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  1. 4 points
    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
  2. 2 points
    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.
  3. 2 points
    (( Corridor, USS Gorkon )) ::Hiding away in his quarters for the space of their QSD jump had only seemed to get Bear so far and now was the time the man needed to do what he’d feared. Each controlled step from the turbolift down the corridor peppered his thoughts with buckshot of what ifs and he was quite sure his brain bore a resemblance to raw dough. ::He tried to reason with himself as he combed his fingers through his blond beard. When he’d fled the ship with Valesha, when the Admiral had asked him to do what she’d asked him to do, he hadn’t believed he would be coming back to the Gorkon. Even if they succeeded in their task, which they did if only by the skin of their teeth, returning to the Sovereign-class had seemed a complex imagination at best. ::Yet, there he was, and here Sami was, and so much had changed in the time between leaving and coming back. Like sand pouring from a broken hourglass, Bear’s emotions had been slowly leaking for a while and it was time to reel them back in. He squared his shoulders, set his jaw, and pressed the button beside Samira’s door.:: (( Security Office - USS Gorkon )) ::Having tossed her gloves on her desk, Samira was standing near the small viewscreen, reading an incident report. Seems a couple of the crew managed to get into a brawl with one another at the Gym. One of them being having been a team member on her last mission. At least the hybrid had managed to win the fight, it was the only positive thing she could think off. She turned and placed the PADD on her desk when there was someone at the door.:: Neathler: Come in. ::Frowning, she felt her heart skipped a beat when she saw who walked in. Briefly Samira looked into his blue eyes before she looked away. She'd fallen once for those eyes, she didn't need to be trapped again.:: ::As if he hadn’t been planning his opening sentence since the moment he’d stepped off the turbolift, his words stumbled and caught in his throat as he saw her again. Barring the award ceremony, the last time he’d seen her face she’d been a lot closer, and in such different circumstances.:: O. Marshall: Can we talk? ::Talk? Now he wanted to talk? After four or five days travelling? She wanted to yell the words into his face, but after helping Meg cleaning up Tem's quarters she was too tired to raise her voice.:: Neathler: A bit late for that, ain't it Bear? ::She shrugged.:: It was all in the reports, at least the info we were allowed to read. It was all a setup, you delivered your package, or Romulan rather, and you returned with a package for the Admiral. oOAnd another someone, if rumors are true.Oo ::She shook her head.:: And it even got you a promotion so congratulations Lieutenant. ::She returned to the viewscreen, leaning against the bulkhead, staring to the stars outside. Why did she find it so difficult just to look at him?:: ::The sheer bloody indifference in her voice irked at the few soft spots so recently under the hammer from the Romulan’s unexpected condition, invoking a flare of shame he had anticipated to feel but not so soon out of the gate. As easily as Samira had slid beneath his skin and touched parts of him he hadn’t felt in a long time, she was so simply dragging across said skin with the sharpened fingernails of the betrayed. ::He stepped inside, allowing the door to close behind him before the rest of security got an unexpected earful of nothing to do with them. One, two, three steps he took into her office, enough to stand on the other side of the desk, as physical a barrier between the two as they could get.:: O. Marshall: You think you know what happened over there because you read a report? ::The reports were the only thing she had to go on. Did he expect her to run to the Admiral to ask for an explanation? She’d never have the chance to ask her question. She kept quiet, taking a deep breath. She turned around and observed him for a moment. His blue eyes, remembering the scar, not visible from where she stood, mostly hidden behind his blond beard.:: ::He did have a point, even if it took him half a week to come to that conclusion. Hadn’t he warned her from the start about him, that evening on the beach? She owed it to him to let him explain things and it might be her only chance to gain some answers. She nodded towards the chairs on his side of the desk, a silent invitation for him to sit down, speaking softly.:: Neathler: I’m listening. ::Forgoing sitting in favour of standing, Bear braced his hands on the back of the chairs in front of the desk. A deep exhale fled from his lungs, his hand wound up through his hair, words coming slow and thick, like the gradual melting of glaciers into the ocean. He tried and failed to speak until he finally lifted his hands up in frustration, dropping them back down to the back of the chair.:: O. Marshall: To go undercover with the Syndicate, we were ordered to make it look like an escape. It was the only way they’d believe it if we got caught. ::His gaze dropped from the dark-eyed woman to her desk.:: I couldn’t tell you, I couldn’t tell anyone. You had to believe it, too. ::Why had it been so easy to be mad at him in the past days when she hadn't seen him. And now seeing him struggle, all that anger had disappeared like snow underneath a blazing sun, and her heart was reaching out for him. Yet his words didn’t answer what she really wanted to know.:: Neathler: That part I do believe Bear. ::Didn’t the Admiral hide the fact that the agent they had to retrieve on Nassau was her own brother. How many times hadn’t Marlon mentioned things would have gone different on that rock if it had been her in that team to begin with. Even though Samira’s presence in that team would have jeopardised everything. Didn’t she freeze when she had seen Marlon in the shuttle bay of the Triumphant after so many months? Or maybe the Admiral hadn’t known either. Who was she kidding, of course the Admiral had known. She nodded to Bear even though his eyes were focussed on the desk.:: Neathler: Go on. O. Marshall: We ended up in Ma no Umi, at an old outpost haunt. We met the contact, he took us to Lena. From there… ::A frown took over his face and he swallowed, recalling the events of that evening. One drink in the Dungeon had turned into several, listening to the variety of conversations going on around him. Downstairs, Valesha had struggled against two Romulans as they’d tried unsuccessfully to kidnap her. If he hadn’t gone back downstairs then, if he hadn’t disrupted their attempts to do so, what would’ve happened? Would she be gone for good? He wiped his mouth with his hand and stood up, watching Samira standing at the window, the stars zipping past behind her. Sympathy caught on her expression.:: O. Marshall: From there, ::he rolled his shoulders back and stood up,:: we were on the Labyrinth’s Scream. Thertas was willing to defect to the Federation, given the right carrot. ::The ship the Gorkon encountered and helped to blow up. While some people on board that ship, Bear and Valesha included barely made it back to the Gorkon. For the first time since he'd entered her office Samira moved, rounded the desk and ended up on his side of the desk. She hopped on the table and sat down, picking up her gloves and tossed them a bit further on the desk. Even from her elevated position she still had to look up at him, to look him in the eyes. She finished softly.:: Neathler: Where lieutenant Sienelis got severly hurt and you both, with a few others, barely made it out alive. And all for something the Admiral wanted. ::Why was it always coming down to that? She studied his face for a moment.:: Bear... Why didn't you come by sooner? I can understand things were rough over there, but... ::She swallowed, thinking, trying to understand a few things.:: How can you let someone help you if you don't talk to them? O. Marshall: I’m perfectly capable of dealing with this on my own. ::The response was a snap of words and eyes up to hers, as quick as a flash and gone. A flare of anger caused by the insinuation he wasn’t, that he needed anyone to process and deal with it all. He’d been a Ranger for a reason. Solitary missions, relying on himself and his wits alone, without the addition of someone else’s baggage to navigate around. He looked to each of her eyes in turn, the depth of brown and himself reflected in them.:: O. Marshall: Why didn’t you come to see me? ::Just as with his previous snappy answer Samira was somewhat taken aback by his question. So he was throwing the ball back in her camp. She inhaled deeply and exhaled slowly, trying to form an answer in her mind.:: Neathler: I… ::Her hand palms flat on the desktop, her fingers gripping the edge of the desk, she looked him straight in the eyes, gauging his reaction.:: Neathler: I didn't think I was welcome anymore... I… I heard you had female company in your quarters. ::She wanted to say more, yet the words failed her.:: O. Marshall: She’s a friend. Convinced Thertas to defect, got us through all of that alive. ::And yet, that wasn’t what Sami had meant. It wasn’t the who, as much as the why. His hands dropped to his hips, his jaw looked as though it chewed on his tongue and he exhaled deeply through his nose. A manifestation of kindled guilt where it hadn’t kindled before. He hated it. Hated the curdling feeling as it crawled under his skin and festered there.:: O. Marshall: Sam, I like you. I do. ::He meant it, then stopped, rolled his lips between his teeth and continued.:: But I’m not… I can’t be who you want me to be. I’m not that guy. ::A mixed ray of emotions washed over her all at the same time, as she sat there quietly for some time, her gaze had shifted from his face to a fixed point on the floor in front of her. Anger, betrayal, but also acceptance, understanding and what else. For a split second she felt her eyes burning, next the feeling was gone as the anger flared up in her, followed by something else. So she had just been another score in his list, one of his victories, his words on the beach and elsewhere had meant nothing. Another lesson learned.:: ::She swallowed as she slowly slipped off the desk, her teeth gritting together, as she slowly breathed in and out, trying to regain her control. She was tired, drained and this time the words flowed and she didn’t bother to stop them.:: Neathler: Like me? You've got a funny way of showing it Bear. :She shook her head.:: What man exactly did I want you to be Bear? Have I ever told you what I expected from you? Have I ever demanded something from you? Have I ever asked you to come rescue me? ::She shrugged and turned towards him, confusion etched on her features.:: Why put up this whole charade, ::Nothing he had said except those last words were new to her.: only because you needed to tell me you've already moved on and found someone else? ::She shook her head again, as she had rounded her desk, reaching the spot where she had tossed her gloves earlier, her left hand reaching out to grab them.:: ::His arms folded over his chest as his jaw set, each round fired like torpedos from the launchers seeking out the fleshy bits of his human-shaped target, and they hurt as they hit square on. With a deep swallow, he stepped a foot back, as though he tried to deflect some of those blows from landing with such accuracy.:: O. Marshall: That’s not what I’m saying and this, ::he pointed to the two of them in turn,:: isn’t anything to do with her. I chased after you on the Njordr because I care about you. ::He wiped his hand over his mouth, considering whether or not to say what he wanted to.:: I left this ship and all I could think about was you. And it made me weak. ::Someone had told him once that if he made his heart into a weapon, he’d only use it on himself. That was his reality. Lies interspersed within lies. Space filled with stars of sorrow and heartache, pin[...]s of suffering used by lovers to navigate through the darkness. His jaw twitched and in that moment, his eyes looking at her as though she were the northern star in the sky, he felt pathetic and it wasn’t an emotion he cared for.:: O. Marshall: I warned you not to want me. ::It was the simple act of taking her gloves and shoving them in the backpocket of her black pants, while she focused on her breathing, that she was able to get her emotions and thoughts under control again. Something in his words, made her change her mind and she approached Bear, confused by his words. He no longer wanted to be with her because she made him weak? Silently she shook her head as she stepped in front of him. Why did he have to make things so complicated? She looked up and tortured herself by looking in those gorgeous blue eyes of his.:: Neather: I don’t understand Bear. You say you care and yet you’re pushing me away? ::Her gaze lowered towards the hidden scar on his cheek, raising her hand she gently touched it with the back of her fingers, tracing it underneath his blond beard, like she had done the last time they had been together, a faint smile with a touch of sadness or regret emerged at the memory, and she had to use all her willpower not to kiss him. Her gaze shifted back to his blue eyes as she swallowed softly.:: Neathler: I know what you said back then, but I’m still here, ain’t I? ::She paused as she lowered her hand, being fully aware of their proximity.:: So it’s okay for you to care for someone else but not the other way around? ::She paused a few milliseconds before she continued softly.:: It doesn’t work that way Bear and it doesn’t make you weak, if anything it only shows you’re human. ::Human, with a human heart and mind, wrapped up within human limitations. He took hold of her hand as it lowered between them, without the gloves her palm soft and tender beneath his fingertips. Dark-eyes greeted him as his gaze looked up and his lips rolled between his teeth, trying to find some anchor in all of it to attach himself to. One of them would end up with their heart broken.:: O. Marshall: Samira. ::His voice gravelled through his throat, walking the lines of deep and quiet.:: I’ve spent most of my life alone. If I need to leave here tomorrow, I need to do so with no regrets and nothing left behind. What we had, ::he took a breath, ribs sore with the exhale,:: was a way of passing the time. ::There he was; that callous-hearted stone bristled man, arisen from the burning ashes of his bridges. He felt it wash over his skin like a storm. It would be easier this way; easier for her to find someone to build a castle with strong foundations, rather than shifting sand beneath torrid scorched earth. He tilted his head to the side; the [...]y, self-assured arrogance swelled like a tide, sweeping out the affection and left the sharp shale in its wake.:: O. Marshall: And you liked being distracted as much as I did. ::His words cut through her heart like a knife, her hand, first feeling the warmth of his skin, now felt ice cold in his grasp.:: Neathler: I guess I was wrong to believe that knowing someone was waiting for you to return, would give you that extra incentive to keep going. That it gave you that extra bit of courage and strength that you needed, when things were rough. Like when you did the unimaginable to bring lieutenant Sienelis back home again 'cause you knew there was someone back home that cares for you. ::She swallowed as she raised her hand, still holding his.:: Neathler: You were more than a distraction Bear, but if… ::She swallowed again, looking up, noticing he didn't even dare to look her in the eyes anymore. His roguish look, his blond beard. Her voice grasped in her throat and she merely whispered as she continued.:: Neathler: If this is what you want, if you never allow someone to care for you, you'll end up a very lonely man Bear and I'm not really sure that's the kind of man you truly are deep down. And don't tell me you don't care for people. We've both seen and know otherwise. ::Had his recent actions not shown that? If he didn't care, Valesha would no longer be among them, the Vulcan he nursed on the USS Njörðr after he rescued her. Why was he denying a bit of warmth into his life? She had nothing more to say, instead she gripped his hand a bit tighter, holding it between them, a last bit of support as she rose on her toes and gave him a final, soft, gentle kiss on his cheek, before she let go.:: ::A numbness travelled the length of his spine as she kissed him, accompanied by a cavalcade of questions he had shoddy answers to. If whomever he’d been working for could threaten his family, could threaten his sister, had ways and means of getting to them all, they could do the same for her. The mission with Valesha had only raised more doubt, more problems, assuaged some, and prompted others. A life he couldn’t let her sink herself any deeper into, for fear of her feet never reaching the bottom. ::He felt her heat disappear from his skin as she let go of him, replaced by a cold crawl slipped across each part of his flesh where her hands had traced in privacy. He hadn’t lied when he said he’d wished he’d known her earlier, and if he had, the sequence of events might have been altered, played out differently. In all those infinite possibilities, there had to be one where he took her in his arms, kissed her; a desperate promise amidst the risk of losing one another. ::However, this wasn’t that universe, and he wasn’t that man.:: O. Marshall: Then you really don’t know me as well I thought you did. ::Bear stepped back, his jaw tightened to stop the quiver of his chin, legs made of lead. Forcing himself to move, he let his hand slip out of hers. The two parted, the door slid into the recesses, and he was gone.:: ::Silently Samira watched him leave, a feeling of loneliness and helplessness engulfed her, as their conversation still milled around in her head, over and over again. She stood there motionless for quite some time before her hand slowly reached for her gloves and she put them on. She needed a strong drink, several. Moving, her eye caught the PADD laying on her desk. Or a good brawl, in the holodeck. Or maybe both. As she headed through the door she still had no idea which option to go for. ::Although she was sure from one thing: this was the first time but also the last time she got involved with someone from the crew. She was certain never to make that mistake again.:: fin -- Lieutenant Samira Neathler Assistant Chief Security/Tactical USS Gorkon G239508SN0 & Lieutenant Orson Marshall Logistics and Communications Officer USS Gorkon G239304JM0
  4. 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
  5. 1 point
    ((Saeihraoi Estate, Rator III)) ::The grand estate was nestled into the thick, coniferous forest, a vast manor house surrounded by pristine gardens that changed with every season, all perched on the shores of a crystal lake. Centuries old, it had always been a stronghold of the ancient house-clan Saeihraoi. After the destruction of Romulus, it had become its beating heart, perfectly positioned for its scions to wield their considerable influence in the new capital of the Star Empire. ::As his subordinate completed his report, the patrician stepped away from the window, the long black and indigo fabric of his senatorial robes sweeping across the marbled floor. His dark brows were the only hair on his head, a clean-shaven scalp highlighting a strong jaw and pale green eyes. He carried himself with a predatory grace and military precision, a statesman who had served his time in the trenches, his ambitions and intellect now turned toward politics and power.:: Traian: Disappointing, Khaiell. No schematics, no Nei'rrh, and we have lost our asset aboard the Gorkon. Hardly your usual standard of work. ::The younger man bowed his head in respect, briefly pressing a closed fist to the centre of his chest. Disappointing was am extraordinarily gentle way of phrasing it; he had failed to achieve any of his goals, and what's more, he had cost his lord and house-clan in the process. Years of prior loyal and successful service were the only reason he was still permitted to draw breath.:: Khaiell: No, my Lord. My apologies. I was not prepared for, ::he grimaced, a distant echo of pain in his shoulder,:: how capable they were. ::The apology was accepted with a nod, the explanation with a smile. A swell of pride and amusement blossomed in the older Romulan's chest, warming him through; of all the reasons for his agent to fail, that alone was the pleasing one. With a gesture, they began to walk through the vaulted corridors of the mansion, Traian's robes whispering across the polished floors, Khaiell's boots a soft, echoing thud.:: Traian: Perhaps we should take both instruction and pride in that. You are fully recovered? Khaiell: I am. ::After some considerable efforts at the hands of the surgeons, no doubt. The daughter of Llaiira t'Sienelis hadn't just dislocated his shoulder, but completely incapacitated it, fracturing bone, tearing ligaments, and severing nerves in a single, vicious move. She might have left the Empire, but its lessons remained close to her heart. Inconvenient for Khaiell, but perhaps promising for the future.:: Traian: Good. Then where do we stand? Khaiell: The Gorkon has returned to Earth with the schematics for the ih'fvullhajun eiyyha. Admiral Reynolds was also successful in having the charges dismissed, and it is unlikely we will be able to pursue that avenue again. Traian: That woman continues to both infuriate and delight. ::He steepled his hands together, pointing down, jewelled rings gleaming on his fingers. Indeed, Starfleet would not be so readily duped a second time now that Reynolds had shone a light on the lie. But perhaps the attempt hadn't been a complete waste of time and resources. Seeds of doubt had been sown, a lesson driven home, a little Romulan stray reminded that she just didn't belong. ::A knife driven into the flesh, to be twisted at just the right moment.:: Khaiell: It is rare to find a human with such... cunning. Traian: Quite. It was not a trivial thing, installing someone aboard her starship. ::He arched an elegant, upswept eyebrow.:: The Marshall boy was an opportunity that won't easily come again. Replacing him will be much more challenging. ::He did not need to be more direct than that, the tenured retainer more than capable of hearing the order. Khaiell inclined his head in a nod, his able mind already running ahead.:: Khaiell: I will see it done. ::Just as soon as he figured out how, of course. There were indications that Reynolds had known of Marshall's dubious allegiances from the start, though at least his connection to the Empire had been obfuscated through the Syndicate. Finding another available agent who could be inserted aboard the Gorkon without raising any suspicions was a mountain to climb, to put it mildly.:: Traian: I have every confidence that you will not disappoint me again. ::He left that hanging in the air just long enough before dismissing the subject in favour of another.:: Now, tell me of this tedious business in the Typhon Sector. Khaiell: It is unclear exactly how the Red Star came to be over a hundred light years away from its original route, :;that earned him a raised eyebrow,:: but it appears that Commander T'Kona is involved. We believe he engineered the theft in order to acquire the quantum slipstream drive, and he appears to have delivered the passengers to D'Lore. ::A man such as Traian had a stern constitution. He had seen war, seen the terrible things that sentient species were capable of inflicting upon one another. He had done some of them himself, and given such orders to many others. But he knew of D'Lore, and he didn't have to imagine what fate had befallen the passengers. Pointless, cruel experimentation. Bioweapons that had no purpose or place in warfare; not just ethically, but practically. ::With the vast distances between the stars, plagues did not spread easily between worlds. One might be able to wipe out some backwater colony that no one really cared about, but the core worlds? The Federation would swarm with its hospital ships, evacuating the healthy and quarantining the sick, while any fool with a transporter and a spare half hour could update the biofilters. ::Unsubtle. Imprecise. A waste of resources. The weapon of choice for those who had not the foresight, talent or finesse for the fine art of war. No wonder T'Kona was drawn to it.:: Traian: Why would he— ::A despairing sigh escaped the lungs of the patrician, and he shook his head while Khaiell offered a look of professional sympathy. The man actually thought that the Federation was installing the drive on its passenger liners before his own people had even mastered the technology. It couldn't be that no one would trust a brute like him with a slipstream ship, it had to be that the Empire had not yet mastered the technology. A tragic example of one man's short-sighted hubris.:: Traian: Perhaps T'Kona will oblige and get himself killed, and save me the trouble and expense of an assassination. How anyone that boorish managed to acquire a command, I will never know. Stealing passenger liners and murdering civilians, ::he shook his head.:: Unnecessary. Crude. Banal. ::His retainer nodded in agreement. Khaiell was the knife in the dark, the poison in the wine, a creature of specific and subtle death. Why destroy an entire population, when the removal of a single soul could so often achieve the same aim?:: Khaiell: That said, we may be able to turn it to our advantage. Traian: Go on. Khaiell: While the Federation is distracted with the Red Star incident, it could give us the opportunity to take action on Væron. Tensions have been building within the colony and it is only a matter of time before Starfleet takes an interest. ::The observation earned Khaiell a smile, the senator seeing where his mind was going. Væron was an unremarkable colony of no strategic importance. At least, it hadn't been, until it was realised that it was a source of benamite. Unfortunately, this realisation had occurred after it had seceded in the wake of Hobus and welcomed a significant Federation presence to its surface in a crafty manoeuvre to ward off a forcible Imperial repatriation.:: Traian: But before they do, it provides us with an opening to welcome our wayward Republic cousins back into the tender arms of the Star Empire. After all, we can protect them from the grasping predations of the Federation. ::He nodded, gesturing further down the corridor, to where his luxurious office awaited and scheming could be done in comfort.:: Come, Khaiell. Let me summon my son, and we shall talk more on this... fin -- Traian i-Ra'tleihfi e-Valai tr'Saeihraoi Senator & Lord of the House-Clan Saeihraoi Romulan Star Empire & Khaiell ir-Rator e-Terrh tr'Saeihraoi Knife in the Dark Romulan Star Empire simmed by Rear Admiral Quinn Reynolds Commanding Officer USS Gorkon T238401QR0
  6. 1 point
    Hello. My name is Rafael, I live in Sorocaba and I found StarBase 118 in Star Trek Expanded Universe. I'm a student.
  7. 1 point
    Stepping off the transport, Kano Risha reached and undid the clip on the back of her hair, her brown hair fell down to her shoulders as she shook her head. The station smelled much better than the transport, the fresh flowers she saw made her nose, and ridges twitch. She smiled slightly before letting out a stifled sneeze. "I could with a nice shower." She muttered as she slid the PADD from the bag on her shoulder. She moved with the vibrant crowds of people moving through, her starfleet uniform set her apart from them but no one seemed to bat an eyelid as she passed. She checked the PADD in her hand, she had a good half day before she was due to report to the holodeck. Shed already memorized the layout to the starbase and knew the easiest ways to get around. She smiled, her grey eyes taking a blueish hue in the lights. She walked taking in the sights, but her always curious mind was taking notice, watching people, assessing them. She saw a group of starfleet officers sat around a table, enjoying some food, she could hear them laugh as they spoke and she knew right there and then. Nothing was going to stop her achieving her dreams. This. Right here was were the profits pointed towards and of course where she wanted to be.
  8. 1 point
    Hello and greetings everyone! New player here about to start training but very much looking forwarding to getting to know you all. I'm david, life long trekkie surprised I never found this earlier. I'm from the lovely little UK, Robin Hood country. I work in retail and when I'm not I'm usually found playing video games or cosplaying. I'll be playing Kano Risha, a Bajoran.
  9. 1 point
    Sounds like a reasonable explanation to me. Knowing her she may not have asked permission... lol. Would love to sim with you (and her) again.
  10. 1 point
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