“Or,” broke out Orvos as he heard the sudden agreement with the captain’s actions. “What about that Probe Mr. Dan was just talking to us about? Eh?” He gave his eyebrows a wiggle and pointed a thumb behind him towards the occupied science station.
R’han was not moved by the change is Laraan’s volume. It was the XO’s duty to execute the captain’s order not the counselor especially when there were two higher ranked officers available. “Begging the Captain’s Pardon, What’s the rush? The anomaly will be there in an hour after we run a full scan of it.”
And without refrain, Orvos then pointed two fingers to the CTO. “I think he might have a point there. Why put the ship so quickly at risk?”
Luka looked at Laraan, frowning slightly. “I am not certain if you are accustomed to the chain of command, Counselor Laraan,” she stood to her full height, looking imposing, “But you do not have the authority to order the vessel to do anything when I am on the bridge. I am the officer who holds that position.”
Laraan’s eyes locked with Luka’s. “I’m not certain that you realised I just did a psychological assessment and then was merely repeating the Captain’s orders to confirm that this assessment has turned out well. Somethings should not be spelled out in order to preserve crew morale.” she said in a low voice to Luka. How dare this youngster quote protocol to her as if she was a greenhorn. Now Luka had forced her to spell out the truth that Laraan would rather have kept in a silent communication between her and Ghubari. This bridge crew needed to trust their Captain now, and not wonder why she was in need of a psychological assessment. She swallowed her anger about Luka though, if the new XO was clever, she let it lie. She would have to have a serious conversation with Luka when this was over, explaining a few of the finer point of crew dynamics.
“Captain, I must ask a similar question as R’han, simply because my duty is to put the safety of this vessel and her crew over my devotion to your orders. What reason do you have to go through the anomaly, and what makes you think we will not be torn asunder by passing through it?”
It was then that Orvos shut up and listened intently.
Laraan managed to not roll her eyes at Luka’s words. She moved herself to stand next to Ghubari with her hands clasped behind her back and looked at the crew with certainty in her eyes, a silent move to back up her assessment with the gesture. She knew the look in Ghubari’s eyes, in fact she was joyful she had seen it again now. Ghubari was at her best when there was no doubt in her mind.
There were only a few people on the ship who truly understand how deeply her spiritual beliefs went and fewer still who had witnessed her in her deep meditations. But what happened when she was elsewhere was no less real and impactful than her conversations with Mshuri. Could she truly ask people to simply accept that and give her the benefit of the doubt?
Turning to face Luka more, Ghubari felt intensely calm as she drank in her new first officer. Luka was still learning about her captain and the ship and Ghubari understood that implicitly. “We won’t. I can’t explain how I know, other than someone else who would not want to see us harmed made that clear.” She exhaled forcibly as she glanced about the bridge and raised her voice slightly so everyone for sure could hear her. “We’ve been through many difficult times as a crew, and while I can’t tell you what is on the other side of that anomaly, I can tell you that it’s imperative we go through. You’ve all trusted me before. You need to trust me now.”
“Helm, set a course for the anomaly and engage.”
Luka could contradict her orders and declare her under an influence they were uncertain about, but as she gazed intently at the Laleri again, all had extreme clarity of mind, as if she had been caught in a storm and the clouds had just broken. She was certain, and she was calm. They would either go with her on this, or else this all ended here.
Fl. Captain Koraia, CO
“They say the eyes are the window to the soul. I do not have a lot of experience with you, Captain Ghubari, but even with my limited ability to read human non-verbal communication, I can see in your eyes the sincerity of your decision. You do not look like one deluded or lying.”
Another flood of relief flowed through Koraia and she felt more optimistic about the next set of events. Despite their doubts, she needed to know they trusted her implicitly.
A light smile returned to Laraan’s face. There was hope yet for the young XO.
She nodded to NE Packer at the Helm, who had been looking nervously at what seemed to be a brewing conflict. The young woman nodded back, and set the course as instructed. Within seconds, the Athena was drifting towards the anomaly.
“I said it before, and I will say it again. We have no knowledge of how bumpy this transition is going to be, so I will suggest now that everyone find somewhere to sit, and hold on tight. We do not want people flying across the bridge if this ride gets bumpy…” to prove her point, she grabbed onto the arms of her chair. If they had seatbelts, she would suggest those as well. She pressed the comm button and sent out a call on all speakers. =^=Bridge to Athena, this is a general call. Everyone hold onto something. We may experience some turbulence as we enter the anomaly…=^=
R’han looked at the XO without expression for a moment and then with a single audible exhalation of breath he moved to his station. The single breath spoke volumes as he sat in his chair. Psychics, emotions, kidnappings, and we are still springing into an anomaly with no data. We could end up on the other side of the universe for all he knew. “perhaps we should leave a buoy behind, just in case.”
Ghubari resumed her seat in the captains chair, resting her arms on the chair arms and wrapping her fingers over the ends. She watched the anomaly becomes gradually larger on the screen, and mentally braced herself for whatever came next. On a whim, she said a silent prayer to the Ancestors.
Laraan returned to her aux station, sat down and fastened the emergency seat belt.
The wormhole seemed to almost expand towards the Athena as the ship sailed into the unknown. Flying arcs of pure energy flew around the ship but without touching and people’s faces lit up in time with the flashes. There was a presence here, it was palpable, this was no mere ordinary phenomenon, there was an intelligence at work and although no one could point to it, everyone knew that in this corridor of space, they were not alone.
Junior Gamemaster Conspiracy Theorist
OOC If people want to sidesim some character development here feel free to have your own Celestial Temple of the Prophets experience at this point.
Orvos sighed inwardly. Truth be told, could someone speak something untrue without realizing they were wrong, and still come across as telling the truth? He trusted the captain, that much was certain. And he was fully aware that this crew, as unique as they each were, were bound to encounter crazy situations. He was in this for the long haul. Besides, for all he knew, time was causing his race to be run all the quicker. Why not embrace it?
He took his seat, sending a message to main engineering. =/\=Secure yourselves and all equipment. Report any abnormalities as necessary.=/\= And with that, he kept his eyes moving from the viewscreen and his readouts.
-Lt. Orvos Legen, CE
Jayden replied back via message in acknowledgement.
Stark had remained silent throughout the narrative. He had run multiple scenarios through his mind, was the captain who returned the same Captain that left? In this forever degrading universe of anomalies and time distortions he knew nothing was certain and in times like that he chose to do nothing and see which way the cards fell. He was also wondering how they could have been sent to scan an anomaly that hadn’t appeared until they arrived. He quietly started looking over the communication logs looking for answers.
Stark Nightstalker CIO
Laraan’s eyes were on Stark. She thought she had an idea what he was thinking about. Another part of her was annoyed with him because he took no measures to secure his furry butt! But in reality she was scared. She had the sinking feeling that this was all pre-ordained, all part of the larger picture that their unseen pupeteer was painting as they went along - laughing evilly.
- Laraan, CNS
Luka blinked, and seemed to shift a little with discomfort, then smiled softly. She looked over at Ghubari and there was a strange expression in her eyes. If Ghubari looked at Luka in the moment, the XO would nod slightly, and Ghubari would see the same determination and clarity in the eyes of her new XO. “I understand now,” she whispered.
Sensing the attention on her, Ghubari glanced over and caught the small nod. She smiled ever so sightly and nodded back, accepting the words as true. They calmed the slightly nervous part of the CO’s mind that right now was trying to desperately anticipate a situation she likely couldn’t fathom.
Fl. Captain Koraia, CO
Almost as quickly as it had begun the journey ended and the Athena appeared in normal space again. Dead ahead was a planet, they had arrived almost within beam down range. Sensors sweeps would show It was orbited by two moons and located in a binary system about ninety light years from the Sol system. However readings would also show that there were subtle anomalies with the sensor readings that did not match with the computer banks known universe.
Junior Gamemaster Conspiracy Theorist
Ghubari rose to her feet and took in the sight before her intently.
Dan looked up from the sensor station relieved that he and the ship were still in one piece. “We have arrived. Although I’m not entirely sure how we got here. As to here, we are in a binary star system about 90 light years from Sol system. Based on available data nothing else can be concluded. Sensor reading show slight anomalies that do not match up with the ship’s stellar data banks.”
Dan then ran a scan to see if chrono particles were present. Dan was sure they had not traveled through time but rather they had slipped sideways a bit and were in a slightly alternate reality.
Lt j.g.Dan Jones (Scientist)
“I think you’ll find Lieutenant, that we are in fact not in the same universe that we started out in,” Koraia said calmly. Sisko’s words rolled through her mind and she knew she’d have to give more information soon. But to whom and at what point was going to be something she had to trust her instincts with.
Fl. Captain Koraia, CO
“Mirror, Mirror,” Luka mouthed, looking at the sensor data and the viewscreen. Her eyes closed for a moment, recalling what she had seen in her brief vision. She glanced over at the Captain. Lu’ne’s words flashed in her mind. what you are doing… it is important. She was certain of that. She opened her eyes and stood up. “What is our next course of action, Captain?”
Orvos kept his gaze transfixed on the viewscreen. Another universe. He could tell they weren’t in Kansas anymore. “And what universe are we expecting be in, captain?” he inquired aloud. He shot Stark a curious sidelong glance as he awaited the reply.
Orvos trained his mind also on the surroundings. Another time? Another place? His instincts would tell him.
-Lt. Orvos Legen, CE
R’han looked at his tactical sensors. Whatever universe they were in, it was likely that it was less safe then then one they left. Although he guess statistically the odds were 50-50, but give the necessity of their presence, that implied danger.
Laraan closed her eyes, and braced herself. A big part of her was afraid of the what she was about to do, terriefied even. She knew she had to do it right away, otherwise she would loose her nerve.
Still super-charged with the energy of her time-displaced self, she was in all actual fact currently the greatest risk to this ship. If R’han knew, he’d probably stun her on the spot. She had obviously never been in a mirror universe, but her people had studied the implications of such an event extensively… because the energy, so they surmised, would be different as well.
There were several different scenarios their scientists had come up with, what would happen if a Heleen mingled with the energy of another universe. They ranged from nothing to an adverse effect that resulted in combustion… or explosion. Like mixing adverse substances in chemistry.
Yes she should have thought this over, discussed it with Ghubari and Stark, even Orvos, who could feel certain shifts in energy as well Laraan knew, though for him as an El-Aurian it felt different. But the longer she was in this other universe, the more she mingled with its energy anyhow, even if she didn’t channel and she would only worry them needlessly, as there was no way for them to change the fact… or help her. The implications were so massive she couldn’t even let herself start thinking about it.
She took a deep breath in and held onto her console and opened her senses to the energy around her.
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