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Roshanara Rahman

Executive Council member
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Everything posted by Roshanara Rahman

  1. @Jo Marshall's pirate Ollie Zuccaro to the pirate king Henley Marths: 😆
  2. Section 31 shouldn't have been introduced at all to Trek. It forever tarnished the dream of a Federation/Trek utopia with its cynical take that such a thing could not possibly exist without someone else watching over and doing the "dirty" work behind the scenes that "needs to be done." But that's the point, Odo. The Federation is not like "every other great power." That's what makes Trek unique from plenty of other sci-fi universes and their various factions. Yes, that might make it seem too cheesy or naive to certain folks with certain world views, but it's what makes or made Trek special. In other universes, a vast alliance of star systems with a giant space navy is an empire or just a larger sci-fi equivalent of today's super powers. The idea of the Federation was maybe we could just be good because it's the right thing to do and find other people who thought the same to join us. Ah well... Section 31 is one of those things I file in the same cabinet as the warp 10 salamanders and Beverly Crusher's love affair with a candle ghost. Yes, canon, but let's just keep them to those episodes, please. 😆
  3. I could have sworn I replied to this yesterday in a way too long post, and now suddenly I can't see any trace of that post... weird. Anyway, the basic gist of it was that being a fan of Trek since 94 right at the end of TNG, I've seen how every Trek show and movie since gets the same division of many fans liking it, some not sure, and others quite vocal in their dislike. According to the TNG cast, the same happened with them when their show first premiered. Ultimately, as we continue to get more Trek shows, it'll be okay if not everyone likes every show. Trek has moved beyond just one show and one overall concept of a ship doing it's weekly adventures on a mission of exploration. I compare it to music. It's okay not to like every song out there or even every song of an artist you do like. I think a lot of the negativity though nowadays is from people who get a little too obsessed with the hate-watching, which I think social media and YouTube have really helped feed. To be clear, I don't think that fits anyone here in our community, but we all know it's an issue that isn't just in the Trek fandom but also Star Wars, Doctor Who, and practically anything else these days. And with some "critics" I see online or making videos, you almost wonder if our culture has just shifted to one of making entertainment from bashing other creative works (even tongue in cheek videos that name everything a movie did wrong or how it should have ended, etc.). But I can't help but notice it seems a lot of times, it's just the common theme that the newer stuff since that of childhood (or whatever a person's first entry into a fandom was) doesn't live up to the legacy of their fandom.
  4. I love the bits of Risian language that @Sophie290999 sprinkled into Vanlith's message. This is a beautiful little sim showing a mentor/mentee friendship continue across the stars. Well done, Sophie and @Geoffrey Teller! ((Personal Quarters, Deck 4, USS Veritas)) Charlena tucked her legs under herself as she curled up on the sofa with her PADD. She was catching her breath again after everything that had happened and she couldn’t help but think that there was one person who should know what had happened. Teller. Opening up her message she didn’t hesitate. Charlena read over her message once more before she hit send. She smiled up at herself catching her gaze in the mirror that he had gifted her. She couldn’t help but wipe the single tear that fell from her cheek as she stood and straightened her attire. A strong coffee would work wonders now she decided as she made her way out the the Brew Continuum. ((Roughly 8000 LY away, Duronis System, Embassy of Duronis II)) Geoff Teller sagged into a chair in his wildly lavish living quarters with a sigh. He had been going almost non-stop since stepping off the shuttle on the world the locals called Til’Ahn, and now that Doctor MacKenzie had been rescued and the Thunder was on its way back, he could finally take a moment to relax and regroup. His arm, fully mobile now, had picked up a strange grinding and as he rolled his shoulder around he heard what sounded like a box of pebbles within the joint. If it had been a component aboard a ship, he would’ve disconnected it and applied a through dose of lubricant. He smirked at the idea - no doubt the Embassy’s medical staff would have a more practical solution once he made the time for a follow up visit. He briefly considered going now, but found his body was completely disinterested in the idea of getting out of the plush, comfortable lounger. He kicked off his boots in surrender to good sense and grabbed a nearby PADD, content to get caught up on some of the mountain of reports that had accumulated while he was jogging through the forest. Flicking through menus, Teller stopped on his inbox and smiled. It was overflowing with routine message traffic, administrative issues that he was copied on as a courtesy, and all the logistical information that came with running a base and a small fleet of starships. One message stood out, though. A message from a friend. As Teller opened the note and began to read, he immediately found himself smiling. He could hear the young woman's voice behind the words and wondered if she had been hiding behind her hair as she wrote it. The note itself was touching and it reminded him of the family he had chosen to leave to take on this new challenge. It was not a decision he regretted but, as his freshly healed arm continued to grind, it also wasn’t one that had gone smoothly. As he finished the note and put down the padd, Geoff closed his eyes briefly and fought tears. Charlena had come aboard the Veritas equally full of potential and self-doubt, and it had been one of the highlights of Teller’s career helping the woman find her confidence. She had grown enormously as an officer during their time working together and Teller was certain she had a bright future. With a grin he opened his eyes, picked up the PADD and began composing a response. Geoff paused the recording and considered his next words carefully. He’d tried not to focus on just how much distance there was between his new and former posting, but at the moment that gulf seemed unimaginably vast. He had to remind her, and himself, that they were still on the same team - even if they were separated by duty, time and tides, as naval officers had been since time immemorial. Geoff found his vision had blurred at some point and he wiped his eyes before sending the message on. In his mind, he traveled with the packet of data, first to the local comm relay, then up to the repeater in orbit, and on to the chain of relay stations and listening posts scattered across the Federation until, finally, it found a funny little ship full of the best people Teller had ever known, basking gracefully in the light of a distant sun. Teller went to bed feeling better than he had in weeks. [End] =============================== Lieutenant Commander Geoffrey Teller Executive Officer Duronis II Embassy & Support Flotilla Rear Admiral Turner, T. Commanding V239509GT0 LT. JG Charlena Vanlith Engineering Officer USS Veritas V239604CV0
  5. Core:::rubbing his eyes:: Every time I'm sent off-ship, I always end up in a death trap of some kind. Maybe Roshanara wanted the life insurance. Because too frequently, it was her doing the assigning-to-dangerous-places. ——— Hehe... now that I think about it, I like how there’s a whole TNG episode where Picard realizes he can’t be in a relationship with a subordinate under his command because he’d never want to put them in danger. Meanwhile, Roshanara practically kicks Tristam out of the airlock... Whatever. He knew what he was signing up for.
  6. Hahaha, ah... "less interesting." You know the working title for this mission was "Field Trip" but I figured that sounded more like a comedy film...
  7. ((Officer’s Quarters, Deck 4 - USS Juneau)) @GhantXerix approached his assigned quarters at a slow and methodical pace. With one hand, he was balancing a tray of food, and with the other he was dragging a suitcase which bore the scars of mistreatment at the hands of a brute. At his approach, the doors should have opened. But the Juneau was quickly proving that should means little on a brand new vessel. He used his knee to hit the door chime, and before the doors could part he let out a groan of disappointment upon recognizing the mind behind the door. Xerix: ::dryly:: Good evening, Commander. @Geoffrey Teller smirked as he turned away from the door controls and went back to the lone chair in the mostly featureless room. One wall was dominated by a pair of bunks, a design not much changed in decades and meant for the most spartan of quarters. The other wall featured a fold out chair and desk console for getting a bit of work done, but anyone attempting to dismount the beds would either need to be a qualified gymnast or on very intimate terms with the person sitting down. Teller: Evening there Lieutenant. Xerix: I realize this is a skeleton crew, but man the odds were not in my favor for bunkies Teller: Same here….I’ve been busy in the Engineering bay and didn’t get myself to the quartermaster till almost all the bunk assignments were taken up. Have to say, surprised you’re sleeping alone. Who’d you piss off this time? Teller didn’t have to be an empath to see that he’d struck a nerve. Ghant said nothing to that, sitting down on the floor with his tray of food, appetite suddenly missing. Teller: So how is the Celestial, by the by? Be happy to give it another tuneup in my free time. Xerix: ::Suddenly thrilled with an idea, he ate as he spoke :: Oh it’s fine. I’ve installed a new lock on the hatch and the sound emitter is smashed up beautifully Teller: Oh the speakers? For the shanties? ::Teller chuckled to himself:: Forgot about that one. Guess that means the other thing...well, I’m sure you’ll find it soon enough. Ghant gestured with his fork like it was a weapon, pointing a bite of food at the enemy. Xerix: So help me, Teller. If you’ve messed with my ship again... Teller held his hands up in a gesture of surrender. Teller: Look, the fact of the matter is we’ve got to work together or this closet :Teller extended his arms and was able to touch both walls easily:: will feel even more cramped. So I say truce - we got off on the wrong foot, lets try to put it behind us, at least until this project is wrapped up and we’re both a few lighyears away from one another. Xerix: ..Fine. Truce it is….How’s the Veritas gang? Teller: Good by and large - been a busy few months. How about your new crew? Gorkon’s certainly a pretty ship. Xerix: It’s a great ship...I’ve had a bit of a hard time adjusting to be honest. Geoff gasped in feigned shock. Teller: You? ::He smirked:: But you make friends so easily? Xerix: ::He looked pointedly at the engineer:: I thought a truce meant we stop taking shots at one another. Teller: Sorry sorry, force of habit - last one I swear. Seriously, you always struck me as a competent enough officer - what’s tripping you out? Captain over there have a weird pet or something? Xerix: She has a few. But it’s me, honestly. At the academy and even on the Veritas, I felt like the big boat in the harbor. On the Gorkon, they make certain I know my place. It’s caused me to behave in ways I’m not proud of. Ghant pushed the tray of food away from him, suddenly uninterested in eating. Teller: Well, that’s one good thing at least. Xerix: What is? Teller: You’re thinking about whatever it was you did. Fair few people I know don’t think you’re capable of that. Might be a sign of maturity if you’re not careful. Xerix: Four forbid it. Do you think this ship is going to hold up long enough for it to matter? Teller: Pfft ::Teller rapped the wall with his fist:: I think I can keep the nacelles attached if you don’t bounce us off a planet. Xerix: I doubt I’ll have the opportunity. Tiria Hamasaki seems firmly attached to that helm console. :: He stood and stretched:: I think I’m going to call it a night. Which bed is mine? Teller: Why don’t you take the top, I’ve got a little work left to do before I stretch out. I’ll try to keep the noise to a minimum. Xerix: You sure? I could give you a boost if you need? Teller snorted and rolled his eyes. Teller: If you’re bored up on the bridge I could use someone down in Engineering to help me reach the top shelves. Xerix: I’ll check my schedule. Gnight, dude. Teller: Nighto. Ghant made his way into the top bunk and pulled the privacy partition closed. Teller smiled and went back to his PADDwork, absentmindedly humming a few bars of Roll The Old Chariot Along. Within a few moments, he was tapping his foot on the deck as well. Xerix: As much as you know I love a good musical performance, might be we call an intermission until another time? Teller: Huh? ::Teller looked up with a smile:: Oh sure buddy, sure. Have a pleasant rest. Within a few minutes, the tight quarters were filled with two sounds. The tapping of a jaunty beat on a PADD, and the grinding of Ghant Xerix’s teeth. ((The next morning- zero four thirty)) Ghant woke early, early enough to hear Geoff still snoring underneath him. He rose quietly and dressed, then gathered his belongings, and Teller’s. He schlepped them all down to the unfinished cabin at the end of the corridor, where he had left one space suit the night before . He brought the suit back to the cabin where he was pleased to see his bunk mate still firmly unconscious. Leaving the suit in easy access, he placed a Betazoid chameleon rose next to it. Then he walked smugly towards the mess hall. Coffee and donuts were needed on this morning. =============================== Lieutenant Commander Geoffrey Teller Chief Engineer USS Juneau - NX-99801 Captain Oddas A., Commanding V239509GT0 & Lieutenant JG Ghant Xerix Helm officer USS Juneau V239505GX0
  8. I chose the early DS9/VOY style because it's the most practical for a day-to-day duty uniform of the "futuristic" fashions. The Enterprise uniforms are also practical of course but much closer to our current flight suits that astronauts and military pilots wear, whereas the DS9/VOY ones look distinctly scifi. And actually, since one possible interpretation when we saw Generations with both TNG and DS9/VOY uniforms on one ship and then Voyager with the DS9 uniforms on a starship is that the uniforms are actually just another class of uniforms in the overall same set as the TNG ones, then it works even better. Day-to-day duty uniform "class B": DS9/VOY uniform More formal "class A" uniform, seen on many starships especially more prestigious assignments such as the Federation flagship: TNG uniform with collar Dress uniform: Shared by both styles While the First Contact uniforms are popular, the overall gray versus the more colorful look always felt more military than "explorers" like the original vibe TOS had spearheaded. That's partly why although not as popular with many fans, I've embraced moving forward with the All Good Things future uniform as it's a return to a more colorful Starfleet, and honestly, for those who like to keep the gray, they don't look bad together: The TOS uniforms of course are iconic, although not really that practical. I like the Kelvin uniforms, too, seen at the beginning of Star Trek 2009, which actually look a bit similar to the All Good Things/Endgame uniform.
  9. Rahman: Excellent. Let’s say 1400 hours, holodeck 1? You might want to brush up on your Constitution class console layouts if it’s been a while. @Wil Ukinix: A Constitution class. ::Grinning:: Now that would be funny. ...Wait. You’re serious. Rahman: Is there a problem, lieutenant? Ukinix: Nah nah, that’s fine, all good. Captain, permission to speak freely: Why? Rahman: Because I said so. Ukinix: Alright then. ::Smiling:: Constitution class it is. Thank you for the opportunity. 😁
  10. A cross ship JP by @Ravenna Carter and @GhantXerix that I particularly enjoyed reading. I thought in particular the gradual effect that Xerix experienced from the meal was well written, and the bagel and hotdog line made me smile! Nicely done, you two! (( Flashback: 2394, Aboard the Celestial- En Route to Risa)) ::Ghant Xerix switched the controls on the Celestial, his father’s Risian yacht to autopilot and stretched lazily, squishing himself back into the plush chair. The Betazoid/Risian hybrid was thoroughly looking forward to some much needed R&R at his uncle’s cottage on the Galartha cliffs overlooking the ocean. He ran a hand through his dark, unruly hair as he heard Ravenna coming up from the rear quarters of the vessel.:: ::He had met Ravenna Carter in a dreadful lecture on the History of the Federation.:: ((Flashback- a few weeks prior, Starfleet Academy, SFO)) :: He had been just nodding off to a rather peaceful nap when he was rudely awoken by the SLAM of heavy books onto a desk. His head spun to observe the source of this distraction from peace:: Carter: I’m sorry. That was NOT supposed to be that loud. I can’t believe I’m late on my first day! Today is just not my day. Hi, I’m Ravenna Carter. :: She extended her hand to the Cadet next to her:: Ghant eyed the human as she spoke. Red haired, slight of frame. And her accent...Brooklyn or perhaps Greenwhich village, but definitely Terra’s New York area. Xerix: Ghant Xerix:: Taking her hand and shaking it:: I’d say it’s a pleasure to meet you but I’m not much of a liar. And relax. Professor Sh’ren is always late, and barely notices who’s in attendance. This is ...*was* the best spot on campus to get some shut-eye ::Ghant said all of this with a smirk, hoping the young woman would catch his sarcasm. He didn’t understand how humans managed to understand one another, simply relying on facial expression and body language. Betazoids knew how each other felt before the person feeling it did.:: Carter: Nice to meet you, Ghant. I can move if you would like to continue your nap, but I was mostly just planning on getting caught up on my reading. ::Ravenna was about to pick up her bag when Ghant spoke up.:: Xerix: No, no. Carter, was it? Please, I’d enjoy the company. You know, there is this wonderful new format for reading materials, called a PADD. You could carry all those books in your back pocket. Carter: I like the feeling of books. It relaxes me. I do have a PADD for more important things that are academy related. Xerix: ::He grinned at her honesty:: What part of New York are you from? Carter: How did you know I was from New York? ::She was taken aback. Most people didn’t listen to her long enough to figure out where she was from.:: Xerix: My minor is in linguistics. I could cut your accent with a knife. Not that I mind. New Yorkers are fine people. Carter: I’m from Brooklyn. Born and raised. At least for the most part. ::She couldn’t hide the sadness in her voice.:: ::Ghant ignored the tone. Humans usually freaked out when they realized how transparent they were to the telepathic races:: Xerix: My favorite steakhouse is in Brooklyn. Peter Luger. Have you eaten there? Carter: That’s a lot out of my price range. You’re a Betazoid, aren’t you? I recognized the name, but I think I just placed it. Xerix: Half. My father is Risian. My mother was Betazoid. I tend to favor that side because I was raised there and am much more familiar with the culture. Risa is beautiful, but it’s a vacation spot. In fact, I’m going to be there in a few weeks. ((End Flashback)) :: Ravenna trudged her way to the [...]pit of the yacht. She hadn’t slept a wink, her hair looked like it had been brushed with an egg beater and she looked like a thriller reject. She was still surprised that she agreed to come along. She wasn’t sure why Ghant had asked her in the first place. She wasn’t rich, attractive, or someone who would fit into his lifestyle in any way. She didn’t feel worthy of such a vacation.:: Xerix: For the last time, Carter. I’m not a snob. I have friends from all walks of life. And I’m glad you agreed to come with me. You deserve a break. But we will have to work on your appearance a bit. ::Ravenna playfully swatted his arm for the appearance comment.:: Carter:I know I look horrifying, but did you have to mention it? Not all of us can afford to be freshly pressed all the time. ::She shot him a smirk as she plopped down in the co-pilot’s seat.:: Xerix: :: He gave her serious side-eye:: Replicators are a thing now. You can have fresh clothes for free at any time. Like right now. Carter:What? And deprive you the opportunity to see my grubby field clothes; never! ::Ghant opened his mouth to form a witty retort when Standiford appeared with a tray piled high with snacks and drinks:: Standiford: Don’t mind him, Miss Carter. He’s just your run-of-the-mill blue blood, sticking his nose in the air at anything he feels is beneath him. ::His holographic companion, Standiford had been in his life as long as he could remember. When he thought anything serious, it was usually her voice he heard in his head. She set the tray of refreshments down, smiling at their guest:: Carter: Ah yes, and I am the lowly charity case. ::She gave Ghant a sideways glance to see if he was still listening.:: Xerix:Oh please. Note to self: invest in ear-plugs so that you don’t have to hear Ravenna’s pity party the entire trip. Carter: You are too easy! How long until we get there, oh captain, my captain. Xerix: ::in a melancholy tone:: Another 2 days..Gods help me. ((Flashback: 2394, Galartha, Risa)) ::Ghant touched the Celestial down on a landing pad behind the cottage. As he opened the rear hatch, he was greeted by warm, slightly humid sea air, and the delightful sounds of waves meeting rocks. Off in the distance, various boats meandered here and there.:: Xerix: Welcome to Risa, Miss Carter. Carter: Wow, it’s so beautiful. ::Ravenna turned around, taking it all in.:: I can’t believe you can just visit whenever you’d like! Xerix: ::extending his hand to take her bags:: Here, let me help you with tho….Dear Gods Ravenna, how many books did you bring? Carter: All of them? ::She gave Ghant a sheepish grin.:: ::Ghant rolled his eyes as they entered the cottage, which was just as beautiful as he remembered.:: Xerix: Well I’m going to unpack and get dressed, we have reservations at Marseille De Sol. It’s a new fusion restaurant. Risian and Terran-French. Standiford: I took the liberty of having this ordered for you. ::Ravenna took the package from Standiford and thanked her. The outfit was not something she would ever have chosen for herself, but they were absolutely stunning.:: Carter: Thank you, Standiford! Standiford: It’s my pleasure. ::Ravenna took them back to her room, which was as stunning as her new outfit, and got changed for dinner. She was shocked beyond words that they fit perfectly. She put her hair up in a style befitting the wardrobe, and went off to see if Ghant was ready.:: ::If he didn’t know it was her due to his telepathy, Ghant would have thought a comely stranger had entered their cottage. In place of the gawky and poorly dressed academy student, stood a radiant young woman who had been poured into a floor length one-shouldered Tyrian purple dress with crystal embellishments. Her hair was elaborately knotted and coiffured, being pinned into place with lavender-colored crystal wreath pins. :: ::Ghant’s throat bobbed as he swallowed hard, taking in the view. Standiford had added a purple sash to his tuxedo, and the pair of friends looked absolutely stunning together.:: Xerix: Sorry, I’m looking for Ravenna Carter, have you seen her? Carter: HAHA sorry, she has left the building, though she instructed me to escort you to dinner in her stead. Xerix: You look picturesque. Truly stunning. Carter: Ummm, thank you. I am not used to dresses, it feels really weird. You look very handsome. Purple suits you. Xerix: Thank you. Shall we to dinner? Carter: Please, I am starving! I only fit into the dress because I have withered away to skin and bones! ((Marseille De Sol)) ::The restaurant was positively resplendent, with peachy sunset-toned ceilings, stunning frescos, and gorgeous coral arrangements as table decor. Ghant and Ravenna approached the maitre’d’s pulpit, getting quite a few eyes as they went.:: Xerix: Good evening. I believe we have a reservation. Xerix Maitre’d: :: His emotions went from disinterested to surprised:: ...Yes sir, right this way. ::As they followed the man to their table, Ghant was enjoying the looks and feelings being given to them. Maitre’d: Your chef will be with you shortly. Xerix: Thank you Carter: Chef? What happened to the waiter? Xerix: Yes, apparently they cook everything tableside right in front of you. Carter: Well, this is very fancy. I almost don’t feel like I fit in… and everyone is staring! Xerix: Of course they are. You’re the most beautiful woman in the room. Besides, I rather like the stares. Carter: I know. I know. Calm down. You’re lucky you were raised in this. I have been friends with you for a matter of weeks, I haven’t gotten used to this yet. Xerix: You’re very nervous. Carter: I just have a bad feeling. I don’t know why. But let’s just enjoy dinner. ::A server approached with champagne and amuse-bouce. Ghant passed one of each to Ravenna and then for himself:: Xerix: Oh, do try the caviar, it’s not replicated. Machines never get it quite this right. ::Ravenna spotted the maitre’d watching them intently and it set her further on edge. He was ignoring the other guests in favor of watching them. It felt wrong. Though she didn’t have any prior knowledge on how these restaurants were run.:: ::The caviar was especially salty and delicious, and paired so well with the sweet champagne. He downed the entire glass:: ::You would think that Ravenna would be calmer knowing that Ghant knew what they were feeling, but it didn’t help. She was determined to make it through dinner without having a full-blown panic attack though.:: Carter: ::taking a bite:: You know how you LOVE potatoes… I found my potato. I do however love the champagne… I’m saving it for dinner though. Xerix: ::Gesturing for more champagne::Oh ha ha. :: The chef came to the table, pushing a cart laden with seafood and various accompaniments. Chef: Hello! I’m Chef Lanat, I’ll be preparing your meal. Xerix: Ghant Xerix, and this is Ravenna Carter. Carter: Pleasure to meet you. Lanat: Before I begin, where are you both from? I like to tailor my meals to the patrons eating them. :: Ghant didn’t bother mentioning his mixed heritage:: Xerix: I’m from Betazed. Carter: Earth, New York Lanat: Well, I hope you enjoy. How did you folks travel to Risa? :: Ghant started to feel in a strange humor. The small amount of inhibition he had was completely gone:: Xerix: Aboard my yacht. Lanat: Oh how nice. The weather is perfect this season ::Ravenna kicked Ghant under the table. That was a weird question to ask and she was starting to feel like a target. Ghant was getting loose, even for him. They had both had the caviar, but he had downed the Champagne, she hadn’t.:: :: He eyed her, confused as to her attitude. Carter: Excuse me, I hate to be a bother, but can you bring me an unopened bottle of Moscato, please? The fruitier the better. I want to save the champagne and I’m afraid my companion has a few drinks on me. Lanat: ::Gesturing to the server:: Of course, Ma’am. Carter: Thank you very much. And can I get a fresh glass? Xerix: Ravenna! How rude. Honestly, I can’t take you anywhere without a scene. Carter: I know, how uncivilized of me; you must forgive my upbringing… How about you slow down on the drinks? ::Lanat seemed to take all this in as he placed some shellfish into a pot of broth in front of them. The delicious aroma of spices making Ghant’s stomach announce its neglect:: Xerix: So Lanat, where would a handsome chef like you be from? ::Ravenna rolls her eyes. Only Ghant would make a scene while seemingly being on a date with someone else. She had to remind herself not to get mad at him for this. They had been targeted from the beginning.:: Lanat: Oh, I’m not really from anywhere. Carter: What does that mean? Lanat: ::looking a bit perturbed at the human:: My family ran a cargo freighter. That was my home. Xerix: I bet you’ve got to explore so much. Lanat: ::Plating Risian lake prawns over seagreens:: I think that’s an understatement. How long have you two been together? Carter: How did you know he was part Risian? You said you customize the meals. ::She ignored the last remark.:: Xerix: Ravenna, we are on Risa. And I believe they are in season. Lanat: Just so, sir. Carter: Right… My apologies. It must be fatigue from the long flight. We came all the way from Earth. We are Starfleet cadets and we are on Academy Leave right now. ::Patrons began exiting the restaurant. Even though the twin suns had barely set, it was well into the late evening. Ghant began feeling very fatigued as he devoured the prawns. Lanat: I see. Carter: Do you have any meals customary of New York on Earth? I am so very homesick. Lanat: ::With a tone of condescension in his voice:: Yes, perhaps I can whip you up a bagel and shmear? Or perhaps a hot-dog? ::Ghant couldn’t suppress his laughter at that. The man was as bitter and jaded as Ghant himself pretended to be. And, he regarded without a hint of concern...the man was planning on holding them ransom. And then killing them.:: Carter: What? Can’t do steaks here? And Ghant, Dear, I believe YOU are making a scene now. Xerix :: He couldn’t hide his surprise at the term of endearment, it making a much larger impression than her reproach:: Forgive me, Dear. ::The restaurant was emptied entirely of patrons now. Just a few servers cleaning up and the maitre’d eyeing them from his pulpit:: Carter: And while you whip up the steaks, I still haven’t gotten my Moscato I ordered an hour ago. This is some rather sorry service we are getting here. Xerix: Carter, relax. Please. Lanat: My apologies. Sheksan, where are the refreshments for this table? Carter: Unopened, please. And I’ll pour it myself. ::Ghant’s eyes began to droop. He could scarcely hold himself upright. Succumbing to the lethargy, he passed out. His head bounced spectacularly into the table, which did nothing to wake him:: Carter: Ghant! ::Rushing to the other side of the table, she checked for a pulse and any sign of response, she came up with nothing.:: What did you give him? He needs medical attention! ::Ravenna pulled a tricorder out of her purse and was relieved to find a thready pulse appear on the screen. Whatever he had been dosed with, it was having unintended effects on his complex physiology. She realized she was in this entirely alone and she had spent a long while making their attackers mad.:: Lanat:Sheksan, kill her. She’s worthless to us. ::Sheksan pulled out an old, if lethal-looking disruptor pistol, making his way over to the table.:: Carter: ::yelling:: If you kill me, he dies and you can’t provide proof of life. He becomes worthless too and you won’t get the ransom you are after. ::Calming down:: He is not a full Betazoid. You didn’t take that into consideration when you drugged him. Now he is dying. Sheksan: She has a point, Lanat. ::Lanat took a large, terrifying knife out of it’s sheath on his side:: Lanat: Well you had better heal him, and quick. Otherwise you’ll end up as tomorrow night’s special, human. Carter: Then you need to tell me what you gave him and I need a medkit. Sheksan, can you escort me to the Celestial. I need to change out of this dress, I have clothes left aboard. ::Lanat eyed her carefully. She was substantially smaller than Sheksan.:: Lanat: Fine, if she tries anything, kill her. ::It was a tense walk to the Celestial and Ravenna had since ditched her heels. They made it on board and she went to change in the backroom, but was blocked by Sheskan.:: Carter: Excuse me? I’m not changing in front of you. I am not going to do anything, your boss has my friend, remember? Sheskan: I still don’t trust you. Carter: Whatever. Fine. Just like gym class. ::Ravenna got changed as quickly as she could, but when she turned around, Sheskan had turned his back to her.:: Carter: Thank you. ::They made their way back to the restaurant. Ravenna was now prepared to fight if she had to and she was also free to move and help Ghant.:: Lanat: Acontium spp. Being Betazoid, it should have just relaxed him. Carter: Well, that didn’t work, now did it? Is that the only thing you gave him? Sheskan: No. Carter: You mixed it? ::these men were stupid:: With what? Sheskan: Actaea pachypoda. Carter: Well at least it is two Earth poisons. Why Wolfsbane and Doll’s Eyes? Sheskan: Well, I liked the names. ::Ravenna couldn’t believe the answer she had just been given.:: Carter: You picked two poisons because you liked the names? How is Ghant not dead? ::Lanat handed her a medkit along with the vials they had used.:: Carter: If this is what you gave him, I can’t help him. He needs a hospital. And a blood transfusion. ::The medkit had contained a syringe and a tricorder. Nothing else.:: ::Lanat looked like he was ready to shove Ravenna into the meat grinder.:: Lanat: Well, for your sake I hope you think of something. ::Ravenna, while cringing at the thought, decided making Ghant throw up was a good start. Conventionally, this was frowned upon, but she was a trained medical professional, not a good samaritan on the street.:: Carter: oO I hope they have the same gag reflex.Oo Sheskan, I need you to act like a backrest for him, and as soon as he throws up, we need to put him in a recovery position. Can you handle that? Sheskan: Yes I can. :: After maneuvering Ghant to the floor and getting Sheskan into position, Ravenna took the handle end of a butter knife and suck it in the back of Ghant’s throat. It worked on the first try. Ghant threw up and Ravenna moved him into the recovery position: He was lying on his right side, his right arm helped balance him and his left arm was a pillow. His right leg was kept straight and they bent his left leg as another prop. If he threw up again, he wouldn’t aspirate.:: Carter: Luckily, he has advanced healing factors. He still needs a hospital though. ::She looked at the readings on her tricorder. She was relieved to see his vitals were improving. Getting the extra poisons out of his stomach had improved his chances.:: Did you plan on keeping us here, or was there a different plan? Lanat: You would be wise to shut your mouth, Miss Carter. I don’t need you. Carter: I never was good at keeping my mouth shut. Call it a flaw. ::She was moving away from where Ghant was lying. Not wanting him to be jostled in the impending commotion.:: ::Lanat had had enough of Ravenna. He went for his knife and Sheskan went for Ravenna.:: ::Ravenna had bit off more than she could chew. Ghant was out cold still and she was unarmed. This was how she would die. She would be tomorrow night’s special.:: Carter: Ghant if you can hear me. I swear I’m going to haunt you for all eternity! ::Sheskan started to charge Ravenna, but she dodged and kneed him in the ribs instead. He fell to the ground but managed to knock Ravenna’s legs out from under her. She yelped as she collided with the edge of a table, effectively putting a tooth through her lip.:: ::Lanat stayed where he was; sure that Sheskan would end their little pest.:: ::Sheskan got to his feet and walked over to where Ravenna was on her hands and knees, spitting blood. He kicked her in the ribs with as much force as he could. He could feel the rib break against his boot.:: ::Ravenna threw up and collapsed where she was like a worn-out rag doll. She felt like she was dying.:: ::Sheskan turned his back to her in a victorious manner. He thought she was done for.:: ::Ravenna crawled to her feet, using the same table she had hit her head on for support. If she was going to die here, she was taking the ogre with her. Gathering every shred of strength she had, with the help the adrenaline rush she was getting, she picked up a skillet from the chef station from the table and bashed him in the head with it. The force of the hit caused her to wobble. Her breath came out in pants. Ravenna stumbled over and grabbed Sheskan’s arm and brought it around behind him. She lifted up until she felt and heard it break free from the socket with a stomach-churning crunch. She knew this injury well. He wasn’t going to be attacking her anytime soon. She collapsed where she stood, hitting the ground with a dull thud.:: ::Ghant was wokened not by the noise, but by the raw emotions. His head was still swimming but lucidity was washing over him.:: ::Lanat was disgusted by Sheskan’s performance and decided he was completely useless. He glided over and stabbed his accomplice in the chest and twisted. It made a gross squishing noise.:: ::Ravenna couldn’t move. She was at the mercy of Lanat. She could think of nothing except her dad. She would be seeing him again really soon. She lost consciousness just as Lanat was hovering over her; his knife still dripping blood.:: :: Ghant slammed his knee into the man’s ribs, and in the next moment he clenched his hands together and bashed at his head. Violence and rage took ahold of Ghant, threatening to strip him of morality. :: ::Lanat swung wildly with the cruel-looking blade, missing Ghant’s abdomen by a few millimeters. Ghant caught the hand holding the knife and smashed it repeatedly into a nearby table. Lanat had him in size and weight but fear and anger more than made up for the difference. Lanat caught him with a punch to the face, adrenaline making the blow seem not that bad. Ghant recovered and hefted the cast iron soup pot, landing a blow to the back of the man’s skull. He nearly hefted it for another blow when he realized it would kill Lanat.:: ::He instead reached for the fob in his pocket. Pressing one of the buttons put him in direct contact with Standiford.:: Xerix: =/\= Standiford, call starfleet security! We’ve been attacked. We’re at the restaurant. ::He sprinted over to his friend while he talked:: Ravenna is badly hurt.=/\= Standiford: =/\= They’re on their way. I’ll meet you at the hospital =/\= ::Ravenna stirred a little, but couldn’t move much. The pain came flooding in, but she stayed unconscious.:: ::A dozen starfleet officers beamed into the restaurant, phasers drawn. Ghant put his hands up, tears forming in his eyes.:: Xerix: I’m Ghant Xerix, we’re starfleet cadets. We were attacked by this man, and that dead one he killed. My friend is badly hurt. ((Timeskip- the next morning)) ::Ghant hadn’t left Ravenna’s side for more than a moment since the attack. Standiford had brought him clean clothes, but he sorely needed a shower. He felt so guilty for the attack, even though the officers said there was little they could have done to protect themselves. The Maitre’d had escaped, Sheskan was dead, and Lanat was behind a forcefield somewhere.:: ::Ghant ran a hand through his wild hair for the hundredth time that morning, lost in his thoughts when he was suddenly aware of a consciousness :: Carter: Where am I? ::Her voice came out as a croak, having not been used for several hours.:: ::Ravenna couldn’t bear to open her eyes, her head hurt so badly. The blood pumped in her ears. Her ribs hurt on every inhale and screamed on every exhale; shallow breaths were her friend.:: ::Ghant was so relieved to hear her voice, tears threatened to loose at any moment:: Xerix: Risa, the pleasure planet where everything is always idyllic. Carter: I don’t feel Idyllic. I feel like I got hit by a yacht. Xerix: I’ll bet! You saved my [...], Carter. Carter: You would have done the same for me. Just promise me one thing. Xerix: Anything Carter: Next time I say something isn’t right, please listen to me. Xerix: I don’t think I could possibly trust someone who doesn’t enjoy caviar. Carter: How? How do you remember that? You were pickled in champagne, wolfsbane, and doll’s eyes. You should be dead, and definitely unable to remember that. Xerix: My memory wasn’t affected. Just my judgment. My brain isn’t human. Carter: Lucky you! My very human brain hurts right now. I got in a fight with an ogre and almost lost. What happened to them. I saw Sheskan get stabbed and then fade to black. Xerix: He’s dead. And Lanat is in jail. He keeps mumbling about troublesome humans ::He said this last part with a grin, hoping to bring some humor to the traumatic event:: Carter: He underestimated me because I’m human. He didn’t bother poisoning me. He was going to kill me when you passed out. Xerix: He isn’t the only one who underestimated you. Schlepping those books around has given you some definite abilities. Carter: Why us, or rather you? Xerix: The detective said they were going to kidnap me and hold me for ransom from my father. ((Timeskip, two weeks later)) :: The sounds of the ocean crashing onto the nearby cliffs was the only thing Ghant could hear. The heat from twin suns baked down on them as they basked on the gorgeous beach. ::Ravenna was plastered in sunscreen from head to toe. She was a bit toasty but otherwise comfortable chilling in a bikini. A massive green and yellow bruise remained from her broken rib and internal bleeding. She had finally recovered from her concussion, so she had lugged her books along with them; she was overjoyed to be medically released and allowed to read again. She knew every word of every book, but it was her happy place. Ghant looked peaceful and relaxed on a towel next to her; taking in all the sun he could. He had earned it. He had taken excellent care of her once she had been released from the hospital.:: Carter: ::setting her book aside, looked at Ghant:: You know, aside from getting the crap kicked out of me, this has been a rather exciting vacation. Xerix: Exciting wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. But other than your near-death experience and my being poisoned, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed yourself. ::Ghant took a long drink from the beverage beside him. An AMF, whatever that stood for. It was blue and delicious:: Carter: Exciting doesn’t have to always be positive, but I have rather enjoyed myself. Even outsmarting the bad guys was a thrill. I’m just glad you didn’t die. You scared me to death. Xerix: Yeah? I was utterly calm when I seen you lying in a lifeless heap. Not concerned in the least. Carter: ::laughing then wincing:: always with the sarcasm. Is that the only language you speak? Xerix: it’s the one we communicate best in, Bestie. End Ensign Ravenna Carter Science Officer USS Constitution B C239607RC0 & Lieutenant JG Ghant Xerix HCO Officer USS Gorkon V239505GX0
  11. Oooo, fascinating idea! Here's what my character came back with (and I included my own to compare): Roshanara Rahman: ESFJ-A (“The Consul”) Individual traits: Extraverted – 53%, Observant – 53%, Feeling – 51%, Judging – 78%, Assertive – 60% Consuls are altruists, and they take seriously their responsibility to help and to do the right thing. Unlike their Diplomat relatives however, people with the Consul personality type will base their moral compass on established traditions and laws, upholding authority and rules, rather than drawing their morality from philosophy or mysticism. It’s important for Consuls to remember though, that people come from many backgrounds and perspectives, and what may seem right to them isn’t always an absolute truth. Consuls love to be of service, enjoying any role that allows them to participate in a meaningful way, so long as they know that they are valued and appreciated. This is especially apparent at home, and Consuls make loyal and devoted partners and parents. Consul personalities respect hierarchy, and do their best to position themselves with some authority, at home and at work, which allows them to keep things clear, stable and organized for everyone. @Sky Blake as the writer of Rahman's partner Tristam Core might find this tidbit interesting regarding romantic relationships: "Consuls don’t do casual flings – they need to know that their partners will always be by their sides offering unwavering support, and marriage and family are the ultimate goal." Role: Sentinel Sentinels – Logisticians, Defenders, Executives, and Consuls – are cooperative and practical. Their grounded approach helps them feel comfortable with who they are, defining themselves not by individualism, but by character and competence. These personality types seek order, security, and stability, and tend to work hard to maintain the way of things, leading to a deserved reputation as the core of any group or organization, from family to church to the office and the factory floor. These types embrace teamwork, but expect the same performance and respectability from others that they strive for themselves. Sentinels often dislike strident nonconformity because they envision progress through collaboration and hard work within a known set of rules – to let everyone do their own thing on a whim would be anarchy. Sentinels prefer proven methods and honest accomplishment to self-indulgent exploration and esoteric ideas. Because these personalities are deeply prudent, they also tend to be self-motivated, and rarely need external inspiration to be productive. @Evan Delano, I'm curious what Evan's personality type is given the clash of views our two characters have had about ends and means. Strategy: People Mastery People Masters are highly stress-resistant, maintaining confidence through life’s challenges, social pressures, and any questions of their capabilities. These personality types seek social contact and have solid communication skills, feeling at ease when relying on or directing other people. People Masters’ mantra is fearless engagement – to be is to do. This is not a group known for its timid opinions or idleness. People Masters feel rewarded by stimulation and challenging experiences. They like travelling to see things, people, and places, where they can experience a richer understanding of the world around them. These personalities like sampling new foods, lifestyles, and cultures; even things they don’t end up liking can be entertaining excitement for them. Sometimes, though, People Masters are too confident. Insulated against self-doubt and the need to prove themselves, they don’t always test, or even consider, their own limits or ambitions. They can slip into a pattern of endless fun and comfort-seeking, rolling their eyes at those who press themselves towards more intimidating goals. At the other end of the spectrum, these personality types can just as easily ignore sensible caution, putting themselves in extraordinary and dangerous situations, confident they can find their way through. Her writer Rich: ENFJ-T ("The Protagonist" - ha, ironic) Individual traits: Extraverted – 93%, Intuitive – 67%, Feeling – 74%, Judging – 53%, Turbulent – 60% Protagonists are natural-born leaders, full of passion and charisma. Forming around two percent of the population, they are oftentimes our politicians, our coaches and our teachers, reaching out and inspiring others to achieve and to do good in the world. With a natural confidence that begets influence, Protagonists take a great deal of pride and joy in guiding others to work together to improve themselves and their community.
  12. The captain has gone with a more traditional look this year thanks to the input of @GhantXerix and @andyy_monroe*: * This is what I imagine they looked like when they were helping her choose her wardrobe:
  13. A few gems from shore leave thus far... Is Jansen an example of chaotic good? 😈
  14. 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
  15. I went with Enterprise because out of the pre-Discovery spin offs, it was the one that still had controversy over its legitimacy as part of the Trek canon. As much as some people might have disliked Voyager or DS9, I don’t think either show’s place as part of the same universe as TNG and TOS were similarly questioned. That said, in terms of ideas introduced to the franchise, then I’d say DS9 hands down thanks to things like Section 31, In the Pale Moonlight, that Starfleet coup attempt, that one time they considered making all of the series just a dream of a 50s scifi writer, the Dominion War, the introduction of Starfleet’s first pure warship, that time Sisko poisoned an entire planet’s ecosystem to catch one guy, that episode where we find out that Starfleet Medical and Starfleet Command sanctioned genocide, that time when...
  16. From an interview with the Hollywood Reporter: You not only brought in Spock this season, but also Anson Mount, who garnered a lot of critical praise and even a fan petition to get a Pike spin-off. Is there a chance of that happening? Kurtzman: The fans have been heard. Anything is possible in the world of Trek. I would love to bring back that crew more than anything. It was a huge risk for us. One of the most gratifying things is to see how deeply the fans have embraced Pike, Spock, Number One, and the Enterprise. The idea of getting to tell more stories with them would be a delight for all of us.
  17. 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
  18. Episode 2x03: "Point of Light" I originally hadn't planned to wait until the fourth episode had also aired before writing my thoughts on Discovery's third episode in its sophomore season, but in many ways, "Point of Light" works better when viewed as just the first part in the longer story that continues into "An Obol for Charon," specifically regarding the Tilly/May plot. The main story for "Point of Light" itself concerns the Klingons, which we see for the first time since last year. The episode's title refers to the point of light that Kahless promises to return to, which the Klingons later understood to be Boreth and built a monastery that Worf went to in the following century. In this episode, however, Boreth is only seen at the end as the location Tyler/Voq and L'Rell's baby is sent to for safekeeping. While the reveal of the child in this episode is sudden to the audience (and to Tyler), the point is to both force L'Rell to make yet another sacrifice and to give Tyler a new reason to rekindle whatever feelings he might have had with L'Rell. On the latter, I didn't feel it was as effective, but both Tyler's relationship with L'Rell and Burnham were never that convincing to me, a victim of the show's fast pace and shortened seasons compared to previous Treks. For L'Rell herself, I could see this as being another slight that will ultimately come back to bite the Federation and Section 31 in particular if L'Rell decides to rebel against her Section 31 masters. If it weren't for the trailer reveal for the fifth episode coming up, I might have thought this episode overall was more of a backdoor pilot for the upcoming Section 31/Georgiou show, and some part of me would be fine with that honestly. While overall I found this episode's examination of Klingon politics more interesting than last season (and pretty on par with the kind of internal Klingon court intrigue we saw in TNG and DS9), Discovery has shown in these first few episodes of the second season that it doesn't really need the Klingons, which were where the most controversial creative decisions were made in the first season. This episode's attempt to walk back many of those decisions, from the retcon of the D7 identified by Lorca's shuttle computer to the overall bald look, are okay, but when the show has the characters explicitly reference these changes rather than just let them be seen and understood by the viewer, it feels like the show is writing too clearly towards the loudest critics on social media and YouTube. The worst of fan fiction and even published Trek novels are those that try to explain everything too clearly and make all the connections explicit. While fans enjoy debating on forums for pages on the significance of a costuming change or an error by the art department (see discussions of Commander Chakotay's rank or the registry of the USS Yamato), giving all the answers actually makes the universe feel more artificial. When Pike tells Number One in the next episode to rip out all of the holocommunicators, we the audience know that the only reason that line is in there is because of the complaints from some fans over the lack of seeing holocommunicators in TOS (nevermind that someone from the 19th century might find it odd to learn that 21st century humans often send text communication akin to modern telegrams more frequently on their phones than make video calls). The Klingon storyline for "Point of Light" is overall a pretty complete episode, even with the appearance of Georgiou and Section 31 at the end. The other two storylines, however, feel a bit too hollow. They both are clearly setting things up for subsequent episodes, but they could have used a bit more plot over exposition, particularly the Burnham/Amanda story. Observations Tyler/Voq states that the new D7 will not bear the design of a particular house but that of a united Klingon empire. This actually ties in with beta canon, including the Haynes Klingon Bird of Prey Manual written by veteran Star Trek art designer (and Voyager designer) Rick Sternbach, who revealed that Klingon ships are built and provided to the empire by individual houses, thus explaining the size differences and whatnot seen throughout the shows. If the D7 is the first "united" Klingon design, that could explain why it's seen in service for so long, being the first "basic" Klingon design all houses could share. This episode suffered from too much "artistic" camera work. While one or maybe even two twists of the camera from an unusual shot to a more conventional framing might be effective at key points of an episode, its overuse in this episode drew too much attention to itself, distracting the viewer from the story. Episode 2x04: "An Obol for Charon" While I enjoyed Discovery's first season for the most part, my biggest personal misgiving about it was the move to total serialization. While I understand modern television has moved to that model of storytelling, it makes it harder to go back and rewatch Discovery if you can't commit to several hours or consecutive nights. As one friend put it, sometimes you just want to put on an hour of Trek for a bit. In this regard, I'm liking the approach of the second season where there is an overall arc for the season--the Red Angels--but that each episode so far could be seen by itself on a rewatch. I can describe "New Eden" as "the one with the pre-warp humans" or "An Obol for Charon" as "the one with the dying organic library." Only a few such episodes like the Mudd episode from season one can similarly be described so distinctly. Much like "New Eden," "An Obol for Charon" reintroduces many familiar Trek tropes from previous Trek series. We get an actual briefing scene with the senior staff (and a clever introduction of the universal translator with Linus the Saurian before the subsequent novel scene on the bridge where we see it malfunctioning completely). There's a bit of "Disaster" (TNG) and other "the ship has been disabled" tropes as well with the Stamets/Reno/Tilly scenes, and they really work here now that we know more about these characters to care. Also, Reno needs to be made chief engineer of Discovery, so we can enjoy more Reno/Stamets banter. In contrast to last season's overall grim tone from the war with the Klingons that culminates in an unearned speech in the finale that attempts to recast the season's message as one of ironically not taking shortcuts on the path to righteousness, stories like "An Obol for Charon," where Captain Pike must show faith in the beliefs and values he swore to uphold (as well as show faith in his officers' assessment that the unknown out there means no harm), do far more to illustrate Star Trek's overall message of hope and faith in our ability to overcome our fears and baser instincts. In other words, "show, don't tell," and this last episode shows it quite well. Observations No new name is revealed for Number One, but we learn she likes her hot sauce. Although some have interpreted the universal translator scene to mean that everyone is normally speaking other languages, we know Michael does not speak Klingon and Pike likely doesn't speak French, German, and Hebrew natively as well (probably). I interpreted the scene as the UT was actively translating the speech of people who normally just spoke "Earth English" into other languages rather than staying off. I'd imagine the UT isn't usually in use aboard Starfleet ships except for those that need it on a regular basis like Linus. Likewise, although Saru chides the crew for not learning another language, I wouldn't take that line to literally mean that no one else knows a second language. I might know a little Spanish, but that doesn't mean I know Arabic or Andorian... Can someone close the shuttle bay door already? They're lucky that giant forcefield apparently held in the midst of all the systems failures.
  19. Episode 2x02: "New Eden"  Thoughts: The second episode of Discovery's second season continues to show a new direction for the series as a whole, in this case towards a more familiar style of Star Trek storytelling. If last week's opener was still a bit too action-heavy of a blockbuster, then "New Eden" marks a return to the classic Trek "planet of the week," in this case a settlement of humans on a distant planet that wouldn't feel out of place as the starting point for one of Kirk's adventures in TOS. From mentions of Starfleet General Order 1 (aka the Prime Directive) and an away team sent incognito to learn what's going on among the locals, it's both comforting to see these familiar tropes yet also still feel we're watching something new by learning more about Captain Pike's style of command and how the rest of the crew handle the challenges thrown at them. For those left on Discovery, we get a return to the A/B story type format, or in this case, perhaps the surface vs space sides of the same overall plot dealing with the human settlement. On the surface, operations officer Joann Owosekun is recommended to join the away team by Michael. We're told she was raised in a Luddite collective so she'd be good for this mission, and while she does get a small moment to shine in helping the away team out of a locked cellar, it's a shame she's still basically treated the same as an extra. While Discovery was envisioned with Michael taking on the central role, if the show is trying to change into a more ensemble-driven series, then an easy way to have developed Owosekun further would have been to let her become a voice for the humans on New Eden rather than keeping it mainly still focused on Pike and Burnham's different views on how to handle the settlement (namely, whether the prime directive still applies). On the ship, Ensign Tilly gets to be the hero seemingly once again, and while I personally find her an endearing enough character, again, the writers should be willing to let the other bridge crew step up and contribute to the overall plan. Rather than have Tilly explain for instance what Detmer the helmswoman would need to do, it would have been just as easy to have Detmer understand what she needed to do on her own and likewise have the rest of the bridge crew figuring out what else they needed to do rather than being one step behind Tilly. Still, these are just a few criticisms in what is overall an enjoyable episode and an encouraging sign that Discovery is getting its footing. That said, I suspect next week's episode revisiting the Klingons will really be the test of whether Discovery can avoid some of its less successful tendencies from last season. Observations: -We get our first glimpse of World War III with a soldier's helmet cam from 2053. Apparently, an entire church was transported away to the planet in the Beta Quadrant. -Besides Christianity, the church also had a mix of beliefs from Judaism, Islam, Wicca, Shinto, among others. It's a bit odd that there'd be such a mix from just one church, but perhaps the Red Angels rescued a larger slice of a town (or from multiple sites). Why though remains a mystery, presumably to be revealed later in the season. -Pike wasn't kidding about needing a new ready room, which apparently isn't even the same room off of the bridge that Lorca was using. The set is gorgeous, and the lighting really highlighted the high production values of Discovery. -With Tilly now having seen a dead classmate and Stamets' previous experience with seeing Culber, one wonders if why we might not hear about the spore drive in the future is the strange connection it seems to have with the dearly departed.
  20. ((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
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