Star Trek: Defiant

"And All the Gods Have Their Place" - Part One

Written by Paulos Danorium

Deep within the starship Defiant Ry Emeras was studying an ancient religion text from Earth. As the computer scrolled the information across the screen the Bajoran woman nodded. She muttered softly to herself, "Humans do have many religious traditions of gods and goddesses, I wonder why so many deny their religious past." She raised her voice slightly, "Computer display information regarding the pantheon of Scandinavian deities and compare with the myths of the Ancient Greeks."

As she spoke those words the vibrations of the universe shook a small bit of matter that happened to be floating by the great starship. The little bit of matter noted the interest and decided to seek satisfaction for its own growing urgency. It slipped through the shields unnoticed and began its own little study.

* * *

Paulos sat down uneasily, trying to find support for his sore shoulders and neck. "I think I over did it a little this afternoon." He had to force his body to relax in order to gain a little comfort.

Emil came up behind him and began massaging the overworked muscles, "Does this help?" His touch was gentle, but it felt wonderful to Paulos. "Can I watch you when you tumble next time? I love to watch you move."

Paulos laughed. "Sure, but if I do anything embarrassing you have to promise not to tell anyone." He sighed with pleasure as his body relaxed under the Betazoid's talented fingers.

Emil stopped suddenly. "I have to go to sickbay. I think I forgot my PADD there when I had my physical this morning. Do you mind? I'll only be gone for a little while and then we could have dinner." He moved around the chair to face the El-Aurian, but Paulos was already beginning to rise.

"Why don't I go with you?" The two men proceeded towards sickbay holding hands. As they approached the medical area of the ship Emil suddenly tripped and fell to his knees as Paulos heard a child laughing. As he helped the Betazoid stand he looked around to see who had laughed, but there was no one else in the hallway.

* * *

He set the files back on his desk and stood to welcome the visitor to his office, trying not to make any sudden moves. "Come in Ensign Tyrrel. What can I do for you?" Paulos tried to keep his voice soft. Even though she had not been harmed by him personally, she had been seriously injured by his counterpart in the Mirror Universe. The friendship they might develop, if it were possible at all, would always be shadowed by the experiences she had on the I.S.S. Defiant. Even as she now stood in his office her anxiety was apparent in her stance and manner.

"I don't want to disturb you, but as another telepath... I was wondering if you had been hearing things. Things like children laughing when no one else is around." She glanced at him, but only for a few seconds.

"Yes!" He stood a little straighter. "Emil and I both have heard a child laughing. You have also then?" She nodded slightly. "Then we are not imagining it. Someone is laughing, maybe an untrained telepath is on board. We'll have to find them."

Just then a giggle interrupted them. Both officers jumped, but the sound was gone almost as soon as it has started. Paulos took the opportunity to change the subject.

"Tyrrel, I've been meaning to ask; have you talked to anyone about what happened in the mirror universe? I understand that it would be uncomfortable for you to discuss that with me, but you need to face it in order to heal. Maybe Rael could help you. She is a very good listener."

"I'll take that under advisement Counselor." She turned quickly and left without another word. Paulos sighed and started looking through the files once more.

* * *

Lt. Commander Miriah Wolfram leaned across the table and whispered conspiratorily, "You should have been on the bridge. It was so funny! When the Captain sat down- PBBBLT! I could have died! He is trying to find out who put the," she turned to Lebin, " What did Mak call it?"

Lebin smiled, "A whoopee cushion," he laughed as Myah continued.

"Yeah, that's it. I'd hate to be the one who is responsible when they get caught. Captain Bridges was really mad." She laughed again, "But it was really funny!"

Paulos nodded, a little more serious than the others. "I agree that it would not be a good thing to be that person, though I am also sure that Captain Bridges was more embarrassed than angry. I wonder who would do such a thing on ther bridge on the ship. I thought that everyone had such honor and respect for the Captain."

Lebin was quick to respond. "Oh, we do, but sometimes a tension breaker like that practical joke is needed to break the monotony of bridge duty."

"I suppose so..." Paulos shook his head, but left it at that.

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