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  1. 4 points
    Loved this little insight into one of the Symbiote's former lives from our newly-joined Trill officer. --- ((Lilla Kiax, Mount Voslaarum, Ayai'leh-hirh Range)) ((Stardate 230006.25)) Up with the Lark, her eyes barely open. She strolled through the dark, the lamp as her guide. The wind brought a chill as she buttoned the fleece up to her neck. She paused, and enjoyed the dawn’s misty light. The temperature would warm throughout the day, but out here in the Ayai'leh-hirh Range, the night had a chill that could rival most arctic circles. Inside her pocket lay a small PADD, which she reached for with practiced ease. A few button taps later, and she spoke up. Lilla: Lilla Kiax, expedition log. Stardate 230006.25. Today marks the start of the hardest part of the climb… Weather looks favourable, but we won't be going anywhere until this mist lifts… The rising sun peaked out from one of the neighbouring mountains, blinding her momentarily. Lilla: The sunrises here are always spectacular. It’s a shame Ojass isn’t here to witness them. Illo would probably end up writing a suite of Bell music to describe it. Aadin would probably be unmoved. ::She laughed quietly to herself.:: He always was a bit of an odd boy… Her recording was interrupted by the sound of someone shuffling around in the tent behind her. A few moments later, a rather bedraggled looking blonde Denobulan poked her head out from the entrance. Indaura: Do you always have to talk so loud? It’s the middle of the night. Lilla: I know. Look at how bright the moon is though! ::She stated, sarcastically, pointing at the sun.:: It’s almost like it’s morning! Indaura looked unimpressed and crawled back into the tent, grumbling away to herself. Lilla turned back to her log and continued recording as she prepped the equipment for today’s leg of the climb, while detailing the progress they had made yesterday. Eventually, a good half hour later, Indaura re-emerged and the pair ate some breakfast before breaking down their camp and loading it into the packs for transport. ((Timeskip)) The pair had climbed all morning, for a good six hours before stopping for a breather while waiting out the afternoon heat. The going was monotonous, with both of them effectively scaling the same section of rock three times before proceeding. Once up, to clamp a new SLCD into a crack, attach to it, then back down to detach and remove the last, then back up to place the next. Eventually they had reached an outcrop where they could set up their portable shade sail, and the pair stopped for a bite to eat. Lilla grabbed a canteen of water and the Trangia from her pack, before sitting down next to Indaura. Lilla: Here. Drink up. We’ve still got a ways to go before we get to the campsite for tonight. Indaura took the canteen and gleefully sucked down the water as Lilla sifted through the remaining ration packs. Indaura: What’s on the menu today? Lilla: Steak with sautéed potatoes in a peppercorn sauce, or pan fried haddock with string beans and a bechamel sauce. Indaura: Do we have anything not from Earth? ::She grumbled.:: Lilla scanned the remaining packets in her pack, only to find that Earth was the only planet left in their supply. Lilla: Sadly not. Earth’s finest cuisine is all we have left. Reluctantly, they picked their meals and ate them, though they weren’t particularly enjoyable. The pair sat and looked out over the range, admiring the beauty that lay before them. Indaura took to taking some holoimages, while Lilla continued reading the book that she had taken with her. Before long, it had begun to cool down slightly, and they had resumed on their way two hours before the sun was due to start setting behind the neighbouring peaks. It wasn’t long before they had made considerable headway, and Lilla was half way between her existing cam and the place she wanted to lock her next. The rockface had become slightly slick, what with the drop in temperature, but it wasn’t enough to deter her enthusiasm. Indaura had been ahead this time, leading the way for Lilla to follow. She had made it to the campsite plateau first, and was lying on her chest with her head sticking over the edge. Indaura: Lilla! Get up here, you slacker! Some of us want to get some sleep before the morning! Lilla: ::Surveying the rock face:: Just a minute, Indaura. We have some structural concerns… The extreme changes in temperature, evening dew freezing in the night and then melting during the day, had lead to some rather unstable sections of the rock face. Lilla carefully locked in her next cam and attached to it, before dropping back down to remove the last. Indaura: Would you just get up here?! Lilla tested the rope by tugging on it a little, making sure she was confident that the crack she had pried the cam into was tight enough. Satisfied, she unlatched the lower one and clipped it back onto her harness, before ascending again. The top was almost in sight, and she was excited to get some shuteye before their final day tomorrow. In her excitement, she had neglected to check the area ahead of her thoroughly enough, and though Indaura had passed over it minutes before, that was enough to spell disaster. The small crack she placed her hand in to pull herself higher suddenly crumbled and gave way, causing Lilla to lose cohesion with the wall, and fall suddenly, passing the lower cam to which she was still attached. Fortunately, the SLCD arrested her momentum, and she came to a sudden halt. In that same moment, the forces exerted on the cam were enough to cause it to snap, resuming Lilla’s fall to her death, the last thing she saw before everything went black was a last glimpse of Indaura’s despairing face. ((Esa and Maddi’s Quarters, Deck 3, USS Atlantis)) ((Day Five of Shore Leave, Early Morning)) The audible memory of the sickening crunching and snapping of bones rang in Esa’s ears as she woke with a blood chilling scream and sat bolt upright, drenched in sweat. Reliving your own death really was the stuff of nightmares. Lieutenant Esa Kiax Comm/Ops Officer USS Atlantis – NCC 74682 Community History Team Member A239511ED0
  2. 3 points
    Our community’s Constitution defines five seats and a Captain at Large role for the Executive Council. With the recent, sad departure of Renos – a long-standing Commanding Officer and member of the EC and – a seat has opened on the council. We are pleased to announce that this seat will be filled by FltCapt. Roshanara Rahman (Rich). From his early days improving the wiki with a host of new images and templates, to where he stands now as CO of the Veritas, Deputy Commandant of the Academy, facilitator and founder of the Federation News Service team and spinoff website, he’s shown us time and again how dedicated he is to the success of our community and to our members, who have a loyal advocate in this staff member. Rich previously served as the Captain at Large for 2017 and 2018, where he got a taste of how the council is run, putting in a good position to be an effective member of the council on his first day. You can learn more about him in these other news posts: Captain’s Corner: Roshanara Rahman Meet FNS Editor-in-Chief: Roshanara Rahman Congratulations Rich! The post Executive Council appoints FltCapt. Roshanara Rahman to permanent seat on the council appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  3. 2 points
    Hello, Why did I join? I used to play PBEM games several years ago. I had to drop out (life stuff ya know). When I was writing for Star Trek PBEM simms, I did 5,000 words a day (several posts a day). I'm now an author (fantasy and science fiction), and I write only about 1,000 words a day. While the stories are better, I'd like to get my speed back up to 5,000. I had an art class where we warmed up with 1 minute poses... it was a great way to loosen up to get ready to paint/draw. I plan on using this game in a similar fashion. Okay... the REAL reason, is that I miss writing in sims! With a quick google search I found you guys. I remember looking at this site ten years ago and considered joining. Glad I finally am getting back into it. Best, Mark
  4. 2 points
    ((Starbase 118, Main Dome, Hong Kong Subdistrict, Shari’s Cafe)) The Inquiry Raindrops fell onto the roof of Shari’s Cafe, bathing the intimate meeting place with a pleasant sound, as if a giant cat slept, just outside, purring. A woman as tall as a fashion model, Alastriona De Troyes, looked out a window. A single white dove sat by a fountain while little water droplets fell into the water. A cold breeze flew through the cafe. The door had opened. A man entered, wearing a tall black leather coat with the collar turned up. His white hair was cut short and he had piercing blue eyes. He cast his gaze around like a predator and noticed her sitting alone by the window. With a mocking smile on his face, he drifted over to her table. His words were gentle, but not kind. “Bonne après-midi.” Her response was automatic, but without feeling, “Enchantée.” The man spoke softly, “Thou from the first wast present, and with mighty wings outspread, dove-like satst brooding on the vast Abyss.” “What in me is dark, illumine,” she whispered. “You’ve read Milton?” The man nodded and took off his coat. He wore a Star Fleet uniform underneath with officer pips. He placed his jacket over a chair.“May I sit?” Alastriona leaned back in her chair and looked out the window. Water dripped down the pane of glass. “Of course.” Taking a seat, the man raised a hand and a pretty waitress came over. She was chewing bubble gum, which irritated Alastriona. “How can I help you two?” “Lady’s first.” Alastriona noticed that he was staring at her. Brushing a strand of long blonde hair out of her eyes, she turned to the waitress. “A cup of hot J’Sli, please.” The waitress blew a bubble and popped it. “I’ve never heard of that drink.” A shadow of a smile slipped into Alastriona’s face for a moment. “It’s a Pyelonian beverage. It’s in the database.” The man didn’t take his eyes off Alastriona as he spoke. “Coffee, black.” The waitress withdrew. A moment of silence stood between them. At last, she turned to look into his cold blue eyes. He had been waiting for her. “Your record states that you were once a Lieutenant on a starship. The U.S.S. Calhoun.” Alastriona clasped her hands together on the table and nodded. “What happened?” “I was demoted, silly.” “Yes, you were,” he grumbled. “Two times.” Alastriona raised her eyebrows and let out a long sigh. “So now I’m an ensign.” She looked outside into the rain again. “Doesn’t matter. I’m an astrophysicist. I’m here to conduct research.” “The first incident’s record was sealed.” He raised his eyebrows, waiting. “It’s classified,” she stated. The man crossed his arms. “That isn’t good enough for me, not if you want to continue with your little training cruise.” Alastriona frowned and shook her head. "I can’t help you. Now if you had a security clear-" He withdrew a miniature PADD and placed it on the table. "Computer, level ten security clearance. Omega nine alpha two alpha nine omega six. Fiery the angels fell." The computer replied, "Level ten security clearance verified. " Alastriona sat there, stunned. A flash of lightning lit the sky outside, followed by rolling thunder. The rain came down, in torrents now. It was all artificial, of course, but the effect was real enough. All of the lights went out in the cafe for an instant. Everyone let out a collective, “Oooh!” and then the lights came back on. Alastriona smiled at the simulation and wondered for a moment at the genius of it all. She turned back to the officer and explained, “My sin was the crime of hesitation. The darkness in my soul had consumed me with hate.” “That isn’t an answer.” The waitress returned with their drinks, placed them down and departed. Alastriona took a sip of the spicy Pyelonian beverage, feeling warmth creep back into her chest. She admired the china cup for a moment. Little blue flowers went around the rim. At last, she told him. “I discovered an attempt to introduce a genetically advanced retrovirus into the Klingon population, which would have resulted in the extinction of their species, if it had succeeded.” “You hesitated?” A frown had slipped into his face. “How so?” “I didn’t report it,” she whispered. “For a small time, I wanted it to succeed.” “The Klingons are our allies.” “Not where I come from,” she mumbled. “Where is that?” She placed her hands around the rim of the cup, feeling warmth flow into her fingers. Spicy steam drifted in front of her face.“I’m from the French colonial world of Scylanthia. Its 151 light years from Sol in the Hyades star cluster, towards the constellation of Taurus, past Aldebaran.” “If I let you continue, this will be your eighth assignment,” he said, “though I don’t understand why you’re repeating your training.” Alastriona put her cup down. “I have suffered the effects of Einsteinian time dilation from an extended interstellar voyage on an alien starship.” “Huh?” “As you measure time, I was born on March 12th, in the year 2253, a hundred and forty three years ago.” Alastriona smiled. “So, I’m over a hundred years out of date. I can barely run a tricorder.” For the first time, he looked away. He took a sip of his coffee and put it down again. Alastriona bit her lip. ~ He doesn’t believe me. They never do. ~ She continued, absentmindedly, “I suppose, chronologically, I’m143 years old. Biologically, I’m 29, by earth’s time standards, but on my world Scylanthia, where we measure time differently, I’m really 87.” He raised his hand. “Enough.” Alastriona raised her eyebrows. He stood up and put his long jacket back on. Alastriona held back a grin. ~ He’s going outside into that torrential rain. I guess he doesn’t love me anymore.~ “What did I –” “You can finish your training cruise.” “Shall I explain further?” He shook his head. “No.” He flipped his jacket collar up and turned to leave. Then, hesitating a moment, turned back to face her. “What was the other demotion for?” Alastriona winced. ~ I was hoping he wouldn’t ask about that. ~ “I killed the son of the Klingon ambassador while I was visiting earth. It was a fair fight, though it nearly started a –” He interrupted, “I thought you were going to say something like that.” Though he didn’t have a hat on, he tipped his hand to his brow. “Adieu.” As he went outside into the rain, Alastriona realized that he had never mentioned his name. She let out a long sigh. ~ I suppose it isn’t important. He’s just another officer. ~ * * * Alastriona De Troyes Starbase 118
  5. 2 points
    Hi, I'm an author and game designer. I've simmed before in 3 other Star Trek PBEM games and now I write novels and screenplays. Best, Mark O'Bannon P.S. I'm a Photoshop artist too, so.........
  6. 2 points
    (Brilliant characterization. Easily the best thing I've read in my time on Columbia. You really brought these characters to life, @Anath G'Renn.) ((G’Renn and Savok’s Quarters - Deck 5, USS Columbia)) ((Time Index: The day after the arrival of G’Renn’s family)) ::After greeting those family members who could make it for the wedding and having a somewhat chaotic lunch, he and his sister were finally able to sit down and have a conversation together. T’Pril listened as he explained the latest events happening on the Columbia before sharing the latest news of her orientation tour of the Aldebaran Music Academy and a new piece of Vulcan lute music that she was composing. Before returning to the guest quarters that she had been assigned, T’Pril had given him a family photo album she had made for him. Savok had looked forward to examining the album later. Given that holophotography was one of T’Pril’s hobbies, she would have no shortage of pictures to choose from.:: ::Anath was gone, attempting to organize her family together for a tour of the ship that they were taking. Savok had stayed in their quarters for a moment, meaning to look closer at the photo album that T’Pril had given him. Across the cover, in golden Vulcan calligraphy, was the word memory. He opened the album and examined the pages. Each page contained a few photographs, all neatly aligned with each other and each one carefully labeled with the time, date, and location. T’Pril had been very thorough, not leaving a single picture unlabeled or out of place. Having noticed that the pictures appeared to be in roughly chronological order, Savok started with the first page.:: ::One of the first images was a portrait of his class at the Syrran Learning Center. The Vulcan children were neatly lined up in their student uniforms. However, there were two students who did not fit in standing next to him in the class picture. They were smiling and waving to the camera as opposed to the two rows of disciplined Vulcan children. The Human and Klingon/Vulcan children in question had two of the largest disciplinary records in the history of the Syrran Learning Center. Alexa Kennedy and Anath G’Renn had also become two close friends after he met them for the first time at the learning center. It was an encounter that he would not easily forget.:: ((Flashback - Syrran Learning Center - T’Paal City, Vulcan - 237408.29)) ::There was a heightened sense of security and tension everywhere. Savok had lived in T’Paal City for a year and had started to notice changes. Recently more security officers seemed to be stationed at major government buildings. He knew what was going on. The Federation News Service had been discussing something called the Dominion War. It was a concerning thought, that Vulcan could be perceived as being under threat. Savok could not help but notice these things as he and his mother walked through the streets of T’Paal City and approached the large building in the center of the city that housed the Syrran Learning Center. Savok was dressed in a newly replicated uniform in line with the dress code of the learning center and was carrying the necessary supplies that would not be supplied. His mother had also said that she was going to introduce him to one of his classmates, the daughter of one of her work colleagues.:: ::Savok followed his mother through the doors of the Syrran Learning Center and into the building lobby. Teachers, faculty members, students, and their parents were standing in the lobby or moving through the lobby to various classrooms or offices in the building. V’Len was moving in the direction of a Vulcan woman in a dark maroon set of Vulcan robes kneeling down and having a conversation with a young girl wearing the same student uniform that Savok and all of the other students were wearing. As they approached he could hear the end of the conversation.:: Lyras: Will you attempt to behave appropriately on your first day? ::As the girl looked around the hallway, Savok saw something unusual. Not only was she not Vulcan, but she had the strange forehead ridges that he knew meant that she was a Klingon. Klingons were a much rarer sight on Vulcan than all of the different species that were part of the Federation.:: G’Renn: Yes, mommy. Lyras: Thank you Anath. ::V’Len led him closer to the Vulcan woman and the Klingon child. His mother and the other Vulcan silently greeted one another with a Vulcan salute before she looked down to him and introduced him to the two.:: V’Len: Savok, this is Lyras from the Neurology Department of the Vulcan Biology Institute. This is her daughter, Anath. ::Savok greeted the two with a Vulcan salute, as he had been taught was the proper thing to do.:: Savok: It is agreeable to meet you both. ::The Klingon, Anath, seemed very excited to meet him. Rather than use the Vulcan salute that he and the adults were using she enthusiastically waved and had a large smile on her face. When she spoke, her tone was also significantly more energetic than the tone of everyone else’s voices.:: G’Renn: Hello! Nice to meet you! ::Savok raised an eyebrow and took a moment to consider what to say in response. He eventually settled on the most logical question to ask his classmate on the first day of the academic year.:: Savok: Are you looking forward to starting your education at the learning center? G’Renn: I hope that it’s going to be fun. My sister Jolash says that this place is boring and that the teachers are no fun. ::Savok considered what he had learned so far about the learning center. Given that Anath was worried that the Syrran Learning Center was boring perhaps he could provide an interesting fact in response. His parents had told him about the history and background of the school.:: Savok: This is a very old building with an interesting history. It used to be the office for a cultural exchange program and an art museum. G’Renn: My friend Alexa found a mural on the second floor. ::That was unsurprising. During a previous orientation at the learning center Savok had found that the building housed a large collection of artwork. Several walls on the administrative level were decorated with murals. There were also tapestries and sculptures in the hallways from various eras of history. The dedication plaques next to them identified many of them as being made by artists local to T’Paal City.:: Savok: That sounds very interesting. G’Renn: It is. Come on, I’ll show you where it is! ::Suddenly, Anath had grabbed his hand and was leading him down the front hall and up the stairs. No doubt they were off to see the aforementioned mural. He was very surprised by the sudden movement as Anath guided him up the stairs, no doubt to go see the mural. While being dragged along, he looked back to his mother who was discussing something with Lyras.:: ::His new Klingon acquaintance led him by the hand up the stairs leading to the administrative level above. Down the hall there was a short Human girl with freckles and brown hair standing in front of a mural. Like Anath, she was also wearing the student uniform of the learning center. Savok followed behind as Anath greeted the other student. The mural they had found depicted some kind of battle near a mountain. There was an odd cloud shaped vaguely like a mushroom in the distance. Savok examined the dedication plaque, which called the work The Battle for Mount Seleya.:: G’Renn: Alexa! This is Savok and he’s going to be in our class. He wanted to see the mural too. Kennedy: ::Waving:: Hi Savok. ::Savok waved back uncertainty.:: Savok: ::Quietly:: Hello. ::The behavior of his new classmates was unexpected to say the least:: ((End Flashback)) Savok Civilian Researcher USS Columbia ===as simmed by=== Lieutenant Commander Anath G'Renn Chief Medical Officer/Second Officer, USS Columbia A239402AG0 ((G’Renn and Savok’s Quarters - Deck 5, USS Columbia)) ((Time Index: The day after the arrival of G’Renn’s family)) ::There were also holophotos of the landscapes of the Raal Province. T’Pril had included panoramic photographs of T’Paal City and the nearby Fire Plains. One particular location stood out. The Kar Sand Dunes were just on the edge of the city and was where he had spent several hours of his free time exploring or going for hikes through the desert with his father. It was also a favorite spot for Alexa, Anath, and her siblings given the close proximity of the Kennedy home to the dunes. On one occasion, Anath had convinced him to partake in “sand sledding”.:: ((Flashback - Kar Sand Dunes - Raal Province, Vulcan - 238004.03)) ::Between examining the replicated sled that he had been given and the slope of the large sand dune that he, Alexa, Avarak, and Anath were standing on top of, Savok was uncertain as to the wisdom of attempting to sled down the sand dunes. Meanwhile, the other three seemed much less concerned. Apparently this was not the first time they had tried this.:: Savok: Are you sure that this is a good idea? ::Anath’s younger brother Avarak spoke up, already sitting on his sled.:: Avarak: It’s really fun! Kennedy: We use these sleds all the time here. You’ll love it once you try it. ::Their testimony did not entirely convince him. As he looked down the sand dunes, Savok could easily envision all of the potential ways that sledding down the sand dune could go wrong and cause injury. The sleds themselves seemed stable, but he was still unsure if it was a good idea to sled down the dunes.:: G’Renn: Together? Savok: ::Pausing to consider the idea.:: Very well. ::Savok lined up his sled next to Anath’s. She smiled and started to count down from three. On one, she pushed forward and the sled flew down the sand dune. Savok followed suit and held onto the handles of the sled so he would not fall off.:: Savok: oO Something feels wrong. Oo ::The movement of the sled started to become erratic. His sled was slowing down and began to veer to the left. The edge of the sled knocked in to Anath’s sled and they both flew out of control. Anath slipped off the sled and was left lying in the desert sand. Savok managed to keep his hold on the sled after the collision. However, that might not have been a logical course of action. The sled continued to slow down before stopping suddenly and sending him flying forward and landing on the slope.:: ::Savok sat up and checked to make sure he was uninjured. Anath also appeared to be on her feet and walked down the sand dunes to check on him, along with Avarak. She held out a hand and helped him to his feet. Savok brushed the sand out of his hair and looked around to see his overturned sled lying a few feet away.:: G’Renn: They usually don’t get caught or wipe out like that. But it was still an exciting rush, right? ::He examined the replicated sled and considered how the design could be improved to avoid a similar outcome should he ever be convinced to make a second attempt. It seemed as if sand had built up in front of the sled and prevented it from sliding on top of the surface of the dune smoothly.:: Savok: I suppose that you could characterize events that way. ::Beat:: Perhaps a wax coating to reduce drag could be added to the bottom of the sled? ::Anath smiled and turned to Alexa for her opinion.:: G’Renn: That’s the spirit! What do you think, Alexa? Kennedy: My dad could probably replicate something like that we could add to the sleds. Let’s go back up to the house and ask! ::The other three children turned around and started walking back up the sand dune with sleds in tow. He followed them up the dunes to the nearby neoclassical Golic house overlooking the Kar Sand Dunes on the edge of town. His mind raced with ideas of how to use science to determine the optimal design for a sand sled.:: ((End Flashback)) ::Alexa and the G’Renn children had all been his friend. He found speaking with them interesting and he even gained a tolerance for the more frivolous or dangerous activities that the group would partake in. Whether it be touring an art museum or hiking through the desert and avoiding sehlats, they had always been close. But then they moved on. Jolash had briefly lived on Qo’noS where she met her future spouse. Alexa applied to Starfleet Academy to be an engineer, not a surprise given her family’s history with Starfleet. What was more surprising was Anath’s decision to join Starfleet as well. There were many medical schools on Vulcan and she had the skill to earn admission to them. And then it was only him left on Vulcan.:: ::Savok had elected to attend the Vulcan Science Academy rather than apply to Starfleet Academy. His education had provided opportunities to learn not only about science but Vulcan culture and history as well. The ancient fortress that was now host to the Vulcan Science Academy sat in the middle of historic ShirKahr. When he was not busy with his studies he would learn of great painters and their techniques browsing the stores in the Artisan Quarter. Visiting the Outskirts Area would allow him to meet travelers visiting Vulcan from every corner of the Federation. Touring the Old Quarter gave him new insights into Vulcan history. His years as a student were very rewarding, but they had to end as he entered a new chapter in his life.:: ((Flashback - South Courtyard - Vulcan Science Academy, ShirKahr, Vulcan - 239006.02)) ::The South Courtyard was more crowded than usual. It was the final day of the term and there were several visitors on campus in addition to the usual public lecture attendees. Savok was being presented with his degree by Doctor Dyroc, a senior professor in the biology department. His parents and sister were standing nearby, observing the proceedings.:: Dyroc: You are hereby awarded a Master of Science degree with a major in botany. Congratulations, Savok. ::Savok took the diploma that Doctor Dyroc had offered to him and bowed respectfully.:: Savok: Thank you Doctor Dyroc. Dyroc: I also need to discuss another matter with you. May we speak now? ::Intrigued, Savok nodded and followed Doctor Dyroc as he walked down one of the pathways lining the South Courtyard. He noticed that they were moving away from the visitor entrance and administrative building and in the direction of the primary Research Center. He waited to hear what it was that Dyroc had to say.:: Dyroc: Your work in Advanced Mycology and Introduction to Biomedical Research exceeded all expectations. Your skill set makes you an ideal candidate to be a botanical researcher. ::Savok raised an eyebrow, considering what point Doctor Dyroc was trying to make. He had set out to become a botanical researcher and had guided his academic career to forward that goal. It was good to hear that his instructor felt that he was qualified to achieve his goal to be a researcher.:: Savok: That is my primary career goal. Is my coursework related to the other matter that you wished to discuss with me? Dyroc: The botanist on the Life Sciences Research Team retired unexpectedly. The team director and I would prefer that you take the position. Would you be interested in the position? ::He had not been aware that Strenvek had retired. For more than a decade, Strenvek had been a senior member of the Life Sciences Research Team at the Vulcan Science Academy. He would occasionally give guest lectures in the more advanced courses in botany. A position like his would be an ideal assignment. But Savok did not expect to be offered the position that Strenvek had occupied a few months earlier. Given his goals, there was only one logical response that he could give.:: Savok: I would be very interested, doctor. ((End Flashback)) ::His tenure as a full-time researcher in the labs of the Vulcan Science Academy had been very rewarding. Savok had received his education in science, better understood the methods of scientific research, and gained an insight into different cultures through transfer and exchange programs. He would become involved in one such program a few years into his career as a researcher.:: Savok Civilian Researcher USS Columbia ===as simmed by=== Lieutenant Commander Anath G'Renn Chief Medical Officer/Second Officer, USS Columbia A239402AG0 ((G’Renn and Savok’s Quarters - Deck 5, USS Columbia)) ((Time Index: The day after the arrival of G’Renn’s family)) ::Savok immediately recognized one of the holophotos on one of the next pages. He had taken it himself. One of the major projects that the Life Sciences Research Team had been working on was an inventory of the flora and fauna of Bajor. When a new planet joined the Federation and scientific cooperation with the new member became more regular, the Vulcan Science Academy would conduct a survey and add information about the new member world to the VSA database. When the academy sent a team of researchers to Bajor to assist in a survey of the poorly-explored Jaitza Mountains he had been assigned to the team. T’Pril had insisted that he take holophotos while he was there. He had taken that particular image from the balcony of the expedition’s base camp facing the mountain range to the east.:: ((Flashback - Expedition Base Camp - Janitza Mountains, Bajor - 239302.11)) ::It was the final day of the University of Bajor’s collaboration with the Vulcan Science Academy in surveying the Janitza Mountains. Tomorrow they were going to return to Vulcan with the data gathered during their survey. Over the course of three months they had created detailed scans of the mountains, collected samples of rare plant specimens native to the mountain range, and observed the behavior of a pack of hara cats for almost a month. To celebrate the end of a successful expedition their Bajoran hosts had served Klavaatu and springwine at dinner:: ::Savok had excused himself from the festivities and had found solace in meditating on the balcony of the base camp’s upper floor. While the rest of the team continued to enjoy the meal or discuss the data they had gathered or future projects, he had allowed himself to become focused entirely on the light mountain breeze. He had banished all other thoughts and sensory experiences from his mind so that he could organize his thoughts.:: ::When he was done meditating, Savok remembered his promise to T’Pril. He unpacked the holographic imager and adjusted the settings to capture images of the Janitza Mountains. The shutter snapped a few times, recording images of the Bajoran landscape around him. He did not notice the arrival of Ule Varr on the balcony as well. Savok finished taking holophotos and noticed the senior Bajoran researcher standing beside him.:: Ule: Good job today with placing the tags on those carnivorous rastipods. Especially given that you’re used to dealing with plants and not animals. I suppose plants don’t bite as much, do they? ::Savok looked down at his forearm where he had been bitten earlier that day. On their way back down the mountain, the team had encountered a small herd of carnivorous rastipods. The zoologists in their group wanted to tag the members of the herd for future studies on their population. When Savok volunteered to help, he had underestimated how strong the creatures could be.:: Savok: They do not typically bite. Ule: Luckily that rastipod looked healthy. Did you get the test back yet? ::After getting back to the base camp he had reported to the first aid center to have his bite treated and to be tested for any infections.:: Savok: The bite did not infect me. Ule: I sure do hope that being bitten isn’t going to change your perception of field studies. You will find that being out here in the unknown is where the real fun and discoveries are. If you want to find out the truth you have to come to the source. We’ve still only started to explore these mountain ranges. You’re quite handy to have on a scientific expedition. Have you ever considered transferring out of the lab and onto a science ship? Savok: I have not. Do you think that I should? ::Savok looked over at Ule curiously.:: Ule: Absolutely! Haven’t these three months been so educational and informative? ::Over the course of the expedition he had learned how to apply a tracking tag, assemble a tent, drill for rock samples, and climb and survey a mountain. When the Vulcan contingent of the expedition returned to the Vulcan Science Academy, they would have no shortage of data to study from the field study.:: Savok: Both approaches appear to have their own costs and benefits. Ule: Well, do a cost-benefit analysis and see if the Vulcan Science Academy has any openings for research out on the frontier where all of the excitement is. ::He poured two glasses of springwine and offered one to Savok.:: To discovering new things? ::He accepted the glass of springwine and raised it in toast, imitating Ule.:: Savok: To discovering new things. ((End Flashback)) ::He had not taken Ule’s advice right away. Soon after returning to the Vulcan Science Academy he had received an invitation to become an instructor in the biology department. After discussing the job offer with his father, himself a former teacher, Savok had decided to take the position. The next image in the album was a picture taken by T’Pril during his first lecture in his classroom.:: ((Flashback - Classroom E-24 - Vulcan Science Academy, ShirKahr, Vulcan - 239309.10)) Iria: This is the classroom that you have been assigned. ::She held out a PADD:: This contains the access codes for the laboratories on the second floor and the schedule for internal department meetings. ::Savok took the PADD in the professor’s outstretched and scrolled through its contents. He quickly committed the access codes for the laboratories to memory. Once he had set up his classroom those were his next destination. He could examine the schedule after his meeting.:: Savok: Thank you, professor. Iria: My office is located at the end of the hallway. If you need any assistance please schedule a meeting. Welcome to the Biology Department. Do you have any questions for me at this point? Savok: Not at this time, professor. Iria: I will leave you to your work. Live long and prosper, Instructor Savok. Savok: Peace and long life, Professor Iria. ::Professor Iria walked out of the classroom. Savok surveyed the room. The room had rows of desks on one end facing the front of the room. The front of the classroom was dominated by a large display screen for lectures. And off to one side was his desk. He walked over to the desk and opened the box of his possessions that had already been delivered. He removed his collection of books, a stack of PADDs, and a potted plant from the box. It was a night-blooming throgni that his friend Anath had brought back for him from her last family trip to Qo’noS. Savok set the plant down on his desk and admired the rare Klingon flower.:: ::Perhaps he should write a letter to her. She would be in her final semester of medical school at Starfleet Medical Academy. He opened his desk monitor for a moment and considered whether or not to begin writing. In the end he closed the lid of the desk monitor and returned to sorting the contents of his desk. After all, there was a public lecture on cybernetics starting in half an hour he hoped to attend.:: ((End Flashback)) ::The last photo in the book was from the Starfleet database. It was the image of a Starfleet ship, circling a familiar alien space station. Right away he recognized it as the USS Blackwell. What an improbable occurrence, for the Vulcan Science Academy to have assigned him to the same ship that Anath had been assigned to.:: ((Flashback - Botany Lab 3 - Vulcan Science Academy, ShirKahr, Vulcan - 239501.25)) ::Savok had been asked to assist the Assistant Chair of the Biology Department with an experiment in Botany Lab 3. The researchers had collected the data and left to have a meeting. He had volunteered to remain behind and clean the lab. As he dematerialized used petri dishes and replicated new labware, he noticed something on a display screen on the wall of the lab. There was a new faculty-wide announcement. Savok picked up a PADD and accessed the announcement to read the entire text. What he read was very interesting.:: ::The announcement was for a researcher exchange program with Starfleet. There were three positions open on Starfleet exploratory ships. Staff members of the Vulcan Science Academy could apply for these positions. While it seemed logical that the program would be focused on the full-time researchers at the academy, there did not appear to be any limitations on who could apply. Even he, as a junior instructor without significant research obligations, could send in an application.:: Savok: oO This could be an excellent opportunity. I am much better suited to research than I am to teaching Introduction to Botany. Oo ::Once he returned to his classroom, Savok began to fill out the application. Below the fields to fill in his information he noticed a list of the ships involved in the program. The USS Mantis, the USS T’Klass, and the USS Blackwell. If he could choose, he would select to be placed on the USS T’Klass. It was a Starfleet ship he had heard of before that was crewed entirely by Vulcans. It would be the ideal ship to be assigned to. No doubt that he could be able to make connections with the crew of an entirely Vulcan ship easily.:: ((End Flashback)) ::Beyond the last image of the USS Blackwell, there were dozens of empty pages in the book for additional images. He and Anath could continue adding photographs to the photo album if they so wished. She had actually mentioned starting a similar project before, but they had never started. Savok’s reflection on past events was interrupted by a familiar voice, although one he did not expect to come from his combadge.:: Rol’Q: =/\= ::With a raised voice, almost shouting.:: Rol’Q to Uncle Savok! =/\= Savok: oO Did someone actually give him a combadge? Oo ::It did not seem logical that anyone had given a child so young direct access to the ship’s communications system. Clearly he did not understand how to moderate the volume of his voice.:: Savok: =/\= This is Savok. Go ahead. You do not need to speak at such a loud volume to be heard. =/\= Rol’Q: =/\= Mommy and Aunt Ana say that we’re about to start the tour. =/\= ::Savok closed the photo album before responding.:: Savok: =/\= I will be there shortly, Rol’Q. =/\= ::He stood up and placed the photo album on the glass coffee table sitting in the middle of their quarters’ living area. It was a very interesting experience to see a photographic record of his life. Clearly T’Pril had put significant effort into creating the photo album. Savok was surprised that she was able to locate some of the photographs at all. He would have to dedicate more time to reading it after the tour.:: Savok Civilian Researcher USS Columbia ===as simmed by=== Lieutenant Commander Anath G'Renn Chief Medical Officer/Second Officer, USS Columbia A239402AG0
  7. 2 points
    ((San Fransico Bay, Earth, Dreamscape)) Ed felt the tickle of saltwater foam between his toes as he stared out at the sunset. Light reflected off the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance. Ed has always found the name of the historic landmark strange. It was not golden. In fact it reminded him of Mars with its rusty red colour. Ed looked over to his left. Angela sat in the sand, staring the same direction as him. Her normally playful expression was serious, as if she were contemplating the most dire of questions. For just a moment, Angela almost looked like someone else. Another woman? She seemed all at once familiar and yet not. Ed blinked. Angela was back. She was staring at him. Spears: ::Softly:: Are you alright? Heartmier: ::Shaking her head.:: Ed... We promised we’d always be together, right? Spears: We did. He felt a pang of regret. It had been a juvenile thing to promise eternity together in first year. Their love was new, exciting, fresh. But they were more mature now, abs graduation loomed for both of them. What were the odds they would be posted to the same ship? Or at least the same region? Heartmier: That was silly of us wasn’t it? ::A tear rolled down her cheek.:: Spears: Maybe... But first year does that to a person doesn’t it? And Angela, no matter what happens I will never regret a moment spent with you. Heartmier: Me neither. Don’t you ever forget about me Edward Spears. Spears: I won’t. I couldn’t. The couple sat together in the sand as the horizon went from orange to deep red, to black. Ed could feel the weight of Angela’s head on his shoulder as his own silent tears rolled down his cheeks. End. Cdt Edward Spears Starfleet Medical Simmed by Lt Edward Spears, MD Chief Medical Officer USS Constitution-B C239502ES0
  8. 1 point
    The long awaited marriage on the USS Gorkon! Beautifully written and absolutely draws you in from the off. Now, to the Reception! ---- ((Former Chapel, Reichsburg Cochem, Earth)) ::It was a small gathering of people in the castle's old chapel. Quinn's father, of course, shepherding Dylan and Amelia. Her elder brother and sister were there too, accompanied by their spouses and the small horde that was her nieces and nephews — including the eldest, Ryan, who had elected to wear his dress uniform to the occasion, much to her sister's dismay. Walter's family was smaller; his mother and step-father, and his indomitable grandmother. ::Petra Bjarnadottir was there as Walter's witness, in a sunny yellow dress that befit the season, her hair tumbling over one shoulder in thick curls. Not a surprising choice, all told. He had a soft spot for the fiery administrative officer, as he did for anyone who could legitimately hold their own against him. The pair had met as members of the infamous Yarahla Nine, and it had been to Walter's ship that Petra had first sought refuge on when her marriage had begun to fall apart. ::On the other side was Jo Marshall, who had only managed to stop smiling within the last five minutes. Her hair down for once, the waves of blonde reached her shoulders and flown down over her tea dress, the cut falling just below her knees. A friend to both, this time there solely for the bride; her commanding officer, and a friend through the trials and tribulations weathered together. Hands clasped in the small of her back, unable to fully leave the officer behind, she glanced over at Petra and shot the woman a quick wink. ::Then of course, there was the bride and groom themselves. Walter wore a navy three-piece suit, waistcoat and tie in dove grey, and he wore it well. Neatly pressed, shoes shined to a mirror polish, he was as perfectly turned out as it was possible to be. Quinn stood beside him, her dress in shades of silver and sky blue, the delicate chiffon embroidered and beaded with flowers. Her hair was swept up and away from her face, but otherwise left to fall in loose waves about her shoulders. ::Leading the ceremony was a local officiant, Miriam Schulte. With a head of short, white curls and a twinkle in her grey eyes, she was clearly a woman who loved her job. With the bride and groom stood in front of her, the guests seated and (more or less, in the case of the younger children) settled, she began.:: Schulte: Family and friends of Walter and Quinn; welcome to their wedding ceremony this afternoon at Reichsburg Cochem. In this place, high above the busy town below, we take ourselves out of the usual routines of daily living to witness a unique moment in their lives. Today they join together in the union of marriage and to all their guests, they are happy to share this moment with you. Because you are the ones who love, support and know them so well, it is only fitting that you are the ones to share this once-in-a-lifetime moment with them. ::Her accent was almost identical to Walter's, though stronger for remaining in the lands of her birth. Warmth exuded from her every word, genuine in her delight.:: Schulte: Walter and Quinn are pleased to have their parents and children in the front row, close by for the ceremony. Quinn thanks Stephen for providing her with opportunity possible and for being the best father anyone could ask for. ::Glancing over her shoulder, Quinn saw her father swallow as he smiled at her, his adam's apple bobbing in his throat.:: Walter appreciates all the love and support Annalise and Daniel have given him over the years. ::Where his temperament had come from his grandmother, it was clear where Walter had got his looks from. His mother had a head of luxurious, pale blonde hair, swept into an elegant chignon for the wedding, and the same piercing blue eyes as her son. Annalise smiled at him, squeezing the hand of the man stood beside her, Walter's step-father Daniel Wolff.:: Schulte: A wedding day is often a day when couples miss those no longer with them. For Quinn and Walter, there are family members whose memories they hold dear. Walter's sister Emilie passed away some years ago; he misses her very much and holds her always in his heart and mind. Quinn would like to take a moment to remember her mother; she wishes Sarah could have met Walter, and knows she would have been happy for them both. And so it is that our couple present themselves to be married; with fond memories to brighten the day, and surrounded by the people they love the most. ::If she was honest, when it came to her mother Quinn wasn't sure of any such things. But she knew that the sentiment was something that would delight her father to hear, and so into the ceremony it had gone.:: Schulte: As our couple prepared for this part of this wedding celebration, they reflected on what brought them together, and what keeps them together. A shared career, shared interests, a shared stubbornness, ::a quiet chuckle rippled through the guests, while the bride and groom shot wry grins at one another,:: and through it all, an implicit acceptance of the other as an individual, as well as a partner. It is this mutual respect and understanding for one another that led them to select "On Marriage" by Kahlil Gibran as the reading for their ceremony, which will be read by Walter's grandmother, Else Brunsig. ::At the mention of her name, a slim, elegant woman stepped up to the lectern. She had a strong jaw, severe blue eyes, ice-white hair and a voice that made everyone sit or stand a little straighter. A formidable woman and a serving judge, Else commanded the attention of the room with ease.:: E. Brunsig: "Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow." ::The sentiment echoed around the former chapel for a few moments, resonating through those in attendance. Else returned to her seat, though first she sent a sly wink in her grandson's direction, and his answer was a wry, crooked smile and a dip of his head.:: Schulte: We come now to the words that take Quinn and Walter across the threshold from being engaged to being married. A marriage, as we here understand it, is a voluntary and full commitment. It is made in the deepest sense to the exclusion of all others, and it is entered into with the desire and hope that it will last for life. Before you declare your vows to one another, I want to hear you confirm that it is indeed your intention to be married today. ::She paused, and smiled first at the bride in blue.:: Quinn, do you come here freely and without reservation to give yourself to Walter in marriage? If so, answer "I do." ::A small grin caught at the corners of Quinn's lips and she glanced up at Walter. Standing there, doing what they were doing, it wasn't something she'd ever really thought would come to pass. And yet, there they were, saying the words and sealing the deal.:: Reynolds: I do. Schulte: Walter, do you come here freely and without reservation to give yourself to Quinn in marriage? If so, answer "I do." Brunsig: I do. ::Quinn's breath caught in her throat, a supernova igniting behind her ribs. There hadn't been a gram of hesitation in his baritone, his answer assured and confident.:: Schulte: Walter and Quinn, having heard that it is your intention to be married to each other, I now ask you to declare your marriage vows. Please face each other and hold hands. ::If there was any part of the ceremony that made her nervous, this was it. Quinn wasn't one for emotional declarations, for putting the fragile parts of her heart in the plain view of others. She turned and reached for his hands, smiling at the warmth of his skin against hers, the light scratch of his calloused fingertips. His thoughts brushed against hers, soft and frictionless, like silk sheets sliding against one another. That sent her mind spiralling, and it was only a gentle tug on her hands that brought her back into the present, a blush on her cheeks and a sly, knowing smile on Walter's lips.:: Reynolds: There are three words that are stronger than I love you. Today I stand in front of you to say "I choose you". I choose you over all others. I choose you to share happiness with. I choose you to care for. I choose you to have a family with. I choose you to grow old with. ::She took a breath.:: Walter Brunsig, I choose you to love for the rest of my days. ::She felt his hands tighten around hers, a faint flush creeping up from under the collar of his white shirt. The effect of her words on him, and the effect of the words he was about to speak.:: Brunsig: Today, Quinn Reynolds, I join my life to yours. From the moment our paths crossed, you’ve fascinated me, challenged me, frustrated me and improved me in ways no person has done before. I have fallen in love with you again and again. I promise to be true to you, to support and encourage you, and to challenge and frustrate you. I know that we're good for each other and that we will continue to grow stronger together. ::Quinns stood there, smiling at him, struck by his vows and the fondness in his gaze as he'd spoken them. Left wordless and quite enraptured, it was a good thing that there was someone there to propel the service along.:: Schulte: Your wedding rings are the outward and visible sign of the inward and invisible bond which already unites you. Petra, please give Quinn's ring to Walter. ::The Icelander stepped forward, pressing the simple ring into his palm with a nod and a smile. After a pat on his elbow, Petra stepped away from the broad-shouldered blond, and the officiant continued, still beaming away, her eyes sparkling.:: Schulte: Walter, place the ring on Quinn's finger and repeat after me— ::He took her hand again, echoing the words while he slipped the gold band onto her finger, next to the glittering diamonds of her heirloom engagement ring.:: Brunsig: With this ring, I marry you; with my loving heart, with my willing body, and the promise of all my tomorrows. Schulte: Jo, now please give Walter's ring to Quinn. ::Stowed in a particular place for safe keeping, Jo retrieved the band from the pocket of her dress and smiled at the woman with a small nod of her head as she handed it over.:: Schulte: Quinn, place the ring on Walter's finger and repeat after me— ::One hand curled around his, Quinn eased the ring onto his finger. Nerves dried her throat and slid a tremulous rasp into her voice. For once, she didn't care.:: Reynolds: With this ring, I marry you; with my loving heart, with my willing body, and the promise of all my tomorrows. Schulte: May the wedding rings you exchanged today remind you always that you are surrounded by enduring love. ::The officiant smiled and clearly elated, she clasped her hands together:: Now, by the power vested in me by the town of Cochem, it is my honour and delight to declare you husband and wife. You may seal this declaration with a kiss. ::Their hands still intertwined, Walter dipped to do just that, and Quinn rose up on her toes to meet him part way. Soft, tender and lingering, he left his forehead resting against hers, just long enough to murmur a few words.:: Brunsig: Wife. Reynolds: Husband. ::She grinned.:: We actually did it. Brunsig: Chilly day in hell. ::He smirked at her, the wry observation making her huff a quiet laugh as they parted. Quinn wasn't the only one laughing, and Miriam Schulte chuckled, gesturing open-armed to the pair.:: Schulte: I am pleased to present the newlyweds! Walter, Quinn — your wedding ceremony is over, and it's time to celebrate! -- Rear Admiral Quinn Reynolds Commanding Officer USS Gorkon T238401QR0 & Captain Walter Brunsig Commanding Officer USS Triumphant
  9. 1 point
    ((Ooc: the song https://youtu.be/oVGTGfZ9HVc )) ((Courtyard, Reichsburg Cochem, Earth)) :: The reception was splendid. A gorgeous backdrop, accompanied by delicious- if unusual - appetizers were passed to handsomely attired guests. Ghant had asked at the Bride’s final fitting if he might play something at the reception. He hadn’t decided until just before he walked onto the platform. Nerves pulsed through him, making him glad he hadn’t eaten much yet. He nodded to the bolian piano player before taking a seat behind his harp:: ::He blew out a breath as he looked into the crowd and then began plucking the opening notes. Quinn and Brunsig were still standing apart, each receiving guests with good humored smiles. The first officer was speaking with Tasha and some other women he didn’t recognize. Genkos was laughing with Corliss and Loxley. Chris and the woman he assumed to be Valesha were eyeing each other and the dance floor The cadence of the song suggested dark beauty and mystery to his ear. The piano player had picked up on the tune and followed along.:: ::Ghant croned out the beginning of the poem-turned-song. He felt it fitting the strange beauty of the evening, even if he felt removed from it personally.:: ~Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white; Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk; Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font. The firefly wakens; waken thou with me.~ ::His eyes turned to the table where Jo and Tasha said with the others he didn’t recognize as he sang the next line of the song:: ~ Now droops the milk-white pea[...] like a ghost, And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.~ ~ Now lies the Earth all Danaë to the stars, And all thy heart lies open unto me.~ ::Then he caught Quinn observing him. Her expression as blank to him as her mind, he had no idea how she would find the song:: ~Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.~ ::Finally he chances looking at Genkos, who was either pretending to not notice him, or actually wasn’t. Either way was a disappointment. His eyes glistened as his voice warbled out the final verse of the song:: ~ Now folds the lily all her sweetness up, And slips into the bosom of the lake. So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip Into my bosom and be lost in me.~ ::The reception was deathly quiet for what felt like an eternity. Then applause began to sound. Ghant’s cheeks flushed with color all the way to his ears. He quietly stood and exited the platform.:: Xerix: oO Who is he to ignore me? Do I mean so little to him? Oo :: With that thought, he made for the bar. Strong liquor was in order.:: — Lieutenant JG Ghant Xerix HCO Officer USS Gorkon V239505GX0
  10. 1 point
    Hello, Who am I to improve upon perfection? Seriously though, It all looks very well put together. I'm sure you've worked out the bugs over the last several years. After I go through it, I might have a few ideas.
  11. 1 point
    We’re here with another interview with a newer member of our community. The title of this column is “Lower Decks,” hearkening back to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode titled “Lower Decks,” in which junior officers aboard the Enterprise-D speculate on the reasons for recent unusual actions taken by the command crew near the Cardassian border. This month’s interview is with the writer behind Ensign James Colquhoun playing a Human male Tactical Officer assigned to the USS Columbia. GALVEN: Thank you for allowing me to interview you! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there? COLQUHOUN: Sure. I’m a Charlotte, NC native but moved to Bloomington, IN about a decade ago for school. I finished my undergrad recently in philosophy and started a masters program in cybersecurity. I work in IT for Indiana University. One thing I will for Bloomington, we embrace the claim to fame of Jameway being born here. There’s a group of people working right now to install a Captain Janeway statue in town. Having joined in November, what has been your favorite moment writing aboard the USS Columbia? Probably our shore leave rotation on the planet Losaria. I think the whole crew enjoyed that, getting to create a whole world and culture as we went. Losaria still comes up in sims as fond memories for everyone. Do you take any inspiration from movies/TV/books when writing for your character? I did a little bit for James, pulling from some Canadian culture, specifically Nova Scotian culture. Though, I really drew much stronger inspiration for my PNPC Tommy Gottci from TV. He’s based on Chris Moltisanti from The Sopranos, and I try to flavor in some NY/NJ Italian slang from the movies and from my childhood, growing up in that kind of household. On your character’s wiki, you wrote that Colquhoun stayed in the Academy for a graduate program in philosophy rather than be assigned directly to a duty post. Was there a specific reason for that? Yeah, a mix of personal ambition and storytelling. I was applying for philosophy PhD programs at the time and thought it would be a fun mirror. Unfortunately, I did not get into any of those programs and got into this cybersecurity program instead. For James, I like the idea of Starfleet offering those kinds of options, and I’ve got planned sims for him interacting with Starfleet professors over writing dissertations and the like. Out of all the number of duty posts, you chose tactical officer. What advice can you give new and older members who want to choose that particular duty post? For new members, don’t be afraid to play the position “close to TV.” Your ship can and should get shot, damaged, and should also be able to do damage. I remember the first time we engaged with an enemy vessel, I was probably a bit too timid in wanting to drive the story with my phasers and photon torpedoes. For older members, it’s fun to be inventive. Using that Treknobabble to do the thing to the phaser banks or deflector dish that helps save the day is very rewarding. And lastly, do you personally have aspirations in the fleet? Are there any OOC activities you’re associated with, or any you’d like to join? You can often find me in the wiki Discord channel, I’m no expert with the wiki markup, but web dev and design are things I’m comfortable with and helping people make the pages they want to see is a ton of fun. Other than that, I’m happy right now to work hard to make the experience on the Columbia a good and fun one and maybe after I finish school I can look at getting more involved in OOC activities. Thanks for your time, Ensign James Colquhoun! You can read more about Ensign James Colquhoun on the wiki. The post Lower Decks Interview: Ensign James Colquhoun, USS Columbia appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  12. 1 point
    (I keep forgetting to post this…) Some of the Gorkon Crew are visiting the Holodeck for an adventure game during shore leave. I'd say a welcome read for something non-trek. :-) Well done guys. (( Weta Holoarena 4 - Wellington, New Zealand )) ::After her journey home to Earth, Caitríona Cayne returned to the USS Gorkon feeling fresh and new outlook on her life aboard the ship. The meeting with her brother went well enough - at least she returned all in one piece, however, while she was down there she took Counsellor Fortune's advice and took up a hobby. ::They both seemed to decide that one involving some form of physical work out would suit her and surfing was what stuck out the most for Caitríona. She grew up very close to the sea and she always adored being in the water, she was a great swimmer and could definitely handle the cold waters and waves. Her attempts to surf on Earth were interesting but it got the job done all the same. She has now returned to the Gorkon with a refreshed purpose - she didn't feel so negative about herself, nor would she want to again. ::So now here she stood in the middle of the Holoarena, feeling like a completely different person - she looked like a different person too, because the woman who stood there was not Caitríona Cayne - she was Caitris. ::Light snow while fell from the sky like a feather that drifts lightly in the breeze, landing in copper hair which was tied tightly into a pony-tail, a braid of intricate patterns which flowed down to the woman's waist. She wore a tightly fitted jumpsuit, green as the lands from which she hailed and golden elven patterns trailed along her curves and edges extenuating the woman's smaller frame. On top of this a white cloak as bright and as white as the snow at their feet, it almost disappeared off her back, blending into the surrounding area. ::She stood at a distance from the others for now, as she tilted her head to look out into the expanse of the forest, her pointed ears would come into the view of anyone who noticed her. They were obviously different from a Vulcan's - they were far more tapered at the top and slightly longer. As the cold snow drifted down and landed onto those tips, her ears twitched - the joys of the twenty-fourth century meant she could make her ears similar to the old descriptions of elves, and that wasn't the only thing different - her eyes were now a bright green similar to her clothes under the cloak, a stark difference to the woman's usual icy blue. After pulling up her hood and facing the others she began to make her way towards them - being an elf, her stealth overall would be far better than it actually was. With the help of the computer, there was no crunch, no sound, nothing, coming from her as she walked to the group. ::Reaching her hand behind and underneath the heavy cloak which draped around her like it was her - she pulled out what looked like a lute, but the item was grotesque, the wood looked rotted and strings, worn. Holding the lute comfortably between her body and arms the woman began to pluck at the strings with her right hand - the left moved along the top, she stroked the item as delicately as it appeared to need. The sound which came from the lute was quiet at first, building up slowly to quite a melodic piece. She could feel her own ears tingling as she played - like energy was gathering, was it coming from her or the lute? Either way, both were needed to create the energy that was emitted. A. Sevo: Welcome, all! MacFarlane: Good t’ be ‘ere. This promises t’ be a good adventure. Adea: I’m excited to be here. ::Caitris (Cayne) who was pacing around the back behind the others, her fingers still plucking gently along with the instrument she held walked towards a woman she hasn't met and the Doctor - Adea. He was the only one in the group she was familiar with, and he even mentioned to Caitríona she should come along on this little adventure of theirs in passing. Now, the small creature which seemed to be the Doctor's - she wasn't so familiar with, the bark from Toto caught her attention and she smiled happily towards him as she continued her pacing. She began to hum gently - this projected the energy she was building slowly out into the air, she could feel some of it die down as she released it, her ears not so sensitive. ::Her hearing after getting these newer ears seemed different, especially from some enhancement from the computer itself. She could hear someone approaching and turned a little in her pace, she saw as the larger woman approached.:: Rhone: Greetings. I am Rhone. Might I join your quest? ::Glancing at the woman - the bright green eyes of the copper headed elf cut through everyone else who stood between them. She was interested in the larger woman, for a moment at least.:: Cayne: Greetings Rhone. A. Sevo: If you’ve got mounts you’d like to use, import ‘em into the program and tack them over by Serenity and Diablo over there. :: She pointed to her white unicorn and Toran’s black horse. :: Behind the sleeping tents, we’ve got tents for blacksmithing, alchemy, and the like if you care to gear up. ::Her attention was now brought back to the leader of their group - she suspected they were the one responsible for their gathering, she was already thankful for that. This was going to be a good adventure.:: MacFarlane: One step ahead o’ yeh. ::She put her fingers to her mouth and let out a piercing whistle:: Aurora! ‘ere girl! ::Out of the woods trotted a second Unicorn. Similar to Serenity, her coat was pure white, however, her mane was shot through with streaks of chestnut and specks of black. Just as Ayiana had reconstructed her Skarbek mount, Tasha had too. Doctor Adea had a brown horse, who quickly trotted up to the stable, alongside a Gypsy Vanner breed of Rhone’s. Her horse was much larger and more muscular than the rest of the mounts, probably to account for Rhone’s size. Out in the distance of the woods, Caitis (Cayne) could hear her horse approaching after she shifted her fingers to create a higher pitch. Once he came towards the clearing the brown horse looked towards it's other and settled, remaining still like a statue as the music became soft again.:: A. Sevo: I’ve got some stew brewing in the campfire. Not sure what’s in it, come to think of it. Tread carefully. MacFarlane: ‘as long as its ‘ot an’ tasty I’m ‘appy. A. Sevo: Dunno. The program started up with it brewing. Think it’s rabbit and potatoes. T. Sevo: :: Having already swiped a bowl. :: Tastes delicious to me. I’ve had much worse. MacFarlane: Response ::Finding her place amongst the others, Caitis (Cayne) who stopped playing the Lute but still continued to hum the tune was finding it easy to integrate and feel comfortable - there were so many strangers but she wasn't Cayne here, plus having Adea - a familiar face helped to. She decided to sit near the Scot, she could tell from her accent - they had a very similar culture after all and that would definitely be a good place to start. She reached out and took a bowl from the larger pot of stew, noticing Genkos giving a smaller bowl to his animal companion.:: Rhone: I have some bread of a sort, could I barter for some stew? A.Sevo: Help yourself. MacFarlane: So, are we stickin’ t’ th’ names we already know each other by, or ‘ave yeh all come up with new ones? A. Sevo: I...hadn’t thought of it. For now, I’m just Ayiana the Mage. T. Sevo: Toran the Righteous! MacFarlane: Well in tha’ case, I am Tasha o’ Clan MacFarlane, fiercest Barbarian in th’ land. Adea: Well, you can call me Genkos, preacher of the faith, healer and this is Toto. ::he barked:: He won’t respond to anything else. Rhone: I am Rhone, The prince’s champion. :: She placed a reassuring hand on the hilt of her falchion. :: A. Sevo: Surprised you didn’t run off with the prince. ::Feeling a bit strange choosing a different name before she came here, Caitris (Cayne), decided to stick to her guns. She was feeling this character and she didn't want to change anything now, before speaking she set down the bowl of stew near her feet. Her hands found the familiarity of the lute again and plucking the strings, taking over from the humming sound.:: Cayne: Well I haven't met some of you - most of you, yet. I am Caitríona Cayne, but for our little adventure - why not call me Caitris, your faithful elven bard. ::She tilted her head to look at the Scottish girl, fighting the instinct to talk to Genkos - she needed to talk to someone she doesn't know, meet new people. That's why she was doing all of this really.:: Cayne: Where in Scotland are you from? MacFarlane: Response Cayne: Oh really? I love Glasgow, it's a beautiful place - and yes, I'm Irish. I am down south near Cobh. ::She nodded with a smile.:: We will have to talk sometime, maybe have a drink after all of this? MacFarlane: Response Adea: So once we’re fed and watered, do we just roam into the forest and see what happens, or do we have a quest? ::That was when her attention was brought to Adea. A quest - it was something that was on her mind too, she was curious what exactly they would be doing, which only added to her excitement.:: A Sevo: I’ve got the program in Sandbox mode for now. Once everyone’s here, I’ll enable questing. We can do just about anything we want here, from saving old ladies from bandits to toppling the Empire. The program is remarkably dynamic. We can just start exploring if we want. I suggest we head down to the nearby village and ask around about any problems. Seems a good way to start. MacFarlane: Response Adea: ::handing round a leather pouch he kept in a thong around his neck:: Anyone want a nip of this before we start. It’s “holy water”. :: Without wasting time, Rhone took Genkos up on his offer, quickly taking a swig of the drink, nearly coughing it back up in the process. The pouch was passed around the group quite quickly. :: Rhone: Consider me blessed. Adea: Bless you child. A. Sevo: Why Father, isn’t drinking a sin? :: She said sarcastically, smirking at Genkos as she took a sip. It burned on the way down, similar to Cory’s moonshine. :: Adea: My backstory doesn't say whether or not I'm a good priest. ::Caitris took the drink next, her left hand coming away from the top of the Lute but her right still plucking away. Seemingly, she was the last person to take a sip from the pouch. Shaking it, it seemed to still be quite full - it was pretty impressive considering how many of them were here.:: Cayne: Is this a magical pouch? ::She asked with a raised eyebrow and smirk on her lips as she handed the pouch back to its owner - completing the circle:: MacFarlane/Adea/Anyone: Response :: Once everyone had arrived and was sufficiently prepared, Ayiana mounted Serenity, who gave a slight neigh. Genkos mounted his own Chestnut, and heaved Toto into his lap. He squirmed and yapped excitedly. Rhone swung and climbed aboard Nakkin, needing to nearly do the splits for the massive warhorse. Caitris (Cayne) disappeared into the edge of the woods and mounted her companion, stepping back into view and now the horse was revealed as it came into the light. His coat was as dark as the shadows of the forest it came from but seemed to shine in the light as it stepped into the open, particularly from the snow which was on its feet. The horse also seemingly, didn't make noise as it trotted, similar to its companion now on it's back. ::She approached the others, she didn't hold onto the reins of the horse - in fact, it seemed he didn't have any. He listened peacefully which she continued to pluck delicately on his back, her melody ever flowing, ever controlling.:: A. Sevo: Computer, disable sandbox and enable questing. ::The chirp of acknowledgement was the only indication that anything had changed. Caitris (Cayne) watched the others as they looked around - particularly, the bigger woman, Rhone. Her hands now began to move faster, the tempo picked up to mark the beginning of their adventure.:: A. Sevo: Alright, let’s go, my merry band of...um… Y’know what, we need a name. ::She slowed the music down again - it wasn't time to go yet, it seemed.:: T. Sevo: The Gorkonites! :: He raised his pipe mace in triumph. He looked around at everyone else, hoping for agreement. :: Anyone? No? Adea: I quite like the Gorkonites. It sounds suitably Arthurian. ::Arthur being an old Terran legend, about whom many many holoscripts had been written.:: MacFarlane/Rhone/Anyone: Response A. Sevo: “Drunk and Disorderly?” Hehe. Rhone: Filthy Casuals….? ::Caitris (Cayne) giggled as they joked about - her laugh, however, blended so well into the music she played, it was barely noticeable.:: MacFarlane/Anyone: Response Adea: Can't we stick to Gorkonites? It's easy to remember, easy on the ear, and it's thematically appropriate. Cayne: I agree - also, I think we should just get on with it. ::She smiled at everyone and plucked at the strings of the lute harder, the tempo picking up again.:: MacFarlane/A.Sevo/T.Sevo: Response Adea: Let's ride! ::And so they set off - Caitris (Cayne), stuck to the back - after letting down her hood to feel the cold air across her face she smiled, looking around and plucking the strings of the lute in her hand. She began to sing - with the help of the computer, just like had this whole time with the lute..:: Cayne: ::Singing:: Io Ihol atten Eitná neme-vîta sílo dínniël iso olth a fasah lamanto dînea! A Hîro Akumunnûn gilthoniëla, lev lionet ia Cúviël! ::Happily singing - she was distracted. Hearing the noise of the others not of their party too late. She stopped dead in her tracks - her voice silenced, the lute now quiet but tense, the strings sounded strained. A small band of raggedy looking troops appeared. They had filth-encrusted armour, and only a few had any kind of metal swords - the rest carried thick sticks, heavy farming tools and one had a bow. The latter was notching an arrow. They were clearly deserters from some kind of army.:: The Bowman: Stop or I shoot! ::Caitris (Cayne) watched as the big one brought out her weapon - although the action was obscured from their potential rivals, it was visible to Caitris from this angle. A subtle note played, the deception lingering in the air.:: Adea: What do we do now? Fight them? ::Watching as Rhone approached, Caitris (Cayne) watched kept her ears perked up - listening for any danger that could be coming in.:: Rhone: We are the Gorkonites, we quest for glory. Join us or make way. If you attempt to stop us, you’ll be nought but carrion in moments! ::Snap - something caught her attention. A branch, a twig, she wasn't sure but an alarming noise all the same. Her horse picked up on this also and let out a deep huff and the note of deception played again.:: Cayne: It's an ambush! Watch your sides! Adea/Rhone/MacFarlane/A.Sevo/T.Sevo: Response ::The hand on her Lute now stuck the strings, flicking along them quickly. Danger approached them and a battle was sure to be the outcome. ::Feeling the energy build-up from the loot like it did when she first took it out, this time it was more intense. It felt like electricity crackled around her head, the snapping noises close to her ears, she could feel the hairs on her body stand up and the ones on her head felt like they were trying to do the same. It felt like her hearing was even more amplified now - she could have sworn she heard what sounded like the draw of a string. ::Like an instinct, she let out a scream, her head snapping towards the woods on her right side. The energy seemed to erupt from her causing a force-field made of electricity to appear for a moment, separating their band of fellows from the enemy. Multiple arrows appeared from the woods and struck the field. -ZAP- Like insects hitting those old Terran machines that drew them in and killed them, the arrows fizzled out of existence. The wall fell and from the forest, the Bandits charged.:: Adea/Rhone/MacFarlane/A.Sevo/T.Sevo: Response Bandits: Response -- Ensign Caitríona Cayne Medical USS Gorkon A238808CH0
  13. 1 point
    We’re here with another interview with a newer member of our community. The title of this column is “Lower Decks,” hearkening back to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode titled “Lower Decks,” in which junior officers aboard the Enterprise-D speculate on the reasons for recent unusual actions taken by the command crew near the Cardassian border. This month’s interview is with the writer behind Ensign Jona ch’Ranni playing an Andorian male Helm/Ops Officer assigned to the USS Columbia. GALVEN: Thank you for allowing me to interview you! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there? CH’RANNI: Hello! My name IRL is Josh and I love everything about Star Trek and have since I was a child. I work in IT in the education industry in the midwest US and I am married with twin 3 year old boys. Having joined in October of 2395, what has been your favorite moment writing aboard the USS Columbia? I loved our visit to the homeworld of a newly discovered alien race – the Losarians – on a recent shore leave. I was able to sim visiting a shipworks facility, a culinary institute, and a seedy bar on one of the moons. It was an open world in which to play and I loved every minute of it. Do you take any inspiration from movies/TV/books when writing for your character? I channel Star Trek: The Next Generation as that seems to me to be the epitome of what Star Trek is about even though our setting is several decades later. It is always what I envision in my mind when writing. When I was younger I was an avid reader of The Original Series and TNG novels, and I believe that greatly influences my thinking and writing. On your character’s wiki, you wrote that ch’Ranni has a strained relationship with all four of his parents. What kind of character development has transpired in the 10 months you’ve been writing with 118? Jona’s parents disagreed with his applying to Starfleet. In fact, they shunned him for the life choice. They believed that he was abandoning his Andorian heritage. Since then, one of his mothers has reached out to him and indicated that not all four of the parents were equal in their disagreement. This has left an opening for him to slowly reconnect with his parents. Jona has developed a romantic relationship with a nice Andorian scientist on Dehner Base and has plans on next shore leave to take her to meet his parents. I plan to delve into their relationships further at that time. Out of all the number of duty posts, you chose Helms officer in the beginning and are now the Chief of Operations. What advice can you give new and older members who want to choose that particular duty post? I chose Helmsman initially because there was a need in the fleet for that position at the time. I felt that it would be a nice post to be in the heart of the action and give him valuable bridge time. I accepted the transfer to Ops because it’s a nice melding of several positions. It kind of reminds me of my real life job in IT where anything can get thrown at you and you are responsible for fixing it. Many of my favorite characters from Star Trek come from that department too. And lastly, do you personally have aspirations in the fleet? Are there any OOC activities you’re associated with, or any you’d like to join? I’m gunning for first officer! I try to help out with our ship’s wiki page as much as I can and I would love to get involved in the Training Team to assist our new members. Thanks for your time, Lieutenant Jona ch’Ranni! You can read more about Lieutenant Jona ch’Ranni on the wiki. The post Lower Decks Interview: Lieutenant Jona ch’Ranni, USS Columbia appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  14. 1 point
    We’re here with another interview with a member of the Academy Training Team for insight on how our training works, and as recognition for all the hard work that goes into training new members each and every week of the year! This month’s interview is with the writer behind LtCmdr. Jocelyn Marshall playing a human female assigned to the USS Gorkon. LtCmdr. Marshall is also the most recent recipient of the Boothby Award, an annual award for trainers who go above and beyond their Academy Training Requirements. These trainers display an outstanding example of dedication to bringing new cadets to our community. THORAN: Hello LtCmdr. Marshall! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself for the folks who may not know you? MARSHALL: Hey! I’m Em and I write for Jo Marshall, the XO of the USS Gorkon. It’s the only ship I’ve written on since graduating from the Academy myself back in 2016. I live and work in Belgium as an Ops Officer for NATO, which is a lot more boring than it sounds. I’m from the UK and so, like most fellow expats, I have to smuggle tea across the border through France. Baked beans taste strange here and fish and chips cost a fortune. I’ve been roleplaying for years, I’m often found with a book in my hand, and if I haven’t got at least one 15-page JP going on, it’s cause for concern. And I have a slight addiction to coffee, but doesn’t everyone? How long ago did you join Academy Training Team, and what was it like getting started? I definitely don’t have to look it up… It’s been about a year now! I joined the training team as a Lieutenant in September 2018. Getting started was the easiest bit about the whole thing! For the first two sessions you volunteer for, you’re the resident ghost. You read the sims and feedback sent in, observe how the cadets are performing, and join in with the discussions in the staff group. All that prepares you for the real test. Writing as a mock cadet is both really rewarding and challenging. I think for the first time round, I was more nervous than the cadets! Like a PNPC, you develop a character ready to take their final examination with real cadets. It’s your job to set an example of how we do things, so every sim has to be scrubbed and polished for cadets to emulate — and they will! It’s so much fun to do. What’s been your favorite part about training so far? My favourite bit is always seeing a cadet I’ve helped to train graduatinge into the fleet and enjoying themselves. It sounds like a textbook answer, I’m aware, but there really is nothing like it. Over this year I’ve been in classes with some amazing writers graduatingslipping into our community who are now shooting up the ranks with boundless energy and enthusiasm. It’s a privilege to be one of the first people to sim with and get to know them before they’re all wearing Admiral tricorners. How do you approach the role of CO of a training class – what’s going through your head as you’re simming? I try and jump in with a lot of energy and create a welcoming atmosphere for the cadets to feel comfortable in. Coming into a group knowing you’re simming alongside existing members can be quite daunting for some, and having to roleplay in a format you’re not used to can be challenging. So, from the offset, my efforts go into making sure the cadets know they’ve got time to get used to it all, can ask questions when they like, and just have FUN! It’s a week where anything can happen — create a new species, get chased by a xenomorph through the vents, cure a plague, go back or forward in time — and I’m there to ensure they’re getting the best out of training by demonstrating those creative skills. If I’ve done my job right, they’re confident in taking their first steps into the fleet. For some technical specifics, when I’m putting a sim together for the team, I make sure I’ve read and delved into everyone’s posts, capturing those small details they’ve included. I ask questions in character to tease out creative answers and solutions, and aim to ensure everyone knows how important they are to the story we’re crafting. Absolutely none of it could be done without a great XO and mock cadets. They help bring it all to life and make the role of CO insanely easier. Some of the best advice I’ve ever had from my CO is, “If you take an interest in someone’s character, they take an interest in yours.” Regardless of whether we’re together for a week or a year, you’ve got a character and a story, so tell me about it. What’s your favourite memory of your time on the training team? Oh man, that’s a question! There’s so many classic moments! I’ve given the XO the run around on a haunted ghost ship, I’ve been the XO having issues with man-eating ankle-biting tribbles, and I’ve been the CO stranded on a planet with werebears scratching at the door and a full class of eight with no where else to go, slowly going mad. If I had to pick just one, it would be writing for my mock cadet with Lieutenant Commander Shayne as the XO, where Shayne and my mock were trapped in a station room with a spider thing that was definitely out for eating them. The scene was eerie, the real cadet loved it and really got into it. It’s now a running joke that every class I do with Shayne or Commander Thoran becomes a Lovecraft homage. What advice would give to those who are coming up through the ranks and headed toward the Training Team? If you’re not quite at the point where you can volunteer for the training team, you can still start to put together those skills that you’ll need. Start thinking about facilitating the plot for your fellow crew members, how do you make it interesting and push the story forward, and observe how others around you write. It’s often said that writers improve by reading, practice and feedback, so don’t be afraid to ask for input from your mentor on how you can start preparing for the training team. If you’re in two minds now whether to volunteer, think back to how your academy training went. Remember how you felt during that first week. Did your team make you feel welcome? Did you enjoy writing with them? Did you make friends? You can do that all over again on a monthly basis. Your time, effort and dedication to the team will be absolutely invaluable and so very appreciated. It’s one of the most important teams we have in the group — bringing in new members into the fold — and if you’ve got the experience and time to do so, you won’t regret it. As a team, we work well together, we volunteer when we can, and we have a laugh. It’s always fun, it’s incredibly rewarding… …and you can wrestle a nine-foot tribble into the path of a xenomorph maw, if you really want to. Thank you so much for your time — we’ll let you get back to training! You can read more about LtCmdr. Marshall on the wiki, and learn more about joining the Academy Training Team on this page. The post Trained by the best: Jocelyn Marshall appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  15. 1 point
    Wow, thank you so much for the kind words. If I didn't say it before, I encourage EVERYONE to find any excuse at all to write a joint post with Randall Shayne.
  16. 1 point
    This recent joint post by @Irina Pavlova and @Randal Shayne just absolutely blew me away. I am not afraid to admit that it made me a little misty eyed as I read it. Because NOT ONLY is it a beautifully written piece of scene work by two immensely talented people (people I just so happen to serve with #humblebrag). But it speaks to the amazing dynamics we can find between our characters, as well as just how rich the personal lore/canon people have built here over the years is. Sims like this are precisely why I wanted to join up and I thank y'all so much for allowing me to do so. And thank you for providing me amazing things like this to read. Enjoy. Pavlova: I pulled her marksmanship scores from the academy and they are better than average. Shooting skills aren’t my concern, its her attitude that bothers me. ::Shayne nodded at that, understanding. Waters was obviously dealing with a lot, but the “woe is me” routine had to stop. They were bound for more trouble than any of them were prepared for if she didn’t. Fortunately, her recent chat with the helmswoman gave him a small inkling of hope in the matter. Only time would tell in the end.:: Shayne: You’ll set her right. This isn’t about her shooting. Gotta get her to move past whatever’s holding her back. ::Shayne would not give Pavlova the satisfaction of hearing that he could think of no one better qualified for the job.:: Pavlova: I figured you would say that. By the way, you might want to pick up the pace or you’ll still be here for tomorrow’s shift. Shayne: Sounds kind of relaxing, actually. I could grab a spare cot, and just tear paper away. Rip. Rip. Rip. ::Indeed, for some strange reason, the prospect had a strange sort of appeal. But he could think of no more effective ways to start the rumor mill and earn the captain’s wrath than by spending the night in Pavlova’s security office.:: Pavlova: You want a drink? We are off duty now, and by your sluggish pace you’ve got at least another hour or two of work ahead of you. ::Generally speaking, Shayne was not a big drinker. It didn’t agree with his temperamental stomach, and it didn’t do favors for his head, either. But it had become something of a tradition between the two of them recently. At first, it was a matter of relaxation. Then it was a matter of medication. Now it was… what? Tradition? He wasn’t sure he knew anymore. But considering the fact that he still had no idea what was waiting for him in the box, he could think of no better way to steel himself.:: ::He turned his head to accept the proposal, but Pavlova was already up and grasping several objects from inside a… was that a freezer? She brought them back to the desk, and Shayne looked at her in untempered astonishment, tinged with a drop of jealousy.:: Shayne: You know, I seen me a mermaid once. I’ve even seen a shark eat an octopus. But I ain’t never seen no phantom Russian minibar. ::The first officer watched as his frenemy poured a reasonable amount into the glass before Shayne, and then forego any pretense of civility by filling her cup to the brim.:: Pavlova: Nostrovia! Shayne: Skol! ::Shayne took a small sip of his vodka as Pavlova downed hers with the experience of someone who’d done it often. The stuff was noxious to Shayne, but he would not be outdrunk by Irina. He braced himself, and knocked back the rest of it, trying desperately not to appear in pain as his esophagus swiftly turned to liquid.:: Shayne: Well, if it’s a rabid vole, at least I’ll be able to laugh at it now. ::Nevertheless, he quickened his pace. If he stayed here too much longer, Irina might feel the need to pour them both another shot, and whether he ended up enjoying it or not, the result would not be good at all. Still careful to keep count, he began tearing at the paper in earnest.:: ::Irina saw him speed up his pace and couldn’t help but smile, then downed the rest of her drink and filled it up again.:: Pavlova: That’s the spirit! ::He tore and tore and tore, and got passed two hundred, and very narrowly missed tearing the oddly folded… something. Curious, he carefully removed it, and looked at it. This was no rabid vole. This was no Jack-in-the-Box. This was… an old piece of paper. Very old by the looks of it. On it was the sigil of the NX-02, and on the bottom… Commodore Vittorio Moretti USS Columbia, Commanding Shayne looked at Pavlova, eyes wide.:: Shayne: Now, wait just a minute… ::Either this really was an elaborate prank, or Pavlova was actually giving him something truly, substantially valuable. Something unique.:: Pavlova: What? You haven’t seen linen paper before? ::He honestly didn’t know what to feel. If this was a joke, he was going to feel mighty foolish. But he had a feeling this was more. And if it was…:: Shayne: ::Quietly.:: Is this real? Pavlova: I don’t know, how much did you drink? Of course it’s real., but its also still wrapped, so keep unwrapping. ::He knew the feel of what he was touching, and with a final tear, beheld the contents. Inside was a vibrantly colored, fully embroidered patch. The dark blue and red trim circled the image of an old Earth starship, and the words along the edge boldly proclaimed “Columbia.” On the bottom was Latin, and though he’d taken several years of it in school, he needed none of it to speak the motto emblazoned on the bottom.:: Shayne: “Fortune favors the bold.” Irina, this is… incredible. Pavlova: I know, right. I mean, of course it is. ::Shayne tried to frown at her words, but he couldn’t. It was absolutely gorgeous.:: Shayne: How the hell did you know I collected patches? I haven’t told anyone that here. Pavlova: What kind of detective would I be if I couldn’t find out all of your secrets? ::Shayne’s eyes squinted at her shrewdly. He kept his secrets very close to the chest, thank you very much, and he disliked the thought of Pavlova having anything on him, however innocuous.:: ::But the patch was really nice.:: ::As he ruffled further, he found the rank pips for a 22nd century lieutenant commander, and pulled them out slowly as well. He held it in his hand, sighing gently. It was gorgeous. Patches were his hobby, but rank and insignia of any sort stoked his fire.:: Shayne: All my secrets? Nah. But you’ve found the important one. ::Irina was very happy to know she still had it.:: Pavlova: I guess that means I won’t be transferring to Janitorial, which is what I was planning if my detective work had been poor. ::But there was more. On the bottom was a heavier package, and unwrapping it revealed… a jacket. No, Shayne realized. Not just any jacket. A certain dark brown leather affair. And on the side… was another Columbia patch.:: Shayne: Oh, no way. Pavlova: When mine was issued, I bought an extra for …., for someone important to me. Since I returned and learned of his oO and EVERYONE ELSE’S Oo passing, I’ve just kept it in storage. I know how much affection you have for your Columbia, so I thought you would appreciate this piece of my Columbia. ::The rivalry, or whatever it was, lay forgotten in that moment.:: Shayne: This is absolutely incredible. Thank you. ::He tried not to offer thanks too readily- in his experience, it was all too easy to confuse appreciation with an excuse from reciprocation. But here, there really wasn’t much else to say.:: Pavlova: I’m glad you like it. When you wear it, I hope it brings you good memories of your friends from your Columbia, and those who came before. ::She had meant the gift just as a simple movement of an item, from someone who no longer needed it, to someone she knew would treasure it, but memories got the better of her and a tear slid down from her left eye, over her cheek and then down onto her shirt.:: Pavlova: Too many of us never finished our tour. 36 went down to the surface of Kjenta II, but only four came back. ::She didn’t mention those rescued a few years later on the Thunder and not disclosed to Starfleet for their own protection.:: Pavlova: 48 went into stasis, and only 12 came out. Out of all of us, only two are still in Starfleet. ::Another tear, this time from her right eye, and again ignored.:: Pavlova: That jacket was meant for Katya’s father. I didn’t know I was pregnant when we shipped out, and we’d only been intimate the one night before, but we were best friends, inseparable since before either of us could even crawl. I was two months older, and Dimitri lived two doors down in our apartment building in St. Petersburg and my grandmother used to take care of both us while our parents worked. He was closer than my own brother and sister, but when the time came to join the defense forces, I was selected for recon sniper and he for navigation. ::She wiped a finger across her left eye, catching the forming tear before it could fall. She turned slightly away and took the opportunity to refill her glass and his, careful again to pour his very short to just one shot while actually overflowing her own by a few drops.:: Pavlova: Damn. Sometimes its all just a little too… ::She turned back, eyes slightly redder than usual and raised her glass.:: Pavlova: To those who didn’t come back, either completely or in part. Vittorio Moretti, Nicholas Lennon, Lan Treng, Prea Rashingham, Bill Thomas, Joan Hudson, Naomi Sakamura, … :: she went through the entire list, unerringly, of everyone who set sail with her that 20th of July in the year 2169.:: Pavlova: Gregori Stetlin, Eva Hauser, Graciela Solis, ::beat:: and an impossibly young Irina Pavlova. ::With the list complete, she raised her glass an inch or so, then downed it all again.:: ::Shayne watched, his elation taking on a grim stoicism. In a way, he almost wished he’d been there, if only to offer some kind of comfort to Pavlova. Would she take it if he offered? Would anything be served by commiserating? What could he do to make her feel the slightest bit better about her trauma? Nothing, he decided. There was nothing he could do, and it tasted like the bitterest ash. He had never subscribed to that mentality before, but in the face of grief like this, loneliness like this, of a sort that he could barely get his head around, nothing he could say would do much. Even trying to put himself in her shoes seemed like an insult of the highest order. So he simply sat there, uncomfortable but ready to listen, and found the slightest scrap of comfort in seeing that this person was a person. Not invulnerable. Not godlike. A person. And that he could drink to, shared experiences or no. He lifted his glass.:: Shayne: To the impossibly old one as well. ::Holding her with his eyes, he downed his glass again, enduring the stinging sensation as a rite of passage and enjoying an act that bore weight.:: Pavlova: Yeah, her too. ::Her voice was soft, another tear rolled down, but there was something more, a hint of a smile.:: Pavlova: You would have liked them. ::She poured them both more of the no-longer-ice-cold vodka and proceeded to tell him about those who had come before until far too late and far too many shots.:: LtCmdr Irina Pavlova Chief of Security, USS Eagle Author ID O238908HA0 And Lieutenant Commander Randal Shayne First Officer USS Eagle NCC 74659 G239202RS0
  17. 1 point
    ((Ishnag Recreational facility, Ankshari Woods)) Gau was already planetside, after asking permission from the local ranger authority, she was enjoying the fresh air and was out on a real hunt for once. She had ditched her special made uniform for her sash with her commbadge and Nurse collar, a uniform would get in the way. For a Pahkwa, a hunt was almost a religion as much as it is an instinct, by Pakwha law, hunting a sentient intelligent being, like a Human, without its permission was a taboo,Gau knew of no Pahkwa who did, and Gau would not even hunt a Sentient intelligent being even if her life depended on it. Now, she was on the trail of a creature, its sent was very prominent, Gau was unsure if it was a deer kind of creature or a boar. It had been on Duronis that she last hunted… It felt good to hunt somewhere real, rather than a holodeck… A twig snapped! Gau her eyes focussed on the sound, her neck almost turning a 120 degrees a soft animalistic growl and a clicking sound emitting from her nostrils and throat, until she remembered she was alone, and become deadly quiet, She was a apex predator. No matter the planet… She started to make her way towards the sound slowly, occasionally, she checked the ground as to not snap a twig herself, she entered the undershrub hardly moving a leaf…. Her physical body was impressive, being over 2 meters tall and long, and atleast half that wide, she was still impressed with her stalking, she was one of the best in her Clutch. She emerged near the edge of an open plain, luck was by her side, the flowers on the shrub were a light blue, just like her. on the middle of the field, there was a group of four-legged creatures, Gau breathed slowly, as she inspected her targets. They resembled a mix of a deer and a boar, much like her powerfull nose told her. The creature had antlers like a deer, a powerfull muscled build, like a boar, they were hairy, up to the neck, from where up it was more a scaled skin. By how they were looking around, she determined they were squeamish, and would probably not pose to much of a threat for a single Pakhwa… Gau grinned, the hunt was on. finding the prey was the easy part, the small herd of creatures was on high alert, but they had not yet seen nor smelled her. Gau retreated back into the shrub. Several minutes passed as Gau was slowly making her way around the field, keeping an eye on the herd.whom was now casually grazing, al except for one. the creature was more grey, clearly older. More experienced, yes weaker... probably. Gau was focussed, she had found her target, sadly, this target was the one paying attention. Her intelligence was on her side, as well as her age, and the fact that she was sure this would be the animals first encounter with a Pakhwa... Gau had closed the distance to a sprint. She felt her muscles tense up, she was relaxed…. but she felt the adrenaline flowing… She took another step… This time, with purpose she increases her speed. she broke cover, in a matter of second she reached her top speed, the creatures reacted after they looked up, an alarm call, it only fueled her movements, her target, who sounded the alert, was slower then she expected. Gau changed her speed from her sprint to an endurance run, She was still gaining on them as she lowered her posture, Gau: oO Just a little more! Oo Gau was reaching jumping distance…… She took the jump with a shriek! And hit the ground full force. the creature had changed heading, Gau was rolling on the ground, as she got back up, she growled, and began running. The Game was on! TBC Ensign Gau Dana Ki Pahkwa-thanh (https://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php?title=Pahkwa-thanh) , Nurse Starbase 118 medical Division https://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php?title=Gau_dana_Ki simmed by Lieutenant Junior Grade Wallace Williams Tactical Officer Starbase 118, Ops, Operation Division ID: E239504WW0
  18. 1 point
    @Toryn Raga is doing an amazing job of playing a deranged AI. I'm enjoying each post just that much more! ((Beta Quadrant, Par'tha Expanse, Jenatris Cloud, Chon Supply Depot Sal'thresta, "Outpost Gamma")) Omni: Golds and blues and violets and greens. Nebulae and gone tomorrow. Signals lost, signals found, echo transmission aloud! :: Laughter was quickly followed by a long drawn out ooooooh, as a signal. A friendly signal, familiar, ancient pinged off the communication system. Instantly triggering the passing along of said ping through the gaseous cloud surrounding the ancient station. Vibrant shields held back the gases that would otherwise have looooong destroyed the small little depot. :: Omni: What's this? What's this? A signal in the air? What's this? What's this? Chon signals everywheeeeeere! ::There was a brief absolute silence.:: Omni: Aaaaand it's gone. The signal and the station. Oooh, the big outpost is gone. Missing. Stolen? Must be one of the ones that pass by in the gap. Haha, mind the gap! Or get the gas!! :: Cajoling laughter echoed throughout networked circuits and pathways. :: :: A proximity alert triggered suddenly and the sensors showed an incoming ship. Unknown, small. Data packets. More data. He accessed it. Federation. Starfleet. Whatever those words meant. It approached slowly. Heading for a shuttlebay. Light. Light was good. So a light turned on outside. Then a communication system that had not seen use in centuries sent out a hail. :: Hyden: We have a shuttle bay fifty degrees from the Starboard side. :: As she said it the stations light activated and a voice came through the comms. :: Unknown Voice: =/\= Small ship, shiny ship want to come inside!! =/\= Hyden: =/\= Hello I am Lieutenant Maddi Hyden of the Federation Starship Atlantis. =/\= Voice: =/\= Rank and name. Organization and Vessel Designation. Booooooooring!!! =/\= Kiliak: Well, I hope they're fans of the Federation. What do you two make of it? Voice: =/\= Hellloooooo?? This thing must be broken. Omni needs more. =/\= :: The sensors showed the shuttle just outside the bay, it was dark, had no power. It needed power. So, power it got. Sensors scanned the small shuttle as it neared one of the green depot's shuttlebays. Lifesigns. Would need atmosphere. So, the bay filled with atmosphere matched specifically to what the scans showed inside the shuttle. A green forcefield appeared on the opening of the shuttlebay, meant to keep the atmosphere inside and permit vessels to come and go. :: Omni: =/\= Come..come. =/\= :: The communication ceased and atmosphere filled the entire deck the shuttlebay was on as systems offline for thousands of years came to life once more. :: Hyden: Thanks for the warm if not somewhat irregular welcome...Omni? Is that what you want to be called? :: Sensors showed the three lifesigns exit the shuttlecraft and the one that they had been talking to once more spoke. It was so nice to hear a voice other than their own. :: Omni: We said Omni already did we not? Perhaps the species has underdeveloped audible sensors? Sluggish cognitive comprehension? ::There was a brief bit off laughter followed by a groaning sound:: Booooring...Omni needs more! Hyden: What do you mean you need more? Omni: Input! Data! Must have input! ::Cackling:: Company! We're so lonely! :: The trio gathered together to converse at a low audible setting, so they increased the sensitivity on the internal communications to overhear. :: Hyden: There must be a computer interface somewhere in here. See if you can find it have Danara tag along with you in case you need her expertise with Chon security. :: She whispered in Jo’s ear. :: Kiliak: Response :: As they listened systems across the depot were slowly being brought back online. After centuries of inactivity there were procedures to adhere to to insure the station was awakened properly and safely. :: Hyden: Ok, Omni what would you like to know more about? Omni: Everything. Anything. ::Laughter:: More! Well, different things things we can't learn from our systems. We wish to have input, just like you are attempting to do in accessing our systems. I wouldn't use that one though. It only has access to the shuttlebay. Many systems have limited access but we have access to many systems, all systems! ::It sounded giddy like a child excited for an achievement:: Hyden: Wait so you're telling me you’re everywhere on this station? Are you a computer of some sort? Omni: Everywhere. Nowhere. Here. There. Omni is Omni. ::Again they laughed, like a discordant chorus of voices:: Hyden: Well we’re not here to hurt you Omni, but some information could help us out if you’d be willing to give it? Omni: Give? Omni could give. But Omni wants input!! Give us input and we giiiiiiive youuuuuuu infor..infor...information!! ::There was a giggle:: OOh, what's that, problem...system isn't working like it should...must fix, must fix, must fix. ::There was a brief bit of whistling then silence:: Hyden: Well what are your thoughts on all this? Kiliak/Danara: Responses Hyden: I have to concur, but we can’t do anything until we figure out a way to draw it’s observation away from one system to activate it. Kiliak/Danara: Responses :: They had listened while working on fixing the error that cropped up while powering up the station, like overhearing a conversation nearby while focused on something else. Something was preventing power from reaching several locations throughout the station, which was leaving several systems offline. Still, the roll of playful, if unhinged laughter heralded Omni's presence once more. :: Omni: Come, come! Come see Omni! Hyden/Kiliak/Danara: response Omni: Well, the Operations Core of course. ::Voice drops to a whisper but still clearly audible through the intercom:: Underdeveloped reasoning skills likely. ::Laughing again:: Omni is the core, come to Omni. Hyden/Kiliak/Danara: response Omni: Don't go that way. Go that way. No..the other way. ::Laughing again:: Use the computer. The device you were going to use. Download the schematics. Omni give you map...map...map...map! Hyden/Kiliak/Danara: response
  19. 1 point
    Hello everyone, Just thought I would come say hello. I’ve played various RPGs on and off for quite a while. I got started in what was essentially a chat room where you posted, hit refresh, and saw everything that was posted between then and the last time you hit refresh. Got my start there playing World of Darkness and other more freeform games, before I kind of drifted off to do life-related stuff and found it was gone. I played on a bunch of MUSHes and MUXes, including a Trek game I really enjoyed but I always found that the Trek games in those mediums were either short-lived or the community was difficult to connect with. Recently had the notion to try Trek games again, and thought I’d give Play by E-Mail a go. I’ve got no experience with this method of play and while I’m in training at the moment I’m still not entirely sure I’m doing it right. Hopefully I’ll get the hang of it sooner rather than later. I joined because looking through the wiki and the forums and such, I realised this is the sort of community I always wished existed when I was playing in the other places I frequented for years but was never able to actually find because I didn’t get the format and was unwilling to try. Better late than never, though. It’s nice to see such an active and welcoming community, so I wanted to end by saying thanks for giving me a shot!
  20. 1 point
    Pizza. It was the first thing Cadet Timmons West saw once he stepped aboard StarBase 118. Here he was. He was finally in space. He'd spent his whole life on Earth but had always dreamed of the stars. And the first thing he saw--pizza! Some things are just universal. Since he had a couple hours to burn before he had to report to the holodeck for his cadet cruise, West thought he'd grab a bite to eat. But not pizza. He'd basically lived off the stuff for the last four years at Academy. There were so many cultures aboard the StarBase. He wanted to try something a bit more, uh, exotic. There was a group of other cadets surrounding a food cart. They were cheering loudly. West made his way over to see what the commotion was about. A plate of something that was green and purple (and possibly still alive) was sitting in front of one of the cadets. The others were chanting for him to take a bite. The cadet chickened out and ran off. This looked like an opportunity to prove himself, so West took the other cadet's place. The crowd grew silent. West didn't see anything he recognized as silverware, so he just grabbed a handful of whatever was on the plate. The crowd started cheering again. "Do it! Do it!" West didn't know what it was. He wasn't sure if it'd be polite to ask. To be honest, he was scared to know what it was. He went for it. He took several large bites. The cheers of the crowd had long subsided. West was supposed to report for his cadet cruise in just a little while now, but his stomach was killing him. How would it look if he spent most of his first day of cadet cruise in the restroom? He was going to stick with pizza for the rest of his stay on the StarBase.
  21. 1 point
    Doree stepped off the transport and onto the arrival deck of the starbase. She glanced around at all the hustle and bustle, the different species, the different lifestyles, and was struck with a mixture of awe and trepidation. I guess we're not in Kansas anymore, she thought to herself as she took in the sights. This is, of course, what she had wanted for as long as she could remember: to escape her small, country upbringing on Earth and see the universe. Her parents had never understood her desire to leave home but they were proud of her accomplishments. She glanced at a chronometer and realized she had some time to kill and decided she might as well explore, so she set out to see what she could find. Doree was a small, young woman with strikingly green eyes and shoulder length, brown hair that she kept pulled tightly back into a pony tail. Her face was young, and there was a slight hint of freckles across her cheeks that had never quite gone away, a fact which was a constant annoyance to her. She moved with purpose in her steps but also a somewhat graceful nature which came from years of dancing. She was typically quiet and reserved, preferring to sit back and study her surroundings, though her friends back home would be able to tell many stories about her wilder nature. She found a small cafe where she could watch the foot traffic passing by and sat down at a table with her bag. Doree looked up and smiled as a waiter arrived at her table. "Hello there cadet. So are you coming or going?" he asked motioning to her duffel bag. "I'm just arriving here for my cadet cruise," she replied. "Ah, well welcome aboard! I'm Jarett, friend to all cadets here. What department are you in?" "Thank you Jarett, it's very nice to meet you. I'm Doree Greene and I'm a medical and science cadet." "Well Dr. Greene, it's nice to meet you as well. Judging from your accent I'm thinking you might like a nice glass of sweet tea?" She nodded with a smile and went back to watching the steady stream of people walking by the cafe. The tea, it turned out, was delicious and exactly what she needed after her long transport ride to the base. As she slowly sipped it, she thought about the days and weeks ahead of her. The final test to see if she was really cut out to be a Starfleet officer was at hand. Admittedly, she felt a certain amount of anxiety but she was confident that she could handle whatever she was presented with. After another glance at a chronometer, she finished her sweet tea, and stood up from the table. She called out her thanks to Jarett, "friend to all cadets," picked up her duffel bag, and set off toward the holodeck and her future. Cadet Doree Greene
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