Cr.02.10 – Things on Carenza were getting back to near normal after their backward time jump to one thousand years in the past, to meet up with the Hur’q or so they’d thought at first. It had been quite a revelation, that it might have been the Chozo, instead; so they were still no closer to knowing who the Hur’q really were in the area of the Kylata system, at that time and what treasure they were bringing home with them.
The chest was currently under lock and key – so-to-speak – the Brig. Some had wanted to open it, in order to discover what if anything was inside. The warning of not doing so and the name Pandora, kept most from taking a sneak peek, and thus going against her orders, to leave well alone.
‘I shall be pleased when it’s off my ship,’ she thought, reading the report from PO3 Marl Sheen the Brig Officer. The note Lt. Cmdr. Ayala had added, echoed her own thoughts on the chest.
Sciences had kept their sensors trained on the area of the last known position of Meridian, yet nothing had shown up to give them any clues or any further information about the planet and its inhabitants, how they’d come to be on the planet in the first place and if the Hur’q were involved, so apart from what had been discovered by the crew of DS9’s Defiant, they’d added nothing to the file database.
‘Almost a wasted trip,’ she thought, putting the science report to one side, closing her eyes against the still pulsing headache. It brought to her mind what had taken place in Hoon’s office in sickbay, just over an hour ago.
“You wanted to see me, Doctor?” she said entering Sickbay.
“Yesss, Captain,” he hissed softly, indicating his office. Once they were comfortable, the Gorn’s facet, almost white coloured compound eyes, evaluated her, for a second or two, that she frowned at him.
What surprised her was Suiag’s response, he smiled or the Gorn equivalent.
“Suiag?” she questioned, puzzled.
“I think I know the cause of your pulsing headaches,” he informed her, still grinning.
“So? Or do I have to drag it out of you?”
“Nothing so drastic, Alyxx,” he responded, yet still didn’t enlighten her, thus she frowned again, and got the same broad toothy grin. Seeing her getting upset by this, he sighed. “Your forehead ridges are reasserting themselves.”
Immediately she felt her forehead, yet her fingers encountered only smoothness at first, until she frowned. The Odan family trait was there, just very faint, but there, her eyes widening in surprise.
“Because your forehead skin is as tight as it would be on any humanoid or a fellow spotted Trill, there is no leeway for the ridges to fully form. I could help by making your skin/flesh to become more flexible, but I’d rather get Doctor’s Fenna and West-Nayru, to give me some more medical professional assessment and advice on how to proceed,” he told her, gently taking her hands away from her forehead and holding them between his own large clawed hands.
“How?” she stammered.
“We travelled back in time, did we not?” he asked quietly. Alyxx nodded, still stunned. “Well we went beyond Caiwes II, when you lost them to Scarlet fever,” he gently reminded her.
“So instead of no ridges, I’ve ended up with a thumping headache instead!” she quipped.
“Something like that,” Hoon agreed, giving her soft hands a squeeze. “Don’t get your hopes up too high, though,” he added gently. “When we’re in full communications with Rivendell Station, I’d like to further discuss treatment for you with the Hospital Director, on a secure channel.”
“I’ll make sure you get priority,” giving the male Gorn a hesitant smile.
“In the meantime, I suggest you use some luke-warm compresses to combat the pain, just for about five minutes a time, when the pain is hard to endure.”
Alyxx was grateful that they’d arrived back at their proper Stardate and astronomical position, yet there were still so many unanswered questions, but she was glad to be on their way home. They were currently at the last known jump-gate coordinates of the Callisto. A whole different proposition, altogether; the sensor details and scans were not good reading. Darkka sighed and looked up at Lieutenant T. Marks.
“Nothing to give us any clues as to where Callisto may have ended up?”
“Nothing, Captain,” sounding as despondent as she felt. “Only that something went wrong with the next jump. Although Callisto’s jump may have been out of alignment, everything now checks out for a safe jump.”
“So in effect they could be anywhere. Just that we can’t determine where, because everything has reset itself. Great.” Marks just nodded to confirm her spoken thoughts on the matter.
“It’s looking increasingly likely she’ll be listed as MIA,” noted a second male voice, from the viewport sofa.
“Something, I feel Daniel wanted to avoid, as she is the flagship of the Chozo expeditionary force. Thank you, Talbot. Dismissed.” The male nodded and smartly left.
“It’s not your fault, Alyxx. So stop that right now,” the male said. The Trill female just smiled at him, and called the bridge, informing them to resume their course to Rivendell Station.
=/\= Acknowledged, Captain =/\= came the prompt response from the second officer Ayala; as Cmdr. Whyte was resting in his quarters, under strict medical supervision.
“Haven’t you got some reports to write?” she asked her friend, with a grin.
“Aye, Capitane,” giving her a cheeky salute as he stood, and looked a silent question at her.
“Dismissed, Professor,” she said. “Before I throw you out,” she added with a smile. He laughed as he exited her Ready room.
Her feet were taking her somewhere she felt she didn’t want to go, yet the urge to follow the instinct was just too strong for her to adequately resist. The place around her was without light or sound, or anything, just a dark soundless surround.
“It’s as if I’m in a box!” she thought. “But how can that be?” she questioned softly, frowning puzzled. The tightness of her forehead skin caused her some pain, so she woke up with a start.
“Computer, lights 25%,” she softly ordered, sitting up and taking in the comforting surroundings of her quarters on Carenza. She quietly got out of bed and asked the replicator to produce her favourite tea-iced.
=/\= Chakotay to Darkka =/\=
“Darkka, here. What can I do for you?” taking her tea to the viewports.
“As you’re awake, could you meet me in the Mess Hall, please?”
Alyxx grinned at his tone and could almost picture his pleading boyish expression. “Give me ten minutes. Darkka out.” She sighed deeply, recycled her half finished drink and got dressed, into casual attire, rather than her uniform.
It was a surprise to not only find Chakotay in the Mess Hall, but Hoon, Ayala and Gar’tan.
“Gentlemen?” she questioned gently, puzzled by their collective unease, joining them at their table near the viewports.
“Any strange dreams, recently?” Hoon asked, with a gentle hiss.
“Yes!” she acknowledged, quietly. “Just now. Dark, soundless, following something that was nameless, an instinct.”
“As if you were in a box?” Chakotay asked. She nodded, responding to his puzzled expression.
“Shoot or chute?” Gar’tan said, his hand making a sliding motion as if he was taking a trip down on a slide, with the second word.
“Yes,” she and Chakotay said together. “Suiag, has Charles said anything more?”
“Only what Gar’tan has said,” the Gorn doctor said.
“Cap, didn’t you end up taking an unexpected trip down a slide a while ago?”
“Yes, on Navaho moon. As far as I know my comm-badge is still at the bottom of it,” recalling that quick spiralling trip downwards and the hard jarring landing at the bottom.
“After which you spent some time in Angeline’s tender care!” grinning at him. He softly laughed as if the Rivendell’s Hospital Director’s tender care was anything but from his point of view.
“So our Pandora’s box is causing some unsettling dreams and thoughts within the crew,” Hoon noted, quietly.
“So it would appear!”
“I’ll be glad to get it off my ship at the earliest opportunity,” she remarked.
“Would a revision of our flight plan to Rivendell, to off load it to Navaho moon be in order?” asked Ayala, his tone conveying his eagerness to get the box off their ship.
“I think that might be a good idea, Lt. Commander,” she acknowledged. Alyxx looked round at her male companions, a question on her face, the tilt of her head resting on her Chief Engineer.
“Well, Ma’am. I’ve checked over the jump-gate techs and I’ve come to the conclusion that they’re still not fitting in well with Starfleet techs.”
“Go on,” she encouraged, looking at him quietly.
“I will put this in my report;” he said, then took a deep breath and plunged in. “I’m going to recommend that Carenza be taken out of active service, for a complete overhaul of all systems and to integrate the jump-gate techs better, not just for us, but all the vessels of the Chozo Force,” he said, sighing once he’d got that all out, almost in one breath, making his fellow crew-mates smile warmly.
“That will have to be passed by the Station CO, D.West,” she acknowledged, gently.
“I realise that, Ma’am. But if our own experience with the nodes being tampered with and Callisto’s MIA is anything to go by and if we’re to continue with finding the rest of the library, we really can’t afford these techno problems, cropping up at inconvenient times.”
“No we can’t,” she said softly. “Hoon, how are the crew holding up, in general? Considering how things are going with Charles.”
“Reasonable. I recommend that the crew visit the Commander for short periods, just so that he knows he’s not alone or hasn’t been abandoned.”
“Fair enough. Please set up a rota and state length of stay. Make sure it covers all departments. Ayala will work with you on that.” Both males nodded assent to her words.
“Might be advisable if we give him a personal project to work on, so he doesn’t feel left out, from his position.”
“Good idea, Chakotay. Perhaps you’d like to think of something?” she suggested with a grin. His responding smile to that put his dimples on full display, dark eyes twinkling at her. “Right, gentlemen, thank you for your input to this impromptu staff meeting,” she quipped with a smile. “Dismissed,” she added, but putting a hand on Chakotay’s arm to prevent him from leaving as the others stood and left.
“How are things with you?” she gently asked, her expression serious.
“Well enough,” he responded quietly.
“You’re not looking forward to her visit, are you?”
He closed his eyes, feeling the soft squeeze on his arm, that had a gentle smile appearing on his face as he looked at his Trill friend, shaking his head at her.
“One thing at a time, My Friend,” she sighed. “You’re not the only one, though. I got the impression from Daniel’s slightly cryptic message that there might be more to the visit than just changing the dynamics of the Chozo Force,” sharing a pointed look with each other.