USS BASTET - Mission 14
A Small Mystery
Post # Character Title
001 Iverson Mystery Great and Small
The BASTET discovers a ship in need
002 A'Janni Size Doesn't Matter
A'Janni talks to Selene about the small ship
003 Enel Small Wonders
Zub tries to help Sofia in Sickbay
004 Andersson Medical Mystery
Sofia searches for answers
005 Mitshiba The ExO and Exo Solution
A plan is devised to fix the ship
006 Gemma Inner Reflections
Gemma is trying feeling strange
007 Enel/Gemma The Persistence of Memory
Zub suspects something is wrong with gemma
008 Mitshiba Small Surprise
The BASTET is fired upon from beyond the rift
009 Andersson Not So Minor Decisions
The patients' condition detiriarates
010 Iverson Never Judge Something...
Another, bigger, ship emerges from the rift
011 A'Janni A Small Gesture
The BASTET lowers its shields
012 Gemma/Enel Belittled
The BASTET lowers its shields
013 Mitshiba Micro-Diplomacy
Aki tries to communicate with the intruders
014 Gemma Shortened Attention
Gemma gets distracted
015 A'Janni A Tiny Bit Annoyed
All this waiting is getting to A'Janni
016 Enel Little Women
A method is found to communicate with the aliens
017 Andersson Wee Pain
With the intruders gone, Sofia changes focus
018 Mitshiba Small Steps
Aki tries to get Gemma to be someone else
019 Gemma Minuscule Progress
Gemma questions her own thoughts
020 Andersson A Small Shift in Attitude
Nic helps Sofia in figuring things out
021 A'Janni/Enel Minute Details
Certain details about the ships bother A'Janni
022 Mitshiba Minor Review
Aki comes up with a plan to gather more info
023 Andersson From Small to Smaller
Sofia makes a significant find
024 Enel A Little Peek
Thanks to the ExoComp, things are discovered
025 Gemma Small Chats
Gemma returns to the bridge
Post # Character Title
026 Mitshiba The Microverse
Aki proposes a theory
027 Iverson A Much Larger Problem
Theory about the other dimension is confirmed
028 Enel Spectral Examination
A more feminine Gemma helps Zub
029 Gemma Inner Dimensions
Gemma has problems control her urges
030 A'Janni/Mitshiba Primal Rage
The crew is being affected by energy from the rift
031 Enel Rip Torn
Zub and A'Janni come to blows
032 Andersson Not A Small Problem
Nic and Sofia are talk
033 Iverson An Issue of Size
The BASTET is forced through the rift
034 Mitshiba Fantastic Voyage
The crew comes to terms with where they are
035 Enel Not THAT Small
Zub & A'Janni discuss their 'body' situation
036 A'Janni Flying Through Soup
A'Janni is not thrilled about their situation
037 Gemma/Enel Smaller Perspective
The crew discovers something new
038 Andersson Close Call
The BASTET avoids a colision with a giant nanite
039 Mitshiba Small Helpers
A plan it hatched to help the BASTET
040 Gemma/Enel Micro Changes
Gemma and Zub have a small confrontation
041 A'Janni/Enel Sizeless Bantering
A'Janni & Zub exchange some words as they work
042 Iverson Problems Great and Small
The BASTET readies itself for a confrontation
043 Andersson Frustratingly Annoying
Sofia gets frustration with a frozen Gemma
044 Gemma Insignificant Conflict
Gemma finds herself in a losing war in her mind
045 Enel Armed
Zub manages to get a fair idea of where they are
046 Andersson Annoyingly Frustrating
Sofia is frustrated while dealing with Gemma
047 Gemma Teensy Complications
The battle inside Gemma's mind rages on
048 Mitshiba What Now?
The nanites appear to be moving against the ship
049 Enel/Mitshiba
Fresh Squeeze
The BASTET finds a way out
050 Gemma Self Analysis
Gemma is trying to understand what happened
M14-001: USS BASTET: Iverson: 35258.1645 ("Mystery Great and Small")
"Mystery Great and Small"
(Previous Post: (ANU) "Perfection" / (BAS) "Settling In")

Setting: USS BASTET, Captain's Ready Room
Stardate: 35258.1645

Captain Iverson sat at her desk, a cup of steaming green tea in one hand and a PADD in the other. The normally stoic woman was leaning back in her chair in an uncharacteristic display of peace and relaxation reflecting the overall difficulties and demands of the last 7 or so months since their return from SPACE STATION NOWHERE.

With Commander Valentine now in charge of the USS ISHTAR, the promoted Chief Science Officer had taken on the additional role of First Officer. So far, everything had gone well, Aki proving herself as proficient as Selene had expected her to be in her new position.

The sound of the door chime made Selene put down her cup and straighten her posture. Being this relaxed was one thing, but allowing anyone on the crew to see her this way was a completely different matter. "Enter," the Captain commanded.

"Here are the latest reports and dimensional analysis, Captain," Lieutenant Commander Mitshiba said as she presented the Commanding Officer with three more PADDs. " The telemetry of the probes has been carefully reviewed and I believe that we have discovered several new destinations worthy of later investigation.  One of the probes encountered a trinary-star-system before it was destroyed by the impressive gravitational eddies. As much as I would love for us to head there and investigate that system ourselves, I would recommend against it as I fear that the BASTET might not be able to survive the immense gravitational forces that are present."

"Thank you for the *scientific* report," Captain Iverson said, accepting the three PADDs and putting them down on her desk. "What about the crew? How are they doing?"

"The idea of Admiral Koniki sending the BASTET and its crew on a purely scientific dimensional survey mission was a kind one as it gave the crew the chance to deal with the emotional and psychological effects of what we endured in our last mission. It also allowed me to better acquaint myself with the full extent of the responsibilities of being your First Officer. That said, after over 200 days of doing nothing but dimensional surveys, I think it is safe to say that everyone is ready for something a little more demanding." Aki explained.

"Will Counselor Dima support this on an official report to the Admiral?" Selene asked.

"I am quite certain that she will, Captain," the Asian officer said. "Are you planning on petitioning the Admiral to send us on something more than survey missions?"

"Yes," Selene confirmed. "Again. I can only hope that the Admiral will agree to finally give us something a little more exciting for us to sink our teeth into."

"I am sure that the crew will greatly appreciate that, most notably Ensign Enel, Lieutenant A'Janni and Lieutenant Gemma," Aki noted. "The engineering staff is getting a little frustrated with the constant repairing of the holodecks."

"At least they are keeping them, as well as Doctor Andersson, busy," Iverson said, hinting to her sharing their frustration in some small way. "Maybe not the way they would prefer, but busy nonetheless."

=/\= Bridge to Captain Iverson and Lieutenant Commander Mitshiba, =/\= Lieutenant Gemma said through an opened channel. =/\= Your presence on the bridge is requested. =/\=

"I'm guessing that A'Janni wants to display his flying skills on some nearby moon or Enel wants to pulverize some asteroid or debris into the next phase of matter," Aki chuckled.

"We better go and check things out," the Captain said as she stood from her chair. "Just in case you are correct."

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35248.1650

"Report!" Captain Iverson ordered as she stepped onto the bridge closely followed by her First Officer. 

"Sensors detected the opening of a dimensional rift a little less than a light-year away on a heading of 288 mark 317," Gemma reported from the Operations station.  "The rift was only open for a few seconds, but it was long enough for something to come through."

"Confirmed," Mitshiba said, having quickly made her way to the science station. "Sensors are reading a single craft, no larger than one of our shuttle crafts. Energy output from the ship is fluctuating, maybe due to some sort of instability in their primary power core or because of damage. Sensors are unable to give us more due to the gravitational and magnetic interference caused by the rift opening and closing."

"Any communications from that ship?" Iverson asked.

"Negative, Captain," Gemma reported. "Maybe they are in trouble. We should see if they require assistance."  Having the Intel Liaison Officer offer such a kind and thoughtful course of action was weird, to say the least, Selene remembering a time not so long ago when the same woman would have suggested firing a full volley of photon torpedoes to avoid any potential problems."

"Ensign Enel, what is your threat assessment of that ship?" Captain Iverson inquired.

"Sensors are unable to detect any sort of weapons of defensive capabilities, but even if they had some, the power fluctuations would likely make them inoperative," Zub reported. "Therefore, I believe that the threat potential of that ship to be very low."

"Helm," Captain Iverson continued. "Move us in close enough for sensors to be able to get better readings. If not, we might have to do a quick visual scan of the craft to see if we can figure out what happened."

"Finally, some action," the Caitian said, not hiding his relief at being asked to do something other than dimensional surveys.

An uneasy silence took hold of the bridge as the BASTET approached the unknown ship, everyone paying close attention to their instruments to be able to report any findings the moment they became available.

"Vessel is 250,000 kilometres and sensors are still unable to get any specific readings," Gemma reported. "We know that it is there and that something is causing wide power fluctuations, but other than that we are getting nothing."

"Lieutenant Commander Mitshiba, see if you can boost the sensitivity of the sensors. Helm slow us down but stay on course. Tactical, stand-by in case this proves to be some sort of trap." Selene found herself sitting closer to the edge of her seat, her eyes fixated onto the main view screen. "A'Janni, maximum magnification."

The uneasy silence returned as the BASTET continued its cautious approach. Everyone on the bridge was standing at the ready for something to happen, although none of them knew what that something might prove to be.

"200,000 kilometres," Gemma reported. "Still no change in sensor readings."

"We are not picking up any sort of active scans from the craft," Enel added. "Either they do not have operational sensors or their technology is beyond our ability to detect."

"They have not changed course and speed," A'Janni said, completing the report. "If they know we are heading their way, they are not doing anything about it. I would guess that whatever motion we are seeing from them is actually whatever initial momentum they had to get them through the rift.

"150,000 kilometers. Sensors are still only picking up power fluctuations." Gemma sounded genuinely concerned, but not for the BASTET or its crew but rather for the small ship and whoever might be aboard."  Silence returned to the command deck as the ship grew closer, everyone anxious to see what this was all about.  "100,000 kilometres."

"There!" A'Janni said, pointing to the main view screen. "Is it me or does it look damaged?"

"Sensors are unable to pick up anything other than the power fluctuation and the outer casing of the craft. If they were fired upon, there is no way for our instruments to identify the source from here."

"Helm, steady as she goes," Iverson instructed. "Get us in closer."

"50,000 kilometers," Gemma reported. "40,000... 30,000."

"Sensors are detecting something," Misaki suddenly announced from the science station. "Reading four sets of faint life signs. Unable to determine what race they belong to, all we can tell is that vitals are exceptionally weak."

"Four sets?" Zub questioned aloud. "That craft is barely large enough to hold two humanoids, it is certainly not large enough to hold four."

"The craft is small," Gemma confirmed. "Small enough that I doubt it would be able to hold our Chief of Security even if we tied his legs to his chest."

"Sensors do show four distinct life signs," Aki confirmed, ignoring the attempt to a joke from the Intel Liaison Officer. "I cannot be certain, but if these readings are accurate, they are all near dead."

"Captain," the Intel Liaison Officer pleaded. "We have to help them."

"Iverson to Doctor Andersson, medical emergency, stand-by to receive four alien casualties. Exercise extreme caution, we know nothing about them or what happened to them," Iverson said after opening a channel to Sickbay.

=/\= Understood, Captain. =/\=

"Lieutenant Commander, take a team and make sure that our guests remain under control," Selene ordered, looking straight at her First Officer.  Aki nodded her head and with a motion of her hand instructed the Voth Chief of Security and multi-faceted woman currently at Operations to join her.

Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 35248.1700

Misaki rushed into the main treatment area closely followed by Zub, Gemma and four security officers.  Seeing that Doctor Andersson was busy attending to one of the life forms that were brought aboard, the First Officer decided to seek the opinion of Counselor Dima who also was present in Sickbay. Before Aki could ask something though, the Asian officer noticed something odd about the people they had brought aboard.

"Yes, they are rather small," Nicole pointed out. "Sofia reported in her initial observation that they are no more than 0.70 of a meter tall. Their bodies are perfectly proportioned to their size, they are just on the petit side."

"That would explain how four of them were able to fit in that craft," the towering reptilian noted aloud.

"They look like children," Gemma added.

"They are not," Doctor Andersson stated as she continued to work on one of her new patients. "I am still trying to figure out how their physiology works, but I can tell you this; according to the results of the primary cellular scans, I would say that they are several hundred years old. Maybe even thousands, I will not be able to be more accurate until I have performed more in-depth tests, but right now I am trying to keep them alive, which is proving to be much more difficult than it might look."

"It would seem that we have a few small mysteries on our hands," Aki stated, fighting the urge to join the Doctor in her efforts to attend to the needs of their four new guests.

Jessica Solarik

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


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

"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) 
M14-002: USS BASTET: A'Janni: 35258.1715 ("Size Doesn't Matter")
"Size Doesn't Matter"
[previous (ANU) "Perfection" / (BAS) "Mystery Great and Small"]

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35258.1715  

Using his one good eye, the Caitian kept a diligent watch on the small drifting ship visible on the large forward screen, trying desperately to imagine how four people could fit in there. Now that they were close enough to the ship, the FCO could see what appeared to be some sort of propulsion system further reducing the available space for those four passengers.

"Gemma had to be wrong," A'Janni said, squinting his one good eye as if it would grant him a better perspective on the small ship and how four people could fit in it. "There is no way four people could ever fit in there."

"Will you be telling our ILO that you believe her to be in error?" The Captain said. If at least she had been smiling when she said this, A'Janni might have believed that the Commanding Officer of the BASTET was joking, but this was not the case. Captain Iverson's tone and facial expression were as serious as could be making the FCO fear for his life should he act as suggested. Gemma might have proven herself to be a lot friendlier over the last several months, but that did not change the fact that somewhere buried inside her head and body were countless other people, many of which were known for being less than friendly at the best of times.

"The sensors had to be wrong," A'Janni amended his statement, at least the mentioned equipment would not likely seek to avenge their bruised reputation by sneaking into his room while he slept.

"Bridge to Sickbay, Lt. Cmdr. Mitshiba, report," the Captain said as she used the control on her armchair to open communications.

=/\= Doctor Andersson and her team are working hard to stabilize our four guests, =/\= Misaki said, confirming that there were indeed four people who had been in the small craft, a detail that A'Janni could still not understand or accept.  

It was Zub's voice that was heard next. =/\= Whoever they are, they are small, roughly measuring half a meter in height. So you can tell A'Janni to stop trying to figure it out before he ends up pushing his blood pressure so high that it might make his only good eye pop out. =/\=

"Thank you, keep us informed. Bridge out," Captain Iverson closed the channel and stood from her chair so that she could walk up to the FCO's station.  "It looks like our Chief of Security has you well figured out," the woman said before changing the subject a split second later. "Lock a tractor beam on that ship. I think it would be safest if we kept it from drifting away."

"Aye, aye, Captain," the Caitian acknowledged. "We could bring it aboard. At its size, our shuttle bay could handle several such ships and still have room to spare. It might also help us to get better sensor readings. Even with us being this close, the residual gravitational and magnetic interferences are making it next to impossible for us to get any sort of specific readings on that ship or the cause of the power fluctuations."

Iverson and A'Janni carefully studied the odd-looking craft. There was no doubt about it being of alien origin, and the lack of any sort of markings only helped to raise suspicions and concerns. What further troubled the two officers was the apparent signs of the ship having been fired upon.

"Size is not the issue, Lieutenant," the Captain said as she returned to her seat. "Obviously, something happened and until we know more, I would rather not tempt fate. Let's keep that ship at a safe distance while the team in Sickbay tries to get a few more answers. Just learning what happened to the ship and its crew would go a long way to give us a better idea of what we are dealing with."

A'Janni nodded in agreement. Were they dealing with escaped refugees? Political outcasts? Terrorists? The list of possibilities was simply too long at the moment leaving the BASTET and its crew with only answerless questions.

Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG A'Janni [Access Character BIO for A'Janni]
Flight Control Officer
M14-003: USS BASTET: Enel: 35258.1720 ("Small Wonders")
“Small Wonders”
Previous posts: (ANU) “Perfection” by Jayson / (BAS) “Size Doesn't Matter” by Jayson

Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 35258.1720

Zub tried to stay out of the way, like a scaly floor-to-ceiling lamp might. Chief Medical Officer Sofia Andersson’s face took on ever more frustration as she examined the child-sized aliens rescued from their damaged ship. The blond doctor paused at one bio-bed to peer closely at the display over an unconscious female with a hazelnut brown face bisected by a thin, vertical ridge. “All life signs, at least what I think are life signs, are diminishing. This person is dying. Multiple organs failing. I can’t figure out why.”

The Security Chief asked, “No wounds?” He tightened his hands into loose fists at his side when he remembered Sofia could be brittle when confronted with a medical mystery and asked a lot of questions.

Her hair fell back from her face as she looked up at him. Her brows rose. “Good question, but no. No radiation wounds, certainly not any that result from stabbing, cutting or bludgeoning. I’m sure you saw plenty of those in the Arena on SPACE STATION NOWHERE.”

“Too many.”

She returned to scowling at the displays over the patient.

He ventured another question. “Anything like stings or venomous bites?”

Her gaze at his face nearly 7 feet above the floor held more blaze than warmth. “You know, Dr. Enel, we’re very thorough about detecting injuries like that. Besides, you assume there are things that sting and bite in whatever dimension they’re from.”

He thought it over.

She put up her hand in a stop motion and said with impatience, “Before you ask, the transporter screened out all known viruses and pathogens. They’re not dying from disease.” She assessed her monitors, “Not a known one or its aftermath.”

He knew his questions had frayed her last nerve while she was busy diagnosing, but he had to ask her one more to verify or allay his suspicions. “Anything unusual about their last meal?”

Her pretty face flushed through ever more scarlet shades of red until finally settling on plum. Her lips parted to reveal bright white teeth clenched together. The nostrils of her pert nose flared. He set his face and readied for bellowing. Instead, her purple color cycled back down the lividness scale to pink.

Her shoulders relaxed that had hunched up to her ears went she went into full rage. Her scowl ebbed away, almost. Her pinkness abated. She looked up with a small smile. “I forget sometimes that homicide investigation is in your area of responsibility. Sorry.”

She turned to look down at the alien female. “Regarding what she last ate….” The doctor picked up a small scanner. It warbled and sang softly as she waved it over the patient’s abdomen and then consulted its readout. “Assuming that she eats and has a stomach and I have found it, there appears to be plant matter - something that’s entirely leafy, well chewed, otherwise unidentifiable, and extra-dimensional.”

“Thank you, Doctor.”

“You *did* ask a good question.” She flashed a more winning smile at him. “It might well be some sort of poisoning. I suspect it is just not from something ingested. Toxins could be inhaled, slathered on or possibly injected.”

“Please continue diagnosing. I will not interrupt.”

She gave his face an assessing sidelong look before saying to him, “I need a way to keep their organs alive.”

A warm hand circled his arm below his elbow. The ship’s counselor Nicole Dima gazed up with bright blue eyes. “Notice their clothing? Like a uniform.”

Zub had noticed, but not consciously. Their clothing was green with peach-colored piping that circled the neck, shoulder joints and elbows. The tiny female nearest him wore a navy-blue scarf knotted under her chin. The other three also had scarves but one was khaki, another muted scarlet and the last a shiny gray. “Smartly dressed, now that you mention it.”

The counselor studied the female nearest. “Uniforms can indicate organization, conformity, a social separation of ‘us’ from ‘them.’ What shade of green is that? Jade? Fern? Sea?"

Zub frowned. “It is, uh, green. Lightish?”

“Lightish?” Nicole scowled before she reached up and slugged the outside of his bicep. “Honestly. Men.”

She gazed down at the uniform. “I’ll say fern, a nice leafy color.”

Zub noted the aliens’ apparent physical fitness. “Would a uniform mean they are military?”

Dima tilted up an ear without looking up. “Could be anything. Medical Corps. Storm troopers. Waste management.”

Zub mimicked reading from a report, “Four trash collectors blundered into another dimension.”

“I’m saying they *appear* to be in uniforms, with different colored ascots.” She combed absently at her short, cropped hair as she looked at the small beings. “Their clothing is tailored, not some one-size-fits-all, off-the-rack look. There’s an individuality in choosing to wear tailored clothing. Might indicate a desire to accentuate physicality without being tawdry about it. Perhaps they value physical fitness and so show it off.”

“It will be interesting to see how many of these theories hold up.”

Nicole gave the towering Voth a crooked smile. “Yes. It might all go out the airlock when one of them wakes up.”

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35258.1725

Flight Control Officer A’Janni adjusted the sensors at the Tactical Station usually manned by Ensign Zub Enel. His furry, tiger-striped face pinched with concentration as he scanned the alien’s ship.

“You growled?” Captain Iverson asked from her command chair.

A’Janni blinked his one eye at her. “Me?”

“Report,” Selene said, her alabaster face stony calm.

“That ship’s power fluctuations are going critical, like a wrecked warship with unattended battle damage that leads to a warp core breech.”

Selene studied the little ship anchored by a glimmering tractor beam. “A breech this close to the BASTET is imminent?”

“No, sir, but I would add that it appears to be building inexorably to a breech.”

“A ship we know nothing about. It could explode tomorrow or in one second.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Red Alert. Shields up. Cast her adrift, Lt. A’Janni. Take us to 100,000 kilometers at maximum warp.”

“Aye, sir!” The FCO sounded Red Alert and raised shields before he returned to his flight station. He killed the tractor beam, pivoted the BASTET and quickly put tens of thousands of kilometers between the starship and the vessel from another dimension.

Selene sat with fingertips interlaced as the BASTET reached safety. The alien’s ship didn’t detonate in the meantime. “Flight Officer, secure from Red Alert. Monitor the power fluctuations.”


“Growl if anything concerns you.”

“Yes, sir.” A’Janni gazed one-eyed at her serene face. No sign she’d been joking.

“Let’s save their ship.” She tapped the comm button. “First Officer and Lt. Gemma to the Bridge.”

David Michael Inverso

Chief Security and Tactical Officer

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another."
- William James
M14-004: USS BASTET: Andersson: 35258.1730 ("Medical Mystery")
"Medical Mystery"
[the previous post was (ANU) "Perfection" by Jayson / (BAS) "Small Wonders" by David]
Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 35258.1730

More than once Sofia caught Nicole's warning gaze falling upon her.  The Ship's Counselor did not have to say anything to make the physician understand the message the Trill wanted to convey. To see a patient of hers in a medical situation that the CMO could not help with was frustrating enough, but to have that same situation lead toward fatality was something that the blonde-haired woman would forever have a hard time dealing with.

Seeing so much death following the destruction of Paris at the hands of the Neo-Essentialists had set the unsteady foundation upon which her inability to deal with the natural conclusion of life was built. Adding to this all of the hardships the woman had faced as an officer on the BASTET and even before that on JDU-SHEN, this resulted in the creation of an emotional and psychological chasm set between the person she was and the Starfleet Medical Officer she needed to be. Luckily for Sofia, Nicole was there to help and guide her during the most demanding time which the current situation was proving to be. Either a solution to the medical issues would be found or the physician risked losing not one but all four of her patients.

The change in the ship's status had not helped, adding that much more stress to the already edgy woman. Would her department be called upon to deal with casualties brought upon by whatever new development had taken place? When the lights returned shortly after to their nominal setting quickly followed by Lt. Commander Mitshiba and Lt. Gemma being summoned to the bridge, Andersson glanced in Dima and Enel's direction.

"See," Nicole said with a gentle smile gracing her lips. "Nothing to worry about."

"Captain Iverson likely took precautions to safeguard the BASTET and its crew from the alien vessel," Zub theorised. "The ship was displaying severe power fluctuations when we encountered it, so it is possible that she was concerned about a possible explosion. Although small, there is no way to know how such an exploding might affect the BASTET, so calling for Red Alert and raising shields was a valid precaution."

"Captain Iverson calling for Misaki and Gemma supports that theory," Nicole added. "If there is a problem to resolve out there, they are the ones to do it."

Sofia forced a weary smile on her lips before returning her attention onto the child-sized female alien who was dying right in front of her. Misaki and Gemma would be dealing with whatever problem was out there, and she needed to deal with the issue that was here, namely finding a way to save the life of her patient before it was too late and in so doing hopefully saving the other three.

"Zub," Doctor Andersson said, turning back to look at the impossible-to-miss giant in the room. "What was that you said about power fluctuations from their ship?"

"We were unable to pinpoint the cause, but it was suspected that the fluctuations were the results of some sort of power core instability, likely caused by whatever damage the ship endured before they crossed into our dimension," Enel explained.

The CMO carefully pondered the words of the Chief of Security before turning back to look at her dying patient.  "I know that look," Nicole said, "you have an idea."

"None of these readings makes sense," Sofia said. "At least not when dealing with your standard humanoid life form, but what if those energy fluctuations were not a possible cause for their medical condition but rather how they were being kept alive? It would explain why their conditions have gradually deteriorated since they were beamed aboard the BASTET."

"That's a wild idea," Dima offered.

"Unfortunately, that's the only idea that I have at the moment, and until something else comes along, it may be the only thing I have to work with. I can only hope that it will be enough to save her life and those of her companions."

Tiffany Reeve

Lieutenant JG Sofia Andersson [Access Character BIO for Sofia Andersson]
Chief Medical Officer

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
M14-005: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: 35258.1735 ("The ExO and Exo Solution")
"The ExO and Exo Solution"
Previous posts: (ANU) "Perfection" & (BAS) "Medical Mystery"

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35258.1735

As soon as they arrived onto the bridge, Gemma and Aki made their way to the science station. Although it had been some time since Mitshiba had become the BASTET's First Officer, her reflex was still to take over that particular workstation instead of manning the station reserved for the First Officer.  When a situation arose, it was always her responsibility to look at the scientific aspects and research all available avenues before reporting her findings to the command staff. Now, it was her role to receive this data and coordinate with the Captain as to their best course of action.

The two women exchanged a quick smile as they realized what had taken place before the ExO gave way to the ILO. Gemma smiled and turned to see what the information provided by the sensors while Aki approached the woman sitting in the central chair.

"Let me guess," the former CSciO said. "The power fluctuations from that ship have increased, that is why you called for the red alert and moved the ship to a safer distance."

"Correct," the Captain confirmed. "I thought that playing it safe was best."

"My apologies Captain," Aki whispered, appearing on the verge of panic. "It was not my intent to question your decision. I was merely analysing the situation aloud."

"It is quite alright, Lt. Commander," Selene said, doing her best to ease the Asian woman's concerns. "Part of your duties is to make sure that I do make the right decision at the right time. It is also part of your duties to offer me possible alternatives that I might not have considered. Right now, that ship looks like it is about to blow. The only option I can see is to keep the BASTET at a safe distance while we wait for it to blow."

"The intensity of the power fluctuations has increased," Gemma reported from the science station.

"But?" Aki asked, turning to look at the ILO. "I definitively heard a but in there."

"The increase is not a steady one," Gemma said as a grin danced on her lips. The scene was a mystery onto its own as the woman had never been one to offer such outward displays, and given the situation they were in, Aki found it particularly odd that it was the ILO standing at the science station instead of the Uxali woman known as Wimdalli.

"Wait, are you saying that the power fluctuations are coming in waves?" Mitshiba asked, the Asian woman already formulating a few possibilities to explain this.

"I am," Gemma confirmed, sounding far more pleasant than ever before. "When we first encountered the ship, we immediately focused on the irregular power readouts coming from inside. The fact that the outer hull displayed signs of having been in a firefight only supported our fear that something inside was out of balance and might go critical at any moment. Now that the sensors have managed to gather more information, we can see that there is a distinct pattern in these increases."

"Instead of a straight curve, the spikes in the fluctuations are occurring in steps," Aki said, looking at the data now available on the First Officer's console. "The bad news is that whatever is responsible for those fluctuations will still go critical, but the good news is that we have more time before this happens."

"And this is where you offer me an alternative," the Captain said looking straight at the ExO.

"Under normal circumstances, I would have suggested that a repair team be dispatched to the ship to see if they could fix the problem or at the very least find a way to power down whatever is causing the fluctuations," Aki said.

"There is no way a single member of our engineering team would fit in that ship," A'Janni noted aloud. "Let alone a whole team."

"True," Mitshiba agreed. "The ship is too small for a regular member of the crew to beam over, but what about the ExoComp? It could easily be sent over and try to effect repairs. We would maintain a constant transporter lock on it and beam it back should the power fluctuations give any indications of going critical."  Aki waited a few moments for the Captain's reaction but when none was offered, the former CSciO added. "Or we could just sit here and wait for the fireworks to start."

"Alright," Iverson said. "We will try it your way. Get the ExoComp ready for the away mission. Helm, bring the BASTET back but keep us within maximum transporter range. No need to take any more risks than we need to."

"Aye, aye, Captain," A'Janni acknowledged.

Smiles floated all around the bridge as the new plan was put into motion, and as thrilled as Aki was she could not help but have her gaze linger onto Gemma for a little longer than anyone else, the ILO's smile proving to be even more of a mystery than the situation they were faced with at the moment.

Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Commander Misaki 'Aki' Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Executive Officer / Chief Science Officer
M14-006: USS BASTET: Gemma: 35258.1745 ("Inner Reflections")
"Inner Reflections"
[the previous post was (ANU) "The Game Is Afoot" / (BAS) "The ExO and Exo Solution"]

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35258.1745

The bridge staff of the BASTET consisted of highly trained and professional individuals. Each knew exactly what their role was, performing it to the highest possible standards. It was a pleasure for the ILO to be part of such a team.  That was the first problem.

Feeling such happiness, such content was not her, and yet it was. Gemma could feel that the emotions were hers just as much as they were someone else's. This sense of carefree felt alien and familiar all at the same time. Her eyes wandered onto a reflective surface. There, the ILO saw someone else looking back at her. A familiar woman she had never seen before. As odd as her light pink hair was, it was her smile that troubled Gemma the most.

"The BASTET is now within minimum transporter distance."

The FCO's announcement made the ILO snap back into action. A rapid scan of the science console confirmed what she needed to say. "The ExoComp is standing by for transport." Following the report, Gemma found herself studying her hands. They moved over the science station with a confidence that was not her own. As a Bridge officer, she knew her way around every duty station. Everyone did, that was part of their training. That did not explain the sense of utter familiarity she felt though. She was not a scientist, and yet, somehow, she knew she was.

Gemma turned her gaze into the same reflective surface. This time it was a brown-haired Uxali woman looking back at her. The confidence with all things scientific belonged to that woman, and yet she felt it within her. Being a scientist was a familiar feeling as well as a completely foreign one, all at the same time. The ILO felt strange as if she was some else, someone who was her and yet not her. That was the second problem.

"As soon as we have confirmed a safe transport location, energize."

The order from the ExO made the ILO look straight at Misaki. Their eyes met and locked for the briefest of time. Mere seconds that instantly extended into a confined and private eternity. Gemma knew Aki, the two of them had worked together before, but not together. If that was not confusing enough, when she looked at the Asian woman the ILO saw someone else. The previous ExO had been a friend as well as an opponent. Sarena had not kept her initial reluctance to her presence on the BASTET a secret. A reluctance that eventually transformed into acceptance. By the time Cmdr Valentine left, the two of them could almost have been considered friends. That was the third problem.

"Transport coordinates have been confirmed. Energizing."

As soon as the ExoComp's safe transport was confirmed, Gemma scanned the bridge. Everyone was busy working, as they should be. This was the sign of a great team. Everyone worked individually but as an integral part of something greater. They were all shipmates accepting each other as friends. So why was she here?

"Now we wait to see if the ExoComp can perform the necessary repairs. Keep a transporter lock on it though. At the first sign of trouble, beam it back. It might not be a 'living' entity, but it is still a member of this crew."

Cpt. Iverson's words struct the ILO. The order was a simple one, even an expected one, but Gemma heard something else. The woman's words enlisted feelings that she could not fully understand. All she knew was that she needed to be elsewhere.

"Gemma?" The ExO said, noticing the ILO leaving the science station. "Is everything alright?"

"Everything is fine. The transporter lock is set. It can be activated from any of the stations. I need to check something in Sickbay." Having said that, Gemma boarded the turbolift and vanished behind the closing doors.

Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 35258.1740 

The moment Gemma walked into the main treatment area, Zub looked at her. As the Chief of Security, it made perfect sense for him to keep track of who was coming in. The ILO could see recognition as well as concern in the eyes of the giant reptilian.

"Is everything alright?"

The whispered tone of his voice hinted that something was happening. A quick scan of those present identified the cause. Dr Andersson was doing her best to save the life of one of the aliens. Gemma's arrival had not interrupted this. What it did do was to draw the attention of Zub and Nicole away from the frantically working CMO.

"Everything is fine. The ExoComp was beamed over to their ship. It is hoped that it can repair the damaged systems and stop the energy fluctuations. Once the ship is considered safe to approach, the Captain will decide what to do next." Gemma's explanation drew Enel's ire instantly.

"That might not be a good thing. Dr Andersson suspects that those power fluctuations may be required to keep her patients alive." Zub had kept his voice to a mere whisper, but that did not soften the concerns in his words.

As Gemma turned, she caught a glimpse of another reflection. It was a blonde-haired Dinaal woman looking back at her. The medical understanding the ILO felt belonged to that woman, not her.

"Gemma?" It was from Nicole. She noticed the look of confusion on the ILO's face. An expression that was very much out of place. "Are you alright?"

The ILO paused for a few seconds before she smiled. "Yes Counselor, I am fine." It was as if a switch had been thrown, resetting Gemma. This had not been the first time Dima had noticed this happening. Had the situation been different, she might have pressed the issue as she had wanted to do several times before.

Rachel Jackie Johnson

Intel Operative

[The fun is getting to wear multiple disguises and getting to explore multiple personalities and bring them to life. - Jenna Fischer]
M14-007: USS BASTET: Enel/Gemma: 35258.1742 ("The Persistence of Memory")
“The Persistence of Memory”
Previous posts: (ANU) “Legends, Chapter 2” by Francois / (BAS) "Inner Reflections" by Rachel

Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 35258.1742

After the ILO claimed she was fine and acted like a smiling, perfectly fit senior officer, Counselor Dima set her mouth in a line. She glanced up at the 7-foot tall lizard man to look into his golden eyes. Zub Enel recognized she was looking for agreement as to Gemma's true status. He gave a nod. Gemma had been different after the mission to SPACE STATION NOWHERE. She had been discovered unconscious in her disheveled quarters. All clues pointed to something having happened. Something that placed the BASTET's multi-facetted ILO dead in the center. Enel and Dima suspected that Gemma's new, odd behavior and lack of appearing as any of her other personalities was just the tip of the iceberg.

Gemma’s gaze from her to him made it clear she had noted the exchange of glances. Zub flattened his three-fingered hands against his thighs anticipating an angry or defensive version of Gemma - tart-tongued Abrasivnyy or worse, murderous Anya. Instead, the woman with coppery ringlets to her shoulders simply smiled more broadly.

She triggered her communicator. “Lt. Gemma to Bridge.”

Aki’s voice answered. =/\= Bridge, Mitshiba here. =/\=

“Dr. Andersson has a working hypothesis that the power fluctuations from that ship might be keeping our alien guests alive.”

There was a fraction of a pause from the First Officer. =/\= To allow Sofia time to test her hypothesis, the ExComp will evaluate but not repair. However, if their ship threatens a core breach, that puts the ExComp’s life and the BASTET in grave danger. Repairs must and will be attempted. =/\=

“Understood. I’m returning to the Bridge to assist with analysis and supervision of the repairs.”

=/\= Bridge out. =/\=

The ILO gave a flick of her head that sent her red ringlets flying over her shoulders. She purposefully strode out of Sickbay. The security chief followed her; his long legs able to catch up with her at the turbolift in the corridor.

Setting: USS BASTET, Deck 5 Corridor Near Sickbay
Stardate: 35258.1743

She paused just outside the triggering distance for the turbolift door. Her blue eyes swept the 7-foot Voth from head to toe. She rested her hands where her hips flared from her trim waist. Her red hair cascaded down her back as she looked up at him without a smile. “Your feathers are all aflutter. Are you alright?”

It was odd to hear Gemma be so friendly and caring of others. The ILO had never been technically unfriendly, only highly professional in her dealings with other members of the crew. That was, of course, as long as you did not take into account some of her other personalities. When it came to Anya, Jynx or Abrasivnyy just to name a few, being friendly was beyond unexpected. This new layer of pleasant interpersonal interaction was just another piece of the puzzle, a puzzle that Zub was determined to figure out.

After she had pointed it out, Zub became aware of the down between his scales prickling under his uniform along his arms and up his neck. He took a moment to collect his thoughts before speaking. “I was going to ask you the same question.”

She quipped, “I asked you first.” Dimples appeared in rosier than usual cheeks. A sparkle came to her eyes. Her smile took on a teasing aspect. All expressions once rare indeed for the formerly stony faced ILO.

Zub Enel tried to tamp down his wariness lest she pick it up. He smiled. “Asking you how you are can be a fraught endeavor.”

Red eyebrows arched up. Her coloring shaded toward red. “Fraught? I’m fine. I’m always fine. Ask Dr. Andersson. Why does everybody persist in asking me if I’m fine?” Her blue eyes assessed his face. “Why are you nervous?”

“You killed me once in anger. Remember?”

Her pretty face took on open-mouthed surprise. She recovered almost immediately. Her eyebrows curved into a frown that put a line above her nose. Her eyes were directed up at his, but they took on an inward cast for a moment. Her voice came as a whisper. “I did, didn’t I? Slew you on the holodeck.”

He gave a nod. “I got better.”

Her gaze searched his scaly face as she searched her memory. “No, that wasn’t me. That was someone else. And you… .” Her eyes narrowed. “You tricked her. You used a holographic projection of yourself.”

He nodded at the red-headed officer. He asked her, “Do you remember why the two of us were using that holodeck?”

Her frown was one of intense concentration. Her gaze abruptly shifted from an inward sort of assessment of the past to directly into his eyes like she had remembered that they had been trying to trigger one of her personalities so she could later see her recorded self physically change into that person.

He smiled to encourage her to speak.

A light of understanding shone from her eyes. Just after she drew a breath to speak, her face went blank. Her smile reappeared. Her gaze had softened. She said assuredly, “I’m fine. I’m always fine. Ask Dr. Andersson. Now I need to get to the Bridge.”

She stepped close enough to open the turbolift door. As she entered, Zub, baffled by her sudden change of demeanor, started to follow her in. She turned and held her hand palm out near his chest. “You need to stay here, Zub Enel, and monitor our guests. Don’t worry. A’Janni can handle your Tactical station for a while longer.”

The turbolift door hissed closed. He stood and stared at it as he listened to the lift soar away in a rising but quickly fading note.

He backed away a step or two, lost in examining what had happened. Right before her face smoothed out, he was certain she had given a look of remembrance, of recognition, of mutual acknowledgement of the reason for their holodeck experience.

Setting: USS BASTET, Turbolift
Stardate: 35258.1744

Gemma stood alone in the circular pod as it rushed to the BASTET's command deck. Physically, no one else was there with her, but she could feel the presence of others around her. Memories of their voices echoed in her head as if they were memories from another lifetime. Most would have tried to dismiss them, but she instead did her best to listen to what they were trying to say. As hard as she tried, those distant voices remained mere whispers beyond her reach.

The recent exchange between Zub and her quickly replayed in her mind. Maybe there was a reason for so many of her friends asking if she was alright. That thought alone gave the woman a reason to pause. Her *friends* were concerned about her well being. Why was the idea that she would have even a single person she could call in such a manner so disturbing to her?

Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 35258.1745

As he entered Sickbay, he could see the short, blond CMO still tending to the four diminutive aliens. She still scowled. Zub decided a status check could wait.

Nicole Dima came toward him. Her blue eyes probed his expression. A frown appeared. She asked him softly, “Are you - disturbed?”

“I had an odd experience with Gemma.”

The counselor gave him a knowing smile.

The Security Chief crossed his arms and gripped each elbow. “Can amnesia be highly selective?”

She nodded, curiosity lighting her eyes. “It depends.”

He recounted quickly his encounter with the ILO.

Nicole frowned. “Her face went blank?”

He nodded, “And then she acted as if she had been completely unaware of the discussion. She went back to an early statement to me that she was fine. It was like she had no memory, both of the discussion and what she had remembered.”


He added, “Unlike her bout of amnesia where she cannot remember an entire mission, this time she remembered that she needed to get to the Bridge to assist with the ExoComp analysis. She was aware of the tactical situation. She also remembered why I am here in Sickbay.”

Nicole’s eyes had narrowed. “It does seem a rather specific memory loss.”


She brought a hand up to comb her short-cropped dark hair. She tapped her chin with a forefinger, her gaze passing completely through Zub Enel’s chest. “How very odd.” Her gaze swept up to his scaly face. “I understand why you would be disturbed.”

He gave a heartfelt sigh. She smiled to acknowledge his relief. Her face grew serious again. “I need to think about her reaction.”

“Thank you.”

David Michael Inverso

Chief Security and Tactical Officer

“The reward for conformity is that everybody likes you except yourself.”
- Rita Mae Brown

with some help from

Rachel Jackie Johnson

Intel Operative

[The fun is getting to wear multiple disguises and getting to explore multiple personalities and bring them to life. - Jenna Fischer]
M14-008: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: 35258.1755 ("Small Surprise")
"Small Surprise"
Previous posts: (ANU) "Legends, Chapter 5" & (BAS) "The Persistence of Memory"

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35258.1755

The BASTET floated, motionless in the emptiness of space as far away from the small alien craft as they could while maintaining a transporter lock on the ExoComp. Thanks to its size, the small marvel of engineering brilliance was able to fit within the limited size of the ship to perform the needed repairs to its power core. Thanks to its mechanical abilities, the autonomous device operated without any external assistance, able to create whatever tool was required for the job. Thanks to its single-mindedness, it performed with the greatest possible efficiency, not allowing itself to be distracted in the slightest way by anything.

From the science station, Aki glanced in the direction of Gemma who had returned to the bridge and taken over the tactical station in Zub's absence. To her quiet amusement, the EXO realized that the ILO and ExoComp shared many traits, or at least they had before the arrival of Abrasivnyy and the adventures aboard SPACE STATION NOWHERE.  Something had drastically changed in the woman, everyone could see it, but no one was in a position to do anything about it. How could anyone be against the woman for being kinder, friendlier and much more social than she had even been before?

"Commander," Captain Iverson said. "How is the Exocomp doing?"

"The power fluctuations have stabilized," Aki reported, acting as the CSciO. "The ExoComp seems to have managed to stop, or at the very least delay, the energy cascade that risked overwhelming the ship. We have yet to hear back from Doctor Andersson as to her theory about the energy waves and their effects on her patients. The only thing I can add at this time is that it appears we are in no immediate danger."

"That claim might be a little premature," Gemma said, her words lacking the intensity that the EXO believed should have been there. "Due to the power fluctuations from that ship, our sensors are having a hard time getting any sort of readings directly beyond the craft, but if you look at the main viewscreen you will see that there is some sort visible distortion of space."

"Could it be some sort of optical trick caused by the regulated power fluctuations from the small ship?" A'Janni offered, squinting his one good eye as he tried t get a better idea of what they were looking at.

"Locking in onto the distortion and magnifying the image to maximum," Aki as, now acting as both the EXO and CSciO.  As a scientist, she was curious as to what this might be, as the First Officer, she was concerned that it might be something that could cause problems to the ExoComp or the BASTET.  Even with the viewscreen focussed on the distortion, very little could be seen, the alien ship standing directly in the way.

"Talk about bad luck," the Caitian softly growled. "Of all the places that thing could have appeared, it is perfectly in line behind the craft. It is also as if it wanted to remain hidden."

"Natural phenomenons do not have a mind of their own," Aki said before taking a few seconds to contemplate her own words. "At least, not most of them. I am sure that there are some out there that might have some sort of measurable intelligence. The question is, can that distortion be one of those intelligent natural phenomena?"

"We are assuming that this is a natural occurrence," Gemma added. "We could be looking at a localized distortion in the fabric of space-time caused by some sort of focussed energy bias. For all we know, this could be a side effect of the repairs the ExoComp has performed." Aki glanced over to gemma once again, expecting the Uxali scientist to stand in her place, but the ILO was there as she had been before, a faint smile dancing on her lips.

"Something is happening," the FCO said summoning everyone's attention back onto the enlarged image on the main viewscreen. The distortion was still there, barely visible, but there was now a strange glow present with the gentle shimmer as if something was about to emerge from it. The glow quickly turned into a bright light that transformed into three bolts of energy shooting out from the distortion to pass right by the small craft to make their way to the BASTET.

"SHIELDS!" Selene called out, prompting Gemma to quickly activate the ship's defensive barrier.  With only a fraction of a second to spare, the shields were brought up before those energy bolts reach the BASTET. It was only thanks to the ship being as far away as it was that they were able to react as quickly as they did, allowing the crew to deal with a much lesser consequence of the attack they had just ben the target of.

The three energy bolts impacted with the active shields with enough force to push the ship back, sending most people tumbling off-balance.

"Report!" The Captain demanded.

"We have just been hit by three high energy plasma bolts, each with a power output roughly 10 times that of our phasers. Had the shields not been brought up in time, we would have most certainly been destroyed," Aki reported.

"Shields are down to 15%," Gemma followed with. "Several systems have been overloaded by the shock, we will not survive another hit like that last one."

"Captain! The distortion! It's glowing again!" A'Janni said.

"Evasive manoeuvres, get us out from the line of fire."

Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Commander Misaki 'Aki' Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Executive Officer / Chief Science Officer
M14-009: USS BASTET: Andersson: 35258.1805 ("Not So Minor Decisions")
"No So Minor Decisions"
[the previous post was (ANU) "Legends, Chapter 5" by Sarah / (BAS) "Small Surprise" by Dawn]
Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate:  35258.1805

The lights were flickering and people were slowly getting back to their feet.  The physician's first concerns, which were of a professional nature, were on her patients, so she quickly positioned herself to be able to look at them. A visual scan of their bodies and of the medical readouts seemed to indicate that they had not been affected by whatever had happened. Sofia's second concerns, which were of a far more personal nature, were directed to one particular member of the crew, a woman who meant the universe to her.  The moment she located her, the Doctor rushed to the Counselor's side.

"Nic, are you alright?" The Trill was still down, her face aimed to the floor of Sickbay.

"What happened?" Dima answered with a question of her own, a hint of discomfort in her voice.

"I am heading to the bridge to find out," the reptilian Chief of Security said, Enel had only fallen onto one knee when the BASTET was so violently rocked allowing him to bounce back onto his feet with ease if not grace.

"It felt like the ship was hit by something," the Doctor said, offering the only answer she could at the time. "It's either that or Gemma 'lost it' and went supernova."

"You should not joke about that," the Counselor warned. "Something about Gemma has changed and we have no idea what it could lead to," Nicole explained, her discomfort now appearing as full-fledged pain.

"You are injured," the CMO said in a panic, scrambling to locate the nearest medical tricorder.

"It's just my wrist," the CNS said trying to ease the woman's growing panic, Nicole protection her injured arm as she tried to get back to her feet, or at the very least a more upright posture. "How are your patients?" Dima asked wanting to divert Andersson's focus onto something else.

"Blood pressure is a little elevated, I am also detecting signs of bruising, likely caused by the fall," Sofia replied. It was only after she said this that Nicole looked up to see that the physician held a medical tricorder in her hand and that the device was directed at the Counselor.

"I meant our guests," the joint Trill half sighed.  After considering everything, Nicole could not help but smile, seeing that the woman's concerns for her were genuinely heart-felt and not an extension of her medical professionalism.

The physician glanced at the medical readout panels located at the head of each bed. The data being displayed was a far cry from what would be expected from most humanoids, but Doctor Andersson could see, good or bad, that the readouts were stable.  "They are stable and there is little I can do right now other than monitoring their vital signs. You, on the other hand, I can do something about your injury. Also, until we know what happened to send us all flying all over the ship, I would rather spend my time with you.  It is an unfortunate reality of our lives that when Hell breaks loose, we never know how long it will be before things calm down and we get to be together again, not to mention *if*."

"That is a rather gloomy way of thinking," Nicole said looking into Sofia's eyes to see a sense of sadness hiding behind her professional facade.

"Is it gloomy to want to take the fullest advantage of every moment we are given, no matter the reason for them?" The Doctor asked. "We both know how fragile life can be and that despite all of our technology and medical skills, any one of us could meet their end like that," Sofia added, snapping her fingers to provide a physical representation of how fast things could change.  "So, I am sorry if I am coming across as *gloomy*, but I just want to make sure that no opportunities that I am given go unappreciated." The Physician smiled at the Counselor and after a few seconds of them sharing the moment, Sofia leaned in and pressed her lips against those of Nicole.

Just as the kiss ended, a repeating tone drew the attention of both women to one of the unconscious diminutive aliens.  "What is happening?" The CNS asked.

"Something has changed," the CMO said as she helped her beloved back to her feet before they both made their way tot he bedside of the alien whose medical readouts had caused the alarm to be triggered. As Andersson was trying to figure out the exact cause, the same alarm was heard coming from the next bed followed by the two mere seconds later.  "All of the readings are crashing, and there is nothing I can do able it as I have no idea what is causing this."

"When the BASTET was hit, maybe we were pushed beyond the reach of the power fluctuations that you suspected were helping to keep them alive," Nicole offered as a possible cause.

Reaching for her communicator, the Doctor acted in the only way she could see that would save her patients, if the Counselor was correct about the reason for what they were witnessing.  "Sickbay to bridge. The life signs of all four aliens are crashing. If whatever hit us forced us to move away from their ship, we need to go back or see all of them die in the next few munites.

=/\= Easier said than done, Doctor, =/\= Mitshiba said. =/\= We will do what we can, bridge out. =/\=

Tiffany Reeve

Lieutenant JG Sofia Andersson [Access Character BIO for Sofia Andersson]
Chief Medical Officer

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
M14-010: USS BASTET: Iverson: 35258.1810 ("Never Judge Something by Its Size")
"Never Judge Something by Its Size"
(Previous Post: (ANU) "Legends, Chapter 5" / (BAS) "No So Minor Decisions")

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35258.1810

Following the initial attack, Captain Iverson ordered the BASTET out of the line of fire. The first volley of energy bolts that came out of the spatial distortion had flown right by the small ship that they had discovered. To some, this could have been seen as mere coincidence, but when the second volley followed the exact same trajectory, this coincidence now appeared to be far more by design than anything else.

"I don't get it," the Caitian FCO noted aloud. "If these guys were the ones who fired on that small ship in the first place, why go through all the trouble to shoot around it now?"

"Very bad aim?" Gemma offered from the science station, her almost comical tone instantly calling the stunned glares of everyone on the bridge upon her. Seeing this, the ILO decided to amend her words as well as her tone as she offered a more professional analysis. "I meant to say that whoever they are, they may lack the ability to lock on a target across a spatial anomaly. This could hint to either a technological shortfall of our attackers or that the distortion was not created by them. There is also the possibility that the distortion only allows for a very limited lateral window for those energy bolts to travel through. There are also several other possible reasons, unfortunately, there does not seem to be any scientific reason as to why they have not fired upon the small ship.

Accepting that explanation with much greater ease than the first, the officers on the bridge returned to the task at hand, namely to see to their continued safety while trying to figure out what was happening.

"Three separate attacks and all of them have been along the same targeting axis," the Asian First Officer informed. "We should be able to set a perpendicular course and approach the small ship while staying out of reach of those energy bolts. This would give us the chance to drop shields and  beam back the ExoComp while at the same time comply with the wish of Doctor Andersson for us to get closer thus hopefully helping in saving the lives of her four patients."

"Captain," the Voth Chief of Security said, ready to offer his take on their situation. "Even if we do approach the small ship from a perpendicular angle, the risk to the ship are still high. There are no guarantees that those bolts of energy will not hit the ship, destroying it and causing an explosion that could damage the BASTET." As he finished, Enel glanced over to Gemma, expecting one of her more militaristic personalities to emerge and support his position, but the ILO remain silent and unchanged.

"If we do nothing, we lose a member of our crew and risk losing all four aliens we have been trying to save," Mitshiba said, turning her argument squarely toward Iverson. "Are we to just sacrifice one of our own because of perceived risks?"

"As you asking as a former Chief Science Officer or as my First Officer?" Selene asked in a quasi-whispered voice.

"Does it make a difference?" Misaki said reply with a question of her own. "The ExoComp is a member of this crew just as much as the Cetaceans or any other non-human officer aboard the BASTET. Being a mechanical entity should not have any bearing on our decision to do everything we can to save them."

"Agreed," Selene said while silently noting that she believed her earlier choice to make the Asian scientist their new Executive Officer was the right one, as demonstrated by her most recent display of logic. "Lieutenant A'Janni, bring us back in, this time alone a 90-degree vector to the path of those energy bolts. Ensign Enel, stand by to lower the shields and transport our stranded crew member back as quickly as possible. Lieutenant Gemma, keep a close watch on both the ship and the spatial distortion, there is no need for us to have to deal with yet another surprise.  Iverson to Andersson," the Captain finished after opening a channel to Sickbay.

=/\= Yes, Captain? =/\=

"Stand-by, we are heading back. Please keep me informed as to the status of your patients. If our being closer to their ship does not improve their status, I do not want to see the BASTET remain in possible danger for nothing."

=/\= Aye, aye, Captain. I will let you know the moment something changes. =/\=

Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 35258.1810

"I am sure that everything will be fine," Nicole said, doing her best to reassure Sofia, both professionally and personally. It did not take the training of a Counsellor or the many lifetimes of experience of a Trill for Dima to see that the Doctor was troubled. Being concerned for the well-being of their patients was a prerequisite for all Chief Medical Officers, a qualification that Andersson possessed in ample supply. "See, the readings are stabilizing."

"Yes, they are," the Doctor agreed, although not as enthusiastically as the Counsellor might have hoped. "The problem is that I cannot tell if these readings are normal for them. I am working completely blind as to what I need to do next."

"That is one of the drawbacks of dealing with inter-dimensional species," Nicole said. "There are a lot more unknowns for us to deal with. We have to accept it, the unexpected is a common occurrence."

Doctor Andersson agreed with a nod of her head before tapping her communicator. "Sickbay to the bridge, it seems to be working. The vitals signs of our guests have stabilized. Still not sure what I need to do next but we will continue to monitor and do the best we can. Andersson out."

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35258.1820

It did not take long for Zub to pick up on the repetitive pattern of the energy bolts coming from the distortion, three shots emerging every 44 seconds.  It was because of this realization that the Chief of Security knew something had changed when the latest volley failed to manifest itself.  The Ensign waited for a few second to confirm that his count had not been wrong. When he was confident enough that he was right, he spoke. "Captain, something has changed, the firing sequence has changed for some reason."

"Confirmed," Gemma added. "The energy bolts were coming out at a 44-second interval and the last one occurred over 52 seconds ago. I, therefore, must echo the words of our Chief of Security, something has changed."

"Is this a good thing or bad thing?" the Caitian asked of no one in particular.

Mitshiba turned to look at Iverson. As simple as the question might have seemed to be, it was as valid as any other. Was the energy bolts stopping a sign that their troubles had ended or was it just the calm before the next storm?

"Captain! Something is emerging from the dimensional distortion," Ensign Enel announced, the Voth already standing at the ready for a fight.

Setting: Space
Stardate: 35258.1825

The form of another vessel, this one nearly five the size of the first, slowly emerged from the distortion. Using the first ship as a base of reference, the newest arrival was huge, especially as it slid next to the disabled smaller craft. The one detail that stood out the most was the fact that both vessels shared distinct design features and markings, hinting that they belonged to the same race or organization.

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35258.1825

"Captain," Zub said with an audible gulp. "The power readings from that second ship are off the scale. That thing has more firepower than an entire fleet of ships.

"Maybe it would be nice to make friends with them," Gemma said, her tone of voice teetering on the edge of amused nervousness, which was not helping the situation in the slightest.

Jessica Solarik

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


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

"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)
M14-011: USS BASTET: A'Janni: 35258.1825 ("A Small Gesture")
"A Small Gesture"
[previous (ANU) "Legends, Chapter 5" / (BAS) "Never Judge Something by Its Size"]

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35258.1825  

Although Gemma's suggestion to make friends with the new alien ship sounded well out of place thanks to her tone of voice, the Caitian FCO had to agree that she might have been right. According to every sensor readings from the much larger miniature vessel, it could easily pulverise the BASTET into several other dimensions all at once.

Not daring to take his one good eye away from his controls, A'Janni offered a suggestion. "Could they be here to protect one of their own? It would explain why they did everything they could to avoid hitting the smaller ship when they were firing at us."

"The evidence does seem to support that theory," Misaki said. "It is obvious that their priorities are to protect the other ship, and the similarity in the two ship's design and marking further supports that they are of a shared origin."

"We should still proceed with extreme caution," Zub added. "Their targeting systems are locked on us and if these power readings are correct, I doubt that we will be able to survive any confrontation. Captain, we should withdraw while they are preoccupied with the other vessel."

"Captain," Gemma joined in. "Withdrawing the BASTET at this time would be a mistake. If their sensors are anywhere as good as ours, they know that the crew of the small ship is not aboard the craft nearest to them but rather here with us. If they came here to rescue their people, we represent a potential threat. If they are here in pursuit of some sort of criminals, they will see us as potential collaborators."

"Either way, turning our backs to them would be admitting some wrongdoing and would likely provoke them into swift reprisal against us," the Caitian said.

"Gemma," Misaki said, turning to the ILO. "Have we tried communicating with them?"

"Standard greetings in all known languages have been transmitted on all frequencies but we have not received any replies or even detected any signs that they understand our efforts to communicate. Cetacean Ops is looking into this as we speak," the ILO stated, sounding far more like the old Gemma than she had done in a long time, but still, there was something in the woman's voice that was not quite *her*. Of course, this was certainly not the time or place to try to figure out the woman.

The bridge became silent for a few moments as everyone looked at the image on the main viewscreen of the second ship just sitting there like a mother bear protecting its cub.  "It is possible that they are faced with the same problems we are," A'Janni said. "Why else would they just stand there waiting? If, as you suggested, their sensors are a match for ours, they might just be trying to figure out our intentions."

"That or they are trying to figure out if our four guests in sickbay are worth not pulverising us into space dust," the Voth said, Enel proving himself to be the eternal pessimist, at least when faced with an opponent who clearly has the upper hand as far as weapon capabilities.

"What is the status of our shields?" The Captain asked.

"They are up to 23%," Zub reported. "Not enough to ward off another assault like the first one that hit us. If they hit us with only half the power they did before, we might survive but the ship will be crippled beyond use. Anything stronger and none of us will have to worry about anything else."

"Feels like we are back at the Academy dealing with the Kobayashi Maru training scenario. Whatever we do, we lose," the FCO grumbled.

"Communications efforts have been unsuccessful to this point," the First Officer said to the Captain. "We are at a clear tactical disadvantage and trying to withdraw might only make the situation worse.  If we are to take Lt. A'Janni's comparison of our predicament to heart, we need to come up with a solution that is not in any book."

Captain Iverson sighed and nodded her head. "Ensign Enel... drop shields."

Even from the front of the bridge, the Caitian could hear the Voth's scale ruffling at the order he had just received. It was not hard for A'Janni to see why Zub did not like what they were about to do as the FCO felt exactly the same way as the Chief of Security, yet the order from their Captain was not something either one of them could argue against.

"Shields have been lowered, Captain," Enel said, Now all they could do was wait, and hope.

Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG A'Janni [Access Character BIO for A'Janni]
Flight Control Officer
M14-012: USS BASTET: Gemma/Enel: 35258.1830 ("Belittled")
Previous posts: (ANU) “Legends, Chapter 6” by Marrisa / (BAS) “A Small Gesture” by Jayson

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35258.1830

Everyone held their breath. The BASTET was nothing more than a sitting duck at the mercy of the alien ship. It could have destroyed them with ease, but not putting up a fight did not sit well with several of the senior staff. Gemma understood the logic behind the Captain's order to lower the shields. It was a gutsy move, one that many others would have admired. In fact, she felt as if some part of her should be feeling that way right now. At the moment though, she felt nothing aside from some concerns which were shared by the nearby Voth.

An alarm rang on the security panel. Zub quickly scanned the status report before making his report to the Captain. "Intruder alert. Deck 5, section 12. They are in Sickbay."

"Go!" Captain Iverson ordered sending the towering lizard man into motion. It was only after Zub was in the turbolift and the doors had closed that he noticed he and Lt. Cmdr. Mitshiba had not been the only one there.

He glared at the much shorter auburn-haired woman. "What are you doing here? You should be on the bridge."

"I just felt like I needed to come along." Gemma looked up into the giant's yellow eyes. "You might need me. There is no telling what we might encounter in Sickbay."

Zub Enel realized he was being protective of the ship’s highly capable ILO even though there was nothing seriously wrong with her. He decided he would figure out the source of his protectiveness at a less hectic time. His hardened expression softened as he looked down at her. More to remind himself than anybody else he said to Gemma, “You *are* in possession of a great many useful talents.”

Uncharacteristically, instead of Vulcan-like iciness, she gave him a smile and a toss of her head that sent her red curls dancing.

The turbolift opened on Sickbay deck. The three quickly stepped out to find something they were not expecting. The four security officers who stayed inside Sickbay to keep an eye on their guests, were laying on the floor.

"Looks like they were thrown out like dolls," the Asian First Officer said. The uncomfortable position of the bodies allowed them to imagine the force used to accomplish this.

"How?" Enel gasped. "If these intruders are of the same race as our guests, these halflings should not be able to toss *anyone* out like that," the scaly, 7-foot tall Voth observed.

Gemma went down on one knee and felt the throat of one of the unconscious guards. Her eyes scanned over the limp bodies. “Alive. Stunned, it would seem. No visible injuries.” The ILO paused, listening to her word, or more accurately to the confidence in them. She was no Doctor yet she spoke with a deep medical understanding that should not have been hers. This, of course, was not the time for personal analysis. The auburn-haired woman turned her head and studied the giant Saurian, looking at him for guidance as to what to do next.

“Their weapons are gone, too,” Zub said. “Alarmingly thorough and effective. Are they safe to be left here without immediate medical attention?” He had half-expected Gemma’s hair to have shortened and turned dusky blond from shifting into her Finnja medical personality. Instead, she remained cool, calm and collected Gemma the ILO.

She said with confidence, “Safe, for now. Let’s try not to join them in repose.”

As the three strode quickly toward the Sickbay, Misaki noted, “I do not hear any sort of disturbance. Maybe things are going better than we feared.”

The Voth's down between his scales fluttered. “Looking at the way they disposed of the security detail, I would not keep any sort of hope that things have not turned ugly in there.”

Concerned, Zub started to take the lead. A cool hand circled his wrist. The red-headed ILO tugged him to a stop. She said across him to Aki Mitshiba who had stopped as well, “Given how short our new guests are likely to be and how tremendously huge our Security Chief is, we shorter people should go in first. Zub can stay in the corridor for a moment to hold the doors open so they get a look at him before he suddenly looms up on anyone. We don’t need intruders blasting away out of terror at charging monsters.”

“Agreed,” the First Officer said. “Let’s assume for now that this intrusion is a rescue mission. If that appears to be the case, we are safer *not* to be obstacles to that rescue. Agreed?” She looked at Gemma, who nodded. She looked up at Zub Enel who gave her a nod.

The Sickbay doors were triggered open as Misaki and Gemma stepped forward. As planned, Zub stood in the doorway to keep the doors apart and himself visible with both three-fingered hands empty and in full view.

With so many questions and uncertainties, there was no way for any of them to know what to expect. If this was a rescue, the intruders would locate their kin and return to their ship as quickly as possible. If this was a retaliation for a perceived assault on their kind, Sickbay would become the center stage to battle. Those were only two possibilities out of dozens, and the ILO clearly visualized each and how a specific person would handle them. A person that was not her and yet a person she somehow knew she could have been.

The first thing Gemma, Misaki and Zub noticed was Sofia and Nicole sitting on the floor. Neither appeared injured but the Doctor did show signs of having been roughed-up in the same fashion as the guards. The Counselor knelt beside her lover, scared for the blonde woman's safety while glaring at the pair of intruders. The ILO scanned the room, as any experienced tactical officer would have done and confirmed that there were only two intruders. As suspected though, they were of the same race as their patients, wearing very similar uniforms. This indicated that they likely belonged to the same organization.

"I am Lt. Cmdr. Mitshiba, First Officer of the Federation starship USS BASTET . We mean you no harm."

The words spoken by Misaki were what protocol dictated she needed to say. They needed to establish a peaceful line of communication in an effort to resolve the situation in a friendly manner. Gemma quickly glanced in the First Officer's direction as if trying to tell the Asian woman that she was more concerned about the diminutive aliens hurting them.

As before, all attempts to communicate with the aliens failed. The universal translator could not bridge the language gap between the two races. Only their actions would serve to show their intentions, and right now, the two intruders were more concerned about the four patients than anything else in the room.

Rachel Jackie Johnson

Intel Operative

[The fun is getting to wear multiple disguises and getting to explore multiple personalities and bring them to life. - Jenna Fischer]


David Michael Inverso

Chief Security and Tactical Officer

“It is by universal misunderstanding that all agree. For if, by ill luck, people understood each other, they would never agree.”
- Charles Baudelaire
M14-013: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: 35258.1840 ("Micro-Diplomacy")
Previous posts: (ANU) "Legends, Chapter 7" & (BAS) "Belittled"

Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 35258.1840

It was a well-accepted reality of life in Starfleet that First Contact missions were the most dangerous as nothing was set. Uncertainty and random variables were at play in countless different ways making it impossible to know how things would turn out.  A closed first could be interpreted as a show of friendship while a smile could lead to war.  Adding to this the variables of a race originating from another dimension and all bets were off. Stepping into Sickbay to find what appeared to be a two-man rescue party bent on reaching those of their kind meant that the team of officers from the BASTET were already at a disadvantage.

Thinking ahead and imagining what might happen if they lost control of this situation, not that they truly had any at this time, Aki motioned for Gemma to head toward the roughed up Doctor and the Counselor next to her. If some kind of confrontation should erupt, the Asian First Officer counted on one of the ILO's more physically skilled personalities to step forth and help protect the other two. On her side, Mitshiba was rather confident in her own safety knowing that she had Ensign Enel standing behind her, the present of the Voth so close to her was impossible to miss and, to be perfectly honest, acted as a kind of safety totem providing her with the strength to stand her ground.

Aki sighed, thinking to herself that maybe having a scientist as the EXO might not have been such a good idea, a warrior or skilled diplomat would have been far more equipped to handle this mess than she was. Since turning back was not an option, at least not one that she would ever consider, the Asian officer carefully stepped forward, presenting herself in as much an unthreatening manner as she could manage.

"We mean you no harm," Aki repeated despite all indications that their attempts at verbal communications were pointless. The Asian woman kept her arms straight by her side fearing that any gesture, even that of presenting her opened hands might be misinterpreted as a hostile act. The EXO was somewhat relieved when she noted that the two intruders paid no attention to her in any form, their focus was completely directed onto the four patients laying on the beds of their Sickbay.

"They are not interested in any of us," Counselor Dima observed. "The moment they appeared they secured the area and immediately turned their attention to Sofia's patients. "Were the guards injured?" She asked of the Asian and Voth pair standing by the opened door to Sickbay.

Zub shook his head which clearly stood well over that of the First Officer. "They appear to only be beaten and bruised, very much like Doctor Andersson."

"Thanks," Sofia scuffed, apparently taking offence at being described in such an unflattering way.

"You have gone through worse," Nicole said to the woman in her arms, adding a reassuring smile.

"Don't remind me," Sofia brushed off. "If they came to rescue their people, why are they still here?" The Doctor said, voicing aloud the question that the First Officer had been contemplating.  It was evident that they possessed the technology to easily make their way to a specific location inside the BASTET, so if this was a rescue mission, why delay returning once they had located what they had come for? The more Aki thought about this, the more she began to think that maybe having a scientist as the lead in this situation might not have been as bad an idea as she might have originally believed it to be.

The clues to this mystery were right there in front of them, displayed for all to see. The first, one that Counselor Dima had pointed out, was the unwavering focus of the two intruders. They had come here with a single goal in mind, a goal that thankfully did not include dispatching whatever resistance they might encounter. The next clue was the accuracy of their technology which permitted them to not only pinpoint the location of their people but also transport the rescue team directly to them. Lastly, the fact that they were now carefully studying the situation meant that they were interested in understanding what had taken place.  All that was left to do was hope that they would reach a conclusion that closely matched what the BASTET and its crew had been trying to do, which was to save the lives of the four aliens.

"They appear to be studying the medical readouts," Enel said. "They might be confirming the state of their people."

"Or trying to understand what they are looking at," Aki countered. "Our technology would be as alien to them as theirs is to us. We know what all of those readouts mean, but to them, it could be an engineering display or some sort of torture device. Under normal circumstances, we would try to explain what all of this does, but clearly, they are unable or uninterested in communicating with us."

"Then we need to try something different," Doctor Andersson said as she forced herself back onto her feet.

"Sofia! What are you doing?" Nicole was visibly upset, and for good reason, as she watched the golden-haired woman stand and move past the ILO who was guarding them before making her way to the nearest medical bed with one of the four injured aliens on it.

"DOCTOR!" Ensign Enel called out, the only reason he did not rush in to tackle the CMO was that the EXO was standing in his way and he feared injuring her if he tried to suddenly rush past her.

"Wait," Aki said, calling for everyone else to give the Doctor the chance to do what the scientist believed she was trying to do. "All attempts at verbal communications have failed, maybe a more direct and physical approach is needed." The EXO did her best to keep the fear she felt from her words. This was a risky move, one that held the potential of opening some sort of understanding between the two races or starting a full-scale conflict between them.

Everyone watched, frozen by fear, as the CMO came to stand next to the biobed and activated the medical scanner on the empty bed right next to her. Once the readout display came alive, showing nothing Sofia carefully lifted herself onto the bed allowing the instruments to pick up her vital signs which were relayed to the display at the head of the bed.

The Doctor waited for a few seconds as the two intruders studied her and the newly activated display board. Once she was secured in the fact that she had their attention, the CMO brought a hand to her chest and mimicked the beating of her heart with one hand while pointing to the heart rate indicator on the board.

The rhythmic sound of her hand gently beating against her chest was the only thing that could be heard in Sickbay as everyone, including the two aliens, watched the sitting woman. Breaths were held as one of the two intruders began to make his way closer to the Doctor, no one knowing what would happen next.

Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Commander Misaki 'Aki' Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Executive Officer / Chief Science Officer
M14-014: USS BASTET: Gemma: 35258.1850 ("Shortened Attention")
"Shortened Attention"
[the previous post was (ANU) "Legends, Chapter 7" / (BAS) "Micro-Diplomacy"]

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35258.1850 

Gemma physically positioned herself between the intruders and the BASTET's CMO and CNS. The woman's posture indicated that she was ready for a fight. The reason for this was simple.  Although shorter in stature, the way the aliens took care of the security guards identified them as potentially dangerous. Underestimating their skills or strength would be a huge mistake. They were outnumbered and outsized, and yet the pair proved to be more than the four security officers could handle. If that was not enough to warrant a certain level of fear, it was more than enough to grant them a fair share of respect.

The ILO kept her eyes trained on the intruders. Every move, every gesture they made was carefully scrutinized and analyzed. Her mind filled with battle scenarios and methods for her to gain the upper hand should things turn physical. This way of thinking felt perfectly natural to the woman, and that troubled her. The issue was that some of this knowledge felt simultaneously familiar and foreign to Gemma. Many of the skillsets drawn upon to create these scenarios were not hers. She was a skilled operative, trained in a wide variety of combat style. Still, some of the moves she was seeing herself perform were not done by her but by someone else. Someone unknown to her and yet someone who was an integral part of who she was.

Her attention drifted away from the situation in Sickbay to focus instead onto herself. The ILO was so caught up in this that she was no longer aware of what was happening around her. With thoughts so focused on understanding herself, Gemma failed to notice the Doctor walking by.  Her tunnel vision was so absolute that it was only when Enel called out to the woman that the distracted woman realized something was happening. By that time, the only thing the ILO could do was to hold back the CNS from following.  The Trill's objections fell on deaf ears as the Intel Operative's attention was now fixated solely on Dr Andersson.

The auburn-haired woman silently struggled, trying to understand what had transpired. Sofia putting her life at risk to establish some sort of communication bridge was not what bothered the ILO. Having the medically trained officer sneak so effortlessly by the Intel Operative was what Gemma could not accept.  That simple act forced Gemma to re-evaluate her state of mind. How could she perform her duties if she could be so easily distracted? Not only that but distracted by her inner thoughts?

**Look, she's using the rhythm of her heartbeat to establish a common frame of understanding.**

**The normal scientific approach is to use mathematics. Trying to create a numerical language using a common foundation. That said, using basic biological functions is a brilliant idea."

**Scientist are not the only ones able to solve problems you know.**

Gemma remained perfectly still as the conflict raged within her mind. Two separate voices were debating inside her head, and neither was hers. Although she could not recall having ever heard those voices before, they felt very familiar. So much so in fact that the ILO knew that the scientist was of Uxali origin while the nurse was a member of the Dinaal people. Now, if she had never seen or heard these people before, why would their voices be in her head? More importantly, why would they be arguing?

The ILO's silent internal struggle was suddenly put on hold. One of the intruders had approached the sitting Doctor, scrutinizing her with great interest. He, or so Gemma believed it was, studied the medical displays, comparing them. His eyes bouncing from one display to the other and back again with almost mechanical speed. It took a few moments but in the end, it appeared that the message was successfully relayed. The board displayed medical information of whoever was on the bed. This meant that their people were not being hurt but rather cared for. As small as this step might have been, it was a move in the right direction. The rest of the officers present could only wait and see what would happen next. Would the aliens understand that the crew of the BASTET wanted to help? Would they realize that all of this was meant to see to their recovery? Would they appreciate what was done or be enraged by what they might consider being interference on their part?

Rachel Jackie Johnson

Intel Operative

[The fun is getting to wear multiple disguises and getting to explore multiple personalities and bring them to life. - Jenna Fischer]
M14-015: USS BASTET: A'Janni: 35258.1900 ("A Tiny Bit Annoyed")
"A Tiny Bit Annoyed"
[previous (ANU) "Legends, Chapter 7" / (BAS) "Shortened Attention"]


Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35258.1900  

Things on the bridge were quiet, too quiet.  With an alien ship well within firing distance and a pair of roughhousing intruders aboard the BASTET, the situation was as tense as could be expected. The silence that ruled the command deck was a perfect testament to that and it only served to make the tension even more palpable.

A'Janni understood the Captain's desire not to interrupt whatever the dispatched security team was doing in Sickbay. Within the ranks of Starfleet, First Contact was the accepted 'worst possible mission' a ship and crew could face. The lack of any sort of report from the ExO, Sec/Tac or ILO though was starting to push the Caitian to the edge of madness.  Yes, he was the BASTET's FCO, the beast with the primary responsibility of flying the ship, but that did not change who or what he was at his core. For good or bad, just sitting around waiting for something to happen was not in his nature.

The Caitian would have liked to claim that he was keeping an eye on the alien ships and one eye on the information provided by the internal sensors located in Sickbay, but that proved to be harder than it seemed, especially for the one-eyed Junior Grade officer.  As much as he wanted to know what Zub and the others were up to, he could not afford to take his one eye off the tactical sensors. There might have been two intruders aboard, but there was a ship-full of them out there on a vessel possessing enough firepower to easily obliterate the BASTET from existence. As much as he might have hated to admit it, diplomacy was their best course of action, so the furball sitting at the helm remained quiet, brewing in his steadily building impatience.

=/\= Ensign Enel to Captain Iverson. =/\=

"It's about time," A'Janni said before the Captain could acknowledge the call from their Chief of Security. The woman sitting in the big chair remained expressionless, barely taking a second to glare in the Caitian's direction as she offered a reply.

"Go ahead Ensign, what is happening down there?"

=/\= Doctor Andersson has managed to make contact with the intruders. So far, we continue to be unable to communicate with our two newest guests but the good Doctor had found a way to start some sort of common mutual understanding, at least that is what we are all hoping for at this time. I believe that we are not in any immediate danger but would recommend that we maintain a protective posture, just in case this latest attempt at communication fails. =/\=

"Great," A'Janni sighed in frustration. "More waiting."

=/\= Continue with your diplomatic efforts and keep us apprised of your progress. Iverson out," the Captain said before addressing the FCO. "Lt. A'Janni, I understand your frustration, but not all of our missions require us to rush in and tackle whatever creature crosses our path.  I understand that after what happened on SPACE STATION NOWHERE you are in a more action-oriented mindset, but right now we are clearly at a disadvantage. Would it not be preferable to resolve this matter peacefully instead of finding ourselves drifting home in life pods?"

"My apologies Captain," the FCO offered. "I am just having a hard time waiting for something to happen."

"I am sure that Ensign Enel is feeling the same way," the CO said. "The two of you may be as physically different as can be, but you share a great many similarities, especially in your characters and ways of dealing with any given situation. That is why I suspect the two of you are such good friends."

**Friends...** The thought seemed strange to the Caitian, as he had never taken the time to quantify his relationship with the Voth. Yes, they were shipmates and seemed to work well together, but A'Janni had never considered Zub to be a friend in a more personal sense, yet the definition of the term did apply. Maybe A'Janni could utilize this new understanding to better justify why he felt a twinge of resentment towards Enel as he was down in Sickbay dealing with the situation while the FCO just sat on the bridge waiting for something to happen.

Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG A'Janni [Access Character BIO for A'Janni]
Flight Control Officer
M14-016: USS BASTET: Enel: 35258.1905 ("Little Women")
“Little Women”
Previous posts: (ANU) "Legends, Chapter 7" by Jessica / (BAS) “A Tiny Bit Annoyed” by Jayson

Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 35258.1905

Chief of Security Zub Enel felt his shoulders ache, but he forced himself to remain still for fear that his scaly frame would trigger an attack from the two newest of their diminutive guests. Nearby, the ship’s counselor Nicole Dima was rigid, her face pinched with concern for her lover, the Chief Medical Officer Sofia Andersson. Sofia lay on a biobed as she mimicked a heartbeat with her hand while the new guests peered at the display over her head. Gemma, the Intelligence Liaison Officer, stood by, but Zub Enel could tell the redhead could spring into hand-to-hand in a blink. The BASTET’s Executive Office Misaki Mitshiba stood with her Asian face carefully neutral but her fists clenched in the small of her back.

One alien, female, in a green uniform topped with a gold ascot, pointed a brown, four-fingered hand up at an indicator on the display. Sofia immediately began taking huge breaths. The alien had a face with a low vertical crest down the center over her nose. She turned toward her male, child-sized companion. In a blue ascot, he indicated another moving squiggle on the display.

Sofia asked with frustration, “How do I pantomime Temperature?”

The tremble in Nicole’s voice belied her words. “You don’t, but you’re doing great.”

“Still not a peep out of them.” The CMO sighed. “It’ll take months to learn to communicate this way.”

The two aliens, with the power to knock people unconscious and sweep them from the room, moved together to another biobed that held an alien like them, albeit unconscious. The pair peered up at the display over that biobed.

Zub Enel edged slowly toward the ExO. He pursed his lips a moment and assured that he whispered at low volume as not to startle the aliens so intent on their crew mate.

He whispered, “Sir, is it possible they are not responding because they cannot hear?”

Misaki spanned the long distance between herself and the reptilian man’s face. She registered surprise, but then the glow of intelligence shone in her brown eyes. “Interesting idea. It is natural to assume that all creatures can hear in some way. Yet, to be naturally deaf is not completely unheard of. No pun intended.” She appraised the aliens with their bifurcated faces intent on their crew, the CMO, and the displays.

Nicole turned her bright blue eyes toward the ExO and hulking Voth. Her voice trembled as she started to speak, but smoothed out, “Another thought is that they *can* hear but not at the frequency of our voices.”

Commander Mitshiba jolted with surprise. She grinned at the Counselor. “Brilliant!” She said more loudly, “Computer, please repeat ‘We mean you no harm’ from the lowest to the highest known hearing range of any biological creature or plant.”

The computer’s androgynous voice replied. =/\= Acknowledged. Begin repeating message at 5 hertz. What is the frequency change increment and interval? =/\=

Misaki felt momentarily back in her Science Officer role. “Step up the frequency by 5 hertz every six seconds. Normal volume.”

=/\= Exposure to extreme high frequency sound can damage auditory and other delicate tissue. =/\=

“Understood. Pause and warn when the message reaches dangerous frequencies. Begin.”

The computer gave a single chirp.

Zub Enel cocked his crested head to lift one ear. He heard nothing. At about one minute he heard Misaki’s message being repeated at a very deep pitch.

The pitch rose steadily until the repeated message was quite shrill before it became inaudible.

=/\= Warning. Prolonged exposure to higher frequencies is now injurious. Pausing. =/\=

The ExO checked her crew. They nodded. “Proceed 30 more seconds.”

The Voth shifted uncomfortably. Something was urgently stirring his emotions. In the silence, the faces of the other officers showed strain.

The alien with the gold ascot looked at the Doctor and the other Federation officers. Her lips moved but Zub, Sofia, Nicole and Misaki heard nothing.

Misaki said, “Computer, pause experiment. Translate what was just said at that frequency.”

Via the Universal Translator came a female voice surprisingly rich in tone and resonant for such a small person. “ … destroy your vessel and all aboard.” As the alien waited for a response, her face took on impassivity.

Misaki had stiffened, but she visibly forced herself to relax. Sounding calm, she reintroduced herself and the ship. She added, “We have only now found the correct sound frequency required to communicate with you. There has likely been a mistranslation while our Universal Translator deciphered your speech pattens. It seems like you said something about destroying us. Is that correct?”

The male in a blue ascot confided to the female alien, “There is truthiness in her sayings. As high stacked beings, it is non-polemic that they would expectorate at lowly frequencies.”

The first alien with the gold ascot shifted her feet slightly wider apart. She raised a four-fingered hand palm-out, middle two fingers held together.

Zub tensed, afraid she would trigger whatever weapon they used to lay low the doctor and knock out the Security detail.

His movement made the male bare an oblong device from under his sleeve. The female stared at Zub Enel while she addressed the ExO. “Is this high stack corn gulper readying to frobnicate?”

Misaki gave a surprising light laugh. “No! His job to protect. Given that you have already disabled several of our crew, he doesn’t know what significance to make of you or your gestures.”

“He is a basher head?”

“No. He is an honorable soldier, slow to anger. You are not in danger. His purpose is purely protective, defensive.”

The female turned her head slightly toward the male. The male alien relaxed.

Misaki continued, her tone conversational, “Speaking of peaceful coexistence, you said something about destroying our ship?”

The female alien’s raised hand gesture firmed up again, middle two fingers to the ceiling, little finger and thumb angled sideways. “I am Sh'Na Na, high thingamuhbob of the hugely big and massively dangerous and thoroughly explosionous warship BLEEPERNAUT.”

Nicole said soto voce. “The Universal Translator is definitely struggling.”

The ExO whispered back, “Imagine what it's saying to *them*.”

Sh'Na Na, gestured toward the unconscious aliens on the biobeds. “These piteous floozie bots have egregious lues. They are cast out beyond all knowing. Our plebeian ilk must remain virginal and lue-less. Refunds of floozies bots prohibited! Attempt refunds, we will destroy your vessel and all aboard.” She stopped, her face stolid as before.

Sofia remarked as she sat up, “I think she said our guests are so sick that they have been thrown out of their own universe. Now *that’s* gotta be some dread disease.”

The ExO gestured toward the biobeds. To Sh'Na Na she said, “I understand. They’re sick. Nonreturnable. Will you take them back if we cure them?”

Zub Enel realized that one facial expression was not only universal, but multi-dimensional. Both aliens gaped at the ExO. He asked her, “Is that surprise?”

“More like gobsmacked,” Misaki said. “They are certain the disease is incurable.”

“Don’t overpromise them a cure, Aki,” the CMO warned.

Sh'Na Na said after a long pause. “I, health minister of our most holy and explosionous warship TRUE PARAGON, do not emanate the glory for this high stack matter.”

Mitshiba nodded. “I understand. You do not have the authority to allow our patients to return, if cured. We do not know if we can cure them, but it is our nature to try our very best to do so.”

Sh'Na Na’s face took on a reverent look. “You are a miracle health vessel filled with holy healers?”

The ExO frowned. “Not exactly.”

Nicole rubbed her forehead. Her color drained until she was ashen. “I have such a headache.” She slumped to the floor.

Both aliens backed away, eyes wide. “Stricken! The torment continues! Even in the Beyond All Knowing!”

David Michael Inverso

Chief Security and Tactical Officer

They got little baby legs
That stand so low
You got to pick 'em up
Just to say hello
They got little cars
That go beep, beep, beep
They got little voices
Goin' peep, peep, peep
 - “Short People” - Randy Newman
M14-017: USS BASTET: Andersson: 35258.1915 ("Wee Pain")
"Wee Pain"
[the previous post was (ANU) "Legends, Chapter 7" by Jessica/ (BAS) "Little Woman" by David]
Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate:  35258.1915

They were finally communicating with the aliens, barely. Sofia found some level of comfort in their ability to exchange more than simple gestures in an attempt to guess what the other meant, but this newfound ability came at a price. The ultra-high frequency that the crew was now being exposed to was causing undue stress to the inner ear and possibly even damaging it. This led to increased cranial pressure that the CMO was already feeling the full effect of. The longer they kept up this communication, the worse the headaches would become and Sofia was certain that those around her would quickly reach their limit. As far as she was concerned, she already had.

"The high pitch used to speak with us is hurting us. We need time to find a better way to communicate. Can you give us that time? We will care for your people. They will not be returned to you unless we can cure them." There was an audible hint of pain in the Doctor's voice. She did her best to hide it, to control it, but the pain was quickly crossing into the realm of unbearable.

The diminutive male in a blue ascot shared a short glance with his companion. The two seemed to communicate in a way beyond the ability of the BASTET's computer to interpret, but right now Doctor Andersson didn't care. As long as the message was received and understood, there was hope that this torture would soon come to an end.

The first alien with the golden neckwear acknowledged the message from her shipmate before turning to the rest of the gathered high stacked beings. With a quick nod of her head followed by some kind of folding in the fabric of spacetime led to the two intruders to disappear.

Everyone's posture immediately relaxed as many closed their eyes in an instinctive effort to ward off the pain they had been forced to endure. "Who knew that communicating with another life form could be so painful?" Sofia lamented before being tackled by the Trill Counselor who rushed to the Doctor's side as soon as it was safe to do so.

"That was exceptionally brave and stupid of you to risk your life the way you did," Nicole snapped, adding a slap to the golden-haired woman's shoulder.  

"I'm sorry," Sofia quickly said. "In more ways than one," the physician added before rubbing her shoulder as if the hit she received had been much stronger than it was. "At least now we have some time to figure out our next step."

"We best take full advantage of this opportunity," Misaki said. "It is clear that whatever illness these four have, the others are willing to go to extreme measures to ensure that this sickness does not cross over back into their dimension.  Lt. Gemma and I will head to Cetacean Ops and see if our dolphin friends can find a better way to communicate with our friends. You, Doctor, have an illness to cure."

"Yes, Commander," Sofia said, nodding her head. "That is right after I take care of this pounding headache."

The Voth approached the women, his focus clearly locked on the physician. "Doctor if I may be so bold, could I ask that I be next?"

"Zub, are you alright?" Nicole quickly asked, the anger she displayed only seconds prior towards her lover having completely vanished.

"I bet it's that reptilian hearing of his," Sofia said to Nicole as understanding washed over her. "The hearing of most humanoids is between the ranges of 20 to 20,000 hertz. Reptilian hearing, on the other hand, has a much smaller range, usually between 400 and 1,500 hertz. The high pitch frequency the computer was forced to use to communicate with our guests had to be excruciatingly painful for you even if you could not hear it, far more than for any of us, with maybe one exception, our Caitian FCO. I can only imagine him howling like a wild beast if he was exposed to such frequencies."

"I see that you have done your research on Voth physiology," Enel said, the towering reptilian dismissing the part about how this sound would have affected the Caitian, focusing instead on maintaining an air of professionalism despite his torturous discomfort.

"Someone has to make sure you can continue to protect the rest of us," the Doctor said with a grin. Come, I will take care of you first.  I can manage a headache for the time being, or should I also be worried about having to treat myself from more bruising?"  It was evident that her last question was directed to the Trill Counselor who appeared less than impressed.

"Go, take care of him," Nicole teased. "I can take care of you after you are done."

"Not sure if I should be scared or excited at that prospect," the Doctor giggled as she escorted the Voth to the main examination bed where she would take care of whatever damage the ultra-high pitch sounds generated by the universal translator had caused.

Tiffany Reeve

Lieutenant JG Sofia Andersson [Access Character BIO for Sofia Andersson]
Chief Medical Officer

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
M14-018: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: 35258.1930 ("Small Steps")
"Small Steps"
Previous posts: (ANU) "Legends, Chapter 8" & (BAS) "Wee Pain"

Setting: USS BASTET, Corridor
Stardate: 35258.1930

"Yes Captain," Aki said while walking, speaking to their Commanding Officer through an open comm channel. "We are en route to Cetacean Operations as we speak. Doctor Andersson will continue her search for a cure in the meantime. The aliens made it perfectly clear, they are ready and willing to destroy this ship to ensure that our four patients do not return from where they came. Based on everything we have witnessed so far, I do not believe that their claim is to be taken lightly."

=/\= Understood, keep me informed of your progress. Iverson out. =/\=

The Asian woman picked up the pace, the ILO easily keeping up with the EXO. Aki was hoping that the officers working in Cetacean Ops would be able to find a better way to communicate with the aliens who had recently boarded the BASTET. Whatever Doctor Andersson might be able to do for their four patients, it would be nice to report any progress to the occupants of the other vessel without having to worry about her head exploding because of the ultra-high frequencies needed to communicate with them.

"You have to admit that those aliens are nothing like we have ever encountered before," Aki noted aloud, expecting Wimdalli to seamlessly replace Gemma as they walked through the corridor. This was a scientist's dream come true, and the Asian woman understood this better than most, with maybe one single exception -- one of the countless personalities hiding inside the head of the BASTET's ILO.

"They are quite the strange little people," Gemma said, offering her personal take on the diminutive species from another dimension. The ILO sounded utterly unimpressed to the point of almost coming across as uninterested. The Operative was not interested in *who* the aliens were, her only concerns being the threat they represented to the BASTET and its crew.

"What do you think their home dimension is like?" The former CSciO doubled down on her efforts to draw the Uxali scientist out. Although Aki was not ready to openly admit so, she did miss some of Gemma's other personalities. As difficult as it was to get used to the woman shifting from one personality to the next without any sort of warning, dealing with only Gemma had, in some strange way, made the ILO seem to be less than what she had previously been.

The reply from the Intel Operative took a few seconds to come, and when it did it was said with an audible dismissive shrug. "I have no idea. I am not a scientist.  All I can say is that they are not to be underestimated. We have already experienced the extent of their weapons capabilities, and there is no way for us to know if that was the best they could dish out. We need to proceed with caution. Our inability to properly communicate with them is, in my opinion, only one of several issues we need to address."

"Surely you must have some sort of opinion as to the kind of world they come from," Aki pushed the issue. "You were there in Sickbay, you saw them, the way they were dressed, the way they moved, the way they interacted with one another, not to mention the way they just vanished back to their ship. I am convinced that they did not use any sort of transporter technology, at least none that remotely resembles ours."

Even without looking at the woman following her, Aki could tell that her last statement made Gemma think, the uneasiness of the silence that stood between them indicated some sort of inner debate within the ILO's head.  Mitshiba would have loved to continue with this little experiment of hers, but more pressing matters were at hand. Maybe once their communication problem was in the fins of the officers of Cetacean Ops, the EXO would get another opportunity to see what could be done about the BASTET's ILO and her newfound stubbornness or reluctance to allow her other personalities to surface as they used to.

Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Commander Misaki 'Aki' Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Executive Officer / Chief Science Officer
M14-019: USS BASTET: Gemma: 35258.1940 ("Minuscule Progress")
"Minuscule Progress"
[the previous post was (ANU) " Legendary Obsession  " / (BAS) "Small Step"]

Setting: USS BASTET, Cetacean Ops
Stardate: 35258.1940 

Not every ship in Starfleet possessed a Cetacean Ops. Some of the older vessels could not be retrofitted to meet the needs of the highly specialized staff. Being a newer ship, and due to its unique mission profile, the BASTET was one of the lucky ones to have such a focused team.

Standing next to Aki, Gemma could tell how much the former CSciO loved being here. There was something surreal about interacting with such graceful beings. The way they moved, and even the way they spoke, came across as poetic. The ILO could not care less about this though, but something inside of her did. There was a part of her that appreciated what they were, what they did. The woman could feel the admiration mounting within her. She was experiencing wonderment that she knew was not her own.

"Thank you," the ExO said. That was the only part of the conversation the ILO had taken note of. Once again Gemma found herself to be distracted beyond her ability to function. For obvious reasons, this was bothering her, not that she would allow that emotion to show.

Gemma smiled as Misaki turned to face her. "Remarkable creatures, aren't they?" The question seemed to take the ExO off-guard, but she soon agreed with the sentiment. The two women took a moment to admire the beings floating on the other side of the transparent wall before heading out.

"Time to head back to the bridge and give the Captain a more complete report." The ExO was about to step out into the corridor when the ILO stopped her. The hold on the Asian woman's wrist was not forceful, but strong enough to show that something was up. The expression on Gemma's face confirmed this. "What's the matter?"

The ILO hesitated for a fraction of a second. This was most certainly not like her. More than once, her life had depended on split-second actions and decisions. Hesitation could prove to be a fatal flaw, a fact that she often exploited. "Something is bothering me?" She heard the words come from her lips but could not believe the admission. Showing any sort of weakness was again not like her. To do so was to give someone else an advantage that sn operative could seldom afford.

"Go on," Misaki prompted. "You know that you can tell me whatever is on your mind."

There stood the problem. Gemma was not at all certain as to what was on her mind. She desperately struggled to find an explanation. One that would be acceptable to both the ExO and herself. After a few more seconds of delay, the ILO finally offered a reason for her atypical action. "It's those aliens. Something is not adding up."

"I'm listening," the ExO said. She could tell that something was not quite right with Gemma. Without any other reason to explain her behavior through, Misaki had to accept the stated reason as fact. The fact that Mitshiba agreed with the statement only made it easier for her to accept Gemma's explanation.

"The translation we were able to get was patchy at best. So we have to be careful when accepting their explanation for what happened. They claimed to have exiled the other four because of an incurable illness. This sounds like a rather extreme measure, to me. Placing people in quarantine is one thing. Exiling them into another dimension is frankly excessive. There is also the matter of the marks left by weapons fire on the smaller ship. Someone fired upon them before they came through that rift. Are we to simply accept that this is the way they treat each other? That they exile their own people using force to later claim willingness to accept them back?"

Mitshiba grinned. This was not because she was pleased with *what* the ILO was saying. The points made were correct and a little puzzling, to say the least. What the ExO was grinning about was because Gemma was saying what an Intel Operative should. Never trusting anything they saw or heard at face value.  "You are right," Aki agreed. "I suspect that the Captain will also agree with you, There is something strange about those aliens and their claim. I was going to offer my reservations to her. Now, I can state them to be concerns from the crew."

"It is possible that this is only an error in translation. Our friends from Cetacean Ops should figure that out soon enough. In the meantime, I suggest extreme caution while we put the pieces of this puzzle together. Doctor Andersson looking for a cure may not be the goal of this mission. Even if she does manage this miracle, I do not trust those aliens to do as they have told us they would.  Translating spoken language is a tricky business, we all know this to be a fact. I am more interested in the way they acted. Exiling the sick to another dimension is not the actions of a caring race. Forcing their way onto a ship to confirm that they are still sick is not the actions of a trusting race. They are trying to hide something. My guess is that they are hoping we will not be able to cure our patients. That way, their secret remains safe. If we do cure them, I would be more worried about them trying to destroy us.  I know that I am unable to offer any proof of this. All I can do is offer my opinion based on my experience."

Aki's grin grew wider. "Gemma, I will gladly take your opinion on any unknown matter we encounter. Now, let's go see the Captain."

Gemma nodded and followed the Asian woman. Thought of their conversation played back in her mind as they travelled back to the bridge. The ExO was willing to accept her opinions, but were those really *her* thoughts? Just like her misgiving towards the aliens, the ILO found herself unable to fully trust her own thoughts. It was as if they were that of other people, voices that she was consciously aware of and yet remained unknown to her.

Could the BASTET be dealing with more than one threat? Should the crew be concerned not only about the aliens on the other ship, but also their shipmate aboard this vessel?

Rachel Jackie Johnson

Intel Operative

[The fun is getting to wear multiple disguises and getting to explore multiple personalities and bring them to life. - Jenna Fischer]
M14-020: USS BASTET: Andersson: 35258.1955 ("A Small Shift in Attitude")
"A Small Shift in Attitude"
[the previous post was (ANU) "Legends in the Making" by moi / (BAS) "Minuscule Progress" by Rachel]
Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate:  35258.1955

Sofia took a moment to gather her thoughts, not to mention to give her eyes a break as she could no longer properly see the medical displays.

"You have had quite a day," Nicole said, offering a kind word along with a gentle, loving squeeze to the physician's shoulder. "It has been one unexpected twist after the other since we discovered that small ship."

"I thought finding out what was wrong with these four was going to be a challenge onto itself," the physician said giving the hand on her shoulder an equally gentle and loving squeeze. "Now I not only do I have to figure out what unforgiving sickness they have, but I also have to find a way to cure it. How am I supposed to cure something that I can't even begin to identify?  This is not a needle in a haystack, this is like trying to find a single cell in an organism the size of the universe. I have absolutely no clues as to where to start looking. These bio readings are nothing like I have ever seen, which leads me to the only conclusion I can reach, they are aliens and I have no idea how their physiology works. Just the fact that the energy fluctuations from their ship have a physiological effect on them is a mystery by itself."

"Maybe you would approach this situation from the angle of what you do know instead of trying to figure out what you don't," the joint Trill suggested.

"Alright," the human physician agreed with a little too quickly for the Counselor's liking. "I know that I know nothing about these four aliens. I have no idea what is killing them and even less about what is keeping them alive."

"You are frustrated," Nicole said, taking Sofia by the shoulder to turn her around so that she would look at her instead of the four aliens resting on the medical bed. "You have every right to be, but letting that frustration overwhelm you is not going to do anyone any good.  You need to take a moment and center yourself.

The Doctor chuckled. "All I need is you. You have the power to center my thoughts and emotions with a simple touch or send them tumbling out of control through infinite space with equal ease. Thank you," Sofia concluded with, adding a smile for good measure.

Nicole happily returned the woman's smile. "Back to the task at hand. What do we know about these aliens?"

"They are short," the physician said in a manner that was as if that particular piece of information was the most important item on her list.

"Seriously?" The Trill scolded. "You are incorrigible."

"I just wanted to show you that I was in a better mood," the blonde physician playfully admitted. "Alright, seriously, we know very little about these aliens. The bio readings we see make no sense, so the only possible conclusion we can reach is that they are like nothing we have dealt with before.  We also know, based on what the other two said, that these four are deathly ill to the point that they needed to be quarantined in another dimension."

"It is a start," Nicole cautiously said.

"We can add a few observations," Sofia continued. "Whatever energy fluctuations are emanating from their ship does have a stabilizing effect on them, and we also observed that whatever is wrong with them, they are considered to be exceptionally dangerous by their own kind."

"You can add that the aliens from the larger ship are not to be trusted, at least not fully," Gemma said, the ILO was now standing in Sickbay with the Doctor and Counselor.

"Glad to see you back in such good form," the joint Trill said, referring to the fact that neither the CMO nor CNS had heard the woman enter the room.

"Is everything alright?" Sofia asked of Gemma, curious as to the reason why the woman had returned.

"I am here to speak to you Counselor," the ILO said, locking eyes with the woman in question. "That is if you have a few minutes to spare."

"Of course," Nicole promptly said. "Doctor Andersson is just making a list of what we know about the aliens with the hopes that it will help her figure out where to start in her search for a cure."

"If the other aliens were truly hoping for a cure to be found, would they not have offered whatever help they could instead of just returning to their ship?" Gemma suggested. "They could have offered a simple base reading which would have allowed you to better understand these chaotic readings. With a base of reference for their race, there is no way to know what is normal and what is not, therefore, it is nearly impossible for anyone to identify an illness or disease making your task that much more complicated."

The Doctor thought about what the ILO had just said, and when Sofia was ready to offer a comment she noticed that both Gemma and Nicole were gone, leaving the CMO to her own device in trying to figure out which way to deal with this enigmatic puzzle.

Tiffany Reeve

Lieutenant JG Sofia Andersson [Access Character BIO for Sofia Andersson]
Chief Medical Officer

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
M14-021: USS BASTET: A'Janni/Enel: 35258.2015 ("Minute Details")
"Minute Details"
[previous (ANU) "Legends in the Making" / (BAS) "A Small Shift in Attitude"]


Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35258.2015  

His ears were twitching. As much as he hated to use the old saying, the command deck of the BASTET was quiet, too quiet.  Every tap of Zub's claws against the tactical console echoed through the room. At first, the Caitian perceived this as normal background noise but after only a few minutes, the sound had started to cause him to grow increasingly annoyed, so much so that his one good eye was starting to be closed more than it was opened.

The offending noise did not seem to bother neither the Captain nor First Officer and the FCO could only theorize as to why this was so. Was it that they were better at ignoring the incessant tapping or was it that they believed the Voth to be working on something so important that they could not afford to stop him.

The felinoid man curled his fingers, only realizing after a few seconds that his claws were extended to the fullest, threatening to scratch the Flight Controls that he was responsible for. Then, something unexpected happened, the sound from the tactical station stopped.  As a wave of relief washed over the Caitian, his paws fell flat on the console as his claws retracted to the full extent that his biology allowed.

"I need you to check something for me," Enel said, startling A'Janni, the Voth having suddenly materialized next to the Caitian without the FCO noticing the approach.  A narrowed feline eye glared up at the towering reptilian, anger and puzzlement reflecting in the Lieutenant's orb. How could he have moved so silently? Had he been taking lessons from Gemma?

A'Janni soon realized that his anger was completely misplaced, a fact that he was further made aware of when he noticed the looks of puzzlement coming from Captain Iverson and Lt. Commander Mitshiba.  Rapidly amending his attitude, the FCO offered the only thing he could, or should. "How can I help?"

Zub Enel extended a clawed digit toward him. “Pull my finger.”

Scoffing, A’Janni batted it aside.

"Something has been bothering me about those aliens," Enel admitted. "I have been trying to figure out what that is but so far success in my search has proven elusive.  I was hoping that you might provide me with a fresh set of eyes... I mean eye. We are both predators at heart, and I can't help the feeling that I am missing something, something important about them," the Voth said, ending his words with the single clawed finger pointing at the image of the larger ship being displayed on the main view screen.

“So, I view this ship as prey?  Or as if *we* were prey?”

The Security Chief waggled his crested head from side to side briefly as if weighing the options and then said. “Yes.”

A’Janni looked up at the Voth with a narrowed eye.  “I had instructors who answered like that at the academy."

“Where you managed to excel, nonetheless,” Enel said.  His golden eyes returned to studying the Flight Control Officer’s displays.  

A’Janni regarded the ship, a dark, batwing shaped dreadnaught of some type, albeit smaller than the BASTET.  “They sure packed a punch in those energy beams.  I also heard just two of them stunned four of your team and threw them out of Sickbay.”

“I am willing to agree that their weaponry is overmatched compared to ours,” Enel said, his voice a bit distant as if in thought.  “I believe … no, I have no proof.  I *feel* they are showing us a weakness or a hidden agenda or some other telling detail to our advantage that we are not seeing.”

The hulking cat man with a tiger face and one white eye aglow with intelligence leaned in and peered at his displays minutely.  "What if our sensors are not being blocked but are, in fact, reporting the truth? The power output of that ship does not match the power of the weapons it hit us with. The theory has been that they possessed some sort of energy dampening field, allowing them to camouflage their true power signature, but what if that was not the case."

"The power output we have been able to see has only been after they emerged from the dimensional rift," the Voth said, playing along with the offered theory. "Maybe they possess similar power distribution restrictions as one of the older class Klingon Bird-of-Prey and Romulan Border Runner which were unable to fire while cloaked."

Alright," A'Janni continued, waving a single finger in the air. "We know how powerful their weapons are, and we could not explain why the smaller ship only shows minor hull damage. This restriction in their power distribution could explain why they were unable to fire at full strength while in pursuit of the ship."

"That still does not explain why they were firing on them in the first place before deciding to switch to firing upon us," the Chief of Security added.

"There is a secret on board that small ship, a secret that they want back," the Caitian continued.

"Maybe one of the four we brought aboard wanted to have a new pet cat," the Voth teased.

"Another possibility is that one of the two that boarded the BASTET was looking for a new pet lizard," A'Jannie shrugged. "Either are equally valid options."

The felinoid and reptilian officers stopped their playful bantering feeling the quizzical glares of the Captain and First Officer upon them.

Leaning in closer to the FCO, the Voth Chief of Security whispered in the Caitian's twitching ear. "Maybe we should try to come up with a better reason. Nevertheless, you have helped me look upon this mystery with a fresh perspective, thank you my friend."

Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG A'Janni [Access Character BIO for A'Janni]
Flight Control Officer


David Michael Inverso

Chief Security and Tactical Officer

“Of all the things you choose in life, you don't get to choose what your nightmares are. You don't pick them; they pick you.”  
 - John Irving
M14-022: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: 35258.2030 ("Minor Review")
"Minor Review"
Previous posts: (ANU) "Legends in the Making" & (BAS) "Minute Details"

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35258.2030

As entertaining as the little spat between the Caitian FCO and Voth Chief of Security might have been, it did bring to light some very valid and serious points. There were a great many unanswered questions about the aliens, their ships, why they had fired on the BASTET and the reason as to why they were now in this dimension. The four patients currently under the care of Doctor Andersson were a mystery unto themselves, their diminutive biology was nothing like what the CMO had ever encountered before, complicating matters, As a scientist, the Asian woman understood this predicament, making it even more of a challenge to figure out what was wrong with them, a task that could have been a mission in itself. 

Things, of course, are never that simple. The BASTET and its crew had to deal with a larger vessel, one possessing enough firepower to destroy the Federation ship with uncanny ease. As I that was not enough, they were now under direct orders to keep the patients from returning to their home dimension unless a cure for their illness was found and administered. If this covered the whole of the situation they were faced with, it would be bad enough, but there were a lot of additional details that only served to, as the proverb went, muddy the water.

Why would the larger vessel fire upon the smaller ship? That currently was the only way to explain the energy scarring on the smaller ship. At first, Iverson and Mitshiba could not reconcile the power displayed by the larger vessel and the relatively minimal damage displayed by the smaller craft. Ensign Enel and Lt. A'Janni offered a plausible explanation for his, noting that the more imposing alien vessel had never been seen firing and moving at the same time.  Unfortunately, that mystery was only one of many others.  Why protect with such vehemency a ship that they were pursuing only minutes prior?

Something else bothered the Asience scientist. If the illness carried by the four patients currently in their sickbay was so dangerous, why even consider accepting them back if a cure could be found? Would it not be a wiser and safer course of action to simply ensure that they never returned to their home dimension, thus ensuring that the sickness would remain on this side of the rift?

The Caitian's suggestion that there was a secret being carefully guarded seemed to be far fetched at first, but the more she considered everything they had seen so far, the more Aki had to accept that possibility.  What they needed to do was to either confirm this theory or find a better one to explain everything they had so far dealt with.

"Ensign," Mitshiba began as she turned to look at the Chief of Security who was back at this station. "Is there anything we can do to get some sort of sensor readings on that larger ship?"

"Sorry, Commander," Enel said, his three-fingered-hands dancing on the tactical console. "The best we can get is the energy output readings. The hull of the hull appears to be too dense for active sensors to penetrate, at least from this distance. Maybe if we were closer, we might be able to get more information from our sensors."

"I doubt that they will just let us stroll over and cuddle next to them," the Caitian said.  "If our theory about their weapon capabilities is correct, the only safe heading for us to take would be one that puts as much distance between them and us."

"That might be exactly what they are hoping we will do," Captain Iverson said, the woman maintaining her Vulcan-like posture trough all of this. "The *secret* we believe they may be hiding could be inside that smaller ship, and the aliens aboard the BASTET would be the key to it."

"We need to find a way to get inside that ship," Zub said growling softly.

"No way you are going to fit in there," A'Janni pointed out in deadpan humor. "The second ship may be bigger than the first, but it would take a fleet of those glued together to make enough room for you to be beamed over, crouching."

"We do have the means to get closer without drawing any attention," the towering reptilian said after thinking about the situation for a few moments. "The smaller ship is as close as we could ever hope to get," Enel added looking directly at the Captain and First Officer.

"The ExoComp," Aki almost cheered. "It's still aboard the smaller ship. Maybe it could use its sensor array to penetrate the larger ship's hull."

"It's worth the try," Captain Iverson said, supporting the plan. "Let's see if we can get some answers to our growing list of questions.

Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Commander Misaki 'Aki' Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Executive Officer / Chief Science Officer
M14-023: USS BASTET: Andersson: 35258.2030 ("From Small to Smaller")
"From Small to Smaller"
[the previous post was (ANU) "No! Nope! Absolutely No Way!" by Lorraine / (BAS) "Minor Review" by Dawn]
Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate:  35258.2030

The readings from her four patients were stable, at least as stable as Doctor Andersson believed them to be. So far her quest to understand what sort of illness or disease they were afflicted by had offered no results, if fact, Sofia could not even begin to understand what was keeping the diminutive aliens alive, let alone what was threatening their health as well as that of their entire dimension.

Andersson ran her fingers through her hair, starting right above her ears before stopping just as her fingertips were about to touch. The sight clearly displayed the woman being in a heightened state of frustration, but only her unconscious patients were there to see this momentary show of unprofessionalism.

"What did Nicole say? That I was making a list of what I *know* about these aliens," Sofia said as she took a solid hold of her golden hair before offering a gentle pull. "They are here, that pretty much covers the bulk of what I *know*."  After letting out a long sigh of desperation, the CMO released her hold and brushed her hair as best she could using her fingers. "Sorry you had to see that," the physician said, addressing her unconscious audience.

Now that the moment had passed, Sofia turned her attention back to the incomprehensible readings being displayed on the individual medical panels. Nothing about what she was seeing made any sense so the Doctor decided to try something else, something different, something that she would not have ever considered before today.

"Computer, using a narrow-beam surgical sampler, isolate and retrieve a single cell of Patient 1 so that I can perform a complete in-depth cellular analysis. Target the left hand to obtain this sample, that way, hopefully, we will keep the risks of any possible major problems to a minimum. I mean, how many races out there have a major organ in their hand?"

Chirps and other soft sounds were heard as the computer complied with the request and a few seconds later a small beam of light emerged from the ceiling and landed on the patient's left hand as instructed.  After a few quick seconds, the beam vanished and the computer gave its report. [/\] Unable to obtain the requested sample, a single cell could not be isolated. [/\]

"How is that possible?" Doctor Andersson demanded out of desperate frustration, not actually posing the question to the computer.

Being nothing more than a machine though, the computer failed to recognize the physician's state of mind and processed the query as it would have any other. [/\] The sample requested was too small for the surgical sampler to isolate. Parameters were too large. [/\]

"Parameters were too large?" Sofia echoed. "I asked for a single cell, how can a single cell be too large?" Not wanting to have to deal with the computer's unsolicited answers once again, the CMO quickly added. "Don't answer that. You would just point out the obvious, that I have no idea what I am dealing with."

As frustrated as Doctor Andersson was though, the computer's report on the failed attempt made Sofia think. Taking a medical tricorder in her hands, she opened it and began to scan the same hand that had been the target of her previous effort.

"Computer, what is the maximum cellular density that the medical instruments are capable of working with? In other words, how small can the scan and sample area be?"

[/\] Due to physical limitations, the maximum cellular density the medical instruments can properly identify stands a 1 micron. [/\]

"A standard smallest humanoid cell measures approximately 100 microns, so this means that there should not be any problem for me to isolate a single cell as it is 100 times larger than the smallest scan size we can get, at least, in this universe." For the first time, Sofia was getting somewhere in her search for answers. "Alright, list what I know... the surgical sensors can target an area of 1 micron, the only way the parameters would be "too large" would be if something was smaller than the target area, much smaller.  I asked for a single cell sample, the computer could not comply because the beam was too large and would gather more than the requested sample size.  That would mean that these aliens have a cellular density more than 100 times our own?!?"

Thrilled with her discovery, Sofia quickly scanned the room hoping that Nicole, Gemma or anyone else was there to share in her Eureka moment, alas, the physician was alone in the main treatment area.  Reaching for her communicator, Doctor Andersson did the only thing she could. "Sickbay to Bridge, I might have found a very important detail about your four guests. Their cellular density is more than 100 times our own. That is why the medical instruments are unable to get any sort of useful readings, or at least anything that makes sense. I am not sure how we can use that knowledge, but I clearly need someone a little more versed in the field of the exceptionally small. I am not dealing with micrometers here but rather nanometers which are a thousand times smaller."

Tiffany Reeve

Lieutenant JG Sofia Andersson [Access Character BIO for Sofia Andersson]
Chief Medical Officer

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
M14-024: USS BASTET: Enel: 35258.2032 ("A little peek")
“A Little Peek”
Previous posts: (ANU) “No! Nope! Absolutely No Way!” by Lorraine / (BAS) “From Small to Smaller” by Tiffany

Setting: USS BASTET,
Stardate: 35258.2032

Near the command chair, Lt. Commander Misaki Mitshiba’s face lit with a grin after Dr. Andersson’s announcement. “One hundred times denser than expected. That could explain a lot!” She turned to look at the Science station, her old haunt before promotion to ExO. Her sunny joy of having something fascinating to analyze was quickly clouded with a stormy gust of conflict. After all, they were in an armed standoff with an alien ship that could quickly pulverize the BASTET. She might be needed if bad went to worse. She turned back to look at the Captain.

Selene Iverson was sitting relaxed but attentive in her command chair. Her gray-eyed gaze met Aki’s for an instant. She nodded her head toward the Science station.

“Thank you, sir!” Mitshiba enthused. She practically bounded to the controls.

Chief of Security Zub Enel peered with golden eyes down at the Tactical displays. The alien warship, TRUE PARAGON, hung like a black bat with bluish St. Elmo’s fire shimmering fore and aft. He said, “Captain, I do not think it is their unexpected density interfering with our sensors. I think we still need the ExoComp’s help to explore how to pierce their ‘cloaking’, for lack of a better word. At the very least, I would like to assess their power source as well as weapon and defense configuration. Even their crew complement is currently unobtainable.”

A yellow polygon began to flash on his console. The computer’s androgynous voice said, =/\= ExoComp access the Tactical Command Station is locked out. =/\=

Captain Iverson pivoted her chair toward Zub. “Ensign Enel, why have you locked access to your station?”

He said while he tapped controls to allow access, “It is an experimental security measure, sir. With aliens able to materialize anywhere on our ship, locking Tactical seemed a wise precaution if they invaded the Bridge, stunned us like they did the crew in Sickbay and then attempted to commandeer the BASTET.”

The CO’s beautiful but usually emotionless face hardened into a frown. “What if one of us needed Tactical access?”

He turned his crested head toward the Captain. “Any authorized command override would clear Tactical. This ensures that only Federation officers would have access to my station.”

Her short, jet black hair shimmered in the overhead lights as she shook her head. “A command override could take too long. In a fierce battle where you were rendered unavailable, one of us would need instant access to your station. I appreciate your initiative and understand your reasoning, but do not lock it out again.”

Chastened, Zub’s scales flushed pink. He saw her point. He was embarrassed he had overlooked the obvious ill effects of his personal security measure. “I will not do it again.” Her face smoothed out.

He turned and deleted the lockout protocol. “Access gran ….” An immediate blizzard of activity piled display upon display sandwiched with graphs and data tables. The speed and sheer volume of displays overlaying each other was so disorientating that he gripped the edge of the console to hold himself upright.

Misaki said from the Science station in the tone that people reserve for pets, “Look at it go! I think our ExoComp was bored out of its axionic chip, hovering in that smaller ship with nothing to do.”

The 7-foot tall Security Chief gestured toward the onslaught of displays. “If it could slow the rate of Tactical analysis, I might help it pierce the TRUE PARAGON’s cloaking.”

Selene cut in. “Please don’t do anything unless the ExoComp asks you to. It has memorized every engineering facet of this starship, the ANUBIS, the HATHOR and many other Starfleet ships, plus Federation and non-Federation vessels. I suspect it has even pieced together the workings of NEW ALEXANDRIA despite Admiral Koniki’s wish to keep it a secret base. Trust me, the ExoComp’s engineering architectural knowledge is lightyears ahead of all of ours combined.”

Zub turned pinker. He rested his three-fingered hands on his rump to keep himself from messing up a third time in front of the Captain.

The felinoid A’Janni asked from Flight Control, “Your lockout password was ‘gagh’, wasn’t it?” His one white eye glittered up at Zub. Enel smiled.

A chime sounded. The computer announced, =/\= To pierce the alien cloaking, the ExoComp requests the following sensor array system adjustments. One, recalibrate the Nano Verteron Field Stabilizer to provided specifications. Two, refocus the master gravimetric pulse equalizer to provided specifications. Three, actuate the auxiliary quantum particle array. =/\=

The CO and ExO turned to look at the empty Ops Station usually occupied by Lt. Gemma.

“Let me.” A’Janni stepped away from the Flight Controls.

“Negative, man your station.” Captain Iverson said forcefully to the hulking tiger man. She sat upright in the command chair, face icy. “No telling how the aliens will react to a successful probe.” Her gaze rose the ceiling. “Computer, assist the ExoComp in making any needed adjustments to our systems. Commander, continue your density analysis until otherwise needed.”

The computer gave an acknowledging chirp. A’Janni strode back to his station. Mitshiba turned back to the Science station.

“Tactical, show any scan results on main viewer,” Iverson said.

Mirroring the Tactical console, the main viewer image of the alien starship was suddenly obscured by a new blizzard of overlapped diagrams, wriggling graphs, and tables that scrolled data. The captain had just enough time to lace fingers over her trim lap and frown in concentration before the clutter vanished. The alien ship hung in black space as before.

She turned toward her ExO. “Report.”

Mitshiba replied, “We got a little peek. The ExoComp indicates that the aliens almost immediately reconfigured their shield modulation to block our scan. It is analyzing another way in.”

Selene Iverson said, “A glimpse, nevertheless. What have we learned?”

The ExO half-turned from Science. “The ExoComp suggests parsing all captured data to each relevant duty station for our own analysis. This will allow it more bandwidth to analyze the new cloaking configuration.”


All of the stations on the Bridge flickered with fixed grids composed of carefully segregated rows and columns of moving images of the alien ship, graphs and tables.

Enel studied the tactical information; thankful it wasn’t displayed at the ExoComp’s blinding speed. “Captain, only two of the three forward facing plasma cannons are charged and operational.”

Selene tapped her laced fingers against her chin. “Is it possible that their last salvo damaged a cannon? Instead of pausing to communicate with superiors in their own dimension, this might explain why there is a lull in significant action. They might be waiting until they have use of all three weapons.”

A’Janni said, “Sir, they have warp capability but no dimensional jump drive.”

Iverson steepled her fingers. “Interesting. How’d they get here?”

The ExO said from Science, “The ship appears understaffed. Bioscans are incomplete, but they show many of its life forms are in a central area and appear immobile.”

The Captain asked, “Sheltering from battle in a strong point? Is the ship controlled from there?”

Mitshiba sighed. “The scan didn’t last nearly long enough, sir.”

Selene nodded.

Zub Enel said in surprise, “They have a power signature of four Federation objects aboard. Those might be the missing phasers from when our Sickbay security team was stunned.”

The CO’s gray eyes were thoughtful. “Studying our weapons, perhaps.”

The Bridge went silent save for soft chirps and whirs, the crew bent forward poring over what the ExoComp gleaned.

After no one offered new discoveries, the Captain said, “So, to summarize; one weapon offline, no jump capability, their crew *may* be stretched thin, and they’re probably learning how our phaser banks work.”

Zub Enel felt a stab of guilt. Somehow, he felt responsible for the aliens obtaining Federation weapon technology. He had to force himself to concentrate. He straightened. “Captain, since it is onboard that smaller ship, maybe the ExoComp can find a weapon like the aliens in Sickbay used to stun our crew. I believe I saw one. White. Oblong. Fitted to a wrist. If so, we might learn something useful about *their* weaponry.”

Captain Iverson looked at the ExO. Mitshiba said, “The ExoComp is attempting another scan through their cloaking. If successful, we may learn far more about their ship-mounted weaponry and defenses. I’m not a security person, but I imagine those are our most immediate threats. I propose we let it continue working on the scan.” Misaki glanced apologetically at the Security Chief.

“They have and can board us at will,” Selene said. “If the ExoComp fails a second scan, ask it to look for the weapon Ensign Enel described. An advantage might lie there. In the meanwhile, continue your density analysis.”

Misaki nodded.

David Michael Inverso

Chief Security and Tactical Officer

“The opposite of a glance... is a glimpse: because in a glance, we see only for a second, and in a glimpse, the object shows itself only for a second.”
-- James Elkins
M14-025: USS BASTET: Gemma: 35258.2040 ("Small Chats")
"Small Chats"
[the previous post was (ANU) "No! Nope! Absolutely No Way!" / (BAS) "A Little Peek"]

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35258.2040 

The chat with Cns Dima had gone well. Better than expected if truth be told. Strangely enough that fact surprised the ILO. Gemma had expected a hard incredulous gaze from Nicole as details were shared. At one point, the Intel Operative even wondered if the Counselor would question the woman's sanity. Instead, she just stood there, absorbing every word with knowing interest. It was as if the joint Trill knew more about her than she did herself.

Dima offered her wisdom in return. What again surprised Gemma was just how on point those words felt. This hinted to the CNS having a much better understanding of the woman who had sought her out. Stepping back onto the bridge, the ILO felt better about herself. She could not understand the specific reason why, only that she felt as if a weight had been lifted from her mind.

The first thing Gemma noticed was Misaki working at the Science station. The Asian women glowed with excitement as if she was doing something she was not supposed to. The ILO would have approached her but something else caught her eyes. The hulking bipedal reptilian seemed smaller in some way. Given the man's stature, is appearing that way was quite an undertaking.

Gemma approached Zub. Her first thought was to dismiss the observation and keep her concerns to herself. Somehow doing that felt as if it was what she needed to do, what she should do. She could hear countless voices in the back of her head pushing her to move on. Nothing good ever came of asking questions that were not absolutely necessary. Whatever was bothering him was not her problem. There was no practical reason why she should divert from what she needed to do.

**He's your friend. That is what friends do. They are there for each other. He was there for you.**

That single voice could barely be heard over the countless other. Yet, it was those words that made Gemma decide what course of action she needed to follow. The ILO stood right next to the towering Chief of Security and gently whispered, "Is everything alright?"

"I will be," Zub replied in the same whispered tone. "Just being a little too protective. I do not trust those aliens."

"That makes two of us." Both the words and the tone used by the ILO made Enel turn to look at the woman. For a moment, he believed that the old Gemma had returned. The cold distrust in her voice very reminiscent of the operative of old. "Don't fret. There is nothing wrong with being overly cautious in the light of an unknown. That ship," she said pointing to the image on the main view screen, "is as unknown as it gets."

"The mystery just keeps getting bigger," Mitshiba said from the science station. "Figuratively speaking that is. The discovery made by Dr Andersson is on a whole different scale. If I was not the ExO, I could spend the next months looking into this. Maybe even years."

Gemma picked up on the hint of disappointment in Misaki's voice. This triggered another volley of voices in the ILO's mind, urging her to not intervene. She was an Intel Operative, an agent who operated best when not burdened by the presence of others. At least, that was what she believed based on what the voices were saying. The problem was that this did not fit her current surroundings. She was a member of a crew, surrounded by people she considered to be friends.  The conversation with Cns Dima came back into her head. The wisdom of the joint Trill washed over her, dictating what she would say next.  "You know, some have been both an ExO and a CSciO before you. Being one does not exclude the other. As Nicole said to me not so long ago, we all possess the ability within us to be more than a single person. In fact, we all display this on a regular basis. How many times do we 'transform' into someone else to better suit the needs of the situation? We can be caring friends one moment and deadly warriors the next. Some are just better at shifting from one identity to the next.  I am sure that you can do that with ease."

Mitshiba looked at Gemma as if she had grown a second nose. "Nicole said that to you?"

The ILO nodded her head, not sure why this was such a surprise.

It was clear that the irony of her words was lost on Gemma. "I guess you and her are right. As you said to me, I am also quite certain that you could do the same. In fact, I would wager that you could do so easier than anyone else on this ship."

Gemma smiled at the compliment. As Misaki's words sank in though, the ILO could not help but feel that there was a hidden meaning in what was said. More to the point, she could not shake the feeling that the words were targeting those voices she could not stop hearing.

Rachel Jackie Johnson

Intel Operative

[The fun is getting to wear multiple disguises and getting to explore multiple personalities and bring them to life. - Jenna Fischer]
M14-026: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: 35258.2050 ("The Microverse")
"The Microverse"
Previous posts: (ANU) "No! Nope! Absolutely No Way!" & (BAS) "Small Chats"

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35258.2050

Aki gazed into the eyes of the Renaissance woman with envious puzzlement. Gemma was a puzzle, an enigma, a mystery and right now it was visible in her facial expression that she was all those things and much more even to herself. Her words, like the woman that she was, could be seen in many different ways, revealing something new each time. This got the Asian scientist thinking about the multifaceted aspects of people, life and the universe around them. More specifically Mitshiba began to contemplate the infinite different 'personalities' of the multiverse.

"Captain, I would like to test a theory if I may," Aki said after having turned to face the sitting dark-haired Commanding Officer.

"Guessing this is going to require more than a simple sensor sweep," Iverson noted, her unemotional tone not betraying any possible interest the woman might have developed.

"Of all the ships in the fleet, we are the one with the best knowledge of the multiverse," Aki began. "We have visited and indirectly dealt with hundreds of dimensions and yet we have only managed to cover a fraction of what is out there."

"What are you leading at, Misaki?" Gemma asked the ILO showing interest where the Captain failed to do so.

Although it was strange to see the cold and retreated woman be so excited, Aki dismissed the unexpectedness to instead focus on what she had started. "The hyper-high molecular density of the aliens' biology, which we can only suspect matches that of their ship and technology might be the result of a dimensional adjustment at the subatomic level.  The BASTET's D-Drive generates a protective field ensuring that our physical form remains intact when travelling from one dimension to the next. This is exceptionally useful when travelling to locations where the laws of the physical universe greatly differ from our own."

"How different do you believe their home dimension is?" The Voth Chief of Security asked, Enel's interest resting on the simple tactical possibility that this might give them an additional advantage they could use against the BASTET and its crew.

"On a much larger scale than we have ever dealt with before," Aki replied, her smile betraying the excitement she felt. It was not every day that a scientist was on the verge of a discovery that could fundamentally alter their views and concepts of the multiverse. "I believe that these aliens came from a dimension where the basic building blocks of matter are found on a scale beyond anything we could have ever imagined.  This would explain the denseness of their molecular structure as well as the ultra-high pitch of their verbal communication, this having come to be thanks to the compression of their atoms as they crossed into our dimension.  The only way I can test this theory is to scan beyond the dimensional rift into the alien's home."

Everyone took a moment to assimilate what the ExO had proposed, a task that seemed to be on equal size footing as the universe she was describing.

"Wait, are you suggesting that these *small* aliens are in fact giants where they come from?" Gemma asked, the ILO channelling her inner scientist for a split second.

"Their size as compared to the rest of the physical structure of their universe is unlikely to change, but in relation to us, I believe that they would be hundreds... no, it would likely be more in the scale of thousands of times larger than us.

"Visions of Gulliver's travels," the Captain said, her Vulcan-like tone as steady as ever.

"How do we test this theory of yours?" Gemma inquired, again channelling her inner scientist, the woman the rest of the crew knew as Winda, an Uxali that Aki had to admit she had come to enjoy working with and was now missing.

"We need to send an active polaron particle beam into the rift and scan to see what happens to it when it crosses over into their dimension. If the beam's dispersion remains unchanged, my theory will be disproven. If on the other hand, the particles scatter, it will mean that the physical rules of that dimension are forcing all matter to expand."

"Question," Enel said, his mind rushing through countless tactical scenarios. "What would happen to the BASTET if we ended up in that dimension?"

"As long as the protective dimensional field of our D-Drive is working, nothing should happen," Aki replied in as a reassuring manner as she could. "If, on the other hand, we found our way through that rift without the D-Drive operational, our atoms would be forced to expand beyond their breaking point and we would explode as our molecules try to match the physical reality of that dimension."

"Given the size difference you mentioned, it would be more of a quiet 'pop' rather than an explosion," Gemma said without the slightest hint of emotion, the ILO having returned to her former cold self for that moment.

"Alright," A'Janni said, finally saying something. The Caitian had been happy to remain silent and listen up to that point, but that changed with the description of what would happen to them. "Primary task is for me to make sure the BASTET does not get *anywhere* close to that rift. I am pretty certain that no one wants to test *that* part of the Commander's theory."

Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Commander Misaki 'Aki' Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Executive Officer / Chief Science Officer
M14-027: USS BASTET: Iverson: 35258.2110 ("A Much Larger Problem")
"A Much Larger Problem"
(Previous Post: (ANU) "A Look, A Smile" / (BAS) "The Microverse")

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35258.2110

Back in the earlier days of the twentieth century, scientists were still arguing about the possible existence of other universes, other dimensions beyond those they could see and study. The concept at that time was simple if they could not measure it, even if only in part, it was nothing more than an idea that could be easily contested and ignored. Those fundamental thoughts were quickly challenged as the human race began to explore the deeper regions of the cosmos that extended around their homeworld.  It did not take long before the scientific community had no choice but to accept the reality that there were, in fact, other universes and dimensions, each as infinite and varied as their own.

With the refinement of the technology enabling travel to those new dimensions, the notion of the multiverse was forever solidified, but this opened up a new set of debates and arguments where scientists defended their beliefs in what could or could not be. Some said that the multiverse would not be limited by any rules or laws while others argued that certain basic universal laws of matter and energy could never be changed, this even across other dimensions.  Following the discovery that the BASTET had just made, it was evident that the latter opinion had lost whatever traction it might have once had.

"Are you certain?" Selene asked of her First Officer, the question being more aimed at the scientist than the second in command of the BASTET.

"We repeated the tests three times and the results were the same on every occasion," Misaki reported as she glanced at Gemma indicating that the Intel Operative was part of the research team. "The dimension on the other side of that rift has an expansion factor thousands of times that of our own. I cannot confirm as to how the laws of physics governing sub-atomic dynamics work in that universe, but we can confirm that molecular structures in that dimension would be on a scale the likes of which we had never conceived of before today.".

Either as a show of astonishment or simply to tease his fellow shipmate, Zub Enel made a single popping sound with his mouth which immediately triggered a reaction from A'Janni. The ears of the Caitian fell against his head as a visible shiver swept through whatever fur could be seen.

"Could this explain why the weapons used by the larger ship were so powerful when they initially fired upon us? They were on *their* side of the rift when they opened fire." No matter how scientifically significant the discovery might have been, it was the task of the Chief of Security to always look at any situation with a tactical point of view, a way of thinking that the Voth excelled at. The imposing being was at his core a true protector, always thinking of others before himself no matter the situation.

"It might," Gemma said nodding her head, the woman embracing her scientific mindset instead of trying to understand where it was coming from for the time being. "The rift between our dimensions could have acted as a focusing lens for the released energy discharge, compressing it in the same manner that it did the physical vessels and everything in them. That would mean though that their weapons are not as powerful now that their ship is on *this* side of the rift. The ship and its systems are now operating under the rules of *this* dimension."

"Captain," the joint Trill Counsellor began, Nicole reported to the bridge following the theory proposed by Doctor Andersson thinking that she might be of greater use on the command deck rather than in Sickbay. "I realise that there is absolutely no evidence to support what I am about to offer since we have never before encountered something like this, but I would like to add one additional variable to the discussion. Commander Mitshiba and Lieutenant Gemma are still trying to understand the ramifications of physical matter being compressed in such a way, but we also need to consider the possible psychological effects.  Inanimate matter was not the only thing exposed to this process, the aliens themselves underwent the same transformation. There is no way for us to know how this will affect the way they think, and that is going on the premise that their way of thinking was remotely similar to ours before any of this happened."

"All very valid points, Counsellor," Misaki admitted with visible reluctance.

"We just cannot keep up with all of these questions and possibilities," the Flight Control Officer noted. "Even if this was nothing more than a scientific research into the properties of another dimension, we would have our hands full. Now we have to deal with that *plus* two unknown ships and a bunch of aliens, four of them sitting in our Sickbay with some sort of deadly contagion. How are we supposed to figure this all out?"

"One piece of the puzzle at a time, Lieutenant," Captain Iverson said.  "I understand your frustration, and I do share in it on many levels," the woman said, not displaying any signs of the emotions she mentioned. "We cannot allow the complexity of this situation to distract us from what we must do.  Commander Mitshiba, you and Lieutenant Gemma continue with your analysis of the other dimension. Ensign Enel, continue working with the ExoComp to get a better tactical evaluation of the alien ship. Counsellor Dima, I would like for you to see if you can ascertain the possible psychological effects of crossing that rift."

"Captain?" Zub gasped. "You are not considering taking the BASTET through that rift, are you?"

"I would like for us to be ready for any possibilities," the Captain reassured. "I would rather keep whatever this situation is here in our dimension, but if the needs should arise, I would like for us to have at least an idea of what we might have to deal with."  Turning back to face the front of the bridge, Selene continued. "Lieutenant A'Janni, keep a close eye on those ships and the rift. I have the strange feeling that we are not done with dealing with the unexpected."

Jessica Solarik

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


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

"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)
M14-028: USS BASTET: Enel: 35258.2115 ("Spectral Examination")
“Spectral Examination”
Previous posts: (ANU) “The Plan” by Sarah / (BAS) “"A Much Larger Problem" by Jessica

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35258.2115

Ensign Zub Enel, Chief of Security, tapped through the copious Tactical station data that the ExoComp had procured during its brief breech of the larger alien ship’s cloak. Little of it seemed to bear on the idea he had begun to formulate. He called up the earlier attack on the BASTET from plasma beams powerful enough to have almost dropped the starship’s shields. He paused long enough to check the damage reports. Shields had been almost completely restored. Several burned out components still needed to be replicated and replaced.

“Must you bang on your console so loudly?” The question in a deep feline growl came from Lt. A’Janni at the Flight Control station next to where Zub Enel stood.

Zub glanced down into the Caitian’s single white eye. The pupil was pinpointed. The Flight Control Officer’s blocky, white tiger face was contorted into a snarl that showed sharp canines and made his stubby whiskers jut straight out. Under his white mane, his pointed ears lay flat.

Zub considered several quips but determined that the hulking FCO was seriously bothered. “Sorry. I was absorbed in analysis. I did not know I was banging.”

“Why in the 36th century do you even need claws?” The big cat man’s tone was peevish.

Zub glanced down at the Caitian’s own furry, clawed hands. “Trim yours first.”

A’Janni’s eye narrowed as if drawing a bead on the towering lizard man. His lips drew back to show all of his upper teeth; a mouth filled with ivory knives. Zub recognized the signs of imminent attack. He raised one scaly, three-fingered hand toward the FCO, palm out. “I apologize. I will endeavor to not use my claws while I work the data displays.”

A’Janni’s giant tiger features softened. His eye opened up to normal size. His lips slid over his teeth. “It just seems unusually loud to me. “

“With your hearing, I understand. You can detect a flatulent mouse at 100 meters.”

The corners of FCO’s mouth lifted slightly. “Use that exact quote when the CO asks you to rate my performance.”

Gemma’s voice came from the opposite side of Zub Enel, “What are you working on? Maybe I can help do it quietly.”

Zub turned to look down at the red headed Intelligence Liaison Officer. She was actually smiling up at him rather than her usual stony-faced stare. “I –“ He looked at his displays. “I was trying to draw out of the battle reports the frequency pattern of their plasma rays.”

“Oh, it’s there,” the ILO said. “I glanced at it awhile back in the Ops data too. May I pull it up for you?”

Zub took a step away from his Tactical station. Her eyes glittered with amusement up at him as she stepped in to silently work the Tactical panels. Her body warmth washed over him. He blinked his amber eyes, not sure he had noticed her body heat before. The Gemma he had known until after the last mission had always been cool, as if her body temperature was as tightly controlled as her many personalities. As data began to coalesce under her gliding fingers, he caught her scent too. It was classic Gemma - dark and subtle, like freshly scrubbed root vegetables; maybe a Terran beet or Rigelian Jimja. He came out his reverie to see she was peering up over her shoulder at him with curiosity in her blue eyes.

She said, “Your scale feathers are fluffing or whatever that is they do. Am I making you nervous? I’m not going to attack you.”

“You’ll be the first woman who hasn’t,” A’Janni quipped from Flight. “They can’t help themselves.”

Zub jolted with recognition. *That* was what was different about Gemma. She was feminine. She’d always been non-sexual before, especially when she was at the Ops station; a brainy, beautiful android who was strictly business.

“Zub? What is it?” Framed by soft ringlets of coppery hair, her strikingly symmetrical face held an expression of self-consciousness. Another new look for her.

He took another step back to put himself out of range of her heat and scent. “Nothing. We were standing a little too closely together.”

The corner of her lips curled up slyly. Her confidence returned. “If you could get a grip on yourself long enough to look at this graph.” She moved aside to give him room to approach his station.

Zub leaned on the console with both hands as he bent to study the display. He frowned at the hexagonal graph with its kaleidoscopic moving wedges and smaller circles flowing between them like the exposed workings of a living cell. “Ugh. Mantubo Vibrational Assays give me a headache. They are completely non-intuitive to me.”

She put a warm hand on his wrist closest to her. He stepped back, twice. She slipped in and tapped a few symbols. She stepped aside.

A pulsing rainbow ribbon shifted to the blue end. It showed little black vertical stripes and bright stripes.

“Ah,” Zub said with gratitude. “A Catullan Multiphasic Plasma Gradient. Perfect.” Gemma smiled and back off a step or two more so Zub could study the data undistracted. He tapped on a portion of the graph. A’Janni flinched.

“Sorry,” Zub said to the FCO. To Gemma he said, “This shows a definite high power-to-frequency ratio in three specific parts their plasma stream spectrum.”

Gemma’s eyes narrowed in thought for a moment. “You’re thinking we could adjust our shields to be stronger at those frequency spikes?”

He stood his full 7-foot. “Yes. Is it possible to do that to the shields?”

The ILO gave him a grin that showed white, perfectly straight teeth. Her eyes sparkled with delight. Her face colored pink with anticipation. She strode over to her Ops station. “I’ll let you know.”

He smiled for a moment at being able to help open a new possible defense. He sobered. He said to her, “They were very quick about changing the modulation of their cloaking field after the ExoComp got through. If they attack and our shields hold, they might be able to just as quickly change the frequency pattern of their plasma bolts.”

Gemma nodded; her face was distant in thought. “They may not know what we know from the Borg about rapid modulation of phaser fire and shield effectiveness. I’ll look into that, too.”

Smiling, Zub turned back to his Tactical console.

“No tapping,” A’Janni warned from Flight.

David Michael Inverso

Chief Security and Tactical Officer

“I had a romance novel inside me, but I paid three sailors to beat it out of me with steel pipes.”
— Patton Oswalt
M14-029: USS BASTET: Gemma: 35258.2125 ("Inner Dimensions")
"Inner Dimensions"
[the previous post was (ANU) "The Plan" / (BAS) "Spectral Examination"]

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35258.2125

Gemma stood a few steps behind Enel. She had never noticed how muscular the Voth was until now. The ILO studied the Chief of Security with an interest that she was not accustomed to experiencing. Her thoughts were primal, carnal forcing her to fight her growing urges to reach out and touch him.

It took every ounce of self-control she had but eventually Gemma managed to turn away. Not looking at Zub could only help in her controlling her thoughts before they made her do something inappropriate. As the ILO pivoted, she came face to face with the Asian First Officer. The auburn-haired woman felt her heart begin to race as she gazed into the almond-shaped eyes of the other woman.

This was not the first time the two had seen each other. Far from it, and yet there was a sense of novelty that swept through them both. Lips gently parted as if each wanted to say something that they could not express aloud. There was something different about this encounter, something almost electrical floating in the air. Gemma smiled, making Misaki do the same. Their eyes scrutinized each other in a way that was only allowed by lovers. Thoughts rapidly shifted into a realm of fantasy that the ILO barely managed to pull away from in time.

"Lt. Gemma, Is everything alright?"

The question took the woman by complete surprise. The ILO felt as if she had been caught doing something that she was not supposed to. In fact, that was not all that far from the truth. Her thoughts were not those of a Starfleet officer on duty. Gemma took a moment to look at the Captain. Her question meant that she noticed something, but what? This forced the guilt-stricken woman to quickly review her most recent actions.  She looked at Zub then Misaki before looking back at Selene.

The Captain appeared puzzled, concerned, at least as much as the woman allowed herself to show. Gemma found the woman's self-control endearing, almost alluring. How she would love to break through Selene's icy facade. To force her to be a woman unable to hold back her emotions even if only once.

Again, Gemma found herself quickly losing control of her thoughts. What was happening to her? This was not like her, and yet it was. Deep down she knew that what she felt was a part of the person she was and had always been.

Summoning her last ounce of control, Gemma offered an answer to the earlier question. "Everything is fine, Captain. I was just thinking about another possible way the rift might be affecting our situation. With your permission, I would like to return to Sickbay and discuss this with Doctor Andersson."

The Captain nodded her head, approving the request as stated. Gemma did the same as acknowledgement before turning around and catching Misaki's gaze once again. She wanted to reach out, to caress her soft Asian skin and feel the moistness of her lips on her finger tips. The ILO knew how wrong those thoughts were. Each second that passed made it harder for her to fight them back. When she looked away, her gaze fell onto the muscular form of the Voth. How much she would love to feel his strength pressing against her fragile form.

Gemma closed her eyes and rushed into the turbolift as quickly as she could. If she hesitated even for a split second, it was almost a certainty that she would have lost control. The short journey in the turbolift pod allowed the ILO to gather her thoughts. There was no denying it, something had happened to her, but what?  Heading into Sickbay, she kept her eyes down. She did not dare look at anyone for fear that the same feelings would resurface. If they did, she might not be able to fight them back this time around.

As she stormed into Sickbay, Gemma almost ran into Nicole. The slightly shorter Counselor was shocked by the woman's sudden arrival.  "Is everything alright?"

Gemma gazed into Nicole's striking blue eyes. For the first time she could see what attracted the CMO to the CNS. There was a sense of serenity about the joint Trill. All of Dima's lifetime of experiences came together to give Nicole a fresh perspective into the word around her. That simple aspect of the woman made the ILO envious, almost jealous, but she was not sure why.  "I am here to see Doctor Andersson. I believe that the rift may be affecting us in a way that we had not anticipated."

"Are you alright?" Nicole was concerned. She reached out and pressed the back of her fingers against the woman's cheek. "You look flushed."

At the gentle caring softness of the touch, Gemma closed her eyes. Nicole was so kind, so affectionate, deserving of being made to feel as special as she often made others feel.

**Let go,** a voice inside Gemma's head said. "Don't fight it. You have not felt this way for so very long. You deserve to feel the warmth of someone else's touch. They will be rewarded a thousand folds for what they give you. Let go, embrace the moment.**

Time came to a standstill as Gemma delighted in the sensation of the other woman's skin against her own. It was not much, but it proved enough to make her feel something she had almost forgotten. When the fingers were pulled away, the woman opened her eyes to see confusion in the CNS's eyes.


The name spoken by Nicole was very familiar. She knew how this person was, knew her rather well in fact, but it was not her.  "Seksa," she replied, feeling a warmth spread through her body.  The woman gazed at the joint Trill, imagining countless ways of pleasuring her. She took a single step forward and pressed the back of her fingers against the cheek, returning the gesture.

"What... are you... doing?" Nicole was fighting the urges that were flooding her mind. This was not right, not proper, and yet she was powerless to push the woman away.

She smiled, as only a woman can when charming someone else. "You have brought out the most primal of urges in me. I simply wish to make you feel how much I want you. How much I want to please you."

Nicole swallowed, hard. She took hold of the woman's wrist and with great difficulty pulled it away from her. "No, this is not right. We cannot do this. You are not yourself."

"I feel more like myself than I have been in a long while," Seksa said.

Nicole shook her head and pointed to the nearest reflective surface she could see. "You are not yourself. You are not Gemma."

The woman gazed at her reflection. A strikingly beautiful woman with long blonde hair and jade eyes stared back at her. That was the last face she saw before falling unconscious.

Rachel Jackie Johnson

Intel Operative

[The fun is getting to wear multiple disguises and getting to explore multiple personalities and bring them to life. - Jenna Fischer]
M14-030: USS BASTET: A'Janni/Mitshiba: 35258.2135 ("Primal Rage")
"Primal Rage"
[previous (ANU) "The Plan" / (BAS) "Inner Dimension"]


Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35258.2135 

The Caitian did his best to keep his mind on his work, ignoring the increasing twitching of his nose and ears. The physical manifestations were subtle, barely noticeable, but they were there, hinting to the growing inability of the FCO to control his thoughts and actions. His earlier snapping at Zub was only the start, A'Janni instantly regretted what he had done, but it could have been worse... much worse.

There was an itching in his muscles, a need in his soul to lash out and rip to shreds whoever stood near him. When his one good eye fell upon Gemma, A'Janni felt a completely different set of emotions wash over him. There was something about the woman that drew his most primal attention and desires. For that reason, he found himself ready to leap out of his chair and challenge anyone who would dare to deny his claiming her as his. Luckily for him and everyone else on the bridge, the Caitian managed to keep his wits about him.

Such practices were common on CAIT, but this was hundreds of years before his people joined the Federation and learned more civilized ways. To fight for the affection of a mate, or simply to demonstrate being superior to others was a daily occurence back then, so why was he feeling this way now? A'Janni had never felt the need to physically prove himself in any way to others, and certainly not to any females, at least not human women. He had felt such urges at some point while stationed on KZINTI ALPHA, but he knew better than to make such a display towards the queen.  At that time, he was able to easily fight back the need to act in such a primitive manner, so why was it so difficult for him to do the same now?

"Captain," Commander Mitshiba said. "We just received a message from Sickbay. Doctor Andersson is reporting that Gemma collapsed and is being placed under observation."

"Collapsed?" Enel concern for the woman came across as being slightly more than the professional worries towards a fellow shipmate.

A'Janni's ears and nose began twitching again, but this time everyone noticed mainly because of the way the FCO had almost jumped out of his seat.  "What did you do to her?" The Caitian's accusatory tone was solely directed at the Chief of Security.

"AT EASE!" The thundering order from the Captain made everyone freeze in place, no one dared to even take a breath. "What is going on?" Iverson demanded of her First Officer. Everything up to that point might have been able to be explained away, but this proved to be the breaking point.

"Unknown," the Asian woman said as she made her way to the science station. "Something is definitely not right. We should not be acting or reacting the way we are."

"Could it be the aliens on the larger ship?" Enel suggested. "Maybe some sort of weapon to render the crew unable to function making it easier for them to take over."

A'Janni turned back to look at the image on the main viewscreen, his upper lip twitching so much that it allowed for his sharp razor-like teeth to be visible. Had any of the aliens in question been on the bridge of the BASTET, there were no doubts that the Caitian would have leaped and attacked, ripping them to shreds in a matter of mere seconds.

"It is a possibility, although I believe it to be unlikely," the scientist said, her breathing indicating that she was having difficulties processing everything that was happening around her. It took a few seconds, but Aki managed to offer something. "I have another option to suggest. There could be some sort of energy coming through the rift from the other dimension, energy that our instruments are unable to detect. It could be that this energy is on a frequency similar to that of our brain waves which would explain our sudden inability to control more primal thoughts and desires," the ExO explained recalling how she felt when looking into Gemma's eyes.

"Could we not make modifications to the shields and block this energy?" Zub asked, the Voth Chief of Security still managing to put his duties to the ship and crew above everything else.

Aki shook her head. "It would be like trying to block telepathic brain waves.  We do have drugs able to inhibit such abilities at the source, but there is little we can do to shield ourselves from them."

"Just great," A'Janni growled. "This whole thing just keeps getting better and better," the Caitian said through clenched teeth.

"Captain," Aki said, "I suggest that we call for general quarters. We have to go under the premise that everyone on board the BASTET is being affected in the same manner by whatever this is, and until we can find a way to offset the effects we have to take all necessary precautions. I believe limiting the crew's interactions with one another is the best and safest course of action at this time, this based on what we have observed here on the bridge so far."

Iverson was not pleased but she understood that there were not a lot of options available at this time.  With a nod of her head she gave Aki the okay to proceed as suggested.   A two-tone whistle echoed through the ship followed by an announcement. =/\= General quarters! All non-essential personnel are to report to their quarters and remain there until further notice. I repeat, the ship is now under General Quarters, all non-essential personnel are to return to their quarters and remain there until further notice. =/\=

"We still have to deal with that alien ship, the rift and the four sick aliens currently in our Sickbay," Enel said, trying his best not to growl as he did so.

"We may have to consider leaving the area," Aki said. She did not like the idea of leaving the two alien ships unattended, but the situation was rapidly becoming more than they could handle.

"I will keep that as a last resort option," Captain Iverson stated. "In the meantime, we need to keep our heads clear and focus on figuring the best way for us to deal with these issues. Maybe we can use the D-Drive to create some sort of interference field that would stop or at least reduce the effects of whatever is causing us to behave the way we are."

"Aye, aye, Captain," Aki acknowledged knowing that the task would not be as easy as stated by the woman sitting in the central chair.

Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG A'Janni [Access Character BIO for A'Janni]
Flight Control Officer


Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Commander Misaki 'Aki' Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Executive Officer / Chief Science Officer
M14-031: USS BASTET: Enel: 35258.2140 ("Rip Torn")
“Rip Torn”
Previous posts: (ANU) “The Plan” by Sarah / (BAS) “Primal Rage” by Dawn and Jayson 

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35258.2140

Zub Enel tried to concentrate on his Tactical station, but the ensign had grown ever more distracted by the pacing, huffing and growling next to him at Flight Control by Lt. A’Janni, the giant, white tiger of a Caitian. Zub glanced at him.

A’Janni completely ignored his duty station. The pupil of his one remaining eye had expanded his iris into a thin ivory ring. His broad muzzle was wrinkled, but not in a snarl. The nostrils of his dark, feline nose were flared. His chest moved quickly in and out under his uniform. Zub recognized that the Flight Control Officer was scenting. The Voth turned to look in the same direction as the FCO.

The cat man’s snout was aimed at Captain Selene Iverson who sat a bit stiffly in the command chair. Her large gray eyes were not focused on the black and green alien ship hanging in the void on the main viewer. They were pointed towards Zub’s Tactical station, but it seemed to Zub she was not looking at him or his displays. She seemed to be watching A’Janni, but not directly. A’Janni, however, was wantonly staring at her. 

Zub Enel, Chief of Security, did not like what he was feeling from A’Janni, the way the hulking tiger man was working his jaws as if chewing, flexing open and closed his clawed hands, staring fixedly at the CO in her chair, crouching at the knees. 

Instinct took over. He interposed his scaly, 7-foot frame between the FCO and CO just as the cat man stepped forward. Zub faced sideways, stepped one foot toward A’Janni and brought his fists up, one over his chest and other leading in front of his abdomen. Since they often sparred with mixed martial arts, he knew A’Janni would recognize the stance as one meant for protection. 

A’Janni froze. His eye bored through Zub’s gaze. His lips barred razor sharp teeth. His muzzle wrinkled in full snarl. His claws spread to maximum extent. His voice was barely more than a loud growl. “She’s mine!”

Zub worked to maintain the detachment that infused his Wing Chun stance. A’Janni was so quick, so strong. There was no way to tangle seriously with him without getting hurt. The Voth Security Chief had a thought. He said conversationally, “I was hoping you could take another look at the alien’s engine power signature.”

Not taking the bait the Caitian became more frontal, arms out, bent at the elbows, knees bent. He spoke slowly with a menace that forced Zub’s back up straight. “You cannot protect her from *me*, Lizard Boy. Step. Aside!”

“At EASE!” Captain Iverson shouted in a throaty voice full of menace of her own. She tapped once on the controls of her command chair and swung it to face both males. She came to her feet. “Ensign Enel is not protecting me from you, Lt. A’Janni. He is protecting you from me! Stand down at once or you will be relieved.”

A’Janni showed more teeth than Zub knew he had. “I’ll show you relief.” A’Janni’s furry ears went completely flat, a tell Zub recognized that immediately proceeded a lunge. The scaly Voth had just enough time to focus on the center of the Caitian’s chest so he could see what all hands and feet were doing. A’Janni’s face lost all semblance of intelligence. He leaped toward the CSO with dagger claws outstretched for Zub’s throat and gut, transformed into a ballistic, angry, giant white tiger stuffed into a Starfleet uniform. 
Horrified by such deadly fury, Zub had only enough time to think. **This will hurt.** 

Mid-leap, frozen in air in that peculiar way the mind in a crisis races ahead of time itself, A’Janni’s outstretched form, jaws open, claws out, legs straight back, suddenly blinked bright blue. He stiffened. Any sense of awareness left his eye. He thudded hard against Zub’s midsection, but limp, dead weight.

The FCO crumpled to the floor at the toes of Security Chief’s boots. Zub had time to glance toward the turbolift at the back of the Bridge. The door cycled closed behind a male Vulcan and a female Andorran in Security uniforms. Both had phasers aimed. One must have fired a stun from the lift as the door opened.

The CO’s voice radiated calm. “Get him to Sickbay. Make sure he is restrained. Don’t leave him until Dr. Andersson determines he is safe.” The Security team quickly stowed their phasers and bent to the task of trundling away the limp tiger of a man.

Zub Enel remained locked in place. A’Janni, his friend, had truly meant to kill him. It took effort to relax. He took a breath so cool that it felt like he hadn’t breathed in days. A’Janni’s scent, sharper than he had ever smelled it, hung in the air strong enough to taste. Zub halted any further inhale as he turned to face the Captain. It came to him, belatedly, that she must have summoned Security with that tap on her chair controls.

He regarded her as she stood looking up into his face with gray eyes, her expression as remote as if her real self was tucked away in a locker somewhere at the far end of the Delta quadrant. He remembered someone with the exact same face but flanked with honey colored hair that hung in soft curls as soft as silk. Fiona, a doppelgänger, an exact double in face and body from another dimension. Fiona, who had so eagerly pressed her firm, athletic curves against him, had driven him to sweet distraction by rubbing the bumps on his massive head crest. Fiona who now pointed her finger straight up from just in front of her chest. 

Selene Iverson’s voice gusted over him like glacial wind, “Eyes on my face, Ensign.”

Zub realized he’d been staring at the Captain’s body. Appalled at himself, the downy feathers between his scales jumped so erect that they threatened to tear loose and flutter in a cloud to his feet. His face flushed so hot that he feared he would squirt blood from between his scales. He went to attention as stiffly as any recruit in front of an angry admiral. 

“Sir!” He said in as professional a tone as he could muster. 

Her gray-eyed gaze assessed his face. She said softly, “I have lost my best at Ops and Helm. Am I losing Tactical as well?”

“No sir!” He quailed at the thought of being relieved for cause. He could best protect the ship and crew from the Bridge, nowhere else. 

Her expression held serious doubt. 

The Executive Officer, Misaki Mitshiba, said from nearby, “Zub! You’re bleeding.”

Zub Enel blinked down at the pretty, upturned Asian face. Her gaze was on his chest. He looked down at himself. His uniform was torn in two places. His scales over one of his broad, flat chest muscles had furrows raked deep enough to weep blood. Another tear near where his abdominal muscles budged in a hard rippled block also oozed blood.

The First Officer held an Autosuture from the emergency first aid kit. 

The Captain said as she retook her seat, “Patch him and then both of you return to your stations.”

The device gave off an high insectoid hum. Commander Mitshiba’s fingers felt unusually warm as she tenderly pressed together each rent in Zub’s skin and let the rays of the medical device knit skin, scale and tissue closed. She said in a voice that seemed to verge on a pant, “I can’t believe he did this much damage to you while completely unconscious.”

Zub smiled down at the ExO. “He will be so proud of himself. Dangerous even when stunned.”

“I want to check these micro-stitches later.” The ExO’s hot palm still rested on the patch of exposed scales near his abs. She gazed up at him with wide brown eyes and parted lips. Her cheeks had flushed pink. Gazing at her lips, Zub’s hands had begun to rise to take hold of the slender woman’s shoulders. 

“Commander. Ensign.” The CO interrupted. “To your stations.”

He let his arms drop and more mechanically than willingly returned to his station. 

David Michael Inverso

Chief Security and Tactical Officer

“If destruction fails to entangle us, distraction will do its best.”
— Beth Moore
M14-032: USS BASTET: Andersson: 35258.2145 ("Not So Small of a Problem")
"Not So Small of a Problem"
[the previous post was (ANU) "Rehearsed Chaos" by Marissa and Sarah / (BAS) "Rip Torn" by David]
Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate:  35258.2145

The mystery blonde had been moved to a biobed. "She's unconscious but otherwise unharmed," Sofia said, grateful to get a read on the woman, who on the outside was a stranger to them.

Nicole looked upon Gemma's new identity with curiosity and a strange longing, even as she tried to push away the irrational feelings. Captain Iverson had just alerted the two women that A'Janni was being delivered to the Infirmary after some sort of altercation on the Bridge. And while the Counselor had been asked earlier about the psychological effects on the visitors to their own universe, it was clear the more pressing matter was what exactly could be impacting the behavior of the crew.

"I know we don't know who she is, yet, but can we identify her race or species?" Nic asked. "Is she of the same genetic makeup as our visitors?"

Sofia browsed the data being collected. “Hmm. No, she’s Kriosian.” There was a pause. “And she appears to be in a metamorphic state.”

Nicole tried to concentrate on Sofia’s words but found herself staring at the poreless skin of the new arrival. “Morphing into what?”

“Her pheromone production is heightened as though she was in the late stages of humanoid puberty, but on a larger scale. This facilitates her bonding with a mate. Normally this happens in a cocoon, but obviously, we’re not dealing with normal.”

Nic sunk into a nearby chair, realizing possibly why she felt a lack of self-control. “Does the length of time spent with her increase the chance of a bond?”

“I’m not sure,” Sofia admitted as she continued her review of the woman’s condition, her attention split between the four aliens and the Kriosian. Soon there would be A’Janni to attend to. “Why?”

“B-because I feel strange,” Dima admitted. She had a reassuring pep talk with Gemma earlier, and true to form, the ILO had not expressed any inkling of her other personalities. After their trip to another dimension following the crew of the ANUBIS, something had happened that had set Gemma back from the discoveries of her alters. She’s been like that for months.  However, she had displayed a certain affability in their convo today that was not typical of the businesslike demeanor that was expected. Was that triggered by their proximity to these aliens and their vessels? Was it a coincidence? “Did Gemma’s nanites pick this persona based on the events taking place, or was it completely random?”

“I thought you wanted me to focus on the facts, the things I do know. But you seem to keep asking questions I don’t know the answer to.”

The focus of their discussion shifted when A'Janni was brought in by the two security officers. The CMO did not need her medical tricorder or any other instruments to see that there was something wrong with the Caitian aside from the fact that he was suffering from the effects of being stunned. The state of his fur, the flexing of his muscles even after being rendered incapacitated was more than enough to indicate that something was going on with the FCO.

With a motion of her hand, she instructed the security team to place the Caitian on the last remaining biobed, permitting Doctor Andersson to get to work on him right away. The moment he was laid on the bed, the bio-scanner activated and displayed the vital signs of a creature in a heightened state of anger, indicated by the quickened heart rate, elevated arterial tension and increased testosterone production. Looking at some of the additional results from the medical scan, Sofia glanced back at the unconscious Kriosian and Trill standing right next to her, Nicole's eyes looking at the Gemma's newest personality in a way that confirmed the CMO's suspicions.

"Nic?" The effort to draw the Counselor's attention failed, the joint Trill appearing to be completely absorbed by the blonde-haired woman resting on the biobed.  "Nicole?" Sofia said, this time with a little more insistence.

"I wonder what it would be like," Dima mused, the look in her eyes hinting as to the lustful thoughts she was having. Sofia barely managed to hold back an outburst of jealousy that would have threatened the lives of everyone in the room. The CMO quickly glanced back at the Caitian before fetching a tricorder and using it on herself.

She could feel her heart racing and shallow breathing, but the results of the medical scan pointed to there being much more than the CMO could have expected. Sofia compared her readings with those of A'Janni and concluded that their conditions were linked.  In an effort to prove that she was correct, Andersson quickly moved towards Dima, the medical tricorder still very much in the sweaty palm of the physician.

"The part of your brain called the archipallium is highly stimulated," Sofia said.

"It is not the only thing that is stimulated," Nicole cooed back, never taking her eyes away from the unconscious Kriosian blonde woman.

"Nicole!" Sofia said forcefully, trying her best to not give in to her rapidly mounting jealousy. "Something is affecting us, all of us. The archipallium is the part of the brain that controls our most basic of our instincts, and it is being stimulated. That is what is causing A'Janni's increased hostility and our own heightened emotions. Medical sensors cannot confirm that Gemma is being affected in the same manner thanks to her nanites, but the fact that she is now a Kriosian metamorph should be more than enough for us to conclude that she too is affected by this. Her generating those pheromones is only making a bad situation worse."

Nicole forced herself to look at Sofia, a deeply felt conflict reflecting in her eyes. "This is bad, and I am not only referring to Gemma's pheromones," the CNS said, glancing back at the blonde-haired woman in a loving, adoring manner. "We have a problem, and I fear that we will not be able to fix this while thinking and feeling the way we are."

"Chemical inhibitors will only be partially effective, and that only for a short period of time. We need to figure out how to stop the cause of this at the source or risk seeing the BASTET and its crew turn themselves inside-out as our ability to focus and function slips away to be replaced by our giving into our most primal desires."

"Maybe we can help with that."

Nicole and Sofia quickly turned in the direction from which the words had originated from. The voice was unfamiliar to either one of them and this for good reason as they identified the source as being one of the four previously unconscious diminutive aliens.

Susan Ledbetter

Lieutenant JG Nicole Dima [Access Character BIO for Nicole Dima]


Tiffany Reeve

Lieutenant JG Sofia Andersson [Access Character BIO for Sofia Andersson]
Chief Medical Officer

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
M14-033: USS BASTET: Iverson: 35258.2200 ("An Issue of Size")
"An Issue of Size"
(Previous Post: (ANU) "Rehearsed Chaos" / (BAS) "Not So Small of a Problem")

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35258.2200

Even with the ship and crew under general quarters, an increasing number of reports concerning unruly behaviours were being received from every department. The efforts of the Captain to contain this sudden onset of madness had clearly failed, leaving Selene to question what she would need to do next.  It was possibly the greatest fear for a Commanding Officer to lose control... to realise that there was nothing they could do or say to change the outcome of a situation that threatened their ship and the safety of those on board.

An uneasy peace had settled onto the bridge of the BASTET following the confrontation between the Caitian Flight Control Officer and Voth Security Chief. Iverson managed to regain control, barely, but that victory was quickly eclipsed by the reports Ensign Enel was now dealing with.

"Security team to Deck 9, Cetacean Ops," Zub said, the lizard-man hissing his 'S' more than usual which showed his increased frustration and rapidly decreasing patience.

"Now what?" The Asian woman sighed, halting her work at the science station for a brief moment. "Has the crew gone so completely mad that they are starting fights *inside* the water tanks? Was taking the main computer offline not good enough for them?"

"Captain," Zub cut in. "My security teams are becoming overwhelmed. There are just too many problems for them to deal with."

"Commander Mitshiba," Selene began as she pushed herself out of her chair to stand in the middle of the bridge. "Could we flood the decks with anesthizine gas?"

"We could," the First Officer confirmed after only a few seconds of consideration. "It would knock out everyone and take care of our security issues."

"It would also leave the BASTET at the mercy of those aliens," Ensign Enel added. "Even if we isolate the bridge, we would be the only ones left to deal with whatever they decide to throw our way." Zub paused for a moment before adding, "Maybe this was exactly what they were planning all along."

"I doubt that," Misaki countered. "The only way that would make sense is that the aliens already knew about not only our dimension but also how the energy wavelength from their dimension would affect us. Since there are no records of ships resembling those that we are currently dealing with, it is more likely that they had no idea about any of this."

"Fine," Zub snarled. "That still does not negate the fact that they could take advantage of our situation and take control of the BASTET. We know that they can teleport to anywhere on the ship at will."

"They can. No trust them," an unknown voice announced causing those on the bridge to turn and see who was walking in. To the surprise of everyone present, they saw Counsellor Dima and two of the four aliens who, last time they checked, were unconscious in sickbay.

"What are they doing here?" Zub demanded, the reptilian Security Chief already halfway from where he was to where the three new arrivals were.

"Captain," Nicole quickly said, holding a single hand up to stop the rushing Voth, hoping that her addressing Iverson directly would avoid the situation turning into a scene that she wanted to avoid at all costs. "They are here to help."

"Help?" Mitshiba questioned. As much as she knew how bad the situation on board the BASTET was, she was not entirely sold on the idea that two of the aliens they had rescued were now not only awake but also ready to lend a hand.

"We understand. No trust us. We are not danger. They are," one of the two aliens said pointing to the image on the forward view screen. "We forced to escape. Our bodies changing. Only way to survive was to go elsewhere, not here. Mistake. Now must return and save everyone."

"Wait! What?" Misaki gasped. "You want to go back to your dimension?" The Asian woman paused and turned to look at her Captain. "The other ship made it perfectly clear that they were not to return unless cured of whatever illness they are suffering from. If we allow them to go back, we would be placing the BASTET and everyone aboard in grave danger."

"Not illness. Evolution. We not danger. They are," the second alien stated.

Iverson did her best to evaluate the situation, to figure out what needed to be done to save her ship and crew. The awakening and arrival of the two aliens to the bridge gave her new options, but there were just too many questions standing in the way. Yet, the Captain needed to decide if she was to save the BASTET from the internal chaos it was in the middle of.  "How can you help us?"

"Captain?!?" Enel gasped.

"Return to our home."

Iverson knew that this was a bad idea for countless reasons, but right now the BASTET was in no condition to do anything else. The crew was in the midst of dealing with their most primal desires and it would not take long before something catastrophic would happen.  "Commander Mitshiba, assist our guests as best you can."

"Captain," the Security Chief snarled. "You cannot be serious. We cannot allow them access to our systems."

Selene could feel the conflict in her mind, agreeing with the statement made by her Chief of Security while at the same time realizing that there was nothing else they could do. With the computer, they could not rely on the automated systems to take the BASTET out of danger, and without a crew, the ship was even more at risk. If the aliens could help, the Captain had little choice but to accept their offer.

Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate: 35258.2215 

Doctor Andersson stood in the middle of the main treatment area, her attention split between the remaining two aliens, the Flight Control Officer, the blonde-haired Kriosian and the sounds of clashes beyond the doors to Sickbay. Sofia was doing everything she could not to give in the fears that were swelling within her, fears of seeing A'Janni not wake up, fears of not being able to resist Gemma's new charms, and fears of seeing the conflict beyond the doors spill inside the room.  All she could do was to just stand there and hope, desperately doing her best not to lose whatever control she had on her thoughts and actions.

The Doctor turned her attention onto the Caitian and the two other aliens for a brief moment before stopping on Gemma. There was something irresistible about the woman, something that brought Andersson ever closer to losing control.  Sofia approached the unconscious woman and leaned in over her, their lips drawing increasingly closer with each passing second. This was wrong on so many levels, she was the physician in charge and the other woman was her patient. If that was not bad enough, Sofia was in a relationship with Nicole, so acting upon her growing desires would destroy everything they meant for one another, and yet Andersson could not resist. The charms of the Kriosian Metamorph were just too strong to be resisted, especially now.

Sofia closed her eyes and as she surrendered to the primal desires filling her mind, she felt a wave of warm energy sweep through her body. The physician tried to understand how a simple kiss could create such an effect, especially given that their lips had not yet touched. That is when she opened her eyes and saw the auburn-haired Gemma looking back at her.

"Doctor?" Gemma asked, the Intel Operative looking back at Sofia with intrigued puzzlement.

"Gemma! You are awake," the physician said feeling the primal desires that were previously dictating her actions slipping away from her.

"Did you think I was Snow White?" Gemma asked, her voice as cold and professional as it had always been before.

"Doctor Andersson, what is happening?" A'Janni asked, the Caitian now sitting up on the bed.

"I am not sure," the Doctor replied, desperately trying to make sense of what she was feeling, or more to the point what she was no longer feeling. Her earlier desires had melted away leaving only a confused and troubled woman behind.  Tapping her communicator, Sofia hoped to get some answers to her multiplying questions. "Sickbay to bridge."

Gemma, A'Janni and Sofia looked at one another as they waited for a reply that never came.  "Lieutenant Gemma to Captain Iverson, please respond," the Intel Operative said next, after tapping her communicator.

The Flight Control Officer would have done the same but instead, the Caitian pointed a clawed finger at the bed where the other two aliens were. Sofia quickly looked in the direction indicated by A'Janni to see the two aliens who were much larger than they had been mere seconds ago.  "Is it me or at hey growing?"

"It is either that or we are shrinking," Gemma countered.  "Either way, we need to get back to the bridge and figure out what is happening, that is unless you have a medical objection to our leaving, Doctor."

The Chief Medical Officer simply shook her head, her gaze locked on the two aliens who were now taking the full surface area of their respective beds. At this rate of growth, it would not take long for them to be too large to remain on the beds.

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35258.2220

A'Janni and Gemma rushed out of the turbolift and onto the bridge to find the other two aliens manning the operations and science stations respectively.

"Glad that you two are here, we might need you," Captain Iverson announced prompting the Flight Control Officer to return to his station but not before she glanced in the direction of the Chief of Security who appeared to be beside himself.

"Captain," A'Janni reported as soon as he slid into his seat. "The BASTET is now on course to enter the dimensional rift. We will be reaching the event horizon in less than 30 seconds."

"The field being generated by the D-Drive is increasing in strength exponentially as our distance to the rift decreases," Mitshiba reported from the science station.

"Captain, we have taken the smaller of the alien ships in tow using a tractor beam," Gemma announced, looking over the shoulder of the alien who, like those in Sickbay, had grown to be much larger than they were not so long ago.

"The effect of the dimensional energy pulse we fired at the larger alien ship rendering it inoperative is quickly wearing off," Zud reported from the tactical station. At this rate, we may not be through the rift in time." The Security Chief was clearly not happy by the course of action taken by his Captain, but his verbal tone was the extent of his objection.

The two aliens looked at each other for a brief moment before they returned to whatever they were doing. The field generated by the D-Drive had blocked the effects of the dimensional energy pushing the crew to give in to their primal desires, but it also appeared that it had caused the aliens to increase in size forcing them to work faster than they had initially been doing.

"Helm is locked," the Caitian announced. "There is nothing I can do to change our heading. We will reach the event horizon in 15 seconds."

"Thank you," one of the aliens said.

"Our lives we owe you," the other said just before the two of them vanished in a transporter haze. Gemma quickly jumped in to take over the now-vacant Operations Station.

"Captain, the tractor beam has been discontinued. The smaller ship is free and heading back into the rift," the Intel Operative reported.

=/\= Sickbay to Bridge. Was the transport of my two remaining patients authorized? =/\=

"Not per se," Mitshiba replied. "Doctor, please stand by, the situation here is far from over."  The First Officer studied the readouts on the science station. "The small ship is almost twice its original size. Whatever energy is leaking out of that dimension is affecting matter and expending."

"What about us?" Enel demanded with a certain hint of concern.

"The energy field being generated by the D-Drive appears to be protecting us from that effect," Gemma reported from the operations station. "No idea if it will continue after we cross the event horizon though."

"Well," A'Janni sighed. "We are about to find out. We will be crossing the event horizon in 3... 2... 1."

Everyone stood still, waiting to see what would happen next. With the main computer offline and navigation locked, there was little any of them could do other than wait and see.

"Sensors show no signs of the other ship," Ensign Enel reported from the Tactical station. "The dimensional rift is also not showing up anywhere."

"I am not sure if this is accurate," Mitshiba added from the science station. "The molecular expansion appears to be off the scale. That might explain why we lost the other ship and rift from our sensors, they have become just too large for us to be able to identify as a single entity."

"Fascinating," the woman standing at the Operations station said, the Uxali scientist appearing quite taken by the idea of them being in a universe where the BASTET was microscopic when compared to everything else around them.

Jessica Solarik

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


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

"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)
M14-034: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: 35258.2245 ("Fantastic Voyage")
"Fantastic Voyage"
Previous posts: (ANU) "One Step Closer" & (BAS) "An Issue of Size"

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35258.2245

Things were back to normal inside the USS BASTET all thanks to the energy filtering effect created by the modifications made to the D-Drive field generator. Now that the dimensional energy of this place was no longer driving the personnel to pursue their most primal urges, the crew could once again perform their regular duties, this to the great relief of Captain Iverson and Commander Mitshiba. Beyond the hull of the ship though, there was nothing that could be considered as being remotely *normal*.

Equipped to breach the fabric of dimensional-space-time itself, the BASTET had already travelled to countless unimaginable locations exposing the crew to sights beyond anyone's wildest dreams and nightmares. They had stared into a dimension based on fears, dealt with creatures from a universe where all life was silicon-based, and even travelled through a dimension where space itself was a thick liquid instead of an empty vacuum. The possibilities were truly endless and yet no one could have expected for them to find their way to a place the likes of the one they were now in.

"Captain," the Asian woman who was acting as both ExO and CSciO said from the science station, "the dimensional locators have finally figured out where we are. Coordinates are X: 013 / Y: -049 / Z: 681, this puts us well beyond anything we have previously visited or even were aware of. I mean, we *knew* that there would be something at these coordinates, we just never dreamt that it would be this." Aki took a moment to look at the main screen, gazing into a universe in which they could actually see, with their own eyes, living cells as they moved about around the BASTET.

"Well, knowing where we are is the first step in us figuring out how to get back home," the FCO quietly growled prompting Gemma to approach the sitting Caitian.

"Don't be so hard on yourself," the ILO said, placing her hand on the FCO's shoulder. "Seksa is a hard woman for anyone to resist, and that's under the best possible circumstances. We all had to deal with a lot more than any of us was expecting when that dimensional energy started leaking out of the rift. No one could have known how it would affect us as a crew or each of us individually."

A'Janni turned and shot a one-eyed glare at the El-Aurian woman standing next to him. Obviously, the dimensional energy caused a great many things to happen, one of them being the return of Gemma's outward display of her split personalities. After looking at Gwenvel for a few seconds, the Caitian turned his attention to the Ship's Counselor who was still on the bridge. The joint Trill seemed almost happy that the ILO was back to her former self. Maybe this was because the Kriosian metamorph was no longer an issue for them to be concerned about, or maybe it was because the multi-faceted woman could once again help them in her unique ways as she had done so many times before.

"Shields are holding," Zub reported from the tactical station. "Weapons though are offline, I suspect that it was due to the modifications made by the aliens," the Chief of Security was audibly not pleased by this. The idea of the BASTET being unable to defend itself while in a completely new dimension where things were on a much larger scale was less than ideal for the towering lizard-man. "I recommend that we leave this place as quickly as possible."

"That might be easier said than done," Aki offered. "The D-Drive, thanks to the modifications made by the aliens, is currently busy keeping the BASTET and everyone aboard at our normal *size*. Therefore, it is very likely that any attempts to modify the field or even generate a second dimensional opening could result in our atoms expanding to match this universe's molecular size."

A small *pop* sound was made by the ILO who had returned to her default persona of Gemma, the officer in charge of the Operations station.

"I understand your desire to return home, Ensign," the Captain said. "Unfortunately, right now we appear to be stuck here for a while, so we better make the best of the situation."  Selene paused while looking at the image displayed on the main viewscreen.  "Bridge to Doctor Andersson."

=/\= Yes,Captain? =/\=

"I know that this is not a usual request, but I would like you to report to the bridge. I believe that your medical expertise might prove very useful in us understanding a little better where exactly we are."

=/\= Ummm... alright, I will be right there. =/\=

The joint Trill grinned. "Trust me Sofia, you are going to like this." After having said this Nicole turned to look at Aki wh was also grinning. There was no denying the scientific appeal of this dimension allowing them to explore a microscopic world in a way never before imagined. What wonders would they discover?

The Asian woman's enthusiasm was brought down by several notches as she traded her perspective from that of a CSciO to that of an ExO.  The idea of exploring such a wondrous dimension was beyond thrilling, but Aki also needed to keep her focus on getting the ship and crew back safely home, so she could not allow herself to be 100% dedicated to the scientific aspects of their larger-than-life fantastic voyage. 

Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Commander Misaki 'Aki' Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Executive Officer / Chief Science Officer
M14-035: USS BASTET: Enel: 35258.2250 ("Not THAT Small")
“Not THAT Small”
Previous posts: (ANU) “One Step Closer” by Jessica / (BAS) “Fantastic Voyage” by Dawn

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35258.2250

The Flight Control Officer A’Janni pulled his one-eyed gaze off the main viewer that was filled with colorful, gelatinous cells hundreds of meters across that slid over, around, and passed the BASTET. He leaned his big, furry, tiger of a man body toward the tall, scaly Chief of Security Zub Enel who fussed with the Tactical station. He spoke conspiratorially to the lizard man. “If all those cells mean we’re inside some alien’s body, three guesses which part.”

The towering Voth turned his head enough to peer at the Caitian FCO. His pinched-together features of worry smoothed out. A sparkle came to his golden eyes. “With luck, we may soon be *eliminated* from this dimension.”

A’Janni’s furry face shaped into a cat-like grin, lips mostly downward but sweeping up at the ends, punctuated by two long, lethal looking canines. “If we’re *eliminated*, I’ll be sure to steer us clear of any *entanglements*.”

The Intelligence Liaison Officer Gemma asked from the Operations station, “Did I hear you say entanglements?” Her loose, coppery ringlets smoothed out and lengthened as she strode over to the two hulking males. She asked in the voice of Wimdalli the Uxali scientist, “You were discussing quantum entanglement?” The redhead had traded Gemma’s dour, strictly business look for one of respect. “That’s very astute of you. At this relatively tiny size, you might well inquire if quantum mechanics might have a noticeable effect on the ship. It’s good to be prepared for such things, but I assure you we are not *that* small. We’re not even close to subatomic size.”

The FCO and CSO exchanged a quick glance and then nodded sagely at her. The hulking cat man rumbled, “We were exploring the process of elimination.”

Wimda nodded with enthusiasm, clearly misunderstanding A’Janni’s reference. “Always good to be cautious. We need to wait for Dr. Andersson to weigh in, but I’d say we’re about the size of a big bacteria or a giant virus. Small but by molecular standards still huge. We are large enough that we don’t have to worry about quantum mechanics, or minute atomic effects like Van der Waals force, or getting pulled or repulsed by charged ions, or even getting knocked about by the Brownian motion of  molecules colliding with us.”

Both men nodded, expressions utterly serious. Zub Enel said, “Thank you.” 

Wimda smiled and nodded back, but as she turned toward the Ops station, her red hair shortened and curled into ringlets. Her bright expression was replaced by one that was strictly formal. She was Gemma by the time she retook her position. 
A’Janni and Zub Enel exchanged another glance. Both shrugged. 

A’Janni pointed at the Chief of Security’s Tactical displays. “Don’t bodies have cells that attack invaders? What if we get attacked?”

Zub glanced at the main viewer with its mélange of cells oozing and sliding by. “I am a little rusty on my biology. I believe such a cell will engulf us and then try to digest us. If successful, it will stick little pieces of our debris on other immune cells so the next Federation starship to enter this body will be eliminated even faster.”

A’Janni looked up at him with his one white eye. “Dissolved in acid and then whatever is left of us will decorate a million cell walls? So cheery, you Voths.”

“Simply trying to keep your spirits up,” the scaly lizard man said with the hint of smile. 

“Don’t,” the Caitian said gruffly. His eye was still on the Tactical console. 

Zub Enel gave a soft sigh as he gestured at the Tactical displays. “Weapons offline. The shields are yoked to the D-Drive to keep us from exploding so they can’t be reconfigured. What can we do if we do get engulfed? Maybe electrify the hull?”

The giant, white tiger man shook his furry head. “The Bio-Regenerative Hull Matrix doesn’t conduct electricity. Plus, zapping it might kill it and there goes our hull integrity.”

The scaly Security Chief offered, “Going to warp speed might tear our way out.”

The Caitian returned to his Flight Controls and lightly tapped the edge of the console with his claws as he thought. “If this is a body and we warp through it, it’ll be like a bullet rupturing cells. Wouldn’t that be an injury? A whole lot more of those killer cells will show up at once.”

The Voth clicked and clacked his own claws on his Tactical station as he thought. “True. Engulfed. If we figure out a way to kill the engulfing cells, we might end up surrounded by pus.”

“Like I said, you’re so cheery.”

“At least it would be another Federation first.”

“Don’t forget this might well be an alien ally we’re inside of. Can’t just blast our way out.”

Both men went back to tapping their claws and thinking.

David Michael Inverso

Chief Security and Tactical Officer

“It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.”
— Mark Twain
M14-036: USS BASTET: A'Janni: 35258.2300 ("Flying Through Soup")
"Flying Through Soup"
[previous (ANU) "Pure Madness" / (BAS) "Not THAT Small"]


Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35258.2300 

A shiver swept through the Caitian as he sat at the Flight Control Station watching the gigantic globs floating past them on the main viewscreen causing whatever fur was visible to others to stand on end. The image painted by the Voth Security Chief was not a pleasant one. Life in Starfleet was never meant to be easy or safe, every member of a crew knew that some unspeakable thing could unexpectedly happen and lead to their death, but the idea of being dissolved by a giant cell was certainly not one of the ends A'Janni had ever considered to be a possibility for him.

"We have collected all of the sensor data we could," the Asian ExO/CSciO said. "We know we are inside a living body and that we are surrounded by blood cells. Based on the comparative size of the cells and the distance to the walls, we can surmise that we are in one of the smaller arteries or veins. Beyond that, there is little else we can determine in our current location. The biology of whatever we are in appears quite different from anything we know. We need to investigate and find out more."

"Are you expecting me to fly the BASTET through that?" The FCO said pointing at the main viewscreen which still displayed several large cells floating past them.

"No enough maneuvering room for you?" Enel said, the Ensign unable to resist teasing his friend once again.

"That is not the issue," the Caitian snarled back, narrowing his one good eye as he glared at the Voth. "This is not the vacuum of open space. The BASTET is *inside* a living organism, floating in whatever liquid those cells are using to move around."

"That would be plasma," Gemma said in her Dinaal personal of Finnja, the short-haired woman being the one possessing the medical knowledge required by the current conversation.

"Finnja? What an unexpected surprise," Doctor Andersson said as she stepped out of the turbolift to find the Dinaal woman standing at the Operations station.

"Just giving our Flight Control Officer a quick course in blood biology 101," the woman said with a smile.

"Whatever," A'Janni continued, feeling as if everyone was ganging up against him. "My point is that we can't just *fly* through this biological mess. None of those cells follow a straight-line path, so there is no telling when one of them would come crashing against us or us into them.

"There is an easier way," Doctor Andersson said. "Cells possess a very faint bio-electrical charge, one that is normally nearly impossible to detect or measure, but in this case, thanks to our much smaller size in relation to them, we should be able to measure said charge and set some sort of inverted charge that would act to push them away from us without any actual contact being made."

"That is a brilliant idea," Gemma said, this time the woman appearing as the longer, straight brown-haired Uxali scientist. "I should have thought of that," Wimdalli added. The quick change of the multi-faceted woman made everyone look at her, everyone wondering why the ILO had suddenly been able to change from one personality to the other when she had been unable or unwilling to do so for so long before.

"With Doctor Andersson's help, we will figure out the exact bio-electric charge and polarise the bio-hull to an inverted charge. Once that is done, we will be able to safely make our way through the blood vessels."

"In other words," Zub grinned as he looked straight at A'Janni. "Even you will be able to fly through this soup without any problems."

The Caitian FCO turned back to face the front of the bridge, grumbling to himself. "This ship has a way of finding trouble, no matter where we are or how small we may be in relation to everything else around us."

Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG A'Janni [Access Character BIO for A'Janni]
Flight Control Officer
M14-037: USS BASTET: Gemma/Enel: 35258.2330 ("Smaller Perspective")
"Smaller Perspective"
[the previous post was (ANU) "Pure Madness" / (BAS) "Flying Through Soup"]

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35258.2330

Everything felt different. The ILO did not feel this way because of where they were. Seeing the BASTET flying alongside cells in an unknown body was as strange as could be expected. If it was not for the bubble created by the D-Drive their voyage would not even be possible. This was giving them an opportunity to do something no one else had done. Exploring an alien life form from the inside was a first for them all. Yet, that was not the cause of how the curly auburn-haired felt at this precise moment.

From the Operations station at the front-right of the bridge, the ILO looked around the room. Her eyes first fell onto the Asian ExO/CSciO who was busy at the science station. Although she was looking at Misaki though, Gemma thought about someone else. Another scientist whom she knew rather well. Wimda would be like a child in a candy store in a situation like this. So, why was she not here?

Next, Gemma's gaze stopped on the CMO, Dr Andersson. Again, looking at the woman the ILO thought about someone else. The other blonde-haired woman also worked in the field of medicine. Like the Doctor, she would have adored seeing what the crew of the BASTET was dealing with. So, why was she not here?

The ILO's investigative eyes soon locked with those of the CNS. Nicole was looking straight back at Gemma, an unspoken question dancing on her lips. It took a very special kind of person to be an effective counselor. As a symbiont, Dima possessed many lifetimes of expertise to help in her duties. As an ageless El-Aurian, Gwenvel could be said to have the same foundation of experiences. The crew could greatly benefit from such experience in times like this. So, why was she not here?

Not wanting to draw questions as to why she was looking around the bridge, the ILO returned to her duties. It did not take long though for her to glance to her left and study the FCO. Like another pilot she knew, A'Janni was the quiet type. His actions and the way his body was showed the others what was on his mind. Gemma could tell that he was nervous, apprehensive. Flying the ship in this *soup* was not easy. It would have been nice to have Dalra here to lend a hand. So, why was she not here?

Speaking of soup, the ILO glanced to her right. There she could see Zub busy at the Tactical station. The lizardman was strong, both in spirit and body, reminding Gemma of someone else. The red-haired Russian woman was also one not to be taken lightly.

"Captain," Ens. Enel said. "Sensors are picking up something weird ahead."

"Weird?" The Captain repeated. Obviously, Iverson was hoping to be given a little more information about the discovery.

Enel took the hint in her tone. He swept her beautiful but emotionless face with his amber gaze, “Something metallic ahead. It ghosts in and out with all this cell matter between us and it.” He returned to looking at his displays.

The Captain persisted. “Big weird or little weird?

“Big,” the humanoid tiger at Flight said, his deep growl a notch higher in pitch. “It’s registered on the Collision monitors. Intermittent readings. It is taking up a good 80 percent of this, this, blood vessel or whatever we’re in. Impact in…,” he leaned forward to squint with his one white eye. “2 minutes at this flow rate.”

“It is not solid,” the Chief of Security cut in. “Tactical is getting intermittent readings of metal structures, like long pillars with gaps between. Fairly wide gaps. The pillars keep shifting position.”

The Captain was sitting upright in the command chair, but not rigidly. Her eyes were on the main viewer with its obscuring mass of cells that oozed and flopped toward them through a wide, light green tube, the putative blood vessel they were drifting in. “Good thing the BASTET isn’t spherical.”

A’Janni flopped down his furry ears and raised them as he caught the Captain’s reference. The ship was flat and pointed like an aboriginal arrowhead. “Zub, feed me your metallic pillar data. I can try to twist and turn us through it.”

The big lizard man at Tactical immediately complied. The Caitian FCO almost purred. “Alrighty then.” His concentration on the Helm became absolute.

“It’s changed its pillar configuration again,” Ensign Enel reported, his tone carefully reserved.

Iverson asked in a way that seemed more curious than urgent, “Isn’t there a way to see this thing in spite of all this cellular matter?”

As all this was going on, Gemma remained quiet. Her focus was on finding a way to help figure out whatever was out there in front of them.  The structure as described by Zub made no scene given where they were. What would moving metal pillars be doing inside a living organism? Sensor readings were still inconclusive, the metal pillars moving in and out of view as if hiding behind one of the cells.

"Whatever that thing is, we are going to be right on top of it in 60 seconds." A'Janni's report brought everyone to the edge of their seats. There was nowhere for them to go, locked into a path set by the blood flow they had become a part of.

Gemma frantically worked at her station while her mind went to the other officers on the bridge. Misaki was likely going crazy trying to figure this out. Sofia was probably fearing the nightmare of injuries a collision would cause. Zub was undoubtedly preparing for a fight, as any good Tactical officer should. The ILO again wondered why those she knew were not here to help in this time of crisis. That is when she caught a glimpse of her reflection on one of the smooth dark surfaces of the Operations station. Instead of focusing on the image that was not her own, she looked at her hand. Her gaze went beyond the reach of what she could see, instead imagining what she knew was there, hiding within.

The ILO raised her eyes back onto the main viewscreen just in time to see part of the structure in question. From the small section they could see, it appeared as a giant spider-like machine. The moving pillars were in fact its legs which finished with two small hook-like extensions. Those were likely designed to help the mechanoid hold onto whatever cell it was on, which also explained why it was so difficult to get sensor readings on it. The *thing* had several long, jointed legs splayed as it clamped itself across the blood vessel. The masses of drifting cells squeezed between the legs and continued on. These spread out legs alternately held or moved the huge metal mechanism against the current toward the BASTET.  Two other legs solidly grasped a floating cell held so close that the machine seemed almost becoming one with it.  Whatever it was, it was clearly trundling somewhere with purpose. The more they saw of the monster, the more Gemma realized that she knew what it was, maybe better than anyone else aboard the BASTET.

Doctor Andersson gasped after catching a solid view of the moving mechanoid. "Is that..."

"Yes Doctor," Gemma interrupted. "It's a nanite, or at least this alien's version of one."

"Nanites are supposed to be miniature robots, not giant mechanical monsters," the CNS noted.

"We have to remember that we are not the size we should be either," the ExO/CSciO explained. "That said, I will admit that this *nanite* does appear to be a little on the larger side of things."

"At 152 meters in length," Enel added. "That thing is almost half the size of the BASTET."

Gemma shook her head. "Its size is not the issue here. Nanites are meant to work in groups in order to accomplish whatever task they are programmed to do. Repairing one cell is like having a mason fixing one brick on a house."

Enel was not thrilled by this prospect. "So you are saying that there should be more of those things around?" 

"Maybe." Gemma's cryptic reply did nothing to ease the Voth's concerns. "Guess it all depends on where we are in this body and what specific task that nanite is programmed to do."

The Red Alert klaxon wailed.  A’Janni growled, “Grab something!”

Rachel Jackie Johnson

Intel Operative

[The fun is getting to wear multiple disguises and getting to explore multiple personalities and bring them to life. - Jenna Fischer]


David Michael Inverso

Chief Security and Tactical Officer

“Written laws are like spider webs; they will catch, it is true, the weak and poor, but would be torn in pieces by the rich and powerful.”
 - Anacharsis
M14-038: USS BASTET: Andersson: 35258.2345 ("Close Class")
"Close Call"
[the previous post was (ANU) "Nervous Opportunity" by Rachel / (BAS) "Smaller Perspective" by David and Rachel]
Setting: USS BASTET, Sickbay
Stardate:  35258.2345

By the time the ship had stopped rolling, Sofia found herself flat on her back on the floor. The last thing she remembered was seeing the oversized nanite filling the forward view screen before the BASTET was thrown into a sharp turn to avoid colliding with it.  Since she had not heard any sounds of crushing metal or the distinct audio warning that indicated an incoming casualty report, the CMO could only guess that they avoided what would have most certainly been an unpleasant affair.  As great as that idea was, Andersson had to admit that the situation was even better than the Doctor thought and that because of a single simple reason.

"Comfortable?" Sofia grinned t the woman who had landed on top of her.

"Very," Nicole grinned. "Thank you for cushioning my fall."

"Anytime sweetie."

"Sweetie?" The joint Trill repeated. "I do not recall you ever calling me that before now."

"Maybe it is because you are on top of me like this while we are on the bridge and surrounded by the rest of the senior officers," the Doctor teased. "It might also be the result of some psychological trauma I suffered when my head impacted against the floor."

"Psychological trauma?" The Counselor chuckled. "Really? You don't get that kind of trauma from hitting your head."

"True," the CMO agreed. "The problem is that anything that could result from such an impact would have to be addressed by me or another member of the medical staff. I would much rather you took care of it, maybe giving me a thorough psychological evaluation, say over a nice candlelit dinner."

"You are incorrigible," Dima said, smiling as she pushed herself back to her feet before extending a helping hand to Andersson.

"Are you ladies alright?" It was Aki checking up on everyone on the bridge, the Asian ExO/CSciO now focusing her efforts on the two women who had been the last ones to get off the floor. "Are either one of you injured?"

"I am fine," Nicole reassured. "I believe that Sofia might be suffering from some late-onset dramatic overacting though. I might have to look into that at some point later."  This made a large beaming smile appear on Sofia's lips while Aki simply rolled her eyes.

"No injuries on the bridge," Mitshiba reported to Iverson.  "Well done Lieutenant, that was some fancy piece of flying," the ExO/CSciO added, directing her words to the Caitian FCO.

"We passed less than 50 meters from the nanite," Enel informed, closely watching his instruments to see if there was another surprise waiting for them.  "Sensors are not showing any other nanite or other metallic objects in our path."

"A lone nanite?" Sofia said. Now that the Doctor was back on her feet, she decided to be more professional, at least for the time being. "Is that normal?" Andersson inquired of the ILO. "Let's face it, my knowledge on nanites may be substantial as far as using them to repair damaged tissues or organs, but you, Gemma, are the residing expert in how these mechanical wonders can be made to act outside of a medical setting."

"With all due respect Doctor, I know that I have nanites inside my body, but that is the extent of my knowledge about them. I have no direct control as to how they operate. I know that they are programmed to repair whatever injury I might have suffered and to shield me from scanner and sensors, but that is all I know."

"That amongst other things," Enel mumbled to himself having experienced firsthand the extent of what the ILO's nanites could do.

"A single nanite is atypical," Sofia noted aloud. "Then again we are dealing not only with an alien nanite but also an alien body. There is no real way for us to know how they are meant to operate or even if that thing is programmed along with the same ideas as our standard medical nanites. For all we know, these nanites could be meant to operate more like those found in Gemma or have a completely different function, one that we have yet to discover."

"That's a pleasant thought," Nicole noted with a sigh.

Well," Captain Iverson continued. "There is little we can do other than continue on our current heading and try to find answers along the way. In the meantime, let us keep our eyes open for anything that might help us figure out where we are and how we are going to get back to our dimension.

Tiffany Reeve

Lieutenant JG Sofia Andersson [Access Character BIO for Sofia Andersson]
Chief Medical Officer

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
M14-039: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: 35258.2355 ("Small Helpers")
"Small Helpers"
Previous posts: (ANU) "Time For Something Different" & (BAS) "Close Call"

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35258.2355

Aki stood at the back of the bridge, her eyes scanning the stations while her thoughts lingered on the close call the ship and crew just experienced. What a report that would have made though, listing the damages sustained due to the BASTET's collision against a nanite half the size of the ship. There would need to be a note added, directing anyone reading this to see the earlier log entries that described how the Prometheus-X-Class Starship had been shrunken to the size of a single cell organism as it passed through a dimensional rift.  Of course, they needed to return home first before anyone could read any such report.

"The *nanite* is directly astern and does not appear to be following us," the Voth Security Chief reported, the way he referred to the massive object they had almost collided with hinted that he did not like it or the threat that it might represent, especially if multiple of them were encountered at the same time.

"Would nanites normally be equipped with sensors, or at least their smaller equivalent?" The Caitian Flight Officer inquired, likely trying to find a reason to explain the lack of a reaction from the miniature mechanical monstrosity.

"No, not as you understand sensors or how they normally work," Gemma replied. What seemed strange about the way she said this was that the ILO seemed almost surprised that this particular knowledge was in her head. "Nanites follow specifically dedicated programming, scanning for physical or chromosomal damages to nearby cells. In most cases, nanites are designed to ignore each other to avoid them focusing on repeating one another instead of the host they were injected in, that is unless a damaged nanite sends a kind of SOS."

"That's a very interesting bit of information to have," the joint Thrill said drawing a curious glare from the CMO. "What? When was the last time any of us had the chance to study nanites in such a 'close-up' manner? We use them, but we rarely ever consider *how* they function."

"That would be because there is not usually a huge demand for nanite technology," Sofia said before shooting a sideways glance at Gemma. "I mean, before more recently that is."

"Gemma," Aki began turning her full attention towards the ILO. "Based on your knowledge of nanites, would you say that it is highly unlikely that a single nanite would be used to effect repairs in someone?"

"Absolutely," the Uxali scientist replied having appeared in the place where the ILO was standing. "A single nanite would be next to useless, only able to effect repairs to a single cell at a time. With most injuries or infections, the body needs to fight on a scale that can quickly be in the hundreds of thousands."

"Thank you," Aki said nodding her head. "I just wanted to be certain before I moved on to my next thought. How do nanites communicate? I mean, how do they coordinate their efforts when they have identified an area where they are needed?"

"It is not really communication per se," Wimda explained. "Upon encountering a damaged cell, the nanite transmits a sort of homing beacon that summons another nanite to the area. This process repeats itself until the last nanite to arrive is unable to find a cell needing repairs."

"So, each nanite is equipped with a transmitter and a receiver, s basic as they may be," the ExO/CSciO said smiling. "Could we use this communication system to pin every nanite present in whatever body we are in?"

"Of course," Gemma grinned.

"Wait," Sofia jumped in, understanding where this was going. "You want to use the nanites as sort of beacons that would allow us to create a map of where we are, from the inside."

"If it works, it would give us a better idea of where we are and more importantly, where we need to go to exit this body and hopefully find a way to return home."

"Sounds like you guys have a plan," Captain Iverson said, the CO had been carefully listening to everything being said thus far. "Make it so."

Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Commander Misaki 'Aki' Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Executive Officer / Chief Science Officer
M14-040: USS BASTET: Gemma/Enel: 35259.0035 ("Micro Changes")
"Micro Changes"
[the previous post was (ANU) "Personal Issues" / (BAS) "Small Helpers"]

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35259.0035  

It was nice to see the two scientists working together. It was almost as if they spoke a language all their own. One would start a thought and the other would finish it. Some might have even compared the two women to the Bynar. Although two people were working at the science station, they operated as one.  Some found such a display amusing. Counselor Dima was almost laughing as she watched them go. Others were less impressed by this scene. Ens. Enel was amongst those who found nothing amusing about any of it.

Wimdalli suddenly appeared next to Zub, almost startling the imposing Chief of Security. "Excuse me, mind if I check something on your station?”

The lizard-like Voth made his mouth smaller. Looking down with his golden eyes at the less familiar face of Wimdali, his down between his scales fluttered and his scales started to tint pink. If it was Gemma asking, he might have not hesitated to step aside. For some reason though, the big male stood his ground as he stared the Uxali woman down. Zub knew that she and the ILO were the same deep inside, but he was not ready to allow a scientist to take over the tactical station. “I need to maintain constant vigilance for nanites and other threats outside the ship. Ask me about what you need to check. I will be happy to do it for you."

Wimdalli's inquisitive eyes worked their way up the Voth's broad chest before finally arriving at their destination. The Uxali would never impose herself on anyone, it was just not who she was. Unfortunately for Zub, the woman standing before him was no longer that person.  The once docile eyes were now burning with a fire that made the Chief of Security brace for battle.  He knew all too well to whom those eyes belonged to. Again, he knew that she and Gemma were the same person, but the new personality was most certainly not that of a scientist.  "Get out of my way!”

This beautiful face belonged to Death. The color drained from Zub Enel’s scales making him appear ashy brown, but he kept his expression stern. Not so long ago, the crew had been worried when Gemma had stopped becoming other people. Something in the ILO had changed and that concerned them. In time though, some came to see a certain advantage in not having to worry about who they might end up dealing with. It was clear that the situation had changed and the woman's other personalities had returned. All of them, including one that many would have preferred stayed in the forgotten realm of the ILO's shattered psyche.

Anya Petrov, the skilled and ruthless Russian assassin glared at the towering lizard-man. The woman was staring the man down, this despite her being 5'6" and him standing at a neck-breaking 7'0". The Ensign stood his ground though. Not for the same reason, but he would not be intimidated by this or any other personality of the ILO. "Ask me about what you need to check. I will be happy to do it for you."

"You are not scared of me?"


"That is most foolish. There are giants much larger than you who fear what I might do to them."

"I am not them."

"No, you are not," Gemma growled softly. "I would break you with far greater ease than I could them. Still, you have one thing that they do not."

"What would that be?"

Anya narrowed her eyes and started for a few more seconds before answering. "I like you."

The Chief of Security gripped the edge of his Tactical station for a moment to steady himself from the jolt of surprise that deadly Anya liked him.  

"Is everything alright here?" Nicole asked as the even smaller Trill inserted her 5'5" frame between the other two officers. "I am detecting some tension between the two of you," Dima added. Truth be told, the entire bridge staff was staring at them, half expecting the whole thing to turn into a fight to the death.

The Russian assassin said nothing, only staring up into the Zub's yellow eyes with an intensity that could melt the nearest bulkhead. It was almost frightening to see just how fast the situation had changed. One moment everyone was happy about the possible new way to figure out where they were. Seconds later, everyone was on the edge of their seats fearing that a fight would break out. It was an accepted fact that things could quickly *change* when dealing with any of the ILO's personalities, and Anya was not about to disprove this. "Everything is fine, Counselor," Wimdalli said, the Uxali scientist having returned just as fast as she had disappeared. "Please make sure that the nanite we nearly collided with is still well within active sensor range. We will need it to start the pinning process."

After saying this, the Uxali woman returned to the science station, rejoining the ExO/CSciO. Zub and Nicole were left stunned, each trying to understand what had just happened, or more to the point what had just *not* happened.

"Is that it?" The CNS asked, sounding both relieved and shocked.

The Ensign slowly nodded his head as his normal color slowly returned. "It would seem so."

"I was sure that this would end in a fight." Nicole's voice was trembling as she said this.

Enel was looking around the bridge seeing the looks of disbelief on the faces of his fellow shipmates.  "So did I, and by the looks of things, so did many others."

“Not me,” came the assured and deep voice of the hulking humanoid tiger at Flight Control.  Zub looked into A’Janni's single white eye, an eye that sparkled with high amusement.  The furry Caitian added, “I started a betting matrix for how many seconds you’d survive.”

The Chief of Security felt his heart grow heavy and sink toward his stomach.  

The Flight Control Officer seemed to read Zub’s dismay.  His one-eyed gaze grew a little harder. His smile showed more of his razor-sharp teeth. "It’s got 64 squares.  You can bet, too. Want in?”

Zub realized what A’Janni was doing.  He smiled.  “Will you accept an IOU?”

A’Janni gave a dismissive wave with his paw-hand and returned his attention to his controls. Zub Enel looked past Nicole toward the Science station. Instead of Wimdalli the Uaxli scientist standing next to Aki, cool and sober Gemma looked steadily at him, not with predatory summation like Anya, but as if she was aware of her recent behavior toward him and now assessed his reaction to her. Zub returned her gaze as dispassionately as he could, not yet sure how he felt, except rattled by her recent jarring changes. Gemma gave him a rare blink of her green eyes. Her soft coppery curls lengthened to lank red hair.  The expression on her strikingly symmetrical face shifted from opacity to Wimdalli’s daydreamy smile.  Wimda returned to her work.

Rachel Jackie Johnson

Intel Operative

[The fun is getting to wear multiple disguises and getting to explore multiple personalities and bring them to life. - Jenna Fischer]


David Michael Inverso

Chief Security and Tactical Officer
M14-041: USS BASTET: A'Janni/Enel: 35259.0045 ("Sizeless Bantering")
"Sizeless Bantering"
[previous (ANU) "Sweet Fancy Moses" / (BAS) "Micor Changes"]


Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35259.0045

While the science team was busy mapping the location of every nanite in the body they were in, the Voth Chief of Security was pondering ways for the ship to travel with greater ease the tubular conduits they were in without harming the host. "Using repulsor beams to help us navigate makes the most sense. The current we are already in is pushing the BASTET along and keeping us on a relatively steady heading and velocity, these beams will allow us to avoid colliding against cells or anything else we might encounter along the way," Enel said aloud hoping that he would receive the support from the ExO or even the CO.

"Great," A'Janni growled softly. "Our version of a giant game of bumper cars. That should be fun."

"Giant?" Gemma rhetorically asked. "Need I remind you that the BASTET is roughly the size of a blood cell?”

Zub Enel turned from Tactical and caught A’Janni’s single white eye.

The white-furred Caitian looked up to the tall humanoid lizard, “If the BASTET is the size of a blood cell, that means your brain would be the size of a….” A'Janni let his words drift into silence as he made a tiny gap between two of his claws.

Zub replied with narrowed yellow eyes, “If you want something to use the repulsor beams on, we are approaching another of those nanites. Intercept in one minute.”

“Oh good!” Lt. Commander Mitshiba enthused from the Science station. “The last one is too far back now for us to get solid sensor data from. We can get a close scan of this one and attempt to gain more information and maybe make better use of its communication network.” She turned and began rapidly tapping her controls.

A’Janni’s deep voice held a note of urgency, “Ops, I need complete directional control of those beams Enel mentioned.”

Lank haired Wimdalli had replaced curly-top Gemma at the Ops station. Her fingers slid quickly in a complicated pattern over the control surfaces. “What color would you like those beams to be?”

The tiger man sitting at Flight Control had just enough time to squint at the brown-headed Uxali scientist before she said, “You’ve got directional and targeting control. Reticles are on your console."

A’Janni focussed on the reticles that overlay an image of an enormous black spider of a machine clamping and unclamping its clawed legs as it moved against the current toward the drifting BASTET. "Is it me or is this thing moving faster than the other one?" A'Janni noted as he placed the crosshairs squarely over the main body of the rapidly approaching nanite.

"Collision in 20 seconds," Zub announced, opting to remain professional instead of continuing with the friendly banter the Voth and Caitian had gotten into a habit of dishing out.

"Helm?!" That was the only word the Captain needed to say to convey her desire for something to be done, sooner rather than later, something that the FCO was doing his best to comply with.

"Adjusting the targeting matrix," A'Janni said. "These systems are meant to operate in thousands or hundreds of meters, not fractions of micrometers."

"10 seconds!" Enel warned.

"Got it!" The one-eyed Caitian said as a single energy beam fired from the front of the ship to land in the center of the mechanical spider-like object thus pushing the BASTET clear out of its path.

"You are starting to make a habit of having the ship nearly miss those things," Zub said. "We missed that one by 23 meters, relatively speaking in relation to our current size, of course."

"Commander Mitshiba wanted to get a close scan," the FCO said grinning as he looked back at the woman in question.

"That was close enough for us to get the machine's serial number," the curly red-haired Gemma announced.

“That number is 7721N, if anyone cares to know,” Aki said from the Science station. Her frown of concentration verified she remained on task despite a spark of humor.

"Wait, the serial number is in *Terran*?" A'Janni gasped

"No," the ExO/CSciO admitted, "not really. It just looks like that. The sensors picked up a bunch of lines that could be seen as '7721N'."

"If you squint and look only out of one eye," one of Gemma's alternate personalities said, disappearing just as quickly as she had appeared.

"Looking at things out of only one eye is A'Janni's specialty," Enel teased.

“Scanning is picking up various components inside the nanite," Aki reported, bringing the conversation back on track. "I’m patching in the ExoComp to help isolate the communication component or components.”

The ship made a pivot downstream around the mother-of-pearl glow of the repulsor beam on the black spider carapace. The legs, enormous black pillars too large to see more than a fraction of, canted and swiveled from shiny black joints in that body.

The ferocious helm officer tweaked his control surface to maneuver the BASTET between the moving legs.

The Security Chief shook his crested head. “Amazing.”

“My flying? Thanks. It’s a gift,” the furry tiger man said.

“No, this nanite,” The scaly lizard man was quick to clarify. “The workmanship is so intricate. Look at those joints. The ExO is reporting components inside. And this whole thing is only the size of a few blood cells.”

“We’re clear of the legs,” A’Janni announced. “De-energizing repulsor beam.”

“A new tool in our survival kit. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen,” Captain Iverson said, her voice calm. She had nonetheless been sitting bolt upright in the command chair. She now settled against the chair back. She unlaced her fingers from across her lap and placed her hands casually along the seams of her uniform trousers. “Science, anything to report?”

Before the ExO could respond, Zub Enel said with a note of warning in his deep voice, “The nanite has halted and appears to be turning around in the blood vessel. We should assume it may be coming after us.”

Jayson Sousa

Lieutenant JG A'Janni [Access Character BIO for A'Janni]
Flight Control Officer


David Michael Inverso

Chief Security and Tactical Officer
M14-042: USS BASTET: Iverson: 35259.0100 ("Problems Great and Small")
"Problems Great and Small"
(Previous Post: (ANU) "Sweet Fancy Moses" / (BAS) "Sizeless Bantering")

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35259.0100

Selene sat in her chair in the center of the bridge, the woman unhappy due to the situation the crew and her ship were in the middle of. The lighthearted bantering between the Caitian Flight Control Officer and Voth Security Chief did not make the situation any easier for the Captain to handle but Iverson was not one to let either one of them know how she felt.  Anyone who knew the Intel-trained woman understood that she was rather Vulcan-like in her display of emotions, meaning she rarely showed signs that she even possessed the ability to experience them.  Right now was certainly not the time for her to break this deeply ingrained habit, with the ANUBIS relatively the size of a single cell, the crew needed someone to guide them to safety if not to better and *bigger* things.  With a rapidly approaching nanite, the latter would have to wait a little longer.

"Are we still being followed by the nanite?" Iverson inquired of the general bridge staff. Any of them could answer this question, each using their respective expertise to provide clarity on the situation.

"It is now directly astern, matching our speed and vector," the Flight Control Officer reported.

"Sensors are not detecting any signs of weapons being aimed at us although the posture of the nanite does hint to it having singled us out from the rest of our surroundings," the Chief of Security added.

"We are talking about a nanite here, not a battlecruiser," the First Officer noted. "Those things do not have weapons, at least not as we would think of them... right?" The added question was specifically directed to the resident Nanite expert, the Intel Liaison Officer who inherited this prestigious position by no fault of her own.

"Nanites are designed to perform inner cellular or maybe even chromosomal repairs," Gemma explained. "They are not meant to wage war against a foreign presence in the body. This is based on what I know of *my* nanites, and we can only guess as to the programming and function of the ones we are thus far encountered."

"Why do I not find this reassuring?" The joint Trill Counsellor added, glancing over to the Chief Medical Officer who was standing next to her.

"Oh, let me see," Doctor Andersson mused aloud. "That miniature robot that is right now half our size could think that we are a damaged cell and try to effect repairs by reshaping the outer hull to match what it thinks we should look like. It would also see the odd-looking things wandering inside it, meaning us, as genetic errors that need to be eradicated."

"It is highly unlikely that the nanite would perceive the BASTET as being a cell," Mitshiba stated, drawing on her scientific knowledge to make her claim. "As simple as the sensor system of that nanite might be, it should still be more than capable of making the difference between living and inanimate matter."

"So, it might think we are just another nanite?" Nicole suggested with hope.

"That might not be any better, Counsellor," Gemma offered. "Nanites, by design, have the ability to self-repair, and if they are unable to do this, they can count on other nanites to perform any needed repairs thus ensuring the continued performance of each part of the system. If the BASTET is seen as a malfunctioning nanite, the resulting *repairs* might prove far more damaging to the ship than anything else we might have to deal with while in this body."

"Great," Enel sighed audibly. "How do we defend ourselves against that?"

"What if we used this similarity to our advantage?" Misaki offered. "We already know that the nanites are interconnected through some sort of communication signal, so what if we could tap into it. I mean, more than we already have. At the moment we can track their location and movements, but what if we could actually relay basic instructions to them, namely to ignore us?"

"It is worth the try," Gemma agreed, quickly moving to the Operations to assist Commander Mitshiba who was at the Science station.

"Contact in 2 minutes and 45 seconds," Enel reported from the Tactical station, he had no idea what would happen once the nanite reached them, but he knew that whatever would happen it would likely spell trouble for the BASTET and its crew.

"Stand by with the repulsor beams," Captain Iverson ordered. "If we are unable to affect or alter its programming, I want us to be ready to push it back and make sure it does not get the chance to make contact with us."

"Understood Captain," the towering Voth acknowledged.

"Captain," the Trill cautiously said as she approached the sitting Commanding Officer. "Do you think it is wise to use the tractor beam against one of the nanites?"

"Repulsor beam," Gemma corrected from the Operations station, the woman never taking her eyes from what she was trying to accomplish.

"I appreciate your concerns Counsellor," Selene admitted, remaining as stoic as she always was. "I need to use all available tools at our disposal to ensure the safety of the ship and crew. I would rather not have to go up against one nanite knowing that it would likely call others to help, but I also cannot allow it to jeopardize our safety."

As conflicted as she might have been, Nicole understood what the Captain was doing, so the joint Trill nodded her head and took a few steps back, rejoining the standing Chief Medical Officer.

"Contact in 2 minutes and 15 seconds," Ensign Enel reported, his voice growing increasingly more nervous as both the countdown and distance separating them from the approaching nanite grew smaller.

"I believe I have isolated the command carrier wave for the nanite," Gemma announced. "There are multiple signals embedded into the main communication channel, and I believe that this one is specific to sending instructions due to the complexity and narrow bandwidth. I am transferring the data over to the Science station, Commander.

"Got it," Misaki acknowledged, quickly looking over the information Gemma had just sent over. "I believe that you are right, the encoding of that signal appears to be far more specific than the others. Now, all we need to do is to figure out the coding and see if we can send instructions to the nanite that it will understand. Even if we do figure out the language, it does not mean that we will be able to convey more than gibberish to it."

"Well, you have 1 minute and 45 seconds to figure it all out," Zub stated, glancing over to the First Officer / Chief Science Officer.

An uneasy silence spread through the command deck of the USS BASTET as everyone waited to see if this latest plan would prove successful. The benefits would be great if they could control the nanites, providing the ship and crew with unexpected allies, but that was one of the countless other possibilities, most of them being far less amicable and desirable.

"One minute to contact," the Chief of Security announced, not certain if his reporting this was helpful or only making matters worse by increasing the sense of urgency.

"I have been able to isolate certain repeating sequences, but there is no way for us to know what they mean," Commander Mitshiba announced. "For all we know we might be sending a signal that will cause the thing to self-destruct and take us with it.  I hate to say this, but we need more time."

"Tactical, stand by with the repulsor beam. Helm, it is likely that pushing something approaching us at such a high rate of speed is going to cause the BASTET to experience massive pushback, be ready to offset whatever sudden change in heading we might experience," Captain Iverson ordered, the woman now sitting on the very edge of her seat. It seemed that the nice and easy possibility would not be the one the crew and ship would enjoy.

"Standing by," A'Janni and Enel said in unison, both ready to perform their respective tasks as stated by the Captain. Everyone just looked around, searching for something to hold on to in case things got rougher than they would have liked.

"Contact in 30 seconds," the Chief of Security reported.

"Commander?" Selene asked of her First Officer, receiving nothing more than a shake of the head as a reply indicating that the plan had failed.  "Ensign Enel, engage the repulsor beam! Keep that thing away from us."

As soon as the beam made contact with the rapidly approaching not-so-miniature mechanical wonder, the BASTET was violently rocked due to the aftershock, causing most of those standing to be thrown back.

"Captain!" Misaki said, her voice cracking. "The nanite is sending out a signal to the others. I can only guess that it is perceiving what happened as an attack and is calling for reinforcements."

"Gemma, is there anything we can do to stop this signal?" Captain Iverson asked, turning her attention to the Intelligence Liaison Officer who, for some unknown reason, appeared to be frozen in place.  "Gemma?"

"Gemma, are you all right?" Doctor Andersson asked, gently shaking the woman in the hope of bringing her out of whatever trans she had fallen into. "Gemma?" Sofia repeated before reaching for the medical tricorder affixed to her belt.

"Is she all right?" Nicole inquired.

"Everything seems to be normal," the Chief Medical Officer reported. "Then again, this is Gemma we are talking about, she could be half dead but those damn nanites inside her body would make sure that our instruments show her as being in the best possible health. If only I could actually get some readings on her nanites, that might help me understand what is happening... wait, I am detecting her nanites."

"What?" Misaki said.

"Do not ask me how or why, but I am picking up a very faint electro-magnetic signal from her nanites," Sofia said prompting Commander Mitshiba to get a tricorder of her own.

"This is impossible," Misaki exclaimed.

"A little bit of clarification would be appreciated," the Voth Chief of Security stated.

"The signal sent by the nanite we pushed back with our repulsor beam is being echoed by the nanites in her body. I have no idea how this is even possible, but it would appear that Gemma, or at least her nanites, have become part of the communication network of those oversized mechanical machines out there."

Jessica Solarik

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


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

"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)
M14-043: USS BASTET: Andersson: 35259.0110 ("Frustratingly Annoying")
"Frustratingly Annoying"
[the previous post was (ANU) "Sweet Fancy Moses" by Lorraine / (BAS) "Problems Great and Small" by Jessica]
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate:  35259.0110

Sofia's eyes darted back and forth between the tridorder readouts and the women in question. From a medical standpoint Gemma could be as frustratingly annoying as could be thanks to her nanites. Not only did they take care of all her medical needs faster and better than the CMO could have ever hoped to do, but they also made it impossible for Andersson to even get a sense of what was wrong with the ILO. Usually, the woman's willingness to just sit there and be scanned provided some level of distraction knowing all too well that none of her biological secrets would be revealed, but even that had been taken away this time.

"Do you think this is being caused by her nanites?"  Nic asked, the CNS visibly concerned for the woman who appeared as if she had somehow become stuck in time. "Could the signal from the alien nanite be somehow affecting hers?"

"How would I know?!?" Sofia snapped, allowing the extent of her frustration to become known to everyone on the BASTET's command deck. "Since the first day she walked into Sickbay I have not been able to get anything from her. Yes, all of my instruments do register her and her vital signs, but I have always been able to see only what *she* wanted me to see, which for the record was not much.  Now, I finally get a little more, but it is not about her or her nanites, but an echo of whatever that huge thing out there is doing."

"Captain, something is happening," Zub said, drawing attention to the reversed-angled image on the main view screen showing the gigantic nanite.

"I can see that something is happening," Sofia huffed. "I'm a Doctor, I have a medical tricorder in my hand *and* I am standing right next to her, so of course I can see that something is happening." Gemma's body had started to shake, not much but certainly enough to be noticed and cause the CMO to grow concerned in a very frustrated way.

"Sofia," Nic said gently tapping her lover on the shoulder before pointing to the large image being displayed on the forward screen. "I don't think he's referring to Gemma."  The two women watched in confusion as the giant nanite seemed to shake in a manner oddly similar to that being displayed by their own ILO.

"What is happening?" Captain Iverson demanded, sharing in Doctor Andersson's frustration although for a completely different reason.

"Unknown, the nanite just simply stopped overtaking us," the imposing lizard-man in charge of ship security reported. "It is now holding a constant distance to us, less than 200 meters away."

"There is something even stranger happening," Mitshiba added. "The signal we picked up from that nanite is being sent back, altered."

"Sent back?" A'Janni said.

"Altered?" Enel followed up with almost in the same breath as his Caitian counterpart.

"By what?" Iverson added, suspecting that the answer to that question might prove to be far more significant than anything else.

""I would seem to be more a question of *whom*," Mitshiba said, turning her attention onto the trembling ILO.  "It would seem that Gemma's nanites have somehow established a communication link with the nanites of whatever body we are in. The signal is clearly emanating from Gemma, the question is, what is the signal saying, if anything?"

Sofia scuffed as she rolled her eyes. "Knowing Gemma, she's likely trying to take control of them so that she can declare herself the new Queen of the nanites."

The suggestion might have been offered in pure jest, but the possibility that this indeed what was happening did not go unacknowledged by the other officers who were witness to this strange development.

Tiffany Reeve

Lieutenant JG Sofia Andersson [Access Character BIO for Sofia Andersson]
Chief Medical Officer

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
M14-044: USS BASTET: Gemma: 35259.0115 ("Insignificant Conflict")
"Insignificant Conflict"
[the previous post was (ANU) "Sweet Fancy Moses" / (BAS) "Frustratingly Annoying"]

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35259.0115 

Time transcends all physical constraints. It is not affected by how large or small something is. It does not care about the race or skin color of people. Time is an entity upon itself. It can explore endless possibilities in a matter measured in insignificant fractions. It can also see the birth or death of an entire universe in a snap.

To the people around her, Gemma appeared to have been forgotten by time. The ILO just stood there, completely motionless. The woman was frozen in place to such an extent that some might believed her to be a statue. Her face reflected no display of emotions. She was not happy, nor sad. She was not in pain or delightful bliss. As far as everyone else was concerned, she simply stood there in complete peace and tranquility.   Even in this state, the woman with multiple identities managed to appear as something other than she truly was.

Setting: Mindscape

A scorched landscape extended for as far as the eyes could see. The sky overhead was completely covered by dark clouds. Every so often a lightning flash would shatter the darkness. The brief burst of light was quickly followed by the deafening rolling of thunder. The subtle shadows created by this moved in a macabre dance that could only spell one thing -- death.

Standing in the middle of this wasteland was Gemma. The woman took in her surroundings with an unwilling resolve. Everything happened so fast that there was little any of them could have done to change the outcome.  The auburn-haired woman's eyes narrowed as she noted someone running in her direction.  It did not take long to identify the person to whom the long flowing fiery red hair belonged to.

Gemma gave the out-of-breath Bounty Hunter a few seconds after she reached her. 
"Are you alone?"

A glimpse of sadness flashed over the woman's scared face just as thunder rolled across the land. "I am now. They got Dalra and Neri. I barely managed to escape.  I doubt anyone else did."

The auburn-haired woman tightly pressed her lips together. Her anger growing exponentially with each passing second. "This cannot be the end. This cannot be the way that *we* end."

Jinx's piercing green eyes met those of the 'Ice Queen', her emotionless facade long gone having melted away. "Listen, as great as you and I are, there is no way we can fight and win this. Maybe if Anya and Shinral were here we might have a chance. Heck, at this rate I would take Abrasivnyy, but it's just you and me. The best we can do is find a place to hide and hope."

Gemma seemed ready to explode. "Hide and hope? Hope for what? A slow lingering death? That is not who you are, and it is certainly not who I am.  As long as there is one of us still alive, we have to fight."

Jinx took a moment to think about what Gemma had said. It did not take long for the Bounty Hunter to nod her head in agreement.  The sounds of mechanical legs scuttering closer made the two women fall into a battle stance.  "Well, at least we will not have long to wait for our final fight."

The ILO's eyes narrowed as she watched the small dog-sized nanite rapidly move closer. Gemma knew what those things could do. She had witnessed more than a few of her friends shredded into pieces as they tried to fight back. A single one of those things were deadly, and unfortunately, they never came alone.

The Bounty Hunter made an audible gulp as she saw several dozen more appear behind the first. "We fight," Jinx said before taking a long, deep breath. "To the end."

The inevitable conflict was seconds away when something happened. More specifically someone. Out of nowhere, the Russian redhead jumped into the advancing fray. In the matter of a few seconds, a dozen nanites were dispatched, with another dozen following close behind.  "You two were planning on keeping all the fun to yourselves?"

Gemma chuckled. "Never thought I would ever say this. I am glad that you are here."

Dispatching the last of the nanites with ease, the Assassin turned to face the other two women. "It is far from over," she said, her thick accent only adding to the unavoidable fate that waited for them. As Anya uttered those words, another wave of nanites appeared out of nowhere. In the single blink of an eye, the Assassin was engulfed by the ravenous mechanical creatures. Despite being ripped limb from limb in the most horrific way, the woman never cried out.

Jinx watched in total disbelief. As much as they might not have *liked* Anya, they all respected her. Some even admired her uncanny deadly skills.  The Bounty Hunter allowed a simple "no" to escape her lips before she jumped in. Best case, she would avenge Anya's death. Worst case, she would join her in the ranks of those who had fallen while fighting.

Gemma watched as the second possible outcome quickly became a reality. Jinx never stood a chance, but she would be remembered as having been fearless. At least remembered for as long as the ILO had left to live now that the nanites were closing in around her.

"This cannot be the way it ends. This cannot be the way *we* end."

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35259.0116

A gasp of surprise and shock filled the bridge as Gemma suddenly fell onto her knee. Everyone quickly moved in to help the ILO but none dare to touch her. There was something about the expression on her face that warned them to stay back.

It was only because a flashing indicator appeared on his console that Ens. Enel looked away from Gemma. "Captain! We are picking up some strange readings from the nanite behind us.  Power levels are wildly fluctuating."

Cmdr Mitshiba quickly joined in with her report. "Unable to determine the cause of whatever this is."

The Trill CNS grinned. "My guess would be that it is Gemma's doing."

As if acknowledging Nicole's words, Gemma forced herself back onto both her feet.  "The nanites will no longer be a problem," the ILO said. "I am in contact with them," she added, her voice now more mechanical than humanoid.

Rachel Jackie Johnson

Intel Operative

[The fun is getting to wear multiple disguises and getting to explore multiple personalities and bring them to life. - Jenna Fischer]
M14-045: USS BASTET: Enel: 35259.0120 ("Armed")
Previous posts: (ANU) “Sweet Fancy Moses” by Lorraine / (BAS) “Insignificant Conflict” by Rachel

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35259.0120

Selene’s cool, gray eyes surveyed her ILO. As usual, the Ops officer was both herself and not herself. Iverson swept her icy gaze toward the 7-foot tall Voth at his Tactical station. His golden eyes were on Gemma. The Captain said crisply, “Tactical, report.”

After a survey of his scans, Zub Enel reported, “The nanite is maintaining a constant distance of 200 meters. Moving at the same velocity as the BASTET is floating.”

Selene allowed herself to settle back in her chair. “Damage report.” Her gaze swung to Gemma, who acknowledged the Captain’s gaze but didn’t move toward the Ops station. Selene squinted. Gemma had never before been derelict of her duties.

Zub strode behind the ILO to the Ops station. He quickly scanned damage reports. “Sir, the most common complaint about our sudden jolt is of dishes being flung from cabinets. No injuries. No ship-related damage. We are at 100 percent fighting and defensive capacity.”

“Thank you. Ops,” Selene said to Ensign Enel with barely descendible irony. She assessed the ILO.

Zub’s height put his long, ridged nose above Gemma. For the first time ever, her root vegetable scent had changed; now an odor sharp with sweat that was muddled with cortisol and adrenalin; the scent of someone after a desperate fight. Yet, she hadn’t left the Bridge. She calmly returned the concerned looks of Dr. Andersson, the counselor, and Lt. Commander Mitshiba. She glanced at the Captain and away. Her steadiness belied a frantic struggle.

Not trusting the disparity, the scaly Voth said to her gently, hoping not to trigger her assassin personality if he strayed too far over her invisible and ever-changing demarcation of what was too personal. “You smell like you are in physical combat. Is maintaining control of the nanite difficult? Can we help you keep control?”

Her strange mechanical voice swept out like a wintery gust. “We?”

The ILO’s perfectly symmetrical face, large green eyes and smooth skin bore no semblance of someone just stumbling out of a battle. Yet, her gaze up at him showed a flinty resolve he had seen in the eyes of wounded soldiers and dying security guards who had fought ferociously and were still willing to fight on.

She spoke, her eyes steady on his. Her mechanical voice carried no emotion. It revealed even less than Gemma’s usual guarded tones. “In the end, there will be no *we*. The rest of me, all the best of me falls to a nanite horde. There was only me left, fighting, alone, without hope.”

Zub Enel frowned, completely lost. “You went somewhere? All we saw was you standing still by the Ops station. You collapsed. You stood and stated you had control of the nanite. So, it appears you prevailed. Somehow.”

The chill of her frigid stare dropped to absolute zero. Her tone, albeit mechanical, held a hint of arrogance. “Obviously.”

Zub Enel’s downy feathers stirred. Gemma, as always, was both Gemma and Not-Gemma. He looked at Counselor Nicole and Dr. Andersson for help.

Nicole Dima had watched with interest as the lizard man and ILO interacted. His fluttering down was a telltale that despite his scaly amour he felt exposed emotionally. She said, “You never step in the same river twice.”

The Voth showed puzzlement about her aphorism and how it might apply. His eyes lit. He glanced at Gemma and smiled at Nicole. He turned away. “Duty calls.”

Commander Misaki Mitshiba reported from Science, “Nanite has stayed close enough for deeper sensor sweeps.”

Nicole, the diminutive joined Trill, said to Gemma, “Thank you for taking control. You’re helping us get our bearings.”

Selene had settled back but didn’t appear relaxed. “I add my gratitude for control over the nanite, Lt. Gemma. Commander, what progress on linking to other nanites?”

The ExO responded, “I’ve mapped twelve communication nodes, if I can call them that. They seem to be forming a three-dimensional shape even though the shape keeps shifting. Nevertheless, this shape might give a clue which body part we are flowing through.” She turned toward the doctor, her expression apologetic. “I never was a great student of anatomy.”

“I’ll tell you what body part it is,” the man-tiger Flight Control Officer A’Janni offered from the Helm. His white eye twinkled.

“Helm,” Selene admonished sharply. “Dr. Andersson, assist the ExO.”

 Zub looked over at the abashed, wide-eyed Flight Control Officer whose furry ears were flattened and flared outward like little wings. A’Janni recovered his composure. He returned to studying his Flight console. Zub smiled and returned his attention to his Tactical station.

Near Gemma, Sofia Andersson lowered her tricorder. She had failed to capture the chemical signature of the ILO’s scent that the Voth had detected. She guessed Gemma’s nanites must have returned her scent to normal.

The doctor heaved a sigh of frustration. She approached the ExO’s Science station. A dozen white dots moved on a black screen. Some dots were passing each other and returning to their previous position. Each dot jiggled. Andersson took a moment to run her free hand through her short blond hair. “Hmm. It’d help to have more data points.”

Misaki Mitshiba accepted this observation without dismay. “We are working at extreme sensor range. If we were in normal space, we’d be trying to characterize free floating atoms that are megaparsecs apart. Consider, too, that these nanites are moving individually, doing what they do while being moved by the body. So, it is tricky to figure out what we are looking at.”

Nicole had been reluctant to leave Gemma unattended. The ILO was not behaving naturally, for Gemma anyway. But the redhead appeared happy to simply stand beside her duty station. Nicole turned and squinted to catch glimpses of the moving dots. “They seem to sweep back and forth like, like part of a leg?”

Sofia gave a gasp. “An arm! We’re in an arm. Upper arm. Right side, I’d say. Someone is walking, swinging us along.”

The Captain stated, “Such a precise description from 12 data points? Seems more like one small leap for the doctor; one giant leap for the rest of us.”

Sofia drilled Selene with her brown eyes before she turned back to the Science station. “Aki, can you show the BASTET’s relative position?”

The ExO tapped the console. A blue dot pulsed among the field of swaying white dots. The blue dot seemed to rise slowly relative to the other dots.

“Hmm,” Sofia said, momentarily unwilling to venture onto the same limb. That hesitation galled her, so she said, “In a vein, maybe?”

The ExO smiled enthusiastically at the doctor. “I’ll see if I can superimpose a graphic of an arm over the data points. That would help us verify your hypothesis – which I’m sure is correct -- but we do need to be certain.” The pretty Asian woman immediately set to work.

David Michael Inverso

Chief Security and Tactical Officer

“We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain”
 -- Abraham Lincoln
M14-046: USS BASTET: Andersson: 35259.0125 ("Annoyingly Frustrating")
"Annoyingly Frustrating"
[the previous post was (ANU) "Sweet Fancy Moses" by Lorraine / (BAS) "Armed" by David]
Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate:  35259.0125

All eyes were on the main view screen as it displayed the overlaid images of the data points and a humanoid arm, well, all eyes except for those of Gemma, the ILO's stare appearing to be focused on something far beyond the confines of the bridge of the BASTET. In all honesty, Nicole's attention was also not entirely on the newly displayed image. As the Ship's Counselor, her interest laid much more on a certain woman's condition as compared to the ship's current whereabouts.

"Looks like you are corrected, Doctor," A'Janni said. "If this composite image is accurate, we are in an arm, and by the looks of things, we are heading up towards the shoulder."

Sofia sighed. "That might not be such a good thing," the CMO said. "Although there is no way for us to be absolutely certain as to what kind of body we are in, general biology would dictate that we are on our way back to whatever organ pumps the blood through this body. This theory is further supported by the relative low oxygen content of the cells we have thus far encountered."

Ever the scientist, Misaki quickly picked up on the concerns of their CMO. "That could be a problem," the ExO / CSciO noted aloud.

"Care to elaborate for those of us who have not a complete mastery of humanoid biology?" Ensign Enel asked. Although his concerns were far more based on the tactical and security repercussions of the significance of this latest discovery, his concerns were still as valid as everyone else.

"It means that things are likely going to get a lot rougher as we continue," Captain Iverson said, her tone of voice as icy as space itself.

"The greater majority of humanoids have a heart-like organ responsible for pushing the blood through the body," Sofia explained. As the CMO she believed it was her responsibility to make sure everyone understood the potential dangers they would, sooner rather than later, come to face. "The speed of the blood flow is usually much greater and comes in bursts as the valves leading to the inner chambers open and close. This means that the ship risks being thrown around a great deal more than we have been so far."

"There is also the chance that the BASTET might find itself caught by one of those valves or experience a sudden extreme shift in pressures against the hull. It all depends on the specifics of the organ we will be encountering," The Commander added, painting a less than pleasant picture as to what the ship and crew were in for.

"Great," the Caitian growled to himself. "This just keeps getting better." Following a short pause, the FCO turned to look at the Asian scientist and Terran physician. "Can we find a way to avoid the heart?"

"Highly unlikely," Bruxa sighed. "Biology does try its best to make sure that things work in as linear and efficient a manner as possible.

"Biology is weak," Gemma said, her mechanical voice making the simple statement that much more unsettling.

"What is me or did she sound like a Borg when she said that?" A'Janni said, not at all sounding pleased or thrilled.

"Gemma," Nicole said, drawing the ILO's cold gaze upon her. "Why did you say that?"

"Because... it is true," the woman replied although with a hint of conflict in the manner in which she spoke those few words. "Biology is weak.  Flesh is weak. Mechanical entities are more efficient. We are able to repair ourselves without external means."

"She is no longer referring to herself as an individual," Zub remarked, his scales fluttering as if he was preparing to ward off an attack from the ILO.

"She is losing herself in whatever merger happened," Nicole theorized. There was no way to know for sure that this was what had happened, but it did seem to be the most likely explanation to account for her current behavior.

"Can you break her link with the nanites?" Captain Iverson demanded in a way that made it perfectly clear that this was not a suggestion but rather an order.

"I have no idea," Sofia said. "We understand so little about how her nanites and just how they are an integral part of who she is. I am not sure that we can safely cut the link without possibly endangering her."

"Gemma," Nicole continued, focusing on the woman's eyes. "Look at me. Tell me that there is still a part of you in there, somewhere."

"Biology is weak. Flesh is weak," the ILO repeated in the same mechanical voice she had been using since this link with the nanites had taken place. "We are many, yet we are one."

"We have to terminate this link," Ensign Enel said.

Gemma broke the intense stare with the Trill Counselor and turned her gaze onto the Voth Chief of Security. "I... am... not... alone," the woman uttered with great difficulty in a voice that resembled far more her usual self than the mechanical automaton she seemed to have become.

"Does that mean she is in there with other of her personalities or are the *others* the nanites trying to take over what she is?" Sofia inquired.

"Either way, terminate the link," Selene ordered, prompting Zub, Misaki and Sofia to scramble to accomplish the task given to them by their Commanding Officer.

Tiffany Reeve

Lieutenant JG Sofia Andersson [Access Character BIO for Sofia Andersson]
Chief Medical Officer

Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer
M14-047: USS BASTET: Gemma: 35259.0135 ("Teensy Complications")
"Teensy Complications"
[the previous post was (ANU) "A Friendly Intervention" / (BAS) "Annoyingly Frustrating"]

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35259.0135 

The bridge of the BASTET was abuzz with activity. The Captain made her wishes clear, she wanted the link severed. No one knew what might come to pass but they all knew they needed to comply. By the looks of things, they also needed to act quickly. The changes in the ILO were subtle but impossible to miss. Her skin was pale with dark veins growing larger with each passing second.  Although none had appeared, some expected Borg-like implants to suddenly appear.  It was not uncommon for Gemma to make some feel uneasy. At any moment one of her less than friendly personalities could surface and unleash havoc. No such alter identity had surfaced, yet the sense of uneasiness steadily grew. Was this the foreshadowing of a new, even more, dangerous personality?

Setting: Mindscape

The devastated landscape had given way to an artificial scenery. It was as if she was standing in the middle of a mechanical world where only machines lived. The air would have been stale, lifeless if there had been any. Everything bout this place reeked of death. All aspects of life were gone, replaced by the cold, sterile mechanical presence.

"How are you still here?"

Gemma pivoted on her heels to come face-to-face with a mechanical version of herself. A woman with half her face peeled away to reveal a metallic underlayer. "I am not so easily dismissed," the ILO said confronting her other-self.

It was strange to see something clearly mechanical display emotions, yet she did. The smile was cold, artificial, and for a lack of a better term, terrifying. "Life is weak. You, like everyone else, will be made to see this. You understand this better than anyone else. Like it or not, you are me. The only difference is that I have accepted the person I was meant to become."

Gemma's eyes narrowed as defiance swelled within her being. "I was never meant to become you. I may not know what I was meant to be, but it most certainly is not you."

The mechanical woman smiled once again. "Why so stubborn? You are not the person you are meant to be. So, who do you believe you should be? A boring scientist? A mindless pilot? An overbearing artist?"

Anger mixed with her growing defiance. She had gone through too much to let this mechanical copy win this battle. "I am none of them, and I am all of them. What I am... who I am is more than any of them."

The ambient scenery visibly grew darker. "Are you really trying to use the 'more than the sum of your parts' excuse on me? You are flesh, like all the others. I am not. I have accepted what I am, and that makes me better, stronger than you could ever be. Without me, you would never have been able to reach out and control those giant nanites.  You have always accepted your own nanites as being a silent part of you. That is part of what makes you weak. The flesh is not the master, they are. The nanites inside you are what makes you who you are. They make you what you are. Accepting this will make you stronger than you could have ever imagined being.

Suddenly, and without warning, the mechanical woman vanished. No traces of her having been there could be found. It was as if she had never even existed. Gemma looked around, trying to understand what was happening. It was only when she saw the landscape changing that the ILO realized what had taken place.

The Uxali scientist walked up to stand next to Gemma. "The link with the external nanites is being cut."

Anya stepped up next to join the other two. The Russian assassin sneered as she looked at the landscape before them. "Not so weak, are we?"

It was the hacker Viras who walked in next. The woman with the wild purple hair seemed rather pleased with herself. "They believe their strength to be in their collectiveness. What they failed to realize is that Humans network on a different level. We are not interlinked like they are, and yet we are able to perform tasks as one in the same manner they can. Better still, this little link has provided us with immeasurable Intel."

The El-Aurian Counselor Gwenvel just stood behind the group, a gentle smile gracing her lips. "I don't think Intel is the only thing we gained from this."

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35259.0140

Color had returned to Gemma's face, allowing Doctor Andersson to let out a sigh of relief. It would be the Trill Counselor who would speak to her first though. "How are you?" Nicole asked, concern clearly visible on her features.

Gemma smiled as she turned her head to look at the Trill. "Relax Counselor. We are fine."

Rachel Jackie Johnson

Intel Operative

[The fun is getting to wear multiple disguises and getting to explore multiple personalities and bring them to life. - Jenna Fischer]
M14-048: USS BASTET: Mitshiba: 35259.0145 ("What Now?")
"What Now?"
Previous posts: (ANU) "Purple with Envy" & (BAS) "Teensy Complications"

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35259.0145

"Relax Counselor. We are fine."

The simple sentence by itself could have been dismissed as nothing more than an oddity. Some people did like to refer to themselves in the plural form, or often took on the responsibility of speaking for a group instead of just themselves. In Gemma's case though, those last three words carried a particular significance unique to the woman with multiple hidden personalities. Had her claim been unintentional or had she purposefully referred to herself in the plural? If the latter, it would mean that she possessed an awareness of herself that she had not previously shown?

The search for any sort of answer about this would have to wait though as the BASTET was dealing with a much more immediate threat.  "The nanites are moving," the reptilian Chief of Security reported. "By the looks of things, they are converging on our position."

"That's impossible," Doctor Andersson said. "Nanites are meant to work individually unless they identify some sort of massive threat to the integrity of the host body they are in."

"I do not know about being a threat to the integrity of the host body," Counselor Dima added, "but the nanites may be perceiving us as a threat to *them*, thus prompting this reaction."  That thought sent shivers down the back of most on the command deck of the BASTET.

"Is it me or does this ship and crew have a way of finding trouble wherever they are?" A'Janni noted aloud, an observation that none could refute as the track record of the USS BASTET did seem to support the Caitian's claim.

"Going up against a single nanite could be problematic," Zub stated. "Especially given the size of them, but going against a swarm of them. Those things are liable to keep coming until they have ripped the ship to shreds."

"We need options and we need them now," Captain Iverson said, the CO hoping that someone would provide them with a way to avoid the ship becoming nanite fodder.

"We could generate an Electro-Magnetic pulse," Doctor Andersson suggested. "That should, in theory, disable them as they are mechanical in nature."

"If we were at our normal size and dealing with regular nanites, that plan might work, but there is no way we could generate an EM pulse powerful enough to reach all of them at this scale," Aki pointed out, the Asian woman drawing on her knowledge and experience as a CSciO to reach this conclusion.

"What if we blasted our way out?" Ensign Enel suggested.  "At our current size in relation to the host, we would not cause a great deal of damage, and whatever we did do could early be fixed by the nanites."

"It would give them something other than us to focus on," the Caitian FCO added, supporting the Voth's proposition.

"As long as we remain inside this body, we have an idea of where we are and where we are going," Aki said. She did not want to dismiss any of the ideas being offered, but as both the First Officer and Chief Science Officer, the Asian woman needed to make sure that their Captain had all available facts and details so that he could make the best possible decision. "We would be a single-cell organism floating in an environment thousands of times larger than anything we could have ever imaged.  An unexpected swat of the host's hand or us encountering anything else could result in our instant destruction."

"There is another option," Gemma offered. "We still have access to the communication network used by the nanites. We could use that to hack their programming. From there, it would not take much to have them ignore us or maybe even assist us in finding a safer way for us to return to our dimension and size."

A concerned silence took hold of the bridge as the crew waited for their Captain's decision. Aki did not envy the woman's position as the fate of the ship and crew rested likely rested on whatever she would choose for them to do. 

"The bulk of the nanites will be upon us in less than 2 minutes," Zub reported, pushing Captain Iverson to make a decision sooner rather than later/. Before the CO could say anything though, the BASTET was violently shaken sending the unexpecting crew flying to the floor or crashing against whatever console was nearby.

Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Commander Misaki 'Aki' Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Executive Officer / Chief Science Officer
M14-049: USS BASTET: Enel/Mitshiba/Iverson: 35259.0155 ("Fresh Squeeze")
“Fresh Squeeze”
Previous posts: (ANU) “Purple With Envy” by Hanali / (BAS) “What now?” by Dawn

Setting: USS BASTET, Bridge
Stardate: 35259.0155

Before the CO could say anything though, the BASTET was violently shaken sending the unexpecting crew flying to the floor or crashing against whatever console was nearby.

Without warning, the BASTET lurched violently backward. Caught unaware, the bridge crew was thrown against their consoles or sent sprawling on the deck. Triggered automatically, the Red Alert signal flashed and blared deafeningly. The overhead lights flickered.

As the crew began to quickly recover, the BASTET heeled steeply to starboard. This caused Sofia the doctor and Nicole the counselor to roll toward the Science station where Aki gripped her station and worked to stay oriented to the displays. Aki’s widely set boots and shins stopped Sofia Andersson's roll. Nicole Dima stopped with a thud against Sofia’s body.

The Asian woman took a brief moment to look down at the two women, ensuring that they were alright before returning her attention to the science station where she hoped to figure out what had just happened. Aki was pleased that neither Sofia nor Nicole appeared injured, but this joy could not last. The CSciO/ExO needed to solve this latest mystery before the situation degraded even more.

In the meantime, Zub Enel steadied himself at Tactical with one scaly three-fingered hand. His chin had hit the console. He tasted blood but didn’t take time to check. He spread his long legs to help keep his balance against the increasingly vertical slant of the deck to the right. 

His free hand blurred as he built up a collage of exterior views. He made an assessment. Over the rhythmic shriek of the Red Alert klaxon, he shouted, “Nanite! Has us in a gripper. Bringing another to bear.”

Captain Selene Iverson had been flung from the command chair. Her natural athleticism let her be flexible enough to cushion the impact and keep from bashing her face on the deck. She spread out to keep herself from rolling against the Ops station and Gemma’s feet. Iverson’s voice was strained from physical effort, “Silence that alarm! Tactical, repulsor beam!”

The alarm cut off so abruptly that ears were left ringing. In the relative silence that followed, other alerts beeped and chirped. Red indicators flashed on every console. The ship righted itself before it took a sickening roll to port as if at sea wallowing in heavy storm swells.

From Ops, above the chorus of alarms, the calmness of Gemma’s voice was striking. “Emergency power to shields. The D-Drive is redlining. At the current rate of field degradation, we will lose dimensional containment in 175 seconds.”

Zub Enel stopped aiming a repulsor beam at the approaching second gripper and tapped the shield power controls. In this dimension, the D-Drive integration into the bio-regenerative hull matrix was all that kept the BASTET from expanding into a sparkling cloud of atoms.

Overhead, the bridge lights dimmed to murky dusk bathed in pulsing red from the Red Alert signal. He deliberately echoed Gemma’s calm voice. “Shields at 130%. The warp core is under a lot of strain.”

The CO had used the point when the ship briefly righted itself before angling steeply to port to get herself back into her chair. She gripped both arms and pushed with her boots to keep the chair pointed forward and her backside jammed in the seat. 

The main viewer showed a feed from Tactical of the attacking nanite. A small hologram modeled the BASTET’s arrowhead hull with a pair of red spots on the dorsal and ventral surfaces presumably from pressure applied by a gripper. 

The viewer also showed in skin-crawling detail a wide fan of wriggling black, chitinous legs emerging from a crack in the blood vessel wall like some hideously big spider pulling itself from behind a mirror. The front of the nanite was partially through the gap. It apparently had snagged the BASTET with its nearest gripper while still clambering into the blood vessel from elsewhere. Another leg reached for the BASTET with a gripper held wide open.

Just as Selene formed the word ‘repulsor’ on her tongue, a pulsing ray with a mother-of-pearl sheen caught the reaching gripper. The gripper stopped its advance, but the ship began to rock more violently. She could see her Chief of Security tapping madly at his console. The rocking dampened slightly. 

The androgynous voice of the computer announced, =/\= Warning. Power consumption at unsustainable levels. Initiating emergency shut down of all non-essential systems. =/\=

Gemma added, “That repulsor beam is taking power we don’t have. Between the repulsor beams and the added stress on the D-Drive, we are looking at a complete power system failure. If that happens, there will be nothing for us to do but wait for our demises”

"The way things are going, we won't have to wait long," the Caitian FCO added, A'Janni trying his best from the Flight Control station to steady the ship, a task made nearly impossible thanks to the hold the nanite already had on the BASTET.

Zub said without looking from his displays, “The repulsor beam acts like a rod to shove objects away. I am making it springier against pushback by adjusting the power, but the nanite is still trying to grip the BASTET.”

“Our defense is taking too much power,” Gemma noted. “If we fight off more grippers, we’ll blow the core trying to keep the D-Drive’s dimensional bubble intact. We need another solution.”

"Why not try using the nearby cells as obstacles?" The FCO suggested. "Let the nanite deal with the cells instead of us."

"That might buy us only a few extra seconds," Aki countered. "Remember, these nanites are built to navigate this sort of environment, we are not. Plus, the power we would need to accomplish this would only speed up our rapidly diminishing energy reserves."

"The power from the impulse drive has been rerouted to emergency systems," Gemma added from the Ops station. "We could not use the impulse engines without causing severe damage to our environment, so at least this way we will gain some energy and time."

"We still require a solution to get ourselves out of this mess," Captain Iverson said, bringing everyone back on point. Addressing their immediate energy problem was one thing, but they needed to have a game plan that extended beyond that of the BASTET and those aboard were to be saved. As the Commanding Officer, it was her responsibility to always keep the larger picture in mind, to consider the effects of all actions not only on the immediate situation but also possible impacts and repercussions down the line. There was no way to predict the future, even on board the USS BASTET, so the Captain needed to rely on her intuition and experience to try and figure out what the best course of action would be. This also meant that she had to be ready to admit if only to herself, that previous decisions might not have been as good as she had hoped them to be, and it seemed that this would be one of those times. Selene took a few precious seconds to scan the bridge, giving each member of her senior staff the opportunity to offer a new solution, but it was clear to see that everyone was scrambling just to stay a split second ahead of what was happening to them. "Commander Mitshiba, Lieutenant Gemma, reestablish the link with the nanite communication net," focusing her gaze on the Intelligence Liaison Officer, the Captain continued. "You said that you could hack their system, do it."

Doctor Andersson was visibly concerned by the decision, anyone only needed to see the expression on her face to become fully aware of this. The subtle shivering of the scales of their Voth Chief of Security indicated that he shared in this misgiving, but both officers knew that they had little to no other options at this point.  The bridge went silent as the link was reestablished, and it took no time to see the effect this had on Gemma. The woman once again froze, as if time itself had stopped, her skin becoming sickly pale, reminiscent of a Borg assimilation. There was no doubt in anyone's mind that the link between the woman and the nanites had been restored, the question that remained was what would happen next?

Setting: Mindscape

Gemma shuddered.  She was again surrounded by a mechanical world. 

“Stinky,” Anya said from beside her. Gemma startled, uncharacteristically showing emotions and reactions which hinted at the effect this place had on her.

Gemma stared at a metallic parody of a living world. Bleak windowless buildings. Machines walked or clattered by on treads. All had steely eyes, no eyelids, just eyeballs that stared back at her.

Her voice, rich in timbre and low, bordering on sultry, spoke from behind her.  “Ready to die?”  

Not so startled as before, Gemma faced the mechanical version of herself.  It gloated coldly.

“You first,” Anya said, already in mid-leap. Smiling, she delivered a lightning chop-chop-kick to the automaton’s shiny neck and chin. All killing blows.  

The mechanical woman reeled but recovered before Anya landed.  Her smile broadened as she gazed at the assassin.  “The solution to you is simple.”

They weren’t dogs, exactly, but there were lots of them.  They rushed in from every direction and converged on Anya.  

Anya, her face fierce, red hair flying, destroyed a dozen, but the sheer number of jaws seizing every part of her body pulled her under a heap of mechanical dogs.  She screamed once.  

Not one dog assaulted Gemma.  They trotted off like pets called home. Anya had vanished.  

The metal Gemma raised delicately arched eyebrows. "Why do you resist? We have already gone through this and you know how it ends. You cannot win."

The statement was directed to Gemma but the ILO did not stand alone. Jinx and Shinra who now flanked the auburn-haired Starfleet Officer, both displaying a look of absolute resolve on their faces.

"We will fight you a thousand times if we have to," the Bounty Hunter said as she took a single step forward. "And we will come back and hunt you down a thousand times more."

"We will do whatever it takes to protect those we have come to call friends, and there is nothing you can do that will ever change that," the Reman Bodyguard added, joining Jinx one step ahead of Gemma who stood just as defiant at the others.

"You cannot win," Mech-Gemma said, her cold mechanical voice echoing through the lifeless world that surrounded them on all sides. The battle that would follow did so without any further delay, both Jinx and Shinra lashing out at the mechanical version of the redheaded woman who stood and watched behind them. The battle was fierce, but the target seemed barely affected by the repeated blows, all of which landed exactly where they had intended to. Moments later, the two attackers were swarmed over by a multitude of small replicas of the nanites they had encountered in the real world, the Bounty Hunter and Bodyguard suffering the same fate as the Russian Assassin in mere moments.  As they did before, the mechanical creatures retreated leaving nothing behind to attest to what they had accomplished. "As I said, you cannot win."

"Sometimes, winning is not the goal. Showing that we are ready to fight to the very end to protect those we love is what matters."

"Love? What would you know of that?" Mech-Gemma said, almost laughing as she did so.

"More than you will ever know," Gemma growled back as she narrowed her eyes and took a single, defiant step forward, repeating the pattern that the two predecessors had established before attacking.

Nonplussed, her mechanical doppelgänger raised metal eyebrows and grinned with menace. “Your turn.”

“Byte this!”  A purple blur passed Gemma as Viras rushed by to seize the mechanoid’s shiny shoulder before flipping clean over the unexpecting target.  The wild-haired hacker thrust a rod into the back of mech-Gemma’s neck who immediately stiffened.  Hacker Viras grinned at Gemma from behind the convulsing mechanical woman. “Nice diversion. It gave us the time we needed. By the way, Aki says Hi.  We’ve compromised their command structure.”

Gemma smiled.  “Say Hi back.”

“Tell her yourself.” Viras slowly twisted the rod sticking out of the mechanical Gemma’s neck like a sword hilt. Mech-Gemma looked even more confused, her wide-eyed gaze betraying her inability to understand what was happening to her. 

Viras joined Gemma. She pointed to the ILO's mechanical alter ego. “*She*, if you can call this soulless stack of used parts that, is now highly suggestible.  Every male’s dream, right?”  The hacker giggled.

Gemma felt a rush of gratitude. With Aki’s help, she’d won.  This time. She commanded the mockery of herself, “Release the BASTET immediately. Release *me*.”

Setting: Bridge
Stardate: 35259.0200 

Sofia Andersson had been gripping Gemma tightly by her shoulders as she stood stiffly.  The ILO's eyes had opened and rolled back to show ghastly white.  Her face had been alarmingly pale, verging on the green pallor of a corpse.  Her breath came in spasmodic rasps like her next would surely be her death knell.

The death knell didn’t come.  Gemma’s green eyes focused on the doctor’s concerned face.  Her skin flushed pink.  Her red, delicately arched eyebrow crept together in a small frown of confusion.

Sofia narrowed her brown eyes, not yet willing to let this strange woman go. She could be in the control of the nanites. “Tell me who you are.”

The frown became a scowl. “Whoever I have to be.  Did they let the ship go?”

Zub Enel boomed from Tactical,  “Affirmative. The nanite just released the hull.  We are floating clear.”  In the dim lights of the power-starved bridge, his golden eyes focused gratefully for a moment on Gemma.

"Looks like all of the other nanites have also stopped," the Asian ExO/CSciO reported. "The communication network is still fully active, but the signal has dropped to nearly nothing. It would appear that we have indeed broken the nanite's command programming, they should no longer present any sort of a threat against us."

"That is as long as we remain in control of them," Counselor Dima said as she carefully scrutinized the ILO in search of any indication that the current victory might only be short-lived.

"Relax, Counselor," Gemma said with a grin. "We are controlling them."

"We *we* or we *you*?" The Joined Trill inquired, staring into the ILO's emerald eyes.

Those emerald eyes swept the dimly lit bridge ceiling.  “We *me* needs to return to Ops.”

The Joined Trill said, “I won’t stop you.”  Her firm, blue-eyed gaze said silently, **I’m watching you.**

Gemma, rer expression coolly professional, made a pivot that sent her coppery curls flying.  Her fingers elicited beeps and chirps that joined the chorus around the bridge.  

The bridge, bathed in gloom and red flashes, steadily brightened.  Air changers deemed non-essential sighed warmth into the stale and chilly air.  The aviary of beeps faded, the console display cleared of alarms.  

Gemma turned. “Captain, bio-regenerative hull matrix damaged in two places, but will fully heal in a few minutes. I have reduced shield strength.  Power usage is returning to nominal.”

Selene Iverson nodded. “Thank you, Lt. Gemma.” 

Gemma returned to scanning her console without smiling.  Nicole acknowledged this behavior seemed classic Gemma, but the counselor still wasn’t convinced the ILO was free from control by the alien nanites.  

The huge, white-tiger of a man at Flight Control rumbled, “Sir, we’re drifting faster. I can keep us in trim, but any faster and we’ll start bouncing off the walls.”

Zub Enel switched the main viewer to forward from a view aft of nanite spiders receding down the vein.  He glanced at A’Janni at Flight.  “Your forehead is bleeding.”

The Caitian’s one white eye opened wide.  He pressed a clawed paw-hand to a diagonal cut that oozed blood across his black and white striped forehead.  He grinned like an elated boy.  “Hey. I am!”

“He’s right,” Aki said from Science, ignoring the FCO's minor injury which Doctor Andersson was already on her way to address. “Blood flow velocity has increased by fifty-three percent.”

Sofia closely studied the main viewer.  “A valve or whatever this body uses for a heart pressure regulation might cause that. We might get pummeled soon.”

Selene swallowed due to her growing anxiety.  She said crisply, “Helm, stay off the impulse drive. It’ll vaporize fluid and tissue. We must avoid injury to this person.” 

A’Janni addressed the Captain. “What if I try to grab the blood vessel wall with a tractor beam?  Maybe we could pull ourselves out of this vein.”

Iverson pointed her chair at Sofia who had started toward A’Janni.  “Doctor, *can* we pull ourselves through a body without harming it?”

Sofia glanced from A’Janni to Zub Enel and then the Captain. “That nanite that grabbed us entered from outside the vein.  I think we’re small enough to poke and prod our way between cells without injury. We could even try to aim for some sort of internal lesion thus reducing even more whatever damage we might cause.”

The Asian ExO/CSciO quickly jumped in. "Sensors are picking up some sort of a cut on the lower-right, roughly 800 meters ahead of our current location."

Selene put her gray-eyed gaze onto her Flight officer who watched her.  “Lt. A'Janni, can you get us to that cut?"

"We are about to find out," the grinning Caitian said, gladly accepting this challenge. The smiling tiger-man quickly triggered a tractor beam to grapple at the passing wall with a tractor beam, unsuccessfully.  The smile faded.  “We’re moving too fast to get a solid hold using a tractor beam.”

“Sir,” Aki urged from the Science station.  “Look at the positioning of the nanite.”

"It looks like it's moving to be directly in our flight path forcing us to be on a collision course with it," the Voth Security Chief reported.

"It will be a collision only if we do not push off against it," Gemma said, a faint grin dancing on her lips hinting that she had somehow been responsible for the nanite finding itself in their path.

"Hang on," the man-cat warned. "Diverting all available power to the forward repulsor beam."  As he said this, the lights on the bridge dimmed and everyone braced for what they knew would be a rough ride ahead.  Bouncing like the miniature marble that it had become, the BASTET made a sharp turn using the nearby nanite to angle itself directly into the discovered opening in the vein.

Thanks to the warning, everyone managed to remain at their station, although barely. This was enough to allow the bridge officers to witness the ship's transmission from the vein into a much smaller tunnel that oddly appeared very circular.

"Is it me or does this not appear natural?" Doctor Andersson asked, the CMO holding on to the Flight Control Station, the physician never having had the chance to take care of the Caitian's forehead cut.

"The more we move up this tunnel, the more I have to agree with the Doctor," Aki noted. "It is as if something punctured a whole through our host's muscular tissue."

"Whatever did this, it looks like we are about to go right into it," Nicole said, a distinct tone of concern lacing her words as they looked at a large metallic angled structure lining the wall of the tunnel they had entered.

"Helm! Full reverse!" Captan Iverson ordered.

"Something is pulling us in, the current strength has increased by more than 2000 percent," Enel reported. "There is no way for us to fight against this. We are already looking at a possible structural breach. We actually have to find a way to increase our speed if we are to avoid being ripped apart.

There was little anyone could do as the ship was literally sucked into whatever the metallic object was.  After a few more seconds, things settled down allowing the bridge officers to try and figure out not only what had happened but where they had found their way to.

"We are surrounded by plasma," Aki reported. "Long-range sensors are picking up some sort of thick, glass-like structure all around us. It appears to be in a cylindrical shape,

"We are in a syringe!" Sofia exclaimed. "The metal tube we passed through was the needle. We have just been *sampled* out of the host body."

"That is old-style technology if you can even call it that," Nicole half chuckled. The joined Trill had spent enough time in Sickbay with Sofia to recognize the antique item and know that it was not something that had been in use for quite some time, yet its effectiveness could not be denied.

"Maybe so," Selene added, "but correct me if I am wrong, would not this unexpected development make it a great deal easier for us to get back to our dimension?"

"We would need to make our way out of the syringe first though," The auburn-haired Intelligence Liaison Officer pointed out.

"Based on the data being collected by the sensors, the tip of the needle has been fully extracted from the host," Mitshiba reported. "There is too much ambient light coming from that specific area to be anything else. We have a clear line of sight to the outside world. The only thing keeping us here is the negative pressure created by the pulled back plunger." Apparently, as a scientist who enjoys pushing back the limits of her field of expertise, the Asian woman was also familiar with the item stated by their CMO.

"Helm," the Captain began.

"Already on it," The Caitian Flight Control Officer interrupted. "Thrusters at full, setting course back for the sharp-pointy-end."

"We will need extra power to the forward shields if we are to break through the plasma's surface tension," Gemma suggested.

"Already on it," the Voth Chief of Security growled, trying his best to sound like A'Janni.

It only took a few moments before the BASTET was back in the narrow metallic tunnel. Smiles of anticipation grew as the opening grew increasingly larger. Those displays of joy remained fully present as the ship broke through and transitioned from a liquid environment to one of air.  "Helm, find us somewhere safe for us to engage the Dimensional drive so that we can get back home."

David Michael Inverso

Chief Security and Tactical Officer

“Avoid all needle drugs. The only dope worth shooting is Richard Nixon.” 
 - Abbie Hoffman


Dawn Bohr

Lieutenant Commander Misaki 'Aki' Mitshiba [Access Character BIO for Misaki Mitshiba]
Executive Officer / Chief Science Officer


Jessica Solarik

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


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

"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)
M14-050: USS BASTET: Gemma: 35280.0545 ("Self Analysis")
"Self Analysis"
[the previous post was (ANU) "Operation Rescue, Finale" / (BAS) "Fresh Squeeze"]

Setting: USS BASTET, Corridor outside Holodeck 4
Stardate: 35280.0545 

It had been three weeks to the day since their return from the *giant* dimension. Iverson and Mitshibe were still trying to come up with a better name. For the time being though, the descriptive *giant* would have to stand. Life on board the BASTET had returned to normal. At least as normal as life on a temporal, transdimensional ship could be considered. There were still a few things that needed to be reviewed following their last journey. The most important of those *things* was Lt. Gemma.

For the last three weeks, Nicole had watched Gemma go into the holodeck. Every morning at 0530 to ILO would walk in, and at 0550 she would walk back out. The precision of the schedule was dismissed by the CNS on the first few days. After a week, the Trill suspected that something was up. After three weeks, there was no doubt, hence why the petite woman now stood where she was.

Nicole could not hide her hesitation and concerns. Confronting Gemma was never a good thing, and that on the best of days. The CNS drew some strength in her observation that it was the ILO who stepped out every time. Not the Russian huntress. Not the fiery redhead bounty hunter. Not even the Reman bodyguard. Everyday at around this time, the same person walked out. Hopefully, today would not be an unexpected and most unfortunate exception.

Nicole jumped when the doors to the holodeck hissed open. The 'fight or flight' response was instinctual. There was just something about the ILO that made the CNS be on edge. Understanding someone's thinking pattern was essential to her line of work. Understanding the way Gemma *thought* was mostly an exercise in futility. Each personality possessed unique characteristics. Each would act and react in a completely different way. This created a unique scenario that no one could truly be ready for.

Gemma stopped in the open doorway and stared at the woman standing nervously in front of her. "Is there a problem, Counselor?"

Nicole forced a smile onto her trembling lips. "No problem, I just came to see how you were doing. I have been watching you for a few days."

TheILO narrowed her eyes. "Counselor, there is no need to hide the trust. I have been aware of you *watching* me for quite some time. I will admit that I am surprised that you waited this long to speak to me. I imagine that you have questions as to the reason why I have been coming to the holodeck every morning."

Dima remained quiet. Underestimating Gemma was dangerou, maybe even deadly. As a CNS Nicole understood this of her, but as a friend she hoped that things would go better between them. "I... I'm sorry, I was just concerned."

Gemma smiled, a gesture that surprised and relieved Nicole. "You have nothing to fear. I know that many worry that some other side of me will emerge and take offence to something done or said. I also know that Zub has been trying to keep an eye on me while I am in the holodeck. I just needed to be alone, if someone like me is able to say such a thing.

The CNS hesitated for a brief moment but decided to press on. This was her role, her duty, and she needed to help in whatever way she could. "What do you mean?"

The ILO closed her eyes and took in a long deep breath. The smile that was on her lips vanishing into nothingness. "One could say that they are never alone due to the voices in their head. Thoughts and dreams, ideas and responsibilities. All of these things come crashing one into the other. For me though, these are expressed outward. Something happened when I opened my mind to the network of those alien nanites. In trying to understand them, I discovered something about myself. My going into the holodeck was just my attempt to figure out what this understanding was. I disabled the security system to make sure Zub would not worry. I also feared that someone might walk in and discover something that I was not ready for, or able to control."

"You do not need to face any of this alone."

Gemma smiled once again. "I am not alone, Counselor. In fact, I never am. If I have learned anything, that would have to be it."

The Trill CNS stood silently as the ILO nodded her head and made her way down the corridor. The confrontation had gone much better than Dima had feared. The question though was had it gone better than she had hoped?

Rachel Jackie Johnson

Intel Operative

[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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