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Study of a Dragon?

Posted on Tue Jan 18th, 2022 @ 4:43am by Lieutenant JG Orin Sempton & Lieutenant Lily Marlow

Mission: A New Beginning
Location: Cargo Bay
2569 words - 5.1 OF Standard Post Measure

Lily went to the Cargo Bay where the guardian dragon seemed to be sleeping. Its duties officially done. The one thing though that she was curious about was, how old was the dragon? With this in mind, she sent a message to Lieutenant Sempton.

"Sempton, Marlow here, would you be so kind to come to the cargo bay please? I'd like to confer with you about the Guardian."

"Yes, Ma'am. R-right away."

Orin walked hurriedly into the Cargo Bay a few minutes later and stopped short to look at the sleeping dragon. It still surprised him that the thing was a non-holographic entity unlike the others they'd taken from Adna. And with the thing's mass, he was impressed they had been able to get the cargo transporters to get it here at all. When he'd suggested it originally, it was a gamble. He didn't know their specifications or if it would even work, but somehow they'd managed.

He saw Lily near the dragon and moved her way. "Here, as ordered, Ma'am."

Lily turned towards Orin. "Please, you may call me Lily, Orin. I think we've been through enough together to be on first name basis." giving him a pleasant smile. She then turned back towards the Dragon. "This piece of machinery, animatronic is just so amazing. At least that is what I am calling the Guardian."

"It is indeed something." He cocked his head to one side, thinking about something while looking at the dragon. "It does make you wonder though, if it's animatronic, what... Or should I say, who is controlling it? If it's an Automaton, like Talos of Crete or Golems of clay brought to life, they all had someone to protect. Is it asleep because we fulfilled its purpose?"

"That is indeed a really good question. I wonder if Guardian would be willing to answer some questions. Maybe our sleeping beauty will have some answers. well rather I should say, Splice, the woman whom had helped us. And she is awake and out of that slumber chamber, she'd been in." Lily said.

Orin tapped his chin with his thumb. "Well, since we're here..." He walked over to the sleeping metal dragon. "Good day, Guardian. Will you speak with us?" He waited to see if there would be any reaction.

At the sound of Orin's voice, one eye slowly opened, then Guardian slightly lifted his head. A puff of steam coming from it nostrils. "Yes.?? I am willing to speak with you." his head turning towards Orin, seeming to be ignoring Lily.

Lily was amazed that the guardian chose to activate. "Yes we'd like to find out more about you."

Guardian then directed his gaze at Lily. "Is she alive?"

"Yes she is, T'Seng is awake and doing well." Lily answered.

"Good." the metal dragon paused then looked at Orin, "is there another task that is needing to be done?"

"Uhhhh..." Orin looked dumbfounded at the creature. Not having expected it to wake up, let alone talk with them. "Will you answer questions? Like who created you? How you came to be on Adna? Why you were chosen to protect Splice?"

"I may have some answers for you, I may not. But I can answer questions when you ask." Guardian paused for a moment, then continued. "I was created long ago, and how I arrived on Adna, I was woken up there. My arrival I do not know of. I remember a man who woke me up, young full of life he told me that I needed to guard Splice. The man's name was-" He paused once more as if to gather his thoughts, "Jacob Myneer he said I needed to guard the Elf, T'Seng the one he also called Splice."

Orin looked over to Lily. "Well, we have a name. That's always a good place to start research. I'm sure we can find something with that." He turned back to the dragon. "Are you in need of anything?"

"Perhaps my next task. Do you have any that is needed to be done?" Guardian looking at Orin.

Lily just stared at this turn of events. "Um, Orin do you have any idea of what to do on this? It seems that Guardian is sort of... I don't know focusing on you. Does this mean you are his new, boss?"

"Uh..." Orin blanched a bit. "I, uh, I have no idea. I hope not. I honestly didn't expect to even get this far..." He crossed his arms, before nervously tapping his chin with one hand. His mind spun with thoughts and possibilities in an endless jumble, attempting to make connections. "Is there anything we could have it do? I mean, currently, it's much too big to travel around the ship. But giving it a task might... help? Maybe?"

"Okay so, what sort of task should we give to Guardian?" Lily looked towards the dragon once more. "What if we can, ask if he wishes to learn more? Would that be a dangerous thing to do?"

Guardian turned his head towards Lily tilting his head, "More knowledge? I would like that. Perhaps I can fill the holes in my memory. That though is up to him. Would that be a task that I am allowed to do?" then turning his attention to Orin.

An old saying ran through Orin's head. Knowledge is power, and power corrupts. "Honestly, we probably could, but that's not a decision I can make." He looked at Lily with an imploringly. At this point, he was too far into the deep end and he felt the water closing in. He fixed a look of calm composure on his face and looked back at the Guardian. "At most, I could give you access to my historical databases, as those are independent of the ship's systems. They're not current information, but it's histories of most cultures we know of. But any access to the ship's computer has to be decided at a level far above me."

He pushed up his glasses and rubbed his eyes, a series of frustrating thoughts and probabilities flowing through his mind at high speed. "I'm sorry Guardian, I'm barely a junior officer, and I've already lost this rank once for insubordination when I wouldn't do something I considered morally reprehensible." He lowered his hand, but left the glasses sitting on top of his head, staring through the blob that was the dragon in front of him. "I will do what I can to get you access to whatever you'd like, I'm just not sure if I'll be listened to."

"Why would they not listen" Guardian asked, "And History, you have history records. I would like that. I can then possibly figure out where I am from." he puffed out.

Lily looked at Orin, "Wait, what? You stood up for something you felt was wrong. What was it about?" She was keenly interested in what the story behind his statement was. The Assistant CMO came close to Orin, "You really need to tell me the story, I'd like to hear of it."

Orin smacked his forehead, barely missing the wireframes still on top of his head hard enough to leave a red mark. "Mom always said a big mouth swallows a foot eventually..." He mumbled as the hand swept down and wiped his face. "It's a very long story. Suffice to say when I was on Triton Seabase, an intelligent biomass of Krill infested the station. It used ultrasonic frequency and bio-luminescence to communicate. Unfortunately, that ultrasonic frequency was on the level that slowly began affecting the crew with psychosis and paranoia. When we figured out what it was, we were ordered to create a pathogen to kill it, as it had at that point debilitated most of the base." He closed his eyes, remembering the order and how sick it had made him feel. "I figured out they were sentient based on patterns in their luminescence by accident. By that point we had finished the pathogen, but I refused to inject it into the tanks. Instead, I forced a purge of the system. The back pressure collapsed the tanks and ruined most of the base's systems. They survived, with the understanding they were hurting us, and left the area. I was nearly court-martialed, and instead demoted on charges of gross negligence, refusing a direct order from a superior officer and willful critical damage of a starbase. I'm honestly surprised I was allowed on another ship."

He blew out a breath. "And I'd do it all again. I joined Starfleet to find cultures and understand them, not eradicate them."

Lily was amazed at the story, "That took great courage for you to do what you did." she remarked. "I defied an order on another ship I was on, matter of fact, our current Captain, if I didn't disobey an order, he wouldn't be our captain. NOT that I am bragging. I thought for certain I'd be drummed out of Starfleet myself. Our ship was attacked and a lot of damage occurred He was trapped along with others and was injured. I was told to not go there and I told said officer to stuff it and myself and others went to go extract those who were injured." giving a shrug. "I'm still here in Star Fleet and still working."

She looked once more at Guardian. "So what do you think, giving him history data to find out where he might be from? Though I am wondering if that Creator may know more. Hopefully we will be able to find him and learn more." Lily gave a sigh.

"Finding a major breakthrough from historic data may be like finding a golden needle in a needle factory. Possible but highly unlikely, especially considering I don't have much post atomic horror, but I'd be happy to share what I have with you, Guardian." He scratched his head to think before lowering the glasses back onto his nose. "I could probably go through genealogical records with the Daystrom Institute and see if we can find anything on Myneer. May be easier to go from the past to now." He turned to Lily. "I'm glad to hear that you rescued those people. As long as a chance remains to save life, we should take it. Otherwise, why are we out here?"

Lily gave a smile towards Orin, "I agree with you." she looked back towards Guardian. "Maybe he can rest a bit more while we get the records for him. I think anything might be helpful to jog his memory." her mouth going into a thin line. "It must be sad to not know where you are from." she remarked quietly.

Orin rubbed a scar on the back of his left hand, which had begun to twitch after she spoke. "You have no idea, Lily." He stared a point well past the walls of the ship. "It's beyond frightening, just on the precipice of maddening." He strained to get the last few words out before taking a measured breath. "I'll be back soon with those histories, Guardian. I only ask that you please don't judge us too harshly for the actions of our ancestors. We've come a long way since then."

"I will not judge." breathed out Guardian. "I just need clues, knowledge. History"

Lily took note of Orin's action of rubbing the back of his hand, decided that she'd ask him about that sometime after this talk with Guardian. "Well we will be leaving you for now, and Orin will be back with the histories he mentioned. Until then we will bid you adieu." Lily looking over towards Orin then back to Guardian. "Shall we?" She remarked toward Orin.

Orin nodded. "Good day to you, Guardian. I will bring you what I can shortly." With a nod, he turned and walked with Lily toward the exit. As the doors closed behind them, he let out a long breath. "Well that went better than expected."

Lily turned a curious eye towards Orin, then she smiled. "I felt it definitely went rather well. I don't why he responds so well to you but I think that is a true bonus." she heaved a sigh of relief. "Thank you for helping to see to Guardian."

"It was the least I could do." He replied with a half smile. "There's something I heard a long time ago that rang through my head as we were listening to him. 'Only those who show mercy can expect to receive it.'" Orin shook his head. "I couldn't leave him to solitude, that way lies madness. At least the historic data will give him something to occupy the time."

"I definitely agree, and I do wish we and he, knew where he came from. Though I am now wondering about that stasis chamber that Splice, I mean T'seng was found in. Could both Guardian and that stasis chamber be connected to each other? He was able to take it where he needed to do so to protect her." Lily mused. "We did move the stasis chamber to the science labs, maybe there is some information that we've not come across yet."

Scratching his chin, Orin stopped to think. "It's possible that the two could be connected. The fact it's far away from him might be why Guardian is in some sort of stand-by mode. I wonder if bringing it closer would do anything?" He ran his hand though his hair, pushing it up out of his eyes. "Maybe there's something, but how much of it has been scanned and processed?"

"Nothing has been done with it as of yet, it was sent to the lab. I have been by it to check on it, and it has just been there waiting to be examined." Lily stated, "Looks like a project to be worked on, who knows what sort of information is there. Maybe even its origin?"

She paused and then said to Orin. "Maybe we need to get Dominic and T'par involved in this as well. We've got a bit of investigation to do."

"Good plan." Orin nodded. "We should probably get someone from engineering up to look at it too. Maybe they could tell us what's powering the thing. But for now, we have some work to do."

Lily reached out and touched Orin's shoulder. "Once again, thank you I am definitely appreciative of you." she withdrew her hand and took one more look towards where Guardian was. "Someday he will be free away from confinement."

"Someday." He replied, following her gaze. "With luck, may that someday be soon."

"Well then hopefully tomorrow we'll be able to find some answers when we get together with the rest of the science team." Lily remarked, "I'll see you then." giving a smile and a touch of her hand upon his shoulder, then she turned around and set off down the corridor.

Orin watched her until she disappeared around a corner. His eyes briefly flicked over to where Guardian was sleeping, before he closed them and rubbing his temples. He could feel the headache that was coming slowly adding to the pressure behind his eyes. I'm not even sure they'll let me give him the historic data. he thought. Dropping his hands, Orin started toward his office to get the promised information packet together. But that's an argument for later.


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