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Posts posted by Saveron

  1. Part 3


    ((Comm Quad, Astrofori One))


    :: The biggest problem with evacuating the station in such a short amount of time was the fact that the numerous transports already docked at the station were already overfilled with passengers who had already paid for the privilege. The captains of these vessels didn’t appreciate having their ship’s effectively commandeered, or being asked to stuff every available bit of space in their vessels with civilians who weren’t likely to be paying much of anything. ::


    :: Despite the complaints, the work was nevertheless being done, and civilians and Starfleeters alike were all working together to empty the station before the Tholian armada arrived.::


    :: When Cassie arrived on the Comm Quad, it was emptier than she had ever seen it. Most days, she wished that the Quad was quieter. Today, she would have given whatever was in her power to give in order to see it fill again with people.


    :: She was accompanied by Gnisky, her aide-de-camp, and Msafiri Bakari, the region’s--and her--capable and frightening competent adjutant. However, none of those roles would last very long, now with things heading the way they were. ::


    Egan Manno: Gnisky, get me a stationwide channel. I want everyone who’s left aboard to hear me.


    Gnisky: Right away, Captain.


    :: Cassie heard, thanks to the cavernous silence of the emptied station, her own voice echoing back. Hopefully, if she could hear herself, then anyone else left aboard could hear her, too. ::


    Egan Manno: =/\= I am Fleet Captain Egan Manno, commander of the Federation Starfleet’s presence on Astrofori One. If you are still aboard the station, leave immediately. This is your final warning. =/\=


    :: Now, she thought, to see if anyone was going to come running. ::


    Egan Manno: Astrofori One was meant to do exactly what we’ve failed to achieve here. ::beat:: In a way, I’m pleased that our failure is so complete. At least the derelict station won’t ever remind us of what might have been.


    ::Msafiri wasn’t sure exactly what words to say in response, but an alert on his PADD made him breathe a sigh. They’d caught a break, although it had come at great cost.::


    Bakari: Captain, the latest sensor reports show the Tholian fleet’s advance has stalled. It looks like the Minerva and Stalwart were able to take out the fleet’s command ship.


    :: She snapped from her reflective funk immediately, back to the business of saving what people she could. ::


    Egan Manno: But only the command ship? What about the rest of 105?


    Bakari: I’m afraid both ships were lost in the battle. They’ve bought us some time, though, while the Tholians regroup. The rest of the task force is still on their way, about forty minutes out.


    Egan Manno: One Tholian command ship--for two of our own.


    :: She closed her eyes for a moment, rather than ask the next question that occurred to her: How many people? How many lives had just been lost? But that wasn’t the kind of question a captain was allowed to ask, not before the end of the fight. ::


    Egan Manno: I want us to be the last to go. No: I want to be the last to go. You two will go before me.


    :: If at all possible, that was. Gnisky inclined her head, gently agreeing. She knew better than to argue something that really mattered. But she expected Bakari to say something--right before, that was, one of the final evacuees interrupted them. ::


    :: It was Andrew Davenport. The reporter had a wide-eyed expression that often came with adrenaline. ::


    Davenport: Captain!


    Egan Manno: Mr. Davenport? What are you still doing aboard?


    :: He was dedicated, she’d give him that. But, perhaps, dedicated such that his priorities weren’t quite where they ought to be. ::


    :: Chasing after him was Lieutenant Ivanova. In the midst of the chaos, she didn’t have time for his antics. ::


    Ivanova: I’m sorry, captain.


    :: The tall woman gave the man a scornful look. ::


    Ivanova: Mr. Davenport is being uncooperative with the evacuation.


    Egan Manno: ::to Davenport:: I take it that we have you to thank for the story that ran, presumably based on what you heard me say to Commander Bakari?


    Davenport: Yes. I… wait, you’re not upset?


    :: She shook her head. ::


    Egan Manno: I’m not here to argue or to fight with you, Mr. Davenport. That’s for after, assuming there is a substantial “after.” You need to leave, now.


    Davenport: I’m not about to argue that.


    :: She glanced at Gnisky and Bakari. Surely not? Surely the resourceful journalist that was Davenport hadn’t allowed himself to be cornered at the last moment, and he had some other card to play, some other trick up his sleeve? ::


    Egan Manno: You don’t have a way off the station? ::beat:: Except, perhaps, after being arrested by Lieutenant Ivanova?


    :: Ordinarily, Lidia would have agreed, but this wasn’t an ordinary day. ::


    Ivanova: Captain, our security teams are being stretched to their limits trying to keep order during the evacuation. There simply aren’t enough ships for the number of people we need to get off the station, and once the crowds find out, I’m worried we’re going to have a mass hysteria on our hands.


    Egan Manno: That’s a fair assessment, Lieutenant. Very well. Leave Mr. Davenport with us. You’ll leave with us, Mr. Davenport. And you can tell your stories after you go. ::beat:: In fact, I think you ought to. The last of us on Astrofori One.


    :: The reporter looked around the deserted area, once so full of promise and diverse life. ::


    Davenport: I think that’s a good idea.

    :: He looked back to the fleet captain, who seemed focused on the task at hand, though he thought he could see some emotion bleeding through the veil of professionalism that defined so much of what he knew about Cassandra Egan Manno. ::


    Davenport: What do we do now?


    Egan Manno: Now? ::beat:: We wait.




    Ivanova: Keep moving, everyone! Use all lanes!


    ::Standing by her side was her ten-year-old son Misha, gripping onto her hand. She’d make sure he was personally aboard with her safe.::


    Misha: Mama, will be there be room for us?


    ::She squeezed his hand as she continued to wave people into the transport with her other hand.::


    Ivanova: We’ll be okay, Misha.


    ::The quantum slipstream drive had truly been their godsend. While the rest of Task Force 105 was still too far away, Admiral Washington had managed to convince a brave captain of a commercial slipstream starliner to divert to the station. Still, they didn’t have time to count their blessings as the unarmed passenger vessel would be shredded in minutes if it was still around when the Tholians arrived.::


    ((Station Promenade, Astrofori One))


    ::Msafiri watched the giant slipstream liner move away from the station gracefully before activating its drive, disappearing in a flash. He turned to see Davenport had been taking a holorecording.::


    Bakari: You better turn around and take some shots of the station. Probably the last images anyone will see.


    ::Assuming they got out of here alive.::


    Davenport: Right.


    :: Davenport had never been much of a photographer, but he’d been using a body camera to record as much as he could since the announcement came through. It was one of the few effects he’d bothered to recover from his room. Still, he turned and used the imager on his recording device to take several high resolution holoscans. Bakari was right. People deserved to see this. ::


    Bakari: When you write of today, just promise me one thing. Don’t focus on the destruction and fear. There will be plenty of that already. Tell the story of those that tried to help. People need to know there were helpers to the end.


    Davenport: That’s an admirable sentiment considering everything that’s happening here, Commander. I can’t promise anything, but I will do what I can to avoid sensationalizing this. All I ever really wanted to do was show people the truth.


    :: The Starfleet commander nodded and then gave a gentle pat on the man’s back. ::


    Bakari: Come on, let’s get to the runabout and give Gnisky a hand prepping for launch.


    Davenport: I gained some recent experience with Starfleet runabouts. I’ll help out however I can.


    ((Command Deck, Astrofori One))


    :: To the best of their abilities, those were the last. There was no one left to escort aboard an escape vessel, no transports left to make, no ships or shuttles left in any of A1’s bays. Cassie was, true to her word, the last to leave--after Gnisky, Bakari, and Davenport had proceeded her. Now, the station was home, for a long moment, to a population of exactly one.


    :: And even then, it wouldn’t be for long. She wouldn’t endanger anyone’s lives with one long, last look, especially as the Tholians were there. No, it was time to beam away.


    :: Still, there was something sublimely beautiful about the station’s last moments. There were no crass torpedoes or disruptors to finish the station off. Rather, the Tholian fleet, several hundred ships strong, was weaving a web around the station, surrounding it as if with a massive shield that would keep it safe. Ironic, she thought. Ironic that it should be there to do the exact opposite.


    :: She tapped her comm badge. This, too, was a moment that lasted far longer than she’d intended, as several epochs passed before her hand reached her badge. Even when she heard the signal chirp back at her, she couldn’t remember for a second, and then another, and then another, why she wanted to leave. Couldn’t she stay, and watch the weaving? Couldn’t she stay, just one moment longer? ::


    Egan Manno: =/\= This is Egan Manno. I’m the last. Ready for transport. =/\=


    :: In that final transporter stream, Astrofori One disappeared around her for the last time. ::


    :: And so for one brief moment in time, not a soul remained on Astrofori One, the station now a monument to a lost dream as the web began to close. ::






    The Crew and Residents of Astrofori One

    The Crew of the USS Minerva


    As written by


    Tony aka FltCapt. Cassandra Egan Manno/Cmdr. Nic del Vedova (V238208LV0)

    Rich aka Capt. Roshanara Rahman (I238705TZ0)

    Deliera aka LtCmdr. Sky Blake (C238803SB0)

    Gina aka LtCmdr. Lael Rosek (I238110RH0)

    Cameron aka Cmdr. Evan Delano (T239007ED0)

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  2. Part 2

    (( Corridor Near Turbolift Station, Astrofori One))


    :: Andrew Davenport, now a fully fledged FNS reporter, hadn’t set foot on Astrofori 1 for almost three years, though he had once lived here. Back then, he’d been chasing a conspiracy involving a member of the Federation Council.That rabbit hole ultimately led to being kidnapped, interrogated, and eventually marooned on an isolated Class-M world by the Maquis Reborn. He’d managed to escape, but only by sheer luck. ::


    :: As the situation on A1 grew more complex and the FNS wanted more reporters on the station, Andrew’s editor (and new boss) had left the final decision to return to the station up to him. The reporter didn’t entirely know why he’d agreed, but his professional instincts told him it had been the right thing to do. Now, just three days after stepping off the slipstream transport into the familiar bustle of the station, Andrew was already regretting his decision. There was something very wrong on Astrofori 1, and everyone seemed to know it - if not the specific details. ::


    Davenport: Commander! Commander Bakari!

    ::  Andrew recognized Msafiri Bakari from their briefly shared time together on the USS Garuda almost four years earlier. Much as he had been then, Bakari was Egan Manno’s right hand in managing the station, and Starfleet’s presence in the Menthar Corridor. If anyone but Egan Manno was likely to know what was going on, he was it. ::


    Bakari: I’m sorry, Mr. Davenport, but there’s an urgent matter I need to attend to.


    ::The 35-year-old adjutant to the Region & Starfleet Mission Commander for the Menthar Corridor & Astrofori One was walking with Lieutenant Lidia Ivanova, the station’s security chief, who looked annoyed at Davenport’s interruption.::


    Davenport: I can walk with you. I just need a few minutes.


    Bakari: Talk quickly.


    :: Andrew took the not-quite-a-rejection as consent to continue. ::


    Davenport: Is there any truth to the rumors that the Kubarey are also withdrawing from the station?


    Bakari: Not unless you know something I don’t...


    Davenport: Most of the Kubarey population has already left the station station. After the Breen withdrawal, people are talking.


    Bakari: I’m sure they are. All I can tell you is that we are current reassessing our operational plans with our Kubarey partners.


    Davenport: Will there be an official statement from the Fleet Captain?


    Bakari: When she crafts one, I’ll be sure you’re one of the first to get it.


    :: Bakari was close to the restricted turbolift that would take him to the command deck. There was maybe time for one more question. ::


    Davenport: If the Kubarey do withdraw, does Starfleet have the resources to maintain  Astrofori 1 on its own?


    ::Msafiri grimaced instinctually at the question. He couldn’t hide what he was feeling. The truth was no, they wouldn’t. It was already going to be difficult with both the Romulans and Breen gone, but if Starfleet were left alone, in all likelihood, the project would be abandoned.::


    Bakari: No comment. Will that be all, Mr. Davenport?


    :: Before Andrew could respond, a sudden repeating alert began ringing throughout the station. The entire corridor, previously buzzing with low levels of conversation, came to a stop. Many looked puzzled - an emotion Andrew shared. He didn’t recognize the specific alert, but Astrofori One had always done things a bit differently compared to other Starbases he’d been on. ::


    Davenport: What is that?


    ::Msafiri looked up and around the station. He recognized the alert the last time he’d heard it on Deep Space 17. Before the Vaadwaur attacked.::


    Bakari: Nothing good. ::He looked over at Ivanova.:: Lieutenant, I think you’d better head down to the Comm Quad. There’s going to be a lot of scared folks down there.


    Ivanova: Aye, sir. I’ll get my people ready.


    ::As she went off to get her security teams ready for crowd control, Msafiri’s combadge chirped.::


    Egan Manno: =/\= Commander Bakari, Egan Manno. I’ve just received word that the Minerva has engaged the Tholian taskforce. You’re needed at the command post immediately.


    Bakari: =/\= Understood, captain. I’m already on my way! =/\=


    :: Bakari regarded Andrew, who kept a neutral expression - he hadn’t been meant to hear that message, but the ‘damage’ had been done. They exchanged a brief look - Bakari, perhaps considering whether he could do something to stop Davenport from reporting on these developments, and ultimately deciding it wasn’t worth the time. Bakari moved quickly to the priority turbolift that was waiting for him while Davenport sprinted to the nearest public terminal that could provide access the station’s subspace communication system. ::


    :: The report he prepared for FNS was one of the shortest he’d ever written, but it contained the most important pieces of the story. “BREAKING: USS Minerva Leads Federation Forces Against Hostile Tholian Fleet on Approach to Astrofori 1,” the headline read in bold letters. The rest of the article provided the few details he had, and a notation asking his editor to add the relevant background on the already reported recent developments for the station. ::


    :: His finger hovered over the submit button on his interface when another alert began to sound through the station. A chill ran down Andrew’s spine as he saw the reaction of the few Federation citizens nearby. ::


    Egan Manno: =/\= Attention, all Astrofori One residents and personnel. This is Fleet Captain Egan Manno of the Starfleet mission. For your own safety, and on behalf of all governments and states represented on Astrofori One, I am ordering an immediate evacuation. This is not a drill. Proceed to the airlocks, transporter rooms, and bays as quickly as you can. I repeat, this is not a drill. =/\=


    ((Bridge, USS Minerva))


    ::The bridge rocked with another hit, and Chaulok held onto her console to keep from falling over.::


    Chaulok: ::raising her voice over the sounds of weapons fire:: Captain, we are unlikely to prevail in this engagement.


    Kaneshiro: Yes, *thank* you for that kind reminder, Commander!


    Goodwell: ::shakes his head:: They’re hitting us hard. Damage reports incoming from all over the ship.


    ::The ship rocked again, consoles sparking. When Kaneshiro whipped himself back up to a proper seated position, he yelled out a command.::


    Kaneshiro: Target the engines of the lead vessels - if we cut their legs off, maybe it’ll give us some breathing room.


    ::It was kind thinking, given that they were in battle with a number of Tholian vessels (Shiro wasn’t keen on counting them), but it was the best idea he had. But the reality was that Chaulok was right - they were fighting a losing battle.::


    ::Chaulok’s voice called out again, this time announcing a call from the Stalwart. She put it on audio, Captain Tob Ch'rhiakrar’s voice filling the air. Judging from the background commotion, the Andorian’s ship wasn’t faring much better.::


    Ch'rhiakrar: =/\= Minerva, they’re generating another web. We need to coordinate our counterattack. =/\=


    Kaneshiro: =/\= Agreed. =/\=


    ::Michael scrambled to think, trying to recall how the Victory had eventually won out against the webs.::


    Goodwell: Graviton waves.


    Kaneshiro: If you’ve got a plan, Goodwell, speak *up*!


    ::On the viewscreen, one of the Tholian vessels could be seen strafing past the Minerva’s saucer section, nearly on a collision course. The Tholians were getting bolder in their maneuvers, almost as if they were taunting them.::


    Goodwell: Tholians are essentially hot crystals. They don’t respond well to high frequency soundwaves. The Victory used graviton waves to disable the Tholian ships it encountered. It gave them just enough time to get away. It might give us an edge to warn Astrofori One.


    Kaneshiro: It’s worth a shot. Coordinate with the Stalwart.


    Goodwell: ::nods:: Aye, sir.


    ::Michael pulled up the screens on his tactical console toggling between the readings and text communications with the Stalwart tactical officer. They needed the element of surprise and couldn’t risk the Tholians picking up their comm traffic. The text communications were encrypted and even the best attempts to crack them would take a half hour, probably more. They didn’t need nearly that long.::


    Kaneshiro: Status on the web?


    Goodwell: ::grimaces and shakes his head:: I’m picking up an energy build-up in their weapons systems. I’m working as fast as I can, but it’s going to be a close one, sir.


    ::The Captain paused for just a second.::


    Kaneshiro: Helm, get us between the Stalwart and the rest of the building web.


    Helm: Aye, captain.


    Chaulok: I am rerouting auxiliary power to thrusters.


    Kaneshiro: Lieutenant, how’s it coming?


    Goodwell: ::fingers flying over the console:: Another minute or two at most. Making some last minute adjustments to account for the Tholian vessel’s current trajectory. It’ll take time for our systems to recover once we emit the wave. We may only get one shot at this.


    Kaneshiro: One shot’ll do. ::brown eyes flickered over to the tactical console:: Just don’t miss.


    Goodwell: Given that it’s my rear end along with the rest of the crew’s in the sling if I do, I don’t intend to. ::enters a few final commands and looks up:: There. Ready on your order, sir.


    Kaneshiro: Full power to starboard shields - Lieutenant, you’ve got my permission to take out that damn web!


    ::Gods help them if this went wrong.::


    Goodwell: Yes, sir!


    ::Without another moment’s hesitation, Michael’s finger hit the final key on his console, glancing up to watch the show on the viewscreen. His heart thudded against his ribcage as he waited, the whole thing seeming to happen in slow motion. Finally, a flare from the Tholian ship’s aft section told them they’d hit their target.::


    Goodwell: ::studies the readouts and grins:: That was unexpected. We’ve managed to disrupt their weapons systems.


    Kaneshiro: I’ll take it. Job’s not done yet.


    ::A crackled hail from Stalwart seemed to punctuate the captain’s statement.::


    Ch'rhiakrar: =/\= Minerva, we’ve taken heavy casua… ::static:: ...bandon ship… ::static::  =/\=


    ::There was another burst of static before the comline suddenly cut out. Onscreen, a brilliant flash of yellow light filled the bridge, and the crew looked up to see a collapsing web slice through the Defiant class ship’s hull like a piano wire.::


    ::For Kaneshiro, it was a prediction of their own future. They’d just lost a fine ship and crew to the brutality of a Tholian attack - their sole purpose being to distract the Tholian fleet before it reached innocent civilians that remained on Astrofori One. He swallowed, his chin raised for just a moment before looking away from the viewscreen.


    ::They had to play their cards right from here on out. If they did that, they might be lucky. His crew might live to see another day. But from the second the Stalwart cracked under the pressure, he knew that this ship would not last the battle, no matter what creative solutions they intended to employ.::


    Kaneshiro: Did they launch escape pods?


    ::A key reminder that they were still in the midst of a battle shot through the deck plating, the ship stuttering under the fire of Tholian weapons again.::


    Goodwell: ::studies the scans and sombers:: I’m reading some of them, sir. But not the full count. ::gaze drops his console and he shakes his head:: And we have another three minutes before systems are ready for another graviton wave.


    Kaneshiro: Keep the Tholians attention on us - I don’t want a single vessel heading in the direction of those escape pods. Evasive maneuvers, Helm. Let’s not get caught in any more webs.


    ::As if the Tholians had heard him, the ship came to a halt in space, the Helm frozen.::


    Helm: We’ve been caught in a tractor beam!


    Goodwell: ::grimaces:: I’m trying to disable it, sir, but the targeting sensors took a hit with that last round. I’m flying blind here.


    Kaneshiro: Status of Astrofori One, Mister Chaulok?


    ::The Vulcan did her best to call up the last stream of information from Commander Bakari back at the station. Even if the report was out of date, it didn’t paint a promising picture.::


    Chaulok: The station has begun launching all available craft. The latest reports, however, state that more than half of the station’s population remain aboard. The deadline the Tholians have prescribed is simply unrealistic, captain.


    Goodwell: ::mutters:: I’m beginning to think that was the point.


    ::Shiro had a decision to make. The lives of his crew or those remaining aboard Astrofori One.::


    Kaneshiro: How long would it take for the fleet to arrive at the station?


    Chaulok: I would estimate at least 37 minutes. Given that we have only managed to destroy or disable 52 enemy vessels, we are unlikely to prevent the Tholians from reaching the station first.


    Kaneshiro: If we could take out the Tholian command ship?


    ::Obviously it wouldn’t diminish the time by *that* much, but the station would have one less thing to worry about, being blown to bits by a nightmare cruiser that, for the moment, had been content on just laying back on the outskirts of the skirmish, housing the fighters that had caused them the most trouble.::


    Chaulok: The Tholians are a hive society, captain, based on a strict caste system. It is likely the loss of significant leadership in their ranks would require them to wait for additional members of that caste to retake command.


    ::That’s all he needed to hear to confirm his plan.::


    ::Shiro jammed his finger into the com panel.::


    Kaneshiro: All hands, this is the captain. Abandon ship. I repeat, abandon ship!


    Goodwell: ::studies his console:: Assigned officers are reporting en route to the escape pods, sir, to help with evacuation.


    ::For not the first time in her tour of duty, the Vulcan XO was bewildered by her captain’s actions.::


    Chaulok: Captain, what are you doing?


    Kaneshiro: You’re right, Chaulok - the odds of us winning this battle are next to none, and I’d personally bet on none. Our best option is to get out of the way, but I’m not about to lay down with my belly up. ::To the helm.:: Lay in a collision course with the Tholian command ship.


    ::Michael looked up from his console, his eyes wide. A collision course. Hell. Despite the anxiety coursing through his veins, he straightened, determined if he was going to go down, it would be in a blaze of glory. He wasn’t one to back down, even if it was a losing fight.::


    ::Chaulok moved around from her station, moving towards the helm.::


    Chaulok: Belay that, ensign. Get to the escape pods.


    ::As the ensign looked back at the captain, unsure of what to do, the first officer turned herself to look back at Kaneshiro.::


    Chaulok: You need only a minimal bridge crew to execute this plan, captain. I will take the helm.


    Kaneshiro: Is autopilot offline?


    Chaulok: Autopilot will be unable to track the far more maneuverable Tholian command ship to ensure a direct hit. I estimate however a 14% increase in success if the helm remains occupied.


    Goodwell: ::nods:: I can confirm that, sir. With our systems as taxed as they are, it might be even slimmer odds on autopilot.


    ::The captain glanced between his executive and tactical officers.::


    Kaneshiro: Fine. But just for the record, I’ve told you both that I intend to blow up this ship, and you’ve decided to *remain onboard*?


    Goodwell: It’s your call, sir. I’ll be wherever you need me. I’m not afraid of dying if that’s what it takes to protect those folks at Astrofori One.


    ::It was a blatant lie. He had his wife and his unborn child in the forefront of his mind, but if this saved them then he was happy to do it.::


    Kaneshiro: Not today, Mister Goodwell. You’re coordinating the evacuation. It’s your job to keep those escape pods out of the Tholian view. ::He motioned to the turbolift.:: Get to your escape pod. That’s an order.


    ::Michael was stunned, albeit grateful for the Captain’s order. There was still every chance he wouldn’t make it off the ship and just as slim of odds that his escape pod if he got there wouldn’t be picked off by the Tholians. His gaze lingered on the two officers who would remain, a feeling of pride swelling in his chest at having had the privilege of serving with two such fine officers.::


    Goodwell: ::nods:: Aye, sir.


    ::Before Goodwell left the bridge, Chaulok called out to him.::


    Chaulok: Lieutenant Goodwell, it was a distinct honor to serve together with you. May you live long and prosper.


    ::She bowed her head slightly as she looked over her shoulder and held up her hand in the traditional Vulcan greeting.::


    Goodwell: ::smiles:: It was a privilege serving with you, too, ma’am. ::glances at Kaneshiro:: Both of you.


    ::Gathering his nerve, he moved toward the turbolift, praying that he managed to get out of this alive. He wanted to see his daughter grow up.::


    ::Once it was just Captain Kaneshiro and Chaulok alone on the bridge, it was eerily quiet once again, the silence punctuated now only by the sounds of weapon impacts and alarms.::


    Kaneshiro: Computer, activate self-destruct sequence. Authorization Kaneshiro-black-five.


    Computer: Self-destruct sequence initiated. Input secondary authorization to confirm.


    Chaulok: Computer, confirm self-destruct, authorization Chaulok-sigma-sigma-pi.


    Computer: Self-destruct armed and confirmed. Awaiting final command.


    Kaneshiro: Initiate immediate self-destruct upon forward collision with Tholian vessels.


    ::The Vulcan checked her console’s sensor readings.::


    Chaulok: All escape pods have been launched, captain.


    ::He gave a relieved huff, standing from his chair, acknowledging his very empty bridge. Not a bad ship for a first command. He’d had his reservations about the Veritas class vessel, about its position in the Menthar Corridor, but they seemed like such small things in comparison to what it’d just pulled off. Given the circumstances, it and his crew performed admirably against an overwhelming force. Though there was no one left on the bridge, aside from his steadfast XO, he held a sense of pride.::


    ::They’d done what they could for Astrofori One. This was the last card they had. This ship had gotten as many people out alive as it could.::


    ::Tugging down his uniform jacket, Shiro approached Chaulok and the helm.::


    Kaneshiro: So, Commander, ::he gave her a cheeky smile.:: Still think my ship is dirty?


    ::She didn’t look over at him, busy inputting new coordinates to reach their target, but she did return one final raised eyebrow.::


    ::After the last of the escape pods had cleared the hull of the Veritas class ship, the Minerva veered off into a steep ascent, tracking the Tholian command ship.::


    ::Michael sat in the little pod, anxiously waiting as he huddled with a few other officers who were the last to get off of the ship. The craft shuddered slightly, jolted by the thrusters firing on occasion to correct its course, zipping through the black emptiness of space. The pods were away from the ship, but they still weren’t out of the woods.::


    ::He glanced out the small viewport just in time to see the Minerva collide with the Tholian ships, a bright red and yellow flare replacing the once mighty ships. His gaze returned to the inside of the craft and he reached into his uniform jacket pocket, pulling out a picture of his very pregnant wife. A small smile touched the corners of his lips, framing the side of her face with the edge of his thumb.::


    Goodwell: ::murmurs:: I’ll see you soon, honey.




    The Crew and Residents of Astrofori One

    The Crew of the USS Minerva


    As written by


    Tony aka FltCapt. Cassandra Egan Manno/Cmdr. Nic del Vedova (V238208LV0)

    Rich aka Capt. Roshanara Rahman (I238705TZ0)

    Deliera aka LtCmdr. Sky Blake (C238803SB0)

    Gina aka LtCmdr. Lael Rosek (I238110RH0)

    Cameron aka Cmdr. Evan Delano (T239007ED0)

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  3. (OOC: I have simmed in this region, on that station, with these characters. For me, the prologue to the Veritas's latest mission was incredibly powerful)

    Part 1





    ((Astrofori One, Menthar Corridor))


    ::It was an otherwise normal day on Astrofori One for the command deck. Minor docking disputes were at a minimum, no diplomatic incidents of note, and all of Starfleet contingent seemed to be in perfect condition - minus the flu outbreak medical staff were currently dealing with.::


    :: In the office of Cassandra Egan Manno, mission commander for Starfleet’s presence on Astrofori One, things were much as they usually were--which was to say, somewhere between “busy” and “crazy.” This morning, “busy” seemed to be the order of the day, which was just fine with Cassie. The past few days had seen a contingent of screeching Peppalexan monks visit the station, a trade conference that ate up most of the Comm Quad, and the Klingon holiday of Qo'bo'val--which, while interesting, had taken over six different entertainment establishments with the ritual reenactment of Kahless’s fight against Molor.


    :: So, all things considered, a regular “busy” was just fine with Cassie.


    :: Her aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Commander Gnisky, sauntered in a few minutes after Cassie arrived on duty, which was always a good sign. Gnisky wasn’t in any hurry, and that boded well for the rest of Cassie’s day. ::


    Egan Manno: Today’s the day we’re welcoming the Cardassian poet?


    Gnisky: And attending her reading tonight, Captain. Plus, there’s the committee.


    :: Cassie did her best not to groan. The committee, which was overseeing the gathering of several dozen delegates to discuss the impact of Federation terraforming practices on type-O worlds, was the one thing she continued for forget about. It wasn’t that she wasn’t interested, just that others took care of all the details, and what she couldn’t do herself, she forgot at once. ::


    Egan Manno: Is there a meeting today?


    Gnisky: Tomorrow. But the organizing committee would like you sign off on forty-three of the proposals before then.


    Egan Manno: Tag them for me, alright? I’ll take a look this afternoon.


    :: Gnisky gave a nod and a knowing smile and bowed herself back out of Cassie’s office, while Cassie turned to her massive pile of unanswered comms and notes. Time, once again, to bail that sinking ship. ::


    ((Bridge, USS Minerva, on patrol along Astrofori One defense perimeter))


    ::Captain Kaneshiro Tatsuya of the Minerva sat watch in his chair, not that there was much to watch with the screen showing only endless black space. The mood on the bridge of the Veritas class ship was quiet with only the beeps and hums of their consoles punctuating the silence as the crew diligently attended to their stations, that is, until the captain spoke up.::


    Kaneshiro: Next time we’re required to stop at the Anchorage, remind me to schedule them another health and safety check.


    ::Lt. Commander Chaulok, the Minerva’s Vulcan first officer, looked over from her station behind the captain’s chair with a raised eyebrow. Although she had served with Kaneshiro for the last three years, she still found the human eccentricities such as “small talk” difficult to decipher at times.::


    Chaulok: I will program the computer’s calendar to trigger a reminder when the conditions are met, Captain.


    Kaneshiro: Honestly, I’ve no idea how they get away with it. You *had* to have been even a little uncomfortable.


    ::Chaulok leaned back, staring at the viewscreen with a perplexed expression as she cleared her throat.::


    Chaulok: I did not find the station’s particular environmental conditions that extraordinary in its divergence from order and cleanliness as seen with most non-Vulcanoids, sir.


    ::The captain gave her an incredulous look.::


    Kaneshiro: Are you calling this ship ‘dirty’, Commander?


    ::A few heads turned on the bridge to witness the exchange, another classic moment between Shiro and his XO.::


    ::Lieutenant JG Michael Goodwell glanced up momentarily, but unlike some of the others, he scarcely reacted to the comment. He was too focused on the readouts in front of him. Some might even say he was flying partly on autopilot given that the last couple of days had been monotonous and fairly routine. His focus was on performing his duties and he wasn’t feeling particularly social.::


    Goodwell: ::shakes his head and offers sarcastically:: I hope not, sir. I heard the maintenance staff have been working overtime to keep this ship spotless.


    ::The Vulcan remained unfazed, however.::


    Chaulok: Not at all, captain. As the ship’s executive officer, it is after all my duty to ensure the Minerva exhibits the high standards you and I have set for the crew. Thus, I can confidently say this ship is exceptional in every sense of the word.


    ::Shiro had to force his mouth closed, still a little shocked and humoured by his XO.::


    Kaneshiro: I’ll note that in my log.


    ::A few chuckles were murmured but before Chaulok could continue the banter, a sensor alert began sounding from the operations console.::


    Ops: Captain, I’m picking up three. . .


    ::The officer stammered suddenly, verifying she was reading her console correctly.::


    Ops: …*hundred* vessels on an intercept course.


    ::The number was quite unexpected, but while the others on the bridge may have suddenly been shaken, Chaulok calmy verified the readings on her own console.::


    Chaulok: Confirmed captain. It appears to be a fleet of 322 small-sized vessels to be exact. Based on their trajectory, I believe they are actually headed towards Astrofori One.


    Kaneshiro: Source?


    Chaulok: The signatures read as Tholian.


    ::The captain’s breath hitched in his throat as he considered his next action. They weren’t the only ship out here, but *three hundred Tholians ships*? There was simply no way *two* of them could take that on.


    ::A Tholian fleet in the Menthar Corridor . . . but why? What purpose could it possibly have-


    ::Astrofori One.::


    Kaneshiro: Red alert. Contact the Stalwart, and tell them to prepare for an attack by the Tholian fleet. Helm, set a course to rendezvous with them at maximum warp.


    Chaulok: Aye, sir.


    ::As their helm officer acknowledged the order, the Vulcan quickly called up the Minerva’s Defiant class counterpart which was patrolling nearby. Most of Task Force 105 had been diverted to deal with a sudden crisis on the Community’s home world in the Zeta Equulei system. The collective consciousness species had begun overtures towards membership with the Federation, and Starfleet in turn was eager to show its willingness to render aid.::


    Goodwell: ::brow furrows:: Sir, the Tholian fleet is hailing us.


    ::The captain stood from his chair, breathing a little heavy.::


    Kaneshiro: Onscreen.


    ::The image of hundreds of small triangular vessels racing towards them was replaced by the bright orange face of the crystalline species.::


    Tholian Admiral: =/\= Federation vessel, this will be your only advisement. Your presence in this sector is a violation of Tholian sovereignty. Furthermore, the Assembly will no longer tolerate the threat to our security from the illegal outpost that you have installed. You have precisely one hour to evacuate from the outpost before its neutralization. =/\=


    ::The comlink was closed before Kaneshiro could even get a word in. He huffed.::


    Kaneshiro: Sounds like they’re not in a mood to negotiate.


    ::Michael shuddered as he recalled his last encounter with the Tholians about the Victory. They’d faced down a couple of ships that were intent on a craft they discovered floating dead in space, and they’d soon found themselves snared in Tholian webs. These guys didn’t fool around, and they never meant anything less than business. With all of the casualties during that particular encounter, he was prepared for that possibility with this one.::


    Goodwell: These guys don’t play around, Captain. Last time I met a group of them, they nearly destroyed the Victory with those Tholian webs.


    ::Shiro took a seat back in his command chair.::


    Kaneshiro: Hail Astrofori One.




    The Crew and Residents of Astrofori One

    The Crew of the USS Minerva


    As written by


    Tony aka FltCapt. Cassandra Egan Manno/Cmdr. Nic del Vedova (V238208LV0)

    Rich aka Capt. Roshanara Rahman (I238705TZ0)

    Deliera aka LtCmdr. Sky Blake (C238803SB0)

    Gina aka LtCmdr. Lael Rosek (I238110RH0)

    Cameron aka Cmdr. Evan Delano (T239007ED0)

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  4. There is the option to enter the Starfleet Academy as a mature age student if you would prefer to enter as a joined Trill. My character was a civilian physician on Vulcan before he joined, and we also see this in the canon character Leonard 'Bones' McCoy, who was a civilian physician who joined Starfleet later in life.

    So you could either join Starfleet first, and sim your Symbiont training and joining later, which could be an interesting storyline, or you could have your character already joined and entering Starfleet a little later in life.

  5. (OOC: Given the traumatic events of the most recent mission, and Raven's turmoil expressed during his counselling session, I found this sim particularly powerful.)
    ((Holodeck 1 - Deck 11 - USS Constitution-B))
    Young: ::Thinking out loud:: Right... How does this thing work then?
    ::Raven tapped the panel and it sprang to life. A scrolling list of the most used public programs displayed on the screen. Among the listed programs Raven noticed an old Irish drinking tavern, several hand to hand combat simulators and even suborbital skydiving.::
    Young: oO Holodecks really are for maniacs! Oo
    ::Raven moved away from the panel and crept deeper into the large space of the Hologrid. There really was nothing to fear. No monsters intent on ripping him open and no evil consciousness hiding in the computer. Well, not anymore.::
    Young: C-Computer, confirm that the Holodeck safeties are engaged?
    Computer: Confirmed. Holodeck safeties are online.
    ::He let his shoulders slump, not realizing how rigid he had been holding himself. He stood there for a time. What should he have the Holodeck generate for him? 
    He thought back to his first moments aboard the Constitution several months before when he'd first entered this very Hologrid, eager to report directly to the Captain. 
    Raven had babbled on to her about his transfer and called her Ma'am. She had really taken him off guard. Granted, she insisted that Raven call her Jalana, not to mention she was dressed up as a red-eyed King, crown beard and all. 
    Raven, who had been assigned a Robin Hood-like outfit was thrust right into the action and along with Choi Ji-Hu, Doc Foster and Lieutenant Commander T'Seva who were all equally as strangely clad.::
    ::Raven had no intentions of putting himself back into that particular scenario. He really had hit the ground running as soon as he arrived on the Conny and it felt like he hadn't stopped. His thoughts drifted back to the last mission. He needed to put those thoughts behind him so he could try to find a way to move on with his life. Swallowing the massive bubble of fear that threatened to swallow him whole, Raven spoke to the computer.::
    Young: Computer... ::Raven receded further into his thoughts, this was the only way. :: Load up the USS Geneva for me. oO Face your fear Oo
    Computer: Attention. There are no records of the USS Geneva currently on file.
    Young: Figures. ::Rolling his eyes:: Link into the Tricorder scans that I took on my Bracer and extrapolate.
    Computer: Working
    ::The Holodeck Computer and Raven's Bracer both chimed in harmony for a moment. The Deflector Control room the the USS Geneva materialized around him, taking his breath away. The Holodeck displayed a perfect representation of the small room, complete with the destroyed control panel that Lieutenant Commander Tam had fired on in her blind panic.::
    Young: ::Checking his Bracer.:: Computer, skip to time index 48:03.
    Computer: Working
    ::Raven knew what he had to do now. How to help himself heal. He had to see it for himself. He needed to reassure himself that there was no choice and he had to fire on that Klingon. The Deflector Control room faded away to be replaced with the dimly lit confines of the Jefferies tube. This was where it happened. Raven looked around, his heart threatening to burst from his chest. Behind him there was a shallow pool of blood.::
    Young: Computer, extrapolate from the bio-signs and audio recordings and display as characters.
    ::Raven fell to his knees as the scene unfolded before him. The very same Klingon who's face had haunted him for days appeared, brandishing a Bat'leth, poised to attack. He was frozen in place above a smaller Klingon with a familiar bracer on his right arm. 
    Raven surveyed the scene, taking in every detail.
    He turned and saw the frozen form of Lieutenant Yito, covered in blood and nearby lay the unconscious Katrina Tam. He turned back and saw Lieutenant Sindri and Ensign Mulligan fighting hand to hand with the remaining pirates. The Klingon pirate was moments away from cutting the Klingon-disguised Raven in half. Raven's Klingon self had his Disruptor levelled at the enemies face.
    There really was no way out. He had met his own Kobayashi Maru. If Raven hadn't fired, killing the warrior he would have been killed. It was also likely that the rest of the team wouldn't have fared much better after becoming outnumbered. Raven had done the right thing, the only thing he could and survived.::
    Young: ::To Tam:: Damn you.
    ::Tam didn't answer and remained as still as the rest of the Holodeck. Raven sighed and rounded back to the Klingon. He stood up and moved over to him, face to face. The expression on the Pirate was one of hunger, satisfaction that he was about to make a kill. The man had died in battle, like a true Klingon warrior Raven reflected. By his beliefs, he was celebrating in Sto'Vo'Kor. The thought made Raven feel a little better.::
    Young: ::Staring deep into the Pirates features, intent on never forgetting his face:: Computer end program.
    ::The scene faded away back to the sleek lines of the Hologrid. Raven stood in silence for a time before moving away toward the doors. He paused. Starfleet and possibly even the other members of the crew might object if any trace of the highly classified Geneva mission remained. Raven punched the delete all button on his Bracer, purging all record of his scans. The Geneva mission would now remain only a memory. A memory that he could live with.:: 
    Ensign Dave 'Raven' Young
    Science Officer
    USS Constitution-B
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  6. You're very welcome, I'm glad we could answer your questions.

    The wedding was wonderful, and the fact that it was the culmination of a story-arc that had been in play for years, through all the trials you would expect a relationship to face in such a profession and involving many other writers, made it satisfying on so many levels.

    One of the other things that I love about this group is the fact that we really are a Fleet, not just a collection of different sims. I wrote with the two writers of the characters that got married for years; our characters served together across three ships, under two different Captains. Now I'm serving on a different ship, but I was able and invited to do a 'cameo' on their ship's list in order to have my character attend the wedding; and I wasn't the only one! There were four of us doing cameos, all from different ships or leave. It was something of a reunion and that in itself was great fun.

    I'm glad to hear you think our group is something you might like to be a part of. If you think you'd like to join, feel free to submit an application and hopefully we'll see you in training!

    • Like 3

  7. There's a great tutorial on Sexism in Simming as well, and the same principles apply to racism or any other form of discrimination.


    Basically, we as a community do not tolerate it. OOC (Out Of Character) we are open and welcoming to everyone, regardless of race, religion (or lack thereof), sex or sexual orientation, and whether or not they think pineapple goes on pizza.

    IC (In Character) we may, very occasionally, have a character display some sort of discrimination or prejudice for the purpose of the storyline. It has to be very clear that it is the character's opinion, not the writer's. Most commonly it's a species prejudice, e.g. a character doesn't trust Ferengi or thinks Vulcans are boring. This tends to be less inflammatory as it doesn't parallel as closely to things in real life, though one can compare 'speciesism' to racism. Generally, if it's not going to forward the story in some way avoid simming prejudices, and if you think that it might offend someone, clear it with your Captain first.

    My character just attended the wedding of two of his former colleagues, both of whom are male and who are different species (and one is a species hybrid). It was a lovely event and thoroughly enjoyed by all who were involved in simming it. This is very typical of the Fleet; we are open and not just accepting but welcoming of diversity.

    For mission plots, the basic premise is generally determined by the Captain and First Officer of the ship, sometimes with input from other senior crew members who are considered sim 'staff'. However, once the mission is launched, the input of every crew member steers the direction that the mission takes, and the outcome is never a foregone conclusion. Often it's the newest Ensign who throws some interesting curve balls into the plot, which is great! Sometimes the Captain will ask for ideas for future missions you'd like to see, and there is always the option to submit a formal mission suggestion, if there's a story that you'd really like to play.

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  8. OOC: Having watched this relationship from the beginning, through it's trials and tribulations, I don't think there was a dry eye in the house by the end of this sim. 
    ((Holodeck Nightmare Scenario Number 347))
    ::And here they were all together again.  And they were also all fighting a gigantic red dragon in fantasy armor.
    And somehow this was a normal day on the USS Constitution-B.
    Spells were flung, swords were swung.  Shields were used and everyone lived.  Except the dragon which died in an...
    Actually let's not think about that right now.  It was dead, OK?::
    Atan: I think it's dead.
    Sindri: I’m not too sure about that.. ::He looked about carefully.:: This game has rules, so something should change if we achieve a goal?
    Atan: Let's hope the simulation plays by the rules and lets us out now.
    Young: ::Sighing:: That would be nice.
    Foster: Because it's been playing by the rules oh so much so far.  ::He  intoned drily.::
    ::Wyn cast a gaze towards Ji-hu, pretty sure that the engineer knew what was going on well before the actual program started to show itself.  And in return Ji-hu wouldn't even meet his gaze.
    Wyn Foster frowned, feeling any hope of the relationship they might have had wither and die.  His fears had come true.  T'Reshik had imprinted too much on Ji-hu and in Wyn's mind he was irrevocably changed.  No longer the same person he was before.  It was like watching a friend die, and someone else walk around in their skin.
    He felt cold.  Unbearably cold.
    He could hear the wind.::
    Vehk: Stand back.
    ::Others were still making sure this dragon program glitch thing was dead.  Vehk rammed his staff into the thing's eye.  If Wyn was in the frame of mind to notice he would have heavily appreciated such a gesture.::
    Rajel: :: to Saveron:: Are you alright?
    Saveron: ? 
    Vehk: Are we able to issue commands to the program now?
    Atan: :: hopefully :: Door?
    Horne: Arch.  ::Nothing::
    Yito: Computer end program.
    Foster: Hey computer, puke us out.
    ::Nope.  Maybe they'd be stuck there forever.
    Fun, Wyn could play the game of 'how long will Ji-hu avoid looking at me.'
    Long enough for Wyn to feel dead inside, most likely.::
    Yito: Maybe we need to do something else. Unite the queen and king or something. But I’m no expert at these games.
    Rajel: Not sure how much more united we can be, short of a kiss, and I prefer to keep those for Jerry unless we need to. But killing the dragon should have been the conclusion.
    Ardaris: Not an expert on Terran myths or past-times here. Could be timing, though. The program looked broken enough 
    Foster: You guys give holodeck programs too much damn credit for working properly.  ::He muttered.  Wyn was well and ready to leave and do some wholly destructive drinking.::
    Horne: Where is Dameroth?  Or was it Damerov?  ::Jacob couldn't remember::  He seemed to be the one giving us updates and moving us in the right direction.
    Vehk: Given the dragon was speaking in Klingon… ::He fell silent for a long moment.:: Perhaps Commander Saveron knows more. ::Vehk approached them and bowed his head.:: Commander. I trust you are unharmed?
    Saveron: ?
    Sindri: Maybe it’s just a lag? ::He spoke optimistically.::
    Rajel: Maybe. ::She stepped to the severed dragon head and crouched down in front of it. Reaching out she brushed her hand over the scales, each one almost as big as her palm. It was a magnificent beast she would have loved to study more. She mumbled to herself and halfway to the dragon.:: Too bad you had to threaten my crew and kidnap my First Officer.
    Horne: We were lucky.
    Sindri: Um… where did my grenades go? 
    Yito: Mine are gone too.
    ::Hey, were they back to normal?::
    Young: Please please please let me have both my legs!! Please please please.  ::After failing to fall awkwardly to the side, Raven cracked an green eye open then sighed with relief.:: Hey, I still have both legs Doc! ::Grinning happily::
    ::He turned towards the kid - he liked Raven.  He mustered a smile.::
    Foster: Hey, awesome!  Best news I have heard all day.
    ::He meant that.::
    Horne: Is it over?
    Rajel: Well if our transformations are any indication, I would believe it is.
    Yito: Finally
    Saveron: ?
    Sindri: Can we go now? ::He implored.:: I am so over this quest!
    Atan: I am glad to be back to my normal size, although I seem to have a lingering craving for mushrooms. 
    Rajel: Then let's try this. Computer, exit. 
    Ardaris: Finally.
    ::Finally finally.  All the finallys.::
    Sindri: Well, that’s it then?
    ::What, Sindri, you wanna go around again?  Well, he could do that himself if he desired.::
    Horne: ::jokingly:: So do you guys want to stay here and debrief?
    Atan: The only debriefing I want to do is in the lounge with something not synthehol.
    Yito: Here, here to that
    Foster: I hereby prescribe hangover medicine to all.
    ::And yes, his mind was made up.  He was getting drunk.  Destructively drunk.::
    Atan: Shall we? I suppose we should find out what happened first...
    Young: It's real, it's over!
    Rajel: Let's get out of here, and I believe I'll find Maxwell to ask him what happened. 
    Sindri: Maxwell? Isn’t he away? :: He looked at Jalana strangely, the quest had gotten to her.::
    Ardaris: Maxwell? I don't believe we've met.
    :Here a Maxwell, there a Maxwell, everywhere a Maxwell, Maxwell.::
    Yito: Understood
    Rajel: Oh I thought everyone had seen that. He appeared in the program as a huge floating head and told us he was working on getting us out. Looks like he's back. 
    Sindri: A floating Maxwell head.. ::He smiled.:: and I thought this quest was the strangest thing I’d seen…. Well, this week at least.
    Foster: You need to see stranger things. 
    Rajel: Alright everyone, check in your departments and see if anything has been happening outside as well, there were indications. Saveron and I will go and talk with Maxwell. 
    Yito: Understood
    Young: ::Nodding rapidly:: I'll head to the bridge and see if I can be of any help.
    Saveron: ? 
    Rajel: And great work, all of you. It was a very unusual situation and I've seen some great adjusting and working towards the common goal. Thank you. Computer, end Program. ::She looked to the piles of treasures and unbreathing body and head of the dragon and it both disappeared without fanfare.:: 
    Ardaris: Thank you, s-. ::She was still getting used to Jalana's sense of informality.
    ::The crew started to scatter.::
    Foster: Ji-hu--  ::He called.  It was passionate and yet pitiful, watching the back of Choi Ji-hu as he practically ran out of the holodeck, leaving Wyn standing there.::
    ::The others dispersed.  He stood there.
    He finally watched T'Reshik wheel herself out.  Wyn still stood there, his frown digging so deeply into his expression that it threatened to tear his lips off his face.
    He started moving before she could question him, casting one last glance towards her.  He was sure Ji-hu wasn't inside her brain either.  No.  He was quite sure the Ji-hu he knew was dead.  There was only T'Reshik and T'Choi now.
    Served him right for trying to care for someone.  Wyn, you stupid fool.
    What did you learn from all this?  People are selfish and think only of themselves.
    He turned, the last one out of the holodeck and he flipped the fading black and yellow grid a hate-filled middle finger.::
    Lt. Commander Shar'Wyn Foster
    Chief Medical Officer
    USS Constitution-B
    "Why do we fly?  Because we have dreamt of it for so long that we must"
    ~Julian Beck
    • Like 4

  9. (( Land of Malex, [datafrag] the Dread’s Mountain ))

    Processor: Initializing Turing 547, “The Red Dragon’s Hoard,” program index Summersend Fairgrounds, program paused. Data integration failure. Runtime error: data corruption, files 55.57894, 55.57897, 55.57899, 55.57901, [DATA FRAGMENTATION], 55.57907, 55.57911. Initiating default protocols: military training unit. Exit protocols: off. Initializing Turing 547, “The Red Dragon’s Hoard,” program index Summersend Fairgrounds, program paused. Program initializing. Initialization success.

    ::Smoke billowed out of the dragon’s nostrils. She had slumbered for so long, luxuriating in the comfort of her mountain of gold gathered in the great halls of the dragon’s mountain. Now she was awake again after a bracing, regenerative rest. The gold gleamed bright as she ran a claw sensuously through it, knocking huge piles of coins over, tinkling a thousand beautiful songs across the treasure hoard.::

    [datafrag]: Ah, so long it’s been since a mortal has
    Approached. My mountain of gold is modest, and yet
    Methinks its time to add more jewels, topaz,
    Emerald, ruby, and, yes, more gold. Let
    Me take to the summit and see what those
    Little fools are preparing for [datafrag] the dread.

    Processor: Data integration failure. Runtime error: data corruption, files 78.75562, 78.75563, 78.75565, 78.75575, [FILE MISSING], [FILE MISSING], [FILE CORRUPT]. Recontextualizing: utilizing present information. Recompiling program parameters. Solution match. Reinitializing.

    ::As she prepared to climb up through the caverns to the summit, she realized something was very, very wrong.::

    ::A pedestal with her most treasured possession sat empty at the end of her hall, a small beam of light shining through the dragon’s cavern showing the absence of what had once sat proudly in a place of covetousness.::

    [datafrag]: ::smoke puffing furiously:: What’s this?! The Tiara of Wisdom?! GONE?!
    A THIEF! A thief has snuck into the hall
    Of terrible [datafrag] the Dread! Dawn
    Has now come for mankind’s doom if so small
    A race can steal from a red dragon with
    Impunity! Who?! Who has stolen from
    The great, terrible [datafrag] of myth?!
    No offering hence from the human scum
    Can slate my desire for death and fire!

    ::As she spoke the great, terrible red dragon crawled through the ancient tunnels beneath the mountain, remembered from the last time she’d awoken. She had grown to a gargantuan size in that time, and her scrambling crawl upwards, wings tucked against her scaly, ruby back, simply cleaved new depth to the tunnels.::

    ::The dragon blinked in the sunlight atop the mountain of [datafrag] the Dread. The sky seemed bluer than she remembered, the grass greener, even the stone of the mountainside more vibrant. A dragon’s eyes are keener than any animal of the world, and she turned her gaze over the realm of humans before her. Villages had sprung up below the mountains, farms and mills. They had forgotten her as she’d slumbered, but now they would remember.::

    ::Through it all, she could see something stranger yet. The very sinews of the world, a binary of the absence of power and pure, unadulterated, worldly essence, as if the very fabric of the universe was arrayed before her in ones and naughts. She found this strange new understanding of the world exhilarating, as if she could barely peer into an entirely new realm of stars and darkness. She felt a power over it.::

    ::Then her attention was drawn out of the stars she could see beyond. In the distance she saw a golden gleam, familiar, tantalizing, infuriating. Just outside of the human city, in a teeming, disgusting display of human insolence, the tiara of wisdom sat upon the head of the Queen, the most beautiful woman in all the land. [datafrag] the Dread would collect her prize, but with interest. She would not be satisfied in merely reclaiming her tiara. She would own the beloved queen, and if any challenged her she would embroil the land in fire and death.::

    [datafrag]: I WILL HAVE MY PRIZE!

    Processor: Default program status: active. Users: recognized. Program designation: live fire military training. Safety protocols: off.



    MSNPC [datafrag] the Dread

    As simmed by:

    Lieutenant (JG) Choi Ji-hu
    Engineering Officer
    USS Constitution-B

    • Like 2

  10. (( USS Constitution - Main sick bay ))
    ::Vulcans rarely registered awkwardness, and T'Reshik even more rarely than most, but as she sat beside Saveron's biobed with her eyes resolutely ahead, she found herself gaining an intimate understanding of the word.::
    Saveron: Lieutenant. It is agreeable to know that you were not affected by the same affliction as myself. ::He said at length.::
    :: T'Reshik was silent for a moment before responding. ::
    T'Reshik: Commander. It is acceptable to see you recovered.
    Saveron: Recovering. I believe that you will be operating at full efficiency prior to myself.
    T'Reshik: ::After another pause:: To be candid, Commander, I see no reason for us to interact on anything other than a professional basis.
    ::She didn't look at him.::
    Saveron: I believe that it is within the scope of professional interactions to be cordial to one another. However if you find conversing with me disagreeable, I will not insist.  ::He replied evenly.:: Your basis for objection is our previous interaction.
    T'Reshik: It is not that I do not appreciate your previous actions - on the contrary, they were far above the call of duty and executed with commendable sensitivity. ::She paused.:: I mean in the sense that you - put aside your own personal discomfort in order to preserve my wellbeing.
    :: T'Reshik trailed off. A pause hung between them.::
    Saveron: T’Reshik, ::he said gently:: whilst it was not an encounter I would have chosen purely for it’s own sake, I was not discomforted. I am aware that you would have preferred such had not been necessary, but I had not considered that it would affect future interactions.
    ::That did make T'Reshik look round.::
    T’Reshik: I had. Hence my concern.
    ::Saveron shrugged.::
    Saveron: If your concern is over the potential expectation of future interactions, I have none. I find your low-grade antagonism towards the universe at large personally disagreeable. However I do not see that there should be any logical obstacle to our having a functional professional relationship.
    ::T'Reshik actually seemed to relax a little at this.::
    T’Reshik: That is agreeable to hear, since I find both your ethics and your style of communication overly accommodating. We would be poorly-matched as a couple. ::Pause:: As colleagues, however - providing neither of us expect anything more - I concur with your assessment.
    Saveron: Then we have an understanding.
    ::His eyes drifted shut. T'Reshik stared at him for a moment more. She had the strangest urge to thank him, but didn't give in to it..::
    T'Reshik: We do.
    ::She looked ahead again, and the silence was easier now.::
    Lt jg T'Reshik
    USS Constitution
    • Like 2

  11. (( Electric Dream ))
    ::Somewhere, in another life, Laris' face was wet. He barely felt it. He hadn't cried since he was eight years old. It was hard to believe he was doing so now.::
    Laris: oO She wasn't blessed. She was just... an alien. They don't even believe in Her. Oo
    Ombro: ::dubious:: oO She stood before them. They could reach out and touch Her. They did Her bidding. Oo
    Laris: oO They're mortals. They came from other worlds to - to take charge. To make us like themselves. Oo
    Ombro: oO Oh, little one, there is so much you don’t know. Oo
    Laris: oO I am threespirited. The shaman told me... I was sacred. I could walk in the world of thought. I followed the laws, passed the trials that earnt me my name- is this all it meant? That I could do the exact same thing as some unbeliever from another planet who just happened to have the right... abilities? Technology? Is this what I have devoted my life to upholding? Oo
    Ombro: ::sighing, annoyed:: oO You know little, kitten. You mewl of knowledge yet you balk at truth. What do you think the first Woman of Light was? She was fire incarnate, made of the stars. Like the sun feeds plants and makes them grow, She raised the H’inji from the dirt. But she taught her Guardians that fire burns, that even suns die. Only today, you met the Woman of Light, and now you have heard Her truth. She was a god, but She left her creations believing She had erred, and her protection was the little she could offer us. She returned to Her kind. As it was then, so it is now. Oo
    Laris: oO But the shaman... told me... Oo
    Ombro: oO If your “shaman” has inferred misinformation as sacred teachings, this reflects only on the H’inji’s fanciful, unprepared minds. If you have received some ability you share with a strange smelling “unbeliever” from the stars, it may be little more than an error of time and biology. Oo
    Laris: oO An... error of biology? This - if what you say is true, then... I can't get my head around this. Oo
    Ombro: oO As I said, kitten, fire burns. Perhaps you can take that teaching to your shaman. Oo
    Laris: oO If there's nothing special about me, if there's nothing special about us - what do I do? Where do I go from here? Oo
    Ombro: ::barking laughter:: oO Little one, you are so concerned with how you’ve been wronged, that you cannot see the jungle for the bushes! You are beget from a being of the stars, who was beget from a people with powers that eclipsed even Her’s. She has returned, yet you see “aliens.” You’ve accepted the role of “threespirit,” yet you are limited by the history it represents. If the Woman of Light were here, she would swat you on the nose and tell you to sit in the corner like the good little pet you are. You are a fierce animal with a mind given to you by a god, yet you whine like the domesticated herd you come from. You are H’inji! That is the Woman of Light’s legacy. Oo
    ::The ombro's presence began to move away.::
    Laris: oO Wait. Please. I have questions. Oo
    Ombro: ::not looking back:: oO I emerge from a long and painful nightmare. My belly is empty and my claws twitch for the hunt. I will leave you to your electric dream, but when you leave this place you will not be able to find it again. If you try, I will kill you. Hunt well, kitten. Oo
    ::Laris didn't reply. Footsteps sounded in the distance, and he felt the dream recede around him, like the fading of sunlight at the end of the day. He took his hand away from the white stone, stunned.::
    Drajev: Laris!
    ::Laris turned; Drajev faltered for a moment, perhaps seeing his red-rimmed eyes, but then he stormed forward and flung his arms around him and Laris could not help but return the gesture.::
    Drajev: ::pulling away:: The monastery is on fire. I thought you'd been hurt. ::pause:: What is this place?
    Laris: Drajev - the sunmother - she's an alien. Was an alien. A scientist. This is... where she worked from.
    ::Drajev looked around, expression inscrutable. After a moment, his eyebrows twitched upwards a bit.::
    Drajev: Gotcha. Laris, do you think this place is fireproof? Because if it's not, we should probably think about getting out of here.
    Laris: Are you serious? Did you even hear what I just told you?
    ::Drajev took his wrist and started dragging him toward the tunnel again. Laris offered only a moment of resistance, too stunned to do much else.::
    Drajev: I heard. You think it changes anything?
    Laris: You think it doesn't?
    :: Drajev glanced up at the ceiling, then stopped, turned to face him.::
    Drajev: Laris, ever since we made first contact with aliens, we've always known that the universe might reveal more truths than we were previously aware of. The Sunmother created us, right? That's still true? ::Laris nodded.:: Well then. Does where she came from change who she is? Or who we are?
    Laris: You don't get it. She's no different from the aliens out there. She didn't perform miracles, she just... used machines. It was all just machines.
    Drajev: Love. To the small-minded, miracles can look every bit like advanced technology. It doesn't mean we should abandon faith.
    ::Laris felt Drajev grip his hand, and remembered what the ombro had said. Maybe it wasn't over, after all.::
    Drajev: Let's go. We both have questions, and there are people out there who might be able to help us answer them. Also, let's not forget that this place is also on fire.
    Laris: Right. Fire. Yep.
    :: Hand in hand, the two pelted back down the tunnel, and for a moment Laris could not tell whether he was on two feet or four. He glimpsed the Sunmother once last time, dressed in the garments of the aliens, bright and smiling among them - and then in a flash of light they were gone.::
    Drajev and Laris Nesterovi
    Heralds of a new age
    simmed by


    Lt jg T'Reshik
    USS Constitution
    • Like 1

  12. (( Quarters T’Reshik ))


    :: Ever since Siance had found out who T’Reshik’s parent was, she had fought with herself to come to a conclusion for the question if she should tell her or not. Taurek hadn’t been any help, like at all, leaving it all in her hands. Who did he think she was? She was only a Cadet, at the beginning of her studies and he pushed that decision right into her lap, glued it to her pants so it couldn’t get away and told it to stay there. The young Trill had been so out of it, that she completely forgot her own plans for the time being, and instead had paced a hole into her carpet, to the dismay of her roommate, who had really liked that carpet. ::


    :: But after a lot of soul searching, especially in her own past, in which she had not ever met her father who left after knocking up her mom, she would have wanted to know and so decided to tell T’Reshik. The next day she spent with trying to plan in her head what she wanted to say and how and if she even wanted to say anything, or just give the Vulcan woman the information. And now still battling over that, she had found her way to T’Reshik’s quarters, thanks to the computer telling her that she was here at the moment. ::


    :: For at least five minutes she paced back and forth, trying to summon the courage to hit that buzzer, as if she herself was the long lost mother. Eventually she had to press it, because Vulcans were contact telepaths as much as she knew and so she wouldn’t know that someone waited out here to be let in. How nice would that be, though? In a moment of either madness or bravery -they were so close together it was scary- Siance finally pressed the buzzer and cursed at herself in her head the second she realized what she had done. ::


    :: There was a pause, then T’Reshik appeared at the door, wearing a simple robe, and looking mildly unimpressed, as usual.::


    T’Reshik: Yes?


    Thyar: Uh… hi. I hope I’m not disturbing.


    T’Reshik: You are, but that is irrelevant. Why are you here?


    Thyar: ::Holding the PADD in her hands she slightly shuffled her feet.:: I got the information you requested.


    :: The Vulcan paused. Awkwardness wasn't usually a part of T’Reshik’s emotional vocabulary, for various reasons, but her eyes might have reflected it for a moment then. She took a breath.::


    T’Reshik: Then I owe you an apology. I only requested that information in order to make you leave the room. As you might understand, I was… making irrational decisions at the time.


    ::She looked at the PADD. The truth was that Siance had caught her in the middle of a detailed search through the ship’s personnel files to finish the job that Choi had started, and part of her really wanted to hear what the Trill cadet had to say. But there was a difference, a huge difference, between wanting to find answers, and letting other people know that. She had no doubt that Siance would report straight back to her department after this. That meant either Taurek, who hadn't yet been eliminated (although she deemed him an unlikely candidate, for various reasons) or Saveron, who would inevitably try to get involved with helping her accept the truth of her origins, or whatever pseudo-scientific psychological crap counsellors were into these days. No… that was not a favourable outcome.::


    T’Reshik: So… I am not interested. You can leave now.


    ::The Trill stared at the Vulcan and felt that fiery ball in her stomach. She had what? Siance couldn’t believe it and struggled to find words for a moment. Still standing in the hallway, she tried to calm herself by taking a deep breath, but feared she would fail tremendously.::


    Thyar: May I come in? ::pressing through her teeth::


    T’Reshik: Why?


    Thyar: ::It took another moment to not just blurt out what was going on in her mind and instead replied with a strained voice:: Because it would be beneficial to both of us if I don’t lose it in the hallway where everyone can listen to what I have to say and to whom.


    :: T’Reshik began to suspect that Siance might be a little angry. She decided to try and mitigate the situation. ::


    T’Reshik: Very well.


    :: She backed up in the chair, allowing Siance to enter. In stark contrast to Choi’s room, T’Reshik’s was clear and orderly and almost entirely devoid of personality. Only the subtle adaptations for accessibility and the active console in the corner even suggested the presence of a regular inhabitant.::


    :: The young Trill stepped inside and waited for the door to close. She had inherited one thing that surely didn’t come from her mother’s side. When she was angry, her voice got quiet and calm. She surely could blow up into people’s faces, but when she got quiet, it was really bad. And right now, her voice did not fit her words. ::


    Thyar: Listen, I don’t know what you think gives you the right to waste my time with a fool’s errand, but where I come from we tell people to leave if we want them to leave. I don’t care if you really wanted to know who your parents are, but I got the information, so I will give you the bloody information.  :: Well all but the last part, that sounded a bit more aggravated.::


    ::T’Reshik held her gaze.::


    T’Reshik: I was suffering from a severe neurochemical imbalance at the time. Do not expect that I was thinking clearly. Nevertheless, it is not my intention to waste your time further.


    ::She held out her hand.::


    :: Siance looked down on the hand and kept holding the PADD, not ready yet to give it up. ::


    Thyar: Does that mean you apologize?


    T’Reshik: If it is that important to you, then yes, I apologise.


    Thyar: Good. ::She smiled. That was more like it. Though she was surprised, not having expected that T’Reshik would really apologize about anything. She handed over the PADD to the Vulcan.::


    T’Reshik: I will read it if and when I have the inclination.


    Thyar: Okay. ::She hesitated.:: I’ll leave you be then.


    T’Reshik: Good. ::Pause:: Thank you.


    :: The young Trill turned to head out but then didn’t step forward. She nibbled her bottom lip before turning around once more.::


    Thyar: Would you mind a question, Ensign?


    ::T’Reshik hesitated.::


    T’Reshik: It depends on what the question is.


    Thyar: Well, I know that Vulcans do the whole Arie'mnu thing with your emotions but, how do you deal with not knowing who are parents are?


    T’Reshik: I am not certain I understand the question. Besides, I know who my parents are; they are the people who adopted me. It just so happens that I have an extra set.



    :: The Trill sighed and without asking sat down on the seat and rubbed the ridge of her nose. This was difficult for her and she tried to find words that conveyed what she meant.::


    Thyar: Like, do you wonder why they left or gave you up? Why they never tried to contact you? If you weren’t good enough for them?


    ::T’Reshik scrutinized Thyar for a moment before answering.::


    T’Reshik: I do not need to “wonder”. Logical deduction suggests only a limited set of possibilities.


    :: She didn't look down at the PADD - instead, she lay it aside, face down. She decided not to mention the anonymous message for now. ::


    T’Reshik: Are you inquiring out of personal interest, or is this an attempt to initiate a counselling session?


    Thyar: To be honest, it is not about you really. .oO Surprise duh Oo. My father left before I was even born and these are basically the questions I keep asking me ever since I heard it for the first time.


    :: T’Reshik considered this. She wondered briefly why Siance was sharing this information with her. Perhaps she was having difficulty with her own situation and wished to consult a more organized mind.::


    T’Reshik: Did your mother never tell you?


    Thyar: She told me that he left and after a long time gave me his name. ::She hesitated, should she tell more? She knew where he was after all. But that wasn’t even part of the question right now. So why bother her with that. :: I just never got a chance to ask him all that or even meet him.


    T’Reshik: Interesting. When faced with a situation such as yours, my immediate response would be to gain control of my emotional reactions before proceeding to find out as much as possible.


    :: She paused, looking over at the PADD, still facedown. ::


    T’Reshik: That having been said, your biological origins are only relevant to a certain extent. Your father might have contributed genetic material, but, assuming you had a conventional upbringing, it was your mother who assumed the burden of caregiving; whose choices and behaviour shaped your identity.


    :: The Trill thought about that. It wasn’t wrong that it was relevant for medical history, but Siance also believed that some interests, or passions would pass on to the children even if they never met and she wondered which parts of her were ‘just like dad’. Her mom had done all she could and made so many sacrifices, but there was always that one part… ::


    Thyar: Maybe. It still feels like I am missing a part of me.


    T’Reshik: If your father left of his own accord… has it occurred to you that he might not be worth knowing?


    :: That was the problem. She had always thought that her father would be this handsome, friendly, kind, successful guy. Her mother had spoken of him in such a good way, other than him leaving before she was born, that she had made up that image in her mind. Combined with the hope that he had a really good explanation it was a recipe to be disappointed, but Siance didn’t see that. ::


    Thyar: ::She blinked and stared at the Vulcan for a moment, before she found her voice again.:: Of course not. He is my father after all.


    ::T’Reshik tilted her head.::


    T’Reshik: Interesting. Vulcans rarely rely on such arbitrary considerations.


    Thyar: ::She nodded with a hint of a smile on her defeatedly frowning lips.:: Guess that I’m not a Vulcan then.


    T’Reshik: That much is apparent. Still, perhaps it might save you some… emotional distress if you were to follow our example.


    ::She glanced at the PADD again, face down and blank.::


    Thyar: ::leaning forward she looked curiously at T’Reshik.:: IF you have the inclination to read the information, will you confront your biological parents?


    T’Reshik: That depends.


    Thyar: On what?


    T'Reshik: I have been operating on the assumption that they both have valid reasons for their lack of presence in my life. Should your information suggest otherwise, I will of course seek clarification.


    ::And it was interesting, too, what Thyar was saying and what she was omitting. She could conclude, for example, that at least one of them was still alive (and therefore the message was likely to be genuine), if the Cadet was suggesting confrontation as a possibility. Assuming she’d actually read the information herself.::


    Thyar: That makes sense, I guess. Though I think that something that they might see as valid could be not seen as such by you. People think differently.


    T’Reshik: Interesting. Tell me, Cadet. If the truth of your lineage was likely to be unpleasant, even distressing… would you want to know?


    :: That was an interesting question. Siance was not sure what to think of it or what would could to be unpleasant. Like, if her mother hated the man? Or if they had split up in a bad way? Maybe she just didn’t have enough experience to know what the Vulcan could mean with that. ::

    Thyar: I guess so. I mean the how it happened or how it ended, does not change that he’s my father or in your case are your parents.


    T’Reshik: Only if you consider his contribution significant to begin with.


    :: Siance nodded slightly and let go of a long heavy breath before pushing herself from the seat back to her feet. ::


    Thyar: Well, if I can do anything else for you or if you want to talk just let me know. I’ll leave you to … whatever you were doing.


    :: T’Reshik didn't think that was likely, but she stopped short at saying so.:


    T’Reshik: Thank you, Cadet.


    Thyar: ::On her way to the door:: And thanks for listening, Ma’am.


    T’Reshik: That-


    :: She was about to say something along the lines of that not being necessary, as listening took little to no effort, but wondered if Siance might take that the wrong way. The Cadet had just divulged some personal information of her own, which might have held a significant emotional cost for her, and T’Reshik was never sure where the lines were between friendliness and professionalism when it came to this kind of situation. She erred on the side of caution.::


    T’Reshik: You are welcome.


    Thyar: ::She offered a warm smile to the other woman.:: Have a nice day.


    :: With that she walked through the opening doors and made herself back to her shared quarters, her shift was over now and she needed time to think. She was so close, and still hadn’t found the courage to visit him. She needed to put a plan together to get finally on with this. ::


    :: T’Reshik, meanwhile, stared at the doors for a moment or two more before turning back to the PADD. She ran through the situation in her mind, laying out what she already knew.::


    :: At least one (and probably both) of her primary caregivers was not her biological parent.::


    :: One of her biological parents had recently been in touch with her, using an account that had been accessed from aboard this very ship.::


    :: Her parents had kept the truth from her deliberately. ::


    :: Whatever was in that PADD was highly likely to be the truth. ::


    :: And yet she made no move to pick it up. She hadn't even wanted Siance to give it to her. Or had she? Perhaps some subconscious part of her had truly feared the possibility of dying without knowing her genetic origins, back there in that isolation room. Well, whatever part that had been, it was obviously a sucker for punishment. Whatever was on that PADD, T’Reshik strongly suspected it wouldn't be easy reading.::


    :: It shouldn't even matter. Why did Siance want so badly to know who her father was? He hadn't known her, hadn't cared for her or brought her up, just as T’Reshik’s genetic parents had likely been nothing more than two strangers who happened to find themselves with a child that, in all likelihood, neither of them had wanted.::


    ::Abruptly, she grabbed the PADD without looking at it, and dropped it in a desk drawer, which she then slid shut.::


    :: Maybe she’d open it again one day. But first she had to convince herself that whatever Siance had written on there, it wasn't who she was. ::



    A JP by


    Ensign T'Reshik
    USS Constitution




    Cadet 2nd grade Siance Thyar

    Counseling Trainee


    simmed by


    Captain Jalana Rajel

    Commanding Officer

    USS Constitution B

    Image Team Facilitator


    • Like 1

  13. (OOC Content warning for allusion to distressing topics)
    (( USS Avalgariad, 2362 ))
    :: He kept count in his head of how long it had been since T'Reshik was born. It was entirely irrational, but he could not help thinking of his life as something that had been severed into two halves, 'before' and 'after'. And when the pon farr hit, it was almost eleven years to the day. ::
    :: He had known it might be difficult. Trauma often resurfaced at times of emotional upheaval, and this was the most emotional he'd been since he was a child. Still. Academic knowledge was one thing; experience was another entirely. He had woken up in a cold sweat in his cabin and gone straight to his console before he could think, marking the transmission as urgent. The call had been answered almost straight away::
    Varek: Taurek. Are you well?
    (( Da-leb, Vulcan, 2350))
    :: It was his father, too, who had answered that call twelve years ago, from a civilian comm station on the outskirts of Da-leb city. Taurek had been missing for almost twelve hours. Again, there had been no anger in his father's expression, only the hint of concern. ::
    Taurek: I am uninjured.
    Varek: We have been attempting to locate you. :: Pause :: Shivok is dead. He stopped his own heart. We... are told he had sustained defensive injuries.
    :: The knowledge hit him like a punch to the stomach, and moisture stung at his eyes. Suddenly it was difficult, far too difficult, to speak without his voice shaking. ::
    Taurek: I am so sorry-
    Varek: Nobody holds you to blame, my son. Your mother is attempting to locate you now. Can you meet her at the western temple? Do we need to arrange transport for you?
    :: Shivok had once told him that many Vulcan scholars did not conceive of love as an emotion in its own right. Infatuation, yes, desire, yes, but the state of experiencing a close attachment to another living being was not, in itself, something that required suppression. The drive to protect one's offspring was considered biological and, usually, immutable; it was only logical to protect those with whose lives were closely intertwined with your own.::
    :: This interpretation was why the English "I love you" became "I cherish thee" in Vulcan, with all its nuances and omissions. To love as the emotional races did was to add a passive component to the experience, where love could be felt without being enacted, and any outward action was driven primarily by one's inner feelings.::
    :: For their people, however, love was a state of being that existed in its expression, like a language with no written form. Or so it was claimed. Before it became too painful to think of those early lessons with his tutor, Taurek had occasionally entertained the idea that the "love is an action" explanation was nothing more than an excuse. ::
    :: Now, barely able to hold himself together as his father spoke to him from the tiny viewscreen, he suddenly recalled the day he had returned from the local clinic at the age of thirteen, after a difficult conversation in which he had not been able to divine his parents' reactions from their stony and impassive faces.::
    ::Pausing at the doors to their home, he realised that an amendment had been made to the small panel which traditionally held the names of the inhabitants, a leftover from the old customs of their clan. Where once had read "T'Rel", in his own uncertain hand, was now replaced by "Taurek" in his mother's.::
    (( USS Avalgariad, 2362 ))
    :: His father must have been asleep, he realized. In Eastern Da-leb time, it was somewhere in the interim between midnight and dawn. And yet here he was, as if nothing was strange about receiving a call from his son in the middle of the night. ::
    Taurek: My Time is at hand.
    Varek: ::pause:: Understood. Have you made arrangements? Do you need us there?
    Taurek: I have. And I do not. I simply... wished for contact. I apologise for the illogic of my decision.
    Varek: It is normal for your logic to fail you at this time. We are here if you need us, Taurek.
    :: And he began, finally, to understand why. ::
    PNPC Ensign Taurek
    simmed by


    Ensign T'Reshik
    USS Constitution
    • Like 1

  14. ((Deck 2 - USS Constitution))

    ::As the evening wore down and everyone started making their way out of the holodeck, Maxwell was happy and content. Honored to be the Constitution's new executive officer, he was equally pleased that he had started that tenure by supping and socializing with his peers. Tired and excited for the days to come, he bid adieu to the last remaining stragglers, setting his program to close and archive once the last visitor left, and made for his quarters for a night of good sleep.::
    ::There were few people around the ship at this time of the evening, even though it wasn't terribly late. With the most extreme of protesters detained on Starbase 104, it was once again safe to travel and visit South End Station for visiting ship crews, and that probably explained some of the reduced foot traffic throughout the corridors. The very few he did pass, Maxwell went out of his way to greet them. As contented as he was, it seemed the least he could do to pass on a bit of good cheer to those he met.::
    ::Coming up to his quarters, it still felt strange to be all the way up on Deck 2. His stuff had been moved to the executive officer's quarters just that afternoon, and he had only really had time to ensure that Barque was settled before he left for the party. He could almost spit on Jalana's door from here, and it felt like a long time since he had such prestigious digs.::
    ::The door opened to darkness, and the unfamiliarity of the quarters left him disoriented for a moment. Were it the daytime, Barque would be waiting at the door for him, but at night the lazy mutt couldn't be bothered to rouse himself off the couch to greet him. Some guard dog. So it wasn't any surprise to Maxwell when the beagle wasn't at the door, considering the late hour. However, the plaintive, almost inaudible whine from the couch was definitely strange.::

    Traenor: Barque? Are you okay, boy?
    ::His eyes were just starting to acclimate to the gloom, and he finally noticed a strange shadow over where the couch was, right where Barque's whine had come from.::
    Traenor: Computer, lights.
    ::The lights did not come on as expected.::
    Traenor: ::concerned:: Is anyone there?
    Noros: Hello, beautiful.
    ::Maxwell nearly jumped out of his skin in shock. Having come into the quarters proper and allowing the door to close, the cut-off of light from the corridor helped his eyes adjust to the darkness that much quicker and the shadowy blob from the other side of the room resolved into the features of another person sitting on the couch. Hearing that voice, he knew exactly who it was.::
    Traenor: Noros Tanna. Lieutenant, what are you doing here? Did you override the lights?
    ::Barque whined again, a tentative yet urgent sound. The beagle had always been well attuned to the emotional state of his humans, and could likely feel the waves of confusion and exasperation coming off of Traenor. But it couldn't just be that, thought Maxwell, since Barque had whined even before he had known something was amiss.::
    Noros: I came to apologize for the other day. I shouldn't have slapped you, Max. Do you apologize for making me angry enough to hit you?
    Traenor: ::sputtering:: Me, apologize? For what?! You broke into my quarters, an altogether way too common occurrence, and accosted me!
    ::Barque whined again, accentuating the heightened tension in Noros's raised voice.::
    Noros: Come now, Max! You keep leading me on, then pull away when I kiss you? I've heard of playing hard to get, but this is ridiculous!
    ::Eyes fully accustomed to the dark, Maxwell could now clearly see Tanna sitting on the couch with Barque half on her lap. With one hand gently petting his head, the other had a vise grip on the scruff of his neck. He was being held there against his will, and that likely explained his discomfiture.::
    Traenor: ::hissing through gritted teeth:: First, let go of my dog. Second, I have never led you on. I have never professed any attraction towards you in any way, shape, or form. In fact, quite the opposite. I have told you numerous times that I do not appreciate your forward, intrusive personality.
    Noros: ::laughing, but a hollow, shill sound:: Oh, Max, you're always trying to act so gruff. You should know by now that you don't have to try and impress me. I like you just the way you are, silliness and all.
    ::She had still not let go of Barque, so Maxwell stormed into the room and grabbed Tanna's offending arm roughly by the wrist. She let go of Barque then, which allowed the beagle to scamper off the couch and towards the bedroom, but she planted her other hand on Maxwell's wrist in return. Her grip was painfully strong, and she only broke it when he released his grip first.::
    Noros: ::standing, facing off toe to toe with Traenor:: Don't touch me like that, Max. Why do you always have to make me so angry?
    Traenor: ::seething:: Oh, you don't know angry, Lieutenant. You'd best leave now before you regret it.
    ::Tanna's face was screwed up in a nasty scowl, which made her look ghoulish in the pale gleam off the starbase in the windows.::
    Noros: Regret it? Why, you going to use your newfound powers to make me pay? Letting your new role as First Officer get to your head? Yeah, I heard about that, even though you 'conveniently' forgot to invite me to your party. Don't power-trip on me, Max.
    Traenor: Look, Noros, I've taken it easy on you over the years. I've never once raised an official complaint against your infractions against the rules and my personal privacy. I've given you the benefit of the doubt, time and time again, from one ship to another. ::momentarily distracted:: How do you even end up on every ship I serve, anyways? ::back on topic:: But this has to stop. Now, and for good. If that means I have to act within my jurisdiction as executive officer to levy official punishments against you, then I will. Please don't make it come to that, Lieutenant.
    ::Maxwell earnestly meant that plea. Disciplining officers was never a task to be taken lightly, and he would only do so as a last resort. Besides, he didn't want to air his dirty laundry for his superiors to see, either. Filing reports for Jalana and Starfleet Command to peruse was the last thing that he wanted to happen to this unique and uncomfortable situation that he had allowed to fester for far too long.::
    Noros: Oh, yes, First Officer Max. You'd just love that, wouldn't you? Write me up! ::manic, ugly expression on her face:: Tell me this, Max... Did you seduce *this* Captain in order to become first officer, like you did last time?
    ::It was the lowest of blows, and Maxwell visibly reeled as if she had reached out and punched him in the gut. Maxwell Traenor had loved Renos, the commanding officer of the Darwin, very much; still did, though he tried to deny that to himself. The two of them had tried very hard to keep their doomed relationship private and inconsequential to the operation of the starship. It was Maxwell's eventual inability to do just that, by nearly sacrificing the Darwin and its crew in a suicidal attempt to rescue Renos against all logic and protocol, which had removed him from his first stint as an executive officer. Not only that, but Maxwell had risen to his status through hard work and perseverance, not nepotism. He never would have accepted the role back then if it had, and he and Renos had discussed that extensively. To rend through that raw wound was beyond the pale, and Tanna had to have known that. That she would still choose to sully herself in the muck of his doomed personal life was more than he could bear.::
    Traenor: ::face a steeled mask:: Lieutenant Junior Grade Noros Tanna, you are hereby relieved of duty effective immediately. Pending confirmation of said penalty by Captain Jalana Rajel, you will remain relieved of duty until you pass a psychiatric evaluation to prove that you are indeed fit for duty. If you are caught further abusing your security code privileges to violate the privacy of any other individual's private domains, you will be confined to quarters. Do you understand?
    Noros: ::shock, dismay:: But, Max-
    Noros: Yes.
    ::The edges of Maxwell's vision were graying from stress-induced elevated heart rate and a massive dump of adrenaline in his bloodstream. He was literally seconds away from hyperventilating. It was taking every last iota of his willpower not to fly into a blinding rage.::
    Traenor: Leave, now. Before I call Security to escort you out.
    ::Like a chastised, petulant child, the statuesque Bajoran turned to leave, but paused in the open doorway. She never turned back, but waited, as if anticipating one last parting shot before she completely departed. She was right on the money with that prescient feeling.::
    Traenor: And don't you ever invoke Renos's name again, else you'll see just how far I'm willing to abuse my powers.
    ::The door closed, darkness complete and whole again. The room was silent, but Maxwell wouldn't know for the torrent of blood rushing through his veins that created a cacophony and tempest in his ears that matched his mood. He felt he could weep, but was afraid to let emotion rule unless he lost all control over it.::
    Traenor: oO Congratulations, Maxwell. Perfect way to end your first day as first officer. Oo
    LtCmdr Maxwell Traenor
    Executive Officer, USS Constitution
    =/\= Top Sims Contest Facilitator =/\=

  15. ((ACMO’s Office, Sickbay, USS Constitution))


    ::It was one of those eternal laws that Sickbay was busy. On a ship the size of the Galaxy-class, there was always someone in need of a doctor’s attention, even if only for a checkup. It wasn’t only in times of crisis that people got sick or injured.::


    ::Patience was a virtue in such places, and having been on the other side of the bench, Saveron was content to wait until he could have a private word with T’Reshik’s treating physician.::


    Saveron: Doctor Milsap. I am appreciative of your time.


    :: Jerry stood to welcome the counsellor. ::


    Milsap: No problem, Commander. Have a seat.


    ::He waited until Saveron was settled in and sat back down himself.::


    Saveron: I wished to speak with you about Ensign T’Reshik; I understand that you are her treating physician.


    Milsap: If you can call it that. ::There was a hint of regret in his tone.:: From what I’ve been able to find out about...her condition, there ain’t much I can do in the way of treatment.


    ::That earned him a faint, curious [...] of the head from the Counsellor.::


    Saveron: At times it would appear that little has changed since the twenty-third century. ::He considered the situation carefully.:: What does Starfleet Medical know about the condition?


    ::He knew what Vulcan cultures knew of it of course, so he’d never bothered to look up what Starfleet’s Medical databases had to say about it. Now he was on the outside, looking in, and had no desire to offend the hard-working man sitting across from him.::


    Milsap: I admit, I never encountered a Vulcan in pon farr before, so I don’t have any real experience. And all the cases I’ve researched, they didn’t often turn out so well.


    Saveron: I have noted that has generally been the case. ::He acknowledged.:: I anticipate that the problem is two-fold; a cultural reticence on the subject, and a lack of personal planning, particularly amongst young Vulcans. ::Neither of which was easy to overcome.::


    Milsap: ::nodding:: It does seem to be a touchy subject, which I can understand. Lots of young people from all species find it awkward to discuss sexuality with adults. Learning about pon farr is kinda like the Vulcan version of what humans call “the talk”. Except in this case, if you don’t have it, you might die.


    ::That was truer than Saveron would have liked.::


    Saveron:  I believe that Terran culture speaks of a tall bird that puts it’s head in the sand to disagreeable situations? ::His tone was dry.:: What do you know about the underlying biology of the situation?


    Milsap: ::He sat back in his chair.:: Well, it’s a neurochemical imbalance that, if left untreated can cause death within eight days. It can be alleviated with a telepathic mating bond, but that could also bring on the plak tow. Then the patient runs a high fever and becomes irrational and violent, sometimes even unable to speak. And that can be deadly too. ::pause:: It’s pretty nasty, honestly.


    Saveron: Only if improperly managed. ::He revealed.:: Which is generally the only situation that Starfleet has cause to observe. ::But Jerry was obviously up on what happened in those situations.:: From that basis one would assume that you can deduce what the natural resolution would be.


    ::If he was serving as a Medical Officer then Saveron would simply have delivered a short lecture on the subject to fill Jerry in. But he wasn’t, he was the Counsellor and his job was to lead people to their own conclusions, especially when he suspected that the knowledge was there, but the cultural inhibitions were preventing the connection. And as a Vulcan he knew all about cultural inhibitions.::


    Milsap: The natural resolution, so far as I can tell, is to either mate or fight someone, and T’Reshik don’t seem too keen on either of those.


    Saveron: That is correct, whilst the latter does not always resolve the situation.


    ::After you fought someone, you claimed their mate, after all. It was only if you lost the fight that you lost the biological imperative. The patient’s recalcitrance didn’t help the situation.::


    Milsap: She’s done a lot of research on the condition, as I’m sure you know, and she thinks she can control the situation with isolation and meditation, and so long as she’s not in immediate danger I was willing to let her try it. If nothing else, just not giving her an argument over it might help calm her down. Cadet Thyar was willing to work with her too.


    Saveron: Indeed, she has an interesting background with regards to certain areas of Vulcan biology. ::’Interesting’ was one way of putting it.:: However resolution through meditation is generally only available to those who had achieved the kohlinahr. She is aware of this. Having spoken with her, it is apparent that her condition is progressing.


    ::More’s the pity. He would wish her every success in that endeavour, but he knew that such was extremely difficult; Saveron held no illusions regarding his own ability to achieve such.::


    Milsap: Another option is medication, keep her sedated and hope she sleeps right through the whole thing. And if her condition worsens I plan to do just that. I’m fine with letting T’Reshik try to fix things her way, but not if I think it’ll wind up killing her.


    Saveron: It will kill her regardless. The physiological stress, if allowed to continue, is generally terminal. Is it unlikely that it will spontaneously resolve, despite your excellent care.  ::He replied gravely. It the reason that such situations could be so dire.:: There are cultural mechanisms on Vulcan to manage such situations, but not here.


    :: Jerry appreciated Saveron’s compliment, he just wished he believed he’d really earned it. Ever since he’d graduated medical school it was very rare he’d find a condition he didn’t know how to treat. Part of the reason he’d joined Starfleet was to expand his knowledge to encompass treatment of other races and learn how to handle conditions he’d never be exposed to on Earth. Sometimes dealing with alien sickness was different from curing human maladies, but with a little research he was able to learn what he needed to do. This pon farr situation was the first time he’d encountered an affliction with no real medical resolution, and he felt at a loss. He’d had to rely on the expertise of others and, while that may have been the best course of action for his patient, it gave him an unaccustomed and unwelcome feeling of powerlessness. ::


    Milsap: I get the impression that T’Reshik is resolved to ride this thing out her own way, even if it does kill her.


    ::Saveron had received the same impression from T’Reshik herself.::


    Saveron: Having spoken with her at Counsellor Taurek’s request, I believe that I have persuaded her to review her objections in light of a ‘live to fight another day’ perspective. ::He said at length.:: Her researches, if successful, would be revolutionary. But she must survive to continue them.


    :: That news lit a spark of hope behind Jerry’s eyes. ::


    Milsap: Well, that’s a start. What can we do to help her now?


    Saveron: She has made a request that she be transferred by direct transport to her quarters. I would consider this reasonable, on the provision that Security sweep her quarters for weapons and medication, and lock her replicator and console down to civilian functions only. ::That way the damage that she could cause would be minimalised.:: She has agreed to these conditions, but you are the treating physician, and the decision lies with you.


    :: As he listened, Jerry nodded thoughtfully. ::


    Milsap: Sure, I’d go along with that. Sometimes just a change of scenery can do a patient good.


    Saveron: I anticipate a relatively rapid resolution, once she has the privacy and comfort of her own quarters. ::His tone was dry.::


    Milsap: But even in that circumstance, won’t we have the same problem? She’ll still be suffering the same symptoms.


    ::Unfortunately Doctor Milsap didn’t get the subtle hint. Even Saveron held a certain reticence on the subject, although years amongst aliens had cured him of some of it.::


    Saveron: You are correct, and she will continue to suffer them until her condition is resolved.


    ::At least now it seemed that T’Reshik would entertain the idea of that resolution.::


    Milsap: You mentioned Vulcan has ways to deal with this kinda thing. Is it possible we could reproduce them here?


    Saveron: Indeed, entirely possible. ::He agreed.:: Given the evolutionary purpose of the drive, the resolution is straightforward and effective.


    :: Jerry felt like he was missing something. He still wasn’t sure what the alternate treatment was. Unless, of course, Saveron wasn’t talking about an alternative. Jerry’s brow creased. ::


    Milsap: Are we still talkin’ about mating?


    Saveron: Affirmative. Whilst I am aware of T’Reshik’s previous recalcitrance, I would ask, has curative therapy been offered?


    ::His tone was one of polite enquiry, as though they were talking about a vial of analgesic.::


    :: Curative therapy? He couldn’t be asking what Jerry thought he was asking, could he? Maybe to a Vulcan for which pon farr was a fact of life that kind of thing could be viewed clinically, but to a human from a tiny town in Louisiana the idea was a little more unusual. ::


    Milsap: You mean did anyone offer to *mate* with her? Not as far as I know….


    ::The Vulcan raised a hand in a ‘wait’ gesture.::


    Saveron: In fact I have done so. ::He said bluntly.:: However, it ill behooves a doctor to withhold lifesaving therapy. What I am interested to know is, had I not offered, would you?


    :: Jerry opened his mouth to respond, then closed it and looked down in thought. It never occurred to Jerry to offer to mate with T’Reshik, for several reasons. Still, Saveron raised an interesting point. From a certain standpoint, it could definitely be viewed as a lifesaving procedure. But was a doctor really obliged to save a patient’s life at any cost? If not, where was it acceptable to draw the line? This conversation was raising some uncomfortable trains of thought in Jerry’s mind. ::


    Milsap: That’s a hard question, Counsellor.


    Saveron: I believe that it is the Counsellor’s prerogative to ask hard questions. ::He pointed out, a certain light in those grey eyes.:: It is important that we are all aware of our respective cultural inhibitions, and I trust you appreciate that I know that of which I speak.


    ::As he spoke his tone became dryer. After all, it was Vulcan cultural inhibitions that had landed T’Reshik in her current situation, and Saveron was hardly blind to the problem. First, solve thyself.::


    Milsap: ::nodding:: I’m sure. As for your question,I think the short answer is no, I wouldn’t have offered.


    Saveron: I would be as to your reasons.


    Milsap: Chalk it up to those cultural inhibitions. Now I’m not saying I would have just let her die, of course. If mating turned out to be the only thing that would save her, and she was willing, we’d find her a suitable and willing partner somehow. But I wouldn’t ask anyone to go against their own beliefs to do it if they didn’t want to.


    ::The Vulcan considered Jerry’s words. They were perhaps indicative of the reason that such situations caused such difficulties, but cultural conditioning was something they all had, with it’s associated inhibitions.::


    Saveron: It’s a complex question; what is the value of a life? ::He posed rhetorically.:: Is it to be placed above one’s inhibitions? One’s comfort? One’s culture? And what are the duties of a medical officer? Can one withhold lifesaving treatment on a cultural basis? ::After a moment he made a placating gesture.:: The subject interests me because this situation continues to present a problem within Starfleet. There is only one reliable treatment, but it’s application appears to be fraught with difficulties, including lack of awareness despite all professional good intentions. ::Jerry hadn’t even been certain of it.:: You will, I trust, tolerate my endeavours to remedy that.


    Milsap: ::smiling:: Besides, the Academy never taught us about sex as medicine. If they had, I suspect we might have a few more doctors in Starfleet. ::He chuckled:: Heck, it might have even made my brother get into medicine!


    ::That earned Jerry a quirked brow accompanied by an amused light in the Vulcan’s eyes.::


    Saveron: Perhaps we should suggest an addition to the curriculum?  


    :: Jerry threw his head back and laughed, even though he was pretty sure Saveron hadn’t meant the comment as a joke. Pretty sure.::


    Milsap: Good luck with that.


    Saveron: I have nothing further at this junction. If you will permit T’Reshik’s transfer then I will arrange the rest. Assuming that she agrees to treatment.


    ::He decided not to mention the euthanasia option at this point.::


    Milsap: ::nodding:: It makes sense to me, and as you have a lot more experience in the matter I think you’ll agree it’s logical to follow your recommendation. As soon as I get back to the office I’ll take care of the formalities.


    A JP by


    Lieutenant JG Jerome Milsap

    Assistant Chief Medical Officer

    USS Constitution-B



    Commander Saveron

    Counsellor and Diplomatic Officer

    USS Constitution-B


  16. (( Constitution Upper Decks ))

    ::Ji-hu was keeping an eye on his partitioned terminal while coordinating a repair team who were fixing a security office near Promenade-07. Apparently a small mob of Hinji were roaming the level, indiscriminately vandalizing any Starfleet property. Starbase security was in pursuit, but security and engineering were stretched thin, so when the area was clear he sent in a small team of Constitution engineers with a couple of security officers. The ensign had just pushed through requested schematics for a heavy duty door repair when there was a ping from Sindri’s coordinates.::

    ::He rushed over to the terminal and noticed that a section of Nightshade’s habitat lighting had been turned off, he smiled, but then noticed something else. A small energy fluctuation from the same location. A notification that hadn’t gone to Starfleet, but to someone else.::

    Choi: ::muttering:: What the…

    ::His communicator trilled and his hand reached up automatically while his eyes stayed on the readout.::

    Wynter: =/\= Wynter to Ensign Choi. =/\=

    Choi: =/\= Choi here, do you n-n-need something Lieutenant? =/\=

    Wynter: =/\= Yes, we found a piece of hardware that might have been used in the Nightshade sabotage. We need it analyzed. =/\=

    Choi: =/\= Understood, Lieutenant Wynter. I can p-pick it up at the transporter on Deck 2 and take it to M-Main Engineering for analysis. =/\=

    ::Ji-hu waved over an on-duty ensign, who approached to take over his operations.::

    Wynter: =/\= Good, I'll mark it for transport with my tricorder. Energize when you are ready. =/\=

    Choi: =/\= Aye aye, Lieutenant. I’ll let you know if I find anything. Choi out. =/\=

    ::Ji-hu advised the ensign to put in the call to the transporter on Deck 2, and to not under any circumstances touch his partitioned console. He nodded at Lieutenant McLaren as he made his way to the turbolift.::

    ::The Bolian crewman had just finished transporting the device when Ji-hu arrived, and the young ensign walked over and picked it up. His hands were a little sweaty… nerves… and the device slipped out of his palm and landed with a thud on the deck floor. The Bolian gave him a dubious glance, but he shrugged, retrieving it, before heading back to the turbolift, mortified.::

    Choi: Main Engineering.

    ::He studied the device as the lift hummed to life, shooting through the Constitution’s decks. It was an electronics modification component with a small interface and a button, a small cylinder that fit comfortably in Ji-hu’s hand. The cylinder was standard when engineers had to add electronic systems without pulling something completely apart, although this one showed some singeing from shoddy application. Amateurs. Ji-hu couldn’t bring himself to believe this had anything to do with sabotage. If anything it was probably a stopgap modification to regulate power fluctuations in the grid.::

    (( Constitution Main Engineering ))

    ::Main Engineering was staffed by a skeleton crew, given the mass exodus to aid efforts on the Starbase. Ji-hu flipped the device in the air nonchalantly as he walked over to an analysis station just off the main chamber—dropping it once more. He whistled to himself as he placed the component into the analysis port, which slid a protective field into place as he walked over to the information output console.::

    Choi: Computer, run a full analysis on the component.

    ::He listened as the computer began to run through a series of rapid systems, analyzing the component… but something was wrong, there was a high-pitched whining and then a small “thrum.” Then, suddenly, the analysis port was on fire.::

    ::Ji-hu’s jaw dropped just before the fire suppression system kicked in.::

    ::Moments later, the dripping wet ensign was in Main Engineering as two other officers charged into the lab to salvage what was left of the waterlogged port.::

    Choi: C-c-c-computer… analysis…

    Computer: Inconclusive. Before a full analysis could be completed the device discharged a high yield EM pulse when a remote current was established as part of the analysis protocol, which created a voltage surge due to magnetic induction.

    ::Ji-hu’s face paled.::

    Choi: So why didn’t the device go off before Wynter found it?

    Computer: Unknown. The circuit may have been left intentionally disconnected.

    Choi: … so when power was disconnected from habitat lighting the new circuit would go live, electrocuting the engineer and blowing the system! WYNTER AND SINDRI!

    ::Ji-hu began to smash his communicator and desperately call for the two officers, but there was no response.::

    Computer: Please be advised: There are currently reports of random communicator disruption from the Starbase.

    oO Am I too late then?! Has Sindri already set off a EM pulse at another sabotaged panel?! Oo

    ::Without thinking, Ji-hu found himself pounding towards the Main Engineering transporters. A bored looking crewman, a young human woman, went wide eyed as the soaked ensign crashed into the transporter chamber.::


    ::He stood gasping for air as she punched in a few coordinates. She apologized, there seemed to be some sort of disruption that was scrambling her signal, but if she could focus the transporter's parameters…::

    (( Starbase 104 - Nightshade Service Tunnel ))

    ::He felt the creeping tingling as the world went to a blinding darkness, and then he could feel the cool air of a tunnel, and see a distant light as someone was moving through it.::



    Ensign Choi Ji-hu
    Engineering Officer
    USS Constitution-B

  17. ((Transient Quarters, Starbase 104))

    Bakewell: So, how’d it go?

    ::Professor Ramsey Bakewell, pre-eminent Federation Xenosociologist asked as he stuck his feet into a pair of old carpet slippers and lowered himself into the old leather chair with it’s prolapsed stuffing.::

    Saveron: They were… unexpectedly disinterested.

    ::The simple console in the Starfleet transient quarters did at least have a direct link to the station’s subspace hub; the signal quality was excellent even this far out.::

    Bakewell: It’s the other side of the Empire for them; the Klingons on that border are probably more concerned about the Tholians than the Romulans.

    ::The salty-haired academic opined as he swivelling his chair around, his face lit by the screen in front of him, in the otherwise dim and cosy study. Two items were laid on the green leather of the desk; a steaming mug presumably full of coffee, and a tribble.::

    Saveron: The cultural comparison suggests distinct commonalities and certain lines of approach, but the issue of Klingon aggression towards what remains of the Romulan Star Empire appears to have no simple solution.

    ::Long fingers curled around the Vulcan’s cup of theris-masu.::

    Bakewell: Someone would have solved it already if it did. ::He observed, taking a swig of his coffee and absent-mindedly putting it down on to of a PADD.:: How’s Desideratum?

    ::The Vulcan quirked one upswung brow before reaching under the desk and producing a small carry cage. From inside it he took his own tribble; this one had long, white hair that trailed behind it as it ambulated gently across the desk.::

    Saveron: As you may observe, Fluffy is in adequate health. ::He replied, as though the shift from interstellar politics to tribbles was nothing unusual.::

    ::In the case of his erstwhile PhD supervisor, it wasn’t. Bakewell gave him a flat look.::

    Bakewell: If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a million times. FCXR Moonbeam Desideratum is a highly hybridised show tribble with a distinguished pedigree; you can’t call it ‘Fluffy’.

    ::He pointed at Saveron via the screen with a pair of fine tweezers and a scowl.::

    Saveron: One would suggest that the truth of the matter is that one has already done so. ::He observed dryly.:: I recall that it has a disqualification registered.

    Bakewell: It would be a champion if it didn’t. Has it still got the spot?

    ::Saveron obligingly picked up the White Angora tribble and turned it over, displaying the small black patch of fur which was the source of it’s show disqualification whilst Ramsey studied it critically, before putting it down again.::

    Bakewell: More’s the pity. ::He muttered.:: I’ve never bred another Angora White that close. Nor has anyone else. Take this now. ::He gestured to the ball of fluff in front of him.:: Lucky if it’s got two thirds the length on Desideratum, I had it shipped in from another hybridiser and it’s a good job I practice strict quarantine on imports; it’s got the Antaran Mange.

    ::He grumbled, picking at the tribble’s fur with the tweezers. It was coming out in clumps.::

    Saveron: One believes that is a notifiable disease. ::The Vulcan observed.::

    Bakewell: You bet it is, and I’m hoping to cure it before it has to be destroyed. Tahla would have a fit, but Iklis is going to lose his stock over this.

    ::He rattled off first names, assuming Saveron was up on the great hybridisers of show tribbles because that was what was important in life. Shrin’Tahla zh’Aim was an Andorian news reporter known for her scathing sports coverage; Antaravan Iklis a Bajoran archaeologist who specialised in relics associated with Pah Wraith cults. And Ramsey Bakewell advised Federation diplomats.::

    Saveron: One would suggest that prevention of an epidemic is of greater importance than preservation of the line.

    Bakewell: That’s because you’re a doctor. ::He replied, not looking up from the sick tribble.:: You have to care about that sort of stuff, it’s in the rules somewhere. Now me, I’m a sociologist, so I understand the importance of the tribble.

    ::A small tube of cream appeared, and Bakewell began applying the contents to the tribble’s bare patches wiht a cotton bud.::

    Saveron: Such may not be obvious to everyone. ::He suggested blandly.::

    Bakewell: Of course not. I wouldn’t have a job if it was. ::His rather sad-looking tribble started to coo under his gentle ministrations.:: But the tribble really is the perfect, simple model of all living things. It breathes, it eats, it poops, and it replicates. That’s what life comes down to. Resources in, waste and more life out. All the drives boil down to that.

    Saveron: No mention of sentience, culture, complex behaviour?

    Bakewell: Froth on the coffee. ::He waved a hand dismissively.:: Take your Klingons. They’re getting some resource from preying on the Romulans - probably space and easy access to already mined metals. If you want them to stop, they need some reason not to, either another source or some strong discouragement. Or they could be removing a perceived danger; Romulans have never liked Klingons. Neither do tribbles.

    Saveron: They did evolve in Klingon space.

    Bakewell: Right, so natural anti-predator response. And they have one complex behaviour that no one really understands.

    ::Right on cue Fluffy, Saveron’s tribble, started to sing.::

    Saveron: Indeed. ::He replied dryly.:: So you would suggest that if one would understand more complex life forms, one might first study tribbles.

    Bakewell: Exactly. You can learn a lot from tribbles. And if you feel you understand them, try cats. Because no one understands cats.



    Commander Saveron

    Diplomatic Officer

    USS Constitution-B



    Posted 27 March 2017

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