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  1. 2 points
    ((Research Outpost, Giáng Sinh)) Jona stood up one last time from his chair near the fire and bobbed his antennae at each person in turn. ch'Ranni: Counselor, ... Commander, ... James. Thank you all for the talk. I think I know what I need to do now. Thank you all. Fortune: Ah! Thank you for joining us! If you need anything, just pop back by, okay? Colquhoun: See you later, Jona. Sevo: It was an...interesting sort of pleasure talking. Jona slowly moved off from the group and toward his assigned cabin. He had a lot of thinking to do and a couple of letters to write. ((Timeskip)) After a few hours of laying in the prefab cabin's bunk - wide awake - Jona sat up and activated the light switch next to the bed. He grabbed the PADD sitting on the side table and cracked his neck each side. The Andorian tapped away at the tablet, calling up his personal communication repository. His thin, pale blue fingers danced across the surface as he queued up a new message. It was time to get something off his chest. ch'Ranni: Record personal communication. Authorization ch'Ranni delta zero one nine two. Lieutenant Jona ch'Ranni, USS Gorkon, to Vexa zh'Lev, Dehner Base, Delta Vega I. Dear Vexa... Jona paused. He didn't really know how to begin. How was he suppose to tell her everything that was in her heart? Could he even do that? Did he himself even know what was in his heart? ch'Ranni: Vexa, I've missed you so much this past month. It was so hard saying goodbye. I think we were both worried that the long distance thing wasn't going to be easy. Believe me ... it hasn't been. He stopped speaking for a second as he pictured the impish smile of his girlfriend. They had believed they had all the time in the world and then life and duty slashed that naivete to pieces faster than a rookie at a bat'leth competition. It was done and over far too soon. ch'Ranni: I just wanted to say that ... due to recent experiences ... I have been thinking a lot about life and the choices before me. Am I happy with the way things are going, the way they've turned out? No, not really. The Q's skewering of his personality and sum of life choices had really gotten to him. More than he wanted to admit, especially to his new shipmates. Was he stuck on autopilot? Was he caught in the current of life, destined to make the same decisions no matter what? ch'Ranni: I want to see you. I want to make this work. I'm not happy without you and I hope you feel the same way. I'm determined to be there for you. Don't give up on me, Vexa. Satisfied with the words, Jona tapped the send button and immediately saw that a message had arrived while he was composing his. It was from Vexa! Jona grinned and remembered a Terran expression about great minds thinking alike. He quickly opened the message and his grin slowly began to fade from his face. Vexa: Jona, this isn't working. I care about you very much. But, this isn't working. This past month has been hard on me and I'm sure it has been on you two. You deserve better. And so do I. I've met someone, Jona. A new addition to Dehner Base's security personnel. I'm so sorry. I hope you find happiness and peace. Jona powered off the screen and clicked the room's light off. He lay his head back down on the pillow as tears wet his face. -- Lt. Jona ch'Ranni Chief of Operations USS Gorkon (NCC-82293) C239510JC0
  2. 2 points
    ((Security Complex, Deck 4, USS Atlantis)) The last few days had been a blur for Maddi after the scene of Esa running off she decided to just leave it alone and give Esa space. oO Was it me? I don’t know, but I’m going to leave it alone. Oo The best way for Maddi to forget it was to immerse herself in her work. It was the best medicine Maddi had and at the moment it was the only thing keeping her sane. She had been told that an important guest was coming. She had pulled all of her security forces to the complex for a briefing. She had prepared the presentation and the room was full of yellow uniformed men and women. oO This is really happening I’m Chief. Oo Hyden: Good morning everyone! I have called you here to prepare for the arrival of the Valcarians Ambassador. The security of the ship is of the utmost importance. Regardless of our relationship with the Valcarians it is our job to make sure the guests are safe and protected, but also that the ships vital areas are sealed off from prying eyes. As this is an important dignitary and we do not know how long they will be with us we will be working on continuous shifts. When they arrive I want Security to be on high alert. All systems are calibrated and set. The security complex will be locked to any and all guest unless properly escorted. If I am on the bridge I expect teams Alpha, Beta, and Charlie to be patrolling and guarding as shown on your PADDS. Maddi stopped for a minute scanning the room to see if there was any looks of confusion, as none were present she opened the floor to questions. Anyone: Response ((OOC: Happy to add to this part if security people want to jump in.)) ((Short Timeskip)) The briefing went extraordinarily well especially considering it was her first time doing it by herself. She didn’t have time to pat herself on the back though she had to go through and recheck all the vital security systems on the ship. She trusted the other personnel, but as Chief she wanted to make sure everything was set for the arrival of the ambassador. She headed to the armory and pulled out her PADD. She kept a strict inventory of the weapons on the ship and she was going to make sure that those numbers matched. It took her a considerable amount of time to check that the numbers were right, but after a few hours she felt sure her numbers were correct. She locked the lockers and made sure the security measures were in place before departing. She was running late to her next check, but then again there was no exact schedule; however it was one she adhered too and wanted to make sure she kept. She headed to the transporter room and began scanning the security measures in place, as the security chief she opened the consoles security measures and checked the systems everything was running correctly except the console was not recognizing the officer on duty. Maddi decided to help him out, as she looked through the systems it appeared the man had been somehow deleted from the system. It took Maddi a few minutes, but she reintegrated him into the security system and he was able to work the transporter. After checking the perimeter of the room for any anomalies and being satisfied there was not she moved on. oO Gosh I could really use some food. Oo Her stomach growled as the thought registered with the rest of her body. She needed something to eat, but she had so much to do she wasn’t sure she could take the time for food, but there was something she always had time for. She swung by the mess hall and replicated a mug of chocolate milk on the go. As she took a sip the sugary taste gave her a boost to continue. She quickly headed out of the mess hall and headed for the shuttlebay. The Valcarians were picky on the use of transporters and Maddi was unsure which one they would prefer to use so she would check both. She began her initial checks of the shuttlebay which brought up a few small issues. She was big on making sure the security measures of doors and interfaces were calibrated correctly. The security display showed discrepancies between the profiles allowed and the profiles restricted. As she scrolled through the list she noticed some officers of the restricted list and some guest who should not be accessing the shuttlebay granted access. oO I’m sure it’s just a mistake, but it’s one that needs fixed. Oo She began the tedious task of reassigning the permissions to the correct profiles. That task was easy, but tedious it took a lot of concentration and many drinks of her chocolate milk to get her through. A few officers had walked through while she was working and had given her a puzzled look. She smiled politely and continued her work. After a short while the profiles were set correctly and she was satisfied with the recheck of diagnostics. She looked at the time the day had flown by her time had been used appropriately, but it was nearing the end of her shift, but she still had to go look over the shuttle, check the systems on the bridge, and hand the final assessment to Thoran. oO Hopefully the shuttle doesn’t pose any real problems. Oo She headed to the shuttle and began the deep inspection of its systems. The initial checks were great, but the security systems on the ship had been rearranged to the specifications of the pilot who had been flying it. Maddi understood that sometimes the systems in place were a difficult barrier, but their reasons for being there were important and unfortunately it made Maddi have to do her job even when it wasn’t what she wanted to do. Hyden: =/\= Hyden to Teravalis. Could you come to shuttlebay two? =/\= Teravalis: =/\= Response =/\= Hyden: =/\= Thank you. =/\= ((Short Timeskip)) Maddi had decided to wait before resetting the systems to the correct setting. She was going to wait for Teravalis. She waited for a few minutes before the pilot slowly approached her looking slightly scared. Hyden: Hello Ensign! Teravalis: Response Hyden: There’s Nothing to be scared about just something you need to know. I was reviewing the Security protocols and saw you has changed a few to better accommodate you while you fly. As there are ways to help you it is not suggested to mess with the default settings. They’re in place for your safety. Teravalis: Response Maddi listened to the inflection of her voice and being able to tell she was sorry for what she did. Maddi also listens to her reasoning and decided to work with the woman. Hyden: Well let's see what I can do for you. I understand the reasoning behind why you did it and can see why it’s easier, but maybe we can change a few things, but keep the setting in the proper protocols. Maddi changed a few setting that she thought might make it easier for the pilot. Hyden: How’s that? Teravalis: Response Hyden: Excellent! Thanks for understanding if you need anything else just let me know! I will make sure this is implemented on all the shuttle for you. You’re dismissed. She smiled as the woman departed the shuttle. oO She is definitely skilled and I’m glad I can help her. Oo Maddi tried to take a sip of chocolate milk, but there was none in the cup she quickly replicated more and took a sip which gave her another boost of energy. oO This is probably not the best way to keep energy, but it tastes so good. Oo She finished up the checks after making sure the few changes were set in the shuttle and locked under her codes only, but she would inform the Captain in her report. She stopped and added this part to her report that was rather lengthy on the PADD. She was starting to feel tired, but she would press on. She headed for the bridge, but when she arrived it was empty except for the night crew. She smiled sheepishly to the group and casually slid into the security consoles spot. She began the lvl 3 diagnostics of all the ships security systems. The check came back good and everything was perfect on the bridge. It took her around 45 minutes to complete the task, but after completing it and feeling satisfied with the result. She headed back to her office to finish her report. She arrived at her office moments later, but the exhaustion began to sweep in and the hunger was worse than before. She had to eat if she was going to stay up. She went over to her replicator and requested a bacon cheeseburger and a giant glass of more milk. She ate the sandwich and began her report. It was much more detailed than she had expected, but that was how her job went and she made sure that all the information was apparent in the report. She stopped for a minute and Esa slipped into her mind, but Maddi continued her work. oO She needs space. I just hope she will talk to me. I miss her. She really laid into me that night. Oo She continued working on her report, as well as the many other that had stacked up on her desk. After hours of work she was done. She had finished all her backlogged work and the report for the Captain. She looked at the time it was already morning and she was pretty sure the Commander would be in his office. So she headed to his ready room. She took a deep breath to try and fight the exhaustion in her body. She waited after activating the chime to hear the words to enter the room. She entered the room and smile with the PADD tucked under her arms. Hyden: Hello Commander, I have finished my security assessment for the arrival of the Ambassador and the systems of the ship for you. Thoran: Response
  3. 2 points
    Seeing a certain person @Geoffrey Teller is expanding his Brew Continuum Empire, it's only fair to show him that some people namely @Jo Marshall are doing all they can to promote the BC merchandise. (( Research Station - Giáng Sinh )) “My Dearest Parents. I put words to this communication on the hope your good selves shall receive it before you attend Giáng Sinh. First, the Admiral doesn’t like guests. Secondly, You’ll be quartered either on the Gorkon or down on the surface; it’s entirely up to you. Your original request for organic avocados has proved difficult. Smashed avocado on toast from the replicator does not constitute a war crime allegation. The coffee is plentiful and there’s a coffeehouse on the ship — Erin grows the plants. There’s snow down here and no, there’s nothing I can do about it unfortunately it’s just part of the weather system. Please don’t mention the Hawaiian shirt and leather jacket incident. Looking forward to seeing you. Take your time getting here. Much love.” Jo slumped back in the chair and wiped her hands over her face, wondering if she could get away with the slightest, smallest note going. “Please don’t come.” But they were already winging their way to the planet, both excited to see the terra forming activities taking place, spend Christmas somewhere that looked and felt like a Christmas of their homeworld back in their childhood years, and, time permitting, see their daughter. The blonde slipped her fingers through the handle of the travel coffee mug (Brew Continuum, Fastest Coffee in the Fleet!) and stirred it around with the power of centrifugal motion. She looked up out of the small window afforded by the Operations building, reminded of the administration centre back on Starfleet Academy campus, and the day she’d followed the then Captain out into the grounds after their return from Over There. It hadn’t been snowing. Quite the contrary, the sun had shone heavily in a blue sky and flowers bloomed beneath. Her parents hadn’t made it back for that, either, and Jo had disappeared from the Japanese Tea Gardens on her bike with one Erin Reynolds; the two taking off for the high hills of the San Mateo region. Erin drove, Jo had held on for dear life as the hybrid tested just how fast the engine could go up the winding roads beside the Pacific Ocean, illuminated by the blaze of sunset light streaming down from the horizon. Little did she know then that Erin would come to occupy her thoughts for the next two years. Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise the Bajoran enthusiasts had refused the invitation. Lost in her thoughts, as she was, Jo lifted the coffee to her lips and took a quick sip, momentarily forgetting how hot the Brew Continuum branded travel mug (100% leak-proof vacuum, insulated for perfect heat retention, and a strip of silicone for easy carrying, available at all BC franchises) kept eighteen ounces of coffee perfectly sealed. A quick burn to her bottom lip and a reactive wince saw the mug fall from her grasp and roll onto the floor. She considered sending a message to Bear, entreating him to come back quicker from wherever he’d ended up with the former pirate for the backup, for someone to throw in front of her two life-givers like a ritual sacrifice or cannon fodder. What she needed was a swift distraction. Rescuing the mug from the group, and noting that it was completely and utterly leakproof (available from all good Brew Continuum franchises), Jo strolled outside. Snow lazily drifted down from the sky; large snowflakes covering the ground and surrounding decking. Containers hauled from the support ships for the colonists covered in the white powder, dry and beautiful, untouched in the thick morning air. Everything felt a little serene as Jo looked around, taking in the day's smell. Erin, with her wonderfully scientific brain, had informed her that snow didn’t have a scent, and instead what she could smell did not differ from a cold, dry day on the planet, or impurities in the frozen water, like dirt and salt from the water source. She’d also informed her of the stimulation to the trigeminal nerve in her face caused by the cold air they breathed, which stirred an all around sensory experience of snow. Those small things that Erin thought were perfectly mundane pieces of information delivered in such a simple manner were one of the many reasons Jo loved her. Her botanist could make the smallest things seem wonderfully magical. Across the way, Jo spotted Ghant Xerix, their pilot extraordinaire making his way across the town square, on his way from or to somewhere or other. The Betazoid had made some interesting relationships in his brief time on board the Gorkon — ‘Kos appearing in their quarters heartbroken, Erin because of that, Caedan as sad and dejected as if someone had stolen his happy, Valesha because of that, and those were only the ones she knew about. However, Jo liked the guy. He was a good pilot and operations officer, dedicated himself to his work when he wasn’t breaking hearts and taking names, and it felt like the young fella had been with them from the start. With that in mind, Jo placed the mug down on top of the container and watched for a second as the insulated one-hundred percent leak proof travel mug didn’t melt the snow at all. She scooped up a handful of snow in her hands, cutting a clear edge in the beautifully unblemished snow covering, and padded it up into a ball. Then, with the precision of her days playing endless games of springball, she threw it dead centre at her target. Xerix: Response Reactively, Jo ducked down behind the container crate before he could see her, her back pressed up against it as though enemy fire was about to come shooting toward her. She scooped up another handful of snow and looked over the top of the crate. Poking up over the top, she sent another ball of snow in an overarm angle toward the pilot and retreated to cover. Xerix: Response Another handful of powder scooped up, Jo couldn’t help laughing this time and glanced around the side of the crate. Marshall: Evasive maneuvers, Mister Xerix! Take up a defensive position! Xerix: Response -- Lt. Commander Jo Marshall First Officer USS Gorkon, NCC-82293 G239304JM0
  4. 1 point
    We are proud to announce that the renovation of the official sims archive has been completed and released! This new version has a brand new look, faster loading, and now includes keyword searches of all sims going back to 1995. Other features now present: Access to all sims, including inactive ships since our founding; Faster loading of pages; Streamlined view for both PC, mobile and tablet display; and much more! The sims archive is available at https://sims.starbase118.net. If you find any bug or issue with the website, please do not hesitate to file a bug report to help us continue to improve the site. The post Sims archive is back online! appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  5. 1 point
    Each month, we interview a captain or first officer of the fleet to gain more insight on what it takes to command a ship and learn more about how each of these staff members found their way into these roles. This month we’re interviewing recently promoted Flag Officer Fleet Captain Roshanara Rahman – Rich – commanding officer of the USS Veritas. Let’s get started! SHAYNE: Some time has passed, but it bears repeating – congratulations on your promotion to Fleet Captain! Last time we had the pleasure of talking with you, you had just launched the USS Veritas. Can you tell us more about how your ship has grown and progressed since launch? RAHMAN: It’s hard to believe we’re warping off into our fourth year/season! When we originally designed the Shoals campaign region, we wanted to create a more intimate setting to allow us to fully explore the worlds and people within it for the next several years, and we still have places that we haven’t even seen yet! The crew has changed over the last couple of years, most notably when nearly half of them went over to help launch the USS Montreal under then-Commander Mei’konda last year. Since then, the crew has remained pretty much the same, and we have such a great group of talented and strong storytellers, and it’s a joy to lead them as their captain. Veritas has been running strong since 2393. Do you have a favorite mission within that time? During our second season, we had a mission called “Kallo Ver & The Hunt for the Lost Romulan Treasure Fleet,” which as its name implies was an adventure story in the style of Indiana Jones and video game franchises like Uncharted and Tomb Raider that have taken inspiration from that film series. The twist was that the “main character” for the mission and the narrator was not one of our own crew but instead the Valtese smuggler Kallo Ver, who’s become someone like the Quark or Harry Mudd of the Shoals. It was fun to see our usual Starfleet characters thrown into this kind of fiction style, and there was a nice contrast to the historical journal entries that were written by Evan Delano for the Romulan commander of the titular lost treasure fleet that told their own story-within-a-story. What is one of your proudest moments as a Commanding Officer? I love watching how the players on my ship respond to a scenario or situation that I put them in. For instance, in a mission earlier this year called “Sentinel,” I had both my character along with the first officer and a few others in a turbolift that went crashing down the shaft. Just before she left the bridge, she gave the conn to our chief engineer, Geoffrey Teller, and he led the ship through a battle with Tholians all while doing his best to handle the weight and anxiousness of the responsibility he’d suddenly had thrust upon him. Another such moment was during the mission called “Limbo,” where the crew were stranded on a tropical moon for six months while the rest of the universe only experienced a few hours. Because of that time spent by themselves, the relationships among the crew really developed, and we had both a romance bloom between two characters (Wil Ukinix and G’var) and a renewed bonding between all of the officers, especially in the wake of the crew shuffle after Montreal’s launch. Still, the proudest moments as a CO now have definitely been helping guide two players, Mei’konda and Evan Delano, to reach the rank of commander and beyond. I’m forever grateful to my own command mentors, and so it’s incredibly rewarding to see my own players achieve their command goals. With years of command now under your belt, what has been the greatest challenge, in character and out of character, with the command experience? The greatest challenge out of character is the unpredictable nature of overseeing a group of people from all walks of life and all corners of the world. I’ve joked before with my previous CO Fleet Captain Kells (who now sims aboard Veritas as our chief medical officer Dr. Nic del Vedova) that being part of the command staff feels like being part of a volunteer fire department at times. Sometimes, someone accidentally misses tags from another person, for instance, and they feel ignored or even slighted. Fortunately, I’ve only encountered a few truly unpleasant people in my nearly ten(!) years here in 118, and the vast majority are just fellow Trekkies who want to tell and share fun stories together. Part of being captain is helping everyone remember that and really setting forth the tone and expectation that we all want to be kind to one another and be proactive in reaching out to help if someone should ever make a mistake or could use a little feedback. In-character, the greatest challenge is deciding on team assignments as there has to be out-of-character considerations that need to be taken into account. This also includes the captain herself. In the shows and movies, the captain is often the character front in center, but in a roleplaying game, no one wants to think of their characters as only supporting parts. Designing missions and scenes so that everyone feels like they’re in their own tailored adventure is definitely a challenge, but when you pull it off, it’s like watching all the intricate parts of a stage production come together to create one magnificent story. What advice would you give to a new captain? An officer with ambitions of becoming a captain? If you’re a new captain, my advice is don’t hesitate to reach out and ask your fellow captains for their thoughts on things as you start off. Even experienced captains ask others from time to time for their input on a situation they’ve encountered so that we can all learn from it. As a new captain, the greatest thing you learn is getting that balance so that you can manage all of your duties as CO, still have fun simming, and have a life outside of 118. For those who want to be a captain someday, my advice is to really think about why you want to become a CO and make sure it aligns with what being a CO in 118 actually is. Being a CO in the fictional Starfleet is not the same as being a CO in 118. Don’t focus on the in-character “benefits” of being a captain like choosing or designing your own ship and getting the four pips. Those are all nice of course, but they’re rewards the fleet gives its COs for taking on a challenging responsibility that ultimately is more akin to being a traditional game master or theater/music director. The role of captain in 118 is fundamentally about administration and being a manager, so real world communication and people skills are a must. It’s okay if you haven’t mastered these skills just yet. You’ll learn and hone them through your command training. Still, don’t pursue captaincy in 118 just because you want to have your character in charge as the captain during the story. Become a captain because you enjoy facilitating missions, helping other players achieve their own in-character and out-of-character goals, and watching others take the plot hooks you give them and flesh them out into stories you could never have written by yourself. Thank you for your time, Fleet Captain Rahman! You can read more of Fleet Captain Rahman on her wiki page here. The post Interview With Fleet Captain Roshanara Rahman appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  6. 1 point
    Being a recent transfer to Ops, I really enjoyed this bit of story arc regarding @Taelon. Great sim! ((Starfleet Intel HQ – London, Earth)) (time index: several days into shore leave) Once he’d looked at Earth from a frieghter’s window and been in awe of its beauty, its sparkling blue seas and rolling green. It’d been a contrast to the reddish dust and green clouds of his birth planet. The Academy had been the first thing he’d truly done on his own, and had seemed almost magical. Now he was back - and not as a welcomed newcomer. Now the looks he got were dark. They thought he’d done something he hadn’t. Taelon wasn’t sure what they even wanted him to reveal at his point; he’d told them as much as he could. Except he hadn’t, he knew he hadn’t. He’d been on a ship in contact with the Klingon military, seen the lists of dissidents and spies, even helped identify some of them. He’d helped Kaskis Ril for 15 years. The last time he’d seen Kaskis, she’d knifed him in the gut. For most people, this would have ended any loyalty they’d had. For Taelon, well, he’d deserved it, hadn’t he? He’d been lying to her for years, claiming to know nothing and to be some exile from Federation space. The fact she’d have skinned him alive for his command codes didn’t factor into his thought process much, but it did come to him on dark nights. He’d seen enough as part of her crew to know how Klingons got information out of people. If they’d discovered he was a ranking Federation officer from 20 years in the future... But they hadn’t. Instead he’d been a loyal follower, the bounty hunter’s mechanic and medic of sorts. He’d been with her for a long time, and that knifing had hardly been the first time she’d struck at him in what he considered justified retribution. He could use her backing now, he thought, standing in the dock. Despite his towering height, Taelon’s body language was hardly intimidating; if anything, it made his answers seem worse. He tugged at the edges of his sleeves, worried his lower lip, and held himself closely, tucking his arms up against his sides and curling in around himself. He struggled to maintain eye contact. This was quite normal for him when he was uncomfortable, and with the added stress, his nervous ticks grew worse; already he’d nibbled through his lower lip, blood visible on his tongue briefly. All this did, however, serve to make him seem evasive. About halfway through he seemed to realize that and tried to steel himself, but DeMarcus’ looks and body language made him shrink back and fail. DeMarcus: Do you deny you worked with this cult, despite having evidence that you were on Zeta Iomis IV? Taelon’s rising panic was clear to everyone watching. He saw Sal Taybrim and locked eyes with him briefly and that seemed to give him some measure of comfort; he took a few steadying breaths before he replied. Taelon: I’ve never worked with the Cult of Molor. Zeta Iomis IV was thought to be one of the hideouts for the Screaming Warriguls, so Captain Ril wanted it investigated. I merely - we merely did what she ordered. That might well have been the longest he’d gone without a small stutter, and this only seemed to make DeMarcus more doubtful rather than less. DeMarcus: That is convenient. Would you care to elucidate on what you were doing on the IKS Qulp’law? Taelon: I was - ::He stopped, fingers twisting together so tightly that his knuckles popped.:: I acted as her mechanic and maintained the crew’s w-weapons and assault vehicles. ::He stopped again, biting his lip before adding-:: I, I invented some new tech for them as well. To help with the - to help with their work. I’ve documented my time with them for the Temporal authorities…. DeMarcus: Seems convenient. Taelon clearly didn’t know what to say to that; he lowered his gaze again before he managed a reply. Taelon: W-well, it’s the truth... The Intelligence officer’s look was one of disgust. He paced, each click of his heeled boots echoing. DeMarcus: Also convenient that you left the Narendra and shortly thereafter the cult was able to infiltrate the ship… Taelon gawked at him, his gaze going to the crowd - to Sal, to others he’d talked to before. Whatever he’d guessed he was accused of, having put the Cult on the Narendra wasn’t included in that. He stammered. Despite his timid nature, it was clear he was offended. Taelon: Why would I - I’d never tell a group of killers where my colleagues were! Especially not after - not after - He fell silent, shaking hands holding the edge of the dock. His knuckles were white. DeMarcus: ::More forcefully:: Someone had to leak security details! Someone had to tell the Klingons! Taelon: Whatever it is I’ve done, or - or you think I’ve done… I wouldn’t h-hurt other members of the Federation - DeMarcus cut him off with a scoff, the man’s posture growing more intimidating. DeMarcus: Like you weren’t responsible for the death of undercover operative K’Tomj? ::He smiled with a vicious expression. He knew the Starfleet intel operative was killed after contact with the Qulp’law.:: Taelon’s mouth opened, but he said nothing for a long moment, eventually clicking his mouth shut. He looked around the room again. It was true he’d killed the man. It’d been a routine job with Ril’s crew up until he saw the reports afterwards. Taelon: I didn’t - I didn’t know about him. It was just a routine bounty, until we saw his intel… DeMarcus/Any: ? Licking his lips nervously, Taelon’s gaze dropped yet again. He didn’t know, how could he, it wasn’t like that at the time - he was keenly aware of his responses repeating over and over. But they were true. How could have known about a spy who was emplaced years before he’d even joined Starfleet? He should have seen the clues, but at the time it’d been a hostile planet and people had been quick to start shooting the moment things went south. He didn’t know what to say any more. Taelon: I’ve studied the cult under Captain Ril for years. And I might - I might make things you people - ::He stopped and quickly corrected himself.:: I might design things that, that the Federation doesn’t like, but I don’t - the Cult wants to hurt people. I want to p-protect them…
  7. 1 point
    This sim is a teaser for our upcoming mission. When I read it, I had a sense of deja-vu. It turns out that it was a flashback sim, the dialogue was lifted from a set of sims I was lucky enough to be a part of six months ago, but instead written from the point of view of two Romulans that went into the diner. This is very Pulp Fiction of you @Roshanara Rahman and brilliantly done! Love it. ((Welder's Diner, Ketar V - Stardate 239607)) Kivas shook his head at his friend and fellow Romulan Sajok as they both stood in the famous Welder’s Diner, home of the Shoals’ best burgers. The two refugees had found work at the nearby Livernois Shipyard, working on one of the Starfleet contracts. While there were plenty of shipyards across the planet offering work, many Romulans and Remans had taken up the openings at Livernois because Starfleet had specific affirmative action policies in place to ensure fair hiring practices. While Ketar V was technically a Federation world, Kivas had found that some of the residents of the oldest colony in the Shoals exhibited rather provincial attitudes when it came to his kind. Perhaps it was the distance and the slow communications or the history of the colony’s growth, with many early settlers having ancestors who had fought in that first Earth-Romulan war of so long ago, but whatever the reason, the former university professor had discovered that humans and other Federation citizens out here sometimes struggled to live up to their supposed ideals. Today, one human customer at the diner in particular was struggling. Human customer: This establishment isn't for your kind. Kivas gave Sajok a coy smile before looking back at the human man who was now standing a little closer to them. Kivas: It's always so humbling to see that great Federation enlightenment on display. Human customer: This ain't got nothing to do with the Federation. If it were up to me, none of you lot would be here. Yet despite what some of the refugees thought, Kivas knew not all humans were like this. In fact, he wouldn’t even say that most of them were like this. And case in point, their waitress came over to break up the commotion and kick out the disruptive customer. Waitress: Well, fortunately, it's not up to you. And if you're going to harass other customers, then I'm going to ask you to leave. ::She looked over at the Romulans and gestured to one of the open tables.:: I'm sorry gentlemen, please take a seat. Kivas and Sajok gave a polite nod to the waitress as they walked past the man, who continued to give them an unfriendly stare before he then looked over at a few Starfleet officers sitting in a both by the windows. Human customer: Meh, this place isn't what it used to be anyway. Too much trash piling up. Sajok grumbled as the two men grabbed their table. Sajok: I don’t know why you like coming here. Plenty of places we can go without being harassed. Unlike Kivas, who first arrived on Ketar with the first wave of refugees during the start of the resettlement program in 2388, Sajok was a more recent arrival. Previously a civil engineer, he’d lived on Ketar now for two years, but it still wasn’t home for him, and his wife had been pushing for them to move their family of four to another refugee settlement such as Bilire VI. Unlike Ketar, Bilire was previously uninhabited before the refugee colony there was established in the wake of the Hobus supernova that had destroyed Romulus and Remus. Kivas: I am a resident of Ketar, which means I can go where I please. ::opens a menu:: And so I will. He looked up from his menu, making a point to his dining companion. Kivas: It’s important we remind them that we have just as much a right to be here as they do. ::beat:: And that we’re not going anywhere. The other Romulan scoffed as he opened his menu. Sajok: Speak for yourself… I don’t see what’s so great about this place. Kivas: Look around you, Sajok. This is a world built through blood, sweat, and tears. It’s a rare colony world with actual history—it predates the Federation itself. We are but one new chapter in its story. Sajok shook his head. Sajok: I never realized you were such a romantic. Kivas: Well, and I like the Hawaiian teriyaki burger. This Earth fruit—pineapple. It’s quite something! His companion just chuckled as he continued to look over the menu. ((Later)) With their food ordered, the two Romulans were minding their own business waiting for their lunch when the human man from earlier returned to the diner. Except this time, he wasn't alone. As he and two others walked in, they glanced at the Starfleet officers before walking over to Kivas and Sajok. Human customer from earlier: Well, well, look who's still here... One of the man’s new companions, a human woman with olive skin and long blonde messy dreadlocks spoke up, while gesturing towards the Starfleet officers. Human woman: And your Starfleet friends here can’t help you. Human customer from earlier: It seems you didn't get the message that you aren't welcome here, Romulan. Sajok: We are just waiting for our burgers. The waitress addressed the human customer from earlier. Waitress: I told you to leave, sir. I don't like your attitude. Human customer: And I don't like having to work with these green-blooded snakes... ::chuckles as he looks back up at the waitress:: Sajok didn’t have the same patience as Kivas. He stood up and leaned forward. Sajok: Is that so! ::Looking around diner:: Is *this* how the Federation treats refugees? Then I would be happy to take this outside! Brushing her hair back, the female human stepped up towards Sajok. Human woman: Nope. Here’s just fine. Perhaps Sajok was right, Kivas thought. He was about to stand up to walk with Sajok to another establishment when one of the Starfleet officers from across the room called out. Starfleet security officer: ENOUGH! You have no authority to ban anyone in here. She :: pointing to the waitress :: has made it clear they can stay. :: To the Romulans :: And no, they're not a representation of what the Federation is. Another one of the Starfleet officers tapped his combadge. Starfleet engineer: =/\= Lieutenant Ukinix to any CCMS. Require presence at… ::looking at window:: …Welder’s Diner, opposite Livernois Shipyard offices, ::looking back:: there’s an altercation in progress. :: CCMS: =/\= Understood, we are en-route. =/\= The human woman with dreadlocks walked over to taunt the Starfleet officers. Human woman: Typical Starfleet. *Always* poking your nose in where it isn’t wanted. At this, the other Starfleet officer stood up to join his companion already standing. There was a third officer, a woman who remained seated. Kivas watched her curiously. She clearly was trying to keep the peace as well despite her distaste at what was going on. She wasn’t looking at him, but if she had been, he’d have exchanged a nod of understanding. All they wanted was to keep the peace. Starfleet security officer: We poke our noses where there are problems and right now, you're the problem. You have a chance to leave before the CCMS arrive. :: Looking at her eyes with all his height :: Your choice. Human woman: Hmmph. The woman seemed to walk away but then suddenly spun around to deliver a sucker punch. However, she wasn’t fast enough for the security officer to miss her telegraphing of her attack. He caught her fist in his hand and somehow crushed her knuckles with his grasp. The woman grunted before the man knocked her down with his other hand. As this was going on, the two other human men lunged at Sajok. Despite Kivas’ distaste for violence, he wasn’t going to abandon his companion. He stood up to face off against the attackers. The brawl in the diner quickly got ugly as fists and kicks were shot out. With the help of the Starfleet officers, though, they were able to subdue their attackers. The female Starfleet officer walked over to one of her shipmates. Starfleet command officer: Are you all right? Starfleet engineer: ::Panting, nodding:: Yeah, fine. The woman then walked over to Kivas and Sajok. Starfleet command officer: And you? Kivas looked over at Sajok, who nodded first, before he turned his head back at the woman and nodded. It was at that moment then that several Colonial Coalition Marshals swarmed into the building. Marshal: What's going on here? Starfleet security officer: Don't tell that I didn't gave you a chance to leave. :: to the officers :: I'm Commander Kelrod Chief of Security of the USS Veritas. This woman will require medical attention. Human woman: Marshal, we were just trying to have a meal when this [...] started shooting! ::She raised her arm up to show the marshal as his partner went to look over at the unconscious bodies.:: He crushed my hand! Sajok called out to the injured human and the marshal. Sajok: That was only after you tried to start a fight. You shouldn't start something unless you intend to finish it. The Starfleet security officer called Kelrod walked over to the two Romulans. Kelrod: I hope you're okay. I'll be happy to help you get medical attention if you require it. Kivas: Thank you... Kelrod: I personally consider Romulans a strong and intelligent people. In fact, Starfleet has Romulans or part Romulans serving. I hope that you are open to reconsider your … views of the Federation. But the man’s companion looked worried. Starfleet command officer: ::whispers:: Commander, I don't think this is over... Kelrod: I'm sorry for the mess. Please, give my compliments to the kitchen. I'll be sure to come back next time I'm around, if it's fine with you. Marshal: Not so fast! You all are under arrest. The female Starfleet officer fired back in either disbelief or indignation. Starfleet command officer: On what charges? Marshal: Disturbing the peace, discharging a phaser in public, assault... need I go on, little lady? Ukinix: “Little Lady”!! Who the fff- Her other shipmate didn’t appreciate that comment. Whoever these people were, they were quite protective of each other. Kivas admired that and recognized it in the Romulan spirit as well. Kelrod: Easy Wil... And Marshal, you're talking to a Starfleet captain. Show her the respect she deserves. Kivas: oO Captain? Oo The captain raised her hand again to try to tell her shipmates not to resist. Starfleet captain: We'll sort this out at the marshal's office. As the three were escorted in handcuffs out of the diner, Kivas continued to watch them with intrigue. Sajok walked up next to him to watch as well. Sajok: Well, you happy? You think you really made your point? Kivas continued to watch the Starfleet officers as they were placed into a CCMS transport vehicle before he looked back at Sajok. Kivas: I don’t know if I did. ::He gestured to the arrested Starfleet officers.:: But I think they might have. The waitress walked over to the two Romulans, looking apologetic. Waitress: Sorry again for this whole mess… ::She shook her head.:: Your burgers are ready… if you still want them, that is. Kivas just smiled. Kivas: Yes, of course! We cannot waste the pineapple! As Kivas made his way back to the table, Sajok just shook his head before glancing for one last time at the CCMS transport vehicle as it sped away back to the station. Kivas and Sajok Romulan Refugees, Ketar V I238705TZ0
  8. 1 point
    I didn't know you had posted this! I'm so flattered thank you!
  9. 1 point
    Hello, all. My name's Adi, but you can (and I'd rather) call me Adingo, and I'm a 19 years old man. I found this group via a year old post on Reddit, and it looked really interesting. The more I looked into it, the more I liked the concept of development. I don't have much experience writing, but hope to use the experience here to improve on that. As for roleplaying, I am playing D&D with a few friends, and trying to improve my roleplaying too. I actually started watching Star Trek when season 1 of Discovery was released - I've been eyeing the franchise for a while, and Discovery basically served as my jump point out of "Oh, it's new, let's see it." After that I finished all the series, and while I haven't watched the movies, I do know what's going on in them, but I want to watch them all together when I have the time. Currently I'm working on some programming, not much to tell. Noa (or T'Nessa), my character, is a quarter Vulcan and three quarters Human hybrid. She's up for being a science officer, and I'm going to attempt to combine her Vulcan logic with human emotions and curiosity.
  10. 1 point
    Please welcome our newest Academy graduate to the UFOP: StarBase 118 fleet: Kteer! The post New Academy Graduate appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  11. 1 point
    This was a brilliant piece of writing! Well done @Lael Rosek and @Toryn Raga. I couldn't stop reading it at work on break till I finished it. I think I was a minute late lol. ((Corridor, Deck 3, USS Atlantis)) {{Day 3 of shoreleave, Late evening}} It had been another long day of avoiding Toryn. She freely admitted she was attracted to him and that his company soothed her in ways she couldn’t begin to understand. That wasn’t the difficult part. Something about the situation between them made her wary of messing it up. She’d taken her space after the last away mission, not wanting to rush into things any more than they already had. There’d been very little communication between them in the way of getting to know one another. Most of what she did know about him had been gleaned either from his Starfleet records or from shrewd observation. There was no discounting what they’d been through together and the intimacy that they’d shared in the process, but she was nervous. She’d been hurt so much in the past and wasn’t sure if love was something she was interested in. It made her much different than other Al-Leyans in that she had considered monogamy. Al-Leyans weren’t monogamous by nature and yet, the idea of one person she could always rely on and didn’t have to share did have its appeal. There had been an uncomfortable feeling he’d been dealing with since the mission ended. He couldn’t place it, but Toryn had the suspicion that Ishka had been avoiding him. It brought back unpleasant memories of Serala, one of his two best friends, doing everything she could to put as much space between them as possible and being blunt to the point that it didn’t even feel as though they were close friends. Thankfully, that seemed to have passed, but to be honest the two of them hadn’t actually spoken much lately. His thoughts wandered back to Ishka as he realized he could feel her nearby. That wasn’t surprising. It was a small ship and he could always sense her mind. The only one on board that he could. It made him respect what their resident Rodulans must go through hearing everyone’s thoughts. He should have been focused on where he was going, as he rounded the corner he practically bowled someone over in his quick stride. She’d been so lost in her thoughts that she hadn’t noticed the familiar presence of Toryn’s mind nearby until it was too late. As she rounded a corner, she made hard contact with something solid. Thankfully, she was able to keep her footing and as soon as she was certain she wasn’t going to fall, she glanced up to find herself staring into the impossibly deep blue eyes of the very man she’d hoped to avoid until she could sort out what she was feeling. That gaze felt like staring into a stellar nursery. Or a gravitic anomaly because for the life of him he couldn’t tear his eyes away from the vibrant emeralds in front of him. Framed by the fiery red mane she was breathtaking. Literally and figuratively as he stood there, trying to assemble coherent letters into words, then words into a sentence. Raga: oO Winds she’s the most beautiful woman I’ve met. Oo I’m sorry, doc. Are you alright? She wasn’t sure how to respond at first. The formality had her fighting back a wince. He’d been so free with her given name on multiple occasions while they were on the surface. Had it just been the heat of the moment? Adrenaline? It had been so freeing the couple of times she’d used his given name. Every touch had been more real for it. Something about the intimacy had helped her keep her focus. She’d worried that her personal feelings for Toryn would get in the way of her professionalism, but what had happened on Paldor II was proof that she’d been overthinking it. Or so she’d thought. Journs: ::gaze drops and murmurs:: I’m sorry, sir. It’s my fault. I wasn’t paying attention. Raga: It’s alright Ishka. I wasn’t looking where I was going either. Had she not lowered her gaze it would have been nigh impossible for him to look away. But he visually examined her from head to toe, not finding any signs of injury. Not that he expected there to be. Al-Leyans were a hearty bunch. However, he gently touched a crooked finger under her chin to raise her gaze to his again. Raga: I really wish you’d stop doing that. ::He whispered:: Your eyes are too beautiful to hide. A flush crept into her cheeks, one that she failed to hide despite her best efforts. The mixed messages made her even more timid than usual. Worrying her lower lip, she lifted her gaze to his, her mouth agape slightly as the tip of her tongue peeked out to moisten her lips. Winds, but he was attractive...and so charming. Any sense she had was scattered to the winds when he called her or any part of her beautiful. The compliment drew a shy smile. Journs: ::breathily:: I-- Any words that she’d managed to string together in her mind in response clearly hadn’t made it all the way to her mouth. What could she say to this beautiful man who had held her in his arms and worshipped her for hours? Part of him couldn’t help but smile a bit at her expression. The crimson that filled her cheeks could likely be detected by the ship’s sensors at this point. And that thing she did with her lip only added to her own allure. Eventually, awareness of things other than the radiant entity before him filtered into his perceptions and he glanced around with a grin. Raga: Were you headed anywhere in particular? ::He asked, clearing his throat slightly:: They were just standing there in the corridor and if she wasn’t doing anything, maybe they could talk. Clear up a few things or at least try to sort out this intense tension between them. Again, she worried her lower lip. Her thoughts had been focused on her couch in her quarters and maybe another night of movies and chocolate ice cream. Journs: Um...nothing specific. Why? His brow raised and a slight smirk curled his lips. The thought of spending time with her was enough to quicken his pulse by a warp factor of ten at least. Raga: Well, I don’t have plans. And I know that last mission was tough on all of us. If you want we could talk a bit. We haven’t really had much time to get to know each other much. Which was quite amusing if he took a moment to consider they’d already been quite intimate and that was just about the most, well, intimate way to know someone. Raga: My quarters are right over there and for once Kurt isn’t mimicking a statue outside. She smiled wanly at the memory of her and Toryn’s first night together when she’d had to make excuses to Logan in order to gain entrance to Toryn’s quarters. He wanted to talk and though she was certain he meant it, she also suspected that thoughts of their last intimate encounter were occupying his mind at that same moment. Despite fighting the desire to spend time with him alone these last few days, she couldn’t help the way her heartrate picked up at the thought of sharing that intimacy with him again. It was all she’d wanted on Paldor II. Journs: ::softly:: Okay. No matter how hard they both were trying to conceal their thoughts from one another it was impossible for him to not hear her heartbeat. It brought a warm smile to his face even before she agreed to spend time with him. Raga: Great! ::He felt silly just how excited he’d sounded and realized he was louder too:: oO You’d think I’d never gone through my season or something. Oo He chided himself mentally and turned on his bootheel. Toryn lead her back to his quarters, which were only just down the next corridor. Mid hull on the Starboard side. The door swished open and he stepped inside, gesturing for her to follow. A soft hoot came from the corner at their entry and he smiled at Sylara. Toryn looked back to her as he stood midway between the door and the replicator. ((Raga’s Quarters)) Raga: Would you like something to drink? Just being in his quarters again stirred memories of their passionate night and she felt a shiver race down her spine. It had been the most intense coupling of her young life, and that was saying something given how many lovers she’d had. Though they’d destroyed the majority of his quarters in their desperation to get as close as possible, there had been a tenderness to Toryn’s actions. She’d felt special and protected. Journs: Al-Leyan spiced tea. He gave a nod and stepped in front of the replicator if only to give himself a reprieve from having to actually think about how to start such a conversation. Raga: Two Al-Leyan Spiced teas. Hot. ::He looked back:: Make yourself at home. The replicator whirred and a moment later the requested beverages appeared in the usual swirl of blue and white luminescence. Steam rose from the mugs and he grasped them by the handles and joined her in the living area. Offering one mug to her before he took a seat on the large couch beneath the window looking out at Paldor II. For a moment, she sat still in the quiet, taking a long sip of her tea. Her racing heart missed a beat or two only two resume its normal rhythm. A nervous energy filled the space between them Something was developing...something serious...though it seemed neither wanted to admit it. Her gaze lifted to meet his. She wasn’t a risk-taker. Like most of her species, she calculated every possible risk before arriving at a conclusion. Not with Toryn. She’d done things these last few days that would typically be outside of her comfort zone. She’d followed him without a second thought, not stopping once to question the recklessness of his choices, and she didn’t regret a moment. Setting the mug of tea down on the coffee table, she lifted slightly shaking hands to cradle his face tenderly, running one thumb over the swell of his lower lip. Journs: You make me utterly crazy. Even when we’re together, I can’t stop thinking about you. I’m trying to go slow and not ruin a good thing before it truly has a chance to start, but… Toryn sat there, his own mug still clutched in his hand as he hadn’t decided to actually partake or set it down. And then he felt her soft, yet trembling hands cradle his face. The thumb brushing across his lips felt like electrical sparks the way his being reacted to the contact. Raga: So it’s not just me then? ::He muttered softly, as if he were one asylum patient confessing to another:: I’ve thought about you more in these past few days than anyone I’ve ever.. Slept with? Loved? Been attracted to? All of the above? He struggled how to finish that thought, his words trailed off as he couldn’t settle on any one in particular. He reached up to cradle her hands in one of his own and the other extended to brush fingers through her hair. Her gaze dropped to his lips and she leaned forward slowly, brushing her lips chastely over his before pulling back and staring into his eyes. She pulled one hand free and slid it up the side of his face, brushing the tip of his ear tenderly. It was an intimate gesture typically reserved for lovers as the location was one of an Al-Leyan’s most sensitive places. A soft smile turned up the corners of her lips as she leaned closer to him, longing to feel the weight of his body pressed against hers. There was something about his masculine strength that made her feel so warm and protected. It never failed to drive away any worries of the day. Toryn felt the chaste kiss and the brief contact of her supple lips to his was enough to steal his breath. He’d been longing for her company since the crisis on the surface. When she was facing a lost patient he wanted to pull her into his arms. Hold her until she felt better, or bring her to his quarters and pamper her with intimacy until she forgot. Seeing her smile, he couldn’t help but do the same and he reached out to set his mug down as she leaned in. With both hands-free he wrapped his arms around her, pulling her against him. He’d wanted to talk, they needed to but it was almost futile to resist or deny the magnetic pull he felt towards her. His hands caressed her back as he drew her against his chest. He stared into those emerald pools of hers and let his lips tenderly meet hers. A passionate kiss ensued, one that even took him by surprise. For a long moment, she allowed herself to be lost in it, closing her eyes and enjoying the way his lips felt against hers. She arched her neck, exposing her bare throat to his kisses even as she buried shaking hands into his dark raven locks. For a few moments, she allowed it, then sighed and pushed at his chest with one hand, the other on his shoulder to hold him firmly in place. Journs: ::breathily:: I thought you wanted to talk. Toryn lost himself in her for that long moment and then sense kicked in with one of them and she broached the reason for them visiting his quarters. The dutiful former Tac/Sec chief cleared his throat and nodded. Sitting back against the cushion of the couch, but still embracing her he licked his lips, Raga: Sorry. You’re right. ::He smiled:: I can’t seem to help myself around you. ::He muttered softly:: What is this we seem to have between us? Journs: ::touches her forehead to his and sighs:: I don’t know. It’s not like me to be so reckless. On Paldor II with the stampede--I just reacted. I saw you risking your life and I reacted. Hearing her say that he felt a twinge of guilt and inadequacy. Toryn was by far the least typical specimen of their species. Al-Leyan’s were so methodical they didn’t even accept transporter technology on their homeworld until long after it had been perfected. Favoring the reliability of magnetic rail propulsion and massive networks of trains that blanketed the planet. Every possible risk was assessed before an action was taken. And here he was, the record holder for purple hearts on Atlantis. Far more emotional than most Al-Leyans. They were a passionate species, but he was broken. The usual filters of his species weren’t present in him. It’s part of why he’d undergone two separate Attitude Readjustment Therapies. Raga: It’s because of me. I’m not a good Al-Leyan. ::He frowned and shifted his gaze away from her as if ashamed:: Journs: ::shakes her head and brushes her lips against his:: Toryn, I--All my life, I’ve stayed with the traditions and have never taken unnecessary risks. ::pauses:: I went outside of my branch, but I can’t say I’m sorry I did. ::brushes the backs of her knuckles over his cheek:: Winds only know what would have happened if I hadn’t. I would have regretted it if I’d just stood by and watched while you risked your life to protect those people. His eyes closed briefly when her lips touched his and he kept them closed, trying not to let his inner demons draw his thoughts away from the gorgeous redhead embraced in his arms. Raga: It’s my duty. One I’ve had to push to the limits more often than I’d like on this ship. So many enemies and all alone. ::He opened his eyes to look into hers:: I’m reckless, I know. It’s done as much good as it has harm. I made a rash, split second decision to save Captain Brell and spent three months with the Consortium as a result. She reached out, caressing his mind with hers. She should be running. This wasn’t what good Al-Leyans did. Not according to the Council and the traditions anyway. People had been exiled for less. While it wasn’t officially against the laws, many received therapy for chronic recklessness. But was it really so reckless? In her time enlisted in Starfleet, she’d been forced to redefine a lot of her beliefs in the context of the greater universe. Many species considered actions like Toryn’s noble and an indication of good character. He cared for others and was willing to go to any lengths to protect them. Maybe that was why she felt safer with him than she ever had with anyone back home. There was something comforting in knowing that he would fight beside her even through the dangers they faced as Starfleet officers. Journs: ::murmurs:: The duties of those within your branch come at a price. It’s not one to be taken lightly. In my time with Starfleet, I’ve learned that the hardest choices, no matter the price, can also lead to our greatest sense of purpose and satisfaction. ::pauses:: You’re a good man, Toryn. I feel safe when I’m with you. No one else does that for me like you do. The touch our their minds together, even brief was enough to relax him. It was soothing. And yet, Toryn had enough baggage to fill the Expanse. Ishka’s comments were, quite frankly surprising. All of this was. She should have run for the hills by now, called someone back home on Leya-I and have the Council pressure Starfleet into ordering him home to be treated again. Or worse, exiled from the homeworld. It never occurred to him that being brainwashed and conditioned was perhaps a far worse fate than never being allowed on the world of one’s birth. That’s just the way they were raised. Raga: I know. And I don’t regret any of the decisions I’ve made in regards to protecting this ship and crew. I...I’m ::He floundered:: You’ve seen the scars, I know you have. I’m not right. There’s something wrong with me, Ishka. Journs: ::expression softens and murmurs:: No, there’s not. You’re different, but that doesn’t make you wrong. People like you and I stand out from the crowd because we don’t blindly do what we’re told. ::pauses:: My uncle, though he wasn’t proud to be different, realized eventually that there was no shame in it either. It’s about time that we caught up with the rest of the universe in that regard. Toryn stared at her for a long while, just, surrounded by those emerald eyes and soaking in what she’d just said. She had a point. In his three years on Atlantis he’d struggled with the cultural upbringing of his species. Of the way he was different. He’d met others who were similar. Rune Jolara was one, who’d embraced her exile status and was a proud Starfleet officer. She’d been the first to tell him warnings of the Council. Raga/ART: ~Imperfect beings attract imperfect beings~ A cold chill ran right down Toryn’s spine as the voice he’d not heard in some time filled his mind. The voice, was his own, but twisted. Dark. Cruel. And for that brief moment it sickened him that he’d let himself be tricked into saying it aloud. ART: ~How many women must you ruin simply because you love them?~ He trembled as ART tormented him and he snapped his eyes shut, to focus on forcing the malevolent entity back into the fragile cage it was contained within his psyche. She felt him shaking beneath her touch and her brow furrowed. Journs: ::murmurs:: ~ Toryn, come back to me. I’m here. ~ Ishka’ voice was like a bright light in a stormy sea. The Al-Leyan shuddered a moment at the telepathic contact. For a brief moment Toryn’s usually high mental shields dropped. Giving her a glimpse of his psyche. Every telepathic species had their own quirks. Al-Leyans were different only in that as a whole their species rarely had members who possessed such a gift. Perhaps one in a few hundred million. And he was even more unique due to the nature of how he received such gifts. The center point of his psyche was, for lack of a better term, a room. A sanctuary for him to retreat to in times of psychic stress. In the center of that room was a large gilded cage, like an archaic prison. The walls and ceiling were slender bars of gold, though the metal had seemingly lost its luster. Cracks spiderwebbed throughout the structure, including the door. The interior, despite the appearance wasn’t visible. Obscured by shadows. A pair of reflective eyes looked out from the small, barred window in the door. Fingers gripped the bars as a face pressed against them. Toryn’s face. Yet not. His features were dark, sullen and there was an intense cruelty in the eyes that stared out at Toryn. They shifted over his shoulder and looked right at the light shining into his mind. At Ishka. ART: ~But for how long? She’ll abandon you like all the others.~ In her time, she’d seen some shocking things. But nothing had prepared her for the inner world of Toryn’s psyche. She could only assume that what she was seeing visually represented the brokenness she knew he felt. Instead of acknowledging the twisted version of him, she focused her attention on Toryn, cradling his cheek with her hand. Journs: ::murmurs:: ~ I’m real, Toryn, and I’m not going anywhere. ~ There was the faint registration of physical contact as he stared at her, into those emerald eyes. All while the telepathic connection pulled his focus. He struggled with what to say when a flood of memories of the last two years came to his mind in a flurry. He thought of Serala, how he’d told her how he felt for her but after it was already too late. She had been mated to Stevok. Of Lael Rosek. The memory of her hurt even more. How he felt himself a failure as an Al-Leyan and a person because they couldn’t reconcile the differences of their cultural upbringings. And then Ishka, she was new and he truly didn’t know how he felt about her other than the intense effect she seemed to have on him. She leaned forward, brushing her lips against his, the familiar flutter taking up residence in her abdomen. The things he stirred in her...she couldn’t even begin to explain what he did to her. Though she hadn’t had much of a chance to properly sort through her feelings, she knew he brought out a side of her that no one else did and for the first time, she felt truly free to be herself. There was no fear that he would judge her for not being a traditional Al-Leyan. There was a trust between them that she’d never known before. The adrenaline-like sensation that filled him when her lips brushed over his was enough to snap him from his psychic stupor and those walls of his came slamming up hard as if his own internal red alert activated. The last image and sound of ART staring at them both laughing echoed a moment before he sucked in a sharp breath of air. Focus returned to those cerulean eyes of his and they flicked side to side looking at each of hers. That laughter caused the aftershock of a shudder to course through him and he retreated from her a moment. Fear in his eyes. She’d just glimpsed far more than most got to see of his being, his thoughts, memories. She was a true blood, like him, and they were both raised to view what he was as being wrong. The thought of her rejecting him caused a painful ache in his gut that he couldn’t shake. Raga: ….. She slid her hand to the back of his neck and gripped it tightly, pressing into him. She wasn’t letting go. She couldn’t let go. The pain she’d felt at nearly losing him on Paldor II crept into her thoughts and, though she knew he wouldn’t feel it, maybe he’d be able to see it in her thoughts. She allowed the memories of their intimacy to come to the surface, allowing him to relieve it through her eyes and to see himself as she did. The smile that lit his face when he looked at her...the tenderness in his eyes. Even with his shields up he saw the surface thoughts, deliberately shown to him by her. That caused his brow to raise slightly and after he sorted through them he looked at her, head shaking slightly, given the grip she had on his neck. Raga: Why? We both know that I should be reported to the Council. How can you be comfortable being around someone who’s… ::He fell silent but the words Fallen Branch floated into his thoughts:: Journs: ::meets his gaze and murmurs:: After my uncle, I--I’m not so sure. I--oh winds, Toryn. ::tears gather in the corners of her eyes:: When she seemed to fall apart like that he pulled her closer, hugging her gently against him. Seeing her with that look in her eyes, he felt the impulse to protect her. Or at the least to comfort her. Raga: I’m sorry Ishka. I make a mess of everything. ::He closed his eyes to keep from showing the tears threatening to fill them:: Journs: ::murmurs:: The Council--I--There must be a better way than sentencing so many good people to death simply for being who they are. Toryn’s brow furrowed slightly when she said that. It was true, and yet not. Raga: Ishka. There’s a reason the punishment is there. To protect our way of life. If ever there was a pre-programmed response it was that. Toryn looked at her with a momentary glimpse of innocence before he shook his head and sighed, enjoying her warmth against him. Journs: ::exhales shakily:: I know, I know. ::worries her lower lip and blinks back tears, then murmurs:: But is it really worth so many dying? Isn’t there a better way? Raga: ::He shrugged slightly:: There’s really not many that actually die, Ishka. As far as I know anyways, but I barely know of the Exiles. Journs: ::brow furrows in confusion:: Exiles? Raga: ::He nods:: That’s what they call themselves. A colony of Al-Leyan’s who’ve been, well, exiled from Leya-One. She wasn’t quite sure how to take that news. Did the Council know? Surely if they did they wouldn’t allow its continued existence. Such a faction was the ultimate threat to their way of life. People like Ishka and Toryn already pushed those limits by being part of such a diverse organization that could hold so many temptations for even the most dedicated Al-Leyan. Journs: ::murmurs:: Does the Council know? That. Was a question he’d honestly never even considered to ask. Though, he was fairly certain he knew the answer. If the Council knew there was little doubt that they would leave them be. Such a group was contrary to the established way of thinking and way of life. Without the fear of exile, the Council would lose a great deal of its power. Or at least, influence. Since that was the utmost worst punishment on Leya-I even beyond execution. Raga: I have no idea, but I doubt it. They wouldn’t be able to let that stand if they did. Ishka nodded, suddenly becoming quiet. This wasn’t what she’d come here for. She didn’t want to think about home. She wanted to think about them. She’d had days to mull this over and had decided she wanted to see where things with Toryn went. It wouldn’t be easy given that he was her direct superior. They’d have to keep things discreet so no one found out. A part of her was nervous about how much she’d shared with Maddi. She only hoped that didn’t come back to bite her. Journs: ::murmurs:: But this isn’t why I came here with you. Raga: Oh? ::He asked curiously, for the moment he was mostly back to his usual self and smirked at her:: I don’t know if my quarters can survive another visit from you. ::he chuckled:: She blushed, recalling vividly the disaster that had been the aftermath of their last night together and her heart thudded rapidly against her ribcage. A shudder ran down her spine at the memory and her tongue peeked out slightly to moisten her lips. Journs: ::pauses:: What happened on Paldor II-- Seeing her fluster was enough to cause him to smile brightly, something about being able to elicit that sort of reaction in someone. He felt her shudder against him and he squeezed her gently, even as he pressed his lips against hers in a tender kiss. It only lasted a moment. Raga: Was a tragedy and one none of us are likely to ever forget. We just have to move on. We did what we could. ::He said, trying to comfort her not knowing precisely what she was speaking of:: Journs: ::shakes her head:: That’s not what I meant. ::pauses:: Was I imagining it or did something happen down there? Between us I mean. There was a moment where he was silent, just. Looking at her. Memories played through his mind of the surface of the world they were already parked on. The sky of the world they’d helped save could be seen out the window they were both sitting beneath. He recalled the patient she tried to save even after they’d died. Of him trying to comfort her. There had been something there. Raga: That depends entirely on whether or not a yes would bother you. He was the antithesis of his species, reckless instead of cautious. Impulsive as opposed to reserved. He was not what Al-Leyans were supposed to be. She should be running for the nearest shuttle, but here she was in his arms. Journs: ::whispers:: And what if I said it wouldn’t? He felt his heart pounding in his chest when she whispered and it was his turn to moisten his lips with his tongue. Raga: Then the answer would be yes. ::He stared into her eyes longingly and brushed his fingers through her hair:: But I think it started long before that. Journs: ::nods:: From the moment I first saw you on the bridge. ::blushes:: I can’t explain it, but-- Raga: I haven’t been able to keep you out of my mind. ::He finished her sentence:: Since you reported on board and I felt the presence of your mind. ::He shook his head, smiling:: She was like a Fekundeco plant, or at least that’s how he felt around her much of the time. The plant, whos spores had an affect on the libido of their species was potent. But it was more than just the physical attraction. Ishka was...something. Toryn just couldn’t put the word to it. Like she were something he’d been looking for and didn’t know he needed. Ishka pulled her hand away from the back of Toryn’s neck and laced her fingers with his, her gaze dropped to their intertwined hands. She reached out for his mind, gently caressing it with hers. They barely knew one another and yet she felt at peace and relaxed with him in a way she didn’t with others. Despite her initial hesitation, she found herself wanting to get to know him better. Journs: ::softly:: Would it be okay if we slow down a bit and get to know each other? ::smiles:: Don’t get me wrong. Our one night was amazing, but I think I’d like to see if this can be about something more than just satisfying each other’s physical needs. The telepathic contact was soothing, and he accepted it and her mind against his easily. He followed her gaze and wiggled his fingers between hers gently then nodded. Raga: I’d like that. Though, to be honest there’s a part of me that is afraid when you get to know me enough you won’t want me. Journs: Because of your past? Raga: ::He nodded slowly:: That’s part of it. Partly because I’m not...right enough to be an Al-Leyan and because well..::He sighed:: I don’t know. So far everyone I’ve loved has found someone better than I. ::He met her gaze:: I’m sure, if given time you’ll find someone better too. Toryn wasn’t typically self-deprecating, but that episode he’d just had a moment before with ART had rattled him. She studied him for a long moment before bringing their entwined hands up to cradle his cheek. It was clear he was very nervous and afraid of being hurt and abandoned. She had those same fears. This was still so new and she really didn’t have much to go on as far as if this was going to work. She cared for him a lot. What they’d been through together on Paldor II had made that exceedingly obvious. She wanted to see where this went and if they had enough in common to make it work. Journs: ::murmurs:: I can’t guarantee that one or both of us isn’t going to hurt the other at some point. We’re going to disagree on things and we’re going to get annoyed at each other. Maybe we make this work. Maybe we don’t. But I know this. If we don’t try, then both of us are going to spend the rest of our lives wondering what if. He thought on her words, and how right she was on the last part. Serala had been the first woman he’d developed feelings for and in his hesitation in dealing with his cultural upbringing, how she was a non-Al-Leyan, and his own uncertainties he’d told her how he felt too late. Lael had been a different story, but Toryn was certain that with how Ishka made him feel he didn’t want to look back and wonder what might have been. Raga: Agreed. He reached up to caress her cheek with the hand that wasn’t laced with hers and leaned in to kiss her forehead softly. Raga: ~There’s one way to truly get to know each other like no one else can.~ He thought to her mind and with the exception of the memories from his time as a Consortium prisoner he completely dropped his mental shields and let her see into his mind fully. The torture had been extreme and she didn’t need to see that. He was still coping with the trauma he’d endured and too much of his life was already traumatic.; She closed her eyes, lowering her mental shields. It was overwhelming at first, the strength of his mind, but she gradually grew used to it. Squeezing his hand, she reached up to cradle his cheek. Journs: ~ Where did you play most as a child? ~ There was a warmth, a tenderness to her mind being in contact with his. He smiled as they enjoyed each others company. He leaned against the touch to his cheek, smiling. Raga: ~Easy, the Sez Toural mountains. I had already shown a proclivity towards climbing things when I was young, so even after my tenth year I could already climb well enough. And my blood family are accomplished as well. But then, isn’t everyone from Sez Toural?~ She smiled, leaning forward so her lips were only a hair’s breadth away from his. The warmth of his breath caressing her lips caused her to shiver and moisten her lips, her gaze flickering up to meet his. Journs: ~ Show me. ~ His pulse quickened at her proximity and he felt her lips just barely out of reach. At least until he leaned closer, kissing her deeply. He let his arms slip around her back, holding her against him as he opened his mind to her. Sharing memories of his climbs, including the one when he was ten and caused the avalanche that orphaned Sylara and brought her into his family. He hadn’t climbed for several months after the accident but he went on to spend most of his time climbing alone, with his sister, or and a few occasions his whole family. He felt at peace alone on a mountain. She smiled behind closed eyes, enjoying seeing his adventures through his eyes, recalling her own. As his memories faded, she shared her own. It had been a typical morning. She’d snuck out early enough before lessons to explore the frozen forests of Sez Toural. The cold air stung at her exposed nose and cheeks, the brisk air filling her lungs as she crunched through the snow, wincing at the sound. It would scare all of the animals away and she’d so wanted to see them running free. It was some she longed for herself. Freedom from the restrictions of society, though she told no one this. Saying such things would result in an intervention, potentially Attitude Readjustment Therapy. They weren’t told much about what it was like, only that it was intended to correct those who fell off the branch. Suddenly, she heard it. The flapping of wings. She looked up in amazement to see a Seiuri gliding through the air toward a tree limb, reaching out and wrapping its talons around the branch to gain its balance. She’d never seen one in person before. Carefully, she tiptoed toward it, wanting a closer look. Unfortunately, she only got halfway to the tree where it was perched before it heard her and took off without so much as turning in her direction. A warm smile adorned his face as he watched her memory, and shared one of his own involving a Seiuri. As he recalled he was older, just barely into his teens at the time. He could feel the biting cold of the southerly winds whipping through the Western face of the Sez Tourals. His fingers dug into the frozen rock of the mountain known locally as the Spear. A singular peak that roze up a good five thousand feet higher than those around it. Treacherous. He pulled himself up over the lip, panting and straining from the climb. He flopped onto his back with his legs dangling over the edge. Staring up at the always overcast sky and the lone winged figure circling overhead. He heard the voice in his mind. Sylara: ~Toryn friend made it. Finally. Could have nested though.~ The teasing of the bird was enough to make him laugh as he rose to his feet on the top of the largest mountain in the southern pole. He admired the view a moment, as he shed the climbing gear he’d brought. Securing them back into the pack on his back. He could see everything from up here. High enough that several layers of clouds lay between him and the ground. But just in the distance, he could see the lights of the Capital, Sez Toural. Hundreds of kilometers away. A grin plastered his face as he broke into a run, snow crunching beneath his boots. A leap made without hesitation, but more than a fair share of panic as he jumped off the mountain. The rush of the winds whipping past him as he fell straight down for a few seconds as he held his legs together and his arms flush with his sides. A second more passed and several hundred feet before he snapped his arms and legs open, the fabric of his suit catching the wind instantly. The sudden jerk as his descent arrested quickly and he flared back, upwards a moment. Sylara swooped down passed him and he dove again. Limbs outstretched. It was incredible. The first time he’d ever used a wingsuit to get off of a mountain after a climb. And the first true flight he’d ever shared with the Seiuri. The bird flew beside him, keeping pace easily. It was an incredibly fond memory. She opened her eyes, disoriented at first. It was the first telepathic experience she’d shared with someone where the exchange had been mutual and intentional it was like nothing she’d ever experienced. Even with the absence of the emotions that she was certain were present for Toryn, it had been enjoyable all the same living the moment through his eyes. A slight flush filled her cheeks. Somehow what they’d just shared seemed more intimate than anything physical. Journs: ::murmurs breathily:: That was-- He stared into those amazing emerald pools when she opened her eyes. Though he’d had several telepathic exchanges before, and even shared a strangely unique psychic realm with another there as a sense of intimacy with sharing that memory that he’d never felt before. Sure, there had been times when he let someone else into his mind, see his memories but this was more direct. More visceral. Raga: ::He leaned his forehead against hers:: I’ve never shared a memory like that before. That was one of my favorite memories. The first time I’d ever flown with Sylara. Journs: ::smiles sheepishly:: That was the first time I’ve shared a telepathic connection like that with anyone. Raga: I’ve had a few, but none quite that direct. There are hardly any of our kind with our gifts. And I can only connect to our own kind. ::He smiled and kissed her forehead gently before looking into her eyes:: She recalled the statistics. Only 10% of the planet possessed telepathic abilities. That was one in ten if she was doing her math correctly. The odds of her finding another telepath outside Leya-I, especially with the very small minority that chose to leave home and serve in Starfleet, were astronomical. Journs: ::pauses:: I like you, Toryn. But I’m terrible at relationships. ::blushes:: I’ve spent so much time with my nose buried in a PADD… He smiled when she said that and chuckled, perhaps a bit louder than he intended. Raga: I like you too, Ishka. And I understand, believe me. When it comes to relationships, well...I’ve not had the best of luck. Anyone on the ship could probably tell you as much. ::He laughed, but there was sadness behind his eyes, how many times had he been heartbroken now?:: Her gaze dropped from his, her thumb brushing gently back and forth over the backs of his knuckles, her expression contemplative. She supposed it was a bit different for her. She’d never really specifically sought anything monogamous. With her eyes set on practicing medicine, she hadn’t had much time for a social life much less a serious relationship. She drew her lower lip between her teeth and worried it for a moment before releasing it. Al-Leyans lived such a long time that it wasn’t uncommon for some pursuing their branches to wait until later in life to have children. In fact, there were some professions that didn’t allow those in them to reproduce. Though the population as a whole wasn’t aware, birth control was available, but was severely restricted and was administered at the discretion of the Council. It was a side to their society that remained hidden from the general population. The only reason she knew was because of her uncle. He’d shared much with her that would otherwise have remained behind Council chamber closed doors. The fact that she was required to receive birth control innoculations as part of her contract with Starfleet--well, she was glad her parents weren’t aware of that detail. They would have called her home immediately and insisted on intervention by the Council. He watched her get lost in thought and refrained from prying. Unless she chose to share with him, it would be a violation to do so. Even still, surface thoughts were different. He could tell she was worried over something. Raga: Though, if I’m to be honest being the only Al-Leyan on board before now has made relationships...tricky. Even the one half Al-Leyan I care for...well it didn’t work out. I had to go back home to Leya-I for my season. He hoped that keeping the conversation going might help her relax a bit. Even if the topic itself was seemingly bothersome. To the both of them. You couldn’t truly know someone if you only ever sought out the pleasant parts of their life. Journs: ::smiles wanly and nods:: I admit...it will be nice not having to worry about that. Raga: ::He nodded:: Agreed. Though, I don’t think my season is due for another year or two. She paused. Most Al-Leyans had their seasons relatively young. However, her doctors were puzzled. She should have experienced her first by now, but hadn’t. They’d attempted to explain it away as her being a “late-bloomer”, but that had been less than reassuring. She was already seen as unusual because of her uncle’s strange ideas about revolution and a new way of things. Now she was even stranger. An Al-Leyan’s first season was a rite of passage of sorts, so many of her kind still viewed her as a child in spite of all that she’d seen as a medical officer with Starfleet. Journs: ::blushes and murmurs:: I’ve never… A few of her surface thoughts filtered through as he saw her blush and his brow raised slightly. Given the fact she was older than him it was a surprise that she hadn’t had at least one season yet. Raga: Really? ::He smiled to try and comfort her:: I figured with you being so much older than me… Toryn had lived among humans long enough to pick up at least a small fraction of their proclivity for humor. Especially using it to help lighten a mood, or for some good old teasing of those one cared for. Journs: ::drops her gaze to their entwined hands and murmurs:: My parents became concerned when my peers were entering their seasons and I wasn’t. I’ve been to a few doctors, but none of them have been able to figure out why. There’d been talk of infertility and an inability to have children, which had devastated her even though she was older before the doctors had considered the possibility. It was heartbreaking to think that she might never experience that joy. So she’d thrown herself into her studies and her career, hoping to fill the hole. The doctors hadn’t said she’d never conceive or have children, but they’d said it was best to be prepared for the possibility. Toryn held her hands gently in his and stared at her a moment. He wasn’t entirely sure what to say. He’d never really thought much on whether or not he’d have kids. Not that he didn’t like them, or want them. But when it was seemingly so impossible to find love, much less a mate that would want to have that deep of a connected relationship with him it never seemed a priority. Raga: Well, aren’t you a doctor? Have you tried running tests on yourself to see why you haven’t had your season? ::He asked, earnestly ignorant of what Prote-ses she might have:: Journs: ::grimaces:: I suppose I’ve been avoiding it...not really wanting to know the answer, afraid that it would be what the doctors suspected. ::closes her eyes and murmurs:: I--I’m not sure I can handle it. He pulled her into a gentle hug, holding her head against his chest. Raga: I suppose that would be difficult. But, isn’t the uncertainty worse? If...the worst is true as much as it will hurt, at least you can get closure and eventually move on. But if you live your life never knowing, missing out on the chance that they’re wrong and you can...well. Isn’t that worth the potential pain if they’re right? Journs: ::whispers:: Until now, I’ve never had a reason for it to really matter. Raga: ::His heart rate quickened slightly:: Oh? Doctor are you trying to seduce me for science? ::He chuckled:: A blush filled her cheeks as she realized the weight of her admission. Had she gone too far? She didn’t even know if this meant anything to Toryn beyond a casual hook-up like so many of their species had. She wanted to believe the intimacy they’d just shared meant it had the potential to be more, but it would be foolish not to guard her heart with her knowing so little about him and this--whatever it was--being so new. Though they had only known each other for a brief period of time he was certain that seeing her blush was one of his favorite things about her. Something about the softness of her expression and the fact that he could elicit a reaction like that in someone was always a pleasant feeling. He smiled warmly and lightly ran his fingers through her hair. Raga: In all seriousness, I’m humbled and flattered that you’d have such a consideration. But as you said, let’s pace ourselves and see what this...thing is between us. She nodded, leaning forward to lay her head on his chest and wrap her arms around his middle. There wasn’t any reason that she couldn’t enjoy the comfort of his physical presence, even if they were trying to slow that aspect of their relationship down. Having the solidity of a strong man to lean on was comforting and it gave her a peace that she’d never experienced before. With previous lovers, it had always been about physical needs. She’d never had this kind of connection with any of them before. He felt her lay on him, wrapping him up in an embrace and it brought a smile to the Al-Leyan’s face. Such contact was something that Toryn had rarely had in his life. Even when it was to save his life for mating season, his relationships had always fallen apart on him. And there was just something to be said about having someone to hold you. Journs: ::murmurs:: Can we lay together and just sleep? When he was with her, the nightmares of Paldor II didn’t seem as overwhelming. In truth, she’d missed having someone to hold her at night. Raga: Gladly. It’s been a long time since I’ve had someone to hold. He’d held Lael of course, but that had always only been in the dreamscape. Never in person as they’d spent so little time together, face to face. She’d need to set the chronometer to wake her in time to head to her quarters for a fresh uniform, but thankfully she was on second shift tomorrow, giving her plenty of time. She wanted to enjoy this...enjoy him. Raga: Stay as long as you like. ::He whispered:: Toryn embraced her gently as she lay upon his chest. With her hair so close her scent was unmistakable and reminded him of home. He smiled, then gently ran his fingers through her hair a moment before kissing the top of her head. He could feel her steady breathing as easily as he could hear it. This was nice. This is what he needed. What, he suspected they both needed. He wasn’t quite sure when he fell asleep, but it happened quickly. She was so warm and comfortable in his arms. It felt right. ===================================================== Lieutenant Commander Toryn Raga Mission Specialist/Second Officer USS Atlantis NCC-74682 Atlantis Staff Member Writer ID: A239410TR0 https://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php?title=Toryn_Raga & Lieutenant Ishkabela Journs Medical Officer, USS Atlantis NCC-74682 I238110RH0
  12. 1 point
    Great writing, @Jo Marshall. The depth of your sims is a joy to read. You have my permission to wallop Xerix with another snowball for me.
  13. 1 point
    Hi! I'm new here. So, I'd introduce myself to you. I'm Yu-ri Luke Bando. I currently live in Yokohama, Japan, about 20 miles south of Tokyo. I was born here. I went to a college in St. Louis, MO. I spent 5 years there working on my Psyc / Soc double major. It was that time I was introduced to the Star Trek Universe. Since then, I'm a huge fan of the franchise. I named my character Kteer. A J'naii cadet in training aspiring to become a science officer serving aboard a starship. As you know, they don't have gender, or "the strange divisions" as they call it. So, my character will experience difficulty living among species with binary gender for sure. But, being different will surely make nir life in Starfleet a stimulating experience. I look forward to seeing you aboard a starship, or on a space station! Yu-ri Luke Bando a.k.a. Kteer
  14. 1 point
    @Melody Delri'ise Thanks for the shout out - really kind of you, and very much appreciated! 🤗
  15. 1 point
    This is one of the best pieces I think I have ever read. It shows so much diversity and skill in writing! Well written @Esa_Darkkdust ((OOC: Hi all. This one is a bit weird, but it was inspired by a packed train journey I was taking to London at dusk through the foggy South downs, while listening to Sense and Innocence, by Lynn Vartan. I've included timestamps for the track, if you want to listen and have my words paint meaning to the music! It's mostly supposed to be a dreamlike reaction to Esa's short trip into subspace, but also encompasses a lot of other feelings she has experienced recently. Also teasers near the end for some future plans I’ve thought of! Sort of like a false premonition!)) ((Unknown, Unknown)) ((Shore Leave Day 1, immediately before JP with Maddi)) ((00:00)) The eerie blackness looked familiar, yet not. It was cold, and damp... Her feet felt like they were submerged, and yet when she took a step, the sound of her boots on solid concrete reverberated around the room. In every direction was this thick fog, seemingly impenetrable. ((00:43)) In the distance, Esa could see a small pin[...] of light. She moved toward it, but no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't reach it. It had just appeared, out of nowhere. ((01:28)) Kiax: Hello?! She called out, to no response. Behind her she could hear strange voices, their tones sounded familiar, but their words were indistinguishable. In every direction she looked, there was this bleak nothingness, except for the light. ((01:58)) She instinctively reached out to grab it, and as she did so, it increased in intensity, and suddenly every fibre of Esa's being felt like it was being pulled by a rocket sled. A deep rumble pulsed through her body, before the feeling of inertia slowly came to a halt. The light's intensity continued to increase and before she knew it, she was standing in a dingy swamp back on Earth looking at a run-down shack of some kind. ((02:24)) The voices spoke once more, catching Esa off guard, forcing her to look around in a panic as she desperately tried to find the source. There, on a log, sat a toad, croaking at her menacingly. The moment she tried to pick it up, it hopped off and made for the shack. Esa gave chase, sensing it was the key to getting some answers about this place. The toad hopped deftly through the swamp, but Esa was only a few places behind. Though her feet felt like lead, and splashed heavily through the putrid sludge-like water, she kept up, until the toad disappeared through a hole in the shack's wall. Esa came to a halt on the veranda, and tried to peer through the window. No luck. ((03:03)) Deciding enough was enough, she pushed open the door and stepped in. A loud crack burst out from underfoot, as the floorboard snapped beneath her, causing her to stumble, before she recovered. Disembodied voice: You killed us… Panicked, Esa looked around frantically and moved through the seemingly endless rooms of the house for the source of the voice. She flung open doors, flipped tables, scattered furniture left right and centre in her frenzied search for the voice. ((03:30)) The final room she opened revealed something truly horrific. There, in the centre of the room, lay a pile of rotting corpses dressed in Starfleet Uniforms. Several looked familiar, but Esa couldn't remember their names. A Romulan woman, several Human males, an Orion, a Worene… She screamed. As if on command, the scream caused the bodies to move, as they rose to their feet and advanced toward Esa. Bodies: You killed us… Kiax: No, no, I didn't. It wasn't me! Sobbing, Esa tried to run, but found that the room she had entered was now a cavernous space, with no obvious exit. She tried to get away, but the bodies overpowered her and forced her to the ground. They proceeded to tear at her skin, reducing her to a pile of flesh, like them. She forced her arms up to protect her face, and then… ((03:58)) Nothing… Once more, Esa felt alone and weightless, as if there was nothing else in the universe with her. No stars, no planets, just her… and a ship. It was there, in the distance. Big enough to make out its shape, but too far to reach. Her breath seemed loud in her ears, and she could feel her heart beating against her chest. The silence was amplifying everything, until the voice returned. Unable to move, Esa simply responded. Voice: You don't belong here… Kiax: Where is here? Voice: You need to leave. Kiax: I don't remember… Multiple Voices: You were never one of us… Kiax: Who are you? Voices: LEAVE! A familiar face appeared in front of Esa's, again bearing a striking resemblance to someone she knew, but with solid black eyes. She felt a hand on her sternum, pushing her back, as the nothingness swallowed her up and she fell further and further away from the ship. ((05:24)) Hot. How could nothingness be hot? Bright… Space was dark… Confused, Esa opened her eyes into a glaring blue sky. She blinked a few times as her pupils constricted to the sudden assault of photons. She was lying on her back in the middle of a desert, baking in the midday sun. She sat up and took stock of her surroundings. In all directions, except one which sported a distant stone structure, golden sand stretched out as far as the eye could see. oO I've never been to a desert? Oo On the stone structure, stood a figure in white robes. Perhaps they could help? She looked at the structure more carefully, noting that it consisted of five totem-like pillars, with a dais in the centre. The dais was sporting some kind of protrusion... oO Won't hurt to ask… Maybe the dais holds the key... Oo She got up and trudged through the soft sand. With every step, her feet sank into the dunes. She could feel the heat through the soles of her boots Some even managed to lap up over the rim into her boot, burning her foot as it slid down to the base of the shoe. Eventually, after a peculiarly long walk for the distance, she made it to the figure, who stood with her back to Esa. ((06:39)) Stranger: Hello, Esa. The strange figure spoke with disdain and spite dripping from her words, Esa simply listened. Stranger: You’re so smart, Esa. Do you know why the Chon called their project “Avalon”? Kiax: It’s the island where Excalibur was forged, and Arthur taken to recover from his wounds after battle. Not the first connection to Arthurian myth I’ve come across in their notes. Stranger: ::flatly:: “Myth”, she calls it. A limited word, for a limited perspective. You were always such the scientist - you’re probably right at home with all these subspace contraptions, aren’t you? Kiax: As much as anyone, I suppose. Stranger: The Chon activated a power in the artefact that literal minds can’t handle, and it destroyed them, so don’t push the wrong buttons. oO Artefact? Oo Kiax: You’d better not either. Stranger: But I know which ones are the right ones. Esa grabbed the stranger’s shoulder to force them to face her, but was surprised to see the face of the one person she could remember. Her sister, Erin. Kiax: You’ve learned to read Chon since the last time I saw you… Erin glared at her, venomously, before seeming to vanish into thin air. Kiax: Erin? ((07:20)) With her sister now gone, Esa leant against one of the pillars. As she did so, it seemed to explode outward with green energy, revealing a spinning core of the same energy. Deciding to exercise her curiosity, she moved to the protrusion, which she could now see was a sword of some description. She lightly touched the end, causing the sword to slip further into the dais and rotate like a key. As it did so, the green energy from before began to channel toward the centre, revealing a circular portal to rise up from the ground. Shimmering and glowing, but remaining translucent, voices seemed to emanate from it. Voice 1: No! Get back! ::beat:: What… What is it? Voice 2: There’s something in the light! Voice 1: Stay here! A figure appeared in the portal. The second person Esa recognised. Maddi. Figure of Maddi: What? Who are you? Kiax: Maddi? It Esa, your wife! The figure seemed to gesture toward the other voice, signalling it’s owner to stay back. Figure: What? What about my wife? As if realising some terrible truth, Esa’s eyes grew wide. Though she couldn’t remember why, the next words to leave her mouth were a set of very strict instructions. Kiax: ::Screaming:: DON’T. TOUCH. THE SWORD. Figure: ::Pleadingly:: She meant no harm! Behind her, the ghostly figure of Erin had returned, and a sour look crossed her face. Erin: Take. Out. The sword. Esa: What!? No! The figure of Maddi looked perplexed, as if trying to decide which of the two instructions she should adhere to. Esa: Maddi. Maddi listen to me… Erin: It’ll explode unless you pull out the sword! Figure: Oh God, no! The figure of Maddi obviously made up her mind, and appeared to make a motion of pulling out a sword from something. Perhaps a copy of the same dais that Esa was standing in front of. Esa: NO! Esa turned and ran for cover as the portal exploded, just as Erin had predicted. Then, darkness. ((08:55)) The grey, overcast sky loomed forebodingly over the graveyard as it emptied its contents to the ground. Rainfall wasn’t uncommon in Scotland, and yet, it seemed to be poetic that it should be raining today. Esa stood alone, wearing the black dress she reserved only for the most sombre of occasions. She cried, remembering everything that they had been through. She was the only person who had ever loved, trusted, and cared for her so much, throughout everything that had happened since graduating the academy. Kneeling down, she laid the flowers next to the headstone, which bore the name “Maddi Hyden”. It had been a year since the accident with the dais, where her life had tragically come to an end. Little did they know that the events of that day would end up rippling out across the region, spelling doom to all those that had served on the good ship “Atlantis”. It felt unfair that she was the only person to make it out alive, that the guardians of the artefact had chosen her to make the crossing. Through her tears, she mumbled to the grave; Kiax: Hey there. So… I miss you. So much. You were always there for me in a world that made me feel so alone. Now you and the others are gone, I don’t know what to do. Starfleet forced me out, citing that the trauma was too great, and that I was too emotionally compromised to carry on serving. It should have been you that survived. You would have stayed strong. Fought on and saved the others. The galaxy seems silent. So silent now the war has stopped. I have survived all, though deep down knew I shouldn’t have. Now you’re not here and I shall go home alone. They tell me I have to try to live life as before and hide my grief for you. My dearest friend, who should be with me now. Not lying cold in the ground, taken too soon, in your grave... Alone... Lieutenant Esa Kiax Comm/Ops Officer USS Atlantis – NCC 74682 Community History Team Member A239511ED0
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