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On the Edge

On the Edge
Chirakis Kirel

He's just ...off. And not just similar to a bad day, but - different.
He's often talked about dreaming he's someone else, and now he's acting different. Like a different version of Nijil. Mannerisms are off. The way he talks to us. Like it's someone doing a Nijil impression.  Imagine someone impersonating you and not seeming familiar with blades.

~Lt Commander Jylliene Kital

Jylliene’s words to Captain Chirakis were startling enough to immediately call Psychologist Amanda Davis.  Had Commander Korjata succumbed to a mental disorder?  Did he possibly have a residual effect from the disease that had plagued the station?  Had stress given him a mental disorder, possibly schizophrenia? 

After consulting with the doctor, Kirel left CnC, hoping that another crisis was not on the horizon. 

“Lieutenant Garand, meet me in surveillance immediately,” said Kirel as she entered the lift. 

On my way, Captain,” Garand replied, scrambling to put aside his work in time to meet the captain as she entered the security complex. “We have a situation, Captain?”

“Possibly,” she replied as he fell in step with her. “I need to check the surveillance footage from main engineering, Alpha watch yesterday morning.”

Upon entering her code, the door to Surveillance opened to a large area covered by assorted screens that hung strategically on every wall and displayed internal and external areas of the station. Security personnel alternately hunched or relaxed at their stations as they monitored and assessed data while a few others moved smoothly among them.  

Captain Chirakis and Lt Jeremy Garand exited that room and entered what they called The Back Door: the observation area reserved for superior officers.  The door closed, Garand offered Kirel a chair, engaged a console and flicked his wrist to throw images of engineering on the main screen.  

“Any particular area of engineering, Captain?” he continued as he made a few adjustments.

“Follow Commander Korjata, since he is in command.  And… since we are dealing with privileged information….”  She slipped on a headset just as Nijil’s image appeared.

“Commander Korjata beginning….zero seven hundred Aegis local, June 1, ma’am,” the lieutenant said, moving aside.

As Kirel watched, Nijil seemed puzzled, looking around, and fidgeting with equipment.  An approaching engineer startled him, the engineer apologized, and it was downhill from there.


“Sorry, sir.  Just the MP,” said the junior engineer.
“MP?” said Nijil, definitely confused.
“The Morning PADD, sir.  The issues from the previous day that we need to tackle today.”
The commander didn’t seem to understand.  He stared at the PADD a moment, then took the PADD and read until he noticed a group of engineers standing next to him. “Yes?”
“Your assignments, sir?” asked the team leader.
“Assig… oh.  Oh!  Let me look here.  Something good for you.  How about hydroponics. Check the water lines and climate controls.”
As soon as they left, the commander looked up to the ceiling as if he was waiting for something. He raised his hands and whispered, “Any time now.”


Kirel reached forward to freeze the screen. “Sweep engineering for an intruder. Focus on the overhead.”

“Sweeping the area… focusing on the overhead,” Garand replied, then watched the captain’s expression shift from curious to alarmed as she removed her headset with a sigh.

“Secure the screen, lieutenant, and tell me…. Have you witnessed this kind of behavior in engineering before?” she asked, purposely leaving out the commander’s name.

“Yes, ma’am, several times.  But never out of the ordinary.  Things have been pretty crazy everywhere on the station lately, so he’s not the only one to be distracted.  You know… lack of sleep, lack of engineers, and especially the lack of coffee.”

“Um… coffee,” she mused, relaxing into the armchair.  “How long have you been watching this particular area?”

 "In engineering?”  He shrugged.  “Just over a week, ma'am."

“And behavior was close to normal until recently?”

“Yes, ma'am. Close to normal. The medical situation was our first priority.”

“As was mine, Lieutenant.  For now, keep eyes on.  Alert me immediately to anything suspicious. Watch for strange behavior, odd shifts in language, talking when there is no one there.  And be aware: this information is confidential.”

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