Suburban Timewaster

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A/N: I know, it’s been awhile since my last post and I’m sorry about this.  I recently started school, so I’ve had to juggle that, my job, my volunteering, my writing and my blog.  Trust me, it hasn’t been easy.  Anyway, Candy’s back and she’s here to talk about when she had to team up with Rush (hashakgig1106‘s character, who also provided some of the screenshots) to save the Dominion from the Hur’q!

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Fleet Admiral’s Log Stardate 96229.49

This is Candy Marino and I just got a call from Odo.  He said that Empersa, the homeworld of the Founders, is under attack by the Hur’q.  Odo told me that this is our darkest hour because, if Empersa falls, the Dominion will come to an end.  He asked me to join in the defense efforts as soon as I can. Then Odo told me that a task force will assemble at his fleet’s location in the Gamma Quadrant and warp to Empersa from there.  Odo reminded me that, if we fall, the AQ is next. So, it’s time to make a stand. He said that he hopes I join in the fight. I told Odo that, considering the circumstances, I don’t really have much of a choice.  So I went to Odo’s fleet and guess who else was there, Rush. Apparently, Odo needed all the help he could get, so he called the pirate. Great, this is the last thing I need. Not only is Rush part of a past that I would like to forget, but I’m about to fight man-eating bugs!  She’ll see me freeze up and never let me live it down! Just like that time her chef placed gagh on the table and I screamed loud enough to wake the dead! I suppose she found it amusing, Galaxy’s Greatest Detective afraid of small worms. I really hate Tanya right now. Unfortunately, the fate of the galaxy depends on us defeating the Hur’q, so I need to put my personal feelings aside and remind myself not to give Rush anymore fodder.  Besides, maybe she’ll bring Tike along and it’s always great to see him.

I got a call from Odo, who said that he arrived here ahead of us and he’s already engaged the Hur’q near the planet.  Then he told Garak that he’s made his point and to deactivate the Hur’q Lure device he placed on the homeworld before this gets out of hand. 

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I have to say, I’m on Odo’s side about this and I let that be known. Then Garak told us that he deactivated it several minutes ago! God damn it, I should’ve known it wouldn’t be this easy!  Odo asked why the Hur’q were still attacking and told Garak not to play games with him. Garak said that they might still be attacking due to a deep hatred of Odo’s people. Then claimed that it was The Founders who were directly responsible for their state of mind, body and soul.  Garak tried to finish by saying that he doesn’t blame them for—, but I told them to stop their male chest pumping and help us figure a way out of this mess. Kira called and said that I’m right, because we don’t have time for this. Then Kira told us that there’s a bigger problem to deal with here, starting with that swarm of Hur’q vessels nearby.  Rush phoned in her own comment about how, after that, Garak and Odo can wipe their dicks out and measure them. Why does that pirate always try to one-up me? Anyway, Odo agreed with us and said that his fleet is already engaged near the planet, but Hur’q reinforcements keep arriving. Odo told me and Rush to try to punch through the swarms so they can join up.  I ordered the helm to take us in and got a call from Garak. He told Bashir that we may be needing his solution to this problem soon. Bashir agreed, since Garak’s failed in a spectacular fashion. Garak asked if it really has, because some might argue that it succeeded beyond expectations. Great, more male chest thumping. Men are all the same, no matter what the species.  Rush and I both ignored this and continued shooting the Hur’q, dealing with the problem at hand. It wasn’t until we both got rid of some Hur’q that Nog showed up with the Chimera and a fleet ready to help! Then that Tzenkethi admiral, the real one, showed up and said that the C.S.S. Steadfast is ready to assist us as well! Maybe this will turn out like Avengers: Infinity Wars, when The Avengers, Dr. Strange, Spiderman and the Guardians of the Galaxy all teamed up to take down Thanos!  Hopefully, it won’t end the same way. Rush and I continued fighting off the Hur’q with the added assistance. Odo called in and said that his ship won’t last much longer, so we need to deal with the swarm attacking it immediately. Then another wave of Hur’q came in and, let me tell you, these guys are unstoppable! If there’s any time for the Klingons to make their Big Damn Heroes moment, it would be now. After defeating them, we had to deal with another swarm and the Klingons better get here quick.  Turned out we didn’t need the Klingons as we got rid of the Hur’q ourselves. I hailed Odo, who congratulated me and Rush and then told us that his ship’s taken heavy damage, but she’ll survive. What is it with guys calling their ships she? Kira said that we’ve bought ourselves some time, but let’s hope it’s enough. Then asked Bashir if his plan’s ready, because it may be our best hope to end things now. Bashir said that it’s as ready as possible because the challenge of “frontier medicine” is that there is never enough time.  Honestly, this sounds like an inside joke between the two of them. Then Bashir said that he created a program that will enable the Hur’q to synthesize the compound they need to come to their senses. After that, Bashir told us that he’s also put together a core sample of the compound for them to utilize in mass production, which is actually the easy part.

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Kira asked Bashir about the hard part and what he needs to make this happen. Bashir answered by saying that, from what we’ve learned about the Hur’q, the best way to make this happen will be to enter the data in one of their core computer systems.  Then Bashir said that it’ll need to be a command-level system with fleet-wide override authority. He told us that systems of that caliber are only found on Hur’q dreadnoughts. I voiced my displeasure at having to actually beam on one of the ships and face those things again. Rush teasingly asked me if this was going to be too difficult for me and mockingly offered to hold my hand. I told Rush that I’d rather have Tike do that. Then we disabled the giant Hur’q ship and got a call from Kira. She told us that the Dreadnought’s disabled, but that ship is still crawling with Hur’q. So, we’d better make sure our away teams are ready for a fight.  Odo said that he’ll send some of his best, meaning Rex and Loriss. The former will lead a Jem’Hadar away team while the latter will assist Bashir. Rush said that she’s taking Tike and Jinnie with her and I said that I’ll be taking Chris. Kira said that we need to get our away teams on that dreadnought before it calls for backup. Bashir called us and said that he and Loriss have all they need. Then he told us that they’re ready to beam over when we are. I took a deep breath and said that we might as well get this over with, which is also my attitude about gynecology exams.

I beamed down with Chris while Rush beamed down with Tike and Jinnie, the former being the only one happy to see me.  Bashir greeted us and said that we need to find their central computer core. He told us that, once we’re there, he’ll begin the override process that will allow him and Loriss to transmit their data on the cure.  Bashir then said when that’s done, he and Loriss can instruct each ship in the fleet to replicate the cure and distribute it to every Hur’q onboard. Of course, they’ll need to reach the command center in one piece to do so. 

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Rush arrogantly said that she and her team can clear the way, but I told her that Chris and I aren’t slouches either. Chris said that we can fight about it later. Right now, we need to get to the control room. So, we both went through the corridor with Rex warning us about enemy lifesigns ahead and that we need to get ready to fight.  Jinnie got her weapon ready and I heard her mumble “let’s get this over with.” Then Rex told us to proceed with caution, because he’s reading numerous hazards in the area. Apparently, this section of the ship has taken heavy damage. Jinnie immediately started shooting at the giant bugs that came lunging at us and I’m supposed to believe that these things were peaceful?  I channeled all of my fear into my phaser and started shooting, screaming at the roaches to die! After they were gone, I remembered that Black Mirror episode and said aloud that I should’ve used a different metaphor. Anyway, we fought through swarms and swarms of Hur’q until we got to the control room which, surprise, had more Hur’q we had to get rid of. Where’s a giant hypospray of bug repellent when you need it?

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We finally killed the Hur’q and checked in with Bashir.  He praised us for excellent work and then warned us to keep our weapons handy because we’re breaking into a secure computer system here and the Hur’q are bound to take offense.  Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in. He told us to keep them busy while he and Loriss do their work, or this’ll be a wasted trip. Next thing you know we have to deal with more Hur’q and then Loriss was screaming at Bashir like a stereo-typical shrew about how this one goes here and that one goes there.  Bashir explained that he was saving time by inverting the feed now instead of later. Then Loriss starts screaming at Bashir about how he’s supposed to be Starfleet’s best and brightest, which got my attention! I repeated, with tranquil fury, that he’s Starfleet’s best and brightest? Bashir said, medically speaking, he’s the best and brightest and he wouldn’t even be in Starfleet if it weren’t for this Hur’q nonsense.  Okay, I can accept that. Then Loriss screamed to Bashir about how we’re running out of time. Bashir asked Loriss sarcastically if she knows a faster way to translate Hur’q language and reverse-engineer their technology. Jinnie told them to hurry up because she doesn’t want to stay in bug city any longer than she has to. One of the Hur’q tried to attack me from behind while I was dealing with other Hur’q, but Tike pulled me out of the way before the explosion could do any damage and then I repaid him by yanking my arm away and stomping on his foot.  Tike only laughed it off and said that he sees that I still haven’t gotten over my touch phobia. I told Tike that it’s the golden rule, don’t touch me unless I allow it. Then I told him that I’ll make it up to him later and called him tiger. Rush told us that we can flirt after we try to prevent the end of the galaxy as we know it. Chris said that he hates to say this, but he agrees with Rush. Finally, we took care of the Hur’q and checked in with Dr. Bashir. He told us that the cure’s almost ready, but the system still needs the physical samples of the cure for final analysis and processing.  Then Bashir asked me if he should proceed! Hell yeah, he needs to proceed! The sooner we get this bug nightmare over with, the better.

Well, unfortunately, we don’t have that kind of luck.  Weyoun came in out of nowhere and shot the machine!  Bashir asked Weyoun if he was insane, because that was our last hope!  Loriss wanted to know how it’s possible, because Weyoun was in prison. Weyoun said that he was liberated by those who still serve the true Founders.  Then claimed that not everyone is a traitor to the Dominion, after all. I sarcastically remarked that the Founders treated them like shit and they’re still willing to destroy the galaxy for them.  Chris said that, psychologically speaking, it’s not that uncommon. I told Chris harshly that I’m well-aware of that. Loriss told Weyoun that there is only one traitor here, and it’s time he paid the price.  Loriss shot Weyoun in the shoulder, who called her pathetic because she can’t even kill someone properly. Then tried to order Rex to kill us all but, unlike Weyoun, he turned on his abuser and shot him in the head! 

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Bashir scanned Weyoun and said that he’s gone. Loriss added that it’s not a moment too soon. I told Loriss that she’s preaching to choir. Bashir contacted command and said that we have a problem. Rush beamed back to the Jimeck with Tike and Jinnie while I beamed back to the Winchester with Chris.

Odo contacted us and said that the Hur’q fleet is about to attack our position.  Then he told us that we need to give the doctor the time he needs to transmit the data on the cure.  My grandpa once told me to never speak ill of the dead, which just makes me want to do it more. God Damn Weyoun and his fucking martyr complex!  If there’s a hell, I hope he’s rotting in it! So, we have to survive a swarm attack and, even with all of us working together, we still can’t beat these guys.  Dear God, this is going to end like Avengers: Infinity Wars. Then Quark showed up and took some time to brag about how Odo was in quite a fix. Odo sarcastically replied that it’s a brilliant observation and demanded to know what Quark wanted.  Rom asked Odo to forgive Quark and explained that they’re here to help. Odo scoffed at a Ferengi cavalry and said that now he’s seen everything. Quark bragged about how the best is yet to come and I know he’s talking about his Klingon friends. I’m fighting the urge to point that out because I know it will be much cooler when they arrive right next to Quark’s ship.  Then he told Odo to say hello to his dangerous friends. Sadly, the Klingons didn’t show up and Odo smugly said that we’re waiting. I told Quark that it looks like his Klingon friends are late. Quark sarcastically thanked me for ruining the moment, but Rush pointed out that the moment was ruined when they didn’t show up. Then Quark asked Rom where they were. Odo kept bragging about how Quark lost his nerve and then Rush told Odo that we’re all about to die, so this isn’t the time for he and Quark to get into a pissing contest.  I only rolled my eyes and said that it’s typical of men to measure their dicks even when their life is in danger. Then the Klingons finally showed up! 

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Martok even gave this great speech about how, long ago, T’Kuvma the Unforgettable lit the beacon of Kahless to restore glory to the Empire. Martok then explained that, today, a new Torchbearer, Worf, son of Mogh, does the same. Martok said that, united, we now go fight the enemy of our ancestors. He claimed that, today, we will fight the Hur’q. Then he proudly proclaimed about how he now holds the weapon they fear most, which was the Sword of Kahless.  I remarked that I bet a certain Ferengi helped him get that. Martok said that we should join him now, in honorable combat, and show the Hur’q what it truly means to be Klingon. Then he finished it up by shouting “For Kahless! For the Empire! Qapla’!” After that I was beaming and shouted that it’s time to kick Thanos’s ass! So, that’s what we did! Just replace Thanos with the Hur’q. After defeating them, Rush and I got a call from Odo. He told us that the arrival of the Klingons has given us more time in space, but the situation on the surface is dire. Odo said that Hur’q forces are breaking the Jem’Hadar defense lines and we need to do what we can to help.  Odo told us that he’s beaming directly to the Great Link to aid his people. Then Martok contacted us after and said that the time has come. He told us that the Hur’q mean to ravage everything in their path, but we will not allow it. Martok gave a speech about how we still stand against them, as Kahless once stood, defiant and proud! He told us to fight well and, if need be, die well!

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I said that this might be like Avengers: Infinity Wars, but there’s no way in hell it’s going to end the same way. Rush and I had to move our ships within range of the planet. As soon as we arrived, Chris asked me if I was ready to beam down, giving me a sympathetic glance, but I said that I’m as ready as I’ll ever be and beamed down to the Founder homeworld with Chris.

Rush already beamed down with Tike again but, this time, Turel joined us.  Guess Rush decided to bring in the big guns. We both saw Martok doing the Kahless ritual with his fellow Klingons.  Odo said that it’s worse than we thought because most of the Jem’Hadar lines have been broken, so even the Great Link is in danger.  He told us that he’s going to coordinate our defenses at the Link and said that we should meet him there. Kira responded by telling Odo that we’ll meet him there as soon as we can and to be careful.  Martok said that the Jem’Hadar have come to our aid, so now we return the favor. We walked through the pathway, found the bug people and did exactly that. This time, it was my turn to save Tike when one of the bug people tried to get the drop on him.  I only smirked and told him that now we’re even. After defeating that section of Hur’q, we went to talk to the Jem’Hadar, who congratulated us on fighting well. He told us that there are many Hur’q between us and the Great Link. Then talked about how we go there now to reclaim our lives for we are already dead.  Rush said that talk like that is what will get us killed. As much as I hated to admit it, Rush does have a point. So, I said to the Jem’Hadar “May the odds be ever in our favor.” When he asked what that meant, I translated it to victory is life.  

After that, we went further down the path to the Great Link and Kira said that we won’t last long out in the open like this.  I told Kira that we definitely won’t with that attitude. Odo contacted us and said that they’re fortifying their position near the Great Link.  Kira responded to him by saying that we’re on our way. Then we ran into a Vorta commander, who told us that he had to confess his surprise at seeing us here on the homeworld of his gods.  He said that we really were living in strange times and I loudly admitted that I never thought I’d see the day when I’d be saving the Great Link. Then the Vorta asked us to forgive his boldness, but there are still Founders under attack nearby.  The Vorta then asked if he can count on us to aid them, and destroy the wretched creatures who would do them harm. I told him that we don’t exactly have a choice.

So, we go down the road, defeat a few Hur’q and rescue a few changelings, who were actually grateful for it. 

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Well, some of them were. Others accused us of invading but, after a Hur’q takeover, what would be left to rule?  It was Chris’s turn to get attacked by Hur’q, but Turel saved him. When Chris thanked Turel, he acted like a complete ass and said that he didn’t want to get in trouble for getting the golden boy of the Federation killed!  I made it clear to Turel that he doesn’t get to talk to Chris like that! Only I get to talk to Chris like that! It wasn’t long until we finally got to Odo and the Greak Link. Odo was happy that we made it in his usual stoic way and said that they’re going to need all the help they can get out here.  He told us that it looks like the Hur’q are focusing their attacks on the Link. Odo said that he called for reinforcements, but most of their lines have been overrun. He claimed that we’re going to make a stand here, and hope the doctor’s plan is successful. Then Odo finished it up by saying that, if we fail, this may be the day the Dominion dies.  I told Odo that Dr. Bashir is the smartest medical mind in Starfleet, so he’ll come through. Rush noted that I made sure to add medical. We didn’t have time to argue about it as more Hur’q came our way. While we were fighting, Kira asked Odo if he has more Jem’Hadar coming to help. Odo told her that the call’s been sent, but they may not arrive in time.  Kira just responded by saying that we’ll do what we can with what we have. Odo got a little morbid by adding “until the end,” which I pointed out. Kira agreed by saying that she’s not sure she liked the way he said that. Odo started his own goodbye to Kira by saying that, if they don’t make it, which Kira interrupted by saying now is not the time for this discussion.  Odo told Kira to look around, because there may not be a better time. Kira agreed and said that he’s right and she understands what he did. Odo then told her that he’s sorry… for everything. Kira said that she forgives Odo, but I’m not quite sure if I forgive him yet. Odo told Kira that he knows and that he feels the same.

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Chris was about to talk to me, but I told him that we’re not doing the whole sappy last words deal.  Rush said that she is and told Turel that he may be an ass, but it’s been great having him on the ship. Turel only responded to Rush by saying that she’s one of his better bosses. Tike said that the day he joined the Jimeck was the happiest day of his life, to which Rush joked that he’s getting a little too mushy. Then Tike was about to talk to me, but I told him that I’m not doing this. Tike asked me to humor him and then he asked me if I remembered when they first met and I was with Joey.  Chris asked who Joey was, so I told him that he’s my ex. Tike asked me what I saw in the guy and I told him that, when we make it out of this, I’ll tell him. 

The Hur’q overwhelmed us and took out Turel and Tike!  It was just me, Chris and Rush fighting the Hur’q and Kira got shot!  Odo wanted to know if she was all right, but she insisted that it’s just a scratch.  Chris started talking about how he sees me as more than just his friend, how I was his sister.  Then he said that abandoning me in high school was the worst mistake he ever made. I told Chris that we’re not dying right now!  Chris got angry with me and told me to look around, the Hur’q are surrounding us and we have virtually no chance of getting out of this alive and he can’t even tell Siket that he loves him!  I started crying and told Chris that at least Siket knows he loves him! I finally exploded and told Chris that Rose doesn’t even know I exist! Before Chris could even ask who Rose was, I started crying about how I can’t die knowing I missed the one chance to finally meet my daughter!

Thankfully, the fighting stopped and Bashir and Loriss pulled a big damn heroes moment.  One of the Hur’q showed up with Rex’s corpse and, against my instinct, I walked up to the giant bug. 

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The bug actually stood there, looking at me and then talking to me in clicks that I think meant thank you and transported away.  You know, these guys aren’t so scary. In fact, they’re actually quite cute, when they’re not trying to eat you alive. Odo said that it seems that the battle is over, but asked Bashir how and wanted to know what happened.  Bashir said that he believes Dukan’Rex realized that his own body contained the ketracel material he needed to finalize the cure. Then Bashir told us that Dukan’Rex extracted what we needed at the cost of his own life. Bashir explained that, once the Hur’q were able to synthesize the cure, they came to their senses and called for an immediate cease fire.  Bashir said that the Hur’q forces are withdrawing as we speak. Bashir finished up by telling Odo that it’s over, though he wouldn’t say we won. I got my flask out and toasted to Rex, taking a drink and then passing the flask to Chris, who took a drink even though he hates hard liquor. Chris passed it to Rush, who took a drink and passed it to Tike and then he took a drink and passed it to Turel.  Then I got a call from Elisa who told me that we’ve received orders from Alliance Command. We’re to report to Deep Space Nine as soon as possible for debriefing. Rush got the same call from her ship and we got asked if we’re ready to return to the Alpha Quadrant. I told Elisa after taking a deep breath that I’m ready to beam up. After that, Chris left to contact Siket and I went to my ready room and called Tike.  

I said that I told him that, when we survive, I would answer his question.  I explained that Joey was my dad’s guest in an attempt to boost his status on Earth, despite my mom’s objections.  Joey took an interest me when no one else would. Tike laughed and told me that he found that hard to believe. I explained to Tike that I was still in high school when it happened and, at that time, it was all about the pecking order.  Tanya was on top and I was at the bottom. Then dad left to captain a freighter and Joey moved to a nearby hotel room. My mom was too busy dealing with the shit dad left to notice that I was still seeing Joey. Then he abducted me and I was stuck under the radar with Joey as my only protector.  Tike said that he couldn’t imagine a worse fate. I told Tike that I could, have ended up with some Joe Carroll type sadist. Tike asked me who Joe Carroll was and I explained that he was a character from The Following, serial killer who targeted young women and removed their eyeballs, huge Edgar Allen Poe fanboy and he created his own cult with psychotic and devoted followers.  Tike pointed out that the guy had the same name as my ex-boyfriend, to which I jokingly pointed out that it could kill my interest in the program. Then I invited Tike to stay on my ship, but he turned me down. Tike said that I was too emotionally vulnerable right now and it wouldn’t be right. I only laughed and said that it seems like entities have better moral values than humanoid men.  Tike responded by saying it’s only the humanoid men I hang around who have such low values. Chris showed up and told me that we just arrived on Deep Space Nine, so I had to cut my conversation with Tike short. 

Rush and I went back to DS9 and found Bashir treating Rex in Sickbay, or trying to treat him.  Bashir said that there was nothing he could do for Rex on the Hur’q dreadnought. According to Bashir, the ketracel extraction process was too devastating.  Then Bashir talked to Odo about how he treated him like a son when they first found him on DS9 and Bashir told Odo that he’s truly sorry. Odo added that Rex didn’t even have a name when he left them, so he’ll make sure the name Rex found is never forgotten.  Odo reminisced about Rex’s first days on the station, when all he wanted to do was fight and it didn’t matter who. Odo then talked about how, when Rex left, Odo thought that he’d never see him again or, if he did, it’d be as enemies. Odo said that the man he met years later still knew how to fight, but his reasons for doing so had changed dramatically.  Odo then talked about how he’s proud to have known Rex and how he wish he could’ve done more in the end. I told Odo that he’s done more for Rex then a lot of fathers do for their kids, while adding in my head, mine included.  Rush agreed by saying that Odo did make a difference in Rex’s life.  Odo said that he supposed that we were right and then told us that Kira was looking for us.  Apparently, she’s at the temple or at least she was the last time Odo checked. Then Odo excused himself to pay his respects and said that we’d talk more later.

Rush and I went to the temple to see what Kira had to say only to be stopped by Loriss.  She said that it pleased her to see us and that she has interesting news. I admitted that I hope it doesn’t involve the Hur’q, which only intrigued Rush.  Loriss said that it doesn’t, but it does involve the Orb of Peace that I returned with Kai Opaka. Loriss talked about how the Orb spoke to her and that she’s been exploring the meaning of that experience with the Kai and Captain Kira.  After all, they are the experts in such matters. Loriss admitted that they all find it curious that an Orb of the Prophets would speak to a Vorta, they also agree that it would be foolish to ignore it. I asked Loriss if she’s a born again Prophet believer now.  Since Loriss didn’t know what that was a reference to, she didn’t get the joke. Rush got it and told me to retell the joke when she’s on blitz. Then Loriss told us that, with the blessings of Founder Odo, she has been transferred to this quadrant to continue her studies of the Orb and the Prophets.  Loriss claimed that she’ll serve as Founder Odo’s representative, since diplomacy is her specialty. Loriss told us that she’s sure we’ll be seeing one another again and said that may the blessings of the Founders and the Prophets be ours. Rush said that she didn’t need them, but I told Loriss that I’m going to repeat this to my grandpa because, being a strict Catholic, hearing this would really piss him off.  Loriss apologized for that, but I told her that it made my day. After that, Opaka wanted to talk to us and said that it was good to see me once more. Opaka told us that she was hoping to speak to us about an important matter before our duties take us back to the stars. She talked to us about how her thoughts often return to the Orb of Peace and that it was no coincidence that it was found in the Gamma Quadrant, in the midst of two warring tribes.  Opaka said that she believes it to be a message from the Prophets, one of guidance in troubled times. Then she went on about how the conflict with the Hur’q has ended and she feels that it’s time to explore this omen more thoroughly. Opaka talked about the recent vision Loriss experienced and how it’s truly remarkable that the Prophets would speak to a Vorta. According to Opaka, this can’t be a coincidence. Opaka believes that the Orb is meant to broker a lasting peace between the people of our quadrants and the Dominion.  I said that it would be the first time in history religion brought peace instead of war. Opaka only responded to that by saying that it’s not religion that causes war, it’s humanoids. Rush said that she’s got a point. Finally, we got to talk to Kira. She said that here we are again and it’s been quite a journey. I asked Kira what’s next for her and she told me that, after she got back, Starfleet Command offered her a number of postings—even the center chair on one of those shiny new cruisers. Kira admitted that it was tempting, but she chose to join the command staff on DS9.  She said that Bajor and the Celestial Temple mean a lot to her, and this station is a good place to keep them both safe, which Kira said also includes my daughter. Rush told Kira that it’s also close to our mutual friend in the Gamma Quadrant.

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Kira said that Rush was subtle, but she’s not wrong. Kira claimed that she and Odo have a lot to work out before they’re back to where they were, but they’ve taken a few good steps in that direction. However, Kira still thinks it will work out… eventually. Kira admitted that Odo’s a hard man to read sometimes. I said that I actually find Odo very easy to read.  Kira then told me that he’s a hard man for normal people to read. After that, Kira thanked us for coming to visit. She said that, after all we’ve been through, it means a lot to have friends, even if it reminds her of the ones we miss. Then Kira told us that General Martok is leading the charge against the bloodwine at Quark’s. Kira said that she’s sure that Martok would want to congratulate us on another glorious victory. I told Kira that I’d take any excuse to drink. Rush agreed with me, though I admitted that I’d also like to reserve a holosuite, even if I’m not sure what program I’m in the mood for.  Kira told me that I might not have time to reserve a holosuite, which really disappointed me.

Rush and I went to Quark’s to find not only Martok and Quark, but Leeta, Rom, Nog and Neth Parr.  It was the last one who wanted to talk to us first. Neth Parr told me that she’s forever indebted to me because, without my efforts, she would’ve walked the Path of Exile for the rest of her days.  Now, she will help make amends for all that has happened during Tzenketh’s terrible crusade. Then I talked to Nog who said that we need to stop running into each other when the fate of the galaxy is on the line.  He suggested drinks at Quark’s or some baseball on the holodeck. I told Nog that I’d meet him halfway and just have drinks, but I’ll send Chris to play baseball with him. Rush said that, unlike me, she’s not too lazy to do both.  Why is she always trying to one up me? Then Nog said that he can’t think of too many people he’d trust when everything’s on the line. Nog said that he was glad I was here for this. Then he told me that Starfleet’s assigned the Chimera to peacekeeping duty in Hur’q space and they’ll be working with a joint task force to help the Hur’q get back on their feet again.  Rush said that it sounds like he got assigned to Hur’q rehab. Nog said that she’s not wrong, but there’s a lot to be done. Nog claimed that he’s happy to help the Hur’q rejoin the galactic community. I wished Nog luck with that and told him that he’s going to need it. Nog laughed and said that I might be right about that, but his crew’s up for the challenge because they’re some of Starfleet’s best, like my crew.  He told me and Rush to take care of ourselves out there and not to be strangers. After that, we talked to Leeta who said that she’s glad to see this all come to an end, but not as glad as everyone on Ferenginar. She claimed that it’s a celebration of Rule 35 like no one’s ever seen before. Leeta said that peace may be good for business, but things are really getting out of hand. Leeta told us that, when word got out that the Gamma Quadrant was open for business, the “New Latinum Rush” was on.  Then she talked about how with open borders and free trade policies her husband was practically weeping with joy. However, she felt sympathy for Odo because, if he thought he had his hands full with Quark on DS9, he’s going to have an even tougher time now that he has an entire quadrant of Ferengi to deal with. Rush and I both laughed about this, with me admitting that I would pay to see how this plays out. Rush asked me how much I would pay. I ignored that and talked to Rom, who said that he’ll be here until his ship is repaired.  However, every cloud has a silver lining because he now has exclusive rights to the holosim of the battle. Rom claimed that the sales alone will cover the cost of repairs. He finished that up by saying that, some days, it’s good to be the Grand Nagus. I told Rom that it sounds like too much responsibility for me, to which he somewhat agreed. Then Rom talked about how he doesn’t like to think about how close to disaster we were and was fortunate that there were people like me and Rush out there to bring us all back to the brink. Rom claimed that we both have quite the stories to tell with all of our adventures.  Then he asked if either one of us considered making a holobiography, because our life stories would be quite popular and profitable. Rom said that he’d make me and Rush a very generous offer for the rights and cut us both a share of the profits, 25%.

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Rush said that writing her life story would do more harm than good. I told Rom that, if anyone’s writing my life story, it’s Chris because he’s my Watson. Rom said that the offer still stands if either of us change our minds, which is not happening anytime soon. After that, we talked to Quark who welcomed us and offered both of us a VIP discount on our drinks because it’s a private party and he’s in a generous mood.  Rush asked him if he really means that our drinks are not on the house. Quark asked Rush if she took a hit in the head in that fight, because he’s in a generous mood but he’s not insane. Quark told us that we get half off, so we either take it or leave it. I told Quark that I’ll take it and the same goes to Rush. Quark made a comment about how, with two alcoholics, he’s not surprised in the least. However, he was still happy we agreed and told us not to take it personally, since we could be Odo and he gets a 50% markup on his drinks. Rush pointed out that it’s rather useless because Odo doesn’t drink. I asked Quark about the Sword of Kahless and he said that there wasn’t much to tell because Lek saw the error of his ways and gave it back.  Then he let Grilka, Martok and Worf know they’d recovered their precious relic. Quark said that, a quick handoff later, and the Klingons were off to war. He claimed that he and Rom tagged along, mainly to see the look on Odo’s face when Quark rode in with the cavalry. Quark said that it was priceless and, if he dies tomorrow, he’ll go to the Exchequer with a smile on his face. Rush asked Quark sarcastically if he made a profit on that job. Quark responded by asking if he looks like Nog to us because, unlike the Federation, the Klingons know the value of latinum. Rush agreed with that, saying dealing with the Federation doesn’t do much in the way of profit. I said that the Federation has a different system from the rest of the galaxy, what you get is based off of how much you contribute, which is why my dad agreed to let Joey stay with us when his ship crashed on Earth, against my mom’s wishes.  However, I didn’t mention that part out loud. I did say that, If you contribute a great deal, or your status is high enough, you can extend your privileges to friends or relatives, like how Chris’s dad is a high-up Federation official.  It’s why he’s the golden boy of the Federation. Quark said that it sounds interesting, but he’s thinking about spending his cut on a smaller moon to orbit the one he already has, then speculated that he might even name it Odo. I told Quark that he’s taking a huge risk with that one. Finally, it was time to talk to Martok and he bragged about how it was a hard-fought battle and a well-earned victory, but was disappointed that the Klingons almost missed it. Martok admitted that their fleet would’ve never left the Empire if it weren’t for the Sword’s return. He claimed that Grilka told him that her former mate, Quark, had something to do with that. Martok said that the sacred blade of Kahless being returned to the Empire by a Ferengi was madness. I pointed out that it’s not that hard to believe and Worf also played a part in all of this.  Martok admitted that it was Worf’s idea to ignite the Beacon of Kahless. He claimed it was a bold move, but it paid off because only a coward could refuse such a call to arms. Martok bragged about how the legend of Kahless was stronger than ever, and it would not surprise him if the High Council moved to create a new clone of the Emperor. After all, there is great power in legend. Rush was still confused about Grilka and Quark being an item, but she wasn’t schooled in the adventures of Deep Space Nine like I was. I told Rush that it’s a long story and then Quark interjected by telling us that there’s a message from Garak on his monitor, text only. Quark said that Garak wants us to meet him at his old tailor shop. Then Quark speculated that maybe Garak’s had enough of politics and wants to get back in the fashion game. Quark claimed that it would be more profitable in the long run and easier on the nerves. Rush and I both doubted that. Then Quark warned us not to keep Garak waiting because he looks for secrets when he gets bored, and he’s not the person anyone wants poking around in their business.  I told Quark that my life’s an open book, even if I won’t always read it to people. Still, I was happy that I would get to see Garak one last time. Unfortunately, so was Rush.

So, we made our way to Garak’s Tailor Shop, where Rush decided to sit on the table, near Garak I might add.  Kuumaarke talked to us before I could say anything about it, claiming that the conflict may be over, but there’s still plenty of work to be done.  She told us that the Lukari have offered to help the Hur’q restore their homeworld’s ecosystem, and they’ve accepted. Then Kuumaarke said that Doctor Bashir will be working with them on this and it’s their goal to ensure that no Hur’q will ever go hungry again.  Actually, she said that no Hur’q will go without nourishment again but I couldn’t resist quoting Scar. Kuumaarke told us that, some time ago, she hoped for a path to peaceful resolution to their troubles with the Hur’q. Now she’s happy to be part of such a solution, at last.  Then she thanked both me and Rush for our efforts in getting us all to this point… to peace. At that point, Rush took a seat on the table, so I told her that she shouldn’t be sitting there, because she’ll break it. She asked me if this was supposed to be a crack about her weight.  I told Rush that I was just saying that the table’s very fragile and I wouldn’t want Garak’s former shop ruined. Garak told me that I didn’t have to worry about that, and then he turned to me and thanked me for agreeing to meet him here. That’s right, the great exile and former spy that I read about in the Academy thanked me!  This is so cool! He also thanked Rush, but he did ask for the both of us. Garak said that, strangely, he finds it easy to center himself in this shop, even relax. I asked Garak if it was because of memories of a simpler time in his life. He told me I was right (my three favorite words), and that Cardassia is about to begin a new journey, as it were, and he’ll be going along for the ride.  Rush told Garak and it sounds exciting to her, to which he admitted that it is. Apparently, Cardassia has been offered membership in the Alliance, and they’ve accepted. Garak said that their seat at the table was hard-earned, but they’re ready — and grateful — to join the ongoing efforts. Then Garak told us that officer-exchange programs have already begun, in fact. Garak suspected that I’ll be seeing more Cardassian faces in the future, and he hopes that I show them the same courtesy as I’ve shown him in their shared adventures.  I detected quite a bit of sarcasm from him, because we both know that I don’t do courtesy. I asked Garak where he falls into in all this.

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He told me that he’ll be spending time on Earth, Qo’noS, and New Romulus… the life of an ambassador is never dull after all. I snorted and told Garak that I beg to differ on that one. Garak sarcastically asked why no one offered to make me a diplomat. Rush said that, if I were a diplomat, I’d cause an intergalactic war. I told Rush that she actually makes a good point. Hey, I wouldn’t be dishing if I couldn’t take.  Garak then said that someone needs to make sure the Alliance doesn’t forget about Cardassia, and he supposed that someone is him. He said that he’ll be sure to follow both of our exploits, of course. Since either one of us will be far more entertaining than economic forecasts and state functions, to be sure. I said that The Last Jedi would be more entertaining than that, something Rush begged to differ on. Garak told me that he looked up my daughter, Rose, and she’s doing rather well, unscathed in the Hur’q attack. I hesitated and then asked Garak what she was like.  He told me that she’s very happy, energetic and very polite. Then added that, if it weren’t for her striking resemblance to me, he’d have a hard time believing she’s my daughter. I stayed silent for a minute until Garak told me and Rush that our fearless leaders want to have a word with us next. Neither one of us even asked him how he knew that.

We left Garak’s Tailor Shop and found the Alliance leaders waiting right outside for us. 

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Rush caught D’Tan’s attention, who told her that he’s initiated a dialogue between the Dominion and the Karemma.  He claimed that, in light of recent events, he felt that it was imperative that their conflict be resolved peacefully.  D’Tan said that whether that results in an independent Karemma or not remains to be seen, but he shall endeavor to help them reach a result that is beneficial for both parties.  Rush told D’Tan that he’s got himself a real challenge. After that, Admiral Quinn talked to me and said that there have been some significant diplomatic events since our return from the Gamma Quadrant.  Quinn told me that, first, the Dominion is joining the Alliance and having them as allies will take some getting used to, but the opportunity was too great to ignore. I told Quinn that I always thought Quark would become a Bajoran Vedek and take a vow of celibacy before that ever happened.  Quinn then said that, as a condition to joining the Alliance, they requested that the Founders take steps to free the Jem’Hadar from their addiction to ketracel while. Quinn was happy to say that Ambassador Odo was inclined to comply with that request. Quinn said that it will make things… interesting in the Gamma Quadrant, to be sure.  Still, it’s been a long time coming and the Jem’Hadar should be able to live their lives freely. I told Quinn that, now that Thanos isn’t a threat, the Avengers, Spider-Man, Dr. Strange and the Guardians of the Galaxy can all go back to their normal lives. This time, it’s for the better. Quinn told me that I really need to stop comparing reality to fiction.  I told Quinn that he’d have to erase all my knowledge of fiction from my brain to make that happen. Finally, it was J’MPok’s turn to speak. He told both me and Rush that the Havas-kul sector has been designated as independent from the Dominion, and a “Hur’q Neutral Zone” has been established around it. Then he said that the Empire will join the Federation and the Republic in keeping the peace with the Dominion and the Hur’q.  J’mpok finished it up by saying that they have experience in enforcing a neutral zone after all. Then J’mpok proudly proclaimed that Martok’s use of the Beacon, and the return of the Blade, has led to a renewed interest in Kahless throughout the Empire. J’mpok said that some say Martok stands with honor next to great heroes like T’Kuvma, Voq, L’Rell, and Kang. J’mpok joked that getting along with Martok is difficult enough, now his ego’s going to be larger than Mount Hamar.  However, J’mpok’s grateful that Martok has very little in the way of political aspirations, otherwise he’d have to kill him again. J’mpok laughed at his own stupid joke, something that made me and Rush roll our eyes. Rush told J’mpok to watch out, because Martok might want revenge for his previous death, and she said this with a smile. J’mpok said that he’ll keep an eye on Martok so that it doesn’t happen. I told J’mpok not to abuse his power, because that was Gowron’s mistake. 

After that, I got a call from Chris who told me that Odo and Bashir would like a word with me and Rush in Sickbay when we have a moment.  Well, we’ve got nothing but time so we went to Sickbay and talked with Bashir. He told us that things are finally settling down around here…  well, as much as it ever settles down, that is. I asked Bashir why he’s still in uniform if that’s the case. Bashir explained that there’s a lot to be done with the Hur’q and being a part of Starfleet will help him make things happen in that regard.  Bashir said that, when he’s not on DS9, he’ll be working with the Lukari and the crew of the U.S.S. Aventine to help the Hur’q get back on their feet. Rush told Bashir that Havas-kul is a long way from home for him. Bashir explained that he’s married to the captain of the Aventine, so it won’t be too bad.  Then Bashir said that the kids won’t be joining them until Kuumaarke and her team restore Havas-kul to a more habitable state. Just the mention of kids sent a pang through my heart as I thought of my own. Bashir told us that he’s sure we’ll be seeing each other soon but, until then, stay safe and said it was an order from our Doctor.  Finally, we talked to Odo who told us that the Dominion is about to go through a number of changes. They’re liberating the Jem’Hadar from the White, phasing out the Founders’ “benevolent dictatorship,” establishing a safe haven for the Hur’q. Needless to say, Odo’s going to be busy for a very long time. I told Odo that won’t be easy, because if there’s one thing no one likes it’s change. 

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Odo agreed with me and said that many Founders are still resistant to it. Though he likes to think that they’re outnumbered by those willing to take a more diplomatic approach. After all, the last thing the Dominion, or anyone, needs is a civil war. Odo then told us more bad news by saying that not all of the Hur’q were cured, so we’ll be dealing with rogue swarms for quite some time. However, he hopes that they can call on either one of us in the future if they run into that special kind of trouble that we have a talent for dealing with.  Rush said that she’d be happy to help for a price while all I could do was stand there like an idiot and give a high pitched sure. Then Odo warned both of us to keep an eye out for Quark, because that little act of “heroism” with the Sword of Kahless will make him bolder than ever. Odo asked me how my daughter was, and I told him that I heard from Garak that she survived the attack. Odo then apologized for putting my daughter in harm’s way and all I responded to that with was that he’s lucky that she wasn’t hurt. Chris told me that the Winchester’s been clear for departure, so they’re ready to leave when I am.  Rush got the same message from the Jimeck, who said that she was ready to clear out.

As soon as I got back on my ship, I got a call from Odo before I could visit Bajor.  He told me that the future of the Dominion is uncertain for the first time in many years.  According to Odo, without the Wicked Witch of the Gamma Quadrant and her unbreakable will at the center of it all, the GQ will undoubtedly go through a great deal of turmoil.  Odo said that he’ll do what he can to maintain order and keep the peace, but it’ll definitely be a challenge. For now, what matters to Odo is that we fought for the Dominion when they needed it the most.  Odo told me that he won’t forget that and, thanks to the Great Link, neither with the Founders. Odo thanked me and said that he hoped that we can meet again under much better circumstances.

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Elisa asked if I was ready to leave, but I told her that I want to stop by Bajor first.  I faced one fear, now it’s time to face another.

A/N: So, what did you think of Candy’s team up with Rush and her take on the epic battle?  Once again, I’d like to thank Hashakgig for agreeing to do this mission with me not once, but twice after I lost my screenshots.  Considering that I got to take better ones with Bandicam, maybe it was for the best.  Anyway, let me know what you think in the comments and feel free to role-play or make requests.

American McGee’s Alice (Amazon Store)

Requested by BloodRoseRed

After surviving a house fire that murdered her parents, young Alice finds herself locked up in an asylum.  

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Her only escape is through the mythical Wonderland, corrupted by her own experiences. Now she must fight her way through an evil land in order to reclaim her own sanity.

Those of you who’ve watched the Disney movie will be in for quite a shock.  It’s definitely not the Alice in Wonderland from your childhood. However, the game is also not a darker re-telling.  It takes place after the events of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Therefore, it’s more of a sequel to the original events, which I think works in its favor.  In the past, Wonderland has always been a place of mythical adventure that Alice could escape to when life became too much for her. Which, considering the first book ends with the Queen of Hearts wanting to chop off Alice’s head, wasn’t that happy go lucky either.  Now that tragedy struck Alice and she’s in a Victorian Asylum, which was not a place you wanted to be sent to, she needs this one escape to cope with her situation. The beautiful Wonderland she knew and loved transformed into a twisted nightmare due to her own experiences.  However, even in this hell Wonderland transformed into, Alice still has friends in the form of the Cheshire Cat, The White Rabbit and The Griffin.

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They’re the ones that help her through this nightmare world and guide her on her quest.

As I said, the game is a gritty sequel to the Alice in Wonderland books.  I first saw it at a store when I was in Middle School but, since I wasn’t old enough, I couldn’t get the game. I’ll admit, I thought that it was just a tale of needless violence thrown in to make a beloved children’s classic cooler and more adult.  Then BloodRoseRed requested me to review both this and Alice: Madness Returns and, I’ll confess, I was happily wrong. Yes, this is more violent than what you’d expect from something set in the Alice in Wonderland universe.  However, it’s not needless violence thrown in to make the game cool, as is often done in these situations. The game explores deep elements such as mental illness, trauma, and survivor’s guilt. When Alice was seven years old, she witnessed her family die in a fire and was too busy having a make believe tea party to pay attention to what was going on.  Minor spoiler alert, her guilt manifests in Wonderland as villains, such as the Jabberwocky and the Red Queen, as they call Alice a selfish and spoiled girl. According to them, she didn’t deserve to survive and, if she had paid attention, she could’ve warned her parents and saved them. These are feelings Alice has herself echoed through the words of the game’s villains and, in order to conquer them, she has to kill the villains that represent her guilt.  This is actually very symbolic of her fight to keep her sanity and it’s something that the game play reflects, which I will discuss in a later paragraph.

The game comes with an instruction manual that has a diary of one of the doctors of Rutledge Asylum giving his accounts of treating Alice in the real world while she battles her own metaphorical demons.  Unfortunately, the copy of the game I bought didn’t come with a casebook, so I had to look it up on the game’s wiki, which you can read here. I’m sure many of you who know the history of Victorian Asylums think the doctor is some sadistic man deriving in the torture of an innocent young girl.  I actually have a book called Women of the Asylum and it documented cases of women who refused to submit to the patriarchy finding themselves committed to the asylum for a mental illness.

However, this is not the case.  The doctor is actually a caring man not sure what to do about Alice’s condition.  He talks about how he had to treat other patients and seems remorseful that the treatments result in death far more than they do in curing mental illnesses.  Little by little, this becomes normal to the doctor but he still wants to do his best to help the people in his care, even if the “treatments” are barbaric by today’s standards.  Yes, Asylums in Victorian London were hell on Earth, but the Asylum was a recently introduced concept to curing the mentally ill. Many of the horrors were less from evil and more from the ignorance of the time.  It doesn’t make it any better and I’m sure it’s making Alice’s mental illness worse, but it does make us more understanding. In addition, you can tell that the makers of the game did their homework when writing the book, even if they did get one detail about Victorian London wrong in the game, which I’ll discuss later.  You also get to see the difference between Alice in Wonderland who, in this version, is a real badass you don’t want to mess with, and the Alice in the real world, who’s a passive patient. The doctor is actually rooting for Alice, even if a part of him wants her to stay in the Asylum with him.

The game takes place entirely in Wonderland with only a few mentions of the real world. In it, you take control of Alice who must defeat the corrupted and nightmarish versions of the Wonderland characters we know and love.  These enemies represent Alice’s insanity trying to consume her and she must destroy them to keep what sanity she has left. Like many games, this one has an HP bar and an MP bar.  The HP bar represents her sanity, which she regains by killing enemies such as the playing cards that attack her and must consume the essence they leave behind. Try explaining that to a psychiatrist and see if they don’t put you in a home.  The MP bar is for magic you need to defeat the enemies but, thankfully, the essence found throughout the game to restore HP also works for MP. Boss’s have their own level and they must be defeated if you want to advance through the game.

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However, Alice is not alone as she has friends who guide her throughout her journey that represent her sanity.  One conversation she has with the Cheshire Cat about taking Gym Class contradicts schooling in Victorian London, due to not having Gym Class back then. They had Drill Class, which was the closest you could get, and it was for boys. Girls whose parents were rich sent them to Finishing School to learn how to become proper ladies and there was no Drill Class for them.  Still, historical inaccuracy aside, these conversations and help she has from those few friends represent what little sanity she has left. Spoiler alert, these characters die trying to help Alice, which feeds into her own survivor’s guilt about how she should’ve died in the fire with her family. It also shows that, for a brief moment, Alice’s insanity is winning. Having the Jabberwocky and the Red Queen accuse Alice of being selfish and spoiled represents the most powerful obstacle that Alice has to overcome if she wants to rejoin society, her guilt.  So, in many ways, the game play is made almost entirely of symbolism, which is actually very creative. You can also collect weapons throughout the game and complete puzzles in order to advance through the storyline. The most powerful weapon is the Jabberwocky eye staff, which you can use to beat the final two bosses, but my favorite for dealing with the regular enemies is the Ice Staff.

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It knocks them out just like that. The puzzles can also be difficult and, more often than not, you’ll find yourself consulting a walkthrough.

As for the horror element the game tries to represent, I admit that I didn’t really find it that scary.  I found it interesting from a psychological perspective, as I already discussed, but I wasn’t really trembling in my seat.  I did find myself on edge when I managed to play it at night but the only incident that made me slightly jump out of my seat was when a fish pops out of the lake and eats you.  Then again, I am a tough sell and I haven’t been properly scared since the recent IT movie.

This game is intriguing and fun.  I give it 9 out of 10, a creative take on a classic story and mental illness that really made me think.

Rite of Passage: Bloodlines Beta Test

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When a reporter visits her childhood friends, she finds herself in the middle of a murder plot.  Can she find out who did it without becoming the killer’s next victim?

The plot is your cliché murder mystery, with a friend of a prestigious family trying to figure out who the murderer is.  Be prepared for some slight spoilers about the game. For starters, one of the servants is romantically involved with the family’s wealthy daughter.  However, clichés are not always bad as I found myself intrigued by the secrets of this very family and wanting to find out who the murderer is. In addition, it’s the closest I’ll ever get to attending an interactive murder mystery play.  One thing I had a problem with was when you come across a red herring where a woman who loved the son poisoned him for spurning her. When you confront her, she confesses that she did poison the son, but she meant to give him the antidote later.  Whether or not she meant to give him the antidote, the law still needs to punish her. If you shoot someone, the police won’t pardon you because you meant to take the bullet out and heal the wound later.

The game is your typical hidden object with you exploring various locations and collecting items to progress further in the game.  Some items require you to participate in hidden object scenes and you can even play mini-games. You also have a book filled with information about each of the characters that you add to as you find out more about the story.  If you’re stuck, use the rechargeable hint. I actually didn’t find the game hard to understand, so I rarely used it.

This game is addictive and intriguing.  I am most definitely buying the full version when it comes out.

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!

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Fleet Admiral’s Log Stardate 96882.12

This is Bianca Andrews of the Discovery and I just got a call from Somat.  

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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!

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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.  

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!  

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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.

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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.

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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.  

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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.  

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

My Brother Rabbit Beta Test

Image result for big fish games my brother rabbit

When a little girl falls ill, she and her brother imagine a childlike world where they can escape their troubles.  This world stars their stuffed bunny rabbit as he tries to find water for a dying flower.

The game is unique but, other than that, there’s not much to say about it.  I like the creative telling of the storybook world, filled with wonder and possibilities.  Meanwhile, we have the painful reality of a little girl having a terminal illness. The story itself has the style of an interactive picture book, with no words and only pictures to guide you.

Unfortunately, the game play does not live up to the design.  It is your standard hidden object, with you having to locate certain items and use them to advance the story.  Sometimes you have to play mini-games in order to advance the storyline. If you’re stuck, use a hint. Unfortunately, this game is so confusing that I found myself spamming the hint button more than once.

This game is unique, but that’s about it.  I have no interest in buying the full version.

Para Pacem (Star Trek Online)

A/N: Meet Bianca Andrews as she recounts the time when she met Mirror Tilly, voiced by Mary Wiseman, and discovered just how dangerous Terrans can be.

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Fleet Admiral’s Log Stardate 96881.79

This is Bianca Andrews of the U.S.S. Discovery.  Yes, I named my ship after the first Discovery, a ship I used to dream of serving on, but life had other plans.  Actually, more like one huge other plan that had me faking my own death and sending me into the future, which I guess is still pretty cool.  At least, it would be, if it didn’t mean that I’d never see any of my friends and family again. Anyway, no time to dwell on that, because I just got a call from a man named Somat.

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I took the call and found out that this Somat is the leader of a Vulcan research team studying the unique ecology of the planet Pahvo.  While he was on personal leave, he learned that the team had not responded to routine communications, which is definitely a matter of concern.  Then Somat told me that Starfleet informed him that an ion storm is active in the Pahvo system, so logic would suggest that the storm is blocking communications.  However, as Somat pointed out, storms of that magnitude can have other effects, some of a deleterious nature. So, the Alliance asked him to accompany the Discovery to the Pahvo system.  Somat said that we’re to determine the status of the research team and offer assistance if necessary. He told me that he’s prepared to leave at my earliest convenience, which is now.

As soon as we arrived, Kwon told me that there was no response on comms from the Pahvo research station.  He claimed that the ion storm was causing a lot of interference, but it’s possible that our hails might not be reaching them.  I asked Somat what was causing the interference. He told me that the storm was creating spatial disturbances throughout the system.  He claimed that, if we analyze their patterns, we might be able to position the Discovery at a point where communication is possible. So, I scanned the area. 

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Then Somat told me that initial scans were picking up clouds of ionized subspace radiation and chronometric particles.  Then talked about how curious it was that sensors were registering a stationary object not far from our position. I asked Somat if it was a ship. He said it was unlikely, and he suspects that it’s one of the Starfleet navigation buoys placed throughout the system. Somat told me that the ionization of subspace was warping and distorting the sensors.  He claimed that, as a result, an accurate identification was not possible at this range. I suggested that we get closer, so that we could learn more. So, I took the Discovery closer and, what do you know, it’s a buoy. Somat said that it appears to be inactive.

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Somat then told me that the navigational buoys here are configured to broadcast a message on all frequencies.  It’s intention, to inform everyone who arrives at Pahvo that it’s a protected reserve. Somat told me that the sensors indicated heavy hull ionization on the buoy, leading him to believe that it’s been disabled by the effects of an ion storm. I said that we needed to find one of those active navigation thingies to boost our signal, so I ordered to scan for one in range. Somat seemed briefly disturbed that I called it a thingy, and then told me that Navigational Buoy 226 is nearby and should provide us with a means to reinforce hailing frequencies between the ship and the Pahvo research station.  Somat recommended caution in navigating further into the system, because the ion storm is quite volatile. I agreed with him. Then I told the Helm officer to lay in a course for Navigational Buoy 226. So, we set course of the buoy and got an alert that we’re entering the Pahvo system, which is a protected reserve and makes access prohibited.

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Anyway, we found the buoy and used it to piggyback the signal. Kwon said that he was ready to initiate handshake between our comm systems and Navigational Buoy 226 now. Kwon then went on about how the handshake was received and the fidelity was within acceptable margins of error.  Then Kwon said that the comms were secured and the hailing frequencies open. I contacted the research station, told them that this was the Discovery and asked them to please respond. Kwon said that there was no response because local conditions were still a factor. So the buoys might not be able to overcome the storm’s interference, even with our assistance. I said that it looks like we have to brave the storm. Somat chimed in by telling me that he’s detected something of interest. Apparently, the sensors showed the formation of a spatial anomaly nearby. I asked him if it was the source of the signal disruption. Somat said that he was uncertain, but he does know that it appeared to be providing stability to the ion storm, similar to the “eye” of a hurricane.  Then Somat told me that he’s also detecting bursts of comm signals from the anomaly. He claimed that the signals were currently garbled beyond recognition, but they could be from the research station. Somat recommended conducting a deeper analysis, both of the anomaly and the signals. I told the helm officer to lay in a course and take us in.

So, I scanned the anomaly and you wouldn’t believe what happened!  The Discovery I named my ship after showed up out of nowhere with a bunch of Klingon ships!  

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I don’t know how this is possible, but I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. Plus, the Discovery’s in trouble!  So, I immediately targeted the Klingons and came to the Discovery’s rescue. I got some communications from the Klingons, such as how she will not escape and, once her shields are down, V’Mak will lead the boarding parties.  Well, that’s not happening on my watch. Then I got a notice from my own ship on how the first Discovery’s shields were down and she’s being boarded. Meaning we’ve got to take care of the rest of the Klingons, now! Then I got another communication from the Klingon ship saying that this battle is lost, so they’re withdrawing.  Another Klingon said that the first Discovery must burn and that those with the will of Kahless in their hearts should stand with him. Thankfully, that didn’t last as he finally admitted to defeat and had all of his ships warp and withdraw. He claimed that they’d let the boarding party do its work, something I won’t let happen.  Nar told me that sensors were cleared of all hostile targets… for the moment. Then he said that a number of Klingon vessels retreated at high warp during the battle and activated their cloaking devices. Nar claimed that the local ion storm would make finding them difficult, if not impossible. I told them to hail the Discovery only for us to get no response.  Somat classified the Klingon vessels as classes deployed during the Federation-Klingon conflict of the mid 23rd Century. Then told us that the Starfleet vessel is a Crossfield-class, which was also active during that time period. Since no one knows that me and some of my officers are from the time period, we had to play dumb and acknowledge that it’s time travel.  I ordered my crew to scan for chronometric particles. Somat told us that the sensors show a spike in chronometric particles immediately preceding the arrival of those vessels, something he found fascinating. Then Somat said that the Crossfield-class vessel was not transmitting a Starfleet recognition signal. The sensor analysis confirmed that it was the I.S.S. Discovery from the Terran Empire of the so-called “Mirror Universe.”  In other words, it’s not the Discovery from my universe. So much for seeing Tilly again. Then again, just because it’s not the Discovery from my universe doesn’t mean that I can’t have some sort of reunion. Sure, it’ll be twisted counterparts from a universe I don’t know and have only heard of, but I know Tilly. How bad could she possibly get? All I told Somat was that it explained why they weren’t answering our hails. Finally, the Discovery hailed us.

If the Discovery showing up in our time surprised me, I was doubly surprised by who ended up hailing us.  

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It was Tilly and, in the Mirror Universe, she became captain of the Discovery! She said that my timely assistance was most appreciated.  Then Tilly said that, speaking for herself and her loyal crew, she thanked me. She introduced herself as Captain Sylvia Tilly and then declared her and her crew’s attempt to seek asylum.  After that, we both just kept staring at each other. Here she is, my best friend from the Academy who I never thought I would see again! Sure, she got a bit of a makeover, which looks great by the way, and she seems much more confident, even got to the top way faster than our Tilly did, but she’s still Tilly!  Apparently, she knew me from her universe because she told me that, in her universe, I was a brunette who wore my hair down and I preferred contacts. I told Tilly that, in my universe, she was a curly red head who kept her hair tied up in a bun, but I’m sure she didn’t contact me just to discuss fashion tips. Tilly also said that, in her universe, I’m dead by her hand.  She claimed that we didn’t see eye to eye on who should take command after the Klingons killed Captain Schaefer. Then Tilly tried to ease my worry by saying that I died quickly.

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As soon as Tilly saw the look on my face, she started laughing and said that she was just kidding. Then talked about how she got me good. I didn’t know what to do, so I just laughed along and hoped that she didn’t notice it was a nervous laugh.  Tilly said that this would take some getting used to. Then admitted that she’s not sure how, but judging by the sensor readings she’s seeing, and that rather impressive ship of mine, they’ve taken a trip to the future. I told Tilly that it was 150 years, to be exact and assured her that it was strange for me too. Instead of sympathizing with me, Tilly blew me off! She said that she was sure that the science behind all of this is fascinating, but we have some more immediate concerns to address, namely the Klingon boarding parties running wild on her ship.  Of course, Tilly’s just a little upset about her current situation. I felt guilty for getting angry with her, so I offered to send an away team to assist. I’ll always have Tilly’s back, no matter what universe she’s from. Tilly said that she’ll have her chief of security, Patel, meet my team at the transport coordinates with a security detail and said that she looked forward to meeting me in person. Well, it is technically our first meeting even if we have met each other’s counterparts.

So, me, my away team and my raptor, Artemis, beamed aboard the I.S.S. Discovery and Somat told us that sensors indicated numerous life signs in our vicinity, he read multiple high energy discharges as well.  Somat then said that the data was consistent with 23rd Century phaser and disruptor weapons at the highest setting. He warned us to proceed with caution because, in the heat of battle, we could be seen as an enemy by anyone we encounter there.  I told Somat that we’d be okay, which he took as arrogance rather than trust in a friend. At first, I couldn’t help but be in awe as I looked around the starship, or a different universe’s version of the starship, that I used to dream of serving on.  My thoughts were interrupted when the Discovery’s chief of security welcomed me to the I.S.S. Discovery. I assumed that she was Chief Patel, but that turned out to be way off the mark. The new chief of security told me that Patel was relieved of command just like we’re going to be relieved of our fancy 25th century weapons!  My away team and I armed ourselves and I told the new security chief that Tilly wouldn’t approve of this. All the security chief said was that their captain was weak and I’m a fool! According to her, the Terran Empire tolerates neither one. The chief said that some would call this mutiny, but any captain willing to conspire with Federation trash is no captain of theirs.  Then she told us to hand over our weapons or they’ll pick them off of our corpses, the “choice” being ours. Artemis growled at the chief as I made it very clear that our weapons stay with us and that she needs to stand down while she still can.

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This woman picked a bad time to pick a fight with us, because we easily beat her and her security team. After that, I got a call from Tilly who was surprised that we were now transmitting.  She welcomed me aboard the Discovery (her Discovery, not mine), and told me that things got a bit more complicated. Tilly bitterly told us that it seems some of her crew have decided that now is the perfect time to express their concerns with her command decisions. I only responded by remarking that her crew’s doing it rather violently. Tilly just got a bit more frustrated and said that, if the Klingon boarding parties weren’t enough to deal with, now she has a mutiny on her hands.  Then Tilly asked me if Chief Patel made it to us. Tilly explained that she was supposed to escort us through the security fields to the bridge. I told Tilly that Chief Patel wasn’t here, but the fields still are. Artemis wouldn’t stop growling at my communicator, something Tilly heard because she asked me who the new creature was. I explained that it’s my raptor, Artemis. Tilly seemed intrigued that I had a raptor and I told her that I would explain when we meet in person. Then Tilly told me that she and her crew will do what they can from the bridge, but they’re a bit locked down there at the moment.  She said that, according to their internal sensors, Chief Patel is in our deck’s security station, which is not far from our current position. Tilly guessed that Patel was trying to lock down this ridiculous mutiny. Tilly told me to find Patel and she’ll be able to override whatever the mutineers are doing to raise those fields. Then Tilly said to take them down on my way to the turbolift. I turned off one of the shields and then we ran into more mutineers who gloated about how their “guests” got a warm welcome. Then another mutineer panicked by warning the gloating one that we’re still alive. You can bet that we took care of them easily.  As soon as we got to the controls, Savea warned us that she detected high energy readings and numerous life signs on the other side of the door. I opened the door only to see the lead mutineer holding a crewmember captive in what looked like some kind of torture thingy. He turned to us and snidely remarked about how Tilly’s “allies” were still alive.

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Artemis was about to rush over and show this guy how dangerous we were, but I held her back. She’s only a hatchling, so I want to keep her close to me. My away team and I armed ourselves while the man only remarked that, if you want something done right… He didn’t finish his sentence as he ordered his loyal mutineers to put their weapons at their highest setting.  Unfortunately, this group put up more of a fight but we managed to hold our ground. The lead mutineer even ordered his loyal companions to kill us now or he’ll kill them. Does compassion not exist in their universe? Eventually, we defeated them and Artemis immediately rushed over to the torture thingy while the prisoner tried to tell me to release the controls but couldn’t because of the pain.

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I immediately freed the poor woman and asked her if she was all right as she collapsed on the ground.  She managed to pick herself up and then said that she’s guessing I’m the one the captain sent her to meet. The woman introduced herself as Security Chief Patel and thanked me for saving her. I asked Patel if she was all right, still trying to comprehend what I just saw. Chief Patel said that she makes it a habit to be on the outside of an Agonizer Booth, but she’s spent her fair share of time in one too, so she’ll manage. I couldn’t help but point out that she makes this sound normal. Chief Patel only brushed me off by saying that, in this universe, it is normal. Me and my away team could only stare at each other in shock, wondering what kind of universe these people are from that something like this is normal! Patel asked me what the situation was, and if the captain was still in command. I told Patel that Tilly is, for now. Patel could only laugh and say that she isn’t surprised, because it would take more than Klingons and mutinous riff-raff to end Sylvia Tilly, something that made me nod. Even if she’s not my Tilly, I always knew that she had potential.  Then Patel remarked that she’s surprised that Tilly hasn’t killed them all herself, something that does NOT sound like my Tilly. Patel said that, in the meantime, she has orders to get me to the bridge and she intended to obey them. Patel told us to follow her. I responded by telling her that the path’s blocked by a security field. Patel only said that it’s not a problem because there’s no code that she can’t crack. Patel reassured us that she’ll have those fields down in short order and that we need to cover her while she works. She was expecting uninvited guests. Patel was right because, a few seconds later, more mutineers swarmed in and we had to take care of them. Eventually, Patel managed to get her authorization codes back and we left the security room. Patel led us to the turbolift to the bridge.  At least, she tried to until we got ambushed on the way. Thankfully we managed to defeat them, but Patel had another security field that she had to turn off. We got a call from Tilly, who said that they’re reading the loss of security fields on our deck and asked if we found Chief Patel. I told her that we did and we’re on our way to the bridge. Tilly was happy to hear good news for a change, though she’s not terribly surprised. According to Tilly, Patel’s harder to kill than a honey badger. Then Tilly asked if I was ready for the bad news. I’ll be honest when I say that I don’t know how this could get any worse. The only thing that’s holding me together is that I’ll be able to see Tilly again. She told me that the Klingons have taken several lower decks and are moving in our direction. Tilly warned us to keep our weapons hot because they’re killing everyone they run into and they won’t make an exception for me, but remarked that the raptor of mine could bite their heads off.  I told Tilly that Artemis is only a hatchling, shocked that she would even suggest such a thing. Tilly advised us to stick with Patel and get up here as soon as we’re able to, which was actually our plan all along. We went along the corridor, trying not to get too upset at the sight of officers lying dead in the corridors. Patel warned us that she heard Klingon disruptors up ahead and that we need to be ready for anything. The mutineers forgot about us, concentrating all of their energy on what they called “Klingon scum.” Unfortunately, we still had to fight both groups before we could continue down the corridor.

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Tilly called us and told us to hold our position, because there’s been an… incident. The way she said it sent chills down my spine as I asked her what kind of incident. Tilly told me it was the Klingon kind and then specified that they took control of main engineering. According to Tilly, they killed her chief engineer and his security team in the process. Tilly said that they’re threatening to breach the core if she doesn’t surrender, but she told me that is not going to happen.  I suggested that, if things have gotten this out of control, then maybe we should evacuate. Tilly said that evacuate sounds a lot like “retreat” to her and that’s not going to happen either. Tilly insisted that the I.S.S. Discovery was HER ship and she was not going to abandon her. I smiled and told Tilly that I really admire her confidence, hoping that the Tilly I knew managed to find her own confidence. Tilly didn’t even acknowledge my compliment and told me to take Patel, get down to Engineering, deal with the Klingons and make sure that core breach never happens. I told Tilly that we’d do what we can, feeling a little hurt that she didn’t even acknowledge my compliment, but maybe it was because of the situation. Tilly recommended that we deal with this problem quickly because neither of us will enjoy their solution and then cut the communication. We went down the corridor while Patel suggested that the Klingons probably cracked Rathmon’s code, which she was definitely not happy about. Some Klingons tried to ambush us on our way to the turbolift, but we made quick work of them. Then we boarded the turbolift and went to the Engineering deck.  

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Tilly contacted us and told us the bad news first. She informed us that there’s more Klingons down there than we thought. So, we’ll be fighting our way to Main Engineering. Then Tilly gave us the good news, which is that they’ll be shooting at the mutineers down there. I couldn’t stop myself from being alarmed that Tilly would call that good news! Tilly said that they’re a bunch of mutineers, so why should she care? I told Tilly that, mutineers or not, they’re still members of her crew and wishing for their deaths is a little extreme. Tilly said that, if the Klingons are shooting at the mutineers, it’ll make my job a little easier, so I should be happier about that. Then she hung up before I could respond, leaving me dumbstruck. The Tilly I knew wouldn’t be cheering for anyone’s death. How different was this Tilly from the one that I went to the Academy with? I didn’t have time to dwell on that as more Klingons arrived and I heard a crewmember screaming for help! This crewmember was screaming for the recently deceased Engineer about how they were trapped on the Engineering deck and they needed reinforcements now! We went down to corridor, wanting to help these poor hostages out.  Unfortunately, we got ambushed by Klingons and mutineers. Something Patel pointed out as she told us to take them all down. Meanwhile, a Klingon wanted to get some jammed doors open because V’mak wanted those cowards dead. Once again, we took care of the Klingons. 

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When we went further down the corridor, we came across more chaos. Patel remarked with disgust about how the Klingons weren’t even targeting vital systems, they’re just trashing the place. Then she told us that Main Engineering was just up ahead and that we needed to hustle. Another crewmember that I could see said that Rathmon’s dead and we will be too if I don’t get that turbolift open. I told them that I’m trying! Just let me take care of the Klingons that want us dead first! Finally, we managed to defeat the outside Klingons and opened the doors to Engineering with Patel making a plan. She said that, on my lead, we’ll breach. Patel told me to go high while she goes low. Together we defeated the Klingons and secured Engineering. Tilly contacted me and said that it looked like the Klingons were in a hurry and made a remark about how it’s sloppy work. Tilly bragged about how she was solving engineering problems like that when she was a first-year cadet.  Well, at least she has that in common with our universe’s Tilly. This Tilly told me to rebalance the matter/anti-matter inducers and adjust the flow rate to point five. Then remarked that it should bring the core back from the brink quite nicely. I told Tilly not to worry, because we can handle it. After I cut the communication, Patel said that she hoped I know what I’m doing because that warp core looks fit to breach. However, I managed to stabilize the warp core and then Tilly contacted me again to congratulate me. She said that I cut it a little close with the core, but since we’re all still here, she’s going to call that a win. Then Tilly said that, since we’ve got a little room to breathe, I should come up to the bridge. She told me that there’s a turbolift nearby that she relaxed the security locks on. I told Tilly that we were on our way.

We went to the bridge and I couldn’t be more excited that I was finally going to see Tilly again!  She just turned around in her Captain’s chair to face me, also happy that we could finally meet! Then said that I seemed surprised.  I told Tilly that, in our universe, she could barely go through an oral report without having a nervous breakdown and now, here she is, captain of the Discovery.  Before Tilly could respond, Artemis stood in front of me protectively as if she was going to murder Tilly. I told her to stand down, but Artemis still wouldn’t drop her guard around Tilly.  Tilly only remarked that Artemis was one fierce little lizard. I told Tilly that Artemis isn’t a lizard, she’s a Voth raptor. Tilly reminded me that I said I would explain Artemis to her. Before I could explain further, one of her crew asked her if they could trust us assholes, his words not mine.  Then Tilly grabbed a phaser and pointed it at her crewmember, demanding that he watch his language!

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Tilly saw that I was staring at her as if I’d never seen her before and, in all honesty, I’m starting to wonder if I have. It feels like I’m looking at a complete stranger who just happens to have the face of my former friend.  Then Tilly put her phaser away, said in a joking manner that cursing is such a filthy habit and encouraged me to finish my story. I told Tilly that there’s not much to tell, I found Artemis abandoned by Voth on the Solanae Dyson Sphere and took her in. By the look on Tilly’s face, she wanted to ask me what the Voth were but, instead, she congratulated me for doing well against the mutineers and explained that they weren’t fond of her decision to seek asylum.  Tilly admitted that it’s unpleasant, but better than the fate they left behind. She explained that, in their universe, Pahvo was a cruel and deadly entity and being sent there is a death sentence. Apparently, that’s exactly where they were sent in their universe. What kind of hell do these people come from? Tilly suggested that an enemy of hers might have decided that it was time for her to retire permanently. Then Tilly said that we needed to get down to business.  First, she told us that she has no interest in hostilities with our government and that she meant what she said about asylum. I asked Tilly if the rest of her crew feels the same way.  She says that she speaks for her entire crew and, while the mutiny was unfortunate, they are Terrans. Tilly explained that dominance is often challenged in her universe and has to be maintained. She said that the mutineers saw an opportunity, took their shot and missed big time. Tilly claimed that everyone left saw the price they paid for their failure, so the rest of the crew will definitely fall in line.  

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Then she thanked us for helping her deal with the problem. After that, she mocked Patel for getting captured by saying that her chief of security felt like spending time in an Agonizer Booth during most of the conflict. Tilly told Patel that, if she knew that she liked the booths so much, she’d keep her in one more often. Tilly sounded serious and I’m starting to wonder if her comment earlier about killing me in her universe was not a joke. Patel got angry and wanted to say something but stopped herself mid-sentence and said that Tilly was right to say so and that it won’t happen again. Tilly told Patel to see that it doesn’t, because she’d hate to have to replace her but she will if she must.  I tried to dissolve the awkwardness by asking Tilly what her plans are and she told me that the next step is to get her vessel back in working order before those Klingons come back to finish them off. Tilly said that it won’t be easy because she’s down a Chief Engineer, the power grid is in shambles, they have multiple hull breaches, and they’re nowhere near battle-ready. Tilly remarked that it was a real shame, because she was looking forward to getting to know me over a nice steaming bowl of Kelpien. I didn’t even hide my horror from that and begged Tilly to tell me that she’s joking! Tilly said that, in her universe, it was my favorite dish! I firmly told Tilly that, in this universe, I’m a vegetarian and I don’t eat living beings, much less sapient ones!  Tilly only made a remark about how, in this universe, I was one of those people.  I contacted the Discovery, wanting to get off of this ship as soon as possible.  Nar answered and asked if everything was all right. He told me that they detected a surge in the I.S.S. Discovery’s warp core but now it’s operating at a safe level.  I told Nar that I need an Engineering team beamed over here ASAP. Nar told me that they’ll beam directly to Main Engineering and get to work. I cut the communication and asked Tilly if there was anything we can do on the bridge.  She said that their shields are down and, if the Klingons don’t get them, it’s only a matter of time before the ion storm does. Tilly told me to monitor that console while she tries to get the main deflector back online. Tilly said that she’d order her chief science officer to do it but she chose her loyalties poorly.  I didn’t even want to know, so Tilly ordered me to start a diagnostic on the shield emitters while she recalibrates the Main Deflector. I immediately ran a diagnostic. 

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Right after I was done, Tilly warned us that Klingons were invading the bridge. While we were shooting at them, one of the Klingons told the others to kill everyone, but the captain is his.  After we took care of the Klingons, Tilly told us that the main deflector is in position and told me to recalibrate it now, which I did. More Klingons beamed aboard, to Tilly’s disgust as she compared them to Xethian bed roaches. I got a call from my Engineering team, saying that they managed to restore partial impulse power to the I.S.S. Discovery.  After that, Somat called and said that sensors were picking up numerous Klingon vessels decloaking, so combat is imminent. Then he strongly recommended that we return to our ship at our earliest convenience. I told Somat that we will be as soon as we’re done here. Tilly sounded almost sympathetic as she told us that captains should be on their own ship in the heat of battle.  Then she told us to go and that they’ll take it from here. I thanked Tilly, seeing a bit of my Tilly in her as I contacted my Engineering teams. They told me that they have impulse power restored, but only just. Then they said that, if I want this to be more than just a patch job, they’ll need more time. I sadly told them that their time is up and that we need to return to our ship.  Tilly thanked me and said that, if we survive this, she’s looking forward to repaying the favor and added that, if we ever catch up, she’ll remember to make sure I’m served a vegetarian dish. I thanked Tilly, knowing that there was definitely some of my Tilly in her but made it clear that neither one of us will be eating Kelpien. Tilly told me to go before it’s too late.

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We beamed back to our ship, though I felt guilty about leaving Tilly in an almost impossible situation.  I didn’t have time to dwell on it, because Savea told me that the Klingons were hailing us. We got hailed by one of them who said that he doesn’t know how they came to be here, but he doesn’t care.  He said that what he does know is that we have a mutual enemy. I told the Klingon defensively that Tilly is not my enemy. The Klingon told me that I was a fool, if I believed that! Then he said that he intended to destroy that ship and mine with it, if we get in his way!  He told me to be smart, because our ship may have the technical advantage, but they have the advantage of numbers and they’re Klingon. This man had the nerve to claim that, if I stand with the I.S.S. Discovery, I will lose! Then he said that, if I fight with him, I’ll live to see another day!  I made it very clear that the I.S.S. Discovery and her captain are under my protection. He once again called me a fool and said that I was fighting in a burning house! We had to fight the Klingons and, in the middle of the battle, Somat told me that the I.S.S. Discovery was altering course towards Pahvo, at full impulse!  Then, while we were protecting them from the Klingons, Somat told me that the I.S.S. Discovery was lowering her shields and he was reading transporter signatures to Pahvo’s surface. What the hell is so important that they have to beam someone down to Pahvo in the middle of combat? Nar managed to re-establish communications with the very ship we were protecting and put them through.  Patel explained that Tilly left the ship and she’s in command now. So the I.S.S. Discovery is back in the fight. I wanted to ask Patel why Tilly would leave her own ship after making a huge fuss about how she would never abandon her, but Somat told me that he was reading numerous Klingon vessels decloaking. So, I would have to find out after we clean up Tilly’s mess. During the battle, Kwon told me that he was detecting a massive energy surge on Pahvo and said that something was…  Before he could finish his sentence, a large beam came from the Planet Pahvo that wiped out not only the Klingons, but nearly destroyed my ship and injured Artemis!

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I ordered one of my crew to take Artemis to Sickbay! While one of the bridge crew left with an injured Artemis, Savea told me that whatever that was hit us so hard that she was receiving casualty reports from all decks! I ordered helm to use evasive maneuvers and for Tactical to give a report. Savea said that our shields are at full, our deflector’s online and are weapons are all ready.  Then she explained that the beam bypassed all of our defense systems like they weren’t even there! I asked Somat for an analysis and he said that, based on what the sensors recorded during the attack, it appeared that we were hit by psionic energy manifested into an energy pulse of considerable magnitude. Then he said that the attack originated on Pahvo! I know, I saw it happen but I still don’t believe it! Savea said that we were receiving a hail from Tilly. I couldn’t believe it! There was Tilly standing at the other edge of my screen, holding a knife in her hand with a malicious smile!  She said that she didn’t like red in her ledger and, since I saved her ship, she spared mine… this time! I told Tilly that she killed some of my officers, left a ton of them severely wounded including Artemis, who’s in Sickbay because of her, and she calls that a favor? Tilly rolled her eyes and said that it was my first and last warning, leave the system while I’m able to. I demanded to know what Tilly was planning and what she wanted to gain from this. Tilly only laughed at me and asked me if I hit my head in the fight. Then she said that what she had to gain was pretty obvious, everything. Tilly bragged about how Pahvo’s reach is infinite and, after a few more demonstrations of its power, everyone in the quadrant will have no choice but to swear allegiance to her or die! Then Tilly started fantasizing about being called Empress Tilly! I was in such a state of shock that all I could say was that she’s insane!

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Tilly only said that it didn’t matter, because she’s the one calling the shots and she’s pretty sure that she told me to get lost or get wrecked. Then Tilly asked me who the insane one was here, her or me, the lunatic staring defiantly down the barrel of the ultimate weapon? Tilly finished up by saying that her trigger finger’s getting itchy.  After that, all I could say is that she’s not my Tilly.  Tilly, or this twisted abomination of her, only laughed and said that, considering how weak my Tilly was, she’ll take it as a compliment! I wanted to shout at her, but Somat stopped me. He told me that he was reading an energy signature on the surface of Pahvo that matches the initial blast from the planet. Somat said that we wouldn’t survive a direct hit, so he strongly recommended that we exit the system immediately. I didn’t know what else to do, so I took Somat’s advice.

As soon as we were in safe distance, Somat told me that Captain Tilly’s betrayal, while unfortunate, was not entirely unexpected.  He said that her use of the agonizer technology to weaponize the ecosystem of Pahvo is a matter of utmost concern. Somat believes that he can devise a means to neutralize her technology, but he will need time to conduct research.  Then Somat told me to rest assured that he will endeavor to counter Tilly’s insidious actions as soon as possible. The scientist said that I should prepare to take action at a moment’s notice, because the lives of untold millions, including our own, could be at stake.  

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I didn’t answer Somat and excused myself to my Ready Room, locking the door and then crying my eyes out. Somat said that Tilly’s betrayal was predictable but, if that was so, why couldn’t I predict it? All she did was talk about how she killed me in her universe to take command, then said it was good news that the mutineers in her crew would die, then she pointed a gun at a member of her own crew for swearing and threatened to put her own chief of security in an agonizer booth for the rest of her life. Artemis wouldn’t let Tilly near me and, when Tilly heard about Artemis, she wanted me to train her to be a killing machine. To top it off, she offered to eat a sapient being with me! Oh dear God, I am a fucking moron! I trusted a complete monster that, under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have gone near with a ten foot pole just because she had my late best friend’s face! I felt so distraught that I grabbed a knife and hacked my own hair off!

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Hey, I may have doomed a planet of peace loving aliens, killed and injured some of my crew, put my beloved companion in Sickbay and doomed the entire Alpha Quadrant, but at least I got a new hairstyle out of it.  I should’ve teamed up with the Klingons and blasted Tilly’s ship to smithereens!

A/N: As you can see, the screenshots now show the dialogue boxes and I was able to capture the cutscenes.  This is all thanks to Hashakgig1106, who told me to install Bandicam which I will now be using to take screenshots.  Of course, I realize that I’ll have to turn off the announcements and play entirely with the keyboard now.  Anyway, what did you think of Bianca and my recap of the first Mirror of Discovery mission?  Feel free to Role Play in the comments with your own Star Trek Online character.  You can also request Star Trek Online missions for me to recap and even team up with one of my characters for one.

Persian Nights: The Moonlight Veil Beta Test

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When the twin moons of Persia approach their full phase, the Academy restricts the students from using magic for their own safety.  Unfortunately, this is when Melika’s sister goes missing. Now she’s alone as she searches for her missing sister.

This is a fantasy story with a mystery twist.  I’ll admit, I didn’t go into this game expecting much but I was pleasantly surprised.  I loved the artwork, the setup of the world and the interaction between the characters!  I never even played the previous game in the series and I had no trouble following this game.

The game play is your typical hidden object with you collecting items and using them in various locations.  Some objects require you to take part in a hidden object scene. This game has an added bonus of giving you a loving companion who can breathe fire when full and eat fire when hungry.  If you’re stuck, use a hint.

This game is very intriguing.  I’m definitely buying the full version when it comes out!

The Search (Star Trek Online)

A/N: Once again, Candy takes center stage as she remembers how Garak called her to help him solve the mystery of the Hur’q.  However, the answers she found were more than she bargained for.

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Fleet Admiral’s Log Stardate 96158.78

This is Candy Marino speaking and I got a message from Councilor Elim Garak.  I asked Garak what the sitch was and he told me that the Dominion asked the Alliance to send an expeditionary force into the outer reaches of their territory.  Then Garak said that the Hur’q aren’t as numerous there and that they’re hoping they can learn more about them while they render aid to Dominion forces in that sector. Great, I finally get to talk to the mysterious former tailor of Deep Space Nine and it’s about those life-sized bug abominations.  Thankfully, Garak didn’t notice my discomfort because he preceded to tell me that Ambassador Odo will be accompanying us on his flagship, along with Captain Kira aboard the Defiant. Then Garak said that he’ll be commanding a modest Cardassian fleet as well. He told me that we’re starting in the Dosi system, since their latest intelligence has discovered a Hur’q presence there.  Then he told me to meet them there at our earliest convenience. I ended the communication, feeling scared and excited at the same time. Excited because I finally get to match wits with the famous lying tailor of Deep Space Nine. Scared because I hate bugs and now I have to go on a mission to fight aliens that are life-sized versions of them.

Regardless, I went through the wormhole and set course for the Dosi System. Ambassador Odo was there to greet us and thanked us for joining him. He talked about how they can’t defend their own stations from Hur’q attacks.  Then he said that it’s going to take a joint Alliance and Dominion effort to stop them. Odo said that we’re currently at the edge of the Dosi System and he was thankful that the Hur’q aren’t attacking the Dosi homeworld, yet.  Odo warned me that the Dosi are still evacuating as a precaution. Meaning a Hur’q attack is bound to happen sooner or later. I really hope it’s going to be later, when the Winchester’s far away.

I read about the Dosi when I was reading up on the adventures of Deep Space Nine, so I didn’t even have to ask Odo who they were.  They’re the race Quark and a Ferengi named Pel negotiated with on behalf of their people. I’ve read quite a bit about Deep Space Nine and their adventures, so you can imagine that I’m rather excited about getting to work alongside them.  However, there’s still the whole Hur’q thing that makes me more than a little nervous. I didn’t have time to dwell on that, because the Hur’q showed up and Garak ordered his ships to target the Hur’q and fire at will. I wasted no time doing the same because, let me tell you, I’d much rather deal with this species in space than on the ground.  One of the Jem’Hadar chimed in with Victory is Life. From what I heard about their species, it’s pretty much their catch phrase. Even in space, the Hur’q put up a tough fight but at least I don’t have to look at their ugly faces.

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After the battle, Garak called me and said that I was a handy person to have around.  Let me repeat, Elim Garak, the former Obsidian Order spy, said that I was a handy person to have around!  This is the greatest moment of my life! Then he told me that, while he’d like to put this system far behind us, he believes that we should find out what we can about the Hur’q and their reasons for being here.  Garak said that we should do this while we still can, because the Hur’q may decide to send more ships here. I froze up for a bit, causing Garak to ask if anything’s wrong. I told him that nothing’s wrong, but then suggested that we could learn everything we can about the Hur’q from right here.  Garak told me that he was disappointed because, from what he heard about me, I’ve never been one to leave a mystery unsolved just to save my own skin. After that I felt challenged and I never back down from a challenge. So, I told him that, if he needs my help that badly, I’ll beam down with an away team if it’s necessary but, with my talents, I could solve this whole thing up in space.  Garak only smiled and said that it would be interesting to see.

I cut communications and scanned the planet.  Garak contacted me again and said that this planet appears to have been abandoned some time ago, since there was no life signs detected.  Then he said that sensors indicate an extensive network of defunct mines. Garak told me that he was reading residual levels of dilithium, topaline, kemocite… and several components used in the production of ketracel-white.  Then he found something curious, since he couldn’t see what use this world would be to the Hur’q. After all, this planet’s of no value to the Dominion. Garak and I didn’t have time to dwell on that, because more Hur’q arrived and we had to take care of that.  Kira immediately told us that the Hur’q are going for the station. I went to fight that as Kira wondered what they could be after and, I have to say, I’m wondering the same thing. I continued to fight as Kira suggested that we scan the station after we’re done with these Hur’q.

You can bet that I scanned the station as soon as we were done with the Hur’q.  Kira told me that the station is a basic resource transport hub, not exceptionally old.  She said that there were no life signs on sensors and it looks abandoned. Then Kira claimed that she was picking up trace levels of mineral resources in several storage areas, but there’s nothing of note here unless the Hur’q are driven solely to consume an assortment of minerals.  I said that I wouldn’t be surprised, since they are giant bugs. Kira said that the station’s a very interesting place, in that it’s completely uninteresting to everyone but the Hur’q. I told Kira that, even with my brilliance, I don’t think we’ll find the answers we’re looking for here, so I might get to leave without beaming down.

Unfortunately, Kira told me not to be so eager to go to warp and she sounded rather annoyed with me.  She said that she’s picking up a distress signal over there and that I should take a look. I unscrambled the distress signal on my ship and got another call from Kira.  She told me that it looks like a Ferengi signal, of uncertain origin, coming from the Karemma system. Kira talked about how she recalled Quark mentioning some business with the Karemmans recently.  Kira doesn’t think this is a coincidence and I agree with her 100%. She said that we should look into this, since Quark may have bitten off more than he can chew again. As someone who’s read all about Quark’s exploits on Deep Space Nine, I have some idea of what she’s talking about.  Odo didn’t feel that it was a good use of our time, because the Karemmans are very resourceful. Apparently, they’ve designed a number of weapons and defense systems for the Dominion. So, he was confident they can deal with the Hur’q on their own. Then he said that, as for Quark, he’s quite capable of getting himself out of trouble.  Trouble, Odo might add, that Quark had no business getting into in the first place. Garak told Odo that he’s rather shocked. Garak claimed that he knows Quark’s a gambler, but he never realized Odo was one as well. Garak said that Karemma is a part of the Dominion, and an important one at that. He asked Odo if losing their tactical and technological resources to the Hur’q wise.  I added that, if we rescue Quark, we can get a discount on anything we want. After all, he’d be in our debt big time. Odo eventually agreed, since he saw that there’s no way he can talk us out of this, even if a discount wouldn’t do him any good, so he’ll accompany us to Karemma. Then he said that they’re ready to go to warp when I am, and he really wanted to get this over with. If the Hur’q are part of this, then I have to agree with Odo.

When we got to the Karemma system, we found it guarded by a group of Jem’Hadar ships.  

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Garak asked where all of these ships came from. Odo contacted me and said, half-heartedly, that we’re at the Karemma system.  He told me to just find out what Quark needs, deal with it, and move on. Instead of doing what Odo wanted, I asked him what was going on here.  Garak agreed with me, even if he did act more polite about it, though it was a bit sarcastic. He said that it was far beyond him to question the word of a Founder, but that was a very large Dominion fleet he’s reading on sensors.  Then he claimed that he only mentioned it because we were led to believe Odo’s fleet was the last, something I honestly doubted. Anyway, Garak finished up by saying that he trusts there’s a reasonable explanation for this miscommunication.  I didn’t have time to speculate, as I had to tell Garak that the Dominion flagship is hailing us. Who should it be but the female founder? She told me that my presence was not required here and demanded that I explain myself. This is the same woman I freed from a Starfleet prison, so way to be grateful.  Instead I told her that I should be asking her the same thing. Then she started going on about how what I could do and should do are separate matters, and called me a solid. Then she had the never to tell me that I would be wise to learn the difference, as if I were a naive schoolgirl! Look, she doesn’t want to be grateful, that’s fine.  I have relatives who use me for free room and board, so this is nothing new to me. However, she doesn’t get to talk down to me like I’m a child! Anyway, she said that Karemma’s part of the Dominion and that they are here to assist them, if they wish it. I repeated that last part right back to her, but she ignored me. So I pointed out that she seems to have a larger fleet than Odo.  The Founder explained that Odo commands an expeditionary fleet; it is his to use in a mission to seek and destroy the Hur’q as he sees fit. She claimed that her fleet was a defense fleet, then said that the distinction was not made clear to me which, in her words, was rather unfortunate. Then I asked the Founder why the Karemmans have to ask for aid. She told me that the Karemmans are proud and, if they wish to stand alone and deal with the Hur’q, they will certainly accommodate them.  The Founder said that, should they decide to ask for aid, they will gladly assist them. Then she claimed that the point might be moot, however, because Karemmans are known for their potent weapons and defense systems. I told her that we’re going to assist the Karemmans. Odo contacted the Founder and said that he will take responsibility for their actions in Karemman space. He told her that one of their operatives requires immediate extraction. The Founder said that I’m quite persistent and then finally caved in.  She made this big deal about how, in the spirit of our newfound pact with the Alliance, she will allow us to proceed, albeit at our own risk. Then she told Odo to exercise caution, because it would be tragic for him to come so far, only to end it all here over Karemma. If I didn’t know that Founders have an Ape Shall Not Kill Ape rule, I’d think she was threatening Odo. Then again, just because she can’t kill Odo doesn’t mean that she can’t arrange for an accident and, with the Hur’q running rampage, it would be the perfect opportunity.

After the Wicked Witch of the GQ cut the comm, Garak pointed out what I already know, that we’re not getting the whole story.  Kira just responded with business as usual, to which Garak just said exactly. After that, we got to work destroying the enemy ships and protecting the Karemman freighters.  I ordered Chris to hail them, but he told me that he was getting no response. Then said that he was using all hailing frequencies, but getting nothing in return. Which, in all honesty, sounds like most of my major relationships.  I told Chris to keep trying. Garak contacted me and said that his sensors are showing a broad band of interference in the area. Then said that it’s jamming the standard Karemman hailing frequencies. Then he suggested giving them a new, more secure frequency to use for communications.  I immediately said that I’ll send them a new frequency, which I did quickly. We got the message from the Karemmans that they need help and fast. The guy said that most of their planetary defense lines are in danger of being overrun by the Hur’q. He said that they tried to evacuate, but the Jem’Hadar opened fire on their ships when they broke orbit.  Then said that they’re trapped. I asked Odo his thoughts about the Karemmans’ claim that the Jem’Hadar fired on them. Odo said that combat is notoriously chaotic. Then he claimed that he’s sure there’s a reasonable explanation for that, one best pursued after we find Quark and help the Karemmans. I told him that we’ll play it his way, for now. Garak is as curious about all this as I am, but said that we should find Quark as soon as possible.  He said that Quark should be the only Ferengi on the planet, so a deep-range scanner should be able to locate him. I told Garak that we’ll scan for Quark, getting a strong feeling that Odo’s not the only one hiding information from me. What is it with men and their constant head games? Anyway, Chris scanned for life and told me that it took a few scans, but he’s found one Ferengi life sign. Then Chris told me that said life sign is surrounded by a handful of Karemma and a large number of Hur’q.  Chris told me that there’s a lot of interference in that area, so we can’t get a transporter lock on him at this time. I asked Chris if we could hail them. What do we get but a scrambled message from Quark? I couldn’t catch most of what he said but he did get angry about how long we took and hinted that Garak hired him to do a job. I told Quark that we’re coming. Garak contacted me and said that we need to get Quark out quickly, before he has an encounter with the Hur’q of the fatal variety. Garak suggested that we go down together while Captain Kira and the Ambassador cover our ships in orbit and said that it looks like, even with my abilities, I’ll have to beam down after all.  I told Garak that I might be better off staying in orbit while either Kira or Odo beam down with him. Garak said he won’t stop me, but this could be my chance to discover the mystery of the Hur’q and he would hate for me to throw it away. I swallowed my fear and said that I’ll beam down. He told me that we’ll have to beam down outside of Quark’s location. Then suggested that we bring some pattern enhancers along, because we may need them to beam out once we find Quark. I told Garak that I was ready to beam down and face the Hur’q.

I beamed down to the planet and met Garak, who told me that we’re about as close to Quark’s last known location as we can get with transporters.  

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Then he said that he’s afraid that we’ll have to make the rest of the journey the old-fashioned way. I just wanted to get this trek through bug land over with, so I said that we should go.  Garak told me that Quark’s lifesign is near here and that we should try to find a way in. We followed the path and found an opening to a cave, to which Garak said that was convenient. Then talked about how we found a hidden path and said that we should have a look.  I told Garak that I wouldn’t exactly call that hidden. Before he could respond, we found a metal door that Garak said completely scattered his sensors. Well, guess what was waiting on the other side, more Hur’q! Which Garak said means we’re in the right place while I’m trying to fire at these guys and, let me tell you, it’s not easy!  I’m usually a good shot but my hands are shaking like mad!  Thankfully, Garak didn’t notice because, if he did, I would die right there! Chris did and he told me that I really need to get a hold of myself. I responded back by saying that Indiana Jones fears snakes and I fear bugs. Chris responded by telling me that Indiana Jones manages to pull himself together to go through snakes, something I really couldn’t argue against.

 

As soon as we defeated the Hur’q, Garak told me that his tricorder shows a Ferengi life sign beyond that rather secure door.  Garak claimed that the Karemman security system is beyond him. He said that, given time, he could crack it, but we’re running low on that commodity.  Then Garak told me that there are a number of Karemman life signs nearby however. He claimed that one of them might be able to help us reach Quark. I quickly led the team to find the first group of Karemmans while Garak told me that I do need to contain myself.  Then he followed that up by saying that it would be a shame if I accidentally shot a Karemman because of my own shaky hands. Great, so he did notice.

As soon as we made our way to the first Karemman, we found ourselves greeted by Hur’q.  I let out one little shriek, which I am a bit ashamed of, but I quickly got over myself and defeated the Hur’q with my away team.  I asked out loud why it had to be bugs, almost quoting the great Indiana Jones himself. Aubryllin said that she thought that she was going to get eaten by one of those things, an idea she didn’t like very much and I don’t blame her.  Then thanked me while she wondered who I was. Aubryllin could tell that I wasn’t police or military, though I beg to differ on that one. She corrected herself by saying that I wasn’t Karemman military. Aubryllin asked me what brought me down to the middle of hell.  I told her the truth, that we’re looking for a Ferengi. The way Aubryllin responded to that, you get the feeling she didn’t like him very much. She told me that she thinks she saw her brother and some of his men hustle Quark or, as she calls him, the little grifter into a vault before those monsters got in there.  Then she wished me luck getting Quark out of there. Then Aubryllin apologized for being rude because we just saved her life, so she’ll return the favor. Aubryllin told me that one of her brother’s people should be able to open the door for me. Then said that, if I find them, I’m all set.

I left to go rescue the other Karemmans, but Abryllin didn’t want to come with me.  She claimed that perhaps waiting here would be best, because the outer world is still a mess. Something I agree with because, as soon as we left, we got attacked by the Hur’q.

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We defeated them and made our way to the second group of Karemmans.  Guess what was waiting for us, more Hur’q. After beating them, we met Marimat who thanked us for the timely rescue.

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Then asked me if I was willing to turn a blind eye to all the contraband I’ve seen down here.  Marimat claimed that it would save me the trouble of shooting me later. I admitted that I didn’t know about that. Marimat made this lame attempt to cover herself by saying that she was kidding, something she dragged out for awhile.  Then said that I’m clearly not Karemman police, so she asked what brought me down here. I told Marimat that I’m looking for a Ferengi named Quark. Marimat said she knows Quark, describing him as a little guy with big ears and a flashy dresser, and also that she heard that Quark owns a moon.  Marimat told me that they locked him up in a secure room when the shooting started, because a big spender like that should be kept safe. Then she told me that, if we help them out with the nerks or gurks (she didn’t know what they were called), they’ll help us out with Quark. I recognized it as a you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours kind of deal, which I agreed to.  Then I told Marimat that, in the future, if she wants to keep her illegal contraband safe, don’t let that be the first thing she mentions when meeting officials.

After that, I left to go find another group of Karemmans and got a call from Kira.  She told me that the other Dominion ships just left the system, so we’re on our own.  I told her that I do some of my best work when I’m on my own. I saved the last group of Karemmans from the Hur’q and met Konali.  You can bet that he was really glad to see me and said that he thought that they’d be safe from those things down here. Konali claimed that caves do a number on sensors and transporters, but that didn’t slow them down much.  Then he asked why we were here, since we’re clearly not with Karemman defense. Konali asked if we were mercenaries or private security. I sarcastically marked that it was a smart observation and then told Konali that we were looking for a Ferengi. Konali knew I was talking about Quark, since he’s the only Ferengi around that he knows of. Then told me that Quark’s in a secure vault, not far from here, with another VIP. Konali said that he owes me his life, but he doesn’t have the code to get to Quark.  Then Konali told me that there are others nearby, so one of them should have the code. Then Konali told me that, if I help them, he’ll make sure that they open the door for me. I told Konali that we’ve already helped the rest, so we need to go get Quark.

Konali followed me to the door and volunteered to stay behind while I save everyone.  I found Marimat right by the door, happy that we’re all alive and kicking. She said that we had a deal and she’s not about to back out on it, especially since we’re all so well-armed and cranky, her words not mine.  So we’re definitely not the type of people she’d want to cross. Then we heard a Ferengi scream in the distance, which could only be Quark. Marimat knew that couldn’t be good, so she told us that the door’s open and we’d better get a move on.  Marimat stated the obvious by saying that our pal sounds a little stressed, to which I responded, only a little? We went down the hallway to hear another scream, courtesy of Quark, so Marimat’s comment is the understatement of the year. Quark had every reason to scream, because we came across more of those giant bugs and, let me tell you, they pack quite a punch.

It took a long while, but we finally managed to get rid of them and Garak sarcastically responded to Quark that it’s good to see him.  Then Garak said that he sees that Quark’s mission was a successful one as well. Quark did not look happy to see Garak and told him that he found his mysterious widget.  So, Garak was behind this all along. Quark asked what it was exactly, since it’s clearly not Karemman tech. Then Quark explained that the Karemmans found it a few days before he got here, but didn’t have time to analyze it thanks to the Hur’q.  Garak thanked Quark, saying that this narrows things down considerably. Quark was happy to hear that, because it makes the item more valuable, something Garak agreed with. After that meeting, I talked to Quark who told the First Minister that his distress call was heard.  Then he thanked me for saving his life and said that my reputation for getting things done is well-deserved, which would’ve had me ecstatic had I not been recovering from facing my greatest fear.

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Quark turned to Garak and told him that they need to have a long discussion. Apparently, he forgot to mention that Karemma was under a Dominion blockade, and in the middle of a Hur’q invasion. Quark asked if Cardassians go senile and told Garak not to answer that, because he doesn’t want to know. Then Quark angrily told Garak that he’s not paying him enough for this aggravation. I told Quark that he’s not the only one Garak kept secrets from, something that angers and intrigues me at the same time.  I don’t like being someone else’s pawn but, I have to commend Garak, not many can successfully manipulate me like that. Anyway, I talked to the First Minister and she told me that we weren’t the liberators she expected, but she thanks us nonetheless. She introduced herself as First Minister Bekelba and told me that their situation has gone from bad to worse.  It’s something they have the Dominion to thank for. Bekelba told me that those of them that were on the edge of the Dominion were abandoned when the invasion began. In light of that, they voted to secede, to truly stand alone. Then Bekelba said that the Dominion stood by while the Hur’q attacked them. They held off the invasion for a while, but the Hur’q’s numbers were too great.  Bekelba told me that, when they asked for aid, the Dominion refused. When the Karemmans tried to evacuate, the Dominion fleet opened fire. Let me tell you, these guys are the most unforgiving people I’ve ever seen, and I have a sister who spread a rumor about one of her exes having an affair with his own sister. I got a call from the Winchester telling me that I’ll need to set up the pattern enhancers in order for them to get a lock and beam everyone out from my location.

I set up the first pattern enhancer, but found some rubble that I wanted to examine.

 

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Garak said that it appeared that the Hur’q burrowed this way to bypass the doors above. Then he said that, unlike most burrowing creatures, the Hur’q actually ate their way through the ground.  I said out loud that these creatures sound like monsters from a horror holo-program. No matter how far you run, they’ll always find you.  Garak didn’t know what I was talking about, so I mentioned some famous horror monsters such as Pennywise, Jason, Freddy Krueger. Chris interrupted us, saying that he doesn’t really think this is important right now, so we went back to setting up the pattern enhancers.

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After I set up the second one, Kira contacted me to say that the Hur’q are leaving, for now. Then I finished setting all of them up and Quark wished the Prime Minister good luck with the revolution, because they’re going to need it. Then told Garak that he’ll be hearing from him soon.  Garak only sarcastically responded that he was looking forward to it. Quark quickly told Garak that he won’t when he sees the bill and then beamed out. I talked to Garak who said, now that we’re past that unpleasantness, we need to have a chat with Ambassador Odo, particularly about this technological wonder we’ve acquired. I asked Garak what it was, who told me that he has his suspicions. He asked me what I make of the device, and I said that it looks technological, obviously. I told him that, judging by the color and the design, I’d say that it’s Dominion. Then Garak handed it to me and I felt a small vibration from the device, so I told him that someone turned this thing on and, if this sphere thingy is important enough for him to pay Quark to get it, what it does can’t be good.  Garak then asked me what I think it does and I said that the Wicked Witch of the GQ didn’t want us to find it and, in all honesty, it reminded me of the bug zappers people use on Earth, the little spheres that call bugs to them and vaporize them out of existence. Then it clicked in my head what this thing does and I freaked out, practically tossing it back to Garak and screeching at him to keep that thing away from me! Garak only gave an amused smile and said that, suffice it to say, he believes that I’ll find its purpose of great interest to all concerned parties.  Garak told me that his main concern lies in what the Ambassador will have to say about it. Then Garak proposed that we get to the bottom of this together. He told me that he’ll make all of the necessary arrangements and meet me aboard Odo’s flagship.

We beamed up to Odo’s flagship only for a Jem’Hadar to demand what’s going on.  They were about to fire at us, until Odo ordered them to stand down. Then he turned to us and asked us what he owes to this unexpected visit.  Garak told Odo that he hopes he’ll forgive the intrusion and said that we need to speak in person. Kira asked Garak what he was up to, something Odo agreed was a very good question.  Then Odo asked what this was about. Garak said that it’s in regard to this device we found on Karemma. He opened said device and asked Odo if he knows what it is. Odo said that he didn’t know and suggested that it might be new Karemman military technology.   Garak quickly shot that down because the Karemmans didn’t make this, but it is a Dominion creation. Odo asked what its purpose was, to which Garak admitted that he had no idea, but it does emit a signal. Garak said that it’s quite similar to that used by the Hur’q.  Then Garak suggested that he turns it on and shows Odo. Odo got all defensive and said that there’s no need for that, meaning he knows more than he’s telling us. Kira admitted that she didn’t like where this was going, to which Garak agreed. Then Garak explained that he found a similar device on Bajor and beamed it right in.  Kira and I both demanded to know when Garak found the item on Bajor. Garak said that it was right after the recent Hur’q attack and told Kira to scan the device. Then Garak talked about how she’ll find the soil residue on it is of Bajoran origin. Kira said that Garak’s right and that it’s from the Kendra Province. I pointed out a little angrily that, considering how cushy things were between the Alliance and the Dominion, they wouldn’t have been stupid enough to draw the Hur’q all the way to the AQ.  Kira started to defend Odo, who only interrupted her and said that he can’t have her defending him on this. Odo then explained that Garak’s right, because those devices call the Hur’q and the Founders put them there! Odo put a dangerous species on a planet where my daughter lives! Thankfully, Kira was as pissed as I was, even if she is much slower than I am. So, she demanded an explanation from her Founder boyfriend. Odo gave one by talking about how they needed the Alliance’s help, immediately. Apparently, there wasn’t time for summits, or diplomacy.  So, Odo found a high-value target, and led the Hur’q to it! He claimed that he took steps to make sure their attack would fail, like that’s supposed to make it better! Then he said that Bajor was never at risk and told Kira directly that she has to understand, but she wouldn’t hear a word of it. Kira slapped him, something that made Garak and me smile, and then let Odo have it. She told Odo that he put her entire planet at risk and people died! I pointed out that some of these people were children, while silently grateful that Rose wasn’t one of the casualties, but I’m not letting Odo off the hook that easily.  Odo tried to plead with Kira, but she told him to save it because she’s heard enough. Garak, on the other hand, wanted to hear the whole story. Odo said that he did what he needed to do to bring the Alliance into the war and admitted that he lied, risked the lives of millions to save billions. I’ll tell you right now, he’s lucky Rose wasn’t one of the millions or I would blow him up with my phaser right now! I don’t care what consequences I face for killing a Founder! Then Odo said that there’s more to this than a staged Hur’q attack. He talked about how the other Founders are hiding things from him, making his family even more dysfunctional than mine, which is really saying something.  Odo said that, if he challenges them now, he’ll have no chance to find out what. Then he claimed that, for now, he has to play the part. Kira told Odo that he’s doing a great job of that and called him a Founder. She beamed out, leaving Odo looking severely distressed. Then Garak told Odo that he understands his position, but Kira feels differently. Odo could only respond with an I know, but I’m still steamed and I let that be known. Garak asked me why I care so much about Bajor. Apparently, he read my report and I’ve been diagnosed as a high-functioning sociopath who cares very little about life, if at all. As angry as I am right now, I really have to commend him for getting that one right.  Odo started talking before I could answer, saying that he has a strong lead, but he’ll need our help to move on it. Garak told Odo that he knows how to reach him. Then Garak told Odo that he is a gambler, and a high-stakes one at that. Odo only gave a sad response about how Garak has no idea.

After that twist, I went to talk to Loriss and Weyoun, who were busy arguing like an old married couple about their place in the Dominion.  

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Weyoun serves the female Founder while Loriss serves Odo. Finally, I left when it looked like they were too busy to talk. I talked to Garak, who said that this was quite the revelation and that it would be interesting to see how the powers that be respond to all this, which made me think of Angel.  

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Garak told me that, for now, he thinks it’s best to keep this in the purview of the diplomats. Garak suggested that we return to our ships, and claimed that there will be more time to speak about this matter later. I talked to Dukan’Rex, the main Jem’Hadar, and he said that it is not his place to question the will of the Founders, which still sounds like slavery to me.  

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Then he told me that my mind, however, is my own. Rex said that I can do with my mind as I will, but be warned: the Founders do not appreciate betrayal. He told me that, if the Alliance withdraws from their pact with the Dominion, the consequences could be severe. In other words, the Founders expect you to take all of their bullshit but, if you dare to point out how they treat you, they’ll throw you out the airlock whether you’re right or not.  Yep, definitely an abusive relationship. Trust me, I know. After that, I talked to Odo, who told me that he needs me to understand that he took precautions, so Bajor was never in any danger.

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Odo claimed that he made sure that his fleet was in position to neutralize the Hur’q in time, which I call dumb luck. Then Odo told me that Karemma was not his decision, asking me if I honestly thought he’d take part in a plot to bring allies to their side, and then move to wipe another group of allies?  Which, in all honesty, does make sense. Then he told me that, as he said to Garak, there is more to this than we know. Odo said that he’s going to find out what, and he hopes that I’m inclined to join him when the time comes. I told him that it doesn’t really look like I have a choice and then beamed back to the Winchester.

As soon as I got back to the Winchester, Garak contacted me.  He said that visits to the Dominion are always enlightening. Then he told me that he suspects we’ve only just begun to discover what the Founders are playing at here and that concerns him greatly. Garak said that, after today, the wrath of Captain Kira may be the least of Odo’s concerns. However, Garak still feels that we need to continue working with him, as it may be the only way we learn the true intentions of the Dominion.  Garak told me that, with that in mind, he’ll contact me when they’re ready to move forward with his plan. I told Garak that I’d hate to admit it, but he’s right. He then brought up that I never answered his question, what is my concern with Bajor?  All I told him that I don’t like the slaughter of innocent animals and children and then hung up. Muttering under my breath that I especially don’t like it when it’s my child.

A/N: So, what did you think about Candy’s recollection of one of the famous Victory is Life missions?  I took a few liberties, such as the futuristic bug zapper.  Let me know what you think and, if you have your own Star Trek Online character, feel free to RP in the comments!

Jabberwocky (Star Trek Online)

A/N: Candy’s back and, this time, she talks about how she not only retrieved an Orb of the Prophets, but had to take it back to Mirror Bajor where she found herself facing Mirror Leeta, voiced by Chase Masterson.  I normally post recaps on Tuesday, but I was sick yesterday.  So, I had to make up for it.  Also, see if you can catch the subtle reference to another Deep Space Nine character.

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Fleet Admiral’s Log Stardate 96012.75

This is Candy Marino speaking and I just got the Orb of Possibilities back from Gul Kardek.  Commander Sarish Minna contacted me and stated the obvious about how the True Way was following me.  Then she told me that I had to return the orb to the temple in Hathon. Sarish told me that she notified Vedek Krim and that she’s waiting for me in the temple.

I have to admit, I’m nervous about going to Bajor.  I don’t know if you know this but, when I was seventeen, I gave up my daughter for adoption.  Last I heard about her, a couple of Bajoran farmers took her in. I’ve been wondering if I should look her up; maybe even meet her.  Oh well, I’ll worry about that later.

Well, I didn’t get to beam down to Bajor immediately due to the True Way ambushing my ship.  Elisa managed to pick up their warp signatures before they hailed us. Apparently, it was Gul Mutak of the Kriger, the adjutant general to Gul Kardok.  He said that I was carrying property that belonged to the True Way, meaning the orb that they stole, and then told me to lower my shields and prepare to be boarded.  I quickly pointed out how stupid it was for him to be making demands in orbit of Bajor. Elisa told me that the man cut off communications and is powering up weapons, so they didn’t get to hear my retort.  Then she asked me what my orders were, which was to hail Deep Space 9. I contacted Saresh and told her that the Winchester got ambushed by the True Way and in orbit of Bajor no less. You can imagine that she was pissed, but she managed to cool herself long enough to tell me that she’ll borrow the Defiant and be there momentarily.  I told her not to worry, because we’ll hold them off.

It wasn’t long until the Defiant showed up anyway and, together, we kicked their asses!  After destroying the first two ships, Saresh contacted me to see if I was still in one piece and got a bit excited about teaching the next batch of True Way invaders a lesson.  She’s getting a little bloodthirsty for Cardassians but, if it helps her show these extremist nuts who’s boss, I really don’t care. Together, we defeated the next two True Way invaders and showed them why you don’t try to ambush people near the planet you used to rule as overlords.  Sarish contacted me to tell me that was the last of them, but she’ll remain in orbit while I return the Orb, just in case.

After that detour, I immediately beamed down to Hathon.  Elisa contacted me to tell me that Vedek Krin is waiting for me at the temple.  I’ll admit that I did a little sightseeing before I went to see her. I have to say, Bajor is a beautiful planet!  

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Even if it does drive my allergies mad. No wonder the Cardassians took it over for so long. I also stopped by Colonel Kubus’s office to look up Rose, my daughter.  It was easy because there was only one Rose in all of Bajor. Turns out the farmers who adopted Rose are Termas Inarn and Lara. Yep, Lara as in Superman’s biological mom.  Rose also has a sister named Fiora. I only hope that they’re treating her well.

I finally went to the temple and stopped to read some of the Bajoran transcripts.  Hey, that orb isn’t going anywhere, I have time. One of the books had a possession story that gave me a serious Supernatural vibe.  I also found books about Sisko, a book about cooking for fasts (which seems like a great way to torture yourself) and even a book worshipping the Pah Wraiths.  I’m not big on Bajoran religion, but aren’t the Pah Wraiths to the Prophets as Satan is to God? Why would the temple have a book like that in their archives? My guess is, whoever this Anjohl Tennan is, he must’ve paid a fat load of latinum to get his book featured here.

Anyway, I finally talked to Vedek Krim and told her that I need to return the Orb to the temple.  

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She was all smiles about it, claiming that The Prophets are smiling upon us and that what was lost is now returned.  Krim told me that I’ve done a great service for the Bajoran people and that they are most grateful. I told her that she can’t really speak on behalf of the entire Bajoran people anymore than I can speak on behalf of the entire human race. Krim didn’t respond to that and only told me to place the Orb upon the altar, but she did sound a bit annoyed. Oh well, what do I care?

I went to the altar and placed the Orb of Possibilities where it belonged only to find out that it didn’t belong.  Well, not in this temple anyway… or this world… or this universe. Yeah, I probably need to explain that. The Wormhole Aliens talked to me in the form of people I already knew which, I have to say, was actually pretty cool.  At least, it would be, if I ever wanted an orb experience in the first place. Anyway, they talked to me in these riddles about how the service rendered is not the service desired. Then they told me that, when we gaze in the mirror, we see our faces as others do, but reversed.  I may be brilliant at deductive reasoning, but I suck at riddles big time. After all this, they sent me back to Bajor to try to figure out what they meant.

Honestly, if I had known that I would be talking to the WAs, I would’ve sent someone else in my place, someone who would actually want an orb experience.  As pretty and mystical as those orbs looks, I’ve never wanted to use one and I’ve definitely never wanted to talk to the WAs. I make my own destiny and I don’t need a group of mystical aliens to tell me what that is.

After that, I went to Vedek Krim who told me that she would be honored to know what the Prophets shared with me, if I’m willing.  Krim claimed that sometimes their visions can be very confusing, but she has some experience interpreting them. I told her what they told me, that they suggested that it’s not their orb and I have to return it somewhere else.  Krim got confused about that, since it’s an Orb of the Prophets, so it has to belong on Bajor. Then she asked me if I’m familiar with the so-called Mirror Universe. Do I know anything about the MU? Only that it’s where Kirk, McCoy, Scotty and Uhura got stranded in after a transporter accident!  Then Kira visited it with Bashir and found out that the Terrans got enslaved by the Alliance thanks to Captain Kirk’s meddling! After that, they abducted Sisko a couple of times to force him to help out, first by having him pose as his MU counterpart who died and then by having him lead the Defiant!  Then Kira’s counterpart came to our universe with their Bareil to steal an orb! Before I could bring up the time Quark and Rom had to go to exchange a cloaking device for their Nagus, Krim told me rather politely that she sees that I’m familiar with it. She said that she wasn’t as familiar as I was and then told me that, if I want to learn more, I can read the book on that table over there by a Vedek Eeth describing his experiences and said that it could guide me.  I’m so ecstatic; I have to exercise serious self-control not to bounce around the whole temple!

I went to pick up the book and read about how fascinated Vedek Eeth was by the Mirror Universe, not that I can blame him.  

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Then he talked about petitioning the Vedek Assembly for permission to go there. Unfortunately, for him, the Vedek Assembly denied his request because the Federation quarantined access to the MU and, at the time, Bajor was still seeking membership.  So, Eeth just renounced his seat on the Vedek Assembly and went to find the MU on his own, like a badass! As for how he managed this, turned out this former Vedek has an Engineer friend who owes him a favor. Well, he managed to find his way and, guess what he discovered, the Terran Empire’s back.  They took over Terok Nor, which we call Deep Space Nine in our universe, and dominated the Bajorans again. Talk about one-step forward and two steps back. The Terrans finally get their independence from the Alliance and they conquer them all over again. Guess conquest is just a never-ending cycle in the MU.  Plus, being on the path to peace is what got them enslaved in the first place, so maybe that’s not too hard to believe. The Bajorans are now doing the work that they made the Terrans do, mining and ore processing. Eeth talked about how he needed to cross over with a spaceship and he got a message from the MU that offered to help. After that, our universe never heard from him again. This sounds like one of those horror holo-programs where the guy goes missing and it turns out to be the work of a monster that hides in the shadows.

After that, I got a message from Sarish.  So, I told her what I found out, that the orb’s from the MU and we can pass through the anomaly we found earlier.  She told me to be careful, because the MU is known to be more treacherous than our universe. Then she said that I’ll be cut off from any support here.  I told her that we’ll be fine. After all, it’s not the first time my crew found themselves in a life or death situation and came out on top. Elisa contacted me and asked if I was ready to beam up.  I told her to beam me up and take me to the badlands.

I got contacted by Sarish the minute I arrived.  She asked me what our status was and I told her that we’ve entered the Badlands and are heading to the anomaly.  Sarish told me to keep the comm lines open as long as possible. She sounds like my mom when I first started learning to drive a hover car.  Then Sarish started talking about how we have limited intelligence on the MU but, from what we know, it appeared that the Terran Rebellion spread from Terok Nor, eventually forming a new empire.  So, she’s basically telling me what I already know, but that’s not going to stop me from being excited to find out more. Sarish told me that the Terran Empire reoccupied Bajor and that she believes that this Captain Leeta is the administrator of the Bajor sector.  Leeta, I can swear that I heard that name before but I can’t remember from where. Hey, my brain stores a ton of information and, occasionally, I have to delete some. Though I might be able to restore some files from the trash folder.

Later on, I got contacted by Gul Haneri of the Torhne, who called herself the Chief Tactical Advisor to Gul Kardek of the True Way.  She said the usual about how I’m not welcome here and to lower my shields and prepare to be boarded. Yeah, I’ll get right on that, sarcastically speaking.  Instead, I went to red alert. So, I had to battle them and I focused on the two weaker ships before attacking Torhne. While I was fighting, Sarish told me that she believes Gul Kardek used the orb from the MU to somehow create the anomaly that leads back to them.  Then Sarish talked about how he must have formed an alliance with the Terran Empire and warned me to stay on my guard, since they’re probably expecting me. Considering that the Alliance from the MU who enslaved the Terrans is made up of Klingons, Cardassians and Bajorans, I find it surprising that they’d team up with the Cardassians from our universe so quickly.  Anyway, after taking care of Torhne’s lackeys, I destroyed her ship and Chris contacted me. He told me that he believes that we can activate the portal by bombarding it with tachyon radiation. I told him to make the necessary modifications to the deflector dish, because I really want to see the MU. Then I did what Chris suggested and entered the portal.

As soon as I found myself in the MU, Captain Leeta herself greeted me.  Now I remember her, she’s that Bajoran woman Gul Kardek contacted. I have to say, she’s either aged well or she’s got great access to a plastic surgeon.  She went on about how it’s a pleasure to have visitors from my universe and how she didn’t believe Gul Kardek when he said that we’d be here, but she couldn’t afford to take the chance.  Then told me to surrender now and she’ll guarantee the safety of my crew. You can bet that, after all the studying I did on her universe, I know better than to take her up on her word. So, I refused to surrender and asked her if she thinks I’m a complete moron.  Leeta seemed a little set back but settled for cliché villainous taunting as she said that we could have had so much fun together and now she has to destroy me. Yeah, well she can try. I focused on destroying the ships from the Terran Empire and, after destroying one of them, Leeta gleefully talked about the fun she was having and how she was growing rather bored before I showed up.  Well, I’m not here to entertain her. After destroying Leeta’s pathetic attempt at an ambush, she apologized for the state of her troops. She talked about how they’d grown rather complacent and how she’ll have to provide a demonstration. Apparently, she sucks at demonstrations, because I had no trouble kicking her ass. Then Leeta talked about how Gul Kardek warned her not to underestimate me and she won’t make the same mistake next time, if there is a next time.  After Leeta left, Elisa contacted me and said that we can warp to Bajor, which I immediately did.

Finally, I made it to the Mirror Bajor!  

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Yes, I’m still excited about being in the MU, despite getting attacked by an evil bimbo. Elisa was quick to remind me that this isn’t a tourist expedition by telling me that Bajor was re-conquered by the Terrans and that we need to be on our guard, but I was only half-way paying attention.  She was kind of right because, the minute we stepped out of the transporter room, we got ambushed by the True Way. They didn’t put up much of a fight, even with me coughing and sneezing like crazy, but Elisa got worried that they followed us through the portal.  I told her that, more likely, they were Gul Kardek’s troops just waiting for us to arrive.

Remember how I talked about Bajor’s beauty, with its plants and trees everywhere and how it drove my allergies nuts?  Well, in the MU, the Terrans went a bit more exotic disco club and less nature holo-documentary. Let me tell you, this club only caters to one type of preference, because all they have are silhouettes of naked women and not one hologram of a man who’s at least scantily clad.  

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It’s also raining like mad and that’s not exactly good for my allergies either. Thankfully, Chris injected me with medicine after the battle so my allergies don’t wear me down. The Bajorans also look far more bitter and hateful as opposed to serene and peaceful.

It wasn’t long until we ran into the bimbo again.  She talked about how Gul Kardek was right, we are formidable but perfectly predictable.  I’d be angry about her calling me predictable, if I wasn’t sneezing up a storm. Chris’s medicine hadn’t fully kicked in yet, but I’m feeling better than I was a few minutes ago.  Leeta ordered her Terran forces to attack and said that she wanted us alive. Thankfully, that gave us an advantage even with my huge disadvantage. Sometimes, Leeta’s forces managed to get the drop on me, but we kicked their asses.  We would’ve taken Leeta down with them, but she spent the whole battle hiding behind a force field and beamed up afterwards. Okay, so maybe she’s not a complete bimbo, but I don’t think that kind of planning takes much brainpower.

We continued to the temple and passed by the fountain right in front of it where, in our universe, there’s a large tree.  In the MU, it’s a giant dancing holographic stripper and guess what gender that is. I didn’t have much time to dwell on it, as my team got ambushed by another group of Terrans.  This time, Leeta was nowhere to be found, but we did see Gul Kardek again. He said that we’ve interfered with his plans for the last time and attacked us. Thankfully, my medicine fully kicked in and I could actually fight to the fullest of my potential with my crew.  Also, is it just me or is Gul Kardek’s posture a little too perfect for a humanoid? Anyway, Gul Kardek actually managed to put up a fight. I can’t count how many times me and my crew had to make use of the medical generator. I also had to use the second setting on my weapon, something I don’t often do.  

Vedek Krim, or her MU counterpart, showed up in the middle of the fight and tried to stop it, saying that fighting is not permitted here.  Yeah, Vedek, that’s really going to stop Kardek from trying to kill us. What happened next was a bit of a shock, because Kardek’s arm turned to liquid and stretched out Mr. Fantastic style to strangle the Vedek!  That’s right, Kardek’s a changeling! Well, it explains why his posture’s so perfect. Then he told the Vedek that this is not her affair. After that interruption, we attacked Kardek with him using his changeling powers.  Though I don’t get why he waited to use those powers in the first place. It wasn’t long until Kardek went full on changeling, but we managed to defeat him.

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I even made sure to lock Kardek up in a special box so he won’t cause any more trouble.

After the battle, I healed Vedek Krim, who thanked me and admitted that she was surprised to see a changeling here.  

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Not surprising considering that, in the accounts I read, the only changeling they knew was Mirror Odo and our Bashir killed him.  Then the Vedek asked me what the purpose for our visit was. I told her that we’re here to return their orb. She was rather surprised, due to the fact that they lost the orb decades ago during the First Occupation of Bajor. Then Vedek Krim decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth, except she put it in a more religious way. She told me to go place it on the altar, which I planned on doing in the first place.

Before going to the temple, I picked up a PADD Gul Kardek left behind and found a note he sent to a man named Gul Pulat.  

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Kardek talked about how he ran into some complications, meaning us, and how we stole the Orb of Possibilities. He assumed that we returned it to the Bajorans by now.  Then he talked about how grateful he was that the anomaly’s still stable and retreated to the MU to take shelter with his Terran allies. Kardek told Pulat that he needed him to meet with a Dumat’Zukan at a facility in the Devos system in his place. Kardek was even kind enough to send Pulat the coordinates.  Dumat’Zukan, that’s a Jem’Hadar name if I ever heard one.

We went to the temple and I made a minor detour to the library and, let me tell you, most of the books read the same as the books in our universe, the only exceptions are the book about Sisko’s life and the book about the other universe written by Eeth played out differently.  Not surprising since Mirror Sisko’s no emissary and their Eeth would have a different experience. There’s still a book written by an Anjohl Tennan worshipping the Pah Wraiths. Even in the MU, the Bajorans still consider the Pah Wraiths the bad guys. Can’t say I blame them. Even their name doesn’t sound nice.  Then again, my name’s Candy and I’m not a blonde space trash bimbo stripping on Risa. So, in all reality, what difference does a name even make? The away team didn’t like my little detour, but I told them that the orb’s not going anywhere.

I went back to the altar and placed the orb there, again.  This time, they thanked me for restoring the balance and took the time to warn me about an ambush waiting for me in space.  Fortunately, they were kind enough to send me and my ship back to our regular universe.

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Elisa contacted me and asked what happened.  All she remembers is that I opened the orb case, everything went white and she and the rest of my away team appeared on the Winchester in orbit of Bajor, back in our own universe.  I told her that the Mirror Prophets returned us, assuming that they were different Prophets from our universe. No, I’m not converting to Bajoran religion, I’m just feeling too lazy to call them Wormhole Aliens right now.  I told her that I have to talk to Vedek Krim and then I’ll beam up.

Anyway, I went to see the Vedek and she told me that she didn’t see me enter the temple. I told her that the Mirror Prophets returned me here. She told me that she didn’t know much about the Mirror Prophets but, if they’re anything like our Prophets, then this is a great honor.  They were so similar, I’m still wondering if I even talked to their counterparts at all, or if they even have counterparts. Then Krim said that it’s very rare for the Prophets to interfere directly with our lives.  I’ll admit, I wish they stayed out of mine. Then she asked if my mission was a success. I sarcastically replied that it was a huge failure and the Prophets sent me here out of pity. She ignored my comment and said that I have the gratitude of two Bajors and closed with “May the Prophets continue to smile upon you.”  

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It gave me flashbacks of my grandpa trying to force the Catholic religion on me. Thankfully, my mom wouldn’t let him. Still, can you imagine the look on my grandpa’s face if I ever told him that I actually consulted with “false Gods?” Maybe I’ll break it to him next time I visit Earth.

I know I told Elisa I’d beam up after talking to Vedek Krim, but I didn’t say that I’d beam up right away.  I took a walk outside, fully able to enjoy the beauty now that I took Chris’s medicine. My mind started wondering about more than just the Wormhole Aliens. Maybe I had an MU counterpart over there I haven’t met, one who’s more Moriarty to my Sherlock Holmes or Joker to my Batman. Maybe my MU counterpart is like Leeta, a bimbo high on power.  Maybe, and here’s the worst thought, my MU counterpart is stripping on Risa, not taking part in the Terran Empire whatsoever. What choices did she make? Did she ever meet Joey and, if she did, was he the one who seduced and abducted her?  Maybe she was the evil seductress manipulating him to her own ends. What about Chris? Was he still the Watson to my Holmes or the Alfred to my Batman? Will I ever know?

While I was contemplating, I got a communication from Sarish who talked about how surprised she was to hear that Gul Kardek’s a changeling.  She said that an alliance between the True Way and the Alpha Dominion could prove dangerous for the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. Sarish did look on the bright side, by saying that she’s happy the orb’s been returned to the MU and I’ve returned to our universe.  Fortunately, Sarish doesn’t get distracted by small details and focused on the big picture, which was stopping the alliance before they could do any further damage. Then Sarish told me that they’ll analyze the PADD I found to see if they find this ketracel-white factory.

After Sarish hung up, I remembered the data I found on Rose and her new adopted family.  Maybe I should just stop by and introduce myself. Rose might be happy to meet her bio-mom and her family might welcome me into their home.  I could be their Fonzie or their Uncle Jesse, visiting their home and being Rose and Fiora’s cool older sister figure at the most. Then again, Rose might realize that I abandoned her and hate me for it.  Her family might not even let me talk to her and who could blame them? If some stranger showed up at your house claiming to be your kid’s biological mom, how would you react? Maybe I could just visit the Terma Farm and watch Rose from a safe distance, just to see how she’s doing.  I mean that in a non-creepy way. What are the odds that she’ll spot me? Then again, there’s a good chance that those odds might not be in my favor and I doubt that I can book a nearby hotel on short notice. I beamed back up and ordered my crew to leave orbit. Elisa asked me what took so long and I only told her that I was gathering my thoughts, even if I didn’t say what my thoughts were about.  I know, I can fangirl about going to the MU but I can’t bring myself to meet my own daughter. What kind of coward am I?

A/N: So, what did you think of Candy and her trip to the Mirror Universe?  Feel free to request a Captain’s Log or team up with one of my characters for a Star Trek Online mission that I haven’t already done.  You can request or team up with me to do a Star Trek Online mission I’ve already written if it’s from the point of view of another character.  For example, feel free to request for me to recap this mission with a different character.  You can also Role-Play in the comments with your own Star Trek created character, if you wish.

Sci-Fi Warrior (Azaleas Dolls)

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Have you ever wanted to create characters for the Star Wars universe?  Now you can with the sci-fi warrior dollmaker! Create your own Star Wars or sci-fi female OCs, female characters from famous sci-fi franchises or yourself as a Star Wars character!

Like many dollmakers, this has no storyline.  You just create female characters that can be Jedi, slaves, or rebels.  You can even create characters that have nothing to do with Star Wars.  SeekHim and I have both used this dollmaker to make our own Star Trek characters.  I even used the game to create a Star Wars inspired character.

Aura/Darth Vixen (Star Wars OC) by suburbantimewaster

I even used this dollmaker to make Firefly’s River Tam, as I’ve posted on this blog. If you want to make male characters, there’s a separate dollmaker for that.  I used that one to create Clark Kent from Smallville.

Clark Kent (Smallville) by suburbantimewaster

This one works as your typical dollmaker, with you picking various hairstyles, clothes and other features for your character. Unfortunately, one of those features is not different face shapes.  You’re also limited on hairstyles as all you can choose is straight or wavy with no options for curly hair, unless you pick a bouffant. Like many dollmakers, you’re also limited to one body-type.  You also have no option to put freckles on your character. Other than that, the game is very good at staying true to the Star Wars universe, with many options to make your character an alien. You also have a wide variety of clothes and weapons that fit the universe very well, such as lightsabers and blasters.

This game is fun, but needs work.  I give it 5 out of 10; I hope to see a scene maker version soon.  On another note, have you used this dollmaker to make characters or to just goof off?  If so, feel free to share your creations in the comments.

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