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New Lhasa

USS Darwin

Darwin TNG

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403 Leb-Sa

At Ensign Kayon's funeral, Veltra'a notices that Kath'lar has sent a small Real'tagh (Klingon funereal gift).

Mariella and Sorenal meet at Sorenal's bed in the Schweitzer Hospital. They ascertain that they remember enough of his treatent to have a chance of finding a cure. Sorenal, faced with his treatment at the hands of the Tal Shiar, would be willing to stay in Federation space if his Betazoid wife Samanda were safe. But she is left behind in the Romulan Star Empire.

Loras Veltra'a requests, and is reluctantly granted, permission to investigate Tor for treason. "If he had followed the plan, we will never know Sir, but Ensign Kayon may still be alive."

Dr Kal Orioli receives a distress signal, swiftly cut off, from Lyranna Quayn. He summons Veltr'a, who gathers Merif and Ensign Robert Green, and they beam into the Orion coffee house.

Lyranna is physically unharmed, and confidently informs the away team that (third person) Lyranna is "at peace", activating the defenses which Scarlett installed at her wedding. Merif leaps for cover behind the bar, only to be stunned by the Destiny movement criminal Ingvar who was already behind it. The away team lose the ensuing firefight.

Through the hospital window, Mariella sees phaser fire in a primary healthcare clinic in another district of Po'rama. She tries to inform civillian security, but her contacts are already in the midst of a firefight.

Loras comes to tied up in the cellar of the Orion Coffee House, along with his unconcious colleagues and several members of Coffee House staff. Lyranna, Felan, and another human enter, finding that Loras has made his way halfway across the room; Lyranna, now part of a hive mind calling itself the "Leb-Sa", eulogises her new condition and, despite vocal and physical resistance from (former borg) Kal and Loras infects the prisoners with Enterobactus Psionsis.

The Starfleet mission at New Lhasa goes to Red Alert, but Mariella joins staff at the Schweitzer hospital rather than be transported to the Stevenson. A group of Leb-Sa enter the hospital on the pretence of being casualties; although Mariella sedates some, the staff are overwhelmed.

Meanwhile, the Leb-Sa overrun the government buildings, and Starfleet abandons its buildings in the government complex. Sorenal, checking broadcast media to discover that David Heart has declared a state of emergency, shaves his head hoping to pass as a Vulcan when the insurrection to reaches his ward.

Left alone by the telepaths, the prisoners agree to turn their back on Pel - the Ferengi accountant whose mind cannot be read - while she de-activates the defenses (and transporter scrambler). The Stevenson crew - monitoring the situation but unable to spare an away team - transport the crew before the Leb-Sa reactivate the scrambler.

Intending to rescue Sorenal - an expert in psionic sciences who is now of strategic importance - Merif brings the Stevenson towards the Schweitzer Hospital. But the hospital is also covered by transporter scramblers, and the main scrambler is surrounded by captured New Lhasan civillians. Loras refuses to accept that level of collateral damage.

Merif, uncharacteristically, pilots the Stevenson towards the sloping ground near the hospital, and Loras throws him to one side before taking the helm. Loras finds himself doing the same, and confines himself to quarters as well, on suspicion of being overtaken by the New Lhasa Syndrome. On leaving the bridge and feeling the temptations leave him, he turns around suspecting Psi control on the bridge.

Mariella recovers from a stun blast, on a hospital bed and in restraints, but can use her medical access codes to free herself. After contacting the Stevenson, she tries to get to the transporter blocker by access tube, whilst controlling her own telepathic projections so as not to be spotted by the Leb-Sa. The telepaths nevertheless converge on her position as she approaches the scrambler.

Loras calls for Pel to staff the helm, and moves to fire on the hospital as a distraction. Horah-Morash, not trusting Loras, operates the tactical station himself. The distraction buys time, and Pel - although no pilot - can maintain it in position.

Mariella propels herself from the access tube, showing remarkable skill with her Akai stick in immediately concussing her closest threat and switching off the scrambler. Lyranna - who taught Marilla Akai - possesses the next telepath and they circle the scrambler warily, stepping over the unconcious prisoners and Mariella doing what damage she can to the scrambler before she is soon transported up.

Aboard the Stevenson, the infected staff queue around sickbay for the antibiotic treatment which will remove their Enterobactus Psionsis. On a small screen, a news channel shows messages from the colonial government. Then it changes to show Lyranna Quayne, talking of salvation, destiny, and Leb-Sa.




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© Ian McDonald 2004