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    A cross ship JP by @Ravenna Carter and @GhantXerix that I particularly enjoyed reading. I thought in particular the gradual effect that Xerix experienced from the meal was well written, and the bagel and hotdog line made me smile! Nicely done, you two! (( Flashback: 2394, Aboard the Celestial- En Route to Risa)) ::Ghant Xerix switched the controls on the Celestial, his father’s Risian yacht to autopilot and stretched lazily, squishing himself back into the plush chair. The Betazoid/Risian hybrid was thoroughly looking forward to some much needed R&R at his uncle’s cottage on the Galartha cliffs overlooking the ocean. He ran a hand through his dark, unruly hair as he heard Ravenna coming up from the rear quarters of the vessel.:: ::He had met Ravenna Carter in a dreadful lecture on the History of the Federation.:: ((Flashback- a few weeks prior, Starfleet Academy, SFO)) :: He had been just nodding off to a rather peaceful nap when he was rudely awoken by the SLAM of heavy books onto a desk. His head spun to observe the source of this distraction from peace:: Carter: I’m sorry. That was NOT supposed to be that loud. I can’t believe I’m late on my first day! Today is just not my day. Hi, I’m Ravenna Carter. :: She extended her hand to the Cadet next to her:: Ghant eyed the human as she spoke. Red haired, slight of frame. And her accent...Brooklyn or perhaps Greenwhich village, but definitely Terra’s New York area. Xerix: Ghant Xerix:: Taking her hand and shaking it:: I’d say it’s a pleasure to meet you but I’m not much of a liar. And relax. Professor Sh’ren is always late, and barely notices who’s in attendance. This is ...*was* the best spot on campus to get some shut-eye ::Ghant said all of this with a smirk, hoping the young woman would catch his sarcasm. He didn’t understand how humans managed to understand one another, simply relying on facial expression and body language. Betazoids knew how each other felt before the person feeling it did.:: Carter: Nice to meet you, Ghant. I can move if you would like to continue your nap, but I was mostly just planning on getting caught up on my reading. ::Ravenna was about to pick up her bag when Ghant spoke up.:: Xerix: No, no. Carter, was it? Please, I’d enjoy the company. You know, there is this wonderful new format for reading materials, called a PADD. You could carry all those books in your back pocket. Carter: I like the feeling of books. It relaxes me. I do have a PADD for more important things that are academy related. Xerix: ::He grinned at her honesty:: What part of New York are you from? Carter: How did you know I was from New York? ::She was taken aback. Most people didn’t listen to her long enough to figure out where she was from.:: Xerix: My minor is in linguistics. I could cut your accent with a knife. Not that I mind. New Yorkers are fine people. Carter: I’m from Brooklyn. Born and raised. At least for the most part. ::She couldn’t hide the sadness in her voice.:: ::Ghant ignored the tone. Humans usually freaked out when they realized how transparent they were to the telepathic races:: Xerix: My favorite steakhouse is in Brooklyn. Peter Luger. Have you eaten there? Carter: That’s a lot out of my price range. You’re a Betazoid, aren’t you? I recognized the name, but I think I just placed it. Xerix: Half. My father is Risian. My mother was Betazoid. I tend to favor that side because I was raised there and am much more familiar with the culture. Risa is beautiful, but it’s a vacation spot. In fact, I’m going to be there in a few weeks. ((End Flashback)) :: Ravenna trudged her way to the [...]pit of the yacht. She hadn’t slept a wink, her hair looked like it had been brushed with an egg beater and she looked like a thriller reject. She was still surprised that she agreed to come along. She wasn’t sure why Ghant had asked her in the first place. She wasn’t rich, attractive, or someone who would fit into his lifestyle in any way. She didn’t feel worthy of such a vacation.:: Xerix: For the last time, Carter. I’m not a snob. I have friends from all walks of life. And I’m glad you agreed to come with me. You deserve a break. But we will have to work on your appearance a bit. ::Ravenna playfully swatted his arm for the appearance comment.:: Carter:I know I look horrifying, but did you have to mention it? Not all of us can afford to be freshly pressed all the time. ::She shot him a smirk as she plopped down in the co-pilot’s seat.:: Xerix: :: He gave her serious side-eye:: Replicators are a thing now. You can have fresh clothes for free at any time. Like right now. Carter:What? And deprive you the opportunity to see my grubby field clothes; never! ::Ghant opened his mouth to form a witty retort when Standiford appeared with a tray piled high with snacks and drinks:: Standiford: Don’t mind him, Miss Carter. He’s just your run-of-the-mill blue blood, sticking his nose in the air at anything he feels is beneath him. ::His holographic companion, Standiford had been in his life as long as he could remember. When he thought anything serious, it was usually her voice he heard in his head. She set the tray of refreshments down, smiling at their guest:: Carter: Ah yes, and I am the lowly charity case. ::She gave Ghant a sideways glance to see if he was still listening.:: Xerix:Oh please. Note to self: invest in ear-plugs so that you don’t have to hear Ravenna’s pity party the entire trip. Carter: You are too easy! How long until we get there, oh captain, my captain. Xerix: ::in a melancholy tone:: Another 2 days..Gods help me. ((Flashback: 2394, Galartha, Risa)) ::Ghant touched the Celestial down on a landing pad behind the cottage. As he opened the rear hatch, he was greeted by warm, slightly humid sea air, and the delightful sounds of waves meeting rocks. Off in the distance, various boats meandered here and there.:: Xerix: Welcome to Risa, Miss Carter. Carter: Wow, it’s so beautiful. ::Ravenna turned around, taking it all in.:: I can’t believe you can just visit whenever you’d like! Xerix: ::extending his hand to take her bags:: Here, let me help you with tho….Dear Gods Ravenna, how many books did you bring? Carter: All of them? ::She gave Ghant a sheepish grin.:: ::Ghant rolled his eyes as they entered the cottage, which was just as beautiful as he remembered.:: Xerix: Well I’m going to unpack and get dressed, we have reservations at Marseille De Sol. It’s a new fusion restaurant. Risian and Terran-French. Standiford: I took the liberty of having this ordered for you. ::Ravenna took the package from Standiford and thanked her. The outfit was not something she would ever have chosen for herself, but they were absolutely stunning.:: Carter: Thank you, Standiford! Standiford: It’s my pleasure. ::Ravenna took them back to her room, which was as stunning as her new outfit, and got changed for dinner. She was shocked beyond words that they fit perfectly. She put her hair up in a style befitting the wardrobe, and went off to see if Ghant was ready.:: ::If he didn’t know it was her due to his telepathy, Ghant would have thought a comely stranger had entered their cottage. In place of the gawky and poorly dressed academy student, stood a radiant young woman who had been poured into a floor length one-shouldered Tyrian purple dress with crystal embellishments. Her hair was elaborately knotted and coiffured, being pinned into place with lavender-colored crystal wreath pins. :: ::Ghant’s throat bobbed as he swallowed hard, taking in the view. Standiford had added a purple sash to his tuxedo, and the pair of friends looked absolutely stunning together.:: Xerix: Sorry, I’m looking for Ravenna Carter, have you seen her? Carter: HAHA sorry, she has left the building, though she instructed me to escort you to dinner in her stead. Xerix: You look picturesque. Truly stunning. Carter: Ummm, thank you. I am not used to dresses, it feels really weird. You look very handsome. Purple suits you. Xerix: Thank you. Shall we to dinner? Carter: Please, I am starving! I only fit into the dress because I have withered away to skin and bones! ((Marseille De Sol)) ::The restaurant was positively resplendent, with peachy sunset-toned ceilings, stunning frescos, and gorgeous coral arrangements as table decor. Ghant and Ravenna approached the maitre’d’s pulpit, getting quite a few eyes as they went.:: Xerix: Good evening. I believe we have a reservation. Xerix Maitre’d: :: His emotions went from disinterested to surprised:: ...Yes sir, right this way. ::As they followed the man to their table, Ghant was enjoying the looks and feelings being given to them. Maitre’d: Your chef will be with you shortly. Xerix: Thank you Carter: Chef? What happened to the waiter? Xerix: Yes, apparently they cook everything tableside right in front of you. Carter: Well, this is very fancy. I almost don’t feel like I fit in… and everyone is staring! Xerix: Of course they are. You’re the most beautiful woman in the room. Besides, I rather like the stares. Carter: I know. I know. Calm down. You’re lucky you were raised in this. I have been friends with you for a matter of weeks, I haven’t gotten used to this yet. Xerix: You’re very nervous. Carter: I just have a bad feeling. I don’t know why. But let’s just enjoy dinner. ::A server approached with champagne and amuse-bouce. Ghant passed one of each to Ravenna and then for himself:: Xerix: Oh, do try the caviar, it’s not replicated. Machines never get it quite this right. ::Ravenna spotted the maitre’d watching them intently and it set her further on edge. He was ignoring the other guests in favor of watching them. It felt wrong. Though she didn’t have any prior knowledge on how these restaurants were run.:: ::The caviar was especially salty and delicious, and paired so well with the sweet champagne. He downed the entire glass:: ::You would think that Ravenna would be calmer knowing that Ghant knew what they were feeling, but it didn’t help. She was determined to make it through dinner without having a full-blown panic attack though.:: Carter: ::taking a bite:: You know how you LOVE potatoes… I found my potato. I do however love the champagne… I’m saving it for dinner though. Xerix: ::Gesturing for more champagne::Oh ha ha. :: The chef came to the table, pushing a cart laden with seafood and various accompaniments. Chef: Hello! I’m Chef Lanat, I’ll be preparing your meal. Xerix: Ghant Xerix, and this is Ravenna Carter. Carter: Pleasure to meet you. Lanat: Before I begin, where are you both from? I like to tailor my meals to the patrons eating them. :: Ghant didn’t bother mentioning his mixed heritage:: Xerix: I’m from Betazed. Carter: Earth, New York Lanat: Well, I hope you enjoy. How did you folks travel to Risa? :: Ghant started to feel in a strange humor. The small amount of inhibition he had was completely gone:: Xerix: Aboard my yacht. Lanat: Oh how nice. The weather is perfect this season ::Ravenna kicked Ghant under the table. That was a weird question to ask and she was starting to feel like a target. Ghant was getting loose, even for him. They had both had the caviar, but he had downed the Champagne, she hadn’t.:: :: He eyed her, confused as to her attitude. Carter: Excuse me, I hate to be a bother, but can you bring me an unopened bottle of Moscato, please? The fruitier the better. I want to save the champagne and I’m afraid my companion has a few drinks on me. Lanat: ::Gesturing to the server:: Of course, Ma’am. Carter: Thank you very much. And can I get a fresh glass? Xerix: Ravenna! How rude. Honestly, I can’t take you anywhere without a scene. Carter: I know, how uncivilized of me; you must forgive my upbringing… How about you slow down on the drinks? ::Lanat seemed to take all this in as he placed some shellfish into a pot of broth in front of them. The delicious aroma of spices making Ghant’s stomach announce its neglect:: Xerix: So Lanat, where would a handsome chef like you be from? ::Ravenna rolls her eyes. Only Ghant would make a scene while seemingly being on a date with someone else. She had to remind herself not to get mad at him for this. They had been targeted from the beginning.:: Lanat: Oh, I’m not really from anywhere. Carter: What does that mean? Lanat: ::looking a bit perturbed at the human:: My family ran a cargo freighter. That was my home. Xerix: I bet you’ve got to explore so much. Lanat: ::Plating Risian lake prawns over seagreens:: I think that’s an understatement. How long have you two been together? Carter: How did you know he was part Risian? You said you customize the meals. ::She ignored the last remark.:: Xerix: Ravenna, we are on Risa. And I believe they are in season. Lanat: Just so, sir. Carter: Right… My apologies. It must be fatigue from the long flight. We came all the way from Earth. We are Starfleet cadets and we are on Academy Leave right now. ::Patrons began exiting the restaurant. Even though the twin suns had barely set, it was well into the late evening. Ghant began feeling very fatigued as he devoured the prawns. Lanat: I see. Carter: Do you have any meals customary of New York on Earth? I am so very homesick. Lanat: ::With a tone of condescension in his voice:: Yes, perhaps I can whip you up a bagel and shmear? Or perhaps a hot-dog? ::Ghant couldn’t suppress his laughter at that. The man was as bitter and jaded as Ghant himself pretended to be. And, he regarded without a hint of concern...the man was planning on holding them ransom. And then killing them.:: Carter: What? Can’t do steaks here? And Ghant, Dear, I believe YOU are making a scene now. Xerix :: He couldn’t hide his surprise at the term of endearment, it making a much larger impression than her reproach:: Forgive me, Dear. ::The restaurant was emptied entirely of patrons now. Just a few servers cleaning up and the maitre’d eyeing them from his pulpit:: Carter: And while you whip up the steaks, I still haven’t gotten my Moscato I ordered an hour ago. This is some rather sorry service we are getting here. Xerix: Carter, relax. Please. Lanat: My apologies. Sheksan, where are the refreshments for this table? Carter: Unopened, please. And I’ll pour it myself. ::Ghant’s eyes began to droop. He could scarcely hold himself upright. Succumbing to the lethargy, he passed out. His head bounced spectacularly into the table, which did nothing to wake him:: Carter: Ghant! ::Rushing to the other side of the table, she checked for a pulse and any sign of response, she came up with nothing.:: What did you give him? He needs medical attention! ::Ravenna pulled a tricorder out of her purse and was relieved to find a thready pulse appear on the screen. Whatever he had been dosed with, it was having unintended effects on his complex physiology. She realized she was in this entirely alone and she had spent a long while making their attackers mad.:: Lanat:Sheksan, kill her. She’s worthless to us. ::Sheksan pulled out an old, if lethal-looking disruptor pistol, making his way over to the table.:: Carter: ::yelling:: If you kill me, he dies and you can’t provide proof of life. He becomes worthless too and you won’t get the ransom you are after. ::Calming down:: He is not a full Betazoid. You didn’t take that into consideration when you drugged him. Now he is dying. Sheksan: She has a point, Lanat. ::Lanat took a large, terrifying knife out of it’s sheath on his side:: Lanat: Well you had better heal him, and quick. Otherwise you’ll end up as tomorrow night’s special, human. Carter: Then you need to tell me what you gave him and I need a medkit. Sheksan, can you escort me to the Celestial. I need to change out of this dress, I have clothes left aboard. ::Lanat eyed her carefully. She was substantially smaller than Sheksan.:: Lanat: Fine, if she tries anything, kill her. ::It was a tense walk to the Celestial and Ravenna had since ditched her heels. They made it on board and she went to change in the backroom, but was blocked by Sheskan.:: Carter: Excuse me? I’m not changing in front of you. I am not going to do anything, your boss has my friend, remember? Sheskan: I still don’t trust you. Carter: Whatever. Fine. Just like gym class. ::Ravenna got changed as quickly as she could, but when she turned around, Sheskan had turned his back to her.:: Carter: Thank you. ::They made their way back to the restaurant. Ravenna was now prepared to fight if she had to and she was also free to move and help Ghant.:: Lanat: Acontium spp. Being Betazoid, it should have just relaxed him. Carter: Well, that didn’t work, now did it? Is that the only thing you gave him? Sheskan: No. Carter: You mixed it? ::these men were stupid:: With what? Sheskan: Actaea pachypoda. Carter: Well at least it is two Earth poisons. Why Wolfsbane and Doll’s Eyes? Sheskan: Well, I liked the names. ::Ravenna couldn’t believe the answer she had just been given.:: Carter: You picked two poisons because you liked the names? How is Ghant not dead? ::Lanat handed her a medkit along with the vials they had used.:: Carter: If this is what you gave him, I can’t help him. He needs a hospital. And a blood transfusion. ::The medkit had contained a syringe and a tricorder. Nothing else.:: ::Lanat looked like he was ready to shove Ravenna into the meat grinder.:: Lanat: Well, for your sake I hope you think of something. ::Ravenna, while cringing at the thought, decided making Ghant throw up was a good start. Conventionally, this was frowned upon, but she was a trained medical professional, not a good samaritan on the street.:: Carter: oO I hope they have the same gag reflex.Oo Sheskan, I need you to act like a backrest for him, and as soon as he throws up, we need to put him in a recovery position. Can you handle that? Sheskan: Yes I can. :: After maneuvering Ghant to the floor and getting Sheskan into position, Ravenna took the handle end of a butter knife and suck it in the back of Ghant’s throat. It worked on the first try. Ghant threw up and Ravenna moved him into the recovery position: He was lying on his right side, his right arm helped balance him and his left arm was a pillow. His right leg was kept straight and they bent his left leg as another prop. If he threw up again, he wouldn’t aspirate.:: Carter: Luckily, he has advanced healing factors. He still needs a hospital though. ::She looked at the readings on her tricorder. She was relieved to see his vitals were improving. Getting the extra poisons out of his stomach had improved his chances.:: Did you plan on keeping us here, or was there a different plan? Lanat: You would be wise to shut your mouth, Miss Carter. I don’t need you. Carter: I never was good at keeping my mouth shut. Call it a flaw. ::She was moving away from where Ghant was lying. Not wanting him to be jostled in the impending commotion.:: ::Lanat had had enough of Ravenna. He went for his knife and Sheskan went for Ravenna.:: ::Ravenna had bit off more than she could chew. Ghant was out cold still and she was unarmed. This was how she would die. She would be tomorrow night’s special.:: Carter: Ghant if you can hear me. I swear I’m going to haunt you for all eternity! ::Sheskan started to charge Ravenna, but she dodged and kneed him in the ribs instead. He fell to the ground but managed to knock Ravenna’s legs out from under her. She yelped as she collided with the edge of a table, effectively putting a tooth through her lip.:: ::Lanat stayed where he was; sure that Sheskan would end their little pest.:: ::Sheskan got to his feet and walked over to where Ravenna was on her hands and knees, spitting blood. He kicked her in the ribs with as much force as he could. He could feel the rib break against his boot.:: ::Ravenna threw up and collapsed where she was like a worn-out rag doll. She felt like she was dying.:: ::Sheskan turned his back to her in a victorious manner. He thought she was done for.:: ::Ravenna crawled to her feet, using the same table she had hit her head on for support. If she was going to die here, she was taking the ogre with her. Gathering every shred of strength she had, with the help the adrenaline rush she was getting, she picked up a skillet from the chef station from the table and bashed him in the head with it. The force of the hit caused her to wobble. Her breath came out in pants. Ravenna stumbled over and grabbed Sheskan’s arm and brought it around behind him. She lifted up until she felt and heard it break free from the socket with a stomach-churning crunch. She knew this injury well. He wasn’t going to be attacking her anytime soon. She collapsed where she stood, hitting the ground with a dull thud.:: ::Ghant was wokened not by the noise, but by the raw emotions. His head was still swimming but lucidity was washing over him.:: ::Lanat was disgusted by Sheskan’s performance and decided he was completely useless. He glided over and stabbed his accomplice in the chest and twisted. It made a gross squishing noise.:: ::Ravenna couldn’t move. She was at the mercy of Lanat. She could think of nothing except her dad. She would be seeing him again really soon. She lost consciousness just as Lanat was hovering over her; his knife still dripping blood.:: :: Ghant slammed his knee into the man’s ribs, and in the next moment he clenched his hands together and bashed at his head. Violence and rage took ahold of Ghant, threatening to strip him of morality. :: ::Lanat swung wildly with the cruel-looking blade, missing Ghant’s abdomen by a few millimeters. Ghant caught the hand holding the knife and smashed it repeatedly into a nearby table. Lanat had him in size and weight but fear and anger more than made up for the difference. Lanat caught him with a punch to the face, adrenaline making the blow seem not that bad. Ghant recovered and hefted the cast iron soup pot, landing a blow to the back of the man’s skull. He nearly hefted it for another blow when he realized it would kill Lanat.:: ::He instead reached for the fob in his pocket. Pressing one of the buttons put him in direct contact with Standiford.:: Xerix: =/\= Standiford, call starfleet security! We’ve been attacked. We’re at the restaurant. ::He sprinted over to his friend while he talked:: Ravenna is badly hurt.=/\= Standiford: =/\= They’re on their way. I’ll meet you at the hospital =/\= ::Ravenna stirred a little, but couldn’t move much. The pain came flooding in, but she stayed unconscious.:: ::A dozen starfleet officers beamed into the restaurant, phasers drawn. Ghant put his hands up, tears forming in his eyes.:: Xerix: I’m Ghant Xerix, we’re starfleet cadets. We were attacked by this man, and that dead one he killed. My friend is badly hurt. ((Timeskip- the next morning)) ::Ghant hadn’t left Ravenna’s side for more than a moment since the attack. Standiford had brought him clean clothes, but he sorely needed a shower. He felt so guilty for the attack, even though the officers said there was little they could have done to protect themselves. The Maitre’d had escaped, Sheskan was dead, and Lanat was behind a forcefield somewhere.:: ::Ghant ran a hand through his wild hair for the hundredth time that morning, lost in his thoughts when he was suddenly aware of a consciousness :: Carter: Where am I? ::Her voice came out as a croak, having not been used for several hours.:: ::Ravenna couldn’t bear to open her eyes, her head hurt so badly. The blood pumped in her ears. Her ribs hurt on every inhale and screamed on every exhale; shallow breaths were her friend.:: ::Ghant was so relieved to hear her voice, tears threatened to loose at any moment:: Xerix: Risa, the pleasure planet where everything is always idyllic. Carter: I don’t feel Idyllic. I feel like I got hit by a yacht. Xerix: I’ll bet! You saved my [...], Carter. Carter: You would have done the same for me. Just promise me one thing. Xerix: Anything Carter: Next time I say something isn’t right, please listen to me. Xerix: I don’t think I could possibly trust someone who doesn’t enjoy caviar. Carter: How? How do you remember that? You were pickled in champagne, wolfsbane, and doll’s eyes. You should be dead, and definitely unable to remember that. Xerix: My memory wasn’t affected. Just my judgment. My brain isn’t human. Carter: Lucky you! My very human brain hurts right now. I got in a fight with an ogre and almost lost. What happened to them. I saw Sheskan get stabbed and then fade to black. Xerix: He’s dead. And Lanat is in jail. He keeps mumbling about troublesome humans ::He said this last part with a grin, hoping to bring some humor to the traumatic event:: Carter: He underestimated me because I’m human. He didn’t bother poisoning me. He was going to kill me when you passed out. Xerix: He isn’t the only one who underestimated you. Schlepping those books around has given you some definite abilities. Carter: Why us, or rather you? Xerix: The detective said they were going to kidnap me and hold me for ransom from my father. ((Timeskip, two weeks later)) :: The sounds of the ocean crashing onto the nearby cliffs was the only thing Ghant could hear. The heat from twin suns baked down on them as they basked on the gorgeous beach. ::Ravenna was plastered in sunscreen from head to toe. She was a bit toasty but otherwise comfortable chilling in a bikini. A massive green and yellow bruise remained from her broken rib and internal bleeding. She had finally recovered from her concussion, so she had lugged her books along with them; she was overjoyed to be medically released and allowed to read again. She knew every word of every book, but it was her happy place. Ghant looked peaceful and relaxed on a towel next to her; taking in all the sun he could. He had earned it. He had taken excellent care of her once she had been released from the hospital.:: Carter: ::setting her book aside, looked at Ghant:: You know, aside from getting the crap kicked out of me, this has been a rather exciting vacation. Xerix: Exciting wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. But other than your near-death experience and my being poisoned, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed yourself. ::Ghant took a long drink from the beverage beside him. An AMF, whatever that stood for. It was blue and delicious:: Carter: Exciting doesn’t have to always be positive, but I have rather enjoyed myself. Even outsmarting the bad guys was a thrill. I’m just glad you didn’t die. You scared me to death. Xerix: Yeah? I was utterly calm when I seen you lying in a lifeless heap. Not concerned in the least. Carter: ::laughing then wincing:: always with the sarcasm. Is that the only language you speak? Xerix: it’s the one we communicate best in, Bestie. End Ensign Ravenna Carter Science Officer USS Constitution B C239607RC0 & Lieutenant JG Ghant Xerix HCO Officer USS Gorkon V239505GX0
  3. 1 point
    ((Carter Family Car)) ::Ravenna stared out the window as they drove into the city. Her mother hadn’t stopped crying and her uncle hadn’t left nor said a word. No one told her what was going on, but she knew her dad wasn’t coming home again.:: Elizabeth: Hey, Sweety. ::Elizabeth wiped some latent tears from her cheek:: I’m taking you to talk to a nice lady who you can tell about how you’re feeling. Ravenna: ::Ravenna turned her attention to her mother.:: Ok, Mommy. Are you talking to her too? Elizabeth: No, she’s your special friend. ::Elizabeth turned back around in her seat. ::Ravenna turned back to the window. Everything was a blur. Before she knew it they were there and her mom was getting her out of the car.:: ((Dr. Corin Fortune’s Office Waiting Room)) Ravenna: A doctor? Am I sick Mommy? Elizabeth: No Sweety, she just wants to talk to you. ::Ravenna listened to the receptionist get her checked in. People murmured about a death. Ravenna was smarter than the adults gave her credit for. She knew what they were talking about. Her mother led her over to some chairs that felt huge and cold. The walls were grey and dreary. She hated it immediately.:: Elizabeth: Are you alright, Sweetheart? ::Ravenna just nodded.:: ::The receptionist called them back up there, the woman’s smile stretching wide for Ravenna as she nodded. Her name plate read R. James in bright blinking letters.:: James: Dr. Fortune will see you know, Ravenna. Would you like your mother to walk you to the doorway? ::She leaned out of the little window a bit, pointing down a curve near the edge of the desk.:: It’s just down this little hall, you’ll have to hit the chime to tell her who you are. Ravenna: No, thank you. I can manage. ::Ravenna took off down the hallway. It seemed to continue forever, but eventually she arrived at the door. She struggled to reach the chime for a bit, but managed a little hop.:: Corin Fortune:Come in! ::The door swished open, revealing...well it was almost home-like. A desk with a woman with bright white hair sat behind it, but that was about all that screamed ‘office’. The ground had a race car track rug, there was a sandbox on stilts near a window, a markerboard and a chalkboard, and several dolls and toys and a little bucket of building blocks from way back when. Several photos decorated the walls, albeit they were mostly on the side near the desk, away from the chaos of the childlike room.:: ::Dr. Corin Fortune, as her nameplate flashed, smiled at Ravenna from where she sat and she stood up, holding a hand on the back of her chair. :: Corin: Hello there. It’s a pleasure to meet you. May I call you Ravenna? Or is there a nickname you prefer? Ravenna:You can call me Ravenna, if you’d like. Can I call you Corin? ::Ravenna felt small, but more relaxed in this room than she had in the waiting room. There were colors everywhere and the chairs were smaller and more plush than the backbreakers in the other room.:: Corin: Absolutely. Come, sit sit. ::She waved at a small set of chairs near a plush couch, taking a seat on it herself, crossing her legs with a PADD in her lap. Despite how she sunk into it, it never made her appear any smaller.:: Would you like to talk to me? Ravenna: ::Ravenna responded while walking to a little purple chair. It was her favorite color and it was furry. It looked fun.:: What would you like to talk about? ::Ravenna sunk into the chair and it almost swallowed her whole. She let out a giggle. This was the happiest she had been in a few weeks.:: Corin: ::Corin smiled, shaking her head lightly.:: My, you’re nearly eaten up aren’t you? Well, we can talk about whatever you please. What brings you here to me today, your favorite color...perhaps we could draw something, would you like that? I have a few crayons, unless you prefer a tablet? Ravenna: I know what Mommy wants us to talk about. She doesn’t want to be the one to tell me Daddy isn’t coming home. I love her, but Daddy was my favorite. We read together every night. My favorite color is purple. I like drawing, but I love to read. We were ready Gray’s Anatomy, the medical book, not the show from the 21st century. I like real books. I don’t like the feeling of tablets. Corin: ::Corin chuckled softly.:: Your favorite, hm? I like real books as well, albeit they’re not as popular now as they once were. ::she sighed, nodding.:: But yes, your father isn’t coming home. I’m sorry about that, Ravenna. What do you think of the situation? Ravenna: Mom never has a lot of time for me. She is always doing art if she isn’t out digging. I feel like I’m going to be alone now. ::Ravenna looked around the office. There were tons of pictures of a little about her age on the desk and on the walls.:: Ravenna: Do you have a daughter? Corin: ::Corin hummed, finger tapping at the side of the PADD in an odd rhythm.:: I do. She’s about your age, if perhaps a tad older. She’s back at home with my family. ::She paused for a moment.:: Do you believe your mother won’t stay home to tend to you? Or is there something more to it? Ravenna: She has a career. And she doesn’t know how to talk to me. I’m weird. Daddy was always better with me than she was. I don’t think she ever wanted kids. :Ravenna was so small, but it was like talking to an adult. She understood more than most adults thought she would.:: Corin: I don’t think you’re weird, you’re quite astute, if I’m honest. Why do you believe she doesn’t want children? Has she said something of the sort around you? Ravenna: I am weird for a six-year-old though. I understand medical terminology and Latin base words. I know a lot about artists who are long, long dead, and I am conversational in French. My mom never bothered to understand me as her child. It was more of an anthropologist observing a people, but never interfering. My dad wanted kids, she wanted a career. I’m getting a nanny now. Mom has already applied to work with a team doing excavations on Risa starting the day after the funeral. ::Ravenna was getting madder and madder the more she said. It became clear that she thought that if one parent had to die, it had been the wrong one. She was starting to let herself go through the stages of grief. She was in anger.:: Corin: I see. You sound very astute for your age. ::She smiled, tapping something on her PADD.:: Would you like to draw with me, for a bit? Perhaps show me what you’re thinking about? Ravenna: Sure. Do you have any colored pencils? Corin: When I’m conflicted, sometimes I like to sketch out how I’m feeling. It’s relaxing, in a way one wouldn’t imagine. Ravenna: I like drawing a bit. I’m afraid I am not very good. I think that disappoints mom a bit. I disappoint her a lot. Corin: Doesn’t matter how good-or bad-you are, so long as you have fun. ::Corin tugged out a few colored pencils from the desk, settling with Ravenna at the tiny table with papers.:: Corin: Okay, let’s see, how about blue first... ((End Childhood Flashback)) (( First Year Academy Flashback)) Ravenna was hoping to do some last minute studying before an exam in her Physics Concepts class. Though it was a science, it wasn’t her strong suit. She looked around for an open table but was disappointed to see they were all filled except for one that was occupied by a single cadet. Ravenna felt bad for interrupting, but she really didn’t want to have to go all the way back to her dorm. Carter: I’m sorry to interrupt, but may I use this end of the table? Fortune: ::Corliss chewed on some gum she had scrounged up from the last of a pack, quickly nodding as she peeked up from her own PADD, popping a small bubble.:: Yeah, no problem! Carter: I am Ravenna Carter ::She reached out to shake the other cadet’s hand:: Fortune: Corliss Fortune! ::She quickly grabbed Ravenna’s hand, shaking it, wiggling the PADD in her other hand.:: Doing course work for Counseling. Carter: Counselling? ::eyeing the PADD in front of Corliss:: Fortune:Yeah! ::She perked up, grinning wide, even as she popped another bubble.:: Well, I mean, I’m doubling nursing with it, but I’m a bit of a wimp with um...needles. Ravenna also hated needles, so she could sympathise with Corliss. Carter: Any relation to Corin Fortune? Fortune: ::Corliss winced, grumbling a bit.:: Yeah, that’s my mom. Carter: How is she doing? Fortune: ::She blinked, tilting her head a bit.:: Um, good? You know her? Oh wait, geeze. ::She laughed.:: You must be a starfleet kid. She only takes on starfleet families. Carter: In a way, I guess I was a Starfleet kid. Never really thought of it that way. ::she laughed nervously and shifted her weight anxiously from foot to foot:: My dad was a civilian doctor who was Killed In Action. I worked with your mom for a long while. She’s the reason I made it out of that dark place. I am happy to hear she’s doing well. It had been a long time since Ravenna had been to see Dr. Fortune. She remembered the woman very well though. For the longest time, she regarded Corin as her only friend. She was the only person who had bothered to get to know her or talk to her after her father died. There was a good chance that if she hadn’t worked with Corin, she might not have adjusted to the changes in her life and she wouldn’t be in Starfleet now. Fortune: ::Corliss blinked, nodding along slowly.:: Ah. Well! I’m real happy to hear she’s helped you! Carter: Sorry to unload all of that on you. Geeze, that was so weird of me. I really do apologize. Fortune: ::Corliss snorted, shaking her head.:: Hey don’t worry about it! Sounds like you’ve been needing it though. ::She frowned softly.:: Everything going okay? I mean. Other than that. Have you been to my mom in a while? I bet she’d be thrilled to see you. Ravenna felt like a complete weirdo after that and busied herself with unpacking her study materials. She didn’t really want to embarrass herself further. Carter: I think I am a little older than her typical patient. I haven’t seen her since I turned 18, so like ten years ago. Everything is as it was I guess. My mom and I don’t speak. She has made it clear that she didn’t want me and she stayed gone as much as possible. I have three doctorates and she wasn’t at a single graduation. Fortune: ::Corliss stuck out her tongue playfully.:: I dunno, I mean. She’s always been vague on the patients she sees to. Doesn’t hurt to swing by either. ::She wrinkled her nose.:: She’s always working. Carter: We’ll see if I ever get time. I am a double discipline as well. I might swing by someday though. Ravenna had never thought about visiting since being an adult. It might not hurt to drop by and say hi. Fortune: Neat! So, watcha studying today though? Anything too hard? Carter: I am an Archaeologist and Medical Doctor, so I have chosen science and medical. Unfortunately, there are other classes I am required to take that I do not enjoy. Like the Physics I have an exam in. ::She waved her bad and laughed, never had she hated a class like she hated physics::. Fortune: Boo, physics! ::She laughed, shaking her head.:: But yeah, I get that. Mm, we can quiz each other on stuff, if you want? Or find really weird facts about physics. Like. ::She made a noise with her teeth, tilting her head back and forth.:: ...physics in general is just weird. Carter: I can definitely quiz you if you want! I am guessing you have already done the Physics classes that are required? Fortune: Yeah, last semester actually! But I’m in a few other classes. Democracy is one...oh and survival but that’s more of a….::she waved her hand.:: A hands on type of class? Carter: Gotcha! I haven’t taken Democracy, but I did General Diplomacy last semester. I have Starship Emergencies this semester instead of survival. This is only my third semester though. ((Two years later)) Carter: ::running into the library:: Corliss! ::Her voice anything but quiet:: Ravenna knew immediately that she was gonna get yelled at, but she didn’t really care too much. It was the beginning of the end of an era. The next year, she would be on her own again and she was going to enjoy the time she had left with her friends. Fortune: ::Corliss waved from the study desk to the side, PADD in her other hand.:: Ravenna!! Ravenna was bubbling over! It was the start of Corliss’ last semester and the future seemed so bright Carter: Spill! What ship are you hoping for? ::pausing:: I have been spending entirely too much time with Xerix, I swear. ::She faked a shiver and then laughed:: Fortune: ::Corliss snickered, wiggling in her chair to tilt it back a bit, balancing on the back two legs.:: I don’t know! I really don’t! The last exam is really hard, although my brother said I shouldn’t listen to everyone. Carter: You have to have looked at a few ships at least... Fortune: Weeelll…::She flicked on her PADD, turning it to Ravenna, showing a ship in a profile.:: There’s this one. The Gorkon? I’ve heard interesting tales about it! Plus, they run off all their counselors? A challenge! Carter: Ohhhh and you do love a challenge. I can see it now. That is the ship you are going to end up on. Ravenna was a year away from her own posting. She really hadn’t given it any thought. She knew that science and medical officers were always needed on ships, so she could be placed literally anywhere. She knew one thing though, she wanted on a ship and not a base. Fortune: Oh I dunno...there’s so many good ones too. Eagle...okay so I just looked at two. ::She stuck her tongue out.:: Carter: No seriously, that’s your ship, so study up! What’s your schedule look like this semester? Fortune: Oh! Lemme see...I went for General Archaeology-just to see what it’s all about. ::she winked playfully.:: Terran Gender, Anthropology, Non-Terran Gender-let me say, I’m quite eager for both of those, you know I love any psychology courses! Carter: You got this in the bag. You are home free my friend. I on the other hand am doomed; got another Physics class… ::It honestly made her want to cry:: Fortune: Oh Ravenna. ::She patted her friend’s shoulder softly.:: That sounds absolutely horrid. What else do you have? Carter: I have two 600 level medical classes and Organic Chemistry 2, why? Fortune: ::Corliss winced.:: Ooooh that one’s a hard one. Carter: You gotta be kidding me? Fortune: Nope. ::She popped the ‘p’ like she did with gum, grinning wide.:: The professor, Professor Xal, is not one to take excuses for anything. They’re a bit rough and very dry, nearly fell asleep during a few classes. Carter: Oh! Before I forget, I was looking through the course offerings and planning my next year out, you know, like I do, and I found a course on the Dominion Wars. So I read about it and you know what struck me? ::a pause for dramatic effect:: Fortune: ::Corliss made a face, putting her PADD down and shrugging.:: What? Carter: It was ongoing when my father died and he was a doctor. It would make sense that he would be out there aiding, right? Fortune: Oh. ::She paused, thinking a bit. That would make the most sense, they weren’t too far apart in age.:: Well...yes, actually, it would. Or at least, a casualty of the war. ::She looked vaguely uncomfortable at the memory of said war.:: Did you find out anything else? Carter: I still haven’t been granted access to his file. Anyway, back to your grand plan for the end of the year... Ravenna still didn’t talk about everything that much, pieces here and there when the conversation drifted that way, but things hadn’t improved between Ravenna and her mom. Corliss had tried to help Ravenna reach out the year before, but her call had gone unanswered. ::Corliss perked up, quickly nodding as she pulled up her PADD again, flicking through to a file to show off to Ravenna.:: Fortune: My father is coming down-after a great many pleading-so we’re going to go to some beautiful gardens called the Botanical Gardens. Carter: Ohh, the gardens are absolutely breathtaking. You’re gonna love it! Fortune: Well, that’s for family, mostly. Buuuuut. ::She grinned wide.:: After is going to be at this really ritzy place my mother likes. It has a dance floor, I can finally teach you to ballroom dance! Carter: Ah yes, me and my two left feet, thank you for reminding me. I made it through Risa with Ghant without having to dance, I should have known that my luck was about to run out! Fortune: ::Corliss snorted.:: I’m surprised, he’s even more elegant with his mannerisms than the one my great grandmother impressed upon me. ::She laughed.:: But yes, it’ll be amazing, and then we’ll have a nice banquet, and oh! We need outfits. I need a fancy wig too. ::She tugged at her pink hair lightly, nodding.:: Carter: Do I sense a shopping spree? ::It was Ravenna’s turn to perk up:: You know I do love a girls only shopping spree… Is Brom going to make it for this ordeal you have planned? Fortune: ::Corliss nodded quickly.:: He said he will, he had shore leave saved up-which I didn’t know you could do?-but either way! He said he would! Carter: I have a surprise for you when we get done here! I didn’t want it to get messed up so it’s in my dorm waiting for you! Before I forget again… Please tell your mom thank you for the birthday card. It meant so much! Ravenna was feeling very scattered as of late and it was getting to be very evident that she needs to slow down a bit. Fortune: ::Corliss laughed, nodding.:: Oh, sounds fun! I will! Plus you can tell her that night too. Anyway, so I was thinking, there’s a little shop down the road, they have such pretty dresses all fluffed out and jazz! Carter: I’m listening ::Ravenna leaned in closer:: Fortune: Okay so what we need is something dashing, like a dark red or green...with bows! Giant ones. ::She nodded with a grin.:: Those are my favorite! Carter:I look very good in green. Red is not my color… An argument should be made for blue or purple as well. Fortune: Wonderful! Green is a pretty color...ah, when do we have time to go? I’ve got an empty block this afternoon. Carter: I am free this afternoon too, or there’s always weekends… I guess whenever you want to go. Most of my classes are in the mornings. Fortune: Awesome! Oooh we can make a weekend of it, go looking it all over, maybe get some nice stockings…::She continued to chatter, flicking through the PADD over neat outfit ideas with Ravenna.:: Ravenna was excited! Since coming to Starfleet Academy, she finally felt like she could loosen up. She had friends her age and she felt like she belonged somewhere. She would enjoy this while it lasted. After all, at the end of the semester, her friends would be gone. -End- Lieutenant JG Corliss Fortune Highest Quality Counsellor Brain USS Gorkon G239510CF0 & Ensign Ravenna Carter Science Officer USS Constitution B C239607RC0
  4. 1 point
    Summer is in full swing as can be seen across the UFOP: Starbase 118 fleet, as the total post count dips to 1,487. Historically typical, the preparation for school and last minute summer vacations impact sim time, but only temporarily. The average per ship sim count is 165, which may be on the lower side but still quite active! This month, the USS Gorkon leads the pack with 280 sims written. Following a ways behind, with 192 sims, is the USS Constitution, matching their sim count from last month. Right behind them comes the Columbia, who has clocked 177 sims for the third straight month in a row! Check out some of the highlights of this past month’s simming through our Appreciations forum, where you and your fellow members can nominate sims, great quotes, and other memorable moments for the rest of the fleet to enjoy! The post July 2019 Post Counts appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  5. 1 point
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