Fortune favours the Valley Forge's science department when an old and unrelated discovery proves invaluable for Lendaria's most challenging linguistic contact to date. Rianni discovers an unexpected side to herself when baby Ice Giant gets a little too attached...
Keliaya@anncaris | It has been a week since the operation against the slavers. The days have gone by quietly so far as the VF, QanwI' and Light of Arindol heads towards Felmoran territory, a welcome change of - Keliaya@anncaris:- pace for the crew following recent events. The silence is interrupted however when TQ picks up a general distress call during the night shift... Keelah@crystyl | TQ: "Commander, I'm picking up a distress signal.” Keliaya@anncaris:"Well, I suppose the break couldn't last forever..." she looks over to TQ. "Does it say anything?" Keelah@crystyl | TQ shakes her head, "Just a general distress. But I do have a point of origin.” Keelah@crystyl | Fisher checks and nods, "It's within actionable distance.” Keliaya@anncaris:"Inform the Captain, Tee. Fisher, alter course towards the signal's origin.” Keelah@crystyl | TQ nods and gets to it. Keliaya@anncaris | Barely a minute later, before Keelah has a chance to get up and arrive at the bridge, TQ gets a hail from the Light of Arindol. Keelah@crystyl | TQ: "Incoming hail from the Light of Arindol.” Keliaya@anncaris tilts her head curiously, making her way over to the Captain's chair. "Put them through.” Keelah@crystyl | TQ does so. Keliaya@anncaris | Guardian-Captain Daian appears on the viewscreen, "Commander. Why are you altering course?” Keliaya@anncaris:"We picked up a general distress from a nearby location. We're going to investigate.” Keliaya@anncaris | Captain Daian: "We are on a critical mission to Felmoran territory to warn them of an incoming Horde fleet.” Keliaya@anncaris:"I'm well aware of that, Captain, but Starfleet General Order 6 mandates that we respond to calls for assistance. The Valley Forge is capable of higher maximum warp speeds than the Light of Arindol. - Keliaya@anncaris:- We'll push our engines a little and catch up with you again in no time." Keliaya@anncaris | Captain Daian: "And if this is more pirate activity like last time?” Keliaya@anncaris:"Then we'll deal with it as best as we can without delaying our mission, like last time.” Keelah@crystyl steps onto the bridge, "Exactly, Commander. Captain Daian, this is why only the Valley Forge is diverting to investigate. You and the QanwI' must remain on track” Keliaya@anncaris | Captain Daian nods, "We'll remain on course and see you again soon, then.” Keliaya@anncaris | The comm ends. Keliaya@anncaris:"A little pushy, aren't they?” Keelah@crystyl nods curtly before the comm closes, turning to Kelly, "It is their way. Now what's all this about a distress signal - what do we know?” Keliaya@anncaris:"Not much. Just a general distress and a point of origin so far.” Keliaya@anncaris | Fisher: "ETA is approximately twenty minutes.” Keliaya@anncaris:"Oh, I thought it would be closer. Sorry we didn't give you more time to wake up, Captain.” Keelah@crystyl:"Long range sensors?” Keliaya@anncaris steps back to her own console while Gwi checks the sensors at the science station. Keliaya@anncaris | Gwi: "I'm reading a ship at the point of origin. We're still too far out to distinguish what it is.” Keelah@crystyl turns, "Anything else in the vicinity?” Keliaya@anncaris | Gwi: "No. Wait...something's just come into view at extreme sensor range. Way too far to get any reading on it, except that it's moving at sublight. It could be an interstellar comet.” Keelah@crystyl:"Into range, so not moving away from the signal source?” Keliaya@anncaris | Gwi: "It is moving away from the signal source, but at a much slower speed than we're approaching the source, so it's just come into range now.” Keelah@crystyl:"Another vessel, escape pod maybe?” Keliaya@anncaris | Gwi: "If it's coming into view at this range, it's way too large to be an escape pod, unless it's something like a separated saucer.” Keelah@crystyl:"Alright. Continue monitoring as we make our approach, I'll be back momentarily.” Keliaya@anncaris | Gwi nods, "Yes Captain.” Keelah@crystyl disappears into her ready room, returning a minute later with a mug of raktajino that she sips while quietly settling into her chair. Keliaya@anncaris waits until Keelah settles down before announcing, "We're getting more sensor data on the ship. Trying to match it in our database now.” Keelah@crystyl nods an acknowledgement. Keliaya@anncaris taps on her console, "No perfect matches, but there is a 70% similarity to scan data of a Felmoran ship provided by the Colonial Fleet.” Keliaya@anncaris | Gwi: "We're still some ways from Felmoran space.” Keelah@crystyl:"A long range scout ship, maybe…” Keliaya@anncaris:"Or maybe they're outcasts like the Felmoran anarchists. Apparently it's not unheard of for those wanting change to break off from their extremely traditional society and find a place among the - Keliaya@anncaris:- other civilizations of the galaxy. The 30% discrepency could be the result of a slightly different class of ship that still resembles what the Colonial Fleet saw, but it might also be - Keliaya@anncaris:- the result of modifications from the base class.” Keelah@crystyl:"Curious speculation. What about the secondary reading, any clarity on that yet?” Keliaya@anncaris:"Only that it doesn't look like a ship. At least, not a conventional ship. But it's not a comet either, it's moving too fast.” Keelah@crystyl:"Speculation?” Keliaya@anncaris | Gwi: "Hard to say at this point. It's definitely large. Might be a ship of unconventional design, some kind of mobile weapon or a cosmozoan.” Keelah@crystyl:"Very curious indeed…” Keliaya@anncaris | Fisher: "Five minutes to arrival, Captain.” Keelah@crystyl:"Put response teams on standby.” Keliaya@anncaris nods, "Response teams are standing by.” Keliaya@anncaris FX | Five minutes later, Fisher announces they are approaching the area, and before long, the VF drops out of warp... Keelah@crystyl:"Let's see it then.” Keliaya@anncaris | The viewscreen displays a ship drifting, with windows still lit but no sign of other activity or any damage. Keelah@crystyl tilts her head a little as she observes, "Analysis.” Keliaya@anncaris:"The ship appears to be completely functional. It's sustained no damage and its life support is online. Engines are intact as well, both impulse and warp drive.” Keliaya@anncaris:"It's adrift, but there's no reason it should be.” Keliaya@anncaris | Gwi: "I'm picking up lifesigns on board. Felmoran.” Keelah@crystyl:"Hail them.” Keliaya@anncaris | TQ: "No response, Captain, but their comm systems are online.” Keliaya@anncaris | Gwi: "And the crew are definitely still alive.” Keelah@crystyl:"Alright" she looks to Vrolmacht, "Prepare an away team.” Keliaya@anncaris | Vrolmacht nods, "Aye Captain." --- NPC@annpc#557 | Vrolmacht, Emma, Zanah and two security crewmen beam onto the bridge of the drifting Felmoran ship. It is a sizable bridge, fitting for the large Felmorans and of a surprisingly aesthetic - NPC@annpc#557 - design, closer to an old OSN ship than anything Starfleet, though with completely different architectural style and motifs from the Orions of course. NPC@annpc#557 | But what is more peculiar than the design of the bridge are its inhabitants... NPC@annpc#557 | The odd behaviour is obvious the moment they beam in. Several crewmembers are unconscious, slumped over consoles or curled up on the ground, though more interesting are those who are awake. NPC@annpc#557 | One sits on the floor leaning on the central chair, sobbing uncontrollably. Another seems to be repeatedly butting his head against a console. A third paces around the room, muttering to - NPC@annpc#557:- himself while a fourth presses random buttons on her console, giggling away at the noises it produces. Emma Ralde@crystyl looks around, "Goddess... what's happened to them? This better not be something contagious…” NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah immediately takes out a tricorder and scans around them, "No sign of any contagions in the air, at least.” Emma Ralde@crystyl hrms, unconvinced as she begins a system scan/ NPC@annpc#557 | Meanwhile, Vrolmacht steps over to the sobbing Felmoran, "Can you hear me? We are here to provide assistance.” NPC@annpc#557 | The Felmoran totally ignores him and continues crying. NPC@annpc#557 | Emma's scan runs, but detects nothing so far../ NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah steps over to the Felmoran repeatedly hitting his head against the console, "Someone should stop him before he hurts himself.” Emma Ralde@crystyl joins her, and looks to Vrolmacht. NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah tries to talk to the Felmoran, "Sir. You need to stop doing that.” NPC@annpc#557 | Crazed Felmoran: "Get it out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out. I don't want to know. I don't want it. I don't want it…” NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah: "What's in your head?” Emma Ralde@crystyl:"Well that's not at all ominous" she comments, moving to analyze their navigation and sensors to see where they've been and what they interacted with recently. NPC@annpc#557 | Crazed Felmoran: "Don't understand. Can't understand. Don't want. Can't have. Get it out. Get it out.” NPC@annpc#557 | Vrolmacht nods to the security crewmen, who try to hold the Felmoran back from hitting his head on the console, The Felmoran roars and turns around, pushing both crewmen back with incredible - NPC@annpc#557:- strength, but before he can try anything else, Vrolmacht fires his phaser and stuns the crazed Felmoran, who slumps to the ground. NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah: "Well, at least he won't be trying to crack his head open." She looks to the crewman, "You alright?” NPC@annpc#557 | The crewmen nod as they get back to their feet. NPC@annpc#557 | Emma has no trouble tapping into the navigation and sensor records. The thing on VF's sensors that's been slowly moving away from the Felmoran ship was indeed right by the ship over a day ago. NPC@annpc#557 | From the closer scans obtained by this ship, it does look to be a cosmozoan. The Felmoran database even has a name for it that translates roughly to Federation standard as 'Basilisk.' Emma Ralde@crystyl:"Looks like that sensor blip we saw was a cosmozoan; something called a Basilisk in their database. Says here they came into close proximity almost a day ago. Coincidence?” NPC@annpc#557 | Vrolmacht: "I doubt it. Can you see when the distress signal was sent and when regular activity ceased on this ship and..." he looks around, "this happened?” NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah meanwhile steps over to the crying Felmoran that seems to be ignoring everyone, running her tricorder over the large alien. Emma Ralde@crystyl:"I'll dig into the logs, see what I can find. Even if the CO didn't note anything, I'm sure their doctors must have" NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah looks up from her scans, "I thought it was Horde influence, but I'm picking up none of the identifying markers. There is definitely unusual neural activity, but it doesn't match anything we've - NPC@annpc#557:- seen from the Horde. This is something different." NPC@annpc#557 | Vrolmacht: "Is it telepathic in nature as well?” NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah: "Hard to say, but there's no trace of any virus, bacteria, fungal infection or any other biological contaminant." Emma Ralde@crystyl:"Commander Vrolmacht, whatever happened seems to have taken them rather suddenly. Timing is consistent with the presence of the Basilisk; all normal activity quite suddenly ceased.” NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah looks over to Emma, "You said the Felmorans recognized what this Basilisk was? Is there anything further about the creature in their database?” Emma Ralde@crystyl:"There should be. They at least named it so even if they don't collate scientific data like we do, I'd expect there to be something. Give me a minute.” Emma Ralde@crystyl moves to another station to search the database. NPC@annpc#557 | The database does have more information on the creature! It is very vague, but listed as a 'Primeval Entity' with a danger rating that appears to be extremely high. However, there is very - NPC@annpc#557:- little information on the creature, only a warning to stay as far away from it as possible, and if one is headed towards Felmoran territory, to notify the nearest warship. Emma Ralde@crystyl relays the vague database entry to the team. NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah: "Well that doesn't tell us much more we don't already know, other than the fact that the Felmorans are definitely scared of it. And for good reason, it seems.” Emma Ralde@crystyl:"Which begs the question as to why this ship approached it…” NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah: "Exactly. That thing isn't exactly fast. This ship can easily get away. Unless…” NPC@annpc#557 steps over to Emma, "Can you extrapolate the current course of the Basilisk?” Emma Ralde@crystyl hrms, "Good question. Let's see..." NPC@annpc#557 | Its current course seems to be headed directly for a nearby star system that is marked as inhabited, but not by Felmorans. However, it is travelling in the general direction of Felmoran space. Emma Ralde@crystyl:"You got a theory, doctor?" NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah nods, "It says if a Basilisk nears Felmoran space to alert their military, right?” Emma Ralde@crystyl:"You think this was the military vessel that got alerted to deal with it?” NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah: "Exactly. This isn't exactly near, but it's heading towards Felmoran space. And they might've had someone come and deal with it.” Emma Ralde@crystyl:"Then they need to get better at dealing with these things, it would seem.” NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah: "You'd think they would be more prepared.” NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah looks to Vrolmacht: "In any case, we need to take a closer look at the crew. There's no sign of contamination, so I think it should be safe to bring one to the ship. Under quarantine of - NPC@annpc#557:- course, just to be safe. But if you don't want to take the risk, this ship probably has its own medical facility we can use.” NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah: "Their beds are probably more well suited to their size, anyways.” Emma Ralde@crystyl smirks at that. NPC@annpc#557 | Vrolmacht looks to Emma, "You said the activity drop occurred around the same time as contact with the creature?” Emma Ralde@crystyl nods, "Yessir.” NPC@annpc#557 | Vrolmacht: "Then it seems like the change to the crew was caused by close proximity to the creature, and we have no reason to believe they can pass it on to others.” NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah nods, "That's my evaluation as well. Either that, or our implants are protecting us, in which case the whole crew has the implants anyways.” NPC@annpc#557 | Vrolmacht nods, "Then there should be little risk in bringing one of the Felmorans to examine in our own facilities.” Emma Ralde@crystyl:"Under quarantine conditions" she reinforces NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah: "Of course. Even if it isn't contagious, I'm not sure I want a crazed ice giant running free in sickbay.” NPC@annpc#557 | Vrolmacht nods again and looks to Emma, "Ensign. Download all the data available here on the Felmorans' encounter with the Basilisk. We may need it.” Emma Ralde@crystyl nods, "On it.” NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah taps her combadge, "Lieutenant Amari to Valley Forge. I'm tagging one for transport to sickbay under full quarantine.” Emma Ralde@crystyl:<C-TQ> Acknowledge, away team. We'll have sickbay standing by. NPC@annpc#557 promptly tags one of the unconscious Felmorans. NPC@annpc#557 | Vrolmacht steps over to Emma, "Do you have the data, Ensign?" Emma Ralde@crystyl folds up her tricorder and turns with a nod, "Everything I can find that may be of use" she smiles, patting the tricorder faithfully as it rests back on her hip. NPC@annpc#557 | Vrolmacht nods, "Let's return to the ship. I think we got all we can here.” Emma Ralde@crystyl nods, stepping away with him ready to beam out. NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah and the two security crewmen step over as well. NPC@annpc#557 | Vrolmacht taps his combadge, "Valley Forge, five to beam up.” NPC@annpc#557 | The team disappears into transporter beams... --- NPC@annpc#557 | Back on the VF bridge, the team reports their findings to Keelah... NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah: "..our current hypothesis is that this Basilisk cosmozoan utilized a telepathic attack on the crew.” NPC@annpc#557 | Vrolmacht: "And extrapolating from the Basilisk's present course, it appears to be heading towards a nearby inhabited system, and eventually Felmoran territory.” Keelah@crystyl:"Telepathic? What evidence do we have?” NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah: "Right now, only that there's no sign of any biological infection, but there is unusual neural activity. We'll have to conduct more detailed analysis on the victim we have in quarantine.” NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah: "All I can say for certain is that it has no markers of Horde influence or anything physiological. The only oddity is in the brain.” Keelah@crystyl:"We need a definitive conclusion. And given the sheer number of possibilities out here, is unequivocal proof that it is telepathic in nature.” Keelah@crystyl:"What of the star system it is approaching?” NPC@annpc#557 | Vrolmacht: "It is home to a small colony of a little over one thousand individuals, of the same species we encountered on Volstak." Keelah@crystyl nods, "And based on its present speed, how long until it arrives there?” NPC@annpc#557 | Vrolmacht: "Seven days. We have the capacity and more than enough time to evacuate the world, but I suggest we explore the option of dealing with the Basilisk first. It will likely continue to - NPC@annpc#557:- be a threat to other worlds if left unchecked, not to mention that an evacuation will undoubtedly delay our primary mission.” Keelah@crystyl:"Indeed. Send a message to the Light of Arindol - perhaps they have knowledge of these creatures as well.” Keelah@crystyl:"Meanwhile, we need answers. We'll continue to shadow it from a safe distance while you continue your assessment.” NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah: "What about the Felmoran ship? Should we tow it along, if we find some way of reversing what happened to the crew?” Keelah@crystyl nods, "Until such time that doing so hampers our efforts.” NPC@annpc#557 | Vrolmacht nods, "I will inform the crew of your orders." NPC@annpc#557 | Vrolmacht and Zanah shake their heads. Keelah@crystyl | As does Emma. Keelah@crystyl:"Alright then. One more point of interest before we call it for now then.” NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah looks over curiously to Keelah. Keelah@crystyl:"The remaining Felmoran crew. From what you describe, they are not in the most stable condition at present. What do we do about them?” NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah: "I suggest dispersing a sedative through their ship systems, like we did with the Anarchists. It should keep them down and prevent them from hurting themselves or accidentally setting - NPC@annpc#557 - off the ship's systems.” Keelah@crystyl:"Agreed. Are we able to remotely access, at least monitor their computer systems as well, or do we need to station personnel on board?” Keelah@crystyl | Emma shakes her head, "I am uncertain, Captain. Their systems are still not familiar to us. With your permission, I will enlist Lar's aid in attempting to gain remote access" Keelah@crystyl | Emma nods an affirmative, "Understood Captain.” Keelah@crystyl looks around, "I believe that takes care of everything for now. Let's get to it then.” NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah nods, "I'll see what we can learn from our patient." She turns to head out. --- Trenick@annpc#557 FX | Shortly after the away team's return, Lennie and Trenick gather in one of the science labs to study the data collected from the Felmoran ship, as well as new scans coming in from the Valley - Trenick@annpc#557 - Forge as it begins to tail the creature. Trenick@annpc#557 | On the main screen in the room, the image of a large, serpentine creature can be seen. Lendaria@crystyl has the creatures movement displaying on a live update map of the region while they work, "Beautiful, ain't she.” Trenick@annpc#557 nods, "But apparently also quite dangerous, if the speculation is correct.” Lendaria@crystyl:"Tha's where we come in. Gotta figure this lovely out 'fore we get close. Cap'n wants t'know exactly how she's affectin' folks.” Trenick@annpc#557:"Current hypothesis is that it uses some form of telepathy, correct?” Lendaria@crystyl:"Tha's th'assumption, but Cap'n ain't lettin' noone get close until we know f'certain.” Lendaria@crystyl:"An' then we gotta figure a ways t'steer her away from tha' populated system too.” Lendaria@crystyl glances over with a smile, "Y'can see why I wanted ya help on this.” Trenick@annpc#557 smiles back, "Indeed." He turns back to his console, tapping away for a moment. "I will see if I can isolate a central nervous system from these scans to discern any telepathic ability.” Lendaria@crystyl:"Tryin' a build up some estimation o'it's biology based on th'Felmoran database. If I can get enough correlation wit'known cosmosoan species, we may get a distant relation.” Trenick@annpc#557 | Upon closer inspection, it becomes apparent that the creature has very little in common with a serpent at all. Extending down from the neck area all the way to its tail are long tendrils with - Trenick@annpc#557:- a layer connecting them. These tendrils can, and in fact currently is stretched out, causing the folded material between them to extend much like that of a lizard's expandable neck frill, only - Trenick@annpc#557:- much, much larger. This appears to serve as a massive solar sail. Lendaria@crystyl gives an impressed whistle, "Such complex biology for a cosmozoan.” Trenick@annpc#557:"Beings who evolved to survive in the vacuum of space tend to have either extremely complex biology, or extremely simple ones with little need for resources. It would appear this one is on the - Trenick@annpc#557:- former end of the scale. I believe I've located some form of central nervous system, but it's nothing like a 'brain' I've ever seen.” Lendaria@crystyl:"Oh, whatcha got?” Trenick@annpc#557 points to the highlighted basilisk's head, or at least what resembles a head at the very front of the being, "I believe the vast majority of this entire area contains something that serves a - Trenick@annpc#557:- similar purpose to a brain, though significantly more complex. Which is no surprise, given the overall size of the creature, the head alone is almost as big as the ship." Lendaria@crystyl:"Goddess... ya don't think, I mean... could this be sentient, intelligent life?” Lendaria@crystyl:"As in, not just ya typical space whale…” Trenick@annpc#557:"I believe with a brain that size, it is almost certainly intelligent to some degree, but the structure of its central nervous system is so different from our own it is difficult to tell whether it - Trenick@annpc#557:- is self-aware. It may have incredibly sophisticated instinct and reasoning capability, but not truly be sentient.” Trenick@annpc#557:"Like the ship's computer. The computer core is many times larger than Mia, but the computer is not self-aware, while Mia is.” Lendaria@crystyl:"O'course, size ain't everythin', right?" she smirks and winks, "But such a complex structure's gotta have some serious chemistry at work. We shouldn't rule it out.” Trenick@annpc#557 chuckles, "Yes, size is not everything, but sentience is certainly a possibility. We will have to study its neurology more.” Lendaria@crystyl:"Wha'bout th'telepathy theory? S'this neurology at least support th'potential ya think?” Trenick@annpc#557:"It's also a possibility with the size of its brain, but the actual structure is so foreign, I can't be sure of anything.” Lendaria@crystyl:"So how'd we get sure?” Trenick@annpc#557:"It may take months, perhaps even years of study. The central nervous system is usually the most complicated part of an organism, and usually the latest aspect for most species to gain a full - Trenick@annpc#557:- understanding on. We do have some advantages in being familiar with the way brains work in general across multiple species, but this creature is so different that much of what we already know - Trenick@annpc#557:- will not apply. We are attempting to understand a whole new kind of brain.” Lendaria@crystyl:"An' we ain't got months or years…” Trenick@annpc#557:"Precisely. it may be possible for medical to gain more insight on their capabilities through observing the effects on the Basilisk's victims instead. We will not fully understand the brain of this - Trenick@annpc#557:- creature, but we could gain an understanding of what it can do to us.” Lendaria@crystyl:"Or, not t'us..." she scurries to the other console with an idea. Trenick@annpc#557 looks over curiously, "What do you have, Commander?” Lendaria@crystyl:"A class II probe! We can launch it towards th'Basilisk an'observe it's reaction to th'presence.” Trenick@annpc#557 nods and steps over, "That is a good idea. We will be able to observe it closer with no risk to ourselves.” Lendaria@crystyl sends notification to the bridge and once it's loaded, launches the probe, "S'away.” Lendaria@crystyl FX | The telemetry starts streaming in on the main display as it approaches the Basilisk. Trenick@annpc#557 | The Basilisk appears to continue along its path, either not minding or not noticing the tiny probe's presence at all. Lendaria@crystyl:"Ok... no discernible reaction t'a physical presence." Trenick@annpc#557:"Perhaps the probe is far too small compared to its size to be of any notice. If nothing else, this will allow us to collect closer scans without putting the ship at risk." Lendaria@crystyl nods, "I'm-a gettin' some invaluable data on it. We'll let th'probe collect a full sweep o'it's biology then start cyclin' outputs; see if it reacts to anythin'.” Trenick@annpc#557 | They wait as the probe collects more detailed scans, and it becomes apparent that while several cosmozoans and other species may appear somewhat similar to the Basilisk in its non-frill - Trenick@annpc#557:- extended state, none have any discernible relation with the Basilisk. Lendaria@crystyl:"Aight, let's start cyclin' sensory outputs from th'probe; audio an' visual spectrums first.” Trenick@annpc#557 | The creature demonstrates some response to a few visual spectrums, or what seems to be a response, but it does not turn towards the probe or otherwise change its course. Trenick@annpc#557 | However, it appears to have organs on its head, perhaps comparable to eyes, that react to light. Lendaria@crystyl hrms, "visual responses're positive, wouldn't be th'first critter out'ere t'employ a form a bioluminescence." Trenick@annpc#557:"Let's try some other frequencies. See what else it may respond to.” Lendaria@crystyl nods, "I got an idea. Call up th'long range scans o'tha' star will ya - th'one it's headin' for.” Trenick@annpc#557 nods and taps on a nearby console to bring up the readings of the star/ Lendaria@crystyl:"Now if we'se run a spectral analysis o'tha' star's exact composition, we oughta be able t'interpret a visualization o'it's radiation/” Lendaria@crystyl:"I wanna trim it t'a pattern we'se can approximate through th'probes output. See if this beasty's actually seein' wha' it wants.” Trenick@annpc#557:"A clever plan, Commander.” Trenick@annpc#557 | After a little work, the two are able to configure the probe to emit the right light and radiation to mimic the star... Lendaria@crystyl:"Aight then sweety, let's see how ya's like this lil' show" she repositions the probe and begins cycling the light show.” Trenick@annpc#557 | Once again, scans show a reaction from the sensory organs atop the Basilisk's head, indicating that it does register the emissions. It seems to quirk its head ever so briefly towards the - Trenick@annpc#557:- direction of the probe, but still does not deviate from its course.” Lendaria@crystyl:"Well, tha' definitely got it's attention. Maybe it looks like another - more distant - star to it?” Lendaria@crystyl:"I mean, it's got them solar sails up right, so it must be sensin' more than th'visual from th'star it's headin' for.” Trenick@annpc#557 nods, "It is likely that it has ways of distinguishing a real star from the probe, though the probe's emissions does seem to have momentarily confused it.” Lendaria@crystyl:"Good t'know, but it ain't helpin' us wit' this telepathy thing. Wha'bout lifesigns or neural readin's? Can we get anythin' like tha' mimicked from th'probe?” Trenick@annpc#557:"We should be able to configure the probe to read like a biological being. Accurate neural readings are more difficult, but we might be able to approximate something relatively close.” Lendaria@crystyl:"Maybe we don't need anythin' accurate, jus' a focused impulse on th'kind o'sensory image that'd put out.” Trenick@annpc#557:"True. I will see what I can conjure up.” Trenick@annpc#557 | After a few minutes, Trenick announces, "I have the probe configured to emit false lifesigns and signals similar to that of an active brain. I suggest we emit the two separately first, to see - Trenick@annpc#557:- if it detects one and not the other.” Lendaria@crystyl:"Agreed. At ya leisure Lieutenant! You'se tweak th'output, I'll-a monitor it's reaction.” Trenick@annpc#557 nods, "Emitting lifesign readings now.” Trenick@annpc#557 | The Basilisk does not appear to give any reaction Lendaria@crystyl:"Nothin' so far…” Trenick@annpc#557:"Switching to neural readings…” Trenick@annpc#557 | The probe suddenly registers the Basilisk's brain light up with activity, followed by a massive outburst of psionic energy. Lendaria@crystyl:"Woah!” Trenick@annpc#557 looks over, "What do we have?” Lendaria@crystyl turns and shows him, "Almost soon as ya switched th'readin's, tha' beasty's brain lit up like holoshow on Goddess Day!” Lendaria@crystyl:"An' jus' look at this psionic energy burst. This thing sure don't play nice wit'others... Trenick@annpc#557:"Incredible. Most telepathic interactions barely produce enough psionic energy to register. This must be what happened to the Felmoran crew.” Trenick@annpc#557:"To be hit by such a psionic burst must wreak havoc on brains such as ours.” Lendaria@crystyl:"Seems a fair assessment. Gonna bump these readin's straight over t'Kazra, could help figurin' things from th'patients side." Trenick@annpc#557:"I suspect it will be very helpful. With closer readings from the probe, I will see if I can understand the creature's neurology a little better." Lendaria@crystyl:"I'm-a keep workin' on it's biology. We seen wha' it does, but I wanna know why it does it; defensive, territorial, communicative. Hells, it could be a matin' call f'all we know!" Trenick@annpc#557 chuckles, "All equally likely possibilities, given what we know so far." He heads back to the console he was at earlier to continue work on deciphering scans of the Basilisk's brain.” --- Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Meanwhile on the bridge, the doorbell to Keelah's ready room rings. Keelah@crystyl:"Come in" she calls out, standing by the thinking window. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 steps inside, looking to the empty desk with a second of surprise before realizing Keelah is at the thinking window, "Captain. We've received word back from the Light of Arindol.” Keelah@crystyl turns, "Aah, good. At least I hope it is good. Please" she smiles, gesturing to the sofa as she sits herself down. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 steps over, taking a seat and handing Keelah a PADD, "Well, we have more information on this Basilisk creature. I'm not sure it's necessarily good…” Keelah@crystyl takes the PADD and begins skimming over it, "Let me guess; they consider it a high threat and kill them on sight…” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 nods, "That's the gist of it, yes. Apparently, these creatures are known for driving anything that comes into range with them insane, from crews like that of the Felmoran ship to populations of - Evanne Dra@annpc#557:- entire planets. What's worse, they seem to be attracted to planets inhabited by sentient species. Because of that and their telepathic nature, the early Guardians thought them related to the Horde.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"Eventually, they determined that Basilisks were their own thing with no known connection to the Horde, but the Guardians' ability to resist the Horde, whatever that may be, they're still very - Evanne Dra@annpc#557:- secretive about it, but it also provides them immunity from the Basilisks. Because of that, they've often been called on to kill Basilisks.” Keelah@crystyl:"I don't suppose they had anything in here on recovering people affected by these Basilisks…” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"They only mentioned briefly that they don't know of a way. But they do theorize that our implants should protect us from the Basilisk like they do against the Horde, since the Guardians' defense - Evanne Dra@annpc#557:- work against both.” Keelah@crystyl:"Theories alone do not inspire confidence..." she sets the PADD down, turning to Eva, "What do you think of all this?” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"The Guardians also mentioned that there are ways to deal with Basilisks without immunity to their telepathy. A ship can stay out of their telepathic range and fire on them from afar, but it's - Evanne Dra@annpc#557:- mentioned that the larger the Basilisk, the longer its telepathic range. The average size appears to be two to five kilometres, but this one is over six. I think that might be what happened to - Evanne Dra@annpc#557:- the Felmoran ship- they came to kill the Basilisk, but underestimated its range.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"If we need to fight it, it might be safest to send in the Nuhar squadron rather than approaching it ourselves, but the Guardians' information also suggests that Basilisks have been on the decline - Evanne Dra@annpc#557:- in recent centuries. Guardians aren't called on to hunt them frequently anymore, or, hired might be a better word, as planetary governors and corporations often offer rewards for killing a - Evanne Dra@annpc#557:- Basilisk headed towards them or one of their holdings.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"Even if they are malicious...I think they have good reason to be. They're being hunted to extinction.” Keelah@crystyl:"I can't believe that killing an innocent creature simply following it's natural instincts is the only way out of this.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 nods, "It doesn't feel right to me either. But with thousands, sometimes even millions of lives at stake, we can't really blame the Guardians or local governors for seeing them as a threat.” Keelah@crystyl:"Of course, but that doesn't mean we have to jump to such action. As long a there are options to explore, I want to find them.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"Maybe there's some way to communicate with them that no one else has found though. Like with the plasma-based lifeforms in the Dunishai star.” Keelah@crystyl:"I like that idea very much. But with the nature of their attacks - regardless of intention - the only way might be through telepathic communication.” Keelah@crystyl:"So the only way to try is to get into it's kill zone.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 nods, "Which could be very risky…” Keelah@crystyl:"Well, hopefully our teams will dig up some information which will help us form a plan. In the meantime, we must wait.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"I hope we can find a peaceful solution to this in-” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 FX | Keelah's combadge chirps. Keelah@crystyl taps her combadge, "Se'Lai." Evanne Dra@annpc#557 <C - Kazra> Keelah, we've completed our examination of the patient recovered from the Felmoran ship. Keelah@crystyl:<C> Acknowledged, I'll be down to review your findings momentarily. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 stands, "That's all I have for you at the moment, Captain. I'll be on the bridge.” Keelah@crystyl stands as well, "Thank you for the update, Eva.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 nods and heads out to the bridge. Keelah@crystyl:"Now to see if Kazra has unlocked any more pieces of this puzzle for us" she comments, heading out right behind Eva. --- NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra greets Keelah as she steps into sickbay, while Zanah taps away at the surgical bed, where the large Felmoran patient lies unconscious. Keelah@crystyl:"Well Doctor, what is the prognosis?” NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra motions Keelah over as she asks, "Do you remember the Lomren? The species that was biologically immortal, but their minds had a limited storage capacity, resulting in them creating a - NPC@annpc#557:- tradition of ritual suicide instead of turning feral when their brains went over capacity?” Keelah@crystyl nods, "How could I forget. That was quite the merry little chase they led us on as we got to know them.” NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra: "That it was. Well, the problem with these people here is similar to Lomren in the later stages of Tan-Bestol.” NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra: "And Felmorans have quite the mental storage capacity to facilitate for their many centuries of life." Keelah@crystyl:"So that mental capacity is being... overwhelmed?” NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah turns away from the patient and joins Kazra and Keelah, "Pretty much. It's like trying to download a dozen holoprograms into a single datapad. A whole bunch of data has just been - NPC@annpc#557:- inserted into his brain and overloaded it.” Keelah@crystyl:"That would certainly go some way to explain the breakdown described by your away team. The question is; can the effect be reversed.” NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra: "Yes and no. We have no way of isolating the data that's been inserted into his brain, but our procedure for cleansing Horde influence can work here.” NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah: "But it's a hard mental reset. We'll be wiping away all their memories, like with the Terminu thralls.” Keelah@crystyl hrms, "Far from ideal, and not something I want to presume to do to a people we've just met…” NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah: "We might be able to perform a more watered down version of the procedure. It could potentially keep some elements of their personality intact, but we'll have to induce total amnesia. - NPC@annpc#557:- That's the only way they can become functioning people again.” Keelah@crystyl:"I appreciate that. I would just rather keep them protected for the moment and present that option to their people once we arrive with them.” NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra: "We can't keep pumping the ship with sedatives, it'll be a risk to their health sooner or later. But Dr. Amari might have a solution for keeping them under.” Keelah@crystyl:"I'm all ears.” Keelah@crystyl shoots Kazra a 'don't say it' look. NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra and Zanah both grin before Zanah begins to explain, "While examining the patient, I studied the Felmorans' physiology more closely as well. They have a biology uniquely suited to living - NPC@annpc#557:- in cold environments, not unlike Andorians. But the Felmorans have a special function for staying alive in extreme cold. When the temperature gets too cold even for them, they instinctively go - NPC@annpc#557:- into hibernation, a natural form of stasis that slows their bodily functions, not like your Vulcan healing trances.” Keelah@crystyl nods, "So you suggest an imposed cryogenic stasis of sorts?” NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah nods back, "The base instincts are still active in these patients, including the one that triggers this stasis. So if we set the temperature on the Felmoran ship low enough, we can keep - NPC@annpc#557:- them unconscious until we reach their people.” NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah: "This is a natural process, and it should have minimal side effects, at least less than pumping them with sedatives constantly. And we won't have to build stasis pods for them either.” Keelah@crystyl smiles, "Excellent work Doctor - Doctors. Make preparations and put your plan into place as soon as you are ready.” NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra nods, "We'll have it ready, Keelah. With the crew out but the ship fully functional, we might not even have to tow them. Holding them in a tractor beam the whole way will probably slow - NPC@annpc#557:- us down, but we could dispatch a skeleton crew over to fly the ship.” NPC@annpc#557 | Zanah: "They might need EV suits though. At the temperatures we're setting to keep the Felmorans in stasis, I don't even think an Andorian can stand it.” Keelah@crystyl:"That's command thinking, Kazra. I'll consult with Kelly on requirements for the team to effectively run the ship.” NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra smiles, "We'll find the best temperatures for you in the meantime.” Keelah@crystyl:"Thank you again ladies, anything else I should know? If not I'll leave you to your work." NPC@annpc#557 | Kazra: "That's all. We'll let you know if we find any better solutions for the Felmorans' condition." Keelah@crystyl nods, "Very good then." --- Keelah@crystyl leaves sickbay and decides to check in with Lennie's team at the lab while she's doing the rounds. Trenick@annpc#557 turns as the door slides open, "Captain.” Keelah@crystyl:"Lieutenant. How goes the Basilisk analysis?" Trenick@annpc#557:"There's still a significant amount we don't understand, but we've made good progress, largely thanks to Commander Lendaria's idea to use a probe for closer study. You just missed the Commander, - Trenick@annpc#557:- but I can give you a rundown of what we've learned.” Keelah@crystyl smiles as she steps further in, "Please do.” Trenick@annpc#557 steps over to the central console, activating an animation of the creature, first in its static, serpentine form, then with the huge frill slowly extending out, "Its primary source of energy - Trenick@annpc#557:- comes from these frills, which functions similarly to the sails of a sail ship like the ones ancient Bajorans had. It normally travels at sublight speeds, sailing along and collecting energy, - Trenick@annpc#557:- but once it has enough energy, it can achieve low warp speeds. It has to fold in its sail to prevent damage though, so it can only go to warp at bursts, and then cruise at sublight collecting more - Trenick@annpc#557:- energy. It does possess a mouth and is capable of consuming- we don't think it uses that to obtain energy, but instead to absorb metals to grow harder scales.” Keelah@crystyl:"What a fascinating specimen. You mentioned a probe was being used in the analysis?” Trenick@annpc#557 nods, "We used a probe to collect closer scans and see what stimuli it responded to. It revealed that it is capable of detecting light and radiation like those emitted from stars, which makes - Trenick@annpc#557:- sense given its use of solar energy as its primary energy source. When we used the probe to mimic a neural signal, we registered activity within the Basilisk's brain, followed by a massive output - Trenick@annpc#557:- of psionic energy, which confirms the telepathy hypothesis. I believe this telepathic burst was what caused the effects seen in the Felmoran crew.” Keelah@crystyl perks a brow, "Psionic burst you say? Now that is rather interesting given what I just learned down in sickbay.” Trenick@annpc#557 turns back to Keelah, "Indeed? The neurology of this creature is extremely foreign and will take a long time for us to understand. I was hoping that sickbay could shed some light into at least - Trenick@annpc#557:- the effects of its telepathy on others, as it's far easier to analyze a familiar brain than one so alien to us.” Keelah@crystyl nods, "Dr. Amari learned that the Felmoran patient suffered what is essentially 'information overload'. Like a sudden onset of the Lomren's aging condition.” Trenick@annpc#557:"That is very interesting. We're not sure yet whether it's telepathy is malicious or not. I suppose it is possible that this is a crude defensive measure, but while I'm no expert on telepathy, I - Trenick@annpc#557:- imagine there are easier ways to use it to incapacitate than sending so much information it overloads the brain of your attacker.” Keelah@crystyl:"I am inclined to agree. There is generally only reason to present information to another being; and that is to communicate. It may simply be a means that overwhelms the neural capacity of Children + Keelah@crystyl:+ species. When Lendaria returns, I would interested in a linguistic analysis of this psionic energy. If there is any way we can determine at least some semblance of dialogue, it may be crucial.” Trenick@annpc#557:"That would be my hypothesis as well. It could be trying to communicate with one of its own, but our minds are incapable of processing these signals. I will inform the Commander to look into this - Trenick@annpc#557:- energy and see if we can find a means to communicate.” Keelah@crystyl nods, "Thank you Lieutenant, and excellent work so far with the creature. Keep me apprised of any developments.” Trenick@annpc#557 nods, "I'll be sure to keep you informed of any developments, Captain." --- Keelah@crystyl wanders into main engineering, always feeling rather at home around the gentle pulsing of the warp core. She spots Kelly working away on the far side and heads over, "Commander.” Keliaya@anncaris looks over from her console, "Captain. What brings you down here today?” Keelah@crystyl:"I've been getting up to speed with the different teams tackling this cosmozoan problem around the ship and we have some developments I could use your input on.” Keliaya@anncaris:"Oh? What's that?” Keelah@crystyl:"Well, we have a solution to assist the Felmorans we recovered but it will require a complete neural reset like the recovered Horde.” Keliaya@anncaris nods, "That's not ideal, but I suppose it's better than nothing.” Keelah@crystyl:"My sentiments exactly, which is why I do not wish to perform such procedures until we have made contact with their leadership and can then do so with their blessing.” Keliaya@anncaris:"So you want to bring the Felmoran ship all the way back to their territory?” Keelah@crystyl:"Medical have learned that the Felmorans possess a natural instinct - not unlike your own hibernation - which is triggered by extreme cold.” Keelah@crystyl:"So yes, I want to take them and their ship back before acting, but we can not keep pumping them full of sedatives and towing it. So we have a plan to adjust their environmental systems to invoke + Keelah@crystyl:+ this hibernation. This will allow us to save the sedative dosing. However, to make good time we can not keep towing the vessel.” Keliaya@anncaris nods in understanding, "You want me to send a team onboard to fly the ship.” Keelah@crystyl:"Exactly, yes. They will need to operate for an extended period in EV suits due to the extreme cold. So I wanted your opinion and recommendations for staffing, especially given our limited knowledge.” Keliaya@anncaris:"I'm not sure how their environmental control system works, but we might be able to set some areas of the ship to a more amenable temperature as long as we ensure the Felmorans inside are moved - Keliaya@anncaris:- elsewhere. If that can't be done, we can put together some heating devices to at least make quarters and the bridge bearable, but they'll probably want suits to move through the halls.” Keelah@crystyl:"You never know, they might operate in a similar fashion to us. In which case you may be able to route all primary functions to main engineering and isolate that area from the cold." Keliaya@anncaris:"I'll be sure to investigate every option and find the best one. As for staffing, I have a few people in mind. Ensign Ralde might be a good choice, as she's already been on their ship, and might be - Keliaya@anncaris:- more familiar with technology from this region in general.” Keelah@crystyl nods, "I see no problem with that. Give it some thought and let me know, moreso if you need to second anyone from another department.” Keliaya@anncaris:"Well, it'll be another two weeks until we reach Felmoran space. I don't know if Rianni would want to follow her over- she has been away from the ship for quite a while already and might be more - Keliaya@anncaris:- comfortable staying. But in any case, I think it could be a good idea to have a tactical officer onboard as well. The ship has decent tactical systems; it might not be the most effective with a - Keliaya@anncaris:- skeleton crew operating it, but if we run into trouble, it could at least defend itself rather than forcing us to go out of our way to protect them.” Keelah@crystyl:"Agreed, and as for Rianni..." she smiles a little, "I think it would be safer to send her as well. My feeling is that it's not the ship she's missed so much during her recent assignment." Keliaya@anncaris smiles, "That's what I thought as well. And Vrolmacht's managed on the bridge for a few months without her, I think he can handle two more weeks.” Keelah@crystyl:"Indeed, it's not like he is completely reassigned from tactical so it should be fine. And her versatility should be fruitful on the Felmoran ship. Will you want to take command yourself, or would + Keelah@crystyl:+ you prefer to remain here?” Keliaya@anncaris:"I think it would help to have a senior officer on the Felmoran ship, and we don't want to take any of the other department heads away. Vrolmacht is your First Officer now, we need Lennie to study - Keliaya@anncaris:- the creature and she doesn't like being in an EV suit either, and Kazra probably wants to look for alternative treatments for the Felmorans.” Keliaya@anncaris:"Thorkildsen can handle things here in Engineering. Though speaking of Kazra...it might be helpful to have Dr. Amari on the Felmoran ship as well, in case the Felmorans do wake up. She might be - Keliaya@anncaris:- able to do some examinations of the other Felmorans while she's there, and we have a doctor on hand if there's any medical needs.” Keelah@crystyl:"A sound idea, and she is the most familiar with their biology. Well give it some thought, no need to jump right on every team members decision right this minute.” Keliaya@anncaris nods, "I'll look at configuring the environmental systems first, see what kind of habitable zone I can set up while keeping the rest of the ship- “ Keliaya@anncaris FX | Keelah's combadge chirps. Keelah@crystyl:"Aah, excuse me" she chuckles, tapping the badge as she steps away, "Se'Lai.” Keliaya@anncaris <C - Eva> "Captain, we have multiple incoming contacts. They appear to be on an intercept course with the Basilisk." Keelah@crystyl:<C> “Oh joy... Alright I'm on my way. Take us to yellow alert and see what you can do about raising them on the comm.” Keliaya@anncaris:<C> "On it, Captain.” Keliaya@anncaris:"That's not good. I'll come with you to the bridge.” Keelah@crystyl nods, already picking up the pace, "We may need to cut the Felmoran ship loose prematurely." Keelah@crystyl & Kelly arrive on the bridge a short time later. Keliaya@anncaris | Vrolmacht turns to them as they arrive, "The incoming ships are Rider craft, twenty-five of them. Keliaya@anncaris | Eva: "They've identified themselves as the Devils Gang. I have an open comm line with them now.” Keelah@crystyl eyerolls at the identity, already seeing where this is going, "Open channel.” Keliaya@anncaris | An intimidating female Rider appears on the viewscreen with white markings on her face that could either be tattoos or some form of war paint. Keelah@crystyl is not easily intimidated, "I am Captain Keelah of the Federation vessel Valley Forge. To whom am I speaking?" she asks, slightly over-politely. Keliaya@anncaris | Rider: "I am Skjota, leader of the Devils. Your ship is the one already in pursuit of the Basilisk?” Keelah@crystyl nods, "Correct. I take it you have been hired to dispose of it?” Keliaya@anncaris | Rider: "That's right. Sulsar Corporation's offering a handsome fee for whoever gets rid of the Basilisk before it reaches their colony, and we intend to collect.” Keelah@crystyl:"Of course you do... see, this is a problem for us because we are conducting essential research on the creature and cannot afford to let it pass yet.” Keliaya@anncaris | Skjota: "Research? These things drive you crazy if you get close enough. Safer to kill 'em first and do your research on the corpse. And if you can drag the carcass to Colonial Space, you - Keliaya@anncaris:- might get a good price for it from their scientist guild." Keelah@crystyl:"I'm afraid it's not that simple. You see, we are at war against the Horde, and this creature presents an invaluable opportunity to test defenses against telepathic corruption.” Keliaya@anncaris | Skjota: "You're not actually thinking of approaching it, are you? Even we're not that crazy!” Keelah@crystyl:"Not yet at least, but we must not let this opportunity pass. I appreciate that you have business here but... perhaps we can reach an accord?" Keliaya@anncaris | Skjota: "You got here first, so you can have the first try. We're not stupid enough to fight you and that Felmoran ship, anyways. Even if we could beat you, it's not a good idea to fight right - Keliaya@anncaris:- beside a Basilisk.” Keelah@crystyl:"You understand that we are not intending to fight it, yes?” Keliaya@anncaris | Skjota: "Yeah. I wouldn't recommend it, but I won't get in your way either. That'll probably just get us both killed. But we are sticking around. If you go insane, then it's ours.” Keelah@crystyl:"And say - hypothetically speaking of course - we devise a method to drive it off without causing harm... would that still be sufficient for you to claim your payment?” Keliaya@anncaris | Skjota: "The company doesn't care about the Basilisk, as long as it's not ruining their prospects. The reward would be yours if you drive it off without a fight.” Keelah@crystyl:"That is very... honest of you. However we are not doing this for any reward, as I already surmised. If you wish to observe then feel free to come alongside us and do so. I only insist that you do + Keelah@crystyl:+ not interfere with our research in any way. As you said, it is very dangerous creature and we can not afford any unforeseen circumstances.” Keelah@crystyl:"If we are then successful, well, you will have one of your easiest paydays imaginable ready to cash in" she smiles. Keliaya@anncaris | Skjota: "We're Riders, not opportunistic scavengers. My gang knows the difference, at least. If you get the job done, the credit's yours, but we're not in a rush to go anywhere, so we'll wait - Keliaya@anncaris:- around. But if you wanna share the reward you claim from the company, we won't say no either. But we won't put our names to something we didn't do.” Keelah@crystyl:"Very well, it will be a pleasure to have you along for the proverbial ride with us. We seldom have the opportunity to enjoy extended visits with any Riders, so if you like; you are welcome to visit + Keelah@crystyl:+ the Valley Forge/” Keliaya@anncaris | Skjota: "We'll stay ready for battle for now. Once the Basilisk is gone and if you still have your minds, we might take you up on your offer. And...did you say you're fighting the Horde?” Keelah@crystyl nods, "You may be familiar with the Coalition?” Keliaya@anncaris | Skjota: "I've been hearing rumours about it. You a part of that, then?” Keelah@crystyl:"Quite the integral one at that, in the eyes of some at least. We are explorers from a distant - coreward - part of the galaxy and have been drawing the powers in this region together to create a + Keelah@crystyl:+ unified front against the Horde. Or, if you associate more in Lupan circles; you may know us by their more fond name of 'Star Blade'" she chuckles a little. Keliaya@anncaris | Skjota: "So /you're/ the Star Blade. I've definitely heard of you. You might have quite an impressive reputation, but one ship or even a thousand won't make a difference against the Horde. My - Keliaya@anncaris:- advice? Turn back to wherever you came from and go enjoy your lives. You'll probably get to live a pretty full one before the Horde arrives. They advance slowly, but they can't be stopped.” Keelah@crystyl:"Maybe I will, but my daughter likely won't" she shakes her head, "The Horde are already here; and they /can/ be stopped. If you don't want to take my word for it; go pay a visit to Terminu when + Keelah@crystyl:+ we're done here. See what this Star Blade did to a Horde fleet numbering in the thousands in that system, then tell me they can't be stopped.” Keelah@crystyl | Vrolmacht looks up briefly with a slight nod of approval at Keelah's Klingonesque story telling. Keliaya@anncaris | Skjota: "Really? Well, let's see how you live up to your reputation here, first. You got a Basilisk to deal with, first.” Keelah@crystyl nods, "That we have. Well it has been a most unexpected pleasure speaking with you, I hope not to leave you disappointed. Valley Forge out.” Keliaya@anncaris | Skjota nods back and the comm cuts. Keliaya@anncaris:"Well, at least they were reasonable…” Keelah@crystyl:"Surprisingly so" she looks to Kelly, "I'll be in the science lab" --- Trenick@annpc#557 | Meanwhile in the lab, Lennie and Trenick work away at analyzing the Basilisk's psionic energy. Lendaria@crystyl beavers away at a console attempting to breakdown the psionic reading and discern any kind of tangible linguistic. Trenick@annpc#557 | There are definitely different signals among the readings, so many signals in fact that the computer is having trouble just identifying them all. When isolating one particular strand, it makes - Trenick@annpc#557:- no sense, as it is meant to be read together, but by a recipient with a suitable mind. Trying to decipher it using a computer is like trying to get a computer program to read something written in - Trenick@annpc#557:- an entirely different code it doesn't recognize... Lendaria@crystyl:"There's gotta be a way we can cut through all this…” Lendaria@crystyl turns to Treneck, "Th'computer's able t'reproduce matter down t'a near atomic level right? Tha's how they can make them emergency holo-organs in medical.” Trenick@annpc#557:"You're thinking of reproducing a brain and running the information through it? That may work…” Lendaria@crystyl:"Yeah! We'se got th'scan data o'the Basilisk, so maybe th'computer can't process th'information - well, let's build a model wha' can!” Lendaria@crystyl:"If it works, we should be able t'use tha' model an' feedback it's interpreted input from th'data through a translation matrix.” Trenick@annpc#557 nods, "A good idea, Commander. It's certainly worth a try.” Lendaria@crystyl taps her combadge and summons Mia to assist with the holoprogramming. Lendaria@crystyl:"Think we can use th'emitters in'ere if we patch in sufficient memory, or need to pitch up in a holodeck?” Trenick@annpc#557:"I think it's safer to use the holodeck. It's built for this, after all.” Lendaria@crystyl nods, "Alright, let's get over there then!" she hops off her stool with renewed vigor. Lendaria@crystyl & Trenick make their way to holodeck 4 where Mia is already waiting and virtually bouncing with excitement. Trenick@annpc#557 smiles, "Hello Mia. Is our brain ready?” Lendaria@crystyl | Mia beams, "Oui, monsieur Trenick! We have transposed all of your provided data into a new program as instructed, come!" she skips inside leading the way. Lendaria@crystyl chuckles as she follows. Trenick@annpc#557 chuckles as well, heading inside. Lendaria@crystyl FX | Inside they find the bare holodeck with a single LCARS console standing before them. beyond the console is 3D model of the Basilisk brain. Lendaria@crystyl gives an impressed whistle, "Good work Mia, an' fast too!” Trenick@annpc#557 looks up at the huge brain with widened eyes, "Impressive. Both the recreation and the brain itself.” Lendaria@crystyl | Mia beams with pride, "Fortunately we have learned a great deal about holoprogramming!” Lendaria@crystyl steps up to the console, "Alright, let's see how this processes th'information now. Trenick, you'se regulate th'data input into th'model. I wanna monitor physiological responses an' map it;s + Lendaria@crystyl:+ neurons. Gotta figure wha' part o' tha' brains doin' wha'!” Trenick@annpc#557 nods and joins Lennie at the console, "This will allow us to study and understand the brain much more effectively as well. I'm going to begin sending it the data now…” Lendaria@crystyl:"Ready 'ere. Mia, please monitor program integrity an' computer memory allocation. We don't want it crashin' out, but can't have it run wild either.” Lendaria@crystyl | Mia nods an eager affirmative, moving over to the arch, "Standing by Commander!” Trenick@annpc#557 FX | The holo-brain soon lights up with activity, showing Lennie just how much of the Basilisk's brain is dedicated to the processing of information. Trenick@annpc#557 | The program strains, but Mia is able to keep things under control... Lendaria@crystyl works furiously to analyze the thought patterns, "Goddess, it's like tryin'a build a 3D jigsaw 1:1 scale o'ESD without know wha' starbase is…” Trenick@annpc#557 nods, "That would be an accurate analogy. Just look at its brain, though. So much of it is being used to process this information. There's surprisingly little dedicated to biological functions - Trenick@annpc#557:- and instincts, relative to its size of course. Still much larger than our brains. But this doesn't look like a lifeform driven only by basic survival urges.” Lendaria@crystyl:"Yeah, I mean just proportionate alone! If we use on average - say - 10-20% o'our brains in this manner, this things easily 75% plus!" Trenick@annpc#557:"Exactly. I wouldn't be surprised if it is a sentient being.” Trenick@annpc#557 | Meanwhile, the processed information comes back, but it is strange, appearing to be a strange assortment of colours and tones... Trenick@annpc#557 looks over to the results, "Well, at least we are getting something, but it's no more legible than what we had before…” Lendaria@crystyl:"I dunno, colours an' tones is a step up from overwhelmin' white noise at least…” Trenick@annpc#557 looks from the colours to Lennie, "These are telepathic communications. It's communicating directly from its mind, with no need to phrase its thoughts into words.” Trenick@annpc#557:"So they're likely to be raw emotions. Maybe experiences. We don't know what emotions it experiences, but we know what stimuli it responds to. Maybe what we're seeing are like memories, but many - Trenick@annpc#557:- different species see the world differently. Like Xindi-Insectoids with their compound vision, or Arshai seeing in the infrared spectrum.” Trenick@annpc#557:"With the stimuli it responds to, we might be able to extrapolate what spectrums it picks up and apply that to what we're getting.” Lendaria@crystyl:"S'worth a try!” Lendaria@crystyl:"In fact, tha's kinda how we start buildin' a translation matrix. Jus' wit' real world reference rather than telepathic stimuli. huh, why didn't I think o'tha'...” Trenick@annpc#557:"Connections aren't always evident until you see them. Especially when it's something as different as telepathy.” Lendaria@crystyl:"Yeah, an' tha' ain't exactly mah thing” Lendaria@crystyl:"Aight, well, le's give it a shot!” Trenick@annpc#557 nods, beginning to apply the filter. As it goes over the image, it changes to show what appears to be a starfield. Trenick@annpc#557:"That looks promising. It could be a coincidence, but it seems like I'm seeing space.” Trenick@annpc#557 | The next image shows a bright red circle, which could be a star... Lendaria@crystyl:"Hold it there a sec. Mia, can ya patch in astrometrics data? I'mma try an' match it up.” Lendaria@crystyl | Mia glances over and nods, "A moment, calling it up now!” Lendaria@crystyl waits for the data to come in and then tries to map a correlation. Trenick@annpc#557 | The starfield does line up with what would be seen from a region several sectors away. Lendaria@crystyl:"Well how'sabout tha'. We got Basilisk-vision!” Trenick@annpc#557 smiles, "Let's see what else this Basilisk has seen…” Lendaria@crystyl:"This's th'kinda commonality we need. If we can find enough an'track it's neural responses, we may actually be able t'formulate a translation o'sorts” Lendaria@crystyl turns, "Trenick... we might actually be able t'speak t'this thing!” Trenick@annpc#557:"Understanding it is a step in the right direction, but actually speaking to it may be more complicated. We can interpret its messages without overloading our brains, but we still can't send - Trenick@annpc#557:- anything of our own. These signals are too complicated for our comm equipment to produce, and we need more than a holographic Basilisk brain to send the signal.” Lendaria@crystyl:"Oh I know, but th'principle's there at least! If we can figure wha' it understands, then we'll worry about how t'get heard.” Trenick@annpc#557 nods, looking over to Mia, "How's the program holding up?" Lendaria@crystyl | Mia looks back, "It is requiring constant attention, but we are sufficiently able to maintain your program.” Trenick@annpc#557:"It may be a good idea to run everything through the brain first, and then collect the results to filter and analyze in the lab. Then, we should be able to give the holodeck systems and Mia a break.” Lendaria@crystyl:"Sounds reasonable.” Lendaria@crystyl | Mia: "Oh, we do not mind! This is a most fascinating experiment and we are happy to assist!” Trenick@annpc#557 smiles, "I'm glad you are enjoying the experiment. We probably don't want to overload the holodeck, though.” Lendaria@crystyl:"Yeah, let's run wha' we need through th'holo brain then analyze it all proper back in th'lab.” Trenick@annpc#557 | After a little time, the holo-brain finishes analyzing everything. Lendaria@crystyl:"Aight, tha' oughta do it!” Trenick@annpc#557:"This is quite the amount of data. It is no surprise that organic brains are being overloaded.” Lendaria@crystyl nods and heads back to Mia, "Thanks for th'help Mia, we couldn't have got this far without ya!” Lendaria@crystyl | Mia beams happily, "Any time Ms. Lennie!” Trenick@annpc#557:"We may need one more thing. I can't fit this data in a datapad, or ten," he looks to Mia, "Can you store it in the computer core for now?" Lendaria@crystyl | Mia nods, "That should be no problem! We shall allocate sufficient core memory to make the program output available to your lab!” Trenick@annpc#557 smiles, "Thank you, Mia. Let's head back to the lab, Commander." Trenick@annpc#557 | Back in the lab, the two of them find themselves with a huge pile of data, many of them displaying stars and star-filled space... Lendaria@crystyl looks around, "Ok, this's gonna take some work…” Trenick@annpc#557:"We may wish to get more people sorting through this. Perhaps anyone in the department not currently working on a relevant project, and even volunteers from other departments who have time to spare.” Lendaria@crystyl:"I'll get Eva t'put a call out" she taps away and puts in the request. Trenick@annpc#557 | Eva sends an acknowledgement, and before long, Gwi and several other science officers step inside. Trenick@annpc#557 | Gwi: "You needed some extra eyes, Commander?” Lendaria@crystyl turns, "Yes! Thank y'all f'comin' on such short notice. Grab a station; we'se got a Basalisks's brain full o'data t'interpret." Trenick@annpc#557 | Gwi nods and steps over to take a seat at a station, activating it to access the data before remarking, "Woah. That's a lot of data.” Lendaria@crystyl:"Ya got no idea!" she chuckles, "We'se gotta sift through all this to try an' get a handle on tha' beasties brain.” Trenick@annpc#557 | Gwi: "I can see why you wanted anyone who was available. A lot of these look to be stars. I should be able to help," he smiles. Lendaria@crystyl:"Yes, correlation wit' a starfield were one of th'first matches we made.” Lendaria@crystyl:"This thing lives in space, so I guess stars're kinda it's thing" she chuckles, turning back to her own effort.” Trenick@annpc#557 | Gwi nods, "We might be able to learn some interesting things from it. Maybe even data on interesting systems we can go and check out once we deal with the Horde.” Trenick@annpc#557:"I wonder how long the Basilisk has lived. It is not particularly fast, and to have seen so many stars in so many different regions, it could be ancient.” Lendaria@crystyl:"All good but secondary objectives. Cap'n wants a way t'steer this thing clear o'it's target solar system, else they might gotta kill it. An' there's more Gwi…” Lendaria@crystyl she turns, "Our analysis so far shows it may be intelligent, sentient life.” Trenick@annpc#557 | Gwi turns to Lennie as well, "Really? So you think we may be able to communicate with it, ask it not to harm the colony?” Lendaria@crystyl:"That'd be... ideal. But this things so beyond us in terms o'mental capacity…” Lendaria@crystyl:"We think it's 'psionic energy' attack used on th'Felmorans coulda just been it communicatin'. If a simple hello's enough t'fry th'average brain, communicatin's gonna be... interestin'.” Trenick@annpc#557 | Gwi: "Yeah...I'll keep an eye out while looking through this data, see if there's anything that could help us talk with it.” Lendaria@crystyl:"All o'you'se do th'same. Now, we'se got some work t'do..." she refocuses on her console, smiling quietly at the atmoshpere of a large team all working towards a common goal like this. --- Trenick@annpc#557 | Many long hours pass by as they sift through the Basilisk's data, finding some interesting information on distant systems and stellar phenomena, but nothing particularly useful to the task - Trenick@annpc#557:- at hand. The only real conclusions so far comes from the randomness of the data, which has led one volunteering Vulcan officer to theorize that the Basilisk's form of communication is much more - Trenick@annpc#557:- like an attempt to mind meld with anything it comes in contact with rather than a specific telepathic message, hence the insight into various parts of its mind. Trenick@annpc#557 | Just as activity seems to slow and the initial excitement of the project begins to fade, Gwi announces, "Commander. Have a look at this." Lendaria@crystyl looks up from her station, rubbing her eyes as she comes out of the number blindness before stepping over, "You found something?” Trenick@annpc#557 | Gwi nods and brings up an image: https://i.redd.it/rvtxjkh5oa7z.jpg Lendaria@crystyl tilts her head as she studies the image, "Well tha's more than simple colours..." Trenick@annpc#557 | Gwi: "It's new, but it's not that unusual on its own. Looks like one of the likely many planetary settlements it's probably passed over, right?” Lendaria@crystyl:"Most likely I guess.” Trenick@annpc#557 | Gwi: "Then, I moved on to the next images and we have this…” Trenick@annpc#557 FX | https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-nswKFcmGmnY/T2Fc9WLkeuI/AAAAAAAAAOY/7QhqFsDd6FE/s1600/shroud.gif Trenick@annpc#557 | He switches images again... Trenick@annpc#557 FX | https://64.media.tumblr.com/4ab895ad1b6a13e2da52ecb360e25e43/tumblr_np1cyjnx5a1shtuyoo1_1280.png Lendaria@crystyl 's eyes widen, "But tha's…” Trenick@annpc#557 | Gwi nods, "And what's even weirder, I had to reverse-run them through the filter. Which means they were originally like this without needing filtering.” Lendaria@crystyl:"But tha' means th'Basilisk were actually /down/ there?” Trenick@annpc#557 steps over too, "That's not possible. The physiology of the Basilisk has no means to leave orbit if it were to come to a rest on a planet.” Trenick@annpc#557:"It's not aerodynamic, and the consequences of it trying to jump to warp to leave the surface of a planet would have devastated the planet.” Trenick@annpc#557:"Assuming it can even do that…” Lendaria@crystyl:"Could we be seein' images it got from someone else? Like th'mind meld theory?” Trenick@annpc#557:"That is a more likely possibility, I think.” Trenick@annpc#557 | Gwi: "There's a few more images I need to reverse-filter. Let's see what else we get.” Lendaria@crystyl:"Tha' must've been some time ago if it's all above land. Ya don't s'pose our Basilisk connected wit'Poseidon himself…” Trenick@annpc#557 FX | A few more images go by of the city viewed from the ground, followed by a clear image of the top half of the Trident held by an arm...though not that of a statue this time but something - Trenick@annpc#557:- that looks like a large, muscular human arm... Trenick@annpc#557:"It would seem so…” Lendaria@crystyl:"Why's everythin' keep comin' back to tha' damned Trident..." she mutters under her breath. Trenick@annpc#557 looks over to Lennie, "I don't recall anything else involving the Trident after we recovered it…” Lendaria@crystyl:"Umm... s'nothin', jus' got th'thing on mah mind I guess..." Lendaria@crystyl:"But yeah! We know it's a strong telepathc tool, so maybe... I dunno, but what if th'Trident's what allowed 'im to commune wit'Basilisk?” Trenick@annpc#557 | Gwi nods, "That could be it! Kelly and Lycas think it might be some kind of telepathic booster, right?” Lendaria@crystyl:"Tha's th'current workin' theory, yeah.” Trenick@annpc#557:"Perhaps we should consult Professor Lycas on this.” Lendaria@crystyl nods, "On it" tapping her combadge, "Lendaria t'Lycas.” Trenick@annpc#557:<C - Lycas> "Lycas here.” Lendaria@crystyl:<C> “Professor, I need another second opinion. Ya free t'stop by th'lab?” Trenick@annpc#557:<C - Lycas> "I am on my way, Commander.” Lendaria@crystyl:<C> “Thanks Professor, see ya shortly.” Trenick@annpc#557 | A few minutes later, the door slides open and Lycas steps inside. Trenick@annpc#557 | Lycas looks to the gathered officers, then the image of the Trident with a very Vulcan quirk of his brow, "The Trident again?” Lendaria@crystyl glances over, "Indeed. But ya ain't gonna believe where these image came from.” Trenick@annpc#557 looks between Lycas and Lennie, wondering whether there was some secret project involving the Trident. Lendaria@crystyl spots the curious look and smiles, "Nothin' excitin' tha' ya missed, Trenick. Jus' some weird dreams I were tryin t'figure out.” Trenick@annpc#557 | Lycas steps over, examining the image, "That looks like an arm holding it. But the Trident has been stuck in the feedback loop for many centuries." He looks to Lennie, "Where /did/ you get - Trenick@annpc#557:- these from?” Lendaria@crystyl grins, "From th'Basilisk!” Lendaria@crystyl:"Go ahead Gwi, show him th'full set.” Trenick@annpc#557 | Lycas raises his brow again as Gwi begins to scroll through the images. Lendaria@crystyl explains in the mean time, "We determined tha' psionic burst comin' from th'Basilisk wha' sends folks doolally were a kinda communication. We got a theory tha' it's kinda like a mind meld, more than+ Lendaria@crystyl:+ direct dialogue. Had t'build a simulated Basilisk brain t'process it all - tha's wha' th'teams workin' through now. An'... Mr. Gwi found these images!” Trenick@annpc#557 | Lycas: "Fascinating. A mind meld would suggest a two-way flow of information. If that is indeed the case, and given the perspective of these images, they were not from the Basilisk's mind.” Trenick@annpc#557 Lycas: "They must be from Poseidon, then.” Lendaria@crystyl:"We already determined tha' it's physiology wouldn't allow it close to th'surface to gain this perspective, so yeah these images reinforce th'mind meld theory.” Lendaria@crystyl grins, "Tha's wha' I think too! But now question is... Lendaria@crystyl:"How's this fit in wit' ya current theories 'bout th'Tridents telepathic use, an'... does it help us?” Trenick@annpc#557 | Lycas thinks for a moment before nodding, "As an amplifier for psionic abilities, it should theoretically be possible to use it to commune with the Basilisk. However, it would require an - Trenick@annpc#557:- individual capable of accessing the Trident.” Lendaria@crystyl:"Even if one o'the stronger telepaths on board were capable, I ain't sure Keelah'd sign off on lettin'em try.” Trenick@annpc#557 nods, "There's still the risk of information overload that happened to the Felmoran crew.” Lendaria@crystyl folds her arms in a huff, "Gisjachet! So close /again/…” Lendaria@crystyl is not impressed. Trenick@annpc#557 | Lycas: "While I cannot be certain, scans of the Apollo being of the same species collected by Admiral McCoy during his time on the Enterprise suggested that these beings were not significantly - Trenick@annpc#557:- different from us save for their great telepathic capability. If Poseidon was able to safely commune with the Basilisk, it is likely that the Trident serves not only as an amplifier, but also a - Trenick@annpc#557:- filter for the information sent in return by the Basilisk, as theoretically he is as vulnerable to the Basilisk as we are.” Lendaria@crystyl hrms, "Well, it's far from an ideal solution but I'll put it the Cap'n an' see if she wants t'risk it.” Trenick@annpc#557 | Lycas nods, "I will go with you to present this information." Lendaria@crystyl:"Aight, let's go find her! Good job team, keep searchin' as we don't know if this's a go or not!" --- Lycas@annpc#557 | In the ready room, Lycas and Lennie explain the recent developments to Keelah. Lycas@annpc#557:"...there are only three, possibly four on board who may be able to activate the Trident, assuming that you deem it fit for them to try.” Keelah@crystyl sits quietly, listening intently to them, and nods, "And only two of those as serving officers I could even consider asking to take on this risk” Keelah@crystyl leans back with a heavy breath, looking between the pair, "You've presented the facts eloquently... but what are your opinions?” Lycas@annpc#557:"There is, of course, a risk involved. I am confident however that the Trident, if used properly, should be able to allow for communication with the Basilisk with minimal risk. The greatest risk - Lycas@annpc#557:- factor I see is the use of the Trident itself, or rather, the capability of our officers to use it safely." Keelah@crystyl nods and turns to Lennie, "And you?” Keelah@crystyl | Lennie shifts under the spotlight, "Yeah it's risky, an' we ain't got tha' guarantee ya want tha' whoever tries is gonna be safe. Th'worst case is endin' up like th'Felmoran crew, but..." she + Keelah@crystyl:+ glances to Lycas and back, "I do believe it's our best chance o'communin' wit' it, an' I do believe in our research supportin' this theory" Keelah@crystyl nods, "I am inclined to agree with the logic behind your assessment. As for the personal risk..." she shakes her head, "I can not order one of my officers to take that on themselves. I will speak + Keelah@crystyl:+ with Eva and Sin, explain the situation, and allow them the chance to volunteer.” Lycas@annpc#557 nods as well, "Shall we allow you to speak to them alone, or would you prefer we are present when you speak to them?” Keelah@crystyl:"I will speak to them myself first, then - assuming one volunteers - we'll debrief them fully with your aid.” Lycas@annpc#557 stands, "Very well. Let us know when you need us to debrief them, Captain.” Keelah@crystyl | Lennie stands as well, "We'll keep up our research in the meantime.” Keelah@crystyl nods, "Thank you both." Keelah@crystyl waits until they leave before tapping her intercom, "Tee, please have LT Dra and ENS Sin report to my ready room.” Keelah@crystyl | TQ: "Will do, Captain.” Keelah@crystyl sighs at the dilemma, standing to stretch her legs and get a drink while she wait. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | After a few minutes, Eva and Sin arrive outside the ready room. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 glances to Sin, "Did Tee tell you what this was about?” Keelah@crystyl | Sin shakes her head, "I just figured I was in trouble again" and shrugs. Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"I don't think she would call be for that as well. We didn't knock out the whole crew again this time..." she chuckles slightly. "I suppose we'll find out soon.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 rings the doorbell. Keelah@crystyl 's voice calls out, "Come in.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 steps inside, this time looking for Keelah at the window first, then looking towards the desk and finding her by the replicator, "Captain.” Keelah@crystyl turns, sipping her tea, "Ladies, thank you for coming so quickly. Please, take a seat. Can I offer you anything while I'm here?” Keelah@crystyl | Sin: "Uh-oh…” Keelah@crystyl perks a brow, "'Uh-oh', Ensign?” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 glances to Sin at the 'uh-oh' as well. Keelah@crystyl | Sin nods, "Yeah, uh-oh. You're being extra friendly, that means we're either in super big trouble, or you want something. Either way: uh-oh.” Keelah@crystyl chuckles, "Surprisingly logical analysis. Sit Ensign, please. And relax, you're not in any trouble.” Keelah@crystyl | Sin narrows her eyes and sits, whispering another 'uh-oh' before responding, "Well, I'll take a raktajino while it's on offer. Thank you.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 steps over to take a seat with a smile towards Sin, "You must get in trouble often to know the Captain so well…” Keelah@crystyl eyerolls as she turns back to the replicator, "What about you Eva, anything?” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"Some coffee would be nice, Captain.” Keelah@crystyl nods and returns with the drinks, setting them down before sitting and sipping her tea. Keelah@crystyl | Sin sips, "Yup, definitely wants something.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 smiles and takes a sip of her coffee as well, "Thank you.” Keelah@crystyl smiles faintly before setting her drink down, "You are somewhat correct, Ensign. I have an assignment available for one of you.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"For one of us?” Keelah@crystyl nods, "Yes. However, while we believe the chances of something going wrong are sufficiently low, the risks if they do are... rather more extreme. Therefore, I have decided to only pursue this course+ Keelah@crystyl:+ of action /if/ one of you volunteers after weighing the facts." Evanne Dra@annpc#557 nods, "You want to give both of us the details, and see which one of us is willing to undertake it.” Keelah@crystyl:"To see if either of you is willing. I am also perfectly open to the eventuality where neither of you is willing.” Keelah@crystyl | Sin leans back, "Damn... this should be good.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"What exactly is this assignment?” Keelah@crystyl:"In summary; we think we have a means to communicate with the Basilisk. Our research teams have postulated that by using Poseidon's Trident; a strong enough telepathic individual should be able to + Keelah@crystyl:+ perform something akin to a mind meld with the creature. The task is to do so and - primarily - convince it to turn away from the populated star system.” Keelah@crystyl | Sin: "Sounds fun" narrowing her eyes, "what's the catch…” Keelah@crystyl:"There is the risk that - if the attempt fails - the person attempting contact will receive the full psionic energy from the Basilisk and end up like the Felmoran crew, with no possibility of + Keelah@crystyl:+ reversing the damage.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 nods with understanding, "So that's why you're only asking us to volunteer.” Keelah@crystyl nods, "I will not order either of you to do this. Honestly, I begrudge even asking. But Lendaria and Lycas are confident that it will work, and firm in their belief that it is the only chance we + Keelah@crystyl:+ have of communicating with the Basilisk and steering it safely away from the system.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"If it can save both the colony and the Basilisk, I'll do it.” Keelah@crystyl | Sin raises a hand to Eva, "Not so fast Lieutenant. You might be all about that Starfleet good stuff of noble self sacrifice. But remember; you're not just you anymore, you're you and Kelly. You've+ Keelah@crystyl:+ got a personal life to think about. Me; I've got nothing, and a much shorter lifespan to be thrown away if it does go wrong. Captain, I'll do it.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 smiles over at Sin, "I'm not sure I'm the only one about that 'Starfleet good stuff of noble self sacrifice' right now…” Keelah@crystyl smiles a little, "You are both a credit to the uniform. I suggest you go away and consider this carefully; speak with the science team, learn the details. Make an informed decision you can both + Keelah@crystyl:+ agree on; whatever it may be. Come back to me when you're ready." Evanne Dra@annpc#557 smiles back, "We'll talk to them about it and get back to you as soon as we can, Captain.” Keelah@crystyl nods, "Thank you, ladies. I will await your decision.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 nods back and stands. Keelah@crystyl | Sin joins her after quickly downing as much of the raktajino as she can before leaving it. Keelah@crystyl | Sin then fans her burned tongue as she walks out.. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 laughs and takes another careful sip of her coffee as well before following her out. --- Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | After listening to Lennie and Lycas' more detailed explanation, Eva and Sin step out of the science lab to discuss among themselves. Sin@crystyl pinches the bridge of her nose, "And that was supposed to help...?” Sin@crystyl:"Damned science types with their technobabble.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 chuckles, "I thought you would've gotten used to that by now on a Starfleet ship.” Sin@crystyl:"Yeah, you'd like to think wouldn't you?” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"So, Professor Lycas thinks the Trident needs to be activated with a combination of telepathy and telekinesis. I've been practicing with the Architect, I don't have the control you have with being - Evanne Dra@annpc#557:- able to move things around with your mind. Except that one time at the Iconian ruins...but I think I might be able to trigger the Trident's mechanisms.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"There's plenty of pros and cons for both of us. You're stronger, but I've been training my mind for longer, so you have a better chance of using the Trident, but I might be able to control it - Evanne Dra@annpc#557:- better.” Sin@crystyl groans, "I need a drink. You in?” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 grins, "Even after the raktajino in the ready room?” Sin@crystyl shudders, "My tongue's still tingling! But hey, it was a drink made for me by the Captain - got to make the most of that!” Sin@crystyl:"I vote for something cooler now though" she smiles, heading that way. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 chuckles and follows, "Something cooler sounds nice.” Sin@crystyl walks into one of the smaller lounges on the lower decks near the lab and replicates herself a colourful cocktail full of ice cube. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 examines the cocktail, "What is that?” Sin@crystyl smiles, swirling the drink before a sip, "A Talaxian core breach!” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"Talaxian...from the Delta Quadrant, then?” Sin@crystyl nods, "One of the offworld experiences I had after leaving my people.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"Looks like an interesting drink.” Sin@crystyl:"One way to find out.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 chuckles, stepping over to replicate one as well. Sin@crystyl grabs a nearby seat in the meantime. Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"For a drink called core breach, I would've expected it to be served hot and not cold..." she muses as she picks up her drink and heads for the table Sin chose. Sin@crystyl:"Yeah... Talaxians" she chuckles, "So... it's neither here nor there when it comes to capability, and we're both still willing to take the job.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"Well, there is one other factor…” Sin@crystyl nods, "Yeah, the risk. Or 'who's got more to lose' factor." Evanne Dra@annpc#557 nods back, "You have a point with considering my personal life, but there's something you have that you didn't consider.” Sin@crystyl:"Oh?" She asks, sounding quite entertained by the concept. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 smiles, "Destiny. I know, I spent too much time with the Magisters on Belyia and I'm starting to sound like one. But…” Sin@crystyl eyerolls, "Let's not go back there again. Not unless I get to really play world domination this time.” Sin@crystyl:"But come on, destiny?” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"It's not destiny in some spiritual sense, or in some deterministic sense. The Chlasi Exalted One saw something in you. Luthril's told me the basics of it. He saw that you have some important role - Evanne Dra@annpc#557:- to play in our fight against the Horde. And while you've been a great help so far, especially with the pirate boarding...I mean, that wouldn't have happened without you helping Kelly and I switch - Evanne Dra@annpc#557:- back anyways, and I don't think the Exalted One would've sent Luthril to train you just to stop a pirate attack.” Sin@crystyl:"Maybe dealing with this Basilisk was that destiny. Maybe there is some greater purpose meant for me, but if that's the case... doesn't that mean I've got a destiny shield and am immune to harm?” Sin@crystyl grins. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 chuckles, "That's why I said not in a deterministic sense. We've seen the future ship, we know the universe can have multiple possibilities and that if we're not careful, we could up in one of - Evanne Dra@annpc#557:- the ones where we fail. Which means you're not protected just because you have a role to play yet against the Horde, and we can't risk losing you and everything you've learned.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"Me on the other hand, by all rights I should be dead, but the Architect brought me back. And Kelly's strong," she smiles. "She'll manage without me." Sin@crystyl scowls, "No! Bad Betazoid! Forget all the destiny stuff, it's just an endless circle of second guessing. I just..." she sighs, "...I just don't think it's worth the risk when you have so much more + Sin@crystyl:+ to lose. Yes, you technically died before - but you're here now, you have a second chance at your whole life. Mine is relatively limited anyway. Your a more experienced officer, and you have Kelly + Sin@crystyl:+ to consider. It's not like I /want/ to throw my life away, I just think that of the two of us, you're less dispensable.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"None of this will last if we don't deal with the Horde, though. If you staying alive could mean the difference between Kelly, the crew, maybe the whole Federation having a better future…” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"There's no guarantee I can even manage to activate the Trident. But if I do, I think I have a better chance of withstanding the meld with the Basilisk, as I've spent longer honing my mind. Just - Evanne Dra@annpc#557:- let me try first, and if it turns out I can't activate it, then you might have to do it anyways. Besides, it's only a risk and not a certainty that it'll go wrong.” Sin@crystyl:"Wait..." she looks up at Eva, "That's it! Mind melding!” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"What do you mean?” Sin@crystyl:"Like when we switched you and Kelly back to your own bodies, we formed a telepathic link of our own to bolster Kelly's strength and mastery of your skill. So why don't we do that with this?” Sin@crystyl:"All these pros and cons for who does what, well what if we do it /together/? My power with your control? Poseidon himself would quiver!" she raises her glass dramatically. Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"That...could work, yes!" she smiles. "That's an excellent idea, Sin!” Sin@crystyl:"So we take it back to the Captain then? It's either both of us, or neither of us?” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 nods, "I don't think she'll be the most thrilled, but I do think it's the best option.” Sin@crystyl:"Agreed... partner!" she grins, raising her glass to Eva. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 grins back and raises her glass as well. --- Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | After their talk in the lounge, Sin and Eva return to Keelah's ready room to propose their plan... Evanne Dra@annpc#557 rings the doorbell as usual. Sin@crystyl | Keelah calls out: "Come in.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 steps inside, "Captain. We've made a decision.” Sin@crystyl | Keelah looks up to the pair, gesturing to sit as she leans back and holds her attention on them, "Please. I am eager to hear your thoughts on the matter.” Sin@crystyl slips into an empty seat, happy to let Eva do the talking. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 nods and steps over, taking a seat and glancing at Sin before looking back to Keelah, "I have a feeling you won't like this, Captain…” Sin@crystyl | Keelah shakes her head, "Don't worry ladies, I told you before that I was willing to scrap this mission if necessary.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"It's the opposite, actually. We're going to do it together.” Sin@crystyl | Keelah perks a brow and looks between the two, "Together?” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 nods, "Sin's abilities are stronger, but I've disciplined my mind for longer. If we combine our abilities, we have the best chance of using the Trident and contacting the Basilisk.” Sin@crystyl adds, "It's the best chance for the mission to succeed, and for us to survive the encounter, Captain.” Sin@crystyl | Keelah listens again, "I can see the logic behind your idea. You are both confident that this is achievable? I mean, do we even know it is possible for two people to 'share' the Tridents power?” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"We think so. When Sin helped Kelly and I switch back, we formed a bond that should make this possible.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"I don't know if it can be done without it, but we can do it.” Sin@crystyl | Keelah hrms, "So, instead of putting one valued officer at such extreme risk... this is your argument for me to place two valued officers at the same risk?" Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"That was the part I thought you wouldn't like...but with the two of us working together, we have more control over the Trident and the link with the Basilisk. Which means we can better mitigate - Evanne Dra@annpc#557:- the risk." Sin@crystyl:"And not to correct your statement, Captain. But it may be more accurate to say this is our argument place two officers at a distinctly lesser risk than either would face alone.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 nods at Sin's statement. Sin@crystyl | Keelah considers Sin with a slightly entertained look. Sin@crystyl shifts awkwardly with the extended silence following her last comment. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 looks from Sin to Keelah, awaiting a decision. Sin@crystyl | Keelah: "Do you have a plan for how to go about this?" Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"Well, we haven't actually tried using the Trident yet, but I was thinking to enter a meditative state, like when Sin was doing the switch, to the point where we can almost act as one. Then. Sin - Evanne Dra@annpc#557:- can use her telekinesis to activate the Trident and I can help control it. With the Trident's amplication of our powers, we can contact the Basilisk. But...we will have to be in range for the - Evanne Dra@annpc#557:- Basilisk to contact us as well. Unless...no, if the Trident works like an antenna, we might be able to do it from here on the ship.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"That must be how Poseidon did it without having the Basilisk in range, otherwise it would've affected all his people.” Sin@crystyl:"There is another possibility, Captain. To alleviate further risk.” Sin@crystyl | Keelah: "Go on?” Sin@crystyl:"We could take a Runabout and close to a minimum safe distance. That way you can keep the ship back at a much safer distance while we attempt to use the Trident.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 nods, "That's a much safer option.” Sin@crystyl | Keelah nods, "A reasonable precaution. But what if something were to happen to you both - not a worst case, but if you were incapacitated? We could not guarantee being able to close enough to get + Sin@crystyl:+ a tractor lock on your Runabout.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"Mia could come with us. She can't be incapacitated by telepathy, as we've seen many times now. And if the worst happens, and the runabout is lost, we can eject her. She can survive in space until - Evanne Dra@annpc#557:- you're able to pick her up.” Sin@crystyl nods, "Yeah, Mia can safely act as pilot for us!” Sin@crystyl | Keelah thinks again before giving a firm nod, "Alright. Your mission is a go.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 smiles, "Thank you, Captain.” Sin@crystyl | Keelah: "Make your preparations as you see fit. We will proceed as soon as you are ready.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 nods and stands, "We'll let you know when we're ready.” Sin@crystyl | Keelah nods back, "Good luck to you both. And... thank you.” Sin@crystyl:"You can thank us when we're safely back, Captain" she smiles. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 smiles as well before turning to head out. --- Evanne Dra@annpc#557 FX | Sometime later, Sin, Eva and Mia enter the runabout prepped for their mission, with the Trident stored in the aft section. Sin@crystyl | Mia pitches up in the pilot seat and sets about flight prep. Sin@crystyl looks to Eva as they settle, "So... we're really doing this…” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 smirks, "You volunteered too, remember?” Sin@crystyl:"I suppose it's too late to play the Horde influence card?" she jokes. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 chuckles, "Definitely too late. Though I suppose it is somewhat true, as this mission we're on has made you into a fine officer.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"Or in your words, Starfleet good stuff of noble self sacrifice," she adds with a grin. Sin@crystyl eyerolls, wagging a finger, "Don't start with that nonsense! I only wear the uniform because it's so... comfortable, and shows off my legs nicely…” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"I can't argue with that," she smirks. "I'm sure we'll manage this, Sin.” Sin@crystyl | Mia calls back, "We know you will!” Sin@crystyl looks between the two, "Yeah, we got this. Let's go say hello to our Basilisk then!” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"Is the runabout all ready?” Sin@crystyl | Mia nods, "The Valley Forge is already falling back along with the Riders. We are clear to launch on your order Ms. Eva!” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 smiles, "Take us out towards the Basilisk.” Sin@crystyl | Mia beams with excitement as she turns back to the control. Sin@crystyl FX | The Runabout engines hum to life and as the large hangar door creeps open before them, it lifts off the deck and slowly cruises out before turning towards the Basilisk. Sin@crystyl <C-Keelah> “Paper Mill, you are all clear to proceed. Best of luck to you ladies, and remember; look after yourselves first. We are all willing your success here. Valley Forge out.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 steps over behind Mia to observe, "Well, it's up to us now…” Sin@crystyl leans on the back of Mia's chair as she listens to Keelah's obligatory inspirational message while looking out at the increasingly ominous shape of the Basilisk ahead, "That is one big beasty…” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"It's over six kilometres long. Larger than any Starfleet ship…” Sin@crystyl | Mia: "We have estimated an optimum safe zone to attempt communication without encroaching on the Basilisk's killzone. The other vessels are safely holding position behind us.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Outside, the Basilisk looks even larger as it drifts along with its massive solar sail frill open... Sin@crystyl shares a silent glance with Eva before moving to the rear compartment to ready the Trident. Sin@crystyl returns a moment later with the vault secure crate which she carefully sets down on the floor before opening it up. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 looks from the Trident to Sin, "Ready, Ensign?” Sin@crystyl respectfully takes it in hand and stands, "Huh... lighter than I thought. Not unlike my staff back on Belyia!” Sin@crystyl holds it out between herself and Eva and nods, "Ready!” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 nods back and reaches out her hand, holding on to the Trident as well, "Now let's see if we can get it active..." She closes her eyes and concentrates... Sin@crystyl follows suit. Sin@crystyl | Mia turns in her seat and watches in silence, only broken by a nervous 'wooo...' from Miadrone, that she nods in agreement with. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Sin's telekinesis is able to trigger the Trident's mechanisms, and it hums to life, glowing with energy. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 begins to reach out towards the Basilisk, the Trident pulsing as it sends a signal. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Then, suddenly, the two are overwhelmed with a feeling of elation, which takes a few seconds for even Eva to separate it from their own feelings as something coming from the Basilisk. Evanne Dra@annpc#557:<I think it's happy to see us…> Sin@crystyl:<It feels our presence. That sensation... like a reunion; so longed for... so welcome.> Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | The feeling of elation is soon followed by loneliness and more memories of distant stars. Sin@crystyl tries to comprehend the meaning behind what it shares with them. Evanne Dra@annpc#557:<I don't think it communicates like we do. It doesn't use or know words, it's directly projecting its thoughts, feelings and memories with no filter.> Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | They receive visions of long journeys through empty space, accompanied by the same feeling of loneliness. Sin@crystyl:<So... lonely…> Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | The visions switch to approaching planets with lights and cities on them. A brief flicker of hope, before the loneliness sets in again. Then ships and entire fleets, either turning away, - Evanne Dra@annpc#557:- opening fire, or standing still upon approach. Evanne Dra@annpc#557:<I think that's why the Basilisk is heading to inhabited worlds. It's trying to find someone to communicate with!> Sin@crystyl tries to respond with thoughts and images of togetherness, companionship. Trying to tell it that it's not alone now. Sin@crystyl | Mia meanwhile, closely monitors the pair with a medical tricorder. Tilting her head curiously at the sight of a single tear rolling down Sin's cheek. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | The Basilisk responds with more feelings of elation. There are visions from its contact with Poseidon, and another world filled with tall elegant spires and populated by some strange, formless - Evanne Dra@annpc#557:- beings, along with a few other cosmozoan creatures and even another living planet like Zihil somewhere far away. Sin@crystyl:<A living planet... we can send it to Zihil…> Evanne Dra@annpc#557 smiles, <Yes, that can turn it away from the colony!> Evanne Dra@annpc#557 begins conjuring up all the memories she has of Zihil, from being on its surface, seeing it in orbit, the stars around it and its location on the VF's charts. Sin@crystyl focuses her thoughts on Zihil - what it is and where it is. Thinks of how the stars around it look in an attempt to show the Basilisk how to find it. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | The Basilisk takes a moment to process the information, before sending feelings of gratitude, followed by flashes of images from various other planets and systems it has been to. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 manages to process the information slowly to avoid being overwhelmed, but still gasps with the shock of the volume of data. Sin@crystyl tries to keep up with the flurry of images, offsetting them with thoughts of whispers, and being slow. Sin@crystyl also gasps and tenses, giving Mia quite the scare as she jumps and studies the pair attentively for signs of trouble. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | The Basilisk seems to catch on as it sends the information slower, planet by planet. Sin@crystyl expresses as much gratitude as she can for her brain not being melted by information. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Visions of worlds from around this region and even further away begin to pile in, among them images both familiar and unfamiliar. Fleets of ships so ragtag and so massive they are unmistakably - Evanne Dra@annpc#557:- controlled by the Horde. Entire planets with Horde vessels swarming over them, with many more beings crawling over the surface like ants. And among the unfamiliar imagery, more of the strange, - Evanne Dra@annpc#557:- formless beings. Ships that seem to glow with ethereal light as they fly. Sin@crystyl:<I think... this is what it wants... to share it's story…> Evanne Dra@annpc#557 nods, <Let's hear it out.> Sin@crystyl focuses her attention on the Basilisks thoughts, absorbing all she can while encouraging the whispering thoughts. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 FX | After what feels like hours of seeing distant worlds and strange creatures, though it was in reality no more than a few minutes, the Basilisk stops sharing, once more broadcasting its - Evanne Dra@annpc#557 - feeling of elation and gratitude. Sin@crystyl reinforces the feeling of gratitude with friendship and caring. Evanne Dra@annpc#557:<Now that we've shown it Zihil, it has somewhere to go, but I think we should try to make it understand what its contact can do to other Children species, so it doesn't affect any other planets.> Sin@crystyl:<Agreed. I shall try.> Evanne Dra@annpc#557:<Not sure how to do that without words. Maybe something visual…> Sin@crystyl focuses on a sense of warning and danger before conjuring an impression of the damage it does to Children race. Sin@crystyl tries to use the Basilisk’s own images but with context to make it understand that Children are too small for it. Sin@crystyl reinforces this with strong feelings of sympathy and caring again, not wanting to project blame or anger. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Sin feels confusion from the Basilisk at first, but it slowly fades away, before broadcasting shock, then gratitude. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 smiles, <I think it understands.> Sin@crystyl:<I hope so…> Sin@crystyl continues her communion, almost being swept away with it all as she goes on to project images of Zihil and safety. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | The Basilisk broadcasts more memories back- images of Horde fleets and planets with a sense of warning and danger, as if trying to return Sin's favour. Sin@crystyl expresses gratitude and understanding. She wants - tries - to tell it that they want to protect from the Horde. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | The Basilisk repeats its warning before moving on to the strange, formless beings they saw before, now forming into a roughly humanoid shape, but with their skin rippling like water, their - Evanne Dra@annpc#557:- proportions contorting and changing. The image is accompanied by a strange mix of elation and danger, mixing together to almost feel like the thrill of excitement. Sin@crystyl doesn't fully comprehend it's intended message, but recognizes the link and importance it places on these beings with reference to the Horde and so expresses gratitude once more. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | The Basilisk broadcasts a large statue of a female humaniod figure, followed by the same strange mix of elation and danger. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 FX | https://i.redd.it/p0k3artl26x01.png Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Then an image of another one of the glowing, almost star-like ships, with the same feeling. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | And then the images stop again, followed by gratitude from the Basilisk as well. Sin@crystyl recognizes the conclusion of the exchange and puts everything into a final thought of friendship and desire, longing for more as an image of the wish to commune again one day. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | The Basilisk returns the images of Zihil with feelings of safety and more gratitude, then reciprocates Sin's final feelings. Sin@crystyl tries to terminate their link, assuming the Basilisk doesn't break off itself. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 joins in, helping break the link. The energy on the Trident slowly dissipates as they feel the Basilisk drawing further and further away, before they are unable to feel it any longer. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Meanwhile, Mia, who has been picking up elevated brain activity in both Sin and Eva but nothing worrying so far, notices the Basilisk fold in its frill and change direction in the distance... Sin@crystyl | Mia rushes over to the pair with a supporting hand on Sin's arm as she stumbles from the exhaustion, "Ladies, it worked! The Basilisk, it is turning away, you did it! Evanne Dra@annpc#557 stumbles as well, leaning on the Trident and giving Mia a weary smile, "Where...check it's new heading, Mia." Sin@crystyl | Mia hesitates, making sure they're both steady before returning to her seat. Sin@crystyl | Mia: "Verifying with astrometrics on the Valley Forge. A moment…” Sin@crystyl shares another silent look with Eva in the meantime, still exhausted and slightly confused as she dabs the dampness on her cheek. Sin@crystyl | Mia turns with a surprised expression, "Astrometrics confirm, it appears to be heading for Zihil!” Sin@crystyl turns to Mia and back with a tired smile, "It worked…” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 gives a tired nod and a smile as well, "We did it. Thank you, Ensign.” Sin@crystyl nods, kneeling and reaching out to hold herself steady against Eva's shoulder, "Mia... can we go home now…” Sin@crystyl | Mia smiles and taps away, "Plotting a return course now! You ladies rest and leave it to us!” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 stumbles over and slumps down onto the nearest chair. Sin@crystyl contentedly curls up on the floor using her arm as a pillow. --- Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Meanwhile on the bridge of the Valley Forge, Keelah watches as the Basilisk jumps to low warp on its new course away from the colony. Keelah@crystyl looks to Lennie, "Can you project it's current course. Is it likely to threaten further systems?” Keelah@crystyl | Lennie checks and shakes her head, "Nah, looks t'be headin' rimward, if anywhere it's likely headin' towards Zihil…” Keelah@crystyl considers a moment and smiles to herself, muttering, "Nicely done ladies" Keelah@crystyl | TQ: "Captain, incoming hail from the Riders” Keelah@crystyl nods, "As expected. On screen” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Skjota reappears on the viewscreen, "Well, you're living up to your reputation after all, Star-Blade. You turned away the Basilisk without a single shot fired, just as you said.” Keelah@crystyl smiles, "We were fortunate, but I am not counting my blessings just yet. Two of my officers put their lives in the hand of that Basilisk and they are yet to return and be confirmed ok.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Skjota: "An impressive feat they pulled off. How'd they do it? Or are you keeping your secrets to yourself?" she adds with a smirk. Keelah@crystyl:"I prefer not to divulge every detail, especially before I have even debriefed those involved. However I will say that during our preparations for the combatting the Horde, we have learned a great + Keelah@crystyl:+ deal about harnessing the power of telepathy and developing tools to focus that power.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Skjota: "If the rest of your Coalition is as good as you are, maybe you do stand a chance against the Horde after all.” Keelah@crystyl smiles, "I am pleased that we have been able instill such confidence from you.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Skjota: "More than these Guardians ever did, at least.” Keelah@crystyl:"I wouldn't go that far. The Guardians have stymied the Horde's advance for generations without any assistance. And they are an integral part of the Coalition now.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Skjota chuckles, "I figured they'd join up. Just don't let 'em send you to your deaths. Speaking of which, what're you doing out here anyways?” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Skjota: "You said yourself, the Horde front's over somewhere around Terminu.” Keelah@crystyl:"We are seeking the Felmorans. We have intelligence which suggests a second Horde front is heading towards their territory and we must warn them before it is too late.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Skjota: "Oh. That'd explain it. You're already a little late, but you might still have time.” Keelah@crystyl leans forward, "Late...?” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Skjota: "No Horde fleet's reached Felmoran space yet, but I heard there was some kind of civil unrest going on. Thought it was just the usual, but it could be the precursor to an invasion. In - Evanne Dra@annpc#557:- Guardian terms, they've already got Anarchists in their ranks.” Keelah@crystyl leans back a little again, "You are very well informed on Horde strategy.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Skjota: "My people was destroyed by the Horde, remember? And my father's a Guardian, but we don't exactly talk much nowadays.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Skjota: "Or...ever, really, depending on how you define meaningful conversation.” Keelah@crystyl:"Well please don't think this presumptuous of me, but now might be a good time to rekindle that relationship. You are clearly as capable as you are knowledgeable, we could only benefit from your aid.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Skjota: "I am /not/ joining his band of sap-drinkers with a death wish. But you're fighting the Horde, and not falling under their influence somehow…” Keelah@crystyl:"We have defenses against them. And the Coalition is far more than just the Guardians now. We are here representing Starfleet, the Arshai, Regulators, Lupan, even Nuhar constructs.” Keelah@crystyl:"There is no single-mindedness, only a common goal in our collective survival.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Skjota: "That's quite an alliance. Tell you what, if you give us your defenses, assuming they don't involve any rituals, the Devils will help you out." Keelah@crystyl nods, "The Regulators are seeing to that as it is partly their technology. Do you know the Nuhar Waystation?” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Skjota: "I've only heard rumours of it. Afraid we don't have the coordinates.” Keelah@crystyl glances over to Vrolmacht with a nod, "We're sending you the coordinates. You will find the Coalition main fleet stationed there and can - for want of a better term - sign up there.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Skjota nods, "We'll head over. Good luck with the Felmorans.” Keelah@crystyl nods back, "And to you. I hope to see you again upon our return.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | The comm ends, and Lennie sees the Rider craft warp away in formation on sensors. Keelah@crystyl | Lennie, "An' there they'se go" Keelah@crystyl | Vrolmacht, "Captain, you realize they are likely just angling to get a hold of the implant to protect themselves. These Rider gangs have no honour!" Keelah@crystyl raises a hand and nods, "I am aware Commander. That does not mean they aren't willing to fight, it is also why I am happy to redirect anyone like that to the Regulators. If they see fit to share the+ Keelah@crystyl:+ technology, then it is theirs to do so with.” Keelah@crystyl | TQ: "Sorry to interrupt Captain, but you should know that the Runabout is safely back on board and the mission team has been moved to sickbay for examination.” Keelah@crystyl glances over as she stands, "Thank you, Tee. Vrolmacht, you have the bridge. Let's get back on track to regroup with the Light of Arindol with our Felmoran ship in tow. I'll be in sickbay." Keelah@crystyl is already entering the turbolift door by the time she finishes her instructions to him. Keelah@crystyl enters sickbay a short time later. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Kazra turns over to her from the beds, "They'll be fine, Keelah. A little drained mentally, but no sign of damage or information overload.” Keelah@crystyl joins her, "No indication of adverse effects from the experience?” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 | Kazra shakes her head, "Nothing I can see, at least.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 groans slightly as she stirs and slowly sits up, "Captain.” Keelah@crystyl breathes a sigh of relief, looking over to the pair, "I'm not even sure they realize how brave they've b-..." looks over at the stirring and joins her with a warm smile, "Welcome back.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 smiles back, "Thank you, Captain. We sent the Basilisk to Zihil, it's been to another planet like it, and might be able to commune with Zihil.” Keelah@crystyl smiles, "So that explains it. Well in case you didn't know; you were successful. We plotted it's new heading as being towards Zihil and I have asked Relay to get a message routed to the comms + Keelah@crystyl:+ station there to prepare Zihil.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 nods over to Sin's bed, "It was all the Ensign's idea. And we think we made it understand that its attempts to communicate were harming people, so hopefully it'll stay away from colonies now.” Keelah@crystyl:"Impressive work. I must confess to a degree of envy for the experience.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"We did see some interesting things, but trust me, it was /very/ draining..." she chuckles weakly. Keelah@crystyl smiles, "And I promise that we won't let your efforts be wasted. The probe we first used to gather data was still in proximity during your exchange and Lendaria was able to capture the psionic + Keelah@crystyl:+ energy data as before. Her team is already working to process it through the simulated brain in order to gain further insight into the Basilisk's mind. We hope that with you and Sin having a two + Keelah@crystyl:+ way exchange and some control, that the process should be a lot more manageable and comprehensible for us.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"Really? It looks like you'll be able to see everything we saw without feeling like you haven't slept for a week.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 smiles slightly. "Now I'm envious.” Keelah@crystyl shakes her head, "Second hand experience, you and Sin actually communicated directly with the Basilisk. That is what I envy, anything we can reconstruct of your exchange may well be meaningless to + Keelah@crystyl:+ anyone else.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"True. We'll do our best to use our experience to help you make sense of everything.” Keelah@crystyl:"I look forward to hearing all about it when you're both feeling up to it.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"I think there were some things it was trying to tell us, but not all of it came across very clearly. We might be able to learn more once we get a closer look at it all.” Keelah@crystyl chuckles, "Stands to reason given the entire premise we based this on being that it was out there trying to communicate with people.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"I believe it was just...lonely. And wanted to find people it could talk with. But I feel like some of its messages were selectively tailored for us too.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"Like...attempts to repay us for leading it to Zihil, and showing it what its telepathy is doing to others.” Keelah@crystyl:"Truly? That would be fascinating, not only for the information it tried to offer; but just that fact that it did so. The concepts of gratitude and reward being bestowed by such an entity…” Evanne Dra@annpc#557:"I don't entirely understand its reward yet. It was trying to warn us about the Horde, and...something else. It might make more sense when we see the images again from what the probe captured.” Keelah@crystyl:"I will relay this insight to Lendaria and ensure her team place the proper emphasis on this task then. As soon as you and Sin are back to your old selves, I am certain your assistance will be + Keelah@crystyl:+ welcomed there to apply context to the data they reform.” Evanne Dra@annpc#557 nods and smiles, "We'll help as soon as we can.” Keelah@crystyl rests a hand on her shoulder, "You've helped enough already. Trust me; take advantage of a no-strings free rest while you can, before Kazra catches on and kicks you out" she winks and chuckles. Evanne Dra@annpc#557 chuckles, "I'll take that advice, Captain.” Keelah@crystyl gives her arm another proud squeeze before turning away and leaving her to that well earned rest.
Keliaya@anncaris FX | Rianni, Zanah and several other crewmembers assigned to be part of the skeleton crew for the Felmoran ship beams on board, with Kelly, Emma and a few engineers already waiting for them in - Keliaya@anncaris - the transporter room. Rianni@crystyl steps off the pad, taking in the unfamiliar setting, "Commander; subsidiary crew reporting for duty.” Keliaya@anncaris smiles, "Welcome to the VKS Black Wyvern. Apparently that's the name of the ship.” Rianni@crystyl:"Wyvern? Is that a Felmoran word?” Rianni@crystyl | Emma chuckles, taking Rianni's hand with a welcome grasp, "Actually I believe it's a human one" she teases with a playful flick to Rianni's temple. Keliaya@anncaris:"What she said! I don't know how to read the Felmoran name, actually," she chuckles. "That's just what it is translated to Federation Standard.” Rianni@crystyl flushes and tenses, not as comfortable as Emma when it comes to mixing duty time and personal affections. Likely due to her past experience with fraternization, "I... um... well, ok then.” Rianni@crystyl | Emma smirks a little and backs off. Keliaya@anncaris gives a reassuring smile to Rianni as she notices her tense before waving for the group to follow along. Rianni@crystyl tags along, looking around, "Is everything here so... big?” Keliaya@anncaris laughs and nods, "Yes. The Felmorans are a big people. A few of us already had to get something to stand on in order to use the consoles properly.” Rianni@crystyl grumbles, "Just my luck…” Rianni@crystyl | Emma smiles, "Next time we'll be sure to recover a midget ship so we can get to feel big for once!” Keliaya@anncaris:"Well there is that one on the An mothership's museum, but I don't think any of us can fit in it…” Keliaya@anncaris:"Not without gutting the ship and just turning it into a runabout, at least.” Rianni@crystyl gives Kelly a suspicious look, "Seriously...?” Keliaya@anncaris nods, "You should visit if you haven't already! They encountered a tiny species that gifted them one of their old ships as a momento, and it's barely the size of a runabout! This isn't an old - Keliaya@anncaris:- prototype either, but a full starship, just built to their size.” Rianni@crystyl smiles, entertained by the thought. Keliaya@anncaris:"Anyways, we've managed to set this deck, Deck 12, at standard Starfleet ship temperatures, so we're able to move about without any EV gear.” Rianni@crystyl:"There's no hibernating Felmoran's on this deck at all?” Keliaya@anncaris:"There were, but we beamed them to other parts of the ship to clear this deck. This is where Main Engineering is, and we rerouted all ship control there, so it's our new bridge.” Rianni@crystyl:"So this is home sweet home for now then.” Keliaya@anncaris nods, "There're no quarters on this deck, but we've cleared out some of the storage room and set them to makeshift bunks. There are quarters on the level below, but there's hibernating Felmorans - Keliaya@anncaris:- inside most of them, and they're bunk quarters so they don't exactly offer privacy anyways.” Keliaya@anncaris:"If anyone wants privacy, I've converted the office on this deck, but don't be too greedy, since there's only one," she smirks. Rianni@crystyl chuckles, "Considering I was picturing us pitching tents around the warp core, it's positively luxurious.” Rianni@crystyl comments, doing her best to pretend she doesn't notice the playful look from Emma at Kelly's last comment. Keliaya@anncaris grins at Emma before saying, "Luckily, the environmental systems can be changed room by room or deck by deck, but although we can change the temperature in specific rooms elsewhere, the halls - Keliaya@anncaris:- would still be freezing unless we set the whole deck to the same temperature. We could move the Felmorans into the rooms and then set them individually at hibernation temperature, but that's a - Keliaya@anncaris:- lot more work and a greater drain on the system too.” Rianni@crystyl nods, "I get it. Minimum impact from our presence.” Keliaya@anncaris smiles and nods, "I've tried to minimize the necessity to go to other decks, which is why I chose Deck 12, which has the most systems, but unfortunately the least crew accomodations. If we visit - Keliaya@anncaris:- the other decks, we'll need EV suits. No need to turn on oxygen since the atmosphere is breathable, but the cold will cause problems for us. Keliaya@anncaris:"The lifts are all functional, and the transporter can do site-to-site transport as well if we need to leave the deck for something.” Rianni@crystyl:"Understood.” Keliaya@anncaris leads the group into the large warp core of the ship, surrounded by multiple oversized consoles. Keliaya@anncaris:"As you can see, it's all very big.” Rianni@crystyl looks up, and up, "Damn…” Keliaya@anncaris:"It's actually less advanced than our own core, but built on a larger scale. The Felmorans are used to building everything bigger, it seems," she chuckles. Rianni@crystyl explores around the room a little, "You're not kidding, Commander. Where are we set up with primary ship functions?” Keliaya@anncaris leads them over to the consoles one by one, "Most of the consoles around here, with the exception of the far ones that we're using for their original functions.” Keliaya@anncaris motions to one of them, "Dr. Amari, this one will be our science console. We've set internal sensors to maximum power, so if any of the hibernating Felmorans so much as stirs, you'll get a - Keliaya@anncaris:- warning about it. External sensors can also be accessed here, but the sensor range and clarity is worse than the Valley Forge's, so if you notice something and want more information…” Keliaya@anncaris nods over to a nearby console, "Comms is set up here, with a permanent line to the Valley Forge that's active as long as both of our comm systems are up.” Keliaya@anncaris points to another console, "Helm control is over there," then moves on to a different console, "And tactical is set up here.” Rianni@crystyl stands on tippy toes to get a proper look. Keliaya@anncaris | The console has been translated to Federation Standard and shows a fairly intuitive and more spartan tactical setup than that of the Valley Forge. The ship itself appears to be relatively - Keliaya@anncaris:- balanced in terms of tactical power, with three dorsal and three ventral phaser arrays providing adequate coverage around the entire ship, as well as three torpedo launchers, two forward and one - Keliaya@anncaris:- aft, with a complement of 24 regular photon torpedoes, 5 high-yield photon torpedoes and 5 torpedoes marked as 'Radiogenic Photon.’ Keliaya@anncaris:"You've probably reviewed our scans of the ship already, so you're familiar with its tactical capabilities, save maybe the torpedo inventory. It's roughly equivalent to an old Starfleet Norway-class.” Rianni@crystyl nods, "Pretty much Commander. Though I am not certain on the nature of radiogenic warheads. I will have to investigate.” Keliaya@anncaris:"I haven't had a chance to check them out yet. Radiogenic sounds like one of those things you don't want to get too close to though, so be careful.” Rianni@crystyl:"That's exactly why I want to know what we're dealing with.” Keliaya@anncaris nods, "You're our tactical expert, so you're the best one to analyze what they are.” Rianni@crystyl:"I'll do everything I can to help, Commander.” Keliaya@anncaris smiles, "This covers all the setup here." She points to an area with storage lockers, "There's a few EV suits in there, but most of them are stored in the makeshift bunks. There's a few for - Keliaya@anncaris:- emergencies in the transporter room as well. Anyone have any questions?” Rianni@crystyl shakes her head, as does Emma. Keliaya@anncaris:"Oh, and there's enough escape pods in Main Engineering for our entire little crew, but there's a few elsewhere on this deck you should probably learn the location of as well, in case you can't - Keliaya@anncaris:- make it here on time. There's a few shuttles, but the shuttlebay is on a different deck and I doubt we'll be using them on our time here.” Keliaya@anncaris smiles, "Feel free to pick out your bunks, and let's get this ship back to the Felmorans.” Rianni@crystyl smiles and nods, "Aye Commander!" --- Rianni@crystyl & Emma enter the core from the bunk room, ready to start another day on board. Keliaya@anncaris is already inside and working on a console, having gotten in earlier as usual due to not needing as regular sleep. Rianni@crystyl looks over, "Morning Commander. Anything new?” Keliaya@anncaris smiles over at the pair as Rianni addresses her, "Morning Ensigns. Nothing much at the moment, I'm just looking over more of the ship systems and familiarizing myself with them. And shutting - Keliaya@anncaris:- down anything non-essential along the way. We're not short on fuel or power or anything, but no point leaving replicators on in mess halls that aren't being used.” Rianni@crystyl:"Makes sense!" she gives a light stretch and yawn, I'm going to get a coffee. Emma?” Rianni@crystyl | Emma smiles, "Thank you!" leaving Rianni to go continue waking up and joining Kelly in the meantime, "Any word from the Valley Forge overnight?” Keliaya@anncaris:"All smooth flying so far. Haven't seen any sign of other Felmoran ships yet, and we're still some ways out from Felmoran space. We do have some interesting information for them though, from our - Keliaya@anncaris:- research into this ship's databases.” Rianni@crystyl | Emma: "Oh yeah?” Rianni@crystyl returns with the coffees, "News?” Keliaya@anncaris:"Not quite news, just more details on how the Felmorans work. We were looking into what led up to the current situation and it sheds some interesting light on their society.” Keliaya@anncaris:"They have two main levels of government, not unlike the Federation with the Federation government and individual planetary governments, but the way they handle things is almost the exact opposite.” Rianni@crystyl:"Huh.” Keliaya@anncaris:"There is a High Ruler as we've learned, but their duties are almost entirely internal. When it comes to external issues, all they really do is make sure all the kingdoms work together properly.” Rianni@crystyl:"If nothing else this trip should help us understand these people when we reach them.” Keliaya@anncaris nods, "We're definitely learning a lot from the Black Wyvern. We know it's a Vasomiri ship, but it looks like the Kingdoms are entirely autonomous with very little oversight from the central - Keliaya@anncaris:- government. When the Basilisk was found, they sent a message to the central government, but never waited for a reply. They set out on the Kingdom of Vasomir's orders, and the confirmation from - Keliaya@anncaris:- the Royal Guard only came in /after/ the Wyvern had already departed.” Rianni@crystyl:"Sounds like the Klingons.” Keliaya@anncaris nods, "That's what I was thinking, but it looks like their central fleet has much less of a presence than the KDF. Assuming the Royal Guard is the central fleet described in the Arshai and Lupan - Keliaya@anncaris:- information, but I haven't seen mention of anything else resembling that.” Rianni@crystyl | Emma: "Well it's all interesting stuff.” Rianni@crystyl gives another small stretch as she turns to monitor her console, setting the coffee on it's edge after stepping up on her platform to reach it. Keliaya@anncaris:"Anyways, how're you two settling in here?" she smiles at Rianni. "Other than getting used to everything being oversized.” Rianni@crystyl giggles, "I still feel like a little girl trying to peek at her daddy's console in his office!” Rianni@crystyl checks something on her display, "Huh. Commander, you said something about taking redundant systems offline before, right?” Keliaya@anncaris laughs at Rianni's comment before looking over, "Did you find something?” Rianni@crystyl:"Uncertain, but it looks like a shut down system reasserted itself up on deck 9. Permission to investigate.” Keliaya@anncaris nods, "Go ahead, Ensign.” Rianni@crystyl | Emma: "I'll go with you.” Rianni@crystyl nods and the pair head off to get suited up.” Rianni@crystyl & Emma return a short while later, "Ok Commander, we'll keep an open comm.” Keliaya@anncaris:"Alright. Don't take any risks, Ensigns. One redundant system that won't shut down shouldn't be too big of an issue if you can't find a way to turn it off.” Rianni@crystyl nods, "We just need to make sure it's nothing dangerous if left unchecked.” Keliaya@anncaris:"Good luck, and stay warm.” Rianni@crystyl | Emma chuckles, "Good plan." Rianni@crystyl FX | The pair work their way through the eerily silent ship without incident, following their tricorders to a room which appears to the be the source of the power shunt. Rianni@crystyl:"It's definitely something in here." Rianni@crystyl | Emma: "Be careful Ri.” Keliaya@anncaris:<C> "What's the area look like it's for?” Rianni@crystyl nods, following her scans to a compartment on one side of the room. Rianni@crystyl:<C> It's hard to say, Commander. Maybe a science lab or something. Keliaya@anncaris:<C> A science lab? Interesting. I'm going to see what I can find to help you on my end. Keliaya@anncaris looks at the area from the ship MSD to discern its purpose. Rianni@crystyl:<C> I believe I've found the source, Commander. It's a compartment of some sort. There's a number of them in a bank on one wall in here. Rianni@crystyl taps the control to open the panel, and it slides out like a big drawer. Rianni@crystyl peers in through a transparent cover, "Oh no. This is bad... Emma, this is very very bad... Keliaya@anncaris:<C> Ensign? What did you find? Rianni@crystyl | Emma steps over, slightly panicked, "Ri? What's the matter? Rianni@crystyl FX | The transparent cover hisses open to an unmistakable sound: "WAAAAAH! WAAAAAAAH!" Rianni@crystyl tentatively reaches in and pulls out a baby Felmoran, holding it out like a bomb that's ready to blow as she turns to Emma. Keliaya@anncaris:<C> Is that a...what's going on there, Ensign? Rianni@crystyl | Emma doesn't need to see through the mask of the suit to know the look on Rianni's face. Rianni@crystyl <C-Emma> It's exactly what it sounds like Commander. Better tell Amari to get her kit ready, we have a little visitor... Rianni@crystyl turns to Emma, still holding the crying Felmoran baby out like it's a bomb waiting to explode, "Emma... do something!” Rianni@crystyl | Emma: "Me?! You're the one holding it! And not very well at that..." she smirks a little. Rianni@crystyl frowns behind her helmet, "Well I can't exactly coddle it with this suit on! We need to get it out of this cold." Rianni@crystyl | Emma nods <C> Commander, request immediate site to site transport back to engineering... for 3. Keliaya@anncaris:<C> Alright, I'm bringing you back... Rianni@crystyl & Emma materialize back at the warp core with the baby, "Um... a little help please. Doctor?” Keliaya@anncaris and Zanah rushes up to Rianni and Emma as they beam in, looking at the baby, "Well, this is unexpected…” Keliaya@anncaris | Zanah retrieves the baby from Rianni, trying to quiet it down, "Where did you even find a baby, anyways?” Rianni@crystyl:"You're telling me..." she remains clumsy and awkward passing the baby over, but quickly moving to discard the EV suit haphazardly. Rianni@crystyl:"That room must have been some sort of medical facility. The baby was in this big drawer in the wall, like a stasis container.” Keliaya@anncaris nods, "That would explain why it had protocol in place to prevent itself from being shut down. Are you sure this is the only one?” Rianni@crystyl | Emma joins them, "Yes Commander, none of the other units were active.” Keliaya@anncaris | Meanwhile, Zanah holds the baby carefully in one hand while she retrieves her tricorder with the other and scans the baby. Keliaya@anncaris | Zanah: "Looks like the baby's healthy. Being in stasis must've shielded its mind from the Basilisk. It's cold though, even for a Felmoran. Luckily they're more resistant to cold even as - Keliaya@anncaris:- infants so this one doesn't need any medical attention, but could use some warmth.” Rianni@crystyl joins Zanah to help with the unsettled baby, "So it will be ok?" she asks, reaching up and fussing the infant. Keliaya@anncaris | Zanah nods, "Just keep it warm and it will be." Rianni@crystyl | The Felmoran baby coos and grabs Rianni's finger, settling down a little much to her surprise. Keliaya@anncaris chuckles, "Looks like it's taken a liking to you.” Rianni@crystyl | Emma stays back with Kelly looking over her scan data, "Commander, I believe the chamber we pulled the infant from was meant to impose the same hibernation as we have done to the crew.” Rianni@crystyl looks more shellshocked at Kelly's comment and pulls away. Rianni@crystyl | The baby begins to wail again, making Emma cringe. Keliaya@anncaris:"Interesting. So they put their own baby in hibernation. I wonder why…” Keliaya@anncaris | Zanah: "Could be they're waiting until they get back home to raise it. Or it isn't the child of someone from the crew, but someone they rescued from somewhere.” Rianni@crystyl:"Given the nature of this ship, it could be prone to long term deployments like Starfleet vessels. I..." she winces at the ongoing wailing, "I... think it belongs to the crew and was being kept safe + Rianni@crystyl:+ until they returned home, as the Doctor said" she cringes again. Keliaya@anncaris | Zanah: "That's not good...the whole crew's affected by the Basilisk except this baby.” Rianni@crystyl | Emma steps over, trying to help calm the baby with Zanah, "What do we do?” Rianni@crystyl:"Making it be quiet would be a good start..." Rianni@crystyl | Emma gives Rianni an unimpressed look, holding the squirming baby out and pushing it back to Rianni, obliging her to take it, "You dug it up, you make it quiet!” Rianni@crystyl again struggles as the baby squirms, holding it out in front of her again fearfully. This time though, the baby stops crying and stares at her curiously. Rianni@crystyl | Emma breathes a sigh of relief, half-whispering, "That's better…” Keliaya@anncaris chuckles at Rianni, "It's still a baby, not a giant yet. You don't have to be afraid of it, Ensign.” Rianni@crystyl:"I think I'd be more comfortable with a giant, Commander…” Rianni@crystyl says, staring back at the baby with equally wide and curious eyes, making quite the picture as the pair size each other up. Keliaya@anncaris | Zanah: "True. They're not easy to handle.” Keliaya@anncaris:"Do you think we should put it back into stasis?" Keliaya@anncaris | Zanah: "Even Felmoran bodies aren't built to withstand multiple extreme cold hibernations in rapid succession. We can't put it back now that the Ensign's taken it out.” Rianni@crystyl:"Hey! I'm not the one who disrupted the power to it's stasis pod, I just found it…” Rianni@crystyl | Emma: "How long are you going to keep referring to the baby as 'it'?” Rianni@crystyl frowns, slightly confused, "I don't know the sex..." Rianni@crystyl | Emma eyerolls and checks, "Congratulations Ensign! It's a boy.” Rianni@crystyl frowns harder, "Not funny..." pouting a little. Keliaya@anncaris | Zanah chuckles, "It is pretty funny.” Rianni@crystyl groans, "Ok, so what are we going to do with /him/ then?” Keliaya@anncaris | Zanah: "That's a good question.” Keliaya@anncaris looks to Rianni, "There's not exactly a lot of tactical work to do at the moment. Do you think you can care for him here? If not, we could send him to the Valley Forge.” Rianni@crystyl | Emma: "I'm not sure sending him there would be such a good idea,Commander..." she calls over from a nearby console. Keliaya@anncaris turns her attention to Emma, "Oh?” Rianni@crystyl | Emma: "I'm checking their database and there are details on specific nutritional needs for infants. The capacity to meet those needs is here, not on the Valley Forge" Keliaya@anncaris nods, "I suppose we'll have to take care of him here, then…” Rianni@crystyl:"Weeks of babysitting..." her face turns a shade lighter, blinking as she stares back at the baby held up before her. Rianni@crystyl | The baby coos and waves its arms, grabbing Rianni's nose gently and gurgle-giggling. Rianni@crystyl slumps as if someone's just ruffled her hair, speaking through a pinched nose, "This was /not/ part of my academy training..." Rianni@crystyl | Emma snorts, trying to stifle a laugh. Quickly failing and bursting out in a giggling laugh at the ridiculousness of the image before her Keliaya@anncaris grins at the image and Emma's laugh, "Well, the Academy does prepare us to expect the unexpected..." --- Rianni@crystyl eventually - and begrudgingly - figures a proper way to hold the baby and takes it to the private quarters to try and get it to sleep. Rianni@crystyl only occasionally cringing painfully as the baby's curious hands grab hold of her earring. Keliaya@anncaris | The private quarters still have the appearance of an office, only with the desk moved to the corner and a large bed placed in the centre. It is clearly not made to accomodate a baby, but at - Keliaya@anncaris - least he won't wake anyone else in here... Rianni@crystyl | Emma can't help but laugh at Rianni's awkwardness as she tries to make the bed suitable for the baby. Rianni@crystyl carefully kneels to lay the baby down when Emma's done, struggling to free it's grasp from her earring before Emma steps in and frees her. Keliaya@anncaris | When Rianni and Emma finally set the baby down...he starts crying. Rianni@crystyl 's first action after getting her arms back is to take out her earrings and rub her now saw ear with a sorry pout. Rianni@crystyl:"Oh come on...!" Keliaya@anncaris | The baby continues to cry away in typical baby fashion. Rianni@crystyl | Emma, "He really does seem attached to you Ri. Not that I can blame him of course." Rianni@crystyl:"I can't spend the entire journy carrying him!!" she protests before giving a defeated sigh and laying down on her side next to him. Rianni@crystyl tries to lay somewhat comfortably while holding him close. Keliaya@anncaris | The baby coos slightly, grabbing on to her uniform with one hand while the other starts reaching up for her earring again. Rianni@crystyl snickers, "Not this time stumpy!" offering her hand for him to grab instead. Rianni@crystyl | Emma: "Stumpy? Seriously...?” Rianni@crystyl:"What? He is stumpy! You're welcome to come up with a better name if you want.” Keliaya@anncaris | The baby grabs on to her finger again, setting slightly as he holds on. Rianni@crystyl relaxes some and holds him, continuing to play gently with his curious hand, "This trip just got a lot longer didn't it…” Rianni@crystyl | Emma sits beside her with a warm smile, "I don't know, I think this might be good for you.” Rianni@crystyl shoots her a disapproving look. Keliaya@anncaris | The baby's curious hand continues to explore Rianni's as he coos and slowly leans in. Rianni@crystyl | Emma chuckles, "Oh come on, look at you! I think you might actually be glowing a little with him in your arms.” Rianni@crystyl:"No... that's just the... lighting in here…” Rianni@crystyl | Emma: "...uh-huh…” Keliaya@anncaris | The baby begins to nibble away at Rianni's hand with a toothless mouth. Rianni@crystyl:"Wha- um…” Rianni@crystyl | Emma smiles, "Well he did just wake from a big nap, must be hungry.” Rianni@crystyl:"One word about breast feeding and I swear-...” Rianni@crystyl | Emma laughs, kissing her on the head, "Don't worry! I'll behave. Mostly... let me go find those nutritional requirements and dig up some food for him.” Keliaya@anncaris | The baby coos and continues nibbling at Rianni's hand. Rianni@crystyl | Emma stands and heads out to find the food. Rianni@crystyl sighs, watching 'stumpy', "And don't you get any ideas about it either... Keliaya@anncaris | 'Stumpy' finally stops munching on her hand, looking to Rianni with an almost confused coo before he starts crying again. Rianni@crystyl groans, picking him up as she sits up and tries to settle him with the usual rocking and bouncing on her lap, "Nuh-uh, not happening! You'll just have to wait for Emma." Keliaya@anncaris | The baby calms down a bit as Rianni tries to settle him and goes back to trying to grab at things, this time the shiny combadge on her chest. Rianni@crystyl:"Quite the little magpie aren't you..." she chuckles, watching carefully to make sure he doesn't activate or unclip it. Keliaya@anncaris | He doesn't manage to unclip it, but he does coo and tug at it. Rianni@crystyl:"Maaaaybe if you're a goood boy, Emma can find you some shiny toys of your own! Would you like that? Yes, yes you would, wouldn't you!" she begins to coo back in that most Human of traits; baby talk.” Keliaya@anncaris | The baby stares at Rianni and coos back happily. Rianni@crystyl:"Yeah, yeah. That cute act might work on everyone else, but I'm onto you stumpy. Yes, yes I am! I know your little game mister man!" she coos again, tickling his tummy.” Keliaya@anncaris | 'Stumpy' flails his arms, making a series of noises as he is tickled. Rianni@crystyl holds back, trying to figure out if he's liking that or getting agitated. Keliaya@anncaris | The baby coos happily again, appearing to be quite enjoying himself. Rianni@crystyl continues fussing and playing with him, hoping she can maintain this diversionary tactic until Emma returns from her supply run. Keliaya@anncaris | Rianni does indeed manage to keep the baby occupied and distracted until Emma returns! Rianni@crystyl | Emma returns a while later, smiling to see Rianni playing happily with the baby, "Well, glad to see you two getting along so nicely now.” Rianni@crystyl turns startled, "I, err... um…” Rianni@crystyl | Emma chuckles, joining her, "Here, this should settle him" she hands Rianni a large bottle. Keliaya@anncaris | 'Stumpy' stares at the bottle with an expectant gaze, reaching out for it with one tiny arm. Rianni@crystyl carefully shifts the baby and tries to feed him the bottle. Keliaya@anncaris | The baby clamps his mouth around the tip of the bottle and begins to drink away at the milk happily. Rianni@crystyl holds him and tries to gauge the feeding as she looks back to Emma, "Thank you.” Rianni@crystyl | Emma hugs her gently, seeing how hard this is for her. Keliaya@anncaris | Eventually, after drinking up more than a third of the bottle, the baby reaches a point where he doesn't seem to be taking in much of the milk anymore. Rianni@crystyl moves the bottle away and holds him steady, "There, that's better now isn't it!” Keliaya@anncaris | 'Stumpy' makes some more happy noises, with a bit of the milk still on his mouth. Rianni@crystyl uses her sleeve to dab his mouth dry, "Who's a mucky little pup then, eh?” Keliaya@anncaris | The baby coos happily and sneakily starts reaching for Rianni's earring again. Rianni@crystyl chuckles, "Determined little thing aren't you.” Keliaya@anncaris | 'Stumpy' coos again, staring at the earring before he opens his mouth and appears to yawn. Rianni@crystyl:"He can't be tired already, can he?” Rianni@crystyl | Emma: "I don't know... I often feel like a nap after a good meal.” Rianni@crystyl:"Eugh, let me see what I can do then…” Rianni@crystyl lays back down with the baby to try and settle him into a sleep Rianni@crystyl | Emma: "I'll check in with Kelly in the mean time" she gives Rianni another warm encouraging kiss on the cheek before quietly stepping out. --- Rianni@crystyl | Emma steps out, carefully closing the door behind her before heading over to the others, "Commander." Keliaya@anncaris turns over from a console she's working on, "Ensign. How're things going with the baby?” Rianni@crystyl | Emma: "Surprisingly well actually... He's taken to the food I found, now Rianni's trying to get him down for a nap.” Keliaya@anncaris:"I suppose you two were the first people he met waking up from his hibernation and he's starting to get familiar with you. I hope it's not too much for you two to handle?” Rianni@crystyl | Emma chuckles, "Honestly, I don't even get a look in. He seems to have imprinted on Rianni, and only Rianni.” Keliaya@anncaris:"Really? Hopefully it's not too much for her, then. But plenty of people have had children of their own at her age, and done fine with it.” Rianni@crystyl | Emma: "True, but they generally get some warning, some chance to prepare. Let alone the physiological changes that accompany pregnancy.” Rianni@crystyl | Emma: "Still, that said; she's doing better than she gives herself credit for. Guess it comes from being an older sibling" she chuckles. Keliaya@anncaris chuckles, "I know what you mean. Did you have any siblings yourself, by the way? I don't think you've ever talked about your life before the accident.” Keliaya@anncaris smiles, "You don't have to, of course. I'm just curious.” Rianni@crystyl | Emma smiles, "That's because I don't really have a childhood of my own. Like many Orions of that time, my childhood was marred by derogatory experiences like Lendaria.” Keliaya@anncaris nods, "I'm sorry. Were you raised by Starfleet as well, like she was, or did you join because it was the best place for you to go?” Rianni@crystyl | Emma: "It was an escape. When I was old enough, it seemed like a safe place to hide from my people, from myself.” Keliaya@anncaris:"And I assume you never got to know your biological family?” Rianni@crystyl | Emma shakes her head, "Not entirely. As you may have learned from the others on board, our families can become... diluted, difficult to discern between blood relatives and matriarchal adoptions.” Keliaya@anncaris nods, "I can only imagine what your growing up was like. I've been to some Orion worlds, but it's a far stretch from actually living on them as a child.” Keliaya@anncaris:"Most of them, or the Syndicate run ones at least, are definitely no place for children.” Rianni@crystyl | Emma: "What you've seen is not a true representation of my people, you know.” Keliaya@anncaris:"I know. I keep forgetting when you grew up is another era entirely though. When you mention an escape...was that from the Syndicate?” Rianni@crystyl | Emma: "Yes and no. It wasn't the Syndicate as you know back then, but more... the early rumblings from those more ruthless families which went on to form it.” Keliaya@anncaris nods, "I see. And the true Orions- the original OSN and everything, they were still around during that time?” Rianni@crystyl | Emma: "Fighting a losing battle. The OSN was reducing and constantly falling back, and much of the HIgh Orion territory was falling to aggressive takeover.” Rianni@crystyl | Emma: "It's not overly common knowledge, but my people have a long running history of civil unrest; wars for dominance between males and females without ever finding a balance.” Keliaya@anncaris:"That explains why you joined Starfleet and not them. Was it the males who were aggressively taking over?" Rianni@crystyl |Emma nods, "You've seen the distinction between our males and females. That hasn't changed in longer than our recorded history.” Rianni@crystyl | Emma: "While our females are evolved to control the males, the mailes are naturally brutish and ruthless; evolved to be strong arm of the females.” Rianni@crystyl | Emma: "Unfortunately, that very nature makes them confrontational and adverse to control. So..." she shrugs, "A natural cycle of dominance shifts.” Keliaya@anncaris:"That explains it. And the current OSN, they seem to be keeping females in charge, but a little more balanced?” Rianni@crystyl nods, "Though it is still arguably a repetition of the same old pattern, it is how we have evolved to be. Orions... are just better with the females in control.” Rianni@crystyl | Emma chuckles, "That sounds a little more conceited than it was meant to…” Keliaya@anncaris chuckles, "I understand what you mean, though. I've met a fair number of both, and Orion males tend to be impulsive, especially since their size and strength gets them used to solving - Keliaya@anncaris:- problems with brute force. Not exactly the best traits for leadership.” Rianni@crystyl | Emma smiles, "Compare with females of the species who exert a natural control over those males and are typically more elegant creatures who live for pleasure, in whatever form that may take.” Keliaya@anncaris nods, "Some of the males make for pretty good combat leaders who lead by example, but Orion females are certainly more suited to dealing with affairs of a larger scale, like command or politics.” Rianni@crystyl | Emma: "And art, culture, music, science. All the hallmarks of a more evolved civilization.” Keliaya@anncaris:"Indeed. Anyways, Orion politics and history aside...if the baby gets too much for you and Rianni, just let me know and I'll ask the Captain to send someone over who has more experience with caring - Keliaya@anncaris:- for infants. But since Rianni's doing fairly well at the moment...it could be a good experience for her.” Rianni@crystyl | Emma smiles, "Agreed. Speaking of, it's been a while. I should go check on her.” Keliaya@anncaris smiles back, "Good luck, Ensign. And sorry for giving you more work, with this and the whole ship assignment. But at least now Rianni can join you.” Rianni@crystyl | Emma smiles, "It's all part of the job!" and heads over to the room, quietly opening the door to peer in. Rianni@crystyl | Emma leans against the door way, turning and calling back with a whisper, "Commander" waving Kelly over. Keliaya@anncaris looks over curiously before making her way to the door and peering inside once she gets close enough. Rianni@crystyl | Inside the room, they see Rianni lay flat on the made up bed, gently holding the baby who is asleep laying on her stomach with his head resting on her chest as the pair sleep soundly. Rianni@crystyl | Emma smiles, "Have you ever seen a more adorable sight?” Keliaya@anncaris smiles back, replying with a quiet whisper, "I can't say that I have. She really is doing well with the baby.” Rianni@crystyl | Emma slowly closes the door again, "I'll leave them be. Can't spend the whole trip playing nursemaid after all, still have my duties here!” Keliaya@anncaris chuckles, "Right. I'll try to ease Rianni's duties as much as I can, but I don't think the tactical systems need much maintenance, she's mostly just here in the case we need them for an emergency.” Keliaya@anncaris:"And you two can keep the private room. Probably best not to bring the baby into the bunks…” Rianni@crystyl | Emma smiles, "Thank you for bringing her on the mission as well, Commander. I... appreciate it" she smiles, turning to go continue her duties. --- Keliaya@anncaris FX | Some time later, Rianni is woken from her sleep by the sound of the baby crying again. Rianni@crystyl stirs, wincing at the unwelcome alarm clock, quickly getting her bearings and trying to calm the baby with gently shifting him and holding him differently. Keliaya@anncaris | The baby quiets a little, but continues to cry away. Rianni@crystyl sits up more, still waking up herself as she tries gently bouncing and shushing him. Keliaya@anncaris | The baby stops crying, but he still makes a few noises, looking slightly uncomfortable. Rianni@crystyl tries holding him close to her and gently patting his back, while continuing to gently move and shush him. Keliaya@anncaris | The baby quiets, but doesn't go back to sleep, occasionally cooing and looking around Rianni@crystyl brings him forward and lays him down in front of her, crossing her legs and fussing with him, "That better?” Keliaya@anncaris | The baby coos happily, looking to Rianni and reaching out for her combadge again. Rianni@crystyl smiles, "Oh it's like that is it? I'm just a pillow-toy" she fusses him some more. Keliaya@anncaris | The baby makes some more happy noises, enjoying his pillow-toy. Rianni@crystyl:"Yeah... not as daft as you look are you? Cunning little mastermind at heart!” Keliaya@anncaris | The baby coos innocently and starts grabbing again. As he does, the door opens and Zanah peers in. Rianni@crystyl looks over while the baby has a hold on her finger again, "Hi Doctor. Everything ok?” Keliaya@anncaris | Zanah nods, "Just wanted to check on the baby, but didn't want to disturb you two sleeping earlier. How's it going?” Rianni@crystyl:"He just woke me up crying his head off, but seems ok now. I think he just wanted attention…” Keliaya@anncaris | Zanah chuckles, "Babies can be like that. Let me see just to be sure," she steps over with her tricorder” Rianni@crystyl watches more eagerly than she'd ever admit. Keliaya@anncaris | Zanah runs her tricorder over the baby, viewing the results before looking to Rianni, "Well, he's healthy still, but now that he's warmed up and gotten a meal it seems, he's a little /too/ warm.” Rianni@crystyl:"Too warm?" her voice growing concerned, "What do we do?” Keliaya@anncaris | Zanah: "Well what we do is easy, but you might not like it. Babies are more fragile though, so you're going to have to compromise.” Rianni@crystyl groans, "How cold do I have to go...?” Keliaya@anncaris | Zanah: "Felmoran bodies are evolved to live in lower temperatures, so we'll have to go below what you're used to on the Valley Forge. Somewhere between 275 to 285 K. 282 K, or 9 degrees - Keliaya@anncaris:- Celsius is probably the best compromise, and luckily we should be able to modify the conditions specifically for this room so it doesn't affect the whole deck. But you might want some thick - Keliaya@anncaris:- blankets and jackets.” Rianni@crystyl nods, "It's to be expected. I'll ask Emma to see what she can scrounge up for us, but we should make the temperate adjustment as soon as possible.” Keliaya@anncaris | Zanah: "You're lucky it's not a full-grown Felmoran. They usually live at freezing point. Their infants are the opposite of human ones, they're both not as good at regulating their own body - Keliaya@anncaris:- temperatures yet, but according to my scans, Felmoran babies'll respond better to slightly higher temperatures than normal.” Rianni@crystyl:"I guess I'll count my blessings then" she smiles. Keliaya@anncaris | Zanah smiles back and steps over to a nearby panel, "I'll turn the heat down if you're ready. Starfleet temperatures are definitely too high for them.” Rianni@crystyl nods, "Please do. It won't take long for Emma to get us some blankets, I'm sure.” Rianni@crystyl mutters, "Now I just need to get stumpy to like here enough so I can take breaks outside to warm up…” Keliaya@anncaris | Zanah taps on the panel, adjusting the temperature, "He's really taken to you, hasn't he? I don't suppose Emma would do as well taking turns with you?” Rianni@crystyl nods, shivering a little with the drop, "He's a stubborn little thing. D-do you think it's racial? Like a Felmoran t-trait of imprinting so h-heavily?” Keliaya@anncaris | Zanah: "Maybe. I've only gotten to study their physiology, not their psychology. But it looks like they evolved on a fairly harsh homeworld, and strong bonds with parental figures help survival.” Rianni@crystyl:"I just hope when we find them there's a way for him to imprint onto one of them.” Keliaya@anncaris | Zanah nods, "I presume he's got parents before. He might've been found in stasis, but he's old enough to have probably grown up a little outside of it. If he can imprint on you, he can - Keliaya@anncaris:- probably do it on someone else in your absence." Rianni@crystyl:"Here's hoping..." she curls up a little more using the blankets already in the room.
AFTER ACTION REPORT STARFLEET SECURITY CLEARANCE LEVEL 1 | Open
MISSION PARAMETERSOUTCOME SUMMARY Investigate general distress signal. Resolve situation with space-dwelling lifeform 'Basilisk' threatening life on nearby colony. The Felmoran vessel which originated the distress signal has been staffed with a temporary skeleton crew in order to deliver it and it's hibernating crew back to their own people. The Basilisk has been confirmed as intelligent life and redirected to Zihil.
Continued monitoring of the Basilisks movements and sustained amber threat level until such time it is confirmed as understanding not to initiate communication with Children species. Update allied species regarding the Basilisk species' status and intelligence to avoid future hostilities and consider future deployment of suitably geared teams to attempt further communication to learn more about the Basilisk.
After picking up an automated general distress signal, the Valley Forge left it's convoy bound for Felmoran space in order to investigate. The vessel was found adrift with sporadic lifesigns on board, and so an away team was dispatched. The team found the crew to be in an unstable state; many having killed each others, or even themselves. Those not incapacitated were displaying varying degrees of mental incapacitation and non-responsiveness. Interrogation of the vessel - the Black Wyvern, as translated - computer indicated that they were sent to deal with a space dwelling entity they called a Basilisk who's movements were suggesting it may approach a nearby colony. Their database indicated that this lifeform was a known threat which used a form of psionic energy to destroy the minds of those it got near to.
Seeing an unidentified object on long range sensors, we moved to investigate and found that it was the described Basilisk. Unwilling to presume the fate of a seemingly innocent creature without establishing the facts properly, we began to follow the Basilisk at a predetermined safe distance to remain clear of it's blast radius. Implied threat aside, the Basilisk was a marvelous sight to behold; several kilometres in length and with natural evolved solar sails as well as a gaping maw at the front of it's 'head' (for want of a better analogy). Having sufficient time before it encroached upon any nearby star, I tasked my science department with conducting an analysis of the lifeform to better understand it's nature and subsequently, it's intent.
Lendaria's team began by deploying a probe to approach the Basilisk and enable long range analysis of it's behaviors. Whilst it did not respond to the probe's initial presence, the Basilisk did show signs of awareness to certain light patterns - specifically those designed to emulate the full spectrum (including non-visual) emanations from stars at varying distances. This led to the conclusion that the Basilisk 'fed' on solar energy through it's sails and was essentially drawn to those specific radiation signatures. False bio-signatures were projected through the probe and drew an immediate reaction which allowed the team to gain sensor readings on the Basilisk's psionic energy blast.
The readings were infinitely complex, and too much for the astrometrics computer to process. This complexity led to a hypothesis that it was not a mere territorial attack, but something more - possibly a form of communication. In order to process the data the team employed some high initiative; creating a holographic simulation of a Basilisk brain based on the probes scan data. Feeding the psionic energy readings through this brain permitted an analysis of how a fellow Basilisk would neurologically respond to it, and - following a significant use of main computer processing allocation in support - ultimately, presented the team a basis on which build a translation matrix.
Once they had the data translated into a distinguishable format, mass resources were pooled to analyze it. The sheer volume of information not only supported the communication theory, but led to a conclusion that it contained the Basilisk's wealth of of life experience spanning hundreds of thousands of years. Though only a small portion could be deciphered, it was sufficient for the analysis team to find familiar elements including the Basilisk's view of planets it had visited and star patterns it witnessed. These were cross-referenced with the astrometrics computer to determine that the Basilisk had visited the world we knew as Poseidon's Ruins, where we recovered the Trident artifact. Of more pertinence, was the inclusion of what appeared to be close up images of the Trident through the perspective of the person holding it - surmised to have been Poseidon himself during his ancient lifetime.
With our existing knowledge that the Trident artifact functioned as a telepathic catalyst and focusing crystal, the team then presented a proposal to attempt to use the Trident to establish communication with the Basilisk. Though the proposal contained significant suppositions, their data was thorough and concise. Upon review, the decision was made to offer the assignment - as volunteer only - to those Starfleet personnel on board who would be most capable of channeling the Trident's power. To this end, I presented the detail to LT Dra and ENS Sin - as the two most capable telepaths on board (discounting non-Starfleet personnel, as I did not see fit to enlist their support on such a dangerous assignment).
After receiving their brief, the pair were sent away to consider the facts and make their decision. Upon their return, they insisted on making the attempt together or not at all. Their plan was approach the Basilisk in a Runabout with Mia piloting - surmising from our research to date that she would be immune to any communication side-effects from it. After hearing their arguments that based on prior experience - they were not only capable of forming a paired connection but that it was their best chance of successfully using the Trident - I approved the mission.
The contact team approached the Basilisk and were successful in establishing contact by use of the Trident. They report a flood of information and - for want of a better comparison - emotions from the Basilisk and were soon able to conduct two-way communication with it. They report that the Basilisk seemed unaware of the effect it caused on Children species, and that it's most distinct message was one of loneliness and solitude. The impression they reported back was that the Basilisk roamed the galaxy seeking companionship, and it couldn't understand why all it's attempts to reach out other life when it sensed it resulted in that life going 'dark', or reacting aggressively to it's presence. They believe they were successful in making the Basilisk understand the harm it has been doing, and dissuading it from continuing this action. They directed it to Zihil as it's communicated memories indicated successful communication with other members of Species 2504. The Basilisk reportedly expressed gratitude and attempted to repay them with images warning of the Horde, but also indicating a potential additional ally.
Our work with the Basilisk was witnessed by a small Rider fleet. Though they had been dispatched to kill the Basilisk, they were willing to stay their attack and allow our research to proceed as long as there was time for it. After the Basilisk was successfully diverted, the Rider 'gang' was suitably impressed and took our guidance to relocate to the Waystation and work with the Coalition. The contact team were predictably exhausted, but show no signs ill-effect.
A medical analysis of the Black Wyvern's crew indicated that our thrall recovery method could be used to restore them from the Basilisk's ill-effects, although at the cost of a complete mental wipe. Given the significance of such a measure, the option was taken instead to use their ship's environmental systems to induce a natural cryo-hibernation that our medical scans indicated they were physiologically capable of. A skeleton crew commanded by CMDR Keliaya was assigned to man the Wyvern until we could return it to the Felmoran people.
During the extended voyage, CMDR Keliaya reported that a living Felmoran infant had been found on board the ship inside a stasis chamber. It would seem that power saving requirements in order to maintain the environmental conditions within maintainable conditions for the skeleton crew resulted with an inadvertent reduction in power to the chamber which prompted an emergency release function. ENS's Ralde & Tierno were investigating the anomalous readings, and were the ones who recovered the infant. Since that time ENS Tierno has taken it upon herself to care for the infant, under fears that putting him back into the forced stasis so soon after awakening could be harmful. It was also apparent that the infant had bonded with her, though if this was a known Felmoran trait or merely a strong natural maternal presence from the Ensign, it is too soon to tell.