USS BASTET - Mission 07
IN PROGRESS
POST INDEX
Post # Character Title
001 Valentine Questioning
Sarena goes to speak to Sofia and Nicole
002 Dean Second Thoughts
Ashton deals with meeting Mordana
003 Gemma Split Second
Gemma recalls her meeting with Admial Koniki
004 Andersson & Dima You Can’t Go Home Again
Sofia and Nicole contemplate their situation
005 Iverson Special Research
The BASTET is dispatched to the ZENALLI Sector
006 Mitshiba Like No Other
Aki analyzes the sensor data from the HAWKING
007 Dean Scrambler
Ashton scrambles to get ready to board the BASTET
008 Andersson Small Unexpectednesses
Sofia goes to check on Ashton's girls and meets Emma
009 Valentine Urgent Rendezvous
The BASTET meets up with the HAWKING, just in time
010 Mitshiba Sneaking in Closer
More is discovered on the dimensional breaches
011 Gemma Energy Transfer
Gemma helps with the transfer and self-analyses
012 Dima Memory Lanes
Nicole reviews the crew files and her own situation
013 Andersson Just Fine
Gemma goes to see Sofia in Sickbay
014 Valentine Unexpected Surprise
Something is beaming over to the BASTET
015 Iverson A Better Understanding
Samson gives the crew a detailed breifing
016 Dean First Danger
Ashton is concerned about his daughters's safety
017 Gemma Shadow Contemplations
Ashton asks Gemma about the Lokustaar
018 Mitshiba No Problems
Aki and Samson talk
019 Dima The First And The Last
Nicole speaks with Ashton and Sofia
020 Valentine Unexpected Surprise
A new plan to reach the HAWKING is devised
Post # Character Title
021 Dean Contemplation
Ashton is concerned about the situation
022 Valentine Change of Plan
The away team gets the plan started
023 Gemma Sneaky Ways
Gemma and Nicole talk, a new breach opens
024 Mitshiba Unwelcome Visitors
The away team makes their way into the HAWKING
025 Dean Through The Rabbit Hole
Ashton recalls a moment of his past
026 Valentine New Considerations
Sarena considers what Ashton suggested
M06-P001: USS BASTET: Valentine: Day 01 - 1500 ("Questioning")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Questioning"
[previous post ((ANU) "Agent of the Shadows" / (BAS) "The Long Journey Home")]

Setting:  USS BASTET, Valentine's quarters
Stardate: 33113.1500

Sarena walked into her quarters, her head still spinning. She had not expected a fanfare to welcome them back from their last mission, but the Executive Officer had certainly imagined more than being told to head back to their ship to await further instructions. Then again, life in the world of Intel was never meant to be the glamorous or even outwardly rewarding one, so there was nothing else to do but for Valentine to accept things as they were and move on.

The woman took a moment to take in the welcoming peacefulness of her quarters, the familiar decor making her feel at home, a feeling that she had not experienced for quite some time now thanks to the issues encountered with the Blink Device. As traumatic as all of that was, the Executive Officer had to admit that in the end, they managed to return with far more than they could have ever expected.

The loss of Janeel was a sad turn of event, that much the Executive Officer could not deny, but the HATHOR had returned with three other Starfleet officers, one actually presumed dead but found very much alive. The question now was what would those three women do next?  As curious about that as Commander Valentine was about that, she pushed the question aside and instead decided to comply with the orders of their Captain. A long hot shower would certainly feel amazing at this time; the small ship they had been on for over two months was not equipped with such enjoyable commodities. The moment the hot water touched her skin, Sarena let out a moan of absolute delight making her forget about everything that had happened as well as what would soon come to pass.

The soothing sensation of the hot water though proved insufficient to make Sarena forget things for more than a few minutes. There was just too much for the Executive Officer to consider at this time  to be able to fully abandon herself to the delights of the shower. She needed to know what would be asked of them and what this would mean for the three women who had been made to be temporary members of the crew during their journey back home.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] 
Setting:  USS BASTET, Corridor, outside the guest quarters
Stardate: 33113.1530

With a press of the chime, the Executive Officer made her presence known and soon after the door opened.

"Commander Valentine, what brings you here?" Doctor Andersson asked, not having expected to see the woman there, dressed in a fresh uniform so quickly following their arrival on board the BASTET.

"I was hoping that we could have a moment to talk before Captain Iverson summons us to the bridge," Sarena explained, prompting the woman with the golden hair to invite her into the quarters that the Executive Officer herself had provided.

"before you start, I would like to thank you for this. I truly never thought I would ever again be in quarters such as these. I will also admit that the hot shower was beyond enjoyable."

"These quarters could be yours on a more permanent basis," Commander Valentine proposed, hinting as to the reason why she had come here in the first place. "Doctor, i will not waste time as I do not know how much of it we have. I wanted to officially offer you the position of Chief medical officer on board the BASTET. I have already discussed this with the captain and she agrees, you have proven yourself to be an exemplary physician and we would be honored to having you as an official member of the crew." Sarena paused for a moment, trying to gauge the woman's reaction before continuing. "Officially, as far as your former crew is concerned, you are dead, so it would be difficult for yo to return to them. Your skills and expertise are very much needed here."

"I don't know," Sofia stuttered.

"I am not asking you to make a decision now, but I am sure that Captain Iverson will be offering you the exact same thing following our briefing. I wanted for you to have a moment to consider this. I know that we would both be very happy to having you with as our new Chief Medical Officer."

"Thank you. I will think about it," Doctor Andersson said, knowing that she had a great deal to think about and very little time to do so.

With the offer presented to the Doctor, Sarena made her way to the adjacent guest quarters where the Trill Counselor had been lodged. Again the Executive Officer made her presence known by using the chime and again the door was opened by the person inside.

"Commander Valentine, what can I do for you?" Nicole asked, the Trill not at all appearing surprised by the woman's presence at this time.

"I was hoping that we would be able to talk before Captain Iverson calls us up to the bridge," Sarena quickly explained.

"You are going to offer me the position of Ship's Counselor on board the BASTET," Dima said, grinning at the now baffled looking Executive Officer. "I may not be a telepath, but with several lifetimes of experience to draw upon, I have an advantage in recognizing certain signs and anticipating what people will say or do next. You are going to tell me that I am needed and that since the ANUBIS and her crew are currently not here, it would be best if I remained busy, especially with a crew that i have come to know better over the last couple of months."

"Case and point," Sarena said, unable to hold back her smile. "As a Counselor you helped every member of the crew back on the HATHOR during our long journey back home. It would be a failure in the part of Captain Iverson and myself if we did not recognize your abilities in this domain. All I can do is ask that you consider the possibility. I know that there are some amongst the crew who would be greatly saddened by your departure."

"Commander," Nicole teased with a smile. "I never thought that you would use guilt to try and sway my decision."

"I am not using guilt Counselor, only the truth. Please consider this carefully, I am sure that Captain Iverson will be needing your decision by the end of our briefing," Sarena said to the still grining Counselor.

"After an urgent meeting with Admiral Koniki, I suspect that the Captain might be in need of more than a simple answer from a Ship's Counselor," Dima clarified without making it a certitude that she would accept the offer presented to her. "I will give the Captain my answer then, thank you Commander."

With both the Doctor and Ship's Counselor spoken to, Sarena had only one person left to speak to. Unlike the CMO and CNS though, the Executive Officer suspected that the discussion with the ILO would prove to be much more complicated, but the fact remained that Gemma had proven herself more than once during their journey back. In fact, although Valentine would never openly say so, she believed the mysterious woman to be a better fit for the BASTET than Janeel could have ever been. The woman possessed a range of skills that seemed endless, making her occasional odd behavior to be easily dismissed when it did surface.

Standing in front of the door to the third and last guest quarters she needed to visit, Sarena pressed the chime, when no reply was given she pressed it a second time and soon after a third and still no one answered.  "Computer, locate Lieutenant Gemma."

=/\= Lieutenant Gemma is no longer on board the BASTET. She beamed over to Admiral Koniki's office immediately following her stepping into the quarters that were assigned to her. =/\=

Valentine was disappointed by the report from the computer. She had truly hoped that Gemma would be the one to remain on the BASTET following everything that she had done for its crew.

=/\= This is Captain Iverson to all members of the senior staff. Please report to the Observation Lounge immediately. =/\=

Time was up and Sarena could only hope that by the end of the upcoming meeting the crew of the BASTET would be able to officially list a new Chief Medical Officer and Ship's Counselor if not a new Intel Liaison Officer.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] 
Setting:  USS BASTET, Observation Lounge
Stardate: 33113.1550

The Executive Officer walked into the briefing room to find Lieutenant Gemma already sitting at the table with Captain Iverson. Selene appeared tired, drain of energy and yet ready to face whatever task the Admiral had given her and her crew.

"After hearing that you had beamed directly to the Admiral's Office following you stepping into your quarters, I was not expecting you to return," Sarena explained as she took a seat.

"It would be improper for me not to be at this meeting as I am the BASTET's new ILO," Gemma sternly offered.

"Lieutenant Gemma was actually present at the meeting between Admiral Koniki and myself. Following a quick account of everything she did for us during our voyage back, the Admiral ordered her to take over the position left vacant by Commander Janeel's unfortunate departure," the Captain explained, her head still spinning for everything that had taken place during her meeting with Koniki. The Executive Officer suspected that the assignment of a new ILO was but one of a great many details that had been talked about.

"As soon as the others are here, we will start the briefing," Selene stated seeing a certain expression of joy coming from Sarena making it clear that the woman was pleased with the appointment of Gemma to the BASTET. Now all that remained was to see if Sofia and Nicole would follow suit.

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

Executive Officer
USS BASTET, NCC 74977
M06-P002: USS BASTET: Dean: Day 00 - 1100 ("Second Thoughts")
"Second Thoughts"
previous post (ANU) "It's The Small Things That Count" / (BAS) "Questioning"

Setting: RELAY OUTPOST SIGMA 385, Corridor
Stardate: 33112.1100

Ashton scooped up the girls and continued down the hall. “That was rude. Remember to respect everyone until they give you reason not to,” he said toTristan, but as soon as he said it he realized how stupid it was to say that to a five year old.  Tristan didn’t say anything. She just watch the woman round the corner and walk out of sight. 

___________________________________________________
Setting: RELAY OUTPOST SIGMA 385, Dean's Quarters
Stardate: 33112.1115

"Let’s get some lunch and then it’s nap time."

“No nap,” Cordelia said defiantly. 

“Yes but lunch first. Nuggets?” Her little face lit up when she heard that.  Ashton ordered up a plate of four nuggets with carrot sticks and a plate of three nuggets with carrot sticks for the girls who happily enjoyed their lunch. After getting them settled for their nap, Ashton took time to sit and relax. He looked around the room at the boxes and the girls sleeping in the next room. “Is this the right thing to do? With all that’s going on right now should I take them out there?” Staring out the window he heard his mothers voice. “They belong with you. No place is perfectly safe,” she said in a whisper. He smiled a sad smile at the thought of his mom and her advice. He knew she was right, but he was still worried he was putting his girls in unnecessary risk. “Stop. Damn it. They belong with you, there’s no one else so just stop dwelling on what you can’t change,” he told himself. 

___________________________________________________
Setting: RELAY OUTPOST SIGMA 385, Common Area
Stardate: 33112.1200

“Excuse me, Mordana was it,” he said approaching the woman his daughters met earlier. 

“Yes,” she said internally a bit annoyed at the interruption, but not showing it. 

“Hi, we met earlier. I wanted to apologize for my daughters rudeness. You know the honesty of children they have no filter.”

She smiled and waved off his apology. “Think nothing of it.” 

“Are you here to meet the BASTET?” he asked.

“No, I have other business in the region. If you excuse me I have someplace to be,” she replied and walked away before Ashton could say anything else.

“Intriguing lady,” he thought to himself, but he had a feeling she was not all she seemed. 

___________________________________________________
Leigh Rachal
Ensign Ashton Dean 
FCO USS BASTET
M06-P003: USS BASTET: Gemma: Day 01 - 1550 ("Split Second")
=-=
"Split Second"
[previous post was (ANU) "Researching The Unknown" / (BAS) "Second Thoughts"]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Observation Lounge
Stardate: 33113.1550

Gemma sat next to Captain Selene Iverson, the person to whom the ILO had been assigned to. Admiral Koniki displayed mixed feelings when he saw her. Those feelings had been the reasons why she had not returned to NEW ALEXANDRIA. It was evident that he still held her responsible for what happened, and why he did not hesitate to assign the operative to the BASTET.

The assignment proved to not be the most surprising aspect of their meeting with the Admiral though. Koniki thought it best to inform Iverson of the unique abilities of her new ILO. Certainly, there would have been a better way to do this, a way that would not have shocked the CO quite as much.

=-=
Setting: NEW ALEXANDRIA, Admiral Koniki's Office
Stardate: 33113.1520 (30 minutes prior)

Gemma stood motionless, at perfect attention following her handing over her report to the Admiral. The half dozen data transfer chips contained everything she did, everything she saw since her departure from NEW ALEXANDRIA. Given all that she had done, the ILO had actually surprised that it all fit on six such chips. Then again, the Intel Agent had never been one to embellish her accounts of what had taken place. Her instructions were clear on that matter; report only the events that could prove of interest to the Intel community.

It took less than a minute for the Admiral to peruse the overview of the files. Captain Iverson stood patiently, wondering why the operative had been called to be part of this meeting. That question was the first the Admiral chose to answer.

"With Janeel gone, the BASTET is in need of a new ILO. Lieutenant Gemma will take on that role."

"Admiral?" The Captain said. After all that Gemma had done to help get the HATHOR back, the CO had no objections to the new assignment. It might have been nice to be consulted first though, but that had never been the Admiral's way.

"Gemma, I know that you are used to operating alone, but the BASTET needs someone like you. Your expertise and special skills will be most valuable to Captain Iverson in the days to come. The night is falling."

The Admiral's last words meant nothing to Captain Iverson, but they were more than enough to startle the ILO. From her stoic pose, Gemma appeared as if she had been hit, hard. Her breathing quickly increased and it was easy to see that the ILO was struggling to remain calm.

"What's going on?" Captain Iverson asked, the woman's patience being tested to a higher extent than usual by the Admiral.

"The details of your mission are here," he said handing over a PADD to the Captain. "Before you go, I need you to meet a few other people."

The Captain looked at the Admiral, expecting him to call forth the officers he wanted her to meet. Instead, the Admiral did nothing more than to look at Gemma, the operative quickly understanding what he meant. There were so many for her to call that she did not know whom to introduce first.

"Captain Iverson, allow me to introduce myself, I am Darla, a skilled pilot according to most."

The Captain was surprised to see a blonde-haired Varro woman standing where the auburn-haired Terran woman had been seconds before. "How?" Iverson demanded, taking her eyes off the woman to glare at the Admiral.

"Captain Iverson," someone else said, someone standing at the exact same spot. The voice was the same as that of Darla but different in some ways. In any case, the CO looked back to see a smiling blue-haired Kotakian woman standing where Darla and Gemma had been. "My name is Yshuni Talz, and it is most pleasant to meet you."

Stunned, Captain Iverson turned to look at the Admiral, hoping that some sort of explanation would be forthcoming. Instead, another greeting was offered, again from a very similar yet different voice.

"My name is Wimdalli and I am very much looking forward to working with you Chief Science Officer, Lieutenant Mitshiba."

Iverson studied the brown-haired Uxali woman who appeared almost as a sister of the previous woman. Something weird was happening here, as each woman seemed unaware of the others.

"Wimda," Admiral Koniki intervened. "Would you be so kind as to wait outside? I have a few more things to discuss with Captain Iverson."

The woman nodded her head and made her way to the exit, her attention on everything that surrounded her. As soon as the Uxali vanished from sight, Iverson turned to the Admiral who jumped in before the Captain could say a single word.

"Gemma suffers, for a lack of a better explanation, from a shattered personality disorder. The nanites in her body allow each personality to be physically displayed to the outside world. Although each of these personas is aware of the others, as far as Gemma is concerned they are separate individuals from herself. As an independent operative, no one needed to know this. Each persona possesses unique skills and talents that are often referred to by her as belonging to someone else. As a member of your crew, I thought it best for you to be aware of this. I am sure that your Ship's Counselor will find this to be most interesting."

"Nanites? Split personality? How many?" Those were just three of the countless questions that came to the Captain's mind.

"If you are referring to her personas, we are not sure. The last time she was here, Gemma displayed in excess of 50 different individual personalities, each with their unique appearance, skills and knowledge base. It may take some time for you and your crew to get used to this. Once you do, I am sure you will see the advantages of having her on board the BASTET."

Captain Iverson already knew about the advantages of having someone like Gemma under her command. Her help on board the HATHOR had been instrumental in getting the ship and crew back here. The knowledge of her split personality also helped the CO make sense in some of the behaviors of the ILO. How well she would fit as a full-fledged member of the BASTET though was still to be seen.

=-=
Setting: NEW ALEXANDRIA, Outside Admiral Koniki's Office
Stardate: 33113.1535

Captain Iverson walked out looking bemused. The revelation concerning Gemma had even made her forget about the mission orders currently in her hand.

"Captain," the ILO said, sounding and appearing like the woman she had come to know and respect while on the HATHOR. "I am sorry that the Admiral forced this assignment on you and your crew. Rest assured that I will do my best to be a valuable member of your crew."

Iverson smiled. She knew that Gemma would be that, having already proven herself. The same could not be said for the other 50+ personas though. The Captain knew nothing of them other than what she saw in the Admiral's office. Who was hiding inside that head of hers? What surprises laid waiting for the crew of the BASTET?  Whatever concerns the CO might have, the Admiral had made his wishes clear. Gemma and all of her other personalities were now officially part of her crew. Be it for good or bad.

=-=
Rachel Jackie Johnson

Intel Operative
USS BASTET

[The fun is getting to wear multiple disguises and getting to explore multiple personalities and bring them to life. - Jenna Fischer]
M06-P004: USS BASTET: Andersson and Dima: Day 1 - 1545
("You Can't Go Home Again")
“You Can’t Go Home Again”
[Previous Posts (ANU) "Feeling Guilty" / (BAS) "Split Second"]

=-=
Setting: USS BASTET, Temporary Quarters→ Corridor
Stardate: 33113.1545

Nicole sat down for a moment after Commander Valentine’s visit, trying to collect her thoughts. Since her rescue, the HATHOR had been her existence. However, she had thought many times of NEW ALEXANDRIA and the ANUBIS as her final destination. Home. But those had been the simple ideas of a young woman on her first assignment. It had been the whole of Dima and her former hosts that had spoken to Sarena. The paradigm had shifted, the world as she knew it was changed, and it was with sadness that Nicole realized she had been holding onto something that even her symbiont knew had passed her by. Even now, there was no time to dwell on it. They had a briefing to attend.

Nicole emerged from her assigned guest quarters to see Sofia doing the same. All Senior Officers, be them longtime members of the crew or more recently picked up along the way while in Romulan space, were ordered to report to the Observation Lounge. Following the visit from Commander Valentine, it was a foregone conclusion that both Dima and Andersson would be offered to remain on board the BASTET. This would prove to be another difficult decision for them to make, but if the last three months had revealed anything, it was that they were up to the challenge.

=-=
FLASHBACK
=-=

Setting: USS HATHOR, Sickbay
Stardate: 33004.0130 (109 days ago)

Following the presumed departure of the cloaked Romulan ship, things on board the HATHOR returned to normal, at least as normal as could be expected given that the Starfleet vessel and crew were stranded deep inside Romulan space after having lost one crew member and gained three others. The move from Captain Iverson to accept the three refugees as members of her crew, even if only temporarily, had helped make things a great deal easier, even if that decision was based on simple needs and necessity.

The mysterious Lieutenant Gemma had been put to work in the ship's Engineering section while Nicole and Sofia were assigned to help in the areas where they felt most comfortable in. Due to the compact layout of the HATHOR, the Doctor and Counselor were required to work out of the same room, a reality that created a unique work environment for them. Following the unexpected kiss shared by the two women, a sense of uncertainty had developed between them leading to odd looks and smiles being occasionally sent from one to the other.

Sofia took a moment to look more intently at the Trill woman who was reviewing the personnel record of the senior officers. As a Ship's Counselor, Dima needed to know everything she could about everyone, and in some ways, the physician hoped that her name was on that list, anywhere on it.  On her side of the quiet room, Nic casually held the PADD in her hands, not fully paying attention to the displayed information, memories of their incarceration and rescue continuing to invade her thoughts.

The room that Sofia and she were in now was a little larger than the cell they had shared, and although it was much warmer the proximity of the surrounding walls still managed to create this odd feeling of being trapped at times. However emotionally uncomfortable as this sensation was, Nicole could not help but acknowledge that the presence of the golden-haired woman was reassuring. Through all of the hardships they endured, they were here, alive and together.

"I'm hoping Gemma gets hurt," Sofia absentmindedly admitted causing Counselor to suddenly glare at the blonde Physician.

"What happened to your Hippocratic Oath?" the Trill asked, surprised and slightly amused, never having expected to hear such words coming from the sweet looking woman.

"I don't mean it that way," Sofia clarified. "I just hope that she gets a scratch or something that would force her to report here for medical attention. That would give me the chance to scan her. I have a medical dossier on every member of this crew except for her, and to be honest I am curious to see what hides beneath that secure controlled shell of hers."

"I would not mind having a look at her psychological profile," Nicole added, joining her friend's curiosity about the Intel operative. Just as she was about to continue to speculate about the mysterious woman who had secured their freedom, the door to Sickbay opened and Lieutenant Mitshiba walked in. The Asian woman visibly appeared tired from her many hours of work.

"I was not expecting to find you both here, but I am glad I did," the Science Officer announced. "I have a massive headache."

"What's the cause?" Nic asked, smiling because the Asian woman made her announcement to both the Doctor and Counselor at the same time.

"Sensor sweeps, trying to figure out how to give the Blink Device he coordinates to get us back home and learning that Commander Janeel is now on board a Romulan ship," Misaki replied before adding a long, drawn-out sigh.

"One of *those* headaches," Sofia grinned. "Let me see what I can find.”

“Thank you for your efforts, Lieutenant,” Nicole said, still grateful for the positive change in their situation. Regardless of how difficult their position was on the HATHOR, it was still tremendously better than prison.

“Aki,” Mitshiba added, returning the Trill’s warm demeanor.

"Here you go," Andersson said as she gently applied a hypospray against the Asian woman's neck. "That should be more than enough to ward off a sensor-induced headache. As for Commander Janeel now being on board a Romulan vessel, I think my partner here is better equipped to help you."

Nicole wondered exactly Sofia meant by using the word ‘partner’ to describe her. Lifetimes of experience told her this would require an in-depth analysis of the ship’s Doctor, but it was one that would have to wait until after Lieutenant Mitshiba's own issue was dealt with.

“I am worried… or rather, concerned, about Janeel,” Aki admitted.

“In what way? Are you concerned for her safety?”

“Not exactly. This whole event has given me the idea that she is possibly a Romulan spy,” Mitshiba reluctantly answered. It was unthinkable, but not outside the realm of possible outcomes.

Ensign Dima paused for a few seconds before responding. "I cannot tell you if she is or is not, but I can point out the facts as they were left following the departure of the Romulan ship. Commander Janeel could have easily given up the location of the HATHOR to the Romulans, and even provided them with the means to see through our cloaking device. Instead, she risked being discovered to send a message telling us that she was alive. This means that Admiral Koniki will be listing her as MIA with a possibility of her coming back or even trying to mount some rescue. I know that there is no proof for any of this, but had Janeel been a spy or if she had wanted to defect, it would have made sense for her to make sure the HATHOR was destroyed. That way, she would have been listed along with the other members of the crew as dead and no one would not be searching for her."

Misaki looked relieved. The logic used was elegant in its simplicity. "Thank you, that makes me feel a lot better. You are right, she could have revealed our exact position to them, and as tough as this ship is, we would not have been a match for that Romulan cruiser had it opened fire on us. Thank you both. I will make sure to tell Captain Iverson what you did here."  With a renewed bounce in her step, the Asian woman exited Sickbay, the issue of her headache dealt with better she could have hoped for.

Sofia found herself impressed with the way Nic had allayed Aki’s fears. **I guess that's why she’s the Counselor,** she thought before pausing for a moment. It was also the reason she felt so close to her.

=-=
END FLASHBACK
=-=

Setting:  USS BASTET, Corridor
Stardate: 33113.1545

Nicole made her way quietly to the Observation Lounge, her blue eyes adrift in thought. What she had always considered a temporary situation had turned into an opportunity. She wondered how Sofia was taking the idea. Would she decide to accept the offer? Even after working alongside the Doctor these past months, Dima was still unsure how much healing the woman had to do before being able to explore their feelings. The symbiont had been in love enough times to know there were no boundaries of race, gender, or species. Love was love. But Nic was genuinely concerned that the woman had developed a case of reverse Florence Nightingale syndrome, falling hard for Nicole only because she had bonded with her and helped her escape. She had acknowledged and validated Sofia’s presence when the rest of the universe had presumed she was dead. And while their friendship had been cemented in this shared experience, the Counselor’s mind knew that wouldn’t be enough of a foundation to build a relationship on unless she pushed Sofia to confront her demons and ensure she wasn’t just reaching for Nicole because she represented a safe haven to her, a choice of convenience rather than something more. Nicole had sacrificed the chance to be married in order to be joined with Dima. She had proven to herself that love was something she could do without and still be fulfilled. She wanted Sofia to have the same liberation from that constraint, so that whomever she chose as her mate, it was for all the best reasons.

=-=
A dual post by

Tiffany Reeve

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET

And

Susan Ledbetter

Cns
USS BASTET
M06-P005: USS BASTET: Iverson: Day 01 - 1600 ("Special Research")
---
"Special Research"
(Previous Post: (ANU) "Feeling Guilty" / (BAS) "You Can't Go Home Again")
---

Setting: USS BASTET, Observation Lounge
Stardate: 33113.1600

It didn't take long for the rest of the senior officers to trickle into the room following the arrival of Commander Valentine, and this included Ensign Andersson and Dima. Selene tried her best to gauge what the two women's answer would be before the question of their joining the crew was officially presented to them, but their thoughts and outward expression were visibly on other matters.  It seemed that they would have to wait for an answer, so once everyone was seated, Captain Iverson began the mission briefing.

"Following a quick meeting with Admiral Koniki to explain the situation that we are being asked to address, the BASTET is being deployed to the ZELLANI Sector, there, we will be meeting up with another vessel and investigate the strange trans-dimensional readings they have been analyzing for a few days now. Initial reports and data collected seem to indicate that the Lokustaar may be involved." A hush spread through the Observation Lounge at the mention of the nightmarish race, many of the officers present silently wishing that they had never dealt with them in the first place, let alone having to do so again.

"Guess that's what we get for being the resident experts on all things trans-dimensional," Lieutenant Mitshiba said in a dry tone that seemed to attempt to bridge sarcasm and pride.

"Actually," Selene began, sounding even more serious than she normally did, "it is our dealings and expertise with the Lokustaar that has made us indispensable to this mission. The trans-dimensional expertise belongs to the ship and crew that we will be joining up with."

"I thought we were the only ship in the Federation able to purposely travel to other dimensions?" Sarena gasped, stunned at the possibility of running into other Starfleet ships and crews while in a dimensional other than this one.

"We are," Captain Iverson confirmed, a faint grin appearing for a brief moment on her lips before vanishing as if it had never been there as a wave of confusion washed over the other members of the senior staff.

"The ship we are to rendezvous with is from another dimension," Gemma accurately theorized, one of the multiple personalities of the Intel Operative, one with a better understanding of science, had likely put the pieces of this puzzle together.

"With all of the parallel universes that are out there, it is easy to imagine that there are other Federation-like organizations that possess the same or even a better ability to travel to other dimensions as we do. Mathematically speaking, not every race can be like the Masters or the Lokustaar; bent on conquering every other dimension they come across," Misaki established, sounding rather relieved at the idea that there were allies out there to possibly help them against the likes of the two races she had just mentioned.

"The vessel belongs to the Galactic Alliance, a Federation-like group from a close parallel universe in which the exploration of the multi-verse and the expansion of scientific knowledge have taken the highest priority. No internal conflicts have been recorded in over three centuries in that dimensional."

"Now that's a place I would love to visit," Lieutenant Mitshiba cooed.

"Before we get underway," Captain Iverson began, bringing the meeting back on track. "There are some matters concerning the personnel on board the ship that I need to address. First, I am happy to announce that Lieutenant Gemma has been officially assigned to the position of Intel Liaison Officer for the BASTET. Having already proven her extensive range of skills, I was very pleased when Admiral Koniki informed me of this assignment. Next, as soon as we depart from NEW ALEXANDRIA, we will be heading for RELAY OUTPOST SIGMA 385 where we will take on board our new Flight Control Officer, Ensign Ashton Dean."

"Looks like the crew is filling up nicely, but we still have a couple of official vacancies on board the BASTET," Sarena teased as she glanced at Ensign Andersson and Dima knowing that the Captain would soon be presenting them with the question the First Officer had previously mentioned to them.

"Commander Valentine is correct, the positions of Chief Medical Officer and Ship's Counsellor are officially available," Selene specified looking directly at Sofia and Nicole. "I know that the decision may be a difficult one for either one of you to make at this time. I also understand that your allegiances may very well still be with your previous ships and crew, but we, meaning Sarena and I, hope that the last three months have shown you both the need we have as that you would be more than welcomed on the BASTET."

The gathered officers anxiously waited for the women's answer, the smiles and glances coming from the two women hinting as to what their reply would be, but again the universe decided not to make things easy for the crew of this particular vessel.

=/\= Koniki to Iverson. =/\=

"Go ahead Admiral," the Captain replied, easily picking up on the tone of urgency in the voice of the Admiral.

=/\= We have just received an emergency transmission from the USS HAWKINS, the ship that you are scheduled to meet in the ZELLANI Sector, they are asking for help. Since no other ship in the Federation is able to follow them should they need to leave by other means than normal propulsion, the BASTET is to leave NOW and reach them as quickly as possible. =/\=

"We are on our way," Selene stated as she quickly jumped to her feet while the other members of the senior staff rapidly followed suit.

"What about Ensign Dean?" Commander Valentine inquired, concerned as to what would happen to their new Flight Control Officer.

"RELAY OUTPOST SIGMA 385 is actually along the course we would normally follow to reach the ZELLANI Sector, it just means that he will be beamed on board with little advance warning," Captain Iverson explained.

"I have heard of near-warp transports from a ship to a stationary target like a planet or even another ship, but I have never heard of this being done the other way where someone is being beamed on board from a stationary location onto a ship jumping back to warp before the transport is completed." The Chief Science Officer said, openly voicing her concerns.

"The targeting sensors will need to be carefully calibrated and tied in with the warp controls, not to mention that the transporter pattern buffer will need to be modified to accommodate the sudden phase shift in the matter stream as the ship jumps back to faster-than-light speed," Gemma stated, looking at Doctor Andersson, the Chief Medical Officer normally being the one who would need to supervise this task.

Sofia glanced at Nicole as neither one of them had given their official answer to joining the crew, and yet they seemed to be forced into a situation where their actions would provide whatever reply the Commanding Officer of the BASTET, as well as the rest of the crew, were waiting for.

"I am no expert on transporter systems," Doctor Andersson admitted after a few seconds of hesitation.

"I will assist," Gemma stated without delay, the woman clearly being one of action over words.

"I better start researching possible psychological effects for someone undergoing such a transport, not that I am expecting to find a great deal of material on that subject, but there might be some theoretical medical papers out there that I can start with," Nicole added. "One of my previous hosts might have a few additional ideas as to where I might find material on this."

Captain Iverson was known for not being big on letting her emotions show, but following what she had just heard, the Commanding Officer of the USS BASTET allowed a smile to appear, a display that was witnessed by everyone present officially dispelling the thoughts some had about the woman being physically incapable to do as she had just done.

"Report to your stations and let's go. We have a Flight Control Officer to pick up and a ship to rendezvous with, all to be done as quickly as possible," Selene said ushering everyone out of the Observation Lounge.

---
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 33113.1630

The BASTET had likely set a new record in regards to how quickly it departed from the secret Intel base. Luckily, the ship was relatively small and nimble allowing it to sneak through the massive space doors before they were fully opened. Now out of the asteroid field near the GIZA Nebula, the ship was traveling at maximum warp speed with the crew on route for RELAY OUTPOST SIGMA 385 which they would reach in just under four hours.

Once Ensign Ashton Dean was on board, their next stop would be at the ZELLANI Sector where hopefully the USS HAWKING would still be there.

---
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)
M06-P006: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: Day 01 - 1730 ("Like No Other")
"Like No Other"
Previous posts: (ANU) "Feeling Guilty" & (BAS) "Special Research"

///^\\\
Setting: USS HATHOR, Bridge
Stardate: 33113.1730

With three hours or so before the BASTET would reach RELAY OUTPOST SIGMA 385, Aki decided to find out as much as she could about this USS HAWKING. Of course, such a search could not be conducted through the regular channels as the vessel in question belonged to the Galactic Alliance, a claimed scientific powerhouse located in another plane of the multiverse. The first question on the mind of the CSciO was whether or not the ship was named in honor of the famed 21st-century scientist who, amongst other things, had established the foundation of black hole mechanics.

In his life, Dr. Stephen Hawking was considered a genius and a man able to see the universe like few others could. Although not required reading at the Academy, many first-year cadets with a course load in science made a point to read 'A Brief History of Time' as it provided some unique insights into the way the universe functions. Discussing the content of the book also proved to be a good way for the cadets to start conversations that could lead to some of the more theoretical aspects of the space and their own existence.

Could there have been another Stephen Hawking in that dimension, one who might not have been afflicted by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS as it was commonly referred to? It was hard for Aki to imagine the man in any other way than a wheelchair-bound scientist only able to communicate his thoughts and ideas, in his later years, through a primitive voice synthesizer. What kind of a man would he have been without all of the physical and social obstacles he overcame on a daily basis?  All of those questions and several more hung on the Asian woman's lips making her that much more anxious for the BASTET to reach the ZELLANI Sector.

This eagerness to reach the USS HAWKING was unfortunately tempered by the fact that their need to meet with the trans-dimensional vessel was brought on by an urgent call for help. Something was forced the visiting ship to this plane of existence to request assistance and Aki could only hope that they would be able to make it there before it was too late.

"Lieutenant Mitshiba," Commander Valentine said as the ExO came to stand behind the Asian woman. "Admiral Koniki was kind enough to forward the sensor telemetry from the HAWKING in the hope that it would help us understand what happened and for us to be in a better position to help once we get there. Could you review the data and give Captain Iverson and I your take on what we might be rushing into?"

"Of course Commander, I will get started on this right away," Aki said wasting no time to call up the computer file to her station. The first thing the CSciO noticed when the data appeared on her screens was the size of the file and the complexity of the data in contained. A fleet of research vessels, each equipped with a different type of sensor array would not have been able to compile what she was looking at. There was so much there that Mitshiba had no other choice but to start dismissing some of the data in order to make some sense of what would be left.

One by one, the layers of data were analyzed and considered as to their potential usefulness in figuring out what had happened to the HAWKING to have it send a call for help. As Aki made her way through the copious amount of data, she realized how much more advanced that ship's sensors had to be in comparison to their own. The claim of the Galactic Alliance being a science powerhouse appeared not to be an exaggeration, in fact, based on what the CSciO was looking at, the claim seemed to be quite understated.

What mysteries had their technology figured out? How much more advanced was this Galactic Alliance as compared to the Federation in not only the specific fields of astrology, astrophysics, and dimensional travels but also in the more general domains such as biology, exobiology, and countless others. The possibilities were endless as Aki considered the scope of having such an organization dedicated to the advancement of all sciences.  The more Aki thought about this, the more she had to concede that the ship they were rushing to meet had indeed been named in honor of Stephen Hawking, a man whose influence had likely help shape not only the Galactic Alliance but the whole of their dimension.

A few simple questions would possibly confirm this, but for the moment, understanding what had caused the USS HAWKING to send the message needed to be the CSciO's top and only priority. Wish a renewed drive to get to the bottom of this mystery, Aki focused on the most basic data, trying to isolate something that might give her an idea as to what was happening.

It was when she noticed a quantum bias in an area of space near the HAWKING that Aki figured she had discovered what the cause of the urgent call was. According to the sensor data, a highly focussed breach in the fabric of space-time had formed less than a kilometer from the ship and was now being contained by a gravitational field that effectively stopped it from expanding.  By the looks of things the trans-dimensional research vessel was not in any immediate danger, but it could not move from its current location in the ZELLANI Sector and risk the breach expanding beyond anyone's ability to stop it.

With that figured out, all that Aki needed to do now was to figure out what had caused this quantum bias in the fabric of space-time, how to reverse the process and figure out if this was an isolated natural phenomenon or if it was something purposefully created. Since Admiral Koniki had mentioned the possible involvement of the Lokustaar in this, it made sense for the CSciO to consider the possibility that this was yet another way for the nightmarish race to seek to get a foothold in this dimension. If this was the cases as suspected, Mitshiba was glad that the HAWKING was there to help, certain that the ship would, like its namesake, be far more than it appeared to be.

///^\\\
Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Misaki Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Chief Science Officer
USS BASTET - NCC 74977
M06-P007: USS BASTET: Dean: Day 01 - 1630 ("Scrambler")
“Scrambler”
(Previous Post: (ANU) "Feeling Guilty" / (BAS) “Like No Other”)

Setting: RELAY OUTPOST GAMMA 385 - BASTET
Stardate: 33113.1630

Ashton was in the holodeck version of the BASTET when an emergency transmission from the actual BASTET came in.

=/\=BASTET to Dean. Be ready to transport immediately. We will not be stopping at the base. You must transport in to the ship in flight. =/\=

"But that is against protocol and extremely dangerous."

=/\=ETA 20 min, you have your orders. BASTET out =/\=

“What the hell? Their going to kill my family before I even report to the damn ship.” Aston left the holodeck at a run and headed to his quarters he was angry, concerned, and focused. How can he subject his daughters to this, but he had no one to leave them with so he had to put them through this. 

“Thanks Za we are about to depart on to the BASTET. I need you to take the 3 bags to the transporter room. Tell them we will be there in 5 minutes.”

“Sure,” she replied confused but hearing the tension in his voice did not question him further.

“Girls lets go. It’s time to go to our new ship.” They jumped up and started bouncing ready to go, but now the hard part. The only way they will make it through a near warp transport is asleep and to do that he will have to sedate them. “Before we go we are going to have some chocolate milk to celebrate it may be a few hours before we get there so you need something now,” he said moving to the replicator. He ordered up 3 kid size chocolate milks. Then he manually ordered 2 doses of mild sedative and added one to each girls drink before handing them the cup and bottle. “Here you go. Just like the big people. Like this tap it to daddy’s cup,” he explained holding out his up and moving Cordelias bottle filled hand to tap his cup. Tristan did the same and then they all drank the milk. As Ashton took the empty items to the replicator the room got quiet. He turned to find them curled up on the floor asleep. Carefully he put Tristan on the couch then he picked up Cordelia from the floor. Once he was standing and had her secure he carefully lifted Tristan with his right arm. “This is easier with weight bags. No pressure if you drop those,” he said to himself as he steadied himself before heading out to the transporter room.

"Dean to Ops."

=/\= Ops, are you ok Sir? You sound out of breath. =/\=

"Fine, just in a hurry. I need the best transporter operator on station in the transporter room now."

=/\= Understood we received the transport order from the BASTET. Lt. K’tana is waiting your arrival.=/\=

"Good," Ashton replied making the final turn to the transporter room.

“Let me help,” K’tana said stepping from behind the transporter console. Ashton gladly let her take Tristan. "Place her on the pad 2,” he said more firmed than intended. K’tana did take offense, his stress was understandable in this situation. Ashton gently placed Cordelia on pad 4 before joining K’tana at the console. 

“Make sure you triple check their patterns in the buffer.”

“Already working it. Ensign you must take your place. They will be here any minute. At last transmission they were 10 minutes out traveling at max warp.” Ashton took his place on pad 1. 

"Ops open a channel to the BASTET."

=/\= Channel opened.=/\= 

"Ensign Dean and family ready to transport," he said masking his anxiety about the danger.

=/\= Standby,=/\= Captain Iverson replied

On the BASTET the transporter room air was thick with tension as the controller made the final configurations for the fly by transport of not one, which is dangerous enough but now it’s three people. 

_____________________________________________________________________
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 33113.1650

“Prepare to drop out of warp. Transporter standby. Engineering are the warp and transporter controls synced?” Iverson asked.

=/\= Aye sir. =/\=

“Transporter mark 5, 4, 3 , 2, now,” Iverson commanded. With that the transporter operator started the transport. As soon as he started the process the ship instantly dropped from warp. On the base Ashton, the girls and their bags shimmered and began to transport. Seconds later he felt a jolt last the ship jumped back to max warp. On the BASTET the transporter controller activated and immediately deactivated the process.

_____________________________________________________________________
Setting: USS BASTET, Transporter Room
Stardate: 33113.1651

Seconds later Ashton, Tristan, Cordelia, and their bags appear on the BASTET. Ashton immediately collapsed to the pad floor. Dr. Andersson immediately was at his side, but he waved her off. “I’m fine. Just a little dizzy. Check the girls. I sedated them before the trip so they should be fine, but make sure.”  The doctor move to the sleeping girls and checked them with the tircorder. “All vitals are normal.” 

“Thanks doctor. Can someone show us to our quarters? I will get them situated quickly and then report to the captain.”

“Of course,” Andersson said motioning to the crewmen standing by.  Ashton picked up Cordelia while Ensign Vance picked up Tristan and led the way. An crewman carried the three bags and followed them to the Dean quarters. 

“Just put her on the couch Ensign. Thanks for the help. Crewman just drop the bags by the door,” Ashton said. As the two men left Ashton took in the surroundings and noticed there were two main rooms and a bathroom. In the corner of the bedroom area a twin bed had been placed along the wall. He laid Cordelia on the bed near the wall and she immediately turned on her side facing it and continued sleeping soundly. Then he carried Tristan to the room and put her in the bed with Cordelia tucking the blankets in around them. He then quickly pulled a PADD from his bag, tapped a few commands activating a holographic woman. 

“Greetings Ensign. It’s been a while,” she smiled. She appeared to be in her 50’s with a British accent. 

“Hello Nanny Emma. No time for catching up. As you can see we are not on the station any longer. This is our new home and I have to report to duty asap. The girls are asleep in there. I had to sedate them for the trip so they should be out for several hours. Please take care of them.”

“Of course. Always sir. Don’t worry about a thing they will be in good hands,” she smiled. 

“Thank you. I must go,” he said quickly leaving. 

_____________________________________________________________________
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 33113.1700

The doors to the turbo lift opened and Ashton stepped out taking in the real BASTET bridge for the first time. He quickly scanned the room, located Captain Iverson. “Ensign Ashton Dean reporting for duty,” he said standing at attention.

“Good to have you aboard. You seem no worse for ware after your transport.”

“Shaken, but fine sir ready for duty,” he said confidently hiding the splitting headache that was pounding in his temples. 

“Did your children fair as well?” She asked.

“They are doing fine sir. I sedated them before the trip so they slept through it. I have a trusted holo-nanny with them now,” he said taking his place at helm. 

“I look forward to meeting them once this is all over,” Iverson added. “We should reach the HAWKING in thirty minutes. All stations be ready.”

The buzz of activity quickly resumed as all stations returned to their preparations. Ashton checked his systems and made sure all was well. “Glad I did all the prep in the holodeck bridge,” he said to himself wishing he had taken something for his headache before reporting to duty. 

_____________________________________________________________________
Leigh Rachal

Ensign Ashton Dean 
Chief Flight Control Officer
USS BASTET - NCC 74977
M06-P008: USS BASTET: Andersson: Day 01 - 1710 ("Small Unexpectednesses")
=-=
"Small Unexpectednesses"
[previous post was (ANU) "Feeling Guilty" by Jayson / (BAS) "Scrambler" by Leigh]
=-=

Setting: USS HATHOR, Corridor
Stardate: 33113.1710

The near-warp transport went better than could have been expected, mostly because everyone involved in this neck-breaker stunt did everything hey could think of to make sure nothing bad would happen. Sofia had to give credit to Ensign Dean for his quick thinking in putting his daughters to sleep for the transport. Not only had this saved them from any potential psychological trauma, but it had also greatly reduced the negative physical effects that could have presented themselves.

That said, and although the initial medical scan had not revealed any problems in their two youngest guests on board the BASTET, Doctor Andersson wanted to make sure that she had not missed anything. A near-warp transport like the one that had just been accomplished would have been hard enough on an adult, so Sofia could only guess as to how it might affect the new Ensign's daughters. Another reason for the physician to act this way was that, as a Doctor in Starfleet, she rarely had the chance to examine and take care of children.  Maybe it was her motherly instincts kicking in, or simply an overly developed need for the Doctor to make sure everyone under her care on board this new ship of hers was in the best possible health as could be.

Having confirmed with the computer the location of the two little ones, Doctor Andersson made her way to the quarters of Ensign Dean, certain that the man would not object to the Ship's CMO checking up on them. Life on board a starship was hectic enough but on board a vessel such as the BASTET, it was nice to not have to worry about more than was strictly required.

Not expecting anyone other than the two sleeping kiddies to be inside the quarters, Doctor Andersson used her medical access privileges to gain access within. Sofia nearly screamed in fright when she noticed someone standing in the room where the girls were, the middle-aged woman not appearing like anyone the CMO knew.

"Please identify yourself," the woman politely yet sternly asked, her British accent only adding to the perception that whoever that woman was, meant business.

"I am Doctor Sofia Andersson, Chief Medical Officer on board the BASTET," the physician softly replied not wanting to wake the girls she had come to check up on. "I just wanted to make sure that Ensign Dean's daughters were alright."

"Establishing a link to ship's personnel roster," the woman announced hinting that she was more than she appeared. "Confirmed, you are listed as this ship's CMO."

"Since no one else other than Ensign Dean and his daughters was brought on board from RELAY OUTPOST GAMMA 385, I am guessing that you are a holographic program."

"My name is Nammy Emma and I am tasked with watching and tending to the children's needs while Ensign Dean is working or otherwise occupied," the woman explained, confirming the physician's suspicions.

"I had heard of such holographic programs, but never actually saw one until now," Sofia smiled. "It is nice to meet you. If you would permit, I would like to run a few more medical scans on the children, and I promise not to wake them."

"You may proceed," the holographic woman politely said, her British accent making Sofia smile. Somehow, the sound of the nanny's voice seemed to perfectly lend itself to the role the photonic creation was meant to perform, making Emma that much more the perfect person to be here at this time.

Carefully, quietly, Doctor Andersson made her way to the double bed, the already opened tricorder firmly in her hand and set on mute. "Who do we have here?" Sofia asked the nearest sleeping girl, just wanting to address her young patient in case the child could actually hear her.

"That is Cordelias," Nanny Emma stated. "Her sister is named Tristan."

The initial medical scan Sofia took in the transporter room had established that the near-warp transport had not caused any obvious medical issues, but now the CMO was more interested in making sure that both girls were in as good health as possible.  "Such sweet little angels," Doctor Andersson whispered as her tricorder moved from one resting child to the next.  Once her scan was completed, the physician turned to face the holographic woman. "You can report back to Ensign Dean that I performed a more thorough examination and that both of his girls are in perfect health. It would appear that he is doing very well in being both a Starfleet officer and a father."

"I am sure that he will be pleased with your report Doctor," Emma noted.

"If there are any issues, don't hesitate to call me," Sofia offered. "One would think that with roughly 325 souls on board this vessel, I would be busy, but so far things have been quiet, not that I am complaining."

"Thank you, Doctor," the British woman said, making it evident that the physician had been dismissed as the purpose of her visit had been accomplished and her services were not required at this time.

=-=
Setting: USS HATHOR, Sickbay
Stardate: 33113.1725

Nicole was standing in the corner of the room, slightly out of the way, taking care of a few things when Sofia returned. As a Ship's Counselor, the woman was by default required to be observant and as a joint Trill Dima had a great deal of experience to fall back upon to help make sense of those faint signs people constantly projected. In this case, the CNS noted something very *motherly* about the CMO, something that made her smile just as much as it concerned her.

Some vessels within Starfleet were officially designated as 'family ships', their mission dealing far more with basic diplomatic journeys or travels to the inner worlds of the Federation. The mission profile of the BASTET, on the other hand, saw the ship travel to the edge of known space and time, going as far as into other dimensions when needed. This could prove to be very difficult for the children and their father as well as anyone who would grow attached to the newest and youngest members of the crew. Keeping a certain professional distance was already hard enough, but to do so with two innocent little girls would most certainly prove to be a challenge for many, and by the looks of things Doctor Andersson would be the first one to have to deal with such a difficult task.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS
M06-P009: USS BASTET: Valentine: Day 01 - 1730 ("Urgent Rendezvous")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Urgent Rendezvous"
[previous post ((ANU) " Pre-Counseling Session" / (BAS) " Small Unexpectednesses ")]

Setting:  USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 33113.1730

"There she is," Lt. Mitshiba announced from the science station, referring to the USS HAWKING, which was now visible on the large forward screen. "She could easily pass as a Federation vessel, even with her larger size and the odd configuration of those Bussard collectors. We would be hard-pressed to figure out that the vessel came from another dimension instead of being a class of ship that we had never heard of before now had we not been told about her first."

"I agree, although I will say that she does look to be on the rather sleek side of things for a trans-dimensional research vessel," the Executive Officer added. "I have to admit that I am impressed by the outer appearance and am curious to see what the inside is like."

"Being sleek must be an unspoken rule for the external design of ships traveling to and from other dimensions," Captain Iverson shot back, the usually stoic woman sounding a little slighted by the comment made by Commander Valentine as if the HAWKING somehow had proven itself to be nicer or better than the BASTET. "Helm, bring us to 10,000 kilometers from them and hold position there. Lt. Mitshiba, run a full sensor sweep of the area and confirm the information we Admiral Koniki supplied. I want to know what it is that we are dealing with."

"Captain, I can already confirm the telemetry we received earlier," the CSciO immediately said. "Sensors are picking up the presence of several quantum biases in the fabric of space-time around the USS HAWKING. Sensors are also showing high energy beams being directed from the ship to those breaches creating some sort of barrier stopping them from expanding more than they already have."

"Looks like they have everything under control," Sarena noted, sounding even more impressed by the ship that until less than a minute ago they knew nothing about other than its name. "So why send us here with such urgency?"

"I might be able to answer that question as well," Mitshiba said. "I am counting 14 high-energy beams directed at different locations around the HAWKING. It appears that something or someone is trying to turn this part of the ZELLANI Sector into Swiss cheese and that ship is doing everything it can to make sure it does not happen. The problem though is that based on these readings, this is requiring every bit of power the ship has. The current power out up is off the scale. Most vessels within Starfleet would not have been able to maintain that power output for more than a few minutes without risking a complete system's failure or worse a warp-core breach."

"Captain," Ensign Dean joined in having picked up on something else. "It is barely noticeable, but that ship is slipping to one side, not a lot mind you, but they are moving at a rate of about 1 centimeter every 20 or so seconds to their port side. My guess is that there is some sort of undetectable gravitational effect caused by the interaction of those energy beams and the breaches in space-time."

"It would explain why they have not tried to make contact with us," Sarena proposed. "They are too busy trying to keep their ship from slipping too far off the center to acknowledge our presence. Those high-energy beams must have a limited range and the HAWKING needs to stay in the middle of those breaches in order to contain them all at the same time. That would be more than a reason for them to ask for urgent help."

"Helm, try to open a comm channel with that ship and get us in closer so that we can offer some help, but stay clear of those breaches, the last thing we need is for us to get dragged into one of them or collide with those energy beams," Captain Iverson ordered before turning to her Executive Officer. "Options as to our best course of action to help?"

"We could try and match the specifications of those energy beams and target a few of the breaches in order to maintain them from expanding. Theoretically, this should allow the HAWKING to use more of its power to hold its position while attending to the remaining space-time breaches," the Executive Officer suggested.

"Forget the fact that I am not entirely sure that we could match those high-energy beams based on these readings, especially not on such a short notice. From the looks of thing, there is some sort of dimensional resonance field surrounding both the beams and the targeted area of space-time. I also have no idea as to what kind of problems trying to do this might cause with our own power distribution system not to mention the D-Drive," Mitshiba explained. As much as she wanted to help the HAWKING, the CSciO was not sure that they could do so as mentioned by Sarena.

"Captain, if I may?" The ILO asked, the woman who had remained silent to this point evidently having an idea of her own. "It may take too long for us to research and properly modulate our emitters to match those energy beams, but we could direct a simple power transfer beam directly at the HAWKING. We could start with just enough power to let them know what it is we are trying to do and make sure that the power is compatible with their system, which it should. When we have confirmation that they are actually able to use that power to supplement their own, we gradually crank up the juice to the maximum we can safely manage which will provide them with everything we can give without risking our getting underfoot."

"That sounds like a plan," Iverson noted with optimism. "Lt. Gemma, please report to Main Engineering and help set up this power transfer as quickly as possible, in the meantime, we will continue with our attempts to hail them and see if there is another way that we might be able to assist in case our first option proves to be ineffective."

Sarena glanced at the Captain for a brief moment. In a situation such as this, the ILO would normally be required to remain on the command deck and offer whatever insight they might have, but the Executive Officer could understand why the Captain had made the request she did. While on the HATHOR, Gemma had proven herself more than capable in the area of Engineering, and right now, those skills would be far more needed than those of an Intel Operative would.

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

Executive Officer
USS BASTET, NCC 74977
M06-P010: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: Day 01 - 1800 ("Sneaking In Closer")
"Sneaking In Closer"
Previous posts: (ANU) "Bruised Ego" & (BAS) "Urgent Rendezvous"

///^\\\
Setting: USS HATHOR, Bridge
Stardate: 33113.1800

Aki was glad that Gemma had agreed with her. Trying to match the specifications of the energy beams from the HAWKING would have required much more time than they had available especially when considering the dimensional resonance field that surrounded both the beam and targeted area. Had it not been for the BASTET being equipped for trans-dimensional travels, it would have been very likely that any other ship in the fleet would have failed to notice this aspect of the beams. What the CSciO needed to do now was to try and figure out why those resonances had been there in the first place and what purpose they served. It was a shame that all attempt at communicating with the other ship had so far failed.

While working on that aspect of her research, Aki was also keeping a close eye on the location of the breaches being contained by the HAWKIN, trying as best she could to understand why they were there in the first place. With so many of them in such a small region of space, it was hard to believe that they were dealing with a naturally occurring phenomenon. One such breach would have been rare to encounter, but over a dozen was mathematically impossible. This, of course, left the question as to who was creating them and why? The first theory and the one that no one wanted to be true was that the Lokustaar were once again trying to open some sort of gateway between their dimension and this one. On CAIT, their effort to establish a foothold on the planet with ground troops had failed thanks to the intervention of the BASTET and its crew. By the looks of things, it seemed that the same ship and crew were setting themselves up for a repeat confrontation, this time in the wide-open void of the ZELLANI Sector.

"We are getting awfully close to one of those dimensional breaches," Aki announced wide-eyed, noticing the distance between them shrinking at an alarming rate.

"No worries," Ashton said in a calm and focused voice, the hands of the FCO moving across the controls as if he had been doing this for years. "Those rift in the fabric of space-time may show to have a low gravitational field but their pull increased exponentially the closer you get to them. I am trying to find that sweet spot that will allow us to not have to use all of our power just to avoid being dragged inside them."

"Sensors show the breaches to be no larger and a meter or so," the CSciO specified, emphasizing the physical problem they faced of having a ship the size of the BASTET being forced through an opening barely large enough for a single humanoid.

"I know," the FCO quietly muttered, "that's why I'm trying to make sure we don't turn the ship into a space pinball. If I apply too much power to pull us away from that breach, we might end up caught in the gravitational pull of any of the others, and with our added momentum there might not be a way to break free."

Aki glanced over her shoulder at the Captain and First Officer. As nervous as they might appear to be, both women seemed confident in their new FCO to do what was required to keep the ship and its crew safe. The tension on the bridge was palpable as all eyes were on the main view screen, which showed the breach growing gradually ever closer. A shared sigh of relief was heard when the image of the rift in space-time stopped moving closer and started to move away.

"Got it," Ashton said sounding just as relieved as the other officers on the bridge did. "Check the sensor readings on the axis of the gravitational pulls of those breaches, I have the feeling you will find that they are not spherically uniform."

"Confirmed," Aki said after a few seconds, now able to get much more precise sensor readings of the breach that the BASTET had just flown next to. "The gravitational pull from the breach we just passed is linear and unidirectional, something that is impossible for any naturally occurring phenomenon. There is no doubt that we are dealing with artificially created dimensional rifts in the fabric of space-time."

"That is not good news," Commander Valentine offered, not finding Mitshiba's report to be overly encouraging as this confirmed that they were dealing with a more than likely hostile force.

"Actually, it might be," Aki stated in return. "The fact that we now know that the gravitational pull of these breaches is linear makes them easier to be disrupted. If we apply an inverse gravitational wave at a perpendicular angle, the HAWKING should, in theory, be able to break free and reposition itself to ensure that it no longer is being pulled."

"Get started on that inversed gravitational wave," Captain Iverson ordered. "Helm, bring us on a perpendicular course to the gravitational line of the closest breach. Let's see if we can help the HAWKING get out before it is pulled too far to contain the breaches located on the other side."

"Always wanted to fly a ship through the eye of a needle while risking being pulled apart by gravitational lines," Ashton sighed. This was not what he had in mind when he was reassigned off RELAY OUTPOST GAMMA 385, but that said he had to admit that things were a lot more exciting here than they had ever been before on that station.

///^\\\ 
Setting: RELAY OUTPOST GAMMA 385, Guest Quarters
Stardate: 33113.1820

Mordana stood in the barely lit room, her dark eyes intently looking through the window, her attention focused on a very specific section of space known as the ZELLANI Sector. From where she was, there was nothing to see but some distant specs of lights, and yet the woman studied the area as if she was somehow aware of the two trans-dimensional vessels and their current struggle for survival.

Despite the distance separating them from her, it was evident that she knew of their presence and their battle against time. No expression could be seen that would betray her feelings or even her hopes as to the outcome of this single-sided confrontation. Those she worked for were ageless and patient, and no matter the result of this specific battle, their work to spread darkness and chaos through this dimension as it had in theirs would continue.

///^\\\
Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Misaki Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Chief Science Officer
USS BASTET - NCC 74977
M06-P011: USS BASTET: Gemma: Day 01 - 1825 ("Energy Transfer")
=-=
"Energy Transfer"
[previous post was (ANU) "Bruised Ego" / (BAS) "Sneaking In Closer"]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Main Engineering
Stardate: 33113.1825

It was hard for Gemma to be here, on this ship, surrounded by so many others. Not that anyone would be able to see or pick up on her discomfort. She had learned long ago to hide her feelings and emotions as to not be betrayed by them. Her training had made sure to painfully point this out to her. Because of that, she became a loner, a person who found it difficult to be part of a team.

For as long as she could remember, she was alone, dealing with everyone else's nightmares. Her earliest memory was waking up on that cold examination table without a single piece of clothing on her. The only thing on her body was a bracelet around her wrist engraved with a single word. She had no recollection of the bracelet or the name that appeared on it. In fact, she remembered nothing prior to her waking up that day. The absence of any childhood memories, pleasant or otherwise had helped. It allowed her to detach herself from her work with a near Vulcan logic and efficiency.

Being a loner did not be that she was alone. There were many people she could count on when things got tough. Neri was always ready and willing to help and charm their way out of trouble. More often than not, she would lead them into trouble, but they always found a way out. Dalra could fly them out of any situation they found themselves in, no matter what it was. Winda could solve most problems they encountered and Anya could fight her way out of the others.  Those were just a few of the people Gemma could count on. The problem was that none of them could help her be a member of a team, as she needed to be.

Keeping busy was the best solution for her. In some dark corner of the ship's engineering section, she could be herself. Those she had relied on for so long would be there for her without judgment. They knew her as she knew them. Yshuni, Ema, and Fiinja did try to convince her that making friends could help. The Kotakian wanted to listen in on their conversations to see if anything useful might be said. The Oltharian wanted to sample the way of thinking of as many as she could. As for the Dinnaly bleeding heart, all she wanted was to help as many as she could in whatever was she could. With so many people by her side, why was it so hard for Gemma to be part of this crew?

"Lt. Gemma?" The imposing Oltharian male called out from one of the control panels. "Have you calibrated the power regulator for the energy transfer? I am still getting some spikes during the test runs."

"My apologies Commander," Gemma replied. The task would have already been done had it not been for Ema's infatuation for the Oltharian. Having so many people unsure as to what they needed to do was becoming a problem for the ILO.

"I was just making sure of a few things," Gabrielle followed. As a saboteur, the blonde-haired human was the one with the greatest working knowledge of engineering. Ironically, she was working on the opposite of what she had become an expert in. "We have no idea of the power frequency being used on the HAWKING. So, we need to make the transfer be as clean as possible. Any type of unexpected frequency oscillation could create a feedback in their power system. For all we know, it could cripple the ship or even cause it to explode."

"A very dark though but one that I am sure the Captain will appreciate you considering," Elan said. As an Engineer himself, the Oltharian was not used to thinking of things blowing up. As a saboteur though, such thoughts were usually the first thing on Gabrielle's mind.  "As soon as this power transfer is established and working, I would like for you to report to Sickbay. Your voice has changed again and I am concerned that you may be working yourself to illness."

Gabrielle could feel Ema wanting to step forward. Her admiration for the man growing with every word he spoke. Like her, Elan was a kind soul, a being concerned for the well-being of others. Letting the two of them chat would be something interesting to witness, but now was not the time.  "As soon as this is done and our situation secured, I will go and see Doctor Andersson. Before that though, we need to make sure this energy transfer helps the HAWKING in dealing with those breaches."

"I am ready for the first live test," the Oltharian announced. "The HAWKING's core, at least as close to it as we can, has been targeted. We can try a 5 percent transfer as soon as you give the word."

Gabrielle checked her work once again. Everything appeared to be wrong, at least for what she was used to looking for. All readings were in the green and the computer was programmed to make sure they stayed that way. The energy flow had been made to be as straightforward and clean as could be. This would make sure that the other ship would not suffer any problems should the energy be incompatible with their system. As a saboteur, she had done everything wrong, but that was not the role she needed to play here. "Everything checks out, you may engage the power transfer."

Slowly, the indicators came alive and Gabrielle found herself wavering between pride and shame. The energy transfer was working and the HAWKING was accepting the extra power provided without issues. To an engineer, this was a moment of pride in a job well done. However, that was not who she was, or at least the person she had been before now.

"Increasing power transfer to 50% of our capacity," the Oltharian announced. "Sensors are not picking up any feedback or energy bleed. We are looking at a perfect transfer. Well done Lieutenant, it would appear that your diligence has paid off."

"Thank you," Gemma replied, Gabrielle having stepped back to wallow in her shame. It would take some time for the saboteur to get used to this, but in time, she would. Like the others Gemma had relied upon for so very long, they would learn to adapt to their new roles. For some, being part of the crew of the BASTET would be an easy task. For others, it would prove to be a daily challenge. For Gemma, it would be another situation for her to adjust to with the help of those who had been there with her from the start.

Returning to the primary work area of the department, the Gemma made her way to Elan. The Oltharian appeared very pleased with the way things were going. The indicators were showing the power transfer at 75% of maximum capacity and still increasing. No feedback was being detected from the HAWKING, which was taking in every drop of extra energy that was being supplied.

"As delicate as the situation may be," Elan began. "I would like for you to report to Sickbay now. If things should get rough, we will need you here at your best. Right now, the energy transfer is proceeding without any problems. This may be the best time for you to take care of this. We may not get another chance for quite some time once the breaches are taken care of.

Gemma wanted to argue the order, not that it was an order. The Oltharian had been nice enough to make it a polite suggestion. Of course, this meant that the ILO could feel Ema swooning even more over the giant. In order to avoid a scene, the woman agreed to do as she had been requested. The CMO would find nothing wrong with her, they never did. The only thing that would be accomplished by this would be to ease Elan's worries. After that, they would all be able to get back to work, help the HAWKING. From there, they would deal with figuring out who and what created these breaches. The answer to that would dictate their next course of action.

=-=
Rachel Jackie Johnson

Intel Operative
USS BASTET

[The fun is getting to wear multiple disguises and getting to explore multiple personalities and bring them to life. - Jenna Fischer]
M06-P012: USS BASTET: Dima: Day 01 - 1845 ("Memory Lanes")
“Memory Lanes”
[previous post was (ANU) "Bruised Ego" / (BAS) "Energy Transfer"]

=/\=

Setting: USS BASTET, Deck 5, Counseling Department
Stardate: 33113.1845

After the mission briefing, Nicole had quietly and unassumingly accepted Captain Iverson’s offer. She had discovered that Sofia had also agreed to her new position. Now, what felt like a very short time later, they were in the midst of the ZELLANI sector, assisting a ship from another dimension, a vessel named after a distinguished scientist, a man most likely revered in multiple universes.

While Nic had no appointments scheduled, the console in her cozy office was active with displays. The left side showed a real time feed from Aki’s science station on the Bridge, as they developed a way to give the HAWKING the much needed energy to shore up the breach in the fabric of space-time caused by something other than natural sources. The Counselor was by no means a scientist, but one of Dima’s hosts, Zaccarias, had been, and the stream of data fascinated the part of her that remembered.

It was easy to understand the heightened concerns that the Lokustaar were responsible for this attempted intrusion. That had yet to be proven, but if they could eventually communicate with the HAWKING, maybe their suspicions would be confirmed once and for all.

A trace of amusement crossed Nicole’s mind while thinking about the serious situation they were in. During the time that Richard Edgerton had controlled EARTH’S borders with a firm Neo-Essentialist hand, Nicole’s parents had demanded her return to TRILL, not willing to risk her safety as she finished her Academy training. She wondered what they might have thought if they knew where she was now. Would they have been hesitant to let her serve? Risk was an essential part of her vocation, and she decided it was better to continue to keep them as unaware as possible. Being joined with Dima before her official graduation and deployment helped her care less and less about what they wanted for her versus the life that she wanted for herself. She was still adjusting to that reality.

The other side of her desk displayed crew bios, both past and present, that needed to be reviewed. Intuition and experience could only go so far- and she wasn’t a mind reader. Discovering who these people were, and how their collective memories and journeys had brought them here was an integral part of being able to help and support them.

On the ANUBIS, she felt very natural and comfortable at Erik Morningstar’s side. But this new crew and command staff was different. She didn’t know where her place was among them. So she decided in her research to include the files of those who had transferred off the ship or been declared missing. While one person could never truly replace another, she might be able to understand the change in dynamic a little better. Being thrown into the BASTET, due to the consequences of the Blink Device, had left her unbalanced and feeling challenged and unsure of herself and her abilities.

There was Doctor Satella Bruxa, a Mikulak woman. Nicole was pleased to know the ANUBIS was finally getting a CMO due to being without one for a while. It appeared everyone in her immediate family was also a physician of some kind.  Her personnel file indicated she was headstrong and able to take charge, which in matters of life and death were important.

Next was Lieutenant JG Adriana Lopez, the Counselor. Among other things, she had survived the damage to a ship called the KROGEN before being rescued and assigned to the BASTET. Adversity had the ability to powerfully mold an individual, so clearly the Latina had impressive coping skills. She wondered if the woman was having as hard a time adjusting to her new home as Nicole was having aboard the BASTET.

With trepidation, she opened the file regarding Janeel, the ship’s previous ILO, now missing in action. It wasn’t a shock that the data there was scant and overly general at best. Nicole sighed. It seemed that ILO’s were enigmatic by nature. She’d learned much more about Shar’El from interacting with her than she ever had by looking at her service record, and knew the same would be true for Gemma. Her file, which was the first she tried to access when they came aboard the HATHOR, was the most lacking of all. Selene Iverson seemed to treat her as a Renaissance woman of sorts, and she had yet to disappoint in that regard. But Nicole sensed that Gemma was not completely comfortable in this role, or in the concept of working with others. The joined Trill would attempt to be more helpful in that arena.

Nicole then went back to Sofia Andersson’s records. After browsing Gemma’s nearly non-existent files, Dima had wanted to know more about her prison partner. She had read all the details but it painted such a bleak picture, that she didn’t feel that she was absorbing everything fully. But as she read the history again, it was still as difficult as it had been the first time.

Sofia had fallen for the false promises of the Neo-Essentialists, committing her time and energies to their cause, and ultimately taking some of the responsibility for being a tool towards the destruction of Paris. She was certainly far from alone; many had been drawn into the homespun words of that madman. She’d been tried and sentenced to serve as little more than a laborer, cleaning and clearing the ruins of the once famed City of Lights, while her family disowned her for her bad decisions. Her attempts to work with dignity and elevate her situation caught the attention of certain members of Starfleet, and she was given a position aboard the flagship PHOENIX. That should have been all the turnaround the blonde woman would have needed to put her life back on track. However, only a few months in, she was kidnapped and replaced by an impersonator working on behalf of the Romulan Empire, and nobody realized the switch until much later, when the operative was killed and the trail to the real Doctor Andersson was obscured. By this time Sofia had been beaten, tortured, and temporarily blinded. She had been forgotten and left for dead.

Nicole sipped the green tea with honey that had gone cold. It was no wonder Sofia carried strong feelings for her. Accidentally, the Counselor had been the first person to treat her kindly as they needed each other to survive. She hadn’t tied Sofia’s worth to her past or her present, she had only been humane to her as they worked through a supremely difficult situation. And while Nic only saw that as the right thing to do, it was uncommon in Sofia’s world, and special.

Sofia had done nothing but focus on the positive since their return from JDO-SHEN, but Nicole was worried she had simply denied her past instead of facing it head on. Dima would have to figure a way to bring up and reconcile Sofia’s past with her complete cooperation and awareness, so that she could really move forward without the ‘ghosts’ that continued to haunt her.

=/\=
Susan Ledbetter
Writing for

Cns
USS BASTET
M06-P013: USS BASTET: Andersson: Day 01 - 1850 ("Just Fine")
=-=
"Just Fine"
[the previous post was (ANU) "Imagination..." by Jayson / (BAS) "Memory Lanes" by Susan]
=-=

Setting: USS HATHOR, Sickbay
Stardate: 33113.1850

"Doctor Andersson?"

The call from Gemma brought the blonde-haired physician running out of her office expecting some sort of medical emergency, instead, Sofia found and unimpressed looking ILO standing in the entrance to Sickbay, just outside the door's sensor. "Please state the nature of the medical emergency," the CMO laughed, trying her best to make the standard welcoming line from the EMH sound more friendly and inviting.

"There is no medical emergency," Gemma said, the woman not appearing to have found the woman's attempt to humor amusing in the least.

"Just dropped by for a visit?" Sofia asked in a far more serious manner, making a mental note about how to deal with the ILO in the future.

"Lt. Cmdr. Fairborn asked me to report here and submit to a full medical examination. He is concerned that there may be something wrong with me because my voice slightly changed while I was working on a hard to reach engineering component as we increased the level of the power transfer to the HAWKING."

Sofia looked at the woman, tilting her head ever so slightly as she wondered if the ILO was actually a living person or one of those fancy androids. The way she stood and explained the situation had certainly tipped the balance on the side of the latter possibility as far as Doctor Andersson was concerned. "Wouldn't want to disappoint our resident gentle giant," the CMO said inviting the still unimpressed looking woman to step further into Sickbay and take a seat on the main examination bed.  "Any pains, aches, physical discomforts?"

"I am fine." Gemma's reply was blunt and lacking in any emotions further leaving Sofia to question if the woman was a living person or a simple machine, not that such a mechanical being would be simple in any way.

"I will be the judge of that," the physician shot back, trying to trigger some sort of response from her patient. Following the lack of any such reaction, Sofia sighed and thought that she would need to get Nic involved the next time Gemma came into Sickbay. "Let's start with a complete body scan, and then I can do a more thorough analysis of your vital organs and see how well they function."

The patient remained perfectly still as the computer ran the requested medical scan, the results of which were being displayed on the main diagnostic board. Sofia studied the results with great interest, trying to find something to use against the woman's earlier claim but Gemma had been right, she was fine, in fact, she was better than fine as every reading showed her to be in perfect health.

"You *are* fine," Sofia said sounding a little disappointed. "I mean, you are in perfect health. The medical scans did not pick up the slightest thing wrong with you. Every reading shows you to be as healthy as could be, maybe even more. Guess whatever intense training Intel Operatives suffer through and continue to practice helps to keep you in tip-top shape."

The cause for her excellent health was not the training she had endured or the years of struggling to stay a step ahead of those who hunted her for questioning or simply wanted to dispose of her. This gift of eternal health, which Gemma considered to be more of a curse at times, had been hers when she woke on that cold examination table somewhere in that fortress she came to call home. The laboratories of NEW ALEXANDRIA were her earliest memories and the empty containers once filled with nanites made it perfectly clear as to where this gift had come from.

The microscopic robots coursing through her body kept her alive even in the harshest and most inhospitable of environments. They allowed her to regenerate, healing even the most serious of wounds in hours, but most important they shielded her gift and curse from the rest of the world. Only Finnja, as a member of the Dinaali Medical elite, found this fascinating, everyone else considering it to be something that none of them could affect in any way.

Sofia was just about ready to dismiss Gemma when the readings on the main diagnostic board unexpected fluctuated. According to every piece of information available on the woman, the ILO was Human and the bio-readings confirmed that, but for a brief moment, the readings appeared to be those of a Dinaali woman. Of course, that could not be possible as there were no means for anyone to change their inner biology to such an extent in such a short period of time, so the Doctor had no other choice but to dismiss this as an instrument error.

"Is everything alright Doctor?" Gemma asked, having noticed with ease the blonde-haired woman's sudden confusion.

"Everything is fine," Sofia confirmed, her eyes glued to the diagnostic board in case the error would occur once more. "There was just a glitch in the information being displayed that made you appear to be Dinaali for a split second."

"It is possible that the power transfer to the HAWKING is causing some energy drains throughout the BASTET and its system. I will mention this to Lt. Cmdr. Fairborn who I am sure will dispatch someone to look into the matter and make any corrections or repairs that might be required."

Sofia accepted the woman's explanation without question. The lack of surprise on the ILO's part should not have been unexpected, but the CMO took it as a sign that the possible stated cause was as normal as could be. For a moment, Andersson wished that Dima was here, her expertise in reading people far better than that of the blonde physician, but since the Trill Counselor was not present, the Doctor had no other option but to accept the offered explanation as fact.

"Thank you," Andersson added. "I appreciate it as it would not be a good thing if the medical scanners began to show things that are not there. I am sure Captain Iverson would not appreciate being treated as a Vulcan or an Orion if she came down here with some injury."

"Although my interaction with the Captain has been limited, I suspect that she might actually find it a compliment if you treated her as a Vulcan," Gemma said sounding oddly enough as serious as could be.

"Maybe when I see her for her next physical, in the meantime it may be best to not rattle things too much," Sofia said with a grin still wishing that Nic had been here to listen in on the conversation in order to give her professional opinion on the ILO whom medically speaking was much more than just fine.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS
M06-P014: USS BASTET: Valentine: Day 01 - 1920 ("Unexpected Surprise")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Unexpected Surprise"
[previous post ((ANU) "Imagintion Worse Than Nightmares" / (BAS) "Just Fine")]

Setting:  USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 33113.1920

An uneasy silence held the BASTET and its crew in a choke hold as the energy transfer continued. According to the ship's sensors, the HAWKING was using every nano-joule of energy being sent over but still, the other ship failed to acknowledge the help or even the arrival and presence of the second ship.

"The HAWKING is managing to hold position," Lt. Mitshiba reported. "It appears that the extra power being supplied has allowed them to counter being pulled into the breaches."

"Well, that's one small victory for us. The next step is for is us to open communications with the HAWKING," Commander Valentine said, glad to see that their efforts were helping, even if not as much as she might have liked.

"The gravitational effects of the breaches were nearly undetectable, so it is plausible that there is some external reason as to why we are unable to open a channel with them," Ensign Dean offered. "We believe that the cause for this silence is inside that ship, but what if it was external in origin? Maybe some sort of interference field generated by the HAWKING's efforts to keep those breaches from opening any more than they already have."

"Unlikely," the ILO said as she stepped onto the command deck following her physical examination in Sickbay. "Both the HAWKING and BASTET are equipped for trans-dimensional travel, which means that we have the instruments required to detect any such interference field or effect. Since we have not discovered anything in that regards, it is more likely that the reason why the HAWKING has not replied to our hails will be found on that ship."

"Could we add a modulated frequency communication signal to the energy transfer? If the HAWKING is as sophisticated as we believe it to be, they should pick up on the added signal and figure out that we are trying to find a way to communicate with them," Captian Iverson suggested relying on her gathered experience to come up with a simple solution that would have the best odds of success. "If we are dealing with a language issue, the signal might bridge the gap. If the problem is with their being unable to receive our signal through conventional means, this solution should also get around that."

"Simple and effective," Sarena said with a smile. "Now I know why you are the one sitting in that chair," she teased. "Lt. Gemma, Lt. Mitshiba, make it happen."

The two officers jumped into action with eagerness. This was not a complicated task but it was one that would require them to work together in order to ensure that the signal was properly modulated in order to be recognizable by the crew of the HAWKING.  As the ILO and CSciO labored on the task they had been given, the FCO continued to keep a diligent eye on the two ships and the energy beam linking them together.

"Bridge to Engineering, this is Ensign Dean, my instruments are showing a very weak, but equally strange oscillation emanating from the energy transfer beam to the HAWKING."

=/\= We are reading the same down here. Whatever is causing this feedback is coming from their end and I have no explanation as to why it just started. The beam was working perfectly up until a few seconds ago. =/\=

"Is this feedback posing any sort of danger to us?" Sarena asked, her concerns immediately going to the ship and crew. As willing as she was to help the HAWKING, the Executive Officer had not been ready to put the BASTET in more danger than it already was in to accomplish this.

"The energy emitters are not showing any negative effects from this feedback," Mitshiba reported, the CSciO having abandoned her with work the ILO in order to make sure that everything was alright with the energy transfer. "Actually, the frequency seems to be a perfect match as if they were trying to send a signal back to us very much along the same way we were about to try and communicate with them."

"Guess they had the same idea," Gemma noted. "They just beat us to the punch."

"They did a lot more than beat us to the punch," Misaki added. "Once you isolate the feedback, you get to see just how complex it is. This is not a simple communication signal; it actually appears to be a transporter pattern being sent back to us."

"That would be crazy," the ILO exclaimed. "Even if their transporter technology was way better than ours, the risk of the signal being degraded by the energy flow would make it almost a certainty that the biological pattern would be irreparably damaged."

"Well, whatever it is that they are beaming over, it's materializing on the bridge now," Mitshiba announced as all eyes locked on a faint shimmering effect that had just appeared in the middle of the command deck of the BASTET.

"We could terminate the energy transfer and stop this transport before it is completed," Sarena quickly suggested, fearing that whatever was being beamed over might proved to be dangerous to the crew.

"If the HAWKING wanted for us to stop the energy transfer or if they considered us to be a threat in any way, I doubt that they would have gone through all this trouble to end our assistance," Selene offered as a counter argument. "Let the transport sequence run its course."

With a mixture of nervousness and excitement, the gathered officers on the bridge watched as something began to appear in the shimmering lights of the transporter beam embedded into the energy transfer link.

"Bridge to Doctor Andersson, your presence may be required on the bridge," Iverson said after tapping her communicator, the sight that she and everyone else was seeing proving to be a little disconcerting.  Unlike a normal transport sequence which reconstitutes the body all at once, this one was working its way up from the feet up slowly enough for everyone to see the process take place.

"I might never again take a transporter for as long as I live," Ashton voiced, his sense of discomfort growing exponentially as more of the body of their unexpected guest appeared. The officers remained still and quiet as the process continued in at much slower rate than all of them would have liked it to be

"What's going on?" Sofia asked as she and Nicole rushed onto the bridge to see the lower half of a humanoid body standing in the middle of the bridge surrounded by a transporter beam.  "Whoever is in there is already dead. There is no way for the bio-matter to survive such a slow reconstitution."

"There is one way," Gemma noted. "The pattern being reconstituted inside that beam is not of a living person but of some sort of android.  If you look very closely into the beam, you can actually see some of the components as they appear. This is not a regular transporter sequence, it seems to be more of a remote assembly which explains why they were able to make the transfer and how whoever, or whatever this thing is will survive the process."

"Their ship's avatar?" Sarena asked of Selene, thinking back to the android on board the ANBUIS.

"That is a valid possibility or maybe it is actually a member of their crew," the Captain proposed. "For all we know, the crew of the HAWKING could be entirely made of artificial life forms. Since we know nothing of their dimension of origin, we could be facing a first contact situation with a completely robotic life form."

"That would add an interesting and completely unexpected aspect to this mission," Counselor Dima cooed, the prospect of being part of this first contact being something that she was very excited about.

Whatever fear the crew had suddenly turned to curiosity and wonder as the transport and reassembly sequence continued, allowing for more of the individual to be seen. All they could do was to wait and see who and what had beamed over to the BASTET in this most unexpected manner.

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

Executive Officer
USS BASTET, NCC 74977
M06-P015: USS BASTET: Iverson: Day 01 - 1945 ("A Better Understanding")
---
"A Better Understanding"
(Previous Post: (ANU) "Black Fear" / (BAS) "Unexpected Surprise")
---

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 33113.1945

There was no denying it, witnessing the gradual materialization of the envoy from the HAWKING was a remarkable sight, and it was even more so when taking into account that the individual beaming on board the BASTET was some sort of robotic entity.  For a brief moment in time, the entire bridge crew had taken a break from their duties and responsibilities to gaze upon what many would come to qualify as a show the likes of which had never been seen.

"You have to admit that this is something special to see," Ensign Dean said, the new Flight Control Officer of the USS BASTET silently wishing that his girls had been there by his side to see this.

"The energy output of the transporter beam is nearly identical to our own," Lieutenant Mitshiba mused aloud proving that the Asian woman was a scientist no matter the situation. "This would confirm that they are using technology that is very similar to ours, but the way the beam is reassembling the matter stream is well beyond anything that we have ever thought possible. It would appear that the individual components are individually re-materialized before being inserted into their rightful position and I believe that they re even tested. This would hint that although they may be operating with similar tech as to ours, there are certain aspects of it that is more advanced."

"I think we already knew that just by the way the ship was able to maintain so many breaches from fully opening," Commander Valentine noted, sharing in the admiration of their Chief Science Officer.

"I am curious to see how advance the personal interface is," Nic quietly offered, the Trill Counselor having a unique interest in the materializing mechanical being.

"By the looks of things you won't have long to wait," Sofia smiled. "The transport sequence is nearly completed and I do have to admit that I am impressed with what it is that I am seeing," the Chief Medical Officer added showing that her interest was slightly more on the physical side of things as the android appeared to be a recreation of a tall muscular man. 

All of the officers appeared excited to meet their guest with one glaring exception, Lieutenant Gemma, the BASTET's new Intelligence Liaison Officer seemed concerned, even apprehensive. The fact that some unexpected and uninvited being was beaming on board was troubling enough, but to see it become something that appeared to be more than a simple avatar was more than she cared for.

Expectantly, the officer watched as the very complex and greatly slowed down transport sequence ended. For a few seconds, the android remained motionless leaving Captain Iverson and the others unsure as to what to do next.

"Was there a problem with the transport?" Sarena suggested as a possible cause for the lifeless machine now standing on the command deck of their vessel.

"It might require undergoing a full system initialization following the transport sequence," Misaki offered as an alternate explanation. "It was just completely rebuilt piece by piece. Even our computer would need to reboot if we decided to beam it to another location and that without taking it apart in the process."

"According to my medical scans, which are not overly helpful in his case as we know it to be a 'him', I am not picking up any sorts of readings," Doctor Andersson added as she used that excuse to approach the imposing man.  "If we didn't know that he came from another dimension, I would be ready to bet that he has some Greek ancestry. He looks like one of those statues found in the museum in Athens.

"He's no deity," Gemma said almost growling in doing so. "To me, he appears more like a conquering demon."

"Why such a negative stance?" Commander Valentine asked. As much as she agreed with the fact that they knew nothing about the purpose of the android that had just been beamed over, and that caution was in their best interest, the First Officer could not understand why their new Intelligence Liaison Officer had been so apprehensive.

"I am sure Counselor Dima can explain it better than I," Gemma said glancing over at the Trill.

"Psychologically speaking, the avatar of a ship is normally made to be a female as they are more readily accepted by a crew," Nicole explained, figuring that this is what Gemma had meant. "The concept that women are considered to be friendlier and less confrontational is at the foundation of this idea. That said, we are dealing with a different culture, one that originated in another dimension, so there is no telling what base mentality was used here. We are not even sure that this android is the avatar for the HAWKING as it was suggested earlier that he could be just another member of their crew."

"If he is 'just another member of their crew'," Gemma repeated word for word matching the intonation used by the Counselor. "Why not send the least threatening looking member?"

"Gemma?" Sofia huffed. "It is not because he appears like Hercules that you have to be afraid of him."

It was at the precise moment that the android opened his eyes and gave the bridge and its occupants a quick scan. Doctor Andersson, despite her obvious admiration for the mechanical man, took several long steps back, just in case.

"Apologies for my unannounced and I am sure unexpected arrival," the android said, his voice not at all sounding mechanical or even alien. "My name is Samson and I was sent here from the HAWKING to relay information that is crucial to resolving the situation that we are currently in the middle of."

"Welcome aboard Samson, I am Captain Iverson, Commanding Officer of the BASTET," Selene said greeting the much taller android in as friendly a manner as she could. "This is Commander Valentine, my second in command, Lieutenant Mitshiba our Chief Science Officer, Ensign Dean our Flight Control Officer, Doctor Andersson our Chief Medical Officer, Counselor Dima and Lieutenant Gemma."

The android nodded his head, acknowledging the introductions by meeting the eyes of everyone mentioned before returning his attention to the Captain.  "If it would not be an inconvenience, I would like to brief you on the details of our situation. I would be more than happy to answer any and all of your questions after that."

"Of course, I understand," Iverson offered in reply. "Will our observation lounge be sufficient or do you require a more suitable location?"

"Whatever location best suits you and your officers," Samson replied. "I am able to adapt to any environment."

With a gesture of her hand, Captain Iverson invited their guest towards the observation lounge.

---
Setting: USS BASTET, Observation Lounge
Stardate: 33113.2015

With the senior officers sitting at the table, Samson began the briefing immediately. "The HAWKING was on a survey mission when our sensors picked up a strange reading, some sort of a ship that barely registered on our instruments. As we maneuvered in closer to gather as much information as possible, the ship collided with what we can only surmise was the vessel in question causing a breach in our outer hull. As repairs were being made, the ship became caught in some sort of powerful collapsing energy field that we suspect was created by several unknown vessels, likely belonging to the same race as the one we were investigating. A quick analysis showed that any attempt to breach the energy field would result in our destruction, so with no other option available, the Captain ordered the ship to jump back to our own dimension."

"Something happened or you would not be here, in our dimension instead," Sarena proposed, anticipating the next part of the report from the muscular android.

"You are correct," Samson confirmed. "Engineering reported something interfering with our trans-dimensional drive and we ended our journey here. Before we could figure out what had happened, our instruments picked up a breach in the fabric of space-time that we suspected were attempts from one of the unknown ships to follow us. Although our systems, including ship-to-ship communications, were damaged by the collision and the failed dimensional jump, the HAWKING used all of its resources to stop the breach. Our initial goal was to seal it but when others appeared, we found ourselves in a situation that we could not win. The Captain decided to send out a general distress signal that would be specifically calibrating to only be received by someone also capable of dimensional travels. We were very pleased to see you when you did as our situation had degraded to our being drawn into the breaches which had been modified in an attempt to counter our efforts."

"That settles it, those breaches are not naturally occurring," Mitshiba noted.

"No, they are not," Samson agreed. "The race that created them meant to open a way to follow us. It is our theory that they were the ones that caused us to arrive here in your dimension, using our trail as a guide to open the breaches that we have been trying to keep closed with a reducing amount of success until your arrival. The extra energy you supplied was greatly appreciated and allowed the HAWKING to gain the upper hand, although we have no way to know how long this will last."

"Why is that?" Captain Iverson inquired. "Now that you have the upper hand, should you not be able to seal the breaches?"

"That is part of our problem as there appears to be something working against us from within our own vessel. We have not been able to detect anything, but we suspect that something used the outer hull breach to board the HAWKING and hinder our efforts to bring this situation to a close."

"Trans-dimensional beings with ship unable to be detected bent on reaching this one specific dimension over all others," Commander Valentine sighed looking at her Captain.

"Looks like the concerns and suspensions of the Admiral were correct," Selene nodded.

"We are dealing with the Lokustaar and by the sounds of things, there is one of them inside the HAWKING," Gemma added, sounding even less impressed than the two senior-most officers of the USS BASTET.

---
Setting: RELAY OUTPOST SIGMA 385, Guest Quarters
Stardate: 33113.2015

As an agent of the shadows, Mordana was tasked with keeping track of the progress of those she worked for. Her primary duty was to identify potential allies and relay information about any and all opposition they would encounter in the quest to gain a foothold in this dimension. From this small space station located in the middle of nowhere, she could coordinate the efforts of several regions at once.

Although Mordana was visibly alone in the unlit, shadow-filled room, she acted and spoke as if some unseen presence was there with her. Where many would have felt a sense of dreed or even fear, she felt perfectly at home, the cold darkness that surrounded her being the environment she felt most comfortable in.

"I am still waiting for a report from the HAWKING. All efforts to stop their interference has been unsuccessful and thanks to the arrival of the BASTET, it may prove that much more difficult for us to open a portal between the dimensions," the mysterious dark woman reported. "The only other worthy piece of information I have received is from the station in orbit of TAU OMEGA. It appears that we may be able to gain control of more resources from this dimension."

A reply which only Mordana could hear was given prompting the woman to continue.

"Of course, all efforts to gain control of the ship currently in orbit will be made. The orbital station is a good staging platform but the ANUBIS would prove to be a far more useful commodity for us to use. I will make sure that all efforts are made to secure it and its crew brought under our control as the personnel of the underground base were made to 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)
M06-P016: USS BASTET: Dean: Day 01 - 2030 ("First Danger")
“First Danger"
(Previous Post: (BAS) "A Better Understanding”)

Setting: USS BASTET, Dean's quarters
Stardate: 33113.2030

Ashton watched the girls playing on the floor and briefly debated his decision to bring them again. From what he gathered, the new threat was this Lokustaar race. **I want them to see their next birthday, preferably in this dimension and timeline,** he thought lovingly gazing onto his daughters. During the briefing, his concerns had multiplied faster than he could manage, and that led him to return to his quarters the moment the meeting with the envoy from the HAWKING had ended. There were so many things to think about, so many things to consider, and apparently, even more, to be fearful of.

Cordelia snapped him out of his thoughts and he spent the next hour playing with his girls before bedtime. After the longer than usual tuck-in he left Emily in charge and headed to the Mess Hall to see what he could find out about this new danger.

_____________________________________________________________________
Setting: USS BASTET, Deck 8, Mess Hall
Stardate: 33113.2130

Upon walking into the common area with a Spartan feel, Ashton saw Gemma nursing her dinner and thought she would be a good one to talk to about their situation. As the ship's ILO he figured that she would have the answers to his questions.

“Can I join you?”

“What?” She asked looking up distractedly. “Oh yeah I guess,” she said motioning to the seat.

“Thanks,” he said ignoring the tone. “I need to know about these Lokustaar you mentioned earlier. Who or what are they and how much danger are we in?”
_____________________________________________________________________
Leigh Rachal

Ensign Ashton Dean 
Chief Flight Control Officer
USS BASTET - NCC 74977
M06-P017: USS BASTET: Gemma: Day 01 - 2130 ("Shadow Contemplations")
=-=
"Shadow Contemplations"
[the previous post was (ANU) "Black Fear" / (BAS) "First Danger"]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Mess Hall
Stardate: 33113.2130

The moment the briefing ended, everyone rushed head first to work. Their goal was to help the HAWKING. At least that was the official statement that the Captain would claim. Gemma believed that for some, spending a little more time with Samson was the real goal of their efforts. Whatever their reason was though, it did not change anything. The Lokustaar were here and trying to get their claws into this dimension. That was the reason why she had come here, to gather her thoughts. The plate of food the ILO had replicated still sitting in front of her. The items on it having been moved around to the point of being nothing more than a single mess.

She knew little about this specific race, and then again so did everyone else. They were a mystery hiding in the shadows rarely making their presence known. Their primary objective seemed to be the creation of chaos by any means available. Admiral Koniki suspected that the Lokustaar were somehow involved in many political conflicts. The most notable being the rise to power of the head of the Neo-Essentialists, Richard Edgerton. A few clues were found to hint as to possible outside meddling in this unfortunate situation.  As hard as they searched through, nothing could link the race of walking shadows to what had taken place. Whoever was responsible the final result would be the same. Countless had died and EARTH had found itself plunged into darkness. Wherever such darkness was found, it was a sure bet that the shadows were not far behind.

"Can I join you?"

The question from Ensign Dean took Gemma by complete surprise. The one-word answer that immediately followed was proof enough of that.  "Oh yeah I guess," the ILO added motioning to the nearest vacant seat. Anywhere else in the universe, Anya would have jumped out to snap the man's neck. The Intel Operative was not one to take kindling to being startled. Some had made that mistake before and all had paid the price. Here though, on the BASTET, things needed to be different.

"Thanks," the FCO said ignoring the ILO's dismissive tone. "I need to know about these Lokustaar you mentioned earlier. Who or what are they and how much danger are we in?"

Gemma paused and looked directly at the man now sitting in front of her. Their eyes locked as the ILO wondered who would answer his question.Wimdalli could give him a complete physical explanation of what the Lokustaar were. The Uxali scientist had reviewed whatever little data was available on the race. After telling him about them being black, ugly arachnoid-like creatures though, she would have little else to offer. As a Nylaan commoner, Za'Ran could tell him about the stories and legends she had heard in her travels. As old as time itself, the Lokustaar were darkness given form. One world even claimed that when the universe was created two races were born. The first being one of prosperity and light, the other being one of pure evil and darkness. It wasn't difficult to figure out which of the two the race known as the Shadows fit. There was also Anya who could give her opinion on this race. Unlike the others who feared the idea of this race, the Russian assassin admired them. Being a race able to walk between shadows undetected, the Huntress felt a certain twinge of jealousy.

"*Who* are the Lokustaar?" Gemma asked herself aloud. The tone used indicated that the answers he sought would be more complicated than he could have imagined. "A dark and ancient race. From what we have been able to gather over the last several hundred years is this. They are ruthless, able to hide in the shadows without ever being seen. They spread chaos and death wherever they go. We have gathered that they are from another dimension and that they want to destroy this one. The only advantage we seem to have is that they are unable to just cross over and invade us. The fact that they are still trying though makes them determined and patient. Those are not good things to be paired. It means that they will wait for the right time to strike, and when they do, we will all know."

Ashton took a long, slow swallow. His initial concerns were confirmed and now he feared for his daughters even more. 

"*What* are the Lokustaar?" Gemma asked herself aloud, continuing her answer. "Death, chaos, confusion, anarchy, havoc, disorder. They are the eyes you feel looking at you from the shadows. They are the reason why the tiny hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. They are fear made real. A walking despair that forces those unfortunate enough to encounter them to confront their innermost demons. They are the monsters you tell your children about to make sure they stay in bed."

The expression on his face indicated that he had heard enough. As a Starfleet officer, the description had been more than sufficient to unsettle him. As a father, the feelings within him had grown to be ready to explode. How could he protect his little girls from these monsters? How could anyone oppose these dark beasts even if the ILO's description had been greatly exaggerated?

"How much danger are we in?" She continued. Most would have stopped upon seeing the expression on the man's face. Unfortunately, Gemma was not like most. Maybe Ema would have tried to find some religious parable to soften the blow. Finnja would have certainly tried to water down the reality of their situation. In the end though, it would not have changed anything. The Lokustaar were here, and likely a great deal closer than anyone would like them to be. "Darkness is where they dwell. The icy coldness of their soul calls forth whatever evil might be nearby. We are being dragged into a war that is older than the Human race. A war that for simplicity's sake is nothing more than light against dark, good against evil, life against death. The concept of danger is beneath what it is that we are facing here. When dealing with the Lokustaar, survival is our only objective. Not survival as individuals, but survival as a race, as a people, as living entities born from this dimension."

Stunned and speechless, Ashton stood and left Gemma to deal with her cold meal. The ILO could not say that she did not understand the man's reaction. In fact, she understood it all too well. The only difference was that she did not feel the dreed that he did. His connection to life was through his daughters unlike her. All of the individuals she called associates were just that, simple people with whom she had no emotional attachment to. This detachment was her strength as an ILO, but it also proved to be her weakness as a woman. A weakness that she never cared for, until now.

=-=
Rachel Jackie Johnson

Intel Operative
USS BASTET

[The fun is getting to wear multiple disguises and getting to explore multiple personalities and bring them to life. - Jenna Fischer]
M06-P018: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: Day 01 - 2130 ("No Problems")
"No Problems"
Previous posts: (ANU) "Reaching Out" & (BAS) "Shadow Contemplations"

///^\\\
Setting: USS HATHOR, Bridge
Stardate: 33113.2130

Thanks to the briefing given by the mechanical entity known as Samson, the crew of the BASTET had a much better idea of what they were dealing with. Now, all they needed to do was to continue feeding extra energy to the HAWKINGS, figure out a way to seal the dimensional breaches that surrounded that ship, and to find a way to confirm the presence of, and then accurately pinpoint the location a Lokustaar onboard the other vessel.

Aki sighed. "No problem."

"Feeling a little overwhelmed?" The new Ship's Counselor inquired, the Trill had easily noticed the Asian's slight bewilderment.

"Overwhelmed would be us just trying to help the HAWKING with their Lokustaar issue, but doing so while providing extra power and finding a way to deal with those nasty breaches in the fabric of space-time is something that is well beyond being overwhelmed," the CSciO explained with visible dismay. "We already had some dealings with those walking nightmares and the thought of actually trying to find one of them is not at all appealing. To make matters worse, I know first-hand just how difficult it is to get any sort of readings from them, actually I would qualify that more in the range of 'impossible'. That race has taken being invisible to a whole new level that would easily make the Romulans envious."

"Then, I would say that the HAWKING is in good hands," Nicole smiled, the Trill radiating a joy and confidence that actually took Aki by surprise.

"Didn't you hear me? The Lokustaar are as nasty as they get. Our sensors are unable to get any readings from them or their ships, so it is going to be next to impossible to help the HAWKING in confirming that they have an intruder, let along pinpoint their location." Aki seemed upset at Nicole's reaction. They were dealing with the Lokustarra here, a race bent on destroying whatever they set their beady glowing red eyes upon, so there was no logical reason to be joyful.

"I heard you perfectly," the Trill reassured, her smile not wavering. "You, on the other hand, are not hearing me. Thanks to your first-hand experience with the Lokustaar, not to mention your own dedication as a science officer, I believe that the HAWKINGS odds have greatly improved. As much as you consider the task to be one that is 'next to impossible', according to what Samson said, they considered it to be completely undoable prior to our arrival. By your own words, you are granting them a chance where as far as they were concerned none was."

"Nice spin on that, Counselor," Aki chuckled. The CSciO could not deny anything that the CNS had just said. Samson's account of the situation on board the HAWKING conveyed a lack of hope in their being able to address the possibility that they had an intruder on board while at the same time trying to keep the breaches from opening more than they had. With the arrival of the BASTET and the knowledge Aki had gathered on that particular race, the odds, as Nicole mentioned, had gone up. Not a great deal mind you, but they had moved from nothing to something.

"After dealing with other people's 'spinning' for a while, you learn a few tricks," Nic said adding a confident wink before moving on to see if there was anyone else who might require her services.

With all that said, Aki returned her attention to her station and the unenviable task of finding a Lokustaar. The Counselor's encouraging words had made the CSciO smile, but that was far from enough to make Mitshiba be happy about what she needed to do. After all, that they had endured on CAIT, and with what the crew had witnessed some 20,000 years in the past, the Asian woman had truly hoped to never have to deal with that particular race ever again. The universe it seemed had other plans.

"You can ask me anything you require."

Samson's offer took Aki by surprise, not having expected the mechanical man to be standing right there next to her as he was. After a few seconds of considering what she could ask of him, the Asian woman felt a certain warmth touching her cheeks. As much as she was a scientist, Misaki was also a woman and having such a tall and muscular man standing next to her declaring that she could ask of him anything she wished proved more than sufficient to make her blush.

"Is everything alright?"

"Everything is just fine," Aki replied, rapidly studying the man's Olympian physique. As a scientist, she was in awe of the way he appeared so perfectly human, and as a woman, she was in admiration of the perfection of his appearance. "I was just wondering why you are the way you are. I mean, as an android, you would have been given any form, so why this particular one?" Mitshiba said then paused for a second before adding one last thought. "Not that I am complaining." As soon as those words were spoken, she felt a certain heat coming from her cheeks, which she quickly tried to hide.

"My primary function is to assist the crew of the HAWKING in whatever way they need, which can include physical tasks requiring a level of strength beyond their own ability to perform. My secondary function is to be part of the security detail of the ship. My ability to continue operating even when the away team is incapacitated is considered a good way to avoid the escalation of any potential conflict."

"I was under the impression from what you said that the Galactic Commonwealth was founded on the principles of science and peace," Aki ventured. "Would having a member of a security force with an appearance as formidable as yours not give an impression that is opposite to these ideas?"

"My physical size is required by the components that make up the operating system based on the functions that I am meant to perform. Although my appearance may be formidable as you have described it to be, my programming is specifically set for gathering and processing scientific data and protect the peace at all cost, including that of my own existence."

"In this dimension, many would consider you to be a false idol, showing such power and yet dedicating your every effort to science and peace," the CSciO said, finding herself more in admiration of the mechanical man then she was mere seconds before.

"I hope that it is not the way you consider me to be," Samson said making Aki wonder if he was actually capable of experiencing emotions and feelings. With the Galactic Commonwealth clearly possessing technology superior to their own, such a possibility was well within their reach.

"You have nothing to fear Samson," Aki smiled, the redness of her cheeks persisting. "I am sure that there is not a single woman on board the BASTET that would think of you as being anything less than perfect. At least I know I am. Now, before this discussion takes us too far from our work, I need you to help me with trying to find a way to scan the HAWKING to help them confirm that they have an intruder on board."

Clearly not burdened by emotions, a fact that would delight any Vulcan, Samson offered a pleasant smile to the Asian woman and stood ready to help in whatever way she would require of him.  All that Aki had to do now was to keep her mind focused on the task at hand and not think of ways to test the extent of the mechanical man's ability to act and behave as a living humanoid.

///^\\\
Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Misaki Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Chief Science Officer
USS BASTET - NCC 74977
M06-P019: USS BASTET: Dima: Day 1 - 2140: ("The First and the Last")
“The First and the Last”
[Previous posts: (ANU) "Living Darkness" / (BAS) "No Problems"]

=/\=

Setting: USS BASTET, Mess Hall→ Corridor
Stardate: 33113.2140

While assisting the HAWKING and Samson, the dimensional ship’s liaison, was in the forefront of her mind, after she reassured Aki that they had the knowledge and tools necessary to improve their odds against the Lokustaar, Nicole realized she hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast, and decided to correct that situation. She’d almost finished her grilled chicken and spinach salad when she looked up and noticed Gemma had been speaking to the new FCO, Ensign Dean. 

Gemma had been operating as a solitary officer for so long in the field, Nicole didn’t expect to see her interacting openly with another member of the crew in a casual setting, but the Counselor’s hope faded as she saw Dean leave the table abruptly, the look on his face indicating things had not gone well. 

She wasted no time in turning her tray into the reclamation unit and following him. It took her a few quick steps to catch up to the taller man. “Ensign Dean?”

He turned to face her. His expression was apprehensive. “Counselor,” he acknowledged quietly. 

“Are you alright?”

“The Lieutenant was filling me in on the finer points of the Lokustaar.” He seemed to be trying to shake off the imagery Gemma had introduced to his mind. 

Nic’s impish face registered understanding and empathy. It wasn’t that long ago that she had learned of the ruthless race. “I see.”

“Do you agree with her?” he asked, thinking of Cordelia and Tristan.

“I’m not entirely sure of her viewpoint, but judging by your exchange there might have been other ways to explain them, but they are unlike any enemy that has ever been faced, of those we are aware of. I would imagine her description was a completely unvarnished view of them.”

Dean nodded. “And you’re not afraid?”

“I’m afraid, I would imagine we’re all afraid,” Dima asserted, “but the extent that it molds our behavior, that is very different. But I’d rather be aware of an aggressor and have the opportunity to try and stop them instead of losing my life to some sneak attack or unknown quantity. We are the first and the last.”

“The first and the last what?”

“Line of defense. Most of the fleet isn’t even aware of our existence, much less that of the creatures of the shadows. If Koniki’s New Alexandria didn’t exist, I’m not sure we’d still be here having this conversation- we might have been decimated by the Lokustaar years ago.”

“Is that supposed to be reassuring?”

“I’m merely introducing the idea that we could be in a much worse situation than we are currently in. We cannot change what we do not recognize as a problem. The Lokustaar knocking on the door of our universe is a problem. However, it is one we are uniquely equipped to work at stopping.”

His face softened, but still registered a greatly heightened concern. “I’m going to check on my children. Good evening, Counselor.”

“Take care,” was all she could say as the young father of two walked away.


=/\=

Setting: Sickbay

The normally adept blonde woman looked puzzled. It was the second full diagnostic that Sofia had run on the equipment that had been used to check Lieutenant Gemma out earlier, and there was no trace of any problem. But that did not change what she had seen for a split second- the readings of a Dinaali woman. 

“Penny for your thoughts,” Nicole said as she greeted the CMO. 

Doctor Andersson considered the offer with mock seriousness. “There’s a lot going on- at least worth a bar of gold-pressed latinum.”

“I agree. It feels like everyone is on edge- then there’s Gemma.”

“What about her?”

“Nothing. She’s unflappable- calm, cool and collected. She even took a moment out of her busy schedule to explain the Lokustaar to Ensign Dean.”

Sofia winced. “How did that go?” she asked, already suspecting the answer. 

“Not as well as I would have hoped,” Nic admitted. “We’ve had some time to adjust. Ensign Dean hasn’t. And he has a family to be worried about.”

“Do you think she’s hiding something?” Sofia asked, bringing the discussion back to Gemma as she and Nicole went into the Doctor’s office.

“All ILO’s are hiding something,” Nicole countered, looking thoughtful. “But I’m not convinced as to whether or not it’s important to the crew and the mission.”

“And what if it is?”

Nicole sat down with a freshly replicated cup of tea. “Then the Captain would be the first with a right to know, and not necessarily the rest of us.”

“Is that why you came to visit?” They were both curious as to the large swaths of Gemma’s history that they didn’t know about.

Nic shook her head. “Actually, no. I was thinking about the Lokustaar, trying to help Samson and maybe ourselves in the process.”

“In what way?”

To infiltrate other dimensions, they require humanoid assistance, do they not? Either willing or coerced?”

Sofia nodded. “Yes, as I understand it.”

“Is it known if these techniques the Lokustaar use to recruit their minions cause biological or physiological changes to the body of the affected? Samson has a strong reason to suspect they have a sympathizer aboard the HAWKING.”

The Doctor appeared to be following Nicole’s line of thought very well. “And if we could help detect that, then we would be able to use the same technology to look for any others.” Sofia didn’t like the idea that ‘agents of the shadows’ could be anywhere, but it was true. 

Nicole ran a hand through her cropped dark brown hair. “I know it’s a longshot, but…” the joined Trill had an unsure look in her eyes.

Sofia set aside the issue with Gemma and her scan and threw her support to the idea. “It’s worth pursuing, we can research while they’re working on resolving the breach issue.” 

=/\=
Susan Ledbetter
Writing for

Cns
USS BASTET
M06-P020: USS BASTET: Valentine: Day 01 - 2150 ("Unexpected Surprise")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Unexpected Surprise"
[previous post ((ANU) "More Tests" / (BAS) "The First and The Last")]

Setting:  USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 33113.2150

This game of trans-dimensional chess they had been dragged into had been brought to a standstill thanks to the intervention of the BASTET. With the extra energy being supplied to the HAWKING, the Galactic Commonwealth vessel was able to keep the rifts from opening any more than they already had while maintaining its position. It was a fair assumption that the Lokustaar were trying to regain the advantage by any means possible but with the help of Samson, the hopes were running high that it would be those on this side who would tip the balance in their favor.  In order to do that though, they first needed to confirm the presence of a Lokustaar agent on board the HAWKING, a task that was by no means easy.

"Helm, what is our status?" Sarena inquired. As the Executive Officer, it was her responsibility to coordinate all aspect of their mission and to stay on top of potential issues, this if at all possible before they happened.

"Holding position, as is the HAWKING," the aFCO reported having taken over the station following Ensign Dean's departure. Valentine would have preferred seeing Ashton at his post but she understood his need to be with his family. Of course, this meant that she would need to speak with him at some point to impress upon him the requirements of his chosen field of work. As much as Starfleet supported officers having families, not every vessel in the fleet could be considered a safe environment for such, and the BASTET thanks to its mission profile definitively fell into that category.

"The energy transfer is proceeding as planned Commander," Lt. Mitshiba chimed in with expecting that te next question would be directed at her. "We are still trying to open some sort of communications channel with the HAWKING but so far no luck. I am not even certain that we would be able to send Samson back if we wanted to, the technology used to send him here is, as much as I hate t admit it, beyond what I could figure out in the limited time we have. Give me a few weeks, maybe a month, and I could replicate the process, but right now my focus is on trying to confirm that they have an intruder on board."

"We have had a fair amount of dealing with the Lokustaar, surely there is something we learned during those that could help us," Selene added, the Captain voicing her frustration at their inability to do what should have been a simple task.

"Had we been dealing with any other race, things would have been a great deal easier," Misaki offered. "What we do know about the Lokustar and their technology is that they are both meant to remain unseen and undetected. It is no coincidence that they are referred to as 'Shadows' by every other race who have dealt with them in one way or another. We actually know very little on them, but it is not hard to figure out that it's the way they like it."

"They operate from the sidelines," Sarena sighed in disgust. "They prefer to have others do their dirty work, only showing themselves when they absolutely have to. This makes them even more dangerous as you are never certain as to where they are or how heavily involved they may be in any situation. Everything about them is a blind guessing game that leaves us at a clear disadvantage."

"We need to fix that," Iverson firmly stated. "We need to apply what we learned on CAIT to put an end to this threat once and for all."

"An admirable thought Captain but based on what we did learn on CAIT, stopping the Lokustaar is not going to be simple, if actually possible. The battle that raged some 20,000 years ago showed that it takes a lot to even oppose them, let alone defeat them, and by the looks of things they have a lot more patience then we have. They could just as easily retreat for a few hundred years and try again when the memory of their latest attempts have faded into the back pages of history."

"Remind me never to ask you to give a motivational speech to the crew," Selene huffed. As much as she might not have liked what her Executive Officer had to say, Iverson had to agree that Valentine was right. Fighting an opponent they knew so little about and which remained hidden in the shadows would prove to be exceptionally difficult at best, but yet they had to try and gather as many allies as they could along the way.

"What if we took a shuttle over to the HAWKING?" Sarena suggested.

"With all due respect Commander, that would be suicidal," Mitshiba gasped. "The gravitational eddies from those dimensional rifts, not to mention the polarization effect of the energy beams being used to keep them from opening makes flying a shuttle to the HAWKING nearly impossible. Granted the beams are anchored, so there is no risk of them suddenly shifting and landing in the flight path of the shuttle, but keeping the shuttle steady is not going to be easy."

"Then I'd better have a skilled pilot at the helm," the Executive Officer said turning to look directly at the Captain. "You said it yourself, we need to fix this and we can only do that by getting involved no matter what obstacles get in our way. The HAWKING needs our help and above and beyond our supply it with extra power."

"You have made your point Commander," Selene relinquished. "Assemble your team."

"Lt. Mitshiba, I believe that your skills and knowledge on the Lokustaar will come in handy," Sarena said, pointing to the Asian scientist who smiled and nodded her head. "Valentine to Ensign Dean," the Executive Officer continued after having tapped her communicator.

=/\= Dean here, go ahead Commander. =/\=

"Report to shuttle bay 1, your piloting skills are required."

=/\= Understood. =/\= The reply received lacked the enthusiasm that the Executive Officer had hoped to hear but given the circumstances, she understood his unvoiced objection.

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

Executive Officer
USS BASTET, NCC 74977
M06-P021: USS BASTET: Dean: Day 01 - 2155 ("Contemplation")
“Contemplation”
[Previous post (BAS) “The First and the Last”, (BAS) “Unexpected Surprise”]

Setting: USS BASTET, Dean Quarters
Stardate: 33113.2155

Ashton left the counselor in the hall and returned to his quarters. His mind was racing with the new information the ILO gave him. The Lokustaar were the worst of the worst making the Borg seem like the perfect babysitters. “What have I done,” looking at the sleeping girls cuddled together in their bed. “That bitch,” referring to their mother. “Not only did she leave them she put them in grave danger.” Sitting on the edge of the sofa he continued, “There is no one to leave them with and I want to be in their life. If the Lokustaar do invade there is no place they will be safe so at least here they are with me and we will go together.” Standing, he looked back at them once before heading to the bridge. “Right here is where you belong,” his words said he was resolved to his decision, but his tone gave away his underlying doubt that remained. 

(From “Unexpected Surprise")

=/\= Valentine to Ensign Dean, =/\= the Executive Officer continued after having tapped her communicator.

"Dean here, go ahead Commander."

=/\= Report to shuttle bay 1, your piloting skills are required. =/\=

"Understood."

(Mine)

Ashton nodded to the nanny and left his quarters still uneasy with his decision, but determined to get past his trepidation. 

*****
Setting: USS BASTET, Shuttle Bay 1 -> Shuttle TITAN
Stardate: 33113.2210

Dean entered the shuttle bay with Lt. Mitshiba close behind. He saw Valentine and Sampson waiting by the shuttle TITAN’s entrance. “Let’s get the shuttle ready to launch. I’ll fill you in on the mission on board,” Valentine ordered.

“Yes sir,” he replied entering the shuttle and taking his sear in the pilots chair. He powered the engines, checked the systems, “Where to sir?” 

“We are taking Sampson back to the HAWKING. You will have to guide the shuttle through all the beams keeping the rifts closed. I am confident you can manage.”

“Yes sir. Always up for a challenge,” he smiled turning back to the console and inputting his flight plan. **This is going to be a manual challenge, but a flight plan is still required and a good practice so the ship knows where you are going in the event something goes awry,** he thought. 

"Shuttle TITAN to Bridge."

=/\= Go ahead, =/\= Selene replied.

"Ready to depart," Ashton responded.

=/\= Proceed. God’s speed. =/\=

Carefully Ashton piloted the ship out the shuttle bay making a sharp left toward the HAWKING. He had to thread the needle between two close beams. The ship shuddered as gravitaion from the beams pulled the shuttle in all directions. The engines strained as he pushed them harder to stay free. Once they moved past the first beams he had to make a turn away from he HAWKING to go around on directly in his path. “Slamming on the breaks” so to speak to avoid one directly ahead, he turned toward the HAWKING as he passed the last beam and lined up for his approach to the HAWKING. 

“Sampson, do they respond to regular transmissions?”

“I have already contacted them just maintain course and they will do the rest,” the machine replied. 

As the slowed and neared the HAWKING he dematerialized the same as he arrived on the bridge earlier. 

“Okay,” Ashton said surprised and impressed.

"TITAN to BASTET Package delivered."

=/\= Understood. Return to the ship. BASTET out. =/\=

Ashton turned the shuttle around and headed back the way he came. This time it was bumpier. “What’s the problem Dean?” Valentine asked. 

Checking his systems, “The hull is ionized from the beams and attracting energy. It’s like lightening bolts coming off the beams and hitting the shuttle. If we stay here much longer the systems will be overloaded.” 

Lt. Mitshiba began routing power to the shields to buy some time for Ashton to get them back to the ship. A pannel near her sparked and Ashton fought to stear the shuttle back to the ship. 

****************************************
Leigh Rachal

Ens Ashton Dean
FCO, USS BASTET
M06-P022: USS BASTET: Valentine: Day 01 - 2220 ("Change of Plan")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Change of Plan"
[previous post ((ANU) "More Tests" / (BAS) "Contemplation")]

Setting:  Shuttle TITAN, Flight deck
Stardate: 33113.2220

"Commander, I'm confused," Misaki said in an exasperated fashion as she worked on increasing the TITAN's shield strength to counter the effect of the energy discharges from the confinement beams coming from the HAWKING

The statement made by the CSciO caused the Executive Officer to smile, a reaction that further puzzled the Asian woman. In all honesty, Sarena had expected something along those lines following the change of plans. As far as she was concerned, the shuttle had for mission to bring the away team to the other ship since using any sort of transporter system would have been far too dangerous. Never had it been mentioned, or considered, to take a shuttle to allow Samson to return to his vessel and crew. As Valentine looked back at the confused Mitshiba, the smile grew threatening to slip the woman's face.  "Just wait, it gets better. Ensign, how are we doing on our cloaked approach to the HAWKING?"

"I will admit that Samson is good. I was not expecting these discharges to happen quite as quickly as they did or be as powerful as they are," the FCO replied, his struggle to keep the shuttle from being hit as it flew back to the BASTET being as real as it could be.

"Samson is causing this? Why?" Misaki asked, the CSciO appearing as if the universe itself had suddenly turned upside down.

"I am sorry that I did not have the time to brief you on the details of this part of our mission," Sarena apologized. "We were short on time to make this happen in order to make it appear as convincing as possible. Let me explain," the Executive Officer said, making sure that Ashton was in full control of the situation first. "Following your work with Samson on finding a way to confirm the presence of an intruder on board the HAWKING, a plan was devised by the Captain and me. It was believed that an unexpected event, one that would be traumatic enough for all parties involved, could bring the intruder out of hiding in the hopes of taking advantage of the situation."

"You were concerned that the Lokustaar might have a way to be clued in on this new plan of yours, so you decided to keep it a secret," Misaki said, the CSciO proving that her mind was as sharp as ever. "You believe that the perceived destruction of this shuttle would offer an opportunity that the intruder could not ignore."

"In a nutshell, yes, that was the plan," Sarena admitted.

"If it makes you feel better, I didn’t know about this either until I reviewed the flight plan," Ashton said looking at Misaki, then turning to look straight at Sarena, the FCO continued. "Just for the record, the plan was to make it *seem* like the shuttle was being destroyed, not to actually turn it into scrap metal, right?" Lt. Dean asked as he forced the craft into a sharp right turn to avoid another energy discharge.

"The sensors on board the HAWKING are as good if not better than our own," Commander Valentine pointed out. "We have to make sure that this little trickery of ours is believable."

"A couple more direct hit like that last one and we won't have to pretend that we have been destroyed. If I didn't know better, I would swear that Samson is actually trying to kill us," the FCO unhappily argued, working hard to keep the small ship in one piece through the storm it was flying through.

"It would go against Samson's core programming to even try to kill anyone," Lt. Mitshiba stated. "Also, keep in mind that there is no way for him to control the frequency or vectors of these energy discharges. He just made them possible; the rest is entirely up to us. You also have to keep in mind that the hull could never be polarized sufficiently to hide the shuttle from sensors if those discharges did not actually hit us."

"Well, they don't have to hit us as hard as they are," Ashton noted once again as the TITAN was sent into a roll to avoid another direct hit.

"We need to suffer one massive direct impact to make it plausible that we were destroyed and the shuttle vaporized, so you need to be a little less *good* with your flying," Sarena pointed out.

"Sorry Commander, doing everything I can to stay alive is a hard habit to break," the FCO dryly chuckled before the small ship was struck by a powerful discharge causing another panel to explode in a shower of sparks.  "Speaking of which, I think that last shot did it, but we have to act quickly. The polarization of the hull is not going to last, nor do I think the hull is going to be able to withstand another similar hit," the FCO reported.

"Bring us in under the HAWKING," the Executive Officer ordered. "When speaking with Samson, he explained that the strongest sensor arrays are set on the ship's outer most edge, the closer we get to being underneath her, the less likely we are to be detected once the polarization wears off."

"I would suggest that we target the aft middle section. The sensor data Samson shared with us did show a lack of data coming from that region around the ship," Misaki added, giving Dean a clearer target for him to aim for.

"You heard her, make it happen," the Executive Officer ordered.

"Will do, but again Commander, and with all due respect, it's easier said than done."

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] 
Setting:  Space, distant view of the HAWKING
Stardate: 33113.2230

The trans-dimensional vessel appeared to be held in place by the brightly glowing energy beams, anchoring the visiting ship to the numerous small tears in the fabric of space-time that surrounded it. Through this abstract modern painting, a small craft could barely be seen weaving through the lines of energy and the discharges coming from them.

Even to the trained eyes of the Captain of the USS BASTET, the silhouette of the TITAN vanished in and out from sight until it completely disappeared beneath the hull of the HAWKING. As much as Selene wanted to try to contact the shuttle, she knew that the interference of the beams made any sort of communication with the away team impossible. Like it or not, they were on their own without any way for their shipmates to now if they had succeeded in reaching their objective.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] 
Setting:  USS HAWKING, Aft Ventral Emergency Hatch
Stardate: 33113.2245

With the TITAN magnetically secured to the belly of the HAWKING, the away team was able to gain access to the ship thanks to the information provided to them by Samson.

"I hope that he managed to deactivate the internal alarms and sensors, or our little surprise visit is not going to be that much of a surprise," Ashton pointed out as he pulled himself up before turning around and offering a helping hand to Misaki and Sarena shortly after.

"Part of the plan is that our presence here is unknown to everyone with the exception of Samson. This way we have a better chance of catching the intruder red-handed," the Executive Officer explained.

"What do we do now?" Lt. Mitshiba asked, her eyes darting all over the small emergency access tunnel they had found themselves in.

"You are our resident experts on the Lokustaar," Valentine pointed out. "We follow your lead."

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

Executive Officer
USS BASTET, NCC 74977
M06-P023: USS BASTET: Gemma: Day 01 - 2245 ("Sneaky Ways")
=-=
"Sneaky Ways"
[the previous post was (ANU) "Head Games" / (BAS) "Change of Plan"]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 33113.2245

Life as an Intel operative was not easy. Gemma knew this first hand. Unlike the rest of the world, they needed to sneak around to perform their required tasks. Success was measured not only by completion but by the lack of people knowing that it had even happened. While most dealt with their daily routine, they were out here fighting shadows on their own terms.

Gemma scanned her instruments thinking of Darla. The Varro pilot could have easily flown the shuttle through the maze of energy beams surrounding the HAWKING. The woman was an expert in such things and had done much worse many times before. The ILO would have preferred to see her there instead of Ashton. The chances of reaching the other ship without being detected would have been much greater. Still, the FCO had managed quite well, at least from what they could see. More accurately, from what they could not see. "Still no sign of the TITAN. Sensors are not picking up any metallic debris or highly polarized mass. It looks like they have made it."

"I really don't like having to do this. As much as sneaking around is part of our job description. It would have been nice not to have to do this to new allies. Let's just hope that it was worth it."

Gemma looked at the Captain with puzzled admiration. The ILO saw many similarities between the two of them. A career Intel officer, Iverson was pragmatic, almost cold in her actions and words. She made decisions based on the mission's objectives and not her feelings. She had agreed to risk the lives of her people for the sake of their mission. That made her, in Gemma's eyes, the perfect Commanding Officer of an Intel vessel such as the BASTET.

"You seem to be deep in thoughts." Counselor Dima said after she zeroed in on the ILO immediately after stepping onto the bridge. "Are you worried about the away team?" As the Ship's Counselor, Nicole wanted to get a better idea of who Gemma was. The woman was a mystery and her personnel file gave no indications in that aspect. As far as official records were concerned, the woman was no one. Looking at the Intel agent, Nic could not agree with that conclusion.

"Not really."

The answer provided by Gemma in no way helped Nicole to get a better idea of the woman's character. Had she meant that she had not been concerned or that the thought had not even crossed her mind? Figuring out the ILO would prove to be a challenge all on its own. Dima also understood that it would not happen overnight. Just standing next to her, the Counselor could tell that the mystery the woman was extended onto many levels.

"What did you think of Samson?" Nicole thought that by changing the subject she might have better luck. The android from the HAWKING had been the center of discussion since his arrival. Everyone had an opinion about him, his role, his abilities and certain his appearance. Maybe this would be a good way to see how the ILO thought. Had she seen him as a friendly, attractive man or as a threat to the ship and its crew?

"He is a very interesting creation. I would have enjoyed speaking to him longer to better understand what he was beyond the mechanics." As much as the reply took Nicole by surprise, it was the voice that most shocked her. For a brief moment, it sounded as if someone else had spoken those words. The answer given hinted to Gemma having a love of science that the Counselor would not have associated with the woman. If that was not strange enough, Dima thought for a moment that the ILO had looked different. Her curly brown hair had seemed to be straight for a split second. By the time she turned to looking fully onto the woman though, everything seemed as it should be.

Dismissing what she thought she had seen, Counselor Dima pressed on for more information. "So you found him to be interesting?"


"Interesting would not be the word I would have used to describe him. His appearance was a blatant attempt to make him more appealing to humanoid females. To me, that was a sneaky way of trying to gain an advantage that was not necessary." Nicole studied the woman, certain that it was someone else speaking. The two statements almost contradicted each other. This could mean only one of two things. Ether Gemma was not sure what she thoughts about the android, or she suffered from a split personality.


Using all available information, Nic decided to go with undecided. Trying to understand an Intel agent was going to be hard enough. To try and understand an ILO with a split personality would be in the range of impossible.


"Something amusing you Counselor?" Gemma had noticed a faint smile forming on the Thrill's lips. Small enough not to be noticed by others, but more than visible to the ILO's homed skills of observation.


"Just trying to understand you." Pure and direct honesty was the best way to tackle this matter. Trying to be sneaky against Gemma could only lead to trouble. Whatever Nicole did not know about the woman she knew at least one thing above all others. The woman was good in what she did, that had been proven more than once. To challenge her in her own domain would be nothing short of foolish. "Please do not take offense at my words. As a ship's Counselor, it is my duty to understand others. This permits me to be more effective in my efforts to help when my services are required."

"Then, I apologize." 

Again, Gemma's reply was short and could be interpreted in a multitude of ways. Had she meant to apologize for making the Counselor's task difficult or was it something else? Could the ILO have offered her regrets because from this moment on her quest for klnowledge would be denied? Was she apologizing for something else? Some yet to come that would directly affect the Trill? For a moment, Nic found herself worried about the significance of this strange apology.

"Captain!" Gemma suddenly said. "Sensors are detecting another breach opening. This one appears to be of much greater magnitude than the others are. If this is the work of the Lokustaar, they are making a show of force with their latest attempt. Even with our supplying additional power to the HAWKING, I fear that it may no longer be sufficient. We will need to find another way to assist them in containing these dimensional openings. If I may make a suggestion? We might be forced to use the temporal drive to help stabilize this region of space. At the very least it would provide us with more time to figure out a better way to address this latest development."

Nicole watched as the ILO performed to the highest possible standard once again. No matter what position Gemma held, she seemed to know exactly what to do. That particular skill further added to the mystery that the woman was. That mystery proved to be something the Counselor hoped she would one day break.

=-=
Rachel Jackie Johnson

Intel Operative
USS BASTET

[The fun is getting to wear multiple disguises and getting to explore multiple personalities and bring them to life. - Jenna Fischer]
M06-P024: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: Day 01 - 2250 ("Unwelcome Visitors")
"Unwelcome Visitors"
Previous posts: (ANU) "Head Games" & (BAS) "Sneaky Ways"

///^\\\
Setting: USS HAWKING,  Aft Ventral Emergency Hatch
Stardate: 33113.2250

From the moment she had laid eyes on the HAWKING, Aki wanted to board it and see what kind of amazing technology it possessed. Being a transdimensional vessel from a culture that closely followed the evolution of the Federation, the Asian woman was curious to see just how close the parallels would be. Since the general outside appearance of the ship resembled that of most Federation vessel, the CSciO suspected that the similarities would be numerous and likely extensive. When Samson beamed over to the BASTET though, the possibilities of there also being countless differences had been made a certainty.

Aki easily imagined her investigation of the ship extending from bow to stern, leaving no decks or corner unchecked, but she knew that the odds of being able to do this were small. So to actually be on board the HAWKING was a happy surprise, although Aki would have preferred to be on one of the primary decks inside of crawling about the emergency access corridors. It didn't help that these small, restrictive hallways were dark and unwelcoming.

A faint jolt halted the infiltration's team progress as they tried to figure out what had just happened.  Aki quickly reached for her tricorder but thanks to their current location there was little she could say.  "I am detecting a shift in the power allocation, but there is no way for me to tell you why. Although the technology of the Galactic Commonwealth may appear to be similar to our own, there is no way for me to interface this device with their system without a direct access to one of their computer consoles."

"Not going to happen," Commander Valentine said. "For our mission to have a chance to be successful our presence here must remain secret. Samson, being a machine should be able to hide that knowledge from the others, but if anyone else should find out of our presence here, it could send their intruder even deeper into hiding making it impossible for anyone to find them. We have to do the best we can with what we have."

"Could that jolt have been caused by the TITAN breaking free from the HAWKING?" Ashton inquired, not liking the idea that their only way to escape might have been taken away from them.

"Highly unlikely," Aki reassured. "Although the jolt would have been similar, we would have heard a lot more than we did, not to mention the possible sudden decompression as the seal between the shuttle and this ship was compromised. No, it is far more likely that something else happened to force the crew to divert power to other areas."

"As bad as this may sound, the crew of the HAWKING being occupied with something new may give us the advantage we need," the First Officer offered. "While they are busy, the intruder may see this as an opportunity to further undermine their position giving us the opportunity to catch them in the action, thus confirming their presence and intent on board. If we are lucky, we might even be able to capture them for interrogation."

"This is a big ship Commander," Lt. Mitshiba pointed out. "Even if we had access to the main areas and corridors, it would be a massive stroke of luck to find the intruder."

"There is an additional problem," Ensign Dean added. "We have no way to recognize the intruder should we actually encounter him. They could be dressed as a member of this crew allowing them to move about without drawing too much attention."

"It is a possibility," Aki conceded. "Based on what we know of the Lokustaar it is possible that they have enlisted the assistance of someone who is already a member of this crew. The only argument I can offer to go against that possibility is this: the Galactic Commonwealth was built on a foundation of order and peace while the Lokustaar embraces chaos and war. As good as a sleeper agent would be, they would still run the chance of sticking out and be noticed long before they would be able to act. As much as I hate to admit it, it is more likely that the intruder we are searching for is an actual member of this shadow race."

"Why is it that I find that possibility to be a less than pleasant one?" Ashton gulp, liking being in the underbelly of the HAWKING even less now.

"Because it is not a pleasant thought Ensign," the Commander confirmed in a gloomy tone. "We have dealt with this race before, and as little as we do know about them, we know enough to understand that things will only get worse before they get better. That is if they ever do. I do not expect them to have so easily forgotten what happened on CAIT, meaning that they will be that much more determined to succeed this time around."

Following such a motivating speech, the three officers found themselves just sitting, thinking about what they needed to do and the possible futility of it all. As great of a victory as it would be to expose the intruder on board the HAWKING, if there was indeed one, it would be but a small win in a war that appeared to be heading there way like a giant tidal wave.

Having noticed an odd spike of energy on her tricorder, Aki tapped her Commander's shoulder and showed her the strange reading before pointing in the direction from which it had originated from.  After motioning for everyone to keep up, Valentine headed in the indicated direction as quickly as possible thinking that this might be the break they had all been hoping for.

"I just hope that this ship doesn't have any automated defense system against any unwelcomed visitor," Ashton whispered to Aki who was ahead of him.

"If there are, the intruder would have already disabled them to ensure safe passage from one section of the ship to the next without being detected. Of course, that is if the automated defense system were actually able to detect them. Since we are going under the assumption that we are dealing with an actual Lokustaar, a race able to hide not only from sight but also to remain invisible to sensors, there would not be any need to disable any of the internal protection systems in place."

Ashton rolled his eyes. "Between the Commander's less than encouraging words and your bleak assessment of our situation, I am surprised that we are still moving forward instead of running as fast as we can away from this place."

"That appears to be part of the Lokustaar's modus operandi," Aki explained, keeping her voice as quiet as possible. "Fear is their weapon of choice. With it, they can control and demoralize any adversary making their task that much easier. It also allows them to triage those people and species that require their attention and possibly even their direct intervention."

Commander Valentine stopped and glanced over her shoulder at the two officers following her. "It is because of that possibility that we are here. The members of the Galactic Commonwealth have proven, just with our limited interaction, that they are a powerful force opposing the Lokustaar. That should be enough to warrant a more direct involvement which we hope to unmask and by the same token find a way to expose more similar agents both in their fleet and ours."

"At least the goal is worthy, even if the odds of success are limited," Ashton shrugged. Small odds were better than none he thought.

"Then we'd better get moving. If these power spikes are caused by something outside of the HAWKING, the intruder is likely going to try and cash in on the opportunity to destabilize the ship and make it impossible to keep those breaches in the fabric of space-time from opening any further than they are," Aki said, trying to sound cheerful and optimistic.

"I must be crazy to follow," Ashton signed. "But I have to think of my girls, so whatever I have to do to ensure their safety will be done, no matter the danger or the odds."

"That's the spirit," Mitshiba said with a smile before tapping the Ensign on the shoulder. Seconds later the unwelcomed away team resumed their course in search of the intruder and possibly a way to make sure no others would be able to get in their way of protecting everyone from the Shadows.

///^\\\
Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Misaki Mitshiba
Chief Science Officer
USS BASTET - NCC 74977
M06-P025: USS BASTET: Dean: Day 01 - 2300 ("Through The Rabbit Hole")
“Through the Rabbit Hole”
(Previous post "Unwelcome Visitors”)

Setting: USS HAWKING
Stardate: 33113.2300

Ashton followed the others bringing up the rear. His phaser at the ready set up max stun. **I don’t know if it will be effective, but you can never be too careful,** he thought. The passageway darkened as they moved farther from their entry port. Unlike Federation ships the walls where smooth and blank. He could only assume the access panels are activated by motion from recognized beings like Sampson. This could work to their advantage if the Lokustaar were distracted trying to penetrate this security. As they moved along, Ashton remembered the caves he explored as a child on various worlds on which his father had been posted. After a while he could navigate in the dark by sound and the feel of the wind. Maybe this skill would be valuable on this mission. He relaxed as he walked and focused his hearing on the sound Mitshiba and Valentine made as they walked. Once he committed that to memory it would be easier to differentiate them from others in their path. He could feel a slight breeze from a ventilation system of some sort which dawned on him was odd considering the crew of the HAWKING is artificial and didn’t require oxygen. 

“Commander? I just realized, why is there an atmosphere on the ship if the crew doesn’t breathe? Is this just for us or is it their regular environment?” 

Valentine didn’t respond immediately and Ashton took that to mean either she didn’t know or did and could not divulge the information to the others at this time. 

___________________________________________________
Setting: Caves of Xadra 4
Stardate: 20 yrs earlier

Ashton threw stones ahead as he walked the well worn path through the woods. The stones made thuds of tree trunks and larger rocks on the path until on kept going fading away. Curious, he moved closer and threw another with the same result. He dropped the handful of stones and moved to the pile of undergrowth to investigate. Moving it aside he discovered a small entrance to a cave. Getting down on all fours he wiggled into the cave with the curiosity of youth and the fearless of the unknown only 10 year old boys enjoy not thinking of the danger that may lay in the darkness ahead. He took one, two steps and the rock he chose gave way sending him sliding down a dark bumpy passageway. He landed at the bottom with a thud and splash having discovered and underground spring. 

He tore a piece of his ripped shirt and dipped it in the water to dab the grit from his skinned elbows and the rip in his pants just below his right cheek. It stung good, but the pain was worth the adventure. Ashton looked around and marveled at his discovery. In the far corner he found faint paintings on the wall that had to be centuries old. “I wonder who made these and what they were like. Maybe they were great warriors,” he said taking a fighting position. Before he could explore further his communicator chimed. “Ashton where are you? We’re about to have dinner,” his mothers voice echoed through the cave. 

“Oh. I’m hiking. I’m heading back now.”

“Make it quick we have guests coming.”
 
“Ok,” he responded ending the transmission quickly. “Dang I forgot.” He looked up the passage he slid down earlier formulating a plan of escape. He braced his arms and legs on either side of the passage spider like and climbed up the passage until he reached the top where he used a vine to pull himself out of the hole. Quickly he covered his secret cave and made a inconspicuous rock marker to find it later. Then he realized what he looked like, “Man I’m gonna get it when I get back. I look like a pig.”

___________________________________________________
Leigh Rachal
Ensign Ashton Dean 
FCO USS BASTET
M06-P026: USS BASTET: Valentine: Day 01 - 2315 ("New Considerations")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"New Considerations"
[previous post (ANU) "Outside Observer" / (BAS) "Through the Rabbit Hole")]

Setting:  HAWKING, Maintenance Access crawlway
Stardate: 33113.2315

The moment Sampson had materialized on the command deck of the BASTET, Sarena had thought of him as some sort of ship's avatar, a mechanical extension of the HAWKING. e had been designed and constructed to assist the crew in areas where it would be too dangerous for anyone else to be there. In fact, much of what he said during their discussions supported that belief although nothing had ever been officially stated in that regards. Maybe her experiences with similar entities, such as the one on board the ANUBIS, as limited as they might have been, had biased her perception.

With what Ensign Dean had just proposed, the Executive Officer now needed to consider the possibility that she might have been wrong in her assumptions.  Could the artificial being be part of the majority on board this ship, leaving any biological life forms also present to constitute the rest of the crew? If this was indeed the case, Valentine had to consider how this could affect their mission to confirm the presence of a Lokustaar intruder on board. Would this make things more difficult or actually prove to be an unexpected advantage for them to make use of? 

Knowing what she did about the nightmarish race from another dimension, the suggestion made by Ashton could see everything change in their favor.  If the majority of the crew of the HAWKING were indeed comprised of mechanical entities, the Lokustaar would be unable to affect them with their weapon of choice. Fear was at the core of what this shadowy race represented. They traveled through dimensions spreading darkness and chaos wherever they went, but for that to work, the emotion needed to be felt.

Some races, such as the Vulcans, were far less susceptible to falling prey to such disabling emotions, but despite their continuing quest to conquer all emotions, the Executive Officer doubted that even they would be able to hold out for long against the combined powers of dark and ancient race. As witnessed by her own eyes, 20,000 ago the Lokustaar were already shaping the universe in their image and Sarena could only imagine that over those years they had grown to be better at what they did. Time for them was not an issue, so they could slowly plant the seeds of fear over years to facilitate reaching their final objective.

When it came to a mechanical race though, this dark and cold calculating patience would be countered by an equally strong patience, one immune to the effects of fear. The more she thought of that possibility, the more Sarena found herself wishing that Ashton were right. If the crew of the HAWKING was indeed comprised in a majority of artificial entities, their help in the war against the shadows could prove unparallel. Although they might not prove to be the winning element in this conflict, they would most certainly help to tip the balance in their favor.

"Commander," Mitshiba called out in a whispered voice as she pointed down a small crawlspace that the Executive Officer had completely missed due to her being lost in her own thoughts. "I believe that we should be able to reach the ship's main engineering section if we go down that path.

"Too direct," the Executive Officer said, quickly bringing herself back on task. "If there is an intruder on board this vessel, they will not be out in the open like this. If we are in fact dealing with a Lokustaar, or even one of their humanoid agents, we will have a much better chance of finding them by looking in the shadows. That is where they prefer to be and wait for the right time to strike."

"Normally I would agree, but with whatever is happening out there, it is likely that the intruder will try to make use of the confusion," Misaki offered as a counter argument.

"I agree," Ashton added. "This would be a perfect opportunity for an intruder to strike, no matter who or what they may be."

"Alright then, let's proceed with caution. Be sure to keep your eyes open as we have no idea what it is that we are looking for," Valentine warned.

"I have the strange feeling that once we see whatever it is we are looking for, we won't have any doubts as to their identity and purpose. I think we should be more concerned about what we will do once we find them," Mitshiba continued, a hint of uncertainty in her voice. The plan had always been for them to help the crew of the HAWKING confirms and locate the intruder, but little had been considered beyond that point. It was hoped that once the presence of an intruder was confirmed that the crew of the ship would take charge of the situation. With the possibility that the majority of the crew was like Sampson, Valentine hoped even more that this would be the case; easily placing the odds in their favor should they come face-to-face with an actual Lokustaar.

As they arrived at the end of the crawlspace, Sarena noted through the already opened access port, a shadowy figure tempering with some of the components beneath one of the control stations. It appeared that they had found their saboteur, someone who at first glance seemed to be a member of the crew instead of being an outsider, as they believed him to be.

"Maybe he is part of the engineering team," Misaki quietly offered. For their plan to work, they needed to keep their presence on board the HAWKING secret until the very last moment. To act now would tip their hand and possibly alert the real threat to the ship and crew as to their plan. Waiting too long to act though risked allowing irreparable damage to be caused to the vessel's primary systems making it impossible for any of them to regain the advantage.

After several long seconds of deliberation, Sarena motioned for the others to follow her. Right or wrong they needed to act, and making a mistake here would probably prove to be less of an issue than failing to jump into action fearing that this would be a mistake. Fear was something that the Executive Officer could not allow to control their actions, or in this case to cause them to hold back acting in the manner that their covert mission demanded them to.

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

Executive Officer
USS BASTET, NCC 74977

Make a free website with Yola