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Topic: CH05: S [D06|1015] Into the Parasite's Lair (Read 630 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • Numen
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  • " I'm trying to make science here!"
  • Awards: Awarded for participation in Part 1 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear. Awarded for participation in Part 2 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear.
CH05: S [D06|1015] Into the Parasite's Lair
Lt. JG Izar Bila | Corridors close to Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy NX-79854]

Att: @trevorvw  @Arista  @Auctor Lucan

Bila couldn't help but stop a few meters before reaching the Security Center. He breathed deeply. When he exhaled, his breath left his lips trembling, unsteady. He didn't need to look at his hands to know that they were shaking too. The briefcase's clattering gave him away anyway. All the false courage and selfless dedication that he had shown in the meeting with the scientific department had been disappearing on their way to that corridor, to that door after which waited... he wasn't sure how to call it. The infected? The creature? The monster ?. He supposed that, before all, he was a humanoid. Someone who in his way struggled with the unspeakable horror that crawled inside him. The vedek taught that compassion was the path they should take to approach themselves to the Prophets. It was a nice concept when you weren't about to face an embodied nightmare. He could not feel compasion at that moment. He only could felt terror.

A chill ran his body from head to toe, causing that his earring jangled discordantly. Even that soothing jingle sounded wrong. He felt a knot tighten in his throat. He felt the sweat in the palm of his hands pooling, cold and humid. He knew that if he let himself be carried away by his primary instinct, he would run away. And he would run fast and as far as he could, until he found a hidden, dark refuge, a place to hide. A place to hug his knees and rock himself compulsively, until his anxiety or overbreathing made him faint. A place to hide from the world, from that nightmarish situation until everything was over. He was a coward after all. That has been the way he'd survive all those years.

When he finally was aware of what he was doing, he was staring at the toe of his dark regulation shoes. With a terrible effort, he managed to drag his gaze down the floorplates until he reached other shoes, some that were not Fleet regulation at all. He felt how his right orbital ridge twitched. Before checking if Dr. Parnak had that expression halfway between scoffing and fed up he seemed etched in his face everytime he looked at the hybrid. He KNEW that he averted his gaze to Dr. Parnak's features, he would found sneer, that expression halfway between scoffing and being fed up that seemed etched in his gray face everytime he stared at the hybrid.  Or that arrogant and patronizing gaze. Bila hated it. And there were few things he really hated. Thinking about that unfair disdain stirred something inside the half-bajoran, a part that remained asleep most time. A stubborn and resoluted part of himself, determined to prove to the cardassian male... something. He even didn't know what.

That allowed him to grow a bit of a backbone, a bit of courage to keep walking. Accompanying his steps, Bila's gaze went around the scientist's silhouette until he noticed the man waiting under the Security Center threshold. The chemist had met several corpulent humans throughout his career in the Starfleet, but possibly this one waiting for them was one of the most massive he had ever known. The muscles on his shoulders were so bulky that he seemed to have no neck. If not for his smooth forehead, Bila could have sworn he was a Klingon.. or maybe a Naussicaan.

"Liutenant Akoni?"" He asked with the more steady voice he could manage as he reached Parnak's position and remained a step behind him. "I think you have been informed of why we are here. Is there any security measure that we should take into account before we meet.... Doctor Nicander? "

Re: CH05: S [D06|1015] Into the Parasite's Lair
Reply #1
[ Lt. Kai Akoni | Security Centre | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] @Numen @Arista @Auctor Lucan

Kai finally had a moment to sit and sip his now lukewarm coffee following the incidents that had taken place just an hour earlier, specifically rounding up escapees and making sure that no one else had any more plans. The security teams aboard the Theurgy were relatively unknown to the large man, but they quickly proven themselves among the best in Starfleet. Kai chuckled to himself and reminded himself that they weren't in Starfleet anymore.

He took a sip of coffee and stared at the console in front of him, passing word along that there were some visitors coming to see Nicander. He leaned back and sighed as he rubbed the bridge of his nose. 

Great...just great...

Just as he was getting ready to prepare some precautions, the two visitors walked into the security centre. Kai hadn't been expecting Cardassians, or at least two Cardassian looking people. He hadn't been a big fan of Cardassians since his time on Cardassia following the end of the Dominion War. Nevertheless, he pushed that to the back of his mind and tried to not let it influence his demeanour towards these individuals. 

He stood as they approached the desk and one of them spoke.

"Lieutenant Akoni? I think you have been informed of why we are here. Is there any security measures that we should take into account before we meet...Doctor Nicander?"

Kai lowered his head and a small smirk appeared on his face. 

Security measures? Yeah, that's probably an understatement he thought to himself as he raised his head to meet the gaze of the new visitors.

"There is. I'll have two armed guards in there with phaser rifles at the ready. You'll also keep your distance from the prisoner. Oh and one more thing, if I say this meeting is's over. Those are all non-negotiable, for your safety along with ship security" Kai said as he laid out the conditions.

Without waiting for the reply, he turned to one of the crewmen and ordered him to standby with the gravity controls and to be prepared to change it immediately upon his orders. The large man also got one of the other security personnel present to grab a phaser rifle. As the crewman got the phaser rifle, Kai made sure to give him the orders.

"If the prisoner poses an immediate threat, you stop that threat if you can" and the crewmen gave a curt nod in response.

Kai turned back to the visitors and motioned with an outstretched hand as if to invite them along to see the prisoner.
Lt. Cmdr. Kai Akoni     [Show/Hide]
Lt. (JG) Annika Van den Berg     [Show/Hide]

Re: CH05: S [D06|1015] Into the Parasite's Lair
Reply #2
[ Dr. Silim Parnak | Security Centre | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @trevorvw  @Numen  @Auctor Lucan 

It wasn't hard to know if the hybrid was still coming to the security centre. The nervous rattle of his case was the only auditory clue Parnak needed - even with Cardassian hearing. The walk had been mostly conducted in silence. For once, Silim didn't have much to say.

He could have commented on the self-pleasing way the hybrid tried to brownnose, or perhaps that awful scraggily beard he attempted to keep. Maybe, Parnak could let loose details of the delightful breakfast that he had shared with Ejek that very morning? No, he decided. It was better to hold onto that for a later time. Besides, the Cardassian was still riding high from that encounter. There was something he couldn't put his finger on but spending time with Ejek made a lot of the indignities of being amongst Starfleet easier.

The pair rounded into the security centre and were met by a mammoth of a man. He laid down the rules quickly and efficiently. Parnak would categorise the hulk of a man as less a captain of the guard and more an overzealous zoo keeper. Luckily enough, the Cardassian had experience dealing with both.

"It'll be difficult to inoculate without getting close, but I shall endeavour to live up to your request, Lieutenant." Parnak commented with a small hint of sarcasm. He just couldn't resist.

Following the security officer, Parnak had a smile to himself. This is something new. He revelled in the anticipation. The nervousness blended and fought with the excitement within his stomach, so much that he felt like he was sat on an amusement ride, waiting for the drop.

Let the games begin.

Re: CH05: S [D06|1015] Into the Parasite's Lair
Reply #3

[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @FollowTomorrow @Numen @Arista @trevorvw @chXinya @Top Hat @steelphoenix
Yet when the Acting Chief Secuity Officer and the two scientist approached the holding cell in the lobby, they would notice that there was a woman standing in front of the forcefield-covered opening. She was known to both the scientists, sharing their native blood, only she wore her hair like a human might - in a ponytail that fell far down her back. She had her arms crossed, her profile impassive. Professional. She had sent a message about meaning to question the Infested Doctor, but hadn't waited for confirmation from either Captain Wenn of Commander Stark. There was no time, and faced with her kind of challenges, she needed to know more. After all, she had been there when his true nature was revealed, and had difficulty understanding how Doctor Nicander would have aided the crew of Vector 2 in the battle against the IKC Rotarran.

It was the Theurgy's Chief Counselor. Lieutenant Zelosa Ejek. Her Cardassian ridges glowed with the light from the forcefield. It was just one of the two barriers that separated her from the Doctor, and in-between them, the gravity plating had been maximised. Perhaps this was why she was so calm, when she asked her first question. "When did you become infected, and how did this occur? What physiological or psychological changes did you notice before and after?"

Through the comm-link in the control panel next to the cell, Lucan answered her, not keen on pleasantries either. Time was too short. It seemed, indeed, like Ejek had realised that after the battle with the Borg, the chance of questioning him would be lost. He flexed his tattooed had, and pursed his lips - his eyes staring at her through the two barriers. "In the Academy, Counselor, long before my first step aboard the Theurgy. As for how... I can tell you what I experienced, and I have educated guesses to add, but I don't know with certainty. I was asleep, and when I woke up, I was no longer in Starfleet Headquarters. I was in a cave, suspended in chains from the ceiling. It was the only time I was there. There were figures in the darkness around me, and I could not see their shapes. They might not even have been humanoid. The parasite... it fell down upon me from above. It was real. Physical. Tangible. Unlike it's present, invisible state. It tells me, that this place could not have been entirely inside the bounds of this reality, since the darkness exist in a state of flux. Absent, yet present here nonetheless."

Nicander paused, running his tattooed hand through his unkempt hair. "The change... I was the same person, only with another will. Another intent. My memories, my abilities, my mental presence... It was still the same, but the parasite made me a willing host. I might have held on to personal ambitions at first, but it was always there, making me a part of the design. The common will of all Hosts to further the cause of Un-Creation. Of course, that would mean the death of us Hosts, but the thing was..." Nicander frowned, having difficulty putting words to it, even if he had nothing to hide any more. "The possession breaks down your rationale, takes away something about your survival instincts. You don't question your own fate when the darkness achieves its goal. Your purpose, as a Host, is to act as a vessel for chaos in an orderly society. Only the Hosts gives the darkness a semblance of patience, or directed purpose. It's through the Hosts that they instigated the persecution of the Theurgy. I think that the darkness itself... I doubt it has a sense of direction or higher consciousness. It seeks only to devour."

The Counselor did not comment, asking her next question with an unreadable face. She did not seem to have noticed the scientists and the security officer behind her back just yet. Nicander did, looking at them briefly before Ejek spoke again. "What is your goal on the Theurgy, besides chaos? Why choose the doctor and not, say, the captain?"

At this, Lucan frowned, even though he supposed she didn't know. "I am no longer possessed in the fashion I was. I used to be a Host, but now, I am something else. I have said it before, and I will say it again, the light of the Radiant restored my sanity, and while the thing inside me is not gone, I can oppose it. I speak not for the darkness any more. As for why I am a Host and the Captain isn't, I do not know."

Ejek was relentless, impassive as she fired off her next set of questions without comment on his answer. "What limits you from infecting everyone? Why should any of us aboard this ship trust you?"

"By the winds, I don't infect anyone, that is not how it works! I told you, it happens in a place beyond this existence, and I do not know how I ended up there," he said, flexing his mismatched hands and pacing the opening slowly. "And the answer is that you shouldn't. Not entirely. Not while it still remains inside me. Not until another Radiant can be found, since I saw Heather dying through the eyes of another Host. This was the same means in which I could protect the Sword against the Rotarran. In any case, the answer is not in me, but in the light that Heather used during the battle at Starbase 84. I have given access to my research to Captain Cinn and Lieutenant Tovarek, but so far, no one have come to me, so that I can explain my findings! Time is too short, and you are wasting it!"

It seemed, somehow, that Ejek did find interest in this information, her chin rising, even though she kept her arms folded underneat her chest. "Can you give me a summary of the research done on these Radiants, this... light that affected you?"

Lucan put his hands on both sides of the door, and stared at the present people outside his cell. He saw three new figures appearing as well, behind the three of Cardassian decent, and the one named Kai Akoni. Behind them came Captain Wenn Cinn and Commander Ducote, along with some scientist. It was just as well, because they needed to hear it. In lack of chance to speak of his findings with other scientists, all his research ignored, he would tell them what they needed to know. "If you take the time to look at my research, you will immediately find a lot of sensor data that I collected from the battle at Starbase 84. You will find that I have tried to analyse the event with Sonja Acreth. Witness accounts said they saw a bar of light shining through the hull of the ship and into the battle, and it was Heather's light, when she sought to blind Acreth. That told me that whatever wavelength that the Radiants possess have to have some kind of unique quality. Light should not be able to penetrate the hull of a starship in such a fashion. The conclusion was evident, based on what I know of the darkness. It was obvious, in how the thing inside me is undetectable, and must exist in another phase variance or parallel existence. The light of the Radiants... it has to be transphasic. How else could Heather have restored my sanity, if the wavelength of her light hadn't reached the darkness somehow? The problem with the sensor data, was that the sensors were not built to see the full wavelength, since it extend beyond our existence!"

Lucan hands, the tattooed and the artificial one, clenched into fists where he stood, leaning on the door frame as he stared upon the gathered faces. "If this ship doesn't survive the encounter with the Borg, the knowledge of the light can't die with us. In no other Cycle have the Federation and all the other victims of this enemy learned the means to thwart the darkness, but if we can find that wavelength that Heather used, we have a means to save this Cycle to turn out the same way all others have so far. I do not blame you for doubting me, but I cannot stress the import of this enough. You can't let your distrust towards me blind you to the evidence I am giving you!"

This was a Joint-Post between FollowTomorrow and Auctor Lucan
  • Last Edit: January 24, 2019, 09:33:56 AM by Auctor Lucan

  • Numen
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • " I'm trying to make science here!"
  • Awards: Awarded for participation in Part 1 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear. Awarded for participation in Part 2 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear.
Re: CH05: S [D06|1015] Into the Parasite's Lair
Reply #4
Lt. JG Izar Bila | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy NX-79854]
Att: @trevorvw  @Arista  @Auctor Lucan @FollowTomorrow  @Top Hat  @chXinya

When the hefty human enumerated the conditions in which they had to work, Bila couldn't avoid swallow loudly. He knew they were met face to face with someone dangerous, but that level of security seemed to be aimed to protecting them from the attack of a wild beast. It seemed that they were going to deal with a kind of homicidal monster instead of a mere humanoid. Not for the first time that day, Bila questioned his own sanity. And about the ability of his big mouth to put him in dangerous situations.

He glanced sideways at Parnak. Possibly he couldn't trust him if the situation slip through their fingers. Probably the Cardassian simply pushed him against the monster and watched how it devoured him. Laughing. Or making comments about the poor quality of their meat due to their genetic makeup. Pure cardassian blood tarnished with bajoran's one. Despite his lack of confidence in him in a danger situation, the xenobiologist went ahead and pointed out to Lt. Akoni that they needed to get close to be able to inoculate the former CMO. A part of Bila thanked that the old man held the reins of the situation. Another loathed him for snatching one of the few excuses he had left to not face what was waiting for them on the other side of the door. They had to approach the infected, it was a fact. But that didn't mean that even though he HAD to do it, it was still a horrifying perspective. The briefcase's rattle became more evident when a chill ran his body from head to toe.

When they finally entered the lobby, Bila discovered there was someone already there. Counselor Ejek. He didn't expect to find her there, much less interrogating the... creature.  She seemed ... a different person than the one he had met. Less kind, tougher. The situation left little room for pleasantries but, even so, the chemist missed her almost motherly demeanour. It was somehow endearing.

In either case, it wasn't the time to interrupt her inquiry. It seemed ... important. There were details of the story, nuances of the questions that escaped of the half-cardassian's knowledge. He had been shortly briefed about the parasite situation, so hearing the gruesome details of how Nicander had been infected captured completely his attention. The doctor recounted his experience with the graceful fluency of a seasoned storyteller and, as he narrated the abominable act, Bila couldn't help but notice the parallels with an experience with an Orb. Images that couldn't be fully understood. Spaces that were there and, at the same time, were not. The connections were so obvious, so similar in some points, that were repulsive. The knot in the pit of his stomach tightened even more and brought nausea to his mouth and, despite that, he couldn't stop listening Nicander. He subjugated him with a kind of morbid fascination. All alone, the torn uniform letting glimpse the parts of his body that had been replaced by synthetic plates. The dried blood of his victims, lyophilized by the emptiness and gravity well forming a hideous frame around him.  He looked like the offspring of a nightmare.  A really bad one. Something that shouldn't exist. Something in a state of flux between reality and madness. Izar wanted to take his eyes off him, stop listening. But he can't. He was fascinated by his words, like a diminute rodent looking into the eyes of a predator. He knew that doom loomed in front of him and, even so, he couldn't escape. He had to.But he can't. He knew he couldn't trust what his lips were saying and still ... still he couldn't stop listening.

Ejek's clear voice cut him off from the hypnotic effect that Nicander produced on him. Her professional tone soothing the panic that threatened to seize him. More than ever, he was grateful that she was there. That she kept everything under control. At least apparently. Another shiver went through his body when he felt that the doctor's eyes sunk into him and in the old cardassian. The briefcase rattled savagely in his side.

Luckily, the infected seemed more interested in continuing with his narrative, outlining a story about some creatures known as Radiants, how their light could harm the Parasites, as their wavelenght, of transphasic nature, was the only thing that could really stop them. Scientific curiosity ripped him from the fear's arms for a moment. What was that light? How could they measure it in all its length? Could they adapt one of the starship's phaser arrays to emit a pulse of that light? Was that the solution to the problems of that damn ship? They were questions that made little sense at the time, but that stimulated his mind enough to allow him to move again. To recover some of his composure.That the parasite had finished his lengthy speech also helped that he could tear his eyes from his sinister profile.

Bila approached Ejek, clearing his throat so she would notice his presence. When she turned, the hybrid let a smile seep into his bearded face. It was really good to see her again. Moved by the feeling that had been irritating him all morning, he held his hand to touch palms with her.  It was a familiar gesture that he had seen on few occasions, but that wasn't alien to him. It was... familiar, maybe too much, but ... what did it matter? Of those present, possibly only Parnak fully understood their meaning. He was the only one who might feel annoyed about it. That did nothing but chew his desire for their hands touching. "Ma'am" he greeted, trying to hide the shake on his voice. "It's always a pleasure to see you again, even in this scenario so ... inappropriate. I'd expected that our next meeting would be in a more... pleasant environment." Bila paused to take a breath, while the briefcase was still rattling on his side, with the rhythm of the trembling of his sweaty hand. " ogamĵan Parnak and myself have some work to do here. We must... inoculate Doctor Niccander with a vaccine to prevent the Borg from assimilating the... thing... the... the Parasite." He stuttered, the little determination he had gathered eroding quickly.

His eyes drifted back to the cell and Bila felt like blood drained from his face. The signs of the battle that had occurred in those cells were still evident. "I think we should agree an appointment for when we finish what we need to do here... I think ... I think I'm going to need it," he added only half joking. In spite of everything, he managed to compose a resolute smile. He knew his duty well enough. Even if it scared him to bones. Another violent tremor seized him, to the point that the briefcase was about to slip between his humid fingers. The hybrid hastened to hold it tightly with both hands and clasp it to his chest. He couldn't risk that the vial it contained would break. It would be an unpardonable mistake. And, perhaps, irreparable.

"I'm sorry but we cannot spend som time on pleasantries, ma'am, but we should proceed." He apologized to Ejek with a small bow. Then, he turned to the mass of muscles that was the security officer. Seemed that someone else had entered the lobby, but the massive human body blocked his view. "Please, Liutenant Akoni, proceed to lower the outer barrier" requested without acknoledge the newcomers. Bila felt the need to touch the earring that adorned his right ear, but he didn't dare to remove his hands from the briefcase.  It was too important. While Kai began to activate the necessary protocols to allow them access to the cell, the chemist found himself muttering a prayer to de Prophets, asking for protection. " Jia'kaja, tre'nu'tol'a rem... La'por i'lanu kos... I'nar tan'a'tali nor.... "

Jia'kaja, tre'nu'tol'a rem... La'por i'lanu kos... I'nar tan'a'tali nor....bajoran prayer (DS9: "Starship Down")
Placeholder for Cardassian language till it was seated by all cardies' writers.
ogamĵan → Aged man, old man, sir.

Re: CH05: S [D06|1015] Into the Parasite's Lair
Reply #5
[Captain Wenn Cinn | Turbolift | Between Decks | USS Theurgy]

"Lied?  Sounds like it, doesn't it?"  Cinn had to agree with Ducote's point about Nicander's intelligence.  The former doctor had been so certain that all those who were abducted were now dead, painfully disintegrated by an alien race they'd never met before.  News of it had spread through the ship like wildfire, and he'd even told Trent face to face about Heather McMillian's fate.  Only a moment into his introspection, he noticed his counterpart's eyes looking at him, waiting for an answer.  "I'm not going there to have a discussion with him.  I'm going to force feed him a PADD with Thea's message then move on to my brig full of captured Klingons and other Starfleet officers.  I doubt they would like to be sitting behind a forcefield when drones start beaming on board."

When Vael spoke up from behind him, the Bajoran nearly jumped in fright.  "I suppose I could use a little bit of practice saying 'Resistance is futile.' before I get assimilated."  It was a bad spot of gallows humor.  "Who knows, if I have a great cadence with it the Queen will give me a promotion?"  Clearing his throat after a moment Cinn returned to business.  "How are you coming with the torpedo modifications?"

It didn't take much longer for the trio to arrive on Deck 7 and the Security Center was a familiar walk down the corridor from there.  The scene in there was another shock and a surprise: a quartet was already at Nicander's cell, three of them Cardassian, and one of them was reciting a Bajoran prayer of all things.  "Where did you learn that?" he growled, eyes narrowing and instantly taking on a defensive stance.
  • Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 06:50:17 AM by Auctor Lucan

Re: CH05: S [D06|1015] Into the Parasite's Lair
Reply #6
[ Dr. Silim Parnak | Security Centre | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @trevorvw  @Numen  @Auctor Lucan @Top Hat @chXinya  

Parnak follow the throng into the small room in which their subject was held. The sheer sight of the floor and walls caused Parnak a tiny moment of pause. Would it really that bad to clean and sterilise the facility? Just how dangerous did they perceive this disgraced officer that they wouldn't even clear up after him? He certainly seemed compos mentis, having a conversation with...

Well, this was most definitely a surprise.

Silim couldn't help but grin wider at Ejek as she traded verbal blows with ferocity. It was nice to see her somewhere other than his couch, and to see her in a position of power was most welcoming. The doctor didn't say anything to his compatriot, instead leaving her to work. He watched silently form the side-lines. That was at least until the hybrid interjected with his nervous crooning.

Parnak fought the urge to interrupt. Jealous was most unbecoming and really, he was surprised that anyone managed to hear the hybrid over the sound of his own knees knocking. It was as if the poor chemist hadn't ever done any live testing before. Stepping forward to remove that infernal case and banish the hybrid to the bar to acquire some liquid courage, Parnak heard a sound.

From behind, the doors opened. In walked a second mountain of a man, this time a dark skinned Bajoran. Parnak couldn't help but wonder if there was something in the water. Silim was about to call out those that entered but the statuesque ebony man spoke.

"Where did you learn that?" He growled, causing Parnak to roll his eyes.

"Same place that you did" Parnak retorted, tapping his nose in a sarcastic manner so that Cinn would think to look closer towards the hybrid.

He had no time for fools, especially red collared fools who wanted to judge and prattle on with inane questions when they had work to do. Ejek was about to see Dr Silim Parnak, famed exobiologist, in action. He turned to the prisoner and assess the situation, spotting quickly a device that would allow them to undertake their task without unleashing this unstable patient into a room full of people.

"Doctor, with the Borg threat imminent, this is as much for your protection, as our own." Silim said, speaking to the man the same way he would any of his other research subject. Calming and clear tones, no sound of threat. So, if you'd be so kind to place your arm through the oculus."

Parnak waited for confirmation that the gravity grid was down, but something clicked in his mind and he quickly followed up his last comment.

"... The organic limb, if you please"
  • Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 08:13:13 PM by Arista

Re: CH05: S [D06|1015] Into the Parasite's Lair
Reply #7
[ Cmdr Ranaan Ducote | Security Centre | Deck 07 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @steelphoenix @chXinya @Arista @Numen @trevorvw

Not for the first time even that day, Ducote found himself colouring slightly with embarrassment that he'd overlooked Kaeris again. First with the tea, and now his entire person due to his distraction. He was going to have to make it up to the man somehow soon.

"I'm not going there to have a discussion with him. I'm going to force feed him a PADD with Thea's message then move on to my brig full of captured Klingons and other Starfleet officers..."

Ducote couldn't help but frown to himself. Why on God's green Earth would Ducote have to be present for any of that? He'd rather stand around being useless on the bridge; at least that way, he'd be able to get a better overview of what was happening. While he hadn't quite known what Wenn wanted to bring him down here for, he had at least expected something worthwhile. But rather than say something unwise, he instead addressed his erstwhile Science chief.

"No sounding board required, Commander, but it seems there are more survivors from the Endeavour," he said, before Wenn asked after the torpedo modifications. "Not sure how many, but definitely a few more of the senior staff."

He couldn't help the injection of hope into his voice - it was the best mood he'd been in for the whole week. Despite not being able to go after them immediately, it was enough for him to know that they yet persisted in the face of all adversity. He followed the larger man towards the brig, mostly absorbed in thought before the all-too-familiar sight of the security complex revealed itself past the double doors. A pair of Cardassians, who he could read in the same way he could tell there was a solid wall between him and a voice (which is to say, not at all) and what must have been a hybrid; for his outward appearance at a distance of being a Cardassian, there was evidently something else in his makeup.

I have a good idea what that might be, too.

As they approached, it sounded as if he was praying. In Bajoran, unless Ducote missed his guess - subsequently vindicated by the sight of the ridges across the scientist's nose.

"Where did you learn that?" growled Wenn.

He took a breath to point the ridges out to the LCdr, but the civilian Cardassian beat him to it. "Same place you did," came the pithy retort. Ducote released the breath as a long sigh, shaking his head a little.

That a Bajoran might not relish the sight of a Cardassian hybrid was one thing, given the circumstances by which almost all of them came about. But to jump down the throat of one for it seemed to run counter to the values to which this ship still claimed to hold true.

The civilian turned away to carry out his task with Nicander. "I'll leave you to gloat, Commander," Ducote said to Wenn. Try not to tell the parasites too much? I guess? he declined to add. Turning to Kai, and waving Kael over to the side, he pulled the Endeavour officers into a closed conversation.

"The bridge received a message from the ship's AI on the ship that abducted the hybrid portion of the Theurgy's crew - but the Theurgy wasn't the only Starfleet ship represented there. There are at least three of ours there, too, perhaps more. Cross, R'Rori and Tiran are confirmed survivors as of fifteen minutes ago. We can't go and get them yet, but we might be able to reunite soon... Obviously, I can't promise anything, but I wanted to tell you both as soon as possible."
Nator 159:
Ranaan Ducote:

Re: CH05: S [D06|1015] Into the Parasite's Lair
Reply #8
[ Lt. Zelosa Ejek | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ]

She was of the understanding that her superiors were done with their man-toy, and she would have time to interview in privacy. He was locked up, left here covered in his own mess. It was not a particularly elegant form of torture, but she supposed it could possibly pass for that. So she stood before the man, her fear buried in her stomach and chest, interviewing him. At first she was sticking only to the questions she had drafted earlier. Thinking she would be alone the entire time, she did not rush through them.

But behold, here they come. As Nicander spoke, she turned to face them--her eyes met everyone's in turn, starting with Cinn and ending with Cinn as well. She hoped they were listening.

Bila had been. He shook like a leaf. He surprised her by pressing palms, but she acquiesced. She didn't fully believe that the halfie knew what the gesture meant. She could tell he was just seeking comfort. All she could offer him was her hand and her smile, as genuine as she could be, given that she was still working. She allowed him the space to work, stepping back so he and Parnak could do their jobs.

Parnak as well must've been listening. He always did. Her heart brightened to see him here. She did not show it, because she was in a delicate position here. Nicander saw no emotional response from her. She would keep it that way. Still...She wondered what Parnak and Bila were like while they worked. Was Bila always this shaky, and Parnak always so ready to defend the young man?

Wenn Cinn, she could tell, did not want to hear a word out of Nicander. He was resistant--and it soon became clear why. There was a miscommunication present between Cinn and the infested Nicander. Not only that, but he targeted Bila as the strange halfie spoke his even stranger prayer. Sure, it was weird, even cringe-worthy by Ejek's standards--but it appeared to be a highly emotional reaction, unbecoming of a professional. Even if that professional had trauma to work through.

Ducote was also herr, or the man she presumed to be Ducote, considering they had not met until now. Clearly he had no desire to be here. Ejek couldn't blame him. This was an embarrassment on all sides. But Ducote was retreating, returning to officers that Ejek also didn't recognize.

She had taken her scan of the people present and she had enough. This group meeting was devolving, and devolving fast. She'd taken group classes. She knew what to do. The change in her posture was subtle--shoulders back just a touch, head held up a little higher. Her face betrayed none of the annoyance she felt. That was not professional either.

"Captain." She began, staring the Bajoran in the eyes. "I understand you have been thrust into this position by tragedy, that the yoke of such absolute leadership is not one you're familiar with yet. I myself went through much of the same distress aboard the third vector, while we were apart. I also understand that you are hurting--as anyone would, given the sins held between our peoples. These are all difficult things to deal with." Her voice ended that sentence softly and gently. She felt his pain, after all, and she didn't want that leadership role a second time. Swiftly, her voice was firm again; even though she was talking to him, it was as if she was giving a speech.
"But the burden of Captaincy requires that you do not allow these sorts of emotions. We are Starfleet; we stand for values such as equality and justice. These things do not allow for you to ignore what one has to say--be it a prayer from a Cardassian hybrid, or intel from your prisoners. You are a captain first; your personal feelings do not matter so long as you are wearing that uniform. I understand this is difficult, maybe even impossible to ask of you. You must try regardless. That is why it is called a burden And commander,"
she began again, this time her eyes settled on Ducote. "I understand we aboard the Theurgy have...become distracted by our personal issues." For just a second, she allowed a grimace to come to the surface. "It is unbecoming of our uniform. We will now begin this interaction again as Starfleet officers--not Bajorans, Cardassians, Hybrids, Infected, and whatever other labels we may give ourselves in our spare time. So I ask that you come join us once more."

With her hands folded behind her back, she delivered one last bit of monologue, all this as she stood between Bila and Parnak, and Ducote and Cinn. As if to mediate between them, or perhaps, to protect them. "I presume you are here now because this prisoner you keep is the only Infested we know about who is infested, aware of his status, and capable of communicating valuable intel. We need this intel because we are the only ship in existence capable of combating this nigh-impossible threat. Need I remind you of who destroyed the USS Resolve, and made an attempt to banish or end the souls aboard?" She offered the group before her a severe look. "The threat hangs heavy. We will not be divided by smaller issues. We will be united, or will will not be Starfleet at all." She ended, turning her cold eyes to Nicander.

"Let us begin extracting that intel."
  • Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 04:00:06 PM by FollowTomorrow

Re: CH05: S [D06|1015] Into the Parasite's Lair
Reply #9
[ Lt. Kai Akoni | Security Centre | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] @Top Hat @Numen @Auctor Lucan @chXinya @Arista

The Cardies had accepted Kai's ground rules, but they also informed him that they'd have to get close to the prisoner. Kai pondered the request for a moment and also weighed the risk/benefit of such a request. The Acting Security Chief had all the plans in place in case the worst case scenario happened. The gravity plating was ready to go at a moment's notice, and he also had the crewman train his phaser rifle on the prisoner at all times. Kai agreed to their request, albeit reluctantly. He tried to reason with them, but if worst case scenario happened, there was probably nothing Kai could do for the visitors. 

As Kai lowered the other barrier, Lt. (JG) Bila started saying something in a language that Kai didn't immediately recognize, but Kai seemed to think it was Bajoran. As whatever was said was being said, Ducote and Wenn Cinn entered the security centre which Kai had observed in his peripheral vision while maintaining an overwatch on the current proceedings.

Kai wasn't exactly Wenn's biggest fan, and that didn't change with how Wenn had come into the security centre like someone had seemingly pissed him off. Ducote, being Ducote though used some verbal judo as a way of bringing down the tension. Kai appreciated that, and quickly realized Wenn was probably under a ridiculous amount of stress; so he wouldn't rush to judgement about the Bajoran. However, as far as Kai could hear, Ducote wasn't too impressed with how Wenn had been acting. Nevertheless, it didn't change Kai's current objective of making sure the visitors left, more or less, in the same condition in which they arrived.

Ducote turned to Kai and waved over Kael as an impromptu talk just amongst the Endeavour officers...well ex-Endeavour officers.

"The bridge received a message from the ship's AI on the ship that abducted the hybrid portion of the Theurgy's crew - but the Theurgy wasn't the only Starfleet ship represented there. There are at least three of ours there, too, perhaps more. Cross, R'Rori and Tiran are confirmed survivors as of fifteen minutes ago. We can't go and get them yet, but we might be able to reunite soon... Obviously, I can't promise anything, but I wanted to tell you both as soon as possible." Ducote had said to them with Kai definitely not expecting it. 

Kai felt his stomach drop as if he had taken a phaser blast right to the midsection. His head began swimming with possibilities and so many questions.

They're alive? Cross, R'Rori and Tiran are all alive?? How is that even possible?

So many questions and not many answers. Either way, Kai figured that they should be rescued as soon as possible. He whispered to Ducote,

"Might be able to reunite soon? I think that needs to be expedited sir. How is this even possible?" he looked into Ducote's eyes, looking for answers and hoping for answers that those three were actually alive.

Kai was obviously not religious, but felt that something or someone was looking out for Endeavour least some of them.
Lt. Cmdr. Kai Akoni     [Show/Hide]
Lt. (JG) Annika Van den Berg     [Show/Hide]

Re: CH05: S [D06|1015] Into the Parasite's Lair
Reply #10
[ Lt Cmdr Vael Kaeris | Turbolift -> Security Center | Deck 07 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Top Hat  @chXinya  @Arista  @Numen  @trevorvw  @Auctor Lucan  @FollowTomorrow 

His dark eyes studied the large Bajoran commander as a shudder of suprise ran through him, clearly indicating that he had been completely unaware of Vael's presence in the turbolift rather than rudely dismissive of it.  His lips tightened almost imperceptibly at his response.

"I suppose I could use a little bit of practice saying 'Resistance is futile.' before I get assimilated.  Who knows, if I have a great cadence with it the Queen will give me a promotion?"

Taking a slight breath and regarding his PADD in an effort to displace the awkwardness of the moment, he replied back, "I do not believe that would be an appropriately representative path of Borg hierarchy."  While he could go into a more detailed explanation of the theories about the delineation of the so-called Borg command structure below the queen, he felt that the audience would be less than appreciative and the venue even less ideal.

"How are you coming with the torpedo modifications?"

Vael inclined his head slightly.  "In an effort to minimize points of potential failure, I have taken it upon myself to track and disseminate most of the scientific endeavors underway for our engagement.  As the other science staff have expressed a reticence towards self-termination should the matter become necessary, I would rather not jeopardize all ventures to one potentially assimilated crewman.  As I have no compunctions about putting the success of mission before my own life, it seemed logical that I taken on this particular task.  To that end, if you will excuse my vagueness, the modifications are proceeding apace.  We will likely not have a significant window between completion and deployment given the time frame."

"No sounding board required, Commander, but it seems there are more survivors from the Endeavour."  Vael had to admit that this brought no small amount of relief to hear, although it offered a mental distraction that he could ill afford at the moment, prompting him to compartmentalize the information and the dozens of questions already forming to the back of his thoughts.  "Not sure how many, but definitely a few more of the senior staff."  Glancing from one commander to the other, Vael suspected he now had the answer to why the bridge crew seemed so animated.  He considered asking for more details, but this might seem to invite more conflict into the lift than necessary and is own idle curiosity could be set aside for the time being.  Still, he suspected Commander Ducote's optimistic tone came less from just any member of their crew being located, but of one in particular.

As the doors opened, the three moved out into the hallway towards a section that had suffered a fair amount of damage and was now, apparently an impromptu zoo containing one specimen and far too many onlookers, some of which he recognized from the earlier staff meeting called by the Theurgy CSO.  He had to admit that the sheer number of Cardassians on board, few though they may be, seemed inexplicable given the recent hostilities between the Union and the Federation.  It had taken years for a single Klingon to serve in Starfleet.  He had to wonder if this was a sign of a more enlightened period in galactic relations, or perhaps one more nefarious.  If one were to hold true all the tales surrounding the Theurgy, he might lean towards the latter.

Vael gave a nod of recognition to Lt. Akoni as they approached, thankful that at least one of their displaced crew was in the midst, if only to keep a reasoned eye on events.  Commander Ducote motioned for Lt. Akoni to join Vael and him in an aside even as one of Theurgy's rank and file seemed to lay into their interim captain.  Vael had to admit that he found the lack of proper protocol somewhat unsettling and, more over, unbecoming of a Starfleet vessel.

"The bridge received a message from the ship's AI on the ship that abducted the hybrid portion of the Theurgy's crew - but the Theurgy wasn't the only Starfleet ship represented there. There are at least three of ours there, too, perhaps more. Cross, R'Rori and Tiran are confirmed survivors as of fifteen minutes ago. We can't go and get them yet, but we might be able to reunite soon... Obviously, I can't promise anything, but I wanted to tell you both as soon as possible."  Well, this answered some of the questions that had been festering at the back of Vael's thoughts.  No doubt the decision to disregard that knowledge in favor of addressing the Borg threat was ill-digested among the bridge crew.  Still, Vael found that he had to agree with the course of action.  They had neither the time nor resources to devote to confrontation with their abductors while leaving the klingons and a single undermanned Starfleet vessel to face the spear-point of a Borg invasion.

"Might be able to reunite soon? I think that needs to be expedited sir. How is this even possible?" Kai asked, likely echoing sentiments already voiced on the bridge.

Discreetly, Vael placed a hand on Ducote's wrist, his expression shifting from dispassionate professionalism to something that had taken him far longer to master -- reassurance.  Among his own people, it was seldom a necessary expression, but having served on Bajor during the Dominion War, he learned all to readily that it was often the only thing that stood between acceptance and soul crushing despair among the other races.  "I understand the desire to liberate the others, but had we the luxury and resources to do so, we would simply be freeing the from the frying pan to douse them into the fire.  We must ensure that they have a safe place wherein to recover."

He gave a faint smile, his gaze softening, the dark color of his eyes seeming to lighten some small degree.  "We have more now than we had a day ago.  Kindle that in your heart and let it see you through the rest of the night.  When dawn comes and we have ensured the security of the area, we will be in a better position to free and care for them."  Sometimes, it was necessary to remind even his fellow officers that he was a doctor before he was a scientist.  Even if triage ensured an identical outcome, it was the presentation that mattered.

Re: CH05: S [D06|1015] Into the Parasite's Lair
Reply #11
[ Cmdr Ranaan Ducote | Security Centre | Deck 07 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @trevorvw @steelphoenix

Behind him, the procedure with Nicander carried on apace. Beyond registering a tense sort of determination, Ducote paid the Theurgy crew little attention. If Wenn wanted to hand their enemy free intelligence, then presumably release a bunch of Klingons desperate to repair their honour after having been detained, he'd rather deliver his news and be absent for the aftermath.

"Might be able to reunite soon? I think that needs to be expedited, sir. How is this even possible?"

Kai's burst of emotion was infectious, not to mention his desire to rescue more of their colleagues and friends. As he took a breath to wade into telling him why they couldn't do that, he felt a touch at his wrist as Vael responded first.

"I understand the desire to liberate the others..."

Ducote listened to the courtier, grateful that their views were aligned in principle but interested in how they came from a different place than the XO's own rather more utilitarian origin. When the Bactrican finished, Ducote cocked his head towards the scientist as he looked at Kai.

"As the man said. We just don't have time to detour to meet that ship, get our people off, and make it back to the aperture field to shut them all down." He spread one hand palm-up in a thoughtful/placatory sort of way. "But after... the Theurgy has just as much of a reason to pursue that ship as we do. More, perhaps. Their AI and presumably their captain are captive there. But we'll get our people back, Kai. Believe it."

Finally, the hybrid looked back over his shoulder to the gang lurking around the entrance to the holding area. He raised a wry eyebrow to Akoni as he returned his attention to the Endeavour crew. 

"If you reckon you can stop the natives doing anything too daft... I'll get out of your way and head to sickbay to let the others know. I'll head back up to the bridge afterwards."
Nator 159:
Ranaan Ducote:

Re: CH05: S [D06|1015] Into the Parasite's Lair
Reply #12
[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @FollowTomorrow @Numen @Arista @trevorvw @chXinya @Top Hat @steelphoenix
For the most part, it seemed like he was speaking to a deaf audience, but Lucan couldn't give up. Too much was riding on his knowledge being imparted on more officers on the ship.

Still, by the winds how much it irked him that the only reaction to his words were racial bickering, fear, and a pragmatic approach to inoculating him with the vaccine he'd learned about. Had they not heard what he said? Had they simply ignored the research he presented? At least Counsellor Ejek was willing to speak on his behalf, in a fashion, and try to convey the import of what he was willing to give them. Since his true nature was revealed, and his sanity had returned, he had done as much as he possibly could to try and aid the crew and the mission. And yet they would not hear him? Even his old friend, Wenn Cinn, was more focused on the Cardassians in the room than him.

One of them had asked the force field to be lowered, and the other - whom Lucan recognised as the civilian named Parnak - approached the remaining forcefield once the gravity plating had been restored to ordinary settings.

The oculus was activated and moved into position, and Nicander looked at it. He remembered how his own parasite and that of Sonja Acreth had communed through the darkness, and agreed upon the next step of that interrogation on the Harbinger. Acreth had seized the back of his labcoat, and pulled him in to the level 10 forcefield, holding him there as ransom, the demand being that the forcefield was to be lowered immediately lest he'd die. He had played his part, not just to give the Acreth Host a means to escape, but to raise him over any suspicions. He'd spent two days in sickbay afterwards, even though he had been in no real danger, and Acreth had managed to kill the Harbinger's Chief of Security.

Now, he was on the other side of the forcefield, and he raised his pale grey eyes to Parnak.

For a moment, the notion had surfaced from the abyss, that he'd do the same.

Yet instead, he complied. He hiked up his sleeve, and extended his real hand and forearm through the hole in the forcefield. He did so wordlessly, since Ejek was still speaking. Still boldly correcting the Commanding Officer in terms of timing and mission import. In the meantime, he looked towards the younger Cardassian with the Bajoran nose and earring. He did not recognise him, but committed the name and rank to memory. It was unclear if the man also hailed from the Endeavour.

"Thank you counselor," he said, looking back at the beautiful Cardassian. Then, he turned to the others assembled, some having left to speak by themselves, obviously sceptic in regard to his usefulness. "Please, I have already spoken at length. Do you have any questions? Anything you wish to know that may actually offer aid in the ship's present situation?"
  • Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 11:56:32 AM by Auctor Lucan

  • Numen
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • " I'm trying to make science here!"
  • Awards: Awarded for participation in Part 1 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear. Awarded for participation in Part 2 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear.
Re: CH05: S [D06|1015] Into the Parasite's Lair
Reply #13
[ Lt. JG Izar Bila | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy NX-79854]
Att: @trevorvw  @Arista  @Auctor Lucan @FollowTomorrow  @Top Hat  @chXinya

Bila turned around for a second and found himself face to face with a beefy bajoran man that inquire about him. About his 'right' to pray in a language that didn't seem like his, even when he was as bajoran as the dark skinned man. Well, at least part of him was. Unconsciously, the hybrid tightened his jaw and wrinkled his ridged nose, wishing he gave the other bajoran a piece of his mind, but he was unable to. The knot in his throat was too tight to allow him to answer anything mordant. In fact it prevented him from answering anything. The chemist only tighed his lips in a thin line and lifted his chin. A gesture of useless pride. He felt the heat rise quickly to his cheeks and, on that occasion, he didn't know if that blush was due to shame or anger seeing himself in the eye of a storm. Being the center role on such a shameful display of xenophobia.

However, to his surprise, Parnak came out in his defense. In his haughty and arrogant manner, no doubt, but after all he had stood up for him. For a good part of his life, Izar had been told he should be ashamed of his Cardassian blood. That he should strive doubly for be a good example of a Bajoran. In that moment he realized that, if he had to choose one half of his cultural background, he would choose his Cardassian part. By the time both Parnak and Ejek had supported him from the start, each in their own way. Without judgement. Well, without too much judgement in Parnak case.

Bila pressed the briefcase against his chest and followed the xenobiologist's steps, staring at the heels of the older man to avoid looking where they were heading. Behind him, Bila could hear the embarrassed sigh of one of the officers who had been hiding behind the huge mass of Lt. Akoni. At least, his embarrassment was shared.

Ejek's voice rose, scolding the Bajoran, who appeared to be the acting captain, to worsen the situation even more. Innerly, the hybrid thanked the counselor presence again, and how she was able to stand firm and kind at the same time. And that she displayed that kind of no-nosense mode that he hadn't seen previously, but that was somehow  delightful. One of the corners of his mouth began to curl at the thought of it, when one of the counselor's sentences hit him like a real slap and stabbed his soul

'... your personal feelings do not matter so long as you are wearing that uniform. I understand this is difficult, maybe even impossible to ask of you. You must try regardless ... '

The phrase wasn't directed to him and yet... and yet, he could apply it to himself. Bila stopped his steps for a moment and looked back, staring the petite woman. The counselor was right. He was giving a poor show of himself, he wasn't showing who he really was. The version of himself that he aspired to be. As much as the terror knotted in his stomach, he was a Starfleet officer. And a scientist. And he had work to do.

He turned again over his heels and observes the xenobiologist's stiff back. He must try at least. Bila straightened his own back and kept following the other Cardassian.

Sorthly after, they reached the cell. Bila put his head on what he should do. A plan. Several determined steps. It was like distilling a chemical compound. If you followed the recipe and you were careful, nothing could go wrong. So he just had to follow the steps. First, he squatted to the right side of the oculus. Next, he carefully opened the clasps of the briefcase. Inside it, there were two silverly vials, a hypospray and a slightly modified medical tricorder. He handed the latter to Parnak, while he loaded the vaccine fluid into the device.

Everything was going as expected.  Just kept with the plan. Parnak was handling the situation. Everything was ok. In his back, some light steps signaled that Ejek had joined them. Bila checked that the dosage of the vaccine worked correctly, and and that the device worked properly. It needed to be set for a wide range of innoculation. After all, neither of them had any idea of wich biometric parameters a infected could have. Maybe they were the expected for a male Caroôn of his age and physiognomy. Maybe they were totally crazy, so different for the usual ones that had little sense. But he was confident that the xenobiologist could calculate the nanoprobes' dose he would need from the tricorder data.

So, he positioned himself on one side of the arm that outstretched across the force field gap,  his eyes focussed on the tattoos that snaked beneath the knuckles' skin. That way he didn't have to look at his face. He could avoid that fear grew stronger inside him. When the former CMO asked if there were any questions, Bila took a deep breath and, after a slight hesitation, spoke. "You previously said that you've identified the transphasic nature of the light and part of its wavelenght, but... have you identified its frequency? If we know its frequency band, maybe we could identify more or its nature and track it fully... have you search if it has a frecuency-division multiplexing? Maybe that ... 'light' it's more than it seems..."

While waiting for the answer of the infected or Parnak's orders, Bila looked at his hands. Surprisingly, they had stopped trembling.
  • Last Edit: February 16, 2019, 12:22:14 PM by Numen

Re: CH05: S [D06|1015] Into the Parasite's Lair
Reply #14
[Acting Captain Wenn Cinn | Security Center | Deck 07 | Vector 2 | USS Theurgy]

The moment the accusatory question flew out of his mouth, Cinn regretted it.  Not even the Prophets could save him from his own fatigue it seemed, and everyone in the room rightfully jumped all over the Bajoran for his remark.  Ducote beat a hasty retreat, it was clear that there was no way he was even going to attempt to help Cinn dig himself out of that one.  Parnak was his usual help, pointing out the nose ridges that he couldn't see due to their positions.  Ejek made quick use of her counseling training and took better charge than her current captain did.  And Bila, the one that suffered the brunt of the sudden prejudice stood tall and did exactly what the model Starfleet officer should: prove those who disparage him wrong with actions, and save the diatribes for private.

In the brief window he had before Bila stepped into the containment area to get his sample Cinn gave what apology he could.  "I'm sorry, that was wrong and unbecoming of me.  I'll find a way to make it up when we have some time.  Carry on."  Watching the two scientists for a few moments, he realized that his presence would only be an issue at this point.  Thanks to his outburst he could hardly contribute in a worthwhile manner now and Ducote (why did he even have him come along?) was spreading the word with his compatriots from the Endeavour.  Not wanting to go back to the Bridge just yet, the acting captain decided that maybe he could recruit some more hands for the upcoming fight.  Not that it'd be a good thing for a few dozen people be locked up behind forcefields when the Borg start beaming in.  A single drone would wreak havoc under those conditions.

"I'll be in the holding area for the next few minutes." Cinn whispered to Akoni, desiring to keep from bothering Parnak and Bila.  "Keep a few people on standby, I don't know how well our guests are going to take the news.  Oh, and set up a connection with the bays that were converted as well, no need to make the same speech multiple times."  And with that, Cinn made his own retreat, throwing himself to the tender mercies of Klingons and Starfleeters that had been captured in battle, hoping that some of them will understand why Theurgy went "rogue" and to warn them of the upcoming battle.

Re: CH05: S [D06|1015] Into the Parasite's Lair
Reply #15
[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @FollowTomorrow @Numen @Arista @trevorvw @chXinya @Top Hat @steelphoenix
Wenn Cinn had apologised and excused himself, leaving the area after a few brief words with Kai Akoni - this new, acting Chief of Security.

While still having his arm through the oculus and waiting for Parnak to finish, Lucan heard the hybrid speak, even though he was watching his old friend leave. Why had Cinn come down in the first place? In all likelihood, Cinn had listened to the message that Kino Taer had delivered to him, and wished to speak with him in private. To find some kind of resolution. Seeing all the present people before the holding cell, however, Cinn might have opted to speak with him later instead. Only there might not be a 'later'...

While he had preferred that Cinn heard what he had to say about the enemy inside him, Lucan hoped that those present would heed him. His pale grey eyes shifted to the speaker, this scientist that had seemed quite fearful and awkward upon arrival. Still, the man chose to speak. If he was that afraid of the Infested, the hyrbrid was not just smart, but he had the bravery to transcend his fear as well. It certainly wasn't beyond Lucan to respect the man for it, even if the coiling darkness inside him might have exploited that fear as a weakness. The question was apt, as well.

"Well, I am a Doctor, not a cross-dimensional optics scientist," he said, the ghost of a smile crossing his features. "All the sensor readings told me was what the wavelength in our present existence looked like, not beyond it. Our sensors weren't calibrated to detect what the rest of the wavelength looked like - what kind of transphasic spectrum it continued into - beyond our current phase variance. Before any further studies of Heather McMillan's ability could be made, she left on that away mission to the Coreless Moon. She was abducted by the Savi, no doubt because of what she was, and now, she's dead. Or at least that's what the Host on the Versant showed me, when I looked through his eyes. She was disintegrated in front of Captain Ives. Now, if those sensor readings can't give us what we need, we may have to find another one of her people."

Glancing towards the development of his inoculation, he added. "Please bear in mind that other Hosts now know about the Radiants, and that they are a threat. They must be protected, so that their light can be weaponized."

Lucan then looked towards the Chief Counsellor, whom had approached him first in the hope of learning more, and he felt himself admiring her resolve. He did so when she'd been present back then, when he sustained his injury, and the parasite took over in full to sustain him. He remembered his actions and a dormant spectator. How he had eviscerated Doctor Saugn. He was not sure he'd come to him like Ejek had, had he been in her position.

"Thank you," he found himself saying, "for listening. By the winds, my greatest fear was that I would be dismissed entirely. That's why I did not come forth after Heather restored my sanity. I thought it was better to aid the crew freely, than from inside a cell. That you came to me proves I was wrong, and while I have to live with my decision to remain silent, and all that it led to, I am grateful."
  • Last Edit: February 18, 2019, 12:36:18 PM by Auctor Lucan

Re: CH05: S [D06|1015] Into the Parasite's Lair
Reply #16
[ Lt. Zelosa Ejek | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ]

Much to her dismay, Ducote remained retreated, and though the Captain apologized for his unbecoming behavior, it was clear he was also retreating. Was this for real? Was she really the only person here willing to listen to the only inside-man they had? Was she really assuming the responsibilities of a captain, even though she was still just a lieutenant?
"Captain, before you make your retreat, stay. If not because you want to listen, then because it saves me the hassle of writing you a report of what I learn while questioning our prisoner." She saw him leaving, and she wasn't fully sure he'd even hear her, but she had to try. She didn't want this burden. Wasn't everyone else supposed to be doing this job and not her?

Apparently she had to step up. As much as she'd like to just run off and do literally anything else, she was here, and so were her Cardassians. She took a deep breath as Nicander spoke. Her mind went back to it's center. She offered him nothing in the way of visible emotions through her body, or audible leaks of it in her voice. Composure was practically her middle name.

"...I'm not sure how much in the way of counseling they teach the other medical professionals in the Academy, Doctor, but you'll find that, more times than not, holding in such great secrets can crack the psyche. Letting it go, giving your darkness a name and speaking of it, it is a medicine in it's own right." She turned back to him, facing him fully.

"If you are giving us the truth, I'm afraid I cannot promise you any sort of reward. That would be the captain's decision to make. Your data, though. I will need full access to it." She continued on, giving each of her Cardassian compatriots a glance. She hoped she could rely on them to work with whatever information she could pull out, because all she could do was file reports and hope someone used them.

"I have more questions for you still. I suggest you make yourself as comfortable as you can, given where we are. Now,"
She paused, sorting through the many, many questions she had for this man. There was much to pry from him, and she loved herself a captive, willing confessor.

"I understand you are Lucan Nicander. But you are also, now, an infested. If we are to have any sort of positive outcome, it will depend on your ability to, at least temporarily, make amends between these two identities. Perhaps it's unpalatable to you. Perhaps it is horrifying to you. It most certainly does not appeal to the morals of the average Starfleet officer, but Doctor, we now stand at a crossroads. It seems that, in order for our universe to survive, it will fall to you to strike your balance between both of your egos."

"...If you are willing to answer, I have more questions. First, How long have the infested existed, and about how long have they been present in our world?" She asked, then allowed him appropriate time to answer. After which, she continued,

"How many are the Infested, and how many exist here in our universe?"

  • Numen
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • " I'm trying to make science here!"
  • Awards: Awarded for participation in Part 1 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear. Awarded for participation in Part 2 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear.
Re: CH05: S [D06|1015] Into the Parasite's Lair
Reply #17
[ Lt. JG Izar Bila | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy NX-79854]
Att: @trevorvw  @Arista  @Auctor Lucan @FollowTomorrow  @Top Hat  @chXinya @steelphoenix

Cinn's voice reached Bila's ears, but he couldn't make heads or tails about his words. For better or for worse, he had inherited a mostly cardassian hearing. And even if it was finer than the average cardassian one, her ear was far from being sharp. He hoped it was an apology. It sounded more or less like an apology. Either way, he had more urgent issues to deal with at that moment. But he should talk with the bajoran sooner or later, he was stuck in that starship so he should try to start on the right foot, even after that... unfortunate  first meet. Maybe he could win some advantage for that humiliation...

The hybrid looked up to stare Dr. Parnak. For some reason he couldn't understand,  the xenobiologist was still immersed in the study of the modified tricorder, without informing him of the results to allow the infected's inoculatation " Ogamĵan Parnak". The chemist whispered. " Ozgamĵan ... insisted again, without getting any response. Bila frowned. What was wrong with the old man?

But then, the infected answered his questions, so his attention moved to the man with tattoed hands. A shade of a smirk appeared among the hybrid's sparse beard, hidding his real feelings. Even so, he nodded solemnly before the explanations of the former CMO. "It's a pity we had lost McMillan, but if I had access to your research maybe I or we..." Bila left the suggestion hanging in the air. He was not a physic. Neither he was a cross-dimensional optics, as the infected had joked about. However, curiosity regarding the phenomenon stirred in his chest.

It was then that when Ejek took charge of the conversation, with the coldness of an interrogator. And still keeping the soft demenaour that he associated with the counsellor. Silk glove in an steel fist.

The hybrid's gaze shifted from her to the man behind the force field, waiting for theirreactions.

From nx kardasi by noxfox
Ogamĵan.- oldman, politely distanced
Ozgamĵan - oldman, politely distanced. emphatic
  • Last Edit: February 27, 2019, 10:28:08 PM by Numen

Re: CH05: S [D06|1015] Into the Parasite's Lair
Reply #18
[ Dr. Silim Parnak | Security Centre | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @FollowTomorrow @Numen  @Auctor Lucan

There were times that Parnak enjoyed being in company, however, this was not one of them. The complete disarray that the acting captain had wrought upon the scene slowly started to dissipate, but the damage was done. Too many people were trying to squeeze into too small of an area and not letting him work.

Surprisingly, or rather unsurprisingly, it was the Cardassians who were bringing all the use to the table. Ejek continued her preamble, working her magic on the disgraced officer who seemed keen to impart his knowledge. Silim was, of course, scanning the man to provide a suitable baseline to ensure the correct inoculation mixture. Bila? Well, besides guarding the inoculations with such furiousness that one could assume he was carrying a suitcase full of latinum, the hybrid also seemed to be running ample, if noisy, interference with the rest of the Starfleeters there to guard and gawk.

Knowing this would be one, if not the only, time that Silim would be able to take his own readings of a live subject that has been infected, he took his time as well as copious scans. Interestingly, it seemed to confirm what he had previous been told. Those harbouring the parasitic organisms did not provide readings different from what was expecting. This man was a baseline Câroon.

There was insistent whispering from the hybrid and Parnak tried to ignore him. There was data to collect and his time would come. With all the noise, Silim's patience was wearing thin. Eventually, after a few repeated attempts to attract his attention in the way a child would. The elder Cardassian, without even taking his eyes from the reading, responded sharply under his breath so not to attract the attention of the others.

"Da neizemú."

In silence, Silim finished his scans. He had nothing else to say. Then, with a quick snapping motion, he closed the Starfleet issue tricorder with one hand. A wide grin on display for anyone who would be looking.

"I appreciate your patience, doctor."
He told the Câroon pleasantly, casting a side eye at the Cardassian hybrid among them. "This will be just a moment."

With that he turned away began to relay the relevant information to the hybrid. All the while his mind was parsing the data that he would rush back to his lab to analyse further.

OOC: Da neizemú = "Wait and stay put" in Cardassian
  • Last Edit: February 27, 2019, 11:56:40 PM by Arista

Re: CH05: S [D06|1015] Into the Parasite's Lair
Reply #19
[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ]
Attn: @FollowTomorrow @Numen @Arista @trevorvw @chXinya @Top Hat @steelphoenix
Instead of silence, uncertainty, Lucan now had ears that might heed his words. He had no way of knowing if that Petty Officer - Kino Taer - had managed to get the word to Wenn Cinn. Three Cardassians, give or take, were listening but he had no personal grievances with the species. Two of them were Starfleet officers, and he had to believe they stood for the same values as the Federation once represented. If the others that had arrived with the Cinn were listening as well, he couldn't know - limited as his field of vision was.

One of the Cardassians said it was a pity they'd lost McMillan, as expected, while the other one thanked him for his patience. Lucan pulled his arm back from the oculus device, and watched as it was returned to its socket at the side of the force field. Counselor Ejek had begun to speak, suggesting that telling the crew about his fate was beneficial in other ways than just the intel he could provide. A medicine in its own right, perhaps, to speak of the darkness inside.

To this, he could but nod quietly, rubbing the area of the inoculation with his artificial hand. The calibration of the tactile digital sensor membranes in the prosthetic seemed accurate enough, but he couldn't quite shake the idea of a slight delay, even if it shouldn't be there. I'm not expecting any reward, he thought when Ejek mentioned it. He wasn't bartering his information for benefits. He wanted to set things right, and find some kind of redemption for what his infested self had wrought.

Then, came the promise of more questions, and the suggestion that he'd get comfortable. It was a bit amusing, since the only thing he had in the holding cell was the hover gurney that had been brought to relocate him. It had served as his bed that night, once he finally managed to find sleep, but he had no interest to sit on it. He remained standing by the forcefield, and folded his mismatched hands behind his back. His pale grey eyes looked at the Counselor from the Resolve, and... he wasn't entirely happy with her suggestion.

"Before I answer those questions, just to be clear," he said quietly in his deep voice, "You are asking me to accept my nature, and that is something I've already done. Yet if you're asking me to look into the abyss inside me once more... to tap into the knowledge of the infested..."

He looked down upon the blood on the deck, then upon the wall, and the deckhead above him. Then he looked back towards Ejek, and his frown was not amused. "After I became fully Infested - when the parasite alone kept me alive - I have only once used this new-found ability to tap into the nameless darkness. There are consequences, not just for me. Gazing into the darkness means I loose myself in it. I allow the thing inside to take control. How do I know the consequences aren't permanent, or the gradual decline into what I used to be might begin anew?"

Of course, at face value, it might seem an evasion to them. He supposed he had to clarify. "You think it's a matter of being horrifying to me. By the winds, yes, it is, but asking me to do it... is not just against morals. It is a matter of preserving my brittle sanity, and my continued will to aid that might be compromised. The price for casual use might be too high, so I will not do so on a whim. When I did it, I might have been able to secure the shield harmonics of the Rotarran... but three Starfleet officers paid with their lives."

Raising his tattooed hand, he raked hir hair back from his face and sighed. "That being said, I remember what I saw... in that nightmarish maelstrom of visions, some of the present, and some from past Cycles. The visions down there in the dark... they show unspeakable things. Soul-eating sights of flesh, blood and madness. It was like the Infested I became. A reflection of its nature. Gluttonous hunger for sadistic lust and dark amusement. The next moment, raving hatred... and then wanton love for the most obscene of desires. Unpredictable, entirely random. Chaos, defying all order of our existence. Opposite of evolution. Non-creation... feeding on everything."

Lucan closed his eyes a moment. "You asked of numbers, and how long they have been here. I have given this much thought myself, and based on what I saw - which corroborates with my earlier memories - I reckon some kind of seal broke in the beginning of the 70's. Something that let the darkness affect this galaxy. The first Infested were possessed sometime after that, and they were here to prepare us for digestion. Making us... edible. Perhaps making us defenceless for what is to come. Like with saliva, digestion begin before food reaches the stomach. This much, I am fairly sure of," he said quietly, and then sighed.

"As for how many there are?" He shook his head. "When I sought a solution to the battle, I glimpsed other... nodes, if you will, in the abyss. They were difficult to count there in the darkness, and my needs brought me to the Versant and to the Rotarran. They were the closest Hosts that I could enter, letting me see through their eyes. There are more, in Task Force Archeron. At least four of them. Based on earlier memories, I know there are three in Starfleet Command. I know of Captain Hawthorne, and at least two more were on Starbase 84. There was Sonja Acreth, on the Harbinger. Beyond that, without actively revisiting the chaos plane... I speculate there might be Infested in the largest bodies of political and military power in the Galaxy. They are rare, but strategically located to further the destruction of all galactic societies."

He did not wish to frighten his listeners, since they might dismiss him out of fear, but at the same time, he wanted them to know how serious the threat was. It wasn't just about the survival of the Theurgy. Especially now, that the Borg invasion was due.

"I have a question of my own," he said, remaining where he stood. Neither of those present had been on the Theurgy from the start. "What do you think the future of this Cycle would have been like, if we weren't defying this threat?"

  • Numen
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • " I'm trying to make science here!"
  • Awards: Awarded for participation in Part 1 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear. Awarded for participation in Part 2 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear.
Re: CH05: S [D06|1015] Into the Parasite's Lair
Reply #20
[ Lt. JG Izar Bila | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy NX-79854]
Att: @trevorvw  @Arista  @Auctor Lucan @FollowTomorrow  @Top Hat  @chXinya @steelphoenix

The soft chastisement, even subtle as it had been, was like a slap for the hybrid. He looked for the old cardassian eyes with his own, eyeridges deeply knitted. He had a comeback ready for that uppity civilian, but a quick look at the cell and the counselor changed his mind. With almost physical effort, he swallowed his words. Even he nipped the inside of his cheeks to avoid haul Parnak over the coals for his attitude. After all, the xenobiologist was there by virtue of his good will. Bila looked down at the briefcase and shook his head slightly. He had a good heart, too much for Ogamĵan. Later on, he had to make an effort to let him know how much he owed him. But for the moment, and out of respect for that selfless defense he had given him just minutes before, Izar remained silent, fiddling with the hypospray.

Shortly thereafter, with the disrespectful remark that characterized the interactions between the two scientists, Parnak gave him a recount of the biometrical paramed of the former CMO. To the chemist's surprise, there was nothing remarkable in the readings, only what was to be expected on an adult male Câroon. Whatever it was, at least he had the necessary information to prepare the doses, so he rushed to set the hypospray and approached to pale arm in the occulus. Bila hesitated a second before applying the vaccine in the median cubital vein. For the moment, the infected seemed collaborative, almost meek, but part of him knew that the beast that controlled him could be unleashed at any moment... and the hybrid didn't want to facilitate being mauled to bits. After the quick procedure,  the former doctor withdrew his arm, rubbing the inoculation area.

When the occulus closed, letting the barrier that separated them full again, Bila relaxed unconsciously. The forcefield up between them made him feel safer.

Nevertheless, this respite was short-lived, as Nicander began to shell out his answers to the counselor's questions. The picture his words painted was sinister to say the least. Terrifying and grotesque were probably better adjectives to define it. Bila had always had a vivid imagination, and that didn't help him in those moments. However, despite the fact that the most sensible option would have been to walk away and save himself that kind of forbidden knowledge that was being depleted before him, he did not move. He stood there, looking alternately at Ejek and her interlocutor, as if observing a natural catastrophe, horrified by the destruction it predicted, but fascinated by the unleashed forces that participated in such an event.

When the story came to an end and Nicander asked his question, Bila turned to Ejek and Parnak, who knew more about the threat looming over all them. He was beginning to form his own conclusions, but wanted to know the opinion of the full-cardassians before exposing it. After all, he had been asked to remain shut.

From nx kardasi by noxfox
Ogamĵan.- oldman, politely distanced

Re: CH05: S [D06|1015] Into the Parasite's Lair
Reply #21
[ Dr. Silim Parnak | Security Centre | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @FollowTomorrow @Numen  @Auctor Lucan

It was obviously to see that the quiet correction he applied to the Hybrid's discipline had worked perfectly. Now the man completed his tasks in silence and stood watching and watching, his large doe eyes showing either signs of admiration or disgust. Either way, Parnak didn't care. He had already claimed more from this meeting that he though possible.

Briefly, he checked over the data he had acquired first hand before following back into the conversation. Things had moved on. Ejek with her brilliance, had moved the subject to deal with the issues she was present to address. In many ways, he was in awe of her right at that moment. She was strong but had elegance. Confidence with style.

Stepping away from the forcefield, Parnak found himself conflicted. He could stay and attempt to gleam whatever secrets he could, tucking them away to play at later date. Otherwise, he could get on with his jobs and leave the fleeters to play 'baby's first obsidian order'. Besides Ejek herself, the whole situation felt like a 5-year-old had attempted to write one of the crime serials that his mother had a fondness for.

Thought tempting, basking in Ejek's radiance wasn't enough for the man. He was far too important to stand around a be a prop in a poor drama. Slipping the tricorder into his coat pocket, Silim used the now free hand to run along the cut of his garment, ensuring it was wrinkle-free.

"If anyone needs me..." He commented loudly for the room, though he only had eyes for the counsellor among them. "...I'll be in my lab."

Re: CH05: S [D06|1015] Into the Parasite's Lair
Reply #22
[ Lt. Zelosa Ejek | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ]

Ejek listened to her captive audience and wondered. Wondered what his fate would be, what would happen to him. She knew full well the ship's opinion on him. She didn't have to be terribly clever to figure that one out. Wenn Cinn was exemplary of this. Despite how invaluable Nicander was now, he was also the enemy. The Federation, like most great powers, had a very good process for degrading the enemy, and the officers took well to it. Nicander was no longer someone with worth or value, even if it was purely utilitarian value.

She realized she had been thinking of him as nothing more than a source of intelligence and not a living thing. A protective factor, she realized. If she were to see things as morally ambiguous, she'd likely have a nervous breakdown, which is exactly why major powers like the Federation work so hard to keep the enemy sub-humanoid.

She was asking him to decline because she knew he would not be alive for much longer. It was a certainty in her mind. Hell, even if she vouched for his life with all her strength, he would likely still be subject to acts of violence by his former colleagues. And then there was the very real concern that the parasite menace could see fit to dispose of him themselves, as he was now an information leak. She asked him to descend, to become one with his parasite, to accept the long term risks because he no longer had a long-term to think of. Neither did anyone else.

The scenes he described were a description indeed. They did not provide her with new information, but more detail on what the parasites truly were. Fascinating, in a morbid way. She began taking down notes from what the doctors said. Possibly began in the '70's, began long term plans then. Other hosts, one on Versant, one on Rotarran, four in Archeron, three in command...rare and strategically located. Peculiar. It would suggest limited numbers. She made a note of that as well.

Parnak was leaving. To his own lair, apparently, leaving her and Bila alone. That was quite alright, she had been interviewing the captive all on her lonesome before they arrived, but she still wished he'd stay.
"Doctor, thank you your attendance here." She wished she could be more blunt. Something along the lines of 'thank you for doing your job', but no. She'll be petty some other time. Instead, she turned back to Nicander.

She lifted her eyes to meet his, still remaining cold and steely, but she listened to his question with full attention.
"...Doctor, none of us can see the future, I hope you acknowledge that. Personally, I won't presume to know." Especially considering the possible temporal operative they have running about, she'd rather not make a fool of herself. That, and...she didn't know. She'd likely be dead, if she reflected back on the Starbase incident. "...But I would like to hear your perspective."

Re: CH05: S [D06|1015] Into the Parasite's Lair
Reply #23
[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ]
Attn: @FollowTomorrow @Numen @Arista @trevorvw @chXinya @Top Hat @steelphoenix
Watching the development between the two men of Cardassian heritage, and the obvious schism, Doctor Nicander idly wondered what the background was. Was the older one just discriminating against the younger talent, or were they competing for the favour of Counselor Ejek? In either case, it served for a minor distraction, soon ended when the one named Parnak withdrew. Oh, judging by his demeanour, looking at the counselor specifically, it did seem like an invitation to his lab, didn't it? Lucan wondered what kind of experiments the Cardassian had in mind for her.

Likely something benign... compared to what I have done, he thought, images whisking by when he closed his eyes, hating how little resistance he had offered.

Ejek was answering, pointing out that the future was what they made of it, in so many words. In that sense, she was correct. "Indeed," he said to her in his deep voice, a smile creasing the corners of his pale eyes. "This Cycle is unique, many things having happened that didn't before. As far as I can remember - from what I've seen - you and I have not had this conversation before. I cannot recall you here either," he said, and his eyes shifted to the quite attractive hybrid that still lingered, his facial hair likely of Bajoran influence and fitting him rather well.

"By the winds, events of this Cycle have shifted the visions I saw in the abyss. Some new, and some not, but I know that they are altered with every action taken since the events in the Mahéwa System," he said, his voice quiet as he let go of the male with his stare. He looked at the blood decorating the ceiling above, long since having seen shapes and faces where there were none. "Which leads us to the answer as I know it."

The imagery was plain from the current Cycle and those that came before it. The beginning, or the end, depending on how you chose to look at it. The events played out in the bloodstains above. "Stardate 57442.04. Had the Theurgy not managed to leave a message for the future, of what transpired at Niga, then the USS Relativity would not have found this ship in the time-stream. They could not have prevented the galactic outbreak. The virus would have spread over the Alpha and Beta Quadrants like wildfire, and the Infested would have Starfleet Command appear like they addressed the threat, but instead enabled it to reach frather. The victims - the vectors - would be reduced to their most base desires, to the point were all else failed to be important. Nothing but singular lust in their minds. Replication technology would have made the infected planets last for years, but soon enough, even replicators needs maintenance, and no one would be bothered to mine for dilithium."

Lucan turned towards the two that remained, his eyes fixed on them now. "Life-stock, reserves, all soon depleted. Starvation would set in, along with natural selection, and desire rules with a callous hand. A hierarchy would develop amongst the starving shadows of ourselves - where those less aesthetically pleasing to the eye would be the first victims of galaxy-wise cannibalism. I think you can imagine for yourselves the kind of eating orgies that we would ultimately be reduced to."

He stepped closer to the forcefield, hoping he had their attention. "And through this depraved existence, the Borg would seize world after world, ending the madness in assimilation or death, as some kind of mercy from what we'd become. Everything we've collectively built in this galaxy for millennia, all of it, reduced to writhing flesh, oozing fluids, metal, fire, teeth and blood."

In the lingering silence that followed, he set his mismatched hands on the sides of the forcefield that separated them. "This, I have seen. This is what has happened before, in the Cycles that were, and it was the future which the Relativity spared us from." The overhead light cast his eyes in shadow as he stared at them. "The Infested would exploit our weakness, and to them, the virus would just be a high-grade narcotic. They thrive on chaos, emulate it even if the Hosts give them order. They would shape everything in that image. It would end with the Borg having assimilated everything left... only the Collective itself would be touched by the blackness as well. The whisper in the hive mind would take over, soon driving the Borg Queen mad. Everything assimilated would collapse upon itself. Assimilated order and perfection, destroyed at the whim of the madness at the centre."

Leaning closer, the forcefield hummed right before Lucan's pale eyes. That close, his eyes were made white by the light. "After that, there would be nothing left. We are considered a wound upon existence, and everything would be reduced to its primordial state. Uncreation achieved... until the Great Attractor swallows everything. Eventually, we are all destined for the Zone of Avoidance - falling into the very same abyss that now exist inside me."

Clearly, they had to recognise the import of what he was saying. The peril of ignoring him.

"Lieutenant Tovarek took my research. I suggest you find it. Moreover, as much as I regret the fate of those abducted, the Borg must not assimilate the Infested woman on the Rotarran. Then, they will eventually drive the Queen mad, and in the long term... even more dangerous than she is now."

  • Numen
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • " I'm trying to make science here!"
  • Awards: Awarded for participation in Part 1 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear. Awarded for participation in Part 2 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear.
Re: CH05: S [D06|1015] Into the Parasite's Lair
Reply #24
[ Lt. JG Izar Bila | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy NX-79854]
Att: @Arista  @Auctor Lucan @FollowTomorrow

Parnak's voice took the hybrid out of the spell that had captivated him, immersed in the dialectical exchange between the counsellor and the captive. Bila turned slightly to see how the old Cardassian bid farewell, with that mixture of cordiality and arrogance that so much enervated the chemist. However, when his stare shifted from the xenobiologist to Ejek and back, he couldn't prevent a smirk from forming on his aquiline face. The words and gestures exchanged by the two full-cardassian seemed cordial and professional. But Bila felt that there was something else there, something running beneath the surface. They were related? Or something else? Whatever it was there is information there. And the bajcardie could use it.

Izar turned to watch Parnak's back move away from the cell. He looked as stiff and disdainful as usual, but somehow, less threatening than hitherto. When Silim dropped his hands to his sides, Bila's broowridges knitted thighly. The oldman was carrying with him the modified tricorder they had used to scan the former doctor, and all the data collected with it. The half-bajoran tighten his lips, wondering what Parnak would do with that... And, above all, why he had been so quick to excuse himself from the brig.

However, he didn't have time to reflect on the ramifications of Parnak's actions, as the conversation with the former CMO regained his attention. Ejek avoided answering the Caroôn's question, twisting it to send it back to the infected. Digging for information subtly. Bila couldn't do anything but admire her knowledge about how to act and bend the situation in her advantage. And not for the first time since she had joined them in the brig did he appreciate that the counsellor was on their side... although this time for different reasons.

In any case, the doctor seemed to fall into the counselor's game. Or maybe he just wanted to talk, transmit the information that rotten his soul. Whatever it was, he told them how there were variations between his vision in the parasit's lair.  As that meeting between him and the Cardassians hadn't happened in other Cycles. While saying that,  Nicander nailed his cold, grey eyes in the hybrid and Bila felt like all the resolution he had gathered in the last few minutes was falling apart again, like a sandcastle under the waves. There were a void behind those eyes. Something dark and immeasurable, something his mind couldn't trully grasp. And Bila didn't know if he wanted to risk his sanity peeking into that abyssm. Curiosity and fear intertwined in the mouth of his stomach and he swallowed saliva, trying to undo that knot unsuccessfully.

Luckily, that nefarious gaze moved away from him to head back to the counsellor's face, and Bila inhaled loudly, as if an immense weight had moved away from his chest. He concentrated on his breathing for a few moments, just inhale and exhale rhythmically, to prevent fear from overflowing through his veins.

In the meantime, Lucan continued to shell his account of how things should have been, the wicked future that the Theurgy had prevented. The panorama painted by his words was heartbreaking, and Bila had to make real efforts to keep the gesture neutral and not let his face be twisted with expressions of disgust and horror. Yet, the chemist moved nervously on his feet, shifting the weight from one to the other. His hands rubbed the polished surface of the empied hypospray, which he held idly.

When finally the infected fell silent, he thanks the Prophets for the end of the wicked story.  And he decided to fill the quietness. "I assure you your investigation will not fall in empty hands" he started to say, his voice slightly trembling and his gaze fixed on the Caroôn's uneven hands. "I'll reach Lieutenant Tovarek to take a look of it and see what we can do with the data you've collected" he assured without explained too much how he would use it. Nicander seemed cooperative with them for the moment but... who knew if the parasite only pretended to be lethargic? If the creature remained still and hidden, listening, waiting for them to let their guard down and slip some data they could use against them. No. It was better not to risk it. It was better to keep what he said in vague, undefined terms. But perhaps he could offer the man behind the monster some Hope.

"Did you belive in Destiny, Doctor? My mother's people do. Bajorans firmly believe that everything happens for a reason, and I agree with them. Maybe there's a reason why you haven't seen this encounter between us in the vision the parasites offered you. Perhaps they have hidden some flaws in their plans from your eyes, perhaps they have shown you only what they wanted you to see, convinced you that their plans are inevitable, their intelligence superior to ours. But... is it really like that? Or maybe those Cycles, that inevitable End we are falling into are a lie, an invention wrapped in patches of truth to confuse you and plunge you into despair. Even when there is truth in them... can't it be a way to keep you bowed down to their desires? To subdue you even more under his control? Probably only the Prophets know what is real and what not, and how this solve at the end... But I firmly believe that there is still hope out there. Even for you." The hybrid swallowed loudly again when he finished speaking, his voice was more confident than he really felt.