877: Riddle Me This

By Vol Tryst
After Rude Awakening

-=USS Zenith=-

After the incident in Sickbay, Vol, with permission from Commander Salvek, had chosen to stay behind as the XO returned to the Zenith's bridge. Vol made sure to stay out of Dr. Hartcort's way as the man was still darting this way and that in attempts to identify who, or what, this Silav really was. In a manner of speaking, Vol was doing the same, or at least attempting to do so.

Emotions were running rampant around him. There were still the determined minds of those aboard the Zenith, the mostly frantic and panicked minds on board the Sera, surely due to the Captain's order to evacuate all personnel and civilians with any kind of psychic ability. However, Vol was sure that those strong emotions would fade out of his ability to sense them once the Alchemy got under way.

Yet still, with all the emotions running wild around him, Vol felt those that were alien to him the strongest.

They were everywhere, emanating from very strong and powerful minds. How many there were he could not tell, but they were close now. Very close indeed, and Vol was trying to find a key as to unlock their identities. That key, was through Silav.

Sitting now cross-legged on the biobed beside the one the non-Vulcan now occupied, Vol rested his chin on his interlaced hands. With his eyes closed, he was concentrating on the being in front of him, blocking out even the Doctor's emotions.

Empathy works very differently from the mind-meld process. As was once a common ritual for Vulcan's to say before engaging in a mind-meld: “You're thoughts, to my thoughts. My thoughts, to your thoughts.” Essentially depicting what a mind-meld was, two minds becoming one. Empathy is different in that Vol was in no way merging with Silav as much as he was scanning, and so Vol felt very safe that he wouldn't revive the patient, nor would he be putting himself in any danger.

Such a riddle had now presented itself to them, and Vol could never leave a riddle unsolved. Granted, this particular case wasn't nearly as much fun as some others Vol could only vaguely remember. Right now there was a crew that vanished into thin air, leaving an empty vessel behind. An alien species threatening the lives of all telepaths aboard the Sera, a vicious attack of some kind on Wren Elton, and finally, Silav. A being appearing to be something he was not, and surely with some psychic ability of his own, there was no other explanation for his reaction to the mind-meld.

However, it still didn't explain how did he fit into all this. Was he a random happenstance that just made him an easy target to point to for answers? Was he in some way a catalyst, or perhaps left behind due to some sincere injury? No matter which way he looked at it, the best assumption right now was to assume he was with the 'enemy.' It was the only guess that led to some hypothetical answers, any other explanation left Vol with dead-ends.

“So,” Vol talked aloud to himself. “If you're part of the enemy, let's apply what we know about you to them.” Vol took in a deep breath as he went over the checklist in his mind.

“Your people either very much look Vulcan, or have the means to alter your appearance. If the later, then you have either encountered the Vulcan, or have a means of accessing our databases and therefore, the races we've encountered. That doesn't tell me why you are here though . . .” Vol abandoned this line of thought for another.

“You have some psychic ability, and thus, so does your race. Which might explain why you chose the guise of a Vulcan, but if you and your people are psychics yourself, then why must 'all telepaths die.'” Vol's canine tooth could be faintly seen protruding from his mouth as he was subconsciously biting his lower lip.

A chill ran over the Betazoid's body as he recalled a period in Earth's history known as the Holocaust. The idea of the “Master Race,” a breed of humans which fit certain criteria and were therefore fit to stay alive while those who were deemed defective were slaughtered in the most gruesome of ways. This was where Vol's thought track had taken him. It was the only viable explanation he could come up with for one psychic race to declare war on all other psychic races. The former thought they had some kind of right to do so.

The feeling that came next was like that of completing the edges and sides of a two-dimensional puzzle. Vol even opened his eyes and raised his head to look about the room again. The more he thought about this, the more he thought it might just work.

[Salvek to Tryst.]

“Commander, I must see the Captain.” Vol insisted.

On the other end, Salvek paused. Sure, he loved it when his crew complied with his orders, but anticipating the same and obliging before said order was given was another thing altogether.

*Can't complain I suppose.*

[Yourself and Doctor Hartcort are to report to the Sera immediately.]

“Understood.” replied Hartcort.

Vol didn't waste a second. He hopped off the biobed and headed to the transporter room.

It was funny, ever since he had returned from his extended shore leave, he'd been terrified of this moment. Now, he was still terrified, and yet still he marched onwards to what he knew was likely the only option in this riddle wrapped in a mystery, trapped in an enigma.

LT. Vol Tryst
Ship’s Counselor
USS Serendipity NCC-2012