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  1. Darker Shadows Chirakis August 11, 2418 Address to the 115th Xenobiology Symposium Dr. Jeffrey Kjeldsen, MD The Shadow Being Consider, if you will, a universe in which there is no time and no finite space. There is nothing solid, nor is there anything biological. In fact, in this universe all things, all beings, exist and interact as pure energy. There is no linear time, nor is there cyclical time. Time exists. Time is. Past, present, and future are one. Moreover, there is no finite space. There are no boundaries whatsoever. Imagine this universe and put it as firmly into your mind as you can. With that firmly in mind, imagine that at this very instant, without any warning whatsoever, you are transported into that universe. Your body is intact. You are fully clothed. You have in your pockets what you had when you left the house this morning. Absolutely nothing has changed, except that the universe in which you lived a split second before has transformed into a totally alien universe—a timeless, limitless, universe inhabited by beings of pure energy. You have no idea what happened. You think that it is a dream. You try to shake yourself awake, but you can’t, no matter what you do. Then you become confused. You look for a way to get back to where you were. You grope everywhere looking for a door, an opening, or something that will help you escape. But there is none. You cannot return to your own universe. You are, in essence, stuck in this universe for eternity. You must sustain yourself. You must fend for yourself. You must find food, shelter, companionship—everything that sustained you in your own universe. Pause right now, take a minute, and consider that. Is it even remotely imaginable how you would survive in a universe without time, without distance, without solids, liquids, or gasses? I would wager that most of you would be dumbfounded at such a fantasy, yet this is exactly what happened—in reverse—to a being that has hitherto been a closely guarded military secret. This is what happened to the being that has come to be known as Shadow. According to Starfleet records, this interdimensional energy being was snatched from its own dimension and trapped in ours when an alien subspace probe created a dimensional rift in the vicinity of Sky Harbor Aegis 30 years ago, on February 1, 2388. After a long period of adjustment and a steep learning curve, the being and the crew accepted each other. The crew eventually named the being Shadow. For ease of communication, it is referred to in the masculine. Shadow is a sentient being who exhibits intelligence, reason, emotion, and the will to survive. He is in need of companionship, shelter, and sustenance. In short, he possesses everything we possess except for a biological body. He exists today, trapped in our universe of finite space and time, in a secure facility. After 30 years he is still uncomfortable. He still puzzles over much that he finds in this reality. * * * * * * * Sky Harbor Aegis May 16, 2388—0100 hours Aegis local Activity in Aegis Command and Control had settled into its normal pace. Freighters continued to come and go. Their time was not Aegis local, so to meet deadlines they docked, processed their cargo, then left. Another freighter took its place and the circle continued ad infinitum. At 0100, Delta/Graveyard watch began. It was not unusual for Delta personnel to see their commanding officer still present that time of night—or morning—and this morning was no different. Her personal console continued to scroll general information, and her usual leisurely pace continued, as though nothing out of the ordinary had happened. In truth, their captain awaited information on Aegean’s progress, their findings so far, and anything else pertinent to the mission. However, Aegean had not yet approached its target in Nebula 259b. In addition, with the aid of Engineering Lieutenant Landru, security had cornered a gremlin—for lack of another name—that was fiddling with electronic equipment in an unfinished area of the station known as " below decks". The being was taken into custody and secured in a detainment cell with the highest level of air filtration possible. If the gremlin had no other weapon, it could always use its scent to deter enemies. Lt Garand had begun to wonder if the being was related to the black and white striped skunk of earth. If nothing else, it verified Billy’s, “And they stink, and I mean really stink. Like they … poop all over the place.” In essence, Charlie watch had not been dull. It had been productive. Delta settled in as ordinary, normal, and maybe a little boring. And it was. Kind of. For the next hour, the usual gentle hum of collaboration, occasional movement from one station to another, and forwarding pertinent material to Officer In Command, LCdr Bryer continued. Until, “What the shi*??? What in the friggin universe is that??” froze the personnel, including OIC Bryer. A spectre resembling a male humanoid had materialized by the command lift. It seemed to be outlined with a Starfleet uniform, though it was difficult to tell. It floated toward Kirel and took a more solid form. Boots slowly formed, slowly becoming somewhat solid, and it began to walk instead of float. The uniform was definitely Starfleet. Fortunately, the commander recognized Shadow and ordered a stand down. A few resumed their duties, but most of them were mesmerized. Kirel waved Shadow toward her office door, then turned to face the crew. “Let me be very clear,” she began, calm but direct. “What you just witnessed did not happen. You did not see it. This will be entered into your records as an anomaly. Any breach of this command will result in instant court martial. Is that clear?” “Yes, ma'am,” came loud and clear, without a twitch. “Good. Continue watch, Commander. I will be in my office.” * * * * * * * Since Kirel didn’t have the ability to walk through the door without opening it, she waited until it closed behind her. “I assume that you have a good reason for this,” she said as she settled in. “The Jake. Primary,” Shadow began, struggling to form audible words. “Are you looking for him?” “Not look. Know.” “So you know where Jake is and that he is safe?” “Yes. Safe. The Jake...safe. The Billy… safe. The below… not… safe.” Noticing that Shadow’s color was changing and knowing that the change was a sign of anxiety, she pressed him. “Shadow, you must be more specific. You know that Jake and Billy are safe. Who or what is not safe below?” After a moment of thought, Shadow approached the desk and merged with Kirel’s console. An image of the gremlin appeared. “This one,” came from the console, “Safe. Another. Below. Not like this. Not safe.” “Can you show me an image?” “No image,” came the reply as Shadow emerged from the console and hovered close to Kirel. “Know. Feel. Energy negative. Shadow positive. The Chirakis positive. The Jake positive. Below is... negative.” His energy was clearly waning. “Negative energy from a person? A sentient being?” “Per...son. What is?” “A being like me, Shadow A person is a being.” “Yes. Per...son. Large. Tall. Anger much. Much… negative… energy.” He was beginning to fade. “Where is it, Shadow?” she implored. “Tell me where.” “The… Crow…” He managed to say before vanishing to regenerate around the engine core. “The Crow,” Kirel repeated on a sigh.