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Lt. Tahna Meru - The Girl Who Would Sail The Stars

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@Tahna Meru - Wow, this is so beautifully written! Wonderful work here. :)


((Turbolift, En Route to Deck 15, USS Gorkon))


Once upon a time, as the best old Bajoran folk tales began, there was a girl who dreamed of sailing the stars. Her name didn’t matter, as it changed depending on where the tale was told (though just as often she took on the name of the daughter listening to the story). She was simply the girl who would sail the stars, harnessing the power of B'hava'el to travel to strange new worlds, worlds that changed as often as the girl’s name. The romanticized version of the story ends there, the version parents told children who needed more hope. 


That was not the version Meru’s thoughts wandered to as she took the turbolift down to the shuttlebay. She had her padd and tricorder in hand, but she gave her eyes and mind a moment to rest from the endless streams of data, turning the information over in the background as she remembered the folk tale.


The older, truer version, the one told to all children who perhaps harbored a little too much hope, continued. The girl flew and flew, soaring on solar winds past red planets and orange, purple planets and white, until she came to a beautiful, lush world. Its people were kind (or wary, or bitter, depending on the lesson the story needed to impart). They, too, dreamed of the stars (or so the girl believed) and she hoped to help them reach the stars they sought by returning with another lightship. But when she returned, it was like the planet had never existed. 


A very young Meru had told her father that version was stupid. He responded that it was stupid to assume you understood other folks just because they walked the same as you.


An older Meru wondered with a half-hearted smile if she’d found the mythical girl’s missing planet, and whether their teams on the ground were making more progress in understanding the planet’s inhabitants than the girl in the story. Maybe lightships were the answer after all. 


She would have chuckled, if there were a few billion less lives at stake. 



((Deck 15, Near Shuttlebay 2, USS Gorkon))


Admiral Reynolds and Commander Sevo were waiting when she arrived. The medical, security, and shuttlebay ops teams she’d sent memos and orders to had beaten her there also, though she didn’t seem to have missed anything exciting yet. She’d barely beaten the Kerla there, at least. 


Reynolds: Curious they’re not responding to hails, but have taken the correct approach vector.


Sevo: We could chalk it up to the interference inside the shuttle, but that’s stretching it. They could shine a light through the window and speak in Morse code at this range.


Reynolds: I’ll need you to project the field while I modulate it with the phase discriminators in the cargo transporters. ::She frowned.:: Although with the shuttle this close already, I’m afraid we might be too late.


Sevo: We’ll do the best we can.


That was their job, wasn’t it? Doing the best they could no matter how perplexing the circumstances. Meru watched, fidgeting with the hem of her sleeve, as the two genius women worked in tandem to project an isolation field over the shuttle. 


Sevo: Isolation field up, holding steady.


Tahna: Nice work. 


She said it, and then felt a bit awkward as she remembered that they didn’t need her assurances. They knew they were great at their jobs. 


Reynolds: Response


Sevo: I’m still trying to raise communications inside, but getting no response. There doesn’t seem to be any attempt to exit either.


Meru checked her scans, and double checked, to no avail.


Tahna: Still the same inconclusive life signs we were getting earlier, and we can’t really blame the planet’s interference for that anymore. 


It wasn’t even fluctuating, like it had on the last mission when there’d been interference during the search and rescue portion, stranded life signs blinking in and out of existence at random. She just…couldn’t get a read on them at all. Best she could tell, maybe there was someone in there, or multiple someones. That sort of non-data didn’t help them much. 


Reynolds: Response


Sevo: At this point, we can look in the window--! 


The Commander stopped mid-sentence.


Sevo: =/\= Lieutenant, what do you see through the Kerla’s cockpit window? =/\=


T. Sevo: =/\= I’m… not sure, sir. I can’t see anything. ::Pause.:: No, that’s not right. I can see something, but it looks blurry and stuttery, like a glitching holoprogram. It’s more like several programs all running together at different speeds, interrupting each other, making a blurry mess. Does that make sense? =/\=


Sevo: =/\= I think so. Thank you, Lieutenant. =/\= :: Ayiana turned to the group inside the control booth. :: Sounds an awful lot like overlapping time streams. 


Reynolds: Response


Meru frowned. Overlapping timestreams explained the weird readings too—depending on how, exactly, the timeline was being affected, there may or may not be life signs in there after all. Or the ghosts they were seeing could still be down on the planet, this glitchy-holoprogram version divorced from the timeline. Prophets, she hated temporal mechanics. The paradox paper she’d had to write for Professor Teska’s class had made her cry in frustration more than she’d ever admit. 


Tahna: So, we need to figure out if one of these is the present time stream, right? How do we do that?


Reynolds/Sevo: Response


Tahna: This whole thing seems…intentional. What if they were using the shuttle to try to send us a message?


Reynolds/Sevo: Response





Science Officer
USS Gorkon (NCC-82293)


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