Illusion of Communication (Star Trek Online)
A/N: Bianca’s back for part two of her take on the Mirror of Discovery Arc! See how she fixes the mess she made in the part 1 by confronting Mirror Tilly (voiced by Mary Wiseman) on Pahvo and stopping her evil scheme!
Fleet Admiral’s Log Stardate 96882.12
This is Bianca Andrews of the Discovery and I just got a call from Somat.
He told me that their information about the events at Pahvo is incomplete, but he believes that the Terrans are undertaking a large scale operation there. Somat said that they managed to coerce the planet’s consciousness into serving their violent needs. Somat then informed me that they’ve turned Pahvo’s transmitter into a potent weapon. He said that time is of the essence and, while the Alliance is mobilizing a larger response, we’re the first responders. It’s up to us to do what we can to stop Captain Tilly and her crew before they solidify their control of Pahvo. Somat said that failing to do so could be catastrophic. He also told me that we need to return Tilly’s Discovery and her crew to their proper time and space. He said that, under the circumstances, removing the Terran presence from Pahvo is the more immediate, logical need. I told Somat that I’d be there as soon as I can and set course to go back to Pahvo. Since this whole situation is my fault to begin with, it’s up to me to fix this problem and send these monsters back to where they came from.
As soon as we arrived at Pahvo, Somat said that, based on his readings, he believes that the Terrans have managed to alter Pahvo’s “song.” Somat claimed that Tilly and her crew have manipulated it into a new type of harmonic waveform. Then he told me that this very waveform is potent enough to realign the space around the planet, shifting it to a different quantum signature. Somat said that, as a result, a number of interphasic rifts have opened within the system. I don’t even want to think about what harm that’s causing to the poor Pahvans! I asked Somat why anyone would do something so horrible! Somat suggested that Tilly is attempting to bring things from the Mirror Universe to ours. Somat then said that logic suggests an invasion force, based on previous encounters with the Terran Empire. He claimed that we’re not the only ones interested in this behavior. Apparently, the time-displaced Klingons are moving to investigate as well. Somat said that, considering previous encounters, the situation could become volatile quickly. I told Somat that we need to deal with this before it gets out of hand. I fought a Klingon Bird of Prey and then scanned the nearby portal. Kwon told me that it was wreckage from a nearby ship, a massive one. He said that, if the Terrans were trying to get reinforcements through here, it didn’t work, something we can all be grateful for. Kwon told me that he was picking up lifesigns on several of the larger pieces of debris. Kwon was quick to warn me that the emergency life support systems were failing and that the survivors didn’t have a lot of time left! I ordered Kwon to prep sickbay for casualties and to transport the survivors aboard. Terran or not, I will not leave anyone to die if I have the power to save them!
After we managed to rescue all of the survivors, Kwon told me that the uninjured ones are being held in the brig and the casualties are in sickbay. He said that several of them were cocooned in mycelial threads. Kwon claimed that, apparently, the wreckage passed through some kind of subspace mycelial network, which I remember seeing a lecture about in Alpha Centauri, and now several of the survivors were wrapped in these… fungal strands. I asked Kwon if the cocooned ones would survive. He said that it was too early to tell, but indications are generally positive. Kwon claimed that the mycelial webwork is very durable—it may have protected them from the disaster that claimed their ship. I told Kwon to keep me posted if their status changes. In the meantime, we need to get planetside. Somat told me that he has the coordinates for the science station on the planet’s surface. He claimed that it was logical to assume that the Terrans have taken control of the research team and their facilities. Then Somat told me that preparing for an armed response would be prudent.
I gathered my away team, sad that I couldn’t take Artemis as she was still recovering in sickbay, and immediately beamed down to Pahvo.
We arrived at the research facility that, according to Somat, had already been attacked. He said that we must see to the welfare of the researchers, if any survived. I said that we should check the shelter area. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured, so I only needed to use basic first aid treatment on all three Vulcans who were very grateful. Well, as grateful as Vulcans can be. Somat said that we were fortunate that the Terrans did not kill everyone, since they were more concerned with their research data and equipment. He claimed that their work gave the Terrans what they needed to communicate with Pahvo in ways we cannot. Somat said that they are now able to alter the planet’s consciousness, causing it to reflect their own dark nature. I told Somat that we’d beam his people to safety before we deal with the Terrans. Somat suggested that their security personnel should remain with them because, if we’re going against the Terran forces, we’ll need all of the help we can get. I told Somat that I can’t argue with that logic. Then Somat said that, while trying to communicate with the planet, they learned that it uses crystal matrices as transmitters. Somat told me that they have a small collection of crystal samples, which may be useful to re-establish the planet’s normal biosphere, free from Terran influence. I told Somat that we’ll pick up a few of those crystal thingies before we continue. So I grabbed some of them from one of the cases.
Then, before we could leave, Somat said that he was able to take readings of the area. Apparently, Terran technology is not subtle, especially agonizer gear. Somat then informed me that he read it in several locations, a meadow, a river back and a narrow pass. He also read several Terran lifesigns in those areas, so he doesn’t think that we’ll be receiving a warm welcome. I told Somat that, once we’ve dealt with the Terrans, we’ll turn their torture thingies off and re-stabilize the planet. Somat then informed us that there’s a canyon that exits to another glade of Pahvan life a short distance to the south of here. He claimed that, logically, the Terrans would seek out places where they can use their technology to attempt to subvert the planet. I told Somat that we’ll keep an eye out for those devices. We finally left the camp and it wasn’t long until we came across the first device. Somat told us to disable the device on the crystals to interrupt the Terrans’ hold on Pahvo. He didn’t have to tell me twice. I immediately disabled the agonizer and put a new crystal to help those poor guys heal.
It didn’t take long for the red crystal to turn blue and then we went down the path, coming across the Terran forces. We managed to defeat them and come across another crystal guarded by more Terran forces. Thankfully, we also defeated them and disabled the agonizer, putting an uncorrupted crystal in its place watching the crystal turn blue. We went further down the path and found more Terrans in the meadow that we had to take care of.
After defeating those Terrans, Somat said that we needed to continue before more Terran reinforcements arrived. Then he looked like he was sensing something and turned around to see the Pahvans! Somat told us that they were attempting to communicate with him telepathically! Somat stuck out his hand and the blue mist known as the Pahvans sent a few blue lines his way.
Then the mist and the lines turned red! Somat explained that it means they’re angry and, in all honesty, I really don’t blame them. Somat collapsed on the ground and then turned to us with his eyes covered by a red beam screaming, “Kill them! Kill them all!” in a voice that sounded echoey!
We had to stun Somat and his team and, after that, treat Somat once the control was gone. After Somat got back to his senses, he explained that the Terrans used their agonizer technology to induce a state of hostility in the Pahvan biosphere. He said that now, it is lashing out, using its empathic powers to project its pain and rage into other living beings. Now I feel really awful. Somat then claimed that, if the Terrans are able to do this on a large scale, the planet could serve as a massive telepathic weapon. It would be able to subvert or kill anyone, anywhere. Somat said that we need to disable this technology wherever we find it on Pahvo. I asked Somat why the attack didn’t affect me or my away team. Somat speculated that he believes that the biosphere has a stronger connection to him and his team. He claimed that it may have instinctively struck the most familiar minds first. Then Somat said that he doesn’t believe that it will continue to exclusively attack members of his team. He even claimed that those with the ability to harm the biosphere will be immune. I asked Somat if he meant that the Pahvans were seeking allies to protect itself and, since I’m the one that caused its suffering, it saw me as an enemy. Somat said that it could be true, but we have little time to dwell on past mistakes and I couldn’t argue with that. I asked Somat if he was able to continue on. He answered that he could, because he experienced the psionic attack and can take steps to shield his mind against it. Somat told me that his security officers, on the other hand, don’t have his level of training in the mental arts. He said that it wouldn’t be logical for them to continue. So I had the security team beamed up to my Discovery. After that was over, I disabled the agonizer and set the uncorrupted crystal to help the Pahvans heal.
We went up the mountain pass and had to take care of more Terrans. Then we found another crystal, disabled the agonizer and placed an uncorrupted crystal as we watched it turn from red to blue. After that, Somat said that, in addition to using their agonizers, the Terrans were blocking access to the central pillar with force fields in selected areas. Somat remarked that it was doubtless that they wish to prevent interference in their captain’s plans. I felt anger fill me at the mention of Captain Tilly and said with a newfound determination that we’ll disable their force fields, and stop their captain.
I immediately disabled the force field blocking the nearby cave and went through it to find a giant crystal thingy that I think is the life force of this planet! Then I heard Captain Tilly’s voice, taunting me about how good I was. That bitch is going down! She showed up right in front of her computer and talked about how she sent her best to deal with me and I’m still alive and kicking!
She sarcastically applauded and then made sure to comment on my new hairstyle, causing me to narrow my eyes. Before I could respond, Somat told Captain Tilly that it’s illogical for her to continue and that whatever she’s doing to Pahvo needs to end. Captain Tilly only brushed him off for his “famous Vulcan logic” (her words, not mine) and told him that she and Pahvo are just getting started. I told Captain Tilly that we’ll be sure to stop it. Captain Tilly only laughed and said that she loves my newfound spunk, even speculating that it must come with the new hair! Then Captain Tilly finally admitted that she lied about sending her best at us. More Terrans beamed down to help their captain, who couldn’t give a shit about them! We took care of Captain Tilly’s lackeys first and then concentrated our firepower on her.
Captain Tilly said that she’d give us a little taste of her big gun as she tried to activate that monstrosity she forced on Pahvo. Somat told me to disable the controls to the left before she forces Pahvo to release a lethal wave of psychic energy. I followed the line and then deactivated the controls like Somat said. Tilly said that she can do this all day, but she knows I can’t. Then she asked me how it felt to be betrayed by someone I considered such a dear friend! I told Captain Tilly that she and I were never friends to begin with! She kept taunting me as we tried to fight her, talking about how that wasn’t what I thought when I first saw her. Then she said that I was so pleased to see her again, gloating about how easy I was to manipulate and asked me how my poor raptor buddy was doing! I told Tilly that she had no right to mention Artemis! Tilly only laughed about how she managed to get under my skin, giving me flashbacks of over the top movies with their mustache twitching villains. I angrily asked Captain Tilly if she had anything else to fight with other than cliché villain dialogue. Captain Tilly only activated her weapon and I had to follow the line to deactivate it before it could do any damage.
This angered Captain Tilly, who asked me if I ever had an agonizer down my throat and then said that I’m about to. After a few more minutes of fighting the captain, she tried to activate the machine again, but I managed to stop it. Captain Tilly shouted about how I just got to her last nerve and jumped all over it.
It wasn’t long until she was leaning against her own machine, grabbing her injured shoulder and saying that this was definitely not how she saw this ending.
I tauntingly asked Captain Tilly how it felt to get her ass kicked by the very woman she killed in her own universe. The captain glared at me and then told me that I know it’s only a matter of time before they truly beat us because we don’t have the stomach to stop them as she activated the machine. She claimed that her people were more than capable of defeating us and she intends to make that happen. Somat told Captain Tilly that it was unlikely, because her campaign of terror here was over. She told us that she wasn’t done yet and beamed out saying that she’ll see us next time and called us all assholes. I gleefully yelled at Captain Tilly as she left that I thought she hated swearing.
After the bitch left, Somat said that Captain Tilly somehow managed to use Pahvo’s transmitter as a long-term transporter, meaning she can be anywhere in the quadrant. Somat suggested looking through the Terran equipment to find clues. So, I checked their gear by the spire thingy and found two hyposprays and a phaser rifle. Somat said that we found everything we can here, so he advised us to return to our ship so that we can deal with the situation in local space.
We beamed back to our Discovery and Somat suggested that, now that we’ve secured the research preserves, we need to find a way to return the Terrans and their vessel to their proper time and place. I asked Somat if he had any recommendations. Somat suggested using the ion storm to send their Discovery back. He said that specially-modified probes can amplify the storm in specific locations, which can generate a localized ion effect and open a gateway to the proper point in time and space. I told Somat that convincing the I.S.S. Discovery to enter that could be difficult. Somat agreed with me, adding that the Terrans have a predilection for hostility. I ordered Savea to put our shields up and fire to disable. We fought with the Terrans but, eventually, managed to disable their ship.
I contacted them to see Chief Patel who said that this was pointless and, as much as it pains her to say this, they surrender. Then she asked me what my terms were. I told Patel that I just want her and her crew to return to her proper time and place. Patel said that it was fine by her, because Captain Tilly slinked off to parts unknown and left them to die. I made a remark about how I thought she refused to abandon her ship. Patel responded by saying that I shouldn’t take her former captain on her word, then Patel claimed that she’s the captain now and she says that we can send them back, if we can. I told Patel to return to her initial entry position and not to try anymore tricks. After I cut the communication, Somat told me that my display has been updated with the locations to place probes around their Discovery. He said that, once the probes are in place, they will trigger an ion flare to open the gateway that will take the I.S.S. Discovery back. I told Somat that the sooner we get this over with the better. Somat informed me that it would not be that simple. According to him, the time-displaced Klingons are still out there, and they have shown a distinct interest in destroying the I.S.S. Discovery, along with all of us. I told Helm to take us to the launch points and Tactical to keep watching for Klingons. Somat was right because, every time we placed one probe, Klingons would come out of nowhere and attack us.
After setting up all of the probes, it was our job to keep the I.S.S. Discovery safe until they activated. Thankfully, we managed to defeat them and, after what felt like the longest few minutes of my life, the I.S.S. Discovery moved into position, warped back to its own time and took the Klingons with them.
Somat said that the ion storm was subsiding and we’re receiving standard readings from Pahvo. Now, it’s broadcasting its song as normal—no aberrations, no distress calls! Somat said that it seems things are returning to a calm, peaceful level, which I was more than happy to hear! He claimed that, once the research team is able to resume their duties, they will begin analyzing the impact of the Agonizer technology on the Pahvan ecosystem. Somat said that, considering what we just witnessed, it would be logical to make sure Tilly and her crew didn’t leave any unexpected surprises on the planet as well. Somat finished up by saying that, for now, we can safely depart the system, which we did.
After we left, Somat said that it will take some time to evaluate the impact of the Terran occupation of Pahvo. He claimed that the agonizer technology they used to manipulate the planetary biosphere was invasive and damaging. Somat was concerned about the effect it had upon the Pahvan ecology, and how that will affect future attempts at interaction with the planet. I told Somat that I’m terribly sorry about all of this and that, hopefully, the Pahvans can recover. Somat said that this was Captain Tilly’s doing, not mine. So an apology from me would be illogical. I responded by saying that I still feel bad about being stupid enough to trust Captain Tilly, and her still being at large just makes it worse. Somat agreed that it was troubling, because her technological prowess and propensity for violence should make her presence in this time quite disruptive. Then he pointed out that, should Captain Tilly acquire certain technology and return to her own time, it is possible that she will rewrite history as we know it and turn our universe into one more like her own… if not worse. Somat said that, in the meantime, we both have our duties to attend to and it would be illogical for me to dwell on past mistakes. He finished up by saying that it has been agreeable to work with me and told me to live long and prosper. I responded with peace and long life.
Then I excused myself to go to sickbay and check on Artemis.
A/N: So, what did you think of Bianca’s two-part Mirror of Discovery adventure? Feel free to let me know your thoughts, request an STO mission or team-up, and even role-play in the comments, if you want to.