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  Lieutenant Bevin MacArdry, Lt Shadow K'Trevala, Lieutenant Aaron Riedinger, SD
Tendrils of Thought

Lt. K’Trevala, Shadow Wind.
Lt. MacArdry, Bevin Sile.
Lt. Riedinger, Aaron.

SD 201812.24
Based upon the events that occurred on the sim of the SD: 201812.21:

And the once called "one-trip mission" was over. The Away Team commanded by Colonel Patterson had returned. They had infiltrated the Kyrathian facility and had returned. Or at least, most had returned: the death of Nottingham and Mouser was something that surely saddened the entire crew, as well as the unfortunate loss of a Delta Flight craft and its crew of four men. All this, with the aim of gaining intelligence about the methods of the Kyrathian in terms of the creation and maintenance of their "ships" and on the activities they perform in the station. While there were many unforeseen events and the mission was not perfect, the success of the same will be determined by the analysis of the information that was brought from the detachment. They had gathered multiple sources of information about the Kyrathians, being the strawberry of the dessert the scanner of the Ens. T'lin with a data download from a main node -whose analysis would surely fall under the hands of the Science Department-. Aaron, from his humble part, had only collected different readings with his tricoder on various aspects of the Kyrathian "technology", in addition to bringing a pair of tendrils that he cut, in an act of despair, from the main node.    

After spending a couple of days in his room for rest (recommended and authorized by the doctors of the ship due to the slight injuries that the mission had caused), Aaron decided that it was time to go down to the caves again, to return to Engineering. He was excited to show Bevin the tricorder he had brought and to listen to her professional opinion, but what he thought was more intriguing were the tendrils. He had hoped that in the said tendrils they could find some response to the Kyrathian-Kyrathian and Node-Kyrathian / Kyrathian-Node communication system. Because of that, he took the nearest turbolift from his quarters on Deck 6, and went down anxiously towards Main Engineering on Deck 9 taking with him the tricoder and the tendrils.

Leaving the turbolift and seeing Bevin right there, he remembered the experiences he had spent in the mission and how the suit she had designed had so efficiently protected T'lin's life and surely his own. Therefore, he could not help but go almost running to greet her and give her a big hug, almost lifting her off the ground. He said with joy: “Jefa! The biosuits worked! The biosuits worked!!! They saved T'lin's life when she came in contact with the spores! Is not that fantástico !?”.

Bevin grinned on hearing Aaron’s voice and then the grin grew even bigger as she gle mhathheard that the suits had worked so well for them. ”Aye, gle mhath, tha’s grait, Aaron, an tha Cammandir ailraedy tawld me tae gait tha suits aintae prawductshun. We’ve ailraidy maid twainty ain aich o tha staindaird sizis an we kin fairthir tailir same o tha suits fer aindaividjial cases ais naid be.” She was grinning and running the suits in the replicator under an electron microscope to make sure they were practically flawless and able to stand up to the rigors that the teams faced when running into the Kyrathians and their plants. She was out to do everything that she could to protect her shipmates from anything that might threaten them.

“Oh, yeah, maybe we have to adjust the helmets for our friends with pointy ears. I saw some of the tips of the ears brushing against the interior, and believe me, it did not seem comfortable.”, Aaron told her while smiling. “But, do you think you can leave that to Thums? I brought home something of the most interesting.” He started looking in his purse and pulled out a couple of "cables" about a half meter. They were mostly black, splashed in some parts with a more gray color. “We managed to cut a couple of tendrils from one of the main nodes of the Kyrathian Station.”, he said as he shook them in his hands. “I was hoping that by studying them we can discover how the plant's network works. You know ... to discover how it processes and stores information, how it communicates and relates to the different classes of Kyrathians ... that kind of things. With a little luck, we could be a few steps away from understanding better how their technology works!“, he said as he gave her one of the tendrils.    

She nodded. ”Ait’s daifinitely a passibility an iffin we kin gait aithir Cammandir Railak air Daktir Shadaw taw hailp wi thair maintil aibilities, we mait be aibil tae inkavvir ivvin mair thain we aixpicted.” She tried to lightly probe the tendrils with her own mental abilities but they seemed to be geared more toward the mechanical areas than the organic.

“I'd bet the poor Commander already has his own problems with T'lin's scanner. And yeah … she managed to download information from the same node where these friends come from.", Aaron said while shaking the tendril he was holding. “But surely we can count on Shadow.”, he said while pressing his combadge. ++Aaron to Shadow. Doctor, do you think you could come down to Main Engineering for a minute? It is an emergency. No … sorry! Not the kind of emergency you're thinking ... I forgot I was talking to a Doctor! We have a couple of elements from one of the nodes of the Station and we want you to take a look at them.++

Shadow took the call from Aaron with a bit of alarm at first, he knew how dangerous Main Engineering could be with all the mechanicals working full time as they were keeping the ship and everything about her functioning properly in ANY condition that they might find themselves to be in. The situation with the Kyrathians was no exception to the rule. ++Shadow here, I’ll be down in a few moments, Aaron. And, next time, please say at the beginning that it is NOT a medical emergency when you call up to either Dr. T or me if it’s something like this. Of course, if it IS a medical emergency, let us know straight out so we’ll be ready for the carnage when we get there.++ Shadow looked over at Ben and nodded. “Call me if you need me, I’ll be down in Main Engineering, helping out the gear guys and gals with something they’re working on.” He knew that Ben was an excellent medical student and that the young man had been working hard to obtain his medical degree. It wouldn’t be long till they’d have to hold a graduation ceremony for the former nurse and put him into rotation as an intern. In fact, it might not be a bad idea to get Ben in on this project as well since his instincts were good and he had the passion of a true researcher.

It didn’t take Shadow long to get down to Engineering and he watched the two in there a moment to see what they were doing and get a feel for their project before letting his appearance be known. ”Y’all wanted me here for something dealing with those tendrils?”

“Yeah! And for something dealing with your peculiar mind too.”, Aaron told him, as he walked towards the Doctor to give him the other tendril. “We had hoped to determine how the relationship between the plant and the Kyrathians worked, with the sublime goal of having a more accurate understanding of how their technology works.” Aaron pointed to Bevin. "Since that relationship seems to be telepathic, la Jefa thought: -Hey, why do not we call some telepathic expert and ask him?-. But, with a slightly more Scottish accent, you know. So, what do you say? Do you think you can help us? If you could communicate with Relok from the Station, this has to be a piece of cake, right?”

Shadow thought about what the young engineer was saying and it did make a certain amount of sense overall, but he and Relok had other factors in their relationship that augmented their mental compatibility that was not guaranteed with the tendrils, though Relok, were he to have one in hand and Shadow holding the other, they might be able to get something but, again, nothing was certain. With luck, they could use the tendrils to hijack the Kyrathian nodes and get into their databases but they had already been detected once with their communications and there was the possibility that the Kyrathians were just waiting for them to try it again so they could try to take over the Darmok instead. “It’s risky and I’d like to have someone here that and could monitor the experiment with the ability to knock me or whoever else is in it out of the feedback loop if it became necessary.” They were treading on dangerously thin ice here and he wanted to make sure that they had a lifeline ready in case of disaster.

Aaron touched his waist and said: "Since we are all armed ... someone could control you by aiming with a phaser set in stun. But that would be muy raro. If you mean someone controlling you mentally ... “, he touched the Doctor's shoulder. “... I think the only one capable would be Commander Relok, right?" He looked at Bevin.

Shadow shook his head.”Commander Relok would be my first choice, true, but if I remember correctly, Bevin’s also somewhat telepathic. Her whole family, other than her, are empathic healers, like I am, and I think she is part of the descendants of a second colony the Vians founded when they realized how many of Gem’s people there were.”

Bevin nodded. ”I thaink ye’re raight, Shaddaw, waeld saim tae fait wi tha haistiries we hae baick hame.” She looked over to Aaron.”I’m nae ais guid ais tha Cammandir whain ait    
cames tae maind-maijik, but I kin try iffin ye naid me tae...”

Aaron smiled and joined both palms of his hands. “Well ... it's settled then. If you lend me a medical tricorder, I can monitor the vital signs of both of you and stop this ... experiment ... at the least sign of conflict.”

Shadow handed over his tricorder to Aaron. ”I’m pretty sure you’re familiar with these.You might want to take a baseline reading before we start so you can tell if anything is going wrong…” He checked the medkit and pulled out a hypospray and inserted a vial of medication into the chamber. “Ok I’ve pre-loaded the hypo with a fast-acting anesthetic in case you need to knock me out.” He set a second vial on the console that had what appeared to be a red gold-flecked liquid in it. “This is Merasha, Use it if you need to break the link between me and them. It will knock out my telepathic and empathic abilities for a couple of days but if you feel the need to use it, go ahead, just let Commander Relok know if you do.” He looked over at Bevin. “I learned the secret of it from your brother, Lochlann, we were in some of the classes at the Academy together.”

Aaron laughed. "Basic training at the Academy only, mi amigo. I did not get on very well with medicine, but hopefully it was not necessary, at least now." He grabbed the Doctor's tricoder, looked at it for a few seconds and then grabbed the hypospray. "It can not be more compromising than infiltrating a Kyrathian Station. And it will be less strange than to be aiming to you with a phaser. Relok will be the first to find out if there is a problem with your ... mind?” He looked at Bevin and put a hand on her shoulder. “Jefa, do you need anything else?”    

Bevin shook her head. ”Nae tha I kin thaink o, raight naw, Aaron, aind wi tha Merasha, ye dinna naid mich tae scraimbil tha maintil paithways, aiboot ane saysay shaeld dae aisily.” She leaned over and playfully kissed his nose.

“Yeah ... let’s hope you're right.", Aaron replied to her while shaking his hair. He started scanning the Doctor with the med-tricoder. “We really appreciate this, Doc. Everything ready?”

“As far as I know, yes, Aaron, it seems like we’re going to be in the middle of things yet once again…” He settled down on the floor, cross-legged and his back against the console, as he stilled his mind and began trying to link with the tendril and the associated node on the Kyrathian ship.

“Yes, Doctor, but at least this time we will be safe in the Darmok and not inside a Station with a taste of external aesthetics that is quite questionable.", Aaron said as he began to check his vital signs. “Buena suerte, Doc. Have a good time there … wherever you go.”

After about ten minutes passed, Shadow remained in the same position he had started with. A group of 6 engineers who, apparently, were in the lunch break, also decided to go see the show. Tension felt in the environment to perceive that the good Doctor was not disturbed by anything. “His vital signs are normal ... but I do not know ... ", Aaron said and then looked at Bevin. "... a long time has passed, more than I expected. Jefa ... should we interfere?". He looked at the Merasha with a raised eyebrow.

Bevin shook her head as she also watched the doctor. Shadow was right, their people were from the same rootstock and, while she could not do everything he did, she could help monitor him in his journey along the tendril and make sure his mental circuits were not scrambled by the unfamiliar contacts with the Kyrathian biotechnology. She laid her hand on the doctor’s shoulder to see if there were anything further that she could tell from their contact, but the mental pictures she was getting were much more reminiscent of neural structures than they were of computer cables, though each performed the same functions, the neural method was almost instantaneous while the best fiber optic methods were molasses-in-Alaska-in-January slow in comparison.

Shadow was suddenly blindly reaching for something with his right hand, acting like he was trying to sketch something. Bevin looked over at Aaron. ”Gait a Paidd, he’s gat samethin tha he naids is tae knaw an he canna gi ait tae is ain werds.”    

One of the engineers who was also watching heard Bevin's call before Aaron and handed her the PADD. Aaron was lost in med-tricoder, trying to understand it and worried about not giving any wrong diagnosis, so he did not listen her quickly.

When the PADD was retrieved, she placed it on Shadow’s lap and guided his hand to it where he began sketching out fragmentary pictures of the interior of the Kyrathian ship, apparently some data remnant from what was left in the tendril. About fifteen minutes later, he sighed and stopped sketching. ”Hope this helps, y’all, mainly some of the data that was still in there about the ship and some of the sketches of some of their organic ‘circuit boards’. I wasn’t able to get too much on their communication capabilities but this might help you start in on getting a handle on their tech capabilities.”

Aaron got up quickly and grabbed the PADD with the Doctor's sketches. He looked at its contents in a couple of seconds and said: “Oh, yeah, this is good. Very good. Muy muy bueno. It was not what we expected, but maybe ... it's better. With this, we can theorize about the different designs of their Stations, ships, consoles and other pieces of their... technology?!.”

Shadow smiled as he leaned his head back against the console. “Would you mind getting me some chocolate caliente? I’m definitely needing the sugar and the caffeine before I try getting up… Also, you might try letting Bevin look at it. She’s pretty familiar with biomechanical interfaces and how they work. I know her family tried to pound the medical ‘bio’ part into her head and she turned out better at the mechanics.”

Aaron smiled and gave the PADD to Bevin. "Oh, yes, sorry Jefa. It was the excitement of the moment. It's all yours now. I'd better go get your hot drink, Doctor." He went quickly to the storage room to replicate Shadow's chocolate.

Bevin shot Shadow the LOOK as she took the PADD and started tracing the schematics he’d drawn, only to have the scowl change to one of near amazement as she saw the way they had wedded the interfaces between the biocomponents and the more mechanical ones, many of them paralleling each other as well as crossing the intersections at regular intervals usually less than 1-2 micrometers. She whistled softly at seeing the level of sophistication the Kyrathians employed in the tendril they had as a sample. She was almost itching on getting her hands on one of their ships to try to dig her way into the network of nodes to discover what other secrets they might be hiding. She began making her own notes alongside the ones that Shadow had already made.

Aaron returned from the storage room with two hot chocolates and handed one to the Doctor. "Here you are, Doc, I hope this fixes you up. I also brought one for you, Jefa." He handed Bevin the other drink. "I never asked ... are you two okay? It should not have been a most pleasant experience." He stroked his mustache.

Shadow took the mug from Aaron when he came back with the rich beverage and began downing it like a man dying of thirst. “Muchas gracias, Aaron, this is exactly what I needed. I hope what I was able to get you is helpful. And, Aaron, it was less stressful than being on their ship but it was definitely no ‘piece of cake’ either.”

Bevin took her mug and drained it almost immediately. “Tapadh leibh gu dearbh, thaink ye sae mich, Aaron, Muchas Gracias! An nay, ait waes nae tha graitist thaing we caeld hape fer, bit we hae a way tae stairt tae gait a haindil an tair taichnawlagy sae we kin fand a way tae dail wi ait.”

Aaron nodded. “That is very good. So we do not have the need to call this an emergency either, Doc. And yeah, with a little more study this information will be of the most useful, many thanks again. I think the next course of action would be to exchange our data with the Science Department. This could help complete the intel of T'lin's scanner, right, Jefa?”

“I don’t think so, not if we keep the tendrils separated from our own tech, but you’d know more about it than I would.” The Doctor smiled and managed to get up. “Think you’ll need me for anything more? and I agree that Relok would be a good one to call in on this.” Aaron could tell that the session had taken a lot out of the doc but he was trying not to show it to the rest of the Engineering staff.

“I dinna ken, Aaron, fra wha I saw, tha dawnlawd waes nae camplait an ait waes fra jist ane o I dinna ken haw mainny nawds tha thay hae ivvir thair…” Bevin told him as she got a seat for Shadow to relax on for another bit of time till he was more secure on his feet.

"Yeah, you're right, Jefa. It was the excitement of the moment again.", Aaron said and then looked at the Doctor. “You're free Doc. Your services will be appreciated and remembered.", Aaron patted him on the back.    

“Muchas Gracias, Aaron, I try to help out as much as I can.” Shadow had managed to get on the seat provided and laid his head on his arms on the console. In moments, he was asleep.

“Lait’s gait haim tae me awffice tae gait a nap, he naids ait.” Bevin offered, trying to let the doc keep his dignity as intact as possible after all he did. She knew that the fluffy plaid on the back of the couch would act as a great blanket for him and the sheepskin pillows were some of the softest around.

Aaron stroked his mustache. "I think Ens. Tressa is on the TR 1 right now. We could use a site-to-site transport to take him directly to his quarters. You said it, he deserves it.”    

She nodded and looked around at the rest of the engineers in there that were gawking at what the two chiefs were doing with the doc. “Dinna ye hae werk tae dae, air daid tha Caiptin daiclair a hallyday? Iffin hay daid, I dinna hair innythaing aiboot ait…” The warning tone got the others scurrying on their way to suddenly find busywork to keep the irate Lieutenant off their backs.

Aaron smiled and said in a kind tone: "Do not be so hard on the boys. They are far from home, probably the farthest they have ever been in their lives, and in a ... dangerous mission, to say the least. And you have to admit ... not every day we have a Doctor with too long hair doing what seems to be a ‘voodoo meditation’ down here. It is a hell of a show for people who are most of the day watching gears and circuits! But leaving the jokes aside ... do I call Tressa?”

She nodded. “Aye, ait waeld pribibly be tha kindist fer haim, Aaron, aind I railize tha ivvrythaing doon hair kin gait mawnawntinis, bit ait staill naids tae be dane…” She smiled to him. “Gae ahaid aind cantaict hair aiboot Shaddaw, tae gait haim tae baid an thain lait’s say iffin we kin figgir aut mair o thais pazzil thay’ve gi’in is.”

Aaron nodded as he touched his combadge and said: “Mr. Tressa, do you remember that bet you lost in El Chinchón? Well it's time to change it for a favor … Shadow is here sleeping and it would be a bit uncomfortable for everyone to be carrying him to his quarters. Can you transport he there?”

“Yeah I remember, that’s it, site to site for the Doctor Hippie? Piece of cake, what’s his quarters assignment?” Tressa answered back on the commbadge.

“Deck 2, FWD, in A-14. Thanks, amigo. I'd say I owe you one ... but I don't.”, Aaron said while he stroked his mustache.

Tressa’s grin was evident through the commbadge.”Sure you don’t me to see about tuck in services as well?” Everyone knew that the Doctor was celibate, even if he were sexier than hell.

“Just transport him and that will be it.", Aaron said with a smile on his face, cutting the communication abruptly while they saw the Doctor vanish in the air.

Bevin grinned as she got back to working on the sketches again.

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