And Mindo Makes Two
Location: Engineering/Mindo's Quarters
Timeline: immediately following "Helping Engineering Part 2"
A yellow alert went up seconds before Mindo and Ivy exited the Jefferies tube on Deck four and headed to Mindo's quarters, where an intruder alert had just been sounded.
Ivy felt concerned. She was not much of a fighter and glanced at Lt. Mindo for reassurance. She had to speed up to keep up with the accelerated pace of the Engineer.
They got there in less than a minute. A security team had already assembled, with Ensign Reis standing by the door, ready to go inside.
Elena had felt the two coming up behind her, as she and a few security officers stood on either side of the door, with the panel already set and ready to kick open the door. They were armed, just in case, but only Reis and another officer had phasers drawn. She glanced back, and seemed a little upset to see them. She raised a hand and motioned for them to slow down. She spoke up, quietly. "Hold up," She spoke to the other security officers. "Any extra information on this, Lieutenant?"
Mindo shrugged. "You know as much as I do," he said. "Computer!" he called. "Do you know the identity of the intruder?"
"The identity of the intruder is unknown. Bio signs for intruder match those of Lieutenant Mindo, Chief Engineer of the Tornado."
"But I'm right here," said Mindo.
Ivy, not understanding all the neuonces, gripped and squeezed Mindo’s upper arm. “Yes you are.” And released her grasp.
Without saying a word, Mindo went into his quarters unarmed. What he saw there disturbed him more than anything he had ever seen.
It was him. Mindo. An exact twin. He wore civilian clothes and stood in the center of the room with a glass of tranya in his hands.
"Who the hell are you and, more importantly, how much of my booze have you consumed?" asked Mindo, approaching Mindo (the intruder) and snatching the bottle from his hands.
"Mindo, what the..." Reis started to curse at him as she and another security officer stood trying to make sense of the scene in front of them. She took a bit of a breath, though even that had a clear tone of annoyance. She gritted her teeth a bit and shook her head, "Okay, I'm going to need an explanation here..."
Ivy had followed the security personnel into Mindo’s Quarters. She was very shocked to see two of them, facing each other.
"I'm not sure I have one," said the second Mindo. "Is Cara here? I would really like to see her."
Lt. Mindo grabbed his double by the shirt. "You're not going anywhere near Caradan," he said firmly.
The other Mindo grabbed the Lieutenant's wrist and in one motion, flipped the officer over his shoulder. Lt. Mindo caught himself and responded with a kick that met air. The Lieutenant then instinctively raised his arm, blocking a return kick. Now the two stood face to face, but on the side reverse than just moments before.
The two suddenly and quickly stepped back, as if dodging another hit.
"You were going to hit me, weren't you?" said the Lieutenant.
The imposter nodded. "And then I thought that's what you were going to do..."
"...so we both dodged it," the Lieutenant completed. "Do you have my memories too?"
"The last few months might vary," said the other. "But I think so."
"Why the last few months?" asked the Lieutenant.
The imposter shook his head. "I want to see Caradan. I'm not saying more until I can talk to her... alone."
"That's not happening," said Lt. Mindo.
"Let's ask her," said the imposter. He straightened, addressing the computer. "Lieutenant Mindo to Eunidas. Will you join me in my quarters?"
=^=”On my way. Helm, you have the con. Maintain Yellow Alert. Mindo, I hope this has something to do with our intruder alert.” That last part she added hoping this to be a real scenario and not what the ship scuttlebutt had created; that the two would randomly call on each other for an hour or two of love-making.
Ivy found this situation very intriguing. She observed a person facing their own double, yet not the same. Since she had been assisting the different departments, Ivy had a medical tricorder in her other thigh pocket. Flipping it out she began a scan of both Mindos from a short distance.
The Lieutenant grabbed the imposter by the neck. This seemed to surprise the double.
"These are not your quarters," said Lt. Mindo.
"Of course," said the other. "What if the two of us talked to Cara?"
After a set of button-pressings sounded by the door, it slid open and presented Caradan. Looking inside, she saw Elena, Ivy, Mindo and…”Mindo?” Her words came out as though an inquiry into what was clearly before her eyes but, somehow, she was not finding the ability to believe it.
With her hand still hovering over the control pad to Mindo’s door, she pressed a button and the door slid closed, separating her from the others. The door slid open again and, sure enough, Caradan did not somehow manage to ill-mimic a set of optic nerves. She was not seeing double Elena, nor double Ivy, but was seeing double Mindo.
Ivy had seen Lt. Eunidas standing in the doorway, but then the door closed. She looked at the others curiously. She wondered if there was some reason why the Lieutenant may not want to come in, especially to deal with this ‘double’ situation. But then when the door opened again, Ivy felt very grateful that her friend was not going to leave them to deal with this very odd situation on their own.
Managing a few steps inside, the door finally hissed shut. Caradan’s hand briefly lost form as the sheer weight of the situation seemed overwhelming. Flexing her fingers, her hand reformed. Through no miscalculation of human vocal chords, Caradan could not find the ability to speak any words.
The imposter lit up upon seeing Caradan, and he began to rush to her.
"Cara, you have no idea how long I've waited..." He stopped, both talking and moving upon seeing Reis' phaser pointed at him.
“No,” said Caradan to Elena. “Put that away.” She looked to Mindo…this new Mindo, gave a nod and opened her arms a bit.
The double put his arms around Caradan.
In return, Caradan put a hand behind his head and the other on his shoulder the way any adult would hug a child hugging them around the waist. She looked to Mindo, the lieutenant, rather confusedly. From the movies they had watched together there was one theme Caradan found herself always having trouble with. It was the theme of the woman being able to know, for sure, the one she loved was within her arms at that particular moment. And, in her arms, felt truly like Mindo.
"I finally made it," he said. "I finally made it back."
"Back from where?" said Lt. Mindo. "And if I'm Mindo uno, does that make you Mindos?"
The second Mindo released his embrace and turned back to his double. "I'm sorry, everyone," he said. "I've been held captive for so long, and my memories of this place are so vivid."
Lt. Mindo was just as confused as everyone else. "So... which one of us is the real Mindo?"
The question hung in the air for a moment, and there was suddenly a very awkward feeling in the room.
Ivy found the situation very stimulating on several levels; emotional between friends, professional among the Starfleet officers; and scientifically between these two individuals that appeared to be identical. Ivy looked carefully at her tricorder, comparing the scans between the two Mindos. She had cross referenced with the Lieutenant’s medical file, where she found only the slightest difference between them. From these preliminary scans she could only say that one was slightly malnurished compared to the other. Otherwise, they were the same person. She was sure that significantly better sensors in the Medical Bay would find a more marginal difference.
There was another theme, from those movies, that Caradan found herself finally experiencing. It was the theme of having to choose, but she threw that away as immediately as she thought of it. This was the time to be XO of a Starfleet vessel, not the girl trying to figure out who she loved.
“Well, we will need further clarification on that,” Caradan said. She slapped at her commbadge. “Eunidas to Bridge. Return us to Condition Green. Eunidas out.” She sighed and looked to the floor, knowing she was doing the right thing…for the ship. “Computer,” there came a bleep of affirmation, “Place a temporary revocation of computer, vessel, and sensitive area access to Lieutenant Mindo. Effective immediately. Command code Eunidas Seven Theta Omega Five.”
The computer sounded the command complete.
Caradan finally looked back to Mindo, both of them. “Ensign Reis, assign security details to follow and monitor both…of our Mindos. Cadet Sharzin, assemble the Science Team. I want full analyses of both…individuals. I am ordering you both,” she shot her eyes back and forth between the two Mindos, “also to Sick Bay for full physicals and scans.” To all in the room, “we need to know exactly what the situation is. Am I understood?”
Mindos was the first to respond, though his eyes were locked on Minduno. "I understand," he said.
Minduno's glance was right back into his double's eyes. "Yeah, I got it," he replied. There was no use trying to convince Caradan that he was the real Mindo. But he knew in his heart he was.
So did Mindos.
Reis laughed. It was probably inappropriate, given the situation. But she couldn't help it. It was just odd to her, and finally she gave in. "Of course, Lieutenant." She smirked and waved to the other security officer. "You heard her. Don't let them out of your sight." She glanced to both Mindos and shook her head, "And next time one of them breaks security protocols like bursting past Security, or trying to sneak away from their detail... shoot him." She seemed to be joking. "I'll send a dedicated security detail for both."
Caradan was a little too preoccupied to hear and understand Elena’s joke attempt. She kept hoping this was some fluid dream of hers whilst she regenerated in her bowl, but time kept ticking away as per usual. This was no dream. She did, of course hear the silence that followed Elena’s words and gave only a nod.
The cygnian shook her head and looked over to Caradan for a moment. "Lieutenant, I'll be limiting some of the security codes for Mindo, just until Ms. Sharzin can explain exactly what's happening. Anything I'm missing?"
“No,” said Caradan. “You are not missing anything. Cadet Sharzin, be sure to tell Riaan to pay special attention of mental scans for any sign of memory tampering, any implanted or secret conditioning. We need to rule out the possibility of a sleeper agent.”
“Yes Lieutenant,” Sharzin replied confidently. This meant that a very serious examination of the individuals and possibly brain scans by the Intelligence Officer.
It was difficult for Caradan to even think that the man she loved could have been a sleeper agent of any form, but now there were two of him and since both were Mindo, her struggle become personal as well as professional. “I will be in my office before returning to the Bridge,” she said with an ever-so-minute twinge of emotion effecting her vocal chords. “You all have your orders.” Caradan did not wait for any other response. She turned and left. All the while, she flexed the fingers of her right hand.
Mindos was the only one to notice a slight and unnatural bend to her hand and fingers as the door slid shut sealing them all off from the XO.
Mindos turned back to Minduno and the two stood in uncomfortable silence for a moment, both of them trying to decide what to do with each other.
Mindos spoke first. "I suppose we should report to sickbay."
Minduno looked at Reis for a moment, then back at his double. He nodded slowly, cautiously, and without a word left the room. Mindos followed and the security detail was not far behind.