Updated: Mar 8
The Latenter continues to investigate points of interest left by the Valley Forge. This time heading to the home of the notorious Scryer Network.
T'Lana@anncarise FX | After the Valley Forge's visit to the neutral trade hub of Carr and subsequent agreement with the local Scryer Network Eye, Latenter heads towards the 'Underworld' to further assess the -
T'Lana@anncarise: - Carrans and their local chapter of the Network.
T'Lana@anncarise: <C> "T'Lana to Commander Leveson-Scott. We are approaching Carr."
Mischa@crystyll: <C> Thank you T'Lana, I'm on my way
Mischa@crystyll enters the Ops Centre a short while later, "What is our status?"
T'Lana@anncarise stands and lets Mischa take the seat, "We are holding position just inside the system's innermost asteroid belt."
Mischa@crystyll: "Alright then, we know our target. Bring the bilaterals online and commence full spectrum monitoring, and let's find this Scryer cell on our terms"
T'Lana@anncarise FX | The ops centre comes to life as everyone jumps to work.
T'Lana@anncarise: "One thing you will wish to know, Commander. We have found no way to approach the planet without revealing ourselves."
Mischa@crystyll: "Good" she notes flatly before looking back with a smirk, "I was afraid this might be too easy"
T'Lana@anncarise: "Indeed. A place like Carr is only expected to have high security measures."
Mischa@crystyll: "It's about time our analysts faced a real challenge. Good to keep them sharp" she notes, watching them all beaver away at their stations and fidgets in her seat
T'Lana@anncarise | A few minutes pass before one of the analysts turn around, "I have something, Commander!"
Mischa@crystyll snps her attention around and moves to see, eager to be productive
Mischa@crystyll: "Show me"
T'Lana@anncarise | Analyst: "This comms broadcast seems to be sending a repeating nav signal, but I've identified a code within it. And I know it's a code because...it seems to have an SFI basis, but it's -
T'Lana@anncarise: - not something standard, certainly not something we have ciphers for."
T'Lana@anncarise strides over curiously as well.
Mischa@crystyll looks it over for herself and nods, "An embedded SFI encoding within a navigation pulser would be a fairly standard SOS for a field agent calling for extraction. But the non-standard cipher..."
T'Lana@anncarise | Analyst: "And we don't have any agents here..."
Mischa@crystyll looks to T'Lana, "It would be my guess that someone knows we are here and is sending us an invitation"
Mischa@crystyll turns back to the analyst, "Never say never, Lieutenant. You never where a field assignment might take you"
T'Lana@anncarise: "We took every precaution to avoid detection, though it is possible someone may have anticipated our arrival based on what they heard from the Decen."
T'Lana@anncarise steps closer to the screen and pauses, "I recognize that cipher."
Mischa@crystyll gives her a curious look, "Well that would save us having to set an encryption team to work. What do you know?"
T'Lana@anncarise: "It is not standard because I altered it. But the only other field agents who had knowledge of this cipher system are no longer alive."
Mischa@crystyll: "Ok, so somebody is not sending /us/ an invitation. But rather... they are sending /you/ one"
T'Lana@anncarise nods, "It would seem so, yes. There is something I believe you may need to be aware of."
Mischa@crystyll: "Go on"
T'Lana@anncarise: "Perhaps we should discuss this in the ready room."
Mischa@crystyll dips her head, indicating towards the door
T'Lana@anncarise moves towards the door.
Mischa@crystyll enters and places her palm on her desktop screen, "Computer, initiate privacy mode"
Mischa@crystyll FX | A simple beep confirms locked doors, forcefields, comms dampeners and everything else are active
T'Lana@anncarise speaks once the security measures are in place, "As you understand, Starfleet Intelligence cannot possibly gather all its information from operations alone. Often times, we have had to rely on -
T'Lana@anncarise: - allies, and...other sources."
Mischa@crystyll nods, "I have my share of sources just as I'm sure every other field operative does"
T'Lana@anncarise: "Prior to my first being assigned to the Latenter, one of my sources was the Scryer Network. It was for this reason that I developed the altered cipher- the Network was already aware of existing ones.
Mischa@crystyll: "The network as a general entity, or are we talking specific individuals?"
T'Lana@anncarise: "The Network in general, Commander. Myself and four other agents worked to acquire information from it. We were all young and eager to prove ourselves, and even a young Vulcan is often reckless."
T'Lana@anncarise: "Needless to say, while we attempted to use the Network, the Network sought to use us."
Mischa@crystyll smiles, "Don't worry, T'Lana we were all there once. You don't need to justify yourself to me" pauses for thought, "So focusing on the signal, you said you believed everyone who knew your custom +
Mischa@crystyll: + was deceased?"
T'Lana@anncarise: "Yes. We discovered the Network had an...unusual client. An elusive species called the Elachi, later revealed to be thralls of the Iconians."
Mischa@crystyll: "I am not surprised, they've had ties with the Tal Shiar too so it fits their MO"
T'Lana@anncarise: "This information came too late, and we were compromised. The other agents were compromised- infected with bluegill parasites. I, however, proved immune to them."
Mischa@crystyll: "I see. What became of your fellow operatives?"
T'Lana@anncarise: "I decided to play along, pretend that I too was infected. From the Enterprise's report on these parasites, such a strategy proved instrumental in dealing with the parasite's first attempt to -
T'Lana@anncarise: - infiltrate the Federation. When I was returned to Starfleet to act as a double-agent for the Elachi, I of course retained control over my body and divulged the identities of the compromised agents."
T'Lana@anncarise: "They were, as expected, not cooperative. Reports indicate all of them were killed in attempts to detain them."
Mischa@crystyll: "Killed... or presumed dead, I wonder"
T'Lana@anncarise: "From what we are seeing here, it would appear to be the latter."
Mischa@crystyll: "Well... since you clearly have the advantage of local knowledge on this one, how do you wish to proceed?"
T'Lana@anncarise: "The cells of the Scryer Network we worked with were the ones operating in territories familiar to us. According to the reports on Underworld, there is a schism between the more traditional members -
T'Lana@anncarise: - of the Network and the ones near Federation territory who are loyal to the current Scryer. If the signal is indeed sent by one of the agents I worked with, they may be loyal to or controlled by -
T'Lana@anncarise: - these cells, ones who are opposed to the Carran Eye."
T'Lana@anncarise: "Their presence on Carr is likely not good news for the local cell."
Mischa@crystyll: "What is your working hypothesis for the signal and the reason it is being broadcast?"
T'Lana@anncarise: "If one of the compromised agents escaped, even they would not know the cipher. Evidence shows that bluegill parasites do not possess the memories of their hosts. This would also mean the -
T'Lana@anncarise: - compromised agents could not pass on the cipher to the rest of the Scryer Network. The only possibility is that another agent was somehow not infected."
Mischa@crystyll: "And following from that theory, why would they be transmitting?"
T'Lana@anncarise: "It is certainly not an SOS; if they wished rescue, they would have told Starfleet all that occured once they returned under the guise of a double agent. I suspect this agent may be willingly -
T'Lana@anncarise: - working with the Scryer, and may have been the cause we were compromised in the first place. Perhaps they seek revenge on me for ruining their plan, or perhaps they are representing the Network -
T'Lana@anncarise: - for other reasons."
Mischa@crystyll: "A reasonable premise, though I still see no reason why they would be broadcasting their signal - here, now - unless they have some reason to believe you will be nearby, and if that is the case then +
Mischa@crystyll: + our own security is compromised and that must take precedent above all directives"
T'Lana@anncarise nods, "Agreed. I am unsure of how they are aware of my presence. The only theory is that perhaps the Drascas may have revealed information of us to the Carrans, and somewhere in there, the rogue -
T'Lana@anncarise: - agent deduced that I was coming in this direction."
Mischa@crystyll: "Possible, of course there is only one way to find out"
Mischa@crystyll gives a small nod and smile then releases the privacy on the room. Moving to head out she pauses at T'Lana's side and rests a hand on her shoulder, "Don't worry T'Lana, we'll get to the bottom of +
Mischa@crystyll: + this one way or another"
T'Lana@anncarise: "I will do all I can to ensure that the security of the Latenter is not endangered, Commander."
Mischa@crystyll: "I know" she smiles, "Come on, we've got work to do" promptly heads back out with that
T'Lana@anncarise follows Mischa out.
Mischa@crystyll: "Helm, plot a course to take out of sensor range of the planet. Ops, I need a nondescript shuttle, ID's and currency... and suitable attire. We're going down there and I'll be damned if anyone on +
Mischa@crystyll: + crew is getting caught up in some half-baked Carran contract"
T'Lana@anncarise | Victoria: "I'll have them ready right away, ma'am."
T'Lana@anncarise | Nethaydgea: "Plotting course now, Commander."
T'Lana@anncarise looks to the analyst who found the code, "Any idea of who may have embedded the coded message?"
T'Lana@anncarise | Analyst: "No, but the broadcast was altered just after we arrived in the system. Someone definitely knows we're here."
Mischa@crystyll frowns at the implication of that
T'Lana@anncarise: "We know the location of the Scryer Network headquarters on Carr. That may be a good location to start, though it may also be a risky one."
Mischa@crystyll: "Where is that in relation to the coordinates carrying the encryption?"
T'Lana@anncarise | Analyst: "The navigational signal is from a traffic control satellite in orbit. It seems to normally be automated; our hypothesis is that it's used to guide Carran couriers on where to drop out -
T'Lana@anncarise - of Underspace, or maybe where to enter it. It's possible the satellite signal was hijacked to include the code, but we can't verify that from here."
Mischa@crystyll: "Alright, well once we're away for the ground mission I want a standard observational patrol with constant eyes on those coordinates. It may be nothing, but we can't rule out the possibility that +
Mischa@crystyll: + this signal is intended to guide someone else in and if they do come, I want us to know about it first"
T'Lana@anncarise | The analyst nods, "We'll keep an eye out, Commander."
Mischa@crystyll looks to T'Lana, "Well, we had better get suited up"
T'Lana@anncarise | Victoria: "The shuttle is already waiting. IDs will be ready in fifteen minutes."
T'Lana@anncarise nods, "Let us make our preparations."
T'Lana@anncarise FX | Mischa, T'Lana and two Latenter security officers travel towards Carr in their shuttlecraft.
Mischa@crystyll sits in the copilot seat, checking over her gear with almost ritualistic practice
T'Lana@anncarise | Security 1: "Look at the armaments on these things...twenty five tetryon beam banks, sixteen torpedo tubes and enough tractor beam generators to stop a whole Hur'q swarm dead in its path."
@namdear has logged off.
Mischa@crystyll briefly turns her gaze out of the window, remaining silent in contemplation for the moment as she soon returns her focus to her ritual
T'Lana@anncarise | Security 2: "Not to mention their access to Underspace. The only reason they are not high threat is because of their tendency towards neutrality."
T'Lana@anncarise | Security 1: "And with armaments like that, they can certainly afford to be neutral. One of those ships could give any of Starfleet's best a run for its latinum."
T'Lana@anncarise meanwhile taps away at a console, decoding the signal from earlier.
T'Lana@anncarise FX | As when the Valley Forge shuttle visited, one of the Carran enforcer ships sends the arrival contract to the shuttlecraft.
Mischa@crystyll: "Alright, show time. A quick scan through the computer should verify this is being conforming with monitored variants"
T'Lana@anncarise | Security 2: "I can handle the entrance formalities."
Mischa@crystyll nods, "Knock yourself out" and turns tto the side, continuing to check over her gear with what appears to be a completely inconspcuous long narrow case that totally doesn't look fit to carry a rifle
T'Lana@anncarise speaks after a few taps, "I have decoded the message, Commander."
Mischa@crystyll looks over and moves to T'Lana's side, "Let's see"
T'Lana@anncarise: "It is not much of a message."
T'Lana@anncarise FX | The screen displays only two words on repeat: 'FORGIVE ME.'
Mischa@crystyll perks a brow, "Well someone has a sense for the dramatic"
T'Lana@anncarise: "I wonder what they mean- whether they are seeking forgiveness for whatever they had done in the past, or asking for forgiveness prior to whatever they may be planning to do with us in the future."
Mischa@crystyll: "A good question, T'Lana. Anything else we can glean from this message?"
T'Lana@anncarise shakes her head, "There does not seem to be any further layers of coding hidden within."
Mischa@crystyll: "Alright, let's get ready to hit the ground then. The reports from the Valley Forge all painted a pretty clear picture of a dense urban & low market area"
Mischa@crystyll: "Frankly, I would prefer personal stealth generators and dip in and out unnoticed on such a planet, but that is not a luxury we have this time"
T'Lana@anncarise | Security 2: "We are cleared for approach and I've IDed potential landing zones near the destination building."
Mischa@crystyll returns to sorting through her nondescript case as she talks
T'Lana@anncarise nods, "And I expect if the Carrans have an orbital tachyon detection grid in place, they likely possess countermeasures against personal stealth generators as well."
Mischa@crystyll glances back with a smirk, "Exactly why we can't afford sucha a luxury. So crowd-blending it is"
Mischa@crystyll sits back, pulling something from the case and setting it on the front of the console, facing out of the window
Mischa@crystyll pats the purple dragon plushy on the head before leaning back, "Now we're set. Take us in" she nods to the pilot to her left
T'Lana@anncarise | The pilot nods, "Aye aye, ma'am."
T'Lana@anncarise FX | The shuttle enters Carr's atmosphere, briefly flaring up from the heat before white clouds below become visible, with some of the taller skyscrapers peaking even above them.
Mischa@crystyll idly scratches her shoulder as she watches the view shift while they descend through the atmosphere and get their first real glimpse of the planet
T'Lana@anncarise FX | They soon dive below the clouds and the city comes into full view.
T'Lana@anncarise | Pilot: "We have the Carran Trade Credits, so we can try one of the better landing areas the expedition's shuttles weren't allowed in."
Mischa@crystyll nods, "Let's do it"
T'Lana@anncarise FX | The shuttle lands on one of the rooftop parking zones, and as expected, one of the Carran representatives step inside to greet them.
T'Lana@anncarise | With CTC on hand, the contract is quickly sealed.
T'Lana@anncarise turns to Mischa once the Carran leaves, "We are set to proceed, Commander. I have the directions to the local Network HQ."
Mischa@crystyll: "Alright, move out. And... everyone remember where we parked"
T'Lana@anncarise FX | The team moves through Carr significantly faster using the lifts and walkways that connect the tops of several buildings, soon arriving at the Network building.
T'Lana@anncarise | The same Ularen happens to be on secretary duty again and smiles as Mischa and T'Lana approaches, "Welcome. Your people must be very important."
Mischa@crystyll approaches the desk, "You have been watching us since we landed" she states, more than asks
T'Lana@anncarise | The Ularen simply smiles again, "Of course. And as was the case when I last encountered a member of your species, you are expected on the top floor."
Mischa@crystyll: "Of course. If you could just point us in the right direction"
T'Lana@anncarise | Ularen Receptionist: "Just through the lobby into the elevator, and then ask for the top floor."
Mischa@crystyll: "Thank you" she smiles politely, moving right along as indicated
Mischa@crystyll enters the elevator and requests the top floor as instructed
T'Lana@anncarise FX | Elevator music plays just like last time!
T'Lana@anncarise: | https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuIPMbjO7h8
Mischa@crystyll hums along, idly tapping her hand on her hip to the music
T'Lana@anncarise FX | Soon, the lift doors open. As the team steps outside, they would all notice something curious...
T'Lana@anncarise | Security 1: "Where is everyone? You'd expect there to be guards here..."
Mischa@crystyll: "They do not need them"
T'Lana@anncarise FX | As they enter the central room, they are greeted with an unusual sight. There is not a single Carran in view- instead, the entire operations centre is manned...by Elachi.
Mischa@crystyll: "Unfortunately... that is why" she looks around
T'Lana@anncarise | A figure rises from the central seat, but he does not have the profile of a Carran or an Elachi...
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril: "It really is you, Lana."
T'Lana@anncarise: "Our mission here is not open knowledge. How did you discover our presence?"
Mischa@crystyll looks to T'Lana, "I'll go ahead and assume you two are acquainted"
T'Lana@anncarise nods, "As I suspected, he was one of the field agents who also worked to gain information from the Network."
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril steps down the ramp, and Mischa can instantly notice from his black irises that he is a Betazoid.
Mischa@crystyll: "I had not however, expected to find this place being run by him. Or staffed by Elachi. It would appear that our information is outdated on this establishment, how very disapointing"
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril: "Lana, your condition doesn't mean I can't sense your presence, if you've forgotten, and you are...unmistakable."
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril: "As for how I came to be in charge of this place, let's say I've curried a few favours with the Scryer over the years, and he needed the Carran out of the way."
T'Lana@anncarise: "You were the reason we were captured, were you not?"
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril pauses for a moment before replying, "Yes."
T'Lana@anncarise: | The Betazoid makes a wave with his hand. The Elachi stare at him.
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril: "I can handle myself."
Mischa@crystyll watches quietly for the moment
T'Lana@anncarise | He gestures again and the Elachi promptly files out of the room.
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril: "Before you try to kill me, Lana, hear me out."
T'Lana@anncarise: "There is no rational justification for betraying the Federation in favour of the Scryer Network. The only possible motivation is greed."
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril: "And you haven't changed one bit. Just hear me out. Please."
T'Lana@anncarise looks to Mischa for her input.
Mischa@crystyll: "Well we came this far for answers. Besides, I have a feeling that if he wanted to he could quite easily have all his Elachi back in here with reinforcements to force the matter. I suggest we keep +
Mischa@crystyll: things cordial"
T'Lana@anncarise nods and looks back to Eirril.
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril: "I never betrayed the Federation, Lana. Think about it."
T'Lana@anncarise: "You were the only other field agent among us who knew of my condition. You of all people should have realized that I was resistant to the parasite."
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril: "Which was precisely my plan. I needed to gain the Network's trust, but that was not possible as a member of Starfleet Intelligence. Yes, I sold us out, so I could go deeper. You were -
T'Lana@anncarise: - the insurance. The Scryer would think I turned, but I knew the infiltration would never work because you would reveal us. Then, all I had to do was to fake my death."
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril: "To the Federation, I was dead, another casualty of the turmoil in that time. To the Network, I was now a loyal agent, all without leaking a single real piece of intelligence."
T'Lana@anncarise: "But at the cost of the lives of three agents, Eirril. Agents you compromised."
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril: "I had hoped Starfleet would be able to capture them alive. Infection from the bluegill parasite is not always irreversable. But they were necessary sacrifices."
T'Lana@anncarise: "Sacrifices for what? If you planted yourself so deep within the Scryer Network, why did you never divulge any intelligence to the Federation?"
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril: "I was on the cusp of a breakthrough, something that could've stopped the Iconians. But then the ceasefire happened. Ever since then...I couldn't go back, not without anything to offer."
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril: "I had no choice. All my work was for nothing. Starfleet sees me as a traitor, just like you did when you first walked in here. My only path was to continue working for the Network."
Mischa@crystyll: "Eirril, if I may interject with an observation here..."
T'Lana@anncarise | He turns his gaze to Mischa.
Mischa@crystyll: "When these events occurred, you were all relatively fresh to field work, yes?"
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril: "We were. T'Lana was among our eldest, but still young in Vulcan terms and quite new to field work."
Mischa@crystyll mhmm's, nodding, "But you were all still qualified and capable field operatives"
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril: "Yes. Starfleet Intelligence knew better than to send unqualified agents into the field."
Mischa@crystyll: "Then you should all have known the first lesson of what we do; we are ghosts, we do not exist. We simply serve, no memory and no recognition"
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril: "And I made myself a ghost. The Federation believes I'm dead. I didn't look to be a hero, everything I did was to better serve the Federation."
Mischa@crystyll: "Yet you claim to sleep in the bed you made for yourself after your plan failed as a justification for not actually doing anything to benefit the Federation in all of this"
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril: "I can help you now. This cell is remote, that's how the Carrans got away with their disloyalty for so long. But no one knows we've eliminated the Carran Eye yet. Few normally know the -
T'Lana@anncarise: - identity of the Eye anyways. I can turn this whole region's command over to you, help you work it, and as long as we don't create any glaring red flags, no one, Carran or Scryer, will know -
T'Lana@anncarise: - anything has changed!"
Mischa@crystyll: "So, you've... helped the Federation by now by eliminating one of it's strongest potential sources to aid in securing the galaxy against an uncontrolled threat like the Scryer"
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril: "I didn't know you were coming! But now that you're here, I can turn all this over to you. Please, just give me a chance."
T'Lana@anncarise looks to Mischa, "I do not advise trusting him. He has already betrayed us once. And if what he speaks is true, we do not need his assistance in taking over this cell."
T'Lana@anncarise: "We may inflict upon him what he did to the Carran Eye and as long as we are careful, no one will realize there has been a change in leadership."
Mischa@crystyll: "A valid observation" she notes with a smile, looking back to Eirril, "It appears the lady's got your number. You're going have to do a lot better if you want to convince her to give you a chance"
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril: "I...have other sources in the Network! I can run this cell much more convincingly and effectively. And I know how these command centres work. You have an intelligence ship, don't you?"
Mischa@crystyll: "I hate to say, but this is sounding more like a desperate attempt at convincing. Question is; is it us you are trying to convince, or yourself?"
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril: "Just give me a chance. I can help. I can set it up on your ship, work from there, where you can keep an eye on me."
T'Lana@anncarise: "It would still be safer and more effective to do so ourselves."
Mischa@crystyll: "I'm afraid Eirril that trust is not easily won in this game, as you well know. Take into account your actions to date... you'll have to do better than that I'm afraid. Why don't you start with being+
Mischa@crystyll: + completely forthcoming about your presence here"
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril: "The Scryer sent me to eliminate the Carran Eye and his inner circle discreetly. I specifically was dispatched because I used to be SFI. He knows about your expedition here and thought -
T'Lana@anncarise: - I was suitable to deal with them. But I had no idea T'Lana would be here."
T'Lana@anncarise: "The possibility of such a coincidence is low, but not unfeasible due to the connections we both possess to the Network."
Mischa@crystyll: "Really. Two words Eirril; Forgive. Me."
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril: "I know what I did was extreme. Don't think I don't regret it."
Mischa@crystyll: "If you did not anticipate our presence, then who were those words intended for?"
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril: "I sent those only after I sensed Lana's arrival here."
T'Lana@anncarise: "And that is precisely why he is too much of a risk. Eirril was always a talented telepath, even for a Betazoid. We may be able to monitor all his physical transmissions, but if he communicates -
Mischa@crystyll pauses her interrogation, seemingly content at the plausibility. She looks to T'Lana
T'Lana@anncarise: - telepathically..."
Mischa@crystyll: "Exactly how talented are we talking here? Most Betazoid's I know are strong in sensing other's presence and feelings. But lack the capacity for specific telepathic communication, or at least to +
Mischa@crystyll: + initiate it"
T'Lana@anncarise: "Strong enough that his telepathic potential was the primary factor in him being considered as a field agent. He can easily match a Lethean."
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril: "And I could kill you with my mind if I wanted to. The Elachi knew that, that's why they were willing to leave me alone with you. But I haven't done that yet and I won't do that."
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril: "If you wish to kill me or imprison me, I suppose I deserve it. But please, just give me a chance. I could've easily exposed you or your ship. I didn't because I'm not a traitor."
Mischa@crystyll: "I would be mindful throwing around such threats. One day that confidence might just lead you to follow through with the wrong person. Just a point of interest" she notes with a smile
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril sighs: "Working inside the Network for so long changes you. I won't pretend I'm the same young field agent presumed KIA all these years ago. But I'm not your enemy."
Mischa@crystyll 's gaze drifts in contemplation and settles on T'Lana briefly, "Give us a moment Eirril, please"
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril nods, "As you wish." He steps back.
Mischa@crystyll steps up to T'Lana holding a finger to her mouth to remain quiet, naturally assuming that listening devices are in effect
T'Lana@anncarise nods in understanding.
Mischa@crystyll takes T'Lana's hand and positions it to the side of her head, suggesting a mind meld judging by her questioning look
T'Lana@anncarise shakes her head, "I'm afraid that is not possible, Commander."
Mischa@crystyll: "Very well, discrete tones will have to suffice"
T'Lana@anncarise nods and lowers her voice, "That was the condition Eirril mentioned. I...can elaborate further in a more suitable setting."
Mischa@crystyll: "Of course" her gaze drifts towards Eirril, "So what does your instinct say about him now, and his... proposal?"
T'Lana@anncarise: "Though I do not know whether everything I knew about Eirril is still suitable to judge his character today, I believe he is sincere. What I find problematic though is that he has already acted behind -
T'Lana@anncarise: - the backs of both Starfleet and other agents, resulting in the deaths of three of said agents. This behaviour may very well resurface, and his abilities as both an agent and a telepath is more -
T'Lana@anncarise: - than capable of posing a threat."
Mischa@crystyll nods, "Agreed. I highly doubt he will ever see restoration as an officer; at best an independent source. As for the telepathy, we have means to contain that threat"
Mischa@crystyll: "But T'Lana, this is your history here - your mission and your closure. So it must be your decision how to reach that. I will give you my opinion and options, but I want this decision to come from you
T'Lana@anncarise: "Even then, he is cunning and his time in the Network has no doubt only sharpened his skills. I want to give him a chance, but logic dictates that he be contained before he becomes a threat to the -
T'Lana@anncarise: - Latenter and her mission."
Mischa@crystyll: "Indeed. But we can't contain what we can't see, so you suggest taking him into custody?"
T'Lana@anncarise nods, "I suggest we take him on board and utilize his expertise to tie this regional command station to the Latenter."
T'Lana@anncarise: "He will be kept under heavy guard and I will work closely with him to obtain all he knows with the goal of slowly taking over his operations."
T'Lana@anncarise: "Once we return to Federation space, he will be transferred to a penal facility and Intelligence will decide what to do with the cell."
Mischa@crystyll nods in response, "Agreed. We can support his incentive - give him the requested opportunity - but from within containment where we can dampen his ability to reach the minds of anyone on the crew"
T'Lana@anncarise: "My thoughts exactly, Commander. And he realizes the mistakes he has made and does not seem adverse to the idea of punishment."
T'Lana@anncarise: "Of course, we will allow Federation due process to handle his ultimate fate once we return, but I suspect there will be at least some action for what he has done in the past, regardless of how he -
T'Lana@anncarise: - may contribute in our current mission.
Mischa@crystyll: "His 'punishment' will be making amends and working the rest of his natural life to give some value to the lives of the agents he threw away. He will not get the easy escape of mere incarceration"
T'Lana@anncarise nods, "It is settled, then."
Mischa@crystyll: "Indeed" she looks back to Eirril, "I assume you heard all of that, or enough at least?"
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril nods back, "It is as much as I can ask for. Thank you."
T'Lana@anncarise: "Your gratitude is not necessary. Proof of your loyalty and capabilities are."
Mischa@crystyll: "Well put"
T'Lana@anncarise | Eirril: "I won't abandon my duties or go behind your back again. I just hope that in time, I'll be able to regain your trust."
T'Lana@anncarise: "I trust you enough to give you this chance. I suggest you make good use of it. Now, we have a centre of operations to reroute."
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Mischa@crystyll FX | There is a chime at the door to T'Lana's quarters
T'Lana@anncarise: "Come in."
Mischa@crystyll steps inside, hovering respectfully just inside the door, "T'Lana, I hope I'm not intruding?"
T'Lana@anncarise FX | T'Lana's quarters are mostly standard layout with one key change- in one corner is a Vulcan-style meditation rug on with T'Lana sits. She rises slowly as Mischa enters.
T'Lana@anncarise: "Not at all, Commander, I was just concluding my meditation."
Mischa@crystyll: "I had a feeling you would require some time for that. I will make a note to allow a little longer in the future" she smiles a little
T'Lana@anncarise: "Do you wish for any refreshments? Tea?"
Mischa@crystyll: "I can never say no to tea"
T'Lana@anncarise nods, "As I expected. Have a seat, Commander."
Mischa@crystyll: "Thank you"
Mischa@crystyll heads in and makes herself comfortable
T'Lana@anncarise moves over to the replicator, "Prince of Wales, correct?"
Mischa@crystyll: "Correct" she confirms with a smile
T'Lana@anncarise replicates Mischa's preferred blend and a cup of spice tea for herself, bringing both over.
T'Lana@anncarise hands Mischa her cup.
Mischa@crystyll: "Thank you" she smiles again, accepting the cup with a welcome sip
T'Lana@anncarise takes a seat opposite her and takes a sip of her own tea.
Mischa@crystyll: "So how are you doing with everything? It's not everyday we face our own past on a mission after all"
T'Lana@anncarise: "I apologize for the complications that arose. I did not expect my presence to reveal my existence. But after much contemplation, I believe we have made the most logical decision."
T'Lana@anncarise: "Eirril is best kept under our watch, but despite his lack of trustworthiness, simply holding someone of his skills and experiences without capitalizing on them is also a mistake."
Mischa@crystyll: "Complications are our speciality, T'Lana. What's important is how we handle them, and I concur that we our resolution was optimal"
T'Lana@anncarise: "I am pleased that is your evaluation as well. The judgement was not easy to make, but fortunately I have had experience making decisions in the field."
Mischa@crystyll: "But I didn't come here for an analysis of the mission, T'Lana. When I asked how you were doing, I meant how were /you/ doing in yourself?"
T'Lana@anncarise: "I am well. I was, as one would only expect, surprised to discover that Eirril was the one responsible for the deaths of my fellow agents."
Mischa@crystyll: "That can't have been an easy truth to face"
T'Lana@anncarise: "However, though his actions were misguided, I am...relieved to learn that there was some purpose in his actions, and that it was not done out of avarice."
Mischa@crystyll: "His heart was in the right place" she smiles in agreement
T'Lana@anncarise nods, "I do not approve of what he did, of course. But knowing there was some justification makes it...slightly more understandable."
Mischa@crystyll: "Perhaps in time - and under our control - he will find a way to more appropriately channel his skills"
T'Lana@anncarise: "Indeed. He demonstrates regret for his actions and acknowledgement that it was a mistake. That is a good start."
T'Lana@anncarise: "Of course, a skilled field agent like him /could/ be pretending, but his motivations and his deeds match well."
T'Lana@anncarise: "He had no reason to betray us to the Scryer Network at the time, and had he truly done so, he would not have let me expose the infected agents."
Mischa@crystyll: "Very true"
T'Lana@anncarise: "He did not know for certain that I would be immune to the parasites, but if anyone would have suspected, it would be him."
Mischa@crystyll sips her tea, "I must confess a certain curiosity as to said immunity. Though I understand it is a personal matter and see no reason to insist"
T'Lana@anncarise: "As my commanding officer, you have a right to know."
T'Lana@anncarise takes a sip of her tea as well, "I will explain from the beginning."
Mischa@crystyll: "If you believe it is warranted, I trust your judgement T'Lana and if you tell me that it is a personal matter which will not affect your duties, then I will respect that. Just to be clear" she smiles
T'Lana@anncarise: "It will not affect my duties, but it may be useful to know in order to utilize me to my fullest potential."
Mischa@crystyll: "Well as I said, I am naturally curious" she chuckles, "So please, go on"
T'Lana@anncarise sips her tea again and continues, "My mother was a science officer with Starfleet during the height of the Dominion War. It was a rather common position in which to find a Vulcan."
T'Lana@anncarise: "During this time, Starfleet was desperate to develop countermeasures against the Dominion. My mother participated in many such research projects and were subjected to a number of mutagenic -
T'Lana@anncarise: - substances, substances which had no effect on an adult but did impact a developing fetus."
T'Lana@anncarise: "Unfortunately, my mother was not aware of my conception until it was too late."
Mischa@crystyll perks a brow, "You sure she worked for Command and not Intelligence? That sounds pretty borderline for the public ethics"
T'Lana@anncarise: "These experiments were not for the design of biological weapons. The mutagenic properties of the substances she was exposed to was not what was being capitalized on, merely a byproduct."
T'Lana@anncarise: "Think, for example, one who worked in an early nuclear-powered energy production facility."
Mischa@crystyll nods, "I see, yes. That makes more sense. Please, continue"
T'Lana@anncarise: "That said, I had no doubt Intelligence was involved in these projects, though likely on an advisory or administrative position."
Mischa@crystyll chuckles softly at that, "More than likely, yes"
T'Lana@anncarise: "As a result of my exposure to these substances as a fetus, I was born with multiple mutations. The only visible trace of these mutations that remain is my hair, which you have no doubt noted by now -
T'Lana@anncarise: - as an unusual pigment for a Vulcan. The remainder of my physical mutations were easily corrected by modern medical technology."
T'Lana@anncarise: "However, the only way to correct the mutation in my nervous system is through genetic augmentation, which is of course illegal in the Federation."
Mischa@crystyll sips, remaining closely attentive
T'Lana@anncarise: "It is allowed for serious disorders, but I was able to survive and was thus deemed not serious enough for genetic intervention."
T'Lana@anncarise: "My condition prevents me from forming any kind of mental link. The Vulcan mind meld is perhaps the most prominent example, but I am incapable of any form of telepathy."
Mischa@crystyll: "In terms of control, like initializing it? Or are you also immune to attempts by others?"
T'Lana@anncarise: "Both. Because of this, I do not have a bond with my own mother, something natural to all Vulcans, and that I can never be in a mating bond."
T'Lana@anncarise: "I am not immune to being telepathically detected and read, as Eirril has proven. Only from mental links."
Mischa@crystyll: "I'm... sorry, T'Lana. I can not truly comprehend the impact of such a condition on a Vulcan, but from a Human perspective I know it would be troubling"
T'Lana@anncarise: "It made life on Vulcan...difficult. But things are not simply black-and-white. My experience with the Bluegill parasite and subsequent tests demonstrated that I was immune to being mentally -
T'Lana@anncarise: - controlled by another. A telepath can still read my thoughts, albeit with a little more difficulty, but they can never establish a link strong enough to override my control over my own body."
T'Lana@anncarise: "I am incapable of experiencing the sensation of being bonded to another as most Vulcans can, but it also means I am always in control of myself."
Mischa@crystyll: "Every cloud has a silver lining" she smiles sympathetically
T'Lana@anncarise nods, "A very accurate saying."
T'Lana@anncarise: "As you have likely deduced, my condition was a major motivator for my initial enlistment with Starfleet."
T'Lana@anncarise: "We are not typically open about the more spiritual side of our lifestyles. To most in the Federation, we are known for our intellectual capabilities."
T'Lana@anncarise: "In Starfleet, I was regarded as a regular Vulcan. No one knew nor had any reason to suspect I was different."
Mischa@crystyll: "I can see the appeal behind such a decision" she nods
T'Lana@anncarise: "Apart from Starfleet Medical, that is, but being Starfleet doctors, they did not treat me any differently from how they treated everyone else."
T'Lana@anncarise: "As you can see, Commander, aside from my inability to utilize telepathy, which is not a requirement of an officer, my duties will not be affected by my condition."
Mischa@crystyll: "As I said before, I never doubted it" she smiles
T'Lana@anncarise: "However, should you believe there is a chance of being mentally compromised in a situation, I may be an optimal choice for mission leader."
Mischa@crystyll: "It is certainly a strong attribute for any field operative" she nods thoughtfully, idly sctratching at her shoulder
T'Lana@anncarise: "So far, Vulcans, Betazoids, Letheans, Bluegill and even Undine have all attempted to link with my mind, to no avail."
T'Lana@anncarise: "I suspect I am not immune to Borg assimilation given the nature of that process, but it was obviously a hypothesis that was never tested."
Mischa@crystyll: "A fair assumption, and one hypothesis I'm content not to test" she chuckles
T'Lana@anncarise takes another sip of tea, "I hope that has satisfied your curiosity and given you all you needed to know of my condition?"
Mischa@crystyll: "Certainly, thank you for your candour T'Lana and the trust shown in me through sharing this personal aspect"
T'Lana@anncarise: "It was only logical to tell you this, especially in light of what you have learned over the course of the last mission."
Mischa@crystyll: "I appreciate it nonetheless. I just... wish there was something I could do to help you experience that which you have been denied"
T'Lana@anncarise: "Even Eirril was unable to do such a thing. Genetic augmentation would no longer work now that I am fully matured either, at least without severe side effects."
T'Lana@anncarise: "I am simply born unable to experience the universe the way Vulcans do. But humans and many other species are born this way too and are more than capable of living full lives."
Mischa@crystyll scratches at her shoulder, a thoughtful look on her face, "But if there was a way, even a possibility of experiencing such a connection. Would you want to?"
T'Lana@anncarise: "That would depend on the cost with which it came."
T'Lana@anncarise: "If it meant endangering the Federation, the ship or a fellow member of Starfleet or citizen of the Federation, I would most certainly not."
Mischa@crystyll: "And if it involved no greater risk than that which we - as Intelligence officers - take every day; maintaining discretion?"
T'Lana@anncarise: "I suppose so."
Mischa@crystyll: "Well, consider it. There are endless possibilities out here, so should such an opportunity ever present itself you will want to know with certainty ahead of that time"
T'Lana@anncarise: "I may not be a good physiological representation of a Vulcan, but I was still every bit raised as one. I have disciplined myself to control my emotions and desires for all my life."
T'Lana@anncarise: "If such an experience does not come with a high cost, it would be something I would consider. But if it does, I am more than capable of restraining my own desires."
Mischa@crystyll: "Good to know" she chuckles
T'Lana@anncarise: "You have my assurance that I will not risk the crew or the mission to chase a personal agenda, Commander."
Mischa@crystyll: "I know, T'Lana" she smiles again, setting her empty cup down as she stands, "Well I should not take any more of your time"
T'Lana@anncarise nods and stands as well, "Thank you for checking on me."
Mischa@crystyll smiles, "What are friends for?"