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Alleran Tan

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  1. Voting closes Sunday, November 11th, 2012 at 23:59 PM. This round of voting only qualifies one sim to move on to the next round of judging. REMEMBER: This is NOT a popularity contest. Vote based on MERIT, not the fact that someone is your crewmate. Any crews found “stuffing the ballots” or ratings, will be disqualified PERMANENTLY. Yes, that means the whole crew!
  2. Alleran Tan


    "Adequate" Haven III During the Gorn War It happened so fast. My blood poured onto the sand of Haven III, green and vivid and coppery, flowing from the burned stump where, seconds earlier, my hand had been. Another Gorn disrupter blast flew over my head, then another, little green beams in the twilight. My team hit the ground with the trained precision of Starfleet Marines. I fell with them, trying to spot where the deadly beams of light were coming from. "It's an ambush. Contact right, six hundred metres, four foot mobiles concealed behind dunes." As an afterthought, I added, "Medic." "SERVAN! Servan's hit, he's hit!" Her voice. Katelynn Evans. Pure Louisianan accent, now thick with panic. Illogical panic. I assessed my tactical situation; we were in a depression between two sand dunes, which made egress to either side extremely difficult. If we moved backward, we would have no cover and our attackers would enfilade us. It was easy to hit a target moving toward or away from you. A green blast struck the meagre cover shielding me from death, the sizzle of evaporated sand filling my sensitive nostrils. "Remain in a prone position!" I called over the sound of further disrupter fire, trying to staunch the bleeding with my remaining hand. My phaser was too far away to reach and impossible to operate with one hand. Preserving my lifeblood was the optimal course of action. I heard the chirp of a combadge followed by Evans's southern drawl. "Marine Captain Evans to USS Carl Sagan, request emergency transport; lock on to First Lieutenant Servan's combadge and transport him directly to sickbay!" Twin whines of fire from behind me and two crimson lances flew through the night, impacting some target I couldn't see behind cover. I heard swearing, which indicated Evans had missed. "You hang tight, you dang pointy eared [...], we're going to get you out of here. We're going to get- contact left!" Two more shots. Suddenly we were exposed from our flank, too. This was an extremely disadvantageous tactical position. "Negative on the emergency transport," came a response through Evans's combadge, difficult to hear over the sound of exchanged energy weapon fire. "Can't lower our shields." "Fine! I'll get him myself! X'xxar, gimme that coagulant charge!" My eyebrows flew up and I dared to poke my head above the tiny ridge that was keeping me alive. "Captain Evans! I request you remain in a prone position!" A shadow, familiar and Human, clad in a Starfleet uniform, ran towards me through the gloom, highlighted on both sides by lurid green flashes, like the fingers of some giant trying to catch her and squeeze the life out of her. Marine Captain Evans crashed onto the ground beside me, panting wildly, her hands grasping my uniform. "Where are you hit? Show me where you're hit!" She hadn't been hit, somehow. I felt the beginnings of the insidious tempting tendril of emotion creeping into my mind. Relief for this fact. Worry that she had exposed herself to a statistically disadvantageous course of action. Concern for her well-being. My wound was extremely painful so my ability to shield myself from the pry-bar of emotional instability was reduced. "Hand." I held up the stump. I saw her face, illuminated by the weapons exchange, a mask of horror and shock. "Okay. You can't stay here." She propped her phaser rifle against the dune, firing at distant shadows. "I'm going to carry you out so we can get that little boo-boo treated. Ready?" Taking stock of our precarious position I shook my head. "Negative. That is a tactically unsound decision. We should wait for orbital support." "There ain't no orbital support." Evans fired again. I swallowed, glancing down at the growing pool of green blood seeping into the hungry sand. "Then I must remain here. I... require you to not endanger yourself unnecessarily." She turned, staring at me, confusion painted on her face. "What? What does that even mean?" I grit my teeth, feeling another wave of pain couple with a light-headed feeling. There was a high probability my blood-loss was affecting my ability to control my emotions but I couldn't stop myself from saying what came next. "I need you to remain physically unharmed. I need... you." Feelings. Emotions, worming their way into my head. Evans stared at me in confusion. "What? I..." I reached out with my remaining hand, placing it on her shoulder. "You are..." I struggled to find the right word. "... adequate." A low, confused laugh. "My, you really know how to charm a girl." She lined up another shot, firing into the darkness. "Your timing sucks, too, by the way." "My linguistics capabilities are not relevant at this juncture, and while I may not be articulating myself at the optimum chronological and temporal placement I understand that-" Her lips pressed to mine and, suddenly, the raging combat around me disappeared. I felt like I was being transported away and, for a moment, I thought that the Carl Sagan had come through for me. But the kiss ended and the battle reappeared like a paused holoprogram. "Time to go." She threw her rifle down and, with a groan, hoisted me up. I was too weak from blood loss and shock from the surge of emotions to offer much resistance, although I wanted to. I felt my body being upended and thrown over her shoulder. Then all I could see was sand as she ran through the night, back towards our lines. My vision swam and, slowly, I felt my consciousness slip away. ***** Later... I recognised the light from sickbay before I even opened my eyes, the faint red glow around my vision being too bright to be anything else. "Wake-y wake-y," came Katelynn's voice. "You made it, big guy." I opened my eyes and, just as I predicted, found myself staring at the ceiling of the Carl Sagan's sickbay. "How long have I been unconscious?" "A few hours," she answered, "we fought off the Gorn and made our way to a cave network south of the dune sea. Finally we got a beamout. Doc' T'arr gave you one of them fancy prosthetics, and you'll be good as new in a few days." I shifted uncomfortably, raising my right arm. There, on the end of my arm, was a perfectly functional hand. I gave the fingers a controlled squeeze to test the functionality -- it was like nothing had ever happened. "This is adequate work." "There's that word again." Katelynn crouched down by my biobed, resting her chin against the side. "You remember?" I remembered. I remembered the invading feeling of emotions creeping into my normally disciplined mind. I remembered feeling weak, saying things I wouldn't -- couldn't -- normally say. I remembered liking it. I didn't say anything and Katelynn smiled weakly. "Does this mean you're going to 'request I remain in a prone position' later?" I blinked. "I do not understand." She laughed, patting my side. "Of course you don't." Her smile became strangely impish and she leaned in, her face close to mine, whispering into my ear. "I'll show you later."
  3. Voting closes Sunday, September 30th, 2012 at 23:59 PM. This round of voting only qualifies one sim to move on to the next round of judging. REMEMBER: This is NOT a popularity contest. Vote based on MERIT, not the fact that someone is your crewmate. Any crews found “stuffing the ballots” or ratings, will be disqualified PERMANENTLY. Yes, that means the whole crew!
  4. Voting closes Sunday, September 2nd, 2012. This round of voting only qualifies one sim to move on to the next round of judging. REMEMBER: This is NOT a popularity contest. Vote based on MERIT, not the fact that someone is your crewmate. Any crews found “stuffing the ballots” or ratings, will be disqualified PERMANENTLY. Yes, that means the whole crew!
  5. Voting closes Sunday, August 19th, 2012 at 23:59 PM. This round of voting only qualifies one sim FROM ROUND 13 to move on to the next round of judging. With only a single nomination for Round 14, the winner for Round 14 is LTJG Lanius: "The Truth Hurts". REMEMBER: This is NOT a popularity contest. Vote based on MERIT, not the fact that someone is your crewmate. Any crews found “stuffing the ballots” or ratings, will be disqualified PERMANENTLY. Yes, that means the whole crew!
  6. Voting closes Sunday, August 5th, 2012 at 23:59 PM. This round of voting only qualifies one sim to move on to the next round of judging. REMEMBER: This is NOT a popularity contest. Vote based on MERIT, not the fact that someone is your crewmate. Any crews found “stuffing the ballots” or ratings, will be disqualified PERMANENTLY. Yes, that means the whole crew!
  7. Thanks for that! But, ah, I know I "signed" it as Tan, I just wanted to be clear that it wasn't Tan in the story. It was an unnamed Ferengi. I can amend the signature to make it clear who the point-of-view character, if people want?
  8. Despite the temptation to write 5,000 words... I think I got the right length for this kind of competition. I hope everyone likes the story, but there's sufficient time to fix it if there are problems; if there are typos, missing words, storyboard issues etc... lemme know via PM and I'll fix them ASAP. And hey Flt. Capt. Mar, long time no see. I see you hiding back there!
  9. Hi all, I hope you all enjoyed reading this story as much as I liked writing it! It was interesting to explore first person perspective, something we rarely get to do in UFOP: Starbase 118. I would like my entry entered into the Ongoing Worlds contest, in addition to the Starbase 118 competition. Cheers, Tan.
  10. Ethical Considerations Starbase 55, population 1,203 Stardate 239102.04 I was born on Ferenginar and, much like most Ferengi, I was raised with the principles of our species: a form of hyper-capitalist profit-seeking completely out of place with nearly every other warp-capable civilization in the Alpha quadrant. For all of my life this was all I cared about, a numbers game. How many bars, how many strips, how many slips. Credits and debits, stock options, negative gearing and dividend reinvestment. How small and pathetic all that seems to me now. My assimilation and subsequent "liberation" changed me. I'm not going to lie. My family thinks that I'm ill; my father successfully sued for my power of attorney while I "recovered", and he won because I didn't contest the ruling. I didn't care what happened to the small fortune I'd amassed over a lifetime. So, as a former drone still undergoing the process of having all my implants removed and any last traces of the DNA sequencing removed it may seem strange to say, but the Borg are not evil. They are merely amoral. During a period of Human history called the "Second World War", scientists who were part of one of the nation-states involved performed experiments on their fellow Humans. They immersed healthy individuals into freezing water, slowly lowering the temperature to gauge a Human's lowest survivable temperature. This research had a purely pragmatic, military application; to see if pilots who bailed out from their craft over freezing water would survive, to assess if a rescue was worth the effort. Retrieving corpses was not considered a priority to this particular group. The method used to obtain this knowledge was horrific and unethical, but it was accurate and meticulously documented. This research forms, even today, the basis of our knowledge of how hypothermia affects Humans. Yes, we have holograms and simulators and computers that can perform amazing feats, but there's no simulation that can perfectly match reality. We use simulations, but we always check that data against the experimental evidence. Some are unable to divorce the actor from the result when considering these things. To them the outcome of an experiment is forever tainted with the actions of immorality and that the ends never justifies the means. I disagree, though. Facts are not burdened with ethical considerations. Assimilation is painful, but life in the hive is actually remarkably pleasant. The Federation squawks about equality and egalitarianism being the ideals that it strives for but that's just a façade. People still judge. They still have greed, and ambitions, and are selfish; they still have their instincts and those instincts lead towards individualism and away from true collectivism. True community. Yesterday I went out of the starbase's sickbay for the first time and sat in the promenade, my body full of holes, the Borg implants not yet replaced with Federation issue prosthetics. I imagined I looked positively ghoulish, deliberately staring down passers-by and studying their reactions. Revulsion. Fear. Pity. The irony was it was I who pitied them. Today I went out again. The medical doctor, Vaughan, thought it best that I stay in the recovery ward, but I lied loudly and I lied proudly. I said was feeling well, I needed some air, I enjoyed the open space of the promenade. It worked. I didn't go straight to the promenade, though. Instead I found a public replimat and replicated a plain titanium casing, a low grade status field generator, a hypospray, a high band microwave emitter, a knife and a PADD. With no implants, no more active nanites flowing through my veins, physical communication with the Collective wasn't possible. The nanites in my blood had been neutralized by a high burst of gamma radiation. They were inert, unmoving and silent. But the primary, distinguishing feature of the Borg was their resiliency. Their adaptability. Some former drones report that the voice of the hive sometimes whispers to them in their weaker moments... that the Collective's voice is never, truly, stifled. I think the truth is more complex. Instead, the effect is entirely psychosomatic. The Collective holds no sway over ex-drones if they choose to reject its siren song. Yet, strangely, that subconscious voice sometimes whispers useful information. Medical information, scientific curiousities, obscure facts... suggestions. I took my replicated items and found an unused shopfront far from prying eyes. It was unlocked. I didn't question my good fortune, slipping into the dust covered lobby, gently laying each item out on a workbench. The hypospray extracted a thimbleful of my blood. I used the status field generator to create a thin invisible sheen over the inside of the titanium casing, then the blood was deposited inside. I coupled the microwave emitter to the PADD and used the device as a power source, listening as it hummed and bathed my exposed blood in energy, breathing power back into the nanites. Reviving them. With my crude device in hand, I moved back out into the promenade, took a quiet seat with a view of the crowd and used the knife to slice the tip of my finger. Surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the crowd I dipped it in the vial of my blood, frothing with invisible nanites, and waited for them to come back to life. For them to swim up into my finger and into my bloodstream, to transform me back into the drone I once was. Some might say that what I was doing was horribly unethical. I was voluntarily surrendering my will, yes, and that might be arguably my own choice but the Borg that I would become would force others to surrender theirs... and I knew that it would. That whisper in the back of my mind told me that when I turned, this station's defenses were weak. There was no way they could stop me. This crowd of judgemental, individualistic simpletons would, in a matter of hours, all be Borg. I knew my choice was not their choice. I accepted this fully; yes, I was doing a terrible thing and I didn't expect that anyone to, really, understand why. Not really. I was sure in the years to come my actions would be widely analysed. Studied, in a clinical sense, to try and find out why I did what I did. They'll come up with complex answers: Stockholm syndrome, latent neurasthenic breakdown due to the radiation treatment, or an extreme cry for help. Some would call me a monster. Sick, twisted, ill... or outright evil. But the fact of the matter is I was helping these people unify and become something better. Move to the next level. Evolve as a society towards true harmony. And facts are not burdened with ethical considerations. End ----- Lt. Commander Alleran Tan Operations USS Avandar
  11. ((USS Avandar – Ready Room)) T’Lea: Captain, a moment please? :: At Della's somewhat wry nod, T’Lea waited for everyone to exit, and for the door to close before breaking her stiff Vulcan stance. The entire meeting she’d been teasing the Trill telepathically, so it came as no surprise to her lucky victim when she sauntered over a mere foot away.:: T’Lea: Hmm… :: She eyed the gap between them as a problem, and quickly rectified it by hooking an arm around the Trill and pulling her flush in a very un-officerly snuggle, cheerfully ignoring the somewhat indignant squawk that provoked.:: T’Lea: That’s better. How’s your shoulder? :: With a little sound of frustration, Della managed to put a tiny bit of distance between them, and was privately impressed with *that* much, given how much stronger the Romu-vulc was.:: :: There was also no reason to comment on the fact that she had taken a bit of time to summon up the will to make the move.:: Vetri: It's fine. Though some other parts of someone might get damaged in the near future... ::smiling softly:: What's brought this on? T’Lea: Well, since we manage to frak up our relationship so often with these frelling work related boundaries, I thought we’d try mixing business with pleasure. See if that works better. :: Neuropressure point initiated to help smooth over the idea.:: Vetri: Hmmm.... I might appreciate some more of that... ::a little firmer:: Later. T’Lea: I can do later. Now then, I spoke with Lt. sh’Shar. She’ll be undergoing a sobriety program- :: Close and cuddly shifted into a curious lean-back when Della’s hand discovered something hard under T’Lea’s jacket. The Romu-vulc simply smiled.:: Vetri: What the frell is that? Are you hiding a bomb in there or something? T’Lea: Unzip me and find out. :: Playfully spoken, T’Lea’s hands came to a rest on the Trill’s low back, refusing to let the Trill go, but she also gave the other woman enough room to unfasten the jacket and reach inside her breast pocket.:: :: Inside was the confiscated flask from sh’Shar’s quarters, which earned the Romu-vulc a medium-withering glare as Della held it up by the neck.:: Vetri: Keeping this one for later, are we? :: Embrace broken, exactly as T’Lea thought might happen. Getting the Trill a little riled up was perfect, so said her smile.:: T’Lea: No, actually, it’s for you. I took a couple of security guards to Mikali’s quarters and we removed all of her jolly juice. :: Scooping the Trill back into her arms she got cozy again, nuzzling at her neck.:: T’Lea: That one I couldn’t toss. Romulan Ale. Put it with the rest of my stuff, and maybe one day when I’ve been an *exceptionally* good girl you’ll share it with me? Vetri: Maybe. But I wouldnnnmmmmm.... ::banging the flask down on the desk:: *Stop* that! So sh'Shar's dry now, huh? Good, but I doubt you stopped there. T’Lea: She’s pulling extra duty shifts, and *surprise*, I found out she has a daughter, which turns out may be a related issue to the drinking. Vetri: She's...? Hang on, I think I remember that from her file... ::frowning:: Didn't see anything about the little one's current status, though. T’Lea: She’s somewhere. Not sure where exactly, but the dumb Andorian has it in her head that the child is better off without her mother. :: A thoughtful expression on her face, Della gave up trying to get free of T'Lea's hold and settled instead for tapping her fingers on one arm as she considered what she'd just been told.:: Vetri: Sometimes true, but mostly a cop-out. And I'm more than a little sure you agree. So what did you threaten her with? :: Quite deliberately phrased, that one. She *did* know her mate, after all.:: T’Lea: I left the ball in her fort. ::knit brow:: Court? Whatever. If she wants to bring her aboard, I offered to help make it happen. ::getting a little serious:: I don’t understand how she can just walk away from her own flesh and blood. I’d destroy all creation to keep T’Sara with me. ::frowning at herself:: That’s not really logical, is it? If I destroy the universe, then we’d have nowhere to live. ::shaking her head:: You get what I mean. Vetri: ::chuckling:: Just about. And I'm right there with you. :: After her apparent surrender to T'Lea's hold, she gave another quick try to get free - which got about as far as every other one. The weak struggling just made T’Lea enjoy the closeness that much more.:: Vetri: ::muttering:: Dammit... ::louder:: You got more to pile on her, or are you lulling her into a sense of paranoid anticipation? T’Lea: No, that’s pretty much it. For now. Oh, and York took the last shuttle out. Extended leave. What do you think? Vetri: ::shrugging:: About time. She needs it. T’Lea: ::nuzzle, nuzzle:: Not that, what do you think of my brilliant idea about mixing business with pleasure? :: This time, Della managed to summon up a reaction in less than ten seconds, planting a finger right in the middle of T'Lea's chest and pushing hard.:: Vetri: Your timing sucks. Put me down and go make someone else's life difficult for a while. :: Her stern tone was totally at odds with the smile on her lips. The *timing* could have been better, but the sentiment was definitely appreciated.:: :: Backing off, but leaving her hands on the Trill’s hips, T’Lea struck an officer’s stance.:: T’Lea: Yes, Ma’am. But first you need to zip me back up. ::off her look:: You’re the one who *un*-zipped me. So zip me. Unless you want me to exit onto the bridge looking like you had your way with me. Which… I think we might have time for-- Vetri: Stop right there. If at *all* possible, now would be a good time to find a different track for your mind to run along, you lecherous loon. :: T'Lea's sum total response was to nod down at her open uniform jacket.:: T’Lea: Zip. Zip. :: Rolling her eyes, Della did as she was told, if only to get back on track as fast as possible. The process of refastening the jacket was done with little regard at all for any sort of delicacy, but the way her hands smoothed the fabric down when she finished was an very different story – a story that T’Lea wouldn’t mind being told over and over again….:: Vetri: There. Now go away. :: Lifting an eyebrow she dipped her head slightly, ready to tempt the Trill some more.:: T'Lea: Are you certain you’re done with the pleasure part of our business, because I can- Vetri: Lilyali, if I can still see you in three seconds, I will cheerfully toss you out. Your uniform, however, will be staying here. T'Lea: I think you got that backwards. Vetri: ::laughing:: You wish. :: Picking up the flask from the desk and examining it, she turned thoughtful again. All this talk of family and mothers and such had sparked an idea, and it seemed... appropriate, especially given the heritage shared by half of her girls.:: Vetri: I think I'll do some viinerine tonight. :: T’Lea stopped at the door before she triggered it open, and turned with a feeling of warmth… more innocent than previously felt.:: T’Lea: ::heartfelt:: I’d like that very much. :: Heading for the door with a sly grin.:: T’Lea: Especially if you don’t burn it. Vetri: ::laughing as she pointed to the door:: Go. Away. TBC -------------------- Captain Della Vetri Commanding Officer USS Avandar http://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php?title=Vetri,_Della "Understanding is a three edged sword - your side, their side, and the truth." & Lt. Cmdr. T’Lea First Officer USS Avandar
  12. Voting closes Wednesday, July 8th, 2012 at 23:59 PM. This round of voting only qualifies one sim to move on to the next round of judging. REMEMBER: This is NOT a popularity contest. Vote based on MERIT, not the fact that someone is your crewmate. Any crews found “stuffing the ballots” or ratings, will be disqualified PERMANENTLY. Yes, that means the whole crew!
  13. So, um. Too many winners? I think essentially every member of the Avandar crew, and a number of guests, turned out for "Playing for Keeps". What's the group's opinion on who the "winners" were? I'm tempted to call it as it's written; the ship's crew as a whole, along with the guests individually. The bottom line is, if you die on the Avandar, they give you one hell of a send off. Hmm... maybe that could be the ship's recruitment slogan. "USS Avandar. We'll corpsify you in the coolest ways!"
  14. Voting closes Sunday, June 24 2012 at 23:59 PM. This round of voting only qualifies one sim to move on to the next round of judging. REMEMBER: This is NOT a popularity contest. Vote based on MERIT, not the fact that someone is your crewmate. Any crews found “stuffing the ballots” or ratings, will be disqualified PERMANENTLY. Yes, that means the whole crew!
  15. Voting closes Sunday, June 10, 2012 at 23:59 PM. This round of voting only qualifies one sim to move on to the next round of judging. REMEMBER: This is NOT a popularity contest. Vote based on MERIT, not the fact that someone is your crewmate. Any crews found “stuffing the ballots” or ratings, will be disqualified PERMANENTLY. Yes, that means the whole crew!
  16. Voting closes Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 23:59 PM. This round of voting only qualifies one sim to move on to the next round of judging. REMEMBER: This is NOT a popularity contest. Vote based on MERIT, not the fact that someone is your crewmate. Any crews found “stuffing the ballots” or ratings, will be disqualified PERMANENTLY. Yes, that means the whole crew!
  17. Voting closes Thursday, May 13, 2012 at 23:59 PM. This round of voting only qualifies one sim to move on to the next round of judging. REMEMBER: This is NOT a popularity contest. Vote based on MERIT, not the fact that someone is your crewmate. Any crews found “stuffing the ballots” or ratings, will be disqualified PERMANENTLY. Yes, that means the whole crew!
  18. “The Tempest” "Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live." - Henry Van [...] She woke to the crying of Klingon seabirds. Ensign Vaala, a counsellor in Starfleet and an entirely un-Klingonish Klingon, didn't remember how she got here. She sat bolt upright with an entirely unbecoming shriek... only to discover she had been laying on the wooden deck of a ship, which continued to rock back and forth as it traversed the dark red ocean. She clumsily stood, slowly and dizzily climbing up to her feet. Holding onto the railing to keep her balance, she shook her head to clear out the stars. The boat rocked and heaved, and it was with a chilling, dark realization that she knew where this boat was taking her. It was the Barge of the Dead, taking her to Grethor... the afterlife for dishonoured Klingons. The worst of punishments... for cowards, for traitors, for warriors without honour... where the poor victims would relieve their most cowardly moments, their terrible defeats, their failures and their misfortunes. Where they would suffer eternally... where they would reap what they had sown forevermore, [...]ed to the Klingon Hell. She knew this, and watched as the great isle of despair loomed up before her, as though slowly rising from the very depths of the foul, evil sea. "Ooooh... fiddlesticks." Vaala was, in all likelihood, the universe's worst Klingon. She couldn’t fight worth a [...], cried easily, barely even knew any curse words let alone use them... she was allergic to a list of substances as long as her arm, she had joined Starfleet instead of the Imperial Navy, and she had been once defeated in honourable combat by a tribble. She was allergic to them, so even contact with a place they had been was enough to close her throat and send her into a wheezing, gasping fit. Beaten by a tribble that wasn’t present at the battle. She wasn’t sure a greater dishonour even existed. Somehow, she'd always known that she'd end up here, but she had hoped -- perhaps naively -- that she might be able to avoid this fate by joining Starfleet. By proving that she could be... not necessarily a warrior, but part of a team of warriors. She was obviously so inept at fighting that, perhaps, she could leech some of the glory by osmosis. She could help keep her crew mentally fit and healthy, and in exchange this service would allow her to avoid Grethor. Well... so much for that theory. Casting her eyes to the sky, she saw the dark, bruised flesh of thunderclouds rolling in from the horizon, illuminated by the occasional flash of lightning. Vaala hated storms. Her gaze fell upon the great Captain of the barge, an impossibly tall Klingon who had a full inch on her long and lanky frame. Unlike her, however, this man was pure muscle; he looked like a competitor in the Federation weightlifting championship... no, scratch that, he looked like the winner. Or that he’d killed and eaten the winner. In one bite. The wind picked up, the barge’s sails billowing as the storm fed the ship, rocketing her and the other dishonoured dead towards their horrid fate. Stumbling, Vaala made her way over to the Captain, raising her voice slightly so she could be heard over the growing whine of the wind. “H-Hey! Mister Captain...!” The colossal man turned his gaze to her, regarding the Klingon woman with a withering stare that could strip the paint from the hull of a Prometheus class cruiser. Vaala instinctively felt herself shrink back in the face of his intense, searing gaze. “You are Vaala, are you not?” he intoned, his voice booming at an unnatural volume as the Captain regarded her, the sound seeming to echo despite the vast open sea the ship was a tiny speck upon. “Y-Yes... that’s me. Vaala of Khitomer, uhh... yes.” The sails above her groaned as the storm intensified, a thin fork of lightning briefly bathing the scene in pure white light as it leaped into the ocean, the roiling clouds bearing down on the ship like a great beast. Vaala could see the great sheet of rain as they moved towards the ship like a stone wall, growing in height as they began to loom over the ship. The Captain’s unyielding stare remained fixed on her, unnerving her greatly. His eyes were unblinking, unmoving, and Vaala found she could not match their intensity. She looked away, to the seas which were dark red and churning. “Tell me then, Vaala of Khitomer... are you here to bargain with me, or threaten me... or do you believe begging like a filthy targ to be your best chance of escaping your fate?” Vaala felt a shudder dance up and down both her spine. The Captain’s voice was as deep as the thunder that followed the flashes of lightning that cracked and boomed all around them. “I... I don’t know...! All I know is that I don’t deserve to be here -- this isn’t... this isn’t my time! I’m not supposed to be d-dead!” She whined, her voice becoming pleading. “S-so... bargaining, begging or threats... which one works best...?” A hopeful edge forming in her tone. “... bribery, maybe?” The Captain gave a low, hollow laugh that forced Vaala to immediately recognise the folly of what she had said. “None of those things have ever worked,” the gargantuan Captain boomed, the last of his grim mirth fading as lightning flashed all around. “... I’ve heard but I do so much love when they beg...” A faint noise, coming with the thunder in the distance, carried a single questioning word to her. “Vaala...?” She twisted her head, trying to hear the strange voice. The storm loomed over the ship now, the wind blowing against the sails so hard she thought they might break. Vaala whirled back to the Captain, despair painted on her face. “Look, I don’t know, okay?! All I know is... all I know is that I’m not meant to be here! This is a mistake!” “They all say that,” the Captain retorted in his mighty voice, “or words to that effect... but that’s all they are. Words... as full of passion and thunder as the storm, but with as much meaning.” But there was a meaning in the thunder. Vaala could hear it more clearly, now -- a voice calling through the crack-rumble of lightning strikes. “Vaala...? Vaala, can you hear me?” Waves crashed against the sides of the barge. Vaala had to grasp hold of the railing near the wheel with both hands to avoid being tossed off her feet. “Look, Mister Captain, I don’t know what to say to you -- but I’m not like the others! I’m not! I’m different!” The Captain ignored her now, casting his eyes around the roaring seas, seeming nonchalant in the face of the boat rocking itself near to capsizing. “The winds roar this day,” he commented, flashing Vaala a smile full of teeth, “perhaps you’re right.” Vaala opened her mouth to answer, but instead it was filled with the dark red seawater. Spluttering and coughing the clumsy Klingon lost her grip on the railing and with a shriek she was swept off her feet, tumbling head over heels as she was dragged inexorably towards the side of the ship. “Ensign, we’re not on Eden anymore... we’re back on the ship!” With a crash she hit the side, her hands scrabbling wildly as she tried to grab hold of the railing. Her fingers on one hand found it, holding onto the wood with all her strength, her legs dangling overboard. “I don’t know what you mean!” she cried to the wind, salt water spraying into her face, blinding her. “I don’t know who you are!” “Ensign, it was a temporal disturbance! We’re safe now!” She did not feel safe at all, her tenuous grip on the ship’s railing the only thing keeping her from being swept overboard. “I’m not safe! I’m not safe at all! Help me! Help! Help...!” Her fingers weakened and, with a shriek she lost her grip and was carried into the churning red sea. ***** She woke to the shaking of her shoulders. “Ensign? Ensign Vaala...? Wake up...!” Her eyes flew open and, once again, she sat bolt upright -- but this time her ridged forehead smacked into the face of the fresh-face cadet who was shaking her. James Huntington, a blonde security cadet whom she had been intending on introducing herself to before the ship went through the wormhole. Went through the wormhole... then crashed on the planet they had called Eden. Years had passed... then she had been stabbed to death during a crew mutiny. Or not, as the case was apparently. Huntington extended his hand, helping the large Klingon woman to her feet. “Sorry for shaking you so hard, I didn’t know how to wake you up...” Vaala, her nerves shot, just gave a nervous smile. “Uhh- no problem, thank you... Cadet.” James nodded again, then departed, leaving Vaala alone in her office. Sitting on her chair, Vaala drew her knees close to her chest, mulling over what she had experienced. Death, in all its horrid and exquisite pain, followed by a near visit to Grethor... it seemed no matter what she did, she would die a coward and Sto-Vor-Kor would be denied to her. As she sobbed quietly in her office, pondering this and all its various implications, Vaala swore she could hear the faint howl of the wind and a distant rumble of faraway thunder.
  19. Submitter's note: Sim by Evanna Blackwood and Jen Malcolm. Additionally, :'( :'( :'( ((Part 2)) ((New Triage tent)) Peiy: Davies! ::It was a terrified shriek:: Do something! ::Her shriek jolted him out of his stunned paralysis. He lunged for a supply crate, reaching in and grabbing the first thing his fingers wrapped around, which happened to be a layrngoscope. It wouldn’t do much against the knife, but it was better than being empty handed:: ::The native’s eyes darted between the two mites. It was quickly apparent that the blue one wouldn’t cause him any trouble. The noise coming from it was making his ears hurt so he turned them back and flattened them to his head. He moved towards the other one and paused. It had picked something up that he’d never seen before. He had no idea what it was or if it was dangerous. He didn’t pause long and closed the gap quickly, raising the knife, preparing for a quick swipe at the mite.:: ::Having no other recourse, Davies lunged forward, hoping the knife would miss him. He used his forward momentum to barrel into the native and wrapping his arms around the native’s middle, they tumbled to the ground in a tangle of limbs:: ::The native lost his grip on his knife as he fell backwards to the ground, caught off-guard by the quick, unexpected motion. He pushed the mite hard and scratched at it hoping to get it off him and regain the upper-hand. :: ::Despite the pain she was in Peiy tried to see what was going on. It was very difficult to move so she wasn’t able to see what was going on. She had to trust in Davies self-defence training and try to remain as calm as possible. It was the most vulnerable and scared she’d ever been, she couldn’t believe all this was happening. As far as she’d been aware relations with the natives had been improving, so she couldn’t understand what had brought all of this on.:: ::Davies didn’t know which way was up. They rolled around, banging against the side of the biobed. He grunted as a sharp pain flared in his gut, but somehow in the frenzy he knew he hadn’t been stabbed. He lashed out, wincing under the sharp fingernails. It was like wrestling with a large dog, only there was nothing playful about it:: ::The native spotted his dropped knife and scrambled to scoop it up. The mite was stronger than it had looked and put up a good fight but now that he had his knife back he was going to finish it. He lowered the knife, meaning to plunge it into the mite and slice it right open but was meeting fierce resistance.:: ::Davies was no fighter. He’d avoided fights growing up by being the class clown and he’d had no brothers to scuffle with. But he did have a survival instinct and as the native got ready to plunge his knife into his own soft parts, he kicked out, watching in surprise as his foot landed where he intended and knocked the native off balance. He scrambled to his feet and in a desperate attempt to finish things, dug into the supply crate again. Where was the phaser?:: ::Peiy was still feebly rolling about, twisting her head and straining to see what was going on. Davies went one way and the native was recovering from the latest blow, an unpleasant but effective kick. It staggered back up onto it’s legs and crouched, making ready to lunge at Davies.:: Peiy: Davies! Your back! ::It was his turn to get knocked off balance and as he fell the supply crate tumbled down along with him, spilling its contents all over him and the native. He pushed the native off of him again and started hurling anything he could grab toward the other man. It was a terrible strategy but his panicked brain was telling him to do anything he could to keep the native away from him long enough to scramble to his feet.:: ::He pulled himself upright and found he’d managed to beat the native to his feet. He kicked, aiming for the head, hoping to render him unconscious. Pain shot through his leg and he felt his knee buckle, but he grabbed the table and continued his onslaught, letting the rational part of his mind be drowned out by his fervor.:: :: Peiy started to cry out in agony again, the pain was worse than ever and it was lasting longer. She desperately hoped it would all be over soon. She wasn’t aware of the dire condition she was in. The minutes continued to stretch out and Peiy began to think the pain would never ever end. She looked around for Davies. Was he even there? Her breathing exercises were long forgotten and she was getting in a panic.:: Peiy: Help!? ::Davies panted and looked down at the still form of the native. Somehow he’d managed to land enough kicks to knock him out. He swallowed against the intense pain radiating up his leg. The native had caught him with his knife right across his ankle. He gritted his teeth, knowing that meant severed tendons. He tried to get back to Peiy but couldn’t even step down on his foot. He hopped over to the biobed, dragging his leg behind him.:: ::He leaned his weight against the table and mustered up the best smile he could:: Davies: ::panting:: How’s my girl doing? Peiy: ::Strained:: Am I nearly done yet? ::Pause:: It’s sooo baaad. ::He laid a hand on her stomach. It was tight with a contraction:: Davies: I’m going to take a look. Peiy: ::Cringing:: With your eyes I hope. ::Dreading the other possibility.:: ::He hobbled over to the supply table and spilled some of the precious alcohol onto his hands, preparing for an internal exam. As he rubbed his palms together he squeezed his eyes closed trying to push all of his anxiety down:: ::Peiy looked around, her eyes wild and darting. If she could only move she would flee and take her chances elsewhere. Relief flooded over her when she saw the familiar face and she pointed to the door.:: Peiy: ::Stuttering:: J jih jih jih Jen! ::Davies’ eyes snapped in the direction of the door, and he almost laughed in relief, but the jubilation died on his lips as he watched her stagger in. Half of her was covered in blood. He would’ve rushed over but he knew his severed ankle would never let him make it:: Davies: Are you ok? ::Jen waved his concern away and headed straight for Peiy:: Malcolm: It’s not my blood. What’s going on here? ::She pushed her uniform sleeves up and reached out for the alcohol. Davies passed it to her wordlessly and watched gratefully as she took over:: Peiy: ::Feeling a little relieved.:: Thank goodness you’re okay! Please tell me I’m nearly done. Malcolm: Let’s find out. ::She dragged a stool over and took a position at the end of the biobed.:: Just hold tight for a second. ::Jen raised her eyes:: Davies? :: Peiy did not like where this was going. She was scared, exhausted and in so much agony. The tears rolled down her face. She didn’t think she could cope with any more and tried to squirm away from the two of them. She shook her head and tried to tell them to stop but the words wouldn’t come.:: ::Davies pressed his hands to her shoulders:: Davies: Don’t worry, Jen’s fast. Peiy: ::Whimpering:: Mhmm. ::Trying not to be so tense and failing.:: Please hurry. ::And while Jen wasn’t as fast as Peiy would’ve hoped, the exam was brief. Having learned what she needed, Jen stood and peeled off her bloodied outer jacket for the somewhat cleaner tunic underneath. She wiped her hands clean on the jacket and walked around to the side of the biobed to talk to Peiy:: Malcolm: Peiy. There’s no way you’re pushing this baby out. So, you can just lay back and let me take over all the work, ok? Peiy: ::Speaking slowly:: Take over? You don’t mean...? You can’t. Not that. ::Sobbing:: Please... ::Jen laid her hand on Peiy’s arm:: Malcolm: Peiy, I have to. We talked about this being a possibility, remember? Peiy: ::Glum:: I know. ::Tears still rolled down her face, she was gravely worried for herself and the baby. All she could do was lay limp on the bed, even if she’d wanted she was too exhausted to be able to push..:: ::While Peiy came to terms with the idea, Jen nodded her head at Davies to pull up the restraints. Though the biobed had no power to run the force-field restraints, the engineers had retrofitted it with straps. They were more of a precaution than a real need as Peiy probably wasn’t going to be able to put up much of a fight. The sheer volume of blood hemorrhaging from her was beyond any help Jen would be able to give her, even if they’d had Bolian blood for a transfusion. She’d known the instant she’d started her exam that Peiy wasn’t going to make it through the procedure and all Jen’s energy was going to go into trying to save the baby now, though her hopes were not high for success:: Malcolm: Don’t worry, Peiy. We’ll take care of you. ::Peiy struggled feebly but it was no good and within the next few minutes she had passed out.:: TBC (PNPC) Ensign Chris Davies Medical Officer USS Avandar Simmed by Malcolm and (PNPC) Ensign Peiy Tactical Officer USS Avandar Simmed by Blackwood and Lt. Jen Malcolm CMO USS Avandar
  20. Submitter's note: The mites refer to the crew of the USS Avandar, stranded on the planet with some restless natives. Additionally, this sim was written by Evanna Blackwood. ((Near the Mites expanding swarming grounds)) ::Idue was now heavily pregnant. She had suspected it before and had been unsure about whether to return to her people or not. She had been disgusted with them for showing such kindness to these evil mites. After they had killed some of their own with the red light and somehow put the others to sleep. It was some strange sorcery. The beast that had carried them here lay dead since the day it had arrived and completed it's bidding for Nonod, the goddess of death. :: ::Idue had known these mites were nothing but a plague, an infestation of their lands. They had failed in their great unifying hunt to kill the mites and cleanse their sacred burial grounds. The mites were too resilient but she had caught one. Her Circhev had helped her take down the mite whilst Tyrha had covered them. They should have taken the opportunity to study the beast and work out how to kill it. Instead they invited it into her home. The home her parents and Yathe's had spent much time and effort building for them as a gift so that they could complete their bond together and start their own family. :: ::Yathe had shown great disrespect to her and their parents by his actions. Treating a foul demon as a guest, healing it's wounds and trying to talk to it, even giving it their precious water. Idue missed Yathe a great deal but was not sure she could forgive him for his actions. He had favored it over her and spoken against her publicly several times. It was a great humiliation. So now here she was out in the open, roaming around the woods trying to support herself with no clan and no home. Without a clan she would have no support and would be completely vulnerable during childbirth. If she and her youngling survived that trial she would still struggle to feed and protect them both. :: :: She had observed the mites sending out hunting parties of their own. They were not nearly as quick or efficient in the hunt. It had taken a lot of time spent observing them but she had realised what it was that was odd. They seemed mainly to use their sense of sight when hunting, they did appear to react to audio cues but it wasn't that often. She had on occassion lost prey to them too. She would manage to take out a beast but before she could come down from her hunting perch to retrieve it they were too close. They would take her prize before she could claim it. Dirty, smelly, thieving mites.:: ::She had noticed recently an elder from another clan come down to the mites camp. The elder was always escorted and they always left some overlooking the camp. She had been close enough once that one of them had smelled her and called out to her. He could probably have smalled the change in her too, but she did not care. She retreated further into the jungle and left them to it but sometimes late at night when she was sitting high up in the branches or a tree resting she wondered if the hunter had said anything to one of her clan about it. More than was likely he'd have forgotten about it long before they even turned to go back to the camp but all the same Idue did find herself wondering about it on occassion. :: ::With the mites harvesting the local prey and the land so heavily it was slim pickings, they had no concept of living withing the balance of nature. They would have this entire region stripped in but a few seasons. Idue was hungry, she had seem some mites, one blue and the other with a fiery mane, stealing their food and putting it within the bounds of their swarming grounds. Several bushes and vegetable plants had been stolen. Idue decided she was going to go take them back. :: ::First she had to get passed the mites with the shells. She still remembered the way they took off a portion of their shells to eat, and how one of them had a dark colour. That was the one who had tortured the packmule. If she saw that one she would crack open it's shell with her poisoned dagger if she could. She had spend a few hungry days watching the mites activity. The shelled mites appeared to moving thing around a lot recently. She waiting until it was getting dark and sneaked in to the camp as best she could. :: ::She made her way directly to the place where they had hoarded their food supplies. There were a few mites going into some square hut and she waited in the shadows until they were gone. She checked her surroundings very carefully and then moved over to the bushes. She smalled the sweet flowers from their fruit bushes, it wasn't the season for them to bear fruit but the petals were good in a salve. They could help cuts, bruises, burns and a number of flesh wounds heal more quickly. :: :: She picked up the orange-brown root vegetable and brushed off the dirt. These were quite tough but if you sliced them and then heated the slices over the fire for a few minutes it softened it up and more them much easier to eat and digest. This wouldn't fill her belly just now. She sniffed around to see what they had, it was hard to tell as the smell of mite was overpowering, but she found something suitable. There was a bush at the back with a purple fruit. It was spherical and had a knobbly purple skin, but if you used your hunting knife to remove the skin the fruit inside was delicious. The skin could be dried, ground into a pulp and used for light pain relief. She peeled the fuit and put the skin in her pocket for later. :: ::As she raised the fruit to her mouth she looked up and saw a mite. It hadn't spotted her yet and she stayed very still, hoping not to draw it's attention.:: ((Opened the door if anyone wants to try chat with a native. If not I will have her leave again soon(ish). Remember natives don't understand federation standard. good luck. )) (msPNPC) Idue Native Hunter Simmer by Blackwood
  21. Side note, this should be round 2. Thanks for the nomination!
  22. ((Cooridor outside daycare)) ::Davies helped Gilaars and T’tala sort through the equipment the security guard had returned with. As they organized the tools, two men joined them. Davies looked up, hoping these were the reinforcements he’d asked for. With relief, he instantly observed how small the Trill man was:: ::The Trill was injured, however. Davies frowned at the blood-soaked makeshift bandage that was tied around the other man’s head:: Tan: Ensign, Lieutenant, Lieutenant. What do we have? Davies: We’ve got a small access into the daycare. Gilaars: ::nodding: None of us can fit in that hole, unfortunately. ::eyes Tan's small size:: Hmm... Burt: I hate to point out the obvious, but it looks like the doorway collapsed. ::shooting a look to Tan:: Not many people are going to fit in that hole. T'tala: It is small but it appears structurally sound. Lieutenant Gilaars has prepared a small inventory of supplies. :: Alleran nodded again, reaching down for the rope and beginning to thread it around his waist. T'tala gave him a curious glance. :: T'tala: Your leg... you are moving with much more- Tan: Drugs. I am high as a kite right now. Believe me, I'm going to be paying for this later, but you need someone short. I'm short. Ergo, I did what I needed to get mobile. Burt: ::smirking:: Remember what I said before? Petite. But you probably feel like a giant right now. :: Alleran gave Burt a grin. :: Tan: No kidding, huh? ::Davies did not like the look of Tan’s injuries one bit. He really shouldn’t allow him to go - but time was running out. He could offer a painkiller from his medikit, but as Tan had already indicated he’d likely already had far too many:: Davies: Tan, you really shouldn’t be doing this... :: Tan gave the man a grin. :: Tan: If I go into cardiac arrest in there, just pull me out. I'm sure Doctor O'Hanlon can get me going again... if anyone can find where he is. Davies: Well, don’t count me out. I may not get as much practice but, ::he pointed to his blue uniform:: still a qualified medical officer. I haven’t heard from O’Hanlon. Do you know if he made it out? :: Tan shook his head, tying off the last of the knot. :: Tan: I have no idea. There's a lot of bodies on the decks below us... I hope he made it out okay. ::Davies just nodded. The situation was getting more and more grim with each passing second:: Burt: Well, we’ll just have to make sure you don’t have a heart attack, how about that? :: Giving a nod, Tan gave T'tala and Gilaars the other end of the rope, hooking the laser cutter into his belt. He gave the four of them, including Davies and Burt, a grin. :: Tan: Okay, so. Scream once for pull me out. Scream twice for pull me out REALLY QUICK. Gilaars: Understood. ::Tightens grip on rope:: ::Beside them, the older Terran who Davies recognized from Ten Forward started to laugh. It elicited a chuckle from Chris as well. It seemed wholly inappropriate to be laughing when a whole daycare was buried beneath a broken ship, but humor had an odd way of popping up no matter what the circumstances:: :: Tan held up his hands. :: Tan: ... sorry. I have a severe concussion. But I also have two brains, so it's not affecting me as much as it otherwise would. Still. I should probably see a doctor before sundown or, you know... die. Until then, drugs! Davies: Just get in and get out safely and we’ll take good care of you. Gilaars: Okay, let's get going! ::And then, like some rabbit, the man wiggled through the hole and was gone. Davies tried to peer through after him, watching the beam from Tan’s flashlight until it was obscured by debris. His palms began to sweat. Soon, the time for hoping would be over and all they’d be left with was either relief or despair.:: ::Then there was more movement, a quick beam of light from Tan’s flashlight followed by the last thing Davies had ever expected to see...the furry face of a dog:: Tan: Look after him -- uuh, her -- Burt! Burt: Hey there, buddy - you look like you’re okay. ::Davies watched the dog walk around. Amazingly it appeared uninjured, if not a little agitated, as if it wanted back in to the daycare. Davies assumed it was trained as a search-and-rescue animal the way it continued sniffing at the pile of rubble blocking the door:: Tan: Got one down here! ::Davies heart froze. He watched as a small body came toward the hole and he felt his insides liquefy as he recognized the unmoving, blond head. Ashley. He reached into the hole and grabbed her shoulders, laying one hand under her neck for support. He swallowed. She wasn’t breathing...:: ::The older man was at his side, helping him tug on a piece of Ashley’s shirt that had gotten caught on a piece of rough metal. The fabric yielded with a rip and Ashley slid into his arms. He lowered her to the floor, and shouted back at Tan while he tore into his medikit:: Davies: Anyone else in there? :: He just shook his head. :: Tan: The baby pens appear to be intact. They're soundproofed so I don't know what I'll find in there. Aside from there... there's really nothing left of the whole room. I doubt there's anyone alive who's not in one of those rooms. Gilaars: Just do the best you can, Lieutenant. That all we ask. ::sighs:: ::Davies ran the tricorder over Ashley. Her skull was fractured and she was severely hemorrhaging. There were just too many injuries. She was so small and there been too many heavy things beating against her body:: Burt: She’s not doing too good... I need to get her out to the doctor. I don’t think she has time for us to wait for someone to show up. ::Davies thrust the tricorder at Burt angrily:: Davies: I am a doctor! ::Not that it was going to do Ashley any good. He bent over her and covered her nose and mouth with his own. It’d been a long time since his basic medical classes and his courses on infant CPR but he remembered what he needed to do. He had to control himself from working too quickly, or too roughly. Her little lungs couldn’t handle a full, adult breath of his own, so he kept his shallow:: ::After three rounds of respiration he pressed his ear to her chest, trying to find a heartbeat. He looked up at Burt:: Davies: What’s that tricorder say? Burt: ? ::He pressed his hand to her chest and felt for the bottom of her ribcage. Half of it was crushed but he measured with the lengths of his fingers to find the location of her heart:: Davies: I have to try. ::He worked and worked. He wasn’t sure how much time had gone by, he only knew far too much had passed without any reaction from the little girl. It wasn’t until a pair of hands gripped his shoulder and pulled him away that he stopped. He leaned back on his knees, rubbing the blood from his hands onto this pant legs, catching his breath. Beneath him Ashley did not move, nor would she move, ever again. He reached out, his hand oddly calm and steady, and brushed back the mat of blond hair on Ashley’s forehead. There was no need for the symbolic gesture of closing her eyelids - they were already closed. He hoped they’d been closed before the room’s collapse and she’d been spared those horrors. Whatever she’d endured though, she was safe from it now. Her pain was over.:: TBC/Tags Ensign Chris Davies Medical Officer USS Avandar
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