The Minerva crew discover the cause of TRV and race to find a solution…

Crew Facilities

The bunks stacked in two rows, two-high, can sleep as many as 50 crew members. They appear to be designed primarily with humanoids in mind, but several appear to be reinforced and extended for larger, bulkier races.

The crew bunk area also includes four unisex comfort cubicles, four showers, an exercise square featuring an oval running track, training gear and weightlifting equipment, and a holovid pit with a viewer and a few couches and chairs.

The ship’s commander and executive officer have their own cubicles that contain beds, computer terminals, and dressers for the display of personal effects.

DS-3633 is attached to a computer console. Suddenly, the Phyrrian comes alive and disconnects itself.

Porter emerges from his cubicle, tugging on the sleeves of his uniform jacket.

Marlan enters the crew facility, a backpack on her back.

Porter glances toward Marlan, nodding. “Doctor, evening.”

DS-3633 turns and says, “Greetings Colonal Porter, this unit inquires of your current state.” It turns, “Greetings.” It still doesn’t know how to refer to her.

Porter tilts his head, looking toward DS-3633. “My current state? I’m itching to hit the road, Diss.”

Marlan nods to DS, “Heya scraps. Research what you needed to?” she asks before nodding to Porter, “Sir.”

DS-3633 nods its head to Porter, “Yes, this unit was successful in its research. Colonal Porter, if you wish for the Minerva to begin it’s journey, why don’t you order it?”

Porter chuckles at DS-3633. “The Centaurans might not be too pleased if we head to their homeworld *without* the remains of their late leader.”

Marlan smirks slightly, removing the backpack and tossing it up onto her bunk. “Just maybe.”

DS-3633 nods its head, “That is a logical conclusion. What is preventing the VES from aquiring the remains?”

McConnell steps into the Crew Facilities from the Mess Hall, and starts to make his way towards his bunk, though when he notices Porter he snaps to attention, saluting smartly.

Porter shakes his head. “Well, the forensics folks are still hunting through the flight deck making sure we get every possible fragment.”

Marlan grimaces slightly, “Thanks for the picure Colonel.”

Porter nods to McConnell. “At ease, Lieutenant.”

DS-3633 pauses briefly, then nods again.

McConnell slips into an at ease position, keeping an eye on Marlan, he then continues on towards his bunk.

Porter clips the datapad to his belt, then says, “Anything come of the TRV research yet, Doc?”

DS-3633 turns toward Marlan, interested in the response.

Marlan watches McConnell walk by and smirks slightly, eyes moving down to the ground for a moment before then coming up to meet Porter, “We’ve found some commonalities and are closely monitering the Ungstiri in our medbay…we also managed to get the Zangali..if preliminary signs hold, he’s definetly infected.”

Porter nods to Marlan. “Maybe the Centaurans can lend us some scientific assistance.” He shrugs. “Worth asking.”

DS-3633 tilts its head, “This unit offers its skills at research and rapid analization in this medical investigation.”

Marlan nods to both, “Preciate that, Scraps, we can use all the help.” she says then turns to Porter, “Although, i had a question Sir…as much as i hate having all the cryo-units on seems to be the best possible choice.”

McConnell gets to his bunk, and reaches under the lower one to pull out his footlocker again, though he forgets its locked down. He pulls at it for a moment or two before muttering, “C’mon you stupid peice….” he stops, blinks and then leans over to peer under the bed.

Porter smiles grimly, nodding at the doctor. “I want a consistent team working on this. The Concordance folks have their hands full as it is, and if we’re mobile, that makes us a little harder to hit, should someone decide they want to do such a thing.”

Marlan nods, “Aye Sir. Exactly what I was thinking. Not to mention the extent of damage if something were to occur on the station compared to on board.”

Porter smirks. “You think something bad might happen on Concordance? Perish the thought.”

DS-3633 tilts its head, “There have been several occurances of what would be defined as “bad” events on Concordance Station.”

Marlan chuckles slightly, “I get it.” she says, “I’ll see what i can do about getting the Zangali transffered on board.”

Porter nods curtly. “Good.”

Marlan looks towards DS, “That’s an understatment. If things CAN go wrong they usually do.”

McConnell unlocks the footlocker, and pulls it out. He produces a vial of some clear substance, and then opens the locker. From within he pulls out two halves of a book. Quickly closing the lid of the locker, he lays both halves of the book out on the top of where they came from.

DS-3633 shakes its head, “That is illogical. There is always the possibility of undesirable results, however careful planning and control of as many factors as possible can greatly reduce the possibility.”

Marlan shrugs, “Never discount luck in those calculations of yours, Scraps. It’ll make and break you every time.”

Xavin enters into the crew facilities, his gait steadied. Stopping at the coffee table near the holovid pid, the Timonae pours himself a cup of the darker roast, taking a hearty sip before nodding to an off-duty security officer.

McConnell opens the vial, and takes out a little brush from another pocket. The brush has two brushy ends, not the usual one. He dips the brush in the clear liquid, and applies it to the top page of one of the broken halves. That done, he produces another vial, and proceeds to do the same with the other page. He then presses the two halves of the book together.

DS-3633 shakes its head again, “Luck is a mental illusion. Random chance is really just the total effect of all factors that cannot be detected or controled.”

Marlan grins, “We can’t all keep track of all those factors…atleast luck we understand.”

Porter nods to Xavin, then Staunton. He’s standing outside his cubicle with DS-3633 and Marlan.

Marlan is conversing with DS and Porter, backpack sitting on top of her bunk.

DS-3633 nods its head, “That is why luck is a mental illusion. When these factors effect the outcome in a positive way, it is considered good luck.”

McConnell slips both vials back into his pocket, and then opens his locker again, setting the book gently inside. He then slides the locker back under his bunk, and goes about securing it again.

As he approaches, cup of coffee in hand, Xavin stands just behind the Phyrrian, “Going to disagree with you on that, Dis.” He smiles firmly toward the Colonel and crosses around the Phyrrian to meet the man. “I read your scribings as to the meeting tonight, Colonel. Everything well?” He raises a concerned eyebrow.

Porter nods to the Timonae. “Just a little stir crazy.”

Staunton nods as Xavin enters, her attention not on the corporal, but the cup of coffee he holds.

Brushtail pads in from the main corridor, a soft smirk on his face as he moves towards his bunk, tail swishing gently behind him.

Xavin’s expression borders between smirk and smile, “Of course, Colonel. Welcome to Concordance.” He lifts the cup in a toast, sipping from it deeply.

Porter chuckles, then looks toward Staunton. “Major, do me a favor when you get a chance and contact the forensic team on Concordance to see if they’ve collected all the known fragments of the Solon yet.”

DS-3633 turns its head towards Xavin. “This unit could prove its reasoning through a logical proof, however it seems a misuse of time.”

Xavin raises the glass toward the mechanoid, “Agreed, let’s not get started on logic.” He smiles daringly, folding one arm over his chest.

Staunton retrieves a Datapad from her jacket. “I can do that right now, Sir,” she says and turns for the door.

McConnell raises from where he’s been working, and brushes off his knees idly, he then starts to wander towards the smell of coffee.

Porter shakes his head. “No, hang on. You can do that later, Major. We’re going to have dinner now.” He jerks a thumb toward the mess hall.

Staunton makes several strokes on the keypad, then returns it to her jacket. “Aye, Sir,” she says with a nod.

Marlan grins, “Time to meet our new crewman?” she asks with a telling grin.

Porter nods to Marlan, then starts walking toward the mess hall.

Xavin glances over toward Marlan, the smile sipping from his face as he watches the woman idly. Turning to follow the Colonel he folds his hands into the pockets of his jumpsuit.

Volidana enters the crew facilities from the corridor and snaps off a salute but blinks for a moment “Colonel porter, sir?” she asks

Porter stops near the mess hall entrance, turning toward Volidana. “Yes?”

Marlan looks over at Xavin and smirks before heading towards the mess hall herself.

Brushtail’s ears prick up once at the word “logic” and again at the word “dinner.” He turns his head, his body following as he moves towards the group, his original destination forgotten.

McConnell ends up discovering that the smell of coffee was just comming from Xavin, he looks mildly dissapointed.

DS-3633 follows the rest toward the mess hall. “This unit does not ingest nutrients. However, I will accompany the crew.”

Volidana explains “Brother Hezekiah is to begin working with Katya and has informed me of such should I wish to present. With your permission, sir?”

Porter nods to Volidana. “Fine.” He then proceeds into the mess hall.

Mess Hall

The starship’s mess hall is a large chamber broken into two distinct sections. The largest section consists of the galley, where cooks assigned to the vessel prepare meals for the masses – and where crew that are in dutch with their senior officers often spend time cleaning dishes, cutting vegetables or serving their crewmates, and the rows of tables and benches arranged in neat lines.

The secondary section is an “off-duty” pub called The Big Picture – a name earned by the expansive window that takes up most of the bulkhead section along the starboard hull. The tavern, open only during ship’s evening hours, features several tables and booths arranged around a horseshoe-shaped serving counter that carries (in a securely locked group of cabinets) an extensive variety of liquor from throughout the known worlds.

Porter walks toward the mess hall, where one of the tables has been set up buffet-style with a variety of main courses and side dishes.

Staunton runs a hand along the side of her head, brushing back the loose hair there.

Porter gestures to the buffet table. “Help yourselves, folks.”

Marlan grins, “This looks like Gen’s doing to me.”

McConnell wanders in, looking less and less dissapointed as he notices the buffet table, he smirks, and starts to wander towards it.

Staunton stands back, one hand hovering at her waist, the other fidgeting with the collar of her jacket.

Moving immediately towards the buffet tables, Brushtail retrieves a tray and pauses, looking over the various dishes with an appraising glance.

Marlan steps twoards teh buffet table and grabs a tray, “Ya know…i still think best move you ever made Colonel was bringing Gen on board.”

Porter nods slowly. “The Major didn’t think it was a bad idea either.” He winks toward Staunton.

DS-3633 steps in and stands to the side, waiting to see where people sit after they gather their food.

Staunton nods quickly. “She makes a mean chocholate cookie, that one.”

Porter grabs a tray himself, then begins working his way down the buffet table, following others ahead of him.

Marlan grins, “And her stews are to die for.” she comments as she begins piling food onto her plate.

As he reaches the table’s head, Xavin takes a paper plate and moves down the line, bypassing much of the offered dishes. When he’s reached the end, the Timonae’s plate is fairly vacant save for a collection of steamed vegetables, a roll of bread and a lettuce-based salad.

If it’s meat, it finds its way onto Brushtail’s platter, as well as a roll and a small serving of something looking similar to a potato. The Demarian’s eyes are alert, flicking about the mess hall. His nose, however, is twitching continuously, in the direction of the food.

Meat. That seems to be the order of McConnell’s food, and lots of it. The Lieutenant goes down the line, passing nearly every vegtable dish there is, but he piles the meat on high, that and potatos. After he is finished with the collecting of food he pours himself a tall glass of milk, and wanders off towards one of the tables.

Staunton’s trip down the buffet line seems to be less about the food and more about the artistic expression. By the end, her plate seems balanced both in symmetry and color. As the capper, she fills an oversized ceramic mug near to overflowing with rich, black, steaming coffee.

DS-3633 watches each person, noting what food they take.

Marlan’s plate is overflowing, pasta, salad, rice, fruits. Everythign seems to have found its way their but meat. As she reaches the end of the line she fills a tall glass full of a pink colored juice, “This all smells great.”

Porter gets a slice of meat loaf, some mashed potatoes and gravy, corn and a biscuit. He then grabs a glass of iced tea and makes his way toward one of the other tables.

Xavin follows the Colonel as he reaches the end of the line, eyes focused on his food to ensure its stability. Setting the tray down against the wood he prepares to slide into the row style seat but drops his plate against the flooring, food sailing as the Timonae reaches up to clutch his head, fingers pressed hard against his temples. “Arhh,” the man yops, bending to his knees.

Marlan has already put her plate down on the table, she looks up grinning about to comment on something when Xavin falls to the ground, “Chief!” she exclaims, food forgotten.

Porter glances sharply toward Xavin, his meal forgotten for now. “Corporal?”

Brushtail has just set his plate down. Turning towards Xavin, he frowns, but stays where he is.

McConnell blinks at the Timonae, and looks around a little uncertinly, he leaves his tray where it is and starts to make his way over to Xavin.

DS-3633 turns to Xavin and steps forward, “Corporal Carazz, are you experiencing pain?”

Xavin falls to a knee, already the Timonae’s skin has paled, sweating profusely. “Medical bay,” he manages, bracing himself against the floor with a stiff arm.

Staunton nearly throws her tray back onto the serving line and makes her way toward Xavin, sidestepping the mess of vegetables that now surround him.

Marlan steps towards Xavin, her hand instinctively reaching for the medical scanner on her hip, “Just hold on there Chief..” she says eyes turning to the scanner, “Scraps, call medbay, tell ’em to get a bed ready. Tell me what you’re feeling Chief.”

Xavin looks up toward Marlan as she nears, steely eyes fierce. “Not me. Volidana.” He reaches out toward the nearby table, trying to force himself upward. “This is of,” he grunts, trying to find strength. “This is of the essence.”

McConnell peers at Xavin, and glances at Porter questioningly.

Brushtail’s frozen stance is broken in an instant as he moves forward, towards the exit. His gaze snaps up as he moves, quickly, stopping at the exit only to send a questioning glance towards Porter.

DS-3633 nods its head to Marlan and speaks into a communications device. “Medical Bay, please prepare a bed. Corporal Xavin is suffering from an unknown injury.”

Porter nods. “Take him.”

Marlan looks unsure for a moment but nods, “Alright.” she says standing, scanner moving back to her belt.

Porter walks over to Staunton, frowning. “Might as well go keep an eye on him, make sure he’s okay.” He shrugs toward the buffet. “It’ll keep.”

DS-3633 tilts its head to Marlan, “Do you require this unit to carry Corporal Xavin?”

Staunton’s lips are pressed. “Should we contact Eye Balthazar?”

Porter lifts his eyebrows. “You think it’ll do any good?”

Marlan is beginning to offer Xavin her shoulder for assistance, she looks over at DS as he offers and nods, “Good idea scraps, take him to medbay. No arguments Chief.”

Xavin rises to a shaking stance, catching his breath before struggling in a stumble similar to a drunk, “I’m fine,” he snaps toward the Phyrrian.

McConnell pulls out his datapad, and starts typing quickly into it. He keeps a close eye on Xavin as he writes.

Marlan is already headed towards the door, she stops and turns. “Chief, stop complaining, if you need to get there you’ll get there faster with him carrying you than stumbling.”

Staunton turns to Porter, eyes steely. “You think it will hurt?”

DS-3633 shakes its head at Xavin, “Walking unaided in this state is illogical, and will result in 76.333% chance of further injury.

Xavin reaches up to touch the temple of his head, eyes flickering open and shut rapidly as the Timonae sends. Reaching out toward the Phyrrian, he merely nods.

Porter nods. “Fair enough, Major. Send word.”

Marlan frowns at something as she watches Xavin adn turns once more, ready ot lead the way to medbay.

Moments later…

Medical/Science Center

The vessel’s chief medical officer and staff maintain a relatively spotless facility, with exam and operating tables, vital sign monitors and the latest in hi-tech gadgetry. Pharmaceuticals are stored in code-sealed lockers. A medical computer provides symptoms and potential diagnoses at the touch of a button. Emblazoned in red on the gunmetal gray aft bulkhead is the double-snake entwined staff known among medical practitioners as the cadeucus.

It is a precise nod from Innokentevna that answers Marlan. “da … gospadin hezikiah hat just triet to fint vhat I hat lost … an ..” Katya looks to Volidana. “he sait he just heet a vall. A beeg strong vall. eet vas like stopping zee Gray horse an’ beink stupeet enough nyi to be strapp’t een. A minute, no more … an zere vas zis blue lite … an’ he vas gone.”

Xavin extends a hand, clasping the Vollistan’s wrist tightly, orbs of steel-blue focusing hard upon the woman. He coughs slenderly, the opposing hand coming to his lips to wipe away a token of the spittle. “What do you mean, he’s gone?”

DS-3633 is a few yards back from Xavin’s bed, listening intently.

McConnell has stopped typing for a moment as he hobbles into the Med area. When he hears Innokentevna speak he mutters something quietly and then gets back to typing on his datapadd.

Porter looks around the medical bay. “Who’s gone?”

Marlan frowns, She says, “shorshk korfka sousuier por”

Xavin doesn’t take his eyes from Volidana as he responds deftly to the Colonel’s inquiry, “Hezekiah.”

Staunton’s brow creases. “You mean he went home?”

Marlan turns to Porter, her last words having come out harshly, “Seems we were right in being concerned.”

Porter frowns, nodding, then looks toward Staunton.

Marlan turns her atteniton to Stunaton, “Only if home is with the Thulls most probably.”

The Ungstiri adds her last words, standing next to the cold, chilling stasis chamber. She stands still, to also answer Porter, sure and even. “Hezekiah. Zee Meesteec. Just az they sait … happen’t to me.”

Porter nods slowly. “All right. That means, most likely, he’ll be coming back, infected with that virus.”

Brushtail’s features grow concerned, a frown appearing on his face.

Xavin breaks his gaze from the Light Singer to regard the Ungstiri, watching her carefully before adding. “Then you were right, Morgana.” His smile is that of the rabbit in the wolf’s jaws.

McConnell stops his writing for a moment and looks up, “Who’s gone?” he asks a little sheepishly.

Volidana looks into Xavin’s trembling as he holds her “He tried to touch Katya’s mind and there was pain from both of them. Hez recovered slightly and turns to me and he asks “is brother xavin awake’ before I could answer or send for you, a blue light surrounds him and he’s gone”

Marlan nods in agreement with Porter. “It’ll also mean we’ll get to see this thing from the beginning.”

Brushtail’s grim look turns into a full-blown scowl as he listens.

“Da …” Iit is a cold gaze that answers Xavin back, Katya still, still the calm in the center of a hurricane. “Zo I vish … for once, zat I hat been playink zee fool.”

“Dammit.” The Timonae returns to Volidana’s recollection, wheeling back toward Marlan as he responds fiercly, “This isn’t a damn science experiment at the university, Marlan.” Reaching up he eases his brow before snapping back toward the Ungstiri, “Hit a wall?”

Marlan shifts her attention to Xavin and frowns slightly but shakes her head. Instead she takes a step towards him and Katya, medical scanner once more coming out.

DS-3633 tilts its head, but remains quiet. It is trying to analyze all this information and process possible solutions or at least possible actions to take that may lead to a solution.

“All I knov ees he took me back, to vhen I valk’t tovn zee stairs … look’t ofer my shoulter, zee last theeng I remember’t before I … remeber’t nothink.” Slowly the ungstiri’s arms cross, her fingers drumming upon the sleeve, a rough and tumbled staccato cadence. “Zen all eet vas vas pain, a heatache … for hezikiah, vorse. He broke contact… sait he hit a vall.” A pause, a heartbeat lost. “A very, very grozny … a very strong wall.”

~When the Mystic returns,~ a rasping multivoice speaks, ~You must be prepared to eliminate him, for his own good, and yours.~ A sparkling blue presence then manifests itself, just outside the corner of your eye.

Marlan jumps slightly as the voice speaks, her eyes turn upwards, “hivers.” she says to no one in particular.

Staunton folds her arms, her expression deepening into a near scowl.

Porter shakes his head. “That’s not an option, Osiris.”

McConnell blinks, and then nods, “Mystic, got it…” he goes back to his recording.

Brushtail’s gaze remains calm, though he jumps visibly, and the fur on the back of his neck is raised.

Innokentevna turns, sudden, trying to rach, even if she tumbles across equipment and consoles, to catch, to catch in her gaze, that something just beyond her vision. “eb toye mat! No … take me …”

Marlan puts a hand out to Innokentevna, “Easy. They’re not gonna take anyone…at least, it isn’t.”

Volidana shakes her head, turning red immediately “By Volir no, They won’t make me take a life. I will not” she repeats

Despite a few hairs bristling at the nape of his neck, the Timonae takes no recognition of the Hiver. He sits down against the bedframe simply, eyes snapping between the Ungstiri and Light Singer. Turning his chin toward Staunton he speaks bluntly, “The Thul have no control over the Voice. I’m going to contact Hezekiah.” Despite the statement, Xavin looks perilously between the three commanding officers, as if asking permission.

~He may take yours,~ the Hiver replies.

Porter shakes his head at Xavin. “You have no idea where he is…and you saw what happened to him when *he* went poking in her mind. I won’t risk you too.”

DS-3633 inquires, to no one in particular. “This unit suggests studying internal sensor records of the exact moment of the mystic’s disappearance and attempting to find a way to prevent other abductions. Does the Il’Ri’Kamm Hive Mind know how the abduction technology works?”

“At what price, Corporal?” is the Major’s quick reply. “I’m not ready to trade your life for his.”

Marlan frowns, “Not to mention your weak enmough at the moment as it is, communiting like that takes too much out of you.”

” … He vas … was trying … was helpink me.” Katya turns to face Marlan, her tossled bangs shading her eyes. “You unterstant, da? Eet shoult nyi hafe been heem.”

After a pause, Osiris replies, ~Yes. We do.~

Marlan shifts her gaze to Katya, “he knew the risk…he won’t be killed. You let us worry about that.”

The Historian finds his way into a nearby chair, and listens intently as he keeps up his work, listening to the voices around him.

“Then Balthazar.” Xavin looks between Staunton, Porter, and Marlan. “Someone,” he pleads.

Brushtail speaks up, his voice quiet but forceful. “Sirs, I have an idea. The Thul can, indeed, deal with one Mystic. Can they, sirs, deal with the Minerva’s crew, armed and ready? If it is possible, I would propose that we go after the Mystic, if we can duplicate the process. Sirs.”

“Can you sent us to rescue him?” Innokentevna blurts out the words, instrnctive, reflexive, without hesitation.

~We cannot duplicate the process,~ the Hiver replies.

Xavin locks his elbows atop his thighs, lowering his head and running slender fingers through his silvery locks. Coughing slightly, the Timonae falls silent.

DS-3633 says to the Hiver, “Can you assist the Minerva crew in designing a way to shield this vessel from further abductions?”

Arms folded, Staunton watches silently, her brow knitted in consternation.

Snapping her gaze back to Marlan, the courier shakes her head. She speaks hard, like an echo of the rock. “Nyet you … us. I veell to help.”

~Yes~, replies the Hiver.

Volidana responds to the Hiver’s words to her “Then volir shall recieve his child with her spirit pure” She turns to Xavin “Can I help?”

Marlan shakes her head slightly and turns to Xavin, “Right now you help us by being patient.” she says.

Marlan examines Xavin for injuries.

DS-3633 turns to Porter, “The most logical choice of action is that work immediately begins on shielding this vessel from further abduction.”

Porter nods. “That will be critical. If they can grab the conscious, they can probably grab the ones we have in stasis.”

Volidana reches gently out xavin’s mind to help find anything Marlan may not.

Xavin leans back, punching a button on the vessel wall and speaking in a thin rhasp, “All security personnel are now active, I want a full sweep of the ship. Triple the post at the airlock.” He swallows, watching the room from his aschewed position.

DS-3633 nods to Porter, then says to the Hiver, “What resources will be required for this task? Are you able to provide an estimate of time required?”

~The Mind can block them, now that we know what to expect,~ Osiris replies.

Marlan shakes her head slightly, “You’re exhausted, Chief.” she says as she looks up from the scanner.

Brushtail’s tail flicks behind him as he speaks again, as if to himself. “Osiris, is there any way to make one of us a target for abduction? A beacon, of sorts, for the Thul?”

~The Mystic did so, by touching the mind of one already touched,~ the Hiver replies.

Innokentevna looks grimly to Brushtail. “Sure. try an’ fint out vhat I … forgot.”

McConnell looks up from his typing, and looks about to say something, but he shakes his head and then gets back to it.

Xavin smiles resignedly, punching the button against the wall and speaking into the intercom. “And some soul, return the food to the cooling console.” He looks sharply at Marlan, gesturing to the other Ungstiri, “I was wrong.”

Marlan glances upwards then turns for the medical cabinet on the wall, “I’m not sure that’s what we want to do at the moment..Private.”

Marlan nods, “I see that..” she says, back to the room as she keys in something to the medical cabinet then opens it, “We both were.”

“Is there a way, Osiris, for a non-psionic entity to broadcast him or herself as a target?” Brushtail speaks once more, a questioning tone in his voice.

DS-3633 steps back as it analyzes the situation once again, searching for the next best course of action.

~Not that we can discern,~ replies the rasping multivoice.

Xavin nods, jaw clenched before adding. “She needs to be put in cryostasis.”

Volidana turns to Marlan “Xavin needs to rest, but I’m afraid his mind will not give him leave to do so. Will you give him something to help”

Brushtail’s ears droop a bit, the scowl never leaving his face. “Thank you anyways, Osiris.”

Marlan takes something from the medical cabinet then closes the door and tunrs, “Already ahead of you.” she tells Volidana before turning to Xavin, “You let me worry about her medical needs alright. You’ve got enough worrying to do about your own. You’re exhausted and sick. And of no use to any of us in that state.”

Porter shakes his head. “I don’t think we want to go traipsing into Thul territory unprepared.”

Staunton leans against a nearby desk. “Well said.”

Brushtail’s gaze falls to his chrono and he stands straight again. Addressing the Colonel, he speaks. “Sir, if there’s nothing I’m urgently required for, I’m going to go look and see if the Minerva’s internal sensors picked anything anomalous up.”

Porter nods to Brushtail. “Go ahead.”

Innokentevna takes a step back, shaking her head … “Pajhulsta … please.” She watches Marlan and Xavin, her hands turning into little fists, fingernails biting into the flesh of her palms. “I hafe nefer … nefer run from anytheenk een my life. I … do … nyi .. vish .. to start nov.” She looks back, to marlon, to porter, to Staunton. “Zere must be zometheenk I can do .. to help fite zis.”

DS-3633 inquires once again of the Hiver, “Will all vessel’s with a Ri’Kammi aboard now be protected from these abductions?”

~Yes,~ Osiris replies.

McConnell blinks, “May I suggest you not start your jamming for this ship quite yet? It may be a good idea to allow the Thul to drop this Mystic person back on the Minerva so we don’t end up searching the galaxy for him.”

Xavin reaches down, setting the pistols at his thighs on stun and activating the charging module. There is a slender, electronic hum as the weapons activate. “We wait.”

~We wait,~ the Hiver confirms.

Marlan takes the TCDS and brings it to Xavin’s arm, “It’ll help bring down your fever.” she explains.

McConnell frowns, “Here I am, in the middle of a possible shootout, and I brought my fists…good job Teddy.” he mutters.

DS-3633 nods its head, then turns to Porter. “Besides preparing for the return of the mystic, the most logical long term course of action now is to continue to research a cure for this disease. However, it is logical to begin developing a plan to deal with the Thul, either through violence or negotiation.” Of course, these are things that everyone probably had on their mind, but DS has a tendancy to state things when others just think them.

Marlan shifts her attention to Porter, “Sir, might i recommend that the Corporal be removed off the next duty shift?”

Xavin jerks his arm back and shakes his head toward the doctor. “I’m fine.” Reluctantly, he adds in a voice all to similar to a tower-confined resident of Val Shohob, “It is easy to confuse dreams and omens.”

Staunton says, “That’s not your call, Corporal.”

A flash of blue light illuminates the center of the medical bay.

Innokentevna stands quiet, for a long long moment. She just glances back to McConnell, a fell grin flashing for a heartbeat across her features. “Ze last time for me, just a bottle ov ketchup.”

Marlan turns her attention abck to Corporal, “This i…” her words are interrupted by the flash of light.

The blue flash fades, leaving Hezekiah behind.

Xavin reaches up to shield his eyes from the flash of light, the other hand grabbling for a grasp on a pistol.

Porter snaps his attention toward the returning Mystic.

Volidana responds gently to Katya “You would not be running any more than the others in stasis and you do no one any good by continuing to…by volir”

Staunton blinks, shielding her eyes with the back of one hand.

DS-3633 turns its head toward the light as well.

Innokentevna turns on the balls of one foot, facing the blue glow.

McConnell frowns some more as the blue flash happens, he then blinks a few times, and marks it down on his datapad. Blue flash.

Marlan seems momentarily stunned by the flash, attention turning down to the ground as she blinks a few times before slowly turning her eyes back towards the rest of the room.

DS-3633 steps back behind the armed occupants of the room.

Porter walks toward Hezekiah. “You all right?”

Hezekiah looks around vaguely, one hand going to massage his throbbing temple. Eyes dilated and distant.

Xavin withdraws the twin pistols from their holsters, though his index fingers are several inches from the firing mechanism. He stands from the bed, stepping forward in a mirror of Porter’s movement.

Marlan reaches for her medical scanner once more and then steps twoards Hezekiah.

Volidana looks toward hezekiah “I should try to touch his mind, but I am frightened..I do not want to disappear”. She says, aura completely blue

DS-3633 says to Volidana, “The Hive Mind should now be protecting this vessel from further abductions.”

Hezekiah looks around vaguely, centering his eyes on Xavin finally. “I was trying…to access Katya…a wall….I was thrown out. I think I need to lie down.” And with that, he stumbles towards a bed, and passes out.

Marlan turns her atteniton to Volidana and frowns, eyes going to Porter, “Sir?”

Innokentevna lets one arm reach out, to the side, one hand lain flat, silent on the examination table. “Gospadin Hezikiah … prashu … prashu proscheniya … prasteetye.”

Porter shakes his head at Volidana. “I don’t want to risk it. Not right now.”

~Our wall is in place,~ Osiris announces.

“Walls,” Xavin muses.

Marlan runs her scanner over the now unconcious Hezekiah.

McConnell remains seated, still typing notes, every once in awhile he looks up to appraise the situation.

Porter walks toward Staunton. “The shielding of the Hivers may keep us all inside and safe from abduction, but I don’t think it’s going to stop the progress of the virus.”

Xavin slowly lowers the pistols to their holsters, fastening the safety buckle and deactivating the energy source. The humming stops. In silence, the Timonae watches the slumbering Shohobian.

Marlan looks up and towards Xavin, “They’ll both be put into stasis units. But i’m running more tests first. As for you.” she steps towards him, the forgotten TCDS still on the bed at his side, “Your taking the medication to lower your fever and your getting removed off the duty roster for the next couple of shifts. I’ll giv eyou a chance to get the rest on your own. But i want to see you sleeping. Understand?”

Innokentevna looks to Marlan, as she watches her work. She swallows once, her softspoken words even. Too even. Disipline, not peace. “Does he hafe signs, ov zee virus, nov?”

Volidana looks from Hezekiah to Porter “I will do as you wish sir, but I want to help. I must not let me fear overcome. I have chosen this path and shall walk it to its end”

Porter nods to Volidana. “Fine. We all walk a path, but we don’t take stupid risks.”

Xavin turns acceptingly from the Mystic, nodding toward the doctor, “Understood.”

Marlan nods and picks up the TCDS in her left hand, pressing it to Xavin’s arm and with a hiss infusing the contents into his blood stream.

Staunton moves to stand behind Porter. “Colonel, I will contact Val Shohob and tell them to call off the search.”

Xavin reaches out to grip tightly to Marlan’s opposing arm, “Where’s Palin?”

Porter nods to Staunton. “Thank you. But, at the same time, tell them their representative has been infected.”

Staunton nods. “I will give them a full report.”

McConnell looks up finally from his writing and shuts off his datapad. He sticks it into his vest, and then stands slowly.

DS-3633 pauses, then asks of noone in particular. “Are the Thul known to be psionicly inclined?”

Marlan raises an eyebrow, “What?” she asks Xavin, “I don’t konw..the barracks? Why? Whats wrong?”

Porter shakes his head. “Not as far as I know, Diss.”

Volidana nods to Porter her next words coming to her lips without thought in between them “Sargent Hunter would disagree , sir”

DS-3633 pauses, then nods its head. “It would be logical however, as they have apparently errected psionic barriers in their abductee’s minds.”

Porter glances sharply at Volidana. “That’s out of line. Enjoy a few hours KP.”

Volidana nods “Aye, sir”

Porter shrugs, looking toward DS-3633. “We don’t know for certain the barriers are specifically psionic.”

“He’ll be asleep for a while,” Xavin says as his fever breaks, “I feel…” Swallowing, the Timonae gives a firm statement. “You need to examine the chemestires of the Shohobians brain. Do that Marlan, please.” He looks straight at the woman.

DS-3633 nods its head to Porter, “That is true.”

Marlan frowns and nods seriously, “You’ve got it’ve got it.”

The younger dark haired Ungstiri stands a bit apart, as the conversation wraps around her, like a stray in someone elses field. Each breath comes quiet and even, whatever expression she wears hidden ragged cut hair. She has her arms wrapped about herself, a finger tracing the lapel of her short cut jacket, tracing the outline of horse and stars.

Xavin smiles slightly before acknowledging, his voice like that of a child, “My food is on the floor.”

Marlan chuckles slightly at the sudden reaction. She puts the scanner down and puts her hand gently on his shoulder, “We’ll get you more food. But try to get some sleep now ok?”

Xavin nods gently, “Sure.” The Timonae proceeds toward the door, his gait stronger now but carrying the same drained method.

Volidana smiles to Xavin “I shall clean it friend. I’m picking up your habits. Rest well”

Marlan watches Xavin leave then turns towards Hezekiah.

Porter stands near Hezekiah’s medbed, hands clasped behind his back, brow furrowed.

McConnell starts to make his way out to the corridor as well, though he pauses and turns back, “Are we quarantined to the ship now sir?”

DS-3633 stands out of the way, observing.

Porter shakes his head at McConnell. “No, but make sure the Major and I know where you are at all times.”

Xavin is heading toward the corridor, his stride exhausted. The Timonae does not look well, with a paled, damp flesh. As Palin enters he reaches out to clasp the man firmly on the arm. “Palin.”

She is quiet. Quiet and silent. Like a ghost Innokentevna stands, hzel eyes suddenly empty, no color left in them. Like a robot her hand raises, slow, determined. She passes the back of her hand across her lips, slow, her fist turning slightly as she does. Then her eyes close, they close for a single heartbeat. The type of heartbeat that last forever. A step, two, silent, straight. resolved. never ran from anything in her life. One hand a fist. Like midnight, without a word, she walks up to the doctor.

McConnell nods once, “Sir, yes sir.” he replies simply.

Marlan is standing by Hezekiah’s bed, her hands entering commands intot he monitors that surround it. She doesn’t notice Innokentevna, or doesn’t consider her of importance enough to shift her attention at this time.

DS-3633 notices her however, “Kayta, please state your current objective.”

Volidana stands watching silently. She reaches out a hand to comfort Katya

Palin raises his eyebrow slightly at the sight of Xavin and says, “Did I come at an inconvenient time?”

The razanine already taking a firm effect, the Timonae states dreamily toward Palin. “Do the tests.” He points haphazardly toward Marlan before heading to the exit, approaching Porter before leaving. “I apologize.” He smiles solemnly.

Porter nods to Xavin. “Go get some rest.”

Xavin nods, heading out through the center’s doorway.

Innokentvna just stands there. Patient. She watches quietly, waiting for a pause in the doctor’s practice. She turns slighly, a glance towards DS-3633 … but it is Volidana’s action that chooses her an alternate path. Katya reaches back, one hand snaring the other woman’s. Without word she turns Volidana’s palm up, to cover it with her little fist. Slowly the fist is opened, and what’s hidden within placed inside her grasp. And last she fold’s Volidana’s fingers over. Empty eyes, still gaze, cold hardeded steel eyes look back as Innokentevna steps away, to stand next to the cyro capsule. Not running. Tough.

McConnell rubs his eyes, and takes one last look over Medbay as he steps out of the room.

Marlan finishes her minstrations to the computer then turns, spotting Innok near the capsules.

Porter notices the patient near the cryo capsule too. “What’s going on?”

Marlan shifts her attention to Palin, “Our friend here is infected…” she glances down at the bed and motions to the mystic, “Both of them are infected.”

Marlan shifts her attention to Porter then back to Innokentova, “I believe our guest is volunteering to be put into stasis.” “Is that right?” she asks in mierzkynovy.

Volidana glances down into her hand, aura flashing purple. She motions the Doctor to her “Doctor ranix” she says walking across the room to meet her

Marlan looks up and over at Volidana, she steps towards her.

Porter observes Volidana and the doctor.

Volidana opens her hand . inside her palm rests one of katya’s incisors.

Innokentevna looks back, her shoulders shrugging quietly, philosohically. “I theenk … I just … ran … out ov time.”

Marlan looks down and grimaces slightly before looking up and over at Innokentovna, then Porter before finally returning her gaze to Innokentovna, “Its just until we figure out how to cure this.” she says.

Palin sighs heavily after Xavin leaves and he looks around the room, catching bits of coversation. “A very inconvenient time it would seem.” he mutters. He moves towards Marlan and the others, waiting.

Porter nods curtly. “Get the brain chemistry on Hezekiah – now. The sooner, the better.”

DS-3633 turns to observe Katya, watching the rest of the room only minimally.

“I am trustink you …” Katya lets her head fall, a low slung curve, to rise with a flair, clearing her bangs from her eyes. “Hov long … hov long do I hafe?”

Marlan looks over at Porter and nods, “Aye. Already configured the computers for it.” She glances at Katya, then turns back to Hezekiah, heading towards the bed without responding.

Marlan says in Mierznykovy, “blug-blug ung-ung blug-blug blug-blug nyetski ugh korfka erumuten kevkiev”

Volidana walks over to Palin “If I understood xavin corretly you should be checked as well. Wait until the doctor has finished with the mystic and Katya and ask to be scanned…Volir’s light will guide friend..We shall find the answer”

Innokentevna nods quietly, and crosses to the little task chair, the one with wheels. its a sure and silent flounce, as she settles in, a push and she spins around as she arcs across the room, its perfect path betraying how she passed the time the last week and more. At a small desk she turns, looking back to Porter. “Gospadin Porter, do you knov, eef my sheep, vill be safe on Castor?” Her question is pragmatic, but obviously not her true direction, as she snares a piece of paper from a padd and begins writing.

Porter lifts an eyebrow, nodding to Innokentevna. “We’ll pick it up and dock her aboard the Minerva. Just give Marlan the boarding code.” He then looks toward Volidana. “Xavin asked Dr. Palin to check Hezekiah’s brain chemistry.”

Marlan watches Palin approach the bed and turns, pushing buttons on the bed. The bed beeps a few times and information starts scrolling across the monitors.

Volidana blinks and nods

“Spasiba … eet ees much appreciate’t …” And then Hatya half closes her eyes, writing quickly, her flowing script her concentration, her focus. As if it were the most important thing in her world, what she writes.

DS-3633 steps forward to look at the monitors, attempting to analyze the information itself.

Marlan hmms, mumbling under her breath, “Amazing.”

Porter glances toward Marlan. “What?”

DS-3633 tries to analyze the data to see what Marlan is amazed by.

Marlan turns and looks at Porter, “There’s…some sort of organism in his brain Sir. Like nanites but organic. They’re working their way through his brain, physically making him a Thul.”

Porter clenches his jaw, nodding. “Right. Make them stop.”

DS-3633 nods its head, “Now that these organisms are detected, are you able to extract a sample for further analysis?”

Marlan turns her attention to DS and nods, “I believe so..” she glances at Porter, “Once we do that we’ll be able to see what will kill those things. Without killing the host of course.”

Porter crosses his arms. “Get to it.” He looks toward Innokentevna, then back to Marlan. “Quick as you can.”

Marlan nods in understanding and turns back to Hezekiah, getting to work in localizing a sample.

DS-3633 says to Marlan, “This unit will assist in any way directed. My skill in biology is minimal.”

Innokentevna continues to write, focused. But she does whisper, without looking up. “Eef you neet me, to seek, to search … to help. Nyi hafe to ask …”

Marlan nods, “I appreciate it. Search your memory banks, find any research there may be on the subject then tell me what you find.” as she speaks.

Volidana nods to Porter “I should go see to the clean up the mess in the mess sir”

Porter nods to Volidana. “Dismissed.”

Innokentevna blinks as Volidana turns to leave. “Gospahza Volidana …” She swallows, once. “Vhen I am done … coult you a favor for me do? delifer zis letter?”

Marlan reaches into the medical bed and pulls out what looks to be a rather large needle.

Volidana turns and begins to head for the door, but turns back as Katya calls “Of course, who should receive it?”

Innokentevna smiles quietly, “Eet just neets to be place’t … on zee memorial, to zose lost, … een zee Ungstir commons.”

Volidana nods “I shall see to it”

Marlan sprays a small bottle of unknown liquid onto Hezekiah’s scalp and temple, then, inserts the syringe carefully into Hezekiah’s skull, when she pulls back the plunger it fills with a clear liquid.

Innokentevna nods, looking down at her words, “Spasiba … thank you, very very much. You folks her . you .. oh .. an’ .. an’ tell Dama Melody, vhen I vake up, i shall keep my promeese to her, da?”

Volidana nods again “Sure”

DS-3633 watches Marlan intently, but also listens to Katya.

Marlan removes the syringe, right hand pressing a small pad against Hezekiah’s temple were the syringe was. She glances at DS, “Think you can hold this padd here without slicing him over Scraps?”

DS-3633 nods and moves forward and holds the pad. “This unit able to remain steady over 300% more than the average humanoid.”

Porter observes the work, but keeps his distance, clasping his hands behind his back.

Palin finally reaches the group, making himself known by saying to Porter, “What are we crowding around?” He seems absolutly detatched from any emotion as he speaks.

Marlan releases the pad, “Yeah well, msot humanoid hands aren’t made of scrap metal.” she says as she turns to some lab equipment that seems to have been placed on a nearby counter. “Palin come here, i want you to look at these.”

Palin doesn’t wait for Porter’s responce and immediatly moves towards the indicated counter. “I’m looking.” he says simply.

Marlan says, “If we can ascertain its composition, i’m willing to bed out friend over there.” she motions towards DS, “Will be able to run the possibilities for killing it rather quickly.”

DS-3633 nods its head, “Yes, however the best results will occur if the data is input directly into my CPU from a computer, via the datajack.

“Amazing.” Palin mutters. “So efficient.” He says, his awe cutting through any sort of professional detatchment he was displaying earlier. “Do you have any ideas yet?” he asks.

Marlan shakes her head, “You know as much as i do.” she says, hands moving along a panel, “You give it a look..Scraps…let that pad go and come over ehre…link up to this computer.”

DS-3633 releases the pad and moves over to the computer. It attaches itself using the spike on it’s left arm.

Palin nods slighlty, thinking as he looks. “Hmm.. Possibly…”

Porter leans against one of the unoccupied medical stations.

Marlan steps away from the two and towards Hezekiah, eyes travelling over his vitals once more. “Got something?” she asks shifting her attention to Porter.

DS-3633 does not move, but it says, “Link up to computer complete, beginning to analyze the data.”

Palin looks to DS-3633. “Possibly silicon based. I’ve not seen a carbon based organizim work /that/ efficiently at genetic modification before. Though, it has to work with the carbon organizms… It must be a combonation of the two somehow…” he muses.

DS-3633 tilts its head, “This unit will run rapid simulations on all possible chemical combinations. This unit can predict more probably neutralizers, however, if you also input your ideas this unit will be able to spee dup this research.”

“Neutralize the silicon.” Palin says. “That will stop progression, I would think.” he adds.

Marlan nods, “You running those combinations Scraps? We need something that’ll kill that thing, but not carbon based life forms…”

DS-3633 says, “The simulations indicate that this organism is destroyed by concentrated barium isotopes. This unit is attemping to discern a dosage that will destroy the organism but not harm the patient.”

DS-3633 emits a beep, “Downloading dosage information into the medical computer.”

Porter hears that, stands straight and begins to walk toward Hezekiah’s medical bed. “Progress?”

Marlan turns to the medical computer and double checks the measurments, “Yes…this should be safe.” she responds, “I could program the computer to deliver the neccesary dosage in a coupleof hours…”

Porter nods slowly. “Can’t we test this cure on the sample to make sure it actually works?”

DS-3633 says, “That is the most logical course of action. As well as a test on humanoid and Shohobian cells. If it proves successful, this unit should be able to program the computer quicker than you Marlan.”

Palin seems to have lapsed back into studying the samples, not adding input into the question of dosage.

Marlan turns her attention to DS, hesitating on something for a moment but then nods, “Your right, you’d be able to modify the computer faster then i would…” she points towards a machine sitting next to Palin, “We can modify that to output a steady barium stream…want to do the honors?” she asks DS.

DS-3633 tilts its head, “This unit suggests you check the dosages first, as this unit is not skilled in advanced medical knowledge.”

Innokentevna finishes her writings, carefully folding her missive into thirds, scrawling a simple address upon it. She sets the pen down and turns around.

Marlan nods, “I already checked what you sent to the medical bed…humanoid cells should be unaffected by a barium stream of that level.”

“Fascinating.” Palin mutters. “This thing is more a program than a cell.” He pulls out his data pad and starts scribbling information into it.

DS-3633 nods its head and disconnects itself from the computer and moves to program the machine next to the samples to emit the right dosage to destroy a sample of the cells.

Innokentevna pushes her chair off from the little desk, rolling across the floor, seeking a niche where she can sit next to Hezikiah, and still be out of the way.

Marlan turns, head in a containment unit nearby. Entering a code into the door she opens it and returns with a small petri this, “Try this now…they’re cultivated brain cells.”

DS-3633 says, “The computer is already set for the same dosage.” It presses the button to repeat the dosage.

Marlan takes a step towards DS and Palin, eyes on the testing equipment.

Marlan gives a half grin, “It worked.” she says. “Brain cells are stlil alive and well..and the nanites are alld ead.”

Porter smiles slightly, nodding. “Best news I’ve heard in a while.”

Palin’s focus is now on his datapad as he scribbles onto it. After a moment, he looks up, a thoughtful expression on his face. “We’re saving a sample, right?” he asks, looking to Marlan. “One that’s as untouched as possible?”

Marlan shifts her attention to Palin and nods motioning to a syringe on the counter top, “Leave a sample in medbay for storage. The rest is yours.” she says then turns towards Palin, “I’dlike to start testing this on our guests..” she looks over at Innok, “With your permissoin of course.”

Innokentevna tilts her head, quiet like. “I nefer thought … so fast.” She takes a deep breath and nods, “Da.” The duck of her head is quick and without hesitation. “Especially eef eet veell help geet gospadin hezekiah out ov trouble.”

Porter looks toward Marlan. “We’ll need to start producing this vaccine in large enough quantities to treat future abductees – not just the ones we’ve got in stasis right now.”

Innokentevna looks down at the Mystic, teeth caught on the edge of her lip, a shade guilty at the moment.

Marlan shakes her head to Porter, “It’s not a vaccine, it’s a treatment. And barium is easily enough produced taht we shouldn’t have a problem, no matter how large a problem it becomes.”

Porter chuckles. “Fine. Semantics aside, get the word out.”

DS-3633 tilts its head, “It is logical to provide all known worlds with the dosage information. Also, the dosage may need to be altered for other lifeforms.

Marlan nods then give him a bit of a grin, “I think this deserves some R&R time.” she presses, though it seems more in jest then anything.

Innokentevna carefully folds her letter in half and slips it into the pocket of her coat. “I voult be glat not to hafe to sent zis.”

Porter smiles faintly. “Oh, you’ll get R&R, Doc. On Centauri. Nice glaciers for hiking, I hear.” He turns and begins to walk toward the corridor. “Excellent work,” he says, calling back over his shoulder.

Palin hunts down a container to safely store the TRV sample. Holding up the vial he says aloud, “Imagine the possibilities.” before storing it safely in his little courner of the facility.

Marlan grins ands nods to the others, “Yeah, you guys did a good job. Even you, Scraps.” she says, granting him a smile before turning to Katya, “ ready to try this? We’ve already tested itl….you saw us test it. And it was safe. But you don’t have to do this if you don’t want to.”

Innokentevna blinks and just looks at Palin. “To zome ov us, gospadin …” She shrugs, somehow letting a touch of dark humor lighten her words, “Zose posseebeelities are kvite … personal.”

By Brody

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