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Posted on Wed Mar 23rd, 2022 @ 2:46am by Lieutenant Commander Emni t'Nai & Lieutenant Serana Zhaan & Ensign Noah Balsam & Ghani & Ensign Sheldon Parsons

Mission: Sojourners of Time
Location: Omri's Memory, 100 Years Ago
Timeline: Mission Day 8 at 1930


Serana nodded toward the figures not so very far away. "Can they see us," she asked. "Because that would not be good."

And now...

[Outskirts of the Dusani Camp - Unnamed World]
[Omri's Memory via Serana]
[100 Years Ago]

Emni looked from one person in the group to another, concern etched clearly on her features before her gaze landed on the Talbeethian, Az. "You'll excuse our persistence," she said with the measured doctors voice that she reserved for scared patients, "but I'm sure you can understand the questions. As Mr. Parsons notes it seems we're all present in this memory. Serana's question is a valid one, though. Can they see us?" she pressed, turning bodily to face Az as she said it. "Because if so we need to act quickly and if not..." her gaze went to Serana where she could feel the familiarity of the scene to the woman, "it would be valuable to know what next step we should take."

She held herself stiffly, hands at her sides, though at the ready. "Whatever you can tell us, Az, would be greatly appreciated."

"I have been a guide for fourteen years and I've made mistakes - forgetting to turn on projectors or pulling from the wrong subject. But this is unprecedented." She looked at her wrist and the device. The sharp pain had dissipated and now was a thrumming tingle. "We are not a visible force in this time, however. They will not see us." Az shook her head slowly. "I don't know what to do," she admitted.

"Good and not good," Serana murmured. "We are safe from the Azhadi but that also means no food or water." She watched the Azhadi close in on Omri and sighed quietly. "Hopefully, the problem will be fixed soon."

Emni nodded her agreement relaxing, though only slightly. "I assume there are checks in place for things going wrong," she said, the statement plain, but her expression looked for confirmation from Az. "Can we hurt this environment or is it acceptable for us to explore?" she asked. "If we must wait for someone to reverse the effect we might as well see what it is that Lieutenant Zhaan had been focusing on." Here her eyes went to Serana. "If that is ok with you, of course?"

"Of course, Sir," Serana said at once. Her gaze remained with Omri, memories of his mind meshing for the first time with what she could see outside of him. Mistake or no, it was a fascinating experience. Her fingers itched to record it all in her journal but that would have to wait for later. For when it was all resolved. "Whenever you're ready."

" food or water?" Parsons asked, licking his lips and looking around with dismay. "I should have had some of that tea," the man prissily groused, lamenting that he'd neglected to pour himself a cup since he'd arrived so late for the ceremony. "Hopefully we're rescued long before that becomes a problem but...ugh," the engineer shook his head, then face-palmed. But then the group started moving forward, everyone deciding to follow Serana while waiting for rescue, it seemed. Parsons followed along, eyeing the landscape as they walked. "The engineer in me is pretty fascinated by what your technology is achieving here, Az...even if it went sideways and we're stuck. I can actually smell this place. That's wild," he commented.

Noah, who still looked a little pale and green about his jawline, smiled weakly at his roommate. "I was thinking that too," he agreed. "I-I wonder if the Federation would be interested in a trade. It would make History classes at the Academy that much um, more real." He looked about their alien surroundings. Trying to avoid locking on the image of his lost lunch, the cadet pushed sweaty brows off his head. He could have really used some water.

But to distract from that pang he looked at Serana, "Sir," he said before the pang of painful memory from his encounter with Lieutenant Margarar filled him with doubt, "Ma'am... um... what are they doing to him?" He asked. His willowy arm pointed at Omri.

"Sir is fine," Serana said as she turned back to where Omri had come to a stop. The Azhadi had reached him and fanned out. She remembered that about them, the way they moved, fluid and in sync with each other. Dressed in black, the lower half of their face veiled, his accented speech barely discernable even from this distance. "He's saying 'Ne'Anakei' you must turn back. These are warriors of a people that call themselves the Anakei." She kept her tone neutral, the way Starfleet preferred, but there was sadness lurking in the depths of her eyes as she spoke to Noah. "They do not like outsiders. It is a very good thing they don't know we are here. It would be dangerous to surprise them."

Noah watched with anxious interest, eyes flitting back to Serana and then the forms. So whatever they were watching was.... taboo somehow? He couldn't pretend to understand. "Are they going to hurt him?"

"Yes," Serana said softly. "This is where he dies."

Slow in digesting that, as if the news travelled through a pudding of disbelief, Noah averted his gaze from the scene. "Tha-that's terrible..."

Emni had followed the exchange with interest and a small bit of alarm as what they were about to witness became clear. The emotional temperature of the group dropped and rose in turns as the understanding of the scene settled in for each. Her own stomach clenched for a moment. She'd seen death more times than she cared to think, but it was never an easy thing even when the circumstance was peaceful. And while she knew about Sheldon's own history having been ordered to take an action that resulted in a loss of life of several crew members on the Adelphi, she wasn't sure the extent to which Noah, Kennedy, Az, or even Serana herself had experienced it.

With a quick, but calm movement forward, the Romulan stepped up close to Serana's side. "Perhaps you could share with us why you chose this memory, Lieutenant?" she asked softly.

"We are Rumari," Serana said. "Millenia old and ousted from our world by beings that we gave shelter too. Omri, well, he's all of us who travel from the home ships." She smiled softly, a sad sort of commiserating smile, and nodded. "I did this too. Traveled away from the home ship. It's required. Some return, some are lost to us. It is something we all must face but through these experiences, we learn and grow just as through such memories, we learn about the history of our people. About the history of these people who call themselves the Anakei." She gestured toward the tall warrior. "They too, are an ancient race and one that is secretive and isolated. In the telling of this story, first contact between my people and theirs, we learn and in the learning, reclaim a bit of what was taken from us." She shrugged, a sudden shyness blossoming across her face, and said, almost apologetically, "Through the dreams we recapture our history and as an historian, that matters to me. That and well, Omri, who has visited my dreams, deserves to be remembered."

Emni nodded, quiet and considering for a long moments, her eyes following Serana's to the man who was about to lose his life. She turned to Noah, Kennedy, and Sheldon. "Perhaps the three of you could test the distance for us? See how far out you can walk from us, but don't lose sight of us. I'd like to know how much of this environment we are able to see at once."

Noah nodded. "Of-of course Ma'am." He said speaking only for himself as his glances at the other two attested.

"Can do, sir," Parsons -- all business now -- nodded to t'Nai. Looking to his current and former roommate, the young engineer nodded and led the way. He walked down the path ahead aways and then turned, unsure of whether the rest of the group would still be there. But there they were, still chatting away it seemed. "Let's go a bit further, hmm?" he said, turning back to continue walking. "Also, anyone else more nervous than a cake on a buffet table?"

Noah nodded. "I-I'm trying to understand how this happened. I only got a little look at their technology. M-my guess is its a quantum-rotation system. With some kind of a chroniton particle-wave saturator that can suspend boson function." Noah's lanky arms folded, "I-I saw a theoretical model for something like this in Applied Particle Physics 454. But.... this is way more advanced." He shook his head. "How-how they are able to control the flow of chronitons to come exactly to a certain point of time. And then quantum-rotate particles to a completely different area of space." He pushed a breath up until his bangs, his eyes widened. "Amazing. It must still be working. Somehow."

"Do you like dogs, Noah? I know you have a thing for cats," Sheldon nodded, "but growing up, we always had a dog of some kind. Usually, my brother or I were responsible for the walking of said dog. And occasionally, the pooch would somehow get free and take off running," he sighed, annoyance creeping into his tone. "It'd take awhile but, eventually, one of us would catch up with the doggo and re-leash him. Bring him back into step with us and walk home. That's kind of what's happening here, I think," the engineer posited. "Somehow we've slipped our leash. The tech is keeping us safe -- more or less, food and drink notwithstanding," Sheldon commented, "until the Talbeethians can catch back up to us and hook the leash again."

Noah had followed the allegory with a blink. He liked dogs though he was slightly allergic to some of them. But as Sheldon made his comparison, the eager cadet's eyes widened. "Oh My God... that's exactly what's happened." Noah bent down and passed his hand through the ground- with some limited resistance, "My- our- bosons aren't giving me any substance... so I'm phased. That allowed their-their technology to push us through time using chroniton waves." he stood up. "And we were quantum-rotated. But the quantum rotation acts as a leash. Tha-that's how they pull us back. But the link is broken. We're off-leash and running. We still exist and-and their system knows that, or we'd be floating down in the mantle by now. But it-it can't find us."

Noah chewed his lip with his mind spinning, "We need a dog catcher...." He said, starting to pace. "K-Kennedy can I use your medical tricorder?" He asked whilst Noah pulled out his own engineering tricorder. He turned it on himself and passed it vaguely near his commbadge. Then, with Dr. Walsh's medical tricorder, he scanned himself- this time with a little uncertain caution. The tricorders' readouts were quite different. "Usually." Noah noted with a press-up of his eyebrows into concern, "Inorganic matter's quantum state fluctuates less than organic matter. We-we have an exact quantum signature but it varies... but less with inorganic matter...."

"It all kind of makes my brain hurt," Sheldon admitted, referencing trying to make the science of their trip make sense. "But a dog catcher is exactly what we need. If they can chase us down and re-establish a connection, they can hopefully just pull us back. Just have to be patient, I guess. C'mon," he nodded to a spot further down the lane, "let's trying going a bit further and see if we can still see the rest of the party." And with that, he led the way, walking further away from t'Nai and the others.

As the men walked ahead, stopping to chat while still in view, Emni's eyes turned back to the scene, back straightening, bearing witness with the Rumari next to her. "Do your people have rituals associated with loss?" she asked, tone soft, soothing.

"Yes," Serana said quietly, "and I did them for Omri back when I first had the memory. I drew his portrait, how he stood in front of these warriors, and later, how a touch ended his life." Tears welled up in her eyes and she brushed them away impatiently. "It's never easy when cultures collide. Sometimes it works out and sometimes, when you are alone, it doesn't."

Emni considered the other woman's words for a long moment, the grief the Rumari felt rolling over her like waves. It was old grief, the kind that had been borne for a while and lacked the sharp bitterness of a person newly acquainted with it. Her own memories mingled with it, drawing forth as if called upon to speak into the experience of loss. The silence stretched as they stood witness until finally Emni allowed her eyes to leave the scene and land on Serana.

"Tell me how you came to join Starfleet, Lieutenant," she asked with gentle inquisitiveness. "You speak of the collective, but you have chosen a life away."

"Among my people," Serana said as she dragged her attention away from Omri. They will be leaving soon, taking him back to their leader. "Collective? It is not a word I would use to describe my people but still, among my people, I am an historian, I guess. I record the racial memories that come to me through my dreams. I make notes. I makes drawings. I send it all back to the fleet where its matched up with other such dreams. Together, it all becomes a history of the people. That's what matters to them. That's who I am to them." She shrugged lightly. "I wanted more. At least for awhile. To be just me. To see what's out there with my own eyes. To walk a path of my own choosing." She caught her lower lip between her teeth for a moment. "It sounds selfish, I know. My people have lost so much and I have a duty to them."

Emni mulled that a moment. She was no stranger to the losses of a whole people and in some ways the Rumari's explanation struck almost painfully close to home. Jori and Sulli had accused her of the very thing that Serana had, herself, mentioned -- selfishness -- in a fit of pain and grief when she had first made her choice known, trying to convince them to come with her. She was quiet for several long moments before she spoke again, her tone careful and words chosen with deliberate consideration. "I know something of belonging to a people who have experienced significant loss. My own family is gone because of a fool notion that the scientists on Romulus would find a miraculous way to prevent the supernova that decimated our home." She paused there a moment, making sure of her next words. "We owe much to our people because we are part of them," she continued quietly, "but we do not owe them our lives. We do them no justice if we do not experience for ourselves, live for ourselves... find our own places. Otherwise what good do we do for them by staying behind and remaining unhappy with our circumstance?"

The Romulan glanced over at the Rumari briefly, self-consciousness written on her face. "I am sorry, that may have been an overstep. But for what it is worth, I am glad you have chosen your own path."

Serana nodded, not so much for the apology as for the sudden understanding. "I have lived such moments," she said softly and then shrugged. "My dreams take me into many strange experiences."

Emni's mouth opened to offer a reply, but closed again before she spoke as the familiar sound of boots gave away the return of the trio she had sent off. She turned her gaze to Serana for a quick moment then turned away from the scene to watch as the three men approached.

Having reached a spot fairly distant from t'Nai and crew, Sheldon came to a stop. "I think this is far enough. Clearly, we can go our separate ways if we need to...though I don't relish the notion of splitting up, if I'm being honest. Not that I mind all of your company," he smiled to Noah and Kennedy. "Let's head back and reconnect with the team," he said, leading the way once again. After several long moments, the trio of young men had once again joined their counterparts and it was to t'Nai that Sheldon addressed his next comment: "We could see you all the way from where we were, sir."

Emni pulled the doctor-calm persona she wore as CMO and now XO into place, shaking free thoughts of home and so many lives lost. "That's good to know, Ensign. Thank you." She turned to Az then, a question on her face. "Unless you have any reason for us not to, I suggest we continue on our way. It appears," here she indicated the Azhadi and Omri with a tilt of her head, "they may be leaving."

Az gave the controls on her wrist a helpless look before replying. As far as she could tell, there was nothing to record this expedition and that was a pity. She truly wanted to know what had gone wrong. "This is Serana's journey still, so I would defer to her as to how she would like to continue." Perhaps she could still learn something about her guests.

Emni nodded her understanding and turned back to Serana. "Lead the way Lieutenant."

=/\= A Mission Post By =/\=

Lieutenant Commander Emni t'Nai
Executive Officer

Lieutenant Serana Zhaan
Chief Operations Officer

Lieutenant Kennedy Ryan Walsh
Chief Medical Officer

Ensign Sheldon Parsons

Midshipman Noah Balsam
Systems Specialist

Az (Played by Hebe)
The Talbeethian Guide


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