The woman in question reacted startled and pushed the alien disc away from her with such force that it shot across the desk, flew through the air towards the opening door and clattered to a halt at the Commander’s feet. Carefully he bent down and picked it up. The Trill female sat dazed, her breathing slowing to normal as she took in the familiar sight of her exec.
“Captain?” he softly queried as he fully stepped into her domain.
“Charles,” her voice sounding a little strangled, closing her eyes a moment to stem the growing sense of panic she felt. “Tea, please,” she whispered yet making no move to rise; thus Charles went to the replicator and ordered her usual blend and put it in front of her, noting the still panicked look in her green eyes.
=/\= Hoon to Captain. Everything alright up there? =/\=
“Whyte here, Doctor. Physically she appears fine, but I’ll send her down for a check over shortly.”
=/\= You do that, Commander. Hoon out. =/\=
During that exchange, Alyxx sipped her tea allowing the hot dark liquid to sooth her shattered nerves.
“Thanks, Charles,” her voice near normal, smiling at him.
He held the disc and wondered what could have caused her to panic in such a manner.
“Want to talk about it?” he queried softly, yet not surprised when she just shook her head in the negative, sipping her tea, gripping the cup as if her life depended on it. He went to the door, triggering the opening mechanism and called a junior officer over and told him to escort their captain to sickbay.
“You are to stay with her until you’ve placed her into the personal care of Dr. Hoon, even if she orders you otherwise – understood.”
“Aye, Sir.” Only Whyte saw the Trill woman’s teasing smile at his orders. “I’ll talk to you later, Captain,” he informed her and left, taking the disc with him; he approached the science station on the bridge and spoke to the Chief Science Officer. “Lt. Marks, what do you make of this?” he asked holding up the disc.
“Unusual, Commander,” he said, turning the disc over. “I’ll get our language expert Lt. Dyani to have a look at it, Sir.”
“Good. How are the scans coming?” he asked turning to the business at hand.
“Fine, Commander. We’re picking up the normal telemetry for a star region such as the Kylata system, but of course a thousand years younger than expected.” Charles just nodded and returned to the command centre, his thoughts troubled as to what they’d encounter out there.
In Sickbay the two Deltan’s lay unmoving and yet breathing on a couple of bio-beds, the monitors telling the medical staff that they were alive at least, just not conscious. Chakotay watched the busy scene as he drank a cup of green tea, his mind wandered loosely over what had happened and what was happening in front of him, as the Doctor and his team scanned, poked and prodded their reluctant patience’s. Into this scene stepped one very shaken and pale looking Trill female, escorted by a junior officer, who didn’t leave her side until he’d handed her over to Dr. Hoon personally.
“Alyxx?” he called once the officer had gone.
“I’ll be with you in a moment, Captain,” Hoon assured her.
“Chakotay?” her voice strained.
“Sit here,” he encouraged patting the bed beside him, whilst making room for her. Like a child obeying her father she did as he’d asked and promptly leaned against him, her eyes closing feeling safe as his arm encircled her shoulders and pulled her close. “Bad feelings?” he asked softly worried by the tremors that coursed through her body.
“Unsettled,” she admitted quietly.
“Same here,” he responded, giving her a gentle squeeze against his torso.
“What do you know about the Hur’q?”
“Only what is in our archives’ database,” his voice calming.
“Somehow I feel we’re going to be adding to that database, but it won’t be hearsay or conjecture, just firsthand knowledge and experience,” the tremors coursing through her again. Chakotay just squeezed her again, trying to give what comfort and reassurance he could silently.
“Most of our current knowledge about these people is from those they subjected to their regime, we don’t really have an unbiased view of them,” he confirmed, feeling her nod her agreement.
Hoon discreetly took his scanner readings of them both as they comforted each other and he wasn’t surprised by the results considering what the pair was currently displaying.
“Captains!” the Gorn medic spoke quietly, gently getting their combined attention. “You are both physically fine; all your endorphins have returned to normal. What caused them to become erratic, I cannot say at this stage, only you can answer that – when you’re ready too.”
“Thanks, Doc,” Chakotay verbally acknowledged, whilst Alyxx gave only a half-hearted smile.
“You are free to leave,” he said, starting to turn away.
“Not going to prescribe bed rest then!” Chakotay teased his dimples showing.
“If I’d thought you’d take it I would!” Hoon snapped with an angry hiss, startling the human male.
“How are you holding up? Suiag,” her tone calming, having slid off the bio-bed as if to reach for him. They both saw the big Gorn heave a deep sigh, facet eyes closing as he gathered his emotions together. Tatti came over and laid a gentle white hand on the sleeve clad scaly arm.
“Doctor; I have your test results,” the albino woman medic informed him quietly, waiting patiently whilst the senior medic got himself under control.
“Thank you,” he hissed. “We’d better go over them together,” sounding resigned, as if he knew what they’d discover. “I’ll talk to both of you later,” looking at his senior patience’s. “I know you’ll want to investigate our situation out there thoroughly,” he informed them and left for Tatiana’s work station in the med-labs.
“He’s really rattled,” noted Chakotay with a concerned frown, his tone subdued.
“That’s one way to put it!” she agreed with a soft smile. They left Sickbay together and made for the Aston Labs.
Working side by side with Chakotay’s small staff, they pulled up all and everything they had on the Hur’q – a Klingon word meaning outsider – whom by their time had become extinct around 2372, their stolen artefacts unrecovered. Adding their new sensor data, the pair were discovering something that was both disturbing and yet not surprising.
“Chozo!” Chakotay exclaimed having reviewed all the data a third time, having retreated to the privacy of his office with Alyxx. She looked a question at him. “It’s the only explanation,” he said calmly.
“I’m not so sure,” the Trill female said cautiously, frowning at her friend’s strong conviction, scanning the PADD in her hand.
“It’s the only thing that makes any sense,” he told her gently, watching her expressive face as she digested his words and those on the PADD.
=/\= Captain to the Bridge =/\=
“Acknowledged Commander,” sounding grateful for the interruption, to where their research and her troubled thoughts were taking her. Chakotay just grinned resigned.
“You’re as bad as Kathryn ever was!” he sighed.
“I’m just trying to process this information, before giving any verbal response,” she snapped standing abruptly. “Sorry!”
“Alyxx, we’re all on edge and I’m sorry too,” he acknowledged softly having stood also, taking her hand in his and giving it a soft reassuring squeeze. “You’d better go see what they want on your bridge,” he teased with a gentle smile. She smiled resigned and left the area. Again he looked at the data. “It has to be the answer.”
Yes Her bridge! Sometimes she found herself wishing that she wasn’t in the driving seat, she thought whilst riding the lift to her ship’s top deck.
“Report!” she barked immediately on stepping out of the lift and before the customary ‘Captain on deck’ could be announced. Whyte just looked mildly amused at her tactic, but indicated that Lt. Dyani explains.
“Ma’am!” the Human/Bajoran acknowledged stepping forward. “This disc is Hur’q and yet it is not,” pausing to let that sink in as she stood before her CO Capt. Darkka. “This symbol appears to be made up with three different symbols. Observe,” pointing to the main view screen on which the symbol was currently displayed.
In the Aston Labs, Chakotay listened and observed what Dyani was saying.
“This symbol can be viewed three ways so as you turn it each of the three symbols take prominence,” as she spoke the symbol on the screen rotated; first the Iconian symbol stood out, then the second one – Chozo – the third surprised Alyxx.
“Ancient Trill,” she breathed softly, as the computer separated the three symbols and displayed them side by side, with the complete disc symbol at the bottom.
“The Klingon word Hur’q in this case is in the plural not the singular,” Lt. Dyani added quietly.