Kingsley in the Sky With Diamonds | Part I
Posted on Sunday, 23 January 2022 - 7:13pm by Captain Pippa Whitley & Commander Soral & Lieutenant T'Lanna Vali & Lieutenant K'Var & Lieutenant Ryan Rose MD & Lieutenant JG Adrianna Eberhardt & Lieutenant JG Hayashi Hamura & Lieutenant JG Ethan Connelly & Ensign Oriana Skye Sety
Operation: Crimson Kaleidoscope
Location: Briefing Room | USS Standing Bear
Repairs to the USS Standing Bear were done and yet Captain Pippa Whitley was finding themselves spending more time behind a desk or table than sitting commandingly so in their Captain's chair on the merian class starship's bridge. For what felt like the N-teenth time in the past several days, Whitley had summoned several of their best and brightest to the small Briefing Room just off the Bridge.
Everyone that Pippa needed to be there, was there. All present and accounted for. They had settled in and were seated when Captain Whitley walked into the room, planted themselves into the seat at the head of the table and looked out at the blackness of space before bringing attention and focus to all eyes that were on Pippa.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we have nothing short of a crisis situation. I gave a rousing speech on Vulcan that isn't hoping to do diddly squat unless we find this other Soral and Lieutenant Kingsley. No offense to Commander Soral" Pippa said gesturing to the man, "but I wouldn't waste your breath trying to explain to the Vulcans that the man who spoke to them wasn't you. We tried that and failed. You doing may have a little effect, but the Vulcans are becoming more Romulan each day - suspicion runs deep in their veins."
"Indeed. They seem to be picking up both the good and the more...fascinating elements of Romulan nature" chimed Soral.
Pippa shifted a bit in their seat. "What we do know for sure is that the other Soral abducted Lieutenant Kingsley. They have at least 72 hours of time on us. The downside for them though is the Standing Bear has a Quantum Slipstream Drive, the shuttle that was Stolen does not."
"Lieutenant Junior Grade Connelly has stepped up to head science efforts while we operate without Kingsley. They also have a hypothesis of where the other Soral came from given the inconsistencies."
Lieutenant Connelly nodded to those assembled around the table. “Apologies to meet everyone in these circumstances,” he began. “But yes… we’ve been pulling in all the data we can and from what we can tell, we are dealing with an incursion from a mirror reality. Exactly which one we have no way of knowing. But it accounts for the similarities between both Soral’s, who I understand could not be differentiated from on review of transporter logs or medical scans.”
Soral studied the young Junior Lieutenant. "Indeed, he is correct. I may be able to assist you with the narrowing down of which universe. I had...briefly mind melded with my alter self. I was able to see certain things, one of which was the return coordinates of the verse he is from. I can guarantee that he will not harm Lieutenant Kingsley."
Why does he mention this now thought Pippa. Those coordinates could have saved time the Captain thought to themself.
“Given this alternate Soral’s actions on Vulcan, are you confident in that assessment, Commander?” Connelly asked curiously. “As for information, any relevant data would be helpful and assist with our rescue efforts.”
"I can guarantee it. His Alexandra died, was killed, taken from him and his children. Rather then live without her he took a replacement, my wife." He said. He sat back. "And now I gave him a reason to ensure her safety, or rather I did so while I was drifting between this life and the next."
"That is beneficial to know that he won't harm her, but I still am not about to just permit the abduction of one of my crew," Pippa said sharply, pointedly, and they glanced over to the Chief Intelligence Officer. "The Federation and Starfleet have had encounters with individuals and starships from multiple universes in the past. Lieutenant Eberhardt, work Lieutenant Connelly and Commander Soral on this. I would suggest looking at stardate 47391.2 and the days after involving The USS Enterprise-D."
"So, captain," Adrianna nodded. The bags under her eyes and her accent returning to its thicker state, telling of the sleep deprivation inflicted thanks to a newborn. "I know of it from a prior ship. I'll remind me."
Soral made some notes.
Hamura, who had been sitting silently just glared at Soral. they'd waited and waited. Finally, Hamura brought their fist down on the table making PaDDs clatter. "You're not going to fucking tell them are you?"
"Language," Pippa said looking at Hamura, expecting to see their son. "I'm..." Pippa did not apologize for the reprimand, it was Captain's prerogative. "Old habits. I must have had a momentary return to parenthood. Nevertheless, let's keep this productive. "
Soral raised an amused eyebrow at Pippa, "Well said, nonetheless."
Adrianna woke up to the loud sounds, with a flinch. She couldn't help but smile, entertained by the reprimand.
T’Lanna jumped at the sound of Hamura’s fist hitting the desk. She relaxed back into her seat waiting to see what would happen next.
Captain Whitley knew the spotlight had shifted and was upon them after the reprimand. Trying to ease aby tensions, a tactical decision to go with humor was made. "Lieutenant Hamura, please do be gentle with the furniture. Anything dented, scratched, or broken becomes a matter handled by the Logistics Officer, and considering that's where you lie your head at night, I'd be careful not to piss her off."
"Ohhh sure joke all you want but your first officer is hiding something from you and everyone in the room."
"Forgive the bluntness, Commander Soral, but it would not be the first time a Vulcan or Vulcans in general have withheld information from Starfleet or the Federation. Is there something as the lieutenant is insinuating?"
Soral studied Hamura. "I wondered how deep your loyalty ran."
"Fu...." Hamura's eye cut to Pippa. "Fudge you! I'm not letting you off the hook." Hamura turned to the science officer. "You have some Vulcan knowledge don't you?"
“Well… well, yes,” Connelly confirmed, sure he did not want caught in the crossfire.
"Tell us about Ithena Syndrome." Hamura turned to Rose, "Forgive me doctor it's one illness the Vulcan's didn't share with the Federation."
“Technically it is more of specific to those of mixed Romulan and Vulcan blood,” Connelly told them. “It was rare but prevalence has been rising. It is a neurological condition, I believe generally presenting as minor tremors in the hands and progressing. I would have to contact Vulcan for more details I’m afraid.”
Hamura grabbed Soral's hand forcefully and held it loosely, it trembled. They also pointed at Soral's lip which twitched ever so slightly. "A condition your half Romulan, half Vulcan first officer has. A condition that Kingsley moved heaven and Earth to cure, she broke into my files about Lieutenant Vali's tech specs and figured out a cure. Your first officer made a deal with the devil to keep Alex alive so that she could come back and provide the cure. He willingly broke his bond with her because he knew it would spur her to action she would help that Soral if she was in danger of loosing this one and not only would she save Vulcans in the other verse but she would come back here to save Vulcans and Romulans here and in the process he's accelerated his symptoms by breaking that bond. The needs of the many, right?"
Soral took his hand back gently. "Outweigh the needs of the few or the one.... indeed. Alexandra is meant for great things. She will save two universes … and in the process embrace her true self."
"Kingsley went with him willingly?" Pippa asked for clarification. "Is there something that Doctor Rose can do, not a cure, but anything that could help mitigate the symptoms?"
T’Lanna looked at Soral, her concern was there for him to see though she kept her opinion to herself as she listened.
Soral shook his head. "Not willingly no but he was able to merge her Katra with that of his Alexandra, or as he referred to her as Lexi. She is now two people and she must choose which she wishes to be. My mirror self knew not that she had the cure in her mind. I did and I saw he was sick an that Vulcan there was afflicted in his universe I knew that both universes must be saved. The Vulcans there and here must live so I ensured Alex, our Alex would survive but he would be free to get to her and take her back to his universe where I knew she would do what a Starfleet officer would do, help people who needed it. My life was a small price."
T’Lanna looked towards Ryan. “Doctor would a temporary bond with another Vulcan help to control Commander Soral’s condition? At least keep it at bay for a while longer?”
"It might buy us some time. But I'm really not an expert. Could we contact Dr Selin? Ryan posed the question to Soral.
"Indeed she will be a wealth of resources especially about this. As of for a temporary bond I will not consent to this. It is not something to be entered into lightly."
Pippa looked at Soral. "Commander, your health and choices are between you and your physician. However, you would be negligent to refuse. Look at it from my point of view, if your condition worsens and you cannot fulfill your duties, Lieutenant Vali becomes my Acting First Officer."
K'Var had been listening to everything being said. Her highest priority was the return of Kingsley and keeping the rest of the crew safe.
Lieutenant Connelly had listened to the exchange in something of a quiet fascination, observing the different personalities around the table and remembering why he often preferred a quiet calm laboratory. He cleared his throat, “Dr Rose, perhaps I can review the computers. If Lieutenant Kingsley was working on something like this, there would likely be records, from what I’ve seen she was diligent and methodical in that regard. I’ll share anything I find. To be frank, it is not my field of expertise.”
Rose looked concerned, scrunching up his face. Did patient confidentiality even apply here? He gave Connelly a nod. "I'll get you access."
Pippa rotated their chair with a bit of a swivel, coming about to face the Caitian. "Lieutenant K'Var, post guards at crucial areas of the starship, Bridge, Main Engineering, Shuttlebays, and Transporter Rooms. I don't expect thos other Soral to return, but I don't plan on being caught off guard. I'll want you manning the Tactical station."
"Yes Sir" K'Var answered the Captain, she agreed that they needed to be as ready as possible and that she needed to be at the tactical station. It would also put her near the Captain for protection, the Lieutenant also planned on having patrol teams of two officers on as many decks as possible for added security until the threat was resolved.
"The other Soral was aboard and had no issue getting shuttle, we thought he was Commander Soral and treated him as such despite our suspensions. He had the Commander's access codes and command codes. Those will need changed if they haven't been already. It also means he knows are arsenal, potential design flaws, and weaknesses. We need to compensate."
"We will be ready Captain" the Lieutenant replied she had already given the Commander his new access and command codes. "We are working on resetting the shield modulation as we speak" the officer at tactical had been given direction to remodulate the shields.