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Umm... What?

Posted on Sat Apr 29th, 2017 @ 8:14pm by Lieutenant Commander Halan Zeti & David Hawkins & Commander Mercia Kavi & Lieutenant Lixor Nabohn & Lieutenant Commander Mel Torma

Mission: Dream Catcher
Location: Captain's Ready Room - U.S.S. Gladiator - A

With the ship still in the Slip Stream corridor, David knew all to well that they may be travelling quickly, but it was kind of late to even think that they would get there in time to stop anything. It was hard to deal with the idea of a borg invasion, let alone several months old intelligence that mass well have been centuries old. Still they had to do something in order to get an understanding of things and if anything, they could find a way to prevent additional threats.

Bags cleared, check. Quartermaster succeeded at assigning the proper quarters, check. Unpacked? Mostly, so half check. Standard Federation uniform, check and check. Mel Torma gave herself a final check in the mirror, then a quick look over to make sure everything was proper. Hair and tail sufficiently fluffed, no errant strands or missed edges. Everything was as close to perfect as she could manage. "Should have asked for a personal assistant drone." muttered but only to herself. Well, no use putting this off until later. Time to become official. Take a breath, hold it, slowly release. Just like they taught you.

As the light from the massive amounts of the slip stream corridor flashed by his office's window, David heard the sound of the chime go off from behind him. He turned to see his first officer and his Chief of Science sitting either on the couch or a chair as they waited for their new Foreign Exchange Officer that had been assigned to the Gladiator. With all the 'excitement' that had been going on, they hadn't gotten the time to even meet the new addition, let alone, assign her to her new position while she was part of their ship.

"Enter!" He called out as he stood up, respectfully and stretched his leather top down, straightening it so he didn't look out of line. First expressions and what not...

The door to the Captain's Ready Room swished open, and in walked a creature that seemed very much like what you would get if evolution chose the Ermine to become the dominant life form on Earth rather than the Ape. Fit form, slender and sleek with a tail that trailed behind her. Elegant in each step, the being entered the room with hardly any noise to her footsteps, and gave a quick look around with bright eyes as she soaked in the room. She gave a smile to the captain, for a moment showing a grin of teeth, then quickly hiding said teeth... recalling that not every species was comfortable with those that evolved from obvious predator stock. She cleared the doorway and continued to walk in, and was followed by another being. The eerie part was this being was identical to the first in every single way. Hair and fur, eyes and teeth, form and flow.

"Good afternoon Captain. I trust I'm not late." the first one to enter the room broke the silence. "I've been very much looking forward to meeting you and the crew of the, Gladiator was it? Honestly I'm sorry but I've been so excited that..." and she stopped talking. Like a switch was thrown and she just closed her mouth and forgot how to speak.

Her twin sister, however, seemed to remember how to speak, and continued the conversation as though she were the initial speaker, "... well, I just up and lost the word. Apologies. I also figured it would help matters along if I wore a Starfleet Uniform, rather than something issued by the ..." and it happened again. Just boom, and she's as quiet as a mouse.

"... Dalacari Provisional Defense Force. Only served two years, though. I'm sorry, I'm rambling. My name is Mel Torma, it's a pleasure to meet you sir." and with that, both twins stood before his desk, and snapped to attention rather crisply.

The blue man's face was as placid and uncommitted as usual, something that was becoming more unusual after the departure of the blonde haired science chief that had vacated her seat and his heart not long before. He had put on a fresh uniform to go with his new, shiny, full pip that marked him as a Lieutenant in full standing and he was going to try at least to put out a fresh face though he felt more like running as M'Gann had done.

In his hand Lixor was carrying a few PaDDs with data he figured might come in handy for whatever briefing was to take place in the ready room. His body had not cooled down from morning workout where he sent beat the living daylights out of some holographic opponents before heading in for his shift. The utility belt he was wearing was filled with more gadgets than usual and he had begun carrying his backpack to more locations as he had when he first arrived. This time however he had left it in his new office under the desk thinking better of showing up looking like he was taking some sort of trip.

Lixor moved through the door to the Ready Room as it slid open of its own accord and he stopped glancing around a moment before entering. Taking in the sight of two tailed females standing at attention before the Captains desk in science blue. For the life of he the new CSO could not recall seeing them before and under the circumstances an eyebrow rose for a split second before return his face to its previous state. He still said nothing as he moved in not and stood to the side not wanting to disturb whatever was happening.

There were two types of engineers, the first were uptight and stodgy. They were obsessed with perfection, their uniforms were always crisp and neat. They were obsessed with keeping everything perfect and making sure that timing was everything. Then there were the other kind of engineers, they were tinkers and a little eccentric.

Zeti's uniform was clean, but not pressed and her hair was up in a tight, but messy bun. She had a smudge on her cheek and nose from the work she'd been doing and arrived a little late to the meeting. "Sorry I'm late..."

"Bout time... Cinderella?" Mercia smirked at the smudge on Zetis face.

Still a little stunned, David noted Lixor's arrival to the meeting. But It was obvious that this was going to be an confusing, to say the least. He saluted the two forms before him and looked at Mercia who was as stunned and confused as he was, at least from first look. "Its a pleasure to meet you both," David replied finally.

"Thank you, but with respects, I should correct something." one spoke, "I'm not a 'both'. I'm not a 'They', and I'm not twins. Well I am, but not in the sense that most folks..."

"... get excited about working with. I'm a binary lifeform, which I understand is very unique in the universe. There's two bodies, but there's one mind." a pause, before both women motioned to themself, "I am Mel Torma."

"Ummm... What?" the captain almost cocked his head as he raised his eyebrows completely unsure what she meant as it wasn't something that most species understood. "Ok, umm... explain?"

At the chance to actually lecture, both women perked up. "Certainly. The Dalacari evolved from a species of native predators known as the Narada Vash, roughly translated to 'Fog of Teeth'. They're a lanky but aggressive quadrupedal predator that..."

"... forms a sort of group empathy, a cloud mind if you would. If one of the group is surprised by an ambush, the entire swarm comes to their aid. It's dreadfully efficient, I have videos..."

"... if you ever want to see it. Anyway, fast forward thirty thousand generations, and as the swarm's individual members get smarter, the swarm size decreases until, well..."

"... the Dalacari are born. Always twins, and each twin linked by a low yield telepathic field. I feel what either form feels, I know what either form knows. As a demonstration." and one of the women turned to face Lixor as he entered the ready room. The woman who wasn't facing him started to speak.

"The gentleman is roughly one hundred and seventy centimeters in height, blue complexion. Possible mixed lineage due to presence of markings." and the other turned so that both were facing Lixor, "Apologies sir. Thank you for participating." before both turned to face the captain proper, "I understand that this is going to be unusual, and that the Dalacari may be the first actual binary lifeform encountered by Starfleet." a pause as the other twin took over, "And no. I'm nothing like a Bynar. Their link is forced through cybernetic augmentation."

"Ok thats freaky as hell." Mercia said. She shifted, she was never comfortable around telepaths, and yes they weren't really telepathic, they might as well be.

Lixor's head tilted as he listened quite curious and at the same time highly alerted. Something seemed wrong and yet there was no real reason to really think so. His dark eyes darted between the two as each spoke similar to Bynar, acted something like Bynar but were not Bynar, this rather fascinating.

"You are correct about my mixed heritage," the blue man offered taking a few steps forward offered, "I'm both Bolian, that makes me blue and Trill which gives me the markings." He nodded and offered an ever so faint smile, "I am Lixor Nabohn, chief science officer."

The last was offered for clarification in hopes of furthering the conversation and determining if she, if she could be called a she, wished to and to determine if this amazing binary species was actually in his department. Binary in a way, duel purposed of sorts.

One of the twins turned back to face Lixor, while the other kept her attention squarely on the Captain. The one facing Lixor started, "Then I believe you'll be my section chief, as I'm here to fulfill the role of Science officer. I look forward to working with you." she said, with a cheerful smile at the end. So as to not alarm her new crewmates, she only smiled instead of the full grin. Predatory background and such.

Zeti looked over the twin, furry and clearly sentient creatures with a curious eye. She'd seen bynars but nothing quite like what she was looking at now. "Wait you're different people but have the same name and share a soul?"

"Almost, except I'm not different people." one of the twins corrected. Her tone was patient, as if she expected to have to instruct. "Though, in every other respect you're..."

"...correct. One name, one soul, at least according to the more religious minded. Personally I'm a mind of science."

"Science and religion aren't always mutual exclusive topics," She pointed to her nose wrinkle, she was a Bajoran after all. "You call them wormhole aliens, I call them prophets. I'm also a brilliant mathematician, a great engineer and I look killer in stilettos. It's a potato and tomato situation I think."

The expression seemed to confuse Mel. At least, both twins had the same befuddled look on her face. "Potato and Tomato... that's a reference I don't get. Though I certainly get that science and religion can peacefully coexist." as one spoke, the expression went from confusion to a more neutral expression. "Though, I have no idea how I look in stilettos." she was honest in that.

"I'm hesitant to call myself brilliant..." one of the twins started, only to stop and allow her twin to pick up, "... mostly because I don't like to brag, but I didn't mean any offense. And if any was taken, I'm very sorry about the misunderstanding."

"I think we are more concerned about offending you at the moment, at least on my part," Lixor offered with a nod, "just please continue to be patient with us all as we try to get our minds around a few thing." He drew in a breath and continued, "I know I have lots of questions but not quite sure how to phrase them."

The pair nodded in unison, "I completely understand," started one, "And believe me, I wouldn't have signed up for an assignment with an unfamiliar culture if I wasn't ready to be asked a lot of questions." the pair giggled, before the second twin started speaking, "I promise, as long as your questions are born of curiosity, as opposed to malice, you will have to honestly try to offend me."

A pause, "Please don't actually try to offend me."

Lixor looked puzzled at her last request but nodded, "I'll do my best Lieutenant." The blue man raised an eyebrow, "so were you born as a whole, I mean as two separate entities at the same time and then joined later are you, joined as one from conception?"

"Thank you. Sometimes when issued something that could be perceived as a challenge, such as stating how hard it is to offend, some species find enjoyment in fulfilling that..."

"... unspoken challenge. As to your query, Dalacari form their telepathic bond in development. By the time the average Dalacari is technically a fetus, the telepathic bond exists."

"It actually happens about a week after the brain forms but before full brain development. Around the time the twins would be moving and kicking."

"So you both would have the same mother," Lixor questioned further then tried to correct his workding, "I mean you would share the same womb rather than each being in the separate wombs of two joined bodies?"

"To clarify, I'm not a 'Both'." one corrected, but still with a smile. "Though you are correct. Every Dalacari forms within one womb."

"Next question?" the other twin fielded. She was having *FUN* with this.

"What's the sex like?" Zeti blurted out, sometimes her filter needed a little work. It was an intimate topic, and while she knew that she couldn't stop herself before asking the question.

"I find it depends on the proficiency of the partner." Mel replied. As always, one twin fielded the question while the other maintained a casual eye contact with the group.

"That's a nondescript answer, but I'll not push," Zeti held up her hands and looked between the twins. "You're race seems fascinating, although I'd want to learn more about your drone technology."

The pair gave Zeti a smile each, but were silent for just a moment before she moved onto the next bit, "Why thank you. I'm finding life outside the Republic to be rather interesting as well. As for the drone technology, I can probably share the basics, but I'd need a few more..."

"...approvals before discussing the more advanced technologies, especially the Thinking Engine."

"I would like that," Zeti's eyes brightened, her mind already spinning about what a "Thinking Engine" could be. Her own extensive work on hologram AI's with Khelev had her beyond curious.

Mel noted the change in expression, "Are you familiar with the sciences of Virtual Intelligence programming?" she asked. It didn't sound like a challenge or an insult, but rather an honest curiosity.

"Quite, I was mentored by one of the engineers that piloted the artificial intelligence programming behind Emmah's programming. He'd studied voyager's doctor at length and worked to recreate that spark," Zeti replied.

The pair gave a nod. Obviously impressed. "Once the current assignment is complete, with the Captain's permission and the approval of the Republic Virtual Intellect Commission, I'll see what I can divulge."

"We can discuss the particulars once I know, exactly, which particulars I'd be allowed to discuss."

"Of course, thank you," Zeti nodded, turning back to David expectantly.

"Right..." David shook his head as he finally plopped down in his chair and rubbed his facial hair as he looked from face to face. When his gaze landed on Kavi, he could tell she was still speechless. When she came out of that, he felt that deep down, the two of them would be coming up with some way to mess with the twins before them. "So hypothetically, twins marry the same twin set souled... body... whatever. And impregnate the two bodies at the same time. Is that link across both twin bodies?" Hawkins paused noticing that people were starting to question his own words. "What? it was a question... I'm a former marine fighter pilot. What do you all expect from me?"

Something about what David said struck a chord with Mel. "First off, I want to say that I admire your courage in your previous field." one started, "To willingly put yourself in danger like that."

"Dalacari prize safety above everything else, for reasons you can probably imagine. Our defensive technology is leagues ahead of our offensive capacity, and to ensure that our population..."

" safe we do actually have a standing military. Ground troops, fighter craft, mobile artillery, we have most of what other races consider an Active Military. Except we don't use..." the pair conversed with David on a One on One on One basis.

"... Dalacari troops, we field drones. About two hundred years ago we perfected the technology that allows our drone troopers to operate at a comfortable mix of autonomy and efficiency, balanced..."

"... with obedience. We still have Dalacari in the military, like myself. I was a drone controller for two years. I just wanted to say, we hide behind our drones while you dive in personally."

"I respect that."

Then there was a pause, either to let that moment settle in, or to parse the actual question itself. "Only one Dalacari in a pairing becomes pregnant. It's really the only time that there's a difference between the forms of any Dalacari."

"Mom said it was weird, but it helps being able to tend to most of your needs. A good feeling of independence." the speaking twin gave a nod at that, to add punctuation to the point. "There are still a few issues that would require..."

"... an outsider for assistance during pregnancy, hell even during day to day life." a pause, "So I hope that addressed your question. And please, don't feel awkward about asking." she reassured David, and by extension the others while her twin continued. "You've never met a Dalacari before, so it's normal to ask a million questions. Hell, the first time I met Singular life, I was concerned for the lot of you."

"... oook..." the captain nodded as he waved it off still trying to understand it. It was a very interesting thought, but he felt that there was more than what was on the surface. He knew that they... or her ... whatever... was a new species. But he wasn't the exploration type. He was a protector at heart. So he needed to remind himself of such differences. Only time would tell.

"Alrighty, thank you, Mrs. Torma for meeting with us. I want you to get to know your new supervisor, Lieutenant Nabohn, and we will have you part of the senior staff meetings as well, so you can get to know our processes on this ship and Starfleet. Sound good for everybody?" David asked everyone around the room.

Mercia looked over at David, an evil smirk crossing her features. He caught her eye and he knew she had something in mind to mess with the woman before them.

"We get along just fine in our singular bodies, infact I find it less confusing. I'm a twin myself, but we have our own minds, own bodies, and..." Mercia paused. With the mental bridge COIL had forced upon them, Tali was always confused as to who she was, Tali or Mercia. Maybe Tali had an idea what it was like to have two bodies... she already dealt with two minds.

Mercia shook her head, putting that aside, "And no doubt we will have a lot more questions for you gals." she said standing up then looked at Mel, "We are glad to have you here, truly. And we look forward to working with you, and learning from you, and helping you grow your careers... career... whatever."

"I didn't mean it as an insult. Oh Dia I must sound so speciesist." Mel backtracked slightly, "I'm sorry, I meant no insult or disrespect. We have a ... a condition. When one of our physical..."

"... forms is, is killed or dies and leaves a survivor form..." it was obvious that this, of all topics, was a bit touchy. "It's called being Single. It's devastating to us. The average Dalacari breaks down mentally and either..."

"...seeks suicide, or becomes a sociopathic monster. When our people first heard of your Federation and saw the people within it, we enjoyed the diversity and the various cultures it offered but..."

" first we couldn't look past the fact that you were all, well, Single. It delayed our desire to contact you by quite a while. So, that being said, I didn't mean to imply anything negative..."

"...but I can't help but feel that I did. For that, I'm sorry." a pause, "And as for any questions, please, we're all here to learn and discover."

At Mercia's kind words, both forms smiled wide, "Thank you, I can't wait to get to know you all and work with you for the betterment of all our peoples, advancing careers and societies alike."

Mercia looked between the two, her mouth opening slightly, before she smirked, "You always ramble on this much?" she teased.

"I have a hard time gauging the ending point of official discussions. To be honest, I'm treating this as an educational lecture." Mel responded. "Wait, that was a serious question, yes?"

"yes it was." Mercia smirked.

Lixor nodded, "it will be a pleasure working with you Lieutenant. When you have settled in we will be happy to have you in the science department."

Mel gave a pair of nods at that welcoming thought, "Thank you. I'll be settled in now that my quarters are properly arranged and furnished. It wasn't anything terrible, just a miscommunication in the request. It was handled." a pause, "Quite professionally I might add."

"Alright!" David raised his hand up in the air. "We still have a borg threat to consider. So while you all are picking the new arrival's brain, we could be getting a little more closer to being prepared for this threat. So you are all dismissed."

/// OFF ///

Captain David Hawkins
Commanding Officer
U.S.S. Gladiator - A


Lieutenant Lixor Nabohn
Chief Science Officer
USS Gladiator


Lieutenant JG Mel Torma
Assistant Science Officer (Exch.)
USS Gladiator


Commander Mercia Kavi
Executive Office
USS Gladiator


Lieutenant Commander Halan Zeti
Chief Engineering Officer
USS Gladiator


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