Season One: Shadows of the Past

We introduce the station and its crew. Problems with the Maelstrom abound, a conspiracy unfolds, and the crew begins to realize something is rotten in the state of Antares.

These are summaries only, and are missing a lot of detail; please read the full episode if you wish the full story.

Episode One
Episode Two
Episode Three
Episode Four

Episode One: The Price of Freedom, Part One

What a stupendous, what an incomprehensible machine is man! Who can endure toil, famine, stripes, imprisonment and death itself in vindication of his own liberty, and the next moment . . . inflict on his fellow men a bondage, one hour of which is fraught with more misery than ages of that which he rose in rebellion to oppose.
--Thomas Jefferson

Captain Hawkins and Commander Solvek say goodbye to the USS Akagi, handing her over to Captain John Arbor. Their arrival on the station is greeted by Commander Rose Ames (Second Officer), Lt. Commander Robyn Tremar (Chief Engineer), and Lieutenant Katherine Alexandria (Science Officer). Alexandria and Tremar give Solvek a tour of the station while Hawkins takes a communication from Starfleet Command. Hawkins then calls Alexandria and Solvek to her office. She sends Solvek off to meet a new crewmember and promotes Alexandria to Chief Science Officer. The new crewmember tursn out to be Lieutenant T'Lyt, Solvek's sister. They catch up, and Solvek introduces T'Lyt to Captain Hawkins.

A couple of days later, T'Lyt and Alexandria have a chat in Operations. Around the same time, Hawkins and Solvek go to the Officer's Lounge for breakfast--a long-standing tradition. There they meet Commander Katheran Omtala, the station's Chief Medical Officer. The three have a nice breakfast, and then Hawkins and Solvek leave to go on duty. On their way to the turbolift they discuss the loss of Solvek's wife, T'Mar, during the war.

We soon see another quiet night in Operations, where Lt. Commander Koram, the Chief Operations Officer, meets his new Assistant Chief--Lieutenant T'Lyt. The two chat, and see an odd outburst from Alexandria. A few days later the crew is in Operations once again, having a discussion about logic and intuition, when a pair of explosions rock the station. Omtala goes to Deck 37 to survey the damage, and the senior staff meets in the Observation Lounge to discuss the situation. The explosion in the docking bay ripped the USS Cambric from her moorings, the Antarean Embassy on Deck 37 was destroyed by the other explosion, and altogether there were nearly 400 injured and 200 dead, including the Antarean Ambassador.

The mood lightens as Ensign Bellows, an engineering officer, checks the environmental systems to be sure they're not damaged. The new officer tests various things until he accidentally changes the gravity settings--for the entire station. Commander Solvek comes along to show him how it's done.

T'Lyt brings Captain Hawkins and Lt. Commander Volchenkov, Chief of Security, to her office to report on her findings regarding the investigation. Though she found no trace in the sensor logs of the explosive, and no evidence that the sensor logs had been altered, they do discover that two pieces of equipment recently installed in the areas where the explosions occurred, did not meet expected mass ratios. There was no record of those two parts entering the station, and the serial numbers match numbers in equipment destroyed at Starbase 47 two years prior. This leads them to believe that someone used some material to shield the bombs from sensors, hiding them in the pieces of communications equipment.

The Captain oversees an emotional memorial service for the officers and civilians killed in the bombings. She reminds the assembled that there are always risks when one serves in Starfleet, and those that died had not died in vain. After this, the crew moves to the Officer's Lounge for a wake. Lieutenant J.G. Brooks, Science Officer, steps forward to speak about a friend that died, and Koram tells the crew about a Bajoran custom to honor the dead. Alexandria faces down a nasty science officer and winds up promoting Brooks to General Science Supervisor in her place. As the wake continues Brooks, Solvek, and Hawkins chat with Ed Danley, a local civilian, and it seems that maybe there's something going on between Brooks and Solvek, but when he asks her to stay and talk to him further at the end of the night, she panics and flees. We close the episode on a rather depressing note, as Commander Solvek regrets having tried to be sociable under the influence of Vulcan brandy.

Episode Two: The Price of Freedom, Part Two

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
--Wendell Phillips

Commander Solvek misses breakfast the morning after the wake, instead waiting in the Ready Room for Captain Hawkins in order to deliver a report on the rate of drift of the Antares Maelstrom. Hawkins chastises him, and gets down to the bottom of his foul mood--the fact that Lieutenant Brooks ran away from him the night before. She encourages him to go talk to her, and they continue with their work for the day.

Down in the Area 51 bar, it's Margarita Thursday! Ed Danley makes margaritas which only Brooks will drink; he offends Lieutenant T'Lyt by asking about her brother's odd behavior the night before. After she leaves, Danley and Brooks discuss Solvek's behavior, with Brooks defending him somewhat, and Danley reveals a distrust of people. Then Solvek arrives and apologizes to Brooks for what happened, and they agree to meet in the Officer's Lounge the next night to talk about some equations Brooks would like Solvek to look over.

A couple of days later, Admiral Lara Church pulls strings to get a shuttle bearing her and her son onto Starbase 247 despite the fact that the station is locked down by order of Captain Hawkins. The Admiral's son is Lt. Commander Thomas Church, a new diplomatic officer who's none-too-pleased with his mother's behavior. Vice Admiral Alison Crawford meets them both, and after Admiral Church leaves, Crawford guides her son to go meet Captain Hawkins.

Church finds Hawkins on Deck 31, in the Gardens. He discovers that he's met her before--as Gwen Abrams, a civilian trader. When Church asks why she left without saying goodbye and hasn't been in contact for 11 years, Hawkins reveals that she was an undercover Starfleet Intelligence officer at the time. He becomes upset and leaves, going to see his office on Deck 37. He finds the place in shambles, and, realizing what Hawkins is going through right now, returns to her quarters with flowers and chocolates to try to make up. Hawkins tells Church that she was engaged to be married a year ago, but her fiance, Jason Rimes, died during the war. Because of this, and the fact that Hawkins doesn't think Church truly knows her, she doesn't think a relationship will work. He convinces her that it will, and they pick up where they left off.

While Hawkins talks to the Antarean President regarding the investigation into the bombings, a distress call comes in from the SS Freedom's Star, a civilian freighter that's under attack by Ferengi pirates. Solvek takes a crew on the USS Andalucia out to rescue the freighter. When they arrive the Ferengi have already taken control, but there's no sign of their ship. Brooks figures out that the Ferengi ship is likely cloaked and finds it, allowing T'Lyt to target the D'Kora-class ship that was about to attack them. While Solvek talks to the Ferengi on the viewscreen, Bellows figures out the D'Kora's shield frequency by reading the lips of an officer standing behind the Ferengi daimon, Smeet. This allows the crew to transport the prisoners the Ferengi had taken to safety, while also disabling the Ferengi vessel. The Ferengi are taken into custody and their ship towed back to the base.

Volchenkov gives a report to Hawkins and Commander Ames regarding the bombings. He reports that shards of ultranium were found at the Antarean Embassy explosion site. Ultranium is a controlled substance, a lead isotope that will shield anything it covers from sensor detection. He also reports on possible suspects. Not long after, while Koram and Brooks have a discussion in Operations, there is an explosion in Area 51. No one is hurt, but it's rather suspicious.

The next morning, Brooks is in Science Lab One, overseeing her shift, when two Antarean officers enter. Lieutenant Harleugh is a security officer and Lieutenant Man'Gath is an engineer supposedly sent to run a scan on the door. Harleugh reveals that he is carrying explosives and a tense hostage situation ensues. Brooks gets in touch with Hawkins and Harleugh makes demands that Starfleet immediately withdraw from Antares. Man'Gath puts up a forcefield around the Science Lab. Church is sent to negotiate while the other officers try to circumvent the bombers. When the officers try to take down the forcefield, Harleugh panics and shoots Brooks. After this, Man'Gath says that every time the Captain tries to circumvent them they will kill one hostage. As Church tries to negotiate, Man'Gath prepares to kill Brooks; Ensign Quaker gets in the way and is killed instead. The officers in Operations manage to lower the forcefield and Church gets into the Lab while Koram beams out most of the hostages. Harleugh grabs Brooks and threatens to kill her again; Brooks elbows him in the gut, allowing Church to attack him. Harleugh sets the bomb to go off as he struggles with Church. After subduing Harleugh, Church disarms the bomb.

Brooks is rushed to Sickbay, where Doctor Omtala is waiting. Solvek also arrives, and offers his expertise as a medical doctor. Omtala proves quite capable of dealing with the phaser burn, but asks that Solvek help sedate Brooks. He does so wtih a nerve pinch, reluctantly.

Hawkins and Volchenkov interrogate the prisoners. After rhetoric regarding the Federation "corrupting" Antarean culture, Harleugh and Man'Gath are about to reveal who was truly behind the bombings when they both suddenly fall to the floor of their cells, dead. A little while later Hawkins meets with Crawford in her quarters; they discuss the recent events and the price they must pay for the freedom of the Federation--unending, eternal vigilance against those who would threaten that freedom.

Episode Three: Those Who Come After

It is our task in our time and in our generation, to hand down undiminished to those who come after us, as was handed down to us by those who went before, the natural wealth and beauty which is ours.
--John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Commander Ames and Lt. Commander Church greet the new Antarean Ambassador, G'Mar Katsulok. The Ambassador insists on having an Antarean doctor at the autopsies of the bombing suspects, and the officers agree.

The morning after the hostage situation, Doctor Omtala and Commander Solvek are in Sickbay, discussing the events of the night before. Lieutenant Brooks wakes and Omtala lets her out of Sickbay--to two days of medical leave. Brooks spends much of this in her quarters until Solvek comes to visit her. They discuss their friendship when Lieutenant Alexandria shows up with home-baked muffins for her officer. Brooks accepts gladly but Alexandria seems uncomfortable in Solvek's presence. When Brooks offers to take them all to try enchiladas (even offering a vegetarian option to the Vulcan), Alexandria declines, leaving Solvek and Brooks to have lunch on their own.

Omtala conducts the autopsy of Harleugh and Man'Gath under the eye of Lt. Commander Volchenkov and Dr. Granith, the Antarean sent by Ambassador G'Mar. She discovers Borg-style implants at the base of each skull, and orders that the findings be classified. She then goes to tell Hawkins, who seems worried.

Later, in the Officer's Lounge, a new science officer makes herself known--Ensign Jordan Andrews. She reveals that she is the great-great-granddaughter of Commander Ames, who was brought forward in time on the USS Bozeman. Ames becomes uncomfortable and leaves, as does Andrews. Danley and Hawkins have a discussion with the new Chief Counselor, Lt. Commander Salvir, about Section 31. After Danley leaves, Hawkins tells Salvir about the death of Solvek's wife, T'Mar, as well as their unborn child, during the war. Salvir promises to look into helping Solvek.

Hawkins calls Ames and Solvek to her office, where she reveals to them the existence not only of Section 31, but of a cabal formed a century ago by Captain Kirk to stop them. Hawkins herself is a member of that cabal, as is Admiral Crawford, and that is why they are on Starbase 247. The Kirk Cabal has learned that Section 31 is stepping up its activities in this area, and they want to know why. Once Ames leaves, Hawkins apologizes for not telling Solvek about this sooner, and Solvek becomes drafted into the cabal.

Brooks and Solvek meet in the Officer's Lounge, as they have been doing for weeks now. Brooks is on-edge and asks about Vulcan meditation techniques. When T'Lyt arrives both she and her brother tell Brooks that such teachings take years to master. Disappointed, Brooks talks about her costume for the upcoming Masquerade Ball, and discovers that the costume the Captain suggested may have been a ruse to get Solvek to notice her at the ball. Upset, she leaves, but Solvek follows. He confronts her on the Walkway regarding her troubles when dealing with him, and she takes him to her quarters to talk about the matter.

Brooks reveals that during her cadet cruise, her ship crashed on Menora IV. Unfortunately the city near which it crashed was inhabited by violent cannibals, and much of the crew were killed, enslaved, or eaten. Brooks herself was the only survivor, after killing her boyfriend by accident, being captured, escaping, and living in the desert for months. She was rescued by Starfleet but has not been the same since. Solvek offers to help with a mind-meld. During the meld it becomes clear that Brooks is falling in love with Solvek, and the two reveal their pasts to each other--Solvek's troubles as a young half-Human/half-Vulcan, his deep friendship with Captain Hawkins, and the devastating loss of his wife. Brooks shows Solvek her life, including the cadet cruise. Solvek manages to hide one thing from her, and tells her that he does not return her feelings, though he cares for her. He gives her knowledge of techniques to help calm her emotions and breaks the meld. Brooks, upset at the thought that this man that she loves does not feel the same for her, tells Solvek she won't be attending the ball. Solvek, despite all he said before, asks her to go to the ball before he leaves.

Solvek calls Hawkins to his quarters, where he is meditating, trying to clear his mind to understand why he mind-melded with Brooks. Hawkins talks to him frankly and, after some discussion, helps him to realize that perhaps he does have feelings for the science officer that he hasn't been willing to admit.

The Masquerade Ball is held in honor of Ambassador G'Mar Katsulok. Most officers arrive in costume, and there is much socializing before Admiral Crawford arrives to formally give condolences from the Federation Council and Starfleet Command on the losses in the Antarean Embassy. G'Mar oversees a costume contest and chooses Alexandria, who came as a hydrogen atom, as the winner. A mis-routed call to Admiral Crawford inadvertently reveals that Starfleet Command is insisting that the investigation into the bombings be turned over to them. This sends G'Mar into an uproar, which Crawford, Hawkins, Church, and Lt. Commander L'Treaux manage to quell. They chat with the Ambassador about Human culture, which he finds fascinating.

After this, Solvek, dressed as Zorro, asks Brooks, dressed as a valkyrie, to dance the tango. She agrees, having no idea who he is. As the others watch, they perform a fine dance; when the dance is over Solvek kisses Brooks and reveals who he is. Upset, Brooks tries to leave, thinking Solvek is toying with her. He tells her he is not and asks to talk to her further. They step out and talk, and Solvek reveals that he has feelings for Brooks and would like to pursue a relationship. When they return, they chat with the other officers, Hawkins informs Brooks that they'll have to be friends now, and Solvek threatens to hurt Church if he hurts Hawkins--and he's not very clear on whether that's a joke. After the others leave, Solvek and Brooks dance again, this time openly as themselves, and Solvek calls Brooks by her nickname "Fred" for the first time.

In an attempt to keep the chips from going to people they do not trust, Solvek collects the Borg circuits from Volchenkov and Omtala. He uses a physical as an excuse to talk to Omtala about the matter, and as she conducts said physical she makes a surprising finding: Solvek is about to go through Human puberty, despite being 57 years old. He is startled by this revelation, and worried, though Omtala tells him there shouldn't be any problems.

Solvek takes a crew including Lt. Commander Tremar, Lieutenant Brooks, and Ensign Andrews, on an away mission to take samples from the Maelstrom. Andrews is flying and nudges the shuttle deeper into the Maelstrom than is safe. The crew falls from the radiation belt into the energy belt, a dangerous area of "lightning strikes." One of these hits the shuttle, disabling most power and knocking Solvek and Tremar unconscious. Brooks administers first aid and sends a distress call while Andrews tries to get the shuttle back out of the Maelstrom.

Half an hour later, Brooks and Andrews are about to greet their rescuers, the Queen Mary, a civilian cargo ship. They come across a strange object, however; unable to stop their shuttle from drifting, it seems they'll collide with said object. Brooks frantically takes scans while Andrews tries to get the shuttle away. At the last moment, the object repels the shuttle with a strange beam, flinging the shuttle from the Maelstrom. They are then towed in by the Queen Mary.

When the shuttle returns, Tremar seems fine but Solvek is still badly injured. Brooks worries while Andrews tries to tell the Captain things were her fault. Hawkins sends Brooks and Andrews with Alexandria to look over the data while Tremar and an engineering team look over the shuttle. An Operations officer, Bunni Aventino, is introduced, and Lieutenant Aventino also gets to work on fixing the shuttle.

Down in the Science Lab, the science officers look over the data, and find the object very puzzling. Alexandria pulls Brooks aside and removes her from the General Science Supervisor position, claiming that Brooks has been neglecting projects. She puts Brooks in charge of the Maelstrom Project, however, and also assigns Andrews to that team. After this, Brooks goes to Sickbay, to receive treatment for radiation poisoning and look in on Solvek. Doctor Omtala treats his burns and treats them both for radiation exposure and then helps Solvek out of his healing trance. Brooks stays in Sickbay with Solvek, as she'll need more bloodwork done in two hours anyhow, and they discuss their relationship further.

Jordan Andrews doesn't make it to Sickbay in time, instead going to talk to Commander Ames. She's worried about her career, but clearly her priorities are off--she vomits and then collapses on the floor of Ames' office. Ames carries Andrews down to Sickbay herself.

Around the same time, Hawkins visits Solvek in Sickbay. They discuss his budding relationship with Brooks, and Hawkins gives him some advice. Andrews is brought in, though Ames doesn't follow, and she is put in an isolab.

In the meantime, Brooks, having slept in Sickbay all night, heads to Area 51 for some relaxation. There she meets Tremar and Aventino, who are enjoying buffalo wings. She trades a wing for one of the tacos she orders, nad she and Aventino wind up taking tequila shots. Brooks ruminates about her confusion over Solvek; Aventino, likely in an attempt to help Brooks relax (or perhaps out of more carnal motives) offers to do body shots with the science officer. Brooks agrees, and Danley walks in on them doing this. He calls Omtala down to Area 51, worried that Brooks is possessed. It so happens that Omtala was with Alexandria at the time. Though the Doctor clearly thinks there's nothing wrong, Alexandria disapproves and tells Brooks so. Brooks, being quite drunk, tells off her superior. After Alexandria and Aventino leaves, Danley carries Brooks up to Sickbay.

Up in Sickbay, Solvek is defending Brooks to Omtala, telling the doctor that Brooks is not pining over him but rather relaxing, as their relationship is going well, and that Brooks does not need lecturing. He apologizes, realizing the outburst is coming from his "puberty." When Danley arrives with Brooks in his arms Solvek becomes angry again and Omtala gives Brooks something to sober up. Danley reveals that he has acquired a copy of a Risa holodeck program made by a friend of Brooks' in the Academy. Brooks becomes angry and yells at Danley; he leaves at Solvek's suggestion. Hawkins leaves as well, and Solvek explains to Brooks that his feelings for her didn't change between the mind-meld and the ball--they were there, but buried. Brooks gives him a kiss and then starts going over the data from the away mission.

Ames comes to visit Andrews in Sickbay the next day. They discuss Ames, experience on the USS Bozeman, Andrews' idolization of Ames and her theories about temporal mechanics. Andrews says that she took the shuttle deeper into the Maelstrom in an attempt to prove he theories about it, and while she is disappointed that she was wrong, Ames reassures her that she may yet be right.

Church is getting desperate; he can't convince G'Mar to get his government to agree to hand over the bombing evidence, and time is growing short. He recruits Brooks and Aventino to help, and takes G'Mar to Area 51. Over pool and drinks, they convince him--though it's largely G'Mar's interest in Aventino that does so. Aventino, Church, and Brooks all strike up further friendship from this.

The next morning, Aventino and Brooks meet in the turbolift and talk about wthe night before. Brooks seems in a bad mood as they both head for the Officer's Lounge, and it can be quickly seen that this is because of Solvek. Evidently the First Officer, who has been released from Sickbay, forgot about a date they had made. Solvek, who is in the Lounge, introduces himself to Aventino and apologizes to Brooks. Aventino leaves and Solvek reveals his "puberty" to Brooks who, while worried at first, ultimately decides she can handle the thought. They confirm the status of their relationship and go for a walk in the garden.

The senior staff meet in the Observation Lounge. Solvek is finally returning to duty, and the various departments report. Brooks gives a report on the recent trip to the Maelstrom, and also reveals that the Maelstrom is drifting off its usual course and is likely to arrive in the system by the end of the year. Hawkins orders an evacuation planned, and Aventino is given a project to create shielding that can withstand the Maelstrom--the Origen project. Admiral Crawford interrupts the meeting to inform the Captain that the Queen Mary, which was carrying the bombing evidence back to Starfleet, was lost with all hands.

After the meeting, Aventino and Brooks meet in Aventino's quarters. Over more tequila the discuss the Queen Mary situation and Aventino gives Brooks relationship and sexual advice. Leaving Aventino asleep on her couch, a very drunk Brooks runs into Solvek in the hallway. She kisses him, and while he lets her at first, he pushes her away. Brooks runs into her quarters and Solvek chimes the door, getting her to talk to him. She's taken a hypo to sober up, and they discuss Solvek's worries that this "puberty" will lead him to push Brooks too far--being quite aware that Brooks has troubles with sexual relationships due to her past. Brooks assures him that his physical reactions to her are normal, and that unless he's sick he can control himself--and if he's sick she can always call medical. He puts her to bed and, just before he leaves, Brooks says she loves Solvek--and Solvek implies that he might be thinking of their relationship as very long-term.

Episode Four: What Lies Beneath

The sky hides the night behind it, and shelters the people beneath from the horror above.
--Paul Bowles

Salvir and Solvek enjoy a game of 3D chess in the Officer's Lounge. While they play, Danley comes in and sits down to watch their game. He gives Solvek his copy of the Risan holoprogram mentioned in the last episode. Solvek asks for Danley to change the program to include a message from him, which Solvek can then send back to Lisa Meadows, the original creator of the program. It's clear that Solvek is upset that a program that upsets Brooks so much is floating about.

In the meantime, Brooks and Aventino are in the cargo bay, receiving a shipment from the USS Montgomery. The artifacts were picked up on a planet known as Lacune, and have been sent to 247 for further study. Brooks opens one of the crates after they're transported over and pulls out a large silver eye. Aventino also holds the eye for a time and then begins acting odd, heading off out of the cargo bay.

Back in the Lounge, Aventino arrives just after Danley and Solvek finish their conversation. Aventino sits in Solvek's lap, which he protests. Aventino (still singing her odd song) gets up--but not until after Brooks has already walked in. Solvek diffuses any possible problems with a strangely carefree attitude; after telling Danley that Hawkins was once Starfleet Intelligence, he takes Brooks to buy lingerie (even kissing her in the middle of the Promenade), only cementing his odd behavior.

Aventino has gone to tell Ambassador G'Mar about the destruction of the Queen Mary. She's very forward the entire time, as she tels him about Admiral Church's possible involvement, and they end up in bed together.

While all of this odd behavior is going on, Hawkins is waiting for Solvek to meet her in her quarters. Danley shows up instead, accusing Hawkins of working for Section 31. They talk, and Danley discovers that Hawkins is not Section 31 at all, simply former (current?) Intelligence. Aventino comes in during the conversation, they discuss Brooks' attitude and the artifacts brought in by the Montgomery. Aventino leaves--still acting oddly--and some time later Solvek finally arrives.

After profuse apologies, Hawkins suggests that perhaps Solvek is too embroiled in his "puberty" and his new relationship to proper enter the Cabal. Solvek suggests that he might propose to Brooks--which shocks Hawkins--and finds out that Hawkins is jealous of the other woman. Not for romantic reasons, but for their closeness. Solvek offers to mind-meld with Hawkins, and she accepts.

We see Solvek's mind again--which is missing the Human encased in ice that Brooks saw--and also Hawkins'. Solvek sees her devotion to duty, her love for those she cares about, self-loathing for the things she did as Intelligence. Beyond that, he sees that what drives Hawkins is a dedication to the Federation, and the sense that other Starfleet Captains--perhaps all the Captains that have ever been--are watching her. Most especially, James Kirk and Alison Crawford. Solvek appears as a Human in Vulcan robes again, Hawkins as a Starfleet cadet. They discuss their friendship, and then the meld is done.

Salvir and Solvek meet in the Officer's Lounge again, and Solvek's odd behavior continues. They discuss the holoprogram, morning drinks, and Human lingerie. Around the same time, Omtala is in Sickbay when a patient comes in showing evidence of psionic powers. After touching him, she, too, begins to act oddly.

Solvek and Brooks meet for dinner in the open-air restaurant--Solvek in a three-piece suit, Brooks in a Chinese qipao. This becomes a topic of dinner conversation, as Brooks explains why her ordering the Peking duck does not really jibe with her dress, a short diversion into Chinese history. Solvek, oddly enough, orders fish, despite having been a vegetarian until now. After dinner, the two take a walk in the rose garden and Solvek proposes. While Brooks is flustered at first, she eventually says yes. The two return to Solvek's quarters, where he has laid out the outfit purchased earlier. Brooks changes into this outfit, Solvek reveals that his first wife was very emotionally distant, and then the two begin to consummate their relationship. As Brooks removes her top, it can be seen that her stomach, breasts, and back are covered in fine scars--the result of something so damaging that even dermal regeneration could not repair the skin. Solvek asks where the scars came from, and Brooks goes into a flashback, which Solvek brings her out of using neuropressure. Brooks suddenly begs Solvek to meld with her while they have sex, and he agrees to before the scene fades to black.

The next morning, Danley's in the gym working out when Aventino and a very happy Brooks enter. Brooks reveals that she's engaged (though Danley briefly thinks she's pregnant), and then Aventino proceeds to beat Danley in a sparring match. After, in the sauna, Danley and Aventino talk about Danley's past and his dead wife.

The weekly Senior Staff Meeting becomes a complete disaster soon after. Solvek and Omtala are acting oddly enough that they're putting their feet up on the table, and when Solvek reveals he's engaged, his sister T'Lyt becomes very stoic and confronts Brooks with "The Rite of the Matriarch," a ritual over which T'Lyt will preside that will allow Brooks entrance to the family. Omtala seems annoyed at this--but then Danley calls from the Shuttlebay to inform the staff that there's a strange party going on there. After the rest of the staff leave, Solvek and Brooks decide to use the Observation Lounge table for a "quickie" before the meeting resumes.

T'Lyt shuts down the party, but while she wants to throw everyone in the brig, Hawkins insists that some of the revelers be let go. It turns out that Aventino started the "rave," and Ambassador G'Mar was part of it as well. He goes to the brig for the night while she gets sent to Sickbay. Danley comes to check on her and apologizes for breaking up her party.

Later on, Danley and Aventino meet in the holodeck. After a chat, they go to Danley's quarters so he can change out of his Batman costume, and he comes out of the bedroom with no shirt on. Aventino becomes very clingy and needy, and after telling her to wait in the bedroom, Danley bolts.

The next day, Aventino asks Hawkins for medical leave and it is granted. Aventino also asks Gwen to talk to Danley for her. After this, Brooks drops by Aventino's quarters and they discuss Danley--just as he decides to drop by. He tries to apologize, but Bunni won't really let him. After he leaves, Brooks begins to figure out what might be going on, but as she's talking, Aventino begins to act needy again, this time going after Brooks. Solvek and Danley come in just as Aventino is telling Brooks she'll die if she can't touch the other woman, and Solvek nerve pinches Aventino. They all go to Sickbay. Hawkins meets them there, and when another crewman, Reinhart, insults her, Solvek goes berserk. A fight ensues, in which Brooks, Hawkins, and Solvek are all injured before Reinhart is taken down. Solvek is also checked into Sickbay.

(To be finished soon.)