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
Post # Character Title
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, some things are discovered
025 Gemma Small Chats
Gemma returns to the bridge
026 Mitshiba The Microverse
Aki proposes a theory
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

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