Truth & Consequences
Location: CO's office
Timeline: MD01 1500
Maritza ordered a tea from the replicator, mint and green tea mixed. The earth beverage waqs a habit she'd got into at the Academy there, and the mint mellowed the strength of the tea, whilst keeping it refreshing.
She sat at her desk and stared at her fingernails. Tea was all very well, but what she wanted was Cordafin. She wanted real stimulants. Not this herbal home remedy.
Claude's voice came over the com. "You're three o clock is here," he warned.
Maritza sighed. She didn't want to do this now. Not with all the War Games going on. But it couldn't be avoided, and trying to put it off would look like she had something hide. Which she didn't. "Send them in."
Two officers walked in and nodded.
"Hello, Ma'am," said an older mail. "My name's Chet Brinkley. This is my partner, Dianna Huntley. We have a few questions."
The short, stocky woman nodded and pulled out a PADD.
Soran stood, and indicated the chairs in front of her desk. "Please, take a seat. Can I get you some refreshments before we begin?" She wasn't ready to just leap into this.
Brinkley looked at her for a long moment. "Okay. I'll take water with a splash of lemon."
Huntley smiled. "Tea please, sweet."
Soran moved to her replicator, and produced the orders. She set them down in front of her...guests? interrogators? who knew how this would go. "So, what can I do for you?"
"I assume you know why we're here?" Brinkley asked. "Can we start with you telling us what happened."
Huntley took a sip of her tea and set down the cup to start recording.
"The incident with the non-corporeal creature*" Soram replied. That attacked and killed several residents and crew." She didn't like dwelling on it. It had lived inside her. And she had dismissed the symptoms as survivors guilt and post-traumatic stress.
"Yes, ma'am. Before we ask questions, we want you to tell us what happened."
"I'm not really sure," and it was an honest answer. "I'm missing a lot of time. I can tell you what other's have told me, but I wasn't even aware of it."
"All right," Brinkley said. "What did others tell you?"
"There had been a series of murders, on the prom, and whilst investigating, it was discovered that there was some sort of psionic energy on the Prom. Mr Reynolds was breifing me on it, when it manifested, and attacked him. I had Mr Reynolds beamed away, but after that I have no memomory of events until I woke up in sick bay. But whatever it was had access to my knowledge. It was able to turn the replicator in the Strat Ops office into a booby trap."
Soran reached for her tea and sipped. 'After that, they traced it to the power plant. They found me there, and trapped and destroyed the entity."
"How did the symbiotic entity take control? Was it like something that took over your mind, or did it physically take over? What did the tests conclude?" Huntley asked. She was curious about how this particular creature managed to do what it did.
There hadn't been a lot of tests. Maritza had been too wary of what the bio beds might pick up, so she'd dodged everything she could reasonably dodge. "That it fed off psionic energy. That mostly it stayed in my frontal cortex, but to get out , it needed me asleep. That's why I don't remember much."
Brinkley looked over his notes and forwned, seeing the very short list of tests she'd actually taken. "I'm surprised they didn't do more tests afterwards, to make sure you had no lingering effects."
"Or something. I hear Vulcans are quite good at that sort of thing," Huntley added.
"That's not Starfleet-approved," Brinkley said.
He turned to Maritza. "Why didn't you take more tests?"
"The creature was dead. The doctor detected nothing in my vitals to indicate permanent damage." Thank every higher power she could think of. "I was given time off to recuperate on the understanding that should there be any further effects I would come back. But there weren't. I continued with my regular counselling sessions, but in myself I felt fine. " Maritza put her teacup down. "And since the creature seemed to be attacking those with telepathic abilities, it was deemed to risky to resort to telepathic probes. We had found a way to follow it with sensors, and they were coming back clean."
Huntley nodded. That made sense to her.
"What brain scans were done?" Brinkley asked. "To make sure there was no residual damage or alterations to your paracortex."
"Whatever Dr Telamon deemed necesary. I'll call her and give you access to my files." Maritza didn't want to do it, but trying to hide it would only look more suspicious. "There were micro lesions across the temporal cortex, but they were treated with medicines for neurogenesis."
Again, Huntley nodded.
Brinkley said, "That would be appreciated. Is there anything else you want to add? Did you have any other trouble? Any erratic behavior?"
Soran weighed what to say briefly. "I don't feel so." Reynolds would disagree. But he was in a world of his own. "But this thing quite clearly demonstrated it could use me like a puppet, and I never knew for a moment. Who knows what people would say."
This time, Brinkley nodded. "True. Do you believe there are more creatures like this one around?"
Since the events a few weeks ago, she'd had no hallucinations, no black outs, no problems. the only thing she had to show for it was the tattoo that she'd obviously got during the missing week. "No."
Brinkley nodded. Huntley made a few notes and adjusted the PADD.
"Is there anyone on the station we should talk to about this?" Brinkley asked.
Well there was a loaded question. "Commander Ryan was responsible for hunting it down" And Reynolds would want to put in his bitter, resentful tuppence. "Mr Reynolds, as one of our resident psionicists was also attacked, by it."
Huntley looked at her PADD. "Ah, yes. I see." She glanced at Brinkley.
"I do not believe we'll need to talk to either of them. They won't be able to add anything more than what's already in the record," Brinkley said with a curt nod. Reynolds had been affected by the entity and would not be unbiased. And Ryan had filed his report at the time.
"What happens now?" Maritza asked? "Is there a report. Or a hearing?"
"We file a report," Huntley said.
"It'll be up to JAG if there's a hearing, but from the evidence, it looks like you weren't responsible and as you've had no further issues, I can't see them taking this further," Brinkley added.
Soran clamped down on the urge to drum her fingers on the table. "How long, roughly?"
"To be honest, ma'am, it could take three or four weeks, depending on the caseload," Huntley said. She understood the commander's concern. Red tape often took far too long.
Great. More waiting. Maritza carefully kept her face neutral, and stood up. "Thank you. Let me show you out."
Commander Maritza Soran
Lieutenant Commander Chet Brinkley
Starfleet Investigations Officer
Lieutenant Dianna Huntley
Starfleet Investigations Officer