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1 pointWe’re here with another interview with a newer member of our community. The title of this column is “Lower Decks,” hearkening back to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode titled “Lower Decks,” in which junior officers aboard the Enterprise-D speculate on the reasons for recent unusual actions taken by the command crew near the Cardassian border. This month’s interview is with the writer behind Ensign Addison MacKenzie playing a Human female medical officer assigned to the USS Veritas. GALVEN: Thank you accepting this interview with me! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there? MACKENZIE: Thanks for the invite! My name is Matt, I’m 31 and from Cleveland, Ohio (in the United States). I’m a professional musician and love all things Trek – but I have to say I’m more a fan of the TNG and VOY eras. I’m a little ashamed to admit it, but I haven’t seen any of Discovery yet (I know, I know), and I never finished the final season of the Enterprise series. Rest easy, though – they’re on my list of things to get to before the summer is over. How did you find out about StarBase 118 and what made you choose to ultimately stay with the community? Well, I’ve been writing [for a lot of] sims/organizations since I was in high school. …I was figuring it out the other day, and I think it’s been about 18 years. Recently, I had been writing for a few sims in another fleet, but the progress was so slow (it took about a year to finish a mission), and the quality of the writing wasn’t that great. I got bored quickly and started looking for other places to write. Google came through for me. As a seasoned writer, I have to admit I wasn’t big on the idea of needing to go through training, but when I got in and saw the formatting was different, I totally understood why. The quality of the writers here is fantastic, and the commitment to detail on an organizational level is something to really be respectful of and admired. What Starbase 118 can offer a potential writer to develop a character (or characters) is something special. I haven’t encountered anything quite like it anywhere else. When writing as a medical officer, is there any TV show, movies, books, anything else you take inspiration from? Definitely. I remember watching TNG when it was originally on… (I was born the same year that the first season debuted, but I remember watching some of the later seasons, and then catching the beginning in syndication.) I remember very vividly being struck by the Beverly Crusher character, especially as they started letting her have more significant character development. Looking back, I’m still struck by the display of her knowledge, which was not typical of many female roles at the time, and the humanity she exhibited. She’s still one of my favorite characters in the Trek universe. I’m also a big fan of Grey’s Anatomy, especially the earlier seasons. My character is physically (and perhaps loosely emotionally) based on one of the characters who had a brief stint on that show. I’ve always been fascinated with medical shows, both fictional and those based closer to reality, and I’m a voracious reader – I’ll read anything I can get my hands on. One of the things I love about portraying a medical officer is that I have absolutely NO medical experience, so when it comes to writing the detailed medical scenes, I have to really do my homework. What’s been your best simming experience so far? I love the sense of community here. All of the writers are very collaborative and really open to the development of your ideas. For example, one of the other writers on the Veritas had an idea for a small bit of character development, and what was originally just going to be a tiny collaboration between the two of us turned into a much larger plot arc involving a lot more people. Here, one person’s idea, even a junior officer, can be transformed into something even they didn’t envision. I’ve never been involved with any other writing community where something like that is possible. And lastly, what kind of advice can you give to people who are thinking about joining our community and want to choose the medical duty post? If you’re interested in SB118, I think you have to have an honest conversation with yourself about how much you want to invest in developing your skills as a writer. This is a very high-volume community, so if you’re looking for something more casual, this might not be the place for you. That having been said, the total opposite is true – if writing and character development is something you really enjoy, and you want to be around writers who are serious in their knowledge of the Trek universe, then there’s really no limit to what you can achieve here. As far as medical posts go, I think they’re definitely not the easiest officers to portray (even though they’re the only type of officer I’ve ever written for). Medical issues aren’t as easy as throwing a band-aid on a cut and sending someone on their way… You have to really be committed to digging deeper and doing your homework for the writing to be successful, or you’ll get burnt out quickly. Thanks for your time, Ensign Addison MacKenzie! You can read more about Ensign Addison MacKenzie on the wiki. The post Lower Decks Interview: Ensign Addison MacKenzie, USS Veritas appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
1 point((OOC: I'm very proud to have participated in this JP and wish to offer my sincerest thanks to Lt. G'var, Lt. JG. Wil Ukinix, Lt. Jg. Addison Mackenzie and Ensign Charlena Vanlith on an excellent sim)) ((Engineering Lab, USS Veritas)) ::When word came down from sickbay that G’var’s arm had malfunctioned, Geoff Teller had jogged into the Engineering lab and pulled up a full diagnostic on the assembly from embedded sensors that linked with the ship. What he saw made his jaw drop:: Teller: Dammit G’var, what’d you do to yourself? ::Nearly every readout, the ones that were still working anyway, showed massive failure in almost every component, servo, and controller board. The fact that G’var had been able to use it at all after this much damage was a testament to just how tough their Klingon security officer was.:: Teller: oO And how thick headed. Oo ::Moments later, Wil Ukinix walked into the room with a grim expression on his face and began rapidly laying out tools and replacement modules on one of the lab benches. It looked like they would be going right to work, and Teller had no objection, silently handing Wil components and preparing the space for some properly delicate and important work. Wil’s face was a stony mask of determination that Teller had rarely seen.:: Teller: ::quietly:: Sickbay? Ukinix: ::Pursed lips, nodding.:: Yep. Teller: How’s she doing? Diagnostics make it look like she got into a fist fight with a warp reactor. ::Wil took a deep breath, and held tension in his chest. He exhaled knowing that at least this time he could try to do something, given he was an engineer and the problem was her arm.:: Ukinix: She’s OK. Apparently her central nervous system has been damaged. Teller: We’ll get her fixed up, Wil. I promise. ::Teller offered the man a friendly pat on the shoulders. He’d never seen Wil this tense.:: ::There was a myriad of equipment, including tricorders and sensors, waiting on the table.:: Ukinix: ::Nervously:: I think we’re ready. Teller: We’ll pull anything else we need from the ship stores, I’ll sign off on it later - can’t imagine the Skipper will object. ::Wil picked up his PADD that was on the table.:: Ukinix: I’ve read over this three times. ::Concerned:: I’m still not sure what the source of the problem could be. Teller: The diagnostics are garbled as hell - the whole subprocessor assembly must be wrecked. We’re not going to know the extent of the damage till we get it apart. ::It had been a rough morning, G'var woke feeling like she had gone 20 rounds with a Mugato and lost. With Mac’s help she was able to bath and dress herself, G'var hated being a burden on her Family, the same feelings of self doubt that had plagued her after Limbo threatened to return. Staring at the Lieutenant’s pips in the mirror however helped remind G'var of what others saw in her and that she could rely on her Family. Making her way slowly to Main Engineering, G'var hoped her Trash Pandas had a miracle up their sleeves. ::Teller and Wil looked up when G’var entered the room. Wil walked over and gave her a hug.:: Ukinix: Hey, how are you feeling? G’var:::Trying not to fall over::-Like I could take on the whole Obsidian Order on my own ::Whispering:: Don't let go, I'm ready to fall over. ::giving Wil a smirk:: Teller: G’var, no kidding around - we’re here to help you. I don’t know what you did to that thing but we’ll get it fixed. You can trust us. G'var:::smiling::-I know I can Geoff, you two are the craftiest pair of men in the Galaxy. That's why I love you. ::Wil gestured to the seat that was set up next to the table. He walked over to pull it out for her.:: Ukinix: So, just sit in this chair, and rest your arm on the table. We can start straight away, G. G'var:::Falling into the chair::-Don't worry I'm not going far. ::taking a deep breath:: you boys do what you need to do to fix this thing. ::As G’var sat, Teller began hooking up diagnostic leads where he could and running a tricorder over the arm, up to the attachment point on the shoulder. The tricorder immediately began throwing alerts.:: Teller: I’m getting all sorts of weird feedback from the motor control pathways, I’m seeing random power discharges all across the system. When did this start? G’var:::pursing her lips::-Yesterday after my morning workout. ::rubbing the back of her neck:: I was in our quarters and then...it was a twitch at first...then unbearable agony...worse than even a fire larvae of Deneb V burrowing under my skin... ::Feeling nervous, Wil decided to lighten the mood a little.:: Ukinix: ::Smiling:: It’s funny, last time we were all in this room together- ::Giving Wil a cross look, G'var took another breath, she knew he was just trying to distract her from the pain and emotion and she loved him for it.:: ::He cut himself off, as the smile disappeared from his face.:: Ukinix: Mmm. ::Clapping hands together:: So anyway... ::Taking Wil’s hand she gave it a squeeze feeling his warm on her flesh:: Teller: Yeah lets maybe skip the fond reminiscing for now. Hate to ask, G’var, but this’ll be a lot easier for us and a lot less painful for you if the arm is disconnected. G’var:::Looking at her inoperable prosthetic::-Of course. ::Giving Wil’s hand one last squeeze:: You’ll have to help me, my range of motion is limited. ::Giving Geoff a stern glare:: Wil why don't you help me, I wouldn't want to give Geoff a thrill taking my top off. ::With Wil’s help G'var was able to get her uniform blouse off. After a few awkward moments Wil had the arm disconnected from its socket. Turning back to Geoff G'var had to stifle a laugh at Geoff’s red face.:: ::Wil picked up an engineering tricorder, and started waving it over G’var’s arm.:: Ukinix: OK, so there are some micro surges here, but they’re within tolerance levels. ::To G’var:: You haven’t put the power module back yet? G'var:::shaking her head::-No, I didn't want to risk the phaser accidentally discharging Teller: The secondary servo-actuator controller is totally fused. We’re going to have to fabricate a new one, and replace all the pathways leading to it. G’var, it’d help us if we understood how this happened. Was this some Klingon painstick thing? You been pulling shifts as a lightning rod? G'var:::Resisting the urge to snap kick Geoff through the bulkhead::-I happened when in grounded the Sentinel probe’s discharge through the prosthetic ::taking a breath:: I took two discharges through it...the sensation was...very unique ::raising a brow:: I had Mac check it right after and Commander Del Vedova gave me a clean bill of health I thought nothing more of it. :: Raising a brow:: could it be that one of the Sentinel programs hitched a ride in the prosthetic? ::At the thought of that suggestion, Wil eyes opened wide as he stood up staring ahead.:: Ukinix: I really hope not. Teller: ::Consulting the tricorder display:: Hmm, I don’t think so - more like the insulation on the circutery was damaged and has been slowly eroding ever since. I’m not surprised it was missed. As systems overloaded and rerouted, more and more pathways broke down - we’re talking about classic cascade failure. Another few days and we’d have no chance of salvaging anything. ::Teller looked over to the diagnostic console on the wall. The computer had been attempting to build an exploded view of the arm, highlighting components that were malfunctioning or no longer responding. Best case scenario, this was going to take hours of work to repair, if they could even salvage the arm at all.:: Teller: We’re going to need more help on this. =/\= Teller to Vanlith - please join us in the Engineering lab as soon as possible. =/\= Vanlith: =/\= Aye Sir. On my way =/\= ::G'var sat quietly and meditated on the Light as they waited for Ensign Vanlith to join them. She was no cyber surgeon or expert on micro machinery. Taking the brief respite G'var allowed herself a few moments to clear her head and focus inward. Mac was right she could feel her damaged nerve endings throughout her body and feel her body’s attempts to repair the damaged neurons. Her hyper metabolism was already hard at work. Hearing her stomach growl, G'var asked Wil to get her a bite to eat and something to drink, fuel for the engine. Thinking of G’var’s trip to Kentucky months earlier, Wil went to a nearby replicator and produced for G'var an Ale-8, along with a plate of Chicken and Dumplings.:: ::Only a few moments passed before the doors opened again and Ensign Charlena Vanlith joined the work already in progress.:: ::G'var stood slowly as the small Risian woman entered Engineering, they had yet to formally be introduced and G’var was looking forward to it, from what Wil had told her Charlena had a bright and inquisitive mind. She had heard the skuttlebutt about her emotional outbursts, but could hardly throw k’tangs in that house herself.:: Teller: Charlie, I don’t know if you two have met, but the muscular mountain here is Lt. G’var, Assistant Chief of Security. Vanlith: I believe we have met a couple of times. Nice to see you again. :: Quietly to herself:: and my name isn't Charlie. G'var:::-Taking the offered hand::-I know your name is not Charlie, Geoff was only being friendly ::smirking:: If you prefer Charlena so be it ::raising a brow:: By Kahless I would prefer to call you V and you can call me G. After all you are about to know me quite intimately ::gesturing to her arm socket:: Vanlith: You can call me V ::she smirked:: But these two still have to earn the right to. ::Reading his tricorder, Wil smirked a little.:: Ukinix: ::Under his breath:: You fail to assemble one bed... Teller: It seems the good Lieutenant is having some serious issues with her arm, and as it was still under warranty from Veritas Prosthetics and Kitchenwares, our reputation for quality craftsmanship is on the line. We could use an extra set of hands. Up for it? ::G'var once again had to squash the urge to hang Geoff from the warp core, taking a centering breath, she smiled brightly at his attempt at comic relief. Moving over to V, G'var wanted to give the younger woman a bit of encouragement. Vanlith: I can give it a go… oO I'm better at building then fixing though.Oo G'var:::clasping V’s Shoulder::-By the Light that is all I ask, perhaps you can be the voice of reason that keeps the Trash Panda’s from doing any unnecessary alterations to the prosthetic, or perhaps add some of your own. I give you my trust ::Squeezing her shoulder:: ((Engineering Lab, USS Veritas)) ::Tapping on a nearby console and reading diagnostics from components in G'var's arm, Wil again smirked while speaking.:: Ukinix: There goes my bottle opener idea. Vanlith: Well there is one thing but it might take a little time to perfect. I've never added it to something I've only built around it ...::she trailed off her mind whirling:: ::MacKenzie wandered into the lab, medkit slung over her shoulder.:: MacKenzie: I figured by the look on Wil’s face that you guys wouldn’t waste any time. Want a hand? Teller: Doc, good to see you, and yes, absolutely. Can you transfer any diagnostic scans you’ve already run into the lab computers? I want to start building a physiological model to go along with the control interface sims we’ve already got. MacKenzie: One step ahead of you - did it before I left Sickbay. You should be able to pull it up. G'var:::Laughing::-A physiological model, why Geoff if you wanted a picture all you had to do was ask ::smirking:: and once again the face matches the hair. ::Wil's eyes opened wide as he tapped away at his console.:: ::G'var continued to laugh as the room became uncomfortably quiet. For a brief moment her pain subsided as she teased Geoff. Seeing the other’s faces G'var composed herself.:: G’var:::holding her hand up::-My Apologies my friends, just lighting the mood, I guess I'm the Trash Panda now? ::Teller pursed his lips. If the normally stoic G’var was attempting to be funny, things were even worse than he thought.:: Teller: Alright, here’s how I see it G’var. First step is assessing the extent of the damage - we need to understand just how much of the prosthetic and the mount can be salvaged without putting more stress on your nervous system. I’d also like to avoid more surgery for you, but that’s going to be Doc MacKenzie’s call. ::Hearing the word "surgery", Wil turned around and walked towards G'var, placing his hand on her shoulder..:: MacKenzie: The nerve rehabilitation is non-surgical, but I can’t predict what treating any additional damage might look like. G'var:::nodding::-I too would like to avoid any more surgery. ::taking Wil’s hand:: Let's make sure I don't take anymore additional damage Ladies and Gentlemen. ::Wil simply nodded in agreement and gave G'vars hand a gentle squeeze.:: Teller: Second - we salvage as much as we possibly can with the goal of getting you out of pain, and don’t give me any of that Klingon super-warrior crap - I know this hurts. Even if you won’t admit it, it could affect your ability to do your job and I know you don’t want that. G’var:::letting a breath out::-just as long as we do it right, I won't play the proud warrior...I just want an arm that works my friends, let's get it done Teller: Third - we rebuild. We have the technology. We can make the arm better. Stronger. Faster. I’m even thinking about installing a coffee press. MacKenzie: ::raising an eyebrow:: ... can I get one? Ukinix: ::Smiling:: A new arm? Sure. If you'll just follow me to shuttle bay one, we can set a course for Limbo. G’var:::growling at Wil::-Count me out Beloved, I promised myself I'd never step foot on that Thrice Damned Moon again ::slamming her hand down:: even for. A new arm. Fek’Lar can have it. Vanlith: ::Charlenas mind was whirling with ideas and how exactly she could implement them to this arm. She was unaware of the constant muttering coming from her.:: That's how to add it. Teller: Any questions? Objections? No speeches - this is our friend and we’re going to help her. Let's get to work. ::Charlena froze unsure how to word exactly what she wanted to do. She didn't want to seem like she thought she knew more than the others but building for the aid of someone was kinda her thing.:: ::Seeing that V wanted to say something, G'var waited for the others to get to work before approaching her:: G'var:::smiling::-Do me a favor V, Never hold back an idea or thought with me. ::pointing at V:: Your ideas have the same worth as anyone's, always be honest to us and more importantly to yourself. ::playfully punching V’s chest:: come one Girl hit me back show me the warrior you are, and by Kahless let's out Trash Panda these two Tribble Herders ::hooking a thumb at Wil and Geoff:: ::Charlena looked at G oddly before then punching her as she had asked. Resulting in a stifled oww her shaking her hand, she never had been a fighter.:: Ukinix: ::To G’var:: Careful or I’ll get a pet tribble for our quarters. ((Two hours later)) ::Three Engineers and a Doctor crowded around the lab table, working nearly shoulder to shoulder as they extracted one destroyed component after another out of the damaged arm. Two small bins on the table were already full of melted, misshapen lumps that had been isolinear circuitry, micro-servo impellers and nerve induction relays. Nearby, G’var was perched with her legs up on a few chairs as the computer ran another series of diagnostics on the control surfaces embedded in the cybernetic mount in her shoulder. Teller gestured to a blackened shape near the arms elbow.:: Teller: We’re going to have to cut that assembly out, it’s not budging. The whole subframe is warped. G’var - you should know, there’s no way you would’ve survived the discharge with an organic limb. This thing saved your life. G'var:::Raising a brow::-why do you think I did it Geoff ::doffing a hand towards the Arm:: I knew you and Wil had built a superior device and that it could take the load...Just not me I suppose MacKenzie: He’s right - I’ve never seen anything quite like this before. ::Wil picked up one of the damaged nerve induction relays, and inspected it.:: Ukinix: :: Quietly:: Neither have I. G’var:::leaning forward::-It was better me than You or Raissa Wil. I was the only one expendable in the Core, and you know it. ::Slapping her thigh:: and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Vanlith: ::quietly as she worked, barely even audible to herself:: Sir I have an idea Teller: Most of our upgrades are fried - phaser emitter is that bit of slag over there ::he nodded to one of the bins:: and I’m not sure about the cloak. Think we’re going to have to skip the coffee press. G'var:::holding a hand up::-Quiet Geoff, please ::doffing her chin at V:: Charlena you’ve got an idea? I want to hear it. Certainly beats hearing what's not working. I'd like to hear what can be done. ::Wil smiled at the newest member of the Engineering team.:: Ukinix: Go for it, Char. Vanlith: Well it’s just that ::She stopped:: ::The computer chimed as it finished it’s work, and Teller stepped away from the arm to examine the results. His scowl immediately deepened:: Teller: Doc, can you look at this? These synaptic potentials are way below normal. MacKenzie: ::squinting her eyes at the display:: I see what you’re saying, but I don’t know what that means. Teller: In engineering terms, it means the electrical signals her nervous system is using to signal the arm are getting disrupted before they get to the control interface in the mount. MacKenzie: It could mean that the nerves are too damaged to make the connection. At least right now, anyway. G'var:::Rolling her eyes::-Then why can I still activate the socket? ::rolling her shoulder and flexing her back:: I can still move my back and shoulder, some signals are getting through. Ukinix: ::Shaking his head, pointing at display:: Because the interface is damaged too. There’s a lot of knock on effects here. Vanlith: ::muttering to herself: so it would need an upper and lower bounds to ensure to account for pain and numbness. G'var:::standing::-V speak up for the Team please ::winking at V:: come on Team it's the Third Period and the other team has the Ramp, ::smacking V’s back:: let me see your game faces - no one gives up now! Right V? Vanlith: Right. ::Charlena still wasn't sure how to word what she wanted to say still. She took a deep breath trying to calm her nerves about it and formulate the words but nothing came. Instead her mind was blank. She really was awful at communicating.:: Teller: Hell no, we’re not giving up. We’re just going to have to come up with something different. If this was the Veritas, and the main computer, that’s your brain, G’var, couldn’t access a peripheral system, I’d say we need to run a bypass until we can repair the circuit pathways. ::Teller snapped his fingers:: Doc, do you have anything in sickbay that can monitor the synaptic output from G’vars motor cortex directly? Something small hopefully? MacKenzie: With some modifications, a synaptic transceiver might do the trick. I’m not sure if it’s ever been used in this way before. ::By this point Charlena had her mind set on this small addition. A way to ensure everyone was aware of the change in electrical communication in G's prosthetic. Whilst yes her arm was robotic it was meant to replace flesh and bone yet at no point could she see anyone replicating that with the communication. Pain was an over stimulus and numbness is an under stimulus so by factoring in something to read that you can know the arm as if it were flesh and bone.:: G'var:::Growling under her breath::-Sounds like more poking and prodding to me Mac ::tapping her forefinger against her head:: you're not talking about drilling holes in my head are you? ::Wil swallowed, and reached out to squeeze G’var’s hand. He could sense her anxiety. He tried to soothe her to let her hear the facts from the Doctor first.:: Vanlith: By completely bypassing the nerves linked to the arm would we not have to account for more communication than before that is not related to the movement of the arm? Teller: You’re right, that’ll be our next problem to solve. For now Wil, Charlena, go find a pair of micro-subspace transceivers and start taking them apart. We’re going to bypass around the nervous system damage by having the nerve impulses broadcast directly to the controller in the arm. G'var:::resisting a strong urge to put her hand through a bulkhead::-This is sounding an awful lot like more surgery. ::placing her hand on her hip:: and where does this bypass go Geoff? ::sneering:: HA’R’KTI! ::taking a breath to focus:: Apologies Geoff that was uncalled for. ::clenching her jaw:: ...I'm just tired of Surgeries...soon there won't be any me left. ::Squeezing her hand again gently, Wil looked G’var in the eye.:: Ukinix: ::Quietly, To G’var:: Hey, just wait, let’s here this out. Teller: It’s alright, G’var - I’m not thinking surgery. Maybe just a little module that sits below the ear, somewhere it can get a good read through that thick skull of yours. Doesn’t really...exist yet, but we’re about to build one. Forget what I said about skipping the upgrades - your arm’s about to get wi-fi. Vanlith: Urm Sir. I have an idea that I think might be beneficial in the long term. Teller: Open forum in here Charlena, lay it out for us. Vanlith: Well the arm is meant to represent the flesh and blood and bone that G no longer has. And well in most aspects it does. But there is one we are missing. I'm not saying G should have to feel pain in it but pain is nerves being over stimulated, in the most basic of ways, and numbness is when there isn't enough stimulation. I know it's a pretty basic way of looking at it but then surely by missing that element we don't always know how well the current and communication is working to keep a reliable check in. But it also means in a case where overstimulation happens we would know. :: Charlenas voice grew in pitch and speed as she got more and more excited about the prospect of helping G.:: Vanlith: I guess it could in some ways be described like a fuse. But instead of breaking the arms link and stopping all further communication it informs G and the rest of use that the current messages are running at too high or too low a level in the same way we would notice feeling pain or feeling numbness. But then by doing this we would be aware of any internal damaged caused before it could reach this point. If we set the bounds to met what a typical neural impulse from G is then it should work fine. It could also then work to bring the voltage down to a level that the arm can take until we could find why it is working at such a high level…. :: Charlena trailed off from her rambling. Maybe she shouldn't have said anything because she couldn't entirely read the expression of the faces looking back at her. She let her hair fall over her face again as she began to slow and stutter over her words.:: ::G'var stood silently for a moment taking in what V had said, she wasn't as versed in Microengineering as the others but V had made sense. Nodding to her new friend G'var could see her hiding behind her hair. Giving the Risian a quizzical look, G'var made a mental note to shave off V’s hair if she kept hiding behind it.:: Vanlith: Urm but it's urm just a thought we don't have to do anything like it ::she held her quickly made prototype behind her back not wanting to draw attention to it now.:: MacKenzie: ::skeptical, glancing momentarily at Teller before shrugging:: I don’t see why not. Teller: I like it - sort of a synaptic circuit breaker - keeps the motor impulses from overwhelming the nervous system, but also keeps the nerve pathways from atrophying. We can add it to the existing mount for the arm. I think that’s the last piece. Now we just have to figure out how to make it work. G'var:::smiling at V::-Any alternate to more surgery sounds good to me. ::moving V’s hair away from her face:: Thank you Charlena, I knew you were my girl. ::winking:: ::Charlena blushed at the comment unsure how exactly to respond again she pulled at the curls on the left side of her face as her eyes dropped to the floor.:: Ukinix: ::Moving over to console:: Chief, I’ll start modelling all of this and run some simulations to double check everything. ::A 3-D model of G’var’s arm appeared on the screen. Wil started furiously punching commands and codes into the console.:: Ukinix: I’m liking the sound of it. ((Nine Hours Later)) :::As Wil and Charlena sealed the arm, Teller stood back from the table and re-examined the diagnostic readouts from their new interface device. Everyone in the room was exhausted, but intensely focused on completing their task. The computer was happy, or as happy as the computer ever was, and showed that latency between the two transceivers was acceptably low and the virtual model of G’var’s nervous system they had built up from Doctor MacKenzie’s scans seemed to tolerate this new and unusual way of controlling a limb. All that was left was to remount the arm and have G’var give it a try.:: ::Charlena’s novel feedback control unit had slotted into the mount cleanly and was already providing an extra stream of sensory data, both to G’var herself and to the computer. It looked to be working, but they had to take the arm through a full range of motion test before they could be sure it would properly communicate the sensation data they were trying to emulate without overwhelming G’var’s already fragile nervous system.:: ::Having watched her Beloved and the others work on her prosthetic for most of the day and night, G'var couldn't help but feel the love and warmth that was flowing around the room. She wondered if this is what Wil felt like all the time. Seeing her friends finally step back from the table, G'var knew it was time to finally put metal to flesh and see if her friends labors would prove fruitful or if she was damned to more surgery and cybernetics.:: Teller: G’var, we’re ready as we’re going to be. We’re going to re-mount the arm, make sure the interface is clean, then power it up. I want you to go through a standard range of motion test - nothing fancy yet. Slow and easy. If anything feels even the slightest bit off, stop and let us know. G'var:::Standing and Taking a deep breath::-Time to defend the Ramp my friends ::smiling at Wil:: May we all find Kahless in the Light. ::Taking her blouse off, G'var took in several quick breaths and centered her focus on the light. Flooding her blood with adrenaline, G'var could feel her blood begin to burn, heightening her senses and sharpening her focus.:: ::Teller took a position at the diagnostic console and readied the arm for mounting:: Teller: Wil, Charlena, I think you should do the honors. Addison - please pull up the biofeedback monitor on the display over there and watch as the data flows in. You see anything you don’t like, call out and we abort the test immediately. Ukinix: Aye sir. Vanlith: Yes Sir. ::Charlena took a deep breath going over the calculations in her head one more time to make sure she had everything right. :: MacKenzie: ::nodding:: Alright, I’m ready. G'var:::-Taking a deep breath::-Everyone stand back, two arms lengths at least ::looking Wil in the eye:: No accidents. ::A small little smile appeared on Wil’s face as he and Charlena reconnected the limb. Teller’s eyes scanned every indicator for the smallest variation from the baselines they’d built up. Inwardly, he was worried - they were well off the edge of the map here. The new interface device, the subspace transceivers, Charlena’s fusebox - if this worked, there’d probably be a medical journal article in it for Addison. If something unexpected went wrong, G’var would have to start over with a new prosthesis from scratch, and that’d mean weeks of surgery, recovery and painful retraining. He wouldn’t wish that on anyone.:: ::Eyes closed, G'var could smell Wil and Charlena’s sents as the stood next to her, reattaching the prosthetic. Ears ringing with every turn of the spanner and wrench. The sudden smell of hydraulic fluid nearly caused G'var to gag as Wil and V finished reattaching the arm. The warmth of Wil’s hand on her back was sudden replaced by a million new sensation as he switched on transceiver. Gasping as she arched her back at the wondrous new feeling, G'var let out an inaudible scream. Reaching a hand out to Wil, she steadied herself as the sensation began to abate. Clearing her mind, G'var focused her thoughts on her arm. Slowly G'var could begin to feel the connection resurface, nodding to Wil she stood straight.:: G’var:::Growling::-It’s working, I just have to focus through the...noise...but it's manageable. ::Wil ran a tricorder over the upper part of G’var’s arm.:: Ukinix: Yep! All ready. Vanlith: ::Sure her calculations were perfect:: Looking good. MacKenzie: Clear so far. ::With the arm remounted successfully and the computer seemingly content, there was nothing else to do but cross their fingers and give it a try. It was now or never:: ::Clenching her jaw, G'var tried to make sense of the new sensations flooding her mind, it felt like a swarm of Dikaren Hornets were buzzing through her head. In the background she could feel her prosthetic.:: Teller: Stand Clear. Re-engaging motor functions in three...two...one...mark. ::The felling was electric, like standing on the hull as a ship went to warp. G'var took another deep breath as she sorted through the new feelings and impulses being broadcast through her transceiver. Straining G'var could feel the connection, like riding a lightning bolt straight through Sto’Vo’Kor G'var raised her arm.:: G’var:::Holding her arm out::-It’s like holding a plasma conduit in my hand. ::tears rolling down her face:: The feeling is exhilarating. I can feel my flesh again. ::Wil was very pleased, but also slightly horrified.:: Ukinix: ::Raising eyebrows, blinking:: Well, that’s a good sign I guess. Vanlith: Seems like a good sign to me. Teller: Ok, so far so good on my end - Doc, how’s it looking? MacKenzie: No problems on my end. We’re okay to proceed. Teller: Good, ok...G’var, how does it feel? We can adjust the feedback level in small increments up or down. G’var:::Taking a deep breath::-Dial it back Geoff. ::gasping:: By the Light Dial it back Ukinix: ::To G’var:: Safe enough to give you a hug? Or is Bangers and Human/Betazoid Hybrid Mash going to be on the menu tonight? ::Holding her arms out G'var embraced Wil, running her prosthetic hand over his back, she could almost feel the warmth through the plastics and metal. Gently squeezing, G'var inhaled deeply as she filled her lungs with Wil’s scent. G'var held Wil close as Geoff dialed back the processing and the swarm of Hornets in her head begin to diminish. Taking a few more deep breaths, G'var buried her face in Wil’s neck, silently thinking Kahless, she let the tears roll free down her face.:: ::Teller smiled and leaned back against the console in relief as the two embraced.:: Teller: Great work everybody. G’var - lets meet back here tomorrow after you’ve had a few hours to rest and test the arm out. I want to pull a full set of logs from the thing and make adjustments - but for now, get some sleep. Doctors orders. ::Teller smirked at Mackenzie:: Respectfully, Doc. ::Pulling back from Wil, G'var gave Geoff a Thumbs up, turning back to Wil she have him a playful smirk.:: Vanlith: :: Charlena smiled a bright smile. Her eyes lit up as she looked over at G thrilled at her addition to the device. It made her wonder how everything was going back home with her brother. She wiped her brow with the back of her sleeve.:: Well I’m exhausted I don't know about anyone else. G, don’t go breaking that arm again ::She chuckled:: I don’t think any of us want to build that again anytime soon. ::Charlena slowly made her way out and headed back to her quarters making a mental note to get in touch with her brother as soon as it was possible to do so.:: ::MacKenzie packed up her medkit and started to head out in front of Wil and G’var.:: MacKenzie: ::pointing a finger at Wil:: Anything happens, I’m the first call you make. Seriously. And none of this macho Klingon I-can-take-the-pain crap either, hear me? G'var:::Smirking at Wil::-Don't worry Mac, Wil and I are just gonna have a nice relaxing night ::winking:: No heavy lifting. Ukinix: You'll be the first to know, Doc. Don't worry, I haven't caught "Klingon". G'var:::[...]ing her head::-That sounds an awful lot like a challenge Mr. Ukinix ::Smiling brightly:: You heard the Doctor, don't get me to riled up. ::Wil took G’var’s non-prosthetic hand, and slowly led her out of the engineering lab towards the turbolift. She had been through a lot. He decided to try and cheer her up again.:: Ukinix: ::Over his shoulder:: You know, I think Geoffy’s got a thing for the warp core? G’var:::Laughing::-He's just trying to make Mistress IA jealous. ::squeezing his hand:: Now less talk of Geoff, we have to properly test the new arm out Beloved. ::As the team dispersed and the Engineering lab emptied out, Teller began absentmindedly cleaning up from their hours of work. The bins of melted components and spare parts they’d used, or modified, now covered much of one lab table, and after a few futile minutes trying to make sense of the mess, Teller decided to take his own advice and head back to his quarters for some sleep, but not before turning back to the computer which was still displaying a holographic diagram of the newly revised arm.:: Teller: Computer, save all workfiles and diagrams to a new subfolder titled G’var Prosthetic Redesign 1.5 and flag for review by Doctor Mackenzie and Doctor Del Vedova. ::Teller looked over the diagram again and the gears in his mind started turning.:: Teller:: oO Could do with some streamlining there...maybe replace those with something purpose built...hmm Oo Teller: Computer copy all existing data and start a new design file...title...Proposed G’var Prosthetic 2.0...I’ve got a few ideas to jot down…. [End] =============================== Lieutenant Geoffrey Teller Chief Engineer USS Veritas - NCC 95035 Capt. R. Rahman, Commanding V239509GT0 & Lieutenant JG Wil Ukinix Assistant Chief Engineer USS Veritas V239511WU0 & Ensign Charlena Vanlith Engineering Officer USS Veritas V239604CV0 & Lieutenant JG Addison MacKenzie Medical Officer USS Veritas V239601AM0 & Lieutenant G'var Assistant Chief of Security USS Veritas NCC-95035 V239511G10
1 point((Ishnag Education Center – Main Hall)) Maxwell: =/\= Maxwell tae Malko. We've got incoming. You are tae hold your position around the shuttle and remain undetected for now. Tell MacMahon that's an order! =/\= :: The hail from Lieutenant Commander Maxwell was not news to Malko. Only seconds before a Starfleet officer was being carried into the triage area and the whole camp around the shuttle had gone into high alert. The medical team led by Nurse Gau was lining up tables and electron scanners in a fury of medical feng shui. Malko was about to reply when he noticed the injured officer had dropped his tricorder coming through the path behind the landing zone... :: Poq: ? Jesseth: We have 14,678 gornlings on this planet in two areas – this one is the larger with 8000, and then eighteen quadrosecs away there is another building with the remaining younglings. We have put in emergency measures and all our younglings and staff are in shelters, with the majority being in this building. Maxwell: What defensive systems do you have? ::Turning.:: Is there anything you need, Dr? Poq: ? Jesseth: Yes, there is a medical facility on the second level. We also have meteor shields if all evacuated staff and younglings are below ground level. Maxwell: Then I would respectfully suggest you do so, Administrator. Poq: ? Jesseth: Yes I will - ::He cut off as the shield that protected the building sizzled:: A hit on our reflective shields. They have come. Maxwell: Are there any weapons on site? Anything at all? Poq/Jesseth: ? Maxwell: I appreciate that, Administrator, but you must have something? Poq/Jesseth: ? Maxwell: Bows, aye? Poq/Jesseth: ? :: Behind Malko, the Marines were creating a perimeter around the shuttle, weapons raised, ready to protect the injured at any cost. Following Maxwell's orders, they were keeping the landed unit as clandestine as possible. Malko stepped over the thick roots in the swampy brush. If the Klingons heard this pinging Starfleet tricorder that was dropped out here, they would be on their trail. :: Malko: =/\= Malko to Maxwell, MacMahon is behaving. I will keep you updated on our situation. Have you and the Doctor found a... :: Just then Malko realized why the tricorder was pinging... - Lifeform detected - Malko drew his phaser just as a well-worn disruptor poked its way through the foliage. A female Klingon in pastel coloured vestments tilted her head to the side. Both were surprised to see each other. The Klingon stared at Malko down the ironsights of the disruptor as he held the phaser at his hip and stood slowly. He gritted his teeth and hoped she could not see the tremble of his hand. :: Maxwell: ? Poq/Jesseth: ? :: He did not think it would be smart to respond. The Klingon overheard the radio chatter, and knew where they were keeping the Ambassador. Malko was painfully aware he could not let this Klingon leave his sights and share that with the rest of the cult. He was also aware he could not call for the marines and give away the position of the shuttle hidden behind him with all their injured were being treated. A stalemate had been reached. They had a Terran stand-off on their hands. If either of them were going to shoot, they would have done it by now. That meant this Klingon was at least somewhat interested in self-preservation. Good - he could work with that. Malko remembered he had never actually touched his commbadge to close the channel... :: =/\= Malko: ::slowly:: ... My name is Malko... I belong to Starfleet... I am a medical and diplomatic officer, not a soldier. As, I'm sure, you can tell. You are with Molor? What is your name? Klingon: *low grumble* ::looking around:: Malko: I won't call for backup if you don't. It's just me and you. What is your name? Klingon: *lower grumble*... Askade. Malko: Askade. =/\= Maxwell: ? Poq/Jesseth: ? =/\= Malko: Askade, why do you fight for Molor? Askade: Ha. For the pride of our people. For a glorious life. ::she smiled and bared her serrated teeth :: Why do you fight for the Gorn? Malko: Starfleet believes all races are their people. Our houses are not defined by bloodline but by creed. When my people are threatened, I fight to protect my people. Just as I would fight to protect you, Askade, if a threat came to your home and darkened your doorstep. Askade: ...LIES. :: stepping forward into the clearing to close the distance, flexing her vascular musculature. :: Malko: ::sternly:: You are not my enemy, Askade. If we were here to wage war, we would have opened fire without care for either race's casualties. We... No - I am here to protect. I have sworn this as my life's duty, and as a Klingon I'm damn sure you can respect that. ::his eyes watered:: =/\= Maxwell: ? Poq/Jesseth: ?
1 pointEver sit down to write a sim and find yourself stuck for words? Read through what you’ve written and realise that you tend to use the same words over and over again? Below you’ll find a list of alternatives to 25 common words to spice up your writing. Let us know how it goes in the Writing Improvement Forum. Angry: Irate, enraged, touchy, cross, resentful, indignant, infuriated, wound up, worked up, seething, raging, heated, bitter, bad tempered, offended, frustrated Bad: Awful, lousy, poor, unacceptable, crummy, dreadful, rough, inferior, substandard, atrocious, appalling, dreadful, defective Beautiful: Striking, stunning, magnificent, lovely, charming, gorgeous, radiant, dazzling Big: Massive, huge, giant, gigantic, enormous, large, colossal, immense, bulky, tremendous, hefty, sizeable, extensive, great, substantial Change: Alter, transform, replace, diversify, adjust, adapt, modify, remodel, vary, evolve, transfigure, redesign, refashion, advance, transition, shift, adjustment Easy: Effortless, simple, clear, smooth, straightforward, uncomplicated, painless, accessible, apparent, basic, plain, child’s play, facile, elementary, cinch Fast: Agile, brisk, rapid, nimble, swift, accelerated, fleeting, high speed, active, dashing, winged, hurried, turbo Fine: Satisfactory, worthy, respectable, exquisite, suitable, well, imposing, decent, admirable, praise worthy, decent Funny: Comical, ludicrous, amusing, droll, entertaining, absurd, hilarious, silly, whimsical, hysterical, joking, witty, facetious, slapstick, side splitting, knee slapping Get: Acquire, obtain, receive, gain, earn, gather, collect, buy, purchase, attain, score, secure, take possession of, grab Give: Grant, donate, hand out, present, provide, deliver, hand over, offer, award, bestow, supply with, contribute to, send, entrust Go: Move, proceed, advance, progress, travel, walk, journey, depart, exit, flee, make one’s way, clear out, get underway Good: Acceptable, wonderful, exceptional, positive, brilliant, first rate, notable, stellar, favourable, superb, marvellous, prime Happy: Cheerful, delighted, pleased, content, amused, thrilled, elated, thrilled, ecstatic, on cloud 9 Interesting: Noteworthy, thought provoking, fascinating, attracting, appealing, attention grabbing, captivating, gripping, invigorating, engrossing, engaging, electrifying Know: Understand, comprehend, realise, learn, perceive, recognise, grasp, sense Look: Glance, fixate, observe, stare, gaze, peer, scan, watch, study, browse, eye, glimpse, review, inspect Nice: Lovely, superior, pleasant, satisfying, delightful, likeable, agreeable, correct, adequate, swell, fair, okay, approved Old: Aged, ancient, matured, elderly, senior, veteran, decrepit, seasoned, venerable, past one’s prime, doddering, senile Really: Genuinely, truly, honestly, actually, undoubtedly, certainly, remarkably, incredibly, downright, unquestionably, extremely Sad: Miserable, gloomy, devastated, down at heart, distraught, distressed, dispirited, sorrowful, downcast, feeling blue, desolate Shocked: Taken aback, lost for words, flabbergasted, staggered, outraged, astonished, astounded, stunned, speechless, appalled Small: Tiny, petite, mini, miniature, microscopic, minuscule, compact, pocket sized, cramped, puny, undersized, limited, meager, modest, minute, pint sized Think: Ponder, reflect, conceive, imagine, contemplate, consider, determine, realise, visualise, guess/assume, conclude, envision Very: Extremely, exceedingly, exceptionally, immensely, tremendously, abundantly, particularly, remarkably The post Writers Workshop: 25 Common Word Alternatives appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article