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Alenis Meru
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Re: Mission Four: "Requiem"

Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:22 am

Meanwhile, on the Eclipse...
Bridge, USS Eclipse
2412, Shortly after the escape of the Portland
Authors: Captain Alhambra del Bolero (played by Alenis Meru), Arthur Reynolds, Selina Williams (played by Sera Williams), Andy Rouse (played by Timothy Rouse)


Tightly clutching his swagger stick, Captain Alhambra del Bolero stormed onto the bridge of his starship and glared at the back of his first officer's head. "Commander Reynolds," he called out, getting Arthur's attention. "I do not appreciate having my beauty sleep interrupted, so this better be good."

"The Portland's left Starbase 66 without authorization." Arthur peered at the viewscreen without once meeting his CO's 'friendly' gaze. For fifteen years, he'd served Starfleet Intelligence and, later, found his way on the fast track to a career in both the Security and Command divisions. He looked slightly older, yet every official report showed an increase in stamina and mental acuity. Nobody but those in the higher echelons of Starfleet knew of his contributions to the capture of Hassan the Undying and the end of the Orion Syndicate as they knew it. But he never found out what the Yridians had been planning until it was too late...

"They just left the docking bay a short time ago and went to warp. Starbase had to deal with a communications blackout." With a few skilled taps of the panel on the chair's right arm, Arthur relived his days as a Tactical officer with muted glee. His expression stoic, barely masking the indignation he held for the past fifteen years, even del Bolero wouldn't know how much Arthur longed for a chance to return to the relative simplicity of ship-to-ship combat. "We've located their warp trail. It could be masked the further they go, but I think I can compensate."

del Bolero chuckled slightly. "Fools," he called out. "Stealing a hundred year old ship... they won't get very far." He gave Arthur a glare, encouraging him to vacate the center chair. "Expedite our launch, and lay in a course to intercept. Go to maximum warp when clear of the station, and activate slipstream drive..."

Without a word, Arthur stood and moved over to his own chair after redirecting the sensor map on the viewscreen to the display on the captain's chair. As he worked on preparing sensors to see through the usual tricks Starfleet Intelligence so earnestly taught Arthur to use, part of his mind wondered why anyone would steal the old ship in the first place. He'd only served aboard her for a year before certain 'circumstances' tore him away. During that time, he kept mostly to himself, bitter over his failure to clear his name. Moreover, the seemingly natural disasters on Bracas V, Hataria III and Coveria IV, which claimed over a billion lives, might have been prevented.

But that was neither here nor there, and Arthur was more focused on the task at hand.

Sitting down in his chair, Captain del Bolero crossed his legs and stared up at the screen. He could feel the ship begin to rumble ever so slightly as she powered up, her tetryon reactors the most advanced power systems in the fleet, though they did take a little longer to warm up than a traditional matter/anti-matter reactor. "Ensign Rouse, what is our time to intercept at maximum warp?"

Selina Williams stood at her position at the Operations Console. She diligently brought each of the ship's systems to life as she allocated resources and ensured that each department had the required energy requirements to perform their duty. With a mix of knowing her Captain's personality, being the sister of Sera Williams, and knowing about the plot and not informing the Captain led her to keep quiet unless called upon. It was her duty to have the ship ready to perform at maximum efficiency, and that's what she was going to do.

"About twenty minutes sir," replied Andrew Rouse, a hint of nervousness in his voice. He had worked long and hard to not just get into the academy, but excel while he was there. And this, being assigned to the newest, most advanced ship in the fleet, while just a cadet, was his reward. Nova Squadron may have had their fighters and Red Squad may have had their ship, but only he had the honour of serving on the Eclipse. "The main engines are still warming up."

A cross look appeared on del Bolero's face as he did not like hearing that. "Lieutenant Williams," he called out, the anger evident in his voice, "please inform the peons down in engineering that I want those engines online as of yesterday."

"Aye, Sir," Lt. Williams replied. In the 11 years she had served in Starfleet, she had learned a thing or two about what Captains expected from Operations. She had even picked up her sister's engineering protocol of adding time to the estimated finish time to seem like a miracle worker. She opened the comm to engineering to express the Captain's desire to have the ship running soon, a bit more diplomatically than del Bolero would have. "Engines will be at full capacity in 15 minutes." She did some quick math with the help of computer models and predictions. "That will still give us 20 more minutes to catch the Miranda before it clears the ship traffic lanes to go to warp. Projections show us meeting them in only 10."

"I suppose that will have to do," replied del Bolero in an exasperated tone. "Arm the weapons systems," he added, in a serious tone. Firing on a Federation starship, even one which was stolen, was a weighty order and one that no captain wanted to give. "I hope we don't have to use them."
Capt. Alenis Meru
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Re: Mission Four: "Requiem"

Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:56 pm

Dropping a Holographic Bomb
Lt. Marcus Kallan & the Admirals
MD05 - 0900 hours

Having slept for a solid twelve hours once he finally crashed from his work-binge, Marcus had put together his preliminary report to Admiral Washington. Freshly shaved and put together as if he were applying for a grant, or at the very least facing a formal inquiry, the science officer reported to the interview room a few minutes before the designated time. PADD in hand containing his formalized findings to-date, he tapped it in his opposite hand, pacing slowly, waiting for the Admiral's attendant to signal that it was time.

Tugging his jacket flat, he exhaled. "Here we go," he muttered to himself, and stepped inside.

"...so I was three over par when I approached the eighth, and..." Washington paused and with a wave of the hand indicated that the time for idle chatter was over. He quickly glanced at his chronometer, which read precisely 0900, before looking back up at Marcus. "Ah, Lieutenant Kallan," called out Admiral Washinton, "you're right on time."

"Good morning, Admiral," Marcus replied, coming to a parade rest before the three of them. That's when the recognition kicked in. "Admiral... Cresswell? Well, this is awkward." He cleared his throat, color draining a little from his face. His resignation regarding the treatment of Beauvoir was completely above-board and within his rights to do, although it probably didn't leave the man with a good impression of Marcus.

"Mr. Kallan, I can't say it's a pleasure see you again," Cresswell said. "Your misguided loyalty to Mr. Beauvoir was disappointing, I trust you have conducted yourself better in this matter, than you did with that matter on back then on the Montana.""

"I'm an AI specialist, not a temporal physicist, sir. I like to leave the past in the past." Marcus tried to keep as passive and professional a face as he could. He tried to shift back to Washington. "Sir, I hope you didn't mind meeting, but I do have a preliminary report for you."

"Well then, let's hear it, Lieutenant," replied Admiral Washington, folding his arms in front of him. "I know I've been looking forward to it."

Laying the PADD down on the table in front of Washington, Marcus went into his carefully-rehearsed introduction. "The hologram using the late Captain Alenis Meru's image has grown beyond its original programming, only due to the circumstances of its creation. I won't go into my complete analyses unless you want to hear them, but a complete copy of my work to-date is on that PADD. "

He cleared his throat, tugging at his collar as he did so. "The facts of the matter is that, without consulting existing subject matter, members of this crew combined a sophisticated holo-matrix, that being the EMH, with psychotricorder and medical scan data. That in and of itself was enough to begin a series of file crosslinking and cascade failures. These failures, coupled with Commander Rouse phasering the EMH's main console in Sickbay, plus Ensign Barclay's hamfisted attempts to repair an unstable matrix, resulted in the unlikely hot mess that is holographic Alenis Meru.

"There is a greater than fifty percent chance that this hologram had some degree of awareness and sentience upon first activation, due to its fabrication. However, there is an increasing chance that as this matrix attempts to assert itself, the crosslinking and cascade failures will continue, and increase in severity. To make matters worse, the hologram cannot be removed from the Portland's main computer given current technology."

Marcus' voice cracked, and he cleared his throat again. "To summarize, sirs, you have an emergent data-driven life form living in Holodeck One. Until a complete analysis is performed, which unto itself might allow the hologram to actualize... or cascade into garbage... it cannot be ascertained that this is an actual copy of Alenis Meru with some errors, or it is becoming a distinct entity. To that end, I took it upon myself to jury-rig a series twelve-rated active memory device to allow the hologram the greatest chance to actualize and stabilize. If you aren't aware, series twelve is a prototype being worked on at Daystrom, with series eleven currently housing the Moriarty program created aboard the Enterprise some years ago." And with that final statement, Marcus puts his hands behind his back and stands slightly taller, waiting for backlash.

Admiral Washington nodded along, getting lost from time to time in the technobabble, but feeling that he comprehended at least most of what Marcus was saying. "So, Lieutenant," he started in a tone which clearly conveyed a certain displeasure, "I may be just a simple tactical officer and holo-matrices aren't exactly up my alley, but if I'm hearing you right, it sounds like what we have is a possibly sentient being which can't be removed from the Portland?"

"Not at current time, sir. With the proper research personnel and equipment, perhaps." The imminent threat of Marcus receiving a verbal dressing-down for disappointing news seems to have come and gone, and rather than the tension in his shoulders breaking his back, there is a barely audible exhale of relief.

"I see," replied Admiral. He looked over at Anderson and Cresswell for a moment, and then back at Marcus. In spite of his personal feelings towards artificial intelligence, what he had to do was clear. "Starfleet was founded on the ideals of exploration, on seeking out new and alien forms of life, and on advancing our knowledge of the universe. Perhaps these are lofty, high-minded goals, but they are what we have committed ourselves to when we joined. And sometimes, what we are to explore is not out there beyond the stars, but right here in front of us."

Washington paused for a moment and stared at Marcus. "Which is why I'm assigning you to the USS Portland. I hear they have an opening for an operations officer, which will allow you to stabilize the matrix of the Portland's former EMH and continue your research into its possible sentience."

Marcus' jaw dropped. "Wait, what?" He looked around the room as if uncertain where he was. "This is a joke, right? Sirs, with all due respect, you can't do this to me. I have years of research waiting for me back at Starbase 173, and --"

"Lieutenant Kallan the decision has been made, I suggest come to terms with it." Cresswell interrupted. "Any data, or equipment, that is not deemed to be restricted or higher, can be sent to you." He smiled at the younger man. "Think of it as an opportunity."

"An opportunity," Marcus echoed. Taking a slow, deep breath, and then exhaling, he set his jaw and nodded. "Right, then. Admiral Washington, I will send you periodic updates via subspace. I'll submit a list of what I'll need from Starbase 173." He smirks slightly. "Enjoy telling Captain Maddox he just lost his star scientist." Ahem. "Uh, sir."
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Re: Mission Four: "Requiem"

Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:42 pm

Title: A Long Day
Who: Lt. Sera Williams, Lt. JG Marcus Kallan, Ensign Nikki Barclay (NPC)
Where: Officer's Mess
When: Lunchtime, MD05

With a sigh of relief, Sera sat at an open table in the mess hall with her water in hand. She hadn't ordered any food yet and dreaded getting back up to make her selction at the replicator. She had thought about going to the holodeck to see what was going on in her new holonovel, but seeing all the holodecks booked had sent her to the mess hall. Besides, she there had been enough holograms in her life for awhile.

She took a look out of the viewport as she took a sip of water, Deep Space 9 certainly offered a better view than the usual starlines. Sera was tired and she slowly became glad that the holodecks had been full. The new Starfleet test equipment that she had spent most of the day installing was now functional. That in itself was a small miracle given the age of the Mirand-class Portland. While she wasn't on duty, Chief duties still ruled her life so she was going over the duty roster on her PADD.

Looking as if his puppy had just been kicked, Marcus Kallan walked into the mess. Without really looking where he was going, he grabbed a tray -- probably from someone else that had briefly turned around to talk to someone -- and wandered over to a replicator. "Protein cube supplement number... uh... what day is it? Number three." Shimmering into existence came his usual meal of textured, enriched protein and complex carbohydrate cubes. He dumped it on his tray and wandered over to the table that was in direct path of his dazed wander, which was where Sera was seated. Unceremoniously plunking down to begin a slow and methodical meal, he looked absolutely crestfallen.

The Chief Engineer was startled from her reading when Marcus practically fell into the seat across the table from her. In one motion, Sera laid her PADD on the table and asked in a surprised yet polite voice, "Protein cubes? Were they out of the mystery meat?"

"Huh? Marcus looked up at Sera, as if he hadn't even realized she was there, He looked around him quickly, as if to take in surroundings he was suddenly unfamiliar with. "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't see you, Lieutenant." He looked down at his tray. "This is what I normally eat. I don't have a particularly strong sense of taste, so I just eat efficiently."

"To each his own," Sera replied with a mock toasting gesture with her cup of water. She had met the other Lieutenant during the opening stages of his investigation into the EMH, or Holo-Alenis as some of the crew had taken to calling her. Knowing he couldn't say much, Sera then added, "How is the investigation coming?"

"It's over," Marcus said from around a cube of blue "food", munching absent-mindedly. "Or, at least, the initial investigation's done." And with that, he gave a heavy sigh.

Sera took a sip of her water, she noticed that he table-mate seemed to be troubled. "That bad huh?" she asked in a reasurring tone.

"Oh, it's a great day for the pseudoscience that is haphazard irresponsible holographic AI creation," Marcus said, tone dripping with sarcasm. "I mean, it was pretty clear to me it had some emergent awareness and comprehension ability, but for them to do this to me... blech." He smushed the half-eaten blue cube onto his plate in disgust, and instead started picking at a green cube.

Williams, being almost too nervous to answer, placed her cup on the table and shifted her eyes around to ensure they weren't causing too much of a scene. "If you don't mind me asking... what happened?"

"I'm getting reassigned," came Marcus' plaintive whine, looking straight at Sera for the first time since he sat down. "They're jeopardizing all of my research back at Starbase 173. 'Hurr durr, have it sent to the Portland,' they said. Do they have any idea what it takes to set up a proper artificial intelligence lab on par with Daystrom?" Sighing again, he put his face in both of his hands. Wait, did he say Portland?

With an open faced cram cheese and smoked salmon bagel on her tray -- along with a coffee and a creme-filled donut -- Nikki Barclay looked over the crowded mess hall for a place to seat. From across the room, she spotted her friend Sera and zeroed in on her like a heat-seeking torpedo, not even noticing who it was that she was sitting with. "Hi Sera!" she exclaimed, placing her tray on the table next to Marcus. "Have you heard anything about this report to the Adm-- You!!!!!"

Realizing who it was that she was sitting beside pushed the already high-strung Nikki over the edge. "I hope you're happy with yourself! I tried to initialize the EMH and the computer said that her program wasn't found! What, did you delete her? Murder her in cold blood? And you have the gall to show yourself in our mess hall?" Nikki shook her head in disgust. "I hope you like your protein cube, holo-murderer."

Despite Marcus' melancholy, witnessing Nikki's meltdown brought a grin to his face. "Heh, I knew that would happen. Relax, Ensign, the program got renamed. It is 100% intact. In fact, you might find that there's additional hardware installed in Holodeck One that's making its program considerably more stable." Looking over at Sera, he rolled his eyes with a smirk.

Sera simply watched the exchange. Nikki was her best friend and roomate, but even Sera's first meeting with Ensign Barclay had been during one of her epic meltdowns. Sera hadn't been included in most of the investigation, mostly because she had only been involved in the repair of the EMH and not the creation.

"Oh." Nikki paused for a moment and glanced over at Sera, then back to Marcus. "Then what are you doing here?"

"Eating lunch. What's it look like?" Marcus sighed. "And whining to Lieutenant Williams, here, about the fact that the admirals have given me a new assignment. I'm your new Chief of Operations. Woohoo."

Before she could ask where he was reassigned, Marcus told the group. Almost shocked, Sera gave the man a friendly smile and said, "Welcome aboard. Looks like all of us will be working together, a lot." Operations began as a sort of offshoot of engineering and other departments as it had developed into its own department over the course of the last 50 years or so. Even now, Engineering and Operations worked closely on a vast array of tasks.

Sera then added, "I don't know if you'd accept congratulations, considering what happened."

"Thanks," Marcus said, managing to curb his sarcasm and facetiousness for the time being. "I mean, I was never really suited for a starship's chain of command. Ask Beauvy, he'll tell you. We were a couple of burrs up Cresswell's ass, for sure."

Upon hearing that Marcus was their new Chief Operations Officer, Nikki froze in shock. Did it mean... could it possibly be... "wait," she said, pausing for a moment to hyperventilate, "does that mean we're stuck with you permanently?"

"I know, the horror, right?" Marcus said to Nikki, mocking her facial expression.

Nikki buried her head in her hands. This was horrible. Why couldn't the admirals have sent him back to the Daystrom Institute or wherever he came from? Looking back up at Marcus, she let out a heavy sigh. "Well then," she replied in a sarcastic tone, "welcome aboard, Mr. Protein Cube."

With a joking smile to lighten her friend's mood, Sera added, "So can I start calling you Miss Sand Pea?" It was a joke meant to bring up when they had first met on Deep Space 9, before the mission. Looking back to Marcus, she then said, "In all seriousness, welcome aboard. I'm sure we'll all," her eyes moved to Nikki, "see that you like your time aboard." Almost as if she had forgotten something, 'You should come to the holodeck later. We have a survival horror program that's been pretty fun."

"Hear that, Ensign? Your boss just said to be nice to me," Marcus said with an ever-growing sardonic smirk. "I'll have enough 'horror survival' with managing an operations department and an emergent sentient hologram, I think. But thanks for the offer. I prefer crime dramas and historical reenactments, as far as holonovels go."

Nikki sighed. "Fine, I'll be nice," she said grudgingly. "I just won't have to like it," she muttered.
Marcus Kallan
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Re: Mission Four: "Requiem"

Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:52 pm

Caught, part II
Captain's Quarters, USS Portland
MD02, 2391, evening
Authors: Timothy Rouse, Tolaran Kian, Inaji Narale (played by Alenis Meru)

Last time, on Star Trek: Portland...

Tolaran tapped his comm badge "Tolaran to Commander Rouse... I think we should meet now Sir, with our special guest..."

And now, the continuation...


"Our guest?" Tim asked in response to the commmessage. He really needed a second to go through all the stuff happening at the ship. "I'm sorry Lieutenant, I think you need to eleborate a bit more." Who was he mentioning? Was the Admiral on board?

"A relation of the late Captain Sir, I was lead to believe you knew they were on board?" Tolaran didn't take his eyes off Inaji the whole time trying to see if she would react to the conversation with the Commander.

Tim sat up straight upon hearing who their guest was. "I'll be down there ASAP." He said, reached for uniform jacket that hung over a chair and hurried out of the office. He wasn't surprised the Chief had found Inaji, but he preferred to keep her presence quite.

Tolaran turned around as the Commander signed off, walked back over to the replicator "Tea, earl grey, hot... and two sugars please" then turning to Inaji "anything for you?"

"A red leaf tea if you don't mind," replied Inaji in a cautious tone. "Black, and hot."

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

Tim quickly paced through the bowels of the ship, heading towards the former captain's quarters, a phaser on his hip just in case. For a couple moments, he paused his deliberate pace outside what used to be Meru's quarters. It was only a little while ago that she would be inviting him over for tea -- and sometimes, drinks other than tea -- to pass the time out in space. And now, she was gone.

Tim tugged on his tunic to compose himself then quickly barged in, not quite sure what to expect. Inside, however, was an almost peaceful scene of two people -- one Cardassian and the other human -- seated at a kitchen table, each with their cup of tea. If not for the awkward silence, one could imagine that this was a simple casual meetup.

"Ah, Lieutenant Kian," called out Timothy, getting the attention of both figures at the table, "I see you've met Inaji Narale."

Tolaran turned slightly, placing his cup down on the table as he saw Timothy. "Commander, thank you for coming. Yes, she seems to enjoy sleeping with a knife... I was checking some scans of the Portland and well... there was an extra life sign." Tolaran looked back towards Inaji, hopefully now there would be some answers.

Slowly and deliberately, giving himself time to formulate his words carefully, Tim walked towards the table and pulled out a chair and sat down at the table. He looked into Tolarans eyes, then into Inaji's, and saw her fear and insecurity. "Lieutenant, I suppose there is no point in continuing with this deception. I will be honest with you, one thing I've learned in my years in Starfleet is that sometimes the right course of action isn't the one which follows all the regulations." He took a deep breath and exhaled slowly; with this revelation, he could be putting his entire career in the hands of this young Lieutenant who he hadn't even gotten to know yet.

"Inaji is an escaped Cardassian fugitive whose death was faked on Gamia III. She's also Meru's half-sister. It was Gul Jatok whose kindness and humanity spared her from a kangaroo court and a slow painful death on Cardassia. And, it is I who am risking everything to bring her to Federation space so she can start anew." As Tim glanced up at Inaji, he could see behind her Cardassian features the reflection of his departed friend. "Lieutenant, if you know anything about her, you will know that she has suffered enough. I can't order you to violate every regulation in the book, but I can ask you to show some empathy and turn a blind eye to this."

Tolaran looked at the Commander, this was a serious situation, he wasn't long out of the Academy and new to the ship, he was asking a very dangerous favour. "Sir... that is a lot to ask, why are we not offering her diplomatic immunity and going through the proper channels? I think there is a lot to explain here and I deserve some answers, the safety of this ship and her crew is my sole concern..."

"Jatok faked her death for a reason; if we go through the official channels, then the Cardassians will know she's alive and her fate will be in the hands of bureaucrats and ambassadors once more." Tim glanced over at Inaji; he could see clearly that that was something she didn't want. "It's up to you, Lieutenant, but either way, I'm willing to take the fall for her and take full and sole responsibility for anything that arises out of this."

Tolaran frowned and gave the Commander an almost icy state, this situation just got a whole lot more interesting, but also dangerous. "Sir... I do not have to tell you what damage this could cause with Starfleet and the Federation, let alone Cardassian relationships." He rubbed his forehead, pausing and taking a long drink as a silence descended on the room. "Now the Captain is dead, this will be even harder to hide, for a start,we can't keep her in these quarters,it's too dangerous if internal comes looking... You are not making my first assignment an easy one, and I don't know either of you, however I am a sucker for a pretty woman, so I can help... we need a spare living quarters that I can keep off the radar..."

Inaji smiled at Tolaran's comment about being a sucker for a pretty woman. She couldn't remember the last time someone had called her pretty. She couldn't believe it herself, she had learned to be ashamed of her face at a young age when her father wouldn't let her go outside for fear that someone might see her. Then, when she was just a child, he took her in for cosmetic surgery to remove her half-Bajoran features. But soon, with the help of Dr. Silverton, she would have a new face. Not only would he reverse the surgery, but he would remove her Cardassian features altogether so when she looks in the mirror she wouldn't be reminded of her past.

"Perhaps Ellen--" Timothy caught himself. "I mean, Petty Officer Washington's former quarters? They're empty at the moment, and she'll only need to stay here for a couple more days before her surgery."

Tolaran stood up, taking his empty cup to the replicator, and disposing of the waste, he considered having another one, but he didn't think his bladder would take it well. "That will work, I will also get her a uniform... you will use the cover of being a new non comm security, this way it will seem natural that you're spending time with me and are able to get around the ship freely. It would be better than a civilian sir in my opinion,if you agree of course?"

Whilst he waited for the Commander to respond he looked at Inaji, for someone so young to have gone through so much wasn't fair but whilst he still had reservations about it, he would help her start a new life within the Federation. Everyone deserves to live a life free from oppression and abuse, it was one of the reasons he joined Starfleet.

"Thank you, Lieutenant," replied Tim, a hint of relief in his voice, "but I think a Cardassian non-com walking around might be a little too conspicuous. For her own safety, she should probably stay confined to quarters until she gets her new face."

Inaji nodded in agreement. She was used to being cooped up inside where no one could see her, so only a couple more days would be no problem now that there was a light at the end of the dark tunnel. Soon she would be free
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Re: Mission Four: "Requiem"

Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:24 pm

Soul Searching
MD 03 - morning shift
Authors: Cmdr Timothy Rouse and Lt JG Delainey Carlisle.


"How are you doing?" The soft gentle question was simple but direct enough to open what she hoped would be a candid and supportive relationship between Carlisle and Rouse. The executive officer of the USS Portland had witnessed the horrific death of his friend and Captain, and was now facing a routine but still emotionally taxing review panel.

Though she'd only interacted with him briefly upon the away team to return, it didn't take someone with counseling skills or extensive interaction with him to know he was struggling but trying valiantly to keep it together and to project whatever image it was he felt he was obligated to project.

Tim looked up. "Why does everyone keep asking me that?" he returned to the Chief Counselor, even though he knew it was a wasteful question.

"Does that bother you?" Carlisle didn't really believe Tim's question was genuine, but the emotions she thought she sensed underlying it seemed very real.

Tim laughed, immediately remembering he was talking to the counselor and not just some other senior officer. "The question doesn't really, but the answer I'm suppose to give does." He shrugged. "How are most of the crew handling all the changes?"

Not to be deflected so easily, even by an acting commanding officer, Delainey replied, "I consider you a member of the crew, and I don't know how you're holding up."

"My best friend just died and I've been dealing with the aftermath of the mission and its concequences as the Portlands most senior officer. Many members of the crew count on me. I haven't got a decent amount of sleep since the away mission." He said. "Does that answer your question?"

"You've been handed more pain than any one person should have to absorb and more stress as well. How're you handling it?"

"Barely, but I'll manage" Tim replied.

Delainey wasn't sure if he was being deliberately succinct or if he truly didn't understand what she meant. "What have you been doing to cope with the stress and the grief? Are there any particular activities that help or anyone that you can reach out to for support?"

"It's been less then 48 hours since the Captain died. When everything has settled I'll take time to deal with my personal grief." He said.

"If only grief were that considerate," Delainey replied. "The more you try not to deal with it, the more it'll hit you when you least need it to. I know you're really struggling. I don't blame you, but pretending you're not will not serve you personally or with the crew."

"I'm not deny my grief." Tim said, getting annoyed a bit. "I'm just very busy. I've got a ship to run."

"What can I do to support you?" Delainey asked, deciding to change tactics. She would get nowhere in a tug-of-war over how he was coping, or in this case, how she believed he wasn't coping. "Please give me something specific that I can do for you, personally, not something I can do for the rest of the crew." Carlisle had already anticipated he might tell her to focus on the crew instead of himself.

He looked at her as if she just asked him to get dressed up as a clown. "If there is anything, I'll know where to find you." he said.

Delainey nodded silently. She knew Tim wasn't angry with her but at the entire situation. "I'm on your side, Commander, and I don't see you as the bad guy," she offered gently.
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Re: Mission Four: "Requiem"

Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:45 pm

Eclipse vs. Portland... Part I of IV
2412 – Future Timeline
Authors: Captain Sera Williams, Marcus Kallan, Coln Jena (played by Jason Beauvoir), Timothy Rouse, Vedek Meru, Gregory Rathcliffe (played by Eilis Ross)


Captain Williams sat in the Captain's chair. This bridge was certainly much different than her own ship. She made frequent trips to the bridge and spent missions stationed at the engineering console, but it had never been her home aboard the Portland. She tapped a few buttons for ship status. She looked at the viewscreen to see the Eclipse closing in on them. Her sister had been so excited to get the chance at being the Chief of Operations, but this unexpected development had to be hard on her.

Sera stood and looked back began issuing orders. "Helm, we don't have the speed to leave them behind, so you'll have to get creative. We should be arriving at the Asteroid Belt, try buzzing a few. They won't be able to follow our path with that behemoth and it may buy us some time." She then turned to the others, "Do what you can to distract and confuse their sensors. Remember, this ship was the testbed for the Eclipse, it has some surprises."

Sera knew that at most she would be buying them an extra minute or so, but she had to inspire hope and confidence.

"Creative," Marcus murmured, glancing over his shoulder at the antiquated consoles and duty stations at the rear of the bridge. "Creative is reason why I left Starfleet." The half-cyborg sat down at one of the engineering stations and began tapping at the LCARS console. Within moments he had pulled up an advanced engineering and operations display, no longer limited to Federation Standard and optimized for a cybernetic eyepiece like he wore. To gain full advantage of his prosthetic, Marcus pulled back his hood, revealing an older Marcus, his head shaved clean, and where plasteel and corbonite met flesh, a centimeter-wide strip of scar tissue. His Borg-enhanced eyepiece began processing the information displayed much faster than any humanoid could.

Jena felt bad for Marcus, she teased him, but she didn't mean anything malicious by it. Truth be told she used to have a crush on him.

As he returned to the bridge, Timothy could see a photon torpedo pass by, between the rollbar and the saucer section of the Portland. A warning shot, no doubt. He glanced over at Sera as he walked towards the center chair, with a look that brooked no confusion about who was in command here.

As soon as Timothy entered the Bridge, Sera immediately stood. With a, "Sir," she stepped away from the chair to return to her spot on the Main Engineering console. Sera did have her misgivings, but Tim was needed and this was no time to rehash the past. As she sat down at the console, she noticed Marcus. Sadness filled her as she saw what had become of him since they had seen each other last, but there was work to be done.

Giving the others time to come up with something, Jena answered the hail. "Sir, the Eclipse is hailing us." She reported.

"On screen," Tim called out, seeing Ellen and Meru stepping onto the bridge out of the corner of his eye. On the main viewer of the Portland appeared Captain del Bolero of the Eclipse. And behind him at the tactical console was his son, Andy.

del Bolero took a double take at the sight of the Portland's bridge. When he heard the Portland was being stolen, he didn't know that it was a bunch of current and former Starfleet officers behind the theft. "Mister Rouse," he said in a clearly derogatory tone, "what is the meaning of this?"

Sera turned to look at the viewscreen, and immediately regretted it. She knew her sister, Selina was on the ship. However, knowing something and actually seeing something were two different things. Her heart did go out to Tim, to be put in a position that would make a person go head-to-head with his own son. That had to be terrible.

"Starfleet wouldn't authorize this mission," replied Tim in a firm tone, "so we're doing it anyways." With that said, he looked up at Andy and caught his eyes on the screen. Andy didn't know what to do; Tim may not have been there for him, but he was still his father. A look of distress appeared on his face as he came to terms with the fact that he may have to fire upon his father. Tim took it all in stride, simply offering his son a subtle reassuring nod, as if to say that he was proud of him.

del Bolero sighed and pressed his hand against his head. "Timothy, I know you have nothing to lose, but think about this for a moment. Do you know the punishment for stealing a starship? I don't; no one has even tried in over a hundred years. You're risking the careers of at least a half dozen Starfleet officers, not to mention jail time." del Bolero paused and looked at Sera. "Captain Williams, as the highest ranking officer, I order you to detain these people and turn your ship around."

Behind Captain del Bolero, Lt. Selina Williams shifted nervously at her station at the Operations console. She had known about the plan to take the Portland and had even overheard the plan, but she had hoped that some other ship would've been the one to get the call to intercept. Now, her duty was to keep the Eclipse's systems operating at peak performance, even it that now meant to capture the Portland.

Sera looked tapped her comm badge and whispered, "Nikki, you have Engineering." She then turned to face the viewscreen. With a heavy sigh, she stood up, let her glance fall to Timothy and the rest of the Bridge crew. She then stepped forward and placed her hand on the shoulder of Lt. Davidson. "I'll take the helm," she said. The officer then got up and immediately made his way to the back of the bridge to an unoccupied console.

Looking up from the Science console, Jena recognised her old friend Selina at the Eclipse's Operations console. She was happy for her having earned a place on the fleet's prestigious new ship, but didn't envy her having to serve with Captain Windbag.

del Bolero shook his head upon witnessing Sera taking the conn. "I see you've all made your choice," he said in a solemn and slightly threatening voice. "If you don't stand down immediately, I will have no choice but to use force. I should also inform you that the Eclipse is equipped with ten tetryon beam arrays, each of which is rated at over 400 petawatts of output, and can sustain a maximum speed of warp 9.9997." del Bolero's eyes narrowed as he stared at Tim. "You can't run, you can't hide, and if you even think about trying to fight your way out of this, the Eclipse will make short work of that archaic garbage scow which you've inexplicably decided is worth stealing."

Tim smirked. "You don't get it, do you?" he replied, trying to buy time for Sera or Marcus or Jena to come up with something -- anything -- which might help them escape. "This mission is more important than any of us. We have twenty years of wrongs to right. We've been to hell and back together; we're not just a bunch of random strangers, we're a crew. And this crew is missing its captain. We're doing this for Meru, for Tyrlai, and for all of us."

del Bolero sighed. He had read of a Captain Alenis Meru in the Portland's database; while he had only skimmed her file, he knew that she was killed in action while commanding the Portland. "She died twenty years ago," he shot back, initially confused about the mention of the Portland's former captain. But a moment later, a realization appeared on his face. "...unless you're planning to violate the Temporal Prime Directive," he added in a serious tone. "In which case, you know I have to stop you."

Tim opened his mouth to respond, but was cut off by the holographic Vedek at his side. "Captain," said holo-Meru in a soothing tone. "This is a difficult situation for us all, and as a woman of the cloth so to speak, I believe that before we act rashly we should consider the teachings of our religious figures and their holy texts."

"Oh?" asked del Bolero, having little patience for the superstitious mumbo-jumbo of the Bajorans. "And what sort of insights might these texts provide?"

"Well, there is a certain special place which is a recurring theme in Earth religions," started Alenis in a calm, gentle tone, "and were I a human priest, I believe what I would say is this:" Holo-Meru's eyes narrowed as she gave del Bolero a piercing glare. "Go to hell, Captain."

A snort, sounding a cross between a wheeze and a chuckle, comes from the engineering station. But it's cut short as Marcus' instruments light up. "Captain, I am reading a power build-up in the Eclipse's forward weapons array. We do not have the conventional means to withstand a direct assault," Marcus said towards Sera, eyepiece glittering with malevolent Borg green. "Now is the time."

Greg heard the words spoken by the other members but he was too concerned about the imminent threat which the other ship had hanging over their heads. His fingers itched to return fire but he realised the repercussions that this could ultimately cause. Al he could do was wait for an order.

On the screen, del Bolero harumphed and glanced back at the tactical console. "Cadet Rouse, lock weapons on their engines." He looked back at the screen. "I'm sorry it has come to this, but you give me no choice." With that, del Bolero's face disappeared and was replaced with a view out the back of the USS Portland. The Eclipse, gaining on them, had charged up its weapons and fired, stripping most of the Portland's rear shields in a single burst.

"More power to the aft shields!" called out Tim. "Captain Williams, if you have an ace up your sleeve, now is the time."

Stepping beside Captain Williams, Marcus said, "Sera." He rarely spoke her name any more. "Sacrifices must be made for this plan to succeed. I volunteered. Give the order."

Sera looked back at Marcus, and shook her head in understanding. He had been one of her best friends, and the accident had left him is a state that he detested. Yet, still Sera was reluctant to give the order. She looked at Marcus in the eyes and said with sadness, "Do it." Sera's fingers danced on the helm control of the Portland. She was about to put the ship through evasive maneuvers the designers over a century ago never intended a Miranda-class ship to endure.

Stepping clear of his friend, Marcus turned a quick gaze around the bridge. Despite his foibles and failures, this was the crew that stood by him. "Goodbye," he said, his gaze last on Meru, a being whom he had treated with distrust. Touching a control on his cybered arm, Marcus disappeared in a sparkling field, appearing like an amalgam of both Starfleet and Borg transporter technology.

TO BE CONTINUED
Commander Timothy Andrew Rouse
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USS Portland

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Re: Mission Four: "Requiem"

Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:45 pm

Eclipse vs. Portland... Part II of IV
2412 – Future Timeline
Authors: Lt. Selina Williams (played by Sera Williams), Captain del Bolero (played by Alenis Meru), Andy Rouse (played by Timothy Rouse)


Last time, on Star Trek: Portland...


"Goodbye," he said, his gaze last on Meru, a being whom he had treated with distrust. Touching a control on his cybered arm, Marcus disappeared in a sparkling field, appearing like an amalgam of both Starfleet and Borg transporter technology.

And now, the continuation...


USS Eclipse

Seconds later, on the communications screen, intruder alert sounded aboard the Eclipse.

Lt. Selina Williams immediately lunged forward to look at the incoming status alerts at the Operations console. "Sir, we have an intruder... looks like Main Engineering." She quickly scanned the ship's power usage and emissions, then continued, "There was a power surge that suggests a transporter, but these signatures match... these can't be right..." she double checked, "they have Borg signatures, Sir." Her eyes fell to Cadet Rouse, almost asking what they should do. They both had family aboard the Portland.

"How did they..." muttered del Bolero, utterly shocked that someone could transport through his high-tech shields and intrude onto the most advanced ship in the fleet. "No matter. Commander Reynolds, rendezvous with security in engineering and stop the intruder by any means necessary. Cadet Rouse, carry forward your attack."

"Sir, with all due respect," started Andy, stammering slightly as he got the Captain's attention. He felt himself melting a little but under del Bolero's glare; the captain was not one to appreciate the questioning of his orders by a lowly cadet. "The Portland is still a Starfleet vessel and the people on board are still Federation citizens. We should try to apprehend them without the use of possibly lethal force, and--"

del Bolero gave Andy such an angry glare that it stopped his words mid-sentence. "You have your orders, Rouse, and if you can't carry them out, I'll find someone who will. Now, fire the forward tetryon beams."

Andy stared down at his console, sweating. "Yes sir," he replied reluctantly. He didn't want to destroy the Portland, but knew that his only chance was to knock out enough of their systems without destroying the ship that his father would have no choice but to bring this madness to an end. Reducing the power to the weapons systems, he made sure he was careful not to accidentally destroy the target with a 'lucky shot.' "Firing forward weapons..."

Selina was fighting back tears, but managed to keep her composure. Not only were they firing on a Starfleet vessel, they were firing on family. She couldn't do it, career or none. With a few taps on the Operations Console, she typed out a coded message to Marcus' personal channel. She had gotten it from Marcus when graduating from the Academy, "from one Operations Officer to another," he had told Selina.

The message simply said, "Tell me what you need, from Operations officer to another." She had to make sure he knew it was from her.

The message returned nearly immediately. "Anesthizine. Eighty parts per million." No doubt suggesting Selina flood Engineering with the gas that all starships stocked in case of intruder alerts, but would be completely useless against the Borg.

TO BE CONTINUED
Commander Timothy Andrew Rouse
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Re: Mission Four: "Requiem"

Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:47 pm

Eclipse vs. Portland... Part III of IV
2412 – Future Timeline
Authors: Marcus Kallan, Commander Arthur Reynolds,


Last time, on Star Trek: Portland...


The message returned nearly immediately. "Anesthizine. Eighty parts per million." No doubt suggesting Selina flood Engineering with the gas that all starships stocked in case of intruder alerts, but would be completely useless against the Borg.


And now, the continuation...

Engineering, USS Eclipse

The advanced engineering deck of the USS Eclipse was a technological marvel to behold. Stark and sleek, made to imitate the curves of the outer hull, the Eclipse was the most modern starship ever built.

Technology is irrelevant.

Shimmering into existence in the heart of engineering, a cloaked figure appeared from the matter stream. A second later, intruder alert sounded, and the officers on duty looked up from their operations work in keeping the ship in fighting form. Turning slowly to look at the Eclipse crew bearing down on him with phasers drawn and shouts of, "Stay where you are! Drop your weapons!" Marcus simply let his hood fall back.

"Resistance is futile," he said, and an irregular, translucent subspace shield erected around him with the snap of molecules in the air being shoved sharply out of place.

"Open fire!" Came the order, and a hail of phaser fire erupted from the half dozen engineering and operations officers surrounding him.

They were the first to fall, thrown against bulkheads or to the ground, injected with modified Borg nanoprobes designed to impair their host with a severe anaphylactic response. Soon, a forcefield was brought down, with the intent to secure Marcus away from the most sensitive of ship's systems, so he turned to the one console that he had access to and began assimilating its functions.

"Oxley to Security. We have an intruder in Engineering," one of the Eclipse officers said into his combadge. "Appears to be Borg in nature. Repeat. One Borg in Engineering. Request security anti-Borg personnel on the double."

Arthur had been on his way to a transporter room when the call came through. Through grit teeth, he acknowledged the order and started toward engineering. Knowing full well not to barge right in, Reynolds found a position by the main doors, which opened to give him an unobstructed view of the room. Sure enough, he caught sight of the Borg... and the incapacitated security officers. He narrowed his eyes before darting in toward a side console, just behind a structural support that could at least act as an impromptu shield should Eclipse's unwelcome guest start firing.

With no time to waste, Arthur quickly entered a command into the console, fully planning on sending an exceptional surge of power into the console their unidentified visitor was assimilating. This would have had the effect of causing it to blow out, disabling the forcefield but likely causing a feedback loop through the assimilation tubules in the process. However, Arthur wouldn't leave it to chance. As soon as he'd finished, he readied his phaser and stood with his back against the support, muscles tensed in preparation.

As the console started to spark, Marcus' cybernetic arm jerked back to cover his face. The bulk of the explosion was absorbed by his shielding, but the former Portland operations officer was still smoking from where the energy arced and pockmarked his cybered side. "That wasn't nice, Arthur," came his response. "I am not here to hurt your crew. Stand down."

As he had no other means of controlling the ship from this position, Marcus began assimilating the forcefield. Slowly but surely, he pressed his mechanical hand against, and then through, the loudly-hissing force field, until its own feedback shut it down. "Ah, there. Now we can be friendly," Marcus said sardonically. And then he advanced on another engineering console.

Arthur frowned when he heard the tone of Marcus' voice. "One step at a time," Arthur steadied himself as he rigged a site-to-site transport using the nearest transporter buffer to widen the beam's range, tying the transport command into his badge and encrypting it with a variant of his personal Section 31 code. As soon as the overload on the Portland was finished, a brief opening in the shields would appear... but before then, there'd be just enough time to confront Marcus. All of a sudden, Tolaran's voice blared out of his comm badge.

=/\= Arthur, I've begun the overload but encountered difficulties shutting down the engines, will contact you again as soon as possible if I'm able to. They want to alter the timeline! =/\=

Cautiously, he inched away from his console once he tied the transport into his comm badge. He held his phaser in front of him defensively and carefully strafed to the side, one hand hovering over his badge in preparation. Nonetheless, he made certain to stay behind cover and not enter Marcus' range. Clearly, the security guards hadn't considered this or they'd be standing here now, Arthur thought bitterly. "What do you plan to do? Go back and destroy the Borg? Maybe... bring a dead friend back to life?" A sneer later, and he continued, "What do you think is going to happen?"

"Correct a mistake," Marcus replied, pouring over the console he had access to. Glancing over his shoulder to keep Arthur in his field of view, Marcus began assimilating this console. The assimilation happened much faster this time, and a combination of Borg glyphs and other LCARS-style code began filling its display. Other engineering consoles began to flutter, and an alert klaxon blared.

"Resistance is futile."

And then the master blast door began to drop, designed to isolate the warp core from the rest of the engineering decks as explosive decompression is about to occur. With Marcus on the core-side of the blast door, he simply watched Arthur impassively, with one final message to the Portland.

=/\= Marcus to Portland. Assimilation is complete. Note, Tolaran Kian is a saboteur in your engineering. Repeat: You have a saboteur. =/\=

TO BE CONTINUED
Commander Timothy Andrew Rouse
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Re: Mission Four: "Requiem"

Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:50 pm

Eclipse vs. Portland... Part IV of IV
2412 – Future Timeline
Authors: Timothy Rouse, Captain Sera Williams, Coln Jena (played by Jason Beauvoir), Vedek Meru

Last time, on Star Trek: Portland...


=/\= Marcus to Portland. Assimilation is complete. Note, Tolaran Kian is a saboteur in your engineering. Repeat: You have a saboteur. =/\=

And now, the continuation...

Bridge, USS Portland

Rocked by weapons fire, the Portland continued on its course at maximum velocity. "Auxiliary power to the rear shields." Tim was barking out orders like the old days, before his resignation from Starfleet. Before he became a broken man on a backwater planet. "Helm, evasive maneuvers. Captain Williams," he paused for a second, "please tell me that Marcus has some sort of plan."

After ducking a few sparks from the exploding second helm console beside her, Sera replied, "We'll know soon enough." She trusted Marcus to do his duty, but she also knew it was doubtful that they'd be able to thank him. Sera then tapped some commands into the helm control, they would put the ship into a series of twists and turns that had come to be dubbed the 'Evasive Pattern Williams-One' after her own ship had escaped danger from an Orion Syndicate ambush.

Tim nodded. There was little he could do but watch and wait, and hope that Sera's award-winning Rigel cup flying skills could keep them from taking too many hits before Marcus could do whatever he had planned. But as he wondered what Marcus could possibly do, his questions were answered on the viewscreen in front of him. The Eclipse suddenly dropped out of pursuit, coming to a sudden halt. A could of gas shot out the bottom, and then a large cylindrical device, "Report!" he called out. "It looks like they dumped their core..."

"Confirmed sir, the Eclipse's computer has ejected the core as per procedure in event of a potential core breach, but sensors show that core is inert." Jena reported having taken over Operations duties. "But there's no time for celebration, I'm afraid, we've a message from Marcus, we have a saboteur in engineering and its Tolaran Kian."

"Tolaran..." Timothy gasped; he had not seen Tolaran in over a decade. Unfortunately, being a rag-tag group of officers, he didn't have the luxury of a full-fledged security team he could send down at a moment's notice. "Send Zirra," he said, knowing that if anyone was qualified to take care of an intruder, it was the Gorn who they had brought along on this mission. "And Marcus?" asked Tim, fearing the worst.

"Aye, sir." Jena said contacting the Gorn and informing her of the situation. Then trying to hold back tears, she said. "Marcus is dead, sir."

A mournful silence filled the bridge. Marcus was gone; he had given his life for the mission and for the crew of the Portland. It wasn't supposed to be like this, thought Tim. They were supposed to be gone before anyone noticed. All those feelings from twenty years ago began rushing back to him; in his efforts to save Meru, he had lost Marcus as well.

As he was about to break down, he felt a hand on each shoulder. On one side was the Vedek. As he stared into her eyes, he remembered why they had all done this. They couldn't just leave the captain behind, and leave Tyrlai to suffer the effects of the shard. Not while there was a chance to save them. There was pain inside the hologram's eyes, but beneath that, there was hope as well. With her dark, expressive eyes, Vedek Meru gave him a warm, comforting look. She knew the journey they were on was as much spiritual as it was physical, and though they had lost one along the way, that the prophets worked in mysterious ways that that Tim was also embarking on a journey of his own, a journey of healing deep down in his pagh.

And as Tim looked over towards the other side, he saw that the other hand belonged to Ellen. The one woman he truly loved, and the one he had left twenty years ago. Feeling her hand on his shoulder, her gentle touch for the first time in twenty years, gave him the strength to go on. "Helm," he called out, "set course for the badlands. And someone get our stealth technology online."

Sera wiped a tear from her face as she input the coordinates to the badlands. When the console beeped that a safe path had been found, Sera confirmed Maximum Warp, then tapped the glowing engage button. Without a word, she stood from her seat at the conn, nodded to the junior helmsman in the back of the Bridge to take her place. She then made her way to the turbolifts. The Portland needed her Chief Engineer if the ship was to get the stealth systems back online.

THE END
Commander Timothy Andrew Rouse
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Re: Mission Four: "Requiem"

Fri Aug 21, 2015 3:27 pm

Stowaway
USS Portland, 2412
Shortly after "Eclipse vs. Portland"
Authors: Tolaran Kian, Arthur Reynolds, Nikki Barclay (played by Alenis Meru), Zirra Kajat (played by Jason Beauvoir)


The USS Eclipse was chasing the stolen Portland in an attempt to stop them from achieving their end goal. On board the Portland a stasis chamber activated, a small blue linking light on the front. Inside Tolaran's eyes opened slowly, he blinked hard trying to remember where he was... he took a deep breath, coming out of stasis was never pleasant and what was about to happen would be even less so... he was on assignment, Section 31 had got wind of a plan to steal the USS Portland by some of it's former crew and he'd been planted here several weeks ago. Tapping a subspace communication device on his chest he contacted the other operative involved in the mission.

"Kian to Reynolds, I'm awake... I'm assuming the Portland has been stolen... transmit orders. I repeat, I'm awake, transmit orders."

=/\= Good. You're alive. =/\= Arthur sounded nonchalant, but clearly he didn't think the plan would work. It just so happened to be one person... one. Then again, Section 31 were known to act alone should the situation demand it. =/\= Overload one of the generators for the port plasma relays and get to engineering to shut down the engines. Then don't stay there for too long. You know where to find me. =/\=

"Acknowledged" Tolaran closed down the communications link to Arthur, he knew that his feelings on this mission were that it wasn't going to succeed, during their time on the Portland the pair had worked closely as Chief of Security and Tactical and that knowledge had allowed Section 31 to utilize them perfectly for this mission. He had never known Captain Meru, she had been killed shortly before he took his position on the ship and that allowed him to keep that emotional detachment from this mission in that respect, but he still had to deal with his former crew mates.

Slowly he regained the feelings in his body, tingling sensations ran through him and he wiggled his hands and feet, he wore a black section 31 tactical uniform, next to him was a phaser, emergency provisions and some other little secret tricks if he needed them, including a one use site to site transporter for short range transport. He knew there was an extra shuttle on the Portland that hadn't been included in the documents that were being written up for when the ship was preparing for decommission. He raised his arm, twisted the emergency handle and slowly eased the stasis pod open, he checked sickbay, right now it was quiet for which he was thankful as he held the phaser ready... "Well that's the easy part..."

He eased himself out of the pod and then closed it, his soft boots hitting the floor, looking around he moved quickly to the door, that old whoosh as it opened, the lights through most of the ship were dim, the flashing red lights along the corridor indicating the ship was at alert, he had to get down six decks to engineering, where he knew there would be crew, how could they not protect main engineering, he just wondered who was down there bringing this ship to life. He prized open a hatch and closed it behind him, then he began to descend the ladders, it was going to be a long climb... and hope no-one was checking how many life signs were on the Portland...

Arthur figured there might be resistance in the engineering section, but since there were no more than a handful of people aboard, it would be woefully undermanned. Whether Tolaran decided to use force or try to stay hidden, Arthur knew he could count on his old comrade to make the right choice. In any case, Arthur had to remove himself from the bridge, offering a brief apology to Captain del Bolero, who may have already known what Arthur had been planning. Section 31 did get help from commanding officers of del Bolero's type more often than not, after all. Now it was just a matter of waiting for Tolaran to deal with the plasma relays that channeled power through that section of the ship, even to the shield generators, while Arthur stood at attention by a console in a transporter room.

...

Tolaran felt a light sweat begin to build on his forehead as he hit the bottom of the ladders, he edged toward the grill for engineering and peered in...

Inside engineering, Nikki was running back and forth trying to keep the ship going. Without an engineering crew, she had brought many of the systems offline and automated others, but it was still a challenge just to keep the entire house of cards that were her jury-rigs to the ships systems from falling. Sprinting back and forth between consoles, with a half-eaten sandwich balanced on top of one of them, she hadn't heard Tolaran in the Jeffries tubes, and the internal sensors which might have warned her were one of the "non-essential" systems she had taken offline.

Noting that there seemed to be only one crew member in Engineering he gave a wry smile, this was going to be simpler than he'd hoped. He gently eased off the access hatch and crawled through, Nikki had his back to him as made his way towards her, he steadied his phaser, on the weakest setting so it would only knock her out for a short time....

Master Chief Petty Officer Zirra Kajat was acting as a one being Security Team looking for potential intruders. Finishing a patrol of Deck 7, she re-entered Main Engineering to check on Nikki, only to spot an armed man sneaking up on the lone Engineer. Baring her teeth, the large Gorn charged the man.

Tolaran saw a whirl of activity in his peripheral, he sighed briefly as the sight of a charging Gorn became more apparent. The officer in front of him turned to see what was going on as Tolaran stepped back slightly from the Gorn's charge ducked and used the momentum to send his attacker to the floor. "I really wanted to avoid violence... please stand down and allow me to complete my mission" stated Tolaran, using his softest voice possible, he'd intended to incapacitate the engineer before turning his attention to completing his mission and now he had this further complication to deal with.

Zirra regained her footing. "If your mission is to prevent us form completing ours, I can not allow that." She said adopting a fighting stance.

"Tolaran!" exclaimed Nikki. "It's been so long, we haven't... wait..." Nikki's eyes fell on his phaser as a horrified expression appeared on her face. "You were going to shoot me, weren't you? Oh my god, Tolaran, how could you? You're working for that clown del Bolero?" A tear came to Nikki's eye as she took a step back and picked up a heavy hyperspanner. Not only was she anxious over having a phaser pointed at her, but she was hurt by being threatened by someone she thought was a friend. "I thought we were friends! We're trying to save the captain! Captain Alenis! How could you?"

"Nikki... I didn't recognize you from behind, Del Bolero isn't my concern, I work much higher up the chain.... but I wasn't made aware why you were stealing her." This revelation to his mission made things more difficult as whilst he knew who.had stolen this ship, the why hadn't been explained. "I don't want to fight you, whatever the plan is to save Meru, you can't think it will actually work, the timeline should not be tampered with, we have to avoid these situations and the past has made that clear" Tolaran had worked tirelessly for S31 for years now, he'd dropped off the radar to any of his former crew and friends, thinking he could keep feelings out of it, but it was difficult.

As a Starfleet officer, Nikki knew all about the temporal prime directive. In hear head, she knew that messing with the timeline wasn't a good idea. But in her heart, she knew they couldn't just leave the captain behind again. "But how do you know this is the proper timeline?" she countered in a panicked tone. "We're on a mission from the prophets. Captain Rouse -- Tim -- had a vision."

Tolaran looked at Nikki crossly, his tone starting to do the same "And you thought stealing a Federation starship was the best way to see this through? The time line is what it is, this is where we exist and is the past I remember, what if we just allowed people to go back in time whenever they saw fit and change things, how do you know you won't go back and save Meru for her to die anyway at some point or for one of her actions then getting you killed?! Think of the ramifications of you actions here Nikki! We all know Rouse was never the same after the Captains death, I didn't even serve with her before she died and I heard everyone saying how he'd changed... I understand the loyalty but I have to think about whats right."

Zirra stood there silently eyeing the former Security Chief, ready to defend Nikki, should the man try to attack her again.

"But how do you know what's right?" protested Nikki, as she subtly pressed a button on her console to open up a transmit only intercom channel to the bridge. She slowly advanced on Tolaran; with a phaser, he was better armed but outnumbered. He could probably stun one of them before being taken down, but maybe not both. The last thing Nikki wanted to do, however, was attack an old friend with a hyperspanner. "For all you know, we're trying to restore the proper timeline and you're altering it! I know you're not a religious man, but the prophets are non-corporeal beings, existing outside of time and space. If anyone knows which is the proper timeline, it's them!"

"Disable the comm link Nikki... now. I will take action if you don't...." He raised the phaser slowly, keeping a watchful eye on the Gorn who had not taken its eyes off him since this encounter had begun "So you would take the word of a man who is taking the word of these... prophets and you asking me to think that this timeline I have been living all these years is wrong... come on Nikki, the timeline is not that simple, you have had the lectures."

Suddenly Tolaran fired his phaser, missing Nikki but causing sparks as he hit the console behind her cutting off the comm channel, he then threw himself at the Gorn, a swift kick to its leg catching it off guard before it could hit him first, this was going to be tough.

As Tolaran attacked the Gorn, Nikki swung at him wildly with her hyperspanner. She didn't know much about hand to hand combat, but she knew enough to know that being hit with a heavy hyperspanner hurt.

Tolaran caught Nikki's movement and rolled away, so instead of hitting him she hit her Gorn friend straight in the side with a hyperspanner, causing a grunt and a startled look, as Nikki looked shocked, he grabbed her arm and linked it behind her head. "Please Nikki, this doesn't have to be like this..."

Tears began to form in Nikki's eyes. She was hurt, not just physically, but by the fact that someone she thought was an old friend would attack her like this. She knew Tolaran was stronger and that resisting him would be ultimately futile, but she hoped to at least prevent him from wrecking their mission. "But Tolaran, it does," she said, before trying to kick him in the kneecap.

Tolaran cried out with pain as Nikkis kick caught the edge of his knees she'd almost got him straight on, he pushed her away running as best he could to a console whilst Nikki picked herself up from the floor, he quickly keyed in some commands to begin the overload of the port plasma relay and locked the system. "You gave me no choice!"

Tolaran tapped his subspace communication device. =/\= Arthur, I've begun the overload but encountered difficulties shutting down the engines, will contact you again as soon as possible if I'm able to. They want to alter the timeline! =/\=

He turned around just the Gorns fist met his face and he crumpled to the floor...
Capt. Alenis Meru
Commanding Officer
USS Portland

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