On the Valley Forge, occurances that seem frighteningly similar to Horde control begin to surface among the crew. With the most likely culprits being psionics among the crew itself, Keelah must turn to the Romulans for assistance with the investigation...
Ann Carter@anncaris | The camera moves slowly through an empty hall of the Valley Forge. There is an eerie look to it- we seem to be looking through a predator's eyes as it prowls through the corridor Ann Carter@anncaris | Whoever's vision we are seeing through, they move all the way to the end of the hall, where the door slides open, revealing a man at work at a console. As we approach, we can see that the man - Ann Carter@anncaris - is Thorkildsen and the camera gets close enough to catch the third pip on his collar showing his recent promotion to Lieutenant Commander Ann Carter@anncaris | Thorkildsen types away, seemingly oblivious to whoever or whatever is watching him. He types away on the console and the camera shifts back, as if our perspective character is rearing back for - Ann Carter@anncaris - a strike... Ann Carter@anncaris ...when Thorkildsen turns around and is spooked by whatever he sees, stumbling back into the console Ann Carter@anncaris | The camera switches views, and we see that it is no monster, but a Klingon. Specifically Ulkass, the Klingon member of the MACO team on board Ann Carter@anncaris | Thorkildsen: "I-I'm sorry, you surprised me. I wasn't expecting someone else to be here. Can I help you?" Ann Carter@anncaris | Ulkass blinks, "No, I..." she looks around with a surprised expression, "Where am I?" Ann Carter@anncaris | Thorkildsen: "This is Environmental Control. Are you alright?" Ann Carter@anncaris | Ulkass nods, "Yes, I am...fine. I must have had too much bloodwine..." Ann Carter@anncaris | The Klingon turns and heads out, still looking a little dazed. Thorkildsen shakes his head, thinking nothing of it as he turns around and gets back to work --- Ann Carter@anncaris | In one of the science labs, Lennie is wrapping up her day of work when the door slides open and Ann steps inside. Like most of the junior officers and enlisted personnel, she has been - Ann Carter@anncaris - promoted, now sporting Lieutenant Junior Grade pips Ann Carter@anncaris:"Hey vijra! 'nother busy day o' research?" Lendaria@crystyl looks over from her console and smiles, "Heya Sweets! Ain't they always?" she chuckles Ann Carter@anncaris chuckles as well, "'specially in here! Now tha' all the fightin's finally over, we finally get to study the Sphere an' all its mysteries in peace!" Ann Carter@anncaris:"Though I guess it ain't as mysterious with the Iconians 'round to help explain somethin' if ya really get stumped." Lendaria@crystyl:"True, but they ain't exactly givin' guided tours either. So plenty t'do still! Wha'bout you'se, still kinda scratchin' around I guess?" Ann Carter@anncaris:"Not much to do on helm while we're in here 'cept the odd rendezvous with a ship or visit to a facility. Spent most o' my shift helpin' out in Engineering actually since we weren't goin' anywhere - Ann Carter@anncaris - today. Kelly let one o' the cadets monitor the helm to get some hands-on experience." Lendaria@crystyl:"Aah nice, an' ya get t'do some tinkerin' too!" Ann Carter@anncaris smiles and nods, "Yup! Between Vusal an' I, we got the work done ahead o' time, so here I am now. Think he's comin' 'round to my more chaotic way o' doin' things after our time workin' together - Ann Carter@anncaris - on the Aethon," she chuckles. "I mean, he's still as organized as ever, but he's not givin' me one o' his Vulcan looks every time I don't do somethin' by the books." Lendaria@crystyl laughs, "You'll-a wear him down!" Ann Carter@anncaris:"Think I'm makin' a good start already! So, almost finished here or 'nother overshift day?" Lendaria@crystyl:"Nah, takin' it easy these days still! So can wrap up if ya wanna do somethin?" Ann Carter@anncaris smiles, "I picked up the latest Lexington holoadventures we missed out on from Lieutenant Sulung of the Ahwahnee. Thought we could check 'em out." Lendaria@crystyl:"Ooh sounds fun!" she taps at her console, wrapping up her work, "Let's go then!" Ann Carter@anncaris grins and turns to lead the way out Ann Carter@anncaris | As the two make their way towards a free holodeck, they pass by one of the less busy hallways. Currently, only one other person walks down the hallway, an Orion man both Lennie and Ann - Ann Carter@anncaris - recognizes as Specialist Tizan, one of the security personnel that joined the crew from Vue-En and whom Lennie personally greeted. However, something seems off about the way he is moving. It - Ann Carter@anncaris - looks as if he is drunk or otherwise not fully of his own senses Lendaria@crystyl chuckles a little as he approaaches, "Hey Tizan, heavy night?" Ann Carter@anncaris | Tizan pauses and looks at Lennie. There's something savage about his gaze. Then he suddenly charges at her, and his movements don't quite resemble a drunk man...they resemble a Horde thrall Lendaria@crystyl is a little taken aback, but reacts in swinging her arm across his thorax and slamming him into a pin against the wall, "Gisjachet! What's - nggh - wrong with you?!" Ann Carter@anncaris | Tizan grunts as he is slammed against the wall. He moves his arms to break the pin and counterattack but suddenly stops, a surprised look crossing his face, "...Commander? What're you doing, I - Ann Carter@anncaris - didn't think you were the type of Orion to pin a male against the wall..." Ann Carter@anncaris narrows her eyes, "What're you playin' at, Tizan?" Lendaria@crystyl holds a cold scowl, reinforcing her arm against him Ann Carter@anncaris | Tizan: "Playing at, I...I don't know what happened. One moment I was walking down the hall and then I...Goddess, I'm so sorry, Lennie. I have no idea what came over me. It felt like I - Ann Carter@anncaris:- suddenly wasn't in control. Like that gisjacheh Architect was in my head again." Lendaria@crystyl:"C'mon. We'se takin' ya t'sickbay t'see wha's goin' on" she cautiously loosens back but keeps a hold of his arm so he's just a little awkward if he tries anything again Ann Carter@anncaris | Tizan doesn't try anything, obediently following Lennie Lendaria@crystyl:"Sorry Sweets. Holodeck time's gonna have t'wait it seems" Ann Carter@anncaris nods, "No worries. I'll come with ya." She follows behind Lennie and Tizan, keeping a close eye on him from behind Ann Carter@anncaris | The walk to sickbay passes peacefully, with Tizan making no sudden movements Lendaria@crystyl ignores the strange looks they get as they frogmarch Tizan through the corridors, entering sickbay and looking around for Kazra, "Hey Doc, where ya hidin'?" Ann Carter@anncaris | Kazra steps out from the officer, "Hey Len- what are you doing? You look like you're taking him to the brig, not sickbay." Lendaria@crystyl:"Temptin' as it were, got a feelin' this's th'right place. Git now" she guides Tizan to a biobed, "An' don't give us call t'be usin' restraints too" Ann Carter@anncaris | Tizan nods, slowly sitting down on the biobed, "Don't worry, I have no intention of hurting you. Whatever just happened- that wasn't me. I promise." Ann Carter@anncaris | Kazra steps over, "What is it that just happened?" Lendaria@crystyl:"We saw him walkin' down th'hall. Didn't look right - like he'd been at th'Romulan Ale or somethin'. I said hi, then he lunged at me! It weren't like a drunken swing though, it were more like... - Lendaria@crystyl:- like when th'thralls'd lunge, y'know? Anyways. I pinned 'im, then he kinda snapped out of it an' seemed all dazed. Spoke like he experienced a possession kinda like how when th'Architect got his - Lendaria@crystyl:- claws into us" Ann Carter@anncaris | Kazra: "That's concerning..." She looks to Tizan. "Lie down on the bed." Ann Carter@anncaris | The Orion male nods and obeys. Kazra steps over, tapping on the biobed's interface Ann Carter@anncaris | Kazra: "Well there's definitely no alcohol or any other stimulants besides trace amounts of caffeine in his body." Lendaria@crystyl:"If tha's th'result o'caffeine I gotta check mah raktajino count..." Ann Carter@anncaris | Kazra: "It's definitely not the caffeine," she continues tapping away. "I'm seeing an unusual neurochemistry balance, fading away quickly. Bringing him here was definitely the right call. In a - Ann Carter@anncaris - few minutes it would've been undetectable; if you took him to the brig we'd never catch this." Lendaria@crystyl:"Question is; wha'd we catch?" Ann Carter@anncaris | Kazra: "That's a good question. It's not quite Horde influence- it doesn't have that unique signature. But whatever it is, it's damn similar. I'm no telepathy expert, but if I were to hazard a - Ann Carter@anncaris - guess from the readings here, I'd say it was mental control using the same backdoor mechanism." Ann Carter@anncaris:"We still got our implants, though. Tha' should be impossible, even if the Horde or somethin' like it's still around." Ann Carter@anncaris | Kazra: "I'm checking the implant now." Ann Carter@anncaris | Kazra taps a few more times, "The implant's functioning perfectly. Which means this is either something else, or someone with the same implant frequency was behind this, like how the Architect - Ann Carter@anncaris - did it. Either way, we have to inform Keelah." Lendaria@crystyl nods, "I'll keep an eye on 'im if ya wanna do th'honours. This's ya domain after all" Ann Carter@anncaris | Kazra nods, "Thank you, Commander," she steps away from the bed --- Ann Carter@anncaris | Meanwhile, Keelah is relaxing in her quarters while TP does her Academy homework when her combadge sounds Keelah@crystyl taps lazily, "Captain Se'Lai isn't here right now, please leave a message" not even opening her eyes as she lazes, curled up in the armchair Ann Carter@anncaris:<C - Kazra> "Sorry to bother you, Keelah, but there's something you have to see." Keelah@crystyl:"Perhaps you didn't hear the recorded message, I'm not here unless it's a red alert and we're under attack" Ann Carter@anncaris:<C - Kazra> "It could be worse than that. I don't know what exactly this is yet, but it looks too close to Horde possession for my liking." Keelah@crystyl 's eyes open, "Alright, you win. I'm on my way" Ann Carter@anncaris <C - Kazra> "I'll see you in sickbay, Captain." Ann Carter@anncaris | TP looks up from the computer, "Did something happen?" Keelah@crystyl slinks out of the armchair, straightening her tunic as she stands, "Unclear, but something has Kazra spooked" she gives a reassuring smile, kissing TP on the head, "I am sure it is nothing serious - Keelah@crystyl:- though, so no excuse for not finishing your homework" Ann Carter@anncaris | TP nods, "Don't worry mum, it'll be done before you get back!" Keelah@crystyl 's smile quickly fades as she exits and makes her way down to sickbay, mind running at warp speed to fathom the potential scenarios that await her there Ann Carter@anncaris | As she makes her way towards sickbay, Keelah passes through a particularly busy hallway. Walking down, the passing crew all nod to her in greetings, some saying "Hello," "Evening," or "Captain." Keelah@crystyl offers similar greetings or simple smiles and nods in return Ann Carter@anncaris | While she greets her way through the corridor, she spots the Architect among the crowd... Keelah@crystyl freezes on the spot in disbelief before quickening her pace to try and catch up to him Ann Carter@anncaris | Keelah catches up to him as he turns the corner to another, much emptier intersecting hallway Keelah@crystyl reaches out to grab his shoulder and turn him around to confront him Ann Carter@anncaris | She turns him around...only to find herself staring into the face of a confused Petty Officer whom she recognizes as Petty Officer Allen Ann Carter@anncaris | Allen: "Captain?" Keelah@crystyl doubletakes, "Allen? Sorry, I... thought you were somebody else for a moment... carry on" she releases her grasp and steps back with self doubt Ann Carter@anncaris | Allen slowly turns away and continues down the hall Keelah@crystyl shakes the thought from her mind and continues to sickbay Ann Carter@anncaris | Inside sickbay, she finds Tizan on the bed with Lennie and Ann nearby while Kazra works at the central console in the room Keelah@crystyl looks around the gathered crowd, "Doctor. What is the situation?" Ann Carter@anncaris | Kazra moves over to the bed from the console, "Well, apparently the Specialist here was in some kind of drunken stupor and tried to attack Lennie. Except there's no alcohol in his blood, but I - Ann Carter@anncaris - did detect an unusual neurochemistry imbalance. It doesn't have the Horde's signature, but I think it could be a similar form of mental control." Keelah@crystyl:"Mental control? Like being enthralled again...?" her gaze drifts back to the door and the hallway beyond where her thoughts linger on the strange encounter Ann Carter@anncaris | Tizan nods, "That's what it felt like, when we were controlled by the Architect. But I was less...aware of what was going on around me. The sense that I wasn't in control of myself though, - Ann Carter@anncaris - that was the same." Keelah@crystyl:"Perhaps you should start from the beginning Specialist. When did this sensation first overcome you?" Ann Carter@anncaris | Tizan: "I was walking down the hall, and it just suddenly came over me. I'm not sure how long it lasted, it could have been a few seconds or several minutes. It couldn't have been longer than - Ann Carter@anncaris - several minutes, as I had just gone off-duty at the end of the shift." Keelah@crystyl:"Where exactly were you at the time? Do you recall any specific interactions with anybody?" Ann Carter@anncaris | Tizan: "I...Specialist Hanmun was the last one I spoke with that I remember, right after I finished my shift and before I headed into the halls." Keelah@crystyl looks to Kazra, "Perhaps it would be worth checking Hanmun out as well then" Ann Carter@anncaris | Kazra nods, "I'll call him to sickbay, but Tizan's neurochemistry is already almost completely normal. If Specialist Hanmun was previously affected, we might not see any signs." Keelah@crystyl:"That is... inconvenient. Are there no lasting telltales at all?" Ann Carter@anncaris | Kazra: "Medical scanners can only pick up the neurochemistry and electrical signals, and whatever's happened to him doesn't leave a permanent change like with the Horde. Telepaths might be - Ann Carter@anncaris - able to detect something, though." Keelah@crystyl:"They could also be responsible, yes?" Ann Carter@anncaris | Kazra nods, "Their implants are set to the same frequency as ours, so yes. They could enthrall members of the crew, if they knew how and wanted to." Keelah@crystyl:"Then we have a problem in determining a safe contact to assist in the search" Ann Carter@anncaris:"I'm not sure if you're gonna like this suggestion Cap'n but...the Romulans are an option." Keelah@crystyl looks to Ann, "A curious line of deduction. What is the logic behind your idea?" Ann Carter@anncaris:"I was speakin' to some o' 'em last week on the Foundry. They got their implants set to a different frequency. The Republic might not be malicious like the Star Empire was, but Romulans still love - Ann Carter@anncaris - privacy. They got their own frequency separate from the rest o' the Coalition so we can't read their minds. Also means their telepaths can't read our minds either, so none o' 'em could be - Ann Carter@anncaris - responsible for this." Keelah@crystyl smiles a little, "A most logical conclusion. I will reach out to them then" Ann Carter@anncaris | Kazra: "Anything you want us to do here in the meantime?" Keelah@crystyl:"Continue your research for now. I will issue a shipwide buddy system until we learn more, so prepare to work closely with security to assess and treat anyone else brought in like the Specialist here Ann Carter@anncaris | Kazra nods, "Understood. Should I keep Specialist Tizan in here for further observation or let him go for now with someone to watch him?" Keelah@crystyl:"I leave that your discretion as a purely medical decision. There is one more matter to deal with though" Ann Carter@anncaris | Kazra: "What's that?" Keelah@crystyl:"Give me the same scan you did for Tizan" Ann Carter@anncaris | Kazra narrows her eyes, then nods, motioning to a nearby bed, "You...didn't experience what he described, did you?" Keelah@crystyl sits on the next bed, "No, but I did experience... something" Ann Carter@anncaris | Kazra: "Lie down, please. What /did/ you experience?" Keelah@crystyl lays back on the bed, "On the way here, I saw the Architect walking through the corridors. I caught up to him, but when I did so it was not him, but one of the NCOs" Ann Carter@anncaris | Kazra taps away on the console, "Your neurochemistry looks normal. If you ask me, I don't think it was telepathic in nature." Keelah@crystyl sits back up, "Curious, though you did say that the measurable effects from Tizan soon dissipated. And that was from direct intervention, whereas what I experienced was far more passive. I will not- Keelah@crystyl:- rule out a connection just yet, especially given the context" Ann Carter@anncaris | Kazra: "It's not impossible, but it could just be the good old unreliable brain playing tricks on you. This buddy system you're implementing- I assume telepaths get a buddy too? They won't be - Ann Carter@anncaris - able to ward off control unless they're as powerful as Sin, and if they're the ones responsible, all the more reason to have someone keeping an eye on them." Keelah@crystyl nods, "Yes, the standard rules apply; every person on board to have an assigned buddy and remain with them at all times" Ann Carter@anncaris | Kazra: "Then I suggest taking Commander Kivar as yours. I don't like what your mother did to get here on board, but her reasoning does make sense, just not her method. You've been through a - Ann Carter@anncaris - lot leading us in the war against the Horde. Seeing the Architect in the halls, it might be you, not the telepath behind this." Keelah@crystyl:"Ordinarily I would agree, but the timing is too convenient. However, I will adhere to your recommendation" Ann Carter@anncaris | Kazra smiles, "I knew getting you to set up an appointment while all this is going on would be impossible, so this is the next best thing. Well, I'll let you get on with contacting the - Ann Carter@anncaris - Romulans." Keelah@crystyl eyerolls and heads out --- NPC@annpc#557 | After the security measures are in place, Jatila rings the doorbell to Keelah's ready room Keelah@crystyl:"Come in" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila steps inside, "Captain. I'm honoured you chose me to accompany you. Though am I right in assuming that it wasn't your idea?" she smiles Keelah@crystyl:"You were the most logical choice. And... apparently this keeps me off Kazra's hit list for a while longer" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila chuckles, "I had a feeling it was her," she takes a seat. "Don't worry, I've worked closely with multiple Captains in the past. I'll treat everything as doctor-patient confidentiality, so you - NPC@annpc#557 - don't have to worry about me learning any classified data or anything." Keelah@crystyl:"Of course. Now, I have the less desirable task of asking the Romulan contingent for assistance" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila takes a seat, "Why the Romulans?" Keelah@crystyl:"Because their paranoia works to our advantage here. Because we have no idea as to the source of this attack, only the method; it means that anyone on board could be behind and/or involved. Willing - Keelah@crystyl:- or otherwise. Because the Romulans operate their implants of a classified frequency unique to them, they are the only ones free from suspicion to assist with telepathic lines of inquiry" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila nods, "That makes sense. You really think someone on the crew could be involved in this?" Keelah@crystyl:"I highly doubt someone from our family would purposely look to usurp everything around them and do what the Architect failed to do. Well, ok it sounds exactly like Sin, but... like I said, we can't- Keelah@crystyl:- assume anything at present which is why we need impartial investigation" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "And unfortunately my days of being the impartial investigator are over now that you actually need it...well, I'll leave you to call the Romulans. Just pretend I'm not here, and I - NPC@annpc#557 - won't make too much noise," she chuckles as she stands and moves over to the sofa Keelah@crystyl:"There is no need to sound quite so disappointed at becoming accepted into the family" she smiles before tapping on the console to open the channel NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila smiles back, "Oh I'm certainly happy to be accepted, it's just the timing," she smiles back, taking out a PADD to read as Keelah opens the channel NPC@annpc#557 | Commander Nadel appears on the viewscreen, "Captain Se'lai. How can I help you?" Keelah@crystyl:"Commander. We have a potential situation on board that I believe warrants a Romulan touch" NPC@annpc#557 | Nadel: "Oh? What is the situation?" Keelah@crystyl:"In a word? Vague. With supposition? Possibly subterfuge, espionage, conspiracy or any combination thereof" NPC@annpc#557 | Nadel: "Certainly sounds like you could use a skilled Romulan. Do you want us to dispatch an officer to help you investigate this?" Keelah@crystyl:"Yes. Specifically though; we suspect someone - or something - is using our implant frequency to exert telepathic control in a similar fashion to the Architect. We have no idea how widespread this - Keelah@crystyl:- is, but given that your implants are on a unique frequency it is a reasonable deduction that your people are the only ones above suspicion" NPC@annpc#557 | Nadel nods, "I see your reasoning. Given this is telepathic in nature, do you seek an investigator with telepathic capability as well, or would you prefer someone who does not possess telepathy?â€ Keelah@crystyl:"I believe a skilled telepath may be best suited here as medical science has limited capacity to intervene at present" NPC@annpc#557 | Nadel: "I believe I know the perfect officer for the task. I will have him beamed over to your ship promptly. He will need his implant adjusted to your frequency to read your crew, but your - NPC@annpc#557 - doctors can take care of it. You can confirm that he has been on a different frequency in the process and fully eliminate him as a potential suspect." Keelah@crystyl:"That sounds good to me. Thank you for the assistance Commander" NPC@annpc#557 | Nadel: "Good luck with your investigation, Captain." Keelah@crystyl closes the comm, "That wasn't so bad now" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila smiles, "I suppose after facing the Horde, everyone knows the dangers of rampant abuse of telepathy now." Keelah@crystyl:"Yet somehow I still feel the need for a sonic shower after describing a Romulan as being above suspicion. I'm fairly certain that's a cultural insult to them as well..." NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila chuckles, "I'm sure they understand you mean above suspicion in this particular investigation only. And if not, well at least the Republic is more understanding and diplomatic than the - NPC@annpc#557 - Romulan states that have come before it." NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila adds after a second, "We don't have to accompany each other for sonic showers, do we...?" Keelah@crystyl:"That will not be necessary" she chuckles, tapping at her console before sitting back, "The investigator should be shown here once they arrive. Meanwhile, what are your thoughts on all of this?" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "I don't think whoever is behind this is trying to continue the Architect's work, or they aren't quite there yet. There's no purpose to taking control of a specialist and attacking - NPC@annpc#557 - Commander Lendaria in the middle of the ship. If they have the ability to enthrall people, even if it's only one at a time, they could take a senior officer, or you. They'd be able to - NPC@annpc#557 - accomplish much more that way." Keelah@crystyl:"Yes, the experience described by the Specialist made it sound much... simpler. Almost like a more instinctual thing" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "I think someone may be testing out their abilities, likely newfound ones they've obtained after the barrier dispersal. This doesn't seem like a targeted attack. I think Lennie just - NPC@annpc#557 - happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. This might not even be the first time it's happened. Maybe they lost control in this test, and previous ones didn't go violent, so no one - NPC@annpc#557 - thought much of it." Keelah@crystyl:"I am inclined to agree. Silvestrie is gathering reports of any unusual behaviour or events. This is also why Sin is not my first port of call as a suspect. Though galactic domination is certainly - Keelah@crystyl:- something I can see her taking a fancy to, if she ever did decide to pull something like this; we would all know about it" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila nods, "Exactly. This feels like someone who doesn't yet have a full grasp on their powers, or a plan in place for what to do with them." Keelah@crystyl:"They may not even be aware of what they are doing" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "That's a possibility as well. Maybe they're just trying to read minds and accidentally implanting thoughts and actions in them." Keelah@crystyl:"What about the rest of the crew? Do you anticipate any difficulties or tensions we should be particularly mindful of as a result of this?" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "I don't expect you'll have any tensions between telepathic and non-telepathic crew. A less closely-knit crew might begin suspecting one another, but the culprit could very well be - NPC@annpc#557 - someone off the ship and you know one another too well to throw around allegations like that. There's certainly going to be tension with the threat of people possibly being enthralled and - NPC@annpc#557:- attacking others around them. Not to mention after fighting against the Horde and your experience being controlled by the Architect, it's going to weigh heavy on everyone. If we can resolve the - NPC@annpc#557 - situation quickly, I think we'll be fine. We've come through worse than this. But if the investigation drags on, it could become an issue." Keelah@crystyl nods, "I appreciate you keeping a tab on things" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "I'll do my best to keep morale if this lasts for some time, but there'll only be so much I can do when almost anyone could be a danger." Keelah@crystyl:"Just keeping your finger on the pulse and helping me stay apprised is plenty enough" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila smiles, "I'll make sure to keep you up to date on the psychological situation of the crew." NPC@annpc#557 FX | The doorbell rings again Keelah@crystyl:"Come in" NPC@annpc#557 | The door opens and a figure steps in. He is not a Romulan, but a tall Reman. Like many Remans, his face is naturally intimidating, but the effect is amplified by a number of scars across his - NPC@annpc#557 - visage. He does not wear a typical Republic uniform, but instead the jacket of Republic Intelligence Keelah@crystyl:"Thank you for coming" NPC@annpc#557 | Reman: "I am Centurion Axireth. Commander Nadel has briefed me on the details you have provided her. She mentioned that my implant will have to be adjusted to your frequency to read your crew." Keelah@crystyl nods, "That is correct. It is our hope that a telepathic inquisition will yield more insight than medical probing has with those known to have become influenced. And hopefully, help find the source" NPC@annpc#557 | Axireth nods, "I will have the implant adjusted and begin examining the ones who have been influenced. Is there anything else I should know?" Keelah@crystyl:"We know very little ourselves at present, and have more in theories than in facts" NPC@annpc#557 | Axireth: "Then I shall begin my investigation. With your permission of course, Captain." Keelah@crystyl nods, "By all means" NPC@annpc#557 | Axireth nods back and promptly heads back out Keelah@crystyl watches him leave, "Good chat" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "Yes, he's very curt, isn't he? His scars run deeper than what's visible on the surface. I've seen many like him, but there's few this drastic among Starfleet's personnel." Keelah@crystyl:"Republic Intelligence too, so it doesn't even bear thinking about. I just hope he is the right man for the job" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "I hope so as well. He is a member of Republic Intelligence for a reason. And the way he carries himself- tall, strong and proud, yet also curt and unassertive. If I may hazard a - NPC@annpc#557:- guess, I'd say he was Tal Shiar before, or at least an asset used by them. He's been treated as sub-sentient before in his life, hence the contradictions. And he likely was not a slave or soldier - NPC@annpc#557 - if he is with Intelligence." Keelah@crystyl nods, "Probably one of the many Remans subjugated and weaponized by the Tal Shiar" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila nods, "I can see why they sent him. He probably has the skills we need. Let's see what his investigation yields..." --- NPC@annpc#557 | An hour later, Keelah and Jatila proceed to sickbay to observe Axireth's investigation. There are a few more patients inside, including Ulkass and Lieutenant Jones, one of the new transfers - NPC@annpc#557 - from the Starfleet reinforcements to replace crewmembers who have either moved on from the VF after a promotion or was killed in action during the final battle of the Horde conflict NPC@annpc#557 | Axireth stands in front of Jones' bed, his eyes closed while Kazra observes from the console in the middle of sickbay Keelah@crystyl quietly observes from a distance NPC@annpc#557 | After a minute of quiet, Axireth opens his eyes, "Captain." He addresses her before he could have seen her, likely using his telepathy to sense their presence. He does turn around after - NPC@annpc#557 - addressing Keelah to face her, though, but eye contact is clearly a social courtesy for him and not a necessity to see the people around him Keelah@crystyl:"I hope our presence is not overly-distracting for you" NPC@annpc#557 | Axireth: "No, your presence is not the problem. You have come to see what progress I have made, I assume?" Keelah@crystyl nods NPC@annpc#557 | Axireth: "I can confirm it is the work of a psionic. A powerful one. But tracking them down is proving...difficult." Keelah@crystyl:"To be expected. What have you been able to learn so far?" NPC@annpc#557 | Axireth: "There is something...off about this psionic. Have you ever heard of the Psi-Hounds, Captain?" Keelah@crystyl shakes her head loosely NPC@annpc#557 | Axireth: "I thought not. It is the group I once belonged to. The Tal Shiar bred us, trained us from birth to become telepathic trackers. You are Vulcan. I am sure you are aware that every mind - NPC@annpc#557 - is different, with its own unique pattern. Every person has a unique telepathic 'signature,' if you will." Keelah@crystyl:"Of course" NPC@annpc#557 | Axireth: "I have sensed few minds like this before. It is a single mind, not a collective consciousness like the Borg, or the Horde. But there are other presences within this mind." NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "Like a split personality disorder?" NPC@annpc#557 | Axireth: "Not quite. A split mind is fragmented. This one is not. Personalities have been...added to it. The only time I have ever sensed something remotely similar is in Joined Trill," he - NPC@annpc#557 - nods towards Kazra NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra: "But we're not usually telepaths. I've already sent out a request to the medical departments of the rest of the fleet to check their Joined Trill for developing telepathic capabilities. - NPC@annpc#557 - There's not that many of us, and so far there's no word of anything." Keelah@crystyl:"Could it be feasible for a symbiont to develop psionic ability, but not the host?" NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra: "Technically, yes, but the symbiont isn't a Progenitor-seeded species. If one developed psionic ability, it was caused by something separate from the barrier dispersal. That only - NPC@annpc#557 - affected Children species." Keelah@crystyl:"Good point. So where does this leave us?" NPC@annpc#557 | Axireth: "Under normal circumstances, I can track down a psionic by following their telepathic signature, as long as they have used their telepathy on someone. These additional presences - NPC@annpc#557 - complicate matters. I will need someone still under the telepath's influence to track them." Keelah@crystyl:"Is there anything we might do to control - or guide - who this presence affects, and when?" NPC@annpc#557 | Axireth: "I do not think so. I cannot sense any discernible motive behind the telepathic presence, and looking at the victims, there are no patterns." Keelah@crystyl:"What about a more scientific method, Doctor? Some sort of dampening field to at least make specific areas of the ship... favourable?" NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra: "We don't know how they're selecting their targets, so we have no idea what makes someone more or less favourable. But there might be something we could do." Keelah@crystyl:"Hence the theory about dampening fields. What is your idea?" NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra: "We could change the implant frequencies of everyone we don't want affected. We'll have to leave the telepaths in the current frequency, as one of them could be the culprit, but we - NPC@annpc#557 - may want a few non-telepaths along as well. Their minds could be easier to dominate; all the victims so far have been non-telepaths. Then we keep all the psionics and non-telepathic - NPC@annpc#557:- individuals, everyone with the current frequency in one part of the ship. The rest of the ship will be immune, and we'll have a smaller group to observe from." NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "It will help ease tensions as well, if we change the frequencies of most of the non-telepathic crew so they can't be potential victims." Keelah@crystyl nods, "Sounds good to me. How long will it take to adjust everyone?" NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra: "I'll get my full staff working on it. We can have it done in a couple of hours, seeing as each individual adjustment should only take a few minutes. No more than half a day." Keelah@crystyl:"We will increase security here to assist. Working through everyone, it is possible that we will stumble across the one responsible in the process" NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra: "We'll need to leave all the telepaths unadjusted, but we'll check everyone we are adjusting for any psionic improvement. We checked everyone right after the barrier dispersal, but I've - NPC@annpc#557 - heard of a few cases across the Coalition where their abilities didn't manifest immediately, so it shouldn't hurt to be thorough." Keelah@crystyl nods, "Very good then" looking to Axireth, "Are there any other avenues you wish to pursue in the meantime?" NPC@annpc#557 | Axireth: "No. I shall keep my implant on your frequency and remain in the area with the unadjusted members of the crew to track the psionic when they strike again." Keelah@crystyl:"Alright, inform me as soon as there is any news" she glances to Jatila and heads out NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila follows Keelah out, "Once the implants are adjusted, I think we'll only need to keep this buddy system for people still on the old frequency. Will you be remaining on the old or - NPC@annpc#557 - changing to the new? Vulcans are telepaths, but if you haven't received a boost from the barrier dispersal, I don't think you'd be capable of being responsible for this." Keelah@crystyl:"True. Bottom line, I will defer to Kazra's judgement and do as she fits for all of the Vulcans on board" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila nods, "I'll stay with you if she chooses to keep you on the old frequency." Keelah@crystyl:"Well we have a little time now, and it is not fair to drag you around everywhere on my business. Is there anything you wish to tend to?" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila smiles, "Yes, actually. Let's head to my office, if you're sure you can afford a little time off." Keelah@crystyl smiles, "I don't get time off. But I do get to choose where I work from, lead on" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila leads Keelah into the counselling office and takes a seat behind her desk, "Come, sit down." Keelah@crystyl joins her, sitting casually, "If you need to catch up on admin work then don't worry about me. I always come prepared" she smiles, retrieving a PADD NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "Actually, I was hoping to ask you what exactly prompted Kazra to pair me with you. I know she wants to get you into as much medical checkups and counselling sessions as you're willing - NPC@annpc#557 - to take, but this isn't exactly an appointment. She must've seen something that concerned her." Keelah@crystyl sets her PADD down with a disappointed look, "Must she now? Or perhaps it is simply as I said insofar that she knows this is as close as she is likely to get me to such a session without just cause" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "Maybe, but Kazra wouldn't get you to a session in a time like this without any cause at all. She knows how serious this situation could be." Keelah@crystyl:"Which is why I appreciate her discretion in not pushing such trivial pursuits at such a time" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila nods, "I'll let you get to your own admin work, then. But if there is something on your mind, don't be afraid to share it just because there's a bigger problem going on. You might be - NPC@annpc#557 - in command, but you're still a person like everyone else. And if anything, it's more important for you to be clear and focused than anyone else on the crew." Keelah@crystyl:"I am aware" she nods, retrieving her PADD and deciding to focus on her work after the unwelcome intrusion NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila taps away at her computer, working away there as well --- NPC@annpc#557 | A few hours later, Keelah and Jatila are called down to the lower decks, where Kazra and Kelly greet them Keelah@crystyl:"What news?" she asks while approaching eagerly, after the extended awkward silence NPC@annpc#557 | Kelly: "We temporarily settled everyone whose implants haven't been adjusted here in the lower decks' living areas. The situation doesn't quite call for cramming everyone into cargo bay - NPC@annpc#557 - setups, but the closer quarters of the lower decks areas make it easier for our investigator to respond on time when someone does fall under control." NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra: "I've also decided to leave your implant as is. Axireth believes it's not impossible for a very telepathically strong Vulcan to be responsible. Not that we think you're behind this, of - NPC@annpc#557 - course, but you are on the stronger end of the spectrum, and it'll set a good example. Kelly's implant has been adjusted so she can't be compromised, as are all the department heads." Keelah@crystyl:"Very well then. So now it is a waiting game?" NPC@annpc#557 | Kelly nods, "You'll just have to bear with the more cramped living spaces until the psionic strikes again. Hopefully it won't be too uncomfortable." NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra: "And I adjusted Pia's implant as well, so she's not under any danger." NPC@annpc#557 | As Kelly and Kazra speak, Keelah sees the Architect walking down the hall towards them again... Keelah@crystyl:"Thank you Doctor, that will be... fine...?" she tilts her head, trailing off and moving to follow NPC@annpc#557 | Kelly and Jatila observe Keelah curiously as Kazra looks over with a little concern NPC@annpc#557 | As Keelah gets closer to the 'Architect' she realizes this time that it is Axireth, the Reman investigator Keelah@crystyl:"Oh, Axireth. It's you..." NPC@annpc#557 | Axireth gives a tilt of his head, "Of course. There are no other Remans on this ship. I have just been examining your telepaths." Keelah@crystyl:"And nothing jumps out at you right now?" NPC@annpc#557 | Axireth: "No. Either the one responsible is not on this ship, or the other personalities do not manifest all the time." Keelah@crystyl:"I see. Well. Very good then" she turns to settle in for the wait, throwing a glance back his way NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra and Kelly exchange glances before leaving while Jatila follows Keelah in, "Who did you think he was?" Keelah@crystyl:"He was the Architect. Just like earlier" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "You saw the Architect...in place of him?" Keelah@crystyl nods, "Yes. It happened earlier with one of the NCO's as well. Presumed to be another manifestation of this current phenomena" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "That's certainly possible, though I haven't been seeing the Architect. I've never seen him in person though, so that may make a difference." Keelah@crystyl:"Perhaps. It is all speculation until we get to the bottom of this though" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila nods, "Do you think this could have something to do with the Architect? Not directly, he should be trapped in the mind prison now, but indirectly somehow? Maybe another surprise he left - NPC@annpc#557 - for us that we didn't find until now, rather than being connected to the barrier dispersal?" Keelah@crystyl:"I do not know yet. It is possible, certainly. It is also possible that all of this is him reaching out from within the mind prison. It may also have absolutely nothing to do with him and simply be - Keelah@crystyl:- the image conjured by the culprit when they touch my own mind" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "That could be the case. The Architect's certainly left a significant impression on your mind, hasn't he?" Keelah@crystyl:"It would be illogical to deny such a suggestion" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila nods, "It makes sense that someone attacking your mind might draw up his image. Especially as it must be at the forefront of your mind again with all this happening. Of course, it's not - NPC@annpc#557 - entirely impossible that your mind alone is doing this, but if that is the case, it is likely brought on by the current situation too." Keelah@crystyl:"That is my assessment as well" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "Well, let me know if you see him again. For now, I suppose we just rest and wait..." Keelah@crystyl:"And hope that this does not take long" NPC@annpc#557 FX | Several hours pass without any word until the night shift comes along and Jatila takes one of the bunks to sleep in Keelah@crystyl continues to work quietly, occasionally wondering and chatting with the crew NPC@annpc#557 | During one of her wanderings, she is speaking with Gwi outside the quarters she and Jatila were assigned when she notices Sepuk stumbling down the hall, walking as if she were drunk... Keelah@crystyl grabs Gwi's arm to get his attention and indicates towards sepuk, "Get Axireth" and slowly makes her way towards Sepuk NPC@annpc#557 | Gwi nods and rushes off. Sepuk continues slowly stumbling along, but she actually turns and begins following Gwi... Keelah@crystyl moves to follow closely, enough so to grab her if she suddenly lunges NPC@annpc#557 | Fortunately, Gwi is rushing and Sepuk continues moving slowly and in a daze. She manages to keep on his trail but doesn't speed up and get close enough to lunge Keelah@crystyl continues tailing her NPC@annpc#557 | Gwi rings Axireth's doorbell and the door opens and he steps inside. As Sepuk turns to follow, the Reman suddenly appears in the doorway, grabbing her face in one hand in a manner quite - NPC@annpc#557 - different and much more aggressive-looking than a mind meld. She freezes in place as Axireth closes his eyes and focuses for a moment, then opens them again, carefully stepping past her into - NPC@annpc#557 - the hall, leaving the Vulcan science officer still frozen in the doorway NPC@annpc#557 | Axireth: "I have the trail. We must hurry while it lasts." Keelah@crystyl nods, "I'm with you" NPC@annpc#557 | Axireth sprints down the hall, past several quarters. He seems to slow as he nears the quarters Keelah was assigned, but he doesn't stop there, continuing forward but at a pace now more like a - NPC@annpc#557 - predator on the prowl. He moves a few quarters down before he comes to a stop at a door and taps on the panel, opening it and stepping in Keelah@crystyl continues to follow closely NPC@annpc#557 | Inside, they find Sin sat in a chair... Keelah@crystyl perks a brow, looking between Axireth and Sin NPC@annpc#557 | Axireth ignores Sin completely, turning to the door and stepping inside the sleeping area... Keelah@crystyl | Sin looks around at the pair, raising her hands, "It wasn't me!" Keelah@crystyl:"That much is apparent Ensign. Who are you sharing these quarters with?" Keelah@crystyl | Sin doubletakes, "I'm... with Eva. What's going on?" Keelah@crystyl | Sin asks, standing cautiously and joining Keelah Keelah@crystyl:"You sensed nothing unusual?" Keelah@crystyl | Sin shakes her head, feeling a little annoyed that she didn't NPC@annpc#557 | Axireth meanwhile silently gestures for them to join him inside the sleeping area Keelah@crystyl & Sin both follow NPC@annpc#557 | Without a sound, the Reman raises his hand and points at the sleeping Eva Keelah@crystyl:"She is the source? I don't understand, she is fast asleep" NPC@annpc#557 | Axireth: "It is her, yet it is not her. It is...difficult to explain. You recall how I said something was off about the one responsible." Keelah@crystyl:"She existed in a somewhat symbiotic condition with the Architect for an extended period of time" NPC@annpc#557 | Eva slowly stirs awake, blinking a few times. Her eyes glow, but quickly fade back to the regular Betazoid black when they see Keelah, Axireth and Sin and she quickly sits up NPC@annpc#557 | Eva: "Captain! What...what's going on?" Keelah@crystyl:"That is what we are trying to ascertain Eva. Don't worry, you are not under threat here. We just need to get to the bottom of things. And it would appear that route leads to you, or through you" NPC@annpc#557 | Eva: "Through me? You mean..." Keelah@crystyl:"We found Sepuk being influenced. Axireth tracked the psionic signal from her" NPC@annpc#557 | Eva: "And it brought you here?" Keelah@crystyl nods, "Straight to you, in your sleep. Were you dreaming, that you can recall?" NPC@annpc#557 | Eva: "The dreams..." She nods, "I've been having these strange dreams, as if I was seeing through someone else's eyes. The Counsellors thought it was trauma from the memories of when the - NPC@annpc#557 - Architect took direct control of thralls through me, but...you think they could be actually happening? Right as I dream them?" Keelah@crystyl:"That would certainly seem to be the case. Though quite how and why you are projecting that onto others remains a mystery" NPC@annpc#557 | Axireth: "I can imagine you more closely," he looks to Eva, "If you would permit it." NPC@annpc#557 | Eva nods, "Of course. I want to figure this out as much as you do." NPC@annpc#557 | Axireth glances at Keelah before he proceeds Keelah@crystyl:"Eva consents, I will not object" Keelah@crystyl | Sin focuses on them as well, channeling her perception NPC@annpc#557 | Axireth steps forward, placing a hand on Eva's face like he did before with Sepuk. They both close their eyes... NPC@annpc#557 | Axireth: "Yes. There is no doubt. She is the one. This...symbiotic condition you mentioned has left behind an imprint. More than an imprint..." NPC@annpc#557 | Eva: "A station shrouded in shadow. A relic of times long gone. Ships constructed in the dark depths. Ships of shadow. A plot abandoned. A fleet forgotten. The sword of the Empire shall become - NPC@annpc#557 - the shield of the Republic. The people must be protected. Vafann aerhiifv." NPC@annpc#557 | Eva: "I'm sorry, I didn't mean..." Keelah@crystyl:"No, it's alright Eva. Clearly this thought is with you for a reason" Keelah@crystyl | Sin tenses, taking a step towards Eva, "That's not Eva!" NPC@annpc#557 | Axireth gasps and breaks off, stumbling back. Suddenly, Keelah finds herself not in control of her own body again, as when the Architect took over... NPC@annpc#557 | Eva: "No, no no...I can't stop it..." Her eyes start to glow again NPC@annpc#557 | Keelah and Axireth turn in unison towards Sin...and then start walking past her and out the door in a stiff, almost Borg-drone like fashion NPC@annpc#557 | Eva: "I don't know what's happening...Sin, you have to stop me!" Keelah@crystyl | Sin tries to shake her out of it, slapping her as well NPC@annpc#557 | A telekinetic wave radiates out from Eva, knocking Sin backwards, toppling furniture and sending items flying across the room. A dark aura begins to form around Eva, almost like a glowing - NPC@annpc#557 - light but inverted NPC@annpc#557 | Eva: "Use your powers, Sin! Hold...nothing...back!" Keelah@crystyl | Sin reels backwards and recoils, bracing against the wall and lashing out in kind NPC@annpc#557 | Eva is knocked back against the far wall of the bedroom, but she doesn't slump to the floor. She just levitates there in mid-air as she swipes her hand and sends a chair telekinetically - NPC@annpc#557 - hurling towards Sin Keelah@crystyl | Sin slaps it away, offended by such a feeble attack. She regroups and reaches out with both hands, eyes glowing as well as she thrusts them towards Eva to pin her to the wall and contain the dark- Keelah@crystyl:- aura, forcing it back into containment, "Dammit Eva!" Snap... out of it!" NPC@annpc#557 | Eva struggles, trying to tear herself out of Sin's pin. Her head and upper body jerks forward as she has some success, but Sin proves the stronger, pressing her back against the wall fully NPC@annpc#557 | The dark aura begins to fade away, along with the glow from Eva's eyes NPC@annpc#557 | Eva: "I'm sorry...the anger. The hate. I don't know why...I can't...control..." NPC@annpc#557 | Her eyes close and she finally slumps to the ground unconscious. Meanwhile outside, Keelah and Axireth regain control of themselves Keelah@crystyl | The air crackles around Sin as she flexes her psionic muscles, so to speak. Struggling briefly to restrain herself, but it soon begins to fade even though she remains tense and poised, "You CAN - Keelah@crystyl:- control it Eva" she drops down to kneel with Eva, taking her hands tightly, "Look at me. You can reign it in" Keelah@crystyl catches herself from the daze and shares a glance with Axireth before rushing back in NPC@annpc#557 | Eva's eyes flicker open and they look at Sin weakly, "Thank you..." They close again as she slips fully into unconsciousness Keelah@crystyl | Sin holds her steady NPC@annpc#557 | Axireth: "It is worse than I had predicted." Keelah@crystyl:"What was that?" NPC@annpc#557 | Axireth: "There are imprints in her mind, left behind by the Architect's control and his control of the Horde as well. They are expanding. Fusing with who she is." Keelah@crystyl:"Is it a part of the Architect left behind?" NPC@annpc#557 | Axireth: "Yes. And a part of the Horde. My attempt to uncover it...may have brought it further to the surface and triggered this outburst. But at least now we know what is occuring." Keelah@crystyl:"Now just to figure out how we help her and make it go away" NPC@annpc#557 | Axireth: "I am afraid that is beyond me. I am a tracker, not a healer. Perhaps the Temple set up by the Chlasi Esoterics to help new psionics train their abilities may be of assistance." Keelah@crystyl | Sin turns and nods, "They are the most disciplined, they will be best suited to help" Keelah@crystyl:"Ensign, are you able to keep her under control?" Keelah@crystyl | Sin nods, "Absolutely" Keelah@crystyl:"Then you're with us. Come on" she moves to help Sin get Eva to her feet Keliaya@anncaris | As Keelah and co. move to leave the quarters, the door slides open to show Kelly on the other side Keliaya@anncaris:"Even with the implant changes, I felt something strange from my connection with Eva. Like I was still connected to her after the implant change following the Architect's possession..." Keelah@crystyl pauses, "Kelly, perfect timing. There is indeed something strange occurring, please assist us" she lets Kelly take Eva from her Keliaya@anncaris nods and helps carry the unconscious Eva, "What happened to her?" Keelah@crystyl:"We are not entirely certain just yet. Only that she is responsible for what has been happening here. Or rather, something within her is" Keelah@crystyl | Sin chimes in, "Not going to lie, it actually took a little effort to restrain her. Seriously, I almost broke a sweat and everything!" Keelah@crystyl eyerolls, "Dramatization aside, Sin is correct. We believe there is some... remnant of the Architect and/or the Horde within her. We're taking her to the Chlasi temple to see if they can assist" Keliaya@anncaris:"Should I get the helm underway, or are we going by shuttle?" Keelah@crystyl:"We'll take a shuttle" Keliaya@anncaris begins moving Eva out towards the shuttlebay, "Can I come with? Or do you need me here, to look after the ship?" Keelah@crystyl:"I believe your place is at Eva's side. Lennie can look after things here for us" Keliaya@anncaris smiles, "Thank you, Keelah." She looks to Eva as they proceed. "Do you think she'll be alright?" Keelah@crystyl:"We'll make sure that she is" --- Keliaya@anncaris | Making their way into the shuttlebay, they enter one of the runabouts and set Eva down inside Keliaya@anncaris looks to Sin, "You can fly, I believe." Keelah@crystyl | Sin nods, "It's been a while, but I can figure it out I'm sure" Keelah@crystyl takes the seat next to Sin, "Funny, I was about to say the same thing" Keliaya@anncaris | Axireth: "She may be needed to contain Eva if there is another outburst. I can take the helm if you require." Keelah@crystyl begins flight prep as Sin watches bewildered for a moment Keelah@crystyl | Sin steps away, "Well, between the two of you it seems to be well enough in hand. I'll just be... back here. Out of the way" Keliaya@anncaris | Axireth sits down, giving the console a brief look before he starts tapping away quite naturally on the interface Keelah@crystyl takes care of procedure while leaving Axireth to the actual piloting Keliaya@anncaris | The shuttlebay clears them for departure and Axireth expertly lifts off, taking them out into the Spherescape towards the Chlasi temple Keliaya@anncaris | As they fly, Eva's eyes blink open in the back of the runabout Keelah@crystyl | Sin watches her closely, holding her hand, "Stay focused Eva, let me be your strength" Keliaya@anncaris:"How are you feeling, Eva?" Keliaya@anncaris | Eva: "I don't know...I'm not sure what's happening..." Keliaya@anncaris:"We'll figure it out, I'm sure we will." Keliaya@anncaris | Eva looks to Sin, "Sorry...for what happened earlier." Keelah@crystyl | Sin shrugs, "Why? You did nothing wrong, and nothing done has offended me" Keliaya@anncaris | Eva nods and smiles weakly before leaning to stand Keelah@crystyl | Sin tries to discourage her, "That's probably not the best idea" Keliaya@anncaris does the same, "You should rest. We'll get you help soon." Keliaya@anncaris | Eva shakes her head, "I may not get another chance," she tries to stand again, "Captain." Keliaya@anncaris | Keelah turns to see not Eva, but the Architect in her place Keelah@crystyl leaves her console, joining them, "I am here E- you..." Keliaya@anncaris looks between Eva and Keelah, "Who...?" Keelah@crystyl:"I see the Architect again" Keliaya@anncaris | Eva speaks, though Keelah hears her in the Architect's voice as well, "You were right, Captain. The Children could band together and make the galaxy a better place. I, the real me, was - Keliaya@anncaris - too blinded by pain and grief and anger to see. It is too late for him, I know apologies will be of little consolation to you now. I only hope that his actions has not made it too late for - Keliaya@anncaris - your friend." Keelah@crystyl:"What are you, some part of the Architect's psyche left behind?" Keliaya@anncaris | The Architect nods, "An imprint of him. It is in all of you to some extent," he looks to Sin. "You have seen it yourself. It is especially strong with her, strong enough to manifest as an - Keliaya@anncaris - image with an approximation of the Architect's psyche." Keelah@crystyl:"If you are half as coherent as you appear, then you know we can not allow you to continue to abuse Eva like this" Keliaya@anncaris | Architect: "This is not my doing. It is a consequence of what I have already done, one that is regrettably beyond this imprint's power to repair. I know you have all the reason in the universe - Keliaya@anncaris - not to believe me, but you also know that I was somewhat of an authority on psionics. If you do not trust me, the Chlasi will confirm what I will say. I am not taking control of Eva's body. - Keliaya@anncaris:- Even the Horde imprint is not entirely taking control, though that was responsible for the loss thereof earlier. We are melding as one, with it all our knowledge and more importantly our psionic - Keliaya@anncaris - potential. Combined with the barrier dispersal, we are evolving beyond the limitations of a being of flesh and blood." Keelah@crystyl:"You may not be taking control, but you are denying Eva control at least on some level. Whatever it takes, we will separate her from you once and for all" Keliaya@anncaris | Architect: "It is not the psyche you should be worried about. Eva is not prepared for this, let alone for it to happen so rapidly." Keliaya@anncaris | The Architect fades back to Eva, who looks at Sin, "Even you are afraid of ascension, aren't you?" Keelah@crystyl | Sin: "Pfft, please! I'm just waiting until I conquer the universe first, you know me!" Keelah@crystyl:"Eva... do you believe this is what is happening to you?" Keliaya@anncaris | Eva nods, "He's right. I let him manifest...as unusual as that sounds. He could explain it better than I ever can. Of course, you have no reason to trust this is actually me speaking and not - Keliaya@anncaris - him through my voice," she smirks weakly. "You'll just have to take my word for it, I suppose." Keelah@crystyl:"I can tell it is you Eva, fear not. I am just worried for you" Keliaya@anncaris | Eva: "Me too. I don't know if the Chlasi can help, but they are certainly the most suited to around here." Keelah@crystyl:"Just stay strong like you always do. We will not relent in our search if they can not help, we will keep going until we find someone who can" Keliaya@anncaris | Eva smiles, "Thank you, Captain." --- Keliaya@anncaris | The runabout lands in the Chlasi temple and they disembark into the landing platform. Though signs of Nuhar and Iconian architecture and consoles are still clearly present throughout the area, - Keliaya@anncaris - the design has already been adjusted to closely resemble a Chlasi temple back on one of their worlds, having been rapidly redecorated with the help of the Nuhar and Iconians Keliaya@anncaris | A Chlasi Attendant approaches the runabout, "Captain Keelah Se'lai. To what do we owe this pleasure?" Keelah@crystyl steps forward, "We have a situation and require your urgent assistance" she gestures to Eva Keliaya@anncaris | Attendant: "Urgent? What has happened to her?" Keelah@crystyl:"A side effect from her time possessed by the Architect it seems. She has some sort of... imprint of him within her. It was lashing out on the Valley Forge, but it also seems to be coherent in it's - Keelah@crystyl:- right. Both Eva and the imprint have alluded to this being a form of forced ascension. Non-intentional, but not natural either. We are at a loss with such matters and can think of nobody with - Keelah@crystyl:- better chances of helping her" Keliaya@anncaris | The Attendant nods, "That sounds concerning indeed. Follow me, I will take you to the experienced Esoterics." Keelah@crystyl:"Thank you" she nods, following along Keliaya@anncaris | The Attendant leads them into a lift which takes them out at a large lobby that has been entirely redecorated to the style of Chlasi temples. A number of people walk through it, many of them - Keliaya@anncaris - Chlasi, though there are plenty of members of other species ranging from Romulans to Lodzki. As the Chlasi walk by the group, they seem to bow almost reverently at them, the gesture appearing - Keliaya@anncaris - to be directed specifically at Sin Keelah@crystyl | Sin either doesn't notice through focusing on Eva, or is choosing to ignore it with the matter at hand being a convenient excuse Keliaya@anncaris | As they walk past the lobby and into the depths of the temple, more of the original style of the facility can be seen, along with Nuhar drones hard at work in the redecoration and repurposing Keliaya@anncaris | They even come across a group of Iconian Constructs helping out the drones, with an original Herald produced by the Sphere overseeing the effort as they convert a chamber Keliaya@anncaris | After a short walk through the temple, they are led to an area where Head Esoterics Alachon and Virye are seated, discussing among themselves. The two stand as the group enter Keliaya@anncaris | Alachon: "Welcome to the Temple. I take it you have a serious situation on your hands." Keelah@crystyl nods, letting their escort sum it up in their own manner for expediency Keliaya@anncaris | The attendant explains what Keelah said to the Head Esoterics, who turn their attention back to Keelah once the explanation is finished Keliaya@anncaris | Virye: "Forced ascension...that is troubling. We have never encountered such an occurrence before. Only a few Chlasi have gotten close, and it has taken years of training and discipline. For it - Keliaya@anncaris - to occur rapidly to an unprepared individual, that is very dangerous." Keelah@crystyl:"That is why we need your help and expertise" Keliaya@anncaris | Alachon: "May we examine her?" Keliaya@anncaris | Axireth: "When I tried to uncover her condition, I accidentally caused the other personalities to surface and led to an outburst." Keliaya@anncaris | Alachon nods, "Thank you for the warning. We will take care to avoid that." Keelah@crystyl:"I am but her commanding officer. For all personal matters, Kelly here is best placed to speak for Eva" Keliaya@anncaris nods, "Go ahead," she looks to Sin, "Just be ready if anything happens again." Keelah@crystyl | Sin nods, "Don't worry Kelly, I've been all fired up ever since she hit me with that first psionic attack" Keliaya@anncaris smiles, "Thank you." She steps aside, allowing the two Head Esoterics to converge around Eva Keliaya@anncaris | The two Chlasi close their eyes... Keliaya@anncaris | Eva's eyes suddenly open, glowing, "Stars burning bright. Too bright. A flame that shall cleanse the galaxy, engulfing all who are unworthy. And then...darkness. Darkness for all eternity, - Keliaya@anncaris - until time is reset and the cycle begins again." Keliaya@anncaris | Axireth: "It is happening again..." Keliaya@anncaris | This time however, Eva closes her eyes and slumps back down without incident, and the two Esoterics open their eyes Keliaya@anncaris | Virye: "Do not be concerned. Without your warning, we may very well have caused another outburst, but we were able to examine her safely now that we know what to avoid." Keelah@crystyl:"That is somehow reassuring. What did you find?" Keliaya@anncaris | Alachon: "That is less reassuring, Her condition /is/ something to be concerned about. It is only beginning, but if it is not kept under control, she is not the only one in danger. Her power - Keliaya@anncaris - will threaten all those around her, perhaps the entire Heart of Unity." Keelah@crystyl:"What can we do?" Keliaya@anncaris | Alachon exchanges a worried glance with Virye Keliaya@anncaris | Alachon: "If you wish to both save her life and protect everyone here in the Sphere, then there is only one option." Keliaya@anncaris | Virye: "I must warn you that neither can be guaranteed. But it is the only chance for both." Keelah@crystyl:"Well that takes the debate out of it. Enough beating around the proverbial bush, how do we save Eva?" Keliaya@anncaris | Alachon: "Only an Ascended can save her now. We will perform the Iallabal." Keelah@crystyl:"The... Iallabal?" Keliaya@anncaris | Virye: "We must make preparations. Attendant Mirea will lead you to the Gathering Chamber and explain what she knows." Keliaya@anncaris | The Attendant nods, "As you wish, Virye. Follow me." Keelah@crystyl turns and follows suspiciously Keliaya@anncaris | Mirea leads the way out and back through the Temple, "The Iallabal is a ritual whose secrets are known only to the most experienced of Esoterics, usually the Heads of Temples. It is fortunate - Keliaya@anncaris - that we have more than one Head here, as it is required for the ritual. A single Head Esoteric is commonly only versed in half the ritual, to ensure that it cannot be carried out at the whims - Keliaya@anncaris - of a single individual. The Iallabal is not to be carried out lightly, and has not been done in living memory." Keelah@crystyl:"It is truly that dangerous? I hope then at least the two Head's here know opposing halves of the ritual..." Keelah@crystyl | Sin: "They said it requires an Ascended? Does that mean they're going to force their own ascension in order to do this? Because Eva hasn't signed up for having anyone sacrifice themselves for her- Keelah@crystyl:- here yet" Keliaya@anncaris | Mirea: "No, they are summoning an Ascended. That is what makes the ritual so dangerous. It is not the ritual itself, but its result. Some of the Ascended can be rational and compassionate. But - Keliaya@anncaris - others may be unpredictable, at least for us mortal minds. The first Ascended we ever attracted, at least in recorded history, was a Cue. She offered her summoner three wishes, and as a cruel - Keliaya@anncaris - lesson of humility, fulfilled them in manners that utterly destroyed his life, and the lives of many around him. That is but one example of why the Iallabal is invoked only when there is no - Keliaya@anncaris - other option, and never a decision to be made by one individual alone." Keelah@crystyl | Sin: "I should help them, I've dealt with their Ascended before" Keliaya@anncaris | Mirea: "The more power among those gathered for the ritual, the more likely it is to attract an Ascended. I am sure they will ask you to join, but I doubt they will share the specifics of the - Keliaya@anncaris - ritual with you, only tap into your strength." Keelah@crystyl | Sin, "Contrary to popular belief, I am not /always/ solely focused on gaining power and knowledge. Sometimes I can, you know, what's the word...? Help!" Keelah@crystyl smiles faintly, "We're all worried about her, Sin" Keliaya@anncaris | Mirea smiles as well, "And I am sure you will be able to. The Head Esoterics would not let someone with your strength sit idle for such a task." She leads them into another lift on the other - Keliaya@anncaris - side of the lobby, which ascends up the facility Keliaya@anncaris | The attendant leads them out into a large chamber at the top of the facility. A number of Esoterics are already here, arranging themselves into a circle in the middle. The two Head Esoterics - Keliaya@anncaris - greet them just on the edge of the circle Keliaya@anncaris | Virye: "This is the Gathering Chamber. We will soon be prepared for the ritual, though we would like to ask for Sin to lend her strength to it, if she is willing." Keelah@crystyl approaches, "We understand the great risk you are taking in performing this ceremony, thank you. Whatever we can do to assist, we all stand ready" Keliaya@anncaris | Alachon nods and extends a hand out for Sin to join them Keelah@crystyl | Sin steps forward without hesitation Keliaya@anncaris | Alachon smiles, leading her to join the circle beside him. Virye meanwhile joins in the other end of the circle, and all the participants link their hands Keliaya@anncaris | Virye: "Are we all prepared?" Keliaya@anncaris | The other Esoterics around the circle nod and close their eyes Keelah@crystyl | Sin nods and follows suit Keliaya@anncaris | Alachon quietly whispers to Sin, "Just open your mind and let your strength flow through us. We will focus the ritual to call the Ascended." Keelah@crystyl | Sin nod her understanding, preparing to do so Keliaya@anncaris | Virye: "Let us begin." Keliaya@anncaris | Sin feels the energy surge as the entire circle of powerful psionics share their considerable power. The two Head Esoterics guide it, weaving it intricately like a fine tapestry Keliaya@anncaris | Soon however, this power feels dwarfed as Sin senses something much stronger approaching, a presence that is greater than all of them combined... Keliaya@anncaris | Outside the circle, Keelah witnesses a bright flash, from which a Chlasi female appears. At least, it looks like a Chlasi female, taller than usual even for the species. Her skin is of the - Keelah@crystyl | Sin tells herself that her own power is being diluted because it's being shared by everyone, that's why this new one feels so strong. Yeah Keliaya@anncaris - golden hue and glows with a bright, divine-looking golden aura. Her hair is gold as well, not blonde, but a shade that makes it look like actual strips of gold. The figure looks around the - Keliaya@anncaris - circle, "For what purpose do you call upon me, mortals?" Keliaya@anncaris | Virye: "We would not do so if the need were not great, Ascended One. There is one here who has had ascension forced upon them. If they are not ready..." Keliaya@anncaris | Ascended One: "Yes, I am well aware of what could happen," she turns her gaze to Eva, "But that one is not my concern." Keliaya@anncaris | Virye: "Is there nothing you can do to help?" Keliaya@anncaris | Ascended One: "I could, but as I said, it is not my concern." Keliaya@anncaris steps forward, "You can help but, but you won't? Why?" Keelah@crystyl | Sin bristles at the arrogance of this one turning up just to say she can't be bothered to help Keliaya@anncaris | Ascended One: "/I/ will not help. I never said I will not find you help. Keliaya@anncaris | She claps her hands together and there is another flash. This time, the more familiar face of Q appears in front of her in the circle Keelah@crystyl pinches the bridge of her nose Keliaya@anncaris | Q: "You better have a good reason for this, Cue. I was in the middle of a most entertaining discussion with a foolish little man who thinks his new powers make him on par with me." Keliaya@anncaris | Cue: "Your pets are barking, Q." Keliaya@anncaris | Q turns around to face Keelah and co., "Ahh, Captain. Miss me already?" Keelah@crystyl:"Hardly. But according to your... charming friend here, you are able to help us save Eva" Keliaya@anncaris | Q flashes again, appearing kneeling in front of Eva. Whatever he is wearing before has changed into a modern Starfleet medical uniform, "Oh now this is a tricky case." Keliaya@anncaris | He takes out a medical tricorder, running it over her Keelah@crystyl somehow resists an eyeroll and groan at the theatrics Keliaya@anncaris | Q: "Best thing to do would be to snap her away before she gets too powerful." Keliaya@anncaris:"That's not an option." Keliaya@anncaris | Q scoffs, "You mortals and your sentimentality." Keelah@crystyl:"If she had a choice in getting to this point Q, I would agree with you. But you know the value of free will to the Children by now. Hers played no part in landing her here now, so please, help her - Keelah@crystyl:- that she might make that journey one day /of/ her own free will. Not like this" Keliaya@anncaris | Q sighs, "Very well. You got rid of that Luxus and his problematic Horde. I suppose you deserve a little favour from the Continuum." He snaps his fingers and Eva flashes, returning exactly as - Keliaya@anncaris - she is. "There. Happy?" Keelah@crystyl:"Eva?" Keliaya@anncaris | Eva blinks and opens her eyes, which are normal Betazoid eyes and not glowing, "Captain?" Keelah@crystyl:"How are you feeling?" Keliaya@anncaris | Eva: "Like I'm just...me again." Keelah@crystyl:"That is a relief. Thank you Q" Keliaya@anncaris | Q stands, "Now if you'll excuse me, I have extra work to do," he points to Cue. "And /you/ are going to help me." He snaps his fingers and flashes away Keliaya@anncaris | Cue shakes her head, "No good deed ever goes unpunished..." she claps and flashes away as well Keelah@crystyl:"Cue by name... Q by nature. I hope that is not what we all have to look forward to..." Keliaya@anncaris helps Eva back to her feet, "Ketkolep was alright..." Keelah@crystyl:"True" she turns to the Esoterics, "And thank you all for your prompt assistance in this as well" Keliaya@anncaris | Alachon: "We are pleased it ended well. It is an honour to deal with the Ascended, but it can also be dangerous for beings such as ourselves." Keelah@crystyl | Sin: "She was not my favourite. I think she is where she belongs though, alongside Q" Keliaya@anncaris | Axireth steps up to Eva, "I will check again, if you do not mind." Keliaya@anncaris | Eva nods, "Go ahead." Keliaya@anncaris The Reman sets his hand on her face, closing his eyes for a moment, "They are gone. I sensed only her in there." Keelah@crystyl:"Then it is over" Keliaya@anncaris | Eva: "And so's the power I got from the barrier dispersal, but I never wanted to be known for my psionics anyways," Eva looks to Sin with a faint smile, "I'm sure you'll like being the single - Keliaya@anncaris - one with that power on the ship again." Keelah@crystyl | Sin smiles and shrugs, "Eh, it was nice to pretend I had some competition for a while there" but then strides over and hugs Eva, "But I am glad you're back" Keliaya@anncaris | Eva hugs Sin back, "And I'm glad to be myself again. Thank you, everyone, for everything you've done." Keelah@crystyl:"If all is now well, we should return to the ship allow these kind folks to return to the duties of their temple" Keliaya@anncaris nods, stepping over and letting Eva wrap an arm around her shoulder, "Let's get back to the runabout." Keelah@crystyl gives a final respectful bow to the Esoterics before turning and escorting the others out --- Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | As the group crosses the landing bay and nears their runabout, Eva, Axireth and Kelly all pause, and Sin can sense something powerful inside the craft. It's not as strong as Q and Cue which - Evanne Dra@annpc#557 - she had just sensed a few minutes ago, but it is strangely familiar... Keelah@crystyl | Sin looks to Axireth, "Do you sense it too?" Keelah@crystyl pauses and looks to the others Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Axireth gives a simple, curt nod Keelah@crystyl | Sin looks to Keelaah, "We are not alone" and looks to the shuttle Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"It's not Q, but it's not one of the Esoterics either." Keelah@crystyl:"Well whoever it is, they clearly want to see us. Stay vigilant, but stay calm" just so happens to be looking at Sin with the last part Keelah@crystyl | Sin doesn't rise to it. This time Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Kelly nods, continuing towards the runabout. She reaches the craft and opens the door before glancing to the rest of the group to see who should go first Keelah@crystyl leads the way inside Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | In the middle of the runabout's front section stands a black robed figure with a hood obscuring their face, an appearance familiar to Sin- the Witch of Wild Space Keelah@crystyl | Sin, "I knew it was you..." Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | The Witch reaches up with both hands, pulling back her hood to reveal...Eva's face, "Hello again, Sin." Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"Wha...who are you?" Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | The Witch smiles, "I am you. A part of you, at least." Keelah@crystyl:"Let me guess. You are the element which Q just removed from Eva by our mere linear timeline" Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Witch: "I always could count on you to make astute observations." Keelah@crystyl:"I thought Q was a little too... helpful back there" Keelah@crystyl | Sin: "So now that we've caught up to events, you reveal your identity to us. But why?" Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Witch: "Because my purpose, at least for this universe, is to atone for my mistakes. I am not just a part of Eva. I am also a part of the Architect and a part of the Horde, if you recall. Of - Evanne Dra@annpc#557 - course, you should recall, it was only a few hours for you." Keelah@crystyl:"So you are the living embodiment of that which I spoke to on the way here. You speak of atonement, what exactly is your intention?" Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Witch: "Part of my atonement is the protection of the Primeval beings of this galaxy, the very beings that Luxus despised most, as you have seen," she looks to Sin. "But as you have said, now - Evanne Dra@annpc#557 - that you have 'caught up,' I am also here to guide you." Keelah@crystyl:"I know this will end up being a stupid question. But if your existence takes you outside of linear time as we know it does, why is your atonement simply to serve in this capacity and not to have - Keelah@crystyl:- helped us before, or even stopped the Architect from taking control all together?" Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Witch: "It needed to play out. As misguided as the Architect was, he had one valid point- the Children did require a common enemy. Where would the Coalition be, if not for the Horde? The Horde - Evanne Dra@annpc#557 - cannot exist forever, and it certainly cannot be allowed to take over the galaxy. But it needs to exist. You will soon see what happens to a galaxy that was not ready. Much effort has been put - Evanne Dra@annpc#557 - into shaping yours, Captain. Every move must be made delicately. Even with your limited understanding of time, you know all too well how fickle it can be." Keelah@crystyl:"I do, which is why I won't bother with the counterpoint of letting evolution take its course as the Children would have found their way to this point eventually anyway. I may not know all - or even Keelah@crystyl:- much of anything - when it comes to the 'grand plan' for our galaxy. But I know enough to understand that there is a design at work with the barrier, the Horde, the evolution of the Children. So - Keelah@crystyl:- you say that you are here now because it is time for you to start guiding us. Very well, I will listen" Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Witch: "The Continuum is not the only force shaping your galaxy. There are others, of the Children, of your own kind, who do so as well. They have been a benefit to you thus far, but from - Evanne Dra@annpc#557 - this point onwards, they may become as harmful as they are helpful. The Horde is not the greatest threat. It has been defeated, will be defeated in other timelines. It is one challenge among - Evanne Dra@annpc#557 - many on the road to maturity. The Continuum cannot force your ascension. We merely dispersed the barrier and provided some of the energies required. A growth spurt, if we continue with the - Evanne Dra@annpc#557 - analogy. But there is more to growing up than the biological changes." Keelah@crystyl:"Of course. The scale might be different, but the principle is one we are perfectly familiar with as you know. So how do you intend to function in this capacity as guide; dropping in when you feel - Keelah@crystyl:- it suits you like Q, or are you planning on sticking around?" Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | The Witch smiles, "What would you prefer? And don't worry, I can make myself look different, if it helps. I know all too well how awkward the situation could be when you had the two Riannis - Evanne Dra@annpc#557 - together." Keelah@crystyl:"If you are intending to remain with us; live among us, then at least picking one identity and sticking with it would be preferable. As to the resemblances, it is Eva's face you wear so I feel she - Keelah@crystyl:- should have the final say on that. As for my actual preference, that is simply whatever will make this work most smoothly" Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"Well, if you're most comfortable with it, I don't mind. The Horde doesn't have a face, and I don't think anyone would be pleased to see the Architect again." Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | The Witch nods, "Then I will keep this appearance when I manifest a physical form." Her eyes start to glow, "This will aid in setting us apart." Keelah@crystyl:"Well then. With that settled, shall we return to the ship before we get any more unexpected visitors?" Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Kelly nods, "Let's get going." Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Axireth moves over to the helm console again to pilot Keelah@crystyl takes the seat alongside Axierth again to assist Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | The Witch meanwhile stands and observes as they lift off, "Remember, Captain, I am only a guide. I may assist directly where necessary, but my intervention will be limited." Keelah@crystyl:"It is fortunate then that I do not yet know the extent of your capabilities. Fear not, you will be treated as every other guest who has joined our journey and when the timing is appropriate, I am - Keelah@crystyl:- sure you will offer your assistance as you see fit" Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | The Witch nods, "If the situation calls for it, I will offer more than guidance." Keelah@crystyl smiles a little to herself, glancing back to Eva to see how she seems Evanne Dra@annpc#557 takes a seat in the runabout, giving the Witch a curious glance before turning to converse with Kelly Keelah@crystyl remains worried for her, but seems content that she is dealing well with the whole situation --- Keliaya@anncaris | A short while after returning to the VF, Keelah works away in her ready room when the doorbell rings Keelah@crystyl:"Come in" Keliaya@anncaris steps inside, "Well, that was an unexpectedly eventful day..." Keelah@crystyl stands and moves to get a drink, "That seems to be our norm, doesn't it. Come, sit with me" Keliaya@anncaris nods, stepping over to take a seat Keelah@crystyl returns after a moment, handing Kelly a tea, "How is Eva now?" Keliaya@anncaris takes the tea with a smile, "Thank you. She's a little shaken by everything that's happened, but she's back to herself again. Still processing that the Witch of Wild Space is...partly her, but - Keliaya@anncaris - she's taking it well. I think she's just glad that part of her isn't with her anymore." Keelah@crystyl:"Well, look on the bright side. Jatila will have bigger fish to try and psycho-analylze than me for a while" she smiles in jest, sipping her tea. Probably been thinking that line up since the shuttle Keliaya@anncaris chuckles, "That she will. We'll visit her later, after Eva gets some rest and feels up to it, just to make sure everything's good. Axireth's heading back to his ship, now that the investigation - Keliaya@anncaris - is finished." Keelah@crystyl:"He did come through for us, didn't he. I will express our gratitude to the Romulans later" she sips, "Well it is good that Eva is doing so well still, she is one of the strongest people on board - Keelah@crystyl:- but I still worry for her. For both of you" Keliaya@anncaris nods, "Me too. I'll keep a close eye on her and do everything I can to help her along." Keelah@crystyl:"It was enough of a push with everything she went through with the Architect. To have this lasting effect, and now the doppelganger... it would not be beyond reasonable request if the two of you - Keelah@crystyl:- wanted to get away from things for a while" Keliaya@anncaris:"It's been a difficult time, but I think I can speak for both of us that we don't have any intention of going anywhere. This is our family and our home now," she smiles Keelah@crystyl:"I am glad to hear it, but even if you just wanted to get some fresh air and take a few days leave to escape to the sphere somewhere, I wouldn't blame you" Keliaya@anncaris nods, "Some fresh air could help. We might take you up on that offer, since things are fairly quiet, other than the events of the last few days. And speaking of the doppleganger..." Keelah@crystyl:"Yes?" Keliaya@anncaris:"Well, one of the reasons I came here was to let you know that we've given her guest quarters and she seems to be settling in nicely, but I realized something else. Remember whenever she showed up - Keliaya@anncaris - before, I always had this strange sensation?" Keelah@crystyl nods, listening intently Keliaya@anncaris:"I thought I was sensing something through my connection to Eva, but I think it might /be/ the connection. The Witch was created from a part of Eva, and our bond might still be present with her - Keliaya@anncaris - too. Her mind's much more guarded than Eva's, which is only to be expected, but we're both still connected to her. I'm certainly out of my field of expertise here, but I have a feeling the - Keliaya@anncaris - reason Eva was able to preserve herself and even communicate messages to me despite the changed implant frequencies after the Architect's betrayal could be because of the Witch." Keelah@crystyl:"One of her moments of direct intervention?" Keliaya@anncaris:"It's possible, but it might not even be direct. As I said, I'm out of my depth when it comes to telepathy, but theoretical physics and temporal mechanics I do have a pretty good understanding of. - Keliaya@anncaris - For a mere mortal, anyways," she adds with a smirk. "We know the Witch isn't bound by linear time like we are. She was created just a few hours ago, but the moment Q separated her from Eva and - Keliaya@anncaris - made her a separate entity, she's always existed, which is why we've run into her in the past and so have others like the Lupan. Which means we've always been connected to her, we just didn't - Keliaya@anncaris:- know it. Maybe that's the reason for Eva's beyond-average telepathic ability for a Betazoid. In any case, the implants are strong enough to block both the Horde and the Architect from accessing - Keliaya@anncaris - our minds, but somehow Eva was able to get past it and communicate with me. Maybe she was drawing upon the Witch's power to do it unknowingly." Keelah@crystyl:"A perfectly feasible theory, yes. Perhaps worth discussing with the Witch in due course" Keliaya@anncaris:"If she's willing to divulge it," she chuckles. "She's very mysterious." Keelah@crystyl:"And very dangerous" Keliaya@anncaris nods, "I don't think she means us harm, though. At least not directly. But we don't know exactly what she wants and she certainly has significant power. How do you feel about having her around?" Keelah@crystyl:"In a word? Nervous. Or possibly anxious... She is - by her own words - a lasting imprint of both the Architect and the Horde made sentient and omnipotent. She may well be our friend and I hope she - Keelah@crystyl:- is, truly. But that is a combination I can not feel comfortable with after all we have been through" Keliaya@anncaris nods, "You and I both. But there is also a part of Eva with her, and I think, or hope at least, that's keeping her balanced." Keelah@crystyl:"That is why I am choosing to give her the benefit of the doubt for now" Keliaya@anncaris:"I hope she is sincere. I'll keep an eye on her as well. I don't know if this connection to her is good or bad, but I'll let you know if I learn anything." Keelah@crystyl:"Thank you, Kelly" Keliaya@anncaris smiles, "Oh, and Medical's starting to adjust everyone's implants back again, but now that we're not on a schedule they're taking their time and calling people to sickbay when it's most - Keliaya@anncaris - convenient for them. It might be another day or so before we're all back to the same frequency again, but that shouldn't cause any issues. Is there anything else you'd like me to look to - Keliaya@anncaris - before we visit the Sphere surface for some fresh air?" Keelah@crystyl smiles and shakes her head, "No, don't worry I've got things in hand up here. You two go and get some R&R" Keliaya@anncaris:"Thanks, Captain. And thank you for helping Eva get back to normal again. I'm relieved we managed to act fast enough before Eva or anyone else was hurt by what was going on." Keelah@crystyl:"It's what we do" she smiles, sipping her drink Keliaya@anncaris smiles back and stands, "We'll keep our combadges with us. Don't be afraid to call if you or Lennie need anything, or if something urgent comes up." Keelah@crystyl:"Of course. Now go and enjoy yourselves already" she smiles Keliaya@anncaris grins, "Aye Captain." She turns and heads out --- Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | While Kelly speaks with Keelah, Eva lounges in their quarters Sin@crystyl | The doorbell chimes Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"Come in." Sin@crystyl steps in, "Hey" Evanne Dra@annpc#557 smiles as she sees Sin, "Hey Sin. Come to check up on me after everything that happened?" Sin@crystyl crosses the room and perches on a chair with Eva, "Pretty messed up day for you. So... yeah, I guess" Evanne Dra@annpc#557 sits up to better face Sin, "Well, it's been happening for more than a day, but I thought they were just dreams. Left over from the time the Architect was controlling the Horde through me." Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"But the last day was certainly the most...'messed up.'" Sin@crystyl:"Yeah, couldn't help but notice you were pretty quiet since she turned up. Something like that's going to mess with your head at the best of times, but you got slammed with it right off the back of- Sin@crystyl:- the whole Architect's ghost thing" Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"Well technically the Architect's ghost is safely locked away in that mind prison, thanks to you. This is more of a...shadow, I guess." Sin@crystyl:"Yeah but you know what I mean. So out with it now, because if you can't relate to me with stuff on this level then who else?" Evanne Dra@annpc#557 smiles, "You are the only one here with that level of telepathic experience. Well, if you want to hear the details..." Sin@crystyl:"I just want to know where your head is at now, for real. Like I said, you've been quiet ever since the temple and that doesn't ring true" Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"I...think I'm still trying to figure out what exactly Q did. I mean, he saved me, I know that, but he also removed something from me to create the other me, the Witch. Before, I could remember - Evanne Dra@annpc#557 - every detail of what happened when the Architect was controlling the Horde through me. What the Architect saw when he was looking through the eyes of certain thralls, what he was doing...I had - Evanne Dra@annpc#557 - knowledge of every Horde world and every Horde fleet movement, it was just all a jumble in the back of my head that didn't always make sense. Now though, that's all gone. The only things I can - Evanne Dra@annpc#557 - remember of the time I spent under the Architect's control are the messages I got through to Kelly." Sin@crystyl:"So here's a question then. You're Betazoid, right?" Evanne Dra@annpc#557 nods, "Yes. What about it?" Sin@crystyl:"Well... the Architect was a Progenitor, yeah?" Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"He was, yes." Sin@crystyl:"So why the hell were you - slash - the Witch spouting Romulan on the way to the temple?" Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"...Romulan? What're you talking about?" Sin@crystyl:"Vafann aerhiifv" Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"Vafann aerhiifv. I think that's...Whatever...Requirement? Whatever is required. A smoother translation would probably be 'Whatever it takes,' if I'm not mistaken." Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"I think Tee might be able to translate it better, given the similarities between Vulcan and Romulan." Sin@crystyl:"Well you spouted a bunch of stuff about swords and shields, the Empire and Republic, which all sounded very... Romulan-y. Then you said that at the end. There were two such outbursts in fact. You - Sin@crystyl:- recall nothing of either?" Evanne Dra@annpc#557 shakes her head, "No, nothing at all. I do know the basics of the more widely-used Romulan dialects, I am a comm officer after all, but I'm not a native speaker. I'm not sure why I or the - Evanne Dra@annpc#557 - Architect would say something Romulan. And the Romulans didn't know about the Horde until we learned about them, so I doubt there's any Romulan thralls, either." Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"If anything, Klingon would make more sense as we know a good portion of that Klingon expedition became consumed by the Horde." Sin@crystyl:"Maybe the Witch said it? It was in one of those moments when she seemed to be in control" Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"The Witch is made up of parts of me, the Architect and the Horde though. She shouldn't have anything Romulan in her. Do you remember what exactly was happening when she said it?" Sin@crystyl:"I'm trying to think exactly what she said for starters" Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"Luthril must've taught you a few techniques to search your own mind. I can always try to look into your mind for you, if it helps." Sin@crystyl closes her eyes and actually puts some effort into remembering, "Something about a station shrouded in shadows... relics of old times... shipyards in the, um, dark depths. No, ships... 'ships of - Sin@crystyl:- shadow', yeah! Then something about forgetting... forgotten fleets and abandoned plots... then it was the sword and shield thing, what was that now... 'The sword of the Empire shall become the - Sin@crystyl:- shield of the Republic' that's it! Then Vafann aerhiifv. That was it" Sin@crystyl opens her eyes, "And you did it while Axireth was examining you!" Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"The Reman investigator? That could explain it. Maybe it was something from his mind, not mine or the Witch's." Sin@crystyl:"It was a very... Reman telepathic examination. And given how strong you and the witch are, it would make sense that you picked up on something from his mind. Question is though, why that...?" Evanne Dra@annpc#557 nods, "I wonder if it has any specific significance, or if it's random pieces we picked up from his memories," she closes her eyes. "I'm trying to see what I can remember of Romulan plots. And - Evanne Dra@annpc#557 - picking Kelly's brains for it too," she adds with a smirk Sin@crystyl:"Got to use all your resources" she smiles Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"Abandoned plots could refer to the Romulans' plan to replace Captain Picard with a clone, maybe. That clone later led the Remans in a coup against the Romulan Senate. A station in shadows...there - Evanne Dra@annpc#557 - was a secret Romulan station they called the Vault which had shipyards that refitted their ships with adapted Borg technology. Apparently the Reman Resistance hid in there for a while. And the - Evanne Dra@annpc#557 - sword of the Empire shall become the shield of the Republic. The Scimitar-class? It was the Romulan Star Empire's most powerful ship for a time and the Romulan Republic's flagship is - Evanne Dra@annpc#557 - based on its design. It was also a Reman design first used in that coup." Evanne Dra@annpc#557 opens her eyes, "I'm just taking wild guesses from what we know, but it sounds like it might be pieces from recent Reman history. Just in the Witch's riddle form." Sin@crystyl:"A reasonable string of relevant events" she nods, "Dammit, why did the Princess have to go swanning off now of all times? And to take our Romulan with her too!" Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"We have other Romulans in the Sphere with us now too. And Remans. Plus, everything I mentioned is open information in the database, otherwise Kelly and I wouldn't know of it." Sin@crystyl:"Yeah, but this is all right up the Princesses alley. Which is strange really, because I would normally only say there was some ancient Earth faction flagpole up there. Plus, our Romulan was just as- Sin@crystyl:- spooky, so between them I bet that whole speech would make perfect sense" Evanne Dra@annpc#557 chuckles, "I'm sure they'd have a better interpretation of it than I do. What about the second one, you said it happened twice? Did I say the same thing, or was it something different that time?" Sin@crystyl hrms, "Let me think..." Sin@crystyl closes her eyes and frowns a little, "Oh yeah, that was the real disturbing 'end of days' stuff when the Chlasi were poking around in your head. Um... Stars burning bright - too bright. A flame - Sin@crystyl:- that will cleanse the galaxy and engulf all who are unworthy. And then darkness for all eternity, until time resets and the cycle begins again" Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"That is disturbing," she closes her eyes again. "And familiar..." Sin@crystyl:"It sounds to me a lot like this mystical threat from beyond the galaxy that the Q have been grooming us for from what I've heard" Evanne Dra@annpc#557 nods, "It reminds me of what Kelly saw when the Regulator ship accidentally travelled forward in time. I think their analysis was that all the stars in range of them at the time had gone - Evanne Dra@annpc#557 - supernova, and the entire region was dark. Sounds like it could be what that was describing? Why it was said, I have no idea. Maybe it has to do with the Witch's connection to Q." Sin@crystyl:"Ooh yeah, it does sound like it doesn't it! It's not like me to play nice or anything, but... this feels like the sort of thing that we need to throw up the chain a little" Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"On that we agree. I'm sure Keelah's connected the dots on that one, but I don't know about the Romulan one. That could just be random things from Axireth's mind, though, so I'm not sure if it's - Evanne Dra@annpc#557 - worth troubling her about it." Sin@crystyl:"She was pretty distracted the whole time. I didn't even notice her picking up on the stuff you said. Not in detail anyway, probably just thought it was incoherent ramblings or something" Evanne Dra@annpc#557 nods, "I'll mention it to her then, just in case. Or you could, since you actually remember hearing them. I could jot them down, but they're coming from your memory anyways..." Sin@crystyl:"Yeah, but... she likes you!" she protests before sighing, "...fine! I'll go see her" Evanne Dra@annpc#557 smiles, "She likes you too, otherwise she wouldn't have given you a second chance and made you an officer. Besides, we wouldn't have defeated the Architect and the Horde without you. That - Evanne Dra@annpc#557 - certainly counts for something if you ask me." Sin@crystyl:"hrm... liking someone is not the same as keeping them around because they're useful. Relax, I've already conceded" she stands, "I should go do this before I find a reason not to" Evanne Dra@annpc#557 chuckles, "Thanks for stopping by and checking on me, Sin." Sin@crystyl:"Just remember to tap me up anytime you need. We superbeings've got to stick together after all!" she winks and grins, leaving Eva to it --- Keelah@crystyl | After a pleasant conversation with Sin, Keelah contacts T'Lana and requests a meeting to discuss T'Lana@anncaris arrives at the ready room, ringing the doorbell Keelah@crystyl:"Come in" T'Lana@anncaris steps inside, "You wished to see me, Captain?" Keelah@crystyl:"Thank you for coming T'Lana. Please, sit" she gestures and smiles. "Spiced tea?" she offers, topping up her own from a pot on the desk T'Lana@anncaris nods, taking a seat, "Thank you." Keelah@crystyl pours out a second for TL, "For the longest time I could not stand the stuff you know. Had quite a taste for a Human beverage of all things. But in recent years, I have come to appreciate it" T'Lana@anncaris:"I had the opposite experience. I grew up on Vulcan foods and found those of Humans and many other cultures too strong when I first encountered them." Keelah@crystyl hands TL the tea, "The interesting part being that I could repeat the statement for your division of Starfleet" T'Lana@anncaris takes the tea with a nod of thanks, "An interesting analogy.." Keelah@crystyl:"I like to think so" she smiles, enjoying a sip, "I know you and Mischa tailed me for a long time before revealing yourselves, and would have for even longer had circumstances been more favourable - Keelah@crystyl:- for it. But I also know how much I have come to value having the two of you at my side. Because the galaxy is one big threat, the rest of the universe too by all recent accounts. And what you - Keelah@crystyl:- do, the way you work, it is necessary and I appreciate that now. I also appreciate that working around you all so much in recent times has opened my eyes to your way of thinking" T'Lana@anncaris takes a sip of tea, "I am pleased you are more receptive to our ways. Our cooperative efforts have certainly aided in this, but unfortunately the nature of our work does not lend itself to - T'Lana@anncaris - cooperative ventures often enough for the vast majority of Starfleet Command personnel to understand our role." Keelah@crystyl:"Of course, but one outcome is that I have come to better understand the way you work. Now I know you can't tell me details, and frankly - I don't want them - but from my own observations I must - Keelah@crystyl:- surmise that Mischa took the Latenter back to conduct operations in Romulan territory, possibly dealing with Tal Shiar remnants of some description" T'Lana@anncaris:"A logical conclusion from her recruitment of Subcommander Nikee. You are on the right train of thought, though of course I will not confirm the exact accuracy of your supposition." Keelah@crystyl raises a hand, "As I said, I do not expect you to. But I do think that - in the hypothetical event that my supposition is accurate - you might be interested in this, or she might. But I'm sure you - Keelah@crystyl:- means of contacting the Latenter if required" she slides a PADD across the desk detailed Sin's account of Eva's two speeches T'Lana@anncaris takes the PADD, reading through it, "Fascinating. The second speech quite likely refers to this Darkness the Iconians mentioned which is destroying the Andromeda galaxy. Whether it is some form - T'Lana@anncaris - of long-distance sight into what is occuring in Andromeda now or a warning of what could befall our own will remain to be seen." Keelah@crystyl:"Indeed. But I had a suspicion that the other outburst would be of greater pertinence" T'Lana@anncaris nods, "It is more open to interpretation, but it could indeed be of relevance. The data mentions that she spoke this while telepathically engaged with the Reman investigator?" Keelah@crystyl nods, "Yes. The one who wore the uniform of Republic Intelligence" T'Lana@anncaris:"Curious. Do you have an interpretation of what she said? I expect you have formulated a theory of your own." Keelah@crystyl:"A little supposition, I suppose. The talk about plots it a little too vague for me to comment on, but Sin and Eva presented an intriguing theory that the whole thing essentially links through - Keelah@crystyl:- known recent history involving the Remains. The plot being that which Captain Picard was cloned, and how his clone went on to lead a Reman revolt. The line about ships being constructed would - Keelah@crystyl:- link that to a Vault, which ties in with the sword and shield metaphors referring to the Scimitar-based flagship" T'Lana@anncaris raises a brow, "Why Reman history specifically? The Romulans have created more than one secret station and shipyards. Abandoning plots after a change of leadership is also quite common and far - T'Lana@anncaris - from isolated to the case of Picard's clone. And the Republic uses many old Star Empire designs for practical reasons." Keelah@crystyl:"Very true. As I said, it was simply the string of context that they pitched. Likely because it came from a Reman, perhaps? Or perhaps due to that closing phrase, perhaps they recognize it as - Keelah@crystyl:- something more akin to Reman dialogue than Romulan" she smiles, "But I'm afraid this is venturing beyond my territory and into yours now" T'Lana@anncaris nods, "It is a valid interpretation. There is only one alternative I can think of that would be provided by intelligence I have access to, but it is a troubling one. This Reman Intelligence - T'Lana@anncaris - officer, what was their name and rank?" Keelah@crystyl:"Centurion Axireth" T'Lana@anncaris:"Thank you," she takes another sip of tea. "And what were your impressions of him from his time on the Valley Forge?" Keelah@crystyl:"He was very... Reman. From his current position, and his demeanour - scars both physical and emotional from a visual assessment - my guess would be one of the former Tal Shiar slave Remans I heard - Keelah@crystyl:- rumours about. Those who were forcibly trained into psionic weapons. He carries a heavy past with him, but it does not weigh him down" T'Lana@anncaris:"Is there any indication that he may still be working with the Tal Shiar, or that he may have been investigating more than just what he was sent here for?" Keelah@crystyl:"Nothing more conclusive than racial stereotyping I'm afraid, but I certainly could not rule it out" T'Lana@anncaris nods, "Very useful insight nonetheless, Captain. Thank you. I hope my suspicions are unwarranted, but I shall inform Commander Leveson-Scott nonetheless." Keelah@crystyl:"It all came back to something the Witch said on the way back from the temple. Huh, now there's a sentence they don't prepare you to say and make sense with at the Academy..." T'Lana@anncaris raises a brow, "And what was it she said?" Keelah@crystyl:"She said about only directly intervening when it was warranted. Both speeches felt more her than Eva, and given the obscure context of them I can not help but wonder if that was one of her ways of - Keelah@crystyl:- subtly intervening to guide us. One message for me - here - with the darkness and foreboding, and one for you and Mischa with the Romulan connection" T'Lana@anncaris:"That is certainly a possibility. It may also be pure chance due to being in telepathic contact with a Reman at the time, but we will look into this information with the assumption that it is not, - T'Lana@anncaris - in the case there is a deeper meaning to it. Thank you for informing me of this, Captain." Keelah@crystyl:"I am glad that it was not a waste of your time to review this" T'Lana@anncaris:"I cannot yet say the importance of this, if any, but our work requires us to take into account as much information as possible. Even the most trivial of data may help provide a clearer image in - T'Lana@anncaris - the end, when all the pieces are assembled. I am afraid I do not have much intel to provide you at this time, seeing as the Loki has not yet departed the Sphere. What we do know, I am sure - T'Lana@anncaris - Command will address soon, though you may still be interested in advance." Keelah@crystyl smiles, leaning back sipping her tea, "This was not established as a quid-pro-quo arrangement. You do not need to feel obliged to offer something in return for this. That said, I certainly will - Keelah@crystyl:- never say no to having a little extra insight" T'Lana@anncaris sips her tea as well, "Captain La Forge of the Challenger has been dispatched to the Lukari System to ask for their assistance in restoring worlds in Horde space with their protomatter - T'Lana@anncaris - technology for resettlement. Starfleet Command is planning to move out from the Sphere soon. A defensive force will be kept inside the Heart as part of the joint agreement with the Coalition, - T'Lana@anncaris - but a large number of vessels will be dispatched to ensure the security of regions prior to resettlement. Coalition powers are expected to follow, but as they have taken more losses - T'Lana@anncaris:- due to the war on their home front, we will be spearheading the resettlement process." Keelah@crystyl:"Makes sense, and it good to hear that the Challenger is joining the efforts too" T'Lana@anncaris:"They will be coming through along with the Lukari support, once they are mobilized. It will take some time before they arrive, but we will need time to secure the region. Command will - T'Lana@anncaris - likely announce the specific ship assignments soon." Keelah@crystyl:"Of course. Whether the Valley Forge is to remain here as coordinator, or take flight again into the unknown we will welcome it" T'Lana@anncaris:"That is all I have for you at the moment. Thank you again for your information. I shall see you at the fleet meeting, which will be held sometime in the next two weeks." Keelah@crystyl smiles, "If not before. It is always a pleasure T'Lana" T'Lana@anncaris stands, "Likewise, Keelah." --- Sierra Reyes@anncaris | Centurion Axireth strolls through the halls of a Romulan ship, passing by crewmembers dressed in the same Republic Intelligence uniform as he is Sierra Reyes@anncaris | He turns at a door and taps on the panel beside it. The door clicks and slides open and he steps inside to what looks like his quarters. To the side of the room is a circular spot which he - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - steps into. As he is positioned within, a light emanates from the circle, washing over him and appearing to scan him. The environment around him becomes obscured by darkness, and from that - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - darkness a new holographic room begins to form. Axireth finds himself in an office, looking at a Reman whose face is obscured by shadow, but two glowing eyes denoting the effects of the - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - barrier dispersal shines brightly through Sierra Reyes@anncaris | Mystery Reman: "Agent Axireth. Report." Sierra Reyes@anncaris | Axireth: "There was an occurance on board the Valley Forge. A side effect of the Architect's work. The officer who was possessed by the Architect had her psionic evolution forcibly accelerated - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - by the process. We brought her to the Chlasi, who summoned the Q to resolve the situation. Q separated her into two beings, one of them the officer as she was, the second a being of - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - considerable power who now works for the Continuum. She has taken up residence on the Valley Forge as well, claiming to be here to guide us, but she possesses imprints of the Architect and the - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - Horde that remained behind with the officer." Sierra Reyes@anncaris | Mysterious Reman: "A powerful being. Do you think she is a threat?" Sierra Reyes@anncaris | Axireth: "She could be. Whether she will be will require further observation, but if she is, she will be likely to threaten Starfleet first. They should be able to manage the situation. It is - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - far from their first time dealing with such beings." Sierra Reyes@anncaris | Mysterious Reman: "I would not put so much trust into them if I were you. What of your observations on them?" Sierra Reyes@anncaris | Axireth: "A new Intelligence ship has arrived in the Sphere and relieved the previous one here." Sierra Reyes@anncaris | Mysterious Reman: "The one that travelled out here initially behind the Valley Forge?" Sierra Reyes@anncaris | Axireth: "That is correct." Sierra Reyes@anncaris | Mysterious Reman: "And the Valley Forge has not been relieved?" Sierra Reyes@anncaris | Axireth: "No. Some of the crew have transferred back or to other vessels, but-" Sierra Reyes@anncaris | Mysterious Reman: "That is all. Continue your observations." Sierra Reyes@anncaris | Axireth nods, "Vafann aerhiifv." Sierra Reyes@anncaris | Mysterious Reman: "Vafann aerhiifv." Sierra Reyes@anncaris | This time, the environment doesn't disappear. Instead, Axireth flickers and fades away, leaving us in the room with the Reman with the glowing eyes. He leans forward, revealing a bit more of - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - his features. A holographic interface springs to life above his desk and he taps at it for a few moments before swiping it away and sitting back Sierra Reyes@anncaris | Another hologram forms, this time of a human woman. She wears a uniform reminiscent of Starfleet's, but not identical. There is the white shoulders of Command, red highlights and the black of - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - rest of the uniform, but the details of the design have been significantly altered from the Starfleet standard. She wears a combadge in the design of a shield rather than the delta and three - Sierra Reyes@anncaris:- golden pips across her chest Sierra Reyes@anncaris | Mysterious Reman: "Commander Reyes. Starfleet Intelligence has sent their reply. It should be on its way soon enough." Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"Good. Let them come." Sierra Reyes@anncaris FX | Fade to black.