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Lt. Cmdr. Alieth - The Burden of Truth [Part 1]

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OOC: I have divided this into several parts in order not to oblige you to swallow 3000 words at once. Hope you enjoy this!



((Bridge, Deck 3, USS Ronin))

The trip from Stellar Cartography to the bridge proceeded far more briskly than it would have if Alieth had undertaken it alone, something she was quietly pleased about. And so, as the door to the bridge slid open before them, unveiling the span of the bridge awash in the ominous golden light of the yellow alert, the petite science chief burst out the question she had been struggling to hold on to since the lab. 

Alieth: Lieutenant Commander Alieth reporting for duty. ::She paused for a moment before she added.:: They really are Tholians?


The one who answered her was none other than the young HCO, eager to please like all ensigns, but at that moment she welcomed the little faux-pass.

O’Connor: Not sure yet Commander. I can’t get good enough readings. Any chance you could help?


A moment later, the Al-Leyan First Officer threw some more light on the mystery.


Raga: We discovered that whatever attacked our mysterious freighter hit it with something that made the hull fragments so brittle they broke off in the Chief’s hands. ::He gestured towards Carpenter:: Any idea if the Tholians have such a weapon?

The Vulcan's sloping eyebrows lowered across her forehead, casting worried shadows across her eyes. As she took a quick path to replace Vila at the science station, Alieth glanced quickly at the captain and first officer. Would this be a weaponization of the Sencha wave? From what the three of them had discussed in the captain's office a few days ago and what little she had been able to learn of the strange type of radiation, it seemed more than likely. And outrageously threatening. Especially since it wasn't in the hands of the one they had expected...

Niac:  No...but the Sheliak do.  I saw them use something like it to turn an entire asteroid colony into dust less than a year ago.  

The confirmation of her suspicions failed to gratify the Vulcan with the indulgent contentment of a job well done and a mystery solved. Rather, it seemed to grow like something heavy and dense around the pit of her stomach. A neutron star dragging her down from within herself.

Yet she wasn't the only one who seemed to be hit with the full weight of what was coming at them: the Captain also seemed lost in thought for a moment, the lost, glazed look of those who scratch at their own Katra in search of images of the past, of unpleasant answers to dangerous questions.


Alieth was already feeling the heaviness of her own katra, still quite young for a Vulcan. What's more, there were still echoes of Sern's in her, though the man had long since vanished she still remembered well what it was like to feel the load of two souls in one person. What would the Trill's burden be like? So many lives, so many experiences, so many voices to remind him of the danger in which they now found themselves? She didn't envy his position, even more so when the lives of so many depended on the clarity of his mind.

Carpenter: Sir?


The security chief's voice seemed to bring the massive commander back from the nook of his mind in which he had lost himself. He shook his shoulders, like Cheesecake when she woke from a nap, and his voice boomed again in the bridge, strong and gruff as a Sehlat's angry roar. 

Niac:  If the Sheliak and the Tholians have formed some kind of partnership it could radically reshape the power balance in this entire sector.  ::He pondered in silent for a bit, pale eyes focused on the sceen for a bit longer::  We need to positively identify that craft.  Chief Corelli I need a frank assessment of our status.  Is the Ronin ready for a fight?  

The engineer gave no verbal retort, but the jerk of his head was adequately suggestive.


Everybody knew that the Akira was out for a walk, to explore and watch, not to confront an unknown weapon. 


There was a short silence, one of those that speak of dreams of an almost divine entity appearing on the bridge with a Targ and some mariachis and take them two quadrants away, but it wasn't even necessary to use the slightest amount of logic to know that it was a vain hope. They were alone there, with a ship that was held together with duct tape and good wishes and only their cunning as a weapon... And the know-how of its young pilot.


The same one who made a point about the polygonal enemy that lurked outside

O’Connor: If they are Tholians don’t they usually travel in groups to spin their webs?

Kel:  ::looking at Alieth::  Can we check subspace for fractures?  We'll need to take action if we're near any.  


Before she could say a word, the XO said aloud what was already on her mind. 

Raga: That would be a good thing to task Stellar Cartography with.


Alieth: On it.


Even as she spoke, deft hands roamed across her display, detaching an extra window to type a quick message to Lorana. She had adapted the console to a mixture of LCARS with Vulcan sigils, the elegant spirals a comfort for her poor eyesight, which allowed her to send messages with an almost preternatural alacrity. The system would obviously quickly translate the message to the Caitian, who would pick it up instantly. 

Even before the captain spoke again, the science ensign's reply flashed a quick reply: she and Tucker would take care of the matter.


Alieth did not respond further, but added another positive mental note in her assessment of the svelte Caitian. 

Niac:  Commander Alieth, do our probes show any other contacts in the region?  Last thing we need is for this guy to have friends.  Chief Corelli, can you route around the malfunction, or are we going to have to go without those systems for the next few minutes?  


The petite Vulcan was so focused on searching for an answer to the question that she didn't hear what the chief engineer said. By the time she finally looked away from her screen, her face was more somber than usual.


Alieth: The readings are inconclusive, the background noise and radiation are excessive. :: For a moment she nibbled the inside of her lip before she added in a composed voice:: Logic dictates that it is not alone, nevertheless.


The words had the repercussion she anticipated, and the neutron star in the lower part of her rib cage seemed to become even heavier, if that was even possible. 

O’Connor: Ok, I’ll prep a couple of evasive maneuvers that might help avoid them…but what about the runabouts?


Dekas: I feel we may have to hope any help we can provide in the worst case scenario would be enough, or otherwise maybe recall them and hope it doesn’t provoke something to do so. But that would be the Captain’s call.


Raga: Good question, Mister O’Conner. Against a lone Tholian they should be fine. We should have the fighters on standby in case we need them to protect the runabouts. 

The Captain gave a grim nod, and Alieth didn't need to touch his skin to know what was on his mind. The small runabouts were far more vulnerable than the sturdy Ronin, even if only half refitted. Their survival was unlikely if they came face to face with the Tholians.


Niac:  If the runabouts find trouble they've already been ordered to break contact and head back to the ship.  I trust our people are smart enough not to pick a fight they can't win.  


A wise move, one that Alieth applauded. In most cases, it was more logical to flee to live another day, rather than foolishly risk it all for the sake of vain glory. In this case, more lives would be saved by running away from the enemy, and it was the most sensible course of action. 

Carpenter: Nothin' on proximity scans yet. But if the Tholians are involved, that can change quick-smart...


Corelli:  Runabouts are tough, and they can usually hold their own in a fight.


In the end, she gave voice to what she had thought just a moment before.


Alieth: However, it is more logical that they escape


This was followed by a brief silence, before their colourful counsellor, focused on looking at the bigger picture as one of his profession should, posed a question that had eluded them all since they had entered the bridge.

Dekas: Have we tried getting a hold of the potential freighter we’re looking for?

Before anyone could respond, there was... something. As if an icy hand rested on their collective katra. For Alieth, it felt like the eyes of an invisible predator on her back, a knife in the dark, like the song of a dagger that she should not have singing murder in her dreams, coming from a life that had been hers but not, in a world very different from this one. 

Kel:  Does anyone else feel that?  A tingling or tremor?

Raga: Somewhat. My ears are itching.


The captain said naught, but rose to his feet, a massive figure towering in the center of the room.


Carpenter: I feel...

Niac:  Red Aler.…


And then suddenly reality broke down.

[[Continues in Part 2]]


Lieutenant Commander Alieth
Chief Science Officer & 2O
USS Ronin USS-34523


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I've been a massive fan of @Alieth for a while and hope to keep learning and growing from her! This sim brilliantly showcases her ability to truly embody her character, even when a lot is going on! I am humbled! 

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