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Another Piece of the Action

Thinking of Shelby now, in the uniform McCoy would have recognizedhis service days aboardthe Enterprise, nearly took him too far a fieldd to struggle to stay focus OCD and ADD were just twoof the side of effects of the procedures that were performed on him to impress the Kelvan mental map over hideveloping human brain Great intelligence often came with a priceTammas shook his head to clear the fantasy from his mind and forced himself to focus on his goal ofsaving McCoy He openes and continued down the corridor he was no stranger in the corridors ofhe Enterprise d He was rarely stranger any where, given his celebrity status, but even more so now that hehad recently been deemed a hero by some, including Picard, and a minor nuisance by others, including thelikes of Riker There was no argument that garcia had recently made a name for himself in Star Fleet andouched a few lives in the process He picked up his pace so as to avoid the potential for idle chat as he madehis way for the armory where the Kelvan control bracelet was being kept He didn t have time for thenterruptions, Still, he made an effort to acknowledge the people who met his eyes, offering a faint smile orLt Jenna D Sora was on security detail to the armory where the Elvan bracelet was being kept Sheooked up from her desk as Garcia entered, the door closing behind him She smiled They had met oncebriefly, passing in the corridors of the Enterprise She had asked if he had needed assistance and had thrownhim a casual invitation to be social together He of course remembered the meeting He rememberedeverything a photographic memory had been another side affect of the Elvan imprinting procedures, andcontrary to popular opinion, having a perfect memory was not a pleasant thing because one rarely recalled justone particular detail When trying to recall any specific item, a flood of information would accompany anyone bit of dataough just to recall D'Sora; his brain gave himthing about that firstas if he were still standing in that exact same moment of time There was thethe perfume she hadchosen that day, the quality of her voice, the people that were in the corridor at the same time, and the way shead looked at him In addition to the background sounds, like doors opening or closing, the hum of lifesupport, and the quality of the air, there was also the internal dialogue he had been thinking, his emotionalstate, the grumbling of his own stomach, which caused him to consider if he was presently hungryTammas, she said, getting up and coming around the desk to greet him " How are you doingHonestly? Tammas asked

He had remembered he hadnt liked her on that initial meeting, and as hestudied her he realized his feelings for her hadn 't changed he didn 't know why he didn 't like her and hedidn 't know if his memory from the first encounter was influeng that, but he pupushed hissubconscIousobjections away He had to deal with her if he wanted to succeed in his missionAlways, Jenna said Her expression suggested that she was surprised by his questionI was feeling a bit lonely Tammas said, shuffling hI was wondering if I might buy youdinner, if thats the correct colloquialism for asking you outWell, yeah, Jenna said, brightening even more, smile lines leaving heff dutya couple hoursOh, Tammas said, seeming sad He let his gaze fall to the floorShe chuckled"It's not that bad You re welcome to keep me company until then Ive finished myk Just sort of waiting out theMay I? he asked, stepping closer to heWell sure Tammas Jenna saidCall me Tam, he said, stepping even closer to her He was close enough to feel her body heatoff of her "May i askething personal? he askedenna nodded, leaning back against her desk, he was so close to her now that she wanted to holdbreath, but settled for restricting her breathing, redirecting it for fear of bad breath "I would like that, shecame awareof her hands trembling and gripped the edge of the deskWith a finger on her chin, he turned her head gently back, his eyes locking on hers His questioin the form of a kiss his hands goither side of her face Her left knee came up a little, and her right legmoved to allow him to come closer to her After kissing her, he pulled back just far enough so that she couldbreathe They were sharing air and she no longer worried if her breath was bad His wasned andtasted like Spearmint Her eyes remained closed as she absorbed the moment

What was the question? "Jenna asked, breathlesslyOh;” Jenna saic! againTammas kissed her, pushing her back towards the desk“Yes,"Jen see thatJenna sat on the desk, not resisting Tams advances, lying back on the table, her legs coming up to hughim He ran his left hand up her side, across her chest, her neck, and paused on her shoulder His right handwas behind her neck, his fingers combed through her hair He held her head tightly against hisd breathhe had to turn her head slightly to speak, and she moaned awhen he bit her ear "Lock the door so no one can enter D"Sora, kilo primeAcknowledged, the computer responded, and on that Jenna began to return Tams eagerness sevenold She became so hot so fast that tammas almostdn’ t resistould only be a delay of a few moments at best considering how hot they were, and how fast things weredeveloping But every moment counted Tammas pinched the nerve in Jenna's shoulder and she feunconscious, as limp as a rag doll He had executed the Vulcan nerve pinch flawless gate details of her faceSorry, he said, regaining control over his breathing He took in the quiet, intibefore easing her head to the desk He stood straightening his uniform He lookedut over her desk and shuddered He still didn t like her for some reason Not thatthat wouldve stopped him from sharing time with her under different circumstances, he realized He then went to theArmory door and studied the lock Clipping an illegal assistant to the side of the door, he was able to unlockthe mechanism quickly enough, but when it opened it set off alHe was inside thebeing hepr se push of the button He could have just beamed himself to Sickbay mi rest of corridor, phasersere Mccostasis buhad to do it the dramatds metarmed

He reduced them to their essential elements and walked on by After that the rest of security got outof his way Force fields came up and went off as he passed through them as if pushing through wet tissuepaper The lift didn't respond, so he drew a circle around his feet, describing the circumference of a hole hewas about to make a hole that took him directly to the next deck when he pushed the button on the braceletHe bent his knees as he landed on the next level, stood, and repeated the process until he was on the floor heanted, plus four manhole size seof the four decks he had cut through stacked likepaused to look up several decks A security officer two decks up peeked over the edge and down at himphaser ready, and gave a report via his com badgeGarcia turned and entered Sickbay McCoy was in the exact same place No one had moved him nodoubt McCoyin was still being preparedStop, Worf said, stepping out into the openGarcia laughed and pressed the button worf s phaser became a sword garcia held a similar oneIve been waiting a long time for this, Garcia said, growlingSo have l, worf said and chargedGarcia blocked and twirled his sword as Worf passed, maintaining his orientation towards him Hconfidence with the blade was evident in the way he forced Worf to retreat, up until one of his hallucinationntered the room she shook her head in dismay She was dressed in her usual, shades of grey: a dark skirt, aghter bwith black trimbut texturedand black boots She called herself duanaYou have the power to destroy the turtle head, but instead you play games with him? Duana askedt was enough of a distraction that Worf ran him through the chest with the sword, all the way to theammagasped with pain So did Duana, looking as if she were gripping an invisible sword that hadaled her chest Blood filled garonouth and spilled down his chin he beghis own blood Worf lifted on the sword, drawing Tammas up and closer to him Worf roared triumphantly inarcia s face

Garcia screamed, coming full awake He jumped to his feet as if the pain had been a charley horse thatad woken him as opposed to the nightmare His hands went to his chest, sweat pouring down his face

Hesat back down on the bed Jaxa Sito woke, assessed the situation and began to comfort himShhh, it's okay It was just another dream, you're okay, "Jaxa said, rubbing his back

CHAPTER ONEThe probability of there being two planet Earths, exact duplicates, is so close to being nil that no one,except perhaps for one particular Vulcan who was bored with his statistical analysis of the growth rate ofcompeting bacteria in a lab class, had ever bothered to do the math Until that is, a second Earth wasdiscovered Miris planet, named by Captthe young lady he had the fortuneound to be indistinguishable from the planet Earth The inhabitants of the planet had sufficiently similargenetic structure that they could not even be deemed a new species After a huge debate and years of researchhe conclusion was a bit ambiguous Some suggested that the race known as the Preservers were responsibleOtherven more powerful than the Preservers were responsible After all, thisxactarth,all the way down to the same continental drift, as if Earths were being knockedactory style replicatorome suggested that the duplicate Earth was a spill over from a parallel universe or an alternate timeline a feen at the risk of violating all the known rulesgoverning modern theories on Divergent Evolution And fewer still called for a return to a deity paradigm, fording two Earths was a scary enough event that it could only mean one thing: there was a god Whateverthe explanation, it was most definitely a cause for wonder Shades of Adam Douglas wonderUnfortunately for the coincidence people, there were other examples of mere"coincidences Fefor a moment the odds that it was Captain Kirk who found Miris planet, as well as the planet now calledOmega Four (Technically, Kirk hadnt discovered it, but he was there )Forget for a moment that bothplanets had sought the development of a biological means for prolonging human life And forget for theoment that these cultures developed so similarly that they hadcreatedof thePreamble to the Constitution of the United States of America

(And you almost have to forget that one, unlessou believed in that old joke of throwing a million monkeys and typewriters together and with sufficient timeone of them would reproduce the works of Shakespeare Shakespeare was one thing, but two groups ofmonkeys knocking out a preamble to the constitution Even on earth the Constitution of the united stateshad been a rare event simply due to thewas difficult to achieve consensus between any two groups ofpeople, much less two individuals That was one reason why the European Union had so much troubledrafting a Constitution At any rate, finding Omega Four, and the Coms and the Yanks, compounded analready heated debate Did this suggest that perhaps we, as complex individuals, even as isolated as we are asentities, were more common than randomly generated snowflake?(And maybe even snowflakes patterns wererepetitanalyzed a lale (The argument againthat being you might as well keep looking for a repeating pattern in pi )e scleally stepped forward to suggest a reasonable theory Doctor Richard galen, whodisliked being referred to as Doctor, even though he had at least five doctorates, and several Masters to boot,tist had been too afraid toKnowing what we know about biologyand planetary evolution, a process we have proved beyond a shadow of doubt through various fieldsresearch and endeavors, even going as far as reproducing such findings in the laboratory, it is unreasonable toelieve that evolution alone can sufficiently account for the high number of humanoid species encounteredch a relatively small part of our galaxy " He was simultaneously praised by some and denounced by othersAs one of his examples, he offered the lotians, a species that were so similar to humans in appearance that it istween them without a genetic sampleAfter the submission of Galen's paper, another student, sitting in a biology lab on Vulcan and thinkingthings incompatible with his lab goals, decidedss reference the lotihehighlighted"tags, names likes James T Kirk and Spock, which to him suggested perhaps coincidence was anunlikely choice of word Coincidence was also a strange word that might mean more than even he mighsuspect, which prompted closer scrutiny Apparently, a hundred years before Kirk, the Starship Horizon hadted the ieleaving behindltural contamination By the time Kirk had appearescene, the lotians had completed a total makeover on themselves They had modeled their socilehe gangster lifestyle of twentieth century Earth( Could that mean Omega Fours population had been visitedby travelers who had left a draft of the Constitution? ) Why any intelligent species would do such a thing asdel themselves after gangsters was a curiosity The lotians were bright people, perhaps even a good deal

smarter than the average human, their distant cousins Smart enough, in some ways, to resemble idiot savaSure, savants could spit out huge prime numbers on request, and compute incredible sums at the blink of aneye, but when faced with applying it in a practical way they more often than not fell flat on their facesAfter thinking about this for a while, and based on his observations, this particular student wrote aaper, attached it to a Star Fleet applicaand submitted itper was subsequently lost Coincidence? Perhaps not, but when it finally resurfacedprompted another research mission necessitating another visit to lotia prime to observe what had transpiredsince Kirk The USs Minnesota, a Constellation Class Starship, under the command of a Captain GeorgeHS dispatched The ship arrived at lotia Prime three and a half weeks after being sent and took up aparking orbit on the opposite sianet's only space stationt was a primitive space station, and not an unreasonable thing to find in orbit, seeing it was just shy ofhundred years after Kirks visit After all, they knew the lotians were bright In a hundred years after theHethey had reformed thty from an agrarianof aall the trappings of early twentieth century American culture, so it seemed reasonable that since Kirks visitthey had figured out how to put people in orbiWhat Captain Heller and his crew didn ' t expect was that the lotians had developed workingtransporters and that they had been waiting for Star Fleets return The firsttraders arrived on the

deck of the Minnesota just prior to the Captain officially hailing the planets leader The lotian's Presideappeared on the view screen just as the intruder alert klaxon began blaringCaptain Heller grimaced, signaling for the communication officer to put the President on hold whileturning to his security ofto recematerialized out of thinmanner not unfamiliar to anyone with transporter technology Three of these people appeared on the bridgen full space gear, carrying explosiveWait 'Heller said We come inCaptain Heller never finished his sentence because at that very moment most of his shipdue to an uncontrolled mixing of matter and anti matter This was the direct result of an intruder inengineering, also wearing a space suit, who decided a suicide was better than getting caught He had figuredthat blowing him-self up would puncture the deck, venting the atmosphere and crew into space, and hiscomrades could study the ship afterwards

What he hadnt known was that the illuminated tube behind himas a warp core, or what that warp core contained He was gone before the searing white light registered orhis eyes There were some splintery fragments of the starship remaining in orbit, which would continuespread until a very thin ring of debris circled the planet The particles and fragments were of suchinsignificance that even the lotians wouldn t be able to backwards engineer any new technology from theecoverFour Star General, Louis Hammon came to a halt in front of the Presidents desk He casually inhaledrough a cigar and blew smoke towards the ceiling "You wanted to see me, Mr President? he asked, notothering to remove the cigar, speaking out the side of his mouth“ Put that out” the president commanded“Hyou heardking kills?happen to know the Sergeant General, Hammon said "It hasnt stopped him from smokingThe President shook his head sadly "Well, what do you have to say for yourself?Ooops, Hammon offered, flashing a smile, consistant with his general aire of sarcasm and lackconcern aboutthneralOoops? The President shot back The first Federation ship to come within transporter range in ayears au can sWe're viewing the tapes, Mr President, Hammon assured him "We re pretty sure it was anDo you think we got enough information on those tapes to backward engineer warp techthem came back with technology At 1245, Houston time, we observed via satellites the approach of the orProbably not, Hammon admitted "We only managed to get fourteen people aboard, and ne

Starship At 1248 we had trained all available ground based telescopes on the ship The first wave beamed313 Houston time are about to launch two capsules to siftthrough the debris for anything salvageable, but given the extent of the damage, it's not very promisingThe president threw a pen dthe desk and cursed "Without warp technology, webreakut of this startleforced quarantine And by the time we figure out warp drive on our own, there wont becolonize damn Kirk, damn his New deal and damn starfleetWith all due respect, Mr President, you're speaking blasphemy and treason I'm sure it's not all thatbad Hammon saidAll that bad? The Federation has been abducting our people for experiments over the last hundredyears, plundering the galaxy of all its resources, and it's not all that bad? the President asked ""Can you telme something that might make me feel betterI doubt it will make you feel better, but I think you should know that I don t think the Federation hasbeen abdupeople, the General saidWhat do you mean you don t think the Federation has been abducting our people?! "the Presidentasked "Of course they have been abducting our people Kirk clearly said that the Federation wanted apercentage, and they obviously weren't talking money because no one s come asking foHayu wondered why there is never any evidence left at these UFO sightings and abductions?e deneBecause they use transporters! " the President saidWell, yes, Mr President, I believe transporters are used in the abduction cases, the General saidmade some advances, if our telescopes are any judge, but they are still using technology that l r to haThebe dealing with two different technologieossibly means two different aliensship that we boarded in orbit resembled the Starship Enterprise that Kirk arrivedadvance that we cant coAnd prehend it Now, the UFO's on the other hand, we can't even get a goodAnd if we accept the stories of these little gray aliens, then, I realy think we re dealingwith two different sets of entitiesAnd what do you propose to do about this? the President askedNothing the general saidNothing? the President repeated, forcing himself to take in a deep breath He stood up, leaned on hisdesk till his knuckles went white, and then in a surprise burst of emotions he tossed everything that was on hisdesk to the floor

The dial tone on his phone became the promind following the crash and he reachedown and picked up the phone, jerked the line free from the wall, and tossed it at a book shelf In his rage, heailed to notice a loop in the line that had snagged his hand, jerking the phone back at him so that it hit him inthe gut, before falling towards the floor, dangling just at his shins as he tried to extricate himself from the lineHe kicked the phone away, nearly tripping on the notebooks that had only recently lay on his desk Hsurrendered his anger and dropped to his chair sulkingMr President, with all due respect, there is little that we can do Whether it is Star Fleet or a newvisiting alien, we simply do not have the technology to go up against them at this time And quite frankly, ifhey really wanted to wipe us out as a species, well, there's nothing we could do to defend ourselGeneral said"All we can do is to continue with our research Perhaps we can figure out what went wrongwith our boarding of the Star Fleet ship when we ve analyzed all the dataI don't like this I don t like not having control What do I tell the people? Just lay back and enjoybe becahere's nothing you can do about it?I say we stay with the general line, the general said There are no UFO's or alien abductions takingplace The media will continue their misinformation campaign about sleep paralysis theories and masshysteria Meanwhile, Star Fleet maintains minimal contact while we continue to advance our technologiesther hundredresources, the President said We have enough oil reserves to last thirty years, and after that, this world willI find that hard to believe Hammon said the president didn t try to alleviate his concern "whatabout alternative energyWind? Solar? Hydroelectric? Nuclear

Oh, we'll be able to keep the elite of our nation comfortable for some time, the president agreedBut when you have at least one billion spoiled, middle class and want-to-be elites, and fourteen billion pooryou can expect the transition to complete poverty is not going to be a pleasant one War, famine, pestilencechaos Imagine your worst nightmare and multiply it by a factor of ten, and you're still off by a thousandThe Federation will never let it cto that” Hammolease Dont tell me you are one of those Kirk groupies, are you? All Utpoia, all the time? Kirkwill save us? "the President said, mockinglyHammon said"I believe in hard work We knew transporters existed, we put our brainsand resources to the task, and we built transporters Granted, they still need some fine tuning, but we wouldnthave gotten a toe hold in space if it weren't for them We certainly wouldnt have got our space station buiwithout it And, we have our brightest minds working on warp drive I believe we'll figure it out I do admithat I believe the Federation is going to help us, or maybe has been secretly helping us all along There mustbe a reason for the long silenceI'Il explain the long silence Were on our own down here It's sink or swim, survival of the fittestThe President said"Dont you read and understand The Book?Yes, Sir But if you will permit me some speculation, Hammon said"I bet it deoesn t take theanother hundred years to discover what happened to their latest shipYou better be right For all our sakes, you better be right, and you better figure out what went wrongp there, because we cant afford to be stuck on this little planet much longer, the President saidammas was unable to return to sleep He lay there, in the dark, listening to the silence It wasntutter silence Space would be even more silent

It was an obsessive compulsive thought that hemmediately recognized and squashed with the words, "Cancel that He took an audible inventory of hisurrounding There was the hum of life support, the ticking of an antique clock, and the snoring of ampanion sleeping beside him that were noticeable without effort Less noticeable, to most people, was ahigh pitch hum which was possibly an energy conduit running the length of the far wall He focused on themost obvious sound coming from the companion The rhythm of her breathing was anything but a calmingnfluence Her name was Jaxa Sito and she was not a quiet sleeperh her in halation and exhalations wereaccompanied by small, little squeaky noises Anybody else might have considered the whimper like soundscute, but to Tammas they were annoying, and almost as distracting as his own thoughts In between eachdifferent set of noises was a rhythmic silence that kept him alert in anticipation of the next auditoryHad she been drumming her fingers on a desk he would have asked her to stop, but how do you ask someoneot to make noises in their sleep? For all he knew, he made noises in his sleep but then, he didnt keephimseake with thoseit was irrelevant He tried listening to her from a medical perspectiveWhat was it about her anatomy and physiology that produced these sounds? Were they idiosyncratic, or didall Bajorans make these noises in their sleep? He wonderedHe tried to focus on other things He could feel her bodys heat radiating away from her She wash was a pleasant sensation considering that the air terom was a bit chilly fohim It was chilly enough that he had given in to his temptation to tighten down the edges of the blanket andhide his head he didnt like re-breathing his own air so he kept his mouth and nose free and took the cool airnto his lungs he could feel Jaxa's breathing against his neck but he couldn 't smell her breath She was underHe could feel her arm draped over his chest The linen had the fresh, cleanthat all star flolinen had after being replicated various scents could be added on requestaromatherapy needs, and inhis case there was just a hint of lavender Jaxa suggested it might help him relax, provided everything elseshe did to help him relax was insufficient to bring on sleepa rolled over to her side of the bed, putting her back to Garcia She took the covers with hepulling them tightly around her Tammas stared towards the ceiling Not that he could see the ceiling Therewas no window in this room, which belonged to Ensign Kellogg She and Jaxa had doubled up, and Kellogghad offered the bed to Jaxa so that she could get some quality rest Tammas was technically assignedSelar's quarters, but given their questionable status he hadn t returned How could he, he asked himself, st

be technically married to Selar, but biologically bound to Princess Simone? It drove him crazy wonderingich one of them would draw him into a Pon Farr ritual first, or if one bond superceded the other, or if theirclocks had been reset when selar had transferred his bond to simone in order to save his life It was allVulcan crazinessHow did life get so complicated? How did he end up here? he asked himself and then had to definemean here with Jaxa? He had been walking aimlessly and had bumped into herOne thing led to the other and Perhaps"here"meant on the Enterprise He and Jaxa had been on a traininxercise on the Uss Chance, which had been destroyed He and the surviving crew had been rescued by theEnterprise Or maybe"here"was more abstract, suchthe sense of what he was feeling and thinking heas lonely, even thoughal losses: his sister jovet and his biologicalather McCoy Was he really feeling loss because McCoy died, or because it was the idea of McCoy beindead? They had had a relationship, but it hadn ' t been a father son sort of relationship What were they? Whatcould they have been? The question was now irrelevant No one lived forever ""So, why prolong it, Just stepinto an airlock and CANCEL THAT!You know, if you put a pillow over her head, we could get some sleep " came a voice from the darkHe hadn t heard the voice since Simone had used the Kelvan technology to teleport him to the Enterprise Hee herthe darkfirm it was who he thought it was but he was confident it was duanae of his recurring hallucinations He felt her snuggle closer to him, opposite side of Jaxa He unconsciouslyloved away from her That act caused Jaxa to fallJaxa sat up groggily Computer,Her eyes adjusted Tammas was at the end of the bed, urgently dressing She didn t see the two otherwomen in bed with Tam, since they were his hallucinations

Duana was the dark one, in dress and hair Ilona,wore shades of white and had blond hairWhat's wrong?" Jaxa askedgot to gtwo hallucinations that were stretched out on the bed toside of hiWhy? Jaxa asked, standing She draped the sheet around her, more to keep warmth in than to avoidexposing herself "Did they call you for somethinAs Jaxa sat next to him, the two hallucinations moved to accommodate her Duana puGarcias shoulder, flashing a smile at him "And I thought she was annoying when she was sleeping, " DuanaI told you he was with her, Ilona saidIlona was Duana's alter ego Or were they his alter egos? He didn t know what to think, but he wasgoing to go be medically re-evaluated He sat back down on the bed to put on his boots Jaxa dropped a sidef the sheet in order to put a hand on his backYou're acting strange I,m worried " Jaxa saidStrange? "Tammas askedDid I do something wrong? Are you angry with me? Jaxa askedThiabout you, " Tammas said, standingaxa grabbed hisTell me somethingTammas paused What should he tell her? That hes crazy? Tell her that he is hallucinating? If thatbout it would spell the end of his career in Star Fleet He took her hand and placed it on his chestar his heartJaxa, Tammas said, hunting the right words, "Im sorry I woke youWoke me? You pushed me off the bed Jaxa saidI did? he asked, trying to recollect He did" Oh, I'm sorry It must have been another nightmareAnd I readoing physicallk it offI could help you with the physical part, Jaxa offeredTramp, Ilona mutteredHe sighed " Maybe later I just need to walk Alone, he emphasized looking at his two invisible sidekicks He turned back to Jaxa " Okay?