SIM:Lieutenant Aresee Ventu - "Specter"

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Cmdr. Lily Ventu
Commading Officer
Starbase 118 Operations

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238312.09 (December 12, 2006)

(( Bridge ))

:: Aresee awoke to bright lights and more noise than she was ever accustomed to hearing in her quarters. She stretched slowly, wondering where she was...and then it all came rushing back. She contracted her body, curling up so as to present as small a target as possible. At the same time, she looked around carefully, wondering where she was.

A moment later, when she'd realized where she was, she sat up, though she was more confused than ever.

She was on the bridge. Moreover, she was on Victory's bridge. She recognized all of the officers on the bridge, though none of them were members of the senior staff. She was curled in the middle of the bridge, between the command chairs and the helm station, but no one had given her a second glance. In fact, no one had given her a *first* glance.

What was going on?

She slowly stood up and walked over to the helm station. She reached out to tap the crewman on the shoulder... ::

VENTU: Ensign-

:: He ignored her, so she tapped his shoulder. Or, at least she tried. Her hand slid straight through him, as if she was as insubstantial as a hologram. She backpedaled wildly, throwing herself right into the captain's chair. The chair was already occupied, though. Aresee was sitting in the chair, but she was also sitting *inside* the lieutenant who was sitting in the chair.

She sprang up just as a voice cut through the babble on the bridge. Before it had even said three words, she knew it was aimed at her. ::

???: Stop trying to figure it out. You can't. Now, come here and listen to me.

:: She looked around and immediately identified the speaker. She was a petite woman with long brown hair in a severe ponytail. She wore a strange uniform; it looked kind of like a regular uniform, but it also bore a passing resemblance to an EVA suit. She was standing near the tactical station, and she was beckoning to Aresee with her eyes. ::

WOMAN: I'll explain everything. Come on.

:: She turned and walked toward the turbolift, following a crewman who was heading in the same direction. Aresee hurried to follow, and they joined the oblivious crewman. ::

CREWMAN: Deck two.

WOMAN: Good.

VENTU: Who *are* you? And what have you done to me?

WOMAN: *We* weren't going to do anything. But if the Other Side wants to try and intervene directly, we have the right to do the same.

VENTU: Why am I invisible?!

WOMAN: You're not invisible. You've been temporally shifted, but only slightly. That's why you can pass through people, but the features of the room are still tangible.

VENTU: That's very interesting, but...

WOMAN: Right, the explanation. ..

:: Just then, the turbolift doors opened. The crewman got out, but Aresee followed the woman around a different corner, towards the Gosport Galley. ::

WOMAN: I'm Aurelie, for all that means to you. I can't tell you very much, because of the...

VENTU: Temporal Prime Directive.

AURELIE: Right. Of course, I should have realized *you* would know about that. Anyway, here's what I can tell you: I know about the message you received from your mother. What she didn't tell you was that this rather unimportant prisoner transfer is important enough that different factions from the future are willing to interfere directly in order to make sure it turns out the way they want it to. One of those factions wants *you* out of commission, specifically.

VENTU: Why? Why am I so important?

AURELIE: It has to do with your mother, and that's all I can say. They wanted to simply take you... but since we've prevented that, they will be content with killing you by destroying this ship.

VENTU: ...Ah...

AURELIE: Yes. And that's not all: During your transfer, our temporal cloaking device was damaged. In effect, we're trapped as ghosts until we are able to repair it.

VENTU: "We"?

AURELIE: There are maybe half a dozen of us on this ship right now.

:: They walked through the temporarily open doors into the mess hall, where the reception was still in full swing. ::

VENTU: What can we do?

AURELIE: As I said, we're slightly out of temporal sync, but we're still *here*. We should be able to communicate with a telepath, if there are any onboard.

VENTU: ::shaking head:: No, there aren't any Betazoids on board, or any other species that can probe minds. ::thinking:: Unless...


VENTU: I think I remember reading that the captain has some psychic powers...

AURELIE: Well, it's worth a try... But first...

:: For the first time, Aresee noticed two other temporally-shifted officers wandering through the crowd in the Galley. They were now talking with Aurelie, so Aresee drifted over to where some of the senior officers were gathered, and listened to what they were saying... ::

DIAMOND: Thank you. Julia, would you mind seeing what is keeping the counselor? This is her party as well, she shouldn't miss it.

:: With a start, Aresee realized that she *was* missing, and that people would start to search for her. Was that a good thing or a bad thing? She wasn't sure. Nevertheless, when Julia turned to go, Aresee followed... ::

Lieutenant Aresee Ventu
U.S.S. Victory