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Velana

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Everything posted by Velana

  1. ((Zakdorn Hospital – Late Night Hours)) ::There was a room waiting for her at some hotel but Aribelle did not even consider staying there. Aribelle instead spent the night at the hospital, sleeping on the uncomfortable stiff couch in the waiting area and catching very little sleep as patients and their families poured in. The damage to the city would take some time to assess and clean up. The natives were surely feeling the effects of such destruction. They were trying to bring back order and sought answers that no one could really give.:: ::She wanted to be close, though, to her crewmates. Her patients. Pavlova, Velana and the baby boy. At least they had gotten there safely and were getting the treatment and rest they needed.:: ::She would be close if they needed her and she checked on them often.:: ::At some point in the middle of the night, Aribelle had wandered into the restroom and, after locking the door, she found herself standing in front of the sink with one hand on the edge of the basin and the other over her mouth. Stealing a glance at her reflection in the mirror hanging in front of her, Ari studied her face, recalling the events that had happened that day.:: ::The lack of sleep. The conspiracies. The destruction. The injuries. The death.:: ::The tears then came.:: ::She wasn’t a crier, really, but she was emotionally spent and seeing so much devastation only set her off the edge. And for what, exactly? She let out a few soft sobs. Aribelle couldn’t wrap her head around the motives of people. She could not fathom what was so important that people had to pay with their lives, with blood. It all seemed so senseless. It was, in that moment, that she wished she had her comfy PJs and a bottle of merlot. At least she had the strength to wait and become unraveled in the restroom. Alone and in private.:: ::How pathetic was that? Officers weren't supposed to cry. Things like this happened ALL the time. Unfortunately.:: ::Managing to finally hold back the tears from trickling any further down her face, Ari wiped the backs of her hands across her eyes, and then dragged the heel of her hand along her cheeks before attempting to adjust her appearance. Her hair was a mess and there was still dried green blood on her arms. She turned on the faucet and let the warm water wash over her skin.:: ::When she looked back into that mirror, she found a tired, scared and teenaged-looking version of herself looking back at her. She didn’t even recognize herself.:: ::When she stepped back out, her eyes were still puffy and pink but she would blame that on her being tired.:: ::No one would ever have to know the truth.:: TBC Lieutenant Aribelle “Ari” Tagren Doctor, Medical Officer USS Vigilant
  2. ((Lt Richards’ Quarters; Starbase118 Ops)) :: The more Alexander dwelled on things the more he realized he had been very slow to make friends on the Starbase. Sure he had colleagues who he could consider acquaintances but no one he could really call friend. Disappointing as this was to him, he had no one to blame but himself for this turn of events and resolved to rectify the situation over the coming months. After all a strongly bound crew made for a strong team. And a strong team made over coming the stresses of Starfleet life that much easier. :: :: The young man’s mind changed to thoughts of friends he had had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of during his time in the fleet. First and foremost in his mind was Eyas Wulfantine, the loveable, tall, Pythron male whom he had once broken the nose of. The last he had seen of the affectionate lug was following the classified mission to Pythro by the crew of the Mercury. Had Alexander been so wrapped in his own world that he hadn’t spoken to the big guy in nearly a year now? :: Richards: oO Impossible! Oo :: He thought to himself, trying to set his mind at ease over not having spoken to the man who had risked his life for him once, and taken the proverbial bullet when a ‘simple’ rescue mission became all fouled up after Alexander fired upon a group of klingons without orders to do so. :: Richards: oO No more excuses Alexander. it’s about time you caught up with Eyas. The man has been through far more than you could ever imagine. Oo :: With his wife currently working her shift in the expansive science department on the Starbase and John at preschool Alex reasoned he had plenty of time to make the call from the family apartment. Rolling himself away from his desk and into the living room, he moved towards the domicile’s communication device and made the request to operations to be put through to Pythro. :: ((Wulfantine Family Home; Pythro V)) ::Eyas lay motionless on his bed. The tubes and wires that punctured his skin, and fed into his open mouth made it all but impossible to move even if he was able. The pain was not as bad now as it had been when he’d first arrived home. The massive wound in his flank caused by the disruptor being fired at almost point blank range had more or less healed, thanks almost entirely due to the Borg nanites that filled his bloodstream, but such resurrection came at a cost. A [...]tail of drugs was needed to sustain his vital organs. Thankfully, since the counter coup on Pythro V, that Eyas and the crew of the Mercury had been a part of the year before, he was able to receive the best medical attention his homeworld could offer. Had he’d been injured during the previous administration, All Eyas could have expected was a bullet through the head.:: ::In the corner of the room, Eyas’ mother sat patiently, reading a book. She had barely left his side since his broken body was flown back to Pythro. She looked over at him and smiled. Eyas could do little except wince back.:: Solara Wulfantine: Do you want anything dear? ::Eyas swallowed, painfully, to clear his mouth of the buildup of phlegm caused by the tubes.:: Eyas Wulfantine: A little.. water.. mother. ::Solara attended to her son’s needs. As she did so, the vid-screen in the corner of the room, normally used for showing Eyas a variety of classic Pythron cinema to keep him from dying of boredom, pinged with an incoming call. Solara gently disconnected the mouth tube, as the Doctor had shown how to do properly, and then gently tipped the cup onto Eyas’ lips, a few drops at a time, to allow him to drink. Only once she’d done that did she go over to the console and answer the call. A face appeared she didn’t recognise, but Eyas’ eyes flashed with recognition.:: Richards: My apologies for not calling ahead. My name is Lieutenant Alexander Richards of Starfleet. I’m trying to get in touch with an old friend, Eyas Wulfantine. I was told that you were the point of contact. ::Solara looked over her shoulder to her son, and saw his face lift a little.:: Solara Wulfantine: Yes, Eyas is with me. I am his mother, Solara Wulfantine. As you may know, my son was badly injured on his last mission. Richards: I am very sorry to hear that. How has he been coping? ::Solara gave Eyas another quick glance. He was being so brave, but the prognosis was not good. She daren’t tell him though.:: Solara Wulfantine: He is being wonderful. As strong as his father during the wars, but he has to stay here and rest for now. :: This concerned Alexander. Eyas despite being the lovable lug of the group, was always full of courage and honor. He was the first man into battle and the last man off the field. Alexander had always admired the way Eyas dealt with his former medical condition that caused him to revert into a monstrous lizard during times of extreme stress or when exposed to various environmental conditions. To hear he was incapacitated was upsetting. :: Richards: Before I speak to your son, what can you tell me about the situation on Pythro now? Have things changed for the better or are the problems still ongoing? ::Solara sighed and looked down at the ground. The situation had been turbulent to say the least. Her own imprisonment under the terror of Inquisitor General LeNoir had been bad enough, and it was only thanks to the efforts of Eyas and his friends that she was free.:: Solara Wulfantine: It is common knowledge I believe that the Inquisitor fell from favour here on Pythro and President J’Eyga called the bulk of the army back from Byzatium. Things are more peaceful now, and my family is no longer under censure. However, the Inquisitor never truly left the scene and is now Viceroy in the Occupied Territories. The war goes on. So much needless suffering on both sides. :: Alexander could understand the woman’s fear and hesitation to speak about such things. From the parts of the mission he had been able to read about and previous conversations with Eyas, Solara had been through a lot over the past several years and there was still a threat that things could get worse before they got better. Finally, Eyas was ready to take the call. Alexander decided he would thank the man’s mother for her time before conversing with his old friend. :: Richards: Thank you for your time Mrs Wulfantine. :: Nothing could prepare Alexander for the sight he was about to witness. It certainly put his own disability into perspective and showed just how much the young Pythron had sacrificed for his world and his mother. It took all of his inner strength not to cry at what he was seeing. He opened his mouth to speak, the shaking and low volume of his voice betraying his current feelings. :: Richards: Eyas my old friend. I knew you had been injured but nobody ever told me how bad it really was. :: Alexander took a long pause trying to regain his composure. :: The sacrifices you have made for your mother and your people. :: Another pause as he began to choke up with tears, finally letting go. :: It should serve as an inspiration to all of us who know you. ::Eyas’ once full and healthy features were now very emaciated. His long lustrous hair, was lank and matted, or at least the bits that hadn’t already fallen out. His injury may only have been to his torso, but the recovery process from what would have killed a man not swimming with nanite blood was not much better than death itself. Eyas’ hoarse croaked voice almost gurgled out of his throat.:: Eyas Wulfantine: Alex… my friend. ::Eyas tried to raise his head, but had neither the strength, nor the freedom of movement to do much.:: Richards: :: Wiping the stream of tears from his eyes with his left sleeve. :: I’m sorry my old friend. I am truly sorry. :: He took a deep breath and cleared his eyes again. :: You never deserved any of this. You were only doing the right thing. I would argue until the cows come home, as we humans say, with anyone who said this was a result of your own selfish pride or arrogance. :: Pausing again, this time to think very carefully of his next words. :: You did what had to be done, what any man or woman in your situation would have done. We :: Another choke. : That is to say your friends only travelled with you because we believed in the whole of your cause. You know as I said then that but for my disability I would have been right there with you. :: Alexander took a much longer pause this time as he welled up again and began to wail. :: Richards: If only I hadn’t had that accident, maybe I could have prevented what happened whilst you were serving on the vigilant. Maybe I could have saved you from this fate. :: Again the young man paused fighting back tears trying to calm himself. :: I feel terrible for having ever felt sorry for my current situation old friend. Hell, I still feel sorry for doubting myself when I look at what you and others have achieved. :: He stopped himself :: But telling you this isn’t going to brighten your mood and all things considered is rather selfish of me. :: Richards finally managed to regain control of his emotions enough to stop crying. Though he was still visibly distressed. :: ::Eyas saw his friend’s sadness. Eyas didn’t want nor deserve anyone’s sorrow. He had pushed Major Handley-Page out of the way of the phaser blast by choice. He was just doing his duty.:: Eyas Wulfantine: Don’t… cry…. Alex. ::Solara wiped a cold damp cloth over her son’s forehead. It was really the only thing she could do for him right now.:: Richards: It’s hard old friend. Call it a human weakness if you will but we tend to find it very difficult to see our friends in difficult, heart breaking situations. However I can rest easy knowing that despite your condition, you have your mother to look after you and it is quite obvious her love for you is as deep as yours for her. ::Eyas managed a slight smile, his cracked lips bending as best they might.:: Eyas Wulfantine: ::coughing:: You.. all… right? Richards: I can’t complain about my situation old friend. Especially not in front of you. Currently serving as the assistant chief science officer of Starbase 118. Of course I’m defacto department head at the moment as the base still hasn’t had a new chief assigned. Has anybody else been in contact with you from the fleet? I would hate to think I was the only person to have contacted you since your current situation arose. ::Eyas blinked, slowly. There had been a few calls, but not as many as he’d hoped. It was a big galaxy, and people were busy, he guessed.:: Eyas Wulfantine: No… but good to….. see. you, old … friend. ::Eyas had to pause as another coughing fit struck him. Solara moved over to mop up the phlegm.:: Eyas Wulfantine: Ops? Depart..ment head? Good. Maybe.. you visit... me? Richards: As far as I have come as a person old friend, I still yearn for the glory days of old. The tales we could tell of adventures we had in the short time we served with each other. I will have to come and see you at some point this year. I know the entire region of space around Pythro is still unstable but, some things are worth taking risks for. Though I doubt Starfleet would be too impressed if my presence on Pythro caused any unnecessary trouble. :: Alex shuffled in his chair to prevent his lower back from going numb. He still found it difficult to look at his old friend but the more he talked, the easier it was becoming to come to terms with the gravity of his situation. :: ::Eyas noticed, even in his slightly blurred vision, that Alex was looking slightly fidgety. Eyas remembered Alex had been injured during the battle of Deep Space Ten. The two men had lost contact to a more or less greater degree since their respective transfers, but Eyas was concerned for his friend. Was he still in a wheelchair, almost a year later?.:: Eyas Wulfantine: Alex… your legs? You… not better? :: The question Alex had hoped his old friend wouldn’t ask finally came up. It would have been one thing to tell a proud Eyas Wulfantine at the peak of health that he was still disabled, but in his current condition. Alexander knew the Pythron male would find it upsetting. :: Richards: oO Of all the questions. it had to be that one. Oo :: Alexander took a long pause as he composed himself to answer the question. He wasn’t quite sure how to voice his current situation without causing Eyas unnecessary stress and anguish. :: Richards: Despite a good prognosis after the initial incident on Deep Space 10 my old friend, relatively little has changed. I am due for another meeting regarding my current condition with Starbase 118’s resident CMO, Lieutenant Commander Solok but in all honesty I don’t hold out much hope. :: Another long pause. This time to dwell on the reality of the situation. It wasn’t as if Starfleet medical had been dragging their heels over the situation. Medical scientists on Earth, Starbase 118 and other notable institutions had been researching his ailment. :: Richards: But whatever happens I know my family and colleagues will always be supportive of me. ::Eyas was saddened. It looked like the two of them had more in common than just a uniform and a shared adventure.:: Eyas Wulfantine: I am.. sorry.. for you, Alex. ::He coughed again, a little blood being brought up.:: Eyas Wulfantine: Any hope… for cure? :: A very difficult question to answer. Alexander had to keep hoping for a cure but the longer he was waiting, the smaller the chances became. :: Richards: I have to keep hoping my old friend. The best Starfleet has to offer is working on my case. If there is a cure, they will find it. How about you Eyas. Is there ever a chance of you recovering? :: Alex was almost 99% sure he knew the answer already but had to ask. Eyas’ eyes narrowed at the word *chance*. In truth, he had been told relatively little from his Doctors.:: Eyas Wulfantine: I don’t… know. I just take… it.. hour by hour. :: And there was the confirmation of his worst fears. Alexander couldn’t shake the feeling that the universe had done his friend a great injustice but at the same time he knew Eyas wouldn’t have it any other way. His actions had saved a fellow officer from what would almost certainly have been a fatal disruptor blast. Brave and courageous as always. Before Alexander could ask another question Solara once again appeared in front of the main view screen. :: Solara Wulfantine: I am sorry Mr Richards, but Eyas must rest. It was great of you to call. :: As much as Alexander wished to spend more time speaking with his friend he understood Solara’s position. He was grateful for the time she had been able to give him. :: Richards: I understand Mrs Wulfantine. Thankyou for allowing me this time with your son. Solara Wulfantine: It is no problem. Please do call again. ::Eyas blinked and smiled.:: Eyas Wulfantine: Good bye… Alex. :: And with that, the line of communication was closed. Alex shed another tear, resolving that next time he wouldn’t leave it so long between communications. He also put it into his mind that he would get to Pythro before the year was out to pay his friend a visit. Of course he was well aware that might be easier said than done given the current political climate there. :: ::Solara mopped Eyas’ brow once again, hoping the effort of talking hadn’t hurt him too much. Reluctantly, she replaced the tube into his mouth and throat, and kissed him on his forehead.:: ::: Finally, after having spent several minutes in front of the blank monitor Alexander began to roll himself away towards the kitchen. Before the elementals had attacked the station, Marissa had managed to source some amazing coffee beans from one of the stations many arboretums. He didn’t bother to ask exactly what there genus was. He probably wouldn’t have cared about it anyways. All he knew was that they made a far better coffee than anything the replicator was able to produce. :: :: The surfaces in the Richards apartment were specially adapted so that Alexander (and by extension, his son, John) could use them. He took his freshly brewed drink and placed it in a cup holder on his lap before turning to face the door and gently rolling himself towards his study. January meant crew evaluations were due and he had a rather large department to oversee. Of course this meant putting in extra hours beyond his normal shift pattern but, it didn’t bother him. He would rather be working than spending his free time alone and bored. :: :: As he picked up the next PADD his mind wandered back to his old friend Eyas and his current state. Seeing him like that had reminded Alex just how short and precious life was and just how important friendships are. As he browsed Ensign Ireya Ilwary’s file with a smile he resolved to contact both Lieutenant Commander Roshanara Rahman and Lieutenant Commander Velana to catch up with them. It really had been too long since his accident and subsequent departure from the USS Mercury since he last talked with either of them. :: To Be Continued… JP: By Lt. Alexander Richards Asst. Chief Science Officer: SB118 Ops & LtCmdr Eyas Wulfantine (PNPC) Former Chief Tactical Officer; USS Mercury http://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php?title=Wulfantine,_Eyas Simmed by: LtCmdr Leo Handley-Page Tactical/Security Chief: USS Garuda SB118 Podcast Team Facilitator
  3. Have y'all seen the trailer!?!?!?!?! (Warning: Will need Quicktime.) http://www.deadline.com/2012/12/star-trek-into-darkness-hot-trailer/
  4. Everyone's been in love at one time or another. The only exception to this is Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory.
  5. Thank you so much!! Congrats to you, too! And thanks to Commander Kells and the whole Challenge team!
  6. At what point did life begin? Entire books had been written on that question. Debates had raged back and forth for centuries. It was the unsolvable mystery of creation. Everyone had a theory; no one had definitive proof. Did life begin when one cell combined with another cell to create new cells? Was it when that cluster of cells took on features...arms, legs, eyes, a nose? Perhaps it was the first time the fetus moved or when it had developed enough to survive on its own. Or did it all come down to the moment of blood, sweat and tears when a child emerged into the world, purple and wrinkled, still attached to its mother, but wonderfully, amazingly alive? Velana looked down at the tiny scrap of human being in her hands. "It's a girl," she announced, and the woman who had been in labor for eighteen hours at the Fleet hospital instantly dissolved into exhausted sobs of sheer relief. Training and simulations had taught Velana to rub the baby's body to induce breathing, but all of those holographic infants had started crying right away. This little girl did not. "My baby?" Pain didn't stop the new mother from trying to sit up. "I want to see her!" A nurse rushed to Velana's side. The tiny, perfect baby was so still in her hands. Velana stared at the child's bluish skin, fighting back panic. She wasn't breathing. Velana couldn't make her breathe. "Cadet?" The nurse looked back and forth between her and the baby. "What do you want to do?" To Velana, the words sounded as if they were being spoken underwater. "Cadet!!" From behind her, she heard the new mother's wobbly voice ask, "Doctor?" Snapping into action, Velana set the infant down on the neo-natal bio-bed. She swept the child's mouth open with her finger, clearing away mucus and blood. It wasn't enough, though. The child's mother was approaching hysterics. "What's wrong with my baby? I want to see my baby!!" With all the mental discipline she posessed, Velana tuned out everything but the child in front of her. The answer was right there, in the readings from the bio-bed scans. Meconium aspiration. At some point the baby had inhaled some of its own waste product from the amniotic fluid. "I need suction." The nurse slapped a tube into Velana's hand, which she then gently eased into the baby's mouth and down its throat. The procedure took only seconds, but each second until the infant's chest started rising and falling felt like an hour. Even once the waste was cleared away, the baby didn't immediately cry, but she whimpered and wheezed and that was so much better than silence. With the little girl's skin slowly turning pink, Velana carried her back to her mother. "Congratulations," she said as she carefully handed the little girl over. "Oh..." Clasping her baby against her breast, fresh tears spilled down the woman's cheeks. "Thank you. Thank you so much, Doctor." When did life begin? Conception, development, birth? Or was it the moment when a medical student became a doctor? Lt. Commander Velana Chief Medical Officer USS Mercury
  7. (( Bridge, USS Drake )) ::Many of the Drake's crew were down in the holodeck attending Lt. Shryker's wedding, leaving the bridge looking rather sparse. Sparse enough, in fact, that Didrik craned his neck to quickly survey the area. He wondered whether he was the ranking officer at the moment, and thus in temporary command of the Drake. He couldn't be certain, however, because of what Starfleet pilots called the Miranda-class "blind spot," an area of the bridge nearly impossible to see from the Conn without actually getting up out of the seat. Satisfied that he was, at the very least, 'acting second officer,' he returned his attention to the viewscreen, where a live feed from the holodeck was broadcasting the wedding in its entirety.:: ::Commander Rogers walked Jade down the aisle, to an arch of flowers positioned at a precipice over a wooded valley. It was at that point that Didrik admittedly began paying less attention to the ceremony, and more attention to the officiant: Aron Kells. It was the first time he'd seen Aron since they'd parted ways on Alpha Centauri. He was surprised to have gotten the brief message from Aron that morning, inviting him to meet on the holodeck after the ceremony was over, but pleasantly so. He was looking forward to getting the chance to reconnect, even if it was with a holographic transmission of the Drake's former science chief in lieu of the real thing.:: ::The brief ceremony drew to a close, and soon after, members of the Drake's crew who'd attended slowly repopulated the bridge. Didrik relinquished the helm to another officer and entered the turbolift, deliberately keeping a steady pace.:: (( Holodeck One, USS Mercury )) :: All the guests had left, the bride and groom had retired, the captains and officers from the other ships had walked through those double doors, back to their lives. Aron was left alone on the Mercury’s, and he simply stood for a moment, surveying the detritus of the wedding and the reception. He was glad that he wouldn’t have to clean up. :: Kells: Computer, end program. :: There was the grid, back again. He waited a moment, as he had said he was going to, as presumably Didrik was doing -- waiting for the emergence of Will from the holodeck, so he could transform it. The program was set to start immediately when Didrik called up its corresponding program on the Drake, though in the long moments when the yellow grid ruled the day, Aron felt each breath and each heartbeat as though it were the longest he had ever experienced. And then there was another. And then there was another. And then, finally, the holodeck transformed. :: (( Outside Holodeck, USS Drake )) ::Didrik waited until he was certain the holodeck was empty, then activated the control panel on the outside bulkhead. The link between the Drake and the Mercury was still active, and the transmission was still stable, something he wasn't certain the old girl's circuitry could maintain. He accepted the transmission, and the doors opened.:: (( Holodeck link-up, USS Mercury/USS Drake )) ::Didrik entered, and saw Aron standing amongst the yellow-and-black grid in the split second before the surroundings came to life. The setting was nothing special; a nondescript café with windows overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, no doubt based upon any of the hundreds of such establishments in the vicinity of Starfleet Headquarters. Didrik smiled at Aron, pleased that the holodeck recreated him faithfully. He closed the distance between them.:: :: Aron had the presence of mind to swipe some of the real flowers before he’d come to the wedding, and though he’d played them off as being as holographic as the rest, he was left with the dozen khesuris in his hand. The flowers were vaguely lily-like, though they sparkled with a natural luminescence unlike any flower from Earth. Aron offered them to Didrik, and watched as holo-hand took true-stems. :: Kells: Happy birthday. ::Didrik took the holographic flowers, which were unlike anything he’d ever seen. His smile widened, the glow from the flowers reflecting in his face.:: Stennes: Thank you for remembering. ((beat)) We were mid-mission on the actual day, so I hadn’t really stopped to think much about it until things quieted down a bit. Twenty-nine... ::Didrik paused, not certain how he was going to finish that sentence.:: Stennes: Not so much an ominous birthday, but it puts me in reflective mood nonetheless. Kells: And what have you been reflecting upon? :: Aron didn’t wait for an answer; instead, he waggled his finger at the space on his face that matched Didrik’s glasses. :: Kells: These are new. How has it been? Stennes: I’ve been okay, recovering well. ::adjusting the thick black frames of his eyeglasses:: Still not used to corrective lenses, but I’m hoping I won’t have them much longer; there’s a specialist on Starbase 118 who is interested in researching my particular... condition. Kells: Ah, say no more. I understand: A subject is a subject is a subject. Stennes: Speaking of Starbase 118, I understand you’re not there anymore. What happened? Kells: A promotion. You’re looking at the valorous commanding officer of the deep-space explorer Mercury. ::Didrik nodded, his assumptions confirmed. When Aron first contacted Didrik, inviting him to this holo-reunion, the message originated from the USS Mercury, with a Starfleet Command signature that indicated he was either the ship’s CO or XO. That, coupled with watching him officiate at Jade’s wedding, connected enough of the dots that the news wasn’t a complete surprise to Didrik. He gestured to a table near the window of the unpopulated café. As they sat down, a holographic fog crept eastward toward the bay.:: Stennes: Is there more to that story? How’d it come about... Captain? Kells: It just sort of (beat) happened. I’d only been on the starbase a few weeks when I received the new order. And then, bam, straight into my first mission. I thought, you know, it’d be perfect, that sort of ship and me, but no, not that first time. Stennes: What happened? Kells: The Borg. ::Borg. Even the name was terrifying. Anyone living on Earth in the 60s and 70s knew enough of the Borg to know that only by sheer chance and perhaps a bit of good timing did their planet narrowly avoid assimilation, not once, but three times.:: Stennes: It’s the first I’ve heard of a Starfleet ship crossing paths with the Borg in a while. I can imagine it’s not what you expected out of your first command. Kells: Well, we got out of it alive, and that’s a plus in my view. (beat) Since then, things have been a little more, hm, normal. We just finished exploring an old space station. (beat) But, hey, I’m talking too much. What about you? Stennes: Nothing as substantial as all that, I’m sure. Still flying the Drake, still working my way through the Klingon military analysis that Lt. Commander Danzia gave me last Christmas. :: Aron watched him field the shadow of a smile, and at once he was frustrated. Sure, their lives were interesting, but they were talking about the monoliths, not the minutiae they’d once shared. What were they skirting around? :: Kells: Let’s go back to the reflection. Tell me what you’re thinking. ::Didrik hesitated, not because he felt uncomfortable articulating what he was thinking, but because choosing the right words was a greater challenge than he’d expected.:: Stennes: I’ve thought a lot about my job. When Dr. Mike told me that he couldn’t repair the damage to my vision, I was afraid I was going to lose my job. It’s not exactly a tactical advantage to have a pilot who can’t see without a piece of millennium-old technology. Kells: But it’s definitely better than having no pilot at all. :: This time it was his turn for an awkward smile, which Didrik -- no pun intended -- barely seemed to see. Aron lost the levity. :: Kells: It was a scary thing. Stennes: That fear made me realize something. (beat) I actually like my job, and I want to keep it. Kells: You should! You’re [...] good at it-- Stennes: Considering how I felt about my job when I first came here, it’s like night and day. I had this (beat) vision of who I thought I was supposed to be when I finally graduated from the Academy, and being a pilot on the Drake wasn’t at all what I imagined. ::Didrik couldn’t help but be ashamed of the contempt he had for his job when he first reported for duty aboard the Drake. It was only last year, but remembering himself at that time was like looking back at oneself as an adolescent. This past year had matured him, and provided him with invaluable perspective into who he was.:: Stennes: You remember the map I kept when I was a teenager? Tracking the progress of the Dominion War? Kells: Yes. I do. :: But he had to think, and if not hard then at least for a moment, as the faces of the new men and women he knew -- of Arden Cain, Alexander Matthews, Velana -- fought him for a recollection from a different time, a different place. He saw the memory, at last. :: Stennes: I think the decisions I made–enrolling in the Academy, choosing Tactical as a focus, the topic of my honors thesis–were all based on what I thought I knew about myself back then. And for ten years, I never tried to grow, or challenge myself, or understand what I was really supposed to be. (beat) But I’m doing all of that now, and I don’t think it was a mistake anymore, that I was put on the bridge of a starship. :: Aron shrugged. :: Kells: There are no mistakes. You were put in a situation you weren’t prepared for and you responded. You responded well, which is perhaps what no one expected; but then again, maybe they did expect that, and maybe that’s why you were there, yeah? (beat) There are no mistakes. Stennes: And then there are the weddings. Three couples, all getting married back-to-back; I can’t help but think about my own relationships. And you. Kells: (too quickly) I think about you, too, out in the black. Seeing the marriages … I mean, marrying two of my staff, that’s something -- two friends, I never thought. Well. (more slowly) I think a lot about that day. You know, the last day. ::Didrik thought about it too. On the surface, it seemed perfect; the Centaurian sunset, the way their fingers interlocked into each other. Except that it wasn’t “the last day” for no reason. It was “the last day” there existed any potential for them to get closer. It was “the last day” they served together. It was “the last day” they’d spoken to each other, until now.:: Stennes: I think about it too. Retrospect provides some perspective, but it was still... Kells: Wonderful, and terrible. Because I didn’t want to go, and I wanted to go, and I never wanted to go. So what did I do? I went. And now I’m a CO. ::Didrik looked across the table at Aron, still in dress uniform from the wedding. His brown eyes met Aron’s green ones.:: Stennes: It suits you. Kells: (quietly) There are no mistakes. :: He looked away, afraid to meet Didrik’s eye. ...Was that right? Afraid? But he thought he was -- knew he was. And so he looked away. :: Stennes: So tell me more about your new command. A ship like the Mercury would bring out the scientist in just about anyone. It would appear the two of you are well-matched. Kells: That’s what I thought, especially since it was last captained by two men without science backgrounds. Why me, and why now? But it’s like the perfect ship for me: A flying laboratory. (beat) Perfect. Stennes: How does your departure from Starbase 118 leave the Jaborrhik planet? What kind of a role will you have in that now? Kells: I’m still in charge, even though I won’t get back as often as I’d thought -- but there’s this holoconferencing, which I’m still getting used to. Actually, speaking of that.... :: Aron didn’t like what he was about to do, but he did it anyway. :: Kells: Computer, load the [...] things. :: And while it should have balked at this request, the computer beeped: It knew exactly what Aron wanted. The awards appeared a moment later: The Daystrom Award in Biosciences (2389) on his left, and the J. Bruce Award (Bioengineering) on his right. He picked them up and held them out to Didrik as though they were rotten fish. :: Kells: I have the real things in my office, of course. Ostentatious -- enough gold that a Ferengi would bemoan the lack of latinum -- and of course I was devastated to receive them. All for bringing an experiment back to life. ::Didrik studied the awards, conceding that they were somewhat gaudy, and not at all something he’d expect Aron to have displayed prominently for all to see. They weren’t the real articles, just holographic re-creations of them, but Aron’s body language gave the impression that even the simulacra carried infectious disease.:: Stennes: They certainly are... ornate. Kells: You like ‘em? They’re yours if you want ‘em. Why not hang ‘em in your quarters? Stennes: ::laughing:: Are you serious? ::beat:: I’ve been promoted y’know. I’ve got my own quarters now, so I’m no longer actively looking for ways to annoy Ensign Mouthbreather. However, I It’d be nice to have something that reminds me of you. Are you sure you want to part with them? They don’t just give these things away. Kells: I think I am, too. (beat) But, listen. I’m coming back towards 118 in the next few weeks. We’re taking a Cardassian dignitary and her staff in on a humanitarian mission. Maybe, if the Drake swings by, we can manage a little actual time together. Stennes: ::grins:: I might be able to make that happen. I do fly the thing, after all. ::glancing down at the awards:: Plus, now I’ve got some belongings to pick up at the Assay Office. ::beat:: I’d love to get some real time with you, and not just a force field that looks like you. Kells: Me, too. (sudden laughter) It’s ridiculous. I can talk about anything -- anything -- but I can’t talk about this. Stennes: ::feeling the tone of the conversation change somewhat:: Talk about what? Kells: Us, of course. Is there anything more frightening and more wonderful? I’ve seen everything, Didrik, and I don’t think there is. Stennes: I’m hoping we’ll both get to experience more wonderful as time goes by. Because I believe there’s more to come. :: Aron opened his mouth, let out a breath that was meant to be a word, and closed it again. He gave himself a moment, then tried again. :: Kells: I want to believe that, too. I mean, I suppose I do. But I wish, I do wish that I knew. The same way when we first met. Not for the power, just for the feeling that we, you and I, could make everything right again. :: But he caught himself before he went on: That, Aron, is power. He shrugged. :: Kells: There is more to come. I do believe that. Stennes: It’s not impossible; the Drake has a lot of officers who’ve served together previously. Who knows? Maybe someday we’ll end up assigned to the same ship again. I’d be okay with that. Kells: And I believe (beat) we will. ::The tranquility of the empty holographic café was disturbed by flickering lights and the sound of malfunctioning circuitry. Didrik turned to see a corner of the wall vanish in a field of energy, replaced momentarily by the yellow-on-black grid, then reappearing.:: Stennes: That’s probably me. I’m surprised the Drake’s holodeck lasted the entire wedding ceremony, let alone our whole conversation. I’d better go soon, unless I want Lieutenant Pandora to come after me for breaking the ship. :: Aron laughed -- guffawed, really -- that half-choking sound that recognizes the previous life. Not that the Drake was really a previous life -- he’d been there only six months ago -- but, well, things had changed. Obviously. :: Kells: You’re right. You should go. (beat) But I don’t want you do. Stennes: I don’t either. I miss you. And I don’t want months to go by before I see you. I’ll start bringing up 118 to people; plant the seed, as it were. Hopefully soon, we can make some concrete plans. Kells: Definitely. And, hey, if you need any help convincing anyone, just remember that you’ve got a CO on your side. ::Didrik stood up, suddenly sad, and already feeling lonely again.:: Stennes: I don’t know how one says goodbye in a holo-conference. Do we wave, can we touch each other? Kells: The tech’s not-- I mean, if we do.... :: He held out his hand, and Didrik took it. But there was nothing there, no reassurance that each felt the other that he’d left behind. Didrik’s hand was the same cold holoflesh, devoid of intention or emotion, that Aron had felt one hundred times before. :: Kells: It won’t be you. It’s just the hologram. ::Didrik let go:: Stennes: It’s not how I want to remember it. Kells: It’s incentive! No, it is: To meet again, to see each other again soon. Really. Stennes: We will. Kells: Until then.... Stennes: Goodbye. ::Didrik exited back onto the deck of the Drake, still able to see holo-Aron standing inside the holo-setting. He waited for the doors to close before he ended the program:: Lieutenant JG Didrik Stennes Helm Officer USS Drake Commander Aron Kells Commanding Officer USS Mercury
  8. Completely got my months mixed up and missed the deadline!! *Kicking self*
  9. Reached one of Velana's goals: Chief Medical Officer!

  10. I wish! I haven't been to a Star Trek con since 2002
  11. Maybe there's a better way to word that clause. Any suggestions?
  12. Yeah, I've already started to rewrite them. The stuff about the marriage contract...I'm not feeling it either. Plus I don't think there's any canon basis for it.
  13. Any suggestions for additions/deletions/changes?
  14. I do think it was written based on male-female relationships and if it were to be updated, same-sex and multiple partnerships would need to be taken into account. It could be that a marriage manual is outdated and doesn't apply at all, but it's interesting to note that at one time, fans though there needed to be one enough to draw it up, print it and sell it at conventions.
  15. I thought it was odd, too, but it was written thirty years ago;) Maybe we should try to update it?
  16. While I was helping my friends pack up the house they've lived in for 20 years, I came across their old collection of (mostly) fan-written/complied Star Trek manuals and guides. One in particular caught my eye and I felt compelled to copy it and share it with all of you. I've adjusted some of the phrasing for clarity's sake, but this is mostly word-for-word from the Starfleet Marriage Manual. There was no date on the pamphlet, but judging by the others around it, I'm guessing circa 1980. Pre-TNG, for certain. ***** Starfleet Marriage Regulations Classified Files 1902-A through 1902-O 1902-A AGE: The legal age of marriage for all Human Starfleet personnel is 16 years from the date of birth. Legal age for all non-Human lifeforms under Starfleet command shall be determined by the customs of their individual culture. 1902-B APPLICATION: Applications for permission to be married are available to all Starfleet bases and from all Starship captains. The applications must be approved by the Commander of a Starfleet base as well as a Starfleet Medical Command Officer or Starship Captain. Said application must be filed with reports from the examinations outlined in paragraphs 1902-A thru 1902-D. 1902-C PHYSICAL EXAMINATION: A physical examination must be submitted by all applicants. This examination must be performed by a Starfleet Medical Officer. The requirements for the examination to be performed are laid out in Form 6683AM provided to all Starfleet Medical personnel. 1902-D BLOOD TESTS: All applicants must submit to blood tests. These blood tests must be performed by Starfleet medical personnel. Requirements for said blood tests are outlined in Form 6683PS provided to all Starfleet Medical Departments. 1902-E MENTAL PROFILE: A mental profile is required of all applicants. Examinations to determine mental profiles must be performed by a Starfleet Medical Officer or Counselor. The requirements for this examination can be found in Form 6683AT provided to all Starfleet Medical and Counseling departments. 1902-F HUMAN/NON-HUMAN EXAMINATIONS: Accompanying an application where a Human and a non-Human want to marry, special examination reports must be filed. Both applicants must submit to a special physical that includes blood, genetic, and psychological testing. All special testing requirements are outlined in Form 6686AM provided to all Starfleet Medical Departments. 1902-G FAILURE TO MEET STANDARDS: Failure to meet the normally accepted standards of the examinations mentioned in sections 1902-A through 1902-F shall result in the non-approval of the marriage application. 1902-H REAPPLICATION: In the event a marriage application fails to be approved by reason of physical or mental examinations, said applicants may reapply after corrective treatment (a statement from a Starfleet Medical Officer must accompany the application), or after six months, whichever comes first. 1902-I GENETIC DEFICIENCIES: When one or both applicants show genetic deficiencies in the examination, a childless marriage must be agreed to. A person with any genetic deficiencies must submit to treatment to eliminate the possibility of the birth of deformed children. Failure to submit to the above will result in the non-approval of an application. 1902-J MARRIAGE CONTRACT: When the application is approved, the marriage contract shall be presented to the official in charge, with the approved application, in order to make certain said contract complies with the application. 1902-K MARRIAGE TERM: The term of the marriage contract can be set for any period of time from one year to natural death. Starfleet suggests that for the first marriage, the two parties set the marriage for one year as a trial period. After the one year trial period is over, if the parties desire a longer term, a new contract can be established. 1902-L DELETED. See Starfleet memo 2410-M, #3. 1902-M MARRIAGE CEREMONIES: For all Human Starfleet personnel marrying another Human, the only acceptable ceremony is the standard Military Wedding. For all Human Starfleet personnel marrying a non-Human, two ceremonies can be performed: the standard Military Wedding plus the ceremony traditional to the non-Human partner's culture. Said Military Wedding must be performed by a Starship Captain or an officer of higher rank, or by a Starfleet Chaplain. 1902-N MARRIAGEABLE ALIENS: Some aliens, for a variety of reasons, have been declared illegal for Starfleet personnel to marry. Current lists of ineligible aliens are available at any Starbase document center, or from Starfleet officers of the rank of Starship Captain or higher. 1902-O NEW ALIEN LIFE FORMS: When new alien life forms are encountered, it shall be illegal for Starfleet personnel to marry a person of that species until the Starfleet medical, sociological, and biological teams have declared that life form to be reasonably compatible with Humanoids. ***** Would love to hear your thoughts on this
  17. Velana

    JAN/FEB *WINNER* Affectations

    “He who wears a mask cannot see within himself.” - Unknown 2384 “This is what we get for putting off our elective courses until the last semester.” Cade Whitman gestured to the floor of the auditorium where Commander Talen was holding up a 500 year old piece of Bajoran pottery. “Archeology for Dummies.” Velana looked down at her lap to hide her smile. Not that Talen could have possibly seen the expression on her face considering that she and Cade were sitting only two rows from the back, but when in the presence of other Vulcans, especially ones who had power over her grade point average, she had learned that it was best to stifle any outward signs of her emotions. Unfortunately Cade had never quite grasped that concept. In fact, he almost seemed to revel in openly defying it. There was no other way to explain why he felt the need to grab her hand or touch her face or tell a joke he knew would make her laugh whenever a Vulcan cadet or instructor happened to be watching them. And someone was always watching them. The Vulcan and her Human lover. It was, her roommate Alaxa had often said, a better story than could be found in a Klingon opera. So when he casually slung his arm over her shoulders and pulled her up against his side in order to steal a quick kiss, Velana wasn't at all surprised that the movement caught Talen's attention. She could have easily extracted herself from Cade's embrace, but it was too late. The damage had been done and she would have to deal with the consequences, whatever they might be. “Cadet Velana.” Talen was a small woman, especially for a Vulcan, but her voice echoed off the walls of the lecture hall. Giving her a look that vaguely resembled an amused apology, Cade lifted his arm in order to let Velana rise to her feet. All eyes had turned to her; she folded her arms behind her back and met them with a raised chin. “Commander.” In spite of the distance between them, Velana could feel the woman's stare boring two holes straight through her. After a few seconds, Talen set down the pottery piece, reached underneath the draped display table and withdrew an object wrapped in white linen. “Join me at the podium, Cadet.” Velana had no choice but to do as she was commanded, but as she descended the wide steps, she might as well have been making her way to the guillotine. Standing at attention, she watched Talen unwrap the object with all the reverence of a Ferengi handling a bar of gold-pressed latinum, only to reveal an aged clay mask with a jagged chunk missing just below the right eye hole. It had probably been pure white once, but now it was a dull gray, unadorned and rather unremarkable. “Do you know what this is?” Talen asked. “A mask, Commander.” Talen's wrinkled mouth pursed even further. “The obvious answer is not what I seek.” “It is the only answer I have.” Velana thought she heard a snort of approval, which could have only originated from Cade, but fortunately Talen didn't seem to notice. She stepped closer to Velana, still cradling the mask in her hands. “The mask was discovered a hundred years ago in the lava caverns of Osana.” The woman paused. “Have you ever been to Osana, Cadet?” The corner of Velana's mouth twitched. “I have never been to Vulcan.” “So I have heard,” Talen murmured. Another second passed. “Analysis of the artifact revealed it to be approximately three thousand years old, from before the Time of Awakening, when our planet was a very different place.” Velana arched her eyebrow. Vulcan might have been Talen's planet, but it wasn't hers. “Logic had not yet replaced superstition and idolatry. We were violent. Passionate.” Talen's tone was dangerously cool. “Emotional.” Yet another pause followed. “Put it on.” “Excuse me, Commander?” “You did not misunderstand me. Put the mask on.” Velana sought out Cade's face in the crowd only to see him shake his head and shrug his shoulders. It was Talen's turn to raise an eyebrow. “Are you seeking permission, Cadet?” A ripple of amusement spread out across the room, prompting Velana to reach out and lift the mask from its bed of linen. It was lighter than she'd expected and the clay felt warm to the touch. Slowly, she raised it to her face. When the mask touched her skin, it was as if she had come into contact with a live wire. She was certain her whole body must have jolted at the sensation. When she opened her eyes, she didn't see Talen or the lecture hall through the mask's eye holes. They had been replaced by jagged red rock formations that thrust towards the orange sky. Everything was foreign. Impossible. She smelled sulfur in the hot, dry wind that swept over her. Another hand reached for hers, threaded its fingers through her slender digits. She swung her head to the right and saw a man with closely cropped dark hair and ears that matched her own. He was staring straight ahead. When he spoke, his words were in a dialect of Vulcan that she barely understood. “Do you have any regrets?” When Velana said nothing, he glanced at her. His eyes were dark. Intense. “A'Sariah?” It took all of her strength, but Velana tore the mask away from her face. As soon as she did, the dusty desert landscape disappeared and she was, once again, standing in the archeology lecture hall. “Cadet?” Velana didn't notice her hands were trembling until she looked down at the mask. Glancing back up, she met Talen's unblinking stare, but she was unable to say anything. “This piece is one of the few relatively intact items ever discovered from this particular period of Vulcan history,” Talen said, still watching Velana's face. “Its value is...immeasurable.” She held out her hand for the mask, which Velana passed to her without hesitation. “That will be all for today,” Talen announced. “You have your reading assignments. Do not be surprised if there is a short test during our next class. Dismissed.” As the other cadets began to stand and talk, Talen addressed Velana directly. “I will be in my office in five minutes.” It wasn't exactly an invitation or an order, but Velana got the message. Ignoring all of the strange looks directed at her, as well as the snickers she was certain were about her, she climbed the steps back up to Cade. He had gathered up her PADD along with his; when she reached him, she took it, folding the flat device against her chest like a shield. “Vee?” Cade frowned. “Are you okay?” Blinking, she turned her face up to see him. “I'm fine.” She cleared her throat. “Talen wants to see me in her office.” “They just won't leave you alone, will they?” he scowled. “It's a small price to pay.” Her admission made him grin, like she'd known it would. Ducking his head, Cade kissed her. His lips were warm and it felt as thrilling as it always did, but after only a moment, Velana broke the kiss. “I should go.” After handing him her PADD, she backed up a step. “I'll see you tonight?” Cade winked. “Wouldn't miss it for the world.” Velana waited until he was out of sight before she followed his path, but instead of heading out of the building, she took a left down the corridor that led to the offices of the Archeology department. Talen's door was ajar, but she still knocked. “Enter.” The room was neat, but not what she would call spartan. The walls were lined with bookshelves which not only held books, but display cases containing everything from woven bowls to carved statues. Talen stood at her desk, staring down at the mask which lay in front of her. She didn't look up when Velana entered. “What did you see when you put it on?” the older woman asked. “And I would rather not ask this question twice, so do not bother with the Human affectation of pretending you did not understand me.” Velana shook her bangs out of her eyes. “I believe it was Vulcan,” she eventually replied. “Did you only see the planet?” “No. There was a man, as well.” Talen nodded at this. “But...that isn't logical. Is it?” “Logic does not apply here.” Finally, she glanced up at Velana. “The mask carries a memory, Cadet. A telepathic imprint from the days when our people indulged their emotions.” “As I indulge mine?” Talen lowered herself into the seat behind her desk and gestured at the chair next to Velana. When Velana remained standing, she tilted her head to one side, studying her. “It has not been easy for you here, has it?” “Only in certain circles, Commander.” She knew better than to expect a reaction from Talen. Only a second later, the woman continued where she'd left off. “The broken piece of the mask is still in stasis, but it contains an engraving. A name.” “A'Sariah,” Velana guessed. Talen nodded. “After years of research, I managed to unearth the name in the few records of that era that still exist. She was a follower of Latsan, the goddess of pleasure; the mask would have been used in ceremonies to honor her. The man, we can only assume, was A'Sariah's illicit lover. Had you kept the mask on, you would have heard him speak of their plan to run away together, in defiance of her family's wishes.” Velana's throat closed up for a second. “He asked if I...if she had any regrets.” Her words hung in the air between them. “Why did you show me this, Commander?” “Why do you think?” “Because...” She barely held back a bitter chuckle. “By taking a Human mate, I am just as much a slave to my passions as A'Sariah? Is this the part where you remind me that it's never too late to suppress my emotions? Forgive me, Commander, but I've heard this lecture before. More times than I can count.” Talen folded her hands. “Not every Vulcan who dons the mask sees what you did. It takes a certain kind of mind to make the telepathic connection.” “An undisciplined mind?” Velana guessed. “An open mind,” Talen countered. She gestured at the object in question. “Would you like to see what happens next?” Velana's hair swung around her shoulders as she shook her head. “I really don't know what all of this is about, but it feels like you're trying to say something without actually saying it. Even I find that illogical.” The woman stood, and even though Velana had more than a few inches on her, she suddenly felt quite small in comparison. “The Vulcan heart is far deeper than any Human's.” She held up her hand to stave off any protest Velana might have had. “This is merely a fact of their nature. Their emotions may be palpable, but they are transient. Subject to change at any time without fear of consequence. To fall in love with a Human is to accept the inevitability of loss.” “Are you speaking from experience, Commander?” Velana never would have believed it if she hadn't seen it herself, but after a few awkward moments of silence, the corners of Talen's mouth turned up in a rusty smirk. It told her more about the woman than if she had outlined all 150 years of her life. “I can see why A'Sariah chose you.” “For the same reason she chose you?” Velana asked. “I am not the first Vulcan to love a Human, nor do I believe I will be the last.” “But you may very well be the first who will be unable...or unwilling...to recover from the affair when it ends.” Velana's eyes narrowed as Talen continued, “Yes, I have read your file, as have all of your instructors, I imagine. I know how you were raised and...” Velana cut her off. “With all due respect, it's not under your purview as my archeology instructor to pass judgment on my personal life, especially considering that neither my academic performance, nor my attendance in your class is in question.” “If your intention with this exercise was to make me reconsider my choices, I'm afraid you have failed, Commander.” Her back straightened. “All I take away from this encounter is a renewed faith in my own emotions, as a reminder that our people were once passionate about something other than being dispassionate.” Clasping her hands behind her back, Velana tartly asked, “Is there anything else, sir?” “No.” Talen paused for so long that it seemed as if that was going to be the last word. Slowly, Velana backed up towards the door. But just when she had reached it, she heard Talen speak again. In Vulcan. “Peace and long life, Velana.” She glanced back over her shoulder, only to see Talen carefully wrapping the linen around the mask with even more care than she had unwrapped it. There was no denying that she was angry at the woman for her audacity and presumptuousness, but Velana also couldn't ignore the twinge of sympathy she felt for her. Clearly, Talen was attached to the mask as more than just an archeologist to an artifact. Whatever loss Talen had suffered in her past had compelled her to share something very personal with Velana. It was entirely out of line with what Velana understood about so-called regular Vulcans and, therefore, encouraging. Perhaps she wasn't as abnormal as they wanted her to believe. Perhaps they all had masks of their own making. The anger that had been bubbling up within her drained away. With a sad smile, Velana walked out of Talen's office, leaving the woman alone with her secrets. When she emerged from the building, Velana blinked, not from the glare of the San Francisco sunshine, but at the fact that Cade was waiting for her. When he noticed her, he gave her the same, irresistible smile that had made her choose him two years earlier when she felt the first stirrings of pon farr. “I thought we were seeing each other tonight,” she said, approaching him. Cade shrugged one shoulder. “'Later' seemed like way too long to wait.” Without giving a thought or a care to who might have been watching them, or what they might have been thinking, Velana threw herself at him, wrapping her arms around his neck and pulling him down for a much longer, much deeper kiss than before. When their lips parted, Cade was already chuckling. “That was either a really good meeting in there, or a really bad one.” He brushed back a lock of her hair and let his fingers caress the tip of her ear. “Everything okay, Vee?” She nodded until she found her voice again. “Cade...this is...” Velana stopped to drag her lower lip between her teeth. “I mean to say...you and I are...” She tried again, frustration evident in the moisture gathering on her eyelashes. “We're not going to...are we?” “Hey, hey!” Cade's eyes looked back and forth between hers, his gray eyes dark with concern. “What did she say to you?” “Nothing.” Velana smiled and brushed away the remnants of her tears. “It's nothing.” To reassure him, she kissed him again. “So. Where are you taking me to dinner?” “I don't know.” If Cade had any doubts that she was telling the truth, he had apparently decided to let the subject drop. Velana wasn't quite sure how she felt about that, but when he reached for her hand and laced their fingers together, it didn't seem to matter anymore. “We could try that new Andorian restaurant." He laughed when her nose crinkled. "What are you in the mood for?” Velana looked down at their hands, then back up at his profile. “Italian,” she decided. “I'm feeling very...Human right now. Hand in hand, they headed for Velana's quad. Lieutenant JG Velana Assistant Chief Medical Officer USS Tiger-A
  18. I'm from Florida, too, but I live in California now. Always good to meet anther Floridian!
  19. Two Steps from Hell has some epic scores, perfect for gaming.
  20. I've always been fond of the DS9 era collars....I love the grey shoulders with the color underneath, but I'm willing to roll with the times! Ladies, has anyone considered bringing back the original series-style dress and boots combo?
  21. Much better! Thank you so much:) Sorry for any trouble:(
  22. I thought I had done the tags and the title of my submission right, but I guess I didn't:( The preview doesn't show you how it's going to look on the topic list. Is there any way to fix it? I'm really sorry!
  23. Velana

    NOV/DEC Lost and Found

    Starbase 139 2387 Velana had forgotten what sleep felt like. After only five days, sleep seemed like luxury that no one could afford any more. She had taken to closing her eyes for ten or twenty minutes whenever she could, and calling that sleep when someone asked if she had gotten any. How could she sleep? Even those stolen seconds of rest were interrupted by the voices, the moans, the screams...the never-ending sound of suffering that permeated the station's overcrowded hospital. “Doctor! Over here!” “She's losing too much blood! We need a doctor!” “Another shuttle just arrived. Eighteen injured, four dead on arrival.” “Please, Doctor....I don't want to die. Please...” There was a master list of the dead, but Velana only added names to it. She had yet to look anyone up, not even her mother. Ignorance was more than just bliss, it was a coping mechanism that enabled her to keep going through the next surgery, the next loss, the next orphaned child asking for their mother. She couldn't afford to lose the emotional control that the traumatized Humans expected her to display. When her patients saw Velana's ears, they almost seemed relieved, as if they at least knew that they were in good hands with a Vulcan who couldn't possibly have been affected by the loss of Earth. It wasn't their fault. They couldn't know that Earth was...had been...the only home Velana had left, or that its destruction was a wound that cut her just as deeply. She was just as homeless as they were. In the first few days, her job had been simple. Save lives. There had been so little time to evacuate the planet; many of the shuttles that had left the system had been caught in the shock wave that followed. Huge, hurtling chunks of debris had taken out more than a few ships, as well. The injuries ranged from full-body plasma burns and amputated limbs to torn ligaments and mild concussions. The starbases nearest to what was left of the Sol system had become refugee camps where doctors, even cadets like Velana, were worth their weight in gold-pressed latinum. Now that the trickle of incoming patients had died down somewhat, Velana's job had expanded to include inventory and crowd control. Everyone had questions. No one had any answers. Shock and grief were giving way to anger and frustration. Human nature, she supposed. “Velana.” She heard her name called out across Sickbay so many times every day that she didn't bother looking up from her PADD. Whoever it was, they could wait until she had finished calculating how much dermaline gel was left. The station was starting to ration its energy resources, and even Sickbay no longer had a free pass to replicate whatever they needed. “Vee.” Velana lifted her head. Hearing her nickname, spoken by that voice, was enough to tear her away from her work. Her stomach twisted; her heart leaped into her throat. It had been three years since their last night together. Three long, painful years without the Human she had foolishly assumed was her mate. The man who had dumped her on graduation night, after wining and dining and bedding her one last time. “You're alive.” Cade shook his head. She wasn't certain, but there might have been tears in his eyes. “I hoped...but I didn't want to look and see...” He swallowed, his Adam's apple bobbing above the collar of his uniform. “Oh god, baby, you are a sight for sore eyes!” As much as she wanted to turn and walk away from him, Velana couldn't keep from taking a step forward. “What are you doing here?” “Reassigned to the station. Temporarily, so they say.” She nodded slightly. “Your family?” “They're fine.” He smiled tightly. “Mom had them off-planet as soon as the temperature spiked.” A shadow crossed his face. “How's T'Lan?” Velana's chin trembled at the mention of her mother, but she managed to reply, “I don't know.” Cade moved forward, closing the space between them. Before she could stop him, he drew her against his chest. She was too exhausted to protest and too tired of missing him to pull away. Instead, she let herself lean into the solidity of his body. His arms circled her. Surrounded by his warmth and his scent, Velana let herself shed the first tears she'd spent since the supernova. “Doctor! I need a doctor over here!” Snapping back to reality, Velana looked up at Cade. “I have to go.” But it was another second before she could tear herself away from him. “When do you get a break?” Cade asked as she started towards the nurse who had called for her. “Break?” she repeated. “I don't think so.” “1900 hours. The Promenade Lounge.” He gave her a smile which was still just as disarming as it had always been. “You have to eat, Vee.” Shaking her head, Velana gave in. Anything to make him go away. “Fine. 1900 hours.” Her attention was already back where it belonged, not on the man who had broken her heart, but on her patient, a woman who had just gone into labor seven weeks early. **** Even if she hadn't lost her entire wardrobe, Velana wouldn't have dressed up for dinner. The only reason she was even able to go was because her patient's premature baby had been delivered with far more ease than she had feared. There was a tiny new Human in the world, a hope-filled sign that the species would continue, perhaps even thrive, despite their crippling loss. Cade was waiting for her when she walked into the lounge in one of the few outfits she possessed, a simple black dress that she'd purchased from on the promenade half a hour earlier. He'd already ordered a drink for her, an annoying habit that she hadn't missed. He stood as she approached the table and pulled out her chair for her. “I almost convinced myself that you weren't coming,” Cade confessed as Velana sat down. “Really? That shows an uncharacteristic lack of belief in your own charisma.” Velana gestured to the flute of Talaxian champagne in front of her. “Please tell me we're not celebrating something.” “No. I just remembered that you liked it.” He paused as he lowered himself into his seat. “You do still like it, don't you?” She picked up the glass and took a sip. “Yes,” she decided. Cade watched her as she set the glass down again. “What is it?” “You're different, Vee.” “It's been three years, Cade.” “I realize that. I just...” He shook his head. “I don't know. I was expecting...” “The same woman you left in that hotel bed?” Sitting back in her chair, Velana folded her arms. “Are we really going to have this conversation?” A moment passed in silence. “I didn't think so.” Cade lifted his own drink, but put it down almost immediately. “I regret that night, you know. Not being with you, but what I said...what I did. I have regretted it every single day since.” “It doesn't matter now,” Velana murmured a moment later. “That hotel doesn't even exist anymore.” “Yeah.” He drained his glass with distant, haunted look in his eyes. “Everything's gone. My home...is gone. I wasn't even there, Vee.” She lifted her bare shoulder. “You're better off for that.” “Is this what you felt? When your family's ship was destroyed...did you feel this?” Cade pressed his palm to the center of his chest. “This ache? It's not going away; it's just getting worse.” “It won't ever go away.” Cade frowned. “Your Vulcan is showing.” “Would you rather I lie?” Velana leaned forward. “You can learn to live with the pain, but it never disappears, Cade. One day, you'll be reminded of Earth, and it will feel like the supernova happened only the day before.” She paused. “Some wounds never heal.” “Did I...?” Knowing better than to ask, he stopped. “I'm sorry.” Uncrossing her legs, Velana stood up. “Thank you for the drink, but I should get back to Sickbay.” “Vee.” She was already walking away when Cade called out, “Vee, wait!” On the promenade, she tried to lose herself in the crowd, but when she reached the turbolifts, Cade caught up with her. Reaching out, he grasped her arm. “Please, Vee. Don't...” “What are you doing, Cade?” she yelled, pushing his hand away. Her emotions had been simmering for days, but now they boiled over. At least they were directed at someone who deserved them. “What do you want?” “I don't want anything!” he insisted. “All right, that's not true. I wanted to see you. I needed to see you.” He pushed his hands through his hair. “You know, I didn't even think about my family when I heard that Earth was...gone. I thought about you. I was so terrified...that you were gone, too.” “You didn't want me,” she reminded him. “You didn't want us. All you wanted was to captain a starship. That could still happen. Starfleet is bigger than Earth. I think I even heard that Vulcan was being considered as a new base of operations.” Cade opened his mouth, but she cut him off. “Nothing has changed, Cade. At least not between us.” The lift doors opened and Velana stepped inside. “Deck Five.” She avoided looking at him for the agonizing seconds it took the doors to close, but at the last possible moment, Cade followed her into the lift. Velana scowled. “Look, I realize that no woman has ever turned you down before, but...” Cade cut her off. “You are not some conquest to me, Velana. You never were.” “Forgive me if I have a hard time believing that.” “I just lost the only place I've ever called home and...” “Yet, here you are, trying to rekindle something you extinguished a long time ago!” she shouted. “Of course, it's easy for you, isn't it? To think about yourself, what you want right now. Your family is still alive; you haven't lost someone that you...” He spoke so quietly that Velana almost didn't hear him. “They're gone.” Her chest rose and fell with unspent energy. “What?” Cade cleared his throat. “My family. They're dead.” She closed her eyes briefly, trying to process his words. “But you said...” “I lied. They didn't make it out.” When she looked at him, he sniffed and tried to smile. “Am I too old to call myself an orphan?” “Oh, Cade...” Against her better judgment, Velana reached for him, cupping his face between her hands. “You should have told me.” “I haven't said it out loud until now,” he admitted. “My family is...is dead. I made you, the only woman I've ever loved, hate me.” When he lowered his gaze, tears spilled down his cheeks and over her fingers. “I'm all alone.” “If I hated you,” she whispered, “I wouldn't still be mad at you.” Velana brushed her thumb across his full bottom lip. “And you're not alone. We're not alone.” She wasn't sure if he leaned forward first or if it was her, but their mouths met in a salty kiss. What started out soft and sweet quickly turned deep and needy. When the lift doors opened, they stumbled out into the corridor, unwilling to lose contact as they made their way to Velana's quarters. **** After six hours of dreamless sleep, Velana woke to the scent of coffee. Sitting up in bed, she searched the room until she found Cade, awake and dressed, walking back from the replicator with a mug in his hands. “Cream, no sugar.” He offered her the cup which she hesitantly took. Sitting on the edge of the bed, Cade, the great womanizer of Starfleet Academy, seemed at a loss as to what to do next. Velana hid her smile behind her drink as she took a sip. “I was hoping you'd wake up before I had to leave.” “I would have understood,” she told him. “Duty calls. Actually...” Velana set the mug aside. “I didn't expect you to say the night.” He frowned. “Did you want me to go after...?” “No!” A greenish blush stained her cheeks. “That's not what I meant. I just thought that...” “That history would repeat itself?” Cade leaned forward and kissed her. “Velana, as long as you want me, I will be here.” She looked down at the sheet covering her lap. “Be careful. I'll start to believe you.” “You're my home now.” He shook his head. “Maybe you always were.” Velana dragged her lip between her teeth. “I can't replace your family, Cade, or your planet. If you expect me to be your new home, then this will never...” He kissed her again, longer this time. “While you were sleeping,” he said a minute later, “I did something that I hope you'll forgive me for.” At her puzzled look, Cade continued, “I checked the casualty list.” Suddenly cold, Velana drew back. “Why would you...? I didn't ask you to do that!” “She's alive, Vee. Your mother...she made it!” Her back curved under the weight of her relief. She wasn't aware of her sobs; all she felt was Cade's hands stroking her hair, and all she heard was her own voice thanking him. When her emotions were spent, Velana slowly sat up. “Where is she?” “Vulcan.” A chuckle escaped her, followed by a full peal of laughter. “Vulcan?” she repeated. “Of all places. Vulcan.” “Maybe she'll stay there.” Cade hesitated. “Would you join her if she did?” “No.” She glanced away. “Starfleet can resettle there, but I never will.” “Where will you go?” Velana turned back to him. “Where are you going?” Cade smiled as he touched her pointed ear. “I'm not going anywhere.” “Then...” She captured his hand and laced her fingers through his. “I suppose we're not homeless anymore.” LtJG Velana Assistant Chief Medical Officer USS Tiger-A
  24. Incredibly honored not only to have been promoted to LtJG, but to be made Assistant Chief Medical Officer!!

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