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Marcus Kallan
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Re: Mission Four: "Requiem"

Tue Jul 07, 2015 12:16 am

Bending Light
MD03 - sometime in the afternoon
Holodeck One
Authors: Marcus Kallan and Alenis Meru (as holo-Meru)

A strange contraption, looking to be the combination of part of a main computer core with yellow-green iridescent memory cubes sticking out of it in a seemingly haphazard fashion, about the size of a kitchen rubbish bin. A sleep-deprived and paler-than-normal science officer on-loan from the Daystrom Institute. A hologram with emergent sentience. "Combine and whisk together. Let sit overnight to chill," Marcus muttered, apparently following some hidden dialogue in his head as he hooked his improvised memory module up to the exposed holo-arch interface. Cables snaked in and out, looking more like an H. R. Giger piece than standard Starfleet engineering.

Wiping his hands on his uniform trousers, Marcus gave the device a once-over. Standing, and pulling off his uniform jacket, he said to the ceiling, "Computer, activate the hologram formerly occupying the Emergency Medical Hologram's matrix space."

"Please state the nature of the--" Alenis froze mid-sentence, immediately recognizing the teal-shirted officer in front of her from the last time he had activated her program. "Oh. It's you again," she said in a tone which was more cross than enthusiastic. "You know, I don't interrupt your afternoon naps."

"Cute," Marcus replied sarcastically. "So, I have a present for you." He indicated the contraption to his right. "This is a rated series-twelve holographic memory matrix. Your program is experiencing compression lag, because it's far larger than this bucket of bolts can maintain in active memory." Likely meaning the Portland. Ouch. "And, if my initial calculations are correct, your program is going to grow the longer it remains active." He looked at the module. "Not exactly pretty, but I wear blue, not gold."

"The longer it remains..." Alenis trailed off, realizing what that might imply. Having more important matters to talk about, she brushed off the little shit at her ship. "So, does this mean that I've convinced you that I'm a real person and you're not going to delete me?"

Marcus gives a dry chuckle, shaking his head. "Why does everyone think I'm the bogeyman? I don't have the authority to delete you, as you're not my property, nor are you my responsibility. Admiral Washington had me come here to study you. To measure your degree of awareness, and whether you have the potential to be sentient. And I wouldn't have put in this effort --" Indicating the contraption again. "-- if I didn't think there was more than a fifty-fifty shot that you are. But whittling down the chance that you're just a sophisticated, horribly cross-linked mess will take time. And proper living quarters. Computer," he said, eyes drifting towards a corner of the holodeck. "Access tertiary memory module designation Kallan-One. Allow current running program to utilize tertiary memory. Limit to..." He eyed Meru. "One thousand kiloquads. And limit to decompression space. I don't want her matrix decompiling due to untested hardware."

"Wait, you want to study me?" asked the hologram. "As in, poking around my program, talking to me and seeing how I react? And living quarters? For how long? Weeks? Months?" Alenis shuddered at the thought of being mentally poked and prodded by Marcus of all people. "Are you sure decompiling my matrix isn't an option?"

Marcus sighed. "Was Captain Alenis so literal in life, I wonder." Shrugging, he said, "Your matrix is starving for memory and algorithmic processing time. The Portland's holo-systems are fairly modern, but they weren't designed for a program of your complexity -- and disarray. This module will allow your program some breathing room, so to speak. Don't you feel better already? Less fuzzy? That's your programming decompressing into the tertiary memory space."

The hologram paused for a moment. She was definitely feeling something thanks to the hardware upgrade, though not like anything she felt before. It was as though her thoughts were given some clarity, after the fogginess of the past few days since she was created. "I am feeling a little bit better," she admitted.

"As for decompilation, no, that's not possible at this stage," Marcus explained, casually examining a small display on the device, checking its performance. "Your software is so mangled, a decompilation would lose any of the emergent AI created by the crosslinking and psychotricorder scan. It would be like..." He paused, considering Meru. "I'm sure you've heard of Vedek Bareil, being Bajoran." Uh. "Well, sort of."

"It was a joke, Lieutenant," replied Alenis with a hint of a smile as she walked over towards Marcus. "But, thanks anyways," she said, patting him on the shoulder. "I'm not sure I totally understood all your technobabble, but I think that gadget of yours just saved my life... or program... or whatever..."

Marcus seemed genuinely surprised at the physical contact. But he didn't leap away, just quickly glanced down at her hand and his tired eyes widened a bit. "Don't thank me just yet. We still have a long way to go. I still don't quite know what you are, but one thing is certain: I can't let them delete you without more study." Smirking, he asked, "Was that less technobabbly for you?"

"Much less," she replied before offering him a smile. "You know, there was a favour that I wanted to ask you..." she said, looking at him with her dark, expressive eyes.

"Go on," Marcus said, turning to gather his tools in preparation of departing.

"Could you please reprogram my greeting line? It just feels weird to wake up to myself saying 'please state the nature of the medical emergency' all the time."

Chuckling, he nodded. "That's a remnant from your original template. Here. Computer," Marcus said towards the ceiling. "Copy all existing Emergency Medical Hologram templating in the current running program to a separate file for archival purposes, and de-prioritize EMH routines. Also, eliminate standard EMH greeting." Turning to regard her, he had a brief look of consideration on his face. "Also, rename this program to 'holographic copy of Alenis Meru'." Once the computer acknowledged him and made the necessary chirps indicating the changes were complete, he said to Meru with a snicker, "Can't wait to see the look on Ensign Barclay's face when she tries to call up the EMH and it fails."

"I'm sure she'll be suitably distressed," replied the hologram. "Thank you, Lieutenant."

Raising an eyebrow at the hologram's display of empathy, Marcus grunted quietly. He then turned his attention to gathering his tools and leaving.

"One more thing!" called out the hologram as Marcus headed for the door. As he turned to face her, holo-Meru offered him a smile which was slightly nervous as she didn't want to impose. "I could use a nap, do you mind deactivating my program, at least for a few hours?"

"Well, I don't see any harm in this," Marcus said, before ordering the computer. "Computer, alter the Alenis Meru program to allow it to deactivate itself." Looking back at holo-Meru, Marcus appeared to conflicted about something, but he nodded at her and then turned to go.

"Computer," called out holo-Meru, "set timer for three hours and end program."
Marcus Kallan
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Re: Mission Four: "Requiem"

Wed Jul 08, 2015 4:40 am

Matchmakers, part II
Judith's Quarters, USS Portland
MD2, Evening
Authors: Judith Rouse & Ellen Washington (played by Timothy Rouse), Maria Hill (played by Alenis Meru)


Making her way down to Judith's quarters with Ellen in tow, Maria was excited and perhaps a little nervous. Her entire plan hinged on convincing Judith that this was a good idea, and if she couldn't it would all go up in flames. As they got to the door, she paused for a moment before pressing the chime and turned to her companion. "Ready?"

She was nervous. She knew Judith wouldn't be happy. She and Judith were getting friends and she didn't wanted to ruin that. ''As ready as I'll ever will be,'' she said after taking a deep breath.

"Okay, here goes nothing. Just follow my lead and we'll be all right."
With that, Maria took a deep breath and pressed the chime.

After opening her door and seeing the two woman's standing there she was surprised. ''Ellen, Maria, what can I do for you?''

Maria stepped forward, inviting herself into Judith's quarters. "Judith," she said, in an excited voice, "it's more something that we can do for you. You've been single for a little while now, right?"

A questioning mark appeared on Judith's face. "Why?"

Maria feigned a frown, overacting a little bit. This was going to be make or break. "Isn't that a shame. A nice, attractive, intelligent, funny girl like you going single? I, for one, won't stand for that. Right, Ellen?"

Ellen just stared back at Maria with a blank expression on her face. “Uh, right,” she replied nervously. “We were just talking about that, and how it’s such a shame. A terrible, terrible shame, really.”

“All right you two,” interrupted Judith, holding her hand up. “I don’t have all night. Just say it.”

“You’ve been single for a while, and we think it’s time you went out on a date,” blurted out Maria.

Judith just stared at the two red-faced women in front of her. “That’s awfully presumptuous,” she said, her eyes narrowing as she stared them down. “Presumptuous… but not quite inaccurate.” Judith hadn’t been on a date since she was re-injured fighting the Klingons on the Ares, and deep down, she knew that to fully recover, she would have to start doing things she enjoyed again. “Are you trying to set me up with someone?” she asked, a suspicious tone in her voice.

“Even better!” exclaimed Maria. “I got you a date, tomorrow evening at Bartoli’s on the promenade. 1900 hours, be there.”

“A date!” exclaimed Judith. “Wait, with who?”

“Oh, that’s not important,” replied Maria in a dismissive tone. “Trust us, he’s a quality man. Handsome, intelligent, successful… you won’t regret this.”

“A blind date…” Judith sighed. She liked to control things; it was why she was most at home with her hands on the joystick of a fighter, and why she had so much difficulty after being told she could never fly again. To go into a situation blind, especially a situation like this, was not like her.

Still, Ellen was practically family at this point. And one thing she knew was that she needed to get out there again. Plus, Bartoli’s was renowned as one of the most romantic establishments in the sector; at the very least, they would have a good ravioli. “Fine,” she said in a firm but reluctant tone, “but next time, give me some advance warning before you set me up with someone, okay?”

Maria could barely contain her excitement, while Ellen simply breathed a sigh of relief. “One more thing,” said Maria, “you know that green dress that you just got? The one you and the captain picked out with Jena?”

“Yes…” started Judith, her eyes narrowing slightly.

“Wear it.”
Capt. Alenis Meru
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USS Portland

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Re: Mission Four: "Requiem"

Wed Jul 08, 2015 4:50 am

Jamesy's got a gun...
Executive Officer's Office, USS Portland
MD3, Evening
Authors: Timothy Rouse, Admiral James Washington (played by Alenis Meru)


Walking quickly through the bowels of the USS Portland, Admiral Washington was a man on a mission. In his hand was an antique revolver; without any power cells or phase coils, the primitive weapon had the advantage of not being recognized as such by the ship's internal sensors. In his other hand was a bottle of scotch, one which matched the alcohol on his breath. "Rouse..." he muttered to himself as he traversed the ship, eventually making his way to the Executive Officer's office.

Standing outside the office, he pressed the chime and readied himself. He had gone over this moment dozens of times in his head over the past few hours, and he knew that even though it would be difficult, he had to do what he had to do. His family's honour hinged upon it.

He was looking outside the window trying to come with a plan what to do next. After Ellen fell asleep he went to his office to think. His next step would be important. Not to him, but he knew her father was important to her, so indirect it was important to him. He would do almost anything for El. When the door chime went he raised an eyebrow. He wasn't expecting anyone. ''Come in,''

"Commander Rouse," called out the Admiral as he walked in through the door. A wicked grin appeared on his face as he raised the gun in his hand. "I have something for you," he said in a tone that was somewhat menacing.

"Whoah," he said upon noticing the weapon and started looking around for something to use as a shield.

"You know, I promised my wife on her deathbed that I would protect Ellen," said Washington, staring Tim down. "I would do anything to prevent anyone from ever hurting her. It was easy when she was a child, but now, as she has grown up, it's getting harder and harder. She left home and went to the academy and now..." Washington scowled at Tim. "Now, she's out in deep space where not even an Admiral can keep her safe. And then... I find out that barely out of the academy, she's pregnant. And worse, that the father is some executive officer under my command."

"I would never ..." Tim attempted to explain.

Washington cut Tim off, waving the revolver in his direction. "Tim, I'm going to be honest with you. When I first found out, I didn't care for the idea of you and Ellen. But then I remembered how highly Meru spoke of you. More importantly, I remembered that Ellen is a grown woman. Her daddy can't always be around to protect her from all the things out there in this universe. She has to spread her wings and find her own path. And..." Washington's hand began to shake. "If you're good enough for her, you're going to have to be good enough for me."

Glancing down at the revolver, Washington smirked and then turned it around, handing it to Tim handle-first. "So, I got you something. It's an antique firearm, a Colt Peacemaker. The gun that won the west, or so they say. You can use it to protect Ellen, or at the very least, it would look good hanging on your wall."

"I don't know what to say, sir." Tim stammered, "Thank you! It would certainly be a interesting piece of decoration." He said with a smirk.

"Don't talk," replied the Admiral pulling the bottle of scotch out from under his arm. "Drink." Washington began filling two small glasses with the amber liquid. "Forty year old Islay single malt. I was saving it for a special occasion, but I figured that this is as special as any. Cheers."

“Cheers,” replied Tim, picking up his glass and clinking it with the Admiral before taking a sip of the amber liquid. “Smooth.” He said. “Do you have any ice?”

Washington chuckled slightly “A true gentleman drinks his scotch neat,” he lectured gently before taking another sip. “So, Timothy, tell me, what is it you see in my daughter?”

Tim nearly choked on his scotch. “Ellen is… just wonderful. She’s warm, caring, beautiful… and her eyes… you could get lost in them for days.”

“Yes, she has her mother’s eyes,” replied Washington, staring into the amber fluid swirling in his glass. “You know, Timothy, for a son in law, I could have done a lot worse.”
Capt. Alenis Meru
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USS Portland

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Re: Mission Four: "Requiem"

Thu Jul 09, 2015 3:20 am

Delainey and the Admirals...
Interview rooms, Deep Space nine
MD03, morning
Authors: Lieutenant (JG) Delainey Carlisle, Admiral Washington (played by Alenis Meru)

"Doctor Carlisle, for the benefit of the hearing, could you please state your qualifications and experience in the field of counselling?"

It was the second day of these hearings, and by now, Washington was getting sick and tired of it. Unfortunately for him, he still had the delicate matter of the status of the EMH to deal with. And, having heard that Dr. Carlisle had talked with the EMH, had decided to summon her here before him so he could cross-examine her and try to get to the bottom of this.

Delainey sat across from the Admiralty panel. Her back was ramrod straight and her full attention was on the group. She didn't relish the sorts of hearings, but she knew they were necessary and she knew what her audience expected. She offered a slight nod, as if to say she expected the question, before offering, "I've been a counselor within Starfleet for approximately 13 years. In addition to being qualified to provide general counseling services, I specialize in trauma therapy and forensic psychology. I'm also a medical doctor with training in emergency medicine."

"Very impressive," replied the Admiral. "Now lets get down to brass tacks. I understand that you have spoken with this hologram in your capacity as a counselor on the USS Portland?"

"Sir, I've spoken to her, yes, but to clarify, I met with her by chance and it wasn't an official counseling session. I was hoping to meet with the captain, the original Captain, but unbeknownst to me, she was already on the planet below."

"I see." Washington nodded along. "And what was your impression of this hologram?"

"Even when I knew who she was, it was hard to keep in mind she was a hologram. Granted, I had never met the Captain herself, but psychologically speaking, the being I talked to showed emotion, expressed independent thought and seemed very real to me. I didn't get the sense she was following a script or programming. My understanding is, she was created using engrams and other aspects from the original Alenis, so I wouldn't say she was a mere copy of the woman in sound and appearance. I would say she's cognitively more complex."

"Interesting," replied Washington. "There are a number of holographic characters who, while not posessing sentience, are able to fairly closely match the behaviour of flesh and blood persons. How exactly did you make this determination that what you were talking to was a sentient artificial intelligence and not simply a good simulation of one?"

"I'm hard pressed to remember meeting a hologram before this one who actually held the memories of the model," Delainey answered. "Not just the memories of the events themselves, but with the associated complex emotions associated with them. The hologram we're talking about was able to reflect on her experiences when asked psychologically complex questions. She didn't just parrot the emotion she deemed logically appropriate given the circumstances." Delainey paused, then offered, "I don't claim to have a definitive answer, sirs. Intellectually, I know she is a hologram, so I know sentience sounds impossible. That said, I can't advocate the destruction of something merely because I don't understand it. Rightly or wrongly, she represents the only piece of Alenis Meru we have left, and while there may be good reasons to cut ties with this being now given our vulnerability when it comes to anything Alenis, I can't bear the thought of asking this crew to say goodbye all over again. Perhaps you can."

Washington's eyes went wide. "Are you saying that the crew has grown... accustomed to this hologram?"

Delainey paused, giving Washington's question some thought. Since the hologram had been created long before her arrival, she wasn't sure if the crew had gotten accustomed to her or not. As best as she could tell, hologram Alenis had been kept a secret from many people. "I'm saying this isn't your ordinary hologram. Those who have become accustomed to her will not see her destruction as the deletion of some ordinary lines of code, and I'm saying I don't think they're wrong."

Washington let out an exasperated sigh. "Every year, thousands of Starfleet crew members get too attached to holographic characters. For their benefit, we often have to delete those characters, and they have to get over these feelings of loss they have for something that isn't real in the first place." He paused for a moment, glancing down at his PADD before continuing. "Of course, that is also a large part of why we are here. To determine whether we are dealing with a sentient being or a mere copy of one."

Delainey nodded. She didn't disagree with the question they were grappling with, only that it seemed to her they were too quick to treat hologram Alenis as the average hologram. "The engrams used to create her certainly don't represent all of Alenis Meru, but I do believe they represent a piece of her, a once living, sentient being. I'm not qualified to say whether that in turn makes this hologram sentient, but I would not be too quick to call her a copy either."

Shaking his head, Washington's eyes returned to the PADD for a moment and then back to Delainey. "Well, that certainly makes things clear," he said, his voice dripping with sarcasm. "Lieutnant Carlisle, I trust you will be available to work with Lieutenant Kallan, one of my associates, over the next couple of days to help clear these questions up?"

"Of course, sirs," Delainey replied. She wasn't going to take Washington's sarcasm personally. She knew what they were trying to figure out wasn't easy. "How else may I be of assistance?"

"That will be up to Lieutenant Kallan," replied Washington. "See if your expertise as a counselor can help him make a determination. And..." Washington barely concealed a scowl. "If you do determine that this hologram is a sentient being, she may need some counselling. She's been through a lot..."

That was certainly an understatement, thought Carlisle. To the panel she simply said, "Yes, sirs."
Capt. Alenis Meru
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USS Portland

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Re: Mission Four: "Requiem"

Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:22 am

Dr. Silverton, I Presume?
MD2 1430
Authors: Lt. Marcus Kallan, Lt. Brad Silverton

Sometime before the end of Alpha Shift and the beginning of Beta, Marcus wandered into Sickbay, PADD in hand. The Lieutenant seemed more interested in what he was reading rather than paying attention to his surroundings, but he apparently figured out how to get to Medical, it seems. Once standing in the lobby, he glanced up, blinking his eyes and glanced this way and that. Flagging down a nurse, he asked, "Excuse me, is Dr. Silverton around? I don't have an appointment -- no, I'm fine, this isn't a medical call."

Nurse Maria Hill nodded to Marcus. "The doctor is in his... oh here he is now."

Doctor Silverton came out of his office carrying some test incubators. He looked over and saw that he had a visitor to sickbay and responded as he set down the test equipment.
"Hello Lieutenant. How can I help you today?"

"Dr. Silverton, I presume?" Marcus asked, offering a hand in greeting. "Lieutenant Marcus Kallan, Daystrom Institute, Station 173."

"That is correct. Nice to meet you Lieutenant. Did I hear correctly earlier that you aren't here for a check up?"

Marcus followed up with, "I'm here under orders from Admiral Washington to investigate the circumstances surrounding your EMH. Is now a good time, or should I return later?"

Brad's face quickly went from pleasant to indifferent. "Oh I see. Well we might as well get this over with. Now is as good a time as any. Perhaps in my office then?" Without waiting for an answer, Brad turned and went back into his office.

Sighing inwardly, Marcus followed Brad in. "For the record, Doctor, I'm a scientist. A computer scientist, with specialties in cybernetics and artificial intelligence. I'm not attached to the Judge Advocate General's office; I'm just a specialist that was summoned by Admirality to perform a task.

"Well at least this won't be an interrogation from security or someone else unknowing about the EMH." Brad held his hand out invitingly pointing towards the chair on the other side of his desk.

Settling down, Marcus tapped his PADD alive. "Ultimately, I would like access to inspect your EMH's matrix and changelog, and work with the engineers and specialists that were responsible for its alteration. I truly hope to get this unpleasantness behind us as quickly as possible, and I will leave you to your duties."

"I don't see the harm in that. The matrix is here in sickbay though all the alterations to the programming were done on the holodeck."

Marcus sniffed, and adopted a slightly different approach to breaking the ice. "I'm a former shipmate of Lieutenant Beauvoir, as well as a friend, so please believe me when I say that while I'm here on official business, I'm inclined to believe that you were doing something to help a person in need. That stated, can you tell me in your own words what the 'treatment' was for the LIeutenant's 'condition' --" Marcus danced around the topic of pon farr like a jackhammer on concrete, complete with air quotes. "Specifically, how you came to the decision that a psychotricorder-modified hologram was the correct course of action?"

Brad thought on what Marcus had said. Was he selected by the admirals specifically because he was Jason's friend? The admirals had seemed pretty hostile during the interview and from what some of the other officers of the Portland had mentioned, Brad wasn't the only one to get grilled. Maybe this was the admirals' ways of smoothing things over. Or perhaps just a way to catch Brad and the others off guard.

"Lieutenant Beauvior was suffering from Pon Farr, a common condition that all Vulcans and part Vulcans go through in which they need to mate. Lieutenant Hudson came up with the idea to imprint the Captain's personality and brainwaves onto the EMH with the hope of getting around Jason's potential Vulcan empathy in sensing it was a hologram. I was the one to decide however, that it was the best medical course of action. Jason had already 'chosen' the Captain and there was no changing that. Once a Vulcan has selected their mate under Pon Farr its virtually impossible to change. I do want to state that when I say 'chosen' I don't mean logically or with a real purpose beyond an uncontrollable chemical reaction in finding a partner that is respected."

Brad paused for a second then continued, "So Lieutenant.... How do exactly do you know Jason?"

His fingers tapped at his PADD when Silverton mentioned Hudson-- that was a name he hadn't heard yet. "He and I served together aboard the USS Montana," Marcus answered, but he didn't seem to be derailed that easily. "Yes, I've studied pon farr... nasty stuff." Tap tap tap. "Synaptic scanning is a technique that has been leveraged in multiple technologies, but I'm afraid that except in only a few, scattered cases, the technique is not successful at replicating sentience. There's a number of cases I could cite, but I don't want to bog you down with details." He rubbed at his nose in brief thought, before he asked, "Are the ship's logs fully detailed as to the circumstances before, during, and after the EMH's transformation? Or should I bother Mister Hudson and..." He consulted his PADD. "Misters Williams and Barclay... for the details?"

'Guess that answers that question', Brad thought to himself. 'Fine. We'll keep it professional and guarded.'. Brad then answered the questions. Brad sighed slightly at the fact that either Marcus wasn't updated at all as to what happened or was just playing Brad. Neither suited Brad well. "I have not written my medical log for the outcome of the treatment of Jason's pon farr as of yet what with the Captain dying and a larger then normal crew change. If you need more information you might need to talk with Engisn NIKKI Barclay and Lieutenant SERA Williams." Brad stressed the female names. "As for Lieutenant Hudson. He has recently transferred off the Portland. If you hurry you can probably catch him still for his accounting of what occurred."

Marcus raised an eyebrow. "Yes, I'm aware that they're female, thank you," he replied, betraying mild irritation at Brad's underscoring of their gender. As if such things matter in Starfleet, never mind the end of the 24th century, he thought, trying not to shake his head. "I'll send a communique after Lieutenant Hudson to get his statement. If he were integral to the investigation I'm sure Admiral Washington would have stayed his transfer." Tap tap, tap. Captain. "And I'm sorry for your loss. From what I hear, Captain Alenis was a dynamic woman."

"I only served with her a short time but.. thank you. Are there any other questions I can help you with?"

Marcus' gaze turned a little harder. This wasn't easy for either officer, and the circumstances made this assignment difficult. "Please advise your staff that I will be in and out of Sickbay. My investigation is primarily scientific, and I don't want to get in anyone's way, but most of my work I can't do from an office chair. I'll be pulling the EMH console apart, most likely. And don't worry -- I will clean up after myself."

"I'll update my staff and you'll have free reign. I should warn you about the EMH matrix though. It was not the original one when everything was happening. Commander Rouse destroyed it with a hand phaser and we had to end up replicating a new one. I don't think that will be a problem as we did all of our modifications on the holodeck. I'll have the programs access opened up for your review."

Both eyebrows shot up at the mention of a phaser. "Commander Rouse shot it? Interesting." Marcus asked, and then very carefully noted that in his PADD. He then asked, "Is there anything I can tell you? On or off the record? I do really want to underscore that I'm not on a witchhunt, here."

Brad was quick and direct. "Yes. You aren't on a witch hunt. That's fine and I can appreciate that. I do have a question though, will your findings determine if the EMH is to be deleted or not?"

"That's not for me to decide," Marcus was quick to answer. "The looming question is, 'Is this program sentient?' As I'm removed from any sort of emotional connection to this hologram or your late Captain, and I'm an expert on artificial intelligence, you can be assured I will provide an impartial but thorough report to the Admiral."

Brad nodded at Marcus' response. "I'm actually glad to hear that to be honest Lieutenant. I had originally intended to modify the EMH programming to be used and then deleted. Without any more thought than if I would delete a replicator recipe. Then I talked to it after we finished and the 'it' became a 'she'. I questioned if she was sentient or not and that posed a severe problem for me. As Chief Medical Officer, it is my duty to protect the health and lives of all sentient beings onboard the ship, to include true A.I. To make matters worse, the EMH could be considered one of my staff that I am also responsible for." He paused for a moment before continuing.

"My expertise is in the physical not the psychological. So while I was trying to determine if I was deleting a program or about to kill a sentient being, the real Captain died complicating the entire matter." Brad sat up a bit straighter and more professional.
"Lieutenant, I'll carry out whatever orders come down from Starfleet about the EMH's status. I have no problem deleting and restoring the EMH to its original programming, but I have to be sure what I am doing is the right thing whenever I am ordered to do it."

"Then we're on the same page, Doctor." Marcus stood, his PADD tucked in his right hand. "I'll leave you to your work. Thank you for your time."
Lt. Brad Silverton
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USS Portland

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Re: Mission Four: "Requiem"

Sun Jul 12, 2015 4:11 am

Grand Theft Starship, Part I
Traffic Control Center, Starbase 66
The morning after the reception, 2412
Authors: Vedek Alenis (played by Alenis Meru), Timothy Rouse, Capt. Sera Williams, Marcus Kallan, Coln Jena (played by Jason Beauvoir)


For Petty Officer David Goldberg, it was another ho-hum day at the office, monitoring incoming and outgoing ships. He had just settled in a half hour prior, and was already bored as he sipped his coffee and stared at the screen in front of him, giving the occasional ship or shuttle an approach vector.

His quiet Tuesday morning, however, was interrupted by a blinking light on his console. Sighing, he ran his fingers across the touch screen in an attempt to figure out what the computer was trying to alert him to.

"Huh," he said out loud as he found the anomaly. An old ship, the USS Portland, slated to be decommissioned, looked like it was powering up. "That's strange," he thought, as he double checked his sensor readings and then rapped his console sharply on the side in an effort to fix the reading which made no sense. But it still remained.

"Lieutenant Xiao, can you come over here for a minute?" he called out, getting the attention of his supervisor.

None to happy about the interruption, Xiao walked over and leaned over David's console. "What is it, Goldberg?"

"Well, I'm getting some strange energy readings from one of the ships," explained Goldberg. "Look," he said, pointing to his screen. "It looks like the USS Portland is powering up."

"So?"

"Well, that's the thing." Goldberg looked up at his less than enthused boss. "Aren't they here for decommissioning?"

Xiao furrowed his brow for a moment. "Hmmmmm," he said as he pulled up the log. "USS Portland, arrived for decommissioning, stardate 89423.5. That is odd..." He thought for a moment. "Perhaps one of the work crews had to power up some of the systems for some reason. Hail them, see what's going on."

"Yes sir," replied Goldberg, reaching for a button to activate the transmitter. "USS Portland, this is Starbase 66 Traffic Control Center, do you read me?" He paused for a few moments. "USS Portland, we're reading energy signatures coming from your vessel, please respond."

**********************************

Bridge, USS Portland.

Sitting in front of the Main Engineering console on the Bridge, Sera immediately answered the hail. "This is Capt. Sera Williams. I must apologize, I had assumed my staff had sent in the proper requests, but apparently I need to have a word with my Yeoman. With the experimental nature of many of the Portland's upgrades, we needed to ensure that they had been properly deactivated so there would be no security risk in leaving the ship unattended. We will need to power up the engines and the Warp Core in order to uninstall some of the more, classified, experiments." She emphasized the last few words to stress the importance of the control crew to not ask any more questions.

"You really expect them to believe that?" Came the partially-digitized voice of Marcus Kallan. The man -- or, perhaps, machine, difficult to tell from underneath the heavy cloak that we wore about his head and shoulders - was busy sorting through an exposed engineering panel. A Borg-like apparatus was built into his arm, or perhaps his arm was the apparatus, and a variety of cables snaked their way across the isolinear chip assembly. Grumbling, the cyberized figure muttered, "They strengthened security protocols. There was only a 4.4% chance of this occurring in our simulations. I am experiencing difficulties. Nanoprobe countermeasures will no doubt be fired off if I were to hasten the process."

Captain Williams simply shrugged her response.

"It might buy us a few minutes if we're lucky," replied Vedek Alenis, her tone of voice reminiscent of when she was a Starfleet captain. But this time, her role was reversed. Timothy was in the center chair, and as a "religious advisor," she was seated at his side. "Let's hurry up; with any luck we'll be long gone before they notice anything is fishy."

"Perhaps this will help." Jena said holding out a PADD she'd 'lifted' from one of the engineers they'd passed on the way in. "It says something about updated security protocols for the U.S.S. Portland." Her aunt Yvette had taught her pickpocketing among other things.

Looking up from his work, the subdued bridge lighting managed to illuminate Marcus' hooded face just enough to show a fair amount of cybernetics on the left side of his face and neck. The faint remnants of disfigured skin can be seen where machine meets human, suggesting something horrible happened in his past. He narrowed his eyes at Jena when accepting the PADD from her. "Your father would be disappointed," he said, tone softer and more wistful for the memory of his old friend, and then proceeded to assimilate its knowledge with a nanotube. "This'll do," he said with conviction, and resumed his work.

Sera pitied the poor guy. They had first met during the Admiralty Board, then became quiet good friends once Marcus joined the Portland as the Chief of Operations. It was such a tragedy, what happened. Sera had been one of the ones to find him, and she had done her best to help return him to a more "normal" lifestyle. "I hope Jerkface, I mean Captain del Bolero didn't disengage the hull emitters I installed. Once we get out, we can use them to change our sensor readings to any ship we want."

The bridge door opened and Doctor Brad Silverton joined his friends on the bridge. "Sorry I'm late. I had to prepare a few things... just in case." He carried a crate with a force containment field around it and set it down beside him at a side station along the back row of the bridge. He looked around at his companions and nodded in both satisfaction and agreement of the situation. His eyes landed on Marcus for a moment. Brad reflected back at their rocky start when they first met until that fateful day they become not only respected colleagues, but friends.

"Glad you made it, Doc." Jena said with a smile. She always held a warm place in her heart for the man who had saved her life. "Darth's almost gained control of the ship's systems." Her nickname for Marcus came from some holovid series she'd seen.

And as if on cue, consoles showing ship's systems flickered to life all throughout the bridge. "We have complete control, Captain," Marcus said, voice sounding somewhat strained despite the modulator assisting in his speech. "No nanoprobe incursion was necessary. Estimated thirty three seconds until traffic control begins security procedures. Let's get the show on the road." He replaced the panel and secured it close, and then rose to his feet. He looked disapprovingly at Jena.

To be continued...
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Re: Mission Four: "Requiem"

Sun Jul 12, 2015 4:16 am

Grand Theft Starship, Part II
Bridge, USS Portland
Authors: Vedek Meru (played by Alenis Meru), Timothy Rouse, Sera Williams, Marcus Kallan, Coln Jena (played by Jason Beavoir) and Gregory Rathcliffe (played by Eilis Ross)

Last time on Star Trek: Portland...

And as if on cue, consoles showing ship's systems flickered to life all throughout the bridge. "We have complete control, Captain," Marcus said, voice sounding somewhat strained despite the modulator assisting in his speech. "No nanoprobe incursion was necessary. Estimated thirty three seconds until traffic control begins security procedures. Let's get the show on the road." He replaced the panel and secured it close, and then rose to his feet. He looked disapprovingly at Jena.

And now, the continuation...

Sera gave a look around the Bridge. Her mind flooded with memories she had shared over the last 20 years, the good and the bad. She looked at Marcus and simply answered "Yes."

The bridge doors wooshed open and Alenia stepped through looking pale and agitated. Her hand moved from her side and she walked softly over to where Sera stood offering the handcomp she was carrying. "I, uh, could you look this over for me. I think it's finished but I cant tell. It's a security thingy." She brushed her hair back from her eyes which were tired and red.

Sera took the handcomp from Alenia. Before she took a look at what it had, she left her eyes on her old friend. She could tell Alenia had been up most of the night and her condition was worsening quickly. She simply nodded and began examining the device and its contents. "Well, it certainly passes the eye test. It's complex, yet subtle. Should do the trick."

Sera placed a hand on her friend's shoulder and gave it a gentle squeeze. Sera then made her way back to the Main Engineering console on the Bridge. Once there she made a few slight adjustments to the device to correct the errors that she just didn't have the heart to reveal. With a click, Sera connected the device to the console.

The Vedek pressed a button on her chair, activating a communication line down to engineering. "Lieutenant Commander Barclay, are we ready to go?"

"Ready as we'll ever be," was the reply over the intercom, in a tone that mixed both nervousness and excitement. "Of course, they've made so many modifications over the years I can't guarantee we won't blow out half the plasma conduits on the ship."

"Duly noted," replied holo-Alenis, before turning towards the man in the center chair. "Tim, would you care to give the orders?"

Still not feeling like he had any right sitting in this chair again, being called the Captain of the Portland, he pushed away his doubt and focused on the job at hand. ''Engage!''

Greg stood at the tactical station still in shook at having seen his old boss after all of this time. Firstly the man had moved into ops which was unusual in itself but secondly...he was almost a shell of who he'd been before, physically aswell as metaphorically. Shaking his head as his eyes moved from the man to the action on the bridge, he just stayed ready; hoping he wouldn't be called on to take action.

Chris Davidson sat at the helm. His palms were sweaty, mostly from being nervous. This was his first major theft afterall. He tapped a few commands into the thruster control and the impulse engines to get things started. Starfleet regulations stated that thrusters only were to be used when flying through a Starbase... however, he was about to break that and at least a few dozen other regulations. He had never served with Captain Alenis, though he had served on the Portland after they had been cleared by the Admirality Board. He viewed each of those on the bridge as family. Without turning back, he replied to Tim, "Aye, Sir. Engaging the thrusters, impulse engines are ready."

"I estimate the starbase will go to red alert in six seconds," Marcus intoned, stepping over to the tactical position and peering over the shoulder of the officer. "Of course, they will be experiencing main starbase doors and tractor beam dysfunction zero point eight seconds immediately following that declaration. That is, if alert systems were correctly altered and crosslinked." The hooded cyborg looked pointedly at Sera.

Sera gave a shrug as she replied with varying confidence, "The security device was rated to disable systems up to two grades higher than Starfleet Regulations. We'll find out just how good it is in a few more seconds." She left out the fact that those few seconds would either find them in the brig behind a force field or on their way to do whatever it was they were about to do.

Greg raised an eyebrow at the man over his shoulder before looking back down at the terminal. "Raising the shields would block the tractor beam but it would also escalate the stations red alert. Anybody know from what side they will try to tractor us? I could focus on getting the shields up quicker on our vulnerable side, giving helm enough time to manoeuvre us out of their reach."

Sera took a moment to orient herself as she peeked at the viewscreen from her Main Engineering station. "We are docked on the starboard side and we'll leave through the main docking door. The docking clamp will have a low powered tractor beam to guide damaged ships to port while the main doors will have two attached to the outside of the doors. We'll hit the door fast, so I'd say focus on the starboard and rear shields."

The impulse engines were finally reading ready to engage. Cold start-ups had their way of working a person's patience. Without turning her attention from the displays and ship controls on her navigation panel, Chris called back toward the bridge officers, "Make sure those doors stay up. I'm engaging one-quarter impulse. Once I get to the door, I'm punching it to full."

From the Science station Jena fired 3 modified probes. One took up station at each of the space doors and fired proton beams accessing the door controls, overriding them and making it temporary impossible for them to be closed. While the third interfaced with the Traffic Control Center's comms, garbling any messages to Security. "That should give you a little leeway, Chris."

Vedek Meru simply sat on the bridge, watching over the crew of the Portland. Though she had long since given up the Starfleet life, seeing her old crew in action once more brought a smile to her face. "Just like old times," she said, turning to Tim in an effort to get him comfortable in the center chair again.

"Just like old times, indeed." Tim answered, feeling proud over the competence of their crew.

To be continued...
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Re: Mission Four: "Requiem"

Sun Jul 12, 2015 4:19 am

Grand Theft Starship, Part III
Bridge, USS Portland
Authors: Vedek Meru (played by Alenis Meru), Timothy Rouse, Sera Williams, Marcus Kallan, and Gregory Rathcliffe (played by Eilis Ross)

Last time on Star Trek: Portland...

Vedek Meru simply sat on the bridge, watching over the crew of the Portland. Though she had long since given up the Starfleet life, seeing her old crew in action once more brought a smile to her face. "Just like old times," she said, turning to Tim in an effort to get him comfortable in the center chair again.

"Just like old times, indeed." Tim answered, feeling proud over the competence of their crew.

And now, the continuation...


Smiling as he overheard the conversation, Greg couldn't help but pat the console. It had been a rare occasion that he had gotten to stand here but it felt like home. The first real place that felt like home. "Nothing better then creating new times together though. And something tells me this will be an occasion for our yearbooks."

"Or the wrap sheets," Sera chimed in with a half-joke. She continued to adjust the deflector dish to maintain the connection between the device and the Starbase's security systems. She also used some of the upgrades that Capt. "Jerkface" so gracious left installed to trick a few of the sensors to make Chris' job a bit easier. Technology had changed much in the last 20-something years, so the effects would probably only add up to annoying their sensors.

Marcus, his immediate role done, has little to do other than loom and make people uncomfortable. So he walked counter-clockwise around the bridge, inspecting panels and looking over the shoulders of his former crewmates. Upon reaching where Sera was working at the engineering station, he momentarily met eyes with his old friend. Whatever was between them during his recovery was never talked about, but there were rumors. Nothing ever came of it publicly, though. And in true Marcus fashion, when presented with a moment to make a human connection, he instead made a digital one. "Your display is inefficient," he muttered, voice modulator turned down to a whisper.

Sera smiled a bit at Marcus' nervous habit. She tapped the glass display with her finger, making an audible ting noise. "What do you expect from a century old ship?" she quipped. Letting the comment pass, Sera leaned closer to Marcus and whispered, "Are you doing ok?"

"I am in considerable discomfort, but I will function adequately," Marcus responded. "Your concern is appreciated. But I am not concerned for my own well-being. I am worried about them..." And the hooded figure nodded towards the rest of the bridge crew.

"I'm worried for all of us, especially Tyrlai," Sera whispered, hoping that this mission would work.

*************************************
Traffic control center

"What the hell are they doing?" asked Xiao, staring at the internal sensor readings of the Portland.

"It looks like someone is trying to make off with the Portland," replied Goldberg.

Xiao froze for a moment. To try to steal a ship from a Federation shipyard, especially one as big as the Portland, one would have to be either very smart or very dumb. "Go to yellow alert!" he barked, snapping out of it. "Close the doors, and engage tractor beams. Don't let them escape!"

"Yes sir!" exclaimed Goldberg as his hands darted across the controls. The yellow alert signal blared throughout the station. For a split second, tractor beams activated, capturing the Portland in their grasp. Goldberg had just enough time to let out a slight smirk, as it looked as though their little joyride would be short-lived. But, less than a second after engaging the tractor beam, his console lit up like a christmas tree. "Cascasing system failure! We've lost multiple systems!" he exclaimed. "Tractor beam, docking bay doors, communications, sensors..."

"Stop them!" shouted Xiao.

"I can't!"

Xiao clenched his fists with rage. Whoever was stealing the Portland was no amateur, that's for sure. Dejected at his defeat and not looking forward to explaining to the station's CO how someone managed to steal a ship and quite possibly get away with it, his voice took on a defeated, exasperated tone. "Notify the commanding officer of the situation. And scramble the Eclipse for pursuit."

************************************

Gracefully maneuvering between the newer ships docked at the starbase, the century old USS Portland's classic lines contrasted with every other vessel it passed. It's slab-sided nacelles, circular saucer section, and rollbar-mounted weaponry made it stand out among the oblong saucer sections and smooth curves of the newer vessels. Under impulse power, it quickly left the station, which was suffering from cascading power failures and unable to do anything to stop them, behind.

On the bridge, Vedek Alenis looked over her crew and smiled. They had a long journey ahead of them, but if they continued to work together like this, there is nothing that could stop them from accomplishing their objective. "Well, so much for that," she muttered. "Though I have a feeling that may have been the easy part..."
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Re: Mission Four: "Requiem"

Sun Jul 12, 2015 6:52 pm

Holo-Meru in the hot seat
Interview Room, DS9
MD02
Authors: Admiral Washington & Holo-Meru (played by Alenis Meru), Admiral Anderson (played by Tyrlai Zade), Admiral Cresswell (played by Jason Beauvoir)


"I have one more witness to call," said Admiral Washington, looking over at the two other flag officers at the table before pressing his comm badge. "Portland, this is Admiral Washington. Please transfer the Alenis EMH to the interview room."

A few moments later, the hologram appeared in the center of the room. "Admirals," she said, nodding towards Washington and the other two, "to what do I owe the pleasure?"

Admiral Anderson glanced down at his datapadd. "I am Admiral Tanner Anderson of Starfleet Command, Training Fleet. What should I call you?"

"Well, I suppose we haven't figured that out yet," replied the hologram as she sat down in the chair in front of them. "Would it be uncomfortable if I just went by Meru for the time being?"

"I suppose that is... acceptable," replied Washington. "Now, as far as I understand, you are a carbon copy of the captain, and possess all her thoughts and feelings up to about a day before her death," he said, in as polite a tone as he could muster, even though the EMH was just a hologram.

"99.8 percent accurate," replied the Alenis EMH, her eyes narrowing intensely in response to the Admiral's question. "Or so I'm told."

"In that case, you can appreciate the... rather unique opportunity we have," replied the Admiral, narrowing his eyes in response. "When investigating someone's death under questionable circumstances, rarely do we have the chance to interview that person. And you're the closest thing we have to the captain."

Alenis sighed. This was going to be painful, even as far as interactions with the Admiralty go. "What do you want to know?"

"As you are no doubt aware, it is of the utmost importance that the captain of a starship be a well-balanced individual, with a clear mind. Otherwise, tragedies such as this one can occur when a commanding officer's judgement is, shall we say, clouded." Washington shuffled his PADDs. "We'd like to know a bit more about your mental state during this mission."

"I was fine," replied Alenis in an authoritative tone.

"Oh, really?" countered Washington. "That's not the picture which was painted by your latest psych eval. I'd like to talk about the destruction of the Gol at New Algiers."

"I wouldn't." The hologram gritted her teeth. The destruction of the Gol at the hands of the Borg was something she was reluctant to talk about, even with Arvel.

"My point exactly." Washington stared the hologram down. "I look through the captain's medical records, and quite frankly, I'm amazed that she was cleared as mentally fit to command a starship. Visits to the shrink, medication, use of heavy tranquilizers, and this bird..." Washington shook his head.

"Ko-ko--" gasped Alenis.

"Yes, Ko-ko," replied the Admiral. "A most approach to treatment, I would say. And not one that inspires a lot of confidence in the leadership abilities of someone who is being kept sane only by her pet bird."

Anderson lifted a hand. "Gentlemen. Lady. Let's get back to the matter at hand, shall we?" He was apparently attempting to be the 'good cop' to Washington's brusque attacks. "Captain Meru's fitness to command aside, we are dealing with the matter of the hologram, which was created by Captain Meru's officers, and not her. Just because they chose her image and personality as a template does not make this 'Meru' we see before us, culpable. Can we agree on that?" He looked to the other admirals in attendance.

Washington nodded in agreement. "Of course," he replied. "However, we are in the business of finding out what happened, and this hologram is the best witness ." Scowling slightly, he continued. "And, of course, on the small chance that this hologram is deemed sentient and allowed to continue its career in Starfleet, I would like to know whether or not it is fit for command."

The hologram simply scowled at Washington. "I assure you, I am fit for command, and so was the late captain."

"We will be the judge of that," replied Washington, glaring back at her.

Cresswell had sat silently and watched as the hologram interacted with with the other two men. The admiral didn't use holograms for recreation himself, he preferred to read books, but he had done a lot of reading on the subject in preparation for these 'interviews' and he found it difficult to believe that this 'Meru' wasn't a living being like himself and his colleagues. Finally he turned to the hologram and asked. "Do you have any romantic feelings for Lieutenant Beauvoir? I realise it is a personal question and I wouldn't ask it if it wasn't important."

"Admiral, I fail to see the relevance--"

"Please indulge an old man his questions, Meru." Cresswell said flashing her a benevolent smile.

Alenis sighed. "Lieutenant Beauvoir is handsome, sensitive, and kind. I suppose if circumstances were different, a romantic relationship might be possible. Is that all?"

Anderson scratched at his chin, looking thoughtful. Out of the three, he appeared the least biased towards the hologram. "And what circumstances are those?" He asked aloud, looking pointedly at Alenis. "The fact that he is flesh and blood and you are... not? Please elaborate."

"The fact that..." started Alenis angrily, before stopping in her tracks. Arvel was once again out of the picture, not wanting to continue his relationship with the hologram. "Well, for starters, the fact that I am his commanding officer, and Starfleet regulations tend to discourage relationships between a commanding officer and her subordinates."

"A very good practice," replied a scowling Admiral Washington. "Well, I suppose we are done here. As for the question of your sentience, I expect Lieutenant Kallan to study your program and report back to me in the near future. Computer, end program."

As the hologram in front of him disappeared, Washington shook his head. "Sentient holograms," he muttered dereisively. "What won't they think up next."
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Re: Mission Four: "Requiem"

Tue Jul 14, 2015 6:21 am

Talking to Brad...
Interview room, DS9
MD02
Authors: Lt. Brad Silverton, Admiral Washington (played by Alenis Meru), Admiral Cresswell (played by Jason Beauvoir), Admiral Anderson (played by Tyrlai Zade)


"Doctor Silverton," said Admiral Washington, as he stared the young blue-shirted officer up and down. As the first medical professional to attempt to treat the captain, his role in her death was pretty straightforward. That said, the admirals still had a lot of questions for him, specifically about the rather unique method of treatment that he used on Jason. "What was the condition of the captain when she was brought aboard?"

"By the time she was beamed aboard the Portland and brought to me in sickbay sir, she was already dead. Had been for several minutes."

"And there was nothing that could be done to save her?" asked Washington, pressing the question further.

"Unfortunately not. She was barely responding at all to the cortical stimulator. Life support would have been futile also sir. Her body wasn't responding to any emergency treatment. I was told that the away team had been prevented from returning sooner by some kind of energy field that prevented transportation."

"Very well," replied Washington. "I have no reason to doubt your medical skills, doctor, we are simply trying to find out all we can." He took a sip of his water. It had been a long day, and he was rapidly getting tired of the interviews. "Can you tell us the cause of death?"

"The Captain's death was caused by a combination of exposure to energy from what is being called a wraith, some sort of energy creature that possessed the captain like a ghost as well as the damage from a phaser blast." Brad had really tried to downplay the second part but doubt the Washington was going to gloss over the second part.

Admiral Anderson made a few notes on his pad. "Just for the record Doctor. Was the damage sustained from exposure alone enough to have been fatal without the phaser blast? And for completeness sake, would continues exposure to the same radiation have proved fatal had there been no intervention?"

"It is hard to say sir. I have never encountered a Wraith before. There is little research and understanding on the type of radiation that I detected. Given the time of exposure at the time the Captain was shot... no I do not think at that time it was lethal but eventually? Yes I am certain of that, but how long it would have taken to reach that point I do not know."

"Thank you, and one more question." Admiral Anderson looked up, making eye contact for the first time with the Doctor of the Portland. "Are you aware of any issues between the Captain and Lieutenant Zade?"

'Tyrlai? What was this all about thought Brad to himself. "Um. No sir. I haven't seen nor heard of any issue at all between them though admittedly I spent most of the mission on board the Portland. Has something happened?"

Anderson merely nodded and entered a note into his pad. "No worries mister Siverton."

"I would like to ask a few questions about the Captain's mental state in the days leading up to her death," said Washington, taking the proceedings back from Anderson. "We have reviewed the captain's medical records and quite frankly, it paints an alarming picture of her mental state in the days leading up to her death. There was a sudden change in medication in the days prior to her death, not to mention her ongoing counseling stemming from her experiences at the battle of New Algiers. In your professional medical opinion, was she fit to command a starship?"

"Absolutely fit for duty sir. Without question. Yes she had difficulties from New Algiers but nothing that thousands of Starfleet personel successfully resolve and overcome. I did prescribe her a sleep aid, yes. A good nights sleep can be as good a cure our most advanced medical technology."

"So, you did not see any indication that her decision making process was impaired in the days leading up to her death?"

Brad thought to himself 'Damn it that was too direct a question to dodge. The admirals already knew so much already. I can't keep this hidden or it will look worse than it already is.'

"Shortly after we left DS9, I detected a small growth within the Captain during a routine medical exam. It was small and non dangerous. A simple procedure would have removed it. The Captain however, had requested for it not to be removed. She believed that her contact with the orb that we had just delivered had given her a vision. In the vision, the Prophets told her to not remove it. I agreed not to remove it if it did not become worse and I was to have regular exams to check its status."

"That is... most curious," replied Washington. "Did you perform any detailed scans of this growth? Do you believe that it, combined with her visions, could have affected her judgement?"

"The Bajoran people are more spiritual than most but as I said sir, she was absolutely fit for duty and I had no reason to question her judgement. The growth was odd only in that it wasn't any type that I had seen before. There was no leakage or alteration in her body chemistry and would not have altered her judgement.

"So, you are saying as a doctor that you saw nothing out of the ordinary in the captain's behaviour or medical condition which may have affected her judgement?" asked Washington, summing up this portion of the discussion.

Brad was getting tired of answering what he felt was the same question over and over again but they were admirals. He'd have to put up with it. "That is correct sir."

*******************************

"All right doctor, I have one other thing I would like to talk to you about," said Washington, leaning in. "I noticed you didn't mention anything about Lieutenant Beauvoir and this hologram in your official report. Why is that?"

Brad had hoped to not have to go into detail about Jason and the EMH just yet.
"Sir, I felt that his condition was a separate isolated medical incident that did not pertain to the Portland's mission. I am still needing to file those. Its been quite busy in sickbay you understand. I'm a bit backlogged but will file it as soon as possible."

"That is true, it is an isolated incident," replied Washington, "but we are examining this mission in its entirety, including the rather unfortunate business between Lieutenant Beauvoir, Captain Alenis, and this hologram. I see that you and your fellow crew members have devised a... most unusual method of treating Lieutenant Beauvoir's condition," he said, raising an eyebrow and emphasizing the words 'most unusual.' Those weren't quite the words he would use to describe their efforts in holography, but he had to remain diplomatic if he was going to get all the answers he desired, for now at least.

"Yes sir." Brad had gotten away with delaying his report. He couldn't risk any further obstacles when the conversation was getting so direct. "On Bajor it had become very apparent that Lieutenant Beauvoir had 'selected' the Captain for Pon Farr. Once that is done it is nearly impossible to dissuade a Vulcan from choosing another mate. It drives them beyond being able to think logically. As a way of treatment to prevent the death of Lieutenant Beauvoir, Lieutenant Parker and myself came up with a way to use the Emergency Medical Hologram and record the Captain's brainwaves and personality to imprint them onto the EMH. We needed more than just a physical representation of the Captain to account for the Lieutenant's telepathic powers. While his heritage is only part Vulcan, it was enough to cause Pon Farr and we did not want to take any risks of his treatment not working. Our intent was then to erase what we had thought would be just a simple holodeck A.I routine and return the EMH back to normal."

"And the captain consented to this insane plot?!" exclaimed Washington, surprised.

"Yes sir. As I mentioned, once a Vulcan selects a potential mate for Pon Farr it is virtually impossible to change their choice, especially given it is a hormone and biological choice vs a logical one. The real Captain sleeping with the Lieutenant was obviously completely out of the question. This was a way for her to save one of her crew member without violating the Starfleet Code of Ethics and Conduct. The alternative was to watch Lieutenant Beauvoir die."

"I see," replied Washington. Despite every explanation he had been given, the idea that a Starfleet captain would willingly allow herself to be used as a template for that remained inconceivable to him. "And you played a role in the creation and deployment of this hologram?"

"Yes sir. I was the one to scan the Captain for both physical and mental imprinting. Lieutenant Parker then was able to copy those scans to be integrated into the EMH programming. While both of us were required for the copying to work, I take responsibility for the creation of the hologram."

"Well, at least we know which of you were playing god," said Washington smugly. "I suppose you are also aware that the Starfleet Code of Ethics and Conduct also requires a thorough investigation of the ethics of any experimentation before beginning. Did either yourself or Lieutenant Parker consider the possibility that this holo-program could attain a status as a sentient being?"

"No sir."

Admiral Washington let out a small grin, having caught the doctor in a rhetorical trap. "That's all the questions I have. Anderson, Cresswell, do you have anything to add?"

"Yes." Cresswell said. "Doctor, have any physiological tests been preformed on the hologram?"

"Not to my knowledge sir, though that's a question more for Lieutenant Carlisle as that is her department."

"We will be talking to her as well," piped in Washington.

"Very well." Cresswell said.

"We'll be in touch with you if we have any further questions," replied Washington. "Until then, you are dismissed."
Capt. Alenis Meru
Commanding Officer
USS Portland

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