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"You'll Never Believe What Happened Last Night..."

Posted on Thu Aug 19th, 2021 @ 7:12am by Captain Nycolas Temple & Ignatius & Raven Mattel & Lieutenant Commander Mindo & Petty Officer 2nd Class Zo & Terrekal

Mission: The Gauntlet
Location: Deck 5: Luna Eclipse


It was the morning after their big night on Paradise Outpost. Mindo, Terrekal, Ignatius, and Raven had wanted an adventure on the station and Paradise had certainly delivered. Afterwards, the quartet had slowly made their way back to the Pandora to sleep off the effects of the Sonic Harmoniser (and their wild evening), before meeting up again to recount their tales from the night before.

Feeling tired and conspicuous, Lieutenant Mindo, Terrekal, Ignatius and Raven were seated in a corner booth in the Luna Eclipse, like movie stars wanting to hide from the paparazzi. Iggy and Raven were being warmed and comforted by oversized cups of coffee as they slouched into the bench seats. Ignatius had his largest and darkest sunglasses over his eyes, and he had chosen a dark navy designer tracksuit to wear, as if his normal attire would attract too much attention. Raven was curled up in the corner of the booth, wearing an oversized jumper and black leggings. She too was wearing sunglasses and had her wig wrapped in a scarf.

They were all speaking in hushed tones - to save their voices and avoid any prying ears.

"I don't get why Dream Pleg was so condescending to me." Ignatius was saying, having recounted his dream to Raven. "I thought it was supposed to be pure bliss, but I got sass from a Ferengi instead."

Raven muffled a laugh. "I got a guilt trip from myself. It was nice in the end but far more emotional than just, you know, joy." She shrugged, "You should have seen my body, though, Iggy. It was damn fine."

Ignatius smiled a little, "It will be in reality, too." He took a sip of his Oolong tea.

Terrekal laid in the booth with his head in Mindo's lap. The two of them had spent a quiet night together cuddling on Mindo's couch while an old monster film was projected on the wall with the sound down. Now Terrekal opened his eyes and shifted his head to look up at Raven.

"I've seen you perform so many times at Mindo's," he said to her. "Last night was the most amazing thing I've ever seen you do. You are truly a star, Raven."

Raven dipped her head with a humble smile. "It was one of the best nights of my life." She replied quietly, "I've never done anything like that before. That stage? The band? The crowd! Oh my, it was a dream come true."

"Perhaps not for the last time either, then?" Ignatius asked, looking at her hopefully. "I'm sure Pleg and the Casino will have you back. If you wanted to."

"Ohh I don't know." Raven shook her head, but her face betrayed a smile. "I mean... only if I had you guys with me."

Mindo looked down at Terrekal. "You never told any of us what your dream was," said Mindo.

"I know," said Terrekal.

"Well?" Mindo said. "You've heard all of ours. It's unfair to keep it from us."

Terrekal sighed and sat up, pivoting to face his curious friends.

"I dreamed..." he said with hesitation. "I dreamed I met my parents."

Ignatius shared a look around the table, a clear sense of concern behind his eyes. "Is that... I mean, you've never met them before?"

Terrekal shook his head. "Not my biological ones. I was given up for adoption before I was born. My adopted parents never met them and their reason for giving me up was never given. I just have so many questions. What do they look like? What were their names? Whose eyes do I have? What mannerisms of theirs do I unconsciously do? I've always wondered because I don't look a thing like my parents. All my pictures with them just look strange."

"I didn't know you were adopted," Mindo said.

"So in the dream, what did they look like?" Raven asked quietly. "And what did you feel, most importantly?"

"Well..." Terrekal said, trying to find the words. "In the dream, I had my father's eyes. But I saw a lot of my cheeks and smile in my mother. It was... strange. It was great to meet them, but I was kind of at a loss for words. They seemed understanding, and glad with the person I turned out to be. But all those things I thought I'd say to them... you know, all the questions... they just didn't come. I realize now that my greatest dream wasn't to say those things. I just wanted them to be proud of me."

Ignatius nodded, "I think we all want that. Has the dream made you want to go and find your parents at all?"

Terrekal seemed to ponder this for a minute, but shook his head. "I don't really know what I'd do or say. And I don't really expect anything from them. My dream has been inside me since I was a child, and I've dreamed it before, just not in the clarity and detail that I did last night. I think the experience taught me I have nothing to prove to them. That I'm my own man whether I know them or not."

"I will cheers to that." Ignatius suddenly spoke loudly, as he raised his glass. He immediately realised that he was drinking coffee from a mug instead of a cocktail, which somewhat dissipated the sentiment. He frowned into the mug disappointedly.

"No." Raven interjected. "No cheers to anything. I need quiet time." She complained, wrapping her arms around herself.

Mindo noticed someone entering the establishment and saw it was Zo, who looked rather hungover and a bit stretched. Mindo remembered Zo wasn't much for sleep, but he didn't go on duty for another eight hours.

"Hey Zo!" Mindo called. "Get your coffee and come sit with us." Terrekal scooted over closer to Mindo to create a place for Zo, who was probably feeling the aftereffects of the harmoniser even more than they were, since he had been the one playing it during the concert.

Zo sat down with his drink and let out a big sigh. "That was quite a night, you guys," he said. "Raven, I've never had as much fun on stage as I did with you. You're welcome to sing with Warp Nine any time."

"Oh honey, it was ever-y-thing!" Raven exclaimed clapping her hands, "I think we've discovered a new act for Mindo's bar."

"Yeah!" Mindo said. "That sonic harmoniser is one interesting device. I wonder what the effect of hearing it a second time would have..."

"We may get the chance to find out," Zo said. It became clear at that point that something was troubling Zo. Like there was a secret he needed to get off his chest.

"You OK, Zo?" Terrekal said with concern. He'd noticed the oddness in Zo's voice.

Zo nodded. "Yeah, I am."

"We were just talking about the harmoniser dreams we had," Mindo said, taking a sip of the glass of orange juice that sat next to the empty plate, the former resting place of scrambled eggs and buttered toast with raspberry jam.

Terrekal leaned forward. "Care to share, bear?"

"Well," Zo started, taking a big breath, "I dreamed I was playing the harmoniser in front of a huge sold-out crowd, and afterward I took it home with me... and when I woke up this morning I found the harmoniser next to me in my bed." Zo scanned the stunned faces before him. "I don't think the harmoniser had an effect on me. I think my biggest dream was already being fulfilled... is that possible?"

"Ooh I'm sorry you didn't get a dream." Raven said soothingly.

"Wait - you took it home with you?!" Ignatius interrupted, leaning forward across the table. "You have it?!"

Zo nodded. "Yep. It's in my quarters."

Raven leaned in as well, whispering, "Is that allowed? It feels like it shouldn't be."

Ignatius shrugged, "Technically, Engineering made the Sonic Harmoniser. And remember Pleg said the Qzarn usually destroys it after their concerts? Soo... maybe they won't care?"

Terrekal grinned and nodded. "Yeah! And then we could say Zo finally built one of his own, like he always wanted to!" Then a metaphorical light bulb came over his head. "Hey, we could make a lot of people happy if we broadcast a few riffs over the comm system!"

Mindo rolled his eyes. "Yeah, leaving every ship operation unattended. It'd be the one time the warp core would malfunction and no one would be conscious to fix it."

"How often does the warp core malfunction?" Terrekal asked.

"More often than you'd think," Zo lied. "I suppose I could custom paint the harmoniser with a Warp Nine theme..."

From behind the group, there came a loud and obvious cough.

Mindo's eyes went wide. Raven sunk down into the bench and Ignatius tried to hide behind his mug of tea, neither were successfully hidden. Terrekal pretended to examine whatever was in front of him, which was a spoon. Zo slowly turned around. Captain Nyx folded his arms over his chest and raised his eyebrows, a PADD held under his right arm.

"Zo?" He started with a smile, "Something you need to tell us?"

"Um... sir! Uh," Zo stuttered, "I was just kidding about..."

Mindo chimed in, speaking with calm confidence. "Captain, I must apologize. Crewman Zo's remark about warp core malfunctions was entirely inaccurate and inappropriate. I must take full responsibility, sir, as he is my subordinate and follows by my example. In Engineering I do not tolerate such comments or behavior from any of my officers. Rest assured, we've had no malfunctions of any kind on the core for more than the last eighteen months. I can compose a detailed report of that information immediately if you'd like. I also request any disciplinary action on Crewman Zo you feel is necessary be given to me instead, sir."

"I'm talking about this... confusing goods transfer request you made at 3am this morning." Nyx replied, handing the PADD over to Zo. "Operations scanned the device when it came onboard but couldn't quite figure out what it does and why you have it."

There was silence again, and all eyes were shifting from Zo to Mindo to Temple.

"I actually had nothing to do with that," said Mindo.

Nyx raised his eyebrows even further. He knew the information that he had on hand, he knew there was more to this story than just a fun night out for the Engineers and civilians. His suspicions were high.

"Captain." Raven sat forward again. She hadn't had many conversations with the Captain of the Pandora; as a civilian, she hadn't really had the opportunity. She knew from conversations with Iggy and Mindo that he was generally a good guy, but he was still the highest authority on the ship and could easily disembark her whenever he chose. She put on a smile and began, "Last night, we went on final trip to Paradise and ended up in the employ of the Casino."

"How so?" Nyx asked, tilting his head to look at the civilian.

"Well... Mr. Zo and his band put on a concert and I sang with them." Raven explained hesitantly. "The Casino's original act were detained by the Alrakis Pact and they were desperate, so they corralled us into helping them. We put on a heck of a show."

"It was fabulous, Nyx - uh, Captain." Ignatius quickly added. "I think we really saved the Casino a lot of money and trouble. You could say, we helped Paradise by extension."

Nyx nodded, "That's good if you helped them. Mr. Zo, you're awfully quiet?"

"Ignatius is right!" Zo said, nodding and looking at the group for approval. "I also took home a souvenir. It's an instrument I played during the concert called the Sonic Harmoniser. Normally it's destroyed after every performance, but I, uh, decided to keep it instead. I'm sure I cleared it with Ops on my way back. I don't recall having any trouble..."

"No trouble." Nyx shrugged, "But you all returned to the ship in the very early hours of the morning, and not all together. After what happened last time we were on Paradise, I'm naturally cautious about what my people get up to while on that station. I don't want any more... surprises."

"Oh! No one died!" Ignatius immediately said a little too loudly and emphatically.

"The complete opposite in fact." Raven added, "Thanks to the Sonic Harmoniser, we did good, honey." Realising she was being over familiar, Raven bit her lip. "I mean, Captain." She laughed.

Leaning forward and placing his hands on the table, Nyx look around at the group with consternation, "So tell me, what exactly is a Sonic Harmoniser?"



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