Subject: FRONTIER: Houston's day gets a little worse
>"Look, for the last time, I don't want you, I don't care for you, and
>I don't find myself attracted to you." Keanu got up and left the room.
Houston sat there for a long minute in stunned silence. Then, in a flurry
of activity, she began to access the ship's computer records. Neil found
himself wondering why the heck he was bothering to stay around, and left
without saying a word.
A few minutes later, Joanna pressed a button to hold the display. She
leaned forward and propped her forehead against her upright arm. Tears
glistened in her eyes, tracked her cheeks. Nothing had worked. It was
>"She thinks she loves me. And Neil's found out. I'll be in sickbay if
>anyone needs me." Keanu left and headed towards the turbolift.
Caroline shrugged, hoping that things didn't get any worse, and decided to
get a better look at the project for herself. She decided to use the chief
engineer's office for some quiet reading, then realised it was in use.
Pushing the door chime, she heard a faint "Enter", and walked in.
Houston didn't look round as Caroline walked in, stayed dead silent.
"Joanna?" asked Caroline, already concerned. She walked round the desk to
face the android, and was surprised by the show of emotion. "Are you
alright?" she inquired.
Joanna didn't speak, just shook her head no.
"You want to talk about it?"
Joanna hesitated, shook her head again.
Caroline carefully placed the cot on the desk, then walked back around to
look over Joanna's shoulder. Reading a little of the text, she realised
Joanna was reading of the various opinions on relationships. She knelt at
Joanna's side and picked up her hand, clasping it in hers. The android
turned to look at her.
"I know what you're feeling," said Caroline. "I've been there before."
Joanna nodded slightly. "He does not... love me."
"You're a wonderful and attractive person. He doesn't know what he's
Joanna smiled thinly. "You think so?"
"Of course. In no time he'll be looking at you with your new boyfriend and
he'll be green with envy." Caroline stood up, reaching for the cot.
"I made a sculpture for him," said Houston, as if it were no big deal.
"Oh. Well, don't expect that to win him over. The way to a man's heart is
through his stomach."
"I do not understand."
Caroline smiled at Christopher, then added, "I think that's why Will wanted
to marry me. I'm such a good cook."
"What do you think I should do?" asked Houston.
"I think you should start psionic training," Ruth replied simply.
"Am I that good?" asked Sykes.
"Well, good enough."
"Any idea what caused it?" he asked.
"Well, we're looking at something wgich happened to both you and the
captain..." She frowned, then added, "Katie. She's the missing link. But
I don't see how."
"What about that drug she developed?"
"I haven't been able to get a thorough analysis, it seems to actually
resist breakdown by modern means. You know, it could well be what's
"Is there anything in the medical database similar to it?"
"Good question," she replied, and fed in the query. A few moments later,
Ruth had a near-match. Though they couldn't yet come up with a molecular
analysis for the small amount of drug that Katie Braun had on her person,
she could see that both it and the match had similar neurochemical effects.
"Your hunch was right. It's similar to a drug banned from production or
usage in the Federation. Originally developed on Betazed, to enhance
natural psionic ability, they soon found it produced serious side-effects
in over sixty percent of cases. So far, you and William seem to have been
"Any idea if it'll be permanent?"
"According to the information I have, it could be. Only way to be sure is
"Oh, not more."
"You think testing is bad - wait till you start training."
"So... when do we start?"
She smiled briefly, that 'Whats this we business' smile, before the alert
sirens blared and Patrick's voice boomed out over shipwide comms. Ruth
grimly replied, "Not now."
"Everybody stay calm, keep working," said Houston over the din, tasking
between watching damage control readouts and working on the warp core.
Maren, who was working nearby, frowned and added, "We've got a sensor
white-out. Someone's released a huge burst of subspace energy nearby.
It'll take ages to clear."
"Someone trying to blind us?" suggested Caroline.
Houston brought up the visual sensors and rapidly flicked through various
views to catch a glimpse of a large black ship moving rapidly. In the
blink of an eye, the visuals successively went dead in a series of actinic
"Looks like they succeeded," suggested Maren.
"Not if I can help it. Ensign Fieve, take a group of three and man the
viewing ports. Tell them to relay tactical information to the bridge."
"Aye sir." At that moment, the shield display suddenly flashed red as the
deflectors apparently switched themselves off.
"Get those shields up!" yelled Caroline anxiously.
Keanu rapidly punched various keys on the console, to no avail. The
shields remained down. He was about to mention the fact that they'd been
remotely shut down, when transporter beams appeared throughout Engineering,
depositing numerous android-like boarders. A brief firefight ensued
between the intruders and whoever in Engineering had a phaser handy. The
result was appallingly quick - most of the Engineering crew was stunned or
down in under thirty seconds, leaving just Keanu, Caroline and Joanna
standing at adjacent consoles, wondering what the hell just happened.
One of the androids approached Keanu and ushered him rather roughly toward
the turbolift with the butt of its gun. In a microsecond Joanna felt that
same sensation again, the one that burned through her body with such
ferocity. She grabbed the android by the shoulder in the blink of an eye,
and with a precision punch sent it flying across Engineering to land with a
While Joanna was still wondering what had just come over her, that android
effortlessly picked itself up and charged her with a pace she would be
hard-pressed to match. With a sickening crunch, it landed a blow to
her jaw which somersaulted her over the console. Before she could get up,
she was being lifted by two more of the androids. As she struggled, she
noticed Keanu opposite, a big gun pointed at his head.
"Give us any more trouble and I pull the trigger," said her assailant in a
simple grating tone.
She thought it over, then sullenly allowed them to escort her with the
others to 2-Backward. All the time, she was observing their captors,
looking for anything important.
S [Captain] William Ramsay, CO FRONTIER S
D A [Cmdr] Caroline Ramsay, rodXO FRONTIER A D
R M [Lt.Cmdr] Joanna Houston, aXO FRONTIER M R
A M M A
W E "He said, `You're too late. We're everywhere'." E W
D Odo, Star Trek: DS9 D
That last bit coincides in timeframe with Allan's post (next). Who can say
where Dale's post will fit in? <BG>