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Scientific Explanations

Sam Kent was and always had been, first and foremost, a scientist.


She was also half-Bajoran, so she had no particular problem with a people who were spiritually inclined. Her father had been a staunch believer in the necessity of communing with the Prophets, even (nay, especially) when he was in exile from Bajor, far from his home, from his countrymen, and (as it had later turned out) from the scientific phenomena which housed those celestial beings.


As a result, Sam had only the highest respect for religion and its motivational power. A belief in a higher force could inspire, when it was channeled properly, and she had seen the good that was wrought when a person felt they had someone watching over them, someone to whom they would one day have to account for themselves.


But she was still a scientist, and that tended to cause some interesting internal debate here and there. When she was sitting in the middle of a religious ceremony in the middle of nowhere on some unnamed barren planet, for instance.


She watched the tricorder readings as the white-swathed humanoid men and women around her began to chant in time with the priest of sorts who seemed to be leading the ceremony. It was extraordinary, what she saw on that screen. Heartbeats, breath rates, even synaptic patterns -- all the rhythm that their bodies contained was falling into the same pulsating beat in time with the words they droned. Their eyes were half-shut, their bodies ramrod-straight and turned towards the front of the small, warm, dimly-lit building, and their faces bore an expression of -- there was no other word for it -- rapture.


Sam felt nothing.


She supposed she hadn't really expected to, but it was still rather disappointing. Their new "friend" who had brought them here from the marketplace -- the only other structure they had yet found on this mostly abandoned hunk of rock -- had seemed so emphatic about the ceremony to which he had brought them that Sam had hoped for some dramatic display at which she might throw all her curiosity. What she had gotten instead, however, was a quiet, almost unnoticeable moment of complete physiological incomprehensibility. It was tantalizing.


How were they accomplishing it? Telepathy? Some kind of physical sensitivity to each other? Controlled substances? Was there some sort of divine influence at work in the room?


Well. There was certainly an influence at work. But there was a scientific explanation for it. Even the Prophets had, in their own way, an explanation, albeit one which was not very well understood. There would be one here as well. There had to be. At the moment she was not even concerned about how this might fit into the wider picture of this civilization, how it might relate to the things they had seen on Hamaria and in the Armour's factory systems. She just wanted to know what was going on.


She heard their guide mumble something next to her and glanced up to see that the priest who had led the ceremony was walking towards them. Good. Good...perhaps now we'll get some answers.

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