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[Round 7] LtCmdr Tallis Rhul, "Questions: Part 1 & 2"


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((IC: USS Thunder, Deck 8: Battle Bridge))

Green: ::Finding the strength to say one word, even if it was a whisper:: Chronitons...

T'Pen: ::Mumbling to herself::You must be joking! Chronitons will melt Saveron into a gelatinous goo. ::Looking up at Tallis and shaking her head, she audibly stated:: He can't leave the ship, Sir. He'll kill us all!

Tallis: You're right, we can't just let him leave the ship. We need to try to make a stand here. We'll find out his location, and follow him. Mr. Mc Ghee, we'll need to beam out. I doubt we'll be able to use the lift to follow Saveron, and there are still armed mines in the corridor outside.

Mc Ghee: Of course, Sir, ::Tapping a few keys :: You just have to give the word, Sir.

Tallis: Yael, Am'tra, take care of Mr. Green.

Am'tra: Aye, commander! ::stands up and walks towards Green:: I have to place you in custody.

Yael: Response

Tallis: Counsellor, see if you can find out what happened to him, and why he suddenly decided to save T'Pen.

Yael: Response

T'Pen: He forced himself to overcome the odds, counsellor.

Green: ::His strength returning as minutes ticked by:: I'd like to help, sir.

::Nodding at Green to acknowledge his comment, Tallis hit his badge, establishing a link with the team who had been sent to regain computer control.::

Tallis: =/\= Tallis to Gregory =/\=

Gregory: =/\= Gregory here sir. Are the mutineers secured?=/\=

Tallis: =/\= Commander, I want you to look for any reference to something called "The Reckoning" in the ship's database. You should find it under Deep Space Nine. Find out anything you can about how it was stopped, and inform us when you're done. =/\=

Carrington: =/\= Response =/\=

Gregory: =/\= Please tell me we don't have a- =/\=

Tallis: =/\= We have a Pah-Wraith aboard. Lieutenant Green is currently in our custody, but Doctor Saveron has escaped. He's been possessed. =/\=

Gregory: =/\= We're processing the information now sir. =/\=

Carrington: =/\= Response =/\=

Tallis: =/\= We also need you to track the express turbolift from the Battle Bridge and determine its location. It's important that you take no action to stop it or slow it down. Just report its destination to us and then meet us there. =/\=

Gregory: =/\= It's a non-corporeal life-form... I'm not even sure how I wouldslow it down. See you there sir. =/\=

Carrington: =/\= Response =/\=

Tallis: =/\= Good luck with the search. Tallis out. =/\=

::Quickly establishing a link with the other group, Tallis intended to brief his acting FO. ::

Tallis: =/\= Tallis to Unum. =/\=

Unum: =/\= Go ahead, Commander. Is everything okay up there? =/\=

Tallis: =/\= Miles, we have a Pah-Wraith aboard. It possessed Saveron and it just escaped. I have Commander Gregory attempting to find out its destination. =/\=

Unum: =/\= Aye, sir. =/\=

Tallis: =/\= I'll fill you in as soon as we know where we're going. Stand by to make your way to our location. =/\=

Unum: =/\= Response =/\=

::Green made his way to his feet, he was careful to keep his hands open so the towering Security Officer, Am'tra could see he had no weapons. Moving slowly, he stood to his full height and as close to attention as he could.::

Green: ::His voice raspy and weak:: Chronitons, sir. Saveron made a chroniton weapon and shield. It's possible chronitons could be used against the Pah-Wraith.

::From the curious expression on Am'tra's face it became clear that the Security officer was thinking the same as Tallis; whatever hold that Saveron had over Green could well have been lifted.::

Tallis: Chronitons? What effect would it have on a humanoid?

Green: ::Shaking his head:: I have no idea, sir. I only helped make the tools Saveron took with him.

T'Pen: Captain, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that a weapon like that will have any other effect than killing Saveron. If it was built by Saveron, we can't be certain that it was built by our Saveron or the Pah Wraith Saveron. Logic dictates that we exhaust all over avenues before trusting in the fool hardy ideas. Sir.

Tallis: Actually, Doc, there is. Romulan cloaking devices produce chronitons, so it would be logical to assume that Romulans are able to withstand them. Being as Romulans are an offshoot species from Vulcans, there's every chance that we may be thinking on the right lines. Commander Gregory should be able to pull up the files we need to give us our answer.

::The actions that the Marine Lieutenant had taken recently suggested that he was indeed on their side once again, but it was always important not to keep

the back door to betrayal open.::

Tallis: Mr. Green, would you be prepared to consent to a mindmeld with Doctor T'Pen? I hope that you understand that we'll need to check that you're back to the way you're supposed to be?

::The question made Tallis feel awkward, but it was one that he needed to ask. Lieutenant Green had been an exemplary officer so far, and Tallis hoped that he would understand.::

Green: Of course, sir. Whatever it takes.

T'Pen: ::Looking at each man, she sighed inwardly then closed her eyes to help her own being retreat from what was sure to be an onslaught of horror.:: I am prepared. Mr. Green?

Green: ::Mustering a half hearted smile:: There’ve been a few too many in my brain over the past couple of days. I don’t suppose one more will hurt. You can’t scramble my eggs worse than they already have been.

Yael: Response

T'Pen: ::Looking at the Counselor:: Your compassion, Ensign is appreciated. But as I'm over 400 years old, I've been, how do they say it, "Around the block a time or two". I can handle myself.

Yael: Response

Green: I promise I won’t bite, Doc. No promises about what you might find in there though.

Tallis: As soon as we receive the report on where Saveron is headed we'll be leaving. Will this take long?

T'Pen: I suggest you use ever available man and woman on this ship to find Saveron, Captain. Leave Yael and myself, with one guard to watch over Mr. Green till we're done. Time... waits for no man... You have a ship and a planetary system to save.

Tallis: True, and you potentially have a life to save. We need you on scene as soon as possible so that there's medical help available for Saveron if we do manage to get the wraith to leave his body. Don't hang around here for a second longer than you have to.

::An alarm sounded quietly along with a flashing red light on the screen before Mc Ghee::

Mc Ghee: Sir, deck 18! An automated alert signal. One of the Bulkheads near the docking port for the captain's yacht has suffered stress and been mildly deformed. A forced entry! I would guess that's our next destination.

::Tallis steeled himself to face his own personal nightmare once more as the team prepared to beam out.::

Tallis: Counsellor, once that meld is broken, beam yourselves to the hangar bay. If T'Pen and Green need a while to recover then beam what you judge to be a safe distance away on deck 18.

Yael: Response

::As he joined the group that was headed for the captain's yacht, the Bajoran motioned for one of the marine personnel to remain behind to act as a security guard.::

Green: Commander? ::Tallis turned to look at him:: Good luck, sir.

::Green leaned against the chair for the Ops console. His strength was all but nonexistent, and he knew it would take a while until he was back on top.::

Green: ::Looking into T’Pen’s eyes:: I suppose I ought to have a seat. Whenever you’re ready, Doc.

T’Pen: Response

::As the mindmeld started, Tallis signalled to Mc Ghee that they were ready for transport. The dark, sinister interior of the battle bridge began to dissolve, and nerves caused his gut to contrict tighter and tighter as the anticipation of facing kosst amojan grew.::

((USS Ronin, Deck 1: CRR))

::All he could hear was his pulse thumping in his ears. The smile he was used to seeing behind the familiar desk was gone, and the questions raised by a room that he shouldn't have been seeing seemed quieter than the concern he felt over the neutral expression with which he was met. Had he done something wrong?::

Turner Prophet: Questions.

::Her voice echoed around the room as though it were the size of a cargo bay. The brightness of his surroundings, nearly overwhelming at first, was beggining to reach a level where it was more comfortable to see. Another voice from beside him caused him to turn sharply, startled.::

Unum Prophet: No doubt he wil have many, many questions.

::Standing in the ready room of a ship on which he previously served, it seemed as though the Prophets were exercising a hearty flair for understatement, but in this case, Tallis felt he already knew the answer.::

Tallis: I'm in the Celestial Temple. I don't need to ask any questions.

::The image of the captain fixed him with brilliant blue eyes, and where he had once been confident, he found his certainty in that conviction begin to waver.::

Turner Prophet: Always headstrong. Sometimes an asset, sometimes a flaw.

Unum Prophet: The questions will come.

::Tallis shook his head; now there were questions about the questions. What would they be? Why would he ask them? They were about to make an attempt to exorcise a demon from the body of a friend. He knew what course of action to take; bring up the records on the Reckoning, deploy a countermeasure and expel the Pah-Wraith before it could have a chance to take part in the conflict.::

Tallis: ::Turning to the image of Miles:: The crew knows what to do. We'll find a solution.

((USS Thunder, Deck 8: FO's Quarters))

Andersson Prophet: He does not understand.

::Looking up from the floor near to the table that was festooned with a selection of breakfast foods, a coffee-stained towel in her hand, the image of Talon Lee-Unum met his eyes with scorn and disappointment.::

Lee-Unum Prophet: He cannot understand. Our hand was forced.

::Standing from his seat, Tallis paced behind it clutching at his head with both hands.::

Tallis: All these riddles. I want to serve you, but I don't know how! Please,

tell me!

((Deep Space Nine, Promenade))

::The bustling shopping district was once again deserted. In the mouthway of the Bajoran shrine, the image of Kira Nerys, her eyes glowing blue, addressed him dispassionately.::

Kira Prophet: The contest must not be allowed to proceed under unfair conditions. It must be terminated.

Tallis: What unfair conditions? How can I terminate it?

::A voice from the balcony behind him caused him to turn; this time, seeing the fire in the eyes of the Emissary's son sent waves of dread through him, bile rising in his throat as he remembered the corrupted vision of Saveron on the battle bridge.::

Jake Prophet: We said there would be questions. These are only the beginning.

::Mystified, Tallis looked towards the Kai for guidance. She was standing right where he remembered, slightly removed from the action, her face every bit as neutral as those of the others present.::

Winn Prophet: The Reckoning will bring about the golden age of Bajor. Kosst Amojan will be destroyed.

Kira Prophet: The contest must not be allowed to proceed.

::Heart racing even faster, Tallis felt panic begin to set in. His eyes widened as he whirled around in disbelief; these were not his gods. He had been sent a vision from them, and they wanted to prevent the destruction of their kind...::

::A firm hand gripped his shoulder. The momentum caused by his whirling around to see who it was almost caused him to fall over, and sent him into a stumble. As he regained his balance, he found himself looking upon a face that was anything but neutral. It was smiling, and somehow reassuring. A silken baritone settled his nerves as the vision of the Emissary spoke.::

Sisko: The Prophets ask us to walk a twisting path. ::He spread his hands and shrugged his shoulders, his smile lighting up his eyes and revealing perfect white teeth.:: Some things appear a little differently than we might imagine. There will always be questions, but that's what makes us who we are. We can't always know if what we're doing is right. You have to feel it. ::He clenched his fist and pressed it to his heart.:: In here.

::The relief that he felt from the message paralyzed Tallis's jaw temporarily. Sighing, he took a moment to look around at the scene...::

((Deep Space Nine, Cargo Bay))

::...which promptly changed. Over in the distance, it seemed Anora was standing over by a crate. Remembering this moment all too well, Tallis covered the distance between them at a quick walk and, when he arrived, he saw that the crate was already open. The ornately carved tablet from B'hala was unwrapped and at the top of the pile of artifacts.::

Anora Prophet: We ask much of you. Do not fail. You are of Bajor. We are also of Bajor.

Tallis: Wait! How will I know what to...

::He stopped as the image of his friend began to talk over him.::

Anora Prophet: The time for questions has arrived.

((USS Thunder, Deck 18: Captain's Yacht Hangar))

::The team materialized in the hangar bay, hands on weapons and ready to defend themselves. Tallis had only enough time to set eyes on Saveron before a terrible noise erupted from the door to the bay. Starfleet training overrode his brain as he dived for cover; the heavy thud and sickening screech of metal

on metal causing curiosity to finally take hold. As the last piece of the hangar bay doors embedded itself in the deck floor, the source of the disturbance appeared.::

::It was Anora.::

::Eyes glowing blue, hair whipping under the force of an unseen wind, her voice echoed eerily throughout the entire deck as shespoke.::

Anora: Kosst Amojan, your time is at an end!

::Tallis felt the strength sap from his legs as he sank to his knees; one of his gods had just made an appearance. It was here, now, just a few metres away. Fragments of prayer sprang into his head as his mind raced to process the image, but his mouth was once again unable to form words. Tears welled in his eyes as he made the realisation: the 'questions' were irrelevant. They were about to be saved.::

::The Vulcan's tall, lanky frame turned slowly, the smile broadening to a feral grin as he recognised the being striding through the melted doorway. The form it wore was of little consequence, he knew the energies of an old friend, an old enemy.::

Saveron: No Prophet, you are most gravely mistaken.

::The doctor had a pleasant baritone that was surprisingly resonant when his possessor put the strength of feeling into his words. Even dishevelled as he was he was plainly unbeaten and there was a timbre to that voice that suggested that, put to better uses, it could inspire people to feats of heroism. Unfortunately there was nothing heroic about the current situation.::

Anora: Response

Saveron: Because you do not learn, you do not adapt. Your cruelty to us who were once your brothers has compounded across the dimensions. It ends here.

Anora: Response

Saveron: I will destroy you, I will destroy your vaunted 'Temple', and I will free my people from the Fire Caves. You cannot stop me.

Anora: Response

Saveron: Because unlike you, I have learned to adapt.

::The Pah-Wraith had not discounted the possibility of the Prophets interfering if they realised what he intended, and he had prepared his own surprises. He touched the button on the back of the riot shield and the

field deployed, the edges glowing a strange purple colour that was not normal for a Starfleet riot shield.::

::Swept up in the events as they unfolded, Tallis felt a cold chill as the shield activated. There had been no shield in his vision, and some form of modification had clearly been performed on the shield.::

Anora: Response

::Fuelled by adrenaline, Tallis leapt to his feet, yelling a warning to his


Tallis: NO! It's a trap!!!

::How could he possibly hope to be heard by one of the residents of the Celestial Temple? And if the Reckoning was to be fought here, would she be honour bound to continue regardless? The full implication of exactly what was

in Saveron hit home at that moment. The Pah-Wraith had time to plan, time to prepare, and it was looking to destroy not just one Prophet, but all of them. Making good on his threat to destroy the temple would see to that.::

Unum: Response

::Hearing a friendly voice kick-started his Starfleet training once again. He had an obligation to the ship, and to its crew.::

Tallis: Miles... what information do we have on the Reckoning? We need to get into those files before something terrible happens.

Unum: Response

Tindall: Response

::Unum and Tindall, both humans, seemed to be doing a better job of keeping a clear head than he was, but he could not afford to allow his emotions to take control, not even now.::

Tallis: It's past that. We tried firing on Saveron on the battle bridge, and he soaked it up. The Pah-wraith told us that prolonged fire might harm Saveron...

::Question One: Are you willing to sacrifice the Doctor, your ethics, and the Prophets' chance at a fair and honest combat in order to save your crew?::

Unum: Response

Tallis: There is. Green said something about chronitons as we were about to leave. Jaxon, can we rig anything to emit chronitons in here?

Mc Ghee: Response

Tallis: Then do it. Willie, give him a hand.

Mc Ghee/Tindall: Response

::No sooner had he given the order than a pang of something hit him hard. Was it guilt? Uncertainty? Or was it Question Two: Are you willing to use chroniton radiation to drive out the Prophet as well as the Pah-wraith? There was nothing sophisticated enough in the yacht hangar to generate a directional chroniton burst; certainly not in the time they had before the two adversaries commenced and potentially completed their combat.::

Gregory: Response

::The third team had arrived. The senior staff were almost gathered.::

Tallis: Better late than never, Tom. Did you find the information we needed on the Reckoning?

Gregory/Carrington: Response

Tallis: I thought Mr. Green brought up chronitons for a reason. Commander, help Mc Ghee and Tindall with their modifications. They're going to attempt to generate chronitons in the bay. Carrington, Readdy, cover them.

Carrington/Readdy: Reponse

Tallis: Us too, Miles.

Unum: Response

::As he drew his phaser, Tallis stumbled upon Question Three: Do you have the strenght of mind to do what needs to be done?::

::Meanwhile, the confrontation between Anora and Saveron, Prophet and Pah-wraith, continued.::

Saveron: Response

Anora: Response

Edited by Saveron
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