This is an appreciation shout out for the crew of the USS Gorkon!
Our last (current) mission saw us in Deep Space, in deep sleep, and about twenty years in the past stuck in a dream. Awakening to a life as a member of a Maquis Resistance Cell on the raider Skarbek , everyone took to it immediately, temporarily redesigning aspects of their character makeup and made it work. It was truly an awesome mission (it's still going on) and there's so much love on the Gorkon for everyone's effort in bringing the Maquis to life in our own special way. Thank you, everyone, and especially @Quinn Reynolds - It's been such a ride!
Having said that, you're all insane. Justifiably, as per the below, but nevertheless. Completely bonkers.
We're fully aware that trying to explain any of this to anyone would warrant a buckled cuddle jacket and a padded room. Coupled with the fact that this will be completely out of context...
Here are some of my favourite bits of the entire escapade pre-wake up call, in chronological order. Enjoy!
::The engines of the Cardassian raiders screamed through the night sky, a banshee wail of fire and devastation. The outpost was rapidly being reduced to ruins, buildings collapsed and aflame. The worst of the bombardment was over, paving way for the troops to hit the ground and try to mop up the survivors. Thankfully, the civilians had mostly been evacuated before the Cardassians had reached the planet, leaving only the Maquis fighters still on the ground.
::[Brunsig] was proud to say that they were living up to the name of "resistance fighters". There'd been casualties on both sides, but the number of Cardassian corpses were outnumbered by those of his own people. For now.::
Brunsig: You think we do that? To them? Do you think we swoop down on civilian outposts and burn their homes to the ground?
::He had no doubt she'd heard the commotion outside. But seeing it, tasting it, hearing the heat sear her face… he saw her expression shift, horror forming in her hazel eyes, even as she fought to keep her composure.::
Reynolds: I can't.
Brunsig: Listen to me, *Cupcake*--
::He stopped himself, clenching his jaw. Now was not the time, as gratifying as it would be to yell in her face.::
Brunsig: =/\= If I have to scrape your corpse up, I'm giving your bike to the kid. =/\=
::She snorted a laugh, her first for the last day, at least. The gruff guy knew just where to jab the painstik to make sure her priorities were in order.::
Marshall: =/\= Scheißhaus. If you do, I'll make telling him your nickname my dying words. Which of us will be worse off? =/\=
::The voices up ahead grew louder as she drew unendingly closer, Emilia’s pace increased to a light jog. Her ‘holster’, (aka, a glorified leather satchel) tapped soundly against her thigh, a sensation Emilia had gotten relatively accustomed to over the past several years in DMZ. After abandoning her place in the federation, carrying a weapon almost constantly was the new standard equipment. Having a weapon was one of the few luxuries that help Emilia sleep at night. Life had been a real kick in the backside since leaving her home on Trill, but it was a worthy sacrifice for a cause she believed in. Sure she’d never see her family, but Emilia wasn’t going to stand by as these people suffered at the hands of the Cardassian Union.::
::A flash of pink entered the corner of Emilia’s vision, a somewhat, but glossy ribbon whipping in the weak wind as it held her hair in a side swept ponytail. That flash of pink was all she had left of home, nothing more and nothing less, but it was a good reminder of what Emilia fought for. The freedom of countless federation citizens, a cause she gave up a utopia for, but it’s not much of a utopia if those who govern it refuse to help their own.::
Brunsig: =/\= They're killing us down here, Red. =/\=
:: Ayiana smirked. Everyone in the cell had taken on a nickname, always chosen by everyone else, and not always flattering. It was mostly to hide their identities over open communication channels, but over time, everyone had gotten used to the nicknames. It was pretty easy to figure out why people started calling Ayiana “Red.” ::
Sevo: =/\= So kill them first. I’d say ten minutes until we’re down there. :: Boom! :: Assuming we’re not blown out of the sky first. =/\=
::Tasha gave a shriek of laughter as she grabbed ahold of a nearby access panel and tore it off the wall. In the recessed alcove was a mass of relays. Some would call it messy or unordered, but to Tasha it made perfect sense. She reached in and located the switch buried beneath the relays and flipped it. There was a high pitched whine and Tasha glanced at a nearby console and grinned.::
::She plunged her arm back in, navigating the mass of relays on memory and instinct. She located a second switch and flipped it too. The whine dropped to a dull drone, and when Tasha flipped a third switch the sound vanished. She extracted her arm and jumped to her feet and raced to the nearest console, hurriedly entering several commands, and grinning as she watched the shield strength increase.::
MacFarlane: =/\= I’ve got more shield strength f’ yeh Red! An’ more speed f’ yeh Sticks! Show those spoonheads what yeh can do laddie!! =/\=
:: Yiggtissi noticed the phaser that had appeared in Sim’s hand. No doubt it was his trusty sidearm that he almost never left home without. The Saurian patted himself down looking for his own but couldn’t find it. He looked around on the floor. Finally, under the rubble of a table, he saw it. It was a small silver disruptor his oldest brother had given him when he first joined the ragtag group of renegades. He snatched it up and gave it a once over. It was half charged and now covered in a couple of scratches. ::
Sim: For luck
:: Yiggtissi looked up and saw the infamous flask sitting in the air. It had become sort of a tradition between them both since they first went into battle together. Usually, before the two medics did something extremely stupid, they would take long draws from the flask and head off into the throws of battle or bar fights. Yiggtissi smiled a toothy grin and snatched the flask from his air, taking a long drink before handing it off to the rest. He used his remaining sleeve to wipe the dribble from the corners of his mouth. ::
::Cory declined. He had remembered the last time they had been together and the flask had appeared. It was a bar fight on Penthios IV and it cost Yiggtissi a broken jaw, Stoyer a black eye and Sim a nice cut on his forehead from a broken bottle. Good times, indeed. ::
::Ferier “Stick’s” Lanta loved to fly, as a boy all he wanted to do was fly starships. Rejected by the Federation for Starfleet Academy and finding no interest in flying Transporters from Trill and finding a hatred for the “spoonheads” for their actions on Bajor he had drifted in to the Maquis he had been found by Brunsig. After been caught stealing Brunsig had helped him out and quickly gained his trust with a speed that still astounded him.
::So here he found himself flying admittedly a run down Maquis ship. Held together by what Sparks called unicorn power, something he quite firmly believed having seen Sparks find miracle cures for the little ships mechanical woes. Usually, his job was difficult taking the battle to the Cardies. Today it seemed impossible. Fighting off Cardie attack vessels swerving around and between them. ::
Vondaryan: Don't try anything.
Brunsig: That goes both ways. How about you tear your eyeballs off her [...] and earn your keep?
Marshall: Avoiding is better than a full frontal firefight. We're in no condition to take the fight to them. How's your chair doing on the rubble?
Sim: I'm fine, don't worry about me. The old girl's done more miles than you've had replicated meals.
Krugol: As much as you’re itching to shoot something, I doubt it’d be a good idea to delve headfirst into a bunch of Cardassians that can call for help.
Vondaryan: We could try to draw some of them off with a distraction. Then the rest of us could make a run for it. ::He rummaged through the pack.:: I'm sure there's a few disruptor grenades in here somewhere.
::He made it a point not to volunteer to be the distraction himself. He was much too valuable to waste in a potentially lethal way.::
Stoyer: Hey Blondie! If this works you gonna talk Red into going out with me when we get out of here?
::Jo's eyes flitted upwards. A fight to the death came second to a dry spell apparently - she didn't expect any different from the charming Engineer. It had been the same on the night they'd met. One bar fight, smashed bottles, his flirtations exchanged for her eye-rolls aplenty. And, now, she was the wingman. Power ballads were written for that kind of friendship.::
Marshall: Sure, Strip. That impending shuttle wreck is exactly what I want on my mind!
D’fini: Are you alright?::Concerned. She didn't want to rain on his parade. In fact, it was nice. It wasn't a quantum torpedo explosion by any stretch but it was nice and she liked it.::
Smith: Of course it wasn’t my first kiss....
::She knew that was a lie. However, it might be interesting how to teach this one the fine art of it. She gave a small smile.::
D’fini: Not bad for a first kiss. Not bad at all.
::She watched his face go red. Davine had caught him and she wasn't going to let it go for a moment.::
::Laugh, or cry? Hard to decide. A short, sharp smack with the butt of her rifle also seemed like a valid alternative. Finally, the pair decided to pay attention to the destruction and potential death that surrounded them, but from the direction their weapons were pointing, it looked as though they hadn't realised who was approaching them.
Sienelis: It's us. ::She hissed, still not sure if she was amused or annoyed by (or jealous of?) their antics.:: If you've finished trying to mount each other while the world burns, we're leaving.
Sevo: Computer, run program “Cavalry.”
:: The computer acknowledged with a quick chirp. As the ramp lowered, Ayiana heard the opening riff of AC/DC’s “Shoot to Thrill” blasting over the external speakers. Simultaneously, the ship flashed it’s running lights in tune with the beat. Once the ramp was open, Ayiana stepped up to the edge. Grinning widely, she let loose a barrage of phaser energy packets at over two-thousand per minute, straight into the Cardassians on the ground. ::
Sevo: :: To ground teams. :: =/\= WAHOO! THE CAVALRY HAS ARRIVED!! =/\=
(( OOC: https://youtu.be/4gDch1p4c_M ))
Yiggs: Almost like that skirmish on Devro. :: He paused. :: I didn't think we were gonna make it this time.
::Genkos thought about the skirmish on Devro. If he remembered rightly, he'd annoyed some rather fierce Klingons whilst under the influence, and Yiggs had to come to his aid. They'd managed to corner the Klingons in an alley, and had to beat them to death with their own bat'leth. Again, fun.::
Sim: ::locking eyes with his friend:: Me neither. I was certain my little stunt was going to get one of us killed. Although it looks like we did okay. That explosion sounded pretty impressive, even if I do say so myself.
Brunsig: I'll head to the bridge and see if I can get hold of him. ::He paused, eyeing the Starfleet officer, holding out the cuffs to whoever took them first.:: Cuff her again, put her in one of the empty crew cabins and make sure there's a guard on the door. Whoever's left, defend this ramp.
Sevo: I got enough power to hold out. Go.
::Emilia nodded to Brunsig eagerly, deciding not to pay any attention to Trellis’ antics.::
Krugol: I’ll stay, and give Red a hand ::She spoke, holder her phaser up.::
Vondaryan: I'll make sure she's nice and safe.
Sevo: Yea, that’s not creepy at all.
Vondaryan: Don't worry, I won't begin any interrogations yet. ::He smirked.:: I'll just let her stew in the cabin for a little longer, contemplating her fate.
::The Maquis Raider was a far cry from the sleek, elegant engineering of the Starfleet vessels she served on. Cramped, dingy and damaged, she couldn't help but feel it echoed the personalities and attitudes of the people who inhabited it. Some Maquis were sympathetic in their struggles, noble warriors fighting a dirty (if misguided) war to protect their homes. The Skarbek's crew, by and large, were not counted among that number.::
Reynolds: ::Quietly,:: Have you ever contemplated yours?
Vondaryan: Look, if we can get away from the Cardassians on a regular basis, we can certainly keep ahead of Starfleet. ::He smirked once again, in an underserved show of confidence.:: They haven't caught us yet. You're in this for the long haul.
::Oh, but the Cardassians had caught them, hadn't they? Only it hadn't been the Maquis who had suffered for it, rather the people who had lived and worked in the outpost currently in flames. Now an entire community was homeless in the Demilitarised Zone, left to hope that someone would take them in. Perhaps they'd head back to the Federation, where they'd be safe. She hoped so.
::Quinn answered as the EPS system on the beleaguered raider began to whine, power being pushed hard through the ship's systems. It looked as though they were entering the final stages of their escape from the outpost.::
Reynolds: You'll forgive me if I choose to believe otherwise.
::Cory ran over to the warp core and looked over it. He traced his finger to the top and located the injector under the Deuterium tank. It looked a bit out of alinement. Climbing up to reached it, he remembered that his toolkit was back near the shield console. Cursing, he climbed back down, ran over and grabbed it. Slinging it over his shoulder Cory climbed back up and started loosening the brackets that kept the injector alined.
::When they were loosened, Cory used a small rubber mallet to whack the injector a couple of time to see if it would move. Nothing. So Cory hit it harder. Cursing, he hit it with everything he had and it moved slightly. Hitting it again, it seemed to straighten back up and a light came on. Cory dropped the hammer and started tightening the brackets. Climbing down and wiping the sweat off with a rag from his bag he beamed at Tasha as she climbed out of the Jefferies tube.::
MacFarlane: Structural integrity is back, ‘ow goes it in ‘ere?
Stoyer: I got the injector repaired. See I did learn a few things from you.
Lanta: Don’t mind me while I close my eyes and pray.
::Muttering to herself, Jo turned her waning attention back to the console in front of her and the systems screaming for the power she didn't have to give. Whatever was going on in Engineering needed to get fixed fast, otherwise, they were going to be the guest stars at a Cardassian [...]tail party. Forgoing praying to any deity that was listening - because if their luck was any indication, none ever did - Jo concentrated on the image of Walter in a [...]tail dress, providing just enough amusement to see her through to the sticky end.::
Brunsig: =/\= Did you get it? =/\=
E. Reynolds: =/\= Yes, and you owe me a new liver. I'm *still* hungover from all the bloodwine they made us drink. =/\=
::She wasn't kidding. Her head felt like someone was using it as an alternative to timpani in Beethoven's 9th Symphony, and she hadn't eaten in over 24 hours, still quite convinced that her stomach still wasn't ready for anything solid. The Klingons had found it hilarious just how much the tiny woman had been able to put away, but boy had she regretted it the next day. Which, oddly, had only seemed to endear her a little more to them.::
Brunsig: =/\= Sure thing, Bärchen. But if we're talking about who owes who a new liver— =/\=
E. Reynolds: =/\= Fine, fine. But you have to admit, that was *good* gin. =/\=
Reynolds: But your cause isn't as just as you pretend it is, is it? It's an excuse. A chance to kill and maim people who had nothing to do with the attack on your home. Then they use that as an excuse to hurt more of our people. And so it goes, round and round.
::An eye for an eye, and the whole galaxy goes blind.::
::Suddenly sparks and smoke began sizzling out of an exposed panel under the tactical console.::
Krugol: Dammit, ::Yelling:: Hey Red? Could you possibly break it to Sparks that the motherboard got fried again?
Lanta: Don’t look at me I think it’s Emilia’s turn.
Krugol: What do you mean ‘No’? I told her last time, it’s only fair that you do it. ::Emilia whined::
Burke: Here I got it. ::Eli said crawling onto the floor.:: Nobody needs to get the Queen of Scotts involved.
Gwinnett: Come on someone.
::She had used the intercom so many times that she had gotten the answer. 'Don't call us, we will call you'. She had been quiet for hours now, but it was just another minor offense on a service record that was marred with minor offensives.::
::She sighed and rolled over. Finally she got thin mattress and got on the floor. She got down and started to start her exercise routine. It was something that distract her for a little while. The pushups started in earnest. Slowly at first until she found her rhythm.::
Gwinnett: Three, Four, Five, Six. ::Her body started to transform into a machine, doing the same near prefect motion time and time again.::
Yiggtissi: Here. It’s not much but you will need the protein. Besides the obvious, do you feel alright? Pain? Injured?
Vondaryan: I doubt there's anything you can do for her wounded pride.
:: Genkos could not read a thing off their prisoner, either through his natural empathic powers or in her body language. She was a slight woman, and it appeared that she was trying to appear smaller. It might be that was from genuine fear, to appease Slick's aggressive attitude, or from another feeling altogether. Pride was funny, and Genkos was pretty sure the only person feeling any level of pride at that moment in time was Slick himself. Genkos was fairly ashamed that they were having to resort to kidnapping a Starfleet officer, he was pretty sure Yiggs felt the same way as the tenderness he was showing their prisoner was touching. Whilst the look Blondie was giving Slick could kill Julius Caesar many times over.::
Reynolds: Why does it matter, anyway? ::She smiled, a hollow expression that didn't reach her eyes.:: The intention isn't to let me remain fine, is it?
::The bile rose in Genkos' throat. Clearly this woman believed they were going to torture her, and that was the last thing either of the two doctors wanted. Even without their experiences with Chok, they'd taken an oath to do no harm. Whilst they'd relented on that vow when it came to Cardassians, they still would take care of their own, as well as anybody who was decent and innocent. And whilst the Starfleeter in front of them was probably not innocent, she hadn't proved herself to be indecent.::
Sim: That's unfair and untrue. It's not Brunsig's way, it's not my way, it's certainly not Yiggs' way.
Thomas: If we consider we can’t find time to bring it offline, what do you think about a few compensatory modifications to ensure that we do get to where we’re going at least?
::Poor Kael. So serious and sensible in his suggestions. It really wasn't fair that Tasha was hooting with laughter almost immediately after he'd asked the question. Valesha shot him a wry look, lifting one shoulder in a shrug. Unhinged as she was, the woman was both good at her work and popular with the crew. All you could do was put up with her… idiosyncrasies.::
MacFarlane: Compensatory modifications...Bahahahahahaha!!!!! ::Tasha doubled over, cackling away.:: Oh, that’s a good one!!! A better way t’ phrase tha’ might be; delay th’ problem until its too late.
Sevo: We’re meeting up with the Inayat-Khan. Erin is bringing supplies and some new recruits. I hope we can at least make it a few light-years, Sparks?
MacFarlane: Oh aye, ol’ Skarbek will get us where we need t’ go. Won’t yeh ol’ girl? ::Tasha fondly ran her hand along the edge of her console.:: But, she didn’t like jumpin’ in th’ atmosphere, she protested long an’ loud.
Sim: Isn't that the reason we have law enforcement? To help curtail the worst echelons of the various species of the galaxy?
Yiggtissi: I think our esteemed beside manner is useless here brother.
Reynolds: I'm not going to voluntarily tell you anything I know. Beyond the fact it's my duty not to, I'm not going to help you kill more people. So let me ask you this; what options does that leave you with?
Neathler: ::quickly Samira stood up, causing the chair to fall over:: Hey, what did I...
:: Samira stopped midsentence, she was yelling at a closed door anyway. She stared at the door, her eyes flashing from one side to the other as if she was trying to read something that was printed on the door. Finally in her mind, a few loose ends came together and she figured it out. She shook her head as she picked up the chair and with a deep sigh she sat down. ::
Neathler: :: talking to her self :: I should have known, some friend you are...
Burke: I don’t know. Somewhere between killing people and letting people get killed. ::Eli responded in a tone acknowledging the entire universes spanning the distance between those two ideals.::
::Idealism was what got people killed out here. Eli couldn’t afford to be idealistic anymore, for himself or for the people he was protecting. Part of him hurt admitting that, but it was true. And at the same time, the paradox of the issue confronted Eli because determining not to adhere to an ideal in order to save lives was an ideal in itself. So in his efforts not to be idealistic, Eli exercised idealism. If he was going to be idealistic either way shouldn’t he adhere to the ideal his heart, his spirit, told him was most important, the core of the issue?
::Emilia felt a strange feeling in the pit of her chest, the uncomfortable feeling as if she was being watched. Emilia’s hands formed into fists tighter than a ferengi, her knuckles going white with irritation and anxiety. As if someone was trying to burn a hole in her skull sheerly by staring, a feeling she despised with a passion. Emilia’s temptation to snap some snarky comment at the gawker was immeasurable, but she held herself back, she didn’t want to cut Eli off.::
Krugol: I see… oO Okay, that’s it. Oo Thumper, give me a second, will you? ::Emilia’s head snapped around in one swift motion, causing an almost visible disturbance in the air. Her narrowed eyes matched with a familiar blue, her body freezing for a second in hesitation. But, like steam through ice, Emilia’s snarky comment flung itself at the trill before her, like an asteroid.:: Need something? Or are you just staring for the hell of it? Try drawing a picture, it’ll last you longer.
Lanta: Sorry Princess but no its nothing. Guess I am losing it.
::Talara saw a bright flash in the sky through all the haze and smoke. Had somebody really gone to warp in the atmosphere like that? They had to be crazy.
::Then again, this whole operation was crazy. She never should have left the Imperial Guard. What had she been thinking? She'd been thinking of Shral, of course. What was best for him. They would never be safe with any threat of Cardassians impeding upon Federation territory. Who knew how long it would be until the Cardies wanted Andoria, or some other occupied world in the heart of the Federation. The Federation may be willing to sacrifice the DMZ, but she wasn't. It was the principle of the thing. You had to stand up to bullies. The spoonies were some of the biggest bullies in the galaxy.
::With a roar of her own and her antennae pressed flat against her head Talara "Wires" zh'Aldrashi stepped forward to face the onslaught that awaited her. As the Klingons would say, "Today is a good day to die." She would take as many spoonies out with her as she could in the process.::
Marshall: Whatever you say, sponge. If you can explain to me where that dent came from in the Mess Hall table, I'll let you out.
Gwinnett: I'll take responsibility. I think it was me.::She wasn't sure, but to fall on your sword at this point didn't hurt her.:: Alright so I shouldn't of been drinking. However, I should of been relieved hours ago. Not that a little liquor ever interfered with my aim. One has to wonder how many times....::She went on and on about her concerns. Gwinnett always had steam to blow off and keeping it bottled up was even worst.::
::Finally the door slid open and Marshall was standing there. Brooks looked up and got up from the floor.::
Marshall: Fancy a trip to Engineering?
Gwinnett: I was starting to think that no one cared.::Smiling.::
::Genkos pushed himself closer, and Yiggtissi handed over his tricorder, still linked with the transmitter on Krugol’s neck. It had been constantly recording the various data and storing in the device’s memory. Genkos looked at the readings. They looked perfectly normal, sedate even, for somebody asleep. Glancing upwards, he saw Princess sat on the edge of the biobed. Definitely not asleep. He looked down again at the readings again – her limbic system was acting like it was in deep REM sleep, but she was wide awake.::
oO What the... Oo
Sim: So I am reading this right – her brain is asleep, but Princess is awake. I'm not missing anything?
EMH: You have a very serious disruptor wound, Lieutenant.
::Caedan started to laugh, then groaned at the molten pain the motion sent through his torso. Was it bad enough to kill him? It *felt* bad enough to kill him, but he was certainly the most biased person the assessment.::
Nkai: No kidd— ::his words stuttered in his mouth as he grimaced,:: —dding.
EMH: Can you explain what's going on?
MacFarlane: Uhhh...All o’ it? I can fix th’ table, hang on.
::Tasha placed her flesh hand on a still flat piece of the table, while she reached underneath with her prosthetic. She easily located the dent, and with a couple of well-aimed and steady thumps she more or less smoothed out the crater.::
Reynolds: ::Sincerely,:: Then my lips are sealed.
MacFarlane: Thank yeh, I do nae want m’ friends t’ think I’m mentally unstable.
Marshall: Take your time. It's probably a byproduct of whatever gas Sparks uses in Engineering. Huff too much of that stuff and you'll be seeing fairies and unicorns.
Sevo: I don’t know. This was weird. I mean, weirder than Sparks’ moonshine fumes. I...I think I’d better go to sickbay.
Marshall: You gonna be alright going on your own, or...? ::However, the woman was already making her way toward the stairs, full steam ahead.:: Or just go it alone, into the dark, smash your head open on a step, make ME the bad guy...
::Muttering to herself, Jo jogged to catch up with her before she fell down them head first and face planted the floor. Their Maquis Health Insurance wasn't what it used to be.::
Brunsig: So to be clear; we're all exhausted and strung out on adrenaline; we've just narrowly escaped from the burning wreckage of Schulman, breathing in deep lungfuls of toxic smoke from an outpost's worth burning buildings and their contents; you're using equipment that was basic and bargain basement when it was new twenty-five years ago; said equipment took a battering along with the rest of the ship when we were being shot at by Cardassians...
::He paused for dramatic effect, sweeping his piercing gaze around the people collected in sickbay,::
Brunsig: ...but you think the *reasonable* conclusion is that we're all lucid sleepwalkers? Including yourselves. Who are diagnosing sleepwalking. In your sleep. ::He scowled.:: Is there such a thing as a common sense transplant? ::He glanced toward Vondaryan.:: What's the going rate on those, these days?
::Some of them had seemed quite promising, to start with. Some fury, some violent tendencies, a desperate desire for revenge… but they were all too loyal to (or afraid of) their "captain". It was a frustration that the dream state could only be created with broad brush strokes — goals set, scenario created — with the dreamers filling in the blanks. It led to situations like this, with Starfleet officers putting a captain in charge and following him like the sheep they were.::
Mirovan: Mmm. ::She paused, gesturing at the screen with a milk-pale, slender finger.:: In addition, the joined Trill are proving to a be problem—
Lladre: ::Dryly,:: Story of my life.
Mirovan: —as they're experiencing corporeal bleed, due to their unique neurophysiology. I can increase the intensity of the field to counteract it, but it does risk permanent brain damage to both symbiont and host.
::Face impassive, Lladre locked her gaze with the Dokkaran woman. Ana was almost monochrome: white hair, anaemic skin… the only splashes of colour were her pale pink lips and translucent blue eyes. She really was very fond of the mild-mannered, desert-witted woman. They had been friends for a very long time, through several hosts, and she was one of the few people Lladre would ever inconvenience herself for.::
Lladre: I fail to see how that's a problem.
Mirovan: I thought you might say that.
::In an instant, her hungry eyes seized the book’s form, Emilia’s nails jamming in between the marked crevices of the novel. Dramatically and slowly, she freed the printed text from darkness that plagued the pages. The relief of escaping to a world of fantasy upon her once more, as she set her famished eyes on the bold, black letters that sunk deeply into the pages.::
::It felt rather ironic really, suspecting one of dreaming, but once again indulging in the dreams of another man. Quite odd really? Perhaps it was… but the line between dreams and reality appeared to thicken once again as Emilia occupied her thoughts on the coarse pages. Though, she still couldn’t shake the feelings she had earlier. Each image within her mind, sticking with her like glue. Each recollection, causing a strangely ghostly feeling to reach through the very centre of her chest.::
::But what could it all mean?::
Smith: Me and Davine? Noo...... ::He was lying through the skin of his teeth and it was very obvious, but he knew people would find out quickly. He just needed to be careful about what he said as they weren’t anything, they as Davine said we’re “just having fun”
Yiggtissi: This is a small ship Kid. Every time someone passes gas around here, it’s like a major breaking news event.
Sim: Although we're not going to tell anyone. ::winking at the Kid::
Brunsig: ...but you think the *reasonable* conclusion is that we're all lucid sleepwalkers? Including yourselves. Who are diagnosing sleepwalking. In your sleep. ::He scowled.:: Is there such a thing as a common sense transplant? ::He glanced toward Vondaryan.:: What's the going rate on those, these days?
::Trellis snorted. He tried motioning to say "I told them, they don't believe me," and "I can't just *buy* common sense for them" but wasn't sure how effective he was with a mere shrug and a roll of his eyes.::
Johns: Alright, alright. No need to take a chunk out of my tush, I was only asking. Consider my rump roasted.
Lanta: What I wouldn’t give for a plate of fresh gagh or some Targ steak right now.
Sevo: I don’t know, Soup, you would have made a pretty decent mirror. All we would need to do is just bend you over, and stick your [...] around a corner to look for any surprises
MacFarlane: =/\= MacFarbles t’ Yiggy. I figged yer equibmint. =/\=
Yiggtissi: =/\= Thanks. :: He paused. :: Are you ok Sparks? =/\=
MacFarlane: =/\= Wha? I’m line...brine...lime...uhhh...I am completely alrigh’ =/\=
Yiggtissi:: =/\= So there was nothing wrong with the devices? Hard to believe but I trust you. =/\=
MacFarlane: =/\= Well, then come t’ shikbay an’ sheck it yerselb. Or no! Were are yeh? I can take da shricorbers t’ yeh! =/\=
::Erin smiled, tugged forward as Jo slipped her fingers into the belt loops of her trousers. She happily fell into the woman's arms, squeezing back just as tightly as she was swept up into a bear hug. It was good to be home.::
Marshall: Welcome home, sheya.
E. Reynolds: I missed you. ::She paused, closing her eyes in a grimace of discomfort and annoyance.:: But, um… for your continued personal hygiene, you should probably put me down.
::Quinn hit the deck with a thump, and laid there in a daze for a few moments. The bare metal of the Skarbek's deck was cold against her cheek, and she couldn't tell if she was relieved or disappointed to have woken from the intense dream. Her heart was still pounding, and she could almost swear his scent still lingered on her skin, her lips still tingling from his kiss. Relieved. Surely she was relieved. Walter Brunsig was a traitor and a terrorist, and not a man she wanted running through her thoughts in *any* capacity if she could avoid it. What was her brain even doing, conjuring up a scenario like that?
::With a groan of an entirely different sort, she tried to bury her face in her hands, only to be reminded that she was still in cuffs.::
Bondon: If you're quite finished.
::Quinn began to move, her head turning toward the source of the voice. Caught entirely unawares, she wasn't quick enough, and the toe of a booted foot slammed into her midriff, leaving her in pain while gasping for air.::
Bondon: No, no. Stay down. You and I need to have a conversation. Or rather, you need to talk, and I want to listen.
Smith: Basically, Yiggs and Kos are convinced were asleep. that this is some sort of collective dream. what if.. :Hesitating for the third time:: what if they're right, what if we don't know each other on.. where ever there is. our friendship means a lot to me. I don't want it to go away. ::He started to tear up, and a singular tear fell down his cheek.:: Or worse what if one of us doesn't exist and is just a part of one of our dreams. I... don't know what to do Dav, it scares me.
::He fell against the wall and slid down it, his knees upright and his arms around them. his head in his lap. he broke down, endless thoughts of what might and might not be real went through his mind, Jang, his parents, old friends, were they real. was he real. he didn't know what to believe anymore, more tears started to fall, quickly he wiped them away trying to avoid anymore embarrassment he had caused himself. Looking up he saw Dav, she started to talk. even just looking at her he felt a tiny bit better. if he wasn't real he was glad to be spending time with her.
::While Trellis moved aside some papers Wheels went to a desk drawer and took out a pair of shot glasses. He poured drink into both, took the slug, refilled, and only then handed the other glass to Trellis. He too downed his shot and refilled it. All the while Wheels climbed out of his chair to relax on his bunk before actually looking at Trellis. The pure black Betazoid eyes staring back at him still managed to cause shivers down his spine whenever he looked into them for any amount of time. Tonight was no exception.::
Sim: ::in a mock Austrian accent:: So Mr Vondaryan, tell me about your dreams...
Vondaryan: ::He ran a hand through his blond hair, letting out a deep sigh.:: Well, it was a series of images... ::He paused, trying to remember the exact details.:: There were shiny lights. And... and touch screens. And colored collars, I think...
Lanta: Relax let the music take you, you don’t have to count listen to your heartbeat and feel your way naturally
::Emilia said nothing in return, only resuming her pace in response. Her gaze bridged with Ferier’s, instantly softening the echo against her chest. Emilia drew a shallow breath before quickly continuing her somewhat slow pace in dance. She couldn’t explain it, but the slight taste of fish formed against her taste buds as her feet pattered unendingly against the deck. Following the rhythm of each beat. Emilia moved each body part as if her heart was a metronome.::
Lanta: You dance excellently, Emilia.
::The use of her name sent chills down her spine. Sticks had never called Emilia by name before, and it was strangely familiar. Familiar enough to feel almost illusive, it was a very cold feeling. Amongst her chills, the song finished, and Emilia stood gracefully in her finishing poze, standing under Sticks’ chin. A breath escaped Emilia’s lips, followed by a soft panting. Once everything had finished, it was as if the fatigue finally had a chance to catch up.::
E. Reynolds: Quinn!
::Erin sprinted inside, the scent of copper hanging heavy in the air, dropping to her knees in front of the prone form of the Starfleet officer. Her twin was out cold, her face bruised and split, blood matting a patch of her brown hair, dusty boot prints visible on the dark material of her uniform. Her hands were still cuffed, her hands and wrists covered in welts, as though she'd been using them as a shield. The blood rushing in her hears, Erin reached for her sister's throat with a trembling hand, checking for a pulse, while behind her, Jo thumbed the controls of the internal intercom. A breath she didn't realise she'd been holding escaped when she felt that gentle, regular thump under her fingers.::
Marshall: =/\= Doctors, medical emergency in... in Quinn's quarters. Move it. =/\=
th’Koro: Right, so have you ever heard of the last Thursday theory?
Namura: I can't say that I have. ::Her eyebrow angled flawlessly.:: Care to enlighten?
:: Excitement coursed through him but he realised that he can easily bore people with all of his weird Science things. He knew far too much about it ::
th’Koro: ::Teasingly:: Well I could but it is long.
Namura: It's not as though we haven't got the time here, Newbie. You're into the Science. Let's hear it.
th’Koro: ::Taking a big breath in:: Basically, it suggests that the whole universe was created Last Thursday...or whatever day takes your fancy. And it is absolutely impossible to disprove. Like if you say, ‘ooh but I know what I was doing last Wednesday,’ I could just say, ‘ You were created with those memories last Thursday.’ See, a little Reductio ad Absurdum.
Johns: Sweet saints of all that is holy, you scared the crap out of me. ::He lowered his hand with a brief flash of apology on his features and quelled his shallow but rapid breath.:: Can't you wear a bell or something?
Johns: Look, I've already been tenderised like a cutlet with a beef mallet on Schulman. The Docs had to pull a five-inch stake out of my buttcheek. So, if you’re about to beat me up, know that I’m tired, and I haven’t shaved my legs.
::Her nose wrinkled, just a little, and she regarded him with clear dismay.::
Sienelis: Nothing you just said enriched my life.
Stoyer: Well, you are a bit intimidating. Again, I have seen you use that frankengun Sparks put together for you.
:: Ayiana couldn’t help but giggle. Did she really seem that way to people? ::
Sevo: Sorry. I never really intended to come out looking like that. But you have to try that thing; it’s so fun!
Smith: That was quick. Also you’re wearing my clothes.
MacFarlane: Mine wash bein’ too loub. Beshidesh, ish nob all yersh, thish ish shtill my jacket.
Smith: Still that’s my... Hang on were are your clothes Tasha? You could’ve just put them back on
MacFarlane: Uhhh...I think m’ clothesh are in yer quartersh shomewhere? Maybe I forgetted where I leaved them.
Brunsig: Why don't you call your union rep and we'll all have a sit down to discuss the unfair working hours of freedom fighters.
::Stoyer's voice started to rise as he continued. For someone who changed partners as often as most people changed their socks, he was surprisingly upset.::
Stoyer: I know you don’t like me, but remember one thing. I am not here for you or your revolution. I have my reasons. ::He shot a quick glance at Jo, then began to step away.:: Also, you might try if it is in your nature to be a bit nicer to your crew. You may just get more out of them.
Brunsig: You're right! How could I be so blind. Someone's just beaten Reynolds into a pulp because there wasn't a guard on her door *as I asked*, ::he glared at Sevo,:: but clearly what everyone *really* needs is a cuddle and a round of Kumbaya from Papa Bear.
::When Corliss had been sent ahead to the ship, she...well she...wasn't expecting uh...what had happened. What happened was...she wasn't entirely sure? One moment she was in the ship the next...ah, she wasn't sure now that she was being pulled from the dreamland. She knew she was a mix of afraid and nauseous and her head was pounding a bit. She made a noise, her hand sliding up and covering her face.::
Reynolds: Ensign? Fortune, can you hear me?
Fortune: ::mumbling:: Boss, shussshhh, I was dreaming....
th’Koro: I’ll only do it if money is involved.
:: So the Andorian petaQ wanted to get “paid”, huh? Fine. Without warning, Ayiana swung her right fist at Thalas’ face, hitting him hard on the cheek. ::
Sevo: There’s your payment!
MacFarlane: Ah...that doeshn’t sheem wise...hash anybody eber told yeh tha’ yer a really nice shade o’ green? ::She reached out to try and touch him:: Yer a pretty man.
:: The Saurian’s brow lifted a bit as his eyes widened at her comment. It was the first time that anyone had paid him such a compliment, besides his mother of course. Living in Boston, he never caught the attention of women. Even his own species seemed to look at him as a traitor for leaving Sauria and deciding to live among the soft skins. He knew it was the lingering effects of the alcohol but he took Tasha’s comment and smiled. ::
Yiggtissi: Thanks Sparks. And for a soft skin and someone I consider a sister, you’re not bad yourself.
Vondaryan: I didn't realize we had contracts. Maybe the Ferengi wrote them without telling us.
Lanta: If thats the case we have a whle slew of backpay coming
th’Koro: ::Glaring at Red:: That would be nice
:: Samira said nothing. If someone had joined the Maquis with the idea to earn a living, they were surely mistaken. Red's reaction said it all. They should be happy to still be alive at the end of the day. ::
Sevo: :: Facepalming. :: It’s a figure of speech. Anyway, Slick, Walter wants *you* to lead this investigation, because apparently you’re good at such things.
Vondaryan: Right, as we observed from Red and Buttons here, we've got an assailant on the loose. Someone, and I'm not naming names, yet, defied Papa Bear's orders not to harm the Brainiac from Starfleet. We've got to figure out who. ::He rounded on the nearest person to him.:: So where were you an hour ago?
::He could smell the discomfort coming off of the rabble. Everyone was a suspect until they weren't. And right now everyone was a suspect. Except him, of course.::
Neathler: :: Trying to remain calm. :: Now why would I want to do that? I didn't even know you had a Fleeter on board, where she was kept captive or how she looks like. And even if I knew, you honestly think I would have kept a fleeter alive?
:: Samira was furious, she shouldn't have said the latter but it was too late now. ::
Sevo: I was having dinner with Stripper. In the galley. Tons of witnesses.
::Unfortunately, Tali could attest to that, with nauseating detail.::
th’Koro: Does this ship have cameras or something or any way to see the corridors in front of the quarters.
Sevo: Ha! It’s not like this is a shiny Starfleet ship with a security guard on every corner.
Namura: We only needed the *one* guard, to be fair.
Fortune: ::She grinned:: I'd say it's fair to say not every day you see a brightly pink haired woman in normal company. I'm also very good with my words. However. You definitely owe me a party after this. ::She winked playfully, then winced, rubbing at her temple.:: I'm joking. What's the plan?
::Quinn managed a faint smile, having guessed at the joke — her startling pink hair was barely worth a second glance among the incredible diversity of a Starfleet crew. The Gorkon alone counted a huge variety of appearance among the individuals in residence; a purple-haired Antosian, blue-skinned and antennaed Andorians, a green-skinned, lizard-like Saurian, a Romulan, a battle-scarred and aged Klingon, and last but most definitely not least, a Pahkwa-thanh — a talking dinosaur in a Starfleet uniform.::
Reynolds: I'm sure that Lieutenant Nkai would be delighted to indulge your request.
Nkai: Any excuse is a good excuse for a party, sir.
The dream starts to unravel...
:: They were currently standing in a small cave, with several tunnels leading off in different directions. In the center of the cave was a raised pool with murky, bubbling water. ::
Sevo: I...I think this is a Symbiont pool. From Trill.
Lanta: I don’t know but isn’t it beautiful
:: Samira reached out with her right hand and let some of the confetti fall on her glove. The colorful material quickly changed color on touch down into snow white flakes. Yet something didn't feel right. She looked up, the cave was now filled with snowflakes, blurring the view, the seahorses and jellyfish were nowhere to be seen. Confused she looked at her glove, seeing the flakes were acting as a corrosion and started to eat the leather of her glove. In a bit of a panic she shook her hand trying to get rid of the flakes but it was in vain. ::
:: Quickly she turned around, dashed out of the cave, back to the others, ran to the pool and quickly dipped her hand into the murky, bubbling water, hoping the water itself wasn't boiling. Shaking the excess of muddy water from her glove, she muttered her first words since she left the bridge. ::
::Without warning the lights flicked back on, brighter than ever. Trellis shielded his eyes from the sudden change in lighting. When his eyes had adjusted he noticed, at the end of the corridor, stood what he thought Humans called a "clown." A being with an obviously fake set of fiery-red hair, paint stains on its cheeks, and a fake, giant, red nose. It smiled to reveal a set of razor-sharp teeth that made the entire image unsettling.::
Namura: P-please tell me someone else sees him.
Vondaryan: ::He hissed.:: The thing you call a clown? Yeah. And it's in my way.
:: Lost in a universe of calamity and incalculable odds, the macrocosm had seen fit to join these two lights together in travel. The thought of losing that pained Yiggtissi to his core and if he could cry, there were would be tears staining his jacket as the two shared this moment in time. ::
Sim: ::looking deeply into his friend's eyes:: Whatever happens here today, brother, I will always appreciate your friendship, your loyalty, and your alcohol abuse. ::he felt the tears watering at the corners of his eyes:: Now, lift me up on to that bed before I change my mind.
Yiggtissi: :: He bent down and lifted him up. :: Whatever happens, we will find each other again my brother. Our travels are not complete yet.
MacFarlane: We’re in Scotland ::frowning:: ‘ow th’ hell did we get ‘ere?
Stoyer: Why are we here? What did you do?
MacFarlane: I did nothin’! We came through t’ door an’--
Sevo: KID! What the hell are you--!
:: The [unicorn] didn’t move, or even tremble. It freely let Kid touch it’s forehead in a bare place between plates of the armor. Carefully, Ayiana moved up as well. She got so close, she could feel the warm air one of them was breathing out its nostrils. She noticed a silver nametag on it, just like the others; the one in front of her said “Serenity.” ::
:: Groznin turned back to Ayiana in confusion.::
Smith: Well what do we do?
Lanta: ::muttering:: I wonder
::Without another word he climbed a rock near to one of the creatures and climbed the rock and then on to the unicorn. It stood patiently as if expecting it and looked round to make sure he was sat firmly. Then it turned and with no run up cleared the gap with one delicate seeming jump::
Smith: Umm.. ::Groznin was in amazement.::
Lanta: Looks like this is the way across guys
Gravelled Voice: It's up here. We're to grab her kids and bring them up to the bridge.
Rasping Voice: Lladre wants a bargaining chip, huh?
Gravelled Voice: Something like that. Don't think his— ::there was a momentary pause, as if the owner of the voice was self-correcting,:: —*her* current plan is working out.
::It took Quinn a moment to realise that her phaser was already out of its holster, held in a vice-like grip. On this deck there was only one set of quarters hosting children — her own. The temptation to up the setting on her phaser was near irresistible, but she gritted her teeth and forced herself to think straight. Now was not the time to lose her cool, as much as she wanted to charge around the corner and start shooting at the people threatening her son and daughter.
::Two guests, clad in plate armor and standing proud before the two humans were a pair of Unicorns. Slowly Tasha approached them and extended her right arm towards them, her flesh and blood arm. One of them, slightly smaller than its friend shook its mane and stepped towards her, lowering its head to sniff at her hand. She carefully petted it, her eyes brimming with tears of joy, the fear of moments ago completely forgotten. With a wide grin she looked over her shoulder at Cory.::
MacFarlane: Cory…look...Unicorns…it’s m’ dreams come true!
E. Reynolds: I just… ::She kept her voice low, her words for the other woman alone.:: If we wake up and this is all… if *we're* not… ::She trailed off, unable to quite bring herself to say it.:: I just want to say that it doesn't matter. The way I feel about you, that's real.
Marshall: ::Quietly,:: I know, sheya. I know. It's real for me too. ::She looked between them, at their laced fingers, and gave them a gentle squeeze.:: It'll be all right. Whatever happens, it'll be all right.
::She tried to smile, but it wouldn't quite come, worry lines running in parallel across her forehead. Swallowing, Erin reached for her partner, cupping her face in her hands and scooting up onto her tiptoes to steal a kiss fraught with fear and desperate affection. Jo pulled her close, arms around her waist, hands splayed on her back. Erin could feel her emotions reflected back at her, the aching sense that this was somehow a goodbye.::
Marshall: Whatever happens, whoever we are, I'm yours. ::Her voice wobbled in a way that made Erin's throat hurt, even more so when Jo tucked a stray strand of her hair behind her ear, her skin tingling in the wake of her touch.:: Time to take a deep breath and face whatever this is together.
::He pirouetted his body around, darting forward towards the golden shade. It was an experience not dissimilar to swimming, but there was no water resistance, and it was solely a mental effort. His new body was a construct after all. Still holding Erin's hand, they travelled together towards the golden shade, who looked eerily similar to Erin's, except that she was clearly wearing a Starfleet uniform.::
Sim: It's not me, she is wearing a Starfleet uniform, right?
E. Reynolds: She is, yes…
Sim: Good. ::clearing his throat:: Quinn Reynolds.
:: He kicked his knee out frantically and noticed a crack of light come through. He kicked again, causing the crack to become larger. He could hear the excitement from the voices but still, no idea who they were. He pushed out with his elbow and a different crack of light appeared. Yiggtissi began to shuffle his entire body and beams of light began to appear from everywhere. Suddenly, bright light rushed in blinding him once again. His stomach turned a bit as he felt as though someone picked him up and held him in mid-air. The cold air rushing around his body causing him to lose his breath. ::
:: The white light began to fade slowly and his vision started to clear. The blurry images began to focus and in his mind, he was shocked. He saw the young face of his mother, who was holding him under his arms, his body dangling in the air. A loving smile streamed across her face as she turned to her husband, who was peering over her shoulder. ::
Cairittin: Look at him, Tuk. Isn’t he wonderful?
Tukmeeh: He has your eyes, Cairittin.
:: Samira walked over to one of the cabinets and opened the door. Dozens of yellow rubber ducks fell out of the cabinet, quaking and making other noises. She slammed the door shut, ready to give the door another beating with her fist but stopped. There was no point, she'd only hurt her already fragile fingers. Instead she bent down, took one of the rubber ducks and threw it in the direction of the still dancing isolinear chips on the table, trying to break its formation. A couple of those chips jumped up, letting the duckie pass. The duck bounced from the table to the wall behind it, grew a set of wings and flew out the door into the corridor, quaking loud as if it was laughing at all of them. ::
:: She took a few steps back and leaned against the bulkhead next to the doorway, crossing her arms in front of her. ::
MacFarlane: ‘ow, what, who are yeh?
::The yellow teeth what showed from the smile disconcerted Cory. The beard was impressive Cory thought, as the little dude stroked it.::
Skar: A good question gal. What d’ ya want ta call me? ::He held up a hand before either of them could speak:: Sorry, that was not a very useful answer, I know. Ya can call me Skarbek, but I prefer Skar, but I will let you use whatever is better for ya mon.
MacFarlane: Skarbek...yer named after our ship?
Skar: Ya ship? Na mon, ya mah crew, I’m not ya ship. Ya didn’t think o’ that did ya gal.
Reynolds: What the— ::Her gaze landed on Erin, and she scowled.:: You.
::Erin sucked in a sharp breath. Clearly something had happened between the two sisters in that moment.::
Sim: Commander Reynolds -
Reynolds: Get out of my head.
Skar: ::smiling widely:: Ey gal, its no troubal. Once ya undastand tha world ya live in, it is easy ta shape. Now go on, who knows how long that passage will remain open for ya mon.
::Tasha glanced at Cory, then back to Skar. He nodded encouragingly. Still unconvinced she looked to the Unicorns who neighed and pawed at the ground, gesturing with their horns for them to enter. Seeing no other option than to continue roaming the Highlands, Tasha dropped to her hands and knees and began crawling into the hole. It slowly widened, eventually to the point where Tasha could stand.::
::Looking around Tasha was surprised, they appeared to be back on the Skarbek, in one of its narrow corridors. She looked back over her shoulder and saw Cory behind her, and no sign of the tunnel they had just passed through, only more corridor. Frowning she opened the nearest door and carefully stepped through, into the deflector maintenance bay, which had been her original goal.::
:: Ayiana brought up a biological scanning suite, and started scanning the pool of blood. It quickly returned a result; just not the one she was expecting. The top screen had a strange game playing out - a yellow smiley head eating through a row of dots, all leading through a maze to the center with a coin-like object. Four ghost-looking characters were chasing it. ::
Sevo: Hmm. Very interesting.
Neathler: Yeah very.
Reynolds: Well, half. ::She didn't even attempt a smile at her own, half-hearted joke.:: My Dad... I think he's relieved too, underneath it all. And my brother and sister. She–
::Whatever Quinn had been about to say, it was lost as the sentence died in her throat. She shook her head and stared out past the shattered walls of sickbay, where a setting sun painted a rippling sea in shades of ruby and bronze. Sister? Singular? Didn't she have *two*?::
Reynolds: I love you, Walter.
::He flushed and stiffened, wanting to take a step backward and yet somehow unable to. What in the flaming hells was this? The words rang familiar in his ears, and feelings began to uncoil in his chest that echoed them. But what about Carys? How could some dream conversation feel more real that the memories of the woman he'd *married*?
::Quinn looked at him, a fragile smile on her face, as though she'd been expecting his reaction, playing out her part in the dream-memory without missing a beat.::
Reynolds: I'm not asking anything of you. I don't expect you to do anything about it. But you should know; you're loved. That's all I came here to say.
:: Tired of everything Samira brushed away the figure that was still pulling at her hand. The girl fell on her bum in the middle of the table, yet stubbornly stood up, returned to Samira's hand, grabbed her thumb and started pulling again. Samira looked at the others not knowing what to do. Maybe she should just go back to her quarters and get some sleep. What if that was the solution to everything? She looked back at the girl on the table. The girl was now holding some kind of device in front of her mouth and shouted something through it. ::
Girl: Follow the yellow brick road.
Neathler: What yellow brick road?
Skar: Ya mon! Ya know what I’m talkin’ about!
::Cory mumbled something vile under his breath and headed to assist Sparks. She grabbed the panel that was over the components they needed to fix and pulled it off. There was a sudden gasp from the little dude. Cory looked over at him.::
Skar: Ey gal! Be gentle! Those are mah insides ya are pullin’ an’ tossin’ around.
::Trellis could see the Trill coming out of her stupor, eyes fluttering open. She was still struggling to regain consciousness, let alone understand what was happening. He was fully cognizant of everything and didn't understand.::
Vondaryan: Shut it, just relax. ::To the others.:: We've got to get through that door. Thoughts on how to proceed?
::Diverting away from the door, Valesha darted over to the woman and took her hands, trying to pull her to her feet. The woman didn't move, or even acknowledge Valesha's existence, going about her data entry as though there wasn't a full-grown adult tugging at her wrists.::
Johns: What's wrong with her? She's like a-
Sienelis: Chris, please, help me! ::She looked at him with wide eyes.:: It's my mother, we can't leave her in here… she's going to—
::There was a dull, clunking sound that echoed through the bay. None of the inhabitants seemed to pay it much mind, barring a few stray glances, having got used to the odd sounds that the ship made around them and having little experience in living aboard a starship. But those who did, recognised it for the dire warning that it was. In response, Valesha pulled every more frantically at her mother's arms, but it was like trying to shift a statue.::
::Cory quickly looked around, but didn’t see any umbrella except the one the little due was holding. Stepping forward he made a grab for it. He missed and the little dude quickly stepped away and just as fast bopped Cory on the head with the umbrella. He had never seen anyone move that fast. Cory growled a bit and tried to grab the umbrella again. And again he was bopped on the head. Cory swung a punch at the little dude. All of his frustration and anger boiling over. Missing and getting bopped again. Cory stepped back. The rain was continuing to fall. His head hurt from the boppings.::
oO All of this over an umbrella. Oo
Reynolds: We'll take the turbolift. ::She glanced sideways at Nkai.:: Just stay with us a little while longer.
::He nodded, pain lining his ghost-white face and she guessed that was all he was capable of at this point. They shuffled forward, moving as fast as Nkai could manage, lurching toward the turbolift.::
::Corliss slowly shuffled with him, seeing his pale face. Last time she saw someone that pale, they threw up in her lap at one of the bars her friends had dragged her too. Yuck. She knew this was from pain though, although she couldn't fault the man if he lost his lunch.::
::Again Genkos kept quiet, waiting for Quinn to respond. She was clearly trying to decide what to tell them, if anything.::
Reynolds: Everyone aboard the Skarbek is a actually a Starfleet officer, and we serve aboard the same ship. Right now, someone is trying to steal that ship and I haven't yet figured out what purpose the collective dream has in—
::She stopped, frowning, and Genkos shivered. It seemed her realisation had made him cold::
Sim: What is it?
Reynolds: My command codes. ::She shook her head.:: The codes you were after in the dream. They're actually the Gorkon's command codes.
Sevo: Make...it...stop… *hurk*
:: As the loop leveled out, Ayiana saw them heading towards a bright blue nebula. But instead of heading into it, the car looped around and towards a star; far too close for Ayiana’s comfort. She could feel the heat emanating from the cosmic fusion plant. Ayiana closed her eyes, and braced for collision with the dwarf star. When she expected to hit the surface, they instead flew right *through* the star, and back into darkness. Moments later, the car slowed and lurched to a stop. The bars around her retracted, and Ayiana scrambled out as fast as she could. ::
Smith: WOHOO! That was fun. Can we do it again red!?
Lanta: It was average at best
Sevo: :: Heaving. :: ‘L-lemme ‘lone. *Hurk*--!
:: Poor Cory. He worked so hard on that stew. ::
Neathler: ::Grumbling. :: Leave me alone. Just give me a minute.
::Determined burned behind her blue eyes as she stared at the doctor, seized by whatever crackpot idea she'd had. The question was, was it completely crackpot, or only dreamworld crackpot?::
Marshall: Can you induce a hemorrhage? Without beating me to a pulp.
::Completely crackpot, then.::
Brunsig: ::He pinched his nose.:: What fresh new hell is this.
::In the distance Tasha heard the loud whistle of a steam locomotive, and, just as the rain around them changed to lumps of falling coal, Skar stepped close to them and the madness vanished. The rain remained, but thankfully it was a liquid once more, although it had taken on a smoky, black taint.::
Skar: See mon. I’m on ya side. I’m tryin’ ta protect ya from, oh hey wow! Another one bites the dust!
MacFarlane: Another one bites th’ dust?
Stoyer: What are you talking about?
Skar: Ya doctor, the Saurian ya call Yiggs. He woke up!
::The young one, barely out of childhood by the looks of him, paced back and forth. Bondon kept his eyes down, assessing the situation.::
Smith: Let’s start with your name. What is it?
Bondon: ::He snorted.:: Like I'm going to tell you that. Bondon don't tell nobody his name.
Everyone: Three! Two! One!
::He closed his eyes one more time. The shiny walls were at least not full of desiccated bodies. That was a plus.::
Vondaryan: Where are we now? I- I don't recognize this place.
Sevo: How rude. Perhaps a fist to your face might loosen your tongue? :: Ayiana raised a balled fist towards Bondon’s face threateningly. ::
Bondon: No, I don't think I will. Maybe *you'd* like a punch to the face!
:: Before she could react, Bondon somehow freed himself from the ropes, and swung a blade that he had somehow managed to get a hold of. Ayiana jumped back, trying to dodge the knife, but she wasn’t quite fast enough; the knife cut a large hole in her shirt. ::
Lanta: Watch out!
Sevo: Oy! This is my favorite shirt!
Lladre: Then that's our cue to leave. Alert the others, we'll meet them aboard our ship.
::There was one last thing to do before they left. As Ana contacted the rest of their team, Lladre shifted the one device they had yet to use to the centre of the bridge, tapping out a few quick commands. Lights flashed into existed on its control panel, flicking on and off in something that looked suspiciously like a countdown.::
Lladre: We're set. Let's go.
::Ana nodded, and three transporter beams materialised on the bridge, stealing away the two thieves and the unique device they'd used to pacify the crew. Through the confinement beam, she could see people starting to stir, and was entirely unable to resist a mischievous wave as she vanished in front of their eyes::