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James T. Kolk

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Everything posted by James T. Kolk

  1. Riker holding the tiny Picard doll and saying, "Make it so."
  2. There are just too many. I assumed that because you didn't have an "other" option that we were gonna have a few to pick from over a series of weeks, possibly ending in a competition between the favorites of each round at the end...
  3. Yes, you would, because that's definitely one of my favorites. "Pretty little lifeforms, where are you?" Hehe
  4. It was very hard to pick, but I had to go with the Phoenix. I love that scene.
  5. He's... baaaaaackkkk!!!

  6. Excited to be on the Columbia!

  7. Excited to be on the Drake!

  8. Just waiting to be posted to my new ship...

  9. One of my names is Valis. I've simmed here before, but have been gone for almost a year. Looking forward to retraining. In RL I'm Jack.
  10. Mac & Elisa are napping adorably. Wish I had a working laptop so I could post the photo. I guess anyone who wants to see them had better just come see us...

  11. ((Corridor, USS Independence-A)) ::Ayelet Kadosh had heard the red alert and general quarters announcement in her quarters. She had already finished her shift for the day, but she'd be expected back in sickbay to handle possible mass-casualty triage in whatever emergency the ship had found itself. As she hurried to her post, she thought back to how she had chosen to leave DS17--at least temporarily--for a posting on the Independence to get away from painful memories of the Vaadwaur Occupation. Yet, her time on the starship had proven anything but serene. Ayelet still hadn't gotten to know most of the crew as well as she had known those on the deep space station, and though she enjoyed the company of the few friends she had made--Nishal, Zeet, Rick, and Gypsy--she wasn't so sure she'd choose to stay aboard once her tour of duty was finished. Life on a starship was just a bit too chaotic for her, if the past few months were any indication. Captured by FTU pirates. Overrun by angry Romulans. Though DS17 had experienced several months of terror from Grendellai and Ixvapyan bombings while she had been stationed there, daily life on the larger facility hadn't seemed nearly as fragile as that aboard a Prometheus-class vessel.:: Kadosh: oO Perhaps I *am* getting old. Oo ::The recently turned 35-year-old woman rolled her eyes at the thought with a smirk to herself. She shouldn't romanticize the past. Her experience with the Vaadwaur had changed everything. Nowhere was safe. A life in Starfleet was a life of risk. And she had chosen that life. As if to punctuate that fact, the computer suddenly gave a new ship-wide announcement.:: Computer: =/\= Warning! Anti-matter overload! Three minutes thirty two seconds to anti-matter containment breach! Warning! =/\= ::Ayelet stopped and looked around the corridor. A few other crewmembers scurried to their posts. No one else seemed too concerned about the imminent breach. Shouldn't there be an announcement to prepare for an evacuation?:: Kadosh: oO Calm yourself. There are a whole deck of engineers working on whatever problem came up *this* time. Bright, young, eager engineers like Rick. Oo ::The thought comforted her a bit, and the nurse resumed her journey to sickbay. She got into a turbolift, ordering it to drop her near sickbay. The computer's calm voice echoed in the turbolift as it continued counting down to the ship's destruction.:: Computer: Two minutes to warp core breach. ::Two minutes... That was barely enough time for someone to get to an escape pod. Ayelet's sense of dread started returning to her. She hated it. She prided herself on her professionalism and her composure. During the occupation, she had been the one the other insurgents of the Federation resistance had jokingly called their shining light in those darkest of hours. Yet she wasn't the "Doc" anymore, huddled together with her fellow insurgents. Now, she was alone, caged in a cramped turbolift that steadily seemed to be shrinking. Ayelet noticed that she was starting to breathe more heavily as she came upon this realization. She had to get out of here. Fortunately, the turbolift had arrived. The entrance to sickbay would just be across the corridor once the turbolift doors opened. The nurse calmed down as her breathing relaxed. She took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and opened them again ready to face the tasks ahead. She stepped up to the doors. They didn't open.:: Computer: One minute to warp core breach. ::The heavy breathing returned instantly.:: Kadosh: Computer, open the turbolift doors. Computer: Unable to comply. Door controls have been manually overridden. ::Manually overridden? Anxiety started to take hold of the nurse as she thought of solutions.:: Kadosh: ::panting:: All right... then take me to... deck 6! Computer: Unable to comply. Shipwide lockdown is in effect. Turbolift service has been suspended. Please exit at this stop. ::Ayelet curled her hands into fists as she brought them up to her forehead.:: Kadosh: All right... okay... initiate an emergency site to site transport! Beam me to an escape pod! ::Again, the computer replied in its usual neutral tone.:: Computer: Unable to comply. Transporter service is unavailable in your area due to unknown interference. Please move to a different location and retry command. ::After a brief pause, the computer spoke once more.:: Computer: Thirty seconds to warp core breach. ::Ayelet's hands began trembling. She attempted to shake off the feeling and pry the doors open with her fingers, both to no avail. She looked up towards the emergency exit of the turbolift. It seemed so far away.:: Computer: Twenty seconds to warp core breach. ::Ayelet screamed in frustration and punched the control panel with her fist painfully.:: Kadosh: *SHUT UP!* ::She brought her shaking hands to her face, blocking out the sight of the turbolift walls. If she closed her eyes, she could imagine herself somewhere else. Anywhere else. She leaned against the back wall of the turbolift. Her heavy breathing, nay, all her breathing had ceased entirely. Thoughts of home, family, and friends, current and lost, filled her mind for what seemed like the longest time, only to be interrupted again by the computer's voice.:: Computer: Matter/anti-matter ratio returning to normal. Coolant systems engaged. ::Perhaps it was that neutral tone of the computer's voice that finally did it. A voice that seemed as bored telling you that you were about to die as it was when it told you what lunch menu options were available through the replicator. Perhaps it was the fact that she had come so close to a horrible death yet again. Perhaps it was because no one was around to see her, to judge her, and to be disappointed and ashamed of her. Whatever the reason, Ayelet didn't care. She didn't care about professionalism, composure, or any of that anymore. No one was around to judge her or be ashamed of her but herself when the shining light of DS17 finally broke down, collapsing to the floor of the turbolift as tears flowed into her palms that still covered her brown eyes.:: --- Lieutenant JG Ayelet Kadosh Nurse USS Independence-A
  12. loves the quote he just read: "Hearing nuns' confessions is like being stoned to death with popcorn." -Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

  13. is no longer allowed to change his name on Facebook... so of course, this last time I spelled Macarius wrong...

  14. I too remember those old DOS games.They were awesome! I think your idea for a Wii game is absolutely stellar! I'd buy that in a nano-second!
  15. (( OOC: Music for this sim: ))(( USS Ackerman, 2258.42, orbit of Vulcan... in the alternate timeline. )) :: The impact was so strong it threw the entire bridge crew into the ceiling. "Jane" felt her ribs bruise at the impact, then again as she hit the deck. For a stunned moment the only sounds on the bridge of the USS Ackerman were the wail of klaxons and the multiple overlapping voices of the ship's computer. :: Computer: ... breach on deck A. Hull breach on deck J. Hull b... Computer: ... ary coolant failure in warp containment. Restore... Computer: ... terprise en route. Casualty reports from the Trum... :: The joined Trill lifted her head from the deck, her vision spinning. For a moment she nearly passed out- with a terrifying lurch she felt a part of her mind cease to function, as though she had suddenly forgot a large portion of her memories. She was not a medical doctor, but she had been through the joining academy... she knew what this symptom typically meant. Her symbiont was bruised, her pouch slowly filling with blood. She would need isoboramine injection until the chemical production resumed. If she didn't get it, she'd eventually die. :: Computer: ... reach on deck K. Recommend immediate evac... Computer: ... nemy vessel identified as the "Narada". Warnin... Computer: ... unications inoperable. Shields at six percent. W... :: "Jane" could feel blood running down her forehead. She reached up and wiped it with the back of her hand, then stared at the limb in a moment of muted horror. It came back covered not the bright red blood of Trill, but the olive green blood of a vulcanoid. But there was only one greenblood on the bridge, and that was Lieutenant Nakarran of Vulcan... :: Ling: Ma'am! Commander, are you okay?! :: "Jane" recognised the youthful looking Asian man who appeared in front of her vision as Ensign Ling, the Ackerman's new helmsman, recently transferred in from Starfleet Academy. Originally from Gungzhou on Earth, this was the man's first mission. She stared blankly at him, one hand propping herself up, the other holding her abdomen in pain. Her symbiont... :: :: The Trill woman opened her mouth to speak, inhaling a lungful of acrid smoke. Overcome by coughing, she doubled over again. The Ensign pulled out a communicator from his belt and flipped it open. The device chirped, confirming the channel was open. :: Ling: =/\= Bridge to Sickbay! Doctor Adyr, are you there?! =/\= :: No reply. "Jane" kept coughing. :: Ling: =/\= Bridge to Engineering- Commander Vines, what the hell happened to our shields?! Those missiles hit us and drained them in one hit! =/\= :: No answer there, either. :: :: Whoever this strange vessel was, it had ripped through the shields of a Constitution class vessel in a single hit. Such a thing was unimaginable... no ship had that kind of firepower. The crew was in big, big trouble. When "Jane" spoke her voice was hoarse and raspy. :: "Doe": Ensign, report! :: Illuminated by the flickering of the bridge lights, some of the rest of the bridge crew started to stir. Two bodies, both wearing operations red, lay face down near where she had fallen. "Jane" didn't have time to see who they were. Dazed, her eyes scanned the crew. Where was Captain Whale...? :: Ling: They blew right through our shields in the first hit, ma'am! Hits on almost all decks- they're using some kind of cluster torpedo, but it's of a configuration I've never even SEEN before... no single device has that kind of firepower! :: It seemed impossible. :: "Doe": What the hell is this, the Kobayashi Maru? ::she shook her head, trying to clear away the haze that clouded her mind.:: No shields... okay, what's our status? How bad...? :: The Ensign's reply really set the tone for just how deep in they were. The computer continued droning in the background, but "Jane" ignored it. :: Ling: ... you didn't hear? Some cadet beat the Kobayashi Maru this year... but no such luck for us. We've got no shields to speak of, no weapons, impulse power only... our sensors are so badly damaged we can't even tell if they're firing again. The only hint I have is that the ship's still in once piece. The rest of the fleet's pulling in- they must be engaging them and ignoring us... :: With a supreme effort, "Jane" pulled herself up onto her feet. She felt so strange- her mind was dull now, a sensation she hadn't felt in years. Since before she was joined... since the loss of Captain Rabau and the USS Kelvin had inspired her to become joined and seek a life in Starfleet, as it had so many others. :: "Doe": We're evacuating. General order... :: She blinked, wondering why she couldn't recall the number. With a muted horror she realised that she had gained that knowledge after joining Starfleet, which had occurred after she'd received her symbiont, so the memories and experience she'd gained since then would be stored in that organ. And if it was bruised, then it might-:: :: "Jane" had no time to think about that. :: Ling: ... thirteen, ma'am. :: The Trill nodded her thanks. Still facing the Ensign, she asked a question over her shoulder, seeking confirmation from the ship's Captain, David Whale. :: "Doe": Captain? :: Silence. Ling pointed. A form, dressed in command gold, lay crumpled beside the Captain's chair. :: :: Her husband. :: :: Ignoring the dizziness that threatened to unbalance her, "Jane" stumbled towards the fallen form of the man, grabbing his shoulder. :: "Doe": David! David, get up, we need to give the order to- :: "Jane" rolled David onto his back, and immediate recoiled from the sight. His head was split wide open and the wound looked deep. Judging by the blood on the arm-rest of the Captain's chair, he'd hit it coming down from his journey to the ceiling. :: :: Modern medicine was incredible. In the past this wound would have been fatal. These days, if she got him to a medical bay in time, he could be saved... as long as his brain kept getting oxygen there was always hope. :: :: "Jane" straightened her back, sobered by the idea that if she didn't act, in a few minutes she was going to be a widow. That was assuming she even survived, which was looking very improbable at this juncture. :: "Doe": The Captain's... down, so issue the order on my authority. Get everyone to the shuttles... to the escape pods. We're getting out of here. That vessel is just too strong...! :: The ominous creak of strained metal filled her ears. The ship was breaking apart. The computer's klaxons became more urgent. :: Ling: Yes ma'am! :: Sliding her arm under Whale's body, "Jane" pulled the heavy man over her shoulder, groaning with the strain as she pulled him roughly to his feet. The man didn't move at all- Marlee was forced to hold him up, turning and making her way to the turbolift. He was much taller than her, and very strong. The Trill turned to humour to try and lighten their dark situation. :: "Doe": Nnnf- when we get out of this, I'm putting you on a diet... or maybe I just need to get back to the gym. It's hard to keep your fitness up after having kids, you know, so I still blame you for this... :: Ling exchanged a look with the communications officer, a middle aged Andorian thaan, his eyes flicking to "Jane" and her husband. The thaan's eyes were extremely saddened, but he said nothing. Neither did Ling. :: :: About half way there, "Doe" stepped on something softer than the deck, something that emitted a soft, wet *crunch*. Looking down, she saw that her Starfleet issue boot had crushed the hand of their Vulcan Tactical officer, Lieutenant Nakarran. :: :: A hand that was no longer attached to its owner. :: :: Kicking the dismembered limb away in a moment of horror, Marlee closed her eyes, forcing the sight from her mind's eye. She pressed on, stumbling into the turbolift. No humour came now. :: "Doe": Escape pods... nearest escape pods. :: The turbolift, thank the Four Virtues, moved. It was the only part of the ship that seemed to still be working. :: :: The only noise was the quiet hum of the turbolift and the ominous 'drip, drip, drip' of Whale's blood onto the deck. Marlee reached up with her hand, futily trying to stem the flow of blood from his limp-hanging head. :: "Doe": ... come on, come on. You stubborn [...], you're *Scottish*... a gaping head wound doesn't worry you...! Hell, that just means things are starting to get interesting... :: Her voice quivered with panic. The blood kept pouring around her hands, flowing down the man's neck and shoulders. It echoed the salty tears that poured down both sides of her spotted face. She felt hope slipping away. :: "Doe": ... *please*... please, David, don't leave, don't leave, don't leave... :: The door opened to deck C. Marlee staggered towards a row of escape pods, half carrying, half dragging the heavy man behind her. Her own wounds were beginning to overwhelm her. She could barely walk, now, but sheer determination kept her going. :: :: ... until the covered GNDN panel in front of her blew out. A flower of bright red flame licked her right side, searing the flesh of her hands. Shrieking in agony she instinctively dropped David, his clothing and hair alight. Marlee put her hands under her arms, crying out from the pain. After a second or two, she fought her instincts and sprinted over to a fire-safety cabinet, reached out for an extinguisher then running back and spraying Whale with the thick white gas. :: :: She checked his pulse with shaking, burned hands. Nothing. Rolling the human over onto his back, she placed both hands on his chest- no breathing. No heartbeat. :: :: More tears. She wasn't sure there ever was one. :: :: The Trill's hands were too badly burned to do any fine motion. She clasped them together, bringing them up and then down on the human man's chest, thudding against his chest. She needed to keep oxygen going to his brain, get his heart pumping again... he could be saved... :: "Doe": Breathe, breathe, breathe [...] you... don't leave, David, no- please, no... :: Over and over she hit his chest, trying... :: :: Arms slid around her shoulders, pulling her away. Someone was dragging her into the escape pod. :: "Doe": No-! what are you doing?! Let me go! Let me go! Ling: He's dead, Commander! The core's about to breach, we have to leave! Come on! :: The voice of the computer, so long ignored, came back into focus for the Trill woman. :: Computer: ...ore breach in two minutes. All crew report to evacuat... "Doe": NO! I won't leave David! I won't! :: "Jane" fought her helmsman every inch of the way, but her injuries were too great. Ling dragged her into the escape pod and, with a dull hiss, sealed the door. The Trill woman climbed painfully, unsteadily, to her feet- through the circular viewport she could still see Captain Whale's body, laying prone on the deck, his command-gold clothed chest covered in her blood. :: "Doe": Open the door, Ensign! Open it! Open it now! That's a direct order! We're going to save him- we can still save him, I saw his eyes, he's alive- he's still alive! :: Ling felt for her, but the human saw Whale with eyes that weren't blinded by love. Whale was dead... he was dead from the very beginning. :: Ling: Computer, launch escape pod. :: "Jane" watched as the pod roared away from the Constitution class vessel, watched until David's form was just a gold dot laying on a damaged deck, then until he was too far away from her to see. :: :: Then the Ackerman's warp reactor surrendered to the inevitable. The ship was enveloped in a bright white light, blown into a shower of debris that- peacefully, almost beautifully- floated away from the core as tiny sparking hunks of white-hot metal. :: :: Things got very vague at this point. "Jane" felt herself overcome by her injuries, unable to stand anymore. The circular viewing portal slipped from view. :: :: David was gone. :: :: Ling was shouting something about gravimetric distortions. Some kind of lightning storm. The escape pod began to buck and heave, tossing the already battered Trill around on the cramped deck. :: :: It seemed so distant to her, now, as though the pain was just nothing more than a passing moment in time. She'd had two kids, she knew about pain and how it came and went. At least they were safe... now bright flashes of light from outside the pod, like the lighting storms on the field of Passion's Rest. Where "Jane" had said her vows to David, being wedded. Ling yelled something about "being pulled in..." but the words barely registered. :: :: Then the pod tore itself to bits and "Jane" was blown out into the void, the air torn from her lungs in a violent decompression. As her consciousness began to fade, she saw both parts of Ling's broken body spinning slowly, clearly dead. :: :: A light from behind above. A bright tendril of energy- it did so very much look like lightning- was heading straight towards her, the Trill's floating body hanging limply in space. :: :: "Jane" closed her eyes and embraced oblivion... but even a clean death would be denied her. :: (( Sickbay, USS Independence-A, 2388... Prime Universe )) :: The isoboramine level indicator was the first device to change. Beep- beep- beep... the injury to the symbiont was healed enough that it was beginning to produce isoboramine. She was beginning to wake up. :: :: Then the pulse rate monitor, then the neural stabilizer. Then the blood-oxygen meter... :: :: Slowly, like a man dragging himself out of shoulder deep mud, "Jane" began to wake up. Her eyes still closed, she used her senses to try and figure out where she was... :: :: Cool, recycled air. Through gently closed eyes she could detect that her environment was brightly light. The beeping and humming of machinery nearby. Soft voices nearby... a medical facility, perhaps. :: :: Or a prison. :: :: The voices were speaking a language she didn't recognize, but then- something strange happened. Suddenly, mid sentence, the words changed over. They were now speaking Trill. It was a rich, fluent translation that startled her. It was like they were native speakers... :: :: What was going on? :: :: She heard footsteps. Someone was probably checking on the equipment... they'd know she was awake soon enough. :: :: Faking continued injury, "Jane Doe" emitted a soft groan, keeping her eyes closed. Closer... as soon as they came closer, she would make her move... closer... :: Mevra: Response? :: "Jane's" light cyan-blue eyes snapped open. The light in the room was so bright to eyes that had been closed for weeks she couldn't see anything but a black outline against the bright white of the ceiling. With a yell she reached out, snatching the medical tricorder from the Orion's fingers, twisting it around and pointing it back at her. The Trill propped herself up on the biobed with a hand that was no longer burned, but seemed so very weak... :: "Doe": Hands up or I'll shoot! Mevra: Response? :: The Trill jabbed the tricorder towards the dark blob, snarling angrily. Her eyes stung and watered up. She must have been unconscious for some time... she hadn't used them in so long they hurt and she could barely see. She turned the "weapon" on others in the medical bay, pointing angrily. :: "Doe": You, you and you! Over to the wall! :: She couldn't see properly, but they didn't seem afraid. Startled, but... :: Anyone: Response? Mevra: Response :: She turned the tricorder back on the dark shape near her. :: "Doe": Shut up! Now, listen to me very carefully- I'm getting out of here! Any funny business and I'll... I'll... :: All that motion was too much. Dark spots swarmed in front of her eyes and she swooned. Vaguely aware of the tricorder slipping out of her hand and clattering to the deck, "Jane" slumped back on the biobed, taking a moment to recover. :: Tag! TBC... ----- PNPC "Jane Doe" USS Independence-A
  16. PLEASE! Put this as your status if you know someone who has been eaten by dragons. Dragons are nearly unstoppable and, in case you didn't know, they can totally breathe fire. 60% of people won't copy and paste this because they have already been eaten by dragons. 38% of people are ...sitting in the shower armed with fire extinguishers, and the remaining 2% are awesome and will repost this!

  17. USS Ronin "The Bleeding Beast" ((This Is the battle from the ship's viewpoint as if the ship was alive)) ::The beast charged from it's home, it's family in danger. Several cowardly dragons, using magic to hide there movement, shot bolts of fire at her loved ones. Enraged, Ronin engaged spewing forth plasma and her own fire balls. Trying to catch some dragon in between it's armor the Ronin howled as their attention turned towards himself. It was better she die then her home but there were to many of the green cowards to keep their attention. As she took hit after hit Ronin lashed out in anger her eyes burning like the red of lava. Shouting taunts and questions, Why were they doing this? What was their point? They wanted one whom she protected one who was missing. The one she would call father, master. He was not here he was being taken away by a smaller beast. Ronin longed to go after him but knew what her master would want. It is better to save the family then to worry about a member. She cried as she watched her fellow dragons fall to the poison of the green ones. Wept as her home burned inside the caretakers defenseless. A bolt ripped through her armor piercing him in the tail, sparks flew as the magic exploded with lights and flames. She howled in the pain groaning as the battle became more and more one sided. Lashing out with her plasma and her bolts she caught a dragon off guard and landed a blow from behind. She smirked as it limped away it's the tail missing, but now was not the time to rejoice she had to move on there were still plenty more to deal with. She let her children fly from their cage there breath not yet developed into one as strong as her but they were more agile and quicker then she and their blue fire were just as strong. They swarmed the attackers with grace and coordination. Some perished one even sacrificed it's self to save Ronin. But all of them knew the risk and their loss would be mourned later.:: :: Suddenly there was peace, progress. Ronin let a few children head for the caretaker to find where her captors were taking him. She and the green dragon's leader talked it out and decided to let their members meet face to face. It would be held inside Ronin so that she could watch over her people. She pulled himself beside the beast her jaws ready to bite for the throat and waited. Soon an enemy child emerged from the belly of the beast it's welcoming arms spread out towards Ronin. She gave the orders to her babies to cautiously let the enemy pass praying that soon this would be all over. Wait This treachery! She flailed trying desperately to get back to grab onto the ship with her talons he was to quick ramming himself into her blowing up like a bomb on her inside. It crippled her she moaned unable to move wanting so desperately to kill them all but unable to move fast enough to do so. Her belly was gushing out her life she tried desperately to heal the wounds, to stop the bleeding. Many children died so did many caretakers such loss took a toll upon her emotional control. She wanted all of her caretakers to get out so she could initiate the last spell she would ever utter, could ever utter. She would engulf all of the enemy in such a brilliant explosion but that is not what her caretakers wanted. While some prepared to leave the masters asked her to take her revenge differently. She removed part of herself and sent it speeding towards the green dragon letting her pod explode with such vengeance and emotion that she felt some what satisfied. Now she had to wait for the gas to clear and her senses to pick up what ever damage she caused while licking her own wounds. The rest of her children swarmed to protect the hive and herself. It was clear the green ones would not stop until she was dead. And so the battle started all over again this time with a lot less hope then before and more desperation to just survive.:: USS Ronin As simmed By: Lt. Jg. Keval Trolin --- USS Ronin NCC-34523
  18. He's right, Captain. Despite the fact that your banner says "3x Winner" and his says "2x Winner," his larger one clearly makes him seem more impressive. But it's alright, 'cause we all know that you're the coolest ever... apart from your IC husband, of course, who's ruler of the Galaxy... um... P.S. Good luck all and may the best author royally womp on all the others! There, see... I can be on-topic too.
  19. LtCmdr Danny Wilde - "The Man, The Mystery" - Partial JP with Lt Karynn Ehlanii ((USS Ronin - Danny's Office)) ::After the promotions party which had been held on DS17 danny quickly learned that it was always all business for the Executive Officer of any starship. Where once he had enjoyed the luxury of a lie in, he now had reports to fill out, inspections to carry out and rostars to update. He didn't like it. As a former CoS and CTO, he enjoyed the privilege of merely dumping his daily and weekly reports on the FO's desk and leaving. Now he was the recipient of these reports, and the department heads relished dumping their PADD's on the mighty stack already assembled on his desk.:: ::He tried engaging them in conversation, but it seems he taught them a few tricks of his own...:: "I have a coolant leak in Engineering!" "Those tactical sensors won't fix themselves!" "Och, I cannae talk now ya daft man. I have new vaccines to dish out, lad!" ::Frustrated he picked up as many PADD's as he could and left for sunnier climbs.:: ((USS Ronin - Corridor)) :: On his way to the bridge he happened to catch a glimpse at the content of the PADD on top of his pile. It outlined the transfer of Lieutenant.jg Llewelyn to Starbase 118, and the Counsellors positio vacant. No Counsellor?? Did he wake up in a parallel universe? He counted today as one of the more pleasant days he had had since taking FO.:: ::All he had to do now was persuade Ben not to take on another Counsellor... with them being station at DS17 practically permenantly, and the Ronin never leaving the Ithassa Region, the crew could always use the services of the stations counselling staff. No one need ever try and pick his brain again! There were exceptions to this rule, however. Alana being one. Karynn being the other. He still remembered the night she had managed to get beneath his barriers...:: ((Flashback - USS Ronin: Holodeck 1 - Midnight)) ::Danny slipped quietly into the Holodeck roughly 5 minutes before Karynn was supposed to arrive. Slinking into the silver studded room, he produced a small isolinear rod from his pocket and deposited it in the wall console near the entrance of the Holodeck. Within the seconds, the basic room had materialized into a modern dance studio complete with wooden polished floor and tap area.:: Wilde: I must be mad... ::The programmed was set at night, paralleling the current time in the ships computer, and the faint sound of soft jazz was coming in through the window, where a club had just finished its set and people were spilling into the street beyond.:: ::The doors to the Holodeck parted, and the ships counselor entered. Danny smiled in welcome.:: Ehlanii: I'm ready. Teach away. Wilde: Well first we'll start with posture. The key to good form is posture and procedure. Without it, your dancing will be sloppy. Ehlanii: Starting with the fundamentals is always good. So working on posture first sounds good. When do I get to learn actual steps? Wilde: We'll do some posture work, then go through steps. We'll start with something basic and work up to it. ::The Haliian smiled and held out her hands.:: Ehlanii: Alright then. Lay on, Macduff. ::She smiled slightly at her own joke, a reference to the play they had put on together.:: ::The pair started practising walking. It sounded silly, but walking properly increased balance and reflexivity, then they worked on some basic steps of a waltz.:: Wilde: Of course, the learning of the steps is mandatory, but true excellence comes from practice. Soon you'll be able to add your own style to the dance. You just need to practice. Ehlanii: ::laughing lightly:: Practice, practice, practice. Got it. Really, its just like when I learned to play musical instruments growing up. Think Amber would have any other advice? Wilde: She'd say the same thing. She had to take the lessons too. She was just as good as me, I remember. Of course, we had a strict teacher. ::Karynn's eyes glinted mischeviously. She couldn't resist the opportunity.:: Ehlanii: Not as strict as mine, I'd imagine. Although I think it would be interesting to meet her sometime. Wilde: ::chuckling:: I have a holographic version of her programmed into this recreation, but decided to spare you the harrassment. I figure myself a pretty good teacher anyway. Ehlanii: ::bowing her head slightly:: And for that, I thank you. You are a good teacher, or at least I think so. Not that I have a whole lot to compare it to. ::Although she was still focused on learning, and repeating, the steps they were practicing, she decided to use the opportunity for her own purposes. After all, surprising Ethan was only part of her reason for asking about dance lessons. She had purposely chosen to not wear her gloves. Their skin to skin contact would make figuring out how he was feeling quite easy.:: Ehlanii: Thanks for being willing to do this. I've been trying to figure out a way to surprise Ethan ever since... well, ever since your Wedding and the... aftermath that followed. I know the whole thing has been rough on him. Wilde: ::smirking:: It's been rough on us all... Ehlanii: How have you been holding up? I can only imagine how hard it must be... ::Her voice trailed off slightly, inviting his response.:: ::His stiffened slightly, recalling the current state of his new wife. It made him feel completely useless knowing she was so far away, helpless and alone. And what was he doing? Dancing in the Holodeck with another woman.:: Wilde: I cope. My new job role has me doing all sorts of distracting things. Ehlanii: That wasn't exactly my question. Wilde: Isn't that what I'm supposed to do? Distract myself? Ehlanii: It's certainly one way people try to cope. I'm not always sure it's healthy though. But I'm sure there is reason to hope. ::Sadness washed over him for a brief moment. She had a point, but Danny Wilde was no quitter. If it took him a lifetime, he'd find a way.:: Wilde: We have good people here. I think it's a case of all being in it together. ::Karynn noticed his sadness and realized that she had hit a chord. Now she just had to figure out a way to explore it.:: Ehlanii: I agree entirely. ::Noticing she wasn't practicing her steps, he chastised her.:: Wilde: Footwork, Counselor, footwork! You're not paying attention! Ehlanii: Sorry, Commander. ::Karynn returned to the task at hand - her footwork - but her mind also chugged away at the problem of getting him to open up. She needed a different tactic.:: Ehlanii: Have you talked to her lately? Wilde: Almost every day. Treatment permitting. Ehlanii: Well, I suppose that's a good sign. How does it make you feel? ::A spark of realisation; an interrogation?:: Wilde: A professional curiosity? ::A slight grin played across her face as she followed his lead with a bit of flair. She really was enjoying the dancing lesson, and she was glad for the opportunity to prove that she was learning something.:: Ehlanii: I would hope you'd know me better than that, Commander. You're a colleague, and I hope even a friend. I have every interest in making sure that you've had every opportunity to talk about anything that might be on your mind. But I really do want to surprise Ethan with this sometime... ::Especially considering recent events. With him banned from the Achilles by Tess, who knows where he'd end up. She was still a bit upset with him herself. Couldn't he have left well enough alone? She shook off the thoughts. This wasn't about her. She needed a calm, rational mind to help the man she was dancing with.:: Wilde: You could have fooled me... Ehlanii: ::laughing:: Remember that time she sent me to check up on you? I was just a green ensign then. Wilde: ::chuckling:: And I was mere hours from coma. I remember. Though that was more Idril's fault. For all her command experience, when it comes to my wellbeing, she'd move Heaven and Earth to get to the bottom of things. Even sending a rookie where Angels fear to tread. ::Another twirl, a movement of feet and bodies and the rhythm of the dance increased.:: Ehlanii: Yeah, an inexperienced science officer turned counselor sent to practically interrogate a trained SFI agent. ::She shook her head.:: It was almost cruel. Wilde: In all fairness, Karynn, you never stood a chance. ::Her tone became a little more serious.:: Ehlanii: Commander, even the strongest need to talk about what they feel sometimes. Especially when they've experienced as much as you have. If they don't, it ends up building up inside and coming out in other ways and making your life and career more complicated than they need to be. I know you don't want that to happen. Wilde: You know my history with counselors. It's not that I don't have a wish to talk, I think its fitting that I don't. I think you're entirely right, that a person like me has been through so much since entering Starfleet, that he must feel a need to talk about it. If he doesn't, it may very well harm those he cares about. Ehlanii: I can't make you... well... technically that isn't true. But I'd rather not. I'd rather it be your idea, your choice. If you see it as opening up to a friend, I don't have to make or keep a record of any of it. I just need to be satisfied that you're ok. Can you trust me? Wilde: I trust every member of this crew. Believe me that I'd give my life for anyone on this crew. I have no doubts to your sincerity, Karynn. But... ::There it was again, that [...]ed Wilde pride. Some would say arrogance. He wasn't ready for the world to know his problems.:: Ehlanii: But? Wilde: I have issues. Issues that are best not aired in public. I fear that if I unburden some of the things I carry, I might not be able to stop. The crux of the matter shouldn't be if I trust you. It should be whether you are ready for it... Ehlanii: Maybe you should let me make that decision. Danny... I may not be the most experienced counselor in the fleet, but I've learned in my time on this ship. If I bite off more than I can chew, let that be my fault. ::The pace of the music increased, transforming into an Earth tango. She was pushing him, goading him into talking. Very well, if she thought she was ready for it - so be it.:: Wilde: Because it's all my fault! Don't you see? The whole rotten situation we're in is my fault! Idril is dying, the entire Trill race too. Our crewmates are dead, and the man I let do it is swanning around the galaxy free as a bird! ::His anger flowed through their connection. All Karynn allowed herself was a slight blink as she quickly internally began sorting through his emotions, keeping them separate from their own. She didn't need to get angry back. But she knew he needed to let it out and she had every intention of letting him do so.:: Ehlanii: It wasn't you. It was him. Wilde: That's not true. Me, from whichever dimension, loved her, and yet this happened. How could he have loved her so much to allow the whole series of events to unfold? He abandoned his post, destroyed DS17 and crossed realities to get to her. If that's what I would have done in his place - then Danny Wilde is better off dead! ::Her voice was calm.:: Ehlanii: You aren't alone in feeling that way. And it's not an entirely irrational feeling. But we're more than our genes. Our experiences help shape who we are. The other Danny spent years in a war he felt he couldn't win. He saw all of his friends die. Already you're different people. Wilde: You don't know that. No one knows that because I was never put in that situation. How do you know that I wouldn't do the same thing if I had fought that war? Ehlanii: ::She shook her head:: No. There's more. There was a stream of thought on Earth, one I greatly believe, that our choices shape who we are and what we will become. Every time we choose to do something good, that makes us a better person. Every time we choose to do something bad, it changes us into a worse person. The other Danny chose over and over to violate those moral precepts that you both hold so dear. It changed him. You've made different choices. And you know where your weaknesses are. You can choose now to make those decisions that you believe are right. Wilde: Our hands were forced - in both dimensions. We were both taken away at the drop of hat and at that point the fabric of that reality changed. ::The music was whirling. Karynn's attention was split between the steps and her counseling. She stumbled slightly but recovered.:: Ehlanii: I'm sorry. Go on. Wilde: No I'm sorry. You know me not to let my guard down. It is my cross to bear. ::Karynn smiled slightly. It seemed as though the whole command staff carried the weight of the world on their shoulders, each feeling full responsibility for the situations they faced.:: Ehlanii: If Commander Walker said that, what would you say? Wilde: Simple: I would agree with him. He's no saint, either. I think we're both finally learning that. ::Her eyebrow arched slightly.:: Ehlanii: Really? Are you sure? ::He sighed, unable to hold up that tough facade anymore.:: Wilde: I would say he's arrogant, pig-headed, irrational and a touch more conceited than he believes. Ehlanii: ::smiling:: That's a bit closer to the mark. Wilde: We're working on our professional relationship. It includes the Holodeck, but instead of dancing we get to beat each other's brains out. It beats doing it on the bridge. ::He smiled, the earlier outburst fading.:: Ehlanii: And what about Captain Mar? Wilde: She was just as stubborn. Back on the Indy, she used to get so mad at her team that she'd end up rolling her sleeves up and doing something completely menial when a crewman of limited training could have done it, just so she could see that it was done to her satisfaction. She is like that now, as Captain. Much like me, too stubborn. ::She smiled internally. He was still deflecting in a way, telling her about the others instead of talking about himself. But sometimes the best way to look at a person's inner workings was to listen to how they viewed others. One of her professors had mentioned that we tend to see ourselves in others - and that it was often those things about ourselves that we hate that we react to in others.:: Ehlanii: Why do you say that? Wilde: She couldn't let go. Refused to. She broke my nose the day I left ::he traced the fracture line with his finger - he still meant to get that reset.:: caught the sight of blood and fainted in the shower. Security thought we were mad. Ehlanii: ::laughing:: She broke your nose? Wilde: Oh that's not even the best part. I learn from a reliable source sometime later that she'd hijacked a shuttle, stolen an Ensign and made a course after me. Anassasi was furious, she got demoted, you know. I'd managed to disable the tracking device she put in my engine by the time I got the moon of Talaris. As I say, she was stubborn. Ehlanii: What happened? Wilde: The rest, as they say, is history. The Grendellai attacked, the Achilles swooped in and saved them, I returned two years later - promotion, transfer, coma, promotion, marriage the usual story. Ehlanii: ::laughing:: Not exactly what I'd call the usual story. ::Karynn thought about things a little bit. He was talking, and that was getting them somewhere. She was trying to keep up with the footwork, but at the same time she figured he had caught on. The dancing was a way to get him to let her in, and he had done that.:: Ehlanii: And that's what got Captain Mar... the other one... killed? Coming after you? ::He was still dancing, although he seemed to think that the Counselor had now abandoned her pretense of learning and was now heavily engaged in the psycoanalysis she had always craved. The hairs on his neck stood on end as he thought about the other version of the same events and he tightened his grip on her frame.:: Wilde: Exactly that! Too stubborn in both universes. For heavens sake why couldn't she have just stayed put and trust me to do my job? Too headstrong and look where it got her there? Dead! That's what caused that Wilde to lose it. Ehlanii: Her death? Wilde: ::shaking his head, solemnly:: I don't think so, no. Not the fact she died. The fact that she followed him. Followed me. If she'd have died in this universe, too. I would have done the same. I can feel it. He loved her, as I do with all my being. But I think deep down, he secretly blamed her. As I think...so do I... ::Ah so that was it. Now they were getting somewhere. This was something they needed to explore - for his sake. She nodded slightly.:: Ehlanii: The other Mar? Or this one? Or both? Wilde: I don't know... both. Both as stubborn... ::What was he accomplishing here? Self-blame and arrogance went hand in hand with him. This was nothing new. He wasn't going to learn anything new that he didn't already know.:: Ehlanii: Go on. Wilde: Things happen that change the course of history. We should know this by now. People die, and people are responsible. Ehlanii: And you fear that it could happen here too? Wilde: Of course it could. In the blink of an eye. That's what's scary. Ehlanii: Have you talked about this with her? Wilde: Are you mad? We've both got a long road ahead of us, and this will not make it any easier. ::Karynn nodded slightly. He had a point. Timing in discussing it would be critical. But at the same time, she felt strongly that the couple needed to talk about it. She guessed that he probably wasn't alone in his fears about the current situation, and knowing that someone else shared those anxieties might help. Perhaps, one day, he'd consider the suggestion. Right now, however, she had other avenues to explore.:: Ehlanii: What about you? You've admitted that you're stubborn too. Does that bother you? Wilde: Nope. ::He smiled as they continued the steps. She was a fast learner, and he threw in a few quick steps to try and phase her.:: ::Karynn arched her eyebrow. His answer was too swift and brief. And on top of that he was trying to distract her with dancing.:: Ehlanii: Really? Wilde: What else do you want me to say? I'm stubborn, I can live with that. However it does concern me that my insular nature might be too much in my new position. As I said, things change far too quickly, and what if my approach to life affects someone on the crew. When I got married I thought it would change the way I thought about things in general, but it hasn't. I'm still the ex-spy who still longs for the chase. Ehlanii: Marriage usually doesn't change personalities. They run too deeply for that. Priorities, perhaps, but not the way we fundamentally see things. Wilde: And what of you, Counselor? Does that bother you? ::The Haliian smiled slightly. He was quite the deflector. Since he had been so open, she decided to reciprocate... eventually... once she understood his question anyway.:: Ehlanii: Does what bother me? Wilde: That one day I might have to order someone close to you - Ethan, perhaps - to his death for the sake of the Federation. Ehlanii: Ah. ::Karynn stopped dancing to really give his question some honest thought. Would it bother her? Ben had asked her a smiliar question a few months ago at the Wilde mansion. He blamed himself for Ethan's injury and asked her if she blamed him. She didn't then. But this was a slightly different question. What if Commander Wilde directly ordered Ethan to sacrifice his life? Did that possibility bother her? She chewed the inside of her lip.:: Ehlanii: I'm not sure. ::she paused, still thinking.:: Perhaps it does... at least some. ::Danny nodded, and the music stopped.:: Wilde: Then you understand how hard it is for someone like me to completely open up and let my thoughts out, with my track record and new responsibilites. I don't know about anyone else, but I like my cross to bear. Without it, I wouldn't be the man I am today, someone who people look up to to make certain decisions that no one else will. Ehlanii: ::nodding slightly:: I understand that. At the same time, I think that even you need someone to talk to - so that the things building up inside don't cloud your ability to make those decisions. I'm not saying don't worry about having to send your friends - or mine- to their deaths. But if you're potentially going to have to make that decision, I have a vested interest in knowing that your head is clear when you make it. And you do too. Wilde: You're absolutely right...as usual. Ehlanii: And Commander? Wilde: Yes, Lieutenant? Ehlanii: I can't guarantee how I'd react - or whether I'd blame you - if you had to give that order in the future. But I've said before, and I'll say it again, that each of us in Starfleet, myself and Ethan included, knew what we risks we were assuming when we joined. I believe in you, and Captain Mar, and Commander Walker, and I don't think any of you would direct us to give our lives if you didn't think it was necessary to save the ship or the Federation. And speaking for myself, at least, I would gladly give my life for those things. Wilde: We all feel that way. If we didn't we wouldn't wear the uniform. Ehlanii: The short version: if I can feel comfortable that your judgement is intact, than ultimately I think I'd forgive you for whatever you ordered, if you believed it was best. Even if that meant loosing Ethan. Wilde: Thank you... I'm fortunate to have your trust. ::Danny shrugged off the reality of what had just happened. He'd just been analysed by the Counsellor. He'd been duped, but he didn't mind. She was as good as games as he was.:: Wilde: So we can consider this my first session with you, Counsellor? Ehlanii: ::with a small, gentle smile:: Yes, I think we can. And thank you. Wilde: For the opportunity to pick my brains? Ehlanii: ::laughing:: For the dancing lessons, of course. Wilde: ::Chuckling:: Ah, of course. You're welcome! ((Present Day - Bridge)) ::Crossing the bridge he suddenly felt uneasy, as if a watchful pair of eyes followed his every move. Looking around he saw no one who had apparently been watching him. Shrugging, he pressed the chime on the door to Ben's Ready Room. Hhmm, when did it stop being Idril's Ready Room? He awaited the bid to come in before he did so, his proposal all ready.:: ::As he entered he placed the PADD's on the desk.:: Wilde: I have a proposal, Captain...now just hear me out... Walker: Ok...but first I'd like to introduce you to our new Counselor. ::He now noticed someone else in the room. A blur of pink blanketted his senses before he saw the woman beneath it. He smiled his most accommodating smile and nodded.:: Wilde: Pleased to meet you, Ensign... wait, what? Walker: :: Smiling slightly:: Counselor Mr. Wilde. I'm sure you've heard the term. Wilde: You're the new...Counsellor? Javinx: Is there something wrong Sir? Wilde: Oh no, no problems. We hope you settle in nicely here. We're all crazy you know! ::He laughed a little too forcibly. Javinx: I guess I will fit right in! :: A soft giggle escapes Renesme's lips.:: Wilde: Of course, your transfer orders? ::He took the PADD from the pink-haired woman and fleetingly glanced at the authorised signature of the Sector Commander who authorised it - Captain Idril Mar.:: Danny: oO Ooh she's good! D*mn you for making me sleep late whilst you snuck this past my very eyes. She knows me too well! Oo Wilde: Everything seems to be in order. Report to Sickbay for your physical, to Lt. Wood for your security clearance and then I'll see if we have a bunk spare for you. Javinx: Yes, Sir. ::As the young woman left, Danny's beaming smile turned downwards as he exited.:: Wilde: New Counsellor?? So soon? Walker: We ARE supposed to have one with us. Wilde: But we don't need one. I don't need one. You don't need one. I thought that's why we hit each other in the Holodeck every morning? TBC... Lt.Commander Danny Wilde First Officer USS Ronin ((Reasong for edit: fixing face created by the forum))
  20. Psst... Jhen, you forgot the little "This Entry is Finished" Arrow on your story...
  21. Jhenny, Jhenny, Jhenny... I got it done... All it takes is determination and great characters to propell the story... Not sure I had that second bit, but I did get it done. P.S. What do you think Toni, are we gonna have any more competition? Or is Christmas gonna leave us lonely?
  22. "The Dread Pirate Jackford" by Jackford B. Kolk Romulan Warbird, Stardate 63493.9 A formerly very drunk human of Euro-American descent woke rather suddenly when something hit his face hard. There was pain there now. There wasn't supposed to be pain. It's not nice to give someone pain. He looked about but his eyes couldn't focus. Before he could see much more than the vague colors of green, black, and grey, he noticed more pain. As the pain in his cheek subsided, a dull pain in his wrists humbly requested his attention. Thinking about it, he realized he must have been held up by chains attached to his wrists. That wasn't very nice either. Blinking, he was almost able to make out the form of someone in front of him, and a long slender something protruding from their right and coming toward him suddenly. More pain! Yep, there was definitely someone there. Either he'd gotten drunk somewhere he shouldn't have, or someone not very nice had captured him. Given the things he could remember doing in the last few days, and the unkind manner in which he'd been awoken, he was willing to bet good latinum on the latter. Maybe he should've been more careful about where he got drunk last night... A disturbingly sensual female voice whispered at him from about 10 centimeters in front of his face. As it did, he could see pinkish green skin, the vague outline of eye sockets, a mouth with greenish-blue lipstick, and short black hair. "For a Federation Spy, you're even more idiotic than I'd expected." He blinked several times until some of the gunk in his eyes had been dislodged so that he could make out the face. Definitely a woman. Vulcan or Romulan. Judging by the tone of voice, combined with the fact that he'd been harassing Romulan warships just because he could, she was probably Romulan. He did his best to smile, but the blood from his lip that was now playing Plinco with the hairs of his goatee made it look a little odd. "And you're even more ugly than I'd expected," he retorted in a less than convincing manner. She stepped back and slapped him again and he let his head drop. Look at that, there was red blood on the floor. She probably didn't think it was nice of him to bleed on her floor, but he figured it made them even. He looked back up and she'd returned to just in front of his face. "Alright, I lied. You're mildly attractive... for a Romulan." He closed his eyes to brace for another slap, but she refrained. Instead she brought her face closer. As she spoke, her breath was delicious, like the best strawberries he'd ever tasted... and he hadn't tasted strawberries in years. He was tempted to try and kiss her, just to throw her off, but the thought of a real basket of Earth strawberries was too distracting. He opted to plan a route back to Earth to get some instead. As she tilted her head interestedly and spoke again, he found his possible escape plans littered with ideas of how to use kissing her to get away... the taste of strawberries was just too overwhelming. "Who are you? And what makes you think you can harass the Empire without punishment?" He smiled. Perhaps now was the time to kiss her... Andor, Stardate 63569.7 Roughly a month later, in a sector, oh... not too far away, a group of five brownish-red starships glided into orbit around the wintry planet. The Andorian Imperial Guard's database registered them as Vulcan vessels so their presence was accepted without much consideration. After all the Andorians and the Vulcans had been allies since the days of Jonathan Archer and the founding of the Federation. They were slightly less welcoming, however, when the Vulcan ships started bombarding the planet... From a safe distance, the Dread Pirate Jackford (as the Alternate Universe version of Jackford B. Kolk of the USS Ronin decided he was to be called this week) watched and smiled with evil glee. Starting the Gorn/Cardassian war had been a long, slow, beautiful dance. This...? This was just fun. He was fairly certain there'd be Federation diplomats working for peace almost instantly, but with the resources of the Romulan Star Empire backing him, he might still have a chance to devolve the situation into the very first civil war in the history of the United Federation of Planets. Now that would be an accomplishment. Roughly 7 billion dead in both reptilian empires had given him a modicum of vengeful satisfaction, but... he'd learned quickly enough that his soul still longed for more. He couldn't help but feel he was created for a greater purpose than mere revenge. And his new accomplice and lover had helped him find it. Sure, he couldn't trust Sheval, but that didn't mean he couldn't enjoy her passionate side until their plan was complete and they had to see who would kill whom first... As the Imperial Guard pummelled the "Vulcan" fleet to bits, Jackford smiled. Romulans were so predictable. They sacrificed themselves willingly for the prospect of the civil war simply because they saw it as a chance to expand their Empire where the Federation had so long denied them room. They'd demanded proof that their involvement wouldn't be discovered, but their expansionist fever was easily manipulated by the master manipulator. It was child's play after talking and teasing the Gorn and the Cardassians into slaughtering one another. Undisclosed Location, Stardate 63597.4 As predicted, a peace summit had been called, and, although not invited, the Dread Pirate Jackford and his Romulan friends showed up to... expedite the process. In the guise of Andorian Imperial warships this time, they waited for the summit to begin, then charged in, this time with a significantly larger fleet, knowing that Starfleet would be defending. It took some doing, but they managed to kill at least a few of the delegates before retreating. They couldn't afford to assemble an overly massive fleet, and it really wasn't required. All they needed to do was perpetrate a few more random attacks and create enough confusion for their operatives throughout the rest of the Federation to encourage various key worlds to pick sides. Risa, Stardate 65729.3 Little more than two standard years later, the Civil War had escalated into an all-out Galactic War. The Romulan Star Empire had, of course, taken the opportunity to claim several key worlds, including Risa (because Jack and Sheval wished it) and a number of Klingon worlds. With the majority of their work done, Jackford the War-Starter (his new name, for now) and Sheval (with a fleet of Romulan Warbirds watching for enemy fleets overhead) took a sabbatical on the still-coveted pleasure-haven of Risa. Jack, in short shorts and a near-non-existent open-chested shirt, lay on his back sunbathing. Sheval, equally barely dressed in the customary Risan vacation attire, had wandered off to get something special for her lover and co-conspirator. When she returned, Jack opened his eyes at the pleasant breeze that her motion created and smiled like a nigh-slumbering kitten. "What did you bring me, e'lev?" the contented human asked. "A treat you've been waiting years to taste..." "Mmmmm. I love it when you're secretive." He sat up to recieve her gift. As she opened the lid of the dark Risan Mahogany box, a sight he'd only dreamt of for nearly a decade met his eyes. Real, Terran strawberries! "Are they...?!!" Sheval smiled in that disturbingly heartless way she had, "Direct from Earth, e'lev." "Oh, how I love you, Sheval!" Her smile never fading for an instant, she held the small box out under his nose. "Enjoy..." He dug in, forgetting the pledge they had made to pleasure each other until it no longer served their purposes. He had foolishly begun to think that they loved each other and that he was therefore safe. But she had been biding her time, making plans within plans, schemes within his schemes. And now, it was time. The war was nearly over, and the Federation in shambles. It would soon be time to claim her rightful place as Praetor of the Empire, and she would share that glory with no one. Not even the man who'd made it all possible. Though they tasted perfect and were, in fact, from Earth, the strawberries were also laced with Iocane powder, that perfect, millennia-old, tasteless, odorless poison... Jack was enthralled by the luxuriant taste of the strawberries. It had been far too long since he'd tasted them. In his universe of origin, Earth was now only a shadow of itself. Ravaged by the Gorn, no living thing now existed there. It was a barren wasteland little better than a Class Y "Demon" planet. In this universe, he'd warn out his welcome more than once and hadn't been free to go to Earth since he'd nearly killed Captain Mar there several years ago. Even the short time he'd had there had not afforded him the luxury of eating real Earth strawberries. Still, there was solace in the fact that the man who'd kept him busy that trip was dead and crumbled to bits from Acute Cellular Decay. (It was such a shame he hadn't been able to stay and watch...) As he bit into the penultimate berry, Jack finally opened his eyes and gave heed to a sense other than his taste buds to look into the eyes of his one true love... Which was when it hit him: there was something odd about her expectant stare. But perhaps it was merely a vicarious enjoyment of his elation. "Don't you want to try one, e'lev?" Her smile finally struck fear into him as she spoke tauntingly. "Perhaps when I'm Praetor, Jack, and you are no more." "Sheval? I..." Trying to stand up, he noted a distinct weakness throughout his body. "You should've known not to match wits with a Romulan, e'lev. You could not win." The look in Jack's eyes betrayed the sheer anguish and betrayal he felt. Once again, the one person he thought he could trust had torn his heart out with her bare hands. Addy's betrayal on the Alternate DS17 had been painful, sharing their bed with another man, but this... It was so final and... bittersweet. A gift and a curse at the same time... Maybe this was all that love could ever be. He focused all his will on standing despite the poison, his limbs loosing strength by the moment. Taking the last strawberry in his hand, he engulfed it, whole, in his mouth. Then kissed her with every ounce of strength he had left, forcing the final strawberry into her mouth with his tongue. He loved her, in his own way, and if it had to end this way, then he would do all he could to at least bring her with him into death... THE END
  23. I know I'm in here for the inspiration... ::scribbles down notes and runs off to a secret place to write his story::
  24. It has such all-encompassing implications... One word comes to mind: Inconceivable!
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