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Roshanara Rahman

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Roshanara Rahman last won the day on May 8

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About Roshanara Rahman

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

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  1. This is a compilation of several sims by @Geoffrey Teller, showing his first time in the Big Chair. Some edits have been made to include responses from others. ((Bridge, USS Veritas)) Rahman: =/\= Bridge to Dr. del Vedova. =/\= del Vedova: =/\= ::terse:: Del, go ahead. =/\= Rahman: =/\= Del, we’ve just beamed aboard the survivors of the Solaris, including its captain, Commander Wynter. =/\= ::Teller was glad to know the Captain of the Solaris had made it. He had fought his ship well and probably prevented the destruction of the Vertias. Teller hoped he could buy the man a drink someday soon.:: del Vedova: =/\= We'll be ready =/\= Rahman: =/\= I’ll be down there shortly. Bridge out. =/\= ::She looked over at Delano, Kelrod, DeVeau, and Orrey.:: Rahman: You four with me. ::She turned to Teller.:: Mr. Teller, you have the conn. Focus on damage control and check in with Commander Moonsong and Lieutenant G’var on their progress with the computer core. Teller: ::Teller gulped hard.:: Aye ma'am. I'll keep your seat warm. ::Teller stood from the Engineering station as The Captain, XO, and rest of the senior staff filed into the turbolift. As the doors closed, Teller looked suspiciously at the Captain's chair, as if it were a dangerous animal that would bite him given the smallest provocation. Suddenly the bridge seemed enormous and Teller himself felt very small. His dreams of some day being in command had never included a damaged ship in dangerous space surrounded by unknown enemies while their one escort burned in space nearby. Hesitantly, Teller sat in the Big Chair for the very first time.:: Teller: oO Stop daydreaming, there's work to do. Oo Teller: Ops, drop our alert condition to Yellow and continue coordinating with the damage control teams - have them prioritize tactical systems until further notice, the Tholians that hit us were less than 5% of the force that suddenly went missing. You see anything else on sensors, bring us back to Red immediately. Helm, move us clear of the debris field, we don't need any more scratches on the hull. Once we're clear, give me a slow orbit of the area and keep an eye out for anything moving. ::With that done, Teller tried to formulate a list of all the things the ship and crew needed him to be on top of for the next few minutes. As his shoulders tightened, he realized this was the most uncomfortable chair he had ever sat in.:: ((Later)) //Ships Log, Supplemental, Chief Engineer Geoffrey Teller Reporting// It has been two hours since the Tholian attack and the destruction of the Solaris. Our damage control teams continue to mend the ship as the medical staff attend to the wounded from both crews. We haven't seen any sign of Tholian reinforcements yet but the ship remains at yellow alert. The wreckage of the Tholian ships that we've been able to analyze is baffling - many show signs of recent battle damage that we can't account for, and as far as we can tell, not a single one of them was crewed. We haven't been able to locate any Tholian remains in the debris field and the energy signature of the ships themselves doesn't conform to anything our computer recognizes. Further compounding issues is our hitchhiker, the alien probe that has embedded itself in the ship. We've been able to prevent it from further intruding into our systems but all efforts to dislodge it have been fruitless. Engineering and Science teams are setup around the computer core, attempting to analyze and formulate new strategies to excise it. Most of the senior staff is engaged in the effort, along with several officers from the Solaris. Main Engineering has been successfully decontaminated and repair crews are working feverishly to bring the ship back to full readiness before another Tholian attack. //End Log// ::Teller realized he was pacing again as he reviewed a PADD with damage reports. He desperately wanted to be back in Main Engineering, working on any of the hundred repairs the ship needed at the moment, but the Captain hadn't relieved him yet so he continued to do what he could from the bridge, coordinating repair teams with their young Operations Officer, Ronen Pragus, and periodically checking in on the team attempting to disentangle the alien probe from their hull. With a conscious effort, Teller forced himself to sit down in the Captains chair.:: Teller: oO I never appreciated how maddening it has to be for the Captain to be removed from the work like this. She has to sit and process reports and delegate tasks so she has enough time to process more information from more reports so she can delegate other tasks so she can sit and process more information. Being in this chair is like being half traffic cop and half processor array. My head hurts. Oo ((Later)) ::As Teller thumbed through another damage report, he realized his eyes had glazed over at some point on the last page and started again. He had generated more than enough of the reports in his role as an Engineer but never before appreciated just how many of them fell to the Captain for personal review, approval, notes, amendments and suggestions. More and more he was realizing just how much work went into the day to day role. Rubbing his eyes and trying to refocus his attention, he got two paragraphs in before the newly arrived Lt. Vistain, standing at the Engineering console Teller longed to be back at, interrupted his train of thought.:: Vistain: Lieutenant, engineering is reporting that it looks like warp drive is offline for at least several hours until they can repair the PTCs. Teller: ::Smirking:: Very well but you tell Loupaz that padding her repair estimates isn't going to work with me - she can get those fixed in an hour. Anything else? Vistain: Impulse power has been restored. Teller: Excellent. Keep me appraised of the repairs as systems come back online. Vistain: Aye. Macedon: Sir, I’m picking up a Tholian battleship approaching fast. ::Teller sprang to his feet, very much aware of how precarous their situation was. The last thing they needed right now was another brawl with a wing of these new Tholian droneships.:: Teller: oO It's all on me till the Captain gets back. I have to protect the ship and the crew, and we still need to figure out what the hell is going on here.:: Teller: Red Alert. Tactical - raise shields and arm all weapons. Helm, increase your speed to full impulse and bring us closer to the debris field, we may need to use it for cover. ::The bridge filled with flashing ocre lights and the deep klaxon of the alarms. Teller glanced around and saw people looking to him for leadership. He could feel sweat forming under his uniform.:: Macedon: Sensors are registering it as a previously identified vessel: the T'kath Tholis. We encountered them during the Artemis incident. ::At the mention of the Artemis, Teller's heart lurched in his chest and he had to fight a moments panic.:: Teller: oO Have a breakdown on your own time Oo Teller: On screen. Ops, try to hail them, lets see if this one feels like talking. ::On the viewscreen, weapons ports began to glow bright orange.:: Macedon: She’s charging weapons! Teller: Guess that's a no. Helm, evasive pattern theta 3. Tactical, target weapons and engines. ::The first shots from the Tholians blasted the Starfleet cruiser’s shields, rocking the bridge as sparks flew.:: Teller: Return fire! Vistain - what's our status? ::Teller sat back in the Captains chair and held on as the ship lurched. Apparently the inertial dampeners were still on the 'to-do' list.:: Vistain: Shields holding, but I’m reading power fluctuations across the ship! ::Teller could see their phaser fire connecting with the Tholian ship as more of the Tholian plasma torpedos headed towards them. The ship rocked as another made impact with their rapidly draining shields.:: Teller: Continue firing. Helm keep us moving, get some of the debris between us and our attacker, it should confuse their sensors. ::After another barrage of Tholian weapons fire, the captain’s voice chimed in over the intercom.:: Rahman: =/\= Rahman to Bridge! What’s going on out there? =/\= Teller: =/\= Captain, we've been engaged by a Tholian battleship. We're in a defensive posture and returning fire. What's your status? =/\= Rahman: =/\= Commander Delano and I are trapped in a turbolift. I’m not sure what deck we stopped on, and- =/\= ::The comline was abruptly cut, and Danielle looked back at her schematic of Veritas with a grimace.:: Teller: Captain? Commander? Vistain - what the hell happened? Vistain: Lieutenant, turbolift systems have lost contact with turbo car 7. ::Teller felt a profound cold crawling into his guts. Turbolift systems had dozens of redundancies and safety features but the ship had been battered twice now. He tried to imagine any scenario where losing contact with a lift car suddenly wasn't catastrophic for the people inside and couldn't think of one. The ship rocked again as another shot from the Tholians hit the shields. Teller turned slowly in the Captains chair.:: Teller: Vistain, dispatch a damage control team and an emergency medical team to the base of lift tube seven. If they don't find anything, they're to work their way up deck by deck until they find the Captain and Commander. ::Geoffrey Teller could feel eyes on him from the officers on the bridge. The situation had gone from grave to cataclysmic in the space of moments. These people needed leadership and somehow, he was it. Teller thoughts briefly turned to young Natalia, hopefully in her crib below decks, probably terrified by the banging and shaking. He could see her tiny eyes as if he was standing in the room with her, desperate and scared, and the cold in his gut turned to fury.:: Teller: oO This is our home you Tholian [...]s. You're not taking her from us. Oo Macedon: What are your orders, sir?! ::Teller briefly studied the tactical plot. The Tholians were pressing hard behind behind them in pursuit and we're pouring shot after shot into their faltering shields. They wouldn't be able to keep soaking damage like this for much longer.:: Teller: Helm, we're going to try a kickstop. When I give the order, I want you to reverse your thrust and bring us to full stop as quickly as you can. At the same time, I want Z axis minus 5000 meters. The Tholians will pass right over us before they know what's happening. Macedon, that's your window - you've got to disable their weapons and engines as they pass us, this'll only work once. ::As he laid out the plan, a science officer Teller didn't know spoke up:: Brosa: Sir! The ship is showing massive damage along the starboard side. Teller: Analysis? Brosa: ::hands searching over the panel:: If it was Starfleet ship I would say there are hull breaches on seven the equivalent to seven decks. Teller: Macedon - focus your fire there. Something already took a bite out of them, lets use it to our advantage. Prepare to execute on my order. Teller: oO If this doesn't work we're dead. This has to work. Oo Teller: =/\= Teller to all hands, brace for severe maneuvers. =/\= ::Teller watched on the viewscreen as the Tholian ship drew closer, weapons still spitting furious death at the fleeing Veritas. Teller wasn't sure what he was looking for, but some instinct urged him to draw the Tholians as close as possible, even as the shields began to collapse and shots struck the hull. When it seemed like the entire viewscreen was full of the Tholian ship, Teller felt the moment deep in his gut. When he spoke, his voice was oddly quiet and dispassionate.:: Teller: Helmsman....now. ::The ship stopped like it hit a brick wall in space and almost everyone on the bridge lurched forward as the inertial dampeners tried to compensate for the wild shift in momentum and direction. On the viewscreen, the Tholian vessel hurtled towards them and seemed to be within centimeters of collision as it passed overhead close enough for Teller to see seams in their hull. A moment later, the Tholian ship was sitting fully exposed to their forward weapon arc and Macedon didn't waste the opportunity. Phasers, pulse cannons and torpedoes ripple fired in perfect unison and tore into the Tholian vessels exposed, damage segments. Their shields almost immediately overloaded under the full point blank onslaught and explosions played over their hull. Within seconds, the Tholian ship was dead in space, trailing multiple streams of atmosphere and drive plasma, tumbling out of control.:: ::On the bridge, Teller let out a breath and slumped into the Captains chair.:: Teller: Hold your fire but keep an eye on them. They so much as twitch a crystal in a way you find offensive, put a full volley of torpedoes in their side. Macedon: ::checking the tactical console again:: …they’re, uh… they’re hailing us, sir. Teller: What, now they want to talk? On screen. ::The main viewscreen cut from its image of the crippled Tholian warship to the orange and amber of one of its crew members. Teller didn't know much about the internal layout of a Tholian ship, but he was fairly confident their bridge didn't usually feature that much smoke and fire.:: ::Teller stood from the Captains chair and examined the 'face' on the viewscreen. He hadn't seen many Tholians and, for a moment, was struck by their surprisingly beautiful coloring and facets. He had no reference for facial expressions, but his gut reaction was that the one addressing him was pained to be doing so.:: Vamuwene: =/\= Federation ship. You are victorious. Allow me to evacuate my crew and I will surrender myself to you. =/\= Teller: oO I...uh...have no idea how to accept a formal surrender. Oo Teller: =/\= This is Lieutenant Geoffrey Teller of the USS Veritas, to whom am I speaking? =/\= Vamuwene: =/\= I am Admiral Vamuwene of Battleship T’kath Tholis. =/\= Teller: =/\= Admiral, I don't know much about your people but if you wanted to talk to us, you should've tried that before firing your weapons. Since we arrived in this space two hours ago we suffered an unprovoked attack by your drone ships and then by you. I demand an explanation. =/\= Vamuwene: =/\= Our last encounter with your ship made it clear surprise was our only chance for survival. =/\= ::Teller's eyebrows shot up. He had read the after action report of the Artemis incident and didn't think anything about the ships behavior there would've caused the Tholians to think that a surprise attack was their only hope for survival. To the contrary, the Veritas had saved them from the destruction of the Artemis. Something else was going on, and Teller needed to learn what, quickly.:: Teller: =/\= Admiral, on my word as an officer, the Veritas has never engaged your vessel before now. We were sent here by Starfleet to investigate unusual energy readings, not to escalate the conflict between our peoples. =/\= ::Teller made a gesture to Vistain and the channel was temporarily muted:: Teller: I'm open to theories or suggestions. My gut says he's not trying to play us. Vistain: The question is what is his gut saying. Macedon: Do Tholians even have a gut? Vistain: ::ignores Macedon:: Maybe we should hear more about this “last encounter.” Teller: Good idea, but you keep an eye on those sensors. Could be reinforcements on the way. Macedon: Aye. ::With a nod, the channel was reopened.:: Teller: =/\= Admiral, could you describe the Starfleet vessel that attacked your ship? =/\= Vamuwene: =/\= A 4-nacelled Starfleet ship of the same design as yours attacked us shortly after we entered the system. =/\= ::Teller's head was spinning as he tapped at the library computer controls in the Captain's chair, and quickly drew up a list of the Veritas's sister ships. Only one, The USS Minerva, had ever been anywhere near the Menthar corridor, and it was listed as destroyed months ago during the fall of Astrofiori 1.:: Teller: =/\= Admiral, considering our tactical situation, we've got no reason to lie to one another. I'm telling you right now, we never fired on you, and that's a Good Job Guarantee. =/\= Vamuwene: =/\= Then it would appear that we have a common enemy, Lieutenant Teller. =/\= Teller: =/\= Admiral, have your people had any contact with a small, probe sized device? Possibly something that attempted to compromise your computer systems? I'm sending over some of our sensor readings on it now. =/\= Vamuwene: =/\= Not us, but other ships in the task force heard a strange song during the battle. =/\= Teller: =/\= Admiral, I'm starting to agree with you on that 'common enemy.' I propose we start working together on this problem. =/\= Vamuwene: =/\= It would seem harmony is our best hope for survival. =/\= Teller: =/\= Very well. Have your crew prepare for evacuation while we reconfigure one of our cargo bays to your atmospheric needs. We'll contact you again as soon as we're ready to begin transport. =/\= Vamuwene: =/\= We will make the arrangements. =/\= Teller: =/\= Admiral, Starfleet prides itself on finding peaceful solutions whenever possible but we will defend ourselves vigorously when provoked. I'd encourage you and your crew to bear that in mind. Teller out. =/\= ::Teller leaned back in the Captain's chair as the viewscreen returned to its view of the crippled Tholian battleship.:: Teller: What'd you guys think? Too much? Brosa: It was effective at the least, a strong hand is needed sometimes. Teller: Thanks...now we just have to make it work. Stand-down from red alert, but keep us at yellow for now. Start prepping one of the cargo bays for our house guests and inform security.... ::Teller didn't manage to finish the sentence before the comm came alive again, this time with the concerned voice of their security chief.:: Kelrod: =/\= Kelrod to bridge, what’s our status? =/\= Teller: =/\= Bit of a long story Commander, but the ship is secure and not in any immediate danger. What's your status? =/\= Kelrod: =/\= I was on my way to deck eight along DeVeau and Solak from the Solaris. Do you need me up there? =/\= ::Teller looked around at the men and women who had suddenly become the command crew and realized they shared one anothers complete confidence. Teller smiled for the first time in what seemed like hours.:: Teller: =/\= Negative Commander, we've got it under control up here for the moment. =/\= Kelrod: =/\= Do you have contact with Lieutenant G’Var or Moonsong? =/\= Teller: =/\= Not since before the battle. Proceed to deck eight and do what you can. Additionally, I need you to dispatch an armed security detail to Cargo Bay 2...we're about to have some guests. =/\= Kelrod: =/\= Understood. Kelrod out =/\= ::With preparations underway and the ship as secure as it could be, Teller tapped his comm badge.:: Teller: =/\= Teller to Del Vedova =/\= del Vedova: =/\= Del Vedova. Go ahead. =/\= Teller: =/\= Doctor, I need an update on the Captain and Commander Delano. =/\= del Vedova: =/\= All conscious, and all alright, for the moment. We're trying to pull them out of the fallen lift now. I'm sure we'll have them back to the bridge shortly. =/\= Teller: =/\= Thank you Doctor, that's a relief. I won't keep you from your work. Teller out. =/\= ::Teller felt the stress evaporating slightly. It was an enormous relief to know the Captain and Commander Delano were alright, even if they had been injured.:: Teller: oO Wonder what the Captain will think of how I handled the ship in her absence. I'm probably going to be busted back to midshipman. Oo ::Teller could feel a headache forming behind his eyes as he watched officers work their stations and prepare for the imminent arrival of their unexpected guests, the surviving crew of the Tholian ship T’kath Tholis. When the Captain had placed him in command a few hours ago, Teller never would've imagined that his brief time in the big chair could've involved so many complex and possibly critical decisions. The ship had been attacked, the Captain and XO were out of contact, they still had an alien device embedded in their computer core, and last but certainly not least, they were about to play host to a group of aliens that were trying to kill them very recently. Somehow, it had fallen to Teller to make the pieces fit together and he hoped that, in the absence of most of the senior crew, he could keep the ship afloat. As he scanned the status display, an alert cleared and the comm opened.:: Core: =/\= Core to the Bridge--the gravity short-circuit's been corrected. =/\= Teller: oO That must've been fun. We're going to be putting the ship back together for a month after this mission is over. Oo Teller: =/\= Good work Commander, glad you're in one piece. Please report to the computer core as quick as you can and assist the team trying to analyse the alien device. We need answers, quickly.=/\= Core: =/\= Alright. Give me a couple minutes--we've got minor injuries down here. =/\= Teller: =/\= Understood, how bad? Do you need us to dispatch a medical team? They're stretched a little thin right now. =/\= Core: =/\= Oh, you know. Minor spats with inverted gravity in triple story engineering work areas. The usual. ::He huffed, straightening a little when a muscle in his chest strained.:: It's been sorted. =/\= Teller: =/\= Glad to hear it. See what assistance you can offer Lt. Ukinix and his team and give me a report in an hour. I'll let them know you're on your way. Teller out. =/\= ::Teller closed the comm and glanced around, again feeling the need to pace. His hands were restless, desperate to be back downstairs doing something tangible. This calling and waiting for status reports was absolutely maddening.:: Ukinix: =/\= Ukinix to Bridge. The probe is transmitting on both random rotating subspace and non-subspace frequencies. We’re trying to disrupt it from down here, but anything you can do ship wide will be helpful. Ukinix out. =/\= Teller: =/\= Teller to Ukinix - I'm sending some additional help your way. Commander Kelrod and Lt. Cmdr. Core are en route now. How's our visitor? =/\= Ukinix: =/\= We’ve uh – Raissa’s um – well, Commander Moonsong’s using her head to fight it. I mean *literally* using her head. =/\= Teller: =/\= Raissa's doing what?! =/\= Ukinix: =/\= Using telepathy to shore up the firewall. =/\= Teller: =/\= Amazing. It seems to be working, we haven't had any other system intrusions since the engines went offline. =/\= Ukinix: =/\= We’re working now to keep it that way. =/\= Teller: =/\= Might help you to know our Tholian friends had a run-in with one of these things as well, and it sounds like it went even worse for them than it did for us. We need answers, badly. =/\= Ukinix: =/\= We’re on it, Chief. Might have to get back to you though. It’s a bit – a lot – nuts down here at the moment mate. =/\= Teller: =/\= Understood. Do what you can once Kelrod and Core get there and give me an update in an hour. Teller out. =/\= ::There were so many details to keep on top of from here it was easy to lose track of all the moving pieces aboard the ship, especially during a crisis. He had two more calls to make at least and a mountain of damage reports to cull through. He realized he hadn't had a chance to keep appraised of the many injuries the crew had sustained and felt the need to reach out to their medical staff.:: Teller: =/\= Teller to MacKenzie. =/\= MacKenzie: =/\= Go ahead, Lieutenant. =/\= Teller: =/\= I need a casualty report, Doctor =/\= MacKenzie: =/\= The last update I got was about 20 minutes ago. At that point, we had 12 dead and 56 wounded, 22 of whom are critical. That doesn't take into account any hands lost on the Solaris. =/\= Teller: oO A dozen dead in a few minutes. How many of those are my fault? How many of them are people I know? Did I let those people down? How does the Captain handle the doubt? The guilt? Oo Teller: =/\= Understood Doctor, thank you. Anything to add? =/\= MacKenzie: =/\= I'm on my way to the science lab to work with Commander DeVeau and Lieutenant Solak analyzing the Tholian wreckage. =/\= Teller: =/\= Good, keep on top of it Doctor. If you don't hear from Doctor Del Vedova within the hour, give me an updated status - we need to have as many able crewmen back at their stations as soon as possible. =/\= MacKenzie: =/\= We're patching them up and getting them to their posts as soon as we can. We'd appreciate it if you'd hold the ship still. I'd hate for anything unfortunate to happen while I'm holding an exoscalpel... =/\= Teller: =/\= Understood Doctor, I'll try to avoid any more sudden stops. Teller out. =/\= ::Ship and crew were both on the mend, but their situation was still perilous at best. They didn't understand what had happened here yet, or why, only that a third party of unknown but extremely advanced capabilities seemed hellbent on destroying any ships it came across. Just one more mystery to add to the pile, Teller thought ruefully.:: Teller: Vistain, how're the transporters? We about ready to bring the Tholian survivors over? Vistain: Still offline, sir, but I can have our shuttles ready to begin ferrying the Tholians in the meantime. Teller: Good, signal the Tholis to standby. Vistain: Aye. Teller: How's the 'guest suite' coming along? Cargo bay nice and toasty for them? Brosa: Everything is set to Tholian norms as we understand them sir. Teller: Good work everyone. I know this isn't what we expected when we came on duty today, but that's Starfleet. Macedon, make sure that security team is in place but remind them the Tholians are our guests right now. Fighting a battle on two fronts is the easiest way to lose it. Macedon: Yes, sir. ::Teller leaned back in the chair and looked at the hulk of the Tholis in the viewscreen. Since the fury of the battle had subsided, Teller felt slightly ill at the sight of a ship he had helped wreck so thoroughly. It was only by the narrowest of margins that the same thing hadn't happened to the Veritas herself. He sincerely hoped to make it though the rest of the day without being pressed to such critical choices again, but somehow he suspected he wouldn't get his way.:: Brosa: Sir I have adjusted the outgoing sensors to trace the transmissions that were reported from the computer core. While it doesn’t go far, due to the interference, if we start to follow it then I can continue to give us a path. Teller: Understood. Helm, coordinate with Mr. Brosa and plot a course - half impulse, I want as much warning as possible before we run into another surprise. Brosa: With the signal dipping in and out of subspace, if we are to follow it then it will have to be soon before the signal degrades to far. Teller: I appreciate that Mr. Brosa but we've got Tholians to rescue and I don't want to stumble into a fight we can't handle. Helm, once the Tholians are on board you're clear to execute. ::Teller squinted at the viewscreen, willing himself to see whatever strange danger lurked out there.:: Teller: oO Lets see, we've had spooky drone ships, a probe making improper overtures to our computer, and a shipful of vengeful Tholians. What's next, universe!? Oo Vistain: Lieutenant Teller, sickbay is calling. They have the captain and the others from the turbolift, and they are being treated. Teller: oO I shouldn't have asked. Oo Teller: Very well. Have the damage control teams start work on turboshaft 7 as soon as possible. Vistain: They also say that the captain wishes to speak with you — in person. Teller: Understood. Vistain, you've got the conn. Keep us at yellow alert and keep following Mr. Brosa's sensor readings. Anything changes, I'll be getting demoted down in sickbay. Vistain: Aye. ::Teller stood and gave the Captains chair an affectionate pat before heading to the turbolift.:: Teller: oO Thanks for keeping us safe. Oo (( Sickbay )) ::As Teller walked into sickbay, he couldn't help but notice that every biobed was full and other, only slightly less injured crew members, were propped on chairs and the floor as medical staff hurried back and forth. Between the drone attack, the destruction of the Solaris and the Tholian attack on the Veritas herself, they should've been able to consider themselves 'lucky.' As Teller's stomach churned uncomfortably, he didn't feel very lucky. He felt guilty and wondered how many of his friends were here or in the triage center, fighting for their lives. He hadn't had the time to look at the full casualty report yet but the numbers were already enough to make him queasy. Forcing the thought away for the moment, Teller squared his shoulders and found the Captain. Near the center of the room Teller saw Doctor Del Vedova checking the results of a scan on the Captain's arm, who looked aggravated enough to chew raw duratanium.:: Teller: How's the Captain, Doctor? Rahman: Mmm, that’s a good question. How am I, doctor? del Vedova: Ready to get back to your chair, as long as you don't fall down any more turboshafts. Rahman: Thanks. del Vedova: I mean that. Teller: Glad to hear it. When we lost contact with the turbolift car, we all feared the worst. ::The Captain moved her arm experimentally, testing her range of motion with a few grimaces.:: Rahman: More importantly, how is the ship? Teller: Overall, we're still in fighting shape but she's going to need another new coat of paint. Warp engines and transporters are offline. Ship's at yellow alert and once we recover the Tholian survivors, we'll be on course following some unusual subspace transmissions Mr. Brosa picked up from our hitchhiker. ::The Captain's brow furrowed as some of the details settled in.:: Rahman: I see… and the Tholians? Teller: Their ship is dead in space. They're bringing over their command staff as a formal token of surrender. Sensors show they've dispatched their shuttlecraft with their remaining crew on a course back towards Tholian territory. They should be aboard within the next few minutes. Cargo Bay 2 has been converted for their use as best as we could on short notice. ::The Captain seemed to let this sink in, then addressed the CMO:: Rahman: It looks like you and Dr. MacKenzie are going to have your hands full. You should go oversee the care of our new guests. del Vedova: ::soberly:: Yeah, I'd say so. ::The Captain looked at someone behind Teller, and as he turned he was relieved to see Commander Delano joining them.:: Rahman: Number One, Mr. Teller has just informed me we have Tholian survivors coming aboard as well. Delano: I take they aren’t going to be here as prisoners? Teller: That's correct sir, I've instructed the security team to treat them as our guests. Based on my conversations with them, I genuinely believe we've both been attacked by an unknown third party. One that's technologically advanced but that so far seems unwilling or unable to communicate with us. Rahman: Yes, it seems things are a bit more complicated than we first thought. What’s the status with the probe? Teller: Still embedded like a splinter, sir, but apparently Lt. Cmdr. Moonsong is...supplementing our computer defenses telepathically. It made the difference. Delano: Do we know exactly what it’s trying to do? Rahman: If this technology isn’t the Tholians, then we need to figure out *whose* it is — and how to defeat it. ::Her gaze darted back and forth between the other two men.:: Ideas, gentlemen? Teller: The signals we're picking up have to be part of this somehow. I know we just lost our escort and got our teeth kicked in, twice, but all of that....all of this ::gesturing to the injured in sickbay:: was for nothing if we don't find out what happened. I say we keep looking till we find out what did this. Delano: My first thought is that we should shut down the computer, but I have a feeling that won’t matter at this point. Teller: The probe has actively resisted all our efforts to excise it so far, and if we shut the computers down completely, we'll be defenseless out here. Commander Kelrod is pursuing a plan to retrieve wreckage from the Solaris that might aid in our investigation. I've also asked Lt. Cmdr. Core to offer what assistance he can with the computer. He should be with the team there soon. Rahman: If we can’t shut down the computer or remove the probe directly, perhaps we can make our systems a bit less palatable to its liking. I’m reminded of an old engineer’s trick: “souring the milk” when a ship encountered a spacebourne lifeforms. We might not be dealing with a “lifeforms” here in the traditional sense, but we could try a similar approach. Delano: Right. Then the way I see it, we can either taint whatever it’s after - either with misinformation or some kind of virus. Or, we try to overwhelm it in some way. A power surge, perhaps. Or phaser rifles. ::The Commander crossed his arms in frustration. They were in a bad spot and didn't have a lot of good options at this point.:: Delano: Whatever we try, it’s a risk. We simply don’t know how this thing will react. Or, for that matter, what will happen if we leave it alone. :: Beat :: You say Commander Moonsong was able to make some kind of telepathic connection? Teller: I wasn't able to get a lot of details from Lt. Ukinix, but it sounded like she was keeping it from pushing deeper into our systems. You should know - the Tholians ran into one of these things as well. And they lost a 200+ ship fleet to it. ::She held a long look at Teller.:: Rahman: Believe me, lieutenant, that fact is not leaving my mind anytime soon. Delano: I suppose we also have to consider the possibility that we're dealing with some kind of sentient artificial life form then. We might be able to communicate with it. del Vedova: Excuse me, but are you talking about the team with Alora and Raissa? Teller: Respectfully sirs, this thing has had ample opportunity to chat if it wanted to strike up a conversation. Call it engineers instinct, but I feel like we're dealing with a defense system of some kind. Very advanced technology, definitely, but very simple operating instructions - anything violates some established perimeter or threshold and bam - disable it, sequester it or destroy it. If the Tholians are to be believed, they were hit by a Starfleet ship that got the same drone-retrofit as the Tholian vessels that attacked us and the Solaris. Identical tactics, very nearly identical results. Rahman: A Starfleet vessel? ::She furrowed her brow and looked over at Delano.:: Rahman: We need to talk to these Tholians as soon as possible to learn more. del Vedova: I'm also prepping Cargo Bay 1 for any Tholian patients. How soon can we expect them? Teller: We've got Cargo Bay 2 retrofit to their environment standards and they should be coming aboard now. I didn't want you to have to deal with them around the rest of the casualties - aside from the environmental challenges, I was a little worried about putting the Tholians and our people in close proximity so soon after a fight. Someone could have strong feelings and we don't need that kind of trouble right now. You'll have more room to work and a security detail nearby just in case the Tholians aren't as gracious as they claim to be. ::She frowned at the hypothetical the chief engineer had just painted. Rahman: Are you concerned of bigotry aboard my ship, Lieutenant? Teller: Begging your pardon, ma'am. At the time, it seemed like the best course of action. I'm prepared to give you a full report on my actions during and after the fight, but you should know, the performance of the crew was exemplary. I think you would've been proud, Skipper. ::She remarked back with a straight face.:: Rahman: I’m always proud of my crew, Mr. Teller. Including a certain chief engineer with a predilection for shore leave mischief. Delano: I believe she’s trying to say you did a good job under difficult circumstances, Mr. Teller. del Vedova: She's not disappointed, anyway. :: There was a slight pause, and then the captain urged them back into action. :: Rahman: Right, let’s get to the matter at hand. Number One, Doctor, head over to Cargo Bay 2 to meet our Tholian guests. I’ll join you shortly. Delano: Understood. There should be EVA suits in the supply room near Cargo Bay 2, so I suggest meeting there first. Shall we go together, Doctor? del Vedova: Ready when you are. ::After the two left, she turned back to Teller, who spoke up eagerly.:: Teller: Just tell me what you need, Captain. ::She nodded before holding up a finger at him to pause as she tapped her com badge with her other hand.:: Rahman: =/\= Rahman to Tristam Core. =/\= Core: =/\= Core here, Captain. =/\= Rahman: =/\= Commander, I’m told you’re heading to the computer core? =/\= Core: =/\= It's on the list, yes. =/\= Rahman: =/\= I want Lieutenant Teller and engineering to work with science and security on developing some countermeasures into our computer systems, both for the current probe and in case we encounter any others that try to breach our systems. There must be a way we can make our system incompatible with however this technology is able to commandeer other ships. =/\= Teller: =/\= From what I'm told the team hasn't had much luck so far, so I think we need to cook up something radically different. =/\= ::Teller tried to think of an angle Wil, G'var and Raissa wouldn't have explored. That pretty much ruled out hacking it, hitting it and telepathically bonding with it, respectively.:: Core: =/\= I'll have to think on it. Anything else? =/\= Rahman: =/\= I’m going to speak with the Tholians, but they’ve apparently encountered another Starfleet vessel that’s already been compromised. We’ll have to assume all of our current safeguards are ineffective. =/\= Teller: =/\= Tholians said it was almost identical to us as well. Fleet records said one of our sister ships, the Minerva, was lost near Astrofiori One a few months ago. Only other ship of the same class anywhere for a thousand lightyears. Maybe we can use that - disguise ourselves somehow? =/\= Core: =/\= Worth a shot. =/\= Rahman: =/\= Good, give me a plan within two hours. That’s not too much to ask, is it? =/\= Teller: =/\= I'll meet you in the Engineering lab. =/\= Core: =/\= I'm on my way. =/\= ::Once she closed the comline, she hopped off the biobed, ready to go join Dr. del Vedova and Commander Delano. Still, she gave a nod of appreciation at Teller before she left.:: Rahman: You’ve got your work set out for you, Lieutenant. Teller: Wouldn't be the first time, ma'am. ::Teller felt an odd kind of relief to be back working on the problems he was used to facing - equally impossible, but almost purely technical. Still, there was a lingering desire to check in on the ship as a whole, to make sure all the pieces were in place and performing properly. At some point, the Big Chair had apparently made an impression on Teller.:: Rahman: ::smiles:: I told you that you should have taken full advantage of your shore leave when you had the chance. Teller: Maybe next time I'll go to Pacifica. I hear they mix a mean [...]tail there. ::She raised her eyebrow as she began to walk out.:: Rahman: Just make sure we still have a ship to fly back to base for the next shore leave. Teller: Yes ma'am, although I'd appreciate it if you were there to explain to the yardmaster why he's gotta rebuild this ship...again. ::She looked back over her shoulder at the chief engineer when the doors to sickbay parted.:: Rahman: Oh, and good work, Lieutenant. Not bad for your first time in the chair. Maybe next time it’ll be longer. ::Teller blinked at the unexpected compliment.:: Teller: Thank you ma'am. I never expected this, but...I'm starting to understand why you made the jump from engineering to command. I appreciate your confidence in me. ::She gave him a wink and then headed out towards the cargo bay.:: [End for Teller] =============================== Lieutenant JG Geoffrey Teller Chief Engineer USS Veritas - NCC 95035 Capt. R. Rahman, Commanding V239509GT0
  2. I wanted to give a shoutout to @Lael Rosek and @German Galven for a wonderful scene they wrote together. I particularly liked how this scene shows the growth of Rosek's character, who as she notes when talking to Galven, was once in his position of being told that a line had been crossed (you can read *that* scene "Tempestuous Trio" here: Parts One , Two , and Three). It's great to see this kind of character development in our fleet. Furthermore, this scene was constructed through the regular tag system back-and-forth rather than a joint post and is a great demonstration of how substantial and intimate scenes like this can be constructed in the typical tagging system and not just left for JPs. Well-done, both of you! (OOC: The completed scene below is constructed from several sims.) ((Bridge, USS Montreal)) {{Time Index: A half hour after landing}} Rosek: Can we disable them without destroying them, Commander? ::She prayed the answer was yes. She really didn’t want the blood of 200 otherwise innocent people on her hands. She was already barely able to live with the blood that seemed to permanently stain her hands from the lives she’d been forced to take during her career just to survive.:: Tel-ar: I can disable both warp drives on your command. Estimated 3.47 minutes before they reach long range Rosek: ::pauses:: Can we do it without destroying the vessels? Tel-ar: There is always a chance, :: Tal did some quick calculations and simulations on the computer before he finished speaking. :: There is a 38.362% chance that the freighter might suffer more damage than expected and 13.275% chance of the smaller vessel suffering more damage than expected. ::A quiet sigh of relief passed her lips. There was a chance, no matter how small, that despite their best intentions, they’d end up doing more harm than they intended. If she managed to get to the end of this day without having to take a single life, it would be a good day. She had no desire for it to become a habit nor did she want it to become a running theme. She’d signed up to save lives, not take them.:: Ch'Dargon: Those percentages are high, these ships were not designed very well. The freighters in my home system could take much more. :: He bragged a bit unintentionally.:: Tel-ar: A number of the freighters more vulnerable systems such as life support and the impulse engines are in very close proximity to their warp engines. There is only a small margin for error. Hamasaki: We can have the shuttles perform a rescue if necessary, although, with quarantine protocols in effect, it'd just be beaming them to a hospital directly from the freighter or our makeshift sickbay. Dante: We can take that action in no time Commander. Hamasaki: We should have our patrol in range to cover most of the possible launch vectors within 4 minutes. ::beat:: They'll be just too slow to directly engage with the current ships attempting to break the quarantine. ::Lael took only a moment to take in all of the information being presented to her before turning to Tel-ar with a curt nod. It wasn’t an easy decision by any means and was one of the most difficult ones she’d had to make since becoming first officer. With Mei on the surface talking with the Klingon delegation, this choice was on her.:: Rosek: Do everything you can to minimize the damage, Commander, but if it comes to it-- ::turns back to face the viewscreen:: To quote the Vulcans, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”. Rosek: Damage to the ships? Hamasaki: I'm reading some damage to their communications and life-support systems. Rosek: ::to Hamasaki:: Get our shuttles out there to recover the ships’ occupants. All of our personnel must maintain quarantine. Advise them they’ll need EVA suits. Hamasaki: Aye. They're already nearing the freighter. Rosek: ::presses her thumb to the button on the armchair:: =/\=Rosek to Skyfire.=/\= Skyfire: =/\=Go ahead, commander. =/\= Rosek: =/\=I know you have your hands full down there, but we have two vessels full of passengers that tried to breach quarantine and they might need medical assistance. Prep a couple of your medics with the necessary supplies to treat the passengers.=/\= Skyfire: =/\=On it. I’ll pull a personnel hat trick and find the people.=/\= Rosek: =/\=Understood. Rosek out.=/\= ::She sat in silence for a long moment, contemplating what had just happened and the call that she’d just made. A grimace twisted her features and she had to remind herself that she was here because Mei trusted her judgement and had faith that she could handle situations like this. She’d never felt the burden of command so heavily as she did in that moment. Her choice could just as easily have resulted in 200 deaths. It wasn’t something she’d chosen lightly, but that didn’t change the risk she’d taken.:: ::Meanwhile, Dr. German Galven had stopped by Sickbay to see how everything was going and overheard some of the conversation between Lael and Chythar over the CMO’s commbadge. He wasn’t too sure that what they had done was the right thing. And of all people, Lael made that decision to stop the ships, but at what cost? He quickly got the bridge and arrived as the conversation between the officers was dwindling down.:: Tel-ar: Thrusters off line… :: short pause. :: last passengers beamed off. It will crash about 5 miles away from the city. Rosek: :: leans back in the chair :: They were the first...but I doubt they’ll be the last. Stay on your toes. Hamasaki: Ma'am, the shuttles are already in orbit and moving to intercept. They'll need to standby for beam out. There's only one left if we need to scramble it for another emergency. Galven: I’m confused. Why are we shooting at ships? ::He was indeed confused and was oblivious to how Lael wasn’t too happy about his sudden appearance on the Bridge. He did, however, notice that everyone was looking at him with curiosity as to why he was there asking that. He then walked around to where Lael was and saw that her eyes were closed, but for a moment.:: ::German’s sudden appearance had her fighting not to jump. It was a perfectly reasonable question, but something about the way he asked it made her tense. Her hands wrapped around the arms of the chair she currently occupied and she had to force herself to be conscious of how tight her grip was so she didn’t damage Mei’s chair. She could easily have left indents from the tips of her fingers, possibly even mangled the arms. Closing her eyes for a long moment, she drew in and then released a steadying breath. She owed him no explanation and didn’t offer one beyond a simple statement of fact.:: Rosek: Vessels containing 200 potentially infected people tried to break quarantine. Galven: My apologies, but isn’t there a better way to handle that kind of situation? ::Lael rose from the chair, turning to face German as she drew herself up to her full height, her bright blue eyes piercing his. Logically, she knew German hadn’t intended to challenge her...only her decision. But the poorly-chosen moment for his frankness had placed her in a difficult position. To maintain her authority with the rest of the crew, she’d need to call him on it.:: ::When Lael rose from her seat, her gaze met his. The way she was looking at him should have caused him to stop talking, but then the Andorian spoke which threw him off and he turned his head to look over at tactical station.:: Tel-ar: They were given a direct order to land and more than enough time to comply with that order, Chief. Galven: We could try communicating with them? If they don’t comply, then trap them in a stasis field? Hamasaki: Projecting a stasis field over kilometers through atmospheric attenuation is .. rather risky. In addition, they knew that under Federation Code 335 § 89.922 once a planetary quarantine is declared, all merchants are to stay in orbit until cleared by planetary authorities. That said… ::Wisely, the young ensign allowed her sentence to trail off without finishing it. The last thing Lael needed was two officers openly questioning her judgement. It set a bad precedent. Regardless of whether she was right or not, protocol demanded that she be awarded the respect of dissenters voicing their thoughts to her privately so they didn’t stir up a mutiny. Though she doubted one incident would lead to that, allowing it to happen again and again very well could.: Rosek: ::without breaking German’s gaze:: Thank you, Ensign Hamasaki. Keep an eye out for any other ships that are looking to break quarantine. ::It was then that German realized he made a mistake in questioning Lael and everyone esle on the bridge when the ensign helmswoman stopped talking and how Lael had never took her eyes off of his gaze. He had seen her like this before, but it was during the time when they were on the decaying planet and they were fighting the pirates. This time, he was on the receiving end of her daggers. He shifted nervously.:: Tel-ar: The city has dispatched a security detail to deal with the exploratory vessel and its occupants. They have informed me that they will keep us informed, in case there are any further problems. Hamasaki: The shuttles are reporting that approximately 50 people need attention from the freighter, and they've got a complaint from the freighter captain, but are returning it to orbit for orbital facilities to handle the rest. They're standing by to beam up medical personnel and begin SAR. Rosek: ::nods:: Noted. ::turns to Tel-ar:: Commander Tel-ar, you have the bridge. Comm me immediately if more ships try to break quarantine. ::to German:: May I see you in the ready room? ::It wasn't a request and she hoped German would pick up on that. As much as she was dreading this conversation, they needed to have it. He had to understand the magnitude of what he’d almost done.:: Tel-ar: As you wish. ::The Denobulan hesitated before he spoke. He knew now he had broken a rule. Now being alone in a room with a woman scorned wasn’t what he had planned on doing, but he complied.:: Galven: Yes, ma’am. ::Without looking to see if he followed, she crossed the bridge in a few long strides, the irritation clear in her posture, her hands tucked behind her back as she entered the ready room for what she was convinced would be one of the most awkward conversations of her career.:: : :He followed her close behind and noticed by the way she was walking that the Al-Leyan wasn’t too happy about what German just said. His posture was a little sunk in as he approached the door, then glanced back at everyone on the bridge, then turned.:: ((Ready Room, USS Montreal)) ::The moment the doors closed behind them, she turned to him, her lips a thin line. Despite her best attempts, she was certain her features couldn’t appropriately convey the hardness she was trying for because this was German. She couldn’t look at him with the severity she knew the situation warranted. She didn’t need a mirror to know that her eyes were giving her away with the softness in them.:: : :Once his inside, German stood still with his posture straightened and his hands clasped together behind him. He knew he was about to be dressed down for his behavior just a few seconds ago by the way Lael’s lips formed a straight line. He looked straight on past her once she began to speak.:: Rosek: Remind me, Lieutenant. What’s the proper protocol to follow if you disagree with a choice your commanding officer has made in a given situation? Galven: Not say anything until a moment presents itself to talk with them privately. Rosek: ::arches an eyebrow:: So you’re aware of the protocol, but you chose to ignore it despite the potential consequences. : :He was aware of it, but at the time he was so bewildered that he forgot about the protocol. He had broken that trust between ranking officials. He was straining himself to glance at her, but wanted to remain as professional as ever for her.:: Galven: ::voice quivering:: I’m sorry, but::beat::I was confused and-- Rosek: ::scowls:: You arrived on the bridge after the fact with no knowledge of the details and decided I’d made the wrong call. ::She was right. He didn't know what to say after she told him that. What German did was incredibly stupid and he knew it.:: ::She took a couple of steps forward, a dangerous glint in her eye as she stopped an arm’s length away from him.:: ::As she stepped closer to him, his gaze met hers and saw how upset she was with him.:: ::If looks could kill.:: Rosek: If you’re going to serve under my command, I need to know that you’ll follow the orders I give you regardless of whether you agree with them. What you did out there demonstrated an astonishing lack of trust in my ability to make decisions that are in the best interests of all parties involved. Galven: ::lips quivering:: Commander, I have never not trusted your ability to lead and I have a feeling that was a difficult decision to make, but at the time I was confused as to what was happening. I was stupid. ::It took everything she had not to drop her mask as she saw how upset he was. His reaction was flaring her temper and she had to get it under control. The way he was acting felt manipulative even if logically she knew that wasn’t his intention. She knew from past experience that German was his own worst critic and was probably more upset with himself than she was with him.:: ::In truth, she wasn’t upset. Just disappointed. She had to force herself to remember a time when she’d stood in front of Rahman feeling the exact same way German did right now. She’d prayed at the time for the deck to open up and swallow her whole, so ashamed of her outburst that she’d seriously had to fight tears. Against her will, her expression softened slightly.:: ::Lael didn’t say anything which made the situation a little more awkward and made German wonder what she was thinking. He wanted to know more about her reasoning behind her motives back on the bridge. Granted, she didn’t have to tell him, but the Denobulan’s curiosity got the better of him.:: Galven: Permission to speak freely, Commander? Rosek: ::murmurs:: Go ahead, Lieutenant. Galven: We are going to have enough on our hands treating to sick, but now there's going to injured people on board. How will they trust us knowing we were the ones that hurt them? ::She had to clench her fists to keep her temper in check at the reminder of the similar statement he’d made on the bridge moments before. He was right. She should have at least tried to give the ships a warning. Everything had happened so quickly and her primary focus had been on ensuring whatever illness those people were potentially infected with didn’t leave the planet.:: ::She’d shut off her emotions and, clearly with them, her empathy. She was thankful it hadn’t ended in disaster. It was a burden she’d carry for a long time...until she could forgive herself. If she ever did.:: ::The way the Al-Leyan responded by clenching her fists made German move back a little. He wanted to brace himself for a storm.:: Rosek: Be that as it may, Lieutenant...the bridge is not the proper forum to express your concerns when you come strolling in after the fact having not been present for what led up to the course of action. ::She didn’t exactly answer the question, but German reminded himself that it wasn’t his place to question her. He didn’t want another incident like the both of them had down in the mines during the Havley’s Hope mission.:: Galven: I understand that. I'm incredibly sorry for breaking your trust and that's the God's honest truth. I'll accept any punishment you have for me. ::pauses:: And I hope you can forgive me. Rosek: ::rolls her eyes:: Enough with the groveling. ::huffs:: If you truly believe what you’re saying, stand by it. ::The statement had come out more than a tad harsher than she’d intended it to, but it irritated her to no end when people asked forgiveness even if they’d made a mistake. To her, it had always been a sign of weakness...though she knew that wasn’t true of everyone. She rarely, if ever, apologized when receiving criticism or advice from her superiors. She simply acknowledged that it had been given to her and confirmed her understanding with a simple “yes, sir” or “yes, ma’am”.:: ::It was how she’d survived the Academy with them constantly drilling down on the cadets those first few months to make the weak ones quit. But she’d been damned and determined not to be one of the ones who was weeded out.:: Galven: ::straightens his posture:: Yes, ma’am. Rosek: ::meets his gaze:: I once stood where you are, Lieutenant. I made a mistake and questioned my direct superior, Luna Walker, in front of the entire senior staff AND the Antor II governor. When Captain Rahman called me and Commander Walker into her ready room, I silently prayed that a gaping hole would form in the deck and that I’d fall through. But I stood my ground. The only apology I offered was where and in front of whom I had made the remarks. I didn’t ask for forgiveness because I knew my commitment to never make that mistake again was enough. ::She was trying to give him advice...to toughen him up for the climb up the ladder. Apologies didn’t fix the mistake, action did. No matter how sincere his apology, if he couldn’t back it up with action, it wouldn’t matter. It was something she’d learned the hard way at the Academy and in certain situations out here. :: ::He felt somewhat better that she had been in his shoes before, but he knew not to do it ever again. The situation was more of a one time experience. And he fully was capable of putting it locked away in his memory bank. If Captain Rahman was there, she’d be very disappointed in him. Also the Caitian commander. Which made him wonder how they were doing and if there was any progress.:: Galven: I’m not going to make the mistake again as well. Rosek: ::expression softens slightly:: Have you ever heard of Anne Frank, Lieutenant? : :Thinking back to his Academy days, he had never heard of the woman’s name. He tried to remember if there was any mention of her in his history classes.:: Galven: ::shakes his head:: The name doesn’t ring a bell, no. ::She didn’t figure he would have. The young woman’s story was an inspiration to Terrans even today. She’d first read The Diary of Anne Frank in high school. English had been her least favorite subject, but something about the story had touched her heart and had stayed with her ever since.:: Rosek: ::gaze drops from his for a moment before returning to it:: She was a young Jewish girl who became a victim of a fascist group who believed that Aryans were the master race and anyone who didn’t fit that mold was rounded up and slaughtered. Galven: That’s horrible… Rosek: She died at 16. But before she did, she said this: “What is done cannot be undone, but at least one can keep it from happening again.” ::lays a hand on his shoulder and squeezes:: We all make mistakes, Lieutenant. What makes us stronger is doing everything in our power not to repeat those mistakes. : :That was lesson to be learned and also keep very well in his mind. Lael was giving him his confidence back by telling him about the girl and her situation. The disgusting depravity of people and how they were ignorant of other races. Historical mistakes of people surely needed to be remembered and not have it repeated. He shook his head and frowned at such a life for a teenager. Most likely scared and wondering what was to be next. Then dying in the hands of the disgusting level of what a group would do to gain power.:: Galven: Lesson learned, ma’am. You can count on me to do better. ::She opened her mouth to reply, but was cut off by the chirp of her commbadge. She’d been so wrapped up in the situation with German that she’d almost forgotten she was expecting an update on the set-up of the quarantine zone. She tapped her commbadge, Solok’s voice coming through.:: Solok: =/\= Solok to Doctor Skyfire and Commander Rosek. =/\= Skyfire: =/\= Skyfire here, doctor. =/\= Rosek: ::murmurs:: I should get back to the bridge and you're needed down below. Galven: Yes ma’am. ::turns to the door, then glances back at Lael:: Thank you. ::Lael opened her mouth to speak, but as the doors closed she was hit with the most disorienting sensation followed by a flash of an image so brief that she couldn’t make it out. She gasped, gripping the edge of Mei’s desk to remain standing. Her footing was still shaky at best as she rose to her full height, straightening her uniform.:: Rosek: =/\=Rosek here. Go ahead, Doctors.=/\= --- Lieutenant Commander Lael Rosek Executive Officer USS Montreal I238110RH0 & Lieutenant German Galven Chief Science Officer USS Montreal V239507GG0
  3. ((Camp 2 Medical Tent, Day 119 - Late at night)) ::Wil hesitated, and took a deep breath, before walking into the medical tent.:: :: Treet Treet ::beat:: Chirl Chirl ::beat:: Rihm Rihm, G'var laid still and tried to rest as, whatever it was, continued to sing just outside the tent flap. Doc had given her something for the pain but she could still feel her hand. Try as she might she couldn't stop her fist from clenching and unclenching, the sensation was most unsettling and sleep would not come. Instead G'var had decided to focus on the Song outside, breathing in the floral scent of a bush not far away. Breathing deep the aroma, G'var let herself relax. Everyone was safe for now, they had found so many of the missing. Suddenly the song stopped, She kept her eyes closed as someone entered the tent, a faint smile formed on her face as she recognized Wil’s familiar scent.:: ::Thinking that G’var was asleep, Wil went to turn around to leave - but spun around again when he heard G’var speak.:: G’var:::Opening her eyes::-Wil ::beat:: what brings you by? Ukinix: Hey there, Lieutenant. G’var:::looking Wil up and down::-How are you doing ::beat:: you're not injured? ::Wil simply raised his eyebrows, and was surprised at her concern.:: Ukinix: ::Small laugh:: I’m fine. More importantly though, how are you? :: Stifling a laugh, at the absurdity of the question. Looking down at her ruined arm, bruises were already formed on her abdomen and her legs had friction burns on them, She was mess. G'var smiled wider, it was a price she was willing to pay for the others.:: G’var:::waving her hand down her body::-Doing outstanding ::beat:: How are you doing. Ukinix: I’m not the one with half of my arm missing, G’var. ::Seeing the concern on Wil’s face and hearing the worry in his voice , G'var knew she shouldn't be so flippant. No one had ever shown her such genuine concern before.:: G’var:::taking a deep breath::-A price I was willing to pay ::beat:: My Team is alive ::beat:: you're safe ::looking to her ruined arm:: A price I was willing to pay. ::Wil exhaled through his mouth. He wasn’t sure he agreed, but he let it slide. He decided to change the topic to what had been weighing heavily on his mind all day.:: Ukinix: Hey, um - do you remember briefly waking up, when Doctor Maxwell cauterized your wound? ::Cocking her head, G'var gave Wil a quizzical look, thankfully she didn't remember that part of the Doc’s treatment, though she had a vague memory of floating.:: G’var:::smirking::-Thank Kahless, no ::beat:: I remember the Beast pouncing ::beat:: then swinging my blade ::beat:: then falling, after that just bits and pieces ::beat:: flashes really ::beat:: then waking up here- Ukinix: You yelled - screamed, in fact - out loud, and almost burst my eardrums in the process. And you screamed my name. It didn’t sound good. I um - are you angry at me? Was this my fault? G’var:::laughing:: What? ::motioning to her arm:: Was this your fault? You think I'm angry with you? Ukinix: I guess I thought maybe my singing attracted that thing. I mean, I hope it didn’t. ::propping herself up on her elbow, G'var looked Wil in the eye, it seemed he was serious, what could ever make him think she was angry at him?:: G’var:::shaking her head::-No Wil I'm not angry with you for anything thing. My actions were my own. How could any of this be your fault. ::Wil crossed his arms, and nodded slowly. He couldn’t sense anger, but he knew what he had heard.:: Ukinix: Hmmm... G’var:::rolling her eyes::-I'm an honest being Wil ::beat:: If I'm ever angry with you, you're going to know ::beat:: cause I will tell you. You don't control my actions ::beat:: I do ::beat:: I never blame others for my actions. ::taking a deep breath:: I care too much for you Wil to ever be angry with you. Can you not say the same? ::Wil took a moment to think. He looked at G’var, and smiled.:: Ukinix: OK, honestly? You intrigue me. And you scare me. Although, ::looking down at G’var’s arm:: not at the moment. ::English accent impersonation:: Right now, I fink you’re ‘armless. ::G'var raised a brow and have Wil an incredulous stare. Wil looked at G’var’s face, and opened his eyes a little.:: Ukinix: OK, bad joke. G’var:::smirking::-little too soon tool pusher ::holding her hand out:: Thank you though for try to make me laugh. ::Wil gently held on to G’var’s hand.:: Ukinix: Of course I care about you, you’re my good friend. I’ve made - being marooned on Limbo, I’ve made many good friends, from such different backgrounds. ::Smiling:: Mum said I would, she was right. G’var:::exhaling::It's nice to be cared for. Ukinix: I need to ask you something. I spoke to Wren tonight. She said that you ordered her to retreat back to the pod and cover you. Why didn’t you just order her to fill that thing full of phaser fire? Why take it on with nothing but a bat’leth? ::Wil’s question was fair, why hadn't she ordered Wren to fire? The truth was she had made a mistake. G'var could blame the fire in her Klingon blood, the primal need to test oneself against a worthy foe. That would be lie, she had been caught of guard by the surprise of the attack, the need to keep everyone safe had blinded her. Now as she felt her phantom hand clench, she knew she had put them more in danger. Her injuries left her vulnerable and were a resource drain.:: G’var:::staring up at the tent roof:: I made a mistake Wil! ::growling:: I reacted and didn't think ::beat:: My training should have kicked in, but it didn't ::beat:: I could have gotten you all killed. ::Wil looked at G’var. He could sense the regret in her, which he didn’t expect. He suddenly felt bad.:: Ukinix: No, wait, I - that question came out wrong. Everything happened so quick, I’m not meaning to pick a split second decision to bits. G’var, you succeeded, you *saved* our lives. G’var:::turning back to Wil::-Thank you ::beat:: it's still my mistake no matter how you sugar coat it. ::squeezing Wil’s hand:: Thank You ::Wil smiled, and looked down, swallowing. He came to a realisation that G’var wasn’t a reckless Klingon after all. She was a Starfleet officer, and relatively fresh out of the Academy - just like he was.:: Ukinix: We’re both new in Starfleet. ::Smiling:: Hey, at least you didn’t suggest to Captain Rahman that we pull a Burnham and start a war by blowing up Tholians in their territory. ::Wil gave G’Var an embarrassed but reassuring smile. Then his mouth made an “ooh” shape when he realised *who* he had just made the reference to. He decided to quickly smooth it over by changing the subject.:: Ukinix: Cole did an amazing job, treating you in the field like that. G'var:::smirking:: Bicondova said something similar when she came by earlier ::beat:: she also told me how you where stroking my cheek when I was unconscious ::smirking: -I do seem to recall you stroking my cheek. Ukinix: No, I didn’t - ::frustrated sigh:: - she said that to me too. I *didn’t* stroke your cheek! G’var:::cocking her head:: Bicondova was quit descriptive ::beat:: about the tenderness you showed. Ukinix: She’s wrong. I *patted* your cheek. Quite firmly! To keep you awake. G’Var:::giving Wil a sultry look:: Not how she described it Pusher. Ukinix: ::Rolling his eyes:: Then Wren is full of it. ::Wil’s could sense warmth from G’var. They had a professional relationship and he respected her immensely, but it had also been flirtatious at times.:: G’Var:::lifting a brow::- Is the thought of stroking my cheek that distasteful to you Wil? Ukinix: What? Oh, no not at all, I - G’var:::squeezing Wil’s hand a little stronger::-I it’s like we're engaged Wil ::beat:: It's was just a kind act ::beat:: You’ve shown me more kindness than I deserve. You make me laugh, and I feel I can be myself around you. You stood next me when I need you, and you asked for nothing in return. Ukinix: Ah - well I might get you to source me some blood wine - ::Wil’s sensed that warmth turn into something more. He wasn’t sure what to say, nor what to do.:: G'var::laying back down::-What's that Terran phrase ::beat:: You've hit the Jackcauldron? Ukinix: ::Smiling:: “Jackpot”. It’s Jackpot. ::Wil took a deep breath, and looked at G’var. It wasn’t lost on him what G’var was feeling. He smiled, looked away, and looked back again. She was attractive, even though he knew she could snap him in half.:: Ukinix: ::Teasingly:: You’re a Lieutenant now, isn’t there a Starfleet rule about fraternising with lower ranked crew? G’var:::raising a brow::that's not how that works Wil. ::Wil leaned forward, and put his other hand around hers.:: Ukinix: ::Quietly:: We gotta focus on helping get everyone off of Limbo. ::Rolling her head back, G'var knew Wil was right, they still had a Mission to complete, the Crew were counting on them to get them back to New Risa and off this rock. Still they had two months, it wasn't like she was going to get off the cot right this second and start a forced march. Looking up to Wil G'var decided to go for broke. Reach up she grabbed Wil by his collar and pulled him lower.:: G’var:::winking::-You're so dense for a pusher sometimes. ::With that G'var leaned up and gave Wil a Kiss, not between friends, but what she hoped was something more. After a few seconds she let go of Wil’s collar and laid back down.:: G'var:::smiling::-You get me now ::beat:: or do I need to draw it out in the sand for you? ::Wil suddenly had multiple flashbacks. His first girlfriend, who’d left him for another player at his footy club. The occasional female friend in his gap years before starting at the Academy. Kissing the Andorian woman when they were paired together for a training session at the Academy. But other than that, he’d only really had one focus in his life - joining Starfleet.:: Ukinix: Oh, G’var. Bloody hell… ::He looked at her, and decided he couldn’t fight it anymore.:: Ukinix: ::Cheeky smile:: If you start throwing stuff at me, I’m leaving. ::Wil leaned in, and gently kissed G’var.:: ::G'var returned the kiss. Pulling Wil closer running her hand through his hair. G'var had never experienced these emotions before, no one had ever given them back either. All her life she had never experienced love. She tried not to laugh at the absurdity of finding Love on this mudhole. G'var revelled in the sensation for a few more seconds then then leaned back down. Wil could sense a “soothing” feeling in G’var, although he couldn’t quite explain or comprehend it.:: G'var::placing a hand on Wil’s cheek::-Don't worry I don't throw things ::beat:: I do have an iron mallet though ::smiling:: don't worry Pusher ::beat:: It's gonna be awhile before we get that far. ::Wil put his hand on her arm.:: Ukinix: ::Laughing, nodding:: OK. G'var::holding out her hand::-For now just sit with me ::beat:: I could use the company. ::beat:: tell me how the debriefing went with the camp ::beat:: and Wil ::beat:: if you draw another sand table ::beat:: I will start throwing things ::smiling:: ::Wil sat on the cot, next to G’var, and held her hand.:: Ukinix: Well, Captain Nickson suggested we shouldn’t leave until you feel better - that makes sense. But I’m sure we’ll all leave real soon. It’s the logical thing to do. ::As a small muscle spasm ran down her leg, G'var silently agreed, admittedly she wanted to leave as soon as possible as well, but seeing as how even breathing caused her pain right now, she could see the Logic in resting as well. G'var continued to hold Wil’s hand as he debriefed her on how the Camp took their news. Squeezing just a little tighter, she was comforted by Wil’s Presence and the start of what she hoped was something much more than friendship.:: ============================ Lieutenant Junior Grade G'var Security/Tactical Officer USS Veritas V239511G10 & Ensign Wil Ukinix Engineering Officer USS Veritas V239511WU0
  4. An excellently written joint post by @G'var, @Geoffrey Teller, and @Cole Maxwell showing the evacuation of the USS Veritas (( FLASHBACK - Sickbay, USS Veritas )) ::The panels and instruments in sickbay beeped and chirped softly as the medical staff continued about the business of their rounds. The few patients occupying the biobeds were all well out of danger and required little more than observation at this point to ensure they were all thoroughly healed. MedTechs checked readouts while the CMO sat in his office, updating casualty reports now that the crisis of the Artemis had passed. One patient, a short, red haired Ensign, was busy dismantling a molecular imaging scanner and spreading the parts on an unoccupied biobed next to his. :: Teller: oO I’m running out of stuff to take apart in here. Can’t believe I’ve got to sit it out while the rest of the Engineering team has to glue the ship back together. I didn’t get blown up THAT badly. Oo Teller: Hey Doc, if you let me out of here, I’ll find you a polarization inhibitor for this thing ::he gestured vaguely towards the pile of inert components:: should give you much better resolution than the stock model. :: Cole was conferring with a nurse about the reports while he sat at the desk and heard the Chief Engineer’s yell from the main room. He looked over to see Teller had taken apart a scanner. He took a deep breath and sighed with annoyance. :: Maxwell: oO Just another hour… Oo Maxwell: ::forcing a grin:: While I appreciate that Chief, I’d prefer if you didn’t go looking for things to tear apart anymore. You’ll be able to go back to work in about an hour. Teller: I appreciate you being thorough but come on, it was internal bleeding. ::Smirking:: That’s where the blood is supposed to be! And it’s not like I haven’t got a spare lung. Who needs two anyway? ::Teller laughed as Maxwell scolded him with a look, then turned back to the pile of components. He began to whistle a tune but before he could get two notes out, the deck was washed in the blue of disaster alarms. Teller was momentarily transported back to the interior of the Odyssey and his heart skipped a beat. The Captain’s voice on the Comm only partially snapped him out of his remembering:: Rahman: =/\= All hands, this is the Captain. Proceed to the nearest escape pods and Abandon Ship. I repeat, all hands Abandon Ship. This is not a drill. =/\= ::Teller dropped the components in his hand and froze in shock for a moment.:: :: Cole rose from his desk and instinct took over. He’d drilled for a starship evac at the academy and the procedures were drilled into his consciousness. Rushing in to sickbay from the office, the medical officer started giving orders. :: Maxwell: We’ve got three patients, let’s get them stabilized and prepped for evac. ::to Nurse Imari:: Imari, contact the shuttlebay and confirm we’ve got a shuttle ready to go. ::to another Nurse:: Get the emergency evacuation supplies out of storage and get them down to the shuttlebay. ::to Teller, with a knowing smirk:: Chief, looks like you’re coming with us right now. Teller: oO Not again. Please not again. Oo :: Cole jogged over to the main LCARS interface and began downloading a copy of the medical database as a backup, along with any files containing specialized medicine or treatments the crew needed. He hoped the replicator on the shuttle would suffice for making anything they might need. :: ::Teller looked around in a mild daze, paralyzed for a moment by shock and confusion. He tried and failed to go in several directions at once and settled for pulling off his hospital gown and grabbing a uniform jacket out of a nearby locker. The parts of his mind not reeling in shock took stock of the cabinet and he began throwing equipment into a gear bag hurriedly as the staff in sickbay went to their stations and began doing the same. Doctor Maxwell coordinated the frantic efforts like a trained orchestra conductor. Moments later, A fierce Security Ensign ran into the room, already with several people in tow :: ::As G'var entered Sickbay she was greeted by the same chaos as in the Corridor. G'var watched as the Ship’s Medical staff frantically ran from cabinet to drawers, cramming whatever they could into kits and packs. Scanning the room G'var could see Doc Maxwell right in the middle giving orders to the staff and trying to keep the chaos moving as orderly as possible.:: G’var:::striding over to Maxwell::- Doctor! One of your staff flagged us down in the corridor, said you needed help evacuating Sickbay. ::motioning to Bicondova and IA:: We came to help out, what do you need us to do? :: Cole looked up from the console again. He’d been answering questions and furiously trying to get people focused while dismissing non-essential personnel to the escape pods. It was taking everything he had to remain calm in the face of danger. Now that G’var was here, the doctor grinned knowing he had even more help. But then he saw she had the Orion woman in tow and the grin vanished. :: Maxwell: G’var, you two grab a gurney and help her ::motioning to one of the patients in sickbay:: onto it. She should be stabilized and ready for transport. Teller: Are we under attack? Is it the Tholians?! ::G'var could see the CHENG was agitated, he was wearing his uniform a little crooked and his hair was unkempt::: G’var: oO hope the CHENG is good to go, this must be one rough wake-up.Oo G'var: Negative CHENG, there have been no secondary explosions or decompressions, from what I was able to gather in the Security Center it appears to be an internal problem with the deuterium supply. IA:::sauntering up to Teller::-Darling!!! There’s not a Tholian within a parsec of the ship.::giggling:: You've just run out of fuel, and we’re all about to suffocate. ::Holding her hand out to Teller:: Now why don't you just take Mistress IA’s hand and i’ll fly you right off this heap. Teller: ….your voice sounds real familiar….you’re the woman from the damn interceptor! IA:::doffing a hand in recognition::-indeed ::beat:: you can address me as her Most Magnificent, Mistress IA. Can I Autograph something for you? :: Cole heard a beep and grabbed the PADD with the newly downloaded database backup. He grabbed his own medkit and stuffed the PADD inside. Walking over to IA and Teller, Cole pulled out a hypospray with the pheromone suppressant and jammed it into the Orion woman’s neck. :: IA:::Rubbing her neck::-Noy Jitat! ::leering at Maxwell:: I didn't know you liked the rough stuff Doctor, after we get of this dump, show a girl a good time. Maxwell: ::shrugging:: You were due for a top off. ::G'var gave Doc Maxwell a silent Thumbs up as he re-inoculated IA. From the corner of her eye G'var could see that Teller was hurriedly trying to back a carry all with whatever would fit. G'var could sense the apprehension and nervousness radiating from the CHENG. She was just about to say something when she saw Doc Maxwell begin to step over.:: :: Cole saw that Teller was still frantic. He put the hypo back in the medkit and grabbed the red haired man’s shoulders. He then brought his eyes down to the Chief’s level. :: Maxwell: Teller! We’re going to be fine. I need you to focus for just a few minutes. Alright? Teller: Huh?! Oh...right Doc. Sorry. Alarms got my nerves a little jangled, I’m alright. ::Teller looked around, his heartbeat thunderous in his ears. Staff were pulling themselves together quickly and professionally. Teller tried to calm his breathing but couldn’t entirely squelch the sensation of panic. The lack of a clear task and his own recent experiences were compounding his indecision badly:: Teller: oO This is too much like the nightmares. I do NOT want to hurtle off another doomed ship this week. Not doing that again. Oo :: Cole hoped that sedating the Chief Engineer wouldn’t be necessary, but kept the idea in the back of his mind. Looking around, he saw everyone seemed to be ready. :: Maxwell: Alright people, let’s move! Shuttlebay! ::G'var took an over laden pack from one of the staff and quickly threw it across her back. Motioning Bicondova over, G'var squatted down and took hold of the gurney. Bicondova huffed as the back she was carrying shifted and she nearly tipped over. G'var nodded approvingly as she shifted her gait and kept her balance. Together the two lifted the unconscious Crewman off the floor.:: G'var:IA! ::Nodding to a pile of medical equipment:: Make yourself useful and take something with you. IA: Darling, I don't lift, I supervise. Teller: I saw the state of your ‘ship.’ lady - that thing made a Tellarite garbage scow look well managed. IA:::haughtily::-Fine..::Shouldering a Pack and picking and a case.:: Let’s get this show on the road. Teller: Now that said I couldn’t help but notice you’ve got a fine singing voice - don’t suppose you know any Orion pirate shanties? I’d love to learn a new one! ::Mistress IA rolled her eyes at the smirking Ensign as they headed into the hallway of the dying ship:: ((Turbolift 6, USS Veritas)) ::The ride down to deck 9 had been interesting G'var was thankful the power held out long enough to get everyone and everything down from Sickbay. With all Escape pods launched from Deck Six, the Shuttlebay was now their egress point. As they made their way to the shuttlebay, G'var stripped off her equipment pads, clicking out of the last strap, she smiled slightly, the pads had protected her one last time climbing out of the lift tube, the car having stopped halfway between decks 8 and 9. :: (( Corridor - Deck 9, USS Veritas )) ::Teller, G’var, Doctor Maxwell and party headed to the shuttlebay as the ships lights flickered around them. Teller could hear systems failing and rerouting, the dip and hum of the power system struggling vainly to meet demand. Teller knew that whatever was overwhelming their ship was doing it with shocking speed. Teller tried to open a comm line to engineering but only got static..:: ::As the group hurried through the empty corridor to the shuttlebay, G'var could feel the ship’s systems begin the spin down; the familiar hum of the deck and the buzzing of the bulkheads was fading. To her right the CHENG kept tapping his comm badge trying to raise anyone in Engineering. G'var, prayed to Kahless that there was no one left in Engineering, that were all safely off the ship.:: G'var:::looking to IA::- When we get into the Shuttle I want you to take the Helm, get the ship ready to fly. :: looking her in the eye:: All our lives are in your hands now, you read? IA:::smacking both hands to her chest::-Darlings! I keep telling you, I'm the best Fraking Pilot in the Shoals, you're more safe in my hands than at your mother's breast. ::winking:: Trust me when I say, I have no desire to end my life in a fiery crash on some desolate planetoid. G'var:::smirking::- Now that I can almost believe. ::Teller ground his teeth. The woman’s voice, which at first had seemed so sensuous, was now rapidly becoming exceptionally grating.:: Teller: Could’ve fooled me, way you kept your ship. I’m amazed you lived this long. Maxwell: Let’s focus people. We’re almost there. :: Cole was pushing one of the two gurneys behind the rest of the group to make sure nobody fell behind. He kept his eyes on Teller in particular. :: Teller: oO This is infuriating, something's killing the ship and I’m running through a hallway away from my station. I should be downstairs making sure everybody got out. I’m not making that mistake again. Oo Teller: Computer, Verify that Main Engineering has been completely evacuated? ::The computers reply stuttered and was garbled badly:: Computer: Main Engineering has been ccCCcc evacuated. All on-duty personnel have reported to theEEeEEeir assigned evacuation stations. Teller: I sure hope that’s true. Wait. Computer, Verify that Crewman Shandres has left the ship? G'var: That girl can't still be on the Ship! Computer: CCCCCCCCCCCCreman Sandresssssss departedddddddd the ship at 15:42 hours in Escapppppe Pod Seventeen Sig... Bicondova:::under her breath::-That girl has more lives than a cat...good luck Taz.::smiling:: ::Teller kept running as the main computer core shutdown. Systems all over the ship were failing to their independent emergency redundancies. He only hoped that whatever affected the ship wasn’t crippling the smaller and more fragile shuttles.:: ::The loss of power was affecting more and more systems, by the time they reached the Shuttlebay, G'var was forced to access the emergency door locks, with power down the doors had to be forced, with everyone’s help they were able to get the doors open enough to allow everyone through.:: (( Shuttlebay 2 )) G'var: Everyone get to the Ferdinand, we’re wheels up in five! ::pointing to the shuttle:: IA get in there and start warming her up. CHENG! ::looking to Teller:: Let's see if we can get those doors open shall we. ::Teller skidded to a halt at the lip of the shuttlebay, a wave of vertigo making him nearly double over. Every instinct was screaming at him to run the other way. He heard G’var’s request from a distance and it was enough to keep moving, but panic was fighting its way to the front of his mind.:: Teller: ….should...yeah...doors...ok. Maxwell: Right! Imari, take Crewman Keller from G’Var and get her loaded. Imari: Yes doctor. :: Cole, his medical team, and the two patients in tow boarded the shuttle. The doctor helped get the two unconscious members of the crew onto the benches and strapped them in. Once done, the team chucked the gurneys out of the shuttle and onto the bay floor. The nurses and techs were securing the medical supplies and Cole took scans of the two patients again. :: ::Teller jogged over to the control station and with shaking hands began the departure sequence. An alarm echoed through the bay and the great doors began sliding upwards. The shimmering environment field was flickering, dangerously close to collapse. Teller frantically tried to pull up a ships diagnostic but the panel went dead under his hands. In frustration, he punched the panel hard enough to make his knuckles bleed:: ::As the Medical Staff strapped in the injured Crew. G'var moved to the cockpit. Taking the co-pilots seat G'var was impressed by how quickly and expertly IA was getting the ship ready. Perhaps her earlier boast had some truth to it.:: G'var:::turning to Bicondova::-I want you to stay with the Medical Team, make sure they have what whatever they need and keep them and yourself safe. Now go back and strap in this could get bumpy. Bicondova:::Giving a quick salute with her rifle::- Aye Aye Ma’am! ::Teller jogged to the shuttle, but each step seemed to make his legs heavier and his heartbeat louder. He knew he had to get off the crippled Veritas but the animal part of his mind was gnawing at itself with panic. Hesitating at the boarding ramp, his hand went to his recently healed left side. He could feel his breath again growing short and his chest throbbed with imagined pain. Teller slumped into the crew chair just inside the door heavily and desperately tried to stop hyperventilating:: Teller:: oO Just can’t trust these little buckets in an emergency. Anything could happen. Oo ::As Bicondova went to the rear, G'var turned to IA.:: G'var: Can you fly this ship? All our lives are in your hands now, don't let us down. IA:::Laughing::- That was one hells of a pep talk Ensign ::sensually stroking the flight controls:: Don't worry Darling, I'm about to make love to this big boy, strap in ::beat:: tight. You're in for one hellova show. G'var:::placing her face in her palm::-Just get us on the ground in on piece. Maxwell: ::Aloud.:: Alright we’re good to go back here. ::towards the flight controls:: What’s the hold up?! IA:::Pressing a control on the console::-Nothing My pretty, just setting the mood.:: :: Cole rolled his eyes and let out a breath of frustration. :: Maxwell: oO It’s always SOMETHING! Oo ::As IA powered on the engines and began to raise the shuttle from the deck a strange melody began playing over the internal speakers.:: Foghat:...Slow ride...Take it easy… :: Cole smiled without realizing it when he heard the song. :: Maxwell: oO Foghat? Oo G'var:::reaching for the mute button::-what is this Noise, Focus on flying. IA:::slapping G'var’s hand away::-Pilot picks the music ::beat:: shotgun shuts her cake hole.::winking and smacking her lips as G'var:: Hold On Back There this is gonna be ::throwing yoke forward:: bumpy! ::Everyone lurched backwards as the inertial dampeners struggled to keep up with Mistress IA’s suicidally aggressive piloting. Hastily piled gear shifted around the cabin as people struggled into whatever seats they could find. The bay vanished in a rush behind them moments before numerous alarms began blaring from the cockpit:: IA:: Oh my. It seems we’re using fuel at an alarming rate, darlings. ::Teller looked up at the alarm in the woman's voice:: Teller: What? This thing should be good for hundreds of light years! IA: ::purring:: Perhaps you’d like to explain that to our fuel reserves. Oops. Too late. There they go. ::Everyone watched in muted horror as the moon filled the viewport window completely. The shuttle continued inexorably downwards as systems, starved of power, failed one after another. Using what remained in the shuttles attitude control system, Mistress IA pointed the craft in the general heading their failing sensors suggested was shared by numerous escape pods. Buffeted from side to side, crew, patients and gear were thrown violently around the shuttles interior as the atmosphere thickened around the craft. The slight whistle of atmosphere turned into a deafening howl as people fought to hold on. Emergency lighting flickered and sparked as the uncontrolled descent wrought destruction on the delicate electronics of the shuttle. In the dark, someone wept. IA: ::pouting: I said no flaming death! This is what I get for being a good girl! Hrmph. ::The clouds parted and the viewport briefly filled with glimmering seas and verdant green jungle. A turquoise sea sparkled to the horizon and a string of small islands was visible nearby. The onrushing ground rapidly filled their perception as the shuttle began shearing through treetops hundreds of meters off the ground. One burning nacelle was torn away as the tumbling shuttle plowed into the landscape, coming to rest at the end of a smoking, half kilometer gouge.:: ((Crash site - Day 0 - Limbo)) ::The remains of the shuttle sparked and popped in the smoldering black soil of the island. Nearby animals angrily hooted and squawked as they fled from the noisy intruder. In places, the jungle burned openly. Several columns of black smoke rose above the treetops from other nearby landing sites as streaks of light in the sky heralded the imminent arrival of more evacuees. Sonic booms rolled over the water from the numerous hurtling craft. The shuttle hull itself clicked and popped as it cooled. A momentary shower of sparks from the rear of the craft dispersed as the heavy metal hatch was explosively jettisoned by one of the few remaining emergency systems. Oily black smoke poured from the shuttle as crewmen staggered out, half blinded by the brilliant sunlight and coughing violently from the fumes.:: ::Teller winced as he dragged his gearbag towards the hatch, certain something in his arm or shoulder was badly out of alignment. He hoped it was only dislocated.:: Teller:: oO Never getting in one of these things ever again. Never. Oo ::G'var carefully disengage the safety harness, bracing her arm against the Flight console she slowly stood. Beside her IA lay unconscious, her chin resting on her chest. Reaching her hand to the Orion's neck, G'var found her pulse, her breathing steady. G'var let out a breath she didn't know she was holding. Looking back into the shuttle, she could see others beginning to get to their feet.:: IA:::gently covering G'var’s hand::-Why Ensign ::beat:: I didn't know you cared. G'var:::retracting her hand::-You're awake, that's good ::beat:: are you injured ::beat:: can you move? IA:::standing shakily::-I’m fine Ensign ::Turning to the back:: Go see to them. ::As G'var moved to help the others IA called back over her shoulder.:: IA:Remember Darling ::beat:: Big Shiny Medal made of Latinum! G'var:oO Yeah :: beat:: she’s fine.Oo :: Cole had been taken a spot on the shuttle’s floor and had tried to help brace the unconscious patients as the craft crash landed. In the process, his head flew back upon impact with the surface and banged into the shuttle bulkhead. The bright light from the open hatch brought him back to some semblance of consciousness, but pain throbbed in his head and his vision was blurry. :: Maxwell: Huh.. what? ::He shook head to try and clear the daze, but while it helped his vision the pain only intensified.:: Maxwell: oO Got… to… get out… Oo ::Cole was able to grab one of the benches and get to his feet. He instinctively clutched at the back of his head due to the pain. When he brought the hand back into view, his fingers were red.:: Maxwell: oO Damn… Oo :: The doctor looked around and saw that the rest of the crew were making their way out of the shuttle. Taking a deep breath to steady himself, Cole followed suit, trying to put the pain aside. But not before stopping to make sure his team and patients weren’t in any critical condition. :: ::Shuffling clear, Teller’s feet sank a bit into the soft soil as he tried to shake the ringing from his ears. Within moments, Mistress IA, G’var and Maxwell also exited the remains of the craft, signaling that no one remained aboard. After seeing to the disposition of his patients, Maxwell and G’var joined Teller at the foot of a nearby tree and tried to take stock of their situation.:: :: The shuttle had come to rest in a small clearing surrounded by what looked like tropical rain-forest. The sky was filled with a large ringed gas giant planet. Cole immediately felt the heat and humidity on his skin. :: Teller: Doc, G’var...I’m glad you made it down mostly in one piece. You ::looking pointedly at IA:: I’m still on the fence about. IA:::Smirking::-I did get us safely to the ground Mr. Spitfire. Show me a Starfleet pilot whom could do any better.:: Slapping the hull of the shuttle:: You know these Starfleet designs are flying bricks ::beat::..very resilient to abuse ::smiles::. G'var:::raising a brow::-I hate to say she has a point CHENG. Maxwell: ::nodding:: Uh huh… :: Cole was just happy to be on solid ground. He was making every effort not to throw up. :: Teller: Right. Now we get to play the survival game. Instructor at the Academy said it goes like this - seconds, minutes, hours, days- you have to figure out if you’re going to survive the next sixty seconds, then fix those problems, then extend it to ten minutes, then to an hour, and on and on. I’ve got some ideas for a search grid if you’re up for a bit of a hike, G’var. G’var:::stretching::-would love nothing better, we need to find any many other pods and crew as we can. Teller: Doc, if you’d be willing, I think you’re in the best position to get an inventory together, then we can figure out what kind of timeline we’re looking at. ::Teller’s head was swimming. The heat and humidity were oppressive. It was getting difficult to focus and the ground was quite soft.:: Maxwell: ::Nodding and looking around.:: We should probably see about having people make their way here to this clearing since it’s open and we have the shuttes resources. I’ll go make sure the shuttle’s emergency beacon is functioning and begin triage as people arrive. Teller::oO Good that’s good...just need...quick break. Oo Teller: Great. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to pass out for a little while. ::Teller slumped against the tree behind him as Maxwell began examining the mans shoulder and arm with his tricorder.:: Maxwell: Teller! G'var: By Kahless’s Beard! :: The tricorder showed the man’s shoulder was dislocated. :: Maxwell: No ligament damage at least. ::to G’var:: Hold him still. G’var:::Bracing Teller::-Check! got’m Doc! :: The doctor, fighting through his own pain, positioned himself next to the nearly unconscious Chief Engineer and took the man’s arm into his hands. With a silent count to three, Cole rotated the arm quickly to reset the shoulder back into its socket. Teller jumped back to life with a yell of agony. :: Teller: Ungh….can’t a guy take a nap in the jungle? Maxwell: ::trying to smile:: That’s what you get for taking things apart in my sickbay. G’var:::lightly kicking Teller’s foot::-Come on CHENG they ain't pay’n us by the hour. Do some push-ups and you’ll be fine.::smiling:: Teller: ::groaning as he stands:: Well it sure ain’t Risa. ::The three of them took in the balmy tropical clearing with a shared look of trepidation. In the distance, the local animals began to hoot again as birds wheeled high overhead.:: [End] =============================== Ensign G'var Security/Tactical Officer USS Veritas V239511G10 & Ensign Cole Maxwell, M.D. Medical Officer USS Veritas V239512CM0 & Ensign Geoffrey Teller USS Veritas - NCC 95035 Capt. R. Rahman, Commanding V239509GT0
  5. I use the TAG/TBC... system pretty much as @Sal Taybrim. I find it useful to specify exactly whether a scene is continuing or not (especially as a CO) because sometimes people will continue a scene well past what I'd consider the natural end and transition point. I know it's probably just a matter of what people are looking for when they play the game. Some really enjoy the simulation aspect of it as the term simming implies and want to sim as much of what they're character would be doing to get from point A to point B. I prefer to write as if we are reading a script/novel, where once the story point has been covered in a scene, we can jump cut to the next scene. So for instance, if my character as a captain talks to someone on a planet and a meeting is arranged, if I don't think there's really any story reason to show her going to the turbolift and then the transporter room, I might instead just put END at the end of the scene on the bridge and then start a new sim showing her materializing on the surface of the planet. In summary, on Veritas or at least my own system: TAG! = There are tags left for people. We do not put tags in the subject lines because we want people to read every sim. Furthermore, a lot of times there are what I call "hidden tags," which are things left for other players even if not explicitly tagged to someone. For instance, if we are in a battle, and the tactical officer announces that we've taken a hit to deck 6 and have lost artificial gravity, we might not tag someone for a response right there, but it'd be perfectly acceptable (and wonderful) for a character not on the bridge to sim themselves experiencing the consequences of that damage. TBC... = This means the scene is continuing on, whether because new tags are left and I want the next person to continue it or because it's part of a joint post (JP), and there is another part being sent to the list right after this. END or --- = This means simply that the scene is over, and I don't want any more new tags added by others when they respond. Wrap up the scene and move on. Of course, it's always good practice not to start and end a scene in one sim. If you start a new scene and leave tags for someone, you should let them respond and then let them continue the scene a bit further. But sometimes as a CO especially, it's necessary to put a definitive end to a scene so that the next story point can be reached. On Veritas, we also employ explicit act cues such as labeling the first sim of an act (ACT 1, ACT 2, etc.) and the mission finale. Every ship/CO has their own preferred system, though, which is again why the academy sticks just to the basics.
  6. Yes, anything written by our members for the FNS is considered part of our universe's extended world building and can be considered public knowledge and referenced in your sims. In fact, this is encouraged and one of the intended uses of the FNS itself.
  7. Honestly, these days I mostly go to the Google group directly to read sims and post my replies, so I basically play the game like it’s forum-based. All of our ships use Google groups for handling the email lists and archives. You can always see which you prefer later and set your email delivery preferences from all messages to digest/summary or even none and just use the Google group sites for everything.
  8. (( Flashback )) (( 121 years earlier )) // Expedition Commander’s Officer’s Log. [Stardate 227411.23]. Seventeen hours after entering the Shadows, Pellecia suffered an unexpected failure of its propulsion and the subspace cloak. Without the protection of the cloak, a subspace drag effect created by the dense tetryon fields caused sudden and rapid deceleration. Though inertial dampeners were able to compensate, several systems were damaged and three crew were killed by shifting cargo. Full damage report and the names of the deceased are attached. Let it be known that they died in service of the empire. // (( Day 2 )) (( Captain’s Quarters, Deck 7, IRW Pellecia )) :: Allek poured another glass of ale as he read through the report from his chief engineer. Besides the critical damage to the subspace cloak and the ship’s propulsion systems, their food synthesizers had stopped functioning, and life support systems were behaving erratically throughout the ship. Not dangerously so, at least not yet, but it was certainly inconvenient. :: :: To add insult to injury, much of his crew had spent the day fighting plasma fires below decks. No one else had been killed, but it had been gruelling, difficult work, and many of the ship’s crew had suffered burns. The Remans had suffered particularly badly, as they’d been expected to handle the most dangerous work. :: Allek: How long will it take to get us back en route? :: The ship’s chief engineer wore a serene expression despite the smears of some kind of soot or grease covering much of her pale, slender face. :: Treyalak: The repairs are simple enough. If we keep up double shifts, I can have the subspace cloak and warp drive back online within 36 hours. The structural damage is more severe. Without access to a drydock, we’re looking at several hundred EVAs to repair the damage to the space frame. If I get everyone who’s qualified to help, we might be able to do it in a week. :: Allek took a short pull from his glass then gestured to the still full one across from him. :: Allek: You look like you need this more than I do. :: She glanced down, looking as if she’d forgotten the fragrant drink was even there. Hesitantly, she picked it up and allowed some of the cooling liquid to touch her lips. :: Allek: I’ll make the announcement tomorrow. Start with the repairs. If we don’t get enough volunteers for the frame repairs, we’ll start pulling crew from other assignments. Dorix: There are over fifty Remans on this ship. Surely we won’t need to buden our officers with this kind of menial labor. :: The expedition commander had a slightly round face. Twenty years ago, he’d been a beast of a man. Now, his former bulk had turned largely to fat, as was common with age. Despite this, he still had the force of personality and the reputation of the embodiment of what nearly every imperial officer wanted to be. Awed to the point of fear. Cultured. Well-connected and respected with both military and the civilian leaders. :: Allek: Commander, the Remans spent the last twelve hours fighting plasma fires on three decks. I’m not sure it’s wise to compel them to do more at this point. Not without rest, at least. Dorix: It’s their duty in this life, Sub-Commander. They should be proud to have it. :: Allek had heard this tone in his superior’s voice before. It made it clear that he would not tolerate dissension. His opinion had been made known, and he expected it to be treated as an order. :: Allek: Very well, Commander. :: He’d have to offer them something in return. First the disease. Now this. He’d never seen so much tension between Reman and Romulan crew before. :: Treyalak: The sooner we get started the better, Sirs. Request permission to return to duty. :: Allek looked to Dorix, who gave a slight nod of approval. :: Allek: Dismissed, Centurion. I’ll come by in a few hours to check on your progress. :: The female stood, nodded to both her superiors, then left to return to her hectic engine room. As the door closed behind them, Allek took another long pull from his glass to empty it. :: Dorix: The commanders of Raze and Sulvian have signaled to ask for orders. :: The other two members of the expedition fleet had been eager to resume their course ever since the accident. :: Allek: If they could spare some of their crew to help with the repairs-- Dorix: I’ve decided that they should resume course rather than wait for Pellecia. :: Allek was so taken aback by this, he felt as if the blow had been physical. Without the other ships, Pellecia would be stranded here. If something went wrong with the repairs, they would no longer have the option of evacuating. :: Dorix: Further, I’ve decided to transfer my flag to the Sulvian. Sub-Commander Vulek will be pleased, I’m sure. :: The muscles in Allek’s his jaw cramped. :: Dorix: The mission is too important, Allek. We can’t allow a delay of this long. Allek: Then why not evacuate Pellecia? :: The other man laughed. :: Dorix: You can’t be serious? The ship still has every chance of being salvaged. I have no intention of abandoning it. :: Allek had to bite back the obvious response. Dorix did have every intention of abandoning it. The only difference was that he was leaving the crew behind. :: Dorix: Once repairs are complete, you will proceed on a course to our designated rendezvous point outside of the Shoals. :: It would be months before they could make such a rendezvous. :: Allek: And if we aren’t there? Dorix: Then I’ll, of course, arrange for a rescue mission. Pellecia is outfitted with enough food and water for at least five years. You’ll be fine. :: Allek had his doubts. :: Allek: When do you plan to leave, Sir? Dorix: Tomorrow morning, I think. We’ll assemble the crew in your shuttle bay to make the announcement. I believe you needed to gather them to explain your repair plans anyway. Allek: Very well, Sir. :: Dorix let out a short sigh. :: Dorix: You act as if I’ve just signed your execution order, Allek. You’ll be fine. In all likelihood, we’ll be back on Romulus together in a year’s time. :: There was that tone again. Imperious and dripping with condescension. :: Allek: As you say, sir. :: There were a few moments of quiet between them before Dorix stood to leave. :: Dorix: You have much to learn about command, Sub-commander. May chance this journey will give you the opportunity. :: Allek poured himself another drink. :: Allek: Good luck with the mission, Sir. :: Dorix nodded his approval of the sentiment, then left without saying another word. By the time Allek fell asleep in his bed, he was very, very drunk. :: (( Day 3 )) (( Main Bridge, Deck 1 )) :: Though nursing a slight hangover, Allek stood on the bridge of his ship. The transfer of command had taken place quietly before the assembly below decks. Now that it was all over, Allek was feeling strangely positive. With Dorix no longer on board, Allek felt like he was truly in command of his vessel for the first time since they’d left Romulus. :: :: The Reman Uhlan at the comms station looked up as Allek passed by. :: Drivek: Sub-Commander, Sulvian has issued a departure vector for the fleet. They’re preparing to go to warp. :: Both ships had recloaked several hours earlier, but Allek still turned his attention to the main viewer. If they looked closely, they’d still be able to see the flash of the ships going to warp. :: :: The rest of the bridge grew quiet as they all watched for the same thing. When two full minutes passed without any sign, Allek assumed they’d missed it. :: Allek: Are they still out there, Uhlan? :: The Reman looked confused. :: Drivek: Yes, Sir. I’m… getting some unusual comms chatter. I think something’s gone wrong. :: Despite his weariness, he felt his attention snap into focus as he stepped back towards the young Uhlan. :: Allek: Define ‘wrong.’ Reman: I’m… not sure, Sub-commander. I-- :: The Lieutenant at tactical interrupted. :: Kenson: I’m detecting some kind of subspace power surge in the immediate vicinity. Allek: Shields up! :: The response was automatic, as was the tactical officers quick hand movements. The hum of the ship’s shield generators was a comforting one, but any relief it brought was short lived as a green and orange fireball suddenly erupted several hundred meters ahead of them. They all knew what that meant. :: Allek: Which ship was that? Kenson: I’m not sure, sir, but I think that was the Raze. Allek: Scan for survivors. Drivek: Sir, receiving a message from Commander Dorix. Audio only. Allek: Put it through. :: The Commanders tension-filled voice filled the bridge, though it was badly distorted by some kind of interference. :: Dorix: =/\= ...interfered with the warp field...unable to...system failure...are abandoning ship...standby for- =/\= :: A second explosion on screen cut short the commander’s final words. This one was closer than the first, and the resulting shockwave caused the Pellecia to shudder beneath their feet. :: :: The silence on the bridge was deafening, and felt like it lasted for an eternity. Allek finally broke it to issue orders. :: Allek: Any sign of survivors? :: The sounds of several consoles being worked came to his ears, but no words. He repeated the question. :: Kenson: No, Sir. No lifesigns detected. No signs of shuttles or escape pods. Drivek: Nothing on subspace, Sub-Commander. :: Allek walked slowly to his raised command chair, fearing his legs would collapse before he made it. They didn’t, but it had taken a monumental effort. He sat deliberately, then took two deep breaths to center himself. :: Allek: Keep scanning. :: It was the only order he could think to give for several minutes. What else could he say. The bridge crew were just as shocked as he was. Despite his failings, Dorix had seemed like the kind of indomitable man that would live forever. His sudden and senseless loss would stun the entire crew when it became known, as would the loss of so many other loyal officers and crew. :: Allek: Uhlan Drivek, send word to Centurion Treyalak to halt all repairs and to report to my office. Immediately. === Sub-Commander Allek Tr’Rehu Commanding Officer IRW Pellecia (as written by @Evan Delano) T239007ED0
  9. 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.
  10. 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
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