USS BASTET - Mission 10
IN PROGRESS
POST INDEX
Post # Character Title
001 Iverson The Ultimate Decision
Selene discusses the situation with the senior staff
002 Valentine The Right Choice
Sarena talks to Selene about their options
003 Dima Together, Alone
Nicole talks to Sofia about their predicament
004 Mitshiba Imperfect Perfection
Aki considers the options and makes a decision
005 Andersson An Easy Decision
Sofia comforts Nicole before they vote
006 Valentine Counting Down
Sarena goes to see Gemma in the Infirmary
007 Mitshiba Planning Either Way
Aki gets a visit from Selene in the Science Lab
008 Iverson New Heading
The results of the vote are announced
009 Valentine Nice and Easy
Sarena reviews their situation and stays positive
010 Gemma Awakened Fears
Gemma, as Anya, wakes up
011 Mitshiba First Thing First
Aki thinks about what needs to be done first
012 Andersson & Dima Disappearing Act
Nicole and Sofia return to an empty Infirmary
Post # Character Title
013 Valentine One Perspective
Sarena is glad to see Gemma back on her feet
014 Gemma Multiple Perspectives
Gemma struggles with her personalities
015 Andersson & Dima Professional Concerns
Nicole and Sofia talk to Selene about Gemma
016 Valentine Breakfast Discussions
Sarena speaks to Aki, Selene and Sofia
017 Mitshiba Cutting Through The...
Aki goes to the Infirmary injured
018 Gemma An Anchor
Gemma talks with Nicole
019 Valentine Sunlight
Aki and Sarena come up with a new energy plan
020 Andersson A Walk In The Dark
Sofia wanders the ship, thinking
021 Dima Silver
Nicole meets Saha Rahi
M10-P001: USS BASTET: Iverson: 34005.2245 ("The Ultimate Decision")
---
"The Ultimate Decision"
(Previous Post: (ANU) "Ambassadorial Duties" / (BAS) "Impossible Odds")
---

Selene felt light, weightless and the pain coursing through her body seemed somehow lessened because of it. Her movements required little efforts as no force seemed to oppose them, this lead the Captain to ponder the ultimate question that all sentient life sooner or later found themselves asking... am I dead?

---
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 34005.2245

The collision was soft but enough to make Selene realize that she was far from dead. Opening her eyes she could see the occasional flickering lights that illuminated the floating debris as well as the members of her senior staff who had been on the bridge at the time of the explosion.  Every station she managed to look at was dark, if not destroyed; this hinted that the primary systems on board the BASTET were offline including, for obvious reasons, artificial gravity. Judging by the staleness of the air she breathed, it was safe to assume that life support was also not operational which meant that she needed to act, quickly.

"Commander Valentine!" The First Officer had been the one who collided with the Captain waking her from her weightlessness induced trans, and now it was Selene who needed to return the favour. "Commander Valentine! Wake up!"

The verbal command combined with vigorous shaking achieved the intended goal causing the woman to wake with a startle.  "What happened?" The Commander inquired while looking around trying her best to ascertain what had taken place. It took a few extra seconds for Sarena to get her bearings due to the fact that the floor of the command deck was not where it should have been, namely to her side instead of beneath her. "Artificial gravity is offline," the First Officer said, the realization having come a split second after her understanding that they had not perished in the explosion she remembered as the last thing she and the others had experienced.

"Feels like life support may also be offline, not to mention the main computer" Iverson explained. "We need to make restoring life support our top priority. Once that is done we can focus on assessing the extent of the damages and attend to the injured."

"What about the Lokustaar vessel that was chasing us?" The question was normal given what they had just gone through even though they were in no shape to do anything about whatever situation they were now in.

"My guess is that they are either disabled or destroyed," the Captain replied looking at the inactive main display located at the front of the bridge. "Either way, they were not able to finish the job they started. So we may have gotten ourselves some time, therefore we need to restore our systems as quickly as possible so as to not give them, or anyone else, the chance to finish us."

"I will go down to Main Engineering," Valentine said. "I should be able to get there a little faster than usual thanks to artificial gravity not working."

"If possible, see if you can restore emergency internal communications," Iverson suggested. "It will make it easier for us to coordinate efforts throughout the ship and get a faster overview of how bad of a shape we are in."

Sarena nodded her head and quickly pushed and pulled herself to the nearest crawlspace access panel into which she easily disappeared into. With the First Officer clear on her task, the Captain shifted her attention to the other members of her staff currently on the bridge. It was Lieutenant Mitshiba, the Chief Science Officer who caught the scrutiny of the Captain next. The Asian woman had somehow found her way under the science station where she normally worked; this made it a lot harder for the officer to be seen by others.

Using whatever the Captain could get a hold off, Selene pushed her way through the stale air to see if Misaki was all right. The startled reaction of the woman upon being touched was actually a welcomed one as it demonstrated that the Lieutenant was alive.

"That must have been one powerful hit," Mitshiba said looking around and analysing what she was seeing. "Do we know what hit us first? As powerful as the Lokustaar energy weapon is, if it impacted out shields first, it might have had enough force to push us out of the danger zone of the shockwave created by the exploding quantum torpedoes. On the other hand, if the wave hit us first, it means that the Lokustaar vessel was already caught in the force of the explosion and that could have caused them to lose their targeting resolution. Either way, I guess it does not truly matter as we are alive." Misaki paused for a moment as she looked directly into the eyes of her Commanding Officer. "We are alive, right?"

The Captain smiled. "Yes, Lieutenant, we are alive although the BASTET appears to be in a rather bad state."

"Main power is clearly out as well as artificial gravity and," she stopped to take a deep breath to confirm what she suspected. "Yup, life support is also out, my guess is that is has been this way for not that long although we can already begin to tell that the air is thinning. I can go down to Main Engineering and see what I can do on that regards."

Clearly, the woman was not injured, or if she was the rush of adrenaline was making it so that she did not feel it. Either way, the Captain was glad to see her eagerness and readiness to help. "Commander Valentine is already on her way to Main Engineering to address our need to re-establish life support. She is also going to see if she can restore emergency internal communications."

"Emergency communications will be too limited. We need full communications in order to reach every section of every deck. If the main computer is down, that will not be possible, so with your permission Captain I will head to Deck 4 and access the main computer frame from there. If there is no physical damage to the core, I should be able to plug in some of the emergency power packs, which at the very least should get some of our systems online, such as communication and sensors. We might not be able to do much, but at least the crew will not be isolated from one another and we might be able to see what is happening out there."

"Go!" Iverson said feeling quite reassured that their situation would soon improve thanks to the efforts of Commander Valentine and Lieutenant Mitshiba.  The next task for the Captain was to locate Ensign Dean and make sure that he too was all right. The more people she could get to help, the better their odds were to bring the BASTET back to some level of working condition before the Lokustaar returned.

---
Setting: USS BASTET, Infirmary
Stardate: 34005.2300

"NICOLE! Where are you?" Sofia was in a panic as she forced her way through a sea of small devices that floated about making it impossible for her to see anything.  In the mess that was the infirmary, the Chief Medical Officer had managed to find her patient Gemma but the Trill Counsellor had yet to be located.  "NIC! This is no time for you to play games. Where are you?" The Doctor was in tears as her fears rapidly grew beyond her ability to reason away.  "It is entirely my fault, why did I not listen to you."

"You never listen," the Counsellor softly said as she reached up to grab the foot that was passing within range. "That is just the person you are, that and you are rather loud when you are scared." Her voice was weak and indicated distinct signs of disorientation, but that was set aside in favour of the Doctor having found her at all.

"NICOLE!" Sofia screams in an explosion of unbridled joy. "YOU ARE ALL RIGHT!" It took some effort but the Doctor managed to grab hold of the woman she had been so desperate to find.

"You are loud when you are scared *and* happy," the Trill said correcting her last statement as they merged into an emotional embrace. "Are you all right? How is Gemma?" Nicole already sounded stronger as she become increasingly aware of the situation they were in.

"I lost my tricorder during whatever it was that happened to us, and we lost artificial gravity shortly after. I saw Gemma floating about back there but I wanted to find you, I needed to find you."

"Well, here I am," the Counsellor smiled as the two women held onto each other so that they could remain face-to-face despite there not being anything for them to anchor themselves to. A storm of emotions raged between them and for a moment both forgotten about the predicament they were confronted with. In the middle of this absolute chaos, they had found a small island of peace to call their own.

That moment of tranquility was short-lived though as the lights returned to full illumination quickly followed by the artificial gravity also being restored.  Although the gravity gradually returned, due to their holding on to each other, the Chief Medical Officer and Counsellor ended up on the floor surrounded by everything else that had been floating around them.

The two women smiled at each other.

"We should check on Gemma," Nicole suggested.

"Agreed," Sofia said before they each rolled away from each other before getting up back to their feet.

---
Setting: USS BASTET, Observation Lounge
Stardate: 34005.2330

As each officer walked into the meeting room, their gaze automatically fell onto the scene beyond the large windows. Everyone was unsure as to what to make of the lack of the ominous red clouds they had found themselves surrounded by upon their arrival into the home dimension of the Lokustaar. Something had changed, but what?

"I know that there are a great many questions to be addressed," the Captain said as she welcomed her senior staff. "We will do our best to answer them all.  First, Lieutenant Mitshiba can answer, as best she can, the question that I am sure is on all of your minds."

"Please bear with me," the Asian woman offered as a start. "We have absolutely no idea where we are, but on the good side of things I can confirm that we are not in the Lokustaar dimension. Aside from the obvious visual clues," she said pointing to the starscape beyond the windows of the Observation Lounge, "the background cosmic radiation is also completely different.  We are in another dimension, one that we have no previous data on."

"I thought that the Dimensional Jump Drive was locked onto the Lokustaar energy? Was it not why we were told that we would never be able to return home?" Ensign Dean asked, openly voicing his frustrations and confusion.

"The initial scans of the Dimensional and Temporal Drives showed that both were submitted to an exceptionally large energy influx that we suspect came from the combined effects of the Lokustaar energy weapon and shockwave created by the detonation of the quantum torpedoes," Valentine explained. "When the extra energy was diverted to the aft shields, all this energy interacted in a strange and unexpected manner causing a massive feedback that swept through Main Engineering.  The best we can figure is that this strange combination of energy triggered the drives and brought us here, wherever this is."

"That means we are no longer locked into the Lokustaar dimension, so let us fix the drive and get back home," the Flight Control Officer said, his one and only goal being to return to his daughters.

"Unfortunately, it is not going to be that simple, Ensign," the First Officer added. "Far from it. The energy that was channeled back into the Dimensional Jump Drive as well as the Temporal Drive was powerful enough to damage them both beyond our ability to repair them."

"If sensors are working, could we not search for a civilization capable of helping us?" Nicole suggested.

"Even if it takes a few months, at least we would still be working on us getting home," Sofia added, jumping onto the optimism train.

"Sensors are working," Misaki confirmed before biting her lip and looking back at Sarena.

"The warp core was also damaged beyond repair in that energy overload," Commander Valentine explained, pressing her lips together in order to maintain her composure. "The best we have as far as propulsion is impulse power."

"All right," the Doctor accepted, clearly not willing to give up just yet. "So the trip will take years instead of months. We can still find someone out there to help us get home, no?"  Sarena just glanced over at Selene, both senior most officers remaining silent.

"That is not the end of our problems, is it?" The Counsellor asked recognizing the expression on both the faces of their First Officer and Commanding Officer.

"Without the warp core providing the BASTET with primary power, we are left only with emergency generators, and several of them were also made inoperative due to the energy overload," Sarena offered. "We do not have the means to repair or replace them at this time, and by the looks of things we never will."

"Life support is drawing more power than we can generate at this time," the Captain added. "This means that, even at reduced levels, our emergency reserves are being steadily depleted with no ways for us to replenish them."

"I guess that taking artificial gravity offline once again is not going to make that much of a difference, will it?" Sofia said, trying to smile as she did so but finding herself on the verge of tears.

"This can't be," Ashton argued, slamming his closed fists on the table. "You cannot tell me that we survived that Lokustaar attack and even found our way out of their nightmare dimension only be find ourselves stuck here with nowhere to go other than wait for our deaths?"

"I understand your frustration Ensign, and things are not without hope," Iverson offered. "Sensors have identified an M-Class planet in a nearby system. We could reach it in just over two weeks at impulse power."

"So what are we waiting for? If I have to I will put on an EVA suit and push us in that direction," the Flight Control Officer said.

"We have enough resources to make it there, but once we arrive in orbit we will be incapable of leaving," Commander Valentine explained. "This would be a one-way trip."

"Aki, what have the long-range sensors picked up on that world?" The physician asked of the scientist.

"The planet is covered with lush vegetation with several large oceans and lakes," Misaki answered in a way that hinted there was more.

"But?" Nicole asked, joining in the unexpected interrogation of their own Chief Science Officer.

"There are no signs of any advance civilization on that planet," Iverson said having been given the report before the senior staff meeting. "In fact, there seems to be no civilization whatsoever on that planet."

"The atmospheric readings point to it being a primordial world in the middle to late stages of early biological development," Mitshiba explained. "The planet appears to be perfect for animal life, but I could not find any signs of even the most rudimentary settlements.  I am sure that this planet would allow us to survive, maybe even provide us with some basic comforts, but it would certainly not offer any sort of help in solving our engineering problems."

"So our only choices are to possibly die in space or spend the rest of our miserable lives on that planet? I say we try our chances out there," Ashton forcefully voiced pointing at the nearest window. "At least that way we will not have given up on going home."

"As long as there is life, there is hope," Nicole somberly countered.

"Thank you Counsellor," Selene said. "This meeting is for us to get things in place for a decision to be taken by the crew as to what we do next. I understand that many amongst the crew may not wish to make their opinion known to the others, so I am offering for us to hold a secret ballot. This decision is too big for only a few to decide for the others.  Everyone will be asked to make a decision quickly in order to make sure we have as much energy reserves as possible to reach whatever goal is decided upon. I will make a ship-wide announcement following this meeting and hope to have the results within the hour. Dismiss."

---
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)
M10-P002: USS BASTET: Valentine: 34006.0000 ("The Right Choice")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"The Right Choice"
[previous post (ANU) "Ambassadorial Duties" / (BAS) "The Ultimate Decision")]

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 34006.0000

"One hell of a way to start a new day," the Executive Officer said once only the CO and she were left in the Observation Lounge. "If it makes you feel any better, you made the right decision. This is too big for you, me or even just the command staff to decide on our own."

"Thank you," Selene said but the woman remained outwardly unemotional as she turned to gaze upon the vast unknown that stretched beyond the windows of the Observation Lounge. "So many stars, so many possible worlds and civilizations, and they are all out of range with one single exception."

"We were lucky in our misfortune," Sarena said as she joined the Commanding Officer in her admiration of the unknown distant stars. "We could have been destroyed by that Lokustaar energy beam or found ourselves with truly nowhere to go. Instead, we are here, alive and with the possibility of a future that we would not have been able to enjoy any other way.  Somehow, I doubt that we would have found a hospitable planet for us to call home in that red cloudy soup those Shadows call home."

"So we trade one type of exile for another, but I guess you are right," Selene said before turning to look at Sarena. "Since when have you been the 'glass if half-full type'? As I recall, you were always the one to point out the shortcomings of whatever situation we ended up in.  Have you been speaking with Counselor Dima lately?"

"Not really," the Executive Officer smiled. "I guess I'm just learning by osmosis. Also, at this point, my looking at things on the pessimist side of things will not help any of us.  I have to give the crew something positive to hold on to, whatever that may be."

"Does Nicole know that you are after her job?" The Captain asked, actually allowing for a faint smile to appear on her lips.

"I would not worry about it if I were you," the Executive Officer said.  "I know my place and limitations, and being a morale officer is not what I was ever meant for.  Nicole Dima is the perfect person for that task, and I know that she will be there for you and everyone else to help people make peace with whatever the final decision ends up being."

"Life as pioneers on a primordial world where every day will be a struggle to survive, or us wandering aimlessly out there hoping to run into a friendly and helpful race able of interplanetary travels. To be honest, I am not entirely sure which is the lesser of the two."

"The uncertainty of life is always preferable to the certainty of death," Sarena said, paraphrasing Nicole's earlier statement about life and hope.

"Now I know that you have spent too much time around Counselor Dima, you are starting to almost identical to her. Changing subject, how bad is it down in Main Engineering?"

"The warp core would not even be accepted at a non-Federation scrap yard. There is absolutely nothing salvageable and the entire Matter/Anti-Matter Assembly would need to be replaced. Even is we did find another spacefaring race in this unknown dimension, the odds are that their technology would not be compatible with ours," Valentine replied.  "Without a warp core to power the Dimensional Drive or even the Temporal Drive, both of which had been completely blown into pieces by the latest energy overload, we are here to stay, that we like it or not. Our best course of action is to make ourselves as comfortable as possible."

"There's the Executive Officer I knew and love I will admit that I like it better when you are on the more realistic, if not gloomy, side of things. Now, what about Gemma? What is the latest report on from Doctor Andersson on her?"

"Last report from Sofia shows that she is recuperating, at least her nanites are, as the Doctor is still unable to get any actual readings on the woman's physiology.  Unfortunately, that means there is no telling when or if she will wake up," the Executive Officer answered.

"I would have liked for her to have a voice in this decision," Iverson said. "She had a big role to play in us making it this far."

"Speaking of which, there is still the question of that unexpected energy spike that came from the Infirmary and alerted the Lokustaar to our presence. I was expecting you to ask Doctor Andersson about it during the meeting," Valentine said.

"It would not change anything," the Captain pointed out, returning her gaze to the distant stars. "It is my choice not to pursue this. If Sofia was somehow responsible, she will be feeling guilty enough without having me making it worse. If Gemma was for some inexplicable reason the cause of that signal, it would again not change the situation we are in.  That ship might have discovered us regardless of that signal and we might have been able to react the same way we did which means that we would not be here.  Right now, I believe it best to focus on the road that is ahead of us instead of trying to argue as to why we are here as there is nothing we can do to go back."

"Now it is you that is starting to sound like Counselor Dima," Sarena chuckled.

"We are at a crossroads, and the choices me make from this point on will irrevocably shape our lives for the days, weeks or maybe even years to come. So I choose to not hold on to anger or doubt, but instead keep my eyes forward in whatever direction the crew will decide for us to venture to."

"You are right. That is the right choice."

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

c
M10-P003: USS BASTET: Dima: 34006.0005 ("Together, Alone")
“Together, Alone”
[Previous Posts: (ANU) "Gambit of Shadows" / (BAS) "The Right Choice"]

=/\=
“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
-Winston Churchill

=/\=
Setting: TRILLIUS PRIME (Trill Homeworld), city of Vrans, Laboratory 
Time Index: The year 2336

Zaccarias Dima adjusted the spectral scope, endeavoring to bring the tiny cells info focus. He had been expecting to see a change in the virus samples, which he had exposed to a series of genetically engineered antibodies. It had been a standardized period of time. But there was nothing… yet. He exhaled, moving to the next slide, pushing a strand of salt-and-pepper hair away from his eyes.

A tall, lithe female quietly entered. Her dark red hair, so dark that it had a brownish cast under the artificial lighting, was loosely plaited, and she was wearing an ivory and taupe caftan. “Come now Zaccarias. It’s long past the evening meal,” her mellifluous voice said. “Aren’t you tired?”

“Already?” he asked, glancing up at the chronometer, which easily confirmed the woman’s assessment. “I’m sorry, Vernet.”

Her face softened, but there was still an edge of frustration touching her features. “The samples will be waiting for you tomorrow, and a solid night’s sleep will help you better detect any anomalies in the morning. Besides,” she added playfully, “you promised.”

“To not push myself so hard, yes, I remember,” he said reluctantly as he logged the stopping point for his research. He placed his tools, the petri dishes and slides in their proper locations. While nature appeared chaotic, there was a higher order and design to things, and he craved order in his workspace as well. He needed be able to start the next day fresh.

“You are an honorable man. You are a good man.” Vernet said it like she was apologizing for reminding him to slow down.

“But it’s not enough,” he finished wearily.

“I did not say that.”

“You didn’t have to. In as much as I can feel your caring, I can also feel your disappointment.”

“You have found answers when no one else has been able to. That is due to your dedication.”

He agreed. “I still attest that I am a Scientist, and always will be. I have never given you any illusions or false hope in that regard. I’m not forcing you to remain at my side.”

Vernet stepped forward, embracing him. “My heart compels me to stay, even at the expense of my head. My love is not an illusion, either, Zac.” She was the only one who called him that, and it shook his emotions to the core in the tender way that she said it. She caressed his strong jaw, then took a few steps back. “You’ve never lied to me,” she continued. “You made it clear since we met that your devotion to the pursuit of academia was a priority. To be honest about that with one’s self is a strength. But I don’t know if I can ever be strong enough to leave you, even though I am aware you can never give me the life I wish.”

“Marriage and children,” he said flatly, dimming the lights. “Those are conventions I do not subscribe to. These experiments, and the papers I create from them, are my progeny. And my commitment is to my studies and my research. You must know this does not diminish my feelings for you.”  He went to her, returning her embrace and kissing her forehead gently.

She pressed her palm into his chest comfortingly as they headed to bed. “I do know this. But, darling, there are many times, while we are together, when I feel completely alone.”

=/\=
Setting: USS BASTET, Infirmary
Stardate: 34006.0005

“That must have been difficult for them to tell us,” Nicole said thoughtfully as the two women had gone back to the medical department. She fully empathized with the CO and ExO.

“It wasn’t easy to hear,” Sofia added honestly. Even though she wasn’t a Counselor, the fear and concern among the crew was palpable, as was their worry. Their situation just kept getting worse and worse.

Ensign Dima took a deep breath. “You’re under no obligation to tell me your decision, but I think we should go to the planet. I’ve already made my mind up.”

Sofia wasn’t surprised. “There’s nothing to tell you just yet. I need a little more time to decide something so crucial. What if I make the wrong decision?”

“Rarely is there a wrong answer to anything,” Nic mused. “This is what makes life so difficult and so amazing. Two people can be polar opposites and utterly disagree on everything, and still both be right.”

“You forget- we can’t *choose* to do both. We can only pick one or the other, due to our limited resources. That means winners and losers. Some of the crew will have to ‘lose’, be on the losing end of the discussion.”

Nicole had walked over to a cabinet, rummaging through it, looking for some kind of field rations. She was suddenly starving and didn’t want to use energy from the replicators. “True. We are a military organization as our primary reason for existence, after all. We must move as a unit.” She came away with a protein bar, not gourmet by any means, but it would provide nutrition. She tossed one to Sofia before coming back. “The challenge, *my* challenge as a mental health professional, is to make those that ‘lost’ understand that although they were not in the majority, their voices were heard and their feelings were, and still are, valid.  I am not ready for this next part of our journey, but I am more than ready to help with that.” 

“Does your positive attitude have any limit?” If she hadn’t known Nicole as well as she did, she might have found the Counselor’s pluckiness annoying. 

“I’m not sure I’m prepared to be hopeful,” she admitted through chewing noises. “But by the same token, I’m not going to give up. But, there is one thing that bothers me.”

“What is it?”

Nic put the food down, her hands in her lap, trying to keep them still, but continuing to gesture as she talked. “I’m only Dima’s fifth host. Knowing the symbiont would live on after I’m gone has been a great comfort to me. But now, there won’t be a chance of that if we’re fated to spend the rest of our lives marooned on a planet in the middle of nowhere.”

Sofia sat next to Nicole, attempting to console her. “Very few cultures have that kind of guarantee.”

“I know,” she answered somberly. “I will have to accept that. But at least I can count on knowing that we’ll all be together.”

=/\=
Susan Ledbetter

Writing for

Cns
USS BASTET
M10-P004: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: 34006.0010 ("Imperfect Perfection")
"Imperfect Perfection"
Previous posts: (ANU) "Looking Into The Abyss" & (BAS) "Together, Alone"

///^\\\
Setting: BASTET, Mitshiba's Quarters
Stardate: 34006.0010

Alone and looking at the stars through the window of her quarters, Aki tried to smile. This was what she lived for, to explore the unknown and be part of process of discovery. They were in an unknown dimension with endless scientific possibilities and it mattered not if they made their way out into the open expanse or towards the planet, either way they would be dealing with something new, something that no one from their world had ever seen.  So why was keeping on a smile proving to be so difficult?

Should she not be excited at the prospect of all these discoveries? Should she not be happy about all of the amazing discoveries that they would be making? At the very least, should she not be content about being alive after everything they had gone through? The ship and crew had survived against all odds while facing a superior enemy on their home dimension. Best part was that it appeared that they had won the fight, not only by escaping but by locking the Lokustaar in their own dimension. So why was she finding it so hard to be happy and smile?

The Asian woman was not stupid. She knew exactly why she could not fight back this aching feeling growing within her. As great and inviting as being here, in this unknown dimension, was for a scientist like her, the knowledge that this was the end of her journey created a sadness that could not be contained. Even taking into account all that they had accomplished and overcome, the victory still felt empty by their not being able to return home and see the fruits of their achievement. If that was not enough, the inability to smile was compounded by the fact that she and the rest of the crew needed to make a difficult decision. Whatever decision was reached, they would all be locked on a final course from which she and the others would never be able to come back from.

The BASTET was damaged beyond repair and along with it were their hopes of every being able to return home. The only thing they could do was to make the best of this situation, but the question remained, where would they do this? Heading into space did give them a chance, as slight as it may be, to encounter some technologically advanced civilization. Of course, this did not guarantee that these people, or whatever else they were, would be able or even willing to help. The odds were on even money that any culture they came across would want to destroy them as invaders to their dimension instead of helping a group of lost explorers to get home. Even if this yet to be discovered civilization embraced a more altruistic philosophy, there were still no assurances that they would be able to help given the extent of the damage reported by Commander Valentine. Simply put, there was no way to know both the extent and compatibility of their technology as compared to their own.

Aki lowered her head in despair as a few tears caressed her cheeks as they fell. They did not even need to look into another dimension to find a civilization with completely different and incompatible technology. All she had to do was to look at the Romulans and their method of drawing energy from a miniature quantum singularity to power their ships. If this was not proof enough, there was always the Tholians who used crystalline composites echoing their own biological form to create and even power their vessels. What were the odds of them finding a civilization advanced enough to travel between the stars and which used technology remotely similar to their own?

It was far more likely, if they ventured out into space instead of towards the planet and regardless if they encountered another civilization or not, that their journey would end out there.  After spending the last of their energy they would end up drifting in this uncharted space waiting for the air to finally run out or the frigid coldness of the emptiness around them to collapse in onto them. Neither provided an appealing vision on what was to come if they headed out into space, which left them with only one truly valid option -- the planet.

Once there, they would be able to reach the surface and start a new life. The potential for scientific discoveries would certainly keep her going for quite some time, maybe even for an entire lifetime, and the best part was that they would not be waiting for the end to creep up on them.  Aki understood that many might not see it this way and opt to venture out and take the chance, as limited as it was, to find help, but for the Asian scientist the decision was a simple one that had already been made.  As imperfect as the situation was, there was only one solution that she could accept and embrace, and the more she thought about it, the more perfect it seemed.

With her decision made, Aki turned and headed for the computer terminal to register her vote. She gazed at the monitor for several seconds debating one last time the decision she needed to make, and again all of the points she had brought up stood firmly as she had seen them the first time. There was only one choice for her and with the press of a single finger on the screen, her decision was recorded.  All that could be done now was for her to wait and see what the rest of the crew had decided to do.

///^\\\
Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Misaki 'Aki' Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Chief Science Officer
USS BASTET - NCC 74977
M10-P005: USS BASTET: Andersson: 34006.0015 ("An Easy Decision")
=-=
"An Easy Decision"
[the previous post was (ANU) "One Explanation" by Rachel / (BAS) "Imperfect Perfection" by Dawn]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Infirmary
Stardate: 34006.0015

"Yes," Sofia gently said. "We will be together."

Sitting next to the Trill, her arms wrapped around her in loving comfort, the physician closed her eyes and took in the woman's fragrance. This situation would be hard on everyone, no matter which way the final decision went. That they headed out into uncharted space or set a course for the nearby and unknown M-Class world, everyone would be leaving something behind. Friends, family, dreams, and hopes were the casualties of their being here, this no matter if they survived or not.  The only way to make this loss slightly more bearable was for them to be there for one another in whatever way they could, offering support, compassion and even love whenever possible. As difficult as is might prove to be, they all needed to accept their fate and make the best of it.

Sofia might have come across as a hard sell on the upcoming vote, but the truth was that her decision had already been made. She would go wherever Nicole went but, of course, the Doctor could not openly admit to this for fear that the Counselor would see this as something that it was not. Her choosing to follow no matter what was not a show of weakness or some sort of desperate clinginess, and it was certainly not an inability to make a decision of her own free will. The CMO had chosen to stay by the CNS's side no matter where she went long before the BASTET found itself stuck in this new dimension with no way back. For her to do otherwise was simply unthinkable, unimaginable and as far as she was concerned bordered of sheer madness. Her feelings and emotions could not be ignored.

Maybe the physician had not been ready to admit this to herself, but in her heart, she knew this to have been true for quite some times. The Counselor had once said that she did not want to rush things, and that she did not want to put any undue pressure on them or what might come to be. Andersson was more than happy to concede that point to Dima, in fact, she was ready to concede the entire game if it meant that the Trill would be happy.  Under that same mentality, Sofia found herself willing to take as much time as would be required because as far as she was concerned, Nicole was well worth the wait.

The physician smiled brightly as she felt the Counselor snuggle a little deeper into their embrace. Clearly, Nicole was finding comfort in this shared moment, a sentiment that Sofia echoed wholeheartedly in silence.  As long as they were together, she knew that they would make it through whatever this place would throw their way.  Allowing herself to think of the possibilities ahead of them, Doctor Andersson looked around the room her gaze stopping on a piece of equipment that she had used not too long ago.

Nicole sensed a drastic change in the way the woman holding her left. Her muscles suddenly tensed as her breathing quickened.  "What's wrong?" The Counselor asked pulling away in order to see the Doctor's face, her eyes fixated on a medical tricorder.  "Sofia, it was not your fault."

"You don't know that," the CMO said as tears flowed from her eyes and onto her cheeks.

"You are right, I don't know that, but there is one thing I do know. If that small device were the cause, even in some minute way, Captain Iverson, Commander Valentine or even both of them would have come down here to investigate what had taken place. At the very least, one of them would have pulled you aside after the senior staff meeting to ask about this. Since nothing like that happened, it means that they do not consider this a possibility, or at the very least one that is worth pursuing. The only person who believes that this is somehow important is you."

"How can you be so certain about this?"

"I'm the Ship's Counselor," Nicole said. "It is my job to know such things. Even if, and that is a big if, they believed what you claim happened to be true, the fact that neither one of them came down nor spoke to you means that they made a decision to ignore it. Knowing Selene and Sarena as I do, which granted may not be as much as I should or could, I can see them making such an easy decision. It is evident that nothing would be gained by lingering on what happened. Instead, it is far wiser to focus all of our time and limited resources to deal with what is."

Brushing the tears from her eyes, Sofia smiled as she looked into Nicole's enchanting blue eyes. "A woman of endless hope and eternal wisdom, how did this... crew ever manage to get so lucky?"

The Trill grinned. Although 'crew' had been spoken the Counselor clearly heard the hesitation that indicated that another word had been meant to be there, a word referring to a much small set that included only one person.  "Are you ready to cast your vote?"

"I am," Sofia replied, again letting the tone in her voice say more than her words. Although she had not specifically stated what option she would select, Nicole knew the choice she would register with the computer. Maybe it was because of her skills in her chosen field of work, maybe it was because of the multiple lifetimes of experience she had accumulated, or maybe it was simply because the other woman was not in the least trying to hide her feelings. Whatever the reason was, Dima could read Andersson without any effort, and she found this to be endearing.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS
M10-P006: USS BASTET: Valentine: 34006.0030 ("Counting Down")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Counting Down"
[previous post (ANU) "So Many Mysteries, So Little Time" / (BAS) "An Easy Decision")]

Setting: USS BASTET, Corridor
Stardate: 34006.0030

It was her responsibility, as Executive Officer, to deal with the crew of the BASTET, which currently stood, at 253 souls. Keeping that number in mind, Sarena found it disconcerting to find the corridors of the ship vacant making it appear as if the crew compliment was less than a handful. Given their situation though, it all made sense, everyone considering the choice they had to make in more private settings.

Although Valentine could not access the actual tally, she did have access to the list of people who had not yet cast their vote. With such an important decision hanging on the outcome, the Executive Officer wanted to make sure that everyone took the time to register his or her opinion. Captain Iverson had mentioned her fear that the final decision would come down to only a few votes making things that much more complicated for everyone. Justifying that it was the choice of the majority would be difficult enough with a 60-40 split or even a 70-30, but to face a 50+/50- vote would be a catastrophe that risked tearing the ship apart.  The first thing to do was to ensure that all votes were cast; removing the argument that the outcome might have been different if the 'no votes' had gone one way or the other.

Sarena was pleased to see that more than half the crew, including the Chief Science Officer, Chief Medical Officer, and Ship's Counselor had already logged in their votes. Making such a choice could not have been easy and the Executive Officer understood that some would want to take as much time as available to consider the pros and cons of both options.

Scanning down the list of those who had not yet cast their vote, Valentine's eyes stopped on one particular name. "This might be difficult," the Commander noted to herself before heading to the nearest turbolift.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] 
Setting: USS BASTET, Infirmary
Stardate: 34006.0035

"Commander? What brings you here?" Doctor Andersson appeared both pleased and surprised all at the same time.

"Just going around making sure everyone casts their votes," Sarena said. "This decision is just too important to let too many people chose not to make a choice."

"Makes sense, but you have nothing to worry in our regards. We did," Nicole said coming into view of the Executive Officer.  "Means that you are too late for you to try an influence our votes." The attempt at humor was appreciated but failed to make any of them smile. The situation was simply to emotionally draining and they understood that.

"I was scanning the list of those who had not yet voted and noticed her name," the Commander said looking over at the main examination table and the woman laying on top of it. "How is she doing? We all have been so busy with the situation that I fear we have forgotten about her."

"Physically she is fine," Doctor Anderson reported. "Her nanites are taking care of her body better than I could; they are also keeping me from getting any actual readings on her condition. I can only hope that they have and continue to take care of whatever might be wrong with her body."

"You keep mentioning her body," Sarena noted. "Guess that means you have no idea how her mind is doing."

"It is difficult to know how she is doing mentally at the best of times," Counselor Dima said. "At least when she is awake, we have clues as to her mindset by looking at the external manifestation of those thoughts and feelings. The personalities fighting for control surface when their respective knowledge and skills are required as long as Gemma is emotionally ready for them to take over.  We have yet to see any such display since her return, so either there is no conflict or it is buried so deep in her mind that her body fails to acknowledge it."

"Either way, I strongly doubt that she will wake up in time to cast her vote," Sofia regretfully said.

"One vote," the Executive Officer sighed. "We will just have to wait and see if it will actually make a difference. In the meantime, take care of her and let me know if her condition changes."

The Trill Counselor smiled, recognizing actual concern in the eyes of the Executive Officer. As rough as Gemma's integration into the crew had been, it was evident that she had obtained the support and respect of some including that of Sarena, which in itself was not a small or insignificant achievement.

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

Executive Officer
USS BASTET, NCC 74977
M10-P007: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: 34006.0045 ("Planning Either Way")
"Planning Either Way"
Previous posts: (ANU) "Slipping Further Into Darkness" & (BAS) "Counting Down"

///^\\\
Setting: BASTET, Astrometrics Lab
Stardate: 34006.0045

The deadline set by the Captain for the votes was quickly approaching. This only made the Asian woman work that much faster as time was running out. With only two options available to them, Aki decided to research them both as the scientist she was and not let her emotions get in the way. Should could have just as easily stayed in her quarters waiting for the results, but that was simply not the person she was. Being busy was a much better alternative.

Two workstations were used for this little project of hers. The first displayed a three-dimensional map of the stars surrounding them with suggested courses for the BASTET to take to increase their odds of encountering any spacefaring civilization that might be out there. With the sensors not operating at their best, a lot of the information used by the CSciO had been educated guesses and instinct, but still, Aki was rather pleased by the result.  The second station displayed a holographic recreation of the nearby planet that appeared as a green marble with streaks of bright blue. Even for this distance, the world appeared to be an ecological paradise with lush vegetation and mountain ranges that rose beyond the clouds.

As her vote indicated, that planet was the option she preferred, because not only it was a dream come true for a scientist like herself but also because it made more sense to go to a place where they would be able to live instead of risking death in the cold emptiness of space.

"Lieutenant Mitshiba, what are you working on?" Captain Iverson asked startling the CSciO. Aki had been so busy with her work that she had not noticed the arrival of someone else in the room or them walking up to stand right behind her.

"Captain?" The Asian woman gasped holding on to her chest. "You scared me half to death."

"Sorry," the woman offered, looking with great interest at the two imposing holographic displays. "Interesting, you are looking at our two options. Why?"

"I figured that whatever way the vote goes, we will need information in order for us to make as good a decision as possible as far as to how we proceed," Aki explained. "Here," she said pointing at the three-dimensional star map, "I have laid out a few options as to what heading we could use taking into account what I believe would be the most likely trade routes between the star systems. Of course, there is no way to tell is any of those systems even have a technologically advanced civilization on them, let alone one able to travel between stars. It's all best case scenario."

"I see," the captain said, not appearing overly excited by the display letting Aki believe that the vote of their Commanding Officer matched her own. Turning to the holographic image of the planet, the CSciO Officer continued her explanation. "I thought it would also be useful for us to get as much information on that world as possible to facilitate our establishing a geosynchronous orbit over the area that we would be traveling down to. The planet is covered for the most part by thick vegetation with the occasional towering mountain peaks breaking through with rivers, lakes and deep oceans breaking the monotony. I was able to locate an area that seems to offer a fair amount of protection due to the proximity of the mountains while the presence of a nearby river will ensure access to clean, fresh water for the settlement.  The area is flat enough to allow us to build houses with relative ease. Ease being subjective of course as I know that we will not have the energy reserves to just beam material into place or even replicate whatever tools we might need at the time."

"Yes," the Captain strongly agreed, which made Aki smile. "Our energy reserves *are* an issue and will be even more so once we arrive there if we make it at all."

The Asian woman thought for a moment about what the Captain had said and quickly put everything together. The visit had not been a courtesy call or even one of curiosity, but an investigation as to the energy being used; energy that they had little of.  "I am so sorry Captain," Aki said turning both of the holographic displays off as quickly as she could. "I just wanted to help and to keep busy so that I would not have to deal with the wait."

"I understand that waiting can and is often the hardest part of situations such as this one," Iverson said. "I also appreciate you wanting to make sure that we are as prepared as can be once the votes have been tallied. We are faced with a difficult situation and will all have to do our part to make things work as best as possible, this means that we will all have to learn and change our ways."

"Again, I am so sorry. I was not thinking about how much energy these holographic display would drain from our reserves," Aki was in a panic. Had she made them reaching that planet impossible due to her lack of considering the repercussions of her action? Had she doomed them all to death, here, unable to proceed according to the outcome of the vote?

"It is quite alright Lieutenant," Iverson said not sounding as upset as Aki feared she might be. "I doubt that those two holographic displays will make a huge difference in the end. Would have been nice if you had asked first, but I would have probably agreed because this was something we would have needed, no matter which way the vote goes.  Energy consumption will be rationed to its bare minimum, and I am sure that no one will mind our being a little more informed instead of us truly going about things blindly. All I ask is for you to hold any further research until after the vote. That way, only one of the displays will be required instead of both."

"Of course Captain. Thank you for your understanding."  Aki held her head low as the Captain exited the Astrometrics Lab. Here the CSciO wanted to help, and instead she had made things worse.

///^\\\
Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Misaki 'Aki' Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Chief Science Officer
USS BASTET - NCC 74977
M10-P008: USS BASTET: Iverson: 34006.0100 ("New Heading")
---
"New Heading"
(Previous Post: (ANU) "Emotional Darkness" / (BAS) "Planning Either Way")
---

Setting: USS BASTET, Observation Lounge
Stardate: 34006.0100

The senior officers were gathered, sitting quietly around the table at their usual places when such a meeting was called, but this would not be a normal meeting. The fate of each and every soul on board the USS BASTET would be placed on a new heading following what was about to be said in the next few minutes.

Captain Iverson stood at the end of the conference table, meeting the anxious eyes of her officers, each one having accepted to abide by the decision that the crew would have reached through their votes. Although Selene did not know who voted what, the Commanding Officer knew those sitting in front of her well enough to forward a solid educated guess, but now, what mattered was for them each to accept the decision of the majority.

"Computer," the Captain said, "open a ship wide channel."  The dire situation they all faced had forced Selene to take drastic measures, which involved the crew like no other time before, and it was only fair that their participation continued to the very end of this process. "This is the Captain speaking. You already know the situation we are in and the impossible decision we are faced with, and I wanted to make sure that everyone was part of what comes next. Now, let us proceed. Commander Valentine, has everyone voted?"

"Yes Captain," Sarena replied with a hint of hesitation, "with one exception; Lieutenant Gemma." No explanation was required. Everyone on board the BASTET knew how instrumental the woman had been in bringing them this far and it was with a shared sense of sorrow that she would be the only one not to have a voice in the decision being made. Following a short pause, the First officer continued. "Therefore, out of the 253 possible votes, the computer received and has tabulated 252."

A troubled hush took hold of room as everyone present considered the unthinkable. What if the vote was split perfectly down the middle? What then? How would the crew decide their next course of action in a way that would avoid resentment and maybe even chaos from spreading through the ship? Captain Iverson understood that every member of the crew was a professional, trained and prepared for the uncertainties of life on board the starship, but the circumstances of their predicament were anything but normal and loaded with emotions running high on both sides of the debate. 

Again, the Captain met the concerned gazes of her senior officers, noting their individual reactions to this latest twist. Commander Valentine appeared ready to face the outcome, not allowing herself the luxury of thinking of that one single possibility amongst all others. Lieutenant Mitshiba was clear running the number in her head, coming up with the mathematical probabilities of a split vote occurring, taking into effect whatever scientific data the woman could think of at this time. On the other side of the table, and of the spectrum of reactions, Doctor Andersson and Counsellor Dima moved ever so slightly closer to one another. Although Selene could not see this, she suspected by the way the two women were positioned that they were holding hands beneath the table.  Next to them was Ensign Dean who just stared back, impatiently waiting to see when they would get underway so that they could find the means for them to return home to his daughters.

"Very well," Selene said. There was nothing to be gained in trying to figure out what they would do without first knowing the actual result. "Computer, what are the results of the vote."

=/\= A total of 252 votes were cast, =/\= the computer started with, confirming earlier announcement of their First officer. =/\= The option for heading to the uninhabited nearby M-Class planet received 208 votes. The option to head into space in search of an advanced civilization that would help with repairs received 44 votes. =/\=

"Over 82 percent," Misaki said with astonishment and relief, the Chief Science Officer having done the math as quickly as any computer would have. Her feelings were shared by everyone else present with a single exception, the disappointment in Ensign Dean was palatable, but the man, to his credit, remained calm and in control of his emotions.

Iverson softly, quietly sighed. The final decision had proven to have a much greater difference between one side and the other than she could have expected. This meant that, for the most part, the crew would not be feeling like they had been forced into something they did not want. With that in mind, the Captain addressed the crew once more. "As per the decision of the majority, the BASTET will be heading to the nearby M-Class planet at maximum impulse. This means that we should be arriving in about two weeks. In the meantime, energy will be rationed to its absolute minimum in order to allow us to reach our destination and establish orbit. Once we have arrived, we will use the last remaining energy to transport everything we can to the planet surface and start building a new life there. During the travel, Counsellor Dima, Commander Valentine and myself will be available should anyone wish to talk.  Thank you all for your cooperation in this must unusual situation. Iverson out."

"Heading and approach vector have already all been figured out," Misaki announced, the Asian woman appearing ready to bounce out of her chair.  "All I have to do is feed the coordinates into the flight computer."

"I will help you," Ashton said. As unhappy that the decision had not gone the way he wanted, the Flight Control Officer seemed ready and willing to follow the majority, this without letting go of his hopes and dreams to one day be reunited with his family.

"Good," Selene said before turning her attention to the Chief Medical Officer and Counsellor. "Nicole, I would appreciate you making yourself fully available for not only those who voted for us to head into space but also for the others. I am sure that the next two weeks are going to be very emotional for many. Sofia, with life support at minimum, I will need you to be ready to help with various medical issues that might surface."  Both women smiled and nodded their understanding of their respectively assigned tasks.

"I will head to Main Engineering and see if I can't find a way to get a little more juice out of the emergency generators," Sanera said. "Whatever bit of extra energy we might be able to get is sure to help make the journey that much less uncomfortable for us. Plus, to be perfectly honest, I might not be able to make it on two weeks of emergency field rations." The Captain and First Officer shared a quick knowing nod of their heads.

"Time for us to head to that M-Class planet," Captain Iverson said, inviting everyone to stand and get to work.

"Captain," Misaki said as she stood. "This is a brand new dimension for us; therefore nothing has been seen let alone named. It would be nice if we could give that world a better designation than 'that M-Class Planet'. After all, it is our goal to make it our new home."

"Alright," Selene agreed. "We have two weeks to come up with a name for our new home. That should help to keep us busy during that time. Dismiss."

---
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)
M10-P009: USS BASTET: Valentine: 34006.0130 ("Nice and Easy")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Nice and Easy"
[previous post (ANU) "Emotional Darkness" / (BAS) "New Heading")]

Setting: USS BASTET, Corridor
Stardate: 34006.0130

The general illumination was so low that the Executive Officer had to keep her hand on the wall to make sure she would not run into things. To ensure that the BASTET reached its destination, as voted by a surprisingly large majority of the crew, power usage was reduced to absolute minimal levels. Sarena hoped that once in Main Engineering she would find a way to general a little more power to help ease the hardships they would all have to be dealing with for the next two weeks.

As Valentine cautiously made her way down the sparsely lit corridor, she began to think about the planet they were heading for. Going to an unknown and previously unexplored world was not something new to them, but thinking of a name to call that place by made it clear that this was not a standard exploration mission. In fact, there had not been anything standard about their recent mission, so why should anyone expect this latest chapter to be any different from the previous ones?

The more Sarena thought about a possible name, the more the permanency of their future took root in her mind. They were not heading to 'that M-Class planet' to see what it was like, or even to take part in some extended survey of what Misaki reported to be a more than abundant fauna. The BASTET and its crew were heading there for good, as they would not have the means to go anywhere else once they made orbit. Those thoughts had been in her head before, especially when considering the only two options that were available, but now those same thoughts took on a completely different connotation.  This would be their final voyage, as they did not possess the means to repair their ship.  The next two weeks would mark their last travel amongst the stars. Once at the yet-to-be-named-world, the crew would make their way to the surface and create a new life for themselves, making the best they could of their situation.

As exciting as this prospect might have been, it was also rather scary, maybe even terrifying.  As trained Starfleet Officers, the crewmembers of the BASTET had an impressive range of skills and knowledge, but very little of these skills could be applied to the establishment of a permanent settlement.  This was not to say that Sarena believed they would not be able to accomplish this, quite the contrary, but the Executive Officer understood that there would be a sizable learning curve for everyone, including her. There would be numerous obstacles for them to overcome, some standard and expected, others unpredictable and depending on whatever they would find on this new world, their new home. Finding water, food, and shelter would only be the start of what could take months if not years to complete in order to create a viable living environment.  One thing was certain though, there was no going back, not that they had anywhere *back* to go to.

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] 
Setting: USS BASTET, Main Engineering
Stardate: 34006.0145

The Executive Officer stood in front of the imposing pitch-black column normally responsible for the generation of all power for the ship. Seeing the heart of the BASTET in such a state was not easy, cementing in its dark coldness the extent of their situation. From the warp core, Sarena turned her attention to the Dimensional Jump and Temporal Drives, the two highly specialized pieces of equipment that were now as useless as the core. The energy surge had swept through these sensitive pieces of equipment affected them like a run-away bull shattering the very casings that housed them.  Just looking at them it was easy to see that any effort to repair would be futile.

Even if they had access to the resources of their base of operation, the repairs would likely take several months and include the complete replacement of the ship's Mater/Antimatter Reaction Assembly. The Dimensional-Drive and Temporal-Drive would be another matter entirely as the Executive Officer was not even certain that they could be returned to operational status.  Right now though, Sarena needed to keep her mind on what she could do, or at the very least on the hopes of what she could do, which was to have the generators provide a little more power.

Improving the efficiency of the CO2 scrubbers would not go unnoticed by the crew, as would an increase of the available replicator food rations, however small they might be. As strange as the low illumination was, it was something that they all could relatively get used to, that was as long as things were not left unattended on the floor for someone to crash their toes into. Reducing artificial gravity could also prove to be an interesting energy conservation method but it might lead to problems once they reach their new home and find themselves less accustomed to any sort of gravity keeping their feet firmly on the ground.

Sarena grinned and took a long deep breath in. The key right now was to focus on the positive side of things. They were alive and heading towards a planet that their Chief Science Officer had described as a possible natural paradise, at least from where they stood. Over the next two weeks, they would be able to gather more information on the unnamed world and plan the establishment of a settlement accordingly.  They were going as fast as they could, doing as much as they could and stressing over things would only make matters worse, so it was best for them all to just take it nice and easy.

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

Executive Officer
USS BASTET, NCC 74977
M10-P010: USS BASTET: Gemma: 34006.0130 ("Awakened Fears")
=-=
"Awakened Fears"
[the previous post was (ANU) "Red Line" / (BAS) "Nive and Easy"]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Infirmary
Stardate: 34006.0130

It is a common occurrence for people to have their minds busy with thoughts and dreams while their bodies are at rest. Gemma was not an exception to this. In fact, one could say that she was the perfect example of this phenomenon. Even in the deepest of sleep, her mind worked to understand the endless universe that surrounded her. Sometimes it would be through the eyes of an awe-stricken Priestess. Ema could see beauty and peace in everything she saw. Other times, it would be through the meticulous study of a scientist. Wimda had a unique way of looking at things, wanting to understand the 'how' and 'why' of everything. There were occasions when it was the artist who took in the universe's inspiration. Saha would look upon the myriad of colors and forms scattered over the canvas of space.

As it had happened countless times before, today would be no different. While her body was being attended to by the nanites coursing through her body, her mind rushed to make sense of everything. This time though, it was through the eyes of an assassin that she gazed upon the cosmos. Memories of her battle against the Lokustaar haunted her thoughts and shaped her dreams. Even knowing that the creature was dead did not save her from the images that continued to invade her mind.

Since her return to the BASTET, the unseen conflict had raged within the ILO. The battle for control of the healing body was fierce and the outcome was not in the least bit surprising. The search for beauty, the quest for understanding, the desire for inspiration were no match for the desire to survive. That is why it was the redhead Russian assassin who opened her eyes. From that moment on, it only took her a couple of heartbeats for the woman to get to her feet. Anya recognized her surroundings but she still found them strange, different. The Infirmary was sparsely lit, but more troubling was that no one else was here present.

According to what she was seeing, the Russian woman knew that she was on the BASTET. Her feelings and fears though made her question this fact. If this was actually where she believed this place to be, why were the lights off? If this was the ship she had been serving on, where were the other officers?

Anya heard two distinct sets of footsteps approaching in the corridor. Responding with her heightened sense of survival, the Russian quickly dodged out of sight.  When the door opened and the CMO and CNS walked in, Anya remained hidden. The endless nightmares brought on by her battle with the Lokustaar were making her question everything. Several voices within her head begged for her to trust these people, going as far as to call them friends. The assassin knew little about friendship, but she knew a great deal about survival. Using the shadows that filled the room, Anya Petrov easily made her way to the back door. The escape was made that much easier thanks to the women being distracted by the discovery of an empty examination bed.

The dark, shadow-filled corridor made the Russian woman believe that her nightmare was still going on. Yes, this looked like her ship, and yes, people appeared as they should, but something was not right.  If this was a nightmare, why were there no fires or Lokustaar beasts trying to kill her? If this was reality, where were the other members of the crew? Why had the lights been made to be so low?  Anya could think of only one place she would be able to obtain the answers she sought. Having memorized the BASTET's schematics even before her posting, she knew how to get there without being seen.

=-=
Setting: USS BASTET, Main Engineering
Stardate: 34006.0140

The assassin crawled out of a maintenance access panel and came face-to-face with the warp core. It was completely cold and lifeless, letting the woman believe that this was actually another nightmare. Although much nicer than any of the other visions of hell she had endured, this one was still very unpleasant. Seeing the BASTET like this was making her feel things that she had always tried to suppress. Emotions were a sign of weakness, a liability that could be exploited by others. In a universe of murderous dangers, survival, more often than not, depended on her not feeling anything.

Surveying the darkened room, Anya noticed the state of their Dimensional and Temporal drives. This being a nightmare, it made sense that these two pieces of equipment were in as bad a shape as she saw them be. Although this did not really bother her, it did play on how she knew others would see this. For the majority of the crew, returning home was the one thing they wished for the most.  It was the sound of someone working that made the Russian Assassin turn.  Again using the surrounding shadows, she approached the source of this noise.  It was Cmdr Valentine working on one of the few operational generators.  Was the woman sabotaging them? Was she the cause for the state of the BASTET?

Anya stood right behind Sarena, unseen and unheard. The assassin could easily reach down and snap the woman's neck. She could just as easily impale her using any of the loose pipes that were within arm's length. Either way, killing the First Officer might just put an end to this nightmare.

The voices inside her head were screaming for her to stop. The Priestess begged Anya not to do this. The Scientist urged the assassin to evaluate all of the available evidence. Even the Dinaaly bleeding heart joined in to stop the Russian from acting as she thought was necessary.  This caused her to hesitate long enough to permit Cmdr Valentine to notice the woman standing behind her.

"Gemma? I am very glad to see you up. I was not sure that you would ever make it out of the Infirmary. We owe you a great many thanks for what you did. That said, things are far from being great. Did Dr. Andersson or Counselor Dima tell you about where we are?"

The redhead woman just looked at the commander. She could just as easily rip her throat out and stop this useless conversation. Again though, the voices inside her head were screaming for her to reconsider these deadly thoughts.

Not having received an answer, Sarena continued. "Tell you what. I could use your help in getting these generators to increase their output. I will explain everything that has happened in the meantime. Deal?"

The assassin gazed upon the mentioned piece of equipment before looking back at the woman. If this was the nightmare Anya believed it to be, why was Sarena being so nice? More troubling was why did she feel the need to help instead of just killing her?

=-=
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]
M10-P011: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: 34006.0140 ("First Things First")
"First Things First"
Previous posts: (ANU) "90 Minutes" & (BAS) "Awakened Fears"

///^\\\
Setting: BASTET, Observation Lounge
Stardate: 34006.0140

In order to avoid her using something that would drain their energy reserves, Aki decided to come up to the Observation Lounge and be as far away from any of her research equipment. At least from this location within the ship, she would be able to look out at the stars of this new dimension while she thought of what needed to be done without being tempted to scan something or create some sort of holographic image. Until now, the CSciO had never realized the extent of how much she depended on the technology around her. Every minute of her time was spent using some sort of equipment that allowed her to indulge in her insatiable need to research something.

With her hands clasped in front of her and fingers locked together, Aki focussed all of her energy on her thoughts and what the crew needed to accomplish within the next two weeks of their journey. Reaching the M-Class planet would but the first of many steps they would need to take, and as important as preparing for the steps to come was, they still needed to concentrate on overcoming the first obstacle.

Looking with longing admiration at the slowly moving stars beyond the large windows of the Observation Lounge, Aki pondered what she believed to be the most urgent task that the crew faced.

"How about Emerald Paradise?"

Aki just stared at the stars as if expecting one or more of the distant twinkling lights to actually provide her with an answer.

"No? How about Lost Gem? Maybe Jade Pearl? The overall color of the planet is more fitting a jade than it is an emerald. Then again, neither takes into account the blue of the water that we found there. Maybe Sapphire Jade would be a better descriptive name, although it makes the planet sound like some sort of long lost gem."

The Asian woman seemed unsure, maybe even a little lost as to what to do or say next. Why was it so difficult to find a suitable name for the planet they were heading for?

Still looking at the distant stars, the CSciO sighed. "The Green and Blue planet? It may not be very original but at least it is accurate, bluntly so. How do people do this?  I mean, how do they just see a planet and 'pop' comes out a name that everyone seems to agree upon. I see a planet and I feel like my brain is going to melt if I keep trying to find a name for it. I guess we could just call it 'The world formerly known as that M-Class world' and leave it at that for the time being. Studying the ecosystem and figuring out the intricacies of the animal and plant cycles; understanding weather patterns and their driving forces; analyzing mineral contents to get a better picture of how the planet itself behaves beneath the surface. I can do all of these things and a great deal more without even breaking a sweat, but try to find a suitable name and I risk having my brains splattered on that window."

The unappealing image created by her own thoughts made Aki actually take a step back from the windows. "Time for me to change what it is that I am thinking about. Maybe naming that planet is not as high a priority as I thought it needed to be, at least not for me. I am sure that Captain Iverson or Commander Valentine will have a much easier time than I in doing that.  Alright, the first thing we will need to do once we reach orbit is to confirm the long-range sensor readings about the location for our settlement. Once that is done, we can start sending basic equipment down. With energy reserves the way they will likely be, empty, we will need to find another way to get what we will need down to the surface." The Asian woman paused as she considered various possible options. "That could work," she said to herself as one idea surpassed all others in its simplicity and efficiency. Without saying anything more, the CSciO left the Observation Lounge with a clear goal in mind.

///^\\\
Setting: BASTET, Cargo Bay 2
Stardate: 34006.0200

Moving from one deck to another without using the turbolifts was proving to be a lot more difficult and physically demanding than Aki would have liked it to be. Maybe they should take the artificial gravity offline, it would help save power *and* make it easier for people to move between decks. Then again, it would make it that much more difficult for people to do what they needed to do once they got there.

As Aki walked into the room, she realized the effect the absence of gravity could have. Crates and containers were scattered about in a complete mess.  "Well, at least I know what some of us will be doing over the next couple of weeks. Granted this was not what I had planned, but at least it will keep people busy. Now all I have to do is find the reinforced crates I came here for and the atmospheric chutes that will allow us to send them down to the surface without us having to use any power what so ever. Of course, the problem will be for us to find some sort of clearing to aim for. With all of the forested areas surrounding the area we might be settling in, retrieving the crates after they are left to parachute down to the surface may prove to be a massive undertaking all on its own. One problem at a time though. I need to make sure that we can actually use those crates and the chutes that way before I worry about how we will get the equipment back once it reaches the planet, whatever name it will be given."

///^\\\
Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Misaki 'Aki' Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Chief Science Officer
USS BASTET - NCC 74977
M10-P012: USS BASTET: Andersson & Dima: 34006.0135 ("Disappearing Act")
“Disappearing Act”
[Previous Posts: (ANU) "90 Minutes" / (BAS) "First Things First"]

=/\=
Setting: USS BASTET, Corridor
Stardate: 34006.0135

Nicole squeezed Sofia’s hand as they edged their way down the dim hallway. Following the announcement of the vote, they casually made their way back to the Infirmary. With little planned for the next two weeks or so, there was clearly no reason for them or anyone else to rush, plus the faint lighting made walking down the corridors a little more difficult.

A choice had been made, and it had been done with a clear majority. But as Captain Iverson explained the need to scour the ship for resources and parts to beam down, in order to begin their new life, a wave of worry crept back over the young Trill.

The BASTET was no battle-bloated warship, nor was it a luxurious flagship. It was their home, but it was a home without the energy left to support them. 

“I guess it will be like camping,” she murmured. She said it so quietly that Sofia hadn’t understood, even though they were walking side by side. 

“What did you say?”

“Camping,” Nic repeated for the CMO’s benefit. “We’re essentially going camping.”

“Don’t remind me,” Sofia groaned. “No temperature regulation, mosquitoes, who knows what to eat-”

“Try to look on the bright side. Fresh air. Sleeping under the stars. Flora and fauna to catalog. Crops to tend.” 

“I’m a physician, not a farmer,” The blonde woman pointed out. 

“The only resources I’m *trained* to handle are mental ones,” Nicole admitted. And while humanity was perhaps the most precious resource they possessed, there were many other important ones vital for survival. “However, we all have a new role in addition to those we already occupy- colonist. Our ship has been our provider, and she’s given it everything she had. We’re all going to have to pitch in to make up for that loss.”

“I’m sure we will rise to the challenge,” Sofia replied. While she wasn’t looking forward to the amount of work it would take, she still believed in the crew’s decision to go to the as yet unnamed planet.

=/\=
Setting: Infirmary

The Doctor and Counselor entered the ship's medical area still discussing the result of the vote and its implication on the crew, its morale and how the next two weeks would unfold.  "I will say it again, I am relieved that the vote was not closer. With only 44 people voting to not head for the planet, it should make my job a lot easier," Nicole said.

"Technically, that number should be 45," Sofia pointed out. "Gemma was never able to vote, so she should be counted as being on your list of people to see."

"True enough," the Counselor nodded in agreement. "Strangely enough though, I really don't think that she is going to be my most demanding patient. Ashton was very vocal about his desire to head out there and for us to find someone that would help us return to our dimension."

"Well, you worry about Ashton, I will worry about Gemma. Speaking of which, I should check in on her, not that it will do any good. Her nanites will make the tricorder show me the exact same thing I have been looking at since the start."

Nicole just sat in the chair on the other side of the Doctor's desk, thinking about their FCO while Sofia took care of Gemma. The scream that she heard next nearly caused the Counselor to fall clear off the chair. Rushing back into the main treatment area, the Trill found the Doctor on her hands and knees frantically searching for something.

"What's wrong?" Nicole asked.

"She's gone!"

"She's gone? What did you lose?"

"Not what, who," Sofia corrected. "Gemma! She's gone. I thought that maybe she had fallen off the examination table and that thanks to the low lights we had not noticed her, but I can't find her anywhere."

As surprising and unexpected as this was, the joint Trill knew better than to let panic take over. "First of all, you need to get off the floor."

"It's not like she would have floated up to the ceiling," Sofia snarled. "She was in no condition to go anywhere, so where did she go?"

"You said it yourself that her nanites make it impossible for you to gage her true physical state," the Counselor pointed out. "She might just have been doing a lot better than you believed her to be. My guess is that she woke up and walked out while we were heading to the observation lounge, during the meeting or right after as we were heading back. It may not have been that long, but obviously, it was enough time for her to do this."

"We need to find her," Sofia said clearly on the verge of a full-blown panic attack.

Nicole went to the nearby computer access panel and called up a deck-by-deck scan of the ship, locating each member of the crew. "Hmm," the noise from the Counselor did not make the Doctor feel any better. "Internal sensors are not picking her up."

"Great, it means that she woke up and decided to go full Romulan-War-Bird on us. We suspected that those nanites could shield her from sensors, and now we have our proof. We need to inform the Captain."

Just before making that call, Nicole noted something on the monitor, something that made her reconsider.  "Wait, the internal sensors have found her. She's in Main Engineering with Commander Valentine."

"What the hell is she doing there?" Doctor Andersson exclaimed.

"I do not know. They seem to be in the area of the power generators. Maybe Gemma woke up and decided to help."

"We need to get down there and make sure that both Gemma and Sarena are alright," Sofia urged.

=/\=
A Joint Post by

Tiffany Reeve

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

And

Susan Ledbetter

Cns
USS BASTET
M10-P013: USS BASTET: Valentine: 34006.0145 ("One Perspective")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"One Perspective"
[previous post (ANU) "90 Minutes" / (BAS) "Disappearing Act")]

Setting: USS BASTET, Engineering
Stardate: 34006.0145

Sarena was happy to see Gemma back on her feet. The woman was an asset to them in whatever persona she presented herself in, still, the Executive Officer could tell that there was something different about the woman. There was a coldness that the Commander could not remember ever having felt from the Lieutenant, but that feeling was dismissed in favor of having a second set of expert hands working on the power generators.

"I will admit that we were all very surprised and pleased to find you alive after the explosion of that Romulan ship," Valentine said, trying to bring Gemma up to date while continuing to work on the power generators. "That blast somehow sent an energy wave that ended up embedding itself into every Lokustaar within sensor range, at least that is what we managed to figure out when one of them showed up to investigate the debris field left by that same explosion.  To make a long story short, we set up a trap by seeding the field with quantum torpedoes and as soon as the Shadow vessel was close enough, we triggered the trap."

Gemma just stood there, watching and listening to the Executive Officer, contemplating her next move.

"As far as Misaki can figure, we were caught in the middle of a strange energy phenomenon caused by the interaction of the quantum explosion, the Lokustaar energy beam, and our own boosted shields. This led to a massive energy surcharge to sweep through engineering causing the damage that you see all around us. The warp core was completely rendered inoperative as well as both the Dimensional and Temporal drives. Somehow though, that energy managed to not only trigger the D-drive but also remove the energy lock that kept us in the Lokustaar home dimension." The Executive Officer paused for a moment, thinking about the implications of the story that she was telling. Somehow, telling Gemma about it, made their situation feel not quite as bad as some might think.  "So we ended up here, wherever here is, in a new dimension faced with a difficult decision that the Captain decided to involve the whole of the crew in."

"A decision..." Gemma said aloud, more as a statement than a question.

"Yes, because of the warp core is completely useless, we had to choose between heading out into unexplored space hoping to run into a race that would be willing to help us or head for an M-Class planet that our sensors picked up located two weeks away at full impulse.  Both selections were for a one-way trip, so the crew had to decide if they wanted to head out into space or aim for that planet. In the end, the decision was made, with a stronger majority than we could have hoped for, to see the BASTET head for the planet. Once there, we will make our way to the surface and settle as there is no way for us to repair the ship. As strange and difficult as it may be for us to shift over to a completely new way of life, I think that we will all quickly learn to appreciate the more simplistic routine. Before we get there though, I wanted to try to get a little more power out of the power generators to help make the next two weeks go by a little easier. Then again, after two weeks of field rations, we may all be more than happy to eat whatever plant life we will find on that planet. Misaki reassured us that the planet, which we have yet to name, is a luscious green paradise."

Gemma had not moved a muscle and was still just standing there behind Sarena. "A simpler life? A paradise?"

So busy working on the power generators and telling their story, the Executive Officer had no idea or hints of the conflict and confusion that danced on the ILO's face as one persona after another came and went faster than anyone could have been able to identify them. Maybe it was better for Sarena as she might have been concerned about her own safety had she looked back to see this strange and possibly unsettling display.

The attention of both women suddenly turned onto Doctor Andersson and Counselor Dima who came rushing into engineering as if something terrible had happened, or was about to.

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

Executive Officer
USS BASTET, NCC 74977
M10-P014: USS BASTET: Gemma: 34006.0145 ("Multiple Perspectives")
=-=
"Multiple Perspectives"
[the previous post was (ANU) "Setting The Trap" / (BAS) "One Perspective"]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Engineering
Stardate: 34006.0145

Anya Petrov, the deadly Russian assassin stood behind the kneeling woman. Her death would be quick, painless and thanks to the surrounding low lighting, it would be unseen. She could simply reach down and snap her neck. She could just as easily grab one of the nearby loose rods and impale the woman where she was. A quick death might be too simple though, too generous. The assassin could instead grab hold of the woman's throat and squeeze the life out of her. Those last few desperate breaths would make her realize her fate before darkness took over her senses.

If killing her was so easy and so simple, why was Anya still standing there, listening to the woman talk? Why could she not act on this desire, which bordered on an overwhelming need, to kill the woman?  The answer came in the form of a voice within her head. That pleading voice was one of the countless others making it impossible for her to think clearly. The Uxali scientist stood where the Russian assassin had been, listening. The explanation of how the effect of the combined energies was fascinating to her. This interest though only increased the internal conflict raging within the ILO.

**She is your friend!** Gabrielle said nearly screaming.

**She is a living entity, deserving of life as any other. ** Ema added, the priestess' views on life being well known to the others. 

**She is a skilled officer.** Dalra joined in with. As a skilled pilot, she could recognize professional abilities, which the woman clearly possessed.

**She is a member of the elite few, barking orders to whomever she can. ** Shinral was clearly not impressed. As a bodyguard, she had witnessed countless times the divide between classes.

**She is a person** Finnja countered. **Her rank and responsibilities have nothing to do with any of this. If you are to judge her, judge her for *who* she is, not *what* she is.**

**You have to make a decision.** Lantra said, silencing everyone else. Making deals always required a choice to be made, and this was no different. **Either she lives, or she dies.**

"A decision..." It was Gemma herself who repeated those words. The final decision somehow landing on her shoulders. Had Sarena not been so busy with her work, she would have seen the extent of this internal conflict. Hair, skin, and facial features were changing as fast as the voices came into her mind.  Part of her was listening to the explanation being given. Unfortunately, another part of her was debating the future of the woman giving that explanation. The ILO did know why this inner conflict was raging, but she knew that it could not continue. Actions needed to be taken. A decision needed to be made.

**What will be gained by killing her? ** Wimdalli asked. Scientists looked upon any situation with logic, and this situation was no different.**No one's life will be improved. In fact, I believe that it would be quite the opposite. Her death would affect everyone on this ship, including you.**

Yshuni was the next to offer her perspective. **Listen to what Sarena is saying. We are all stuck here, in a new dimension with no way to get back home. They all need each other. That means they need you as much as you will need them. That is of course if you actually want to survive. You do not have to run anymore. This could be your chance to get what you have always wanted. To claim what you have always dreamt of.**

**A simpler life. A paradise for both the body and soul.** It was Arennis that offered the final words.

"A simpler life? A Paradise?" Gemma repeated as her appearance reasserted itself over the others.  The ILO had still not moved a muscle, and yet she had not stopped for a split second. She felt tired and confused. How else was she suppose to feel following the inner battle she had been caught in?  The decision still needed to be made though. Whom would she listen to and how would this impact the life of the woman kneeling in front of her?

Sarena and Gemma both turned their heads at the same time when they heard footsteps. It was Doctor Andersson and Counselor Dima, the two women appearing rather concerned.

"Gemma?" The Doctor asked. Despite the low illumination, it was enough to allow them to see the last few personalities come and go.

"Are you alright?" The Counselor asked before the first question was answered.

"Tired." The tone of Gemma's replied hinted that there was more, a lot more.

"Was she not cleared to leave Sickbay?" Commander Valentine asked.

"Nope," Sofia said. "She just got up and left."

Sarena had never considered that possibility. "You need to rest, especially after everything that you have gone through. Do not worry about helping me with the power generators. We have a couple of weeks ahead of us. One day more or less with bare minimum power is not going to make that much of a difference. You taking care of yourself is more important."

"Come on Gemma," Doctor Andersson said, gently taking hold of the ILO's wrist. It was an easy way to test her reaction as well as her pulse.

The Counselor smiled as she came to stand directly in front of the ILO. "Everything will be fine."

Appearing disoriented and confused, Gemma followed the Doctor and Counselor. Being so close to the ILO made it possible for them to see the next quick switches between personalities.

**See, told you they were your friends.** Gabrielle pointed out.

**Life supports and encourages life.** Ema added.

**You do not have to be alone. Not anymore and never again.** Yshuni concluded.

When Gemma resurfaced, she noticed the looks of surprise in the two women next to her. After all, they had just seen the ILO change into a blonde Terran, a bald Oltharian and a blue-haired Kotakian in just a few seconds.

=-=
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]
M10-P015: USS BASTET: Andersson & Dima: 34006.0200 ("Professional Concerns")
“Professional Concerns”
[Previous Posts: (ANU) "Ambassadorial Review" / (BAS) "Multiple Perspectives"]

=/\=

Setting: USS BASTET, Infirmary
Stardate: 34006.0200

Dima had been observing the raven-haired Nylaan woman who had been occupying the biobed for a little less than a minute. She did not know her name, but it was clear she was one of the many personalities that dwelled within their crewmate. 

“I apologize if this has been a difficult situation for you,” Nicole offered hesitantly. She had been speaking to Gemma in an attempt to get through to her, to put her at ease somehow. But it was futile. And still, she kept talking. “It is our hope that the planet will be a safe place for us to build a colony.” While the Kotakian female who had appeared just before this seemed to be receptive to communicating, the Nylaan gave the impression that she was much more reserved and quiet. It was still a far cry better than the venomous gaze of that German woman she had seen earlier. “It will give us our best chance at survival.”

The Oltharian priestess appeared. “Above all else, life is sacred. Perhaps this is what has been fated to be. Let the journey to this new home be exalted.” 

“Thank you for your kind words,” Nicole acknowledged the next persona that had manifested. She was grateful that not all of Gemma’s alter egos were hell bent towards this whole situation being a negative one. “Please allow yourself to sleep, if you are able. We still have most of the trip ahead of us.”

Ema reclined in the bed and closed her eyes, assuming a zen posture. No more than ten seconds later, Gemma appeared, her brow furrowed, not as peaceful as the prior incarnation, but still fitfully lying down, still trying to comply.


=/\=

Setting: CMO's Office

Nicole entered the CMO's office, which looked more cramped somehow in the dim emergency lighting, and found Sofia sitting at her desk, a concerned expression on her face. "She's resting, at least as much as she can," Counselor Dima said sharing in her friend's worries of their ILO. "I lost track of how many personalities have surfaced. Some I recognized, others I had never seen before. This mad cycling does seem to have subsided, at least for the moment but there is no telling if or when it could start over."

"I informed Captain Iverson that Gemma was awake and asked her to come down," Sofia said. "I think it would be best if we spoke to her directly about this instead of announcing the whole thing through the ship."

"You do know that communications are secured?" Nicole smiled knowing that Sofia's words had been meant figuratively and not literally.

"There is just so much about her that we don't know," the CMO said indicating that she was lost in her own thoughts. "I can't even confirm the way her nanites work thanks to their sensor shielding properties. I feel like one of those ancient frontier doctors that we learned about in Medical History class. I can see that she is doing better than she was, but beyond that, I can't tell you anything else."

"That’s welcome news," the Captain said as she joined the other two women in the office. "Have her injuries fully healed, Doctor?”

Sofia tilted her head thoughtfully; glad to see that their Captain had responded as quickly as she had. “Yes, that’s correct, her biology has repaired itself, but there is a concern as for her state of mind.”

"What type of concern?" It was not difficult to hear the alarm in the Captain’s voice.

Ensign Dima crossed her arms. “For lack of a better explanation, I think Gemma is having an identity crisis. She regained consciousness sometime during the vote being announced, left here under her own power and went to Engineering. She was assisting Sarena with repairs but was not acting quite like herself. She allowed us to escort her back here, but she displayed a hesitance to do so.”

Selene clasped her hands behind her back. "Do you have a hypothesis, Counselor?"

"Only the beginnings of one," Nicole admitted. "We may never know exactly what happened to Gemma, but it appears to have splintered the control she had over her various personas."

"In what way?"

Nic glanced out to the ILO’s currently calm form. “We already know the physical stressors she was subjected to were well beyond what most species are capable of surviving. However, she is very much alive. Clearly, the effects of that trauma are new and unexplored. Gemma seems to be rapidly cycling through her identities.”

"Define ‘rapidly’."

Doctor Andersson chimed in. “It’s variable, at times it’s one persona every twenty to thirty seconds, then changing to another both in appearance and action.”

"I can see where that might be a problem."

Nic raked her hands through her dark brown hair as she continued to explain. “Her role as Intelligence Liaison Officer, while highly specialized and fully utilizing her skills to shift personalities, was nonetheless clearly defined and allowed Gemma to be the primary persona we experienced and worked with. We are going to a place where, to put it bluntly, there won’t be a need for Intel. Being exposed to this inevitability, along with the ship’s situation, may be causing the others to fight for control.”

"The problem is that this is all a best-guess attempt to understand what is happening to her," Sofia jumped in. "Physically speaking, she is a complete mystery. Yes, we have figured out that there are nanites coursing through her body and that they respond to not only her physical needs and demands but also to her current psychological state. How this process is taking place is impossible to say, but we can most definitively see the results through the physical manifestations of the other personas buried in that head of hers."

"Is there anything that we can do to help her?" Iverson asked her voice betraying ever so slightly that she too had grown to appreciate the woman as more than the ILO being a skilled member of the crew.

"We are doing everything we can," Nicole admitted. "Unfortunately, it is not a great deal at this time. The best we can do is to monitor the personalities as they manifest themselves and see if we can identify any sort of external trigger."

"And those triggers would only be what we can visually detect thanks to her nanites," Sofia pointed out admitting defeat even before things had started. "The woman was designed to be the best ILO out there, it also means that she is the worst possible patient for a Doctor."

"And her shattered psyche makes her an equally challenging case to be properly helped by a Counselor."

"Then this is an opportunity to do your best," Iverson replied with authority, looking at the two medical specialists. "You have two weeks before we arrive at our destination. Hopefully, that will be enough time for the both of you to help her make it through whatever this thing is."

"We will spare no effort," Sofia said, glancing over at Nicole, who looked equally resolved to follow through.

"I know,” Selene said, as she left the women to care for their unique patient.

=/\=
A Joint Post by

Tiffany Reeve

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS

And

Susan Ledbetter

Cns
USS BASTET
M10-P016: USS BASTET: Valentine: 34006.0600 ("Breakfast Discussions")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Breakfast Discussions"
[previous post (ANU) "Ambassadorial Review" / (BAS) "Professional Concerns")]

Setting: USS BASTET, Deck 8, Mess Hall
Stardate: 34006.0600

After working for as long as she had, it was time for a break, and even more important was her need for sustenance, so the Executive Officer headed for the Mess Hall for breakfast. Although it had been a relatively short time since the implementation of the power-saving measures, Sarena had become accustomed to the low lights through the ship. Even as she walked into the Mess Hall the extent of their efforts to save as much energy as possible had not been entirely real to her. That was until Valentine noticed that everyone present was enjoying some field rations that the reality of the situation came crashing in on her.

How could she have forgotten about this? That was the main reason why she had labored for so long in Main Engineering, trying to get a little more power out of the generators so that she, as well as everyone else, would not have to endure field rations for the next two weeks. Strangely enough, the Executive was so focused on what she wanted to do that she had forgotten about why she needed to complete the job.

Having resigned herself to what she knew this first meal of their two-week journey would be, Sarena made her way to the inactive food replicators and the cases of emergency field rations set in front of them. Without even looking in, the Executive Officer reached in the first case and grabbed a food pouch before repeating the process in the second case in order to fetch a drink. With the unappealing items in her hands, Valentine scanned the barely lit room for a place for her to sit.

"Commander!" It was Lt. Mitshiba waving the woman down. "Come, we can be miserable together." if the food were unpalatable, at least the company would help make the situation a little more bearable.

"Now I remember why I was working so hard to get more power out of the power generators," Sarena said as she sat down and studied the two pouches in her hands. "We are not going to make it to that planet, are we?"

Misaki laughed. "Actually, I think it will be the reason why we will make it. Just imagine us sitting in the open air eating actually fruits and vegetables. Who knows, we might even get lucky and find some meat once we are there."

"You are being incredibly optimistic," Sarena said silently wishing that the aforementioned fruits, vegetable, and meat were already in front of her.

"Not really. I reviewed the data that was collected earlier on that planet. It is truly an amazing place. The world is temperate, with lush vegetation for as far as the eyes can see. It would be nearly impossible for there *not* be any fruits and berries for us to eat.  In addition, with the presence of water, there are just as many chances for us to find some sort of sea life. It may not be like anything we are used to, but I strongly doubt that we will be starving once we get there."

"From Starfleet officers to farmers and fishers, that is going to be an interesting learning curve for us all," the Executive Officer sighed, still trying to bring herself to take that first bite from whatever the block of food in front of her was supposed to be. "I hope that you are right though. I would hate to think that we are all suffering like this only to find ourselves in a world that is going to do everything it can to kill us."

"We are still too far away to get any definite readings on the planet's ecosystem, but from a distance, it does look to be a very inviting place."

It was Sarena's turn to laugh. "You are a scientist. Every place is inviting. You could be looking at a giant carnivorous plant able to swallow a runabout whole and be absolutely thrilled to be there just because it is something new."

"As long as I am not in that runabout, I guess you would be right," Misaki said with a smile. "The truth is that we have to keep a positive attitude or none of this will matter in the end.

"You sound like you have been speaking with Counselor Dima."

"Not the Counselor, but I have overheard some of the Captain's discussions with other members of the crew," the scientist said pointing to a table not that far away from their own. "Captain Iverson has been doing everything she can to make the crew feel as positive as possible. She knows that aside from whatever may be out there, we are our own worse enemy in this case."

"I'll be right back," Valentine said leaving Mitshiba and her breakfast behind in favor of joining Iverson at her table.  "Good morning Captain."

"Commander," Selene acknowledged. "How goes your efforts to increase the power output of our generators?"

"Not as well as I would have liked them to," the Executive Officer said. "I could use some extra help, maybe Gemma? I know that Doctor Andersson and Counselor Dima came down to Main Engineering and left with her. I just thought that something was forgotten or overlooked and that she would return as soon as everything was taken care of, but Gemma never returned. Is she alright?"

"Gemma is in the tender care of both the Doctor and Counsellor and they are doing everything they can to help. We just have to keep our hopes up and see what will happen." Not having seen anything out of the ordinary during her conversation with the ILO, the Executive Officer was taken aback by the Captain's words. As she thought back to that particular moment though, Sarena recalled not having truly seen the woman who had been standing behind her the entire time Valentine had explained their situation.  Seeing the concerns in her eyes, despite the low lighting, the Captain added. "Finish your breakfast and go see her. I am sure that Doctor Andersson and Counselor Dima will be happy for her to get a visitor."

[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
Setting: USS BASTET, Deck 5, Infirmary
Stardate: 34006.0620

The Executive Officer walked in, holding her untouched breakfast.  "How is Gemma doing, Doctor?" Sarena asked of Sofia as soon as she saw the CMO.

"Still resting," Andersson replied. "Nicole is with her now, trying to understand what is happening. I'm guessing that you did not see her cycling through one personality after another while she was standing behind you."

"I just thought that she was listening to my explanations as to what happened to us," the Executive Officer said. "I took her general silence as her processing what I was saying."

"You were probably correct in that assessment," Sofia said. "The difference was that through everything she went through Gemma lost control of her other personalities, and now they seem to be wanting out. While you were explaining what happened, it was not just Gemma listening but everyone else as they came and left in rapid sequence."

"Could I speak with her?"

"Not right now. It has taken us all this time to get Gemma stable enough so that her other personalities do not try to take over. She needs to rest and regain as much control as possible before dealing with anything else," the CMO explained.

"I understand. Can you please give her this for me?" Sarena handed over the untouched field ration she had picked up for herself. "When you feel she is ready, let her know that I could use her help in Main Engineering. If we can manage to get some more power out of the generators, we might be able to have a real meal during the next two weeks of our journey."

"I will give her the message."

"Thank you, Doctor," and with that said and done the Executive Officer left the Infirmary to return to Main Engineering.

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

Executive Officer
USS BASTET, NCC 74977
M10-P017: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: 34006.0810 ("Cutting Through The Problems")
"Cutting Through The Problems"
Previous posts: (ANU) "Cold Silence" & (BAS) "Breakfast Discussion"

///^\\\
Setting: BASTET, Infirmary
Stardate: 34006.0810

Aki walked in tightly holding her right hand with her left. The deep red liquid seeping from between her fingers hinted to the severity of her injury.

"What happened?" It took no time whatsoever for the CMO to notice the injured Asian woman despite the reduced lighting, and it took her even less time for the Doctor to rush to her patient's side to attend to the injury. "Why didn't you call for a medical emergency?"

"Standard procedure for a Medical Emergency is for a medical team to be beamed to the required location, or to have the injured party beamed directly to Sickbay is their condition is stable enough to permit it," Aki said wincing a the pain crawled up her arm. "In both cases, the transporter system would have been required and since we are doing everything we can to maintain our energy reserves, I thought it best to come here on my own."

"You could have fainted from shock brought on by blood loss at any point during the trip," Doctor Andersson said angrily. "Without anyone knowing what had happened or where you were, you might have bled out."

"I did not want to use our energy reserves for something that could instead be used for something better, or for a real emergency," Aki defended. "I was simply thinking about the situation that the ship and crew are in the middle of."

"Well, that was exceptionally foolish of you," the CMO said, still working on trying to stop the bleeding.

"She is right," Counselor Dima said as she joined the Doctor and her walk-in patient.

"See," Sofia said grinning from ear-to-ear. "She agrees with me."

"Actually, I was agreeing with Misaki," Nicole corrected. "I am sure that the Captain would have supported the use of the transporter system for such an emergency, but I am sure that she will even more pleased that the situation was taken care of without our using a very precious and finite resource. We still have a long ways to go before we reach our destination, therefore if we allow ourselves to follow every protocol as they were meant to be used under normal circumstances; it is very likely that we will run out of energy long before we make it to the planet. That we may like it or not, we all need to learn to do things differently.  As dangerous as the decision taken by Misaki was, it was, in the end, the best choice."

Aki smiled at Nicole to thank her for her support, but that gesture was short lived as a shot of pain ran up her arm. "Sorry," the CMO said before glancing over her shoulder to the CNS standing there. "Keep applying pressure to stop the bleeding while I fetch a few instruments to fix this."

Counselor Dima quickly volunteered to help, taking Aki's hands into hers and applying pressure on the wound, not as hard as Doctor Andersson had mere seconds ago, but strong enough to hinder the bleeding without causing any unnecessary pain to the Asian woman. "What happened? This looks like a rather deep cut, how did you manage it?"

"I was working in Cargo Bay 2, figuring out the logistics of how we would get the equipment and supplies we will need to create our new lives down to the surface. I thought that using the atmospherics chutes to gently parachute the reinforced crates we have onboard down would be the best and most energy efficient way to get the job done. I had all of the chutes laid out and was moving some of the crates when my hand slipped and caught the edge of another container that was likely damaged when we lost gravity through the ship."

"You were not using the antigravity transport slay were you?" Nicole asked smiling knowingly.

"I know that those devices have their own power cells, but if we use them, sooner or later they would need to be recharged which will still be an extra demand on our energy supply," Aki explained. "As heavy as the reinforced crates may be, I decided to move them manually and as you said, we all need to learn to do things differently. It is a way of thinking that we all need to get used to as this is just the beginning. Once we are on the planet surface, there will not be anything left of our previous way of life, and we need to learn and adapt now if we are to make the transition easier. The next two weeks may actually prove to be a blessing in disguise as it will give us the time we need to adapt our ways."

The Counselor agreed and silently praised the woman's proactive mindset before turning her attention to the resting ILO.  Would everyone else be as ready and able to accept this complete change in his or her way of life? The answer was that yes, some would likely be able to readily jump into the new demands of their sedimentary lifestyles, but others might find the change much more difficult to adapt to.

Although Aki was in pain, she still noticed the diverted attention and concern of the Counselor.  "Will Gemma be alright?"

"She's a fighter," Nicole said, thinking that although the description was very well fitting, it also pointed out the difficulties the woman would face over the next two weeks and even more so when they would arrive at their destination.

"I'm so glad I know where everything is," Sofia said as she returned. "I could not see anything, so next time someone complains about my always wanting to have everything in its right place, you can tell them that is works for more than just to make me happy. Now, let's take care of that wound."

Aki watched as Doctor Andersson worked on her hand while keeping an eye on Counselor Dima who was heading back to check up on the Infirmary's other patient.

///^\\\
Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Misaki 'Aki' Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Chief Science Officer
USS BASTET - NCC 74977
M10-P018: USS BASTET: Gemma: 34006.0830 ("An Anchor")
=-=
"An Anchor"
[the previous post was (ANU) "Yes It Will" / (BAS) "Cutting Through The Problems"]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Infirmary
Stardate: 34006.0830

The storm that raged in her mind had finally subsided leaving Gemma feeling emotionally drained and mentally exhausted. She was made to look at their situation and everything pertaining to it from countless different angles and perspectives. Each sentiment and beliefs were more different from the ones expressed before them. Everyone had an opinion about their two-week journey to an unknown world. Everyone had a reaction to what would become their home. Some herald it as a chance to start anew. Others condemned it as an unfitting end for someone with their respective skills and abilities. Good or bad, they all had something to say, and Gemma was stuck in the middle of the ongoing debate.

Through the chaos, the ILO had noticed a reoccurring pattern. One person had stood by her side watching with concern through it all. Gemma could tell that she wanted to help but seemed unsure as to how to accomplish this. Maybe out of fear of making things worse, the woman just stood there, offering a comforting presence. Every now and then the CNS would reach out and take hold of her hand. Without saying a word, the Trill managed to be a stabilizing anchor for the troubled patient.

"That bad?" Gemma asked after meeting the Counselor's gaze for a brief moment. The concerns on Nicole's mind were quite visible on her face.

"I've seen worse." Nicole said smiling. The line was just that, a line meant to make her patient feel better. They both knew it, and still, Gemma smiled back.

"You are going to tell me to rest, to take it easy, to not worry about anything. You might even suggest that I focus on myself for the time being. The rest of the crew can manage. They have before and will continue to do so." The ILO knew the routine. As much as she might not have been a Counselor, she knew how they operated.

"Why would I tell you something that you already know?" Nicole might have been a CNS, but she also possessed several lifetimes of experience. This mean that the ILO's quick reply had not taken her by surprise. At least not as much as Gemma might have hoped for. "You know what I will say, and I know what you will do."

"Which would be?" The ILO was enjoying this. It was not often that she could have a conversation like this. 

"You will ignore my words. You will find some logical reason to dismiss what I said and do as you please. After a while, you will realize that was right, but by then it will no longer matter. Something else will have happened and your mind will be focussed on that instead. My words will be forgotten, replaced by more urgent and current matters."

"There always seems to be something else, doesn't it?" Gemma sounded relaxed, which pleased Nicole. The banter between them was also a good sign. The battle between the personalities had apparently stopped, at least for the time being. There was no telling how long that would last, but it was nice to see nonetheless.

Nicole nodded knowingly. "We were not meant for the boring repetitious life. That is why we joined Starfleet. Each day comes with the promise of something new, of something exciting, of something that challenges us.  Even when things are quiet, we are challenged by our own demands of ourselves. We strive to become better no matter what is around us. The next two weeks are no different."

"Nice way to lead into that particular subject." Gemma was still smiling, which in some way surprised Nicole.

"Glad to see that you approve. Does that mean that you will not be arguing with me about staying here? You do need to rest, we both know this to be true."

The ILO's face instantly drew more serious. "Of course I will argue. I am sure that Captain Iverson will want to have all able bodies working. The next two weeks are not going to be a pleasure cruise for any of us. There is a lot to be done and very limited resources to do them. Experience is essential. Yours will be put to much better use helping someone else."

"You should not sell yourself so short. You are as deserving as anyone else."

"I am not selling myself short," Gemma said pushing herself up on her elbows. "I am simply stating a fact. I am certain that there are crewmembers struggling with our current situation. They are in need of your guidance and support far more than I am. You did what you needed in order to help me. Now you should seek out someone else."

"I did what I *wanted*," the Trill corrected. "Helping you was just a nice bonus."

The ILO did not seem impressed, or upset. "I am honored, but you paying me so much attention might lead to trouble." Gemma shot a quick glance in the direction of the CMO. The Doctor putting on the final bandage around the injured Asian's hand.

"Trouble? Why would Sofia have any issues with my spending time with you?"

"Counselor, I may be troubled by a great many thoughts, but I am not blind. Even in this low lighting, I can see quite clearly. Claim what you may, but I recognize the signs. All I can say is this, cherish the moments you have together. Loneliness can be exceptionally difficult for some, trust me on that if nothing else."

Nicole blinked a few times as she gazed at Gemma, pondering her words. Thanks to the ILO's multiple personalities how could she understand what loneliness was? Then again, maybe it was because of those personalities that she understood the concept better than anyone else did. To feel alone while constantly surrounded by others could not have been easy.

While considering the words spoken to her, Nicole turned her gaze onto Sofia. The ILO claimed that the CNS had been an anchor for her. Could Dima claim to be the same for Andersson?

=-=
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]
M10-P019: USS BASTET: Valentine: 34006.1130 ("Sunlight")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Sunlight"
[previous post (ANU) "Medical Curiosity" / (BAS) "An Anchor")]

Setting: USS BASTET, Engineering
Stardate: 34006.1130

No matter what she tried, the power generators were working at the maximum output. The equipment had never been designed to supply the entire ship with energy; the generators were there for short-term emergency use, nothing more. With only some of the generators working, it was far more likely that the control systems would burn out leaving them in an even more precarious situation than they already were in.

"Everything alright Commander? You seem upset," Misaki asked, holding on to her bandaged hand.

"Frustrated with my inability to get any more power out of these generators," Sarena replied. "How about you? How are you doing? I heard about the accident."

"Doctor Andersson fixed me up as best she could without draining too much energy from her instruments. I should be back to normal in a few days," Mitshiba said. "Guess we have to look at our speed as a good thing. What's a couple of days on a two-week trip?"

"A couple of days may not be much, but our problem is the two-week trip," Valentine sighed. "The more I work on these generators, the more I am afraid that they will not be able to make it that far. That equipment was never meant to produce energy for the entire ship, and certainly not on a constant basis. Our slow speed may end up being what will stop us from reaching our destination."

"Maybe we are looking at this all wrong," Misaki said. "We have grown so accustomed to going farther and faster, we forget how the first space voyages used technology that was well below what we have currently. Even without our warp core, the BASTET is decades ahead what those first interstellar voyages were using. They managed trips that lasted months, so I am sure that we can manage a measly two weeks."

Sarena looked at Misaki, the soft ambient light casting strange shadows on the features of the Asian woman. "You look like you have a plan."

"That is why I came down to see you," Mitshiba said. "While Doctor Andersson was fixing me up, I was thinking about some of the things she said. Due to our situation, we are all forced to use methods that have not been in effect for centuries, and that got me thinking about our energy problem. How did those old ships, traveling at only a fraction of sub-light, managed to get as far as they did. Then the proverbial light bulb came on -- light, or more specifically sunlight."

"The older ships used solar panels to supply their onboard systems with power," the Executive Officer said. "The problem is that we do not have anything of that sort on board."

"No, but we do have something that we could use, in theory, to act very much like it. The ship's own bio-regenerative hull matrix," Misaki said. "We should be able to modify the composition to include a photo-reactive substance that would generate energy that we would be able to channel to the ship's systems. The energy generated this way will not be much, but it should, in theory, help reduce the stress on the generators. If nothing else is gained by this, we will increase the chances of the generators making it to the end of our journey. If these modifications work better than expected, we might even be able to channel more power to the ship's environmental systems making the next two weeks that much easier to survive."

Sarena remained silent as she thought about what had just been said. This silence worried Misaki who thought that maybe she had forgotten something, a detail that would make this plan impossible to realize.

"Those modifications would weaken the outer protective shell of the ship," the Executive Officers said making the Asian realize that she had indeed missed something. "That said, we are in no position to defend ourselves if something did appear out of nowhere and attacked us, so your plan is perfect. How quickly do you believe we could get those modifications in place?"

Happily surprised by Valentine's agreement and support, Mitshiba had to think for a few seconds to come up with a viable timeline. "I should be able to get something up for an initial test within the next 24 hours."

"Good," Sarena said, smiling. "You get started on that project while I continue down here. Maybe in a couple of days from now, we can surprise the Captain with a warm bowl of soup instead of one of those tasteless emergency field rations."

"Soup does sound good," Misaki agreed. "Now, that is what I call motivation. I will let you know when I am ready to perform the first test." With a bounce in her step, the Asian exited Engineering in a way that made the Executive Officer smile. As bad as their situation was, the ship as a whole had managed to hold on to their spirit and hopes better than she had expected. The wide margin on the vote made things easier, avoiding a divide that would have split the crew, and so far, everyone seemed to be willing to pull up their sleeves and do what needed to be done to make this work. All that was left to do was to wait and see if this attitude would last the two weeks that stood before them.

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

Executive Officer
USS BASTET, NCC 74977
M10-P020: USS BASTET: Andersson: 34006.1145 ("A Walk In The Dark")
=-=
"A Walk In The Dark"
[the previous post was (ANU) "Nothing More Than Pawns" by Jayson / (BAS) "Sunlight" by Karen]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Corridor
Stardate: 34006.1145

With Misaki's injured hand fixed as best as she could without completely draining her medical instruments of energy, and with Nic staying by Gemma's side, Sofia decided to go for a walk. For obvious reasons Starfleet had decided to locate the medical department of a starship deep inside the ship. This of course meant that there were no windows anywhere nearby and right now Doctor Andersson needed to see something other than the darkened walls of her department. Stars were always a safe bet to bring a smile to her lips.

Sofia could have just sat down next to Gemma and looked at something equally as pleasing if not more, such as staring straight into Nicole's sapphire eyes. Somehow though, the Doctor thought that this might cause a few problems in the long run. The CMO was not jealous of the time the CNS was spending with their ILO, far from it as she fully understood the need. The issue was that doing as she thought and wanted could possibly send the wrong message.

Andersson did not want to pressure Dima into anything, although by now everything seemed to point to them being on the same proverbial page on this matter. That said, there was no need for them to rush into things as they would have the rest of their lives to figure everything out. Hopefully, they would not wait that long and would do so within the next two weeks.  Sofia also was concerned that Gemma, or one of her personalities, could interpret the Doctor's presence as some sort of challenge for the Counselor's time and attention. 

There were a great many things that Andersson feared from Gemma, but getting in between her and Dima was not one of them. If anything, it was far more likely that one of the personalities, such as the Oltharian Priestess, would surface and lecture them on the requirements of a healthy relationship or that the Russian woman would emerge and cast one of her deadly glares. There were still so much that they did not know about the personalities they had seen, and the odds were that there were many more waiting for the right opportunity to make themselves known to the rest of the crew.

The odds that something unexpected would happen were much smaller with Sofia out of the room, leaving Nicole and Gemma alone. The CMO also knew that if something did happen, the CNS would be in a much better position to handle it without havig to worry about Andersson jumping into the middle and possibly making things worse.  As much as she always wanted to help and do the right thing, the Doctor had learned through experience that she had a bad habbit of doing the opposite when she did not take the time to think things through.  At least here, walking down a barely lit corridor, there was much less chances for her to do or say something that she might later come to regret.

Having finally found her way to one of the observation area on the outer section of the BASTET, Sofia gazed out upon the distant twinkling lights. Because of their impulse speed, the stars appeared to just be hanging there against the solid black fabric of space. As no known constellations could be seen, the CMO began play connect the dots in an effort to create familiar shapes and forms. Who knows, maybe these would be documented and become part of the lore of their new civilization.

It quickly became evident that Sofia was just as skilled with connecting the stars to form some imaginary form as she was in finding a name for the planet they would soon be calling home. So far, her attempts at creating something original had been limited to linking four twinkling dots to form a square.

"Guess that would be why I ended up in the field of medicine instead of science," the CMO sighed. "Gives me a little more appreciation for what Misaki does on a daily basis though. She can take care of linking stars; I'll stick with reattaching tendons, veins and nerves. At least with those, I know exactly what goes where, well at least for the most part, there are still a few races out there that I would be guessing my way around their anatomy."

Sofia exhaled as she closed her eyes and lowered her head. All of this thinking about medical field and alien anatomy reminded her of her time back at Starfleet Medical on EARTH. From there, it was not hard for her to leapfrog from one memory to the next, which landed her thoughts back to Paris; the Romulan ice prison world; their meeting with the USS HAWKINGS and its crew and them being stuck in Lokustaar space before ending up here, in this unknown dimension unable to return home.  The desire to wander alone that took her out of the Infirmary had suddenly been replaced by a need to seek company and not feel so alone.

The CMO reopened her eyes and debated as to the best possible way for her to address this new need. Returning to the Infirmary could interrupt whatever Nicole and Gemma were doing, so Sofia decided against that option. She could head to Engineering and check in on Commander Valentine's progress or hunt down their Chief Science Officer claiming that she wanted to make sure the bandages were holding as they should. Another option was for Doctor Andersson to head up to the bridge and see what Captain Iverson was up to. All of those options presented her with possible difficulties in explaining what she was doing there, but it also made sure that she would not be alone, and right now that was the feeling that won over all of the others.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS
M10-P021: USS BASTET: Dima: 34006.1230 ("Silver")
“Silver”
[Previous Posts: (ANU) "Wounded Pride" / (BAS) "A Walk In The Dark"]

=/\=
“Make new friends
But keep the old,
One is silver and the other’s gold.”
-Girl Scouts/Girl Guides

=/\=
Setting: USS BASTET, Deck 5, Exo-Biology Lab C
Stardate: 34006.1230

"Can you explain again *why* we are doing this?" Jeb Roman griped to the Counselor.
Ensign Roman had requested her presence in one of the labs. They had been hoping to salvage some of the equipment to create solar cells for their survival planetside. He had reasoned that if solar energy could work for the ship, why not their new home? Mitshiba had agreed, and he went to work.  But his frustration at finding many of the components damaged or unusable spilled over into everything that had happened before.

"A setback does not immediately mean a decision is wrong," Dima gently reminded him.

"That's easy for you to say, coming from someone who probably wanted to go to the planet." It was becoming more clear why he asked for the services of the Cns. Instead of wanting advice regarding the modifications, he was seeking the reasons why they were headed for the unnamed Class-M paradise. His true concern was with the decision that was made, not the reality of scavenging the ship.

"My vote in and of itself was not important," she sidestepped. "It was the group that came to the decision, not me."

He pried another metal panel loose, hoping to find something, anything he could utilize. "In case you hadn't figured it out, I said we should take our chances in open space. But that was not with the majority. And now, at every turn, even when attempting to make the best of a bad situation, I see things like this." He tossed a small bundle of fried wires to her. "Those aren't good for anything."

Nicole examined them; they didn't look particularly remarkable, but she wasn't educated enough to agree that they were beyond repair. "The way things appear at first isn't always a good indicator of their purpose."

"I guess that's your way of saying that all those of us who didn't get what we wanted, will come around if the rest of you wait long enough?" he asked harshly.

"No, that's not what I'm saying." her voice rose with his.

Jeb put his hands up in an annoyed gesture. "What *are* you saying, then?"

"You can still disagree about where we are headed, but don't be so quick to eliminate possibilities. Everything has a justification that is not obvious at first."

He pushed the panel closed with more force than was probably necessary. "As much as I would like you to be right, I'm still thinking about all those we left behind in our own universe. Hightailing it to the nearest planet seems like the coward's way out."

While Nicole knew the man needed the opportunity to vent, she could feel herself growing defensive. "Choosing our best chance to stay alive by abandoning our ship is not a choice that was made lightly."

"You don't have to keep telling me that- but do you understand that deciding to risk death in open space to preserve the way of life we have chosen as Starfleet officers was a brave decision for us, too?"

"It wasn't supposed to be a contest," Dima said with compassion.

“I know,” he replied solemnly. “But it feels like we are now set up to lose. I hope I’m wrong. But it’s too soon for me to believe in... this.”

“Is there anything I can do?” 

“You came when I asked.” He shrugged and let out a resigned breath, opening another console. “Just keep doing that.”

=/\=
Setting: Infirmary

Nicole entered, her mood deflated after her talk with Ensign Roman, and noticed Sofia was still gone. She was happy that the good Doctor had taken a break; they all had to nurture themselves beyond their traditional roles and jobs for the journey ahead. Gemma had been sleeping when the junior Science Officer had asked for assistance, so with Sofia still out, the Counselor’s first priority was checking on her.

“Hello,” a warm, sensual voice greeted the joined Trill. It was not a surprise that the woman had awakened, however *who* had awakened very much was. 

She resembled a goddess. Her hair was a rich color approaching burgundy, a little brighter and straighter than Gemma’s, but not as red as the Russian assassin’s. Her skin had a golden hue, which signified at least partial heritage from a race of beings that Nicole had never met; the Ub-Hani. Her last mission aboard the ANUBIS had saw them orbiting the world, looking for one of Doctor Arken’s crystals, but the mysterious people never allowed them to access the planet below. It made Nicole wonder how this persona came into existence with so little about the race to go by.

“Hello. I’m Nicole, and this is the USS BASTET.”

“My name is Saha Rahi,” she continued with a regal air. “It is a pleasure to meet you, but I cannot say the same for your ship. The color scheme is so drab and muted.” She examined Nicole up and down. “Your outfit is rather plain.”

“It’s a uniform,” Nic said as though that explained everything. “It’s supposed to be efficient.” She reached down to tug on the tunic hem and found she had been absentmindedly carrying the damaged circuitry from her visit with Mister Roman without even realizing it. Nic set it on the biobed. Saha wasted no time in inspecting the wires’ bright plastic sheathing. 

“Are you a Scientist?” Nicole haphazardly guessed, seeing her interest in the discarded resource. “Or an Engineer?”

Ms. Rahi looked offended, but in a delicate, dramatic way. “I am an artist, a creative by nature. I have mastered all mediums. And it looks like my skills are sorely needed here.” She got out of bed with a burst of energy, making a beeline for some of Sofia’s instruments.

“Be careful, those are sharp,” Nic said with worry, trying not to hover, but still wondering what the hell Saha was doing. 

She laughed, a sexy laugh. “I have sculpted marble and carved ivory with more dangerous implements than these.”  If Nicole hadn’t known better, she would have pegged the woman for one of the Greek muses. Saha held up a scalpel unflinchingly. “This should suffice.”

“Suffice for what?”

There had been an empty container of field rations that neither Nicole nor Sofia had bothered to turn in to the matter reclamation unit. It seemed like an unnecessary waste of energy at the time. The Ub-Hani hybrid had grabbed that and removed the lid with the scalpel, then began cutting spaced notches in the sides of the box. She then deftly peeled the sheaths from the wires, exposing the delicate, glistening metal filaments. “Why is it so dark in here?” she remarked.

“We’re under emergency power until we reach our destination.” Nic thought about whether or not she should explain more, but she was still trying to figure out what the latest alter ego to appear from within Gemma’s psyche was up to. “What are you doing?” she asked, feeling foolish but wanting an answer.

“I wish to create. I see no paints, no clay, no textiles.” She began stringing the box with the harvested materials, using the notches to align the wires and hold them in place. “So I must manufacture items for my own pursuit of the arts. That is my gift to you.”

Nicole was reminded of the weaving apparatus her mother taught her to use to make fabric. “Is it a miniature loom?”

Saha considered this, while making sure the metallic threads were pulled tightly. “Not a bad guess. But it’s something better,” she answered with enthusiasm.

“A five course gourmet meal?” Nic found herself joking as she sat down, continuing to watch .

Saha smiled. “While cooking is no less an art than the others, there is at least one pursuit more beautiful.” She held up the finished product; it was a rudimentary harp. She drew her slender fingers across the strings, plucking and strumming, producing a lyrical melody. “Food nourishes the body, while music soothes the spirit.”

=/\=
Susan Ledbetter

Cns
USS BASTET

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