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Roshanara Rahman

Executive Council member
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Roshanara Rahman last won the day on November 14

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About Roshanara Rahman

  • Rank
    We are what we pretend to be.
  • Birthday May 19

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    USS Veritas
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    Commanding Officer
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    Training Team Member

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    piano

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  1. Suggestions from Cadets

    That's a good idea. Our quick run down of equipment and other things about our universe is actually already available on the wiki as the 118 Primer: https://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php?title=StarBase_118_Universe_Primer We can look into making that a bit more visible during your introduction to training.
  2. This scene was originally written through seven individual sims by @Sky Blake and @Evan Delano: "Working on a day off" (Blake), "Best Guess" (Delano), "Blakonian inquisition" (Blake), "Speculation and Suspicion" (Delano), "Her modern man" (Blake), "Balanced” (Delano), and "Not used to it yet" (Blake). It is presented in its completed form below. ((Astrometrics, USS Veritas)) ::Stellar cartography had become second nature once Sierra had kicked her training off way back when. While she was waiting for the duty shift to change, for Sick Bay to be ready for her, for the captain to have had a reasonable amount of caffeine, she asked the cartography assistant for use of primary lab.:: ::There was a tingling sensation in the back of her skull when she'd heard the doors to the lab open.:: Delano: Hello, Commander. :: Evan was in the middle of his evening rounds when he was called down to astrometrics. After the Antor II mission, the senior staff had agreed to reduced work loads for most of the crew, at least for a while, which meant that most nights, as Evan was going through his end of day checklist, much of the ship felt practically abandoned. :: :: Of course, as surprised as he was to receive the call, he was more surprised by that person’s identity. He’d known Commander Blake was due back on board - he’d personally arranged for her new quarters - but he’d expected the captain to make some kind of formal announcement once their former first officer had returned to Veritas. Perhaps that would still be coming. :: ::Sky glanced back over her shoulder before turning fully to face her visitor.:: Blake: Lieutenant. ::She greeted.:: It's good to see you again. :: Evan nodded, offering a professional smile as he stepped into the room and accessed one of the center consoles. :: Delano: And you, Commander. Blake: I'd heard you'd taken a commission again. Welcome back to the Starfleet fold. Delano: Thanks. And welcome back to Veritas. :: Evan resisted the urge to tug at the collar of his uniform and instead kept his fingers busy by starting a diagnostic. :: Delano: I hope you don’t mind me doing a little work, since I’m here. I’ve been wanting to run a level 2 diagnostic on the sensors for a few days. :: beat :: How was your time away? Blake: I was sent back to Shadow's Edge, actually. I'm part of the ranger division now - though I'm on my own until such time Starfleet sends a specific commander for me to report to, other than Rahman of course. ::Rangers, though trained to work and survive on their own, technically came in groups of four or more. But given that Starfleet resources and officers were at a stretch with border protection on the *other* side of Tholian space - combine that with the Cardassians and the neutral zone, what few rangers there were, given that they were only a relatively new division of Starfleet, had their hands full elsewhere. Sending a whole Platoon wasn't possible, and sending them one by one would take months, if not years, for the platoon to come together. ::Evidently, her time on Shadow's Edge wasn't all for naught, for a Rangers unit was indeed being set up, with Shei'saur reporting additional officers following in their footsteps. Or, more accurately, two officers had been sent to Meridian (not far enough along the Mother Road to be helpful, in the Brekkazoid's humble opinion) following Sky's request for additional support within the Shoals. They'd be there in about six months, assuming they weren't asked to turn around and go back after only two months travel following some ridiculous fleet-wide emergency. To which they'd also be late for. ::The Shoals acted like a double edge sword in that regard.:: :So long as she was on Veritas or in the vicinity of Veritas, Rahman was her commanding officer.:: :: Evan nodded again. The computer was doing its thing: running the Veritas’ complex array of sensor palettes through an automated calibration procedure and a range of diagnostic tests that would show even a slight misalignment. When he was satisfied it wouldn’t need additional input from him - at least for a few minutes - the operations officer refocused his attention on Blake. :: Delano: Given what we’ve just been through on Antor, I imagine the captain will appreciate having a ranger on board. Are you hitching a ride, or are you planning to be around for a while? Blake: Until such time there's a unit for me to report to, I'm here on a more permanent basis. Which brings me to why I called you here. :: She gestured towards the large screen at the center of the room, where a course towards the Mother Road was being displayed just shy of Antor. :: Blake: I'm actually following two suspects from a pirate attack back on Shadow's Edge that slipped through the Edge's border security. They were headed towards Antor, but no Marshal outpost in the area found the vessel I was tracking - not that they've reported, at least. It's entirely possible that they jumped ship or headed in another direction, but . . . I don't know. :: Evan stepped towards the screen and away from his working console. :: Delano: I’m not surprised you’ve lost them. Everything’s so slow out here - same reason we can’t get a solid lead on Jilor. :: He turned to her and raised an inquisitive eyebrow - a Vulcan mannerism he’d picked up during his time on Seheik. :: Delano: Are you looking for my input? Blake: Well, next to the general staff, you're most experienced here in the Shoals - I was hoping I could borrow your insight. The survivor of the attack wasn't willing to divulge his smuggler routes, and I can't figure out where supposedly pirate killers would run off to towards the Mother Road. The only place of importance I can think of is Outpost 3, but the place is a wreck right now. It's of no use to any outlaw faction in its current state. Delano: Hm. :: Evan crossed his arms over his chest as he examined the sectors displayed on screen as Sky stepped back just a bit, out of his way. There really wasn’t much to see. :: Delano: Well, I know there’s at least one class-M world between Antor and Shadow’s Edge if you decide to fly direct and avoid the Mother Road. I can’t remember the name of the system… Blake: You're suggesting they're not concerned with travel times. :: The display shifted to show the star system in question. It was a binary star system with 16 planets and several hundred smaller dwarf planets and asteroids. :: Delano: There it is. The Lucian system. ::More importantly, a star system she was unfamiliar with.:: Delano: As I recall, Starfleet made first contact with the natives about 30 years ago - a few months after the Lucians broke the warp barrier. We received a polite but cold reception. And, as far as I know, we’ve never been invited back. Rumor is that the Lucians are quite xenophobic. Blake: Tholians would get along with them well. ::She muttered.:: Could marshals at least find them? Delano: Well, if your pirates managed to get into the system without being detected, they’d have plenty of places to lie low. Proximity to the Shadows and the fact that Outpost 3 isn’t exactly up to spec would probably be an added bonus. Blake: Essentially hidden from view. ::She sighed.:: Delano: That’s my best guess. Of course, if I’m right, I’m not sure what you can do about it. The Federation doesn’t have a formal relationship with the Lucians, and any probe or starship we send into their system would almost certainly be seen as a threat. Blake: Even if I wanted to, we'd have to wait for confirmation from both the Coalition and the Diplomatic Corps for the go-ahead, and I don't see that happening. It's a waiting game from this point on. Delano: Sorry, Commander. Wish I had better news for you. Blake: No, this is good. I appreciate it. If I can coax some marshals at least *around* that area, they might be able to catch them for me. ::Her hand scrubbed at her cheek, taking a deeper breath.:: Also means I'll have to ask the guys on Outpost 3 to start sensor sweeps when they're able, lest they become a target once they're up and running again. ::Tristam Core was probably going to love that just as much as he will putting the small station back together from nothing with only a handful of Ketar V construction workers and a sole security officer working with him.:: Delano: That’s probably a good idea. After Antor, I’m not sure anything out here is safe. If we’re lucky, things will die down for a while, but I wouldn’t count on it. Blake:::shaking her head:: It's been a busy few months. But now that we're leaving what I call 'familiar territory', it's just going to get more hectic. We had a bad political rap when we arrived and started Operation Safe Harbor, let alone now, after what happened at Antor. Delano: Even among the Reya-Laialara, Starfleet’s reputation is… well, somewhat tarnished compared to the way it’s viewed through the rest of the Federation. :: He shrugged. :: Delano: It’s hard to blame them. Starfleet’s presence out here has been minimal for decades. A lot of people feel like they’ve been abandoned. And as hard as Veritas has been working to make things better, one ship seems like a token effort. :: The conversation died for a moment, and Evan looked up from the diagnostic results he’d been skimming to see Blake looking at him with an expression he couldn’t quite read. :: Blake: Lieutenant, I have a question that I've been pondering since the crew's change over. :: His eyebrow crept up before he could stop it. :: Delano: I’ll answer if I can. Blake: Why didn't Veritas know you were in the area? I know you ceased to report in, but . . . any resource in the area, we could have used. I'm not sure I understand why Federation Security kept you hidden from us. :: His expression tightened as he thought back to the double life he’d led for almost a year. Disgraced Starfleet officer looking to find some kind of emotional balance between his Vulcan and human halves. And, a Federation Security agent, secretly spying and reporting on an insular, allusive, possibly dangerous religious sect operating in one of the most inaccessible parts of the quadrant. In the end, his conscience had got the better of him and he'd made the decision to stop spying, joining the Reya-Laialara in his heart months after he'd joined them through words. He'd only reestablished contact with the Federation when one of the Shadow's Edge pirate factions stole a cargo bay full of photon torpedoes. :: Delano: Honestly, I don’t know. Though I have my suspicions. :: Evan had his suspicions about most things. Whether intuition or subconscious deduction, he couldn't say. Nor could he say how many of these thoughts were accurate. :: ::She frowned a little.:: Blake: If you don't mind my prying . . . ? Delano: It might have been a matter of jurisdiction. Federation Security operates independently of Starfleet, maybe they didn’t want Veritas involved. Or maybe it was just a security thing - keeping the people who knew about my assignment to a minimum. ::beat:: Captain Carrero might have known. Blake: Possibly. ::If Carrero had known, the likelihood was that she'd at least inform Zhou - the crew had to separate on numerous occasions to get the job done. It wasn't necessarily a tactic Rahman employed today, nor would Sky recommend employing it after Carrero's death, but the assurance was everyone (or, at least, the command pair) was in the know of all that was happening in the area. ::Zhou had been clueless about Delano being in the Shoals, to the point where Tai had even attempted to press her for information about Delano to either set his mind at ease or to fuel the growing irritation at a flawed system. ::It had been easy for Sky to compare Delano to herself, if only in certain areas. And though she had absolutely no right to pry or question Rahman's confidence in Delano, or Delano's relationship with the ship's XO, that Mei'konda seemed comfortable and confident around the Vulcan had been enough to set Sky's mind at ease. She'd spent much of her time on Ornara operating under the idea that one's relationships with others primarily defined their personalities and capabilities - this assumption hadn't failed her yet.:: :: Evan rubbed the back of his neck, feeling somewhat awkward at bringing up the late captain. He knew a number of her former crew were still sensitive about her murder. :: Delano: My only other guess is that maybe there was some kind of political element. In my initial briefing, I got the impression that the assignment was being made at the request of someone from the Vulcan delegation to the Federation Council, though it was never expressly stated. ((Flashback)) Blake: You never explained to me how you perceive emotion. ::Liquid brown eyes glanced at her as he set Ayden down, lingering briefly on the baby before turning to her fully. It was a strange question of hers, of which, up to this point, had remained unanswered despite their relationship. She allowed herself to be gently led out, returning to the lounge with the man.:: Sabor: I'm not sure I understand the query. Blake: Vulcans are logical, yes? ::He coughed, covering what would likely have been a smirk at the child-like question.:: Sabor: All humanoids are capable of logic, that is correct. Blake: Including the V'tosh ka'tur? ::There was a split second where Sabor hesitated, his eyes considerably sharper as they gazed upon her and his hand stilling in it's place around a glass, before he recomposed himself. There was recognition in the name, that Sky could feel, and though usually allowed her a certain amount of access to his psyche, for that brief moment, she'd been cut off from him entirely. ::Was this Sabor's display of fear?:: Sabor: You've been reading. Blake: I'm sorry if it's- Sabor: It's fine. But I can't claim to know the inner workings of their . . . "understandings". I personally don't see logic as a choice one can make. For example, logic dictates one shouldn't put their hand under boiling water. Does that mean a Vulcan of the V'tosh ka'tur would burn themselves under such water to defy logic? Blake: Isn't that more 'self-preservation' then 'logic'? Sabor: One might argue that self-preservation could be considered rudimentary logic that requires little to no understanding to implement. ::She could tell now that this particular debate would only go round in circles until one of them gave up. Probably her.:: Blake: So why do Vulcans insist that emotions are *not* logical if all humanoids feel, and are capable of logic. Sabor: Emotions cannot be *explained* by logic. That doesn't mean that emotions are not logical. ::The corners of Sky's lips perked up.:: Blake: Is this a personal belief, or one shared by all Vulcans. Sabor:::after a heavy breath:: I support the notion that all Vulcans may have their own philosophy not shared by others - which, unfortunately, is not a sentiment one will find among regular temple-goers. But there was a time where mind-melds were considered taboo and were suppressed by a single group. This . . . may be the case today regarding logic. Blake: So Vulcans are susceptible to minority suppression. ::He eyed her with a minor frown, handing her a glass of water.:: Sabor: Drink. ::Ah, so *this* is where the conversation would end - at the notion that his people's society wasn't perfect. Sky smiled, accepting the glass and watching him fondly as he walked away to check on Faith.:: Blake: I feel like I'm being suppressed! ::She called after him with a sarcastic tone.:: Sabor: If I ever attempt to suppress you, my wife, you'll know. ((End flashback)) ::Her first interaction with a Vulcan since waking up had been with her bondmate, whom held his own beliefs and felt comfortable expressing them whilst not in the purview of other Vulcans. The second he did so, he would have been held under scrutiny of his peers. ::That a Vulcan delegation may have asked for Federation Security to spy on other Vulcans put the part of Sky that still held Sabor's mentality close on edge.:: Blake:::muttering:: Minority suppression. :: The commander’s eyes looked unfocused for a moment, as if she were deep in thought or memory. :: Delano: What was that, Commander? :: The woman’s normally sharp expression came back into view as she leaned against the console and crossed her arms. :: Blake: Sorry - it was a . . . debate I once tried to have. ::She paused.:: Is it wrong of me to ask what they were hoping you'd find? Delano: I don’t mind sharing what I know. :: beat :: Why do you ask? Blake:::nodding:: Well, historically, 'majority' Vulcans meddling in a separated factions affairs isn't usually taken very well. Forgive the conspiracy theory. :: Evan nodded his agreement. :: Delano: When I went in, I don’t think most in the Federation knew much at all about the Reya-Laialara. They did know about the Romulans that were associated with them, however, and I suspect that’s what they were most concerned about. Some kind of subversive activity - either by the group as a whole, or just the refugees that have settled in Seheik. :: He shrugged. :: Every time I sent in a report, the messages I got back asked for more details about the infrastructure. What kind of weapons did they use? Did they have any ships? How was the settlement defended? They didn’t seem willing to accept that the Reya-Laialara really are pacifists. I thought they were being unreasonable, but… well, there was Lenik. ::There was a moment of quiet between them, marked by the steady thrumming of the ship’s warp core and the occasional beep from one of the consoles.:: Blake: Just means I'll add it to the list of things we have to worry about later, anyway. For now, pirates are the priority. If political unrest happens, then hopefully the diplomatic corps are prepared for that kind of challenge. Delano: I hope so too. I’m not sure how much more ‘unrest’ the Coalition can handle right now. If Jilor wants an independent Shoals, I’m starting to believe he’s closer to that goal than most of us have thought. Blake:::with a smirk:: Is that your formal assessment? :: Evan shook his head and offered a thin smile. :: Delano: Just a hunch, Commander. ::Silence fell once again, Sky turning back to the display.:: ::He had planned to leave it there, but as another nearly awkward quiet passed between them, Evan felt the impulse to press on and explain.:: Delano: A few kilometers from my father’s house on Vulcan, there is a large field of narrow standing rock formations. On top of many of these columns are boulders that have remained perfectly balanced for thousands, perhaps millions of years. And yet, each year blowing winds or shifting sands manage to cause just enough change to disrupt the balance, causing a few of these rocks to fall. When we’d go walking through that area, I used to get this horrible anxiety if I spent too long staring up at one of those pillars - convinced that the massive stones on top could fall at any moment and crush me. Lately, the feeling I get about the Shoals is almost the same. ::A shot of adrenaline flew through her system, just from his imagery. But when she met his eyes again, his smile returned, still weak but with a hint of genuine humor behind it. :: Delano: I didn’t mean to get all doom-and-gloom on you, Commander. Blake: You wouldn't be the first one to try it around here. But paranoia won't keep us warm at night, Delano. Delano: The only point is that I think we’re standing on dangerous ground. I’d say that we need to be careful, but in this case, that would be stating the obvious. Of course, there's also a chance that being too careful is just as dangerous as being reckless. Blake:::she sighed.:: Starfleet can't add more officers into the area without hurting their resources and their political stance with the Marshals, but they can't pull us out because the Coalition will throw the argument that they're being ignored around. It's bad enough we're being pulled in five different political directions - first by Shadow's Edge, now by Antor. ::And Antor had been far more damaging than the young governor of Shadow's Edge. When they'd entered the Shoals, the reception had been icy because until they'd started shouting at the top of their lungs, Starfleet hadn't ever lingered around the area before - and some of the locals were getting concerned that, despite having asked for Starfleet to be there, they were stepping on toes. They weren't wanted because the locals had wanted to do this for themselves. ::Now, they weren't wanted because they were causing threats. From pirates, of all players.:: Delano: I'm starting to wonder if this is just what living in the Shoals is like once you've been here long enough. Blake: We've been here long enough. I'm not getting used to it yet. === Lieutenant Evan Delano Operations Officer USS Veritas & Lt. Commander Sky Blake Ranger USS Veritas
  3. High-profile trial of Cardassian war criminal begins https://t.co/sAOezYPNod https://t.co/BEZIHbb60H

  4. A Brutal Murder Sparks a Revolution https://t.co/1B9PTipOM7 https://t.co/0EIfa0I0mY

  5. Professional Tetraball undergoes major expansion for 2394 season https://t.co/yZb9XjMjpV https://t.co/uOnamwne7W

  6. [Ed. note: The nomination below is stitched from several sims to present the completed scene.] ((Bridge, USS Veritas)) Delano: Given how large a problem piracy has become in recent years, it’s not uncommon for freighters to employ smuggler's techniques to protect valuable cargo. I wouldn't assume anything nefarious. ::It was a good point, and one that Roshanara surmised Delano had come to trust from his time here in the region thus far.:: ::Still, their chief engineer had her doubts.:: Walker: With all due respect? I'd not assume the reverse either. And I'd say odds are better than even at least one of them was working with the pirates. Sepek: ::controlling his excitement:: Captain, it seems the warp trail heads to an area where the tetryon fields are more dense and active, but then cuts off. I'm assuming that this area is the Shadows? Blake: Every pirate gang from one end of the Shoals to another knows that we are *all* blind in there. ::Mei'konda scratched his chin, deep in thought.:: Mei’konda: We’re probaably better equipped than most shiips to operaate in the Shadows. Most shiips don’t haave Starfleet sensors and the combinaation of durability and maneuverability that the Veritas class has. Still... Delano: Unless we know exactly what we’re looking for, I’d advise against entering the Shadows. Blake: By the time we reach the Shadows, tracking them will be ten times harder. But last time we tried going after them, we had a good idea where one of their haunts. Walker: If we have the locations where they were, it’s possible we could use the warp trails to verify where they were going. A lot better than going in with blinders on… ::She chuckled softly to soften the statement.:: Blake: Reports suggest Veritas got called away before the crew could investigate further. I wouldn't personally know - I was on my personal leave. ::There was a lull in the conversation, and Evan sensed a measure of frustration from the gathered officers. First Lenik. Now, likely, the Kos’karii. And they still weren’t any closer to bringing justice to Captain Carerro’s killers.:: ::Mei'konda turned towards Roshanara.:: Mei’konda: I thiink we should interrogaate the Klingon, as soon as she waakes up. If she would taalk, she might have all the informaation we need. Up to date guidance chaarts, information on their fleet’s strength… it’s just a matter of getting it from her. ::Roshanara nodded. Warp trails as Sepek noted only went so far. The best place to look for where to go next wasn't out in space but down in sickbay.:: Rahman: Agreed. Mei’konda: We could offer her plenty in return. Supplies, mediciine, a small pre-fabriicated house of her own on one of the colony worlds, or baack in Federation space… I mean, if she’d want any of that. ::Delano chuckled softly. When someone looked at him, Evan just shrugged.:: Delano: You think she’d owe us one for saving her from certain death. Blake: Maybe not a house on the colony worlds. Something tells me the Coalition would gladly set us on fire for that. ::Roshanara leaned against the worktable with both arms, looking first to Walker and Sepek.:: Rahman: Continue to prepare the ship and the Falcon for the warp tow. Ensign Sepek, you'll be working with Commander Walker. Walker: We’ll get the Falcon ready to soar again Captain. ::chuckling:: Or at least be dragged with her wings open. Sepek: Understood captain. ::The captain then glanced over to Evan, Blake, and Mei’konda.:: Rahman: I want you- ::She stopped when her gaze met Delano’s.:: ::In that moment of hesitation, Evan knew exactly what she was thinking. He averted his eyes.:: ::Given how the man's previous interrogation of a prisoner had turned out, she decided to keep him away from a similar situation.:: Rahman: ...Commanders Blake and Mei'konda to head to sickbay and see if you can get our "guest" to talk. Blake: We're bribing her? Mei'konda: If it works, I suppose. Yes, Captain. Rahman: Feel free to offer incentives for her, but... ::She thought of the suggestions Mei'konda had made earlier about what they could offer the Klingon.::: Rahman: ...don't be afraid to use the stick with the carrot. ::A shorter prison sentence was also an incentive after all.:: Blake: We'll see. ::The Caitian shook his head.:: Mei'konda: We won’t be. Of courrse. Good cop, bad cop, riight? ::Good. They all had their tasks.:: ::Well, except...:: Rahman: Let's get some answers. Dismissed. ::As the other officers split off to their duties, Roshanara and Delano remained at the table.:: ::She looked to him.:: Delano: Shall I return to my quarters? Rahman: You should feel free to continue offering your insight, agent... on the bridge. Delano: But not in sickbay. Or the brig. ::The accusation in his voice wasn’t really fair, but the bitterness Evan felt was getting the better of him. That look she’d given him had been a visceral representation of all the frustration he’d felt about Starfleet since he’d left the Invicta.:: ::What he’d done had ultimately saved the president’s life. But even that consolation wasn’t enough to make him feel good about what had happened. And, perhaps worst of all, a part of him would still be tempted to do it again, if the circumstances were the same. He’d grown so much in the last year, but a part of him feared he was still unworthy of the uniform he’d put aside. Perhaps that’s why it had felt so uncomfortable. And why he’d chosen the civilian clothing now.:: ::She took a breath.:: Rahman: ...let's go to my ready room. :: Evan nodded, pausing just long enough to save his work and log off his partition. :: Delano: After you, Captain. ::She led the way as they walked off the bridge into the small office.:: ((Captain’s Ready Room)) :: She didn’t waste time once the doors were shut behind them. She turned, and faced him with that stern captain’s expression he’d seen a few times since he’d come aboard. :: Rahman: You had further questions, agent? ::The man in front of her took a long breath before he spoke.:: :: Evan bit back a sarcastic response and instead focused on the imagery exercises the Reya-Laialara often employed to control strong outbursts of emotion. He saw himself on a mountain. He could feel the wind and the cold, and see the clouds below, but he did not need to do more than acknowledge they were there. :: :: He took a deep breath, then spoke in a measured tone. :: Delano: I understand why you don’t want me interrogating a prisoner. If not for the Ross incident, then there would still be the simple fact that I'm not here in an official Starfleet capacity. ::She crossed her arms. He was right, although the matter was not quite as simple, actually. His capacity as a part of Federation Security might have privileged him to participate in the interrogation. The simple fact was the "Ross incident.":: ::She didn't say anything just yet, and so he continued.:: Delano: What concerns me is that you weren't willing to let me down there, even with Blake and Mei'konda in the room. ::She looked up at him. "Even with Blake and Mei'konda in the room," Delano stood at an impressive 191 cm, with the physicality to match his height. Standing here now in her ready room, he towered over her, with the top of her head barely reaching his shoulders.:: Rahman: You find that unreasonable? Delano: No. And I don’t blame you for being cautious. :: A part of him did blame her, and he suspected she would be able to recognize that small lie for what it was. Still, he was trying not to, and he hoped that counted for something. :: Delano: I just… I'm not sure I can be aboard this ship if every time something like this comes up, you look at me like I've just kicked your favorite puppy. Rahman: Nonsense. ::She kept her gaze on him.:: Rahman: You didn't kick a puppy. You assaulted a prisoner during an interrogation. I don't see any reason to place you in a position where that situation may occur again--and neither did Captain Kells, if you recall. ::She hadn't meant that last point as a jab, just a reminder that her hesitation to let him near a prisoner wasn't unprecedented.:: ::But it still felt a bit harsh. She took a deep breath herself.:: Rahman: I respect that you feel differently. And as we discussed after your court martial, I am willing to move forward since what happened with Ross. But it would be negligent of me to not take some precautions in light of what happened. ::She could see--and sense--the earnest frustration he was feeling.:: Delano: I am what I am. But, I've come a long way, if that matters. ::beat:: At the settlement, I felt like I was in a place where I could be myself without the pressure of always living up to this impossible Starfleet standard. ::The frustration he’d been feeling was bleeding into his voice, but he took a few measured breaths and let it slide down the mountain, acknowledged but not in control.:: Delano: I’m sorry, Captain. I'm not angry at you. I honestly thought I was passed this whole Ross thing. But whenever it comes up there's just this raw, gordian knot of emotion I can't seem to untangle. Not when I'm face to face with it, anyway. ::beat:: Maybe keeping me out of that interrogation was the right call. Rahman: You took an oath to uphold that standard. One that your colleagues did as well. And up until what happened back at Astrofori One, you *did* live up to that standard. Why is it impossible now? ::She frowned, genuinely interested in wanting to know more about what was behind that sliver of vulnerability he was showing her now.:: :: Evan looked back at her, blue eyes betraying his own uncertainty. :: Delano: I don’t know. ::He finally admitted.:: But Ross wasn’t the first time I’ve lost control. In some ways, I can’t help but think this was inevitable. Rahman: Did those at the settlement help you come to terms with what happened? Delano: In some ways. I never denied responsibility for what happened - that’s why I pleaded guilty. But, the Reya-Laialara helped me find a way to have control without resorting to a traditional Vulcan philosophy of stoicism and unfaltering logic. Rahman: You already know this, but perhaps it would help to talk with a counselor. Delano: Perhaps. :: He agreed. :: I’ve worked with counselors in the past. ::He left it at that, though the idea of sitting down with Raissa made him uncomfortable for some reason. He’d do it. But it wasn’t something he was looking forward to.:: ::She nodded.:: Rahman: I know. There is no magical fix. And even the ones we love can feel helpless when they're not sure what they can do to make things better. Delano: Sometimes there’s nothing they can do. For whatever it’s worth, I still appreciate the thought and effort. ::She leaned back against the edge of her desk, looking down for a moment towards Delano's shoes.:: Rahman: Maybe keeping you out of that interrogation was the right call, but maybe it was also unfair to you. You took responsibility for your actions, and you accepted the consequences. Delano: I tried. ::She raised her head back up to look at him, her arms still crossed in front of her.:: Rahman: I was telling your fiance when he first stepped aboard this vessel and walked through that door, asking to join the mission to find you... I told him about how even after you and I had agreed to try to work on moving forward together, I was disheartened to see first you and then him leave. I felt sorry again for having ever known Harrison Ross and for having asked you to conduct that interrogation. ::She had asked Delano to interrogate Ross because she'd been wary of her own ability to do so without being compromised. It was one of the few decisions in her career--like when she'd first invited Tristam to join her research--that had haunted her long after.:: Delano: It’s… a complicated situation. And I’m sorry for putting you through that. At the time, it seemed like leaving Invicta - and taking this assignment with Federation Security - was the best thing I could do to help you and the crew get past it. Rahman: Yet despite what we told ourselves in that last conversation, we obviously have not moved on. ::Taking a breath, the captain straightened, then took a step towards him. Evan felt the urge to stand up straighter and tuck his hands behind his back. He resisted the latter.:: Rahman: Only you can answer this question: how do you feel? How much have you changed? If you were back in that interrogation room with Ross as the man you are now, would things have happened differently?
 ::And of course, could she trust him? But that question remained unsaid.:: Delano: Honestly, Captain, I don’t know. I want to believe that it would be different. But… ::He paused, looking her in the eye. Finally, he resolved to be as open as he could about this. :: Delano: We needed the information Ross had. Lives were at stake. The integrity of the Federation itself was at risk. ::beat:: I let my anger and frustration take charge back in that cell. I’ll regret that for the rest of my life. That said - all emotion aside - there’s a part of me that can’t help but think that the end justified the means. ::She shook her head slightly. But he already knew what she was going to say. She’d said it at his court martial.:: Rahman: You know very well my thoughts on that line of thinking. ::Though he remained motionless, she could sense the emotional maelstrom that lay behind that cool Vulcanoid exterior.:: ::He took a carefully measured breath, allowing him a precious moment to collect his thoughts and to allow the emotion behind his voice to settle from boil to simmer.:: Delano: And, maybe that’s why I don’t belong in that uniform anymore. I’m not sure that I ever did. Rahman: That’s not what your academy instructors thought. It’s not what Captain Kells or I thought. ::She raised her eyebrow at him.:: Rahman: And it’s not what your fiancé thinks. Delano: I don’t think Mei’konda understands. He wants me to ask for you to reinstate me and give me a permanent posting here on Veritas. ::She looked back at him earnestly.:: Rahman: What do you want? Delano: I think… maybe I just need some time. We still haven’t figured out exactly how the Reya-Laialara are connected to Lenik, the Kos’karii, and Captain Carrero’s death. Until that’s resolved, I’ll help out however I can. Whether that means putting me at a station on the bridge, or keeping me below decks until you need me for something is your call. ::The captain seemed to consider that, though her body language made Evan think she was still somewhat uncomfortable with the direction the conversation had gone.:: ::She nodded, her arms still crossed in front of her.:: Rahman: I appreciate that. You and Commander Blake are the two most experienced individuals among my senior staff when it comes to this region. From what I gather, this isn’t just a short-term assignment, so I would value your expertise beyond just the current mission. Delano: What would that mean exactly? Rahman: We’ll work out the specifics later, but for now, you may consider yourself a bridge officer. Delano: I’m up-to-date on most of the Veritas specs. With the exception of what’s classified. ::The captain’s hands went to her hips.:: Rahman: I trust a refresher course in starship operations isn’t necessary? ::Evan suppressed a small chuckle, if only because he wasn’t 100% sure it was a joke.:: Delano: No, Captain. I think I’ll be fine. ::There was a momentary calm between them and Evan found himself straightening his posture.:: Rahman: Just focus on your job, and I think a path will reveal itself. Whether that’s back to Starfleet or to something else… well, only God or whomever you wish to attribute your fate knows. Delano: I’ll… try not to disappoint you. ::She looked at him for a moment, standing before her in his civilian clothing. And then, she took another step closer to him still, plucking the combadge from her chest and placing it over his left breast. After she finished adjusting it, she took a step back and looked back up at him.:: Rahman: Consider that a bit of a nudge towards one direction. :: Evan placed a hand on the warm metal, his fingertips finding the familiar points. :: Delano: Thank you, Captain. ::And finally, for the first time in a long while, she smiled at Delano.:: Rahman: Dismissed, agent. === Agent @Evan Delano Special Advisor, USS Veritas Writer ID: T239007ED0 & Capt. @Roshanara Rahman Commanding Officer, USS Veritas Writer ID: I238705TZ0
  7. Protests erupt over controversial war criminal case https://t.co/QJIePP3TBm https://t.co/AWzjgFiYjU

  8. Ferenginar’s 8 richest hold as much wealth as bottom half of all Ferengi https://t.co/vGyXOLZLDk https://t.co/34FzlyBwCq

  9. Witty Wordsmith: Making things better by making them worse https://t.co/b0M4pcnrtP

  10. round 3 LTCDR Mei'konda - Into the Unknown

    ((Bridge, USS Veritas, 0900 hours)) :: Mei’konda hadn’t gotten much sleep. It was hardly his first experience in assisting a starship’s departure on a mission, but this was the first time he’d felt this combination of excitement and anxiety. Excitement, because it’d been a year since his last deep space assignment. Anxiety, because of what was going on with Evan. :: :: He hadn’t had as much time to get to know the Bridge crew as he would have liked, but as he understood it, he’d have the better part of a month to get to know them while the Veritas traveled to Shadow’s Edge. Being limited to Warp 5 was going to be interesting. He’d settled at the Operations console, logged in, and spent the better part of the morning chatting quietly with Lieutenant Maravosh, the helmsman, as well as reconfiguring the console to his exact preferences. :: :: The Caitian’s ears rotated as the turbolift door slid open. He didn’t have to look in order to recognize Rahman’s footsteps, but still turned his seat and bobbed his head toward her. :: Rahman: Notify the station we are heading off on our way to Shadow's Edge. Blake: Aye, Captain. Flight plan logged. Esperance is standing by. :: Rahman’s eyes turned toward him. :: Rahman: Final pre-departure systems check please, Mr. Mei'konda. Mei'konda: Final pre-depaarture systems check. Aye, Captaain. :: Spinning his chair briskly back around, Mei’konda let his hands dance across the ops console as he began the automated level five diagnostics that would supplement the more intensive ones that the crew had been running, in preparation for departure. One by one, major systems blinked green on his screens. Moments later, he heard the telltale whistle of a shipwide announcement, and the Captain’s voice. :: Rahman: =/\= All hands, this is the captain. We are making way for Shadow's Edge. You've all done an excellent job getting the ship ready during this difficult transition. We're going to find answers, I promise you. =/\= :: Tradition. The Captain preparing the crew for this mission. Considering what had happened to their previous commander, certainly a smart move. :: Rahman: Departure check? Mei'konda: All systems reporting nominaal, Captaain. The Veritas is ready for depaarture. Rahman: All right, get us underway, Commander Blake. Blake: Standby for clearance from Esperances Ops. :: Mei’konda glanced toward his right, where the Lieutenant was working through the departure procedures. He remembered being at the helm. It was a lot to keep track of. :: Maravosh: Star Station Esperance confirms we are a go for departure. Blake: Engage thrusters. Steady away from station docks. :: Mei’konda’s ears perked and rotated as the Veritas began to move slowly away from the station. For a moment, he was surprised. On the Garuda, his human crewmates hadn’t been able to pick up the sound of maneuvering, and on the Invicta, engine sounds were muffled completely, often replaced with something natural played through the hull. But the Veritas was very different. Less well insulated, much more power for her mass. She wanted to MOVE. He was starting to understand the attraction of a smaller, tougher ship. :: Rahman: Ahead to Shadow's Edge, warp... ::She raised an eyebrow.:: five. Maravosh: Warp five, confirmed. Mei’konda: Full power traansferred to navigaational sensors. Tetryon fields chaarted. It doesn’t look liike there is anythiing out of the ordinaary in our path. At least… not for the Shoals. Blake: The Mother Road's current trajectory has been confirmed, but we'll need an additional check once we get into Coalition space. Long range sensor calibrations will likely be required with drifting from the road. All departments are green. Rahman: Engage. :: Stars streaked in front of them, Mei’konda instinctively leaned back in his seat, and let out a short breath. They were on their way. :: ========= Lieutenant Commander Mei’konda Operations Officer USS Veritas
  11. round 3 Evan Delano - Investigation

    (( The Shadows. Seheik Settlement Starport. )) :: A hot wind from the west blew over the plains on the outskirts of the settlement, causing the tall, brown grass to wave over the horizon. A century ago, a Vulcan poet had dubbed the eastern grasslands the Amber Sea. And, standing from a third-story landing platform, Evan found himself making the same comparison while he collected his thoughts. The vista was a valuable reminder of how beautiful this place could be. :: :: With that thought in mind, he turned back towards the bodies and debris. The stench of burned electronics and flesh threatened to turn his stomach, but he forced control. :: Delano: The security footage? :: The settlement’s port administrator - a middle-aged Romulan woman named Koleen - had been staring at the wreckage since she’d called for his attention a few seconds earlier. The woman looked suitably flustered by the accident, and even as she processed his verbal cue, she had difficulty looking away from the carnage. :: Koleen: I’ve got it here, Sir. :: Delano pressed his lips together at the honorific. Seheik’s law enforcement was comprised almost entirely of civilian volunteers. Evan was an exception to that, if only because of his background. The elders had been concerned about some of the newest additions to the settlement and had authorized the sheriff to deputize some of the experienced volunteers. And that was why Evan was here. He was the only deputy with significant experience with explosives. :: :: Despite the title, however, Evan disliked the idea of people calling him sir. It reminded him of the life he'd left behind. Still, she woman had served on a Romulan warship until just a few years earlier. Evan knew better than most how difficult some habits were to break. :: Delano: Thanks. :: He took the offered memory chip and plugged it into his scanning device. The device was larger than a modern tricorder, and wasn’t nearly as sophisticated, but it did it’s job well enough. This deep into the Shadows, he wasn’t about to complain. :: :: He tapped a few commands into the device, then used the small display to view the moments leading up to the explosion. :: :: He counted four men loading a medium sized cargo freighter pushing an anti-grav unit containing a magazine of photon torpedoes. KDF configuration by the look of them, though Evan wouldn’t know for certain until he did a more thorough analysis of the wreckage. :: :: The footage continued, and Evan watched as the men parked the anti-grav unit on the ship’s cargo lift. One of the men tapped the controls to raise the platform to the ship’s cargo bay. Fifteen seconds later, the ship’s hull was blown open by an internal explosion. :: :: Though he’d take another look with a more sophisticated display, Evan saw nothing more than he’d expected to. The easiest explanation of the accident: A group of “scavengers” had acquired weapons and arranged to transfer them to another ship before returning to Shadow’s Edge - such activity was common here, and the elders allowed it in exchange for their discretion and occasional smuggling of passengers in and out of the settlement. The weapons had been unstable, or perhaps sabotaged, and now four men were dead. :: :: An unfortunate accident, perhaps, but nothing requiring a more in depth investigation. And yet, Evan couldn’t shake the sense that he was missing something. :: Koleen: I suppose we’re lucky none of our people were up here. :: Evan offered a polite nod as he reviewed the readouts from his scanner again. :: Delano: It might have been easier if they were. Koleen: What makes you say that? Delano: The agreement we have with the pirate factions. Seheik is supposed to be neutral territory for them. The fact that none of our people were here could be seen as evidence that no longer applies. :: The already pale woman blanched. :: Koleen: I see. :: Evan nodded his agreement, hearing the depth of understanding in her voice. Seheik was self-sufficient, and could survive without the pirates. But only just. In the best case scenario, there would still be some shortages. And given the rising tensions between the elders and some of the younger Reya-Laialara, that could mean trouble. That rosy scenario assumed the pirates didn’t try to retaliate. :: :: He continued the conversation while keeping most of his attention focused on the readouts from his scanning device. :: Delano: Don’t worry, it probably won’t come to that. I just need to rule out the possibility of some kind of attack. :: Evan was pacing slowly around a piece of debris he’d managed to identify as one of the ship’s cargo transporters. :: Koleen: I’ve been running this facility for two years now. We’ve never had an accident of this magnitude. How can you be sure it isn’t some kind of attack? :: He frowned as he recognized a familiar energy signature in what was left of the transporter’s pattern buffer. :: Delano: Do you know why they didn’t use this to bring their cargo on board? :: Koleen stepped closer as Evan crouched down. :: Koleen: I assumed it had something to do with the warheads. Maybe they knew there was something wrong with them. Delano: Maybe. Antimatter warheads can be dangerous to transport under some conditions. :: Break :: Koleen, can you remind me of the frequency the starport transporters use? I need to filter out some background readings. :: She was absently staring at one of the nearby bodies. The fire suppression system had reacted quickly, but the man’s remains had been mutilated and badly charred in the explosion. :: Koleen: 152.1 :: Evan examined the Romulan again, his eyes narrowed slightly. :: Delano: You’re certain none of your staff helped in loading the cargo? :: She looked up, expression concerned. :: Koleen: My “staff,” as you call it, is three people, including myself. We were all together when the explosion occurred. That isn't uncommon. Most of our clients prefer to handle their own cargo. Delano: Can you confirm their whereabouts? Security footage? Computer records? Koleen: I… yes, probably. Why? What have you found? :: Evan shook his head. :: Delano: I’m not sure yet. :: There was a long pause as the wind blew around them and Evan continued his scans. That last had been a partial truth. He wasn’t certain of the exact context, but what was clear is that someone had used a Reya-Laialara transporter - likely one of the starport’s - to beam something on or off the pirate’s ship moments before the explosion. :: :: He spent another hour collecting as much data as possible before finally allowing the bodies to be transported to the local medical clinic and the debris into an empty (and secure) warehouse nearby. :: :: After reporting the situation to the Sheriff, who would in turn speak to the Elders, Evan spent the rest of the day back in his apartment, pouring over the data. It was early morning by the time his analysis was over, and Evan's eyelids felt heavy. Despite this, Evan knew he wouldn't be able to sleep that night. :: :: The Reya-Laialara was an inherently peaceful group. They had no ships of their own, and few weapons beyond civilian grade sidearms like the one he wore when he was on duty. There just wasn’t any need for them. :: :: And that’s what made his findings so disturbing. Why - in a settlement almost entirely populated by pacifistic refugees - would anyone steal a shipment of photon torpedoes? :: === Evan Delano Deputy Sheriff Reya-Laialara
  12. round 3 Lt. Cmdr. Rune Jolara: Revenge

    ((Undisclosed Location)) :: Rune felt the bile rise and she swallowed hard. Denari had told her to wrap her head around who Kieran and Tra'Li Ramni’s murderer was. But she couldn’t. Jendar Tellinn was her Haemachuo sibling, her sister. They had grown up together. They had been closer than any blood relative Rune had. At least they were until they were separated following Rune’s “Attitude Readjustment” and forbidden to have contact with one another. But… :: :: The evidence was irrefutable. There were security logs, video feeds and photographs clearly showing Jendar following both Tra’Li and Kieran. What wasn’t included in the file was motive? Why would Jendar do it? What had Rune done to make her sister hate her so? So many questions still unanswered. :: :: The building was mostly dark with the windows covered on the inside, some with boards and others with heavy canvas. The darkness was fine with Rune. She blinked a couple of times to adjust her vision. In the dark, her gold-flecked amber eyes seemed to glow a soft silvery blue and her vision became sharper. :: :: Outside, the rain tapped rhythmically on the glass interrupted only by random claps of thunder. Rune stopped at the bottom of the staircase and listened, physically and mentally, for any hint of movement or presence on the second level. :: :: After a moment, she slowly began climbing the stairs, keeping her back close to the wall. Halfway up, a step creaked beneath her foot and she froze. :: :: There was the faintest sound of boots. If she had been human she may not have even heard it. Rune’s heart raced mercilessly. Then there, at the edge of her mental awareness, she felt her. :: Jolara: ::calling out:: I know you are here, Jendar. :: Movement. Closer this time. A shadow caught Rune’s eye and she took another step up. :: Jendar: ::out of sight:: You are early as usual. :: The voice cut right through Rune. Confirmation that it was her. She had still held out the slightest little hope Denari and all the evidence was wrong. :: :: Rune began moving up again while trying to get an exact location on Jendar. :: Jolara: Come out so we can talk face to face. Jendar: Talk? Please. We both know exactly why you came here and it was not to talk. Jolara: You are wrong. :: Almost to the top of the stairs, Rune turned so she could see under the railing. :: Jendar: How is Krystyan? I bet he is growing fast. It really is a shame Kieran never… :: Rune didn’t even question how she knew about Krystyan. Jendar’s taunt ignited and fueled Rune’s anger. :: Jolara: Stop! You have no right to even speak her name! Jendar: tsk… Struck a nerve did I? Jolara: ::face skewering into disgust:: Why? Why did you… Jendar: To make you suffer and in turn to make Laro suffer. ::She finally moved into sight, leaning casually against the rail with her arms.:: You always were her favorite. The things she has done… Ah but you do not even remember do you? Jolara: Remember what? :: A low-pitched shrill drew both their attentions toward a table along the far wall of the second level. Jendar raised up and looked back at a computer monitor set up on the table. :: Jendar: You disappoint me yet again, Runica. :: Without giving Rune a chance to respond, she launched herself over the rail. Her shoulder slammed into Rune’s chest sending her backwards. Rune landed hard on the floor, her head hit the wooden slats with a resounding thud.:: :: Dazed, she raised her arm in automatic response to movement above her. She barely made out a glint of light. A scream escaped as the blade slashed into her arm. She lashed out with her other arm, her fist made enough contact with Jendar to knock the woman off her. :: :: Both women scrambled to their feet as quickly as possible. Rune stumbled backwards and shook her head. Jendar took advantage of Rune’s disorientation to deliver another blow. Her fist struck Rune in the jaw sending her stumbling back further until she hit the wall. :: :: Jendar rushed at her, but this time Rune lashed out with her arm simultaneously pushing away from the wall. Jendar staggered back but quickly recovered. She launched her entire body at Rune. The collision sent both women crashing to the floor. :: :: With Rune pinned against the floor, Jendar thrust her blade upward slicing easily into Rune’s abdomen. There was no pain… at first. Then the dark haired Al-Leyan jerked the knife out and thrust again and again. :: :: Jendar pulled the knife out again but this time she didn’t get the chance to stab Rune again. Rune couldn’t see it, she barely registered it. A bolt of phaser fire struck Jendar in the shoulder, sending her backwards screaming out in pain. :: :: There was footsteps approaching. A form knelt down beside Rune and touched her. Denari. She could feel the Bajoran’s controlled rage through the touch. It was an odd sensation in complete contrast to the sudden peace she felt. :: :: Denari stood, picked up the knife that had fallen from Jendar’s hand and moved to stand over the woman writhing in pain, holding her shoulder. She looked at the blade covered in Rune’s near black blood. She knelt down and poked the tip of the knife against Jendar’s hand.:: :: Rune managed to roll onto her side, facing the other two women. :: Jolara: Denari… please… don’t… Collim D.: You had your 20 minutes, Rune. ::She pressed the knife down. Jendar screamed.:: Now it’s my turn. :: Rune didn’t get a chance to see what happened next as the world went dark. :: ...tbc... Lt. Cmdr. Rune Jolara Intelligence Officer - On Leave Writer ID: A238909RJ0
  13. ((Earth, LlamaSong Farms)) Moonsong: Most of these horses are ours, but we stable a few for neighbors. ::She glanced at Rune.:: Did you want to ride or just walk around? :: Rune looked around and drew in a deep breath. While she couldn’t really smell the air, it felt cool and refreshing. After the last couple weeks, it was exactly what she needed. :: Jolara: They are beautiful creatures. Peaceful… ::smiling:: They don’t mind us riding them? Moonsong: Not at all. It is what they were trained for. And these are used to telepathic touch. Their minds simple but full of warmth and affection. Jolara: ::smiling:: In that case, perhaps a ride while we talk. Moonsong: Of course. You can tell me about the sadness you are feeling but trying to hide. :: Rune let out a chortle and shook her head. She had tried so hard to keep her real feelings locked away. :: Jolara: Only if you tell me about yours. ::Raissa led the way to the stables and asked the stablehands to saddle a couple of the horses. She usually road Chet, an old cream colored Arabian. For Rune, the gentle Mist was saddled. Raissa showed her how easy it was to mount them and how they were guided. It was obvious her friend picked up quickly how to ride these animals.:: Moonsong: I will show you the trail I ride the most. It is very peaceful. :: It took Rune a little while to feel comfortable upon the horse. They rode in silence for as long as Rune could stand it. :: Jolara: Everyone is worried about you. ::beat:: What is bothering you? Moonsong: ::blinks at the break in silence.:: Bothering me? Jolara: ::soft smile:: As I said before, I am here as a friend not a counselor. ::Raissa was silent for a moment. She knew her family was worried about her. She was having a hard to pulling out of that. Though in a way, she didn’t care and that bothered her a little.:: Moonsong: Did you know that I can count the number of my friends on the fingers of one hand and still have fingers left over? :: Rune knew very well how that felt. It was difficult for her to get close to others and let them get close to her. When she did, well those rarely turned out well. And here she was… trying. :: Jolara: It is more than that though, is it not? Moonsong: ::Quietly:: The truth… I am empty. I have given all I could to others. I have nothing left. I have a future of more of the same… Because I cannot imagine there being anything else for something like me? ::she looked at Rune.:: Is that what you wished to hear? Jolara: I did ask for the truth. ::She paused for a moment. Her brow creased.:: Something like you? What do you mean by that? Moonsong: I am not naturally a telepath. I was born a touch empath. That has changed. I dare not touch without being prepared with my mental shielding firm. My DNA has been changed. I am… not as I was. Jolara: ::tilting her head:: Is that what you really think? ::Raissa didn’t answer for a moment. She stared out over the horse’s head, his gait steady beneath him. Was that what she really thought? She recalled Saveron mapping her DNA after the Community had left her. The power she had shared with them was still with her and barely controlled and unfiltered. It had been a struggle to regain control and sanity and still do her job.:: Moonsong: Yes… I think of myself as a freak. Humans are not naturally T6. :: It broke her heart to know her friend thought of herself that way. In a way she could understand. After all, Al-Leyans were not telepathic by nature either and here she was… whatever she was. But this wasn’t about Rune and she’d be damned if she even tried to make it that way. :: Jolara: ::softly:: I know. Moonsong: ::Her hands tightly gripped the reins.:: I had to change nearly everything I was to survive it… to learn to live with it. ::a bitter laugh:: And barely anyone noticed. They just saw the Counselor. My friends tried to understand. Saveron came the closest. He compared it to the breaking of a Vulcan Bond. Nobody realized what the Community meant to me. The love, the closeness… Then it was gone. I touched Carter, a non telepath and it put him in sickbay. He could not understand what I had become. I would always have to hold back. That was why I ended our relationship. I did not have a choice. Jolara: Why do you feel you have no choice? ::Rune had opened the floodgates and everything was spilling out. Raissa had made a habit of keeping her personal feelings inside. Now she was talking and couldn’t shut up. The horses had stopped walking and Raissa slid out of the saddle. Chet pressed his head against her and she clung to the warmth of the animal.:: Moonsong: I cannot touch anyone without making sure I will not hurt them. I have learned how to harm thanks to the Nygellians. The high priestess that possessed me turned what I was into a weapon and I could not do anything about it. I was once able to touch and be touched. It was recommended that if I should pursue a relationship it should only be with other telepaths. Except for the fact that other telepaths can tell immediately that I am damaged goods. :: Rune was finally starting to understand what was really behind Raissa’s downward spiral. She drew in a breath and slid off Mist’s back. She said nothing as she moved to stand near her friend. :: Moonsong: Except of course when it comes to my job. Being the Counselor. Somehow people seemed to think I am highly skilled at it to the point where I am now getting requests for consultations from other ships. ::Tears had filled her eyes and were flowing down her cheeks.:: Being counselor is what I do, not who I am. Yet that is all they see and I cannot seem to change it. I listen. I guide. I help them to navigate their lives and they thank me and move on. I give and there is nothing left of me. ::a deep shaky breath:: Do you wish to know the saddest part of it all? I cannot imagine doing anything else. It is a calling I cannot ignore or deny. ::Finally she stopped. She felt drained of the emotional storm she had let loose. She waited for the inevitable response. Suck it up. Get over it. Stop being selfish.:: :: Rune carefully considered her words. She reached up and wiped the tears with her thumb but didn’t let her touch linger, not out of fear of being hurt but simply because she didn’t want to make Raissa feel uncomfortable. :: Jolara: You have every right to feel the way you do. Except perhaps the freak part. ::smiling warmly:: Then again, who am I to judge? ::turning serious:: You have bottled all this up for too long and… you have denied yourself some of the most basic needs we all have out of fear of hurting others. ::Raissa didn’t realize how much she had cried until Rune touched her face. In that brief touch she felt how much her friend cared about her.:: Moonsong: ::sniffles:: I am… I am not sure what you mean... Jolara: For one, letting someone truly care for you. For another, physical contact… a simple touch or hug without fear or reserve. Moonsong: I have to be careful… always… Jolara: Perhaps you have been selfless long enough. Moonsong: ::shakes her head.:: I am not selfless… I am selfish… Wanting what I cannot have… :: Rune took a breath and shook her head. :: Jolara: That is not being selfish. Letting people in, letting them care about you is not being selfish. Moonsong: I do want that. I want to touch. I want to be touched. I want…. ::turns away.:: I want to matter. :: Rune’s brow furrowed and her head tilted. :: Jolara: You do matter. Why would you think you do not? Moonsong: Well the truth is that I have little use on a ship during missions… I believe that is why I have been re-assigned to Starfleet Medical. Jolara: That is not true. I know for a fact you have been a valuable asset to the crew during every single mission we have shared. Moonsong: ::shrugged slightly:: I will be useful to SFM I suppose... Jolara: ::shaking her head emphatically:: There are a number of reasons to re-assign you to Starfleet Medical. It certainly is not a punishment or because they think you have little use. If nothing else it is a reprieve. A break from all the madness out there. :: Though Raissa hadn’t said it, Rune felt it. Her throat tightened. She realized she had been feeling much the same way or.. Maybe she was projecting. It was hard to tell when her own emotions were starting to sneak up on her and mingle with what she was feeling from Raissa. :: Jolara: But that is not really it… being assigned to Starfleet Medical. It is being taken from Invicta, from the only friends you feel you have… being truly alone. ::Raissa looked away. There was too much painful truth in what Rune had said. The friends she had before she had joined Starfleet had moved on with their lives. She had little in common with them now. Even her ex-fiance has married someone else and had a child. The people that had become important to her were ‘out there’ scattered like snowflakes in a storm. Her second family scattered to the winds. She looked at Rune.:: Moonsong: You… you feel the same… Jolara: ::nodding:: Yes. Very much so. Moonsong: Perhaps… we have both lost… and grieve…. Jolara: ::quietly:: We have and we do. oOMore than you know.Oo ::pause:: But we can not give up on living. I tried that once and I was wrong. ::Raissa scrubbed at her face. The drying tears making her skin itch and feel tight. Moonsong: I am trying… not to. Jolara: Besides. If you give up who will be Krystyan’s… I believe humans call it… godmother? ::Raissa stared at her startled. She knew it wasn’t an Al-Leyan custom. But Rune’s using that Human custom reached Raissa’s heart.:: Moonsong: Me? Are you… sure? Jolara: ::smiling:: Yes. I am. Moonsong: ::She looks away for a moment and after a pause meets Rune’s eyes.:: I would be… honored… Jolara: It is I who should be honored. Thank you. END =/\==/\==/\==/\==/\==/\==/\= Lt. Commander Raissa Moonsong Counselor Unassigned =/\==/\=G239107RM0 =/\==/\= and Lt. Cmdr. Rune Jolara Intelligence Officer - On Leave Writer ID: A238909RJ0
  14. round 2 LtCmdr Sky Blake, "Yze."

    ((SS Yze))oO Who names a ship "ship"? Oo::"Yze", in Brekkian Seritonan, quite literally meant "ship". So when she'd boarded the vessel on it's way to the fifth colony, she was a bit skeptical of it's captain's competence.::"It's time for you to take a leave of absence," her own captain had said. "Go home and see your family", she'd said. It'd taken a quiet argument with Zhou and co. literally pushing her aboard to get her on a transport to the Delos system.::It would be a quick trip, much more so than she was used to. Two days, if that. And then she would be in Seritona.::::Sky Blake had plans. Before being forced into heading to her home, she'd arranged travel back into the Shoals, the area she was most comfortable with. Now she was being confronted with seeing her young children once more. ::She threw a ball, catching it again when it bounced off the bulkhead of her guest quarters. Thinking about her own kids shouldn't bring dread, but the truth was she hardly remembered them. She did not remember carrying Faith to term, or the important parts of their relationship. And Ayeden . . . ::Thinking of Ayeden dragged memories of Sabor to the surface.::::Her bondmate. His death had left a hole in her head, a space that constantly ached and mourned. Happy memories of him holding Ayeden, spending those short four months as a father. For a Vulcan, having felt it necessary to keep his emotions collected together in a neat little bundle and for expression only in his private times, he'd been the most emotional person she'd known during that period. ::And then the fatal mistake, having taken Sky to Meridarna following a seizure, itself a symptom of a much bigger problem.::She'd lost Sabor because she'd trusted the safety of her own planet. She'd ignored the warning signs of an impending attack and hadn't gotten the hell out of there when she'd had the chance. When she woke up, he was gone - for months on end, she felt cold. Lifeless, even. After the procedure, she'd tried to step back into Skyleena Blake's life and carry on without him, but she just kept hitting brick walls. She couldn't do it. So she ran off in the middle of the night in such a childish act that she cringed every time she thought about it.::oO Mother of the Year. Oo::She'd spoken to her mother, of whom was currently looking after them - Faith and Ayeden. Lila would no longer act as their caretaker, a demand likely trying to prompt some sort of motherly responsibility from Sky that would drag her back home. It hadn't worked, but Sky hadn't wanted to push the issue, saying she'd find an alternative. She'd considered Hannibal Parker or Hannah Martinez - they were both listed as her childrens godparents - but she couldn't bring herself to ask them to look after her kids when she didn't remember much about them. Not to mention, how does one get away with dumping her own kids onto someone else with little reasoning?::No decision she'd made was logical. But the truth of the matter was, she intended to relocate her children. As soon as she said her final goodbye to Sabor.::((Bintac))Caronx: Dishes are all washed up. ::Sky was rubbing her eyes as she walked out of the bedroom she'd set her kids down to sleep, a controlled yawn going with it. It'd been a long day - Faith had been nothing but excited, babbling on about mommy being home and encouraging Ayeden to do the same to little avail. It was draining, but relieving at the same time. Despite her obvious absence for two years, her daughter was as loving as she'd initially imagined her to be.::Ayeden was every bit his father's son. That was what hurt the most - Sabor's eyes reflecting back to her own, slightly pointed ears signifying his Vulcan heritage. Ayeden had clung to her and refused to let go for hours as they traveled to the relative safety of Bintac, Ornara - where she knew security was high, where she knew they'd be safe from terrorizing maniacs that wanted "justice" for their Brekkian comrades affected by Ornara's uplift. It was a decision she should have made years ago.::Blake: I can't thank you enough. For all of this.::Veitan Caronx was her partner during her time in Bintac's LE, the woman having kept Sky on the track of sanity for many a year, long before the Veritas showed up to pull her back into the Starfleet fold. Fears that Sky was developing a borderline drinking problem had Caronx nipping it in the bud before the Brekkian Betazoid hybrid had even begun. "Here, learn koJuta instead - when you beat me you can drink". She'd known all along that Sky, whom was not aware that koJuta was a martial art, would not pin her to the floor. Ever.::Many a bruise later and Sky was still trying to deny anything close to alcoholism as well as trying to kick Caronx to the ground just to prove her wrong. But now here Caronx was, setting Sky's family up with a small place in the ever-rainy Bintac.::Caronx: It's nothing, Blake. But . . . let me know when you need a hand looking after those two. They seem like a handful.Blake: Faith, yes. She will bounce up and down these walls if you let her. But Ayeden? ::She took a deeper breath.:: Ayeden is just like his father. Settled.Caronx: You never wanted to talk about him before.Blake: I still don't.::The Ornaran raised her hands innocently.::Caronx: I'm not asking you to.::She picked up her bag off the bench, sliding it onto her shoulders.::Caronx: I'm gonna head off. I'll talk to you in the morning, yeah?Blake: Yeah. ::By the time Caronx had left, Sky found herself standing at the doorframe to the bedroom, watching over her children as if there were a threat headed her way.::The problem Sky was facing now was simple: she didn't want her kids to be without either parents, but she didn't want to drag them through what she considered to be her hellhole of a life either.::::A knock at the door pulled her back to reality.::::Caronx hadn't left anything behind - not that Sky could see. Eyes flickering to the door, the Brekkazoid pulled a BLE stun baton into her hand, twirling it round as she stepped closer to the door. She didn't call out - she'd never hear the end of it if she woke Faith - but she wasn't taking chances either.::::Ever so slowly, she inched open the door, peering past into the hall. The figure had almost turned their back to leave again.::But the minute she recognized Syb, she'd dropped the baton. When she'd made it into his arms, she was a tearful, blubbering wreck.::Tbc . . . Sky BlakeOn Leave
  15. round 2 Lieutenant Evan Delano – Aftermath (Part 2)

    (( Flashback. Stardate 239212.31. New Year’s Eve. )) (( The Lighthouse Lounge. Starbase 74. )) :: The Lighthouse Lounge had a reputation as being difficult to get into. That was doubly true tonight. This close the the Sol system, New Year’s Eve was a popular holiday, and many of the Starbase’s 200,000 inhabitants were hoping to spend it here. With only a hundred tables, Evan had been forced to call in a lot of favors to make it happen. :: :: And though this was Evan’s first time in the Lighthouse, it quickly became obvious why it was so popular. The lower tier of the restaurant was built around a stage where, tonight at least, a series of jazz performers had been entertaining the room throughout the night. The second tier, where Evan had managed to secure a table, was on a balcony that provided a perfect view of the round viewscreen set above the stage. Tonight, that screen displayed a crystal clear image of a starfield looking towards Sol. This close to Earth, the star easy to identify. Occasional pop out displays would show celebrations of the New Year taking place throughout the sector. :: :: Dressed in tuxedos, Evan and Mei’konda were seated at an elegant square table, quietly talking about everything that had happened over the last few weeks. It had been a difficult time for them. Between Evan’s court martial and Mei’konda’s father effectively returning from the dead, they hadn’t had much time to just talk. And, as Evan prepared for his next assignment, they both knew it could well be a long time before they saw each other again, even if Evan hadn’t been able to share the specifics. :: :: In any case, the night was doing exactly what Evan had hoped. Mei’konda had been tense and as work-focused as ever since taking on the Astreus refit project, but tonight, he seemed more relaxed than Even remembered seeing him since their last shore leave together. Evan waited for a lull in the conversation, then began to ask what he’d come here to ask. :: Delano: So, listen. That assignment I told you about… I got word this morning that it’s about to go into effect. My transport will be arriving in just a few days. :: Mei’konda’s mood visibly dropped as Evan brought up the painful subject. Evan forced himself to continue. :: Delano: I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t think it was the best thing for me right now. After Invicta… after Ross… I need to find a way to be useful again. :: Mei’konda’s conspicuous silence continued, though Evan could tell it was more a matter of not knowing what to say than of not wanting to say it. :: Delano: But I want you to know, I love you. We’re as good as family at this point. And I promise, I’ll be back. Eventually. :: He paused, then reached into his pocket and produced a simple titanium ring comprised of scrap taken from Garuda during it’s last trip to drydock. :: Delano: This is to prove that I mean it. :: He held the ring out to Mei’konda, who looked at it with a mixture of trepidation and happiness. :: Mei’konda: Evan… Delano: I know it’s not the best of circumstances, but I’ve realized that if we wait for that, it’ll never happen. And I know now this is what I want. Mei’konda: I… I do too, Evan. But, you don’t even know how long you’ll be gone. Delano: Does that matter? :: The Caitian looked at the ring, then back to Evan. After a long pause, Mei carefully took the ring from Evan’s fingers. :: Mei’konda: No. I suposse it doesn’t. :: As Mei’konda slid the ring onto one of his fingers, Evan had to fight back a surge of mixed emotions as he tried to memorize every detail of this moment. Mei’konda’s tuxedo. The happy expression on his face. The images of fireworks playing in the background. The gentle music wafting up from below. It was as perfect a moment as any he could remember. :: :: As the night continued, people began to stand so they could better see through the viewscreen as several ships lined up in preparation to launch what promised to be an impressive fireworks display. :: oO I will be coming back. Oo :: Evan thought to himself as he placed a matching ring onto his own hand. At that moment, he wasn’t sure if that thought was a promise to Mei’konda or himself. :: === Lieutenant Evan Delano On Leave ID: T239007ED0
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