Star Trek: Defiant

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

Written by Paulos Danorium

Captain Bridges looked at each of his officers in trun as they described what humiliating, annoying, or dangerous situations they had been forced into recently. Strangely not everyone had been targeted yet; Bedard, Kliemann, and Danorium, all Commanders, had not been the recipients of this strange humor.

Paulos got the Captain's attention by waving his hand. "Sir, though I have not been...attacked in anyway I have been hearing the laughter that others have described. Also, the first occurrance that we are aware of was against Emil as we were walking to sickbay together. I do not understand why nothing ad happened directly to me, but I have not been unaffected by these events. Ensign Tyrrel and Emil have also heard the laughter when anyone is attacked and I believe that we do because of our telepathic ability. Maybe we could use this to our advatage and have all of the telepaths on the Defiant work together to help catch whoever is doing these pranks."

Bridges nodded thoughtfully, "Yes, that does make sense." He turned to the Security Chief, "Commander matute I want you to see if there is any pattern to these attacks, or jokes. If there is a way we can predict the next victim I want to find it. Danorium, I want you to gather the telepaths on the ship and work something out so that we can be sure that you are hearing the laughter at the smae moment that one of the pranks is being pulled. We need to be certain that it is that and not another seperate probelm needing to be dealt with. Lt. Commander Mak, I would like you to work with Ms. Kadiya to search the security database. If something like what we are experiencing has happened to someone else I want to know about it; if there are such records maybe we can find a way to deal with it and stop these pranks." He snorted softly.

"I would suspect Q, but this is too soon after his last little visit and this doesn't seem to match his style. So let's find out who is doing this so it can be stopped, and remember, we still can't be sure that it isn't one of the crew." He nodded to the assembled officers and they left the conference room quietly.

* * *

It had been a particularily rough day as Counselor for Paulos. It had taken several hours to calm and reassure Midshipman Maren Elias after the veterinarian had found five dead mice in her shower that morning. The young officer was a strong empath and the connection she had with animals was incredibly close. The placement of those small innocent creatures in her quarters was pointedly cruel, especially coupled with the joyful laughter she had been hearing. When Maren was feeling better Paulos decided that he needed to relax for a little while and headed towards 8 Forward to unwind. Emil was supposed to meet hime there.

As he reached the hall in front of the bar he saw a small humanoid kneeling before the double doors. At his approach the humanoid jumped up, revealing itself to be a small blond, blue-eyed human boy. The child looked up at the Deltan and smiled before running off down the hall, and Paulos entered the recreation area.

Lt. Marinus was seated at the bar and Paulos decided to approach him as he waited for Emil to arrive. Marinus was a Betazoid and a telepath as well, and his help would be much appreciated.

"Lieutenant, the Captain has asked me to coordinate the telepaths on the ship in an effort to catch the joker we've been plagued with. Have you been hearing laughter when no one else is nearby?" He sat next to the other officer and ordered a drink.

"Yes, I have. How can I help?" Paulos had to smile at the eagerness expressed in the Betazoid's voice. "I was wondering if I was imagining it after I heard the first stories about the jokes. I thought that I might have been getting paranoid."

"Well, you haven't been imagining it at all. As far as I have been able to find out all telepaths on the ship have been hearing the laughter. What I had thought to do-" The red alert klaxon sounding, making them both jump and cutting him off. Everyone rushed to battle positions and Paulos went to sickbay to offer supprt and to find out what had happened.

* * *

As soon as the red alert was cancelled the senior staff was once again called to a meeting. Chief Engineer Brian Bedard had the floor. He was holding something small, and Paulos could tell that it was making him very nervous. He finally set it on the table and began.

"I found this in Engineering, it was set up to fire on the warp core. It is some type of phaser weapon." He paused to clear his throat. "Though it was on a low setting it would have gotten through the casing and destroyed the ship had it not been noticed." He sat down with some relief as the Captain took over.

"These jokes are becoming more and more serious with each occurrance. We must find the perpetrators before this does result in death. We can thank Bedard's attention to detail for our lives this time, but we can not take the chance that something more devious may be in the works." Captain Bridges frowned, "This isn't just a menace anymore. This is a real danger to the entire ship. We must find out who is responsible and stop them."

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