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Sedrin Belasi

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Sedrin Belasi last won the day on November 26 2015

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About Sedrin Belasi

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    Back to the maddening crowd...
  • Birthday 04/01/1990

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    USS Invicta
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    Strategic Ops

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  1. (( Kaitlyn Falcon's Quarters; Starbase 118 )) ::It was quiet. Far too quiet.:: ::After a wonderful night spent with Leo, the in-depth conversation began. He gave her his updates; what had happened, what he had learned, what he had done for his sister and his friends.:: ::He also told her what had to happen next... He would be leaving the station, turning over command to Sal, and he had no idea when he would be back.:: ::Kaitlyn's next question was the obvious one; "When do we leave?":: ::That was when the other shoe dropped. Leo needed Kaitlyn to remain there. Kaitlyn had immediately prepared for a lengthy verbal battle... though it seemed Leo knew exactly how to diffuse the situation. He had need of Kaitlyn's skills, but this time her most important contribution would be off of the battlefield. He would need a reliable source of supplies, something he knew she could provide.:: ::It was a blow, to be sure, but it was also something Kaitlyn could not argue against. If Leo needed her providing support from where she was, then she would provide him the best support she could.:: ::Leo had not remained much longer. Their farewells were not exactly happy, but they were hopeful at the very least.:: ::And then... silence. Her quarters seemed far more silent than they had before, even though it was still just her and Rhino.:: ::She needed to move. Needed to do... something...:: ::Then she remembered her mental note, to fire up the old sparring program and work out her stresses. A quick check with the computer found a free holodeck. She booked a reservation immediately.:: (( Holodeck 47; Starbase 118 )) ::The holodeck doors parted, admitting the civilian dressed officer onto the gold-grid-on-black room.:: Falcon: Computer, activate program Kaitlyn Spar 1, with gear. Computer: Acknowledged. ::The room around Kaitlyn shimmered, floor replaced with a hard white surface as the room faded into darkness all around her. A spotlight illuminated the center of the room, a black ring marking the floor. A similar light remained over her head, showing a table and chair form nearby. Atop the table were a line of bottles of chilled water and a duplicate of her weighted staff.:: ::She had first used a staff in combat many years ago, before she had joined Starfleet. She had been taken hostage by the Orion Syndicate, long story, and after breaking loose grabbed the closest thing she could use as an improvised weapon; a metal rod with large hexagonal nut at either end. While she was able to recover her twin phase pistols, her initial escape had been thanks to that rod.:: ::Once she returned to civilization, she got her hands on a better constructed staff and learned how to use it. While she had not yet been able to use her knowledge in the field, it did give her an excellent form of stress relief.:: ::Kaitlyn grabbed the staff, hefting it slightly to remind her arm of the weight.:: Falcon: Computer, reduce ambient temperature to 18.3 degrees Celsius. Computer: Working. ::The room started to chill as she removed her jacket and flung it over a chair. She liked working out in the cold; it meant she was unlikely to overheat, and the added pain of impact (while maintaining safeties, of course) gave her ample reason to avoid hits.:: ::Kaitlyn moved to the center of the circle, holding her staff in a two-handed ready stance. She did a short warm-up, making multiple practice swings of the staff with steadily increasing speed and sweep.:: ::Once she felt adequately stretched, she dropped back into her ready stance.:: Falcon: Computer, begin round one. ::The computer gave its acknowledging beep as Kaitlyn listened to the shuffles beyond the light, waiting for the first opponent to appear.:: ::Points of light manifested; eyes in the darkness. Two figures entered the light, both Orions in patched leather jackets and tan pants. Each had the symbol of the Orion Syndicate at his shoulder. One cracked his knuckles, the other his neck, and both charged.:: ::Kaitlyn stepped forward, thrusting the end of her staff into one Orion's chest to stop him before spinning the staff around to bring the other end's weight into his head. The blow dazed him, leaving him open for a follow-up side swing to the side of his head, knocking him down as he vanished from the program. She immediately reversed, ducking down as she brought the staff around and into the side of the second Orion's head twice. The second opponent vanished as well.:: ::Kaitlyn had encountered the Orion Syndicate many times over the years, or rather FAR TOO MANY times. The amount of harm they caused, the amount of destruction she had witnessed over the years... No minced words; she hated them. Time might have given her some distance from it, but it would never truly be gone.:: ::While at the Academy, she had asked one of her more holographically capable friends to make this sparring program for her. While training dummies were okay, sometimes Kaitlyn wanted to fight something that could fight back. Besides, it always provided excellent stress relief.:: Falcon: Computer, begin round two. ::As Kaitlyn got back into position, four new opponents emerged from the shadows. They remained in two pairs, moving around the ring to attack from two directions. Kaitlyn turned in place, keeping the assailants to her left and right.:: ::The quartet charged her, Kaitlyn snapping her staff up and around to knock each pair into each other. They staggered, three of them momentarily collapsing while the fourth managed to keep his feet.:: ::That simply meant he was the first to fall, as Kaitlyn swiftly brought her staff around for another decisive strike.:: ::The remaining trio regained their feet, though did little to coordinate their attack. Kaitlyn dodged the clumsy grasp of the closest Orion, snapping her staff behind her to crack against the back of his head. Reversing her swing, she swept the second's feet out from under him, chaining her movement to slam the other weight down against the Orion's chest. Both vanished from the program as the final Orion approached. Kaitlyn made another two-hit combination; a straight strike to the Orion's chest followed by a comical upswing between the Orion's legs.:: ::The look on the Orion's face was priceless. Kaitlyn couldn't help but smirk as he fell over sideways and vanished.:: ::Kaitlyn took a moment to breathe, using her staff as support. Typically, she would make the next round one-on-one, going up against an opponent armed with a staff of his own and getting more movement into the mix. However... Kaitlyn found she really did not feel like continuing.:: Computer: Standing by for round three. Falcon: I know... ::Sighs.:: I know... ::The escape was always nice, and as expected she had burned through the residual stress of the last mission.:: ::Yet, all it had done was remind her of the terrible new truth... She was separated from Leo once again. She had spent a couple years and several postings away from him before, and the prospect of repeating that did not sit well with her.:: ::It was necessary, sure, but that did not make it any better.:: ::Kaitlyn walked back over to the table, setting down the duplicate staff and picking up her jacket from the chair. That day, there would be no round three.:: Falcon: Computer, end program. ::The room shimmered, quickly replaced with the same gold-grid-on-black she had seen on entry. Her escape would have to come from elsewhere.:: =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Lt Commander Kaitlyn Falcon Chief Helm Officer Starbase 118 / U.S.S. Albion F237507RF0 =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
  2. DeVeau: ~But...but...chocolate...~ -------- DeVeau: ~Chooooocolate...~ ::Alora resumed the slow pull of the bag.:: DeVeau: ~Come to me, preciousssss...~ ::taps Alora's hand away.:: Moonsong ~There is a price for chocolate. ~ ::Alora straightened and eyed her friend.:: DeVeau: ~I refuse to jump up and down, scratch my head and make monkey noises. I also don't like bananas.~
  3. ((Earth Starfleet Headquarters)) Personal Log. I find myself sitting in my temporary quarters, looking out the window towards the setting sun of the San Francisco bay area and contemplating my experiences over the last few days. It's hard to describe my feelings from what I have been through, and it feels all like a mind-numbing dream, and a part of me still thinks that maybe it all was. But it felt so real. I was there, if only for a short time. Back home. Back in my universe of origin. But was I? It seemed so real. The sounds, sights, smells. It felt real and maybe that was enough, even if it wasn't. But while there, I was offered a choice. An awful choice and when I chose and returned here, it was as if not one single second had passed. But to me, it felt like an eternity. As I prepare myself to return to duty, I can't help but wonder what, if any of the consequences would have been for me should I have chosen differently. I guess I'll never know. But one thing is certain, I will never forget this particular return visit to Earth. It all started when I arrived a little more than a week ago. ((Time Warp - Home of the Townson Family - Earth)) ::The house loomed large in front of Tracey as she gazed along the pathway that led to the front door. She stood there for a moment gripping the handle of the hover-stroller tightly as the fall colored leaves swirled at her Starfleet issue boots. She knew she was heading into uncharted territory and had not been home for quite some time. In fact, this was not her home at all, but the home of her namesake who ended up in a different universe on that fateful day she found herself here in this strange, peaceful universe.:: ::Tracey slowly made her way up the pathway towards the black front door of the home and after climbing a few steps, she breathed heavily for a moment and looked into her hover-stroller as a feeling of almost panic gripped her. The smiling and cooing Romulan infant inside however brought a sense of calm back to Tracey as she mustered up the courage and lifted the ancient door knocker. Before letting it drop she looked at the intricate details on the carved iron-clad ancient device and she found herself chastising herself for feeling so insecure. She had battled the Dominion in a relentless war in her universe of origin. Watched friends and family die, walked the battlefields where the stench of death and charred flesh from phaser fire pervaded the surrounding environment. So why was she so scared of this, she thought? With that in the back of her mind, Tracey let the iron knocker drop and a loud clank could be heard from within. Moments later the door opened a crack and then further as an older lady stood and smiled.:: Cynthia Townson: Tracey. ::smiling:: How wonderful it is to see you. Tracey Townson: Thank you. I hope I am not intruding. Cynthia: No no! ::opening the door wider so Tracey and the child can enter:: Please. Come in. ::Tracey smiled nervously as she pushed the stroller ahead and entered the home. She looked around the home that was in the same neighborhood she grew up in and in the same location she remembered, but the home itself was just so much different. This was an estate compared to where she grew up. Her home was much smaller and looked nothing like this one did. Tracey entered the hallway and looked around in awe.:: Cynthia: Anything familiar? Tracey: ::stealing her eyes away from her surroundings and focusing back on her mother she slowly shook her head and tried to smile a bit:: I am sorry, mother. The neighborhood is familiar to some extent but the layout is just so different. This is a much larger home than that which I remember, for example. Cynthia: I see. ::with a hint of sadness in her voice she attempted to change the subject as she loomed closer to the hover stroller:: So this is the little one I first met on DS26. Tracey: ::following the older woman's gaze:: Yes, mother... ::looking at her mother:: My apologies. Cynthia: ::standing up straight and putting her hand up:: No. Please. I am pleased you think of me in that way. Tracey: I know you must miss her terribly. Cynthia: I do...:looking away for a moment:: but it has been so long. Sometimes I forget. Tracey: Are you certain you will be able to do this? I do not wish to burden you. Cynthia: ::turning back to Tracey and smiling:: Anything for my daughter, and I do have help. Your uncle Sorel has taken a permanent residence close by and will assist me. Tracey: I don't believe that Starfleet is any place for children. ::looking down at her adopted Romulan infant.:: And he needs special attention. Cynthia: I know. You've always thought that way. ::There was a long silence between the two of them as they watched the child in the stroller falling asleep. Tracey then leaned down and placed her real left hand on the cheek of the child and whispered in Romulan.:: Tracey: Heis'he Hvaid. Arhem ssaed llhnae. Krenn hwio nhrai erh'na shikaen Townson. (My love Hvaid. I will return. Here you will become part of the Townson family) ::She then kissed the boy on the cheek and stood up and looked at the woman who was her mother in this universe.:: Tracey: I thank you once again. As soon as you find yourself overburdened, please contact me. I shall attempt to find other accommodations. I can't live outside of Starfleet, and I cannot take him with me. It is a difficult choice for me. Cynthia: I know, Tracey. Don't concern yourself. I am here. Tracey: I wish I could bring your daughter back to you. ::Once again there was a long pause as the two women stared at each other. Then Tracey's mother spoke.:: Cynthia: You have. In you. Tracey: I must go mother. Cynthia: ::nodding solemnly:: I know. ::smiling:: Now don't worry, Tracey. He'll be fine. Better than fine. ::With those words, Tracey felt a sense of calmness wash over her like she felt in her mother's presence when she was a child. Tracey smiled warmly then gave her mother a hug before giving one more tearful goodbye to her Romulan son, and then left to return to Starfleet headquarters in San Francisco for her new assignment.:: ((Earth Starfleet Headquarters)) Personal log - Supplemental All was going just fine as I arrived here in San Francisco for my briefing and to await my new assignment. In my free time, I would try to relax and had called my mother many times to make sure all was OK. She kept on reassuring me all was fine and I was happy that my mother found someone who could speak Romulan to Hvaid so that he would understand his native language as he learned to talk. On a few occasions I would even head to the Academy grounds and watch the Cadet exercises on the grounds. But as the Academy was not far from Starfleet medical, where I was housed in their Psychiatric ward for two years, I would sometimes find my focus to shift towards that building and the window to my old room, recalling those days when all I knew was fear and anger and sadness. It felt like an eternity ago, but how quickly those memories could return. Who would have thought all those years ago, that I would now be fully integrated into this universe's version of Starfleet, and a full Commander at that? Certainly not I. Especially after that Kobyashi Maru test. But lo and behold. I made it. So two days ago, I headed back to the building I once called home and decided to pay my Psychiatrist a visit. It was that day that I faced my fate and the choice I was confronted with that I made. One that I really hope was just a figment of my imagination. ((Starfleet Medical - San Francisco - Earth)) ::Tracey entered through the familiar doorway and headed inside the building she was an in patient at when she first arrived to this strange, peaceful, universe. She made her way through the busy, bustling corridors and arrived at a main desk. The nurse on the other side looked up at Tracey and her eyes opened wide when she noticed the pips on her collar and then quickly stood at attention.:: Townson: Please. At ease, Lieutenant. I am looking for the office of Doctor Samuel Huff. Lieutenant: Yes, Commander. ::Tracey watched as the woman worked and then looked up questioningly at Tracey.:: Lieutenant: You are aware that Doctor Huff is a Psychiatrist. Townson: Yes. Now if you will, Lieutenant. ::The Lieutenant gave Tracey the information she needed and Tracey went to visit her old Doctor. All went well and after about a two hour conversation, Tracey took her leave and headed back to Starfleet Command feeling proud and happy that the Doctor was impressed with her progression and that she was much more integrated into this universe than she ever imagined she could be. She entered a turbolift that would bring her to her temporary quarters and there were four people inside. The doors closed and turbolift moved along on its trajectory. Three of the officers were of Lieutenant rank and one was a Captain. The Lieutenants were standing at attention and Tracey nodded at the Captain. The lift stopped short of Tracey's destination and the three Lieutenants quickly exited the turbolift. The doors closed and the lift continued. Suddenly the Captain, who was behind Tracey, spoke.:: Captain: You no longer come to attention in the presence of a superior officer, Commander? ::Tracey frowned at the question then turned towards the man behind her who was now wearing a black uniform with red trim and had a phaser on his belt and a communicator that was no longer part of his uniform. Her eyes moved towards the stripes on his sleeve that represented that of a Captain. The uniform was exactly that of a Captain in her universe of origin.:: Townson: Who are you? Captain: I am a Starfleet Captain. And you are to come to attention in my presence no matter what the circumstances, Commander. Or have you forgotten your training in this universe? ::Tracey did as the man said but kept her eyes locked on the man waiting for him to make a move. He didn't and in that moment, Tracey tapped her com-badge.:: Townson: Starfleet command security... ::The Captain smiled.:: Captain: They can't hear you, Commander Tracey Townson. Townson: I'm sorry. I don't know who you are. ::Tracey remained at attention but was ready to attack. Her false right hand was rising clandestinely ready to be used as a weapon if necessary. She didn't have anything else to defend herself with.:: Townson: Who ever you are, please return me to where I was heading. Captain: I will return you. In due time. But first I wanted to let you know that we have been watching you. At ease, Commander. ::Tracey relaxed her posture and looked over the man's uniform. Every detail was perfect. It was if he knew of her Starfleet.:: Townson: Me? Why? Who are we? Captain: All in due time, Commander. ::The man snapped his fingers and Tracey knew her uniform had changed as well. She raised her right arm all the way up and looked at the stripes of that of a full Commander.:: Townson: What are you doing to me? Captain: I am giving you an opportunity to right a wrong. Townson: ::shaking her head:: How? ::Suddenly the lift started moving again. Tracey turned to look towards the doors of the turbolift that changed to a sickly familiar sight. She turned back towards the Captain and he was gone. Then the turbolift rocked and almost threw Tracey to the ground. It was the telltale sign of an attack. Tracey looked at the steel workings of her now uncovered false right hand which she used to keep herself from falling by bracing herself against the turbolift wall.:: Comm: =/\= Marine contingents report to cargo area 57. Triage units report to deck 22 section 57. Commander Townson, report to the bridge. =/\= Townson: I'm back...ev...everything I knew is gone. Captain Riley, Captain Waltas, Captain Blueheart, Doctor Sampi, Doctor Velana the Tiger, Independence, Discovery, Atlantis, Avandar. My time at Starfleet medical. My rise back through the ranks. Hvaid! Everyone! Everything! They are all gone! ::The turbolift doors opened to a chaotic scene as dead officers lay all over the bridge. The bloodied familiar face of Tracey's old Captain Roberto Cedeno turned towards Tracey and barked his orders.:: Cedeno: Take the helm, Commander. Fast! ::Tracey ran from the turbolift towards the helm and threw the bloodied body of the dead officer in the seat to the floor. Tracey sat quickly and could feel the liquid blood of the dead officer on the back of her uniform as her fingers danced over the controls of a configuration she had not used in years.:: Townson: Three Jem'Hadar battlecruisers flanking us. Attempting to find an escape route. Cedeno: Hyperwarp now, Commander! No time to be pretty! Townson: Yes, Captain. ::And with that, Tracey pressed a button on her console after entering coordinates that would hopefully not have them colide with the battle-cruisers and closed her eyes as the battleship Resolution jumped to hyperwarp. Tracey then slowly opened her eyes and turned towards the Ops station and the Captain who had brought her back to this universe smiled this time in a uniform with Lieutenant's stripes.:: Captain/Q: Good work, Commander. ::Tracey sighed as she jumped from her seat and headed towards her former Commanding officer who was badly injured in his Captain's chair. Captain Roberto Cedeno looked up at Tracey's yellow eyes and spoke softly and his breathing was labored.:: Cedeno: My injuries are grave, Commander. If I don't survive, I trust you with this ship and crew. Never give in to the Dominion. ::Then the medics arrived and began to care for the Captain. Tracey turned back towards the Captain that brought her here and spoke to him quietly.:: Townson: Please tell me this is a holodeck scenario. Captain/Q: No. This is as real as your so called life gets. Would a holodeck capture all this? The smells, the tastes, the feeling? Townson: ::pausing and looking over her bloodied uniform and then looking back at the Captain.:: No. But why? Captain/Q: Now you have that which you really wanted. Your returning to your universe of origin, and your own command. Townson: ::looking at Q sharply:: Captain Cedeno will not make it? Captain/Q: No. Townson: Then what...what about me? Captain/Q: I am certain you'll be a fine Captain. I can go now. have you decided to stay? Townson: No no. That's not what I mean. I mean me. The one who was me here? Captain/Q: Ohhhh ::scratching his chin and nodding:: Well she's just, you know. Gone. Like everything else from that strange, peaceful universe. Townson: Can't you just put her back to that universe where she came from? Captain/Q: ::shaking his head:: Sorry, us Q have no powers in this universe. If we bring someone here, the other will just disappear. Like poof. Townson: Q? You are a Q? So that's it. I read about you while studying in the other universe. ::A voice from the back of the bridge sounded.:: Voice: Commander Townson! We're are draining energy reserves while at hyperwarp. Townson: Then drop us out. Be certain no enemy warships are in the area. Voice: Yes, Commander. Townson: ::to Q:: I...I can't do this. My life...my child is in another universe. I can't be responsible for the loss of all that I had and the loss of an individual who was here and made a life, no matter how bad, here for herself. You should give this...gift to the one who was here. I don't deserve it. If anyone should disappear, it should be me. I stole her life. I couldn't live with myself if I stayed and took her life once again. It was bad enough I did it once. ::Announcements for ship repair specialists began chiming through the Comm as Q looked at Tracey.:: Q: I could send you back. But you'll never have this chance again. Are you sure. Townson: ::nodding:: Yes, but if you can, remove her memories of her time in the peaceful universe. I know from experience, it would be easier. Q: It is your choice. ::Q then snapped his fingers and they were both on the turbolift at Starfleet headquarters in their Starfleet uniforms of the peaceful universe. Tracey felt for her three pips on her collar with her now covered right prosthetic hand and realized all was back to the way things were.:: Q: Welcome back, Commander. All is as it was. I hope you make the best of things. We will be watching. ::Q then snapped his fingers again and disappeared. The turbolift doors opened to the sterile air of the hallway ahead that lead to her temporary quarters and she paused at the doorway to the turbolift and looked back inside and wondered if all that happened during that short trip real or not.:: -TBC- Commander Tracey Townson Intel USS Invicta H237708TT0 -- Envoyè depuis mon palm pre
  4. Sal Taybrim: Hello rock, meet hard place. That is now going into my daily vocabulary.
  5. Taybrim: He was beginning to wonder how Leo managed this all the time without going mad. Then again maybe Leo was mad, and he just never noticed. On second though, nah, Leo was too well grounded to be mad. He just must have the patience of a saint. A little from column A, a little from column B...
  6. Taybrim: He breathed an audible sigh of relief when he caught sight of Commander Falcon. Not only was he personally glad to see her, but back in the depths of his mind he knew Leo would have his hide if he came home to Falcon in sickbay. Or worse: the morgue. Aye, Leo is rather fond of his red-headed lady...
  7. ((Promenade, two decks above the main brig - StarBase 118)) ::Seth Ralston was having what he liked to think of as a 'working lunch' Except in his line of work, the working part was far less clear. For all intents and purposes he was a well to do trader enjoying a delicious and exotic meal on the promenade of StarBase 118. He had picked a sampler platter from the Al-Leyan restaurant on the corner and was in the middle of savoring every little bite like a gourmand. The food was good, but he wasn't really there for the food. The sampler platter simply drew out his eating, allowing him to spend more time sitting in this prime location and observing the traffic of the area without raising suspicion. He was just some guy enjoying alien cuisine. Not an immoral, merciless bounty hunter with his mind set on murder. Except in his mind it wasn't murder. Murder was personal, a crime of passion. This was a simple killing. There was a difference. This was dispassionate - a simple fact of life. Someone knew too much, they needed to be eliminated. He didn't really care who it was beyond the precautions he would have to take in order to get the job done. Starfleet had nicely trussed his subject up and stuck him in a jail cell. That was a minor setback - getting past Starfleet security was a pain. But on the other hand it reduced his all too slippery subject into a sitting duck. The biggest trouble would be to get in, get the job done and get out before Starfleet started shooting. Ralston knew the rules full well. Shoot a drifter and nobody cares. Shoot a Starfleet officer and you'll be hunted to the ends of the Galaxy. It was presumptuous and unfair, but true. Contracts on Starfleet officers always fetched a pretty penny in return for being some of the most dangerous to pull off. The killing part was easy - the not getting part caught was hard when it came to Starfleet. Ralston tended to avoid those contracts - too messy, too much preparation. So he didn't really want Starfleet on his tail because of an accident on his part. He had spent the better part of the afternoon observing and memorizing Starfleet's patrol patterns. Locating the security cameras, mapping the station, planning his route. He had a pretty good idea of how to pull it off. He needed a distraction, a small power failure, a way to mess with the backup systems and a little bit of luck. Fortunately he had most everything taken care of. The first thing he had done upon reaching the station was to find a way to get near the power grin and place a small black computer box into the workings. It was a gamble - such devices would be found with routine checks - but he was betting the rest of his plan would come together before the nightly maintenance went though. He would rig the distraction while he shopped, and access to the backup systems. If he moved fast it would be in, out, done. He could escape through the ventilation system and be back on the promenade before they could declare his subject dead, and off the station by the end of the night. Finishing his meal he headed to commercial sector, two floors below. Spending some time browsing, he came upon the 'Menagerie' - an exotic pet shop. He indulged in looking at all the animals, touching the cages and talking to every creature there. And on each cage he left a tiny black patch by the lock. Enough that when he sent out a pulse, every patch would amplify his signal and demagnetize every lock simultaneously. Then he headed out and back up two floors where he skirted the Starfleet patrols and gained access to a Jeffries tube. Time to move quick. He knelt down, working the magical part of his plan. Explosives were all too quickly picked up by security scans - normal explosives at least. Which was why he was allowed in to the little secret that Grek wasn't supposed to share. He took out a small container of grey powder - Calcium Trisulfanese, a fertilizer for terraforming projects and opened the container. Then a flask where he poured a generous libation of the sparkling golden liquor over the top. Mixing until it formed into a ball the consistency of modeling clay, Ralston smiled. He held in his hand a thoroughly innocuous looking ball. Safe to carry, safe to break and press into molds. Safe until it was hit with phased or charged energy, when the whole mass destabilized and exploded with impressive force. It was perfect for a job like this. Packing his things up, he hustled to the backup junction. It was dark, humming with just enough power to make sure the system was at the ready in case it needed to be used. Press a little of the clay here, and a big chunk there... it would stick happily in place until Starfleet powered up the backups. And then... boom. It was a thing of beauty. He backed out of the area, heading at a junction for the ventilation system, making his way towards the Main brig from above. He could feel the electric crackle of the force fields and security systems from over a dozen meters away, and he took the time to silently creep forward and locate the players in this little drama. Starfleet, Starfleet, Starfleet. The freighter captain was leaving, and there was the hybrid. Beaten up. Good. That would slow him down. Seth Ralston indulged in a grin as he pulled his devices from his coat. One magnetic pulse emitter, that was the first thing he turned on. Then the computer hack, signaled to start as the device interfaced with the power junction. It would take 67 seconds for the device to cause a lapse in the power and Ralston used those 67 seconds to swap in the modifications that turned his perfectly legal Rigellian phase pistol into a deadly long range weapon. There was a crackle of the forcefields and the lights flickered. Showtime.:: ~*~ tbc... ~*~ MSNPC Seth Ralston Bounty Hunter hired by Unsavory Sorts Simmed by: Sal Taybrim
  8. ((Main Engineering)) :: Ashley strode into Main Engineering, purple eyes glancing curiously at all the equipment and crews goings abouts. He was on a search… as was usual for *some* crewmembers… for his next appointment. One Cadfael Peters, who he had last seen unconscious on the shuttle that had acted as his method of rescue from the Asphodel. But if the man was back on duty, he was healthy enough to attend a scheduled appointment. He wasn’t going to let people think he was a pushover about these things. :: :: Cadfael wasn’t known for avoiding the required sessions, though with all the transfers in his record it’s possible one or two sessions may’ve gotten lost in the administrative shuffle; and Ashley wanted to… as a Terran would say… “get the drop on him.” :: :: What this counselor wanted, this counselor got. :: :: Finding his mark hard at work at a panel, Ashley made his move. Silent and stealthy, he stepped up behind Peters to make what would be an apparently sudden appearance, his hands clasped behind his back and smile in place. :: Yael: Lieutenant Peters, I presume? :: Ashley let the man turn around and gather himself from the interruption. :: :: Peters heard his rank and name, grateful perhaps that the voice hadn’t recited his serial number and turned around slowly. :: Peters: Yes, ensign. How can I help you? Yael: Counselor Yael. ::nodding his greeting:: When last we met, you were quite unconscious. You’re feeling better now? Peters: Yes. Provided I don’t need to go back into Sickbay any time soon. Yael: Excellent! Then you can accompany me to the main counseling office for your routine evaluation. :: It wasn’t phrased as a question, though his polite smile stayed firmly in place. :: Peters: Routine? Are you sure you aren’t confusing it with my annual? Yael: Whichever you prefer to address it as, Lieutenant. :: The engineer’s brows furrowed momentarily, and he blinked a few times to formulate the words before he spoke again. The Denobulan smile was creepy, and a little disorienting. :: Peters: I had my annual eval when I came aboard, with Counselor Sheridan. I’m sure you’ll find his last note in my record. Though if you’re insistent this is mandatory after I had my ears blown apart, I will accompany you now. Yael: Consider it a Quarterly Update, with your injuries in mind. ::pausing, his smile never faltering:: Lieutenant, you seem a little frustrated? :: Peters gave a small huff of exasperation and picked up his tools. The console diagnostic would keep, and he was sure one of the other engineers would catch the results if he was still being held hostage by the counselor. :: Peters: Tends to make me a bit irritable when they get told “You need to drop everything and go to counseling to make sure you’re considered fit for duty.” If you want to discuss my case with Counselor Sheridan, go ahead. I’m sure he’d be more than happy to accommodate. :: This guy was downright annoying. Vance, at least, was personable. :: Yael: Counselor Sheridan is not posted at Starbase 118. I’m sure you understand that we counselors leave copious notations for our crewmembers future care, should we be personally absent. As for having you drop everything, unless it’s an emergency, it isn’t as important as your health, is it? :: The question was bluntly stated, yet still eternally polite, presented with a smile that said “I will stand here and harp at you as long as it takes.” :: Yael: You see, Counselor Sheridan himself noted you may attempt to *avoid* seeing a different counselor, should they not be persistent in seeing you. ::he paused, head [...]ing to the side slightly almost humorously:: Of course, you would *never* conduct such a professional sleight against a well-meaning fellow crewmember, would you? :: It was a load of bait. Ashley had had difficult clients to catch before, and had found the firm approach quite successful at ending their days of running away. If they knew a persistent Denobulan might creep up on them at any second, they’d at least be in the mood to get it over with, leading to them coming to him. :: :: It was also worth noting that several pairs of eyes belonging to the engineering staff were now quite interested in their conversation. :: Peters: You have no idea how much I would love to conduct such a sleight against you right now… :: His words were caked in sarcasm, but never the less picked up his tools and motioned for the Denobulan to lead the way. :: Yael: I like to know the crew I serve, Lieutenant. Humor me, and I’ll leave you in peace. ::pause:: Until your next regular bi-annual post-injury psychological update is due. :: He paused, then he gave Peters an easier smile. :: Yael: Just joking, Lieutenant. :: Stronger insults hinged on the edge of his tongue, and he didn’t like the fact this guy was starting to get on his nerves. Bringing up the bi-annual post-injury psych eval just made his mood less friendly. So instead of cursing the man out in front of the other engineers, he settled on the mildest one he could think of, in reference to a Star Wars beast of some sort. :: Peters: You...son of a gundark, you…. Yael: ::grinning, turning to lead the way out:: Flatterer. :: Cadfael’s mood had gone from chipper to angry in five minutes, just by talking to the Denobulan who seemed hell-bent on making his day a nightmare. There wasn’t anything he could do about it except humor Yael, then maybe earn five minutes or longer of uninterrupted work. The fact Vance was no longer posted to Starbase 118 just made it worse. Peters didn’t dignify that line with a response, inwardly thinking of all the ways he could punch the man’s lights out so he could get back to work. The thought of a court-martial flashed briefly through the engineer’s mind. :: Peters: oO It’d be worth it… Oo ((Main Counseling Office - 5 minutes later)) Yael: Please help yourself to the replicator. Or, I have some Denobulan coffee prepared if you’d like to try it. :: Ashley stepped up to the desk and poured the bluish, steaming, liquidated tree bark into a mug, waiting for Peters answer as he took a seat at one end of the couch. :: Peters: Coffee’s good… :: he took the offered seat as far away as he could manage from the creepy yet annoying Denobulan, not usually the sort to want to punch a guy after ten minutes. :: Yael: ::heading right into things:: I’ve been informed you and Vance Sheridan were close friends. You must miss him. :: That just stung, and Cadfael picked up the cup of Denobulan coffee. Every reminder Vance was gone just drove the knife deeper into his mind. He had a friend, then lost him because of a transfer. And he didn’t think he’d trust another counselor again. :: Peters: Don’t go rubbing salt into the wound, alright? It’s none of your [...] business anyway. :: Ashley’s smile never wavered, but he did manage a very slight expression that amounted to “tisk tisk.” :: Yael: No salt intended, Lieutenant. But the answer is very much there, isn’t it. ::the anger was definitely an answer of sorts:: Have you had many close acquaintances on the Starbase aside Mr. Sheridan? :: Cadfael’s muscles tensed, and he tightened his grip around the coffee cup. While he probably couldn’t break it, he was considering throwing it at the counselor just for being annoying. The smug grin on his face was creepy and annoying at the same time, and again the questions just pried open the fact he missed Vance. :: Peters: Look, doc. Not your game, alright? You don’t need to know whether I have any friends or not. :: There was a pause as Ashley set his mug down, before shifting slightly in his seat, hands folding easily in his lap as his purple eyes set solidly on Peters. :: Yael: Lieutenant, it is in fact my “game.” If I believe your habits to be unsustainable, negatively impacting you on a personal level, or downright unhealthy, I can… and *will*... pull you from duty. ::pausing:: Not to mention, as a professional favor to Counselor Sheridan, I have been asked to keep a “close eye” on you, as it were. :: The smile went from stern to wry all without changing very much at all. It was very much an expression rooted in the eyes, expertly masked and yet expressive all at the same time. :: :: The anger in Cadfael’s eyes burned through his otherwise neutral facial expression and he sipped the strange coffee in order to prevent himself from speaking. He sat in silence for several moments, unblinking. He didn’t relax, and wasn’t in the mood to play “be civil to the counselor” at all. He wasn’t Vance. :: Peters: Professional favor? :: It was a very pointed question, but that’s all. :: Yael: Yes. His personal notation in your file was vibrantly stated, and I intend to follow through with his request. ::continuing regardless:: I think it’s admirable, that you’ve earned the worry of a good friend. It demonstrates something of your character. :: Albeit, not the part that was currently glowering at the Denobulan. :: :: Cadfael sighed, and set down the coffee. He didn’t seem to notice he was now out of coffee, nor did his posture relax at all. It was clear he wasn’t going to win, but he did not feel comfortable around this guy after spending the last however long it was since they met wanting to punch him in the face. oO He isn’t Vance. Oo :: Peters: And what would that be? Yael: What do *you* think it is? :: Ahhh, the classic answering of questions with more questions. Ashley knew he was pushing the man, but it was the approach recommended to him, and he was sticking with it until proven ineffective. Peters’ anger would be something he might have to chip away at over time. :: Peters: That’s why Vance asked you to look after me, isn’t it? So you could tell me? Yael: No, Lieutenant. That was my personal observation. :: By the stars, was this Denobulan a smug little bugger…and personal observation be [...]ed. It was going to be a living nightmare to get this guy humored. :: Peters: So...what, you want me to warm up to you? Tell you whether or not I’m socially inept and awkward with everyone who isn’t Vance? Tell you about the Darwin and how everyone ignored me because I was caught in a space pocket? The Victory, where I can’t remember much of anything except the Sickbay? The smug yet intriguing little gremlin I met in the previously mentioned rift who wound up saving my life? My stupid and desperate maneuver to wire one implant into the ship’s comm system so I could hear the orders that were part of your rescue? The dual EARS implants? :: He stopped, furious at Yael for even bringing up the personal observations in the first place. Professional favor or not, apparently Vance’s loss affected Cadfael more deeply than he knew. And it hurt just relating these things in a string of questions he didn’t want to answer that were bound to come up anyway. :: Peters: oO What the bloody hell is wrong with me? Oo :: Even expecting an outburst, Ashley was surprised at the intensity. He’d been expecting *something,* sure… but not *that.* Purple eyes widened slightly, and he let Peters digest the moment of silence that came once he appeared to finish. He certainly didn’t want to interrupt if the man wasn’t done. :: :: After a moment, a kind smile on his face, he asked gently… :: Yael: Did that feel okay, getting all that out? You *have* been through a *lot,* haven’t you. :: Again, not actually a question. :: Peters: No slag, Ensign Obvious. Care to tell me something I didn’t know? :: He was irritable, frustrated as all hell, and this smug little….It was annoying. Some portion of him wanted to walk over there and clock him one across the jaw as he leaned back in the chair, silent for a few more moments. The tears of frustration started to blur his vision, and he blinked them back before he shed a few. :: :: The Lieutenants ire had certainly been earned, and the anger was obviously rooted in some serious emotional turmoil. But Ashley was less concerned with the engineer “warming up to him” than he was helping the man learn to actually process that anger, and possibly find the next Vance. Peters didn’t have to *like* Ashley. That was beside the point. :: :: What was more important was the microexpression Ashley had thought he had seen glance across Peter’s expression after his outburst. One of shock. :: Yael: I’m going to pencil you in for a bi-weekly session, Lieutenant. I believe you can greatly benefit from learning some anger management techniques, which will allow you better ability to socialize with your fellow crew in the future. :: Bi-weekly sessions. Great. He was going to be seeing this smug little frack twice a week for the rest of his career until such time as Cadfael didn’t need Ashley’s help anymore. This could only get worse from here. Why is it he got along fine with Vance and the new chief of engineering, but lousy with this guy? Maybe it was the persistence in the Denobulan’s manner or maybe that [...] smug grin that wouldn’t go away. He blinked a few more times to keep the tears at bay and just narrowed his eyes at the counselor as though daring him to provoke so he could throw a punch and walk away. :: Yael: ::indomitable in the face of the sizzling lieutenant before him:: It may be difficult going for you, but you may find yourself at peace with yourself… if you give it a genuine go. But for the moment, I suggest you find something relaxing to do. I’ll let engineering know you won’t be returning today. :: Enforced introspection wasn’t his preferred method, but he didn’t want the man to simply bury himself in work to attempt to forget all he’d said here. :: :: Keeping him from engineering was like taking away a canine’s favorite chew toy for punishment. And someone in the heavens was definitely punishing him. This was going to be a living hell for the rest of his tour on the starbase. :: Peters: You... :: He couldn’t finish the thought and finally, the [...] broke as a single tear streaked his face. Pure anger gleamed in his eyes, hands clenched tightly into fists as he started toward the door. :: Yael: Lieutenant. ::meaning to halt the man for one last moment:: :: Peters paused in his tracks, wanting to wipe that smug little grin off his face. But there was nothing he could do except walk away before he put himself in sickbay for a broken hand. :: Yael: Please keep in mind, it isn’t my intent to torment you. I do what I do entirely for your benefit. :: It was the only thing the Denobulan said without a smile. :: Peters: Yeah right. :: and walked away without another word, clenching his eyes shut to prevent further tears. :: END === Lieutenant JG Cadfael Peters Engineer Starbase 118 Ops 0239002CS0 & Ensign Ashley Deneve Yael Counselor Starbase 118 Ops http://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php/Yael,_Ashley_Deneve
  9. ((Freighter Anatoli - Captain's personal bathroom suite)) (nine days ago) ::Seth Ralston raised the still-hot tip of the silenced phase shift disruptor to his thin lips and blew on it. There was no smoke - gunpowder and bullets hadn't been used in his line of work for centuries, but he had always been a fan of Terran 'old western' holovids and at times like this he fancied himself the spitting image of an old frontier bounty hunter. Before him Captain Grek's eyes bulged out of his head as he sank below the fragrant bathwater. Little bubbles filtered up to the surface marking Grek's last breath as his killer went silently to work. It wasn't hard to access the Ferengi's computer nor was it hard to destroy his trade records. The hardest part would be tracking down everyone that Grek had brought in to his trade network - and who might know the nasty little secret the Ferengi uncovered. His employer Drin Jerol has made it quite clear: no loose ends. Fortunately Ferengi loved contracts. And contracts gave Ralston a perfect list of people to find, follow and eliminate. No loose ends.:: ((Geneva VI Cargobase - Security Station)) (Four days ago) ::So far, so good, Ralston had tracked own the other five contacts in Grek's network. One left - and of course the last one proved to be the slipperiest of all. It was always that way. Nothing could ever be easy. Now he was standing in a shabby security office that served as both an evidence room and a trophy locker for Vintam Dalreth, the dimwitted mob boss that served as the owner of Geneva VI.:: Dalreth: I told you. He's dead. ::He tossed a sample case that had a small amount of charred remains in it.:: I'd love to say I fried him myself, but the plasma fire took care of it first. Ralston: I see. ::he nodded, taking out a scanner. Yes, the DNA matched his target, but Seth Ralston was an expert at tracking people. It was clear Vintam Dalreth was not. Seth was looking for different things - not the least of which included not just a presence of the right DNA, but the correct amount of it. At base, there just wasn't enough remains here to be an entire body. Of course a plasma fire was a nicely thorough destroyer of remains, but if this Rohan was as much of a survivalist as his history lent Seth to believe, he doubted the hybrid would get caught in a plasma fire to begin with. No, Seth Ralston was quite sure Zel Rohan was alive. Not that Dalreth needed to know that:: Ralston: ::Whistling at the charred little pile in the box:: Yes, I guess he most certainly is. Dalreth: ::smirking:: You should pay me for taking care of it for you. Ralston: technically I should pay your faulty circuitry. ::he dig in his pocket and toss a small bag of latinum towards Dalreth:: maybe with that you can hire a decent engineer. Dalreth: ::he snorted:: You got what you came for. Now get out. Ralston: ::a smooth smile:: I'm going... ::Hands up, he retreated, never even giving his name...:: ~*~ ((Passenger Ship Shangri-La - In the vicinity of StarBase 118)) ::After a nice thorough search of Geneva cargobase, Ralston decided that his quarry had, indeed, smuggled himself out of the area. So he had taken to some old fashioned detective techniques, and started listening in on every commline he could catch in a several lightyear radius. He figured that sooner or later the right information would come to him, and soon enough it did. It was something minor, a stowaway report on a freighter that had left Geneva VI. It was enough of a lead that Ralston was sure to follow. Problematically the destination was a Starfleet run starbase. Despite being Human, Starfleet bases were Ralston's least favorite places to hunt. They tended to have excellent security and plenty of naive, do-gooding officers all ready to stick their noses into other people's business. And his entire reason for tracking down loose ends was to do damage control and stop people like Starfleet from investigating what his employers were up to. He didn't like it. Operating on a Starfleet base meant being careful and patient, and yet he wanted - needed - to eliminate his target before the target had a chance to talk to Starfleet about what he knew. Because once Starfleet knew, there was no containing the secret. And Starfleet was a nasty animal when one started killing off its officers. Ralston didn't like it at all. Then again, he could always hope for one quick murder of a meaningless drifter and enough misdirection to make Starfleet drop their investigation. It would have to work, and he had to get there quickly. Time was running out. No loose ends. He repeated it to himself like a mantra. No loose ends. ~*~ tbc... ~*~ MSNPC Seth Ralston Bounty Hunter hired by Unsavory Sorts Simmed by: LtCmdr Sal Taybrim
  10. ((Starbase 118: Counsellor’s Office)) ::It was incredible how routine visiting the counsellor had become. Kellan’s conditional return to duty after Counsellor Sheridan’s breakthrough with him on the Einstein, which had stipulated that he would need to continue with regular therapy sessions, had led to a change in career goals and an increase in Kellan’s confidence after a breakdown that he had expected would see him locked away and medicated to the point where he would live his life as a vegetable. Then it had become clear that he wasn’t in Ravensville any more - this wasn’t some fabricated alien reality designed by cruel tormentors to watch the young Bajoran respond to one unbearable stimulus after another. This was real, actual reality, where you could be surrounded by people who wanted to help you reach a point where you could function from day to day and reach a point where no-one had to be your crutch around the clock. Someone had served that role for him once before, and Kellan didn’t know if there would be a day where he would ever not regret the way he had treated that man.:: ::It couldn’t have been more clear that counsellors were allies. When Counsellor Sheridan had transferred from the Einstein, Kellan had continued with a new counsellor, an older human by the name of Rosemary West. He hadn’t liked her quite as much as Sheridan, but they had got on well, and he had continued to progress under her care, to the point where his work had evidently attracted enough attention for him to be offered a department chief role. He wondered who he would be meeting this time.:: ::He pushed the chime on the office door to announce his arrival. He was prepared for there to be a wait as he was aware that appointments sometimes ran on. The door opened almost immediately, though, and he walked in to find the office empty other than a young-looking Denobulan Ensign. Denobulans had a reputation for being easy to get on with, so it seemed his luck was in.:: :: Ashley had taken to his office easily, skipping the whole decoration part for the moment. His sudden placement on the Starbase after his rescue on the Albion had taken him aback, and he felt utterly unprepared. First thing was first… the PC’s… the priority cases… as well as updating himself concerning the senior staff. He had only had time to skim the files, unfortunately, before jumping in head first into the thickness of his first appointments hefty case file in more depth. Not that he hadn’t done this at a rapid pace before. There were methods to this madness, thankfully. The entry of the Bajoran crewmember was his cue, and as was his method, he clasped his hands behind his back in that easy way he had… a way that almost guaranteed an avoidance of the traditional handshake other species seemed to hold to. He gave the man a smile and allowed him to enter and introduce himself. :: Kellan: ::Smiling:: Hi, I’m Lieutenant Kellan, here for an appointment at 1400. Yael: Quite right, good to meet you Lieutenant. Counselor Yael, at your service. ::pausing:: I’ve had just a few moments to go over your file. It appears you’re a regular visitor. Kellan: Yeah, I’ve been having regular sessions and it would be good to set some up here as well if you can fit me in. ::Given what was recorded on his file, the Bajoran was fairly sure that he wasn’t going to get any resistance on that front. In fact, it was quite likely that the request would be turned around the other way and he would be instructed to report for sessions rather than having to ask for them.:: Yael: Certainly, we can do that. ::knowing the complex and very *thick* file would suggest such a thing, and glad the man had volunteered rather than waiting to be voluntold:: But rather than leap into the thick of it off the bat… :: Ashley made himself at home at one end of the comfortable couch at room’s center, pouring two mugs of freshly brewed Denobulan coffee at the table before it. The liquid was slightly bluish in color, rather than the typical black or deep brown. :: Yael: … I’d rather we took a few moments to enjoy a proper cup first. If you don’t mind, of course. :: Giving them both a chance to easily chat, giving him a chance to gauge the Bajoran’s mindset and allowing him to set the pace. :: ::There was only one problem with that idea, which was that the ‘proper cup’ contained some weird-looking concoction that Kellan had never set eyes on before. He leaned forward and sniffed at it warily.:: Kellan: What’s it a proper cup of? Yael: This is a traditional Denobulan coffee. It’s made from a common tree, from which we grind and roast the bark, mixing it later with a dilution of its sap. It’s quite vibrant in flavor and has only a mild stimulant. ::It didn’t smell too bad. Even though Kellan wasn’t particularly sold on the tree bark description, he figured it was worth a try. It couldn’t hurt, really, and he didn’t tend to be over fussy about food and drink.:: Kellan: Sure, why not? It’s worth a try at least, right? :: Ashley only smiled, glad to see the man willing to give it a shot. Openness to new experiences was a trait common to those who aspired to the Fleet life, so could be called a healthy impulse. :: ::The Bajoran engineer settled on the other end of the sofa, picking up one of the mugs and resting it on the arm. The room was familiar, yet unfamiliar. There were things about it that were immediately comparable to the counsellor’s office on the Einstein, but others that were not. Part of him felt at home here, while the rest of him felt slightly awkward. He knew it was important for that not to become a barrier, though, so he decided to try his coffee. It was just slightly too hot, so it was an extremely small sip, but the verdict was…:: Kellan: I like that, actually. It’s not quite as bitter as Terran coffee. Or raktajino. That stuff could turn your eyeballs inside out. Yael: Gah… ::visibly disturbed by the very mention of the Klingon drink::... agreed wholeheartedly. Kellan: I feel like raktajino is like this acceptance ritual. Like, you know, if you don’t order a raktajino from the replicator when you go there then you’re not part of the gang. Did you ever find that? ::Maybe it was just on the Einstein, but he would certainly be interested to know if it was the Starfleet equivalent of being a jock, or an A-teamer. He’d given up after about two cups and decided to plough his own furrow.:: Yael: ::thinking on it, then, with a grin:: That sounds as if it could be true. I’ve had a similar introduction to *it.* Kellan: Well, I guess that’s the benefit of being Chief Engineer. I get to choose what the drink is. ::He smiled and took another sip of the interesting beverage. He didn’t really intend to play games here, but he did want to let Counsellor Yael know that he was confident about the role he’d been assigned to on the starbase. He wasn’t going to let it swamp him, and he knew it was going to be important to make his mark on his staff as well as on the base itself.:: Yael: ::a glint of humor in his eyes:: So long as you avoid programing every drink to become a glass of water with a goldfish… ::eyes landing on the Bajorans::... an old friend of mine, also Chief Engineer, exacting revenge for a previous prank. ::Kellan smiled in amusement. He hadn’t thought of that. It would be a good way to play a joke on his colleagues, though, if he felt so inclined.:: Kellan: Sounds like a fun character to be around. Yael: He was quite interesting. A tragic soul, but a vivacious and passionate personality. ::If one could call his old friend Chase’s hot-dogging “passionate”.:: I always wonder now, what mischief the Engineering Chief is up to. :: And he meant that generally, as in all Engineering Chiefs, and he gave Kellan a properly amused look of suspicion. :: ::Still chuckling away, Kellan found his eyes drifting towards the lone pip on Yael’s collar. He didn’t really think anything of it, as all counsellors underwent the same training before they could be assigned to active duty. He decided to use it as another leg up for a conversation topic, settling down a little more comfortably as he did so.:: Kellan: So is this your first posting? Or have you served anywhere else? Yael: Don’t let my rank fool you. ::the Denobulan chuckled lightly:: I’m not fresh from the Academy. I’ve some experience under my belt, and recently returned to active duty after an extended Leave of Absence. Kellan: Oh? ::The Bajoran was aware that extended leaves of absence weren’t usually taken for the happiest of reasons.:: Was everything all right? :: Mentally Ashley had to steel himself. He hadn’t tried this next part before… but he knew, with what he knew of what Kellan had experienced, relating to the man from the start in a profoundly honest way might be the best way to gain his trust. He wasn’t exactly looking *forward* to it, but it felt like the right path. :: :: And his days of hiding were supposed to be over. :: Yael: I was taken off active duty after experiencing a kidnapping and rather extended session of enthusiastic torture by a drug lord on Duronis II. :: He paused after the words left him with deceptive ease… it was nowhere near “ease,” to be sure… his eyebrows almost imperceptibly knotted together ever so slightly… then continued with a few more details. :: Yael: Afterwards I spent approximately six months under psychiatric care, and another year healing on Earth. Although, the time near Starfleet Headquarters gave me an excellent opportunity to study up on the specialty concerning Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. ::The sofa suddenly felt quite a lot less comfortable. All those times on Varo II when he’d been caught trying to steal food to sustain himself and Heril. He’d never been held and tortured, but he understood pain, and there was something behind this counsellor’s words that he felt he recognised.:: ::He realised he probably shouldn’t have asked.:: Kellan: I’m sorry, I uh… ::he floundered for something else to say.:: Yael: ::lifting a hand to dismiss whatever platitude he suspected was coming:: It isn’t something I want to tiptoe around any longer. I’m a big believer in “owning” one’s experiences, as it were. Taking control of them makes it harder for them to control us. :: He had placed those final comments in a more shared sense, insinuating that Kellan might also benefit from a mindset of personal strength in the face of adversity. :: ::A little off balance, mainly because he hadn’t expected that he would encounter anyone who actually understood what he’d been through rather than just doing a very good job of being sympathetic, Kellan nodded slowly.:: Kellan: Yeah, Counsellor Sheridan said something similar. ::The human had done the bulk of the work in helping Kellan come fully to terms with his experiences in the Ravensville simulation.:: I guess you’ve read my file? Yael: I have read your file, yes. ::pausing, he [...]ed his head to one side slightly, smile solidly in place:: I assure you, you will have to work *very* hard to surprise me. ::The Bajoran actually quite liked the fact that there were a lot of things he wasn’t going to have to rehash or explain in detail. When a counsellor change came along, it helped that there was continuity.:: Kellan: Hopefully that won’t happen. I just find it easier to cope with some things if I can talk about them. I mean, I feel like I’m doing well enough, but there are maybe a few things that I could work on and be better at, if that makes sense. And honestly, having regular sessions makes me feel supported, so you won’t have to go hunting for me round the station at any stage. Yael: Excellent news. I’m glad to hear you’re doing well. Your most recent file additions were quite inspiring, if you didn’t know already. :: Having turned the tone a bit low himself with his harsh but seemingly successful admission, Ashley now moved back to something positive to replace it. :: Kellan: Well, that’s good to hear. I was pretty happy to get offered a chief engineer position, honestly. Especially on a starbase. I don’t think I’ll be short of a few things to do. Yael: Too true. I do hope you excel at delegating. Kellan: What, you mean being bossy? ::He smiled again.:: I can do that just fine. Yael: I’ll believe that when I see it. :: The Denobulan was being good-natured about the common issue, not being accusatory. Chiefs were notorious workaholics, in his experience. :: Kellan: ::Confidently:: You will. I mean, I can’t promise I won’t work a bit of overtime during really busy spells, but there’s no good burning out, is there? And you can’t think if you’re too tired. That’s when mistakes happen. ::It sounded almost like someone else was talking through him, or he was reciting from a book. Those were things he did try to stick to, though. If the Chief Engineer was making mistakes through exhaustion then there was no telling what the repercussions might be.:: Yael: Would you say you’re well prepared for the role? Did it come as a surprise to you? ::Kellan took in a slow breath and turned around a little on the sofa, tucking up one leg and wrapping his hand around his cooling cup of coffee as he thought about how best to answer.:: Kellan: I feel like I’m prepared, yes. I shadowed the Chief Engineer on the Einstein for a while before I transferred over here, and I did a lot of reading up on the differences between keeping a starbase and a starship running. There’s no warp care on a starbase, obviously, so that means things are simpler in one way, but the fact that there are so many different facilities aboard, some of them unique, means things are much more complicated in another. I’m really looking forward to it. ::He took a longer sip from his mug. The drink was definitely a hit.:: Kellan: Was I surprised? I still don’t really believe I’m here. I thought I was going to have to plug away for years before I had a chance to progress. I didn’t know that they let you move up through the ranks if you were having counselling appointments, but apparently they do. I just didn’t really connect that seeing a counsellor doesn’t mean you’re automatically unfit for duty. ::He was also aware he’d been doing something right, so his approach to his life and his work since his switch to a gold collar had to be much improved from when he was wearing teal.:: Yael: ::chuckling as he took another sip of his drink:: No one ever believes us when we say such things. Counseling is entirely to your benefit, and all that. Those who shy away from us don’t tend to discover what you have… the secret is out. :: That the “head shrink” wasn’t out to gobble up your secrets for nefarious means. :: Yael: If I might move into a professional recommendation, on that note… ::pausing slightly::... your previous success indicates to me that one should not “fix what is not broken,” as Terrans are prone to saying. Do exactly what you have been doing, as much as you are able. Or in other words, change as little of your established routine as possible, at least in the short term. :: The short term, to a typical overly-patient Denobulan, meant in the new few months. :: Yael: Priority number one is adapting to your new role without derailing your progress. ::Kellan hung on the counsellor’s words. That had been key to his success so far.:: Kellan: I understand. Yael: It would be entirely normal to experience some pushback during a time of change, where you might feel you are regressing somewhat. Be certain to take the liberties you need as you move forward. Kellan: What do you mean? Like, give myself time off if I get stressed? ::He wanted to make sure he fully understood what Yael was recommending.:: Yael: If you feel it is necessary, yes. Or use other outlets. You’ve said you’ll be coming to see me regularly, that’s one. Holodeck time is another. There are also your hobbies, don’t forget them just because you’re an all-important Chief now. ::he said this in a positive way, with a grin:: They can be easily forgotten when we become overwhelmed or stressed. Kellan: Yeah, that’s true. ::He could recall a few occasions where he’d been thinking about heading to the holodeck for the afternoon, but had sacked it off and just sat on the couch eating junk food.:: Yael: What *do* you do, aside your profession? :: Ashley’s interest was two-fold. What hobbies a person took to told one a lot about them. It also opened up opportunities for socializing, which a Denobulan was rare to avoid. Unless it was something altogether terrifying, like orbital diving. :: Kellan: Well, I quite like boxing, but I’m not very good at it. I had a lesson from one of my old friends from the USS Vigilant a while back, just before I transferred, and enjoyed it. I don’t mind getting hit ::because a punch to the face or body barely seemed to register in comparison to some of the things he’d been through - he hoped that wouldn’t need explaining:: and I enjoy the challenge of having to think about tactics while you’re defending yourself and looking for openings. Yael: Boxing… good old fisticuffs. It does apparently have its draw. Afraid I’m not the right type to engage in it, but I do understand the appeal. ::pausing:: Anything else? Kellan: I took up running recently as well, actually. I was looking for something else that involved exercise, but where I didn’t have to go down to the gym. I’d rather be outside running around than cooped up inside. ::Well, depending on who was using the gym of course. Sometimes the view in there wasn’t all that bad.:: Kellan: I use the holodeck mostly, and I try to use a new program every time I go. There are hundreds, and they keep getting updated, so I don’t think I’ll ever get bored. Yael: Do you ever run with other crewmembers? Or do you interact with them in other ways? ::Kellan winced at the question. He had a feeling this one was going to get him some heat.:: Kellan: Uh, no… not so much. Usually I go running on my own. It’s good to get away from everything and just run sometimes. I did used to go and hang around in the ship’s lounge with a few friends on the Einstein, but I don’t really force the social side of things. If I’m friends with someone then I’ll spend time with them, but maybe not in massive groups just for the sake of it. Does that make sense? :: So he kept his friends close, and kept most others at bay? At least, that’s what Ashley heard behind the spoken words. :: Yael: I do understand. ::pausing before pushing a little deeper:: Do you know many of the starbase crew? Kellan: I do know a couple of people on the starbase already, yeah… ::He tailed off. One of them he was happy to have been reunited with, and was looking forward to finding the time to catch up with them. The other, he was very concerned about what would come of them being posted together, even though he was actually even happier to have found him again than he was to have run into his other friend.:: Kellan: Actually, one of them… well, I was going to talk to you about them. Yael: ::an eyebrow perking up in curiosity:: An old flame? Or perhaps, a rival? :: For work or play, either was a potent combination. Old friends could renew both the spirit AND old difficulties. :: Kellan: Old flame. It was me that screwed things up between us. I can see he’s still pretty angry about it, or cold, or whatever. Doesn’t seem keen on me being around is the overriding message. I don’t really blame him given how I broke things off. :: He, an old flame. Something that had not been in his file, but not at all an issue. Denobulans were known for their liberal social policies regarding family and orientation, after all… having three wives, who in turn had three husbands apiece, led to such things being complicated, but considered utterly natural. :: Yael: That’s unfortunate. If I may ask, what led you to break things off? Kellan: I was going through a tough time. Things weren’t exactly peachy for him, either, but we got assigned to different places. I got the Einstein and he got… I don’t even remember. I couldn’t face saying goodbye because I was upset we were being split up, so I just… ::he dropped his face into his free hand.:: I sent him a letter. Didn’t call him, didn’t try to see him. That was like, 6 months of a good thing right down the toilet because I couldn’t bring myself to try to figure things out and just assumed the worst. ::That was probably his biggest regret for a long time. When he looked up again, it became clear that he was deeply embarrassed by what he’d done more than he was upset. He’d had some time to come to terms with it and decided what he wanted to do, long before he’d met Richard again.:: Yael: I see. ::it was clearly an action that bothered the Bajoran:: Then perhaps this is a good opportunity to mend that tear. Not that you should pursue a relationship at this time, but that you could seek to resolve the conflict. Allowing him to say his peace in the matter may be hard for you to hear, but could resolve some of your *guilt* in the matter. ::pausing slightly, setting down his mug:: When we think we’re going to bed alone at night, we’re largely incorrect. We must be able to sleep peacefully with ourselves, after all. :: Every sentient being knew that battle. The one where the question of who they were, of their self-worth, came crawling into their mind when the lights were low and the bedroom silent. :: ::Oh boy, that would probably result in a death. Kellan wasn’t afraid of talking to Richard but he did think he understood how badly he’d hurt him. He felt like he could see some of it in that meeting.:: Kellan: You think that’s a good idea? :: Purple eyes set on the Bajoran carefully. He didn’t want to encourage something Kellan wasn’t prepared for yet. :: Yael: *If* you believe it may be beneficial in the long term, yes. The true answer may be if you are going to be put in a position where you will see or work with him often. Otherwise… laying low may well be in order. It’s your determination to make. ::Kellan smiled ruefully into his coffee cup.:: Kellan: I’ll be seeing him every day. Maybe I should bring on the showdown. :: Ashley couldn’t help a slight chuckle, but his expression translated into “oh no.” :: Yael: That may well take the answer out of your hands, then. ::Yes, it did, rather, didn’t it?:: Kellan: The only thing that makes this more complicated is that I still love him. I don’t think I ever lost that. But I know I can’t just walk right up to him and tell him that, otherwise there’ll be a boxing match for real, probably. I do want to fix this, preferably in a way that makes things better for him, but if there’s any chance of a salvage operation then I’d like to try to take it. Yael: Then, if I might make a suggestion…? ::He’d been hoping he might say that.:: Kellan: Please do. Yael: Whatever you may think *you* want from him is aside the issue of *his* mindset concerning you. With this in mind, I would suggest you attempt to… play the chameleon. Blend back into his view without making waves. Allow him to show you what he does… or does not… want from you. Give him the time he needs to process your presence. I do not believe it will be long before he tells you, verbally or otherwise, where he stands. You can make your move from there. ::So, in other words, let Richard take control and take things at his own pace.:: Kellan: That sounds like it might work. ::He felt a little encouraged.:: It’s definitely worth a shot. So, you think do the showdown thing first so he can get some stuff out of his system and then try to take it easy? Play things by ear? Yael: “Showdown” might be a bit dramatic. ::smiling at the man:: However badly things ended, it’s possible your expectations might be a little exaggerated. I doubt you’ll be pulling your six-shooters. :: He was trying to say this kindly while still being brutally honest. :: Yael: Approaching him may well see you rebuffed, rather than rebuked. But yes, I do think you should approach him. Make certain he knows you are not ignoring him… then allow him the space to decide what he needs and wants. ::Kellan stopped to think for a moment. He had been predicting some kind of apocalypse, or a beat down in the corridor, hadn’t he? It wasn’t so much that he was afraid of that happening as it was that he wouldn’t have blamed Richard if he reacted that way. Whatever had happened between them, he knew he wouldn’t hurt him, not in that way.:: ::In fact, it struck him that this was really the only thing that he was really afraid of right now. The fear of rejection. He needed to face it head on, like he had everything else, and be prepared to play the long game to prove to Richard that he could trust him again. If that led to friendship rather than anything else then he would have to live with it. In the meantime, he also needed to keep on top of his duties and continue to capitalise on all of the progress he’d made over the last year.:: Yael: Depending on his response, it may require stoicism on your part. Be prepared for anything, but expect nothing… that’s more of a personal policy of mine, admittedly. ::It was sage advice again, and he would certainly give it his best. He’d learned to cope with pain, negative emotions, irrational fears… maybe this could be tackled in a similar way.:: Kellan: I think I can do stoicism. We can talk about this in future sessions, can’t we? I think it’ll be easier to hold everything in if there’s somewhere to let them out again at some point. Yael: Certainly. I’m here whenever you feel you need me. ::Well then anything was possible, wasn’t it? Taking the risks Kellan was going to take would be a much easier thing to do if he knew there would be someone he could talk to afterwards.:: Kellan: Thanks. I appreciate that. I’ll let you know how everything goes. :: Taking that as a cue, Ashley set his mug to the table. There was a slight clanking sound as it hit the table, jittering slightly in a somewhat unsteady grip, but it did not spill. Moving on as if all was well, Ashley stood and smiled one last time at his guest. :: Yael: Please do so. It would be good to hear this situation has been resolved for you. :: Allowing Kellan to depart, the Denobulan-hybrid opened the man’s file and began taking notes, logging his recommendations and other details that might be important down the line. It was nice to start off with a crewmember he didn’t have to hunt down first. :: ::Meanwhile, as Kellan walked down the corridor, he felt as though he’d just been given an in to solving what had looked like an insurmountable problem. He would have to expect setbacks, but maybe he wasn’t staring into an irreparable rift after all.:: A JP by Ensign Ashley Yael Counselor Starbase 118 & Lieutenant Kellan Joran Chief Engineer Starbase 118
  11. Matthews: Hey Smurf ::A smurf, Udas had come to learn from Matthews, was an ancient Earth cartoon. They were blue with white hair. All similarities ended their. Andorians were vicious warriors, scientists and politicians. Smurfs ran around in the woods.:: Udas: Hey yourself. ::looking Matthews up and down.:: You'd think just once you'd come your bloody hair.
  12. ((Starbase 118: Holding Cells)) ::Chen sat with his arms folded over the back support of the chair he'd wheeled out from behind the nearby guard station console. He'd spun it around and re-settled himself after sitting in view of Lukic for a good ten minutes, just watching him. With the seat backwards like this, he could lean forwards towards the cell and really pile on the pressure. He didn't need to tell Lukic why he was there. He didn't need to bombard him with questions. He certainly didn't have any desire to indulge in the interrogation methods that some of his black-collared compatriots might on other installations - on occasion, they would forget that they were Starfleet officers and cross more than one line. He didn't even have Sabina Tiam with him. This was about psychological pressure and winning the mind game that Lukic had started when he'd decided to try to play everyone in the Black Tower for fools.:: ::Lukic had begun by trying not to look at him. Then he'd tried turning his back on him. Now, the Serbian was sat in the corner of his cell, hands in his pockets with a resigned look on his face.:: Lukic: You're going to sit there all day, aren't you. ::It was more of a statement than a question, as though he was perfectly aware of the way things would play out.:: Chen: Until I get what I'm looking for. Lukic: And what is that, exactly? An apology? Do you want me to beg to be released? Give you a sob story of how a man like me ended up betraying my uniform because of outside influences beyond their control? ::Chen took in a slow deep breath through his nose. They'd reached indignance. He could work with this.:: Chen: I don't believe you ever had any loyalty to that uniform. And if you wanted to be released, you'd already be begging. I wouldn't describe you as a man, Mr. Lukic, so much as a loose end. We know what happens to those in your line of work. ::There was a pregnant pause.:: Chen: You know what I want, because you pretended to work for me. Just like you pretended to work for other intelligence chiefs before you came here. Lukic: You want to know who I work for and what we're trying to achieve. Too bad. ::His lip curled into a sneering smile. Chen had a feeling that he was about to get the "I know my rights" speech, the one where the guilty party quoted chapter and verse of every regulation they mistakenly believed would help to save their skin. He'd heard it many times, usually from a Romulan and involving the word 'extradition' - in this case, he had a feeling he would be hearing 'court martial'.:: ::He was going to shut that down before it started.:: Chen: If you're not going to tell me anything then maybe you'd be more useful as bait. Lukic: For what? ::He looked nervous all of a sudden, even though his tone was defiant.:: Chen: As I said, you're a loose end. Not to mention a liability, being as you wound up in a holding cell instead of doing whatever it was you were supposed to do. So, suppose I file a report exonerating you and turn you loose. I'm pretty sure we'd see someone from your organisation show up on the station and make some kind of an attempt to dispose of you. ::While that was a viable plan, Chen had no intention of condemning the man to death like that. It would be barbaric. They would have to take measures to make sure he could survive before rearresting him and sending him for trial. His words, however, seemed to have cracked the veneer of Lukic's resistance. A little more pushing and he was going to start getting answers.:: Chen: For example, we know there is at least one other operative aboard, because you sent a message to them on the Albion. ::There was a long silence as Lukic considered what Chen was saying.:: Lukic: They'll kill me if I tell you anything. Chen: They'll also kill you if you don't, won't they? Lukic: ...yes. Chen: What were your orders? Lukic: I... ::He opened his mouth and blunted.:: Chen: What were your orders? Lukic: I can't! I... Chen: ::Antennae tipping backwards, Irritably:: Computer, record an official amendment to the file of Warrant Officer Lukic, Adrijan, Starfleet serial number TX-832-538. Warrant Officer Lukic is hereby exonerated of all... Lukic: NO! No, stop! I was ordered to sabotage the satellite that you had in storage in the Black Tower. Someone pulled some strings to get me assigned here. I don't know who the other operative is, we don't get told anyone else's name. Just how to send a message. That's all. ::The traitor had risen to his feet. Chen remained in the exact same position, although his antennae slowly moved forwards, back into their neutral position.:: Chen: How were you supposed to sabotage the satellite? Lukic: Destroy as much of it as possible. Emitters. CPU. Eventually the transponder, although I used that to send the burst message to the Albion. I hoped someone was aboard to receive it, so that they could have a chance to stop the Albion from deactivating the satellites. Chen: They failed. You failed. We will track this operative down and we will detain him in the same way as we have detained you. If you continue to co-operate, you will be sent for trial and most likely held in a high security stockade. That's unless you give me a reason to drop charges and have you released before then. Is that clear? ::The answer was a grim nod.:: ::The best way to drag information out of Lukic was going to be to do it in small bursts. Chen couldn't risk pushing him too far, or he could start to resign himself to the fact that he was going to be hunted down - the trick was to keep him believing that there was a way for him to survive, have him thinking that Starfleet custody was somewhere he wanted to be. For now, knowing that the satellite could still be a target and, therefore, potential bait, was good enough for him to make a few plans.:: Chen: I'll be back, Mr. Lukic. ::He stood from his seat, and wheeled it back behind the guard console. Once he left the room, the regularly posted security guard would return and resume her duties.:: Until then, I suggest you make yourself comfortable. TBC Lieutenant Commander ChenChief Intelligence OfficerStarbase 118 Ops & PNPC Warrant Officer Adrijan LukicEx-Intel Ops & Sicarius OperativeStarbase 118
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