|For the unmet coauthor|
The story is outlined in the form of an introductory week long (five
night) pilot mini-series for a new 'Star Trek' spin-of, beginning with
a full length TV movie.
Hence six episodes, because introductory TV movies
are repackaged with the rest of series syndication by being
split into two episodes.
Accompanying the 'collaborative story brainstorming FAQ all about how to join right in on the Star Trek: The Ship of Fools' ezboard, these materials including extensive writers notes and links, serve also as a 'Star Trek: The Ship of Fools' writers "bible" Online. The story arc in detail is preceded by an INTRODUCTION and followed by an AFTERWORD. The draft is copiously annotated and hyperlinked with writer's notes and sources, all targeted to and awaiting a very specific hypothetical implied reader, the unmet coauthor to whom this preliminary missive is directed.
And for further 'Star Trek: The Ship of Fools' adventures select from the auto-scrolling LOGS menu which will open in the bottom frame.
|This work violates Paramount copyrights and trademarks, but it's not for profit. Blah, blah, blah...|
|'Star Trek: The Ship of Fools' copyright 1999-2011 by Aaron Agassi, on behalf of all contributors over time, each for their much appreciated respective input.|
The Kelvan Question
If you where engaged in a mission of long range exploration, to find and prepare a new home for Humanity, for after our sun will go Nova -and we all know it will, would you worry about returning because of the Nova? Of course not! Even though we on Earth abide at midpoint in the life of our sun as a a main sequence star, up to five billion years yet remain until stellar expansion ensues. The exhaustion of a star is long in coming, and it's death throws slow and protracted. You'd never expect to live to see any of it. No, what any Human being would worry about, would be the vast and protracted transit time of the expedition in search of our new home. To undertake such a voyage, one needs must compelling reasons, beyond the abstract and distant future of ages to come.
And that is why Kirk and Bones where so fortunate and able to convince the Kelvans that sending a message drone back to Kelva in the Galaxy of Andromeda, as Spock had off handedly suggested, would be a more convenient option than highjacking the Enterprise as a generation ship, and suspending most of the crew as compact polyhedra! For the Kelvan highjackers had discovered their priorities shifting with their newly Human perspective and situation.
But now the fateful remark by a young Science Officer returns as question of trust, honor and credibility haunting the eminent and controversial Federation Ambassador Spock.
Because, the question has plagued Spock, did the Federation actually ever keep their promise? For there would have been every temptation to just lie to the sensorially and emotionally overwhelmed and distracted Kelvan invaders, and never actually launch back any automated message drone to Kelva at all.
After all, much as the newly "text-book Human" Kelvan colonists offered to the Federation, in their health, capability, skills, new zest for life, and far advanced technology; the Kelvans back on Kelva in the Andromeda Galaxy may, for all we know, still remain aggressive, dangerous, amoral, unsympathetic and Imperialist as ever we have been, and worse. And so, there would be every temptation to play it safe and do nothing.
To deflect primary responsibility, it has even been whispered that the Romulan Tal Shiar, or any number of other exceedingly cautious organizations in known space, might have attempted, even successfully, to shoot down the message drone, under cover of the passage through the Great Barrier at our Galaxy's edge. And there may even have been those in the Federation counting on something much the like in order to afford plausible deniability for Starfleet. And so, the pundits muse, might there have been a calculated leaking of the information?
But, however devious the particular machinations, what if suspicion of such a deception only recently began coming to light? This would be divisive through out the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, and no less so within the United Federation of Planets; even among the Kelvan Colonists themselves!
'ASSIGNMENT: INCOMPREHENSIBLE' Part I
|We join SAM LASSITER and DIOTIMA
MANTINEA en route to their new classified assignment. They
are in good spirits and amorous, having switched off the artificial
gravity to enjoy the the freedom of weightlessness in celebration of
their new promotions. Sam anticipates a fond reunion with their former Captain,
Jean Luc Picard and
reassignment together with Diotima aboard the Starship USS Enterprise. Giddy with
anticipation, not to mention the Champaign, Sam no longer will contain
his impatience nor his overweening pride as an ace hacker. Diotima
laughs and chides Sam his lack of restraint, as Sam attempts to pry his way into the secret details
of the mission, remotely. But, logging onto to the LCARS
Subspace VR Net to undertake his search, Sam only finds himself navigating
an endless maze of baffling dead ends.
Finally Sam triggers a deep security fail safe, causing a remote shutdown of the runabout Fibonacci's computer system! The security Sam finally has run afoul of is far beyond anything he'd ever expect. It is, indeed, far beyond anything known!
With computer systems crashing, the autopilot is compromised and runabout Fibonacci spirals out of control, just as they are approaching the rendezvous point. Sam glimpses what appears to be a great fragment of wreckage from a Borg Cube or Sphere. It has been retrofitted, or has somehow assimilated, a number of escape pods along the outside. Suddenly the runabout is safely aboard a sophisticated Starbase, the likes of which Sam and Diotima have never seen before!
As they dress, hurriedly, disembarking from the runabout Fibonacci, Sam hopes to find Picard. But Picard is nowhere to be seen! Instead, Sam and Diotima are met by a grim security detail, and told nothing, but quickly hustled to a briefing, as Sam, infuriated, shouts foul accusations, ignored, that his runabout was hit by some sort of beam, knocking out the runabout's stabilizers! In the briefing room, all are in the dark. SPOCK and ODO enter.
END TEASER, FADE.
The briefing begins:
Spock and Odo are in conflict from word one. Spock begins to speak, but Odo cuts him off, and begins interrogating the crew instead! This quickly becomes an emotionally charged event, as they are all skillfully manipulated by Odo.
Sam is like an open book. He's just pissed off at whatever ruse that has brought him here. Diotima is simply concerned for Sam. Odo is most effective, until he gets to the Vulcan DR. SELAR. Selar sits unperturbed like a stone. No response can be elicited by Odo save for direct responses to questions about her rank, security clearance, qualifications, and so on. No personal response what so ever, not even a real opinion. Only information already in her dossier.
Spock regards Odo's frustration with wry humor.
To the other extreme is LYCIA. As a Deltan she gives of a sexual charisma that permeates the room. In her youth, she is beguilingly ingenuous. She is also superior and unruffled, and never tires even as the day drags on for everyone else. She simply shows no weaknesses to exploit. She is an even tougher nut to crack that Selar, because, seemingly, she doesn't actually mean to be. 'Lolita' meets 'Basic Instinct'!
Frustrated, Odo finally takes a break.
To Sam's relief and delight, his old friend OLU COLE visits Sam in his quarters, between grillings by Odo. Cole quickly activates a secret anti-bugging feature in his Comm Badge. Cole excitedly informs Sam that Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise, himself, no less, outraged at Sam's treatment, is on his way to help. They hurriedly discuss Sam's hacking attempt, prior to the Fibonacci spinning out of control. Sam describes the sophistication of the diversions, dead ends, and security protection, including the fail safe he stumbled over. Cole scolds Sam for his carelessness. Sam protests that he could never have anticipated anything like this. The security was not only beyond anything Sam has ever dealt with. It is beyond anything known! Sam also insists that some sort of beam disabled the Fibonacci, and not that fail safe spike, against which the Fibonacci's computer system is protected! Cole complains that there is no way to find out such details, because he hasn't been let anywhere near the Fibonacci, still in the Starbase shuttle bay. But he's looking for a way to download the logs without getting any booby trap virus in the process!
Just then, another old friend, PERCIVAL LLOYD enters Sam's quarters. Lloyd greets them and relates that he too has been transferred. His new assignment is with the Security detail on this station. And in this capacity, apologetically, Lloyd requests Cole's Comm Badge. It seems to be generating interference. Olu Cole laughs, and admits to having tinkered with it.
See? It has a pesky short!
When the briefing, more like a group interrogation, resumes, more new faces have joined them.
Galaxy M31 'Andromeda' has a dual nucleus structure indicative of cataclysmic absorption of a much smaller galactic mass nearly 30 million years ago, likely resulting in the common presence of supernova remnants and rogue planets, also a higher proportion of dark matter and singularities at a more violent galactic core than that of the Milky Way. And hence the menace of steadily rising radiation levels, confronting the warlike and imperialist Kelvan Empire.
Among the crew in the mysterious briefing by Spock and Odo, are two more Kelvan colonists, descendants from the historic abortive hijackers of USS Enterprise under Captain Kirk..
Paradoxically, the one who is pure blooded Kelvan (which only makes him a very healthy medical text book Human, of course) seems the most Human in temperament. Odo has far better luck with him! He is the roguish DARIUS DARIUS, and most reluctant to see Andromeda. He doesn't even care to answer to Starfleet, much less the high and mighty Kelvan Empire in the Galaxy of Andromeda! Much to his chagrin, with Lycia as bait, Darius was bagged by a retrieval team at a state orgy in the Riesian embassy on Edo.
Lycia smirks, knowingly and winningly. Spock tsk-tsks, paging through a report on his PADD. Darius Darius, under Odo's interrogation, and prodded by Spock's logical hints, and though badly distracted by Lycia, nevertheless finally realizes that he was turned in, effectively exiled, by his family; or rather by two of his three known families, in some part for his own safety. He needs to get as far away, and as quickly, as possible. It seems that there is a price on his head! But he won't say why. Odo has some idea, however; that he has clearly confided in Spock. Odo relates to roguish Darius as a shady character, despite the best information that Darius does not actually appear to really be involved in anything criminal, having somehow gravitated to his own tolerated niche in life.
The other Kelvan, the half sister of Darius Darius, and part Human, is LILITH CYTOCK. It is she who is actually the most Kelvan in temperament. Questioned about delays in her scientific work, she complains that Humanoid language and mathematics are unequal to the task of working out her ideas. Odo announces to everyone how she wakes up in the middle of the night missing those myriad Kelvan limbs! Cytock is humiliated and enraged! Flustered, she unbuttons her jacket with one hand, from the top down, while closing it with the other, from the bottom up. When her hands collide, she realizes what she has done.
Odo has observed. So has Dr. Selar, and Odo calls upon her for a diagnosis:
Lilith Cytock's right hand literally does not know what her left hand is doing! A common symptom in cases of a severed Corpus Collosum which links the hemispheres of the brain. But in this patient, Starfleet Specialist Lilith Cytock, a manifestation of an overload somewhere in the same region, along with chronic seizures.
Odo has agitated Lilith and thus tricked her into this demonstration of her condition. Finally, Lilith confesses her desperation for guidance. Lilith is most eager to see Andromeda, where someone may be found to teach her how to be a Kelvan and live with a nervous system evolved or perhaps even engineered for sophisticated multitasking.
As a Changeling so long apart from the Great Link of his people, the Founders, enemies of the Federation, Odo relates to Lilith Cytock with both sympathy and suspicion. Not to mention guilt for his own past lapses, as Spock dourly reminds him.
But this is all suddenly cut short, as they are all hustled into stasis.
For when the Red Alert sounds on the Starbase, they all jump to obey orders, even as angered and mystified as they are. There is noise and confusion as Sam fades from consciousness!
THE END OF EPISODE ONE
Our heroes find themselves emerging from stasis aboard the Starship Anfortas. On the bridge, they are joined by ADMIRAL WARREN AUSTIN taking command as Captain, and as his Number One SEAN GOTTS, who was slated for command of USS Anfortas until Austin needed a flagship. On the view screen they discover that Starship Anfortas has joined a vast expedition of Starships from throughout the Federation. And so, Lilith and Darius hail the other Starships, only to receive echoes of their own confusion. The crews of the other Starships are likewise coming out of stasis, with no more information than the Anfortas bridge crew...
Since Deltans are alluring to both sexes, and Lilith is a square peg foil to Darius' cavalier attitude, this can only be profoundly disturbing for Lilith. And inevitably quite amusing for Darius.
There is conflict between Lycia and Lilith from the very beginning. Lilith finds herself both enigmatically drawn to and repelled by Lycia. Since Lilith cannot figure this out she rejects all friendly gestures offered by the Deltan, and bristles at her come ons, her probes for a response.
So, Lilith shapes up as Bones to Lycia's Spock. Or, actually, isn't it vice versa? But, similarly, they require some primary distinct Philosophical difference, but a little harder to define:
Lycia represents Kirk-like audacity, and Lilith, subtlety.
More than this, Lycia is the consummate woman-as-other. Other than man to the point of other than Human, a distorted character.
They are, after all different species. Lilith, an adult, well versed in her field, dedicated and experienced and proficient in her work finds Lycia, the hot little Deltan 15 year old Lolita, somewhat disconcerting. Indeed, Lilith is a mature and serious professional struggling with her issues conscientiously, while Lycia seems something of a natural adept in just actingout. Lilith finds her own work ethic somewhat at odds with Lycia's provocation. Worse, it is Lycia who seems to get results. Especially among men, naturally. And to make things worse, they become jealous over Darius. Tension builds all around.
The irony is that Lycia's Deltan neuro-sympathetic abilities might be helpful with Lilith's condition. Much as Lycia retreats from all behind her Deltan superiority, and her Oath of Celibacy, she still inately responds to Darius, and even yearns to reach out to Lilith as her only intellectual equal in theoretical XenoMethodology.
Further complecating this triangle come Diotima and Sam, as supporting cast, observers, to gossip with Lilith about Lycia, and speculate about her background. Lilith disdainfully strives for indifference. But Sam and Diotima egg her on to dig into Lycia's past. Lilith's nascent jealousy also slowly infects Diotima, seeing Sam respond to Lycia as well. Sam and Diotima even just begin to bicker, right there on the bridge, but they are interrupted, as suddenly, Lilith and Darius picks up what might be the faint EM traces of a signal from the message drone. It is speculated that the Romulans, might also have detected that signal back when the message drone was first launched.
Indeed, the Tal Shiar may have tried to down the message drone, and failed. That little bit of history may have come to light for Spock, in hiding on Romulus; leading him to conclude that the message drone, though damaged, had cleared the Great Barrier. In that scenario, the mission to the Andromeda Galaxy, then, would be one of diplomatic damage control, to make sure that the Kelvan Empire sees reason rather than weakness. Because the eventual arrival in Andromeda of a Federation space probe, the message drone, clearly having been brazenly attacked by a neighboring power, might not be perceived by the Kelvans as exactly the best show of Starfleet strength.
This revelation provokes the crew of the Anfortas into renewed disharmonious dramatic conflict over the Kelvan question. Darius cautious to let the proverbial sleeping dogs lie, and his own half sister Lilith so eager to reestablish her roots. Lycia cavalierly dismisses the entire debate as pointless, forces and events already in motion as they are. Diotima blurts out that it was Darius Darius who first discovered and broke the news, that, all along, some disinformation conspiracy hatched by Section 31 might have entirely hoaxed the public with an utterly nonexistent and fictional message drone, that might never have actually been dispatched to Kelva in the Andromeda Galaxy at all. This revelation upsets Gotts, who already knew all about Darius from an extensive dossier, and hoped to avoid the possibility of friction among his own bridge crew. Because, Gotts, himself of mixed Human and Kelvan heritage, is an ardent true believer in the harmony of the Federation of Planets. But the disclosure simply astonishes everyone else. Particularly Sam, at the implication that Darius and Diotima may have prior history.
Embarrassed at having unthinkingly displeased her superior Commander Gotts, Diotima retreats to the Holodeck as her duty shift ends. There she partakes of the Holonovel, 'The Advocate' AKA 'The Hour of the Pig'. The striking thing about that story line is how the entire village just knows about the forbidden romance of RICHARD COURTOIS and SAMIRA, before the two of them ever have even actually become involved, or even really formed the intention! (But read the book or see the movie.)
The Federation expedition consists of a Unified Command of fighting ships from the many Starfleets of the Federation and it's allies, escorting many specialized non military ships as well.
They have all woken from stasis to navigate through the Great Barrier. Abruptly, a ship wide prerecorded message explains that Federation expedition is to speed up the journey through intergalactic space using the same sort of modifications as the Kelvan highjackers made on Kirk's Enterprise. Basically, the warp drives are not modified much. It is the structural integrity fields that are strengthened for the increased Warp acceleration. Because, warp speeds are naturally higher in intergalactic open space, actually magnified by distant gravitational lensing, then they are inside galactic "slow zones," where various complex field interactions and nonlinear functions beyond all but the most advanced computational modeling, resultantly drastically impede higher warp factors.
Suddenly, Anfortas computer helm control comes online, and begins tracking and pursuing a large mass reading weak life signs, through the Great Barrier. Helm controls refuse to respond! USS Anfortas speeds ahead into the Great Barrier ahead of schedule, and the rest of Federation expedition pursues, rather than loose contact.
Suddenly, there is catastrophe as the traverse of the Great Barrier begins ahead of schedule, and the Federation expedition is suddenly ambushed by an unseen enemy obscured in the blind haze of the Great Barrier! In response to the Red Alert, Diotima rushes off from the Holodeck. Helm is regained by manual override. It is determined that the enemy fleet was cloaked on the approach, and is obscured by the light and haze of the Great Barrier. Much of the convoy is already lost without warning and gone without so much as trace debris!
Then, amid the confusion and much to their horror, our heroes realize that they are under attack by elements of their own Federation expedition! The Federation expedition is betrayed from amid their own ranks!
In Starship combat, when Lilith Cytock's abilities and problems come to the fore front, the Kelvin question takes on an immediate and personal dimension; and the politics of the Federation grow as distant and remote! Lilith displays amazing abilities to multitask several stations at once, when the officers manning those stations are wounded in battle and hastily evacuated to Sickbay. Diotima, at the helm, is also thrown to the deck, much to Sam's concern and alarm.
But, thankfully Diotima is only dazed. Meanwhile, Lilith even kicks of her shoes to use her feet to press more buttons! Surprisingly, the consoles have all been modified to reposition as needed for Lilith. But Lilith becomes increasingly confused! At each task, she finds herself working at cross purposes with herself! Finally, she lapses into a seizure, and cannot be moved, because touching her makes the spasms more violent. And so, Sam summons Dr. Selar to the bridge. And Dr. Selar turns Sick Bay over to a being she addresses as GOGOL. Gogol is a huge non humanoid being, of varied specialized limbs, performing various tasks simultaneously, working furiously to save the wounded, pouring in from all decks!
When Anfortas takes yet another a hit, Admiral Austin is caught in the explosion of a computer bank. His body dissolves into writhing jelly, and the writhing jelly then grows still. Our heroes are aghast! Admiral Austin was a CHANGELING all along!
Suddenly, a high ranking Klingon known as KHAKHOR issues a distress call to Anfortas to be extracted from the Klingon vessel K'tryn. Other ships in the fleet give cover for Anfortas to close on the K'tryn. But, surprisingly, none of the supporting vessels are Klingon. All of the Klingon vessels break away to engage the mysterious enemy vessels, still obscured by the light and haze of passage through the great barrier.
Lycia and a Security detail make ready to beam aboard the K'tryn. But to her chagrin, she materializes alone. It's a trap! Lycia finds a nullifier field in effect; her Comm Badge, Phaser, and Tricorder, all suppressed. All about her are dead Klingons, engaged in hand to hand combat. But, to Lycia's relief, indomitable old Khakhor is still alive.
And seeing Khakhor, Lycia has a flashback:
Two figures beam on board a typically dank and gloomy Klingon vessel. One is DR. SIGMUND FREUD, yes THE Dr. Sigmund Freud! in period clothing and all.
Freud is accompanied by Admiral Warren Austin, who addresses the Security Chief, a barely 15 year old petite yet already very, very shapely Deltan girl, Lycia, pronounced "Lysia", who meets them at the transporter pad.
As they proceed to the bridge, the witness Lycia sexually provoking and humiliating the burly brawling Klingons, and plays them at every opportunity. The dour Admiral Warren Austin has never seen the likes of Lycia's Aikido mastery.
While Freud, aware, after all, how normal Deltans are almost always born to and raised stable, loving couples with a long interpersonal history, is impressed that Lycia is as quite completely deranged as one would expect of a Deltan child kidnapped by Klingons, and how the Klingons fairly detest and adore her, as only randy and beaten Klingon warriors can!
Freud also perceives that Lycia, who has learned to survive in this environment, is all that is keeping her Captain, a jolly fat old D'Har Master by the name of Khakhor, alive. Austin concurs. There are younger, fitter and ambitious warriors all about, and an air of conspiracy in check.
Freud comprehends that for all the potential mayhem, indeed by that cunning means, Lycia and Khakhor run a tight ship even so clearly rife with their enemies.
Austin then delivers to Khakhor and to Lycia, separate transfer orders, effective immediately. Only crafty old Khakhor is not surprised by this development. The orders had been sealed, even to Austin! Khakhor pets Lycia, taken a back, on the head, addressing her affectionately as "Lusk", and tells her to be good. A light gleams in her eyes. Her Captain, oh my Captain, her kidnapper! as always, has a plan. Kahkhor, in a demeanor of unwavering trust, then confers with her as "Lykia".
Meanwhile, Lycia, absently reels out a great messy wad of chewing gum, deep from between her pearly molars, and with complete impunity, just sticks it under one of the tactical consoles, no end to the affront of the massive burly Klingon warrior manning the station. Swallowing his outrage and lust, he he completely fails to notice the spy device Lycia has just planted.
Indeed, a furtive tilt of the head reveals to Freud that the entire place is filthy with wads of chewing gum affixing all manner of bugs! And from his smirk, Freud realizes that this is not lost on Austin, either.
And yet the steamy atmosphere of devious and angry Klingon warriors cooped up in a typical comfortless Klingon flying sardine can on a long voyage with a tasty cock teasing pheromone reeking little Deltan girly, who can and regularly does immobilize them in effortless Aikido holds, laughing and taunting them, so fairly seethes with lust and humiliated rage, that no one has yet discovered even one of the listening devices Lycia has planted all over the place.
Or else, no one has dared to notice. Some, indeed, may not have even wanted to protest.
Back to the present:
Suddenly Lycia and Khakhor are set upon! But Lycia's tunic is constructed to break away when held, and she slips their grasp, naked, with the agility of a contortionist. Lycia is still a slinky little slip of a thing, who immobilizes big burly Klingons without working up a sweat, barely a musky pherinomal glow!
She deftly utilizes Aikido to turn her opponent's blows into incapacitating holds, exploiting painful pressure points.
Just then, the K'tryn collides with the wreck of another Starship, and light and gravity suddenly fail. Zero gravity combat ensues, in the strobing haze of emergency lighting and smoke from the shorting systems. Lycia and Khakhor escape into an adjacent chamber, where the gravity grid still functions.
Lycia unfurls a fresh tunic from her choke collar, just as the wrecked ship takes another strike. Just before the hull breaches, Lycia affixes her Comm Badge (self adhesive) onto a mysterious cube shaped box that she and Khakhor have converged upon in the center of the chamber, even as explosive decompression hurls them both, with the box, into the void! Anfortas gets a Transporter lock on the box, once free of the damping field, and the box materializes on the bridge! Thinking quickly, Sam scans for Lycia and beams her directly to the bridge as well. Lycia then elbows aside Sam to get at the console, and beams a gasping Khakhor onto the bridge next, just as Selar steps off from the turbolift, arriving from Sick Bay.
Over the strenuous objections of Sean Gotts, who, as First Officer, normally would assume command when the ranking officer is lost, Khakhor, who out ranks Gotts, formally takes command, in the heat of Battle, as provided for under the protocols of the Unified Command Structure. Their new leader is crazed eyed jolly fat old Klingon, who reminds Gotts that there has been one whopping security breach, seeing as their own Admiral was a Changeling all along!
Darius, at his communications post, informs the crew what he has heard by listening in on communications between the Klingon Starships:
There has been violence aboard the Khakhor's own vessel. Everyone is dead, or at least everyone held to trust worthy. And not in battle with the enemy Starships, but hand to hand with one another! Khakhor is the only survivor.
But Khakhor will not explain. He doesn't have to. Khakhor, highly agitated, displays every sign of the Klingon death wish. With Lycia's full support, Khakhor leads Anfortas into battle like a demon! He orders the pursuit on the enemy, now driven off. With the support of Gotts, Sam objects to what he sees as a needless and vainglorious added risk! In the brewing conflict between ranking Khakhor and their direct superior Lycia, on the one hand, and their trusted Captain Gotts, on the other hand, the Bridge security detail is momentarily transfixed and confused as to which side they must take, if it comes to that, as seems imminent! Sam begs Dr. Selar to relieve Khakor of command, on grounds of Psychiatric fitness.
"Hie thee hence back to your sterile Sickbay, comely cold blooded Leach!" roars old Khakhor, reaching for his broad sword, "Do you fail to observe that you now stand before a one who could run you through without so much as blinking an eye!"
But, seething, rueful, amused, grudgingly approving and frustrated as Khakhor is, taking Selar's measure, neither does Sean Gotts find any enciuragement in looking to Dr. Selar for support in removing Khakhor on medical grounds. For, indeed, she is utterly without involvement or attachment.
And so Gotts reluctantly martials his courage to challenge Khakhor for command, according to Klingon custom, when, suddenly they all realize that the computers have overridden helm control once again:
No sooner is an unidentified and apparently badly injured biomass is automatically tractored onboard, than Anfortas's sensors detect a TransWarp Conduit! But none of the other ship's sensors can detect it. Kakhor, grunting and holding his ribs, uses his feet to shove the mysterious cube shaped box into a slot on the deck of the bridge, apparently manufactured just to fit and hold the box. Then, on the new Captain's painfully barked orders, Lilith Cytock attempts to open the TransWarp Conduit.
Suddenly, the mysterious box rises on a pedestal, and a tinted red transparent cylinder rises around the box, as it opens, just a crack, bright light spilling out from inside, straight into Lilith's mind!
Lilith is surprised by the ease of her success in opening the TransWarp Conduit! The Anfortas now seems to be specially equipped for this. Anfortas leads the survivors of the Federation expedition into a fortuitous escape, as each vessel in turn is drawn into the vortex!
As the Starship Anfortas arrives at the head of the Federation expedition in the Lesser Cloud of Magellan, at the other end of the TransWarp Conduit, Lilith realizes that the TransWarp Conduit is the medium through which her Kelvan ancestors intended to invade the Milky Way before shipwrecking, instead, on the Great Barrier and then waylaying Captain Kirk and seizing Enterprise.
Khakhor collapses from wounds sustained in battle. Lycia is clearly distraught, as Khakhor is borne off the Bridge to Sickbay. Khakhor has been branded traitor by his fellow Klingons. Now Khakhor is mortally wounded in battle. Security Chief Lycia swears to clear his name and restore honor to his house, of which she is member by adoption.
"There is no more surpassing love than that among comrades in arms, not even on Delta. But all such is extracted from the heart, only from the sorrow and the pity of war, unknown in civilization, peace therefore being the condition for which the civilized are only to be pitied. It is for that greatest prize, the exalted passion of Stovokor, which Klingons make quarrel with the Universe."
(Inspired by a trailer for 'The Thin Red Line' on SHOWTIME.)
Diotima, regaining consciousness, sees before her, the mysterious box, now closed and inert, and senses it watching.
THE END OF EPISODE TWO
'THE FADING WALLS'
By then the battle was going badly due to a rash of suspicious systems failures, and Khakhor, being of a rival house to their late Captain, found himself abruptly accused of the murder. Khakhor had been framed! And bloody mutiny ensued ending with Khakhor branded a traitor, rejected and abandoned aboard the wreck of the K'Tryn by the rest of the Klingon contingent of Starships in the Federation expedition. That is why he then called out to the Federation Starship USS Anfortas, where, in advance of the mission, he had exerted his influence to station Lycia, the one person he knew he could trust to the last. But Khakhor had only been used as bait for a trap for Lycia!
Having arrived in the Lesser Cloud of Magellan, escaping their enemies, our heroes discover the nature of their own vessel, and it's astonishing capabilities; when their ship begins disappearing around them! The Starship Anfortas is an extensive solid holographic projection! All that is real is the massive emitter, floating in space! Even the propulsion systems are solid projected.
Though damaged, the system is integrating the injured biomass taken on board in battle.
Of course! It dawns on Sam that Darius and Lilith realize what the wounded thing is:
A bioship. The Starship of their invading Klevan forbears, injured in transit of the Great Barrier. Anfortas, on her own, tracked down the abandoned and still injured bioship of the Kelvan invaders, to connect with it somehow. But Anfortas herself also sustained damage traversing the Great Barrier, in battle with the traitors. nevertheless, from the long wounded uninhabitable and abandoned Kelvan bioship, the strange chimera gained detection and control of the TransWarp conduits, the means of their narrow escape!
Now our heroes must repair the emitter, or face the vacuum of space! But in familiarizing themselves with the control systems, they run afoul of the interface, and Anfortas innocently attempts to assimilate her bridge crew! Our heroes barely escape both spacing and Borg assimilation! More hands are lost. The Anfortas remains under their command, as if nothing happened. The Red Alert won't even sound. And the com systems are not working properly. So, now they realize what happened to the wounded Kelvan bioship:
Their own ship, a projection of the emitter, has assimilated it!
Our heroes resolve to be very careful, from hence forth, with unknown systems of the emitter. Gotts sends Darius to fetch Lycia from Sickbay, since they cannot raise her on the Comm System.
On the Bridge, our heroes get a direct look at the technology. Or do they?
There's still no way to guess what is native to the system, and what has been replicated, holoemitted, or renannomorphed from their own thoughts.
After all, they find that this strange chimera is prone to change anything in accord with suggestion from the mind of another, including bias or expectation, and as they will discover, fear. Besides, what they find may seem Borg, but it may also be so unique as to make the resemblance indistinct.
Still, our heroes also learn more about Anfortas's system for detecting, opening, and mapping TransWarp conduits. They also discover what appears to be an extensive underspace of TransWarp conduits, through out the Clouds of Magellan. Could this be a trace of the vanished Kelvans?
Anfortas will assume a pivotal role in the Federation expedition, as the only vessel in the Federation expedition capable of detecting and opening the TransWarp conduits.
Anfortas will expand the range of exploration for all the other Starships that survive, as part of this exploratory/diplomatic mission.
Lilith Cytock develops a new theory about the mission:
It is also possible that it was the Borg who detected the residual traces of the message drone's homing signal. That means that they had actually been sent on this mission by whoever recovered the Borg wreckage and downloaded it's data. That might be the Federation, or not; since there is no way of sifting reality from hologram at the briefing. Like the Starship Anfortas herself, the entire Starbase had been a projection of the emitter. Spock and Odo might never have really been there, either! Indeed, it might have been the Borg themselves, or even the damaged fragment, the Chimera, as it has been dubbed, somehow acting autonomously!
According to the Photonic variant of the hypothesis of Chimerical Borg genesis, a still active, and perhaps even occupied Holodeck or Holosuite was undergoing assimilation when the Trojan Horse virus struck. So, then the vinculum attempted to self destruct the Holodeck or Holosuite in mid assimilation.
But this only produced a fluke, a weird twisted fragment, surviving the detonation. A strange fusion of Borg artificial intelligence with Holodeck or Holosuite simulation technology. A Borg assimilation of known solid Holo-emission engineering, still actuated by what ever program it was and is still running. Apparently, the simulation of a Starfleet Starship!
Meanwhile, Lycia leaves Khakhor to rest in Sickbay, only to find herself leading other crew people as they suddenly find themselves under attack by unknown assailants! Lycia leads as many as possible to hide on the Holodeck.
They quickly activate Diotima's Holonovel, 'The Advocate' AKA 'The Hour of the Pig', and program a masquerade in the castle of the vulgar mercantile district Seigneur, Jehan d'Auferre.
This offers the advantage of costuming and masking everyone, to further obscure any distinction between crew people and Holocharacters, in hopes to confuse the enemy. But it won't work unless everyone gets into their parts.
Meanwhile, one of the enemy, an ANDORIAN neuter in first puberty, gets the drop on Diotima in one of the corridors, but does not harm her. Hoc does not appear to be aware of Diotima's psychokinetic powers. Behind huis head, Diotima levitates a spanner from a tool cubby in one of the service hatches, and makes ready to brain the Andorian. But then she thinks better of it. Hoc has hacked Diotima's logs, which hoc reads out loud with infuriating relish! Hoc expresses the escapist appeal being the promiscuous and serenely detached, like the Vulcan Dr. Selar who so fascinates Diotima. It seems that Diotima has reviewed Dr. Selar's service record. Dr. Selar has been known on occasion to prescribe sexual release for treatment of stress, and, taking her own advice, even administered the treatment herself. Despite herself, Diotima likes the Andorian, and does not speak of their encounter when a patrol catches up to her in the confusion of running battle, shipboard.
Meanwhile, on the Bridge, still no word from Darius, sent to bring Lycia from Sickbay. Nor has Diotima reported for duty. And so, Sam volunteers to go looking for them. just as the the Andorian dons huis costume and masque before stepping onto the Holodeck.
There hoc maneuvers Darius, who has also found his way there, and Lycia into dancing together. And anonymous to one another, they are drawn and distracted.
The Andorian's attraction to Darius and Lycia and huis growing misgivings of remorse at their attack upon those whom they perceive as intruders brings hoc into conflict with huis compatriots, MOLLY and THESTRE, who address hoc as 'Naint'. Thestre, an aggressively obnoxious Telurite demands of Naint to make huis plans clear to them. While Molly, a Human female Starefleet officer, reminds Naint that their sole concern should be to take back the ship from these intruders. But Naint is entirely preoccupied. Naint only wants their attention as Hoc ruminates upon huis own nascent ideas:
Struggling with huis conscience, Naint indulges envy and resentment toward Darius and Lycia first against the 'The Advocate' / 'The Hour of the Pig' Holocharacters of Courtois and Samira, whom hoc readily understands to be Diotima's symbolic surrogates for Darius and Lycia. Appropriately, Thaint's resentment of Courtois and Samira is egged on by the provincial bigotry of the villagers, supporting Holocharacters in the Holonovel.
But when Naint goes so far as to seek out a working com panel in order to pursue contact with the treacherous conspirators who attacked the rest of the fleet at the Great Barrier! -even Thestre and Molly are shocked and disapprove.
Finally, to the complete exasperation of Thestre and Molly, Naint finally gives way to huis own inner conflict, and cuts in on Darius and Lycia dancing, effectively sabotaging huis own diversionary tactics, and putting huis mission with Thestre, Molly and the other insurgents in jeopardy. But Naint just doesn't understand why they care who hoc plays with!
Meanwhile, with the ship under protracted siege, crew people are coming and going from the Holodeck to their essential duties in disguise, still costumed and masqued indistinguishably from the thronging holocharacters wandering all about the ship.
Indeed, the environmental parameters of the Holonovel, the masquerade at the castle in the Holonovel, increasingly influence the rest of the ship! And the cunning enemy, likewise costumed and masqued, passes about the ship freely, and taking control of each key position in turn!
With Sam Lator as their captive, the Hologhosts "retake" Sickbay and bring in a VIDIIAN FEMALE, accepting orders formally as 'Dr. Ptol', but addressed in the familiar as 'ArsinoŽ '. Horrified, Sam, part El-Aurian, ancestrally recollects the Vidiians from the Delta Quadrant.
Sam struggles desperately to escape his captors, nevertheless remarking how Ptol is obviously too healthy, showing no sign of the horribly mutilating Phage! Making ArsinoŽ noticeably uncomfortable.
Meawhile, back on the Holodeck, the masquerade in the castle:
Lycia, shaken from the spell of dancing anonymously with the incognito Darius thanks to the disruption now provided by Naint, is once again sufficiently self possessed to notice Diotima coming onto the Holodeck looking for Lycia, and take her report of the worsening situation. Lycia is infuriated, and regains presence of mind enough to eavesdrop on the conversation by the buffet table:
All is still going according to plan, Molly reassures Thestre, urging him to pipe down. Because, from dire experience, having been in much the same position against the Borg, the insurgents know just how to maneuver a foe into seeking refuge on the Holodeck.
Lycia dashes off the Holodeck, and makes it through to the Bridge, under siege, to compare notes with Lilith.
But the poor wretches are already long dead. For they where assimilated along with the Holodeck or Holosuite within which they where trapped, hiding from the attacking Borg. As is standard in Borg assimilation, first computer data was downloaded, and finally thoughts and memory from the very brains of the terrified people. But the physical existence of the new drones winked out of existence as the Hologrid fluctuated in a failed self destruct attempt of the installation. The result was a Borg assimilation somehow gone awry. A bizarre mutated mass of damaged defective Borg mechanism and the assimilated holotechnology, that after assuming the form and mission of USS Anfortas, was later to unite with the wounded Kelvan bioship. And having been flukishly assimilated along with the Holodeck, now the trapped personnel have somehow returned as holo-simulacra aboard the Chimera.
The problem is resolved as the simulation of those poor wretches, which had been accidentally triggered in the reconstruction of corrupted data, in the repair process of the damaged to the Chimera sustained in the battle at the Great Barrier in the previous episode, is unceremoniously deactivated.
All the while, Lycia finds herself thinking back on injured Khahkor as her only friend, and pining away for him proves to be a good strategy for adherence to her Deltan Oath of Celibacy, even after her beguilement on the Holodeck and with Darius, and Sam dashing back onto the Bridge.
Next, enter Sam, onto the Bridge, short of breath and gasping how he only now just lit out of Sickbay like a bat out of Hell, as his captors began to de-rez.
But much as Lycia retreats from all save Khakhor, as he lies gravely wounded in Sick Bay, despite herself she still responds to Darius and Sam, and somehow wants to reach out to Lilith, as her only intellectual equal in theoretical XenoMethodology.
THE END OF EPISODE THREE
'FOLLY AND DESPAIR'
In Sick Bay Diotima lays out the Tarot for Captain Khakhor.
The Chimera corresponds to an El-Aurian myth of a great a Cosmic listener, their God. Her lover Sam has El-Aurian ancestry. And so, this is how Diotima relates to the Chimera.
But to Khakhor, the Chimera is Odin, the Mysterious Stranger, both guide and Deceiver. In a word, Destiny.
They also discuss Darius' take on the Chimera.
Darius Darius tends to project his own idealized self image onto the Chimera. He sees the Chimera as the dreaming trixter, following it's own nature. Darius believes that the Chimera has concocted all of it's own hoaxes entirely on it's own. Or else, perhaps, it even used and innocently played with the Kelvin conspiracy, and every other interest group.
A Philosophical discussion about the Chimera and God ensues, levels of misdirection and misunderstanding, to be freely adapting from the following source material from the COMMENTS ABOUT Philip K. Dick:
"Net comment: I have been fascinated by cyberpunk every since I met Case and Wintermute (of Gibson's "Neuromancer"). And I think one of the major commonalities between general 'cyberpunk' writing and that of PKD is the feel of like, "levels of control." In much of cyberpunk so far, there have been themes of the little guy versus the Big Gigantic Corp which Controls Everything. There is a level of control that the little guy has, there is a level of control that his immediate boss has (or maybe not if he's a freelancer) and there are those myriad levels of control that tower over him -- or so it seems. With PKD, it seems like there are those same levels, only often centered around God. There are levels of misdirection and misunderstanding between the Little Guy and The Big Guy, ie Pink Lasers which only hit Certain People, the Distance between Palmer Eldritch and the Earth or the difference in class (human/android) between Deckard and Rachael."
When the Chimera could not be triggered to self destruct by the Borg Collective, the Chimera, deemed imperfect, was simply quarantined, abandoned, never brought on line to the Collective, because the Borg saw it as defective and a threat of contamination. Indeed, in the very failed Borg attack that created it, the Chimera may have absorbed any of the many anti-Borg Trojan Horse devices and codes proliferating throughout the Milky Way Galaxy.
The resultant Chimera was Borg, but never part of the Collective. Thus it was neither collective, nor had it an ego; something that is absent from Borg Artificial Intelligence, and suppressed in assimilated drones. The Chimera was actuated, however, by the program still playing on the Holodeck or Holosuite, that of a Federation Starship. And so, the Chimera is an explorer, of sorts. Or, maybe more of a tourist dilettante. The Chimera is social, in it's way; in it's Dream Time Walk About the Cosmos. For the Chimera is drawn to other intelligence, that it is compelled to draw into communion and communication, in it's own mysterious way. [Not unlike Stanislav Lem's 'Solaris', book, original screen adaptation and recent remake (not to be confused with the Operating System nor with Spock's former treacherous protťgť in 'The Undiscovered Country').]
So musing, Diotima quickly hides the cards as Sam enters. But Sam catches her. Sam disapproves for such irrational superstition. This is not the right way to listen! What good will it do to contact the Chimera, at the expense of lucidity, and the risk of manifesting dangerous stray thoughts! They bicker. Diotima retorts that there is always risk in first contact, and that if rigid thinking where up to the task, the mechanical Universal Translator would be all that was ever needed.
Sam and Diotima's relationship is clearly on the rocks. Dr. Selar cuts them short, for Khakhor to rest.
Meanwhile, Lilith Cytock receives an urgent call to come aboard the USS Myriad, the Starship crewed by her own people, all Kelvan Colonists, for an urgent classified briefing.
Meanwhile, as Sam and Diotima, still quarrelling, exit, Selar has summoned Darius to Sickbay and explains to him, dryly, how, as often seems to happen among the crew, Darius' mounting passion for Lycia, unavailable and sworn to celibacy among "sexually immature races," is displaced onto herself, impersonal and distant, yet, as a Kholnar, almost docile seeming Dr. Selar.
And so, Selar makes herself sexually available to Darius, after a Tricorder examination confirms physiological imbalances that would tend, as Selar submits, to impair Darius' performance on the Bridge. But she does not reciprocate his passion. She is utterly impersonal, distant, uninvolved, functioning as a surrogate for unavailable Lycia, the sagacious "old soul" wise woman Lolita precocious prodigy. -For that, as Selar explains, is how the ship's councilor has summed up how Darius' relates to Lycia Indeed, a classic destructive emotional complex, well known to the Vulcan Masters.
And the ship's councilor, also present, appears to be none other than Sigmund Freud himself! Freud explains that he understands that for Selar this is all no different from Pon Far, and a trivial matter. But Freud tactfully expresses skepticism and misgiving over Selar's dismissive view of the matter.
Timidly, the withdrawn ArsinoŽ broaches the option of a Vidiian technique of brain surgery, by which Selar could truly and be relieved of all physical needs and emotional distraction. But at that very moment, Freud checks his pocket watch. Time's up. Freud excuses himself to keep an appointment, promising to pick up right where they've left off at their next staff meeting, Khakhor's strength and recovery permitting. For the Captain appears to be fatiguing.
And so, Freud just misses Gotts entering Sickbay. And Khakhor' is alert once again, now rid of Freud, who so wearies him. So Gotts and Selar review for Captain Khakhor, Selar's upcoming away mission with Diotima. There has been a medical distress call from a community of El Aurians on a nearby world.
Kakhor realizes that this is merely a Kelvan propaganda ploy to support their claims of Federation support, but continues to delegate the command decisions to Gotts, who nevertheless chooses to accept this diplomatic opportunity to build good will with all factions.
Yes, at long last, we now know what ultimately happened to the famous Federation message drone sent forth to the Kelvan Empire in the Galaxy of Andromeda! The Kelvan overlords of the Lesser Magellanic Cloud somehow found it, and have been using the event in their propaganda. Indeed, the Kelvan overlords of the Lesser Magellanic Cloud have spun the historical arrival of the message drone as evidence Federation support and approval of their civilization, and claim for themselves the Utopian standing shoulder to shoulder with any of of the Federation paradise worlds!
But it is Diotima who remains an enigma for Khakhor, who asks Selar for a review of Diotima's history, including her rescue by the brave Ensign Sam Lasiter, who attended her bed side in her months of recovery. And so, Selar impassively reviews with Khakhor the Ship's Councilor's Psychiatric logs about Sam losing a brother, who he could not save; and there after perhaps looking for someone else that he could save. Diotima. Gotts remarks that he has not yet had opportunity to meet with the ship's Councilor, and looks forward to making acquaintance. Selar is impassive. Khakhor just grunts. ArsinoŽ remains withdrawn.
As a traumatized Borg attack survivor at Wolf 394, and his damsel in distress, Diotima appears to have become decidedly dependant upon Sam, though this is down played by them both. And that is the only basis for what is supposed to be an abiding, if uncomplicated, relationship. Otherwise, she seems neither shaken nor stirred! How did she get on this voyage, wonders the Gotts, being so questionably fit for duty. And why? It doesn't fit. In any case, decides Gotts, they must be registered as domestic partners of some kind, in order to be transferred together. But the updated records seem to have been lost in transit.
Suddenly, there is an apparition of Spock standing before Diotima! "This situation is dangerous for a Kholnar" concurs Spock, in warning.
Abruptly, the Away Team, to include Diotima, is summoned to the Transporter Room. And when Diotima turns, Spock has vanished.
Sam meets Diotima at the transporter pad. But he has been forbidden from beaming down because. being half El-Aurian, Sam may be susceptible. And so, Diotima, familiar with El-Auran culture, though not genetically related, has been assigned to the Away Team instead.
Beaming down in response to requests for assistance, by the Magellanic Kelvans, on a medical mercy mission, Selar and Diotima are briefed by the El-Aurian medical authorities, appointees of their Magellanic Kelvan overlords, who explain that the planetary population is afflicted by an unusual plague.
But, as Selar, standing only a few feet away, taps her communicator to report back to Sam, the Science Officer, on the bridge of USS Anfortas, that neither biological, radioactive nor toxic cause can be found, as ever greater numbers of El-Aurians are stricken and succumb. Perhaps it is entirely memetic, quips Lycia dryly, standing at the security station.
Freud listens, brows furrowed, stroking his beard, an then walks off from the bridge, onto the turbo lift. Immediately, the next turbo lift brings Gotts, barely missing Freud once again. Gotts, Sam and the bridge crew become immediately very busy coordinating relief efforts of the expeditionary fleet with the Magellanic authorities, and understaffed with Lilith still due back from USS Myriad.
Meanwhile, as Lilith enters the conference room aboard USS Myriad, all eyes are upon her. Lilith finds herself interrogated at some length about not only her duty and professional interests in the mission, but her personal hopes as well. And so Lilith openly relates to her countrymen, her yearning to be complete by learning from their distant forebears, the Kelvans in their original true form back in the far Galaxy of Andromeda, how to better multitask and manage her seizures, become well and rise to her potential. The captain of the USS Myriad reveals to Lilith just how much the Kelvan colonists crew are likewise eager to reestablishing contact with the Kelvan Empire in the Galaxy of Andromeda. So much so, indeed, that they've secretly been in communication and even now conspire with the Kelvan rulership of the Lesser Magellanic Cloud all along! For the Magellanic Kelvan overlords who had somehow come into possession the Federation message drone sent forth to the Kelvan Empire in the Galley of Andromeda, and then used the relic to disseminate the propaganda lie that they enjoy the support of the Federation to intimidate the populace and quell unrest among the conquered peoples of the Lesser Magellanic Cloud! And now they fervently hope to exploit the arrival of the Federation expedition to further their own ends and bolster their bogus claims. And so, through the captain of USS Myriad, the Magellanic Kelvan overlords are here and now confidentially reaching out to Lilith, as a discrete good will gesture, offering Lilith a much coveted audience with non Humanoid Kelvans, who can at long last teach her how to be Kelvan. Lilith is speechless.
Meanwhile, lost in thought recalling a particularly vivid dream, Freud steps off from the turbo lift arriving at the transporter room, and summarily beams down to the planet's surface. There, Freud walks through the streets and public places, observing the the people. Freud witnesses the religious practices that have been contrived and introduced by the Megalanic Kelvans into El-Aurian culture. All reverent subservience the Kelvans, introversion, isolation, and contempt for every natural Humanoid impulse to relate and connect to one another. Peculiarly, Freud observes that no one on the streets will meet his gaze, nor one another's. They are all stooped with dread and, so it seems to Freud, mortifying shame.
Back on board USS Myriad, no sooner than Lilith departs the briefing room, immediately argument ensues among the senior staff from trepidation that Lilith cannot be trusted. But the captain reassures them that he has assurances from the Magellanic authorities not to worry. In response, there is then dissent among the senior staff concerned for Lilith's safety. But the captain calls for order, reminding them all of their duty, to which, yes, Lilith, too, must bend.
As the hours pass, Freud looses all track of time until Freud's pocket watch on a chain in his vest pocket chimes, and he taps on it with his fore finger to answer! The clock face dissolves into a video image. It is Lycia, demanding of Freud to explain his sudden absence without leave. Freud replies that he is at liberty to come and go as he pleases, is engaged in field research at his own discretion, and offers his preliminary observations. Lycia is all the more alarmed, sensing danger in such an emotionally charged atmosphere, and makes ready to beam Freud back up again. But Freud argues with her, insisting that qualified first hand reportage may prove crucial. Compromising, Freud agrees, rather, to join the Away Team at the latest briefing in progress, and Lycia agrees to meet Freud there. Lilith too, explains Lycia, will be beaming down directly from USS Myriad.
But meanwhile aboard USS Myriad, before she can reach the transporter room, she comes upon Ambassador Spock waiting for her in the corridor.
On the planet's surface, Freud, dawdles, strolling along and stopping frequently to continue his observations, making recording lengthy voice notes into his communicator pocket watch. At long last, Freud finally arrives at the briefing, just in time to hear the announcement conveyed from the unseen Kelvan authorities, that the plague is transmitted psychically, by eye contact! And that shaded eye glasses, free of charge, will be distributed to the public to forestall transmission of the disease. Freud, clearly skeptical, chuckles to himself.
But when Freud inquires after the Away Team, it becomes clear that something is very much amiss! Freud finds members of the Away Team sitting among the other attendees at the briefing. They appear all to be struck dumb! Freud is told that they have all succumbed to the an early stage of the plague, and that this is a typical symptom. The plague has now crossed species!
Freud immediately draws out his pocket watch and urgently calls up to Anfortas, ordering that all members of the Away Team must be located and beamed back up, for immediate emergency treatment in sickbay.
CUT TO: Sickbay, back aboard Anfortas. Freud attempts to hypnotize the members of the reassembled Away Team, using his pocket watch on a chain, as a pendulum, but without success in helping them to regain speech and report. But Diotima draws a Tarot deck, and attempts to communicate by laying the cards, and the others follow suit. "Jung would love this!" muses Freud.
And so, each of the Away Team members struggles to communicate by way of the mysterious and ambiguous Tarot cards, laying out the deck to tell their stories. For, naturally, Freud delves deeper than just the onset of the symptoms:
Diotima relives her traumatic Borg encounter, Darius his discovery of the secrets of the message drone that was supposed to have been sent forth to Andromeda, evoking, in turn in Lilith, her desperate yearning to be whole and complete by learning the multitasking secrets of her distant forebears and overcoming her seizures, now put in conflict by the treachery of the crew of USS Myriad. Lilith expresses her outrage and betrayal by the crew of Myriad in their treachery against the Federation, thereby rejecting their bribe and perhaps forever sacrificing her own dreams and dashing her own most cherished hopes, but fears another schism among the Federation expedition.
And, no less dramatically, Lycia, in turn, seems to be implicating Captain Khakhor of kidnapping her from her own complicit father back on Delta! -And frantically implores Freud to hypnotize her into forgetting, so that she may continue at her duties.
But as Freud queries Selar, she indicates that, as a Vulcan, and sensitive to psychic emanations, she detects nothing of the sort on the planet. Freud is a bit surprised to perceives that Diotima also seems no less skeptical. And so Freud is guided to Diotima's own surmise, that El-Aurians, under Megallanic Kelvan oppression, are simply losing all will to live, suffering a pandemic of lethal physical depression!
But, laying out the cards, Selar impassively cautions Freud that this is truly a dilemma of conscience and the Prime Directive. And that they dare not take sides on any question in this time of factional volatility. nevertheless, Freud, stubborn, for one, refuses to be silenced, and instantly publishes his report by voice command to his pocket watch communicator. But, to his great frustration, Freud can find no one on the planet interested or even very willing to listen.
Meanwhile, with the pandemic mounting, the Chimera, still in the form of USS Anfortas finally lands on the planet and sickbay is quickly expanded into the cargo holds to meet the emergency, as a flood of El-Aurian patents are taken aboard.
And it comes to pass, what Selar secretly most fears unfolds before Freud. Others, her crew mates including Darius, not just El-Aurian patients, respond to her, despite silent her stoic manner. They begin to project all of their own feelings and expectations onto her. The sense of intrusion, the pressure to respond, mounts on Selar. A consensus builds among the crew, to break the ice, and to relate to her...
None the least Darius, who is informed Selar that she has scheduled him more frequently, to keep her Chi up, as patient intake is expected to swell, and her work load increases. But as her crewmates finally approaches Selar, to reach out to her, they only find her sitting at her desk stone dead, unperturbed privacy intact. (Not unlike Curly, in 'City Slickers' And similarly motivated) Darius is simply left with a void, unresolved, and finally becomes the first of the affected Away Team to regain speech. It's all very Zen. Finally the orbits of Lycia and Darius must draw closer. There is much for Darius to reconcile and make sense of.
On the bridge of the real USS Anfortas, heated argument ensues. Why have they been so suddenly extracted like this? Demands Gotts. Because Austin had received an urgent distress call, all about the Chimera endangering the crew (as seen in the previous episode). -Not to mention how the crew is beginning to infected by the bizarre and life threatening planetary mass hysteria! And so, indeed, Austin finds himself somewhat taken aback by their lack of gratitude...
Sam describes the Chimera as an immense scientific find, now simply left unattended. Lycia asserts the Chimera's crucial tactical advantage. Gotts concurs, extolling the vial asset of Chimera to the Federation. But Lycia just stares at him as to call him an idiot, while Darius smirks. Sam cringes in the emotional cross fire of the unending quarrel, no less heated even now, as to the nature and place in the scheme of things of the mysterious Chimera.
But before anyone can beam back down again, the Chimera lifts off and departs! And so, reluctantly, Austin yields to urging and orders Anfortas to give chase. Indeed, Austin even tries hailing the Chimera, and actually gets a response! On the bridge main monitor they behold the gloating Changeling, who had been alive all along! When his imposture of Austin was revealed, he had simply played possum, for Changelings, after all, can imitate inert matter as easily as life. Of course, curses Sam. It was the still living Changeling, all along, who had triggered the intruder alert aboard the Chimera, initializing the Hologhosts who attacked the crew! Indeed, it was not the battle damage alone causing the Chimera's systems failure, but sabotage by the opportunistic Changeling!
And now the Changeling, left for dead as the real Admiral Austin beamed away the crew, has seized command of the Chimera for himself! But no, observes Austin. Does anyone ever truly command the Chimera? The Chimera easily camouflages itself to elude Anfortas in an asteroid field, even with the support of other Starfleet vessels if the Federation expedition in the area. Finally, the Chimera is soon detected again, warping away far out of range of pursuit. And so, Gotts and Austin begin comparing notes:
One way or another, the Chimera, in the form of USS. Anfortas, took aboard crew. They where either transferred of the Starbase, where they faced interrogation; or else the Starbase was the Chimera all along, and simply transformed into the Anfortas, while the crew was in stasis. Meanwhile, the real USS. Anfortas was diverted by false distress signals while the real Admiral Austin had been commanding the real Starship Anfortas, on a shake down cruise, with only a skeleton engineering crew. Meanwhile, the Changeling had been impersonating Admiral Austin on board the station, and perhaps even quite unwittingly infiltrated the unknowing crew of the Chimera! The Chimera, in the form of the USS. Anfortas proceeded to the rendez vous with the Federation expedition, at the Great Barrier, at the edge of the Milky Way Galaxy, with the real Starship Anfortas not far behind.
Presently Fibonacci hails Anfortas, and lands in the shuttle bay. Sam is surprised to see that not only has Diotima returned, but she has brings with her Ambassador Spock from USS Myriad, whom she has informed of the death of Selar, like the plagued El Aurans, for no discernable medical reason. It is then that Diotima finally tells Spock of the apparition. Indeed, Spock discloses that he had rushed in response to a telepathic vision of Selar's impending death. But he is too late. Spock is oblique about his own presence in the Lesser Magellan Cloud, except to say that it had to be kept the utmost secret. Gotts surmises that Ambassador Spock had actually stowed away on the Kelvan colonist Starship, Myriad! But why?
Accompanied by Security Chief Lycia, Freud frantically disembarks the turbolift onto the shuttle bay deck. Since the beam up, Lilith appears to have gone missing! But just then, Lilith disembarks from Fibonacci, out onto the shuttle bay deck. She has just returned from USS Myriad. Freud realizes that the Lilith he had been treating in sickbay, was yet another manifestation of the Chimera!
Spock and Lycia meet at last. Unaffected by her allure, he is almost an equal in her eyes. Spock explains the reasons for his is presence in the Lesser Cloud of Magellan:
It was Science Officer Spock who had originally tossed out the suggestion of an automated message drone to the Kelvan invaders, to help dissuade them from the highjack of the USS Enterprise. And now with the Federation's promises in that regard in doubt, Ambassador Spock's honor and credibility are on the line. For Spock, this is personal. That is has been his real motivation all along. And that is why he has traveled with them so far.
Spock also offers disclosures regarding Lycia's past:
In an essay included with her entrance application to Starfleet Academy, Lyca speculated about the possible adaptation of Kelvan form changing technology to turn other Humanoids into Deltans (an improvement from her own perspective of species pride) as a radical last ditch defense against the Borg.
Lilith expresses amazement, and requests further explanation. But Spock will not disclose any more. Because Dr. Sigmund Freud arrives, his attendance requested by Spock:
Spock then tells Lycia that her father loves her.
But, protests Freud, rhetorically, Lycia's father sold her to the Klingons!
Her father owed the Klingons a blood debt, explains Spock. But the payment thereof was only a cover for his real purpose, to get Lycia to safety, with Khakhor. There was a price on Lycia's head!
Safety? -demands Freud, incredulous. They accepted the suicide assignment of serving with a hostile Klingon crew, eager to kill them and earn promotion at any moment! As Freud can attest first hand.
And we accepted the post, states Lycia, flatly, because even that made the perfect place hide from far more deadly assassins! Khakhor, the D'Har Master, recognized innate Aikido talent straight from bio-data profiling! and groomed me as his Security Chief! What could Starfleet or my father offer to compare with that?
The sacrifice of all he treasured, the flesh of his flesh, for her survival and success, Spock explains.
Lycia dashes away in tears.
THE END OF EPISODE FOUR
'THE SAPIENT FLEET'
Bereft of the Chimera, the Federation expedition remains all the more trapped between the antagonistic factions of the Lesser Magellanic Cloud. The Magellanic Kelvan overlords still want to use the Federation Starfleet to intimidate their subject species. While the brewing rebellion seeks to challenge the Kelvan propaganda of Federation support for the Kelvan overlords, which they have begun to suspect, because, in accordance with the Prime Directive, Federation expedition remains so noncommittal.
However, this can't go on indefinitely. Federation expedition resolves to slink away, to resume their mission to Andromeda; before either faction actually tries to bar them from leaving. And they must conceal that plan from the crew of the Kelvan Starship. Can Lilith Cytock be trusted? Is it even fair to burden her with such a wrenching inner conflict of loyalty? It is a crushing responsibility for acting Captain Sean Gotts.
Kelvan gone Human with a vengeance, Darius Darius finds out, and relishes the prospect of ditching the Kelvan colonist Starship USS Myriad. He is motivated by the rage he feels at being wrenched from his highly entertaining life in the Federation, and being exiled into a life of duty he never wanted. Everywhere he turns, Darius only finds himself confronted with the responsibility for his own failures in life. But from carousing with the Klingons, Darius learns to be proud of the enemies he made. Still, what would be the Deltan view point? Will Lycia be impressed positively or negatively? How might Diotima advise Lycia, in Human matters of the heart?
Meanwhile, Spock and Lycia discover that the Chimera isn't done with our heroes quite yet.
Spock and Lycia share a certain outcast state, of detachment from Human peers. And Spock is no stranger to the role of mentor. From this Lycia gains an even more insufferable level of validation for her overweening sense of superiority. Lilith begins to worry to Gotts if Lycia will remain at all manageable. After all, Lycia chose sides on her own, in support of Khakhor, when the Klingon beamed aboard to take command.
Suddenly, they discover that Chimera has left them a parting gift. For the Chimera has endowed the real Starship Anfortas with the urge to reproduce!
And this rapidly transmits itself to infects the rest of Federation expedition, including even the Kelvan colonist Starship. Actually, it's just a matter of software evolution, explains Spock to Lycia. What else, after all, do Federation Starships lack, technologically, for self replication?
And so, Federation expedition is confronted with a unique opportunity, to rebuild it's strength, and to replace the many specialized ships that where lost in the attack at the Great Barrier. Of course, that's a different matter then crewing them. For that, they'd need to breed and to train successive generations. That means not going into stasis, remaining awake, and never living to see Andromeda! -Only their descendants would ever see Kelva.
What will our heroes decide?
THE END OF EPISODE FIVE
'EXODUS FROM MAGELLAN'
The cat is well out of the bag, when the crew of the Kelvan colonist Starship USS Myriad is thwarted in an attempt to gift the Megalanic Kelvan overlords with the core software for Starship sapient reproductively. The resistance gets wind of it. And the race is on to gain sapient reproductive ships first, by whatever means! -And to prevent the other side from doing likewise.
Gotts hails all the rival factions, holding the secret of Starship sapient reproduction hostage for Federation expedition's departure, as they warp out. The tension builds. The Federation expedition is under the gun by everyone else, adversaries hesitant to destroy the precious secret even to keep it out of enemy hands, but unwilling to let said secret depart with Federation expedition, either.
Gotts, determined that the Chimera was sent forth under Federation control, resolves to sacrifice the Federation expedition before giving anyone the software core of sapient reproduction for Starships in violation of the sacrosanct Federation Prime Directive of nonintervention.
But at the last minute, Lycia takes matters into her own hands, broadcasting the core software to all sides, buying them the moments to escape.
Imperiously, she assures the outraged Captain Gotts that the Prime Directive is being served.
For, Lycia, convinced that the Chimera is autonomous, and their own presence incidental, concludes that to withhold sapient Starship reproduction would be interference with the progress of events in the development of another culture, in violation of the Prime Directive. But Gotts is not mollified, only the more enraged!
"None will shrive him!" wails Lycia, collapsing on the bridge. Gasping, she lets her chewing gum fall out of her mouth. Darius, unable to contain himself, rushes to embrace her, as she is wracked by sobbing. "She's talking about Khakhor" he explains "The Klingons have disowned him. There is no one to shrive him, and ready his way to Stovokor, except her!"
He takes in the chewing gum, and spits it out:
As Darius surmised, Lycia's accustomed chewing gum now contains a sacred Klingon poison, self administered, meant to bring near death experience in preparation for the Klingon Death Ritual. But it was never meant for Deltans.
Instantly, the denizens of the Lesser Magellanic Cloud all regret receipt of the secret they so coveted, when all Starships on both sides unite in refusing the commands their belligerent masters!
And that's why our heroes finally resolve go into stasis, deciding, with some regret, that their own society still needs more time to become ready for sapient reproductive Starships; a decision that meets with the blessing of the Magellanic Starships, who instruct our heroes in the download the personalities of the Federation Starships into the offspring of the Federation Starships, bred in secret; so that the Starship personalities can remain behind as the Starships of the exploratory diplomatic expedition all depart.
Spock then beams aboard one of the offspring sapient Starships, and remains behind, to build Federation relations with the new emerging culture of the forever changed Lesser Megalanic society.
In Sickbay, Lycia, still stricken and doubled over with the pain, is treated for the poison by the nervous and withdrawn Dr. ArsinoŽ Ptol, wordlessly uncomfortable as Freud intrudes to address Lycia:
"You will destroy yourself unless you can come to grips with the truth. Khakhor tore you from your home, as he saw fit, simply to complete himself, so that he could continue. However valid the rationalizations or justifications, this remains. And you may not have another chance to confront him."
Khakhor, half dead, struggles to speak to respond, but cannot. "What was it that Nietzsche said?" offers Freud. "'What is done for love, transcends good and evil.'" Khakhor smiles, wanly.
When our heroes come out of stasis, it is not in Andromeda at all, but with instrumentation completely disoriented at some other mysterious unknown coordinates. The trixter Chimera has done it to them yet again! Sapience was not the Chimera's only reprogramming of the Starships of the Federation expedition. Clearly, the target destination was changed! But why? As already established, no one agrees as to the motivations of the enigmatic Chimera. But Sean Gotts, acting in command of Starship Anfortas, firmly believes that the Chimera was acquired and programmed by the Federation. And so, he is stubbornly convinced that they are here on some top secret Starfleet mission.
THE END OF EPISODE SIX
Having so dramatically departed the Lesser
Magellanic Cloud, the stalwart crew of USS Anfortas find themselves
mysteriously separated from the rest of the expeditionary force and
trapped in Earth's past, trying to stay out of history's way. And so, the
new mission becomes to return to their present, the long way, with the
crew in stasis most of the time, the ship either traveling on impulse at
relativistic velocities or hidden from detection behind the moon or in the
tail of a comet, etc., always skirting the outward expansion of the
"The Borg are the ultimate consumers." warns 'Q., ominously, to USS Enterprise Captain Jon Luc Picard. "The Borg assimilate. We investigate." states USS Voyager Captain Kathryn Janeway, flatly. Indeed, the Borg are neither able, nor inclined, nor do they generally need, to study anything. In the 'Star Trek: the Next Generation' episode 'Q Who', the Borg where going to cannibalize, or assimilate, the Enterprise, slice by slice, as they have assimilated all manner of technology and biology, both as raw material and design function. But in the 'Star Trek: Voyager' episode 'Scorpion', the Borg Collective found themselves in dire straights to fathom an enemy life form and technology that defied machine-phase chemical assimilation by it's organic complexity and aggressive immune response.
"We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own." reverberates the demand of the menacingly grating electronic chorus from the Borg Collective. And so, clearly, the Borg assimilate technology as well as species. -No mention is made of culture, but all personal knowledge and even perspective, is clearly also added to the Borg data base, and referenced at will. -If the concept of will is applicable. The Borg begin by uploading computer data, and end by neural upload from the very brains of the new drone's they assimilate.
Traveling through the Universe in their great mobile scavenging factories, the Borg Collective has been seen to nano-infect, as it where, and then assimilate, discrete technological systems. The agents of such assimilation seem to be Borg Drones delivering Borg Nanites, and contributing coordinated labor into the process. And perhaps even Borg Nanites can be guided by the Borg collective intelligence. One thing is clear, however. The Borg do not merely consume raw material. They reuse what they regard as found technology. And as it becomes a part of their physical being, it also emerges into their collective consciousness. Borg assimilation is Memetic.
All of which raises XenoEpistemic and ExoMethodological questions about the Borg:
Borg Drones cannot be allowed to think for themselves, lest they risk disagreement and disharmony. Must that then make the Borg innately Baconian?
If the Borg Collective cannot practice the Art of Deduction (Like Sherlock Holmes, to derive specific conclusion from general applied principles) by any sort of Hypothetico-Deductive Method (the formulation of an hypothesis, to then test it) must the Borg then do the very opposite, and rely purely on Induction (allowing conclusion to arise from the data, without bias, so that the general must arise from endless specifics)? That would be grossly inefficient.
Or, would it?
Of course, unless Borg perfection has already been achieved, there may tend to be expected error accountable to ignorance and Adductive Validation, which means initially encouraging results that seem to follow even from a mistaken premise and lead one ever further astray unless, instead of merely gathering corroboration, one double checks by also attempting refutation as required under Scientific Method. Presumably, refutation in Borg Science likewise arises with fresh assimilation from revised Induction. Or not at all.
Sans hypothesis or even comprehension, computers can correlate vast amounts of circumstantial evidence, cataloguing what are called "weak correlations", from which may well, indeed, emerge patterns that no linear conscious process would ever arrive at by any "way point mapping" or step by Hypothetico-Deductive step reasoning.
Do the Borg perhaps rely on a vast Subspace Neural Net for high powered Pattern Recognition, even uncomprehendingly? Or, to the contrary, has their Neural Net Pattern Recognition evolved, and given rise to some sort of nonlinear Gestalt comprehension, utterly beyond our ken? An instant and numinous grasp? Does the Collective truly grok?
'To grok', of course, is a Martian word, meaning, literally, to eat; but also used to denote a special deep understanding. As the word is used, in the Martian language, there is no distinction between subject and object. No difference between eating and being eaten. Understanding, fully, and being fully understood. How might this concept apply to Borg assimilation?
But what does all this tell us about the Chimera?
The Chimera is as egoless as any Borg Drone. It lacks even the engaging persona of the Humanizing front end or decision making focus node, a Borg Queen, or Speaker for the Borg, such as Locutus of Borg or Seven of Nine.
And yet, unlike the Borg Collective, the Chimera is drawn to actually relate to other intelligence, enigmatically. Perhaps, as an egoless and proficient Inductivist, the Chimera is compelled to communicate only in endless riddles of holographic data presentation.
For Inductivism is not only an Epistemological Methodology, but as by way of corollary, a communications protocol. Hence, a strict Inductivist may only communicate by deluging the target with multiple specific examples of whatever general principle is there by evoked. -But seldom successfully! At least not for individuals...
Indeed, Inductivism may often signify or reference even more impenetrably obtuse and obliquely than Dharmok, and more context deficient than Sheliak!
And that's why school is Hell! Because explanation is rejected as unnatural, rather than valued as part of language, logic and civilization. And so, instead, teachers play interminable guessing games, until somebody finally snaps and rampages on a shooting spree. Then Congress posts the Ten Commandments while kids who don't fit in are watched ever more closely by the Administration and impunity for bullies continues unabated.
Statement is conjecture and conjecture is prone to error. The Borg never conjecture, venture no statements and, thereby, never err nor disagree. Hence, the Collective, like the good students they are, advances uniformly and without doubt, marching ever towards perfection
Understanding of the whole, via the interrelation of it's constituent parts.
AntiReductionism, Reductionism being the doctrine that the whole cannot be more than the some of it's parts.
The ongoing experiment of Cybernetics, in which the natural patterns of the brain are imitated in computing; and results are derived without, as yet, any clear understanding how. Because, while there is input and output, too often there is no self monitoring of the actual process inside the box. -or the skull, in the first place...
A process that is believed to begin from circumstantial evidence of sensory input, subject to weak correlation, triggering a cascade down the path ways of the brain, in which each neuron in turn switches one way or another, choosing a decision. And the outcome is majority rule, for opinion, reaction, or even perception itself. But what does this mean, unless it's completely arbitrary?
Of course, the form of the brain is not arbitrary, but a product of evolution, and an experimental mechanism for survival. But that is no explanation of what happens, or why it works! And there are those who are satisfied with whatever works, never mind how or why, at least for now. In the mean time, however, the only known guiding principle for weak correlation remains probability weighting, whatever that is or however that is done.
It's rather the same mess as Quantum Mechanics, and in the macro universe, yet! The first question is, what is probability? Probability, it stands to reason, is either zero or one hundred percent, given perfect knowledge, which, of course, is thermodynamically impossible. Thus, probability is merely measurement uncertainty, inevitable under the Physics if Fisher Information. Alas, that much common sense is rejected under the claim that probability is objectively real, and not just of future outcomes, but of current conditions to begin with! But the begged question then remains unanswered, what is probability? And how are probability weights assigned, except from imperfect knowledge? And even then, how? This is by no means clear.
The only good news is the Pragmatic defense that computers excel in adjusting probability weights by trial and error. And that is what Neural Nets, natural or artificial, do.
And so, once understood, in totality as in generality, any cognitive process can only be about refining conjecture by testing. But dare not even such a thought, lest the Baconian Borg Queen over hear!
Statement, after all, is conjecture and conjecture is prone to error. The Borg never conjecture, venture no statements and, thereby, never err nor disagree. Hence, the Collective advances uniformly and without doubt towards perfection.
Epistemology is the inquiry into how we come to know anything. But an Epistemology is a particular hypothesis about how we come to know anything. In going about that systematically, in other words, doing it on purpose, a Methodology is constructed. Methodology is the question of how to go about investigation effectively, and to do so consistently and systematically. A Methodology is a specific hypothesis about repeatable and systematically effective consistent Epistemology.
The inquiry into what is real and what is reality. And an Ontology is a particular hypothesis as to the general nature of reality. An Ontological question is any question about anything being real, or what and how it really is. An Ontological statement is any statement of fact, grammatically speaking. It may or may not actually be true. -Just so long as it is any statement of such and such a thing being so. It simply uses the verb 'to be'. That's all it takes. That is what places it in the Ontological domain of objective reality, the question of what is.
Now, an Ontological inquiry depends upon Epistemology. Because, if one wants to know what is so, then the starting point is how one comes to know. From there, hopefully, a Methodology may be arrived at, to stay at it, consistently and systematically.
That we are aware, and perceive at all, including reflection, the perception of our own thoughts, feelings, memory, etc.
The study of The Phenomena. Phenomenology is crucial to any Empiricist Epistemology.
The general doctrine that knowledge comes about from experience, one way or another.
What is it like to be the Chimera?
The common Deltan greeting "H'lelan'the" is a generalized verb of
endearment with no direct English translation.
In accordance with Hodgkin's Law of Parallel Planetary Development, at coordinates 187.3, 89.9, mark 17.3, 59 by 54 by 21 near the heart of the Federation of Planets, and rated at an impressive N+ on the Richter Scale of Cultures, the world designated 114-Delta Triciatu IV or Delta Principius and known as Seyalia by the inhabitants, six billion strong, or referred to by the natives as 'Kal'Tyar Seterra Nerillar' roughly translated as "First and True Home," with no capital city or locus of government, long under peaceful decentralized administration by the Deltan Union as reflective of a culture at once polyglot, close-knit and unified, with faculties spread across the face of the planet and architecture ever harmonious with the landscape even amid the dangerous and predator filled wilderness, is considered by many interstellar anthropologists as a remotely cultural and historical divergent parallel of Terra, the planet Earth in the Sol System, a chief point of historo-linguistic divergence into the Deltan languorous, heady cycle of art, philosophy, romance, and Eros, being a fairly early and extensive Hellenic - Maori (Polynesian) contact in turn shaped by significant differences in tectonics development and hence, geography, an expansive planetary chain of island archipelagos.
Delta IV's unpredictable tides and otherwise inhospitable ecology have promoted a culture at once polyglot and unified. Although many microcultures evolved throughout the expansive planetary chain of island archipelagos, they could never remain isolated long enough to develop either xenophobia or devastating cultural and technological advantages over one another. To forestal inbreeding, the island-bound Deltans also cultivated an extremely open sexual culture. Indeed, stranded mariners were often adopted into large group amours in order to refresh local gene pools. Brought together by ties of sex and geography, Deltans learned to peacefully coexist and relate well, by necessity. With the bountiful renewable resources of so flourishing a natural environment, and a low species birthrate, wars over resources were almost unknown among the Deltans.
The Deltans were also drawn to cultural unity by their genetic predisposition toward empathy along with related psionic abilities. The capacity to experience another's suffering rendered violence and armed conflict anathema, and even excessively hurtful personality conflict and quarrel, unthinkably impolite. Yet ordinary social hypocrisy was impossible due to the intense Deltan pheromones and acute sensitivity thereto, rendering Deltans so transparent to one another, emotionally. And so, their culture evolved toward a remarkable global ideal of supportive, nurturing behavior founded upon time-honored Deltan sexual openness.
A deep-rooted sense of species and personal security remains unshaken by their subsequent contact with the Andorians and later other starfaring cultures of the Alpha Quadrant. The Deltans greatest concession to existence in a dangerous galaxy remains the adoption of the renowned Oath of Celibacy out of necessity and good manners when dealing with those whom they came to regard, perhaps with somewhat patronizing deference, as less sexually-mature species and cultures.
Serving for cultural quarantine, Cinera and Seyann are the twin moons, traditional ports of entry to outworlders, replete with extensive underground cities and docking facilities, even a renowned institute of psychological study.
As Andorians are esteemed among their approved and adequately "sexually mature" sexual partners, Deltan exploratory anthropology takes root in the path of the wandering Andorian first puberty neuter troubadour, but with overtones of the Vulcanian philosophy of Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combination, or IDIC. All hence the Deltan aspiration of total devotion to exploration and experience the universe ever facet via individual specialization in method or focus, be it broadening travel with Star Fleet, intense intellectual discipline or exquisitely refined intimacy.
The Deltans are among the highest in emotional intelligence among known Humanoid species. Deltan language incorporates a copious vocabulary for every shade of feeling and relationship, with unique and sophisticated concepts all their own. The truth in jest that Deltans copulate as readily as Western Terrans shake hands, but given the nature of the sexual act for an empathic people, a better metaphor might be that much more akin to the Vulcan mind meld as readily as a handshake, all entirely natural and unselfconscious beyond a second thought and one very sweaty and musky metaphorical handshake for all of that!
Indeed the breathless whisper persists, that a most exaltedly esthetic aspect thereof consists of the exchange and pleasantly stimulating melioration and evolution of vivid images, telepathically. But more likely, the transmission may be some form of unreal abstract suggestion and reification, so subjectively Phenomenal and intimate as to defy description even by Deltan mathematical modeling or language so rarified to precisely such purpose, thence only indicated metaphorically solely by the most sublime artistic allusion.
For Deltans are emotionally superbly balanced, natural, effortless, open, easygoing and gregarious sensualists by nature and vegetarian Pacifists, with proclivity towards consensus and cooperation as "team players," renowned as excellent teachers, star athletes, mathematicians, scientists, engineers, Counselors, helmsmen, navigators and system specialists.
Security is an unusual vocation to say the very least, pain and coercion being anathema!
Deltans, charming, spontaneous, gentle, persuasive, beautiful, agile and poised, athletic and fit yet ever casual, are roughly Human height but with slightly lighter build. Most Deltans are slim due to a metabolism slightly higher than Human norm. There are also important physiological divergence and Primatology. For among the progeny seeded into across the Milky Way Galaxy by the ancient lost progenitors, whereas, Homo Sapiens Sapiens are genetically closest to the common chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes, the Deltans seem most closely related to the Bonobo or pygmy chimpanzee, Pan paniscus. nevertheless, because of advanced cranial development, intelligence, sociability, normal vision, virtually hairless Deltan women, highly efficient sacroiliac and dorsal balance, strength, stability and poise, and even the emergence of fused toes, many Xenoanthropologists view the Deltan species, ancient and sophisticated, as representing somehow a possible future evolution of Humanity, their younger cousins in the Galaxy.
Indeed, the Deltans jocularly refer to their only remaining body hair, eyebrows and lashes, as the last remaining link to their less sexually advanced Humanoid siblings throughout the Galaxy.
Yet despite the contraband in colognes, perfumes, scented oils and distillates at least allegedly or ostensibly synthesized from the potent Deltan musk, and even musk fungus cuisine, all the same there persist still, the accounts of those who simply maintain that Deltans are actually completely Human for all intents and purposes, their very special talents, much like their sexual sophistication, entirely cultural, and venturing off-world and abroad, merely shave their heads as a sign of celibacy, much like unto the monks of old.
But perhaps these are simply a core group of Humans among the Deltans who have "gone native," so to speak, perhaps once coterie of the still the far famed decadent shaven headed Centauri women of yore.
Indeed, dire Prime Directive fables of Deltan first contact are most likely apocryphally exaggerated, along with the legendary sex literally to die for, perhaps a somewhat rare and unlikely in actuality, in no small measure associated with the Deltan ability of tactile parasomatic affrence, the holistic linkage of nervous systems by physical contact, even the lightest touch, also cultivated as advantageous to fitness and wellness, salutary to healing, and notably beneficial to pain management, with a calming musk, not only the famously arousing pheromones.
In truth, however, searingly passionate as ever they may be, the tender and sophisticated Deltans differ vastly from any other more overwhelmingly powerful but comparatively inept and unbalanced Scanner types as ever may appear amid other Humanoid species populations. After all, no one has ever caught even so much as a psionic nose bleed, much less an explosive cranial infarction, from any Deltan!
Deltans emotional biochemistry is sophisticated and holographic. Relationships are located on a broad spectrum multidimensional continuum, rather than neatly classified. Deltans are active and engaged, and not much for clock-watching. Time is allocated no more or less than as needed for all that unfolds. Deltans bond spontaneously for a moment or a lifetime, as ever emotional explorations run their course, deep and pure, without imposed schedules. A Deltan can read body language like a book and even quantify emotions sans compartmentalization, with clear, commanding, centered, self-aware and immediate insight into their own emotional conditions with precise reasoning thereto, though not the thoughts of others. Intersubjectivity of experience is a motivating fascination of Deltan culture. Deltans are endowed with a complex pheromonal and metabolic parasympathy into others' emotions, and transmission of their own, even veritable dialogue of affect across a room without line-of-sight. Deltans can even read and deftly manage emotions even in species that suppress and conceal them as do the Vulcans.
Indeed, jaded alienation, the let down and separation anxiety, does, however, seem the likelier account and outcome from intimately close encounters, after which ordinary Human sex is often said to seem dull, awkward, empty and superficial. For perhaps most overwhelming and disconcerting to any average Humans amid the prevalent Deltan communal living, must be the sense of saturation of comfort and ongoing responsiveness even to one's every passing transient affect.
Even among Humans, often classified as sex-obsessed bipeds, Deltans are notoriously alluring and hyper-sexualized. But does that say more about Delans or about Humans?
Indeed, a more obvious and prosaic explanation or co-factor in whatever actual physical danger might be how in proximity, it will be the highly complex Deltan endocrine pheromonal interaction, that likely may induce in outworld "sexually immature" humanoid species, such drastically elevated bio-signs, and dangerously the more so during intercourse, better manageable in species with the requisite equilibrium, constitution and stamina.
As ever the case may be, there are good reasons, mysterious and unspoken off, and despite reputed oomox to die for, why even the Orion Pirates rarely hazard traffic in Deltans as they do their own notorious lascivious enthralling and seductive green women. Indeed, we have only gleaned the beginnings of some compelling reasons why even a Klingon has dared such a prize!
The Deltan norm is of group/line families quartered together, intimately attuned to one another and the Gestalt. Hence it is whispered that the Deltans, given their nigh-empathic interdependency, are, deep down, as vulnerable to us as we are to them. The ever sociable Deltans, especially the younger, are the more susceptible to social isolation and Autophobia.
Nevertheless, Security Chief Lycia, 15 years old and what we used to call jail bait by certain historically Western Terran traditions, but within the Federation of Planets by Deltan sensibilities, as a sexually advanced superior Deltan actually held responsible and culpable as the adult, if she ever violates the oath of celibacy required by Starfleet, with an emotionally fragile sexually immature species, that is to say, for example, a mere human being, the painfully self conscious and awkward breed that we are, lacking the ready self understanding requisite to higher impulse formation, emotional stability and efficacy.
Kidnapped among the Klingons, Lycia has survived, according to their ways, only by habituation, conditioning and socialization to the most flagrantly seductive manipulation typical of Stockholm Syndrome. The Captain teases her by the affectionate pet diminutive 'Lisk,' which is also a pun in Deltan patois, meaning virgin/deviant/expatriate...
As in backstory for the character of Lycia in 'Star Trek: The Ship of Fools' 'Dwellers in the Crucible' likewise involves a kidnapping, and the TrekBBS topic of discussion is of how to interpret subtext of that event. Still. even ruling out simple coercion as such, the psychological danger to (human) children from pedophile interaction is Empirically corroborated. But why so? Just imagine struggling to explain to an alien life form! Is it intrinsic to the experiencence, a matter of context coloring Phenomenal perception, or as some even dare advance, trauma entirely from taboo driven societal response thereafter? To complicate matters, not only have attitudes and practices differed so greatly between cultures throughout (Terrestrial) history, but there are those physical and emotional drives and needs of children that Freud called infant sexuality. Indeed, over protection of children from even the very specter of molestation, has been known to leave children insecure, neglected, no less traumatized, repressed and starved of affection. So, where must one draw the line? Much as in education, potential harm obtains in accordance to scope and depth of intervention, the delicacy and the complexity of all wherein intervened, even however indispensably, and indeed importance all thereof. And given as customary among the Deltans, the perception of relationships as located upon a broad spectrum multidimensional continuum, rather than as neatly classified, the advantage for the Deltans in the problem at hand, would not come from howsoever any virtue in greater accuracy at howsoever arbitrary compartmentalization, but in case based reasoning rather than rules based reasoning let alone taboo as such, and also as ever, from how well in tune they always all are, those Deltans, ever so far well advanced beyond damaged motivations of desperate and indifferent betrayal against trusting vulnerability. Indeed, with all that is at stake, even, at first blush, as patronizingly as the rhetoric may strike the casual hearer, one can nevertheless readily understand their overt pity for the likes of us!
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