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The Master of Dreams, My Soul I'll Keep (Part II)

Posted on Thursday, 24 September 2020 - 3:01pm by Captain Barret Stillwater & Lieutenant Ryan Rose MD & Lieutenant T'Lanna Vali & Lieutenant Alex Kingsley & Lieutenant JG Jarin Alexander MD & Lieutenant Talarn Zilth & Lieutenant JG Adrianna Eberhardt & Lieutenant JG Maximus Mackenzie
Edited on on Thursday, 24 September 2020 - 3:04pm

Mission: Operation: Dreamweaver
Location: USS Standing Bear | Briefing
Timeline: MD 4

Mac was taking it all in. "Um... we may have a theory." He looked at Alex. "Alex, with your permission... I'll play that personal log from Soral."

“Only the relevant section,” Alex clarified, knowing either way was an unforgivable betrayal of trust on her part.

Mac gave a nod. He needed one final permission. "Sir, with your permission?" he asked Stillwater.

"Just do it, damn it," quipped Stillwater. "I'm sorry. It is the insomnia," he explained.

Talarn had remained silent, watching Barrett with a raised eye ridge. "Were they kidnapped?" he finally asked after several moments of silence, while the log was being set up. "I haven't had any nightmares or insomnia..." he stated. "Of course, I'm not sure you could call what I do sleeping... so there's that. Would that potentially make me the only one immune? Unless we have species that don't sleep on the ship. I haven't seen any of those in the manifest..." He looked around the table. "There are several different kinds of things that can induce these symptoms... we should check the oxygen supplies on the ship and test someone whose suffering for drugs..."

"You may not sleep quite in the sense that the rest of us do, but I'm afraid you may not be as immune as you think," Stillwater said looking at Talarn. "You've been tossing and turning at night. The other night you sat up screamed then rolled over and slept."

Mac set up the log. He understood Stillwater's frustration. "Ready." He cleared his throat and looked at Talarn. "I think you are right. Soral had the theory." He sighed. "I've edited this. There are some... personal aspects so only a portion applies." He played the voice clip.

Talarn looked hard at Stillwater. He'd never been one to scream in his sleep and Barrett knew it, he wasn't sure why it was coming up now. He stayed quiet and turned his attention to the log.

Soral's voice came through haunting the room, "But that is not what I wish to speak of. I wish to speak of the nightmares. More and more my mind sees other images, alien faces, devices. I cannot make sense of anything. I feel as if... I live in two worlds. The one of this ship and the one of the nightmares. In them I see... crew members. Ensign Polins, Chief Thomas... all in cages with devices hooked to them. It almost seems like one of those ancient Earth alien abductions scenes... absurd really, quite illogical.

Mac stopped the log.

T’Lanna frowned. “Soral said devices...” She looked at Stillwater. “In my nightmare Raith had a... device attached to him. I didn’t remember until now.” She sighed. “What in the hell is going on!”

“We need to be calm and methodical,” Alex cautioned. She glanced at Stillwater. “We should do a forensic analysis of the last known location for Lieutenant Hobbes. T’Lanna, do you think perhaps that you could describe the device you saw to Dr Rose? It may help us understand the purpose. Also, Commander, how averse would you be to a bio transmitter of some kind in some of the crew?

"Soral specifically saw two other crew who are still aboard. If they are taken, then perhaps it would help us locate them on sensors?”

Commander Stillwater had listened to the words of Soral. There was something different about his tone of voice, a sort of subtle yet noticeable edge to his voice. Stillwater also listened to the ideas being presented and speculation put forth. Lieutenant Commander Victrix was correct when she assured him that the crew he was getting may have been on the younger side, but had almost unlimited potential. He was proud of them though he would not outwardly say it.

"Lieutenant Commander Soral sounds different... disturbed. Which, I understand, even for a Vulcan, will happen under current circumstances," noted Stillwater. He looked at his medical personnel, Doctor Rose and Doctor Alexander. "You two are our last best hope at any sort of clarity here, gentlemen. If some of the crew consent to it could we perhaps place a sub-dermal bio transmitter?"

Ryan nodded. "Of course. That's probably a good idea."

Stillwater cleared his throat. "I'll volunteer myself if we need test subjects," he said matter of factly. He looked at Lieutenant Vali. "If it were not for the fact members of this crew were disappearing without a trace, I would have likely discredited Soral and others as being under the influence of some sort of mass hysteria, and disconnect with reality. His tone... the things he said in that log it sounds like the sort ramblings of an individual suffering from a psychosis of sorts."

“The effects of extended lack of sleep can be debilitating,” T’Lanna nodded. “Psychosis is one of the side effects, feelings of anger, being short tempered, paranoia, hearing and seeing things that aren’t there, plus being unable to concentrate and more.”

As Stillwater spoke, Alex bit down on the urge to leap to Soral’s defense. “I have initiated a search of Starfleet records for any phenomena which includes nightmares and unexplained disappearances. That said, we have more than three thousand records and it is only getting started. But maybe this has happened before. I’d also like your permission to run some additional sensor sweeps, looking for any subspace distortions etc that our standard scans may have missed.”

“Might I suggest...” T’Lanna looked at Alex then at Stillwater. “Both Talarn and I have subspace transceivers in amongst our Borg components. Granted they’re shut down, but perhaps a way could be found to safely reactivate them so that if one or both of us go missing you could try and locate us?”

Mac liked that idea. "Also, I would suggest we raise shields, Sir."

Talarn was shaking his head. "No way. If we turn those on... if there are any Borg left... even a slim chance of any being left anywhere... they will find us. Find this ship. I would think that a simple tracking device would be sufficient. The people most likely to disappear... as someone pointed out... should be tagged first." He frowned, realizing he'd just referred to crew members like he would have referred to cattle, but he didn't call attention to it.

“I agree,” Alex added. “Activating Borg implants, any of them, is a huge risk. We could make the situation worse and we have alternative options.”

"Could always make a tracker similar to the ones they used to use on criminals on probation," Adrianna offered. There was no way she was about to volunteer. She'd only just got her head in the right space she didn't need that can of worms reopened. Plus, she knew what lack of sleep did, first hand.

"I don't have Borg resurrection on my Bingo card, and I'm certainly not risking them be they dormant, obsolete, or not," stated Stillwater. "There are just too many risks with Borg technology. The rumors of 'harvesters' snatching up Ex-Borg drones is not a myth or ghost story, and if I had to wager a would be that they have been studying that technology enough to be on the lookout for reactivating that, likes flies to honey."

"So my idea would be okay then?" Adrianna commented, feeling ignored. "It wouldn't be borg tech, just outdated tech that wouldn't be expected by the majority of known worlds?"

"More than okay, Petty Officer," Stillwater replied. It had to be difficult for her, Stillwater imagined, in a room of mostly officers. "You keep thinking like that and you'll be making Chief Petty Officer before you turn thirty."

Adrianna smiled a little. Truth was she had no desire to move up, but she appreciated being heard.

T’Lanna looked at Stillwater. “My apologies, Sir, I wasn’t thinking straight. Even with precautions in place it would be too risky to use our transceivers.” She sighed. “I really need to get some sleep.”

Stillwater grunted. "We all could use the sleep, and never apologize for tossing ideas and options out there. That's part of why you are here, Lieutenant."

T’Lanna nodded and smiled. “Thank you, Sir.”

"Am I the only one sleeping well lately?" Adrianna rhetorically asked herself rather quietly. Aside from a few things on her mind, the Italian was feeling rather well rested and put together.

Talarn shrugged. "I wasn't aware I was restless. Does that count? I feel rather well rested, actually."

Adrianna nodded her agreement, "I don't think I'd deal well with lack of sleep again. Maybe whatever this is is choosey. So we aren't of interest."

"It's possible," Talarn said. "They haven't taken either of the ex-Borg crew members. So maybe it's not about technology or secrets. Maybe they're studying us. What species are the missing crew members?" he asked, then he leaned toward Adrianna with a crooked grin. "They can keep not being interested in me too... that's fine. I don't take it personally at all..." he was joking, of course, but in his flat, sort of unreadable way. "I'd rather not be abducted and... what was that, that the aliens of ancient Earth used to do to people in the stories?" He was looking at Barrett now. "Oh yes! I remember... anal probing. None of that, please." His nose wrinkled in distaste.

Adrianna bit her lips to stop herself from laughing. She recognised that tone. It was similar to the way her father used to tell jokes. She then offered, "actually, that's a point. I don't think it's about species. Perhaps rank?"

"Soral, Hobbes, and Kolani were all officers and vital to the ship. The XO and two department heads...that theory would certainly hold up for those three" replied Stillwater. Saving themselves for me or am I next on the list pondered Stillwater. He looked at Talarn "I would hope we are well past the days if abduction and anal probes."

Mac snorted. It was no time for jokes but it was funny. His concern hadn't been addressed yet so he tried again, "Sir I...would suggest again that we raise shields."

Adrianna couldn't help but mutter something under her breath about taking her to dinner first but did agree with Mac. It was no time for jokes, "I think until we actually have a solid plan and know that they aren't just here on board, it's definitely worth getting those shields up."

"Agreed," replied Stillwater to them both on their recommendation. "We will maintain constant yellow alert status, shields will stay up until we have reason to return to green alert status," said Stillwater who quickly tapped his comm badge "Bridge, return to yellow alert status and maintain until further notice. Keep the shields up" ordered Stillwater.

"Aye, Captain" came the immediate response from Lieutenant Vadoma.

He looked at the Assistant Chief Medical Officer who had been a man of very few words during the entirety of the meeting. "Dr. Alexander, I would like you to begin conducting physical examinations of the enlisted personnel with the assistance of the E.M.H." Stillwater instructed. "We have more enlisted crew than we do officers. They are the backbone of this and any starship."

Noting the Assistant Chief Medical Officer's nod in understanding, Stillwater cleared his throat. "Very Well. You all have your orders and are aware of the severity of the situation. Lieutenant Mackenzie, Lieutenant Vali, and Lieutenant Kingsley...I'll meet with the three of you in my Ready Room. Everyone dismissed."


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