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
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
Post # Character Title
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
022 Gemma Soothing Melodies
Nicole listens to Saha's music
023 Iverson Twelve Days to Go
Selene and Sarena talk
024 Valentine Stars
Sarena contemplates the situation
025 Iverson Halfway There
Sarena and Selene chat
026 Mitshiba Allocaton Issues
Aki vents to Gemma
027 Gemma Performance Anxiety
Nicole speaks with Gemma than Saha
028 Andersson A Quick Detour
Nicole goes to see Sofia before the concert
029 Iverson Melody of the Soul
Selene enjoys the concerto and observes the others
030 Dima Survivor's Guilt
Nicole and Sofia wake up in the same quarters
031 Andersson A Brighter Day
Nicole and Sofia go for breakfast
032 Mitshiba Feeling Better
Aki feels a lot better following Saha's performance
033 Iverson Feels Like Home
The BASTET arrives at ELYSIA
034 Gemma Imperfect Perfection
Gemma is having issues with being on ELYSIA
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

Executive Officer
USS BASTET, NCC 74977
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
M10-P022: USS BASTET: Gemma: 34006.1330 ("Soothing Melodies")
=-=
"Soothing Melodies"
[the previous post was (ANU) "A Brigade of Tribbles" / (BAS) "Silver"]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Infirmary
Stardate: 34006.1330

The music of the makeshift instrument filled the room. It was strange to hear such angelic melodies coming from such an unimpressive apparatus. The results though could not be denied and Dima appeared quite taken by the entire experience.  The more Saha played, the less Nicole was concerned about their situation. Had she not known better, the joint Trill might have suspected that the instrument possessed some sort of magical properties.  In truth, this perceived magic was not in the instrument but rather in the hands of the person playing it.

Watching Saha, Nicole could imagine the woman as belonging to some distant pantheon. Her demeanor showed a distinct air of natural superiority. Her skills also seemed to be well above those expected from the common populace. The more time passed, the more enchanting music was played, the more difficult it was to accept one fact. The woman sitting in front of the CNS was none other than the troubled and tortured soul they knew as Gemma.

There was no arguing that it was nice to see someone other than the Russian assassin. The personality referring to herself as Anya easily instilled fear in those around her. There were other personalities, but this latest one had taken the lead as being the most interesting, not to mention enjoyable. Nicole actually found herself wishing for Saha to stay and not be replaced by another. It was unlikely that this would happen, so the Trill simply delighted in the now, enjoying the soothing melodies.

A sensation of loss swept through the CNS when the music stopped.  "That was beautiful," Nicole said after a few moments of silence.

"Of course it was," Saha said. The woman was clearly very confident in her skills. "I do have to admit that the acoustics in this room is quite good. I cannot claim the same for the decor though. Still, it is nice t be playing. I cannot remember the last time I was able to enjoy the sound of my music."

"You should make the time," Nicole said. The comment came from her desire to hear more instead of as a CNS. "That music should not be kept silent."

"I agree with you. The universe, on the other hand, has a mind of its own when it comes to this. I find my time to be very restricted. There always seems to be something or someone getting in the way."

"Maybe you will have more time to share your talents once we reach our new home. According to Misaki, the planet we are hading to is a literal paradise. Once we have settled, I am sure that a great many of the crew will enjoy listening to your music." The statement was meant to make Saha feel needed. Instead, Nicole noticed that she had triggered a new power struggle as to which personality would dominate. Clearly, the thought of settling into a new world raised several concerns. Each was easily identified by the personality that flashed on the woman's face. The Russian assassin was considering the hardships they would face in order to survive. The Uxali scientist looked upon the scientific benefits of being in a new world. The Oltharian priestess was ready to offer the spiritual spin of a new existence.

Each of the personalities came and went in the blink of an eye. They were appearing so fast that Nicole could not keep track of which one had forced its way to the surface. All that the CNS knew was that Gemma had lost control, completely. Trying to figure out a way to help, the joint Trill looked around, her searching eyes locking onto the recently created instrument. Dima quickly picked it up and using what she had witnessed as a base, started to play.

As simple as the instrument might have appeared to be, its use was anything but. Every attempt to create some sort of musical note resulted in a cringe-inducing noise. Although Nicole had hoped that the music might soothe the troubled soul, it appeared that the noise created a very similar result. The rapid shifting through the personalities ended with Saha regaining control.

"Maybe you should let me do that." The woman with the golden skin appeared unaware of the battle she had just been a part of. Nicole was not going to make an issue of that though, happy to see that her efforts had worked. "Many can enjoy the beauty of music, but only a few have the skills to create it."

"You will not get any arguments from me on that." The CNS smiled before she let a soft sigh escape. There was no telling how long this new tranquility would last, but at least it would do so for at least a little longer.

=-=
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-P023: USS BASTET: Iverson: 34006.1900 ("Twelve Days to Go")
---
"Twelve Days to Go"
(Previous Post: (ANU) "Absolute Darkness" / (BAS) "Soothing Melodies")
---

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 34006.1900

The remnant of her supper sat in the small plate resting on the arm of the command chair. The Captain was absentmindedly playing with the dried field ration using a single finger as she looked at the image displayed on the forward viewer. The bridge was empty and in near complete darkness, but Selene did not seem to be all that bothered by this, in fact, she actually appeared to be enjoying the setting.

The Captain kept her eyes forward as she heard someone climbing out of the turbolift shaft. In order to keep their energy consumption to the bare possible minimum, the magnetic pods moving through the BASTET had been disabled forcing everyone who wanted to access to the command deck to use the emergency ladder system.

"Welcome to the Bridge Commander," the Captain said having recognized the footsteps of her First Officer. "I hope that the climb was not too demanding."

"After the sumptuous dinner I had, a little bit of a workout was needed," Sarena replied, the sarcasm in her voice very evident. "Speaking of which, you should not waste food like that," Commander Valentine said as she approached the center chair having noticed the plate and field rations. "That would be setting a very poor example to the rest of the crew."

The Captain turned her head to look at the approaching First Officer, the barely visible expression of annoyance gradually being replaced by one of mild amusement. Without saying anything Selene reached for the leftovers on her plate and after scooping them up with her fingers, brought them to her lips where they vanished. "Happy?" Iverson said after swallowing

Seeing this, Sarena smiled as she came to stand next to her Captain. "Things are relatively quiet throughout the ship," the First Officer reported changing the subject to something more serious. "Lieutenant Mitshiba worked all day, despite her injured hand, at figuring the best possible way for us to send the equipment we will need once we reach that M-Class planet."

"We really should find a way to give that planet a name," Selene said, finding it amusing that the crew had apparently accepted to refer to their destination as 'that M-Class planet'.

"I am open to suggestions," Sarena grinned. "That is as long as it does not involve another vote. I think one was more than enough."

"Agreed," the Captain said adding a gentle chuckle. "So, does this mean that you do not have any reports of mutiny caused by the crew having to eat field rations?"

"Not yet," the First Officer replied. "That said, we still have 12 days or so before we reach our destination, so give it time."

"Am I to gather that you have not made any progress in getting the power generators to supply us with a little more energy?" Iverson asked but the expression she saw was all that she needed to figure out the answer.

"Between you and me, I will say that the crew made the right decision in choosing to head for the planet instead of open space," Sarena explained in a whispered voice although no one else was present on the Bridge. "The BASTET is really not in good shape and I am surprised that she is operating as well as she is at the moment. That said, Lieutenant Mitshiba did help me earlier. She suggested that we tap into the bio-regenerative hull matrix to have it act like some kind of solar panel. The energy this would provide would be minimal, but it would be that much more than we currently have. It might actually help us reach the planet without too many problems."

"Has Gemma been able to assist you?" Selene asked. Again, in an effort to cut down on power utilization, the Captain had refrained from asking for reports figuring that if there was something she truly needed to know about, someone would let her know.

"Gemma is still recuperating, at least that is according to Doctor Andersson," Sarena explained. "I swung by the Infirmary on my way here and saw someone new playing some kind of a harp. I must admit that the music was very nice, but seeing this made it clear that Gemma was not in any shape to help. Whoever that persona was, she seemed far more interested in playing music than helping us with our current situation."

"Of all the people on board the BASTET, I think we can both agree that Gemma is the one who will need the most time to come to terms with what it is we are facing," the Captain said. "I am sure that she will come around, in time."

"True," Valentine agreed. "Like I said though, we have a 12-days journey ahead of us. I just hope that Gemma sorts her personalities before then."

"Maybe I should go down and have a chat with her," Selene said. "It would give me the chance to stretch my legs and it might be nice to meet another of her personalities, especially one that is not bent on killing everyone she encounters."

"Go," Sarena said inviting the sitting woman to stand. "I will man the Bridge. Just be careful while using that ladder, remember, you want to get to the Infirmary as a visitor, not as a patient."

"No worries," Selene replied as she stood. "Like you said, with a 12-days journey ahead of us, I do not have to rush. At least that is one positive aspect of this."

---
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-P024: USS BASTET: Valentine: 34006.2130 ("Stars")
[/\] [/\] [/\] [/\] [/\]
"Stars"
[previous post (ANU) "Working Hard" / (BAS) "Twelve Days to Go")]

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 34006.2130

It was like one of those relaxation sessions her mother used to enjoy after a long day's work flying cargo all over Federation space. Sitting in the dark, listening to meditation music while looking at a holographic display of a night's sky filled with stars. As a child, Sarena could never understand why her mother chose to gaze upon those stars when that was what the freighter pilot did for the greater majority of her time. Today, sitting in the near-complete darkness and stillness of the bridge, the Executive Officer understood.

Although no music was playing, Sarena found the sight of the barely moving stars to be quite relaxing, almost mesmerizing. It was rare that they ever gazed upon those twinkling lights in this fashion, the ship either moving too fast for the individual stars to be seen or because the view screen was filled by a planet, a starbase or some other thing they encountered in their travels. Thanks to their D-Drive, there was also a few times where there had not been any stars for them to see no matter what they did. The Lokustaar home dimension came to mind as a grim reminder of that possibility as well as the events that brought them to be here now.

This dimension was not their home and yet the sight of the unknown stars still managed to bring peace to the Executive Officer. Life would certainly not be the same as the one they had come to know but in all fairness, it might not be such a bad thing. Through their silent distant light, the stars seemed to welcome the ship and its crew to this new world, very much in the same manner, as the M-Class planet they were heading for seemed to be doing.  Everything Sarena spoke to Misaki, the Chief Science Officer praised the attributes of their destination, describing it through countless ways to be a natural paradise.

With little effort, Valentine could see the star that their new home was orbiting, a small sphere of light that would become soon enough the sun by which their days and nights would be ruled. Like the planet they were traveling to, the star lacked a name or even a designation, but both celestial bodies appeared unaffected by their anonymous presence.

"A paradise," Sarena whispered, thinking of the lush green world Misaki described more than once during their discussions. "Elysium? No, what about Elysia?" the Executive Officer said in a questioning tone, adding a smile as she did so. "I am sure that Misaki would agree and it would be better than referring to it as 'that M-Class planet'. As funny as it was the first few times, I know that I am getting tired of it as I suspect Selene is as well. The name would also perfectly reflect our situation as it would become our home and life after the life we knew."

"That's a beautiful name."

The Executive Officer nearly jumped out of her skin, never having expected someone else to be on the bridge with her. The question as to how the person had made it here without being seen or heard was quickly answered when Sarena identified the unexpected visitor.  "Gemma? You nearly scared me into cardiac arrest. I thought you were in Sickbay."

"I was," the ILO calmly replied. "That is why I know that it would not have been a good thing had you suffered from a heart attack, as it would have required someone to locate Doctor Andersson in order to take care of your condition."

"Sofia is not in Sickbay?"

"She was not when I left," Gemma replied. "Only Counselor Dima was there and she was asleep when I decided to go and find you."

"Nicole is asleep in Sickbay?" Sarena was getting more confused with each question she asked.

"Apparently, the musical talents of Saha Rahi are more than sufficient to put someone asleep. Personally, I am not sure if that is a good thing or not. As a musician, one would think that keeping your audience awake would be the desired objective."

"I guess it all depends on the kind of music she played," the Executive Officer said quickly realizing that the woman they were speaking of was another personality of the ILO. "Music can be used to excite people just as easily as it can be used to relax them."

"I am not one to relax," Gemma admitted before looking around the darkened command deck. "Judging by the number of inactive stations, I would guess that you were unsuccessful in getting the power generators to perform at a higher level."

"I tried but there is just not enough for us to work with," the Executive Officer said. "Misaki is working on another plan though. It is our hope that we can modify the bio-regenerative hull matrix to absorb and convert solar radiation into energy. It may not provide us with all that much more power, but any little extra we can manage will make our journey to 'that M-Class planet' a little easier."

"I thought you had decided on calling it Elysia?"

"It was just an idea voiced aloud. I would like for the Captain to hear it first before we even offering it to the rest of the crew. This is going to be our home, so it might be nice for everyone to agree on what we will call it."

Gemma appeared genuinely annoyed by Sarena's statement. "How you people manage to get anything done is beyond me," the ILO lamented. "You worry about the name of that planet and how to agree on it, I'll be in Engineering working on the generators and the modifications to the outer hull."

In the blink of an eye, the ILO had vanished down the turbolift shaft, likely diving down to the Engineering deck without using the ladder. As much as she wanted to be concerned for the ILO, the Executive Officer knew better, Gemma could take care of herself in whatever situation came up, and knowing this meant that it was usually best to let the woman do things her way.

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

Executive Officer
USS BASTET, NCC 74977
M10-P025: USS BASTET: Iverson: 34013.0800 ("Halfway There")
---
"Halfway There"
(Previous Post: (ANU) "Two Sides, One Coin" / (BAS) "Stars")
---

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 34013.0800

Selene sat in her chair in the middle of the darkened bridge, her breakfast which consisted of a single French croissant held delicately between the fingers of her right hand. The BASTET was now more than halfway to their destination, a planet that had received the name of ELYSIA following the suggestion of Commander Valentine. Taking a bite out of the pastry she was holding, the Captain smiled as she admitted that and things could be far worse than they were at the moment, in fact one could even say that given the circumstances, things were good.

Thanks to the modifications to their bio-regenerative hull matrix, the ship was able to convert solar energy into power they could use. This extra power might not have been much but it was more than enough to allow each member of the crew to trade one emergency field ration for an actual small meal once every couple of days. Many had jumped on the opportunity to enjoy something, anything that was not a field ration while others chose to wait and accumulate their energy allocation in order to partake in something a little more substantial.

"Decided to go all out and treat yourself this morning I see," Sarena said, the First Officer clearly teasing the Commanding Officer.

"After nearly a week of field rations, this is a major delicacy," Iverson said before taking another small bite out of her breakfast in an effort to make it last as long as possible. "How are things on the rest of the ship?"

The Commander walked up to the sitting Captain and stopped right next to her, standing in a somewhat more relaxed posture while looking at the slowly moving stars on the main viewscreen. "Misaki and Gemma are still trying to get a little more out of the power generators; this despite my telling them that there is no reason. The generators that are working are doing so at the highest possible level we can safely push them, and there is just no way for us to repair the others. Even with the extra power being generated by the hull, we would have to use more power than we would end up generating if we replicated the required parts."

"You have to admire their dedication," the Captain said.

"You call it dedication, I call it stubbornness," Sarena amended. "At least I was able to convince Saha to perform for the crew this evening in the mess hall."

The announcement took Captain Iverson by surprise. "You not only spoke to a specific personality of our ILO but you managed to convince it to schedule something?"

"The last few days have given me the opportunity to get to know Gemma, and some of her personalities better. The woman is quite interesting when you get to know her, or maybe i should say that there are some very interesting personalities buried in that head of hers, but with the help of Nicole, we are making progress in identifying and cataloguing the personalities that reside within her."

"Speaking of Nicole, how is she doing?" Iverson asked, thinking to herself how easily they had, as a crew, fallen out of the habit of referring to others by their rank or last names. The situation had forced them into a more personal level in order to ensure their being able to deal with the hardships they faced.

"Nicole is doing as well as could be expected," Valentine replied. "Sofia is finding all of this exceptionally difficult but I am certain that if someone can get the good Doctor back on track, it is our Counsellor."

"Are you speaking professionally or personally?" The Captain inquired in a way that hinted to her curiosity being far more than simply that of a Commanding Officer towards members of her crew.

"Still not entire certain," Sarena explained. "The situation we are in has forced many to become friendlier with other members of the crew, sometimes due to necessity while in other cases it is the prospect of spending the rest of their lives on an unknown planet that drew them closer. There are times when I think there is something brewing between them but Nicole has too much personal experience thanks to her multiple lifetimes to make those hints obvious, that is if there is actually something there. All I know for sure is that she is doing her best to help a fellow shipmate and her friend."

"Maybe you should speak to Gemma and have her see what she can dig up," Selene playfully suggested. "She is our ILO after all, and if not her maybe there is another personality better suited for that kind of investigation."

Sarena smiled. "Way ahead of you on that one," the Commander admitted. "I think I was able to put one of her personalities on the trail. We just have to wait and see what happens next."

"I cannot believe that you actually did that," Iverson gasped. "I was kidding."

"We still have 5 days or so before we reach ELYSIA," Sarena explained. "The crew is restless and is doing the best they can to get into a routine that will benefit everyone on board as well as promote the success of our establishing a settlement on that world. Keeping everyone busy, in whatever way we can, is what is required to ensure that people do not go completely out of their minds. You have grown to enjoy sitting here and watching the stars crawl by, and I will admit that I too find the sight very pleasing, but not everyone is as easily satisfied as we are. Gemma is definitively one of those people who need to be kept busy; this no matter what personality is in control. She currently has three official things to keep her occupied, the power generators, the investigation into the possible relationship between Nicola and Sofia and the concert this evening."

"Welcome to life aboard the USS BASTET," Selene chuckled. "I can only imagine what it will be like by the time we reach orbit of ELYSIA."

"My prediction," the Commander grinned. "Things are going to get a lot more interesting the closer we get to our destination. There is a distinct feeling of excitement shaping through the crew as we crossed the halfway mark. What was nothing more than hope and dreams is becoming an actually possibility and even a tangible dream.  I am sure that the closer we get, the more things will change."

"No what we had signed up for was it?" The Captain rhetorically asked.

"Nope," Sarena replied, "not by a long shut, but we are all making the best we can with what we have, and to be perfectly honest, we are not doing that bad given everything we forged our way through."

"Agreed, I was thinking the exact same thing," Selene admitted returning her attention to the main view screen and the stars slowly making their way across it.

---
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-P026: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: 34013.1000 ("Allocation Issues")
"Allocation Issues"
Previous posts: (ANU) "The Man By The River" & (BAS) "Halfway There"

///^\\\
Setting: BASTET, Engineering
Stardate: 34013.1000

"Are you alright Lieutenant?"

The question was not unusual aside from the fact that it came from Gemma. Normally the ILO minded her own business pouring herself into whatever required doing instead of taking part in chatting, but somehow Aki had managed to draw the woman's personal attention and concerns.

"I'm fine," Aki replied, maybe a little quicker than she should have. Gemma had done nothing wrong. "I'm just bothered," the CSciO added after a few seconds realizing that it was Gemma she was trying to brush off with a typical dismissive answer.

"I could tell," the ILO said in a way that made her almost sound Vulcan. "You have confirmed the polarity of those connections three times in the last two minutes. Therefore, unless you are aware of something I am not about a possible shift in the way this dimension handles electrical currents, the only possible conclusion is that you are distracted."

Aki's head and shoulders dropped not having realized that the signs were so evident. "I'm sorry. I'm tired due to the fact that I have not been sleeping well. I seem to have lost the ability to tell the difference between night and day thanks to the constant low lighting throughout the BASTET. Eating the same thing at every meal is not helping either."

"Thanks to the energy being collected by the modified outer hull, Commander Valentine has given permission to the crew to indulge in an actual meal once every second day," Gemma said. "Why have you not taken advantage of that option?"

"That is part of the issue," Aki admitted with frustration. "I do not agree with the way that extra energy is being used. We have been living on bare minimal resources for over a week now. Emergency food rations may be good to keep you going for a few days but after that, you start getting a little twitchy when you see those sealed packs. Our eyes have grown accustomed to the low light, which is good as that means we are no longer stumping our toes with every step, but our concept of time, at least for me, has been thrown out the nearest airlock.  I strongly believe that we should be channeling that energy to the propulsion system and get us to that planet as quickly as we can."

"Commander Valentine did consider that possibility," Gemma said as if this was a fact known by the crew as a whole.  "After some deliberation, we decided that it would make things worse if we rushed in as the extra energy would shave no more than 40 or so hours from our journey. It was believed more beneficial to give the crew a break from the sacrifice of their luxuries to make the rest of the trip more enjoyable."

"You were the one that made her dismiss the idea of getting the BASTET there faster?!?" Aki was shocked, in disbelief but worse she was beyond pissed. "Did it ever occur to you that not everyone is like you? As an ILO you might be used to living in the dark, eating the same tasteless things one day after an another, but we are all not like that."

"Lieutenant," Gemma said, the woman remaining perfectly calm despite the outburst directed at her. "The well being of the entire crew was taken into account by Commander Valentine and myself. The recommendations made to the Captain were not done lightly and took into account everything and everyone. The conclusion was that it made more sense for the crew to arrive at ELYSIA in better spirit over getting there a little faster. That was also the reason why the Commander enlisted the help of Saha Rahi who was happy to accept giving a concerto of sorts for the crew's enjoyment. It made no sense for us to reach our destination is everyone was too much on edge to accomplish the tasks required of them at that time."

"You are right," Aki reluctantly said. "It does make more sense, but that does not mean I have to like it.  Maybe listening to some music will help."

"I am told that Saha is a very skilled musician," Gemma said speaking of the woman as if she was someone she only knew bits and pieces of. "I am sure that those in attendance will find the event most entertaining."

"Those in attendance? Are you not planning on being there?" Aki was curious. The name Saha Rahi was unknown to her, so the CSciO immediately assumed that it referred to another of the ILO's many personalities. How Gemma managed to keep all of those different identities straight in her mind was a puzzle that the Asian woman could barely begin to understand.

"I do not intend to be there," Gemma said. "I would not find the performance enjoyable as I am not one to enjoy such things, plus my being there would deprive someone else the opportunity to enjoy it first hand. With the BASTET functioning at minimal power, I am sure that the music will travel relatively well through the ship, but being in the same room is acoustically preferable."

Aki just looked onto the shadow-laced face of the ILO, unable to come to terms with the way this conversation had progressed. Here they were initially talking about the allocation of extra energy to now addressing the musical performance that would be given by herself under another identity that she considered to be completely separate from herself.

"If I may suggest," the ILO continued. "You should see Doctor Andersson, I am sure that she could give you something to help with your sleeping disorder. At the same time, it might be beneficial for you to speak to Counselor Dima. As busy as she might be dealing with the crew's various issues pertaining to our current situation, I am certain that she will make a point to address your needs as quickly as she can as it would not make sense to not have a member of the senior staff operating at lest then their best."

The CSciO was not sure what to say, or even if she should say anything at all. Gemma had been right every other time before, so why would she not be this time? As weird as some of the discussion with the ILO could be, they always proved to be insightful on a great many things except one, the multi-personality woman herself.

///^\\\
Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Misaki 'Aki' Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Chief Science Officer
USS BASTET - NCC 74977
M10-P027: USS BASTET: Gemma: 34013.1900 ("Performance Anxiety")
=-=
"Performance Anxiety"
[the previous post was (ANU) "A Dark Trail" / (BAS) "Allocation Issues"]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Counselor's Office
Stardate: 34013.1900

Gemma sat opposite Nicole, the light of a single candle set on the table between them dancing on their visage.  The CNS had not expected the visit from the ILO, but she was not about to turn her away. If the woman was here, it was because there was a reason, so Dima listened.

"I thought I was goal-oriented, but Aki is worst than me. Our inability to get the power generators to operate at a higher output is upsetting her more than anyone could have expected. The allocation of the energy collected by the solar outer shell is not making things any easier for her. I understand where she is coming from. She wants us to get to our destination as quickly as possible."

The CNS nodded in agreement. "Our journey to ELYSIA has proven to be a difficult one for many. The lack of light, the emergency rations, even the general feel of the ship is difficult for some to deal with. I agree that it will be nice to reach our destination."

"Reach our destination should not be the only goal we set our eyes on. Doing so might risk us actually arriving in a worse state than we are now. Arriving even a few days earlier would require a great many sacrifices. If people are having a hard time now, imagine how many would be unable to make it. I admire Aki, I truly do, but she needs to step back and realize that there are other things for us to do."

"Like attending Saha's concerto?" Nicole gleefully asked, glad that the subject was brought up. "Will you be attending?" Of course, the CNS knew the answer to the question. Physically speaking, Gemma and Saha were the same people. What Dima wanted to see was how Gemma would deal with this event on a personal level.

The ILO's reply was quick and straight to the point. "I will not. I do not require music; however well played it may be, in order for me to relax. I also believe that my presence might prove to be disruptive to Saha's performance."

"Disruptive?" Nicole was curious, to say the least. "How so?" The CNS might not have been ready to admit it, but she was looking forward to hearing the answer. Under different circumstances, Gemma would be the perfect subject of several psychological studies. The woman was an extreme case of multiple personalities. What made it even more fascinating was the fact that her nanites gave those personalities a face and voice of their own.

Although she knew about the Ub-Hani musician, Nicole had not expected to see her appear at this point. "That woman is unable to appreciate art, in whatever form it may be presented to her. I have the utmost confidence that she can tell the difference between a warp core and a medical scanner. I am equally certain that she would be unable to discern the subtle charms of different instruments. Therefore, her inability to appreciate the performance would be disruptive. Personally, I much prefer performing to an audience that is at least in part capable of enjoying it."

The CNS leaned back into her chair. This could prove to be a very interesting conversation. "That sounds rather harsh. Do you not believe everyone capable of enjoying your music?"

"Some people are more capable of letting themselves be taken by the feelings and emotions. Like yourself, personal experiences allow you to find beauty in what cannot be seen." It was easy to see that Saha strongly believed in what she was saying. "Gemma, unfortunately, can listen to music but could never appreciate the emotional significance of those melodies. Think of it this way, would you trust an engineer with performing open-heart surgery? Would you trust a Doctor with repairing a shuttle? Both are skilled workers in their respective fields, but this leaves them ill-equipped to work outside of their domain. As an ILO, I would imagine many are willing to trust her with dangerous and complex issues. I would not be able to trust her to sit and let herself be carried away by soul-moving music. Her lack of emotional response would be distracting, to both her and me."

"That is a very interesting point of view."

"Counselor," Saha continued, stopping Nicole from saying anything more. "You of all people must realize that people are not created equal. Some, like myself, have skills that stand far above the reach of the general population. Some, like Gemma, have restrictions that force them to be below the common average. I have nothing against her on a personal level. I just know that her being there would be a waste of both our times. That said, if you truly wish for her to attend, you are more than welcome to try and convince her."

Nicole chuckled. The thought of trying to convince Gemma to do something she did not want to do was already problematic. Asking her to attend the concerto given by another of her personalities could prove to be interesting, if not impossible. As much as the Trill was ready to try though, she figured it best to not push the issue. Forcing the woman to confront her multiple personalities on such a level could create problems.  "You do not want her to be there, and I agree with you that she will more than likely not want to be there. As this will be your first public performance on board the BASTET, let us make sure that it is as good as it can be."

"Counselor, are you putting my abilities in question?" The tone of Saha's question made Nicole nervous. The Trill had not intended to upset the woman. All of these questions were meant to study her reactions. At best, it would give the CNS a better understanding as to how these different personalities interact with one another.

"Saha," Nicole said, moving forward to the front edge of her seat. "I have heard you play. I would be the last person on board to question your abilities. I was simply trying to explain the reasoning behind my agreeing with you. I see no reason to force Gemma to attend the performance. I believe that the crew, at least those who will be there, will greatly benefit from the experience."

The Ub-Hani smiled, instantly reassuring the Trill CNS. "Of course they will," Saha said. The woman's beliefs in her own musical skills and abilities were limitless. Some might have seen this as being obnoxious, but Nicole accepted it as being nothing more than a trait of the woman sitting before her.  "I should get ready for the concerto. I need to make sure that the acoustics are adequate for what I intend on sharing with the members of your crew."

"Allow me to escort you to the mess hall."

The two women left together. One was busy thinking about the music she would be performing. The other was thinking about the personality standing next to her. Dima had never encountered anyone like Gemma. The CNS could spend the rest of her career studying that woman, writing psychological journal entries one after the other. The problem was that in this universe, who would benefit from those? It was best to just enjoy the person for whom she was, at this moment.

=-=
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-P028: USS BASTET: Andersson: 34013.1935 ("A Quick Detour")
=-=
"A Quick Detour"
[the previous post was (ANU) "Counseling Session" by Rachel / (BAS) "Performance Anxiety" by Rachel]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Andersson's Quarters
Stardate: 34013.1935

The living room was dark, as was the bedroom, the dining area not to mention the rest of the ship. They were living in a perpetual night with no dawn in sight. Through the window Sofia was looking at, the Chief Medical Officer could see the unknown stars of this dimension, their gentle movement a reminder of just how slow the pace of the BASTET was. A journey that would have normally taken hours if not minutes had taken days and weeks.

The gentle sound of someone knocking at the door failed to make the golden-haired woman stop what she was doing, not because she was too busy but simply because she no longer cared.  It took a few minutes before the door was pried open by whoever had been on the other side.  Even after hearing the footsteps rushing into her quarters, the CMO remained still, fixated on the small lights visible through the window.

"How did you manage to close the door so tightly?" Nicole asked, the Counselor doing her best to remain calm and professional. Sofia was showing clear signs of depressions and finding the door closed the way it was had made the Trill fear the worse, even if only for a split second.  "I'm worried about you," Dima whispered as she leaned her chin on the woman's right shoulder, the one-inch difference between their respective heights made the sweet gesture not as easy to accomplish as the CNS had hoped.

"I'm trying," Sofia said, her voice admitting defeat despite her claim. "Part of me knows that we are only days away from that planet, from our new home, but those days might as well be centuries the way I feel. I just can't shake this sadness."

Nicole wrapped her arms around Sofia and gave the woman a tight squeeze. This was not the usual way a Counselor would normally deal with such a situation, but this was an exception brought upon by feelings that the Trill could not have for anyone else.  "Everyone is having a hard time with this. I am sure that neither Captain Iverson nor Commander Valentine expected this. The plan made perfect sense on a physical level taking into account all of the available resources; just no one could have expected the toll it would have on the crew's morale.  Making a little more power available to the food replicators was one way to try and help the situation. Saha Rahi's performance is another."

"I noticed that you and she are getting along quite well," Sofia said, her tearful gaze locked on the distant twinkling lights in an effort to hide them from Nicole.

"Please tell me that you are not jealous?" The Trill sighed. "I know that this may come across as cliché but my interest in Gemma, or any of her other personalities, is strictly professional. The woman is psychologically something that we were told was impossible. Having a true split personality is exceptionally rare and usually leads to conflicts between them that end up ripping the person apart. Gemma has dozens upon dozens of personalities in that head of hers, and they all seem to coexist in relative harmony with one another. I am still trying to understand how this is possible, and it is the only reason why I spend time with her. Maybe that was a mistake. Maybe I should not have given you as much time and space as I did for you to work things out on your own. I was afraid that you would come to resent me if I pushed too hard. I may be the Ship's Counselor, but that is the last thing I want you to see me as."

"During these days of darkness, you have been the light that has kept me going," Sofia said turning to face the woman who was still holding on to her. "You are now and will forever be more than the Ship's Counselor to me. I just wished that I could be more to you than what I am now."

"You are," Dima said. "You can be even more."

"How so?"

"By accepting to being my 'date'," Nicole said, flashing a loving smile at the woman she was still holding on to. "Gemma, I mean Saha, is going to be performing a concert in the mess hall. Some of the members of the crew were kind enough to lend her musical instruments that they had with them. The list of instruments is very eclectic but based on what Saha has said about her own skills, I am expecting quite a show and I am sure that there will be a great many people surprised. However the music turns out to be though; I would like you to be there with me, by my side. It will give us a chance to spend some time together and for you to do something other than standing here looking at the stars."

"What if I say no?" Sofia said, clearly teasing the woman in front of her.

"I will have no other choice but to knock you out and drag you to the mess hall myself. I will tell the Captain that you ran into a bulkhead or just fainted on your way to the concert because you were overwhelmed by the amazing show we are all expecting to enjoy." Nicole paused for a moment, looking deeply into Sofia's dark brown eyes. "One way or the other, you are going to be sitting next to me for that concert."

"Is the Ship's Counselor aware of your anger issues?" The Doctor asked, again teasing the woman.

"She is very aware of it," the Trill replied, letting go of the Human in order to take a single large step back. "It is also the reason why she never refuses me when I ask for something. So, will you be joining me?" Nicole extended an inviting hand towards Sofia who glanced down at it before smiling and joining her hand to hers.

"Thank you."

"For what?"

"Everything."

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS
M10-P029: USS BASTET: Iverson: 34013.2200 ("Melody of the Soul")
---
"Melody of the Soul"
(Previous Post: (ANU) "Unwelcomed Distraction" / (BAS) "A Quick Detour")
---

Setting: USS BASTET, Mess Hall
Stardate: 34013.2200

The room was dark, with the only lights shinning on the woman sitting by herself at the front of the gathered crowd. An impressive array of instruments from various worlds rested around her as she played the one currently in her expert hands. Everyone in attendance was in silent admiration of the musical performance that seemed to go on forever, and no one was complaining about it.  In their shared quiet wonderment, the crowd was in agreement; this was where and when everyone needed to be.

Thanks to the generosity of those on board the BASTET who possessed a musical instrument, the golden skin artist had at her disposal a wide selection to entertain her audience with. Understanding that instruments alone could not be responsible for any sort of music, be it pleasant or eardrum shattering, no one could have expected what followed. The moment the music started the room was filled with an unparalleled atmosphere brought to life by mesmerizing and unique melodies that seemed to come from a different place and time.

Gemma, or more accurately the body that played host to so many different identities, was truly a woman of endless surprises. This latest persona proved to be even more unexpected than any of the ones that had come before her. During her self-introduction as she took her place before the gathered crewmembers, Saha Rahi came across as boastful and egotistical, but the moment she started playing everyone agreed that her claims had not been exaggerated. The woman was a bonafide maestra with skills that stood well beyond what anyone could have suspected or expected. Thanks to the concerto, everyone in the Mess Hall had forgotten about their daily troubles, abandoning themselves to the magic of the music being played for them by a member of their own crew whom never ceased to amaze them.

Looking to her right, Selene saw the faint silhouette of the Chief Science Officer. The Asian woman had earlier offered a theory to explain how it could be possible for so many different set of skills and such a wide accompanying range of knowledge to be present in a single physical form.  According to Misaki, it was very probable that the nanites found throughout the body of the Intelligence Liaison Officer could, as a combined mass, hold this complex level of data. As these same nanites responded to specific brainwaves triggering a change in her physical appearance, it was possible that those small robots, linked to that particular identity, could engage and provide the new dominant conscious mind with the information it considered to be relevant to its needs and specified abilities.  Since the miniature mechanical devices could not be scanned or analyzed by the equipment on board the ANUBIS, there was no way to confirm this hypothesis but that did not stop the Chief Science Officer, the Chief Medical Officer and everyone else to remain in complete awe of the woman in question.

Looking to her left, Captain Iverson saw her First Officer who appeared to be on the edge of an uncharacteristic emotional display. Although more emotional than the Vulcan-like Selene, Sarena had never been one to let her feelings openly show, and yet there she was, sitting with watery eyes.  Quickly noticing that her unintentional display had been noticed, Valentine immediately regained her composure and leaned in towards the Commanding Officer.  "She is almost managing to make us wish that it will take longer to reach ELYSIA."

Giving the surrounding people a quick glance and taking note of their facial expressions, as best she could due to the faint lighting, Captain Iverson had no choice but to agree with the assessment of her First Officer. With her attention momentarily diverted away from the musical artist, Selene took the opportunity observe the reactions of the members of her senior staff.  Everyone seemed to delight in the concerto with one glaring exception; the Flight Control Officer, Ensign Ashton Dean, who had elected to not attend the performance.  Selene made a mental note of this and would ask Counsellor Dima to pay him a visit tomorrow, just to make sure that he was alright. Of all of bridge officers, he was the only one who still resisted the idea of them being stuck in this dimension with no way of ever returning to the homes, lives and people left behind.

Feeling a twinge of sadness threatening to embed itself in her mind, Selene turned her attention back to the musical performer embracing the hypnotical melody. ELYSIA was now less than five days away, this meant that they were ,more than half way there and that keeping a positive attitude was more important now than ever before. Settling on a new world would not be easy, and starting the process with a pre-set conception that things would be more difficult than they would be able to handle would serve no purpose. Everyone would play an important role in the weeks to come, and the crew would have to rely on each other more than ever before if they were to make this possible. Listening to the music played by Saha Rahi, Captain Iverson believed that they had a very good chance to managing this challenge more than just a little.

---
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-P030: USS BASTET: Dima: 34014.0500 ("Survivor's Guilt")
“Survivor’s Guilt”
[Previous Posts: (ANU) "The Direct Approach" / (BAS) "Melody of the Soul"]

=/\=

Setting: USS BASTET, Dima’s Quarters
Stardate: 34014.0500

Sofia roused from a sound sleep, feeling the peached fabric of the duvet beneath her and remembering she wasn’t in her own quarters. She also wasn’t alone. Nicole was lying next to her, her bare feet covered by a small blanket. Their jackets and shoes had been placed on a side chair. Two empty glasses sat on the nightstand. Nic had used her replicator ration to request some sparkling pear nectar, which acted as cold and refreshing nightcap. There were faint lights near the floor panel, allowing a dim but safe view.

Saha Rahi’s concert had been an uplifting experience, and while the crew as a whole was obviously tired from the efforts to get them safely to ELYSIA, the Ub-Hani hybrid had managed to pull off a magical evening. The two women, somewhat re-energized, had ended up walking back to the senior officers’ suites hand in hand, then talking with each other in the haven of the Counselor’s accommodations. Eventually, fatigue had set in, and talk had turned to much needed rest.

Sofia put her head back down, but almost as soon as she did, the Trill woman stretched and sat up. “I didn’t mean to wake you,” the CMO said apologetically.

Nicole grinned impishly. “No apologies necessary,” she replied, brushing a piece of blonde hair away from Sofia’s forehead and gently caressing her cheek. “The company was more than welcome.”

Sofia smiled in return. “So was the conversation… and what about the performance? That was amazing too.”

Nic nodded. It was all she could do to remind herself that Saha was only one persona of their mysterious ILO. “I don’t know how Gemma does what she does. She has more abilities than a dozen joined trills.”

“Yes. But she does lack control of them, at least in the traditional sense. You don’t have old hosts barging in unexpectedly.”

A somber thought crossed Nicole’s face as she stood up.

“What’s wrong?” Sofia asked, wrapping the discarded blanket around her shoulders.

“I feel guilty,” Nicole said, picking up the glasses and bringing them over to the kitchen area.

Doctor Andersson looked puzzled. “Why?”

“The Lokustaar,” she answered, as if that explained everything. 

“What about them?”

The brunette pushed up the sleeves of her teal shirt as she walked back. “We have no communication… we don’t know what they are doing. We don’t know where they are right now. Our comrades the ANUBIS and NEW ALEXANDRIA could be in the biggest battle of their lives and we can’t even tell them where *we* are, much less return to help.” 

“Are you saying you wish you had voted differently?” The Doctor’s voice involuntarily rose a little. Nic had held such a positive attitude throughout most of this mess, it was a little surprising to see her this way.

The fifth host to the Dima symbiont sat next to Sofia on the edge of the bed, trying to reassure her. “No, I stand by my choice one hundred percent. I hope that whatever they need to do to succeed, they can do it without us. But I’d also like to think we would have made a positive difference if we had been where we needed to be, instead of where we are now.”

“Don’t you believe in destiny?”

The Counselor sighed. “When I think of the word destiny, I imagine rainbows, children’s laughter, and other good things. Being transported to an unknown planet on a failing vessel, that sounds more like fate to me than destiny. I think I’m finally beginning to understand more about how Ensign Dean and Ensign Roman are feeling about this.”

“In what way?”

“Going to ELYSIA is our best chance at *life*, at survival. But I have to ask myself, what kind of life will it be, if we are stuck in a place where we cannot pursue the goals we have all trained for?”

“But we’re not *stuck*- we’re headed to a paradise. What are the chances we’d be close enough to safely reach an M-Class planet? I would say that’s at least good luck.” Sofia reached out and squeezed Nic’s hand. 

Nicole smiled through a pained expression, holding on to Sofia’s hand. “And, that’s another reason I feel guilty. You.”

Andersson’s eyes widened with concern. “Why me?”

“I’ve always been pretty self-reliant. A little sheltered by my family maybe, but definitely driven to make a difference. I’m used to carrying out orders and helping the crew mentally adjust to any challenges in their way. And you have to admit this is a colossal challenge.”

“Yes, it is. But I don’t see what you’re getting at.”

“I am the one who is expected to support others. It’s not often that I find myself in need of support. But, ever since the moment we met, that’s what I have needed. Your support.”

“You did save me from the Reman prison camp,” Sofia reminded her. “Don’t discount that.”

“I’m not used to having to lean on others. Especially with so many of the crew separated from their loved ones, their children. Forced to live apart from them in a new environment. But I’m lucky enough to have you here, by my side.” Nicole leaned in, kissing Sofia softly. 

“I think we’re both lucky,” Sofia answered, a little breathless.

=/\=
Susan Ledbetter

Writing for

Cns
USS BASTET
M10-P031: USS BASTET: Andersson: 34014.0715 ("A Brighter Day")
=-=
"A Brighter Day"
[the previous post was (ANU) "The Direct Approach" by Moi / (BAS) "Survival's Guilt" by Susan]
=-=

Setting: USS BASTET, Corridor
Stardate: 34014.0715

The corridors seemed brighter somehow. Sofia knew that this was mechanically impossible as the higher light settings would require more power to be pulled from their depleting reserves, but yet everything around her appeared brighter. As she turned her gaze to the woman walking next to her, she reached out and squeezed her hand and smiled.

"What was that for?" Nicole asked, echoing the CMO's smile.

"Thinking back to last night and this morning," Andersson said. "Also for my realizing that he was right."

"Who?" Dima wondered both professionally and personally as this simple answer could give her a unique perspective into the way the golden-hair woman thought.

"Marcus Aurelius," Sofia said as if that name explained everything.

"You got me," the Trill said looking puzzled. "Even though I have several lifetimes of experiences to draw upon, that name means nothing to me."

"He was the ruler of the Roman Empire in EARTH's ancient history over two and a half thousand years ago. He was known and highly respected for his philosophical interests. I saw some of his quotes hanging on the walls of one of my Academy professor's classroom," the Doctor explained. "The one I remember the most is that 'The universe is change, our life is what our thoughts make it to be', or something like that. After all those years I am not sure if I remember it perfectly."

"We had a philosopher on Trill with the same general idea," Nicole said. "Why mention this now?"

"After yesterday and this morning, my life seems different, better," Sofia said. "I was thinking that the corridors seemed somehow brighter, and knowing that this could not have been because of an increased illumination, I started to wonder why and thought of that quote. It applies very well to us, both as individuals and as officers on board the BASTET. Our lives are shaped by our thoughts, even if we do not realize it. Just being here with you like this is making things already so much better. I feel like I will be able to conquer whatever comes our way, at least that is as long as you are by my side."

"That's sweet," Nicole said, trying not to blush. "Our first obstacle will have to be breakfast though."

"Field rations," the CMO said forcing a bounce in her step. "What a way to start such a glorious day."

=-=
Setting: USS BASTET, Mess Hall
Stardate: 34014.0730

The two women entered to find the room back to its usual layout. Everything was back as it was making it almost seem as if the performance from the night before had been nothing but a dream, but what a dream it was. Looking at the exact location where Saha Rahi was when she played all of those instruments made the CMO smile. The music had been perfect, just as the company and the rest of the evening leading to this morning.

"Could we have some savory eggs sunny side up garnished with some salt and pepper alone with a couple of slices of Risian bread? A couple of glasses of freshly pressed Andorian sunfruits would go well with that, think you can make that happen for us?" Sofia asked of the crewman in charge of distributing the field rations.

The man seemed completely taken aback by the request, not having expected such an elaborate order to be given. "Sir?" He asked in return, trying to gauge if this was a genuine request or some sort of a joke that he was obviously missing the point of.

"Excuse us," Nicole quickly interjected. "Thanks to the performance from last night, she has not slept as much as she should have."

"Is that what we are blaming it on?" the CMO teased in a whispered voice, making sure that only the CNS heard those words. The rest of the crew would quickly enough figure things out, if they had not already done so, but there was no need to make a spectacle of it.  "Sorry, I guess I'm just in one of those moods this morning. Can we have a couple of field rations and a single allocation of water for us to share?"

The crewman shrugged and proceeded to fill the request as he reached into one of the opened containers by his feet to retrieve three small pouches, two labeled as food and one indicating that it contained water.  With their breakfast in hand, the two women made their way to the nearest available table and sat one in front of the other.

"It's actually strange to see the mess hall back to normal," Andersson commented. "It actually felt like the performance from last night would never end, not that I was complaining. Gemma truly amazed everyone last night beyond any expectations."

"I believe that everyone did enjoy it, with one exception," the CNS said. "Gemma did not seem to be in the least bit interested in the performance, which I guess was a good thing."

"But Gemma was there," Sofia said. "That or I truly dreamt the whole thing," she added with a chuckle.

"No, it was Saha Rahi who played for us," Nicole made the distinction as clear as she could. "Not Gemma. I know that it is difficult to understand the difference some times, but to her every personality is a completely separate entity that exists outside of her body. Gemma made it clear that she did not want to hear the performance."

"As skilled as she is, I will say this," the CMO said. "I am glad that I am not in her mind."

"There are times when I wonder if she does not feel the same way," the Trill noted. "Let's enjoy our breakfast, we can go and check in on her after."  With that said, both women ripped the food pouches and took a small bite out of the dehydrated content before taking a sip from their drink.

"Maybe you should have saved your replicator ration for this morning. We could have had a fancier and tastier breakfast," Sofia said looking at the content of the pouch in her hand.

"Are you saying that last night's sparkling pear nectar was not enjoyable?" Dima teased.

"It was very enjoyable... but not as much as the company was," Andersson smiled back causing both women to gaze at one another before laughing out loud in unison. The unexpected display of joy took several, if not all in the mess hall by surprise leaving several of them to wonder as to what could have happened to cause them to be in such a happy mood, especially when considering the ship and crew's current situation.

=-=
Tiffany Reeve

Chief Medical Officer
USS BASTET

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
USS ANUBIS
M10-P032: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: 34014.1000 ("Feeling Better")
"Feeling Better"
Previous posts: (ANU) "Hurry Up and Breathe" & (BAS) "A Brighter Day"

///^\\\
Setting: BASTET, Cargo Bay 2
Stardate: 34014.1000

Aki took a moment to step back and admire her handy work. The heavy, reinforced crates containing the supplies they would need to establish a settlement were now equipped with parachutes that would ease their descent down to the planet's surface. Many of those same crates were already packed solid with everything that the CSciO believe might be needed to make things easier for them. Traveling back and forth between the planet and the BASTET was not an option, so they needed to make sure that everything was planned out to the finest detail.

Looking at the crates, the Asian woman thought back to yesterday, a day that felt like it was so long ago and yet equally felt like as if it had happened within the last few minutes. Twenty-four ago, Aki was angry, upset and even a little depressed. She felt tired from lack of decent sleep and was questioning the decisions of her superiors in regards to the allocation of power, and pretty much everything else. The low lighting and the more than limited choices for food were only two aspects of their current situation that had contributed to making her the way she was.

Today, 24 hours later, the same woman felt relaxed, hopeful, and almost joyous. Nothing about their situation had changed but somehow her feelings had gone through a complete polarity switch. What the CSciO found even more interesting was that the only possible reason she could find was the concert from last night. The music had truly been enchanting, takin those who were there on a surreal journey that went beyond space, time and dimensions.  After the performance, Aki returned to her quarters and instantly fell asleep, waking up feeling refreshed.

How a single person playing a few musical instruments had managed to accomplish this was beyond the understanding of the CSciO, but Aki actually did not care. What mattered was the way she currently felt and the fact that the majority of the crates were now ready for deployment, and that thought made the Asian woman smile.

The BASTET was four days away from ELYSIA, named after the Elysian Fields of ancient Greek mythology where gods and heroes went for their final rests. At first, Aki found the selected name a little disturbing but today she accepted it without a second thought. Based on all of the information they had managed to gather with their limited sensors, the planet was a literal paradise fitting the name chosen for it.

"Things are looking good," Commander Valentine said as she walked in and came to stand right next to the CSciO. "Is that it though?"

"What do you mean, is that it?"

"The content of this cargo bay seems to be a little short compared to what we will need in order to establish a settlement on ELYSIA.  I am sure that there will be ample natural resources for us to draw upon, but getting those will take time, so it will be easier if we bring down more then the bare essentials."

Yesterday, Aki would have not taken too kindly to the First Officer's comment. The CSciO would have likely taken personal offense even if none had been meant for no other reason than it was the state of mind she was in. Today though was different and the comment was taken as a positive criticism that the Asian woman was more than ready to go up against.

"You have nothing to worry about Commander," Mitshiba said with a distinct air of subdued pride. "Cargo Bay 1 is set up with all of the material for the building of the infrastructure of our new homes while Cargo Bay 3 has all of the science and engineering equipment we will need once we are there. It will be useful for us to get a better idea of our environment and make the best use of it instead of trying to find ways to go *against* it."

"You have been busy," Valentine said clearly happy with the report. "Sounds like you are going to have some free time on your hands for the next few days."

"Far from it, Commander," Aki said going as far as to add a smile doing so. "I still have a full set of crates to prepare in Cargo Bay 4 as well as give the shuttles we will be using a quick once over. We have to make every trip count so that we do not end up running out of power before everything is done."

"I am very glad to hear that you have everything under control," the Commander said, hinting that she might have believed this was not the case. Again, 24 hours ago, she would have been correct as Aki felt more than overwhelmed, but today things were completely different. It was amazing what a good night's rest could accomplish giving the CSciO a new and fresh take on everything happening around her. This did not change the fact that they were stranded in a never before explored dimension or that they would likely never be able to return home. What it did change was the way she looked at things, focussing on the positives and challenges before them instead of the negatives and obstacles that stood in their way.

ELYSIA was by all accounts a paradise, so why look upon it as a hell they would have to endure for the rest of their lives. It was much better for everyone to embrace this opportunity and make the best of it. Who knows, it was quite possible that this would be the first step of a civilization that would expand into the universe, a civilization that would look upon them as their ancestors once did about their own mythological beings.

Aki smiled as she looked at the crates once again thinking that this change in attitude had all come to be thanks to the performance Saha Rahi gave the night before. The Asian woman hoped that the talented musician would give another such performance, this time once they were settled in their new home.

///^\\\
Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Misaki 'Aki' Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Chief Science Officer
USS BASTET - NCC 74977
M10-P033: USS BASTET: Iverson: 34018.1100 ("Feels Like Home")
---
"Feels Like Home"
(Previous Post: (ANU) "Overwhelming Feelings" / (BAS) "Feeling Better")
---

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 34018.1100

A collective sigh of relief filled the bridge as the green sphere floating in the emptiness of space now names ELYSIA filled the main view screen. No magnification had been used which meant that they had finally arrived. After two long weeks os living in the dark, eating field rations and doing everything without the use of power, they had made it to their destination. The draw back to all this was that this meant the hard work was about to start.

"We made it," Commander Valentine announced, relief and joy floating in her words.  "Lieutenant Mitshiba, what are our power reserves at?"

"Just over 5 percent Commander," Misaki reported. "We made it, barely."

"But we did make it, and that what counts," Sarena added wanting to make sure that there would not be any debates started at this point as to whether or not the power should have been used in another manner than it was over the last two weeks.

"Agreed," Selene noted before standing from her chair and making her way to the Flight Control Officer. "Ensign Dean, please bring us into high orbit. Time for us to get a better look at this presumed natural paradise."

Ashton nodded his head and complied. He still was not happy about the course of action that was selected, but he had to accept that this was the decision reached by the greater majority of the crew. Now they were here and needed to make the best of their situation, no matter what their feelings were.

While the Flight Control Officer proceeded as ordered, the Captain pivoted 180 degrees on her heel and faced the rest of the senior officer currently on the command deck of the USS BASTET.  "Computer, ship wide."

---
Setting: USS BASTET, Infirmary
Stardate: 34018.1102

Doctor Andersson and Counsellor Dima were organizing the medical supplies for transport when the voice of their Captain came over the ship wide channel.

=/\= We have made it. We are about to enter orbit of ELYSIA, our new home.  I know that the last two weeks have not been easy, in fact, they have been quite demanding on us all in one way or another, but we are here. This was possible thanks to all of your hard work, dedication  and sacrifices. =/\=

---
Setting: USS BASTET, Engineering
Stardate: 34018.1103

Gabrielle Wolf, the saboteur turned engineer, had stopped her work on the power distribution system in order to listen to the announcement.

=/\= As difficult as the last few weeks have been, we must all accept that the weeks to come will be even more demanding. With our power reserves down to a mere 5 percent, the task of sending the equipment and material required for us to create a new life on the planet is going to be challenging to say the least.  This is part of the reason why, as soon as Lieutenant Mitshiba identifies the perfect location to set up camp, we will start shuttling people down. =/\=

---
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 34018.1105

"Since we will not be able to refuel our two shuttle pods or our one and only runabout, every trip will have to be packed with as many people as can be squeezed in. The inconvenience is unfortunately quite necessary to maximize our energy usage. Equipment and materials will be parachuted down thanks to the preparations and work of our Chief Science Officer. As this method will require minimum energy, our only obstacle will be to retrieve these crates once they reach the surface, wherever thay may be."  Selene took a moment to meet the gaze of her officers as this was likely the last time she would be able to do so like this. "I would ask that all personnel coordinate with Commander Valentine when you are ready to go head to the surface. Please keep in mind that this will be a one-way trip in order to make the best possible usage of the fuel currently on board the embarked crafts. Thank you. Captain Iverson out."

"Well done," Sarena said.

"Captain," Misaki cautiously interjected. "As of the last count, which was when the votes were tabulated, there are 253 crew members on board the BASTET. Even if we managed to force 10 people into one shuttle pod, and that each pod will be capable of doing 4 maybe 5 round trips on the fuel reserves each has, this will account for only 100 of the 253 souls on board."

"We should be able to cram 30 or so people into the runabout, but I strongly doubt that there will be enough fuel to complete the 5 to 6 trips required," Valentine added, the math having been done well before the announcement.

"Captain," Ensign Dean said, looking over his left shoulder at the woman standing near him. "Once we are in orbit over the area the crew will be heading down to, I would like a few moments of your time."

"Of course Ensign. Lieutenant Mitshiba, any luck in finding that perfect spot?"

"Actually, Captain, I believe I have," the Chief Science Officer said sounding rather surprised. "The area is large enough for us to easily establish ourselves and even potentially grow. There are a couple of nearby rivers that we will be able to use as sources of fresh water, and there is a small lake right at the foot of a set of mountains that will provide us with shelter from the elements. According to these readings, I believe that there might even be a water fall feeding into that lake."

"A natural paradise indeed," the Captain said smiling. "Very well, please relay the coordinates to Ensign Dean. Ensign," Selene continued after turning to face the Flight Control officer. "As soon as we have established a secured low-altitude orbit, you can come and see me in my Ready Room."

"Captain, can I have a word with you first?" Valentine asked to which Iverson simply replied by inviting her to step into the Ready Room.

---
Setting: USS BASTET, Ready Room
Stardate: 34018.1110

"What is on your mind Commander?"

"We never talked about who would head down to the surface first," Sarena said. "In all of our excitement to get here, we never thought to discuss the specifics that would come into play once we arrived."

"I guess we silently kept the possibility of our not making it to ourselves and did not want to be distracted by what was only one of several possible outcomes," the Captain theorizes. "Now that we are here though, you are right, we should talk about it.  As the First Officer, the responsibility of leading an away mission is yours."

"With all due respect, this is far more than a simple away mission," Sarena stated. "Whoever is going to be down there is going to be responsible for establishing the entire layout of what will become our permanent settlement. That responsibility, if not honour, should be that of the Captain."

"Thank you," Selene said with a smile. "I appreciate your vote of confidence, but it is also the responsibility of the Captain to remain on board their vessel to the very end. Granted I have no intention of going down with my ship, but I believe it would not feel right if I was not the last one to leave the BASTET."

"We seem to have reached an impasse," the Commander said, trying to sound as upset as she could.

The sound of the door chime ended the discussion between the Captain and First Officer.  "We will have to finish this at a later time, right now let us focus simply on getting everything ready."  Sarena smiled and made her way to the door which opened to reveal the Flight Control Officer waiting for his turn to come in.  "Come on in Ensign. What can I do for you?"

Ashton waited for the door to close behind him before starting. "Captain, as you are aware, not everyone on board the BASTET voted in favour of us coming here. I have managed to figure out who some of them were and after speaking with them we agreed."

"Agreed? Should I be concerned?"

"Not at all Captain, in fact this should make things easier for you. Those that I have spoken to have agreed to stay behind on board the BASTET," the Ensign said.

"What? But you would be stranded on the ship."

"We know, but it would be our choice, just as it was when the votes were cast. We were ready to venture into open space and take our chances out there, now we can do the same but while we are in orbit of ELYSIA. With only a handful of us, the energy generated by the bio-regenerative hull will be more than enough to sustain us while allowing us to keep an eye open for someone who might be able to help us.  With all due respect captain, this is the best of both worlds. You are the rest of the crew get to start a new life while those who choose to stay will be able to watch over you while we hold on to our dreams of somehow returning home."

"It is a very interesting proposition, but I need to consider it first before I can offer you an answer."

"Of course Captain," Ashton agreed. "Do keep in mind this, those who remain behind will make it that much easier for the rest of you as we will not require to be transported to the surface and once there we will not be a burden on the resources available.  Trust me, we have had two weeks to think this through and we have considered every possibility."

"I would definitively say that this puts you at a sever advantage over me, but it does sound like this is not a easily reached decision."

"It was not Captain, but we are ready to stay and live the rest of our lives here on board the BASTET. There might even be a few more who will want to stay behind. To us, this is the better decision just as it was yours to head to the planet to start a new life.  This ship is our home, and it is where we want to stay, no matter how the story ends." Selene could see the emotions swelling in the man standing in front of her. She understood his situation as well as his solution. As long as he remained on the ship, there would be a chance, however small, that he would be able to return home and be reunited with his children.

"Very well Ensign," the Captain said extended her hand out for him to take. "The ship is yours. We will do our best to stay in communication and who knows, maybe one day it will be you coming down to our rescue."

---
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 34018.1120

Captain Iverson and Ensign Dean stepped out of the Ready Room instantly drawing the attention of Commander Valentine.  "Everything all right Captain?"

"I would dare to say better," Selene said glancing over at Ashton. "It looks like our problem with there being too many people to ferry down has been resolved as well as who between us two will be coordinating efforts on the surface.  Let me know when the first group is ready to leave, I will be piloting the runabout down and start planning the layout of our new home. Ensign Dean will be staying behind on the BASTET with other volunteers to man the ship after we are gone."

Sarena was surprised at this sudden turn of event but she accepted it without hesitation. The solution was simple, effective and would benefit everyone in some way.  "I admire your convictions Ensign," Valentine said to Dean.

"Sometimes, holding on to an impossible dream is more important than reluctantly working on an unwanted reality.  This ship is our home and where our dreams have the best possible chance of coming true.

---
Setting: ELYSIA, Open clearing
Stardate: 34018.1645

Selene filled her lungs with the fresh aroma that filled the air. She could hear the rustling of the nearby river and the warmth of the sun on her face made her close her eyes for a few seconds in order to take the moment in. When she felt a shadow pass over her, the Captain quickly reopened her eyes and saw what appeared to be a whale-like creature flying overhead.

"For a moment I had almost forgotten that this is a planet in another dimension," Iverson said chuckling. "I wonder how many more surprises this place will have in store for us?" With that said the Captain returned to the others and began working on the layout of what would become their settlement, their new home.

---
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-P034: USS BASTET: Gemma: 34018.1900 ("Imperfect Perfection")
=-=
"Imperfect Perfection"
[the previous post was (ANU) "Other Duties As Assignedl" / (BAS) "Feels Like Home"]
=-=

Setting: ELYSIA, By the mountain lake
Stardate: 34018.1900

Gemma was one of the first to volunteer. The BASTET was a ship, a place of work, but that was the extent of it. Unlike many others, the ILO had no personal or emotional attachment to it. Once her work in engineering was completed, she jumped on the first available transport. Sitting around, doing nothing but waiting for the inevitable had never been, nor would ever be, her way. She needed to be busy, and helping with setting up the settlement was the most involved task she could think of.

Rules of wilderness survival dictated that a fresh source of water needed to be secured. The river next to the open clearing did just that. At first glance, Mitshiba had chosen the location of their settlement well. Everything seemed perfect. The water was as clear and pure as could be. Every single people could be easily seen through the water, almost as if the liquid had not been there at all. Tricorder readings showed the water to be free of any harmful substance or anything that might taint its flavor. A quick taste test confirmed this, not to mention satiating the woman's thirst.  So far, things were looking good.

With an ample source of fresh water secured for the settlement, Gemma decided to follow the river upstream. For all they knew, there could be dangerous beasts lurking nearby.  A quick sensor sweep had revealed nothing but the ILO knew how easily those could be fooled. Looking up at the massive whale-like creatures floating overhead, it was evident that the planet possessed some impressive forms of animal life. Therefore, it was prudent to investigate in order to have a better idea of what they were dealing with.

The closer she got to her destination, the louder the sound of rumbling water became. The sound was not at all scary; it was actually pleasant, which of course only raised the ILO's concerns. Nothing good happened without a hefty price being paid before, after, or usually both.

As she reached the lake, Gemma's gaze traveled up the impressive waterfall. A faint mist engulfed the entire area making it appear as if it were some kind of dream or illusion. Flowers of dizzying colors lined the shore of the lake; at least she believed them to be flowers. Their shape was closer to mushrooms, but the pedals and leafs protruding from the stems hinted otherwise.  Whatever they were, the woman had to admit, although reluctantly, that they did look very nice.

"This place is as it was described to us. Perfection," Lireen said. The Edo woman from RUBICAN III was an explorer at heart, this planet was a dream come true. "To believe that some have decided to remain on board the BASTET is unimaginable. A single look at this world should be enough to make anyone want to stay here, forever.  I know I do. What wonders does this world have to offer? I truly cannot wait to find out."

"You are a fool," the Russian Spy and Assassin said. "Beauty and peace such as these are meant to be nothing more than a trap. A way to lure those foolish enough to forget about the universe we live in. Since the dawn of time, the rule has always been to kill or be killed. Dropping our guard will only lead us to all die a horrible death."

"You need to relax," the Uxali said with a sigh. "This is the opportunity of a lifetime. We cannot learn about this world if we find a rock to go crawling under. Lireen is right, we need to explore and find out more about this place.

The Tarellian spoke next. "I agree, but we should still proceed with caution. This is a completely unknown world with the potential for unimaginable discoveries. We could find things that would make our dreams a reality or our nightmares last for all eternity. We cannot allow our fears to force us to stay put. Neither can we allow our curiosity to drive us blindly forward."

"We have been given a chance to create a new life for ourselves, the Oltharian said. "We cannot ignore it. Life is precious, and we must embrace it, accepting all of the rewards and dangers that come with it."

"Small steps," the Risian suggested. "There is a small cave over there. Let's investigate it and see what we find. This is the goal of us being here, no?"

Gemma sighed and took in a long, deep breath. Yes, many would find this place a paradise, a dream come true, but not her. This world made her uncomfortable and uneasy. Life had taught her that everything came at a price. Sooner or later the evils of this planet would reveal themselves, but by then it would be too late. For the time being, all that the ILO could do was to move forward, hoping that she would not find what she was searching for.
=-=
Setting: ELYSIA, Small cave
Stardate: 34018.1920

Of all the nightmarish horrors Gemma was expecting to find, none were found. Part of her was relieved about this, but a part of her was convinced that this would not last. A paradise such as this could not exist. Every rose has its thorns as the song warned.

As she pushed a little deeper, the ILO realized that the cave did not grow darker. In fact, things appeared much brighter than they should have been.  A quick visual scan of her surroundings revealed the cause of this.  Cautiously, she reached for the nearest crystal and pried it out of the wall using her gloved hand. Once in the palm of her hand, she studied it as much as she could. The mechanics were easy enough to understand, but she was convinced that there was more.

The bioluminescent crystal had to be more than is appeared. Maybe it was just another trap to lure creatures in the cave. If so, how would the trap close? Maybe is was some sort of residual matter left behind from whatever beast dwelled in the cave. If so, how long would it be before it made itself known?

"There is no visible biological substance on the crystal," the Uxali scientist said. "There does not appear to be any kind of poison or noxious matter on it. The light does appear to be biochemically generated, although I am not sure of the exact process.  We should bring that sample back to the settlement."

The Edo explorer was outraged, in as much as she could be. "Why leave now? This is an amazing discovery. We should push on further and see what we find."

"NO!" Gemma could feel herself losing control, not that she understood of what. The danger was real and she could not allow the others to take more risks than they already had.  "We have to go back and report this to the Captain. She can decide what we will do next."  Before anyone offered some kind of argument, the ILO had already rushed out of the cave. Her speed and agility were impressive, allowing her to return to the settlement in no time.

=-=
Setting: ELYSIA, Settlement
Stardate: 34018.1925

Leaping over one of the crates parachuted down from the BASTET, Gemma nearly landed on top of the Captain.

"Gemma! Is everything alright?"

The ILO quickly looked over her shoulder expecting something to have been following her. Instead, she saw nothing but the trail she left through the tall grass. "Sorry Captain," Gemma said, regaining her composure almost instantly. "I thought you would want to know about this right away." She opened her hand to reveal the small glowing crystal.

The Captain smiled and leaned in to have a better look. "What is this?"

"It appears to be some sort of bioluminescent crystal. I found a cave full of them near the lake that feeds the nearby river."

"This is great news. If we could use these to illuminate the camp at night, we would be able to conserve energy for more important things. Well done Gemma, I think you have found a wonderful treasure. At this rate, maybe the tress themselves will lend a hand to help us build the settlement."

The ILO knew that the Captain was kidding. That did not stop Gemma from glaring at the nearby trees, or what passed to be tress on this planet.  She half expected those things to start moving and proving her right. Seconds passed and nothing happened to both her dismay and relief. There was still so much they did not know about this world. What wonders still waited to be discovered? What horrors waited to be released? One thing was certain; the woman would not be sleeping tonight. At least watching over the others would keep her busy, as she had wanted to be.

=-=
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]

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