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Star Trek: Season 8 - The Perfect Reflection

Started by Jen, August 22, 2008, 09:07:05 PM

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The tangled threads of incoherent whispers echoed within the abyss. Though she resisted, the voices drew her forth like cold water from a deep well. Ryla struggled against them until the clear command of a solitary voice beckoned her to cooperate. Its power forced her to accommodated the voice, but the fear she felt did not diminish.  Ryla had been had been at peace within the Gulf of Souls and the sudden invasion, ripped her from that welcomed serenity—stealing her like fruit from another's field. From the bedside, Nurse Caine watched her friend toss and turn as the nightmares continued to beset the young Trill.
Founding co-host of the Anomaly Podcast


Joint post by Jen and Just X

Aeric James stood speechless within the observation lounge as he looked across the table towards Sevryll and two versions of his daughter. One, the younger looking of the two, had been reborn through a scientific miracle and was still in the native guise of her last mission. The other was the physical age of the child that he had assumed lost and had been subtly altered in appearance. He could sense that both were filled with biotech enhancements, one possessed his recent designs and the other a blend of his early designs and Borg augmentations.

"Hello father," the elder of the young women said softly. She rose slowly with the grace of a queen and the anxiety of an abandoned child. "It's been a long time. I thought that you were gone."

Aeric nodded and moved to close the distance between the two. The shock on his face transformed into an elated smile as he pulled her into a tight embrace. "I thought the same... I can't begin to understand how this happened. Where have you been?"

"Trying to make a difference...trying to make you proud," she said as she pulled free of the hug to look into his eyes. She then glanced to the younger version that shared her name and memories. "But I see that you have forgotten me and created a substitute."

Aeric shook his head and looked down at the still quiet clone. "No. You were not replaced."

He smiled to his still seated daughter and offered a hand to her. "You have not been forgotten either. You are both my daughters."

The clone smiled and placed her hand in her father's, squeezing it softly. Her heart pounded in her chest. She was her own person. She didn't believe that she was some poor copy of the original that stood before her. "I would be lying if I said this wasn't confusing."

The Queen of the Cooperative nodded slowly and pulled free of her father. "Call me Sairyn, I have always preferred my middle name."

Sairyn's eyes moved over those gathered in the room. She had never expected a reunion with her parents. Even in her wildest fantasies, she had never expected there to be two of her at that meeting. She could only look at her mother and wonder what her opinion was of the situation.

Sevryll's impassive facade softened as she gazed back at the Cooperative Queen. "Because of the temporal shift, I am no longer the woman that raised you—I am essentially a version of the mother you once knew. What happened could not be avoided, yet it is possible for us to move forward from this point. " She pushed a lock of hair behind her ear before continuing, "I have known you both for only a brief period, and the circumstances that brought you each into my life are a mystery even still..." She glanced to Aria and then Sairyn, "...but I see in you, elements of myself. How can I deny what is so clearly apart of me? It is impossible."

Aeric smiled, "We have a lot to catch up on."

"Yes," agreed Sevryll. "But the Captain is waiting." The First Officer stood and gestured to the door. "Sairyn, perhaps you should join us in our briefing.  Much of our meeting will concern the spacial anomaly."


Joint post by Jen and Just X

Sevryll sat across from Captain Quinn within the Ready Room. Her golden Terossick eyes studied him as she began her briefing.  His face and clothing were smudged with a substance she could only assume was soot. The Borg body suit Nathan wore was pitted with chemical burns and his red-rimmed eyes were blood shot. The Captain was obviously physically exhausted, but his demeanor told Sevryll he was also mentally fatigued. She determined that a quick status report was in his best interest and quickly briefed him on the events that led to their current situation.

She began by telling him of the measures that were taken to rescue the away team runabouts from the Sphere's attack—beaming them directly into the shuttle bays had been their only option. Then she outlined the events that lead up to the Borg intrusion aboard Arabella, the damage that they sustained, and finally the actions they took to rid the ship of the drones. She yielded the floor to  Lieutenant Commander James, allowing the second officer to brief the Captain on the progress of repairs and the actions being taken to cure the infected crew.

Quinn listened without a single interruption and when Aeric was finished, Nathan nodded to them both then rubbed his eyes wearily. "What would cause them to halt their attack?"

Sevryll steepled her fingers before her, "the sphere has taken a defensive position before the spacial anomaly. The motive is unknown."

"We also still had unknown numbers of crew that were abducted in their initial attack," Aeric added to the conversation. "I don't see that as why they are there, but the fact that they are might give us some time to mount a rescue."

"We have some experience dealing with the Borg, if you don't mind another opinion." Sairyn added. It would have been easy to force her presence, but as far as she had grown, she had no intention of disrespecting her parents. Besides, the sooner the meeting ended, the sooner she could continue conversations with her family.

Quinn turned his tired eyes to the Cooperative Queen. He wasn't extremely pleased that she had joined their briefing, but the fact remained that she honored her promise to return him to his ship and her knowledge of the rift was potentially beneficial. "Continue," said the captain in tone that denoted the slightest hint of annoyance.

"They have a rift to another universe at their finger tips. A universe that contains Borg that are far more deadly than the variety here. We believe that they might be attempting to acquire better technology or open conversations for a multi-dimensional alliance." Sairyn said with a seductive tone. "If we were in your situation, we would destroy them before they could upset the balance of power in this universe. Your vessel is already taxed beyond the limits of its medical personnel to reverse the infection on the crew members here. Those that you have lost to the Borg are more than likely already a part of the hive mind. Trying to recover them would be bringing more enemies onto a ship that would not be able to contain them."

Founding co-host of the Anomaly Podcast


Lt. Cmdr. K'Tan stared at his reflection, and smiled.  Amid the chaos of fighting off the Borg invaders and rounding up infected crewmembers, he had managed to squeeze in an appointment with Dr. Peterson.  With his Terossik alterations reversed, he was back to his old self; scar and all. 

K'Tan nodded  at his reflection in approval. 

"Not bad," he said with a smile.

K'Tan glanced at his chrono, then stood and exited his office.  Within moments, he arrived at the Tactical department's primary training room.

Lt. Otak stood outside the doorway, a proud grin plastered on his face. 

"Right on time, sir!  You are going to love this!"

"So; I finally get a peek at your pet project," K'Tan replied.

With a smooth and efficient woosh, the door to the spacious training area whispered opened, and Otak gestured for the Chief Tactical Officer to step inside.  K'Tan entered the room, then froze in his tracks.  Facing him was a titanic, humanoid form forged of what appeared to be gray duranium alloy.  The metallic golem stood almost 3 meters tall, its domed head nearly reaching the ceiling.

K'Tan shook his head in disbelief.  The thing looked like a cross between a medieval suit of armor, a walking tank, and a mechanized gorilla.  Sprouting from its oversized forearms were what looked like a pair of type-III phaser emitters. 

"What the hell is it?" he asked.  "A robot?"

"Not exactly," Otak answered. 

The lieutenant approached the still machine, then placed his palm on a panel mounted on the thing's lower torso.  With a mechanical whirr, the machine hummed to life; it's legs ratcheting down to bring it into a kneeling position.  As its legs came in contact with the deck, its chest split, then swung open, revealing a cramped cavity dominated by a pilot's chair and a bewildering array of controls and interface panels. The thing's upper thighs split open as well, revealing a foot pedal and series of straps contained within each.

"Commander K'Tan, meet the MACO Assault Armor, mark I ," Otak said.  "It's a suit of combat armor that's sort of 'worn', or piloted, by a security officer.  I've been toying with the concept for a while now, and our troubles with the Borg sort of gelled the idea for me." 

As K'Tan stared in bemused silence, Otak offered a tentative smile.  "Not to belittle our hand-to-hand training regimen, but you have to admit sir; there are some instances in which steel and alloy are superior to flesh and bone.  Something like this could come in handy on rescue and retrieval missions."

"Interesting," K'Tan said, glancing meaningfully at the myriad control surfaces. "How does it work?"

"It really is easier than it looks," Otak said. 

"Once the armor has been fitted to its pilot, it responds to a combination of manually entered commands and neuro-muscular feedback.  You flex your arm, the armor flexes its arm.  You clench a fist, the armor clenches the corresponding fist.  The hardest thing to learn is compensating for the armor's amplified strength.  If you aren't careful, you could end up ripping someones arm off instead of just restraining them."

K'Tan couldn't help but share Otak's grin.  "Interesting idea, Lieutenant; I salute your inventiveness.  I can't make any promises, but I'll run the idea by D'Callan and Commander James to see what they think.  In the meantime, why don't you prepare a report of the suit's specs and capabilities, as well as some hypothetical situations in which it would be deployed."

Grinning, Otak gave an enthusiastic thumbs-up.  "You got it, commander!"

As K'Tan turned to head back to his office, his commbadge gave a quiet chirp.  He tapped it, opening a channel.  "K'Tan here."

"It's ensign King, on bridge duty."  K'Tan thought that he could almost hear a mischievous smile in the woman's voice. 

"I just thought you'd like to know, sir-- The Captain just returned to the ship.  And he's brought some interesting company with him."


D'Callan pointed towards the far turbo lift and the last of his security men obediently ran towards it. Putting his phaser into his holster he tapped his com badge.
"Bridge all security personal have been assigned to their designated area's. We have a secure ship, for the time being. D'Callan out. Computer locate Lt Commander K'Tan"
The soft voice of the computer informed D'Callan of K'Tans movement and he set off to find his friend. It didn't take him long to find the Klingon deep in thought walking towards his office.

"K'Tan, wait up"

The Klingon turned and he allowed a slight smile to appear. D'Callan ran up to him.

"Have you heard?"

K'Tan allowed the smile to broaden "Yes, the Captain is back on the ship with a visitor, this I have to...."

D'Callan cut him off "No, no mate, about Ryla"

K'Tans smile dropped "Of course i know, she lies on the slab in..."

D'Callan once again cut him off by putting a hand on his shoulder. "K'Tan my friend. She is alive"


Joint post by Jen, Startrekfanatic5 and Just X

The Captain eyed the Cooperative Queen suspiciously from behind his desk.  Her suggestion to destroy the sphere at the cost of lost crewmen, had rubbed him the wrong way. He started to speak but before he could respond to her recommendation, the Arabella shuttered violently. Quinn glanced to Sevryll and Aeric as they each stood and headed for the Ready Room door. "Status, Ensign King!" shouted Captain Quinn as they stepped onto the bridge.

"The sphere has resumed its attack. Weapons systems are back online and functioning at 90 percent."

"Red alert," Sevryll firmly stated as Nathan ordered tactical to return fire.

Quinn and Sevryll took their respective seats as Aeric claimed a position at the operations station. Aria rose from her chair in the Ready Room to see what aid she could offer, but paused in her tracks when Sairyn touched her hand. Psychic energy resonated between the two women and spilled outwards to their parents on the bridge.

Images flowed between the quartet as guarded secrets and forgotten lives were instantly revealed. Long held omissions came to light—the life Aeric led that resulted in Aria, raced before his eyes with crystal clarity as Sevryll relived the life she never led, within the span of a few heartbeats. Aria and Sairyn's own histories also played out before them—the choices that each girl had made in their lives were divulged—choices they each completely disapproved of. Then, as quickly as it has started, the link between the four faded.

Aeric squeezed his hands so tightly that his nails almost drew blood. He quickly glanced to the Commander. Her back was to him and she kept her face leveled on the viewer, but he could sense her confusion and Aeric knew without a doubt that she remembered the depths of their forgotten affiliation.

Breaking free of the Cooperative Queen, Aria raced out of the observation room,  "Captain, don't fire! N'Vall is on that ship!"

Sevryll pivoted in her chair to glance at the clone then flicked her eyes back to the screen to stare in disbelief at the ominous Borg vessel.

"Cease fire!" ordered the Captain.

"Aye, sir."

Nathan regarded his silent first officer as the red alert pulsed—intermittently drenching the bridge in a crimson light. Again, the Arabella rocked as a volley from the Borg found its target. Then without warning, the sphere slipped into the rift—an azure haze swallowing it whole before dissolving with the void. Commander Sevryll rose slowly and stepped toward the viewer. Her eyes darted about the screen, studying the vacancy that was once occupied by the cybernetic globe. Nathan watched as Sevryll jogged up the ramp to the Science Station and commandeered the terminal.  The young ensign who formerly manned the post moved away as the Chief Science Officer keyed a frantic sequence into the panel and studied the read out on the LCARS screen.

"The rift is showing serious instability," Aeric said as his mind processed what his daughter revealed.

"We have less than ten minutes before it collapses," said Sevryll in a voice that barley contained her trepidation.

The Vulcan turned expressive eyes to Captain Quinn as his telepathic mind brushed against her thoughts,  I know you want to go after your son, Sevryll...but I fear that what you will find will be devastating. Remember, his twin needs her mother too.

Quinn could feel the struggle within her—after briefly contemplating the consequences of her departure, the Commander replied slowly, "Permission to pursue the sphere."

Nathan sighed as he stood to address the svelte Vulcan.  "Granted," he said with great reluctance.

Servyll wasted no time exiting the bridge. She strode with purpose into the turbolift and turned to face the officers who watched her go. As the door swept closed she met Aeric's eyes for the first time. Though her face showed no emotion, her eyes conveyed volumes. Before the lift spirited her to her destination, she saw him nod in understanding—he would care for M'rynn in her absence.
Founding co-host of the Anomaly Podcast


Aeric rubbed his arm where Sairyn's injection tube had entered him. When his daughters decided to go after N'Vall, he had done what he needed. He had Rory prep the Aurora for an extended mission and then surrendered control to Aria. While she, Sairyn, and Sairyn's attendant finalized the preparations for departure, Aeric made his to the forward observation room. He needed to gather his thoughts before retrieving Beth and M'Rynn.

The Captain and his eldest child had only been back aboard for a few minutes when the Borg fled with their crew and N'Vall. Aria was handling the situation well and did not hesitate to be there for her mother. As much as he wished to travel with them, his duties required them to stay on the Arabella. There was a entire ship of people depending on him and he would not let them down.

So many emotions raced through his head as the lift moved. He and Sevryll needed to have a very personal conversation, but circumstances and duty would keep that from happening until they returned. He and Sairyn had much to discuss as well, but again his needs would have to be set aside.

Aeric looked out at the shimmering rift and saw it for the first time. He could see the interactions of subspace that caused the rift and his daughter's hand at maintaining it. It was as if he had lived in a monochromatic and suddenly he could see color.

Aeric's mind reached out to the rift and the tears in the fabric of the universe that created it. He could see the threads attempting to repair themselves even as Sairyn's power disrupted it. She was failing in her attempts, but he saw how to help.

Aeric drew upon his nacene heritage and grasped at the threads. Blood trickled from his nose as he extended himself in ways that he had never dreamed of doing. Aeric focused his thoughts on keeping the rift open and giving his family time to leave.

"James to Quinn," Aeric said after tapping his communications badge. "I don't understand how I am doing it, but I think I can extend the longevity of the rift. I can buy the Aurora an additional half hour to get out of here. After that, they are on their own."


Joseph watched K'Tan lean against the wall, the Klingon's brow raised slightly and looked back at D'Callan, Joseph nodded, no words were needed the two friends knew each other well enough. Patting the Klingon's shoulder Joseph turned.

"Where you heading?"

Stopping Joseph turned. "Think i may go check on Susan, she.... well you know. You?"

K'Tan smiled. "Think I'll go for a walk. Got something to show you later"

K'tan turned walked off, Joseph watched him before returning to thoughts of Susan. He headed to the turbo lift and stopped to look through a view port window and watched the stars. His family had long been dead and his brother was out there on a mission. Suddenly a distant memory popped back into his head. Theran's mission and Sevryll. The two were connected. He'd first decided not to say anything and had put his report on a PAD in case he lost his life. Putting his head against the glass he closed his eyes, should he say something, was this the right time. he took a deep breath and tapped his com badge.

"Computer locate Se..........Susan Caine"


Joint post by Jen, Just X, and Startrekfanatic5

"I don't see the necessity in preparing this craft," Sairyn said softly from her seat at the Aurora's secondary console. "We can easily arrange transport back to my universe, my attendant has safely returned already."

Aria, dressed in a black rank-less version of the Starfleet uniform, sighed.  Twin daggers, the ones that had been a gift from her father, were holstered near the small of her back as backup to the pulse phaser on her side. She did not feel that this was an issue up for debate. "I understand that you have your fleet, but this ship has an important place in our family. M'Rynn and N'Vall found safety here on numerous occasions. It's home and it's also designed to combat the Borg of our universe."

"I am quite versed in combating the Borg," Sairyn replied. She had been a part of the design of the ship. Much had changed since those initial designs, but the lines of the runabout's form was one of the last projects that she had worked on. "I am also somewhat familiar with the concepts behind this ship. I concede that mother would do well by having a part of her life with her while we recover our brother."

"I can't help but worry about what might be happening to him," Aria said.

"Given his age, it is probable that he has been provided minimal implants and placed into a maturation chamber. I have no doubt that we will be able to safely remove the implants, but I am concerned about potential aging issues. His recovery will be a priority of the Borg Cooperative."

Aria shivered at the name. "You claim to be distant from the Borg, but you use their name to identify yourself. It's a name of fear. How does that help your people?"

"It doesn't," Sairyn conceded. "We are not the Borg. We do not operate like them. We are here to bring order to the universe and protect those that cannot protect themselves. In a way, we are more like our Nacene ancestors than the Borg. We are more protectors and caretakers than locusts."

"So why do you call yourself the Borg Cooperative?"

Sairyn thought on it for a long moment then transmitted a new command to her people. " You're right, we shouldn't. Call us Caretakers, for it is what we are."

Sairyn and Aria turned to see Commander Sevryll step through the door of the Aurora. She was outfitted in a black jump suit. On her hips she wore a hand phaser, a tricorder and a pattern enhancer.  On her back she carried an equipment kit, a phase rifle and a pack of clothing. In her right hand, Sevryll carried a case that housed her violin...the only means she had, for suppressing emotion. Their mother was effectively geared for combat, and logically prepared for a prolonged sojourn.  She wordlessly stored her baggage in the stowage bay then carefully secured her instrument case in an nearby alcove.

As Sevryll stood to approach the cabin, she felt a stab of pain in her upper back and looked up to see Sairyn standing before her.  "STOP IT!" shouted Aria as she leapt from her seat to break the Borg-like connection between 'Sairyn the Caretaker' and her mother.  An instant later, Sevryll's wide Terossick eyes reverted to their natural color as did her skin and hair.  Its length poured down her back in raven waves and the long, tapered ears that rose above the crown of her head, quickly became the delicate sensory organs of a Vulcanoid.

"I wanted to see my mother as she appears naturally. Our brother will also be comforted by her true form," Sairyn said and retracted the tubes, forgetting that this Sevryll had not actually raised her in the current time line.

"You should have asked her permission," Aria replied coolly.

"I am a Queen. We are not accustomed to asking for permission. No offense was intended." Sairyn said and looked slowly over the restored form of her mother. "When did you and father decide to have more children? I assumed that you would never get over your past."

Sevryll studied her hands, marveling at the transformation she had undergone. Then she flicked her gaze to the young woman as the visions she experienced on the bridge spilled once more into her carefully guarded thoughts. Sevryll started to speak, but thought better of it and moved to the cabin to continue pre-flight preparations. After a moment of awkward silence, she quietly answered Sairyn, "As I've mentioned before, the sum of my experiences in this timeline has altered me—I am no longer the mother you remember. And," she paused as she pondered the carefully worded sentence, "there was no past to remember until now—I do not know how to process it —and therefore cannot answer your question."

Sairyn nodded to herself before continuing, still refusing to take in account that her mother did not actually give birth to her. Part of her hoped that she could restore the family she lost even if it included the cloned twin that she never asked for and the other part ignored that which she found unpleasant. "After we save my brother, will you consider staying on for a while? I wish my mother to be present during my delivery and I could use your assistance in helping my universe."

Sevryll had no intention in staying if she was fortunate enough to save N'Vall— prolonging the trauma her son no doubt experienced, would not be in his best interests. But now was not the time to inform Sairyn that—Sevryll required her help and risking "the queen's" anger would not accomplish the commander's only goal. Sevryll's hands continued to dance over the panel as she and Aria worked to ready the runabout. Sairyn had mentioned a delivery, was she expecting a child? Sevryll paused and glanced up at the young woman standing at her side. "Your...delivery?" She inquired in an even tone.

Sairyn smiled her loveliest smile and looked down at Sevryll, "Yes mother, I am, with a daughter born of two powerful bloodlines. You and father will be grandparents. She will be a princess among my people."

Aria simply stared at the woman she was slowly coming to see as her elder sister then activated her own machines to begin the slow process of returning her natural appearance. "Was this by choice? I can't see myself becoming a mother any time soon."

Sairyn nodded, "You know as well as I that the machines in our body prevent any pregnancies that we do not allow. As you pointed out, we are not the Borg, we welcome the diversity that new life brings to our harmony."

Sevryll was barely fifty years old—a young woman in Vulcan terms— her daughters by comparison were babies. A  strand of dark hair hid her arched brow. She pushed the behind her ear and turned back to the panel. Sevryll found the news abrupt, but so was Sairyn and her reemergence. It was difficult to know how to respond to the young woman's fulminant manner. She cautiously addressed the smiling woman, "I am...pleased, daughter." She paused breifely, glancing to Aria first and then to Sairyn, "are you bonded?"

Sairyn shook her head softly. "No mother, but it wasn't as if you were bonded when I was conceived. I will have the entirety of my people to help me raise my daughter. The presence of her father isn't needed. I would also hate to pull Nathan from his duties with Starfleet to be her father. I will speak of him to her and should she ever wish to meet him, I would be honored to arrange it."

"You and the Captain?" Aria's eyes grew wide at the revelation and the shock was obvious on her face. He was one that she would have never chosen to take as a mate.

Sairyn nodded, "We were quite intimate during his visit to my vessel. I would also ask that this not be mentioned to father for the time being. He can be quite protective at times."

"Obviously not protective enough," Aria added under her breath as brought the departure sequence to the ready.

With the preparations complete, Sairyn reached out with her mind in search of Captain Quinn. They needed to have a very personal conversation about the child that they were now expecting.


Joint post by Startrekfanatic5 and Just X

As the runabout Aurora cleared the shuttlebay and headed in the direction of the slowly closing rift, Sairyn ran a hand through her hair. She quiet extended her mind back towards the Arabella.

Nathan, I am glad that you are back home, but there are things that you must know. Sairyn projected. In our connection, a part of you remained with me. We are going to be the parents of a very special little girl. One that I will not deny in knowing what a great man her father is.

Quinn felt nausea as these words sank in, his legs began to shake as he staggered back and fell into the Captain's chair. He looked up one last time to see the rift close in a brilliant flash of light.

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" he cried out loud as a tear slide down his cheek.

End of Season Eight