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Saliq of Vulcan Office of the Surgeon General Starfleet Headquarters, Sector 001 Duty Log Stardate 5106060.3 As special liaison assigned to Surgeon General Admiral DeJariov, Saliq of Vulcan had begun an extensive study of psychology, especially that of humans. He had, in his professional capacity as facilitator for the Admiral, witnessed more than his share of man’s inhumanity to man. It intrigued him that though other species could wreak their own portion of havoc, humans had exceptional talent in that regard. As species, Klingons and Cardassians were inclined to take a direct approach in regard to relations among themselves and with others; when confronted they made their intentions abundantly clear. The Borg and the Breen also showed no pretext; they existed mainly for conquest. The Jem’Hadar were bred for war and could hardly help their genetic predispositions, yet for all their warlike breeding even they did not turn on each other. In general, the aforementioned species, though exceedingly violent, were more truthful. Humans, on the other hand, excelled in pretense and deception; they could charm with one hand and kill with the other. Of all species Saliq found them the most illogical and difficult to comprehend. He found the incident at Nede Prime an example of human deception at both its best and at its worst. To him it was no surprise that three humans were primary players in the charade – former Consul General Elaine Jaffe, Admiral Atragon-9, and Captain Adrian Wolf. However, what impressed him most as he walked the war-torn decks of the decommissioned Manticore with Captain Sovak, was that the toll of this war would be measured not in physical but in psychological devastation, and that it would touch every crewperson regardless of species. The history of Starfleet had never seen such a tangled mess of intrigue as Manticore and Babylon had encountered in the past few years. Deception upon deception had built exponentially until their most trusted authorities became the least trusted and visa versa. Their universe turned in on itself, much as an imploding star devours, with an insatiable hunger, everything within its grasp, leaving in its wake a total void. In essence the crew was empty, lost, and trusting of no one. How does one repair such damage? A ship can be repaired or replaced, but a crew? As Saliq kept pace with Captain Sovak, the full realization of Admiral DeJariov’s concern struck him with each crewperson who passed them in the corridor, their eyes vacant, toting from the decimated starship to unknown destinations what was left of their worldly possessions and their meager lives. Yet Saliq knew Manticore was but the beginning of the dilemma. Of greater concern was the extent of Elaine Jaffe’s influence. How many starship crews had been poisoned by her lust for power? Into how many command strata had it bled? How many Starfleet personnel had been damaged, and was the damage irreparable? Perhaps most importantly, how should Starfleet officers, especially those in Black Operations, be trained to safeguard their integrity, and what safeguards should be in place to assure Federation worlds that it would not happen again? These considerations and more would be explored extensively by Saliq and whoever followed him in the ensuing months.