Stranded in the Gamma Quadrant, the Valley Forge and company encounter their first crisis when they enter a region of space ravaged by a mysterious plague. Meanwhile, Commander Watson awakes without memory of her time with the temporal infiltrators and begins to integrate with the Valley Forge's crew.
NPC@annpc#557 | It has been a month since the Valley Forge and co. were pulled through the gateway to the unexplored section of the Gamma Quadrant NPC@annpc#557 | As the VF and Loki cruise along together, the QanwI' and Aethon explore ahead, checking the area for potential threats as usual NPC@annpc#557 | It is a quiet day on the VF's bridge. Keelah has retired to her quarters an hour ago and Lennie is in command of the bridge, now temporarily the XO as well as Chief Science Officer as - NPC@annpc#557 - Kelly mentors Farhalla while simultaneously assisting with the Loki's repairs and learning more about the unfamiliar SFI design NPC@annpc#557 | Ann: "Figured things'd be a bit different, bein' stuck in the Gamma Quadrant an' all, but it doesn't really feel tha' different from before the whole Horde war, does it? I mean we got two - NPC@annpc#557 - more ships along, but this feels very familiar. Actually kinda comfortin'." Lendaria@crystyl chuckles, "Wha', more flyin' in a straight line an' less combat manouvers ya mean?" NPC@annpc#557 | Ann: "Yeah! Tha', an' the feelin' o' bein' cut off from the fleet, in the middle o' unfamiliar space where no other Starfleet ship's been yet. Just...feels right, y'know? Like wha' we should - NPC@annpc#557 - be doin' out here. Not like the whole conspiracy business before we got here." Lendaria@crystyl:"No arguments there. Kinda excited t'see wha' th'scouts start bringin' back again!" NPC@annpc#557 | Ann: "Me too! Plenty for ya to study I imagine, new region an' all tha'!" Lendaria@crystyl:"Here's hopin'!" NPC@annpc#557 | TQ: "Looks like you just got your wish, Lennie. Message in from the Aethon, there's a ship in the area, light cruiser by our classification. Should be coming into our sensor range soon." Lendaria@crystyl reconfigures her display to monitor the long range sensors, "I take it they don't recognise 'em?" NPC@annpc#557 | TQ: "No, it's not Dominion or An or any faction we're aware exists in this part of the galaxy." Lendaria@crystyl:"Aight, let's take a look once they're in range an' make a call from there" NPC@annpc#557 | A few minutes pass by, and the ship appears on Lennie's sensors, travelling at Warp 5. It's still too far to discern much about it other than its size, speed and course though Lendaria@crystyl continues monitoring and meanwhile analyzes their course to see if she can tell where they are going from and to NPC@annpc#557 | Their current course doesn't seem to suggest any nearby system as a point of origin, nor are they headed towards any obvious destination. Either exploring or scouting like the VF is, or a - NPC@annpc#557 - patrol ship NPC@annpc#557 | As Lennie observes while the VF draws closer, the ship comes to a stop, then adjusts course, now heading towards the VF at Warp 6.5 Lendaria@crystyl:"Aight, they've adjusted to an intercept course an' increased t'warp 6.5. Tee, time t'wake the Cap'n up" NPC@annpc#557 | TQ nods, tapping her console, "On it." NPC@annpc#557 | As both ships draw closer, the sensors are able to get clearer scans of the ship Lendaria@crystyl | Rianni: "Getting a clearer read on them now; build is definitely light, about on par with a Miranda. Weapons are disruptor based, but not particularly powerful - equivalent... 23C Klingon in - Lendaria@crystyl - terms of weapon punch. Nothing else jumping out at the moment, at least from this range and active systems" Lendaria@crystyl nods, "Likely a less advanced spacefarin' people then. But hittin' 6.5, so not exactly takin' their first steps either" NPC@annpc#557 | Lennie detects emissions of particles indicating the unknown ship is now actively scanning them as well Lendaria@crystyl:!They'se definitely curious about us. Active scans in progress" Lendaria@crystyl:"Wha's our current speed, Sweets?" NPC@annpc#557 | Ann: "Warp 7. We're matchin' the Loki's regular cruisin' speed." Lendaria@crystyl:"I assume they cloaked as soon as we got th'Aethon's report. Let's drop to 5 - Tee, let 'em know. Hopefully tha' sends a positive message t'our curious friends out there" NPC@annpc#557 | Ann: "On it! An'...they just changed course away from us. Speedin' up to 6.9 now." Lendaria@crystyl:"...so much for tha' then. Aight, Cap'n'll have to wait her turn now. Tee, open a channel" NPC@annpc#557 | TQ: "Opening channel...they're not responding, but I am picking up comms from them. Not directed at us, and encrypted as well." Lendaria@crystyl:"Could be reportin' back t'someone an' sayin' they spotted us as an unknown..." clears her throat and activates the channel, "This is the starship Valley Forge to unidentified vessel. We are - Lendaria@crystyl:- peaceful explorers from another region of this galaxy, we mean you no harm" pauses at that for a moment NPC@annpc#557 | TQ: "We're getting a response. It's...a dictionary. Well that's a start. I'm running it through the UT. If you repeat your message again, they should be able to understand you, hopefully." Lendaria@crystyl:"We are analyzing your transmission now and incorporating your language into our translators. I repeat: This is the starship Valley Forge to unidentified vessel. We are peaceful explorers from - Lendaria@crystyl:- another region of this galaxy, we mean you no harm. Please acknowledge if you can now understand me" Lendaria@crystyl | Keelah walks in, hearing that last and catching a look from Lennie, "Looks like you've done the hard work already, trying to put me out of a job now?" Lendaria@crystyl smiles, "All yours now Cap'n" Lendaria@crystyl | Keelah takes her seat while they await a reply NPC@annpc#557 | Not long after Keelah sits down, an alien appears on the viewscreen NPC@annpc#557 FX | https://i.imgur.com/7xg4ziG.jpg NPC@annpc#557 | Alien: "Starship Forge-in-the-Valley. We understand you. Will you comply willingly with inspection?" Lendaria@crystyl | Keelah appears unimpressed, "It's nice to meet you too... what is the purpose of this inspection?" NPC@annpc#557 | Alien: "I am Captain Stone-Grip of the Thousand Clans Empire. I must inspect your crew for signs of the plague before you enter our territory." NPC@annpc#557 | TQ: "Sorry about that, UT's still finessing things. Seems to be translating all names right now..." Lendaria@crystyl | Keelah waves a hand, downplaying the importance for TQ while she responds, "I see, well that is certainly a valid reason. Our medical department is distinctly advanced, so why don't we meet and - Lendaria@crystyl:- share details on this 'plague' first. If all looks clear, then we can perhaps progress to meeting in person to confirm the findings. After all, I'm sure you wouldn't want to send an inspection - Lendaria@crystyl:- team on board an alien vessel if there's a chance of any contaminants" NPC@annpc#557 | 'Stone-Grip': "That is amenable. Will you be meeting on our vessel or on neutral ground?" Lendaria@crystyl | Keelah: "Well, I suggest we simply hold position here for the moment and share the information over comms. Then - once satisfied - we can discuss you visiting here subject to outstanding - Lendaria@crystyl:- requirements" NPC@annpc#557 | 'Stone-Grip': "Very well. We will send you our information on the plague and hold position until you have made your analysis. I take it you are fortunate enough not to have heard of the - NPC@annpc#557 - affliction yet, so you are unfamiliar with it?" Lendaria@crystyl | Keelah: "We only just arrived in this corner of the galaxy and you are the first people we have encountered. So no, we are not yet familiar with it - at least by point of reference. However our - Lendaria@crystyl:- database contains medical reference from countless species across all corners of the galaxy whom we have befriended, so it is possible that once we see the data on this affliction then we may - Lendaria@crystyl:- recognize it, or something comparable" NPC@annpc#557 | 'Stone-Grip': "Excellent. Perhaps with your medical technology, you may even be able to engineer a cure, or at least a vaccine." Lendaria@crystyl | Keelah smiles, "The optimist in me gives me hope for the same thing, but of course for now the most I can promise you is that we will look at it and try our best" NPC@annpc#557 | 'Stone-Grip': "Thank you. My officer is sending you the data now. I look forward to what you may be able to gleam from this data." Lendaria@crystyl | Keelah nods, "We'll contact you again once we have made an analysis. Meanwhile; helm, hold position here" NPC@annpc#557 | Ann nods, "Aye Cap'n, holdin' position now." NPC@annpc#557 | TQ: "We have the data, Captain. Sending it down to medical now." Lendaria@crystyl | Keelah stands: "I'm heading down there. Lennie, you're with me" Lendaria@crystyl nods and follows --- NPC@annpc#557 | Meanwhile in the Loki's sickbay, Alyssa steps in after being informed by the doctors that Watson is waking up Alyssa@crystyl looks around for the doctor after entering NPC@annpc#557 | The doctor is beside Watson's bed. He turns and smiles upon seeing Alyssa, "Lieutenant, you're right on time. Her brain activity's been steadily increasing today, she should be regaining - NPC@annpc#557 - consciousness anytime now." Alyssa@crystyl joins him there, "Very good doctor. Has there been any change in her otherwise to indicate her mental condition?" NPC@annpc#557 | The doctor nods, "There is, actually. I'm noticing similarities to individuals who have undergone cleansing of Horde influence. It's not as extreme as that though; I don't think she's starting - NPC@annpc#557 - from scratch like those who are cleansed after total Horde control, but it's not as minor as those who are just cleansed of some influence either." Alyssa@crystyl:"Which would seem to affirm our prior concerns" NPC@annpc#557 | Doctor: "Indeed. I'm not sure how much she'll-" he glances over as the monitor on the console changes. "She's regaining consciousness now, Lieutenant." Alyssa@crystyl looks to Watson, "Commander Watson, can you hear me?" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson blinks a few times as her body shifts a little, "Hm?" Alyssa@crystyl:"Welcome back. You have been unconscious for quite some time, so I imagine the doctor here would want to first advise you to take it slowly" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson: "I've been...what happened?" She looks around the room a little, still lying on the bed. "Where am I?" Alyssa@crystyl:"You are on the Loki" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson: "The...Loki?" Alyssa@crystyl:"The Starfleet Intelligence vessel, USS Loki, yes. Do you recognize the name?" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson gives a confused look and shakes her head, "No...should I?" Alyssa@crystyl:"Perhaps not. What about the USS Valley Forge? You were heading to a rendezvous with them right before everything happened, so if any name were to be familiar I would expect it to be that one" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson: "No, I don't remember that name either. What happened to me? Did I...was it a head injury or something?" Alyssa@crystyl:"That is... not entirely inaccurate. Some degree of amnesia was however anticipated from your recovery, we shall simply have to assess how deeply that runs" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson frowns, "I...don't remember anything about a rendezvous. Am I a part of this ship's crew? Or the Valley Forge's?" Alyssa@crystyl:"No, nor had you - to my knowledge - had any previous encounter with either vessel. Though you may have with the Loki's former CO - Commodore Fox" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson: "I can't remember anyone by that name, either." Alyssa@crystyl:"No necessarily a bad thing there, but we'll get to that in time. What about your own identity, or your family, can you recount those names?" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson: "I'm Marion Watson, right? That's my name, I remember that..." Alyssa@crystyl:"Yes, do you remember being a Starfleet officer - with your own rank, and wearing a uniform not unlike ours?" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson: "I remember Starfleet, or...the name, at least. It brings up an image of a specific style of ship, and some other things, but I don't remember being an officer in it. Your uniform - NPC@annpc#557 - looks familiar to me. But also different." Alyssa@crystyl:"That is accurate. Mine is the uniform of Starfleet Intelligence, whereas you would be more familiar with the Starfleet Command uniform I believe" she looks to the Doctor, "Perhaps the EMH could - Alyssa@crystyl:- assist with a brief demonstration; in the interests of patient care of course" NPC@annpc#557 | The doctor nods, "EMH?" NPC@annpc#557 | The Loki's EMH, a model that is at least visually identical to Acey (save the android-y features), flickers to life in the sickbay, "What is the nature of the medical emergency?" NPC@annpc#557 | Doctor: "We need you to demonstrate the Starfleet Command uniforms for our patient here." NPC@annpc#557 | EMH: "I'm a doctor, not a model." Alyssa@crystyl:"This is in the interests of aiding your amnesiac patient, Doctor" NPC@annpc#557 | EMH: "An amnesiac patient?" She turns to Watson. "Oh, I see. You're trying to jog her memory, aren't you? Or just see what she remembers?" Alyssa@crystyl:"A little of both, you might say. She feels vaguely familiar with our uniforms, so I wanted to see if she better recognized her own" NPC@annpc#557 | The EMH nods, "Very well." She flickers, appearing in a non SFI Science division uniform NPC@annpc#557 | Watson sits up to observe, "Now that does look more familiar." Alyssa@crystyl:"That is indeed promising" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson: "I know the blue represents...Science department, right?" Alyssa@crystyl:"That is correct, yes" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson: "For some reason I also associate the colour with Command..." Alyssa@crystyl perks a brow, "Doctor, would that be consistent with the Commanders service record by chance?" NPC@annpc#557 | The doctor shakes his head, "No, Watson was in Tactical, but her mother used to be in Science before she got into Command..." Alyssa@crystyl:"Fascinating. Her mother was a more well-established Command officer if I am not mistaken, too" looks back to Watson, "It is logical then that you also associate the blue department strip with - Alyssa@crystyl:- command. This shows not only a keener recollection than you consciously see, but also a subconscious recollection of deeper values like that maternal relationship" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson nods, "That could explain it. My mother was...Sarah Watson?" NPC@annpc#557 | The doctor nods, "That's right." Alyssa@crystyl:"This is definitely promising. I am curious, if you will indulge-" she looks to the EMH, whispering to repose as a petite Vulcan engineering cadet NPC@annpc#557 | The EMH nods and flickers into T'Pia Alyssa@crystyl looks for Watson's reaction NPC@annpc#557 | Watson simply stares, "I...think I've seen her before. But I don't remember who she is or what relation I have with her. From the ears I'd say she's a Vulcanoid, like you." Alyssa@crystyl nods, "She is indeed a Vulcan. That is still interesting though, as she was not a close relationship of yours. She was however, the last person you were with before the incident" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson: "Maybe that's why. What's this incident, by the way? How did I lose my memory?" Alyssa@crystyl:"Truthfully, we do not fully understand it ourselves. You were taken by an enemy and we think they used some form of psionic assault on you before you were recovered" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson nods, "So they wiped my mind? If you don't fully understand it yourselves, I don't suppose you know how to reverse it?" Alyssa@crystyl:"We do not. Nor do we know even if the damage can be reversed. But your initial demonstration is encouraging for the potential of some recovery I believe. Though I am no doctor..." NPC@annpc#557 | Doctor: "I'm afraid the scans can't tell us exactly how much is lost, but I can keep testing her the way you are now to see the extent of what she does remember. Then, we should be able to - NPC@annpc#557 - borrow one of the Valley Forge's counsellors to see what we can recover." Alyssa@crystyl looks back to Watson, "I imagine this is all quite the shock to the system, and not something one welcomes waking up to. But hopefully you can see at least that you are among friends now, and those- Alyssa@crystyl:- friends will do all they can to help recover what you lost. It just won't happen overnight" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson nods, "I understand. Thank you for helping me. I assume you rescued me from the enemy who did this too?" Alyssa@crystyl:"There were many people involved in that particular event, and a lot more transpiring than your rescue too. But now is not the time to get into such details, there will be sufficient time once you - Alyssa@crystyl:- are more comfortably settled" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson: "Right. I should probably focus on recovering my memory first, shouldn't I?" Alyssa@crystyl:"That would be prudent. However much of the previous 'you' remains within, you are who you are now. But until you can discover that current you, you must first understand all you can of the you that- Alyssa@crystyl:- was. Only then will you be able to fully process and move forwards with knowledge of current affairs and personal circumstances" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson nods, "Does that mean the enemy that did this to me is still threatening the ship?" Alyssa@crystyl:"We are not under the threat of imminent attack. But the situation is complicated, to the point where we are still yet to fully comprehend it ourselves. That is why I believe you should focus on - Alyssa@crystyl:- rediscovering yourself before opening up to those less black and white details" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson: "I'll do as you recommend, then. Thanks again...Lieutenant, is it?" Alyssa@crystyl nods, "Lieutenant Alyssa" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson smiles, "Looks like I still remember what the rank pips mean. Well, thank you, Lieutenant Alyssa. I'll see you around." Alyssa@crystyl nods, "That you will. In the meantime, I wish you an expeditious recovery" she turns, nodding to the doctor & EMH, "Doctor...s" --- NPC@annpc#557 | Meanwhile in the VF's sickbay, Kazra works away at examining the new data Lendaria@crystyl & Keelah arrive, "So what're we dealin' with Kaz?" NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra looks up from her console, "I think we might be running into a situation that's much more complex than a simple epidemic outbreak..." Lendaria@crystyl:"Figures..." Lendaria@crystyl | Keelah: "Please feel free to elaborate. And remember that I am here so try to keep it in captain speak" she smiles NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra: "Well to start with, it's obvious from the data that this isn't a simple disease. It's a mutagenic virus, and all signs point to it being engineered rather than naturally occuring." Lendaria@crystyl:"An engineered mutagen, so it's targetin' this species specifically?" NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra: "No, and that's why I think it's engineered. This virus doesn't mutate randomly like naturally occurring viruses do. It not only alters the DNA of those it infects, but it takes their - NPC@annpc#557 - DNA and incorporates it into its own mutation. In short, it's designed to adapt to whatever it infects. If the Borg used contagions I'd say it was their work, but it doesn't exactly fit the - NPC@annpc#557 - way they operate." Lendaria@crystyl:"Pretty virile then. An' th'results of infection're fatal I take it?" NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra: "This is where it becomes very unusual. Normally, the effects of a virus are largely predictable. Every patient has slightly varying symptoms of course, but there's a general range of - NPC@annpc#557 - symptoms which can be expected. But this virus is the exact opposite of practically every other mutagenic virus we know of. The virus' own mutation isn't random, but the way it mutates its - NPC@annpc#557 - host /is/. It could do anything from changing your hair colour to killing you to transforming you into a Klingon." Lendaria@crystyl:"That... certainly is random" Lendaria@crystyl | Keelah: "Almost seems more like a prank gone wrong than anything malicious" NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra: "Well it's certainly malicious now. I think the key to its randomness lies in its self-mutation not being random. Because it tries to rewrite itself based on its host every time, it - NPC@annpc#557 - essentially becomes a new virus for every species it affects. There is a degree of consistency once it has adapted to a species, and in the case of this one, it's fatal roughly fifty percent - NPC@annpc#557 - of the time and leaves the other fifty percent with disfiguring and sometimes debilitating deformities. But once it comes into contact with an unfamiliar species like us, there's no saying - NPC@annpc#557 - what effect it'll have." Lendaria@crystyl | Keelah: "I imagine the unpredictable nature of this mutagen is why nobody has been successful in combating it?" NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra nods, "I believe so. But it will please you to know that we are at minimal risk of infection at least on board the ship." Lendaria@crystyl | Keelah: "So there's a clear transmission medium?" NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra: "Yes, but not only that- the virus is highly adaptable to the hosts it infects, but it's by no means invisible. In all known incarnations, no matter how mutated, it's very obvious to - NPC@annpc#557 - our computer systems that it's a mutagenic virus. There's no way it'll get through our transporter filters." Lendaria@crystyl | Keelah: "Then couldn't the transporters be used to cleanse it from an infected?" NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra nods, "For us, yes, which is why I said we're at minimal risk. But not every species has the same technology we do, and I have a feeling these people don't have transporters. That, or - NPC@annpc#557 - their transporters aren't advanced enough." Lendaria@crystyl:"But our transporters could in theory cleanse them of it if we beam 'em on board" NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra: "I believe so. We should be able to treat any ships with infected personnel we come across. But cleansing entire worlds is going to be a problem. Not only would we have to transport the - NPC@annpc#557 - whole population, but because of how infectious this virus is, it's not limited to only Children species. It can affect non-sentient animals, even plants. Short of transporting an entire - NPC@annpc#557 - planet, it'll be very hard to get rid of this if it's already inside an ecosystem." Lendaria@crystyl | Keelah: "No, of course. But it is a start. And if our biofilters are indeed able to filter this out then there may be scope in adapting that technology to a means that it more dispersible" NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra nods, "It's certainly a possibility. This is definitely nowhere near the threat that the Horde was." Lendaria@crystyl:"I'll get mah people workin' on with some tech teams to see wha' we can break down from th'biofilter systems" Lendaria@crystyl | Keelah nods and looks to Kazra, "Meanwhile Doctor, I would like your assistance in setting up and running an initial series of test transports" NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra: "Will do, Captain. As for the ship that sent us this data, it probably would be good to assure them that we don't have the virus by letting them check our crew. But make sure they come - NPC@annpc#557 - through our transporters, so they don't accidentally bring it onboard, in case they are already unknowingly infected." Lendaria@crystyl | Keelah: "Exactly why I want to start with medically supervised tests. We'll run through that sequence and - all being well of course - then they can transport over and work with you to verify - Lendaria@crystyl:- that there is no sign of the contagion on board" NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra nods, "Good thinking. I'll get on the tests immediately, Captain." Lendaria@crystyl | Keelah: "I'll inform the other vessel of our plans and let you coordinate from there then" NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra: "Are we keeping the presence of the other ships with us quiet, so we don't have the hassle of having to get everyone examined, or?" Lendaria@crystyl | Keelah nods, "For the moment, yes. Until we learn more about these people - and the situation around this mutagen - we don't show our full hand" NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra: "I'll tell my staff not to mention the other vessels, then." Lendaria@crystyl | Keelah nods, "Then I shall leave you ladies to your work" and heads out NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra stands, looking over to Lennie, "Well, looks like it's time to get down to work." Lendaria@crystyl nods, "I'll get them teams mobilized then give ya a hand here if ya like" NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra: "Sounds good. With the fact that this virus could affect fauna and flora, having some xenobiology expertise like yours on hand could be useful." Lendaria@crystyl smiles, "Always happy t'help! An' not just by bein' th'boss for once, but for mah own skills!" NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra smiles back, "Hope this'll be some nice fieldwork to mix things up for you then!" Lendaria@crystyl:"S'been too long since we got a medical curiosity to bring us together on ain't it" NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra chuckles, "Be careful what you wish for, Lennie. Medical curiosities are rarely very pleasant..." Lendaria@crystyl holds her hands up, "Hey, I ain't tryin' to jinx us into nothin' now! Jus' sayin', been a while since we had cause to work together is all" NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra: "True! This'll be an interesting collaborative effort, then." --- NPC@annpc#557 | As Keelah and Lennie return, TQ informs them, "The Loki wants to communicate with us, Captain." Keelah@crystyl takes her seat, "Open a channel" NPC@annpc#557 | TQ nods and a moment later, T'Lana appears on the viewscreen Keelah@crystyl:"Commander" NPC@annpc#557 | T'Lana: "Captain. We've been monitoring the unknown vessel's communications and have managed to decrypt and tap into their dialogue with their own people. There is a defense fleet inbound from - NPC@annpc#557 - a nearby system. If you do not submit to their inspection, they have given orders to stop the Valley Forge from entering their space by any means necessary. You have told them that you intend - NPC@annpc#557 - cooperate and I do not anticipate trouble, but it is logical to keep you informed of all relevant intel." Keelah@crystyl:"I had a suspicion there would be something like this given their reaction to our presence. It is also why I have not revealed your presence - or that of the Aethon and QanwI' - to them" NPC@annpc#557 | T'Lana nods, "A prudent precaution. We will remain under cloak and continue monitoring." Keelah@crystyl:"Thank you Commander. Have you by chance also begun your own investigation into this little medical mystery of theirs?" NPC@annpc#557 | T'Lana: "We have. I assume Dr. Meel has also determined that it is not natural in origin?" Keelah@crystyl:"Yes, we have also identified the potential for our transporter biofilters to cleanse the infection. I have people currently investigating the possibility of adapting the filtration technology into - Keelah@crystyl:- something readily dispersible, should we find ourselves in a position to warrant aiding these people. However I am still curious as to the true nature of this mutagen; who created it and why" NPC@annpc#557 | T'Lana: "You are not the only one, Captain. It is a natural subject to wonder about. When I heard it was artificial, my first thought was the Dominion due to their punishment on the Teplan - NPC@annpc#557 - people. However, the Dominion are experts at genetic engineering. If they wished to utilize biological warfare, it would be on their target and nothing else. Such an unpredictable and widely - NPC@annpc#557 - destructive virus does not seem likely to be their doing." Keelah@crystyl:"Agreed. So until we learn more, I am downplaying the transporter solution as a limited function without scope for presenting them with any kind of miracle cure" NPC@annpc#557 | T'Lana: "It would be best not to raise their hopes too far yet. We will do what we can to research treatments on our end as well." Keelah@crystyl:"Thank you Commander, I would also value any insights you are able to gain on the true nature and source of this" NPC@annpc#557 | T'Lana: "We will see what we can learn from the data. I would suggest you ask this Captain 'Stone-Grip' directly how the virus first appeared in their space. It may help us trace an origin." Keelah@crystyl:"That is my intention" she nods NPC@annpc#557 | T'Lana nods back, "We shall keep you informed of anything further we learn." NPC@annpc#557 | The comm ends, and TQ looks to Keelah, "Shall I hail Stone-Grip's vessel?" Keelah@crystyl:"Please do" NPC@annpc#557 | TQ nods, and Captain Stone-Grip soon reappears on the viewscreen Keelah@crystyl:"Hello again" NPC@annpc#557 | 'Stone-Grip': "I assume you have analyzed the data now?" Keelah@crystyl:"Yes, and we can see why this particular outbreak is presenting so much trouble. I was wondering if you could tell us more about how it first came to be, so that we might better understand it" NPC@annpc#557 | Stone-Grip: "It was a mistake we made, about twenty of our years ago. We were expanding our empire and came across a race that was technologically more advanced than we were, but offering - NPC@annpc#557 - surprisingly little resistance. They told us that their people were battling a dangerous plague which could jump to foreign species and tried to warn us from entering their territory. - NPC@annpc#557 - War-Chief Tritydas thought it was a bluff and proceeded with the campaign, and it brought the plague back to our own territories." Keelah@crystyl:"I see... it would be beneficial for our efforts to cure this plague if we could obtain the original data from the people whom you inherited it from" NPC@annpc#557 | Stone-Grip: "These people no longer exist. When Tritydas learned that the plague was real, he scoured their worlds. By then it was already too late. But we do not believe the virus originated - NPC@annpc#557 - from them. The information we recovered indicates that it entered their space through merchant vessels going to and from the territory of a species called the 'Gelesh-Nen.'" Keelah@crystyl:"Then we should begin our investigation with these 'Gelesh-Nen'" NPC@annpc#557 | Stone-Grip: "We have never made contact with them before, but from what we know of them, their territory is to the other side of our own. It would be more efficient to pass through - NPC@annpc#557 - our space, after an inspection, of course." Keelah@crystyl:"Understood. This will of course - regrettably - delay our work in attempting to produce a proper cure for the plague. Fortunately we have early indications that our transporters may be able to - Keelah@crystyl:- filter it out of infected tissue. My medical staff is working now to calibrate the system and with your consent, we would then like to try a few tests of transporting infected samples over. All - Keelah@crystyl:- being well, we should then be in a position to accommodate your inspection team without risk of anyone bringing the plague on board here" NPC@annpc#557 | Stone-Grip: "Your...transporters?" Keelah@crystyl:"Yes, we have the technology to digitize matter and transmit it from one place to another, where it is then rematerialized" NPC@annpc#557 | Stone-Grip: "And you believe you will be able to filter out the virus using this technology?" Keelah@crystyl:"It is a very limited option at best - that's assuming it even works. But yes, in theory it /might/ be able to cleanse the virus from a few people at a time. But let us not get ahead of ourselves; - Keelah@crystyl:- firstly, do you have any biomatter samples on board that we could initially test this with?" NPC@annpc#557 | Stone-Grip: "I am afraid not. It is military protocol not to allow the virus on board our vessels in any form. We do have facilities in deep space currently researching the virus, and may - NPC@annpc#557 - escort you to one if you wish." Keelah@crystyl:"That works. Once we can safely prove this theory then we can safely proceed with allowing your inspection team on board without risk to my own crew" NPC@annpc#557 | Stone-Grip: "Allow me to contact my superiors first. Our usual procedure is to inspect first before entering our territory, but if you will not be visiting any worlds before the inspection..." Keelah@crystyl:"And we will be under your vigilant escort, of course" NPC@annpc#557 | Stone-Grip nods, "I believe it will be acceptable, but I must clear it with the War-Chief first. This should not delay us long." He inclines his head and the comm ends Keelah@crystyl drums her fingertips on her armrest, clearly already having doubts about this species and the repercussions of aiding them NPC@annpc#557 | Ann glances over from the helm console, "Conquerin' folks, scourin' worlds, these people don't exactly sound very nice, do they..." Keelah@crystyl:"No they do not, which is why I am curious to learn the true origin of this outbreak as it would not be unheard of for such a thing to have been created as a defense against a people like this" NPC@annpc#557 | Ann: "Or maybe it's their own weapon gone wrong, an' they're just coverin' it up or somethin'." Keelah@crystyl:"Possible" she nods NPC@annpc#557 | TQ: "Stone-Grip is hailing us, Captain." Keelah@crystyl:"On screen" NPC@annpc#557 | Stone-Grip reappears on the viewscreen, "The War-Chief finds your suggestion acceptable. We will lead you to the nearest research facility. It is not far from here- we keep them on the fringes - NPC@annpc#557 - of our territory as conducting such research near habited worlds is too much of a risk." Keelah@crystyl:"A wise precaution. Then we will follow you to this facility and make sure our trials are ready to commence as soon as we arrive" NPC@annpc#557 | Stone-Grip: "Good. Match speed and course with us then- our vessel is not capable of the speeds yours can travel at." Keelah@crystyl:"Understood. We will match course and speed to suit" NPC@annpc#557 | Stone-Grip nods and the comm ends again. On the viewscreen, his ship turns around before jumping to warp Keelah@crystyl:"Match course and speed" NPC@annpc#557 | Ann nods, "Aye Cap'n. Matchin' course an' speed, ready to engage on your mark." Keelah@crystyl:"Take us out" --- T'Lana@anncaris | As the VF and Loki get underway following Strong-Grip's ship, T'Lana calls Alyssa to the ready room Alyssa@crystyl chimes the door on arrival T'Lana@anncaris:"Come in." T'Lana@anncaris is sitting behind the ready room desk, awaiting Alyssa with a cup of spice tea in front of her Alyssa@crystyl steps over, "Commander, you wished to see me?" T'Lana@anncaris nods, "That is correct. Do you want some tea as well, Lieutenant?" Alyssa@crystyl:"That is most gracious of you Commander, I would not want to insult your effort by declining" T'Lana@anncaris stands, stepping over to the replicator and replicating another cup for Alyssa, "I had intended to join you when I heard that Watson was awaking, but the Valley Forge had just made contact with - T'Lana@anncaris - an unknown vessel and I remained on the bridge to observe the situation." T'Lana@anncaris makes her way back to the desk, presenting Alyssa with the tea Alyssa@crystyl takes it in hand, "Understandable. I trust all is now in hand with that situation?" T'Lana@anncaris nods, "For the moment. The science and medical departments are still working on treatments for this bioweapon plague, but we are under no immediate danger from it ourselves." T'Lana@anncaris takes a seat back at the desk, "Medical informs me our suspicions on Watson's amnesia were correct. How much did she seem to remember?" Alyssa@crystyl:"Very little overall, but perhaps more than anticipated still. Early indications that her basic identity is intact, along with a familiarization with Starfleet. There also seemed to be an underlying- Alyssa@crystyl:- recollection of the relationship with her mother - perhaps something much more significant to her on a personal level. The fact that subconscious memory appears to have carried does suggest the - Alyssa@crystyl:- potential for further recovery" T'Lana@anncaris nods, "That is promising indeed. I assume remembering anything of the infiltrators' plans is likely too much to hope for?" Alyssa@crystyl:"For the moment at least, she has no idea she was even a part of any of that. I have selectively excluded specific details for now, choosing not to risk prompting memories of her being an enemy of - Alyssa@crystyl:- the Federation" T'Lana@anncaris:"I concur. It would be safer not to mention her association with the infiltrators for the time being. Does she largely believe herself to be a regular Starfleet officer at the moment?" Alyssa@crystyl nods, "Correct" T'Lana@anncaris takes a sip of her tea, "Do you believe it to be safe to integrate her with the crew? If she believes herself to be an officer, it would be suspicious if we continue treating her as a civilian - T'Lana@anncaris - after Medical is finished with her." Alyssa@crystyl:"That it would be, however unless she recovers sufficient memory to be able to properly associate with SFI then this may not be the best place for her. Assuming a circumstance where we are faced - Alyssa@crystyl:- with reintegrating Watson into society as a typical Starfleet officer, with no lingering concern for her history catching up to her, I believe the Valley Forge may present a more favourable option" T'Lana@anncaris:"A logical suggestion. My concern is that should she somehow remember her affiliation with the infiltrators, we may be better suited to keeping a constant eye on her. Conversely however, she would - T'Lana@anncaris:- also have access to more sensitive information here. And the Valley Forge is better suited to dealing with infiltration than most SFC crews due to their efforts against the Horde." Alyssa@crystyl:"Exactly why I have not progressed any such decision yet, as I believe that will be something requiring your overriding judgement, potentially in collaboration with Captain Se'Lai" T'Lana@anncaris nods, "I will speak to Captain Se'Lai on it. Are there any other pertinent observations you have made concerning Watson during your interaction?" Alyssa@crystyl:"Nothing noteworthy at this time" T'Lana@anncaris:"Thank you for your suggestions, Lieutenant. I will let you get back to your regular work, or meditations and social mandates, if that is what you are planning to do next." Alyssa@crystyl:"Regular work is preferable, and far more fruitful" T'Lana@anncaris nods, "Good luck with your work then. I believe your interaction with Watson should be more than sufficient as your social interaction for the day." Alyssa@crystyl:"Agreed" she nods, setting down the tea and making her departure --- T'Lana@anncaris | As the VF follows Strong-Grip's vessel at warp, Keelah is working in her ready room when her combadge chimes Keelah@crystyl taps, "Se'Lai" T'Lana@anncaris <C - TQ> "Captain, the Loki is contacting us again. Commander T'Lana wishes to speak with you." Keelah@crystyl:"Thank you, please patch her through in my ready room" T'Lana@anncaris <C - TQ> "Right away, Captain." T'Lana@anncaris | A few seconds later, T'Lana appears on Keelah's console Keelah@crystyl:"Hello Commander, what can I do for you?" T'Lana@anncaris:"Captain. This is not an update on the plague investigation, but I do have an update on another matter." T'Lana@anncaris:"Commander Watson has just awoken. As we suspected, she is being affected by amnesia and does not recall her allegiance with the infiltrators." Keelah@crystyl:"That is unfortunate, but not unexpected" T'Lana@anncaris:"Indeed. She has not lost all sense of identity however; she still remembers her name and apparently recognizes some affiliation with Starfleet. Her linguistic skills are all completely intact, and - T'Lana@anncaris:- medical is testing her now to see how much of her other skills and knowledge she has retained." Keelah@crystyl:"If nothing else, it sounds like there is at least scope for her to become a productive member of society again. That is far better out here than having someone unable to contribute" T'Lana@anncaris:"My thoughts precisely, Captain. She believes herself to be a regular member of Starfleet now, and it would be suspicious not to reintegrate her once medical treatment and supervision is no longer - T'Lana@anncaris:- necessary. However, we believe the Valley Forge is a more appropriate place for her." Keelah@crystyl:"If she still believes herself to be a regular Starfleet officer at that point, I can see the logic in that, yes. However, there is always the risk that she eventually learns the truth of her former- Keelah@crystyl:- life. It may be wise to ensure she learns that from us" T'Lana@anncaris nods, "I agree. It is likely still too early for that now, however. I trust your crew will be careful enough not to slip up and inform her when she is not yet ready?" Keelah@crystyl:"I believe so, yes. Though I am not entirely happy about relying on so many to show discretion indefinitely" T'Lana@anncaris:"I hope it will not have to be indefinite, but revealing such information to her right away may be problematic. That is another reason the Valley Forge crew may be more qualified for her to - T'Lana@anncaris:- integrate into; all the counselors are currently stationed on board your ship. They are likely the best suited for determining when Watson is ready to learn about her true former affiliations." Keelah@crystyl:"Agreed. What about her actual medical recovery, is there scope for any of our psionic personnel to assist in that at all?" T'Lana@anncaris:"It is a possibility, as we believe the damage was also done psionically. Some of what she has lost is likely beyond recovery, but psionic assistance may be helpful. I would suggest only very - T'Lana@anncaris:- experienced psionics aid her at the moment, so they do not uncover her loyalty to the infiltrators by accident too early." Keelah@crystyl:"I almost hate to say it, but I may be the best suited to that task" T'Lana@anncaris:"I agree, given your experience with mind melds. When she is ready then, we will transfer her over to your ship to be reintegrated with your crew. You may continue with memory recovery and inform - T'Lana@anncaris:- her of other information she is missing as you deem fit." Keelah@crystyl nods, "I will work with the counsellors to ensure a smooth transition for her" T'Lana@anncaris:"Excellent. I shall inform you when we are ready to transfer Watson." Keelah@crystyl:"Thank you Commander" --- NPC@annpc#557 | Some time later on the VF, Keelah is back on the bridge as they begin to approach the research station... NPC@annpc#557 | Thorkildsen: "Getting close sensor readings of the facility now. It's a small deep space station, no more than a few dozen crew." Keelah@crystyl | Rianni: "But what they lack in numbers, they make up for in defenses. Nothing worrying in all, but for a station that size it is very well armed. I'm also seeing a patrol of three three small - Keelah@crystyl - raiders scouring the region Keelah@crystyl quietly takes note NPC@annpc#557 | Ann: "Trio o' raiders, sounds like a classic Klingon patrol group. Not surprisin' I guess, given wha' we learned o' those people so far." Keelah@crystyl | Rianni: "Makes you wonder just how committed they actually are to their research..." NPC@annpc#557 | Ann nods, "Guess this might be why they don't have transporters yet. Or another solution to this virus." NPC@annpc#557 | TQ: "The cruiser is communicating with the station now." NPC@annpc#557 | TQ announces after a few moments, "And now the station is hailing us." Keelah@crystyl:"As expected. Put them on" NPC@annpc#557 | TQ taps her console and what appears to be a female member of Strong-Grip's species appears on the viewscreen, "This is Doctor Lynidis of Research Station C-5. I've been told you wish to test - NPC@annpc#557 - a method that may be able to cleanse the virus from an infected being?" Keelah@crystyl:"That is correct, yes. I am Captain Se'Lai, it is good to meet you. Tell me, has Strong-Grip told you the details of our proposal?" NPC@annpc#557 | Lynidis nods, "He said you possess some form of...teleportation technology?" Keelah@crystyl:"That is an accurate description for it yes. Are you able to prepare an infected biomatter sample for us to use in initial testing?" NPC@annpc#557 | Lynidis: "Do you want a sample of the virus on its own, or a sample of an infected lifeform?" Keelah@crystyl:"Infected tissue will suffice for now. We do not want to try anything with a live subject until we have first confirmed our theories" NPC@annpc#557 | Lynidis: "We have plenty here. Do we need to do anything to prepare it for teleportation? Give you a visual, specific coordinates, anything like that?" Keelah@crystyl:"I assume you have something like an isolation chamber there. If you could secure it within and provide us with the coordinates, that would help greatly yes" NPC@annpc#557 | Lynidis nods, "We will prepare the sample and send you the coordinates as soon as it is ready." She gestures to someone offscreen before looking back to Keelah. "Can you tell me roughly how - NPC@annpc#557 - your technology works, and how it will be able to combat the virus?" Keelah@crystyl:"Hmm... well, you'll have to forgive my over-simplification as I am a Captain, not an Engineer after all. But I shall try" Keelah@crystyl | Rianni isn't the only one to smirk quietly to herself at that Keelah@crystyl:"Transporter technology works the fundamentals of matter conversion. Namely matter into energy, and back again. When a person - or object - is dematerialized from what we refer to as the transporter- Keelah@crystyl:- pad, they are essentially digitalized and then transmitted - just like our comm signal is being transmitted now - and then they rematerialize at the target coordinates. Over the centuries this has- Keelah@crystyl:- become a primary means of leaving our starships to explore, and so we have - over time - refined a bio-filtration system into the technology. The filters essentially track all incoming matter - Keelah@crystyl:-streams and monitor them for anything anomalous. In the current context, this would be the viral infection which would register and be filtered out of the matter stream before the rematerialization- Keelah@crystyl:- process will commence" NPC@annpc#557 | Lynidis: "Interesting. We're familiar with many of these theories, but we have not yet mastered controlled matter-energy conversions. We had considered it a potential form of transportation - NPC@annpc#557 - for inanimate objects, but we did not think it would be possible to transport a living being this way." Keelah@crystyl:"It took us a long time, but in the end - as is so often the case - breakthroughs come in small leaps thanks to intuitive and intelligent individuals throughout history" NPC@annpc#557 | Lynidis: "I hope we will be able to make such a breakthrough here regarding our fight against this plague. The virus sample is ready now, I am sending you the coordinates." NPC@annpc#557 | TQ: "We got the coordinates, Captain." Keelah@crystyl:"Thank you, please ensure that the isolation is not broken now. Just to be completely safe for your own people. Assuming we are successful in filtering out the infection, we will return the sample - Keelah@crystyl:- to the same coordinates so that you can retrieve it and conduct your own verification of the results" NPC@annpc#557 | Lynidis: "We have the sample under full containment. We're ready to proceed when you are." Keelah@crystyl nods, looking to TQ, "Tell the Doctor she has a green light to proceed" NPC@annpc#557 | TQ nods back, tapping her console before announcing, "They're transporting the sample now." NPC@annpc#557 | A few seconds pass by, and then TQ speaks again, "Kazra confirms, the sample is virus-free." Keelah@crystyl:"Excellenct! Then once she has gathered her data, please have the sample container returned for verification" NPC@annpc#557 | TQ: "She should be ready to transport it back soon." NPC@annpc#557 | Ann: "This is a promisin' start." Keelah@crystyl hrms NPC@annpc#557 | Ann: "Somethin' wrong, Cap'n?" Keelah@crystyl:"Just that nagging feeling that always crops up when our advanced technology becomes of interest to another species, especially one with a first impression as these have made on us" NPC@annpc#557 | Ann nods, "True. Like wha' happened with the Forli an' all..." Keelah@crystyl | Rianni: "Right now, I'm sure those researchers are getting all kinds of excitable ideas about using transporters as a miracle cure for this thing. And I bet Stone-Grip is already trying to figure- Keelah@crystyl:- out a way to take the technology from us" NPC@annpc#557 | Ann: "Yeah...ain't got a good feelin' 'bout those folks from wha' we learned so far..." NPC@annpc#557 | TQ: "We've transported the sample back. The research station is communicating with the ship again." Keelah@crystyl:"Relaying the results no doubt" NPC@annpc#557 | TQ nods, "Most likely, yes. The station is hailing us again." Keelah@crystyl:"On screen" NPC@annpc#557 | Lynidis appears on the viewscreen again, smiling, "An impressive display, Captain. The sample has been cleansed of all traces of the virus. Your solution seems to work. Would you like to try a - NPC@annpc#557 - live sample?" Keelah@crystyl:"Assuming you have a willing volunteer, that would be the next logical step yes" NPC@annpc#557 | Lynidis: "We're not quite ready to infect one of our own with the virus willingly yet, but we have non-sentient specimens here we've been using for testing. We actually have infected ones - NPC@annpc#557 - available now that we were in the midst of running some experiments on, if you would like the coordinates." Keelah@crystyl:"Yes, that will be perfectly sufficient thank you" NPC@annpc#557 | Lynidis: "I'll send you the coordinates to those, then." NPC@annpc#557 | TQ: "Got them. Looks like there's some small critters there from the sensors, so it should be the right spot." Keelah@crystyl:"Very well then, Kazra may proceed when ready" NPC@annpc#557 | TQ nods and taps her console. A few moments later, she reports, "Another success, Captain. We've transported a small lizard and cleaned all traces of the virus from it." Keelah@crystyl:"Everything is shaping up nicely. I trust the Doctor is equally satisfied of the bio-filters success here?" NPC@annpc#557 | TQ: "She is indeed. The lizard is being transported back now." Keelah@crystyl looks back to the viewscreen, "We will of course await your own verification but I am confident in the results here" NPC@annpc#557 | Lynidis: "We're checking the specimen now...yes, our scans indicate the prybis is healthy! If it works on a non-sentient living being, I see no reason it wouldn't work on one of us." Keelah@crystyl:"Agreed, but I see no reason to artificially infect someone just for the purposes of testing. We will proceed with this information for now, and can at least permit Stone-Grip's inspection team - Keelah@crystyl:- to board, should that still be desirable now that he has seen the results here" NPC@annpc#557 | Lynidis: "I believe it's military protocol, so as unlikely as it would be for your people to be infected if you use this method of transportation all the time...he'll probably still have to do - NPC@annpc#557 - it because he's got orders to." Keelah@crystyl:"Of course. Well, thank you for your assistance here. I should liaise with Strong-Grip on our next step now" NPC@annpc#557 | Lynidis nods, "Thank you, for showing us that there is hope yet for fighting this plague. This means a lot to us, Captain." Keelah@crystyl:"It is a small step, and does nothing to help address the plague as a whole. But yes, I do also find hope in this" NPC@annpc#557 | Lynidis: "It's further than we've managed to come using our technology so far. A small step can sometimes go a long way." Keelah@crystyl:"Indeed it can. Farewell for now" NPC@annpc#557 | Lynidis: "Farewell, and thank you again." The comm ends Keelah@crystyl:"Open a channel to our escort. Let's see what Stone-Grip makes of all of this now" NPC@annpc#557 | TQ: "On it, Captain. Oh and his untranslated name is Corcais. In case Stone-Grip is a little strange to say..." she chuckles Keelah@crystyl:"Noted, thank you" she smiles NPC@annpc#557 | A few seconds later, Stone-Grip, or Corcais, appears on the viewscreen NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "Dr. Lynidis has given me the good news. It seems your transportation technology can help fight this plague." Keelah@crystyl:"Let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet. It has potential, yes - but we still need to fully understand this plague if we are to hold any hopes of an actual treatment. For now though, I can at - Keelah@crystyl:- least permit your inspection to proceed knowing that my crew is not at risk from potential exposure" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "Excellent. I will come on board your vessel with a team. I assume we will have to follow the same process the scientists just did to get the samples to you?" Keelah@crystyl:"Yes, without your own transport pad you will need to group your party together and contact us when you are ready. We can use the comm signal to establish the groups signatures from there" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "Understood. I will gather my officers and contact you again. Are there any protocols or customs we will have to observe on your vessel?" Keelah@crystyl:"Well I do believe it would be prudent to establish some ground rules before you come aboard. Firstly; we do not permit weapons here, so please do not try to bring any with you. Secondly, whilst we - Keelah@crystyl:- consenting to this inspection in the spirit of friendly cooperation, it is with the understanding that you respect the restrictions applied here. We have many sensitive areas on a vessel this - Keelah@crystyl:- size, as I'm sure you can imagine, so you will not have free reign of the ship. You will be permitted to conduct yourselves as you see fit, but with an escort who will help maintain your - Keelah@crystyl:- compliance. Trust me, it is far easier than the alternative of having you spend 4 years training at the academy" she smiles. "And on a similar note, since this is a courtesy accomodation and not - Keelah@crystyl:- anything incriminating, I expect your people to respect the sanctity of my crew's privacy. My staff will work with you to accommodate your inspection criteria as you see fit, but no scans or even - Keelah@crystyl:- questioning of personnel is permitted without them first consenting. Do we have an understanding?" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "We have an understanding, Captain." Keelah@crystyl:"Thank you. Then I look forward to welcoming you on board" --- NPC@annpc#557 | In the transporter room, Captain Corcais transports down with three other members of his species, all of them dressed in fully sealed armoured suits. They glance around, clearly surprised and - NPC@annpc#557 - impressed by the experience even though their facial expressions are not discernable NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "Well, that was...something new." NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais gathers himself and turns to Keelah, "Forgive the appearance, Captain. Our protocol demands fully sealed attire until we have deemed an area clear of the plague." Keelah@crystyl:"Welcome aboard. I trust the experience posed no discomfort? And worry not, we take no offense from your appearance" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "It is...unfamiliar, but not uncomfortable." NPC@annpc#557 | One of the others asks, "We...are still ourselves, right? This isn't some form of reassembled clone?" Keelah@crystyl:"You are still very much yourselves, yes. So on with business then, how does your protocol dictate that you proceed from this point?" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "Normally, we check the navigational and internal sensors and cargo logs to determine if the ship is likely a plague carrier. Then we inspect the medical records. Depending on the - NPC@annpc#557 - size of the crew, we may individually scan everyone, or use the medical records and internal sensors to single out anyone who is most likely to be affected. But this is not a normal situation. - NPC@annpc#557 - I assume your internal sensors are refined enough to identify any contaminants?" Keelah@crystyl:"Yes, of course. My Security Chief here can show you to a private work area and set you up with the appropriate access levels" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais nods, "Excellent. The inspection team will proceed with him and utilize the internal sensors to comb your entire vessel for any trace of the virus. Scanning your entire crew is neither - NPC@annpc#557 - practical nor preferable, given the number of lifeforms on board and your concerns on privacy. What of navigation records, may we access those as well?" Keelah@crystyl:"Yes, though I can't imagine they will be of much help to you since prior to a couple of weeks ago they consist solely of data pertaining to the other side of this galaxy" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "It will be good for us to have a record of your travels since you arrived from your side of the galaxy, for formality's sake. So I can show my superiors why you were unlikely to be a - NPC@annpc#557 - plague carrier, hence the more cursory check we are performing." Keelah@crystyl:"Of course, all relevant data will be accessible for you" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "That will do, then. If they find anything of concern, they will let you know before proceeding with individual scans, but I do not anticipate any problems. In the meantime, may we - NPC@annpc#557 - converse privately while the team checks over the data?" Keelah@crystyl:"By all means, yes. Malcolm, please show the inspection team to their work area. We'll await word from you in my ready room" NPC@annpc#557 | Silvestrie nods, "Follow me." He leads the inspection team out while Corcais follows Keelah Keelah@crystyl:"Right this way" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "You said you were on the other side of the galaxy mere weeks ago. Your vessel is faster than our own, but is it so quick as to be able to cross such distances in so little time?" Keelah@crystyl leads him in the opposite direction to the others and into a turbolift, "We did not make the journey using our own engines, nor did we do so intentionally to be completely honest" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "How did you arrive here, then?" Keelah@crystyl:"We were pursuing an enemy craft - one who actively uses wormhole technology to travel great distances. They escaped into on such gateway but not before an allied vessel attempted to slow them down - Keelah@crystyl:- by generating an artificial gravity well. The two phenomena reacted in close proximity together and pulled us into an erratic wormhole trajectory. We ended up being deposited out here" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "A very interesting tale. It is so strange that it must be the truth." Keelah@crystyl chuckles, "Yes, we get that a lot" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "And now you are trying to find your way back home, I assume?" Keelah@crystyl:"Yes. We have some data on this quadrant of the galaxy, and now of a stable wormhole that leads back to our home region. But that is several years away even at our best cruising speed. So we are - Keelah@crystyl:- exploring as we go in the hopes of finding other means to expedite the journey" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "I see. I'm afraid we do not have any technology or know of any natural stellar phenomena that may aid you, but you never know what you will find." Keelah@crystyl leads him across the bridge and into her ready room, "That is very true. Fortunately, my ship and crew were made for journeys such as this anyway so we are not exactly out of our comfort zone. - Keelah@crystyl:- Please, make yourself comfortable. Can I offer you any refreshment, or are you limited to that while wearing your suit?" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "If you will permit me to scan you and the surrounding area, I can verify it is free of plague and remove my helmet." Keelah@crystyl:"Then feel free to conduct to your scan" she smiles, standing to one side for the moment NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais takes out a tricorder, running it across the room before putting it away, then removing his helmet Keelah@crystyl | https://www.theorderofmidnight.com/storybook/m/41760224/viewthread/29062200-uss-valley-forge/post/137113472#p137113472 Keelah@crystyl observes curiously, "I take it that all is good" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais nods, "Indeed it is." He eyes the IDIC symbol, "That is not the emblem you and your crew wear. Is it personal? Clan heraldry, perhaps?" Keelah@crystyl:"A symbol of my people actually. Not in terms of clans or governments, but philosophy. It is called an IDIC, which stands for Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combination" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "Your people, as in your species? I have observed that your crew is quite diverse." Keelah@crystyl:"Yes, indeed it is. My people - or my species - is called Vulcan" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais gestures to T'Pia's picture, "And this, the work of a child or younger sibling, I assume?" Keelah@crystyl smiles, "My daughter, yes" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais smiles back, "I had a child myself, not too long ago." Keelah@crystyl:"Had... you say that like something happened. If so, then you have deepest sympathies as a parent" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais nods, "The plague took him, and my wife. Or rather, they died when the colony was scoured, and fortunately did not have to suffer the mutations that result from the virus." Keelah@crystyl:"That is terrible indeed, I am truly sorry to hear that. Come, we do not need to dwell on such unpleasantness. Please, take a seat and how about that refreshment now?" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais nods, taking a seat, "I do not know what you have to offer, so you may present whatever you deem appropriate." Keelah@crystyl:"Our replicators hold thousands of examples from species across the galaxy. If you could give some indication of the type of thing you might enjoy, I can find something similar for you" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "There is a tea from the homeworld. It has a soothing, minty taste to it. Supplies of it have become very difficult to come by since we abandoned the homeworld." Keelah@crystyl smiles, "Fortunately, minted tea is something of a staple among my own kind. Not so much as spiced tea, but hopefully this will suffice for you" she replicates a mint tea for him, and a spiced tea - Keelah@crystyl:- for herself. Sitting down and handing a cup to him NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais takes the cup and sips, smiling, "Thank you. I have not tasted such flavour for some time now." Keelah@crystyl:"I am glad that it works for you. So you mentioned having to abandon your homeworld, due to this plague I take it?" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais nods, "Yes, being our most populated planet, it was one of the first to have an outbreak. We could not bring ourselves to scour it and left it under quarantine instead. We hope someday - NPC@annpc#557 - we may be able to rebuild, though the virus has already destroyed the ecosystem beyond repair. At least the geographical landmarks are still intact, and many of our structures." Keelah@crystyl:"So what became of your people, did you resettle elsewhere or have you remained nomadic since then?" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "We have a number of other worlds, colonies and conquered territories. Many of us relocated there, some are trying to found new colonies. We have lost more than half the worlds we - NPC@annpc#557 - once controlled to the plague. That is why we are so determined to keep it away from what remains." Keelah@crystyl:"Understandable. It must be difficult to wage wars of conquest on strangers for you, especially after this whole plague incident came about because your War Chief failed to heed the warning given in- Keelah@crystyl:- good faith by a species yours had set out to conquer..." NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "We have stopped our expansion and turned our attention inwards following the outbreak of this plague. But I wanted to speak to you in private on a...related subject. I do not suppose - NPC@annpc#557 - you will be willing to give us your transportation technology?" Keelah@crystyl:"I am afraid that we have our protocols just as you do, and one of those at the very core is never to share advanced technology. This may seem callous to some, but we have learned this through our - Keelah@crystyl:- own past mistakes" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "No, I understand. This technology could help us save many lives, but as a soldier, the military benefits of such technology are obvious to me as well. You would not want us to gain - NPC@annpc#557 - such power, I assume." Keelah@crystyl:"It is not like having that technology would suddenly make you a threat to us. The reason for our rule is exactly as you have just described; whilst it would help save lives when used responsibly it - Keelah@crystyl:- could destroy countless more if used for military benefits. That would make us - make me personally - responsible for every life taken with the technology, and that is something none of us could - Keelah@crystyl:- ever live with" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais nods, "I understand your concern, and I will not insult your intelligence by saying that my people will not use it militarily. I respect your decision, and will settle for however - NPC@annpc#557 - lives you can save with your ship alone. I thought you would not be amenable to simply giving us the technology, and that is why I have come to speak with you." Keelah@crystyl:"I am relieved that you understand my position. Though we do not outrightly share our technology, that does not stop us using it ourselves to provide aid. So we will of course continue to pursue - Keelah@crystyl:- every possibility. I am also quite curious as to your people's ways of conquest, particularly in light of this plague" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "That is where the problem lies. I would be happy with whatever aid you can provide while you pass through, but I know my superior. War-Chief Kyssetis and I trained together. Once she - NPC@annpc#557 - learns that your transporter is capable of cleansing the virus from an infected individual, she will try to obtain the technology by any means necessary, with everything at her disposal. Her - NPC@annpc#557 - determination and ruthlessness is why she is War-Chief, and I am a mere captain. We have already made the mistake of attacking those we should not have attacked once, and are now suffering for - NPC@annpc#557 - it. We cannot make an enemy out of you as well." Keelah@crystyl:"I am glad you agree. It is only regrettable that your people continue to hold such an aggressive stance. I had hoped that may have been changed since the plague" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "It has for some, such as myself. But I am afraid Kyssetis is not among those, and neither are several other War-Chiefs I know of. The Warmaster himself, I am uncertain of, but I do - NPC@annpc#557 - not have the influence to simply demand an audience with him and ask him to trust me." Keelah@crystyl:"Well for what it is worth then, I am glad that you were the one to first encounter us. We will reward that good fortune by doing all we can to help against this plague. As for your military... you - Keelah@crystyl:- did not have to tell me about Kyssetis, yet you did. Does this mean you have further thoughts on how we can proceed with investigating the source of the plague?" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "Actually, I was hoping to ask you for ideas. You may find answers on the source of the plague to the other side of our territory in the space of these Gelesh-Nen I mentioned, and - NPC@annpc#557 - help those you can while travelling through. But the journey will be problematic if several of our fleets are trying to seize your technology by force. I am stopping the scientists here from - NPC@annpc#557 - reporting the results of the tests immediately, but I cannot stall them forever. Soon, word of your technology will reach Kyssetis and other like-minded War-Chiefs, and even your superior - NPC@annpc#557 - armaments may not be enough to dissuade them from the promise of obtaining these transporters." Keelah@crystyl:"I would like to avoid conflict wherever possible. How widespread are your fleets, would it be feasible to plot a course through your space that avoids them?" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais nods, "Yes, but that would make it difficult to save who you can while passing through our territory. And there are many like my wife and son, who could still have been saved if your - NPC@annpc#557 - ship was on hand." Keelah@crystyl:"Perhaps, but the longer we take to understand this plague, the longer it may be before we can determine any means of applying a treatment on a larger scale. If - say - we stopped at a colony to aid- Keelah@crystyl:- 10,000 infected, how many more might die in the days we would be there?" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "A valid point. Very well, I shall plot an optimal course to avoid contact while travelling through our space." NPC@annpc#557 | Keelah's combadge suddenly chirps Keelah@crystyl:"Should we manage to develop a viable means to deliver large scale treatment during the journey, that of course changes things significantly" she taps, "Se'Lai" NPC@annpc#557 <C - TQ> "Captain, sensors have just picked up a number of ships inbound at medium warp." Keelah@crystyl:"Any ID?" NPC@annpc#557 <C - TQ> "Negative, they are still at extreme sensor range." Keelah@crystyl:"Understood. Keep me apprised of any changes" looks to Corcais, "I suspect this will be one of your fleets" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "The research station haven't sent their reports yet. Even if they sent it sometime after I left my ship, it couldn't have reached anyone quickly enough for them to bring their ships - NPC@annpc#557 - here. This is something else. The plague has been the source of our recent troubles, but its direct effects are not the only problems we have been experiencing." NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais puts his helmet back on and stands, "I should return to my ship. I will update you from there." Keelah@crystyl:"So you think these ships are from another people you have been waging war against?" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais nods, "That is the more likely explanation. Even Kyssetis cannot get her fleet here this quickly, and she has already been rallying them to stop you from entering our territory if - NPC@annpc#557 - you refused inspection." Keelah@crystyl:"Alright then. Stay in touch" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "I'll let you know once we have an ID on them." He turns and heads out of the ready room --- NPC@annpc#557 | A short while later, Keelah returns to the bridge as Corcais has returned to his. Soon, his vessel hails the VF... NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais appears on the viewscreen, "We've obtained an ID on them, Captain." Keelah@crystyl:"Is it as you suspected?" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "It is. These ships belong to a species called the Ossika. We conquered them not long before we came into contact with the plague. When the plague broke loose in our territory, we cut - NPC@annpc#557 - them loose to focus our resources on our own people. They've rebuilt their ships and have been causing more and more trouble for us lately." Keelah@crystyl:"Conquered and then cut loose shortly after when they became inconvenient? I can't say I blame them really" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "Yes, these...are not the proudest actions of my people. But their motivations matter little now. They are headed right for the research facility, and I doubt their intentions are - NPC@annpc#557 - peaceful. If they raid the station, they may expose themselves to the plague." Keelah@crystyl:"Then I suggest we intercept and warn them" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais nods, "Agreed. We will move into communications range immediately." Keelah@crystyl:"Actually I was thinking that the Valley Forge goes, without you. If they see one of your ships on an approach they will likely default to a combat stance but we may elicit more curiosity" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "That is true. Very well, we will hold position by the facility with the patrol raiders and prepare to engage if a defense is necessary. Good luck, Captain." Keelah@crystyl:"Thank you. Valley Forge out" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais disappears from the viewscreen, which returns to a view of the research station as the cruiser and three raiders move into defensive positions Keelah@crystyl:"Helm, take us out on an intercept heading" NPC@annpc#557 | Ann nods, "Aye Cap'n." The VF begins to move towards the incoming ships Keelah@crystyl:"Hail them as soon as we get into range" Keelah@crystyl | Rianni: "I'm seeing 5 light cruisers - more lightweight even than Corcais' ship. They've got six smaller escorts with them" Keelah@crystyl:"More than enough to do real harm to that facility" she nods NPC@annpc#557 | TQ: "We're entering comms range. Hailing them now." Keelah@crystyl:"This is Captain Se'Lai of the Federation starship Valley Forge to the approaching fleet" NPC@annpc#557 | An alien with small ridges along the side of her head and braided hair appears on the viewscreen NPC@annpc#557 | Ossika: "You approach us from Hyrdeum space and your translator translates to their tongue. But judging by your technology, you cannot have been conquered by them. Who are you, new friends of - NPC@annpc#557 - theirs?" Keelah@crystyl:"Not exactly. We are explorers new to this region of space and encountered their patrol whilst on our journey. We were accommodating an inspection when your fleet was detected" NPC@annpc#557 | Ossika: "You accommodate their inspection? That is unwise. They are likely to stab you in the back and steal that ship of yours for themselves." Keelah@crystyl:"Fortunately they were quick to realise that any such attempts would be fruitless. I am aware of the hardships their kind has put your people through, but those on that research facility are not - Keelah@crystyl:- deserving of your vengeance. They are working to control the plague which has brought their people to their knees. I assume you are aware of it?" NPC@annpc#557 | Ossika: "We have heard of it, yes, but we've yet to be affected. It sounds like a convenient excuse for the Hyrdeum to withdraw and save face. We drove them out of our home with our - NPC@annpc#557 - resistance. Perhaps this virus is real, but I do not believe it is as severe as they claim." Keelah@crystyl:"Then perhaps you will believe me then. The Hyrdeum contracted this virus when they failed to heed the warning of a species they tried to conquer, it would be unwise to make the same mistake. - Keelah@crystyl:- Fortunately we have already begun studying it, so you needn't simply take me at my word. I can send you all the relevant data on their plague and you can have your own people review it if you like" NPC@annpc#557 | Ossika: "We do not know you. How do we know we can trust you?" Keelah@crystyl:"All I am asking is that you don't rush in blindly and first review the data we have. It can be sent to you as part of this open communication channel, so you have nothing further to risk" NPC@annpc#557 | Ossika: "Very well. Give me what you have, then." Keelah@crystyl nods, signalling TQ to send it, "Thank you. We will hold position here for the moment and give you time to review things. Should you have any questions, you need only ask" NPC@annpc#557 | Ossika: "And we shall do the same. All ships, full stop." NPC@annpc#557 | Ossika glances offscreen, then back to Keelah, "I will discuss this with my people first." NPC@annpc#557 | The comm ends Keelah@crystyl:"Send a message back to the facility and update them on the situation" NPC@annpc#557 | TQ nods, "On it, Captain." NPC@annpc#557 | Ann: "These Hyrdeum are real popular, ain't they..." Keelah@crystyl:"It's a wonder they have survived as long as they have" NPC@annpc#557 | Ann nods, "Seein' the armaments o' these ships, maybe they're just lucky enough to be one o' the more advanced folks in the region. Maybe it's a good thing they ran into this plague first - NPC@annpc#557 - before they spread far enough to attract the Dominion. This least gives 'em a chance to change, I got a feelin' the Dominion's gonna be much worse for 'em..." Keelah@crystyl:"Exactly why I want to get to the bottom of the origin of this virus..." NPC@annpc#557 | Ann: "Ya think the Dominion might be behind it?" Keelah@crystyl:"Maybe. Or maybe I've been facing this shadow enemy for too long and now see their hand in everything" NPC@annpc#557 | Ann: "Tha's...certainly a possibility too." NPC@annpc#557 | TQ: "The Ossika are hailing us, Captain." Keelah@crystyl:"That was fast. Put them on" NPC@annpc#557 | The Ossika appears on the viewscreen again, "We have reached a decision. Either this virus /is/ as dangerous as the Hyrdeum claim, or you have allied yourself with them for reasons beyond our - NPC@annpc#557 - understanding. In either case, it is obvious that attacking the facility now would be a mistake. Either we risk exposure to this plague, or we will have to fight you, and we are no match for - NPC@annpc#557 - your vessel. So we will return home and present this data to our scientists. Tell the Hyrdeus we are not done with them." NPC@annpc#557 | The comm ends before Keelah has a chance to respond NPC@annpc#557 | Ann: "They're turnin' back." Keelah@crystyl sighs softly, "Well, at least they saw sense for now. Take us back to the facility" NPC@annpc#557 | Ann nods, "Headin' back now." She taps on her console and the VF turns back around towards the station --- NPC@annpc#557 | Upon returning to the facility, TQ announces, "Corcais is hailing us, Captain." Keelah@crystyl:"As expected. On screen" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais reappears on the viewscreen of the VF, "I see the Ossika have turned around. You've successfully dissuaded them from attacking the research station, I take it?" Keelah@crystyl:"For the moment at least, though I doubt they will remain at bay indefinitely" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "Yes, they are not exactly fond of my people after our history with them. I do not blame them for wishing vengeance upon us. This is simply not a good time for it, for both our - NPC@annpc#557 - peoples. Even if they destroy us utterly, all they will do is inherit this plague upon our territory." Keelah@crystyl:"Exact what I relayed to them. They are undecided if the plague is real or not still, but determined that even if it wasn't then we were delivering the falsehood as your allies which would mean they- Keelah@crystyl:- face us in combat as well. So seeing only negative outcomes, they withdrew the assault" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "It will do for now. Hopefully they will not have to learn about the plague as we did." Keelah@crystyl:"Indeed. All the more reason though for us to progress with haste. Where do we stand on the inspection now?" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "My team informs me they have not detected any signs of the virus on your ship. You are clear to proceed. As we agreed, I will now provide you with the best path through our territory." Keelah@crystyl:"Thank you, that will be a great help" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "I have also highlighted what we believe to be the territory of these Gelesh-Nen. It is difficult to say whether that was the true origin of the plague or simply another region it has - NPC@annpc#557 - swept through, but it is the furthest back our information on the plague goes. But take care, Captain. We have sent campaigns in that direction, both before and after the plague's outbreak, - NPC@annpc#557 - and none have returned." Keelah@crystyl:"Thank you for the warning. Hopefully we will speak again" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais nods, "And I hope when we do, you may return with a more widely applicable solution to the plague." Keelah@crystyl:"Indeed. Farewell for now then" NPC@annpc#557 | Corcais: "Farewell, Captain. Do what you can to aid us for now, but be wary of any other Hyrdeum military vessels you see from here on. They may not be as...understanding as I am." Keelah@crystyl lets the comm end, "Alright, let's get an analysis of this course we've been given then get ourselves underway" NPC@annpc#557 | TQ: "Sending the map we've received to the helm now." NPC@annpc#557 | Ann: "Well tha's handy. This map he's given us points out all their bases an' colonies. Looks like a mostly straight path through their space, with a few detours here an' there to avoid some - NPC@annpc#557 - specific system. Can't say for sure he ain't lurin' us into any traps, but if the points o' interest on the map are right, then it does look like a pretty good route to avoid runnin' into - NPC@annpc#557 - their military." Keelah@crystyl:"We can have our escorts scout the route ahead of us. Between the information we've been given, and the cloaked scouting I see no reason why we should stumble into any undesirable circumstances" NPC@annpc#557 | Ann nods, "Good call. Our scouts saw Corcais' ship before we ran into it, after all." NPC@annpc#557 | Thorkildsen: "All their vessels we've examined so far are less advanced than ours and have lower sensor range. That'll work to our advantage as well." Keelah@crystyl:"Excellent" NPC@annpc#557 | Ann taps on her console, "Course is set an' ready to go on ya mark, Cap'n." Keelah@crystyl:"Take us out" NPC@annpc#557 | Ann nods and the VF accelerates to warp, following the course Corcais laid out for them... --- NPC@annpc#557 | Over a day after leaving the Hyrdeum research facility, Keelah's combadge chirps as she works in her ready room Keelah@crystyl taps, "Se'Lai" NPC@annpc#557 <C - Eva> "Captain, the Loki's contacting us." Keelah@crystyl:"Thank you Eva, please patch them through to my ready room" NPC@annpc#557 | A few seconds later, T'Lana appears on Keelah's console Keelah@crystyl:"Commander. To what do I owe the pleasure?" NPC@annpc#557 | T'Lana: "We have completed our evaluation of Commander Watson. It appears that all of her skills are intact. More specifically, everything which is normally learned through extensive repeated - NPC@annpc#557 - studying and practice has been retained. It is rather similar to the behaviour displayed by the Observer when Commander Leveson-Scott first encountered her. Only that Watson's skills have been - NPC@annpc#557 - retained instead of granted. However, she is similarly surprised and unaware of her proficiency in many aspects." Keelah@crystyl:"I see, so she is in something of a position of rediscovering herself then" NPC@annpc#557 | T'Lana nods, "Indeed she is, but I do not believe she requires any additional training to be integrated into starship service. We may transfer her to the Valley Forge whenever you are ready." Keelah@crystyl:"I assume nothing has changed regarding her true nature?" NPC@annpc#557 | T'Lana: "Not that we are aware of. As she is now, we do not believe her to be a threat. As for how different she is from the Commander Watson before the memory wipe, that your daughter may be - NPC@annpc#557 - in a better position to answer." Keelah@crystyl:"Yes, she is... surprisingly eager to see the Commander again. Very well then, we can proceed with the transfer as soon as you're ready" NPC@annpc#557 | T'Lana nods, "I shall call her to the transporter room now and briefly transport over with her to ease the transition. I assume you will be there as well?" Keelah@crystyl:"Yes, I'll make my way down there now" --- NPC@annpc#557 | In the transporter room, T'Lana beams in with Watson, now also sporting blonde hair like the Vulcan SFI commander Keelah@crystyl:"Welcome aboard ladies" NPC@annpc#557 | T'Lana: "Thank you, Captain." She leads Watson off the pad, "This is the USS Valley Forge, the Starfleet Command vessel you will be working on. It is the only other Starfleet ship with us at - NPC@annpc#557 - present, and the most appropriate place for you." NPC@annpc#557 | Watson nods, looking at Keelah and the transporter operator, "Yes, these uniforms do look more familiar." Keelah@crystyl:"It is gratifying to see you well Commander. I can not begin to imagine the ordeal you have faced since regaining consciousness" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson: "I've regained consciousness now, but it still doesn't quite feel like I'm...myself, yet." NPC@annpc#557 | T'Lana: "It is unfortunate that the Observer is not present, but perhaps Lieutenant Tierno may help guide her, as she does have the Observer's memories. She is also your Chief of Tactical, and - NPC@annpc#557 - Watson here was a tactical officer." Keelah@crystyl:"I am sure she would be happy to assist" looks to Watson, "So is tactical where you feel you belong again, or are you more just exploring still?" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson: "I'm not sure, to be honest. According to my record I was a tactical officer and I have the skills, so it might be a good place to start. I'm told inter-department mobility is quite - NPC@annpc#557 - fluid in Starfleet as long as one learns the necessary skills?" Keelah@crystyl:"Absolutely, and not just with natural progression lines into Command and such. A former XO of mine who started as tactical actually retrained her profession while serving in the command function to- Keelah@crystyl:- become a trained counsellor for example" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson smiles, "Perfect. I'll start in Tactical for now and see where things take me, then. I don't even remember why I initially chose to be in - NPC@annpc#557 - tactical and whether those motivations still stand, but I'll give it a try first." Keelah@crystyl:"With your current circumstances it is perfectly viable to consider that what once was a preference may no longer be the case. Excellent, then welcome aboard" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson: "Thank you, Captain." NPC@annpc#557 | T'Lana: "I shall return to the Loki and leave Watson in your capable hands, then." Keelah@crystyl:"Alright then, thank you" NPC@annpc#557 | T'Lana steps back to the transporter pad, looking to the operator, "Energize." NPC@annpc#557 | She transports away, leaving Watson with Keelah NPC@annpc#557 | Watson: "I assume you have quarters assigned for me and all?" Keelah@crystyl:"Yes, would you like me to show you to them now?" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson nods, "Lead the way!" Keelah@crystyl smiles, heading out into the corridor, "So I take it Commander T'Lana has brought you up to speed on our current circumstances?" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson: "She has. I understand that we've been pulled to the Gamma Quadrant, far away from where Starfleet is usually based, and are headed for a wormhole which will take us back." Keelah@crystyl:"That's the long and short of it. Mostly the long of it, given how far away that wormhole is" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson chuckles, "We're still about five years out from the wormhole from what T'Lana told me, and that's the quick way back." Keelah@crystyl:"Yes, so you have plenty of time to make yourself comfortable and find your footing again" she smiles, stepping into a turbolift NPC@annpc#557 | Watson smiles back, "Sounds good to me. Speaking of finding my footing again, this Chief of Tactical who T'Lana mentioned earlier- she's a Lieutenant?" Keelah@crystyl:"Junior Grade, to be precise. Though I grow increasingly hard pushed to hold her at that..." NPC@annpc#557 | Watson: "A very talented young officer, then?" Keelah@crystyl:"She is something of a prodigy, the sum of her experiences as we all are. However her experiences since her first year as a cadet... well, I'll let her tell you if you want to hear it all" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson nods, "I'll be sure to ask her about it, if she's willing to share. I wanted to bring up the rank with you though, since my records have me as a Lieutenant Commander. I /think/ it's not - NPC@annpc#557 - unprecedented for someone of higher rank to serve under a department head with lower rank, but...with me barely knowing who I am, I don't know if you'd want me to adopt a lower rank for the - NPC@annpc#557 - time being or something." Keelah@crystyl steps out of the lift, "It is not the first time this ship has had a lower ranked officer serving as a department head, and you are currently not the only officer under LT Tierno who also outranks - Keelah@crystyl:- her. So I see no reason to treat you any differently to the rest of the crew in that regard. That said, there are those on board who have been down ranked due to personal circumstances and at their Keelah@crystyl:- own behest such as ENS Ralde, whom LT Tierno is close with. So I will leave your rank as it is for the time being and defer to your judgement on how it progresses from here" Keelah@crystyl exits the lift while talking and leads the way, "Here, this is you" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson follows Keelah out, "Sounds good to me. I'll check in with Lieutenant Tierno soon. Is there anyone else I should talk to? Anything else that needs setting up, like security privileges?" Keelah@crystyl:"My yeoman - Mia - likes to handle all the small details, especially when onboarding new personnel. So I won't deny the opportunity" she smiles, "She'll have it all in hand and be in touch" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson: "I'll be sure to talk to her as well, then. Thank you for accepting me on board, Captain. I'll make sure to be a contribution to your crew." Keelah@crystyl:"I am confident that you will find your place here. Just don't feel you need to rush yourself for anyone else's benefit" she smiles, stepping away and pausing, "Oh, by the way there is one more - Keelah@crystyl:- person who would like to welcome you on board when you're settled" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson turns mid-way before entering the room, "Oh? Who's that?" Keelah@crystyl:"My daughter, T'Pia" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson: "She also likes to meet everyone new to the ship, I take it?" Keelah@crystyl:"Well, yes. But she has a particular interest in seeing you again. Pia has been very worried about you since she was there with you when you got taken" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson: "She was there? Interesting. Maybe she knows more about who I am, too...I'll be sure to speak with her as well." Keelah@crystyl smiles, "Well, let me leave you to settling in then" NPC@annpc#557 | Watson smiles, "I look forward to working with you, Captain." --- Mia@crystyl not long after Watson is left to her own devices in her quarters, there's a chime at the door Marion Watson@annpc#557 calls out, "Come in!" Mia@crystyl steps in with a beaming smile, "Allo Ms. Watson! We are Mia; your official welcoming committee!" Marion Watson@annpc#557 sets down her PADD, looking over to Mia, "Hello Mia! I was actually about to go looking for you soon, so thanks for stopping by!" She stands from the sofa Mia@crystyl steps over, "Oh please, you do not need to get up on our account! Was there something you required help with if you were seeking us? We do hope there is nothing wrong!" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"Oh it's nothing serious, just some basic administrative..." she eyes Mia's uniform. "Your clothes look vaguely familiar, but they're not the crew's uniform..." Mia@crystyl "Non, this is the uniform 23C Starfleet. It is what we were always accustomed to wearing and so have stuck with it here too" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"I thought it might've been an outfit I also had or something," she chuckles. "I suppose if it's a historical uniform, I've probably seen it somewhere before. In my studies or the holodeck." Mia@crystyl:"That is where we have ours from, so that is indeed likely!" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"Were you wearing it for a holoprogram?" Mia@crystyl:"Yes, exactly! Wow, we are impressed, Ms. Watson. Most Humans are not able to distinguish our holographic nature at first glance" Marion Watson@annpc#557 narrows her eyes, "No, wait, you /are/ a hologram! I just thought you got the uniform from a program, but you're a holographic lifeform, aren't you?" Mia@crystyl:"Well... we were, once. But we decided to evolve. Now we are what Starfleet calls an Isomorphic Amalgamation, or Iso as we like to call it!" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"That doesn't sound familiar to me. I'm not sure I've ever heard of an...Isomorphic Amalgamation." Mia@crystyl:"That is no surprise since we are currently the one to exist! Unless you've already met us of course, but we are quite certain that you have not" Marion Watson@annpc#557 shakes her head, "I mean, my memory's been tampered with so it's not impossible, but you probably have perfect memory, don't you?" Mia@crystyl:"As far as we know at least... but we digress! You were seeking us?" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"Right, yes. I don't think I've been set up with officer credentials yet, so the replicator here isn't allowing me to create an officer's uniform." Mia@crystyl:"Yes, we have your induction details" she hands over a PADD, "A moment..." looking to one side, "There! You should be good to go now!" Marion Watson@annpc#557 smiles, "Thank you, Mia! Does that get everything else concerning access set up as well, or?" Mia@crystyl:"Yes, you are all set now as far as the system is concerned" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"Perfect!" she glances at Miadrone. "Now that I know you're an Isomorphic...Amalgamation? That drone behind you isn't an assistant for you, is it?" Mia@crystyl:"Non, the Little One is a part of us!" Marion Watson@annpc#557 nods, looking around the room, "There's no holographic projectors in this room, right?" Mia@crystyl:"Non, we have many areas of the ship covered now but not standard quarters. Part of our evolution however was to progress from holographic to corporeal in nature" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"So the little one isn't projecting you? I was convinced that's how you worked for a moment..." Mia@crystyl:"Not in the sense of holographics that you were thinking. Our droneshell was retrofitted with an advanced replicator node you see. This allows it replicate a mobile projector core-" she holds a hand- Mia@crystyl:- to her chest, indicating it's presence within, "- which generates and regulates our avatar at a molecular level" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"Ah, so I was close! Somewhat," she chuckles. "That's quite an advanced setup you have. I assume this was the evolution you talked about?" Mia@crystyl nods proudly, "Oui! Our avatar as you see it was originally a self aware holoprogram. The Little One was what is classified by her creators as a personal assistant drone, not unlike an Exocomp in - Mia@crystyl:- principle just a great deal more sophisticated. Her creator was the foremost AI programming master among her people, and so the Little One was always a step above others of her kin just as our - Mia@crystyl:- holoprogram was above standard non self-aware programs. We initially networked our programs and then upgraded our hardware from there to refine the sensory capabilities of the avatar to better - Mia@crystyl:- emulate a biological existence" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"And then slowly made improvements until you became as you are now?" Mia@crystyl:"Exactly, yes!" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"You've come quite far then! Well, thank you for satisfying my curiosity, and for stopping by and helping out." Mia@crystyl:"It is our pleasure! Welcoming new members to the family has always been one of our favourite parts of our job here!" Marion Watson@annpc#557 smiles, "It's a great welcome to have someone as friendly as you stopping by. I'll see you around, Mia!" Mia@crystyl gives a cheery wave, heading out, "Oh, and do stop by the officers lounge sometime! We also provide entertainment there when not on duty!" --- Marion Watson@annpc#557 | The next day, Rianni sits in the Tactical Chief's office, doing some administrative work when the doorbell rings Rianni@crystyl calls out, "Come in..." Rianni@crystyl is in fact not sitting at her desk, but is on her hands and knees behind it... Marion Watson@annpc#557 steps into the room, looking to the desk and double-taking at Rianni's position behind it, "You're...not where I expected you to be." Rianni@crystyl bangs her head on the desk, slowly standing with a pout as she rubs her sore head, "Ow... I dropped my PADD..." Rianni@crystyl looks the stranger up and down, "Aah, you're... Watson, right?" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"Oh, sorry! I didn't mean to make you hit your head. But yes, I'm Watson. And you're Lieutenant Tierno?" Rianni@crystyl:"Yes, let's try this again without my embarrassment" she chuckles, extending a hand, "Rianni. It is good to meet you at last" Marion Watson@annpc#557 shakes Rianni's hand, "It's good to meet you too, Rianni. I'll be reporting to you, since I'm starting out in Tactical." Rianni@crystyl:"You say you're starting out, but this is what you did before right - and what you remember from before your amnesia?" she asks, gesturing to take a seat while doing so herself Marion Watson@annpc#557 takes a seat opposite Rianni, "Well, I don't remember doing it. It's apparently what I did according to my personnel file, and when the Loki's crew tested what I still know, I was able to - Marion Watson@annpc#557 - operate tactical systems. So I've got the skill, but not the memory of actually learning or using them." Rianni@crystyl:"I get it. So... and it feels really weird asking this of a senior officer, but... how do you feel about taking on responsibilities now? I mean, would you be comfortable being left to your own - Rianni@crystyl:- devices covering the bridge tactical station right now, or would you prefer to start elsewhere - or maybe on the bridge but with a buddy?" Marion Watson@annpc#557 chuckles, "I mean, you've got the senior position. I have a higher rank, but seeing as I don't remember anything that got me up to this rank. So it's probably fair to just treat me as a slightly - Marion Watson@annpc#557 - more skilled ensign. As for bridge duty, well, I knew what I was doing when I was on the Loki's holodeck..." Marion Watson@annpc#557:"It might be safer to have some supervision, maybe for a few shifts, as I get used to your ship and using my skills." Rianni@crystyl:"Then I should imagine you'd have no difficulty with it here. And yes, the Valley Forge does have a few unique tactical retrofits. So it would make sense to have someone with you for a while until- Rianni@crystyl:- you've had a chance to get used to them and the rest of the crew. Sorry if I seem a little indecisive, this is... kind of new territory for me" she chuckles Marion Watson@annpc#557 chuckles, "For both of us, I imagine. No need to apologize. You haven't been Chief for long yet, I assume?" Rianni@crystyl:"Are you kidding? I'm still getting used to being a fully qualified officer and not a cadet!" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"Really? The Captain said you were a prodigy, but I didn't think you advanced /that/ quickly." Rianni@crystyl:"I graduated - technically - a year early, after the Battle of the Heart. And since I had already been granted a field commission of acting Ensign during the war leading up to that, my graduation - Rianni@crystyl:- came with Junior LT pips like medical graduates normally get. The fact that I was made Chief here just boiled down to the fact that I help design some of the tactical systems that got us through - Rianni@crystyl:- that conflict. So when Vrolmacht moved on to take a command of his own, I was the only person on board with the knowledge and experience of running it all. I mean, sure we have other tactical - Rianni@crystyl:- staff and more senior in rank to me at that, but they lack the specific experience of the Forge's overall tactical position" Marion Watson@annpc#557 nods, "That makes sense. The other officers might be more experienced, but they don't have as much experience as you specifically with this ship's systems." Rianni@crystyl:"Pretty much, yes. Since I was also a Command trainee, I had spent more time on the bridge with exposure to starship command there and of course having commanded the Aethon for a while too, I guess - Rianni@crystyl:- it does make sense why Keelah would entrust this to me. Crazy as it seems!" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"Meanwhile I apparently /do/ have the experience of being a Chief of Tactical, but I don't remember any of it..." Rianni@crystyl:"Well then I'm sure it will all come back to you! In fact, it would be kind of nice for both of us. I'm hoping that as you get settled here and things start coming back to you, that perhaps some of - Rianni@crystyl:- that keen instinct that got you that former position will resurface and then we can maybe help each other out! Having been here for so long, it is easy for others to forget how inexperienced I am - Rianni@crystyl:- sometimes, so it would be just as great for me to have someone to lean on a little without that pressure!" Marion Watson@annpc#557 smiles, "I hope it starts to come back to me too. I'll do my best to help you where I can, Lieutenant. And I'm sure you'll be a great help to me too. Speaking of which, T'Lana mentioned - Marion Watson@annpc#557 - something about you having someone else's memories that could be useful for me?" Rianni@crystyl:"She told you about the other me? Hm... I wonder how she might fit into this context..." Marion Watson@annpc#557:"Not quite, but she said something about that to Keelah. Who's this...other you?" Rianni@crystyl leans back, "Oh boy, where to begin with that one...? I think that requires a drink. Do you want something?" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"I'm...not quite sure exactly what my preferred drink is, actually. But I did quite like the replicated springwine I tried on the Loki." Rianni@crystyl:"Springwine it is" returns with the drink, and an Orion wine for herself, "One of those rare occasions when you can appreciate the lack of inebriating effects from synthehol" she smiles Marion Watson@annpc#557 smiles back, "Thank you. So, about there being another you..." Rianni@crystyl:"Yes, she now serves under Commander T'Lana's former CO aboard the Latenter - another SFI vessel. But let's see now..." she sips, "I guess understanding her is also understanding me more so it is not- Rianni@crystyl:- a bad thing for you to know the whole story. Assuming you want to hear it of course" Marion Watson@annpc#557 nods, "I'm quite curious about it now, if nothing else. It sounds like one interesting story!" Rianni@crystyl:"No denying that! Well now, when I was in my first year at the academy we went on a field trip; you know the sort of thing - give all the fresh faced cadets a glimpse of life aboard an active - Rianni@crystyl:- starship kind of thing?" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"I can't remember if I was ever on one myself, but it does sound like a familiar concept to me." Rianni@crystyl:"Right! Well, my class spent a few weeks on board a ship called the Gainsborough - an Odyssey class flagship based out of a frontier starbase" Marion Watson@annpc#557 takes a sip of her springwine as she listens Rianni@crystyl:"While we aboard and the Gainsborough was performing some routine border patrols with us, they encountered an unannounced arrival from an unknown species. First Contact protocols came into effect, - Rianni@crystyl:- so the Gainsborough - and it's entire supporting flight wing of 7 other starships - moved to investigate and make contact" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"I'm guessing it wasn't your average first contact?" Rianni@crystyl:"Things... did not go well for us. All ships were lost in that event, and few were able to evacuate" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"How did that result in you meeting or...creating another you?" Rianni@crystyl nods, "I was the only one of my class to make it off the ship, and the officer I escaped with didn't survive the evacuation. I think he was actually dead by the time I got him into the pod..." she - Rianni@crystyl:- quickly shakes the thought from her mind, "Regardless, I was seriously injured and unable to control the damaged pod. It - along with several others - were drawn into the aliens' departing - Rianni@crystyl:- wormhole which then scattered across several sectors of unexplored space beyond Federation borders. Most of those pods were fortunate enough to be recovered together after several months, but mine- Rianni@crystyl:- was intercepted by an alien species - enemies of those who attacked us. They repaired my broken back eventually, but I was held in stasis for, um... around 18 months I think? During that time they- Rianni@crystyl:- created a perfect clone of me - well beyond the technology of even the Dominion cloning, but similar in principle. This is how they conduct their first contact procedures, see. They intercept - Rianni@crystyl:- people at near death, then replace them with an artificial 'Observer' to learn about a species from the inside, having lost faith in the pomp and circumstance of diplomatic approaches to a new - Rianni@crystyl:- species. Well, suffice to say that circumstances remained consistently messy and obscure for me and the Observer going forwards from my eventual return..." Marion Watson@annpc#557:"That's quite a complex form of first contact. So you have the memories of the Observer?" Rianni@crystyl nods, "Yes, during my stasis she and I shared a form of psionic link which allowed her to call upon my memories to aid her cover. Through this, I gained memories of her time living as me and - to a- Rianni@crystyl:- point - a working understanding of her skills and abilities. Oh! Maybe that is what the Commander was thinking of; how I ended up returning to a life that felt like a dream and with skills I - Rianni@crystyl:- I didn't know I had!" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"Maybe. That's what I feel like now, discovering I can do all these things I never knew about..." Rianni@crystyl:"That is indeed a familiar sensation that I can relate to. Circumstantially different, of course - I would never presume to understand what you're going through - but I feel like I can relate - Rianni@crystyl:- somewhat to what you describe" Marion Watson@annpc#557 smiles, "It's nice to meet someone who has at least an idea of what it's like. Maybe your experiences can be helpful to me, too." Rianni@crystyl:"I would love to think so! The more good I can make come out of it, the more I am able to sleep a little easier for having fought through it as it all seems that little more worthwhile" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"It's a good mindset to have! I'm certainly looking forward to working with you, Rianni. Just let me know when you want me to start my duties." Rianni@crystyl:"I imagine you're probably quite keen to start finding some sense of normality again, so we can pick up straight away on the next rotation if you like" Marion Watson@annpc#557 nods, "I'd be happy to! Would you like me on the bridge right away as well?" Rianni@crystyl:"Yes, we can start there! Though we're maintaining a constant alert status right now, we are not exactly at full battle readiness so it should be as good a time as any to get started there" Rianni@crystyl:"That said, if you are more eager to get ahead on things before a bridge duty shift I am happy to give you more of a rundown on our unique systems in the holodeck" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"I've been reading up on the Valley Forge's tactical systems, but like you said, no one knows it like you do. A little tutorial could be very useful." Rianni@crystyl:"Then why don't we head down there now?" she smiles and stands Marion Watson@annpc#557 stands as well, "Lead the way, Lieutenant." --- Marion Watson@annpc#557 | A short while after her meeting with Rianni, Watson seeks out T'Pia, heading to Keelah's quarters and ringing the doorbell T'Pia@crystyl appears at the door, "Commander!" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"Hello!" She stares at Pia for a moment. "Oh! You're the one whose hologram I recognized, when they were testing what I remembered on the Loki!" T'Pia@crystyl tilts her head curiously, "They... showed you a hologram of me?" Marion Watson@annpc#557 nods, "When I first woke up. They wanted to see how much I remembered, so they had the EMH project a hologram of you. Your mother also told me you were with me when I got taken, but I - Marion Watson@annpc#557 - didn't connect the dots that you were the person from the hologram, too." T'Pia@crystyl:"I see. Well if it's my mother you are looking for I think she's working in her ready room at the moment" Marion Watson@annpc#557 smile, "I'm looking for you, actually. Your mother said that you wanted to see me again, and I'm curious what you know about who I was before I lost my memory, too." T'Pia@crystyl:"Right! Oh well in that case, come in!" Marion Watson@annpc#557 steps in, "So, you're a cadet, right? T'Pia@crystyl:"Yep! Just coming up to the end of my first year now" Marion Watson@annpc#557 takes a seat opposite Pia, "Following your mother's footsteps?" T'Pia@crystyl:"Insofar that I'm studying engineering, yes. However her focus was on warp mechanics where I am focusing more on starship design" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"An interesting field? Is that because of all the unique modifications that the Valley Forge has gone through?" T'Pia@crystyl:"Probably! This whole ship is something of an experiment in retrofits, and a lot has been refined in it since my mother took command too. So I guess it's something that's always been at the - T'Pia@crystyl:- forefront for me!" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"I thought it was something like that! So how did you know me? I don't believe anyone else here does, and I wasn't a member of this crew before, so I wasn't taken from the Valley Forge..." T'Pia@crystyl:"No, you and I were travelling here from the Heart. It was when we beamed from the transport ship to the Valley Forge that your signature was intercepted and you got taken" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"But you beamed here successfully, I take it?" T'Pia@crystyl nods, "For whatever reason I was spared your fate" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"And then they wiped my mind- do you know if it was intentional, or just a side effect from what they were trying to do. Seizing information on Starfleet, perhaps?" T'Pia@crystyl:"I'm afraid I don't know the specifics of what happened there. Only that it was something to do with that rogue Commodore who was in charge of the Loki at the time" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"So that's why I woke up on the Loki. It was them who captured me to begin with, wasn't it? Back when the rogue Commodore was in charge, not T'Lana." T'Pia@crystyl:"Yes, but both Commander T'Lana and my mother were suspicious of the Commodore following those events and so they investigated. It came to a head when they found you and confronted the Commodore who- T'Pia@crystyl:- I heard was actually a changeling! After that, he escaped and we ended up here when we pursued" Marion Watson@annpc#557 nods and smiles, "Thank you for explaining everything. Hopefully we'll be able to find that changeling Commodore and get some answers eventually." T'Pia@crystyl:"I think we all share that hope, but it's on a backburner now until we get back to civilization as we know it" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"True. We have to get home first. Maybe once we do, I'll be able to learn more about myself. Which brings me to asking...did you know me well, or were we just on the same transport together?" T'Pia@crystyl shakes her head, "We had never met before taking that journey, so I'm afraid I don't know any personal details about you" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"No worries. I thought that would be too much to ask for," she chuckles. "We did speak during the journey though, I assume?" T'Pia@crystyl:"Yes, we had some enjoyable conversations all about morality and Starfleet philosophy!" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"Interesting! Due to you training to be an officer and all, I assume?" T'Pia@crystyl:"Indeed. And with all that's been going on lately with mysterious infiltrators, it has sparked quite the active debate about the whole Starfleet philosophy and all! It is why I enjoyed our time so - T'Pia@crystyl:- much; because I found you to be a very enlightened officer" Marion Watson@annpc#557 smiles, "Thank you. Was I...any different, personality wise, before losing my memory?" T'Pia@crystyl:"Tha I couldn't possibly say. We only had those few talks between strangers prior, and this conversation after. So I do not feel it is my place to effectively say so or not" Marion Watson@annpc#557 nods, "Well, I'm grateful for what you have been able to tell me. Every little bit helps in my situation." T'Pia@crystyl:"Sorry I can't be more help! But I am very glad to see you back in action" Marion Watson@annpc#557 smiles, "And I'm glad to see you safe! From what it sounds like, what happened to me could just as easily have happened to you." T'Pia@crystyl:"There is no denying that it was quite a worrying time for me, but that is behind us now! So you have taken a posting here for the time being?" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"That's right. I'll be working in the Tactical department under Lieutenant Tierno. It's apparently what I did before, so I'll be starting out there." T'Pia@crystyl:"Ooh, nice! Rianni is lovely, so I just know you'll get on well there with her!" Marion Watson@annpc#557 smiles, "I just met her earlier, and I like her already! I'm certainly looking forward to working with her. She's had a similar experience to mine as well, not the same thing of course, but I - Marion Watson@annpc#557 - think her experiences might be helpful for me." T'Pia@crystyl:"Yes, I can see that!" Marion Watson@annpc#557:"And I look forward to having some more interesting conversations with you as well. Hopefully my memory loss doesn't affect my ability to talk philosophy and morality /too/ much..." T'Pia@crystyl:"It is my belief that such things are in the heart, not the head. So I'm sure you are still you at your core!" Marion Watson@annpc#557 smiles and stands, "That's what I'm hoping for, too. Well, until our next discussion then!" T'Pia@crystyl:"I'm here for you if you need anything Commander" she smiles Marion Watson@annpc#557:"I'll be sure to come by if I do."