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  1. So I was driving to work and today's date struck my mind which made me wonder what the significance of it was. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks... Three years ago yesterday is when I officially graduated from the Academy and today is when I was posted on my first ship, the USS Veritas! First, I'd like to thank @Ayiana Sevo for training me as I was just a mere green cadet learning how this amazing experience both IC and OOC within the community works. You certainly had a lot of patience with me as I look back on the emails we exchanged almost constantly. Here's the link to my last Academy sim when I graduated! Next I would like to thank @Roshanara Rahman, @Blake, @Mei'konda, @Lael Rosek, and the rest of the Veritas crew for the outstanding experience aboard the ship for my first few months writing with you all! I look back on my First sim aboard the USS Veritas every now and then to get a good laugh over how nervous I was when German just happened to be on the ship off screen when the ship had been many years in the past after dealing with Borg shenanigans. Another thanks to @Mei'konda and @Lael Rosek for helping me along with a smooth transition to the USS Astraeus as well as continuing to mentor and helping me with building my confidence to explore the opportunities given to me to eventually help and mentor others to have just as much fun as I've had with the game! And last, but certainly not least I would like to thank @Sal Taybrim, @Alora DeVeau, @Sheila Bailey, @Jalana, and the rest of the Ops and Conny crew for all the best experiences during shoreleaves and missions. Been a wild and crazy ride through the cosmos, loving everything that's happened! I'm glad to be able to write and have fun with you guys! Words can't describe how much I love this game and the people I've met along the way. @FltAdml. Wolf, you're an incredible person and leader whose gift of inspiration and passion to keep this PBEM RPG group alive for so long since 1994 is amazing! With just seeing a small amount of what goes on behind the scenes shows how much you and both councils put so much time and effort into making SB118 a great place to make long-lasting nerdy friendships. And that's just enough of my long winded speech of gratitude. Thank you all again! Live long and prosper 🖖🤓 Dane/Ensign German Galven - Science Officer/StarBase 118 Ops V239507GG0
    11 points
  2. As the Covid-19 pandemic swept throughout the year 2020, it profoundly affected the lives of millions across the globe. Many of our own members suffered from the virus itself, while others experienced the grief of losing friends and loved ones. Persevering through this, our members remained enthusiastic about the fellowship we've built here, and found new ways to connect and share our stories through this challenging time. The Captains Council considered, for this Awards Ceremony season, the ways we could recognize the complications and challenges of the past year. We landed on a new type of Community Honor called Commemorative Coins, the first of which will be specifically focused on 2020 and 2021's events and the way in which we came through them. Commemorative coins, also known as "challenge coins," are a tradition in many government and military agencies with a history stretching back to the days of the Ancient Romans. These small medallions are bestowed by leaders to signify a job well done, or memorialize participation in an event. As such, everyone who simmed with us during the pandemic will receive the Per Aspera, Ad Astra Commemorative Coin, a digital item that can be displayed on your wiki profile: The coin displays our new logo, to signify the launch of our new brand and recognize that this was an experience that affected our entire community. And, you'll find on the left of the coin the image of a spiral – representing rebirth, and resilience, while also alluding to the mRNA sequence (which looks similar to a DNA spiral) of the vaccines which are helping to bring us out of this tragedy. On the right-hand side, you'll find the image of a lily, representing the return to innocence after death and the recognition of grief that touched many of us during this difficult time. And the name, "per aspera, ad astra" translates from Latin to English as, "through difficulties to the stars," a fitting reminder for us all. Over the coming months, we'll be transitioning some of our former legacy badges into Commemorative Coins, and we'll provide more information about that as it becomes available. Sincerest thanks to everyone who participated with us in the last year. We know how hard it's been for many, and we appreciate all of the good memories we created together. You can find out more about Commemorative Coins on the wiki, including instructions on how to add this one to your profile.
    10 points
  3. Finally, a place for my genius
    8 points
  4. These guys have worked incredibly hard on an extremely brilliant story about @Etan Iljor's folks and this JP with @Meidra Sirin is just the tip of the iceberg. But this is an awesome opener. Enjoy. ((Counselor Sirin's Office, Deck 2, USS Resolution)) The corridor- if you could call it that- that connected Meidra's office to the wider sickbay was short, almost to the point of being stubby. There was just enough room for a single person to wait for their appointment. There was a chair, but Iljor had chosen not to use it, feeling restless and anxious all at once. He paced it's nigh-non existent length back and forth, back and forth and felt the knot that had taken up residence in his stomach over the past few weeks tighten more than it had done up to that point. The only redoubt he had found from it was in his work on the Skarn Homeworld- the events there had forced a shift in his priorities- but in the days since their return to Deep Space 224, he had not been able to find a suitable distraction. Something in the back of his brain tickled, trying to push itself to the front. Each time he reached Meidra's door, it told him to push the button to alert the counselor to his presence. Each time he stopped himself from doing that, knot ever tightening. It wasn't rational and it certainly wasn't healthy, he knew that. In fact, he suspected his reluctance to talk to Meidra would be enough to fill half a dozen sessions with her. Meidra was in the middle of brewing some tea when she got the odd feeling that someone was outside her door. She frowned, not hearing anyone call to her, and she didn’t have any appointments lined up for the afternoon. Once she sensed it was Iljor, she waited for him to announce himself, but after a few minutes, he hadn’t tried. Staring at the door, she crossed her arms, almost willing him to enter. She’d wait until he was ready to talk, but curiosity was building. He had spent the last several months in denial. Deep in it, in fact. His decision to remain silent was born of a desire to keep the status quo as it was. He had come close to disclosing it to Genkos, but the fact was that unleashing what he had been told to anybody else would force him to confront the truth that Akhbett Jirall had provided him with. His parents had been party to a massacre. He could not stave off the reckoning any longer. It was time to rip off the band-aid, just as Genkos had suggested weeks earlier. He knew that he could not go through it alone. The CMO had told him that the crew would be there to pick up the pieces, but he needed their support to go through with it. He could think of no one more qualified- no one he trusted more- than Meidra. He reached the entrance to her office once more. Only this time, the doors opened and there stood the auburn-haired Vulcan/El-Aurian psychologist, peering at him with an expression somewhere between confusion and annoyance. Sirin: Iljor? Is there a reason you are haunting my waiting area? I can feel the waves of turmoil coming from you from inside my office. Come in, please. She moved off to one side to allow her friend and colleague entrance. Since his arrival on the Resolution, their friendship had grown into a cherished one, and the counselor was a bit overwhelmed by the strong conflicting emotions she felt coming from the usually cheerful science officer. It wasn’t like him to be so stressed, and a real concern started to grow within her. Sirin: I was just brewing some Spice tea for myself, but if that is not to your liking, you may use the replicator to procure a beverage. ::sits on her sofa, pouring a cup of tea for herself:: Tell me what is on your mind. Spice tea sounded like the tonic that Iljor needed. He made his way into her comfortable office, made himself a cup and took a seat on the same sofa that he had sat on the very first time that he had met her. It was still as soft as he had remembered. She waited patiently for him to sit down, and explain what had him so upset. She knew not to push too hard, Iljor always sorted through his thoughts in a quite logical way before speaking, and she knew this time would be no different. He saw no reason not to cut straight to the heart of the matter. Etan: Back when we were on Trill for Yogan's zhian'tara ::he began, slowly and deliberately as he organised his jumble of chaotic thoughts.:: I was approached by a Cardassian who claimed to have information on what amounts to a false flag operation on Bajor, one that my parents were drawn in to. ::he went to reach for the optolythic data rod that Akhbett had given him before her swift exit from the café. He didn't realise until he blinked that he was already holding it.:: The data rod had been gathering dust in his bedside table ever since they had returned from Trill. He had tried to forget about it as best as he could. He had ignored it for the most part, but after his conversation with Genkos and upon returning from the science symposium, he had finally decided to review its contents. What he had read had sickened him to his very core. Of all the things that he could have told her, this had not even registered as a possibility. Meidra took a sip of her tea, attempting to clear her thoughts, before putting the cup down to focus on her friend. Her voice softened, and she knew she had to tread carefully with this conversation. He was like a pi’sa-kai to her, a little brother, and she did not wish to cause him unneeded distress. Sirin: I see. And what exactly did this person tell you? Etan: She claimed that the old Central Command fed false intelligence to my parent's resistance cell that an Obsidian Order operation was about to take place. Their cell swiftly bombed the warehouse where they were sheltering and then 'picked off' the survivors one by one until none were left. Just repeating Jirall's claims made him want to be sick all over Meidra's office. He could feel the roiling of his agitated stomach, the knot there replaced temporarily by an ocean of anxiety. He took a sip of the spice tea with closed eyes, hoping it would calm him somewhat. Given that his hands were now beginning to tremble, it didn't seem to work. Meidra reached out and squeezed his hands in encouragement, her touch light. Sitting back again, she watched the emotions cross his face as he struggled to continue. She had never seen him so agitated. Her feelings for him as an older sister warred with her duties as counselor for a moment, and all she wanted to do was envelope him in a huge hug and let him cry it out. However, at this moment, they were counselor and patient. She took a moment to settle her own thoughts before continuing. Sirin: Take a breath, Iljor. Tell me more when you are ready. He drew strength from her gentle squeeze and he composed himself before elaborating. Etan: They weren't Obsidian Order operatives. ::he said in a small voice that took on a surprisingly guilty tone.:: They were religious believers. Civilians. Sirin: Refugees. Iljor nodded. Etan: Of a sort. ::beat:: They were members of an ancient Cardassian religion, known as the Oralian Way. After the establishment of the Central Command and the military dictatorship, religion was banned outright and members of The Way were hunted and persecuted publicly, for entertainment as much as a warning to others. The woman I spoke to said that the believers were being sheltered by the Vedek Assembly- which does tally with their actions during the Occupation. The Vedek Assembly had, in the decades since the end of the Occupation and the fall of Central Command, admitted to running an underground railroad of Oralian believers through Bajor, sheltering them until they get them off world and out of the murderous hands of Central Command and the Obsidian Order. It was their own act of rebellion against the oppressive Centeal Command. Iljor had thought them courageous and selfless, putting aside prejudice and hate to help those in dire need of rescuing. Sirin: And this woman said your parents were somehow involved. ::beat:: What else did she tell you? Etan: That was pretty much it. That there was a false flag operation, my parents' resistance cell was involved and religious refugees were massacred. ::he remembered a final detail.:: The Vedek Assembly covered it all up. ::he let out a sigh.:: I haven't corroborated any of the details. ::he held up the optometric rod again.:: I'm scared to. Sirin: What exactly do you fear, Iljor? Etan: That I don’t know my own parents- the people who raised me. This changes absolutely everything. I don’t know if I want to know the real them. Sirin: Perhaps not knowing is more harmful at this point. She poured them another cup of tea, watching his expression carefully. This was a huge revelation for him to deal with, and while determining the veracity of these claims was important, his emotional health was her first priority. Both as counselor, and as friend. Iljor considered Meidra’s view for a moment, his eyes darting back and forth as though he was reading something. His foot tapped on the carpet in agitation. Jirall’s evidence had more than just repercussions for him and his parents- the entire bedrock of Bajoran spirituality- the Vedek Assembly- could be shaken to its core. Etan: Something like this could rock the very foundations of Bajor. The Vedek Assembly engaged in a conspiracy to cover up the deaths of innocent Cardassian civilians. I know it was the Occupation and to almost everyone the only good Cardassian was a dead Cardassian. ::beat:: but I never believed that and I never will. He didn't remember getting to his feet and he didn't remember when he had risen his voice. Etan: For years I convinced myself that my parents were just messengers or they hid resistance members in their cellar away from the prying eyes of Dukat's patrols. ::beat:: I want to believe they’re innocent of what they stand accused of. They have to be. But in his heart, he knew the facts. Data on optolythic data rods was infallible and as best as he knew, nobody had ever successfully forged an entry. If Jirall had gotten the information then it was accurate. His entire world had been turned upside down. His parents were strangers, the leaders of his faith were party to a massacre and cover-up, everything he knew was a lie. She could see him spiraling into self doubt about what he had always felt was the truth about his family. He was agitated and she could feel his anxiety as if it were her own. Empathy was a fine talent to have until one felt as if one’s lunch was trying to escape. She took a deep breath and spoke a bit louder than usual to the young science officer. Sirin: Iljor. Look at me. Do you want to know what that rod contains? Are you prepared to deal with the consequences, no matter what they are? ::beat:: Have you considered speaking with your parents? There was something in Meidra's voice- a commanding tone- that snapped back to reality and out of his heightened emotional state. He blinked twice and looked at the counselor. The truth was that no- he was not prepared to deal with the information he had been given. That had been why he had buried it under a pile of clothes in his drawers and tried to pretend it did not exist. Yet, he knew he could not ignore it forever. He had known ever since Jirall had sat opposite him in the café on Trill that he would have to confront his parents with the information. He might not be prepared… but he would have to change that. He let out a long, sad sigh. Etan: No. No I'm not. ::he shook his head.:: But this is too important to bury my head in the sand and forget about. ::he paused for a second and flopped back on to the comfortable sofa, resigned to his duty.:: I don’t think that I could. He reached a decision. Etan: I have to speak to them. Sirin: I think that is the most logical course of action. It was not a conversation he wanted to have over subspace. He didn't want to have it at all- but he knew it had to be done. No, he needed to speak to them face to face. There was no way that they would leave the farm- not when the katterpod harvest was coming up. That only left one option. He needed to go home. Etan: I don't think I can do this alone. ::he said finally.:: I'm not strong enough. Meidra highly doubted that. Iljor had a strength that he might not recognize, but it was in everything he did, both as an officer and as a person. She would do what she could to reinforce that confidence until he truly believed it himself. But until then, she would do all she could for him when he needed her. Sirin: What do you need to make this easier for you? Etan: ::he looked at Meidra imploringly.:: Would you come with me? You're my best friend on Resolution and this is one of those times when you need a friend to support you. Meidra was quite touched. She felt the same way for the young Bajoran, and their weekly lunches had grown into a strong bond of friendship. She wondered how she had gotten so fortunate to serve with such incredibly talented and compassionate beings. Taking his hand once more in hers, she smiled warmly at her pi’sa-kai. Sirin: You never have to ask me for my support, Iljor. I wouldn’t want you to do this on your own. Speaking as a counselor, I would not advise you to go on your own anyway. Speaking as your best friend and big sister, I wouldn’t even let you consider it. He practically sagged with relief into the back of the sofa. Etan: Thank you. ::he said after several long moments that seemed never-ending.:: Sirin: We’re family now, pi’sa-kai. Your struggles are my own. We will get through this together, little brother. -- End Of Scene -- Lieutenant (J.G.) Etan Iljor Science Officer U.S.S. Resolution C239203TW0 & Lieutenant Meidra Sirin Ship’s Counselor U.S.S. Resolution R239707MS0 “Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to life.”
    7 points
  5. The level of drama, drag race references, emotion and worlbuilding in this sim is over the top. I'm here with my popcorn ready to see how this arc develops. Great work @Yalu & @Etan Iljor ❤️ (( Molly Malone’s Irish Pub, Deck 225/226, Deep Space 224 )) The hustle and bustle of the pub actually made Dwich feel more comfortable about saying what he wanted to say; he could speak and let his voice get lost in the din. Certainly no one beyond their table would be able to overhear him even if they wanted to. Hamsan: I know you’re Meidra’s best friend, but you’re the only other Bajoran I’ve gotten to know on Resolution. I was wondering if I could ask for your advice. Etan: Uh, of course… The delay in Iljor’s reply and the uncertainty in his tone of voice made Dwich pause, and he second guessed whether or not he should continue on with his question. After a moment of consideration, he pressed on. Hamsan: ::gestures to Iljor’s earring:: You’re… observant, right? You follow the way of the Prophets? Etan: Of course. It guides me in everything I do. I believe I am walking the Prophets have laid out for me. Dwich nodded. Bajorans had a reputation for being a spiritual people, and while some were less devout than others, one could generally trust the assumption that Bajorans believed in the Prophets. It made sense for them, more so than Humans or other species for whom religion existed. To Dwich’s knowledge, they were unique amongst believers in that their gods were actual, real beings, living just out of time but very much involved in the affairs of the people they watched over. Hamsan: I’ve been thinking a lot about my path. Meidra and I have talked about moving in together, and I think we both want to take that step. But I keep thinking about Yurba’s Second Prophecy. Etan: I’m not familiar with it. ::he said, trying to rack his brains for any recollection.:: Hamsan: Before I joined Starfleet, I was in training to join the religious order at the Kaiett Monastery in Dakhur Province. But that was a long time ago. ::beat:: In Yurba’s, there’s one verse I can’t get out of my head. “If thou cantst love thyself, how canst thou love somebody else?” It’s making me wonder if we’re doing the right thing. Etan: Reading prophecy is fundamental. It is part and parcel of our spiritual lives. But there comes a point when sometimes we have to follow our hearts. My grandmother spent some time as a young woman considering doing the same as you did: joining the clergy rder- but it never felt right. When she met my grandfather, she was torn about whether to give up the order and marry my grandfather or give up my grandfather and spend her life in silent seclusion at the Vandawan Monastery. Dwich remembered his last day at the monastery, when Prylar Ulan told him to pack up his things and follow another path. It hurt, and for months, even years after, Dwich had felt lost. The one thing he had wanted more than anything else in the world was not the life for him, or so he had been told. Hamsan: What did she do? Etan: She wasn’t able to have an orb experience to find the answer, but she did speak to Vedek Vehsajj who told her of a passage from Yalar’s New Insights which said “One must not be sabotaged by the saboteur from within”. My grandmother realised that she was stopping herself from being truly happy and she left the seminary. Dwich recalled the book to which Iljor referred, though he didn’t remember the specific passage. Over tens of thousands of years, the Prophets had revealed themselves to chosen messengers on Bajor many times, which resulted in a diverse canon of prophecies to which the faithful could turn for guidance. In the past few days, Dwich had done his own share of poring over some of his most beloved sacred texts, but he was left with no answers, only more questions. Hamsan: But how does one know? How did your grandmother know? I love Meidra, but I still dream about joining a religious order. I don’t know how to reconcile those two things. Dwich tried not to scooch to the edge of his seat in anticipation as Iljor stopped to take a sip of his drink. It wasn’t as though he had the magic answer to solve all of Dwich’s problems, but perhaps he could provide something thought provoking or shed a new angle of light on the situation. As Iljor set the glass down, Dwich tried to anticipate what he would say. Etan: My point is: ask yourself how you feel about Meidra. I think you’ll find the answer is that which makes you the happiest. Dwich thought about his own feelings for Meidra, and the way she reacted when he finally expressed them to her. If he were speaking in his own language, he would have used the word tem’en, “bright one.” And he wanted to be her ja’ital, her “light,” in return. He knew she felt the same way about him, but Dwich felt that there was something in the way. Something within each of them that complicated their relationship and prevented them from becoming as close as their feelings might wish. Hamsan: I wonder if she would still want to be with me if I–– ::beat:: if I left Starfleet after my four years are up and joined the clergy. ::begins thinking out loud:: Not in a contemplative or cloistered order, one where she could come with me, maybe teaching or caring for the poor. With my medical training, I could do a lot of good in one of the cities. Ashalla, maybe. Or Tamulna. Etan: response Dwich realised he was getting ahead of himself. He had discussed his vocational aspirations with Meidra a few times in the past, but he had always framed it as a part of his past. He’d not previously let on that he still thought about it every day of his life. Hamsan: I guess sharing quarters is such a big step, that it’s caused me to rethink everything about my life. I didn’t realise when I asked her that all this would come up. Etan: response Hamsan: But I don’t think I’m the only one. Dwich looked over at his unpalatable, nearly full beer. It was likely warm and flat by now, rendering it even more unpleasant. Even so, he grabbed it and took a draught, pulling a face as he set down the glass and forced himself to swallow the mouthful of acrid beverage. Hamsan: I think she’s hiding something from me. Something that she thinks would change the way I feel about her if I found out. Etan: response Hamsan: I don’t know. ::beat, suddenly realises:: And this isn’t me trying to prise it out of you, Iljor. Honestly, I would never want to exploit the confidence between friends. I just wish she believed that nothing could change the way I feel about her, and even if the Prophets don’t intend for us to walk the same path forever, she can at least be herself with me in the here and now. Dwich realised that his own words could just as easily be spoken in the reverse about him. It was as though each of them had brought a third one with them into their relationship, a secret or a longing, that threatened to derail what they had together. Etan: response (( OOC: The musical accompaniment for today’s sim is Between performed by Vienna Teng. )) Tag / TBC PNPC Crewman 2nd Class Hamsan Dwich Emergency Medical Technician USS Resolution NCC-78145 simmed by Lieutenant Yogan Yalu Helm Officer USS Resolution NCC-78145 Justin D238804DS0 As you liberate yourself in metaphor, think of others, those who have lost the right to speak. — Mahmoud Darwish
    7 points
  6. ((Sickbay, Deck Two, USS Resolution)) Adea: You’ll have to use the holoemitters for our EMH, but they should work. Should being the operative word. He turned to T’Suran, and ran his hand through his matted hair. A finger caught on what was either a knot or a clot or something, and he pulled it free, shaking the hair that came with it off and onto the floor. Adea: In the meantime, we need to keep Nusin alive for as long as possible. T’Suran: Response With time running out – or perhaps not – to save Nurse Nusin, Dwich brought all of the ’bay’s holoemitters online to prepare for the surgery. Meidra approached his side and he gestured to the screen, which was presumably showing a diagram of how the procedure would work. Genkos grabbed an anabolic protoplaser, and began to try and hastily repair the damage to Nusin’s lungs, with T’Suran’s help. It was slow work, but it was keeping him alive. For now. Hamsan: I don’t need to lecture you on holography. ::grinning:: I know you’ve got some skills and talents in that regard. ::beat:: But the size, shape, and placement of the lungs have to be calibrated down to the micron. Getting the measurements right is our main concern. Sirin: How would you suggest we proceed? Hamsan: Try scanning the transporter logs. Hopefully Nusin has taken a trip through the transporter recently. Genkos’ hands were trembling as he kept replicating the pleura for Nusin’s eviscerated lungs; he was absolutely appalled by the damage. It was as if someone had transported a miniature kukek beast in there, let it rampage for sixty seconds and then beamed it straight out again. Sirin: It looks like he has. I’m not completely sure what our next steps are. You’ll have to walk me through the surgery. Hamsan: Absolutely. First thing we have to do is - There was a pause in Dwich’s speech, although Genkos didn’t look up from his work until the next time the poor Bajoran boy in Sickbay spoke. Hamsan: What is that? Adea: What is what? ::he looked up and saw the electrical surge travelling through Sickbay’s systems:: Oh... It continued moving across every electrical device, getting closer and closer to where they all were standing. Suddenly, it picked up speed, and crackled across the floor and up into the console on which Meidra’s hands were currently resting. Dwich quickly grabbed her hands and removed them from the transparent aluminum surface before she would be shocked. Hamsan: Meidra, get away from that. Genkos raised his own hands and his brain told his mouth to shout, but it was too late. Dwich was standing between Meidra and the sparking console when it exploded. All of his muscles involuntarily contracted, and he stood frozen in position, supported by the massive amount of electricity coursing through his body. A moment later, it dissipated, and Dwich collapsed to the deck. Genkos rushed to his side, the cane clattering to the ground, as Kali’s voice came through the speakers overhead. He barely registered her voice as he looked up to stare into Meidra’s eyes. Nicholotti: =/\= Bridge to Engineering. Prepare to eject the core at breach minus 30 seconds. =/\= Hamsan: ::weakly:: Meidra, Nusin needs you. He needs the lungs–– Dwich exhaled and died. Genkos slumped back, utterly defeated. He turned and looked up at T’Suran, who shook their head. It appeared too that Nusin had passed. Genkos struggled to his feet, his arm pushing down on a biobed, slipped and fell to the floor, totally beaten by the situation. His head fell and his chest rose and fell with harsh, wracking sobs, and he didn’t even notice when the warp core was ejected and then blew up. It would have been a bit of a relief. (( 5 minutes earlier )) Genkos reopened his eyes and saw he was back in his office again. He slammed down a fist on his desk and then shook it vigorously when that really hurt. He leapt to his feet, and rushed out of his office, his cane lying forgotten on the floor. He looked at Nusin and pointed to the nearest biobed. Adea: There, now. Nusin rolled his eyes, but lay down only a few seconds before whatever happened, happened. Genkos felt his previously clean arms become steeped in gore again, and he threw anabolic protoplasers to both Meidra and T’Suran. Adea: Pluera, now. Genkos pulled the biobed’s arm up and over the Bolian nurse as the doors to Sickbay, and he heard Dwich’s voice call out to them. Hamsan: ::to Meidra:: You were just about to say I look horrible. Relief flooded through him, but there was very little time to waste; they needed to stabilise Nusin, and fast. Adea: Grab a protoplaser, and get Nusin stabilised. I’m not losing them again. Sirin / T’Suran: response Genkos looked up briefly in between micro-operations and saw Dwich was still standing in the doorway, pointing at the console that had previously killed him. Adrenaline shot through his body, as well as a curious [...]tail of rage, frustration and despair. Hamsan: That console overloaded and electrocuted me. Adea: It did, but not this time. Sirin / T’Suran: response Hamsan: What is going on? Genkos looked down at his patient, and Nusin looked him in the eyes. A small smile crossed the Bolian’s face as they shook their head briefly. Genkos knew what they were saying, that it was hopeless, that the third time wasn’t the charm, and that they should stop. Genkos grit his teeth to stop the tears from overwhelming him, and in that moment his guard was let down. Emotions flooded him from all over the ship; pain, fear, desperation and confusion. There was something else, a strong feeling of curiosity, but it was all gone as quickly as it came, and Genkos rebuilt those walls that kept the outside feelings at bay. It was the last thing any of them needed. Adea: No, Nusin. We will keep fighting for your life. Every. Single. Time. Nusin tried to speak, but lost consciousness, and Genkos looked up at the three medical professionals still conscious. Adea: I have no idea what’s going on here, but I’m not giving up on Nusin. Not now, not ever. Protoplasers to the ready, they seem to stop them from dying in the short term. ::he looked over at Dwich:: Keep away from any consoles, I’m not losing anyone today. Hamsan / Sirin / T’Suran: response As they worked, Genkos felt that curiosity pique again at the back of his neck. It wasn’t his curiosity, that was for sure, it was something stronger, something more… primal. A cold shiver ran down his spine as he recognised the immense power of those thoughts. He was reminded of a happening on the Gorkon, when they had all been imprisoned in a science experiment that returned them to the alternate universe for the Skarbek. A science experiment that had been carried out by a… by a… Adea: Q. Hamsan / Sirin / T’Suran: response Genkos looked over at Meidra and raised an eyebrow. With her partly El-Aurian senses, there may be something she could sense better than he. After all, he remembered reading that the El-Aurians had a curious past with the Continuum. Adea: Can you sense anything, Meidra? Anything… powerful? Hamsan / Sirin / T’Suran: response Tags/TBC ----------------------- Lieutenant Commander Genkos Adea MD Second Officer & Chief Medical Officer USS Resolution G239502GS0
    6 points
  7. So all the ships have a thread - why not the Academy? I see some gems over there too! This from Adea made me chuckle:
    6 points
  8. Somehow Blake always has to keep up on our tabs when dealing with the Shoals politics and regulations Blake: Let me get this straight for when I arrest you for violating section four point three of the solo operational rules of the Shoals. You want to launch a covert intelligence investigation against the governor of a Coalition world -- a guy who was elected democratically and has been consistently leading Antor polls for the better part of five years -- because you didn't like his tone?
    6 points
  9. OOC - for those of us who've followed the Tale of Two @Meidra Sirins, this was a delight. And even if you haven't there's a lot here to enjoy; @Yalu also deserving of praise! (( Ship’s Library, Deck 2, USS Resolution )) Gertrude Kettleworth, MLS, had very little shushing to do, as Meidra and Dwich sat at a small corner reading table, saying nothing. They had agreed to meet and discuss their relationship, and each of them came with something they wanted to get off their chest. Now, everything was out in the open, and they remained together, hands intertwined in the center of the table, waiting for the other to say something. Finally, it was Dwich who broke the silence. Hamsan: Thank you for telling me this. The words felt empty coming out of Dwich’s mouth. “Thank you?” Meidra had shared with him a terrible secret, something he could never have guessed in a million years, and his heart broke for her. “Thank you” seemed so insufficient. An insignificant, polite formality. And yet, it was all he could think of to say. For her part, she seemed to accept it in the spirit in which it was intended, which made him feel so much better. Sirin: Thank you for being understanding about it. I felt like I was lying to you about myself, and that is not something that I wanted to continue doing. Dwich nodded. Indeed, the “two Meidras” had perplexed him over the course of their growing relationship. Now, it all made sense. Hamsan: I can’t imagine how difficult it has been for you. How lonely you must have felt carrying this secret. Sirin: I’ve spent most of my life feeling lonely, I suppose it’s been hard for me to realize that I’m not alone anymore. ::beat:: I haven’t been very fair to you, and for that I apologize. Dwich wasn’t looking for an apology, nor did he feel that Meidra had anything to apologise for. Relationships were difficult under even the most favourable of circumstances. Meidra was dealing with a very painful truth from her past, while Dwich was struggling to define his future. As Liri Ketel, one of Bajor’s lesser-known and least artful prophesiers so ineloquently wrote: “When you have one foot in yesterday, and one foot in tomorrow, you’re [...]in’ on today.” Hamsan: I guess it’s all just part of the path the Prophets have laid out for us. Meidra sipped the iced tea, feeling a bit foolish. She’d never been a particularly religious person, as Vulcans focused on the here and now instead of a future that logically, they could not see. And El Aurians, well. They only seemed to believe in themselves to the detriment of other relationships. To love someone who had such a strong sense of their place in the world was quite precious. Sirin: I think that I learn more about who I can be, every day that we are together. Hamsan: I understand. You were betrayed by the group of people in the universe you should be able to trust the most. No one, not a Vulcan, not an El-Aurian, not a Bajoran, would so easily trust after being treated that way. Sirin: Learning how to let people in hasn’t been easy. But it has been worth it in many ways. There will always be times where I am not as...open...as I wish to be with you, but it will never be because I doubt how you feel. Dwich exhaled in a not-quite-laugh, not-quite-sigh. His mixed emotions were on full display. Hamsan: ::grins:: My turn now? Sirin: ::nods:: Of course. When Dwich told Meidra that his lifelong vocation was just as strong as it always had been, he too felt as though he’d been leading a double life, the “two Dwiches,” to complement the “two Meidras.” It felt good to get it off of his chest, but it was a potential complication to a long-term relationship. People become ranjens and prylars and vedeks because they want to serve the Prophets, to put them before any and all worldly concerns. Such a commitment wasn’t ideal for making a relationship work. Hamsan: I’m sorry. I should have told you sooner. The truth is, I can’t help feeling that my pagh is still meant to walk this path. That someday, I will join the clergy like I always wanted. ::beat:: I didn’t expect to fall in love with you, though. Sirin: I didn’t expect to fall in love with anyone. But I would never hold you back from what you feel you need to do with your life. Hamsan: You’re an important part of my life now. I can’t imagine it without you. ::beat:: But that doesn’t replace or diminish what I still believe is my life’s calling. I hope you understand. Sirin: ::pauses:: How do you see your life after StarFleet? How would you even begin to know how to transition into such a life? ::pauses:: How would I? Hamsan: My four-year tour of duty is up next year. I could always sign on again, but… His voice trailed off. Starfleet had given him so much, and it seemed less than grateful to cash out after everything the organization had invested in him as a medical technician. Hamsan: I have made some inquiries. There are monasteries and temples all over the Federation now. It’s not like I would have to hide away in some forest in the middle of nowhere on Bajor. Sirin: ::squeezes his hands:: You know that I only joined because I had no one I could trust except my cousin, and she trusted StarFleet. Slowly, this crew has become my family ::smirks:: even Genkos. But even though I am grateful for their acceptance, and their companionship, I can’t imagine my life without you either. She took a deep breath and stared at him, focusing on his emotions. As an empath, she had always felt things so strongly that she’d forced herself to block emotions from everyone around her. This time, this once, she’d indulge and feel everything from someone else’s perspective. The rush of love and strength surrounded her like a blanket and she smiled brightly. Sirin: As long as you can feel as you do now about our joined path, I’ll walk it with you. However, if you ever feel that you need to walk alone, I - won’t be happy, but I will try to be happy for you. Because I do love you. Hamsan: I love you too. And still I want to share more of my life with you. The counselor considered this. What was the next step? Biting her lower lip, she acknowledged that they needed to have a conversation with someone a bit higher up then they were. Sirin: We’ll need to speak to Commander MacKenzie. TBC PNPC C2 Hamsan Dwich Emergency Medical Technician USS Resolution NCC-78145 simmed by Lieutenant Yogan Yalu Helm Officer USS Resolution NCC-78145 Justin D238804DS0 and Lt Meidra Sirin Counseling Officer USS Resolution R239707MS0
    6 points
  10. @Hallia Yellir combines scientific curiosity with overactive imagination and unquenchable optimism. It makes her a joy to read, and reminds all of us that there's more than enough room in Starfleet for FUN. ((Security Control, Deck 3, USS Resolution)) Yellir: Oh! Perfect! I need… ::checking her PADD:: two type one phase— wait, make that three, three type two phasers and fi…— no, six! power cells. I need them for an experiment. Aine's eyes went wide. oO That's quite a requisition for a science experiment. Oo Aine wondered what kind of experiment it was, and with scientists the way they were, who really knew? Sometimes it was better not to ask. Luckily, part of their resupply was included phasers because of the worry the effect the Skarn homeworld may have had on them...and one was missing. And being still docked, they could always get more. Hallia tilted her head slightly. A little alarmed by Aine’s reaction, she looked down, wondering if she’d said something wrong. The security officer seemed a little caught off guard by the request. But then again, not many science officers request directed energy weapons for an experiment. Part of her felt a little bad, but then again, it was either this or try and make one out of lab equipment. Which probably wouldn’t go well, as Hallia was all thumbs when it came to engineering. Perhaps actually learning more about the subject might benefit her. Sherlock: Um, yeah, that should be no problem. :: gesturing towards the weapons locker :: Standing, Aine made her way across the room. Pressing her finger onto an access panel, the door to the weapons locker slid open with a quiet hiss. Hallia grabbed the phasers one by one, and held them in her free hand. Sherlock: So, what kind of experiment is this? Yellir: ::smiling, Hallia mumbled quietly, almost unable to contain her voice to such a volume:: I made a chunk of what I call synthflesh. Sherlock: A what? Yellir: ::Nearly yelling:: Fake skin! ::covering her mouth and quieting herself:: Well… not exactly. It’s a layer of… skin really. It’s not real in the sense that it’s a part of someone’s body. However! I replicated it from leftover protein samples I found. Sherlock: What's it used for? Yellir: Oh, I’m SO glad you asked. It’s a regenerative layer of skin that can be easily grafted onto a patient. It skips the proliferative phase of the humanoid body’s natural healing ability. Ensuring that, potentially, in a matter of seconds and or minutes, depending on wound severity, it can knit back ripped open flesh and allow the immune system to focus solely on clearing out bacteria. It’s a little redundant, given we have dermal regenerators and whatnot, but I thought it could be fun. Maybe useful in the rare case someone is intolerant to the devices or something. As Aine grabbed for powercells, Hallia rambled on and on, explaining her process behind the idea as well as the parts she found most interesting in her mind. The Yelikan nodded, thinking of the security officer as such an amazing listener. Sherlock: That's fascinating. :: handing the power cells to Hallia :: So :: beat :: what do you need the phaser for? Yellir: Well, you see, in non-scientific terms, I’m going to shoot it and see what happens. I want to see if it offers any resistance to directed energy weapons. Hallia’s arms carried the lump of items. Using her chin to steady the pile, she continued talking. Sherlock: Response? Yellir: I mean, my hypothesis is that anything above stun is probably going to absolutely smoulder it. But, you never know! Maybe it’s somehow resistant to particle weaponry? ::jokingly:: We could outfit the ship with ablative skin in that case. Sherlock: Response? TAG/TBC ______________________ Lieutenant JG Hallia Yellir Science Officer USS Resolution G239409EK0
    6 points
  11. ((Central Park, Deep Space 3)) Most people met in the many visitor destinations available in the area. Most people chose to share their time over meals, or partaking in some activity of mutual amusement. Most people found enjoyment among the throngs of other people, each seeking something that brought them that moment of excitement, joy, or connection with others. Ash MacKenna was not most people. In the dimly lit space under one of the largest trees in the living park, the red-head’s emerald eyes sparkled as they reflected the light of an artificial moon. Recorded sounds of a stream and what nighttime creatures might have existed on some faraway world allowed each visitor of the area a kind of privacy that didn’t exist elsewhere, especially since there were few who came there, especially at night. Her breath was steady, slow, and almost held in anticipation. It had been far too long since she had felt his touch and looked into his eyes without a screen or hologram between them. Her heart danced as she watched the path. Finally...the silhouette that appeared coming towards her held the same stature, had the same walk...Ash could only contain her excitement long enough for him to step out from the first bunch of trees into the moonlight before she took off running and launched herself into his arms. -- He had no right to be so slow. He wanted this, desperately. He’d pushed the Arrow’s engines harder than was wise by any means to get here quickly, no doubt causing some consternation belowdecks. He’d waited impatiently for permission to dock, and before he’d even settled on rest and reorganization protocols with the dockmaster, he’d come here, racing through the mostly-empty habitat sectors and main thoroughfares, until the soft, wafting, incongruous scents and sounds of an open-air park ensnared him, and beckoned him forward with babbling brooks and the excitement of possibility… She was there, waiting for him. He didn’t see her, but they didn’t require that. They just… knew. He did, at least. The scene was too perfect to be without her, and yet, the closer he got amidst the bushes and winding paths, the farther his mind wandered. He wanted to be closer to her than was possible, as if they could leave their forms behind and just float within and around one another. But the problem was… he still wasn’t sure what his self was. The incident with the Gentii was not the most difficult mission Shayne had ever undergone, nor the most taxing, but it might well have been the most consequential. He was no stranger to the disquieting sensation of not belonging, but there was no doubt in his mind that there was a violation here that not even R’Ariel’s gracious counseling had been able to cure. He felt… invaded, and the memories that weren’t his, mingled grotesquely with the ones that were, left him a stranger in his own meatsuit, and a scoundrel in his own soul. So it was with a wave of emotion he could never quite quantify that he saw the red and gleaming hair of his beloved, sitting under a large, placid tree, in almost the exact way he’d been dreaming of since their departure. And when she ran to him, it took no strength to hold her, no resolve to lift her, so great was his delight. Their foreheads gently touched, and Shayne breathed in like his soul was being refilled with every inhale. And then, delicately, he placed his lips on hers. In that instant, his failures and problems just… didn’t count for anything. Not while he held her. Those arms...there was warmth there that she hadn't really felt for far too long. There was strength that had built a protective wall around her, in which nothing could touch her. As she breathed in, she took in everything she missed while they had been apart; the way his hair fell just so, the warm feel of his body so close against her, and even his scent, which highetened every one of her past desires to be where he was. But when he kissed her, that was the moment when she lost any sense of anything around them. It all faded into the background almost as if it never existed anyways. It was a vessel she drank from hungrily, daring time to move forward and take the moment away from her like it did everything else. The fire that was inside burned hot, its flames fanned by the fact that they had been apart for so long. There was only so much a screen could offer. But like all things, the moments moved and time marched on, leaving her breathless, his arms around her and hers around him, their bodies as close as the laws of physics would allow, and her eyes firmly locked on his. MacKenna: I’ve missed you. Shayne reached down, and with the most delicate motions has calloused hands could provide, entwined his fingers in hers. He felt her pulse, strong and vital, and he slowly brought her palm to his chest, resting it there and clasping it protectively. Shayne: You were never gone. But there was only so much he could keep within. And that's when she saw the shadow behind his eyes. It was clear he was just as happy to be there, in that moment with her, but there was something else, something deeper and yet unshared. For a moment she watched, waited, and downright refused to lose any moment with him, and yet, the shadow scared her, a strange feeling knotting up in the pit of her stomach. She held on, perhaps a bit tighter, before she asked. MacKenna: Are you okay? How foolish he’d been to think he could keep it under wraps. How proud. But while his control was lacking, and his partner’s perception was effective, he could make the here and now matter. If it weren’t for restraint, he would have held her tighter, manifesting the solidity without that he demanded of himself within. But he was in control of himself here, because MacKenna was here. Ash was here. His strength was here. Shayne: I will be okay. It was a promise, a statement, a goal, a truth- whatever it had to be to not take away from their togetherness. No amount of Gentii interference or mind entanglement or bureaucracy or paperwork or space or cruel wisps of fate and whim would keep him from her, within this moment. Tomorrow, they could die. Therefore tonight, they would live. He didn’t have to force the smile that came forth from his ruddy features. Shayne: Besides, I’ve seen your missions- if anyone’s got reason to worry, it’s me. It was his way of staying connected, staying alive with Ash in the moment, while covering the fact that her profession, indicated by a black collar and a penchant for glistening mystery in her verdant eyes, scared the hell out of him. He had phasers and sensors and a ship that purred beneath him. Where MacKenna’s missions took her, not even those simple pleasures could be depended on. Shayne: Are you okay? He wanted to dance with her, and hold her, and feel her beside him, and look at the stars with her, and talk about the latest events of the galaxy, and just… give all he had to her. But before any of that, he had to be there for her, in whatever form that entailed. He appraised her affectionately, wiping away all other concerns and presenting unto her a temporarily blank slate upon which she might place any cares or fears or injuries. If she were to turn to sand, he would catch her, and cradle her into cohesion once more. Ash knew what he referred to, what he was reaching for. Being a Captain in Starfleet awarded him unique access to some things, but she was all but certain that it was the redactions in the reports, and the things left out that had him worried. Being that the universe had deemed to bring them back together while she was on one such covert mission, he had good reason to be. There was safety in numbers, and within ships. In her profession, there were rarely ships, and almost never numbers except those against you. But now, unlike she thought then, she had something worth fighting for. And fight she would to return to this very place. To his arms. To home. MacKenna: I will be. A soft, but well knowing smile washed across her face in the moonlight. Fear was a powerful motivator, but love was perhaps stronger. It was a light that shone brighter than any star in the galaxy, capable of lending the strength to move mountains - or fight insurmountable odds just to get home. The adoration shone in her eyes as she gripped his hand around hers just a bit tighter as if to mean that she wasn't letting go. MacKenna: We will be. Whatever demons he fought he would not fight alone. Though she often second guessed herself and found herself shying away from so much for fear of failure, and for fear of letting those around her down, she knew that together they could handle anything. He was the perfect fit, the missing piece to the puzzle that made up Ash MacKenna. And while duty dictated that they could not be physically together as often as she would have liked, distance, nor any of the hellbound chaos that the universe put in her way would keep her from him. Shayne: Then I will not be afraid. The words danced in the air between them just as the first tiny drops of artificial rain fell from above. A method of ensuring a most natural experience while keeping the flora healthy and alive, the station's rain was nothing short of magical. Bits of moonlight became obscured by artificial clouds as the mist turned into defined droplets that hit them without discrimination from the surrounding scene. Like the confession, or the declaration, had been waited on by the universe with baited breath, the first droplets of rain fell upon them. He almost burst out into explosive laughter at the simple, gorgeous absurdity of it, but perfection was rare, and the family lineage of Shayne knew well the ease with which something could be scared away. Ash laughed, uninhibited by the typical plaguing thoughts that muddled up her mind, taking both of his hands and pulling him around in a circle. Like the waves of some far off ocean, the water poured down on them, and with its passing, washed away all of the sins of time gone by. For the first time in a long time she felt lighter than air, as if dancing with him in the rain took her above the clouds and among the stars themselves. Pulling herself back into him she stopped for a moment. It felt like everything around them stopped for that moment as she leaned her head against the side of his and whispered in his ear. MacKenna: I love you Randal Shayne. And then she leaned back just enough to look him in the eye, with two pools of emerald green. Held within was a kind of depth and fire that accentuated the words in a way that no other words or actions could. Shayne: I love you Ash MacKenna. He knew he didn’t have to say it- and that was the beauty of what they had, the sheer, ridiculous, improbable joy of their connection. They didn’t have to talk to speak. Nevertheless, confirming it, stating it, carving it into the runes of reality was just one more way to ensure that what they had, here and now, was forever solid, forever theirs. Shayne: Come with me. The words were out of his mouth before he could stop them, his ease and trust letting his mind again run rampant in a way he almost never permitted. But the sheer panic that arrived an instant later passed just as quickly as he realized that he wasn’t just asking- he was praying. He didn’t want to let her go, in any way. Intertwining her fingers in his with both hands she looked up at him through the rain-soaked tendrils of flame-red hair that fell around her face. The rain brought a chill, but the heat shared between them was more than enough to keep it away. MacKenna: Okay. The explicit trust conveyed could not have been more firmly stated. She’d follow him to the edge of the universe, and through any of the hells that may or may not exist out there. With him beside her, she had no fear of the future, or anything it might hold. Shayne was a private man. Reserved, steady. Occasionally hot-headed but exceptionally good at hiding his true intentions and feelings when necessary. So it was both an indication of his trust in MacKenna, and his absurd shock, that he stuttered repeatedly. There was no sign of amusement in her eyes, no indication that she was kidding. Shayne: Wh- EH? You… mean that? Don’t joke about this, Ash. Please don’t. He hadn’t allowed himself to even hope that his desperate plea would be answered- if he started, only to lose that hope he never had… Ash searched his eyes and offered a look of honest resolve reflected in her own. Starfleet had a way of pulling families apart and scattering love across the galaxy in its own spectacular way. Their history together was a testament to this fact, but one that she was wholly ready to depart from. As she caught herself lost in the desperation of his gaze, she knew she had to fight to walk the path with him now. She never let her eyes drift, holding him in a solidly locked gaze. MacKenna: I mean what I say. I want to be where you are, with every ounce of my soul. He had to believe her, he was her sun, moon, and all of the stars in her galaxy. She was done saying goodbye. Ash was one of very, very few people able to burrow past the thick armor of his uniform, and touch the heart. He was used to people trusting in him- because they had to, because they were trained to, because there really wasn’t any other way to work. But this… was trust on a level so utterly vast and different that it could only be a foundation for something beautiful. He let it settle around him, and when the final adjustments were in place, made metaphorically over a period of several seconds, a wide grin spread on his face like a teenager. Shayne: But… your career, your missions- it’s not fair of me to ask you to leave that. It was in that moment that everything this might take started to poke at the edges of her consciousness, but for the first time in a very long time - perhaps ever - Ash did not feel overwhelmed. They would face complications. He was a Starfleet Captain, and she an Intelligence operative, but they had some very powerful forces on their side. After all, he was a Starfleet Captain, and she happened to know a few. MacKenna: It won't be easy, but I'm willing to do whatever it takes. Complications muddied the path now, but she kept her emerald eyes locked on his, waiting for him to acknowledge her words; waiting to jump in with him. He knew it. Knew beyond a shadow of doubt that she was completely serious, and completely willing to leap forward with him. He itched to join her in the long fall towards possibility. Shayne: I… don’t think I could be much happier than right now. He giggled slightly, the mirth overwhelming his defenses. An amused grin washed over her, a sparkle dancing in her eyes. He’d not shied from those complications, nor whatever trials this might bring. The fight would be theirs to face together, and they would do so in solidarity. A kind of glee found its way through the hard shell of a mask that comprised the man before her, exposing what lay beneath; the intrinsic being both whom she needed, and who needed her. MacKenna: What? Shayne: Nothing, it’s just… I guess the crew’s going to have to get used to me smiling a little more often. And he would be- if this was real, and not a dream, or an illusion, or a memory that wasn’t actually his, he couldn’t imagine feeling any better. Finally, they'd be together. Properly, this time. The way they should have been for years. Around them, the rain slowed, leaving them soaked. Large drops fell from the tips of her now-auburn hair and ran down her pale skin. The moon reappeared in all its glory, casting upon them an almost holy light, as if the universe had sanctioned this moment for no one other than the two of them. The scent of dirt, just after a rain, rose to meet them as the last of the clouds drifted off and the sounds of the night returned. But if anything beyond him existed, Ash did not notice. Taking her hands still intertwined in his, she pulled his arms around her until she was secure in his hold, with her body pressed against his, and slowly loosed her fingers from between his. With eyes lost so completely in those that gazed back at her, and with such adoration, Ash faded into a near trance, her fingertips slowly tracing up his arms to his neck and resting there. Absentmindedly wandering, one hand ran down along his jawline, ending with a single, delicate finger on his lips. She finally blinked, as if coming out of a deep thought, and smiled slightly, but very, very seriously as she moved her hand to meet her other behind his neck. And then Ash MacKenna spoke words with a kind of tenacity that was unknown to her, except for when it came to him. MacKenna: Marry me. To anyone who might have been watching, the scene might have played out like a movie. The look in his eyes was answer enough to the audience, clearly reflective of the love he had for the woman he held protectively in his arms. To the same, the kiss that followed was enough to make even the most stout romantics look away and blush, and if fireworks could go off in the midst of the monsoons, the moment would have made it happen. As for Ash, she was having trouble controlling the flood of emotions in that moment, which was perhaps where the question - no, the statement - had come from. But maybe that was alright. Maybe here, in these arms, especially in this moment, that didn't matter. Maybe it wouldn't matter ever again. Maybe, just maybe, the universe was finally going to be as it should be. There was a sensation Shayne didn’t understand, didn’t recognize at first. The warmth of her presence, the glow of her affection, the trust in her eyes… it was all so familiar, and it was all he could do not to melt. But there was another… something there. Something that waited patiently for him beyond the gates. Something that waited its turn for him to let it in. Alone, he could never accept it, never stand his ground against it, never expose himself to it. But here, held… swaddled in the unconditional light of MacKenna, he could. And when he opened the gate, he found… what he’d been missing. The uncertainty and the doubt and the self-confusion… it all disappeared. It might return, and inwardly he knew that. He was ready for it. But he also knew that the person before him was his completeness, and when she spoke those two most beautiful words he’d ever heard in his life, he could only smile, lip quivering. With a deft hand, he touched his combadge. Shayne: =/\= Two to beam to Captain’s Quarters, USS Arrow. =/\= In the last moment before the beams whisked them away, Shayne held MacKenna’s hand in his. ((Deck 2, Captain’s Quarters, USS Arrow)) The red glow from installed lights mixed with the golden hugh of lamps about the room, and the soft hues played nicely on the bulkheads and illuminated their space against the stars. It wasn’t quite as romantic as their former locale, but they could return shortly if they desired, and in any case, his quarters possessed something the arboretum could not. Without letting go of MacKenna’s hand, Shayne reached over toward the nearby cabinet, where a small box sat. Velvet and black, it seemed to sink into his hand until he opened it. The white cloth inside cushioned the pair of rings that sat beside one another- black as space with sprinklings of white, pin [...]ed stars upon them. softly. In his mind, his next words were confident, suave and romantic. In reality, his breathy voice betrayed his unparalleled delight, excitement, and joy. Shayne: I, ah… suppose I’m a little late on the draw here, but… With trembling fingers, he picked up one of the rings. Carefully, he brought it close to its compatriot, until both began to glow subtly, exuding a cautious but insistent warmth as a result of their proximity. The wonder could not have been hidden from her eyes if she tried, nor would she want it to be. This moment was more magical than she ever could have imagined, with what he had revealed to her being even more consequential than the mere fact that she had asked him in the first place. Their souls were in the same place, on the same plane, intertwined as one. And it was all such an amazingly beautiful thing to behold. Shayne: ...better late than never. He knew the answer. He knew she knew the answer. And yet, the question still lingered, thick in the air. Shayne could only smile with his whole heart as every part of him responded at once. Shayne: Of course. He leaned in, and placed the most gentle kiss on her lips. Nothing had ever felt more certain in his life, and that certainty had never given him such perfect delight. For the first time in as long as he could remember, he was happy. And she knew now that she was finally home in the most fulfilling, most perfect, most complete sense that ever could be. TBC... Commander Ash MacKenna Chief Intelligence Officer USS Arrow R238605KN0 and Captain Randal Shayne Commanding Officer USS Arrow NCC 69829 G239202RS0
    5 points
  12. In other words.... a normal Monday for the crew of the Resolution.
    5 points
  13. One of the best worst things that ever happened to me on SB118 is two awesome writers plotting STUFF! behind my back without me having a clue about it and making me laugh out loud with it. @Meidra Sirinand @Ikaia Wong you guys are the worst... Keep up the good work. ((Ikaia’s Quarters - Room 03-1122 - USS Veritas - 03:00 in The Shoals)) Ikaia had long since fallen asleep in his quarters. Softly snoring, he had his blankets pulled over his head leaving his bare feet exposed. His dreams, however, were interrupted by the sound of a call on his PADD. He was barely conscious as he woke up with a snort. He was still feeling groggy when he sat there for a moment questioning if he was really being called for something. It could be that someone needed him in sickbay. Maybe? His arm lazily popped out from under the pile of blankets as he fumbled blindly for his PADD. He groaned as he tried to feel for it. His hand bumped around his nightstand until he finally felt the PADD. He ended up sliding his whole hand down the screen in order to try to answer the call. What he failed to account for was that he had turned on the camera to his PADD. So anyone answering would be greeted with a pile of blankets. Ikaia allowed his arm to dangle off the side of the bed. Wong: ::Yawns:: Aloha…. This is Lieutenant Junior Grade Ikaia Wong…. How… how can I help you….? He sounded sluggish and tired. Times like these, he was a little useless without coffee. Sirin: Greetings, Lieutenant Wong. Have I disturbed you? Meidra had wandered Resolution’s corridors for the last hour, trying to come up with a suitable gift for her cousin. Alieth had been looking forward to a particular type of race where she would cobble together various bits of chaos and metal to get an engine ready to get her across a great expanse of land in as little time possible. She remembered Lt Wong had sent Alieth a certain type of chocolate that Meidra believed might be a good distraction. Because Aleith was becoming insufferable. Wong: Huh….? That wasn’t sickbay. He lifted himself up. The blanket still covered his head as he looked at the screen. Wong: Heeey. I remember you... How are you…? Sirin: I am well, thank you. Do you remember me? He remembers that face! This was one of the teal shirts he met at the Medical Officers Support Group (MOSG) meeting. Meidra’s eyebrow raised in amusement as he sat up, bleary eyed like a small child. Sirin: You’re looking well rested. It dawned on him. He had his camera on. Meaning that Lieutenant Sirin had a really good look at him right now. Ikaia sheepishly pulled the blanket off his head and tried to pull his hair back. That went about as well as it could for someone who still felt uncoordinated. His hair was still a mess. Wong: Sorry you had to see that! Meidra waved a hand dismissively at the camera. She’d seen far worse. Sirin: I’ve seen Genkos before his first coffee. You’re fine. I need a favor. Well he definitely didn't have his first cup of coffee either. That wouldn't be for a while yet! Ikaia tried rubbing the sleep from his eyes. Wong: A favour? I don't mind helping! ::yawns:: What's the….. favour? Sirin: First, I would like to thank you for getting my cousin addicted to those little balls of decadence. She’s been on a quest to find some, but her canine may have eaten the tag showing where you acquired them. I need the chocolate. Wong: Oh! Ha ha…. You're welcome! Yeah. I picked them up on Esperance. I think the store was called The Chocolate Tribble. Thankfully, they didn't actually have tribbles there. Otherwise, I don't think I could safely step inside unaccosted. Meidra had the brief memory of Tribbles attacking a certain fanciers’ event on Risa not that long ago and shuddered. She hoped that her former pet, Roc, was doing well traveling the universe with an evil shape shifting alien from another dimension. She also wondered when her life would start making sense. Sirin: ::pause:: I would hope that you didn’t get her addicted to eating Tribbles. She thinks the chocolate was extremely delicious. Wong: She does? That's fantastic! I picked out the dark chocolate cinnamon ones for her last time. They're amazing! But pretty diabolical for a Vulcan. Meidra laughed, and could see why her krei enjoyed this Klingon’s company. Alieth was getting grumpy, for those people who knew her well, and Meidra was getting tired of the random messages sent to her PADD at all hours such as, “Why do ensigns insist on breathing near me?” and “How much do I really need this job?” She sighed heavily, staring into the camera, and hopefully into his soul. She was desperate. She repeated the only thing that made sense right now. Sirin: I need the chocolate. Wong: I think I picked up two extra boxes just in case they got lost on transport. You never know with The Shoals! Anyways, I could send you the other two boxes if you'd like? The counselor’s face grew almost giddy with excitement. She leaned in and looked right into his soul with the intensity of a cousin who had reached her limit. Sirin: Send them directly to her, for the sake of my sanity. Do you have any idea how disagreeable that hobgoblin can get when she’s found a new source of addiction? The random messages, the threats of her taking the Thor into the chocolate nebula to track down cocoa? She is seriously making me want to throw a box of candy at her and run for my life! ::takes deep breath:: I apologize, Lieutenant, please send them if it is convenient. Wong: It's okay! I don't mind parting with them. Sirin: Thank you, if you could be certain to make the boxes Cheesecake proof, that would be delightful. I told her that she could get chocolate anywhere, but she insists that these particular candies have given her a greater insight into her state of being. In Alieth speak, this means she was, as the humans say, wasted. She refrained from her views on naming animals after food, and simply took a quick gulp from her ever present flask. Seriously, keeping your cousin sane and out of prison for chocolate deprivation was a full time job. Wong: But I have to ask - what's the occasion? Sirin: ::totally serious:: My not killing her. Wong: That’s a uh… good enough occasion. Sirin: ::shrugging:: She would do the same for me. Wong: Back at the Academy, I had to hide my jars of chocolate hazelnut spread if she came over to study. If I didn’t, I’d definitely have discovered them missing after she left. I think she once took one of my half eaten jars when I wasn’t paying attention. Meidra bit back a laugh, Alieth made no secret of her fondness for anything sweet. Sirin: Were you still eating from it at the time? Wong: Uh hey! How about we leave my eating habits out of this? As for Alieth….You know somehow, I don’t think that would have mattered to her. Sirin: As an infant, she once reached into a relative’s mouth for a piece of fruit and started eating it. Then realized it was not candy and spat it back at our cousin. ::fondly:: Even then, she had a bit of stubbornness to her. Wong: I can see there’s been at least some things that haven’t changed since our Academy days! Ha! But how has she been doing these days? Sirin: Pouting that she cannot race, I mean - socialize, with her friends due to work. She needs a vacation, but her shore leaves often turn out to be more chaotic than her missions. ::coughs lightly:: I mean, the ones she spends with me, but I digress. ::sits up and smiles brightly:: She is well, thank you for your inquiry. Meidra looked at her chronometer, she had a new junior counselor to meet. She sighed and looked at the Klingon again in thanks. Sirin: On behalf of my sanity, I thank you again, Lieutenant. I hope that we can one day meet in person and share more stories of my delightful Krei, and the lengths I will go through to keep her from going through withdrawal from sucrose. Lt Meidra Sirin Counseling Officer USS Resolution R239707MS0 + Lieutenant JG Ikaia Wong Physician Assistant USS Veritas V239711IW0
    5 points
  14. It's always a pleasure to see talented writers scribing together, and this is an absolute pleasure. Well done @Etan Iljor and @Yalu; this is so much fun. I cannot wait to see where it goes! (( Shuttlecraft Rennell, Outermost Boundary of the Celendi Nebula, The Borderlands )) Awash with a hazy golden glow, the Celendi Nebula was situated at the eastern most edge of The Borderlands. An unfathomably large stellar gas cloud that had held its secrets for as long as the Federation had attempted to cross it, it was best known as a navigational hazard and a place best avoided by all but the most foolhardy explorers. Though not impossible to traverse, its composition made it extremely difficult. As he looked at the readout on his console, Etan Iljor could see why: synchrotron radiation, neutrino emissions, magnetascopic interference and large quantities of protomatter. He turned to the shuttle’s pilot- his roommate and Resolution’s helm officer, Lieutenant Yogan Yalu. Etan: Remind me why we’re here? ::he asked, his voice flecked heavily with sardonic humour.:: The corner of Yogan’s mouth turned slightly upward and he let out a brief chuckle. Their current situation reminded him of the latest chapter of The Belonging Season, his psychodrama du jour, in which the protagonists had just embarked on a locked-room style adventure of self-discovery and -expression. This simple survey mission, however, would likely pale in comparison to the pages of The Belonging Season. Taking his eyes off his console for a moment, he looked to his right, to the copilot’s seat, where his roommate and friend Etan Iljor sat, an inscrutable expression on his face. Iljor’s sense of humour never failed to bring a smile to Yogan’s. Yalu: I could read the mission briefing again. ::beat, in a theatrical narrator voice:: In a section of nebula, so weird, only two junior officers could possibly survey it. ::beat, normal voice:: With Resolution being repaired, I think we just might have been the only pilot-scientist combo hanging around the station. It had been a two day voyage from Deep Space 224 to their present location- just long enough to remind the young science officer why he did not care for the small auxiliary vessels used by their mothership. Two years earlier, he had been one of eight cadets sent out on a training expedition in such a vessel. What had started as an exciting opportunity for exploration and discovery had quickly lost it’s sheen when it had become apparent that eight cadets were not supposed to fit in such a cramped space. Two weeks and many, many frayed nerves later- Iljor had returned to the Academy campus on Betazoid with a healthy resentment for what many called ‘the Class 2 coffin’. Etan: And we couldn’t have taken the Waverider instead? Yogan nodded his shared disappointment. Waverider was far more comfortable for a two-person survey mission than this type-9 shuttlecraft–at least they would each have had their own bunk–but it was designed primarily for atmospheric rather than interstellar flight. Plus, it happened to be docked on the underbelly of Resolution’s saucer section, which meant... Yalu: It had a bit of a rough landing on that planet. It figured, given the Resolution’s last assignment had resulted in a crash landing that had damaged almost every system and compartment aboard. Of course the Waverider was being repaired. Some people, like Iljor, did not have any luck at all. Etan: Figures. ::he said, rolling his eyes for dramatic effect, before turning back to the readouts on his console.:: All that magnetascopic interference and ionising radiation is going to make our job a lot harder. Even at a considerable distance from the nebula’s outermost boundary, sensors were already struggling to identify anything inside. A confusing and contradictory stream of data filled his screen, reducing the sensor’s effectiveness by nearly 70 per cent. It occurred to Iljor at that particular moment, that there were some nebulas Starfleet were best avoiding. With all of its potential hazards to navigation and impediments to commerce, exploration, and general development in the region, it made sense to Yogan that properly charting some of the more dangerous fringes of the Celendi Nebula was a relatively high priority. It never ceased to amaze him that with all of their technology, still so much of their galaxy remained unexplored. Yalu: You’re right. The interference in this sector is 500% higher than the baseline for the rest of the nebula. Who knows, Iljor, there might even be undiscovered planets in here. ::beat, grins:: Have you completed first contact training? Etan: At the academy. ::he replied, bobbing his head:: It’s a required course for all students on the Anthropology & Archaeology track. ::best:: I must have spent a hundred hours in the simulator preparing for my exam. Maybe more. ::he turned from his console to glance at the pilot.:: What about you? Yalu: ::chuckles:: Nope. ::beat:: Well, yes and no. One of my previous hosts, Auzell, was a Starfleet officer, and she served on a couple of First Contact teams. I remember that simulator, too. Yogan, on the other hand… well, I suppose I can rely on my MED 111 course at the Academy. ::beat, off Iljor’s look:: Bedside Manner. I got an “A.” Iljor chuckled as he turned back to his console. He often forgot that the Joined Trill had entered Starfleet with the intention of practising medicine. Instead he forged himself a path as a consummate helmsman. He ran a scan of the region before them, not expecting a clear reading. The Celendi Nebula was not likely to reveal its secrets to the two men. Etan: I’m picking up a slight drag from our impulse engines. ::he cross referenced with the external sensor feed.:: The nebula density is increasing. As they neared the nebula, the density of its contents increased, blocking out the stars and casting a more muted, flaxen quality to the space ahead of the small shuttlecraft. Less awe-inspiring and more like an unpleasant soup one might order without realizing what it was made of. Yalu: I’ll take us in slowly, monitor our position, and keep an eye out for any navigational hazards while we execute the survey pattern. ::beat:: Once we’re off and running, it’s your show. Iljor smirked in reply. Etan: I hope your not expecting a gripping psychodrama, Yogan. ::he replied with no small amusement. He had seen the man’s reading material in their shared quarters.:: This will be a more sedate show. oO One that might put us to sleep. Oo ::he added mentally, preparing himself for a long assignment with little reward.:: The friendship Yogan had formed with Iljor since the two were assigned to share quarters on Resolution could best be described as easy. He enjoyed the Bajoran scientist’s company, and while they had few interests in common, they possessed a similar attitude that made cohabiting in a living space relatively unremarkable. Iljor was a contemplative sort, much more like Yogan Verso was before being Joined to Yalu. Even with all of the past lifetimes enriching and transforming his personality, Yogan was still introspective at heart, which made the two officers well-matched as roommates. Yalu: All right, starting in grid One-Alpha. ::looks over to Iljor, grins:: Survey away, my friend. Technically, as the superior officer, Yogan was in command of the survey mission, but when Iljor had first arrived on Resolution, the two men made the decision to leave their rank at the door of their shared quarters. Here, they were on duty, but their confinement to the shuttlecraft made the experience seem much more like they were hanging out at home rather than at work. Yogan was content to sit back and let the scientist do what he did best. Etan: ::he breathed in and reconfigured the console in front of him.:: Beginning scans of grid One-Alpha. Full sensor sweep. Yalu: Holding position. There is a stream of radioactive protomatter moving slowly toward us, but we’ll have moved to the next grid by the time it gets here. ::beat, sighs:: Exciting enough for you? He leaned over to get a better look at the data on Yogan’s console, his cautious nature taking hold. The information displayed was just as the Trill had said. Rendered as data on a screen, it did not look particularly threatening but if it intersected with the shuttlecraft’s position, there would not be much left of either man for Doctor Adea to identify. Etan: ::he looked at Yogan.:: I’m gripped already. ::returning his attention to his own sensor scans, he began to analyse the data that the sensors were relaying.:: I’m detecting a 0.002% increase in neutrino emissions. ::he rolled his eyes for dramatic effect.:: However will we sleep tonight? Yalu: ::chuckles, wryly:: With this firestorm of activity? I’ll be up for days. Yogan looked out the forward viewport at the slowly swirling, golden-green nebula. He was grateful to have a couple of days of uneventful, routine work to do before Resolution was ready to welcome them back aboard. There were still some twinges in his lower back and soreness in his arms from the physical work of building the home for the Romulan refugees, and sitting in the pilot’s seat of the shuttlecraft for an extended period had left him feeling a bit stiff. He’d heard about a place on Deep Space 224 where he could get a massage to work out the knots in his shoulders and neck, but after receiving a somewhat lukewarm review of the place from Meidra, he never pursued it. Etan: How did you find Oreen V? The topographical and environmental reports I read made for some pretty unpleasant reading. Iljor had not seen Yogan since he had returned from the nascent Romulan colony, even though they shared quarters. With his sleep cycle all but non-existent, Iljor had taken to working in the various science laboratories on the Resolution or wandering the gargantuan Deep Space 224. His conversations with Genkos and Aine had given him some solace that he was not as alone as he felt- but still, sleep eluded him. One such report he had come across during his nighttime endeavours made Oreen V seem like a difficult place for anybody to set up a colony, let alone a group of disaffected Romulans with limited resources. In a way, their efforts made him think of the refugee camps-turned-semi permanent settlements that had cropped up all along the Bajoran border with the Federation during the Occupation. Conditions on a plethora of worlds had been difficult to say the least, if not downright hostile to Bajoran life. But those displaced in the Diaspora were a hardy group- and they had made the best of a terrible situation. He knew that his paternal grandmother, Sobra, had spent some time in one such ‘settlement’ but she didn’t much like to talk about those years. He had tried occasionally over the years to glean some information- but it had not been until after her passing- at her memorial service- that he had learned she had worked as an healthcare assistant in the Federation administered medical centre. Yalu: The reports were accurate about the planet. The environment is hospitable, but definitely not conducive to sustainable, long-term settlement. ::beat:: I got the feeling it was given to the Romulans to settle because no one else wanted it. ::beat:: But they’ve done a remarkable job of building a community there. It’s inspiring, considering what they’ve been through in the last decade. Etan: They’ll bounce back. ::he said with certainty.:: The Romulan people are amongst the most resilient species in the quadrant. Part of my anthropological studies at the academy were centered on the Romulans. We don’t know a lot about them, believe it or, but what we do know is that they thrive in adversity. We may not always see eye-to-eye, if ever, with them- but we can respect their ability to come back swinging. Yogan held deep respect for Iljor, whose words sounded like they belonged to someone far older than his 22 years. Coming into the world on the heels of the Occupation and the devastation of the war, it would have been perfectly reasonable for someone of Iljor’s generation to become disillusioned and bitter. Instead, he seemed to maintain an inextinguishable curiosity about the universe, coupled with a healthy admiration of the accomplishments of his people. Yalu: You’re right. If Bajor can come out of the Occupation, with all of the devastation the Cardassians wrought over six decades, there’s hope for the Romulans. Etan: There’s that too. The smile that curled the corners of his mouth was tinged with pride. The Cardassians had plundered Bajor for sixty years. Plundered it for minerals, art, literature, arable land, oil and gas- amongst other things. By the time the Resistance finally succeeded in driving them off Bajor, the planet had been strip mined to within an inch of its life, most of its arable land had become poisonous, it held little natural resources and its people- once united in common cause- were on the verge of warring with one another. Iljor had been born several years after the end of the Occupation, but as a small child he had still seen the scars that it had left. He was undeniably proud of the work his people had undertaken to transform their homeworld back into a centre of diplomacy, commerce, academia and art. Etan: oO And there are still scars, even now. Oo ::he thought to himself, reminded of the accusations that Akhbett Jirall had levied across his beloved parents. He didn’t want to think about them for the time being- though it was becoming increasingly difficult not to. He forced himself to look back at the readings on the screen in front of him.:: Stellar winds in this grid are increasing. Not by much, but we still should be careful. Yogan’s attention was diverted briefly to the navigational console, and he noticed the same thing that Iljor did. His hands moved across the glossy surface and keyed in sequence of commands. Yalu: Engaging manoeuvring thrusters at one-quarter. That should keep us from getting buffeted about too much. ::beat:: Haven’t seen much of you since we left the Briar Patch. ::beat:: Or, come to think of it, since we got back from Trill. Opposite duty shifts, I guess? Iljor nodded, but looked at his console in an effort to not look at Yogan. He suddenly felt the cloud that had been hanging over him returning. Had his roommate noticed just like Aine and Genkos? Yogan had noticed that Iljor had seemed preoccupied of late, even more contemplative than usual. At first, he had chalked it up to the transformative experience they’d shared on Trill, Yogan’s zhian’tara, but Iljor’s muted disposition had continued beyond that. Etan: Uh, yeah. I guess. ::he could hear himself, he sounded non-committal:: It seemed as though Iljor wasn’t particularly eager to talk about it, and although Yogan was concerned for his roommate and friend, he didn’t intend to push the issue. After all, the two officers shared a living space and were friendly, but Yogan knew that Iljor had closer friends aboard the ship with whom he could share his troubles. Even so, whatever was on Iljor’s mind seemed to occupy him at all hours. Yalu: I’ve heard you pacing in your room at night. Etan: Hm? ::he looked up and glanced over at Yogan before looking back at his readings.:: I’m fine. ::Was it his imagination or did his own voice sound higher?:: Yogan looked down at his controls, manufacturing a break in the conversation. Perhaps there could have been a subtler way of backpedaling from the conversation than awkwardly about-facing back to work, but it was effective. Yalu: Grid One-Alpha is complete. Setting course for Grid Two-Alpha, thrusters only, 500 kph. Glad of the opportunity for the break in the conversation and feeling guilty about the fact he had lied to his roommate, he focused on the work ahead of them. Etan: Understood. Reconfiguring sensors now. Yalu: ETA at Grid Two-Alpha, 90 seconds. The craft rolled slowly toward its new destination, the only sound inside the shuttlecraft being the low hum of the engines. Yalu: I hope that whatever is bothering you, you have support to work through it. Iljor looked at Yogan from the corner of his eye. He wasn’t pushing the issue and for that he was immeasurably grateful. Etan: I do. He had yet to speak to Meidra although he had made an appointment. Knowing that Aine and Genkos were prepared to be there for him, even without knowing the specifics of the situation had made him feel a touch better. In his own way, Yogan was showing his support and Iljor was grateful. Yalu: I’m glad. ::beat:: Holding position at Grid Two-Alpha. Ready when you are. Etan: Sensors reconfigured. Beginning scans. Yogan looked through the viewport at another unremarkable swath of nebula, when something in the distance caught his attention. Yalu: ::pointing:: What is that? At first Iljor could not see what Yogan was pointing to. Given the Celendi Nebula’s reputation to could have been almost anything. Then his eyes caught it. Against the backdrop of the dusty golden gas clouds that marked the edge of the nebula, something was drifting slowly in space. The way in which tumbling gently over itself suggested to the science officer that it had been ejected some time ago from the nebula- perhaps a day or two- via the stellar currents that were found within. Iljor’s hands danced quickly over his reconfigured console, directing every available sensor at the small object. Etan: Scanning the object now. Yalu: It’s moving slowly, less than 20 kph. ::beat:: Getting a clearer picture of it on sensors. The sensor scans resolved themselves on the screen in front of Iljor. He raised an eyebrow and let out a small gasp of surprise. Etan: It’s a Federation Type-7 shuttlecraft! Yalu: ::squinting:: What’s it doing out here? The rounded hull of the shuttlecraft tumbled through space, emerging through the nebular haze and becoming easier to make out. Yogan’s question was purely rhetorical, as the small vessel was clearly adrift, its journey at the mercy of the currents whipping and whirling through the nebula. Whatever the reason, it wasn’t good. Etan: I’m running it’s registry through the Starfleet database now. ::he said, his hands at work once again.:: According to the this, this shuttle belongs to the starship Ibn Battuta. ::he turned to Yogan again.:: Does that sound familiar to you? Yalu: ::copies Iljor’s data onto his own console:: Doesn’t ring a bell. ::beat:: It says here that Ibn Battuta patrolled a section of the Klingon border near the Celendi Nebula in the late 2360s. Etan: So it’s been out here for thirty years? I’m going to run a search on the Ibn Battuta and see what I can find. Yalu: The hull is intact. I’m going to move us in closer and tractor it out. ::beat:: Our survey can allow a brief detour to investigate. Yogan piloted their shuttle deeper into the nebula, which was more difficult than he anticipated due to the unusually dense matter surrounding them. A few minutes later, they were parked back in their original position near Grid Two-Alpha, with a derelict shuttlecraft staring back at them a few dozen metres off their bow. Etan: Should we go over? The idea caused a strange mixture of intrigue and apprehension within the science officer. Abandoned and adrift shuttlecraft certainly held secrets, but whether anybody should uncover them was debatable. Yalu: Good question. ::beat:: Is it safe to beam over? Iljor ran a quick scan before replying. Etan: Sensors are showing that the shuttle is operating on a reduced power mode. There’s a breathable atmosphere over there, but we can remote trigger it’s power systems to bring it up to full operating capabilities. Yalu: ::shrugs:: Might give us a sharper clue into this region of the nebula. After all, this craft has been lost for 30 years. Iljor’s console bleeped at him. His search on the USS Ibn Battuta had brought up some interesting information and he scanned through the documents that the computer had selected for his attention. Etan: The Ibn Battuta reported a missing shuttlecraft on Stardate 48401.32 that had been sent on a survey mission. The ship itself tried for a week to find it but two officers were reported missing in action, presumed dead. ::the realisation that meant for the two men hit him like a stellar wind.:: Oh Prophets, you don’t think…? His eyes fell across the old shuttle full of trepidation, imagining the state that it’s occupation would be in after three decades. Sensors had not registered any life signs, after all… Yogan bit his lip at this particularly grim development. The historical parallel wasn’t lost on him, either. Two officers, sent off in a shuttlecraft to survey the Celendi Nebula. What was that old cliché he heard during his school days? Something about learning from history or being doomed to repeat it? Yalu: We’d better prepare ourselves, mentally, for what we might find over there. Reluctantly, Iljor got to his feet and equipped himself for their impromptu away mission: a tricorder and a phaser. He was relieved that the Rennell did not carry Visual Recording Devices as standard. There were some things best left undocumented, if what he thought was waiting for them came to pass. Etan: I’m ready. ::he said, the reluctance he felt seeping into the tone of his voice.:: Yogan locked down their small shuttlecraft, the 24th-century equivalent of dropping anchor or yanking the emergency brake. Confident that Rennell would be waiting for them when they were ready to return, he stood and grabbed the same bits of kit as Iljor. After keying in a site-to-site transport and setting the time delay, he rose from his seat and joined his fellow officer at the back of the cabin. Yalu: Let’s go. Holding his tricorder in one hand and his phaser in t’other, Yogan breathed deeply in half-anticipation/half-dread as the transporter beam enveloped the two men, sending them into the unknown. (( Derelict shuttlecraft )) The first thing Yogan noticed upon beaming in was the smell. Stale air made the small space feel even stuffier than usual, and the cold temperature immediately made him feel clammy. There was clearly no threat lurking behind seats or under consoles, so Yogan holstered his phaser and switched the tricorder to his dominant hand. Yalu: No signs of electrical damage. Nothing to indicate a catastrophic systems failure. ::beat:: With a quick power transfer, this craft would be flight ready. Iljor took a second to reorientate himself and get used to the staler air of the derelict vessel. He unclipped his tricorder, opened it and began scanning just as Yogan had done moments earlier. He felt an odd sense of unsettlement, as though things were not supposed to be the way they were. There wasn’t much space to wander around, which made the initial search of the craft relatively brief in duration. After turning 360 degrees multiple times, Yogan realised that the unpleasantness he had prepared himself for. Etan: Where are the corpses of the missing officers? ::he said, bewildered and looking to Yogan for guidance.:: Yalu: I don’t know. ::beat:: I’m half expecting one of them to drop out of the ceiling. ::adjusts tricorder settings:: I’m scanning for residual humanoid tissues now. If they’re here, or were, we’ll find out. Yogan slowly scanned the interior of the spacecraft, sweeping the tricorder across each surface. The readout didn’t change at all, and Yogan furrowed his brow in confusion. Yalu: I’m not picking anything up. No signs of decomposition, either. Those two missing officers weren’t in here. Or at the very least, they didn’t die in here. This is anticlimactic. ::beat:: I mean, I wasn’t hoping to find dead bodies in here, but… ::voice trails off:: At least we can recover the logs and tow the ship back to starbase. Etan: Good idea. ::he nodded in approval.:: I’ll get started on the logs. Yalu: ::returning the nod:: Aye. I’ll get the navigational computer online and establish a link with Rennell. If I can pilot her remotely, it’ll be a lot easier. Iljor took the copilots chair, which was a lot less comfortable than the one he had been occupying in the Rannell. He reached forward and tapped the old style console. A sharp negative beep met his touch and he blinked in surprise. Etan: That’s odd. This console won’t respond. ::he ran his tricorder across the console.:: The power systems don’t seem to be unaffected by whatever happened to the shuttle. But I can’t access the navigational logs. Yalu: Hmm. ::stands behind Iljor at the copilot’s seat:: Mind if I take a look? Realising that Yogan was more qualified than he was, especially when it came to shuttle operations he vacated the seat promptly and waved towards it. Etan: Be my guest. With a slight smile, Yogan took the seat. After a cursory inspection of the console, he didn’t get much further than Iljor did, but his tricorder diagnostic spat out a string of text that made Yogan raise an eyebrow. Iljor was right; it wasn’t a power problem. It was something far more mysterious. Yalu: We can’t access the navigational logs because they’ve been encrypted. Access restricted on Stardate 48401.32. ::beat:: That was the same date that Ibn Battuta reported this shuttlecraft missing. Why would someone have done that? The science officer considered the question before responding. Etan: Some kind of classified mission? ::he shrugged uncertainly:: But that still doesn’t explain where the occupants went? ::he ran another sweep with his tricorder, this focusing on biological material.:: I’m not even picking up any kind of biological trace matter. It’s like the shuttle was launched with nobody in it. Yogan’s brow was getting plenty of practice being furrowed. If he wasn’t careful, this seemingly simple-on-the-surface survey mission might develop a permanent crease in his forehead. The Trill intentionally relaxed his expression as he considered what to do next. Yalu: Ibn Battuta reported this craft missing with two officers aboard. Let’s try to figure out who they are. ::beat:: I have an idea. ::taps combadge:: Computer, do you have a record of the crew roster of the USS Ibn Battuta on Stardate 48401.32? Computer: Affirmative. Yalu: And a record of the same roster for, say, two weeks after that date? Computer: Affirmative. Yalu: Compare the two and report any changes. Computer: Working. ::beat:: Two differences between specified rosters identified. Yalu: Who are they? Computer: First Officer Lieutenant Commander Anxo Oliveria and Shuttle Pilot Lieutenant Junior Grade Parker Costanzo. Despite being mindful of the expression he wore on his face, Yogan couldn’t help raise an eyebrow at this bit of news. People go missing on missions from time to time, but for a senior officer to vanish without a trace added yet another wrinkle to this mystery. He thought about Addison MacKenzie, Resolution’s second-in-command, and had a hard time believing the crew would accept her just disappearing into thin air. Etan: The First Officer went missing?! ::he said, surprised.:: I guess that explains why Ibn Battuta spent a week looking for this shuttle. ::beat:: But according to our scans, they were never aboard. And a First Officer going missing in action would be pretty big news, right? So why have we never heard about Commander Oliveria? Things did not add up and coming so soon after their sojourn to the Briar Patch, Iljor was in no mood for more unanswered questions. Yogan looked back down at his tricorder’s display, as if to confirm that the data was correct. Both he and Iljor had run the same scans, and got the same results. With encrypted navigational logs, they couldn’t tell where the craft had been, but the condition of the [...]pit was clear: it had been launched with no one aboard. Yalu: We’ve got limited resources to get the answers we want out here. But I’m just as curious as you are, Iljor. We’ve got to find out what happened to Oliveria and Costanzo. Etan: ::he nodded his agreement.:: Maybe we should take this shuttle back to the Resolution? We’ll be better equipped to investigate there. Yogan nodded. The scientist was right. Perhaps Resolution, with her greater computing capacity, access to Starfleet records, and insolent-yet-efficient staff librarian, would be a more suitable base for launching an inquiry of this type. Yalu: Who’d have thought when we flew out here for a survey mission that we’d have uncovered something like this? ::settles back into the pilot seat:: Should be no problem piloting the craft remotely from Rennel, but it’s a two-day trip back to DS224. Iljor, I want to find out everything we can before we deliver this shuttle back over to Starfleet. Something feels wrong about this, and I don’t know about you, but I want to figure it out. Etan: I agree. ::beat:: We’ve already got too many mysteries left over from the Skarn Homeworld. I’m a scientist- and the idea of something going unsolved make my skin crawl. Their brief visit to the derelict craft had been a roller coaster. Yogan beamed over expecting to find the final resting place of two officers, left to the misfortune and abyss of deep space. Instead, they found an inexplicable situation and two officers whose disappearances remained a mystery. Yogan was pleased that his roommate and friend was as eager as he was to investigate. If nothing else, it might give them something to work on together after work, and be a welcome distraction to whatever had been troubling Iljor recently. Yalu: All right. The crafts’ navigation systems are linked. Let’s beam back and see if we can crack the encryption on those logs. TBC! Lieutenant Yogan Yalu Helm Officer USS Resolution NCC-78145 Justin D238804DS0 Lieutenant JG Etan Iljor Science Officer USS Resolution C239203TW0
    5 points
  15. Reactions to the Captain's announcement are hilarious. I'm surprised nobody jumped out of an airlock yet. So much love and confidence can be felt. Ahh... Nice. lol From Kendrick: From Silveira: From R'Kala
    5 points
  16. I see Ikea is alive and well (and infuriating) in 2398!
    5 points
  17. @Alora DeVeau You must've been a cat in a former life because you write for one really well! ((Pirate Ship Drowning Band – Somewhere in the Ventilation Systems)) Sachiko was not a normal cat. It hadn’t taken long for Alora to figure that out. When she had been given the little critter, the only thing Gabi knew was that she’d gotten the creature from someone who had gotten her from someone else and no one knew why she had been given up in the first place . She’d been mostly a kitten still, older than a wee one, but still not fully grown, but neither had she achieved much more stature after she’d been taken in by the, at the time, Science Officer. She remained quite small for a cat, and most thought she was still a juvenile. But no, Sachiko was six years old, not that she acted like it. But that wasn’t what made her abnormal. No, the fact was, Sachiko wasn’t normal for two reasons - she seemed particularly intelligent for a felis cactus, and there were times Alora couldn’t help but wonder exactly how intelligent she was. Even stranger was the almost magical way the creature managed to escape Alora’s quarters. It didn’t matter what Alora did, she could not contain the cat, and she’d eventually given up. It was that very same cat who had managed to not only get out of Alora’s quarters again but who had somehow known to gain the attention of a certain pirate carrying a certain cage containing certain people, and get on board the pirate ship. Once there, she’d performed the same little trick, snuck out of the pirate’s quarters, and had managed to finagle a way into the ventilation system, only to appear before miniaturized versions of people - one of whom was familiar to her. Of course, she wasn’t going to eat them. In fact, the feline was rather docile and even allowed the group to mount upon her. When they had all settled ,she’d whisked them away to the ventilation shaft, mini people on her back, mini dog in her mouth. Bailey: Not so fast! ::Speaking more towards the cat:: If Sachiko understood it, she didn’t really pay any attention. Instead, she continued to slink through the system, unhindered by the request. A. Harper: I should not have eaten so much at the gala. Galven: Ride like the wind, Bullseye! That did seem to get the creature’s attention. She turned her head ever so slightly, just enough for a single blue eye to cant in the direction of the Denobulan who had called out the encouragement, but once more, if she understood, there was no other real response to it. Yael: Response Bailey: Does anyone suppose they know where she’s taking us? A. Harper: Hopefully somewhere we can signal for help There was a pause as they came to an intersection, just a brief one. Sachiko’s ears twitched and, Alistair still gently in her mouth, she lifted her nose, silently sniffing the air. She made her choice, turned down toward the left, then continued onward. Galven: I'm hoping the way she's going to wherever she came from. Yael: Response Bailey: I mean, I’d very much dislike to end up on the opposite end of the ship from where we likely need to be. Galven: I mean, it's better than where we were. There was another intersection, another pause, longer that time. Those ears swiveled one way, then another, then back again. The nose lifted, more sniffs were taken, then another turn chosen before she continued on. Down one, through another, Sachiko only paused at intersections adjusting according to whatever feline fancy hit her. Yael: Response Bailey: It might be a good idea to see if we can get her to jump up to a console. A. Harper: That will certainly be a an experience, at least cats are graceful jumpers. Galven: ::to Ashley:: What are your orders for whenever we get to the location, Lieutenant? Suddenly, Sachiko go stopped, her ears twitched, then one hind leg came up as she arched her head back and she proceeded to scratch mightily behind one year. Doing so didn’t dislodge anyone, but for a moment, the bodies of the riders vibrated with the motions. Finally, the itch was gone and the cat resumed her previous pace. Yael/A. Harper:Response Bailey: We could check the manifest a lot easier that way and it would take less time than climbing. Yael/A. Harper: Response Galven: It appears that Sachiko is slowing down. ::indicating his assumption as he turned his head to get a better idea where they were. One turn, then another, and finally down a line which ended - at a grate, very much like the one she’d entered through. Pawing at the barrier, the metal whined, then groaned and gave way a little. Once again, the cat pressed against it, then used her head, and finally the grate fell three quarters of the way off, hanging on by a single bolt. Old, and ill maintained, it had given up the ghost and now they had access to what lay beyond. Which was...a dark room. Sachiko dropped to the floor, then carefully set Alistair down - only to hold him down by one paw so she could set about grooming him with her large, sandpaper tongue. Yael/A. Harper/Bailey: Response Galven: Everything looks so crude and different from anything I've seen. Even when I was taller. Where are we? Sachiko paused in her group, twisted around to look at the Denobulan, then opened her mouth. Only, words didn’t come out. Instead was a meow. Well, not even a real meow, it was more of a squeak. Whether or not it was in answer to Galven’s question, however, could not be known, and it seemed as if she didn’t really care, for she returned her attention back to Alistair, evidently not done bathing him. Galven/Yael/A. Harper/Bailey: Response Finally, Sachiko seemed to think that she was done - for now. The paw was lifted, Alistair was set free, and once everyone was off of her back, she shook herself, then sat down and proceeded to lick at her chest, quite unconcerned with the antics of the miniature people. Galven/Yael/A. Harper/Bailey: Response There was a pause in the self groom, just long enough for Sachiko to open her mouth wide, sharp teeth stark against the pink of her mouth. She finished yawning, gave a few more licks to her chest, then turned to her tail, though one eye seemed to follow the motions of the people who had moments before been riding upon her back. Galven/Yael/A. Harper/Bailey: Response -- Sachiko Taxi Cat Starbase 118 Ops alora@blar.net M239008AD0
    4 points
  18. When the team gets shrunk and you run into a cat... I bet Ashley is tasty! This had me laughing though.
    4 points
  19. Earnest, sad, and most of all a really compelling read. @Randal Shayne writes so strong usually, but this trio knocked it out of the park for me. Almost makes me feel bad about Maria being such a thorn in his side. Almost. Part 1: https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-arrow/c/TkDoayUI-08 Part 2: https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-arrow/c/eEbkaY0Rg6k Part 3: https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-arrow/c/4qsGAL3K9T4
    4 points
  20. From "Commodore, If You Please" That's the most Del response I couldn't have even imagined, @Tony, aka Kells.
    4 points
  21. I'm honored that I was able to participate in such a special moment for my CO, @Tony, aka Kells, and that I could help be part of what made it special for him! To all our guests you have our sincerest thanks for participating! =========================================================== (( Main Arboretum, Deck 5, USS Thor )) In his dress whites for the first time in a long while, Geoff felt an odd bit of nervousness creeping in around the edges of his fairly manic last minute planning. The guests were due to arrive at any moment and represented friends, mentors, colleagues and some of the upper echelons of modern Starfleet. It would be the largest single function the Thor had hosted and, thankfully, it wasn’t even Teller’s court martial. Fleet Captain Aron Kells, his CO and friend, was about to step into the truly rarefied air of the Starfleet and all these fine people were arriving to celebrate and witness the moment. Teller: Commodore Kells...rolls off the tongue. Very nautical. I like it. Talik: Sir, are you talking to me? A nearby petty officer was arranging trays of food on a nearby table, designed to mix in with the ambient foliage and rolling green grasses of their small slice of nature. Geoff realized as he listened to the rushing of the nearby waterfall that he hadn’t spent nearly as much time in this room as he should’ve over the last year. It was a profoundly soothing space, most especially here under the wide boughs and thick leaves of the central tree. The air handling systems had been designed to emulate a planetary weather pattern and Geoff found the occasional hint of breeze rippling in the treetop tremendously calming. Talik:....sir? Geoff took a deep breath, smiled, and put aside his small reverie. Teller: I wasn’t, Mr. Talik, but your opinion is welcome, and speak freely. Think the Fleet Captain’s new title suits him? The petty officer placed the tray down and considered his response for a moment before speaking. Talik: Well, honestly...sir...it’s a little...embarrassing to say but… Geoff's eyes crinkled into a confused squint. Talik:...well it’s just...Co’mo’dr is the archfiend of the afterlife on Denobula...I grew up there and I guess the name...stuck in my head. Geoff snorted, rolling the unfamiliar pronunciation around, entirely amused. Teller: I’ll make sure to pass that along to Starfleet Command. Can’t have the higher ups getting called devils behind their backs. ::Geoff lowered his voice to a conspiratorial whisper:: Not when they don’t deserve it, anyway. Geoff winked to the young crewman and relaxed a hair as the large double doors to the arboretum opened. Their first guests were arriving. Teller: Various sirs, ma’ams, honored non-specifics ::Teller was babbling. Apparently that ninth cup of coffee had been one too many.:: Welcome everyone, welcome. Please, make yourselves comfortable while the rest of our guests arrive. We’ll be getting started in just a few minutes. The Constitution was on shore leave; fairly extended shore leave due to the slight issue of not being entirely in one piece, the most notable issue being the missing warp nacelle. Which meant that, after a trip to Vulcan, to detour via Cardassian space on the way back to the Marchlands in the galactic south. Saveron had never really anticipated stepping foot on the Thor, but this was the second time within a relatively short space of time. Dressed in the robe variant of Starfleet dress whites, the Vulcan Commander paused to regard the expansive greenery afforded by the Arboretum, before his grey gaze fell on one of the few familiar faces. Approaching, he raised one hand in the ta’al, the traditional splay-fingered Vulcan greeting. Saveron: Commander Teller. It is agreeable to be in your presence again, and observe that you appear to be well. Given that the last - and first - time they’d met was so that Saveron could help extract the katric remains of Alieth’s long-dead lover from Geoff’s brain before he went completely mad, the fact that the Thor’s FO appeared to be suitably functional was eminently acceptable. Teller: Commander Saveron! I’m glad you were able to make the trip again, I never really got to thank you for the whole ::Geoff artistically pantomimed removing a ghost from one's head via the ear:: well, anyway...I owe you one. Geoff extended his hand in the ta’al but his smirk was far from stoic. Teller: That’s a Good Job Guarantee. Buried somewhere in his uniform jacket Geoff’s padd chirped with an incoming message. With a smile and a wave, Geoff watched Commander Saveron join the rest of the party as he dug out the padd and discovered a message for their guest of honor. // To: Commodore Aron Kells, Commanding Officer, USS Thor NCC-82607 From: Lieutenant Commander Chythar Skyfire, Medical Officer, USS Chin'toka NCC-97187 Subject: Congratulations & Invitation Hey, Kells. It's good to see you excelling in the fleet and I wish I'd be able to present a kilo of our Chin'toka-branded Nip of Winter in person, but with all of the planning for my wedding going on I am not exactly Mr. Free Time. I have arranged for said kilo of coffee to be delivered to you. By the by, if you aren't doing anything in October, I was wondering if you'd be interested in popping over to the Chin'toka for my wedding to Lael. I so rarely do social things in the public's eye, but here's a recording for you to enjoy of the proposal. And man, let me tell you keeping her in the dark that long was hard. Miss you, buddy. Fair winds. Fair winds and following seas, commodore. Regards, CD // Geoff smiled as he pocketed the padd, glad his first CMO was happy and well aboard the Chin’toka. He’d make sure the soon to be minted Commodore saw the message after the ceremony. Compared to normal space the Shoals was like mashed potatoes compared to - well, normal space. Thick and gluggy, and hard to navigate through. When Lieutenant Commander Wil Ukinix of the USS Veritas had received an invite to the celebration of Fleet Captain Kell’s promotion to Commodore, he couldn’t resist. So he’d made his way to the Thor despite knowing how slow the initial journey from the Shoals would be. Kells had been marooned on a tropical moon along with Wil and the rest of the Veritas crew, and Wil had personally escorted his ex-crewmate, good mate and continental neighbour Nic del Vedova back to Fleet Captain Kells so that they could be re-united. But there was another good mate that he had to see personally first. And, thankfully, that person hadn’t seen him yet... And once that person was lined up (and in keeping with what was becoming tradition), Wil ran at full speed in a straight line, and then crash tackled Geoffrey Teller to the ground. Geoff had made the small tactical error of turning his back to the door, concentrating instead on a plate of surprisingly delicious confections from some planet he’d never heard of. His moment of distraction and gluttony was all that his best friend needed to stealthily approach and tackle him to the ground. Geoff didn’t even bother looking up before speaking. Teller: ::wheezing:: G’day knackers! Ukinix: CHIEF! Teller: I thought I told our Marines to keep this crowd respectable. Panting, Wil stood up and offered his hand to Teller to help him up. Geoff smiled warmly as he was dragged to his feet and into a firm embrace. As soon as the Thor’s FO was on his feet, he wrapped his arms around Teller’s shoulders. Ukinix: How’s it going, ya’ bugger! It’s good to see you. Teller: Good to see you too, Chief. Or do you prefer your majesty these days? Wil Ukinix, Second Nephew of the 47th house, heir to the ancient creaky chair of Ithric? Not totally surprised by Geoff's teasing of Wil's potential pending Betazoid nobility, the Human/Betazoid hybrid gave Geoffrey a gentle but effective smack on the back of the little man's head, before looking around the room. Ukinix: ::Cheeky smile:: Is Kell’s Del around? Geoff looked around the arboretum which was filling nicely as the hour approached. Chatting amicably near a small crowd was the guest of honor himself and his husband, Doctor Niccolo Del Vedova, their acting chief of medicine. del Vedova: He’s right here! And he’s his own man! So to say, as he fairly charged Wil and wrapped him in an embrace, and only after that was broken did he reveal the man of the hour (difficult though he was to hide behind the shorter Del): Aron himself. Kells: Hello, Wil, Geoff. Geoff, thanks for this, truly. Aron looked around at all the familiar faces and beamed as he took them all in. Her arms crossed, and uniform collar extended to reach her chin, Commander Blake tilted her head down toward Captain Roshanara Rahman next to her. Blake: I think Wil’s trying to hog everyone to himself. Rahman: I suppose I can’t blame him... Ukinix: ::Turning to Blake and Rahman:: Isn't it exciting! Geoff’s smile widened to nearly goofy proportions at the sudden reunion of friends from the Veritas. It was the first time he’d seen all these people in the same place since he transferred more than a year ago. Teller: Commander Blake...Skipper. It’s been too long. A warm smile donned Blake’s face as she relaxed her stance. Blake: It’s good to see you again. I’m glad we could make our way out of the Shoals to be here. Rahman: Indeed. Roshanara smiled as she looked back at Teller, and then her gaze turned towards Del. Kells: (with a grin) I’m glad you could as well, especially since my last trip out there did not go according to plan. del Vedova: Aw, but at least we still spent some time together. That, Aron thought, was the understatement of the century: Limbo, as the Veritas crew had nicknamed the moon, operated outside of the time experienced by the surrounding space. What had seemed like hours from a removed orbit had been experienced as months by the shipwrecked crew. Naturally, though, Roshanara waved off the memory of that extended planetary stay with a more important question. Rahman: Are you two still an item? Aron considered answering with a kiss, but Roshanara also would remember his habit of a friendly kiss for any of his crew who received a promotion or an award. It would not answer her question. Del, however, beamed and embraced Aron for a moment. del Vedova: Space husbands! Rahman: ::shaking head:: Naturally. The Kriosian captain of the USS Veritas then looked to the man whom she’d first served under as chief engineer before he had brought her back to active service as his first officer for the Invicta Expedition. Rahman: No matter what, sir, you’ll always be Captain Kells to me. Del interrupted Aron’s search for a reply that matched how heartfelt Roshanara had been with a smack in the shins from his cane. Certainly he knew that Aron was in danger of tearing up. del Vedova: And never mind him, you’ll be Rosh to me. As Addison entered the arboretum, she smoothed the front of her dress whites when her eyes fell upon a group of colleagues very dear to her who’d already arrived. She’d normally have been there earlier, but she took the opportunity to take a quick tour of the ship. It was in much better shape than the last time she’d been aboard - leading the majority of the non-essential personnel off the ship in shuttlecraft during an emergency was a memory that wouldn’t soon leave her. Grabbing a flute of champagne, she approached the group of distinguished guests and former colleagues. MacKenzie: Teller isn’t causing trouble, is he? I mean, aside from his usual… Captain Rahman, always good to see you. Rahman: Likewise. I hear you’re doing good things on the Resolution. MacKenzie: ::gesturing to Blake and del Vedova:: And the two of you are looking good - the last time I saw each of you, you were patients of mine. Del exchanged a look with Blake, then shrugged at Addison. del Vedova: We got better. MacKenzie: ::resisting the urge to smirk at Ukinix:: Trouble’s junior colleague. ::winking:: How’ve you been my friend? Ukinix: ::mock offense:: Hey! I'd at least be Trouble's first officer by now. ::Offering hug:: It's so good to see you again Addison, I've missed you. With pleasantries exchanged, she approached Kells and offered a hug. MacKenzie: The man of the hour! I can’t think of a more CO. Congratulations, Commodore. Kells: Thank you, Addison! And all of you. I can’t tell you how much it means that you were all able to make it. Nor had everyone arrived yet, as the group in the arboretum continued to grow, most recently with an officer Aron had first met when he’d been assigned as an ensign, and who was now a captain of his own ship. Mei’konda: Speakiing of congratulations…hello, everyone. And congratulations, soon-to-no-longer-be Captaain Kells. Aron had last seen Mei’konda at his wedding to another of Aron’s former officers, Evan Delano, and he hugged Mei’konda as well. Kells: Captain! It’s so good to see you. It’s been too long, too long since I’ve seen any of you. Mei’konda returned the hug, despite just a moment of hesitation. There was a time, not so long ago, where he stiffened up like a board when Aron Kells’ eyes fell upon him. But this was a special occasion. Mei’konda: Indeed! It’s like a family reuniion, isn’t it? The Caitian approached the gathering of senior officers, dressed in the carefully tailored dress whites that inadvertently emphasized his lean, muscular build. With negotiations for the Federation’s new colony site successfully concluded in the Expanse, the Chin’toka had moved back close to Federation space in order to prepare to escort the shipments, and it had given Mei’konda the time to take a brief shore leave out to the Thor in order to attend a very special occasion. Since his own promotion to Captain, this might’ve been the most brass he’d ever been in the presence of, but he found it interesting that he didn’t feel uncomfortable in the slightest. These officers - some of whom had been his direct superiors during his own early days in Starfleet - were now his peers. He aimed a reserved nod toward the Admiral lurking at the edges of the room, and a slight smile toward Teller and Saveron, as well. He and the Vulcan had had their disagreements years ago, but he liked to think they’d buried the hatchet. Mei’konda: Commander Teller. Commander Saveron. A pleasuure to see you both again. Teller: Captain Mei’konda! This is fantastic...I haven’t seen you since..hmmm...since I got my [...] bitten off by some voles at your Captaincy promotion! I can promise you - none aboard this ship. Mei’konda quirked a slight smile over at the red headed Commander. Mei’konda: If it was goiing to happen to anyone, Mr. Teller, it would happen to you. Geoff laughed good naturedly as he fought to urge to scratch his suddenly itchy backside. Teller: I’ll take that as a compliment. Commander Saveron, do you know Captain Mei’konda Delano of the Chin’Toka? Kells: He sure does! (glancing around) Almost half of the Invicta’s senior staff is here. They were missing a few faces — Alora DeVeau, Quinn Reynolds, Evan Delano, Hanar Tuk — but Geoff had promised Aron that most of them would be there, and it was an impressive guest list no matter what. Flicking his tail upward to curl it around one of his ankles, the Caitian folded one hand behind his back and held the cup of cinnamon tea he’d replicated in the other, lifting it to his lips to take a careful sip. There were unfamiliar faces here as well, some he didn’t know at all, and some he knew only by reputation. Mei’konda: On that note, my husband sends his regaard, Captain Kells. He’s on assignment, commanding the Diligent just outside of the Par’tha Expanse. A moment later, he added to those he hadn’t yet greeted. Mei’konda: Captain Mei’konda Delano, USS Chin’toka. A pleasuure to meet all of you. The rest of my crew sends their regards. She had slipped in among the other guests, pausing in the doorway, partly to admire the beauty of the surroundings. Arboretums were one of her favourite places to visit aboard ships, and she was pleased that the ceremony would take place in the Thor’s. It was well cultivated, a wide variety of plants growing in clusters according to soil and environmental needs. Alora paused at one such cluster, inhaling the scent of the blossoms, their sweetness energizing and almost addictive. From that spot, she had paused, her eyes shifting from person to person. There were quite a few people gathered, not surprising considering Aron’s long history with the fleet. She had known him from the beginning of her own career - he had been her first captain. And yet the man she came to celebrate that day was not the same man she had met when she had come aboard the Mercury. That had been someone different, but when the real Aron Kells had shown up, when so many people had doubted, when suspicions had been raised, she could only think about how hard it must be. He had proven to be as kind as she knew he would be, and the two had forged a friendship that had turned into something of a kinship. Even when he had left Starfleet briefly, they had remained in touch - rather necessarily thanks to their mutual investment. Had it only been eight years? It felt like she’d known him almost her entire life - and she certainly couldn’t imagine a future without him in it somehow. There were others she’d known for just as long and when her eyes settled upon them, her expression brightened into her characteristic smile. Faces so familiar, and dear to her, though in a different way, mingled together. It had only been two years since she’d seen some of them - though it seemed like it had been far longer. Taking one last whiff of the flowers, Alora finally turned and aimed for the cluster of bodies, the gathering of people with whom she had, at one point in time, served with. DeVeau: Man, I’m getting hit hard with some déjà vu. Wil turned to look to see Alora, and froze. They had communicated via dreamscape only weeks earlier. He checked his hand to see if it had the right amount of fingers, ensuring he wasn’t dreaming lucidly again. He then looked again at Alora. Ukinix: ::Blinking eyes:: So am I. DeVeau: I almost feel like I’m back on the Veritas. Or the Invicta. She’d followed a couple from one ship to another. Some had been left behind while others had remained. After her classified assignment, she’d suddenly been placed on Starbase 118 and had only known one person there - thankfully, a friendly one. Now, faced with the ghosts of the past, she couldn’t stop the nostalgia from rolling over her. DeVeau: How are you? Each of you? Kells: (another grin) Persisting and thriving, I’d say. And all here, most importantly! Teller: Hale and hearty, Alora, just like that violet you gave me. Further back, a solitary figure lingered around the edges of the gathering crowds, watching the reunion of old friends. Clad in a pristine dress uniform, Rear Admiral's pips marking her rank, the scrawny, freckled hybrid kept her distance, not wanting to intrude. The only one Quinn Reynolds truly knew was Rahman—and while their interactions weren't the frosty poles of Andoria they'd once been, it was still awkward enough she thought it best to stay away. She didn't want her arrival to ruin the moment. That, and underneath it all, Quinn was still the chronically shy woman who'd fled from almost every party as an ensign. Instead, she contented herself with a stroll through the arboretum while the guests continued to arrive. The sex botanist delighted in the flora on offer; admiring the brilliant rainbow of colours in vibrant blossoms, breathing in the heady scents of exotic blooms, running her fingers across velvet petals and furred leaves. The professional engineer wondered how feasible it was to pilfer the arboretum design for the Gorkon, and whether it was an abuse of power to reconfigure the ship to have a nice garden. A very nice garden. She spared a smile and a nod for Saveron as they moved through the crowds, pleased to see him again. Perhaps later they'd have a chance to catch up, and she could let him know Amelia was thriving. But for now, her attention was drawn by another; the man she was here for, finally alone... at least for a few minutes. Reynolds: It barely seems like two minutes ago we were evacuating refugees from Romulus. ::She chuckled.:: If you'd told me then HQ would pin this much brass on either of us, I'd have laughed you off the ship. Aron was very happy to find himself alone for a moment with Quinn — Admiral Reynolds, now. He’d followed her career, of course, but it had been many long years since they’d served together, since he’d relied upon her counsel as the director of intelligence. She’d had a storied and successful career since she launched the Gorkon, but like Roshanara and Mei’konda, and equally like the officers there who weren’t (yet!) captains, he both relished their success and missed the good advice and endless assistance that had allowed them to progress in their careers. Kells: (with feeling) I’d have helped you! No doubt. She grinned at him, struck with both awe and a sense of ridiculousness at their situation and status. A pair of flag officers who’d caused no end of trouble and headaches for Starfleet HQ back in the day, helping the Romulans when the rest of the Federation had forsworn them. Many of those refugees still lived on Vulcan to this day, a community counted in the tens of thousands, thriving and seeding the beginnings of reconciliation. Reynolds: Valesha sends her congratulations, by the way. ::The Romulan scientist had been one of those refugees, and both Quinn and Aron had taken a special interest in her career.:: She's doing well. Kells: I’ve heard! Lieutenant already? I’m glad she’s done so well, and that she’s been with you for most of her career. Not that she needs one of us to keep an eye on her, but — you know. However, whatever else they might have said was truncated, as Geoff had obviously noticed Aron’s absence from the main group, and called for everyone to be seated. With the guests assembled the attention returned to Geoff, who nodded respectfully to his CO and then to Admiral Reynolds as he approached the small podium placed directly in front of the great tree. It seemed to Geoff a worthy backdrop for this rare, special ceremony. He waited patiently at the podium, not bothering to raise his voice and within moments, the room grew hushed on its own accord with a shared sense of anticipation. When the silence was complete, Geoff spoke in clipped, clear tones that carried across the room. Teller: Attention to Orders, Please. Attention to Orders. Fleet Captain Aron Kells, please step forward sir. Aron did so, with aplomb. Or as much aplomb as he thought he could handle, given the circumstances. Kells: Here and ready, Geoff. Teller: Thank you, sir. Rear Admiral Quinn Reynolds, would you step forward please ma..::Geoff barely caught himself in time.::...would you step forward please. Kells: (muttering) Good save. With an arched eyebrow and the hint of a smirk cast in the direction of both men, the Admiral stepped up to the podium as requested. Heart thrumming in her chest, she smiled through a deep breath. Over the years, she had learnt to keep the timorous tremor out of her voice, still the anxious fidgeting that wanted to erupt when dozens of eyes were upon her. But she was here for Aron, and the desire to honour and celebrate her friend made it easier to bury the nerves. Reynolds: I'd like to first thank you all for coming. There are a lot of familiar faces here, and I know how pleased Aron is to see you all. It speaks to how many lives he's touched, and how important he is to so many. Geoff stepped aside and retrieved the small decorative box which seemed unusually heavy in his hand. From here on out the attention of the entire room fixated on the two people standing front and center. Reynolds: Those of you who know me are already well aware that I loathe public speaking. For those of you who don't; it takes a very special event, or a very special person, to lure me to the front of a crowd. Today fulfils both requirements. As Quinn began to speak, Aron found that Del’s earlier save with Roshanara had been for naught, as he started to tear up anyway. He broke his gaze away from her and gazed out at his friends, but that was even worse. The people gathered in the arboretum represented decades upon decades of memories and experiences, and if he was looking for an escape, they were not it. Not that he was looking for an escape. It was just — after all he’d been through recently, from Calabrum and the Zet to nearly dying on New Bajor, he wasn’t sure if he’d thought a moment like this — not even the promotion, but where he was able to gather with so many of his friends — would ever happen again. Even by Caitian standards, the room had grown quiet but for Admiral Reynolds and the ever present subtle rush of a starship’s life support systems functioning around them. Mei’konda kept his ears angled toward the two standing together as Kells’ only superior officer in the room continued speaking, and Mei’konda stood silently with his fellow officers. It was one of those rare occasions that he’d come to savor in Starfleet - as much reward as he felt when he was able to promote or offer commendations to his own officers, there was something particularly special about being invited to witness one of his old Captains being recognized like this. Reynolds: I first served with Aron over ten years ago. He was a science officer under my command on the Drake, and we had a few... interesting adventures together. ::She grinned at him for a moment, a shared joke twinkling in her hazel eyes, and then continued.:: He was one of the finest scientists I've served with, and I valued his keen insight, quick wits and his ability to keep a clear head under pressure. They had shared just about every professional dynamic there was in Starfleet: subordinate, superior and peer. It had forged a respect and understanding few shared, and though—or perhaps because—there had been some bumps along the way, Aron’s friendship was one she treasured. Distance made it harder, but her fondness had not diminished with time. Reynolds: It was a few years later, when I served under his command aboard the Mercury—and later, the Garuda—when we became friends, and someone I still trust to this day to offer me sage advice when I need it. As well as my friend, he's been my teacher; I strive to emulate his diplomatic finesse in all situations, and his ability to cut to the heart of a problem. It is my firm belief he is one of the most exceptional officers in Starfleet, and I'm beyond honoured and pleased to be here today to recognise his ability, his compassion, his loyalty, and his dedication to all those he serves with. Quinn looked expectantly toward the red-haired Commander. Geoff lowered his voice and leaned in, waggling the Commodores pips. He couldn’t hold back a small smirk. Teller: Last chance to change your mind and pin these on me, Admiral. Reynolds: You shouldn't play with fire, Commander. ::Her eyebrows twitched upward as she responded just as quietly.:: You might get burned. Geoff stifled a laugh and opened the small box, profferring its contents to the Admiral, and she turned back toward Kells with pips in hand. For Teller, the challenge of the day had instantly been made worthwhile when he saw the look of profound gratitude and deep joy on his CO’s normally reserved face. Reynolds: Fleet Captain Aron Kells, it is my privilege to promote you to the rank of Commodore, with all the associated rights and responsibilities. ::Then, more softly,:: You’ve done us all proud, Aron. Kells: (quietly) Thank you. (more loudly) Truly, thank you. I can’t fully express how much it means to have you all here. And then came the moment. Quinn had the single-gold-pip-on-black of the commodore ready to go, and the moment itself — the pinning — was over in a moment. His new insignia gleaming under the arboretum lights, she dropped her hands onto his shoulders. Then, with an impish smile, she copied his favourite trick and rose up onto her tiptoes to press a kiss to the new commodore’s cheek. Reynolds: Congratulations, Commodore Kells. Teller: Three cheers for Commodore Kells! HipHip! The quiet of the Arboretum was broken by the thunder of applause and the shouts of hurrah ringing from the walls. But then the applause. Oh, the applause! This time, Aron tried to return the room to its former quiet, and he locked eyes with everyone there as he gazed around. Kells: Without each of you, I wouldn’t be here. That you’re here to celebrate the continuation of what I love to do — it means so much. Maybe it’s inadequate to keep saying so, but: thank you. Teller: My sincerest thanks to all of our visiting guests, you’ll be receiving complimentary gift bags on your way back to the shuttlebay or transporter pads. Officers and Crew of the Thor...please assemble front and center. The Commodore isn’t the only one we’re celebrating today! Mei’konda couldn’t help a subtle flattening of his ears, this time. There was such noise, and his ears were sensitive. But he participated nonetheless, the broad smile on his short muzzle exposing his sharp teeth while he clapped in turn with the others. Later, he’d share time with the others, perhaps take a brief tour of the Thor considering that he’d never been aboard a Vesta class ship before, and catch a shuttle back to the Chin’toka late in the evening. Mei’konda: Congratulations, everyone - and thaank you for the invitation! Responses: ? END! =================================== Commodore Aron Kells Commanding Officer USS Thor V238208LV0 he/him/his (character & player) & Commander Geoffrey Teller Executive Officer USS Thor - NCC 82607 Commodore A. Kells, Commanding V239509GT0 with special guests (in order of appearance) Commander Saveron First Officer USS Constitution-B R238802S10 Lieutenant Commander Chythar Skyfire, MD Medical Officer / Barista USS Chin’toka NCC-97187 O239002CS0 Lieutenant Commander Wil Ukinix Chief Engineer, Second Officer USS Veritas V239511WU0 Cmdr Sky Blake Executive Officer USS Veritas C238803SB0 Captain Roshanara Rahman Commanding Officer, USS Veritas I238705TZ0 Commander Addison MacKenzie, M.D., Ph.D., FASFS First Officer USS Resolution V239601AM0 Captain Mei’konda Delano Commanding Officer USS Chin’toka, NCC-97187 M239002M10 Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau First Officer Starbase 118 Ops alora@blar.net M239008AD0 Rear Admiral Quinn Reynolds Commanding Officer USS Gorkon T238401QR0
    4 points
  22. Yes yes yes and yes. Beautifully written, and very well-deserving of a nod here. Nicely done @Genkos Adea.
    3 points
  23. @Kali Nicholotti I absolutely adore what the time loop is doing to our characters, and I love this little slice of Kali's mind
    3 points
  24. The winner for the Quote of the Month for June was Tahna Meru, with: Tahna: Roomba is...well...sentient slime? He's friend-shaped. And it seems he can survive just about anything. Congrats Ensign! Another poll for July will be going up soon so stay tuned for that!
    3 points
  25. This is arguably my greatest achievement in my life so far.
    3 points
  26. Take your achievement!
    3 points
  27. What an interesting pair... IC: [[Infirmary - Starfleet Medical Academy - Four years and nine months earlier]] Ikaia had been holding a cold pack up to his left eye for what felt like a while. He knew for having a black eye, he was near the bottom of the triage list. But at the same time, his brain chemistry was actively being monitored. There was a very good reason for this and it had to do with that Vulcan male, Vanik, laying knocked out in a few biobeds down from him. The poor man had been going through his time and the infirmary staff had knocked him out with a hypospray just to make him far more manageable. Ikaia supposed it all started at the end of class today. Just as he was leaving for his next class, Vanik had stopped him in the hall. The thing that happened next was amazingly awkward - Vanik had proposed to him. Now, even if Ikaia knew him well enough and were dating him, he still would have considered this incredibly forward. Rejecting his advances resulted in Vanik chasing him up the hall and Ikaia giving the most Klingon scream of horror! The only saving grace was when he ducked into an empty classroom and used the maze of desks to finally drop behind Vanik and snag him up in a bear hug. Then, it was just a matter of hauling him back to the infirmary for treatment. Once there, Ikaia yelled out for help when suddenly the wiley Vulcan wriggled loose from his grip as if he were a very squirmy cat about to be given a bath. Before he knew it, he saw a fist come flying at his face. The impact was hard enough that it had sent him stumbling back into a nearby counter. He was absolutely seeing stars from being hit that hard. This of course brought him to that moment. He had just learned that thing, that “pon farr” was contagious. Nobody knew if a punch to the face counted for anything more than just a black eye. It was only then he realized how DUMB he was for wrestling an agitated Vulcan here. He could only hope that he and Vanik were going to be okay! So he laid back in his biobed and waited it out. With the infirmary so busy, he was still waiting for treatment for his eye. More than that, he was starting to get bored. With his book bag on the table next to him, he reached inside to pull out his PADD. He decided to call his favourite partner in crime and in the classroom - Alieth. He was glad to see her when she picked up. Wong: =/\= Hi, Alieth.=/\= The screen lit up showing a Vulcan with messy, wispy hair and absolutely outside the 23 regulated styles who appeared to be up to... something. Something that required talking really quietly and pacing really fast in a fairly dark alleyway. Alieth: =/\= Hey, Wong=/\= The Vulcan's face moved closer to the screen until it practically filled it, her features lit up with an eerie bluish light. At the same time, dark eyes, naturally narrow, stretched even narrower. Alieth: =/\= You look terrible, Wong, is that an orbital bruise?=/\= Wong: =/\= Errr… I'm kind of sort of in the infirmary right now. It's uhhhh… for a good reason.=/\= Alieth's eyes constricted into two tiny slits. Alieth: =/\=Wong... what are you concealing from me? You know you cannot hide anything from me, I am the master of hiding things, not you. Come on, take off that ice patch.=/\= Ikaia removed the cold pack from his face, revealing his black eye. It looked swollen and bruised. He really had been hit particularly hard! On the other side of the screen, Alieth clicked her tongue in a wordless sound of disapproval. For a brief second, however, she averted her eyes from the screen, glanced over her shoulder at something not visible from the screen, and hastened her pace. Wong: =/\=You know Vanik, right? =/\= The words earned a rolled eye roll from the tiny Vulcan, her opinions about her compatriot more than well-known. The most pleasant epithet she had ever given him had been "suitably lacklustre". Wong: =/\= ...The weird one who's always looking at his salad like it's going to leap up and bite him on his nose if he doesn't eat it fast enough? That Vanik? Well, turns out he was… er…. going through a uh… seven year thing and he decked me in the face. Also, I had no idea he found me attractive. Er… that was BEFORE he decked me in the face.=/\= The Vulcan froze for a second and stared at the PADD in her hands. At the top left edge, a bright light cast strange shadows on her features. Alieth: =/\=He has tried to bond with you...::the Vulcan woman paused for a second and the next words she uttered came out in an awkward tone:::.... in “his time". Do you have any... "symptoms"?=/\= Wong: =/\=Oh, they have me in observation right now because nobody knows if a punch to the face counts as anything. So I'm stuck here. The good thing is that I don't feel weird. Just my eye hurts a bit. But otherwise, I'm okay! How are you?=/\= He was at least TRYING to be cheery given the situation. Ikaia brought his cold pack back up to his eye and held it there. He hissed in pain when the cold pack made contact with his injury. At the other end of the communication, the young woman dropped something on the ground, a large quantity of some things metallic that could have been either spray paint cans, or medkits, or parts of an unauthorised motor vehicle under repair. Alieth: =/\=Busy, but I will be there, in ten minutes, twelve if I have to dodge security.=/\= Ikaia gave the best curious head tilt he could given his current situation. It wasn’t much. But it got the point across. Wong: =/\=Alieth, what are you doing? Or wait. What did you already do?=/\= The petite Vulcan tilted her head, as if listening to something (or someone) that only she could hear. A smile briefly lit her eyes, not quite reaching her lips, before a flash of pain extinguished them, and she returned her gaze to the screen. Alieth: =/\=You really do not want to know. Eleven minutes and thirty-five seconds, and by all means do not even think of dying before then. That is an order.=/\= Wong: =/\= I’m NOT going to die. It’s just a black eye and well… the other thing. Wait. Caaaan this thing actually kill me?=/\= The Vulcan raised the padd to her eye level, allowing, for a brief second, to see a less than ideal part of the suburbia near the spaceport. The Vulcan's naturally sober face delivered this time deadly sombre, her normal vivacious eyes somehow especially dull, like someone who carries a hidden pain that rarely manifests itself. Alieth: =/\= Oh, it can kill you as well as others. I know it well.=/\= Ikaia audibly squeaked. A horrified expression crossed his face. Suddenly, this became so much WORSE inside his mind. He swallowed hard with the realization of what she had told him. All the while Alieth's gaze remained fixed and unblinking on the Klingon's eyes, the sort of stare that pierced all the way to the soul and a little beyond, hammering hard on the seriousness of her words. Wong: =/\= ::Gulp!:: Y-you know what? I th-think I was happier NOT knowing that p-part!=/\= Alieth: =/\=Knowledge makes you wiser. And more prudent in the future, IF you have a future at all.=/\= For a second, the petite Vulcan's face relaxed slightly and a hint of concern flickered across her stern features. Alieth:=/\= Hang in there, I will be there before you realise it. =/\= Was it safe for Alieth to show up in the Infirmary given his situation? Ikaia was starting to worry for her here. Yet at the same time, he really needed a friendly face. He was willing to forgo that if it meant this was going to put her in harm’s way. Wong: =/\=W-wait. Are you going to be okay coming up here?=/\= Alieth:=/\= Sort of, yes. Safe in sixty-three point eight four four six two percent of the possible scenarios.=/\= The Vulcan looked away from the screen momentarily, picked up the bag she had left on the ground and, for a few seconds, the screen showed only a blur of streets, concrete, buildings, and street furniture. As abruptly as it had begun, the run came to a halt, the bag was deposited in a transport container, and Alieth then apparently strode into a more brightly lit area. Wong: =/\= Please be safe, Alieth. Okay? =/\= Alieth: =/\=Yeah yeah, I need to leave you now, okay? Just remember, I will be there soon, and do not even think of dying before then.=/\= Wong: =/\=Mahalo and aloha. I’ll see you soon.=/\= On the screen, Alieth briefly raised her hand in the ta'al, but did not say a word. Ikaia ended the call and waited. He was still questioning if this was a good idea. Never mind, he didn’t know how this thing worked to its fullest. Truthfully, this felt like the closest he had been to death. The idea that this could kill him absolutely scared him. He could feel it manifesting as a pit in his stomachs. He needed something to distract him. Anything. He reached over to his book bag and started rummaging around inside of it. He finally pulled out his PADD with some of his homework on it. It seemed like as good of a time as any to at least TRY to get some studying done. His medical ethics course had a quiz he was supposed to be preparing for anyways. He threw himself and lost the sense of time, putting all his mind to the options until he heard some approaching footsteps. Those didn't sound like one of the nurses but more determined and, at the same time, more subtle. When looked up and saw Alieth approaching him. Wong: Alieth! Ah. I’m glad to see you! I just wish it was under better circumstances. The petite Vulcan made a minute gesture with her head and shoulders, something that could perhaps have passed for a shrug, but was probably just too subtle to be considered a gesture at all. Alieth: That is irrelevant. She approached the side of the bed, glanced at him for a brief moment and then moved away to grab a stool and perch on it, putting almost a metre and a half of distance between her perch and the biobed where Ikaia rested. Alieth: :with a small motion of her right hand:: Which treatment have they given you so far? Has your vision been checked? Wong: They still haven’t got to my eye yet. I mean the Infirmary is pretty busy today. So I think it’d be a while yet before it gets treated. It's kind of nasty. Vanik hit me pretty hard. Ikaia pulled the cooling pack from his face. His arm flopped back into his lap. Sure enough, that nasty shiner was still there. It looked even worse in person. The Vulcan's lips pursed together briefly. Alieth: Yes, it is indeed worse in the flesh than in a video call. I would do something about it but, I will not risk doing it until we are sure that ... the other thing... has not affected you. She shifted uncomfortably on the stool as she said those words and, once again, she seemed to listen to something that only she could hear for a split second. Wong: I know. This looks bad. Still nothing yet on the other thing. I… I dunno what is supposed to happen with…. da kine. I don’t even know how it actually works or what it’s going to do to me…. Er… other than what’s been mentioned. They are monitoring my brain chemistry, though. I just… wish I knew more. Elements of Ikaia's fears came from both the feeling of the loss of control and from the unknown. He could easily run away from a rogue cadet. But he couldn't outrun his own body. That reality was what made being the patient in this case so chilling. Alieth: Well, the first symptoms are quite obvious :: She raised a hand and started extending fingers in front of her as she enumerated them:: poor concentration, trouble suppressing emotions, restlessness, irritability, impaired ability to meditate or rest... do you suffer from any of them at the moment?. Ikaia raised an eyebrow at that. He was trying to think of what Alieth was saying to him. Wong: You mean nervousness? Yeah. I’m feeling nervous. That’s a symptom?! The Vulcan's eyebrows furrowed a bit more. Alieth: It is, if you are a vulcan. Well, then you have to watch out for the following symptoms: lack of appetite, increased irritability, perspiration and insomnia. Obsessive and possessive musings about the bondmate or potential mate... I guess in your case with your friend Vanik Wong: ::Slightly Deadpan:: He’s not my friend. You are. But I’m not… I’m not feeling all that hungry either. Alieth: This could mean that it is advancing... Alieth looked away, and looked at the hands in her lap. Her face had paled marginally and, at the same time, the tips of her ears had turned slightly greenish. When she spoke, her eyes averted from Ikaia's and her voice grew quieter, almost turning into a whisper. Alieth: If it is not resolved then you can fall into the next stage and.... you do not want that Wong: What’s the next stage? Is that where I…. uh…. He really didn’t want to say the next words. It was already bad enough. Alieth: The next stage are “The Fires” and… It means you either resolve it or you die, Wong. Wong: I resolve it? How? Alieth, I don’t want to die! Only then did Alieth look at the patient on the bed and her face remained devoid of any emotion. Alieth: One way is to kill someone, usually if they pose an obstacle between you and your desired mate. Wong: I think Starfleet would frown on that. The other way? A greenish blush crept across Alieth's hieratic face. Alieth: The other option is to join your mate. In body and mind. Ikaia flopped back into the biobed with a groan. He did NOT want to do that either. There had to be a THIRD option. Something he was overlooking. Right now, he was just too scared to even think. He needed a distraction. Wong: ::Muttering:: I need a distraction… What's a good distraction…? ::He finally looks up with an idea:: Alieth… there’s something in my book bag. My half of the project we have together for the bedside manners class. Do you want to grab it? In Ikaia’s book bag, other than homework, were two small bags containing lollipops and gummies. Another thing was a half devoured jar of chocolate hazelnut spread he had been snacking on in one of his classes while he was taking notes. He didn’t want to hand these to her directly as he didn’t want to risk passing along his condition. Alieth: In addition to your homework, you have a stack of sugary treats here... a humongous amount of them... As she said this, the Vulcan pulled out one of the bags and fished out a soft figure in the shape of a Terran predator. She squeezed it with two fingers as she struggled to find the logic in using a vicious beast for something so soft, squishy, and... blood-coloured. More confused than she wanted to confess she began to pull gummie bears from the bag and began to form a small battalion on a nearby tray to study them more closely. The first row consisted entirely of green bears, like the first one I had taken out, followed by red, yellow, etc. When she had a real army in formation and ready for her research, she reached for one of the PADD's in the backpack and tossed it to Ikaia. Alieth: Do you want something else? Maybe you would like to test the insulin production of one of your livers with some of this? Can I? Anything I should avoid? Ikaia caught the PADD and held on to it. Wong: Er… yeah. That uh jar… you don’t want that. It has Klingon slobber in it. Uh.. specifically, MY Klingon slobber. A subtle but noticeable expression of discontent flashed across the Vulcan's face. Alieth: Wong, did you really need to chew the WHOLE jar? How... and why?. Wong: I didn't chew the jar! It was an early class and I got super hungry when I ate that! I kinda sorta didn’t exactly get a great breakfast this morning and well…. The chocolate hazelnut spread was the quickest thing I could grab in order to avoid being late for class. ::a beat. Clears his throat:: Anyways! I was working away over a replicator this morning before class trying to come up with a good candy to give to patients. I was trying to come up with something on the vegan side of things so we don’t encounter any patient allergies. I think they taste good. They taste sweet to me. But I have a problem - as a Klingon, I can’t tell how well that’s going to taste for another humanoid. My enhanced sense of taste is both a blessing and a curse when it comes to anything culinary. I was wondering if you wanted to give it a try? Alieth: Absolutely not, I have no incentive to ingest a perhaps highly sugary substance with body fluid supplements. She made a small gesture towards the army she had assembled next to her. Alieth: But what is this? And why Ursus Arctos and not... reptiles or vegetables?:: The slanted eyebrows of the Vulcan furrowed over her eyes in another micro expression:: are they bear-flavoured? Wong: The gummy bears don't have the slobber! Just the contents of the jar--- ::And he catches himself. A touch of fear takes hold of him again. Muttering:: Oh stars…. Is that the irritability kicking in? Please let it NOT be worse. Uhhh…. Ikaia takes a deep breath to calm himself down. He was allowing his fears to take over again and the last thing he needed was more fear or worry about a new symptom. He just needed to let go of those feelings just for a moment and try to keep a cooler head. When he glanced back at the Vulcan he glimpsed a tiny frown of concern creasing her brow, one that disappeared as soon as the Klingon's brown eyes settled on her, replaced by a carefully studied neutral expression. Wong: Sorry about that. I just needed to refocus…. So okay. So I picked bears because most humanoids find them cute. They taste like fruit! Most humanoids do like fruit! Or at least that’s the logic I had behind them. The statement was greeted with a very Vulcan slanted eyebrow [...]ed up in a gesture of disbelief. Alieth: A predator weighing several hundred kilos is certainly worthy of respect, but I do not know if I would describe it as "cute". :: The tiny Vulcan opened one of the drawers of the cabinet next to the bed and began to rummage through it while she kept talking.::Besides, it still makes no sense that they taste like fruit... though at least that explains the unrealistic colours. She kept rummaging through the drawer for a while, until she pulled out four tongue depressors and lined them up perfectly on the sides of her little bear army. Wong: But anyways, I was thinking that patients would enjoy them. Or at least the good patients, at least anyways. I was thinking we may also be able to hand them out for classmates to try. For the first time since she began military manoeuvres with the gummy bears, the Vulcan raised her gaze to her classmate, her countenance revealing a genuine curiosity. Alieth: So you suggest a classical conditioning of patients to achieve an appropriate behaviour during a medical procedure... interesting, Pavlovian, but highly applicable... The Vulcan rubbed her chin gently, as she gazed with renewed interest at the illogical sugar-coated creatures. Wong: I know there’s still a few glitches to work out. But what do you think of the idea? Do you think it could work? Alieth: It may work, but it would need to be tested, of course. And now Ikaia couldn’t help himself. He looked at Alieth’s gummy bear army with a raised eyebrow. Wong: Okay I have to ask - what are you doing? The Vulcan blinked and made a gesture towards the gummy bears that in another person might have been perceived as mild exasperation, but in Alieth it was deeply lecturing. Alieth: Sort them by flavour and condition to start the test, you do not expect us to test them on patients without sampling them ourselves, do you? We have to know what the best flavour is in case we are asked for a recommendation, for example, I can not simply say "the blood coloured one" without even having a clue what it tastes like. Wong: Well, I can promise you none of them taste like blood. The red ones should taste like raspberries and the green ones like strawberries. Immediately afterwards she took two of the tongue depressors and laid them on the bed next to Ikaia (taking good care of not touching him), and then she took the other two and manoeuvred them into a sort of chopsticks. Touching the food one was about to consume was highly undesirable and gross for a Vulcan if one had the option of avoiding it, and she was a properly raised Vulcan woman. Alieth: Well, try one. The first row are pure flavours, without cracks or damage that may have altered their taste. The fourth line has suffered damage that could have mixed the flavours, and the sixth are chimeras with parts of various flavours. I think it is appropriate to find out whether it is necessary to select these predators by flavours and keep them isolated, or whether they can be stored together. Ikaia picked up the tongue depressors. He had no problems with picking these up with his fingers. But things were different. He was contagious. Also, when dining with Vulcans, one did good to mimic their habits. Good thing he knew his way around chopsticks! Wong: Huh. Yeah. Okay. I can see why you’d do that. Getting the purest flavour possible! I guess if you want to do a taste test, you need to eliminate the extra variables. Alieth: It certainly makes sense Wong, it is a scientific approach to "candy" if this is going to be part of a medical procedure you have to recognise that it must be done properly. Wong: So the question is…. Who goes first? Alieth: Ok ok, I will go first. With unearthly finesse and dexterity given the improvised tools, Alieth fished one of the green bears from the front row, lifted it to her eyes and squeezed it lightly, as she studied its consistency and deformability. Once she was satisfied with her analysis, she brought it very slowly to her mouth. For a minute she chewed it thoroughly, occasionally pausing to roll it around in her mouth. Alieth: Extremely gummy, high ability to adhere to teeth, which is not highly desirable. Extremely high sugar content, which can lead to dental damage if not used sparingly, as well as other unpleasant side effects. Flavour.... I think it is the fruit of plants of the genus fragaria, but with a chemical touch that I will describe as emetic. The Vulcan's face twisted slightly into a gesture of displeasure, mainly a subtle wrinkling of her nose and a narrowing of her eyes. Alieth: I am not convinced that I would recommend this Wong: ::Curious head tilt:: You don’t like the strawberry ones? The petite Vulcan shook her head. Alieth: A three out of ten. The Vulcan's lips pursed in a minute pout, before she gestured towards the tray. Alieth: Come on your turn, the blood-coloured ones are out. Alright. It was Ikaia’s turn. With his tongue depressor chopsticks, he picked up one of the gummy bears and stuffed it inside of his mouth. He gave it a chew. Wong: They’re really sweet. I mean they all taste sweet to me. Klingons kind of have some extra taste buds for that. But I do taste the strawberries. Alieth, do you find these overly sweet? Alieth:Too sweet, too intense flavour, too chemical and too little resemblance to the original fruit. It is revolting Despite the negative review, one thing could be said: Wong was still interested in food and able to focus on things. Something that was a good sign to discard the... The Thing. Alieth felt a knot she didn't even know had knotted in her stomach loosen slightly. Wong: Huh. ::Takes another gummy bear to chew on it:: Okay…. Maybe I can see why you may not like them. It’s just sweet enough for me. But you might find them over powering. Alieth looked at the dwindling green line, raised her makeshift chopsticks over the last surviving green soldier and ultimately refrained from sampling it again. Alieth: Yes, I think we should probably avoid them, I do not think they are beneficial to health. She was about to push all the green bears away when the Klingon resting on the biobed raised a hand to stop her. Wong: We have humans in that class too. We may have to enlist a few as test subjects here for our gummies. Alieth: Maybe some other time, to broaden the subjects, but let us keep a preliminary testing between us for the time being, shall we? After all, you volunteered to help me with bedsides manners class and my grades, at the moment, are sub-par at best. Which was a very fancy way of describing the fact that she had steadily and firmly failed each and every assignment she had been given with the lowest mark in the class. Which didn't make her prospects of successfully completing the course any better. Wong: I know. And we’ll get there. I promised you that I’d help you pass the class and that’s exactly what we’re going to do. ::A small smile:: The tiny smile was answered with a deadpan and earnest vulcan façade. One that, however, did not hide a small spark in the gaze of the petite Vulcan. Meanwhile, he takes his makeshift chopsticks to pick up another gummy bear. Wong: Pink. My blood colour! Heh! I think these ones were my attempt at watermelon. Alieth: ::waving to the tiny bears:: Go on, try them out. Wong: ::He popped this inside his mouth:: Not nearly as sweet as the strawberry. This one is much more toned down. ::Swallows it:: Want to give them a try? The tiny smile was answered with a deadpan and earnest vulcan façade. One that, however, did not hide a small spark in the gaze of the petite Vulcan. Alieth: ::with a frown:: hum Wong: Honest opinion - what do you think of these ones? Alieth: They are fine. We will put them at the top of the list for the time being. Raising a very slanted eyebrow:: Just do not infer anything weird from it, okay Wong? Wong: I’m not! I promise! But I think our project is going to work…. There was a continued back and forth over their bedside manners project until the morning sun let its first rays into the infirmary when, at last, Alieth saw that Ikaia had fallen asleep. Most of the bears had been consumed or dissected (as well as much of the contents of his bag) but after much discussion, chatter and perhaps some witty Vulcan, fatigue had overcome the Klingon. He was softly snoring while curled up in a blanket. He was entirely out like a light. Only then, Alieth got up from the stool she had been perched on all night and walked the short distance to the biobed. There, she tapped on the side panel and checked his biosignals. Ikaia's body chemistry seemed stable, or as stable as it could be for a Klingon. There were no traces of alien hormones in him, and he presented only signs of fatigue and stress. The petite Vulcan allowed herself to exhale a tiny sigh and her posture, which had remained stiff and composed in appearance all night, relaxed significantly. Careful not to make any noise, she opened one of the drawers of the nearby trolley, extracted a dermal regenerator and, careful not to wake him, began to work on his wounded eye, until the traces of the punch he had received disappeared, leaving no mark. Alieth rubbed her eyes gently, more tired than she wanted to confess. But her friend was fine, and that was what mattered. Finally, she pulled a padd from his backpack, wrote a note on it and left it next to his bed, before she scurried away without making a sound. ((Labs - Sickbay - Deck 6 - USS Veritas - Present Day)) Ikaia had been running through simulations of the healthcare systems on Antor II. He could only handle so many troubling simulations before he needed a break. He took a moment to rest his eyes as he flopped back in his seat. He only nodded off briefly when an old Academy memory came back to him. He didn’t know why THIS particular memory came back. But he recalled a time when Alieth cared for him when he was in the middle of a crisis surrounding an incident with another Vulcan going through an issue. This was the first time he had a brush with death even if nothing came of it. Well… maybe something came with it and fortunately, it wasn’t his demise. Alieth was the only person who had chosen to stay the night with him and watch over him while he slept. He could remember the contents of the letter she left him. Of course, she seemed upset with how much he worried her. But he didn’t mind her scolding. It showed that she cared about what happened to him. Ikaia opened his eyes again. He wasn’t sure why that memory of his friend came back to him. But he was glad to have thought of it again. [[Room 03-0602, Alieth’s New Quarters,Deck 3, USS Gorkon, on orbit of Deluvia IV, Present day]] In the quiet of her new quarters, Alieth opened her eyes. The meditation candle had long since been extinguished, but the scent of the oil it had burned still hung in the room. Through the window, Deluvia IV drifted through the blackness of space, casting her room in a warm blue-green glow. She blinked briefly, casting the remnants of meditation away from her mind and she refocused on the present before she silently wondered why the paths of her meditation had led her to recall exactly that incident from her past, right at that very moment. [[END]] As simmed by ================================= Lt. Alieth Chief Science Officer randgri...@gmail.com USS Gorkon NCC-82293 E239702A10 Image Collective Facilitator /Art Director ================================= & Lieutenant JG Ikaia Wong Physician Assistant USS Veritas V239711IW0
    3 points
  28. 3 points
  29. Who needs a towel when you have breath mints?
    3 points
  30. We aim to misbehave, @Alieth! Glad you got a kick out of it! 😄
    3 points
  31. Boy is that putting it mildly.
    3 points
  32. Another good one from Reynolds. Short, but pointent, full of emotion that you just can't help but feel. ----- ((Lobby, Emerald Reef Hotel, Deluvia IV)) Caedan was sharing a drink with Genkos in the bar of the Emerald Reef, enjoying the underwater landscape the hotel offered while they reconciled past hurts. Their talk had begun with the incident at the Admiral's wedding reception, and while the Rodulan still felt some culpability for his part in the messy affair, it had relieved him to hear that Genkos didn't share that opinion. Perhaps inevitably, their conversation had turned to more recent events and the Betazoid's guilt over his part in them. It had felt a bit like looking in a mirror; one man berating himself for his part in a situation when there really was no blame to place. Caedan had said so, and they'd looked at their reflections again, with him offering Genkos a piece of relief without wiping away all of his guilt. But a casual slip of the tongue had caused Genkos to put Caedan under the microscope in a way the Rodulan wasn't familiar or comfortable with. He rarely talked about himself, especially with difficult subjects, preferring to let the spotlight linger on other people. Most people were all too happy with that arrangement, but evidently the doctor wanted to listen as much as he did talk. Nkai: In some ways it feels a bit like Skarbek. So... ::He lifted a hand, open-palmed, searching for the words to describe the experience of being Over There.:: So divorced from normal reality, it seems like a bad dream. Adea: I’m no therapist, but that’s probably a good thing. Caedan nodded. He'd thought the same thing himself; it allowed for some emotional distance, offered the ability to look back without being hit by the full force of the emotions that he'd lived through. There were still memories which brought a lump to his throat and tears to his eyes, moments of particular hardship or sorrow, but he could talk about most of it without breaking down—and that was a victory. Nkai: I like to think so. Adea: It just feels like each successive trip there makes it far worse; makes me far worse, and I’m starting to feel hugely phobic of the ship. Of my first adult home. No response came easily to Caedan's mind. It was a feeling he knew too well, the reason he hadn't gone home to Rodul in decades. A place filled with happy childhood memories that he cherished and held close... but also a place filled with some of his darkest moments and memories he tried to lock away. That was hard enough to do at the best of times, and he could only imagine what it would be like if he retrod those old stomping grounds. Adea: Rationally, I know I’ll get over it, but emotionally, you know, the brain never wins. How do you manage it? You always seem so… well put together. Nkai: Yeah? ::He scratched the back of his head and chuckled.:: Maybe that's just my advanced age working for me. Mellowed out through the sheer passage of time. He paused there, feeling as though he owed a better response than a joke and a slide away from the question. Maybe because Genkos needed one, maybe because Caedan had played a part in hurting him in the past. His smile slid away as he shook his head, his instinct to keep his past private warring with the desire to help someone in pain. Nkai: I think... ::A sigh blew past his lips.:: I think we have to make peace with the idea that there's darkness in all of us. That knowing that and accepting that is the best way to make sure it isn't the part of us in control when the situation's that bad. Adea: Response Caedan grimaced, trying to corral spiralling thoughts and the expanding crackle of thunder in his chest into something that would make sense. It was hard to keep it from carving deeper lines on his face, to prevent his muscles from bunching into a defensive hunch, and he leaned more of his weight on the bar counter as if it could offer moral as well as physical support. Nkai: You know, I think the Q put me on the Fourcade and away from the worst of it because that wasn't the way to get under my skin. I've already lived it. The Cardassians started their occupation of my homeworld when I was fifteen, and the history books say it wasn't as brutal as their conquest of Bajor, but... But brutality wasn't essential to cause suffering. Callousness and indifference could be a blade just as sharp, incising just as deep, leaving scars just the same. As he thought about it, digging up the memories he tried so hard to bury, raw emotion erupting like crude oil spilling across virgin soil, there was a slight comfort that his thoughts weren't readable. His soft underbelly wasn't completely exposed to the Betazoid. Nkai: I remember people freezing to death in the winter because the Cardassians rationed our energy supplies. People begging for scraps for their children because they rationed our food, even though we produced more than enough for everyone. I remember the—::he swallowed, a lump biting at his throat, Syana's lost smile drifting through his memories::—the protests that turned into massacres they blamed on the victims, and the people who just vanished. All this time later, it had become hard to picture Syana and Vawne's faces. His first love was nothing but wisps of memory; the scent of her hair when she was curled up in his arms, the bell-like sound of her laugh when he amused her, the feel of her breath against his cheek when she whispered something cheeky into his ear. Vawne's big brother scowl when his younger siblings interrupted whatever terribly grown-up thing he was doing, his hearty cackle when he let them win tickle wars against him, the tight grasp of a hug when he was trying to make them feel better. Gone. Centuries before their time, barely a brushstroke on the Artist's canvas. He frowned, blinking himself out of the reverie, and continued. Nkai: One of them was my big brother. They barged into our house one day and dragged him away for "questioning" and we never saw him again. It broke my parents. And to this day we don't know what happened to him, because they destroyed their records at the end of the occupation. There's now a branch of archeology that specialises in finding mass graves and identifying who's in them, and him being found in one is the only closure we can hope for. Imagine that; your one hope for closure is someone's going to call you up one day and tell you they've found your brother's body. Adea: Response Caedan nodded slowly; in response to Genkos or his own inner monologue, he wasn't sure. These were things he hadn't even told Jo or Valesha, perhaps more than a little afraid that his dearest friends would look at him differently afterwards. Nkai: What I'm trying to say in a really roundabout way is... I was young, and I was hurt, and I was angry. When my brother's friends asked me to help them fight back, I said yes. And in the next few years I did things I'm not proud of. He paused for a deep inhale, breathing it out through his nose. Those details he would not dispense. It wouldn't make him or Genkos feel any better to share the gruesome details of Caedan Nkai, bomb-making resistance fighter. The Betazoid had been in Skarbek, and he knew what lengths people could go to in the fight for freedom, especially in the face of cruelty. Nkai: So I know it doesn't feel like it, but it's a gift. To get to face up to that part of yourself without having to do things you can never take back. Adea: Response -- Lt. Commander Caedan Nkai Mission Specialist USS Gorkon simmed by Rear Admiral Quinn Reynolds Commanding Officer USS Gorkon T238401QR0
    3 points
  33. 3 points
  34. Such a WAY to start a SIM @Alleran Tan 🤣
    3 points
  35. This scene has some amazing mental imagery and I thank @Hallia Yellir for including me!
    3 points
  36. I found this probably a little too funny...
    3 points
  37. World building and scene building. So important. Sil you did a great job doing both to kick off this mission. I enjoyed the tension created by the situation and between characters. Nice work! === ((Ring, Unknown biodome, Away team main camp)) OOC: I haven't described the city deliberately, leaving it for anyone who wants to add details. I know I might have over-described the NPC's but I couldn't resist IC: Torlek frown, again. He looked around the temporary base set at the entrance of the abandoned city. They had set up a small temporary base near their beam in point. They were supposed to survey the surroundings. Torlek insisted they beamed enough resources to sustain the large away team of eighteen, for at least five days in the field. They started well, set up shop quickly, beginning to explore the city in groups of four or three. There were some difficulties, some areas looked shielded, others interfered with their scans. Communication with the Grace wasn’t stable. Still they managed to make some progress, signaling the buildings they entered and taking notes the old fashion way, by writing in PADDs their observations. Everything looked normal. That is usually when things go wrong. First they noticed Wyss and her team didn’t report in. As the hours passed and contact wasn’t made Torlek sent three teams in search of them. To no avail. He always found the redhead engineer quite the character, but she was also a fine officer and not one who would derelict her duty. But it was by the next day when he decided to send a larger detachment that things turned weird. Torlek lead the team, leaving only four of his team in camp, they tried to track the movements of the missing crew. As they embroiled themselves on the streets it was clear this was an almost worthless effort. The only sound was theirs, and they barely managed to clear a block of buildings. There was no sign of their missing shipmates. The matter worsened when they met at the designated checkpoint. Six more were missing. Torlek recalled the rest and returned to base camp. They now had lost half the away team. Nine crewmen were missing. And there he stood. Less than 30 hours since their arrival. He started walking to reach the crouched man, who was working on an improvised comm station. He put his hand on his shoulder. Smith: Take a break Mr. Clarkson. The Ensign looked up at him, but returned to work. Three tricorders were jury rigged to a PADD. They were trying to improvise a signal booster. Clarkson: Just a minute more Sir. Torlek squeezed his hand just slightly, just enough for Clarkson to know he was serious. Smith: I won't say it again. The man turned, his eyes darting red. As he stood, all the near two meters of height, he rose slowly like a wave. The Ensign was one of the engineers, but really didn't look the part. Torlek always wondered if he was able to crawl into a Jefferies tube with that size. The Ensign faced him in the eyes. Torlek stood his ground as he saw the man’s eyes water. Clarkson flitched first, as tears began to form and he wasn’t able to control one that streaked down his cheek. Torlek kept his gaze fixed at him, in a neutral tone he spoke again. Smith: Ask Doc for something to sleep, pass your work to Hammond and get in your tent. I don’t want to see you here in the next four hours. Now that is an order. Clarkson, composing himself, nodded. Clarkson: Understood Commander. Torlek let Clarkson walk a few steps in the direction of their camp, before walking to Hammond. Smith: I told Clarkson to get some rest, take his place if you please. The little Lieutenant nodded. Hammond: Yes sir, shall I try and hail the ship? Torlek shook his head. It's been hours since their last contact. Smith: Keep the channel open, but don't bother trying for now. I am sure the Captain is calling in the cavalry. Hammond nodded and turned, heading to the work bench. May was at eye reach, he nodded to Torlek, and so he stepped closer to him. Smith: Anything? May shook his head. With the phaser rifle resting in his arms, the security Ensign almost whispered his reply. May: Not a goddamn thing. No movement, no noise… Nothing. Torlek raised his hands and waved to the camp. Smith: Give me the rifle, I will take watch now. Get some rest and keep an eye on Clarkson, I don't want him to go and do something stupid. May handed the rifle and shook his head. May: That's why I don't agree with romance between crewmates. Stig, Clarkson's companion, was one of the missing. He was one of the quietest officers on the Grace. Torlek wasn't even sure if he ever talked to him. Torlek shrugged, he didn't see any trouble in relationships. Smith: No man is an island. Relationships are the cornerstone of society. May tapped Torlek's shoulder before moving on. May: Always the diplomat Commander. Torlek smiled at him, with a final nod, pointing at the camp. Smith: One tries. Now go and get some rest. No TAG/TBC Lt Cmd. Torlek Smith First Officer USS Grace Hopper as simmed by: Lt. J. G. Vitor S.Silveira Tactical Officer USS Juneau, NX-99801 O238907VS0
    3 points
  38. Glitter. Goblin. that’s now official
    3 points
  39. Twenty lashes with a wet noodle…
    3 points
  40. 3 points
  41. Really great work @ElandraDAR and @Geoffrey Teller. This JP turned out AWESOME. Love the back and forth, and the slow build up. I'm so interested to what's coming next!!!
    3 points
  42. Ever since I handed off the production of the Awards Ceremony to an "Awards Facilitator" – in 2012, I believe – I've been writing a section for special thanks. Looking over those past notes of thanks I've written, they've grown considerably from 2012's very modest couple of lines mentioning the assistance I received, to 2020, which included a detailed description of the rather insane lengths we go to produce this event – our largest, oldest, and most special event of the whole year. This year I want to jump right into the thanks without further ado because the folks who have helped here deserve nothing less than the world. Let's start with @Jo Marshall, Emily, comparable only to Captain Marvel in feats of strength and focus! From appointment as the Awards Facilitator in May, Em took the job of coordinating everything with aplomb, ensuring that each step of the process runs smoothly. If you've read last year's special thanks, you know that Em also facilitated last year and so now has managed two years without a hitch! It's really hard to imagine, if you haven't done this kind of thing, all the plates you need to keep spinning at once but also how much "manual labor" is required. At the staff level of this community, we value making things as easy and expeditious for each other as possible. We have dozens and dozens of administrative forms that allow us to easily catalog data and format it into tables. We have administrative forums, where we organize threads of data. We have Google Sheets galore where everything must be ordered and colored correctly. The goal here is often to present data and tasks to others in a way that feels as seamless and easy as possible, but often it means putting in a hell of a lot of work to move data from one place to another in a format that works. You can't describe it as anything other than a labor of love to help other people participate in the Awards process, even when it means spending a lot of time to make that work. A former boss of mine once wrote in an evaluation that I have a "high tolerance for bureaucratic process," and now I want to pass along this rather backhanded compliment to Em, who never complains, is good natured, funny, quick to volunteer and adapt to the challenges posed. She navigates the intricacies of this bureaucracy with ease and ensures that the rest of us can pick up exactly where we need to. I can't help but feel an affinity for her, and a deep appreciation for her skilled dedication to what we're trying to accomplish when it comes to the awards and any other task she takes on. Next, I want to thank everyone who had a hand in the selection of our awards and other setup: @Addison MacKenzie (Matt): Who assisted Em with the entire process and helped to get everything posted The Awards Committee: Who carefully read a lot of nominations and made the best choices for those awards. Thanks to each of the following people who put in extra effort for this part of the process and it is a HUGE lift to read all these nominations. VAdml. @Quinn Reynolds Com. Aron Kells @Tony, aka Kells Com. @Jalana Rajel Cmdr. @Kelrod Cmdr. @Serala Our Commanding Officers: Who not only tirelessly command and manage their ships, but also ensure that members of their ship are justly rewarded for their contributions during the awards – which requires reading lots of nominations and balancing them all appropriately, all while simming and everything else they do! Thank you for your dedication, your enthusiasm, and the work you put into this process and everything else you do. I know that this is an incredible lift for all of us each year, and your efforts do not go unnoticed! Our First Officers: Who help advise the Executive Council in deciding what Staff Awards are received, by reviewing all the nominations and making recommendations. Thank you so much for all the hard work you put into considering the nominations! Everyone who nominated someone else: Your nominations really do matter! These nominations inform the entire process and help the staff and Awards Committee recognize the contributions we couldn't possibly have seen alone. Thank you for putting in that time. There's also a couple other "special thanks" for the year on behalf of the Executive Council. I recognize that putting these at the end of our Awards Ceremony, at the bottom of other thanks, sends a signal about their importance. But I want to counter that impression by saying that the fact these are being mentioned here, and chiseled in the stone of Wiki Mountain in our Awards Ceremony archive, should also say something about how important these notes are! Cmdr. Serala (Jim) deserves recognition for stewarding the crew of the USS Chin'toka after their commanding officer abruptly resigned without notice. Jim's loyalty to our community and skilled intervention helped ensure a smooth transition to Capt. Mei'konda. We want to thank him for making that transition as easy as possible for everyone Capt. @Oddas Aria (Nick) deserves recognition as the EC's Captain At Large who keeps the most consistent and well-communicated office hours for Captains Council questions! Com. @Roshanara Rahman (Rich) deserves thanks for taking on the EC Magistrate role, facilitating and helping to push forward boatloads of to-do items across 2020-2021, keeping us on task and making sure things got completed in a timely fashion as well as taking lead on a bunch of projects. Also, for being an open-minded individual who helped foster meaningful discussions that helped our staff understand other's points of view And Com. Taybrim also had these thanks to offer: So that's a wrap. Awards are presented, thanks are given, and we now head into our 27th year of operation as a community. I hope you all enjoy your time here and feel recognized and rewarded for your efforts, and that the joy of being in fellowship with each other is a reward of its own. Until next year! -FltAdml. Tristan Wolf
    3 points
  43. Let's just say you both don't run that quick
    2 points
  44. It would certainly be an event!
    2 points
  45. July is trivia month for StarBase 118 and our Fleetwide chat on Sunday, July 11th 2021 will feature our annual trivia contest! Here’s a quick rundown of the rules and FAQs for players new and old: Trivia will run a minimum of 60 questions. To earn the participant badge you must answer at least 1 question (even if answered incorrectly) or cheer on a friend who is playing. Badges are awarded for camaraderie, but not idling. The winner badge will be awarded to the person with the most points First correct answer is awarded 1 point. There is no penalty for incorrect guesses. Some questions may be worth multiple points for multiple answers. Questions will clarify whether they have multiple answers or require specific answers – read the questions carefully! Anyone can join in at any time Please limit chatter until after the trivia is done Discord will be set to a 15 second slow-mode to prevent spamming answers Any putting down of other players or unsportsmanlike conduct will earn a play a kick for the remaining time of the Trivia game and a forfeiture of any badges earned. Cheering and good humor is always welcome. Google searching is allowed, but most questions are set up so that a participant who knows the answer off the top of their head will have an advantage over those using search engines to get the answers up faster. New this year we will feature a selection of questions from the newest series in Star Trek: Discovery, Picard and Lower Decks! Questions will start with the general category, followed by the question. Categories are: TOS: Star Trek the original series TNG: Star Trek The Next Generation DS9: Star Trek Deep Space Nine VOY: Star Trek Voyager ENT: Star Trek Enterprise TAS: Star Trek the Animated Series PIC: Star Trek Picard DIS: Star Trek Discovery LD: Star Trek Lower Decks MOV: Every feature length Star Trek movie, from “The Motion Picture” to Star Trek Beyond SB118: Trivia about StarBase 118’s canon GEN: General Star Trek canon, something that doesn’t fit in any category This year we are joined by last year’s Trivia Master: Geoffrey Teller! Commander Teller has provided a bunch of head scratching questions to tickle your brain for 2398! We hope to see everyone at this year’s trivia, whether you’re cheering on your friends, enjoying the questions or going hear to head for the title of Trivia Master, everyone is welcome! The post Fleetwide Trivia: Rules and FAQs appeared first on StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/ufopsb118?d=yIl2AUoC8zA http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/ufopsb118?i=3JugHU9KVt0:TbiEIvV_T6Y:D7DqB2pKExk http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/ufopsb118?d=qj6IDK7rITs http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/ufopsb118/~4/3JugHU9KVt0View the full article
    2 points
  46. Yeah, we really don't want ANOTHER diplomatic incident!
    2 points
  47. As the Covid-19 pandemic swept throughout the year 2020, it profoundly affected the lives of millions across the globe. Many of our own members suffered from the virus itself, while others experienced the grief of losing friends and loved ones. Persevering through this, our members remained enthusiastic about the fellowship we’ve built here, and found new ways to connect and share our stories through this challenging time. The Captains Council considered, for this Awards Ceremony season, the ways we could recognize the complications and challenges of the past year. We landed on a new type of Community Honor called Commemorative Coins, the first of which will be specifically focused on 2020 and 2021’s events and the way in which we came through them. Commemorative coins, also known as “challenge coins,” are a tradition in many government and military agencies with a history stretching back to the days of the Ancient Romans. These small medallions are bestowed by leaders to signify a job well done, or memorialize participation in an event. As such, everyone who simmed with us during the pandemic will receive the Per Aspera, Ad Astra Commemorative Coin, a digital item that can be displayed on your wiki profile: The coin displays our new logo, to signify the launch of our new brand and recognize that this was an experience that affected our entire community. And, you’ll find on the left of the coin the image of a spiral – representing rebirth, and resilience, while also alluding to the mRNA sequence (which looks similar to a DNA spiral) of the vaccines which are helping to bring us out of this tragedy. On the right-hand side, you’ll find the image of a lily, representing the return to innocence after death and the recognition of grief that touched many of us during this difficult time. And the name, “per aspera, ad astra” translates from Latin to English as, “through difficulties to the stars,” a fitting reminder for us all. Over the coming months, we’ll be transitioning some of our former legacy badges into Commemorative Coins, and we’ll provide more information about that as it becomes available. Sincerest thanks to everyone who participated with us in the last year. We know how hard it’s been for many, and we appreciate all of the good memories we created together. You can find out more about Commemorative Coins on the wiki, including instructions on how to add this one to your profile. The post New Commemorative Coin – Per Aspera, Ad Astra appeared first on StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/ufopsb118?d=yIl2AUoC8zA http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/ufopsb118?i=uJRSypqIPCE:e_3qgLg3BoE:D7DqB2pKExk http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/ufopsb118?d=qj6IDK7rITs http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/ufopsb118/~4/uJRSypqIPCEView the full article
    2 points
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