Subject: FRONTIER: Disillusionment at camp-happy

SD 71110

The night *had* been long, and when Angus finally awoke he felt cool 
and revitalised.  Somehow he had managed to get a few hours of sleep, 
he vividly recalled the previous nights events and he smiled. He 
looked at Leana who was still asleep in his arms, he felt the warmth
of her body next to his own and her weight on top of him felt 
comforting, he kissed her on the cheek and she stirred slightly but 
did not awake.

He slid out from underneath her and stood up, it was not yet light and
he could see that only a few of the others were awake but preparations
were already being made to continue the pursuit that they had began 
the day before.

The alternate Angus walked up to him grinning like a melon, he clapped
his double's shoulder, "Good night?" he asked cheerfully.

Angus looked at him with some suspicion, "Pleasant. Why?"

"Just curious," m-Angus replied casually.

"I thought you were supposed to be on sentry duty last night," Angus 
said accusingly.

m-Angus looked hurt, "I was, I just happened to be checking the camp 
area, just to be sure, and I noticed... how well you and Leana were 
getting on, I was under the impression that you two weren't involved."

"We're not. We weren't. we... I'm not quite sure at the moment."

m-Angus laughed and then headed to where m-Caroline was sitting 
talking to m-Sampter.

Angus heard what sounded like a stream or a small river from further 
in the woods so he headed towards it to see if the water was okay for 
drinking. He soon reached a wide, shallow spring bubbling out of a 
rockface and running down a small hill.  He stepped into the water, 
which was cool but not chilled. He cupped his hands and took a drink, 
it seemed okay, then he noticed a metallic glint in the water, he 
reached in and picked up the object.
It was definitely metal, whiteish, but scorched at the edges. He threw
it to the bank and made a mental note to show it to somone later. He 
washed himself in the stream and saw that Patrick was wading towards 

"Mornin' Earthman." he said, "I see you've finally woken up."

Angus looked up at his friend, "Don't tell me, you've been up for 
hours and you've already found out why we're here and what the hell 
Q's playing at."

Patrick chuckled, "Not quite, but you got one out of three. I've been 
up for hours seeing how many of these I could find." He lobbed 
something to Angus.

Angus caught it deftly and saw that it was a metal fragment like the 
one he had found earlier.

"Those things are scattered everywhere within a five-hundred meter 
radius at least."

"I found one of these myself," Angus replied, "do you have any idea 
what it is?"

"Well, I know that it's a Duranium composite of some kind, but what 
it's from and how it got here I'm not sure, I can only speculate from 
the scorchmarks that some sort of spacecraft burned up on re-entry."

At that moment Leana came to the stream and sat on the bank, "I see 
you've found some as well," she said.

Angus nodded, "What do you make of it?" he asked.

"I though it might be some sort of spacecraft skin, then I found this,
and that pretty much confirmed it." She held up a black box, about the
size of a brick.

"A flight recorder?" Angus asked.

"Yep, the good old indestructable black box," she replied and threw the
box to Angus. 

He looked at it carefully for a moment then asked, "Do you have any 
idea where it's from?"

"Any identification on it must have burned off in the atmosphere, but 
take a look inside, it's Starfleet configuration."

Angus moved a sliding panel on the side of the box and looked into the
computer access port, "This has a three hundred and twenty-five point 
connection, Starfleet uses three hundred point."

"That's right," Leana agreed, "but just look at the layout, if that's 
not Starfleet then I'm a Cardassian."

Angus looked closer at the inside of the box, he knew a lot about 
flight recorders, and during his time at Starfleet weapons R & D  he'd
pulled enough of them out of test equipment to know that she was 
right, he looked over at her, she definitely wasn't Cardassian.

"I think we'd better go talk to Ramsay," he said.

The captain was sitting propped up against a tree, staring into the 
dark night. His eyes looked tired from the staring. As they approached
he did not show so much as a flicker of welcome.

"Captain?" said Angus, his expression switching to one of worry.

Very slowly, as if waking from deep sleep, Ramsay turned and inclined 
his head to look at the source of the voice. His eyes worked 
frantically to focus the image before them. His speech was slow, 
lethargic. "What is it?"

"Are you alright sir? You look a little jaded."

"Fine, thanks," he replied without much conviction. "Go on."

"We've found a flight recorder, likely from a Federation craft. Since 
we don't have a tricorder here, we were wondering just how the hell to
find out what secrets it contains."

He definitely looked tired, but after about thirty seconds of 
agonising Ramsay replied, "Houston could access the flight recorder. 
But..." He paused for a moment, thinking again. "You'll need optical 
cable to make the connection. Don't know where you'll get that." His 
entire manner was different, Angus could see plainly that something 
was up. It was as though someone had pulled the plug on his mind.

Sometimes us writers feel like that <BG>

They didn't mention to the dazed captain that Houston was still 
missing, in case it overloaded his woozy brain. As they left him to 
stare into the dark night, Angus said to Leana, "He's acting very 
strangely. Are you thinking the same thing I am?"

"He's got a Class A-1-Plus hangover. Like he was drugged..."

After a momentous pause they reached the same conclusion 
simultaneously. "Katie Braun!" they exclaimed in chorus.

Then more quietly, so as not to attract the attention of that
individual, Angus said, "What can we do about it?"

"Well, the first thing is to never tell his wife. There's no way he 
could have fought it off. If he wants to tell her, let him do it. The 
second thing to do is to get a hold of Katie Braun and shut down her 
activities for good. And something tells me that's not a job for 
either of you," said Leana.

"Well don't try to take her down on your own," replied Angus.

"Angus, she's a transporter chief, for the prophets sake. How could 
she so much as break one of my nails?" She stalked off to confront 

Sampter observed Leana's grim determined striding, looked in the 
direction she was going, and saw Katie's sleeping form. She quickly 
caught up with Leana and whispered hurriedly, "She got Sykes as well. 
Do you have anything to back you up?"

Leana stopped and turned to face her. "No, but I've got to do 
*something* about it. Angus might be next on her list. Could you-"

"I've already tried. She's a zero-esper, strange as it may seem."

Leana looked puzzled, "A what? You must pardon me, my psychobabble's 
pretty rusty."

"About three in every million humanoids have the condition. They're 
shown up by a perfectly zero psionics-rating. Starfleet are the only 
ones who do complusory esper measurements, but plenty of other 
organisations require some sort of rating, especially the Seleya 
Academy on Vulcan. I can't pick up a thing from her, and she'll never 
have any chance of hearing another's thoughts."

"Could it be a coincidence that she's using some sort of drug to keep 
her victims in tow?" asked Leana.

"Maybe she isn't actually a zero-esper... maybe the drug has some kind
of backlash which blocks off her mind completely to telepaths," 
suggested Ruth.

"So if we held her in the brig when we get back, the drug wears off 
and you can read her, right?"

"That's assuming this drug doesn't render her a zero-esper 
permanently. For all we know, it could be affecting areas of her brain
other than that which deals with telepathic ability. She could be a 
walking mental patient," replied Sampter. "Of course, that's just so 
much speculation."

Leana prodded Katie gently with the toe of her boot, perhaps a little 
*too* gentle she thought. The form stirred and woke, then Katie was on
her feet abruptly as she realised they weren't here to compliment her.
Leana noticed a small object fall from Braun's person, but made sure 
Katie hadn't noticed it. She began to edge towards it.

"I want to ask you a few questions, Lt. Braun," began Leana.

"What's this about?" she asked nervously. Sampter watched the eyes 
narrow, the cheeks flushed. *Liar* she thought, *I can't read you but 
I can read your face*.

"The captain is suffering from all the signs of having been drugged. 
Now I saw you with him last night and I know there's something not 
right," stated Leana. She surreptitiously glanced at the bottle which 
was slowly rolling away, and tried not to be conspicuous as she 
intercepted it with her foot.

"It was completely mutual!" roared Katie, scarlet with indignance. She
failed to notice anything unusual about Leana's suddenly stooping as 
if to fasten up her boot. "If people want to talk about his marriage
going downhill then that's fine by me, but I didn't do anything he
didn't want!"

"I'm not so sure about that. Ruth here says you pulled the same stunt 
with Neil Sykes. Do you like breaking up happy couples? Is that it?"

"I don't know what you're talking about!"

"No, but I'm sure a few hypnosis sessions will help Neil recover his 
memory. It's a hallucinogen, an amnesiac, and a love potion - what 
else might it do?" snapped the Bajoran.

"What do I look like - a chemist? Now are you just going to stand 
there all day and hurl allegations at me or are you going to come up 
with something tangible?"

Leana smiled and produced a small vial which had a thin liquid coating
the base. Nearly empty. "Does this look familiar at all?" she asked.

"Where did you get that?" demanded Braun.

"Oh, I acquired it just seconds ago. It took a tumble when you got up.
Mind telling me what's in it?"

"That's none of your business," replied Katie curtly. "May I have it 
back please?"

"If this is the cause of the captain's current condition, then I think
not. Until we can get this analysed, you're under arrest Lieutenant. 
While we're here you're to be escorted by a security officer-"

She didn't get to finish the rest of the sentence as Katie swung at 
her. Leana tried to block it but it was swift and when she put a 
finger to her mouth she felt warm, moist blood. She started to feel 
just the slightest bit offended. She cracked three rights into Braun -
nose, jaw, and solar plexus. That didn't seem to stop her, though she 
looked a sorry mess. 

Leana dodged another blow but then felt Braun's knee in her abdomen, 
she fell to the ground.  Sampter stepped forward to strike Katie but 
before she could reach her Katie had already swung and the hit 
connected with Ruth's face and sent her spinning. She then saw the 
huge form of Patrick Simony rear up behind Braun and wrap one of his 
arms round her, pinning her own to her side and lifting her clear off 
the ground.

Ruth regained her balance and went to punch Katie but found herself 
kept at arms-length by Patrick. 

Leana stood up and took a step forward, Patrick shifted his struggling
burden slightly and held his hand out in a calming gesture, "Hold it 
there little sister, you've gone far enough already."

Leana was furious. "She took a swing at me!" Then, glancing down at 
her throbbing hand, she saw blood dripping from a nail and her own 
words came back to mock her - 'How could she so much as break one of 
my nails?'. The pain in her abdomen was subsiding but there would be 
one heck of a bruise. Looking over at Ruth she saw the Betazoid's eye 
swelling. "Have her, Patrick, I'm not going anywhere near that bitch!"
And Leana stalked off to find some water for their cuts.

Angus had been following the incident from afar and was only just 
beginning to catch up to Simony. Now as he watched Leana walking away 
at maximum warp he changed direction to follow her. "Hey Leana, wait 
up!" he called. It wasn't long before he caught up but he was sweating
despite the cold weather. "You alright?" he asked as he walked rapidly
beside her.

"It's only my pride that hurts," she replied.

Angus put his arm around her and walked her to the brook, "I suppose I
should be back there helping Patrick, this is a security matter after 

She smiled at him, "But you'd rather be here with me right?"

"Yeah. I'm sure Patrick can manage," he said.

                       Respectfully submitted:

                           Allan MacLennan
                 [Lt.] Angus Murray, Tac/CSO FRONTIER

                            Sam M. Edwards
                  [Captain] Will Ramsay, CO FRONTIER
                 [Cmdr] Caroline Ramsay, XO FRONTIER
               [LtCmdr] Joanna Houston, aXO/tCMO FRONTIER

          "Put your faith in God and keep your powder dry."
                           Oliver Cromwell

  "The next time you go over my head, I'll have yours on a platter."
                       Commander Benjamin Sisko

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