On their search for the missing Starfleet ships, the Venator encounters a remote mining colony with a strange mystery that is apparently connected to the Horde...
Keliaya@anncaris | After travelling back to the Venator, the away team returns to the bridge with the psionic
Keliaya@anncaris:"Alright, let's get undocked and set course back for the colony."
Rianni@crystyl looks around and doubletakes at the new arrival, "Right! Helm"
Keliaya@anncaris | Azevedo: "Beginning undocking procedures now."
Keliaya@anncaris:"Don't worry, he's friendly. I'll explain once we're underway."
Rianni@crystyl:"So I take it your trip was fruitful?" she continues to eye the stranger who Sin seems to be keeping on a tight leash at her side
Keliaya@anncaris takes a seat, "Well as you can see, we found who we were looking for. They...weren't exactly who we thought they were, though."
Keliaya@anncaris:"Apparently the pirate raids are just a cover. Most of them are originally from the colony, and they claim that it's the colonists who are being mind controlled by something," she nods towards the -
Keliaya@anncaris:- psionic hulk. "He's the psionic that's been freeing them."
Rianni@crystyl:"And we're believing this convenient story" she surmises
Keliaya@anncaris:"They seemed genuine, and they have no reason to make up such an elaborate story. You know what they say- if a story sounds too wild, it's probably true. Someone making up a lie would use something -
Keliaya@anncaris:- simpler and easier to explain. And if this is a trick, I'm not sure why they'd send us back to the colony with their psionic on board. If they wanted to sneak away, they wouldn't hand over their -
Keliaya@anncaris:- most valuable person to us."
Rianni@crystyl:"A fair point. But still, pretending to be pirates? So what - they can heroically steal the colony supplies? I don't get it..."
Keliaya@anncaris:"From what I can tell, this station needs the supplies, and they're doing it not to draw attention from whatever's controlling the colonists."
Keliaya@anncaris:"So I guess they're not pretending to be pirates and really /are/ being pirates. In any case, we might as well investigate the mines. The colony's clearly not under their control, so this can't be -
Keliaya@anncaris:- a trap."
Rianni@crystyl:"I take it from that, we don't know who or what is actually controlling them then?"
Rianni@crystyl | Sin: "Hey Tierno, didn't they assume you were a pirate when you first went down there too?"
Rianni@crystyl:"I- but they-" she sighs
Rianni@crystyl | Sin snorts, "Try not to get too flustered. It's probably part of the delusional state they're being held in. They just see everyone from outside as pirates so they will chase them off"
Rianni@crystyl:"And these guys just went along with that then?"
Keliaya@anncaris:"It seems so. And yes, they have no idea what's actually controlling them, but they believe it to be in the mines. So I suppose that's where we're going to investigate."
Rianni@crystyl:"I guess that makes sense... So how are we going to get down there then? As Sin just fondly pointed out, they think we're pirates too"
Keliaya@anncaris:"That's the part I'm still working on. Indrix, bring up a map of the colony."
Rianni@crystyl | Indrix taps and a map appears as an overlay on the main viewscreen
Keliaya@anncaris checks to see how close the mine is to the colony structures
Rianni@crystyl | The colony seems to be built around the entrance to the mine
Keliaya@anncaris:"As I thought. The colony's built around the mine, so sneaking in is going to be difficult. And they claim they've never been able to get in the mine. Pretending to be pirates might get the -
Keliaya@anncaris:- colonists to hide away in their homes, but I have a feeling whatever's controlling them might not be so passive if we start making for the mine."
Rianni@crystyl:"Well we're not going to get very far in getting into the mine if we don't make for the mine. It may be unavoidable"
Keliaya@anncaris:"There's only one option, then. Given the state of the buildings, I presume they're not going to have their own independent environment systems. Maybe some temperature controls, but I doubt they're -
Keliaya@anncaris:- able to be sealed off with their own ventilation systems. If we drop some anaesthetic gas, we can knock out the colony without anyone on either side being harmed in a confrontation."
Rianni@crystyl:"That could well be the cleanest approach. I take it we don't know anything at all about the psionic controlling the colonists?"
Keliaya@anncaris | Eva: "If it is even psionic at all. I didn't sense any psionics at the colony before he arrived," she gestures to the hulk. "It could be technological. Or maybe it's just buried so far -
Keliaya@anncaris - beneath, I couldn't sense it from where we were."
Keliaya@anncaris nods, "All we know is that it's likely in the mines, since the control began when the colonists started digging instead of producing agriculture."
Keliaya@anncaris:"At least, that's what the people here believe. We'll have to see for ourselves. For now, all we can do is speculate."
Rianni@crystyl | A short time later, the Venator is once again back in the colony system
Keliaya@anncaris | Eva: "Dr. Qrehl's concocted an anesthetic that should be effective on the species at the colony without causing any long-term harm."
Keliaya@anncaris:"Good. Since there's some interference and we want the anesthetic delivered right into the middle of the colony rather than beaming it down on the outskirts, let's load it into some probes to be -
Keliaya@anncaris:- dispersed that way. How many do you think we'll need, given the surface area of the colony?"
Rianni@crystyl:"It's not a big area"
Rianni@crystyl | Indrix: "Agreed. I've reviewed Qrehl's formula and it is suitable for a high altitude dispersal. A single probe should suffice"
Keliaya@anncaris nods, "Prepare a probe to disperse the gas and have it ready to launch, then."
Rianni@crystyl | Sin: "It'll be ready on your order boss"
Rianni@crystyl:"Boss?" she looks over curiously
Rianni@crystyl | Sin: "Yeah, we're trying a new thing since that station"
Rianni@crystyl turns to Kelly: "Are we now?" stifling a chuckle
Keliaya@anncaris chuckles, "Maybe we save that for when we're on stations like that, or missions where we go incognito."
Rianni@crystyl | Sin pouts: "Aww"
Keliaya@anncaris:"Hey, at least I didn't say you can /never/ use it."
Rianni@crystyl | Sin grins: "That's true... thanks boss!"
Keliaya@anncaris:"You couldn't even wait for us to get back to the station. You know we'll probably be heading back soon. Alright, let's launch the probe."
Rianni@crystyl | Sin taps, "Probe's away"
Rianni@crystyl FX | On the viewscreen we see the probe fly away from the Venator towards the colony
Keliaya@anncaris:"With the interference, I don't suppose we can tell if the gas is working from orbit?"
Rianni@crystyl | Indrix: "I can confirm the deployment and monitor the dispersal through atmospheric readings"
Keliaya@anncaris:"Perfect. Keep an eye on those for me. I wonder..."
Rianni@crystyl:"What are you thinking?"
Keliaya@anncaris:"This interference, maybe it's connected to what's controlling the colonists."
Rianni@crystyl:"A distinct possibility. Or the source of this control - whoever or whatever it is - ended up down there because of the interference"
Keliaya@anncaris nods, "Only one way to find out. How's the dispersal coming along, Indrix?"
Rianni@crystyl | Indrix: "We're at 3 parts per million now. Once it hits 5 we should be good"
Keliaya@anncaris looks to Rianni, "Take some breathing masks with you. We don't know the physiology of their species that well, so the doctor probably can't give a particularly accurate prediction of just how -
Keliaya@anncaris - long they'll be out. Better to play it safe and get down there as soon as the gas takes effect."
Keliaya@anncaris:"Plus, if this control turns out to be chemical in nature like pheromones, rebreathers could help protect you."
Rianni@crystyl nods and stands, "Sin, and uh, Sin's friend, with me" she looks to Kelly, "Do you want to keep Eva here for a psionic connection?"
Keliaya@anncaris stands as well, "Good idea. And it could be useful to have a strong psionic on board in case whatever's down there tries to affect the crew. I mean, we have the Witch, but I don't want to rely -
Keliaya@anncaris - on her."
Rianni@crystyl:"That's probably for the best" she chuckles
Keliaya@anncaris:"Take Farhalla with you, in case this is something technological. And Denobulan climbing ability can be useful in a mine, too," she smiles. "And someone from Security for the extra firepower."
Rianni@crystyl nods and looks to th’Rylliss, "Is the Chief available from the first visit?"
Keliaya@anncaris | Rylliss nods, "He is. I'll call him to the transporter room."
Rianni@crystyl smiles, "Thank you" and joins the others at the turbolift, "Alright, let's see if it goes any better this time around"
Rianni@crystyl | Sin stares at the back of Rianni's head as they enter the lift, "Seriously? Of course it will! I'm with you this time" she grins
Keliaya@anncaris | Eva calls out, "Hey! I'm not /that/ bad of a psionic!"
Rianni@crystyl eyerolls, "Deck 4" and the lift door shuts
NPC@annpc#557:Chief Katapak is holding a phaser rifle this time, with his pistol holstered at his side as a sidearm. Farhalla takes out a tricorder and starts scanning
Rianni@crystyl:| Farhalla confirms that the atmospheric readings are within expected parameters and they should be good to go
NPC@annpc#557:| Farhalla: "Atmosphere is clear. We're good to proceed into the colony. All the colonists /should/ be out by now..."
Rianni@crystyl:"Chief, want to lead the way and make sure?
NPC@annpc#557:| Katapak nods, "I'll take point." He leads the way, rifle ready
Rianni@crystyl:| Proceeding into the colony, the team quickly spot several colonists collapsed out in the open
NPC@annpc#557:| Farhalla checks her pistol as they go, making sure it is set to a medium stun. It appears to be one of the repurposed Terran ones rather than the standard Starfleet issue
Rianni@crystyl:"Playing with the new toys?"
NPC@annpc#557:| Farhalla nods, "One of the side projects I've been working on. The Terran phasers are built to channel more energy than ours. The way Security is converting them just turns them into standard -
NPC@annpc#557:- issue phasers in bulkier frames that no one wants. I thought I'd have a play and see if I can take full advantage of the mechanisms."
Rianni@crystyl:"Makes sense. There's no point in using something like that if it doesn't have some sort of advantage over standard issue"
NPC@annpc#557:| Farhalla smiles, "My thoughts exactly. And also, we might want hand phasers with additional firepower with the suits these infiltrators have."
Rianni@crystyl:"We might even need to dial the power up for that! But for now I don't think we'll be needing them for these colonists"
NPC@annpc#557:| Farhalla: "That's why I'm making sure it's set to stun. The higher settings could be a useful tool if we need though, for cutting past blockages in the mine if there are any."
Rianni@crystyl:"Well it looks good out here. Let's get moving before that changes shall we"
NPC@annpc#557:| Farhalla nods and puts the phaser back on her belt as the Chief leads the way towards the mine entrance
Rianni@crystyl:| The team proceeds cautiously into the mine. A typical installation as expected on a colony like this
NPC@annpc#557:| Chief Katapak moves cautiously while Farhalla keeps her tricorder open, monitoring for movement, anomalous readings and also seeing if the interference is stronger the further they get in the mine
Rianni@crystyl | The interference definitely seems to be from the minerals in the rocks
NPC@annpc#557 | Farhalla: "I can confirm the minerals are the source of the interference, not whatever is controlling the colonists. But it's possible who or what that is was drawn here by the minerals here."
Rianni@crystyl:"That was my thinking too when the Captain told us about all of this"
NPC@annpc#557 | Farhalla: "Maybe they want the minerals here, or they're using it to hide."
Rianni@crystyl:"I thought about that, but I don't think they actually want them. Else why would they go along with giving it away as ransom to perceived pirates?"
NPC@annpc#557 | Farhalla: "True. I guess using the interference to hide is more likely, then."
Rianni@crystyl:"That's my theory at least"
NPC@annpc#557 | Katapak: "Well, they probably won't be happy to see us either way."
Rianni@crystyl | Sin: "Whoever's down here already knows we're here. I can feel them trying to press themselves in
NPC@annpc#557 | Farhalla: "Are our implants stopping them?"
Rianni@crystyl:"I hope so..."
Rianni@crystyl | Sin: "Yeah, you're fine. Me and the big guy are too, so it shouldn't be an issue"
NPC@annpc#557 | Katapak: "Good to hear it."
NPC@annpc#557 | Farhalla: "So it is psionic in nature, then? The mind control."
Rianni@crystyl | Sin nods: "Sure feels that way"
NPC@annpc#557 | Farhalla: "Hopefully you'll be a match for whatever this is. What am I saying, of course you are," she smiles. "Or at least that's going to be your response, right?"
Rianni@crystyl | Sin grins: "Like there was ever any doubt! And I think Big Bad down there knows it too. It's really trying. Bless"
NPC@annpc#557 | Farhalla: "Well, let's hope it doesn't have other means of harming us..."
NPC@annpc#557 | Farhalla continues scanning while the Chief leads them further in
Rianni@crystyl | The team continue down into the depths of the mine. It is clear that they are getting into newer sections as it becomes less mine and more cave
NPC@annpc#557 | Farhalla: "Probably getting close, by the looks of this. Not much deeper to go from here, unless something else dug deeper other than the colonists..."
Rianni@crystyl | Continuing through the deep caves they come into a more open cavern
Rianni@crystyl | Sin: "We're here..."
NPC@annpc#557 | Chief Katapak looks around, rifle held ready
Rianni@crystyl looks around too, "Are you... certain?"
Rianni@crystyl | Sin nods, "No doubt. This is it"
NPC@annpc#557 | Farhalla scans, trying to see what she can detect
Rianni@crystyl | The cave seems mostly just like the other areas they came through. With one significant exception in the form of a veined crystal standing a good 2m tall
NPC@annpc#557 | Farhalla points to the crystal, "Could...that be it?"
Rianni@crystyl steps over to take a look, "A crystal?"
Rianni@crystyl | Sin: "Not just a crystal..."
Rianni@crystyl | The veins along the crystals surface pulse gently and it's ragged protrusions reform into a different configuration
Rianni@crystyl | Sin: "A crystalline lifeform"
NPC@annpc#557 | Farhalla: "Okay, that's definitely alive..."
Rianni@crystyl:"So... I know it's not tech as we are used to. But it's a crystal. And you use crystals in warp drives right? So any ideas...?"
NPC@annpc#557 | Farhalla cautiously edges closer to the crystal, giving it a closer scan
NPC@annpc#557 | Farhalla: "The closest lifeform I know of to this would be the crystalline entities. It's not a small crystalline entity, but there are elements in common. Like between different species of -
NPC@annpc#557 - carbon-based life. Maybe even closer, like different species of mammal. If I recall, crystalline entities seem to be capable of communicating through graviton pulses, but there's the risk of -
NPC@annpc#557 - accidentally shattering them. Not to mention we're not in a ship, so if this crystal can emit pulses, we /probably/ don't want them directed at us."
Rianni@crystyl:"Crystalline entity's aren't normally psionic either right?"
NPC@annpc#557 | Farhalla shakes her head, "Not that we know of. Psionics is probably our best way of communicating with this being," she looks to Sin. "Can you talk to it, or is it still trying to control us?"
Rianni@crystyl | Sin: "I'm not sure 'talk' to it is the best way. I can lower my defenses and let it-"
NPC@annpc#557 | Farhalla: "Wait, Ensign!"
Rianni@crystyl | The silent hulk sets a hand on her shoulder. It is unclear if he communicates with Sin telepathically or they just share an understanding but it is silent either way
Rianni@crystyl | Sin: "It's fine, I wasn't going to just do anything anyway... But he's got this. Apparently"
Rianni@crystyl | Before they can question him, the alien approaches the crystal and sets his hand on it like he did when he was freeing Braixut's sons mind
NPC@annpc#557 | Farhalla: "He can free others from control, right?"
Rianni@crystyl:"That's what he did before, yes"
Rianni@crystyl | He turns and speaks, but in a disembodied voice, "Do not kill. Do not harm"
Rianni@crystyl:"Oh, how are we going to play this now. Don't suppose any of you have got experience in dealing with disembodied living crystals?"
NPC@annpc#557 | Farhalla: "I hope he can free himself when he needs to." She shakes her head, "And no, I've never encountered anything like this before. I guess to start..."
NPC@annpc#557 | Farhalla turns to the crystal, "We're not here to harm you. We just...want to talk."
Rianni@crystyl | The crystal pulses while the alien speaks, "Pirates don't talk. Pirates kill and take"
Rianni@crystyl:"What about you Chief? I know it's not exactly on par with your spirit guides and all, but from what you told me about it all before... I don't know, maybe on the same kind of level in terms of our -
Rianni@crystyl:- contextual understanding and how we communicate?"
NPC@annpc#557 | Katapak: "I'll...see what I can do." He slings his rifle behind his back and approaches the crystal and the psionic hulk, raising his arms, "We're not pirates. Not everyone who visits this -
NPC@annpc#557 - moon are pirates."
Rianni@crystyl | Crystal: "All watersacs are pirates. It has been seen in their minds"
NPC@annpc#557 | Katapak: "Watersacs...right. Even the colonists? They're just people trying to survive out here."
Rianni@crystyl | The watersacs came to this place, and they took it away. They tried to take this one away"
NPC@annpc#557 | Katapak: "Did they even know what you were?"
Rianni@crystyl | Crystal: "They did not"
NPC@annpc#557 | Katapak: "That's probably why they tried to take you away. They just thought you were minerals, non-living resources to mine and sell."
Rianni@crystyl | Crystal: "The watersac is correct. They tried to take this one like they took everything else which was not theirs to take"
NPC@annpc#557 | Farhalla: "What else did they take? Are you...protective of the minerals here?"
NPC@annpc#557 | Katapak: "Life is harsh out here. These people are just doing what they can to survive. And if they didn't know you were alive, then they also would've had no idea anything else on this planet -
NPC@annpc#557 - wasn't theirs to take."
Rianni@crystyl | Crystal: "It is not theirs to take. But the pirates come and they take"
NPC@annpc#557 | Katapak: "Because they don't understand that it's not theirs. If you release the colonists, then we can explain to them that you're living down here. If they don't touch your home, then you'll -
NPC@annpc#557 - have no need to control them."
Rianni@crystyl | Crystal: "Pirates will stop other pirates?"
NPC@annpc#557 | Katapak: "These other pirates aren't pirates either. They're trying to free the colony from your control. If you let the colony go, they'll stop taking things from this world, too."
NPC@annpc#557 | Katapak: "And if real pirates ever come here, it's the colonist’s home as well. They'll protect you, because they'll be protecting themselves too."
Rianni@crystyl | Crystal: "Pirates... protect from other pirates... very well, the pirates from above ground are released to protect home against pirates from the sky"
NPC@annpc#557 | Katapak: "Thank you, for understanding. We'll speak with the colonists and make sure they understand."
Rianni@crystyl | The crystal doesn't respond further, but from the drained slump of the alien it was speaking through it seems that the conversation is over
NPC@annpc#557 | Farhalla looks to the alien, then back to Sin, "Is he alright?"
Rianni@crystyl | Sin: "he's fine"
Rianni@crystyl:"I'm not going to complain about things being easy. Let's get back to the surface and check on the colonists"
NPC@annpc#557 | Farhalla nods and glances back to the alien, "Thanks for letting the crystal talk through you."
Rianni@crystyl | He bows his head in acknowledgement
NPC@annpc#557 | Farhalla: "Now to make sure it keeps its word."
NPC@annpc#557 | Chief Katapak turns to lead the way out, rifle still slung over his back now
Rianni@crystyl:"That will be the interesting part... either way, nice work in reaching an understanding with it Chief"
NPC@annpc#557 | Katapak: "Just tried talking with it in terms it might understand, like you suggested."
Rianni@crystyl:"In light of this I might have to come to you to learn more about these sorts of connections!"
Rianni@crystyl | Sin: "Let's get the current mission over before we start planning the next one shall we..."
Rianni@crystyl chuckles as they make their way back through the mine
Rianni@crystyl:| After another trek back through the mine tunnels the team emerge on the surface
NPC@annpc#557:| Katapak looks around, seeing if the colonists are still out
Rianni@crystyl:| They are, but some seem to be stirring
NPC@annpc#557:| The Chief approaches one of the stirring colonists slowly, "Can you hear me?"
Rianni@crystyl:| The colony groggily looks around, "Hm... huh? Who are y- oh... oh wow sorry, for some reason I feel really light headed here..."
NPC@annpc#557:| Katapak: "What's the last thing you remember happening?"
Rianni@crystyl:| The colonist sits up, thinking about it, "Um... I don't know, working in the mine I think? Yeah... we've just hit a new vein I think"
NPC@annpc#557:| Katapak nods, "You'll be fine. Just take your time recovering."
NPC@annpc#557:| The Chief promptly makes his way to another stirring colonist, "Are you alright?"
Rianni@crystyl:| This colonist is in much the same condition. As the team spreads out they find everyone in the colony in a similar condition
NPC@annpc#557:| Katapak makes his way back to Rianni, "Looks like the colonists are themselves again, Lieutenant. They don't remember anything about the crystal lifeform in the mine or being controlled."
Rianni@crystyl:"Thanks Chief. Well now, let's try things here again. Not often you get a second chance at a first impression!" she smiles heading over to where she sees Braixut wondering around the middle of the -
NPC@annpc#557:| Braixut turns as Rianni approaches, "You're...not one of us? Where did you come from?"
Rianni@crystyl:smiles softly, "We are visitors here - new to the region and exploring. We saw your colony so wanted to come and say hello! I am LT Tierno with the Federation starship Venator"
NPC@annpc#557:| Braixut smiles back, "Well, hello there. I guess I shouldn't be surprised we didn't see your arrival. Our sensors have been a bit hazy since we started mining. Some interference from the -
NPC@annpc#557:- minerals, see. A...Federation starship, you say? I don't think I've heard of a Federation around these parts. There's a group that used to have something they called 'Federal ships,' but they -
NPC@annpc#557:- haven't been around since I was a little boy! Taken down from the inside by the Horde, sadly, and what remains of the Jalar have long since stopped calling themselves Federals."
Rianni@crystyl:"Is that so? We are new to the region so forgive my being as unfamiliar with these names as you are with ours. And I hope we aren't intruding, but we did detect some unusual readings here from orbit-
Rianni@crystyl:- which was what drew our attention. None of you were around and that interference you mentioned stopped us from finding you all I think!"
NPC@annpc#557:| Braixut: "I...think most of us were in the mines. That's what I last remember, at least, but somehow I woke up here. I know I'm getting old, but I'm not /that/ old!" he chuckles. "Speaking of -
NPC@annpc#557:- finding people, I'm looking for my wife and son. They're not home and they don't seem to be out here, either..."
Rianni@crystyl:"Right, yes... well they do say honesty is the best policy. Listen Braixut, there's a little more going on here than you realize..."
NPC@annpc#557:| Braixut: "What do you mean?"
Rianni@crystyl:"Well I'm not sure exactly how long it has been - probably not too long - but your last breakthrough in the mine was not as recent as you remember"
NPC@annpc#557:| Braixut: "So my family aren't still in the mine, then? What...happened between then and now? Was there an accident? But how do I have no memory of this?"
Rianni@crystyl:"All I know is that when you dug deep enough in the mind you disturbed a native lifeform of sorts. Since then it has been using all of you to protect itself - your wife and son were freed from this -
Rianni@crystyl:- by the tall guy over there. We met them on Sanctuary and came back here to investigate all of this. The lifeform agreed not to interfere any more, but it probably means no more mining"
NPC@annpc#557:| Braixut: "A native lifeform? I suppose with all that interference, we wouldn't have been able to pick up if there was anything within the mines. You say it was...using us?"
Rianni@crystyl:"Yes - it's a sort of crystalline lifeform - and it was using you all in a similar way to how the Horde controlled people"
NPC@annpc#557:| An expression of concern comes across Braixut's face, "The Horde? You don't think whatever's in there is related to it?"
Rianni@crystyl:shakes her head and gives a reassuring smile, "No, you need not worry about that. The Horde are never coming back and this lifeform is quite different. You could look it like... there's a very -
Rianni@crystyl:- delicate ecosystem at work down in those mines and it is there to protect that, nothing more"
NPC@annpc#557:| Braixut: "So it's only controlling us to stop us from our mining?"
Rianni@crystyl:"As far as we can tell. It seems to have taken a view that all organic life is trouble and that it steals. In this case mining equates to stealing, we think. It is difficult to surmise as it -
Rianni@crystyl:- was not exactly a simple matter of talking through a universal translator"
NPC@annpc#557:| Braixut: "But you were able to talk with it?"
Rianni@crystyl:"To a fashion. Enough to reach an understanding which saw you all released from it's control"
NPC@annpc#557:| Braixut: "I suppose we never had any trouble with it before we started mining, so if we stop, then we should be fine here. In your communication with this lifeform...did it give you anything like -
NPC@annpc#557:- assurance that it would leave us alone, if we leave it alone?"
Rianni@crystyl:nods, "It gave that impression, yes. Now I know you only started mining because agriculture failed here. I also know that the provisions from your colony are important to Sanctuary" she looks to -
Rianni@crystyl:- Farhalla, "We'll have to review it with our Captain, but we can certainly investigate the possibility of helping you reestablish your primary workflow here"
NPC@annpc#557:| Braixut nods, "Yes, we'll need some way to sustain our colony without mining, but I have no intentions of being mind controlled. We didn't escape the Horde just to end up enthralled by something -
NPC@annpc#557:- else, after all."
Rianni@crystyl:"Why don't you come back to our ship with us? We can discuss things there with our Captain and see what we can do to aid you here"
NPC@annpc#557:| Braixut considers for a moment, "Yes, I can come with you. Just...let me tell everyone to avoid the mines for the moment first. Some of us might wander in there again, if the last thing they -
NPC@annpc#557:- remember is finding a new vein, and then suddenly we're back here."
Rianni@crystyl:nods, "Of course"
NPC@annpc#557:| Braixut moves off to inform the rest of the colonists while Farhalla steps up to Rianni, "I hope they're taking it well?"
Rianni@crystyl:"I think so. Braixut is going to come back to the ship with us so we can debrief with the Captain. We might need you and Indrix to get a bead on the agricultural situation here - I'm hoping we can -
Rianni@crystyl:- set them up with some more capable equipment, or set something up for them that will mean they can keep farming and don't have to mine any more"
NPC@annpc#557:| Farhalla nods, "We'll look into it as soon as we get back to the ship."
Rianni@crystyl | Some time later, the senior staff and Braixut are reviewing the situation
Keliaya@anncaris:"So, this crystalline lifeform under the mine will leave the colonists alone as long as they don't mine. But we need the colony to be viable without resources from the mine, still."
Rianni@crystyl:"Yes. And with what we learned at Sanctuary, the colony was agriculture based until the storm. If we can restore stability to that operation, they will have no need to mine. I would even go so far -
Rianni@crystyl:- as suggesting that we seal up the mining tunnels too"
Keliaya@anncaris:"That would be a good idea, to prevent any accidental disruption which might set off the lifeform again," she looks to Braixut. "What exactly happened during this ion storm? I assume it did more -
Keliaya@anncaris:- than just damage your crops, to the point that you couldn't just replant them and start over again?"
Rianni@crystyl | Braixut nods, "If it was just that one crop it spoiled, we could have recovered. But it destroyed our aeration systems and did something to the soil; it's just not as fertile any more"
Keliaya@anncaris looks to Indrix, "Is there anything we can tell about the soil from scans up here, or should we get a sample?"
Rianni@crystyl | Indrix: "If we are looking to develop a solution, then samples will be necessary"
Keliaya@anncaris:"Does the colony still have data on what the soil was like before the storm?"
Rianni@crystyl | Braixut: "Yes, we have all of our historical survey data on file. If you really think you can help, then we'll provide whatever you need. But... we don't have much to offer in payment for this, -
Rianni@crystyl:- and you've already gone out of your way to save us. So why do this?"
Keliaya@anncaris:"We're working with a larger group called the Rimward Coalition whose goal is to resettle Horde space and return some life and civilization to the regions devastated by the Horde. It's also part of -
Keliaya@anncaris:- our general mission as Starfleet to help those who need help."
Rianni@crystyl | Braixut: "Well if you insist, I'm certainly not going to argue"
Rianni@crystyl:"The resettlement programme is a good point actually. With everything that fleet is shipping out, there must be something that can revitalize the colony here"
Keliaya@anncaris nods, "We'll examine the soil and any data you can provide. If it's not something we can easily reverse, we can request assistance from the Coalition at large. We were sent out here with a -
Keliaya@anncaris - particular mission, and there are other ships more specialized to making your colony viable."
Rianni@crystyl | Braixut: "If it's not out of their way at all, then sure. I feel kind of guilty though, putting all you important folks out like this"
Keliaya@anncaris smiles, "Not at all. Like I said, that's why we're out here. Maybe not specifically why our ship was dispatched, but Starfleet and the Coalition as a whole, at least."
Rianni@crystyl | Braixut: "It's almost like having the Federals back..." he smiles
Rianni@crystyl | Braixut: "When I was but a lad there were peacekeepers out here - a species called the Jalar, but everyone knew them as the Federals. They used to patrol these systems and keep everyone safe, -
Rianni@crystyl:- going around helping folks and all that just like you seem to be. But the Horde poisoned them from the inside and by the time I was old enough to know them for myself, they were just butchered -
Rianni@crystyl:- ships among the fleet of the dead that carried folk tales of the fallen saints"
Keliaya@anncaris:"A story we've heard all too many times. Fortunately the Horde is gone now, but as you've seen there's still plenty of other dangers around. We might not have much of a presence here yet, but once -
Keliaya@anncaris:- the Coalition establishes itself more, you'll be getting more regular patrols to assist you if you need."
Rianni@crystyl | Braixut smiles: "I very much hope to see that day Captain. But you'll understand that hope is in short supply out here still"
Keliaya@anncaris nods, "Hopefully, we've provided a little more supply after helping out your colony. Anyways, let's get those soil samples for now. If it's not something we can immediately repair, we'll head -
Keliaya@anncaris - back to Sanctuary first to inform your family and the others from your colony there that you're no longer being controlled, so they can come back home too."
Keliaya@anncaris | After collecting soil samples and the colonists' data, the Venator proceeds to Sanctuary. Kelly, Rianni and Rylliss disembark this time with Braixut and the psionic hulk in tow, and they use -
Keliaya@anncaris - the map to find their way through the winding halls of the station
Rianni@crystyl | Entering the bar, the same usher greets them right away this time and guides them through to Gilkels' private area at the back
Rianni@crystyl | Gilkels grins at the sight before her, "Well well well, you actually came back"
Rianni@crystyl | The psionic hulk returns to his mistress' side
Keliaya@anncaris smiles, "And we brought Braixut with us," she glances back to him, "Your family, safe and sound here."
Rianni@crystyl | Braixut steps into view, eyes widening at the sight of his wife and sun he rushes to embrace them
Rianni@crystyl | After a moment of indulgence, and a little catching up Gilkels turns to the team once more, "Seems you did as you said you would do. What of the colony now though?"
Keliaya@anncaris:"The rest of the colony is free from control as well. There...is a bit of a catch, though."
Rianni@crystyl | Gilkels, "We can't afford much of a catch which we told you before you went back there" she frowns
Rianni@crystyl:"Why does everyone out here always default to assuming we're trying to fleece them..."
Keliaya@anncaris:"Probably because that's how things work out here. The catch isn't from us. The being controlling your colony did so because it felt threatened. And it's agreed to let you go on the condition that -
Keliaya@anncaris:- you don't extract any more minerals, which it perceives as stealing. So...no more mining."
Rianni@crystyl | Gilkels, "I see... what's the deal with this being then, can't it just live somewhere else away from our colony?"
Keliaya@anncaris:"It's crystalline in nature, very different from you and I, or any other carbon-based life. I don't know if it even can move, and it probably doesn't want to. With the way it's protective about the -
Keliaya@anncaris:- minerals, there might be something about that environment which sustains it. The being left you alone before you started mining, so co-habitation is definitely possible. We're studying your -
Keliaya@anncaris:- soil now to see if we can make it viable for agriculture again."
Rianni@crystyl | Gilkels: "You... you what? Wait, are you saying we might actually be able to produce there again?"
Keliaya@anncaris:"If all goes well. We're not a dedicated science ship and we have a specific mission out here. But we can pass on the information to the rest of our Coalition. There's a restoration effort going on -
Keliaya@anncaris:- to resettle former Horde space, and there's definitely /something/ that can be done for your colony."
Rianni@crystyl | Gilkels smiles, clapping her hands together twice. A trio of bar staff come in and hand drinks out to everyone including the away team
Rianni@crystyl | Gilkels: "That's more hope than we've had the right to for a long time now, and for that Captain you have my gratitude. When we last spoke you said you wanted information in return, but first we -
Rianni@crystyl:- toast our new friendship and you can tell me all about what it is you are hoping we can tell you"
Keliaya@anncaris smiles, "Sounds good to me."
Rianni@crystyl takes a cautious sniff of the drink suddenly in her hand before tasting it. Her face scrunches up and she coughs out a husky, "...smooth..."
Rianni@crystyl | The locals all get a good laugh at this of course
Keliaya@anncaris chuckles at Rianni, "It's not quite Orion wine."
Rianni@crystyl | Gilkels, "Our own special brew made right here! I'll even give you a bottle to take away since you like it so much!"
Rianni@crystyl | One of the bar staff hands Rianni a large rusted metal canister
Rianni@crystyl oof's as she takes the weight of it, "So... moonshine then?"
Rianni@crystyl | Gilkels thinks on this, "Moon... shine...? Huh, a bit more fanciful a name than I normally use but yeah, I like it! Moon-Shine!"
Rianni@crystyl | Rhyllis facepalms
Keliaya@anncaris smirks, "I'll take some with us, for the collection."
Rianni@crystyl | Gilkels: "Now then, a jug of moonshine is hardly fitting compensation for all you have done - even if the colony is not restorable - so tell me, what is it that you want?"
Keliaya@anncaris takes off her combadge and shows it to Gilkels, "When we first visited your colony, Braixut, or I should say the crystal speaking through Braixut, said he's seen this symbol on one of your -
Keliaya@anncaris - people. He doesn't remember saying or seeing it now, of course. I was wondering if the crystal was telling the truth, if you might have information on others wearing this emblem."
Rianni@crystyl | Gilkels leans forward to see and then stands, approaching Kelly with her hand extended, "May I?"
Keliaya@anncaris nods, passing her the combadge
Rianni@crystyl | Gilkels turns it over in her hand, studying it, "Hmm... I don't think I've seen this before..." she holds it up at different angles, "Unless... wait, is it? A tristar pendant?" she hands it back -
Rianni@crystyl:- to Kelly and looks around, snapping her fingers and waving someone over - someone with a much less pristine delta pinned to a bandolier around his shoulder
Keliaya@anncaris pins her combadge back on before looking to the one she waved over, "Yes, that's what we're looking for!" she gestures to the delta
Keliaya@anncaris | The man removes it from his bandolier, "This?"
Rianni@crystyl:"Are there... supposed to be 'hic' 3 of them...?"
Keliaya@anncaris | The man laughs, "Guess she's too small to be drinking what we make!" He ruffles her hair a bit. "No, I've only got this one!"
Rianni@crystyl sits down, reliving past trauma of hair ruffling. Or it could be the moonshine...
Keliaya@anncaris chuckles and looks back to the man, "Where'd you get it from?"
Keliaya@anncaris | Man: "Real pirates. They leave Sanctuary and any affiliated colonies well enough alone, though. Think they want to stay in our good graces. They stop by every once in a while to trade, but -
Keliaya@anncaris - they never make trouble."
Keliaya@anncaris | Rylliss: "I don't suppose they said where they obtained it?"
Keliaya@anncaris | Man: "Oh, they did. I'm just not sure I believe them."
Keliaya@anncaris:"What do you mean?"
Keliaya@anncaris | Man: "They were a little...off the last time they stopped by. The one I drank with claims he slept with a Siren. She gave him a bunch of those, told him to spread 'em around, gather word on -
Keliaya@anncaris - any people or ships who sport that symbol."
Keliaya@anncaris | Rylliss: "And you...bought one from him?"
Keliaya@anncaris | Man: "No, he gave it to me. Said to inform him if I ever see the symbol. I just kept it around 'cause it was a nice-looking trinket. You can have it back, if it's one of yours. Didn't pay -
Keliaya@anncaris - nothing for it anyways."
Keliaya@anncaris | He tosses the worn combadge and Kelly catches it
Keliaya@anncaris | Rylliss: "Did you tell the pirate about it?"
Keliaya@anncaris | Man: "Haven't got a chance to yet. And I don't plan to. You folks helped us out, I got no wish to put you in any kinda danger. They handed out those icons of yours all across the station, -
Keliaya@anncaris - though. Someone else could've informed 'em."
Rianni@crystyl:"So these pirates are coming for us...?" she's sobered up a bit now thankfully
Keliaya@anncaris | Man: "From what he said, sounds more like the so-called Siren was interested in you, and he was passing the word along. Their ship's no match for what you got, it'd be suicide trying to raid you."
Rianni@crystyl:"Maybe we could bargain with these pirates then, find out about this... Siren"
Keliaya@anncaris | Man: "They're not here right now, but I wouldn't be surprised if word's already gotten out. Your ship's not exactly easy to miss."
Rianni@crystyl looks to Kelly, "Seems we've got 'hic' work to do"
Romulan@annpc#557 | The Venator has been docked with the station for over a day now, awaiting word on these pirates while conducting trade to top up their supplies
Romulan@annpc#557 | Rianni and Emma are making their way through the halls of the station, heading back for the ship after successfully negotiating a deal with some scavengers
Romulan@annpc#557 | Emma: "We've got ourselves some extra supplies /and/ a potential lead. I'd say this detour was a great idea, Rianni."
Rianni@crystyl:"Why are you saying that like it was my idea? I just gave Kelly a list of suggestions, she picked the one we went for"
Romulan@annpc#557 | Emma: "Hey, give yourself some credit! I might've started the discussion and Kelly might have been the one to pick the destination we went for, but you played an important role too!"
Romulan@annpc#557 | Emma smiles, "I think it's fair to say the idea was all of ours, so we should all be proud of it!"
Rianni@crystyl smiles, "I can get on board with that"
Romulan@annpc#557 | A field of white light rapidly sweeps down the hallway, moving so quickly it could easily be mistaken for a simple flash. As the light washes over them, Rianni feels a tingle in the base of -
Romulan@annpc#557 - her head near where the spine connects with the skull
Rianni@crystyl staggers, "Woah... what... did you feel that?" she rubs the back of her neck
Romulan@annpc#557 | Emma also rubs the back of her neck, looking around with a confused expression, "Yeah...what just happened?"
Rianni@crystyl:"I have no idea..." she looks around, unclipping her weapon with one hand while pulling out her tricorder with the other
Romulan@annpc#557 | Rianni's scans detects nothing out of the ordinary in their surroundings
Rianni@crystyl taps her combadge trying to call the ship
Romulan@annpc#557 | Rianni's comm goes through
Rianni@crystyl:"Tierno to Venator, has anyone just reported anything strange?"
Romulan@annpc#557 <C - Eva> "No, everything's normal here. What's happening with you on the station?"
Rianni@crystyl:"I'm not sure. We just experienced this sort of white flash I think?"
Romulan@annpc#557 <C - Eva> "Maybe it's just a lighting glitch. This place is very damaged, after all."
Rianni@crystyl:"Maybe, I guess... but it gave me this weird tingling feeling in the back of my neck. Emma too. Might be worth warning anyone else on the station at the moment"
Romulan@annpc#557 <C - Eva> "I'll check with them and see if they experienced the same. The back of your neck, you say...?"
Rianni@crystyl:"About where our implants are, yes"
Romulan@annpc#557 <C - Eva> "I don't like this. You should get back to the ship as soon as you can and have your implants checked out."
Rianni@crystyl:"Agreed. We're heading back now"
Romulan@annpc#557 | Emma: "I have a bad feeling about this too..."
Rianni@crystyl keeps a hand on her weapon as they walk, watching more vigilantly around them
Romulan@annpc#557 | A pair of figures turn a corner in front of them and begin to approach. Rianni and Emma find themselves staring ahead at...themselves
Romulan@annpc#557 | The Rianni and Emma opposite them pause as well. They look at the real Rianni and Emma, then at each other, then back to Rianni and Emma and each other again
Romulan@annpc#557 | Impostor Rianni: "Oh, by Ha'ade..."
Romulan@annpc#557 | Impostor Emma: "They're in love."
Rianni@crystyl:"Just what we need. Another me..."
Romulan@annpc#557 | Impostor Rianni: "So much for seduction."
Romulan@annpc#557 | Impostor Emma: "Eliminate them?"
Romulan@annpc#557 | Impostor Rianni: "Eliminate them."
Rianni@crystyl | Emma's eyes narrow on the strangers, "Sirens...?"
Rianni@crystyl draws her weapon and fires as soon as the imposters mention eliminating
Romulan@annpc#557 | There is a ripple as the arms of the two impostors transform into bony blades. They move with incredible speed, evading Rianni's shots as they pounce towards the two, the fake Rianni going for -
Romulan@annpc#557 - Emma while fake Emma goes for Rianni
Rianni@crystyl ducks and rolls backwards, swatting her combadge as she moves, "Venator, we've got changelings here! Need some help"
Rianni@crystyl continues to fire at the imposter
Romulan@annpc#557 | Impostor Emma's lunge misses as Rianni rolls backwards, but it follows up with a swing from the other bladed arm which tries to slash at Rianni's weapon arm. Emma meanwhile also manages to -
Romulan@annpc#557 - evade a lunge from impostor Rianni with a sidestep, but without rolling it puts her much closer to the attacker. Impostor Rianni turns her blades back into hands and begins to grapple Emma to -
Romulan@annpc#557 - wrestle her phaser away
Rianni@crystyl starts letting her buried muscle memory take over, twisting her arm around the protrusion going for it and tossing her phaser into the air as a result. She rolls with the movement and lets the -
Rianni@crystyl:- momentum bring them together, spinning herself around and swiping the phaser out of the air with her other hand and bringing it to bear with the tip pressed against the changelings cheek, firing -
Rianni@crystyl:- without hesitation
Romulan@annpc#557 | Impostor Emma drops to the ground from the shot. Meanwhile, Impostor Rianni has managed to pin the real Emma to the wall, keeping her phaser pointed away from itself
Rianni@crystyl comes up behind her imposter and holds her phaser to its head as well, "Enough! Let her go and start talking, or join your friend"
Romulan@annpc#557 | Impostor Rianni: "What is there to say? You know what you have wrought. Kill me already, as you have so many of my kin."
Rianni@crystyl:"Yeah... you're the first of your kind I've ever even met. So enough with the zealous preachy act. She looks to Emma with questioning eyes...
Rianni@crystyl | Emma smiles a little and gives a slight nod. All Rianni needs
Rianni@crystyl flicks her phaser to stun and zaps the changeling, knowing full well she's likely to stun Emma too
Romulan@annpc#557 | Emma and the impostor Rianni both collapse to the ground, stunned
Rianni@crystyl rushes to support Emma and ease her to the ground, letting the imposter unceremoniously thud to the floor. Holding Emma in her arms she taps her combadge again, "Venator!"
Romulan@annpc#557 <C - Eva> "We read you! Support is on the way, are you alright?"
Rianni@crystyl:"We're ok, but Emma's hurt"
Romulan@annpc#557 <C - Eva> "We can't get a transporter lock, but we'll send some medical assistance too."
Rianni@crystyl:"Please hurry, I don't know-"
Romulan@annpc#557 | Rianni suddenly finds her legs swept out from under her and she falls back, hitting the floor hard. By the time she catches her breath from being winded, she realizes that she's dropped her -
Romulan@annpc#557 - phaser. The impostor Rianni stands over her, having recovered from the stun already. One of her hands transforms into a blade right before her eyes, and it is clearly not a Founder -
Romulan@annpc#557 - transformation. The flesh seems to roll back into its arm as a long bladed bony protrusion extends from within its arm, rapidly plunging towards Rianni...
Romulan@annpc#557 | When suddenly it is hit by a bolt from the side, sending it stumbling back. Two more bolts shoot through its chest and head, and it collapses on the ground beside Rianni
Rianni@crystyl watches, her dazed and turns back to the source of the shots
Romulan@annpc#557 | Rylliss rushes over to Rianni, phaser in hand, "Lieutenant! Are you hurt?"
Rianni@crystyl smiles, "Your timing is impeccable, I owe you one. I'm fine but Emma is stunned. That thing?" she asks looking to the one he shot
Romulan@annpc#557 | An unfamiliar female voice sounds behind Rylliss, "Dead for sure now. Romulan disruptors don't have stun."
Rianni@crystyl looks to the stranger, "Um..."
Romulan@annpc#557 | Rianni notes that in addition to two enlisted security, Rylliss is accompanied by two Romulans, a human and a Corvallen, all in civilian-looking clothes. The Romulan who spoke appears to be -
Romulan@annpc#557 - the older of the two and makes her way towards Rianni while the human checks on Emma
Romulan@annpc#557:"We came here to inform you about these shapeshifters. Looks like you've already run into some, though."
Rianni@crystyl:"So it would seem. So... who are you?"
Romulan@annpc#557:"Saeralan ei-Fenris t'Johnson. Captain of the Saffron Shield, formerly of the Fenris Rangers, now of the Rimward Rangers."
Rianni@crystyl:"The... Rimward Rangers?"
Romulan@annpc#557 | Rylliss: "After the signing of that pact, some of the Fenris Rangers wanted to maintain their lifestyle and agreed to assist the Coalition out here. They've joined up with the Guardian Rangers -
Romulan@annpc#557 - and rebranded as the Rimward Rangers."
Rianni@crystyl:"I see. Well, I won't argue with your timing. Although it might have been nice to know about these guys a few minutes earlier" she smiles
Romulan@annpc#557 | Saeralan: "We've just arrived and were talking with your captain when your message came through. We came to assist along with some of your ship security."
Rianni@crystyl:"Too bad they both had to die. We've been waiting here to get a lead on these guys, at least I assume it's them and this isn't just a coincidental arrival of yet another new enemy with a grudge"
Romulan@annpc#557 | Saeralan: "A few of them tried to infiltrate the Heart." She steps over, kicking the body of the impostor Rianni to turn it over. "They're genetically engineered, but not Undine or Founder. -
Romulan@annpc#557 - Not quite as tough, but still nasty pieces of work, somewhat resistant to stun weapons."
Rianni@crystyl:"Oh boy, wish I'd have known /that/ little tidbit before..." she glances to Emma, "I'll have to apologize later. So... who are these guys then? If they're attacking the Heart and here then they can't
Rianni@crystyl:- be tied to our mission?"
Romulan@annpc#557 | Saeralan: "We were asked to find and pass along information about them because Starfleet thinks it's tied to your mission. One of the ones killed in the Sphere assumed the look of an officer -
Romulan@annpc#557 - from one of your missing ships."
Rianni@crystyl thinks on this, "So they came from out here... and that's where they got the combadges from then! So these are the ones responsible...?" she looks to the bodies on the floor
Romulan@annpc#557 | Saeralan: "No one has any idea who they are. All we know is that two of them snuck into the sphere but were stopped before they could do whatever they were there for. They gave me a bunch of -
Romulan@annpc#557 - autopsy data to pass along. The main details in there are that they're not any kind of shapeshifter we've seen before and their abilities are only good enough to trick you visually. You can -
Romulan@annpc#557 - tell them apart easily with a basic scan."
Romulan@annpc#557 | Saeralan leans over, raising impostor Rianni's bony blade-arm, "Oh, and they like to stab you with their arms, but you've already seen that much."
Rianni@crystyl:"Well, we should get back and figure things out properly then. Also, Emma will /not/ forgive me if she's still on a cold hard floor when she wakes up..."
Romulan@annpc#557 | Saeralan nods to the other Romulan, who steps over to lift Emma, "We'll help you carry her back," she smirks. "Benefits of Romulan strength."
Rianni@crystyl sets a hand on the arm of the Romulan picking Emma up, "That's alright, I've got her" she smiles, "But we'd appreciate your help with those-" she notes the two bodies, "-... we probably don't want -
Rianni@crystyl:- to leave them here for the locals to stumble across"
Romulan@annpc#557 | The other Romulan nods and moves over to grab the body of impostor Emma, while the Corvallen grabs impostor Rianni
Romulan@annpc#557 | Saeralan: "Let's get them back to your ship."
Keliaya@anncaris | In sickbay, Dr. Qrehl examines an unconscious Emma while the bodies of the two shapeshifters lie covered up on nearby beds
Rianni@crystyl loiters annoyingly close while Qrehl works, "She'll be ok right? It wasn't too heavy a stun or anything..."
Keliaya@anncaris | Dr. Qrehl: "Oh, certainly. She's just unconscious. I'm seeing all the typical results of a medium-power phaser stun."
Keliaya@anncaris | The Bolian doctor glances back towards Rianni, "Can you...take a step back, please?"
Rianni@crystyl does so, "Oh, right. Sorry..."
Keliaya@anncaris | Dr. Qrehl: "Thank you." He moves over to the end of the bed, tapping the interface there before stepping to the readouts behind the bed, staring at them intently
Rianni@crystyl watches with pained anticipation like she's going to explode
Keliaya@anncaris steps into sickbay, making her way over to Rianni and Emma, "How's she doing?"
Rianni@crystyl groans a little, "I wish I knew..."
Keliaya@anncaris | Dr. Qrehl: "She'll be fine. But I'm seeing something...unusual about her, on a cellular level. I don't see any way this could be connected to a phaser shot, though."
Rianni@crystyl:"Um... well isn't that curious..." she gives a nervous chuckle, "Oh well! She's fine as you say, so that will do I'm sure..."
Keliaya@anncaris | Dr. Qrehl: "I've never seen readings like this before. Wait. This is related to that secret of hers, isn't it?"
Keliaya@anncaris | Dr. Qrehl: "Well, as far as I can tell, it shouldn't affect her recovery from a phaser stun. I'm not sure what these readings mean for her overall health, but she should regain consciousness -
Keliaya@anncaris - before long."
Rianni@crystyl breathes a sigh of relief, "Thank you Doctor"
Keliaya@anncaris | Qrehl turns to Rianni, "Let me have a look at you, Lieutenant."
Rianni@crystyl:"What, me? I'm fine"
Keliaya@anncaris | Dr. Qrehl: "I think Commander Dra's suspicions are correct. Whatever happened to you down there seems to have disabled your implants. I need to check to make sure, and reactivate it if that's -
Keliaya@anncaris - the case."
Rianni@crystyl:"Oh that's true, there was some weird feeling with it right before they attacked us..."
Rianni@crystyl:"Alright doctor, do your think please" she takes a perch on a nearby stool
Keliaya@anncaris | The doctor follows her over, running a tricorder scan behind her head, "Yes, your implant appears to be off as well."
Keliaya@anncaris:"How did they do that?"
Keliaya@anncaris | Dr. Qrehl: "By the looks of it, a very precise EMP wave targeted specifically at shutting down these implants. Which suggests they're familiar with the technology and probably have had plenty -
Keliaya@anncaris - of samples to experiment with."
Rianni@crystyl:"At least a full crew it would seem"
Keliaya@anncaris nods, "Yes, the Rangers were telling me that one of them had shapeshifted into a member of the Faraday's crew in the Heart when you called for assistance."
Keliaya@anncaris | Dr. Qrehl: "I should be able to reactivate the implant with a similar pulse. It might sting a little."
Rianni@crystyl:"It needs to be done"
Keliaya@anncaris | Dr. Qrehl: "Lay down on this bed, please. It'll only take a few seconds."
Rianni@crystyl hops onto the bed and lays down
Keliaya@anncaris | The doctor taps on the console a bit and Rianni feels the tingle in her neck again
Rianni@crystyl grimaces, "Oof, yeah that's how it felt before..."
Keliaya@anncaris | Dr. Qrehl: "Your implant should be all good now. You can sit up."
Rianni@crystyl sits back up, perching on the side of the bed, "Emma's will need a rest too if you haven't already"
Keliaya@anncaris | Dr. Qrehl smiles, "Don't worry, I've reset hers already. All there is to do is wait for her to wake."
Rianni@crystyl:"Thank you Doctor" she looks to Kelly, "So this new enemy... they've clearly got it in for Starfleet, and they've already figured out a way to bypass our implants. Presumably so they can tap our -
Rianni@crystyl:- thoughts to take appropriate forms from?"
Keliaya@anncaris:"Rylliss said one of them had taken your form. Were they trying to kill you and take your place on the ship?"
Rianni@crystyl:"I can only assume so. The other had taken Emma's form, and when they first appeared they spoke as though their initial idea was to seduce us. Then they attacked"
Rianni@crystyl shrugs, "That's what they said. But then once they saw us they concluded that we... already had feelings for each other... that's when they changed their minds"
Keliaya@anncaris:"Why would they want to seduce you? To try and willingly turn you to their side?"
Rianni@crystyl:"I don't get it either. The only thing I can think of is that they could only see so much in our thoughts during that brief period between the flash and their approach. They just used that to find -
Rianni@crystyl:- the image of someone in our minds we would be vulnerable to so they could take those forms. They didn't realize that we were already together in there. Because if I'd have been on my own and Emma -
Rianni@crystyl:- came around the corner, I'd just be happy to see her. And then if she wanted me to go somewhere with her, I would do so without giving it a second thought. They could have then led us away and -
Rianni@crystyl:- subdued us with minimal risk"
Keliaya@anncaris:"Maybe. Well, it was lucky that you two were together on the station, then," she smiled
Rianni@crystyl:"I don't know any of this for certain of course, just been trying to make sense of the whole thing ever since"
Keliaya@anncaris:"In any case, I think it ended pretty well for us. Both of you are alive, and your attackers aren't."
Rianni@crystyl:"You'll get no argument from me. Unfortunately though they were our only lead"
Keliaya@anncaris:"I wish we could've captured them, but you two being safe is good enough of an outcome already, seeing how you were ambushed," she smiles
Rianni@crystyl:"So what's our next move now? We waited here to see who showed up, and now they're dead"
Keliaya@anncaris:"We have scans of them now, and according to the Rangers, their shapeshifting isn't good enough to conceal them from a sensor scan. While we finish up our trading here, I'm thinking we can send a -
Keliaya@anncaris:- few security teams through the station to conduct some scans discreetly, see if there's any more of them who might be hiding among the station."
Rianni@crystyl:"I'd like to take those scans to the station androids too. If they recognize them like they did us, they might have a link to the ship they arrived on. A ship which is most likely quite recent and -
Rianni@crystyl:- still here"
Keliaya@anncaris:"Good call. We'll see if we can find any other leads here. If there's nothing by the time we're finished trading, then we'll resume our search pattern for now."
Rianni@crystyl:"Alright. As soon as Emma is up and about, I'll look to getting a team back over there"
Keliaya@anncaris:"Be careful. Scans might be able to pick them up, but we don't know what other tricks they might have. The implant disabling was something the Rangers didn't have any information on, and they never -
Keliaya@anncaris:- made use of it in the Heart."
Rianni@crystyl:"Is there anything we can do to secure against that?" She looks to the doctor, "Like new frequencies or something?"
Keliaya@anncaris | Dr. Qrehl shakes his head, "It's not a frequency thing. They're targeting the implant, shutting it down directly. We're going to need a new implant design to counter that, and then make sure -
Keliaya@anncaris - to keep that design out of their hands."
Rianni@crystyl:"Too bad. Guess we'll just have to deal with it if they try any more stuff like that then"
Keliaya@anncaris:"The alternate universe obsessed with cyberware might be able to help us develop a design that's EMP-proof. But he's right, it'll require a new design to replace the old."
Rianni@crystyl:"Good point, if anyone can come up with something it will be them!"
Keliaya@anncaris | On the bed, Emma begins to stir...
Rianni@crystyl hops off her bed and heads over to Emma's side
Keliaya@anncaris steps over as well but gives the two some space
Keliaya@anncaris | Emma blinks a few times before looking up at Rianni, "Hey."
Rianni@crystyl smiles, "Hey you"
Keliaya@anncaris | Emma smiles back, "Did we get it?"
Rianni@crystyl:"We got it. With a little help from some new friends"
Keliaya@anncaris | Emma: "You mean the colonists?"
Rianni@crystyl: “No actually. This was a former Fenris Ranger. They came from the Heart to warn us about those shapeshifters. Got there just in time to finish the last one off before it could get the jump on me"
Keliaya@anncaris | Emma: "Fenris Rangers...here?"
Rianni@crystyl:"Crazy right? Though apparently these ones are calling themselves Rimward Rangers now"
Keliaya@anncaris | Emma: "That makes sense. They are a long way from Fenris, after all."
Rianni@crystyl:"I'm going to go back to the station and see what I can learn about these attackers and where they came from"
Keliaya@anncaris | Emma: "Are you sure that's safe? They're changelings..."
Rianni@crystyl:"But they're not Founders. They are easily detectable, and somewhat more limited in capability it seems" she smiles, "Don't worry, nobody's going out there alone now"
Keliaya@anncaris | Emma nods, "Take some security with you. Be safe out there, Rianni."
Rianni@crystyl smiles, "It's a promise"
Keliaya@anncaris smiles, "We won't risk anyone unnecessarily. I'll make sure everyone heading out to the station has a suitable escort."
NPC@annpc#557 | Returning to the station, Rianni and Rylliss, along with an additional enlisted security escort, make their way back to the bazaar to see if it can help them trace the origins of the -
NPC@annpc#557 - shapeshifters using the biological data. Business in the bazaar is completely unchanged, with several of the infobots moving around as usual
Rianni@crystyl makes her way towards a nearby infobot
NPC@annpc#557 | The infobot turns to Rianni as she approaches, "How may I be of service?"