Aki and Alexandria made their way through the deeper sections of the underground caves that had been home to the D'Arsay guide.  The archaeologist had not ventured this far from the main chamber before because she had not had the opportunity to do so. With the issues that had surfaced and the encouragement of the CSciO though, the two women had gone on an exploratory mission in the hopes of discovering more about the guide and his goals.

"This is remarkable," Aki noted as she carefully rang her hand on the crystal-covered wall of the corridor they had been walking in. "The further down we go, the higher the concentrations of these crystals. From barely being visible on the surface the same crystal easily measure 2 to 3 centimeters across.  I bet if we managed to go even deeper we could find some that would be as large as our fists and bigger."

"Geologically speaking I can see why this is interesting, but archaeologically these crystals are not what I had hoped to find," Alexandria admitted sounding for obvious reasons rather disappointed.

"Sorry, the CSciO offered. "Being a Starfleet Science Officer means that I find any and all scientific finds interesting.  That said, you should still be fascinated by the fact that although these corridors appear to be natural in their creation, the flat floor we have been walking on indicates otherwise. Someone went through a lot of trouble to making these passageways easy for people to travel through. The question is why?"

"The guide said that this had been at some point in the distant past a D'Arsay outpost, so I assumed that this was the reason for the flat floors," Alexandria explained.

"I agree, but one would have figured that over the millennia the geological shifts on the planet would have caused some of these floors to become uneven or at the very least show to have cracks. Since we left the main chamber, the floors have been perfectly smooth," Aki pointed out.  "I am not sure why this is, but I know that this is not natural since we recently experienced tremors, the same ones that blocked our being able to walk back to the surface and to the BASTET."

"What are you suggesting?" Alexandria queried. With her expertise in ancient civilizations and cultures, dealing with a live mystery had been somewhat out of her field of expertise.

"I'm not sure, and that's part of what troubles me," the CSciO admitted, continuing down the corridor for any clue that would help them to better understand what it was that they were actually dealing with.

///^\\\
Setting: EPSILON 358, Underground Main Chamber Balcony
Stardate: 32008.2320

Commander Valentine had masterfully kept the attention of the guide on herself allowing for Aki and Alexandria to wander off without having been detected. As much as the First Officer had become an expert at keeping the hologram's eyes on her though, the moment the transporter enhancers materialized onto the balcony, the guide looked away and smiled.

"Your ship and crew are far more resourceful than the others."

"The others?" the Commander repeated not at all liking the way the guide had spoken those last few words.

"Yes. You did not believe that you were the first to find this place, were you?"

///^\\\
Setting: EPSILON 358, Underground Passageway
Stardate: 32008.2325

"Wait!" Alexandria called out having noticed something. "The droids, they are no longer following us," the archaeologist clarified.

"It looks like their primary processing systems are being interfered by something," Aki noted seeing all of the droids that had been following them act as if they all had suddenly been infected by the mechanical equivalent of the shakes.

"Did you notice that the crystals are also glowing," the archaeologist added. "Faintly mind you but there is definitively an additional glow to them.

"As if they had been activated in some manner," Aki theorised. "If the entire planet acts as a highly sophisticated computer, something has triggered this part of the system."

"Could this be interfering with the droids and causing them to act as they are?" Alexandria asked the concern for her long time friends and companion very apparent.

"It is very likely, the new questions we are faced with though is why? Why is this section now active and what does it mean," the CSciO said just before the two women felt the ground vibrating beneath their feet. As soft os the tremor had started to be, it quickly grow in strength to he point where Aki and Alexandria could barely manage to stand.  Then, suddenly, without any warning, the shaking stopped leaving everyone to wonder as to what had just happened.

"Maybe we should be heading back and check in with the Commander," the CSciO said. "It is obvious that *something* happened, and being down here I doubt that we are in any position to say what."

"Maybe we are in a better position than you think," the archaeologist nervously said as she slowly raised a trembling hand and finger, which pointed further down the passageway where a metallic structure could now be seen. The fact that lights could be detected coming from what appeared to be windows only added to the woman's surprise and shock. Again being an archaeologist meant that she never dealt with any sort of metallic buildings, let alone one with light coming from within.

Aki quickly turned and gasped as she studied what little of the structure they could now see, a structure that had clearly not been there before the tremors.  "That can't be," the CSciO declared in disbelief before quickly making her way further down he corridor, the color and shape of the visible part of the structure having been oddly familiar.

"What? What is it? Do you recognize it? Do you know what it is? Misaki?" Alexandria demanded in quick succession as she rushed in after the woman who had become completely unresponsive to her queries.

"How?" the CSciO gasped as she reached her destination and found herself stepping into a immense underground chamber to see something she had never expected to find, especially not inside the planet.

"Is that your ship?" Alexandria wondered aloud as she looked at the full length of the vessel now contained in the chamber they had just discovered.

"It sure looks like it."

///^\\\
Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Misaki Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Chief Science Officer
USS BASTET - NCC 74977
M03-P053: USS BASTET: Janeel: Day 05 - 2330 ("Hook, Line And Sinker")
=-=
"Hook, Line And Sinker"
[previous post was "Not What Was Expected" by the surprising Dawn]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32008.2330

"REPORT!" Janeel demanded as she picked herself off the floor. The BASTET had for no reason started to violently shake and before anyone could even begin to make a comment as to the strange occurrence, everyone had been sent crashing down.

=/\= Give us a minute, we are picking up the pieces down here, =/\= the Chief Engineer said sounding less than happy with whatever had just happened.

=/\= Receiving multiple report of minor injuries throughout the ship but so far no fatalities. Emergency teams will be dispatched as soon as we can to check each deck one by one, =/\= the Chief Medical Officer reported next.

"Thank you Doctor. No need to send anyone to the bridge, everyone here is fine. Might have a few additional bumps and bruises but nothing requiring medical attention at this time," Janeel stated dismissing the pain in her shoulder as having been nothing more than the result of her unfortunate impact with the edge of the Captain's fair during her fall.

"Commander," of the other other bridge officers called out. "There is something wrong with pretty much everything on board the BASTET. All external displays are no longer functioning and external sensors are, according to these readings, being bounced back at us. The computer also seems to be working in a hybrid language, the new addition being something that we have never before encountered."

"Great," Janeel sighed as she tried once again to work out the pain out of her shoulder. "We were seconds away from being able to beam our people back and instead all hell breaks loose. Do we have any idea as to what happened."

"None Commander," the reply came from every station on the bridge. "One moment everything was calm and quiet, the next the computer goes nuts and we get tossed around as if the ship had been picked up by a giant hand to be moved out of the way."

As odd and weird and the description given had been, it had been enough to get the ILO / Mission Specialist thinking.

=-=
Setting: USS BASTET, Observation Lounge
Stardate: 32008.2335

To be honest Janeel had not known what she had expected to find by coming here and looking out the windows, but one thing had been certain, the Commander had not expected to see what she saw.  The huge rock face that covered the entirety of her field of vision had made it clear, the ship had somehow been moved, that of a mountain had suddenly and for no apparent reason sprouted right next to the BASTET.

"How did we get to be here?" the Commander asked to no one as she was alone in the room while she approached the window to see if her first assumption had indeed been the right one.

=/\= Ensign Thorquelsson to Commander Janeel. =/\=

"Go ahead Ensign. I hope that you have good news for me," Janeel replied still studying the raco face hoping to find both an explanation and a way for the the ship and its crew to get out.

=/\= Something is rewriting the computer core.  I had to take it offline to protect it from any further damage. I can't tell you why, but I have a pretty good idea as to how this happened. Looks like the moment we established a solid transporter signal to the away team, something used it to get direct access to the computer and all of our systems. So far life support and other primary functions have not been affected, but I have no way to tell if this will hold. Whatever reached in did so exceptionally fast and did a lot of damage in only a few seconds.  I will have a more detailed report as soon as possible, =/\= the Engineer said, the tone of his voice hinting at his dismay and frustration.

"Thank you," Janeel acknowledged realizing only after the fact that Halston had already closed the channel before she had been able to speak.  The man had set himself to be on a mission and he was not going to waste any time chatting about it with anyone else.

With the Chief Engineer busy with finding a solution to their latest problem and the Chief Science Officer off the ship, there had been only one other person the Commander could think of to discuss the situation with and hopefully get some useful feedback.

=-=
Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 32008.2345

The ILO / Mission Specialist walked into the room to find several people being attended to, although by the looks of things no one had suffered from any major injury.

"The break is a simple one, just wait there for one of the nurses to mend it when they have a moment," Satella said actually looking relieved at seeing Janeel step in instead of another would-be patient.

"Pretty busy down here," the Commander observed, glad to see that no one appeared to be in critical condition.

"Without the inertial dampeners working at the time of whatever it was that happened to us, a lot of people were tossed around like rag dolls.  Despite there being a lot of broken arms and legs, we should have everyone patched up within the hour," the Doctor announced.  "So do we know what happened? The computer seems to be working in an alien language and Thor is not being overly chatty at the moment."

"Apparently the moment we established a full transporter signal, something reached back and took control of our systems rewriting the computer core program. Ensign Thorquelsson was quick enough to limit the damages but it doesn't change the larger situation that we are now underground," Janeel reported.

"Underground?" Satella gasped. "How is that possible? Did a sinkhole open beneath us?"

"Unknown, but from what I was able to see from the observation lounge, there does not appear to be any sort of opening overhead. I can only guess that the ship was somehow transporter lock, stock and barrel to wherever this place is," the ILO / Mission Specialist offered.

"You are deep in the planet's underground, less than a kilometer from where Commander Valentine and Captain Iverson were the last time we saw them," Mitshiba explained as she and the archaeologist stepped into Sickbay.

"Were you beamed onboard?" Janeel questioned feeling both surprise and relief.

"We were able to gain access using the boarding access from one of the landing strut," Misaki explained. "I will say that we were surprised to see the BASTET where we found it. We had been exploring the underground to find something that would give us a better understanding of the guide and what his intentions are."

"Baiting us to open up a transporter signal seems to be the first thing that comes to mind," the Commander unhappily stated. "Now we just need to figure out what this guide of yours wants with the ship and why it tried to rewrite the core computer codes."

"Whatever the reasons may be, it looks like we fell for the trap," Mitshiba stated.

"Yes we did," Janeel agreed now wishing that she had listened more closely to her instincts. "We fell for the trap... hook, line and sinker."

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET

Lieutenant Commander Shar'El [Access Character BIO for Shar'El]
Acting Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS
M03-P054: USS BASTET: Lopez: Day 05 - 2345 ("An Observer")
-=-=-
"An Observer"
[Previous post: "Hook, Line And Sinker"]
-=-=-

Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 32008.2345

Adriana carefully held onto her right wrist, her initial diagnosis having been confirmed by Doctor Bruxa not too long ago. The sprain had been painful but nothing compared to some of the other injuries that had been rushed into Sickbay. Looking at the numerous arms and legs showing clear indications of compound fractures, the CNS had been rather happy that all she could complain about was a sprain wrist.

From the back of Sickbay Adriana watched as Commander Janeel walked in and immediately went to speak with Doctor Bruxa. Too far to actually hear what they were saying, the Counsellor was left with observing and analysing the facial expressions and body language to figure out what the reason for what had clearly been an official visit.  The concerns that reflected off both women's faces indicated that something about their situation had changed, and not for the better.

That was when Lieutenant Mitshiba and Miss Koniki unexpectedly stepped into the room to everyone's great surprise. As much as their arrival should have been a celebrated event, neither Janeel nor Misaki appeared overly happy, a sentiment that was shared by the Doctor and archaeologist who actually appeared roubled. However, the situation had changed, it had done so in such a way as to overshadow the return of one of the three missing officers.

"Do you have the feeling that things took a turn for the worse," the image of the Counsellor’s twin sister said, Amanda having appeared right next to the woman who sighed at the sound of the illusion's voice.  "Just look at their faces. They look as if they have just learned that everyone on board your ship is going to die in the very near future."

"Whatever problem we are in, they will find a way out," Adriana said in return, keeping her voice to nothing more than a soft whisper. "We always find a way, that's what being a Starfleet officer means. We find solutions."

"Don't give me that psycho-babbled hyper-positive reassurance talk," Amanda challenged with an unimpressed chuckle. "You are just as scared as they are, maybe even more since you have no idea of what the situation is.  For all we know you and the rest of the crew could all be dead and you just don't know it yet. It's not like your acting CO is going to go on a ship-wide announcement to say that. Of course not, she has to keep all of you Starfleet pawns focussed and full of hope so that you actually will get out of whatever this is alive.  Just look around and see what they don't want you to see, as a Counsellor you should be good at that, no? Look past the fake smiles and see their concerns. Ignore the false bravado they are forcing themselves to show and see the despair and fear in their eyes.  They all know the same thing you do and like you are fooling themselves into believing that you are all going to get out of this as if nothing happened.  You all need to wake up. You can smell their fear, it stinks almost as bad as what their bodies will after they are all dead and forgotten."

"NO!" Adriana screamed instantly drawing everyone's attention on her, including the questioning gazes of Commander Janeel and Doctor Bruxa.

"Take care of Lopez; Miss Koniki, Mitshiba and myself will head to Main Engineering and see what we can do about our current situation. Hopefully Halston will be able to find a way to get us out of this mess," the CNS heard thanks to the room having become completely silent following her outburst.

"Are you alright?" Satella asked after having crossed the room to be with Adriana, concern flowing from the CMO like an overflowing river.  "Is your wrist hurting or is there something else bothering you?" The question had been vague but the way the Doctor's eyes had looked around the CNS hinted that she had figured out that the outburst had been caused by something the illusion of her twin had said or done.

"She's always been annoying, but in her own way she's also been supportive and even encouraging," Adriana quietly explained as she looked over her shoulder to see the image of her twin sister looking back at her, an unusual anger flaring in her eyes.  “Her sharp tongue always forced me to see what I refused to accept so that I could pick myself up and continue.”

"But not this time?" Satella gently inquired holding on to Adriana's shoulders to have the CNS’ attention onto the CMO instead of on the illusion of her twin sister. "Look at me and forget about her and what she said to you now. Whatever she managed to make you believe does not change the fact that you are here with us. You are not alone and will not be, I will make sure of that.  Let me take care of your wrist and we can head down to Engineering and see what we can do to help Commander Janeel and the others. At worst we will be there observing them finding a way to find a solution to our latest challenge."

"What about all of those who are injured and waiting for you?" Adriana questioned as she glanced over the Doctor’s shoulder to see all of the injured crewmembers. Once her survey of the room’s occupants had been completed, the CNS forced herself to look again at the woman standing in front of Lopez so that her attention would not be diverted back onto her sister's image.

"Everyone is fine and the medical staff can take care of the rest. Right now you need me and I would be a poor friend if I did not take care of you at this time," Satella said in a way that made Adriana feel more relaxed than she had expected herself to be after all that had happened.

"Thank you," the Counsellor said almost in tears showing that whatever interaction had taken place between he two twins had severely affected to one sitting on the bed.

“Come with me to my office,” the Doctor said as she helped the woman off the biobed and down to her feet. “I can take care of your wrist there away from curious eyes and we can talk more about this before heading down to see Thor.”

Adriana smiled at the sound of the nickname Satella had given the chief Engineer, the woman appearing more than happy to use it as often as she could even when he was not around to hear her do so.

-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor
USS BASTET
M03-P055: USS BASTET: Thorquelsson: Day 06 - 00 ("Do No Harm")
-=-=-
"Do No Harm"
[Previous post: "An Observer"
-=-=-

Setting: USS BASTET, Main Engineering
Stardate: 32009.0000

"Sand that's actually crystal, crystals that are really computer chips, and all of that conspiring to either kill us or suck us dry like some sort of vampire from a bad novel."  Ensign Halson Thorquelsson stormed around Main Engineering, wanting very much to kick something very hard.  Mar'gesh walks up to him with a PADD.

"Damage reports sir.  The computer core was compromised and partially rewritten, but most primary systems are still intact.  Most of what has been reprogrammed would be axillary, holodecks, the industrial replicator, and other smaller systems."

Thorquelsson takes the PADD.  "So we got the systems shut down before they were able to take everything over?"

Mar'gesh shrugs.  "I don't think that the intent was to destroy everything.  From what we can tell, whatever it was that did this was more like a computer virus, trying to take over what we already have by using the other systems to take control."

"So it was looking to take over the ship but leave the essential systems intact?"

"That's the best we can tell.  As fast as it was moving, it should have been able to at least effect all of the systems in some small way, but most were untouched."

Thorquelsson strokes his chin with his right hand.  He looks around Engineering, trying to come up with a solution.  The main doors to Engineering open, as Counselor Lopez and Doctor Bruxa walk in.  They make a beeline for Thorquelsson and Mar'gesh.

Satella opens with a smile.  "Hello Thor.  Good to see you and the engineering crew made it mostly in one piece."

Thorquelsson grimaces and shakes his head.  "I'm never going to get rid of that nickname, am I?"

The doctor shrugs.  "It's a lot easier than "Miracle Working Engineer".  Remember, even Montgomery Scott was known to his crewmates as "Scotty."

Thorquelsson shakes his head again.  "Well, it could be worse.  I had a fellow classmate at the Academy who got to be known as "Chunks."  Satella goes to say something, but Thorquelsson waves her off.  "Best that you don't know.  Good to see you too Counselor."

Adriana nods her head slightly.  "So, we've gone from no communication with the away team, to needing to transport the away team home, and now we're stuck underground by an alien planetary entity from all we can tell that wants to take over our ship?"

"That just about sums it up."  Thorquelsson turns to Mar'gesh.  "Get a crew down to the shuttle bay and see if we can still access the computer cores of the shuttles.  Hopefully we'll still be able to use those with the main core compromised."  Mar'gesh puts his hand over his heart and bows.  He gathers up a couple of engineers and they head out of Engineering.

Thorquelsson turns back to the two female officers.  "I'll take it that this isn't a social call, and that you're here to help?"

"Not that we don't enjoy your company, but we definitely need to do something about this," says Satella.  "Have you come up with any ideas?"

Thorquelsson leads them over to the main display.  "We've been theorizing that the planet may be one gigantic computer.  All of the signs that we've been able to interpret seem to point that way."

Adriana turns her mouth in a scowl.  "But if it's all a computer, what would it want with the BASTET?"

Thorquelsson sits down the PADD in his hand and pulls up a chart so that the other officers can see it.  "This is a graph of all of the background power fluctuations of the planet since we've been here.  You can see that it's not stable like this one here, of ALEXANDRIA.  From what we can extrapolate, this power fluctuation shouldn't be this wild.  The theory is that the planet is destabilizing, and as it does, the behavior of the computer is destabilizing and becoming more erratic."

Adriana and Satella look at each other.  Satella turns back to Thorquelsson.  "The planet is sick?"

Thorquelsson nods.  "That's one way to put it.  We've come up with two options.  One, we try to finish the job, so to say.  We try to plant a virus into the planet and then blast our way out of here.  The second, and probably more dangerous option, is that we try to fix the planet."

Satella looks somewhat worriedly at the engineering chief.  "As a doctor, we take the Hippocratic Oath: do no harm.  I don't know if I can condone us essentially euthanizing a sentient planet."

Thorquelsson picks up the PADD.  "And that's why I've been working on this..."

=-=
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32009.0015

Commander Janeel, sitting in the captain's chair, stares incredulously at Ensign Thorquelsson, who has Doctor Bruxa and Counselor Lopez flanking him.  "You're saying that the planet is going insane?"

Thorquelsson nods.  "That's the theory.  All of the signs are pointing that way.  I showed the scans to our good doctor and counselor, and they concur that they appear to be similar to brain wave patterns of someone with a form of dementia."

Satella steps up.  "It has all the hallmarks of that degenerative disease, and it seems that the more that the planet is trying to accomplish, the worse that the deterioration is becoming.  If we extrapolate the progression as similar to dementia, the planet is going to be beyond help within ten hours."

Janeel stands up.  "So we just have to make it about another half of a day, and we can just leave?"

The trio look at each other and Thorquelsson looks down.  "No sir.  If we're right, at that point, the planet will go completely insane, and probably rip us apart in it's death throes."

The alarm in Janeel's face grows.  "What do we do then?"

Thorquelsson hands her a PADD. "We can modulate a quantum torpedo to emit a resonant frequency rather than a payload.  If we can aim it just right, we should be able to get it into position to stabilize the local area.  Once done, it will create a cascade effect, and this should ripple down through the planet core and essentially act as a reset button on the whole planet."

"And then what?"

Thorquelsson looks back at Satella and Adriana.  "Then, we hope that once we cure the insanity, it will take mercy on us and we can go home."

-=-=-
Kenneth W Choate

Chief Engineering Officer
USS BASTET
M03-P056: USS BASTET: Iverson: Day 06 - 0115 ("Grand Awakening")
---
"Grand Awakening"
(Previous Post: "Do No Harm")
---

Setting: USS BASTET, Forward Torpedo Launch Bay
Stardate: 32009.0115

It had been a long day and night and still everyone had been going on strong. From trying to beam the missing people back, to the whole of the BASTET having been transported to an underground chamber, the crew had been rolling with the punches with efficiency and calm, at least for the most part. Some, like Commander Janeel had found it difficult to deal with the never ending string of problems while Ensign Thorquelsson did what he did best, finding solutions.  Following that mindset, the Chief Engineer had moved to the forward torpedo launch bay where he addressed the final modifications to the explosive devices.

=/\= Be sure to keep the resonant frequency in the mid-range band. Too low and the signal may not spread far enough to be of any use to us, and too high could result in the shattering of the larger crystals and we have no idea how that will affect the Captain, the BASTET or the planet as a whole, =/\= Lieutenant Mitshiba specified having kept a very close watch on the progress of the Chief Engineer.

"No worries," Halston acknowledged. "I may be tired but I still know what I am doing.  I'm using the same frequency range and variables that were in effect for the transporter signal.  We know that those worked, we are just changing what it is they are working for. The other and most important difference is that this time we are going to be sending the signal at large instead of to a pinpointed single location."

=/\= Understood. When do you expect to have the torpedoes ready? =/\=

"I'm putting the panel for the external casing back in place on the last torpedo as we speak," the Engineer stated giving the torpedo a few gentle taps once everything had been completed to his satisfaction.  "Ensign Thorquelsson to the bridge. The torpedoes are ready and the last one is being loaded as we speak. You can fire when ready."

---
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32009.0120

Janeel had wanted to tell everyone that she had been right, that she knew that there had been something wrong with the way everything had unfolded while they tried to beam people back. Of course it had been too late now, the transport sequence had been initiated and somehow the guide had managed to get the BASTET into the underground of the planet. The reason for this had yet to be clearly identified but that had not been the focus of the crew at this time. Getting themselves out and rescuing the last two mission officers had been their top objective. That the two officers had been the Captain and First Officer had only made this even more important and urgent, at least as far as the Intel Operative had been concerned.

"Stand by to fire the torpedoes simultaneously. Set for optimum scatter given our limited maneuvering room, we need to have the resonant frequency reach as far and deep into the planet as possible to force a reboot," Commander Janeel ordered.

"The Chief Science Officer grinned at the sound of the word 'reboot. Although it had not been entirely correct, given their current understanding of the planet, the crystals and how they all appeared to work as a single sound-driven computer, the term might have been more accurate than Mitshiba had wanted to admit.

"Reconfirming the frequency specifications installed by Ensign Thorquelsson," Misaki stated. "Everything looks perfect, and hopefully they are are we are likely only going to get a single shot at this."

"That is not helping," Janeel stated feeling nervous enough without having to be reminded of the possibilities of things going very wrong.  After taking in a long deep breath, the Commander gave the order upon which everything had now been resting on. "Fire!"

---
Setting: EPSILON 358, Underground Chamber
Stardate: 32009.0130

Two bright burst of light emerged from the forward section of deck 10 where the torpedo launch opening were located. Due to the speed, the projectiles immediately became embedded into the rock face that stood in front of the ship.  Within seconds the entire chamber began to resonant with  low yet steady vibration indicating that everything had been working as anticipated. All that could now be done was to wait and see if the expected result would manifest itself or if things would go from bad to worse.

---
Setting: EPSILON 358, Underground Main Chamber Balcony
Stardate: 32009.0135

Without any explanation the guide had vanished before everything around them started to shake. Without being able to contact the BASTET or anyone else there had been no way for Commander Valentine to know if this had been an isolated event or more wide spread.  As strange as the vibration had been though, the steadiness of it had quickly made the First Officer believe that this hd not been a natural phenomenon. Of course there had been no way for her to know if this had been something to be happy or concerned about.

That was when Captain Iverson fell out of the trans that she had found herself in, collapsing to the floor onto one knee before Sarena reached out to help the woman remain standing.

"Welcome back Captain," the First Officer offered, not trying to hide her joy at seeing the dark haired woman looking far more live than she had. "How are you feeling and do you remember anything about what happened."

"Feeling a little light headed," Selene replied, "and I can do more than remember what happened.  Not sure how, but somehow my mind became entangled with the guide, or at least the part of the holographic entity that we understand and related to.  This planet is amazing and is far more than we could have ever guessed."

"We can discuss this in more detail once we are back on board the BASTET," Valentine said still helping the woman by her side to stand, the ordeal that she had gone through having obviously caused some physiological issues.

"Captain Iverson to BASTET," the Captain said after having reached and tapped her communicator.

=/\= Janeel here. It is so good to hear your voice Captain. =/\=

"How did you know that communications would work?" Sarena asked, completely surprised by both the gesture the Captain had done and the fact that she had not at all been surprised by it working.

"Told you, I became part of the system that is this planet, at least on a very small scale," the Captain explained before continuing. "Commander Janeel, is everything alright and are the others safe?"

=/\= Lieutenant Mitshiba and Miss Koniki are on board the BASTET, =/\= the Intel Liaison Officer replied overjoyed by the fact that not only had communications been restored but that the Captain had returned to them.  =/\= The BASTET is intact but we are inside an underground chamber with no visible way to get out.. =/\=

"I might be able to help with that," Selene stated. "We're on our way."

"Let me guess, you know exactly how to get there?" Sarena teased as she allowed the woman to stand and walk on her own.

"Maybe not exactly, but while I was part of this system I was aware of the general movements of both Mitshiba and Koniki. I think I can retrace their steps to the BASTET, if not I know that we are going to be a lot closer than we are presently."

"What about the guide?" Sarena inquired, not at all sad to having seen the hologram disappear.

"I'm not sure," the Captain admitted. "As much as I was aware of all your presence, I could not see or feel his.  I remember my mind coming in contact with something dark and cold, something that felt ancient, but I could not even come close to describing it beyond that. What I do know is that it was something that I was not meant to be aware of, so I stayed away from it."

"Could that have been the core of the personality we saw in the guide?" The Commander inquired as she followed the woman in the lead who clearly seemed to know where she was going.

"I know that you have a lot of questions, and to be honest so do I, but right now we have to get back to the BASTET," Selene firmly stated. "Our first priority is to get ourselves back, after that we can try to figure out what is going on and how we are going to deal with it."

---
Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 32009.0230

Thanks to her link to the planet, Iverson had been able to find her way back to the BASTET without too many issues. Given what she had been through, Commander Valentine had been adamant that their Commanding Officer report to sickbay immediately upon their return. As much as Selene might have wanted to think that this had been because her First Officer had been concerned for her health, the Captain knew that the reason for this had been something else entirely.

"You seem to be in as good health as you were before the mission started," the Doctor announced offering in addition a set of shrugged shoulders to the First Officer.

"In other words she was unable to find any residual link between me and the planet although there is no way to safely confirm that I am not in some way under the influence of some unknown entity," Selene explained.

"You do take the fun out of things, you know that right?" Sarena chuckled.

"Not my first nightmare," the Captain noted as she looked at those who had gathered by the entrance to Sickbay for the results of the medical tests and some sort of a permission to be allowed closer. "Alex, glad to see that you are alright."

"Alright is a matter of opinion and perspective," the archaeologist replied clearly sounding troubled. "Your ship and crew are still stuck inside a planet."

"Speaking of which, Lieutenant Mitshiba, Ensign Thorquelsson, what is our situation?"

Before offering any sort of reply, both officers glanced at their First Officer who gave a silent 'okay', Valentine not having been given any reason to doubt the Captain or that she had been in control of her own mind and actions.

"The resonant frequency that is still being transmitted by the torpedoes seem to have caused the cascade effect we predicted. The ground tremors are even stabilized, our instruments are not picking up any notable shifts," the Chief Engineer reported.

"Given the size of the planet and our lack of knowledge on the specifications of the crystals tough, we have no way to know how long a complete *reset* will take or even if it is at all possible," the Chief Science Officer added.  "For all we know we may never be able to fully *heal* the system, especially without knowing what exactly caused the malfunction in the first place. The fact that the resonant frequencies are spreading and the tremors have stabilized may not be an indication that things are progressing as we hoped."

"At least you are all back safe and sound," the Intel Liaison Officer followed with, not at all trying to hide her joy in having both the Captain and First Officer back on board.

"Doctor with your permission?" Selene asked of Satella who smiled and nodded her agreement. There had been no reason to keep the woman from resuming her role as the Commanding Officer of the BASTET.

"Captain," the Counsellor called out before the woman could exit Sickbay. "Could I accompany you?"

"Of course Lieutenant," Selene chuckled having expected the Counselor to jump in as she had. "You are welcomed to stay by my side until you are satisfied that I am who I claim to be, all I ask is that you not get in our way should something happen.  As great as it may be for us all to be back, Alexandria is right in pointing out that we are far from out of the woods, or the underground of the planet as the case may be."

---
Jessica Solarik

Captain Selene Fiona Iverson [Access Character BIO for Selene Iverson]
Commanding Officer
USS BASTET

&

Lieutenant Commander Maya [Access Character BIO for Maya]
Chief Science Officer
USS ANUBIS

"To see the world in a grain of sand,
and a heaven in a wild flower.
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
and eternity in an hour."
- William Blake (British, 1757-1827)
M03-P057: USS BASTET: Valentine: Day 06 - 0245 ("Knowledge and Secrets")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Knowledge and Secrets"
[previous post (Grand Awakening)]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32009.0245

Sarena had been pleased to being back on the BASTET, but apparently not as much as Janeel had appeared to be. The woman had been besides herself as she gleefully answered questions and updated the Captain and Executive Officer on what had happened during their absence. Based on the verbal report things had not gone as smoothly as they could have, but Valentine knew that things could have been a great deal worse.

"The resonant frequency from the torpedoes does not appear to have had any effect on the temporal harmonics," Misaki reported from the science station. "Our primary and navigational sensors are still useless in regards to getting any sort of readings beyond the hull of the ship. Now that we are surrounded by a solid barrier on all fronts, the sensor situation has actually gotten worse as we are getting echoes back from directional sensor sweeps."

"Based on where we where and how far down we travelled to reach this chamber, we can estimate that we are at least 80 to 120 meters below ground," the Executive Officer offered looking down at the sensor readouts displayed on the science console, readouts that made little to no sense whatsoever.

"80 to 120 meter," Selene sighed. "That is a lot of dead weight between us and the surface," the Captain added.

"If you were planning on blasting our way out, may I kindly remind you of the tons of sand that would also come down on us should we try to get out here that way," Janeel pointed out.  "Even with the shields active, the force of the combined impact of rocks and sand could very easily be enough to force us down and keep us there. We could theoretically find ourselves completely submerged in sand making it impossible to get out."

"I was not planning on blasting our way out," the Captain confirmed to the ILO's great relief. "It is an option, one that I would rather not use unless we have absolutely have no other choice.  I would rather find a way to get us back to the surface using the same transport system used to bring the ship here. Another option available to us would be using the D-J-D."

"You want to use the Dimensional Jump Drive while we are inside a planet?" Counselor Lopez gasped, the woman appearing as if she had been ready to have a heart attack right there and then.

"The what?" Alexandria gasped looking back at Adriana who became as white as a sheet having realized that he had mentioned something that she should not have.

"I will explain as much as I can later," the Captain offered to the archeologist not wanting to spend any time at the moment dealing with this unexpected additional problem.

"Captain? You cannot explain *anything* to her," Janeel quickly argued, the woman in question not having been in any way cleared for any such classified information despite being Admiral Koniki's daughter.

"Before you both decide to declare me unfit for command, hear me out," the Captain offered looking at both the ILO and CNS. "If we don't make it out of here, it won't matter who knows what, and if we do manage to get back to the surface and then home from there, Admiral Koniki can deal with his daughter's extremely limited knowledge of what this ship's capabilities are. Now, that said, the dimensional field can be brought in to be less than a meter from the ship.  All that would be required is to have the BASTET leave ground far enough to activate the field and bring us to a location from which we could safely return to EPSILON 358."

"That sounds a lot easier than it is," the Executive Officer pointed out with unmistakable reluctance while glaring at the archaeologist. That her father was the head of the NEW ALEXANDRIA complexe had in no way opened the door for the woman to become aware of one of the two unique piece of equipment and abilities of the ship she had found her way onto.

"I know," the Captain admitted. "Like I said, I would much rather us finding a way to get the ship back to the surface, or even in orbit, the same way the BASTET found its way here. That said, we need to have alternate options available to us, just in case."

"Anything that does not include the destruction of any parts of this planet has my support," Alexandria announced shooting a glare back to the Executive Officer. As much as the archaeologist understood that her opinions had no real weight in the options being considered by the senior staff of the BASTET, she still did not want to simply be, or made to become, an invisible and unheard presence.

"Don't worry Alex, I understand how important this find is, for both you and the Federation Archaeological Society," Selene explained. "We will do everything we can to protect this place but you have to also understand that my primary responsibility is to the crew. I will do what needs to be done to save this crew which at this moment also includes you.  It will not serve anyone if the planet is saved and we are listed as 'missing in action' or even 'destroyed'.  As important as this find may be to you, the ship and its crew are far more important to me."

"It's not like I have any real say in the matter," Alexandria huffed. "You know my position on this, do what you want. Since it appears that I am a nuisance here, can I be permitted to return to your sickbay. At least there I will be out of your way and will not get to hear about any other secrets. Plus I am sure that you will ask me to go through a full physical at some point, so might as well get that out of the way now," the archaeologist said obviously upset at everyone although her words had been solely focused onto the woman who had once been her friend.

"I will escort her to Sickbay," Janeel offered thinking it best to not leave the woman alone and use this opportunity to gage as to how much Miss Koniki understood about what she had overheard.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Karen Price

Executive Officer
USS BASTET, NCC 74977
M03-P058: USS BASTET: Bruxa: Day 06 - 0310 ("Sub-Counselling Session")
=-=
"Sub-Counselling Session"
[previous post was "Knowledge and Secrets"]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 32009.0310

It felt weird. Satella knew that the ship was steady with its landing struts firmly on the ground. Yet, the entire ship vibrated as if there was something wrong with the inertial dampeners. Knowing that this vibration was caused by the resonant frequency generated by the torpedoes did not change matters. It felt weird.

The sound of the door as it whooshed open drew the Doctor's attention to those walking in. An unhappy archaeologist closely followed by a relaxed ship's Intel Operative entered, neither appearing in immediate need of medical assistance. Satella casually approached the two women with a smile. "Good morning ladies, what can I do for you?"

"My presence on the bridge was... unwanted. My guide and escort can attest to that," Alexandria said causing Janeel to shake her head in a dismissive manner. "So I am here for a complete medical exam. I suspect that dear old dad will want to know how his long lost daughter is doing at some point. You might want to add a picture to the file. That way he can see that I am disfigured or suffering from some sort of plague or phage.”

Janeel met Satella's gaze, the expression on the ILO was clear. She had simply been the escort and the visit to Sickbay had been an excuse to have the civilian away from discussions that she had no business in. This meant that the CMO and ILO were now in charge of their guest for the time being and until further notice.

"Very well," the Doctor said, still smiling. "Take a seat on the main diagnostic bed and I will start a full medical exam. Do you suffer from any chronic illnesses or allergies?"

"Not medically speaking although I do have a severe aversion to people and their manipulative politics," the woman replied with a sigh.

"Guess that would be one reason for your chosen field of work," Satella mused, Even though the medical exam had only begun, the CMO thought that it would have been nice for Adriana to be here. Whatever had been troubling the archaeologist's had likely been far more psychological than physiological. Without Lopez nearby though, the task of helping fell onto Bruxa, that she liked it or not. "Do you not get tired of being alone?"

"I am never alone," the sitting woman replied, her eyes closed in an effort to distance herself from the now. "I have my droids and the ghosts of the past to keep me company."

"Ghosts?" Satella asked, concerned that whatever issue Adriana suffered from making her see her twin sister had somehow spread to the archaeologist. "You actually see ghosts?"

"Doctor, I may be a loner but I am not mad," Alexandria clarified, keeping her eyes closed. "When I am working on a site, the structures, the writing, the artifacts that I find allow me to reconstruct the lives of those who were there centuries before.  I do not *see* them as you see everyone around you, but I am able to imagine what their appearance was like and how they went about their daily routine.  For some, each step they took was a struggle for survival. For others, life was simple and tranquil, their only goal being to meet the basic needs of their culture.  There are a lot of cultures that I would have loved to live in, at least from what I was able to discover."

Janeel nodded from where she stood. "As an archaeologist you get to see ancient cultures through a very small window. What you discover may not provide a complete view of that culture."

"I do not make claims on any culture the moment I come across something. It take time and a lot of work," Alexandria countered with disdain. "Finding a single tool may give me an idea as to what the owner did. Was he a farmer or a hunter? Like any puzzle, each archaeological find gives me more to work on. Even when everything on a site is discovered, the picture that is created is always incomplete. Unfortunately, time has a way of erasing things, usually the most important parts. For those cultures that I was able to put most pieces together, there were still missing segments. I had to use what I discovered to try and fill in those gaps."

"That must be very difficult," Satella offered. "The moment you fill in any gaps, you put part of yourself in the equation. Even Vulcans, despite their claims, cannot be perfectly impartial and would add details based on their own culture."

"You are right Doctor," Alexandria admitted. "That is why I found this place so interesting. The holograms showed by the guide left nothing to the imagination. For the first time I was able to see buildings and people as they had been long ago."

"The Captain promised that she would do everything possible to protect this planet. She will abide by her words to you as she has done to everyone else." As reassuring as Janeel's words had been, the Archaeologist did not appear confident. "If there is any way to protect the knowledge of this world, she will find it."

"I know," Alexandria said, allowing a faint smile to flash on her lips. "Selene can be very driven when she sets her mind to something. She seemed to always find a way to make the impossible possible. Guess that is why she became a Captain and why he preferred her to me."

"I am sure that your father never preferred anyone over his own daughter," the Doctor said. The emotional scars were deep, and there was little that Satella could do in such a short time to heal them. "Life sent you on a different path than the one he had set his eyes on. That is not a crime; it is the way life is, unpredictable and ever changing. The fact that this ship was sent here to look for you should demonstrate that the Admiral has not forgotten about you and still cares a great deal."

"Remember, this story with the guide capturing ships only came to light after we arrived," Janeel added. As little as she could do, the ILO hoped that her words would help strength the Doctor's position and what she was trying to do. "The BASTET was sent because something strange had been detected on EPSILON 358, a planet that he knew you were on.

"Why wait so long then? If he cared so much, why did he not reach out before I was in danger on some lost word near the center of the galaxy?"

"That is a question that you will need to ask him yourself," Satella suggested. "And if our Captain has her way, you will be able to do so sooner than you think."

=-=
Rachel Jackie Johnson

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET

[Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. - Mark Twain]
M03-P059: USS BASTET: Thorquelsson: Day 06 - 0315 ("Prize")
-=-=-
"Prize"
[Previous post: "Sub-Counselling Session"
-=-=-

Setting: USS BASTET, Main Engineering
Stardate: 32009.0315

Ensign Halston Thorquelsson rushes over to the main engineering panel.  "Idri'ala, I need you over here.  I'm not as familiar with the temporal drive as I could be if I'd been briefed before getting to NEW ALEXANDRIA.  I want to run something by you."

Idri'ala, a female Bajoran with dark skin and hair hustles over to the panel.  "Yes sir.  What is it that you have in mind?"

Thorquelsson pulls up a few displays.  Idri'ala looks at him quizzically.  He goes on.  "If we turn on the temporal drive and use it to synchronize the ship to the planet, not just stabilize ourselves, could we potentially use it to try and make the place think we ARE a part of the planet?"

She rotates a few of the models and cocks her head to the side.  "If we set the harmonics correctly, I don't see why not.  What would be the purpose though, Ensign?"

Thorquelsson switches to another display.  "Brody and I think that if we can trick the planet into thinking we belong here, we can tap into the planetary computer itself and use it to see about getting the BASTET out of here."

Idri'ala rubs the bridge of her nose.  "If we can bring everything online, I think this would work.  If I may, sir?"

"Go on."

"We could not only activate the temporal drive for this, but possibly activate the D-J-D to actually make the connection, dispersing any ill effects away from us to an empty dimension."  She develops a quick model.  "To activate either of these, we will have to get approval from Captain Iverson."

Thorquelsson nods.  "Leave that to me."  He makes a few adjustments to the model, then taps his combadge.  "Engineering to Bridge."

=/\=Bridge here.=/\= Captain Iverson's calm voice comes through. =/\=What is your status, Ensign?=/\=

"Captain, we have a possible way to both sync the ship with the planet and tap into the planetary computer.  We'd have to use the temporal drive and the D-J-D to do so, and we would need your approval.  I'm sending up our model to Lieutenant Mitshiba right now."

=/\=We will take a look at the model and get back to you straight away, Ensign.  Bridge out.=/\=

"Send it up to the bridge science station, Idri'ala."

"Yes sir!"

-=-=-
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate 32009.0320

Captain Iverson leans over Lieutenant Mitshiba's shoulder. "Can we use the temporal drive and the D-J-D in this manner safely?"

Aki nods.  "I'm almost certain. Using the D-J-D to shunt anything dangerous might even be genius."

Iverson smiles.  "We probably don't want to let our chief engineer know that just yet. Definitely don't need him to think he's Montgomery Scott yet."

"No sir, although the comparison Doctor Bruxa makes with his new nickname of Thor seems to be becoming more appropriate. Only his Mjolnir is the BASTET."

"A discussion for another day, perhaps." Iverson turns on the comm.  "Bridge to Engineering."

=/\=Engineering here, Captain.=/\=

"If you're as certain as Lieutenant Mitshiba, you have authorization to proceed."

=/\=We are, Captain. We will let you know as soon as we make the link.=/\=

"Excellent, Ensign.  Bridge out. "

-=-=-
Setting: USS BASTET, Main Engineering
Stardate: 32009.0330

Idri'ala and Thorquelsson huddle over the Engineering display. He turns to her. "Ready?"

"Yes sir."

Thorquelsson activates the sequence and steps back. The temporal drive and the dimensional jump drive both power up, a slight hum filling the room. He taps in another sequence. 

"Brody, I think we're prepared to try and establish the link to the planet."

Idri'ala steps back and Brody rushes over to take her place. "Everything looks great on this side, sir."

"Engage connection, but keep your hands on the panel to shut it down if something goes wrong." Brody initializes the sequence. 

"I'm getting readings, sir.  I think we can patch our sensors through the link."

"Do it, and link it to the bridge science station.  Lieutenant Mitshiba can thank us later."

"Aye sir."

-=-=-
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate:  32009.0335

Aki jumps slightly as the science station brings up the sensors. "Captain, I have full sensors again. Looks like our chief engineer did know what he was doing."

Captain Iverson nods. "Good.  Get a full sweep of the planet and see if you can find any signs of the other ships the guide had mentioned."

"Aye Captain."  Aki sends the sensors into a full scan, and within minutes the reports come back. "Captain, I found only one ship intact, but under the surface, I'm reading multiple wreckage that are probably ships."

"Can you get us a reading on the one that's intact?"

Aki brings the sensor report on the main viewer.  "Looks like we weren't the first Starfleet vessel to get trapped here."  The viewer shows an older ship outline in the reading.  "I think it is a Constitution class ship, and by the residual warp signature, I can tentatively identify it as the USS ENDEAVOUR.  Presumed lost with all hands in 2302."

"A Constitution class? Anything interesting about it?" Captain Iverson comes to her feet.

"The temporal issues of the planet seem to be very active and more highly concentrated around the ENDEAVOUR, Captain. If I extrapolate, I might surmise that she could be the cause of the planet's system failure."

Captain Iverson sits back down. "So the Federation caused this?  Alert Ensign Thorquelsson and send him this data."

-=-=-
Setting: USS BASTET, Main Engineering
Stardate: 32009.0350

"A Constitution class? Wow."

=/\=And it looks as though it caused the planetary destabilization.=/\= Lieutenant Mitshiba sounded certain. 

"I'll have a look, Lieutenant. Engineering out." Thorquelsson pulls up the data. "OK, let me see if I remember how to do this..."

Idri'ala steps over. "What are you trying to do, Ensign?"

Thorquelsson finishes a sequence. "That'll do it!  I just got in the back door to the ENDEAVOUR. I can access her computer and actually control her from here."

"Really? How did you do that?"

"A trick I picked up from my father, working on old, decommissioned ships." Thorquelsson starts sifting through the information. "If I'm interpreting this right, something in the harmonics of the ENDEAVOUR caused system wide failures in the planet."

“Can you do that with any ship?”

Thorquelsson shakes his head.  “No, just most of the old, decommissioned vessels that the backdoor engineering codes have been declassified for.”

Brody comes up to the engineering console. "I think we can get the crystals to move enough to open us a hole to the surface.  I recommend we move quickly though."

"Can we open a hole at these coordinates as well, Brody?"

"Sure, but what's down there?"

"You'll see."

-=-=-
Setting: EPSILON 358, Planetary Surface
Stardate: 32009.0400

The seemingly serene sandswept landscape of EPSILON 358 shudders as large amounts of the crystalline structures that make up the planet shifts and begins to create a caldera-like opening in the ground.  Approximately 100 meters down, the USS BASTET begins a slow ascent through the opening.  Perhaps 200 kilometers away, a similar opening is created, and an older Starfleet vessel, the Constitution class USS ENDEAVOUR rises into the air for the first time in nearly 100 years.  Below the ENDEAVOUR, the landscape begins to ripple and change, the slightly darker cyrstalline sand changing color to a nearly translucent white.

-=-=-
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate:  32009.0405

The helmsman guides the ship out of the caldera and into the lower atmosphere.  "Helm control fully responsive, Captain.  We have full power and can reach standard orbit."

Captain Iverson stands to her feet.  "Bridge to Engineering."

=/\=Engineering here, Captain.=/\=

"Good work, Ensign.  You and the entire engineering team are to be commended."

=/\=Thank you, Captain.  If you will turn the viewer to port about 15 degrees, you can see we also have a present for your safe return.  In old EARTH nautical terms, I think we could call her a "prize".  And with the ENDEAVOUR's harmonics out of the way, the planet should return to normal with the cascade that we started using the torpedoes.=/\=

"Again, excellent work, Ensign.  Can we still communicate with the planet?"

=/\=We still have the temporal and D-J-D link, at least until we reach orbit, Captain.=/\=

"Very good.  Bridge out."  The link terminates, and Iverson sits back in the captain's chair.  "Ops, hail the planet directly.  Let's see if we can end on good terms."

-=-=-
Kenneth W Choate

Chief Engineering Officer
USS BASTET
M03-P060: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: Day 06 - 0420 ("From Down Below to High Above")
"From Down Below to High Above"
Previous post: "Prize"

///^\\\
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32008.0420

Being back on the BASTET had felt great, but being back in space had been far better especially after having been stuck underground the way they had. Starships had never been meant to be on a planet even if their design permitted it.  As far as the CSciO had been concerned space was were the ship and its crew belonged.

Heading with the ENDEAVOUR in tow to a higher orbit around EPSILON 358, the entire mission seemed to have taken on a new life and direction. The disrupting effect of the old Constitution-Class vessel on the planet had been removed and it was hoped that this would open up a new line of archaeological research for Alexandria Koniki as well as anyone else that would come to follow in her footsteps.  That was if their effort to contact the planet proved at all successful, which so far it had not.

"Are you sure that your signal is reaching the planet?" Alexandria asked sounding rather annoyed, the archeologist having returned to the bridge following their escape from the underground prison.

"Communications are working perfectly," Commander Janeel replied. "And before you ask, the ENDEAVOR is not presenting any sort of interference. That said, we are still detecting some temporal waves coming from the planet, but the frequency has completely changed. In any case they do not seem to be interfering with communications."

"Given the size of the planet, it may take several more minutes, maybe even hours for the planet to completely reboot," Aki added.  "Our understanding of what is down there and how it actually functions is beyond limited. We were lucky to identify the interactions between the crystals as well as the negative effects the ENDEAVOR had on the system as a whole, but as for the rest it is nothing more than speculation and guess work."

"As long as we are up here instead of down there, I'm happy," Commander Valentine added with a smirk, not at all sorry for no longer being on the planet.

"Captain," Aki said as her instruments showed something new. "Picking up a high energy signal coming from the planet," the CSciO said but before she could say anything more, a very loud high pitch screech filled the bridge causing everyone to reach for his or her ears and cringe in pain.  It took a few seconds for the sound to die out, this without any intervention from the officers on the bridge. 

=/\= Sickbay to bridge. What was that? =/\= Doctor Bruxa asked letting it known that the excruciating noise had not been limited to the bridge.

"Apologies Doctor," Valentine quickly offered, "we are still trying to figure that out ourselves. Can anyone give us some answers on this?"

"The signal that came from the planet was so strong that it overwhelmed several components throughout the ship," Commander Janeel reported still feeling the effect of the scream that had filled the ship. "I am not detecting any malfunctions or damages though, that is aside from my eardrums."

"Doctor Bruxa?" The Captain jumped in knowing that the CMO had still been listening.

=/\= I will see if anyone is suffering any lasting effects of whatever that was and report back to you. Sickbay out. =/\= Doctor Bruxa said before closing the channel having easily anticipated the Captain's next words

"The next question is; was that caused by us?" the Captain added.

"Again there is no way to know for sure, but it is a safe bet that we had something to do in what happened," Aki offered as she desperately tried to find answers by using the sensors which to her great delight had been restored.  "The high intensity energy burst could have been a residual effect of the resonant frequency, a side effect of the planetary reboot or even caused by the removal of the ENDEAVOR from the planet. I will need more time to figure it out, if it is even possible."

"Start working on it," the Captain said before turning to her First Officer. "Keep trying to contact the planet. It would be nice to get some answers before the Gorn show up."

///^\\\
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32008.0450

As soon as this mission would end, Aki had promised herself to get a full 24 hours of solid sleep. Since their arrival to EPSILON 358, none of the members of the senior staff had taken a single second's rest and with the current need for answers, there had been no way for the CSciO to even consider stopping.  Something had caused that energy burst and she had given herself the task of finding out what and why before leaving her station.

An unexpected pressure against Aki's neck made her jump and turn her head, which was when she saw a smiling Doctor Bruxa looking back at her with a hypospray in hand.  "No worries Lieutenant, I just gave you a tri-oxide compound to help you ward off the fatigue that everyone is feeling. I also added a mild blood thinner to help cancel the lingering ringing that awful noise caused in almost half the crew. What was that thing anyway?"

"I was able to eliminate our communication attempts with the planet as the cause of the energy blast, but I have not yet been able to determine the exact cause. All I know is that the signal came from somewhere deep in the planet, that it was relayed through the crystals to the surface, and that from there is was broadcasted outward in all directions. The signal was powerful enough that it will actually reach other planets traveling through space at near light-speed," Aki explained as she began to feel the effects of the injection she had received.  "Thank you Doctor, I feel like I won't be falling asleep at my station anymore."

"Glad I could help," the CMO said before moving on to the next person on her hit list.

That was when Commander Valentine announced what everyone had been waiting for in one way, shape or form. "Captain, we are getting an audio response from the planet."

"Let's hear it," Captain Iverson ordered as she glanced at her friend, knowing that of everyone present the Archaeologist would have been the happiest to see their efforts finally be successful.

///^\\\
Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Misaki Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Chief Science Officer
USS BASTET - NCC 74977
M03-P061: USS BASTET: Valentine: Day 06 - 0500 ("Contact")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Contact"
[previous post (From Down Below to High Above)]
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 32009.0500

As the communication channel was opened as per the orders of their Commanding Officer, a strange sequence of sounds was heard. Although appearing to have some musical properties, it was a foregone conclusion that the signal had not been a song or a set of computer generated tones.

"Lieutenant Mitshiba," the Executive Officer started, "are we dealing with a signal that the universal translator is unable to comprehend or is what we are hearing meant to be that way?"

"The computer is detecting some clear patterns, but nothing that it can make sense of," Misaki reported as the volume was turned down. "Remember, the guide was able to communicate with us in our own language this after it scanned the ship. The forced reboot of the planet could have caused that information to be erased."

"It is possible that the system was forced into an older version because of what we did," Janeel offered. "If the ENDEAVOR was the cause of the malfunction, the planet might have returned itself to when the system was intact, which would place it just before the ship came in contact with the planet."

"That would meant that more than a hundred years of gathered data would be lost," Alexandria exclaimed in horror, the archaeologist responding to the situation as anyone in her field would have. The conservations of knowledge and information having been the most important aspect of their job.

"Again, we have no idea how this entire system functions," Commander Janeel proposed.

"We are still detecting a strong temporal field around the planet, so it is very possible that the planet and its system are still in contact with the past." the Chief Science Officer explained. "As long as that link is there, it is possible that no information has been lost."

"A temporal upload of data," Commander Valentine theorized meeting the eyes of their Captain who seemed to agree. "As great as that may sound, wouldn't is cause a time continuity issue?Any data that is being send to the past could possibly change our present."

"That is true, but we are in a unique position," Misaki said pensively. "Our temporal drive is currently active which could easily be shielding the BASTET from any temporal effects that is happening.

"CAPTAIN!" Janeel called out. "The ENDEAVOR, it's gone!"

"Sensors are also no longer detecting any signs of the wreckages that were on the planet," Misaki reported in shock.

"Well, that settled it, things have changed," Captain Iverson sighed, not at all liking the idea that the timeline they had been sworn to protect had been altered by their own action.

"The timeline could have have been changed that much," Sarena pointed out. "Long ranger sensors are still showing a Gorn cruiser heading our way. Speed and heading of the ship are a perfect match for what we had detected prior to our landing on EPSILON 358."

"The temporal effect could have been isolated to the immediate vicinity of the planet," Mitshiba added. "Instruments show no temporal anomalies or expansion waves. It is very possible that the ships were simply returned to their proper time, never having vanished after coming into orbit of the planet."

"Nevertheless, those ships being returned to the prime timeline could have unforeseeable effects," Valentine noted. "We all know how a single ship can make a huge difference in the unfolding of events," the Executive Officer said making specific reference to the USS ENTERPRISE-C which had travelled through time only to be sent back in order to safeguard the prime timeline and events which at the time focussed on the battle of NARENDRA III.

"Unfortunately there is nothing we can do at this time," Captain Iverson said, ready to give the order to break orbit so that they would not have to deal with the approaching Gorn.

"Selene, we *can't* go, not now, not after everything that we have discovered and everything that we still could learn from this place," Alexandria argued vehemently.

"We can't stay," the Captain countered firmly.

"I know, you need to protect you ship," the archaeologist said, pleading her case. "All I ask is for a few minutes. Now that everything seems to be back in working order, you can beam me down to the planet with a few of my droids. Since I know exactly where the entrance in, even if the cover stone had been restored, I know how to open it. I can gain access and seek the guide and gage exactly what the situation is.  If there is nothing to be salvaged, you can beam me back up and I will call it a day, but if there is something still there, I can warn them of the Gorn and make sure that everything remains intact for a return trip. I beg of you Selene, this is beyond anything that we could have encountered anywhere else. You cannot let this simply go unexplored or worse left to be destroyed by those overgrown lizards."

Captain Iverson slowly stood from her chair, leaving everyone certain that she had been ready to verbally fight against her childhood friend, but to everyone's surprise Selene turned to the Executive Officer. "How much time do we have before we are unable to leave without running into a confrontation with the Gorn?"

"Luckily for us, their ships are much slower than ours and their sensors are far less accurate at this distance," Valentine replied. "Even if we took a full 24 hours, we still could leave orbit and head back to Federation space before the Gorn would be able to clearly identify and intercept us."

"Fine," the Captain nodded. "I give you 12 hours to get all of the information you can, but after that we are leaving, that you're ready or not."

"Thank you," Alexandria let out, literally jumping out of her shoes as she ran to the turbolift.

"Don't thank me yet," Captain Iverson said in a cold manner. "Commander Janeel will be accompanying you, just to make sure that there are no surprises."

"You just don;t have it in you to trust me, do you?"

"Alex, I am doing this for you own good," the Captain said.

"She is under no obligations to let you go to the surface," Sarena jumped in with, "and in fact I will go on record stating that I am opposed with her allowing you to do so. We can conduct sensor sweeps from orbit without having to risk anyone's lives. You going down there, and forcing us to send one of our officers with you is an unnecessary risk.  She is trusting you, far more than I am."

Having been made to see the situation in an entirely different perspective, the archaeologist nodded her understanding and made her way into the turbolift followed by the ship's ILO.

As soon as the door closed behind the two women, Captain Iverson turned to look at the Executive Officer once more. "You didn't have to do that, you know."

"Do what?" Sarena asked as if she knew nothing about what the Captain had been referring to.

"Trying to save whatever friendship there might still be between her and me," Selene explained with a scowl knowing all too well that her second in command had been aware of what she had done.

"Would it make you feel better if I officially went on record against you?" Valentine offered with a grin.

"Some days, there is just no talking to you," the Captain stated as she returned to her seat. "Be sure to keep a lock on Alex and Janeel, I want to be able to beam them back on board at the first sign of problem.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Karen Price

Executive Officer
USS BASTET, NCC 74977
M03-P062: USS BASTET: Janeel: Day 06 - 0530 ("Timelessness")
=-=
"Timelessness"
[previous post was "Contact" by the plotting Karen]
=-=

Setting: EPSILON 358, Surface
Stardate: 32009.0530

To be completely honest, this had been the last place she had wanted to be. Having the BASTET back in orbit over this place had been beyond a welcomed outcome, so to be back here with her feet on the sand of this deserted planet had not at all been enjoyable.

"This way," Alexandria said, like a child running to the foot of the Christmas tree to see what treasures had been there waiting for her. The woman had been enthusiastic about her work, that there had been no denying it, but still the ILO / Mission Specialist could not bring herself to share in the woman's joy at being back on EPSILON 358.  "The entrance is right here."

Janeel followed, granted not as quickly as the woman had moved, but still she managed to keep up the two of them not having to travel all that far to reach the intended location. It had taken months for the archaeologist to locate the cover stone, so it made sense that she would forever recall its exact location. At least that was the concept when the ILO / Mission Specialist came to stand next to the bemused woman.

"It was right here," she announced pointing to a specific spot in the sand that displayed nothing out of the ordinary for this world. "Were we beamed down to another location?" Alexandria demanded, her temperament quickly reaching a boiling over state.

"Away team to BASTET," Janeel said after having tapped hr communicator. "Can you confirm our beam down coordinates?"

=/\= You are exactly at the coordinates provided by Miss Koniki, =/\= Misaki confirmed over a static filled channel, but at least the communication system had been working unlike their previous visit to this sand world.

"Well, that's impossible," the archaeologist argued. "There is no opening or even any sign of the cover stone."

=/\= Maybe they were covered by sand following all that happened, =/\= Lieutenant Mitshiba proposed. =/\= The BASTET was transported underground then it escape with another ship in two. It is very likely that this caused the sands to shift and possibly cover what it is that you are looking for. =/\=

"Of course," Alexandria agreed as she turned to the four droids that had been brought down with them. "Alright 3, 6 and 9, you three can access your memory banks and replay the set of frequencies that allowed us to locate and open the cover stone. Keep the volume to a minimum just in case it triggers another storm."

As per instructed, the three of the four droids began to play an odd sequences of chimes leaving the two women to look around expecting something to change.

"How long is this suppose to take?" Janeel asked after over a minute of waiting and looking at the motionless sand.

"It should have already worked," the confused reply came. "It doesn't make sense. Increase volume to 50%," Alexandria continued, her emotions quickly going to despair t the possibility of having lost what could have been the greatest discovery of her lifetime.

Both women looked at their feet as the sand began to shake, not very much, but enough to draw their attention to the jumping sand, which seemed to respond to the odd music that the droids had been playing.

"There is something wrong," the archaeologist added as she expended her visual search. "Increase volume to maximum."

"Is this wise?" Janeel quickly inquired, knowing how the planet seemed to react to specific sounds and their volume.

"After having discovered the cover stone, the volume had been set to 50% when the storm started. We had to lower the level to less than 20% to get the stone to react without triggering a storm that would have blinded us," Alexandria explained as the sand at their feet began to shake so much that it had become nearly impossible to remain standing.

"Again, is it wise then to have to volume at max?" the ILO / Mission Specialist demanded quickly taking into account that the archaeologist might no longer be able to have an objective view of their situation. "Nothing will be served if we get buried in sand."

"But that's my point," she admitted in tears. "At this volume we should have already been swept away in a sand storm, but the song is right and the cover stone should have already opened. Something changed."

"Tell your droids to stand down," Janeel said, not wanting to give an order but ready to call upon the BASTET should the situation not be addressed right away.

"Terminate playback," she ordered to her droids who immediately complied allowing the ground to stop shaking as it had.

=/\= BASTET to away team, is everything all right? =/\= The voice of Commander Valentine was heard through the static of the channel. =/\= We lost all contact for a few seconds. Do you need to be beamed back? =/\=

"Janeel to BASTET," the ILO / Mission Specialist replied given the woman by her side a gently squeeze of her shoulder. "Out attempt to regain access to the planet's underground had failed. We were unable to locate or trigger the cover stone. It also appears that the planet does not respond to audio frequencies as it did before."

=/\= I was afraid at that, =/\= Mitshiba voiced. =/\= It is very possible that the temporal change which occurred and was responsible for the disappearance of the ENDEAVOR is also responsible for the planet's system no longer responding as they did.  Although the temporal shift was limited to an area contained within the orbit of EPSILON 358, there is no way for us to gage the full extent of the changes.  The cover stone you were looking for could have been given an entirely different way to be accessed *if* it is still where you discovered it the first time. Unfortunately, there is no way to confirm this now. =/\=

"Just that fact that we were not swept by a sand storm is proof enough that things are no longer as they were before we left," Janeel clarified to the troubled archeologist who seemed, for obvious reasons, completely distraught.

=/\= You still have over 11 hours to locate the cover stone, =/\= Captain Iverson added.

"I doubt that it will make any differences Captain," the ILO / Mission Specialist offered. "It took Miss Koniki months to locate the exact location, and without knowing the exact effects and impact of the temporal shift, it could take years to find it again if it even still exists."

=/\= I am sorry Alex, =/\= the Captain offered, the sadness in her voice clearly audible.

"There is nothing here for me here anymore," the woman reluctantly admitted. "Whatever happened sent a shockwave to the past and destroyed whatever hope I had to make a discovery the likes of which no one had ever done before. One that would have actually made my father proud."

"Your father has always been proud of you," Janeel offered. "That there is no doubt of in my mind and I am sure that Captain Iverson will confirm this. He has just not been in any position to be able to openly acknowledge it for fear that he might endanger you."

"Just get me back to your ship or bury me here in the sand," Alexandria said through her flowing tears. "I don't care anymore."

"Away team to BASTET," Janeel said trying to find something supportive to offer but realizing quickly that this had best been left in the capable hands of Counsellor Lopez. "Two to beam up with four droids."

Against the endless sandy backdrop of the planet's surface, the shimmering lights of the six transporter beams could be seen for a few seconds before a soft breeze washed away any traces of someone having come to visit the world known as EPSILON 358.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET

Lieutenant Commander Shar'El [Access Character BIO for Shar'El]
Acting Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS
M03-P063: USS BASTET: Iverson: Day 06 - 0600 ("Times Change")
---
"Times Change"
(Previous Post: "Timelessness")
---

Setting: SPACE
Stardate: 32009.0600

With the away team which consisted of Commander Janeel, Alexandria Koniki and four of her droids safely back on board the BASTET, the ship could head back to Federation space well ahead of running into the Gorn cruiser that had been heading in their direction. Although the mission had been for all intents and purposes a success, Selene could not help but share in the disappointment of her childhood friend.  All of the secrets and wonders that could have been discovered in the underground of EPSILON 358 would have to remain hidden for the time being. Maybe one day a team would be able to return and resume the search, but for the time being everyone needed to be content with the fact that everything had been left as it needed to be.

Or so everyone hoped.

---
Setting: EPSILON 358, High Orbit
Stardate: In the far distant past

The war between the forces of light and darkness had found its way to this world, a small and trivial planet located near the center of the galaxy. The D'Arsay would not discover this insignificant sphere for several more centuries, but one particular race had set their sights on it while another would do everything in their power to stop them. The location had been too important to allow the Lokustaar to establish a base there, but their desire to do so had forced the one race able to oppose them to enter into a conflict that they would have rather avoid.

The battle was fierce, each side using every weapon at their disposal to strike at the other, but in the end the forces of light emerged victorious, barely.  Of all the nightmarish vessels belonging to the transdimensional race of shadows that had engaged in the conflict, all had been destroyed, all but one. Injured beyond its ability to fight or escape, the ship had sought refuse down on the planet, hiding as far beneath the sands as it could. Making it seem as if it had crashed and been destroyed, the bioship would wait to be restored so that it could once again join the battle.

All it needed was to gather energy to fuel its regeneration, something that alas the planet did not seem able to provide in the required abundance. So it waited through the years and centuries, hoping that it would one day be able to return to the dark emptiness of space that was its home.

---
Setting: EPSILON 358
Stardate: A thousand years or so ago

The D'Arsay had discovered this world following their exile from their home world which had been destroyed. The hopes of the travelers had been to establish a new colony on this world, one that would allow their civilization to continue.

The unique structure of the underground crystal offered the D'Arsay with an unprecedented opportunity, one that would see them able to transform the planet into a living computer, one able to stretch through time itself insuring for all time the continued existence of the presence and knowledge of this race.  What the D'Arsay had not counted on had been the presence of another race, one hidden so deep inside the planet that they had not known about it until it was too late.

The lonesome Lokustaar ship used the temporal energy now being generated by the planet to restore itself, but in doing so it made its presence known to the D'Arsay. From that point on they used every means at their disposal to destroy the hidden beast who retaliated by infecting the planetary computer with a nightmare like no other. In time the colony perished leaving the transdimensional creature locked in a temporal prison that it could never escape from.

---
Setting: EPSILON 358, High Orbit
Stardate: Just over a century ago

The USS ENDEAVOR, a Constitution-Class cruiser of the United Federation of Planets had ventured to this region of space for no other reason than because they had never been here before. Exploration having been their drive and the discovery of a never before seen world had been simply too much for them to ignore.

From orbit the crew of the valiant Federation ship saw nothing of interest, but from beneath the sandy surface, the trapped Lokustaar bioship saw an opportunity to possibly break itself free of the prison it had been in for so long.  If the ship could be brought down it would disrupt the temporal field hopefully enough to allow the bioship to escape. Alas the field generated by the USS ENDEAVOR proved to have the opposite effect causing the planet to close in on the shadowy intruder with even more force.

---
Setting: EPSILON 358, Surface
Stardate: From 100 years to 10 years ago

Trapped and unable to escape the temporal prison that it had been cast into, the Lokustaar bioship waited managing to lure other ships to the planet hoping that each would hold the key to its freedom.  Although its power and body had been fully restored, escape from the planet had still been impossible, so one by one ships came to investigate the strange sandy world and one by one they were made to become part of the strange computer system that had been created by the D'Arsay.

Each time the Lokustaar bio-ship found itself closer to escaping, the living computer would draw upon its temporal link to the past to force the creature back into the cage that it had been trapped inside.  What needed to happen was to have the first ship that had been so captured to be destroyed, removing its influence on the temporal energy field that held it prisoner, but nothing it did achieve that goal.

---
Setting: EPSILON 358, Surface
Stardate: 32009.0700

The ground shook and moved with such force that it appeared as if some ancient beast was emerging from the ground to claim its rightful place in the universe. Strangely enough the analogy had not been all that far from the truth.  Since the removal of the USS ENDEAVOR from the underground of the planet, the Lokustaar bioship had been able to reclaim more and more of its strength and freedom.

To insure that nothing could get in the way, the bioship tapped into the temporal link to the past and altered events, not much but enough to insure that the first ship responsible for having sealed its fate would never be lured to the surface. The moment that this was accomplished, the Lokustaar was able to call upon its full strength to break free from the prison that it had been in for far too long. Although still weak from the entire ordeal, the nightmare given form could now rest on the surface of the planet waiting for one of its kind to come and assist in the final stages of its recovery.

---
Setting: EPSILON 358, Orbit
Stardate: 32012.1100

The Gorn ship arrived in orbit, its sensors unable to penetrate the temporal interference. That did not stop them from seeing with their own reptilian eyes the large dark ship sitting on the surface of the planet with another just like it hovering over it like some sort of mate.  By the time the two nightmarish vessels had begun their ascend back to orbit, the Gorn cruiser had been ready for a fight, but all of their preparations would not matter.

With a single hit of their high energy weapon, the Gorn cruiser was torn apart allowing the two Lokustaar vessels to continue into space, using their natural cloaking ability to make sure that their heading and destination would remained unknown should anyone be looking once again at the world known as EPSILON 358.

---
Jessica Solarik

Captain Selene Fiona Iverson [Access Character BIO for Selene Iverson]
Commanding Officer
USS BASTET

&

Lieutenant Commander Maya [Access Character BIO for Maya]
Chief Science Officer
USS ANUBIS

"To see the world in a grain of sand,
and a heaven in a wild flower.
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
and eternity in an hour."
- William Blake (British, 1757-1827)
M03-P064: USS BASTET: Bruxa: Day 06 - 0800 ("Restful Morning")
=-=
"Restful Morning"
[previous post was "Times Change"]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 32009.0800

With EPSILON 358 behind them, life was returning to normal on the BASTET. As normal as could be expected given that the whole of the senior staff had spent the night up. As Satella went about her business, she found herself cleaning up sand left behind from their tests. Given the unique properties of the substance, Doctor Bruxa could not bring herself to dispose of it. Instead, she placed every piece she found into a small sample jar that would be handed over to Misaki. As the ship's resident scientist it made more sense that she be the one holding on to the strange substance.

As she went about her duties, Satella glanced over to the only patient in Sickbay. Following their departure from EPSILON 358, Alexandria Koniki had been escorted to see the Doctor, the woman giving signs of suffering from acute anxiety. Imagining that the discovery of a lifetime had slipped right through her fingers had been enough to explain her condition. Bruxa had been quick to give the woman a sedative to help her relax, the Doctor having been glad to see the woman sleep shortly after. Maybe a greater distance between the planet and woman would help her deal with what had happened.

"How is your patient?" Adriana asked, the Counsellor having walked in with the stealthy silence of a cat.

"She is still sleeping," Satella replied looking at the woman to confirm her answer.  "She is going to need your help when she wakes though. The poor dear has just seen months of her life trashed. She was on the verge of a discovery that could have insured her name be mentioned for years to come. Instead all she has to show for is some sand," the Doctor said pointing to the small sample jar containing the substance in question.

"The one thing she has is the one thing no one else wants to see for a very long time," Lopez said in a mild chuckle. "From what I have seen and heard, I believe that Commander Janeel is the worst off on that front."

"How is Captain Iverson?" Satella inquired. Knowing that the woman had been in a catatonic state, the Doctor had been surprised at not having seen her in Sickbay since their departure.

"She seems fine," Adriana replied. "The Captain is a quiet person, but her body posture does not indicate any possible lingering effects of what she went through while on the planet. I could recommend that she come to see you or you could order her to come down. You are the Chief Medical Officer after all."

"I would rather see her when I know that she will be in a good mood," Satella said. "Would make it easier to discuss what I want to talk to her about," she added, looking at her patient once more.

"What do you have in mind?" Counsellor Lopez asked, easily recognizing that look in her friend's eyes.

"Alexandria just lost all of her work and research. I was hoping that Captain Iverson would be willing to share our sensor and computer logs so that she can prove what she found to the archaeological society."

"You do realize that the Captain as likely instructed Halston to wipe the memories of her droids, right?" Adriana said. "What we all had to deal with was not your run of the mill ancient ruins. We dealt with an entity with temporal access to the past. Imagine what would happen if that knowledge became public. There would be a run on EPSILON 358 that would end up in conflict as multiple races fight for control."

"I just want to help her," Doctor Bruxa said, saddened by he ordeal that her patient had endured.

"Keeping that story buried *is* helping her," the Counsellor stated. "I understand that we are robbing her of whatever fame this might have brought her. I also understand that keeping this quiet may also very well save her life.  How many races would try to abduct her to learn what she knows? Worse, how many would permanently silence her to insure that her knowledge never makes it out to others? We have to consider the long-term effects here, not just the immediate needs of a single person."

"You are a wise woman Adriana," Satella smiled. As much as the Doctor might not have liked what she had heard, the words of the Counsellor had rang all too true. "You will make a great ship's Counsellor some day," she teased shortly after.

"Funny, real funny," Lopez smirked in reply. "Let me know when she wakes, I will come down and help," the Counselor said as she made her way towards the door.

"Where are you going?"

"Back to the bridge. I need to keep an eye on the Captain as well as Commander Valentine, Commander Janeel and Lieutenant Mitshiba. They all had to deal with the situation in their own way and it is my duty to insure that they have help should they require it," Adriana explained.

"You go keep an eye on them. I will let you know the moment Alexandria wakes," Doctor Bruxa said.

"Don't worry Satella," Adriana offered just as she walked out. "I'll be back to check in on you as well."

The Doctor grinned before returning her attention to her patient. Alexandria appeared so calm and peaceful; something that Bruxa knew would not last the moment she would wake. She knew her type, dedicated to their work to the point where it was all that mattered. Losing the find of a lifetime would be something that would take a great deal of time to get over, if she actually did. If this had not been enough, the woman had now been on a vessel under the direct command of her father, a man whom she had not seen or heard of in years.

"Could things get any worse?" Satella wondered aloud not envying the situation of the resting woman she had been looking at.

=-=
Rachel Jackie Johnson

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET

[Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. - Mark Twain]
M03-P065: USS BASTET: Thorquelsson: Day 06 - 1000 ("Ghost Stories")
-=-=-
"Ghost Stories"
[Previous post: "Restful Morning"]
-=-=-

Setting: USS BASTET, Main Engineering
Stardate: 32009.1000

Ensign Halston Thorquelsson sits in his office, while his engineering team continues the work of putting main engineering back in order.  Connection lines are being rolled up, patch cables extending from panel to panel are being removed and panels are being reset to their original configurations, and a general cleanup of the messy patchwork that had been needed to escape EPSILON 358.  He looks up from what he was reading as Mar'gesh enters the office.

"Ensign, repair crews have nearly completed all required repairs and system resets.  We are still having issues with the sensors in Cargo Bay 6 that you might want to take a look at.  It seems we might have some sort of unwanted guest left on the ship."

Thorquelsson nods.  "I'll go up in a few minutes and check it out."

Mar'gesh waves a hand at the monitor from which Thorquelsson was reading.  "Catching up on homework, sir?"

He shakes his head.  "When I established the link to the ENDEAVOUR, I made sure to download the ship's logs.  I've been reading up on what happened to them.  From what I can tell, they established a standard orbit but were unable to beam down due to the temporal interference.  They sent a shuttle down and triggered the sandstorms.  Captain Douglas Wise decided to risk a high atmosphere entry to try and break through the interference and beam his away team back, but in the process, their computer shielding failed and triggered a violent response from the planet.  Digging through the personal logs from the captain, chief engineer and chief science officer, the ENDEAVOUR was pulled down into the chamber where we found it shortly before a massive sandstorm was about to hit."

Thorquelsson motions for Mar'gesh to sit, who complies.  "They felt it a sign that they should explore the planet, then?"

"They really didn't have any other choice.  They never recovered the first away team, who probably perished in the first storm, so the second officer led another.  They found dead end after dead end while the crew onboard the ship continued to try and find a way to extricate themselves from the planet.  All of their attempts failed before Captain Wise led one more away mission.  Apparently, he met the guide that Captain Iverson herself met, but the ENDEAVOUR's crew was unable to pull him from the trance he wound up in."  Thorquelsson pulls up an entry and turns the monitor to Mar'gesh.

"The chief engineer, Lieutenant Commander Vailus Tronski, took command after that.  The crew didn't leave the ship after they determined that trying to rescue the captain was impossible.  One by one, the crew started disappearing, until it was only Commander Tronski and ten others.  They tried to blast their way out of the chamber, but the logs end after that."

Mar'gesh's face takes on a very serious set.  "They died as warriors, then, on their own terms.  Perhaps our own captain would be gracious enough for us to hold a Klingon memorial service in their honor."

Thorquelsson smiles.  "I'll pass the request to Commander Valentine.  After getting a look at her bridge once she got back, our good captain isn't too happy with the mess we left up there from the process of reestablishing communications.  I'm probably not her favorite officer at the moment."

"Surely after the crews have the bridge set in order, she will forgive you, sir."

He waves it off.  "I know, I know.  It was my first mission onboard though, and between EPSILON 358 and all of our modifications, we left the place in quite a state."  Thorquelsson stands.  "Well, I guess I need to go see about Cargo Bay 6.  Ask Brody and Matthews to meet me there."

"Certainly sir."  Mar'gesh walks out, as Thorquelsson strides out of main engineering.  He heads to the nearest turbolift.  

"Deck 8, Cargo Bay 6."  The turbolift pauses for a moment before moving.  Thorquelsson mutters to himself, "Now we have to check the turbolifts when we get back to NEW ALEXANDRIA."  

Without any other issues, the turbolift arrives at the requested destination.  Thorquelsson walks out, and opens the doors to Cargo Bay 6.  He immediately taps his combadge.  "Doctor Bruxa, could you please meet me on Deck 8?"

Bruxa's voice comes back. =/\=I will be there shortly, Thor.=/\=

A scowl darkens the chief engineer's face.  He taps his combadge again.  "Counselor Lopez, could you please meet me on Deck 8?"

The counselor's voice returns this time.  =/\=Certainly, Ensign.  On my way.=/\=

-=-=-
Setting: USS BASTET, Deck 8, outside of Cargo Bay 
Stardate: 32009.1015

Doctor Bruxa steps out of the turbolift onto deck 8.  She looks to her left and sees Ensign Thorquelsson and a worried Counselor Lopez waiting for her.  She walks up, and seems confused.  "Why did you need to meet us here, Thor?"

He motions to the cargo bay.  "Did you ladies forget something before we left EPSILON 358?"

The two female officers turn and walk into the cargo bay.  They see the room half filled with the sand-like crystals that made up the surface of EPSILON 358.  Thorquelsson walks in behind them and the doors close.  They both turn to face him as they look slightly worried.  "First of all, this is causing havoc with our sensors on Deck 8.  And secondly," Thorquelsson's face turns into an evil grin, "I am NOT taking the rap for THIS mess.  You two get to explain this one to Captain Iverson.  I had nothing to do with it."

Ensign Thorquelsson turns on his heels and goes to walk out.  He pauses for a moment.  "I'm going to lock this door.  When you two have a plan on how to best deal with this, you can just contact me and I'll either approve or reject it."  He thinks about it for a moment.  "And just jettisoning it into space ISN'T an acceptable solution.  Computer?"

The sound of the computer acknowledgment chimes.  "Lock door behind me, authorization Thorquelsson Siberia-Three-Kiev."

He waves as he walks out the door, leaving the two concerned officers behind.  As he walks to the turbolift, he muses, "I wonder how long it's going to take them to figure out that we have enough empty storage containers in there and Cargo Bay 5 to get it all stowed away."

-=-=-
Kenneth W Choate

Chief Engineering Officer
USS BASTET
M03-P066: USS BASTET: Lopez: Day 06 - 1020 ("Troubling Sands")
-=-=-
"Troubling Sands"
[Previous post: "Ghost Stories"]
-=-=-

Setting: USS BASTET, Deck 8, outside of Cargo Bay
Stardate: 32009.1020

While standing together outside of the cargo bay, Satella and Adriana looked at each other with puzzlement, not entirely certain as to what to say or do next. Halston had been beyond specific with what needed to be done, but that had not helped the two women find a quick and simple solution.

"Think the Captain would allow us to keep the sand and room as is?" the Chief Medical Officer said in all seriousness, her gaze bouncing from the locked door to Counselor Lopez and then back to the cargo bay door.

"Why would she do that?" The Counsellor answered; shocked by the question as well as the seriousness of the way it had been presented.

The Doctor paused, looked straight at the Counsellor and smiled. "Not only is the BASTET the first ship to *ever* have the ability to travel through time as well as to other dimensions, but we would become be the first ship to have its very own full sized, non-holodeck replicated, sand box," Satella said, her amusement at the situation now visible for all to see. The two women once again looked at one another in silence before Bruxa continued. "We need to be able to laugh at the absurd or risk all needing to be in your office at the same time, suffering from mass anxiety or worst yet, depression."

"True," Adriana agreed with a chuckle, "but that does not change our situation. What are we going to do with all that sand?  Even if we did manage to somehow store it, the containers and likely the room they would be placed in would have to be shielded to insure that the micro-crystals do not cause any sort of interference with the ship's systems."

"Given the way Thor snapped at us, I would guess that we are way too late for that," Doctor Bruxa added, looking at the locked door standing between them and their large sandy problem.

"On a different and more personal note," the Counsellor continued, "we might want to keep Alexandria in mind with whatever plan we come up with. This sand and its unique properties are all that she has to confirm her findings, not to mention that thanks to its properties there might be some use to this sand that we have not yet considered. We can't just vaporize it into nothingness."

Satella nodded her playful agreement while appearing to be deep in thoughts. "Too bad because I was actually thinking of vaporizing the sand and giving it to Thor to have some fun with. Who knows, it might prove to be an excellent source of fuel for the engines."

"You need to stop joking," Adriana stated. "This is serious."

"Fine," the Doctor returned in mock annoyance. "Since this is so serious, I think it is time for us to call in some expert assistance."

-=-=-
Setting: USS BASTET, Deck 5, Sickbay
Stardate: 32009.1035

"What?" Misaki gasped following the rather fast-pace explanation of the problem the other two women had given. When the CSciO was asked to report to Sickbay, she had never expected to be on the receiving end of what had been made to be a complex and near impossible situation. "Hold on. Let's go through that again, slowly and step by step because I feel like I am losing track of what this is actually all about. So, we have a cargo bay filled with sand from EPSILON 358?"

"Correct," both Adriana and Satella replied in unison.

"Jettison it out into space is not an option as stated by Thor? I mean Ensign Thorquelsson?" The CSciO said, having caught herself using the Engineer's nickname only because Doctor Bruxa had gone out of her way to call him that each chance she was presented with.

"He was rather adamant about that," Adriana further confirmed.

"Getting rid of the sand through any other means though is not our best option because..." Mitshiba continued, her words drifting into silence as Satella pointed with a movement of her head to her one and only patient currently resting on one of the biobeds out of earshot of their conversation.

"It would be great if we could find a way to keep most, if not all of it," the Counsellor jumped in with, keeping her voice no louder than a whisper. "Not only does it prove a lot of what Alexandria found on the planet, but you as the Chief Science Officer might be able to find some way to use the substance in a way that had never been envisioned while we were fighting for our lives back on the planet surface and underground. The unique properties of that sand have to be worth investigating."

"Right now those *unique properties* you are speaking of are causing havoc with some of our systems," Misaki pointed out. "Making Thor less than happy. I meant *Ensign Thorquelsson*, geez Satella, you've got me saying it now."

The Chief Medical Officer laughed. "Well, we certainly would not want to anger our resident Norse deity. As I recall, his lightning strikes are quite dangerous," she added grinning at Misaki who genuinely seemed upset at having fallen into the habit of calling the man by the nickname the Doctor had bestowed upon him.

"Can you help us find a solution to this problem?" Counsellor Lopez asked hoping to bring everyone back on the task at hand.

"I will see what I can do," Lieutenant Mitshiba said, glancing over at the resting archaeologist. "No promises though and the final plan will need to be passed by the Captain."

"Of course," Adrianna agreed.

"The Captain will be the first to know, that is right after Thor gives whatever plan we come up with a thumbs up," the Doctor added.

"Will you stop calling him that," Misaki begged of Satella in desperation. "I would like to be able to still call him by his name and not the nickname you have given him and which you seem bent on drilling into my head."

"I could give you something for a headache," Doctor Bruxa giggled, "or maybe I could try to suppress your memories of his name so that the transition to you using Thor will be more natural."

"Adriana!" The Chief Science Officer loudly sighed, "can you please do something about her. You are the Ship's Counsellor after all."

"I have tried," the Counsellor grinned as she looked at her friend, "trust me, I have tried."

-=-=-
Marissa Montonera-Lombardi

Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez [Access Character BIO for Adriana Lopez]
Ship's Counselor
USS BASTET
M03-P067: USS BASTET: Janeel: Day 06 - 1130 ("Debate in Engineering")
=-=
"Debate in Engineering"
[previous post was "Troubling Sands" by the beached Marissa]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Main Engineering
Stardate: 32009.1130

The situation of the cargo bay on Deck 8 had spread like wildfire through every level of the BASTET. The crew seemed more than happy to latch on to an amusing distraction even if it was the cause of a few system malfunction through the ship.  The ILO / Mission Specialist had decided to venture down to Main Engineering to discuss the situation with Ensign Thorquelsson, but Janeel had never expected to see so many other members of the senior staff already there.

"Thor!" Doctor Bruxa said, clearly annoyed by the man working under one of the engineering stations. "Why are you ignoring me?"

Lieutenant Mitshiba sighed once again, not understanding this unrelentless need of the woman to refer to the man by a nickname that he clearly did not appreciate.

"I am not ignoring you Doctor," Halston said in a way that made it clear he had rolled his eyes even though no one had been able to see it. "I am the Chief Engineer of this boat and as such I have to take care of making sure everything works as the Captain needs and wants it to. Would make my job easier if you ladies made a decision on how to deal with the sand in the cargo bay as it is the cause of several of my current headaches."

"You should not have said that," Counsellor Lopez quietly grinned recalling the earlier conversation in Sickbay between Mitshiba and Bruxa.

"Can I be of any assistance?" Janee' offered as she moved closer to the gathered officers, thinking it wise to jump in and defuse whatever tension might be mounting.

"We were just offering a few possibilities to Ensign Thorquelsson as to how to address the problem of the sand in the cargo bay," the Chief Science Officer explained.

"Actually, this is why I came down here," the ILO / Mission Specialist happily stated. "The Captain was curious and I thought I would come and see the progress for myself," Janeel added, neither Selene nor Sarena having actually been wondering about the situation figuring that the distraction had been something the crew needed following their last mission.

"As you may already know," Satella began, "we were given strict instructions by our resident Chief Engineering Officer to remove the sand from its current location, this without beaming it into space. Adriana and I enlisted the assistance of Lieutenant Mitshiba who offered a few ideas, all of which have been flat out dismissed by the earlier mentioned head of the Engineering department."

"I did not *flat out dismiss* your ideas," Halston corrected as he rose from under the station he had been working under. "I simply pointed out that mechanical restriction in what you three suggested." The CEO paused and turned to look at Counsellor Lopez before continuing in a far softer and whispered tone. "Does she hate my name that much? I mean, it's either that nickname nonstop of by job classification, she just can't bring herself to call me by my name. I am starting to think that I did something to get her upset at me although I am at a loss to see what."

"You didn't upset her," Adriana reassured. "She just likes to walk on the far side of normal most of the time," the Counsellor added with a smile and a glance to the woman in question.

"So what options had been presented?" Janeel asked thinking it best to bring this situation about the situation back under control.

"The first idea was to place the entire content of the cargo bay in statis using the transporter buffers," Misaki explained. "Ensign Thorquelsson was right to point out that the unique properties of the sand could make transport complicated and that the buffers were never designed to hold so much material in stasis for any length of time."

"I'm not saying that it's impossible," Halston added. "I'm just saying that the buffers would need to be modified and we would likely have to borrow memory space from the main computer, something that I figured the Captain would not be overly thrilled about as it would possibly slow down the entire system."

"The second option was to isolate the cargo bay using a phased force field," the Chief Science Officer said appearing rather pleased with the solution that she had come up with.  "The primary issue is not the lack of space as the cargo bay was empty before, the real problem is the effect the crystals in the sand have on our systems. The force field would have isolated, in theory, the effect to the sand from our system."

"Preliminary tests showed that the sand cannot be contained by any type of forcefield of which it is in constant contact with," the Chief Engineer explained. "The crystalline particles in that sand actually draw power out of the forcefield and weaken it over time, this would leave us back to the same problem as we are faced with now or have to feed more and more energy into the force field to keep it active. Although the energy grid would be able to deal with the extra demand, I am concerned as to where the syphoned energy would end up and how it would be eventually resealed."

"There is no evidence that the sand would actually hold the energy it would draw from the forcefield," Misaki argued.

"Likewise there is no available data that shows the energy would somehow be dispersed in a way that would not affect the ship, either over time or in a single massive release," Halston countered. "Even if I did agree to this plan, I suspect that captain Iverson would not be so quick as to endorse any idea that might prove to be more problematic than the situation we are currently faced with."

"Thor is right," Janeel agreed, suddenly realizing what she had said prompting her to look at the Chief Engineer. "I am so sorry Ensign Thorquelsson, I don't know what came over me."

"See," Satella jumped in with a beaming smile. "Not only is it easy to say but it actually feel natural."

Halston just rolled his eyes and sighed. Obviously there was no winning this one against the Doctor, so he would let them figure out their problem with the sand on their own, at least for the time being.  If Commander Janeel or even the First Officer or Captain asked him to, he would help, but for now the Chief Engineer had been more than content with letting Bruxa, Lopez and Mitshiba figure things out on their own.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Lieutenant Commander Janeel [Access Character BIO for Janeel]
Intel Liaison Officer / Mission Specialist
USS BASTET

Lieutenant Commander Shar'El [Access Character BIO for Shar'El]
Acting Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

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