Part of USS Constellation: Nothing Comes From Being Right and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

Right – 3

The Mindscape of Doctor Marl Trojet
March 2401
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“My mind to your mind. Your thoughts to my thoughts.”

– Tuvok

 


 

Captain’s Log, supplemental:

 

After dashing across the Deneb Sector in search of clues, we have located the architect of the lost fleet’s return.  Doctor Marl Trojet created the artificial wormhole that unleashed the Jem’Hadar from their captivity and they destroyed his starship in recompense.  Comatose and dying, Trojet lies incapable of answering my questions about why he brought forth the lost fleet and what ties may bind him to the Dominion.  My only option is to engage in a psychic rescue operation!  With the assistance of Lieutenant T’Kaal, a Vulcan mind meld will enable me to communicate with Trojet before his body dies and his Trill symbiont must be recovered.  In this manner, I will uncover the identity of any compatriots who can recreate his methods.  Selfishly, I also seek to understand why this experiment drove him to abandon every one of the Federation’s ideals.

 


 

Disoriented and disembodied, Taes could only liken the experience of this mind meld to the sensation of being beamed ship-to-ship at warp speed.  Her own empathic abilities had always proved challenging to put into words; it took better poets than her to describe the depth of emotions she could sense in others.  Accordingly, she expected to feel more of Marl’s being when the meld began, but every facet of his presence proved elusive to her.  In this unity between T’Kaal, Marl Trojet and herself, Taes’ conscious mind interpreted it far more visually than she expected.  Deep inside a psychic hallucination, Taes was walking the path of a muddy roadway and the skies were crying milky raindrops.  

The mindscape of Marl Trojet appeared to her as a city that had been levelled by a disaster on a planetary scale.  Every manufactured structure, as far as she could see, had been destroyed in wind and… ion storms?  Taes didn’t understand how she knew the city had been ravaged by ion storms, but the knowledge bloomed within her.  Just like she knew the rainwater resembled the liquid from the symbiont pools beneath Trill and its colony worlds.

“This is New Tenar,” Taes said, striding along the same path.  “I led a team of archaeologists here after the Century Storm.  It’s a Trill colony.  Could that mean Marl Trojet lived here?  What’s the probability of that?”

In a blink, T’Kaal was walking by Taes’ side.  The placid Vulcan’s face betrayed far more exertion than Taes had ever seen in the young science officer’s presentation.

“Apologies, captain, the statistics escape me at this moment,” T’Kaal answered.  “I must admit, I have never mind melded with a Deltan before.  The experience feels… distinctive.  Remember: in a mind meld the exchange is mutual.  New Tenar is as likely to be from your own memory as from his.  I choose not to speak for Marl Trojet.  I agreed to be your conduit only.  I opened the door for you, but you and he must decide how deeply you will intrude on one another.  Do not look to me for more than this.”

Taes asked, “Then how will I know where to find him?”

When she asked the question, Taes looked to T’Kaal pointedly, but T’Kaal’s form had vanished from the mindscape.  In her place, Kellin Rayco was keeping pace by Taes’ side.  In this interpretation of muddled memory, Kellin was wearing the high-collared uniform of 2400 in security gold.  He waved a tricorder ahead of him.  Looking back at Taes, he waved his tricorder at her vaguely.  Kellin grinned at her in his way which felt like he was pleasantly surprised to find her still by his side.

“We have to move quickly before the rain washes away the tracks,” Kellin said, in answer to Taes’ question.  “The boot treads look familiar, don’t they?  They remind me of the Jem’Hadar.”

“That’s not–” Taes started to say, but then she blurted out, “Could the Jem’Hadar have done all this?  Destroyed New Tenar under the cover of the ion storms?  Trojet would have every reason to hate them.”

“Come on,” Kellin said, tugging Taes in another direction.  “The tracks lead into the caves beneath city hall!”

Breaking into a run, Kellin approached an absurdly dramatic fissure in the roadway.  There was an improbable staircase leading down from the fissure, allowing access to the caves below.  Kellin bounded down the stairs, jumping them two at a time.  Taes chased after him.  No matter how fast she ran, Kellin raced ahead of her, always at risk of slipping out of sight around the descending curves of the spiral staircase.

“Wait!  Kellin, no, this never happened!” Taes called after him.  “I don’t– I’m not supposed to be here.  We have to focus.  We’re looking for Trojet, remember?  Kellin, you have to– I mean, I have to remember or this will all be for naught.”

Reaching the bottom of the staircase, Taes finally caught up to Kellin.  She grasped his shoulder and spun him around to face her.

“Why won’t you answer me?” Taes asked, “Because you’re a Changeling?”

Despite Taes’ firm grip on Kellin’s shoulder, it was Marl Trojet standing before her in Kellin’s Starfleet uniform.

“How could you question me, captain?” Trojet answered, speaking in Kellin’s affable voice.

Grunting out her frustration, Taes insisted, “No, not Kellin.  Doctor Trojet!  You created a thing of wonder and horror.  Your artificial wormhole tore into another wormhole, releasing a fraction of the Dominion’s lost fleet.”

“Did I?” Trojet asked back.  When Trojet replied, he no longer sounded like Kellin.  His voice was deeper than Kellin’s.  It was dark and sticky like ithian nectar.  Looking back at Taes, Trojet’s copper eyes shone with a kind of brilliance she had only ever seen on occasion.  In fact, there was something obscurely familiar about those eyes.

Taes released her grip on Trojet, swinging out her hands to emphasise her frustration.

“For what reason?” Taes asked.

Trojet shrugged as he tossed off a sarcastic reply.  

He said, “To see what would happen?”

Feeling empowered to ignore the nostalgic pull of her surroundings, Taes asked, “Your ship and equipment were all destroyed.  Have you shared your research with anyone else?”

“Who else could ever hope to understand it but me?” Trojet asked her through a sneer.  Laughing at Taes, he rhetorically posed, “You?”

Raising her voice to her most authoritarian timbre, Taes demanded, “Doctor Trojet, are you now or have you ever engaged in communication with the Dominion?”

“Never!” Trojet spat back at her in a performance of disgust.  “You’re only hunting Changelings and collaborators because Yuulik told you Kellin was a Changeling.  You know nothing.  The Changelings have improved their biological deceptions.  Yuulik could be the Changeling given how little you know.  Maybe she murdered Kellin and Flavia.  Go violate her mind instead!”

Stepping back from him, Taes said, “How can you know about the change in the Changelings?”

“I wish I didn’t,” Trojet said.  He put the pads of his fingers against his face in an approximation of a Vulcan mind meld.  “But if you know it, now I know it too.  Just like I know that.

Trojet raised his arm and pointed at an archaic computer core.  A dozen soldiers in Jem’Hadar armour marched up to the computer core and yanked out data chips.  Taes blinked hard at what she was seeing because every Jem’Hadar soldier actually had the face of Lieutenant Yuulik.

“On New Tenar,” Taes remarked, “Yuulik was stealing the team’s data to inform her own private research.”  She hadn’t intended to speak it aloud, but it came forth in a stream of consciousness.  She couldn’t help herself.

Stabbing his index finger at the Yuulik army, Trojet said, “If she has such few scruples, there’s no guessing what else she might do for personal glory.  If there’s anything I’m an expert in, it’s wormholes.  And if there’s anything else I’m an expert in, it’s mad scientists.”

“You’re prevaricating,” Taes said in naked accession.  “You’re trying to distract me.”

“Of course I am, you disagreeable psychic creature,” Trojet snarled at Taes, “You’re invading my mind!  Why haven’t you questioned how Yuulik managed to find me, stranded on a decaying relay station?  In all the vastness of space, she happened upon me?  By coincidence?  Do you really believe that to be true?”

“You’re deflecting,” Taes insisted.  “Fillian told us you were disappointed in the artificial wormhole until the lost fleet emerged from it.  Were you expecting them, Doctor Trojet?  Did you summon the lost fleet?”

Trojet snorted.

“Fillian?  That skutfish?  If anyone bent to the will of the Dominion, it was him,” Trojet said.  “Fillian is lying to you and you don’t see it, just like you never saw any of Kellin’s lies.”

Comments

  • More mad scientists pointing fingers at other mad scientists! The problem is, now those seeds of doubt have been planted, they've got to be looked into, don't they? Oh this is just adding more layers of paranoia on Taes and I'm not sure that's a good thing for her. For the story it's delicious of course, but for her? Ooof. Oh man this is promising to get juicy. And of course we still don't have a really satisfying answer from Trojet. I do like the 'because I could' level of answer about why he made the wormhole. Truly a mad scientist!

    June 11, 2023