Members of the Latenter crew find themselves drawn into detective work during their search for allies against the growing infiltrator threat.
Alex Tarasenko@anncaris leads the way down to the site of the attack. The entrance to the room is guarded by two enlisted security, who step aside for them to enter Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Inside, the site of this attack is much larger than the Tellarite's quarters, and the damage is slightly less extensive. A few consoles are flickering or dark, with distinct claw marks along - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris - some of the screens. There is some blood, but much less than what was seen at the previous attack. An Andorian security officer approaches them as they enter Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Andorian: "Commander. The two wounded are undergoing treatment, but we have a third witness here." Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | The Andorian gestures to a young human sitting on the far side of the area, "He says he obtained a phaser and killed the creature that attacked them, and has a description of it." Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:"Killed it you say?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Andorian: "That's what he claims." Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Acey: "Sensors indicate there was never another lifesign in here with them." Mischa@crystyl:"Well this is quite the conundrum isn't it. Shall we see what our witness has to say?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris nods, "Let's go." Alex Tarasenko@anncaris makes her way over to the other side of the area, where the Ensign is sitting. He immediately gets to his feet as they approach Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Ensign: "Commander...s. You're here to ask me about what happened, I take it?" Mischa@crystyl:"That would be a safe assumption, Ensign...?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Ensign: "Wu. I'm not sure how it got in here, I was just on duty when I heard the commotion and saw the others being attacked." Mischa@crystyl:"Ensign Wu. Just take your time and start from the beginning" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Ensign Wu: "I was working on that console there," he points at the opposite side of the room from most of the blood. "I heard yelling and some noises, animal noises. I'm not quite sure how to - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris - describe them. I turned around and Petty Officer Oraht was on the ground, bleeding. Lieutenant Schiele was running across the room for the console with an emergency phaser stored in it, but - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris - the thing pounced right after her." Mischa@crystyl:"It's alright, just remember that you know she survived and is in sickbay now. Try not to dwell on the emotions and focus on the clinical details of what happened; you may find it helps" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Ensign Wu swallows and nods, "The thing got to her first, dragged her down. I ran right for the console too, grabbed the phaser and fired it. The default stun setting didn't seem to have any - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:- effect on it. Well it didn't seem to hurt it, but it got the creature's attention. It looked to me and I just quickly turned the phaser all the way up. Hit it again as it ran for me and it - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:- disintegrated. I set the phaser to max, just to be safe. Sorry if there's nothing left for you to examine." Mischa@crystyl:"Survival comes first, don't worry. Can you indicate the spot where the creature was disintegrated?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Ensign Wu nods and points to a spot at the middle of the room Mischa@crystyl:"Acey, mind taking a closer look?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:| Acey nods, "On it, Commander." Alex Tarasenko@anncaris meanwhile asks the Ensign, "What do you remember of how the creature looked like?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Ensign Wu: "It was like...a missing link between dinosaurs and birds. A little shorter than the average human, probably. But it was longer length-wise, with a long feathery tail. Had wings but - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:- I don't think it could fly. Maybe glide at most. It was more like arms with lots of feathers. And very sharp claws." Mischa@crystyl:"Do you recall anything else out of the ordinary at the time it appeared, or when you shot it - any light or sound, even a smell in the air that is unfamiliar" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | The Ensign shakes his head, "No, nothing at all. Wait, that's the odd thing. I never heard the door sliding open, or the sound of a transporter or anything, and I wasn't so focused on my work - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:- that I would've missed it. I just heard screaming and the animal noises, but I have no idea how it got in here." Mischa@crystyl:"Thank you, even the lack of sensory details can be equally telling" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Acey: "Commanders." Mischa@crystyl looks over, "Find something?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Acey nods, "The Ensign's account lines up with the sensor records. Two phaser shots were fired, only there was never a creature to disintegrate. The psionic energy dissipated immediately after - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:- the second phaser discharge." Mischa@crystyl:"Everything seems to line up with our psionic theory at least. But we are still no closer to finding the source" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:"No, but with a third attack there is a pattern emerging. All of them happen during the later times of the day by the station's chronometer. What would be the evening, if we had a sun to judge time - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:- by. This could help us take more precaution against attacks, since it seems like the creature, or psionic projection or whatever it is, can be destroyed. And it might just be a clue on - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:- what the source is, if we know how to read it..." Mischa@crystyl:"Agreed" --- NPC@annpc#557:| Lossel and Ori make their way through the streets of Torna once again, heading for the local HQ of the Sisters Rianni@crystyl:"So do you have an approach in mind for this?" NPC@annpc#557:| Lossel flips through the book that Mattis handed her, "I am attempting to formulate one as I learn more about the Sisters. This organization is another interesting difference from Earth history - NPC@annpc#557:- of the similar time period, though the root may still be attributed to the differences in belief from those on Earth during that time." Rianni@crystyl:"Seems likely. Feigning interest in joining the Order might be a favourable way in. Like many, it is possible they isolate new recruits and that would be the only way to reach our mark" NPC@annpc#557:| Lossel nods, "My thoughts precisely. It seems the Order only recruits younger women as full Sisters, and older ones may only become associates. It would be logical for you to attempt to join - NPC@annpc#557:- while I see what other angles I may investigate from." Rianni@crystyl:smiles, "We had the exact same thought! My logic must be improving!" she chirps proudly NPC@annpc#557:| Lossel: "Your logic is quite sound, Ensign. If you wish to join the Sisters however, you will need to know a little more about them." Rianni@crystyl:nods, peering over Lossel's shoulder at the book, "So what does our guidebook say?" NPC@annpc#557:| Lossel: "Saorina is a goddess associated with war, love and fertility, a common deity seen across many cultures both on this world and others. She has many variations on this world, each with - NPC@annpc#557:- slightly different elements. The modern Saorina seems to primarily be a goddess of women, her sphere encompassing love, fertility, protection and knowledge." Rianni@crystyl:"Sounds straightforward enough" NPC@annpc#557:| Lossel: "The original Order of Saorina was a historical group of exclusively female warriors, but they were disbanded centuries ago. The modern incarnation was founded as a result of the women's - NPC@annpc#557:- rights movement, which I believe is another parallel with the comparative period of Earth history. Their creation was specifically to safeguard women, who are more often a target of crime on this - NPC@annpc#557:- world. They have since branched out to deal with any and all crime, though they are still especially interested in protecting women and children." Rianni@crystyl:"We should be able to work with that" NPC@annpc#557:| Lossel nods, "The Sisters are regarded as a vigilante organization, albeit a legally sanctioned one. They are not affiliated with any government nor are they an official military group, but many - NPC@annpc#557:- cities have allowed them to set up within due to their effectiveness at dealing with crime and the political influence the group now wields." Rianni@crystyl:"Do they operate under their own central authority, or is each chapter completely self contained?" NPC@annpc#557:| Lossel: "There is a central authority which determines the overall guidelines of the order, with the local chapters managing affairs within their given regions of influence. It is comparable to - NPC@annpc#557:- how Starfleet operates with a central headquarters and various fleets, but the chain of command is not as clear-cut. While the Canonesses outline the regulations of the order as a whole, the - NPC@annpc#557:- Prioress, that is, the leader of a chapter, has absolute authority over her own chapter. It is similar to the idea that some Starfleet captains hold, in that they are the final authority on their - NPC@annpc#557:- vessel even if an Admiral attempts to overrule them." Rianni@crystyl:"So we could face complications depending what the local leader is like" NPC@annpc#557:| Lossel nods, "Yes. Some Prioresses are more zealous and lean into the religious elements of their order more, some are more martial and some more focused on support for local women rather than - NPC@annpc#557:- direct confrontation with criminal elements. Judging by the situation here, I suspect the Prioress of Torna is the second kind.' Rianni@crystyl:"Stands to reason" she nods NPC@annpc#557:| Lossel: "To join the Sisters, you will have to undergo basic training, and then a period of mentorship under a Sister before becoming a full member yourself. All the trainees will be together, so - NPC@annpc#557:- you should be able to locate Ailish quickly upon joining, assuming she has indeed run off to join the Sisters." Rianni@crystyl:"Well now you've made me paranoid that she didn't..." NPC@annpc#557:| Lossel: "It is a possibility. The Sisters were simply the most intuitive place for her to have gone. As the daughter of a local criminal of some repute, other possibilities are present." Rianni@crystyl:"I suppose we have to start somewhere in any case, so just as well with the Sisters" NPC@annpc#557:| Lossel: "They are the most logical place to start with. Even if they do not have Ailish, they may be able to assist us given their influence and stance on crime." NPC@annpc#557:| Lossen points ahead to a structure that looks distinct from the others around it, "That is their headquarters. You should enter and join while I search for other leads." Rianni@crystyl:nods, "Good luck" Rianni@crystyl:makes her way over to the entrance NPC@annpc#557:| At the entrance, Ori is greeted by two more women dressed in the armoured robes of the order. One of them steps up to her, "How may we be of service, young lady?" Rianni@crystyl:looks around sheepishly, "I- Is this where the Sisters live?" NPC@annpc#557:| The Sister nods, "It is indeed. Do you need any help, or are you just curious?" Rianni@crystyl:"Well, I heard that this was... a safe place. For girls like me..." NPC@annpc#557:| Sister: "That's right. Are you looking for a safe place to stay, protection from someone in particular?" Rianni@crystyl:"I came to this city because I wasn't safe back home. And I've seen Sisters helping others so... I thought I could try and help other people too maybe?" NPC@annpc#557:| Sister: "You wish to join us as a Sister, then?" Rianni@crystyl:nods eagerly, "Yes! Yes I would!" NPC@annpc#557:| The Sister looks Ori over and nods, "Well, you look healthy enough. Come on in. I'll inform the Prioress." She opens the door, gesturing for Ori to enter Rianni@crystyl:bows her head gratefully, "Thank you!" NPC@annpc#557:| Ori finds herself stepping into a large, cathedral-like area... NPC@annpc#557:FX | https://i.ytimg.com/vi/fqpYat4I1I0/maxresdefault.jpg NPC@annpc#557:| The Sister enters after her, gesturing to one of the benches, "Please, wait here." Rianni@crystyl:looks around in awe, catching herself and nodding before meekly perching on the very end of a bench nearby NPC@annpc#557:| Ori sits for a few minutes before the Sister returns with an older woman wearing similar but more decorated armour. The older woman steps up to her, "I am Prioress Ireal. I am told you wish to - NPC@annpc#557:- join our Order?" Rianni@crystyl:stands and bows her head, "Y-yes. It is an honour to be greeted by you Prioress" NPC@annpc#557:| Prioress Ireal: "I make it a point to welcome all new recruits." She looks Ori over, "And you seem healthy enough to join us. Tell me, what do you seek by coming to the Sisters?" Rianni@crystyl:"I, well... I heard this could be a safe place for girls like me when I arrived in the city. And I... sort of like the idea of helping other girls, and not just feeling helpless" NPC@annpc#557:| The Prioress smiles, "Very good. And what is your name?" Rianni@crystyl:"I am Orianni, Prioress" NPC@annpc#557:| Prioress Ireal: "Welcome to the Sisters of Saorina, Orianni. Sister Etain, show her to the sleeping area and get her some initiate's robes." Rianni@crystyl:bows again and follows Etain NPC@annpc#557:| Etain smiles, turning to lead the way through the cathedral NPC@annpc#557:| Making their way through the Sisters' HQ, Etain leads Ori to one of many bunk rooms, "This will be your bunk. The other initiates are off training at the moment. I'll return with your robes - NPC@annpc#557:- shortly." Rianni@crystyl:"Thank you" NPC@annpc#557:| Sister Etain steps out and returns shortly with a set of red and white robes in hand, "Here you go. You may watch the other Sisters train if you like, or wait for them here." Rianni@crystyl:"If you will permit me a moment to change, I would like to go and watch them train as I know very little right now of the expectations of me here" NPC@annpc#557:| Etain: "That was what I was about to suggest as well. It'll give you a good idea of what your own training will entail. I'll wait for you outside and show you the way when you're ready." Rianni@crystyl:"Thanks, I won't be moment" NPC@annpc#557:| Etain nods and steps outside, leaving Ori to change Rianni@crystyl:soon slips into the robe and steps out NPC@annpc#557:| Etain leads the way once again. This time, they arrive at a large open training room, where various others in the same robes as Ori spar one another with wooden sticks while someone wearing the - NPC@annpc#557:- armoured robes watches on. The trainees appear to range from young girls who are only in their early teens to people around Ori's age Rianni@crystyl:"So many trainees... I hope I manage to remember everyone's name, that's the most embarrassing..." NPC@annpc#557:| Etain chuckles, "Our chapter is growing quickly. Don't worry if you don't remember everyone's names. They're quite new here too, many of them are in your shoes, or were in your shoes not long ago." Rianni@crystyl:"Oh yeah? Guess I shouldn't be surprised... anyone in particular who comes to mind? It might help to make a friend about my age here to help settle in" NPC@annpc#557:| Etain: "Around your age? There's Ciarnait, she's one of the recruits around your age." She points out. "Ailish is just as new as you, she's just started her training today, though she's a bit - NPC@annpc#557:- younger than you." Etain gestures to Ailish, a smaller girl who looks to be in her mid-teens Rianni@crystyl:"She's only just arrived too? She might be worth getting to know then. Us new girls have to stick together after all! What about Ciarnait?" NPC@annpc#557:| Etain: "Ciarnait has been around for a month or so, if I remember right. She looks close to your age. Usually the younger you are, the easier training will be, but she's doing very well and I - NPC@annpc#557:- think she'll make a fine Sister one day. She might be able to help you get started." Rianni@crystyl:smiles, "I'll be sure to get to know her too then. I must say, this training looks a lot more regimented than I expected" NPC@annpc#557:| Etain: "It's the best way to turn young women into warriors. Our training regimen is why this chapter has been so effective in dealing with crime in Torna." Rianni@crystyl:"Makes sense I guess. Do the Sisters find themselves doing much in the way of fighting crime here?" NPC@annpc#557:| Etain: "We do. Most of the time, we patrol the streets and try to dissuade crime. Sometimes we come across something happening in progress and stop it. We also intervene when we're called, and - NPC@annpc#557:- sometimes the Prioress sends a group of us on raids when we know of a major criminal hotspot." Rianni@crystyl:"I guess this city is no different than home then if there is that much to keep you all busy..." NPC@annpc#557:| Etain: "That's why Prioress Ireal set up the chapter here. Torna was crime-ridden before we came here. Now it's getting much better, and once we clean up the streets it'll be a great place to - NPC@annpc#557:- live. That's what we're working towards, and that's why we train." Rianni@crystyl:"If this is the improved state and you're all still so busy, I would hate to imagine how bad it used to be" NPC@annpc#557:| Etain: "It was bad. Which is why we've grown so quickly; lots of girls want to join up with us here." Rianni@crystyl:"And here I was expecting to be an oddity..." she chuckles NPC@annpc#557:| Etain: "Oh don't worry, many girls here are in the exact same place. And speaking of which, training's wrapping up for the day now." NPC@annpc#557:| Indeed, the trainees are putting away their weapons and making their way out Rianni@crystyl:"So what does the daily routine entail from here typically?" NPC@annpc#557:| Etain: "For an initiate? Well, you wake a little after sunrise for morning prayer. Then after the first meal there's a morning training session and a study session. You get a break for your - NPC@annpc#557:- second meal, and then it's onto the second training session you see here. After that, there's another study session and the third meal. After that your time is yours, most initiates like to - NPC@annpc#557:- socialize a little before sleeping. For one day every week, we can give you money to buy your own third meal in town instead of dining in the mess, if you like." Rianni@crystyl:"Aww that's nice! Well, if everyone is going to study for now I guess I should take some time to find my way around then start meeting everyone at meal time" NPC@annpc#557:| Etain: "Good thinking. Let me or any of the other Sisters know if you get lost or need to find anywhere specific." Rianni@crystyl:smiles, "Thank you, I will" --- NPC@annpc#557:| After Ori explores the HQ and familiarizes herself with where everything important is, she hears a bell and sees many Sisters emerge from various rooms heading in the same direction Rianni@crystyl:figures that's meal time and follows the crowd, keeping an eye out for her primary and now secondary target NPC@annpc#557:| Following the crowd, Ori comes across a large mess hall where the Sisters are gathering Rianni@crystyl:rolls 94 (1-100) NPC@annpc#557:| Ori manages to spot both Ailish and Ciarnait around the mess hall! Rianni@crystyl:works her way through the process of getting something to eat and aims for an empty seat near Ailish if not next to her NPC@annpc#557:| Ori gets her food and manages to grab a seat right next to Ailish, who is eating away at her own plate Rianni@crystyl:settles in, "Wow, so the food isn't bad here at least" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish glances at Ori and smiles, "The Sisters do know how to cook! You new here too?" Rianni@crystyl:nods and smiles, "Just arrived earlier today. You?" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish smiles back, "I got here yesterday. Well, two days ago, but I think it was past midnight so it counts as yesterday." Rianni@crystyl:"You arrived in the middle of the night? What, did you travel a really long way or something then?" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "No, it's...complicated." Rianni@crystyl:smiles faintly, "Isn't it always... I'm Orianni by the way" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "Ailish. You haven't started training yet, right?" Rianni@crystyl:shakes her head, "I saw some of a training session earlier after I arrived, but have yet to join in" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "I love it. I've always wanted to learn how to fight and all." Rianni@crystyl:smiles, "It looked really fun, I can't wait to get involved too!" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish smiles as well, "I'm sure you'll like it! It's sure better than regular exercise!" Rianni@crystyl:"So... can I ask what made you want to join? I came here thinking my situation was quite unique but apparently it's a lot more common than I thought" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "I've always wanted to join the Sisters as soon as I found out about them. A band of brave women who protect everyone in need of protecting...what's not to like?" Rianni@crystyl:smiles, "I can certainly relate. You said before about some unusual circumstances from your arrival too, right?" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish nods, "My dad didn't want me to join. He's...connected to the local mob." Rianni@crystyl:"Really? Wow... yeah I guess having his daughter join the Order would make things pretty complicated..." NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "That's why I didn't join right when I was old enough to. I mean I'm not exactly old now, but I wanted to join as soon as I could." Rianni@crystyl:"I heard this chapter is already facing rising tensions with the mob in town. That isn't because they want you back or anything, is it?" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish chuckles, "No, I'm nowhere near important enough. Plus, that's been going on for a while already now and I just joined up." Rianni@crystyl:"But you said there's still complications because of the connection right?" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "Nothing serious yet. I think some of the Sisters might be suspicious of me, but I'll work hard and prove I'm not a spy or anything. My dad doesn't know I'm here yet." Rianni@crystyl:"You ran out in the middle of the night. And if this is something you've always wanted... well, if I were a parent, I would be quick to put two and two together. But anyway, you said it's not - Rianni@crystyl:- not important enough to warrant a threat, yeah? So the 'yet' doesn't really come into it, right...?" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "Well...I'm not important enough, but something's definitely going on..." Rianni@crystyl:"Oh...?" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "It's...I suppose we're all Sisters here, so I can trust you, right?" Rianni@crystyl:smiles, "Like I said, we all have a history! And I want us to be friends, so if something's worrying you I want to help, even if it's just giving you a place to vent" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish nods, "The reason I decided to come here now is because someone tried to kidnap me. I'm pretty sure they were other men from the mob. I'm not sure what they wanted with me, but I came here - NPC@annpc#557:- right away. My dad and his mob connections were supposed to protect me, but that obviously isn't going to plan..." Rianni@crystyl:"Maybe your dad has enemies" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "Yeah, I think there must be some internal struggle going on with the mob or something. My dad wouldn't let me join the Sisters, but he also wouldn't tell me anything about what's going - NPC@annpc#557:- on with the mob for my safety. He just says he'd protect me, which clearly isn't the case anymore..." Rianni@crystyl:"Be that as it may, whoever tried to get to you before might not be content to leave you alone behind these walls either. Do you know anything about any rival families or anything?" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish shakes her head, "Nothing specific that I know of. I think there's definitely like...people he doesn't see eye to eye with, but I don't think any of them have tried to kill him yet. Not - NPC@annpc#557:- what they'd want with me." Rianni@crystyl:"I can't pretend to know the mob family your dad is tied to. But if they are anything like those I am familiar with, then the most likely people to try and kidnap you would be either someone from a - Rianni@crystyl:- rival family who wants to get leverage over your dad. Or someone inside the same family who is jealous of his position. Either way, it places your dad in a much more prominent position than - Rianni@crystyl:- perhaps you realize" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "Maybe...you don't think my dad could be in trouble now?" Rianni@crystyl:"I don't know. But I think it would be naive to consider you both safe now just because you're behind these walls. Either a threat remains against you, or it will refocus to your dad. All depends on- Rianni@crystyl:- who is really behind it if you ask me" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish nods, "What do you think I should do, then?" Rianni@crystyl:"For now, I would say nothing. To act rashly can often be worse than anything else" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "But what if my dad's in danger? He's a part of the mob, I don't know if the Sisters will help him if I warn them there might be danger to him..." Rianni@crystyl:"If he is in danger, you can pretty much guarantee that he is already more aware of it than you are" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "And I suppose he can take care of himself. I've just got to be careful of these kidnappers, then." Rianni@crystyl:"I know it's not my business, but I did say I want us to be friends and to help if I could right? I... might have already made some connections in town who could help get some more information on - Rianni@crystyl:- the situation. If you like, I can see what they know. Then at least you might be able to make a more informed decision" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "Really? And who's that?" Rianni@crystyl:chuckles, "You know, I don't even know his name come to think of it. But he did good by me when I first got here, so I figure it's at least worth a try right?" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish nods and smiles, "Thanks for offering to help! And be safe too, okay? If you start digging, maybe my dad's enemies'll start coming for you." Rianni@crystyl:"Thanks but you don't need to worry about me. After all, I'm only going into town with my free time to get some supplies" she smiles NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "Let me know if you learn anything, then. And if there's anything I can do to help, too." Rianni@crystyl:"Of course!" she stands, "On that note, I should probably head out to the shops before it gets too late shouldn't I" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "Good luck, Orianni!" Rianni@crystyl:heads out, making her way back into town --- Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Meanwhile on DS16, as the trio make their way down a hall... Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Acey: "The only way I will be able to effectively monitor neural signals for the use of psionic ability is by including a monitoring element to the current implants." Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:"Which will definitely warn whoever is doing this..." Mischa@crystyl:"Assuming it is a conscious effort still, but yes it is not ideal" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Acey: "If it is unconscious, perhaps we could check the holodeck systems. It may be subconsciously brought on by use of programs involving the protomogai." Mischa@crystyl:"Well it certainly couldn't hurt to look" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris nods, "This way, then." She turns, leading the way to the holodecks Alex Tarasenko@anncaris says as they walk, "I looked up your ship after our last meeting. Well, what I could access that wasn't blacked out, of course," she grins Mischa@crystyl:"You mean there's actually a record of it that isn't? Hmm... I'll have to fix that" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:"I couldn't access any files on your ship itself, but the name Latenter showed up with a little digging. I didn't work in Security all these years without knowing how to search up information. From - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:- what I found, you seem to have been involved in that business out by the rim. The one that made so many people gain psionic abilities." Mischa@crystyl nods, "Yes... playing a spotlight role in the largest battle in known history does make it a little difficult for one to fly under the radar" she chuckles Alex Tarasenko@anncaris chuckles, "Indeed it does. So you were there when the barrier dropped and it all happened?" Mischa@crystyl nods, "I was. Not that we knew anything about it dropping the barrier at the time of course" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:"So you just started learning that people were becoming psionic, the same as the rest of us?" Mischa@crystyl:"Pretty much, yes. Perhaps later than some really, considering all the focus we had at the time on making sure the Horde was gone. And there was a lot of cleanup and recovery after the battle so - Mischa@crystyl:- nobody really had time to see anything beyond the end of their own nose, myself included" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:"Did you look into it afterwards, or it wasn't your mission? From what we've seen here, it looks as if Romulans and Remans are disproportionately affected compared to many other species." Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:"Remans are no surprise seeing how most of them are telepaths already, but there's quite a few Romulans who have gained psionics too." Mischa@crystyl:"I think it's best to consider that it is all still part of an ongoing investigation" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:"I suppose it's more of a medical or science investigation than Intelligence, isn't it?" Mischa@crystyl:"For the most part. Though you can guarantee we're focusing heavily on it too. Not least because of the implications of suddenly having unstable individuals suddenly feeling empowered" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris nods, "As we're seeing here, potentially." Mischa@crystyl:"Exactly. Imagine all the dangerous people we keep tabs on because of their threat potential. Then throw in a random percentage of psionic growth and it's pretty much a worst case scenario in our view" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:"We've already had a few cases of troublesome psionics here. Nothing as bad as this, though. Usually just outbursts in bar fights or accidents." Mischa@crystyl:"I believe the majority of psionic incidents have typically been attributed to happenchance down to the lack of control" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:"That's what we've been seeing here, too." She turns into a holodeck as the doors slide open. "Here we are." Mischa@crystyl steps inside, "Alright. Acey, can you run a quick search of program activity for anything resembling our protomogai?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Acey: "Affirmative." She looks to Alex, "Permission to tap into your holodeck systems?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris nods, "Go ahead." Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Acey steps over to the console, "Searching." Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Acey states after a moment: "I have detected five programs involving protomogai or entities inspired by the protomogai which have been accessed within the past two weeks. Of these, the most - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:- frequent user is an individual known as Strobenn, who has accessed three of the five programs a total of four times within the timeframe." Mischa@crystyl:"Any correlation with the individual access timings to the attacks?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Acey: "Negative. Mischa@crystyl looks to Alex, "Do you know this Strobenn?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris nods, "Not extremely well, but he is a resident of the station. I've spoken to him in passing and know of him." Mischa@crystyl:"So he's not one of the refugees I take it?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris shakes his head, "He's a volunteer with...I don't know the name by memory, but it's one of the Federation humanitarian organizations. He's a Vulcan schoolteacher, holds a very reunificationist - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:- view and teaches the Romulan refugee children." Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Acey: "He does not seem like an individual who would run these programs." Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:"He probably doesn't. I wouldn't be surprised if he gives his authorization to the children to play in here." Mischa@crystyl:"Well if nobody else's activity lines up as closely, it could be worth talking with him. I believe we can do so without accusing him of anything" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris nods, "It's a lead, and all the attacks are happening in the evening, after he finishes his classes." Alex Tarasenko@anncaris turns to lead the way once again Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:"You sound like you already have a strategy for talking with him." Mischa@crystyl:"That might be pushing it" she smiles, "Just an idea for how to approach this is all" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris nods, "I'll let you take charge of the questioning then." Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | The trio take a lift and before long, comes to a stop by a door Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:"These are his quarters." Mischa@crystyl approaches and chimes the door Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | A moment later, the door slides open and a Vulcan appears on the other side Mischa@crystyl smiles, "Hello, Strobenn I take it?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Strobenn: "I am him. How may I help you?" He takes a look at Mischa and Acey, "Curious. You do not wear the same uniform as the Starfleet officers here." Mischa@crystyl:"Correct, we are with Starfleet Intelligence" she smiles, "Don't worry, we're not calling on you now in any official capacity. We were passing through this region and came by the station to catch up - Mischa@crystyl:- with the Commander and are just doing a bit to help out while we are here. May we come in a moment?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Strobenn: "Of course. Come on in." Mischa@crystyl follows inside, "Thank you" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Strobenn takes a seat at the table where he has a computer and several PADDs. He gestures for them to join him. Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Strobenn: "So, what may I do for you, Commander?" Mischa@crystyl takes a seat, "I assume you are aware of the current spat of attacks around the station?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Strobenn nods, "It would be difficult to remain oblivious even if one wished to, with the lockdown in effect." Mischa@crystyl:"Of course. Rest assured, the Commander's staff are doing all they can to resolve this so everyone can get back to normality. As an aside, we have been doing research on the holodeck and from the - Mischa@crystyl:- access records I was hoping you might be able to further assist us" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Strobenn: "I will do what I can to assist, though I am no expert on holodeck systems." Mischa@crystyl:"That's quite alright. In fact it was your usage of the holodeck that stood out to us" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Strobenn: "My usage? Ahh, you must be seeing the usage of some of the refugee children under my name. I utilize the holodeck only on rare occasions for research." Mischa@crystyl:"We thought that might be the case. I take it you don't share much interest in the content viewed by the children?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Strobenn: "No, I am here to educate them, not entertain them. I do what I am able to keep them in good spirits, of course. These children have been through much, having escaped the Imperial - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:- Civil War. That is why I give them my holodeck access. Studying and creating their entertainment, however, is not my field of expertise." Mischa@crystyl:"Of course. Well, one of them has made heavy use of a series of programs that share a common point of interest for us. I was hoping to find the person who was using these programs so they could - Mischa@crystyl:- assist us as a consultant of sorts" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Strobenn: "And which programs and point of interest might that be?" Mischa@crystyl:"Acey, the list of programs please" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Acey nods, reciting the names of the programs, all of which are in Romulan Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Strobenn thinks for a moment before saying, "Chalak. I believe he has played all three of these programs since his arrival here." Mischa@crystyl:"Chalak. What can you tell us about him? Do you think he might be willing to help us out?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Strobenn: "He is one of several war orphans who arrived on the station in the last month. He lost his parents to the Zauger when they attacked his colony. I see no reason why he would not - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:- assist you. He has been through considerable trauma, but he is not especially confrontational." Mischa@crystyl:"Very well. Do you think you could take us to meet him then?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Strobenn nods and stands, "Come with me." Mischa@crystyl follows --- Rianni@crystyl:Ori makes her way out of the sanctuary and back across town to where she met the young boy selling papers, looking around to see if he is still there Alien NPC@annpc#557:| Ori catches the paper boy just in time as he is wrapping up for the day Rianni@crystyl:heads over with a wave, "Hey!" Alien NPC@annpc#557:| The boy looks over, a little confused at first before recognizing her, "Oh! Hey! It's you, from this morning! Didn't recognize you with the change of clothes! Is that the initiate clothes? From - Alien NPC@annpc#557:- the Sisters?" Rianni@crystyl:"Yeah... bit of a long story, and it's really not all that interesting. So did you manage to turn a good profit today?" Alien NPC@annpc#557:| The boy nods, "That I did! And it certainly looks like you've had quite an interesting day, too." Rianni@crystyl:"Yes, and it's led me down yet another mystery hole. On that front, I was hoping I could pick your brains some more since you were so awesome earlier!" Alien NPC@annpc#557:| Boy: "What'd you wanna know?" Rianni@crystyl:leans in a little, keeping hushed tones, "I made a friend today - besides you that is - her name's Ailish. Don't suppose you recognize it?" Alien NPC@annpc#557:| Boy: "It's a common enough name around these parts. I'm guessing by your clothes you mean one of the Sisters or something?" Rianni@crystyl:nods, "How about her father - Brecan?" Alien NPC@annpc#557:| Boy: "Brecan...you mean Brecan Scalaid?" Rianni@crystyl:"Thats the one" Alien NPC@annpc#557:| Boy: "He's a mob lieutenant under Lornach. His daughter's a Sister? How's that work out?" Rianni@crystyl:"In a complicated manner as you can imagine. What I need to know is; who might have it in for Brecan personally?" Alien NPC@annpc#557:| Boy: "Personally? Well from what I hear, Flan's his biggest rival among the mob. Why, do you think somebody's out for him?" Rianni@crystyl:"Enough so to go after his daughter for leverage" Alien NPC@annpc#557:| The boy's eyes widen, "It can't be Flan, at least I don't think so. He'd never do something like that. It might get him some advantage over Brecan, but when Lornach finds out, he'll be done for. - Alien NPC@annpc#557:- Lornach's the boss cause he's got everyone else in line. If they disturb the peace he'll crack down on 'em. Nobody in the mob'll make a move as big as trying to grab Brecan's daughter." Rianni@crystyl:"A rival family then maybe?" Alien NPC@annpc#557:| Boy: "Could be, but it's a bold move. If Lornach finds out, they're as good as dead." Rianni@crystyl:"Well the only other enemy I know he has are the Sisters after you got me up to speed earlier..." Alien NPC@annpc#557:| Boy: "The Sisters'll never go after somebody's daughter. Their whole point's to protect innocent women. Plus you said his daughter's one of them, right?" Rianni@crystyl:"Yes, but... I don't know, something just doesn't sit right about all of this" she smiles, "Just more digging for me to do I suppose, think nothing more of it!" Alien NPC@annpc#557:| Boy: "Well, good luck!" Rianni@crystyl:"Stay sharp!" she chirps, waving ahead before heading off Rianni@crystyl:finds a quiet spot before chirping her combracelet to contact Lossel Alien NPC@annpc#557:| Lossel's voice sounds from the bracelet, "Ensign. What have you managed to learn?" Rianni@crystyl:"More than anticipated. It would be prudent to talk in person, are you in a position to do so?" Alien NPC@annpc#557:| Lossel: "Yes. Meet me back at Mattis' detective agency. He has some new information as well." Rianni@crystyl:"I'll be there shortly" she turns and heads that way Rianni@crystyl:rejoins the others back in his office a few minutes later Alien NPC@annpc#557:| Lossel: "Welcome back, Ensign." Alien NPC@annpc#557:| Mattis: "Your friend here says you've found quite a lot." Rianni@crystyl:"Thank you, and yes i believe so. I have made contact with Ailish and gained her trust. She did run away to join the Sisters as suspected, but not before she felt threatened by an attempted - Rianni@crystyl:- kidnapping. She said that her father promised to keep her safe, but failed. So she went there mostly for protection from this. What's more, she still shows great concern for her father's safety - Rianni@crystyl:- and may be somewhat naive to his standing within Lornach's family" Alien NPC@annpc#557:| Mattis: "That lines up with what I've learned. Brecan was convinced the Sisters took his daughter by force because someone tried to break into his home. That must have been the kidnapping attempt." Rianni@crystyl:"According to my sources, his biggest rival is Flan but there's no way he'd try something because Lornach would just come down on him. Ruling out all other suspects implicates the Sisterhood, but - Rianni@crystyl:- there's no evidence directly against them at the moment" Alien NPC@annpc#557:| Mattis: "Actually, there is. I checked out Brecan's home while you were investigating the Sisters. His guard was knocked out with a baton, which the Sisters like to use, and a woman's bootprints - Alien NPC@annpc#557:- were at the scene. But it makes no sense. Sneaking in and kidnapping girls is the opposite of what the Sisters do." Rianni@crystyl:"Ordinarily yes, but in this case it makes perfect sense" Alien NPC@annpc#557:| Mattis: "You think they tried to kidnap her just to drive her into joining them?" Rianni@crystyl:"It fits, doesn't it? What if they never actually set out to succeed in the kidnapping, but only stage the /attempt/? The threat drives Ailish away, willingly running into their arms - the arms of - Rianni@crystyl:- her fathers enemy - for protection. It gives them leverage over Lornach because of his relatively honorable practice of guaranteeing the safety of his people and their families and that is - Rianni@crystyl:- leverage I believe they sorely need right now in order to keep combatting him. Sure, the Sisters are all about protecting girls. But they haven't actually done anything to hurt her, just... - Rianni@crystyl:- steered her a little. Either Lornach caves to them, and they get their way. Or he goes back on his word and reinforces their teachings over his, and they win. And we know some chapter leaders are - Rianni@crystyl:- more aggressive than others, so it wouldn't surprise me if the one here was capable of something like this" Alien NPC@annpc#557:| Mattis nods, "Yes, it does fit. The question now is what to do about it. Do we make Ailish aware of the Sisters' steering, or do we confront the Sisters directly?" Rianni@crystyl:"I think either could be dangerous for Ailish right now. If we tell Ailish and take her away from there, the Sisters - if this is true - could grow suspicious and that makes Ailish a threat to them.- Rianni@crystyl:- And if we confront them with just this supposition then we put ourselves and Ailish in more danger. Let me go back there and do some more digging. If I can find the evidence, then maybe we can use- Rianni@crystyl:- it to control the Sisters' reaction" Alien NPC@annpc#557:| Mattis: "Good thinking. I'll see what else I can find too, and try to restrain Brecan from starting a war with the Sisters." Rianni@crystyl:"I would recommend not sharing our theory with him yet, at least not until we have evidence to support the theory" Alien NPC@annpc#557:| Mattis: "Don't worry, I don't plan to. I'll handle Brecan. Good luck with the Sisters." Rianni@crystyl:nods, "I'll keep in regular contact and hopefully this won't take too long" --- Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Back on DS16, Strobenn leads them through the halls of the station, "May I ask why precisely Chalak and his holoprograms are relevant to your investigation?" Mischa@crystyl:"Well, there is a type of creature which appears consistently in these programs which may constitute a valid line of research for us right now. Since Chalak has spent so much time with them, I am - Mischa@crystyl:- hoping that he is quite familiar with them" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Strobenn: "Is there no other expert or easily accessible data on the creature?" Mischa@crystyl:"No, because this one happens to have not existed for, well... a very long time. So the most anyone else who even knows of it... only knows of it, nothing more" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Strobenn nods. He slows as they begin to approach a door, "This is where Chalak currently resides. It is a shared quarter with several of the other refugee children." Mischa@crystyl:"Any adult supervision or is it just children?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Strobenn: "The quarters are occupied by just children, but the adults who look after them reside in the same hall." Mischa@crystyl:"If I'd have known we'd be walking into this I'd have seconded Serenity from the Empress..." she sighs, "Alright, let's do this" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris gives Mischa a curious look, "Serenity?" Mischa@crystyl smiles, "Sorry. She is a Qowat Milat, now sworn to protect the new Romulan Empress. Though even with the Empress on my side I doubt Serenity would have agreed anyway" she chuckles Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:"The Empress, as in the same one that just won the civil war?" Mischa@crystyl nods, "That's the one" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:"You've got some friends in high places, Commander." Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Strobenn meanwhile rings the doorbell and the door slides open a moment later to reveal a young Romulan boy Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Strobenn: "Hello Torlen. Is Chalak here?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Torlen nods Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Strobenn: "May we see him?" Mischa@crystyl smiles at Alex' comment, "Or perhaps it is the Empress who has such friends" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:"With you and the Justicar both helping her side of the war, I suppose it is her who's lucky to have you." Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Torlen meanwhile glances into the room, then back to Strobenn, "Is he in trouble?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Strobenn: "No, the Commanders simply seek his assistance for the investigation." Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | The boy nods and leads them in Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | The room beyond seems to be built like enlisted quarters on ships, with multiple bunks. Several Romulan boys are within, ranging significantly in age from quite young to teenaged. Looking - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris - around the room, Mischa and co. quickly notice a toy bearing a striking resemblance to Acey's extrapolated appearance of the attacking creature Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Strobenn makes his way up to a boy who appears to be in his mid-teens, "Chalak?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Chalak turns around, "Oh, hello profesor." He looks at the officers nervously Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Strobenn: "Chalak. These officers just have a few questions for you." He looks to Mischa, letting her take over Mischa@crystyl smiles, "Hello Chalak, you don't have anything to worry about I was just hoping you might be able to help us out a little. My name's Mischa, and this is Acey. I guess you already know Alex here" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Chalak nods, "I do. So...how can I help you?" Mischa@crystyl reaches for the toy and holds it in her hands, "This is lovely, is it yours?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:| Chalak: "Yes. I've had it for a long time, since I was a little boy. It was one of the only things I brought here with me." Mischa@crystyl smiles, hugging it to her chest before handing it to Chalak and whispering, "You know, I have something a lot like this on my ship. Only mine is purple and fluffy! I can't say I have had it since I- Mischa@crystyl:- was your age, but it has been some time now. And you know what? Doesn't matter how much my logical Vulcan right hand tells me it serves no purpose, I know that little stuffed toy keeps me safe" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Chalak chuckles, "Sounds like what a Vulcan would say. It's been my favourite toy since I got it, and one of the last things I still have from my parents. I hope it's still with me when I'm - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:- your age." Mischa@crystyl:"Well that shouldn't be a push, I'm not /that/ old you know" she chuckles, "So does this little guy have a name? He seems quite unusual to me" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Chalak: "I call him Feathers. He's a northern protomogai, the ancestors of the mogai raptors from Romulus." Mischa@crystyl:"You don't say? My little dragon's called Laesa. She's like my guardian angel, even visits me in my dreams sometimes and everything! You ever have dreams about Feathers?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Chalak nods, "Sometimes. I still play with him too. Reminds me of before the Zauger came. I pretend he's a real raptor and is giving those Zauger what they deserve." Mischa@crystyl chuckles, "And I bet he'd show them who's boss too!" she turns a little more serious, but remains softly spoken, almost whispering, "I understand the Zauger took your family from you, I'm truly - Mischa@crystyl:- sorry for that. I can't pretend to know what you're going through, but... I can imagine. And I bet sometimes those dreams aren't so good, right?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Chalak: "Yeah..." Mischa@crystyl nods, "Look, I'd like to talk with you more about Feathers. I'm really interested in learning about these Protomogai, and I'd stake my pips that you're the best authority on the station! Maybe you - Mischa@crystyl:- could even show me around one of these holos with them. But I'd feel bad just taking like that, so maybe we can do something for you in return-" she looks to Alex, "Commander, I know I am over - Mischa@crystyl:- stepping my bounds here asking for special treatment, but... do you think we could squeeze in a slot for the doctor to have a quick look at Chalak and see if we can do something to take the edge - Mischa@crystyl:- off these nightmares for him?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:"Don't worry, Commander. I'm sure starbase medical can make time. We can ask Sickbay now, if you like." Mischa@crystyl smiles, turning back to Chalak, "So what do you say? We get you some sneaky help with those nightmares in return for you showing about the Protomogai in the holodeck?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Chalak nods, "Sure, Do you want to head to the holodeck right now, or?" Mischa@crystyl:"Well the Commander seems to think we can hold up our end of the bargain first. So let's get that out of the way, and then we can enjoy the holodeck to our hearts content without it looming over us!" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Chalak: "To Sickbay, then?" Mischa@crystyl smiles and nods, "To sickbay!" she turns to head out and pauses, stepping back to grab Feathers, "No harm in having a mascot along right?" she winks, handing it to Chalak Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Chalak smiles back, taking Feathers along as he follows --- NPC@annpc#557:| Ori returns to the Sisters HQ after dinnertime. The halls are much emptier now as most of the Sisters have either gone to their sleeping quarters or left for night patrols. A few still roam - NPC@annpc#557:- around, but it's far from as busy as dinnertime Rianni@crystyl:quietly shuffles around like the others, looking for anywhere likely to hold information like an office NPC@annpc#557:| She comes across an area with multiple offices. One of them still has a light lit within and seem to be in use, while all the others are dark and unoccupied Rianni@crystyl:singles out the most likely looking one and heads in NPC@annpc#557:| Ori finds one door located at the end of the hall, which unlike most of the others is locked. There is no advanced technology here, so some old-fashioned lockpicking will be necessary to get - NPC@annpc#557:- in, but it clearly stands out from the rest from its position and security Rianni@crystyl:slips her now odd earring off and with a little force, bends it out into a makeshift lockpick then - once she's certain nobody is in sight - gets to work on the lock Rianni@crystyl:rolls 50 (1-100) NPC@annpc#557:| The archaic security takes Ori some getting used to, but with a little time she is able to get the door open. Just as the other door with the light starts to open, giving her just a few seconds - NPC@annpc#557:- to get into the office and out of view Rianni@crystyl:deftly slips inside and closes the door, pausing to make sure the footsteps head away before proceeding NPC@annpc#557:| The footsteps do indeed seem to head away, soon fading into the distance. The room within is almost pitch black, with just a little bit of light coming in from the window thanks to the streets - NPC@annpc#557:- beyond Rianni@crystyl:closed her eyes as soon as she first shut the door behind her, and now slowly opens them allowing adjustment for the minimal lighting as she starts to look around NPC@annpc#557:| The office is lined with bookshelves and filing cabinets. Fortunately, they seem to be well-organized, and labels on the cabinets mark what records they contain and from what days Rianni@crystyl:begins a methodical search, keeping a close listen to activity outside NPC@annpc#557:| With a little bit of searching, Ori locates a drawer marked with reports for special operations in the last month Rianni@crystyl:takes the contents for a more detailed review NPC@annpc#557:| The files in the drawer are all of raids conducted by the Torna chapter of Sisters. There are various files for these operations, all sanctioned by the local government and law enforcement. - NPC@annpc#557:- However, Ori also finds records of single or pairs of Sisters sent out for unspecified missions. It seems to be the same four who are sent on such missions. On the night that Ailish was nearly - NPC@annpc#557:- kidnapped, Sister Moirin was dispatched on one such mission. As usual, the purpose is not specified Rianni@crystyl:makes note but continues her search just in case there's anything more NPC@annpc#557:| Ori is unable to find anything more and as she searches, she hears more footsteps coming down the hall... Rianni@crystyl:packs up her search in here and looks to slip out before the footsteps draw near Rianni@crystyl:rolls 22 (1-100) NPC@annpc#557:| Ori exits the room in time, but is unable to leave the hallway before a Sister steps into the hall, followed by Prioress Ireal herself Rianni@crystyl:casually makes her way down the hall NPC@annpc#557:| The Prioress steps up to her, "Ahh, the new initiate. Are you lost?" Rianni@crystyl:"Ah Prioress, thank goodness! Yes, I think I must have taken a wrong turn after dinner. I was trying to find the hall where my room was again" NPC@annpc#557:| Prioress Ireal chuckles, "Yes, the building can be quite confusing for newcomers. You're on the completely wrong end. Sister Moirin, why don't you show her the way back?" NPC@annpc#557:| Sister Moirin: "Of course, Prioress. Follow me." Rianni@crystyl:"Oh, it's /that/ way around! I think I get it now, thank you Prioress" she bows her head before following after Moirin, "Your name was... Moron, was it?" NPC@annpc#557:| Moirin: "Moirin." She says curtly as she leads the way Rianni@crystyl:"Ah, Moirin right. Almost got it! Thanks again for this, it's so embarrassing to get lost just coming back from town..." NPC@annpc#557:| Moirin: "And why precisely did you go back into town?" Rianni@crystyl:"I'm still finding my way around town in general - not just here - so I was trying to get my bearings a bit more. Plus a nice stroll through the evening streets has a certain serenity to it I find, - Rianni@crystyl:- don't you agree?" NPC@annpc#557:| Moirin: "Yes, it does. But it can be a dangerous time, too. Perhaps you can take on some night patrols when you complete your training...if you really are here to become a Sister, that is." Rianni@crystyl:slows a touch, "What makes you say that? Is there some other role here that new recruits may aspire to?" NPC@annpc#557:| Moirin pauses and turns to Ori, "I saw you sit with Ailish and speak with her at dinner. Then, you disappear out into town and now we find you lurking outside the Prioress' office. A little - NPC@annpc#557:- suspicious, wouldn't you say?" Rianni@crystyl:"I also always step forwards first with my right foot when I start moving. If a mind is sufficiently paranoid anything can be considered suspicious. Dear Sister, what troubles you so to bring on - Rianni@crystyl:- such deep seeded fear that it would make you so suspicious?" NPC@annpc#557:| Moirin: "Because what you've been up to so far suggests you might be a spy from the mob." Rianni@crystyl:"Really? Having dinner with someone you were directed towards then going for a walk and getting a bit lost constitutes mob ties now? They really have got you tied up in paranoid knots, haven't they?" NPC@annpc#557:| Moirin: "You arrived the day after Ailish did too. Am I supposed to believe all that is just coincidence?" Rianni@crystyl:"To an uncorrupted mind, that would make more sense. Unless of course there is actually more to your paranoia than a simple fear of the mob. But hey, it's not like you're the one behind Ailish' - Rianni@crystyl:- kidnapping and are now living in fear that I know the truth right?" she chuckles at the ridiculousness of the notion NPC@annpc#557:| Moirin narrows her eyes, "You say that and expect me to believe you /aren't/ here to spy on us for the mob? Or is it Brecan personally?" Rianni@crystyl:"Dear Sister, you wound me! I have no expectations of you at all! I thought I was just making a point with such a ridiculous concept, but you've truly taken it to heart haven't you?" she faux - Rianni@crystyl:- gasps, "Don't tell it's true after all that...?" NPC@annpc#557:| Moirin: "We never kidnapped Ailish. I knocked out one of Brecan's guards and broke into his home, yes, but we would never hurt his daughter." Rianni@crystyl:"No, of course you wouldn't - we're all Sisters after all! But wait... why would you attack his guard and-... ohhhh I see! So you faked the kidnapping so she'd run away and join the Order right? - Rianni@crystyl:- Genius!" NPC@annpc#557:| Moirin: "She's been here before, speaks to us often on the streets. She's wanted to join us for a long time. We simply nudged her into joining by showing that her father can't protect her. A - NPC@annpc#557:- little false danger before the real danger comes." Rianni@crystyl:nods, "Yeah I get it! So yeah, I'm pretty sure you realize I was on to you already by now. But you're mistaken about the mob thing. See, Ailish told me about what happened to her and I wanted to - Rianni@crystyl:- protect her as my new friend. So I went and did some digging to learn about the mob in this town and figured the rest out from there. I only want to protect my friend and I will do so no matter - Rianni@crystyl:- what. So if there's a bigger danger out there that still threatens her, you have to let me help" NPC@annpc#557:| Moirin: "The danger is what's coming. Everyone knows conflict between us and the mob is inevitable now. When that happens, Ailish is going to be caught in the middle. You say she's your friend - NPC@annpc#557:- now, you know how little she's aware of just what her father does. She's still young and naive. Getting her here ensures she'll be safe when things get worse." Rianni@crystyl:"No, this has nothing to do with making her safe. All you have achieved by this is provoking the mob into making a move against you so you can fight them with a clear conscious because 'they started- Rianni@crystyl:- it'. I would not be surprised if you also planned to throw Ailish to the wolves when that happens to see her die by a mob weapon as well" NPC@annpc#557:| Moirin: "Of course not! The mob would make a move anyway. It's just a matter of time. All we're doing is getting the innocents to safety and out of the way." Rianni@crystyl:"Sure... if by out of the way you mean right in the line of fire. You know they already suspect she's here and will come for her. Come on, you've already started being honest so you may as well go - Rianni@crystyl:- all the way now" NPC@annpc#557:| Moirin: "Even if they dare attack our headquarters, the initiates will be kept safe inside. What do you think we'll do, hand them a baton and ask them to charge? The mob can try, but they won't - NPC@annpc#557:- break in. They're thugs, not soldiers." Rianni@crystyl:"You actually do believe it is all that innocent don't you? Wow..." NPC@annpc#557:| Moirin: "And you really believe we're sinister enough to put a young girl in danger?" Rianni@crystyl:"I just go with what I know. And right now that's you being willing to assault a man and stage a kidnapping attempt just to manipulate an innocent young girl into doing what you want her to do. In - Rianni@crystyl:- my eyes from that; there's nothing you aren't capable of and you're certainly no better than the mob" NPC@annpc#557:| Moirin: "We're willing to do what we need to protect her! It's better than her being caught in a crossfire. If we could have brought her here without all the deception, we would have. But in the - NPC@annpc#557:- end Iâ€™d rather go through all that than have her be yet another innocent victim of the mob. We're doing this for Ailish's safety, nothing else." Rianni@crystyl:"As a family member of one of Lornach's top lieutenants she was guaranteed to be one of the most precious and protect people in the city. Not even any rival mob families would dare to go near her - Rianni@crystyl:- for fear of the reprisals. If your interest was truly in her safety then you would have left her well alone. Instead you have used her as a pawn in this silly game between the Order and the mob, - Rianni@crystyl:- and now that move has been made it is only a matter of time before they react - with or without proof against you, they just need to decide to blame you which you know they will because of the - Rianni@crystyl:- rising tensions. All this has achieved is provoke the mob into a violent conflict and either your party to that, or you're as much a pawn as she is. Either way, I pity you" NPC@annpc#557:| Moirin: "You really think she'll be safe with her father? She's wanted to be a Sister since before she was old enough to join. When fighting breaks out, if she's fortunate enough not to get - NPC@annpc#557:- caught in the crossfire, she'll eventually learn just how involved her father is in the mob. And when that happens I doubt she'll want to support him, and if she tries to go against him then or - NPC@annpc#557:- run to us, I doubt it'll end well." Rianni@crystyl:"I think safe is a relative term, and I think Ailish is a bright young woman who deserves the right to make her own informed decisions. Of course nobody is truly safe as long as the Order and mob - Rianni@crystyl:- are at war. But at least if Ailish is allowed to make her own decisions, then she can be architect of her own fate - not somebody else keeping her in the dark" NPC@annpc#557:| Moirin: "I...suppose you have a point. What would you suggest now, then? That we tell her about what really happened, and everything else about her father as well, then let her choose?" Rianni@crystyl:"I think it's the fairest solution at this point, don't you?" NPC@annpc#557:| Moirin thinks for a moment, then nods, "Who do you think should tell her this?" Rianni@crystyl:"I will tell her. I promised I would look into things for her, so I owe her an explanation. If you wish to accompany me to speak for your own actions then you are of course welcome to do so" NPC@annpc#557:| Moirin: "Let's go, then." Rianni@crystyl:nods, "She should be in her room about now" NPC@annpc#557:| The pair make their way to Ailish's quarters. Moirin looks to Ori as they arrive, "I'll let you take the lead." Rianni@crystyl:"That is probably for the best" NPC@annpc#557:| Moirin knocks on the door and a girl appears at it NPC@annpc#557:| Moirin: "We'd like to talk to Ailish, please." NPC@annpc#557:| The girl nods and calls Ailish over, who soon appears in the doorway. She smiles upon seeing Ori, "You're back Orianni! So what'd you find out?" Rianni@crystyl:"Enough to warrant disturbing you at this late hour. Come on, we should talk outside without further disrupting the others" she indicates the girl who had opened the door NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish nods and steps out into the hall, giving a wave to the other girl before closing the door behind her Rianni@crystyl:"Ok, well I did manage to find out who was responsible for your attack" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "Really? Who was it?" Rianni@crystyl:turns to Moirin NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish looks to Moirin, then back to Ori, "She knows who it is?" Rianni@crystyl:"She is who it is" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish glances to Moirin again, "But...she's a Sister of Saorina..." Rianni@crystyl:"And she was following orders which she believed - and arguably still does believe - to be in the best interests of the Order" NPC@annpc#557:| Moirin nods, "We didn't come to kidnap you. Just break into your father's residence to show that you weren't safe there." NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "But why?" Rianni@crystyl:"Just look at what happened as a result for your answer. You decided you weren't safe there and came here for sanctuary" NPC@annpc#557:| Moirin: "Your father might keep you in the dark about much of what he does, but you know open conflict between the Sisters and the mob is inevitable. You've always wanted to join us, but your - NPC@annpc#557:- father never let you. We did it to steer you into coming here, so you'd be safe." NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "I'd be safe if you didn't break into my home!" Rianni@crystyl:"For the time being, certainly. But there is more to that side of things as well you should know" NPC@annpc#557:| Moirin: "When the conflict starts proper, we can't guarantee your safety. We would never harm you, of course. But your father, Brecan, is one of Lornach's chief lieutenants. You could get caught - NPC@annpc#557:- in the crossfire. So we decided to get you behind our walls while we still can, where we can protect you." Rianni@crystyl:"Of course, the Sisters already knew about your fathers standing. Which means they knew perfectly well that as soon as he even began to suspect their involvement, things would get violent. You - Rianni@crystyl:- no doubt know what Lornach is like by reputation alone. So you know he'll stop at nothing to prove that he protects his own, even if it means raiding this very sanctuary. They knew that, and they - Rianni@crystyl:- manipulated you into coming here in order to provoke that very conflict so it would all be blamed on the mob publicly. At least, that is my assessment, though Moirin here seems to be as much a - Rianni@crystyl:- pawn in this political game as you are and genuinely believes what she just told you" NPC@annpc#557:| Moirin: "I was aware that it could provoke such a reaction from the mob, but at this point such a confrontation might be inevitable. So we may as well protect who we can before it starts, and - NPC@annpc#557:- you are an innocent girl who could end up in the middle of it." Rianni@crystyl:"See what I mean? Unfortunately I can not reconcile her logic with common sense. I do not believe it is wise to take a known catalyst and throw them into the middle of the biggest mob target in the - Rianni@crystyl:- city. But I am new here, so what do I know!" she chirps. "Regardless of my opinion though - or Moirin's - she at least agreed with me that you deserve the truth and the empowerment to make your - Rianni@crystyl:- own decisions from here. Whatever you want to do, I'll do my best to help" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish nods, "So the Sisters tried to kidnap me, but not actually to kidnap, just to drive me here. And it may or may not be part of a bigger scheme?" Rianni@crystyl:"That's pretty much the sum of things, yes" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "But if I go back now, Lornach's still going to be angry with the Sisters, isn't he?" Rianni@crystyl:"Only if your father goes to him with it. This is only my personal opinion, but for what it's worth I believe the best odds for a smooth result from this would be if we go to see you father. - Rianni@crystyl:- Tell him what happened, and what is in your heart. Right now he is a concerned parent more than a mob lieutenant, so I believe there is a chance that you can convince him to not pursue this with - Rianni@crystyl:- Lornach. Whether you decide to go home with him, or come back here is up to the two of you two sort out. But either way, it will be under your own volition and with full knowledge of the potential- Rianni@crystyl:- outcome" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish considers for a moment, then nods, "You're right. We should see my father. Then I'll decide where to go." Rianni@crystyl:smiles, "I have to say Ailish, I'm impressed with how well you are taking all of this in your stride. If you want, we can go right now - I'm with you all the way!" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "Well I'm not happy about the Sisters breaking into my home, but I'm also not happy about my father's business with the mob...anyways, let's go." Rianni@crystyl:nods, "I understand. Come on" and leads the way out of the sanctuary and back to the PI office Rianni@crystyl:walks quietly with Ailish, hoping that Lossel picked up the discrete opening of her comm and listened to enough to know what was coming NPC@annpc#557:| As they arrive below the building, Ori finds Lossel waiting NPC@annpc#557:| Lossel: "Welcome back. So this is Ailish?" Rianni@crystyl:"The one and only. Ailish, this is my friend Lossel. She and I have been working with the detective here together, which is how I came to be at the sanctuary today; because your father was so - Rianni@crystyl:- worried he hired this agency to try and find you. Keep that in mind with what I said before about him being more reasonable right now, because he could have easily gone to Lornach and had the - Rianni@crystyl:- whole mob tearing the city down looking for you instead" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish nods, "I'm glad he didn't." NPC@annpc#557:| Lossel: "Should I ask the detective to take Ailish back to her father?" Rianni@crystyl:"I think in the spirit of keeping everything as neutral as possible right now, it might be better to bring Brecan here. But it's up to you Ailish, this is your life we're dealing with here" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "Yes, the detective works with the Sisters often too. He doesn't take sides, it's a good place." NPC@annpc#557:| Lossel nods, "I will speak with him then. We may wait inside." Rianni@crystyl:smiles, "Thank you!" Rianni@crystyl:"Come on Ailish. I bet you need some refreshment right now, and if there's one thing you can guarantee to find in a PI's office, it's something to drink" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish nods and follows in, "How did you come to know the detective?" Rianni@crystyl:"The same way most people do really; came to town trying to track someone down, ended up in this office" Rianni@crystyl:has clearly been learning from Mischa when it comes to answering truthfully yet lying through the skin of her teeth at the same time NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "And then the detective...conscripted you to join the Sisters and look for me?" Rianni@crystyl:"We ended up cutting a bit of a deal. You know 'favour for a favour' kind of thing, and since I made a viable Sister candidate; yes, I volunteered to go to the sanctuary to try and find you" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "Did he help you figure out that the Sisters were behind the break-in at my father's place?" Rianni@crystyl:smiles and nods, "Among other sources I've built up along the way" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "Wow...you're pretty good at this detective work, Orianni!" Rianni@crystyl:smiles, "Thank you! I might have to think about taking it up full time" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "I think it suits you! The Sisters do investigating too, if you end up staying with them." Rianni@crystyl:"Yeah... I don't see myself going back to that sanctuary. Just all seems a little too rotten at the core for my tastes" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "I don't blame you. Maybe you can keep working with the detective, though!" Rianni@crystyl:"You know, I think I would like that!" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish smiles, "And I think you're quite good at it, too!" NPC@annpc#557:| A few minutes later, Brecan rushes in through the door Rianni@crystyl:sits back, watching to see how things unfold now NPC@annpc#557:| Brecan: "Ailish!" He rushes up and hugs his daughter. "It's good to see you safe." NPC@annpc#557:| Brecan looks to Mattis, "Thank you for finding and bringing back my daughter, detective." NPC@annpc#557:| Mattis: "It's not me you should thank," he gestures to Ori. "She did most of the work." NPC@annpc#557:| Brecan turns to Ori, "A new assistant, huh? Well, thank you, then." Rianni@crystyl:"I am just glad that she is safe as well. But really it is Ailish you should thank, because it was her choice to come back here. I simply opened the door, she walked through it. And with reason, go - Rianni@crystyl:- ahead Ailish, I know you've got a lot to talk about with your father" NPC@annpc#557:| Brecan: "So where did you go off to? Was it the Sisters who took you?" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish shakes her head, "No, I went to them myself. But it was one of them who broke into our home." NPC@annpc#557:| Brecan: "Why'd you run to them if they did that?!" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "Well I didn't know..." Rianni@crystyl:"If I may offer the findings of my investigation. Perhaps it will provide some context" NPC@annpc#557:| Brecan nods, "Alright, tell me what you found." Rianni@crystyl:"It is right what Ailish says; the Sisters staged a fake kidnapping attempt in order to push Ailish over the tipping point she has been teetering on for a long time now. The objective was never to - Rianni@crystyl:- actually take or even harm her at all, but simply make her feel unsafe at home so she would go there for safety. The Sister who did the job firmly believed that she was acting in Ailish' best - Rianni@crystyl:- interests by driving her to a safe place before the ongoing conflict between them and your boss got worse. Whether they failed to account for the scale of the likely comeback, or planned on it the- Rianni@crystyl:- whole time is anybody's guess at this point" NPC@annpc#557:| Brecan: "These damn zealots! I'll get the whole family to-" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "No father. You heard what Orianni said, that might be exactly what they want." NPC@annpc#557:| Brecan: "Well if it's a war they want, it's war they'll get!" Rianni@crystyl:"And even if it isn't, this is exactly the response that will continue driving the fear. Even if their leadership is as capable as I've no doubt your boss is, many of the Sisters there are no - Rianni@crystyl:- different to Ailish. Do you really want to drive forward with something that will only result in more bloodshed, more lost and scared daughters in the firing line?" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "They didn't hurt me. Why get people killed over it all?" NPC@annpc#557:| Brecan: "Well they...they could have! They knocked out Serlas, gave him a nasty concussion!" Rianni@crystyl:"And they /could/ have hurt Ailish during that incident if they actually wanted to. But they chose not to" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "Is it true what they say? That you're a lieutenant in the mob. Someone right under Lornach, who's got his ear?" NPC@annpc#557:| Brecan nods, "It is. I never wanted you involved in the business. I had little choice, but you-" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "And I won't be. That's /why/ I wanted to join the Sisters, and I'm going back to them." NPC@annpc#557:| Brecan: "After all they did?" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "You heard Orianni. Maybe there's some of them who go too far, but that's the same for every group, isn't it? There's lots of girls like me still there, and good women to teach me. - NPC@annpc#557:- Besides, if you /really/ have Lornach's ear, you can tell him to think twice before starting trouble with us, because your own daughter's gonna be one of those innocent girls in the firing line." NPC@annpc#557:| Brecan: "You're set on this, aren't you?" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish nods, "And if you try to stop me by force, well, I'm an initiate of the Sisters now as you can tell from the robes. And starting a war is just going to put both of us in harm's way." Rianni@crystyl:"Sooner or later the fighting between both sides has to stop. You control how that will go now, and it doesn't have to be messy. Besides, you know she's always wanted this - and for the right - Rianni@crystyl:- reasons, not to be an enemy of Lornach. So now that she knows both you and the Sisters have kept her in the dark about things, don't you think it might be beneficial to have a friendly face on the- Rianni@crystyl:- other side of the fence? So what kind of father are you going to be from this day forwards to her; an overbearing one who enforces his own will and desires on her life, or a supporting one who - Rianni@crystyl:- helps her find her own way in life?" NPC@annpc#557:| Brecan: "I suppose you're right." He sighs. "Thank you, for finding out exactly what happened and letting me see that Ailish is safe." Rianni@crystyl:smiles, "I'm sure that just because she is going back, that doesn't mean this is goodbye! I bet she'll come to cherish some regular visits home!" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish smiles as well, "Especially if you make sure there's no war between the Sisters and the families." NPC@annpc#557:| Brecan nods, "I'll do everything I can." Rianni@crystyl:"Ailish that might be a bit much to ask off the bat. But I'm sure with you two working together, you'll get it there in no time!" NPC@annpc#557:| Ailish: "I'll make sure to help things along from the Sisters' side too! So we'll be seeing each other still, dad!" NPC@annpc#557:| Brecan: "Stay safe, then. And be sure to visit every once in a while!" --- Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | The group makes their way over to sickbay. Upon stepping in, a doctor approaches them Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Doctor: "Well this is quite a group. Don't tell me there's been another attack already." Mischa@crystyl:"Nothing to worry about Doctor. We just need you to give Chalak here a little checkup" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | The doctor nods, "Just a general checkup, or is there anything I should be focusing on?" Mischa@crystyl guides Chalak over to an empty bed, "Just hop up on here for us" turning to the doctor Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Chalak hops on the bed while the doctor steps over as well Mischa@crystyl:"He is potentially suffering from ptsd related nightmares, so we need to get them under control. I believe it would be best for you to put him under briefly, so as to get a proper measure of his - Mischa@crystyl:- beta waves during the REM cycle" says with a hint of tone that as odd as this may sound, it is not a request or a suggestion Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | The doctor nods and takes a hypo, "I'll just give you a quick sedative. This won't hurt a bit and you'll be up before you know it." Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Chalak nods and the doctor applies the hypo. A few seconds later, the Romulan teenager is unconscious Mischa@crystyl sighs, "Thank you Doctor, apologies for putting you on the spot there. First things first, please tell me he won't actually enter a REM cycle in this state?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Doctor: "Not right away. That takes time, but I thought you wanted me to check him while he /was/ in the REM cycle." Mischa@crystyl:"We do need to verify our suspicions. Just be ready to wake him right up. Now what we actually need to do is verify psionic activity" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:| Doctor: "Psionic activity? Why didn't you just say so from the start?" Mischa@crystyl:"Because I believe Chalak may be unaware of what he is doing, and to suddenly confront him with it could have made for a volatile situation" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Doctor: "You think he's one of those budding psionics showing up lately." Mischa@crystyl:"Yes. Moreso, I believe his nightmares are manifesting as a violent creature which is responsible for the attacks here" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:| The doctor nods, getting to work on monitoring as he taps on a console, "That's certainly a possibility. What made you suspect him? There's other psionics and potential psionics on the station, - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:- especially with the refugees coming in from Romulan space." Mischa@crystyl grabs Feathers to show the doctor, "This is a Protomogai, recognize it?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Doctor: "Looks like a velociraptor to me. I'm a doctor, not a paleontologist." Mischa@crystyl:"You're not far off the money in fact" she admires the toy, "Think of it as the Romulan equivalent. Equally deadly, and equally extinct. Our investigation indicated a psionic project may be involved- Mischa@crystyl:- and a detailed analysis of the wounds to the current victims indicated claws which we tracked with the highest probability to one such creature. Since they don't actually exist, we found holodeck - Mischa@crystyl:- records which led us to young Chalak here. He told me about his dreams; how in them this creature pretty much goes around slaughtering the Zauger who killed his family. So you can see now why I - Mischa@crystyl:- did not want to confront him with this; being in such a fragile state to learn that he is inadvertently responsible for more suffering could cause him terrible emotional trauma. And with psionic - Mischa@crystyl:- projections like this at play, that is the last thing we want to happen" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Doctor: "I see. Don't want to cause a life-sized version of that to appear again, do we?" He gestures to the toy Mischa@crystyl:"I would rather avoid it, yes" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Doctor: "Psionic activity's the last bit of evidence you need to confirm your theory, then?" Mischa@crystyl:"It would tie everything together, and give us something tangible to action" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Doctor: "And what action is that? If he's doing this subconsciously, we can't charge him with any crime." Mischa@crystyl:"That is where I was hoping to get your input. Obviously we can't just lie to him, suppress his psionics and pretend nothing changed. But assuming our theory is correct, then we first need a - Mischa@crystyl:- solution to reign this in - consensually. I suspect a longer term care plan will be needed with a counsellor, as well as mentoring to help him learn to control his abilities. But this is your - Mischa@crystyl:- field, so I defer to your judgement" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Doctor: "Well the psionic implants aren't going to help at all; they prevent the user's mind from being invaded by other psionics, but it won't stop a psionic from using their abilities. And - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:- putting him to sleep won't work if he's doing this in his sleep to begin with. We could identify the specific times of sleep when its happening, but we can't cut him off from that without - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:- affecting his health. The best thing to do might be to keep him around other psionics who can keep his abilities under control, maybe nudge his mind away from dreams that trigger them." Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:"That or we get our hands on those crystals I hear the Klingons are using. But the word is that the Klingons are especially secretive about them." Mischa@crystyl:"Indeed. What about steering his mind towards a more peaceful sleep anyway? After all, that was the pretense we got him here under so it would be nice to send him away without fear of more nightmaresâ€ Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Doctor: "There's techniques for that, yes, but it's still possible a nightmare might slip in. Probably safest to have some psionics who know what they're doing to watch over him. Betazoids - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris - might be a good choice for keeping him calm, but I don't know if they can manage if things go bad and he actually creates a raptor out to maul them. After all, that doesn't happen on Betazed - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris - everyday. Vulcans would be good for teaching him discipline to control his abilities. They've got trials that every teenager has to take which involves surviving in the desert so they're - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:- probably best fit to wrangle a raptor. It's not risk-free, but it might be the best option." Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:"What about the place your ship was at? The Dyson Sphere by the rim?" Mischa@crystyl:"The problem with control elements is that the projections don't necessarily appear anywhere near Chalak" looks to Alex and nods, "It is true that there are dedicated facilities there. Highly adept - Mischa@crystyl:- psionics have set up temples and schools to help people like Chalak. If you could get him there, it would probably be the best place for him. It would just be a matter of short term control, which- Mischa@crystyl:- could hopefully be managed with some suitable sleep aid hypos and a little supervision" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris nods, "I'm sure I can convince Starfleet to arrange for transportation, especially given what's been happening here. He should be taken to people who can help him before more attacks happen." Mischa@crystyl:"It's not my place, but it's worth pointing out that the Heart has a strong Romulan presence and more than enough space for numbers. Sending all of the refugee children that way might be a good call, Mischa@crystyl:- and should also help alleviate Chalak's stress as he won't be singled out" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:"Good call. I'll see if I can contact the Romulan Republic about it, maybe they'll send one of their ships to transport them." Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Doctor: "And here it is. Traces of psionic activity." Mischa@crystyl:"They should have regular transports running by now, Starfleet too" looks to the doctor, "Well, that pretty much confirms things. Short of a live demonstration, I'm not sure we can do much more - Mischa@crystyl:- beyond hoping we are correct. So if you could provide something - even if it's a placebo - to help calm him before sleep, I'd appreciate it" turning to Alex, "And if you're happy that you can - Mischa@crystyl:- monitor him until relocation is organized, then I think we can consider this investigation closed. And I can fulfill my promise to this young man to learn about these things-" she brandishes - Mischa@crystyl:- Feathers, "- on the holodeck before we have to leave" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:"Now that we know what we're dealing with, I think we can keep things in hand. I'll speak to Counselling about it and get Ops on the transport arrangements." Mischa@crystyl:"Excellent!" --- Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Some time later, Mischa and Chalak are in the holodeck, observing a herd of reptilian creatures Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Chalak: "Those are the mnihaelnai. They're herbivores, one of the protomogai's prey. They tend to live in herds which offers them protection, but the protomogai hunt in packs and were probably - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris - able to bring them down pretty often." Mischa@crystyl nods, "There are similarities to a number of species from my homeworld too, though they were mostly mammalian the natural evolution of behaviours in hunter and prey are remarkably consistent" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Chalak: "I've heard a theory that evolution tends to cause similar things on different planets because these traits are favourable." Mischa@crystyl:"I believe there is at least something to that theory, yes. The evidence is too diverse across the galaxy to think otherwise. So what is it with these predators specifically that enthralls you?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Chalak holds up Feathers, "I think it started with Feathers. And a few other toys like it my parents got me. I was interested in these fearsome-looking creatures so I started looking - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris - to learn more. I'm hoping to study them properly one day, like a scientist." Mischa@crystyl:"That might be quite a limited field of study given how long ago they lived. Did they come from Romulus or is this from Mol'Rihan's past?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Chalak: "Romulus, sadly. There's not much fossil samples left. But I can study similar creatures on other planets! Maybe even look into those similarities and the evolutionary side of it." Mischa@crystyl smiles, "Sounds like you've got your work cut out! But it is good to have goals, definitely. Oh and thinking of Feathers there..." she taps her combadge, holding her other hand out, "Send her over- Mischa@crystyl:- please" a moment later, a small purple stuffed dragon toy appears in her hand. She smiles and hugs it to her chest, "She doesn't get out much" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Chalak smiles, "DId you get her from your parents too?" Mischa@crystyl:"No, she was actually a gift from a former colleague. Probably meant as a bit of a tease, but that just made me want to embrace her even more! After that, she used to live on my desk - while I had - Mischa@crystyl:- one - and then took to guarding my quarters for me when I moved to my current ship" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Chalak chuckles, "An interesting story! How long have you had her?" Mischa@crystyl:"Around five or six years now, at least this particular one. But she's not really Laesa, more like... a symbol of her. So did the Commander and doctor have much more to say after you woke up?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Chalak nods, "They told me they'll be taking me and the other orphans to a place with lots of Romulans where they can take care of us. The doctor also told me I'm showing signs of - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris - psionic activity, and the people there can train me to control and use it properly. Until then he's got one of the station Counsellors to look after me, though." Mischa@crystyl:"There's a lot of that these days. How do you feel about it all though?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Chalak: "It's...exciting but a little scary too. It's very new, to me and to us Romulans in general. But once I master it, then I bet I can do some pretty neat things." Mischa@crystyl smiles, "I'll bet! And it's fine to feel a little scared about it too, good even. Because it means you respect that power and will handle it more maturely than a lot of people out there might do. - Mischa@crystyl:- What about the place they found for you?" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Chalak: "It's far away, but I don't mind. There's nothing left for me back in Romulan space, anyways, except my people. And they told me there'll be plenty of fellow Romulans there anyways." Mischa@crystyl:"That's very true. And it's connected to those big Iconian gateways which link straight back to the heart of Romulan space too. So you're never really far from home! Trust me, with your spirit of - Mischa@crystyl:- adventure and thirst for knowledge I couldn't think of a better place in the galaxy to be. You know, they've even get immense genetic archives and complete biomes housing long extinct species from- Mischa@crystyl:- across the galaxy. You might even find a real life Feathers there if you're lucky" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Chalak's eyes light up, "Sounds like a perfect place not just to train psionics but study evolution and all too!" Mischa@crystyl:"Very much so, yes. As for the psionics there, this was the place where everything went down that led to people developing these abilities recently. Some of the galaxy's most adept psionics have - Mischa@crystyl:- set themselves up there and dedicated their work to teaching people like you how to master your abilities" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Chalak: "Sounds like the best place to train for a psionic in the galaxy!" Mischa@crystyl:"Absolutely it is! I'm really glad things worked out here and we got to identifying your ability. That made it much easier to arrange for you and all the other refugee children to get this move" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Chalak smiles, "Thanks for everything you did too, Commander." Mischa@crystyl:"It was my pleasure Chalak!" she chuckles, looking at her toy dragon, "Well, our pleasure!" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Chalak: "I hope I'll see you and Laesa again sometime!" Mischa@crystyl:"I still have business at the Heart, so will return there one day. I will make sure to look you up when I do" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Chalak: "I'll look forward to your visit then!" --- Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | As Mischa exits the holodeck onto DS16's promenade, she finds Alex waiting there for her Mischa@crystyl smiles and heads over, still hugging the toy dragon to her chest, shamelessly childish Alex Tarasenko@anncaris eyes the dragon, "So that's the toy you mentioned?" Mischa@crystyl chuckles, "Yes, my little mascot and guardian" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris chuckles as well, "Just don't go turning it into a psionic projection on the station." Mischa@crystyl:"I'll do my best" she smirks Alex Tarasenko@anncaris starts walking as they continue to talk, "Anyways, all the preparations for the orphans are set. We'll just have to wait a few days for the transport to arrive. Until then, the doctors and - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:- counsellors should have the boy under control." Mischa@crystyl:"Yes, he seems to be accepting the situation nicely. I'm glad you were able to arrange the relocation for them" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris nods, "And I'm glad he's taking it well, too." Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | As they walk, several monitors along the promenade begin displaying the same image Alex Tarasenko@anncaris FX | https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/memoryalpha/images/4/40/FNN_logo.png/revision/latest?cb=20200127171512&path-prefix=en Mischa@crystyl:"And most importantly, you should have no more psionic creature attacks-..." she trails off, distracted by the displays Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | A Bolian female appears on the viewscreen: "Hello everyone. I'm Diredes Nodall, bringing you the latest breaking news. Federation authorities have received a message concerning the - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris - USS Chesapeake, a Starfleet cruiser which went missing in the Xarantine Sector last week. The message comes from a terrorist group known as the Children of Khan, infamously known for their - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris - disregard of eugenics laws and activity during the time of the last Klingon War." Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | The image of a Starfleet cruiser with a rather familiar profile appears on the screens Alex Tarasenko@anncaris FX | https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/sto_gamepedia/images/5/55/Ship_Variant_-_FED_-_Sentinel_Star_Cruiser_%28T5%29.jpg Alex Tarasenko@anncaris | Diredes: "The Children of Khan have claimed responsibility for an attack on the Chesapeake resulting in the deaths of the crew of nearly one thousand. The starship is supposedly now under - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris - their control. The message threatens that further action will be taken if Federation legislators do not reconsider their stance on genetic augmentation. So far, there has been no response from - Alex Tarasenko@anncaris - the Federation government, but the President is expected to address the subject in a press conference on the next Earth day." Mischa@crystyl:"They are overstepping themselves with this. They've always been a nuisance, but to publicly admit killing an entire crew of a Starfleet cruiser; they just declared war on the Federation, and while - Mischa@crystyl:- SFC leadership might be nicely diplomatic about it, almost everyone else in the pyramid below them will be out for blood over this..." Alex Tarasenko@anncaris nods, "Starfleet Security's already raised their threat level last month. This is going to put them at the top of the list." Mischa@crystyl:"Indeed. I believe this is my call to bid you farewell and get back to the Latenter" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:"I'll look into that matter we discussed and let you know if I find anything." Mischa@crystyl:"Thanks. And I know you don't need me to tell you to watch your back with this, and as cliche as it is; trust nobody" Alex Tarasenko@anncaris smiles, "Don't worry Commander, I know how this works. I've been working with Romulans these past few years, after all." Mischa@crystyl:"Yes, and they are small fry next to our current folly. Anyway, take care and I'll look forward to speaking again soon" she smiles Alex Tarasenko@anncaris:"I'll be careful. Say hello to Sierra for me too, won't you?" Mischa@crystyl smiles, "Of course" --- Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Sometime after Brecan and Ailish' reunion, Mattis returns to his office, where Ori and Lossel are waiting Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Mattis: "Alright, I've wrapped up everything here and made any arrangements I need. Thanks for your help with the Ailish case." Mischa@crystyl | Ori smiles, "I'm just glad it all came good for her. Do you think they'll actually get anywhere with settling this whole thing now?" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Mattis: "Hard to say at this point, but knowing the influence Brecan has, I think things won't be boiling over at least for the near future." Mischa@crystyl | Ori: "I guess that's as much as we can hope for" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Mattis: "Don't get me wrong, the Sisters and the mob are still far from friends, but I don't think they're on the edge of war anymore, either. And that's good. Maybe once Ailish becomes a full - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - Sister, they can work towards something better. But things are stable enough that hopefully my absence won't be missed." Mischa@crystyl | Ori: "So is that it for preparations, or is there more for us to do to assist before you are ready to leave?" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Mattis shakes his head, "No, I'm set to go when you are." Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Lossel: "Are you able to disable your transport inhibitor, or do we need to use a tag?" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Mattis: "Oh, right." He taps his watch. "/Now/ I should be set to go," he smiles Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Lossel nods, "Latenter, three to beam up, then." Alien NPC@annpc#557 | The trio disappear into transporter beams... Alien NPC@annpc#557 | And materialize on the Latenter's transporter pad, where the recently returned Mischa awaits them Mischa@crystyl smiles, "Welcome back ladies" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Lossel: "We had to assist Mattis in resolving some business on the planet, but we have succeeded in retrieving himâ€ Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Mattis, meanwhile, looks around the transporter room, "So that's what Starfleet ships look like now." Mischa@crystyl:"Mr. Mattis, welcome aboard. You will find the aesthetic is not overly consistent with the public image of Starfleet vessels today. But where are my manners; I am Commander Leveson-Scott" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Mattis steps off the transporter pad, "Yes, your officers here have told me you're with Starfleet Intelligence. Still, by the time I encountered Starfleet it was already starting to move away - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - from that extremely colourful aesthetic you had, so I wouldn't exactly be surprised if it evolved into this. The whole ship's managed by Intelligence, then?" Mischa@crystyl nods, "It is. Everyone here is in Intelligence officer first, simply with specializations lending themselves to the various functions on board. A number of us are also field operatives by trade, or- Mischa@crystyl:- those more typically associated with the industry" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Mattis: "And the ship's dedicated to...surveillance? Threat assessment?" Mischa@crystyl:"...yes. This particular class of vessel was designed for long rang surveillance. It was setup with the capacity to accommodate a modest analytical team who could effectively generate threat - Mischa@crystyl:- assessments without first flooding all that data back to HQ. Our time with the ship has evolved this somewhat, but it remains largely true at its core" Alien NPC@annpc#557:| Mattis nods, "So that's how you discovered those infiltrations your officer mentioned." Mischa@crystyl:"In part, but the recent shake up of the galaxy had a lot of people being more attentive suddenly and the infiltrators found themselves on the backfoot several times in quick succession" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Mattis: "I'm going to have to get used to investigating with modern tech again. But I suppose having someone who's gotten used to relying on good old instinct and natural senses has its benefits.â€ Mischa@crystyl smiles, "I am confident that your instincts will not go to waste here" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Mattis: "From what I've been told, sounds like you need every eye you can get on this matter. I'll do what I can." Mischa@crystyl:"We really do appreciate you agreeing to assist us. This whole temporal observation thing is beyond even the best of us really" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Mattis: "It's not the kind of case I usually deal with too, if we're being honest," he chuckles. "But I think my people have a better understanding of temporal mechanics in general, so there's - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - that." Mischa@crystyl:"Exactly what weâ€™re relying on. Don't get me wrong, it's not like we expect you to just take one look at it and know everything like magic. But there's no denying that you have a much more solid - Mischa@crystyl:- understanding of it than we do, so that should give us a solid basis to start learning from" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Mattis: "I can see why you came all this way for me. Speaking of, I imagine you've dallied here long enough. Let's get going, shall we?" Mischa@crystyl nods, "Yes, and let's get you settled in" she smiles Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Mattis: "Lead the way, Commander."