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Thac Attack

Posted on Thu May 5th, 2022 @ 4:14pm by Ensign Aenardha Sh'vastarth & Lieutenant Commander Mindo & Lieutenant James Smith

Mission: The Only Thing Left Was Hope
Location: Intelligence Office
Timeline: Prior to "Ulysses' Return"

With the Pandora still en route toward Carwennan, Aenardha had an idea to propose, but was unsure if she should just say it aloud on the Bridge or speak to the captain herself. There was still the Chain of Command and she decided that utilizing it was the best course of action.

She made her way to the Intelligence Office where her superior officer, LT Smith was working.

As he was looking over reports in his own office, apart from the Intelligence main office where the rest of the enlisted crew was working, she entered and sat across the desk from him awaiting him to wrap up whatever he was looking at and to be recognized.

James looked over the various reports that had been coming through the various departments and the many Intel reports that had been gathered during their time in the expanse. James heard the door to his office open and listened as he hear Aenardha take a seat across from his desk. Finishing up a report he looked up and smiled, and said “What can I do for you today, Ensign.”

Aenardha was not sure how to word her idea, so she sat in an uncomfortable silence for an ever so brief second before speaking. Time was short and she knew it. The Pandora was on the way to Carnwennan Station. If this was idea turned out to be ill-advised then so be it, but if it could prove beneficial to the Pandora and her crew, then…again, time was short.

“Sir, I have not yet been able to comb through all the information, that I have access to, regarding Admiral Thac. From what I have picked up on the Bridge, his interrogation remains incomplete. I cannot help but sense concern from among the command team regarding the admiral and what will happen once we return to Carnwennan Station. Despite being telepathic, even LT Kaleri-Smith may not be able to acquire much information from him. The admiral may even have training to block telepathic probes.” Aenardha swallowed hard. Now she was getting to the important part of her idea. “Us Aenar can create near-physical telepathic links with various species by pressing the cups of our antennae against their temples.” Proof sometimes required evidence and Aenardha felt she had to confess that, “I performed such a link with Mr. Arnaldo so I know this can work. If…”

Aenardha had to swallow again and take a breath. “If the captain were to order me to perform such a telepathic link with the Admiral, easier if he was unconscious, I could perhaps acquire the information the captain seeks.” She let the thought set a second. “What do you think of this, sir?”

James looked over the information that she had presented to him. He had been really impressed with the work that she had done. Looking over the data he smiled. “I like what you have here Ensign, but it’s something that I’m going to run by Commander Nash as well”. Hitting his com badge he said =/\=Commander Nash could you come to Intelligence please, Ensign Aenardha and I have something to run by you. =/\=

Lieutenant-Commander Mindo had just left his quarters, ready for mandatory bridge duty when the call was rerouted to his own comm badge. It wasn't the first time someone had called for Nash by mistake. After all, he'd only been filling in as first officer for barely a week. Mindo tapped his comm badge.

=/\= This is Mindo. I'm on my way. =/\=

In a few short minutes, Mindo arrived at the Intelligence office. He nodded to both officers. "James, Ensign Sh'vastarth. What do you have for me?"

James smiled as Mindo entered his office, "Thanks for coming, Ensign Sh'vastarth has presented an idea to get information from Admiral Thac and while it seems out of the ordinary I believe that it may allow us to get the information that we are looking form from him and get through any telepathic blocks that he may have trained his mind for. I wanted another command officer to listen to the proposal before having her try the technique that she has outlined to me." James turned to the Ensign. "Ensign could you please run through what you told me along with any complications that may occur."

Aenardha recalled meeting and speaking with Mindo before, but he was just a department head at the time. Now that he was the XO of the Pandora, as temporary as it was, she felt a bit different, a bit more out of her comfort zone, in detailing this idea to the XO in the stead of her own department head. Still, it seemed she was the next to speak.

“Sirs,” she addressed them both, then “Commander Mindo,” she hoped she got the title right, “I was speaking to LT Smith a few minutes ago about a near-physical telepathic link that the Aenar can create with another. It would mean pressing the cups of my antennae to the antennae of another. In most species, the temples behind your eyes work almost just as well. Doing this creates a more powerful telepathic link. It may also bypass telepathic training and any neuro-blocks. I know this is possible because I have done it with Mr. Arnaldo. I have also created such a link with Mr. Qaraq before…” she stopped herself as the love she had for him welled inside. She had to remain focused on the point at hand. “Based on intel and what I have heard on the Bridge, Admiral Thac’s interrogation remains incomplete. There may even be hesitation in attempting to infiltrate his mind telepathically. If ordered to, I could attempt this near-physical link with the Admiral in an attempt to extract the information the captain is looking for. There are, of course, risks. I am confident I can keep them at a minimum."

Mindo activated his legs and hovered up a little, putting him face-to-face with the eager young Aenar.

"You're quite ambitious, Ensign," he said.

Aenardha could already feel the meaning of his words. There came with those words a sense of fatigue. Considering all the ship and crew had been through, it was all too understandable. And, in that fatigue, she could feel him perform the mental version of a sigh.

Mindo sighed as he thought for a moment. "In theory, a telepathic link would surely give us a huge advantage over Thac and others involved. But there's a lot to consider. Captain Temple believes that Thac is mentally unstable and delusional. The way I understand it, having a delusion means you believe the delusion. If he does believe them, will you be able to discern what is true and what isn't?"

“I,” Aenardha began, “had not…actually…” and she took a quick glance at herself through LT Smith’s eyes before reconnecting with herself through Mindo’s. She was suddenly hoping her own department head would have come up with that question before calling upon the commander of the ship. “I am…not certain I can…”

Mindo continued. "The second issue I have with this idea is over privacy and, though Thac may not deserve it, dignity. I don't like the image of anyone being held and restrained while someone probes their deepest and most personal thoughts...”

“I do not like it either, sir. I simply wanted provide the captain with…”

"And then there's you," Mindo said. "I heard about your link with Qaraq as he died.”

And those words took Aenardha back to one of the side effects of such a link. She had an unquenchable desire to be with Qaraq, but was reminded, again, that he was dead; dead and gone.

“I don't know what transpired between you, but it seems like there would be a big difference between a sane man who is dying versus an insane man who wants to live. Could you handle that much emotional distress?"

“I…” was all Aenardha could manage to say for the moment. There was a reason why the Aenar strongly advised against such a telepathic link. They absolutely forbade it if an Aenar elder, experienced with such things, was not present. And there Aenardha was, having already performed the link twice, with a plan on doing it a third time.

Again, she was hoping LT Smith had come up with this line of questioning before calling upon and troubling the, clearly fatigued, Pandora’s XO. Instead…this.

“I do…” and she forced herself to be completely honest here, “…not think I would be able.” And she left it at that.

Aenardha watched herself through Mindo’s eyes as she lowered her eyes. Even her antennae arched low.

Mindo gently put his arm on her shoulder. "Don't be discouraged, Ensign," he said, his tone softer now than it had been a moment ago. "In any difficult situation, all options must be considered. You were right to bring it up."

James nodded as well, “I encourage all my officers to approach me with any idea, and then if I like it I like that officer to present the idea themselves, any idea is considered , especially if we are able to preserve lives or get much needed information.”

Mindo smiled. "I try to run Engineering the same way. I'm doing my best to do it as first officer as well." He turned back to Aenardha. "Ensign, while I find flaws in your idea, Captain Temple might see it a different way. If you like, I can bring it up to him in our next report."

Aenardha thought on it a quick second. Yeah, there were flaws in her idea. She vowed, right there, to think things through more thoroughly before bringing any more ideas to her LT. If she was to have any more flawed ideas, she certainly did not want to XO to point them out. “If only to provide the captain with the option, sir,” she responded. “I do agree with your concerns. If the captain deems the acquisition of information more important, I will carry out what orders he may have. Thank you, Commander.”


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