SIM:Chythar Skyfire: Lazarus Saga (Veritas)

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Crew of the USS Chin'toka

LtCmdrSkyfire.png

Lieutenant Commander Chythar Skyfire, MD

About the Lazarus Saga: These were posted on the Gorkon and the Veritas lists at approximately the same time. Stardates correspond to references on Chythar's timeline.

Commander (ret) Marlee Whale & Jerra Syn - Lazarus, Part I


(( Spring Hope graveyard, Byroni Island, Trill ))

Jerra Syn pressed the emitter of the Romulan disrupter directly to Marlee Whale’s chest.

Syn: Dig.

Marlee Whale put her hands on her hips. The cold Trill island air swept around them, and above, a field of stars. She hadn’t seen the stars of her home planet since 2258. Since she had been torn out of that timeline and thrown into this one, into this future.

The last five years had passed in a blur. Deep Space 17. Losing her husband -- it seemed like yesterday -- and then the next day, finding out that there was another David Whale, seemingly also thrown through time and space just like her, but he never met her.

In this universe, she had never met him. She had never married. She and he never had children.

The copy of her husband in this universe thought she was a total stranger.

Counselling. Medication. Rest and recovery. Years of it. Giving speeches about temporal displacement. Joining a support group for various duplicate-people (transporter accidents, timeline screwy-ness, you name it). Leaving the support group in frustration.

Then, one day, she had gone to sleep in her bed, and awoken... in the company of Jerra Syn. An unjoined Trill with a warehouse full of cages, a Romulan disruptor and a penchant for not explaining anything.

She had been brought to this place, this island, to this graveyard against her will, and to say she resented it was an understatement.

Whale: Marlee Whale. Lieutenant commander. Serial number, DC-131-994. Starfleet, United Federation of Planets.

Jerra twisted the device against Whale’s shirt. Marlee was acutely aware she was standing over a grave, a fact which made any threat hollow. She knew what happened to people forced to dig their own graves.

Syn: There are two types of people in this world, Commander Tan. Those with fully charged disrupter pistols and those who dig.

Marlee just glowered.

Whale: Don’t call me that. I’m married. Human custom is to take the last name. My name is Commander Marlee Whale. First Officer of the USS Ackerman.

Syn laughed, coldly and without joy.

Syn: I do not respect Human customs. You are Marlee Tan, and David Whale is d--

Marlee stepped forward, baring her teeth.

Whale: Keep his name out of your mouth, lest I close it for you.

Jerra shrugged helplessly, waving the tip of her weapon in the night air.

Syn: Your husband is dead. You said so yourself. Your kids are dead too, apparently, all of old age. So...complain all you want, it doesn’t matter.

Oh, she did not bring up the children. For some time she had refused to look them up -- then, finally, after years of wondering and worrying, she had downed a few glasses of something green and extremely strong, pulled up her computer, and found out.

They had lead ordinary lives. Grown. Worked. Died. No kids of their own.

Probably because they had been orphaned.

Starfleet command had asked her to give up her commission. Her counsellor had asked her to focus on the future. And now she was being asked to dig. Whale folded her arms defiantly in front of her.

Whale: What do you want?

Syn: Right now, I want you to dig.

Whale: No. Shoot me.

Jerra rolled her eyes.

Syn: I don’t want to shoot you, silly woman. You’re a slave and I want to free you.

Slave? A strange word for prisoner. Her eyes fell on the disruptor.

Whale: I know this much: you certainly don’t want to shoot me with that thing. Romulan disruptors aren’t exactly known for keeping the organs of their targets intact. If you want my symbiont, it won’t survive a shot from that.

Jerra’s eyebrow twitched, her voice rising.

Syn: You just don’t get it, do you? You don’t understand what we’re trying to do here. I don’t want to shoot you.

Marlee glowered, tilting her head forward slightly, her upper lip curling back in a snarl.

Whale: I know well enough.

Marlee reached up and tossed her hair dismissively.

Whale: The disrupter wasn’t the only mistake you’ve made, you know. Take my symbiont. Go ahead. Just know that I am the Tan symbiont’s first host, all that it will have is my memories, my personality, and whatever part of them survives being part of you will hate you. Hate you until your dying breath. The first thing I do when I get joined with you is march into the Symbiosis Committee, put that thing against your temple and get myself a brand new host. Screw you and your plans -- they won’t work. I won’t let it.

Syn regarded the other Trill with a warm, sad smile.

Syn: I don’t want your symbiont. I want to free you from its influence.

Whale: Oh, bull. And Ferengi don’t want latinum, Klingons don’t want an honourable death, and Jhen Thelev doesn’t want to replace his bloodstream with Yorkshire tea.

Syn: I don’t want it. And I don’t want you to have it, either.

Marlee squinted in confusion.

Whale: So. You’re a mercenary, then. A thief working for someone else? Is that it?

Syn: No.

There was a sincerity to the dark-eyed woman that gave weight to her words.

Syn: I work for myself and a small group of like-minded individuals. We believe joining is an abomination. It is wrong. Symbionts are parasites, a sickness that plagues this world. Me and my friends? We’re going to cure it. Going to cure you all. You, Lladre, Mar... you’re all the same.

Whale just stared in confusion.

Whale: I... I’m sorry, I beg your pardon?

Syn sighed and pressed the disrupter against Whale’s chest once more.

Syn: I don’t have time or inclination to explain this to you. Dig. Now.

She snorted dismissively.

Whale: No. Marlee Whale. Lieutenant commander. Serial number, DC-131-994. Starfleet, United Federation of Planets.

Syn muttered something dark, reached into her other pocket, and withdrew a small pocket phaser set to stun. She stunned Marlee in the chest, the phaser blast extraordinarily loud in the cool, quiet night. Marlee slumped to the grass, unconscious like a rag doll. Syn stunned her again just for good measure, making sure she stayed down.

Syn: Fine, guess I’ll just do it myself.

Jerra picked up the electronic digging implement, turned it on, and then started to work, scraping away the black-brown soil of Byroni Island. Working down into the fertile, rich soil.

Digging up Alleran Tan’s grave.

Two sweaty hours later, she threw down the shovel in disgust. The grave was empty.

There was no body. Whatever had been buried here was purely symbolic.

Syn: In all this wide galaxy, who would know where you are?

END Part I
--

Lieutenant Commander (retired) Marlee Whale Ensign Sarren Tan Lieutenant Commander Chythar Skyfire, MD
Civilian Security/Tactical Brew Continuum Barista
USS Gorkon USS Veritas NCC-95035
O238704AT0 O239704AT0 O239002CS0

Jerra Syn & Chythar Skyfire: Lazarus Part II


(( Skyfire’s Quarters, Starfleet Medical Academy, Earth ))

Chythar yawned as he heard the badge chirp again, for the third time. Devlin barked a few times, and woke up his master. He’d been asleep for the past six hours and didn’t really feel like doing anything. As he woke up, he finally grabbed his badge and tapped it.

Skyfire: =/\= Go for Skyfire. =/\=

Comms officer: =/\= Incoming subspace transmission for you, doctor. Someone named Commissioner Syn. =/\=

Chythar grimaced as he got up and moved toward the desk, grabbing a t-shirt and pulling it on. It was one of his black Raktajino tees, with a steaming coffee cup on the front and the symbol of the Klingon empire on the mug. As he had a seat, he ran a hand through his hair.

Skyfire: =/\= A’right. Route it through. =/\=

A Trill woman, middle-aged and wearing civilian robes, appeared on the screen.

Syn: =/\= Good evening, Doctor. I hope I’m not disturbing you at this hour. =/\=

Skyfire: =/\= Not at all. What can I do for you? =/\=

Jerra Syn smiled warmly, folding her dark hands in front of her, her face illuminated from the side by a lamp, showcasing her elaborate spot pattern.

Syn: =/\= My name is Jerra Syn of the Trill Symbiosis committee. My apologies for not contacting you sooner, Doctor, but we Trill are a somewhat secretive people, and we rarely share information about our joined nature. Yet, despite this, you’ve managed to learn more about us than we, in some ways, know about ourselves... I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. =/\=

His work hadn’t exactly been a secret. Then again, he’d worked a couple miracles on his friend Alleran, desperate to save the Tan symbiont and prevent the death of the host. It was a tricky business, but now with his psychological evaluation being officially cleared, he was once again free to practice medicine in a long term capacity for something more severe than burned by a coffee pot.

Skyfire: =/\= That’s true. I’ve worked a few miracles on Trill in my time, and Starfleet just reinstated me. =/\=

Syn nodded emphatically.

Syn: =/\= Believe me, we are well aware. We are reaching out to ask for one more. =/\=

CD nodded slightly. It was true. It had been a few years since he’d extracted Tan from Alleran Mapak’s body, and rather than preparing the fellow for burial he had decided upon keeping the body in stasis on Starbase 118 in hopes of reviving him one day. Of course, he had no way of knowing where exactly the symbiont was at present. Last he saw, Safine Tan was the host.

Skyfire: =/\= Due to doctor-patient confidentiality, I am not at liberty to discuss anything. I am assuming by the reference of stasis, you are referring to Alleran Mapak? =/\=

Syn: =/\= That is correct. There are ethical questions about how long we can keep him in stasis, of course, and if it’s even possible to revive him at this point, but given that we are almost out of time to try, we at the Committee are offering to have you oversee the process. Given your expertise in this matter, we thought it prudent you be here. =/\=

Skyfire: =/\= So, the last I knew of ensign Safine Tan, she was stationed aboard the Gorkon. I haven’t heard from her since. You wish me to make the journey out from the starbase, then? =/\=

At the question of Safine Tan, the caller on the other end hesitated.

Syn: =/\= She is no longer joined with the Tan symbiont. She remains alive, however... crippled, granted, but alive. Which has raised an interesting question -- is this de-separation a product of Alleran’s biology, or the symbiont’s? We need answers to these questions. And would value your input. =/\=

He sighed heavily as he considered the possibility. Naturally, since he’d never worked with the Trill government before he had no reason to doubt Syn’s intentions. It was a genuine request for help.

Skyfire: =/\= I would need to run a few tests on Safine Rael to confirm a few things before I make a determination. Does Tan currently have a host? =/\=

Syn considered, looking at someone off-screen momentarily before returning her gaze to the camera.

Syn: =/\= Yes, but that’s not relevant right now, as their joining seems to be stable. We don’t need to worry about Serren. As for Safine, I can arrange a video conference, submission of blood and DNA, whatever scans the Gorkon can provide. We do not have the power to compel her to return for this matter, and my understanding is that her injury has made her somewhat of a ... recluse. It is entirely up to you, of course. It is difficult to ask you to journey to Trill in order to oversee a man’s death, but there is the possibility that it might not come to that. There is, as we always say, hope. =/\=

Skyfire: =/\= I’ll see what I can do. =/\=

Syn: =/\= Of course. I will make the necessary arrangements. =/\=

Skyfire: =/\= Any other questions I can answer for you? =/\=

Syn: =/\= Oh no. You’ve been... ::she smiled:: Most helpful. =/\=

END Part II
--

Jerra Syn Ensign Sarren Tan Lieutenant Commander Chythar Skyfire, MD
Trill Symbiosis Committee Security/Tactical Brew Continuum Barista
USS Gorkon USS Veritas NCC-95035
O238704AT0 O239704AT0 O239002CS0

Jerra Syn: Lazarus Part III


(( The Ring, Trill ))

Jerra Syn closed the communication to the Human doctor, drumming her fingers idly on the Trill Heartwood desk, pondering the conversation. With a touch of luck she had dangled enough threads in front of the man who could, potentially, save her whole species from enslavement.

Ikari: Do you think he bought it?

Her “friend”, Xen Ikari, hovered off-camera, just like he always did. Like some kind of gremlin. Ringers were... creepy to her. Off-putting. She was content to have the man on her side, but would be glad to see the day when they parted ways. Hopefully sooner than later.

Still, for now, he was useful. Every hero needed a sidekick.

Syn: I think we baited the hook well enough. ::she pushed back her chair, standing with a soft groan:: But I don’t know. Are you sure you couldn’t get hold of the other one. Safine?

Ikari glowered in the dim light of the Ring.

Ikari: I tried. She is... difficult to take hold of. I tempted her with various things, but she seems content to sit in her apartment and drink.

Not good news. Safine had survived the unjoining without statis, but her condition was less of a mystery. For a time she had run with a neural blocker, preventing a true joining. It had subsequently worn off but... apparently, there were residual effects. She and the Tan symbiont had lived a half-life together, now, it seemed, they would have to share a half-death.

Syn: Disappointing.

Ikari: Indeed. The de-joining seems to have had a profound effect on her, although it not possible to know if this is a product of the loss of her mobility that has affected her in this way.

Syn considered that, tumbling the idea over in her head like wet cloth.

Syn: You think depression could be a byproduct?

Ikari: No. I believe it to be something much more mundane... many Trill spend their lives wanting to be joined. To suddenly lose her life’s work. ::he chuckled grimly:: If we fail, will you do anything differently?

To that, Syn could only scoff slightly.

Syn: If we fail, I doubt we’ll spend the rest of our lives in a comfortable apartment. I don’t know how many laws we’ve broken so far to get to this point. Lost count.

Ikari: But our cause is just.

So obviously, so clearly just. Lladre would pay. They would all pay. All the symbionts, the mind-controlling parasites who had enslaved her society.

Syn: They’ll see, soon. We just have to show them the truth. ::she balled her fists:: The parasites have to pay for what they’ve done. For all the minds they’ve stolen. Bent toward their will.

Ikari merely nodded.

Jerra relaxed, blowing out a breath she hadn’t realised she was holding.

Syn: Mmm.

Quiet reigned in their section the Ring. Even though the sun shined outside, with summer, the entire facility was basked in daylight most of the “day”. So an artificial night reigned.

This strange “reserve” of backward, bumpkin Trill, where every day risked discovery, threatening the liberation of her whole species. Fortunately, they would not need to be here longer than they had to.

Syn: Bring up Marlee Whale’s vital statistics again. I should read over them once more... just in case.

Ikari responded with a live feed to Whale’s cell, the camera swinging to find their prisoner, overlaying her biosigns over the bottom of the screen.

Curiously, it showed the Tan-symbiont from another reality standing on her chair, which was on her bed, her fingers hooked into the air vent. Trying to pry it off and escape... her heart rate was up, neural activity high. She clearly had a plan.

Feisty one, wasn’t she? Syn considered a measured response, then touched a key built into the wood of her desk.

An electric field shot through the room, silently shocking Marlee Whale, throwing her roughly to the ground.

Ikari: I should make sure she’s unharmed.

Syn waved a hand approvingly, focusing her attention on the unconscious Trill on the screen.

How normal she looked. How much like a real Trill... creative, with a real streak of self-preservation. So coordinated. Intelligent. Wise. Grounded.

And yet, a slave. For within the thin, delicate woman was a disgusting worm, a tyrant with a whip of isoboramine, a parasite that latched itself onto an innocent woman’s brain.

Of course the hosts died when the symbionts were removed. Of course the reverse was not true. The cruellest slave masters killed their vassals when they had no more use for them; what kind of slave master would die when their slaves became free?

And conveniently, of course, this meant that very few opportunities to speak with un-joined Trills existed. Occasionally a few days, mostly a few hours, sometimes not even that.

Not enough time to spill the truth about joining. Not enough time to get their head straight, to overcome the enslavement process. Almost as though it were by design.

Syn: I will save you, Marlee Whale, I promise. I will save all of you.

END Part III
--

Jerra Syn Ensign Sarren Tan Lieutenant Commander Chythar Skyfire, MD
Probably Not Trill Symbiosis Committee Security/Tactical Brew Continuum Barista
USS Gorkon USS Veritas NCC-95035
O238704AT0 O239704AT0 O239002CS0

Chythar Skyfire & Safine Rael: Lazarus Part IV


(( Skyfire’s Quarters, Starbase 118 ))

Prior to his going to the cryostorage, he had to do a bit of research on Safine Raal’s condition before he could make any determinations on how to go about saving his friend’s life. There wasn’t any data in his notes since the neural blocker failed and he released her into the wild. Safine, as far as he knew, didn’t like him for what he did but was still alive. That made it a rather curious circumstance as to how the joining failed after the neural blocker was successful.

The computer chirped in Rael’s quarters. She wasn’t asleep -- it was far too early for that -- but she was in bed. Cursing softly to herself, she pulled back the sheets, limp legs tangled in the blanket. Cursing louder, her preferred solution to every problem, she finally managed to untangle herself and, scooting sideways on the bed, hopped into her chair, and then swung her legs in after.

The computer chirped again, slightly louder and more insistent, as though offended at the delay.

Rael: I’m coming, goddammit. I’m coming.

She spun her wheels, darting out of her bedroom, into the main living room, and over to her desk. Her computer screen lit up.

Incoming transmission: Chythar Skyfire, MD

Now there was a face she hadn’t seen in a while. The doctor...

Thoughts swirled in her head, mostly unpleasant. She smoothed down her PJs, then opened the channel with a touch.

Rael: =/\= Safine Rael here. Long time no see, Doctor. =/\=

Skyfire: =/\= Indeed. Has been a while. How are you doing these days, Safine? =/\=

Safine managed a little smile, rolling her shoulders absently.

Rael: =/\= Back on the ship. Obviously not in Security anymore, because... you know. ::she coughed:: I’m here, and I’m looking for ways to make myself useful. I’m a lawyer now, did you hear? =/\=

He shrugged slightly and managed a bit of a smile of his own.

Skyfire: =/\= I hadn’t, but congratulations? =/\=

Rael: =/\= Mmf. It wasn’t too difficult, really. Dovetailed off my Security training. Much less about crash-tackling people, much more about their legal rights and how to protect them. ::she tilted her head:: But I’m guessing you’re not here to call about becoming a mature aged student, are you? =/\=

He paused slightly as he considered how best to answer. The fact that she had commented on her new career as a lawyer made him raise an eyebrow in confusion.

Skyfire: =/\= Very interesting. I will admit I lost track after I discharged you when the neural blocker failed. I’d heard that the Tan symbiont is no longer residing within you? =/\=

Rael narrowed her eyes at the comment.

Rael: =/\= You are correct. A product of my injuries, and -- =/\=

Rael jerked up straight, holding up a finger.

Rael: =/\= Hold on. Don’t be alarmed. I’m okay -- promise. Just... =/\=

She coughed, hacked, bent over in her wheelchair, one hand over her mouth. The other frantically sought for a container on the side of her chair, pried it open, and drew out a plastic bag. Into which she immediately dry-heaved, emptying an empty stomach, spit and saliva.

And then the pain started. She dropped the bag onto the desk, groaning feebly, gritting her teeth together as the burning feeling spread up from her pouch, up her chest, like a giant’s hand giving her a full-body twist, flesh beneath her skin in agony.

Rael: =/\= Aaah-AHH! Aaah! Nnn-ggguh! =/\=

Pain. Pain and waves of pain. Damaged nerves trying to make mental contact with a brain that was no longer inside her.

In a few moments, it was over, and Rael managed to raise her head, skin ashen and pale, the colour drained out of her lips.

Rael: =/\= S-sorry, doctor. Comes and goes. Usually in the mornings and evenings. :: she wiped her mouth with the back of her hand:: I’m fine. Really. Sorry. Please continue. =/\=

Chythar could say nothing. Do nothing. He felt helpless, and there was no clear cause he could discern for what happened. As he watched, he reached for the crucifix he wore around his neck and whispered a silent prayer for her. Once whatever it was passed, he spoke.

Skyfire: =/\= You sure you’re alright over there? :: Pause. :: I asked for clarification regarding the symbiont. =/\=

Rael: =/\= Uh... yes. No. You are correct. I lost... I lost the symbiont. ::bitterly:: Those damn butchers carved it out of me like a bung kidney. And the damage to the nerves around my pouch causes... ::she laughed grimly, flourishing a hand across the sick bag:: Well. That. Technically it’s called some-long-name-Syndrome, a form of Trill-specific neurological damage localised to the pouch causing painful complex partial seizures, but I call it Mourning Sickness. =/\=

Skyfire: =/\= Could you provide more information on what caused this? Tricorder scans, DNA samples? =/\=

Rael: =/\= Yeah. I’ll send through what I’ve got. =/\=

Rael scoffed, shaking her head.

Rael: =/\= You remember how happy I was to get joined? Yeah. Look how all this turned out for me. Being joined. What a riot it turned out to be. =/\=

Skyfire: =/\= Yes...As I recall, the Tan symbiont gave you an influx of confidence that I probably mistook for arrogance. You mentioned a group of butchers? Can you tell me what happened to Tan? =/\=

At this point, he was genuinely concerned for his friend’s life. Safine was at least being civil, but as he recalled she didn’t like him very much. The extraction of the symbiont and subsequent life-saving measures had turned Alleran into one of his closest friends, prior to his storage on the starbase.

Rael: =/\= The Tan symbiont was transplanted into a new host after I got shot. A male. Serren Tan. He’s here on the Gorkon. ::she smirked:: Big dumb meathead. You’d like him. ::she paused:: Why? =/\=

Skyfire: Hm. Just doing additional research, is all.

Rael: =/\= Hmm. ::she drummed her fingers on her chair:: Well, no worries. I’ll send through what I have. =/\=

Skyfire: =/\= Thank you. =/\=

Rael: =/\= Can I ask--why the sudden interest in my condition? Is there... something you think you can do for me? =/\=

Skyfire: =/\= I’m not sure yet. Once I get your file I’ll see what I can do. =/\=

Typical.

Rael: =/\= Okay. No worries. If you want to talk to Serren, I can arrange that. If you don’t, no sweat. ::she nodded politely:: See you around, sawbones. =/\=

Skyfire: =/\= See you around, Safine. And thank you. =/\=

She cut the connection, then slumped forward in her chair.

Stupid. Asking about a potential cure was stupid. There was no cure for having her brain removed and her nerves burned away. She was lucky -- so lucky -- be alive at all, and it seemed glutinous to even begin to imagine that she might walk again.

Still, she had to ask. Even if asking made her feel pathetic.

Rael rubbed her knees absently, worrying on her lower lip. There really was no cure for what had happened to her. She could only treat the symptoms...

Rael: Computer, Draylaxian whiskey, neat. Extra large.

The computer hummed, obediently producing her medicine of choice. Rael threw back the drink, savouring the painful burn as it went down. Then she stared out the window of her quarters at the massive starfield beyond.

Rael: Stay safe out there, sawbones.

END Part IV
--

Ensign (ret) Safine Tan Ensign Sarren Tan Lieutenant Commander Chythar Skyfire, MD
Lawyer Security/Tactical Brew Continuum Barista
USS Gorkon USS Veritas NCC-95035
O238704AT0 O239704AT0 O239002CS0

Chythar Skyfire & Jerra Syn - Lazarus, Part V


(( Cryo-storage, Starbase 118 Ops ))

Chythar felt strange being back here with no intent to visit Sal, which had become his custom whenever he was in the region. Today, he had a singular purpose and had cleared it with the administrative folk who managed sickbay. Today, he stood beside one of the cryo-boxes and ran his gloved fingers over the labels until he found the one he was looking for: the one belonging to Alleran Mapak. With a couple of keyswipes across the face of the box, he took possession of the storage unit. Once he exited cryo-storage with the container, he began making preparations to revive his old friend. Then everything went black.

(( The Ring, Trill ))

Chythar woke up, his head throbbing. The lights were off, and he couldn’t actually see anything because he knew his night vision sucked. He felt something like a zip tie around his hands and feet, indicating he was bound. The last time this happened, he was locked in a cage along with several others on Haveley’s Hope. This time, it felt different. He knew something was up, but didn’t know what it was.

Skyfire: ~Alleran?~

No answer. Instead, he blinked a few times and stared off into the darkness. For now, there was nothing. He waited for whatever was supposed to happen next. He had a sneaking suspicion that these people were actually *not* legit, and they weren’t members of the Trill Symbiosis Commission. He took a breath and blew a strand of hair from his face as the lights came on.

Skyfire: oO Note to self, check *all* incoming calls if I don’t recognize them. Oo

At hearing the noise, Jerra smiled goodnaturedly, folding her hands in front of her.

Syn: Oh, you’re awake. Good.

Skyfire: What do you want with me, anyway?

Syn clicked her tongue in thought.

Syn: I want to make you a hero. Not just a hero to a few -- the Captain of the Gorkon, to Starfleet, the chief engineer of your current post, no. But a liberator. A champion. Like one of your Human heroes... Abraham Lincoln. Freer of the slaves. A breaker of chains.

Skyfire: I disagree. If you wanted to make me a hero, you would’ve rolled out the red carpet rather than treat me like a prisoner.

Syn dipped her head apologetically.

Syn: I am sorry, Doctor, for how you have been treated so far. But I need -- my people need -- your knowledge and skill. Trills are not good liars. We could not trick you if we wanted. And...

A strange smile came over her, her head tilting to one side.

Syn: There are infiltrators everywhere. This is why we’re... here. No joined folk. ::she clicked her tongue:: I’m sure I’ll spend the rest of my life in a Trillian prison for this. But if you helped me against your will, then you get all of the credit for being a hero to a whole species, and none of the blame for the crimes I’ve committed. The best of both worlds.

CD shook his head. He was a horrible liar as well, but the false pretenses and he tried using his empathic abilities to get a read on the “commissioner.” There were only a few possibilities at this point, and from the doctor’s perspective, none had a happy ending.

The commissioner’s mind was a swirling maelstrom of emotions. Righteous anger. Fear. Grief. Concern. And... desperation. She was not joined--there was no second mind in there, no faint shimmer in her mind--and she was not malicious.

Righteous.

Skyfire: This must all be some form of mistake. Why don’t you let me go and I’ll pretend this never happened?

Syn: Again, I apologize, but it is not possible. There is too much at stake.

She moved over to him and crouched down beside the doctor, sadness painted all over her face.

Syn: Truly, as someone who hates with a fiery passion infringement on the liberties of my people, it is wrong for me to infringe upon your liberty... especially when you have already been so helpful to us. The irony is not lost on me.

Chythar narrowed his eyes and let his Scots Irish brogue slip back into his voice as he growled his reply.

Skyfire: Irony, hm? You have no idea how much I’m restraining myself from knocking you on your arse.

Syn stood, straightening her back.

Syn: What’s done is done. And I’m prepared to release you now. However, I would ask your cooperation, and... I’m sure that when I explain to you where you are and your surroundings are, you will comply with my humble requests without coercion. If, indeed, you are the kind of man your record says you are.

She closed her eyes a moment, folding her arms in front of her.

Syn: I needed you to know what I am capable of. That I will go to any length, including personal deprivations of liberty, to achieve freedom for my people. It might be too-Vulcan of me to say, but... the needs of the many in this case, override the needs of the few. ::she smiled grimly:: my apologies to the few.

Skyfire: :: bitterly. :: Fine. Speak your piece. oO As I plot how to get the hell outta here. Oo

Syn: I just want you to know how sorry I am. It’s important to me that you know.

CD rolled his eyes and once again tested his restraints. He flexed his hands once again to keep the circulation flowing as he continued to listen to his captor.

Skyfire: You’re about as sorry as an Orion at a slave market, Syn.

Syn: Again. You do not know how sorry I am that I have to do this, and I hope one day to have... if not your forgiveness, then your understanding.

Skyfire: I doubt it.

She’d done her best. Syn straightened her back, inhaling sharply.

Syn: To business. This is a hospital in an area called “The Ring”. It is a... reserve, of sorts. A remote area near the Trill south pole. Nothing but icy death in all directions, so if you were thinking of leaving, then... well. I hope you packed a parka.

Skyfire: Sorry, I left my luggage on the starbase, thanks to you bastards.

Syn raised an eyebrow good-naturedly.

Syn: We’ll replicate you a new one. ::she became serious:: In the next room is a Trill named Marlee Whale, prepared for symbiont extraction. You may know of this person as a temporally displaced version of Marlee Tan from over a hundred years ago. My intention is to replicate your work on Alleran Tan in this timeline, and to remove the symbiont from this host, and if you do not help me she will almost certainly die. If you do help me, there is a chance she may live. You have taken an oath: “First, do no harm, nor allow harm to come to another” ... am I correct?

Skyfire: True, though in the case of Trill that oath applies to both host and symbiont. I’ve never had the pleasure to know Marlee in this universe, so the resemblance might not be one I recognize. Will you be taking the Whale symbiont for yourself? Giving it to Alleran?

If Skyfire had accused her of being a cannibal, it might have drawn a similar reaction of disgust and anger, her upper lip curling back into a dark snarl.

Syn: Why would I enslave myself? Or another? You just don’t get it.

Chythar’s brow furrowed as he attempted to sort out the confusion. He could read the emotions presented, but couldn’t make sense of them. Even with all his training, the words didn’t seem to match his words. It felt like one of those days where he’d been staring at SFMJ articles and gone cross-eyed trying to understand them.

Skyfire: You’re right, I’m not following you. Why don’t you spell it out for me, “commissioner”?

She narrowed her eyes, reaching up and brushing back a strand of her hair.

Syn: Let me be perfectly clear, doctor. I do not want the symbiont for myself or for anyone else. I hate these parasites that have ensorceled our people and enslaved their minds.

That was a turn of events he hadn’t expected. Though then again, everything this fellow was spouting was contrary to what he’d come to know as the beliefs of the Symbiosis Commission. It started to make sense, but only just.

Skyfire: And your plan for the symbionts?

Syn: I want them to return to their dank caves where they can live out their lives in peace. You have my word -- not that you care about that -- that if you can get it out, I won’t harm...it. I hate what they’ve done but I can accept their eternal entombment below the “sacred caves” as adequate punishment. But to do that, I have to figure out how to remove the masters without killing their slaves.

She paused.

Syn: Will you help free my people?

Skyfire: Nope. According to Starfleet directives, I am prohibited from getting involved in a culture’s civil war. I can still help to revive Alleran, but otherwise I cannot help you.

Syn’s face became a bitter frown. A “civil war” was a strange and perhaps dramatic way of talking about her quest, but she could tell he wouldn’t help her. So that was that.

Syn: Then I guess the work will have to continue without you. You’re free to go.

Skyfire: No chance of me getting a ride back to the starbase. Got it.

He waited until he was freed, then headed off out of the cave to make a call.

She looked away, unable to meet the man’s eyes, but resolved to be the hero her species needed.

Just in a different way.

Syn: Ikari, prep the shuttle. And sort us out some new identities. We have a long trip ahead of us...

END Part V
--

Jerra Syn Ensign Sarren Tan Lieutenant Commander Chythar Skyfire, MD
Definitely Not The Trill Symbiosis Committee Security/Tactical Brew Continuum Barista
USS Gorkon USS Veritas NCC-95035
O238704AT0 O239704AT0 O239002CS0

Chythar Skyfire & Alleran Mapak: Lazarus, Part VI


(( Cryo-storage, Starbase 118 Ops ))

Due to his unfortunate “accident” several days or so before after he’d signed for the body, he had to once again go back through cryo-storage and re-file the paperwork to go along with it. As before, he ran his gloved fingers over the icy name plates until he found the one he was looking for. He glanced up at the administrative “shadow” who was watching him.

Skyfire: This is the one. I took custody of it, then was kidnapped before I could revive him.

Malkovin: So, let me get this straight. After you signed for the body the last time to take custody of it and following your subsequent vanishing act, we re-froze the body until your procedure could actually occur under our supervision?

Skyfire: Yes. Because I was kidnapped.

Malkovin: I see. Alright, I just need you to sign here, here and here. Then I will accompany you until your work is complete.

CD sighed and rolled his eyes, pressing his thumb to the PADD in all the relevant places. Government red tape was one of the least favorite things on his list of things to go through. Still, the trio (well, duo and a stasis tube) exited the cryo-storage and proceeded to sickbay.

(( Sickbay, Starbase 118 Ops ))

Chythar set about his task quietly, and didn’t bother explaining anything to his escort. Lieutenant James Malkovin didn’t really mind, as the doctor’s focus seemed to be single-track and focused only on the patient who he was...trying to...save, perhaps? Malkovin didn’t have any Trill friends, so wasn’t sure how this worked.

He had by this point prepared the hypospray and prepared to inject it into his friend’s neck. Once the soft hiss made contact with the Trill’s flesh, CD counted quietly to three as it took effect.

As Alleran opened his eyes, the doctor smiled down at his friend.

Skyfire: And hello to you too, buddy.

Confusion. Pain. The light hurt his eyes. If there was an afterlife, he was not expecting it to look like the roof of his first duty post, Starbase 118.

And the pain. The pain of his missing organ... the symbiont was gone. He felt its absence keenly. He remembered...

He remembered saying goodbye to Quinn, and being so proud that he didn’t cry like a baby. He remembered being put under. He remembered hurting like nothing else, burning deep inside, organ failure. And then...

Mapak: Wha... what? Where am I?

Skyfire: Starbase 118 Ops. Sickbay.

He studied his friend, brain foggy, thoughts barely able to slip through the pain. Skyfire’s face was so familiar, and yet...

Mapak: My god. How long has it been? You look... you look at least five years older. Where--where is the symbiont? I don’t feel it, I...

Skyfire: Six years. You were suffering symptoms of symbiont rejection, which was fatal. I was trying to save you, but I… :: He trailed off. :: I had to save Tan too.

Every Trill knew that the symbionts had to come first. It was just how it was; how their species worked. They lived. They died. The symbiont lived on.

But six years. The symbiont would be long ago implanted into someone else. A new Tan.

He felt so alone. Small. Not just short; diminished, a part of him missing. The symbiont had been part of his life for so long he could not imagine living without it.

Alleran had held on long enough to say goodbye to Quinn. He’d closed his eyes expecting never to open them again, and he was in that moment... happy.

Not this. Not like this.

He shouldn’t be here. It was wrong. If the committee found out about this they would have his head. But then again...

The pain came back, like a twisting-burn on his pouch, and he knew. He knew. Time was limited...

Mapak: You did... the right thing. But why... why am I here?

Skyfire: I...you might not believe me, but I wanted a chance to say good bye. Maybe it was selfish of me to think you wanted the same thing.

That was reasonable. Everyone wanted their chance to say goodbye; modern medicine afforded them so many miracles.

But he could not live in a frozen chamber forever. He could not, would not, exist as a frozen popsicle waiting for some cure that would never come. Laying there, unmoving, only to be awoken in pain... always pain.

They were trying to keep him alive out of friendship, out of respect, out of love, but it was too much. There was a time everything had to end. He was not Lazurus this time.

Mapak: Not selfish. Not much you can do, after so many years, so... so it’s okay.

Alleran ran his tongue over his dry lips. He felt so cold, his mind empty, alone, and frightened. It wasn’t how he wanted to go on.

Mapak: But I think it’s time for me to go. I thought I would after--after Quinn. I feel... out of place. This isn’t my world anymore.

CD reached a hand down to Alleran’s, squeezing it gently.

Alleran managed a shaky smile, squeezing back.

Mapak: You fought so hard to save me. But I... I shouldn’t be here. I’m slipping away. I can feel it--I can feel it.

CD glanced down at his friend and struggled to find the words. He did his best to keep the tears at bay, but he could only ask the one question.

Skyfire : Was it enough?

The symbiont and its memories were gone, but he knew that it had felt the same thing before. He knew where this was going. The same place they would all go one day.

Mapak: It’s a good way... good way to go. Just... no pain. No pain. I’ve had a lifetime of pain, and... I would like to go easy, if it’s all the same to you.

Chythar nodded and prepped a hypo of pain killer with his free hand, a single tear running down his face. He had waited six years to say this, and it was his first time losing a patient that he couldn’t save since the academy.

Skyfire: It’s….It’s been an honor to know you, Alleran. Be at peace. :: With a somewhat shaky hand, he injected it into Alleran’s neck. ::

Alleran closed his eyes, taking in a deep breath, holding it for a moment, then letting it out. There was a playful little nickname... the new Tan would know it, because he knew it.

Mapak: See you on the other side, sawbones.

With the painkiller taking away the pain, Alleran let it all slip away.

And there was no more pain.

Chythar held his friend’s hand until the monitor read that his heart had stopped. With CD’s own heart filled with the greater sadness at losing a patient he did his utmost damnedest to save who just died on the table, he glanced up at the ceiling and called out to nobody in particular.

Skyfire: Computer, log time of death for Alleran Mapak at 2324 on this stardate, pronounced by lieutenant commander Chythar Daniel Skyfire, MD and transmit the death certificate to the symbiosis commission.

The computer chirpped in acknowledgment, and Chythar relinquished the body back to his escort pending funeral arrangements from the commission.

END Part VI
--

Lt. Commander Alleran Mapak Ensign Sarren Tan Lieutenant Commander Chythar Skyfire, MD
Formerly of the USS Garuda Security/Tactical Brew Continuum Barista
USS Gorkon USS Veritas NCC-95035
O238704AT0 O239704AT0 O239002CS0

Chythar Skyfire & Ens. Serren Tan: Lazarus, Part VII


(( Guest Quarters, Little Risa, Starbase 118 Ops ))

It had been three days since Alleran’s body had been sent back to Trill for burial. Chythar was waiting for a shuttle that was heading back out toward the Shoals. He had just gotten back from the beach, and was still wet from his swim. As he toweled off again, he took a seat at the console and put on a shirt.

Skyfire: Computer, display all available Starfleet information on Ensign Tan, any host. Highlight present host.

Computer: Acknowledged. :: It chirped for a few moments and displayed file after file. Finally, the most recent name came up: Ensign Serren Tan, USS Gorkon. ::

Skyfire: Place a call to the Gorkon for Ensign Serren Tan.

The face that greeted him was so much like Alleran, in the eyes at least. The warmth at seeing an old friend was clearly there. Yet, he didn’t know this ensign at all. Only a part of him that he’d tried so hard to rescue. He hoped that Tan would recognize him, at the very least. Even if the new host didn’t.

Skyfire: Greetings, ensign. Nice to see you alive and well. I’m Dr. Skyfire.

Serren’s eyes lit up. Now there was a familiar face. One he hadn’t seen in some time.

Tan: Haha, well how now sawbones, haven’t seen you in an age! I was wondering when you were going to call!

Tan grabbed his collar, holding out his single pip. He wasn’t sure if Safine and Skyfire had ever actually served together -- her memories were ghostly and ethereal to him, just a handful of still frames and the occasional full-life memory.

All of the complete memories were of Quinn Reynolds, which he was sure was just a big coincidence.

Tan: Check it out. I’m an Ensign again. With security. I’m buff now! And tall! This host loves fitness. Probably a bit too much. And guitar, and plants. Plants everywhere!

Skyfire: Indeed. I’m...I’m glad you’re okay, buddy. :: He paused for a moment. :: Speaking of hosts...um… ::He fidgeted a moment as he tried to figure out how to say what he needed to about Marlee Whale. :: What’re you up to?

Tan beamed widely, leaning forward in his chair.

Tan: Oh, you know, just one thing after another! We went to a theme park full of dinosaurs that escaped and nearly ate us. A Romulan dinosaur bit me on the butt, which was pretty rough I gotta say, but hey. The bite wasn’t nearly as bad as the venom, but... uhh. ::he grinned sheepishly:: A cute doctor helped fix me up. So that’s neat.

Skyfire: You gotta stop finding yourself in those positions, pal. Getting hurt isn’t fun.

Serren held up his hands.

Tan: Hey, I’m just saying. It hurt a lot, but I’m okay now, and I’m really settling into my new position here. This host is so different! And yet, also, a bit of the same. It’s... ::he struggled for the right word, snapping his fingers a few times:: Comforting.

Skyfire: I can see how a life of routine provides a sense of comfort. I had a mix of that. Civilian life and Starfleet.

Tan: So. I spilled all my tea, how about you take a turn now, huh? Saved anyone else recently? I still owe you a bottle of something blue and terribly strong for all your work with Reynolds back in the day, you know. I... I’m glad she’s still kicking. If you hadn’t saved her then, then I wouldn’t be on this ship.

Tan: oO And Alleran wouldn’t have been able to see her in the end. Oo

He considered that for a moment. Had he saved anyone else recently? Not really. A few years ago, he’d saved Rosek. These days, he was back in the business of saving lives for something more severe than burning his hands on coffee pots.

Skyfire: Not recently. Lael Rosek was the last one I saved. And I guess Alleran, to a degree. I...I pulled him out of stasis a few days ago and we got to say good bye properly…

Alleran was... still around? His surprise was total. His previous host should have been long dead.

Tan: You did? He was... alive? And talking?

Skyfire: Only for a few minutes, yes. It was good we got the chance. I’m...I’m still not entirely clear on how you ended up as Sarren Tan, though. Last time I actually saw...I mean, the other you...was when Ensign Safine Tan was assigned to the Gorkon during my brief tour as Reynolds’ FO. I was conducting research on symbiotic rejection, so I was granted permission to keep him in stasis as I worked.

Oh boy. Serren rubbed the back of his head awkwardly.

Tan: Safine was ... injured shortly after that. So bad they pulled her symbiont. Ironically, a lingering effect of the chemical blocker you put her on meant that she didn’t die. She can’t walk, but doctor, you should know: you might not have intended it, but the medicine you used to try and save Alleran actually saved Safine. Without it she’d be dead.

That came as a shock to him. His eyes widened for a moment and he nodded slightly before shifting the subject back toward his true reason for making this call.

Skyfire: Very, very interesting. :: Nodding. :: That’s not the only reason I called though. I was on Trill recently and there was a commissioner named Syn. Mentioned something about a temporally displaced host of yours -- Marlee Whale. Does either name ring any bells for you?

He didn’t know this Commissioner Syn, but the name Marlee Whale didn’t just ring the bells, it tore them off their mounts and hurled them onto the street below.

Tan: Marlee Whale... fire gods alight. Another me, from another time and another place. We’ve met, but not as Serren, only as Alleran. He was there when she was discovered.

Skyfire: That’s where it gets complicated. I was trying to get Alleran’s body out of cryostorage on 118, but I must’ve been drugged or something because I woke up on Trill at somewhere called The Ring. Syn wanted me to help do what I did to get you--I mean, Tan...out of Marlee so she could be “liberated”. I couldn’t help because of directives; both as a physician and as Starfleet.

Well. Talk about a cavalcade of relevant things that all meant a lot coming all at once.

Of course Skyfire could not interfere in an internal Trillian affair. But why The Ring? Why his childhood home?

One thing stood out beyond all the others. The kind of thing that bought a dark, thunderous scowl to his face.

Tan: Wait. She was a vulture -- a symbiont thief?

That was indeed an odd question. Though to what end, exactly, CD had no idea. He could only speculate on what he didn’t fully comprehend. The Trillian internal affairs this touched upon bothered him on more than one level, but he did recall something from Syn’s explanation that stood out above the rest.

Skyfire: I guess? The wording she used was “return to their dank caves where they can live out their lives in peace.” I think this translates to “leave the symbiont alone to die in a cave somewhere.” Which, as you know, I wouldn’t have been able to do for professional reasons.

Huh. Well that was something one didn’t hear about every day. He rubbed his chin thoughtfully. The symbiont caves were not fatal to symbionts, but they were blind and deaf there, denied experiences and lives.

Tan: I... huh. I don’t know. The Ring is my home -- this host’s home -- and it’s isolated, remote, and insular. I know why she would have gone there, because it’s the perfect place to hide. Kind of like a Human driving into the desert on their world. Except colder.

A large amount of information was slowly processed by Serren’s brains.

Tan: Liberated, huh. That’s an odd thing to phrase it. I’m not sure what all this means, Doctor, but I will keep my eyes out. And I’ll contact the Trillian authorities, try and track down Marlee Whale. We haven’t had much contact over the years but given she’s got a copy of my symbiont, I’m sure if she’s out there, I can make contact with her.

Skyfire: Last I heard, she was also a “patient” of Syn’s, and was there the same time as me. Good luck.

Tan: Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I’ll make the necessary arrangements.

Skyfire: It was great seeing you again, old man. :: He smiled at his old friend. :: If there’s anything else I can do to help, don’t hesitate to let me know. Alright?

Serren smiled back, warm as sunlight.

Tan: Any time, sawbones. Take care of yourself.

END Part VII
--

Ensign Sarren Tan Lieutenant Commander Chythar Skyfire, MD
Security/Tactical Brew Continuum Barista
USS Gorkon USS Veritas NCC-95035
O239704AT0 O239002CS0

Jerra Syn: Lazarus, Part VIII


(( Location unknown ))

Jerra Syn held the laser scalpel in her hand, staring down at the Trill below her. Marlee Whale kicked and struggled, but her bindings were too tight and too strong. They would hold a Klingon.

Whale: Mmmf! Mmmmf!

Syn: I’m so sorry. It would have been easier if Doctor Skyfire was here to help me with this, but you’re doing yourself no favours by struggling so much.

She hovered the laser scalpel over her prisoner’s pouch, ready to cut.

Marlee Whale kicked some more, thrashing about on the bed despite the restraints. Even a few millimetres was a problem.

Syn: Keep still, or this is going to get a lot worse for you.

Marlee said something that the gag completely muffled, but Syn could tell it was not polite.

Syn: If you force me to use a chemical restraint, then your chances go down even further. Please. Just let me try.

More kicking. More struggling. The bluff didn’t pay off.

The laser scalpel hovered over Marlee Whale’s pouch. Removing the symbiont would free this displaced person from another reality.

Yet, she seemed so afraid. And Syn hesitated.

Syn: I can’t.

The scalpel clattered to the ground, safety kicking in and the “blade” winking out. She fled the room, ashamed, leaving Marlee Whale in the dark.

END Part VIII
--

Jerra Syn Ensign Sarren Tan Lieutenant Commander Chythar Skyfire, MD
Definitely Not The Trill Symbiosis Committee Security/Tactical Brew Continuum Barista
USS Gorkon USS Veritas NCC-95035
O238704AT0 O239704AT0 O239002CS0

Marlee Whale: Lazarus, Part IX


(( Location unknown ))

It took her hours to get free of the restraints, dislocating several of the slender bones in her hand, and when she was finally free Marlee Whale ran for her damn life.

She sprinted down random, featureless corridor after random featureless corridor, through any door that would open, until she stumbled into an airlock. Beyond the glass was a roaring blizzard.

She was still on The Ring.

Whale: Dammit!

With no other options, Marlee picked a corridor at random and sprinted down it, coughing as dust filled her lungs. There were no signs of other people, and the cold air bit at her exposed skin. The tunnels were cold, warmer than outside certainly, and running helped keep her warm.

She came upon a door. Thick and metal and insulated, with a round porthole at about head height. Beyond which she could see two heads walking past.

Marlee banged furiously on the door.

Whale: Hey! HEY! I’m stuck in here!

The two people on the other side -- barely more than kids really -- came back, their faces filling the round porthole.

Male Kid: What are you doing in there?

Whale: Open the door!

The door cranked open, entirely mechanically. Through the porthole she could see one of the kids, a short female Trill with an entirely shaved head, working some kind of large lever. Each time she pumped it, the door opened a little more.

Finally Marlee was able to squeeze out. Covered in dust and sweat, she practically flopped onto the deck.

Her savours, two teenage Trill dressed in strange puffy clothes and thick furs, crouched over her.

Female Kid: You okay? What were you doing in Section 4? That area’s been shut down for decades.

Marlee pulled herself up onto her knees.

Whale: I was kidnapped. ::she wiped her forehead with the back of her hand:: Come to think about it, what are you doing here?

The boy squirmed uncomfortably.

Female Kid: Um. Kaetar and I are--we sometimes uhh... sneak down here for, you know... study.

She did not believe that for a single second, but at the same time, she had done much worse. Sneaking into Jefferies tubes on the Ackerman to “study” with her husband while they were junior officers. And... other things.

Male Kid: Don’t tell anyone.

Marlee just laughed.

Whale: I won’t. Now get me a communicator. I need to talk to... ::she struggled to remember the man’s name:: Doctor Skyfire.

END Part IX
--

Commander (ret) Marlee Whale Ensign Sarren Tan Lieutenant Commander Chythar Skyfire, MD
Civilian Security/Tactical Brew Continuum Barista
USS Gorkon USS Veritas NCC-95035
O238704AT0 O239704AT0 O239002CS0

Chythar Skyfire & Marlee Whale: Lazarus, Part X


(( Comm Array, The Ring ))

After showering and putting on clean clothes, Marlee sat down and patched herself into Starbase 118’s communications array. The equipment was so old and outdated that she was actually, personally, familiar with it. The relay would have been cutting edge technology during her day. Which explained why it was covered in dust and cobwebs.

Whale: Open a connection to Doctor Skyfire, M.D., on the starbase.

The computer whirred, struggling with the request. Such delays were normal in her timeline. After four or five seconds it chirped happily, signalling the connection was made. The doctor’s face flickered onscreen after a few moments, and he looked like he’d just woken up.

Skyfire: Hello?

The image shook and wobbled, full of static and distortion.

Whale: Doctor.

Skyfire: The connection’s horrible. You reading me okay?

Marlee ran her fingers through her hair.

Whale: Sorry for the state of the connection. This equipment is... ancient. ::she smiled sardonically:: Almost as old as me. But it works.

He did recall reading her dossier when he was digging through information on the Tan symbiont. After his “incident” at The Ring, he made it a point to look up Marlee Whale as well. Especially since he was asked to basically go against his oaths in a non-life-threatening situation.

Skyfire: Marlee Whale, I presume. You doing alright, all considered?

Was she ever? Marlee blew out a long sigh.

Whale: I’m okay. Ring security is sweeping all the abandoned areas of this bizarre place, but I don’t think they’ll find anything. Syn seemed too smart to leave behind obvious clues as to where she might go next. Or who she really was. I’m afraid she’s in the wind.

Skyfire: Starfleet’s going to have a field day tracking her down. So you’re aware of the circumstances surrounding why I couldn’t go through with the procedure?

Whale: I know. I was a Starfleet Commander a hundred years ago, things haven’t changed that much in terms of the mission of the service. I just... thought you should know. ::She closed her eyes a moment:: For what it’s worth, my next call will be to the Trillian government. Expect a letter of apology to arrive in your inbox at some point. Kidnapping Starfleet officers gets you put in the no-no box. They’ll want to avoid a diplomatic incident if possible.

A hundred years was a long time. Then again, Chythar didn’t have that much hope for his own lifespan to be quite that long due to the shortcomings of his species. She was a joined Trill, it was to be expected.

Skyfire: I see. Thank you. :: He paused for a long moment. :: Forgive me, I’m at a bit of a loss of how to interact with you, specifically. I mean, in this universe, you and I never met.

She got that a lot.

Whale: There doesn’t seem to be any way back, so just... treat me like a stupid Trill who knows nothing I suppose. Just some random civilian. ::she mused thoughtfully:: You know, Captain Pike would have just punched his way out of this scenario. This time period is so weird.

Skyfire: To be fair, the alternate reality I visited that one time was what I considered weird. So everyone thinks everyone else’s timeline is weird if they’re temporally displaced.

Whale: Hah. You sound like the therapist from that stupid Temporally-Slash-Chronologically Displaced Persons Survivors Group.

Chythar shrugged. He didn’t know what to make of her, really. She seemed almost disoriented and confused, and thus far the conversation was probably a bit derailed from her original intent as to why she called. He quirked a brow, and decided to return to the reason she chose to call him.

Skyfire: So to what, other than to inform me of your intent to inform your government, do I owe the pleasure of making your acquaintance?

She quirked an eyebrow, genuinely having no plans beyond simply informing the good doctor of her intention to snitch on Syn to the government, but the question was amusing enough to answer.

Whale: Well... whatever you said to Syn back there, whoever she really was, it seemed to have an impression on her. She was about to cut out the symbiont and she simply couldn’t seem to bring herself to do it. Obviously, you put enough doubt in her to make her not want to carry out whatever insane loopy plan she had brewing in that spotty head of hers. He raised another eyebrow and decided it was time to reveal his “secret” weapon. Someone had always told him that diplomacy was a game best played with live ammo. Apparently, his words had an impact, and he attributed his recent success to his well practiced way with words.

Skyfire: Ah, yes. Diplomacy. Best played with live ammunition. Between that and my professionalism, I think it was enough.

Whale: I hope so. ::she folded her arms in front of her:: Still. I can’t help but think we haven’t seen the last of Syn, whoever she is. I mean, her last name is literally “Syn”... so.

Skyfire: You’re right. I doubt we’ve seen the last of her. :: Not-so-dramatic and momentary pause. :: On Earth we spell “sin” with an I.

Whale smirked impishly.

Whale: My former husband’s name means “Big Fish”, from what I understand, so... spelling and Earth meanings aren’t exactly my forte.

She considered.

Whale: Still. Seriously. I’ll keep an eye out. If spotty organ-stealing zealots come around to my neck of the woods again, I’ll let them know.

Skyfire: Sounds like a plan.

END Part X
--

Commander (ret) Marlee Whale Ensign Sarren Tan Lieutenant Commander Chythar Skyfire, MD
Civilian Security/Tactical Brew Continuum Barista
USS Gorkon USS Veritas NCC-95035
O238704AT0 O239704AT0 O239002CS0