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06/07/2004 3:21 PM

Captain Raven Noble jerked awake as her com-badge beeped. She blinked twice to stare at the star charts on the screen before her. The badge beeped again. She slapped at it in irritation.

“Noble, Go Ahead...” she said, sleep still clouding her voice.

“Sorry to wake you Captain, but we’ve reached D.S. Nine.” Came the voice of her first officer, Commander K’Rune (Pronounced Kay-Ru-Nay) Raven stood and straightened her uniform. She smoothed her hair back into place as she replied.

“I’m on my way commander.” She said and walked out of her quarters. Like other war-style ships the U.S.S Millennium wasn’t as brightly lit as the more pleasantly used science and diplomatic ships of the fleet. The dark colored bulkheads added to the effect as she made her way down the corridor to the turbolift.

“Bridge” she stated sharply as she walked within its doors and her thoughts wandered to the Space Station she knew was just outside. D.S. Nine, their final destination...to pick up their new Chief Medical Officer and begin their search for lost Federation Sovereign class ship, the Phoenix.

The turbolift doors opened to reveal the bridge. Though not exactly large by the Sovereign class ship, a modified Akira class ship, the Millennium packed as much of a punch as the Sovereign class could.... And go where it couldn’t. She exited the turbolift and was greeted immediately by Commander K’Rune, as he stood when she entered. His Bajoran earring flashed in the lights that shone from the ceiling, and she nodded back towards him.

The Security, Tactical and Engineering stations where along the back bulkheads...each manned by a single officer. Lt. Commander Ly'Celtar, an Andorian manned the Security / Tactical station, A younger Ensign that Raven believed was called Randy Claus stood at the engineering station. Her chair sat to the left of where Commander K’Rune sat, and the Navigations Con, and the Communications stations just ahead of that.

The View-screen held a breathtaking view of the Deep Space Station as the wormhole closed behind them. Capt.. Noble remained standing as she addressed the Communications officer. “Lieutenant Rand, Open a channel.”

“Yes sir” He said, “Channel Open.”

“Deep Space Station Nine, this is Captain Raven Noble of the U.S.S. Millennium. Requesting permission to dock.” She said, still looking at the view screen. The screen flashed and Major Kira Nerys appeared in its stead.

“Permission granted Millennium... Welcome to D.S. Nine.” The Screen returned to the visage of the station, and the ensign at the nav-con began easing the ship to the assigned dock.

Raven stood and made her way towards the turbolift. “Commander you’re with me...” She glanced at the Chief Security officer, Lt. Commander Ly'Celtar. “Ly'Celtar, you have the bridge...” She said as the two of them walked into the turbolift and disappeared behind its door.

K’Rune walked at Noble’s side... Their Ship had been commissioned only six months ago, after a few short ranged missions they had been assigned to search for the Sovereign class ship, the Phoenix, which had been lost suddenly in the Badlands. Starfleet couldn’t tell them much more and due to the specialized shielding that the Millennium carried, it was the only ship they dared to send.

K’Rune looked at Noble, he had only been aboard for the last three months, and she seemed as proud and coolly distant now as she did then. She had long black hair that was always kept in a French-style braid that hung between he shoulder blades. Wisps of blue-black hair curled and framed her face. Her heritage was deep within the old Native American tribes. Her skin was tanned, and her body slender and strong. Two things brought attention to her face...first was her blue eyes that where so uncharacteristic with her coloring... The second was a dark blue tattoo that ran in two parallel lines in a concave curve under her right eye, and then curved down along her jaw.

Due to this, Noble was more lenient when it came to racial traditions. That was why K’Rune was able to wear his earring proudly. It was simple and K’Rune liked it that way...as simple as his ties with his people. They disembarked the Millennium and stepped foot upon the D.S. Station. Two Bajoran officers met them...one was Major Kira.

“Welcome aboard Captain Noble, Commander K’Rune. Your Medical officer is awaiting you in my office. You can meet there and then enjoy the Promenade before your departure. This way please.” She said and motioned for the two Starfleet officers to follow.

Noble had never been aboard D.S. Nine. Though she was familiar with the layout and the schematics, seeing it firsthand was an all-together different experience. The Cardassian architecture was both beautiful and coldly functional at the same time.

K’Rune watched the awe replace the cool exterior that he had become so accustomed to seeing. He smiled at the sight. K’Rune was Noble’s senior by six years.... And the moment he met her, felt a sort of companionship with her that made him looks at her like a younger sister.... Though she never opened up to him...not once in these past three months.

The three of them walked through the operations center and then to the ornate glass lift to the office. The officer within stood and turned; the pips on the collar of the blue uniform ranked the medical officer as a commander.

“Hello...I am Captain Raven Noble, this is my executive officer, Commander K’Rune Kye.” Noble said, holding her hand out in greeting to the Doctor.

06/07/2004 10:53 PM

Grasping her hand and shaking it with obvious enthusiasm, the medical officer before her smiled. He was a short man, nearly trembling with energy, his black eyes sparkling like those of a mischevious child. His dark hair further hinted at an far eastern ancenstry, though his pale skin suggested it was well-diluted. His accent was as common as any from the San Francisco bay area.

"A pleasure, a pleasure, Captain and Commander. I am Doctor Brisk, but you can call me Terry." He studied her for a moment, then grinned. "Ah, you'll be the challenge, won't you Captain? Not quite the open-book, I see, but compromising all the same." He indicated the commander's Bajoran jewelry with a grandios gesture. "Now, I hope you'll forgive me for asking Captain, but I find it a prudent thing to ascertain this as soon as possible." He leaned foward slightly. "Do you prefer sir or ma'am, Captain?"

Beside the commander, Major Kira rolled her eyes. "You'll get used to him, sir," she said. "Eventually."

06/08/2004 5:19 AM

Noble couldn't help but smile, she had a feeling she was going to like this energetic fellow. "Actually, Captain works just fine, Terry." She said, mindful of how he prefered to be addressed.

"If you like, Comander K'rune can give you a tour while I speak with the Major here..." she suggested.

06/09/2004 2:41 PM

"Righty-o, Captain," Brisk said, his words expressed with what could only be a mental salute. "Commander, I would love that tour...and to speak with you about the crew as well. I've read all the reports, dontchaknow, but it helps a Doctor to know the temperment of the people he's dealing with, as well as any adversions to doctors or medicine that might not otherwise be recorded in those dry reports..."

06/09/2004 3:51 PM

K'rune nodded, and gestured to allow the doctor to proceed him. He glanced back at Raven, and noticed that she had already turned to Kira and the two were going over some charts.

He sighed and followed the doctor to the ship. He immediately began to discuss the minor quirks of the senior officers as they walked down the corridor and through the open hatch to the Millenium.

"I have no problem.. though a broken arm last year was the only reason why I've had to visit a doctor, other than the usual check-ups that is." he said, as he tried to figure out just what to say about the Captain.

06/09/2004 5:01 PM

Brisk nodded, his eager eyes roaming over every detail of his new ship as they walked the corridors. It seemed...darker, somehow and not just because of the coloring. The doctor had the sudden feeling that he was going to be needed on this voyage...needed a lot and for worse things than any person should ever be expected to endure.

Lost in that possibility for a moment, Brisk almost missed the slight edge to the Commander's voice and quickly turned back to the present problem. He looked up at the taller man. "Good, then, I shouldn't expect you to be darkening my doorway any time soon?" He gave a chuckle. "I'm sure this crew is no different from any other, though...there's always that one reluctant officer whose problem would be that much better if they would just confide in me...Starfleet doctors are the best, you know. Any doctor will tell you that you have his strictest confidence...but on a starship, easier said than done, eh? No, we Starfleet doctors have our tricks of the trade...and the thing is, I always find out later, if not sooner," he added thoughtfully. "I'm sure you appreciate the position I'm in, Commander. After all, the Captain and yourself are responsible for the welfare of the crew the same as I am."

06/10/2004 5:35 PM

…After a nod of respect, that acknowledged the Captain’s bestowment of the Millenium’s command, the Andorian chief of security watched the two senior most officers exit the bridge, his pale colored antennae that protruded from amongst the colorless pale hair of his head and matched his blued skin, tracked the pair of officers until they disappeared from view into the turbolift.

He slowly craned his head back to regard the Cardassian built station Deep Space 9 through the bridges view screen balefully with his purple colored eyes. The Station represented the last Major war of the Federation, the War with the enigmatic Founders of the Dominion. Lieutenant Commander Ly’Celtar of the Nhe’Vanyir clan almost sneered at the memory of the shape-shifters and their sniveling vorta lackeys though his rigorous Starfleet training had taught him to conceal the hot-blooded side of his people beneath a mask of calm composure. Instead, the male andorian clenched his jaw tightly, the only sign of his displeasure the minute twitching of a muscle at the base of his jaw-line beneath his left ear.

Placing his hands behind his back and clasping them together, he walked from his tactical station to the centre point of the bridge where he stood impassively, his eyes watching the view screen ahead but his senses aware of the movements of the bridge crew around him. Ly’Celtar would not sit in the Captain’s Chair, to him the traditions of his clan forbade such arrogance as to claim the position of honor garnered someone higher.

“Lieutenant Rand contact Operations aboard Deep Space 9 and request any information on unusual activities or ships in the region over the last four months, no matter how small or trivial they may seem and have them transferred to my station.” He ordered the young human in his measured deep toned voice.

The andorian was thorough and he hated to be surprised, hated to be bested in his chosen field. Like most of his kind Ly’Celtar was a warrior who had seen his baptism by fire against the Romulans, served in the Cardassian War, engaged the Borg at both Wolf 359 and Sector Zero and finally served with distinction amongst some of the heaviest fighting seen in the Dominion War and had survived to fight another day...

06/12/2004 7:20 PM

K'rune nodded absently, though his thoughts turned immediatly to the Captain. Noble was always so quiet... oh an efficiant Starfleet Officer and Captain to be sure... but as a human... as a woman... she was so self-contained that it worried K'rune.

"Thats what worries me sometimes... The captain seems so.... I don't know how really to pin point the problem really.... she's so quiet.. so self-contained, self reliant..." K'Rune shrugged and gestured for the doctor to preceed him into the Sickbay.

Noble had finished her meeting with Major Kira and was now going over a few specifics on a small data pad in her hand, sitting in one of the view ports on the promenade. She wasn't ready to return to the Millenium, and instead stared out the view-port at the stars and watched in mild wonder at the burst of color and light as the wormhole opened, and then closed behind an approaching ship.

Sighing she watched the display distractedly, the data pad forgotten in her lap. Her forhead rested against the cold transparasteel, her eyes closing in relief of being away from her crew... and now out of uniform as she was, unbothered by even the officers on this station.

The effort that it took to control her every thought and emotion drained her... she wondered how she could even hope to complete this mission... She smiled wanly and remembered that it had been many years now since she had one of her "accidents" and if she had anything to do with it at all, she wouldn't be having any anytime soon.

She stood and turned.... she would return to the Millenium after all.

Standing impossibly in the frozen vacuum of space, a man dressed in a starfleet uniform watched the station, his eyes fixed on one particular view-port. He smiled, though there was no warmth in it... the pips on his color ranked him as an admiril, however, there was no such record of this man...

His arms were held crossed over his chest, and again an impossibily, his voice echoed across the vacuum of space.

"We'll see how well you handle yourself my dear.... we'll see...." and with a flash of light and sound, the man dissapeared.

06/12/2004 9:13 PM

Brisk frowned thoughtfully, mulling over the Commander's words while he busily entered and began exploring Sickbay in a very hands-on way. He started rearranging almost immediately, alternately muttering to himself in approving and disapproving tones. It was obvious that he was very meticulous about his workspace.

After a few minutes of bustling around, apparently having forgotten the conversation at hand, Brisk turned around abruptly and waved a hypospray at the Commander, gestitulating in a think-out-loud manner. "Quiet and self-reliant, you say? At a first glance, I would say those are simply the marks of a good captain. I mean, personally, I enjoy a captain who is in touch with and eager to 'play' with the crew...but a quiet captain, an emotional rock, if you will, with enough acknowledgment and praise toward the crew is the next best thing." He narrowed his eyes shrewdly. "But you wouldn't have mentioned it if you didn't think it...excessive.

"I'll leave it up to you Commander," Brisk said, suddenly still and serious. "I asked you for anomolies among the crew and you expressed your observations. As it is my job to ascertain the health--both physical and mental, with the counselor's help--of all crew members, I will certainly make a personal note of it. But I am asking you now to clarify if you wish me to simply observe the captain, as is my job, talk to her, or assess her health now or over a period of time. I will make an official note of it, Commander, and you need not fear reprecusions for either your job or your loyalty. You did call it a problem...and the Captain should be aware of your concern, as well as I, as her doctor, should have a chance to offer her the ability to confide." He took a deep breath. "But I am new and perhaps not reading the depths of your concern accurately. What'll it be, Commander?"

06/15/2004 4:13 PM

Dark eyes. Dark thoughts. Dealt with daily. Such was his work.

Mar'Tyn stood, leaning against the wall with a casual, easy going grace, no smile displayed on his face, no trace of expression, for he was good at hiding such. Dark eyes roamed the promenade. He was looking for someone, by rank of Captain. Thoughts swam about his head, the odd stray thought from someone else entered, sometimes by accident, more often on purpose. There!


Pushing himself off the wall with his shoulder, Mar'Tyn strode across the path of many a passerby with a purposefill gleam in his eyes. Reaching his intended target, the Betazoid stood jsut out of the Captain's own path....

" Excuse me, would you be Captain Raven Noble by chance? ", his voice seemed silky, smooth and confident, and yet also held a tone of arrogance, perhaps though at this point not readily apparent.

06/15/2004 4:19 PM

Noble halted in her tracks, obviously startled by the man's appearance. Though she didn't hesitate in replying. "Yes, I am... and you are?" She let the question hang, she was curious, but she didn't drop her professional facade.

06/15/2004 4:25 PM

He gave a small smile, withdrawing a pad from behind him and handing it out toward the evidently curious and suspicious Captain. " I think you'll find them genuine, but of course you will wish to comfirm the details with Starfleet Headquaters. ", taking another step forward, closing the distance, " My name is Mar'Tyn, Captain, Counsellor Mar'Tyn Pau'Al..... ", looking down at the pad in his hand, one would see instructions for Mar'Tyn to take up the vacant position for Ships Counsellor.

06/15/2004 4:30 PM

Noble read the data pad twice before sighing, she was afraid that Starfleet would do this, but it seemed she had no choice. That didn't mean she had to like it, or him for that matter.

Her dark eyes swept up from the data pad and locked onto Mar'Tyn, and nodded. "I probably will do that... in the meantime, I'll show you to the Millenium..." She said with a distracted air, and led him back through the Promenade and towards the docking hatch that held the Mellinium.

06/16/2004 6:12 PM

…Ly’Celtar blinked his eyes as he finished reading through the local disturbances of the vicinity overseen by Deep Space 9, which included the spatial phenomena colorfully regarded to by the humans as the Badlands and the Wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant that had been transferred to his workstation on the bridge.

Nothing but smugglers and other miscreants, and the odd unexplained spatial phenomenon but I expect that is to be expected so close to something like a stable Wormhole.

He tapped the console and closed the report, once again viewing the station through the view screen with slightly narrowed eyes. Things had indeed changed aboard the station, the local reports seemed somewhat lackluster in their information and the meticulous details as opposed to his last rendezvous with the Cardassian-built station, he didn’t recognize the name of the Chief of Security but it sounded Bajoran.

A short status report concerning the ship and it personnel from the Operations station, given by a young human ensign, caused Lieutenant Commander Ly’Celtar to nod and then tap the Starfleet insignia upon the breast of his black Starfleet uniform.

“Captain, the cargo manifest has been filled, all supplies are onboard and accounted for, as is the Millennium’s new chief medical officer Brisk. Also Captain I should inform you that Starfleet has seen fit to add an additional member to the crew, a counselor I believe Captain.” He said, the last part of his sentence indicating he thought little of Starfleet’s introduction of Counselors.

To the warrior-caste born Andorian, the idea of a counselor seemed to be an indulgence that was not necessary amongst Starfleet, especially aboard a vessel like the Millennium that lacked the longer mission tours of Galaxy of Sovereign class vessels.

“I took the liberty of arranging accommodation for the new Counselor on the crew quarter deck Captain but I was informed that you would be receiving his security clearances by hand.” He added and waited for his Noble’s response…

06/16/2004 6:44 PM

Noble watched Mar'tyn carefully while she listened to Ly'Celtar's report. "Thank you Commander, I have our Counselor right here with me in fact. I'll be returning to the Millenium shortly. Noble out." She said, looking back to Mar'tyn.

"Well shall we go then?" She said as she gestured for him to proceed her. She followed him, and once again her mind strayed to keeping herself under control...and then she remembered something within the data pad that Mar'tyn had given her with the orders to join the crew of the Millenium. The file on Mar'tyn had specifically marked him as a Betazoid.

Noble groaned inwardly, though not a trace of this was betrayed in her expression. This was all she needed... it wouldn't take long for him to start to question her. Had Starfleet figured something out about her? was that why he was here? what-?

She quickly squashed the sudden and insistant questions that where poping up in her mind. No sense in worrying over something that hadn't even happened yet... She couldn't afford to. With that thought firmly grasped in her mind she boarded the Millenium.

06/17/2004 12:36 AM

" But of course, Captain. ", he flashed a small smile, nodding as he did, and followed her to the Millenium. So far, he liked this Captain, she had a grasp on her own mind many did not, and although he had not tried to read her, for some reason, he knew it was going to be a difficult job to read her. Starfleet had had reservations it seemed about Noble, one reason why he was planted here, and no doubt, she already had thought of this. Raven did not appear to be of the stupid Terran variety.

06/20/2004 3:36 PM

Noble showed Mar'Tyn to the bridge, and excused herself to the Ready Room. Once there she re-donned her uniform and went over the schematics and charts one final time.

Meanwhile, Commander K'Rune had left the Doctor alone to re-organize the sick-bay to his liking. K'Rune shook his head as he walked away from the sickbay to the turbolift. Brisk's proceedures were somewhat unorthodox, but Starfleet wouldn't have assigned him the Cheif Medical officer for the Millenium Without due cause.

Upon reaching the bridge, he found a newcomer in blue uniform standing near the captains chair. He was just about to inquire who he was when Noble came out of the Ready Room.

"Alright, Set co-ordinants for the Badlands, clear departure with the Station." She said to the ensign manning the con, and turned to K'Rune.

"Commander K'Rune, this is Counselor Mar'Tyn, Admril Paris assigned him here. Mar'Tyn, this is Commander K'Rune Nyrul, My First Officer."

06/20/2004 10:37 PM

"Computer, activate the EMH," Brisk muttered, digging through a bin full of medical supplies. The computer chirped in reply.

"Please state the nature of the medical emergency."

"Look at this place," Brisk commanded, waving his hands around. "It's...drab." He indicated the gray bulkheads. "Do you think paint would stick to these walls?"

The bald hologram stepped forward. "I'm a doctor, not an interior decorator."

Brisk rolled his eyes. "Who taught you to talk like that?"

The hologram looked puzzled. "Doctor Zimmerman."

"Right, whatever. Look, Doc Z, you're a hologram linked to the ship's databases. So find out if paint would stick to the walls. I'm sure someone's tried it before." The hologram, now dubbed 'Doc Z', stepped forward in protest but Brisk ignored him and stepped into his private office. Once there, he gave a chuckle. Most Starfleet doctors hated the EMH, but Brisk had known Doctor Zimmerman and the holographic version amused him to no end. This one was the latest version, but Brisk had pulled some strings and had it installed with the original physical and personality parameters as the Mark One. He also planned on redecorating sickbay with some sort of theme...the last thing sick people needed was the depressing shadows of the rest of the ship pressing in on them while in sickbay. Of course, he'd probably need the captain's permission. Speaking of which...

Brisk sat back and pondered the captain. K'rune's answers to his probings had been less than satisfying. Brisk hated to say it, but he didn't believe he was going to like the First Officer. The doctor was the first to admit that his personality was hit-or-miss with other people...and while he attempted to like everyone, it just wasn't possible. K'rune had given him vital information about the captain, but then backed down when asked to take action. But the damage, as they say, was already done. Brisk had no qualms about confronting the captain. Plus, he thought he was going to like her.

Sitting down at his computer, he addressed a priority message to the entire crew.

To: Crew of the U.S.S. Millenium
From: Doctor Terry Brisk, Chief Medical Officer

Greetings from Sickbay!

The doctor is in and you know what that means! Free physicals for all! Now don't be shy, step on down. I'm looking forward to meeting each and every one of you and now would be best...if not yesterday! You never know when you're going to catch the Bolian measles...not a pretty sight, take it from me. I hear the hallucinations are hilarious until you're dancing naked in the Captain's Ready Room. So save yourself the demotion and make the trip down to Sickbay as soon as possible. I only have enough innoculations for part of the crew and it's first come, first serve.

Now don't be thinking anyone is exempt from the experience of my witty banter in person...I may just be the doctor, but I can have the Hounds of Hell on your ass faster than you can say 'Neutral Zone'.


Brisk sent the message and sat back satisfied, knowing it would show up on every personal computer and PADD around the ship until everyone had gotten the message. Now all he had to do was relax and wait for the flood of ensigns worried about the non-existant Bolian measles...

06/21/2004 7:13 AM

Extending his hand towards K'Rune, " A pleasure meeting you, Commander, I have heard of you before. ", what he had heard, and in what context would be left to the First Officer's imagination and paranoia. Turning to the Captain, " And, if you have no objections Captain, I would like to visit the ship's Doctor first of all, I have no doubt I will have to work along side the him, or her, often enough, so would take delight in introducing myself personally..... ? "

06/21/2004 7:04 PM

…The Andorian evaluated the figure of Mar’tyn, the new counselor with his dark eyes, the black eyes of the figure told him that the new crew member was indeed a Betazoid, but Ly’Celtar’s years of Starfleet Security training told him the individual seemed somewhat more guarded than the usual overly friendly Betazoid, his stance seemed somewhat a little introverted.

The solemn Security Chief had to admit he liked the idea of a more stand-offish Counselor much more than the probing, friendly antics of most Betazoids though the idea of having someone inside of his mind unsettled him, much as it did many of the sentient races they had encountered.

A soft signal beep from his workstation console drew his gaze downward and he read the message from the Doctor with a deepening frown that was evident upon his blue tinged lips. Their were protocols to follow and rules to adhere to, and in the rigid code the warrior Andorian held himself to meant that he believed that a Chief officer should hold themselves in a certain way, a certain respect was due and this message was clearly undermining that respect for the Command Staff in his eyes.

His sensitive hearing heard the request of the Counselor to see the new Doctor and the Andorian decided to take this opportunity to meet both of the new crew members in one fell swoop. He tapped off the workstation, and made his way across to the pair of Starfleet officers, stopping a few feet away and placing his hands behind his back as was his custom.

“Excuse me Commander, Counselor” he said in his stern voice to each of the officers. “I was just on my way to see the new Doctor, to review the ship’s Security protocols and to see if there are any specific Security matters that he requires. If it is alright with the Counselor I shall escort him to the Medical Bay.”

The Andorian’s antennae swiveled slightly, scenting the new crew member as he awaited a response form both the Commander and the Counselor…

06/22/2004 2:44 AM

Appraising the Andorian with one swift glance, he resigned to the request. " By all means, I have no reservations about such..... ", his black eyes turned to the Commander, waiting for his response. The Andorian seemed to be of an agreeable nature, there was no need for probing his mind to discover such, small empathic waves told the Counselor much of what he needed to know.

06/25/2004 4:53 PM

Noble nodded. "By all means...things should be pretty un-eventful till we reach the badlands..." She said. "Actually, perhaps I should go and see the good doctor myself, as my introduction with him was quite brief." She said and gestured genially towards the aft turbolift. "After you..." She said smiling at Mar'Tyn and Ly’Celtar.

08/23/2004 3:21 PM

Noble turned, and made her way towards the turbo-lift. A sharp tug at her mind halted her steps, and she turned, apprehension filling her eyes. Her breath caught in her throat as she saw who had invaded her bridge. Ly’Celtar scowled, and drew his phaser, his eyes narrowing in distrust. Without thinking, Noble raised her hand, and shook her head.

“Don’t bother Commander, all you would likely do is blow a hole in the bulkhead....” She said, giving the Security Chief a cool look. Ly’Celtar frowned, he admired his captain, she was a strong warrior, of both word and of weapon... but something was wrong... there was actually fear in her eyes, not the fear that was there during the dominion war, that was fear for her crew, her ship and the rest of the federation, as if they were all her responsibility. Now the fear there was stronger and not just for the crew... or the ship... A very real terror for herself.

“Get off of my bridge” She struggled to keep her voice low, to keep that hysterical edge from raising the pitch of her voice towards total fear. Her mind raced, and she didn’t even have to look at Mar’tanin to know that his mind was stretching out, trying to read their intruder. She was breathing fast, the fear was relentless, and it was for the safety of her crew that she stood her ground.

“Oh, come now... I come here for a friendly chat and all you do is yell at me... you’ve been taking lessons from Captain Picard... naughty, naughty.” The sarcastic tone was unmistakable. He sat in her chair, turned slightly towards her, dressed in the uniform of a Starfleet Admiral. His black hair was tousled, his dark eyes sparkling with mischief, and something else, something that made Noble’s heart race all the harder.

“What do you want Q?” There was a slight collective intake of breath that was not quite a gasp of surprise that washed over the bridge. Everyone in Starfleet knew of the infamous Q, and mostly on how he nearly destroyed the Starfleet Flagship, Enterprise on a number of occasions. Fear ran rampant through the bridge, and Noble looked around at each officer there, calming each and everyone with a glance.

“Very good Captain... For a minute there I wasn’t sure that you even knew me...” Q gave her a hurt, wounded look, and Noble wished for just a instant that she could wound him, just for invading the peace of her ship. Q’s eyes narrowed, and he made a soft clicking sound.

“Now now...that wasn’t nice. I need to talk to you, Captain... Alone...” He said pointedly, glaring at the two officers that stood behind her. She could feel Ly’Celtar's fury rise, and sighing, Noble nodded. She turned towards Ly’Celtar and Mar’Tyn, resting her hand for a bare instant on the Andorian’s arm. “Go on to Sickbay, I’ll be finished with this soon.” She said, dismissing them. The andoraian gave her a dark look before realizing that this was an order. He then turned and followed Mar’tanin into the turbo-lift.

Noble turned, and gestured towards her ready-room. She had started towards it, and expected Q to follow when he smiled and they both disappeared. Faltering in her step, Noble stumbled and put her hand out only to have Q grab hold of her. She glanced around and found herself within her quarters, the star charts still blinking on terminal at her desk.

“Forgive me dear, I figured that this would take a more personal atmosphere. You are a hard person to track down Captain....” Q said, the hand that held hers tightened for a just a moment, as he backed her against the wall. “Now my little Renegade.... Continuum Rules were once that when a Renegade was found, that their deaths were to be inevitable....” He said, pressing close.

Raven’s panic had just about reached its breaking point, and she stared at him in horror. Her mind raced with the possibilities of what he might do... would she simply wink out of existence, leaving her family, friends and crew to wonder what happened to her? Or would it be something worse? She wasn’t at fault for her birth or lineage... why should she, it was the continuum who was at fault... they were the one who should’ve taken care of their own, and Quinn never would have sired her mother!

A physical pressure seemed to emanate from Q, and instantly she couldn’t breathe. Her heart hammered in her chest, and she struggled physically against him, to no avail. Q’s eyes narrowed, and Raven couldn’t sense anything from him... Hate? Fury? Then a slight tendril of a thought...

:: Come on.. I know you can beat me on this... don’t let me win!::

Rayven struggled for breath, her vision started to grow dim around the edges, and her entire focus was on Q. Was this only a test? Did he really not wish to kill her? Perhaps if she beat him he would let her live? Yes, perhaps that was it...

Energy flowed through her, power filled her lungs and she no longer struggled for breath... but the pressure was till painfully tight around her throat and chest... she was still mostly human... if she couldn’t break his hold, she would still die.... She felt one rib crack, and she gasped in startled pain.... Now! She had to now or it was all over.

The energy she had gathered coalesced in the center of her being it seemed to shimmer in her mind’s eye like a distant star. With a gasp of pain as a second rib cracked, the power rushed out and away from her, reminiscent of a shockwave from an exploding star. She collapsed, the pressure gone, but the pain still there, still very real as darkness swept her away.

Q had staggered back, as he was forced to drop Rayven Noble. The inherent power that resided in her was strong, not as strong as his, but enough... Q smiled, she passed his first test. He looked at her and rested his hand on her stomach, he could feel the two cracked ribs easily, and with a thought they were whole again.

Issuing a silent command, Q held Rayven’s hand as her eyes opened. She gasped as the residual pain washed away and she stared into Q’s dark eyes.

“What have you done?” She gasped as he helped her to stand. “Only healed what damage I caused.... You passed your first test...”

Once standing she snatched her hand away from Q’s grasp.

“K’Rune to Captain Noble. Are you all right?” The commander sounded very worried. With a weary glance at Q, she tapped the communicator insignia.

“I’m fine Commander K’Rune... Keep her steady. Noble out.” She said, as she closed down the channel. She took a deep breath and felt no pain... was it a dream?

“Nope, no dream Captain... merely the first of your tests, it was to gauge your power, to see if you could throw me off. Well, as I said, you passed.” Q said, sitting down nonchalantly in a plush chair.

“And if I had failed?” Noble swallowed hard.

Q raised an eyebrow and then folded his hands against his chest. “If you had failed, you wouldn’t be standing here; you’d be dead. You proved that you had enough control on your power to throw me off without destroying half of your ship. Very few of the Renegades I had hunted in the past could do that.”

Rayven leaned against the bulkhead, her forehead resting against the transparasteel of the window, her gaze on the distant stars. She felt light-headed and weak, as if she hadn’t slept in a week. After a moment, a thought filled her with dread, and she turned to face Q.

“You said first test...What’s the next one?” She gasped, unable to completely give voice to the growing dread that filled her.

Q smiled. “To get you and your crew home in one piece...” He said and snapped his fingers. The moment he disappeared, the ship listed dangerously to starboard... and when the inertial dampers failed, Noble stumbled and fell to her knees. She heard a crash of a vase as it shattered, her hand gaining a nasty cut as she tried to regain her balance and her hand grazed across one of the broken shards. The lights immediately dimmed, and the alert light glowed a dull sanguine color. The red alert klaxon blared and K’Rune’s voice could be heard via the ship’s computer.

“Red Alert! All Personnel to their posts! Captain Noble to the Bridge!”

Noble pushed herself back to her feet, and turned to leave her quarters. Just as she reached the door, she glanced out of one of the many windows along the starboard bulkhead of her sitting room. Her breath rushed out of her as she stared at the wonder of the view, all thought of her wounded hand forgotten

Stars, millions, billions of them... the horizon visible as their bearing was slightly more vertical than the line of stars... the known center of their galaxy. The stars were more numerous here than grains of sand on a beach. White and blue stars, blazing hot, young stars. The birthplace of every star in their galaxy. She stared at the beauty of it, and it took a second frantic call from K’Rune to snap her to her senses.

“I’m on my way Commander.” She said with a wistful tone. Blinking she turned, and left her quarters. She closed her hand into a tight fist to staunch the bleeding, knowing that she would have the Doctor look it over as soon as she could.

“Bridge” She snapped impatiently, now that the view was gone from her physical sight, worry of where they might be gave her pause. There was no telling where Q had dropped them...

The turbolift doors opened to reveal the bridge, and again the magnificent view. K’Rune stood, and offered her the command chair. She walked over and stared at the screen.

“Where are we?” She breathed.

“Our sensors read that we’re somewhere between the Gamma and Delta Quadrant.” Came Ly’Celtar's reply.

“Captain, you’re bleeding!” K’Rune’s tone was filled with worry, and Noble waved him off.

“It’s not serious Commander... I just cut myself on a piece of broken glass from my quarters. Right now we have more pressing matters, and that’s how to get home...”

“We can’t fly through that, Captain... the radiation would kill us, the metaphasic shields will only work for a limited time...” Came Tulin's reply... The Vulcan Engineer was recently promoted to engineering chief when their previous chief retired. “Our only other options are to either go through Dominion space or go through Borg space.”

“Neither of those choices are exactly palatable Tulin. Hold our position, senior officers to the conference lounge.” Rayven turned and headed for the door right next to her Ready Room. One by one, the senior officers followed her.

K’Rune was concerned, he had never seen Rayven so frazzled. Even Mar’tanin who barely knew the Captain seemed worried about her manner. K’Rune sat down to Rayven’s right, and waited for the rest to sit. Rayven however, remained standing. Before she could say anything, K’Rune spoke first.

“Well Captain, which way?” He hadn’t asked the obvious, and he watched Rayven’s expression carefully.

Rayven looked up, and looked at each officer before speaking. “I’m not so sure it matters, it will take us a long time to reach home, though going through the Gamma Quadrant might be faster considering the Wormhole near Bajor.”

Then Tulin asked the inevitable and most obvious question. “How did we even get here?” She asked. She wasn’t on the bridge when Q arrived.

“That is partly my fault. Q sent us here.” She took a shaky breath. “well might as well make this official. Counselor, Doctor, this is a job for you, I need you to verify for the rest of the officers what I am about to tell you. Mar’tyn, I will open my mind to you, as you have noticed that I am tightly shielded... and for good reason. Doctor, if you would kindly take a bio-scan of me please?”

Both Mar’tanin and the Doctor nodded, Mar’tanin’s eyes closed and Dr. Brisk withdrew his medical tricorder.

Rayven looked to those still seated and sighed. “I guess this would have come out sooner or later, and I will probably even loose my command for this. Part of my records are false, and yes they were intentionally falsified. My father was human, and my mother was only half. I had stated that I did not know what the other half was... but I did, and falsified the information willfully.

Mar’tyn’s brow creased as he frowned, there was definitely power there, more power than even he had control of, like a moth to a flame he was drawn to it, but wisely he pulled back, knowing that such power could very well consume him.

“You’re part Q...” he whispered in wonder, cutting Rayven off. K’Rune sharp intake of breath was the last sound made besides the constant whine of the tricorder. Everyone stared at her in expectation, even Taura seemed genuinely surprised yet interested.

Rayven nodded when she saw that no one else was going to speak, and the doctor closed the tricorder with a quiet click. Without saying anything, Rayven sat. She stared at her hands for a moment then raised her eyes. “Not so long ago, those like me were hunted by the continuum and destroyed. Recently the Continuum underwent a revolution, and their laws have changed, somewhat.” She paused, seeing the reactions of the officers before her range from confusion to pity, to mild interest from Tulin.

“Q came here today to ‘test’ me... to see if I had enough control over my abilities. I passed his first test... but now in this light, it was a mixed blessing... had I failed, I would have died, but then you all would still be in Federation space... I am sorry to have dragged you all into this. Rest assured, once I have gotten you all safely back to Federation space, I will resign my commission.” K’Rune glanced at each of the officers and each one, even Mar’tyn and the doctor gave a slight, silent nod.

“Captain, I believe I speak for everyone here that this wasn’t your fault. You had no way of knowing that Q would choose this moment in time to test you...you’re alive, we’re alive... I have no doubt that you will lead us home, no matter how long it takes. I don’t think that any of us here feel that you should resign... unless you think it absolutely necessary.”

Noble stared at K’Rune, dumbfounded. She glanced at each in turn, receiving a rare smile from T’lectar, and a nod from Tulin. “It takes a strong will to speak the truth in such adversity...” Ly’Celtar said.

“I have worked with you for seven years Captain, and you have unfailingly earned my trust.” Tulin said.

Noble locked her eyes with the doctor and Mar’tyn.... realizing that these two had no reason whatsoever to trust her, to believe in her.

“If you don’t mind me saying so Captain, I wouldn’t trade this moment in history for anything in this galaxy... I’m always up for some new adventure!” The Doctor said, smiling.

Mar’tyn cleared his throat, and Noble braced herself for the worst. “Thanks to you lowering your mental shields, Captain, I think I know you better than you know yourself. Noble, your surname fits your character perfectly.” He said, smiling.

“Well that settles it, we’ll set a course for Bajor, and head home.” K’Rune paused and glanced at Noble. “Any chance that you can just will us home?” he ventured.

“Unfortunately Commander, I don’t think I have that precise control just yet... perhaps one day....” she said, a hint of wonder in her voice...

08/24/2004 7:04 PM

Tulin nodded her silent agreement. The captain being part Q had inherited the family...powers. It was a natural DNA thing. It was like Spock of long ago...he was half-Vulcan, but he had all the Vulcan traits. Unfortunately, he had also held some human traits. But Tulin wouldn't hold that against him ever.

"Captain, what should our course of action be? Either Dominion or Borg space isn't a very good choice, but our chances of survival in Dominion space are greater than if we went through Borg space," the Vulcan said. "We have time to worry about your lineage later."

Tulin looked at the people on bridge with a stern look. The last was said for their benefits, not for Noble's. Tulin knew that the captain would realize and appreciate that.

01/04/2005 6:56 PM

"Captain, which way shall I plot our course? Through the Gamma quadrant, or the Delta Quadrant?" Akimae's hand was poised over the course controls ready to make the proper heading, when the Captain gave the order to do so. Her blue eyes on the Captain ready and waiting for a signal from her.

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